Volume 4 Number 215 Thu. January 01, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow All waste, but who cares?
After taking apart the road dividers on a quarter-kilometre stretch of the Airport Road in September, the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) is now putting back the concrete shards to restore the dismantled
 arrow Peacekeepers' bodies flown home
The nation's 15 valiant army personnel for world peace returned home as martyrs in the sombre winter evening yesterday as Bangladesh mourned the tragedy that marked its biggest military loss in a single
 arrow A dismal walk and some hope
Today I want to tell our readers the story of our country through a walk around the heart of our city that we love but are destroying every day.
 arrow Savings certificate interest rate cut
The government has lowered interest rates on savings certificates by 1.5 percent in a bid to meet International Monetary Fund's (IMF) conditions.
 arrow Dhakaites welcome New Year amid tight security
The annual New Year's Eve celebrations were held in the capital last night amidst fanfare and jubilation but accompanied by tight security to prevent any untoward incident.
 arrow Year of soaring crimes
The crime rate soared in 2003 exceeding the previous year's incidence despite sporadic government efforts to bridle crimes, greatly eroding people's confidence in the state-provided safety and security.
 arrow Probe finds drug theft, spurious injections
The probe into the robbery at Pabna mental hospital has brought to light the long use of spurious injection and widespread theft at the facility reeling under acute shortage of essential drugs in thewake
 arrow Rajuk's two plot allocations termed illegal
A parliamentary subcommittee in a report to the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday said Rajuk (Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha)'s allocation of two plots under the public works and housing ministry to Rajuk Employees
 arrow Tigers kill 3 in the Sundarbans
Tigers killed two fishermen and a bawali (woodcutter) in the Sundarbans in the last two days.
 arrow Khaleda championed hartal: Hasina
Awami League (AL) President and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina yesterday hit back at the prime minister for crticising her and said Khaleda Zia was the "champion" when it comes to
 arrow No Army HQ response to Hasina's request for homage to
The Army Headquarters did not respond to the request of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina for making arrangements for her to pay her last homage to the
 arrow Morshed hopes for consensus on Safta
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan yesterday hoped that the leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) would reach a consensus on establishing South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta)
 arrow Salma Sobhan's Janaza today
Namaz-e-janaza of Barrister Salma Sobhan, a lawyer, social worker and human-rights activist, will be held at Gulshan Central Mosque today after Zohr prayers.
 arrow JP leader gunned down in Mongla
Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a local Jatiya Party (JP) leader in Mongla in Bagerhat Tuesday night, the second political murder since December 15 that prompted a wave of protest and an indefinite
 arrow Cost-of-living index surges over 10pc in 2003
Cost of living went up 10.48 percent in 2003 due to soaring prices of consumer goods and services including house rent, according to the annual report of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (Cab).
 arrow Travel agents defer strike by two weeks
The travel agents, scheduled to go on an indefinite strike from today, has deferred their agitation by two weeks considering the plight of Hajj pilgrims and smooth functioning of Hajj flights that began
 arrow Women repression doubles
The incidents of women repression doubled last year compared to 2002, a study carried out by a legal aid group said yesterday.
 arrow Brothers accused of killing 2 cops granted bail
Two brothers accused of premeditated murder of two policemen and looting their arms were yesterday granted bail by the vacation bench of the High Court.
 arrow Blue Panel sweeps DUTA polls
The main opposition Awami League-backed Blue Panel yesterday swept the election of Dhaka University Teachers' Association, bagging the posts of president and general secretary and seven others in the15-member
 arrow JS body blames TCB for price control failure
A parliamentary standing committee yesterday started examining the necessity of having an organisation like Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
 arrow 6 abducted persons freed in Khagrachhari
Kidnappers released six villagers at Eetchhari in Khagrachhari yesterday, eight days after their abduction.
 arrow 2 cos illegally barter govt work orders to third party
Two construction companies have bartered their Tk 40 crore work orders for gas pipeline installation through the Jamuna Multi purpose Bridge to another company without notifying the authorities concerned.
 arrow Auto-rickshaw workers call strike today
Dhaka District Auto-rickshaw Workers' Union (DDAWS) enforces a dawn-to-dusk strike today to realise their nine-point demand.
 arrow Tourists pack Cox's Bazar to welcome new year
About one lakh tourists from home and abroad have flocked to the southeastern resort town of Cox's Bazar to celebrate the New Year's Eve and the New Year.
 arrow 2 truck drivers abducted in Khagrachhari
Armed miscreants abducted two truck drivers at Milonkarbari point in Khagrachhari yesterday.
 arrow N'ganj Jubo Dal leader David arrested
Police arrested Momin Ullah David, joint convenor of the Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal's Narayanganj town unit, at Panorama Plaza Shopping Centre at Bangabandhu Road in the town yesterday.
Businessarrow Exports set to see fair growth this fiscal
With a US$350 million growth in just five months, it seems that the export sector is set to see a satisfactory gain in the current fiscal.
 arrow Lead-time reduction, cost cut must for survival
As multi-fibre arrangement (MFA) phases out after December 2004, reducing lead-time and cutting costs including port, bank and utility charges will be the key challenges for Bangladesh's garment sector
 arrow Dhaka int'l trade fair kicks off today
The 10th version of the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) begins today with some 20 countries including host Bangladesh displaying their products.
 arrow Traders seek protective measures for business
As the government is planning another eviction drive at the 'garments waste village' in Tongi, local traders yesterday demanded protective measures for their business.
 arrow Jute Spinners Ltd okays 15pc dividend
The Jute Spinners Ltd has declared a 15 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2002-2003, says a press release.
 arrow Prime Bank transacts govt bond with Delta Life Ins
Prime Bank Limited in its capacity as a primary dealer (PD) has concluded the first-ever secondary market transaction in government treasury bond with Delta Life Insurance Company Limited.
 arrow US acts to strengthen mad cow regulations
The US government said on Tuesday it was moving immediately to tighten oversight of the $27 billion cattle industry and boost consumer confidence after the first case of mad cow disease in the UnitedStates.
 arrow Gold price hits highest since 1996
Gold prices rose to a new near-eight year high in London on Wednesday as the continued weakness of the dollar, coupled with fears over terrorism, pushed the metal ever higher.
 arrow S'pore Airlines launches new year package
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched a new year package.

The package features 10 destinations, with Singapore being offered at a price of US$340.

 arrow Doyel Agro to produce 20,000 tons of maize in April '04
Doyel Agro Complex Ltd, an Agro-based Industries and Technology Development Project (ATDP) client, is expected to produce over 20,000 tons of maize in April 2004 through its 1500 contracted farmers.
 arrow New managing director of TMIB
Md Nasir Baharom recently took over as the managing director of TM International (Bangladesh) Ltd, service provider of AKTEL cellular phone in Bangladesh.
 arrow US shrimpers to file anti-dumping case against exporters
The leading US shrimp trade association is set to file an anti-dumping case against countries they claim sell shrimp in the United States at below-market prices.
 arrow G7 to discuss dollar slide as Europe frets
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven richest nations will discuss the dollar's slide when they meet in February, as Europeans become increasingly worried it may hurt economic recovery, a G7 source
 arrow India economy grows 8.4pc in second quarter
India's economy expanded by a blistering 8.4 per cent between July and September, putting the South Asian nation into the ranks of the world's fastest-growing economies, official figures showed Wednesday.
 arrow Japanese shares to remain upbeat in 2004
Japanese share prices are set to start the new year with an upbeat tone after ending a turbulent 2003 positively, but analysts caution the rise may run out of steam on a number of risk factors.
Sportsarrow Missing George
There are certain moments in history, which celebrate the emergence of a messiah. Take the case of Austrian George Kottan who was a virtual unknown before he took over as Bangladesh's football coach.
 arrow Cricket: WAPDA in charge against BD A
Captain Hanna Sarker hit his second fifty of the match but it was just about the only bright spot for Bangladesh A who were left staring at defeat at close on day three of the four-day Patron's Trophy
 arrow Football: Russell's chance to prove their worth
New boys Russell Krira Chakra will fancy their chan-ces to enter an unfamiliar yet pleasant territory when the Western Union Premier Division Football League resumes today after a day's break due to the
 arrow Cricket: All's well that ends well
Batting lynchpin Inzamamul Haq leads Pakistan's new cricket corps into 2004 with an emphatic series win over New Zealand and a younger team devoid of long-time stalwarts Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Waqar
 arrow Cricket: 'Get Hayden & Ponting'
Indian captain Saurav Ganguly has targeted prolific scorers Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden as the key wickets for a series-winning victory in the fourth Test against Australia starting here on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: BCB names U-17 team
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday named a 14-member team for the forthcoming Under-17 Asia Cup to be held from the second week of January in Indian city of Hyderabad.
 arrow Cricket: Ricky above them all
Ricky Ponting's back-to-back double centuries against India saw him finish 2003 as the leading run scorer in Test cricket.
 arrow Cricket: Umar, Kamal to stay back in NZ
Pakistan batsmen Taufeeq Umar and Asim Kamal will remain with the 17-man squad in New Zealand for the one-day series against the Black Caps to gain experience, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on
 arrow Chess: Shakil unbeaten champion
Fide Master Abu Sufian Shakil, who had already confirmed the title on Tuesday with a game in hand, secured full nine points beating Nasser in the last round of the Prime Bank Sixth National Rating Chess
 arrow Tennis: Henman honoured
Tim Henman has expressed delight at being awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours List, but says that finally winning Wimbledon is still his big ambition.
 arrow Cricket: Manager's more busy
Steve Waugh's manager says he is fielding a barrage of calls as the Australian cricket captain's farewell tour reaches a crescendo with the Sydney Test starting on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Proteas' lone worry
South African captain Graeme Smith was "80 to 85 per cent fit" on Wednesday, team physiotherapist Shane Jabaar said two days before the third Test against the West Indies, which starts at Newlands onFriday.
 arrow Cricket: Flemo looks to SA
New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming was Wednesday casting an eager eye to February's three-Test tour by South Africa as a chance to redeem the Black Caps' flagging Test fortunes after failingagainst
 arrow Cricket: Williams on way out?
Brad Williams has been squeezed out of the Australian one-day team in a worrying sign for the speedster as he attempts to hold his place in the team for Friday's deciding Test against India here.
 arrow Football: Time to start shopping
Chelsea's Russian billionaire boss Roman Abramovich will be looking to complete the revolution which he hopes will stake his claim to the Premiership title next summer as the transfer window opens for
 arrow Football: Queiroz's New Year's wish
As befits a club which always sets its sights on the stratospheric, Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz goes into the New Year in the belief his men can win everything, including a dream Champions League
 arrow Football: Lehmann will attack!
Arsenal's German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann insisted on Wednesday he would not change his aggressive manner in dealing with opposing strikers despite being reported to the Football Association (FA) after
 arrow Football: Who's the real winner?
The election of Pavel Nedved as 2003 European Footballer of the Year by France Football magazine has confirmed that readers of World Soccer were again ahead of the game in voting for the Czech midfielder
Metropolitanarrow Two to die, 2 get life term
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced two persons to death and two to life term imprisonment for killing a college student in September,1999 in Tangail.
 arrow Leaders greet countrymen
President Iajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina yesterday greeted the countrymen on the occasion of New Year.
 arrow NHA allots 38,383 residential plots
National Housing Authority (NHA) since its inception has allotted 38,383 residential, 1,059 commercial and 936 industrial plots in addition to 196 plots to different organisations.
Nationalarrow Reaping rewards of hard work in 22 Gaibandha villages
There is no illiterate and unemployed person in Kochashaher union.
 arrow Discontent brews as election pledge not honoured
Discontent is growing among the people of Shariakandi and Dhunut upazilas in Bogra as consecutive meetings of the ECNEC in the last two months did not grant any funds for Jamuna-Bangali rivers mergerprevention
 arrow Contractors lock Bhola WDB office
A section of Water Development Board (WDB) contractors hailing from Bhola, joined by musclemen, locked the WDB office and attacked nine residences of its officials and employees including that of the
 arrow Workers begin 9-day agitation
Workers of Dhaka Match Works (former Dada Match Works) formed a human chain at Picture Palace cinema square in the city on Tuesday as part of nine-day agitation programme demanding reopening of the mill.
 arrow 20 hurt in BDR-smuggler gunfight in Kushtia
At least 20 people including a woman were injured, five of them with bullets, in a gunfight between Bangladesh Rifle (BDR) personnel and alleged smugglers at bordering Jamalpur in Daulatpur upazila in
 arrow Admission tests in 9 govt schools in Ctg January 10-14
Admission tests in all the nine government schools here will be held from January 10 to 14 next year.

The tests will be held for admission into classes I, IV, V, VI and IX only in the government schools.

 arrow Poet Jasimuddin's birthday today
The 101st birth anniversary of Pallikabi Jasimuddin will be observed here today in a befitting manner.
 arrow Businessman sent to jail
Leading businessman Abu Hossain Chowdhury, who was arrested on Saturday for alleged hundi trading, was sent to jail hajat on Tuesday.
 arrow Aleem Jute Mills workers march streets with clubs
Tension is mounting Aleem Jute Mills here following an order for retrenchment of 252 "permanent" workers of the mill.
 arrow 4 outlaws held in Kushtia
Four alleged outlaws belonging to Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) were arrested at Satpara village in Daulatpur upazila Tuesday night.
Point-Counterpointarrow Sustainable livelihood in the era of globalisation: Does it make sense?
The concept and framework for Sustainable Livelihood (SL) has emerged as a trajectory of thinking about poverty from income generation to multi-dimensional perspective.
 arrow Salma Sobhan
I often wondered what kept many of my compatriots from knowing some of the true heroes in their own midst.
 arrow Ten commandments for your health this year
On the eve of New Year we all make New Year resolutions. To help you make yours -- the following tips are for you.

Have regular eating times for breakfast (between 7-8am), lunch (1.

Culturearrow "The spirit of activism was strongly imbibed in us"
Aly Zaker, a well-known theatre personality, and his wife Sara, give their assessment of themes, techniques and equipment of local plays.
 arrow Poet Al Mujaheedy turns sixty-two
He loves to play with words and rhythm, talks about the nature and people of the country and is thus in the truest sense a son of the soil.
 arrow Preview--Golmatha Chokhamatha
German dramatist Bertold Brecht's play has been translated by Abdus Selim and titled Golmatha Chokhamatha. In fact, Bertold Brecht adapted the play from Shakespeare;s Measure for Measure.
 arrow Forty-five countries to participate in the 11th Asian Art Biennale
The 11th Asian Art Biennale will begin on 15th January 2004 at the Osmani Memorial Hall. The function will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia.
Generalarrow One burnt alive, 64 shops gutted in Pirojpur
One person was burnt alive and 64 shops were gutted in a fire that broke out at Mathbaria Muktijoddha Market in Pirojpur district in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow BDRCS to expand activities at arsenic-hit dists
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) will expand its activities in the arsenic- affected districts.
 arrow Chinese photo exhibition in Ctg
A weeklong Chinese photo exhibition and film show will begin at Chittagong Art College in Chittagong on January 5.
 arrow Premier Bank launches edn credit scheme
The Premier Bank has launched an education credit scheme for the meritorious students pursuing higher education, says a press release.
 arrow Kids Festival begins today
A two-day festival titled "Star Ship Juice Kids Festival and Mina Bazar" begins on the local Shishu academy premises in the port city today.

"Dristy", a cultural organisation, will organise the festival.

 arrow Contraband goods worth Tk 13 lakh seized: 3 held
Coast Guard members seized illegal goods worth Tk 13 lakh from the coastal areas and arrested three people during the last fortnight till Tuesday.
 arrow Harris presents book to Khaleda
Prime Minister's Political Secretary Harris Chowdhury yesterday presented a book, titled "Agragotir Dui Bachhar", to Prime Minister Khalda Zia at her office.
 arrow US embassy to remain closed today
US Embassy offices, including The American Centre, Information Resource Centre (IRC) and the Student Advising Center will remain closed today on the occasion of New Year's Day, says a press release.
 arrow Seminar held at Eastern University
A seminar on 'Agricultural Technology and Trade within the framework of WTO' was held at the Eastern University in the city on December 28, says a press release.
 arrow 1683 more held
Police arrested a total of 1,683 people, including two listed criminals, during its countrywide drive in last 24 hours till 6am yesterday.
Internationalarrow US aid workers join Iran quake relief
Aid workers from the US have joined efforts in Iran to help people affected by Friday's devastating earthquake.
 arrow Syria condemns Golan expansion plan
Syria denounced yesterday plans by Israel to double the number of settlers in the Golan Heights to tighten the Jewish state's grip over the plateau seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
 arrow Musharraf endorses bill to legitimise his rule
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf approved a constitutional amendment yesterday that endorses his right to stay on as leader until 2007 and allows him to seek a vote of confidence on his presidency
 arrow 4month-old baby pulled alive from ruins
Rescue workers in and around the shattered Iranian city of Bam pulled out five people -- including a four-month-old baby and a 12-year-old girl -- alive from the wreckage of last week's earthquake, local
 arrow Gunfire erupts in Kirkuk, 2 reported killed
Gunfire erupted yesterday as hundreds of protesters marched in Kirkuk and at least two people were reported killed in the oil-rich northern city where plans for a new democratic Iraq are dividing Kurd,
 arrow Taiwan leader signs bill on referendum
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has signed a historic bill that allows him to stage the referendum that has so infuriated those in mainland China.
 arrow Beijing issues Sars alert for schools
Education authorities in Beijing issued a SARS alert Wednesday urging all educational institutes and schools to heighten vigilance against an outbreak of the dreaded respiratory disease, state press said.
 arrow Indo-Pak airlink to resume in Jan 2004
Indian Airlines would start regular operations to Pakistan from January 9 with a twice weekly Delhi-Lahore-Delhi flight, it was decided here on Tuesday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: The year of dashed hopes
The year 2003, which has just disappeared into the unfathomable vastness of time, witnessed events that are surely going to influence the future of the world in a very perceptible way.
 arrow Editorial: A good move but hardly enough
The air we have been breathing in the metropolis has improved slightly. This is put down to disappearance of two-stroke three-wheelers. The ban on polybags has played a contributory role.
 arrow A new year's prayer for Masum
Masum was standing in the dusky evening with his rickshaw at the corner of East West University waiting for his next passenger.
Letters to Editorarrow HBFC, or a loan shark?
I am a retired government servant, and have built a house in a residential area. I took Tk 25 lakh as loan from the House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC) to construct the house.
 arrow Good news for people under dictators
America has occupied Iraq by brute military force. It is unnecessary to go into the details of America's false pretexts for occupation of Iraq.
 arrow Libya's surrender to US-UK
Libya announces it would give up all the weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), together with Nuclear weapons and long range ballistic missile programmes.
 arrow DCC reshaping road islands and dividers
On the one hand, innumerable roads and streets, lanes and by-lanes are damaged, cracked and full of pot holes, the roadside drains are stagnated with dirty and noxious water breeding mosquitoes, themanholes