Volume 4 Number 219 Mon. January 05, 2004    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Saarc nations ink social charter
The Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) member countries yesterday signed a landmark agreement on social charter in a bid to improve the socio-economic condition of the region's populace.
 arrow Tea in a new brew
An increasing local demand has resulted in a steep drop in tea exports sparking fears that Bangladesh may soon become a tea importer unless production is enhanced proportionately.
 arrow Home ministry orders watch on borders to stop Indian insurgents
The home ministry at a high level meeting with paramilitary BDR and intelligence agencies yesterday asked them to step up border security and watch on Dhaka to stem infiltration of Indian terrorists.
 arrow Khaleda for win-win trade option for all
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called upon South Asian nations to devise trade promotion so that it becomes a "win-win situation for all".
 arrow JS body for cutting ministry numbers
A parliamentary body yesterday pegged the current administration as 'top-heavy' and agreed with four separate reports that suggested downsizing the number of ministries.
 arrow Vajpayee-Musharraf landmark meet today
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will meet today on the sidelines of a regional summit, a Pakistani official announced.
 arrow Deaths mark Blair's surprise Basra visit
British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a surprise visit to Iraq yesterday, a day after US soldiers killed four Iraqis, including a woman and a nine-year-old child.
 arrow HC stays execution of govt order lifting ban on TU in EPZs
The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for five weeks execution of the latest government notification that said trade unionism (TU) may be allowed in the EPZs (export processing zones) when it deemed necessary.
 arrow Black flags fly amid outrage in Modhupur
The Garos of Modhupur forest yesterday flew black flags atop their houses to protest the killing of an indigenous youth in fire from police and forest guards, while Shita Nakrek was waiting in her basic
 arrow Rivals kill 3 outlaws in Pabna
Outlaws murdered three in separate incidents in Santhia and Chatmohor late Saturday night, police said.
 arrow 242 Bangladeshis killed by BSF in 3 years: Report
The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and armed Indian attackers have 'killed 242 Bangladeshis and injured 380 people in the last three years'.
 arrow 2 killed in Airport Road accident
Two were killed in a road accident on Airport Road Saturday evening.
 arrow Clarification
The management of Highspeed Group has clarified its position on a report carried by The Daily Star on December 4 last year under the headline "Trading of 16 companies suspended at Dhaka Stock Exchange".
 arrow Gayoom slams South Asian military buildup
Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom yesterday called upon the leaders of heavily militarised South Asia to work for economic development instead of stockpiling weapons.
 arrow Sun shines, cold spell continues
The icy grip over most parts of the country remained unchanged although some regions including the capital city yesterday experienced a welcome sunshine.
 arrow Visit to America gets tougher from today
The US government's 2004 resolution is to fingerprint and photograph some 23 million foreign visitors including Bangladeshis arriving at 115 US airports -- without clogging the air transit system.
 arrow US mission lands safely on Mars
A robotic explorer beamed remarkable images of the bleak Martian surface back to scientists on Earth late Saturday just hours after its dramatic arrival on the red planet.
 arrow Major changes in admin on cards
The civil administration braces for major changes this month when contractual service of over half a dozen senior secretaries expires and some others go on leave preparatory to retirement (LPR).
 arrow Thaw in Indo-Pak relations to have positive impacts on Saarc region
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday said the present atmosphere of good understanding between India and Pakistan would not only benefit the two countries but also have positive impacts on other members
 arrow Cop killed, in Ctg road accident
A speeding bus knocked dead a sub-inspector and injured his colleague near Dampara Police Line in the port city Saturday.
 arrow Boy killed before mother
A nine-year-old boy was brutally murdered in front of his mother apparently out of revenge at Kamalpur village in Nikli upazila in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow Three killed in Comilla road accident
The driver and two helpers of a bus were killed when another speeding bus knocked it from behind at Khadghar on Dhaka-Chittagong highway Sunday.
 arrow 15 injured in Noakhali BCL factional clash
Fifteen people including a child and a woman were injured yesterday in a clash between two rival factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at the district headquarters.
 arrow Armed gang robs city bus passengers
An armed gang yesterday looted cash and valuables reportedly worth Tk 50,000 from passengers of a bus at Agargaon in Mohammadpur.
 arrow Mob kills two robbers on Dhaka-Sylhet highway
A mob killed two alleged highway robbers and injured eight others on Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Bhiti Morjal in Raipur yesterday.
 arrow One shot dead at Agargaon
Assailants shot dead a young man in front of his wife near the Passport Office at Agargaon in Moham-madpur last night.
Businessarrow Saifur, millers to settle differences in a week
A meeting between the finance minister and striking re-rolling and steel mill owners yesterday failed to end the strike but decided to resolve the issues within a week.
 arrow Govt starts process to set up 3 wholesale kitchen markets
The government has started the process of setting up three wholesale kitchen markets at three entry points of the capital to curb the control of middlemen on the marketing of daily necessaries.
 arrow Khosru for interest rate cut in banks
Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury has suggested interest rate cut and product diversification in commercial banks.
 arrow Dollar eases slightly against taka
The US dollar eased slightly against the Bangladesh taka yesterday in thin inter-bank trade as import payment was disrupted due to weekend holiday in most international markets.
 arrow Remittance sees 7.46pc growth in six months
Remittance saw a 7.46 percent growth in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

The country received $1.57 billion in remittance during the July-December period of 2003-2004, up from $1.

 arrow BB auction
The 278th auction of the 28-day, 91-day, 182-day, 364-day, 2-year and 5-year treasury bills was held here yesterday.

Tk 483.70 crore, Tk 30 crore, Tk 5 crore, Tk 5.40 and Tk 65.

 arrow AIMS chairman re-elected
Monzurul Haque has been re-elected chairman of the Asset and Investment Management Services (AIMS) of Bangladesh Limited for another term.
 arrow Shopping festival begins at Dhaka Cantonment
A shopping festival began at the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) of Dhaka Cantonment yesterday.
 arrow New president of Bangladesh Malaysia chamber
Salahuddin Kasem Khan, managing director of AK Khan and Co Ltd, has been elected president of the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) for 2004-2005 term.
 arrow STB launches campaign to mark Chinese spring festivals
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched a month long marketing campaign to draw more Chinese visitors to Singapore during the Chinese New Year festivals.
 arrow Call money rate steady
The inter-bank money eased slightly yesterday as most banks could overcome their cash problems, fund managers said.

The call money rate touched its intra-day high at 8.

 arrow US may claim mad cow-free status despite case
Despite discovery of its first case of mad cow disease, the United States could still claim to be free of the ailment, experts say -- an approach that a consumer group says would be a mistake.
 arrow Indian chamber urges Delhi to up imports from Saarc countries
A leading trade body of India wants New Delhi to provide other Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) countries with greater market access for taking the concept of regional trade co-operation
 arrow Greenspan defends Fed stock bubble policy
US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Saturday that policymakers have been proven correct in their decision not to try to prick a 1990s stock-market bubble that subsequently broke on itsown.
Sportsarrow Football: Awesome Abahani
Saiful Islam Kho-kon slammed his second hattrick as hot favourites Abahani Krira Chakra recorded the biggest win of the season with a 7-3 thrashing of Dhanmondi Club in the Western Union Premier Football
 arrow Cricket: Wickets tumble everywhere
Young Khulna paceman Syed Russell captured seven wickets as Dhaka tumbled from a position of strength to be dismissed for 224 on the opening day of their Ispahani Tea Fifth National Cricket League match
 arrow Cricket: Shahriar wants to roar back
From playing in the country's first-ever Test to being nowhere, Shahriar Hossain knows how it feels to suffer.
 arrow Cricket: Rashedul knock goes in vain
Opener Rashedul Haq hit a brilliant 72 but that was not enough for Bangladesh A team to escape another defeat in the Patron's Cup limited-overs tournament yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: India to cross the border in March
Indian cricketers will undertake a full tour of Pakistan for the first time since 1989 with three Tests and five one-dayers in the rival neighbour beginning in March, the cricket board announced hereon
 arrow Cricket: Australia endangered
Steve Waugh was out for a deflating 40 in his farewell Test as Australia were confronted with a desperate fight to save the fourth and series-deciding match against India at the Sydney Cricket Groundon
 arrow Cricket: Lara at it again
Brian Lara was again carrying the hopes of the West Indies as his team struggled on the third day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Steve still has a chance
Steve Waugh's dismissal has robbed an expectant cricket nation of a fairytale finish to the Australian great's playing career.
 arrow Cricket: 'Meditative' Indians
Australian century-maker Justin Langer hailed the phenomenal concentration shown by India's batsman after they racked up another mammoth score here Sunday.
 arrow Handball: BDR lift Orient h'ball title
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) clinched the Orient Bread Cup Handball tournament title beating Bangladesh Police by 42-23 goals at the Handball ground near the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Friendly cricket
Bank Asia beat Dhaka Bank by ten wickets in a friendly cricket match at the Gulshan Youth Club on Friday.

Dhaka Bank batted first and scored 132 runs for eight in stipulated 30 overs.

 arrow Football: Chelsea held, Charlton crash
Charlton became the first Premiership team to be dumped out of this season's FA Cup when they lost 3-2 away to First Division Gillingham on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Saudi club gets Rivaldo?
Brazilian World Cup winner Rivaldo has joined Saudi club Al Ittihad on a six-month contract, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) reports.
 arrow Football: Barthez hero at both ends!
Fabien Barthez made a match-winning debut for Marseille as he saved two penalties and scored the decisive spot kick in a French Cup penalty shootout victory over Strasbourg on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Beck's injury spoils Real joy
Real Madrid eked out a 1-0 victory at home to Murcia on Saturday to stretch their lead at the top in Spain to five points.
 arrow Football: Thompson inspires Celtic
Celtic took an enormous stride towards regaining the Scottish premier league title when they beat their only real rivals Rangers 3-0 on Saturday to open an 11-point lead.
 arrow Football: German FA's grim facts
The strained financial position of many Bundesliga clubs could result in a German club going out of business, German Football Association (DFB) president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder said on Sunday.
Metropolitanarrow Wife gives deposition
Mosammat Farida Yasmin, the 15th prosecution witness in the Abdul Kader murder case and wife of the victim, gave her deposition before the court yesterday.
 arrow Law soon to enhance efficiency of civil procedure
A new civil law titled 'Court Reform Implementation (supplementary rules) Act 2004' is being formulated to enhance the efficiency of civil procedure management.
 arrow BDR-BSF confce begins today in New Delhi
A director general level border conference between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) begins in New Delhi today.
 arrow Ctg JCD office vandalised
A faction of a ward unit of JCD, student wing of the ruling BNP, ransacked the City JCD office at Nasiman Bhaban in the port city yesterday.
 arrow Convicted prisoner dies in Rajshahi
A convicted prisoner of Rajshahi Central Jail died at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital here on Saturday, jail sources said yesterday.
 arrow Chinese photo exhibition
A weeklong Chinese photography exhibition and film festival titled 'Beautiful China' will begin at the Chittagong Art College auditorium tomorrow.
Nationalarrow Netrakona AL, Jubo League dissolved amid in-fighting
Following years of intra-party conflict, district committees of Netrakona Awami League and its youth front Jubo League have been dissolved.
 arrow WDB sitting on ECNEC approved project
Work on the project to protest Fulchari upazila headquarters and Kamarjani river port from erosion by the Brahmaputra has not started this year despite approval by the ECNEC (Executive Committee of the
 arrow Intra-party rivalry intensifies over ticket for Kushtia-1 by-polls
A race for party ticket for by-election in Kushtia-1 constituency has given rise to intra-party rivalries in political parties including ruling BNP and opposition Awami League.
 arrow Bio-gas changes lifestyle in rural Gopalganj
Bio-gas has changed the lifestyle of rural people in Gopalganj district.

The rural people are using bio-gas in household work in increasing number.

 arrow They are voters but have no social right
They are Bangladeshi citizens and are voters but have no right have a cup of tea at a stall or sell their products in the market.
 arrow 20 hurt as 'smugglers' clash in Lalmonirhat
At least 20 people were injured as alleged smugglers clashed over sharing Tk,20,000 earned from sale of smuggled phensydil at Mogolhat border in the Sadar upazila in the early hours of Friday.
 arrow 8,662 bottles of Phensidyl seized from truck at Kafura in Faridpur
Trafficking of Phensidyl through Faridpur district has increased alarmingly in recent days, Faridpur Police Super (SP) S M Hafizur Rahman told newsmen.
 arrow 380 MT VGF rice doled out in Laxmipur
The government has distributed 380 metric tons (MTs) of rice among the poor and destitute in four upazilas of the district.
 arrow Loan for the retarded
The Social Service Department of Sundarganj upazila disbursed interest-free loans among 28 retarded persons under a rehabilitation programme for acid burnt and physical handicapped on Thursday.
 arrow Pneumonia kills 5 more in Bogra
Five more persons including three child died from pneumonia and other cold-related diseases in Dupchanchan upazila in the last two days.
Point-Counterpointarrow The Afghan conundrum: A metaphor for 2004
A woman clad in a pale blue burqa stood behind a young boy on a busy street corner in Kabul. Pale UN-blue seems to be the colour of choice for burqa in Kabul, whereas white is the fashion in Jalalabad.
 arrow Learning needs of the rural poor
Education has a great humanising effect on the total development of a nation.
 arrow Frogs in the well
My mother is fond of telling me stories about her uncle, author Syed Mujtoba Ali. During one of his rare visits in between globe-trotting, the whole family used to gather to hear his stories.
 arrow SAARC: A turning point?
The late president Ziaur Rahman dreamt of South Asia to become a peaceful and stable region so that the largest concentration of people below poverty line could see some hope for a better life.
 arrow Trade and economic relations should be SAARC's main goal
The 12h summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) started in Islamabad, Pakistan on the 4th of January 2004. The Indian prime minister has confirmed participation.
Culturearrow Lalon to be released shortly
TanvIr Mokammel's endeavour in baul legend Lalon Shah that got a primary expression in his documentary Achin Pakhi (The Unknown Bird) in 1996 gets its final shape in feature film Lalon
 arrow Striking out together
The Daily Star: How did the two of you get together?

Rokeya: Ours is an arranged marriage: our fathers worked together in the police.

 arrow Preview--Meraj Fokirer Ma
Today Theatre will present Meraj Fokirer Ma at 7:00pm at the Public Library auditorium.
 arrow Dharmagola
Natyabhumi, the group from Agartola, staged Dharmagola by Kamol Roychawdhury on …in the on-going drama festival arranged by Nagorik Natyangon.
Generalarrow World Social Forum begins Jan 16
A big delegation from Bangladesh will take part in the fourth World Social Forum (WSF) to be held in Mumbai, India, from January 16 to 21.
 arrow BCL anniversary celebrated
The 56th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) was observed through various programmes yesterday.
 arrow Book on Bangladesh in Arabic
Renowned writer and journalist of the Arab world Yousuf Al-Mulla presented a book written by him on Bangladesh to President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban in the city yesterday.
 arrow Folk festival from tomorrow
A three-week long folk art and crafts fair and folk festival 2004 will begin on the Folk Art and Crafts Foundation premises at Sonargaon in Narayanganj tomorrow.
 arrow PIA resumes flight to Dhaka
Pakistan's national flag carrier PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) has resumed its flight operation to Dhaka after two years.
 arrow 'Preserve Bhawal forestry'
A delegation of Gazipur Reporters' Unity made a courtesy call on President Iajuddin Ahmed and apprised him of deteriorating condition of Bhawal forestry.
 arrow Freedom fighter Moyenuddin passes away
Advocate Moyenuddin Ahmed Manik, a former MP and freedom fighter, died of a cardiac arrest at his residence here yesterday at 55.
 arrow Khaleda lays foundation of HC building in Islamabad
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia laid the foundation of Bangladesh High Commission building on its own land at Margala diplomatic zone in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad yesterday.
 arrow Over 1000 held
Police arrested 1,004 more people, including two identified criminals from different parts of the country in last 24 hours till 6.00am yesterday.
Internationalarrow Replace mistrust with trust: Vajpayee
Regretting continued "mutual suspicions" and "petty rivalries", Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday asked the Saarc countries to be sensitive to each other's security concerns and make bold
 arrow Pak PM calls for end to South Asian tensions
Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali urged an end to tensions in South Asia here yesterday, saying they had hampered the region's economic progress in his opening address to a landmark summit.
 arrow Thaw in Indo-Pak ties impetus for SAARC
Sri Lanka yesterday said the reduction of tension between India and Pakistan has provided renewed impetus to regional Association for economic development.
 arrow All insurgent top guns nabbed: Bhutan
Bhutan who has launched a military operation to flush out Indian insurgents from its soil, yesterday said all terrorist leaders had been apprehended and called for the immediate implementation of thenew
 arrow Pak media slams govt for putting Kashmir issue on backburner
Even as Saarc leaders celebrate landmark agreements over free trade and terrorism, the focus of the Pakistani media remains on Kashmir, with several dailies saying that India has succeeded in puttingthe
 arrow Blast at sports hall in Philippines: 10 dead
At least 10 people were killed and 40 wounded when a bomb tore through a packed sports hall in the southern Philippines yesterday, officials said.
 arrow Afghans agree on new constitution
Afghanistan's constitutional convention agreed yesterday on a historic new charter, its chairman said, overcoming weeks of division to hammer out a compromise meant to bind together the war-ravaged nation's
 arrow Britney Spears ties the knot
Pop star Britney Spears has married a childhood friend during an apparently impromptu wedding ceremony Saturday in Las Vegas, two published reports said.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Why these excesses?
Saturday's hartal saw police swooping on pickets in the city, which resulted in more than 50 men and women being injured including a former minister. Similar incidents occurred in other places also.
 arrow Editorial: UNDP's review team for CHT
The arrival of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) team from the headquarters to review the development scenario in the hill districts is a significant development in an otherwise deadlocked
 arrow The coming of an American empire
For last couple of years a new term has been introduced to refer to the role of America in today's global affairs: empire.
 arrow Happy, or unhappy, New Year
Only one Indian, as far as I know, is apprehensive about the coming year, a friend who comforts himself with a droll form of piquancy.
 arrow Migration, money and management
Professor Abdul Bayes is a pleasure to read. I find him truthful, non-ideological and scientific. Not many economists of the day offer land related studies with a view to overcoming economic ills andpoverty.
 arrow Bangla, not Bengali, please
I am an expatriate Bangladeshi on vacation here now. Ever since my arrival from Australia here a few days ago I had been a regular and keen reader of The Daily Star.
Letters to Editorarrow Thoughts on "hartal"
This refers to the DS Letters page of 02-Jan-04. I saw a letter by Mr Sayez "Against hartal". However, I think "hartal" has become a part of the genetic-code of the politicians of Bangladesh.
 arrow A minaret for Baitul Mukarram
Due to high-rise buildings and the tower heights of Dhaka stadium flood lights, the cubical shaped national mosque ,Baitul Mukarram, has totally lost its glory and grandeur.
 arrow Missing pages of history
Parts of history remain buried in obscure archives and record rooms.
 arrow Salma Sobhan
Salma Sobhan represents the model of first generation career woman who has inspired and motivated women and men to work selflessly and with humility.

She was my teacher at Dhaka University in 1981.

 arrow 31st celebrations
As I write this, the city's gone afire. At least a certain part of it has. The other part, the underprivileged section, would be glad of at least some sort of fire in this chilly night.
 arrow Point of no return
Satire is enjoyable when written with tongue in cheek.
 arrow Emergence of third force
The division of British India and the establishment of Pakistan in 1947 led to many problems in the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
 arrow Lahore Resolution
The movement for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India was initiated by a Resolution known as the Lahore Resolution in the session of All India Muslim League in 1940.
 arrow Ten resolutions
Here is my list of top ten resolutions for the new year for the convenience of our political leaders.

- Put an end to the outdated confrontational political style.

 arrow "A dismal walk and some hope"
I have the following comments on the DS commentary "A Dismal Walk and Some Hope" of Jan 1, 2004. It is easy to judge history by hindsight and then draw conclusions. What is important is not to be hasty.
 arrow Negativism at its worst
The two major political parties are playing an interesting game, perhaps not that interesting for those on the sidelines.

The ruling party is unhappy because the Awami League is boycotting parliament.

Star Cityarrow A feast of computers
Computer traders look forward to a high sale as City IT 2003, organised by BCS Computer City on its premises in Agargaon, kicked off on Tuesday.
 arrow Where gangsters rule the lane
Local gangsters with the connivance of police have been pocketing money for the past few years from 'renting out' fringes of Gulshan-Gutharaghat Link Road to kitchen market traders.
 arrow The computer fair goes on
Ground Floor

1. B. T. Enterprise
2. Businessland
3. CACTS Ltd
4. Computer Jagat
5. Computer Mart Inc
6. Computer Services
7. Computer Valley Ltd
8. Cyber Bridge