Volume 4 Number 291 Mon. March 22, 2004    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow BNP MPs ask PM to axe corrupt ministers
Ruling BNP lawmakers at a parliamentary forum yesterday asked Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to downsize the cabinet dropping corrupt and inefficient members and take 'stern action' against them.
 arrow Business leaders demand compensation
Business leaders yesterday demanded compensation from the government for the damages to business establishments of Major (Rtd) Abdul Mannan done in attacks following his resignation from the ruling BNP.
 arrow Govt to buy four subs, fighters
A range of heavy martial gears including submarines, fighter planes, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft and patrol vessels are in procurement process as part of the government's drive to modernisethe
 arrow Jamuna Group chief Babul arrested
A Dhaka court yesterday sent Jamuna Group Chairman Nurul Islam Babul to jail after police arrested him in connection with the murder of a dredger worker in September last year.
 arrow Japan waives $1.4b loans
Japan yesterday waived $1.4 billion in loans to Bangladesh until 2018 under a newly-introduced Debt Relief Measure programme that will reduce its debt burden.
 arrow India draw level with Pakistan
Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif yesterday hit magnificent unbeaten half-centuries to help India beat Pakistan by five wickets and square their five-match one-day international series 2-2.
 arrow JS body invites Hasina to discuss constitution amendment
A parliamentary standing committee yesterday invited the Leader of the Opposition in the Jatiya Sangsad Sheikh Hasina to its meeting to seek her party's opinion on the much-talked about 14th amendment
 arrow Vietnamese president arrives today
A red carpet reception awaits the Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong when he arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day visit to boost bilateral trade and diplomatic ties.
 arrow Oil spills threaten whales, dolphins in the Bay
Oil spill from oceangoing vessels, indiscriminate fishing and other environmental hazards are threatening survival of whales and dolphins in the Bay of Bengal, scientists who participated in a recentstudy
 arrow Poor lose $40b in agri exports
Agricultural protectionism and high level of subsidies given to farmers by rich countries are causing the developing world to lose $40 billion worth of potential agricultural exports every year, a regional
 arrow Prepaid electricity meters soon
The Power Development Board (PDB) will introduce about 20,000 prepaid meters on a test run in Chittagong, Sirajganj, Sylhet and Bogra within a year to check power pilferage.
 arrow DCC on special drive to kill mosquito eggs
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has taken up a two-month special drive to destroy mosquito eggs in its 90 wards in an effort to relieve residents of the mosquito menace, officials said yesterday.
 arrow EU diplomats visit CHT today
A high-profile delegation of the diplomatic missions of European Union (EU) countries and the European Commission in Dhaka embarks on a three-day visit to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) today.
 arrow Bumper removal order stayed
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed the March 8 High Court order, directing the DMP to remove extra bumpers from vehicles after notifying the public about the order within a month.
 arrow 2 GIs killed in Iraq
Anti-US guerrillas fired rockets into the middle of Baghdad in a rare daylight salvo yesterday, killing two civilians and wounding six people, including an American soldier, a US military spokesman said.
 arrow Toll-takers keep two families confined to their houses
Miscreants have kept two Hindu families confined to their own houses at Shindhurol village of Bagmara upazila for last several days and threatened to burn their houses if the toll they demanded was not
 arrow A billboard in the city's Segunbagicha...

 arrow Jalil sure of govt's fall by April 30
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday emphatically said that excepting Almighty Allah, none can prevent fall of the 'failed' Khaleda Zia regime by April 30.
 arrow AL, left parties plan more agitations
Awami League (AL) and five leftist political parties are planning to launch more agitation programmes simultaneously to oust the 30-month old alliance government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia for 'absolute
 arrow NBCP's third man nabbed in Khilgaon
Detectives Saturday arrested the third in line of command of outlawed New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP) from Sipahibagh in Khilgaon.
 arrow DU classes resume
Classes at Dhaka University (DU) resumed yesterday after a 22-day class boycott by teachers following the February 27 attack on Humayun Azad, a professor of the varsity and an eminent writer.
 arrow Azad flies to Bangkok today for treatment
Critically injured writer Humayun Azad will be flown to Bangkok today for better treatment.
 arrow Siraj decries India's water link plan
Environment and Forest Minister Shajahan Siraj said yesterday Bangladeshis at home and abroad must protest the water diversion project of India through inter-linking rivers, as it would 'turn Bangladesh
 arrow Writ challenging IGP's holding office filed
A writ filed with the High Court yesterday challenged the legality of Shahudul Huq's holding the office of Inspector General of Police (IGP) after his conviction.
 arrow One criminal lynched, five injured in Ctg
A mob yesterday lynched a criminal and injured five others of a gang at Kanchannagar in Fatikchhari yesterday.
 arrow AL MP escapes bomb attack in Magura
Awami League (AL) lawmaker of Magura-1 constituency Dr M Serajul Akbar survived an assassination attempt in Magura town Saturday night when a bomb went off at a place where he was sitting along with some
 arrow Maoists storm Nepali town, bomb airport
Five people were reported dead yesterday in Nepal as Maoist rebels stormed into a district headquarters, where they opened up the jail and looted the bank, and bombed an airport commonly used by tourists,
 arrow Germany to give 40,000 euro to victims
The German government will provide 40,000 euro as humanitarian aid for the indigenous people of Mahalchhari in the hills district of Khagrachhari to help them meet their urgent needs.
 arrow College student shot dead in Uttara
A college student was shot dead and a friend of him injured in Uttara yesterday.
 arrow Six-year-old girl raped in Aminbazar
A six-year-old girl was raped at Aminbazar in Savar yesterday afternoon.
 arrow India's water withdrawal request rejected
A meeting of the Indo-Bangla Joint Rivers Commission ended on Saturday night without an agreement on India's demand for withdrawal of additional 84 cusecs water from the Feni river.
Businessarrow Leather sector exports may fetch Tk 1,700cr this fiscal
Exporters hope to earn at least Tk 1,700 crore by exporting leather and leather goods this fiscal as they organise an international leather fair in Dhaka from tomorrow aiming to promote their products
 arrow Exports from EPZs rise 12pc in first six months
Enterprises located in the export processing zones (EPZs) exported goods worth of about $ 622.25 million during the first half of the current fiscal.
 arrow Bawa Jute Mills goes private
State-owned Bawa Jute Mills in Narayanganj was formally handed over to a private entrepreneur at a function at the Privatisation Commission here yesterday.
 arrow Bank holiday on Saturday
Bangladesh Bank (BB) and other scheduled banks will remain closed on Saturday (March 27) on the occasion of the Independence and National Day, a press release of the BB said here yesterday.
 arrow Remittance black market thrives in Asia
Once a month, Nisha sends the money she saves from her job as a maid in Singapore to her family back home in Sri Lanka.

But like millions of her fellow Asian migrant workers, she does not use a bank.

 arrow Opec production cut strategy hurts US economy
Opec's aggressive six month old strategy of cutting oil production, which has seen prices come near a 13-year high, is hurting the United States which faces an increasingly difficult negotiating position.
 arrow Deflation remains a risk in China
China should not ignore the risk of falling prices, or deflation, despite a trend in recent months for rising consumer prices, state media reported Sunday, citing a ranking government economist.
 arrow Qatar kicks off largest intíl gas gathering
Qatar, with ambitions to be the world's largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), kicked off a conference here Sunday bringing together major global players in the industry.
 arrow WTO to tackle farm subsidy on road to trade talk resurrection
The abrasive issue of agricultural subsidies will come under the spotlight at the World Trade Organisation again on Monday as the 146 member states set out to resurrect deadlocked trade liberalisation
 arrow ROK considers restricting car use to protect oil reserves
The South Korean government plans to restrict the use of passenger cars next month if oil prices rise further, in a bid to maintain reserves, reports said Sunday.
 arrow Australia focuses on two-way trade deals amid stalled WTO talks
Australia has abandoned its position as a global free trade pioneer to pursue one-off deals with its major export partners as negotiators meet in Geneva this week to revive stalled World Trade Organisation
 arrow Sípore banking on more than 5pc growth in 2004
Singapore appears on track to turn in stronger growth this year as the export-led economy rides on a global upturn, with most economists tipping expansion of more than five percent barring a major shock.
 arrow Pak economic recovery gathers pace: ADB
Pakistan's economic recovery gained momentum in the first half of the current fiscal year and was entering a "high growth path" that could exceed its target growth rate of 5.
 arrow SingTel expects up to $562m from Belgacom share sale
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) expects to book a net gain of 900-950 million Singapore dollars (532-562 million US) from the public listing of European telecoms group Belgacom, Southeast Asia's
 arrow Canada plans $750m mad cow aid for beef farmers
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin plans to announce C$1 billion ($750 million) in immediate new aid for the beef industry, hard hit by the mad cow crisis, a senior government source said Saturday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Funny it remains
Cricket is a funny game. It is even funnier when India play it against Pakistan.
 arrow Cricket: Cricketers cry for leagues
Hundreds of cricketers are set to suffer a massive financial blow this season following a deadlock over the start of Dhaka Leagues.
 arrow Advance party leaves today
With hopes high for gold, the Bangladesh football team leaves for Islamabad today to take part in the ninth South Asian Federation (SAF) Games.
 arrow Cricket: Rain foils Eng, WI plans
Unseasonal rain washed away a huge chunk of play and put a dent in the plans of England and West Indies to make meaningful headway on the second day of the second Test at Queen's Park Oval on Saturday.
 arrow Cricket: Fletcher stands by his openers
England's misfiring opening batsmen Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick earned the support of coach Duncan Fletcher after the duo endured another miserable day at the crease against the West Indies.
 arrow Cricket: Brett to have op on ankle
Australia's fastest bowler Brett Lee is due to have ankle surgery on Tuesday and will miss the two-Test tour of Zimbabwe in May.
 arrow Cricket: Kallis so close, yet so far!
The dream run of centuries in consecutive Tests by South African batsman Jacques Kallis came to an end here Sunday, 29 runs short of the six-successive Test record held by the great Don Bradman.
 arrow Cricket: Satkhira cricket
Town Sporting Club, Balaka Krira Chakra and United Club won their respective matches in the Satkhira First Division Cricket League at the Satkhira Government College ground in the last three days.
 arrow Cricket: U-15 cricket
Dhaka Metro (Blues) and Chittagong Division won their respective matches in the Under-15 Age Group development cricket tournament yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Martin mesmerises SA
A devastating spell by recalled paceman Chris Martin wrecked the heart of the South African batting order and put New Zealand in sight of victory at stumps on the fourth day of the second cricket Test
 arrow Cricket: Chris pays John back
New Zealand medium-fast bowler Chris Martin has repaid the faith shown in him by coach John Bracewell after taking 10 wickets in the second Test against South Africa on Sunday.
 arrow Tennis: Federer-Henman showdown
World No. 1 Roger Federer finished with back-to-back aces in the closing game to dispatch Andre Agassi on Saturday and reach his first final at the ATP/WTA Indian Wells event.
 arrow Football: Real wheels falling off
Leaders Real Madrid ended a miserable week when they suffered a morale-sapping 4-2 defeat at an inspired Athletic Bilbao in the Primera Liga on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Unconquerable Gunners
Arsenal clocked up a record-equalling unbeaten start to the season on Saturday with a nervy 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers that kept them nine points clear at the top of the premier league.
 arrow Football: Adu's instant impact
Fourteen-year-old Freddy Adu scored 11 minutes into his pro debut Saturday, helping D.C. United beat Battery 2-1 in the first game of the Carolina Challenge Cup.
 arrow Football: Danish treat for Milan
AC Milan remain on course for their first Italian league title since 1999 as the European champions opened up a 10 point lead over second-placed Roma with a 3-1 win over Parma on Saturday.
 arrow Football: Bayern make it easier
The Bundesliga crown looks destined for Werder Bremen after defending champions Bayern Munich stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Metropolitanarrow Order on acceptance of charge sheet Apr 10
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed April 10 to pass an order on acceptance of the charge sheet against top listed criminals Kala Jahangir and Pichchi Hannan and 10 others in the ward commissioner ShahadatHossain
 arrow Artha Rin Adalat (Amend) Bill finalised
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs yesterday finalised its report on the Artha Rin Adalat (Amendment) Bill-2004 for placing in the House.
 arrow HC stays govt move to shift stranded Pakistanis
The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain why its move for shifting the stranded Pakistanis from the Geneva Camp at Adamjee Nagar to Uttara Housing Complex at Syedpur without
Nationalarrow 'No academic activity at IU till VC's removal'
Leaders of the Bidibidhan Sangrakkhan Committee (BBSC), a body Islamic University teachers, at a rally in the town yesterday said they will not resume academic activities at the institution till the "corrupt
 arrow Midnight mass eviction
Hired goons in a seven-hour raid forced over 400 families out of a huge slum in the city in the early hours of Saturday.
 arrow Farmers pin hope on Sagarkhali project
People of all classes, farmers in particular, welcomed the ECNEC's recent approval of the Tk.87.20 crore Sagarkhali-Barabila Basin Project (SBBP) in Kushtia.
 arrow 'Stern action against police failure'
It was a unique event in the small town. The police chief joined the people in raising voices against drug use and drug peddling.
 arrow A lifebuoy for the poor
Every day, several hundred poor people come to the floating Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital, now anchored at Char Baitkmari in the Brahmaputra in Gaibandha.

They return happy after free treatment.

 arrow RU to appoint 289 employees 'bypassing rule'
The Rajshahi University (RU) authorities are allegedly preparing to recruit 289 third and fourth class employees without prior notice and proper scrutiny.
 arrow Salt mixed with Urea, cement with TSP
IRRI-Boro on about 50,000 acres in Akhaura upazila have turned yellowish due to use of adulterated fertiliser, farmers have alleged.
 arrow Gaibandha, Gobindaganj municipal polls on May 6,8
Municipal election in Gaibandha and Gobindaganj will be held on May 6 and May 8 respectively.
 arrow Teachers' expulsion from SSC exam protested
The Mymensingh unit of National Teachers and Employees Front (NTEF) brought out a procession in the town on Saturday protesting the "illegal expulsion" of four teachers from SSC examination halls andalleged
 arrow 35 MW load shedding in Barisal
Frequent load shading amid a hot and humid weather has made life miserable in Barisal city.

SSC and HSC examinees are the worst sufferers.

Point-Counterpointarrow Diversion of atmospheric water
The Mars had water and is believed to had once been favourable for supporting life, the US scientists, in the recent days, confirmed from data sent by the rover Spirit.
 arrow Water in our culture
Since our childhood, we have known some popular sayings, phrases and practices embedded in our social and religious life. The first and foremost one is "the other name of water is life".
Culturearrow Building bridges
There have been several changes in the television industry of the country during the last couple of decades.
 arrow Independence Day programme at Liberation War Museum
The Liberation War Museum celebrates its eighth anniversary today. On this occasion and also to observe the Independence Day, the museum holds a weeklong celebration starting from today.
 arrow Ntv airs another concert
With Independence Day on the horizon, the media is getting set with programmes to mark the occasion.
 arrow Creating passion through the Sitar
We were overwhelmed by the mass of e-mails we received from the readers, informing us about the various talents hidden in different parts of the country.
 arrow 'Thought provoking'
This e-mail is to let you know how thought provoking and moving the recent articles were on the Culture page.
Generalarrow Internal feuds grip JCD, BCL
Both Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student front of the main opposition Awami League (AL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of the ruling BNP, are currently beset with internal conflict
 arrow Hold public debate to seek people's opinion
The government must hold public debate to solicit the opinion of the people to bring any fundamental changes in the constitution, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
 arrow Bid to improve city law, order situation
One hundred plainclothes teams formed to fight crime in the city have been asked to engage more informants to arrest diehard criminals.
 arrow Threat on Mortaza's life condemned
About 20 journalists, writers and cultural activists yesterday condemned the threat on the life of Golam Mortaza, chief reporter of the weekly Saptahik 2000.
 arrow Jail reforms near completion
Jail reforms are nearing completion as 25 recommendations including arrangement for separate habitation for women and children prisoners of the cabinet committee was implemented during the last one and
 arrow 3rd Nat'l Debate ompetition from Mar 27
Dhaka University Debating Society (Duds) will organise a three-day Third National Debate Competition at the Teacher Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University on March 27-29.
 arrow 7-day ultimatum to JU English deptt chairman
Students of English department of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday gave a seven-day ultimatum to the chairman to press home their 6-point demand that include immediate formulation of an academic
 arrow Rafiq new envoy to Canada
Consul General of Bangladesh in New York, Rafiq Ahmed Khan has been appointed High Commissioner to Canada.

Rafiq joined Bangladesh Foreign Service in 1971.

 arrow New director PR of DU
Md. Ashraf Ali Khan, Public Relations Officer of Dhaka University, has been appointed director of the public relations department.
 arrow Polythene seized, 3 arrested
Detectives seized 84 sacks of polythene and arrested three people from Gulshan in the early hours of Sunday.
 arrow 'Take action against land grabbers'
The first meeting of the national executive committee to monitor the reception of complaints and inquiry into those complaints of grabbing land properties was held yesterday with Cabinet Secretary Dr.
 arrow Reunion
A reunion of the artistes, employees and participants of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra will be held tomorrow at Central Public Library auditorium in the city, says a press release.
 arrow 1753 more held
Police arrested 1,753 people during their countrywide drive in the last 24 hours ending at 6am yesterday.
Internationalarrow Pak troops search homes for militants
Pakistani forces were searching homes amid a lull in fierce fighting against suspected al-Qaeda holdouts near the Afghan border yesterday, while tribal villagers cursed the army for the deaths of civilians
 arrow 5 Palestinians killed in Israeli raid
A local Hamas commander was among five Palestinians killed in an Israeli raid in southern Gaza yesterday as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried to muster support of ministers from his Likud party for his
 arrow Hurriyat to talk peace with Advani
Kashmiri separatists said yesterday they have agreed to hold a second round of talks with the Indian government on March 27 and would press New Delhi to curb alleged human rights abuses.
 arrow Congress manifesto identifies 'core' issues
Determined to wrest power at the Centre from BJP-led NDA, Congress manifesto, which would be released today, has identified a number of "core" issues, including an employment guarantee scheme for youths,
 arrow Taiwan court steps into polls row
Taiwan's High Court has ordered all ballot boxes sealed amid opposition calls for a recount following disputed presidential election results.
 arrow Rahul Gandhi to contest polls
Rahul Gandhi, son of assassinated former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, will contest in upcoming parliament elections, marking a new generation of political involvement for the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty,
 arrow ETA ready for talks with new Spanish govt
Armed Basque separatist group ETA said yesterday it was ready for dialogue with the new Spanish government to end the violence which has plagued the Basque Country for the last 36 years.
 arrow US charges 6 officers with abusing Iraqis
The US military charged six soldiers Saturday with abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib prison on the western outskirts of Baghdad.
 arrow Blair lays low during Iraq war anniversary
While US President George W.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Defending democracy
We express our full support for the Prime Minister's determination to defend democracy.
 arrow Editorial: Mosquitoes droning as usual
Mosquitoes are back and in full force. City dwellers were probably hoping for some respite from the menace this year.
 arrow The US presidential election 2004: An outlook
As the mega-event of the year in the US -- the presidential election 2004 -- approaches fast it is no more a Bush-versus-Bush spectacle, although it so appeared till recently amidst persistent disarray
 arrow The plastic, boom or bust?
One of the lessons learnt rather late in our economic life was that the Harvard model for developing countries was flawed, economic emancipation does not come about by "exports" alone, it is necessary
 arrow Eavesdroppers Inc.
Apparently not. Not even such an august personage as the Secretary General of the United Nations, who everyone would automatically assume to be sacrosanct.
Letters to Editorarrow The greatest Bengalee?
For some time now, the BBC in its Bangla programme is making a special announcement almost every day asking its listeners to let the BBC know their opinion as to who is the greatest Bengalee of all
 arrow Women's Day
International "Woman's Day" was observed all over the world on 8th March. Bangladesh was no exception . I, along with my friends, went to participate in a rally organised by the 'Prothom Alo'.
 arrow Democracy or anarchy?
If the ruling alliance desires to stop the opposition from doing their normal activities by repression and plans to silence all dissenters forcibly, it must know that it is not the way how democracy works.
 arrow Mosquito menace
Is not there any way the unfortunate citizens of Dhaka city can find a solution to the constant pains from the terrible stings throughout day and night by the ever-increasing mosquito population ? Thanks
 arrow Well done Bangladesh!
As an ardent fan of cricket, I was simply delighted by the superb performance of the Bangladesh cricket team! After a long time we tasted success and it was really sweet.
 arrow New police uniform
I have no idea as to who were the inventors of the new uniform for the police, but I want to ask what was the reason behind the invention? Was it just for a change, or for any other purpose? And I want
 arrow City planners
I have noticed with increasing concern the arbitrary and dangerous changes in the road dividers and unnecessary broadening of the islands and the resultant narrowing of the main lanes.
 arrow Speak the right language
Recently, AL chief Sheikh Hasina asked Khaleda Zia -- the elected prime minister-- to resign.
 arrow 14th Amendment
The constitution, the supreme law of the land, can be amended in accordance with public demand upholding supremacy of the same.
 arrow Retrenchment of employees
The government has taken steps for retrenchment of employees as a remedial measure for salvation of the ravaged economy.
 arrow Cynicism in public life
The politicians and the bureaucrats face a tough time ahead. The public are becoming more and more cynical about the public services offered by these major players in the field.
 arrow Whither political service?
As a veteran voter, I ask whether we should serve the political public servants, or they serve the public? It is a topsy-turvy world in Dhaka, where the political autocratic propped-up leaders order the
 arrow Education
A much discussed query in the minds of all conscious people-- has the present government been able to bring congenial atmosphere for education in the universities? The on-going stalemate in most of the
 arrow Diplomacy in party politics
The lack of leadership acumen in the two major political parties is apparent. The reason is simple: imposed charismatic family leadership. Post-experience is not enough.
 arrow Universities in peril
Thanks are due to Mr. A Bayes for the above article published in your paper. We should not blame politics. We invite politics to embrace us. We like and consume sweets, but forbid others not to takesweets.
 arrow Diplomats meet BNP leader
I thank the diplomats of the 15 countries who called on the senior joint secretary general of the ruling BNP to express their deep concern about the rapidly deteriorating democratic norms in
Star Cityarrow Liberation War Museum needs more space to house mementos
The Liberation War Museum, the world's only private museum of its kind, founded 25 years after independence will celebrate its eighth anniversary today, marking it with a weeklong progra-mme till March
 arrow Ginger price skyrockets
Ginger price has jumped to Tk 65-70 a kilogram from last week's Tk 40-42.
 arrow Roundabouts demolished to better traffic flow, visibility
In a bid to streamline the movement of vehicles, Dhaka Transport Coordination Board (DTCB) is razing major roundabouts that officials identified as barriers to traffic and visibility.
 arrow Most CNG filling stations lack DoE permission
A committee formed by the ministry of communication to assess the safety and security standards of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations in Dhaka has found that 90 percent of the pumps are not
 arrow Days pass off pretty well, nights bring memories
The thought of the elderly living together in the same quarters, spending the final chapter of their lives in freedom and the pride of self-reliance is not a natural concept in this country.
 arrow JU admission tests to begin April 3
The admission test for the first year Honours courses under academic session 2003-2004 at the Jahangirnagar University (JU) will commence from April 3 and continue till 12.