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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SAARC leaders meet to project 'green and happy South Asia'

16th SAARC summit begins in Bhutan
UNB, Thimpu, 28 April : The two-day long 16th SAARC Summit began on Wednesday in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, aiming to take united initiative to deal with climate change and boost trade for economic development of the region.
Earlier, the leaders of eight South Asian nations gathered in Thimphu to play their respective roles in the summit. The theme of the summit is ‘Conservation of Environment and Climate’ also with addressing other challenging issues like terrorism, poverty alleviation and regional cooperation, and further strengthen the economic integration of the South Asian countries. Leaders will figure out ways to address the threat of climate change as an integral part and pull millions of people out of abject poverty, combat terrorism and deal more effectively with the region's natural disasters.
Thimpu is prepared to hold the summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) comprised of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka amid tight security.
In these 25 years, Bhutan could not host the summit for once and had skipped being the host thrice, citing lack of infrastructure. However, it has agreed to host, coincidentally, the silver jubilee of the Saarc summit on 28-29 April. Photos : AFP

B'desh PM Hasina seeks cooperation to combat terrorism
UNB, Thimpu, 28 April : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday sought cooperation from all, including the United States, to combat terrorism, saying it is impossible to fight against terrorism alone.
She sought the cooperation when US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake called on her at Bangladesh Villa in SAARC Village. The prime minister mentioned that terrorism has become a threat to peace and prosperity of the world, including the SAARC region. She underscored the need of united efforts of the SAARC member countries to free the region from terrorism and extremism.
“The SAARC member countries could take united efforts on regional basis to fight extremism in the region as this is not possible alone,” she said. Photo : AP

Alert in Assam after reports of ULFA bombers sneaking in
IANS, Guwahati, 28 April : A massive security alert was sounded in Assam Wednesday following intelligence reports of at least three bombers of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) sneaking into the state's main city of Guwahati to carry out serial explosions in public places.
A police spokesperson said the ULFA bombers belonged to the outfit's 109th battalion and were aiming to trigger violent attacks in the city. 'They could target security forces and even crowded areas like Machkhowa, Ganeshguri, and Fancy Bazar, and we have already deployed security forces in strength to foil any such attacks,' Bibekananda Das, senior superintendent of police (in-charge) of Guwahati city, told journalists.

BD's PM Sheikh Hasina eyes electricity from Nepal, Bhutan
BSS, Thimpu, 28 April : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Nepal and Bhutan could generate more hydro-electricity by using their water resources and export to Bangladesh.
The Himalayan state Nepal has ample opportunity to produce more hydro-electricity tanks to its geographical location, Hasina said when Nepal’s Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal paid a call on her at Bangladesh House in SAARC Village in the morning. During the meeting, they discussed wide range of bilateral issues including expansion of trade and business between the two countries, establishing inter-country road connectivity and the possibility of using land and seaports of Bangladesh by Nepal for the economic benefit of both the countries.

Journalist leaders protest govt decision to shut 'Channel-1'
Dhaka, 28 April : Leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Journalists Union (DUJ) today protested the government’s decision to shut-down private satellite television operator Channel-1.
They also urged the government to give an opportunity to the channel to resume its broadcast. The journalist leaders in a joint statement said the government shut-down the channel with a lame excuse and in this way it also barred freedom of expression and the right to hold independent views.
Noted author Amitav Ghosh wins prestigious "Dan David"
PTI, Jerusalem, 28 April : Noted Indian author Amitav Ghosh has won the prestigious Dan David Prize for his remarkable reworking of the great tradition of the Western novel in transnational terms.
The one million dollar award is a joint international enterprise endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University. It is annually awarded in three different fields - Archaeology, Performing Arts and Material Science - in the three dimension time framework of past, present and future. Ghosh, 53 is the third Indian to win the award, joining an elite league comprising of chemist CNR Rao and musician Zubin Mehta.
The Indian author will be sharing the prize in the present dimension with Dr Gordon E Moore, whose Moore's Law has become the guiding principle for the semiconductor industry to deliver ever-more-powerful chips while decreasing the cost of electronics.

Angry Pranab finds disruption of Lok Sabha 'disgusting'
PTI, New Delhi, 28 April : Put off by the vociferous protests in the Lok Sabha by AIADMK members over 2G Spectrum allocation issue, an agitated Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today found it "disgusting" that some members were derailing the House.
Faced with protests from AIADMK, which has nine members in the Lok Sabha, as well as some from other opposition parties, when he rose to present the Finance Bill, Mukherjee said, "Only ten members are holding a House of 543. This is not fair". This is "disgusting", he quipped.

Court asks to haul 256 Pilkhana mutineers before it on 29th
Dhaka, 28 April : The mutiny trial against 256 mutineers of hospital unit of Bangladesh Rifles Pilkhana Headquarters began on Wednesday, minutes after a case was filed before the Special Court-6 set up for trying the BDR mutiny case.
The three-member court headed by BDR Director General Md Mainul Islam took the case into cognisance and asked the authorities concerned to produce all the mutineers before it at its next sitting. Subedar Nannu Miah of the unit filed the case for their alleged involvement with the mutiny. Of the 256 accused jawans, 90 have been detained in a case filed with the New Market Police Station in connection with BDR Pilkhana mutiny while the rest 166 are still serving the unit. The court also ordered to show the 90 arrested in the case and arrest the rest.
A total of 74 people, including 57 army officials, were killed during the 25-26 February mutiny at Pilkhana BDR Headquarters.
Again CPM activist killed near Jhargram in West Midnapore
Jhargram, 28 April : A CPI(M) activist was killed by unidentified assailants near Jhargram in West Midnapore district in the wee hours today.
Police said Nihar Mahato (35), an active member of CPI(M), was taken away by armed unidentified men from his house at Kamariya village under Jhargram police station area last night. Mahato was then made to walk towards Chandi More, some distance away, with his hands tied and shot dead. The body, with two bullet wounds on head, was recovered this morning by the joint forces.
30 hurt as hundreds of Mirpur garment workers go berserk
Dhaka, 28 April : At least 30 people were injured in an hour-long clash between riot police and garment workers in Dhaka's Mirpur area Wednesday morning.
Vehicular movement in the area came to a halt for several hours following the incident. Chase and counter-chase took place between them, turning the Mirpur 13 and 14 sectors into a battlefield. Witnesses said the clash developed as several hundreds of garment workers of different factories in Mirpur area including the workers of the Opex Group took to the street at about 9:30am(BDST) and blocked the road to press home their several demands including increasing their monthly salary minimum Tk 5000. At present the workers get only Tk 1650 monthly.
Kolkata's premier private hospital served with closure notice
Kolkata, 28 April : A notice of closure has been served on a premier private hospital here and show cause issued to three government-run ones for "violating" the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.
The Calcutta Medical Research Institute has been issued notice for closure and allowed a month's time to improve waste management by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board. A cost of Rs one lakh for repeated violation of the Board's orders was also imposed, a PCB spokesman said today. Also at fault were state-run Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, Howrah state General Hospital and Uluberia sub-divisional hospital.
Asian Development Bank won't fund anti-Adivasi projects
Dhaka, 28 April : Asian Development Bank (ADB) will not provide fund for any development project that threatens lives and livelihood of Adivasi people.
International consultant and team leader of ADB Roger Plant said social assessment must be conducted in future before launching any development project involving Adivasi people. If it is proved that any development project is likely to have adverse impact on Adivasi people, ADB would not give any fund for it, he added. Roger made the comment at a discussion titled “Capacity development issues on indigenous people's safeguard and indigenous people's network forum in Bangladesh” following criticism from Adivasi participants regarding ADB funding on different development projects that affect their lives.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum (BAF) organised the programme in cooperation with ADB at IDB Bhaban yesterday morning. Roger made the comment with reference to ADB safeguard policy-2009. “Participation of Adivasi people must be ensured in a development project beginning from the stage of designing to monitoring. The development should be done respecting the culture of Adivasi communities,” said BAF general secretary Sanjib Drong. “Policy and law regarding Adivasi people should be formulated in a way that not only ensures protection of indigenous people but also benefits the marginalised indigenous community in the country,” he added.
Adivasi participants mentioned instances of projects like the ones in Fulbari and Madhupur National Park that affected indigenous people severely displacing them from their own land. The ADB policy ensures culturally appropriate social and economic benefits for adivasi people in its future projects and their active participation in all levels of a project including its design and implementation.

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