Vol. 5 Num 643 Mon. March 20, 2006    
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Today's Index
Front Pagearrow PM makes first trip to Delhi today
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia embarks today on her first state visit to India since assuming office in 2001 with Bangladesh pinning high hope on opening up a new chapter in Indo-Bangla bilateral relationship
 arrow Gas pricing key to reaping benefit
Gas pricing is the key to determining Bangladesh's net economic benefit from Tata's investment, eminent economist Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud has pointed out.
 arrow BB lifts provision
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has withdrawn part of its controversial circular related to rescheduling of defaulted loans.
 arrow Sikri pins high hope on trade boost
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Veena Sikri pinned high hope on Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's India visit beginning today in boosting trade between the two South Asian neighbours.
 arrow Body formed to work out tender strategy
The government yesterday formed a high-powered committee to work out strategy for calling international tender for the management of the under-construction New Mooring Container Terminal by private operators.
 arrow Cellphone firms now asked to record all text messages
The government has created a fresh controversy by issuing "a grossly inconsistent" revised directive to tap mobile phone calls, prompting the operators to prepare for a legal battle against it.
 arrow Time limit for draft voter list extended to March 30
The Election Commission (EC) Secretariat yesterday extended the time limit for preparing the draft voter list to March 30, as the task cannot be completed by its deadline today.
 arrow Hearing on first sedition charge begins
The hearing of the first sedition case against eight Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leaders and activists of Dhamrai area was held yesterday at a Dhaka court.
 arrow Two held in Ctg with AK47 rifles
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two close accomplices of top-notch Shibir cadre Nasir and recovered two AK47 rifles, 197 bullets, three magazines and two passports on Saturday.
 arrow Business bodies for immediate privatisation steps
The country's leading chambers and trade bodies have urged the government to take immediate steps to privatise the operation and management of the under-construction New Mooring Container Terminal ofChittagong
 arrow BGMEA spots three highly risky plants
A monitoring team of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has identified three garment units in Dhaka as highly risky in infrastructure.
 arrow Risky crossing...

 arrow No polls without reforms, says Hasina
Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the 14-party would not let any election take place if their demand for caretaker government and the Election Commission (EC) reforms are not met.
 arrow 4 die as cab catches fire after crash
Four people were burnt alive inside a taxi near Vakurta Bridge in Savar on Dhaka-Aricha highway early yesterday as the taxi caught fire after a head-on collision with a truck.
 arrow Bid to lower fare of CNG-run vehicles thwarted
The government's attempt to lower the fare of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) run passenger vehicles has been bogged down in the face of opposition the transport owners.
 arrow Participation of all parties needed for acceptable polls
Participation of all political parties in the upcoming general elections is needed for acceptable polls, US Chargé d'Affaires in Dhaka Judith A Chammas said yesterday.
 arrow Citizen's dialogue begins today
The citizens' dialogue begins today with an aim to bring the development issues to the fore and to mobilise public opinion in favour of nominating the honest and competent persons to contest the nextgeneral
 arrow Tortured Shanta files another case against cops
The First Special Tribunal for Prevention of Women and Children Repression, Dhaka, yesterday ordered a judiciary probe into the brutal police beating of a housewife, Shahin Sultana Shanta.
 arrow Rab raids Demra for JMB top man
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) conducted a massive overnight raid in vain to net a Majlish-e-Shura member of banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in city's Demra area yesterday.
 arrow 8 to die for murder
The Additional District and Sessions Judge Court yesterday sentenced eight people to death for killing an NGO official. The convicts are Delwar, Shafi, Lalu, Ishaq, Kamal, Alam, Nurul Alam and Helal.
 arrow Anti-war rallies call for immediate US pullout
Thousands of anti-war protesters around the world on Sunday demanded coalition troops leave Iraq, but demonstrations in many countries were far smaller than anticipated on the third anniversary of the
 arrow Criminal killed in 'shootout'
A listed criminal was killed during a "shootout" between police and his accomplices at Mashiali under Khanjahan Ali Police Station early yesterday.
 arrow Eden college principal removed
The embattled principal of Eden College Professor Firoza Begum was removed and made officer on special duty (OSD) yesterday in the wake of unrest at the female educational institution.
 arrow Body formed to probe Bibiyana fire
The government formed a one-member committee with a Petrobangla senior general manager to probe into the incident of fire at the Bibiyana gas field that occurred last week.
 arrow Phoenix finance manager gets bail
A Dhaka court yesterday granted ad interim bail to finance manager of Phoenix Fabrics Ltd in connection with its building collapse on February 25 in which 21 people died and 50 were injured.
 arrow 7 dead as blast rips thru' Pak police van
A bomb blew up a police vehicle in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing seven people, including three policeman and three paramilitary troops, police said.
Businessarrow Rod, cement prices on the rise
Prices of rod and cement, the two important construction materials, have been increasing sharply in Dhaka for the last two weeks.
 arrow BGMEA seeks separate ministry for RMG sector
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has demanded an independent body or a separate ministry for the apparel industry to help the sector grow.
 arrow WB may finance first-ever 'garment village'
A 'garment village' will be set up alongside the Dhaleshwari River in Narayanganj with financial assistance from the World Bank.
 arrow Bangladesh fair in Bangkok in October
Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury yesterday said Bangladesh will organise a four-day single country trade fair in Bangkok from October 17 to 20 in association with Bangladesh-Thai Chamber of Commerce
 arrow EU likely to impose tax on Chinese shoes
The European Commission is likely to impose a provisional tax on imports of Chinese leather shoes, despite disagreement about the move among member states.
 arrow India looks into making currency fully convertible
India is looking into making its currency fully convertible and lifting all restrictions on foreign exchange transactions, a top government official said Sunday, a decade after such plans were shelved
 arrow Energy adviser's comment on coal exploration deal with Asia Energy protested
Former director of the Mineral Resources Development Bureau of the energy ministry and geologist M Mominullah in a statement yesterday strongly protested Energy Adviser Mahmudur Rahman's recent comment
 arrow Spectre of protectionism looms over EU summit
European leaders will seek to put on a united front on economic reform next week, but growing protectionism risks splitting their ranks at a summit also dominated by energy, analysts warn.
 arrow Maersk launches new visual identity
In line with the February 13 brand launch of Maersk Line, Managing Director of Maersk Bangladesh Ltd Per Heisselberg recently unveiled the new visual identity of Maersk to an audience of customers, stakeholders
 arrow Apollo Hospitals holds symposium on 'Ultrafast Coronary CT Imaging'
Apollo Hospitals Dhaka organised a symposium on 'Ultrafast Coronary CT Imaging' in the capital recently.
 arrow China aims to produce 98m computers in 2006
China expects to produce 98 million desktop and laptop computers in 2006, mostly for overseas markets, state media reported Sunday.
 arrow Luxembourg sends minister to India on Mittal's Arcelor bid
Luxembourg's economy and foreign minister will visit New Delhi this month to explain the opposition to a hostile bid by Indian-born tycoon Lakshmi Mittal for Europe-based steelmaker Arcelor, a reportsaid
 arrow Nepal to import 70 MW power from India
Nepal will import 70 megawatts additional power from India, deputy-managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said here Sunday.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Tigers guard against complacency
A volte-face Bangladesh have been warned against complacency when they go into the second one-day international against Kenya in Khulna today.
 arrow Cricket: Chittagong in driving seat
Nafees Iqbal and his younger brother Tamim set the tone for Chittagong's victory attempt in the crucial ninth round clash of the Ispahani Seventh National Cricket League yesterday, giving the side animposing
 arrow Cricket: India under pressure
Swing bowler Matthew Hoggard grabbed two early wickets to put India under pressure in the third and final Test against England here on Sunday.
 arrow Cricket: Looking at the bright side
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Ali Asghar on Sunday denied allegations of any irregularities in ticket selling for the second one-day match between Bangla-desh and Kenya to be held at the Khulna
 arrow Cricket: Sri Lanka A due today
Sri Lanka A team arrive here this morning to play two Tests and three one-day internationals against their Bangladesh counterparts.
 arrow Football: Mahindra arrive for AFC Cup match
Mahindra United of Mumbai arrived in Dhaka yesterday to play their second round AFC Cup match against Brothers Union.
 arrow Cricket: Razzaq shines in low-scoring drama
Abdul Razzaq anchored Pakistan during a hard-fought four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international here on Sunday.
 arrow Aussies share spotlight
Mighty Australia found themselves sharing the Commonwealth Games spotlight with England, Scotland and even humble Isle of Man on Sun-day.
 arrow Football: Barca extend lead
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the Spanish Primera Liga after defeating struggling Real Sociedad 2-0 Saturday.
 arrow Football: Gunners stroll towards Europe
Arsenal were back to their stylish best on Saturday as the battle for fourth place in the Premiership, and the final Champions League qualifying spot, headed for a nail-biting finale.
 arrow Football: Trezeguet brace licks Livorno
Juventus showed no sign of loosening their grip in the Serie A title race as striker David Trezeguet scored twice in a 3-1 win at Livorno on Saturday.
 arrow Cricket: NZ close in on series win
New Zealand tightened their grip on the second cricket Test against the West Indies here Sunday, ripping through the top order to leave the tourists at 118 for four in their second innings at the endof
 arrow Football: Big Phil in Eng frame
The Football Association (FA) have interviewed Portugal's Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for the England manager's job, according to newspaper reports here on Sunday.
 arrow Natants remain unimpressive
Bangladeshi swimmers maintained their lacklustere performance at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Sunday.
 arrow Football: L'pool apologise for fans behaviour
Liverpool have apologised to Premiership rivals Manchester United for the behaviour of their fans during last month's FA Cup tie at Anfield.
 arrow Chess: Rakib going great guns
International Master Abdullah Al Rakib crossed another hurdled to maintain solo lead in the Mercantile Bank 32nd National Chess Championship when he beat IM Reefat Bin Sattar in the ninth round at the
Metropolitanarrow Enact new law to curb domestic violence
Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded new legislation for combating domestic violence in the country.
 arrow Adivasis still hold on to cultural heritage
Indigenous (Adivasi) people still hold on to their cultural heritage though they are the most vulnerable and marginal ones due to ethnic discrimination and exploitation, speakers said.
 arrow Govt plans to set up 3 industrial parks
The government has planned to set up three industrial parks for the garment, ICT and pharmaceutical sectors with assistance from the World Bank (WB), official sources said.
 arrow Formulate nat'l policy for service sectors
Speakers at a seminar yesterday called upon the government to formulate a national policy guideline for service sectors.
 arrow BNP nominates Moinul Islam for Manikganj by-poll
The ruling BNP has nominated Moinul Islam Khan as its candidate for by-election to the parliamentary seat for Manikganj-4 constituency. The by-election is scheduled for April 19.
 arrow Japan to provide Tk 29.4cr food aid
Japan will provide food aid of 500 million yen, equivalent to Tk 29.4 crore, in support of UN World food Programme's Integrated Food Security Activities in Bangladesh.
 arrow Minor boy killed, properties worth Tk 20cr damaged
A minor boy was killed while properties worth over Tk 20 crore were damaged in the devastating fire at Sadarghat area of the city on Saturday night.
 arrow Husband stabs wife to death
A housewife was stabbed to death allegedly by her husband at Kamrangirchar in the capital early yesterday. In another incident, extortionists shot and injured a guard at Pallabi yesterday morning.
 arrow Jubo League leaders get anticipatory bail
The High Court yesterday granted ad interim anticipatory bail to Jubo League President Jahangir Kabir Nanak and three others when they surrendered in connection with a case of vandalism.
 arrow 13 counterfeit notes recovered, couple arrested
Police arrested a couple and recovered 13 counterfeit notes of Tk 500 at Rajshahi Bus Terminal in Rajshahi city yesterday.
 arrow Adivasi poetry festival held
A daylong 'Adivasi poetry festival' was held at Barshapara under Godagari upazila yesterday amid festivity and enthusiasm.
 arrow RU staffs observe work abstention
General employees of Rajshahi University (RU) (except controversially appointed 544 employees) yesterday observed a daylong work abstention programme to press home their seven-point demand.
 arrow Cop killed in road crash
An assistant sub-inspector of police were killed in a road accident in Mymensingh yesterday.
 arrow Tributes paid to poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah
The fifth anniversary of death of poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah Khan was observed yesterday, with people recalling his contribution to the fields of literature, culture, politics, administration and agricultural
 arrow Golam Mahbub passes away
Language movement veteran Advocate Kazi Golam Mahbub passed away due to old-age ailments at Lab Aid Hospital in the city yesterday at the age of 79.
Nationalarrow One-man show in 43 govt primary schools
Unbelievable though, 43 government schools in haor (water body) areas of Kishoreganj are run by one teacher each for long.
 arrow Hang JMB kingpins
Family members and relatives of cinema blast victims in Mymensingh town have demanded exemplary punishment to JMB kingpins Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and their followers.
 arrow 4 decades over, will the 'faulty¿plan be at all remodelled?
The Buri Teesta Irrigation Project in Jaldhaka, the second largest in Nilphamari district after Teesta Irrigation Project, is of little use to farmers now although it has all infrastructure facilities.
 arrow Feasting on Khagrachhari forests
Plunder of trees from Khagrachhari forests is going on unabated right under the nose of the administration and the forest department.
 arrow Farmers disrupt traffic, besiege dealers'shops
Several thousand farmers brought out processions and staged sit-in at five points on Dhaka-Dinajpur and Dinajpur-Thakurgaon highways yesterday, demanding fertiliser.
 arrow Pinning hopes on Amropali
This year is supposed to be an off-year for mangoes. But Amropali, a new variety of hybrid mango, is showing signs of a bumper production, to the disbelieve of horticulturists in Khargachhari.
 arrow Wife strangled for dowry in Khulna
A young man strangled his wife for dowry at Mejgunni in Khalishpur Friday night.
 arrow Rivals abduct JCD leader, beat him up
A leader of Jessore MM Government College unit of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was beaten up after abduction by his rival faction activists Saturday morning, JCD sources said.
 arrow X-ray machine falls sick in 48 hours
The X-ray machine at Baufal Upazila Health Complex went out of order only two days after its installation.
 arrow SUST admission from April 3
Admission into first year honours classes in Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) here will begin on April 3, official sources said.
Point-Counterpointarrow Guantanamo: An American gulag?
The once dreaded gulags in the now-defunct Soviet Union had an assorted lot of inmates lodged within their precincts, the most important being the Soviet dissidents.
 arrow The Dubai port deal fiasco
During the 2000 election, President George Bush, Jr. promised to bring Americans together. It took him more than four years, but he finally did it.
 arrow In praise of true democracy
I am against the brand of democracy where the people have become something of a plaything in the hands of the mighty and moneyed politicians.
Culturearrow Anwar Hossain's fascinating photographs
ABOUT Anwar Hossain's exhibition of photographs at Alliance Francaise, Tanvir Mokammel says, "What is exceptional about Anwar's work is his firm commitment to the art of photography; and our country Bangladesh
 arrow A dose of harsh reality
In this day and age life is fast paced. No one has time for introspection, let alone contemplation on the state of others.
 arrow Ala 'M Younis: A touch of Jordan in Dhaka
Five Jordanian artists' 12 art works, including paintings and etchings are on display at the ongoing 12th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh '06.
 arrow Jatra Utsab '06 begins in Dhaka
Jatra (an indigenous form of drama) used to hold a popular position in our culture. It was an unparalleled medium of entertainment for the rural people.
Internationalarrow Maoists lift blockade
Maoist rebels in Nepal said yesterday they have called off a six-day transport blockade which they had ordered as part of an attempt to topple the royal government.
 arrow Maoists open new battle front in India
A vast thickly forested area in the heart of India has become the country's bloodiest war zone, with hundreds of security personnel pitted against Maoist guerrillas and impoverished tribespersons caught
 arrow Insecurity, lack of basic services haunt Iraqis
Three years after an invasion turned their lives upside down, Iraqis describe a daily reality of pervasive insecurity, lack of basic services and the shadowy foreign powers they say are behind the rising
 arrow Talabani backs US-Iran talks on Iraq
President Jalal Talabani supports a call by a Shia leader for Iran and the United States to hold talks to resolve their differences over Iraq and ways of stabilizing it, his office said on Sunday.
 arrow 'Gaza on the brink of humanitarian crisis'
The Gaza Strip is dangerously short of basic foodstuffs and is facing a looming humanitarian crisis as a result of the continued closure of the main trade crossing with Israel, the United Nations warned
 arrow Indo-Pak sleuths to hold talks tomorrow
Sleuths from India and Pakistan will thrash out issues relating to human trafficking, counterfeit currency and organised crime in the first such meeting of the heads of criminal investigation units from
 arrow Protesters reject calls for talks with Thai PM
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday that Thailand's political deadlock could spark a new financial crisis, amid growing concerns over elections just two weeks away.
 arrow Tigers raise fresh doubts over talks
Tamil Tiger rebels have renewed allegations that Sri Lanka has failed to disarm paramilitary units, and raised fresh doubts over the status of peace talks planned in Switzerland next month.
 arrow Allawi sees Iraq mired in 'unfortunate civil war'
Iraq is in the grip of a civil war and Europe and the United States will not be spared its consequences, Iraq's former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi said yesterday.
 arrow Suicide bomber killed in attack on French convoy in Afghanistan
A suicide car bomber was killed yesterday when he rammed his vehicle into a coalition convoy in southern Afghanistan, officials and witnesses said.
 arrow 2 Britons jailed for abusing Indian children
Two British men were sentenced to six years in jail by an Indian court for sexually abusing street children at shelters they ran in the financial capital of Mumbai, reports said yesterday.
 arrow French cops subdue riots over jobs law
Police loosed water cannons and tear gas on rioting students and activists rampaged through a McDonald's and attacked store fronts in the capital Saturday as demonstrations against a plan to relax job
 arrow US troops convert Saddam's torture chamber into their own
An elite US Special Operations forces unit has converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention centre and used one of the former Iraqi leader's torture
Editorialarrow Editorial: Khaleda's India visit
THOUGH taking place late in her tenure, Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia's visit to India has the potential of turning into a landmark event.
 arrow Editorial: Draft voter list
EVER since the question of preparing a voter list came up some months back, it has been stalked by all kinds of controversies, many of which, we believe, were avoidable but for the lack of commitmentand
 arrow Kleptocracy and patriotism
While addressing a rally at Paltan Maidan on February 26 organized by Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal (JJD), Prime Minister Khaleda Zia accused the opposition of "hatching conspiracies against the country.
 arrow Air power
Washington: Just keep your windows open in the capital of the world's only superpower, and lots of bits and pieces tend to filter through.
 arrow How beneficial is the urea fertilizer industry?
Bangladesh, endowed with its soil and environment, is destined to retain its agriculture whatever might be the progress in other sectors.
Letters to Editorarrow Eden College scene
It was indeed a sad incident that took place at Eden College recently, which was prompted by an utter indifference shown simultaneously by the college management and the authorities concerned in the government
 arrow A lesson for us
The party conference of the Indian Congress was held in Hyderabad in January last year. The leaders and activists of various levels of the party participated in that conference.
 arrow Wrong window?
The complete story of publishing cartoons of the Prophet (pbuh) was disconcerting for Muslims. Many can criticise or defend the objections of Muslims.
 arrow The butcher
Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Yugoslavia, who was standing trial in The Hague for war crimes-- better known as 'Butcher of the Balkans' is dead.
 arrow Infanticide!
The morbid picture of the dead bodies of the two kids of JMB militant Shakil alias Molla Omar, in the front page of DS disturbed me so much. It has driven me to my computer.
 arrow Make it transparent
The government of Bangladesh should make the process of dealing with foreign firms transparent.
 arrow University education
The University Grants Commission must be commended for undertaking a very useful initiative in standardising the grading system of public and private universities in the country.
 arrow What's going on?
Being a member of the young generation, I am rather confused whether I should be optimistic or pessimistic over the recent arrests of those extremists.
 arrow JMB/Jamaat & BNP
They are 3 in one...tied up in one string...Yes I am talking about the militancy and BNP/Jamaat connection. What is the point of making all this farce...
 arrow Building collapse
In recent years we read the news of a couple of buildings collapsing. After every incident the land or building owner is held responsible. As if all faults are his or her.
 arrow Our political culture
Going through Mr. Asghar Khan's book review (DS: 14 March) "We have learnt nothing from history"; I feel that our politicians, who include all shades of them, are not politicians, in any sense of theterm.
 arrow Butterfly wings
I am thanking Mr. Somaratne who has presented the film lovers a very good realistic art film, which is the best one I have ever seen. It's a true picture of what is going on in society.
 arrow A nuclear family
Everybody has some idea about a nuclear family. Nuclear family has some advantages. A nuclear family is calm and quiet because there are only a few members.
 arrow Save RU from violence
After the killing of Dr M Yunus, another bestial murder took place on our campus, our teacher, noted educationist and founding father of the geology & mining dept.
 arrow Combating pollution
I have made a plan to travel from Tokyo to Dhaka by bicycle from 26th of March, 2006. I will carry the message: 'Reduce Pollution, Keep Bangladesh Clean.
 arrow Police and bribe
This is in response to the letter written by Shegufta Yasmin (February 1, 2006) in your daily. I do humbly request you not to blame only the police sergeants for taking bribe.
 arrow Ineffective parliament
In a parliamentary form of democracy, the parliament plays an important role where ruling and opposition party lawmakers take part in the proceedings, discussing and formulating important policies.
 arrow Migration
I was reading 'Relations With UK', and 'Young Bangladeshis: The soldiers of fortune'. Both write-ups have some common points. Flow of migrants in and out from any part of the world is a natural phenomenon.
Star Cityarrow Project proposal yet to be approved
Renovation and development project of the Dhaka Zoo remains in limbo as no meeting of the advisory committee to the zoo took place in two years.
 arrow Seated or standing they travel
Buses plying various routes in the city expected to carry only seated passengers are violating rules by taking in commuters above the number of available seats.
 arrow Making it easier for the terminally ill
About six months back 42-year-old Hafiza Begum's world shattered when she discovered that she had breast cancer.
 arrow Demolition of Dhaka Gate

 arrow Remarkable progress despite lack of funds
Renewable Energy Research Centre (RERC) of Dhaka University (DU) has progressed remarkably in the renewable energy research field in the last 24 years despite insufficient funds and lack of governmental
 arrow Rejoinder
Mahbubul Bari, principal research engineer, Roads for People Movement, UK, in a rejoinder said he was misquoted in the Star City story headlined "No respite from traffic jam despite ban on rickshaw" published
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