Vol. 5 Num 179 Wed. November 24, 2004    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow Huge arms cache seized from deep CHT forest
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized a huge cache of firearms and ammunition including seven AK47 rifles, two M16 rifles, and one rocket launcher from deep forest of Naikkhongchhari under the district yesterday
 arrow AL top brass criticised over key policy issues
The main opposition Awami League (AL) top brass came under heavy fire from a number of party leaders at a meeting yesterday for what they said was party policymakers' 'indecision and inconsistency' on
 arrow Commission declares jihad against graft
The newly formed Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) vows to start a 'jihad' against the all-pervading graft and bring about significant improvements in the country's grim corruption scenario in a month.
 arrow Nine city markets prone to fire hazards
At least nine city markets are termed as "potential fire bombs" due to their structural vulnerability and grossly inadequate fire fighting preparedness, officials of the Fire Service and Civil Defense
 arrow Traders still see no rehabilitation move
The traders of New Bangabazar Hawkers' Market in Gulistan in the capital, who were rendered pauper by Sunday's devastating fire, yesterday alleged that the authorities were yet to make any move for their
 arrow BoI chief resigns over dispute with high-ups
Board of Investment (BoI) Executive Chairman Mahmudur Rahman tendered his resignation yesterday morning reportedly following a recent dispute with the government high-ups over dissolution of a committee
 arrow VAT waived from export industries
The government has exempted from November 20 all 100 percent export-oriented industries from VAT, a perk billed to give local exportable goods a competitive edge in the quota-free era only 38 days shy.
 arrow Bangladesh documentary gets Emmy
A team of juveniles from Bangladesh has won this year's prestigious International Emmy Award for a television documentary.
 arrow Local demand pushes gas export issue back
Surging domestic demand for gas has defused the pressure to export gas but is compelling the government to strike hasty deals with international oil companies (IOCs), says State Minister for Energy and
 arrow Microsoft to go Bangla in a year
Microsoft plans to complete developing Bangla interface for its products within 12 months as part of the global software giant's technology localisation drive worldwide, top official of its Asia Pacific
 arrow Pak PM flies to India for peace talks
Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz arrived in New Delhi yesterday for talks on Kashmir with Indian leaders after earlier playing down a spat over the scope of their peace talks.
 arrow GSP perk to go as Dhaka drags foot
As Bangladesh has not implemented the Saarc Cumulation yet, it is still uncertain whether Bangladesh would be able to avail of the Super Regional Cumulation (SRC) facilities that of the European Union
 arrow Rallies in Tentulia, Teknaf for Dec 11human wall plan
Dispelling all confusion, the mainstream opposition parties yesterday decided to hold two combined public rallies at Teknaf on November 28 and at Tentulia the next day to drum up public support for the
 arrow Cabinet secretary gets extension
Cabinet Secretary Saadat Hussain has been given one-year extension of service on expiry of the first year of his contract-service yesterday.
 arrow When a baby sells for Tk 300
Crushed by poverty, a mother was compelled yesterday to sell her one-month-old daughter. The incident that occurred on the premises of Satkhira collectorate comes five days after her husband's death.
 arrow Mahmudur flies off the handle at graft query
Mahmudur Rahman, who resigned as the executive chairman of Board of Investment (BOI) yesterday, became furious and called some reporters names when asked if there was any allegations of corruption against
 arrow BNP leader killed in bomb blast at party office
A BNP leader was killed and seven others were injured in bomb explosion at a union BNP office in Chuadanga Sadar upazila yesterday.
 arrow Manmohan seeks Dhaka's help to fight insurgents
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed hope that Bangladesh and Myanmar will help India deal with the northeastern Indian insurgent outfits allegedly operating in those countries.
 arrow Handmade bomb found at Bogra school
Army experts yesterday defused the home-made bomb that was recovered from a school in Sonatola upazila Monday.
 arrow Milon warns of Rab against textbook irregularities
State Minister for Education ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon yesterday said the ministry would seek assistance from the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), if necessary, to prevent illegal and unauthorised printing
 arrow Charge-framing hearing against Tarique Zia Jan 10
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed January 10 for hearing on charge-framing against Tarique Rahman, son of former president Ziaur Rahman and director of Dandy Dyeing Limited and four others in a graft case.
 arrow Motive not yet ascertained
Investigators could not yet find out the motive of the killing of senior assistant secretary Ibrahim Kamal.
 arrow US consulate in Mumbai closed over terror fear
The United States closed its consulate in India's financial capital of Mumbai yesterday, citing information about a terrorist threat, but an Indian official dismissed the possibility of an imminent attack.
 arrow 2 school kids drown in Gopalganj
Two school children drowned in a lake at Mushria under Kotalipara upazila yesterday.
Businessarrow Profiting investors must be ready to accept loss
Dhaka Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salahuddin Ahmed Khan yesterday cautioned that investors who are in the process of earning profits with the current surge in share prices must also be
 arrow High RMG raw material cost sees poor sale in Taiwan fair
Taiwanese garment raw material producers who are staging the first-ever promotional show in Dhaka, find their sales disappointing.
 arrow Bull back on DSE
Unnerved by the continuous rise in indices, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) authorities yesterday made surprise visits to a number of brokerage houses in their frantic bid to detect any possible irregularities.
 arrow Saarc ministers for ending 4 trade deals in Dhaka summit
Saarc commerce ministers emphasised the need for conclusion of four trade-and investment- facilitation agreements at the 13th summit of the forum in Dhaka.
 arrow Reward nations who pursue prudent debt strategy
Finance and Planning Minister Saifur Rahman has called upon donors to establish a mechanism for rewarding countries like Bangla-desh who pursue prudent debt strategy and maintain sustainability in management
 arrow 4 new EPZs open soon
Four new Export Processing Zones (EPZs), already under development, will be opened soon to local and foreign investors.
 arrow Asian currencies may keep up their strength against dollar
With the G20 communique providing yet another signal that a revaluation of the Chinese yuan is on the near-term horizon, Asia's currencies are seen likely to keep up their strength against the dollar.
 arrow China, Cuba sign 16 economic deals
Presidents Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hu Jintao of China signed 16 economic cooperation agreements, including a lucrative investment in Cuban nickel production, only hours after the third visit by a Chinese
 arrow Gold gallops to all-time high
Gold prices hit all-time high in local market yesterday when both the 21 and 22 carat went up by Tk 400 per bhori to Tk 10,100 and Tk 10,400.
 arrow StanChart opens BillsPay centre in Dhanmondi
Standard Chartered Bank has recently opened a billspay centre in its branch on Dhanmondi Road No.2 to facilitate bills payment service to its customers.
 arrow Oil prices ease, mild weather saps demand
Oil prices eased on Tuesday under pressure from unseasonably mild weather, although news of tighter crude exports from southern Iraq gave some support.
 arrow WEA launches training for Bogra women on empowerment
A training session on "Women's Empowerment and Advancement by Learning and Training of Herself (WEALTH)" organised by Women Entrepreneurs' Association (WEA) was inaugurated in Gokul, Bogra on Monday.
 arrow Jamuna Bank, Credit and Development Forum sign MoU
Jamuna Bank Limited (JBL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Credit and Development Forum (CDF) to facilitate finance up to Tk 2 crore through CDF member NGOs and micro finance institutions
 arrow FAO DG due in Dhaka on December 1
Director General of Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Jacques Diouf will arrive here on December 1 on a two-day visit to Bangladesh.
 arrow Peru, S’pore to begin free trade talks
Peru and Singapore agreed Monday to open bilateral free-trade talks, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo announced.
 arrow India's soymeal export subdued, trade optimistic
India's soymeal exports have been subdued so far this year but traders are optimistic of signing fresh deals with global prices turning favourable and renewed demand from Southeast Asia, traders saidMonday.
 arrow Taiwan's Oct export orders hit record high
Taiwan's October export orders hit a record 20.25 billion dollars, up from the previous record of 19.5 billion dollars set in September, the economic ministry said Tuesday.
Sportsarrow Unesco award for Alim
Winning awards is nothing new for him. But now Qazi Abul Alim will certainly treasure his latest accolade.
 arrow Cricket: It promises fireworks
In the absence of an established first class competition, the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League is traditionally considered the breeding ground for upcoming cricketers and there is every indication
 arrow Cricket: Blazing Sehwag
Opener Virender Sehwag hit a sparkling century as India kept on course for a big score in the first Test against South Africa at the Green Park Stadium here on Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: Biman face big challenge
The Dutch-Bangla First Division Chess League begins tomorrow in the city with record 16 teams taking part in the top competition.
 arrow Cricket: Chappell wants to help Black Caps
Former Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell has offered his services free of charge to help New Zealand following their disastrous first Test performance against Australia.
 arrow Cricket: Murali eyes Jan return
Muttiah Muralitharan flew to Aus-tralia late on Monday night to meet with his Melbourne-based surgeon, Dr David Young, who will assess his shoulder's recovery and indicate when he can resume bowling.
 arrow Cricket: Buchanan denies walk rift
Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist's belief that batsmen should walk when they know they are out has not created a rift between New Zealand and their hosts, Australia coach John Buchanan said on Tuesday.
 arrow Tennis: What's next for Federer?
When Pete Sampras confirmed his retirement at the 2003 US Open, the phrase "we may never see his like again" was heard around the tennis world.
 arrow Cricket: A break with BNS tradition
The local cricket authority has ignored a 33-year-old tradition by not letting the defending champions of the Premier Cricket League to play the opening match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS).
 arrow Table Tennis: Anirban clinch men's crown
Anirban Nandi of India clinched the men's singles crown in the Beximco-Abul Hashem Smriti Table Tennis Championships beating compatriot Prthviraj Bose in yesterday's final at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium.
 arrow Chess: GM chess in December
At least seven Grand Masters will participate in the Grand Master chess tournament to be held in Dhaka from December 9-15.
 arrow Chess: Parag wins Round 7
Mehdi Hasan Parag secured 3.5 points after the seventh round games of the 43rd World Junior Chess Championship in the Indian city of Cochin yesterday.
 arrow Football: DRU soccer
ATN Bangla and Dainik Ajker Kagoj moved into the final of the DRU inter-house football tournament beating their respective rivals at the outer stadium handball court yesterday.
 arrow BD lose first kabaddi Test
The Bangladesh kabaddi team lost their first match in the six-match Test series against India when they conceded a 28-44 defeat to the world champions in the Indian city of Ahmedabad yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Scotland lift ICC Cup
Scotland won the inaugural International Cricket Council Intercontinental Cup, beating Canada by an innings and 84 runs in the final on Monday.
 arrow Cricket: Central contracts for Pak cricketers
Pakistan is set to introduce a contract system for cricket players with maximum yearly salaries of around 42,000 dollars, Pakistan Cricket Board said Tuesday.
 arrow Fan killer gets13-year jail
A Lisbon court has sentenced a 31-year-old man who stabbed a young England fan to death in downtown Lisbon during the Euro 2004 football finals to a 13-year prison term, the Lusa news agency reportedon
 arrow Tennis: Williams v Williams
Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova defeated Venus Williams and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 6-3 in the Lexus Tennis Challenge at Rupp Arena on Sunday.
Metropolitanarrow Raise awareness about Aids
Experts at a roundtable yesterday said the country is not sufficiently prepared to deal with the threat of HIV transmission.
 arrow 'Take tough stance against corrupt officials'
US Charge d'Affaires Judith Chammas yesterday said the government should take a tough stance against corrupt officials within the state system regardless of their position to make it accountable.
 arrow Traders urged not to sell polybags
State Minister for Environment and Forest Zafrul Islam Chowdhury yesterday urged the shop owners not to sell polythene shopping bags, which are a threat to environment.
Nationalarrow Epidemic killing ducks in Moulvibazar
Hundreds of ducks died of viral hepatitis which broke out in an epidemic form in the district.
 arrow Flood victims yet to get house building grant in Bogra
The government is yet to sanction house building grant to flood victims of 54,000 damaged houses in nine upazilas.
 arrow Satkhira BSCIC Estate now a grazing ground
Satkhira BSCIC (Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation) Industrial Estate has been turned into a grazing ground.
 arrow Work on Tk 3 cr modern museum starts at Barisal
Work on a modern museum at Old Collectorate building here started here recently.
Point-Counterpointarrow Is there no difference between terrorists and freedom fighters?
One of the consequences of the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001 is that the distinction between freedom fighters and terrorists has disappeared.
 arrow Containing monga in northern districts
The months of October and November are known as the "monga" the period in Bangladesh when food stocks run out and job opportunities dry up in some northern districts before the main harvest season inDecember.
Culturearrow Building cultural links
Eminent singers and dancers of Bangladesh and India came together for an enjoyable evening at the Indian Cultural Centre on November 22.
 arrow National film awards for 2002 and 2003 declared
The National Film Awards for the years 2002 and 2003 have been declared recently.
 arrow Panchoshor: A touch of the mystic
Cultural organisation Panchoshor has acquired acclaim for regularly organising musical programmes.
 arrow Wong Kar Wai retrospective
The cinema in Hong Kong is famously known for its so-called 'Martial Arts' genre. The films in this genre are characterised by their use of Martial Arts: Kung Fu, Judo, Boxing, Kick-Boxing and the likes.
Generalarrow Weavers to launch agitation
Bangladesh Sanjukta Tanti Samity will launch a month-long agitation programmes across the country if the government does not meet their 17-point demand including the distribution of VGF (Vulnerable Group
 arrow Security forces launch manhunt for criminals
Security forces have cordoned a vast area of Bandarban sadar and Roangchhari upazila to nab the criminals after the killing of a non-commissioned army officer by the tribal miscreants in the early hours
 arrow 6 robbers get 32 yrs for killing retired official
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced six robbers to 32 years' rigorous imprisonment for killing a retired anti-corruption official on February 27 last year.
 arrow 'Reconstitute anti-graft body'
A total of 315 teachers of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday demanded reconstitution of the Anti-Corruption Commission with neutral persons and accused the government of politicising it.
 arrow Postal operator on fresh remand
Mahbub Ali, a postal operator at the General Post Office (GPO), arrested for faxing a threat to the US Embassy, was placed on a five-day fresh remand yesterday.
 arrow Gunrunner held with 5 shotguns
Police arrested a gunrunner and seized five sawn-off shotguns and twenty bullets from his possession in the port city on Monday night.
 arrow Free eye camp held in Kishoreganj
On the eve of its fifth anniversary, Bank Asia in collaboration with Islamia Eye Hospital arranged an eye camp at Tarail Pilot High School in Khishoreganj on Monday.
 arrow 1,737 more held
Police arrested 1,737 more people, including two listed criminals, on various charges from different parts of the country in the last 24 hours till 6.00am yesterday.
Internationalarrow 3 UN hostages released
Three foreign UN workers held hostage in Afghanistan were freed unharmed yesterday, almost four weeks after they were abducted at gunpoint on the streets of the capital Kabul, the United Nations said.
 arrow Conference on Iraq backs war on insurgents
The gathering of 20 world powers and regional countries, including many opposed to the US-led invasion, represented an acknowledgment of the need for international cooperation to deal with the consequences
 arrow 'UK prevented Sept 11-like terrorist attack'
Britain foiled an al-Qaeda plot to fly planes into Heathrow Airport and London's giant Canary Wharf skyscrapers, a British television news channel said on Monday, quoting an unnamed "senior authoritative
 arrow PLO chief vows to follow Arafat's path
New PLO chief Mahmud Abbas pledged to follow in the footsteps of Yasser Arafat yesterday after he was picked by the dominant Fatah faction as its candidate to succeed the late Palestinian leader.
 arrow Oceans yield thousands of new species
A huge international collaboration involving hundreds of scientists has plunged into the deep, literally, revealing thousands of previously unknown marine species lurking in the shadowy depths and currents
 arrow Asia at critical stage of AIDS battle
The battle against AIDS is at a critical stage in Asia after a sharp rise in infections driven by the booming sex industry has left more than eight million people living with HIV, the United Nations reported
 arrow Ukrainians slam election as fraudulent
Tens of thousands of demonstrators jammed downtown Kiev in freezing temperatures Monday night, denouncing Ukraine's presidential runoff election as fraudulent and chanting the name of their reformistcandidate
 arrow Saddam lawyers mull war crimes suit against US
Lawyers for ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein announced Monday that they were asking the International Court of Justice to prosecute the United States for war crimes, even though individuals are not
Editorialarrow Editorial: Taiwan raring to come in a big way
We think it's an auspicious development that a big investment offer has been made by Chii-Ming Yiin, the head of the delegation from Taipei drawn from 54 Taiwanese companies which lately paid a three-day
 arrow Editorial: State of hospital emergency services
Ibrahim Kamal, a senior assistant secretary to the government who died of stab wounds on Monday, walked to the hospital 300 yards away after being fatally wounded and died in the emergency ward of the
 arrow Separation of judiciary: Half-full or half-empty
The governments, both under the Awami League (AL) and the present one have been dragging their feet to obey and implement the directive of the Supreme Court (SC) in respect of separation of judiciaryfrom
 arrow With Arafat as an ‘excuse’ gone, Palestinians will still get nothing
Commenting on Yasser Arafat's death, Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery said: "The disgusting filth poured out over Yasser Arafat during the last few days in practically all the Israeli media makes one
 arrow Need for an indigenous-style development
Bangladesh is a village based country. Few will deny this. More than 80 percent of the population lives in villages. Many people who live and work in cities, have also strong bondage with their villages.
Letters to Editorarrow Thoughts of an expatriate
My father has advised me to stop thinking that I will be going back to my land. And he has asked me to start to believe that Canada is my final home.
 arrow I love freedom
Everybody loves freedom, so do I! Everybody admires the Heroes, so do I ! I was not there in 1971, so I don't know how it feels to be oppressed by foreign rulers.
 arrow Big sky country
I was travelling through Montana. Everywhere I go in western US there are wide open spaces and very wide skies. I usually study language, literature and film.
 arrow Selling "My Life"
Here I am stuck at a traffic section in front of a hotel in Dhaka. It will take ten fifteen minutes before we can move forward. The cars really move at the whim of the traffic police.
 arrow Human rights
I am browsing through immigration-related websites and I see with regard to Bangladesh that the country has generated human rights concerns in the international community.
 arrow Re-election of Bush
It is really funny and amusing to watch our fellow Bangladeshis' reaction to America's choice for Bush to be their leader for one more term.
 arrow Patience and tolerance
It is imperative that the leaders and followers of the four-party alliance government, and all the opposition political parties , should urgently cultivate the human qualities of patience and tolerance;
 arrow Indian visa
It is reported that almost every day hundreds of Bangladeshis show up at the Indian High Commission in Gulshan for visas.
 arrow In response to "Ohio has failed the world"
I wonder when people would become more rational rather than being cynical.
 arrow Mohakhali Flyover
I had to drive several times over the Mahakhali Flyover recently. I was very much disappointed when I saw that people were walking over it without any hesitation.
 arrow Extortion in a different form
The responsibility of collecting kitchen waste and other garbage and its safe disposal rests on the city corporation.
 arrow Rancour grips BNP leaders
Your news item under the above headline on 21 Nov. was very interesting.
 arrow Stop genocide in Iraq
What happened in Fallujah is nothing but genocide. Bodies rot in the streets.
 arrow Playground for citizens
I am a citizen of this country but the rulers of this country is violating my rights by creating an unhygienic environment.
 arrow US voters
Let me correct Mr. Khurrum Siddique (The Daily Star, Sat Nov 20, 2004) by stating that people around the world (including Bangladeshis) engage in charitable acts and not just Americans.
 arrow Rapid Action Battalion
I honestly believe that Mr. G Sarwar from the US (letter to the editor: Sun.
StarTecharrow Microsoft presses 'enter' for Bangladesh
The youth of Bang-ladesh have a lot of potential and given a chance some Bill Gates may even pop up," said a laughing Faycal Bouchlaghem, Microsoft Asia Pacific's business development director for emerging
 arrow BIOC arranges nation's first Informatics Olympiad
Bangladesh Infor-matics Olympiad Committee (BIOC) is organising the first national competition on Informatics Olympiad 2004 on November 26 in association with East West University (EWU).
 arrow JFK assassination game launched
A British company said Sunday it was releasing a video game recreating the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy.
 arrow NASA launches Black Hole hunter
The fastest-swiveling space science observatory ever built rocketed into orbit Saturday to scan the universe for violent celestial explosions that astronomers believe represent the birth screams of black
 arrow Kazaa offers unlimited free internet phone calls
Sharman Networks Ltd., distributor of the Kazaa file-sharing software, on Monday launched its latest version which enables users to make free online calls anywhere in the world.
Star Chittagongarrow CCCI polls to see tough battle
The coming election of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the apex trade body of the port city, is likely to witness a tough contest as 37 candidates are running for 24 posts of its directors.
 arrow CMC Sandhani -- a life-saving symbol for the poor
Sandhani, a voluntary organisation of medical students, is well known for providing poor and distressed patients with life-saving blood and brining eyesight to the blind in the country.
 arrow Foy’s Lake -- Truly a Fun Place

Star Cityarrow Mosquito menace intensifies as breeding season starts
Mosquito menace has turned worse in the city in the last couple of weeks with the start of the breeding season this month.
 arrow Illegal wild bird sellers on streets, again
Poor enforcement of the Wildlife Preservation Act of 1974 banning the hunting of wild waterfowl threatens the survival of certain globally threatened species and hinders Bangladesh's rich biodiversity.
 arrow 25 Dhaka Zoo inmates face death
At least 25 animals of Dhaka Zoo face death because of old age and lack of proper treatment.
 arrow Wasa's 30,000 meter purchase delayed
Alleged interference by a coterie of contractors has delayed the process of purchasing 30,000 meters for the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) subscribers.
 arrow Private helicopters getting popular
The private helicopter service is gaining popularity as a mean of fast and convenient transportation.
 arrow City bus operators charge high fare
In the absence of government control, most bus operators in the city are charging fares at will in the name of providing 'better service' for the commuters.
 arrow New city bus service opens today
Modhumoti City Service is launching a new CNG-run luxury bus service today from Gulshan-2 to Kamlapur.