Volume 4 Number 216 Fri. January 02, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Deadly devices seized in CHT
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday seized a high-profile haul of weapons, including 32 antitank mines and six rocket launchers, in a firefight with terrorists in Bandarban and arrested six Indians in Sylhet
 arrow Rally on river to save Jatka
The district administration of Chandpur recovered about 25 lakh metres of banned 'current net' last year in its anti-Jatka (Hilsha fries) drives and the value of the haul stood at nearly Tk 2.
 arrow Over 70,000 cleared of criminal charges on political grounds
Over 70,000 people, mostly ruling BNP men, accused of various criminal charges including murder, rape, arson and gunrunning, were relieved in the last two years as the home ministry found the cases 'politically
 arrow Peacekeepers laid to rest
Fifteen army officers, killed in a plane crash in the West African country of Benin, were buried with full state honour and religious rituals yesterday.
 arrow Summit focuses on trade, terrorism
South Asian heads of state flock to Islamabad this weekend for a landmark summit that is expected to forge a new terror pact, pave the way for a free trade zone and bring the leaders of Pakistan and India
 arrow Hasina pays respect to army officers
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina yesterday paid last respect to the army officers killed in the December 25 Benin air crash amid her party's criticism of the government for depriving
 arrow 8 killed in Iraq car bomb blast
Up to eight people were killed in a New Year's Eve bomb attack on a Baghdad restaurant and more than 30 wounded, US military investigators said Thursday as they hunted for clues among the rubble.
 arrow PM leaves for Pakistan tomorrow
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia leaves for Islamabad tomorrow to attend the 12th Saarc Summit beginning on January 4 that mainly aims to reach a 'framework agreement' on establishing the much-awaited South
 arrow Dhaka Int'l Trade Fair opens
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday inaugurated Dhaka International Trade Fair-2004 at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city.
 arrow NCBs look for new sectors to fund
Local commercial banks will open from this year their doors wider to investors seeking finance for projects in power, road construction, health and infrastructure.
 arrow Cold snap to stay for three more days
The sky will remain overcast amid the cold snap sweeping much of Bangladesh including Dhaka for three days more, according to the latest weathercast.
 arrow Pakshey Bridge nearly complete
The Pakshey Bridge over Padma, the country's second largest bridge, is expected to be opened in March next year followed by another major bridge, the Rupsha Bridge over Rupsha (in Khulna) in June 2005.
 arrow Do your job right or quit
Attorney General AF Hasan Ariff yesterday came down heavily on government lawyers assigned to deal with criminal cases for their poor performance that resulted in granting of bail to hardcore criminals
 arrow Parliaments seal Musharraf rule
Pakistan's national and four provincial parliaments have voted to make Pervez Musharraf head of state with a five-year term.
 arrow Two murdered in Khulna
Two persons were murdered in separate incidents at Paikgachha upazila in the district yesterday.
 arrow AL enforces daylong hartal tomorrow
The main opposition Awami League (AL) enforces a dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal tomorrow to protest what it said was infringement on democratic and political rights of the opposition and killing of its
 arrow Salma Sobhan laid to rest
Namaz-e-janaza of Barrister Salma Sobhan, a social worker and human-rights activist, was held at Gulshan Central Mosque after Zohr prayers yesterday.
 arrow Dhaka-Delhi FTA talks postponed
The second round of Bangladesh-India talks on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), scheduled for January 7 in New Delhi, has been postponed, diplomatic sources said here yesterday.
 arrow Education, not politics will get students jobs
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has said the students will have to get employment by dint of their academic qualifications, they will not be given jobs only for doing her party politics.
 arrow Health plan launched without budget
The health ministry yesterday launched the three-year ambitious Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Programme (HNPSP) without specific plans and budget, as well.
 arrow ICS, JCD men foil Udichi function
A function to be held at a local college to observe the 90th birth anniversary of writer Audwaita Mallabarman yesterday had to be called off due to opposition from Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) and Jatiyatabadi
 arrow 8 JCD cadres in Sylhet jailed for assaulting army officer
The Court of Speedy Trial, Sylhet yesterday sentenced a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activist to five years in prison while each of his seven associates were given three years term for assaulting an
 arrow 72-hr transport strike from January 6
Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Malik-Sramik Oikya Parishad (Bangladesh road transport owners-workers unity council) has called for a 72-hour transport strike

across the country from January 6 to realise

 arrow Teenaged boy 'beaten to death' in Hazaribagh
A teenaged boy died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday, a day after his apparent abductors allegedly roughed him up at Hazaribagh.
 arrow Banshkhali arson victims get aid in rehabilitation
The family victimised in November 19 Banshkhali carnage received Tk 4 lakh for its rehabilitation Wednesday.
 arrow Fire guts Bata shop in Mirpur
Fire gutted leather products and sports accessories reportedly worth Tk 10 lakh at a shoe store in Mirpur Section-10 yesterday.
Businessarrow Agro-based industries to get fund support
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday said the government will formulate a new policy to encourage setting up of agro-based industries by providing entrepreneurs with necessary fund support.
 arrow Keep migration cost of a worker within Tk 70,000
The government has asked the recruiting agencies to keep the migration cost of each worker within Tk 70,000 as the recruitment of workers to Malaysia is likely to resume this month after a break of more
 arrow Rice price up slightly
Price of rice has registered a slight rise, although the seasonal aman crop is available in the market.

Rice price increased by Tk 50 per bag weighing 80 kg over the past few days.

 arrow Fakir Knitwear in N'ganj laid off
Fakir Knitwear Ltd was laid off on Wednesday due to labour unrest.

The factory management said the closure decision came after workers went on a strike demanding an 'arbitrary' wage structure.

 arrow DBH reduces interest rate on housing loan for January
Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DBH) has reduced the interest rate and processing fees of its housing loans for the month of January.
 arrow Qatar Airways, Infini sign deal
Qatar Airways has signed an agreement with Infini, a reservation company, to allow Japanese customers to book their seats on the airline's flights through more than 6,000 travel agencies.
 arrow Plastic factory at Ishwardi EPZ
A plastic factory is going to be set up at the Ishwardi Export Processing Zone (EPZ).
 arrow GMG expands weekly flights
GMG Airlines has expanded its weekly flights to Cox's Bazar.
 arrow GP holds suppliers' meet
Sales and Marketing Division of GrameenPhone (GP) Limited recently accorded a reception to representatives of the organisations who are involved in providing services relating to GP's marketing activities.
 arrow Commerce Bank Ltd cuts interest rate
Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd has reduced the interest rate on loans and advances for different sectors including agriculture.

The reduced rate had been effective from yesterday.

From minimum 0.

 arrow DCCI hails rate cuts
The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday hailed the reduction of interest rates by some commercial banks including Sonali Bank, Janata Bank and Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd.
 arrow New president of plastic goods manufacturers' association
Jasim Uddin has been elected president of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA).

He is a director of Bengal Group of Industries, says a press release.

 arrow New vice chairmen of Shahjalal Bank
Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Halim have been elected vice chairmen of Shahjalal Bank Limited.

They were elected at the board of directors meeting held in Dhaka recently, says a press release.

 arrow US sees no need to test all cattle for mad cow diseases
The Bush administration said Wednesday there was no need to test all US cattle for mad cow disease because its new safeguards should satisfy American consumers and trading partners that US beef is safe
 arrow US shrimpers file trade complaint against six countries
Shrimpers in the southern United States Wednesday asked the Bush administration to slap duties on shrimp shipments from China, Vietnam, Ecuador, Brazil, India and Thailand to stem cheap imports of the
Sportsarrow Cricket: Mahmud's primary relief
Under-fire Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud has been handed a lifeline when the national selectors named him among the 17 probables for the tour of Zimbabwe.
 arrow Football: Russell won't dance solo
New boys Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra missed out on an opportunity to take an enviable solo lead in the

Western Union Premier Division Football League when they drew goalless with Arambagh Krira Sangha

 arrow Cricket: 'No better time to go'
Timing is everything for cricketers and Australia's retiring captain Steve Waugh believes he has chosen his moment perfectly.
 arrow Cricket: Waugh's Last Test
Steve Waugh is determined to put the seal on one of the greatest careers in cricket history here Friday by leading Australia to a series-clinching victory in the fourth Test against India.
 arrow Cricket: 'Just another Test match'
Indian captain Saurav Ganguly has dismissed Steve Waugh's emotional final cricket Test as "just another game".
 arrow Cricket: Both think spin-wise
South Africa and West Indies are both considering including a spinner for the third Test which begins at Newlands on Friday.
 arrow Cricket: Pakistan warm up Well-ington
Pakistan's pacemen conspired to destroy Wellington in a one-day warm-up match on Thursday, causing a selection dilemma ahead of the first one-day match against New Zealand in two days.
 arrow Cricket: Fourth round of NCL from today
The fourth round of the Ispahani Tea Fifth National Cricket League (NCL), with a revised fixture to be taking place, begins today at three different venues across the country.
 arrow Cricket: Manjarul, Jamal shine in loss
Lower order batsmen Manjarul Islam Rana and Jamal Uddin smashed half centuries to restore some pride but Bangladesh A still crashed to a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan WAPDA on the last day of their Patron's
 arrow Chess: Four lead eves' chess
Four players were leading the table after the sixth round preliminary matches of the National Women's Chess Championship yesterday.
 arrow Tennis: Love match down under
A first-round showdown between newly-engaged tennis stars Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters will grab centre-stage in the one million dollar (752,000 US) Hopman Cup starting here Saturday.
 arrow Rugby: Rugby champs sweep 'em
England's World Cup-winning rugby squad dominated the awards handed out to sportsmen in the New Year's honours list announced here Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Tevez the top Latino
Teenage Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, who led Boca Juniors to this year's Libertadores Cup title, was voted Latin America's Footballer of the Year on Wednesday in a poll conducted by Uruguayan newspaper
 arrow Football: No love lost
David Beckham's love affair with Manchester United is as strong as ever despite his cold war with Sir Alex Ferguson.
 arrow Football: Hitzfeld happy where he is
Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld insists he has no intention of becoming England coach.
 arrow Football: Henry sick of Gunners!
Thierry Henry has stunned Arsenal by marking them zero out of 10 for their performance so far this season.
Metropolitanarrow JCD celebrates silver jubilee
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of the ruling BNP, yesterday celebrated its silver jubilee marking the 25th founding anniversary of the party with a pledge to ensure congenial atmospherein
 arrow PDB realises Tk 25.28 cr in fines
Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) has realised over Tk 25.28 crore in fines through its 16 First Class Magistrate's Courts across the country during the 2002-03 fiscal year.
 arrow Hasina distributes blankets
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday distributed blankets among the poor people in front of the party's Bangabandhu Avenue central office.
 arrow Nasim Khan's appeal to Musharraf, Khaleda
Chief patron of stranded Pakistanis Mohammad Nasim Khan has appealed to Pakistani President Parvez Musharraf and Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to resolve the issue of repatriation of strandedPakistanis
 arrow Water transport workers threaten strike
Bangladesh Noujan (water transport) Sramik Federation will go for countrywide indefinite work stoppage from January 11 if its demand for new pay scale is not announced by January 10, says a federation
 arrow RU students welcome New Year
Students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday welcomed the English New Year 2004 with jubilation and fun-fare.
Point-Counterpointarrow A year of rising crimes
Here is a chronology of major incidents of crime that occurred over the year 2003


Seven people were killed in bomb explosions at a traditional fair in a remote village in Shakhipur,

Culturearrow A glorious tale of resistance
What are the glorious events of our national history? Certainly, the War of Liberation in 1971 stands at the apex of it.
 arrow Preview--Ei Shomoy
Tanmoy Karmokar is the director as well as the playwright of Ei Shomoy.
 arrow The songbooks of cinema in the archive
In the early periods of our cinema history many interesting things were there which do not exist any more. A 'songbook' is one such thing.
 arrow Street theatre
Decent-indecent, Hindu-Muslim, rich-poor, peace-war, Bangali-Bangladeshi, white-black.
Generalarrow Cross-border firing, smuggling to figure high
Cross-border firing, human trafficking, smuggling, push-in and push-out attempts and border disputes will dominate the discussion between the chiefs of Bangladesh and Indian border security forces next
 arrow Khaleda declares 2004 as 'Child Literature Year'
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called upon the people to make book reading a habit to develop their intellects and use their acquired knowledge in nation-building activities.
 arrow PM plans to form panel of advisers with professionals
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has expressed her willingness to form of a panel of advisers with experienced professionals to advise the government on various issues.
 arrow Employ pvt organisations to provide driving licence, fitness certificate
The government should appoint private organisations to provide driving licence and fitness certificate for the vehicles, breaking the monopoly of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), speakers
 arrow SAARC Jamboree begins in Kaliakoir Jan 5
An eight-day SAARC Jamboree begins at the Scouts camp in Kaliakoir upazila on January 5.
 arrow Family planning service resumes after 5 years
Family planning service resumed yesterday across the country under a separate administrative set-up after five years and a half.
 arrow RU introduces two new departments
Two new departments have been introduced at Rajshahi University (RU).

These are- Material Science in the science faculty and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science in agriculture faculty.

 arrow Kids Festival begins in Ctg
A two-day festival titled 'Star Ship Juice Kids Festival and Mina Bazar' began at the Shishu academy premises in the port city yesterday with a call to make the environment more favourable for the children.
 arrow Abducted man rescued in city
The Rapid Action Team (RAT) rescued an abducted man from a slum in Mohammadpur area of the city and arrested one person on Wednesday.
 arrow Robbery at house in Ctg
Robbers looted gold ornaments and cash totalling about Tk three lakh from a house in the city in the early hours of Wednesday.
 arrow Labour Court Bar Assoc executives
Advocate Nirmalendu Dhar and Md Ibrahim Bhuiyan have been elected president and general secretary of the Labour Court Bar Association, says a press release.
 arrow Prof. Anwar Hasan passes away
Prof. Dr Anwar Hasan of applied physics and electronics science department of Dhaka University died of a cardiac arrest yesterday at the age of 58.

He is survived by his wife, daughter and mother.

 arrow 1532 more held
Police arrested a total of 1,532 people, including one listed criminal, during their countrywide drive in last 24 hours till 6am yesterday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Playing foul with mental patients
What is going on at the Pabna Mental Hospital? It is reeling under all sorts of irregularities and corruption.
 arrow Editorial: Waste of money in the street
Adivider is supposed to be an aid to traffic management, not a public tormentor. It is an elongated fixed part of a road constructed to assist two-way traffic.
 arrow Musharraf's life at stake?
Murder attempts on President Musharraf, three by official count and quite a few more mentioned by western media, strongly suggest a backlash of his policy reversal on Afghanistan.
 arrow Alternative stream of leadership, not politics
Richard Nixon's book Leaders opens with the following words: "In the footsteps of great leaders, we hear the rolling thunders of history".
 arrow France and other democracies practicing hypocrisy!
Hypocrisy is the deceitful act of saying something and doing something else. A verse in the holy Qur'an ("Munafiqun") warns mankind against the mischief of the hypocrites.
Letters to Editorarrow Most tragic home coming
I don't remember the name of the boy and his country exactly ....for that, I beg apology to his soul. A young boy in Europe left his village to fight for his country in the World War II.
 arrow "Denouement in Iraq"
This is in reference to the letter by Molla Mohammad Shaheen, written on 20th December 2003. He opines, " Saddam's nabbing heralds a new era for Iraq.
 arrow Saddam to be tried -- for what?
Saddam has been arrested by the American forces from a hide out and the entire western world is jubilant over this great achievement.
 arrow Blaming Sheikh Hasina
Two letters on former PM Sheikh Hasina entitled "A great sense of humour"(Dec 29) and "Former PM's observations"(Dec31) published in your column have drawn my attention. I always read Mr.
 arrow Probe irregularities
Recently, the parliamentary standing committee on the education ministry has asked the authorities of two public universities to investigate irregularities in appointment during the Awami League.
 arrow Example of brotherhood
Thank you for publishing my letter the 'Alarming News' in your newspaper. Another news punished in your newspaper on December 26 was very tragic and heart-stopping one.
 arrow Freedom of ...
During her visit to Dhaka University, our hon'ble PM uttered the long cherished words "I may differ with your opinion but I would defend your freedom of expression till death.
 arrow Against hartal
I express my deep hatred against the Jan 3 hartal .I want to know the actual intention of that political party to declare hartal.
 arrow Mass movement coming?
The ruling regime appears to be taking the growing public dissatisfaction with the law and order situation (led by political nepotism) which has led to insecurity of life at every level of the society,
 arrow Point of no-return
Both the major political parties, Awami League and BNP are fast approaching the point of no return, in the fast changing world of politics, local or international.
 arrow Abbreviations
In recent days I have noticed a trend in the pages of DS which is disorienting and sometimes even misleading.
Urbanarrow A city booming with imported babies
Large shopping centres, adorned with appellations such as plaza, square and tower, and sardonically bazaar, either singularly or embedded in mixed-use Goliaths, along with high-rise commercial buildings
 arrow Shopping facilities in Dhaka: Transformation of architecture
1. Evolution of Shopping Facilities


Worldarrow S Asia counts missed opportunities
South Asian nations formed a regional grouping in hopes of turning the home of half the world's poor into an economic powerhouse, but the two-decade old alliance has proved ineffectual thanks to bickering
 arrow Delhi urges Islamabad to make truce permanent
India is interested in making the open-ended ceasefire with Pakistan a "permanent" one, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said here yesterday.
 arrow Indo-Pak flights resume
The first Pakistani flight to India in two years took off yesterday from the eastern city of Lahore, marking the official resumption of airlinks between the rival nuclear neighbours and bringing thema
 arrow Boycott, protest mar Afghan voting on constitution
Afghanistan's constitutional convention began voting yesterday, but up to a quarter of the 502 delegates refused to cast ballots for a draft charter backed by the United States after a long, acrimonious
 arrow Lanka in talks with Norway over freeze in foreign aid
Sri Lanka has opened talks with peace broker Norway to help resume the flow of millions of dollars in foreign aid suspended due to the power struggle within the government in Colombo, a government spokesman
 arrow Bhutan hopeful of early end to crackdown on Indian rebels
Bhutan voiced hope yesterday of an early end to its military crackdown against Indian rebels, whom it said were disorganised after troops destroyed their illegal camps in the kingdom.
 arrow World welcomes 2004 amid grim backdrop
Deadly bombings in Iraq and Indonesia, as well as fears of terrorism in the United States, Britain and Israel, cast shadows over exuberant New Year's celebrations around the world.
 arrow Bush determined to build on past successes in '04
US President George W. Bush on Wednesday expressed his determination to build in the New Year on successes achieved in 2003 and urged Americans to show compassion to those less fortunate.
 arrow US eases sanctions on Iran for quake aid
President Bush on Wednesday ordered an easing of some sanctions on Iran to speed the flow of humanitarian relief for victims of the massive Bam earthquake.
 arrow Pope calls for new int'l order to keep peace
The world needs a "new international order" to solve its conflicts and ensure peace, Pope John Paul said in his New Year's Day address yesterday.
 arrow Koizumi visits war shrine
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a surprise New Year visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine commemorating the country's war dead in Tokyo yesterday.
 arrow Stargazers predict better days
After a tumultuous 2003, the world this year will free itself of major wars and the global economy will accelerate as a new cycle of good fortune is ushered in, astrologers across Asia predict.