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Wednesday May 21, 2003

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News Brief, Summary of more than 20 leading Bangla & English Dailies, Source : News Garden

Wednesday 21st May, 2003


Prime Minister Khaleda Zia urged the journalists Tuesday to reflect true image of the country both at home and abroad through their writings instead of presenting untrue and misleading information. She was speaking to the newly elected executive members of the Overseas Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (OCAB).

Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday sought Indian investment and technical assistance in developing Bangladesh road sector and pressed for greater access of its goods to the Indian market. Saifur, now on a goodwill visit to India, also urged New Delhi to dismantle tariff and non-tariff barriers.

A vital body constituted to resolve land disputes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) sits on its hands while land clashes rage upsetting the peace process. The Land Commission, thrown up under the landmark CHT Peace Agreement five years ago, is yet to start business, while about 35,000 cases of dispute grew as the real millstone around the regions neck.

Four people including three domestic helps of former deputy speaker Humayun Khan Panni’s residence were arrested for their suspected involvement in the killing of his wife Sultana Khan Panni. Police produced the four before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Dhaka with a seven-day remand prayer. The court placed them on five days’ remand for interrogation.

Ruling BNP has decided to refrain from making “over publicity” of its founder late President Ziaur Rahman through Bangladesh Television, party sources said. In a recent meeting ahead of President Zia’s 22nd anniversary of death on May 30, the party high command took the decision with a view to come out of the trend of ‘abuse’ of state-run media, the sources said.

Main opposition Awami League (AL) is to revive its eight thana level units of the city. The reorganisation began yesterday with a Tejgaon thana unit workers meeting at a city community centre. Another such meeting of the Sabujbagh thana unit was also held yesterday.

State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain said Tuesday the government would establish CNG courts soon to ensure safety and security of the passengers of the CNG-run vehicles.

Bangladesh Biman has increased the cargo freight for perishable goods by 15 per cent from June 1 this year amid protests from fruits and vegetable exporters, it is reported.

At least 24 people remained missing and hundreds of huts were flattened after a tropical storm swept across  small island, Saint Martin,  in the Bay of Bengal Tuesday, officials said.

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Repatriation of Rohingya refugees resumed Monday after over a couple of years with the return of 123 refugees from 20 families to their homeland Myanmar.

After an 18-hour ordeal on the no man’s land at the Pariya frontier, nine Indian citizens were taken back yesterday afternoon by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) after a failed push-in bid, official sources said.

In a significant move to facilitate talks with India, Pakistan has banned the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen and said the outfit’s leaders, including its chief Syed Salahuddin, have been restricted from entering Kashmir.

The number of persons missing was as high as 700 to 800 due to flash floods and landslides in the South Western region of in Sri Lanka. The number of missing persons and the death toll due to flash floods that hit several areas of the country kept rising on Monday while many lowlands in the Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambanthota districts reported rising water levels.

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British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s official spokesman announced his resignation Monday, the same day US President George W. Bush’s chief spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said he was quitting. Blair spokesman Godric Smith, who has been working in tandem with former BBC journalist Tom Kelly, said he wished to leave ‘at some point later this year.’

The United States on Monday rejected a call from the UN’s nuclear watchdog for its inspectors to return to Iraq quickly, saying the uncertain situation on the ground did not yet allow for it. The State Department said a decision on if and when to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to return alone or as a part of a new mission by the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) would not be made for some time.

South Korea warned North Korea Tuesday not to risk losing the benefits of inter-Korean economic cooperation by escalating the nuclear crisis, reports said.

In hopes of getting strong UN support, the United States made some concessions in its quest to lift 13-year-old trade sanctions against Iraq, somewhat enhancing the role of the United Nations and opening the door for the return of UN arms inspectors.

A wave of Palestinian suicide bombings battered a tenuous US-led ‘road map’ to Middle East peace and Israel redoubled threats to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat whom it blamed for fomenting militant violence.

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Veteran striker Dhanraj Pillay was Tuesday picked to lead an experienced Indian hockey team in two tournaments against arch-rivals Pakistan and hosts Australia later this month and in June.

Shoaib Malik hit an impressive 74 as Pakistan whipped New Zealand by 22 runs in a crucial match in Sri Lanka Tuesday to join their opponents in the final of a triangular one-day series.

Dhaka DSA and Dinajpur DSA moved into the semifinals of the National Youth Hockey Championship winning their respective final round matches at the Moulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in the city Tuesday.

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