• Saturday, September 20, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Scotland decides to be with the UK

    Triumph of democratic process

    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 them, came up with their mature decision that they would continue their union with the UK.  Evidently, considerations like the advantages of being part of a larger economy weighed heavily in their decision-making. Though the vote has been convincingly in favour of the union, the fact that 45 per cent of the Scots opted for independence is something that has to be reckoned with. If anything, the referendum has brought to the fore a stark reality--Scotland will no more be the same again.   It is now time for the ruling Conservatives. Labour and the Liberal Democrats to deliver on the pledge they made during the persuasion campaign that if the Scots reject independence, Westminster would devolve more powers...

Opinion

STRAIGHT LINE

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

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...

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

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...

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....

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....

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

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

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

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...

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...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 18, 2014
“Solution simple”

The above-titled write-up published in your daily on 16th September tells us that the solution for preserving food in Bangladesh is very simple. We just have to set up some 100 cold storages. It further said that Bangladesh does not have to deal with the problem of formalin anymore if we install the cold chain or cool chain system in our food management process. We thank the writer for his thought provoking propositions. In Bangladesh we face electricity shortage regularly...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Reasons for labour unrest in RMG sector

Reasons for labour unrest in RMG sector

RMG industries are playing a very important role in the economic development of Bangladesh. But this industry is now in crisis due to repetitive labour unrest. The most common reasons for the labour unrest, as alleged by workers, are non-payment or deferred payment of wages. Despite their claims to the contrary, some garment...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Assault on teacher

On September 13 a former DU teacher Professor Mahbubullah was assaulted by some unidentified miscreants on the Supreme Court premises. He was there for attending a book launching ceremony. The perpetrators punched him heavily, hit him on the upper part of eyes and knocked him down. One couldn't even imagine 20 or 30 years back that a primary school teacher would be assaulted, let alone a university teacher. Teachers had always been respected in our society. A teacher shouldn't and...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Comments on news report

“Too many cooks spoil the broth,” published on September 15, 2014 Molla A. Latif Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many laws spoil the safety. Thank God laws are not corrupt but their enforcers are. ***** “Amendments hurt judiciary” (September 15, 2014) Genuine Musafeer A very few people support the present government's unilateral decision to amend the constitution, leaving others' constructive proposals unattended. Critics say, they are doing this with a hidden objective to get everything under their (government) control. ***** “BNP learns from its...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Irregularities in some private universities

Recently in a seminar the education minister said they will cancel the registration of fifteen private universities. He also said that most of the private universities including Darul Ihsan University are involved in certificate business. Nowadays we have so many private universities in Bangladesh and thousands of students have been studying there. Some of these universities are unauthorized, while some act just like business entities selling certificates. Many a teacher of such universities lack proper qualifications and experience. Students...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Mitigating crop loss due to flood

Mitigating crop loss due to flood

The recent flood has damaged huge amounts of crops especially paddy. This will cause shortage of rice in the country. We should grow more crops particularly rice in winter to meet up the shortage. That way the price of rice will remain stable in the market. Shafkat Rahman BIAM Laboratory School New Eskaton, Dhaka  

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Complexity of Ukraine crisis

This refers to the report, "Impossible to win conflict by military means alone" (Sept.9). This realisation should have dawned on Ukraine government from the beginning of the Ukraine crisis. Being a puppet in the hands of the Western powers will not help the Ukraine government. It should also take a lead in convincing the West that sanctions against Russia are also another means of conflict. Negotiations across the table are the best way to solve the Ukraine crisis.   The...

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Comments on news report

“Pro-BNP teacher assaulted on SC premises,” published on September 14, 2014 Kiomi Ida Day by day we are becoming uncivilised. Kamrul Hassan Time has come to put a stop to teachers' politics. I am hurt. I think teachers' politics is ultimately responsible for such heinous incident. Look how he is selling this assault to gain favour in the future. Albeit he was assaulted yet he went with his torn shirt to attend another programme where his leader Khaleda Zia was addressing. ***** “Overtaking the West...

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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...

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....

STRANGER THAN FICTION

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Obama has a “Strategy” now!

Obama has a “Strategy” now!

ONE may not subscribe to the conspiracy theories that imaginative Muslims have been circulating since 9/11 attacks, the latest being the portrayal of the ISIS “Caliph” as a Jewish, planted by Israel to further destabilize the region. One may, however, consider the formation of Obama's “Coalition of the Willing” of more than 30...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Scotland: Yes or no?

THERE was an old lady in Dhaka in 1950s. She was believed to be over 100 years old! Obviously, she was born during the reign of Queen Victoria and lived a good part of her life during her time. Her fovourite possessions included a comb and a bottle of hair oil. She hardly complained about anything unless there was a delay in getting her meals, her bottle of hair oil was empty or her comb got broken or lost!...

7th Five Year Plan

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Include service-led growth

IN this era of globalization, when a poor harvest of corn in Mexico or wheat in Ukraine can potentially result in economic turbulence in Bangladesh, preparing a long-term plan is a very daunting task. It is always easy to plan something when things are in order and potential risks are predictable. With growing integration with the rest of the world, most of the risks that a domestic economy may face are unanticipated. This makes the implementation even harder. Despite these...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Fix Dhaka first to help our life and growth

NOW Dhaka is the second worst city in the world in the global livability index just after Damascus.  We must ignore the case of Damascus since it is a war zone.  Then we are the 'proud owner' of the worst capital in the planet.  This adds another feather to our crown already overloaded with similar laurels for judicial tardiness, bureaucratic inefficiency, and corruption.  We Bengalis love to arrange numerous conferences on investment and growth, but we often forget that...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Japan has little choice but to restart nuclear reactors

MEDIA reports (AFP, The Guardian, September 10, 2014) suggest that Japan is planning to re-start at least two nuclear power plants within the end of the current year. The Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) already accorded permission for switching two nuclear reactors at the Sendai plant in South-western Japan. NRA reviewed detailed safety reports followed by public consultations before allowing the go ahead to the reactors at Sendai. Two nuclear reactors in Japan briefly started last year. It may be...

Editorial

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Deaths in shootouts

REPORTS of persons suspected or accused of serious crimes dying in gunfights with law-enforcement agencies are again in the news. Take, for example, the death of Shah Alam alias Kailla Babu at Moghbazar in the city on Monday. Police say, during an arms recovery operation he was killed in an exchange of fire with the law-enforcers. But some locals who reside near the scene of the said gunfight gave quite a different version of the incident to reporters.         Last Sunday,...

Editorial

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Authorities' Eid promises

EVERY year around this time authorities give out blazing outlines about how law and order shall be maintained during Eid festivities. And practically every year we see a deficit in implementation. Precisely how this year it will be different is something to be seen. The usual promises have been made regarding prevention of extortion of cattle traders coming to Dhaka. Yet only yesterday, the lead item in a national Bangla daily has pointed out that the bulk of the...

GROUND REALITIES

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Our UN experience . . .

FORTY years ago, the People's Republic of Bangladesh made its entry into the United Nations as its newest member-state. The event was not only a reaffirmation of the country's determination to play an active role in the international community as a sovereign nation but also an acknowledgement by the global body  that the aspirations of seventy five million people, as Bangladesh's population was at the time, could not be ignored. Bangladesh's arrival at the UN was not a sudden event....

Exclusive to The Daily Star
THE WORLD IN WORDS

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Did Hamas win?

THIS summer's 51-day war on Gaza left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, over 11,000 injured, and vast areas of devastation that will take years to rebuild. After the third Israeli war on Gaza in less than six years, many Palestinians are questioning the purpose of continuing to fight – and hoping for a solution that does not increase their suffering. Can Hamas, with its newly acquired position at the forefront of Palestinian politics, provide such a solution? Before the latest...

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Education Day 2014: Way Forward

THIS year Education Day will be observed with focus on the slow implementation of the Education Policy - 2010 and the delay in the passing of the education law for which establishment of permanent statutory education commission, formation of teachers' recruitment authority and introduction of separate pay scale for teachers from primary to higher education level could not be realized. There is no denying the fact that in recent years the education sector has witnessed several positive changes such as...

Sixteenth Amendment

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Take people's view

THE government is moving ahead to pass the "The Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Bill, 2014. The bill has been placed in the Parliament and it assigned the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs to examine the bill. The committee scrutinised the Bill in just two days. The Law Minister, who is also a member of the committee, during its meeting, informed the parliamentary watchdog about the government's unwillingness to hold any discussion on the bill...

Urdu-speaking minority in Bangladesh

Published Date: September 17, 2014
A citizenship sea change

A citizenship sea change

THIS week in The Netherlands, Bangladesh's little-known Urdu-speaking minority – often referred to inaccurately as 'Biharis' – will be centre stage at the world's first ever Global Forum on Statelessness. The conference, hosted by Tilburg University and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), will hear how an innovative new program in Bangladesh...

BOTTOM LINE

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Foreign Minister's visit to New Delhi

ON 19th September, Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali leaves for New Delhi to attend the third meeting of Bangladesh–India Joint Consultative Commission with his counterpart.  This will be the first visit of Bangladesh Foreign Minister to New Delhi after BJP formed the government last May in india. The meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission is likely to take place under the Indo-Bangladesh Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development signed on 6th September 2011. The purpose of the meeting led...

Editorial

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Eviction from railway land

WE agree that railway lands must be freed of illegal grabbers and encroachment. And no one can take issue with the authorities for taking actions to ensure the safety of the railway tracks and the safety of the railway passengers. But we certainly take issue with the method of the drive which commenced recently to free railway lands. It is, to say the least, highhanded and most inhuman. We feel that the slum dwellers as well as the many...

Editorial

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Jaywalking across flyovers!

IF one has viewed our yesterday's photo series of jaywalking by pedestrians along the Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover near Tikatuili then one must have had a chill running through one's spine. The photos showed cluster of pedestrians risking their lives while scaling over and slipping through the divider along the flyover. This kind of crossing is not only unlawful but also dangerous as one is likely get hit by a wheezing vehicle any minute. In case of a flyover, a fast travelling...

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Not only fossil fuels

IT is little surprise that Japan is reversing its policy on nuclear power generation. Following the Fukushima disaster, the country had decided to take its nuclear industry offline to a great extent to perform (a) safety checks, and (b) to look at alternative sources for generating power. That experiment led to a romance with “renewables” and fossil-fuel. But the prohibitive costs associated with generating power from renewable energy including geothermal to solar has proved uneconomical. That end users, viz....

BYLINE

Published Date: September 16, 2014
The Union Jack, and perhaps Jill

FOR an Indian who has always believed that the partition of India was a deep, self-inflicted wound carved by a British knife, the thought that Britain might split into two nations on 18 September is not without some satisfaction. History is rarely synonymous with justice, but when the echo of some form of retribution fills the air, we might sit back and enjoy the music. On 18 September Scotland will vote on whether to continue the three-century old union with...