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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bangladesh river transport workers call off their 8-day old strike

UNB, Dhaka, 15 May : The eight-day old strike of river transport workers has been withdrawn following fruitful talks today with the government, announced Bangladesh Noujan Sramik Federation.
A brief press release issued in the afternoon by Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, general secretary of the federation, said the strike is called off for the greater interest of the country following talks with president of the parliamentary standing committee on Shipping Ministry Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury and member Israfil Alam.
It was agreed during the talks that discrepancies in the new pay structure for the river transport workers will be removed, all federation leaders and workers will be released and cases against them will withdrawn, said the press release.

Maoist leader Kishenji calls for 48-hour bandh in Five states
Kolkata, 15 May : Maoists today called for a 48-hour bandh in five states from 18 May to protest against a slew of decisions taken by the Central Government including those concerning some PSUs.
The bandh call has been given in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. "Maoists will observe bandh on 18 May and 19 May in the five states to protest against the Centre's decision to sell ten per cent government's stake in 10 profit-making Public Sector Undertakings," top Maoist leader Kishenji told Bengal Newz over phone from an undisclosed location.

Bangladesh government lifts ban on yarn import from India
Reuters, Dhaka, 15 May : Bangladesh government lifted a ban on yarn import from India via land ports to cool down price rises on the domestic market, a senior official said on Saturday.
"The government has withdrawn the restriction on yarn import in response to the demand of textile makers after the price hike in the domestic market," said Faizul Huque, spokesman for the commerce ministry. READ FULL STORY

GJM bandh paralyses Darjeeling
Darjeeling, Siliguri, 15 May : The 48-hour bandh called by GJM crippled life in Darjeeling hills on Saturday, even as suspected members of the outfit damaged six vehicles on a highway connecting the region to Sikkim.
“The attack on six private vehicles on NH 31A, the road link to Sikkim, might have been carried out by members of Highway Protection Committee, an unofficial wing of GJM, to tactically enforce the bandh without directly violating the Supreme Court order to keep the highway out of the purview of shutdowns,” IGP (North Bengal) K L Tamta said on Saturday. The highway was open, but movement of vehicles to Sikkim was less than normal as the news of the attack on the vehicles spread, Tamta said.
Meanwhile, the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong wore a deserted look with all shops, markets and business establishments closed and vehicles keeping off the roads.

Some parties are trying to divide votes : Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, 15 May : In a veiled attack on Congress with which it failed to reach a seat-sharing deal for the May 30 civic polls, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today said some forces were trying to divide votes to help the ruling CPI(M) win.
"Some are contesting to divide votes and help the CPI(M) win. But Trinamool Congress is the actual anti-CPI(M) nationalist party," Banerjee told an election meeting in support of party candidates for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation here.

80 Kgs of ganja seized, four arrested at Kamrup in Assam
PTI, Rangiya (Assam), 15 May : Four persons, including two women, were today arrested after more than 80 kgs of ganja was recovered in their possession in Kamrup (Rural) district here, the police said.
A joint team of police and army, during a routine check of buses on National Highway 31 here, found the contraband in ten gift-wrapped packets in two suitcases. During interrogations, the accused said they were going to deliver the ganja at Pathshala in Barpeta district and Silguri in neighbouring West Bengal.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves for S Korea, Malaysia
UNB, Dhaka, 15 May : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka Saturday afternoon for Bangkok on a five-day visit to South Korea and Malaysia.
A Thai Airways flight en route to Seoul left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with the prime minister and her entourage on board at about 1:50pm(BDST). On her way to Seoul, Sheikh Hasina and her entourage will make a six-hour stopover in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The prime minister is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Sunday. It will be a first visit by a Bangladesh leader in Seoul in 15 years.

24 foreign poachers caught at Nicobar by Andaman Police
UNI, Port Blair, 15 May : Andaman and Nicobar Police arrested 24 foreign nationals and a boat during the course of its continuous combing operation launched at Bambooka and Tillangchong Islands of Nicobar District.
Superintendent of Police of Nicobar District Dr A K Singh told media here yesterday, ''Search in both the islands for foreign nationals is continuing and the Coast Guard has also been asked to keep surveillance in the open sea between the two islands to prevent them from escaping.'' Police team, which was reinforced with Jawans of Indian Reserve Battalion, Fire Brigade and local police personnel at Nancowry and Car Nicobar, successfully arrested 14 Burmese nationals of 3 May. Following this, a police team of local police and IRBn consisting of 41 persons, including 3 civilians, was mobilised to Tillangchong Island for combing operation by local passenger ship MV Onge on 6 May. ''The team despite all unfavourable condition was successful in apprehending five more Myanmarese and one Thai national on 7 May.
Further hunt led to capture of four more Burmese nationals with two canoes (hoddies with oars) on 12 May,'' the Superintendent of Police said. With this, till today 24 foreign nationals have been caught, Dr Singh added.

Diarrohea claims Seven in three days at St Martin's Islands
Cox's Bazar, 15 May : Seven people died of diarrhoea while more than 50 others were admitted to hospital in last three days in St Martin's Island in Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar.
Locals said, there is no doctor in the 10-bed hospital in the coral island. A fourth class employee is taking care of the patients as their sufferings mounting every day. Confirming the deaths, chairman of St Martin Island union parishad Feroz Ahmed Khan said, water in most of the tube wells in the island has dried up because of excessive heat. Most other tube wells are giving salty water. People are being affected by diarrhea due to intake of drinking water with excessive salt and adulterated food, he added.

80% pass SSC & its equivalent examinations in Bangladesh
Dhaka, 15 May : A total of 79.98 percent candidates passed this year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations under 10 educational boards across the Bangladesh, showing a 9.09% increase in the pass rate from previous year’s.
The pass rate is 77.99 in Dhaka broad, 72.31 in Chittagong, 81.03 in Comilla, 71.70 in Dinajpur, 79.18 in Jessore, 74.64 in Barisal, 85.61 in Rajshahi, 78.42 in Sylhet, 86.70 in madrasa and 82.72 in technical board. Under the 10 broads, a total of 9,60,492 students have been successful in the examinations, which is 2,09,000 more compared to the previous year.
On Saturday morning, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid handed over the results to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The SSC results have been available in the educational institutions, in the website http://www.educationboardresults.gov.bd/. Photo : UNB

Manipur govt to airlift life-saving drugs from Guwahati
PTI, Imphal, 15 May : After requesting Mizoram to help in transport of essential supplies through its territory to the state because of blockades by Naga students on two vital highways since April 16, the Manipur government today said that life-saving drugs would be air-lifted from Guwahati.
In view of the acute shortage of life-saving drugs in the state, these would be airlifted from Guwahati on 17 May, official sources said. The sources said that drivers of over 130 trucks laden with essential supplies and cooking gas stranded at Jiribam on the Assam-Manipur border and Silchar in Assam had refused to make a detour saying the road from Mizoram's border to Manipur's Churachandpur district was in extremely poor condition.
Five killed in a fierce JSS-UPDF's gun battle in Rangamati
UNB, Rangamati, 15 May : At least five people were killed and several others injured in a fierce gun battle today between Jana Sanghati Samity (JSS) and United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) at a remote village of Jurachhari upazila.
Confirming the incident upazila chairman Probartak Chakma told UNB by phone that the two tribal groups fought near the Chhoto Panchhari government primary school in the morning. The rival groups fought over extortion and supremacy in the area. UPDF is opposed to CHT peace accord signed by PCJSS (now JSS) with the government in December 1997.

Good news for Hilsa lovers : Bangladesh tries pond farming
Dhaka, 15 May : Those who have succumbed to the charms of the hilsa will love this! Bangladesh is attempting to farm the fish - the country's most delectable foreign exchange earner - in ponds, as its very existence is threatened by pollution, climate change and even over-consumption.
Researchers at Chandpur Fisheries Research Institute have taken to farming the hilsa in ponds, seeking to belie a common perception that hilsa fish can survive only in rivers. People in Bangladesh as well as West Bengal in India swear by the taste of the full-of-bones yet melt-in-the mouth hilsa, with its preparation considered a must during festivities.
Hilsa eggs, fried and spiced up, are also eaten with relish in both countries, though some say this has led to over-consumption of the fish. Work has been on since 1988 to breed the hilsa in ponds, but there was no breakthrough until now. Chief scientific officer of the institute Anisur Rahman hopes to succeed this time, The Daily Star reported Thursday.
A 1.5-inch long newly born hilsa fish, also called fry, was released into a pond under the supervision of the institute. Three ponds inside the institute have been readied for hilsa farming. A full-scale experimental rearing of hilsa in the ponds will begin this month. The researchers said fishermen net 10,000 to 19,000 tonnes of fry a year.