Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004    
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Front Pagearrow Saarc Summit postponed
Dhaka yesterday postponed the 13th Saarc Summit indefinitely in the wake of Sunday's earthquake-triggered tsunamis that devastated three South Asian countries, but Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan also
 arrow Cry for relief as death toll crosses 120,000
Millions of people on Indian Ocean shores scrambled for food and clean water yesterday, with disease and hunger now the main threats stalking survivors of the most devastating tsunami on record.
 arrow 800-km opposition human wall to oust govt formed
Thousands of people yesterday locked hands to form a cross-country human wall for the second time in a month, in what opposition leaders say is an expression of people's desire for an immediate step down
 arrow Fire guts 450 shacks in Pallabi, 10 hurt
A fire completely gutted over 450 shanties and around 150 handlooms and left at least 10 people injured at a quarter of stranded Pakistanis at city's Pallabi area early yesterday.
 arrow 3 tribes feared lost
Three of the world's six most endangered primitive tribes inhabiting India's worst Tsunami-hit area, the Andaman and Nicobar islands, are feared to have perished.
 arrow Cash crunch shoots up call money rate to 60pc
Call money rate shot up to 60 percent and dollar rose further against taka as cry for cash heated up the money market yesterday, the last banking day of the year 2004.
 arrow 2 outlaws, criminal killed in crossfire
Four people including two outlawed political operatives died in alleged crossfire between law enforcers and their associates in the capital and the south-west region yesterday.
 arrow Hartal observed in Rajshahi
A dawn-to-dusk hartal, enforced by Awami League-led 14-party opposition, was observed peacefully in Rajshahi district yesterday in protest against the killing of Prof Muhammad Yunus of economics department
 arrow Fish frenzy roils Sunamganj
Private security guards hired by leaseholders are harassing farmers who traditionally fish in ponds created by seasonal flooding at more than 500 jalmahals in the Sunamganj area.
 arrow Shallow sea floor saved Bangladesh
Bangladesh survived the effects of the tsunami that struck on December 26, following a massive earthquake on the sea floor near the Indonesian island of Sumatra--1,019-km from Chittagong--because of a
 arrow Noab, BSP statement on wage board
Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh (Noab) and Bangladesh Sangbadpatra Parishad (BSP) yesterday issued a joint statement on the demand for a 6th wage board for journalists and employees of newspapers
 arrow PM asks civil servants to up standards
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday asked for improving the skill and standard of the civil administration to restore its past reputation.
 arrow Dozens killed in Iraq clashes
Pitched battles between US troops and Iraqi insurgents in strife-torn Mosul left at least 26 dead including one US soldier as two Lebanese businessmen were kidnapped in Baghdad overnight.
 arrow Opposition to announce next programme January 4
The main opposition Awami League (AL) and its allies will announce their next agitation programmes on January 4 to press home their nine-point demand with the ultimate goal of dislodging the BNP-led coalition
 arrow Court permits probe into threat to Hasina's family
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka, yesterday gave permission to investigate the reported death threat to Leader of the Opposition and Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina, her son and
 arrow $500m pledged for tsunami relief: Annan
Half a billion dollars in assistance has been promised or delivered for tsunami victims around the Indian Ocean, United Nations chief Kofi Annan said yesterday.
 arrow Mad man slays 7-year old son
An apparently insane man slaughtered his seven-year-old son at Uttara in the city yesterday.
 arrow Bhuiyan released from hospital, advised to take rest
BNP Secretary General and Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan returned to his official residence on Bailey Road yesterday from the Combined Military
 arrow JS body to look into Magurchhara compensation
The parliamentary standing committee on power, energy and mineral resources ministry yesterday formed a six-member sub committee to look into the compensation issue of Magurchara gas blowout.
 arrow Human skeletons recovered in Faridpur
Police recovered eight human skeletons from a local bus terminal yesterday afternoon.
 arrow ACC official asked not to speak to press
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Anti Corruption Commission, whose job is to provide information to the public and the media, has been ordered not to speak to the press.
 arrow Announcement
Look out for our 12-page full-colour New Year Special supplement that will be coming out tomorrow, January 1, 2005. We hope you find it enjoyable and informative. Ask your hawker for your copy.
Businessarrow Prioritise ICT sector for country's development
Business leaders called for development in information and communication technology (ICT) sector to ensure overall outgrowth of the country through the use of science and latest technology.
 arrow BB plans tough rules to cut default loans
The central bank is planning stringent regulations for banks next year to further minimise default loans.
 arrow IBBL reduces profit rate on investment from tomorrow
The Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) has further reduced its average profit rate on investment and also deposit rate with the guidelines of Bangladesh Bank.
 arrow Nat'l flower exhibition begins tomorrow
The tenth national flower exhibition begins in Dhaka tomorrow with a view to wooing foreign importers.
 arrow Euro hits record high against yen
The euro hit a record high against the yen on Thursday and remained within striking distance of this week's all-time peak versus the dollar. Its bull run looks set to continue in 2005.
 arrow Alltex okays 10pc dividend
Alltex Industries Limited has approved a 10 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year that ended on June 30, 2004.
 arrow Metro Spinning okays 12pc dividend
Metro Spinning Limited has declared 12 percent dividend for its shareholders for the financial year 2003-2004.
 arrow MCCI president re-elected
Kutubuddin Ahmed, a former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, has been re-elected the president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka for the year
 arrow DHL becomes air express service provider of UCBL
DHL Worldwide Express has become the exclusive air express service provider of United Commercial Bank Ltd (UCBL).
 arrow Insurance stocks stabilise after tsunami worries
A growing perception that leading insurers will not be hit hard by claims related to the tsunami catastrophe in south Asia provided a floor under European insurance shares yesterday.
 arrow Emirates to operate 3 flights a week to Seychelles
Emirates will operate three flights a week to Seychelles, the Indian Ocean islands, from January 2 next year.
 arrow Premier Bank branch opens in Gazipur
The 21st branch of Premier Bank was inaugurated at Chandana Chowrasta in Gazipur yesterday.
Chairman of the bank HBM Iqbal formally opened the branch, says a press release.

 arrow New president of ICAB
Sheikh Abdul Hafiz has been elected the new president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
 arrow ‘Persistent dollar weakness a concern’
Persistent US dollar weakness is a concern and stability in foreign exchange markets requires a correction of global economic imbalances, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was quoted as saying on Monday.
 arrow Taiwan to hike key interest rates
Taiwan will raise key interest rates by 0.125 percentage points in a bid to keep inflation stable, the central bank said Thursday.
 arrow India allows more domestic sales of sugar in January
The Indian government has asked millers to sell 9 percent more sugar in the domestic market in January than this month to ensure adequate supply, a government statement said.
Sportsarrow Cricket: Past Taibu's inspiration
A new-look Zimbabwe cricket team arrived in Dhaka yesterday to feature in what pundits have dubbed a championship of the two lightweight Test nations.
 arrow Cricket: Biman inflict mighty blow on MSC
Last year's runners-up Moha-mmedan Spor-ting Club were virtually thrown out of the title race when Bang-ladesh Biman handed them a 19-run defeat in a crucial Premier Division Cricket League match at the
 arrow Cricket: Bad light snaps Eng streak
South Africa held on to draw a match of dramatic changes of fortunes when bad light stopped play on the final afternoon of the second Test against England at Kingsmead Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Lara's men finally fly down under
New West Indies coach Bennett King has called on the Caribbean side to be more consistent and bury the cash controversy which has dogged the team's build-up to their tour of Australia.
 arrow Cricket: BCB stands by tsunami victims
The Bangladesh Cricket Board will donate 10,000 dollars to the Sri Lankan cricket board for the quake-tsunami victims.
 arrow Cricket: SL stranded for a day
Sri Lanka's cricketers face another anxious day's wait before returning home after their tour of New Zealand was postponed.
 arrow Hockey: Usha survive Ajax scare
A late rally saw Usha Krira Chakra come from a first-half deficit to beat Ajax Sporting Club 3-1 in the opening match of the Green Delta Premier Hockey Super League at the Maulana Bhasani Stadium yesterday
 arrow Cricket: McGill in, Lee out
Australia on Thursday named out-of-form batsman Darren Lehmann in a 13-man squad for the third Test against Pakistan but dropped speedman Brett Lee as selectors expanded their bowling arsenal for a turning
 arrow Cricket: India unlikely to fill the SL void in NZ
India is unlikely to accept any offer to play in New Zealand in January in place of the Sri Lankans, who cancelled a tour in the wake of the Asian tsunami tragedy, an official in New Delhi said Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: Andy makes Justin nervous
The prolific scoring form of England opening batsman Andrew Strauss has Australian opener Justin Langer feeling nervous ahead of next year's Ashes series in England.
 arrow Swimming: Phelps gets probation
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' probation on Wednesday after pleading guilty to drunken driving.
 arrow Australians show heart
Aid agencies said the Australian public had inundated Asian disaster funds with the most generous appeal response in the country's history Thursday as Prime Minister John Howard urged people to give more
 arrow Cricket: Gibbs fined for misleading umpire
South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs has been fined 40 per cent of his match fee for a "deliberate attempt to mislead an umpire" during the second Test.
 arrow Tennis: Sharapova so generous
Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, due to play an exhibition match in Thailand against Venus Williams, will donate 10,000 dollars to help victims of the killer tsunamis that hit the kingdom, a minister
 arrow Cricket: Malik finds 'em all immature
Banned former captain Salim Malik Thursday blamed a lack of maturity in both Pakistan's cricket team and its management for the recent crushing defeats against Australia.
 arrow Football: Vieira ensures happy New Year
Arsenal will enter the New Year five points adrift of Premiership leaders Chelsea after a hard-fought and somewhat fortunate 1-0 win over Newcastle here on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: Real's Luxemburgo surprise
Former Brazil national coach Wanderley Luxemburgo on Thursday flew into Spain to become Real Madrid's fifth coach in 18 months.
 arrow Football: Morientes' mind is made
Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes, who helped Monaco to the Champions League final last season, has said he will be joining Premiership side Liverpool.
 arrow Football: Rooney charged
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was on Wednesday charged with violent conduct by the Football Association after he shoved Bolton's Tal Ben Haim in the face at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
 arrow Football: Typically Romario
Former Brazil striker Romario said on Wednesday he was considering a possible return to his first club Vasco da Gama despite a newspaper report that he had decided to retire.
 arrow Tennis: Tennis doping baffles Federer
World number one Roger Federer says he is baffled by incidents of drug-taking in tennis such as the positive test returned by Austrian Stefan Koubek last week.
Point-Counterpointarrow Salma's journey into activism
Salma Sobhan never wanted to be an icon.
Culturearrow Lovely: A role model
Looking at her work, one would find it hard to believe that Lovely (her real name is Khadiza Akhter) is a tetraplegic (paralysed from the neck down).
 arrow Treasures from the Subcontinent
It is not often that Dhaka sees paintings by well-known foreign artists. In Shilpangan's recent exhibition Bandhan, however, one saw the works of MF Husain, KG Subramanyan and more from India.
 arrow Our Talents
Bangladesh's rich cultural heritage has been built up by many notable talents. Some of them have passed away, while some are still contributing to their chosen fields.
 arrow Swani Zubayeer: A glimpse of the singer
Swani Zubayeer has had a rich and varied career as a singer. Recently, he regaled the Dhaka audience with geet, ghazal, thumri and Bengali modern music at a function in the National Museum Auditorium.
 arrow Entertainment stars lost in 2004
A number of major figures from the entertainment and arts world died in 2004.
Generalarrow Help implement govt's programme
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday sought cooperation of all, particularly the youth, in successful implementation of the government's massive programme to turn the huge population into human resources
 arrow Economic self-reliance a must for security
The smaller countries around the world must build up their economic self-reliance as a potential security measure in the face of uni-polar hegemonic world order, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
 arrow Cable operators call off strike
The Cable Operators' Association of Bangladesh (Coab) yesterday called off its three-hour token strike several hours before the strike was scheduled to begin as Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco) suspended
 arrow Ensure proper enforcement of laws: Moudud
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed yesterday underscored the need for creating mass awareness and proper monitoring system to ensure appropriate enforcement of laws.
 arrow Identify culprits of sensational cases
State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar yesterday asked the concerned police officials to identify the real culprits of sensational cases through sincere and devoted investigation.
 arrow 'Improve nutrition status to fight arsenic contamination'
Noted chemist and Professor of Chemistry of Wegner College, New York Dr.
 arrow Fresh autopsy on Tania's body
Doctors yesterday carried out a fresh post-mortem on the body of a housewife who allegedly committed suicide at Sutrapur in the city over a month ago.
 arrow 18 get life for Baufal double murder
Eighteen people were sentenced to life imprisonment while nine others acquitted of charges in a double murder case in Baufal upazila under Patuakhali district in 2001.
 arrow 'Take steps for trial of war criminals'
Speakers at a condolence meeting yesterday urged all progressive forces to take necessary steps for the trial of the war criminals of 1971.
 arrow New school to be set up for the dumb in city
The Prime Minister's Political Secretary Harris Chowdhury yesterday said the government would continue its efforts to bring physically challenged people into the mainstream of society.
 arrow Get back my missing brother
A sister yesterday appealed to the prime minister and the state minister for home to get back her brother who was allegedly abducted on November 18.
 arrow Market Access to promote services of Thai hospital
Piyavate Hospital, a leading and most modern boutique hospital in Thailand, has appointed Market Access Providers Limited to promote medical and health services of the hospital in the country, says apress
 arrow GP donation for tsunami victims
GrameenPhone Ltd will donate all its earnings from the SMS traffic on December 31 and January 1 to help the people in the tsunami-affected areas, says a press release.
 arrow DU Eng Deptt Alumni Society get-together Jan 7
The English Department Alumni Society, University of Dhaka, will hold its annual get-together on January 7, says a press release.
The programme will begin at 3.00pm at the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC).

 arrow 1,957 more held
Police arrested 1,957 people, including one listed criminal, on various charges during their countrywide drive in the last 24 hours till 6.00am yesterday.
 arrow Dhaka to send medicines to tsunami-hit Saarc states
Bangladesh has decided to send emergency medicines to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, two worst tsunami-hit countries in the Saarc region.
 arrow Mustafa Monwar, Shaikh Siraj get 'Sheltech Padak'
Renowned painter Mustafa Monwar and TV presenter Shaikh Siraj have been nominated for the "Sheltech Padak-2004."
Each Padak carries Tk 50,000 and an honorary crest, a press release said.

 arrow Autorickshaw hijacked, driver stabbed
Carjackers stabbed a driver and drove away in his CNG autorickshaw from Dhanmondi in the city yesterday.
 arrow Khaleda greets 3 heads of govt
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday greeted her counterparts of Palestine, Cuba and Sudan on the occasions of the national days of their countries.
Editorialarrow Editorial: MFA goes, sky is not falling
Today marks the expiry of Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) whereby Bangladeshi garments exporters enjoyed a sheltered market abroad so far.
 arrow Editorial: Academic standstill at RU
The situation at Rajshahi University, which witnessed the gruesome murder of Professor Muhammad Yunus only six days back, has turned murkier with six more teachers receiving death threats from unknown
 arrow New Year's resolution
If you are thinking of a New Year's resolution, here is something to think about.
 arrow New lease of life for Kyoto Protocol
At about this time, last year, I was rather skeptical about the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
 arrow Tony Blair visits the Middle East to revive peace talks
9/11 and the subsequent military attacks on Iraq by Bush-Blair on false grounds have changed the world greatly and indeed all to the detriment of the congenial relationship that existed among the people
Letters to Editorarrow Fuel price hike
The prices of diesel and kerosene have gone up. The justification given by the Honourable Minister, Mr Musharraf Hossain, is not tenable.
 arrow Tsunami tragedy
Unkind nature has taken its toll. Nearly one hundred thousand people in seven countries have been killed and many more injured.
 arrow Wild celebrations
The Year 2004 will end soon and we are ready to welcome the New Year 2005 with due fanfare.
 arrow Stop genocide in Iraq!
More than a year has passed by since the barbaric invasion of Iraq by the US and the so-called "coalition forces".
 arrow Death: A prayer for my brother
A part of me left a long time ago and passed away. My brother died a long time ago. He was a lot older than me. He died when he was a baby. I was born much later.
 arrow Corruption in income tax department
Whenever we discuss the term "corruption" we always blame the police department as the "number one" corrupt government agency.
 arrow What is their fault?
This is an appeal to the government to consider the promotion cases of the civil officers who were not considered in the past.
 arrow Conference registration fees
For the last few days, two international conferences are going on in Dhaka. Now the ICECE by EE, BUET, is going on at Hotel Sonargaon. But the registration fee is very high.
 arrow Protective duties
On the 22nd December, the government announced the imposition of protective duties on salt, card board for packaging, and poultry chicks.
 arrow Bangladeshi workers' remuneration
The eye opening letter by Kazi Firoz (DS: Dec 29) is indeed news to probably many of us.
 arrow Leaders must know...
Often it is heard that some of the leaders of the BNP-Jamaat led coalition government say that the media are maligning country's face in the outside world.
 arrow An environmentalist's concern
As a political environmentalist in the UK, I have often cited the nation-wide ban on plastic bags in Bangladesh as an example of what enlightened political will can achieve.
 arrow "Ohio has failed the world"
Readers should be free to air their opinions/grievances in The Letter to The Editor page.
 arrow Well done Rab!
From its independence to the year 2004, Bangladesh has been a highly corrupt country.
Environmentarrow No gas in Sitakund
The Sitakund-5 well was drilled over one of the largest anticlinal structures in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, reaching a target depth of 4005m.
Worldarrow Sri Lanka appeals for more aid
Sri Lanka yesterday appealed for more aid as it plodded on with the sickening task of burying bloated corpses in the struggle to prevent outbreaks of disease piling more misery on its shattered population.
 arrow Panic grips south India after new tsunami alert
Panic gripped the coastal belt of Nagapattinam with the Met office informing of yet another tsunami striking the district on Thursday.
 arrow They lived off the sea, now they all hate it
Battered badly, fisherfolk, the worst affected in Sunday's tsunami, are seeking housing sites that are away from the coastal belt of India.
"We never wanted to move because sea and fishermen areinseparable.

 arrow India joins UN relief effort
India agreed yesterday to join the United States, Australia and Japan in coordinating UN relief efforts for victims of tsunamis which killed 81,000 people in several countries, the foreign ministry said.
 arrow Maldives loses 42 islands
At least 42 islands in the tourist paradise of the Maldives were flattened with 117 people killed and missing after tsunamis raved the low-lying atoll nation, the president said yesterday.
 arrow Manmohan visits tsunami hit areas
Indian Premier Manmohan Singh Thursday toured parts of southern India ravaged by monster tidal waves and vowed the government would do all it could to help rebuild shattered lives.
 arrow Half the population of Car Nicobar missing
Three days after the killer tsunamis struck, the situation in the Andaman and Nicobar Island on Wednesday continued to be appalling with 10,000 people, half the population of Car Nicobar, still missing
 arrow Saudi forces kill 7 militants
Saudi forces killed seven militants in a shootout in Riyadh after twin car bomb attacks against security targets in the latest strike by Islamist extremists waging a campaign of violence in the oil-rich
 arrow Plot thickens after mysterious death of Ukraine minister
The mysterious suspected suicide of Ukraine's powerful transport minister has sparked rumours of bloody infighting within the crumbling outgoing regime after weeks of election turmoil.
 arrow Beyond the arc of death
Life in Bangkok is pretty normal. Not even a pause in nightlife. People are seemingly unaffected by the 9.
 arrow Peres to be Sharon's number two in new Israeli cabinet
Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres will become Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's number two in a new coalition government, a statement from the premier's office said yesterday.
 arrow Senior Zarqawi aide captured in Baghdad
US-led forces in Iraq have captured a senior member of the al-Qaeda linked network led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a raid in Baghdad, the Iraqi government said yesterday.
 arrow 5 Palestinians killed by Israeli troops
A Palestinian teenager with Down's Syndrome was killed by Israeli soldiers yesterday in a flashpoint area of the Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll from an Israeli operation there to five, medics said.
 arrow Russian military to buy tanks, missiles in 2005
The Russian military will receive more than 90 new T-90 tanks, seven fighter jets and new nuclear missiles next year, Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Thursday as he unveiled a 6.
 arrow British donors raise 38m dollars for tsunami disaster
A "phenomenal" surge in donations in Britain has raised the equivalent of 38 million dollars for the victims of the tsunami disaster in Asia, charities announced Thursday.
 arrow Indonesia calls for global confce on disaster relief
Indonesia is pushing for a UN-sponsored international conference to discuss relief operations for nations affected by the Asian tsunamis, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Thursday.
 arrow Searching for Relatives...