Volume 4 Number 270 Sun. February 29, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Azad still not out of danger, family gets death threats
Prominent writer Humayun Azad was fighting for life on a ventilator at a city hospital and his family reported receiving death threats by telephone yesterday, a day after he suffered critical stab injuries
 arrow Govt won't step down an hour before term
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday dismissed Awami League's demands for the immediate resignation of the government and mid-term polls, saying her coalition would serve out the five-year term.
 arrow Motia, scores hurt during hartal
More than 200 opposition activists were arrested and scores of others wounded in attacks by police and government loyalists in Dhaka and other major cities during the main opposition Awami League (AL)-enforced
 arrow Chaos grips CHT as govt wavers in peace deal
The seven-year old Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Agreement has been in limbo as the government neither implements, nor drops it, plunging the highlands into chaos and confusion.
 arrow Hasina, B Chy barred from going to CMH
No visitor, not even Leader of Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina, was allowed to see Prof Humayun Azad at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka Cantonment last night.
 arrow DU swells with protest
Dhaka University (DU) yesterday burst into spontaneous protest against the attack on Humayun Azad, as thousands of students and teachers brought out processions and covered their faces with black cloth.
 arrow Nation in fury
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday strongly denounced Friday's heinous attack on eminent litterateur and educationist Humayun Azad.
 arrow Writers feel insecure
Writers, poets and intellectuals have expressed their deep sense of insecurity in the wake of the murderous attack on Dr Humayun Azad, now fighting for his life at Dhaka's Combined Military Hospital.
 arrow No class at DU until culprits nabbed
Dhaka University Teachers' Association (DUTA) yesterday decided to suspend taking classes at Dhaka University (DU) from today until the attackers of their fellow teacher and prominent writer Humayun Azad
 arrow The book that got him marked for death
Humayun Azad's satirical book 'Pak Sar Zamin Saad Baad', which most likely caused Friday's assassination attempt that the writer survived with life-threatening injuries, focuses mainly on the psyche of
 arrow Rubbish rip-off
Hoodlums with backing from local politicians have taken over most door-to-door garbage collection in Dhaka over the last 10 years, forcing every house to pay Tk 200 a month.
 arrow Indo-Pak duel today
The semifinals of the Fifth ICC U-19 World Cup kicks off with the most anticipated clash between India and Pakistan at the Bangabandhu National Stadium this afternoon.
 arrow Petroleum crisis averted as govt concedes to some demands
A countrywide petroleum crisis was averted yesterday when the petroleum pump owners' association put off for two months the execution of its decision on not taking petroleum delivery on cash payment from
 arrow Abducted 6-yr-old boy found dead in Rajshahi
Local police Friday recovered the body of a six-year old boy who was abducted from Baghmara upazila in Rajshahi on Tuesday.
 arrow Kushtia-1 by-polls today
The by-polls in Kushtia-1 constituency will be held in the 14 unions of Daulatpur today.
 arrow Land-grab sinks shrimp farm dev in Noakhali
Government land-grab by political and business bigwigs and administrative inactivity hold back shrimp farm development in Noakhali seaboard.
 arrow Red tape delays hepatitis-B vaccination
Bureaucratic tangles have delayed the launch of a countrywide hepatitis-B vaccination programme by about two years.
 arrow More diesel on way to avert crisis
Kuwait, India and Singapore are expected to supply 266,000 tonnes of diesel within a month as per negotiated deals, official sources said.
 arrow No breakthrough in N Korea nuke talks
Six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis yesterday ended without a breakthrough but a senior US official says the meetings advanced Washington's agenda of disarming Pyongyang.
 arrow Haiti rebels close in on capital
Rebels yesterday overran a key crossroads town and crept closer to the Haitian capital as supporters of embattled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide terrorised the civilian population of Port-au-Prince.
 arrow Washington, Dhaka talk bilateral issues
As Dhaka and Washington yesterday reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations,

US Ambassador Harry Thomas said increased American investment is coming to Bangladesh

After an hour-long meeting

 arrow 2 UPDF men abducted in Rangamati
Two United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) members were abducted from their village home at Chikonchhara in Ghilachhari union under Naniarchar upazila Thursday night.
 arrow Clashes leave 53 hurt at Shahjadpur
At least 53 people, including two policemen, were injured in a series of clashes between two groups of people at Shahjadpur upazila headquarters yesterday.
 arrow B Chy near - completes political forum process
Former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury has almost completed the process of launching a political platform sponsoring his much-talked about notion of alternative political stream, beyond the bipolar
 arrow Cops fear to be marked during hartal
Most police officials during hartal-hour duty in the city yesterday did not wear name tag on their uniform, fearing reprisal from those who are now in the opposition.
 arrow JS body for legal action against culprits
A parliamentary standing committee has recommended the government to immediately proceed with legal action against the persons responsible for attacking Gano Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain's motorcade
 arrow Container train derails in Narsingdi
A container train derailed at Amirganj in Narsingdi yesterday afternoon, disrupting train service on Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet routes.
 arrow Awami League workers are confined inside...

Businessarrow Poultry still smarting from flu scare
Bangladesh's poultry industry still struggles to recover from the huge loss caused by a drastic fall in price and sale of chicken following the bird flu scare.
 arrow New insurers miss 3-year deadline to go public
Thirty-eight new generation insurance companies have missed the three-year deadline for going public in accordance with the insurance act.
 arrow Ecnec okays 8 projects involving Tk 1,688cr
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved eight projects with an outlay of about Tk 1,688 crore including project aid of Tk 675 crore.
 arrow US jobs 'pop' possible soon: Greenspan
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday strong economic growth should soon produce more jobs but he warned U.S.
 arrow WTO chief sees substantial progress in trade talks by Jul
The head of the World Trade Organisation said Friday that world trade talks appear to have recovered from their collapse six months ago in Cancun, Mexico, and could make substantial progress by July.
 arrow RMG accessories factory to be set up in Comilla EPZ
Bangladesh and Taiwan will jointly establish a garment accessories manufacturing factory in Comilla Export Processing Zone.
 arrow StanChart, Uttara Motors sign MoU on car loan
Standard Chartered Bank recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Uttara Motors Ltd, the sole distributor of Japanese Suzuki, Isuzu and Indian Maruti vehicles in Bangladesh.
 arrow Kallol Group becomes GP's corporate client
Kallol Group, a leading distribution company in Bangladesh, signed an agreement with GrameenPhone Limited (GP) to become GP's corporate client.
 arrow Qatar Airways takes celebrity for promotion
Qatar Airways has rode on celebrity image to promote the fast-growing airline of the Gulf region.
 arrow ICAB seminar on Saarc economic integration today
A seminar on 'Saarc Regional Economic Integration' will be held at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) auditorium in Dhaka today.
 arrow Emirates posts 10pc passenger growth for Dubai Shopping Festival
Emirates has achieved a 10 per cent increase over last year in its special packages sales for just concluded Dubai Shopping Festival 2004.
 arrow Bank holiday on Tuesday
Bangladesh Bank and all scheduled banks will remain closed on March 2 (Tuesday) on the occasion of holy Ashura, said a press release issued by the central bank.
 arrow Europe slaps sanctions on US over export tax breaks
European trade chief Pascal Lamy said time has finally run out and Europe will launch sanctions Monday to pressure the United States to scrap illegal export tax breaks.
 arrow Bigger long-run deficit in Bush plan
President Bush's budget plans would improve the fiscal deficit in the next few years but send the shortfall soaring over the longer run, congressional analysts said on Friday.
 arrow Thai PM firm to privatise largest power company
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Saturday warned of dire economic consequences if he abandoned privatisation efforts for Thailand's largest power producer, as employees kept up their protests.
 arrow Oil prices near post-war highs on gasoline tightness
Oil prices jumped again Friday hitting a post-Iraq war high in London as tighter supply and fears of gasoline shortages fueled buying in the run-up to the US summer driving season.
 arrow India hopes to hit fiscal deficit target
India's fiscal deficit at the end of January was 77.
 arrow Jump in business spending boosts US growth
The US economy grew a bit more quickly than first thought at the end of last year as business investment jumped, official figures showed on Friday, in an encouraging sign for further solid growth.
 arrow ECB stands aloof on rate cut
The European Central Bank signalled Friday it would remain impervious to political pressure to cut its key rates to contain the rise of the euro, but financial markets seem to think that a reduction might
Sportsarrow Cricket: Battle Asia today
The stakes could not be any higher as India and Pakistan lock horns in the first semifinal of the ICC Under-19 World Cup today.
 arrow Cricket: Warne reunited with team
Shane Warne was reunited with the Australia team on Saturday for next month's three-Test tour of Sri Lanka after completing a 12-month drugs ban.
 arrow Cricket: Rain halts Zimbabwe
Bangladesh were reeling on 88-5 in their first innings of the second Test against Zimbabwe when a rainstorm sent the players in for early tea and play was later abandoned at Queens Sports Club here on
 arrow Cricket: PCB boss rejects it
The Pakistani cricket chief on Friday dispelled fears that the forthcoming Indian cricket tour could be called off due to minor crowd disturbances such as stone or bottle throwing.
 arrow Cricket: Mega deal for Indo-Pak series
Pakistan has secured sponsorship and television deals worth 21 million dollars for the next month's historic cricket series against India, a top cricket official said Saturday.
 arrow Cricket: Sachin then, Sachin now
When India last travelled to Pakistan 14 years ago, for four drawn Tests, they discovered the enduring talent of Sachin Tendulkar.
 arrow Cricket: Hailing Kasprowicz
Australian captain Ricky Ponting praised fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz after his match-winning performance against Sri Lanka helped the visitors to a 40-run victory in the fourth one-day international
 arrow Cricket: BCCI names tour officials, but no bowling coach
India on Saturday named Ratnakar Shetty as the national cricket team's manager and Amrit Mathur as its media officer for next month's tour of Pakistan, but declined to send a bowling coach.
 arrow Football: Bye bye golden goals
World football's rule-making International Board decided Saturday to abolish the use of the golden or silver goal rules to settle drawn matches in favour of a return to the classic formula of extra-time
 arrow Football: Batigol's Olympic wish
Argentina's record goal scorer Gabriel Batistuta hopes to be named in his country's soccer team for the Athens Olympic Games.
 arrow Football: Fergie for calm
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has pleaded with fans to drop plans to protest against Irish shareholders John Magnier and JP McManus on Gold Cup day at next month's Cheltenham Festival.
Metropolitanarrow SC Bar Assoc polls Mar 28-29
Election to the Supreme Court Bar Association will be held on March 28-29.
 arrow Neuroscience instt to be set up soon
A neuroscience institute will be set up in the country soon for improvement of neurological treatment.
 arrow Housewife, domestic help commit suicide
A housewife and a domestic help allegedly committed suicide in Mirpur and Dhanmondi on Friday night and an unidentified woman died in a road accident in Ramna area of the city yesterday.
 arrow Bangladesh always values friendship with Pakistan
The five-member delegation of Pakistan Muslim League, led by its Secretary General Salim Saifullah Khan, met with Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan at his office yesterday.
 arrow Appoint VC from elected panel: JUTA
The Jahangirnagar University Teachers Association (JUTA) yesterday urged the government to appoint immediately a new vice-chancellor from the elected three-member panel.

JUTA President Prof.

 arrow 'Unite against politics of confrontation'
President of the Jatiya Party (JP) Anwar Hossain Monju called on the people to unite against the politics of confrontation that was hampering the development process.
 arrow Teachers, employees call off strike
Bangladesh Shikkhok Karmachari Oikya Parishad has postponed its ongoing work abstention programme from tomorrow to help conduct the SSC examination beginning March 4.
 arrow DU alumni reunion
Reunion of the students of 1969 batch of Dhaka University will be held at the PKSF auditorium at Agargaon on March 19.
Nationalarrow Khulna, Bagerhat, Jessore police put on red alert
Police in Khulna, Bagerhat and Jessore districts have been put on red alert fearing reprisal following arrest of notorious outlaws including Abdul Gaffar alias Tushar, Aiuzzaman alias Ripon, Ali Akbar
 arrow 'We will make Netrakona drug-free'
The number of drug addicts is rising alarmingly in the district as drugs are flowing in through the border almost freely.
 arrow Step down, Sajeda asks govt
Awami League (AL) Presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury has asked the BNP-led Alliance Government to step down immediately as 'it failed miserably during its two and a half years' rule'.
 arrow Curtain falls on Rangpur Sugar Mills
The curtain has finally fallen on Rangpur Sugar Mills.

A notice was hung Friday on its gate, declaring its lay-off from March 31.

 arrow 'Reserve forest reserved for thieves'
An organised gang is stealing valuable timber trees from reserve forests in coastal areas of Kalapara and Galachipa in the district.
 arrow 20 'miscreants' held from party attended by Pabna BNP leaders
Police arrested 20 suspected miscreants from a grand feast hosted by 'listed criminal' Abul Kalam Azad at a field at Pushpa Para at Atikula on Friday.
 arrow American Week begins in Rajshahi today
American Week, featuring activities of the US embassy and US agencies in Bangladesh, begins in Rajshahi today.
 arrow Int'l Work Camp 2004 begins at Gaibandha
A 10-day International Work Camp 2004 began at the office of Gano Unnayan Kentro, a local NGO, on Friday.

The inaugural function was followed by a discussion.

 arrow 10 SSC exam centres in Ctg vulnerable
Ten Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination centres under Chittagong education board have been identified as most vulnerable.
 arrow Two held with 600 kg sulphur in Ishwardi
Police Friday evening arrested two young brothers --Kamal and Zamal -- with 600 kilograms of Sulphur when they were loading the consignment in a bus near the Ishwaridi post office gate.
 arrow Toll demand by outlaws: Panic grips Assassuni
Panic has gripped people of Assassuni upazila as outlaws have been demanding toll and threatening of dire consequence for failure to comply with their demands.
 arrow 'AL killing people in name of hartal'
Awami League (AL) is killing people and destroying national property in name of hartal.
 arrow 10-day Muharram programme begins at Garpara
A 10-day Muharram programme has been chalked out to mark the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hasan (AS) and Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), at Garpara ImamBara in Manikganj, says a press release.
 arrow Poverty takes away talented student's life
Poverty has taken the life of a talented student of Khulna City College on Thursday.
 arrow Memo given for PSTU VC's removal
Teachers, students and officials of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) yesterday brought out a joint procession on the campus and submitted a memorandum to its Chancellor through theActing
Point-Counterpointarrow Rate of interest on microcredit
In the early phases of expansion of microcredit (MC), many innovative procedures emerged from the practices of microfinance institutions (MFIs) of Bangladesh.
 arrow On Leap Year
How often would February 29 shows up in the Gregorian calendar? The answer is -- once in every four years. Well, the year 2004 is such a year.
Culturearrow Symphony in driftwood
Hamiduzzaman Khan, the head of the Sculpture Department, Institute of Fine Arts, DU, says about Ferdousi Priyobhashini's work displayed recently at Shilpangan, 'The fact that the artist has gathered her
 arrow Prokrity O Puran Desh Natok Festival
Desh Natok will stage Nityapuran today at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Library Auditorium. This is the last show of the drama festival arranged by the group.
 arrow Scripts at Film Archive speaks of the golden era
After the establishment of Bangladesh Film Archive [BFA] in 1978, we started to collect materials for it,' recalls Nazrul Islam, the librarian of BFA.
 arrow The 76th Academy Awards presentation today
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science will honour outstanding achievements in film in a ceremony today in New York. The Oscars were first held in 1929 at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel.
Internationalarrow 11 killed in Pak shooting near Afghan border
Pakistani forces killed 11 people in an exchange of fire after a minibus failed to stop at a roadblock in a tribal region where anti-terrorism operations have been ongoing, Pakistan's army spokesman told
 arrow 5 Kashmiri rebels killed in gunfight
Five Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including a platoon commander, were killed and a huge cache of arms seized in a fierce gun battle with security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch districtyesterday,
 arrow Is Laden captured?
Iran's state radio, quoting an unnamed source, said yesterday that Osama bin Laden was captured in Pakistan "a long time ago." A Pakistan army spokesman denied he was captured.
 arrow Iraq seeks to ease donors' concern over transition
Iraq sought to ease concerns of donor countries meeting here Saturday over the timely transfer of power to an interim government by July 1.
 arrow Bush, Schroeder united for a free Iraq
President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder put their bitter feud over the Iraq war behind them Friday but Schroeder brought up a new problem: the dollar's weakness against the euro.
 arrow 'Blair could be unaware of circulation'
Prime Minister Tony Blair may not have been aware that transcripts were circulated to senior ministers of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's conversations in the run-up to the Iraq war, the woman who started
Editorialarrow Editorial: Attack on Humayun Azad
Professor Humayun Azad is fighting for his life, after having taken repeated strokes from a butcher's knife .
 arrow Editorial: Proshika funds unfrozen
We welcome the decision taken by the government to finally release the funds that it had frozen pending the investigation into Proshika's alleged financial irregularities.
 arrow Has the quartet roadmap been consigned to oblivion?
In the almost obsessive global attention centered on Iraq and the war on terror the Middle East crisis appears to be getting far lesser attention than what it deserves.
 arrow Disconnecting people
As in journalism, a new cliche has come to be included in the lexicon of India-Pakistan relations. It is, "Hastening slowly." Some years ago, it was the "step-by-step" approach.
Letters to Editorarrow Law and order
During the two and a half years that the BNP government has been in office, people have observed that law and order has been in a constant and perpetual decline.
 arrow If I were a politician...
Well, if I were a politician, I would have definitely created a situation where the government would have been forced to take a hard stance, and then I would be able to blame the government for oppression
 arrow Family violence
Recently, Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, stated in an interview that there are ways to end family violence.
 arrow Road and river races
We do not have any race course and so we do not have any horse race.
 arrow Over-stretching exercises
If you over-stretch yourself you strain yourself physically and mentally, our politicians and public administrators (generally speaking) are debauching themselves with such self-centred practices.
 arrow Hartal spoiled the day
Please don't think I am making fun of our top political leaders. I am an ordinary girl and I have no right to do so. But when they give speeches they always mention that they think of the young generation.
Star Healtharrow Factsheet on nipah virus infection
Nipah virus is a newly recognised zoonotic virus. The virus was discovered in 1999. It has caused disease in animals and in humans, through contact with infectious animals.
 arrow Treatment of childhood cancer
Childhood cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens and young adults.
Star Cityarrow Bangla in all spheres -- a long way to go
"Use Bangla in all spheres of life" has been a popular slogan since independence, but no organisations monitor ongoing programmes on the mother language and their results.
 arrow Curtain falls on Ekushey book fair today
Publishers have presented this year's Ekushey Book Fair with around 1,200 books according to the latest figures which is almost the same as last year.
 arrow Children Draw Ekushey

 arrow More items join price hike race
Prices of more items like atta (flour), pulses and powdered milk have joined the price hike race in the last one week.
 arrow Central Shishu Park to wear a new look
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is yet to approve a project proposal submitted by Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) last December for a complete renovation of the Central Shishu Park.
 arrow Numbered card to identify citizens
A local scientist has developed a Numbered Social Security (SSN) system designed to identify all the citizens in the form of a national ID card.
Star City in Framesarrow In Quest of Enlightened Souls
To develop the reading habit and enlightening the future generations with knowledge, Biswasahitya Kendra has been organising a book reading campaign across the country for the last twenty years.