Vol. 5 Num 652 Wed. March 29, 2006    
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Front Pagearrow Govt slaps 24-hr ban to foil 14-party sit-in
The government yesterday imposed a ban on gathering near the Secretariat for 24 hours from this midnight to thwart the 14-party opposition combine's 11:00am-to-1:00pm sit-in programme tomorrow aroundthe
 arrow Experts doubt EC's ability to hold polls
Considering the prevailing situation in the Election Commission (EC), experts yesterday doubted its ability to hold the next parliamentary election.
 arrow ADP to be slashed by 8pc on fund dearth
The government will slash its Annual Development Programme (ADP) by 8 percent in the face of resource constraints caused by excessive spending on fuel oil and less revenue earning than expected.
 arrow Carjackers on the prowl
Carjacking has increased significantly in and around the capital since the law enforcement agencies are too preoccupied with chasing the Islamist militants following the August 17 countrywide bomb attacks,
 arrow Shanta now fears 'crossfire'
Shahin Sultana Shanta, victim of the March 12 police brutality during a protest programme of the 14-party alliance, suspects "false" cases are being filed against her to kill her in "crossfire".
 arrow Unfair practice on to avail priority berthing
Certain ocean-going ships are taking advantage of priority berthing at Chittagong sea port container terminal declaring themselves as gearless.
 arrow Candlelight shaving!

 arrow ADB plans to lend $500m for power sector
A $500 million project planned by Asian Development Bank (ADB) for developing Bangladesh's power sector is likely to come up within this year, as the country faces serious electricity crisis.
 arrow Eden College to open tomorrow after 16 days
Eden University College will resume its academic activities from tomorrow after 16-day closure with the college dormitories still closed for the students.
 arrow A year of test for democracy
The current year is a significant test for the democracy of Bangladesh, said Stephen Sackur, the presenter of Hardtalk of the BBC World Service, who is currently in Dhaka to conduct a televised debate
 arrow BB asks banks to report on militants' accounts
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has sent a list of 68 militants to all the commercial banks to find if they have any bank accounts, sources said.
 arrow Pak commerce minister arrives April 19
The commerce minister of Pakistan will make a three-day visit to Dhaka from April 19 to attend the Safta Ministerial Council (SMC) meeting and initiate talks on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with
 arrow Contaminated water...

 arrow BGMEA starts crash programmeto check factory accidents
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday launched a crash programme to prevent industrial accidents, particularly fire incidents, which tarnished the image of the industry.
 arrow Dhaka court takes up murder case against Babar
A Dhaka court yesterday took up the case filed against state minister for home affairs and 52 others in connection with the death of Jubo League leader Masudur Rahman Iman Ali in Rab-claimed "crossfire.
 arrow Biman flight stranded for technical fault
One hundred and sixty-eight passengers remained stranded for above five hours as a Biman airbus could not take off from Osmani International Airport last night due to technical faults.
 arrow Govt approves $1b investment offer by Saudi hotel chain
The Bangladesh cabinet yesterday approved an offer by Kingdom Hotels Investments to spend as much as $ 1 billion to build hotels and resorts in the country, a government statement said.
 arrow Swallowing up vast farmland

 arrow Headmaster 'rapes' class V student
A student of class five was raped allegedly by her school's headmaster in Sundargram in Rajarhat upazila on Monday.
 arrow JCD leader shot in Motijheel
Unidentified criminals shot and wounded a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader while 10 Jubo League activists were injured in a clash between themselves at Pallabi yesterday in the capital.
 arrow Big powers creep toward elusive deal on Iran
UN Security Council powers held out hope on Monday for agreement this week on a statement to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions, but a deal still appeared elusive before a forthcoming ministerial meeting.
 arrow Protesters threaten to paralyse Bangkok
Thai protesters seeking to oust the prime minister threatened yesterday to paralyse downtown Bangkok with a new demonstration, as a new poll found dwindling support for their movement.
 arrow Charges to be framed against Sunny April 18
A Dhaka court yesterday set April 18 for hearing on the charge-framing against the military commander of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Ataur Rahman Sunny and four others in two cases.
 arrow 3 JCD men held at RU for mugging
Locals and students captured three Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) members of Rajshahi University (RU) as the JCD men were attempting to snatch cash from a student yesterday in front of Bangabandhu Hall
Businessarrow SEC amends direct listing rules to woo good companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought amendments to the direct listing regulations to woo public limited companies with good fundamentals in the stock market.
 arrow India liberalises rules on overseas investment
With more and more Indian companies going global, the Reserve Bank of India has liberalised rules relating to the domestic corporate entities' overseas investment in joint ventures or wholly-owned subsidiaries.
 arrow Nat'l framework on CSR needed
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday underscored the need for establishing a national framework on corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
 arrow India PM sees medical tourism as salve for health sector
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday called for an overhaul of India's creaky health sector to spur medical tourism and offer hope to millions of Indians deprived even of a hospital bed.
 arrow HSBC opens 2nd premier centre
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd in Bangladesh yesterday opened its second premier centre in the bank's Dhanmondi premises.
 arrow SKYbd Job Fair begins April 1
A two-day job fair styled 'SKYbd Job Fair 2006' will begin on April 1 in Dhaka.
 arrow Bank Asia opens 22nd branch at Bashundhara
The inauguration ceremony of the 22nd branch of Bank Asia in Bashundhara Residential Area was held yesterday.
 arrow E Asian economies must prepare for possible dollar collapse: ADB
With the US trade deficit at a record high and global interest rates rising, East Asian economies need to be prepared for a possible 'collapse' of the dollar, the Asian Development Bank warned Tuesday.
 arrow Asia Pacific ad spending $68.6b in 05
Companies spent a record 68.6 billion US dollars in advertisements across the Asia Pacific region in 2005, an industry report said Tuesday.
 arrow Lafarge keen in buying stake in Indonesia's Semen Gresik
France's Lafarge has expressed an interest in buying a 25 percent stake in Indonesia's largest cement firm Semen Gresik from Mexico's Cemex, a minister said Tuesday.
 arrow China overtakes Japan as world's biggest holder of forex reserves
China has overtaken Japan as the world's largest holder of foreign exchange reserves with 853.7 billion dollars at the end of February, a state-run newspaper reported Tuesday.
 arrow Uttara Finance approves 25pc cash dividend
Uttara Finance and Investments Limited has approved a 25 percent cash dividend for the shareholders for the year 2005.
 arrow Oil prices stable
World oil prices steadied on Tuesday as the market tracked events in major crude producer Nigeria on the eve of the latest weekly snapshot of US energy inventories.
 arrow Malaysia Airlines to axe staff, lose routes to AirAsia
Flag carrier Malaysia Airlines will axe a third of its workforce and hand over all but 19 of its domestic routes to low-cost carrier AirAsia under a sweeping rationalisation plan.
Sportsarrow Football: Sultan irks booters
Just three days ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup kicks off, national footballers and team management both were unsettled by Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan's remarks that therehad
 arrow Cricket: Chittagong take top honours
Chittagong might have failed to lift the four-day title of the just concluded National Cricket League but they took away the individual honours.
 arrow Football: banglalink presenting sponsor
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) yesterday unveiled bangla-link, one of the leading cellular phone operators in the country, as the presenting sponsor of the AFC Challenge Cup beginning in Bangladesh
 arrow Cricket: BD-SL second A Test from today
Boosted by Mashrafee Bin Mortuza's inclusion, Bangladesh A take on their Sri Lankan counterparts in the second and final four-day Test that begins today at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra.
 arrow Cricket: Bhaji stymies England
Harbhajan Singh celebrated his comeback with a superb all-round show to guide India to a 39-run victory over England in the first one-dayer here on Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: SL in driving seat
Sri Lanka staged a fine second-innings batting display to move into the driver's seat on the third day of the first Test against Pakistan here on Tuesday.
 arrow Cricket: Six-shooter Warne leads Australia to series victory
Shane Warne grabbed six wickets to spearhead Australia to an unbeatable 2-0 series victory over South Africa on Tuesday.
 arrow Football: Pakistan first to arrive
Pakistan were the first team to arrive in Dhaka last night to participate in the AFC Challenge Cup which kicks off on April 1.
 arrow Football: Inter feeling the heat
Inter Milan are under a familiar pressure ahead of tonight's Champions League quarterfinal, first leg, match against Spain's Villarreal.
 arrow Football: Lyon dreaming big
Lyon will attempt to keep their European dream alive Wednesday night without star playmaker Juninho but manager Gerard Houllier is unconcerned ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal first leg tieat
 arrow Football: Ruud assured of WC place
Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy's place in the Dutch World Cup squad is not in doubt, according to coach Marco van Basten.
 arrow Guilty in Australia, innocent at home
Bangladeshi shooter Towfiqur Rahman Alo claimed to media on arrival at the Zia International Airport yesterday that he had not sexually harassed an Australian girl during the 18th Commonwealth Games in
 arrow Cricket: Agent for cricketers
Six national cricketers including captain Habibul Bashar has signed a deal with a local agent on Tuesday to take care of their personal endorsements till next year's World Cup.
 arrow Cricket: Dravid delighted
India's Rahul Dravid hailed off-spinner Harbhajan Singh after the captain's bowling gamble clinched a 39-run victory in the first one-day international against England on Tuesday.
 arrow Football: Blatter declares war against G14
FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned Europe's elite soccer teams to prepare for "world war" if it persists in opposing the sport's governing body.
 arrow Football: Keeper killed by carbon monoxide
Yvegeny Sukhina, a goalkeeper with Ukrainian club Simferopol Krymteplitsy, has been found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning, Ukrainian media reported on Monday.
 arrow Radiant Way sports held
The day-long annual sports competition of Radiant Way Kindergarten was held at school premises at Bamoil in Demra yesterday.
 arrow Kabadi: Independence Day Kabaddi
The Independence Day Kabaddi tournament, organised by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs got underway at the Kabaddi stadium yesterday.
 arrow Football: Khagrachhari Football
Laxmichari Zone defeated Manikchhari in the final of the Independence Day Football tournament at the High School ground yesterday.
Metropolitanarrow Evil forces have started surrendering like in '71
Terming 2006 as the year of victory over militancy and misrule of the government, Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the evil forces have started surrendering to the unity of peopleas
 arrow Dhaka bypass likely to open by June
The much-awaited 48-km Dhaka Bypass Road is likely to open to traffic within next two months, but the experts feared that a large portion of the road will become uneven because of inadequate compaction
 arrow BNP MP mastermind
Kushtia district Awami League yesterday alleged that the local BNP lawmaker was the mastermind behind the killings of three leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of the AL, that took
 arrow 3,575 sq km of land to disappear by 2025
A total of 3,575 square kilometres of land will disappear by 2025 due to river erosion as a huge amount of sediment from upstream is being dumped into river basins in the country every year, water experts
 arrow Let us sit together to sort out differences
BNP Secretary General and LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday called on the opposition to sit across the table with the ruling party and discuss with an open mind the proposals for reforms in
 arrow Brighten country through your brilliance
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has asked children to brighten the country by the light of their brilliance, elevating Bangladesh to become an enlightened nation in the world.
 arrow 'Wage tougher movement to root out dowry'
Noted woman leader and writer Maleka Begum called for waging a tougher movement to root out dowry culture from society, terming it a social menace both in Bangladesh and West Bengal.
 arrow Awareness a must to achieve target Speakers tell roundtable
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for creating awareness among the stakeholders to achieve cent percent sanitation in the country.
 arrow Lanka to hold single country fair in Bangladesh
Sri Lanka, which is going to import a bulk amount of medicines from Bangladesh, will hold a single country fair here.
 arrow RU transport director Prof Motier assaulted
Rajshahi University transport director Prof Motier Rahman was assaulted by the students yesterday as the university buses did not ply as per schedule.
 arrow Mustafa Anwar admitted to Labaid hospital
Mustafa Anwar, one of the organisers of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra and a poet, is now undergoing treatment at the CCU of Labaid Cardiac Hospital in the city after suffering from serious illness.
 arrow Programmes for welfare of street children discussed
Plan Bangladesh, a non-govt organisation, yesterday discussed its five-year Programme Unit Strategic Plan (PUSP) with the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) officials for smooth implementation of projectstaken
 arrow SC Bar election begins today
Election of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) begins today. The two-day polls will start at 10:00am and continue until 5:00pm everyday with one hour recess from 1:00pm.
 arrow JU student expelled for misbahaviour with female student
The syndicate of Jahangirnagar University (JU) has expelled Ranju Ahmad, a student of business administration, for one year and fined him Tk 3,000 for indecent behavior with a female student of the department.
 arrow Over 100 injured as villagers clash in Kishoreganj
Over 100 people were injured in a fierce clash between two rival groups of villagers at Bhabanipur in Bhairab upazila yesterday.
 arrow JB guard on three-day remand
Halim Sikdar, a security guard of Janata Bank's Chakbazar branch, was taken on a three-day remand yesterday on charge of killing Nasima Begum, a female sweeper of the bank.
 arrow Appeal for help
A father has appealed for financial assistance for the treatment of his little daughter who has been suffering from severe paralysis, says a press release.
 arrow 1,550 more held
Police arrested 1,550 people on various charges from different parts of the country in last 24 hours ending at 6:00am yesterday.
Nationalarrow Lawyers besiege PDB office, farmers block road
Lawyers yesterday besieged Power Development Board (PDB) office, damaged its furniture and window pans and assaulted the executive engineer protesting frequent load shedding and demanding smooth electricity
 arrow Rivals stage showdown in Jaldhaka
Jaldhaka upazila town yesterday turned into a battlefield as programmes and counter programmes were launched by two rival groups, one demanding the quick release of the undertrial upazila unit president
 arrow Azhar freed country but his battle is yet to be over
Azhar freed the country from the occupation forces but failed to free himself from the clutches of poverty. He has now become a victim of fresh cruelty.
 arrow Cases sent to CID to remove faults in charge sheets
The trial court has again sent the bomb blast cases to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) last week asking it to submit fresh charge sheets rectifying the faults in them.
 arrow Former Shibir leader shot in Sylhet
Former president of Fenchuganj upazila unit of Islami Chhatra Shibir Ehsanur Rahman Iraq was shot by a group of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal men yesterday afternoon.
Point-Counterpointarrow Draft coal policy: Securing energy or jeopardising prospect of development?
The countries that are developed today did not achieve their development just by chance.
 arrow Politicians-Maoists accord to cause more trouble for Nepal King
The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, embroiled in a longdrawn agitation by the political parties demanding restoration of democracy and a bloody campaign by Maoists, is likely to experience further trouble
 arrow Help shape UK int'l development policy
What needs to be done to eradicate poverty? The UK Government wants to hear what you think about the future of international development.
Culturearrow World Drama day observed in the city
On March 27, enthusiastic theatre activists gathered at the premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy to celebrate World Drama Day. The function began with a colourful rally.
 arrow Showcasing ethnic lifestyle
With the theme of Shikorer Shondhan-e (In quest of roots), the Folklore Foundation, Comilla began a fortnight-long Folklore Fair and Festival in Comilla town hall premises on March 27.
 arrow Theatre at the grassroots
Theatre and other art forms can go a long way in generating awareness about social issues at the grassroots level.
Generalarrow Two killed in road accidents
At least two people were killed and 13 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka and Gaibandha yesterday.
 arrow Three more JMB men arrested
Three Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh [JMB] members, including an Ehsar member, were arrested in Dinajpur and Gaibandha yesterday.
 arrow CUJ biennial confce today
The biennial conference of Chittagong Union of Journalists (CUJ) will be held at the Chittagong Press Club auditorium at 11.00am today.
Internationalarrow Olmert leads Israeli polls
Israelis voted in an election yesterday seen as a referendum on uprooting some West Bank settlements while enlarging others to impose Israel's final borders if peacemaking with the Palestinians staysfrozen.
 arrow 26 die in Pak tribal factional clash
At least 26 people have been killed in clashes between factions led by rival Muslim clerics in Pakistan's tribal region on the border with Afghanistan, intelligence officials said yesterday.
 arrow Bush, Republicans clash over immigration bill
The US Senate prepared to take up a bill yesterday on illegal immigration that has President George W.
 arrow British, US diplomacy saved India, Pakistan from war: Straw
Intense diplomatic efforts by Britain and the United States prevented nuclear neighbours India and Pakistan from going to war four years ago, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Tuesday.
 arrow No renegotiation of nuke deal with India
The Bush administration said Monday it was not prepared to renegotiate a landmark nuclear deal with India despite resistance to the agreement by legislators whose endorsement was mandatory.
 arrow 'Crisis will only worsen after Thai polls'
After the controversial election the political crisis will become systemic and spread throughout society, a renowned social critic warned.
 arrow Blast kills 2 foreigners, 3 Afghans
A remote-controlled bomb exploded in southwestern Afghanistan yesterday, killing two foreign nationals and three Afghans working for a US security firm, a governor and police said.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Agriculture in double jeopardy?
Record low rainfall deficit and patchy supply of electricity all over the country have pushed farming into the throes of uncertainty and brought it face-to-face with a self-compounding crisis threatening
 arrow Editorial: Terror financing trails
The issue of alleged involvement of some foreign NGOs in funding terrorist acts is nothing new.
 arrow A new beginning in bilateral relations?
From media reports, it appears Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia's three-day visit to India has gone well.
 arrow Who betrayed Bhagat Singh?
A comrade-turned-journalist, whose testimony sent Bhagat Singh, a revolutionary, to the gallows in March, 75 years ago, wrote a letter before his death to tell why he became an approver.
 arrow Eden College: Healing the wound
The government, as it appears, has finally taken a step for 'healing the wound' of Eden Girls' College, which is the country's largest educational institution for female students by removing its principal.
Letters to Editorarrow Independence and Mujib
This is the nation's disgrace that its citizens are being deprived of remembering and paying tributes to their beloved leader, father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the day of independence.
 arrow Uncertainty in politics
The AL and its left leaning allies have been demanding reform to caretaker govt. and the Election Commission. According to them, No fair and free election would be possible under the present system.
 arrow A sporting Rajin Saleh
Three cheers for the wonder boy Rajin Saleh! No, it is not for any of his superb performances in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka or in the ongoing series against Kenya.
 arrow Afghan Abdur Rahman
Recently, in Afghanistan a man named Abdur Rahman was tried in court. His fault was that he converted to Christianity. If he is found guilty, he may be executed.
 arrow Militancy
Top militant Sk. A.Rahman and his second in command the so called Bangla Bhai have been arrested. The nation is waiting to see the fate of those militant goons.
 arrow Why this change?
In our childhood days, we used to know our cricket board as BCCB. Interestingly, the name of the board has undergone change twice in the last few years.
 arrow PM's India trip
The outcome of the recent visit of our PM to India was published in our national dailies in different ways, mostly according to the party affiliations of the dailies.
 arrow Attention: Telephone authorities
Let me take the pleasure of thanking Ms Mahbuba Jannat for her write up in The Daily Star on March 22, 2006 entitled "Ghostly phone bills in Badda".
 arrow When shall we respond?
We, as a nation have witnessed / encountered many calamities natural and man-made that affected the stability of different sectors in the country in the recent past.
 arrow Tata's investment plan
The government of Bangladesh is to take a vital decision regarding the investment of Tata, which may well have a profound impact on the economy.
 arrow Bangladesh moving ahead
Private sector is the backbone of economic growth around the world.
 arrow Desa and corruption
Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (Desa), though plagued by unbridled corruption, had been enjoying the cash incentive provided to them as bonus by the government for 10 years until 2001(DS report March
 arrow No price hike!
Our venerable ministers that there is no price hike in our country have bombarded us.
 arrow Citizens' group in BD politics
In 1971 we fought to build an independent Bangladesh...not like this one. I, days back, begged pardon to my 15 year old child for what we have failed to achieve.
Star Chittagongarrow Rod and cement prices on the rise
Prices of construction materials, including rod and cement, have increased sharply in Chittagong, leaving the people, who intend to build a dream residence, in utter discomfort.
 arrow BSTI Chittagong regional office limps
The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) regional office here lacks sufficient manpower and laboratory facilities, delaying in testing goods seized during drives by the mobile courts for
Star Cityarrow Postal services losing popularity
With the advent of cellphones, courier services and email, the activities of post offices have declined significantly in the recent years. "I have been working as a postmaster for the last 31 years.
 arrow Female officers needed at check posts
The absence of women law enforcers at checkpoints in the city is bringing the security system under threat, said law enforcers themselves.
 arrow Where are the playing grounds
As the expected euphoria of a series victory against Kenya slowly dies down, the question that comes into the minds of a few concerned people will be, "Where do the next Mohammad Ashraful(s) and Shahriar
 arrow 23 kitchen markets in 10 wards!
Although the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has authorised only 12 kitchen markets in the 10 wards of the Tejgaon-Ramna area, almost 23 exist, causing annoyance to city dwellers.
 arrow City roads named after heroes
A special committee of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) officially approved, at its 8th general meeting on March 22, the naming roads after freedom fighters and sector commanders, although DCC Mayor had
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