Editorial | The Daily Star
  • Jaishankar’s visit

    The Indian external affairs minister’s maiden visit to Dhaka, was not one that garnered high expectations as it is considered to serve the protocol of formally bringing an invitation to our prime minister from her Indian counterpart and completing the preparatory work for it. Even so, we cannot help but feel disappointed by Mr S Jaishankar’s visit if not by what was said but more so by what remained unsaid.

  • Farmers deprived of fair price

    Agriculture and food security, both of which have been cornerstones of government policy, have resulted in robust crop production in the country. Yet, we find that farmers in Sunamganj’s haor areas have not been getting the benefit of the various procurement policies that the state has in place. Allegedly, middlemen have been making use of fake farmer cards to buy paddy. This malpractice, along with others, is apparently depriving genuine farmers of the benefit of selling paddy as listed farmers and getting the government-fixed price of Tk 1,040 per maund.

  • Business as usual at Chawkbazar

    It has been six months since the devastating fire that ripped through Chawkbazar.

  • Take action against the attackers

    We condemn the attack on Ducsu Vice President Nurul Haque Nur by the ruling party men during Eid vacation.

  • Dhaka University Logo

    DU’s college re-affiliation fiasco

    The Dhaka University’s decision to re-affiliate seven Dhaka-based government colleges from the National University in 2017 has had the unfortunate effect of aggravating the very problems that they had hoped to address.

  • Speed up post-flood rehabilitation efforts

    It is very unfortunate that the flood victims of Sirajganj have yet to receive any assistance from the government to rebuild their houses washed away by the devastating flood.

  • Slum fire inflamed by illegal gas pipes

    The fire that burned through an entire slum at Mirpur’s Chalantika area on Friday was reportedly exacerbated by plastic pipes facilitating illegal gas connections. The plastic pipes melted in the heat, releasing gas from within and making the blaze spread much faster than it would have otherwise. Locals have alleged that syndicates run by some ruling party men in cahoots with employees of Titas Gas stole gas from the main transmission and distribution lines and diverted it to the slum in exchange for money from slum dwellers. Thanks to these illegal gas pipes, it was an accident waiting to happen.

  • Barisal’s medical waste could become a major health hazard

    We are appalled to learn that Barisal city does not have any specialised disposal system for its medical waste. Waste from the government hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres, blood banks and upazila health complexes—around five tonnes of it—is collected and dumped with regular garbage into a six-acre landfill. Such waste poses grave risks to both humans and the environment.

  • Another fire that could have been avoided

    The Mirpur slum fire, which razed thousands of homes to the ground on Friday night and rendered their occupants homeless, is a monstrous exemplar of rapid, unplanned housing of the sort being seen in Dhaka and the disaster that it can cause, often with fatal consequences.

  • No. of dengue patients at around 50,000!

    The return home for hundreds of thousands of people from the holidays may not be a joyous one, as transport terminals have been identified as areas that are ripe for Aedes-mosquito-breeding. Despite repeated assurances about cleanups by city authorities,

  • Forests and wildlife in danger

    A major report, “Below the Canopy”, jointly written by the conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL), has brought to the fore some startling findings.

  • School meals can make a big difference

    We laud the government’s plan to provide daily meals for all 1.73 crore primary students in order to increase attendance and reduce the number of dropouts. While enrolment of students has increased significantly over the years, keeping students in school has been a great challenge for the government.

  • No lesson was learned

    We are deeply saddened to learn that at least 26 people died in road accidents across the country during the three-day Eid vacation.

  • Why have rawhide prices plummeted suddenly?

    We know from previous years that about 1 crore animals would be sacrificed during Eid-ul-Azha. So, the collapse of prices came as a big surprise, as the market had anticipated, or should have anticipated, this huge supply of rawhides.

  • Why such apathy towards our heritage?

    Rajshahi prison authorities have partly destroyed a pre-colonial-era building inside the jail complex in the city’s Sreerampur area without consulting any archaeologist. The building was previously being used as the bungalow of deputy inspector general (prisons) since the

  • Trafficking network enslaving women

    News has emerged of a trafficking network in Oman that is enticing Bangladeshi women with promises of regular jobs but ultimately pushing them into sexual slavery. What we have learnt from talking to those few who have managed to gain their freedom and return

  • Celebrating Eid-ul-Azha

    As we get ready to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, the second most important festival in the Islamic calendar, we hope that it will go beyond simply observing ritualistic practices and that we put more emphasis on the spiritual side of the day.

  • Heed UNCAT committee’s recommendations

    The recommendations that the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) committee has come up with recently in regard to Bangladesh are well overdue. The committee has expressed concerns about allegations of torture against law enforcers, and secret detention and enforced disappearance of citizens. Despite the fact that Bangladesh is a signatory to the UNCAT Charter, it took the country 20 long years to submit its first-ever report, which the committee noted with regret.

  • No government project without feasibility study

    In a report on the annual development programme (ADP), prepared by the planning ministry and shared in a review meeting by the minister, we find that most ministries prepare projects without proper feasibility and technical design.

  • Keeping cattle markets clean a must during Eid

    What we are hearing from entomologists in the city is that hay, when wet, provides suitable conditions for the Aedes mosquito to lay its eggs. If there is consistent rain, then hay, a staple food for cattle, which have begun to arrive in their thousands for Eid-ul-Adha, could potentially pose a new level of threat for the expansion of the dengue outbreak. So what is to be done? Experts believe that if the cattle grounds can be kept clean by actively seeking out breeding grounds of the Aedes mosquito, the city can be made safe.

  • Why have DNCRP drives been put on hold?

    It is quite confounding that the drives carried out by the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) recently, with the aim to identify the hospitals, dispensaries and diagnostic centres charging people more than the government-declared fees for dengue tests and selling medicines for mosquito control at very high prices, have been brought to a pause for reasons we fail to understand.

  • Implicated under Section 57

    While it is good to know that the police have finally submitted the charge-sheet in a case filed against four road safety campaigners in Chattogram last year during the nationwide road safety movement, there remains some confusion regarding the reasons why they were implicated under Section 57 of the ICT Act in the first place.

  • Striking case of gang-rape by police

    We are outraged at the alleged gang-rape of a woman by an OC and other policemen at the Khulna Railway Station on August 2. From what we learned from reports that have emerged since, the accused allegedly have committed the crime in a very organised manner: detaining the woman inside a train, forcing her to disembark from there and taking her to the police station only to rape her. What is more, the alleged rapists even filed a case against the victim for possessing five bottles of Phensedyl reportedly to cover up their crime.

  • Minister’s suggestions are bewildering

    We are left surprised and confused by the expatriates’ welfare minister’s suggestion that the police not record cases under the Anti-trafficking Act against recruiting agents should workers, sent abroad with proper documents, fall victim to trafficking. The rationale behind this suggestion stems from the fact that the Anti-trafficking Act carries harsher punishment (up to death penalty).

  • Change of Kashmir’s status

    In an unprecedented but not quite unexpected move, the BJP government has scrapped the 70-year-old Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that had accorded a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In fact, this was one of the points in the BJP election manifesto in the last general election which it has followed through on. But not only that, the BJP government has also bifurcated the state into two with J&K and Ladakh becoming Union Territories, the latter coming under the direct rule of New Delhi.

  • How much does a lecture cost?

    A news report that was published in the front page of a leading Bangla newspaper on August 6 gives us pause to think about the flagrant way in which money is spent by the Election Commission (EC). EC records show that each commissioner has given 520 speeches in 18 days, which translates into 14 public speeches every day—a feat that is not possible for any human being!

  • Not a single dispute resolved in two decades

    Following the signing of the CHT Peace Accord in 1997 between the then government and Parbatya Chattogram Jana Sanghati Samiti, the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission was formed in 1999 in line with the accord. However, it is extremely unfortunate that two decades after its formation, the commission has not been able to solve a single land dispute, even as the complaints keep piling up. Around 22,000 complaints have been filed with the commission since 1999, but the commission remains ineffective due to a variety of reasons—primary among them being the lack of a set of rules and regulations needed for the commission to do its job.

  • Facing the challenges of technological revolution

    A recent study has revealed that some 53.8 lakh jobs will be lost within the next two decades because of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. According to the study, five specialised industries—garment, food and agriculture, furniture, tourism and hospitality, and leather and footwear—will be at risk because of the adoption of new technologies. And of the five sectors, garment will be the worst hit, with as many as 27 lakh jobs likely vanishing by 2041. Such predictions are worrying since we do not seem to be prepared to face the challenges of technological advancement. So determining how we would respond to these new challenges is of crucial importance.

  • Why the lax institutional supervision?

    It seems that the matter of public safety features very low on the list of priorities of various ministries and their subordinate agencies.

  • Justice delayed is justice denied

    Courts in our country continue to struggle with a huge backlog of cases. And many cases filed under some special laws involving rape

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