Volume 4 Number 298 Tue. March 30, 2004    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Tk 490cr interest waived on default farm loans
The government yesterday decided to waive interest on outstanding agriculture loans up to Tk 5,000, offering defaulting farmers a penalty-less way out to pay back the money in 12 instalments in a year.
 arrow Int'l workers body reports right denial to ILO
An international textiles workers federation has complained to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) against the Bangladesh government about its continual denial of the right to association in the
 arrow Businesspeople strike today in outrage
Angry businesspeople of 42 markets in Sadarghat go on strike today to protest the grisly killings of Old Dhaka businessman Shamsul Haq and his son that sent shock waves through the city.
 arrow Police swoop on AL men overnight
Police arrested at least 37 Awami League (AL) leaders and activists in a crackdown last night ahead of the main opposition party's planned no-confidence human shield today in an apparent attempt to foil
 arrow US envoy's remark draws opposition flak
US Ambassador Harry K Thomas' remark on the political situation and fulfilment of BNP government's tenure prompted sharp criticism from opposition parties that yesterday termed it unwarranted interference
 arrow Politics clouds road to justice
The political rhetoric of ruling and opposition parties threatens to cloud the gruesome killings of Old Dhaka businessman Shamsul Haq and his son Russell Sheikh in a blame game that may give killers a
 arrow Hyperactive
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday wanted to visit the Old Dhaka house of slain fabric trader Shamsul Haq to offer her condolences to the bereaved family, but cancelled the trip after failing to bring
 arrow Rokanuddin reelected
The Awami League-backed panel swept the elections of Supreme Court Bar Association, polling 11 of the 14 posts including of president and general secretary in the two-day polls that ended yesterday.
 arrow Kibria, Abu Sayeed charged with graft
The Bureau of Anti-Corruption (Bac) yesterday pressed graft charges against former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria, ex-state minister for information Abu Sayeed and former information secretary Akmal
 arrow It's Sehwag show
Virender Sehwag became the first Indian to score 300 runs in a Test innings as India posted a record 675 for five against Pakistan in the opening Test on Monday.
 arrow JS probe stalled over ministry's non-help
A parliamentary subcommittee's investigation into alleged corruption in import and distribution of CNG (compressed natural gas)-run autorickshaws has stalled due to the communication ministry's reluctance
 arrow Criminalisation of politics makes journalism risky
Journalists are exposed to high level of risks because of overall rise in crimes and criminalisation of politics, speakers told a roundtable in Dhaka yesterday.
 arrow Chinese co to handle Barapukuria mine
The Cabinet Purchase Committee yesterday approved appointment of a Chinese company for production, management and maintenance of Barapukuria Coal Mine at a cost of $49 million.
 arrow Summer diarrhoea hits city
Diarrhoeal attacks in the last one week have sharply increased, triggering a sudden influx of patients into hospitals with doctors warning of more to come until June.
 arrow Ctg businessman rescued, 6 held
A businessman, who was abducted from his house in the port city on Sunday night, was rescued from the hostel of Forest College at Sholoshahar in the city yesterday.
 arrow Minister escapes attack in Iraq
Gunmen opened fire yesterday on a convoy carrying Iraq's minister of public works, killing a driver and a bodyguard and injuring two others, the US-led coalition said.
 arrow Raped girl takes poison, students strike for action against teacher
Primary school students of Bagmara upazila here started class boycott yesterday demanding action against a schoolteacher who allegedly violated a 12 years old school girl.
 arrow Cops nab one, take 'bribe' for supporting Bikalpa Dhara
Police arrested a trader apparently for supporting Bikalpa Dhara (Alternative Stream) Sunday and allegedly extorted Tk 1 lakh from his family for fair treatment in custody.
 arrow Huda terms AL deadline 'treason'
Communications Minister Nazmul Huda yesterday the April 30 deadline set by Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil to unseat the government was 'treason'.
 arrow Altaf pledges decision in 48 hours
Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury yesterday said he would give decision within 48 hours on any business issue that would come to him for action.
 arrow Workers cut an important Dhaka road...

 arrow Alternative Stream unveils its student wing plan
The alternative political stream initiated by A Q M Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday named a 21-member committee to organise its student wing, styled Bikalpa Chhatra Dhara (BCD), and set forth a guideline
 arrow JS body for law to control TV channels
A parliamentary standing committee has recommended introduction of a law to deal with the satellite television channels and observed that problems cropped up in absence of such a law.
 arrow 3 tribunals dissolved
The government has dissolved three tribunals in Dhaka by an official order from the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry on March 23.
 arrow Bac presses charges against 14
The Bureau of Anti-corruption (Bac) yesterday pressed charges of nepotism and misuse of power against 14 people including a former lawmaker and a former chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh
 arrow BSF pushes in five Indians
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday pushed five Bangla speaking Indian Muslims into Bangladesh territory through Ghagra border under Panchagarh Sadar upazila.
 arrow 2 die in Uzbek 'terrorist' blast
At least two people were killed and about 20 people injured in an explosion, which authorities called a terrorist act, in the largest bazaar in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent yesterday, police said.
Businessarrow SEC warns lenders of risk in keeping paper shares as mortgage
As some 57 companies are set to join the central depository system (CDS) by this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned against sanctioning loans keeping the borrowers' paper shares
 arrow Thai trade fair begins
As a three-day exhibition of Thai products began in Dhaka yesterday, the country's apex trade body chief requested the Thai government to consider allowing duty free access of Bangladeshi products toThailand
 arrow Tokyo to offer training for Bangladeshis in Japan
Tokyo plans to offer Bangladesh a unique opportunity to build human resources under an industrial training and technical internship programme in Japan.
 arrow Maize farmers no more lost in credit maze
Maize farmers of the northern district hope to be better off as they have started harvesting the non-conventional but profitable crop they cultivated under the joint initiative of a private bank and a
 arrow Ministry gets guidelines for appointment of chairman, member
The selection committee on appointment of the chairman and members of the Energy Regulatory Commission in the making submitted its recommendations to the Energy Ministry yesterday.
 arrow Opec to guard against oil price spike
Opec president Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Monday that the cartel would "supply the market," apparently opening a possibility that it might postpone a planned production cut this week.
 arrow Nissan vehicle customers to get auto loan from StanChart
Standard Chartered Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pacific Motors Limited, sole distributor of Nissan vehicles in Bangladesh, recently.
 arrow Qatar Airways, Middle East Airlines sign codeshare deal
Qatar Airways and Middle East Airlines (MEA) signed a codeshare agreement that enables MEA passengers to fly with Qatar Airways between Beirut-Doha-Beirut route.
 arrow 'Companies Act needs change'
State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain said the Companies Act 1994 needs to be updated as he was speaking at a seminar on 'Disclosure Requirements of Listed Companies and
 arrow Delta Life earns Tk 181cr as premium in ’03
Delta Life Insurance Company Ltd earned a total premium of Tk 181 crore approximately in 2003.

The Life Fund of the company increased from Tk 434.38 crore in 2002 to Tk 540.

 arrow WTO expects deal on farm, market access by July
A senior official of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said Monday that framework agreements on the thorny issues of agricultural subsidies and market access for non-agricultural products could be reached
Sportsarrow Cricket: Sehwag moves to new plain
If someone had told Vi-render Seh-wag three years ago that he would be-come a successful Test opener, he would have thrown his head back and laughed.
 arrow Cricket: Not quite a celebration
Virender Sehwag was delighted at scoring India's first triple cen-tury in Test cri-cket on Mon-day, while master batsman Sachin Tendulkar was disappointed at missing a double.
 arrow Cricket: Bashar, Rafique talking again
Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar was looking ahead to the tour of West Indies in May and also wanted to put the incident involving left-arm spinner Mohammed Rafique in Zimbabwe behind him.
 arrow Cricket: Returns, plays & wins
It was a Shane Warne show in Sri Lanka, such was his charisma that he grabbed headlines even before he had bowled his first ball in Test cricket after serving a 12-month ban for taking drugs.
 arrow Football: Booters take on Afghanistan today
Defending champions Bangladesh will have goals on their mind when they take on newcomers Afghanistan in their second encounter of the 9th SAF Games football competition today at the Jinnah Stadium inIslamabad.
 arrow SAF Games opened
President Pervez Musharraf Monday declared the ninth South Asian Federation (SAF) games open at a colourful ceremony attended by some 2,000 players and officials from the member states.
 arrow Cricket: No First Division cricket too
Dhaka's First Division clubs took queue from their Premier Division big brothers when they expressed their unwillingness to take part in the First Division Cricket League for the 2003-04 season.
 arrow Cricket: Wellington on knife's edge
Chris Martin took two quick wickets as South Africa struggled to 82-3 in their second innings on the fourth day of the third and final Test against New Zealand on Monday.
 arrow Cricket: Imran flays pitch
Former Pa-kistan captain Imran Khan on Monday la-shed out at the dead wi-cket prepa-red for the first Test against India, saying it was bad for the country's image.
 arrow Cricket: Murali hopes to be cleared
Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who has been reported again for a suspect bowling action, is confident he will be cleared by the sport's governing body.
 arrow Tennis: Nadal shocks Federer
Spanish schoolboy Rafael Nadal stunned world number one Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3 here Sunday to oust the Wimbledon and Australian Open champion at the WTA and ATP Masters Series event.
 arrow Cricket: Second one-day match today
The second limited-over match of the five-game series between Bangladesh A and Zimbabwe A will take place at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra today.
 arrow Cricket: Batty shines for England
Off-spinner Gareth Batty took five wickets as England continued their winning ways in the Caribbean with an eight-wicket win over a Carib Beer XI in their three-day match on Sunday.
 arrow Chess: Singer chess
Grand Masters Niaz Murshed, Ziaur Rahman and International Master Reefat-bin-Sattar shared the lead with maximum two points each after the end of the second round games of the Singer 30th National Chess
 arrow Cricket: M'singh cricket
County Club recorded a six-wicket victory over Al-Helal AC in the Navana Premier Division Cricket League at local Circuit House ground yesterday.

Batting first, Al-Helal collected 132 all out.

 arrow Handball: Sheetal Women Handball from today
The Sheetal Women Handball League begins today at the outer stadium handball court.
 arrow Basketball: Independence Day b’ball
Dhumketu Club edged past Bangladesh Army by 68-58 points in the Maple Leaf Independence Day Basketball Competition at the Dhanmondi Basketball gymnasium yesterday.

The winners led the first half37-21.

 arrow Cricket: Khulna put pressure on Dhaka
An unbeaten 58 by Masud Rana put Khulna Division in commanding position against Dhaka Metro Blues at the end of the first day of the two-day final of the Age Group Under-15 Development Cricket Tournament
 arrow Football: Real entertainment
Real Madrid withstood the pressure from second-placed Valencia and retained top spot in the Primera Liga on Sunday when they powered their way to a stunning 5-1 win over mid-table Sevilla at the Bernabeu.
 arrow Football: Shevchenko to the rescue
Andrei Shevchenko's header in the seventh minute of stoppage time gave league leaders AC Milan a last-gasp 2-2 draw against Chievo on Sunday as the European champions recovered from being two goals down
 arrow Football: Gunners' mark at MU's expense
Arsenal's eclipse of Manchester United as the dominant force in English football was underlined here on Sunday as Arsene Wenger's side extended their unbeaten start to the season to a record 30 matches.
 arrow Football: Party pooped!
An 18th birthday party thrown by England and Everton star Wayne Rooney for his girlfriend Colleen McLoughlin ended with the police being called in when a fight broke out.
 arrow Football: Residents fear the worst
More than one in two residents of Portugal, 55 percent, feel their country will not be able to guarantee security at the European football finals this summer, a poll published Sunday found.
Metropolitanarrow 'Ensure good governance to ease political situation'
Former minister Lt. General (retd.) Noor Uddin Khan has called for ensuring good governance to ease the prevailing political situation.
 arrow Fine Arts Institute admission test on April 12
The admission test for first year honours course at the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, will now be held on April 12 instead of April 9, says a press release of the institute.
Nationalarrow The giant mill will rumble no more
The 46-year-old Rangpur Sugar Mills, the only heavy industry in Gaibandha district, will stop rumbling from tomorrow.
 arrow Illegal sand lifting from Meghna, Titas to aggravate erosion
Unauthorised sand lifting from beds of Meghna and Titas is threatening banks of the two rivers with erosion near Shahbazpur and Kaderkhula in the district.
 arrow BNP-Jubo Dal clash leaves 8 hurt in Gaibandha
A tense situation prevails in Palashbari town following a clash over organisational discord between ruling BNP and its youth wing Jubo Dal on Sunday afternoon.

Eight persons were injured in the clash.

 arrow 'Gender equality vital for sustainable development'
Women's participation in development activities is not only important for attaining gender equality but also a precondition for sustainable development.
 arrow A laudable job by RDRS
The Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Services (RDRS), an NGO, has re-united 935 separated couples in greater Rangpur and Dinajpur districts in last one year.
 arrow Mother, baby slaughtered in Nilphamari
A baby of 48 days along with the mother were slaughter at Mollah Para village in Syedpur upazila Sunday night.
 arrow Dowry demanded from husband !
Believe it or not, a husband has filed a case with a magistrate court here accusing his wife, father-in-law and brother-in-law for demanding dowry from him.
 arrow AL's demand for mid-term polls reiterated
Former State Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Talukder Abdul Khaleque MP, has demanded mid-term parliamentary elections following ouster of the government by April 30.
 arrow Ershad for waiver of agri-loan interest
Jatiya Party chairman H M Ershad has demanded of the government to waive interest of agricultural loan from farmers.
 arrow Bail granted
A court in Pirojpur has granted bail to an assailant caught with arms while assaulting journalist Shafiul Haque Mithu on December 28.
 arrow Three jailed in Barisal for abduction, rape
Three persons were sentenced to 14 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) by the Tribunal for Prevention of Woman and Child Repression, Barisal on Monday on charge of abduction and rape.
 arrow BSF to withdraw barbed wire fences
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has agreed to withdraw the barbed wire fences it raised earlier in the no-man's land in the border between the two countries.
 arrow CARITAS rejoinder
CARITAS has given a rejoinder to a Daily Star report headlined 'CARITAS closing its Modhupur silk factory, sericulture project', published on the National Page on March 21.
 arrow MPs violate UP manual, workshop told
Parliament members often violate the Union Parishad manual and interfere in development work by local governments.
 arrow BNP, AL supporters attack rivals' party offices
Rival activists of BNP and Awami League (AL) attacked each others' party offices over a 'controversial speech' by two AL leaders on Saturday.
 arrow Obituary
The Daily Probashi Editor and an eminent journalist, Mostafizur Rahman died at his residence at Kalu Shah Road here on Monday morning.

He was 52.

Point-Counterpointarrow The chimera of UN reforms
Contemporary events have sharpened the debate about the credibility of the United Nations and questions are being asked frequently as to whether the Security Council as it stands today, can contain or
 arrow Why are Muslims so 'shocked and awed' by Yassin's assassination?
I have to admit that I've been taken aback with the level of anger surrounding the killing of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Culturearrow Kopeniker Captain
Nagorik Natyasampradaya staged the remake production of Kopeniker Captain at the Mahila Samity auditorium.

Nagorik Natyasampradaya produced the play in the early 1980s.

 arrow The little things that matter
On making my way towards Elephant Road one fine holiday, I thought of browsing through the area's many music stores.
 arrow 'The lost love story': Film wins prize in Finland
A fascinating film, called The lost love story, a 10-minute film, made by eight year-old Arjo Shrestho, has recently won an honorary diploma. This was at the Tempara Film Festival in Finland.
Generalarrow 350 houses, shops gutted at Bandarban
A devastating fire burnt 350 houses and shops into ashes at Ruma upazila bazar and a nearby village on Sunday night.
 arrow Husband stabs wife to death
A husband stabbed his wife to death and made an abortive attempt to commit suicide by stabbing himself at Nayabazar in Kotwali thana in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow Amjad, Imran on 2-day remand
Dhanmondi Sporting Club Vice President Amjad Hossain Mian and his brother Imran Hossain, arrested on Saturday on charge of killing Khairul Anwar Piaru, were placed on a two-day remand for interrogation
 arrow SFD probe body submits report
The Sundarban Forest Division (SFD) Probe Committee submitted its report on 'Kotka sea beach tragedy' to the conservator of forest on March 28.
 arrow 2 listed criminals get life term
A tribunal in Dhaka on Sunday sentenced two listed criminals to life term rigorous imprisonment for possessing illegal firearms.
 arrow Buet Alumni Assoc formed
The Buet Alumni Association (Buetaa) was formed recently, says a press release.

The Buet Alumni Association Council elected a board with 30 Trustees recently.

 arrow AAA executive council election held
The annual general meeting and elections to the executive council of the American Alumni Association (AAA) were held at a restaurant in Gulshan on Saturday, says a press release.
 arrow Strike at educational instts Apr 12
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student front of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, has called a strike at all educational institutions for April 12 to press home its demands for immediate arrest of and punishment
 arrow Syed Ahmed passes away
Former cabinet secretary and alternate director of Bangladesh in the World Bank Syed Ahmed died at Bamrungrad Hospital in Bangkok yesterday morning.
 arrow Shibir cadres ransack IU treasurer's car
Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres yesterday ransacked the car of the treasurer on the campus of the Islamic University (IU) demanding his immediate removal.
 arrow Buddha Purnima observance body
Bangladesh Buddhist Federation has formed a committee to celebrate Buddha Purnima, a major religious festival of the Buddhists, on May 3, says a press release.
Internationalarrow Rahul Gandhi gets rousing reception at Amethi
Rahul Gandhi, scion of India's famed Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, won an ecstatic reception Monday as he plunged into campaigning for next month's polls in the constituency that elected his slain father, former
 arrow Kashmiri group calls for polls boycott
A leading separatist group yesterday called on Kashmiris to boycott India's national elections next month and announced it was pulling out of the restive region's main separatist alliance.
 arrow French voters dump Chirac's party
President Jacques Chirac's party has been humiliated in French regional polls, amid speculation that PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin could be sacked.
 arrow Defiant Sharon shrugs off doubts over ability to remain in office
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday told a parliamentary committee that he was capable of carrying out the duties of his office despite corruption allegations hanging over him, army radio said.
 arrow Pak govt not involved in nuclear proliferation
The United States knows Pakistan's government was not involved in nuclear proliferation, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said in a taped television interview broadcast Sunday.
 arrow Iraqi leaders talk with UN team on sovereignty
Iraqi leaders held talks with UN advisors yesterday on how to regain sovereignty from the US-led coalition, after persistent violence killed two foreigners and a minister escaped an assassination bid.
 arrow Lanka may be heading for more trouble
Sri Lanka is seeking stability as it faces its third elections in four years Friday, but opinion polls and analysts say the country may just be heading for more trouble.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Higher education strapped for cash
Higher education is receiving less financial support, in real terms, from the government than it used to 10 years back. The public universities were allocated 7.66 percent (Tk 291.
 arrow Editorial: Business turns paralytic
The business community remains shaken to its core by the brutal decapitation of businessman Shamsul Haq and his son Russell Sheikh.
 arrow Congressional commission raps Bush administration
As the ensuing US Presidential election approaches fast, black clouds have started gathering in the political horizon of President Bush.
 arrow How Spanish elections may influence future world events
By now, almost everybody knows that the Spanish general elections were held on March 14, 2004.
Letters to Editorarrow RRI employees' pension
Pension of the retired employees of the River Research Institute (RRI) has been stopped for more than a year. Nobody is showing any concern for these distressed people.
 arrow Upgrading Charjabber
Charjabber, a thana, is a combination of 7 unions and 49 mouzas of coastal areas of Noakhali district. It was set up on 13 March , 2001.
 arrow Political trends
It is clear by now that today's global politics cannot filter and keep out the religious tinges or virus.
 arrow Recovery of heroin
The Daily Star's report dated 21.3.04. regarding recovery of heroin by a BDR team from a village at Manikchalk in Godagari upazila on Friday caught my attention.
 arrow Hartal
I am a Chartered Accountant and have been resident in the UK for almost forty years. My family and I instinctively visited Bangladesh every two years on average.