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Monday, August 31, 2009

India lift Nehru Cup Football in thriller :

Hands of a Bengali boy behind India's historic win...
New Delhi , 31 August :
(L) India's goalkeeper Subrata Paul tries to stop the ball against Syria during their final match at the ONGC Nehru Cup football tournament. (R) Indian national football team players hold their throphies after beating Syria in the final of the Nehru Cup International Football Tournament at the Dr. Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi Today. India beat Syria 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 stale mate to win the tournament.
Photos : Reuters
Tripura editors agitate against low Ad rates, Arrested
Agartala, 31 August : Editors of all newspapers published from Tripura were arrested on Monday for staging a demonstration in front of the Assembly. They were seeking a change in the advertisement guidelines introduced by the state government in 2009.
No sooner had the House begun its business for the first day of its monsoon session than the editors and newspaper executives, under the banner of the Tripura Newspaper Society (TNS), gathered outside it and started shouting slogans against the advertisement guidelines, which they described as "anti-media". The editors were later sent to court, which granted them bail. This was for the first time that editors were arrested in the state. The new guidelines that came into effect from January 1 curtailed 40 per cent of advertisements to newspapers. TNS officials claimed that advertisement rates in Tripura were perhaps the lowest in the country. "In Assam, the highest rate is Rs 139 per column cm, while in Tripura it's only Rs 22," said Arun Nath, editor of a local daily and secretary of the TNS.
The arrests of the editors caused ruffles in the media circles. Many of their colleagues were seen gathering at the West Agartala police station. Photos : Parthajit Dutta

50 Years of historic Food Movement :
Left Front accuses Trinamool of doublespeak
Kolkata, 31 August : Accusing West Bengal’s principal opposition Trinamool Congress of double standards, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Monday said the party was blaming his government for price rise but keeping mum in Delhi where it was part of the coalition government.
“This opposition party says the state’s Left Front government should answer why prices of food items have gone up. But what about Delhi? Is there only fragrance of flowers there? Why is this party silent?” asked Bhattacharjee at a massive rally as it commemorates the golden jubilee of the food movement organised by the Left Front here.
The chief minister said the Left Front government was trying to provide rice, pulses, potato, edible oil and sugar to the people at reasonable rates. Photo : AP

Md Yunus invited to give lecture at Indian Lok Sabha
Dhaka, 31 August : Bengal's Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has been invited to deliver a lecture to the Indian parliament in December this year.
Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar, invited the micro-finance pioneer to deliver the second Prof Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Annual Parliamentary Lecture at the Indian parliament during its winter session. Prof Hiren Mukherjee, who died in 2004, was a prominent member of the West Bengal Communist Party and a five times member of the Lok Sabha from 1952 to 1977.
Prof Yunus' lecture will take place on 9 December, 2009 in the central hall of the Parliament House in New Delhi. The first Prof Hiren Mukherjee memorial lecture was delivered by another Bengali Nobel Laureate Prof Amartya Sen in 2008.

BD announces first swine flu death
Dhaka, 31 August : Bangladesh has had its first swine flu-related death, a hospital spokesman said on Monday, after a 37-year-old woman died in the capital Dhaka.
A woman had been admitted to the hospital just over two weeks ago and was diagnosed with the A(H1N1) virus soon afterwards. ‘She had been in isolation for the past two days. She had been suffering from heart complications as well as other conditions,’ he said.
Bangladeshi health authorities have so far reported 199 swine flu cases since the virus was first detected in the impoverished nation of 144 million people on 18 June.

Dhaka, 31 August :

Lee Jong Woo, deputy secretary general of the Republic of Korea's National Election Commission, and Bangladesh Election Commission additional secretary Rafiqul Islam shake hands after signing an agreement to work more closely at the EC Secretariat in Dhaka on Monday.
CEC ATM Shamsul Huda and other commissioners were present. Photo : Mustafiz Mamun
Fresh move for dedicated air services in North East
UNI, Agartala, 31 August : Minister Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has initiated a fresh move to launch an exclusive air-service to boost intra-regional connectivity in the North-east. Official sources here today said DoNER and Northeastern Council (NEC) had been trying to launch the service among the NE capitals and major towns for the past two years and the Centre had included it once again in government's 100-days’ agenda.
Identifying connectivity as the key issue, DoNER had initiated the proposal for dedicated air services for the region in 2007 and attempted to develop at least 11 unused airstrips, including two green field airports. Two private air operators expressed their interest for dedicated regional air services in North-east while the Ministry of Civil Aviation had also assured to increase the frequencies of flights in North Eastern Region.
Don't import Indian egg,say Dhaka poultry operators
IANS, Dhaka, Khulna, 31 August : Bangladesh's poultry operators are protesting egg imports from India that enter the market during the festive season at less than half the price.
As two trucks carrying the first consignment arrived at Benapole Land Port on the border with India, there were widespread protests from the local producers who fear they would be swept out of the market, The Daily Star said Monday. The government has cleared import of 30 million eggs from India to meet the high demand during the holy Ramadan and Eid festival that will follow. The Parishad referred to a statutory regulatory order issued, which imposed restrictions on imports of eggs from any country affected by bird flu. "Permission to import eggs from India will increase the risk of the spread of bird flu again in the local poultry industry."
Khulna Poultry Fish Feed Shop Owners' Association president Kazi Mohammad Nurul Islam feared that more than 20 million people involved in the industry would lose their jobs. Photo : AP

Import, export divisions at Chittagong Customs House to be reunified
Chittagong, 31 August : The import and export divisions of Chittagong Customs House are set to be reunified after two years.
The Bangladesh National Board of Revenue has begun work to bring the two divisions of the country's biggest revenue collector under import division. After the merger, all import and export activities will be handled by the import commissioner alone. Up until July 2007, the two divisions functioned as a single unit. Syed Golam Kibria, import commissioner said, "It will take two more months to complete the reunification process and NBR is working on creating an organogram for it." Kibria also said NBR will issue order after the organogram gets approved by the establishment ministry.
Bangladesh Finance minister A M A Muhith had proposed reunification of the two divisions in his budget speech on 11 June.

Suspected Maoists kill CPI(M) leader near Lalgarh
Midnapore, 31 August : Suspected Maoists today shot dead a CPI(M) leader on the suspicion that he was working as a police informer near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.
A group of 10 armed Maoist cadre went to 40-year-old Sukdeb Mahato's house in Manihada village and took him to the jungle to"try"him in a Kangaroo court there, police said. He was shot from close range and the body was left there, they said.

Concrete wheat silo to be built near 'Mongla port'
Bagerhat, Dhaka, 31 August : The Bangladesh government yesterday decided to construct a concrete wheat silo with a capacity of 50,000 metric tons near Mongla port in Bagerhat.
It was decided at an inter-ministerial meeting at Food and Disaster Management Ministry with Food Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque in the chair. “The silo will be constructed at Joymonirgol, 13 kilometres from Mongla port,” said Dr Razzaque emerging from the meeting. He said with the construction of the silo there would be smooth loading and unloading of food grains. Around 40 percent of the government-imported food grains are unloaded at Mongla port.
Giving government’s high importance to food security, he said the new godown would help increase food security in the country. The Japanese government assured the government of giving Tk 225 crore to construct the silo, he added.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

One Maoist killed while making bombs in Murshidabad dist

Beharampur, Kolkata, 30 August : One Maoist linkman was killed and another injured when a crude bomb they were making went off in Murshidabad district Sunday, police said.
The incident took place near Beharampur town when the duo was preparing the explosive to carry out a blast on the National Highway (NH)-34. “They were preparing the explosive when it went off, killing one of the offenders on the spot,” Murshidabad Superintendent of Police Bharatlal Meena told Bengal Newz today. “The two had links with Maoist groups and planned to carry out the blast on NH-34,” Meena said, adding the ultras had also hatched a plan to call a shutdown in the district.
According to sources, some Maoist posters were recovered from the blast site. “The injured person was arrested in connection with the case,” police said. Photo : Moinak Mukherjee

Will Ganga, Sunderbans be among Seven wonders ?
Kolkata, 30 August : Here comes a new poll to name the seven wonders of nature, with India's Ganga river, Sundarbans mangrove forests and Kaziranga national park being some of the hot contenders.
"We know that the New7Wonders of Nature campaign will significantly raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature around us," says the New7Wonders Foundation. The final list of the New7Wonders of Nature will be out in 2011. Currently the nomination process is on, with 261 nominees competing to make it to the top 77.
The Ganga is considered the most holy river in India and flows through several states. The thick Sunderbans forests are home to the Royal Bengal tiger while the Kaziranga national park in Assam houses the single largest population of the one-horned rhino. Other entries from Asia include Mount Everest, K2, the Chitwan national park, Baikal Lake and the Dead Sea.

Maldives Ambassador to B'desh meets Police Chief
Dhaka, 30 August : Maldives Ambassador designated to Bangladesh Ahmed Sareer has called on Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh.
The call was held at the police commissioner’s office at police headquarters and was attended by Inspector of Police Ismail Naveen. During the call, discussions were focused on strengthening relations between Maldives Police and Bangladesh Police and also on obtaining higher education and special training opportunities for Maldives police officers.
Discussions were also held on solving the various difficulties faced with Bangladeshi expatriates working in Maldives.

KLO chief’s kin held in Kokrajhar
Kokrajhar (Assam), 30 August : Kamtapur Liberation Organisation chief Jiban Singh’s sister and brother-in-law were arrested in an early morning operation from Kokrajhar today, giving police some hope of extracting information about the rebel leader who is said to have links with Ulfa.
Acting on specific information, a team of Kokrajhar police and 19 Madras Regiment, surrounded a house on the fringe of Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary late last evening. The couple, Sumitra Das and her husband, Dhananjoy Barman, who is a 2nd lieutenant in the outfit, had been taking shelter in a house belonging to a senior member of the All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (Biswajit faction), Dalim Choudhury, with their two-year-old son.
The gun-toting rebel out of the way, the police searched the house and arrested his wife, Sumitra. An Italian made 7.65mm pistol, four bullets, two mobile handsets, five SIM cards, including two Bangladeshi cards and Taka 100 were found on the couple. Photo : PTI

Rajarhat's Vedic Village resort MD produced in court
Kolkata. 30 August : The Managing Director of the luxury resort Vedic Village, Raj Kishor Modi has now been produced in court after he was arrested for forcefully grabbing land.
Modi has been charged with conspiring murder, as well as the Arms Act. After a rampage in Rajarhat's Vedic Village after a football match, revealed that the the violence was not caused because of clashing supporters. But because of anger against a land extortion racket last sunday, scores were injured and one killed when clashed erupted after a football match in Rajarhat. And the various departments of the West Bengal government may have knowingly or unknowingly facilitated the extortion racket and a land scam, ironically Trinamool chairperson Mamata Bannerjee is not vocal against it, fearing her party MLAs involvement.
The burning Vedic Village, the luxury resort and housing complex, on the outskirts of Kolkatas Rajarhat, apparently it seemed it was a the reflection of the anger of the football fans. But it was not, the public fury was against the forceful acquisition of land by the local mafia appointed by the Vedic Village authority. Photos : Avijit Mondal
Bangladesh to open 7 new missions to expedite man-power export
Dhaka, 30 August : The Bangladesh government plans to open seven new missions abroad aiming to provide services to the Bangladeshi expatriate workers in those countries as well as increase exports of the nation's goods and manpower, a minister said on Sunday.
The new missions will be opened in Mauritius, Botswana, Romania, Lebanon, Angola, Sudan and Greece, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told reporters after an inter-ministerial meeting held at the ministry in Dhaka. Many missions in the major labor receiving countries do not have adequate trained staff. So, those missions will also be strengthened, the minister added.
Currently, Bangladesh has 47 missions in foreign countries where 19 commerce wings have been functioning.
'ITDC' to set up 200-room hotel near Kolkata Airport
Kolkata, 30 August : Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) officials are in talks with at least four hoteliers and developers to set up franchise hotels in Kolkata, Siliguri, Santiniketan and Shankarpur.
According to a report in The Times of India, Kuldeep Verma, Vice-President, ITDC, will negotiate a deal with realty major for a 200-room hotel close to the airport. Seven years ago, the company had sold off stake in Hotel Airport Ashok, once a leading five-star property that had suffered from poor occupancy after flights to the city nosedived. Verma said, “We are in talks with a realtor who plans to set up a 200-room property on Jessore Road, close to the airport. The Rs 150-200 crore project will be launched after the modernisation of Kolkata airport.” Though he refused to name the partner, industry sources said the Fort Group was in the forefront.
The deals with individual 3/4 star hotel properties in Kolkata and other towns are expected to be finalised in two-three weeks. ITDC will charge three per cent of the gross room revenue from the partner hotel as per international practice. The contracts will be for three years.

Unicef joins hand with Bengali matinee idol Prosenjit
Kolkata, 30 August : The Unicef has roped in West Bengal’s matinee idol Prosenjit Chatterjee to help promote messages for decreasing child mortality.
He will join hands with us and the West Bengal government to help promote messages for child survival. To start with, he will be extending his support to promote use of Oral Rehydration Solutions and promote exclusive breastfeeding,” said Lori Calvo, State Representative, Unicef office for West Bengal.
“I am happy to be a part of the initiative for children and work with Unicef and state government to contribute my bit to this cause. These are simple interventions and doables and can help save lives of children so let’s promote them,” a Unicef media release quoted Prosenjit as saying. Photo : Unicef


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Inflow of FD Investment rises by 26 % in Bangladesh

AHN, Dhaka, 29 August : The inflow of Bangladesh's foreign direct investment (FDI) grew by nearly 26 % with the telecommunication sector making the highest growth in the fiscal 2008-09 (FY09) over that of the previous fiscal.
The flow of net FDI reached $941 million in the last fiscal year (FY09) against $748 million of the previous fiscal year, according to the central bank provisional statistics, released on Thursday. A total of around $430 million was invested in the country's telecommunication sector, particularly by fast-growing mobile phone companies in FY09, the central bank officials told AHN in Dhaka on Saturday.
"We've been able to attract a significant amount of FDI in FY09 despite the global economic recession," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country's central bank, told AHN in Dhaka, preferring anonymity.

India Govt may allow pvt radio channels to broadcast agency news
PTI, New Delhi, 29 August : Private radio channels may be able to broadcast news sourced from agencies like PTI and UNI if the government accepts their long pending request to allow them to do so.
FM radio broadcasters have been demanding that they should be allowed to use news provided by the agencies in their bulletins. "The matter is still under consideration," according to a top official of the information and broadcasting ministry. The demand, being considered by the ministry, could form a part of the phase-III roll out of FM radio stations bidding.
At present, there are around 100 FM radio channels in India and a number of private companies have applied for licence to launch new channels.

Two killed, largescale violence in West Midnapore dist
Ghatal (West Midnapore), 29 August : Two persons were killed and 28 others, including eight policemen, injured in Ramjibonpur village under Chandrakona police station as violence rocked Ghatal area near here today.
''A motorcyclist was run over and killed by a truck. The accident occurred when the truck driver lost control while trying to speed past a police team,'' SDO, Ghatal, Ashok Saha said. ''Following this, agitated locals burnt down the truck and a police vehicle leading to a pitched battle between the police and the mob,'' he added. Angry locals went berserk, set afire the Ramjibonpur police outpost and pelted the police with stones injuring eight of them.
Meanwhile, locals alleged that commercial vehicles passing through Ramjibonpur are forced by the police to cough up gratification.
Tripura assembly session likely to be 'Stormy'
Agartala, 29 August : The
five-day monsoon session of Tripura Assembly, beginning on 31 August, is likely to be stormy with opposition Congress planning to raise several issues like rigging in the recent panchayat polls, corruption in NREGA and atrocities on women in the state.
According to official sources, the decision to have a five-day session was taken at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting held last evening. At the meeting, members of ruling Left Front had proposed to have a three-day session, but Congress insisted for a five-day session to discuss important matters related to public interest.
During the session, four bills will be introduced in the House, assembly secretary S M Lodh said.
BSNL snaps Darjeeling-Kalimpong hill broadband line
Darjeeling, 29 August : BSNL has begun disconnecting broadband services for consumers in the Hills who have not been paying their bills as part of GJM's campaign for Gorkhaland. Broadband services have been down in Darjeeling and Kalimpong since the last two days.
"I cannot do anything to reconnect broadband connections unless pending bills are cleared," said S K Samanta, GM, BSNL, over phone from Siliguri. GJM, on its part, has said that it would take "strong action" if the government resorts to arm-twisting tactics to derail their ongoing movement. "We know that disconnecting broadband lines in the Hills is a tactic to derail our movement. But we will not lie back, and will take strong measures," Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the GJM press and publicity secretary told Bengal Newz.
Along with non-payment for telephone services, GJM had also asked Hills people not to pay their electricity bills from April last year.

Fencing on Bagladesh zero line, baside BD objections
New Delhi, 29 August : The India govt will go ahead with a plan for barbed-wire fencing on the zero line of the border with Bangladesh, brushing aside Dhaka’s objections.
The decision was taken at a recent meeting held by Union home minister P. Chidambaram, who is to have asserted that India had every right to protect its borders from terrorists, insurgent groups and smugglers with bases in Bangladesh. The Indian home ministry’s border management division has been asked to draw up the plan for such fencing, with concertina wires, on a priority basis in sensitive areas along the border in Tripura, Assam and West Bengal, where the sites include Raiganj, Jalpaiguri and Siliguri. Another spot on the list is Kishanganj in Bihar.
Dhaka has argued that fortification on the zero line a no-man’s strip of land between the two borders is not allowed under the Indira-Mujib accord of 1974 and says it must be done 150 yards from the line. Security agencies believe the move will reduce smuggling sharply. Chidambaram is believed to have told the Border Security Force to assist the agency involved in the fencing.
Sources at the Bangladesh embassy in Delhi said they had no information from Dhaka about the zero line fencing. Only 2,650km of the 4,095km porous border, in West Bengal and the seven northeastern states, had been fenced till March this year, the government has told Parliament. Photo : AFP
Mob lynches 4 suspected robbers in SE's Chittagong
Chittagong, 29 August : Angry villagers lynched four suspected robbers on the outskirts of the southeastern port city of Chittagong, after they were caught on entering the house of a resident.
The incident occurred in Sitakundu village where 10 robbers allegedly entered after midnight last and were chased away by the villagers, officials said. "The robbers came under siege as residents of the village raised an alarm using a megaphone of the village mosque after the dacoits entered the house of a wealthy resident,"a local police official said on phone.
Several such incidents of lynching or mass beating have been reported from different areas in recent days, amid growing incidents of crime.

UK ministers to visit Kolkata's solar housing projects
Kolkata, 29 August : Two British cabinet ministers Ed Miliband (energy & climate change) and Douglas Alexander (DFID) will fly down to Kolkata on 1 September to visit India's first integrated solar housing project in New Town.
"It is a brief climate change-related visit that could pave the way for future cooperation on renewables. Discussions will be held with the state government to identify specific areas where the UK can help," British deputy high commissioner to eastern India Sanjay Wadvani said at the environment and energy conclave organized by Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Rs-11 crore Rabi Rashmi Abasan completed in July 2008 uses rooftop solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. "The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan 2020 is similar. Around 7 million homes will have home energy makeovers and over 1.5 million households will be supported to produce their own clean energy," Wadvani said.
S P Gon Chaudhuri the architect behind the project said the ministerial visits would lead to vital international cooperation. "Since the UK has technology and resources, it will be great to partner with the British government," the Ashden Award-winner said.

ONGC discovers gas in Tripura
Agartala, 29 August : Oil and Natural Gas Corporation on Friday reported a gas discovery in Tripura.
The discovery was made in the west Tripura block in the Assam and Assam Arakan basin, the company said. Exploratory well Sundalbari-4 was drilled to a depth of 3,400 meters and flowed gas at the rate of 160,000 cubic meters per day. The gas contains upto 96.3 per cent methane, ONGC said, but did not give any estimates of potential reserves in the new discovery. "This is a new pool discovery in Upper Bhuban Formation in a separate fault closure. This discovery has opened up a new reservoir for further exploration within the Sundalbari area and has also proved the extension of the field as a whole," the statement said.
According to another report, the company declared on Friday that it plans to invest Rs 8,554 crore (Rs 85.54 billion) in western offshore fields by 2012.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stolen Brazilian monkeys found at Durg in Chhattisgarh state

Kolkata, 28 August : Seven of the eight rare Brazilian marmoset monkeys stolen from the Alipore Zoological Garden here 9 August were Friday night traced to Durg in Chhattisgarh state. Police said late Friday night that one of the eight simians was dead.
One person has been arrested in this connection and a team of Kolkata Police sleuths had left for Durg. The tiny monkeys, just two feet in height, were mysteriously stolen from their cage in Alipore Zoo following which an Interpol look-out notice was sent out to trace them. Two private security personnel on guard at the zoo were arrested a day after the incident came to light. Following the incident, Alipur Zoological Garden director Subir Chowdhury was put under suspension.
Altogether 16 rare Brazilian monkeys had been brought to Alipore zoo in 2001.

Bumper jute production brings cheer to NB's farmers
Jalpaiguri, 28 August : Despite late arrival of monsoon rains this year, jute farmers in Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal are rejoicing due to bumper production of the crop.
They say that the production this year is as good as previous years. “Like the previous years, this year also the production is good. There has been no loss due to rain deficit. The price has also not changed. More or less it’s the same. Overall, it’s good and we are happy,” said Nirmal Roy, a farmer. However, some feel that a better market for their crops would have been a bonus to their high yield. Meanwhile, jute traders hope that the market would get stable in a few days time. “The business is good this time. There were more markets before but this time it’s less. However, we hope that the market would get revive in another five to seven days,” said Narender Singh Rathore, a jute merchant, Jalpaiguri.
Jute is one of the most viable cash crops of India. And this cash crop is mostly cultivated in the eastern margin of the country. West Bengal stands first in the country in jute production and the districts of Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar are the forerunners in the production of jute in the whole of West Bengal.

Mural unveiled in memory of Ram Mohan in Rangpur
Rangpur, 28 August : A mural has been unveiled at the Raja Ram Mohan Roy Club in Rangpur, northern Bangladesh to commemorate the social reform efforts of the 19th century pioneer of "Bengali Renaissance".
A school will be set up where Roy lived between 1809 and 1814 by the joint effort of the club and the Bengali International (BI), a London-based charity. Bangladesh Industries Minister Dilip Barua unveiled the mural prepared by sculptor Aneek Reza.
Rs 600 crore loss due to Aila and landslide in hills: AS
Siliguri, 28 August : Darjeeling hills incurred a loss of Rupees 600 crore in Cyclone Aila and two landslides this month. While Aila caused infrastructural loss of Rs.450 crore in the hills, The loss due to the two landslides this month was not less than Rs 150 crore, West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said here today.
Sen who visited the affected areas of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the last two days told reporters that the state government had allotted Rs 55 crore for relief and repair, which was progressing satisfactorily. The district administration was asked to prepare a report on the loss due to landslide which had extensively damaged roads in the hills, the chief secretary said.
He also asked the district administration to send the report to the state government in Kolkata to help prepare a schedule for undertaking repairs on a priority basis, he said.
'Food Security Project' for BPL's starts in Gaibandha
BSS, Gaibandha, 28 August : The activities of Gaibandha Food Security project for ultra poor (BPL) women has started in the district since January this year.
The objective of the five-year project is to sustain food security and improve livelihood through empowerment of poor women in the district. Besides, to involve the poor women in various income generating activities, help them exercise their human rights and make them aware on disaster preparedness are also the objectives of the project, sources said.
Around 50 Elephants wreak havoc in Jalpaiguri Dist.
Jalpaiguri, 28 August : A herd of wild elephants wreaked havoc in a village in Jalpaiguri district. Around 50 elephants had strayed into the Diana forest region of the district from Assam and caused damage to the crops and the houses in the Angrabasha GP-1 and 2 region of Jalpaiguri.
Fed up with the plundering elephants, the villagers took it upon themselves to chase the animals back towards the forest. ‘The animals plundered the whole area. They have damaged the crops and our houses as well,’ said Ramesh Chettri, a villager. Experts claim that massive deforestation, poaching and people encroaching upon forest corridors have forced elephants to move out of their natural habitats in search of food and water.
Home to 60 per cent of Asia’s elephants, India has the highest death rate from human-elephant conflict in the world, with 200-250 people and 100 elephants killed annually.
8 private hospitals in Kolkata to open isolation wards
IANS, Kolkata, 28 August : Eight private hospitals in Kolkata have agreed to open isolation wards for treating swine flu patients following a request from the state government, a top health official said.
“We had requested 15 private hospitals to open isolation wards. Eight of them have responded positively,” Tapas Sen, the state’s nodal officer for swine flu, told IANS. Apollo Gleanagles, Ruby General hospital, Calcutta Medical Research Institute and B.P. Poddar hospital are among the private facilities to offer swine flu treatment. “We will hold detailed discussions on the nitty-gritties once we receive the final proposals from them,” Sen said.
Apollo Gleneagles said it was almost ready with a new isolation ward. “We will be in a position to open it soon,” said hospital CEO Rupali Basu.
BR takes steps for carrying vegetables from N region
BSS, Rangpur, 28 August : Authorities of Bangladesh Railway (BR) have taken special steps for carrying vegetables and other perishable essential commodities at lower costs from northern Bangladesh to the capital city Dhaka, officials said.
The steps were taken following instructions of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Ministry of Communications from last February to speed up smooth transportation of vegetables and keep their prices at reasonable level in the retail markets of the capital. Besides, a special Parcel Express Train, initially containing 10 bogies with 34 tonnes capacity each, will be commissioned on the Parbotipur-Tejgaon route from Friday or Saturday for carrying vegetables and other perishable essential commodities.
Director General (DG) of BR Mohammad Belayet Hossain yesterday told BSS that as per the instructions, intercity trains Lalmoni Express, Ekota Express and Drutojan started carrying vegetables to Dhaka using one bogy each from the region since last February.
Top NLFT leader surrenders in Tripura's Dhalai district
Agartala, 28 August : An top leader of the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura has surrendered to police here. The outfit's organising secretary Bidyasingh Jamatiya surrendered at Gandacherra police station in Dhalai district last night, police said.
According to police, Jamatiya, along with his wife and two children, fled from NLFT headquarters at Khagrachari in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh and crossed over to India in Gandacherra subdivision in the district.
He had carried out a number of ambushes on security force since 1995.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nazrul complex opened in Dhaka on his death anniversary

Dhaka, 27 August : Bangladesh rime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday opened the Nazrul Complex beside the Dhaka University Central Mosque to mark the 33rd death anniversary of poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Nazrul, called “national poet” in Bangladesh, is popularly referred to as “Bidrohi Kabi” (rebel poet). Through his powerful poems, he inspired generations of people to fight against bondage and injustice during the British colonial rule.
Nazrul’s songs and poems were also a source of inspiration for the freedom fighters during the country’s liberation war in 1971, The Daily Star said. The poet, who had spent better part of his life in Kolkata, moved to Dhaka in his last days, where he passed away at the age of 77. Photos : Firoz Ahmed
Kathmandu flight makes unscheduled landing at Kol
Kolkata, 27 August : A Thai Airways Kathmandu-bound flight, carrying about 170 passengers, was forced to make an unscheduled landing today at the NSC Bose International Airport here due to bad weather in the Nepal capital.
The Bangkok-Kathmandu flight was diverted to Kolkata airport in the afternoon after bad weather was reported from Kathmandu, airport sources said. Later in the evening, as the weather conditions improved the flight left for its destination, they said.
Dinner diplomacy : Sk Hasina invites Khaleda to Iftar
Dhaka, 27 August : Bangaladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday invited opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia for an Iftar party, triggering prospects of a political rapproachment. Hasina’s protocol officer Proloy Joardar Thursday morning handed over the invitation letter to Zia’s private secretary A.S.M. Saleh Ahmed, Star Online said. Ahmed confirmed receiving the invitation, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency reported.

Indian cabinet appoves 50% reservation for women in Panchayats
New Delhi, 27 August : The Union Cabinet on Thursday decided to reserve 50 percent of the seats in all rural panchayats for women and a bill to this effect is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.
"The Cabinet has approved the amendment of Article 243 D of the constitution to reserve 50 percent of the total number of seats in panchayats filled by direct election for women," information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni told reporters here after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A proposed legislation for the purpose is expected to come up in the winter session of Parliament, officials sources said.
A bill to reserve 33 percent seats for women in Parliament and state assemblies is pending and could not be passed because of opposition from several regional parties.

'China Telecom' and 'RCOM' launch first terrestrial China-India cable
Telegeography.com, 27 August : India’s Reliance Communications (RCOM) and China Telecom commercially launched the first terrestrial cable link between India and China, Dow Jones Newswires reports.
Bookings for traffic capacity on the 300km fibre link are already under way, an anonymous person familiar with the matter told the news service. The cable connecting the northeastern Indian town of Siliguri to Yadong in China will augment existing undersea networks connecting the two countries, whilst providing back-up in the event of submarine cable outages. Investment and traffic capacity on the new route is reportedly being shared equally between the two telcos.

Bloody terror of Bangladesh mutiny
Six months on, the BBC's Mark Dummett pieces together what happened during a border guard mutiny in Bangladesh and examines claims that suspects have been tortured and killed.
It was nine in the morning and, like teenagers everywhere, Nadeet was on his way to bed. His sister was already at school, his father had said goodbye and gone to work, and his mother had just left for the gym. Nadeet was tired after a night spent chatting to friends and tinkering with the old car he had recently bought with his father, the first the family had ever owned. But he did not get much sleep that day.
Nadeet lived in Pilkhana, the British-era military camp in the heart of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Its rose gardens, deer enclosure and sports fields are a world away from the mayhem of the overcrowded streets outside.
On that morning in February, soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border security force were about to turn it into a killing zone. By the time their revolt collapsed the following day, 74 people had lost their lives, and Bangladesh had been dragged to the brink of a nationwide armed conflict, as the mutiny spread to camps elsewhere. READ FULL STORY

A N Shipping Services set to offer 2 new vessels for Havelock tourists
Port Blair, Mumbai, 27 August : The Andaman and Nicobar Shipping Services is all set to provide services of two new vessels exclusively for Havelock tourists, considering the growing number of tourists to Andaman’s Havelock Islands. The Directorate of Shipping Services will be utilising the newly-inducted vessels- MV Bambooka and MV North Passage especially for the tourists in Port Blair. The Havelock sector, with the new revised fare structure will come into force with effect from 1 September.
Hilsa selling at Rs 1,200-1,600/kg in Kolkata market
Kolkata, 27 August : It inspires poetry, rapture and euphoria in equal measure. For once though, the hilsa is also evoking curses. Bengal’s favourite fish has raced up the price charts this monsoon and reached those rarefied levels where only a select few can buy it. Currently, the best of the lot weighing 2 kg or more is selling at Rs 1,200-1,600 a kg in Kolkata’s markets.
Asim Pramanik, a fish-seller at Gariahat market, sold two fishes worth Rs 1,200 per kg. ‘‘Each weighed a little over 2 kg,’’ he said. For the past few monsoons, the stocks coming in from the neighbouring country had stood at a steady 2,000 tonnes a day. But the supply was badly hit after the Bangladesh government decided to ban the fishing of hilsas weighing less than 600 gm, popularly known as ‘khoka ilish’.
For fishermen on the Hooghly and Rupnarayan, an unkind monsoon has come as the biggest blow.
Photo : Avijit Mondal
B'desh makes long-term plan to dredge 'Dying rivers'
Dhaka, 27 August : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered two dredgers for two rivers, which feed the country’s principal ports at Chittagong and Mongla, to keep them fully navigable.
It is part of a long-term plan to revive the country’s 310 ‘dying’ rivers, many of which have not been dredged since World War II. Directing the authorities concerned Tuesday to immediately formulate a complete action plan for dredging the country’s silted rivers, she said no single project should exceed 15 years.
Dredging should be done on a regular basis, she told the first meeting of a recently formed high-powered committee on river dredging and water resource management, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency reported.

Jaswant’s book cover referred Darjeeling as Hill state
Siliguri, 27 August : Jaswant Singh’s book has repaid his debt to Darjeeling for sending him to Parliament: the hill district has been granted the status of a “state” in the rear flap of the tome.
Darjeeling is referred to as “the hill state” in the introduction to the author in the extended cover of the book, Jinnah, India-Partition-Independence, that gave the BJP the excuse to expel him. The introduction, printed with a picture of Jaswant, reads: “He is a Member of Parliament, in the Lok Sabha, having successfully contested the 2009 elections from the hill state of Darjeeling.”
Rupa & Co, the publisher of the book, said the reference to Darjeeling as a state was a “mistake”. “This is the first time we have come to know of it and we feel it was a mistake. We often refer to places like Darjeeling and Siliguri as hill cities. It seems that things somehow got intermingled and the mistake was committed,” said Raju Burman, a Rupa partner based in Kolkata.

Canada to open Kolkata trade officeon 2nd Septmber
IANS, Toronto, 27 August : Canada will formally inaugurate its trade office in Kolkata 2 September. Gerald Keddy, parliamentary secretary to Canada’s International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, will open the office in the presence of West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen and others.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had announced two new trade offices at Hyderabad and Kolkata at the first annual gala of the Canada-India Foundation here last year. The Hyderabad office was opened by International Trade Minister Stockwell Day in January.
Jamuna erosion devours vast areas of 20 Tangail vill
Tangail, 27 August : Vast tracts of land of 20 villages in Gabsara and Arjuna unions under Bhuapur upazila in the district have gone into the River Jamuna in last one week.
The worst affected villages are Rulipara, Jungipur, Rehai Gabsara, Noorpur, Chandganj, Biswanathpur, Joypur, Rajapur, Digrir Char, Rampur in Gabsara union while Borar Boira, Jomar Boira, Shushua, Ramail, Taltala, Bharua and Govindapur in Arjuna union. Around 300 families have lost their dwelling houses and 300 others have shifted to safer places. Aman and Aus paddy fields on hundreds of acres of land in the two unions have already gone into the river.
Jomer Boira Primary School building in Aurjuna union has gone into the Jamuna while two-storied Gabsara Union Health Complex building, the only treatment centre for people of the 37 char villages, has been sold in auction as it was on the verge of being devoured by the river. Photo : STAR
River erosion taking serious turn in Barisal and Pirojpur region
Barisal, 27 August : Erosion by Kirtonkhola, Sandhaya, Sugandha, Arial Kha and Meghna Rivers are taking serious turn in different parts of Barisal and Pirojpur districts. Hundreds of people have been passing sleepless nights for fear of losing every thing in river erosion.

Train derails in Mymensingh near Begunbari R Station
UNB, Mymensingh, 27 August : Two compartments of a train derailed near Begunbari Rail Station in Sadar upazila this morning disrupting train communications between the capital and the north Bengal for five hours.
Railway sources said two compartments of the capital-bound inter-district Jumuna Express from Jamalpur veered off the track at about 4:00am(BDST). On information, a relief train reached the spot and salvaged the derailed compartments at about 9:00am(BDST). Railway sources reported no casualties in the accident.
Karmasangsthan Bank opens 111th branch at N'ganj
The Financial Express, Dhaka, 27 August : Karmasangsthan Bank has opened its 111th branch at Nawabganj in Dhaka district.
Bangladesh Minister for Housing and Public Works Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan inaugurated the branch as the chief guest recently, while Chairman of the bank M Moniruzzaman Khondokar was present at the function as the special guest.
Highlighting the role of Karmasangsthan Bank in massive employment creation programme of the government, the minister said that the bank was established in 1998 by Awami League for providing loans to youths for their self-employment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

န Mother Teresa's 99th Birth Anniversary...

Kolkata, 26 August :
(L) A nun places a candle on Mother Teresa's tomb on her 99th birth anniversary at the Missionaries of Charity Today.
(R) A woman prays at the tomb of Mother Teresa on the occasion of Teresa's 99th birth anniversary.
Photos : Deshakalyan Chowdhury (AFP) and Jayanta Shaw (Reuters)
Hasina offers condolences on USA's Kennedy's death
Dhaka, 26 August : Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina expressed profound sorrow at the death of American Senator Edward Kennedy, revered as a caring friend of Bangladesh.
In a condolence message issued in the capital, Dhaka on Wednesday, the prime minister said the United States of America lost their great leader at the demise of Kennedy. "Bangladesh has lost its hearty friend while the world missed a humanitarian personality," she added. Recalling Kennedy's support and role in forming world opinion for Bangladesh's liberation, Sheikh Hasina said the people of Bangladesh would remember his contribution forever.
Edward M Kennedy (77), youngest brother of the late US President John F Kennedy and the liberal lion of the Senate, died at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts on Tuesday night. File Photo : AFP (New Delhi, 15 Aug, 1972)

Tripura opposes clauses in "Education Reforms Bill"
Agartala, 26 August : The Left Front government in Tripura today opposed Centre's alleged move to privatise the education system of the country. Tripura Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said the proposals in the proposed Education Reforms Bill was discussed in the state cabinet recently and certain points were found unsuitable for implementation.
"Human Resource Development (HRD) minister is trying to privatise the education system which is not acceptable to us and we can not fix up the the responsibility of the school children on the parents," he told reporters here.

Howrah's crusader Subhas Dutta plans 'Green party'
Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, Kolkata, 26 August : One of India's leading environmental crusaders is planning to launch the country's first Green party.
After his success in forcing old and polluting vehicles off the streets in Kolkata, Subhas Dutta says the time has come to set up a political party to protect the country's environment. "Many like me who fight for environment protection have realised we need a full fledged party in India. Our movements are localised and it is not enough to operate as pressure groups or just fight legal battles," Dutta says.
He is due to visit the United Kingdom next month to meet the leaders of the Green Party there. "We are also in touch with the Green Party of Germany, we want to understand how the Green parties operate in Europe before we launch a Green Party of India. "But we will launch it soon, should we say, in a few months," he says.
Subhas Dutta says he was also in touch with leading environmentalists in India. READ FULL STORY

Monsoon hampering anti-Maoist operation in Lalgarh
IANS, Kolkata, 26 August : Operations against Maoist rebels in West Bengal's tribal-dominated western districts has hit the monsoon roadblock - fields full of water and flooded jungles hampering force movement.
"We're facing obstruction in some areas because of the heavy monsoon rains. Most of the open fields are now full of water and we just can't march through them as we were doing two months back," West Midnapore Police Superintendent M.K. Verma told IANS. "The rainy season has made the dense forest areas inaccessible, impacting the speed of the operation," he said.
More than two months have elapsed after central paramilitary troopers and crack units of the West Bengal police launched the anti-Maoist campaign aiming to free Lalgarh and its surrounding areas in West Midnapore district from the left-wing rebels. The operation was later expanded to two other Maoist-affected districts of Bankura and Purulia. According to sources, the security forces have changed their modus operandi and are now advancing in a 'go-slow' mode due to the arrival of the monsoon
. Photo : AFP
500,000 women to get "food processing training"
Kolkata, 26 August : The Indian government on Wednesday said it will provide food processing training to 500,000 women in collaboration with industrial training institutes (ITI) as part of its efforts to create 10 million jobs by 2015.
"The training given to the women will strengthen the food processing sector, which has emerged relatively unaffected from the economic slowdown," Minister for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai said here. The government is also facilitating setting up of 350 food processing units, Sahai said at an interactive session with members of the Merchants Chamber of Commerce.
Bangladesh's biggest IPO to hit market in October,09
Ruma Paul, Reuters, Dhaka, 26 August : Bangladesh's top mobile phone carrier, Grameenphone, said on Wednesday that shares from its initial public offering, the country's biggest ever, would make their stock exchange debut in the first week of October.
Grameenphone, 62 percent owned by Norway's Telenor (TEL.OL), is looking to raise 4.86 billion taka ($68 million) by offering 69.44 million shares at 70 taka each. Citigroup (C.N) is underwriting the issue. READ FULL STORY
Iftar Delicacies
Dhaka, 26 August :
A vendor displays iftar delicacies at the Dhaka's famous Baily Road iftar market on Wednesday.
န Photos : Firoz Ahme
Photos : Firoz Ahmed
"TVS King" may be renamed "Arjun" in West Bengal
IANS, Hosur (Tamil Nadu), 26 August : Non-resident industrialist Prasoon Mukherjee may soon assemble a three-wheeler named 'Arjun' in West Bengal, while his ambition to launch a motorcycle under the same brand may take longer to realise.
'We could christen TVS King as Arjun for the markets in West Bengal,' said T.G. Sridhar, chief operating officer of Mahabharat Motors, a venture promoted by Mukherjee, referring to their pact with Chennai-based TVS group to assemble their products in the state. 'Basically, we are still interested in developing Brand Arjun. But initially, we are focusing on assembling the existing TVS brands in West Bengal. Later, in consultation with TVS, we will see what best we can do for the new Brand Arjun,' he added. Mahabharat Motors, through its joint venture with the India's third largest two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Co, will be assembling the latter's products in their upcoming factory unit at Uluberia in Howrah district of West Bengal.
The initial models include TVS Sport, a two-wheeler, and TVS King, a three-wheeler. Mahabharat Motors is a joint venture between Indonesia-based Salim Group and Universal Success Enterprises, a Singapore-based diversified group, headed by Mukherjee.

Bangladesh rebel seeks troop pullout from tribal CHT
Nizam Ahmed, Reuters, Rangamati, 26 August : The former head of a tribal insurgent group in southeastern Bangladesh urged the government on Wednesday to honour its promise to withdraw troops from the area.
Members of the Shanti Bahini ended a 25-year revolt in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area in 1997 after a peace treaty with the government under which troops were to be withdrawn and land acquired by settlers restored to local tribesmen. "The troops should immediately return to garrisons leaving hundreds of temporary camps they set up across the hills in early eighties," Jyotirindra Budhipriyo Larma, the former head of the group, told Reuters in an interview.
A Bangladesh army official said the pullout of one army brigade, comprising nearly 1,000 troops, began early this month and would be completed by September. A full withdrawal was not immediately possible because of the threat from hardline elements, settlers rights group say. But Larma, who now heads the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council, said the peace deal could come under pressure from the hardliners if the government dragged its feet on pulling out troops from the area. "If troops pullout is delayed or incomplete, tribespeople who opposed the peace deal will gather steam and may try further to frustrate it," Larma said.
The Shanti Bahini guerrillas fought for autonomy in the hill and forest region bordering India and Myanmar in a campaign in which nearly 8,500 troops, rebels and civilians were killed.

The area comprising three districts - Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban - is also a major tourist spot but visitors stay away for fear of abduction or killing as remnants of the Shanti Bahini are still active, trying to regain control and drive settlers away. Photos : Reuters and Ittefaq

Jet Airways to introduce services on Mumbai-Dhaka sector from 15/9
Mumbai, 26 August : Effective 15 September, Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, will introduce new daily, direct services on the Mumbai-Dhaka-Mumbai sectors*, aboard state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
This will be Jet Airways’ third daily service to the Bangladesh from India, and connect travelers to and from the Gulf with Dhaka, via Mumbai. The airline currently flies daily from Delhi and Kolkata to Dhaka.
Flight 9W 276 will depart Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 0840 hrs, arriving in Dhaka’s Zia International Airport at 1300 hrs. Flight 9W 275 will then depart Dhaka at 1530 hrs, arriving in Mumbai at 1700 hrs.

Rose Valley Group launches Rupashi Bangla channel
Kolkata, August 25 : The Rose Valley Group announced their diversification into media and entertainment industry with the grand launch of Rupashi Bangla - the most awaited Bengali general entertainment channel in the city.
Rupashi Bangla is all set to go on air from 31 August with shows of different categories ranging from reality to socio-mythology, feature films to news updates and from comedy to drama. Renowed actors Rituparna Sengupta, Indrani Halder, Annu Kapoor and with Shibomoy Dutta Managing Director of Rose Valley Group were present at the star studded launch of the much awaited Bengali channel. Rituparna Sengupta said, 'In spite of being new in the market I think they have the capability of becoming one of the favourite channels in Kolkata, that is the reason when I decided to telecast my show, I considered their name in the first place'.
Gautam Kundu, Chairman of Rose Valley Group, said: 'In the present scenario, content is king, and that is exactly our greatest edge over our competitor channels. Our content is completely exclusive; especially our reality shows which are unique in format. The look and feel of the shows is glamorous but the heritage value of Bengal has been retained completely. There is an underlying perspective in every programme which reflects the richness of our culture and also the ubiquitous Bengali feelings.'
Asked about the total investment in the new business, Dutta said, 'The group invested Rs 500 crore to start the channel. The projected revenue estimation from advertisements is Rs75 crore for this financial year only'.
Chittagong ship accident : Body recovered, 1 missing
Chittagong, 26 August : The Bangladesh coast guard recovered the body of a deckhand on Wednesday who had been missing since his ship went down in Chittagong Port channel on Monday.
Eighteen hands of buoy lifting vessel BLV Ali were swept into the port channel on Monday night when their ship floundered in high waves while working on Buoy Number 2 in the harbour. Chittagong Port Authority, the Bangladesh Navy and coast guard mounted a joint rescue operation in the channel and the outer anchorage. Sixteen of the workers were rescued soon after the incident.
Photo exhibition showcasing 128-year-old past of heritage railway in Darjeeling
Siliguri, 26 August : To create awareness regarding the history and evolution of the heritage railway especially amongst school children, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) in collaboration with the Siliguri Science Centre has organised a week-long photo exhibition showcasing its glorious past of 128 years, in Siliguri.
The exhibition, which will conclude on 30 August, depicts the evolution of the DHR from its inception to the modern times. The DHR is an important landmark on the Indian tourism map especially after UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1999. The DHR's 82 kilometres of journey from Siliguri junction to Darjeeling is an enchanting journey offering a majestic view of the Darjeeling Himalayas.
The organisers believe that the exhibition will make young generation aware of the history of the DHR, an important part of their heritage.
6 people including women and children killed in Habiganj boat capsize
UNB, Habiganj, 26 August : were killed on Tuesday night after a boat capsized during a storm at Baniachang haor in Habiganj. Two others were missing.
Sujatpur Union Parishad chairman Ataur Rahman told UNB that the people, inhabitants of Noabad, were returning home from a shrine at Ikram. The boat sank in the middle of Ikram and Noabad haors, Rahman added. People of surrounding villages began rescue operation and pulled four bodies in the night. Two more bodies were recovered on Wednesday morning, he said.