|| Bengal Newz (Bengali: বেঙ্গল নিউজ) is the first 24X7 online English language news daily portal - exclusively dedicated to entire Bengali speaking region and the world. ||

Thursday, December 31, 2009

န Top Bengal News Of The December, 2009

BD's clock returns to BDST tonight
Dhaka, 31 December : Bangladesh's clock will be adjusted back by an hour tonight to its original GMT-based timing position.
At a regular cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the clock will be pushed back to 10:59pm from 11:59pm(BDST) midnight to set the GMT plus 6 hours timing. She also directed the authorities concerned to take all measurers so that people do not have to suffer due to time change. The cabinet on 24 December decided to keep the Bangladesh Standard Time (BDST) until 31 March next year.
On 31 March, the clock would be put forward again by an hour from 11:59pm as part of daylight saving measurers and will continue till 11:59pm of 31 October. On October 31 midnight, the clock would be pushed back to 10:59pm from 11:59pm to set the GMT plus 6 hours timing.
Earlier, the cabinet approved the decision to implement DST on 2 June and it first came into effect on 19 June, when the clocks went forward one hour. The power-saving measure was taken in the wake of nagging power crisis in the country and the government claims that 200-megawatt of electricity has been saved due to introduction of DST. Sources said Bangladesh Biman and Bangladesh Railway have already taken necessary measurers so that people do not face any problems due to time change.

East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan in Federation Cup Final
Goal.Com, 31 December : East Bengal defeated their arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 2-0 in a hotly contested semi-final clash, to go through to the final of the Federation Cup. Both goals came in the second-half, courtesy of Yusif Yakubu and Mehtab Hussain.
The match started brightly with both teams making their intentions to win very clear. East Bengal were arguably the better team towards the beginning and the Mohun Bagan backline was struggling to cope with the pace and skill of Sanju Pradhan and Subhash Singh, and the strength and trickery of veteran forward Yusif Yakubu. East Bengal had an excellent chance to open the scoring in the first 5 minutes when a well taken free kick by Alvito D'Cunha was headed strongly towards goal by Nirmal Chhetri. Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Sagram Mukherjee reacted superbly to tip the ball over the bar. READ FULL STORY Photo : Chinmoy Roy

Gorkhaland stir may mar New Year revelry in Darjeeling....
Darjeeling, 31 December : Holidaymakers frequenting Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong the popular tourist destinations are an upset lot. Their pre-planned festivities of heralding the ensuing New Year have turnes topsy-turvy due to the ongoing stir for separate state of Gorkhaland.
Activists of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM) have blocked national highways, preventing tourists from reaching Darjeeling and other places from Siliguri. A majority of the tourists are stranded in Siliguri and Jalpaiguri. The ongoing protest by the students' wing of GJMM has affected the tourism industry.The State government's silence on the Gorkhaland issue has angered people owing allegiance to the GJMM.
Gorkhas have been demanding a separate state, to be carved out of West Bengal, to protect their culture and heritage.

Bangladesh's capital market sees 2009 as year of 'landmark achievements'
Xinhua, Dhaka, 31 December : Strong inflow of liquidity and influx of fresh investors have driven Bangladesh's capital market to its historic height in the outgoing year 2009, officials and market analysts said Thursday.
They said both institutional and individual investors in 2009 injected huge funds into the South Asian country's capital as a long-lasting bullish trend lured them, which virtually contributed to surpass all previous records in market indicators. READ FULL STORY

Balanced approach must on stimulus continuity : Pranab
Kolkata, 31 December : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said a balance has to be struck on the issue of continuity of the stimulus packages.
"The aim is to maintain growth," Mukherjee said while addressing the members of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce here today, adding the package should not be prolonged so as to make public debt hard and prevents the private sector from accessing resources because of huge government borrowing.
"It (the withdrawal of the stimulus measures) should not be too early as well as it could have adverse impact on the economy," he said, however, refused to set deadline to review the stimulus packages.

Charge framing against 75 BDR men in Rangamati 15 Feb
Rangamati, 31 December : The BDR special court-4 on Thursday fixed 15 February for framing charges against 75 alleged mutineers of the 9 Rifle Battalion of Marishya zone in Rangamati.
The court gave 45 days to the accused BDR men for preparing their defence after prosecutor of the case Lt Col Shamimur Rahman, commanding officer of Marishya zone, read out the charges against them in their presence. A total of 61 witnesses will give their depositions before the three-member special court led by Director General of Bangladesh Rifles Maj Gen M Mainul Islam in the case. The court started the trial on Wednesday when the prosecutor presented his complaints against the alleged mutineers.

Death warrants against Bangabandhu killers on 3Jan
Dhaka, 31 December : The District and Sessions Judge's Court, Dhaka will issue the death warrants against the five detained convicts in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case on 3 January next year, Bangladesh Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said.
The record and judgment of the case have already been sent to the trial court, the law minister told newsmen at his secretariat office. The date of issuing death warrants against the killers was fixed at a meeting with law minister, attorney general and some state counsels for the Bangabandhu murder case at the law ministry in the day. The jail authorities will take steps to execute the five convicts between 21 and 28 days, after receiving the death warrants, he added.
Shafique told reporters that the five convicts could file review petitions with the Supreme Court against their convictions by 19 January.

Suspected Maoists again kill two CPI(M) supporters
Jhargram, 31 December : Suspected Maoists again gunned down two CPI(M) supporters in West Midnapore district, police said Thursday.
Ananda Singh and Konaram Singh were abducted from their home in Shimulpal village and dragged for over a kilometer by a group of heavily armed Maoists Wednesday night. “Their bodies were found this morning with gunshot injuries,” said an officer at the police control room here. Police sources said the dead men were members of an anti-Maoist resistance forum.

Kol's 'Subhas Sarovar' modernisation from February
Kolkata, 31 December : The neglected Subhas Sarovar, one of the two man-made lakes at Beliaghata in the north-eastern part of the metropolis, is set for a Rs 5 crore makeover.
"We want to make Subhas Sarovar a tourist destination and work will begin from February," West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation managing director TVN Rao said. "The project would cost us Rs 5 crore and be executed in private-public partnership with the support of the Centre," he said. In a first of its kind of joint venture between the Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT) and West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC), the lake area will be converted into a tourist destination
"The city needed more destinations for water sports like speed boats and paragliding and we are planning to introduce such facilities here," the WBTDC official said.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Railways to set up 'Tagore museum' on 150th anniversary
Kolkata, 30 Decem­ber : The Railways will set up a museum on poet Rabindranath Tagore at Howrah as part of celebrations on the Nobel laureate's 150th birth anniversary.
'The Rabindranath Tagore Museum will come up close to the railway museum at Howrah,' Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee said here Wednesday. Banerjee said the museum will exhibit the writings of Tagore related to the railways. 'We will also organise a series of events to honour Tagore and spread his message from one state to another,' she said.
Tagore, born on May 7, 1861, got the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 - the first Asian to get the coveted award. Tagore, who enriched Bengali culture and literature as a poet, novelist, musician, and playwright from the second half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, is still a household name in this part of the world with the popularity of his works still undiminished.

Gunbattle with Maoists continues in troubled Jangalmahal
Midnapore, Kolkata, 30 Decem­ber : Security forces and the Maoists were locked in a fierce gun battle since 6 pm in two villages under Salbani police limits in troubled West Midnapore district today.
On an information that a large number of armed Maoists had gathered in Kishijora and Koradana villages, the security forces took positions in the area, district magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam told Bengal Newz. Sensing trouble, the rebels fired at them and the force retaliated leading to a fierce encounter. The battle is continuing till the last report reached at 8 pm, Nigam said. The security forces have not suffered any casualty so far. Any casualty on the other side is also not known.
Bangladesh to tighten security on New Year's eve in Dhaka
Dhaka, 30 Decem­ber : Over 12,000 Bangladeshi police and anti-crime elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) will be deployed in capital Dhaka on 31 December night to maintain law and order, according to local media Wednesday.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities will deploy around 10,000 police personnel, including its men of plain cloth wing Detective Branch (DB) and Traffic Division, from 06:00pm(BDST). on 31 December in Dhaka, AKM Shahidul Haque, Commissioner of DMP, was quoted as saying by the national news agency BSS.
He said excepting regular deployment of 7,000 police personnel, additional 3,000 police and 2,000 RAB members will also be deployed at different strategic points to avert any untoward incident.
Bangladesh government buying 'power' from India
Dhaka, 30 Decem­ber : The Bangladesh government on Wednesday approved a proposal to import power from India. The tariff will be agreed upon once a Memorandum of Understanding is reached between the two countries.
The cabinet at a meeting chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina approved the Memorandum of Understanding between Bangladesh and Indian governments on cooperation in power sector, her press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters at a briefing. "The government has decided to import power from India. After the approval of the MoU (by India) we will be able to procure power at an agreed price," Azad said.
13 th Finance Commission report to be reflected in Budget
PTI, New Delhi, 30 Decem­ber : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission, which submitted its report to President Pratibha Patil earlier in the day, will be reflected in the Budget 2010-11.
"There is a system. (The report) will be tabled in Parliament as per the system," Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Delhi. After that, the report will be reflected in the Budget, he said. The report of the 13th Finance Commission, headed by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar, assumes importance since reforms in the direct and indirect taxes areas are likely to be in place in the next couple of years in the form of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Direct Taxes Code.
Kelkar presented the report to Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The report will be given by the President to the finance ministry, which will take it up with the Cabinet. Cabinet will then adopt the report and is expected to table it in the Budget session of Parliament.

4 hurt in another Chittagong ship-breaking mishap
Chittagong, 30 Decem­ber : At least four workers were injured after a dismantled iron sheet fell on them at a Sitakunda ship breaking yard on Wednesday, just days after four workers were killed in a blast at a nearby yard, heightening safety concerns about the industry.
Sitakunda police chief Monirul Islam said the accident took place at around 2 pm(BDST) on the premises of Unique Traders, a ship breaking yard owned by SM Al Mamun, son of a local parliament member Abul Kashem Master.

Andaman govt re-schedules "Island Tourism Festival"
Port Blair, 30 Decem­ber : The Andaman and Nicobar administration has rescheduled the carnival of these far-flung islands following requests from different sections of islanders.
''The Island Tourism Festival will be held from 6 January to 15 January, 2010. It was rescheduled on the special request from the general public as well as few associations who appealed the administration to extend the Island Tourism Festival upto the 'Pongal' which falls on 14 January.'' A large section of population may be able to enjoy the festival, an official release of Andaman and Nicobar administration said today. Meanwhile, the Directorate of Sports, Art and Culture, A and N administration is all set to provide cultural inputs to the long awaited festival. Artists from different cultural centres of Mainland India are expected to perform folk and classical dances and martial arts programmes during the ITF.
Apart from the daily cultural event, the contingents comprising visiting and local artistes would perform at various remote scattered islands, it is learnt.

Suspected 'PCPA' activists torch trucks in West Midnapur
Jhargram, 30 Decem­ber : Suspected People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) activists set ablaze three trucks on a highway near in West Midnapur district today, police said.
A group of unidentified persons, suspected to be members of PCPA's armed wing Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia, torched the Jharkhand-bound trucks carrying iron rods and potatoes on the national highway at Mohanpur, about 98 km from here, in the district, they said. No arrest has been made so far in the case, police said.
Now, "Kamtapur" state demanded in West Bengal
PTI, Kolkata, 30 Decem­ber : After Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's demand of carving out a Gorkhaland state from West Bengal, a similar demand has been made by a political party seeking a separate Kamtapur state, with a threat of agitation if no response was received within 20 days.
A seven-member delegation of the Kamtapur Progressive Party headed by office secretary Darshan Chandra Singha submitted a memorandum to Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen on its demand for a Kamtapur state comprising entire North Bengal and Lower Assam, yesterday. Confirming receipt of the memorandum, the Home Secretary said "I will discuss their demands with officials of different departments if any of them can be conceded at all."
The KPP secretary later told reporters that the demand was for 'a full-fledged' Kamtapur state and recognition of the Kamtapuri language 'for sons of the soil' of North Bengal and Lower Assam under Article (3) of the Constitution. Photo : Aritra Roy

Clips removed from railway track, Train have narrow escape
Jhargram, Kolkata, 30 Decem­ber : Passengers of the New Delhi-Puri Purushottam Express had a narrow escape in the wee hours on Wednesday as suspected Maoists removed the connectors between two tracks on a 400 metre stretch near Gidni station near Jhargram just before the train was to cross the area.
Patrolling railway men detected a group of people removing the pandoral clips, connectors between two tracks, and trying to bend the line near Gidni at around 1.15 am, a South Eastern Railway Spokesman said. They immediately informed railway authorities at Gidni station following which movement of trains was stopped. Local police, RPF and railway officials rushed to the spot to undertake restoration work, the spokesman said.
Thirteen UP and DN trains, including Gitanjali Express, Mumbai Mail, Azad Hind Express were detained at several points on the Howrah-Tatanagar section. Train movement was restored after six hours, the spokesman said.

Silchar's SAFE expreses concern overTipaimukh dam
Silchar, 30 Decem­ber : Soci­ety for Act­iv­ist for Forest and Envir­on­ment (SAFE), based at Silchar, organ­ized a sem­inar today on “Down­stream res­ol­u­tion on Tipaimukh Dam” at the dis­trict lib­rary aud­it­or­ium here in which rep­res­ent­at­ives of more than 11 organ­iz­a­tions par­ti­cip­ated and artic­u­lated their views on the issue.
These organ­iz­a­tions liv­ing on the Barak river down­stream of the pro­posed Tipaimukh Dam after hav­ing gone through a series of dis­cus­sions have come out with the obser­va­tion on the dis­astrous implic­a­tions asso­ci­ated with it. Dur­ing the dis­cus­sion, it was poin­ted out that in the event of the dam tak­ing shape, the entire eco sys­tem, eco­nomy, iden­tity and life, crit­ic­ally linked to the river Barak, will be ser­i­ously jeop­ard­ized dis­rupt­ing the cul­ture, eco­nomy and live­li­hood of the people liv­ing along the up and down streams.
Besides, the dam will impact the sed­i­ment which is vital for the long run sus­tain­ab­il­ity of the riv­er­ine eco­sys­tem and live­li­hood. Another cause of alarm expressed by the speak­ers is the high seis­mic zone area, on which the dam is planned to be built, which will be dan­ger­ous for the down stream people because if the dam bursts dur­ing earth­quake, it will endanger lives of thou­sands of people.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bangladesh to undergo makeover with more HWs, Bridges

Dhaka, 29 December : The Bangladesh capital will be transformed into a modern metropolis as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled plans to undertake major infrastructural changes in the city and elsewhere by cleaning up the rivers and building more highways and bridges.
Sheikh Hasina Tuesday reaffirmed her pledge to upgrade the four centuries-old national capital to a modern, beautiful and hassle-free city ensuring smooth communications both on roads and waterways in and around the capital.
She unveiled the plan while inaugurating the third Buriganga Bridge at Basila in Mohammadpur area. The bridge has been named in the memory of those who were killed by Islamist militia in the run-up to nation's freedom in 1971. Photo : Firoz Ahmed

At least 14 killed,30 injured in Kishoreganj road crash
UNB, Kishoreganj, 29 December : At least fourteenpeople were killed and over 30 injured after a bus crashed into a roadside ditch at Shimulhati in Tarail Upazila Tuesday evening.
Witnesses said a Tatarail-bound bus from the capital skidded off the road after hitting a tree and fell into a ditch at about 5:00pm(BDST), leaving 10 people dead on the spot. Police and local people retrieved 10 bodies from the bus. Three of the deceased were identified. The injured were rushed to Tarail upazila health complex and Kishoreganj Modern Hospital.
Tremor jolts Bangladesh
Dhaka, 29 December : A moderate tremor measuring 5.7 on the Richter Scale was felt in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Khagrachhari districts on Tuesday.
The quake was felt at 4:01:52pm(BDST) in the districts and their adjoining areas, Mohammad Shahidul Islam, an official of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, told reporters. The epicenter of the tremor was near India-Myanmar bordering region and 416 km east from the Dhaka Seismic Centre at Agargaon. Rajshahi residents felt that the moderate tremor lasted for three or four seconds.
UNB Adds : A tremor was felt in Khagrachhari district town on Tuesday. Met Office sources said an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter Scale took place at Indo-Myanmar border at 16 hours 01 minute BST time.
The distance of epicenter was 416 kms from the Meteorological Department office at capital's Agargaon. No causality was reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties and damage across the country, said the Met office.
GJM resumes blockade agitation...
Darjeeling, 29 December : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), fighting for a separate Gorkhaland state, today resumed its agitation after a brief Christmas break enforcing an indefinite strike in government offices in Darjeeling while its student wing blocked national highways connecting Darjeeling, Siliguri and Sikkim.
Alipurduar Additional SP Anup Jaiswal told PTI that over 250 GJM supporters were arrested for blocking roads at Dalsinghpara in north Bengal’s Dooars region connecting Bhutan, but were released on personal recognisance bond.
Jaiswal said the arrested included the party-backed Independent MLA from Kalchini constituency in Jalpaiguri district William Champamari and several of those belonging to GJM student’s wing Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha.

Myanmar govt to repatriate 9000 Rohingyas refugees
Dhaka, 29 December : Myanmar has identified 9,000 Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh and decided to take them back to their own country, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes said on Tuesday.
The announcement came at a press briefing after the first day talks of the two-day secretary-level meeting between the neighbouring countries. Bangladesh asked the Myanmar authorities to repatriate the identified refugees as soon as possible, Mijarul said. BD government had earlier handed over a list of 28,000 Rohingyas who came from Myanmar and now in two refugee camps in Cox's Bazar. Myanmar authorities verified the list and found 9,000 people on the list as its citizen, the foreign secretary told reporters. Settling maritime boundaries, importing rice and gas from Myanmar, and setting up power plant at Rakhain state of Myanmar by Bangladesh were also tabled at the meeting.
Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister Maung Myint arrived in Dhaka on Monday to lead his country's delegation at the talks. Photo : Bayazid Akter (DrikNews)
Bangladesh to send home thousands of Burmese refugees : READ BBC STORY
Kolkata children operate mobile library for rural kids
Kolkata, 29 December : In a unique initiative, children in Kolkata, are distributing books free of cost to children residing in rural areas to help educate them, and inculcate the reading habit in them. Surojit Das, Shintu Das, Subha Das, Ayush Chettri and Gaurav Das, all of whom are young school students, have taken the responsibility of delivering books to poor children. "There are many children in my locality who want to study but due to their financial difficulties, they are not able to go to school. This mobile library has given them an opportunity to read many books, so that they can do well in future," said Surojit Das. These children fill up a cycle van of second-hand books and take the van to several rural areas. Every Wednesday they drive their mobile library, aptly named 'Boi Gari', (Books Van), and distribute the books to children in the rural areas. 11 Pally Unnayan Samity, a local club, started this novel service in 2007.The club engaged local children to take the responsibility of spread literacy to other children in the area. The club bought the cycle-van and stuffed it with around 150 books to create a free mobile library.
Strike in Bajitpur in Kishoreganj for a new 'district'
Kishoreganj, 29 December : The people of Bajitpur upazila in Kishoreganj on Tuesday observed an eight-hour strike to press their demands for upgrading the upazila to a district and protesting inclusion of the upazila in the proposed Bhairab district.
In Bajitpur, shopkeepers kept their shutters down and education institutions remained closed during the strike called by Bajitpur Zilla Bastabayan Committee from 6:00am to 2:00pm(BDST). Attendance at banks and government offices was also thin. Vehicles were off the roads and bus services from upazila headquarters to other parts of the country remained halted since the morning. The leaders of the committee urged the government to declare Bajitpur a district and drop its name from inside the proposed Bhairab district. Otherwise, they will go for a tougher agitation programme, they said.
Earlier, the people of the upazila observed a half-day strike on October 28 to press the same demands. Photo : STAR
PCAPA calls for two-day shutdown in West Midnapore dist
Midnapore, 29 December : The Maoists-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) has called for a two-day shutdown in West Midnapore district here.
PCAPA members forced thirty-one supporters of the CPI(M) to join them. The event took place at Salboni, where the PCAPA members held a kangaroo court and compelled the CPI(M) members to change sides. The shutdown has been called to demand the removal of the security forces from the area.

Bangladesh to raise Teesta issue in 3 January talks
Dhaka, 29 December : Bangladesh will raise the issue of water sharing of Teesta River with India at the upcoming secretary-level meeting of Joint River Commission (JRC) on 3 January next year in Dhaka.
In reply to a question Tuesday morning, Water Resources Secretary Shaikh Md Wahid-uz-Zaman told reporters after inaugurating a workshop at the capital's Brac Centre Inn. Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) organised the workshop with financial assistance from the embassy of the Netherlands on dissemination of a five-year strategic plan. Asked if Teesta issue will be on the agenda of prime minister's ensuing visit to India on 10 January, the secretary said he was not aware and that "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs could say this."
BWDB Director General Md Habibur Rahman chaired the workshop. A number of technical persons and engineers from BWDB and other organisations took part in the meeting.
Stir against proposed Haripur nuclear plant intensifies
Tamluk, 29 December : Protest against the nuclear power plant at Haripur in Midnapore East district took a significant turn today as the Matangini Mahila Samity, which was once declared a Maoist-wing by state police and had played a pivotal role in consolidating the people's movement in Nandigram, took out a rally in Haripur.

Bangladesh government tries to save Coral Islands
AFP, Dhaka, 29 December : Bangladesh has ordered a building freeze on its lone coral island in a bid to save its wildlife and natural beauty from a boom in construction fuelled by tourism, its environment minister said Tuesday.
Hasan Mahmud told AFP his government had declared the eight square kilometre (three square mile) St Martin's island an ecologically critical area and had banned new buildings there. "We have also ordered an inventory of the existing infrastructure that threatens the island's ecology," he said, adding that any buildings that harm the environment would be demolished. St Martin's island, situated 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, is Bangladesh's lone coral island and attracts tens of thousands of tourists during holiday periods.
The island is home to some rare flora and fauna, including 182 wildlife species. In recent years, the island has witnessed a building boom due to a huge rush of tourists. Photo : AFP

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Difficult to trace Maoist leader Kishenji's location : Buddhadeb

PTI, New Delhi, 27 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today admitted that it was difficult to track down Maoist leader Kishenji despite his regular phone calls to prominent people, including state bureaucrats.
"We can identify the (mobile) tower but it is difficult to pin-point his location in that area," he told reporters here when asked about Kishenji's reported phone call to state's Principal Secretary (Environment) Madan Lal Meena to protest about polluting mines. Bhattacharjee said the Maoist leader was talking to "hundreds of journalists every day" but despite this, it was difficult to catch him.
Regarding the report about Meena's telephonic conversation with Kishenji, he said, "I have read it in the papers. I will have to talk to the officer as soon as I return" to Kolkata.

Govt to start talks on Teesta water sharing : PM Sk Hasina
Dhaka, 27 December : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the government will start talks with India to resolve the problems of water sharing of Teesta and other common rivers.
The prime minister was addressing the national council of Institutions of Diploma Engineers, ATN Bangla reports. Sheikh Hasina mentioned that her government has completed nearly one year after taking the office and said Bangladesh was safe from the risk of global economic meltdown as the government has been running the state skillfully.
The government has started work to prevent environmental disaster through freeing the rivers and water bodies from encroachers, she said. The premier said a policy will be formulated for lifting sands from rivers.
Rangamati BDR hearing resumes onSunday afternoon
Rangamati, 27 December : Hearing of the trial of nine suspected Bangladesh Rifles mutineers resumes on Sunday afternoon at a special court at the BDR Sector headquarters in Rangamati.
The trial began on 24 November and was adjourned on 25 November giving the accused about 27 days to pick up counsels for self-defence either from BDR officials or lawyers. The hearing will resume at 3:00pm(BDST) at the makeshift special court-4, which is likely to frame charges against the nine accused, said sources.
BDR Director General Maj Gen Md Moinul Islam heads the three-member court. The other members are Lt Col Md Abdur Rouf and Maj Golam Mostafa Al-Mamun. The trial of the suspected BDR mutineers is being held under the Bangladesh Rifles Order 1972.
First swine flu death in Assam, A college student died
IANS, Guwahati, 27 December : A 21-year-old college student on Sunday died of swine flu, the first fatality to the deadly H1N1 virus in Assam, an official said.
A health department spokesperson said the girl student, Shikha Biswas, was declared dead early Sunday by doctors at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. "She was at the hospital for the past 13 days after she tested H1N1 positive. Her condition deteriorated suddenly and she died early Sunday," a doctor at the medical college said. Shikha was a college student in Jagiroad, 56 km east of here. More than 70 people tested H1N1 positive in Assam during the past four months, although the number of people currently battling with the virus is just five.
War trial process starts in February-March next year
Dhaka, 27 December : The Bangladesh government will start the process of trying the war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War in February-March next year at the Old High Court building.
"We have decided to set up the tribunal at the Old High Court building and the construction of the courtrooms and other offices will be completed by January," Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said on Sunday. After setting up the courtrooms and relevant offices, the government will appoint prosecutors and investigators for the trial of the war criminals, he said.
The minister said the investigation agency and the prosecution team will start work in February-March 2010.

Fresh bids for Rs 130cr Ganga cruise project in 2010
PTI, Kolkata, 27 December : The Rs 130-crore Ganga Heritage River Cruise project in West Bengal may become a reality soon as the government has agreed to the demands of private investors and will issue new bids for it by mid-January.
"We and the Centre have agreed to the changes sought by them (investors). There will be re-tendering for the river cruise project in mid-January and this time we expect a better response from private investors," West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director T V N Rao told PTI here.
Private investors were demanding that the Centre's investment in the public-private-partnership (PPP) project of Rs 32 crore should be treated as a grant or subsidy rather than equity. They also wanted allotment of some land.

Traditional Raj Punyah festival begins in Rangamati
Rangamati, 27 December : The three-day traditional 'Raj Punyah' festival began at the compound of Chakma Rajbari (palace) in Rangamati Sunday afternoon.
Chakma Raja Devasish Roy and prince Tribhuban Aryadev Roy ascended the makeshift throne as the 'Raj Darbar' started according to the traditional customs. Raja Devasish will receive annual jhum taxes from the 175 headmen (mouza chiefs) at the function. As per tradition, they will bring different gifts including chicken, pig and wine for the king during the three-day festival. Headmen and karbaries have been providing jhum taxes to the government through the chiefs of Chakma, Bomang and Moung circles in three districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts for a long time.
Gautam Muni Mela, indigenous cultural function and sports, drama and jatra will mark the three-day Raj Punyah festival. Besides, there will be exhibition of different indigenous attires and bamboo-made furniture.

Bangladesh govt move on to bring back 100 in Indian jails
Dhaka, 27 December : The Bangladesh government has taken initiative to bring back around 100 Bangladeshi nationals detained in different prisons in India on various charges.
The move came after India had informed the government of having 136 Bangladeshi nationals imprisoned there for years. India also gave Bangladesh a list of the detained people. The government investigated identities of the detained people on the list and confirmed 97 of them as Bangladesh-born.
After the confirmation the Ministry of Home Affairs has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with the matter and bring the people home immediately.
Maoists call five-state bandh on 2 January
PTI, Midnapore, 27 December : Maoists have given a 24-hour bandh call in five states on 2 January alleging that CPI(M) cadre yesterday fired at a Christmas tribal fair near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.
"Maoists has called the bandh on 2 January in West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar to protest the unprovoked firing on villagers at Binpur," Maoist leader Kishenji told PTI. He claimed that two persons were killed and four others were injured in the firing at the fair.
District Magistrate, Narayan Swarup Nigam confirmed the firing, but it was yet to be ascertained, if there was any casualty. He said that four hardcore Maoists were arrested in this connection.
Rangamati to introduce Cable Car for tourism boost
Rangamati, 27 December : The Bangladesh government is going to introduce cable car to Rangamati to develop in the hill district, a parliamentary panel chairman says.
Cable railway will be set up between tourism spots Nilachal and Shwapna Chura and Chimbuk hill and Jibon Nagar in Thanchi Upazila, Oli Ahmed, head of the the standing committee on planning ministry, told reporters on Friday। A cable car is a mass transit system using rail cars that are hauled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed. Individual cars stop and start by releasing and gripping this cable as required. MPs Khurshid Jahan and Azizul Haque, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation chairman Hemayet Uddin Talukder, among others, were present during his visit to the spots.

The standing committee members went to Rangamati a day before to fix the spots to set up cable car and make plans.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Five years on : Andaman Islands remembers Tsunami victims

UNI, Port Blair, 26 December : Thousands of people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands paid homage to Tsunami victims on its fifth anniversary here today.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Lt Governor Bhopinder Singh led the islanders in paying floral tributes at the Tsunami memorial at 0600 hrs where the commemoration of Tsunami was marked by prayers and tears. A solemn function was also held this morning at the precincts of Tsunami memorial at Water Sports Complex of Aberdeen here. Among others the function was also attended by the lone Member of Parliament Bishnu Pada Ray, Chief Secretary of A and N administration Vivek Rae, Commander in Chief of Andaman Nicobar Command, Vice-Admiral DK Joshi, senior officials from the defence and civil administration.
An all religion prayer marked the occasion. A two-minute silence was also observed as mark of respect to the departed souls. Deputy Commissioner T Sreekanth, Chairman of Tribal Council Aberdeen Blair and other tribal leaders also offered floral tribute to the departed souls.
A large number of villagers from adjoining villages visited the memorial and paid obeisance by offering flowers and by lighting candles. Similar functions were also held at Campbell Bay and Nancowry to mark the occasion. Photos : AP

Dhaka, 26 December :
Migratory birds are seen in the lake of Jahangir Nagar University at the advent of winter. Photo was taken on Saturday.
Photos : Mustafiz Mamun
Terror alert in Kolkata
New Delhi, 26 December : The Indian Government issued a terror alert in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. This comes after several militants claiming to be the Taliban alledgedly sneaked into India to conduct suicide bombings.
This alert comes after another alert a few weeks ago after a tipoff by the FBI. That alert was issued because Taliban-trained ‘fidayeen’ (suicide squads) had reportedly entered the country to carry out attacks at specific iconic structures.

Ershad meets PM Sheikh Hasina, praises government
UNB, Dhaka, 26 December : Bangladesh Jatiya Party would be happy if it is given another ministerial appointment, JP Chairman HM Ershad, said amid rumours of a cabinet reshuffle.
He made the remark talking to reporters after an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Jamuna in the evening. The former president said they however would not be unhappy if that does not happen. Currently, only GM Quader represents JP in the Hasina cabinet as civil aviation and tourism minister.

Vietnam eyes Bangladeshi mobile operator : Tele minister
AFP, Dhaka, 26 December : Vietnamese telecom company Viettel wants to tie up with Bangladeshi state-owned mobile firm Teletalk and join other foreign entrants in the fast-growing South Asian market, a minister said Saturday.
The Vietnamese government-owned telecom company would invest around 300 million dollars in Bangladesh government-owned Teletalk, Bangladesh Telecommunications Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju told AFP. "We've got a proposal from Viettel for a partnership with Teletalk," Raju said, adding that the two sides still had to begin negotiations.
PM, Buddhadeb discuss law and order in West Bengal
Agencies, New Delhi, 26 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the law and order including Maoists violence in the state.
Some of the developmental issues also came up for discussion during the 30 minutes meeting Bhattacharjee had with the Prime Minister at 7 RCR in the capital. Bhattacharjee is here to attend CPI(M) Politburo meeting. Party sources said yesterday that the Chief Minister would take up with the Prime Minister the issue of appointment of a new governor in place of Gopalkrishna Gandhi whose term was already over.
Bhattacharjee is also likely to meet Home Minister P Chidambaram. Photo : PTI
BNP questions special security need to Dhaka's Indian HC
Dhaka, 26 December : Bangladesh's main opposition BNP has expressed concern over the news that a 50- member team of Indian special security force is arriving to provide security to Indian high commissioner in Dhaka.
"We think it is unusual and unprecedented," said BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain on Saturday at a press briefing at the central office of his party at Naya Paltan. He demanded an explanation from the foreign ministry and the government on the matter. This kind of act is a threat to the country's independence and sovereignty, he said.
Chittagong ship-breaking yard blast kills 3 workers
Chittagong, 26 December : At least three workers died and nine others were injured on Saturday in a ship-breaking yard explosion in Sitakunda of Chittagong.
Officer in-Charge of Sitakunda Police Station Monirul Islam confirmed the deaths of three workers but could not provide the names of two others deceased. The explosion took place at Rahim Steel Ship-Breaking Yard at Madambibirhat at about 10:00am(BDST) when the workers were cutting the oil tank of the ship, leaving the three dead on the spot. The injured were taken to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
With today's death, around 17 workers died in accidents at ship-breaking yards this year, sources said. A total of 18 workers were killed in 2006 and 2007 while 15 in 2008 itself, which shows increasing number of casualties. Photo : Zobaer Hossain Sikder
'GJM' starts relay hunger strike in Darjeeling hills
This hunger strike will continue till our demand for Gorkhaland is met : H Chhetri
Kolkata, 26 December : Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists Saturday started a relay hunger strike at four places in Darjeeling district in an apparent attempt to keep up the pressure for creation of a separate Gorkhaland state.
“This relay hunger strike will continue till our demand for Gorkhaland is met,” GJM's media secretary, Dr Harka Bahadur Chhetri told Bengal Newz over phone this morning. The GJM, which is spearheading the agitation for Gorkhaland to be carved out of the entire Darjeeling and parts of Jalpaiguri districts in northern West Bengal, has also given a call for a shutdown of all government offices in the hills from 28 December. Banks, LIC and post offices have been exempted.

Burn Standard's units may soon get govt nod for sale
Kolkata, Howrah, 26 December : The government is to shortly consider the recommendation to sell three units of Burn Standard Company Ltd, an ailing public sector undertaking.
The Board for Restructuring Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) has, as reported earlier, approved the sale of its wagon units at Howrah and Burnpur in Burdwan dist to Indian Railways, and that of its refractory unit at Salem to Steel Authority of India (SAIL). “A note regarding this is being prepared and should be placed before the Cabinet in the next 15-20 days,” said BRPSE Chairman Nitish Sengupta.
Burn Standard is under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, and has been making losses for years. However, the real estate value of the units for sale is expected to be substantial.
CPI(M) leader shot dead by Maoists in Bankura dist
Bankura, 26 December : A local CPI(M) leader was shot dead by suspected Maoists at Barikul area in Bankura district today, police said.
Rameshwar Murmu, a CPI(M) local committee secretary, was forcibly taken away from his home at Bhulagara village in wee hours by an armed group of 15. They told his wife and son that Murmu deserved as he is a "police informer", they said. Shortly afterwards, Murmu's bullet-riddled body was recovered by security forces from a nearby jungle, police said, adding that they suspect Maoists, active in the belt, could be behind the attack.
Four political activists, three of them from CPI(M) and one from Jharkhand Party (Aditya), were killed and another suffered bullet injury in Maoist attacks in neighbouring West Midnapore district earlier this week.

29 'Rohingyas' held in Bangladesh-Myanmar border
UNB, Cox’s Bazar, 26 December : Ukhia police in separate drives on Thursday and Friday arrested 29 Rohingyas for illegally entering the country through different Bangladesh-Myanmar border points.
Police said they arrested the intruders while they were going to the district town by different vehicles. They said Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), however, pushed back 10 Rohingyas into Myanmar and 19 others are waiting to be pushed back. Meanwhile, Police in their on-going special drive in last 24 hours arrested 15 miscreants after raiding different areas of the district town and its suburbs on various charges, including murder and robbery.
What Bengal paints today....
HT, New Delhi, 26 December : It must be a rare assembly of more than a dozen Bengalis that does not have its own Durga Puja. But that’s because the group Bengalis in Delhi and NCR (BDNCR) was formed on social networking site Orkut, not around a chai stall. And though they do not have a puja, this weekend they will have their own exhibition, the Bengal Art Show.
Of the more than 3,500 members of the Orkut group that came into existence three years ago, 70 members came out to register the offline society. Their aim is to promote Bengaliana in different forms. The latest expression of that intent is an art show comprising 50-odd works by 16 Bengali artists at Delhi’s Habitat Centre. They have nothing much in common except their Bengaliness. So, is their art ‘Bengali’ in any way?
Niloy Roy (35), CEO of worldart.in and co-organiser, says, “When new artists enter the field, they find the old guard of the so-called Bengal School well entrenched. Most think it wise to stand apart from the older order. So we have a range of styles today.” File Photo : AFP
Eight 'National Liberation Front of Tripura' insurgents held
Agartala, 26 December : Eight National Liberation Front of Tripura insurgents, including one woman, were apprehended by Assam Rifles in North Tripura district, officials said on Saturday.
During a search operation by Assam Rifles at Hamshapara village in the district on Friday, the security personnel nabbed eight insurgents and recovered one pistol, a carbine, a revolver and live cartridges from their possession, they said. According to the officials, the apprehended ultras used to exhort money from villagers.

Earthquake strikes North Andaman islands onTsunami anniversary day
UNI, New Delhi, 26 December : An earthquake of slight intensity hit the North Andaman islands early today, the Indian Meteorological said. According to a release by the Met department, the quake, measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale had its epicentre at 14.2 degrees north lattitude and 92.9 degrees east longitude.
No loss of life or damage to property was reported so far, the release added.
Census in Cox's Bazar : 12286 wetland birds spotted
Cox's Bazar, 26 December : About 12,286 wetland birds of 39 species have been spotted in Maheshkhali, Sonadia and Shahparir Dwip in Cox's Bazar, shows a recent bird census.
The Directorate of Environment, and Marine Life Alliance, a research and nature conservation organisation, jointly conducted the three-day bird census from 18 December. Zahirul Islam, executive director of Marine Life Alliance, said a number of Spoonbill Sandpiper (Calidris pygmeus), an endangered species of bird, had been recorded. Of them, six were spotted on the Sonadia and Mokam sea beach. Only a few hundred pairs of the 14-15 centimetre long bird now remain throughout the world.
The census area falls under the East Asian-Australasian Flyway of migratory birds. A team led by German ornithologist Dr Christoph Jauckler has been working for conservation of the endangered birds across the globe.
Zahirul Islam, Md Faisal, member of Bird Club and student of the biology department at the Jagannath College, DoE officials Md Bashir Uddin and Md Hasibur Rahman conducted the census with the help of volunteers from Sonadia, Maheshkhali and Shahparir Dwip.
Both Sonadia and Badar Mokam beach have been favourite spots of migratory birds. Spoonbill Sandpiper has been spotted in the two areas since 2006. Migratory birds make a stopover there to collect food before flying to further south. Some species of migratory birds even spend the whole winter there.

Zahirul said the sandy beaches, wetlands and coastal mangroves adjacent to Sonadia are very crucial for these wetland birds.
Migratory birds fly at least 7,000 kilometres to get shelter and food there. About 40,000 to 50,000 migratory and local wetland birds stay in the coastal areas of Sonadia and Maheshkhali in the winter, said Zahirul.
He said although Kaladia, Paikdia, Alordia and Belekerdia near Sonadia are well-known bird sanctuaries, the Bangladesh government has moved to set up a deep seaport in the area much to the frustration of environmental activists.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Bangladeshi peacekeepers are facing abroad...

Bangladeshi officer to lead
UN's Ivory Coast mission
Dhaka, 25 December : The United Nations is going to appoint a Bangladeshi major general as the force commander of its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast.
Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on defence ministry M Idris Ali said this to newsmen at Zia International Airport on his arrival from an official visit to the peacekeeping missions in Ivory Coast and Congo. He also revealed some problems the Bangladeshi peacekeepers are facing abroad, saying the committee would submit recommendations to the government in this regard, reports ATN Bangla.
The recommendations would include taking initiatives to provide the Bangladeshi soldiers with cheap phone call rates for talking to the country and chartering airbus to fly them home during annual vacations.

Forward trading main cause for high food inflation : Asim D
Kolkata, 25 December : West Bengal Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta Friday said forward trading and relaxation of Essential Commodities Act were the key causes of the current spell of price rise, that has seen India’s annual food inflation top 18 percent.
“During the regime of National Democratic Alliance, when Trinamool Congress was partner, there was a complete relaxation of the Essential Commodities Act. We are trying to bring that in order,” Dasgupta said, talking about the recent food price rise. “The Union finance minister (Pranab Mukherjee) is fully aware about what is happening. He is fully aware what is going on in forward trading,” he told reporters on the margins of a trade fair organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His comments came after Mukherjee said state governments should ensure subsidised food grain was given via effective public distribution system, while taking effective steps against hoarding of bring down food inflation.
Dasgupta said that there was a need for full co-ordinated action between all the states and the centre. “Our Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had said he has written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.”

Tripura governor Dnyandeo Y Patil to take Rs1 salary
Agartala, 25 December : Tripura Governor Dnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil has announced he will take Re.1 as his monthly salary instead of Rs 110,000, an official said in Agartala.
"According to the governors' emoluments, allowances and (privilege) act, 1982, the emolument to every governor is Rs 110,000 per month," a Raj Bhavan official told Bengal Newz, not wishing to be identified. He said, "On assumption of the charge of governor of Tripura, Patil has decided to accept payment of Re 1 per month as his emolument."
Patil (74), took his oath as Tripura's 12th governor on 27 November. The Maharashtra educationist, who has been awarded a Padma Shri and has founded several educational and health institutions in Maharashtra, replaced Dr Kamla Beniwal, the first woman governor of this northeastern state. Photo : Parthajit Dutta
India Trade Fair in Bangladesh in February next year
PTI, Dhaka, 25 December : Seeking to attract investment from India and Indian manufacturers eyeing the growing Bangladesh market, India Trade Fair 2010 will be held here between 25 and 27 February.
Abdul Matlub Ahmed, President of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), which is organising the event in cooperation with Indian High Commission here, said a large number of Indian and Bangladeshi companies will exhibit their products in 79 stalls and 16 pavilions in the Fair. "We are expecting a large participation from India as many of Indian companies have trade links with Bangladesh and many have already established joint venture companies here," he said.
Ahmed said the Fair will showcase Bangladesh's "success" stories and the potential areas where Indian investors might be interested in.

B'desh President Zillur Rahman holds Christmas reception
UNB, Dhaka, 25 December : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman on Friday hosted a reception for members of Christian community at Bangabhaban on the occasion of the holy Christmas.
Archbishop Paulinus Costa, diplomats of different countries, distinguished persons of Christian community, religious leaders and professionals joined the reception. The president welcomed the guests and exchanged greetings with them. A decorated Christmas tree was set up while a group of young singers of the community sang Christmas carol during the reception. Later, President Zillur Rahman cut a 40kg Christmas cake with the members of the Christian communities. A Santa Clause was roaming around and distributed chocolates among the children.
State Minister for Religious Affairs M Shahjahan Miah and State Minister for Cultural Affairs Promode Mankin were present on the occasion. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

CAB forms panel to investigate Eden's light fiasco
Kolkata, 25 December : Embarrased over the power failure in one of the floodlit towers at the Eden Gardens here during the fourth ODI between Indian and Sri Lanka, the Cricket Association of Bengal has consituted a seven-member panel to inquire into the incident.
The seven-member committee which includes Kolkata police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, deputy commisioner of Detective Department Javed Shamim, former CAB joint secretary Chitrak Mitra, Sadhan Mukherjee, Dilip Sen, S Biswas and P K Mullick will look into the black-out incident which plunged the stadium into near darkness after floodlits at the High Court end went off for nearly 26 minutes yesterday with just four balls remanining in the Sri Lankan innings.

Bangladesh clock goes back 1-hr on '31 December' night
Dhaka, 25 December : The Bangladesh government yesterday decided to put the clock back by one hour on 31 December midnight and the new time will continue until 31 March, 2010 midnight.
The decision came at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office last night. The government will advance again the Bangladesh Standard Time by one hour on 31 March next year by enforcing the Daylight Saving Time (DST) for seven months. It will continue till 31 October until further notice. Earlier on 2 June, the cabinet approved DST proposal by pushing forward the clock an hour which came into effect from 19 June to better utilise daylight and save electricity.
PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said, with the introduction of DST since June 19, around 200-megawatt electricity was saved.