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Thursday, December 10, 2009

ULFA top Paresh Barua tells Subir Bhaumik he is willing to talk

Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, Kolkata, 10 December : Paresh Barua the separatist leader in the Indian state of Assam has said he would be willing to hold talks with the government if it sets no pre-conditions.
Paresh Barua, the head of the military wing of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa), told the BBC that any talks "must be free and unfettered". Barua's comments came days after a leader of his group was handed over to Indian authorities by Bangladesh.
The Ulfa rebels have fought for a separate Assamese homeland since 1979. Barua is the only senior Ulfa leader still at large - almost the entire top leadership of the rebel group is now in jail. READ FULL STORY

34th Kolkata Book Fair from 27 January
Kolkata, 10 December : Latin American country Mexico will be the focal theme of 34th International Kolkata Book Fair 2010, which will be held here from 27 January to 7 February.
"In order to celebrate 200 years of Mexico's independence and 100 years of their revolution, they have selected Kolkata," Kolkata Book Fair general secretary Tridib Chattopadhyay said here today.

The formal inauguration would be held on 26 January. He said Mexican poets, artistes and writers would visit the fair.
The Publishers and Booksellers Guild, which organises the fair, would also celebrate the 150 years of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore.
Bangladesh police hunt for fishermen after pirate raid
AFP, Dhaka, 10 December : Authorities in southeastern Bangladesh are searching for 14 fishermen missing for 10 days after pirates attacked their trawler in the Bay of Bengal, police said Thursday.
Cox's Bazar district police chief Sakhawat Hossain told AFP around two dozen pirates stormed the vessel on 1 December, and threw the 20 fishermen onboard into the sea. "Fourteen fishermen are still missing and we have asked all nearby police stations to remain alert in search of them. We have also sought assistance from the coast guard," he told AFP.
"Apparently the motive of the pirates, whose identity is still unknown to us, was to rob the boat's engine, fish and fishing nets," Hossain added. Photo : AFP

Railways 'supplementary demands' presented in LS
PTI, New Delhi, 10 December : Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today presented in Lok Sabha the supplementary demand for grants of her Ministry worth over Rs 731 crore for 2009-10.
The amount of Rs 731.30 crore has been sought for execution of various projects identified as 'National Projects' and taking up some 'out of turn' works during the period. The national projects identified include construction of the 290 km Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla line in Jammu and Kashmir, Kumarghat-Agartala line in Tripura, Bogibeel bridge in Assam and several other such projects in the Northeast.
Trinamool patronising Maoists, Buddhadeb tells assembly
Kolkata, 10 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today directly accused the opposition Trinamool Congress in the state assembly of patronising Maoists.
Maoists were operating in six to seven states under patronage from some political parties. The Trinamool Congress was assisting the Maoists in West Bengal, the Chief Minister said while replying to a question by Congress Chief Whip Manas Bhunia. Stating that the overall situation in the state was alarming, he said not a day passed without casualty or killing.
The Chief Minister said, altogether 69 persons were killed in clashes between 1 Januar to 13 November this year, including in the three Maoist-hit districts. Of them, 47 were from the CPI(M), 15 TMC, 4 Congress, 2 Jharkhand Democratic Party and 1 from Jharkhand Party (Naren), he said.
Bangladesh Post office to launch money transfer by phone
Dhaka, 10 December : The government will launch money transfer services through mobile phones at all post offices from June next year.
Officials told the parliamentary standing committee on post and telecommunications ministry on Wednesday that the postal department was set to run the e-banking services on an experimental basis through post offices in Comilla from January 2010. Once launched, people will be able to send money on mobile phones from all post offices.
The parliamentary body also finalised the draft of the Post Office Act, 1898 for launching of the service. The century old act was a barrier to start the e-banking services through post offices. As per the suggestion of the watchdog, the post and telecommunication minister will table the Post Office (amendment) Bill-2009 in parliament soon.

Sukhois to fly over Kolkata for first time during 'Vijay Diwas'
Kolkata, 10 December : The Su-30 MKI supersonic fighters will fly for the first time in the skies of Kolkata to mark Vijay Diwas.
Vijay Diwas to mark India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war would be celebrated here on 16 December with a flypast for the first time by IAF's Sukhoi-30 MKI supersonic fighter aircraft on 14 and 15 December. The programmes would span four days and would include participation by 14 Mukti Joddhas and three service officers from Bangladesh, Major General Munish Sibal, MGGS, Eastern Command said here Wednesday.
Several former Indian Army generals have also been invited to participate in the celebrations, including Gen J F R Jacob, known as one of the masterminds in India's win over Pakistan and the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Image credit : IAF

Maoists shoot three CPI(M) workers in Jhargram area
Jhargram, 10 December : Suspected Maoist rebels shot dead three CPI(M) activists in a village in West Midnapore district, police said Thursday.
A group of heavily armed extremists called out the three victims - Bijay Mahato, Manik Mahato and Brihaspati Mahato - from their homes in Jhitka village in the wee hours of Thurdsay and shot them at point blank range, a police officer with the police control room said here. The bodies were found near a college with a handwritten note alongside that accused the three of being “police informers”. “A people’s court has given them the extreme punishment,” said the note.
In a separate incident, the radicals triggered a landmine to blow up an office of the state forest department at Jhitka in Lalgarh. Photo : PTI

BBC World inks content sharing deal with Big FM
Radio and Music, Mumbai, 10 December : Reliance Media world, the company which operates Big FM, has inked a content partnership with the BBC World Service for entertainment updates for 32 of its FM radio stations.
Reliance Media World said that entertainment updates from BBC will be available to audiences across the cities of Agra, Aligarh, Allahabad, Amritsar, Asansol, Baroda Bhopal, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Indore, Jammu, Jamshedpur, Jhansi, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Kota, Mumbai, Patiala, Rajkot, Ranchi, Shimla, Sholapur, Srinagar and Surat. READ FULL STORY
Dhaka Intl Book Fair begins on 11 Dec
BSS, Dhaka, 10 December : Bangladesh Minister for Cultural Affairs Advocate Promod Mankin On Wednesday urged the people to develop the habit of reading books for enrich their knowledge.
The state minister made the call while leading a book rally in the capital in the morning. The rally was arranged on the occasion of Dhaka International Book Fair beginning 11 December.

"The Dhaka International Book Fair is being organised to create scopes for less educated people in society to read books," the state minister said while addressing the participants of the rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club (JPC).
The 15-day Dhaka International Book Fair will be held at Suhrawardy Udyan, opposite to the Bangla Academy.
Send Parliamentary Team to assess Andaman tsunami rehab process : MP
UNI, Port Blair, 10 December : The lone Member of Parliament of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has urged the Centre to sent a Parliamentary Team to these tsunami-hit islands to assess the rehabilitation work, which according to him, was still unsatisfactory.
''There are corruption cases in tsunami rehabilitation process in the islands, which must be investigated by the Centre,'' Lok Sabha member Bishnu Pada Ray told UNI today over phone from New Delhi. He also urged the government to provide relief to those tsunami victims of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, who, even after five years of the disaster, were still waiting for the succor. Participating in a debate in Lok Sabha recently, the MP pointed out that although huge funds have been provided for tsunami victims, its benefits did not reach the targeted group in true sense. He also expressed concern over the plight of the tsunami affected farmers whose land continues to remain submerged under water and they are awaiting relief for their huge loss.
''More than 10,000 hectares of land are estimated to have been submerged due to ingress of sea water, of which 5000 were house sites,'' the MP added. The MP has asked for immediate compensation for the tsunami victims besides providing them free ration till they are given alternative land. Photos : AP

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