Volume 4 Number 205 Mon. December 22, 2003    
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Front Pagearrow Bush wants to get rid of Arafat
US President George W Bush told an Israeli journalist that "we must get rid of" Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot daily said yesterday.
 arrow BNP men's attack foils AL's Munshiganj council
The triennial council of Munshiganj district Awami League could not be held yesterday as ruling BNP men put up barricades and attacked opposition workers, leaving at least 50 of them injured despite Section
 arrow DFP ads go to fake media
A parliamentary body has accused the Department of Films and Publications (DFP) of misappropriating public funds by allocating advertisements to fake or nearly non-existent media.
 arrow 20,000 bulldozed out of city slum
The Housing and Building Research Institute (HBRI) yesterday bulldozed about 20,000 people out of their shanties in Kalyanpur in an eviction drive that prompted protest from rights groups and political
 arrow State deptt lauds Dhaka for religious freedom, critical of minority rights
The US praised Bangladesh for generally allowing its citizens to freely practice their religion of choice, but criticised its police forces for often being "slow to assist members of religious minorities
 arrow BNP bigwigs for soft stance
As the home ministry prepares for a massive crackdown on the opposition to stem anti-government street agitation, six top ministers suggested Prime Minister Khaleda Zia not to go hard on the opposition
 arrow Poacher or saviour?
A strange official silence blankets the activities of Shitesh Ranjan Dev, Srimanga's most famous poacher.

It is easier to find certain endangered animals at his home than in the wild.

 arrow Congress leaders resign en masse
A top decision-making body of India's main opposition Congress party resigned en masse yesterday following heavy losses in regional elections ahead of national polls next year.
 arrow IMF suspends anti-poverty loan tranche
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has suspended the second installment of loans for poverty reduction growth facilities (PRGF) this month as the government failed to introduce market-based interest
 arrow Israel mulls Iran attack
Arab states have responded to Libya's pledge to abandon its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes by demanding that Israel to do the same.
 arrow Dhaka rebuts Delhi's rebel camp claim
Bangladesh again dismissed reported Indian allegation of insurgency camps in its territory and said the government would swing into prompt action if there is any information about any terrorists or insurgents
 arrow TIB rejects Sircar's remark
Prof Mozaffer Ahmad, trustee member of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), rejected the speaker's remark on a TIB report, saying the report is based on facts.
 arrow Iraqi pipelines, storage tanks set on fire
Insurgents attacked pipelines and an oil storage depot in three parts of Iraq, setting fires that blazed for hours and lost millions of gallons of oil, officials and media reported Sunday, as the country
 arrow Stranded Pakistanis threaten siege to home ministry
Stranded Pakistanis in Mirpur yesterday threatened to lay siege to the home ministry if police failed to arrest in three days the killers of a salt trader and his son, shot dead in Saturday's morningrampage.
 arrow PM sits with top aides on JS issues
The ruling BNP has moved to resolve some crucial issues including reviving the reserved seats for women in the Jatiya Sangsad and bringing amendments to the constitution.
 arrow Mindlessly dug

 arrow Azadi editor passes away
Veteran journalist and renowned Editor of the daily Azadi Prof Mohammad Khaled expired at a city clinic yesterday morning.
 arrow Good governance must for progress: seminar says
Like most governments, the Bangladesh government too has a long tradition of operating in secrecy, and surveys show that the public has but very low expectations from it, said Supreme Court Advocate Sigma
 arrow PM opens RU golden jubilee celebrations
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday inaugurated the golden jubilee celebration programmes of Rajshahi University (RU).
 arrow Road transport bodies under Huda heat
Communications Minister Nazmul Huda has blasted officials of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) for 'corruption and poor performances'.
 arrow RU function turns into Shibir's jubilation
The inaugural session of the golden jubilee celebrations of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday put on a distinct political colour due mainly to hyper activism of the assembled Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS)
 arrow PM to give medals to meritorious DU students today
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will distribute gold medals to 46 outstanding students of Dhaka University today despite protest from different students' organisations.
 arrow Taskforce finds banks not cooperative
The central taskforce against money laundering yesterday expressed its dissatisfaction at the reluctance of different commercial banks in providing information on 'hundi' and other illegal monetary transactions.
 arrow Fake real estate DMD nabbed for embezzlement
Sarwar Hossain, deputy managing director (DMD) of Gembind Union Logistic Services Ltd. (Gulsel), was arrested yesterday on charge of embezzling earnest money against tender.
 arrow B Chy invited to open Kader Siddiqui's party programme
Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui has invited former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury to inaugurate the party's 4th founding anniversary programme on December 24 in the city.
 arrow CU teachers' ultimatum to government
The Chittagong University Teachers Association (CUTA) has given a 15-day ultimatum to the prime minister for withdrawal of a circular on mandatory approval of Prime Minister's Office for all appointments
 arrow Biman bomb scare turns out a hoax
A Biman flight that was halted Saturday night following a bomb hoax at Zia International Airport left for Karachi early yesterday after nearly an 8-hour ordeal for the passengers.
 arrow Patients suffer as interns go on strike at Barisal hospital
Patients at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH), Barisal do not get proper care as intern doctors have gone into an indefinite strike from Saturday, demanding expulsion of a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra
Businessarrow Saifur slams bank directors for opposing the idea
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman has criticised a section of bank directors, who had opposed making consortium financing mandatory in disbursement of large loans.
 arrow DSE seeks WB help in market development
The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has sought technical and financial assistance from the World Bank (WB) for development of an efficient capital market.
 arrow Poor profits prompt rice production fall
The state minister for agriculture yesterday sounded an alarm on the declining trend of rice production as farmers are deserting their profession.
 arrow Rangs Ltd introduces Mitsubishi Outlander
Rangs Limited, the sole distributor of Japan's leading carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, has introduced another Mitsubishi brand car in Bangladesh market and already received tremendous response
 arrow Khulna unit of Dhaka Match closed down
The management of Khulna unit of Dhaka Match Industries Ltd yesterday hung lockout notice at the factory gate, terminating all its employees excepting some of security and emergency departments.
 arrow Russia now keen to buy RMG directly from Bangladesh
Russian Ambassador Oleg S Malginov has said his country's importers are keen to import Bangladeshi garments, but identified the banking system as a major problem.
 arrow Bank holiday on Dec 25
Bangladesh Bank (BB) and all scheduled banks of the country will remain closed on December 25 on account of Christmas, a press release of BB said here yesterday.
 arrow Global Online starts operation in Chittagong
After Dhaka, Global Online Services Limited has come up with its internet services in Chittagong.
 arrow Call money rate stable at 2pc
The call money rate remained stable at 2.00 per cent yesterday as most banks had sufficient funds when credit demand was low, fund managers said.

The call money rate ranged between 2.

 arrow EU, PRIP Trust sign $3m deal
The delegation of European Commission to Bangladesh and PRIP Trust have signed a contract worth 2.56 million euro (approximately US$3.
 arrow BB auction
The 276th auction of the 28-day, 91-day, 182-day, 364-day, 2-year and 5-year treasury bills was held here yesterday.

Tk 425.39 crore, Tk 30.00 crore, Tk 60.00 crore, Tk 46.10 crore, Tk 15.

 arrow Bashundhara, Harmac to develop two supermarkets
Bashundhara Group and Harmac Ltd, an American-Japan-Bangladesh joint venture company, will develop two supermarkets at Panthapath and Baridhara in Dhaka.
 arrow Dollar strong against taka
The US dollar remained stronger against the Bangladesh taka yesterday in thin inter-bank trade, which was depressed by poor transactions due to holiday in most international markets, dealers said.
 arrow Prime Bank leads Tk 1000m syndicated loan for Nasir Glass
Prime Bank Limited has arranged a Tk 1000 million syndicated term loan for Nasir Glass Industries Limited.
 arrow Square Pharma holds sales conference
Square Pharmaceuticals Limited held Sales and Marketing Conference-2004 at Savar in Dhaka yesterday.

Tapan Chowdhury, managing director of the company, inaugurated the conference, says a press release.

 arrow BDCOM Online declares 10pc cash dividend
BDCOM Online Limited has declared a 10 per cent cash dividend for the shareholders for the year 2003.
 arrow Asia economies offer hope after surviving Sars, Iraq wreckage
Asia's economies emerged from the wreckage of Sars and the Iraq war with surprising strength in 2003, with China's seemingly inexorable rise expected to fuel an even better regional performance next year.
Sportsarrow Football: Abahani thank prolific duo
Abahani's deadly attacking duo of Maxim and Saiful Islam Khokon scored one apiece as the Sky Blues blanked ten-man Victoria Sporting Club 2-0 yesterday in their Western Union Premier Division Football
 arrow Cricket: Rafiq, Naimur wreck Ctg
Mohammad Rafique and Naimur Rahman spun Dhaka to a comprehensive 226-run victory over fellow title contenders Chittagong on the final day of their Mirzapore Tea National Cricket League at the Bangabandhu
 arrow Cricket: Another one-day party
Hannan Sarker hammered a dazzling half-century and Mohammad Ashraful returned to form with a responsible 51 as Bangladesh A recorded its second successive victory in the Patron's Cup with a 18-run win
 arrow Cricket: Murali scripts SL win
Muttiah Muralitharan gave a superb display of spin bowling to help Sri Lanka post their biggest-ever victory over England with more than a day to spare in the final cricket Test here on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Elements help Pakistan
New Zealand could claim a slight advantage when rain and bad light combined to cut short the third day of the first cricket Test here against Pakistan, with Pakistan at 227 for four in their first innings.
 arrow Cricket: Clarke ton in dull draw
Young batsman Michael Clarke, seeking a first Test call-up, hit an unbeaten 131 for Australia A in the three-day tour match against India which ended in a draw at Bellerive Oval on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: He didn't mean that
Indian captain Saurav Ganguly on Sunday denied claiming that India could be considered the world's No.1 Test cricket team if it beats Australia in the current series.
 arrow Cricket: Mashrafee's 2nd surgery today
Injured fast bowler Mashrafee-bin-Mortuza will undergo a second surgery in Australia today.
 arrow Cricket: U-19 stars to bolster Ctg
Chittagong will be boosted by the inclusion of their three under-19 batsmen when they take on Dhaka in the limited-overs match of the Mirzapore Tea Fifth National Cricket League at the Bangabandhu National
 arrow Hockey: Bangladesh blank Hong Kong
Bangladesh made a flying start in the first-ever AHF Cup junior men's hockey tournament, outplaying Hong Kong by 5-0 in the inaugural match in Singapore yesterday.
 arrow Chess: Biman back on track
Bangladesh Biman got back on the winning track in the First Division Chess League at the NSC Conference room yesterday.

They led the table with 44.

 arrow Football: Bolton again a pain
Bolton took the edge off Arsenal's festive celebrations by grabbing a late equaliser against the Premiership leaders at the end of one of the most memorable weeks in the club's history.
 arrow Football: Totti's twin treat
AS Roma captain Francesco Totti struck both goals during a 2-0 win at struggling Empoli Saturday to crown his side Serie A winter champions and maintain their unbeaten record going into the three week
 arrow Football: Blatter warns United
World football chief Sepp Blatter put FIFA on collision course with Manchester United on Sunday by insisting that the English champions could find themselves in serious trouble if they challenge Rio Ferdinand's
Nationalarrow Mongla BNP leader murdered as per plan, PBCP outlaw confesses
Arrested outlaw belonging PBCP (J) Nuruzzaman now being questioned by police at Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) prison cell prison cell confessed his involvement in the murder of Mongla BNP leader
 arrow Nalta Hospital gave them new life
Jahurul Islam Shishir, a BBA student of Independent University, Ansar Uddin, a police man from Debhata and housewife Kulsum Begum of Satkhira town have now new visions in life.
 arrow UK gives Tk 850 cr a year for education, HC says
British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Dr David Carter has said his government gives Bangladesh at least Tk 850 crore direct assistance every year in education sector.
 arrow Citizens' rally against corruption
A citizens' rally and a procession against corruption, joined by political leaders, were held under the joint auspices of the Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) and the Committee of Concerned
 arrow Manager among 6 chargesheeted
Six persons have been chargesheeted for embezzling Tk 64 lakh from Noapara branch of Agrani Bank.
 arrow Foundation of 3 bridges laid in Netrakona
State Minister for Home Lutfuzzaman Babor laid the foundation of two footbridges and one RCC bridge on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
 arrow Doctor assaulted at B'baria after death of patient
A doctor was assaulted and property damaged at Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital by a group of unruly people after the death of a patient on December 18 due to alleged negligence of duty.
 arrow 300 guest birds killed with pesticide
About 300 migratory birds were killed at a shrimp farm at Puijala village in Shyamnagar upazila recently.
 arrow Husband chargesheeted in Tia 'murder' case
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police in Lalmonirhat has chargesheeted the husband in housewife Aan Karobi Tias 'murder' case.
 arrow Seven shown arrested
Seven out of 45 persons taken into custody have been shown arrested in two separate incidents of bomb attack on the Pajero Jeep of Additional DIG and Sub Inspector Shahid Shurawardy.
Point-Counterpointarrow Saddam and Bangladesh
It is an axiomatic truth that every man is a strange mixture of good and evil. The difference between man to man lies in the degree of these two natural qualities attributed to them.
 arrow Victory of BJP or communalism?
The election results in three states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh were quite unexpected, even stunning in a sense.
 arrow Sundarnagar is a city elsewhere
In the Bollywood film, Mein Prem Ki Diwani Hoon (MPKDH), the characters live and romp in a perfectly Indian town called Sundarnagar. The only thing is that Sundarnagar is an Indian town nowhere.
Culturearrow Bodhu Biday
Ruposhi, a name familiar amongst many music lovers, has finally come out with an instrumental album, flaunting her graceful playing of the violin.
 arrow European and Western influence on Tagore Songs
Some great man once said--we ought to recognise the optimistic aspect of every culture and utilise it to our benefit. Tagore was supposedly an enthusiastic admirer of that statement.
 arrow Alamgir Kabir Memorial Lecture
As part of the 8th International Short and Independent Film Festival, Dhaka-2003, the 5th Alamgir Kabir Memorial Lecture entitled Problems and prospects of national cinema in the era of globalisation
 arrow 'Show Time' for Ferdous Ara
An eminent Nazrul singer of the country, Ferdous Ara, recently enthralled the crowd with her solo performance at the National Museum, organised by the Dhaka University Alumni Association.
Generalarrow Corruption, irregularities rampant in cooperatives bank, Milk Vita
The parliamentary standing committee on the local government and rural development (LGRD) and cooperatives ministry yesterday slapped allegations of corruption and irregularities on the cooperatives bank
 arrow Oust govt movement soon
Opposition Leader and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a mass movement against the BNP-Jamaat coalition government would be launched shortly which would topple the alliance and install
 arrow Singapore ship sued for damaging 18 Navy ships
Bangladesh Navy has filed a damage suit against Singapore flag carrier MV Eagle Strength for damaging its ships at the outer anchorage on September 21.
 arrow 'Ban commercial use of playgrounds'
Speakers at a rally yesterday urged the government to impose a permanent ban on the commercial use of playgrounds in the city.
 arrow BNP accuses AL of "planned killings" of BNP men in Bagerhat
BNP Secretary General and LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan condemned "planned killing" of his partymen in Bagerhat district and asked for immediate arrest of the killers.
 arrow Businessman robbed in Ctg
A businessman was robbed of Tk 1.4 lakh in the city here yesterday.
Internationalarrow Rebels ask Bhutanese to leave India now
Indian separatists warned Bhutanese nationals yesterday to leave the border state of Assam as the Buddhist kingdom continues trying to oust the rebels in its first modern military operation.
 arrow 'Saddam was held by Kurdish forces, drugged and left for US troops'
Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops only after he had been taken prisoner by Kurdish forces, drugged and abandoned ready for American soldiers to recover him, a British tabloid newspaper reported
 arrow India calls for sharing intelligence with Nepal
India has called for intelligence cooperation with Nepal to check the common threat posed by Maoist rebels.
 arrow Philippine landslides may have killed 200
Rescuers battled rain and mud yesterday in search of survivors after landslides and floods devastated eastern Philippine villages in a pre-Christmas tragedy that officials fear may have killed up to 200
 arrow 'Libyan WMD move driven by economic motives'
Libya said yesterday its decision to abandon secret efforts to build an atomic bomb and chemical weapons was driven by a need to develop its economy and boost the living standards of its people.
 arrow Talks fail to end Lankan crisis
Talks aimed at resolving a power struggle between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister have failed, raising fresh concerns for a fragile peace bid with Tamil rebels, political sources said Sunday.
 arrow China wants peaceful Taiwan reunification
China told the United States it would never allow an independent Taiwan, its diplomatic and ideological rival for more than half a century, but would work for peaceful reunification.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Hospitals without drugs
The news that more than 4,000 hospitals in the country have been running without medicine for the last six months is extremely disturbing, to say the least.
 arrow Editorial: Security agencies to check hoarders
The government's move to engage various intelligence agencies in order to contain price hike of essential commodities by the hoarders is undoubtedly a good and timely one.
 arrow Harking back to dark age?
The free-fall we continue to experience -- whether in governance, economy, nation building or in routine maintenance of an internal order --, they all suggest that we are yet to hit the bottom of theabyss.
 arrow Option deleted
Saddam Hussein succeeded when he survived. The safest place, and certainly one more comfortable than a "rat-hole", for Saddam Hussein after his defeat is a prison.
 arrow Independent public prosecution service
In a workshop on "Strengthening of the Criminal Justice System" held on December 19 our Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, admitting the pitfalls of the present practice of appointment
 arrow No more trading in deception
Professor Badruddoja now says he will not be floating a political party but would create a "platform". We have had enough of politicians by default.
Letters to Editorarrow Lest we forget the "Baby"
It was in the early sixties (or was it late fifties?) that those of us living in Dhaka were introduced to the three-wheelers. At that time they were cute little things with working meters.
 arrow A martyr's son speaks
I have read the writing of Asif Munier on the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
 arrow A cigarette company's defence!
It is exhausting isn't it? Going to work early in the morning, ramming through all this traffic and finally getting to work, and working the whole day.
 arrow Sartorial freedom
If I am an adult, if I am living in a civilised society, if I am mentally sound, and if I am to attend an invitation to my friend's house, am I myself not enough to select my own dress, shoes, ornaments,
 arrow On VCs
There have been letters written in these columns about the protocol and status of vice chancellors . It is true that VCs used to get a lot more respect in pre-independence days.
 arrow Bangladesh Bank
I am writing this letter to appreciate the steps taken by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to fine 13 branch managers of six private banks for providing more than the declared interest rates to depositors.
 arrow List of godfathers
I was going through a letter focused on the published list of the godfathers of the ruling four-party alliance, prepared by the main opposition, in your esteemed newspaper on November 3.
 arrow Pakshi Bridge
I refer to Mr Marghub Mowla's letter (December 15) on the above subject. I fully agree with the content and call upon the BNP leadership to open a chapter in our politics by being fair and magnanimous.
 arrow Have patience, politicians
Former premier and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina often calls for movement to oust the present government. The BNP government is an elected one and is supposed to govern the country for five years.
 arrow Hasina's remarks
With utter disgust and sheer frustration, I write this letter as I find Sheikh Hasina's call for an international probe employing FBI and CIA into the Kuril arms haul an affront to our national sovereignty.
 arrow Ahmadiyya issue
Once again we see the secularists imposing their beliefs on Muslims. Lately, there have been much criticism of the anti-Ahmadiyya activists in the letters column.
 arrow Football not the answer
Thanks to Shahjahan Ahmed for his reply ( 13 December) to my letter.

I am happy to know that Mr. Ahmed had a hearty laugh reading my letter, at least my letter was funny! Unfortunately, Mr.

Star Cityarrow Iron grilles to protect poet's sanctity
Dhaka University decided to put up iron grilles to protect the sanctity of Kazi Nazrul Islam's grave from intruders.
 arrow Prisoner of bribe
Justice seekers end up in the hands of middlemen backed by police on Dhaka Judge's Court premises and go back home empty-handed after a tiresome day.
 arrow Death dashes dreams
He was only 20. The dreams of Sazedur Rahman Mithu, a bright student aspiring to be an artist, were dashed.
 arrow All set for Biswa Ijtema from Saturday
Preparations are almost complete for the 38th Biswa Ijtema, the biggest congregation of Muslims next to Hajj, at Tongi from Saturday.
 arrow For quilts or pillows, you have to pay 20 pc more
Price of cotton wool used for making quilts, mattresses and pillows have increased by around 20 per cent this year at different markets in the city.
 arrow Look before you leap
Bangladesh Transport Foundation (BTF) organised a meeting recently with members of different professions at the Teachers Training College to exchange views on the impending ban on non-motorised vehicles