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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bangladesh' export to foreign markets retain growth in July-Aug

BBC News, Dhaka, 12 December : Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers have been picketing factories and blocking roads, as they continue to demand a promised pay rise.
More than 4,000 workers blocked a main highway in the manufacturing northern district of Gazipur and demonstrated outside two plants near Dhaka. On Sunday, three people died and scores were injured in the protests. The unrest has paralysed the country's $15bn garment industry, which accounts for 80% of annual export earnings.
More than three million people, most of them women, work in Bangladesh's garment factories, which make clothes for major Western brands, including Wal-Mart, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour. The workers say wages have not gone up, even though rises were due last month. On Sunday, police used batons and tear gas to disperse protesters in Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong. Photos : AP

B'desh export to foreign countries retain growth in July-Aug
UNB, Dhaka, 12 December : Country’s export to key destinations like Germany, UK and France maintained its healthy growth in the first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal (2010-11) compared to the corresponding period of fiscal 2009.
In July-August 2010, exports to Germany totaled US$ 534.12 million, which was 14.77 percent of the total export earnings. Exports to UK totaled US$ 333.29 million in July-August 2010, which was 9.22 percent of the total export earnings. Exports to France during the two months increased to US$ 208.60 million which accounted for 5.77 percent of the total export earnings. Exports to Italy totaled US$ 130.93 million in July-August 2010 with knitwear accounting for US$ 79.63 million. Export earnings from USA, the largest market for Bangladeshi goods, notched a robust growth in the first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal totaling US$ 899.22 million. The Netherlands, another big export destination for Bangladesh, imported goods worth US$ 241.81 million during the two months. This included knitwear US$ 137.60 million, woven garment US$ 74.86 million and frozen shrimps US$ 11.14 million.
Of the total exports in July-August 2010, eight items contributed around 89% woven garment 36.42%, knitwear 43.95%, frozen foods 2.52%, jute and jute made goods 3.40%, leather 1.31%, chemical materials 0.67% and raw jute 0.68%.

Mamata, Pranab to attend Rail programmes together on 15
Kolkata, 12 December : Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would share the dais to inaugurate a host of railway programmes next week.
Sagardighi which falls under Mukherjee's Jangipur parliamentary constituency would host one such programme. The programmes include doubling of the line between Nalhati in Birbhum district and Sagardighi in Murshidabad district on 15 December.
Army jawan shoots colleague dead, commits suicide in Asm
PTI, Tinsukia, 12 December : A jawan shot his colleague dead and injured seven others before killing himself in an army camp in upper Assam's Dibrugarh district today.
Jawan Balbir Singh had an altercation with Lance Nayak Chandrabir at around 9 am and shot him dead, official sources said. Balbir then fired randomly injuring seven others in the camp before allegedly shooting himself dead. The injured were admitted to hospital.
Seed crisis worries Boro farmers in Bangladesh' Sylhet dist
UNB, Sylhet, 12 December : Farmers of Sylhet region have become anxious due to seed crisis ahead of Boro season.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) sources said a target has been set to bring 73,105 hectares of land under Boro paddy cultivation this season in the region. Farmers said though the land and weather is suitable for Boro cultivation, they are facing problems in cultivating the paddy due to acute seed scarcity.
DAE sources said 50 percent of seeds against the demand are supplied to the farmers through Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) while 10 percent of the demand is fulfilled from the farmers’ preserved stock and so they are facing 40 percent shortfall of seeds.
Besides, it is alleged that dishonest traders have been selling sub-standard seeds at a high price in the market as the supply of government seeds is inadequate. DAE officials are optimistic about bumper production on the availability adequate quality seeds

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to head WB security commission
Kolkata, 12 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee would head the state security commission, replacing cabinet colleague Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra.
The decision has been taken following the Supreme Court's directive that only a chief minister or home minister in states would head this commission, chief secretary Samar Ghosh said here today. Dr Mishra, the Health Minister, was heading the Commission till now.
Ray' Feluda magic works in spurts in Gorosthane Sabdhan
IANS, Kolkata, 12 December : The Feluda theme music still sends a familiar thrill down the spine. Even though it is now 36 years after it was heard for the first time in Satyajit Ray's famous movie "Sonar Kella". The tall, handsome and inordinately bright detective has made sure there's a bit of a child in every Bengali.
So another Feluda adventure by Ray's son Sandip is welcome. But the detective of "Gorosthane Sabdhan" has none of the flair of the original. To actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty's credit, he is alert, observant and athletic for his age. But alas! He is not alert, observant, and athletic enough for Feluda.
Still less appropriate is Topshe, Feluda's acolyte. Saheb Bhattacharya's callow youth does little to flesh out Feluda's teenaged cousin and constant companion to satisfaction. Jatayu (Bibhu Bhattacharya) works far too hard to make people laugh and ends up being quite unfunny. Will someone tell him, popular thriller writer Lalmohan Ganguly is no joker; it is just that his ways are comical enough to tickle people into spontaneous laughter?

Sandip Ray sets his film in the present instead of the late 1970s, the time it rightfully belongs to, like he did with his other Feluda films. This puts him in an inevitable dilemma. Feluda uses internet (he has to be with the times, of course) but for some strange reason does not have the facility at home and has to visit a cybercafe to access internet. Fair enough. But why does he have to go to Sidhu Jyatha, a man of encyclopaedic knowledge, if he can get all the information on the internet?
Feluda has to do a lot of untoward explaining, as a result, but still cannot satisfy the logical mind. Wouldn't it have been much easier for the director to retain its 1970s setting, returning to Lalmohan Babu his absurd green ambassador rather than have him drive around in a spick and span Santro of the same colour?
"Gorosthane Sabdhan" offers some interesting insights into colonial Calcutta - this was well before the city officially came to be known as Kolkata - and comes alive in the portions where it does so. The scenes shot in the Park Street cemetery are also among the more interesting bits. On the strength of these sequences, the latest Feluda film manages to score above another Feluda film by Sandip Ray, "Kailashe Kelenkari", which was an unmitigated disaster.
One last word about Feluda himself. In spite of his age and mature body language, Feluda (Chakraborty) is the best thing about "Gorosthane Sabdhan". We especially loved him in the scene where he stuns a "seance", swoops upon an heirloom being used to summon a dead soul and deftly manoeuvres Topshe and Jatayu to scoot down a rickety staircase, pummelling a man on the way, to the green Santro waiting at the foot of the building. Bravo, Chakraborty! That was Feluda all right.

Renowned Bengali film producer R D Bansal passes away
Kolkata, 12 December : Noted Bengali film producer R D Bansal, who had worked on a number of Satyajit Ray's films, yesterday died of old age ailment at his residence here.
He was 88 and is survived by son, daughter and granddaughter. Most of the films produced by him have been directed by the likes of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha.