• Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Pakistan's unending agony

    Army must not undermine democracy

    IF proof were needed of the immense damage Imran Khan has been causing to Pakistan's fragile democracy, one has only to observe the anguish with which his party colleague Javed Hashmi has noted the manner in which he let his followers loose on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's residence in Islamabad. Three people have died and hundreds have been injured as a result of Khan's brashness. Khan now charges Sharif with murder when the fact is that it was he who encouraged his followers to create terror on the streets. Imran Khan and the cleric Tahirul Qadri have created the perfect conditions for democracy to go through a fresh battering in Pakistan. The army has come to the forefront, suggesting that force must not be used in the current crisis. That in effect is an undermining of the country's elected government. Nothing has been said about the chaos Khan and Qadri, in clear violation of the constitution and the law, have been causing. The future, one could argue, is thus fraught with dire consequences. Sharif is now a much weakened prime minister and Pakistan is haemorrhaging yet once again. The very demand that Sharif resign despite the fair...

Opinion

ISIL's soft economic underbelly

ISIL's soft economic underbelly

THERE is no end to the “hype” around the military successes by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). The less spoken topic of course is now that ISIL controls substantial landmass in Iraq, precisely how it intends to run it economically? While landmass can be calculated, it is much more difficult...

Securing Pakistan's democracy?

THE two-week-old political crisis in Pakistan took a sharp new turn over the past few days as the military leader, General Raheel Sharif, positioned to mediate the stand-off between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and opposition demonstrators on the streets of Islamabad, led by cleric Mohammed Tahir-ul-Qadri and his ally cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. Whether Prime Minister Sharif or Tahir-ul-Qadri and Khan initiated the move to military mediation and how the military has played into the development of the crisis itself...

The neglected citizens of Myanmar

FAKHRUDDIN Ahmed rightly draws attention to the vital need to make Rohingya Muslims full citizens of Myanmar. It is worth recalling that, under the terms of the Indo-Burma Agreement of October 1941, which was never ratified because of the Japanese invasion of Burma two months later, all Indians of whatever religion resident in the country at the time were either accorded the right of full "domicile" if they were born and bred in Burma, or allowed to remain as "privileged...

Abe visit as a catalyst for Bangladesh's “Look East Policy”

IT is difficult to overemphasise the economic significance and opportunity for Bangladesh presented by the upcoming State Visit to Dhaka by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe on September 6 and 7. The Honourable PM Hasina concluded a successful  trip to Japan in May and secured commitments from the Japanese Government for up to Y 600bn ($ 5.9bn) in economic assistance over the next 5 years that will be focused primarily on a number of high profile infrastructure projects. Indeed there...

Ebola – the failures of the international outbreak response

DEAD bodies in the street, families wiped out, dozens of health care workers infected, hospitals shut down and panic and mistrust in the eyes of the people in the streets. This is what Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) usually sees in countries that are ravaged by war, but in Sierra Leone, Liberia and - to a lesser extent – Guinea, it is Ebola that is generating immense, public distress. As of today more than 1,427 patients have succumbed to Ebola viral...

The polit(r)ics of silence

LET us start by describing two pertinent issues. First, a politically cognisant teacher frequently asks a question to a new group of students to know how many of them would like to be politically conscious beings. Most often the all pervading silence conveys a big 'NO' to politics. The second issue, couple of days ago we witnessed a tragic launch accident. Even the 'submerged mass coffin', Pinak-6, could not be traced out. Sadly, people became sympathetically silent with no...

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

Migrant workers' safety

According to one estimate, 74 lakh people have gone outside Bangladesh in search of livelihood. They are sending remittance which is keeping the economy in good shape. They are toiling under the hot sun of the Middle East so that their near ones may live happily in Bangladesh. They face many problems in their day-to-day life. Many even lost their lives because of hostile working conditions. What is the government doing to ensure safety of the workers? Zabed Wali On e-mail  ...

Letters To The Editor

Clueless disappearance victims' families

Clueless disappearance victims' families

This is horrific news that people who are being picked up by the law enforcers are never returning home again. Imagine the agony of those hapless mothers, fathers, wives, sisters and brothers who keep waiting for the news of their loved ones. When the family members ask the law enforcers the whereabouts of...

Letters To The Editor

Rescuing stolen baby: Media, Rab set example

The recent baby stealing from DMCH has created much uproar among public. The media has covered the news with great enthusiasm and people were hoping for its rescue. Finally, after a week into the stealing, Rab members have rescued the baby. Along with the parents of the baby, the people of the country are relieved and happy. Expressing utter dismay over the incident at DMCH, the High Court on August 27 ordered a judicial inquiry into the entire incident...

Comments on news report

“Family points finger at rival religious group,” published on August 29, 2014 Sayed Rahman Such kind of indication before the probe may hamper the investigation. ***** “Three rivers too hungry” (August 29, 2014) Sayed Rahman If we continuously hamper the natural flow of the rivers, they will be much more cruel and hungry. Md. Abu Sufian The government should adopt long term plan to reduce river erosion. ***** “Dhaka division home to highest number of poor” (August 28, 2014) Sayed Rahman Is it the real scenario? I think whatever happens in...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 1, 2014
Will new Gaza ceasefire last?

Will new Gaza ceasefire last?

The new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has immediately raised the same old question: will it last, or is it merely just another pause, providing the prelude for the next round of fighting à la previous ceasefires? We hope the current ceasefire is different and may well last. There are no winners or losers. Hamas scored a significant political victory as it maintained its ability to fire rockets at Israel up to the last minute before the ceasefire was put into effect, but also suffered massive losses in men and materials. Israel decisively won the military campaign by inflicting huge pain and destruction,...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 1, 2014
'Gene Drive' for malaria control

Scientists at Wyss Institute of Harvard Medical School have been working on a genetic emerging technology called 'Gene Drive' which may effectively help combat malaria and other insect-borne diseases, control invasive species and promote sustainable agriculture. The researchers have developed a powerful new genome editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9 which would allow scientists to precisely insert, replace, delete, or regulate genes in different sexually reproducing species. The genetic alternations so done would be spread to future generations and ultimately to...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 1, 2014
Ensuring quality education for students

Quality education is a must to bring positive changes in society. But it is a matter of regret that the government of our country is giving emphasis on quantity, rather than the quality. Every year, the number of CGPA 5 scorers is increasing, but their quality is deteriorating. It is high time the government took an overall rectification programme to improve our education system; otherwise a bleak future is waiting for us. Asraful Islam Chunarughat, Habigonj

Published Date: September 1, 2014
Comments on news report

“Brutal murder in the capital,” published on August 28, 2014 Litan Chandra Roy “...Faruki was always in favour of majars (shrines) and “milads”. “But some people do not believe these and were against our organisation. They might be involved in the killing.” If this was the motive of such heinous killing, it will be regrettable. The religious minded people should be more tolerant of others' views. Partha Sarker What is going on this country? Religious scholars are being killed. These incidents indicate that...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Preparedness against Ebola threat

We should be in every way possible alert to Ebola threat and be prepared to prevent it. People should be made aware of the symptoms of Ebola infection so that they can take cautionary steps. The declaration of surveillance is one of the good steps taken by the government to prevent the deadly Ebola virus. Our medical teams will monitor international airports in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet as well as the Chittagong Seaport. Apart from that, mass awareness through...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Ban rickshaws on Rokeya Sharani

As a resident of Pallabi area, I frequently use Rokeya Sharani to go to the centre of the city. From early morning till midnight the road remains busy. The limited road space can not accommodate hundreds of buses and private cars which ply regularly through this road. Plus a large number of rickshaws use this road creating severe traffic jam. Nowadays rickshaw is no cheap transport. It is time consuming. Worse still, most rickshaw-pullers defy traffic rules. Rickshaws should be...

Letters to the editor

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Why a third class is barrier to bank jobs?

It is a matter of sorrow for the job seekers that banks and other financial institutions don't allow candidates having one third division to compete for job exams, even if they have two first divisions. Students of lower and middle class backgrounds have to complete their education amid various difficulties. Out of bad luck one may get a third class, but that doesn't mean one is not capable of competing in the job market. We earnestly request the governor of...

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 31, 2014
“Newborn stolen from DMCH rescued in Gazipur,” published on August 28, 2014

Litan Chandra Roy RAB has done a very good job. Mayen Uddin Tazim Thanks to the High Court for giving instruction for conducting a judicial inquiry. We also thank the RAB officials, who arrested the culprits. It is being suspected that some vested groups at DMCH may be involved in that incident. Rest in Peace Thank God, the baby has been rescued. Baz I am a serving police officer in London and truly believe the police/law-enforcers of Bangladesh are as good as any other in the...

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 31, 2014
“Indicting opposition men en masse” (August 27, 2014)

Molla A. Latif The institutions like the police and the judiciary should not be used against the democratic rights of the opposition. And we believe, these institutions should also have the courage not to yield in the face of pressure to involve them in such activities.  

Comments on news report

Published Date: August 31, 2014
“NBR tightens rules for rent payment” (August 27, 2014)

Dulal Good initiative. But will this effort be fruitful?

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Control power use

A few days ago, PM's energy adviser stressed the need to conserve power and ensure efficient use of electricity and gas. In my opinion, he should have started working on this critical issue soon after he was made the energy adviser. About gas, I feel there are two issues that can be considered. The most important thing is to have gas meters for all consumers: domestic, commercial and industrial. For industries, we should have power factor capacitors installed at the earliest...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Imran Khan's threats to Pak govt.

This refers to the report, “Led by Imran, 34 Pak MPs resign” (Aug.23). The Army in Pakistan seems to be playing backdoor games and is supporting the two protesting groups. However, these protests are empty threats, as there is no mass support. Two different protesting groups can never agree and they have not spelt out their agenda for Pakistan's problems. Just asking for resignation of the current Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Shariff has failed to draw mass support. Had...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Security system in DMCH

Security system in DMCH

We are relieved to know that the newborn baby, stolen from DMCH a few days ago, has been rescued by Rab on August 28. DMCH authorities should improve its security system so that no more babies get stolen from the hospital. It is very true that the director of the DMCH is a...

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Comments on news report

“UNO, AC Land seek transfer in face of UP chairman's threat” (August 25, 2014) Molla A. Latif The UNO and the A/C land should not be transferred. They must either take legal action against the chairman and his cronies or leave their job. Applying for transfer and flashing it in the press do not prove their eligibility, rather demonstrates their incapacity and cowardice. ***** “Govt to export 50,000 MT rice to Sri Lanka” (August 26, 2014) Nazmul Hassan Very good news. Bangladesh can also export...

More

Editorial

Published Date: September 1, 2014
Containing child marriage

AN under aged mother produces  an undernourished child, and what you look at is a generation of underachievers.That about sums up the ill-effects of child marriage. Indeed,there is an increasing realization that by effectively combating child marriage we would be redressing a whole lot of other problems that spring from it.It is pivotal to cutting back on baby boom,maternal and child mortalities ,malnutrition and domestic violence.When such is the potential range of  benefits  promised by  eradication of  child marriage ,the...

Editorial

Published Date: September 1, 2014
DAP in a bind

IT is the second time in less than a week that we have been constrained to comment on the status of the detail area plan for the capital city. This is to reinforce even further our consternation at the prospect of DAP, the document which is the basis of the master plan for the development of Dhaka city, becoming irrelevant given the very abject manner in which the government  has chosen to bend its provisions to meet the interests...

KALEIDOSCOPE

Published Date: September 1, 2014
Come out of the denial mode

Come out of the denial mode

FAMILIES of some 100 victims of enforced disappearances gathered at the Jatiya Press Club premises on Saturday to observe UN's International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.  They told heart-rending stories of how they lost their loved ones after they were 'picked up' by members of the law-enforcement agencies. They are still...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Published Date: September 1, 2014
A straw in the wind

IT appears that the magic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is waning. His Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has met a reverse in the by-polls. Out of the 18 seats in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar, the BJP won only seven. The parliamentary election held nearly four months ago saw the BJP sweeping and even getting a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha. The disenchantment of the voters in such a small period is indeed a point of...

Published Date: September 1, 2014
A disastrous turn of events

ON Saturday evening the political crisis that has captivated this country for three weeks boiled over. First, there were indications that somehow the government had acceded to the most extraordinary and wretched of capitulations: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was, according to feverish rumour, to go on a month-long enforced vacation while a senior minister ran the government and the Supreme Court-led judicial commission investigated the allegations of so-called widespread fraud in last year's election. If the allegations were found to be...

KNOT SO TRUE

Published Date: September 1, 2014
Is this for real?

WHILE Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India posted 11 sweet tweets in 'Japanese', just with the hope of strengthening the ties between the second and the third largest economies of Asia, right before he began his visit to Japan last Saturday, a Youtube video caught your columnist's attention: “History is written by the victors… Surely a war is going on and some of us will die. We will destroy all…(who oppose us)” These lines are taken from an extremely well edited...

Published Date: September 1, 2014
What's in a name?

THIS debate which I call the naming debate of the adivasi, seems to be an unending one. On the one hand we have a good number of activists and scholars who think that the term adivasi and the demand for constitutional recognition is an all important one. To another group, which also includes some scholars, this is all wrong. For this latter group, the term adivasi is not applicable for a country like Bangladesh. In such a situation, what...

Published Date: September 1, 2014
The world of M.A.G. Osmany

The world of M.A.G. Osmany

MUHAMMAD Ataul Gani Osmany was sixty five when he died in 1984. In effect, and in terms of longevity, Osmany died a little too early. And yet there is the feeling that he had given his country all he needed to, that indeed by the end of the 1970s there really was little...

SUNDAY POUCH

Published Date: August 31, 2014
China fiddles: While Xinjiang burns

The far Western province of China known as Xinjiang is a huge swathe of land the size of Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain combined. If it was an independent country it would be the world's 16th largest. Xinjiang occupies 1/6th of the total land area of China but according to records from 2000, the province has 1.5% of China's population. The total number of people there is 8.4 million. There are two major ethnic groups residing there- the...

Published Date: August 31, 2014
The silence of the BRICS

The world, it seems, is in the grip of geopolitical anomie. No leader, group of leaders, or institution commands sufficient authority to restore any semblance of international order and peace. For many, this global rudderlessness recalls Europe's sleepwalk into catastrophe 100 years ago. There are certainly some uncanny similarities between current events and that fateful time. The downing in eastern Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 echoed the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in its recklessness, not to mention...

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Amend Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Act 2012

Bangladesh is going ahead with the construction of a 2000 MWe nuclear power plant at Rooppur with Russian assistance. In doing so, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) was formed in 2013 following the enactment of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Act 2012. The BAERA has the primary responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of the general public and the plant workers against any harmful effects arising from peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In order to carry...

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Extreme poverty in the CHT context

Extreme poverty in the CHT context

To gaze upon a case study of redistribution of wealth in the wrong direction – from the poorest to the richest - one has only to drive through the hills of Bandarban.  Hills that were once covered in a multitude of life-sustaining vegetation now bear privately-owned, commercially profitable teak trees or tobacco.  These...

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Knowledge is Power: Measuring knowledge to assess adaptive capacity

Climate change and its effects – swollen seas, stronger storms, saltier soil – have already disrupted thousands of lives across Bangladesh. Preventing widespread and lasting damage remains a top priority, but significant changes to the country's climate and geography may be inevitable. Our ability to adapt to those changes – to ready ourselves for the darkest possibilities and respond to the deadliest catastrophes – will determine whether or not we can protect the health, dignity and prosperity of Bangladesh...

SHIFTING IMAGES

Published Date: August 31, 2014
The dumbing down of art

There was a time when one could visit a close friend in the evenings unannounced. That's no longer true. Indian TV serials have now gripped the attention of most households to the extent that weeknights are literally off limits for social interactions. For quite some time I have been agonizing over the negative impact of the “mini cultural revolution of TV serials” in the lives of people in South Asia. Whatever one may think of these ersatz dramas, one must...

Editorial

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Enforced disappearances on rise

The rising trend of the incidence of enforced disappearances has come as a rude reawakening for common citizens.  That is more so because going by the versions of the victims' relatives, apparently members of different law-enforcement agencies allegedly 'picked up' those persons.  Disturbingly, the police, when approached by victims' relatives, are often found unresponsive to their concerns. A human rights body, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), reports that some 74 people have been the victims of such disappearance in the...

Editorial

Published Date: August 31, 2014
Repair flood embankments

Nearly a third of the country is now inundated with water levels rising on all major rivers including the Jamuna, Padma, Teesta, Ghagot, Dharla and Arial Khan. These high tides are stripping away at flood protection embankments and spilling over to cause major havoc on infrastructure and agriculture. Though the government has mobilised food supplies and cash handouts, catering to the needs of some 900,000 people in the 19 affected districts will require much greater efforts. We understand that...

Editorial

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Violent murders in the city

WE have been shocked by the two very recent incidents of murder on subsequent days in the capital. One of the victims was a high profile TV personality and well respected religious scholar and Imam of the High Court Mosque. What is frightening is that these killings have occurred in the early part of the evening by forcing into the victims' homes and perpetrating the crimes virtually in the presence of the other inmates. We must put on record our...

Editorial

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Eviction drive in Turag

ANOTHER spurt of eviction activity in Turag is proving to be cosmetic , typically a case of morning showing the day.Impelled by a High Court order following a news report titled “Turag close to death” in this newspaper ,the three-day  drive to free Turag of some encroachments hit a snag on Tuesday,the  very first day of  its  launching. The  first thing to note is that by habitual or deliberate default ,eviction  drive is undertaken not   to nip an encroachment or...

STRAIGHT LINE

Published Date: August 30, 2014
The August tragedies

IN August 1975, the architect of Bangladesh's freedom and most of his family members were violently and shamefully murdered by some disgruntled army officers. The tragic ramifications of that dastardly incident are still being felt by a shocked polity. The trial and conviction of some of the perpetrators of that gory incident have brought some solace and the nation waits for the punishment of the remainder. However, dismal thoughts would surely occupy the minds of sane Bangladeshis when they venture...

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Darkness in democracy

THIS day, 30 August, marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The day is observed not only to remember and seek justice for those who were subjected to enforced disappearance but also to reflect on the conditions that breed such heinous practice. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to raise the issue why those in charge of the State continue to deny the existence of such practice of law enforcement agencies that are under their command and...

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Faruqi's death signals...

IF murder allegations made by the family members of the slain Sheikh Nurul Islam Faruqi prove to be true then there is a cause for worry. The allegation clearly points finger at those who oppose Faruqi's religious views. And never a crime so gruesome was committed in recent times for possessing different religious views. Faruqi , an Islamic scholar was renowned for playing the host of an Islamic TV show. Many may have differed with some of his opinions and...

BITTER TRUTH

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Safe roads or highway to death

MOST roads in Bangladesh have evolved rather than designed and purpose-built; consequently hazards are mounting. It has been revealed through a study of the ARI (Accident Research Institute) at Buet that out of the colossal number of accidents taking place on the national highways in the country, 35 per cent of these takes place in four per cent area of the national highway. It was learnt that 209 most accident-prone spots were identified on our national highways by the...

BOTTOM LINE
REMOVE THE MISGIVINGS FIRST

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Bangladesh-Myanmar FS level meeting

ONE of the mechanisms of injecting momentum and dynamism into relations between the two neighbours has been the holding of meetings at the level of foreign secretary. The scheduled 8th such meeting in Dhaka on 31st August, between Bangladesh and Myanmar, is to be most welcomed. The main purpose of the meeting, I would argue, is to remove whatever misgivings Myanmar has about Bangladesh and adopt confidence building measures with Myanmar to put bilateral relations on a positive track. Cooperation...

Published Date: August 30, 2014
A SAARC Development Bank to Bridge the Infrastructure Deficit in South Asia?

IN the third week of July, the Narendra Modi government mooted the idea of a SAARC Development Bank (SDB) along the lines of the BRICS Bank announced by the BRICS Summit around the same time.  It was reported that India will propose the SDB at the SAFTA Ministerial Council in Bhutan and later at the forthcoming SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is not something new. As far back as 1998, the report of the SAARC Group of Eminent Persons...