Bangladesh High Commissioner Tariq Ahmed Karim, emphasising need for a "new paradigm of regional cooperation", said SAARC countries can be grouped into three -- one comprising India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, another India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and third India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was speaking at a roundtable discussion on 'Water Security in South Asia : Building Trust for Cooperation' organised by Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany.
The High Commissioner said, "the region should have a new paradigm of sub-regional cooperation to deal with issues effectively, as SAARC is not going anywhere", according to a press release issued by ORF.
PTI, Dhaka, 8 June : A packed ferry capsized in Sunamganj in northeastern Bangladesh today, drowning at least 13 people, including 10 children and scores were reported missing.
The boat carrying 30 passengers upturned as it was hit by violent waves in stormy weather conditions, officials said. "Twelve bodies, including of six schoolgirls, four small children and two women, have been recovered so far and dozen more are still reported missing," Babul Mia, the administrative chief of Dharmapasha sub-district told PTI. Sources quoting rescuers, however, said another person had also died. The boat was ferrying people to school and work across a water body. Five people managed to swim to safety after jumping off from the single deck vessel, they said.
Fire service divers were rushed from the capital Dhaka to join the rescue efforts in Sunamganj, a low lying district having several natural water bodies or 'haors' which get swelled during monsoon. READ BBC STORY
New Delhi, 8 June : India government today gave the nod for the country's largest real estate developer, DLF, to revive its plan for a special economic zone (SEZ) in Kolkata.
"The Board of Approval has allowed re-notification of DLF's SEZ in Kolkata," Commerce Ministry Additional Secretary D K Mittal told reporters here after a meeting of the Board of Approval, the nodal body for SEZ-related matters. The Kolkata SEZ was one of DLF's four SEZ projects notified in June, 2008.
Jhargram, 8 June : Suspected Maoists Tuesday killed two people in West Midnapore district, police said.
The local people found the bodies on a road crossing near Ghangh forest in Jamboni area of Jhargram sub-division. Police recovered the bodies around 10.30 a.m. 'The victims are yet to be identified. We suspect that Maoists are behind the crime as several Maoist posters were recovered from the area,' Jhargram Superintendent of Police Praveen Tripathy said. According to police, the posters said that the men were given capital punishment by a 'peoples court' on charges of 'extortion' and working against the interests of the people.
BBC News, Dhaka, 8 June : Mahmudur Rahman is an ally of opposition leader Khaleda Zia The acting editor of the recently-closed Amar Desh daily newspaper in Bangladesh has been charged with sedition and terrorism offences.
Mahmudur Rahman denies the charges. He was remanded in custody for eight days. Last year Rahman's newspaper published an article accusing the son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of financial irregularities. Amar Desh - which supports the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party - was closed down last week. READ FULL BBC STORY
Singur, 8 June : Angry villagers today gheraoed a factory of the Himadri Chemicals, near the abandoned Nano factory site here, which they said was spreading pollution in the area.
The villages complained that the toxic fumes coming out from the factory, located on the Durgapur Expressway, are causing breathing problems and also damaging their crops, SP Satyajit Bandyopadhyay told Bengal Newz. We are trying to arrange talks between the factory management and the villagers, he said.
Krishnagar, 8 June : Five people were killed and three others injured in two road accidents in West Bengal's Nadia district today, police said.
Four people, including three of a family, were killed and three others were injured when a van collided with a truck near Tentulberia area here, they said, adding that the van was en route to Ranaghat from Adhata. The three injured were rushed to JNM hospital in Kalyani, police said. In another mishap, one person was killed when his motorcycle collided with a mini truck at Baliura area, police said.
Kolkata, 8 June : To prevent theft and wrongful use of two and four wheelers, the West Bengal government has decided to introduce high security numberplates.
The numberplates having a hologram and a laser numbering system will be tamperproof, state Transport Minister Ranjit Kundu told newspersons at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings Monday. Acting on a proposal from the central government in 2005, the state government had set in motion the process for using the high security numberplates but had to call it off following court cases. “Now, we will first use it in four wheelers and then extend it to two wheelers,” Kundu said. The hologram will contain all details of the car. “If the numberplate is changed, the thief will be caught easily,” he said.
The numberplates will be used in new vehicles for now. The old vehicles will be brought under its ambit later.
Guwahati, 8 June : Private truck associations in Assam have expressed reservations in running their vehicles on National Highway 39 leading through Nagaland to Manipur, crippled by a blockade by Naga students.
"Although we sincerely want to carry essentials to the Manipur, safety concerns for out staff on trucks prevent us from plying vehicles through Nagaland," a spokesman of the association said here. "The association has decided to refrain from plying vehicles on National Highway 39 due to the blockade by the Naga Students Federation (NSF) due to safety concerns," he said.
The assurance came when UNICEF Country Representatives Carel De Rooy paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office here this morning. During the meeting, the UNICEF Representative highly appreciated the present government's rural development and social safety net programmes to address the issue of extreme poverty in the country.
New Delhi, 8 June : The Election Commission has announced that the bye-elections to Durgapur assembly constituency in West Bengal will be held on 5 July.
While the notification for the bye-election will be issued on 11 June, the last date of filing nominations is 18 June, according to a press release issued by the Commission. Scrutiny of nominations is on 19 June and last date of withdrawal of candidature is 21 June. The Commission has decided to use EVMs in this bye-election in all the polling stations. Counting of votes will take place on 8 July.
IANS, Kolkata, 8 June : With the FIFA World Cup in South Africa only three days away, celebrities of this soccer-mad city are rescheduling their routine logbook to watch their favourite players and teams in action.
Writers, singers and actors here are either rooting for eternal favourites Brazil or giving their thumbs up for Latin American powerhouse Argentina. Some feel that the samba magic will again see Brazil finish at the top, while others believe that Lionel Messi's wizardry would see Argentina through in the month-long competition beginning 11 June.
"My favourite team is Argentina. I am banking a lot on Lionel Messi," said leading singer Indranil Sen. "I am a die hard football fan. My favourite always Brazil," said Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, a writer popular among both teenagers and adults. But writer Abul Bashar has a different team in mind. "I am banking on Brazil but I will also have an eye on Turkey," said Bashar.
Kolkata, which is popularly known as the Mecca of Indian Football, is a major centre of football activity in India and home of top national football clubs such as Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting Club and East Bengal. န Photos : AP, AFP