• Monday, September 22, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • New features to Indio-Bangla ties

    Headway yet to be made on Teesta and LBA

    ONE can clearly see a fresh momentum gathering on refurbishing  Delhi- Dhaka ties  with new elements. This is a welcome  development   boding  well for the future of  both countries. The third Joint Consultative Commission(JCC) meeting  between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali held in New Delhi  while flagging off some new areas of cooperation fell short of   signaling  any definitive headway being made on Teesta water sharing and ratification  of Land Boundary Agreement along with the agreed protocols by India.Beyond noting  that   these are critical issues for Bangladesh,we  have to say that it has largely been repeating the known,namely that  a consensus building process is on with other parties and the neighbouring state government.Of course, we realize that in the Indian federal structure there is no short –circuiting such decision –making. Yet, considering that the issues under the purview of central subjects have been on the table for an inordinately long time and they cast an avoidable  shadow on realizing the full potential of  an equitable  vigorous relationship ,our attention is riveted on to the following cogent factor:The new BJP government in India has come with a  massive parliamentary  majority .By...

Opinion

KALEIDOSCOPE

Struggle for self-determination: Scottish lesson

Struggle for self-determination: Scottish lesson

TO resolve what the Scots really want, cessation from Britain or continuing with the Union, champions of the cause of independence took a historic decision. They left the matter to be decided by ballot. But making no mistake of the voting public's pulse once the polls result came out, Alex Salmond, first minister...

Exclusive to The Daily Star

What water's worth

What water's worth

IN the early nineteenth century, Lord Byron wrote in Don Juan that “Till taught by pain, men really know not what good water's worth.” Nearly 200 years later, humanity still does not seem to understand water's value, exemplified in decades of poor water management and governance practically everywhere. But the impending water crisis...

Facebook as we know

Facebook as we know

THE recent suicide committed by two siblings in Uttara has deeply saddened and shocked the nation; our deepest sorrows are with the single mother. Keeping aside the societal and domestic unhappiness caused by the separation of the parents, another aspect that might be missed is the part played by Facebook in this tragedy....

Challenges for the Military Forces

Challenges for the Military Forces

DHAKA recently witnessed a gathering of senior officers from the armies around the Asia Pacific region discussing the possible challenges that the armies face in view of the changing threat scenario. Jointly organised by the Bangladesh Army and the US Army Pacific (USARPAC), the 38th Pacific Army Management Seminar (PAMS) held on 14-17...

Is there still a way out for Iraq?

AMERICA, while occupying Iraq, had the power to do anything that was needed to be done. It could require all major groups to come to a consensus as to the basic rules of power sharing as it was done in Tunisia. A commission --consisting of leaders from all three groups as well as...

Prevention of early marriage: Bangladeshi style

IN an effort to stop early marriage the Government of Bangladesh (GOB is reducing the marriage age for girls from eighteen to sixteen. Any five-year old school going kid can tell that mathematically this makes no sense. GOB must have great wisdom and understanding of mathematics which is so profound that it can...

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

People won't accept 16th amendment

Like January 5, September 17 could be called a black day because on that day the parliament unanimously passed the 16th amendment bill, empowering itself to remove Supreme Court judges for misbehaviour, or incapacity, rejecting all calls for soliciting public opinion and bringing some changes in the bill. We watched it happening with shock and disbelief. How could the bill be passed by members of the parliament who are not elected by the people? The people of this land liberated...

Letters To The Editor

Disappointing West Indies tour

Disappointing West Indies tour

When Shakib Al Hasan was banned for six months in July, I felt Bangladesh would badly miss a player of his calibre in the West Indies. However, judging from their performance, it seems unlikely that Shakib's presence would have made a difference barring the first ODI, where Bangladesh lacked a 5th bowler after...

Letters To The Editor

A triumph of democratic process

The United Kingdom has shown a pragmatic way to uphold democratic values by peacefully running the historic referendum in Scotland. The majority Scots voted 'No' against the independence move thereby preventing a rupture of the 307-year Union. This is a triumph of democratic process. The Scottish referendum is a lesson for countries that are struggling to attain democracy around the globe. Let the institution of democracy flourish everywhere including Bangladesh. Professor M Zahidul Haque Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System, SAU,...

Comments on commentary

“No head above King,” published on September 19, 2014 A.H. Dewan An outstanding commentary unmasking the dictatorial attitude of the government in the garb of democracy. Fareed Wakil An absolutely brilliant dissection of the current state of democracy in Bangladesh, which is far more like a medieval durbar. This parliament could have redeemed itself with vigorous debates and dissent, but instead has become an absolute disgrace to Bangladesh, to its people, and to the ideals of the Independence War! M. Akram Khan I salute, with...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: September 21, 2014
“178-member team to go with PM”!

I was surprised to read the above news published in your daily on September 18. Our PM is going to attend the UN General Assembly with a 178-member delegation at the cost of public money. The report also says that the number of entourage members may rise further. We want to ask the government, is it really necessary to spend this huge amount of money after 178 people? We need an answer.  

Letters to the editor

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Another whitewash?

Another whitewash?

During the West Indies tour, the way our cricketers played was an insult to the entire nation: A 5-0 drubbing by the West Indies. We do not need an opening batsman like Tamim Iqbal who bats senselessly. We need openers like Javed Omar Belim who always saw off the new ball and put...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Frequent load shedding

These days power outage has become a common problem. We are suffering a lot as it happens five or six times a day. We know load shedding occurs when the demand of electricity is much higher than the generation of power. The present government claims that electricity generation has increased, but we do not see any tangible proof of it. On the other hand, electricity has become costlier. We hope the authorities will do something to mitigate our sufferings.  

Comments on news report

Published Date: September 21, 2014
“Poisoning Poultry, Fish,” published on September 17, 2014

Fakhrul Islam Will the departments concerned act in this regard before the nation becomes physically and mentally ill? Dev Saha This is simply awful. Knowing the facts, any sane person would be afraid to eat these dangerous delicacies.  

Comments on news report

Published Date: September 21, 2014
“Jailed until death” (September 18, 2014)

TruthnLie Was this whole trial a hoax after all? Kittu Even if you go by the Shariah law, this guy should be hanged. TruthnLie Why was then Kader Mollah sentenced to be hanged? Is it that Mollah was a scapegoat for the ruling party to hang on to power? MH Khan EU and other European partners will accept this verdict as they oppose death penalties. Most of the Bangladeshis will find this punishment too lenient considering the gravity of the crimes he committed. But probably it...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 20, 2014
What a shame!

Recently the government has decided to revoke the freedom fighters' certificates of five top bureaucrats for forgery and not following proper procedures in obtaining the certificates. The five are Privatisation Commission Chairman Molla Waheeduzzaman (former secretary of the Prime Minister's Office), Health Secretary Niaz Uddin Mia, Public Service Commission Secretary AKM Amir Hossain, former Liberation War Affairs secretary KH Masud Siddiqui (currently an OSD) and former joint secretary of the Liberation War Affairs ministry Abul Kashem Talukder (now an...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 20, 2014
Paradoxes of our political system

The separation of power among the executive, legislative and judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy. No one is above the law. Unfortunately, this may not be true for Bangladesh, because, the Anti-Corruption Commission has the power to bring charges against any persons except the lawmakers, and may be, selected others. So it can be concluded that in Bangladesh, lawmakers are above law. The ruling party, though it has two-thirds majority, can't unilaterally change the key elements of the constitution. For...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 20, 2014
War is such a waste!

It's incredible that the governments of the world are on track to invest nearly a trillion dollars a year in killing people. You can't tell me that that amount spent on weapons is for “defense,” “self-protection,” etc. It's mainly for the most lethal and advanced methods of slaughter and murder that money can buy! And the side-effect for those who manufacture and market the weapons, the real war criminals, is that it stimulates the economy of their nation. That's one...

Published Date: September 20, 2014
Comments on news report

“Solution simple,” published on September 16, 2014 Salim Uddin Our government should implement this plan immediately, but the fact is that they do not care. Nasirullah Mridha Salim Cost effective project. But if the government implements this system, how on earth will our corrupt officials make money by taking bribe from the unscrupulous traders? ***** “Overcrowding key reason for disaster” (September 15, 2014) Ragib Nihal They only think of money, not of people's lives. ***** “Teenage siblings commit suicide” (September 17, 2014) Fatin Anwar I know Mohammad Bin Alim. We have...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Food adulterators must be punished

Contamination and adulteration of foods are now very common in Bangladesh. To extend the shelf life of food, unscrupulous traders are adding toxic chemicals in our foods. Fruits and vegetables contain high nutritional value but contaminated and adulterated foods are endangering human health. We want strict action from government against those who are poisoning us. Otherwise, days are not far when we will become a sick nation by losing our productivity. Murad Hossain Karwan Bazar, Dhaka  

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Your front page photos published on September 17 show us that it is not only the government that is responsible for the rail track accidents, but also the people themselves are to blame. In the photos it is seen that pedestrians dangerously walk or run across the rail track even when a train...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Scotland's referendum for independence

This is with reference to the report, "UK leaders pledge support to Scots" (Sept.17). Not many know that Scotland was an independent nation till the beginning of the 17th century but it became a part of the Great Britain (now known as the United Kingdom), including Northern Ireland. The moot question is will the kingdom stay united, as it has remained so for more than three centuries? A section of the UK media is biased against an independent Scotland....

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Comments on news report

“Cold chain can save food supply chain,” published on September 16, 2014 Tripura People of this country want to earn money in an easy way. If the government had the will, it wouldn't be hard to solve this problem. But the government was indifferent to it and now this has gone out of control. Hafizur Rahman The government is surrounded by unscrupulous businessmen who control the business from its top to the root level. Nasirullah Mridha Salim It is imperative to take stern measures against...

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Sunday Pouch

Published Date: September 21, 2014
When Chinese dragon meets the Indian elephant!

President Xi Jinping of China just concluded a three day visit to India. The Chinese dragon came to the shores of India to meet the elephant. What has been the outcome of the visit? The world including Bangladesh is assessing this important visit and trying to see what these two giants have gained or lost. The visit itself was much anticipated. President Xi Jinping had recently come into supreme power in China and India's Prime Minister Modi had also...

Byline

Published Date: September 21, 2014
A toast to strategic health

Once is never enough in the carefully crafted, meticulously guarded language of diplomacy. It is repetition which sets the pace. In his formal address at the banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee, Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was convinced that a “China-India strategic and cooperative partnership will make even bigger progress and contribute to an even brighter future for our two countries and to progress and prosperity of this region and the world at large”. And then, in...

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Scotland's choice: A triumph for democracy

The Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 through the union of England and Scotland. The Congress of the United States of America adopted a unilateral declaration of independence on July 4, 1776 and fought the Revolutionary War against Great Britain. Britain was defeated decisively in Yorktown in 1781 and recognized the independence of the United States in 1783. Ireland joined with Great Britain in 1801 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. On January 21,...

Published Date: September 21, 2014
War crimes trial and transparency of justice

War crimes trial and transparency of justice

It has been said that war crimes trials arise from high expectations that cannot possibly be met. Perhaps the Bangladesh war crimes trials have also raised such expectations…. We do know that in a self-respecting nation it is imperative that criminals who aided and abetted atrocities and crimes against humanity cannot, are not,...

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Revisiting micro-credit

Many, including most donors, have recognized the important role that microcredit plays in poverty alleviation. In 2006, Prof. Muhammad Yunus, the champion of the microcredit concept, and the Grameen Bank, the pioneering microcredit institution, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts … to create economic and social development from below". According to the Nobel Committee, “Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development". Yet...

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Ecological backlash: A blow for a blow

The system of Earth values many of us embrace is a rather narrow view of humans in the environment and an even narrower view of the purpose of nature. The main tenets of this view are: (1) The Earth has an unlimited supply of resources and it's all for us; (2) we are apart from nature and immune to natural laws; (3) and our success derives from the control of nature. Believing in the above tenets and consequently the need...

Editorial

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Violation of human rights under scanner

Violation of citizens' rights to state protection by its own agencies has become so blatant that it can only be ignored at our own peril.  Indeed, It simply does not admit of any relapse into denial mode with prevarications like 'deaths in encounter'or 'what- could- we- do-if –someone- made-himself –disappear? It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday calling upon the Bangladesh government “to bring back the state security forces, including police and the...

Editorial

Published Date: September 21, 2014
Global concern over Ebola

Little wonder that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously passed a resolution terming the outbreak of Ebola a global threat. The disease has gone epidemic killing 5,000 people so far and doubling its number of casualties every three weeks. That there are no proven anti-Ebola shots available in mass form adds to its deadliness. The UNSC has rightly recognised the need for helping African countries worst hit by this new killer as one that could ravage entire nations...

Editorial

Published Date: September 20, 2014
Scotland decides to be with the UK

IN a historic referendum held Thursday, the Scottish people have had their say about what future they like for themselves: To be an independent entity or remain part of Great Britain. It was an extraordinary sight of how a people decide its political future in a democracy through freely exercising their right to self-determination.     Clearly, pragmatism of the Scottish people has got the better of their emotion through this referendum.    The majority of the electorate,   55 per cent of...

Editorial

Published Date: September 20, 2014
RMG inspection moving ahead

THE persistent  demand from international retailers' platform  for raising safety standards of our garments factories in the wake of certain disasters  has been moving the sector  on to a   corrective path. This is evidenced by the following revelation: Engineers of the Euro-sponsored Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh on an inspection tour here has found only '2 percent of the inspected factories unsafe for production and occupancy.'  As many as 1000 factories inspected for fire, electrical and and...

STRAIGHT LINE

Published Date: September 20, 2014
The perilous modus operandi

ENFORCEMENT aberrations in the form of deaths in doubtful encounters with lawmen has once again surfaced giving rise to justifiable concern. For understandable reason the media has once again taken a serious cognizance of the vexed subject of so called crossfire deaths and has questioned the legal sustainability and administrative credibility of this action. There are claims that such deaths resulted from actions that were legally permissible. We are, therefore, faced with a situation that warrants a pragmatic analysis...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Published Date: September 20, 2014
A weak prime minister

I did my duty” is the defence of former Prime Minister to the charge that he was aware of corruption taking place in the mobile (2G spectrum) and sale of coal mines and did not do anything to stop the corrupt deals going through. That he himself is above board goes without saying but it does not absolve him conniving at open corruption going on under his nose. The report by the former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Ray is...

Published Date: September 20, 2014
Listing of Freedom Fighters

THE government has decided to make new list of Freedom Fighters (FFs). It seems that the embarrassment of the FFs will never end. In the first place the whole process of enlisting FFs initially was shocking. The responsibility was given to Muktijoddha Sangsad at district and upazila levels. Those who were in the Sangsad were juniors or not FFs at all in 1971. Some of those were Razakars or anti-liberation elements during the Liberation War. The wartime commanders and...

BITTER TRUTH

Published Date: September 20, 2014
Save tiger, save the Sundarbans

Save tiger, save the Sundarbans

WHILE addressing the inaugural ceremony of the 2nd Global Tiger Stocktaking Conference 2014 in Dhaka, Prime Minister Sk. Hasina has appealed to the global communities to come forward for saving the tigers worldwide by saving the nature.   In Bangladesh Sundarbans is the only abode of Royal Bengal Tigers.Unhappily, Sunderban's Royal Bengal Tiger is...

Published Date: September 20, 2014
Constitutional amendment is no more a serious job

AMENDING the constitution by parliament is no more a serious business! The way parliament passed the 16th amendment to the constitution on Wednesday night to empower itself to remove Supreme Court judges exposed the lack of its seriousness. The House had to spend around three and a half hours to pass the bill. The time was spent to allow around two dozens of MPs to speak during the process to pass the bill. Many of them spoke twice. Their...

Editorial

Published Date: September 19, 2014
16th amendment to the constitution

THE Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on Wednesday passed the 16th amendment to the constitution empowering parliament to impeach apex court judges for their misdemeanour or incapacity. It may be recalled that we had earlier critiqued in this column the cabinet's approving of the proposal on August 18 for this constitutional amendment. It's indeed a fateful moment in the nation's history since the bedrock of principles of separation of powers and the checks and balances between the three organs of the state...

Editorial

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Hartal uncalled for and condemnable

THE two-day of hartal called by the Jamaat-e-Islami and that too 24-hour long ones are totally unacceptable. The court has given a verdict against accused Delwar Hossain Sayedee and it must be respected by all, including the party he belongs to. Hartals called and enforced by Jamaat during the last quarter of 2013 caused immeasurable suffering to both the people and the economy. The party's agitation programme is linked to organised terrorism and it cost the lives of 65...

CROSS TALK

Published Date: September 19, 2014
An embarrassment between the covers

THE Great Western Schism in the Middle Ages had lasted 39 years but ours has lasted longer already, that also to get incrementally worse. In 43 years that schism created a chasm, which has been debased into memory disorder. As a nation we can't remember anything either at the same time or together. The most recent book written by AK Khandker embodied that tragedy in the controversy surrounding it.  Like a knife, it as if severed our collective memory...

Published Date: September 19, 2014
The distrust continues

VIOLENCE on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border continues. It is a dangerous trend that has evolved in recent years with no end in sight. As the foreign ministries of the two countries sparred over the implications of Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muawiya's announcement that his group will no longer commit violence inside Pakistan, but continues to believe in jihad elsewhere, Pakistani security personnel came under attack from Afghan-based anti-Pakistan militants. While a further escalation in tensions seems unlikely —...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Sayedee's virtual reprieve ...

Sayedee's virtual reprieve ...

AS long as you can stay on the hot tin roof as the expression goes, Sayedee may have demonstrated his staying power. It was Alberto Sordi, the Italian film director and actor, who said, "Conscience is the quiet voice that warns you not to leave any fingerprints." But patently unconscionable as they were...

Published Date: September 19, 2014
Australian terror plot foiled, for now...

IN recent raids involving nearly 900 police Australia's security agencies claim to have foiled a serious terrorism plot. But have they done enough since 2001 to address the causes of extremism rather than only the symptoms? Yesterday's raids on homes of alleged Muslim extremists in Sydney and Brisbane were dramatic. According to media reports, police and intelligence officials foiled a plot to kidnap a random member of the Australian public, drape them in the Islamic State flag and behead them...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

Published Date: September 19, 2014
I Came, I Saw, I Conked Out

THE judge listens to the arguments from both sides. He concludes: “I still can't understand where the problem is. Case dismissed.” The two Bangladeshi Associations of the same city, USA, grimace at each other as the defamation lawsuit goes down the tube. I am shocked. Just two groups only! I would have expected seven, given the large metropolis. You see, when you and I, two of Bangladeshi origin, are together, we form three groups – you are one group, I am...

Editorial

Published Date: September 18, 2014
SC verdict against Sayedee

THE Supreme Court in a verdict on Wednesday sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee to imprisonment till death for his crimes against humanity in 1971. While the victims' families and many others may not find it satisfactory we we accept this judgment which has been pronounced by majority opinion of a full bench of the Appellate Division. It has been delivered at the end of a long process of adjudication during which 48 days of hearings were held by...

Editorial

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Significant improvement in health sector

AS per a global study, Bangladesh has come out as one of 10 countries that have made commendable progress in improving child and maternal health. With child mortality falling significantly from 151 to 53 per 1,000 live births over a two-decade period, we welcome the continued efforts of primary health services in these areas. And it is not just children who have benefitted from better quality services; maternal mortality rates have also dropped markedly by 66 per cent over...

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Trinamool-Jamaat nexus: A puzzle and a worry

EVERY action, apart from initiating an equal and opposite reaction also demands a loss and benefit estimation. One may argue that Jamaat might gain by funding Trinamool Congress (TMC), as was reportedly done before 2011 assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But one is still at a loss to figure out what exactly the TMC and its leader Mamata Banerjee wanted to gain out of the Jamaat's destructive politics in Bangladesh funded by TMC, which it has allegedly done....