Volume 4 Number 260 Wed. February 18, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Free anti-graft body bill passed after change
The Jatiya Sangsad last night passed the much-talked-about Anti-corruption Commission Bill, 2004, in an amended form, making way for institution of an independent body to fight graft.
 arrow Fertiliser factory gas leak kills 100 cattle
Nearly 100 cattle, mostly buffaloes, died from toxic gas poisoning following a leakage at Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) at Barasat Union in Anwara Upazila on Monday noon.
 arrow Lower interest, better governance stressed
Speakers at the regional micro-credit summit yesterday underscored the needs for cutting interest rate on small loans and reducing operational costs, improving governance and bringing transparency inmicro-finance
 arrow Hosts stay in race
Hosts Bangladesh kept their hopes alive for a super-eight berth in the Fifth ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup when they thumped down a nine-wicket defeat on Scotland at the Fatullah Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Striking shop-owners demand killers' arrest
Over 200 shop-owners of Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue in Tejgaon kept their shutters down from 4:00pm to 6:00pm yesterday, demanding arrest of killers of fellow trader Mostafa Kamal.
 arrow Ten 'robbers' lynched in Fatikchhari
Angry villagers lynched at least 10 suspected bandits in Fatikchhari on Monday night over a spate of crime, including abduction of three women and looting, police and witnesses said.
 arrow TIB slams bill
The anti-corruption commission bill does not reflect people's demand for a free and neutral commission, Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) said hours before the bill was passed in parliament
 arrow AL calls hartal on Feb 28
The Awami League (AL) has taken up a 15-day agitation programme from February 22 that includes a countrywide hartal on February 28 as part of its agitation to oust the government for its 'absolute failure'
 arrow Saifur blasts NGOs for high interest on microloans
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday sharply criticised certain NGOs for charging high rate of interest on micro-credit, comparing the practice to extortion.
 arrow Nuke rivals agree on Kashmir talks
Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan yesterday reached a broad agreement on the timetable for sustained peace talks on disputed Kashmir and other tough issues separating the South Asian neighbors,diplomats
 arrow BNP-JP meet ends with no result
The government-sponsored meeting with the Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad) yesterday to bring it back to parliament ended without any positive results as JP's preconditions were not met.
 arrow Dust, toxic gases dog Dhaka
The city dwellers have been exposed to a high concentration of various toxic gases and dust in the air and consequent health hazards with the onset of the dry season more than two months ago, Department
 arrow PM calls for nat'l unity to face global competition
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called for unwavering national unity to face the highly competitive global system of the 21st century.
 arrow Dhaka eyes $1.6b in aid this year
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday said Bangladesh would go nowhere if the present political culture of conflicts is not changed.

Bangladesh could get $1.

 arrow First to flame, then to grabbers
Doubly deprived are the victims of a devastating blaze at a slum at Mirpur on Monday -- they lost their houses and households to the inferno and the temporary shelter to overnight encroachment on theslum
 arrow 2 killed in city
Unidentified assailants gunned down a Dhaka University (DU) employee at Tejgaon and a metal scrapper at Sutrapur yesterday and shot a Jubo Dal leader at Lalbagh Monday.
 arrow Kidnapped hotelier yet to be rescued after 3 weeks
Despite assurance from two state ministers, law enforcers have failed to rescue abducted hotelier Hasan Mahbub Bablu, three weeks after he was kidnapped from Bandarban.
 arrow India values friendship with Bangladesh
President of Indian National Congress Party Sharad Pawar made a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Morshed Khan at his office yesterday.
 arrow Saber sent to London for Treatment
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, political secretary to Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, was sent to London last night for treatment on advice from a medical board.
 arrow Unknown plant disease...

 arrow 3 US soldiers killed in Iraq
Roadside bombs yesterday claimed more American lives, killing three US soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad and Sunni Muslim areas to the north of the capital.
 arrow AL MPs visit arson-hit Shahpara
A parliamentary team of the main opposition Awami League yesterday visited the arson affected Shahpara village in Natore amid protests from local BNP activists.
 arrow Saber, Kamal Majumder get bail
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for three months to Awami League leaders Saber Hossain Chowdhury and Kamal Ahmed Majumder along with 25 party activists in separate criminal cases
 arrow Violence sweeping country, says Kamal
Dr Kamal Hossain, Gono Forum president and initiator of the Oikya Prochesta, a socio-political platform, yesterday said Bangladesh has now been swept by violence after having been raged by unprecedented
 arrow Bangladeshis held in KSA for Valentine's Day party
Saudi Arabia's religious police arrested more than 200 workers from Bangladesh and Myanmar as they celebrated St Valentine's Day outside the holy city of Makkah, where the traditional event for lovers
 arrow Outlaws kill Jubo Dal leader
Underground operatives allegedly belonging to Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) shot and slaughtered a Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal leader at Shadhanpur Bazar in Puthia yesterday.
 arrow BDR pushes back six Indians
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel with the help of frontier villagers pushed back six Bengali-speaking Indian Muslims through Haripur border under Thakurgaon district in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow Rejoinder, our reply
State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Mosharraf Hossain in a rejoinder to a report headlined "Gas pipeline scam: JS body shocked at low quality job" The Daily Star ran on February 13 claimed
 arrow Barrack-styled housing units of Uttara Residential Project...

 arrow CUTA suspends agitation till March 7
The Chittagong University Teachers Association (CUTA) has suspended its tomorrow's daylong work abstention till March 7 after a meeting with the vice-chancellor Monday night.
 arrow Counter Ekushey programmes criticised
Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ), a group of cultural organisations, yesterday condemned the 'counter Ekhusey programmes' announced by a ruling BNP's cultural front at the Central Shaheed Minar at the
 arrow 2 to die for murder
A court yesterday awarded death sentence to two persons including an Indian citizen in abstentia for the killing of a carpenter at Saher in Naogaon.
Businessarrow S Asians need to share resources to expedite development
South Asian nations need to share electricity, water and other resources for expediting sustainable development in the area, speakers at a regional workshop in Dhaka suggested yesterday.
 arrow Ctg trade fair begins today
Chittagong International Trade Fair 2004 begins today at Polo Ground with companies from 11 countries showcasing their products.
 arrow Corporate governance needed for economic development
Speakers at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday underscored the need for corporate governance and overall reforms in financial sector to accelerate economic development focusing on small and medium enterprises
 arrow EU pledges 5m euros to help implement Safta treaty
Terming the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) a "win-win" situation for all countries of the region, the European Union on Monday pledged five million euros to help them implement the treaty from January
 arrow We train people before providing microcredit
People intending to get microcredit in India are trained and made capable to use the loan, said Swami Shashankananda, an Indian delegate attending the Asia Pacific Region Microcredit Summit that began
 arrow Microcredit empowers the poor: Dana Whitaker
Dana Whitaker, a participant at the Fourth Asia Pacific Region Microcredit Summit, strongly believes micro loan can empower the poor.
 arrow Jewellers threaten strike after Feb 20
Jewellers have threatened to go for a strike if the authorities fail to recover the gold looted from a market in Dhaka by February 20.
 arrow Production of urea at Zia Fertilizer Co suspended
Production of urea at Zia Fertilizer Company Limited at Ashuganj in the district has remained suspended due to mechanical fault since yesterday morning.
 arrow Cabinet okays amendment to Inland Shipping Ordinance 1976
The cabinet in principal has approved amendment to The Inland Shipping Ordinance 1976 for updating the law on present perspectives.
 arrow Institute for internal auditors to be formed
With a view to ensuring strong internal control base in corporate houses, the country's leading internal auditors have taken initiative to form an institute to be named Institute of Internal Auditors(IIA).
 arrow Bank holiday on Feb 21
Bangladesh Bank and all scheduled banks will remain closed on Saturday (February 21) on the occasion of Shaheed Day and International Mother Language Day, said a press release of the central bank.
 arrow New Q-cash ATM opens
A new Q-cash automated teller machine (ATM) was inaugurated recently at Dhanmondi Branch of Jamuna Bank Limited in Dhaka.
 arrow HSBC high official visits Bangladesh
Steve Tait, head of Human Resources of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Asia-Pacific, visited Bangladesh.
 arrow US willing to eliminate export subsidies if EU, Japan do
US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick on Tuesday said the United States was willing to eliminate export subsidies, provided that major world economies like the European Union and Japan were willingto
Sportsarrow Cricket: Scotland blown away
Hosts Bangladesh disposed off Scotland with clinical efficiency in their second Group C match of the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup yesterday to set up a mouthwatering last game against high-flying Indiaon
 arrow Cricket: Business as usual
On a day of lopsided contests England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan yesterday all earned second consecutive victories in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup at different venues in the country.
 arrow Football: Vics now hold Muktis
The Western Union Premier Football League returned to the ground yesterday after a seven-day break.
 arrow Cricket: Kiwis led by captain
A magnificent century by New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming carried his side to a five-wicket win over South Africa in the one-day international here Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: Indo-Pak schedule not yet
Cricket officials from India and Pakistan are set for another round of shadow boxing this week as they iron out the itinerary for next month's Test series in Pakistan.
 arrow Cricket: Khulna Stadium impresses Mani
International Cricket Council president Ehsan Mani expressed his satisfaction with the facilities at the Khulna Divisional Stadium while watching Pakistan and Ireland battle in the youth World Cup yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Sher-e-Bangla, Loretto move
Loretto and Sher-e-Bangla Ideal moved into the second round in Dhaka Zone of the Standard Chartered 22nd National School Cricket Championship by winning their respective group finals yesterday at different
 arrow Cricket: Pakistan plan pace-wise?
Pakistan have drafted two up-and-coming pace bowlers into their training camp ahead of next month's historic Test series with India, an official said Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: Murali's race with Warne
Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan hopes Australia's selectors will name leg-spinner Shane Warne in their squad for the three-match Test series between the two sides.
 arrow Football: Samba down Lansdowne Road
The Republic of Ireland's preparations for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers will move up a gear here Wednesday when they welcome world champions Brazil to Lansdowne Road for what is already a 44,000 sell-out
 arrow Football: It's a friendly Wednesday
Several of the favourites for Euro 2004 will aim to strike some psychological blows ahead of the championships when they play a series of friendlies on Wednesday.
Metropolitanarrow Resist anarchists: Bhuiyan
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister and BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday urged the people to build a unified resistance against those who were blocking the process of development by spreading
 arrow 163 pickets sent to jail
A total of 163 pickets, arrested during Monday's hartal, were sent to Dhaka Central Jail yesterday on rejection of their bail petitions.
 arrow Tea-stall owner killed in crossfire
A stray bullet during crossfire between two rival groups killed a tea-stall owner in Demra while unidentified miscreants shot and injured a security guard in Tejgaon on Monday.
 arrow Bar Council (Amend) Bill 2004 placed in Parliament
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed tabled "The Bangladesh Legal Practitioners and Bar Council (Amendment) Bill 2004 in Parliament yesterday.
Nationalarrow Even PM's Award fails to draw officials' attention
They got the Prime Minister's Award last year for their initiative and splendid performance and applied twice to the textile ministry with the local lawmaker's recommendation for assistance.
 arrow IRRI-Boro on 3.81 lakh acres to be affected in 3 districts
IRRI-Boro cultivation on over 3.81 lakh acres in 12 upazilas in three districts under the Teesta Irrigation Project will be severely affected due to unilateral withdrawal of Teesta water by India.
 arrow Women's volleyball 'unislamic'!
Two women volleyball competitions were cancelled as local Jamaat-e-Islami leaders declared those 'unislamic' and the party activists threatened the organisers not to hold those.
 arrow They want to get rid of Pourasabha
There has been reports on people's agitation for declaring their area a pourasabha (municipality). But the people of Akhaura are doing just the reverse.
 arrow Tougher agitation in CHT after Feb 23
Tougher programmes will be announced at a rally on February 23 here if the four-point demand is not met, leaders of Parattya Chaitagram Jono Sanghaty Sarnity (PCJSS) have said.
 arrow Eight charge-sheeted in BCL leader Ali Mortuza murder case
Eight persons were charge-sheeted in Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader Ali Mortuza Chowdhury murder case here after two years of the incident.
 arrow BCP cadre killed by PBCP rivals
A cadre of outlawed Biplobi Communist Party (BCP) was shot dead by rivals at Raghunathpur village under Harinakundu upazila in Jhenidah on Monday.
 arrow Microbus owner lodges complaint against BNP leader
A microbus owner has lodged a general diary (GD) with Barisal Kotwali police against a BNP leader for damaging his vehicle and assaulting its driver on Sunday.
 arrow Attack on newsman protested
Pirojpur Reporters' Club on Monday protested attack on the district correspondent of Janakantha and demanded arrest and punishment to the attackers .
 arrow Five NBCP outlaws held, 3 arms recovered
Joint forces arrested five alleged activists of outlawed New Biplobi Communist party (NBCP) from Patkelghasa overbridge in Tala upazila on Sunday.
 arrow Sugar mill lay off decision
A half-day hartal, called by Rangpur Sugar Mills Labour Union, was observed in Mohimaganj upazila yesterday demanding withdrawal of a decision to lay-off the mill.
Point-Counterpointarrow Orthodoxy regarding the successful microcredit programmes
As a four-day (16--19 February) Asia-Pacific Region Microcredit Summit is being held in Dhaka, we print the following article for information of our esteemed readers on the subject.
 arrow Gaddafi's tryst with the US?
Gaddafi is a seasoned ruler of Libya who is known all over the world for his mercurial personality. In younger days in the 70s and 80s, he was combative and his speech was full of fury and polemics.
 arrow Adversaries draw a battle line at the beef-front
By sending troops to Iraq with the declared purpose of helping country's reconstruction effort, Japan has recently became a willing partner of the United States at a battlefield turning increasingly risky.
Culturearrow Of sphinxes, pyramids and more
Natalia Brazhnikova, who is currently having an exhibition of her paintings and prints at the Russian Culture Centre, has come to Bangladesh on the invitation of RCC.
 arrow 'Dance to my tunes!'
This goes way beyond my range of recollection of childhood memories, but according to my mother, I used to sway to the beat of songs even before I learned to walk properly.
 arrow Ekushey celebrations at JU
The 14-day programme organised by Teachers Students Centre (TSC) of Jahangir-nagar University (JU) commemorating Language Martyrs day and International Mother Language day at the university and will continue
Generalarrow 'Victory was not success of any individual'
Victory in the movement for establishing Bangla as state language was not a success of any individual; it was rather an outcome of collective efforts of the entire nation.
 arrow Sufficient supply of fertiliser demanded
Bangladesh Krishak Samity (BKS) yesterday demanded of the government to ensure supply of sufficient fertiliser across the country with a view to tackling the existing fertiliser crisis.
 arrow Ensure participation of locals to implement mitigation plans
The 5th International Arsenic Conference ended in the city yesterday with a call for greater participation of local communities and local government institutions in implementing the arsenic mitigation
 arrow Four to die, five get 10 yrs
A court here yesterday sentenced four people to death and five others to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment for the murder of a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader.
 arrow Call to form body to probe killing of birds
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA) yesterday demanded of the government to form a multi-disciplinary inquiry committee to investigate the recent killing of 16,000 birds at Hakaluki haor.
 arrow Siddeswari Girls' College Science Fair begins
A three-day Science and Handicrafts Fair organised by Siddeswari Girls' College got underway on the college premises in the city yesterday.
 arrow Zonta IV Club holds fund raising carnival
The Zonta IV Club organised a carnival at Arysha Restaurant in Gulshan recently to raise funds for young schoolchildren of Badda and for restoring eyesight of underprivileged children at Islamia Eye Hospital,
Internationalarrow Iraqi Council turns away from US transition plan
Most members of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council no longer support the US transition plan and are seeking direct sovereignty until elections can be held, The Washington Post said yesterday.
 arrow Anti-terror battle has led to widespread HR abuse
A working group of the UN Commission on Human Rights said Monday it was gravely worried about rights abuses by several countries, including the United States, in their quest to battle terrorism.
 arrow Israeli barrier spells doom for Palestinians: UN
More than 200,000 Palestinians are already suffering the humanitarian consequences of the separation barrier that Israel is building in the West Bank, according to the United Nations.
 arrow Palestinians block Gaza crossing
Hundreds of Palestinian workers yesterday blocked access to the Erez industrial zone, between the Gaza Strip and Israel, to protest lengthy security controls which they claim cost the life of one of their
 arrow Asthma on the rise in Asia due to mounting pollution
Asia's rapid urbanisation, dangerous pollution levels and poor medical treatment have triggered an alarming increase in asthma which affects 300 million people worldwide, experts said yesterday.
 arrow Attacks in Saudi Arabia may be imminent: UK
Terrorists may be "in the final stages" of preparing more attacks in Saudi Arabia, the British government warned on Monday, advising its citizens not to travel to the country.
 arrow India okays 2 more buses on Delhi-Lahore route
The Indian government has given the go-ahead for an extra two buses to be added to the service between New Delhi and the northern Pakistani city of Lahore, an official said yesterday.
 arrow Five dead as quake hits Sumatra
Five people including a mother and child died when a powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Monday, the head of the Indonesian national earthquake centre said yesterday.
 arrow Confident Kerry aims his arrow at Bush
Bolstered by the polls and disarray in a rival camp, a confident-sounding John Kerry wrapped up his campaign for yesterday's pivotal Wisconsin presidential primary by aiming barbs at President Bush and
 arrow Haitian rebels take another town
Armed Haitian rebels seized a central town and killed the district police chief as embattled President Jean Bertrand Aristide asked for international help in putting down a spreading uprising.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Anti-graft body
The reported decision to make it obligatory for the proposed anti-graft body to seek permission from the government before prosecuting a state official has drawn criticism for justifiable reasons.
 arrow Editorial: UNDP-PCJSS understanding
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) have ironed out some of their differences paving the resumption of development activity in the
 arrow A crucial link between corruption and violation of human rights
Many human rights activists, lawyers, jurists and almost everyone with any sense of justice consider that the fight for human rights and the fight of corruption share a great deal of common ground.
 arrow NDA mocks parliament: Mini-budget and after
By presenting the "interim Budget", the National Democratic Alliance delivered an insulting parting kick to the Lok Sabha.
 arrow After the election/selection in Iraq
Iraq, like Nigeria is basically a three-in-one country. Like the Hausas, Yorubas and Ibos Iraq has its Shias, Sunnis and Kurdis, occupying distinct geographic areas with varying

amounts of mineral wealth.

Letters to Editorarrow Irresponsible hartal calls
We have now adjusted ourselves to the culture of hartal. The opposition party started to call hartal with only one classic issue. We suffered from a hartal on the 12th of this month.
 arrow Microenterprises and cheap labour
Microcredit has achieved a great success but falls short of the goals of large-scale poverty alleviation.
 arrow Thy name is frailty!
I am yet to understand the pattern of behaviour of women. The same woman behaves differently at the same time in different roles.
 arrow Worried...
I am a student studying law in the United Kingdom. I really miss my country from here. But when I read the newspapers online, I feel that hell has come down on Bangladesh.
 arrow Beautification of Dhaka
Sometimes it seems that the process of beautifying Dhaka will never come to an end. In the name of beautification, roads are dug to build and rebuild dividers again and again.
 arrow Attention, WASA
I am a resident and domestic consumer of Mirpur, WASA Zone-4. My account and metre numbers are respectively 0404106100 and 433451.
 arrow The curse of friendship
A news item covered recently by a Bangla daily, that a young man died after taking drugs, drew my attention. The young man , Prokash, was a student of Mymensing Medical College.
 arrow Maglev Melodrama: Act 11
I thank Mr. Zabidur Rahman from Amsterdam for his observation and would take this opportunity to respond to the points raised by him.
 arrow The pitfalls of excesses
Too much freedom (of political party workers) restricts freedom of other citizens.
 arrow Gas overture
The two main political parties, whether in position or opposition have been sitting over the gas surplus export issuetrying to remain popular in public adulation, in and out of season.
 arrow Fate of Bangladesh
Fashionable high living among the elite class of society and side by side sub-human life of majority population have become common phenomenon in Bangladesh today.
 arrow DCC: Poor monitoring
The DCC's operations and maintenance have never been good . In my area, the lights of an adjoining park and a street are inoperative for many months.
StarTecharrow Wireless environment -- an untapped avenue
Telecommunications has not been on the Bangladesh government's priority list for some time. Available resources are directed at other more basic infrastructure requirements.
 arrow Medicinal importance of Pteridophytic flora
Pteridophytic flora (fern) do not produce major vegetation in Bangladesh, but still they can play an important role in the economy because some plants with their beautiful fronds (long leaves) have ornamental
 arrow Rover goes for longest trip yet on Mars
The Spirit rover went for its longest trip yet on the surface of Mars, traveling just over 88 feet but stopping short of the distance NASA had hoped it would cover, scientists said Monday.
Star Chittagongarrow Move to develop tourism
Initiatives for flourishing of potential tourism with the participation of private entrepreneurs have ushered in a ray of hope among the tourists as well as nature-loving people in Chittagong.
 arrow Red tape grips zoo
Red tapism reportedly delayed procurement of two tigers and two hippopotamuses for the Chittagong Zoo adjacent to scenic Foy's Lake, sources said.
 arrow Kalurghat and beyond
On January 22 I happened to be a passenger in a bus bound for Cox's Bazar.

As the bus crossed the Kalurghat Bridge, I saw that it met with a road that was anything but a road.

Star Cityarrow Most banks can't counter robbery
Recent robberies in many banks in the city have brought to light inadequate security measures although the Bangladesh Bank asked the banks to ensure proper safety more than a year ago.
 arrow Tale of robberies
Around Tk 73.28 lakh from five banks in the capital was robbed by miscreants in the last 21 months.

The latest robbery took place on January 24 this year at the DIT road branch of Rupali Bank inMalibagh.

 arrow Curzon Hall needs care
Curzon Hall, one of the finest lime concrete structures with historical value that steps into its 100th year tomorrow, is losing its glory to lack of repair blamed on fund shortage.
 arrow Local imitation jewellery fails to enter posh stores
Unavailability of raw materials is proving a hindrance to the growth of the imitation jewellery industry in Dhaka.
 arrow No more new minibuses and human-haulers
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to halt permitting new minibuses and human-haulers to be brought out on the city roads.
 arrow Plan for piped arsenic free water by June
The Bangladesh Arsenic Water Mitigation Supply (BAMWSP) and World Bank plan to introduce piped water system in rural areas in the country to ensure arsenic free water.