Vol. 5 Num 221 Wed. January 05, 2005    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow HC halts election to JS reserved seats for women
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government and the Election Commission (EC) not to hold polls to 45 seats reserved for women in the Jatiya Sangsad, until hearing of a writ petition challenging
 arrow Petrobangla seeks cabinet help
Petrobangla has turned to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to recover its arrears of gas bills worth Tk 697 crore from 30 government entities, including a number of ministries, and three autonomous
 arrow ACC hamstrung by crises
Confusion reigns supreme at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which is yet to set its rules, regulations and staffing one and a half months into its formation.
 arrow Baghdad governor assassinated
Gunmen killed Baghdad's governor in Iraq's highest-profile assassination in eight months and a suicide bomber killed 11 people at a police checkpoint yesterday in an escalating campaign to wreck the January
 arrow Army-criminal 3-hour gunbattle in Bandarban
Security forces fought a three-hour fierce gunbattle with a band of criminals in a remote hilly area in Bandarban early yesterday exchanging around 500 shots.
 arrow NGOs, groups to run community clinics
The Ministry of Health has decided to run 12,000 community clinics (CCs) at union level across the country through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local community groups in phases beginningthis
 arrow Rapists, traffickers prey on tsunami survivors
Thieves, rapists, traffickers and hoaxers are preying on tsunami survivors and families of victims in Asian refugee camps and hospitals and in the home countries of European tourists hit by the wave.
 arrow 2 listed criminals killed in 'crossfire' in city, Keraniganj
Two men with criminal records were killed in separate incidents of 'crossfire' between their gangs and police in the capital and adjacent Keraniganj early yesterday.
 arrow Date to be set with consent of 3 tsunami-hit member states
The 'convenience' of the three tsunami-affected member countries will get priority in fixing a fresh date for the postponed 13th Saarc summit, which is now likely to come after a summit of world leaders
 arrow BNP's countrywide organisational drive begins
BNP's countrywide organisational drive with a 18-point agenda started here yesterday with a grand conference attended by grassroots level party leaders and activists.
 arrow Changes in admin
The government yesterday brought some changes to the civil administration and gave postings to a number of senior officials who have been OSDs (officers on special duty) since their promotion.
 arrow 7.1pc rise in cost of living
Cost of living in 2004 rose by 7.10 percent on average while prices of essentials by 3.42 percent, a consumer watchdog said yesterday.
 arrow Benapole strikers to reconsider as govt halves duties
Exporters, importers and their agents will meet today to reconsider their ongoing strike at Benapole land port following government's decision yesterday to slash down the port duties by 50 percent.
 arrow Rezakul new NSI boss
The government yesterday appointed Brigadier General Rezakul Haider Chowdhury PSC as the director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) on deputation, according to an official notification.
 arrow Hasina, Joy visit Tungipara today
Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina along with her son Sajib Wajed Joy and daughter-in-law Christine will visit her ancestral home at Tungipara in Gopalganj today.
 arrow Court orders probe
A magistrate court yesterday ordered a Criminal Investigation Department probe into the Tanore gang-rape that took place 17 years ago.
 arrow CPB skips opposition meet
Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday did not attend a meeting of the mainstream opposition parties.
 arrow Chamber judge refrains from passing order
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday refrained from passing any order on the government move against a High Court (HC) stay on the appointment of Reza-e-Rabbi as secretary to the Anti-Corruption Commission
 arrow Jugantor journo survives bomb attack
Khulna Bureau Chief of Daily Jugantor Dip Azad escaped unhurt when a bomb hurled at him did not burst in Khulna yesterday.
 arrow Anti-Ahmadiyya demonstration...

 arrow Clarification
The Ministry of Agriculture has sent a clarification to The Daily Star regarding a report titled "Ministry 'ignorance' blocks Tk 43 crore farm funds" published on January 2, 2005.
 arrow Another held in Banshkhali carnage
Another accused in the brutal Banshkhali carnage, which left 11 members of a minority family burnt alive over a year ago, was arrested yesterday.
 arrow HC asks Rab not to harass Barisal ward commissioner
The High Court has ordered the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and other law-enforcing agencies to no more harass and arrest Barisal City Corporation Ward Commissioner AKM Murtuja Abedin.
 arrow Kuwaiti troops held over 'plot'
The Kuwaiti army says it has detained a number of soldiers suspected of plotting to attack "friendly forces" - a reference to US troops there.
 arrow 3 Kushtia cops suspended as arrestee flees
Three policemen of Kushtia Sadar Police Station were suspended for negligence of duty leading to escape of a criminal from their custody on Monday.
Businessarrow Imported cargo containers to get one-stop service at Ctg port
The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is going to introduce one-stop service next week for processing documents of the imported cargo container in an hour to expedite delivery of imported goods, including
 arrow Buoyant remittance ups forex reserves
Remittance flow grew by more than 14 percent in the first half of the current financial year amounting to US$ 1801.36 million, pushing foreign exchange reserves up.
 arrow Indian textile exporters term DEPB rate cut 'unjust’
Indian cotton textile exporters have criticised the government's recent order to slash Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) rates for cotton textile products by a further 15 percent including yarn, fabrics
 arrow 10pc government incentive for direct plastic exporters
The government will provide 10 percent incentive for direct export of plastic goods.
 arrow Cloud hangs over DITF as Saarc summit postponed
A cloud of uncertainty hangs over Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) next month as the Saarc summit scheduled for January 9-11 in Dhaka has been postponed and is likely to take place in February.
 arrow PM asks the French to tap investment incentives
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday hoped that more French investors would utilise an attractive investment policy being pursued by the present government to invest in Bangladesh.
 arrow Janata Jute Mills declares 30pc dividend, 100pc bonus shares
Janata Jute Mills Limited has declared a 30 percent dividend and 100 percent bonus share for its shareholders for 2003-'04.
 arrow Oil prices cooler due to milder US weather
Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday as milder weather in the United States helped to ease concerns about low supplies of heating fuel during the northern hemisphere winter.
 arrow US may appeal ruling on China textile curb
The Bush administration is expected to appeal a new federal-court ruling that has blocked the United Sates from preemptively restricting clothing imports from China, industry officials on both sides of
 arrow Wolfensohn to leave WB top job in June
World Bank President James Wolfensohn told the Bush administration on Monday that he will leave his post at mid-year, triggering a hunt for a replacement for the top job at the global lender.
 arrow India sees record wheat production
India, the world's leading grain grower, is expected to produce a bumper wheat crop of 76 to 78 million tonnes this year, aided by excellent weather and good soil moisture, a top farm scientist said yesterday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Sibanda scare for Zimbabwe
An anxious Zimbabwe team was keeping its fingers crossed after talented batsman Vusimuzi Sibanda was hit on the head by a ball during practice yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Biggies all cruise
The big guns of the Green Delta Premier Cricket League all en-joyed comfortable victories yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Australia tighten grip
Adam Gilchrist upstaged Ricky Ponting's fourth Test double-century with an exhilarating hundred as Australia went on a third day run rampage at Pakistan's expense in the final cricket Test at the Sydney
 arrow Hockey: Mariner thrash Ajax
Mariner Youngs Club handed a 4-1 defeat to Ajax Sporting Club in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: 'Tigers deserved win over India'
Indian chief selector Kiran More highly praised Bangladesh's performance in the second one-dayer against the Sourav Ganguly's men, which the Tigers won by 15 runs at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
 arrow Cricket: Hospitality boxes ready for sale
The hospitality boxes for the second Test and three ODIs between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are ready for distribution at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
 arrow Cricket: Div I cricket
A half century by Golam Mahabub guided Dhaka Wanderers Club to a six-wicket victory over Young Pegasus in the First Division Cricket League at the City Club ground yesterday.
 arrow Handball: Panchagarh zonal champs
Panchagarh emerged Karotoa zonal champions in the Pepsi 17th National Handball Championship (women) beating Rangpur 13-12 at the Rangpur Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: Proteas press on
South Africa scored briskly as they sought a massive lead after injured swing bowler Charl Langeveldt wrecked England's batting on the third day of the third Test at Newlands Tuesday.
 arrow Football: Fighting Reds go fifth
Liverpool went fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 win away to relegation-threatened Norwich on Monday.
 arrow Football: The usual drama
Brazilian champions Santos have denied reports that forward Robinho is to join Real Madrid.
 arrow Cricket: Inzamam, Razzaq back for Pakistan
Injury-plagued Pakistan got welcome news about the fitness of captain Inzamamul Haq and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq but fast bowler Mohammad Sami is out of this month's one-day tri-series in Australia, selectors
 arrow Cricket: Pakistan players give match fees
Pakistan's cricket team have donated 25 per cent of their match fees from the Sydney Test match against Australia to aid victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
 arrow Cricket: Schedules to be announced in a fortnight
With Pakistan's tour drawing closer, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conveyed on Tuesday to its counterpart that tour schedules would be ready within a fortnight.
 arrow Football: Henry to fight racism for FIFA
Arsenal and France star Thierry Henry is to be one of FIFA's ambassadors against racism, revealed FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Monday.
 arrow Volleyball: Titas spikers in semis
Titas Club moved into the semifinal in an invitation international volleyball tournament in Nepal yesterday.
They beat their Nepalese side Gulmele Club 25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22 in Kathmandu.

 arrow Tennis: Good day for local boys
Bangladesh had an inspiring day when the third BKSP International Junior Tennis Championship began at the country's lone sports institute in Savar yesterday.
 arrow Football: In honour of the victims
French and Italian footballers will show their solidarity with the victims of the Asian tsunamis this week, observing a minute's silence and collecting donations.
 arrow Cricket: New Zealand seek to play
New Zealand have asked the International Cricket Council if they can play a series of one-day matches against a world team after their planned series with Sri Lanka was scrapped.
Nationalarrow Main accused sheltered by BNP bigwigs, victim threatened
A local BNP leader, the main accused in Tanore gang-rape case, is escaping arrest 17 years after the incident using political influence while his men are threatening the victim's family to withdraw the
 arrow Lack of coordination main obstacle to project work
Speakers at a day-long workshop on the role of WID Coordination Committee on 'working plan for women development' said lack of proper coordination among different government agencies is the main cause
 arrow Madaripur hospitals ailing for lack of manpower
Patients suffer a lot due to shortage of manpower in all the hospitals in the district.
 arrow Tension mounts over allotment
Tension mounted again in villages around Uttara Housing Project at Saidpur as the bangalees became agitated over the governmeht's latest policy on allotment of the houses.
 arrow Ershad's rule saw only development
Jatiya party (Ershad) Secretary General Ruhul Amin Hawlader has said the nine-year rule of HM Ershad was a 'period of development' in the country. There was no terrorism, no killing, no anarchy.
 arrow BDR-smugglers clash leaves 6 hurt in Satkhira
A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawan and five smugglers were injured when a group of smugglers locked in a clash with BDR members near Khordobazaar in Kalaroa upazila on Sunday.
 arrow Smuggling of Indian cattle down
Smuggling of Indian cattle has decreased due to constant vigilance of the members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in the border areas.
Change in attitude of importers also led to the situation.

 arrow They are all thieves!
Curious people thronged the Sadar thana on Monday as news spread that police arrested 90 thieves (!) from different areas in the district town in two days.
 arrow 'Listed criminal' escapes from custody
A handcuffed 'listed criminal' and alleged drug trader escaped from police custody in the district on Monday. Sources said police arrested Rassel from Talipara area of the city at about 11am.
 arrow 'Build movement to combat crime'
Speakers at a discussion meeting here on Saturday stressed the need for building a strong mass movement to wipe out criminal activities once for all from the society.
 arrow Most medicine shops in Netrakona have no licence
Over 1000 medicine shops are doing business without drug licence in Netrakona district, according to Drug Superintendent In-charge Akib Hossen.
 arrow IT centre opens at Gaibandha
An Information Technology Centre was opened at Gaibandha Public Library on Sunday for rendering services to the people.
The Gaibandha Deputy Commissioner inaugurated the centre.

Point-Counterpointarrow Corporate environmental whitewash
There is much debate as to the general safety of oil and gas operations in developing countries, where safety standards are often eroded or ignored.
 arrow J.N. Dixit : Diplomat, patriot, secular nationalist rolled into one
J.N. Dixit, one of India's leading strategic policy analysts who passed away Monday while serving his government in an official capacity was a robust patriot.
Culturearrow Simplifying life in black and white
About Fokhrul Islam, who is having his 12th solo exhibition at Alliance Francaise, Raffaele Grossi, a well-known Italian painter said that, it reflects great talent and promise.
 arrow Tazin and Ejaz: Aspiring to make a difference in the glamour world
I do respect her habit of writing just like I appreciate her acting very much. She knows how the sequences run from one to another.
 arrow Remembering Shawkat Osman
On the occasion of the 87th birth anniversary of litterateur Shawkat Osman, recitation group Shwanan organised a cultural and discussion programme at the Liberation War Museum, Monday last.
 arrow Celebrities unite to raise tsunami aid funds
Veteran pop star Sir Cliff Richard, flamboyant singer Boy George and other British musicians plan to release a song to raise money for victims of the devastating Asian tsunami, the tune's composer said.
Generalarrow Yunus sees no scope of going slow for success
Prof Muhammad Yunus, a pioneer of microcredit, yesterday said he wants to see Bangladesh become the first country to free itself from poverty.
 arrow Maintain friendly ties on campus
Prime Minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday called for maintaining congenial academic atmosphere in the educational institutions and friendly relations among different student organisations.
 arrow Asian Women, Health Meet begins Jan 10
The Asia Regional Women and Health Meeting will begin in the country on January 10.
The three-day meeting will be held at Vishnupur in Tangail.

 arrow Int'l confce on development from Jan 7
A two-day international conference on development and security, organised by Bangladesh Political Science Association, begins in the city at 9.45am on January 7, says a press release.
 arrow Cabinet okays President's draft JS speech
The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of the President's speech to be delivered at the first session of parliament in 2005.
 arrow One beaten dead in city
A mob beat a youth dead at Pallabi in the city yesterday as he hurled bombs on police injuring two law enforcers, police said.
Sumon, 20, died on way to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

 arrow JCD, Shibir clash at DMC: 15 injured
At least 15 activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), student wing of Jamaat, were injured in a clash at a dormitory of Dhaka Medical College yesterday.
 arrow Azam pleads not guilty
Azam Reza, an accused in the killing of his wife Jayanti Reza, yesterday pleaded not guilty and sought acquittal of charges.
 arrow AL promises job for youths if voted to power
The Awami League would create employment opportunities for the youths, if voted to power, said AL Joint Secretary Obaidul Kader yesterday.
 arrow Four arrestees challenge remand prayer
Four Rajshahi University (RU) students, arrested in connection with Prof Yunus murder case, yesterday filed a criminal appeal with a judge's court challenging the prayer for their remand for the second
Internationalarrow UN warns many more dead in Indonesia
The chaotic effort to bring relief to Indonesia's tsunami survivors stalled Tuesday after a plane crash blocked the aid effort's main airport, as the UN warned there could be tens of thousands of newdeaths.
 arrow Powell saddened by governor's murder
US Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed sorrow at Tuesday's assassination of Baghdad governor Ali Radi al-Haidari but said Iraq's elections will go ahead this month as scheduled.
 arrow Abbas denounces 'Zionist enemy'
Palestinian presidential election frontrunner Mahmud Abbas launched a withering attack on the "Zionist enemy" Tuesday after Israeli troops killed seven people in the northern Gaza Strip.
 arrow Britain proposes G8 debt relief for tsunami countries
Britain unveiled yesterday a proposal to its partners in the Group of Eight most industrialised nations for an "immediate moratorium" on debt repayments from countries hit by the tsunami disaster in the
 arrow Hostage taker in Peru arrested
The leader of a group of former soldiers holding 17 people hostage in a police station in the southern town of Adahuaylas was arrested while he was negotiating a surrender, as the standoff with his followers
 arrow Bush Sr, Clinton to head tsunami relief fund
President George W Bush has tapped former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H W Bush to lead a US charitable fund-raising effort for victims of the Asian Tsunamis, the White House announced on Tuesday.
 arrow India, Pakistan hold talks on water-sharing
India and Pakistan began another round of talks Tuesday on resolving a water-sharing row triggered by New Delhi's decision to build a hydroelectric dam in divided Kashmir, a ministry spokesman said.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Global networking for disaster management
The government's decision to link up the country with the global disaster forecasting system under its Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) has to be lauded.
 arrow Editorial: In the midst of a gas crisis
We face gas crisis in winter with routine regularity every year. The pipeline pressure falls with the lowering of temperature. Resultantly, there is a supply shortfall.
 arrow How can Bangladesh respond to Indian river-linking proposal?
India's plan of inter-linking trans-boundary rivers to create a new "national water grid" seeks to provide increased amount of surface water from trans-boundary rivers to other parts in India.
 arrow It was a politically sound year for South Asia
Although a catastrophic earthquake accompanied with devastating Tsunami severely struck several South Asian countries at the fag end of 2004 leading to the postponement of the much-awaited 13th summit
 arrow Biotechnology in agriculture : Not only a trap but also a threat
A number of learned teachers of various public and private universities in their separate write-ups tried to give a clean-chit to agricultural biotechnology.
Letters to Editorarrow Rajuk can save or kill millions!
Recently, I had the experience of the terrible earthquake in Niigata and I found earthquake a very dangerous natural disaster because it does not give any time to move to a safe place.
 arrow Traffic rules
We must abide by the traffic rules for our own safety. So please don't park your car here and there. Use the footpaths as much as you can, use the overbridge though you feel lazy to cross it.
 arrow New Year cheers and Tsunami agony
The devastating Tsunami has wrecked havoc in about seven countries. The whole world mourns the tragedy.
 arrow Of movies and the battle for Fallujah
It's been going on for more than 20 years. The story has always been the same.
 arrow Questioning minorities' patriotism?
I am not an avid fan of cricket but I am happy to see Bangladesh winning against India.
 arrow Save forests
This is in reference to the letter on Unocal's gas exploration, dated 27.12.2004. I had been reading about this bit of news for quite some time but the letter really made me worried.
 arrow Requiem for crossfire victims !
My attention has been drawn to the poem titled 'Death in Crossfire' composed by our respected former Chief Justice and former head of the Caretaker Government, M Habibur Rahman, which was published in
 arrow Dowry: a social malady
Dowry, property and money given to the groom's family by the bride's family, is a prevalent custom amongst all groups in the country. It is gender biased and is degrading womanhood .
 arrow Vanishing phones !
Too many mobile phones are being stolen these days.
 arrow Dhaka's contribution to relief operations
Bangladesh has made quite a significant contribution to international relief effort for Asian Tsunami disaster victims.
 arrow Democracy and values
Maritain wrote that democracy -- which many consider the best form of government -- emerged in human history as a temporal expression of evangelical inspiration and as such -- in a historical rather than
 arrow We are safe!
Dear fellow Bangladeshis, a happy New Year ! We can keep carrying on injustices towards each other because nobody will come to Bangladesh! We have nothing to offer to the world.
 arrow BTTB's decision
I write with some distress and outrage at the completely ad-hoc manner of our government "services".
 arrow Discrimination in Saudi Arabia
While salary discrimination, price parity can be explained in many ways, I would agree that Bangladeshis do receive a very lower rate of basic salary and other employment related incentives in Saudi Arabia.
 arrow Crossfire deaths
Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman has written (DS Jan.02,'05) a well composed piece (requiem) which is his 'ode' to those gone in the crossfire of Rab.
 arrow Politicised teachers
Like almost everyone, I don't like to support the direct political involvement of DU teachers and other university teachers. It's severely harming our educational environment and standard.
 arrow Lack of democratic practice
As a citizen, I feel distressed that some British officials have rightly pointed out that the two major political parties lack democratic practices in the local political culture (DS Dec 22).
 arrow Cost of red tape
The cost of red tape is up in the UK since 1997 to Pound Sterling [PS] 30 billion. The main culprit is alleged to be the EU Regulations.
 arrow Image problem
Right from its creation, Bangladesh has been suffering from image problem. From 1972 Bangabadhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started to send lots of top ranking students to East European countries.
StarTecharrow A tech fair that stands out
THE City IT Fair 2004 is gaining momentum through a grand line-up of simple, but interesting events and contests. In the first three days, the fair saw an impressive average of 10,000 visitors per day.
 arrow First outsourcing portal of the country launched
TO foster outsourcing efforts by local IT companies, BanglaIT, a research and development organisation with non-resident and resident IT members, launched the website www.outsourcebangladesh.com (OSBD).
 arrow A year after landing, Mars probes continue work
A year after landing on Mars, US robots Spirit and Opportunity remain in good working shape, although their initial three-month mission ended a long time ago, the US space agency said.
 arrow New technology helps aid effort in wake of tsunami disaster
NEW technology has played a major role in aiding the search and rescue of victims of the Asian tsunami disaster as well as raising funds for aid organisations.
Star Chittagongarrow Construction of Newmooring Terminal to be delayed
Construction of Newmooring Container Terminal (NCT) will be delayed as Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is yet to complete the acquisition of land for the project, sources said.
 arrow Coastal fishermen live in misery
Thousands of fishermen in coastal areas live in miseries and insecurity as the National Fisheries Policy 1998 has not yet been properly implemented and related laws framed.
Star Cityarrow Old Dhaka left in the cold
When the entire Dhaka is decorated under a beautification project for giving the capital a facelift, the old part of the city is ignored and kept out of the programme.
 arrow Mohakhali flyover at half anti-quake strength
The Mohakhali flyover remains vulnerable to earthquakes as all its shock transmission units (STU) have not been installed yet.
 arrow Heritage in miniature
The sight of Kantajir Mandir may surprise you a little, but the beauty of the terracotta and luscious pink of the Ahsan Manzil will definitely mesmerise you.
 arrow IPS, cable operators can use Desco poles
The Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) and internet service providers have reached an agreement with the Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco) which will allow them to use Desco's poles.
 arrow Crowds drawn to impressive items & prices
The fourth annual City IT Computer fair is a marked contrast from the BCS fair held earlier last month, where people flocked to stalls attracted by the flashy and for the most part, gadgets beyond their