Vol. 4 Num 202 Fri. December 19, 2003    
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Front Pagearrow Dhaka, Kathmandu agree on common river sharing plan
Dhaka and Kathmandu agreed in principle to formulate a common strategy for sharing the water of common rivers and also to initiate a dialogue for drafting and signing a free trade agreement (FTA) to foster
 arrow Judiciary beyond poor's reach: CJ
Chief Justice KM Hasan yesterday said the judiciary is easily accessible to the rich but beyond the reach of the poor.
 arrow Winter vegetables doubly dearer
Winter vegetables are selling at almost double the price in December last year.

Supply of seasonal vegetables remains poor unlike previous winters, pushing prices unusually high, traders said.

 arrow Wage hike overtakes inflation pick-up
Wages increased more than inflation did last fiscal year, reflecting an actual rise in demand for skills in the economy, according to the latest Annual Report of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) released yesterday.
 arrow JS summoned only to oblige constitution
Three of the last four Jatiya Sangsad sessions were summoned only to meet constitutional obligations, a report of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) launched in Dhaka yesterday said.
 arrow First US fatality after Saddam's capture
Iraqi guerrillas killed a US soldier in an ambush in Baghdad, the US military said yesterday, as two assassinations underlined fears that internal political divisions could erupt into widespread bloodletting.
 arrow Pakistan ready to drop referendum demand on Kashmir
Pakistan is ready to put aside its demand for a referendum in the disputed territory of Kashmir, President Pervez Musharraf said.
 arrow Acid attackers slip thru' legal loopholes
NGO leaders yesterday accused police of recording cases of acid attacks under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act for financial gains, as the act has multiple loopholes for easy release of
 arrow Bangladesh in WSIS: Lies and statistics
The first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held in Geneva during December 10-12 with the presence of more than 54 heads of state and government and 83 ministers and vice-ministers
 arrow Expatriates ministry sits idle for logistics dearth
The government's negligence has allegedly been responsible for a vital ministry's utter failure to kick-start its activities even after two years of its inception in December 2001.
 arrow PM asks all to shun anti-business activities
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday urged all to refrain from activities that may leave a negative impact on business environment.
 arrow Six feet fish!

 arrow Top officials' transfer fuels rancour in admin
Secretary-level changes in the civil administration have congealed into frustration among senior civil servants who peg the moves as 'wrongful' punishment to some and 'inappropriate' benefit of some quarters.
 arrow JS body sends back officials' list for further scrutiny
A Jatiya Sangsad body yesterday refused to disclose a list of officials up for punishment for attending the anti-government Janatar Mancha (People's Platform) in 1996 and sent it back for further scrutiny
 arrow Minister, secy at odds over Tanguar Haor
A parliamentary body yesterday witnessed a heated debate between the environment and forest minister and the secretary of the ministry over their authority to take steps to save Tanguar Haor (water body)
 arrow Cops club B Chy supporters in Rajshahi
Police clubbed with dispersed the participants in a peaceful procession in the city Wednesday evening in support of former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury's ideas of alternative politics.
 arrow Another businessman abducted in Ctg
Armed men abducted another businessman for ransom from his shop in the city's Sagarika Road Wednesday night.
 arrow 4 abducted in 2 days in Barisal
Four people including three businessmen were abducted by the

outlawed Sarbahara operatives in two days at Jolabari village of Swarupkathi upazila in Pirojpur on December 13 and 14.

 arrow BDR foils bid to smuggle women, children
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) rescued seven women and six children from Daulatpur border point in Kushtia when they were being trafficked to India Wednesday night.
 arrow Security steps reviewed for Ctg cabinet meet
Preparations are underway for the maiden cabinet meeting here on January 13 to take some important decisions on proper development of Chittagong as the commercial capital, official sources said.
 arrow Date set for Diana 's inquest
The inquests into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed will be opened January 6, it has been announced.

Princess Diana, 36, and Al Fayed, 42, died in a Paris car crash in 1997.

 arrow Infiltration alert on borders
Bangladesh has sealed its borders to prevent any possible infiltration of any insurgent into the country fleeing from Bhutan, reliable sources said yesterday.
 arrow Hartal observed in Bandarban
All Party Students' Union (APSU) in Bandarban enforced a half-day hartal in the hilly district town yesterday, halting normal activities there.
 arrow Prime accused remanded
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka yesterday placed the prime accused in Wednesday's killing of Khandakar Masudur Rahman on a two-day remand.
 arrow Promotion row in police department
The tug of war over promotion has reached its peak between Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) and departmental officers at the police department.
 arrow Paratroopers hurt as wind blows them off course
Three army paratroopers were hurt when a strong wind blew their para-wings off the course and crash-landed them in an Agargaon locality instead of the old airport runway yesterday.
 arrow 5 Noakhali bandits held
Police recovered some arms and ammunition and arrested five alleged jungle robbers yesterday as they continued a combing operation in the char areas of Noakhali in the wake of mob lynching of robbers.
Businessarrow Cos get gold medals for export performances
Top exporters received a boost yesterday when Prime Minister Khaleda Zia distributed national export trophies for four financial years.
 arrow CSE too suspends trading of Confidence Cement
The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also suspended the trading of Confidence Cement Limited shares for two weeks from yesterday.
 arrow Commerce ministry starts investigation
The commerce ministry has started investigation into the cases of confiscating 11 export consignments of frozen foods from Bangladesh to European Union (EU) for allegedly containing chemicals beyond permissible
 arrow Steel & Engineering Corp draws JS body flak
The parliamentary standing committee on public undertakings has reprimanded Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC) for not taking effective steps for manufacturing automobiles in its twoentities
 arrow Dhaka for FTAs with all Saarc nations: FM
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan said Dhaka would work for signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with all Saarc member countries, including Nepal and Bhutan.
 arrow BCI seeks more duty-free access to Pakistan
Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) President AK Azad urged the Pakistani government to allow duty-free access of more Bangladeshi products to Pakistan.
 arrow FBCCI team off to Kolkata
An 85-member FBCCI delegation, led by its President Abdul Awal Mintoo, yesterday left for Kolkata to attend the 17th Industrial India Trade Fair-2003 there.
 arrow GMG Airlines offers new package
GMG Airlines, a private domestic airline, has introduced a new package titled "GMG Trial Offer" especially for leisure travelers.
 arrow Repo auction
The Repo auction of Bangladesh Bank (BB) for commercial banks and financial institutions was held here yesterday.

One bid of one-day tenor amounting to Tk 100 crore was received.

 arrow Call money rate steady at 2pc
The call money rate remained stable at 2 per cent yesterday as most banks had sufficient funds, fund managers said.

The call money rate yesterday ranged between 2.50 per cent and 3.

 arrow 2 ADB-funded projects awarded
Bangladesh Resident Mission of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday awarded two projects as the country's best performing ADB-funded projects for 2003.
 arrow Quasem Drycells declares 10pc cash dividend
Quasem Drycells Limited has declared a 10 percent cash dividend for the shareholders for 2002-2003.
 arrow StanChart, Executive Motors sign deal
Standard Chartered Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Executive Motors Ltd, sole distributor of BMW cars in Bangladesh, to give auto loan at a 14 per cent preferential rate to customers
 arrow US sTtrikes FTA with 4 Central American countries
The United States struck a free-trade agreement (FTA) Wednesday with four Central American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
 arrow Oil price at pre-Iraq war highs
Crude oil prices shot up Thursday to their highest level since before the Iraq war driven by fears over low fuel stocks in the United States and oil supply security in the Middle East.
Sportsarrow Football: Muktis redfaced, BU blaze
Treble chasing Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra got off to the worst possible start in the Western Union Premier Division Football League when they were stunned by minnows Victoria 1-0 at the Sher-e Bangla
 arrow Cricket: Dhaka left wobbling
Chittagong made the most of damp weather when they put Dhaka into trouble on the opening day of their Mirzapore Tea National Cricket League fixture at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Draw at Karachi
Three centuries on the final day thwarted Bangladesh A's hopes of achieving a victory against Defence Housing Authority (DHA) in their four-day Patron's Trophy match in Karachi yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Miserly Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets for 38 in 37 overs as England reached 259 for eight at the close of the first day of the deciding third and final Test with Sri Lanka on Thursday.
 arrow Hockey: Jr hockey team leaves for S'pore today
A 22-member Bangladesh junior hockey team leaves for Singapore today to take part in the first Asian Junior Championship beginning on December 21.
 arrow Cricket: ICC working on chucking
Cricket's governing body is to carry out scientific research into spin bowling to try and weed out chucking.
 arrow Chess: Biman remain unreachable
Bangladesh Biman continued their solo lead with 38.5 points after the end of the tenth round games of the First Division Chess League at the NSC Conference room yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Peace on PCB boss' mind
Pakistan's new cricket chief Wednesday vowed to forge peace with rivals India by reviving cricketing ties that will bring the two teams face to face early next year.
 arrow Football: Mallorca stunned
Second division Levante beat King's Cup holders Real Mallorca 2-0 to provide the biggest upset of the second round on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Villa add to Blues' blues
Struggling Aston Villa pulled off a shock 2-1 victory over big-spending Chelsea on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup.
 arrow Football: Win toss, win the Test?
Never has winning the toss been more vital than it will be for the first cricket Test between New Zealand and Pakistan starting here Friday with the bowlers on both sides desperate to have first crack
Metropolitanarrow Verdict in Mirpur double murder case Dec 23
The judgement in the Mirpur double murder case will be given on December 23.
 arrow JU reopens tomorrow amid teachers' strike
Jahangirnagar University reopens tomorrow after a long vacation but classes are unlikely to be held due to strike by teachers.

Teachers are on work stoppage (strike) for the last three months.

 arrow 1514 more held
Police arrested a total of 1,514 people during their countrywide drive in the last 24 hours ending at 6am yesterday.

During the drive, they also recovered nine firearms and 13 other weapons.

Point-Counterpointarrow Workers as partners: Changing the culture of EPZs
Bangladesh today seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place.
 arrow Santa Claus gift for Bush and Tony?
Just eleven days ahead of Christmas, on 14th December , Saddam was nabbed by Col. James Hickey, who commanded the code-named Operation Red Dawn .
 arrow How to understand and respect people with disabilities
My brother, James, who was born in 1943 with a genetic chromosomal abnormality, Down's Syndrome, and who had a severe learning disability, died in 1999 in the U.K. as a result of negligence.
Culturearrow The mind shapers
It was mid-day when we entered through the gates of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, situated at Bangla Motor, when a cool breeze swept across.
 arrow A subtle solo and fusion music with finesse
Recently, on a weekend, the people crowding the Goethe Insitutut auditorium burst into repeated applause, listening to the musicians from Burkina Faso in West Africa.
 arrow Dipayan presents 'E Shudhu Gaaner Din'
Dipayan, a cultural organisation of the students of Government Music College, recently arranged a musical evening with the performance of songs of the yesteryears titled E Shudhu Gaaner Din.
Generalarrow 'Ratify Int'l convention on migrant workers'
The Welfare Association of Repatriated Bangladeshi Employees (WARBE) yesterday urged the government to ratify the international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members
 arrow Awami League rejects PM's call
Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil has rejected Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's call to work unitedly for welfare of the country.
 arrow Saarc Summit to take place in time: Thapa
Nepalese Prime Minister and Chairperson of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Surya Bahadur Thapa said here yesterday that the 12th summit of the regional forum would certainly be
 arrow 'Number of HIV positives increasing in Bangladesh'
Mass media could play a vital role in raising awareness among every section of the society about prevention of HIV/AIDS and protection of the rights of HIV positives, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.
 arrow Irregularities found in different projects
A parliamentary standing committee has raised allegations of irregularities and financial anomalies in different organisations and projects under the social welfare ministry.
 arrow 'Money for Work programme won't ensure food security'
The conversion of the Food for Work programme into 'Money for Work' would hardly be able to create food security for the rural people, participants of a workshop said yesterday.
 arrow Unfair treatment discourages women in journalism
Recognition of their works and better wages are needed to encourage female journalists to stay in the profession, experts told a workshop on "Women in Bangladesh Media" here yesterday.
 arrow One shot, chopped in city
Criminals on Wednesday shot and chopped the nephew of Shahid Commissioner, a convict with death in Advocate Habibur Rahman Mondol murder case, at Ganderia.
 arrow President visits military hardware exhibition
President Iajuddin Ahmed visited the military hardware exhibition at the National Parade ground in the city yesterday.
 arrow Certificate award ceremony of gunnery course
The certificate award ceremony of the Officers Gunnery Staff Course field-9 was held at Artillery Centre and School at Halishahar yesterday.
 arrow Charge sheet against Dipu Chy accepted
A court on Wednesday accepted the charges pressed in the Taraj murder case against Sajedul Islam Chowdhury alias Dipu Chowdhury, son of former state minister for shipping Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya,
 arrow GrameenPhone holds SMS contest
GrameenPhone Ltd recently held a 'SMS contest' to promote text message as an alternative communication medium among young people, particularly the students of American International University-Bangladesh
Editorialarrow Editorial: Air quality management
Dhaka has been given the lowest rating in air quality management at a workshop held in Manila. The finding followed a survey carried out on seven major Asian cities.
 arrow Editorial: Security of life hits a new low
This time it has happened in an unlikeliest of places.
 arrow 'We got him'
"We got him" -- declared Paul Bremer, the US Civil Administrator in Iraq after American occupation.
 arrow The prisoner of Tikrit
Saddam Hussein has been captured at last.
 arrow Life outside the bubble: Question your values
For the first time in 20 years, I am disturbingly aware of being "brown". I wonder why it has never bothered me before.
Letters to Editorarrow Fair trial for Saddam is impossible
A fair trial of Saddam is impossible because one of the closest collaborators (the US administration) of the genocide committed by Saddam has practically taken the responsibility for his trial.
 arrow Unite for a smile
The one and only aim of our valiant freedom fighters was to free the country from the Pakistani occupation force as well as to bring smiles to the faces of the Bangladeshi people.
 arrow "Suhrawardy on the US"
I refer to the letter "Suhrawardy on the US" by Esam Sohail (Dec 14). Mr. HS Suhrawardy who could not speak or write Bangla never ever advocated Bangali nationalism.
 arrow Help mentally retarded children
From recent observations, we know that the birth rate of mentally retarded and handicapped children has increased in Bangladesh.
 arrow "We got'm!"
Paul Bremer, the leader of the occupation forces in Iraq was apparently excited and took pride to announce, "We got'm!" Did they really "get" Saddam or had he no alternative but to give in (as reportedly
 arrow Our police needs proper reformation
I read two write-ups sent by Azad Miah and Romeo Ahmed published on December 14 and 15, respectively, on police reform, with much interest.
 arrow Song of Freedom
The documentary film, Muktir Gaan (Song of Freedom), made by the Masood duo, is sublime indeed. It gives us many rare facts of the Liberation War of 1971.
 arrow Human rights and conditions at Guantanamo
According to the news coverage by the press, the US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr.
 arrow Save time
The students of our country waste much time in the process of becoming graduates (I am talking about the Bengali medium students.
Environmentarrow Human habitat and national priorities
The threat to our environment is extremely serious and has to be taken with utmost seriousness. It is still largely urban and has yet to become a serious threat in the countryside.
Worldarrow Bhutan captures most of ULFA bases
Bhutanese soldiers have captured more than half of the 30 Indian separatist bases in the tiny Himalayan kingdom as the military crackdown against the rebels entered its fourth day Thursday, officialssaid.
 arrow US to reduce diplomats in Saudi Arabia
The United States moved Wednesday to reduce its diplomatic presence in Saudi Arabia by offering free flights home to nonessential diplomats and to all embassy dependents because of "ongoing security concerns.
 arrow Putin terms Iraq war unjustified
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking only hours before talks with a US envoy on Iraq's debt, said yesterday that the US-led war in the country was unjustified because it was not authorised by the
 arrow Talks with India after Saarc summit, says Kashmiri separatist
The first high-level talks between New Delhi and separatists who want an end to Indian rule in Kashmir will take place after a key regional summit in Pakistan next month, a senior separatist said yesterday.
 arrow India, Pakistan meet to restore rail links
Indian and Pakistani railway officials yesterday began a meeting to discuss the restoration of passenger rail services broken off two years ago amid tensions between the nuclear rivals.
 arrow Iran 'owed billions for Saddam-led war'
The head of Iraq's Interim Governing Council says Iran should be paid reparations for the war that Saddam Hussein waged against it in the 1980s.
 arrow 4 Palestinians killed in Israeli West Bank raid
Israeli troops killed four Palestinians in a West Bank raid yesterday, ahead of a much-awaited speech by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in which he could announce unilateral measures as an alternative
 arrow New WTC will take 10 years, cost $12b
Rebuilding New York's World Trade Center -- destroyed in the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks -- will take 10 years and cost some 12 billion dollars, leaseholder Larry Silverstein, said Wednesday.
 arrow N Korea to keep on building nukes until US accepts terms
North Korea will continue to build nuclear weapons until Washington drops its hostile policy and accepts the Stalinist state's terms for an end to the nuclear crisis, Pyongyang's official media said yesterday.
 arrow Lankan leaders fail to resolve crisis
Sri Lanka's political crisis is set for a long deadlock as the squabbling president and prime minister failed to agree who should control the military, an official said yesterday.
 arrow Fliers fail to match Wright brothers' first flight
Modern-day aviators failed on Wednesday to duplicate the pioneering flight of the Wright brothers a century ago as a replica of their primitive 1903 flying machine flopped into the mud in the birthplace