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Monday, March 15, 2010

European Union promises B'desh food aid worth 21M dollars

Dhaka, 14 March : The European Union on Sunday announced food aid for Bangladesh worth about 21.2 million US dollars to help Bangladeshi people better deal with drastic increases in food prices. The EU signed grant contacts with a number of non-governmental organizations to distribute the money via five programmes for providing agricultural inputs, cash and asset transfer to enable farmers to boost their output, according to an EU statement from Dhaka.
"The projects will address problems and challenges which extremely poor farmers and small-holder producers face in raising their productivity," said Stefan Frowein, an EU ambassador in Dhaka.

India, Bangladesh security forces trade fire in Meghalaya
IANS, Shillong, 14 March : The Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) on Sunday traded gunfire in Muktapur sector along the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya, officials in Shillong said.
The incident of firing, the fourth within a fortnight, started around 1.45 pm and lasted for nearly half an hour, Prithvi Raj, Inspector of the BSF in Assam-Meghalaya said. He said the BDR had resorted to fresh "unprovoked firing" to scare away Indian villagers engaged in fishing in a swamp area in Birkympleng in Meghalaya's Jaintia Hills district.

West Bengal government wants Coast Guard station at Frasergunj in Sundarbans
Kolkata, 14 March : As a part of measures for stepping up security along the coast, the Coast Guard is keen on setting up a station at Frasergunj in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district.
A decision to this effect was taken by State Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Charkraborti, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen and a senior officer of the Indian Navy, after a meeting. Chakraborti said that while the security measures along the coast were reviewed at the meeting, it was decided to propose to the Centre the issue of setting up a Coast Guard station at Frasergunj located at the tip of the State, on one of the many islands that dot the Sundarbans delta.
West Bengal has a Coast Guard station at Haldia in Purba Medinipur district.

Oil exploration, trade... on Sheikh Hasina's Beijing agenda
Dhaka, 14 March : Getting China to join the race for hydrocarbons in the Bay of Bengal and bridging the bilateral trade gap are high on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's agenda as she leaves for Beijing on Wednesday.
Eighty-seven delegates, including businessmen, will be part of her entourage during the five-day visit. Highly placed sources said officials are busy fine-tuning the programme schedules to make the visit a success, the Daily Star said. Hasina signed five deals with India during her visit to New Delhi in January and follow-up measures are afoot on both sides. Four deals are scheduled to be inked with China.
Hasina will hold bilateral talks with her counterpart Wen Jiabao 18 March. Foreign ministry sources said Chinese assistance for various projects in Bangladesh, like the construction of the seventh Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, Chittagong-Myanmar-Kunming Highway and a Bangladesh-China exhibition centre and a deep-sea port at Sonadia Island in Cox's Bazar, will be sought during the talks.

Restoring Dhaka University's old fame as 'Oxford of the East'
Pulok Debnath, TFE, Dhaka, 14 March : In earlier times, Dhaka University (DU) was treated as 'Oxford of the East' and of course, mainly the students of this university of that time proved to the evaluators that DU deserved that dignity. Though the advanced technology and the expertise of the modern academicians have added to this epoch, what do we find if we compare the present position of DU with the then condition of the University of Dhaka?
Once DU was considered Oxford of the East. The reasons behind this may be the fact that Oxford University had a great fame of creating the great leaders in the world. READ FULL STORY
Andaman and Nicobar administration takes steps to enforce 'Plastic ban'
Port Blair, 14 March : The Andaman and Nicobar (A and N) administration has imposed a ban on use, manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of plastic carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic and having thickness of less than 70 microns.
Besides this, use of any type of plastic carry bags has also been banned in all tourists' spots including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, beaches and destinations like Ross Island, Viper Island, Mud volcano, Limestone Caves at Baratang. The Union Government has also empowered District Magistrates, Assistant Commissioners, Tehsildars of all districts and Station House Officers of all police stations besides other designated officers to take steps to enforce the ban on bags within their respective jurisdiction. ''Violators of the provisions of this notification shall be booked by the authorities concerned,'' an official warning issued by A and N administration said here yesterday. The Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman has asked all concerned including shopkeepers, manufacturers, tour operators, boat owners to comply with this notification in its true spirit to protect the ecology of the Islands.
Social activists and various NGOs working in the Islands have been demanding for a total ban on plastic carry bags in the Islands since the past several years to protect the diverse ecology of these far-flung Islands.