Volume 4 Number 274 Fri. March 05, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Top 20 defaulters make NCBs sweat
Despite various government steps, the four nationalised commercial banks (NCBs) recovered only Tk 16 crore in calendar year 2003 out of Tk 2,819 crore default loans lying with their top 20 loan defaulters.
 arrow 4 children burnt alive, 25,000 homeless
At least four children were incinerated and 5,000 shanties reduced to ashes leaving over 25,000 people homeless in a devastating fire at Bau Bazar slum in Gulshan yesterday, police and firefighters said.
 arrow JCD men issue harsh threat to DU teachers
A group of students, mostly pro-government Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists, yesterday issued threats to the demonstrating Dhaka University (DU) teachers from a rally just a few yards from Battala
 arrow Restive politics, slide in order pose big threat
Readymade garment exporters yesterday lamented restive politics and falling law and order that posed serious threat to the sector.
 arrow Hosts regain Plate glory
Bangladesh clinched the Plate title of the ICC Under-19 World Cup after a nerve-wrecking eight-run victory over favourites Australia at Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cops enjoy little public trust
An overwhelming majority of people places little confidence in police, an anti-graft body's survey revealed yesterday, prompting leading civil society members to call for immediate reforms of the force.
 arrow Rampal Jamaat leader bombed to death
Unidentified assailants bombed to death the vice-president of Jamaat-e-Islami Rampal unit in Bagerhat in a drive-by attack that also killed his rickshaw-van-puller early yesterday, prompting police to
 arrow 3 killed, body Found in city
Two traders and a worker were killed in separate incidents and a decomposed body was found in the city in the last 18 hours ending yesterday evening.
 arrow Saifur slams high rate on borrowers
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday fired a broadside at microcredit-providing NGOs for charging high rates of interest from poor borrowers.
 arrow Attack horror haunts writer
Humayun Azad's health remained unchanged yesterday and his family said the horror of the butcher's knife attack on the prominent writer apparently haunted him in hospital bed.
 arrow Charges framed Against Dr Iqbal
The First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court, Dhaka, yesterday framed charges against former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Dr HBM Iqbal and 29 others in a foreign currency smuggling case.
 arrow Manpower export to Malaysia gets delayed
Resumption of manpower export to Malaysia has again become uncertain following a sudden political development in Kuala Lumpur, according to sources.
 arrow 200 students expelled on the first day
Some 200 examinees were expelled for cheating on the first day of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations yesterday, according to reports received from across the country.
 arrow Dhaka, Delhi agree hydro data exchange
India agreed to take necessary steps for ensuring speedy transmission of hydrological data to help Bangladesh prepare for flood well ahead, said an official release following a bilateral meeting hereon
 arrow Norwegians move to salvage Lankan truce
Scandinavian truce monitors opened talks with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers as a rift within the rebel leadership threatened to undermine an already fragile ceasefire, officials said.
 arrow Garment unit boiler blast kills two
An iron boiler explosion killed two young women and injured 14 others, two of them critically, at a garment factory near Kadamtoli Bus Station in the city yesterday morning.
 arrow CPJ condemns attack on journos at DU
The delegates of New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) yesterday expressed deep concern over the attack on journalists on Dhaka University campus by the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD)Wednesday.
 arrow JS session Now to run till Mar 30
The current session of the Jatiya Sangsad scheduled to be prorogued yesterday will continue till March 30 after an 11-day break from today.
 arrow AL demands withdrawal of police from party office
The leaders of the main opposition Awami League (AL) yesterday demanded immediate withdrawal of police from the party's central office.
 arrow Hartal across country tomorrow
Mainstream opposition parties will enforce a daylong countrywide hartal tomorrow in the first opposition unity on hot-button issues since the BNP-led alliance with the Jamaat-e-Islami took office in 2001.
 arrow Top al-Qaeda leader caught in Yemen
Security forces have captured one of the top leaders of the al-Qaeda terror network in Yemen during a continuing hunt for dozens of Islamic extremists holed up in the southern province of Abyan, officials
 arrow Check mosque loudspeakers
Speakers at a roundtable on the 'Draft Noise Pollution Control Act, 2004' yesterday recommended for bringing the use of loudspeakers in mosques under the law's purview.
 arrow Resignation demand an emotional one: Altaf
Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury yesterday said the students and teachers at Dhaka University enraged by the brutal attack on prominent writer Humayun Azad demanded his resignation out of emotion
 arrow Bomb hurled at ex-minister's car in city
An unknown attacker hurled a handmade bomb at the car of Awami League legislator Talukder Abdul Khaleque at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital last night, causing damage to his car.
 arrow Plan on to assign SSF to VVIPs
The government is planning to broaden the scope of work of the Special Security Forces (SSF) to ensure security blanket for both local and foreign VVIPs.
 arrow Licence of Crown Beverage Limited cancelled
The Board of Investment (BoI) yesterday cancelled licence of Crown Beverage Limited (CBL) on charge of violating its agreement with the board.
 arrow Singapore least corrupt in Asia, Indonesia worst
Singapore is the least corrupt nation in Asia and Indonesia the worst, but most countries in the region have shown improvements in dealing with the problem, according to a survey of foreign business executives
 arrow Mobile park to Amuse outlying people
A private company is going to launch a door-to-door mobile amusement park to entertain people throughout the country in view of city-centred and inadequate recreational facilities.
Businessarrow Number of trading items fixed for Safta
Members of a Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) committee on free trade in the region have decided to restrict the number of sensitive trading items to 10 percent of total tariff
 arrow Textile, garment machinery show pulls entrepreneurs
It's a big opportunity for local entrepreneurs intending to set up textile and garment industry or looking for most modern machinery to upgrade their existing factories.
 arrow Economy gets stagnant on lower investment
Former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria has blamed the government for lower flow of public investment which he said has made the economy stagnant.
 arrow Janata Exchange Co opens 2nd branch in Italy Sunday
In a bid to boost remittance business, Janata Exchange Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned Janata Bank, is going to open its second branch in Italy on Sunday.
 arrow Trading on peace: Can India, Pakistan do business?
The year is 2010. Business between India and Pakistan is flourishing. Banking and telecoms links wedding the two former enemies have proliferated. Trade disputes replace military disputes.
 arrow Australia-US trade deal comes under fire
The Australian government defended a controversial free trade agreement with the US Thursday after belatedly releasing details of the deal and sparking a debate set to drag on into this year's election
 arrow Bangkok Pattaya Hospital opens office in Dhaka
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital (BPH), a tertiary level hospital of Bangkok Hospital Group, has opened its Bangladesh office on Indira Road in Dhaka recently to facilitate its service to local patients.
 arrow StanChart gets Banker Middle East award
Standard Chartered Bank has received the 'Banker Middle East Banking Award 2004' for best use of IT for multi-channel strategy at a gala ceremony held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al
 arrow Holcim achieves ISO-14001 Environmental Certification
Holcim (Bangladesh) group has achieved ISO-14001 certification for environment management system.
 arrow New MD of Bakhrabad Gas Systems
Shahidul Abedin has been promoted as managing director of Bakhrabad Gas Systems Ltd.

Prior to this position, he was general manager (Planning & Development) of the company, says a press release.

 arrow SIBL grants Tk 5cr to Peoples Leasing
Social Investment Bank Ltd (SIBL) has granted a mid term investment facility of Tk 5 crore to Peoples Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (PLFSL).
 arrow SEDF training programme held
The five-day executive development training programme entitled 'fundamentals of good management' organised by the SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) ended in Dhaka recently.
 arrow India, Brazil, South Africa begin strategic talks in Delhi
The foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa kicked off a meeting here Thursday aimed at bolstering co-operation in sectors such as trade, the military and public health, an Indian official
Sportsarrow Cricket: A worthy Plate
Beating Australia in any level of cricket is a mighty achievement as the men from down under have set the benchmark for excellence in the game.
 arrow Cricket: Teams ready for final
West Indies take on Pakistan in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup on Friday with both sides aiming to win the title for the first time.
 arrow Cricket: Sylhet own day one
Sylhet won the opening day's battle against Dhaka as the two title-contenders launched their final assaults on the four-day competition of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea National League at different venues
 arrow Cricket: Wasim's wise words
Former cricket great Wasim Akram told his fellow Pakistani players to enjoy and excel in the upcoming "pressure" series against India during a motivational talk here Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: ICC, Lord's may part company
The International Cricket Council (ICC) could end its 95-year association with Lord's as it considers six other destinations where it could move its headquarters.
 arrow Football: Mukti sink Abahani
Muktijoddha Sangsad salvaged a little pride in the Western Union Premier Division Football League when they handed Abahani a solitary goal defeat at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Australia's mixed day
Australia strike bowler Brett Lee sustained an ankle injury during his team's 245-run victory over a Sri Lanka President's XI on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Paul, Ashley's reminders
Paul Collingwood and Ashley Giles pushed their cases for selection for next week's first Test against the West Indies with great batting and solid bowling respectively as England drew their non-firstclass,
 arrow Cricket: Aussies to go to Zimbabwe
The Australian cricket team will tour Zimbabwe in May, manager Stephen Bernard said here Wednesday, adding that it would be stopped only if "something drastic" were to happen.
 arrow Indians to have PM's reception
India's cricket team will call on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee next week before they embark on the first full tour of Pakistan in 15 years, it was announced on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: No Waugh action
Australian cricket's Waugh twins took to the field for what could well be their first-class swansong here Thursday, but neither got a chance to show their talents with either bat or ball.
 arrow Football: DC Gold Cup soccer on
Natore defeated Nilphamari1-0 in the inaugural match of the Deputy Commissioner Gold Cup football tournament at the Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.

Tanvir netted the all-important goal.

 arrow Cricket: BSFNA cricket
Al-Rashid Cricket Club defeated Mukti Sangha-B by 59-runs in the Bangladesh Sports Foundation of North America (BSFNA) cricket tournament at the Rajshahi College playground yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: M'singh cricket
Abahani Krira Chakara defeated Renaissance Club by 41 runs in the Navana Premier Division Cricket League at the local Circuit House ground yesterday.
 arrow Tennis: Henin, Capriati cruise
World number one Justine Henin-Hardenne and second seed Jennifer Capriati reached the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Liverpool, Barca lead the way
Both Britain and Spain had the most to crow about after the UEFA Cup third round second leg matches on Wednesday as all their clubs left in the competition progressed to the fourth round.
 arrow Football: Monaco renew Lyon rivalry
Monaco's duel with two-time defending champions Lyon in the run-in to the French league title this season continues on Friday with both sides playing lowly opposition.
 arrow Football: Celtic face Barca test
Scottish champions Celtic were drawn against Barcelona in the outstanding match of the UEFA Cup fourth round on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Duff, Cole unhappy
Damien Duff and Joe Cole admit they were shocked to learn Chelsea had signed 20-year-old Dutch winger Arjen Robben as a rival for their places in the team.
 arrow Football: Kahn a Real threat
Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham says Bayern Munich's wounded goalkeeper Oliver Kahn will be a formidable European barrier for his team to surmount.
Point-Counterpointarrow Move to ban gay marriages deserves appreciation
President Bush of late deserves an appreciation for his stand : He has proposed an amendment to the US Constitution banning gay and lesbian marriages.
 arrow Chittagong port: Under the spotlight
Chittagong port is the main gateway of Bangladesh through which 85 percent of the sea-borne trade of the country moves. As such its importance in the national economy is paramount.
Culturearrow A dedicated couple in drama lane
The Hamid duo, especially M Hamid, holds a special place in the theatre movement of the country.
 arrow Latest Rock album Dinbodol hits the audio market
With the release of Dinbodol--the mixed album, producer Duray's work became a representation for the underground musicians.
 arrow Lalon's public release at Kushtia today
Lalon's position as a folk-philosopher and composer of songs has still remained unsurpassed even after a hundred years of his death.
 arrow Jagjit changes his tone
Top Indian ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, once a strong opponent of Pakistani artistes performing in India, has changed his tune after being invited across the border to stage shows in three Pakistani cities.
Generalarrow Boys end up as near-slaves at Dublar Char fish plants
They are aged between 7 and 15 but end up as virtual slaves when they migrate to Dublar Char near Sundarbans to work at the dry fish farms.
 arrow Nets worth Tk 29.30 lakh seized
Bangladesh Coast Guard members in separate drives seized banned nets and liquor worth Tk 30.16 lakh from different coastal areas on Wednesday.

Some 2.

 arrow Tk 10,000cr programme to improve health sector
A ten-thousand crore taka programme has been taken up by the government for the improvement of health sector by the year 2006.
 arrow 54 houses gutted in Bandarban
About 54 houses were gutted in a devastating fire at Lach Se village of Rupashipara union under Lama upazila yesterday.

Police said the fire originated from a kitchen at about 11.

 arrow SCC commissioner on police remand
A ward commissioner of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) and district convenor of Awami Jubo League along with two others were taken on a two-day remand from the magistrate's court yesterday.
 arrow Barisal now free from violence: Mayor
Barisal city mayor yesterday denied that there had been any attack on the motorcade of Leader of the Opposition and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina during her visit to Barisal on February 26.
 arrow PSA observes strike at JU
The daylong strike, called by Progressive Students Alliance (PSA) in all educational institutions across the country to protest the attacks on its activists and general students of Dhaka universityby
 arrow Police action on general students condemned
Different socio-political organisations yesterday condemned the police action on general students at Dhaka University during demonstration on the campus protesting the attack on eminent writer Humayun
 arrow JICA indicates to continue scholarship programme
A two-member JICA Study Team has expressed satisfaction at "Japanese Development Scholarship (JDS) on Human Resource Development" and indicated to continue the programme in Bangladesh.
 arrow JAABS website inaugurated
The activities of Jahangirnagar Alumni Association of Business Students (JAABS) were inaugurated on Wednesday in the city with the slogan 'Creating value through synergy'.
 arrow KCC employees Observe token hunger strike
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) employees yesterday observed a two-hour token hunger strike at Shaheed Hadis Park to protest grenade attack on Mayor Shaikh Tayebur Rahman on Sunday.
 arrow Gaziul Hasan made chief editor of BSS
The government has appointed journalist Gaziul Hasan Khan as the Managing Director and Chief Editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).
 arrow Daylong bird fair at JU today
A daylong bird fair will be held on the campus of Jahangirnagar University (JU) today.

The fair has been organised jointly by JU Nature Club, Prothom Alo Bandhusava and Bangladesh Birds Club.

 arrow Brac presents Social Harmony Project
Brac, a leading non-governmental organisation, has taken up a project to unite children of different parts of the globe through cultural exchanges for a better world.
 arrow Asiatic Society team calls on President
President Iajuddin Ahmed has assured Asiatic Society of his personal cooperation in introducing a special scholarship for researchers and gearing up its creative activities.
 arrow Eye camp at Chatkhil Mar 7
Bashir Ullah Trust Charitable Hospital organises a three-day eye camp at Maulanar Bazar of Nishchintapur village under Chatkhil upazila in Noakhali from March 7, says a press release.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Police action on students
The police action on Dhaka University students, who were demanding resignation of the home minister and the state minister in the sequel to the attack on Dr Humayun Azad, left at least 100 injured onWednesday.
 arrow Editorial: Rivers dying
The rivers around the city are being polluted to death, thanks to dumping of sewage, 80 per cent of which is untreated.
 arrow Politics of divide and rule
The politics of divide and rule is attributed to the British colonial power in what was then undivided India.
 arrow Ink and blood
The fact of a man's being a poisoner," proclaimed Oscar Wilde, "is nothing against his prose." The reverse happened last Friday night when a talented writer got stabbed on the street.
 arrow Dilemma of an expatriate
My daughter who is 21 and was born outside Bangladesh, very often asks me, "papa, why do you worry so about the happenings in Bangladesh when you lived outside of it more than half of your life and in
Letters to Editorarrow Unbearable agony...
This evening while taking my usual shortcut through the Bangla Academy road, on my way home from the day's work -- I saw thousands of bodies lying on the black pitch road starting from the spot whereHumayun
 arrow Find it out
People are flabbergasted as they are getting contradictory statements from the ruling and opposition parties regarding the attack on Dr. Humayun Azad.
 arrow Inescapable hartal !
I might sound insane if I say that the recent Hartals were rather necessary and inescapable. We have witnessed and learned many things from the recent wave of anti-government protests.
 arrow Elected despots?
I read the commentary titled "When elected leaders act like despots" by the editor (March 1st).
 arrow Timely commentary
Mr. Mahfuz Anam wrote the most timely commentary on "when elected leaders act like despots". We are in complete unison with his comments.
Environmentarrow Conserving nature for human benifit
We live in an age of affluent indifference where continuous consumption pattern coupled with reckless abandonment is the way of life. We enrich our own private spaces but shut the door on the world outside.
Worldarrow 'Yangon, Suu Kyi ready to work for democracy'
Myanmar Prime Minister Khin Nyunt is committed to taking his country to democracy and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is ready to work with him on it, UN special envoy Razali Ismail said yesterday.
 arrow Britain 'satisfied' with Pak nuclear probe: Straw
Britain is satisfied with Pakistan's cooperation in investigating nuclear proliferation by its chief nuclear scientist, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday.
 arrow Mass burials for Pak Shias
Grieving Shia Muslims gathered in Pakistan's violence-hit southwest city Quetta yesterday for mass burials of the nearly 50 people killed in one of the country's bloodiest-ever sectarian attacks.
 arrow Haiti under state of emergency
Haiti's Prime Minister Yvon Neptune declared a state of emergency, as rebels agreed to disarm and US and French troops staged a show of force in Port-au-Prince following deadly gun battles.
 arrow Iraq beefs up security across border
Iraq's border security was being beefed up yesterday after a series of bloody attacks on Shia shrines that killed around 170 people, as political leaders prepared to sign a new temporary constitution.
 arrow Israel on red alert after raid
Israeli police and security services were placed on a maximum state of alert yesterday for fear of reprisals after three top militants of Palestinian radical group Hamas were killed in a helicopter strike
 arrow Corruption in NDA govt to be an election plank, says Sonia
Alleging that there was rampant corruption in the NDA government, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said yesterday her party would make this one of its main poll planks in the Lok Sabha elections.
 arrow Pakistan denies offering Nigeria nuclear power
Pakistan yesterday rejected Nigerian claims that its armed forces chief offered this week to help the African state acquire nuclear power.

"We are denying it. This is baseless.

 arrow UK now relies more on foreign medics
Britain's growing dependence on foreign workers to keep its ailing National Health Service (NHS) afloat is illustrated by new figures showing that a record 44,443 health workers were signed on last year
 arrow Top judge attacks changes to Britain's asylum law
AFP, London

Britain's top judge Wednesday launched a strong attack on key reforms by Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, warning that plans to limit asylum seekers' rights of appeal were against

 arrow Lankan candidates pull out of election amid death threats
Tamil Tiger death threats forced ruling party candidates in eastern Sri Lanka to withdraw, police said Wednesday amid calls for foreign monitoring of the campaign for next month's parliamentary polls.