• Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Hospital comes to temporary halt

    Someone should answer for it

    Both our editorials today demonstrate the disregard our leaders and public servants have for the people who elect them and whom they are supposed to serve. WHY the entire professional staff including doctors and nurses should be made to stand as the welcoming committee for the health minister's visit to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College is beyond our understanding. This is precisely what happened on August 18. What makes us sit up and notice is the fact that all medical services were stopped for two and half hours so that the honourable minister could finish his visit. It is a shame to see patients being carried out by family members as wheel chair or trolley services were unavailable. Patients suffering from serious injury had to go to other institutions to have their x-rays done as attending to the minister's visit far outweighed the needs of the patients. We dread to think about those patients needing serious surgery or suffering from other ailments that required immediate attention during those hours. Patients go to public hospitals because they need medical care that is affordable. Unfortunately, that option was taken away for sometime from them on that day. The hospital authority was completely...

Opinion

GROUND REALITIES

Our history . . . their amnesia

BEGUM Khaleda Zia has once again celebrated her controversial birthday. That is okay. If she is unwilling to respect the nation's sentiments on national mourning day and willing to ignore the tragedy which befell us on 15 August 1975, it is her problem. Her increasingly weighty birthday cake (she is sixty nine if she was indeed born in 1945) is something her acolytes truly enjoy partaking of. So what if Bangabandhu was murdered on that day? Let the lady enjoy...

PRAFUL BIDWAI COLUMN

Winning the battle, losing the war?

DESPITE sputtering ceasefires, Israel's month-long murderous onslaught on Gaza shows no signs of ending. Israel has killed over 1,900 civilians, destroyed 10,000 homes, and turned a quarter of Gaza's population into refugees. The crisis was triggered by the mid-June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli West Bank-settler students. When their bodies were found, a group of Israelis abducted a 16-year-old Palestinian and burned him alive. Israel blamed Hamas for the murders without a shred of evidence, and launched its biggest...

PTI's latest move

EVERY passing day seems to bring out a new, desperate side of Imran Khan and the PTI leadership. Twenty-four hours after vowing to lead a so-called civil disobedience movement against the federal government, the PTI chief announced yesterday that his party was quitting all assemblies, other than the provincial assembly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while today he is to lead the PTI protesters into the high-security red zone of Islamabad which houses parliament, Prime Minister House and other important buildings, including...

Time to adapt to climate change in South Asia

CLIMATE change will sow confusion and concern as it unfolds across South Asia in coming decades. Home to a quarter of the world's population, this vast region will be hit harder than just about anywhere else. Sudden flooding, storms, droughtsand other hazards will upend lives, livelihoods, and economies. As this grim future takes shape, the price of global inaction is rising each year. Up to 9% will have been stripped annually from South Asia's economy on average by 2100 if...

Appointment of new information commissioners

TWO out of three posts at the Bangladesh Information Commission are lying vacant for the past month.  The government knew they were falling vacant when information commissioners Sadeka Halim and MA Taher finished their tenure. But there has been little forward planning and no seamless transition. Ironically there little or no information forthcoming about how the government is going about selecting the next guardians of transparency. The Right to Information Forum a collective of civil society organisations has been...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Will Gaza ever know peace?

LET us look at the facts before the latest Israeli operation in Gaza. According to United Nations data back in 2012, the five year blockade had turned the region's economic situation topsy-turvy. 34% of its workforce was unemployed, 44% of Gaza residents were food insecure and 8 out of 10 Gazans were dependent on aid for survival. In 2011, per capita GDP was “17% below the equivalent figure in 2005, before the last Palestinian elections.” On the export side...

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

BTV's August 15 programmes

The way BTV was telecasting programmes on the National Mourning Day, it seemed the national TV channel was indirectly or unintentionally making the killers look like heroes. Showing interviews of the killers who were giving out their rationale for the killing and the dead body of Bangabandhu with Azan in the background only pleased the anti-Liberation forces. Why didn't BTV just telecast programmes on the life and times of the great leader, and his struggle for and contribution to...

Letters To The Editor

Power of words and ideas

Power of words and ideas

Celebrated American actor and comedian Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Williams), who died on August 11, 2014, has left a message to us: “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” Good words and ideas definitely have the capability to bring about positive changes in the world. What we need...

Letters To The Editor

“Who said what after August 15”

In the first page of your celebrated daily under the caption, “Who said what after August 15,” a comment has been attributed to my Late father Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury. I understand the source is a totally government-controlled newspaper of that unfortunate and traumatic time. We may well question the veracity of such a report. On the other hand, the London Guardian published his remark which said “Ask the killers”. It went on to add that Justice Chowdhury believed only...

Comments on news report

“In prison, still ominous,” published on August 17, 2014 Saleh Md. Shahriar The AL government is quite successful in its bid to control the militant activities. But sometimes innocent people are reportedly imprisoned in the name of combating terrorism and militancy. ***** “Hospital won't release body” (August 17, 2014) MH Khan There should be a regulatory body, a commission like the broadcast commission, to regulate the healthcare providers. Some of them suck the blood of patients and their families. They allegedly keep 30 to 40...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Journalists must be united in protest

The social welfare minister recently made some abusive remarks about journalists. It is sincerely hoped that people holding honourable position in society will not make any derogatory remarks undermining or insulting a person or a community. Meanwhile, I was a little disappointed to read in some newspapers that the leaders of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Dhaka Union of Journalists demanded withdrawal of his abusive remarks. My question is, why a faction? Is it not an...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Reply to "Is chromium scare scientific?”

I would like to reply to the comments of Professor M Lutfor Rahman, Department of Environmental Science, Independent University, on my research work published in your column on August 02, 2014. Of the different types of poultry feeds available in the market, some are prepared with expensive, imported protein sources. Others are prepared using 20-25% of deshi meat bone (DMB). The DMB is prepared from tanned skin-cut wastes (SCW) and leather shaving dust (LSD) available in Hazaribag area. Different poultry...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Comments on report

“Nation in mourning,” published on August 15, 2014 Hasan May the Almighty Allah place Bangabandhu and his family members in heaven and those culprits in hell. We would have gone a long way, had Bangabandhu been with us now. Zia Very good article. It covered almost everything that happened on that dark night. We should make a movie on this so that the whole world and our new generation can know about this. ***** “Under threat from underage drivers” (August 11, 2014) Clearthoughts The government should make...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Israel doing much worse than apartheid

Hideous. Sadistic. Vicious. Murderous. That is how Noam Chomsky describes Israel's 29-day offensive in Gaza that killed nearly 1,900 people and left almost 10,000 people injured. Chomsky has written extensively about the Israel/Palestine conflict for decades. It's another one of the periodic Israeli exercises in what they delicately call “mowing the lawn.” That means shooting fish in the pond, to make sure that the animals stay quiet in the cage that you've constructed for them, after which you go...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Bad influence of Indian serials

A few days back I was shocked to hear a news that a girl committed suicide only for not having a typical Indian dress named pakhi. It is worthwhile to note that the said dress was the main attraction of this Eid! Fashion is a part of life, I am not against fashion. But one should understand the actual meaning of it. Some girls have a preconception that if they embellish themselves with heavy make-up and Indian dresses, it will...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Terrorism in religious garb

I support the views expressed by Nobel prize winning author Wole Soyinka in his address to the World Humanist Congress (TDS, August 11). He said that the conflict between humanists and religionists has always been one between the torch of enlightenment and the chains of enslavement. Boko Haram, Salafist, ISIS etc. all groups claim that they are performing religious obligations but in fact they do terrorist activities like killings, bombing and abductions. These groups should be rational enough and...

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Comments on news report

“No action before enactment of law,” published on August 13, 2014 MH Khan At first Hasanul Haq Inu said that was not a law. Now they are talking about making that black thing a law! Saleh Md. Shahriar A thorough analysis of the broadcast policy is needed before its enactment into a law. **** “Target a complete electricity hub” (August 13, 2014) Deepjelejai Coal-fired plants are one of the biggest threats to the world considering carbon emission. However, we have no other options but to make the...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: August 17, 2014
Why must our cricketers retire before 30?

Normally, when a player reaches the age of 30, he acquires vast experience and this is actually his golden time when he is at his best. Bangladeshi players however cannot perform to the expectations at this time of age and eventually retires. I believe this is due to their eating habits. A Bangladeshi eats rice at least twice a day. White rice is very high in carbohydrates and can even cause type II diabetes, which is a very common...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: August 17, 2014
Condemn Israel's genocide in Gaza

This is a clarion call to all film lovers, actors, actresses and activists all over the world: Don't be cowed by Zionist propaganda but be courageous like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who have denounced Israeli attack on Gaza terming it a 'genocide'. But in consequence, they have come in for a lot of flak from some quarters who saw the spectre of anti-Semitisim in their views . Those quarters have even  threatened to end their career. This is...

Published Date: August 17, 2014
Mawa launch tragedy a crime

More than 100 people have died due to the launch capsize at Mawa. Most of those ill-fated passengers were returning to their work places after enjoying the Eid with their near and dear ones. It was not an accident but a crime committed by some greedy people as they took passengers way beyond the launch's capacity. Moreover, the launch did not have any fitness certificate. After such mishaps, we see that the authorities take some short-term measures and the...

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 17, 2014
“Pinak-6 search abandoned,” published on August 12, 2014

Anonymous The authority couldn't even identify the capsized launch. Shame. Safina We don't want anymore repetition of Pinak-6 tragedy.  

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 17, 2014
“We just want to return home”(August 12, 2014)

Saleh Md. Shahriar This is the gloomy fate of the people who send our remittance money. The government should act quickly in this regard to bring them back to the country.  

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 17, 2014
“Shady houses along highway”(August 12, 2014)

Anonymous The government should investigate before giving compensation. Otherwise money will go to wrong people.  

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 17, 2014
“District 'food courts' virtually defunct” (August 11, 2014)

Saleh Md. Shahriar This is a very timely editorial. Public health is in danger, so the government should act quickly to ensure safe food.

More

Editorial

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Waste transfer station in public park

NOBODY can take issue with the idea of setting up of waste transfer plants. In fact, given the size of the capital city and the huge quantity of waste uncared for, there is need for not one but many such plants to allow the city corporations the capability to manage waste efficiently, particularly solid waste. But one wonders whether the planners have considered all relevant factors before deciding on the site. If they had, Pantha Kunja would have been...

Editorial

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Newer variety of zinc enriched rice

OUR scientists have come up with yet another more productive variety of zinc enriched rice. We compliment the team of scientists who have contributed to the bio fortification process. Compared to its earlier types, the new variety, labelled as Brri dhan-64, not only has higher content of zinc, but has yield potential of over 6 metric tons per hectare, 25 percent higher than its immediate predecessors. Moreover, apart from high zinc and more yield factors, the breed is also capable...

BYLINE

Published Date: August 19, 2014
The challenge of hope

PRIME ministers choose one of three options when they step up to the podium at the Red Fort on Independence Day. They speak to their governments; or mumble to themselves; or talk to the people of India. The first is easiest, since government is both narrator and narrative, and can enjoy the false comfort of self-congratulation: we did this [applause]; we will do this [obligatory high-five]. The second option is a consequence of diffidence more than introspection. And if Dr....

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Sky is the limit!

EVEN though forty two years have passed since Biman Bangladesh Airlines started operations, it is still performing very poorly. Despite giving continuous assurance to its customers that it would improve its service it has repeatedly failed to do so. In fact, the service that is provided by the airline in terms of customer service and on-time performance has always been below par. Over the years, the Biman management team kept citing shortage of aircraft and operating with age-old aircraft as...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Is world economy heading for another economic crisis?

GLOBAL investors are nervous nowadays. The continuous cycle of violence and armed conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, Libya, and other regions has created demand for not only weapons but also intense speculative activities in the oil and commodities market. The average citizen is asking: Are we heading for another round of global economic crises similar to the one we've seen in the aftermath of the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse and in the wake of the Greek debt crisis?...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Dilemma in quality rice seed production

Dilemma in quality rice seed production

IN Bangladesh, rice contributes more than 97% to the total cereal food supply. During the last three and half decades, although rice production increased more than three-fold because of rapid adoption of modern rice technology on a large scale, the country has not yet attained complete self-sufficiency in food. Since horizontal expansion of areas...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Solution to question paper leak

THE issue of leakage of question papers has become a talking point in Bangladesh recently. I read somewhere that someone proposed using computers in examinations. In this article, I look at a mechanism to defend against question paper leak. The leak seems to take place during the printing stage of the question papers. Someone takes out at least one copy of the paper during printing. Hence, the idea is to find a solution that does not require printing of the...

Editorial

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Extremists regrouping

AUGUST 17 was the 9th anniversary of the countrywide bomb attack that proclaimed the existence of the religious extremists.  We are happy that there has not been any major terrorist activity since August 2004 and much of the credit must go to the proactive measures adopted by the law enforcing agencies, particularly Rab, for anticipating their plans and making timely arrests of members of the extremist groups. However, that is no reason for the government or the other relevant agencies...

Editorial

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Jute packaging law

TO boost the domestic use of jute, the government has begun drives through mobile courts and motivational campaigns. It's indeed a commendable effort taken to ensure implementation of the jute packaging law passed in 2010. Jute – once our main cash crop-has long been neglected. Supreme Court's order reinstating government decision to pack rice with jute bags should be implemented vigorously. The main excuse for not following the law passed four year ago is that it is more expensive than...

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Limits to critique and dreams

SHAMIM Osman and Dr. Salina Hayat Ivy's episode in a private television channel aired a few days ago attracted more than a million hits in Youtube. While Shamim Osman attacked Ivy on corruption issues related to local governance, and while Ivy looked uncomfortable trying to answer his concerns, and while the accusations are yet to be proven, Shamim Osman insisted and asked if corruption issues could be addressed later, why would the seven-murder case repeatedly gain attention in the...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Old habits die hard

A spate of personal accounts by the insiders has made the Indian political scene interesting and chirpy. However subjective, they do put in the public domain some information which was not available earlier. There is nothing earth shaking in the revelations made. But they do confirm some of the perceptions about our governance. For example, it was rumoured that Sonia Gandhi wielded authority without responsibility and ran the government from her residence. This is now confirmed. Official files were carried...

Published Date: August 18, 2014
How long will Palestine bleed?

THE history of Palestine is as old as history itself. Strategically located between Asia and Africa and connected to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, Palestine has shrunken into a tiny mass over time due to annexations by neighbours and finally by the artificial creation of Israel and, more sadly, the illegal occupation of its territories by the Zionist state. It is the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity with important historic shrines of the three Abrahamic religions including Islam. Palestine has...

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Local government: Way forward

BANGLADESH has a reasonably workable administrative and political system backed by deep-rooted culture of democratic practices. Our local governance structure, though not perfect, has a hundred year's tradition. It is much older than our constitution. The local government institutions (LGI) have not been created by the constitution afresh, rather the framers of our constitution adopted and accommodated the historic continuity and tradition of local government (LG) in the new constitution with due emphasis. LG, in spite of many of...

Published Date: August 18, 2014
When war is 'business,' 'peace' is a far cry

ACCORDING to a report just released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world military expenditures in 2012 totaled $1.75 trillion. It also revealed that, as in all recent decades, the world's biggest military spender by far was the US government, whose expenditures for war and preparations for war amounted to $682 billion -- 39% of the global total. In 2011, the 100 largest contractors sold $410 billion in arms and military services. Just 10 of those companies...

Published Date: August 18, 2014
Palestine

THE situation in the Palestinian territories has progressively deteriorated since Benyamin Netanyahu's extreme right Likud Party-led coalition came to power for the third time in March 2013. The main reason for the sufferings of the Palestinians can be summed up under two headings -- disunity among the different factions of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and mounting discord among the members of the League of Arab States (LAS) over major issues, including Palestine. PLO is the umbrella organisation bringing together at least...

SUNDAY POUCH

Published Date: August 17, 2014
The 'other India' speaks: Modi at Lal Killa

India celebrated its 68th Independence Day on August 15. With due pomp and grandeur, the new Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, addressed the citizens of his country from the front of the ramparts of the Red Fort (Lal Killa) in New Delhi. He dispensed with the bullet proof glass box and stood before the audience with no barriers in between. He did not want to separate himself from the people, thereby telling the world that as a democratic...

Published Date: August 17, 2014
National Broadcast Policy: End of history?

The National Broadcast Policy approved by the Cabinet on August 4 and gazetted on August 6 has been widely debated featuring sharp criticism by the media, civil society and human rights activists who have found that it created scope of undermining the constitutional right to free media, access to information and freedom of expression. The government, the information minister in particular, has been arguing that the concerns are unfounded. The drafting process of the policy was somewhat participatory, involving a...

Birth Anniversary

Published Date: August 17, 2014
William Carey and the development of Bangla prose

Today, many members of the Baptist Churches all over the world pay great tribute to the great English Reformer-Missionary to the then Bengal, William Carey, for the great works that he did in social, cultural and economic reforms alongside his missionary works. Carey was born on 17 August, 1761 in England. He arrived at Kolkata on November 10, 1793. Ever since then his love for Bengal and the Bangla language, till his death on June 9, 1834, was unparallel...

Private Universities

Published Date: August 17, 2014
A struggle for going forward and TIB's Report

Iwelcome TIB's efforts to criticise, find errors and comment on our activities. But these should be based on true, substantive, informative and real evidence. Otherwise, it will create confusion among the general people, teachers, students and all others concerned. I never protest any criticism which has really good intention even if it is wrong. Rather I ponder over the issue and try to understand it. I always try to be careful so that my positive attempts are not misunderstood...

SHIFTING IMAGES

Published Date: August 17, 2014
The optics of image-making

We live in a social media world, which offers innumerable opportunities to reinvent ourselves. A world where success is, to a large extent, determined by the image we project and not the real “personality” that lurks behind the image. In fact, “image-making” is now an expansive business with celebrities hiring a phalanx of media advisors, politicians engaging spin masters, entrepreneurs assigning the task to PR firms. The “image culture” has also permeated into our daily lives. Individuals try to promote...

Editorial

Published Date: August 17, 2014
Deluged Dhaka

When seasonal rains come down with the monsoon, large parts of the city suffer massive water logging. The situation is getting worse. With the city experiencing a mere 30 millimetres of rain on August 14, residents of busy areas of the city like Malibagh, Shantinagar, Moghbazar to Bangla Motor took the brunt of the inundation and had to negotiate the knee-deep rain water that had mingled with the filth from open drains. That in fact, is only half the...

Editorial

Published Date: August 17, 2014
Bangladesh on the peace index

With the Institute for Economics and Peace now informing us that on the Global Peace Index 2014 Bangladesh ranks 98 among 162 nations, we remember the essentially pacific nature of our people and our society that has shaped our heritage. There can hardly be any denying the truth that politics in Bangladesh has over the last many years been of a volatile nature. The reasons are, of course, those that are known to all of us here and to people...

Editorial

Published Date: August 16, 2014
Creditable HSC results

CANDIDATES this year have performed better both so far as their GPA scores are concerned as well as higher pass rate, which is 78.33 per cent, in the HSC and equivalent examinations of 2014 for all the 10 education boards. We congratulate the successful candidates. We would like to believe that the qualitative aspect of education is at par with the pass rate which is significantly higher than last year.   While analysing the students' performance we note the clear...

Editorial

Published Date: August 16, 2014
Cutting casualties on roads

A recent report prepared jointly by Brac and PPRC has pinpointed several reasons for the deadly rise in road accidents all over the country, especially on highways. That we continue to allow unfit vehicles to be driven by drivers without licence or by fake-license holders, and fail to take proactive measures to bring to book those responsible for reckless driving that end up in horrendous accidents, which in turn kill and maim people, are primarily the reasons why there...