Volume 5 Number 237 Fri. January 21, 2005    
 
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow MPs for changes in constitution
Five lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties are going to table bills proposing a number of amendments to the constitution during the upcoming parliament session beginning January 31.
 arrow Mad rush for home as Eid tomorrow
The Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, will be celebrated across the country tomorrow with due solemnity and religious fervour.
 arrow Jatra attacks instil new fears in rural life
The recent spate of bomb attacks in traditional village fairs and cultural functions has added a new dimension to the crime landscape of rural Bangladesh.
 arrow Five killed in crossfire
Three alleged outlaws and two criminals were killed in 'shootouts' during police actions in Kushtia, Satkhira, Bogra and Dhaka yesterday.
 arrow Tigers lose first ODI
Bangladesh suffered a bump in the first of the five-match one-day international series when the Tigers went down by 22 runs at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Finance ministry decision likely after Eid
The finance ministry's decision on the agriculture ministry's proposal for a Tk 381 crore subsidy for diesel is likely to come by this month, sources in the ministry said.
 arrow Forty more robbed through doping
Forty more people, all drugged unconscious, were admitted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) until yesterday evening, as muggers doped them at different cattle markets and in buses in the capital.
 arrow Bush begins new term
With the US capital blanketed by tight security and newly fallen snow, President George W. Bush launched his second term yesterday mindful of a legacy shaped by the war on terrorism and Iraq.
 arrow Two bogies roll onto platform at Kamalapur
Two compartments of a Dinajpur-bound express train yesterday crashed into a platform at Kamalapur Station causing panic among the passengers.
 arrow Abbas moves to halt attack on Israel
The Palestinians will deploy hundreds of police officers along the Gaza-Israel frontier in coming days to prevent rocket fire and other attacks on Israeli towns, in the first act of security cooperation
 arrow Brisk sales at cattle markets
Cattle markets in the capital and on its outskirts yesterday saw a boost in sales and purchases of sacrificial animals with only a day left before the Eid-ul-Azha.
 arrow Eid celebrated a day early
Several thousand people around the country, including a few in the capital, celebrated the holy Eid-ul Azha yesterday following Eid celebrations in Saudi Arabia the same day.
 arrow Tk 60 lakh cell phone sets seized at ZIA
Customs officials yesterday seized mobile phone sets, electronic goods and gold ornaments worth about Tk 60 lakh from two passengers at Zia International Airport (ZIA).
 arrow Two traders, contractor robbed
Two traders and a contractor were robbed of over Tk 100,000 in two separate incidents in Keraniganj yesterday.
 arrow Dhaka dubbed as model of early disaster warning method
As the United Nations tries to coordinate duelling offers of technology for a tsunami warning system, experts say low-tech measures are the most crucial in saving lives in disasters.
 arrow 23 troops, 6 Maoists killed in Nepal clash
At least 23 soldiers and police and six Maoist rebels were killed in a clash in eastern Nepal while 16 security personnel were still missing a day after the battle, the army said yesterday.
 arrow Indo-Bangla think tanks hold sideline diplomacy
Shutting out the media, leading members of unofficial policy think tanks of India and Bangladesh wrapped up a two-day brain-storming session on bilateral economic issues in New Delhi yesterday.
 arrow 2 boys killed in Ctg landslide
Two boys were killed in a landslide in Lohagara upazila of the district yesterday,

police said.

 arrow BSF abducts youth from village
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) abducted a Bangladeshi youth from the frontier village of Hosnabad under Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat district on Wednesday.
 arrow Twin blasts kill 14 in China
Fourteen people were killed and 12 injured in two explosions yesterday in northwest China's Xinjiang region, which has been rocked by Muslim separatist violence in recent years.
 arrow EID HOLIDAY
The offices of The Daily Star will remain closed for three days from today on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha. Therefore, there will be no issue of the newspaper on January 22, 23 and 24.
Businessarrow Premier Bank reschedules IPO subscription period


 arrow Northern farmers face economic hardship
Eid-ul-Azha this year brings no joy for thousands of small, marginal and mid-level farmers in Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Gibandha and Lalmonirhat districts as they are unable to buy sacrificial animals,
 arrow Malaysia central bank rebuffs Mahathir
Malaysia's central bank Thursday said the country's currency peg to the dollar would not be reviewed at this stage, rebuffing former premier Mahathir Mohamad, the man who imposed the peg but now saysit
 arrow New MD of BATB
Emil Moskofian recently took over as managing director of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB).

A British by born, Moskofian has replaced Stephen Daintith, says a press release.

 arrow Commercial Bank of Ceylon gets AA credit rating certificate
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd has been awarded with AA credit rating certificate by the Credit Rating Information Services Ltd (CRISL), a frontline rating agency in Bangladesh.
 arrow LG denies talks with Siemens on handset unit purchase
South Korea's LG Electronics denied Thursday a German press report that it was in talks with Siemens to buy the mobile phone unit of the German electronics giant.
 arrow India, Chile agree to boost trade
India and Chile on Thursday signed three agreements including one to galvanise trade, which at 400 million dollars was far below potential, officials of both countries said.
 arrow Agricultural centres form alliance to fight poverty in developing world
Two of the world's leading agricultural research centres -- in the Philippines and Mexico -- have formed an alliance to increase crop yields in the developing world, a joint statement said Thursday.
 arrow Holcim makes takeover bid for British counterpart
Holcim, the world's number two cement maker has made a friendly, 1.8 billion-pound (3.4 billion-dollar, 2.6 billion-euro) takeover bid for British counterpart Aggregate Industries, the firms said on Thursday.
 arrow New DMD of Sonali Bank
Mukter Hussain has recently taken over as deputy managing director of Sonali Bank.

Prior to the new assignment, he was the general manager of the bank, says a press release.

 arrow UK textile producers oppose tsunami relief plan
US textile producers will fight a proposal to eliminate tariffs on clothing from Asian countries hit hard by last month's tsunami to help them rebuild, industry officials said Wednesday.
 arrow Weekly Currency Roundup
Local FX Market
US dollar was held strong against Bangladeshi taka throughout the week.

 arrow Malaysia's Petronas unveils major oil production
An offshore oilwell in Turkmenistan's section of the Caspian Sea has begun producing major oil flows, Malaysia's Petronas, which has exploration rights to the field, said on Thursday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Holiday-style cricket
With the nation starting to enjoy a four-day holi-day for Eid-ul-Azha, the second most important occasion for Muslims the world over, a rush for home has swept all over the city.
 arrow Cricket: India name tour venues
Pakistani cricket chiefs said Thursday they had to wait for a report before clearing the riot city of Ahmedabad as one of the venues for the national team's first full tour of India in six years.
 arrow Cricket: Aussies stronger today
World champions Australia, seeking a third straight win and a place in the finals of the triangular VB Series competition, will turn to their heavy hitters when they meet West Indies on Friday.
 arrow Tennis: Hewitt, Davenport toil
The top seeds maintained their relentless march into the later rounds of the Australian Open Thursday despite some persistent snapping from the underdogs.
 arrow Cricket: Return tsunami game Feb 13 at Kolkata
Kolkata will host the second tsunami relief charity one-day international between an Asian XI and a World XI, a top cricket official announced Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Lankan duo in the clear
Sri Lanka cricketers Avishka Guna-wardene and Kaushal Lokuarachchi have been cleared of misconduct during the ICC Champions Trophy last year, officials said on Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Last chance for SA
Fast bowler Andre Nel practised with the South African team ahead of the fifth and final Test against England starting at Centurion Park Friday -- a match South Africa must win to square the series.
 arrow Cricket: NZC eyes 1m dollar
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) hopes to donate more than one million New Zealand (698,000 US) dollars to tsunami relief from the World XI series starting here Saturday as Sri Lanka's stars appealed for more
 arrow Tennis: Head over heels for Sania
India discovered a new sporting star other than a cricketer Thursday as petite teenager Sania Mirza hit the headlines after winning two rounds of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.
 arrow Volleyball: Gaibandha win Pepsi v'ball
Gaibandha Jubo Sangsad became champions of the Pepsi Volleyball League defeating Agomony Krira Chakra 3-1 in the final at Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Football: Henry keeps his place
Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry has been selected in the uefa.com users' team of the year for the fourth time in succession.
 arrow Football: Wright-Phillips' chance
Shaun Wright-Phillips, the terrier snapping at David Beckham's heels in the England squad, will be given his chance to impress in next month's friendly against Holland, head coach Sven-Goran Erikssonhas
 arrow Football: Bye, bye Real!
Real Madrid were dumped out of the King's Cup by Valladolid on the away goals rule after the second division side claimed a deserved 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Exeter exit with heads held high
Gary Neville admitted Manchester United had flirted with disaster after the world's richest club finally squeezed past non-league minnows Exeter City in an FA Cup third round replay.
Metropolitanarrow Khaleda keen to work with Bush for global peace
Bangladesh has expressed her willingness to work together with the United States under the leadership of President George W Bush to face the global challenges and fulfil the dream of the developing world.
 arrow Dhaka proposes special fund for disaster cut
Minister for Food and Disaster Management Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf has called upon the international community to support efforts of the developing countries to deal with disasters.
 arrow Thousands leave Dhaka for home to celebrate Eid
Tens of thousands of people yesterday left the capital for their village homes on the first day of the four-day Eid holiday to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha tomorrow with their near and dear ones.
 arrow Bring bomb attackers to book: CPB
Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday demanded that the persons responsible for the bomb attack on its rally in 2001 be brought to justice immediately.
 arrow Female garment worker knifed to death
A garment worker was stabbed to death by her cousin at Uttara in the city yesterday.

The victim was identified as Beauty, an employee of Dada Garments at Azampur, and resident of Jatrabari in Uttara.

 arrow Iajuddin, Khaleda, Hasina greet people on Eid
President Iajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday greeted the countrymen and the Muslim Ummah on the occasion
 arrow Appeal for help
Aakash, a four-year-old boy, has been suffering from a serious viral infection that affects the nervous system, which controls the muscles in the limbs and lungs.
 arrow 2 rapists held
Two young boys were held for raping a minor girl at west Barishur yesterday.

Locals said Suruj Mia, 18, and Giasuddin, 13, beguiled an eight-year old girl and took her to nearby mustard field.

 arrow Autocratic force still reigns
Shaheed Asad Day was observed yesterday.
 arrow Rupsha Bridge named Khan Jahan Ali Bridge
The under-construction Rupsha Bridge in Khulna has been named 'Khan Jahan Ali Bridge' in honour of the famous Muslim saint.
 arrow Obituary
Dr Major (Retd) M M Rahman, former director of World Health Organisation (Who) and paternal uncle of late President Ziaur Rahman, died of old age complications at his Dhanmondi residence on Wednesdayat
Culturearrow Eid Delights
ntv exclusives

Charsha Poytrish Taka Pochattor Poysha: Under the banner of Creative Conscious House, this telefilm will be telecast on ntv at 10 am on the third day of Eid.

Generalarrow No govt plan yet to treat, rehabilitate floating mental patients
It may sound unbelievable that there is no government body for the treatment and rehabilitation of the floating mental patients in the country.
 arrow Hasina to exchange Eid greetings
Awami League President and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina will exchange Eid greetings with diplomats and visitors on Eid day at the party's Dhanmondi office.
 arrow Ctg main Eid congregations to be held at Dampara Mosque
Eid congregations in different parts of the port city and other areas have been organised separately by the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and the District Administration.
 arrow Armed robbers attack police patrol team
Armed robbers attacked a police patrol team on Ramrail-Ulachapara road on Wednesday night, leaving two police men and the tempo driver injured.
 arrow Customer mania mindset session at Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut Gulshan Outlet, for the first time, held a customer mania mindset session for its team members on January 17, says a press release.
 arrow Unwed pregnancy increasing rapidly
Premarital pregnancy is increasing rapidly with adolescent housemaids or factory workers being the victims in most cases because of their tender age, poverty and lack of idea about contraceptives, revealed
 arrow Make healthy films
Information Minister M Shamsul Islam yesterday called upon the filmmakers to make healthy films reflecting our own culture, history and lifestyle.
 arrow Dhaka rushes aid for tsunami victims despite constraints
Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Dr Iftekhar Chowdhury has said despite many constraints, the country was, among the first countries, to rush aid to the victims of tsunamidisaster.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Message of Eid-ul-Azha
Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Azha tomorrow with great solemnity.
 arrow Editorial: Economy on the mend
Asurvey recently conducted by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) on business climate in the country has portrayed a positive outlook of the economy.
 arrow Keeping the faith
Eid-ul-Azha is just around the corner.
 arrow Don't teach, don't learn
If you know how to read and write, harrumph, harrumph, let us not fight. You know the alphabets and you know the numbers. So, I have no problem if you claim that you are an educated person.
 arrow The caretaker system and necessity for reform
The write-ups regarding the caretaker government as published in The Daily Star by Mr.
Letters to Editorarrow Congratulations cricketers
Congratulations boys. You have made us proud; you have given us something to cheer about. This time around you didn't spoil the spoilsport. You gave us new feelings that we never had before.
 arrow What has happened to us?
Where has humanity gone? Are we alive? Where have the people who were spending their nice holidays in Southeast Asia gone?

Let us all join together and help to save fellow humans living in other

 arrow Reunion
A Swedish boy, named Hannes Bergstroem and aged 18 months, was reunited with his weeping father in a Thai hospital on 29 December last. This happened after a gap of nearly one week.
 arrow Cheap entertainment!
I stayed in a university dormitory recently to gain experience. For a personal reason I need to watch the TV news regularly and collect the up to date local and international information.
 arrow Deplorable habit
In our country some political, economic, social and religious leaders have a deplorable habit which is influenced by a characteristic only found in one nation of the world, known as 'porosree katorota'.
 arrow Congratulations!
Congratulations to the country's best daily on its 14th anniversary!

It's indeed great to see that The Daily Star has been relentlessly reporting the day-to-day news in the country as well the

 arrow Dirty politics
Yes, perhaps we are out of our mind. I am referring to Mr. Delwar's letter (DS:14/01/05).
 arrow Extra-judicial execution
Much ink has been wasted in the recent discourse on the merits and demerits of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), and I feel that it's time someone finally shared an informed opinion on the matter.
 arrow Pakistan and Israel
I refer to the article published on Tuesday January 18, titled, "US forces inside Iran to pick sites for air strikes.
 arrow Necessity of teaching grammar
Without following basic rules of science can anyone do scientific research?

If the answer is 'no', then it is not possible to learn English without learning the related grammar of English.

 arrow Terrorism and neutrality
Grammar is the backbone of any language. It may be called the skeleton of language. In the absence of the skeleton, a body cannot exist. Such expectation is illogical and unusual.
 arrow Editorial orthodoxy
As far as I know, our newspapers have full freedom in terms of publishing news and views. And as far as political bias is concerned, most of the newspapers maintain their own positions by all means.
 arrow Freewheelers!
Kudos for the investigative report published in your newspaper under the heading 'Freewheeling bigwigs' Nobody has so far bothered about the colossal misuse of public property because everyone from top
 arrow Two weekly holidays
It is really heartening to note that the Pay Commission has recommended the reinstatement of two weekly holidays on Saturday and Sunday.
 arrow Misuse of vehicles
I had been following with keen interest the various reports over the last few days on the misuse of vehicles procured for development projects by senior government officials including ministers aftercompletion
 arrow A dream in you heart - a perspective
I read with interest the article by the former president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (Daily Star 11/1). Whilst one must not take away from the efforts of Mr.
 arrow Secretariat vehicles
I was amazed to notice no appreciation about the above topic in The Daily Star! Two reports were published in the front page, highlighting the national issue.
Worldarrow World leaders hoping for int'l consensus as Bush embarks on 2nd term
US President George W.
 arrow Rice acknowledges bad Iraq decisions
Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, in a rare acknowledgment of mistakes, said on Wednesday the Bush administration had made some bad decisions in Iraq and was unprepared for stabilising the
 arrow 'Britain urging US to come up with Iraq pullout timetable'
Britain is urging the United States to announce a possible timetable for the withdrawal of the countries' troops from Iraq, a London-based newspaper reported yesterday.
 arrow Pilgrims 'stone Satan' as Muslims mark Eid
Some 2.5 million Muslims yesterday took part in the "Stoning of Satan" ritual, as the Islamic world marked the Eid-ul-Azha feast of sacrifice following the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah.
 arrow China races to save hostages in Iraq
Rebels mounted attacks to scare people away from the polls in Iraq's landmark January 30 elections as a two-day deadline for the execution of eight Chinese nationals was due to expire yesterday.
 arrow US troops sees end to tsunami relief
US forces said they were prepared to wind down tsunami relief efforts in Asia despite fears that some survivors were still desperate for help after a disaster that killed more than 226,000 people.
 arrow US attack on Iran would destabilise world
A US attack on Iran would deepen the isolation of the superpower, further damage its image abroad and destabilise the world, the Iranian ambassador to Britain said yesterday.
 arrow Powell says goodbye to State Dept employees
After four years as the top US diplomat, an emotional Colin Powell on Wednesday bade farewell to State Department employees with a speech in which he hailed US successes from Iraq to Afghanistan, in Asia
 arrow 'India, Pakistan agree to keep tension low'
Nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan will work to defuse tensions following Indian complaints of a ceasefire violation, New Delhi's Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said yesterday.
 arrow CM urges Kashmiris to vote defying rebel call
Indian Kashmir's chief minister urged Kashmiris Wednesday to defy rebel threats and vote in next month's municipal polls being held for the first time in 27 years.
 arrow India, Nepal sign extradition treaty
Facing insurgency problem, India and Nepal have firmed up a revised treaty for extradition and mutual legal assistance.
 arrow Indian cops kill 3 Maoists as strike grips Andhra
Indian police shot dead three rebels yesterday as a general strike gripped Maoist bastions in southern Andhra Pradesh state following the collapse of peace talks with militants, officials said.
 arrow Norwegian envoys begin talks on saving Lanka peace process
Norway's top peace envoys Thursday opened talks with Sri Lanka's political leaders in a bid to jump-start negotiations between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said.
 arrow Indian cops kill 3 Maoists as strike grips Andhra
Indian police shot dead three rebels yesterday as a general strike gripped Maoist bastions in southern Andhra Pradesh state following the collapse of peace talks with militants, officials said.
 arrow Lanka should include war-displaced in tsunami resettlement: UNHCR
Tens of thousands of Sri Lankans displaced by the island's long-running ethnic conflict should be included in the government's post-tsunami resettlement plans, the UN refugee agency said yesterday.
 arrow FBI hunts Chinese ‘terror gang'
The FBI wants to question four Chinese nationals amid fears of a plot to explode a "dirty bomb" in Boston.
 arrow Guinea leader 'survives coup bid’
Shots fired at a convoy carrying Guinea's ailing President Lansana Conte were an assassination attempt, his security minister says.
 arrow British soldiers' prisoner abuse trial halted
The trial in Germany of British soldiers accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners has been halted at the request of the defence.
 arrow Ukraine SC confirms Yushchenko victory
Ukraine's Supreme Court rejected a final appeal over Viktor Yushchenko's election as president yesterday, clearing the way for the pro-Western reformer to assume power in the ex-Soviet nation after weeks
 arrow Maldives set for polls despite tsunami
The Maldives, submerged by the Indian Ocean tsunamis, will stage no-party parliamentary elections tomorrow that may turn into a referendum on Asia's longest serving leader, officials and diplomats said.
 arrow Unpunished murders soaring in Nepalese civil war: Amnesty
Government and Maoist forces in Nepal's civil war are murdering an increasing number of people and getting away with it, Amnesty International charges in a report released yesterday.
 arrow Taliban chief rejects talks with US
Fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has rejected negotiations with US-led forces and the Afghan government and vowed to continue his "holy war", a statement purportedly from the radical cleric
 arrow Blasts rock Assam ahead of Republic Day festivities
Rebels in India's northeast have staged a string of blasts and other attacks, killing two people and blowing up an oil pipeline in a show of force before national Republic Day festivities, police said
 arrow Afghan warlord Dostum escapes assassination attempt
A suicide bomber blew himself up in northern Afghanistan on Thursday wounding two people, but the apparent target of the attack, ethnic Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, escaped unhurt, his aides said.
 arrow Court keeps Taj Mahal open for night visits
India's Supreme Court ruled yesterday that moonlight viewing of the country's white marble monument to love, the Taj Mahal, could continue, dismissing security fears.
 arrow Trinamool in a dilemma over alliance with BJP
Trinamool Congress is in a dilemma over whether to continue its alliance with the BJP or make tactical adjustment with the Congress, especially in view of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections to