Volume 4 Number 207 Wed. December 24, 2003    
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Front Pagearrow Joint forces, Khulna outlaws trade fire
An intense firefight between joint forces and underground operatives killed an outlaw and injured five law enforcers, including a Bangladesh Rifles commander, in Phultala in Khulna yesterday, prompting
 arrow Tk 3,874cr bad loans written off in 9 months
Local and foreign banks have written off a total of Tk 3,874 crore bad loans in the nine months to last September, lowering the share of default loans by four percent to 24 percent.
 arrow Five to die, two get life
A tribunal in Dhaka yesterday sentenced five extortionists to death and two to life imprisonment after convicting them of killing two brothers in a toll-taking motivated incident in Mirpur two years ago.
 arrow Tk 7,600 crore pillage at PDB since 1971
Corrupt officials of Power Development Board (PDB) have robbed the organisation of Tk 7,600 crore up to last month since independence.
 arrow 20 abducted in Khagrachhari
In a renewed flare of political violence in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), armed men believed to be supporters of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) yesterday abducted 20 family members
 arrow Rampage at DU at death of student
Hundreds of students went on a rampage on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday following the death of a fellow student at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) from injuries sustained in a road accident
 arrow Vajpayee eyes Dhaka's gas reserves
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has said Bangladesh has promising reserves of natural gas and India, whose energy demands are expanding exponentially, is the only viable buyer.
 arrow Rab fails to roll for lack of funds
Six months after the swift passage of a law to set up the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) to curb rising crimes, the force is yet to go into action as it did not get funds allocation.
 arrow PM seeks Russian help for subway
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday sought Russian assistance for launching underground railway services in Dhaka city.
 arrow Students start fast-unto-death
Over 100 students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday began a fast-unto-death demanding an end to the stand-off between authorities and teachers that has paralysed academic activities since October
 arrow Biman pilots end 'limited' strike
Pilots of Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday called off their 'limited' strike after successful talks with management on pay and other issues.
 arrow PIA resumes Dhaka flight
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will resume its operations in Bangladesh from January 3 next year, two years after India ends a ban on flying of Pakistani aircrafts over its airspace.
 arrow Eight Palestinians killed in raid
Israeli troops and tanks yesterday swept into a Gaza Strip refugee camp, killing eight Palestinians in the deadliest raid for nearly two months and breaking a spell of relative calm that has spurred peace
 arrow 2 killed in 6.5 quake in California
Rescue workers have ended their search for survivors from a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that killed two women in this central California town and shook homes and skyscrapers from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
 arrow Dangerous driving

 arrow 2 drivers killed in city
Two private transport drivers were found murdered in apparently unrelated incidents Monday night in the city's Gulshan and Mirpur areas.
 arrow Outlaws slaughter 3 in Chuadanga
Three people were slaughtered in separate incidents allegedly by extremists in sadar and Alamdanga upazila Monday night in a spurt in such assassinations.
 arrow Egyptian FM assaulted at Jerusalem mosque
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher returned home after his one-day peace mission to Israel deteriorated into a shoving match with Palestinian extremists that landed Organisation of Islamic Conference.
 arrow Saifur to consider duty on cellphone equipment
Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday said he would consider the duty structure for import of cellphone equipment in the interest of faster growth of the industry.
 arrow Train knocks boy to death
A shuttle train knocked a schoolboy to death and injured two others near Sholoshahar railway station in the port city yesterday.
 arrow Arms, combat dress recovered at Bandarban
The armed forces recovered six sawn-off rifles and six military uniforms from an abandoned house at Alekkhong union under Roangchhari upazila Monday.
 arrow 3 die in road mishaps
Three persons were killed and one injured yesterday in road accidents in the city.

Moni Mukta, a seven-year-old girl, was killed when a microbus hit her on Mazar Road at Mirpur at 10:00am.

 arrow Probe process against DFP DG begins
The authorities have started the process of departmental action for alleged corruption against Director General (DG) of the Department of Films and Publications (DFP) Syed Mahbubur Rahman.
 arrow Hartal observed in district, 19 BNP men accused
A daylong hartal was observed in the district yesterday to protest the murder of local Awami League (AL) leader Shamsul Alam Suruj who was hacked to death allegedly by ruling BNP men at Charitabari in
 arrow Agargaon murders Conflict over drugs suspected
Police are yet to ascertain the motive behind Monday's double murders at Agargaon but suspect internal conflict over drugs business might have led to the killings.
Businessarrow CDS in bourses from Jan 24
The Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL) will begin its operation from January 24 next year as the company got business commencement licence yesterday.
 arrow EPB int'l tender fails to attract companies
The international tender floated by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) for building a permanent trade fair complex in Dhaka failed to attract any company as last date for submission of bids was over on
 arrow Dhaka looks to Southeast Asia to boost economy
Bangladesh, struggling to free itself from dependency on aid, pursued a 'Look East' policy in 2003 and is hoping to further strengthen ties with Southeast Asian countries to boost its economy.
 arrow $20m ADB loan for livestock project
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$ 20 million loan for a livestock enterprises project aimed at income generating activities in rural areas of 20 north-western districts of Bangladesh.
 arrow ACI-Dabur joint venture starts production today
Asian Consumer Care (ACC) Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between ACI Limited, a local business house, and Dabur International, a subsidiary of Dabur India, starts production today.
 arrow Steel mill owners start indefinite strike
Steel mill owners yesterday went into strike for an indefinite period to press home their demands.
 arrow Rehab Fair begins today
Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (Rehab) is organising a 4-day Housing Fair 2003 at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, beginning today.
 arrow Tea auction closes mixed
The weekly tea sale here yesterday witnessed quality of offerings generally showing a decline.
 arrow Dollar hits new record against taka
The US dollar continued to gain against the Bangladesh taka in inter-bank trade yesterday and hit another record high on strong dollar-buying by importers ahead of series of holidays both in domesticand
 arrow BGMEA starts training course on compliance
After successful removal of child labour from the readymade garment industry, stakeholders have now initiated steps trying to establish the country as an ethical sourcing hub for the international apparel
 arrow Repo auction
The Repo auction of Bangladesh Bank for commercial banks and financial institutions was held here yesterday.
 arrow Emirates-CAE Flight Training centre opens
The new Emirates-CAE Flight Training Centre was officially opened on December 6 in Dubai, says a press release.
 arrow Qatar Airways starts flight to Singapore
Qatar Airways has started its new non-stop flight to Singapore, says a press release.
Sportsarrow Football: Sk Russel blank Dhanmondi
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra registered their first win in the Western Union Premier Division Football League after they beat Dhanmondi Club 2-0 in one of the day's two matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National
 arrow Cricket: Ray of hope for League
The grounds committee of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) might be forced to soften its stance on postponing the ongoing Mirzapore Tea National Cricket League from the New Year.
 arrow Cricket: PTCL take lead
Fast bowler Anwar Hossain Munir grabbed four wickets for Bangladesh A but that wasn't enough to prevent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) from taking a first innings lead at close on day
 arrow Cricket: Elements the winner
Bad light and rain conspired to end the first cricket Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in a draw here Tuesday after a fiery bowling spell by Mohammad Sami had given Pakistan a slim chance of glory.
 arrow Cricket: Miandad flays Flemo
Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said he was surprised with the defensive tactics New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming used during the first Test.
 arrow Cricket: Lesson learnt: Ponting
Australia have learnt their lesson from their shock defeat to India in last week's second Test, vice-captain Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday.

"I think we've learnt from it.

 arrow Football: Nedved rules Europe
Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved has been named the 2003 European Footballer of the Year, it was revealed here on Monday.
 arrow Cricket: Mashrafee's 2nd op successful
Injured fast bowler Mashrafee-bin-Mortuza underwent a successful second operation in Australia on Monday.

He had to have a screw adjusted in the left-knee.

"He is now fine.

 arrow PM hands over Sports Award
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday asked all concerned to rethink whether it was wise sending teams or players abroad to competitions without attaining a minimum level standard.
 arrow Chess: Biman Div One chess champs
Bangladesh Biman retained their First Division Chess League title beating Kamlapur Samaj Kalayan and Krira Sangha in the last round at the NSC auditorium yesterday.
 arrow Hockey: B'desh meet S'pore today
Bangladesh take on Singapore in their last group match of the first AHF Cup Under-21 Hockey Tournament in Singapore today.

The match will start at 6pm (Bangladesh time).

 arrow Kho Kho: Bangladesh lift F'ship kho kho
Bangladesh national team emerged champions in the Friendship Cup Kho Kho Tournament after defeating Guwahati Club of Assam 23-18 in the final on Monday in Guwahati, India.
 arrow Chess: Leonine chess from today
The Victory Day Leonine Grand Masters Chess Tournament begins at the National Sports Council (NSC) conference room today.
 arrow Volleyball: Pepsi volleyball
Holders Bangladesh Rifles and Bangladesh Army moved into the men's group final of the Pepsi National Volleyball Championship beating their respective rivals in the semifinals at the court near National
 arrow Handball: BDR, Narinda big victors
Title aspirants Bangladesh Rifles registered their second victory in the Orient Bread Cup Handball Tournament as they defeated Surjodoy Boys' Club 34-14 at the Outer Stadium handball ground yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Div II cricket
Young Cricketers defeated Prochoy Cricket Club by four wickets in the Acme-Orchy Second Division Cricket League at the City Club ground in Mirpur yesterday.
 arrow Football: Three-in-one year Brazil
Brazil celebrated its triple crown of world titles as the country's football federation paid tribute to its teams' across-the-board success.
 arrow Football: Sao Paulo chase Rivaldo
Brazilian club Sao Paulo have joined the chase to sign World Cup winner Rivaldo who was released by his Italian side AC Milan earlier this month and are prepared to offer him a monthly salary of 80,000
Metropolitanarrow 'Journalists must follow ethics for credibility'
Discussants at a dialogue yesterday said journalists must follow the professional ethics to attain credibility.

A newspaper could be credible to its readers only by ensuring objectivity, they noted.

 arrow US support in agri sector sought
Agriculture Minister MK Anwar has sought US support in agriculture sector to develop a future roadmap to convert agriculture into a commercial profession from the present subsistence sector.
 arrow President for joint business forum
President Iajuddin Ahmed has stressed exchange of business delegations and setting up a joint business forum between Bangladesh and Qatar to ensure trade flow between the two countries.
 arrow Agreement on Dhaka-Agartala package tour
Officials of the civil aviation and tourism ministry of Bangladesh and the Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC) of India yesterday reached an agreement on bilateral package tour to ensure the best
 arrow French envoy meets Badruddoza
Ambassador of France to Dhaka Sabienne Drought met former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury at his KC Memorial office in Baridhara yesterday.
 arrow RU golden jubilee celebrations end
The golden jubilee celebration of Rajshahi University concluded yesterday.

A discussion was held at Kazi Nazrul Islam auditorium in the morning.

RU Vice-Chancellor Prof.

Nationalarrow Housewives move out for gas
Speakers at a roundtable organised by housewives here said Rajshahi region is not getting gas due to lack of sincerity of politicians.
 arrow UP chairman's men snatch documents from probe body
Muscleman snatched documents at gunpoint from an investigation team when it was returning after probing a wheat scam by Muladuli Union Parishad (UP) Chairman and BNP leader Sirajul Islam.
 arrow BSTI censures five Gaibandha mills
The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) has asked five mills here not to market their products as those are running without BSTI licence.
 arrow BSMCH interns call off strike
Intern doctors at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital called off their strike Monday afternoon following the authorities' assurance of ensuring their security and action against alleged extortionists
 arrow AIDS awareness campaign in Patuakhali
A colourful rally was brought out and a discussion meeting held at Patuakhali to create awareness against AIDS.
 arrow Trifling matter costs one life, leaves 20 hurt in Brahmanbaria
A trifling matter cost one life and left 20 injured in a clash at Hussenpur village in the Sadar upazila on Friday.
 arrow Discussion on child marriage held at Patuakhali
The local unit of Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) held a day-long discussion meeting on bad effects of child marriage and responsibilities of newly married couples.
 arrow A rare good day for orphans
Orphans at Nilphamari Shishu Sadan (a government orphanage) had a good day.

They relished an improved diet and got soap to wash their clothes, which they rarely got earlier.

 arrow 'JCD leader attacked by BCL, not JCD faction'
Jatiyatabdi Chhatra Dal (JCD) here claimed that the recent attack on its district unit organising secretary was made by Chhatra League activists and not by a JCD faction as reported in the press earlier.
 arrow Loans to disabled in Nilphamari
The Social Welfare Department here has disbursed Tk two lakh 82 thousand loans to 28 physically handicapped people to make them self-reliant.
 arrow PIB training for Nilphamari journalists
The Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) will decentralise its training programmes from the capital city of Dhaka to various districts and remote areas of the country.
 arrow Two maunds of hemp recovered
Two maunds of hemp were recovered from the rooftop of a passenger bus here on Sunday.

Paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and the Drug Control Department in a joint raid recovered the hemp.

Point-Counterpointarrow The Democrats' own quagmire
The effort by his Democratic rivals to portray Howard Dean as the reincarnation of George McGovern will not work. Dean is not a peacenik. If you read his foreign-policy speech given in Los Angeles onDec.
 arrow Gaddafi's gambit
One does not have to like Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to give credit where credit is due.
 arrow Racism : A necessity in France?
Hijab or covering of the head by scarves particularly by young girls in French schools has been a hot issue going on for a long time.
 arrow Kick the can, please!
Eurocrats are pointing fingers at Spain and Poland for sinking the Brussels summit. They might just as well have directed them at Germany.
Culturearrow Entering into a realm of unique darkness
A baffled inner conscience repeatedly jolted the psyche of the visually abled visitors and reminded them of social duties towards the incapacitated during participation in brief tours within a make-shift
 arrow Folk dances from Jammu & Kashmir
The audience became enchanted when sweet voice and melodious tune mingled in the air. They were mesmerised with the rhythm of gorgeous presentation by the dancers.
 arrow Siddhidata a mere comedy
Loko Natya Dal presented their current production Siddhidata as part of the programme arranged by ITI Bangladesh Centre at the National Theatre Stage recently.
 arrow 10-day long drama festival
Nagorik Natyangan will be organising a 10-day long drama festival from December 27 to January 5 at the Public Library Auditorium.
Generalarrow PM urges Imams to develop human resources
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday expressed her government's willingness to involve religious leaders in poverty alleviation programmes.
 arrow Tributes paid to Azadi editor
Speakers at a condolence meeting yesterday paid rich tributes to late Prof Md Khaled, the octogenarian editor of the Azadi.
 arrow BUET '90 Forum founding anniversary
The BUET '90 Forum will celebrate its founding anniversary at the auditorium of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology on December 25.
 arrow University of Luton Alumni Association
Mahbubur Rahman and Khandaker Azizul Islam have been elected chairman and secretary of the Bangladesh chapter of University of Luton Alumni Association recently.
Internationalarrow Bush asks people to stay normal amid terror alert
US President George W. Bush told the US public Monday to try and make it business as usual after authorities issued a high security alert warning of a potential attack in the end-of-year holidays by al-Qaeda.
 arrow India offers safe passage if rebels surrender
Indian authorities have set up hotlines to encourage the surrender of anti-Indian rebels fleeing a military crackdown against them in neighbouring Bhutan, an army official said yesterday.
 arrow Britain plans 'tripartite' pressure on Syria
Britain plans to combine with France and Germany to put pressure on Syria over weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and Iraq, a London newspaper said yesterday.
 arrow US to consider lifting Libya sanctions
The United States Monday cautiously raised the prospect of lifting sanctions against Libya after its leader Colonel Muammer Gaddafi's surprise decision to renounce weapons of mass destruction.
Editorialarrow Editorial: PM at Dhaka University
We have been anything but the best in our speeches. But we have never been anywhere near best in our action. That sums up our history of most things.
 arrow Editorial: Under-trial prisoners
It is a reflection on our justice dispensation system that no fewer than 155 inmates of Dhaka Central Jail have remained in captivity without trial for five to 11 years.
 arrow Roads, electrification and poverty reduction
In the context of India, an earlier research conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) argued that additional expenditure on roads is found to have the largest impact on poverty
 arrow A tyrant is captured: Judge Saddam fairly
Mr Saddam Hussein's capture had every element of drama.
 arrow Will Saddam Hussein's capture rescue US from Iraq morass?
Saddam Hussein was not some virtuoso organising attacks that had risen across the entire territory of Iraq. He was a stalking individual, apparently moving from place to place for his own survival.
Letters to Editorarrow Stop American Massacre
The news of a war crime tribunal being formed by the Iraqi National Council has simply astonished me. The purpose is to try war criminals.
 arrow Stop Cigarettes
It is surprising to note that a poor country like us is very much encouraging not only smoking but also its production.
 arrow Fair trial of Saddam Hossain
Your news items on "Bush for Saddam's public trial" and "Question over Saddam's status" published in front page on December 16, 2003 drew my attention.
 arrow Anarchy in the name of religion
In the recent days, it has been observed that a faction of religious leaders are demonstrating in the street and demanding that Ahmadiyyas be declared as non-Muslims, creating a law and order situation
 arrow Faulty fare-meter?
I found that the CNG autorickshaws and one Mishuk displayed the same fare on the meter between the same two points ( Stadium/Baitul Mukarrum gate and Mohammadpur Post Office).
 arrow 'Ka', again
Taslima is a name, a debate. Every day newspapers are coming up with at least one write-up or letter on her.
 arrow Withdraw class bar for govt. college teachers
It is good news that the government has decided to appoint 400 more lecturers for government colleges by next June .
 arrow An enduring friendship
It was a thousand to one chance, that Bashir Ahmad met Sakina in London, on the first of June of the third millenium. the two were meeting after a period of nineteen years.
 arrow VCs these days
In response to my letter dated 2-12-2003 one of my students, Tarik Zaman from the University of Sydney, Australia recorded his observations on the above subject vide his letter published in the DailyStar
 arrow DBH and National Housing
Just after coming into power the new coalition government reduced the bank rate from 7 to 6 per cent and again by 1 per cent recently.
 arrow Jewish Scientists and Manhattan Project
In "Solidarity among Muslims needed" (DS 12/20), Mr. Zahur states: "It is said that the Jews (Albert Einstein) gave USA the atomic bomb.
 arrow Athletics: Merchants of hate
With reference to Mr. Naeem Mohaiemen's article with the above heading that appeared in your daily on 9.12.
StarTecharrow Do we fit in the virtual education plan?
IS e-Learning possible in Bangladesh? Dr Badrul H Khan, associate professor and director of Educational Technology Leadership graduate cohort program at The George Washington University, tried to answer
 arrow 3Com stretches its web in Bangladesh
ANGLADESH is on 3Com's high priority map, which is reflected through our initiative for the market here," said Upender Jit Singh, regional sales manager of 3Com Corporation, South-East Asian region.
 arrow Life on Mars? A little Beagle may tell us
On Christmas Day, a small round object will streak like a shooting star across the skies of Mars before landing like a beachball, starting a mission that, at last, may reveal whether the stuff of life
 arrow Tech Snaps
CityIT 2003

BCS Computer City, the largest IT market in Dhaka, has decided to hold its third exposition "CityIT 2003" for computer hardware, peripherals and related products and services, says

Star Chittagongarrow PM's 'Karnaphuli bridge' promise falls flat
The 72-year-old Kalurghat Bridge is virtually on the verge of collapse. And the other bridge named after Hazrat Shah Amanat has not been in a good condition for quite some time now.
 arrow Tamakumundi: A materialist's heaven
Tamakumundi was once famous for being the location where the grandfather of the great Muslim personality, Habibullah Bahar, who was a great friend of poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, and arranged for Nazrul to
Star Cityarrow Cable TV turns too taxing
The New Year will greet about two lakh cable television subscribers in Dhaka with a hike of service charge for Zee Network, ESPN and Star Sports.
 arrow A day apart from despair
Christmas is coming... The goose is getting fat... the young and old sing as the festive season draws near.
 arrow Good care at a day care
"I was screaming the first day mom left me here.
 arrow Let them play, let them grow
Environmentalists have again called upon the government to save the remaining playgrounds in the city for the sake of healthy psychological and physical growth of the children.
 arrow Cheap shopping bags from garment waste soon
Cheap, environment-friendly shopping bags made of thread produced from garment waste are likely to hit markets in the near future.