Mannan Chowdhury Khoshru (C), president of Bangladesh
Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association
(Barvida), speaks at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.
M Habibur Rahman, vice-president, and Shah Mosharraf Hossain
(L), secretary general of Barvida, are also seen.
of reconditioned cars are in trouble as present government
policy discourages the imports of these vehicles while encouraging
the import of new ones. New vehicles can be imported paying
the same duties as duties paid for reconditioned cars. Moreover,
new car dealers can get away paying less duties than the reconditioned
car dealers by taking advantage of the present pre-shipment
inspection system says a disgruntled dealer of the latter
category. The present policy allows cars imported to be not
older than four years old which pushes the price of reconditioned
the government justifies its decision saying that new cars
are in better shape and far less polluting, many believe that
all the policy has done is to allow huge imports of new Indian-made
cars. Recently car dealers of reconditioned cars have appealed
to the government to extend the 'eligible age' to six years.
The high duties on reconditioned cars have hiked up the prices
making them less accessible to people.
Bangladeshis Arrested in Kenya
Dhaka asked its mission to report on the 69 Bangladeshis held
for their alleged links to terrorism, drugs, and human trafficking
the Kenyan police said they are investigating the matter.
The Bangladeshi nationals were picked up from the countries
port city of Mombasa. The AFP report confirmed that those
who were seized in the overnight operation were living in
two houses in a plush neighbourhood of Mombasa, heavily guarded
by private security.
their arrest, on May 14, Foreign Minister Morshed Khan observed
that they might be fortune-seekers and had gone their through
fake travel agency, whereas, local deputy police chief John
Mbijjiwe told AFP in Nairobi that the investigators were pursuing
three ;lines of investigations: whether the arrestees are
linked to terrorist activities, drugs or human trafficking.
However, Mbijjiwe refused to disclose where the men were detained.
However, witnesses said that they were in the city's Port
were speculations at first as to the nationality of the detainees
were, Mbijjiwe cofirmed that they were all Bangladeshis. The
raid in Mombasa's upmarket estate of Nyali that led to the
arrest, also led to the discovery of mattresses, few bags
of rice, two computers, few Islamic literature and a handful
of porno magazines.
the arrestees could speak English, which forced the police
to speak in sign language. Along with the Bangladeshis the
police arrested a caretaker of one of the houses.
backdrop of a an explosions in 1998, when two car bombs went
off simultaneously outside the US embassies in Nairobi and
Dar-es-Salaam in neighbouring Tanzania, and another blast
in November 2002 that resulted when an explosive-packed vehicle
was rammed into a lobby of a Israeli-owned hotel killing 15
people and three presumed suicide bombers, the arrest is a
pre-emptive bid to such tragedy. The previous attacks were
claimed by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
no evidence has been found to link the detainees to any crime,
there is a possibility that these non-English speaking Bangladeshis
are what the foreign minister claim just plain fortune seekers.
In this east African nation drug and human trafficking is
rampant, especially in the coastal region.
Mission Plans Own Diplomatic Post Office
US embassy wants to set up a diplomatic post office (DPO)
in Dhaka. In fact the superpower is poised to build up a global
network of DPO, and it is only a part of the mega-plan. The
embassy in Dhaka recently requested Bangladesh government
to take the necessary steps towards this end. The Embassy
officials, in a meeting with the foreign ministry officials
on March 2, discussed the probability of the DPO. The ministry
sources told The Daily Star that they were asked to start
the process for its introduction. They also informed the National
Board of Revenue (NBR) about the move requesting the board
to bring in the changes required in the custom procedure to
facilitate the implementation of the DPO.
the officials at the foreign ministry were caught off guard
regarding the issue. A foreign ministry official said that
they are not clear about the proposal.
US State Department plans to set up DPOs at all its overseas
missions, and the US embassy has issued a letter to the NBR
that says that the plan is at its embryonic stage. But the
Bangladeshi counterpart seems to be in total darkness. An
official of the foreign ministries Asia Peceific and Anmarica
Wing said, "We have not been informed what purpose a
DPO would serve, as the embessy already enjoy uninterrupted
mail dispatch and receiving facilities under the Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Relations."
to sources, the major difference between the current and the
proposed system is the change of the mail carrier. "Under
the new system, all diplomatic mails to and from the US embassy
will be under the control of and carried by the US postal
service," a foreign ministry source disclosed.
was just an accident"
think that it was well deserved, when people burned a truck
in Bogra, after it ran over an 8-year old school boy on his
way to school.
Hasan Rabbi, a third grade student of Bogra Zila School and
son of Shamsul Haq Khan, was on a rickshaw going to school.
According to witnesses, it seems that a truck hit the rickshaw,
and instead of halting to create further damage, it ran over
the child, instantly killing him. Locals chased and stopped
the truck, set it ablaze and beat up its driver Milon and
helper Rubel. The trucker and his helper were later handed
over to police. Road barricades were also put up in front
of Namajgarh truck terminal demanding punishment to the truck
driver and shifting of the terminal to Bhober Bazar. The protesters
later took out a procession, carrying the body of Rabbi and
submitting a memorandum to the deputy commissioner.
men take to streets!
the tragic devastation of the Garment factory in Savar, trapping,
suffocating and killing several workers, people have taken
into consideration the many buildings and structures built
without the required permission and approvals. Last week,
a group of angry businessmen at Patuatuli took to the streets,
demanding the demolition of an 11-storey building constructed
on Patuatuli Lane, with permission for a six- storey one.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005