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     Volume 6 Issue 17 | May 4, 2007 |

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News Notes

In the Abode of Knowledge
Studying at Dhaka University is an opportunity that every student dreams of. It is seen as an abode of knowledge and a place where ideas evolve. The glorious history of the university goes back to the time when the youth fought for the Bangla language and eventually, Bangladesh.
In fact, knowledge seekers from all over the country come to seek fruit from the tree of knowledge at the cost of their comfort and basic necessities in life. The hall rooms are a sight for sore eyes, where up to 32 students or more board together in one place, due to the so-called shortage of rooms. However, around the corner two people will be sharing a room that is actually meant for four boarders.
A visually impaired Law student in his final year is still awaiting a call from the authorities to let him know about a possible accommodation at one of the many halls of Dhaka University. He applied for a room about five years ago, when he joined the institution.
Rooming in one of the halls has nothing to do with applying on time or even being a student of the university, says one student. There are other factors that play a part in where and when a student gets accommodation. In the past, political influence played a big role in whether a student was able to get a room, whereas now, one has to be on good terms with the House tutor or the Provost. In short, without connections, the chances of getting decent accommodation in one of the halls are slim to none.

Government Retrieves Illegal Money
As part of the anti corruption drive conducted by the joint forces, the Bangladesh government has received a collective sum of Tk. 270 crores from seven businessmen. The deposits were made in Bangladesh Bank against the businessmen's illegal offshore accounts in local currency. Bangladesh Bank received Tk. 230 crore in pay orders last week from the seven businessmen, and the remaining Tk. 40 crore was paid a few days later. According to primary findings the joint forces believe the government is due to receive an additional sum of Tk 3,000 crore, some of which was illegally transferred abroad, with a portion remaining inside the country. This added sum will help to greatly improve the government's current borrowing status, which is Tk. 4,700 crores, brought down to Tk. 4,300 crores after the recent deposit of Tk. 270 crores. According to sources this is the first time the government exchequer has collected recovered money after it was stolen from public coffers. The seven businessmen include Anis Ahmed Gorki of MGH Group--business partner of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's son and BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, Nader Khan whose identity details were not available, and Salman Ispahani of the Ispahani Group. Ispahani, however, claimed that he has not deposited any money into Bangladesh Bank. A large portion of the money retrieved involves a deal in which seventeen large tea gardens and other assets of the UK-based company were sold to a group of eight leading local entrepreneurs for Tk 380 crore. However, sources say that the actual price was never discussed and the payment was made through an unofficial channel.

Picture of the Week

Three people died last week when a wall in Malibagh Chowdhuripara collapsed, crushing the tin shed next to it. This is unfortunately a common occurrence, as Rajuk does not monitor the building of structures as carefully as they should.


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