Vol. 4 Num 287 Thu. March 18, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Bangladesh finally logs on to submarine cable
After four years of dilly-dallying, Bangladesh is finally signing on March 27 a submarine cable agreement with 12 other countries that will open a high-speed, low-priced internet and telecommunications
 arrow Business leaders worried, watching Mannan events
Business leaders are watching with concern the wave of attacks on 11 enterprises of MA Mannan following his resignation from the ruling BNP and will take a position on the politically-sensitive issueafter
 arrow Bomb flattens Baghdad hotel
A powerful car bomb destroyed a five-storey hotel in central Baghdad last night, killing at least 27 people, wounding 41 and leaving a crater 20 feet across. Foreigners were among the hotel guests.
 arrow A decorator carries a generator and fans...

 arrow Blame on ministries for agri inputs crises
Finance and energy ministries' indifference to the proposals for agricultural subsidies has added to the miseries of farmers reeling under high input prices, a Jatiya Sangsad body observed at a meeting
 arrow Cab owner gunned down, wife injured
Miscreants yesterday gunned down a taxicab owner and shot and injured his wife as she tried to save her husband from the shooting before their Mohammadpur residence.
 arrow Dhaka, Washington agree to sign Tifa in 2-3 months
Dhaka and Washington have agreed to sign the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) in two to three months.
 arrow Strain on 11 parties over agitation plans
Amid efforts to secure an alliance in the anti-coalition movement, signs of a divide have put the 11-party left alliance in disarray, as a difference of opinion surfaced over future oust-government strategies,
 arrow Constitution change bill tabled
The much-talked-about bill seeking 14th amendment to the constitution was placed in the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday and subsequently sent to the parliamentary committee on the law ministry for scrutiny within
 arrow Khaleda skips question over dissident affair
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday skipped reply to a query on recent attacks on her political dissidents like retired army major Abdul Mannan and Mahi B Chowdhury.
 arrow Azad to be sent to Bangkok in a day or two
Prominent writer Humayun Azad is likely to be sent to Bangkok's Bumrungrad Hospital for better treatment in a couple of days.
 arrow Dhaka can up its GSP share to $400m, says Wills
Bangladesh could raise its share of US GSP facilities up to $400 million under an economic development programme, visiting US Assistant Trade Representative for South Asia Ashley Wills said while talking
 arrow PM terms CPJ comment sweeping
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday rejected an international media watchdog's observation on repression on journalists in Bangladesh, terming it a sweeping comment.
 arrow Launch land recovery drive next month
A parliamentary body yesterday asked the government to launch a government land recovery drive across Bangladesh in the next month and try the grabbers in speedy trial tribunals.
 arrow BTTB cellphone plan off the hook
A public sector cellphone project picked up steam after years of setbacks, as the government yesterday approved an additional Tk 202 crore for the plan that Prime Minister Khaleda Zia asked officialsto
 arrow 48-hr hartal likely early next month
Main opposition party Awami League (AL) is desperately trying to get like-minded political parties to join its planned oust-government agitation programmes ahead including a 48-hour countrywide hartal
 arrow Arches of threat

 arrow Saptahik 2000 journalist gets death threat
Golam Mortoza, chief reporter of the weekly Saptahik 2000, has received death threats from unknown quarters for his investigative reports on religious fundamentalism and the criminal underworld, editor
 arrow We pray for strength to resist oppressors: B Chy
Alternative political stream convenor AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday said the British and Pakistani rulers exploited the nation, but nobody wants to be exploited by own people.
 arrow Old Dhaka traders to keep shutters down Mar 31
Businessmen of old Dhaka's Kotwali and Sutrapur areas yesterday floated a common platform and decided to keep shutters of all establishments in the areas down from 9:00am to 2:00pm on March 31 protesting
 arrow Bitumen tank blast kills one in Ctg
A huge tank at a private terminal at Guptakhal in the port city's Patenga area exploded yesterday, killing one and injuring two others.
 arrow Spanish PM firm on Iraq pullout
Spain's prime minister-elect says his position on withdrawing troops from Iraq is unchanged despite an appeal from US President George Bush.
 arrow 1 handed death, 5 life for killing ex-MP Sujan
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced one person to death and four others including Dr Rawshan Alam, a BNP leader, to life imprisonment for killing former BNP MP Shahjahan Howlader Sujan.
 arrow S Korea worried at limited rights
South Korea has expressed concern over prevailing law and order situation in Bangladesh and anxiety over a government decision to allow limited trade union activities in export processing zones (EPZs).
 arrow Titas GM transferred for graft
Petrobangla has transferred the general manager (planning) of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) to GTCL, another Petrobangla company, for his alleged role in a Tk 60-crore graft.
 arrow Bangabandhu's 85th birthday celebrated
The main opposition Awami League (AL), its front organisations and a raft of socio-cultural organisations celebrated the 85th birthday of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman yesterday.
 arrow Paralysed Utpal put behind bars
Modhupur police has put paralysed Garo teenager Utpal Nakrek, who went missing since Tuesday after Modhupur police took him away from a Savar clinic where he was undergoing treatment, behind the barsof
 arrow Dhaka to sign FTA with Delhi if NTBs go
Bangladesh will sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India if it takes necessary steps to remove non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

"There are many impediments to signing the FTA with India.

 arrow DU deadlock may end on Saturday
The regular academic activities at Dhaka University (DU) is expected to return to normal as agitating teachers may withdraw their class boycotting programme Saturday.
 arrow 10-yr old boy remanded for robbery
Khulna police is holding a minor on remand that started yesterday to go till today for questioning in a robbery case.
Businessarrow Intensify campaign to tap Australian duty-free access
Bangladesh can boost exports to Australia through intensified trade campaign taking the advantage of duty free access granted by the Pacific country, Australian envoy said in Dhaka yesterday.
 arrow RMG needs supports from banks, port
Country's garment industry will be able to cope with the post-MFA (multi-fibre arrangement) competition if the local manufacturers get necessary supports and services from banks and ports, a seminar was
 arrow HSBC opens Amanah branch in Dhaka
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) has become the first foreign bank in Bangladesh to launch an Islamic banking branch.
 arrow Ecnec okays eight projects involving Tk 12,869cr
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved eight development projects with an outlay of Tk 12,869 crore, including Tk 4240 crore in project aid.
 arrow China to probe US plan to lodge complaint with WTO
China said Wednesday it was investigating reports of US plans to file the first formal complaint to the World Trade Organization against China since it became a member two years ago.
 arrow Zafar reinstated as chairman of UCBL
Zafar Ahmed Chowdhury was reinstated as chairman and director of the United Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL) after the High Court yesterday stayed Bangladesh Bank's order on his removal from the posts.
 arrow First national furniture fair in August
The first ever 'National Furniture Fair' will be held at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka in August this year.
 arrow STB launches campaign to promote S'pore culture, tradition
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched a campaign 'Uniquely Singapore' to promote the city state's tradition, culture and modernity.
 arrow Wills lauds Bepza role in establishing TU right in EPZs
Visiting Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia Ashley Wills yesterday lauded the role of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) to establish workers' right to association in the
 arrow Concluding ceremony of Ctg int'l trade fair today
The concluding ceremony of the 12th Chittagong International Trade Fair (CITF) will be held today.
 arrow IDLC signs deal with CDBL for share trading under CDS
Industrial Development Leasing Company (IDLC) of Bangladesh yesterday signed an agreement with the Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL) for scripless settlement of its share trading, says a press
 arrow SP Fashions 1st successful BFS applicant of StanChart
Standard Chartered Bank has approved an overdraft facility to SP Fashions Ltd, the first successful applicant of its business financial services (BFS).
 arrow M Al-Meshal to market Radhuni, Ruchi products in Kuwait
M Al-Meshal of Kuwait has become an agent of Square Consumer Products Limited to market all products of Radhuni and Ruchi brands in Kuwait.
 arrow AP opens new branch in Khulna
AP (Dhaka) Limited, an unani and ayurvedic medicine, herbal cosmetics and food producing company, opened a new branch recently in Khulna.
 arrow Biggest US union demands trade sanctions against China
The largest US workers' union filed an unprecedented petition with the government Tuesday demanding trade sanctions against China for alleged rampant violation of workers rights.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Confident Tigers home
The national cricket team returned home from Zimbabwe yesterday after burying the ghost of another series whitewash.
 arrow Cricket: 'Sachin the greatest’
Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq heaped lavish praise on India's Sachin Tendul-kar despite the hosts winning the second one-dayer by 12 runs to level the five-match series 1-1.
 arrow Cricket: Rafique faces Disciplinary panel today
Bangladesh spinner Mohammed Rafique will sit before a disciplinary committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) today morning.
 arrow Cricket: Gilchrist pulls Aus back
Adam Gilchrist smashed a superb unbeaten century as Australia hit back after being stung by Sri Lanka's tail in the second Test here on Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: 'Take wickets’
Pakistan coach Javed Miandad has told his bowlers to concentrate on taking wickets rather than containing India's batsmen for the remainder of their run-filled one-day series.
 arrow Cricket: The milestone man
When India's Sachin Tendul-kar made his Test debut in Pakistan more than 14 years ago, many observers predicted he would be one of the all-time greats.
 arrow Cricket: Murali looks beyond 600
Controversial Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has set his sights on creating a virtually unsurpassable Test bowling record, saying he is capable of taking more than 600 wickets.
 arrow Cricket: Zim A look good despite Tushar ton
Captain Tushar Imran cracked a century but it was not enough to inspire Bangladesh A to a decent total against touring Zimbabwe A on day one of the first four-day Test at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium
 arrow Cricket: Inzamam & co heavily fined
Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq was on Wednesday fined 80 per cent of his match fees for his team's slow over-rate in the second one-day international against India.
 arrow Cricket: Pakistan bring back Taufeeq
Prolific left-handed opener Taufeeq Umer has been included in the Pakistan squad for the third one-day international against India in Peshawar, selectors announced on Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: Bhandari takes Nehra's place
India have asked seamer Amit Bhandari to join the team on the Pakistan tour after deciding to send the injured Ashish Nehra home, it was announced Wednesday.
 arrow Tennis: Federer reaches last eight
World No. 1 Roger Federer beat Mardy Fish in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 on Tuesday, advancing to the quarter-finals of the ATP/WTA Indian Wells tournament for the first time.
 arrow Cricket: M'singh cricket
Al-Helal Athletic Club defeated Asit Memorial Club by two-wicket in the Navana Premier Division Cricket League at the Mymensingh Circuit House ground yesterday.
 arrow Handball: Mini handball
Sunny Dale, Dhanmondi Tutorial and BAF Shaheen School won their respective matches on the opening day of the second Sunny Dale Mini handball tournament (boys) at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.
 arrow Football: Magura soccer
Shafik Smriti Sangsad moved into the final of the Econo Football League defeating Sreerampur Friends Club 4-2 in a tie-breaker in the second semifinal at the Magura Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Volleyball: Premier Div v’ball
Dilkusha Sporting Club registered their third victory in the National Bank Premier Division Volleyball League with a three set to love victory against Fire Service team at the outer stadium volleyball
 arrow Cricket: Collins in for Edwards
Fast bowler Fidel Edwards has been ruled out of the West Indies team for the second Test against England starting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on Friday because of injury.
 arrow Football: Baggio to get last call
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni is to invite 37-year-old Roberto Baggio to play for the national team for a final time to honour the former international.
 arrow Football: Ferdinand's anxious wait
Rio Ferdinand will walk a disciplinary high wire without any safety net when his appeal against an eight-month ban for missing a doping test gets underway on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Brazil hope for Ronaldo
Brazil wants soccer star Ronaldo to face Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier this month. Whether he's able to play by then is another matter.
 arrow Football: G-14 on collision course
Escalating their rocky relationship with FIFA, Europe's biggest soccer clubs said they would boycott next year's World Club Championships and test the legality of FIFA's rules to release players for national
 arrow Football: Bremen in final
Bundesliga leaders Werder Bremen needed to show all their steel to reach the German Cup final with two late strikes from Brazilian Ailton and Paraguayan Nelson Haedo Valdez sinking second division VfB
Metropolitanarrow Tk 9,000cr mega health project approved
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved the Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Programme (HNPSP) involving an expenditure of about Tk 9,000 crore.
Nationalarrow IU VC off to Dhaka for talks as agitation continues
Amid agitation for his resignation, Islamic University Vice Chancellor Mustafizur Rahman has gone to Dkaha for urgent consultation with higher authorities, campus sources said yesterday.
 arrow Long March, rally to protest India's river diversion plan
Hundreds of people on Tuesday protested an Indian move to divert water from three major international rivers under US 124 billion-dollar 'Inter-river Networking Project.
 arrow Fame and fortune from scientific fishery
NETRAKONA: Educated youth Mir Abul Hashim has earned fame and fortune.

His Mir Fishery at Podurbari village is well known in greater Mymensing district.

 arrow Police trying to divert case, acid attack victim says
Momtaz Begum, 30, wife of an army man working as peacekeeper abroad, is languishing at Gaibandha Sadar hospital with severe injuries from acid attack.
 arrow Celebrations in Barisal
People of Barisal city observed Bijoy Utsob (victory celebration) on Tuesday following selection of Mawa as the site for construction of the proposed Padma Bridge.
 arrow Peddler hacked for not selling phensidyl on credit
A group of armed hoodlums allegedly led by Munna, a notorious extortionist, hacked drug peddler Shakil at Ajker Barta lane in the city centre Tuesday evening as he refused to sell phensidyl on credit.
 arrow 9 officials sued for Tk 1cr scam in Muktagachha
Nine officials of Muktagachha Upazila Accounts Office were sued on Sunday for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of over one crore taka.
 arrow 45 hurt in Barisal bus plunge
At least 45 people were injured, nine of them critically, when a bus fell into a roadside ditch at Mirganj on the Babuganj-Muladi road on Tuesday.
 arrow Tk 2.5 lakh loans to acid victims, disabled in B'baria
The district Social Welfare Department has distributed Tk 2,50,000 interest-free loans among 25 acid-burn victims and disabled people to make them self-reliant.
 arrow News Snaps
5 BNP activists hurt in clash over toll money

Our Correspondent, Satkhira

At least five ruling BNP activists were injured, one of them seriously, in a clash between two factions of the

Point-Counterpointarrow The ensuing Indian elections
Since the element of surprise is virtually non-existent, Indian elections, the largest democratic exercise in the world, has failed to capture popular imagination.
 arrow Can't we set an example of good two-party system?
We often hear that political parties should work unitedly for national development. The expectation is understandable but the terminology here is little suspect.
Culturearrow Aranyak: A big name on stage
Drama is not only a source of pleasure but also a sharp weapon against the class struggle'. This is the slogan of Aranyak, one of Dhaka's leading theatre groups.
 arrow Sesame Street: the longest street in the world
In 1968 a concept was developed in the USA for children's learning through a television show. This idea evolved over the years and today it is a major platform for building a better future in many countries.
 arrow 'Horlicks Genius Bangladesh 2004' to be aired today on ntv
Buoyed by the grand success of the quiz programme, Horlicks Genius Bangladesh 2003, GSK Consumer Healthcare has decided to make Horlicks Genius Bangladesh a regular feature on the extra-curricular calendar
 arrow 50th episode of Ronger Manush
Ntv will air its 50th episode of popular mega serial Ronger Manush on March 19, at 8:10 p.m. ' The play has a rural theme and has proved its popularity,' says Masum Reza, the playwright.
Generalarrow 'Give women entrepreneurs equal opportunities'
Despite multifarious hurdles, women entrepreneurs in the country have come a long way to achieve self-reliance by dint of their hard struggles, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.
 arrow CID asked to take over trader Selim murder case
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been asked to take over Rezaul Karim Selim murder case and open a probe with top priority as the businessmen have been agitating in protest at the failure
 arrow Four placed on remand
Four persons arrested in connection with the incident of burning to death of a female teacher of Pallabi, were placed on a two-day remand yesterday.
 arrow Domestic help tortured at Pallabi
A housewife allegedly tortured her domestic help at her Pallabi residence on Tuesday.
 arrow Govt's no to Mousumi's charity concert
Popular singer of Kolkata Mousumi Bhowmik yesterday flew back to her home, as the government did not permit her to perform in a charity concert for the arsenic victims.
 arrow Abul Mansur's 25th death anniversary today
The 25th death anniversary of Abul Mansur Ahmad, a renowned litterateur, journalist and statesman of the sub-continent, will be observed today, says a press release.
Internationalarrow Death toll rises in Russia blast
The death toll from a gas leak blast that sheared off an apartment bloc's side reached 44 people yesterday as rescuers prepared to give up their search for survivors who could still be buried under the
 arrow US, Iraqi forces launch massive hunt
US and Iraqi military forces backed by helicopters and armored vehicles launched a big operation in Baghdad yesterday, raiding suspected rebel hideouts in an effort to weed out insurgents and captureillegal
 arrow US pledges extra 1b dlrs to Afghanistan
The US will give Afghanistan another one billion dollars this year, bringing pledges for 2004 up to a total of 2.2 billion dollars, US Secretary of State Colin Powell announced here yesterday.
 arrow 5 Palestinians killed in missile strikes
Israel killed three Palestinians in two missile strikes into a Gaza refugee camp yesterday, pursuing what it called a relentless offensive against militants after two suicide bombers struck a strategic
 arrow Nations shun new Haiti leader
Venezuela and Jamaica have refused to recognise the new Haitian government formed after former president Jean- Bertrand Aristide was deposed.
 arrow Moroccan group behind Madrid attacks: Report
Spanish investigators suspect a militant Moroccan group linked to al Qaeda was behind the Madrid train bombings that killed 201 people, El Pais newspaper reported yesterday.
 arrow Asian allies step up security measures
Asian allies in the US-led war on terror sounded the alarm yesterday as fears of a follow-up to last week's bombings in Spain prompted several governments to raise alerts against possible Al-Qaeda attack.
 arrow Saddam not giving much information
Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is not giving up much useful information under interrogation but he is talking to his captors, a senior US official said on Tuesday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Extortionists' stranglehold
The businessmen of old Dhaka have decided to address their security concerns through convening a rally of 50 organisations of traders and businessmen.
 arrow Editorial: EU anti-terror summit
The EU has announced an emergency meeting of interior ministers to forge a common response to the terror strikes in Madrid and a common platform for combating terror in the future.
 arrow A parallel government up to 25 March 1971
Sheikh Mujib's announcement on 7 March of a civil disobedience movement apparently disappointed the common Bangalee.
 arrow You reap what you sow
The signing of the interim Constitution by Iraq's Interim Governing Council is thought to reflect an American victory that would extricate the US out of the Iraqi quagmire.
Letters to Editorarrow Blocking the alternative force
Former President Dr. Badruddoza Chowdhury--the man initiating the alternative political force in Bangladesh-- was harassed on the way to the scheduled meeting at Muktangan on March 11.
 arrow Attacks on peaceful demonstrations
The recent police-aided attacks of BNP activists on supporters of Dr. Humayun Azad and Dr. Badruddoza Chowdhury were simply outrageous.
 arrow Wake up!
It is sad and pathetic to see how Dr. B Chowdhury and his people were assaulted while the law enforcers stood by like spectators in a circus. Bangladesh has become a violent society.
 arrow Biased journalism?
It saddens me to see the popular daily newspapers carrying biased reports.