Adhikar report says
394 Bangladeshis killed by BSF during last 5 years
As many as 394 Bangladeshi
citizens were killed by the Border Security Force (BSF) and miscreants of India
in Bangladesh's bordering areas during the last 5.5 years.
Besides, 1,890 Bangladeshi
nationals became the victims of human rights violation by the BSF and Indian
miscreants in the country's north and southwestern region during the period,
human rights organisation Adhikar said in a report on Monday.
The Adhikar report prepared on
the basis of newspaper reports published between January 1, 2000 to May 31,
2005 observed that a disastrous inhuman situation has created in the bordering
areas due to killing, kidnapping and looting by the BSF and Indian nationals
intruding into the Bangladesh territory.
Most of the Bangladeshi victims
are innocent farmers, the report said adding that the Indian miscreants kill or
abduct the Bangladeshi innocent farmers when they go to harvest their crops in
UNB report says: It said 480
Bangladeshis were injured, 469 arrested, 498 kidnapped and 43 people, including
eight children, went missing and six women were raped by the BSF troops during
the period. Fifty incidents of snatching and looting also took place along the
border during the same time.
Since January this year to May
31, 37 Bangladeshis were killed, 37 injured, two arrested, 36 kidnapped, six
went missing and one woman was raped by the Indian border guards.
Describing the present
situation, as grim, the report said the farmers can hardly harvest paddy from
their croplands as they always suffer from a sense of insecurity due to
surprise BSF attacks.
Flag meetings from BOP
commander to DG levels has so far failed to improve the situation, the report
Adhiker also expressed deep
concern over frequent attempts by the BSF to push the minority Bengali-speaking
Indian citizens into Bangladesh.
It said the BSF personnel were
still gathering Bengali-speaking people, including children and women, along
the border from different parts of India to push them into Bangladesh.
The Bengali-speaking people are
either being compelled to live on no man’s land or in BSF-cordoned boarder
areas in miserable condition, Adhiker said.
Adhiker demanded international
investigations into the killings and other misconduct by the Indian border
guards to put an end to such human rights violation.
Dhaka-Riyadh agreement on trade promotion
Two apex trade bodies of
Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to
tap the potential of expanding cooperation in trade and investment between the
two countries, reports UNB.
The agreement was signed
between the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI)
and the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI) in Riyadh on
June 15, according to a message received in Dhaka on Monday.
FBCCI President Abdul Awal
Mintoo and member of the CSCCI Board of directors Saad I Al-Moajel signed the
MOU for their respective sides during the 8th session of the Saudi-Bangladesh
Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation meeting on June 14-15.
The agreement was signed
recognizing “immense possibilities of promoting economic and commercial
cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh”, according to the MOU.
It also appreciated the scope
for further expansion of bilateral trade relations and the prospect of setting
up industries under joint venture and joint collaboration within the framework
of the laws and regulations prevalent in the two countries.
In the Joint Commission
meeting, Bangladesh embarked on a negotiation with Saudi Arabia towards signing
a deal on avoidance of double taxation as part of the move for boosting
bilateral trade and investment.
The two sides agreed to
finalize a draft of the deal by the end of this year.
deliberations during the meeting yielded an agreed minutes on June 15, covering
two slots of bilateral cooperation -- economy, trade and investment cooperation
and culture, information and science and technological cooperation.
Contempt of court HC sets July 4 for verdict on
judge, PP, Shoeb
A High Court bench on Monday
set July 4 for pronouncing the verdict on its suo moto contempt rule upon a
metropolitan sessions judge, a public prosecutor and the sacked managing
director of proposed Inqilab TV, Salahuddin Shoeb Chowdhury, reports UNB.
Appearing before the bench
during Monday’s hearing, the contemners–Metropolitan 1st sessions judge
Mohammad Shamsul Alam Khan, Public Prosecutor Abdullah Mahmud Hassan as well as
Salahuddin Shoeb Chowdhury–sought unequivocal apology in writing for their
misdeeds. They also stood on their feet for about two hours.
After the hearing, the bench,
comprising Justices Khademul Islam Chowdhury and Mohammad Emdadul Haque Azad,
set July 4 for judgment. It ordered for personal appearance of accused
Salauddin Shoeb to be on the dock on July 4, but spared the judge and the PP
from physical presence.
Earlier, the High Court had
turned down their petitions seeking verbal apology for their misconduct.
The High Court on May 16 issued
suo moto rule on the three to explain why contempt proceedings would not be
drawn against them for suppressing facts.
The HC rule was issued after
Metropolitan 1st sessions judge Alam on April 30 granted bail to
Shoeb, who faces treason and other charges, despite the fact that his appeal
against denial of bail by the same court was pending in the High Court.
The PP Hassan, being a
prosecution lawyer, also did not oppose the bail prayer on ground that an
appeal was pending on same before the higher court.
As part of law, no lower court
can pass any order if any rule is pending with the higher court on the same
On March 28, the High Court on
an appeal from Shoeb had issued rule upon the government to explain why the
petitioner detained since November 2003 on treason and other charges, should
not be enlarged on bail.
Shoeb, also former Dhaka-based
correspondent of a Russian news agency, was held on November 29, 2003 by the
immigration police at Zia International Airport while he was leaving the
country. The police lodged two criminal cases, including treason, against him
on January 24, 2004.
Construction of Zia Complex to be completed by
The construction works of
Shaheed Zia Smriti Complex at Kalurghat and Swadhinata Stamba at Suhrawardy
Udyan are expected to be completed by December next, reports BSS.
“The project implementation
works of Shaheed Zia Smriti Complex at Kalurghat in Chittagong and Swadhinata
Stamba at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka are progressing fast,” this was informed at
a meeting held in Dhaka on Monday with State Minister for Liberation War
Affairs Prof. Md. Rezaul Karim in the chair.
The meeting was held to review
the progress of implementation works of different ADP projects of the ministry
for the current fiscal (2004-05).
It was informed in the meeting
that Taka 30 crore 30 lakh and 75 thousand was released till May this year out
of the total allocation of Taka 50.45 crore against seven projects under the
revised Annual Development Programme (ADP) in the current fiscal.
“Of the released amount, Taka
22 crore 64 lakh and 82 thousand was spent till May this year which was 75 per
cent of the total amount released within the period,” it was told.
Addressing the meeting, the
state minister directed the concerned officials to complete the project works
within the stipulated time frame by ensuring optimum use of the resources.
Secretary-in-charge of the
ministry Taj Mohammad, Managing Director of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Welfare
Trust Mohammad Nawfel Mia and Chairman of Muktijoddha Central Command Council
Kabir Ahmed Khan, among others, attended the meeting.
Removal of NCTB Secy demanded
Bangladesh Book Publishers and
Sellers Association called upon the government to give order to print, publish
and supply books of the National Curriculum and Text Book Board (NCTB) to those
who were lowest in the tender.
Addressing the newsmen at a
city hotel on Monday Vice President-1 and Member Secretary, Board Book Standing
Committee A.F.M.Shah Alam also called upon the government to announce re-tender
of those lot and items which were not participated by any body or organisation
and no tender form was dropped on certain items immediately.
He demanded removal of
Secretary of National Curriculum and Text Book Board (NCTB) immediately
because all have lost confidence on him. He alleged that total mismanagement
and corruption continuing in the National Curriculum and Text Book Board (NCTB)
under the patronisation of State Minister for Education.
He further alleged that an
alternative administration running in the office of NCTB under the
patronisation of State Minister for Education Ehsanul Haque Milan.
He also alleged that the office
of NCTB is in total mess and he believed the books of NCTB would not print,
publish and supply in time for which students will suffer in the year of
Howard greets Khaleda, cricket team
Australian Prime Minister John
Howard congratulated the Bangladeshi cricket team on its historic victory over
his country’s world-champion squad, reports UNB.
Prime Minister John Howard and
Leader of the Opposition Kim Beasley felicitated the Bangladesh High
Commissioner to Australia Ashraf-ud-Doula on the Bangladeshi players’ success
at a reception hosted by the Australian PM and Mrs. Howard to honour those
Australians who contributed to the Asian Tsunami disaster relief on Monday.
Prime Minister Howard asked the
High Commissioner to convey his “very sincere and heartfelt felicitations” to
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on the success.
According to a message received
on Monday from the High Commission in Australia, electronic and print media
over there were awash with several analyses and postmortems of what has been
termed “arguably the greatest upset in one-day International Cricket”.
Monday’s Canberra Times ran a
story headlined ‘First Test of Bangers, and Smashed’, opining that
“Bangladesh’s win is one of cricket’s biggest upsets, possibly rivalling the
Test that created the Ashes, when Australia beat England at the Oval in 1882,
and Australia’s loss to Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup”.
The Sydney Morning Herald
wrote: “Credit must, of course, go to Bangladesh and in particular to Ashraful,
whose euphoria at raising his maiden limited-over hundred was one of sport’s
more uplifting moments.
It paled by comparison with the
hysteria that broke out in the dressing room and in the small Bangladesh
contingent in the crowd when Aftab nudged the ball behind the wicket and
scrambled through for a single to win the match with four balls to spare. This
was a momentous day for Bangladeshi cricket and one to warm the hearts of 140
million Bangladeshis who view cricket as national sport. It might even have
surpassed the Asian minnow’s first Test victory over Zimbabwe in January, for
this time a giant had been killed. It is not so long ago the Bangladeshi
players queued for Steve Waugh’s autograph after the series in Darwin and
Businessman's house looted in city
Dacoits looted cash and
valuables worth about Taka 2 lakh from a businessman’s house at the city's
Dhanmondi area on Sunday late night.
According to the sources, a
gang of 7 to 8 dacoits entered the house of Md. Hossain on the second floor of
a five-storey building at 11/1 Kathal Bagan under Dhanmondi police station.
The dacoits at first rang the
doorbell and introduced themselves as relatives. They forcibly entered the
house when an inmate opened the door hearing the doorbell.
They confined the family
members in a room and looted 10 tolas of gold ornaments, three cellular phones
and other valuables including cash of Taka 15,000 by breaking the almirahs and
safes at gunpoint.
Later, they fled away along
with the booty.
A case was filed with the
concerned police station in this connection. But, police could not provide the
details of the incident and failed to arrest anybody in connection with the
incident till the time of filing this report on Monday night.
Alliance govt fails to administer country
BARISAL , June 20:–Maulana Syed
Fazlul Karim, the Peer Charmonai and Amir of Bangladesh Islamic Shasontantra
Andolon, on Monday said that the four-party alliance government has totally
failed to administer the country, reports UNB.
Addressing a meeting of senior
party members at Barisal, he alleged that violance, killing, extortion, rape
have become commonplace across the country while people were being killed in
the name of crossfire.
He was critical of the
activities of the law enforcing agencies including RAB who have allegedly got
involved in robbery and extortion.
Maulana Karim called for
establishing an Islamic government for bringing about peace and prosperity in
Hasina flies to Paris from London to join PACE
Awami League President Sheikh
Hasina Monday flew to Paris from London to attend a four-day meeting of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) due to begin later in
the day in French city of Strasbourg, reports UNB.
During her stay, the Bangladesh
Opposition Leader will also hold official meetings with representatives of
Hanns Seidel Foundation and members of Bravarian government at Strasbourg.
The Strasbourg meeting, due to
end on June 23, will provide senior advisory council members insight
information on the history, structure and mechanism of PACE following a
decision of Association of Asian Parliament for Peace (AAPP) to transform
itself into Asian Parliament Assembly (APA), according to a message received in
Dhaka on Monday.
The meetings are also aimed at
strengthening possibilities for further cooperation between PACE and APA.
Sheikh Hasina, who is founder
President and senior member of AAPP, will attend a dinner to be hosted by
Deputy Director General of Hanns Seidel Foundations Dr Rainer Geppeerth.
She is accompanied by senior
party leaders Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim MP, Syed Abul Hossain MP and former
Earlier in London, UK AL
president Shamsuddin Khan, Vice-President Jalauddin, Secretary Prof Abul Hashem,
All Europe AL General Secretary MA Ghani and others saw her off at Heathrow
Hasina will leave for Moscow on
June 25 to receive a honorary Doctorate from People’s Friendship University of
Suicide car bomber kills 20 policemen in Iraq
IRBIL, June 20:–A suicide car
bomber killed 20 traffic policemen and wounded 100 more Monday outside the
unit’s headquarters in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil, police and hospital
officials said, reports AP.
Iraq’s insurgency appeared
unfazed by two massive US-Iraqi military offensives against militant smuggling
routes and training centers west and north of Baghdad, mounting attacks that
have killed at least 85 in the past two days - including 30 people on Monday.
The bomber in Irbil wore a
police uniform and slammed his car into a gathering of some 200 traffic
policemen during morning roll call in a courtyard behind the headquarters at 8
a.m. (0400 GMT), police Lt. Sulaiman Mohammed said.
At least 20 died and 100 were
wounded, said Dr. Mohammed Ali of Irbil Hospital.
The attack occurred on a main
street that leads to the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, which is south
of Irbil, police said.
Irbil, one of two major cities
in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, has enjoyed autonomous rule under Western
protection since 1991. The area has been largely sheltered from the incessant
violence wracking the remainder of Iraq, but has seen several major bombings
blamed on militant Muslim groups.
The attack came a day after a
suicide bomber walked into a crowded Baghdad kebab restaurant near the heavily
fortified main gate of US and Iraqi government headquarters at the Green Zone,
killing at least 23 people including policemen - the deadliest attack in the
capital in just over six weeks. A total of 45 people were killed in insurgent
assaults throughout the country on Sunday.
Most of the suicide attackers
are thought to belong to extremist groups such as al-Qaida in Iraq, which has
justified killing other Muslims, including women and children, in their quest
to destabilize the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
The rate of insurgent attacks
has risen dramatically since al-Jaafari announced his Cabinet on April 28. At
least 1,182 people have been killed since then.
Some extremists have also
started threatening fellow Sunni Arabs, who make up the insurgency’s core,
because some leaders of the minority Muslim sect have expressed a readiness to
join the political process. Most Sunnis boycotted January’s historic election.
On Monday, Sunni Arabs were
expected to name their representatives to a committee that has until mid-August
to draft Iraq’s new constitution. The number of Sunni members took weeks to
negotiate with the Shiite majority.
Elsewhere, a band of insurgents
launched a bold assault on a Baghdad police station killing at least eight
policemen and an 8-month-old baby early Monday, police said. At least 23 were
The attack on the Baya police
station in southwestern Baghdad began just before dawn and included two car
suicide bombs, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, police
Capt. Talib Thamir said.
Separately, a roadside bomb
Monday killed a US soldier on patrol near Tal Afar, 150 kilometers (93 miles)
east of the Syrian border, the military said. The soldier belonged to the 1st
Corps Support Command and was not part of the two major US-Iraqi offensives
taking part in the western Anbar province.
At least one American has died
since the new military campaigns - code-named Spear and Dagger - began Friday
and Saturday, respectively, in Anbar province. About 1,000 US and Iraqi forces
are taking part in each offensive.
Operations Spear and Dagger are
aimed at destroying militant networks near the Syrian border and north of
Baghdad, the military said. About 60 insurgents have been killed and 100
captured so far.
Troops on the ground said they
found numerous foreign passports and one round trip air ticket from Tripoli, in
Libya, to Damascus, Syria. They found two passports from Sudan, two from Saudi
Arabia, two from Libya, two from Algeria and one from Tunisia.
Intelligence officials believe
Anbar province is a portal for extremist groups, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s
al-Qaida in Iraq, to smuggle in foreign fighters. Syria is under intense
pressure from Washington and Baghdad to tighten control of its porous 380-mile
(610-kilometer) border with Iraq.
Operation Spear appeared to be
winding down and US Marines reported finding a weapons cache in the town of
Karabilah early Monday, including two dozen RPG launchers, heavy machine guns
and equipment to make up to 25 bombs.
The dusty town is about 200
miles (320 kilometers) west of Baghdad and near Qaim, a city on the Syrian
Troops also found a large
number of explosives in the building and conducted a controlled blast, leveling
an entire block, according to an AP reporter in the town. Many residents had
already left their homes for safer areas and portions of the town have been
reduced to rubble.
US Marines reported killing 15
insurgents Sunday in battles near Fallujah, the Anbar province town 40 miles
(65 kilometers) west of Baghdad and a perennial insurgent stronghold.
Section 144 imposed AL meet at Songachha Bazar
SIRAJGANJ, June 20:–An Awami
League meeting at Songachha bazaar in Sadar upazila on Monday was foiled by
imposition of section 144, reports UNB.
The restriction was imposed by
the Deputy Commissioner in apprehension of trouble as the ruling BNP also
convened a meeting at the same venue same time.
Informed sources said Awami
League had called the meeting three days ago at the bazaar at 2pm. BNP called
for a meeting today at the same place with an ulterior motive of foiling the
programme of the political rival. Additional police were deployed in the area
as tension mounted.
Kathmandu for direct bus service with Dhaka
Nepal has proposed direct bus
service with Bangladesh and the two countries are now planning to raise the
proposal with India as a tripartite matter to facilitate people-to-people
contact in the region, reports BSS.
Official sources in the
Ministry of Communications Dhaka on Monday confirmed the Nepalese proposal for
direct bus link saying that it has been discussed at official levels and the
government is considering it.
Sources in the Nepalese capital
told BSS recently that India had also proposed transit facility through Nepal
to China for direct trade access to which it has a huge bilateral business.
The proposal has given new
hopes to the moribund Nepalese economy though it may take years for such a
project to take physical shape, the sources said.
If one takes the India-China
direct transit proposal with that of Bangladesh’s proposal for a land transit
facility to Nepal and Bhutan for direct trade in goods and electricity, the
impression that one will gather is that the whole region is now on the move for
a change, the sources said.
President of Nepal-Bangladesh
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NBCCI) Laxmi Bahadur Shrestha said the
transit facility that India has proposed up to Tibet may also work as a
liberalising factor on India’s attitude on other issues.
Nepal may now use this card for
Nepal-Bangladesh transit corridor as well, Shrestha said pointing to
Bangladesh’s demand for direct transit up to Nepal or issues related to
improving the cargo handling at Banglabandh transit point, where India does not
allow entry of trucks into Bangladesh side carrying Nepalese exports.
A new negotiating environment
is emerging in the region, he said.
Diplomatic sources in Kathmandu
said new moves are also being made in the water front and these moves,
particularly centring the Sapthakushi river waters need to be very carefully
watched. Bangladesh should get actively involved with Nepal, India and China
to work jointly on any such moves, they said.
It is important to make sure
that the country’s interest is going to find proper representation in the
Himalayan water management and that its legitimate share of regional waters
coming home, said Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Humayun Kabir.
Pointing to a host of other
bilateral issues which demand priority attention and also vigorous moves,
particularly in the area of trade and investments, and on the people to people
track, he said much of these should come from Dhaka.
This is because, he said, the
Nepalese business and the leadership are very busy now with domestic issues
such as the February take-over by the king and the Maoist insurgency.
Kabir said Nepal has many
things to offer and also benefit from Bangladesh, there is a strong case for
bilateralism. But this window of opportunities, he argued, need to be seriously
“We need a lot of homework and
make calculated moves to reach the peopla and business in Nepal,” he said
referring to short of the steam in the process.
“The whole Nepal policy and its
priorities need to be reviewed,” he said pointing to its location, its
strategic importance and the business potentials that it has in particular for
Rahman made advisor to Energy Division
The government on Monday
appointed Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI) Mahmudur Rahman
as Advisor to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division with the rank and
status of a Deputy Minister, reports BSS.
In addition to his new
assignment, he will also discharge his duties as the Executive Chairman of BOI
until further orders, official sources said.
DMA signs pact with ACB for making cancer
hospital in city
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has
signed an agreement with Associated Builders Corporation Ltd (ABC) for
construction of a 10-storey Cancer Hospital building at Uttara Model Town at a
cost of Tk 150 crore, reports UNB.
Kazi Rafiqul Alam, Executive
Director of DAM and Engr Nazrul Islam, Director of ABC, signed the agreement on
behalf of their respective organisations at the DAM Head Office on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, Kazi
Rafiqul Alam said that with the signing of the construction contract the long
felt need of having a full-fledged international standard Cancer Hospital in
Bangladesh is going to become a reality.
The cancer hospital is the only
project in Bangladesh with a large investment of Tk. 150 crore. Most of the
fund has been raised through voluntary contributions, said a DAM press
Construction of the hospital is
expected to be completed within three years. The hospital will have adequate
provision for providing cancer treatment to poor patients.
Architect Tarek Alam AIA,
Managing Director of USA Based Architectural firm Design Alliance, Md. Ziauddin,
Secretary General of DAM, AKM Delwar Hossain, Project Director of Ahsania
Mission and Engr Subhash Chandra Ghosh and Engr Nashid Islam, Directors of ABC,
among others, were present at contract signing ceremony.
Mahmud takes his new job in Energy Ministry as
On his appointment as Adviser
for the Energy Ministry on Monday, Mahmudur Rahman said that his new
responsibility given by the Prime Minister in the tough turf is a new challenge
for him, reports UNB.
“This is a new challenge for
me to take over the charge of the Energy Ministry as its adviser,” he said in
his initial reaction to the press following his new appointment in the rank of
deputy minister, a day after State Minister Mosharraf was fired over a car
He said his main motto would be
to bring transparency and dynamism in the country’s nascent energy sector.
“If I can work for the next 14
months of the present government, I will try to create momentum in the energy
sector,” he added.
Mahmud, presently the executive
chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI), noted that the country has two
resources--one is mineral resource and another manpower. And if both are
utilised properly, “definitely this will bring a major change in the country’s
The BoI chief executive was on
Monday appointed adviser for the Energy Division of the Ministry of Power,
Energy and Mineral Resources, in addition to his current assignment.
His appointment came following
the resignation of AKM Mosharraf Hossain as State Minister for Energy on
Aug 21 grenade attack Interpol
team due tomorrow
three-member Interpol (International Police Orga-nisation) team arrives Dhaka
to the request of the Bangladesh Government, the Interpol team will conduct a
full-fledged investigation into the August 21 grenade attack at Bangabandhu
Avenue, sources said.
At least 23
Awami League leaders and activists including its Women Affairs Secretary Ivy
Rahman were killed and more than 200 received injuries when unidentified
assailants hurled at least 8 anti-personnel ARGES hand grenades on the AL rally
in front of the party's central office at Bangabandhu Avenue at about 5:23 pm
on August 21, 2004.
sources said the three-member Interpol team includes a Chinese explosive expert
H W Shin. Other two members are American citizens Richard Green and Christ
Ministry recently again requested the Interpol to conduct further investigation
into the 21 August 21-grenade attack.
'Dhaka firm to develop ties with Cuba'
Bangladesh is a democratic
country and believes that all problems, including regional and international
ones, can be solved by peaceful means, said President Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed,
He made the observations as the
newly appointed Ambassador of Cuba to Bangladesh, Juan Carretero Ibanez,
presented his credentials to the President at Bangabhaban on Monday.
The President and the
Ambassador reaffirmed that both the countries are “committed to the principles
of friendship and peace”.
Welcoming the Delhi-based
Ambassador of Cuba, currently accredited to Bangladesh, President Dr Iajuddin
Ahmed mentioned a cordial bilateral relation existing between Bangladesh and
Cuba and reiterated Dhaka’s determination to “further consolidate and develop
relations with Cuba”.
“Bangladesh always supports
Cuba since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972 in line with the
UN,” the President said and apprised the envoy of success story of ongoing
micro-credit programme in Bangladesh.
Professor Iajuddin said the
literacy rate has increased in Bangladesh as present government took various
measures in the education sector.
He told the diplomat that
Bangladesh is playing active role in strengthening SAARC, which was initiated
by late President Ziaur Rahman to promote cooperation, peace and stability in
the South Asian region.
Underscoring the need for
South-South cooperation, the ambassador said that the next NAM Summit would be
held in Havana next year and requested the President to attend the meet.
The newly appointed Ambassador
of Cuba termed the relationship between Cuba and Bangladesh “excellent”.
He said Cuba is doing well in
cardiovascular treatment and pharmaceutical industries and can develop similar
industries in Bangladesh.
On his arrival at Bangabhaban,
the envoy was given a guard of honour by the President’s guard regiment. He
took salute and inspected the parade.
Acting Foreign Secretary M
Khairuzzaman, Secretary to the President Md Abu Solaiman Chowdhury, MSP Major
General ANM Muniruzzaman and Press Secretary M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury were
present on the occasion.
Rabbi for raising tax for whitening black money
Dr. TIM Fazle Rabbi of Jatiya
Party in Parliament on Monday strongly criticized the proposed budgetary
provision for whitening black money for a pittance, reports UNB.
“I am proposing to raise the
tax from 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent for whitening the black money,” he said
while taking part in the discussion on the budget for fiscal 2005-06.
Dr Rabbi was also critical of
the government for increasing the electricity and gas tariff and prices of fuel
“The country has been plunged
into a crisis for lack of good governance, resulting in failure in all sectors
including poverty alleviation and education,” he said.
Questioning the effectiveness
of the new budget, he said the budget would not make any salutary impact on the
people’s living condition due to spiralling prices of essentials, deterioration
of law and order, and widespread corruption.
“Without political consensus,
there will not be any good result even after preparing a good budget,” the
Jatiya Party lawmaker said.
He urged the ruling party to be
more tolerant and considerate towards the opposition.
Dr Rabbi demanded reduction of
duty on newsprint import to help the newspaper industry, increase the fund for
old-age allowance and give festival bonus to the retired government officials.
NBR asked to achieve revenue target
A parliamentary watchdog on
Monday asked the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to take appropriate reform
measures to achieve the next revenue target, reports UNB.
It also suggested rapid
implementation of the ongoing reform programmes–computerization and other
logistic supports–to make revenue collection process transparent and a means of
achieving the target.
The directives came from a
meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance held at
Sangsad Bhaban with committee chairman Mushfiqur Rahman in the chair.
Reviewing the revenue
collection progress, the meeting expressed the hope that the revised revenue
target for the outgoing fiscal (2004-05) would be achieved as the collection
registered a 14.55 per cent growth till May this year compared to the same
period of the last fiscal.
The collection, however, fell
Tk 1886.60 crore short of the target as figures placed at the meeting.
The meeting was told that Tk
13,513.28 crore customs duty was collected during July-May period of the
current fiscal against the target of Tk 13,841 crore while Tk 7,977.53 crore
VAT could be collected against the target of Tk 8,483.75 crore and Tk 4,309.84
crore income tax came against the target of Tk 5,362.50 crore.
They registered 14 per cent, 13
per cent and 22 per cent growth respectively over the collection of the same
period of the last fiscal (2003-04).
State Minister for Finance and
Planning Shah Mohammed Abul Hossain, committee members Mohammed Sayedul Huq, AM
Riasat Ali Biswas, Mohammed Azizur Rahman Chowdhury, Gazi Mohammed Shahjahan,
Mohammed Habibul Islam Habib, Abdul Khaleque and Mohammed Moshiur Rahman Ranga
and officials concerned were present at the meeting.
Political stability a must for poverty
Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain
Chowdhury on Monday said political stability is a must for poverty alleviation
and attaining self-reliance, reports BSS.
He, however, said the
government alone can not attain the objectives until and unless all come
forward wholeheartedly, forgetting small differences on different issues.
He made the comments when
speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural function of the annual economic
conference of Young Economists Forum (YEF) of the private North South
University (NSU) here.
Altaf Chowdhury said the
country has made certain progress in the sectors of health, nutrition,
education, infrastructure development, population management, rural
electrification and information technology over the years.
“The telecommunication sector
has also made a remarkable growth during the period,” the minister said, adding
the private sector is booming in the country due to pragmatic policy of the
He also appreciated the NSU for
maintaining high quality of education.
Finance Secretary Zakir Ahmed
Khan, Vice Chancellor of NSU Dr Hafiz G A Siddiqui and YEF President Adnan
Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.
Lightning kills 2 in Habiganj
HABIGANJ, June 20:–Two football
fans died and 15 others were injured when a thunderbolt struck them during a
match being played at Shatmukha football ground in Baniachang upazila Monday
afternoon, reports UNB.
Rahul (40) of Shatmukha and
Alai Mia (20) of Kataiya village died on the spot, witnesses said. The injured
were rushed to the health complex and clinics.
American prison guards describe Saddam as
NEW YORK, June 20:–Thrust
unexpectedly into the role of prison guards for Saddam Hussein, a group of
young American soldiers found the deposed Iraqi leader to be a friendly,
talkative "clean freak" who loved Raisin Bran for breakfast, did his own
laundry and insisted he was still president of Iraq, says a report published on
Monday, reports AP.
GQ magazine's July issue says
Saddam greatly admired President Ronald Reagan and thought President Bill
Clinton was "OK," but had harsh words for both President Bushes, each of whom
went to war against him.
"The Bush father, son, no
good," one of the soldiers, Cpl. Jonathan "Paco" Reese, 22, quotes Saddam as
saying. But his fellow GI, Specialist Sean O'Shea, then 19, says Saddam later
softened that view.
"Towards the end he was saying
that he doesn't hold any hard feelings and he just wanted to talk to Bush, to
make friends with him," O'Shea told the magazine.
A third soldier, Spc. Jesse
Dawson, quoted Saddam as saying of Bush, "`He knows I have nothing, no mass
weapons. He knows he'll never find them."'
The three soldiers were among
members of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 103rd Armor Regiment, a Pennsylvania
National Guard unit from the Scranton area that was activated for duty in Iraq
in late 2003. Instead of going into combat, they were chosen by the FBI to
serve as guards at a U.S. military compound where Saddam was an "HVD," or high
The nine-month assignment was
so secret that they could not tell their families, according to the article by
GQ correspondent Lisa DePaulo. The article names five of the soldiers who
agreed to discuss the experience, with the military's permission.
They were required to sign
statements prohibiting them from revealing the location, dates, garrison
strength and certain other details of Saddam's incarceration. But they were
free to describe their interactions with the prisoner, according to the
Pentagon officials had no
immediate comment because they had not seen the article, spokeswoman Lynnette
Ebberts said Monday.
The soldiers' descriptions of
Saddam's life in prison match the recent photos of him that apparently were
smuggled out of prison - showing the former dictator in his underwear and a
long robe. They describe a man who once lived in palaces and now occupies a
cell where he has no personal privacy.
Once, when Saddam fell down
during his twice-a-week shower, the article says, "panic ensued. No one wanted
him to be hurt while being guarded by Americans." One GI had to help Saddam
back to his cell, another carried his underwear, it adds.
Saddam learned the names of the
soldiers guarding him, was interested in the details of their lives, which they
were not supposed to discuss, and sometimes offered fatherly advice.
O'Shea said when he told him he
was not married, Saddam "started telling me what to do." "He was like, `you
gotta find a good woman. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too old, not too
young. One that can cook and clean."'
Then he smiled, made what
O'Shea interpreted as a "spanking" gesture, laughed and went back to washing
his clothes in the sink.
The soldiers say Saddam was
preoccupied with cleanliness, washing up after shaking hands and using diaper
wipes to clean his meal trays, his utensils and the table before eating. "He
had germophobia or whatever you call it" said Dawson, 25.
The article quotes the soldiers
on Saddam's eating preferences - Raisin Bran Crunch was his breakfast favorite.
"No Froot Loops," he told O'Shea. He ate fish and chicken but refused beef at
Saddam prayed five times a day
in his cell and kept a Quran that he claimed to have found in some rubble near
the underground hideout. "He proudly showed (it) to the boys because it was
burned around the edges and had a bullet hole in it," the story says.
According to the author, Saddam
told his guards that when the Americans invaded Iraq in March 2003, he "tried
to flee in a taxicab as the tanks were rolling in," and the U.S. planes
attacked the palace to which he intended to escape rather than the one he was
in, injuring some of his bodyguards.
"But then he started laughing,"
recalls Reese. "He goes, `America, they dumb. They bomb wrong palace."'
Saddam told the guards his
capture in an underground hideout on Dec. 18, 2003, resulted from a betrayal by
the only man who knew where he was, and had been paid to keep the secret.
"He was really mad about that,"
says Dawson. "He compared himself to Jesus, how Judas told on Jesus. He was
like, `that's how it was for me." If his Judas never said anything, nobody ever
would have found him, he said."
U.S. officials said at the time
that Saddam's capture resulted from intelligence from several sources rather
than a single informant.
The article says that if Saddam
knew the statue of himself in Baghdad's Firdos Square was toppled on April 9,
2003, he never mentioned it to the GI guards. He insisted that everything he
did, including the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, was for the good of his people, and
invited his guards to return to Iraq and stay at his palace after he was
restored to power. "He'd always tell us he was still the president. That's what
he thinks, One hundred per cent," says Dawson.
AL to observe 56th founding anniversary on June
The main opposition Awami
League will observe its 56th founding anniversary on June 23 in a befitting
manner, says UNB.
The party had been fighting for
the emancipation of the people and for establishing democracy since its
inception in 1949.
In a statement on the occasion,
AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil, MP, requested party workers to observe the
anniversary through holding meetings, seminars, rallies, processions and Milad
Mahfils at district, city, thana, upazila and union levels, a party Press
BJKD announces month long programme
Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Krishak
Dal (BJKD) on Monday announced a month-long programme aimed at strengthening
the organization at grass root level, reports BSS.
General Secretary of BJKD
Shamsuzzaman Dudu announced the programme at a Press conference held at the
head office of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Dhaka.
As part of the programme,
organizational tour has been prepared which will begin from Gazipur and
Jamalpur districts on June 25.
A total of five teams will tour
the country and form committees at district, metropolis, thana, pourasava and
union levels though holding the conferences.
Convenor of preparatory
committee of BJKD conference and State Minister for Agriculture Mirza Fakharul
Islam Alamgir, Acting President of the BJKD M Mujibur Rahman, Vice-President
ASM Alauddin, among others, were present at the Press conference.
Mirza Fakharul Alamgir called
upon the leaders and workers of the organization to work unitedly to make the
district conferences of the BJKD a success. He said the government has
earmarked Taka 1,200 crore in the proposed national budget for 2005-06 as
subsidy in agriculture after taking into view the significance of the sector.
He further said government has also stepped up efforts to increase subsidy in
agriculture sector as a measure for poverty alleviation.
Five teams were formed for
proper holding the district conferences. The teams will be headed by Mirza
Fakharul Islam Alamgir, State Minister for Agriculture, Alamgir Kabir, State
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Advocate Goutam Chakraborty, State
Minister for Water Resources, Advocate Abdus Salam Pintoo, Deputy Minister for
Industries and Asadul Habib Dulu, Deputy Minister for Food and Disaster
BJKD secretary Dudu said at
least 100 saplings of different kinds of trees including that of timber wood,
fruit bearing and medicine will be planted in each union of the country under
the supervision of Krishak Dal during the month-long conference.