Volume 4 Number 328 Fri. April 30, 2004    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow World Bank audit belies NCB figures
A World Bank-funded special audit of the nationalised commercial banks (NCB) has arrived at quite different figures in a number of fields from those of the NCBs' own audits including much higher percentages
 arrow AL deadline to bite the dust
The much-hyped April 30 deadline of the Awami League (AL) for toppling the government yesterday appeared on course to fizzle out with the leadership of the main opposition admitting setbacks in the plan.
 arrow Slum blaze kills 4 children
A devastating fire at a slum in Keraniganj yesterday killed four children and razed all 285 tin-roofed houses on an acre, leaving about 2,000 people homeless amid scenes of shock.
 arrow Shipping agents threaten strike
Shipping agents and Chittagong Port users have threatened to go on strike from May 9 to protest 'a fall in port efficiency', raising the spectre of millions of dollars in lost export-import trade.
 arrow 10 GIs killed in restive Iraq
Ten US soldiers were killed yesterday in attacks around Baghdad, eight of them when a car bomb exploded in a suburb south of the capital.
 arrow Govt will be toppled 'one day', says Hasina
Main opposition Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the coalition government would be overthrown 'one day' as it has lost moral right to stay in office, a day before her party's deadline
 arrow BNP relieved, mulls future
Although the BNP is in an apparent comfortable position after Awami League's shift from the April 30 deadline for toppling the ruling coalition, anxiety still dogs the ruling party over the anti-government
 arrow Hartal ends silently
The dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal called by the main opposition Awami League (AL) disrupted life for the second consecutive day yesterday and sporadic violence marked the shutdown in the capital.
 arrow High tax pushes milk powder prices up
Consumers have to bear about 64 percent of the taxes levied on imported bulk milk powder, a fact that belies the government's claim that imposition of high taxes on this source of nutrition is justified
 arrow Hills people, settlers set for a face-off
The peace process in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) risks getting off the track as the hills people spearheaded by the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) and Bangali settlers led by Somo
 arrow Trader seeks redress of JCD men's looting
A medicine shopkeeper in a letter to the president and general secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) has sought redress of a looting of his shop by some JCD workers last week.
 arrow Resign now
Different professional bodies yesterday demanded immediate resignation of the BNP-led coalition government for its 'misrule and violation of the constitution'.
 arrow Bangladeshis among 29 injured
At least one person was killed and 29 were injured after a steel girder collapsed yesterday into the basement of a Singapore office building under construction, a local member of parliament said.
 arrow DNA computers to fight diseases
Israeli scientists have developed tiny devices able to detect signs of cancer, and release drugs to treat the disease.
 arrow Built for quick bucks

 arrow Rokan alleges government interference
The Sammilita Ainjibi Samannaya Parishad (SASP) yesterday alleged of government interference in the process of the May 13 election to Bangladesh Bar Council and expressed its doubts about a free and fair
 arrow Ctg mayor warns of armed movement
Chittagong Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury has warned of armed movement if the four-party ruling alliance does not step down by May 10.
 arrow US general suspended
A US general has been suspended in Iraq over the alleged abuse of prisoners by US troops in jails she ran.
 arrow 'I was forced to give statement on camera'
A leader of a civil society platform yesterday alleged intelligence agents tortured and intimidated him into giving a statement on camera, which was aired on television channels on Tuesday.
 arrow 4 abducted in Khagrachhari PCJSS blamed
Four activists of the United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) were abducted from Balipara village in Matiranga upazila of Khagrachhari district on Wednesday night.
 arrow Gazipur BNP leader's killing not political
Primary police investigation found Gazipur BNP leader Kazi Mahmud Hossain Hashem was knifed to death Wednesday over a squabble.
 arrow BDR, BSF open talks to ease border tension
A five-day director general level border talks between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) began at the BDR headquarters in the city yesterday.
 arrow Cop's purchase of Sikder's house under govt lens
A monitoring cell of the home ministry has started probe into a police officer's purchase of a two-storey building once belonged to notorious criminal Ershad Shikder.
 arrow JS session adjourned till May 12
The 11th session of the eighth Jatiya Sangsad was adjourned at 8:30pm yesterday till 5:00pm on May 12.
 arrow Duties on spices cut
The duties on import of garlic, dry chilli, ginger and turmeric have been reduced by 15 percent from the existing rates of 22.5 percent to 30 percent, according to the National Board of Revenue (NBR)sources.
Businessarrow Small poultry farms going bankrupt
More than a third of the country's small poultry farms have gone out of production since January in the wake of bird flu rumour, farm owners said.
 arrow Withdraw import duty on spare parts
Corrugated carton and accessories manufacturers have demanded withdrawal of import duty on spare parts and cancel the bank guarantee provision for raw materials import.
 arrow World economic growth seen fastest in 16 years
World economic growth is likely to accelerate this year to 4.
 arrow Malaysia to sign Tifa with US May 10
Malaysia will sign a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) with the United States on May 10, International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz said in remarks published Thursday.
 arrow Main S Korea party plans laws to boost market
South Korea's new majority party plans economy-boosting laws to introduce class action suits, soften limits on fund investment in stocks and ease rules on liquidating firms, the party leader said yesterday.
 arrow BB floats new refinance scheme Sunday to help small businesses
Bangladesh Bank introduces a special refinance programme on Sunday for banks and financial institutions to promote small enterprises, which do not have access to bank loans and are also out of any kind
 arrow Danish trade team due on May 11
A business delegation from Denmark will arrive here on May 11 on a two-day visit to Bangladesh to explore trade and investment opportunities here.
 arrow GSP Finance declares 33pc dividend
GSP Finance Company (Bangladesh) Limited, a non-banking financial institution, has declared 33 percent dividend for the shareholders for the year 2003.
 arrow GP offers SMS-based services for Vanik card holders
GrameenPhone Ltd (GP) and Vanik Bangladesh Limited have signed an agreement to offer financial services through SMS (short message services) for their clients.
 arrow Office of Registrar Joint Stock Cos to be computerised
SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) and Australia have undertaken a project to computerise the office of the Registrar Joint Stock Companies (RJSC).
 arrow New office bearers of fruit exporters' assoc
Md Farid Uddin Ahmed and SM Jahangir Hussain have been elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Fruits, Vegetables & Allied Products Exporters' Association, says a press release.
 arrow Southeast Bank signs deal with CDBL to demat shares
Southeast Bank Limited has signed an agreement with Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL), the service provider of the central depository system (CDS), for dematerialisation of its paper shares.
 arrow New chairman of SIBL
Kamaluddin Ahmed was elected new chairman of Social Investment Bank Limited (SIBL) at the bank's board meeting held in Dhaka on Monday.
 arrow Dnata Airport Operations gets ISO 14001 certification
Dnata Airport Operations has been awarded the ISO 14001 for its environmental management system implemented across its operations at Dubai International Airport, says a press release.
 arrow HSBC donations for leukaemia patients
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Limited in Bangladesh donated Tk 200,000 to the Children Leukaemia Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) to help cancer stricken children in Bangladesh.
 arrow Economic summit points to cost of EU membership
Participants at an economic summit here pointed Thursday to the sacrifices ex-communist countries had made to join the European Union on May 1, as some 2,000 anti-globalisation protestors demonstrated
 arrow Big business gives thumbs up
The European Union's historic expansion to former communist countries will benefit old and new members alike, business leaders said Wednesday, dismissing the wariness of ordinary people in both old and
 arrow NZ urges ban on fishing subsidies at WTO talks
New Zealand called Wednesday for a complete ban on all state subsidies deemed to encourage over-fishing by the world's fleets, but major fishing nations such as Japan and South Korea firmly rejected the
Sportsarrow Cricket: Shahriar turns up heat
Shahriar Hossain could not think of a better way to prepare for the West Indies tour when the national opener hit the first century of the GrameenPhone Corporate Cricket League (CCL) at the Bangabandhu
 arrow Cricket: Enamul, Manjarul get rookie contract
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday signed young left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jr and all-rounder Manjarul Islam Rana under its 'rookie contract'.
 arrow Cricket: Truce in Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe's rebel players have agreed to make themselves available for selection, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) said on Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: Lanka keep it clean
Muttiah Muralitharan took five wickets as Sri Lanka completed a 5-0 whitewash over a weakened Zimbabwe side in the final one-day international in Harare on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Eng forced to tour: Lamb
The threat of suspension from international cricket was a last-minute change to the sport's regulations put in to force England to tour Zimbabwe, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executiveTim
 arrow Cricket: Experts back Murali
Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan should be allowed to bowl his controversial 'doosra' as he does not gain "unfair advantage" with his bowling action, experts have recommended in a report.
 arrow Cricket: PCB in for embarrassment
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar Thursday claimed to have shown to an inquiry commission a "medically documented" rib injury that prevented him from bowling against India in the Rawalpindi Test recently,
 arrow Cricket: ICC wallops Wilson
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued a stinging response to a senior English cricket official who accused the sport's governing body of malevolent behaviour aimed at forcing England to tour
 arrow Tennis: Venus reaches qtrs
Venus Williams reached the quarterfinals of the J and S Cup in Warsaw when she defeated Australian Open semifinalist Fabiola Zuluaga 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
 arrow Football: Romanian blitzkrieg
The European Championship is just over six weeks away. It may be coming too soon for Germany and the Czech Republic.
 arrow Football: Baggio, nothing else mattered
Roberto Baggio was feted with a stadium full of banners in his honor and cheered at each touch of the ball in his farewell match for the Italian national team Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Diego up and walking
Diego Maradona walked around his hospital room Wednesday, and his doctors expect him to spend only a few more days in intensive care for heart and lung treatment.
 arrow Cricket: Tanvir stars in Khulna win
Tanvir and Shimion Bala shared seven wickets between them to guide Khulna Division to an impressive 87-run victory against Dhaka Metro Blues in the BCB Age group Development cricket tournament yesterday
 arrow Cricket: No early release for Eng players
England coach Duncan Fletcher says none of his players will be sent home early from the Caribbean, even though their one-day series against West Indies has been heavily disrupted by torrential rain.
 arrow Chess: IM Chess from May 7
Thirteen foreign players have so far sent entries for the 7th United Insurance International Masters Chess Tournament, which starts in Dhaka from May 7.
 arrow Football: Magura soccer
Kushtia Daulatpur College won a tie-breaker while Meherpur Mujibnagar College got walk over in their respective matches in the final round of the inter-college football tournament at the Magura Stadium
 arrow Mini-marathon
A mini-marathon titled 'Maltova recharge marathon' will be held in Chittagong tomorrow on the occasion of May Day.
Metropolitanarrow 'Food stock satisfactory'
Food stock is now satisfactory and there will be no need to import food grains unless there is any natural disaster.
 arrow One killed in road accident
A passenger was killed when a bus turned turtle at Ramna in the city yesterday.
 arrow Codec gets Chand Sultana Literacy Award
Community Development Centre (Codec), a leading non-government organisation, has been selected for Chand Sultana Literacy Award-2003 of Ahsania Mission.
Point-Counterpointarrow Libel tourism chills US-based investigative journalism
Craig Unger and Gerald Posner have a lot in common.
Culturearrow Fahim voices his opinions
From the age of 10, Fahim Hossain Chowdhury has been learning music in his hometown Faridpur from his gurus Babu Pranbondhu Saha and Selim Majumder.
 arrow Buoyant paintings and prints
Five important painters -- Mahmudul Haque, Abdus Shakoor Shah, Rokeya Sultana, Kanak Chanpa Chakma and Khalid Mahmood Mithu -- have their ongoing display at the Haque Gallery.
 arrow Another accolade for Tanvir Mokammel's film
Tanvir Mokammel's acclaimed film Lal Shalu (A tree without roots) - based on the illustrious Bangla epic Lal Shalu by Syed Waliullah, will be screened at the Bangkok Film Festival, that
 arrow Tommy Miah presents a 'Sylheti Night'
Tommy Miah's Heritage restaurant is set to dedicate today, for the promotion of Sylheti Culture. Being a Sylheti, Tommy feels much indebted to his place of birth, especially the village of Baronthi Moulvibazaar.
Generalarrow Confrontational politics major obstacle to dev
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday called for stern action to curb lawlessness and said that the government would not tolerate anarchy in the name of politics.
 arrow Barapukuria Plant to operate from Sept next year
State Minister for Power Iqbal Hasan Mahmud told Parliament yesterday that Barapukuria Thermal Power Plant would come into operation from September next year.
 arrow 4 killed in road accidents
Four people were killed and five others injured in road accidents in Barisal and Pabna on Wednesday night.
 arrow Residential scheme on 50 acres of land in Cox's Bazar
A planned residential scheme on 50 acres of land at a cost over Tk 15.75 crore will be taken up at the Cox's Bazar town.

There will be 507 residential plots and 2.

 arrow No police action yet to rescue abducted trader
Police are yet to take any action to rescue a businessman of Chuadanga who was abducted on April 24.
 arrow Bush rating at all-time low: Poll
President Bush's approval rating is at an all-time low and fewer than half of Americans now believe invading Iraq was the right thing to do, according to a CBS/New York Times poll released Wednesday.
 arrow 2 get 14 years RI in Manikganj
A court here yesterday sentenced two persons to 14 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) and fined Tk 10,000 each, in default, to suffer one year more RI in an attempted murder case.
 arrow US visa seekers have to wait 4 weeks for interview
The United States embassy yesterday announced that an applicant for non-immigrant visa would have to wait nearly four weeks for the visa interview due to recent procedural upgrades.
 arrow 18 dailies published from Khulna
Information Minister Tariqul Islam yesterday informed the Jatiya Sangsad that 18 dailies were coming out from Khulna city of which 11 were media enlisted.
 arrow Relief distributed among tornado victims
NEPC Consortium Power Ltd. and the JCI Bangladesh distributed relief among the tornado victims in Netrakona on Wednesday.
 arrow 8,000 Phensidyl bottles seized
Police recovered 8,000 bottles of Indian Phensidyl syrup from a Dhaka-bound truck on Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Daudkandi in the early hours of Wednesday.
 arrow Russian embassy holiday
The Ru ssian embassy in Dhaka will remain closed on April 30, May 1,2,3,7,8 and 9 due to the national holidays of the Russian Federation, says a press release.
 arrow 1565 more held
Police arrested a total of 1,565 people from different parts of the country in last 24 hours ending at 6am yesterday.
 arrow Cultural team lauded
The cultural affairs ministry has accorded a reception to the cultural delegation for its outstanding performance at the Bangladesh Festival 2004 in Sydney enhancing the image of the country.
 arrow Property worth Tk 1crore damaged, 20 injured
More than 50 commercial and residential units were gutted in a devastating fire at Patharghata Bandar of Barguna district in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow Photography exhibition to commemorate cyclone victims
A daylong solo photography exhibition titled 'some memories' by Shishir Barua, a photojournalist, was held at the Chittagong Press Club (CPC) yesterday to commemorate the deaths of thousands of people
 arrow On-trial prisoner dies in jail
An on-trial prisoner of Dhaka Central Jail yesterday died of cardiac arrests, which his family blamed on lack of proper medical attention.
 arrow Outlaw group threatens Jessore journo
Outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajuddho) yesterday threatened to kill the Jessore correspondent of daily Ittefaq as he wrote a report in his newspaper supporting public resistance against
 arrow NDA to return to power: Advani
Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani yesterday expressed confidence that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre would return to power and that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will occupy
Editorialarrow Editorial: Jalil's 'trump card' fiasco
In a way, we are greatly relieved that AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil's talk of bringing down the elected government has fizzled out.
 arrow Editorial: Blair's new predicament
Fifty-one ex-diplomats' letter to Blair, coming in the wake of the recent Bush-Blair summit, is as blunt as it is denunciatory.
 arrow Deconstructing the mind of the American voter
Why would anyone vote for George Bush in the upcoming US presidential election in November? This is the question I am asked, again and again.
 arrow Saint George, Strange Bush
George Bush strikes me as the world's dorkiest president, running one of the damn good democracies in the world.
 arrow Let's build a cancer hospital
There was a time, when the synonym of cancer was inevitable death.
Letters to Editorarrow Are you living with smokers?
Though not officially reported, we guess that every family has smokers in Bangladesh. Smoking is very bad for health for all ages.
 arrow History teaches nothing?
It is really a funny thing that we all know the history, but we can't take any lesson from our historical mistakes. We know the history of Greece, Rome, Turkey, Persia, Britain, Germany etc.
 arrow Sharon: A serial killer
Imagine a world where serial killers are set free and enjoy all the amenities of life. They name their next victims publicly and assassinate them.
 arrow Rwandan apocalypse: 100 days of slaughter
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Rwandan genocide, one should not forget that due to lack of action on the part of the international community and its failure to stop the massacre, 800,000 men,
 arrow "Cyprus referendum and clash of civilisations"
Cyprus referendum proved what Samuel Huntington postulated years ago in his famous book "The Clash of Civilisations".
 arrow DU teachers' statement
I have read with keen interest a news report " The government has lost all moral rights to stay in power, states 251 DU teachers" published in your daily of 25 April.
 arrow Where is the martyr of 1757?
I support fully the letter of Mr. Mehbub published on April 23 . I was also amazed when I didn't see any name of the martyrs of the Battle of Pallasy like Sirajuddowla, Mir Madan , Mohon Lal etc.
 arrow Thai Muslims in trouble
The Buddhist majority of Thailand is well known for hospitality and tolerance. Thailand has been a bright example of harmony and peace among different communities.
 arrow AL plan
Awami League (AL) is desperately trying to return to power. It had promised to overthrow the elected government by 30th April, 2004. And we knew what we would have to face-- absolute anarchy.
 arrow ICDDR, B service
This is an international organisation with high standards and it has extended commendable service to eradication of cholera from Bangladesh.
 arrow Irregular and redundant appointments
Against the approved posts of 24, Class III-6 and ClassIV-18, there are more than 124 Class III and Class IV employees on the staff-roll of Tejgoan College.
 arrow BTTB's mobile
Further controversy shrouds over the cellular mobile project of Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), as the government has approved its $76 million equipment purchase contract.
 arrow A nation of lawbreakers
Newspaper reports say 159 lawmakers have been found defaulting on Tk 8.61 crore in outstanding phone bills.
 arrow DS-CAMPE roundtable on basic education
I read with great interest the special supplement of The Daily Star, 27 April 2004 issue on Daily Star and CAMPE sponsored roundtable on the role of private sector in local resource mobilisation for basic
 arrow Interpretation of Islam
My attention has been drawn to an article (DS 27/4, "Fiddling While Bangladesh Burns" by Naeem Mohaemein).
 arrow A timely commentary
I am a regular reader of your esteemed newspaper and never miss your commentary they are wonderful. I am delighted to read your today's (27.04.004) commentary. I appreciate your truthfulness.
 arrow What is happening?
When I first heard that the veteran Awami leader had declared the fall of government by 30 April , I was very surprised.
Urbanarrow The heart of the matter: Late action will make us sorry
This week we run the second part of the findings on the deplorable state of the core in the fast growing high-rise commercial buildings in Dhaka City.
 arrow Core of High-rise buildings of Dhaka City - II
(Part 1 appeared on 9 April 2004)

Extract from the Building Construction Rules,1996 that are

relevant to today's discussion: Building Construction Rules, 1996 (from original in Bangla)


Worldarrow US will start ending Fallujah siege today
All Marine forces will end the siege of Fallujah, pulling back to allow a newly created, all-Iraqi security force to move into the city starting today under a new agreement, a Marine commander said.
 arrow More US troops killed in April than in 'major combat' in Iraq
More US troops have been killed in action in Iraq in April than during the six weeks of "major combat" after US-led invasion, casualty figures showed Wednesday.

When President George W.

 arrow US raids making Iraq worse: Annan
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Wednesday said US raids on insurgents are worsening the situation in Iraq, where the security situation will have a crucial impact on the UN's work.
 arrow Indian parties scramble to strike alliance
India's major parties are scrambling to broker alliances with powerful regional factions amid predictions that marathon elections will produce a hung parliament, press reports and analysts said yesterday.
 arrow Thai militants likely to mount more attacks
The situation in the South remains tense and fragile as young Muslims are expected to regroup and launch a new round of attacks, most likely in Narathiwat, the national intelligence chief said Wednesday.
 arrow Sharon warns Likud against rejecting his pullout plan
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned the grassroots of his right-wing Likud party against rejecting his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip in an internal referendum to be held Sunday.
 arrow 6-way nuke talks set for mid-May
The first meeting of a working group on the next round of six-way talks on North Korea's nuclear arms development programme is expected to be held in the middle of next month in Beijing, a governmentsource