Volume 4 Number 240 Mon. January 26, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Privatisation body wants its soul back
Privatisation Commission will request Prime Minister Khaleda Zia suspend her government's decision that practically strips it of all its mandated powers and roles.
 arrow Govt eyes $7b investment for 14,600 MW plants
The government has prepared a comprehensive strategy for providing electricity to all by the year 2020, opening the power sector to private investment to achieve the ambitious goal.
 arrow Moudud snubs call for constitutional status
Law Minister Moudud Ahmed yesterday rejected a proposal to form the independent anti-corruption commission as a constitutional body, as he said it would further delay the making of the watchdog.
 arrow Timber blocks...

 arrow Hectic lobbying on for berths
Leading women leaders of the ruling BNP have gone into a lobbying overdrive for membership against the proposed 50 reserved seats for women in the Jatiya Sangsad.
 arrow Powell now doubts, Blair still sanguine
US Secretary of State Colin Powell held out the possibility yesterday that prewar Iraq may not have possessed weapons of mass destruction although UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has no doubt about the authenticity
 arrow Bangladesh a profitable base for investment
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday invited entrepreneurs from Brunei to visit Bangladesh and explore business prospects for themselves.

"Bangladesh offers a highly attractive business environment.

 arrow Rupali Bank listed for privatisation this year
The Privatisation Commission has listed Rupali Bank in its divestment plan this year.

This is for the first time the commission has enlisted a public sector bank for privatisation.

 arrow Altaf faces quit demand after cracking a joke on BNP deputy
Home Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury yesterday was asked by his treasury bench colleagues as well as opposition lawmakers in parliament to quit for cracking a joke on a ruling BNP lawmaker about thebanned
 arrow AS Mahmud's qulkhwani today
Qulkhwani of Abu Sayeed Mahmud, the founding managing director of the Mediaworld, the company that owns The Daily Star, and the founder chairman of Ekushey TV, will be held at his residence at House #
 arrow DG shipping accused of violating law
A shipping department magistrate has formally accused the department's head of misusing authority for illicit gains, violating judicial and civil service norms and obstructing the magistrate's judicial
 arrow Outgoing CJ accents on Bar, bench trust
The judiciary cannot work effectively without mutual trust between the Bar and the bench, said KM Hasan, who retires from the Supreme Court as chief justice today.
 arrow B Chy to float political body next month
Former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury would announce his political 'platform' next month to introduce 'alternative stream of politics' for purging corruption and terrorism and establishing good governance.
 arrow Bangladesh, Nepal top South Asian table
Speakers at a meeting yesterday said trafficking of children from Bangladesh and Nepal is highest among the South Asian countries.
 arrow Govt unleashing criminals: Hasina
Opposition Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday accused the government of terrorising people by unleashing criminals on them.
 arrow 1 killed in ansars fire during clash over land
One person was killed and 12 others were injured when ansars opened fire during clashes between two rival groups over a disputed land in the city yesterday.
 arrow Mystery disease claims 15
The mysterious disease that broke out mainly in Rajbari a few weeks ago has left 15 people, mostly children under 13, dead in its wake as health officials grappled with the problem of diagnosis of the
 arrow Crane lifter crashes, killing 2 workers
Two construction workers fell about 60 feet to death when the lifter of a crane they were on broke loose from the chain and crashed at the Bangladesh Bank's head office yesterday.
 arrow EC finalises candidate list
The Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced the list of nine candidates for the Kushtia-1 by-polls.
 arrow 1 killed as gang sprays bullets on Rangamati villagers
Armed miscreants yesterday sprayed bullets on a group of villagers killing an indigenous man and injuring two others at Pukurchhari village in Rangamati.
 arrow Joint drive in Khulna soon to cut crime
Effective and decisive joint drive across the southwestern region of the country will be carried on in the wake of erupting violence.
 arrow Take steps to bring down essentials price
A ruling coalition lawmaker yesterday demanded immediate steps to deal with the unabated price hike of essentials, claiming that commerce minister knew well about the unscrupulous traders who are behind
 arrow ADP fund for metro, circular road sought
Bangladesh sought assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement two major transport projects conceived for removing traffic congestion from the capital.
 arrow Cattle, essentials prices soar
The prices of some imported essential commodities have spiralled after suspension of activities at the three land ports in the northwest since January 13 due to a strike called by the West Bengal Exporters
 arrow Tension runs high at Patharghata
A tense situation is prevailing in Patharghata in the wake of Friday night's arson attack on the Gangabari Temple there.
 arrow Court rejects ministry plea to clear accused of charges
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the home ministry petition for withdrawal of charges against an accused in the Ammar Shamsi murder case.
 arrow 2 killed in city road mishaps
Two women were killed in different road accidents at Airport and Kafrul areas in the capital yesterday.
 arrow Titas gas's N'ganj DGM suspended
Higher authority of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited stand released its regional deputy general manager (DGM) on Saturday on charge of illegal gas supply to various industrial units
 arrow Court rejects Azam's bail petition
A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the bail petition of Azam Reza arrested on charge of killing his wife Jayanti Munshi.
 arrow Bill on court reforms introduced
Law Minister Moudud Ahmed yesterday introduced the Court Reforms Implementation (auxiliary provision) Bill, 2004 in parliament with an aim at implementing reforms of the existing case management and court
 arrow Mahi launches 'school' to promote politics
The ruling BNP lawmaker, Mahi B Chowdhury, yesterday launched a school to promote political tolerance crucial to democracy and good governance and blamed unhealthy political practice on a lack of values.
Businessarrow PSI scrapping to hike business costs
Discontinuation of pre-shipment inspection (PSI) scheme will cast a disastrous effect on the government's revenue collection and raise the cost of doing business, Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce
 arrow Debt-ridden mill owners seek bailout package
The specialised textile mill owners have sought at least 10 years time for repaying their default loans and urged the government to give them no objection certificate for taking fresh bank loans to bail
 arrow India, S American bloc to ink trade pact
India and South America's main trading bloc will sign an agreement Sunday to establish a free trade area aimed at reducing dependence on trade with the rich countries.
 arrow China bans poultry from Thailand, Cambodia
China has banned imports of poultry from Thailand and Cambodia, raising its level of alert against the rapidly multiplying threat of bird flu, state media reported on Sunday.
 arrow Asia, Latin America seek increased economic ties
Foreign ministers and senior officials of 32 Asian and Latin American countries will meet in the Philippines later this week to improve ties between the mainly developing economies of the two regions.
 arrow Japan cleans house of illegal residents
Khin Maung Latt knows he did something wrong. The Myanmar native came to Japan as a student in 1988, but after the military crushed a pro-democracy movement, he felt going home was not an option.
 arrow Eicher sales confce held
The Sales Conference-2004 of Eicher was held in Dhaka on Saturday evening.

Rangs Motors Limited, which markets Eicher vehicles in Bangladesh, organised the conference.

 arrow Fair & Lovely-Prothom Alo awards handed over
Fair & Lovely-Prothom Alo Swapna Puron Competition awards were handed over to recipients yesterday at a gala ceremony in Dhaka.
 arrow Call money rate steady
Inter-bank call money rate remained steady at its lower level yesterday as pressure on banks' liquidity was very low, fund managers of different commercial banks said.
 arrow Taka steady against dollar
Bangladesh taka remained steady against the US dollar in thin inter-bank market yesterday on poor demand from traders driven due to weekend holiday in most international markets.
 arrow New sweater factory to be set up at DEPZ
A local company will set up a sweater factory in Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) at a cost of $2.103 million.
 arrow Nat'l Housing, Japan Garden City sign MoU
National Housing Finance and Investments Limited and Japan Garden City Limited have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
 arrow Premier Bank okays 36pc dividend
Premier Bank Limited declared 36.35 per cent dividend in the form of bonus share for the year 2003.
 arrow US takes conciliatory tone at Davos, critics still wary
Top US officials went in to the world's largest talkfest here trying to show a kinder, gentler face but still ran up against critics wary of the superpower's tough pre-emptive policies.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Mahmud urged to rethink
It was a touching scene at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday when Khaled Mahmud walked on to the field to bid farewell to his teammates.
 arrow Cricket: Preparation pleases Whatmore
Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore said that the Tigers now have the right approach and can assess the situation better.
 arrow Football: Action restarts today
After six days of unscheduled break, the Western Union Premier Division Football League resumes at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
 arrow Cricket: Chittagong take innings lead
A five-wicket haul by off-spinner Sabbir Khan handed Chittagong an important 106-run first innings lead against leaders Dhaka on the second day of their four-day Ispahani Mirzapore Tea Fifth NationalCricket
 arrow Cricket: Shoaib Imran's bet
Former cricket great Imran Khan Sunday said Pakistan's bowling attack would test India's batting powerhouse in the forthcoming series, with pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar holding the ace.
 arrow Chess: Zia, Rani victors
Grand Master Ziaur Rahman and International Women's Master (IWM) Rani Hamid earned 4 points each after the end of the fifth round games of the first International Open Chess tournament at Chennai, India
 arrow Hockey: Office hockey
Morning Sun earned a facile 3-0 victory over Bangladesh Army in the super league match of the Office Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Chess: Singer chess
Debaraj Chattarjee maintained his solo lead with 8 points after the end of the tenth round games of the preliminary phase Singer 30th National Chess Championship at the NSC yesterday.
 arrow Golf: StanChart golf held
J K Kang and Ito clinched the men's and women's crowns respectively in the ninth Standard Chartered golf tournament at the Bhatiary Golf Club in Chittagong on January 23.
 arrow Cricket: Wait for more from Laxman
Indian run-machine VVS Laxman warns he can do much better after scoring three one-day international centuries in a week.
 arrow Tragic!
An Australian cricketer was killed by a lightning bolt in a country league game in New South Wales state, police said Saturday.
 arrow Cricket: Eng 'told' not to tour Zim
One of English cricket's senior administrators said Sunday the British government had instructed them not to go ahead with the tour of Zimbabwe.
 arrow Cricket: 'India taking over'
India is poised to replace Australia as the world's best cricket team after its awesome performance Down Under in both Test and one-day series, say former international players.
 arrow Tennis: Americans on song
Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Lindsay Davenport kept the stars and stripes flying high above Melbourne Park on Sunday with a trio of sizzling performances in the Australian Open fourth round.
 arrow This is Waugh
Recently retired Test captain Steve Waugh was named Australian of the year for 2004 Sunday but missed out on personally receiving the award from Prime Minister John Howard because he was doing what he
 arrow Cricket: Robin bids cricket bye
Trinidad-born Indian one-day specialist Robin Singh on Saturday announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket.
 arrow Cricket: Zulu, Smith mend fences
South African skipper Graeme Smith Saturday said his relationship with recalled all-rounder Lance Klusener had vastly improved after their public spat following South Africa's defeat in last year's World
 arrow Football: Real hail Ronaldo
Brazilian idol Ronaldo shrugged off a thigh strain and a late fitness test to score a stunning goal in Real Madrid's 2-1 victory over Villarreal on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Brazilian inspires hosts
Brazilian import Silva dos Santos became an instant Tunisian hero on Saturday when he hit the winning goal in a 2-1 win over a battling Rwanda in the opening match of the African Nations Cup.
 arrow Football: Big boys safely through
FA Cup holders Arsenal swept into the fifth round of this season's tournament with a 4-1 defeat of Middlesbrough on Saturday as Chelsea were given an almighty scare by non-league minnows Scarborough.
 arrow Football: Robson not amused
Newcastle manager Bobby Robson has threatened to quit following newspaper reports of a club insider slamming Carl Cort's performances, the Sunday Mirror reported.
 arrow Football: A win win situation!
Bafana Bafana of South Africa are guaranteed a handsome payout of 150,000 rand a-man (about 20,000 US dollars) as appearance fee at the African Nations Cup notwithstanding their performance at the tournament.
Metropolitanarrow Committees formed to check fare hike
The government has formed monitoring committees to stop fare hike and toll collection ahead of holy Eid-ul-Azha.
 arrow 12,000 die a year from pregnancy problems
Around 12,000 women die every year in the country because of pregnancy complications, said Suneeta Mukherjee, UNFPA representative to Bangladesh, at a seminar yesterday.
 arrow No papers published in Khulna
No Khulna-based newspapers were published yesterday as the newsmen downed their tools protesting the killing of journalist Manik Chandra Saha and demanding immediate arrest of his killers.
 arrow 'Unite against misrule of government'
Speakers at a conference yesterday urged the people to unite against the misrule of the alliance government.
 arrow Teachers to be appointed soon thru' special BCS exam
The authorities has been asked to hold special BCS examinations soon to appoint teachers in the government colleges, Education Minister Dr Osman Farruk told the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday.
 arrow Robbery at city house
Robbers looted cash and valuables worth over Tk 4 lakh from a house at Senpara Parbata in Kafrul on Friday night.
 arrow Saraswati Puja today
Saraswati Puja will be held across the country today amid religious fervour and festivity.
 arrow Four caught with bombs
Locals caught four people with 35 home-made bombs in the city's Lalbagh area yesterday.

The locals challenged the four while they were moving suspiciously at Kamalbagh with a bag containing the bombs.

 arrow Iajuddin greets Indian president
President Iajuddin Ahmed has felicitated Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of Republic Day of India.
Nationalarrow Benapole land port security privatised
Security system at Benapole land port, the country's biggest one, has been privatised.
 arrow A window to exotic sea life
You can see almost all the live species of sea fish together at a place in Kuakata, thanks to the efforts by two young friends.

They have set up a sea fish museum where rare species can be seen.

 arrow BRTC service finally resumes in 3 Sylhet UZs
At last, BRTC resumed its bus service in three upazilas in Sylhet on Friday in the face of people's agitation.
 arrow They are political leaders!
Discontent is brewing among devoted party leaders and workers over composition of the newly formed Bogra district BNP committee.
 arrow Erosion at Pakshi Bridge pillar 'nothing unusual'
The soil erosion at Pakshi Bridge pillar near the river control embankment was stopped yesterday by dumping sandbags and boulders.

About 150 mitres space created by the erosion has been filled up.

 arrow A system for quick case disposal
A new system was evolved for quick and timely disposal of cases including reduction in case backlog.
 arrow Osmani Hospital tense
A tense situation is prevailing at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College due to the stand-off between activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and Islami Chhatra Shibir over a cultural programme of Shibir.
 arrow PBCP claims responsibility of Barun murder
Outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist (PBCP M-L) party has claimed responsibility for killing the leader of Biplobi Communist Party (BCP), another outlawed party.
 arrow Gaibandha Krishak Dal council held
The district unit council of Jatiyatabadi Krishak Dal concluded here at Gaibandha Natya Sangstha on Saturday.
 arrow Golden handshake dues to be paid before Eid
The 98 former workers and employees of Darwani Textile Mills under BTMC will get their 'golden handshake' dues before the Eid-ul- Azha following intervention by BNP Senior Joint Secretary General andPrime
 arrow Photojournalist, lawyer beaten by Jubo Dal cadres in Bogra
Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal cadres beat up a photo journalist and a lawyer at Pakulla village in Sonatola upazila on Friday.
 arrow Food poisoning: 2 brothers killed in Magura
Food poisoning killed two brothers at Majhayeel-Mandartala village in Sreepur upazila on Sunday.

The victims were identified as Jahurul, 10, and Kampur, 6.

 arrow Borhanuddin AL council postponed
The council of Borhauuddin upazila unit of Awami league, scheduled to be held on Thursday, was not held.
 arrow Immigration service to expand in Sylhet
The Immigration Advisory Service (IAS)in Sylhet may be expanded, its Chief Executive Keith Best has said.
Point-Counterpointarrow The New American Century
In January 2003 thousands of us from across the world gathered in Porto Alegre in Brazil and declared--reiterated--that "Another World Is Possible." A few thousand miles north, in Washington, George W.
 arrow Modern 'Dreyfus Affair' is unworthy of America
Hatred of Muslims has become the anti-Semitism of our era. The latest example of this ugly fact is the vicious prosecution by the U.S. military of a Muslim army chaplain, Capt. James Yee.
 arrow Afghanistan: From obscurity to prominence
Afghanistan's political history is an unpredictable tale of struggle for power, deposed leaders, revolts and assassinations. But until recently very little was known about Afghanistan.
Culturearrow Our inherent treasure: the folk songs
Imagine on a lazy afternoon, sailing gently down the river, on a village boat or a Bojra with hundreds of kilometers of virgin uninhibited forests on either side and the warm sun on your back...
 arrow Anushilon Natyadal
Anushilon Natyadal from Rajshahi is a theatrical group, which has been working on the Rajshahi University campus for many years.
 arrow Cultural organisation Nandan celebrates their first anniversary
A group of students of Rajshahi University formed a cultural organisation called Nandan back in the year 1989, which lost its pace when they left the university.
 arrow Khulna division children drama festival-2004 observed
In co-operation with People's Theatre Association, a theatrical organisation, Biborton Jessore, arranged a drama festival for the children at BD Hall recently, says a press release.
 arrow Blow me down! Popeye turns 75
The 'Ugg, ugg, ugg'-ing cartoon sailorman who gets his superior punching power by guzzling greens from a tin can is celebrating his 75th anniversary this month.
Internationalarrow US-led coalition stands firm on transition plans
Battered by 24 hours of deadly attacks on US troops and Iraqi civilians, the US-led coalition stood firm against demands for immediate polls, insisting its plans to cede power to an unelected caretaker
 arrow Israel gets ready for prisoner swap with Hezbollah
Preparations were being laid in Israel yesterday for a long-awaited prisoner exchange deal with Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, as the Jewish state said it had accepted a Turkish offer of mediation withSyria.
 arrow Second rover lands safely on Mars
Nasa's Opportunity rover landed on Mars late Saturday, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after its identical twin set down, and prompting whoops and cheers of delight from mission scientists.
 arrow EU mulls lifting arms ban on China
EU foreign ministers will launch discussions today on lifting the arms embargo on China imposed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, despite US opposition to such a move, diplomats say.
 arrow Bangkok to host int'l meet on bird flu
An urgent international meeting on the bird flu epidemic will be held in Bangkok on Wednesday.
 arrow India, Pakistan won't jail civilians straying in their territory
Indian and Pakistani frontier guards Saturday agreed that civilians accidentally crossing into each other's territory would not be jailed but handed over.
 arrow Red alert as India set to celebrate Republic Day
India has put its troops on alert across the country ahead of today's Republic Day celebrations amid fears of attacks by Kashmiri militants and a general strike call by rebels in its troubled northeast,
 arrow Better bird flu vaccine not likely soon
The bird flu virus spreading through Asia appears to have mutated and development of a more effective vaccine is not likely for more than six months, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Khaleda-Megawati talks
At their talks in Jakarta, Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia struck a wider Asian note.
 arrow Editorial: Power-play on government land
The two major political parties are reported to have set up no fewer than 400 offices on illegally grabbed land in the city. And the number is increasing day by day.
 arrow Gaddafi's courtship with the west
Seldom has the anatomy of a revolutionary been simple. When it comes to Muamar Gaddafi of Libya it is in the least.
 arrow A history of slogans
Three decades ago Indira Gandhi caught a tide in the affairs of India, surprised her friends, stunned her foes and swept to victory with a simple, devastating slogan: 'Garibi Hatao'.
 arrow Shopping centres of Dhaka
I made several observations on an article on shopping facilities in Dhaka in your 'Urban Agenda' page (02.01.04).
Star Cityarrow Grave situation grave
It will be a tedious task for people to buy in advance permanent graves for themselves in Dhaka, the overpopulated city of about 10 million dwellers, with inadequate space for burial of the dead.
 arrow Chhobir Haat getting goers
The nondescript tea stall owned by Mollah just opposite to the Institution of Fine Arts of Dhaka University is one of the most happening places.
 arrow Slapping by cops no offence?
A young man lost hearing of his left ear after he was allegedly slapped by a driver of a police vehicle accusing him of not attempting to stop an escaping thief.
 arrow Working English for a living
She neither attended school nor had formal English lessons. But observation, intent listening and intelligence enable her to earn her livelihood using language as the only tool.
 arrow Busy Days for Blacksmiths