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Monday, December 14, 2009

Bangladesh Govt to begin trial of war criminals early next year

Dhaka, 14 December : Bangladesh has said it will begin trial of ‘war criminals’ early next year. Those who killed unarmed civilians during the 1971 freedom movement are called war criminals in Bangladesh.
“I can tell you that the process of the trial of the war criminals would start either by the end of January or in the beginning of February,” Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told Bengal Newz today. The announcement by Ahmed came as the nation paid homage to its intellectuals, a large number of whom were killed in December that year by bands of Islamist militia in the final stage of the liberation war. The killings took place at the behest of the East Pakistan authorities.
President Mohammed Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Monday paid rich tributes at the Martyred Intellectuals’ Memorial at Mirpur, a downtown area in Dhaka.

Gorkha Janamukti Morcha withdraws 4day shutdown
Siliguri, 14 December : The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has withdrawn its four-day shutdown in the Darjeeling Hills that began on Monday, a senior leader of the outfit said.
"We had a meeting with top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders today. They appealed to us to refrain from any agitational activity now," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told Bengal Newz from New Delhi. However, the GJM activists will continue the indefinite hunger strike.

Jute mills remain close, demand check on payment
Kolkata, 14 December : Altogether 52 of the 54 jute mills in West Bengal, employing 2.5 lakh people were closed today, after an indefinite strike was called by 19 unions demanding payment of dearness allowance, provident fund, gratuity, bonus and minimum wages.
The unions also want the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) procure bales directly from farmers for supply to the mills. General Secretary of Bengal Chatkal Mazdoor Union Gobinda Guha told Bengal Newz that 52 to of the 54 mills were closed.
The Central Jute Mill at Budge Budge and the Meghna Jute Mill at Jagaddal were open. However, a meeting with the Chairman of Indian Jute Manufacturer's Association (IJMA) Sanjay Kajeria remained inconclusive.

Flood victims in B'desh build 'flood shelter' with WFP help
Xinhua, Dhaka, 14 December : Kaliaharipur, an union in Bangladesh' s Sirajganj district, 134 km northwest of capital Dhaka, becomes submerged every year in monsoon season which makes many poor residents living there homeless.
With the fund support from World Food Program (WFP), one local NGO named Eco-Social Development Organization (ESDO) is implementing a project to build a flood shelter in the union to provide shelter to the homeless people when flood comes. READ FULL STORY

BD commemorates martyred intellectuals with rich tributes
Dhaka, 14 December : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyred intellectuals at the Martyred Intellectuals' Memorial at Mirpur in the capital marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day on Monday.
President Zillur Rahman placed wreaths at the memorial first. Then came Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, few minutes after the president, to pay homage to the martyrs. After the president and the prime minister, people from all walks of life paid homage to the intellectuals who were martyred just two days before the declaration of the Bangladesh's independence.
Jatiya Party Chairman and former president HM Ershad, opposition leader Khaleda Zia, accompanied by BNP Secretary Khandaker Delwar Hossain and standing committee members, also paid her tribute to the martyred intellectuals. People belonging to different political, socio-cultural organisations and students from various schools, colleges and universities also thronged the memorial in the morning. Photos : AP, Mustafiz Mamun

Centre may amend act for Tripura High Court : CM
Agartala, 14 December : The central government may amend the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971, to set up a separate high court in Tripura, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Monday.
All the seven northeastern states, excluding Sikkim, come under the jurisdiction of the Guwahati High Court. Sikkim has a separate high court. All parties in Tripura have been demanding a separate high court in Tripura for the past three decades.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi bids adieu to WB, given warm send-off
Kolkata, 14 December : Gopalkrishna Gandhi today bade adieu to the people of West Bengal with a 'namaskar' and was given a warm send-off, a day after demitting the office of the governor of West Bengal.
Gandhi, who was given a guard of honour by a police contingent as he stepped out of the grand stairs of the Raj Bhavan, conveyed his best wishes to the people of the state. "My namaskar," Gandhi said before leaving for Chennai with wife Tara. The outgoing governor took the salute at another guard of honour at the lounge of the NSC Bose international airport before his departure.
Meanwhile, Bihar governor Devananda Konwar arrived here from Patna to take over additional responsibility of West Bengal with effect from today till regular arrangements are made.
Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges recommend major reforms
BSS, Dhaka, 14 December : Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges on Monday recommended a set of measures to help further development of the country's capital market.
The recommendations include increasing the paid up capital of companies, accelerating the flow of mutual funds into the primary market, rationalising the demand and supply in the secondary market, introducing uniformed market lot and face value of shares, speeding up the disposal process of the cases related to stock market and allowing brokerage houses open more branches.

Dhaka Stock Exchange, DSE, President Rakibur Rahman announced the recommendations at a press conference at the DSE after a meeting with the Chittagong Stock Exchange, CSE.
Bangladesh And Malaysia Plan Bilateral Pact On Palm Oil
Dhaka, 14 December : The Bangladesh government is keen to procure palm oil from Malaysia using its state-owned trading arm to ensure consistent edible oil supply and price stability prevails in the domestic market.
"Bangladesh is interested to have a government-to-government buying arrangement to ensure there is steady supply and price of palm oil is maintained in the local market," said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernad Dompok
96-hour GJM strike disrupts traffic in Darjeeling Hills
PTI, Siliguri, 14 December : Life came to a standstill in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district today due to the 96-hour shut down by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) demanding a separate state.
Darjeeling magistrate Surendra Gupta told PTI that the shut down began at 6 am and also affected a part of Siliguri sub-division at Salbari and Sukna area in the foot-hills. All offices, educational institutions, banks, shops and markets remained closed and vehicles kept off the roads. National highway 31A, the arterial road link between Sikkim and Siliguri was, however, open, he said.
GJM press and publicity secretary Benoy Tamang claimed the shut down was spontaneous and supported by the people. GJM was allowing Sikkim-bound vehicles carrying food items and medicine to ply along NH 31A which passes through Kalimpong sub-division. Photos : Reuters, Sanjit Mitra
Bangladesh Cabinet decides to upgrade nurse job to C - II
Dhaka, 14 December : The Bangladesh cabinet on Monday decided to upgrade the job status of nurses to Class II and appoint 2,627 nurses in a bid to improve service quality in the health sector.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, prime minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said about 9000 four-year diploma holder nurses remain unemployed in the country and the current ratio of doctors and nurses is 2:1, which should be 1:3 as per international standard. For this reason, the cabinet has approved the appointment of the nurses, Azad said. He said a number of steps has been taken to provide better service in the health sector since the government assumed the office in January.
He also said various steps also have taken to improve the nursing standard and the nurses have been given training to improve their quality. File Photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina goes to Copenhagen tonight
Dhaka, 14 December : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave here for Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, Monday night to attend the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Hasina who will lead a high-profile Bangladesh delegation to the conference leaves here tonight for Dubai enroute to Copenhagen by an Emirates Airlines flight. The prime minister's delegation includes Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque, State Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmud, Ambassador at-Large M Ziauddin, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister MA Karim and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad.
Deep depression over southwest Bay moves in westerly direction
UNB, Dhaka, 14 December : The deep depression over southwest Bay and adjoining area moved slightly westwards over the same area on Monday.
It was centered about 1795 kms south-southwest of Chittagong port, 1725 kms south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port and 1670 kms south-southwest of Mongla port at 10:00am(BDST), said a Met office special bulletin. “It is likely to move in a westerly direction and may cross north Sri Lanka coast around noon today,” the bulletin said. Maximum sustained wind within 48kms of the depression centre is about 50kph rising to 60kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain moderate near the depression.
Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Mongla have been advised to keep hoisted distant cautionary signal No one.
BSF jawans seizes 15 turtles from Tripura border
Agartala, 14 December : Border Security Force (BSF) jawans seized 15 turtles of endangered species from a bordering area of Agartala while it was being transported from Bangladesh, but nobody has been arrested in this connection so far.
Police today said the turtles were packed in jute packets, adding the smuggler abandoned the bags and fled as the BSF tried to intercept him last evening. The recovered turtles have been handed over to Shipahijala National Park authorities today.

Prestigious Kolkata Asiatic Society award for Hasina
Dhaka, 14 December : The prestigious Asiatic Society of Kolkata has chosen Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque 2009.
Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, during his farewell call on Hasina as he moves to his next posting, Sunday handed over a letter from the Asiatic Society. The letter reads: "The Council of Asiatic Society in its meeting decided, unanimously, to confer the Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque 2009 on Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh." Hasina was last month also selected for the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, 2009.
The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, awards the Indira Gandhi Gold Plaque annually to an eminent person of global repute for significant contribution to international understanding or human progress or for inter-cultural cooperation. It is likely that she will receive both awards during her visit to India next month.

Two trampled to death by elephants at Aziz Nagar in Bandarban
Bandarban, 14 December : Wild elephants trampled two people, including a child, to death early Monday at Aziz Nagar in Lama upazila of Bandarban.
The deceased were identified as Abul Kashem, and his four-year son Rashed of the village. Locals said at least 12 wild elephants rampaged eight houses of the village and crops. The wild elephants often come to eat ripe paddy in the area of the district in winter season.
Has climate change affected Sunderbans ?
PTI, Kolkata, 14 December : With reports of rise in the water level in the Sunderbans because of global warming, foresters have demanded a proper study of climate change in the world''s largest mangrove forest stating that the royal Bengal tiger and other wildlife might be affected if it was true. Both water level and salinity were increasing in Sunderbans due to climate change, claimed Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, secretary of Nature, Environment and Wildlife Society, a wildlife NGO, and said there was no proper study.
"Due to rise in water level salinity is also increasing. Wildlife including tigers have a salinity tolerance level. If it continues to increase, it will badly hit wildlife," he said. He also claimed that swamp deer and water buffalo which were once found in Sunderbans were now extinct due to habitat loss triggered by climate change.
"Even barking deer cannot be spotted there now," Roy Chowdhury, also a member of the WB state wildlife board, said. Pradeep Vyas, director of Sunderban Biosphere Reserve (SBR), however, told PTI "There should be a proper study on carbon emission and rise in water level.
At present there is no concrete research on climate change in the Sunderbans and there is a significant rise in water level."

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