Volume 5 Number 219 Mon. January 03, 2005    
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Front Pagearrow Anti-poverty plan sees lower export growth
Despite a 15 percent export growth achieved in the last fiscal year (FY), the draft Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) projects only an 8 percent growth for the current FY, apprehending adverse impact
 arrow Gas crisis set to last year long
The present dip in supply of natural gas is set to dog the country throughout this year and turn into a full-blown national crisis later in the summer, fear experts.
 arrow HC asks govt why ban should not be illegal
The High Court yesterday issued rule on the government for its ban on the Ahmadiyya publications and stayed the ban for another three weeks.
 arrow ACC move on 'missing' cars irks secretaries
A section of the secretaries asked by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to explain the reported irregular usage of 1,028 vehicles say it is wrong for the commission to make the sweeping implication
 arrow Khaleda opens textbook distribution
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia while inaugurating nationwide new textbooks distribution among students yesterday urged teachers to work with more enthusiasm to ensure quality education.
 arrow Killings in 'crossfire' breach constitution
Jatiya Oikya Mancha President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday accused the government of flouting the constitution and the international human rights norms by allowing killings in 'crossfire'.
 arrow Injunction on RU mass appointment upheld
The High Court yesterday stayed the vacating order on a lower court injunction on the confirmation of last year's mass appointments at Rajshahi University (RU).
 arrow Kids' fight for school seats begins
Anxious guardians crowded in front of eight government schools in the capital yesterday as their wards took admission tests at primary and secondary levels for the academic year 2005.
 arrow Car bomb kills 21 Iraqi guards
A suicide car bomb hit a bus carrying Iraqi National Guards yesterday, killing 22 people in the deadliest attack of its kind in nearly four months on Iraqis cooperating with US forces to secure a January
 arrow Aid operation gears up
An unprecedented global aid operation gathered steam yesterday to save survivors of Asia's tsunamis as signs crept up of disease in the overflowing morgues after the disaster that claimed more than 127,000
 arrow SQ Chy invites Hasina to son's wedding
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury yesterday met the Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina to invite the latter to his son's wedding.
 arrow Sweepers halt Dhaka-Ctg rail link for 3hrs
Train service on Dhaka-Chittagong route remained suspended for over three hours yesterday as sweepers at Comilla Railway Station badly protested the arrest of a colleague.
 arrow Benapole land port strike on
Export and import at Benapole land port remained suspended for the second day yesterday while hundreds of trucks with goods including perishable ones are stranded at Benapole on Bangladesh side and Petrapole
 arrow 70 RMG workers fall sick from gas leak
At least 70 workers have fallen sick following a toxic gas leakage yesterday at a garment factory in the Aturardepot area of the port city, police and factory sources said.
 arrow Cold wave next week
At least two cold waves are likely to blow over the country beginning at the second week of this month, according to a long-range January forecast by the met office.
 arrow Workers' families get compensation
The government yesterday distributed a total of Tk 2.05 crore in compensation to the relatives of 15 expatriate Bangladeshis who died while working abroad, most of them in Middle Eastern countries.
 arrow HC stays govt appointment of ACC secy
The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed the government appointment of AMM Reza-e-Rabbi as secretary to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
 arrow Guard confesses to helping killers
A security guard yesterday told a court that he helped three hitmen slaughter Siddheshwari Girls High School headmistress Sabera Begum Baby and her daughter.
 arrow Outlaw dies in 'crossfire'at Naogaon
A leader of an outlawed party was killed allegedly in crossfire between his accomplices and police in Bhatkoi village in Raninagar upazila yesterday.
 arrow HC stays hearing on rule on editors for 2 weeks
The High Court yesterday adjourned for two weeks the hearing on the rule on the editors, publishers and reporters of four national dailies, issued last month for publishing reports and a feature on ajudge's
 arrow Islamist militant chief remanded
Sayed Kawsar Hussain Siddiki Raja, the self-styled chief of Islamist militant group Shahadat-e Al Hiqma, was remanded for the third time yesterday.
 arrow Nurses demand health secy's removal, submit memo to PM
Leaders of Bangladesh Diploma Nurses Association (BDNA) yesterday submitted a memorandum to the prime minister demanding removal of the health secretary and the two top most officials of the Nursing Directorate.
Businessarrow BRTC bearing brunt of age-old loans
Burdened with huge bank loans, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) is incurring annual losses despite having operative surplus.
 arrow Study on $2b Tata investment plan near completion
A feasibility study on proposed US$2billion investment plan in Bangladesh by Indian industrial giant Tata Group is at its final stage.
 arrow PCBs post 27pc operating profit growth in 2004
The private commercial banks (PCBs) registered a whopping 27 percent growth in operating profit in the just-concluded calendar year compared to the previous year.
 arrow ROK exports hit record high in ’04
South Korean exports hit a record high of more than 250 billion dollars in 2004, with the country's trade surplus doubling year-on-year to some 30 billion dollars, government figures showed Sunday.
 arrow Lanka hotel industry estimates Rs12-13b tsunami damage
Around 4,000 hotel rooms in Sri Lanka have been damaged by the tidal waves and the hospitality industry estimates that the restoration cost would run as high as Rs 12 billion to Rs 13 billion, a senior
 arrow Bay-Phones to start land phone service from February
Bay-Phones is expected to launch land phone services in Bangladesh from February next.
 arrow Textile fair begins in Sylhet
A 20-day 'Handloom and Textile Fair 2005' began in Sylhet yesterday on the occasion of upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
 arrow Desh Garments approves 5pc dividend
Desh Garments Ltd has declared a 5 percent dividend for its shareholders for the financial year 2003-'04.
 arrow Ashraf Textile approves 2.5pc dividend
Ashraf Textile Mills Ltd has approved a 2.5 percent dividend for its shareholders.

The approval was made at the company's 22nd annual general meeting held in Dhaka on Thursday, says a press release.

 arrow US-Australia FTA goes into effect
A US-Australia free trade agreement took effect Saturday, eliminating tariffs on the overwhelming majority of goods sold between the two countries, US officials said.
 arrow S Korea to sell huge T-bonds for forex
South Korea is to issue a record monthly amount of treasury bonds in January for foreign exchange market operations, reflecting concern the won's strength could exacerbate a slowdown in export growth,
 arrow Japan CEOs see no economic upturn for 2005
A majority of chief executives at big Japanese companies predicted the country's economy would not improve in 2005 due largely to a possible US economic downturn, an opinion poll showed Sunday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Tigers go the slow way
Bangladesh selectors are banking on a left-arm spin attack to topple Zimbabwe and called up Enamul Haque (Jr) in a 13-member squad for the first Test against visiting Zimbabwe yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Zim practice batting well
The three-day match between the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) XI and Zimbabwe was heading for a draw after the tourists took a 68-run lead on the second day at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Victoria march on, Abahani crash
Victoria Sporting Club continued their impressive run in the Green Delta Premier Cricket League but there were contrasting for-tunes for arch-rivals Abahani and Mohammedan in yesterday's matches.
 arrow Cricket: Familiar Pak collapse
Pakistan squandered a Salman Butt century with another middle-order batting collapse as Stuart MacGill captured five wickets to put Australia in charge after the opening day of the third and final Test
 arrow Cricket: Star cast World XI
Cricket's world stars on Sunday signalled their support for victims of the overwhelming Asian tsunami by agreeing to play in the first of two benefit matches in Melbourne next week.
 arrow Cricket: Asian XI to be selected in Dhaka today
Chief cricket selectors of the Sub-Continent will meet in Dhaka today to select the Asian XI squad that will play against an International Cricket Council (ICC) XI in a charity cricket match for victims
 arrow Hockey: Usha blank Mariner
Pakistani forward Nayeem Ahmed slammed a hattrick and his compatriot Mohammed Nadim scored a spectacular goal as Usha Krira Chakra thrashed Mariner Youngs Club 4-0 at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium
 arrow Cricket: SA 247-4
South Africa, who won the toss and chose to bat, were 247 for four at stumps on the first day of the third Test against England in Cape Town on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: 'Lara no problem for me'
New West Indies cricket coach Bennett King says there are no problems in his working relationship with team captain Brian Lara.
 arrow Cricket: England wrest initiative
England spinner Ashley Giles made a crucial breakthrough for his country when he dismissed South African captain Graeme Smith for 74 on the first day of the third Test at Newlands here on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Dhanmondi and Sonargaon win
The top three batsmen smashed half centuries as Dhanmondi Club handed a 51-run defeat on Eskaton Sabuj Sangha in the First Division Cricket League at the Jagannath Hall Ground yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Australian fans give $55,000
Australian cricket fans at the opening day of the final Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground Sunday donated a total of 71,786 dollars (55,275 USD) to the Asian tsunami relief fund, officials
 arrow Tennis: Sharapova shocks Venus
Reigning Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova overpowered American Venus Williams Sunday in an exhibition match in northern Thailand overshadowed by last week's tsunamis that ravaged the kingdom and much
 arrow Cricket: Wasim foresees English chances
England have been given an even chance of reclaiming the Ashes from Australia this year by former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
 arrow Tennis: Hopman Cup Argentina down Italy
Guillermo Coria exorcised a few ghosts on Sunday when he recorded his first victory in more than six months as Argentina made a winning start to the Hopman Cup with a 2-1 victory over Italy.
 arrow Football: The gap remains the same
Jose Mourinho claimed Chelsea had enjoyed the good fortune that makes champions after his team rode their luck to beat Liverpool and preserve their five-points lead at the top of the Premiership.
 arrow Football: Ailing Magpies, Reds
Newcastle United and Liverpool have been hit by major injury worries as the gruelling Christmas and New Year schedule begins to exact a heavy toll in the Premiership.
 arrow Football: Roberto Carlos staying put
Brazil World Cup star Roberto Carlos, continually thwarted in his pay demands at Real Madrid, denied press reports Sunday that he wants to leave the Spanish giants and said he had turned down an offer
 arrow Football: Gazza critically ill
Former England football international Paul Gascoigne was gravely ill in hospital Sunday suffering from pneumonia and a possible collapsed lung, Britain's News of the World tabloid said.
 arrow Football: Aragones gets on British nerves
Spanish football coach Luis Aragones should be punished following his latest racist comments, British sports minister Richard Caborn said.
 arrow Football: Real to dance samba
Newly-appointed Real Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo said on Friday that under his stewardship it would be a little bit more like watching his former charges Brazil in the coming months at the Bernabeu.
 arrow Football: Keegan's Yugoslav nightmare revealed
England football star Kevin Keegan was beaten up in custody by Yugoslav police after the national team arrived in Belgrade for a match in 1974, newly-released British government archives said Saturday.
Nationalarrow Import keeps local potato unsold
About 70 lack bags of potato stored in cold storages in five northern districts last year may remain unsold due to large scale import of Indian potato.
 arrow Food procurement 'nil' in Barisal division
The food department could not purchase any rice or paddy in the six southern districts under its Aman procurement programme, launched on November 25 with a target of 7,645 tonnes.
 arrow Rapid gains from rabbits
Young Noorjahan's miraculous success in attaining self-reliance is a surprise to many.
 arrow On road to autarky
Bangladesh may soon attain autarky in production of onion, a largely used spice, thanks to the invention by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI).
 arrow BSF returns body of Bangladeshi
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Saturday handed over the body of a Bangladeshi to BDR after a flag meeting on Kushtia border.
 arrow JCD leaders expelled for extortion
Two leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of ruling BNP, were suspended from the party for their alleged involvement in extortion.
 arrow Order to hold employees' election in 45 days
The Registrar of Trade Unions, Khulna has asked the Chairman of Barisal Education Board to hold election of Barisal Shikkha Board Karmachari Sangha (BSBKS) within 45 days to form a new committee.
 arrow Rajpunnah in Bandarban Jan 13
The traditional Rajpunnah Festival of Bomoung circle will be celebrated here on January 13.
 arrow NGO charged for cheating
Three officials of a local NGO, Satata Mahila Sangstha, were sued for allegedly misappropriating over Tk 10 lakh, collected from people on assurance of jobs.
Point-Counterpointarrow Concept of modern state and role of the judiciary
The government in its present form with three different organs performing three different functions did not come into existence until the emergence of the modern states.
 arrow Comrade Moni Singh
Comrade Moni Singh, one of the national heroes of Bangladesh, adopted Marxism and Leninism at an early age.
Culturearrow 'Man and nature are inter-related in my art works'--Jolly
Dilara Begum Jolly is a dedicated proponent of feminist issues on the canvas.
 arrow NSD drama festival begins
A 16-day long drama festival titled Bharat Ranga Maha-Utsav, among the most prestigious theatre festivals of the subcontinent, begins from January 5, in Delhi, India.
 arrow Yakub, a dedicated Nazrul singer
Yakub Ali Khan, a popular Nazrul singer, is one of the members of the newly formed Nazrul Parishad.
 arrow Jahangirnagar Film Society holds 'Eastern and Western Film Session'
Jahangirnagar Film Society (JFS) organises a two-day long 'Eastern and Western Film' session featuring four films from Vietnam, Italy and France.
 arrow The unrecognisable Travolta
John Travolta is almost unrecognisable when he's first on the screen in the drama A Love Song for Bobby Long. His hair is white, and his face is drawn and beaten.
Generalarrow Resist atrocities let loose by govt
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday called for a united resistance against the atrocities let loose by BNP-led alliance government.
 arrow Electronic goods worth over Tk 8 lakh looted
Robbers looted electronic goods worth over Tk 8 lakh from a showroom of Rangs Toshiba at Lalbagh in the city early yesterday and a trader was robbed of Tk 5.
 arrow Dispel confusion about BTTB cellphone
A parliamentary body yesterday asked the telecom ministry and the state-owned carrier BTTB to act in line with the committee's recommendations and take 'reasonable' decisions on the BTTB mobile phoneservice
 arrow Joy to work for AL in next polls
Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Awami League President and Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina yesterday said he would work with party men at the next general elections to motivate the people.
 arrow 20 students to vie for each seat
Around 20 students will vie for each seat of the first year honours courses in Dhaka University under 2004-05 academic session.
 arrow Businessman shot dead in Keraniganj
Criminals gunned down a businessman in Mandail Khalifa Para in Keraniganj Saturday night.
 arrow Iqbal Hossain gets extension
Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury, secretary in charge of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, has been given one-year contract extension prior to his retirement.
 arrow PW identifies 4 accused in court
A prosecution witness (PW) in the Ahsanullah Master murder case yesterday identified Mohammad Ali and three others in the dock of the court as accused and said that he could recognise other accused if
 arrow 'Democracy threatened by 'monarchic' style of rule'
Leaders of several political parties yesterday called for reforms of the election commission and the caretaker government system to strengthen the democratic processes.
 arrow $3m Citigroup donation for tsunami victims
The Citigroup Foundation yesterday announced that it would provide 3 million US dollars for tsunami victims in South Asia, says a press release.
 arrow Correction
Advocate Sigma Huda, president of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA), chaired the seminar on 'Protection of women and children' held in the city on December 30.
Internationalarrow Devastation in Aceh slowly unfolding
Survivors huddle in clearings without food or shelter above the water-damage line all along the tsunami-ravaged coast of Indonesia's Aceh province, and corpses float for miles out to sea.
 arrow A dream come true for starving Indonesians
It was as if the US navy helicopter were a miracle, a dream come true.

One man dropped to his knees and held up his clasped hands as if in prayer as the helicopter hovered just over his head.

 arrow Flash floods slow relief effort in Sri Lanka
Floods slowed aid yesterday to thousands of marooned survivors in Sri Lanka as the United States prepared to mount a military operation to help relief work as the tsunami death toll rose to nearly 30,000.
 arrow Israel launches new gaza operation
Israeli tanks rumbled into the northern Gaza Strip yesterday to try to stop cross-border rocket attacks described by front-running Palestinian presidential candidate Mahmoud Abbas as useless.
 arrow Pollution alert in Tehran
Schools in the Iranian capital were closed and the elderly, the sick and children advised to stay indoors Sunday after air pollution reached alarming levels.
 arrow Quake warning stirs panic in Assam
Panic has gripped India's northeastern state of Assam after US scientists warned of a potentially major earthquake jolting the region.
 arrow Andamans rattled by 90 aftershocks in 24 hours
India's tsunami-hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been rattled by 90 aftershocks in 24 hours, most of moderate intensity, the meteorological department said Sunday.
 arrow Around 3,500 Swedes still missing in Thailand
Around 3,500 Swedes are still missing in Thailand, a week after tidal waves struck the country's coastline, with 60 Swedes confirmed dead, the foreign ministry said.
 arrow Emergency in Peru after police station siege
President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, declared a 30-day state of emergency in remote Andean province, where a group of nationalist dissidents seized a police station and took officers hostage, demanding
 arrow Argentina begins burying club fire victims
Argentina rang in the New Year on a grim note as families identified and began burying 177 victims of a fire in a Buenos Aires rock club, including children and babies who may have perished in a makeshift
Editorialarrow Editorial: Vanishing government vehicles!
Government malfeasance had ceased to surprise us.
 arrow Editorial: Free education for poor children
A massive scheme designed to educate nearly half a million deprived and dropped-out children has been launched by the prime minister raising fresh hopes for a fillip to the primary education sector.
 arrow Turkey's rocky road to EU
The Ottomans once entered Europe as conquerors causing a measure of trepidation among the Europeans who cowered at the Ottomans' triumphant advance into their continent, traditionally the abode of Christendom.
 arrow An unnecessary credibility problem
This country, far more than others, gives a short shrift to lame-ducks and retirees.
 arrow Caretaker Government Law: Reform not necessary
JUSTICE M Latifur Rahman correctly pointed out that "the idea of reform of the caretaker system as is a matter purely within the domain of the parliamentarians and the politicians of Bangladesh.
Letters to Editorarrow Tsunami havoc
We all are shell-shocked at the devastating Tsunami that attacked the maximum littoral areas of Asia. The Tsunami with 8.9 magnitude originated in Sumatra Island of Indonesia.
 arrow Help Tsunami victims
I am ashamed that Bangladesh has not yet responded fully to the Tsunami disaster.
 arrow Happy New Year
There are times when we like to share our happiness with others, there are times when we remember our near and dear ones, when we feel like to wish them once in a while if not always, no matter how far
 arrow Western influence
Western traditions and media have a direct influence on our young generation. Nowadays programmes in some television channels show pornographic images.
 arrow Shattered hopes
The outcry against recent Fallujah bloodbath has reverberated far beyond Iraq's borders. Innocent Iraqis are being blown out indiscriminately which is a common phenomenon these days.
 arrow Set the priorities right
Haven't we had seen enough monuments and heard big talks from even bigger mouths about immortalising our great liberation war and teaching our future generation the history of the two political parties.
 arrow One too many
Hi there. Here I thought I would be working all day just before the New Year sets in a foreign country where I am so far away from my loved ones from my family.
 arrow Why not Rab?
Rab is doing their job very successfully and they know how to perform their duty. Nobody needs to advise them! It's their own concern. People support Rab.
 arrow Rab
The Daily Star in its December 30 issue published a letter with the above heading. In this regard I completely disagree with the views of Mr. Imran Khan.
 arrow Good news!
I read the article by Morshed Ali Khan, "Gulshan-Baridhara's lake's water…." ("Star City", Wednesday, December 29th 2004), with elation.
 arrow Hartal
It is nice to see that the opposition parties are resorting to protests in the more civic form of " Manab Bandhan" & "Manab Prachir". Main opposition party Awami League is back in the parliament too.
 arrow Tigers roar at last
It was so ecstatic to see our heroes playing such a great series against the mighty Indians. The Tigers finally have given a wake up call to the other teams and silenced the critics.
 arrow HBFC loans and commitment of finance minister
Our outspoken finance minister is known for his relentless effort to reduce rates of interest of banks and other financial institutions.
 arrow We are in trouble
We the people of Chittagong are facing a problem every day. It is sound pollution.
 arrow Blaring horns
Sound pollution can cause great harm. A man can become deaf. And loud horns greatly contribute to sound pollution.
 arrow Rab
Rab is the proper team to eradicate crime. But their actions are questionable at times. Society has become very corrupt. Before Rab was introduced the top criminals were arrested but hardly punished.
 arrow Our business partner
At long last, Malaysia is officially recognising Bangladesh as a possible investment partner, in sharp contrast to the mere import of labour for many decades, (some other Asian developed nations and EU
 arrow Kudos to Rab
Recent letters commending the effective work of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and the courageous act of containing listed terrorists and notorious criminals have inspired me as a regular reader of theDS,
Star Cityarrow Dhaka Bypass to end by June
The government has decided to complete the 61-kilometre Dhaka Bypass from Joydevpur to Madanpur on Dhaka-Chittagong highway within next six months on priority basis to ease the traffic congestion in the
 arrow Flower-power draws many
Flower exporters participating in the 10th National Flower Show 2005 seek government assistance in promoting flower exports from Bangladesh.
 arrow Gaming, a growing craze
The new gaming venues of the city are organising frequent competitions to attract more visitors and also to promote gaming.
 arrow Builders violating elevator law
High-rise buildings are still being constructed across the city with no elevators in violation of the new Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC).
 arrow Rajuk's promotion farce?
Some 57 employees of the Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (Rajuk) have been promoted recently amid allegations of gross irregularities and violation of government service rules.