Volume 4 Number 288 Fri. March 19, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow 89 undercover cop teams in action
Eighty-nine armed undercover police teams swung into action last night with 40 of them under the much-talked-about elite Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) to restore law and order amid scenes of growing violence
 arrow Businessmen to try to put an end
Top business leaders yesterday decided to pursue an agenda to get political parties including the ruling BNP put an end to violent political confrontation in the wake of a wave of attacks on businessenterprises
 arrow Hamid asks Bhuiyan to arrange Khaleda-Hasina talks
Deputy Leader of the Opposition Abdul Hamid said yesterday he had asked ruling BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan for initiating a dialogue to end opposition's parliament boycott.
 arrow Businesses shut, govt careless
Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina has said the business people are now being compelled to shut down their businesses for lack of security.
 arrow Conspirators' black hands will be smashed: Khaleda
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has accused the opposition Awami League (AL) of pursuing the path of conspiracy and said the 'conspirators' will be resisted to sustain democracy and development.
 arrow Pakistan to get elite military status
The United States will reward Pakistan for its support in the war on terrorism with an elite military status despite concerns about nuclear proliferation, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday.
 arrow Prominent labour leader bombed to death in Mongla
A prominent labour leader was bombed to death in southwestern Mongla town last night in a drive-by attack, sparking angry protests and political backlash, police and witnesses said.
 arrow Diplomats meet Tarique, voice concern over attacks on opposition
Top diplomats from 15 countries yesterday held talks with Tarique Rahman, senior joint secretary general of the ruling BNP, and expressed their concern over political violence in a move that surprised
 arrow AL calls it wanton disregard for president's office
The main opposition Awami League (AL) yesterday described the proposed 14th amendment to the constitution as wanton disregard for the office of the president as the prime minister's portrait will be displayed
 arrow US embassy launches finger scans for visa seekers
The US embassy in Dhaka yesterday launched biometric finger-scans for visa applicants to tighten what American Ambassador Harry K Thomas said was the US homeland security.
 arrow ...The flood of development

 arrow Vietnamese president due Monday
Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong arrives in Dhaka Monday for a three-day official visit aimed at improving ties with the two countries, the foreign ministry here said yesterday.
 arrow Rivals ready for another cracker
India face a dilemma over the make-up of their bowling attack ahead of the third match of their one-day series against Pakistan in Peshawar.
 arrow Correction
In our March 18 report headlined 'Blame on ministries for agri inputs crises' inadvertently quoted Agriculture Minister MK Anwar as saying at a parliamentary standing committee meeting that despite repeated
 arrow All govt vehicles to go CNG by Dec
State Minister for Energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said all public transports including government vehicles would be converted into CNG-run ones by the year-end to improve Dhaka's air quality.
 arrow Al-Qaeda threatens to attack 6 nations
A statement attributed to al-Qaeda has threatened "America's lackeys" with attacks similar to those in Madrid last week, singling out Japan, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Pakistan, an Arab
 arrow GP plans call rate cut next week
GrameenPhone (GP) Limited yesterday said it plans to cut call charges for pre-paid and post-paid subscribers by next week.
 arrow A brick kiln seen on an aerial photograph ..

 arrow 3 Gis, 3 journos killed in Iraq
Insurgents fired mortar rounds at two US military bases in Iraq on Wednesday, killing three American soldiers and wounding nine others, the military said hours after a massive suicide bombing of a hotel
 arrow Agrani Bank also sets its task
Agrani Bank has assigned 36 high officials to recover its Tk 2,641 crore default loans.

Of these, 20 top defaulters possess Tk 565 crore.

 arrow Price hike due to bullish int'l market
Importers slapped high prices on powdered milk due to rise in its price in the international market, high rates of import duty and other taxes.
 arrow Mother, uncle to die for killing children
A court in Dhaka yesterday sentenced a housewife and her brother-in-law to death for killing her two children three years ago with the motive for hiding their extramarital affairs.
 arrow Ahmadiyyas in fear as Barguna bigots threaten action today
A state of panic has gripped over 1,000 Ahmadiyyas of Kukua union in Barguna's Amtoli upazila as anti-Ahmadiyya zealots prepare to carry out their programme, scheduled at noon today, to evict the Ahmadiyyas
 arrow The fountain at Shahbagh...

 arrow Diplomats to visit villagers next week
Representatives from European Union (EU), US and some European countries' diplomatic missions in Bangladesh will visit Mohalchhari in Khagrachhari next week to see the victims of an arson attack, which
 arrow BNP leader quits over attacks on dissidents
A leader of Narayanganj district unit of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) yesterday resigned from the party protesting recent attacks on AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and his associates.
 arrow Azad awaits flying abroad for treatment
Versatile writer Humayun Azad awaits flying abroad in a couple of days for treatment for his neurological problems from nerve tissue injuries.
 arrow Saifur's no to agri loan waiver
Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday rejected a proposal of waiving agricultural loans, instead he assured farmers of more subsidies to agri-inputs.
 arrow Bac presses charges against Motia
The Bureau of Anti-corruption (Bac) yesterday pressed charges against former food minister Motia Chowdhury and seven others in a graft case.
 arrow Nepalese Maoists offer peace talk
Nepal's Maoist rebels have offered to hold peace talks with the government under UN mediation to try to settle their deadly revolt aimed at installing a communist republic.
 arrow NBR says it wants to recover unpaid revenues
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday dismissed the report on freezing bank accounts of five business concerns owned by ex-BNP lawmaker MA Mannan, saying it only took an initiative to recoverunpaid
 arrow Fire guts 30 houses in Mirpur
A raging fire gutted 30 houses at Lalkuthi in Mirpur Section 1 yesterday.

The fire at Third Colony of Block B started after a cut coconut tree fell on adjacent power lines and gas riser at around 2:15pm.

Businessarrow Develop infrastructure or face tough post-MFA era
US Ambassador in Dhaka Harry K Thomas yesterday cautioned Bangladesh about a hard time in the post-MFA (multi fibre arrangement) era unless it develops infrastructure and eliminates corruption.
 arrow Raise tariff, non-tariff barrier issue at FTA talks with India
A leading agro-based food producing company yesterday urged the government to negotiate with its Indian counterpart to remove the tariff and non-tariff barriers imposed by India on Bangladeshi food and
 arrow Govt mulls appointment of 'tax ombudsman'
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed yesterday said the government will actively consider appointing a 'tax ombudsman' and bringing in a change in the tax payment system to make
 arrow Donors suggest remedies
Three development partners, who wrapped up a country review mission in Bangladesh yesterday, pointed out delays in implementing many donor-financed projects and suggested some dos and don'ts for a remedy.
 arrow Thai senators urge govt to seek parliamentary nod
A group of senators yesterday urged the Thai the government to seek parliamentary approval for the signing of free-trade-agreements (FTAs) as the deals would compel changes in Thai law and have impacts
 arrow Five SoEs handed over to private sector
Privatisation Commission formally handed over five state-owned enterprises (SoE) to private entrepreneurs at a function held at its conference hall here yesterday.
 arrow BB forms body to review anti-money laundering act
Bangladesh Bank yesterday formed a committee to review the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2002, as the law could do little to curb the pecuniary vice.
 arrow StanChart opens new ATM booth at Gulshan
Standard Chartered Bank has opened a new ATM booth at Gulshan in Dhaka.

Mustafizur Rahman, an accountholder of Standard Chartered Bank since 1964, inaugurated the new booth, says a press release.

 arrow Pan Pacific Hotels, three others form global alliance
Four leading hotel companies have formed a worldwide alliance that spells good news for the international travellers, says a press release.
 arrow Baraka Ltd, Ifad Enterprises sign deal
Baraka Limited, the sole distributor of Servo brand lube oil of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) in Bangladesh, and Ifad Enterprises, sole distributor of Elgi Equipment Limited, signed a tie-up agreement
 arrow Customers bear brunt of record Asia shipping costs
Record shipping costs fuelled by China's ravenous appetite for commodities have pushed up prices for metals, raw materials and farm products across Asia -- but done little to dampen demand.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Over-rate Pak worry
Pakistan's bowlers will speed up the over-rate in Friday's third one-day international against India here to prevent captain Inzamamul Haq from being banned.
 arrow Cricket: 'You're all seeing ití
India captain Sourav Gan-guly appeared to raise fresh doubts over Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar's ac-tion on Thursday on the eve of the sides' third one-dayer.
 arrow Cricket: A bowlers strike back
Young paceman Shahadat Hossain and Alamgir Kabir shared seven wickets as Bangladesh A staged a comeback on the second day of their four-day match against Zimbabwe A at the Rajshahi Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: New lease of life
Pakistan's popular all-rounder Shahid Afridi said on Thursday he had almost given up playing cricket in the past year, but adoring fans made him change his mind.
 arrow Cricket: WI pride at stake
West Indies will be playing to restore pride when they face England in the second of four Tests starting on Friday at Queen's Park Oval.
 arrow Cricket: SA dominate Day One
South Africa's openers were within sight of becoming world cricket's most prolific opening partnership Thursday as their side took control on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand.
 arrow Cricket: Another from Martyn
Damien Martyn slammed a second century under pressure in successive matches as Australia surged into a strong position in the second Test against Sri Lanka here on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Owen with a bang
Michael Owen went from zero to hero as Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory against Portsmouth here at Anfield on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Zaragoza Kings
Real Zaragoza stunned Real Madrid with a winning goal in extra time to take the Spanish Cup on Wednesday and dash David Beckham's hopes of a first trophy in Spain.
 arrow Football: Giant-slayers in final
Second division Alemannia Aachen continued their giantkilling of Bundesliga teams defeating Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 on Wednesday to reach the German Cup final for the first time since 1965.
 arrow Football: Lazio halfway there
Injury-hit Juventus are in danger of finishing the season without a trophy after losing 2-0 to financially stricken Lazio in the first leg of the Italian Cup final here on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Door closes on mercenaries
World football's governing body FIFA on Wednesday announced strict guidelines for players wishing to represent a country with which they have had no previous connection.
 arrow Football: Hitzfeld claim raises questions
Chelsea's reported approach for Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has been denied by the club but only stoked up more speculation over manager Claudio Ranieri's job.
 arrow Cricket: Jubo School win BSFNA tourney
Jubo Cricket School won the Bangladesh Sports Foundation of North America (BSFNA) cricket tournament beating Al Rashid Cricket Club by five wickets in the final at the Rajshahi College playground yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: AIUB cricket
North South University (NSU), American University Blues (AUB) and Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) won their respective matches of the third AIUB Cup inter private university cricket tournament
 arrow Cricket: M'singh cricket
County Club beat Abahani Krira Chakra by 93 runs in the Navana Premier Division Cricket League at the Mymensingh stadium yesterday.

Batting first, County Club scored 201 all out in 45 overs.

 arrow Chess: Parsvnath chess
Fide Master Khandakar Aminul Islam and Debaraj Chettarjee both earned seven points after the tenth round of the second Parsvnath international rating chess tournament in New Delhi yesterday.
 arrow Handball: Mini handball
Eight matches of the second Sunny Dale mini handball tournament (boys) were decided yesterday at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex.
 arrow Cricket: JU cricket
Bangla Department stormed into the last eight of the inter-department cricket championship of Jahangirnagar University (JU) when they beat International Relations by 11 runs at the university centralplayground
 arrow Cricket: U-13 cricket
A superb all-round performance by Jitu helped Dhaka Cricket Academy beat Basic Cricket Coaching Centre by 14 runs in the Azim Group second under-13 cricket tournament at the Kalabagan Cricket Club ground
 arrow Kabadi: Kabadi meet
Bangladesh Army registered an exciting 47-46 victory over Bangladesh Police in the opening match of the Independence Day kabadi competition at the outer stadium kabadi court yesterday.
 arrow Volleyball: Nat'l Bank v'ball
Bangladesh Rifles maintained their all-win record in the National Bank Premier Division Volleyball League, beating Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) 3-1 at the outer stadium volleyball court yesterday.
Point-Counterpointarrow They dare to dream and dare to act
On the third anniversary of death of one of our celebrated poets and a renowned national and international civil servant, A Z M Obaidullah Khan, we recall his valued association as an esteemed columnist.
 arrow High cost of learning materials deter education
The fact that we suffer from contradictions of many types is clear from the state policy of increasing opportunities for education in the country on the one hand, while raising prices of learning materials
 arrow Regime change in Haiti
Perhaps everyone on the earth knows by now that Mr. George W. Bush is very big on regime change. Oh, yes! He removed both Mullah Omar and Saddam from the catbird seat.
Culturearrow Khaled and Mita: a couple that complement each other
It was a pleasant spring morning when I went to the Banani residence of singer Mita Haq and theatre personality Khaled Khan. As I stepped inside, I heard the melodious voice of Mita at her dailyrewaz.
 arrow To help the destitute
They call themselves 'old friends'. And their motto is 'Let all of us prosper together'. They have an organisation to keep the bond alive. They are the ex-cadets of Rajshahi Cadet College.
 arrow Chanmpadangar Bou on ntv
Ntv will air a new serial Chanm-padangar Bou, based on the Bangla classic novel Chanmpadangar Bou by Tarashonkar Bandyopadhyay.
 arrow A path less taken
There should be proper practice of music otherwise we would find ourselves moving away from the main stream.
Generalarrow 4 JCD leaders beaten up at DU hall
Four JCD leaders were beaten up and injured seriously in an attack by the members of their rival faction at Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall of Dhaka University on Wednesday night.
 arrow Present govt gives declaration to 65 dailies, JS told
State Minister for Youth and Sports Fazlur Rahman on behalf of Information Minister Tariqul Islam yesterday told the Jatiya Sangsad that the present government has given declaration to 65 dailies so far.
 arrow Preliminary test for posts of UEO today
The preliminary test for the posts of Upazila Education Officer (UEO) under the Public Service Commission (PSC) begins today as the Supreme Court yesterday stayed Wednesday's High Court interim orderbarring
 arrow 'Give children enough space in media to express views'
A two-day national consultation on "Children's Participation in Media" ended here yesterday with a framework to pave the way for effective partnership among television channels, development partners,government,
 arrow JCD leader falls sick during interrogation
City Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader Abdullah-el-Kafi alias Shakha has been admitted to 'Gerib Newaz Clinic' in the city as he fell sick during interrogation in DB office here.
 arrow Protest rally not held for fear of reprisals
A scheduled rally organised by local people protesting the rape and killing of Fatema Khatun Kohinoor could not be held at Pallabi in the city yesterday for what locals said was the fear of reprisalsfrom
 arrow Killers of Jubo Dal leader yet to be arrested
Police are yet to arrest the killers of a Jubo Dal ward unit leader who was murdered inside a hotel room at Mugda in Sabujbagh on Wednesday.
 arrow Three get life in rape case
Three persons including a woman were given life-term imprisonment yesterday in a case of rape of eight young girls in Panchagarh district.
 arrow Cancellation of bill demanded
Different organisations yesterday protested the bill that proposes 45 reserved seats for women in parliament ignoring the demand for holding direct election to those seats.
 arrow Janajuddha man held, succumbs to injuries
Outlawed Janajuddha activist Mahbub Hossain arrested by the joint forces at 10-30 am yesterday at Khalishpur Industrial area succumbed to his fatal injuries at 12.
 arrow Day-labourer dies in rooftop
A day-labourer died falling down from the rooftop of a six-storey under-construction building at Naya Paltan in Motijheel yesterday.
 arrow Absconding convict held in Sylhet
A notorious cadre of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, who had been at large after being awarded five years rigorous imprisonment (RI), was arrested by the police on Wednesday night.
 arrow Seminar on building security
Speakers at a seminar called for appropriate security measures in multi-storied buildings to prevent crimes.
 arrow Butterfly showroom looted
Robbers looted cash, eight television sets and other electronic goods worth about Tk 2 lakh from a Butterfly showroom at Mirpur in the city on Wednesday.
 arrow Mamun wins Kagoj Literary Award
Litterateur Mamun Hussain has been selected for the Kagoj Literary Award - 2004.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Submarine cable link
After years of chest-beating sighs and moans over our failure to seize the opportunity of logging on to the submarine cable and being consequently left by the wayside of the fast track IT, at long last
 arrow Editorial: Katka Beach tragedy
The authorities have responded to the tragedy of 11 university students drowning off of Katka Beach last Saturday by imposing stringent restrictions on tourists swimming and bathing in the treacherous
 arrow Lessons from Spain
The battle to determine the meaning of the Spanish people's election of the anti-Iraq war Socialist Party in apparent response to the terrorist strikes in Madrid has begun.
 arrow Monkey's uncle
If you are hovering in the range between early-thirties and beyond, if your hair and moustache are spiked with gray, and if your face shows scratches of age, you would know what I mean by what I am going
 arrow Bush vs Kerry: No stones being left unturned
The forthcoming US Presidential elections has generated a great deal of interest and media attention. In 2000, the eight year Clinton-Gore administration came to an end on a high note.
Letters to Editorarrow The best cricketer in Bangladesh?
A very difficult question and as difficult to answer.
 arrow Madrid bombing, death and politics
Close to 200 innocent lives died and more than 1000 injured.
 arrow What's going on?
These days, a favourite topic for starting a conversation with the friend or with someone your colleague is "What is going on in this country?" Immediately, the question gets both parties engaged in an
 arrow Comments on commentary
I fully agree with every point of the commentary "Does the PM really believe in democracy?" written by Mr. Mahfuz Anam on March 15.
 arrow PM should read the DS commentary
The commentary "Does the PM really believe in democracy" (DS March 15th) was very timely and articulated the frustrations of a lot of your readers who feel let down by the Prime Minister.
 arrow Open book exam
The English department of BRAC University is planning to stop the open book system in their semester exams. I know why.
 arrow Unprecedented demands
The attack on Dr. Azad was an unprecedented action and of the most serious nature. The fact is that it is a symptom of the deteriorating health of our nation, a very severe one.
 arrow Democracy?
Lately I have been following the news of B. Chowdhury's notoriously painful experiences for standing up and speaking out against the current ruling party.
 arrow Malt beverage
I would like to give thanks to Farhana Sultana for her letter on alcoholic beverages (Mar 10). She has made valuable points in her letter, especially in the lines ".....
 arrow Holiday shifted!
If I understood it correctly, the government has declared a public holiday on March 27. Because Independence Day (March 26) this year falls on a Friday (weekly holiday).
 arrow DU stalemate
It has been more than 12 days since DU is closed due to DU teachers' strike. Still there is no sign of improvement as the government is indifferent to the prevailing situation.
Environmentarrow Nijhum Dweep: Global hotspot for migratory shorebirds
Nijhum Dweep is an island on the central coast of Bangladesh in the middle of Hatiya and Shahabajpur estuary facing the Bay of Bengal.
Worldarrow S Asian rivals will have to resolve row on their own
The United States will try to spur on the burgeoning peace process between India and Pakistan but will leave core negotiations to the nuclear rivals, Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday.
 arrow Asian states to boost information exchange on terrorism: Interpol
Asian police officials agreed to boost information exchange on terrorism through the international police agency, Interpol, the agency said yesterday as a two-day regional conference wrapped up in Manila.
 arrow 'Offshoot better than a Cong led by Sonia'
He speaks highly of the performance of the NDA government, sings paeans in praise of the Prime Minister and doesn't see anything wrong with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
 arrow US to slap sanctions on Syria soon: Armitage
The United States will soon announce new sanctions against Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Wednesday.
 arrow Pakistan keeps up al-Qaeda hunt
Pakistan yesterday launched a "major" ground and air offensive against al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the northwest border region where 39 people were killed two days ago, the military said.
 arrow US was wrong on Iraq: China
China yesterday said the situation in Iraq a year after the United States launched its invasion had proved Washington was wrong to try to use force to solve its disputes.
 arrow 18 killed in Kosovo ethnic violence
At least 18 people were killed and more than 270 injured Wednesday as the UN-administered Serbian province of Kosovo was swept by its worst violence between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in three years that
 arrow US blames al-Qaeda for Baghdad hotel blast
Iraq's interior minister said yesterday a car bomb that devastated a central Baghdad neighbourhood three days before the anniversary of the US-led invasion killed six people -- well below US estimates