Vol. 4 Num 258 Mon. February 16, 2004    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Politics on coercive course over hartal
Politics takes a coercive course as the government and the Awami League (AL) flex their muscle over hartal.
 arrow Meet begins today to aid the poorest
A four-day conference on microfinancing in Asia, set to explore programmes to provide 100 million ultra-poor with microloan, begins in Dhaka today in a downbeat mood because of a hartal.
 arrow Bina, her old rickshaw, and microloan
As microfinance champions rally behind their cause at today's conference, troublesome questions will eat away at their enthusiasm.
 arrow Law to muffle noise soon
The Ministry of Forest and Environment has drafted an amendment to the Noise Pollution Control Act 2004 that will bar or restrict the use of hydraulic horns, mikes, loud speakers, brick grinding machines,
 arrow BNP to make moves to keep AL isolated
The government policymakers are planning ways to keep the smaller political parties away from forging an alliance with the Awami League trying to topple the coalition government from office, highly placed
 arrow FBCCI asks opposition to find alternative to hartal
Expressing deep concern over the damage to economy wrought by consecutive hartals, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday decided to urge the opposition political
 arrow Hosts stumble at the end
Hosts Bangladesh came tantalisingly close to pulling off the first upset in the ICC U-19 World Cup before going down gamely against New Zealand by two wickets at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Law-enforcers to go tough on trouble-makers
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday said law enforcers would go tough on 'troublemakers' who will attack police and damage property in the name of hartal in future, in a sharp warning to the Awami League
 arrow Dawn-to-dusk hartal today
The Awami Jubo League enforces a daylong countrywide hartal today protesting attacks on the opposition leaders and activists including its Chairman Jahangir Kabir Nanak during Saturday's shutdown.
 arrow AL, BNP fight in Bogra
Five people were injured in clashes with police as violence broke out between activists of the Awami League (AL) and the pro-government Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and Jubodal in Bogra town yesterday.
 arrow BNP MPs seek law against general strike
BNP lawmakers yesterday demanded legislation barring hartal and a parliamentary probe body to identify people involved in 'anarchic activities' across the country.
 arrow Petroleum dealers threaten indefinite shutdown
Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA) yesterday threatened to shut down filling stations for indefinite period if its demand for higher commission and subsidy on operational losses were not met by February
 arrow 20 injured as train derails in Noakhali
Twenty passengers were hurt as three compartments of a Dhaka-bound inter-city train derailed at Eklashpur in the district yesterday morning.
 arrow Tk 47 lakh gold seized at ZIA
Customs officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday seized 5.5 kilograms of gold ornaments worth Tk 47.37 lakh and arrested two airlines employees for their alleged involvement with the smuggling.
 arrow Kashmir talks resume after 2 years today
Pakistan and India return to the negotiating table after more than two-and-a-half years today in a bid to solve the thorny Kashmir dispute which has plagued relations since independence from Britain.
 arrow Food deptt's experiment poisons 50 in Barisal
More than 50 children and old people fell sick yesterday from poisonous fumes of a fire set by the local food department officials to burn over 5,000 pounds of methyl powder.
 arrow Twin China fires kill 90, injure 71
A fire swept through a shopping center in northeastern China yesterday, killing 51 people and injuring dozens more, an official and state media reported.
 arrow Restart disputed land registration
A parliamentary body yesterday asked the government to restart registration and documentation of disputed land swapped by people of India and East Pakistan at the dawn of subcontinent's partition in 1947.
 arrow AL, CPB to gear up oust-govt agitation
Main opposition Awami League (AL) and Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday agreed to intensify their movements to unseat the ruling coalition.
 arrow CJ asked to replace 3 judges, 5 magistrates
Over 100 lawyers of Dhaka Bar Association have urged the chief justice (CJ) to replace three judges and five magistrates including the Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge and chief metropolitan magistrate.
 arrow BBC 'to be broken up'
Britain's government is considering a plan to break up the BBC and remove its independent status in the wake of a bitter row with the state-funded broadcaster over the Iraq war, a report said on Saturday.
 arrow 3 to die, one gets life
A tribunal in Dhaka yesterday sentenced a top police-listed criminal and two others to death and jailed another for life for murdering Advocate Babar Elahi in the capital in March 2000.
 arrow Khulna chamber catches the hartal fever
Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) yesterday called a half-day hartal on March 1 in the city to press home their 10-point demand.
 arrow Most Congress leaders deem Sonia a liability
Most leaders of India's main opposition Congress believe the party is at a disadvantage ahead of polls because chief Sonia Gandhi was born in Italy but few want to replace her, a survey said yesterday.
 arrow India 'acts' on Dhaka's camp claim
Displaying its seriousness to act on Dhaka's perception that 39 anti-Bangladesh camps existed in India, the Indian government has launched an exercise to verify the claims.
 arrow Kazi Zafar's return fuels speculations
Former prime minister Kazi Zafar Ahmed returned home yesterday after a four-year broken stay in Australia, fuelling speculations among politicians.
 arrow Ershad vows to go alone
President of one faction of Jatiya Party (JP) HM Ershad yesterday said his party would go forward maintaining the party's independent identity.
 arrow Condolence meeting at the Central Shaheed Minar...

 arrow HC stays case proceedings against Alamgir
A High Court (HC) bench yesterday stayed the proceedings of a lower court for three months in connection with the case against Awami League (AL) leader Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir for 'illegally constructing'
 arrow Dried up Teesta...

 arrow Report on anti-graft bill placed
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Law its report on the Anti-Corruption Commission Bill, 2003 placed in Jatiya Sangsad yesterday.
 arrow Paikgachha Judo Dal leader shot
Unidentified miscreants shot and injured a local Jatiayatabadi Jobu Dal leader at Paikgachha upazila in Khulna on Saturday.
 arrow Hotelier rescue failure ups army watch in Bandarban
In the face of law enforcers' failure to rescue Hasan Mahbub Bablu, who was abducted two weeks back, the government is contemplating to beef up military strength in the hilly region.
 arrow Nanak, 23 others charged with cop attack
Dhanmondi police on Saturday filed a case against the Jubo League president and 23 other pro-Awami League leaders and activists on charge of 'attacking policemen and barring them from performing their
 arrow Truck knocks cop to death
A speeding truck knocked dead a constable of Special Armed Forces of police at Babubazar in Kotwali yesterday defying his signal to stop.

The truck hit Amzad Hossain (constable No. 15324) of No.

 arrow Pickets burn two buses in capital
Pickets set two passenger buses afire at Shahbagh and Zigatola in the city last night ahead of the Awami Jubo League's daylong countrywide hartal today.
 arrow BSF guns down youth in Dinajpur
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down an unidentified youth at Khanpur border of Dinajpur Sunday night.
Businessarrow Invest in infrastructure
Laying the foundation stone of the country's first cross-border cement plant at Chhatak in Sunamganj, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday urged the multinationals to invest in infrastructure projects.
 arrow EC still worried about harmful germs
The European Commission (EC) yesterday expressed its deep concern over the presence of 'harmful germs' detected repeatedly in shrimps exported from Bangladesh.
 arrow Five more cos to join CDS by March
Five more listed companies are going to come under the central depository system (CDS) by March this year.
 arrow Forex reserves stand at $2.753b
The foreign exchange reserves rose by 17 percent in the last seven months and stood at $2.753 billion yesterday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Young Black Caps seize the day
Nafees Iqbal hit a classy half-century, fast bowler Shahadat Hossain breathed fire but still New Zealand had the last laugh as they pipped Bangladesh by two wickets in the opening Group C match of the
 arrow Cricket: No upsets on Day One
The big guns of the Fifth ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup flexed their muscles at different venues in the country yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Safety still worries 'em
Indian cricketers are still gripped by security fears despite the government's go-ahead for next month's historic tour of Pakistan, reports said Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Abdul J'bari hero
Abdul sma-shed exactly 100 to guide Jatrabari Po-wer Development Bo-ard to an ex-citing 12-run victory over Natun Paltan Line in one of the five qualifying matches of the Standard Chartered 22nd National
 arrow Cricket: Smart Shoaib!
The opening ceremony of the Chittagong zone matches of the ICC U-19 World Cup witnessed an unpleasant incident unfold between the venue manager and a top-ranking government official at MA Aziz Stadium
 arrow Cricket: BD 170-7
Mohammad Ashraful came to Bangladesh's rescue in the second innings against Zimbabwe A on the second day of their three-day tour match at the Country Club in Harare yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: India demands short stay in 2 Pak cities
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan Sunday said the visiting Indian delegation wants their cricket team's stay curtailed in two Pakistani cities.
 arrow Cricket: Mark Waugh retires today?
Former Australian Test and one-day international batsman Mark Waugh has called a press conference here on Monday where he is expected to confirm his retirement from cricket.
 arrow Cricket: Warne seen with punter!
Shane Warne was seen during the 1999 World Cup in the company of an Indian gambler who remains the subject of investigations into match-fixing, according to an explosive new report.
 arrow Cricket: 'Be attacking'
Sri Lanka's one-day skipper Marvan Atapattu has urged his team to play positive cricket in the forthcoming series against Australia and display the natural flair that helped them to win the 1996 World
 arrow Tennis: It's Clijsters v Pierce
World No 2 Kim Clijsters of Belgium powered into the final of the WTA Paris Open here Saturday to book a final place against a rejuvenated Mary Pierce of France.
 arrow Tennis: Roddick, Fish to face off
Top seed Andy Roddick cruised into the final of the 380,000-dollar ATP tournament here Saturday, setting up a meeting with old friend Mardy Fish who ousted five-time champion Andre Agassi.
 arrow Athletics: Mumbai Marathon Ramaala's
Hendrik Ramaala of South Africa dashed to victory under the Mumbai sun in the Indian metropolis' first marathon Sunday, but he said he could have done better.
 arrow Cricket: Manikganj cricket
The Language Martyr Rafique Memorial Cricket Tournament began at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Memorial cricket begins Feb 23
The Sheikh Aminur Rahman Memorial Gold Cup Cricket Tournament begins at the Mozu Bhandar shrine ground at Boalkhali upazila in the district on February 23.
 arrow Football: Tunisia up where they've never been
Tunisia's long, painful wait for a meaningful piece of soccer silverware finally came to end here on Saturday when a 2-1 win over Morocco gave them their first ever African Nations Cup title.
 arrow Football: Not a Cup to remember?
Accusations of cheating, botched organisation, gamesmanship and scuffles between police and fans.
 arrow Football: Bayern hit by Bochum
Champions Bayern Munich missed a golden opportunity to edge closer to Bundesliga pace-setters Werder Bremen on Saturday when they fell to a 1-0 defeat away at VfL Bochum.
 arrow Football: Lazio blank Empoli
Dutch international defender Jaap Stam weighed in with a goal as Lazio overcame a setback earlier in the season against Empoli to humble the relegation strugglers 3-0 here on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Reyes sends Chelsea packing
Jose Antonio Reyes rescued Arsenal by scoring twice in five minutes as the FA Cup holders came from behind to beat London rivals Chelsea 2-1 and secure their place in this season's quarter-finals here
 arrow Football: Baptista sinks Murcia
Bottom club Murcia got no love from Sevilla striker Julio Cesar Baptista on St Valentine's Day, with the Brazilian international notching up a hat trick in the visitors' 3-1 win on Saturday.
Metropolitanarrow 'Create congenial atmosphere to bring investors'
US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South Asian Affairs, Michele J Sison yesterday urged all parties concerned to help create a congenial atmosphere to bring investors in the country amid
 arrow JCD cadres beat up, shave 2 at JU
Cadres of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday beat up a student and shaved another's head and beard for his alleged involvement in tempting a girl to smoke.
 arrow Strengthen campaign to stop repression on women
Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for strengthening media campaign to stop repression on women.
 arrow Current nets worth Tk 1.94 crore seized
Bangladesh Coast Guard members in separate raids seized 13.24 lakh metres current and other illegal nets worth Tk 1.94 crore from Chandpur, Mohonpur and Nilkomol coastal areas during the last fortnight.
 arrow JS passes two bills
Two bills-Court Management and Administrative Reforms Implementation (supplementary provision) Bill, 2004 and Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2004-were passed in parliament last night.
 arrow Osmany's death anniversary today
The 20th death anniversary of the Supreme Commander of the War of Liberation General MAG Osmany will be observed today in a befitting manner.
Nationalarrow Correct storm forecast unlikely in coming season
The season of cyclone and natural calamity is only about a month away but the Kalpara radar station may not be able to make correct weather forecasts.
 arrow LGED contractors prevented from dropping tender
The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) contractors could not drop their tender schedules on the last date of dropping tenders on Wednesday.
 arrow Sec 144 at Golachipa as AL, BNP announce rally at same venue
The Patuakhali district administration imposed Sec 144 at Golachipa Municipal area for an indefinite period from Saturday midnight as the ruling Four Party Alliance and opposition Awami League announced
 arrow Arms smuggling increases
Firearms smuggling has increased through different border points in southwestern districts including Kushtia.
 arrow Drug peddling alarming in Barisal city
Drug peddling has increased alarmingly in Barisal city, allegedly under the protection of a section of policemen and their godfathers belonging to the ruling party.
 arrow Smugglers implicate a BDR source in false case
A gang of smugglers has implicated a source of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in a false case.
 arrow Three firearms snatched from police not recovered yet
The two rifles and one SMG looted from police during a launch dacoity near Asuganj on January 27 are yet to be recovered.
 arrow Agri fair begins in Gaibandha
A five-day agriculture fair began here on Saturday.

The Department of Agricultue Extension (DAE) organised the fair on the premises of Shawdhinata Prangon.

 arrow Triennial council of Kaliganj Mohila AL held
A 37-member Kaliganj upazila unit of Mohila Awami League (AL) has been formed with Zebunnahar, Shikha Rani and Ferdousi Begum as president, general secretary and organising secretary at its triennialcouncil
 arrow 4 accomplices of Joynal Speaker arrested
Four accomplices of pirate leader Joynal Speaker was arrested by Tajumuddin police from a house in Sachra Union on Thursday.
 arrow Lawyers' Assistants Assoc formed
A 19-member executive committee of the Association for Lawyers' Assistants was formed in an election held on the Bar Association premises here on Thursday.
Point-Counterpointarrow Women and microfinance: Powerful agents of change
A four-day Asia-Pacific Region Microcredit Summit is being held in Dhaka from today (16--19 February). We print the following article for information of our esteemed readers on the subject.
 arrow Emerging women microentrepreneurs in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh women constitute about half of the population, the majority of them are underprivileged, under-nourished, illiterate and poor.
 arrow Smoking the peace pipe
On the last evening of the World Social Forum, I was standing in the Azad Maidan, surveying the crowds and getting ready for the evening's concert.
Culturearrow The trend setters
Before independence, the three theatrical groups in Dhaka were Nagorik Natyasampradaya, Drama Circle and Mirnava Theatre but none of them were making stage plays then.
 arrow Tagore songs blending Basanta Utsab with Valentine's Day
Celebration of Valentine's Day with the love songs of Tagore seemed a new concept to many, who attended the musical soiree at the WVA auditorium on the second day of Basanta (Spring).
 arrow Barbie and Ken 'split' after 43 years
Just like J. Lo and Ben, the romance is over for Barbie and Ken. After 43 years as one of the world's prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up.
 arrow 'Hindi film music has lost its soul'
The golden voice of the by-gone era, Manna Dey on Saturday lamented that Hindi film music has lost its soul and "quickies" are reigning supreme.

"Time has changed everything.

 arrow Basanto Utsab
Bangladeshi children wear traditional sarees and flower made ornaments as they take part in the Basanta Utsab, Spring Festival, in Dhaka.
Generalarrow 'Over 60pc population still exposed to arsenic contamination'
More than 60 percent of the population drawing water from tubewells are still exposed to arsenic contamination, said the speakers at an international conference on arsenic yesterday.
 arrow Joint survey soon
An 18-member expert team will visit Myanmar soon to join the Myanmar's team to conduct a joint survey on implementation of Bangladesh-Myanmar friendship road construction project.
 arrow JUSJ programmes on Ekushey
A two-day program organised by Jahangirnagar University Sangskritik Jote (JUSJ) in observance of the Amar Ekushey February and the International Mother Language Day will begin on February 21 on the campus.
 arrow Sayeed Ahmed new envoy to Kenya
The government has decided to appoint Major General Syeed Ahmed, BP, AWC, PSC, at present Bangladesh Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, as the country's next High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya.
 arrow Construction of Shaheed Minar at JU demanded
The Progotisheel Chhatra Jote (PSJ) of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday announced a three-day agitation programme demanding immediate construction of a Shaheed Minar on the campus.
Internationalarrow Moscow swimming pool roof collapses: 26 killed
At least 26 Muscovites were reported killed yesterday and 110 injured when a dome collapsed on a prestigious health spa in a crash that put authorities under the gun as they try to transform Moscow into
 arrow Iraq, neighbours agree to curb border infiltration
Iraq and several neighbouring countries have agreed to form bilateral security committees to check infiltration and border crossings by "terrorist" groups, Iraqi interim Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari
 arrow India mulls restrictions on scientists
India is considering restrictions on top experts working abroad after alarm at the number of Indian scientists employed in Libya amid a nuclear proliferation scandal in neighbouring Pakistan, a newspaper
 arrow Palestinian PM urges US to reject Sharon's plan
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie urged the United States on Saturday not to support an Israeli proposal to evacuate most Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip.
 arrow 550 candidates pull out of Iranian polls
Some 550 candidates cleared to run in Iran's parliamentary election have pulled out because thousands of reformist candidates have been banned, the interior ministry was quoted as saying on Saturday.
 arrow China linked to Libya's illicit arms programme
Nuclear weapons designs found in Libya last year came from China, providing dramatic evidence of Beijing's involvement in Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme in the 1980s, the Washington Post reported
 arrow Darwin's ship of evolution voyage located
British archaeologists believe they have finally located the long-lost remnants of HMS Beagle, the ship which took Charles Darwin on the voyage during which he formulated the theory of evolution, a report
 arrow Kerry cruises to easy wins in Nevada, Washington
Senator John Kerry cruised to easy wins in Democratic Party presidential caucuses in the western state of Nevada and the US capital on Saturday, crushing his rivals in the battle for the right to face
 arrow Asia's bird flu death toll hits 20
The death toll from the bird flu outbreaks in Asia rose to at least 20 at the weekend as Thailand announced its sixth fatality, while UN agencies warned the disease would not be cleared up soon.
 arrow Senior NLD leader moved from prison to house arrest
Tin Oo, vice chairman of Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy and the last senior NLD figure in prison, has been shifted to house arrest, a source close to his family said yesterday.
 arrow US seals Saddam's final hiding place
US Army engineers have sealed the underground bunker where former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured to prevent it from becoming a tourist attraction, a military spokesman said Saturday.
 arrow Soviet war in Afghanistan a mistake: Gorbachev
The Soviet Union's 10-year invasion of Afghanistan was a mistake, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged on the eve of the 15th anniversary of Soviet withdrawal.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Don't live in a make-believe world
We are opposed to hartal as a matter of policy. It is anti-development and anti-democracy. And, contrary to the conventional, or let's say, outdated thinking of the opposition, it is basically anti-people.
 arrow Editorial: Healthcare missing majority
Speakers at a roundtable on the health sector were unanimous in their opinion that the existing medicare delivery system is far from adequate.
 arrow Dirty bombs, dirtier proliferation
The scandal originating from the nuclear Shangrilla of Pakistan's Kahuta has indeed shocked and panicked the world once more.
 arrow The gun that misfired
There was practically no discussion on Bofors gun kickbacks in the 13th Lok Sabha which has been dissolved for early elections.
 arrow Fundamental deficiencies in our democracy
Whether democracy is the best medium to run a state is a questionable topic nowadays, no other alternative doctrine has been considered as being a good alternative method to rule the state.
Letters to Editorarrow Hartal culture
The Awami League called another hartal yesterday to stop the normal activities of citizens.
 arrow Valentine's resolution
Lovers all over the world eagerly wait for this day.
 arrow Save the cattle traders
Every year on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, hundreds of sacrificial cows and goats are brought to different cattle markets in Dhaka for sale.
 arrow A disappointing 'Bachelor'
Bachelor is a movie that made a craze among the folk who don't watch traditional Bangla movies, even before its release. But I am completely disappointed to see the movie.
 arrow Badrul Ahsan and Being and Nothingness
This refers to the 30 January 2004 Mohammad Badrul Ahsan Cross Talk column. This was a timely piece, very well articulated, albeit full of far too many quotes.
 arrow MCC: an interesting development!
I wrote an article titled "Donor assistance: More theory than outcome" in the immediate past year and that was published on the editorial page of more than one leading English dailies in Bangladesh between
 arrow Will the PM intervene?
The incident in Dhaka in which a travel agent was murdered in broad daylight for refusing to pay extortion money, on which you wrote an editorial on February 11, is the latest example of what is
 arrow "Time to think different"
Needless to say , the easiest task in our country now is to kill someone and get away with .
 arrow A 'subcontinental' man
I have relatives and friends living in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They are of different culture and religion. In a way, I am affiliated not to one country but to the whole of the subcontinent.
 arrow Parliamentary democracy
For many years, as a student of history, I have pondered over the extraordinary story of the development of parliamentary democracy, over many hundreds of years, in Britain.
Star Cityarrow Cruise thru' limitless airspace
Explore limitless airspace with lightweight remote-control (RC) planes. Dive, roll, spin, glide, soar through the skies or drop down for a perfect landing. It's great fun.
 arrow Points for kickbacks
Some traffic sergeants and constables at several points of the city are using their authority to prosecute innocent motorists on 'fictitious traffic offences'.
 arrow Mistake or something fishy?
Believe it or not, Bangladesh Railway (BR) sold three seats to six travellers heading to the same destination on the same day!

The Banani ticket counter issued tickets for the same three seats to

 arrow DCC faces 1,931 audit objections in 5 years
The audit department has filed 1,931 'broad-sheet' audit objections over the last five years, alleging corruption in Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) projects.
 arrow Inflow of foreign furniture
Foreign furniture has flooded the markets in the city threatening the potential of local furniture makers.
 arrow No free drinking water at ZIA
Ankur was thirsty before she flew abroad, but Zia International Airport had no free drinking water for passengers.