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Beware of silent killers: Part II

Bhadra 9, 1420 Shawwal 16, 1434 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 152





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UN chief phones top two leaders, calls for talks Hasina briefs on initiatives to end political deadlock

Khaleda says BNP won’t go to polls under AL

n Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Sheikh Hasina yesterday told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that she had urged the opposition BNP to place its proposal on polls-time administration’s structure in the next parliamentary session and that her party was ready to discuss the proposal. Ban called ruling Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina over telephone yesterday morning and discussed several issues, including Bangladesh’s existing political situation and the next parliamentary elections. They talked on the phone for over half an hour, PM’s Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury told the Dhaka Tribune. Hasina told the UN secretary-general that her government believed in solving problems through peaceful ways such as dialogue. She assured Ban that the next par-

liamentary polls would be held in due time and that her government would take all-out efforts to make the polls credible and neutral. She also said her government was ready for a peaceful handover of power. She said more than 6,000 elections had been held under the incumbent government electing some 47,000 representatives of people, but no one could question the election process. “The government gave the opposition an offer for talks but the opposition leader turned it down and issued a 48-hour ultimatum and threatened to oust the government. This stand of the opposition leader led to an unstable situation marked by violence, terrorism and subversive activities,” Iqbal Sobhan quoted Hasina as telling Ban Ki-moon. The ruling Awami League and the main opposition BNP have been in a standoff centring the nature of the ad-

ministration for overseeing the next general elections. The PM recently declared that the polls would be held as per the constitutional provisions and that she would not deviate from the constitution. On the other hand, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also made clear that her party would not participate in any election under a partisan government and asked the government to place a bill in parliament to restore the caretaker government system. Hasina told Ban that in the last session of parliament her party had decided to discuss an adjournment motion on the caretaker government system placed by a BNP lawmaker, but the opposition party later withdrew it. The UN secretary-general listened to the PM but did not make any recommendation for overcoming the prevailing situation, said Iqbal Sobhan.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that her party was ready for a dialogue but it would not go for any election under the incumbent government. “The leader of the opposition told the UN secretary-general that there was no alternative to a dialogue or discussion to resolve the [existing political] crisis and the BNP was ready to go for a dialogue or discussion. But the party would not take part in any election under the Awami League government,” party’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters at a briefing at Khaleda’s Gulshan office. Ban Ki-moon called Khaleda over telephone around 6:40pm and talked for around half an hour regarding the election process and current political crisis, said Fakhrul.

Rab unearths new militant group in Bogra n Our Correspondent, Bogra

“The UN secretary-general told the opposition leader that he wanted to see a free and fair election with participation of all political parties. That is why the United Nation was closely observing Bangladesh’s political situation,” Fakhrul quoted Ban as saying. In reply, Khaleda told Ban: “There is no alternative to a non-partisan government for holding a free, fair and credible election. A strong Election Commission is also necessary for this.” Fakhrul said the UN chief had expressed his concern over the country’s political situation. “I took an initiative to hold a participatory, fair and free election but that initiative did not proceed so far,” Ban told Khaleda. In May, Moon sent Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, assistant secretary general for political affairs of the UN, apparently

Law enforcers have rounded up three members of a hitherto unknown alleged Islamist militant group from the northern district township of Bogra on Thursday in a nightlong drive. Rapid Action Battalion in a press briefing on Friday morning made the disclosure that the new group, which called itself “BEM,” had been planning subversive activities in the area. Jamil Ahmed, company commanding officer (CO) of Rab 12, told reporters that the group had close structural and ideological resemblances with the outlawed Islamist outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). He said Rab recovered at least 80 rounds of live bullets, one SMG, one LMG, one pistol and several sharp weapons from a house in Thanthania area in Bogra town. He also said the arrestees, namely Firoz Alam, Md Nahid and Barha Mohmmad Babu, had come from Dinajpur, Gaibandha and Dhaka to train on using modern firearms and ammunition.



Public servants wait for 20% DA n Asif Showkat Kallol

Sacks full of limbs found in dump yard n Ashif Islam Shaon

The government is likely to announce 20% dearness allowance for its 1.1m employees, in a bid to ease the inflationary pressure, official sources said. The two or three increments of salaries of government officials and employees were not helpful for maintaining their living standard, Finance Minister AMA Muhith had told the Dhaka Tribune before Eid. He had also said the salaries of government staffs should increase which would give them some financial comfort, a step he had hoped might be taken within the next two months. Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may make a formal announcement on dearness allowance when she will inaugurate a renovated 100-bed government employees’ hospital beside the Railway Hospital at Fulbaria in Dhaka on August 27. The government has a plan to constitute a permanent pay commission, but finance division officials are in doubt whether it will be declared before the Awami League-led government leaves the office. They also said the finance minister had initially approved the proposal of dearness allowance, which is minimum Tk2,000 and maximum Tk5,000 to help public servants cope with the

Police recovered several human limbs packed inside seven sacks at a Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) garbage dumping zone in the capital’s Matuail yesterday. Chief Garbage Management Officer of DCC South SM Zabed Iqbal said some urchins found the sacks and told them, who then informed the police. Demra Zone Senior Assistant Commissioner Minhazul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune, “Police recovered seven legs, five arms, parts of two heads and 13 pieces of bones from inside those sacks. It is being estimated that the parts were of at least four individuals." In primary investigation, the police was assuming that these were the remains of two males and two females. “We have sent the body parts to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for DNA test. The actual number of bodies will be ascertained after the test has been done,” he said. Teams of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Detective Branch (DB) of police visited the spot after the bodies were found. “We have recovered 16 body parts including legs, hands, and parts of heads. There were also 13 body parts which have rotten down to the bone,” said a CID official. Police said the victims were killed several days back.



3 Two studies have been carried out in the last six months by BMET’s market research unit to identify new destinations for Bangladeshi migrant workers revealing good opportunities in Brazil, Italy, Singapore, Qatar, Australia and Sweden.


7 The CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers charge commuters at their will in the port city, defying the rule of counting fare on the meter. Passengers complain that the drivers sometimes demand almost twice the actual amount.


9 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday renewed his push for Syria to allow UN inspectors immediate access to investigate allegations that the government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus.


11 I have been told by many a wise political observer that perception of strength decides political outcome in elections within Bangladesh, where the swing voters decide the fate of a party based on that perception. Matthew Islam writes about the period in politics when anything and everything goes in an attempt to grab headlines

A workshop employee works on iron sheets that occupy a large stretch of the walkway in the capital’s Dholaipar area. Photo was taken yesterday


Doctors’ shortage cripples MURDER OF SB OFFICER, WIFE upazila health complexes Police have no vital clue n Moniruzzaman Uzzal

The acute crisis of doctors at upazila health complexes around the country is a widely run issue in Bangladeshi media. The prime minister has often been heard asking doctors to stay in the rural areas and serve those who need it the most. Even the upazila that the country’s president hails, is not free from such inadequacies. The health complexes in the three upazilas that comprise

the former parliamentary constituency of current President Abdul Hamid, only have seven doctors up against the available posts for 49. The health complexes at Itna, Ashtagram and Mithamoin upazilas of Kishoreganj are all separate 50-bed facilities where 49 doctors are supposed to be posted. Mithamoin, the home of the president, actually does not even have an Upazila Health and Family  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

n Mohammad Jamil Khan

The Detective Branch of Police is likely to seek extension of the remand for Oishee Rahman today as it is yet to find the vital clue to the mystery behind the murder of her parents. Oishee, daughter of Special Branch Inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Shapna Rahman, was taken on a five-day remand last Sunday after police recovered the bodies of the couple from their Chamelibagh residence on August 16.

Detective Branch to seek remand extension for Oishee An investigator of DB police who interrogated Oishee said on the last day of her remand plea Oishee seemed a little indisposed with breathing problem and had to use inhaler. The investigator said from the beginning of her remand she is giving confusing statement about the murders. For that reason, we failed to glean the real fact about the incident like how she used to get drugs at her residence, how many people were involved in the

killings, if any friends helped her and if so how she managed to let them out of the house. Though another remanded accused, domestic help of Oishee, Khadiza Akter Shumi told the investigators that Oishee alone committed the crime. Jahanagir Hossain Matubbor, deputy commissioner of the DB, said they were in search for her two friends – Joni and Sahidul. Asked about sending her to the court, Monirul Islam, joint-commissioner of DB police, said as the remand was over they would send her to the court on Saturday. But a DB police official said they would seek extension of remand for Oishee. The third remanded accused and friend of Oishee, Roni declined his involvement in the killing during the remand but he said he had a good relation with Oishee and he often met her outside her house, especially at different bars. Meanwhile, the medical team formed to verify the age and physical condition of Oishee would give its result on Sunday.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1


From school to a life on drugs n Mohammad Jamil Khan Oishee Rahman, daughter of Special Branch of Police Inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Shapna Rahman was a meritorious student at her primary level of education and passed class five with a good result. Iftekharuzzaman, uncle of Oishee, said Oishee started her education at Banasree Cordova International School in 2002 and after completing class five she got admitted into Motijheel Ideal School. Iftekhar, who was used to live with Oishee’s family on the same flat, said Oishee was a very decent and polite girl during her childhood and he had never seen her losing temper or doing badly in school examinations. As this correspondent went to Motijheel Ideal School to collect information about her education life the authorities declined to talk about her saying that her case was sub-judice. Later, this correspondent contacted Oxford International School authorities who said Oishee took admission when she was in class eight.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Saturday, August 24, 2013

Energy ministry seeks amendment to contracts for deep sea blocks

Proposal set to be placed in next cabinet committee meeting

n Aminur Rahman Rasel The Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) is expected to place a proposal at the next meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs to amend the Model Production Sharing Contract (MPSC) 2012, which will apparently favour foreign oil companies working in Bangladesh. EMRD Secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan told the Dhaka Tribune last week that his office had recently received the proposal after vetting from the law ministry. Sources said Petrobangla, the staterun oil, gas and mineral corporation, has reportedly proposed amendments to the MPSC for deep sea blocks under pressure from international oil companies (IOCs).

The proposed amendments include increasing the price and share of gas for IOCs, a higher cost recovery limit and corporate tax payment by Petrobangla. On December 17, 2012, Petrobangla invited international tender for exploring oil and gas in 12 blocks under the Offshore Bidding Round 2012. Of the blocks in the Bay of Bengal, nine are in shallow sea, while three are in deep sea. However, Petrobangla suspended the bidding process for the deep sea blocks, allegedly after “requests” from interested IOCs. On 27 July, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is in charge of the energy ministry, consented to an EMRD proposal to amend the MPSC for deep sea hydrocarbon blocks. According to the proposed

amendments, an IOC would sell around 50% of the gas produced to Petrobangla at $6.50 per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet), instead of $5. The IOC would be allowed to sell 50% of its share of gas to a third party inside Bangladesh. It could also sell off Petrobangla’s share, if the latter does not purchase it. At present, there is no scope to export gas. Cost recovery limit has also been raised to 70% from 55% of the produced oil and gas in the amended MPSC, while Petrobangla will have to pay 37.5% in corporate tax on behalf of IOCs. Four foreign companies _ Chevron, Santos, Conoco-Phillips and Tallow _ are working in the country now, following international biddings in 1993, 1997 and 2008. l

Members of the Detective Branch of police work at a waste dumping ground in the capital’s Matuail area from where they recovered decomposed body parts of four men and women yesterday RAJIB DHAR

Cops among 5 injured in Keraniganj gunfight Rony’s illegal office swept from classroom n Mohammad Jamil Khan At least five people, including four police officials, were injured in a gunfight between police personnel and a gang of muggers at Zianagar village in Keraniganj area, the outskirts of the city, in the early hours of yesterday. The injured were identified as subinspectors – Abul Kalam Azad and Aminul Islam – and constables Abdul Matin and M Safur of Keraniganj Model police station. Police arrested bullet-hit Noor Hossain, 28, son of Nurul Haque of the

village, after the shootout. Mohammad Mainuddin, officerin-charge of Keranigaj Model police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that acting on a tip-off, a team of police had conducted a drive at the village around 11:30pm. Sensing the presence of the law enforcers, Noor and his accomplices opened fire on them, prompting them to retaliate that triggered a gunfight between them, he said, adding that the gunfight continued for around half an hour, leaving four police officials including, terrorist group member Noor, injured.

From school to a life on drugs  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

After getting promotion to class nine in 2009 Oishee began to show negligence in her education and her attendance was poor. She totally stopped attending classes in the beginning of 2011 and for that reasons the school authorities cancelled her registration. Bilkis Akter, an aunt of Oishee, said

as she lost interest in school education Oishee’s parents registered her with British Council as a private O-level examinee. But it contributed nothing to her education life; she did not attend the exams either, said Bilkis. Officials of the intelligence department and Oxford school said Oishee started taking drugs when she was

Noor was admitted to the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (Nitor), popularly known as Pangu Hospital. OC Mainuddin said Noor was not only a notorious terrorist of the area but also a drug trader and accused in two cases. The injured officials received treatment from Keraniganj Upazila Health Complex. Police also recovered 96 bottles of Phensidyl, one shutter gun and a machete from the spot. Two separate cases were filed with the police station. l

n Anisur Rahman Swapan, Barisal Office of Awami League lawmaker Golam Maul Rony was dislocated from a room of Galachipa Secondary Model High School on Friday, which he had alleged occupied. Four years ago, the detained MP for Patuakhali-3 had forcibly occupied a segment of the school after engaging in a factional dispute with the upazila AL unit and set up his office there. The school authority had issued notices alleging the occupants to leave the premises on February 26, 2011.

Minhazul said, “Some parts were attached with each other by screws. After killing, the parts were detached from the body using machetes.” “The killers also used chemicals to process the bodies. So, there was no stench,” he added. “Garbage is collected all day from different parts of the capital and

dumped here. The garbage trucks dump garbage at the West side of the zone from 11pm to 3am and rest of the day to the East side. As the bodies were found in the West side, we are suspecting that cleaners dumped them on Thursday night,” he said. “I think cleaners could not understand that the sacks contained the body parts. They collect garbage from

in class eight at the instigation of her close school friend Rocky. Shahidul Alam Manzur, head of the development and function affairs of Oxford International School, said Oishee continued her education with Oxford school for a very short period of time and she was often found absent. “We used to call her parents every month and counsel Oishee,” he said.

He also said the school found her very intelligent and meritorious and she herself never confessed of doing drugs. She was promoted to class nine after passing in all subjects. “In 2011 we contacted Oishee’s parents several times but they did not respond to our calls,” he added. l

Badda, Gulshan, Banashree and the whole north Dhaka,” he added. “We will find out which vehicle brought the sacks. It may also be the case that killers themselves brought the sacks there,” the senior assistant commissioner added. Meanwhile, a number of people whose relatives have gone missing in the last few days from nearby areas rushed

When they were arrested, the trio had been getting trained to draw maps in military style, he said. The Rab CO, who could not immediately give the elaboration of “BEM,” said the group believed in the ideologies of JMB. Rab officer Abu Sayeed, who led the Thursday night drive, said BEM had set up a number of wings, including communication and inventory, to conduct organisational activities in the area. UNB adds: While briefing reporters

at the press conference, director of legal and media wing of Rab-12 ATM Habibur Rahman said some 21 activists of BEM rented the house of Dulal at Thanthania Dakkinpara on August 19. They stockpiled heavy weapons there in a bid to carry out massive subversive activities. Being tipped off, a Rab team conducted a drive from Thursday afternoon and arrested the three. However, the 18 others BEM activists managed to flee from the scene. During the drive, the crime busters

to the dumping zone hearing the news. Md Ripon, who came with a passport size photograph of his brotherin-law Mizanur Rahman, said Mizan went missing from his Shajahanpur residence on July 18. A youth named Rony took him out. “I came here hearing about the body recovery. But these bodies are not identifiable,” he said. l

The investigators are yet to make any breakthrough in the case due to puzzling statements of Oishee. The investigation team, led by Joint Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Monirul Islam, claimed Oishee Rahman, the 17-year-old daughter of the slain couple, to be ‘partially’ involved in the killing after she surrendered before the Paltan police station on Saturday afternoon. Later that day, Monirul said she along with some of her friends took part in the killing; however, they were still not sure about the exact number of perpetrators. They said Oishee was a drug-addict and took the help of three friends and the female house-help, 15-year-old Khadiza Khatun Sumi, to execute the killing. A Dhaka court placed Oishee, Sumi and Oishee’s friend Mizanur Rahman Rony on a five-day remand on Sunday. On the first day of the remand, in-

vestigators said Oishee had confessed that she personally took part in the killing and had mixed sedatives with coffee and served it to her parents to make them unconscious before the killing. However, later that night, a member of the investigation team again claimed, quoting Oishee, that she had not killed anyone but her friends did. However, after a while, the team once again claimed Oishee’s direct involvement with the killing. The investigators said Oishee, with her 7-year-old brother Ohi and house help Sumi, hired a CNG run auto rickshaw and rode on it all day long on the next day of the incident. Quoting the CNG run auto rickshaw driver, they said Oishee had paid him Tk1500, for the day and managed to keep Sumi at his residence in Mugda by giving him an additional Tk1000. “Generally, the CNG drivers charge at least Tk2500 for whole day. We wonder how she managed the driver with

In the beginning of the conversation, Ban Ki-moon conveyed his condolences to Hasina over the killing of her family members on August 15, 1975 and the grenade attack on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004. He praised the PM and her government for achieving the

Public servants

inflation, which marked a slight fall to 7.78% in July. This will cost the exchequer Tk50bn. President of Bangladesh Secretariat Karmachari Oikyo Parishad (a platform of secretariat employees) Abul Kudus Khan told the Dhaka Tribune the government’s delay in announcing the new pay scale has created resentment among officials. “The finance minister promised us that the government will announce the new pay scale in September,” he said. The government has not kept any

seized an SMG, an LMG, foreign pistols, 80 bullets, magazines and documents of the outfit from their flat. During interrogation, the arrested confessed that militant outfit JMB is now operating under new platform BEM. However, they did not elaborate on the abbreviation of BEM. Habibur Rahman said they were trying to find out the financers of the banned organisation. A case was filed with Bogra Sadar Police Station against them. l


to create ground for political dialogue between the two archrival parties for smooth transfer of power through a credible and participatory election. Taranco met the prime minister, leader of the opposition, speaker of the house, the chief election commissioner, leaders of political parties and select members of civil society. After the meetings he expressed his

block allocation in the current fiscal’s budget to meet the new pay scale which will require the government to spend Tk2.5bn every month in addition to regular salary. The government announced the seventh national pay scale in 2009 fixing the highest salary at Tk40,000 and lowest at Tk4,100. The last pay scale has come up with a 52% increase, on an average, in the basic salary of public servants. This enhanced pay scale requires the government an additional amount of Tk62.22bn annually. l

concern as “time is running out” to find a solution so Bangladesh can hold free, fair, credible and non-violent elections. The UN envoy said Bangladesh is very important for the global organisation, especially because of its strong commitment to international peace and security, Fernandez-Taranco praised Bangladesh saying, “Its very brave police and army officers are participating in the peacekeeping operations.” l

Doctors’ shortage cripples  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

only Tk1500,” said the investigators. Quoting the house help Sumi, they said Oishee first stabbed her mother and then her father. She had stabbed her mother indiscriminately as she held more grudge against her for becoming a barrier to her freedom. Meanwhile the investigators recovered a suicide note written in Bangla from Oishee’s room where she had written that she was frustrated about her life and wanted to commit suicide. However, police was still suspicious about the validity of the note because of her constantly changing statements over the case. On the third day following the incident, Joint-Commissioner Monirul told journalists that they were hunting for Jony and Saidul, two friends of Oishee, who were reportedly involved in the killing. The case scenario of the killings would become clearer after arrest of the duo, he said.

millennium development goal, moving forward the country’s economic growth and flourishing the democratic process. Ban Ki-moon also congratulated Hasina for her government’s success in curbing militancy and fundamentalism and expressed hope that her government would continue the efforts in future. l

Khaleda says BNP won’t go to

Police have no vital clue  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5



Rab unearths new militant group in Bogra  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

occupants. Harun-ur-Rashid and Golam Mustafa Tito, president and secretary of the unit respectively said it was not a place for setting up the party office. They alleged that by forming an illegal committee with two expelled leaders of the upazila AL unit, Rony used to carry out different terrorist activities like, extortion, toll collection etc from that office. Police on July 24 held Rony in connection with a case filed by Independent TV for assaulting two journalists. l

Hasina briefs on initiatives to

Sacks full of limbs found in dump yard  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

This year, following the arrest of Rony, the district administration again served him notice on August 18 following which Rony’s followers started vacating the premise on Friday morning. Reazul Karim Haoladar, upazila AL president of pro-Rony faction said we handed over the room to the school authority and started searching for a new location. Leaders of the anti-Rony faction of upazila AL unit thanked the district administration for recovering the premises of an educational institution by evicting illegal

According to the latest statement given by Oishee, Jony and Saidul had come to Oishee’s house at Chamelibag after 9pm on the day of the murder, the investigators said. They said both Jony and Saidul were drug addicts and were involved in drug peddling. They were notorious goons of Basila area of the capital. They claimed Oishee to be the primary perpetrator of the murders. She was a yaba addict and frustrated because her parents used to prevent her from taking drugs. Monirul Islam said Oishee had been saying different things at different times. Therefore, they were yet to get any concrete statement from her. He said upon detaining two other friends, who are hiding now, they would interrogate them and Rony in front of Oishee. After that we would get a clearer picture and be able to draw coordination over the different statements, he hoped. l

Planning Officer for supervising the overall healthcare situation in the area. The Mithamoin Upazila Health Complex has four medical officers only. Dr Mahbub Iqbal, president of Bangladesh Medical Association’s Kishoreganj unit, told the Dhaka Tribune that he had been trying hard to get the authorities to recruit doctors in some of the vacant posts in the health complex at the president’s upazila. “Although the country’s president hails from this area, nobody wants to stay. Most of the doctors, who had ever been posted in the area, got transferred to the capital or less remote areas by persuading high-ranked officials and political leaders,” Dr Mahbub regretted. Seeking anonymity, several highranked officials of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told the Dhaka Tribune that the three upazilas in Kishoreganj was just one small portion of a very large picture. They said there are a total of 397 upazila health complexes around the country, of which 244 are 31-bed facilities and the remaining 153 have 50 beds. Depending

on the accommodation arrangements, these complexes have posts for nine to 21 doctors each, including at least four specialists. However, in reality, most of these health complexes do not even have the least number of doctors, let alone specialists, they added. The DGHS officials also said while the rural health centres were struggling with the crisis, some of the public healthcare facilities in the capital and the other major cities have many more doctors than required. Dr Ruhul Forkan Siddique, a deputy director of DGHS, said there were a total of 24,000 posts for doctors under the health ministry, of which around 8,000 were vacant. Out of the rest, at least 4,000 doctors are never available as they remain busy attending training and academic courses at home and abroad or were made officers on special duty due to various reasons. “Therefore, we have to depend on only 12,000 doctors to serve the government healthcare facilities in the country,” Dr Ruhul said. He admitted that the DGHS had always had to face a lot of problems in posting a doctor to an upazila health complex. l




Saturday, August 24, 2013

Six countries offer more job scopes for Bangladeshis n Rabiul Islam There are good opportunities for Bangladeshis to get jobs in Brazil, Italy, Singapore, Qatar, Australia and Sweden, according to market research conducted by the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). Two studies have been carried out in the last six months by BMET’s market research unit to identify new destinations for Bangladeshi migrant workers, an official said. The findings of the research, done with assistance from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), would be shared with the BMET director general soon. According to one study, titled “Opportunity for Bangladeshi migrant

workers: A comparative analysis of market in Sweden and Australia”, jobs are available in manufacturing, wholesale, retail trade, automobile repairing, agriculture, forestry and mining in Sweden. In Australia, there is a demand for professionals like engineers and doctors, carpenters, plumbers and technicians. Another study on “Opportunity for Bangladeshi migrant workers in Brazil, Italy, Singapore and Qatar” found that Brazil needs workers in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, mining, engineering, energy, bio-fuel, water, and waste and environmental management. Italy has a shortage of workers in car manufacturing and tourism sectors, and there is also scope for jobs as sports instructors and fruit pickers. Singapore has openings in oil, gas and chemical

industries. Qatar, which is going to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, requires a large number of workers in the construction sector. The study also found that the Arab nation prefers to hire workers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “The research provides primary information about job opportunities for Bangladeshi migrant workers. It will also help us to prepare our workers through training,” Hazrat Ali, additional secretary of the expatriates’ welfare ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. “We would be able to send many people abroad for jobs if we know where and what type of workers are needed,” said Ali. l

Students and teachers of Dhaka University hold a rally in front of the Aparajeyo Bangla on the campus yesterday, marking the “Black Day” when many of them were arrested and harassed by the then army-backed caretaker government in 2007 SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Khaleda will announce next course of action after Eid

JU VC awaits chancellor’s decision

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Confined vice-chancellor of Jahangirnagar University (JU) has said he is waiting for a decision from the chancellor of the institution. JU VC Professor Anwar Hossain has been kept confined in his on-campus office for the third consecutive day, yesterday, by a section of teachers under the banner “General Teachers’ Forum,” demanding his resignation. Prof Anwar has already sent a letter to President Md Abdul Hamid informing him about the entire situation and seeking help. “I am an elected VC of JU. Agitating teachers have been confining me irrationally over two days and demanding my resignation; but I will not resign giving into their demand,” he told the Dhaka Tribune “I have sent a letter to the chancellor

The main opposition BNP yesterday said party Chairperson Khaleda Zia would hold a public meeting in the capital after Eid-ul-Azha and announce the party’s next course of action to realise the demand for election under a non-partisan interim government. “To intensify our movement, workers’ meetings will be held at the grassroots level and the capital. The leader of the opposition will announce the next course of action from a rally in Dhaka after Eid-ul-Azha,” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general of the party, said. He held a joint meeting with the party’s front and associate bodies to make the ongoing programme successful. BNP Standing Committee member

Mirza Abbas, Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Joint Secretary General Amanullah Aman, Jubo Dal President Moazzem Hossain Alal, Member Secretary Abdus Salam and other senior leaders were present at the meeting. Fakhrul said the date of the Dhaka city rally was yet to be finalised. The meeting decided to hold workers’ meetings at 25 spots of the city within August 31 while similar meetings would be held at 100 wards of 48 thanas of the city. The BNP leader said Khaleda Zia would address rallies in Narsingdi on September 8, Rangpur on September 15, Rajshahi on September 16, Khulna on September 22, Barisal on September 29 and Sylhet on October 5. The date of the Chittagong meeting would be announced later. l

n JU Correspondent

and requested him to form a committee according to the university act for investigating the allegations that the teachers have raised against me. I am expecting an immediate decision from the chancellor. If the probe committee finds me guilty, I will resign,” Prof Anwar asserted. The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the president has already moved for a solution to the crisis that has nearly paralysed the university. On Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured the VC telling him that the government had been closely observing the developments at the university. The members of the General Teachers’ Forum say their movement was meant to protect the university from a “wonton and autocrat VC.” “We are continuing our movement maintaining the rules. VC Anwar Hossain must take the responsibilities of

the charges brought against him and resign,” Prof Dr Md Hanif, convener of the General Teachers’ Forum, told the Dhaka Tribune. However, two other groups of teachers – “Shikkakh Mancha” and “Shadharan Shikkhak Porishod” – have stood beside the VC. They rejected the anti-VC movement saying the allegations were baseless and meant to serve agendas. Meanwhile, the General Teachers’ Forum has announced a 3-day comprehensive strike from today until Monday. They, however, have decided to keep the scheduled exams out of the strike.

Nahid to meet striking teachers

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid will have a meeting with agitating teachers at his residence today to discuss a possible solution, ministry officials said. l

Shahbagh youths demand arrest of Tuhin’s attackers

Benapole international passengers’ terminal opens

n DU Correspondent

n Our Correspondent, Jessore

The Ganajagaran Mancha brought out a procession at Shahbagh intersection in the capital yesterday evening, protesting the attack on Rajshahi University unit Chhatra League General Secretary Touhid Al Tuhin. It demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment to the attackers. The activists urged everyone to protest against Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.

They said Jamaat-Shibir had been committing brutal attacks across the country, including the recent one at Rajshahi on Thursday night. Leaders and activists of Chhatra Sangram Parishad and Chhatra League have decided to stage a demonstration on August 26 on Dhaka University campus and other major universities, protesting the brutal attack. The decision came at a press meeting chaired by Chhatra League President HM Badiuzzaman Sohag.

Sohag said a protest rally would be held on August 26 demanding punishment to the attackers and ban on politics of Jamaat and Shibir. Bangladesh Chhatra Moitri President Bappaditya Basu and Jasad Chhatra League President Muhammad Shamsul Islam, among others, attended the meeting. Earlier, Chhatra League leaders and activists brought out a procession and held a rally on DU campus Thursday night following the attack on Tuhin. l

Benapole, the largest land port in the country, wore a festive look yesterday on the occasion of the inauguration of two terminals. Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan inaugurated the newly-constructed international passengers’ terminal and bus terminal in the afternoon. With Mayej Uddin Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Land Port Authorities in the chair, the programme was attended

by Sohrab Hossain, joint secretary of ministry of shipping and Ashraful Alam Liton, mayor of Benapole municipality. Earlier, the minister assured the port authority that Tk1.30bn would be allocated for the welfare of the port. Abul Khayer, engineer of Benapole port authority, told reporters that spending Tk7.69m, the terminal was constructed near Benapole customs and immigration buildings. Costing Tk10.6m, a bus terminal was also constructed adjacent to the place. l

DU ‘Black Day’ observed n DU Correspondent Dhaka University observed a “black day” yesterday, marking the 6th anniversary of the military crackdown on the university and the repression of several teachers and students on August 23, 2007. Teachers and students, wearing black badges, attended a conference at around 11am held at the university’s Teachers and Students Centre (TSC), in which DU Vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique was present as the chief guest. Demanding restitution for the repression, Arefin alleged it was staged by the same people that killed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, along with many freedom fighters and intellectuals after the war for liberation. He also urged the government to ensure justice in the case and implement the recommendations of the committee formed to probe the incident. Among others, the university’s treasurer Professor D. Mohammad Kamal Uddin, Teachers Association president Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, Officers Association general secretary Sayed Ali Akbar, and other teachers, officials and students were present on the occasion. On August 20, 2007, students of the university were engaged in a heated argument with some members of the army following a football match, which escalated to the students being physically assaulted. This triggered a widespread agitation by both teachers and students. On the night of August 23, 2007, the military arrested four teachers and eight students of the university and allegedly tortured them. l

Chhatra League-Shibir face-off looms ahead at Rajshahi University n RU Correspondent

between BCL and Shibir activists on February 8, 2010. Since then BCL, with the assistance of law enforcers, has resisted Shibir’s attempt to enter the campus. But recently Shibir has built a strong organisational base in the areas around the university as an attempt to make forced entry into the campus to restore its supremacy. Exasperated by being warded off the campus for three years and seven months Shibir activists have now become desperate to regain control over

the university. On Thursday night a group of Shibir men hacked BCL General Secretary of the university Touhid-al-Hossain Tuhin who is now fighting for his life in the Dhaka Pangu Hospital. The Shibir men also severed the tendons in Tuhin’s legs and right hand. The incident was a follow-up to a prior clash between BCL and Chhatra Shibir. BCL activists on Wednesday stabbed Shibir’s Ziaur Rahman Hall unit President Jahurul Haque as he was

entering the campus along with his unit president on a motorbike. BCL men also beat up Shibir activist Muhammad Bin Kashem the same day on the campus. Some BCL leaders said the assaults on the Shibir men were led by Tuhin. After the formation of the BCL’s new committee on July 20 this year, with Mizanur Rahman Rana and Tuhin as president and general secretary respectively, Tuhin was trying to take control of the university’s student politics. A

Police yesterday detained 20 students, in connection with severing the tendons of hand and leg of Touhid-al-

RU at Meherchandi, Budhara, Kajla and Minodepur area from early Friday morning to afternoon, and picked up the suspects. They are being interrogated at the Motihar thana.

Hossain Tuhin, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League’s (BCL) Rajshahi University (RU) unit, a crime allegedly committed by Islami Chhatra Shibir men on Thursday. Police conducted several raids at messes and dormitories adjacent to

SM Abdus Sobhan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Motihar police station informed that a night-long drive by police apprehended 15 suspected miscreants involved in attacking Tuhin, while five more suspects were picked up Friday morning.

The tendons of the BCL leader were severed on Thursday night, allegedly by activists of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir. BCL leaders said, at around 10pm Thursday, a group of masked assailants launched a sudden attack on Touhid-al-Hossain Tuhin, while he, along with several other activists, were going to the Madar Bux hall. The incident took place in front of the residence of Syeed Amir Ali hall’s provost, on the campus. The miscreants chased Tuhin and hacked at him with sharp knives, leaving him unconscious. Shawon Sarkar, social affairs secretary of the unit, was also hit by a bullet in his right hand, said BCL leaders. The assailants fled the scene quickly after setting off several crude bombs. Tuhin was then rushed to the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH), where the on-duty doctor confirmed that the tendons in Tuhin’s right hand and both legs were severed. Tuhin was sent to Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital in the early hours of Friday after his condition deteriorated despite surgery. The BCL leader went under surgery again at Dhaka, with Tuhin’s companions notifying the media that he had regained his senses.

BCL RU unit President Mizanur Rahman Rana alleged that Shibir activists assaulted Tuhin with the intention of killing him. A group of BCL activists also staged a demonstration at the Shahbagh intersection in the capital late Thursday, demanding actions against the culprits. Shibir RU unit secretary Saifuddin Eyahiya, meanwhile, denied the BCL’s allegations and told newsmen they had no connection to the incident, and that factional disputes of BCL might have led to the incident. On the other hand, Vice-Chancellor of Rajshahi University Professor Mijanuddin called an emergency meeting yesterday at the Senate Bhaban of RU with teachers, student representatives and law enforcement agency members. The RU VC said, measures have been taken to ensure security at the campus and additional security personnel will be deployed to maintain law and order on the campus. Speaking after the meeting, SM Moniruzzaman, Commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, said that the mode of attack on Tuhin, specially, severing the tendons of both legs and hands, bears all hallmarks of a Shibir operation. l

Bangaladesh Chhatra League and Islami Chhatra Shibir, the two student wings of ruling Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami respectively, are now flexing their muscles over establishing supremacy over each other on the Rajshahi University campus. Shibir reigned supreme in the university until it was driven out of the campus following the death of BCL activist Faruk Hossain in a violent clash

20 detained for severing RU BCL leader’s tendons n RU Correspondent

number of BCL leaders, seeking anonymity, said Tuhin was made BCL RU unit secretary as he was hard on the Shibir. Shibir stabbed Tuhin as he was ruthless in his attempts at not letting them enter the campus. Earlier on October 2 last year BCL, with the assistance of law enforcers, foiled Shibir’s attempt to enter the campus. Tension is running high in the university. Some BCL leaders, wishing anonymity, said they were apprehending violent

clashes between the two organisations at any time. BCL RU unit President Mizanur Rahman Rana, however, vowed to resist the anti-liberation forces. Shibir RU unit General Secretary Saifuddin Eyahiya blamed the BCL for the attacks on them and said they wanted to stay on the campus peacefully. RU Proctor Tariqul Hasan told the Dhaka Tribune that additional police were deployed on the campus to avert any untoward incidents. l



Saturday, August 24, 2013




Beware of silent killers: Part II


Sip Oolong tea We know tea is good for both body and mind. Green tea has a special positive effect on the body. There is also another kind of special tea, called Oolong Tea which seems to be very healthy. Research suggests that people with mild eczema who drink oolong tea three times a day may show improvement in itching and other symptoms. Compounds in the tea called polyphenols appear to be responsible. l

Enjoy ginger Many of us like Ginger. Some of us take dry Ginger while some take raw ginger with tea. And ginger is regularly used in various recipes in our country. The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed. l

Pop a probiotic


Though, the term “probiotics” is not that much known to us. But, but the probiotic foods are very much popular in our country. Yogurt, Borhani, Mouri are widely taken probiotic items in our festive and occasional parties. Probiotics are very useful to control yeast infection. Supplementing with “good” bacteria (for example, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium) may help restore the balance of the bacteria living in the female genital tract and inhibit the growth of yeast in women with recurrent infections. Yogurt has got the specialty proved with active cultures, also contain these bacteria. So take yogurt and strengthen your body’s natural defence. l

Compiled by: Shirsho Sikder

The habit of washing hands before taking food and after using a toilet in our daily life can save us from many deadly diseases n Sir Frank Peters Washing our hands regularly with soap and clean running water (hot or cold doesn’t matter) can help stop the spread of germs LIFESTYLE and prevent illnesses like influenza, bronchitis, swine flu, diphtheria, measles, conjunctivitis, leprosy, chicken pox and scabies among many more, not to mention acne and other skin problems and diseases. Washing hands requires no effort and is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infections and illnesses. It has the potential to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention and billions of dollars in medical expenses and medicines. There are more than 3.5 million children under the age of five who die every year from diarrhoeal disease and pneumonia – and many are preventable. Although most people clean their hands with water, medical science tells us that is not enough and the use of soap is essential. A recent study by Michigan State University claims most people wash their hands for only six-seconds whereas 20-seconds is recommended. To convey the message of hygiene to the populace effectively, it would help ENORMOUSLY if hospitals, diagnostic centres, doctors’ surgeries etc set the example in their own facilities. It’s time the standards of hygiene in Bangladesh were raised with every individual playing their part; preventable diseases prevented, and vile and disgusting bad habits like picking one’s nose in public or spitting on the pavement are frowned upon and deemed unacceptable behaviour. There can never be enough emphasis on good hygiene practices such as washing your hands regularly with


Washing hands requires no effort and is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infections and illnesses soap and running water, cleaning all utensils before cooking and keeping cooking places clean to prevent communicable diseases. While TV, magazine and newspaper adverts and posters are productive and play an essential and supporting role in conveying the vital messages and importance of hand hygiene to the masses, TV soap operas reign supreme. People tune in to soap operas to see a reflection of their own mundane bor-

ing lives on the small screen in hope they will find escape from, or solutions to, the problems they themselves face. While a 30-second commercial has the power to help convince the viewer s/ he should be using brand-X toothpaste, no doubt a 60-minute ‘real-life’ soap opera has the power to influence the thinking of the entire family. To harness this enormous subliminal power effectively, it is essential that TV scriptwriters play an active patriotic role and are encouraged (if not forced) by the government (as part of their transmission agreement) to write scenes into their dramas that promote good hygiene practices (and other important society-benefiting issues) that benefit and profit the nation (or cancel

Aspirin may protect from colorectal cancer Taking a low-dose aspirin every other day may reduce the risk

of colorectal cancer, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that focused on nearly 40,000 women aged 45 and older. After 18 years of follow-up, research-



ers found a 20 percent reduction in colon cancer over the whole time period. In the follow-up of 10 to 18 years marked the rate of reduction up to 42 percent. However, risks linked with aspirin, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, must be considered. Aspirin has been long known for its protective effects on heart health, but the protective effect of aspirin on colon and rectal cancer has only been found more recently. In this study, the women assigned to the aspirin group were told to take a low dose (100 milligrams) of aspirin every other day. The comparison group took placebo pills on alternate days. Though the study included only women, but the results would probably apply to men, too. Even with the double benefit of heart and colon protection, we really need to balance risks and benefits of aspirin the researchers said. Generally, daily 325 mg of aspirin is recommended for heart disease risk reduction. l Source: Annals of Internal Medicine

n Prescription Desk Promethazine hydrochloride is a drug widely used for children suffering from allergies, running nose and HEALTH vomiting. Federal ALERT health officials warned parents and doctors not to give this drug to children younger than 2, after an incident of seven cases of death suspected to be linked to use of this antihistamine. The Food and Drug Administration said in a safety alert that beyond the deaths, it also has received 22 reports of severe breathing problems associated with use of the allergy drug, all in children younger than the age of two. The drug promethazine HCl, is sold by Wyeth under the brand name Phenergan as well as in various generic versions. The warning covers all forms of the drug, including syrups, suppositories,


FDA warns antihistamine like promethazine linked to deaths

tablets and injectable liquids. This drug is also available in Bangladesh in different brand names. Parents also should use care in giving the drug to children older than 2, the FDA said. The labels on all versions of the

drug have been updated to reflect the strengthened warnings, the FDA said. The drug, approved in 1951, is used to treat hay fever, stuffy or runny nose due to allergies and other minor allergies. l

The writer is a former newspaper publisher and editor, an award winning writer, a humanitarian, human rights advocate, and a long time caring friend of Bangladesh. [END]

Think before exercising


Prescription Desk

their licences). While the entertainment value of soap operas themselves might be questionable, they can at least serve and help protect the health of their viewers by promoting the proper and beneficial use of soap. After all they are SOAP operas! If the adage ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’  is true; then  ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is its partner. And washing hands properly is as good a place as any to begin. l





Saturday, August 24, 2013

Heartburn leads to throat cancer? Heartburn, or reflux, is no more related to heart conditions. It is a form of indigestion that occurs when acid and digestive juices HEALTH flow back up from the NEWS stomach to the gullet, which doesn’t have a protective lining, so it causes inflammation and pain. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Researchers proved that heartburn may very much lead to cancers on the throat and vocal cord. Previously people had to be cautious regarding alcohol consumption and smoking to avoid this deadly disease but now it has been proven that heartburn may actually increase the risk even more. Gastric reflux can damage the cellular lining of the oesophagus, according to the researchers. People who experience frequent heartburn were found to have nearly 80% of increased risk even if they were not heavy drinkers or smokers. The full study appears in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal and highlights that heartburn is a major risk factor for laryngopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma or throat cancer. However amongst all such concerns,

there is good news. People who suffer from constant heartburn taking antacids can lower the prospect. Researchers want to determine if it reduces the chance of getting this disease or has no real influence on it. Initial data suggests that antac-

Researchers proved that heartburn may very much lead to cancers on the throat and vocal cord. Previously people had to be cautious regarding alcohol consumption and smoking to avoid this deadly disease but now it has been proven that heartburn may actually increase the risk even more. ids may have a beneficial aspect, but more research is required. For now we can say it can be treated by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption and also intake of food that have too much spices and high-fat content. If that does not help then in such severe case surgery is the last option. l Compiled by: Gazi Kashif Yousuf


Don’t push yourself too much when you first start exercising or you may end up with injuries. Your bones, joints and ligaments have been in rest mode for a while and are not prepared for the force you are about to put on them.  Build up slowly and steadily. Check your weight when you start exercising, but don’t use it as a guide to how much you are losing.  Muscle weighs heavier than fat so the pounds on the scales may not drop as quickly as you would like.  Also your weight will fluctuate throughout the day depending on your level of activity and what foods you have been eating. l

Get yourself moving

You don’t have to sign up to an expensive gym membership to get exercise. Simple brisk walking is excellent for toning up legs and gently increasing your heart rate for aerobic benefits. Don’t expect to see immediate results when you start to exercise.  Remember, it took a long time to get this out of shape. So, it is going to take some time to get that figure back again. l


Compiled by: Dr Fuad Shaeed




Saturday, August 24, 2013

Locals struggle to save Teesta dyke n Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat A 240 meter spur dyke on Teesta River is under threat of collapsing near Uttar Dawabari village of Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat, which sits on the downstream of the Teesta barrage. With 40 percent of the embankment already collapsed and no initiative from the Water Development Board (WDB), local villagers have been volunteering to protect the embankment by dumping sacks of sand to strengthen its structural integrity. Locals alleged that WDB officials in Dalia, in unison with the contractor, misappropriated around Tk3.5m in repair and maintenance fund for the embankment – which was allocated after it suffered damages last year. This resulted in at least 40 percent of the embankment collapsing last week, they added. “If the spur dyke completely collapses, many families in five villages of Dawabari union would become homeless by the erosion of Teesta River,” local villager Momenul Islam said, adding that at least one hundred local people are working as vol-

unteers to save the spur dyke in light of the WDB’s silence. Toslim Uddin, another villager said residents of Dimla upazila in Nilphamari will also suffer if the spur dyke collapsed completely. He also alleged the WDB of showing a lack of cooperation in the ongoing efforts by the volunteers. Sub-Assistant Engineer of Dalia WDB, Tobarak Hossain said, he performed his duties during repair and maintenance work to save the Spur Dyke, but claimed of having no knowledge about the funds. Meanwhile, the Sub-Divisional Engineer of Dalia’s WDB, Mainuddin Mandal, refused to comment on the matter, saying the executive engineer directly controlled the entire work. He also informed that over a hundred hired laborers are working with the local volunteers to save the embankment, adding that the WDB is determined to protect the spur dyke by any means necessary. The Executive Engineer of Dalia’s WDB Mahbubur Rahman said a small section of the spur dyke collapsed after being hit by currents from upstream. l

Local people of Uttar Dawabari under Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat voluntarily working to save dyke from Teesta river erosion

Guava growers bracing for heavy losses in Jhalakathi n UNB Last month’s incessant downpour and transportation woes have left Jhalakathi guava farmers counting heavy losses despite a bumper production. About 30%-40% of the guava produced reportedly got damaged in the orchards by rainfall. On top of which, wholesalers were already rather reluctant in purchasing the highly perishable fruit from growers doubting whether they would arrive in Dhaka, and other districts, amid countrywide hartals enforced by the Jamaat-e-Islami after Eid-ul-Fitr.

Perturbed at the inevitable losses, the growers have sold guava at local markets at lower prices. Farmers in the district often have to incur large losses due to the lack of any storage facilities. While the problems with transportation resulting in the produce arriving in the capital in 24 hours instead of the expected 7-8 hours, sources said. Guava is cultivated on 700 hectares of land in Atghar-Kuriana, out of the total 1000 hectares in Swarupkathi upazila. Statistics show that there are 2,055 guava orchards in the upazila. Growers said motorised vessels were the main mode of transportation for

carrying guava. However, only two launches operate on the SwarupkathiDhaka route instead of four, every day. Due to space shortage in the two passenger launches, a small quantity of guava can be transported to Dhaka during the peak season of harvest for the fruit. Farmers said if the businessmen along with the government do not come forward and farmers don’t get a fair price, they would lose interest in cultivating this lucrative produce, they expressed concerns. The farmers also urged the government to take steps immediately to promote farming of the fruit in the upazila. l

Strengthening police-people trust a must to curb crimes n Tribune Desk Speakers at a view exchange meeting on community-based policing have called upon all for raising police-people mutual trust in curbing crimes and maintaining peace and harmony. Nababganj Thana organised the meeting at its office in Nababganj upazila town of Dinajpur with the assistance of Asia Foundation, RDRS Bangladesh and USAID yesterday. Members of the upazila and Sadar union units of community based policing committees, local community leaders, police officials, civil society members and local journalists took part in it. Assistant Superintendent of Police

of Fulbari Circle of Dinajpur Police Shushanto Sarker attended it as the chief guest with Officer-in-Charge (Investigation) of Nababganj police station Sambhudas Gupta Suman in the chair. President of Nababganj Sadar union community based policing committee Amirul Islam, General Secretary Hafizur Rahman, member Azizur Rahman, freedom fighter Mahmudul Islam, District Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Nirmal Chandra Barman and Nababganj Upazila Coordinator Abdur Razzaque, spoke. The speakers called for improving relationship between police and citizen through building mutual trust, partnership, information sharing and

Pirates unleash reign of terror in Bay n UNB

A human chain was formed in front of the National Press Club in the capital yesterday, demanding measures to save Bhola district from river erosion DHAKA TRIBUNE

Pirates have created a reign of terror in the Bay of Bengal by kidnapping fishermen for ransom, looting their valuables and killing. According to Coast Guard, the gang members of notorious “Sirsha Bahini” and “Jahangir Bahini” kidnapped 140 fishermen along with 10 fishing trawlers from the Bay demanding Tk100m as ransom for their release over the last two weeks. They also looted hilsa and other valuables worth Tk50m, leaving some 50 fishermen injured. As the incidents of piracy has taken an alarming proportion, leaders of local fishermen’s association raised question over the role of law enforcers, including the Coast Guard, in maintaining law and order in the coastal areas. “The situation has gone out of proportion since early August,” said Didaruddin, president of Mohipur Wholesale Fish traders’ Association. He alleged that the government was reluctant about the law and order

in the coastal areas though it got huge revenue from fish traders, particularly that of hilsa. He demanded that a temporary camp of elite force Rapid Action Battalion bet set in the Bay during the peak time of hilsa fishing and in winter. Pirates, belonging to the “Sirsha Bahini,” kidnapped 40 fishermen with 40 fishing trawlers from Nakelbaria in the Bay on August 17 and demanded a ransom of Tk1om for their release. They looted fish, fishing nets and other valuables worth Tk20m. They also kidnapped 50 other fishermen on August 2 and demanded Tk15m as ransom. Meanwhile, pirates of the “Jahangir Bahini” kidnapped 50 fishermen from Boya area one and looted valuables worth Tk15m on August 15. When contacted, Coast Guard west zone commander (Mongla) Captain Abdul Majed said their team had been working for rescuing the kidnapped fishermen. Coast Guard members arrested many pirates, recovered huge arms and rescue many fishermen in the last one month, he claimed. l

Four killed in separate incidents

Panchagarh food procurement may fall short of target this year

n Tribune report


Four people were killed in separate incidents in Jhenaidha, Gazipur and Rajbari. In Jhenaidah, unidentified miscreants shot a local Awami League leader at Panami village in sadar upazila on Thursday night. The deceased was identified as Sanaruddin Mandal, 55, general secretary of Harishankar union unit Awami League. Police said a group of miscreants fired gunshots at Sanaruddin and stabbed him indiscriminately on his way home from Goalpara Bazar around 8:30pm, leaving him dead on the spot, reports UNB. Kaliakoir police recovered the body of a man from a forest in the Baraichati area under Kaliakoir upazila yesterday,

said our Gazipur correspondent. The deceased was identified as Russel Hossain, 25, of Kanchanpur village of the upazila. Local sources said Russel lived at a rental house in Baraichati area with his mother. On Thursday night Russel went out of his house and did not return back. In Rajbari, two people were killed a in separate incidents. A man, who went missing Thursday night, was found dead near a pond at Brammondia village in sadar upazila yesterday. Police identified the deceased as Nazmul Sheikh, 25, of village Kamalpur under Dadshi union. Meanwhile, police recovered the body of an unidentified man from Kalikapur railway bridge area near the Machpara railway station. l

The target of the government’s food procurement drive in Panchagarh is unlikely to be achieved this season due to stoppage of rice supply by the mill owners. A syndicate of mill owners has stopping supplying rice to the food warehouses citing its market price to be higher than the government fixed price. Traders said if the price of rice was not increased or the government did not provide necessary intensives, the target might suffer in the current season. An official concerned said during the current Irri-Boro season, a target was set to purchase 14,690 tonnes of rice at Tk29 per kilogram in five upazilas of the district.


To achieve the target, the Food Department signed an agreement with 400 mill owners of the district. Among them, 300 mill owners have supplied 9,800 tonnes of rice to the warehouses so far while the rest 100 have not supplied any. The District Food Department has sent a letter to the millers giving them a warning to fulfil the rest of the target immediately. According to the agreement, the millers will purchase rice from the local markets and after processing it in their mills, they will supply the rice to the food warehouses. Form the very beginning, the millers bought rice from outside the district, violating the conditions of the agreement, due to its lower price in the local markets, and provided the same to the warehouses.

When contacted, District Rice Mill Owners Association leader Mohammad Amirul Islam said as the price of rice increased suddenly many millers have failed to provide rice to the warehouses. In this regard, a meeting of the District Food Procurement Committee was held on Monday with participation of Deputy Commissioner Mohamamd Salah Uddin, where the district food controller was asked to send a letter to those who had not provided any rice yet to the warehouses to ensure their supply within next seven days. Besides, the meeting also urged the government to provide intensive of Tk one or two per kg to the mill owners. Acknowledging the price hike of rice in the local markets, District Food Controller Syed Nazrul Islam said as per the agreement the millers were bound to provide rice. l

strategic planning to address root causes of crimes instead of solving those on more time consuming case-by-case basis. They urged the police and common people to break down longstanding barrier of mistrust and explore opportunities of community based policing for strengthening police effectiveness to ensure citizens’ safety mobilizing local resources. They suggested police officials for applying their communication and leadership techniques they learnt from different training courses for awareness-raising, developing skill in crime analysis, response, intervention and evaluation. l

Three killed in road accidents in Mymensingh, Netrakona n Tribune Report Three people were killed in separate road accidents that took place in Mymensingh and Netrakona yesterda. In Mymensingh, two motor-cyclists were killed and another was injured in a road accident at Ashrampara on Haluaghat-Nalitabari road in Haluaghat upazila. The victims were Mafizur Rahman Khan, 25, from the village of Chandsree in Haluaghat and Biplob Das, 28, from Kalibari area in Mymensingh town. Meanwhile the injured, Appel, 24, from the village of Chandsree, was admitted at Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital. The accident took place when the motorcycle, driven by Mafizur, hit a road side tree as its driver lost control around 1 pm, leaving the two dead on the spot and the other injured, said Emarat Hossain Gazi, officer-in-charge of Haluaghat police station. Police recovered the bodies and a case was lodged. Meanwhile, at least one person was killed while 20 others were injured in a road accident on the NetrakonaKalmakanda road at Gutora in Kalmakanda upazila, Netrakona yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Tamizuddin, 65, from the upazila’s Jatrabari village. Police and locals said the accident occurred when a Kalmakanda bound passenger bus from Netrakona reached Gutora at around 10am. The driver lost control of the bus and fell into a road side ditch, leaving Tamizuddin dead on the spot and 20 others injured, they added. Critically injured Azizur Rahaman, Abdul Hakim, Rawshon-Ara and Putul were sent to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, while the rest were admitted to a local health complex. A case was filed with the Kalmakanda police station regarding this incident. Police seized the bus, but the driver had managed to flee. l


Commuters suffer as CNG drivers charge high fares n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong The CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers charge commuters at their will in the port city defying the rule of counting fare on the meter. Passengers complain that the drivers ask for the fares at their own will, and sometimes, demand almost twice the actual amount. The situation gets worse during school and office hours in the morning and in the evening. The commuters said they hardly got CNG-run auto-rickshaws without haggling over the fare as their drivers declined to run the meters for the drives. Many sources also confirmed the fact. A ride from Dewanhat to New Market should cost around Tk50 in a CNGrun auto-rickshaw, but the drivers were charging up to Tk80, said Nur Mohammad, a computer engineer of Flora Computers in Chittagong. Abdul Mannan, a schoolteacher, who regularly goes to his workplace by CNG-run auto-rickshaw, said the fare from the city’s Oxygen intersection to Agrabad now stood at Tk150Tk200, whereas he paid almost half the amount just a year ago. The commuters blame the three wheelers’ drivers for high fares while the transport workers attribute the excessive fare to the rising prices of daily essentials. A CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver Md Anwar said he pays Tk800 to the owner of the three-wheeler every day. Moreover, he said the gas price had shot up and he needs around Tk200 per day to fill up the cylinder. “So we have no other way but to charge high fares for our survival,” he added. Expressing the same opinion, another driver Faruk Hossain said the meters should be re-fixed taking into

account the increased cost of essentials. According to fare structure set by the government in January 2011, commuters have to pay Tk25 for the first two kilometres and Tk7 for each subsequent kilometre. The waiting charge is Tk1.35 per minute. Haider Azam Chowdhury, president of Chittagong District and general secretary of Chittagong City CNG-Run Auto-Rickshaw Malik Chalok Oikya Parishad, admitted that the auto-rickshaw drivers charged extra fare from passengers. If auto-rickshaws run on meter there will be no hassle between passengers and drivers. He called upon the government to re-fix the meter rates of CNG-run auto-rickshaws in consultation with their owners and drivers. Mohammad Shahidullah, assistant director of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Chittagong divisional office, claimed that they regularly conducts mobile court drives to check the irregularities in fares charged by auto-rickshaw drivers. He, however, puts emphasis on people’s awareness to this end. “If commuters instantly inform the on-duty police personnel about charging extra fare by the drivers, it will be very much effective in checking the irregularities,” Shahidullah further said. Additional Deputy Commissioner Tanvir Arafat (Traffic-South) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police said they were very much active in this regard. They regularly checked irregularities about charging additional fares by the CNG-run auto rickshaw drivers from the commuters and took action against those found guilty, he added. According to BRTA, there are around 15,000 CNG-run auto-rickshaws plying across the port city roads. l



Customers busy buying clothes at a holiday market which was set up in front of Shilpyakola Academy in the city yesterday

Sub-stations shortage hits smooth ‘Professional skills must for power supply at Gulshan, Banani success in banking sector’ n Tribune Desk The scarcity of land for setting up new substations is impeding a move of Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (Desco) to improve the power supply system in the city two posh areas – Gulshan and Banani. According to official sources, Desco, the state-owned power entity entrusted with the responsibility of power distribution in northwestern areas of the city, undertook a move more than two years ago to improve the electricity supply in different areas. However, its move experienced a major setback when it proceeded with four projects to set up three local and one grid substations at Gulshan and Banani. The officials said the planned grid substation needs about 2 bighas (about 66 decimals) of land while each of the local substations (33/11 kV) requires at least 16 katha (26 decimals) of land, reports UNB.

Desco hardly found any private or public land to install the large apparatus earnestly needed for improvement of power supply in the city’s most posh areas where diplomatic enclaves are located as well. “Desco repeatedly appealed to both private land owners and public entities to provide lands for the planned substations. It wants to purchase the lands at current rate. But, unfortunately none shows any interest to provide any land,” said Chief Engineer (planning) of the organisation Habibur Rahman. Even, Dhaka North City Corporation also failed to provide any land for the electricity establishment, he noted. He said the Desco finally appealed to Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), the organisation entrusted with the responsibility of the capital city and also the land developer of the two posh areas. Sources said the Rajuk outright expressed its inability to provide

any land in the areas. Desco placed names of some vacant lands including some portions of a newly created public park and playgrounds under the Rajuk authority. But during meetings between two organisations, Rajuk refused to allocate the proposed land on plea of a court order, said a Desco official. Officials said at present Desco has three substations at Gulshan and Banani having supply capacity of about 170 MW power. The Desco forecast that the electricity demand in the two areas will go up to about 500 MW by 2020 with fast growing high-rise apartments and commercial buildings there. They said the Desco took up the three projects for setting up substations to meet the future demand. They also noted that applications of over 100 new multistoried commercial buildings remained pending with the Desco for its inability for expansion of the electricity system due to lack of substations. l

n Tribune Desk

Speakers asked the branch-level bankers to gain professional skills as it is inevitable for attaining success in the banking sector for overall socio-economic development of the region. They urged them to make their banking activities client-friendly so that they get total benefits of the banking service. They were addressing the closing session of a five-day training course styled “Skill and Attitude Development” for the promoted officers of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (Rakub) at its training institute here on Thursday afternoon. RAKUB Chairman Prof Dr Shah Nawaz Ali addressed the session as the chief guest while Managing Director Mofazzal Hossain and Directors Saifuddin Ahmed and Prof Modon Mohan Dey spoke as special guests with principal of the institute Mozammel Haque in the chair. The speakers highlighted the importance of the bank in agricultural

development of the northwest Bangladesh and asked the officers to apply the knowledge acquired from the training in the professional field properly for boosting agricultural production in the region. As the largest development partner in the agricultural sector of the northwest Bangladesh, RAKUB plays a vital role to earn economic emancipation and free the nation from poverty and hunger through boosting credit-flow to the potential agricultural fields, they added. In this regard, they asked them to discharge their duties with utmost sincerity and honesty to brighten the image of the bank. Main objective of the course was to improve skills and attitude alongside enhancing professional competence of the officers through disseminating ideas about operation, administration and other related matters of the bank. In two batches, a total of 52 branch level officers took part in the training course. l

Disaster management organisations need modern technologies and equipment n

Tribune Report

The highest priority should be given to equipping the country’s disaster fighting organisations with modern technologies and tools, so that effective and immediate steps can be taken if any disasters like that of Rana Plaza take place in future, discussants said yesterday. “We have seen that after the deadliest building collapse, many organisations and individuals came forward. Trained and untrained volunteers risked their lives by coming forward with machetes, axes, and torch lights— whatever they got in hand. Organisations like Fire Service and Civil Defence, Red Crescent, Armed forces went through hectic efforts,” said Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, while addressing as the chief guest at the Safety workshop titled “Urban Disaster Response and Lessons learnt from Rana Plaza collapse” at a city auditorium. “But they felt the shortage of essential rescue tools. During the second phase of massive rescue operations, army and fire fighters were seen depending on heavy tools supplied by

private organisations,” Prof Chowdhury added. “In the future, if any kind of disaster happened in mass scale, we can’t imagine how the government or the people of the country will tackle it,” he observed. Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury also emphasised on creating a team of trained volunteers, consisting of people who are interested in rescue operations. Government should take the responsibility of training them, he said. Speaking at the event, Maj Shakil, Deputy Director of Fire Service and Civil Defence said, the government should consider including volunteers’ training manuals in the textbooks to allow children to be brought up with a mentality of becoming rescuers during disasters. He added, it is essential to collect full data on every natural and manmade disaster that took place in the country in recent times. These data can be analysed to find out future remedies. Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence said the country should have groups of trained volunteers to assist


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury addressing a discussion on disaster management in the city yesterday RAJIB DHAR the regular forces and organisations during disasters. “Volunteers’ and organisations’ efforts are splendid during disasters. But they lack in coordination. We should work on this regard,” he said. Presenting the keynote paper, direc-

tor of Buet-Japan Institute of Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety, Tahmeed M. Al-Hussaini said, Rana Plaza collapse was an example of architectural faults. “A construction company and its engineers built the first floor of the

building. Rest of the building was constructed upon Rana’s own will and suggestions by some masons. There was no sign of professionalism there,” he said. Besides, extremely poor quality construction materials, and vibration caused by the generators on three of its floors were responsible behind the nine-storey Rana Plaza collapse, the keynote speaker added. On April 24, the manmade disaster left 1,132 people, most of them garment workers, dead and 2,000 more injured. Al-Hussaini also said, a portion of the building was constructed on land which was previously a water body and was filled with rubbish. Rana had permission to build a six-story structure, but added two floors illegally so he could rent them out to garment factories. The building was not built for industrial use, and the weight of the heavy garment factory machinery and their vibrations contributed to the building collapse, he added. The two-day long programme, arranged by Safety Assistance for Emergencies (SAFE) and chaired by its chairperson Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, will end today. l


DSCC opens 10 cattle markets tender n Tribune Report Dhaka South City Corporation on Thursday opened the tender box for 10 makeshift cattle markets in the city ahead of the holy Eid-ul-Azha. Chief Estate Officer of the DSCC Khalid Ahmed opened the tender box at Nagar Bhaban Auditorium in presence of bidders. The highest bid of Tk21.1m, which is Tk22.7m less than last year’s bid, was proposed for Armanitola playground at Nayabazar. Moreover, price of Moradia Bazar of Khilgaon had also decreased Tk1.7m. As a result, the DSCC authorities announced invitation for re-tender to these two grounds. Ninety five bidders have submitted their proposals to secure leases of the 10 markets. The DSCC officials said no one would be allowed to set up cattle markets on roads and the DSCC would take actions if any such market was found. l

Tk1.63bn contrabands seized in 8 months in Khulna n Tribune Desk Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized Indian smuggled goods worth Tk1.63bn in Khulna division in the last eight months from January 1 till August 18. The above information was disclosed at a discussion meeting on prevention of human trafficking and stoppage of smuggling of drugs and other goods, organised by BGB southwest region in Jessore, with regional commander and BGB Additional Director General Brigadier General Mohammad Rabiul Ibne Quamrul in the chair on Thursday. At least 1,245 people were arrested by BGB foiling their intrusion attempt on the frontiers in Khulna from January 1 till August 18. Of them, 606 were arrested while trying to intrude into Bangladesh while 639 for bid to enter India illegally. During the same period, BGB also seized 1,29,518 bottles of Indian Phensidyl syrup, 9085 kg heroin, 844 cans of beer, 12,604 bottles of liquor, 3782 bottles of alcohol, 193,893 pieces of sedative tablets, 3,125 kg hemp, eight pistols, two shutter guns, six air guns, 2.5 kg bomb making materials and 1,015 rounds of bullet. l




Gang rape of journalist shocks Mumbai, five identified

Malaysia court frees two police officers in murder case

The female journalist was on assignment to take pictures of the neighbourhood saying authorities did not want to give n AP, New Delhi them any warning that they were being A young photojournalist was gang raped  while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in an isolated, overgrown corner of India’s business hub of Mumbai, police said Friday. The case was reminiscent of the December gang rape and death of a young university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country. The attack took place in Lower Parel, a onetime textile-manufacturing neighbourhood of south  Mumbai  that over the past decade has changed dramatically. yesterday, upscale malls, trendy restaurants and super-luxury condominiums sit side-by-side with abandoned textile mills and sprawling slums. Police said the woman was on assignment to take pictures of the neighbourhood Thursday evening when five men confronted her and her colleague. After initially offering to help her get permission to shoot inside a crumbling, isolated building, they became aggressive and accused the male colleague of

Indian policemen inspect the site where a female journalist was gang raped being involved in a local crime. When he denied involvement in the crime, they tied his hands with a belt and took the woman to another part of the compound and took turns raping her, Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters. The attack


took place at about 7pm on Thursday. On Friday, police arrested one suspect in the attack and he had named and identified the other four men, Singh said. While police have released sketches of the four men, Singh would not give their names or other details,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

sought. Singh said the men may have been local drug dealers. The woman, 22, is in stable condition in a hospital. Police declined to say who the woman was working for at the time of the attack. The assault comes amid heightened concerns about sexual violence in India. The gang rape  and death of the student on a bus in New Delhi in December had shaken a country long inured to violence against women and sparked protests demanding better protection for women. In response, the government passed a stringent law increasing prison terms for rape and making voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women punishable under criminal law. The attack was discussed in India’s Parliament, where junior Home Minister RPN Singh told lawmakers that the government had asked the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, for a detailed report on the attack. l

n AFP, Kuala Lumpur A Malaysian court Friday overturned a 2009 murder conviction for two police officers in a scandal that has fascinated the nation and saw critics try to draw a link to Prime Minister Najib Razak. Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar were convicted of the 2006 killing of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old model and interpreter at the centre of allegations of huge kickbacks in a government purchase of French submarines. Their acquittal led activists to call for an independent inquiry to reopen the case into who killed the woman and her link, if any, to the submarine deal. Defence lawyer Hazman Ahmad said: “justice has been done.” “Both the accused have been acquitted and discharged. They are free men now.” Prosecutors said the government would appeal the decision. Government critics have long alleged that the two men, members of an elite police unit that guards top ministers, were the fall guys in the killing to hide the involvement of their masters at the highest levels of government.

Pakistani Taliban commander Pakistan’s ruling party consolidates welcomes talks offer grip on power in new votes n AP, Pakistan

A senior Pakistani Taliban commander welcomed the government’s recent offer to hold peace talks, raising the possibility the militant group has changed its stance after shunning negotiations earlier this year. Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from central Punjab province, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “demonstrated political maturity” by reiterating his offer to hold peace talks in a speech on Monday. “If the present government takes an interest in solving matters seriously and with prudence, then there is no reason why jihadi forces active in Pakistan shouldn’t respond to it positively,” Muawiya said in a statement sent to journalists Thursday. The main Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said Muawiya was expressing his own opinion but was closely tied to the group’s leadership. Shahid said the leaders had not yet made a decision about whether to re-engage on peace talks. The leadership will hold a meeting Friday to discuss Sharif’s offer, but will never agree to lay down their arms, said Shahid. Muawiya was the first person to in-

dicate at the end of last year that the Pakistani Taliban were open to holding peace talks. He sent a letter to a local newspaper outlining conditions for a cease-fire, including the imposition of Islamic law and an end to the government’s unpopular alliance with the US. Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud then released a video in which he said the group would consider a serious offer to talk but would not lay down their weapons as a precondition. Prime Minister Sharif, who took office in June, campaigned on a platform that indicated peace talks with the Taliban were the best way to end the group’s bloody insurgency, which has killed thousands of people in recent years. But the Taliban withdrew their offer to negotiate at the end of May after the group’s deputy commander was killed in a US drone strike. Muawiya praised the government’s decision Sunday to halt all state executions temporarily, just days ahead of the planned hangings of several alQaida-linked militants. He threatened in an interview with The Associated Press last week that the Taliban would target the leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N if the militants were hanged. l

WORLD WATCH Japan woman ties herself up to skip work

A young Tokyo businesswoman tied herself up at home because she did not want to go to work, Japanese media reported Friday. The 20-year-old woman was found with her hands and legs bound with ropes and belts at her apartment in the capital’s west on Monday, the Sankei Shimbun said. The apartment owner discovered her unconscious but otherwise unhurt and called the police, fearing the woman had been the victim of a vicious home robbery. But detectives grew suspicious when they failed to turn up any evidence of forced entry to the flat.

Cameroon rally targets suspected gay bars

More than 100 young men and women in Cameroon’s capital posted anti-gay signs on bars suspected of being gay-friendly during a rally organised amid mounting threats and acts of violence targeting the country’s sexual minorities. The rally organised Wednesday by the Association of Cameroonian Youth called for stricter enforcement of anti-gay laws, even though rights groups say the country already prosecutes more gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents than any other in sub-Saharan Africa. Demonstrators also placed signs saying “Homosexuals Forbidden” and “No Gays in Cameroon” on various school buildings. Homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison in Cameroon.

50-year-old mom arrested for placing hit on sons

South African police said Wednesday they had arrested a 50-year-old woman for ordering the assassination of her two sons as part of a suspected life insurance scam. Police said the woman from Port Shepstone, south of Durban, recruited a relative to carry out the dou-

ble murder, but the man reported her to the police. The job was to be done for around $2,400, but she had requested a family discount. The woman promised the hitman three more jobs if he successfully pulled off the two murders, the statement said. Police also found her in possession of insurance documents and four other identity cards.

Intruder found at Lopez’s Hamptons estate: police

Police say an intruder had been living for a week on Jennifer Lopez’s property in the Hamptons while she was away. Southampton police said Wednesday she had an order of protection against 49-year-old John Dubis of Rhode Island. Information on why the order was obtained wasn’t immediately available. Newsday says workers discovered Dubis in the pool house of the Water Mill mansion on Aug. 8. He was arraigned the following day on charges of burglary, criminal contempt, stalking and possession of burglar tools. He’s being held on $100,000 bail. His next court date is Aug. 28.

US soldier apologises for Afghan shooting rampage

A US Army sergeant who pleaded guilty to killing 16 villagers in a shooting spree in Afghanistan apologised Thursday to his victims’ families and said his behavior was cowardice. Robert Bales, 40, choked back tears as he spoke at a sentencing hearing over the worst war crime by an American soldier in Afghanistan. Those gunned down included nine children. Bales, who came face to face with survivors of his rampage this week, is facing life in prison. He pleaded guilty in June to avoid the death penalty. The defence and prosecution are to give their closing arguments Friday. The six member military jury will then decide if Bales can ask for parole after serving 20 years behind bars.

n Reuters, Islamabad Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party has consolidated its hold on power, results from by-elections released on Friday showed, cementing its ability to push through unpopular reforms aimed at kick-starting the stagnating economy. Sharif began a third term as premier after the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz party won a landslide victory in national polls in May. He has since been attempting to stamp his authority on a nation long plagued by instability and violence. The results showed his party won at least another five seats in the 15 by-elections held on Thursday, reinforcing its comfortable majority with at least 189 seats in the 342-seat National Assembly. The by-elections on Thursday were held in seats that were forced to annul results from the May vote because of violence or because candidates had since vacated their seats, among other reasons. The populist Pakistan Peoples’ Party, which held power for five years before Sharif’s victory, won three seats, with corruption a lingering concern

Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif


among voters. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by former cricket star Imran Khan, also won two seats after promising to crack down on graft.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was their response to the government’s offer of peace talks if the militants put down their arms The secular Awami National Party, which has frequently been attacked by the Taliban in their stronghold in Pakistan’s often lawless northwest, also won one seat.

Turnout from the polling was generally lower than the May vote, Pakistani media reported, and several areas reported problems. In Peshawar, the High Court intervened to stop vote counting in two areas and ordered polls to be held again amid reports that elders had prevented women from voting. Another poll was postponed amid security fears in the town of Dera Ismail Khan, where a militant raid on a jail freed 250 prisoners last month. In the financial centre of Karachi, a roadside bomb aimed at a military vehicle on election duty on Thursday killed a soldier and a civilian, as well as wounding 20 people, said Seemin Jamali, a doctor from the Jinnah medical centre. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was their response to the government’s offer of peace talks if the militants put down their arms. “We wanted to convey a message to ... Nawaz Sharif that we would never lay down arms for the sake of meaningless talks and today’s attack was to prove that we can strike wherever we wish,” Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said. l

A three-judge appeals panel ruled that a lower court had erred, for example failing to connect the men to explosives used to blow up the victim’s body, the news portal Malaysian Insider said. The decision triggered an immediate reaction on Malaysian social media, with many calling it part of a conspiracy to free the men in return for their silence. Cynthia Gabriel, a member of opposition-leaning human rights group Suaram, called for an independent inquiry to question all those implicated, including the prime minister. “It’s a completely shocking verdict,” she told AFP. “This really calls now for a full and thorough investigation into her death. Who killed her?” “I think the justice system is not ready to deal with all the elements of this case.” Najib has vehemently denied any involvement in the affair, but the government has repeatedly ignored calls for a probe. At the request of Suaram, French judicial officials opened an investigation in March 2010 into the sale of the two submarines, which were made by French shipbuilder giant DCNS.l

Pakistan frees Indian fishermen amid Kashmir tensions

n AFP, Karachi

Pakistan on Friday released nearly 340 Indian fishermen held for violating territorial waters, amid high tensions over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir. The move is part of an understanding between the nuclear-armed rivals to release citizens who mistakenly stray into each other’s waters. “Today, we have released 337 Indian fishermen and seven other juveniles and they are leaving for Lahore,” where they will be handed to Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing on Saturday, Shuja Haider, a senior official at Karachi’s Malir jail, said. The release had been sped up as a goodwill gesture to India, officials said. Sporadic firing in recent weeks across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border in Kashmir, has sent tensions between the neighbours soaring. Kashmir has been in dispute since India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947, with both sides claiming it in full but controlling only part, and violence flares from time to time. The latest round was triggered by a raid on August 5 that left five Indian soldiers dead, blamed by Delhi on the Pakistani military. l

400-year-old Hong Kong tree to be chopped down n AFP, Hong Kong A 400-year-old banyan tree in Hong Kong will be cut down, authorities said Friday, after being hit by a fungal disease brought on when a park development starved its roots of oxygen and nutrients. Nestled in the heart of the city in Kowloon Park, the tree, Hong Kong’s oldest Chinese banyan, has been infected with the deadly brown root rot disease that authorities fear could spread to others nearby. A third of the tree collapsed in a 2007 typhoon, but the enormity of it still amazes passersby as they walk near its towering trunk, 22 metres high (72 feet) with a crown spread of 27 metres. “No other banyan tree was as old as this one, none was as big as this one,” chair of Hong Kong University geogra-

phy department Jim Chi-yung said, explaining that it had existed during the time of the Qing Dynasty. But authorities were left with no choice but to fell the giant tree, fondly known as ‘King Banyan’, because of the risk it posed to others in the vicinity, he added. “It has become a locus of disease spread we don’t want it to affect other trees in the vicinity or in the district,” Jim, who also served on a government expert panel that made the decision said. The tree was diagnosed with the infection in 2009 and other trees in the area were also found infected with it earlier this year, a government spokeswoman said. “It is considered that the tree has little chance of recovery,” she said, adding that it will be removed in September. l

Israel strikes in Lebanon after rocket attack n AFP, Jerusalem The Israeli air force carried out an attack in Lebanon on Friday, the army said, hours after militants there fired four rockets at the Jewish state. “The IAF (Israeli air force) targeted a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response to a barrage of four rockets launched at northern Israel yesterday,” a statement from the army read. “The pilots reported direct hits to the target.”

Defence sources said the attack took place near Naameh. Two of the four rockets fired from Lebanon on Thursday had hit populated areas, causing damage but no injuries. The attack was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades -- an Al-Qaedalinked group which had claimed similar rocket fire on Israel in 2009 and 2011. The Israeli army reiterated in its Friday statement it “holds the Lebanese government accountable for the attack.” l

Syrian refugees wait for food aid at Kawergost refugee camp in Iraq


UN says Syrian child refugees top one million mark n AP, Geneva The number of registered child refugees fleeing Syria’s violence has topped the 1 million mark in another grim milestone of the deepening conflict, two UN agencies said Friday. Roughly half of all the nearly 2 million registered refugees from Syria are children, and some 740,000 of those are under the age of 11, according to the UN refugee and children’s agencies. “This one millionth child refugee is not just another number,” said Anthony Lake, the head of UNICEF, the UN children’s agency. “This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend.” The children’s ordeals are not over once they escape  Syria, said Antonio Guterres, the head of the Office for the UN High Commissioner for  Refugees, known as UNHCR.

“Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatized, depressed and in need of a reason for hope,” he said. His agency said it tries to ensure that babies born in exile are provided with birth certificates, preventing them from becoming stateless, and that all refugee families and children live in some form of safe shelter. But the threats to  refugee  children are rising, the agencies say, including child labour, early marriage and the potential for sexual exploitation and trafficking. More than 3,500 children in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have crossed  Syria’s  borders unaccompanied or separated from their families, according to the UN figures. The agencies say some 7,000 children are among the more than 100,000 killed in the unrest in Syria, which began in March 2011 and later exploded into a civil war. l



Syrian chemical weapons a ‘grave concern’: Obama n AFP, Washington US President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast Friday that new allegations of chemical weapons use by Syrian forces were of “grave concern.” But he cautioned against the United States intervening hastily and getting “mired in very difficult situations” with actions that could “breed more resentment” in the region. In an interview with CNN he said opposition allegations that hundreds of people had been killed in a gas attack near Damascus on Wednesday were more serious than previous charges against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. “We are right now gathering information about this particular event, but I can say that unlike some of the evidence we were trying to get earlier that led to a UN investigator going into Syria, what we’ve seen indicates clearly this is a big event, of grave concern,” he said. Obama stopped short of saying point blank the United States believes such weapons were used -- an act that in theory would cross what he has called a “red line.” He reiterated that the United States is seeking to gather more evidence on whether chemical weapons were in fact used this week. The president has been loath to order US military action to protect civilians in Syria, fearing being drawn into a vicious civil war, just soon after he extracted US troops from Iraq. But revulsion over video footage and photos of dead children blanketing the US media has reopened the debate

about a policy Obama allies see as prudent but critics brand as weak. Republican Senator John McCain warned Thursday that Obama had given Assad a “green light” to commit atrocities by failing to use military force to respond to previous chemical attacks. “When the president of the United States says that if he uses these weapons that it would be a, quote, ‘red line and a game-changer,’ (Assad) now sees that as a green light,” he said. Obama answered McCaine in the new CNN interview, saying he understood the lawmaker’s worry but that the United States had to proceed with caution.

Republican Senator John McCain warned Thursday that Obama had given Assad a “green light” to commit atrocities by failing to use military force to respond to previous chemical attacks “I am sympathetic to Senator McCain’s passion for helping people work through what is an extraordinarily difficult and heart-breaking situation,” he said. But Obama said Americans expect him to protect their long term interests. “Sometimes what we’ve seen is folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn in to very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region,” he said. l

Ban pushes Syria for chemical attack probe Syria offers no public response to UN calls for inspecting attack site

n Reuters, United Nations UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday renewed his push for Syria to allow UN inspectors immediate access to investigate allegations that the government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus. “I can think of no good reason why any party, either government or opposition forces - would decline this opportunity to get to the truth of the matter,” the UN chief told a diplomatic forum in Seoul. Syria’s government has offered no public response to UN calls for its team to inspect the site of the attack, which opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said killed from 500 to well over 1,000 people. They said more bodies were being found in the wake of Wednesday’s mysterious pre-dawn killer fumes, which the Syrian government insists were not its doing. The administration of US President Barack Obama said it was “appalled” by the death reports. A US official familiar with initial intelligence assessments said the attack appeared to be the work of the Assad government. It was “the regime acting as a regime,” the official said. But the Obama administration made clear that any response would await confirmation of a chemical attack and its origin. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fa-

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon listens to South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hongwon during their meeting at the Government Complex in Seoul AFP bius said world powers must respond with force if allegations that Syria’s government was responsible for the deadliest chemical attack on civilians in a quarter-century prove true. But Fabius stressed there was no question of sending in troops on the ground. Talk of a forceful foreign response remains unlikely to be translated into rapid, concerted action given division between the West and Russia at Wednesday’s UN Security Council meeting, and caution from Washington on Thursday. Moscow has said rebels may have released gas to discredit Assad and urged him to agree to a UN inspection. On Wednesday, Russian objections to Western pressure on Syria saw the Security Council merely call in vague

Brotherhood fails to show street power

terms for “clarity” - a position increasingly frustrated Syrian rebels described as “shameful.” The State Department said senior US and Russian diplomats would meet in The Hague next Wednesday to discuss ending Syria’s civil war, in what would be the first such meeting since allegations of the chemical attack. A senior State Department official said chemical weapons would also be discussed at the meeting. The meeting had previously been announced, but no date had been released. Ban said he would send a top UN disarmament official, Angela Kane, to lobby the Syrian government in person and expected a swift, positive answer. l

n Reuters, London

Egyptian soldiers stand guard as they close one of the entrances to Tahrir Square in Cairo


think what most Americans would say is that we have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and abetting actions that we think run contrary to our values and our ideals.” He said the United States was re-evaluating its ties with Egypt. “There’s no doubt that we can’t return to business as usual, given what’s happened,” he said. The Brotherhood, hounded by

Egypt’s new army-backed rulers, had called for demonstrations across the country against the crackdown, testing the resilience of its battered support base. A few dozen Islamists, many of them women, marched in an old Cairo district. Some carried Egyptian flags or rolled-up Morsi posters. Others held umbrellas to ward off the afternoon sun. l

The violence has alarmed Egypt’s Western allies, but US President Barack Obama acknowledged that even a decision to cut off US aid to Cairo might not influence its military rulers. Some US lawmakers have called for a halt to the $1.5bn a year in mostly military assistance to Egypt. “The aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does,” Obama said in an interview with CNN. “But I

Twin blasts kill 19 in Lebanon’s Tripoli n AFP, Tripoli

Tunisia opposition rejects ruling Islamists’ concession

Two powerful explosions, minutes apart, killed at least 19 in Lebanon’s main northern city of Tripoli on Friday, a security official said. “Another 35 people were wounded,” the official added. The first blast rocked the city centre near the home of outgoing Prime Minister Najib Mikati, although his office said he was not in Tripoli at the time. The second struck near the port of the restive city with a Sunni Muslim majority, close to the home of former police chief Ashraf Rifi, a security source said. Lebanese television channels aired footage of buildings with their fronts blown in and vehicles ablaze, as bystanders rushed to help the wounded. Tripoli, on the Mediterranean coast, has been marred by deadly violence between Sunnis, who support the armed uprising in neighbouring Syria, and Alawites who support President Bashar al-Assad. The explosions come a week after a suicide car bombing killed 27 people in a Beirut stronghold of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad’s forces. l

n AFP, Tunis Tunisia’s opposition coalition on Friday rejected proposals by the ruling Islamists for ending a month-long political crisis, saying their offer to enter talks on a government of technocrats was insufficient. “All negotiations without the immediate dissolution of the government are a waste of time,” said Taieb Baccouche, a representative of the National Salvation Front. He was speaking after meeting members of the UGTT trade union confederation, which has been mediating between the two sides and which forwarded the ruling Ennahda party’s proposals. Jilani Hammami, another NSF representative, described Ennahda’s proposals, the details of which were not communicated to the press, as ambiguous. Ennahda indicated on Thursday, for the first time since the start of the crisis triggered by the assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi, that it might agree to the resignation of the coalition government which it heads.

But the Islamists stressed that a “national dialogue” bringing together supporters and opponents of the ruling coalition needed to take place first. “We are going to keep up the pressure for the government’s dissolution, we have a plan to step up the mobilisation on the ground,” Hammami said. The opposition has called for nationwide anti-government demonstrations, starting on Saturday, with the first big gathering to take place outside the national assembly. Activists and opposition MPs have gathered regularly outside parliament over the past month, with two protests, on August 6 and 13, drawing tens of thousands of people. The UGTT, which boasts some 500,000 members and is capable of bringing the country to a standstill, has been central to the negotiations, shuttling between the Islamists and the opposition in a bid to break the deadlock. Beyond the composition of the government itself, Ennahda wants the national dialogue to address other key political differences, including on the new constitution, which has been repeatedly delayed. l

Russia tells Syria to cooperate in chemical probe n AFP, Damascus Russia on Friday urged Syria’s government to cooperate with UN experts over claims it waged deadly chemical weapons attacks, as calls grew for international action over the alleged atrocity. The UN children’s agency UNICEF said, meanwhile, that one million Syrian children now live as refugees abroad as a result of the country’s 29-month conflict. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in a statement issued after he held a telephone conversation with his US counterpart John Kerry, called for rebel fighters to allow UN inspectors safe access to areas where chemical weapons are alleged to have been used. “It is now up to the opposition to ensure safe access for the mission to the site of the alleged incident,” said Lavrov. Both Lavrov and US Secretary of State Kerry agreed on the need for an “objective investigation,” his ministry said in a statement. “Common interest was expressed in an objective investigation by a UN expert mission, which is currently in the country, in connection with the reports about the possible use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb.” UN Secretary General Ban said there was “no time to lose” in probing the alleged attacks, and urged Damascus to allow a UN team already on the ground to begin an investigation without delay. UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned the conflict is “the biggest threat to peace and security in the world.” l

Britain operates secret monitoring station in Middle East

n Reuters, Cairo Mass protests called by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood mostly failed to materialise on Friday as the movement reeled from a bloody army crackdown on followers of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. Troops and police had taken relatively low-key security measures before the “Friday of Martyrs” processions that were to have begun from 28 mosques in the capital after weekly prayers. But midday prayers were cancelled at some mosques and there were few signs of major demonstrations unfolding in Cairo. “We are not afraid; it’s victory or death,” said Mohamed Abdel Azim, a retired oil engineer who was among about 100 people marching slowly from a mosque near Cairo University. “They intend to strike at Muslims,” the grey-bearded Azim said. “We’d rather die in dignity than live in oppression. We’ll keep coming out until there’s no one left.” Some marchers carried posters of Morsi, who was toppled by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on July 3 after huge demonstrations against his rule. “No to the coup,” they chanted. Egypt has endured the bloodiest civil unrest in its modern history since August 14 when police destroyed protest camps set up by Morsi’s supporters in Cairo to demand his reinstatement.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Britain runs a secret monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept large numbers of telephone calls, emails and internet traffic that it shares with intelligence agencies in the United States, the Independent newspaper reported on Friday. The station is part of a 1.56bn global eavesdropping project run by Britain to intercept digital communications, the newspaper said, citing leaked documents from former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden’s leaks have sparked a global surveillance scandal that has pitted US President Barack Obama against the Kremlin and prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron’s advisers to demand the return of secrets from the Guardian newspaper. The London-based Independent, which did not say how it got access to the information from the Snowden documents, said the British had tapped into the underwater fiber-optic cables which pass through the Middle East. Data gleaned from the monitoring station, whose exact location the Independent said it would not reveal, is

then passed onto Britain’s eavesdropping agency in Cheltenham, England, and shared with the US National Security Agency. Britain’s monitoring station in the Middle East was set up under former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who served in that post between 2007 and 2010, the Independent said. Britain’s foreign ministry declined comment. A spokesman for GCHQ could not be reached for immediate comment on the report. Snowden’s leaks have embarrassed both Britain and the United States by laying bare the extent of their surveillance programs. London and Washington say their spies operate within the law and that the leaks have damaged national security. British police said on Thursday that documents seized from the partner of a Guardian journalist who has led coverage of Snowden’s leaks were “highly sensitive,” and could put lives at risk if it fell into the wrong hands. Counter-terrorism detectives said they had begun a criminal investigation after looking at material taken from David Miranda, partner of American journalist Glenn Greenwald, during his nine-hour detention at Heathrow Airport on Sunday. l

UN peacekeepers in Congo ordered to protect civilians n Reuters, Goma, Congo

South Korean working-level delegation chief Lee Duk-haeng, right, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Park Yong Il AP

Rival Koreas strike deal on family reunions n AFP, Seoul South and North Korea agreed Friday to go ahead with reunions next month for families separated for decades by the 1950-53 Korean War, Seoul said. The reunions will be held on September 25-30 at the North’s Mount Kumgang resort, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a press briefing. The ministry said 100 families from each side would be selected to take part in the temporary reunion pro-

gramme, the first in three years. “With today’s agreement, we set the stage for regular family reunions,” ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-Suk said. The two sides will push for another round of family reunions probably in November, he said. The push to restart the reunions was initiated last week by South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. The reunion programme was suspended after the North’s shelling of a South Korean border island in November 2010. l

The head of the UN mission in Congo on Thursday ordered peacekeeping troops to act to protect civilians after shelling hit the city of Goma in renewed fighting between the army and M23 rebels. The fighting close to Goma, a city of a million people on the Rwandan border, comes after a relative lull in the 18-month rebellion. Late last month, the United Nations pledged to keep the M23 rebels out of range of the town, which they briefly seized last year. Rwanda, which has long had strained relations with its neighbour, accused the Congolese army of deliberately firing artillery into its territory. Kinshasa denied the reports and repeated its accusation that Rwanda backs M23. Rwanda denies it. Martin Kobler, head of the UN mission known as MONUSCO, said populated areas and UN positions had been directly attacked during the clashes on Thursday. “I have ordered the MONUSCO Force to react and to take necessary action to protect civilians and prevent an advance by the M23,” he said, without elaborating. l



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Letters to

the Editor


Let justice run its course

Memories unfaded as the nation mourns Bangabandhu

he AL-led government needs to rethink its decision to withdraw the 72 cases filed against its members, when they held posts as opposition leaders and activists during 2001-2006, as such an act debilitates the justice process in this country. Whether these cases are indeed politically-motivated and intended for harassment, as the government claims as the rationale behind the withdrawal, or mere excuses for evading justice, a scenario which we have seen transpirThe ACC must ing far too often, the process be allowed to of justice must be allowed to carry out its continue. duties without Indeed, it is alarming that the obstruction, and government is already considthat includes ering a total of 7,101 cases for allowing the withdrawal, of which 345 were cases that it filed by the ACC. By including the ACC cases has brought to among those that may be withcontinue their drawn, the government is tying course its hands. If the AL government is indeed serious about curtailing corruption, it should not be taking any steps that negate the actions of the ACC. The ACC must be allowed to carry out its duties without obstruction, and that includes allowing the cases that it has brought to continue their course. Justice is an integral part of a democracy. Without proper oversight, there is no justice, and, hence, the government must reconsider its decision to withdraw the cases.

Shortly after he was released after the so-called Agartala conspiracy case in 1968, I had the good fortune to meet Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It seemed like a miracle to me when I met this giant statesman and political leader, the founder and architect of independent Bangladesh. As a college student, I was used to hearing his voice on radio and seeing his picture in print media. But I had never seen him face to face before. Around June/July-1969, my first cousin married the daughter of Mir Ashrafuddin Makhan, the husband of Bangabandhu’s niece. In that marriage ceremony Bangabandhu was invited with his family to attend the marriage ceremony of Mukta, daughter of Bangabandhu’s niece. In Bangabandhu’s recently published “Unfinished memoirs,” written while he was a state prisoner between 1967 and 1969, he mentions ‘’Mir Makhan” in a number of his real life stories. The late Mir Ashrafuddin and Bangabandhu studied together in Kolkata’s Islamia College and lived in the Muslim Baker Hostel. Mir Ashrafuddin Makhan had many notable relatives including two sons-in-law who became joint secretaries in independent Bangladesh. Another son-in-law was the late Anwarul Huq Manik who was sales manager of Pfizer, the multinational pharmaceutical company. Other relatives include Nayeem Gaha, a noted poet, lyricist and national Independence awardee and the late Barrister Kazi Ahmed Kamal who was also a hostel mate of Bangabandhu Let us come to our main discussion, how I met this legendary personality Bangabandhu. Both the bride and bridegroom were relatives, with the groom being the younger brother of noted poet, Nayeem Gahar. I was loitering near the narrow lane (Gali) at Arambagh, the time was near about 1:30pm, when an old white Toyota car stopped very close by. I spotted Bangabandhu getting down from the car and look right and left. Although I guessed he had come to attend the marriage ceremony, I quickly approached him to ask whether he had come to attend the social function of Mir Ashrafuddin. Bangabandhu was wearing black spectacles and a traditional white Panjabi and pyjama outfit. He was smiling when he spoke, while holding his long-practiced pipe in his left hand, and asked me the whereabouts of Mir Ashraf, saying “Oh! Yes, where is the residence of Mir Ashrafuddin? Lead me up to his residence.” I promptly threw a question. “How could I dare to lead a personality like you? You are leading the Bangalee nation.” He did not say anything but smiled sweetly. His wonderful smiling face still flashes in my mind’s eye. Whenever I remember him, I cannot control my tears. Anyway, I showed him the path and led him to Mir Ashraf’s residence. Kazi, Kamal and Nayeem Gahar were also present. They hugged and exchanged greetings. As the nation observed his Mourning Day on August 15, I recalled how Bangabandhu led the Bangali nation with indomitable courage, patriotism, farsightedness and dynamic leadership. The rest of the killers of Bangabandhu should be brought to the gallows without delay.

August 20


Act now to protect the indigenous communities


Sheikh Jinat Mahmid The photo is really outstanding. The fire sparks!!! But the story behind the photo is really sad. They are oblivious of the risk! Salim Ahmed But dear friend, there are none to see or think about this labour. Popo Lwin Feyona Excellent pic! One of the best I have ever seen! Hard-working boy, you are so awesome.

Jurgensen hopes for ‘Banglawash’ August 20

Nice word invention.

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August 21

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“Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.” -John Milton

ustice for the victims of the Taindong attack in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is being demanded by civil society representatives, law-makers and journalists. The government should heed their call and ensure that adequate measures are taken against the perpetrators, not only for the sake of justice for the victims but also to protect peace in this volatile region. On August 3, Bangali settlers allegedly attacked 11 indigenous villages in the Taindong area. 36 houses were burnt to ashes and around 400 houses and two Buddhist The government temples were plundered and should ensure vandalised by the attackers. that adequate The representatives of the measures are various groups demanding taken against the justice have claimed that the perpetrators, not attack was part of a systematic only for the sake campaign to grab the land of of justice for the the indigenous people. Human victims but also rights groups have previously to protect peace accused the land administration in this volatile body and law enforcement of region routinely siding with the Bangali settlers over the indigenous population. The fact that incidents like this keep happening with alarming frequency, in spite of the protestations of various rights groups, demonstrates the entrenched discrimination that the indigenous communities face. Leaving these types of attacks against a vulnerable population unpunished is not only shameful for the nation, but it also calls into question the good will of the government in implementing the peace process in the CHT region. The government needs to ensure that the Taindong victims are properly compensated and exemplary punishment is given to the perpetrators before the trust between the communities and the prospect of peace is further damaged.

Potential neglected: Worker engaged in hazardous task


How to solve Sudoku: Fill in the blank spaces with the numbers 1 – 9. Every row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain all nine digits with no number repeating.












Saturday, August 24, 2013






Silly season The period in politics when anything and everything goes in an attempt to grab headlines



n Matthew Islam n September 1, 2013, the incumbent party in power, Bangladesh Awami League, begins its campaign activities for the next general election. This is exciting news for those of us who like to observe and be entertained by all the pre-election shenanigans. It also kicks off what politicos call the “silly season” which is basically fancy terminology for a period in politics when anything and everything goes in an attempt to grab headlines. Promises will be made, visions preached, lives claimed to have been changed, or not. It is a time when all of us can demand to get attention of our leaders and in some cases will enjoy it. It

is the only time, in any democracy, when we the people have the odds in our favour and our politicians listen to us with perched ears. The power scale will tip slightly to our direction and the ego meter on our politicians will be well and truly in the green zone. It is festive. It is tense. It is comical. All in all, a wonderful time to be a political observer. Now that that’s out of the way, what do I as an ardent political follower think will happen over the next few months? First, in the interest of transparency and as a disclaimer of sorts, what I am about to discuss in the following write up are strictly my views and don’t reflect in any measure the official editorial stand of the Dhaka Tribune and contains heavy doses of conjecture. It is my belief, on evidence of the

activities leading up to the last four months of this government, that we will have no substantial political crisis, the elections will happen as scheduled or expected. Anything that doesn’t match the above scenario, to me, is fear-mongering. The opposition doesn’t have a game plan to combat what is in effect a full indictment on their brand of politics as it stands today. The opposition cannot stop the tactical controlling of the electoral and national agenda by the ruling party because they have too many things on their platter to combat, not in the least of which is finding the space and time to be relevant. Healthy and sincere right-wing nationalistic politics in Bangladesh, almost like that of the Republicans in the US, only worse in our case, is ten steps behind in progress and more unpopular today than any given time in our history, resulting from various contributing factors that I will not get into here. Anti-incumbency is a true nemesis of the incumbent in Bangladeshi politics and has provided in the past a picture of an end result that is as certain as death and taxes, barring any outside interference or untoward incidents. Despite that, I am willing to put my neck out and say that the incumbent in this silly season is leaps ahead of its closest competitors. Far from perfect, with mammoth issues of their own and even so, Bangladesh Awami League in my assumption will successfully seize the opportunity to tell the entire country of their future vision for development and top it off with chest-beating pride, the success they have achieved, of which there are many notable ones. In the midst of that storm, the opposition will in effect be occupied with answering for serious allegations, mitigating organisational strife (examples of which we have already

witnessed), fallout from a lack of coordination, indictments and/or convictions in existing cases of some senior ranking members creating an unheard-of negative image going into the next general election – all the while fighting to stop an unprecedented dip in their party morale. This will leave no significant room for them to discuss what good they could do if in power. I strongly believe that even if they succeed in securing a pause in that downward spiral, it is simply too late in the game for them to mount a serious movement for any demands to be met.

taken over the national agenda, which even at this late stage the opposition have failed to do. Many are dissatisfied with this government and rightly so but aside from a handful of significant issues, it has more to do with our inherent Bangladeshi character to reject and blame those in power. On a level playing field of slow runners, at least one has expressed a plan on how to take us into the future and have, to some extent, succeeded. As it stands now, despite the city corporation victories, the opposition hasn’t proposed one single serious

I have been told by many a wise political observer that perception of strength decides political outcome in elections within Bangladesh, where the swing voters decide the fate of a party based on that perception

It is a realisation of that reality, which I believe has played into the softening of the opposition tone for the demand of a caretaker government and indeed in the hardening of the prime minister’s recent posture regarding the same. I have been told by many a wise political observer that perception of strength decides political outcome in elections within Bangladesh, where the swing voters decide the fate of a party based on that perception: the set-winning horse syndrome. I believe, though, that works only when the opposition is considered to have mounted perceptively a real challenge worth supporting with real ideas and issues that people identify with, having washed-away memories of a bad performance which led to their loss in the interim and having

non-gimmicky idea that would make our lives easier. Any perceptive momentum from those victories now lie dormant. I am sure many recognise that due to circumstances a swing voter, who is now a more mature electorate, may for the first time wonder whether keeping the incumbent in power could lead to increased development and sustainable change. I think people now recognise that change takes time and a consistent approach. I believe they understand this beyond their traditional biases or perhaps I am wrong and it truly is the start of silly season. l Matthew Islam is a Barrister-at-Law, a textile businessman and a columnist at the Dhaka Tribune. He can be contacted on twitter via @matthewislam.

Cox’s Bazar blues Clock ticks while experts wait n Tim Steel


ccording to recently published figures from the US, injuries and fatalities in personal watercraft (PWC) accidents worldwide exceed 130,000 a year. A US Govt report into the increasing casualty rate remarks that most accidents “are associated with rental operators,” and involve factors such as excess speed, inattention, reckless operation and safety violations often exacerbated by underage and undertrained operators. Unfortunately, as I relaxed in Cox’s Ba-

The fine judgement required to safely operate personal watercrafts requires constant vigilance on the location of people in the water ahead, but this is often ignored

zar over the Eid weekend, all of these factors were clearly evident in the waters and at the edge of its beaches; the roar of quad bikes, operated by clearly undertrained youngsters, disturbed the peace. And watching the highrisk game of the speeding watercraft, popularly known as “jet skis,” after the Kawasaki original brand name, drew many spectators as the craft sped through the crowded revellers. A few years ago the then deputy commissioner, concerned about beach dangers and the publicity given to rising numbers of beach casualties, ordered that PWCs should operate away from crowds in more remote parts of the beach. An application to the High Court by PWC owners and renters to allow them to conduct their business without such restraint led to the instruction being overruled. However, as my Eid experience found, not only are these renters operating their businesses close to large crowds, they drive at great risk to the life and limbs of the tourists using them. Whilst commenting on the “ac-

cident waiting to happen” aspect of the picture, it is only right for me to declare an interest. Unusually amongst the tourists who throng to Cox’s Bazar, I regularly swim there and love it. This activity often results in my having to head further out in the water to avoid collisions and make space for my exercise, and leaves me isolated and detached in the waves. The fine judgement required to safely operate PWCs requires constant vigilance on the location of people in the water ahead, but this is often ignored in favour of speeding at the controls and showing off to friends and family. A detached swimmer should be hard to miss, but a few years ago, the rider of one PWC, evidently most engaged in waving to admiring friends, apparently failed to notice me in the water. The fibreglass hull of the speeding craft approaching from behind brushed my arm as it roared by me. I am ashamed to admit that, such was my emotional state when heading for the beach, aware of narrowly escaping injury or possible death, that once on land, I rushed to where the craft was being beached. “You nearly killed me,” I shouted at the dismounting rider, who grinned in response. For the only time in my life, I lashed out, punching him in the face. It was him that the beach police eventually arrested, but I never doubted that he would not be charged with endangering life. Most bathers hit by a craft do not get any opportunity to take revenge or seek justice. The death rate among or caused by PWC users is high, especially amongst younger people. Few human bodies can withstand collision with a reinforced hull travelling at speed. Cox’s Bazar may aspire to be an international holiday destination, as revealed by the planned upgrading of its airport, but beach safety needs to have a much higher priority. Otherwise, as is rapidly happening, it will simply become a place for a day out of Chittagong for travellers who cannot afford the air ticket to India, Malaysia, Nepal, or Thailand. l Tim Steel is a communications, marketing and tourism consultant.

Deutsch n Anthony and Peter Apps


he longer chemical weapons inspectors wait in a Damascus luxury hotel for permission to drive up the road to the site of what appears to be the worst poison gas attack in a quarter century, the less likely they will be able to get to the bottom of it. The poisoning deaths of many hundreds of people took place only three days after a team of UN chemical weapons experts arrived in Syria. But their limited mandate means the inspectors have so far been powerless to go to the scene, a short drive from where they are staying. “We’re being exterminated with poison gas while they drink their coffee and sit inside their hotels,” said Bara Abdelrahman, an activist in one of the Damascus suburbs where rebels say government rockets brought the poison gas that killed hundreds of people before dawn on Wednesday. The Syrian government denies it was behind the mass killing, the deadliest incident of any kind in Syria’s two-and-a-half year civil war and the worst apparent chemical weapons attack since Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Iraqi Kurds in 1988. The United Nations has asked President Bashar al-Assad’s government for access to the scene, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it should be investigated “without delay.” Former weapons investigators say every hour matters. “The longer it takes, the easier it is for anybody who has used it to try to cover up,” said Demetrius Perricos, who headed the UN’s team of weapons inspectors in Iraq in the 2000s. “The more you cover up, the more time it takes afterwards to uncover it. So time is definitely not something that you want to take, you don’t want to do it slowly,” Perricos told Reuters. Chemical weapons experts say there is little doubt that it was exposure to poison gas of some kind that killed the hundreds of victims, although exactly what chemicals were used could not be determined from just looking at images. “Clearly, something has killed a lot of people,” says Dan Kaszeta, a former US Army chemical officer and Department of Homeland Security expert,

now a private consultant. “We’re not going to know what until someone gets a sample.” Stephen Johnson, a former British Army officer specialising in chemical, biological and nuclear warfare and now visiting fellow at Cranfield University’s forensic unit, said it was also “staggeringly effective if it is a chemical attack, which implies more than a casual rocket or two.” Keeping UN inspectors from reaching the site would not stop Western countries from obtaining their own evidence and drawing their own conclusions, as in previous cases when they determined Assad’s forces used smaller amounts of sarin gas. In the past, France, Britain and the United States obtained samples of soil and human tissue and other evidence they said proved Assad’s government was to blame. But unless the UN team obtains its own evidence, it could be difficult to build an international diplomatic case. Proving beyond reasonable doubt who was responsible might require evidence such as ballistic analysis that shows where any missiles came from. The incident exposes the limits of the mandate of the UN team led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, details of which have not been fully made public. Movements of the 20-member team

are limited to locations previously agreed with Assad’s government. The team is authorised to investigate only three alleged incidents, at least one of which is a case in which the government says chemicals were used by rebels, and the other two of which have not been disclosed.

It’s the worst apparent chemical weapons attack since Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Iraqi Kurds in 1988 Western diplomats say they had hoped that once on the ground the team would be able to broaden its mandate. “They probably have their hands tied as to where they can go because someone has territorial control,” said Hans Blix, who headed a team of weapons inspectors in Iraq. “I can well imagine that objections will be raised on the ground that the security of inspectors cannot be protected in the area in question.” Rebels said on Wednesday they would provide protection for inspectors at the site. Rolf Ekeus, a Swedish diplomat who worked with Sellstrom in Iraq,

An activist wearing a gas mask is seen in the Zamalka area

said Sellstrom had the expertise needed to determine what happened, if he were given access. “Sellstrom is extremely well familiar with all these capabilities, that is his speciality,” Ekeus told Reuters. France has led international calls for force to be used if it is proved that the government is behind the attack. Rebels and opposition activists say the diplomatic wrangling over the mandate of the inspectors provides cover for countries that lack the will to act. A year ago, US President Barack Obama announced that using chemical weapons would be a “red line” that would prompt serious international action. Three months ago, he concluded Syria had crossed the line by using sarin, and said Washington would respond by providing military aid to the rebels, but US hardware has yet to arrive. “We are all very frustrated by what has happened and the lack of action,” Qassim Saadedine, a commander and spokesman for the rebels’ Supreme Military Command, told Reuters on Thursday. “As usual, there is a lot of talk and outrage but for the people suffering on the ground it is hard to take that seriously. After all this time, these statements are empty words to us.” l The article was first published by Reuters.





Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ananta Jalil is the new brand ambassador of GP n Entertainment Desk Dhallywood’s heart throb Ananta Jalil is the new brand ambassador of Grameen Phone. He has already started shooting for the new TV commercial of GP’s new pre-paid connection that allows emergency balance transfer. The shooting is being conducted since yesterday in the magnificent headquarter GP House. The ad is made by Mezba ur Rahman Shumon. The commercial is set in the backdrop of 007 James Bond action thriller story and will have two catchy dialogues, “Ananta’s job is to make reality out of the impossible” and “Nothing is impossible for Ananta.”

About working as GP’s brand ambassador, Ananta informs, “It is my pleasure to be able to represent such a widely renowned company, I am looking forward to the task.” Ananta’s big Eid release “Nisshartho Bhalobasha” was tremendously popular among the audience of the country. The talented actor and producer have made his mark in the film arena of the country, with his impressive stunts and new story telling concepts. Starting from his first movie “KhojThe Search,” Ananta has only moved forward towards stardom with his following films “Most Welcome” and “Hridoy Bhanga Dhew.” l

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11:30pmStar Movies Bean A scene from the play ‘Chaka’


3 shows of Chaka begins at DU n Punny Kabir

A three day programme has begun yesterday at the Natmandal of DU, featuring three shows of Dhaka University theatre department’s latest production, Selim Al Deen’s “Chaka.” Theatre lovers, who haven’t yet watched the production especially designed for intimate audience, still have the chance to experience it today and tomorrow at 7pm. The play was premiered last Friday at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shipakala Academy to celebrate Deen’s 64th birth anniversary. The premiere show of the play, directed by young theatre artiste Sudip Chakroborthy, saw a houseful audience. This is his 22nd directorial venture and like his previous productions, Sudip, along with the set and light designer of the play, treats the audience with lot of surprises. The tragic story of Deen’s masterpiece “Chaka” is portrayed in a circular stage, through a combination of narration, dialogue and action. Set against the backdrop of the anti autocratic movement of the country in

the late 1980s, the story zooms in on a cart-driver, along with an old man and a Santal youth, embarking on a journey to deliver a corpse of an anonymous man who was unjustly killed. They are assigned by government officials to deliver the dead body to its relatives. No one knows who the dead man was or how he died. But the address given to the cart puller is a vague one, and, being so, the team fails to deliver the corpse. Finally he, along with two others, buries the corpse. In the play, the iconic playwright has also explored the suppression faced by the indigenous community of our country, through a Santal character. Moreover, Deen has touched the Islamic myth of the Battle of Karbala in the play. In this regard, Sudip said to Dhaka Tribune: “We, the cast and crew of ‘Chaka’ attended classes at the Department of Islamic History and Culture of DU and went to Kakonhaat of Godagari, Rajshahi to get ourselves acquainted with the lifestyle of the Santal community, for the production.” Playing live music, the story begins with a dramatic mood where the actors of the play sit in a circle, with a very

mournful mood. Throughout the play, the performance of all the actors and narrators are centered to a round object having shape of a wheel, which is placed in the middle of the stage. “We cannot move a cart in the stage, so we placed a wheel shaped object on the stage. We also wanted the wheel to be constantly on the stage, since it symbolises continuation of the changelessness in our society. On the other hand, the circular pattern of the stage is similar to the shape of a mother’s womb, the solar system, the rotation of time and infinity,” said Sudip to Dhaka Tribune. The narrators, time to time, give very satirical descriptions of the social system that turns a youth to an unidentified corpse. At one point, they scatter dead leaves on the stage to bring an ambience of bereavement. The lively and authentic performance of the first year and graduate students of the theatre department of DU makes the play a treat to watch. The theatre is also enriched with the presentation of traditional instruments like dhol, banshi, mondira, kasha and Santal dance recitals. l

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Shadhona to present Nupur Beje Jay’s 26th installment

Exclusive Interview airs on NTV tonight


n Entertainment Desk

Afrose Jahan Chaity

“Shadhona” – A Center for Advancement of South Asian Dance and Music, commenced its bi-monthly, performances of dance, “Nupur Beje Jai” in November, 2009. This year, the twenty sixth episode of the event will be held at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on August 25. The first performance of the show about Lord Krishna and his flute, “Bongshi Anurag” is by Mou Das and Dhrumel, which is under a three years project named “Dhrumel” of Shadhona and Manipuri Theatre. “Dhrumel” is a project, where informed training in Manipuri performance and theoretical perspectives are practiced, besides looking into the making of costumes and musical instruments. Pung Cholom, Dhol Cholom, Kartal Cholom, Thangta, and other Lasya and Tandav forms of Manipuri are being taught. The main trainer of the initiative is Sweety Das Chowdhury from Kolkata. Besides that, Gurus of the Manipuri community in Komolganj is also part of the project and will per-

Single episode drama “Exclusive Interview,” will air on NTV tonight at 9pm. Written by Proshun Rahman and directed by Abu Raihan Jewel, Chompa, Naim, Sporshia, Mahmudul Islam Mithu and many more acted in the drama. The story is about a celebrity, who quits working in media, detaches herself from the limelight completely and leaves the country. One day, when she was visiting the form on “Bongshi Anurag.” Gourahori Chatarjee, Krishnokumari Sinha, Sushmita Mondol will sing with the Mridanga, played by Kannu Sinha and Babu Chand Sinha. Amit Choudhury will perform Bharatanatyam, Abu Naim, Parsa Evana and Lamia Saiyara Mela will entertain with contemporary performance. Manosh from Mymensingh will present folk dance performance. The attraction of the evening will be dance performances on popular songs of Bangladeshi cinemas from the 60’s, by the

students of Shadhona. The project was inaugurated with a three day workshop on June 2, in which 30 students, including 15 members of Manipuri Theatre participated. Lubna Marium, dance researcher and general secretary of Shadhona, put forward the aims and goals of the project, and hoped that trainers from Manipur (India) too, will be involved in the project. She also hoped that a yearly International Manipuri Dance Festival could be arranged in Komolganj, to attract audiences from far and wide. l

country, a journalist corners her for an interview. Once they start to talk, many attributes of her life come into the open and she ends up disclosing very personal feelings and emotions to the journalist. The story takes a turn from that point on. The reporter does not take any notes or record the interview, and the piece ends up never being published in any newspaper. The celebrity leaves the country without any fuss and the exclusive interview remains forever in the reporter’s memory. l

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Chandana’s folk music show at IGCC today

n Entertainment Desk

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in association with the State Bank of India in Bangladesh is organising “An Evening of Folk Music by Chandana Roy Majumdar” of Bangladesh at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2013 at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, H No 35, Rd 24, Gulshan-1, Dhaka. Chandana Roy Majumdar is one of the outstanding exponents of folk songs and Nazrul Geeti in Bangladesh. After securing a diploma in music from the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Chandana graduated to record more than 25 solo musical albums in folk music and Nazrul Geeti (most of which have been “Best Selling”) in her long musical career till date. Her song—“Jao pakhi bolo tare”—had been a rage amongst the music lovers of Bangladesh and the world. She is currently imparting training in music at the prestigious Chhayanaut in Dhaka. l

Beyond the Gallery

Victoria opens up about daily life with David Beckham n

Entertainment Desk

There is a reason why Victoria Beckham does not smile in many photos. In an interview with T, the New York Times style magazine, the mother of four opens up about her family as well as addresses the lack of smile in her photos. When asked why she does not smile, Victoria answers, “When you’re in a position to be paparazzi-ed just walking down the street, you’d look a little daft if you were smiling all the time.” She adds, “I smile in family photos.” The fashion designer also opens up about her daily life with husband David Beckham and their children, saying that the family’s chef and nanny only come a few days in a week. Therefore, David plays chef at home. “David does the cooking,” Victoria says. The former soccer player apparently

is good at it because “he decided to go to culinary school” when he lived in Italy. Besides cooking, David also contributes to other household activities, such as taking their three children to school. Either Victoria or David always attends the boys’ school events and parents meeting. The couple, who comes from hardworking families, tries to be with their children during important moments. Despite her busy activities, Victoria never misses the children’s birthdays. “We have what I consider to be normal birthday parties,” Victoria says of her children’s birthday bash. “I’ve been to parties in LA that are mind-blowing. I mean, quite literally mind-blowing. People get cellphones in the party bag, that sort of thing. Fabulous, fabulous parties. Ours aren’t like that. They are normal kids’ parties. We’ll have a bouncy castle, a face painter.” l

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Did you know? Only three times in the previous 21 English Premier League seasons has the team top after the first round of games won the title


Saturday, August 24, 2013

14 Clarke confirms Anelka contemplating retirement

14 Townsend stars as Spurs rout Tbilisi



15 Shehzad, Afridi lead Pakistan to Twenty20 win

Dhaka Premier League start date pushed back again n Minhaz Uddin Khan

The players’ transfer for the long delayed Dhaka Premier League is still on course to take place on August 25, as was recently announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM), after a meeting between the CCDM and the premier league clubs yesterday. However, the opening day of the tournament has been delayed yet again at the clubs’ insistence. The board and CCDM had announced September 3 as the starting date a few days ago but that has been pushed back now to September 10. The main discussion topic of the meeting was the financial aid that the board had promised the clubs. CCDM chairman Jalal Younus pledged to hand over the funds to the clubs soon after the players’ transfer. However, sources said that some of the clubs are still uncertain of the matter in the light of board president Nazmul Hasan’s recently stated position of being against the aid. Initial steps for the players’ transfer has already been completed by the CCDM. A list of 192 cricketers have already been handed over to the clubs. This will be the first time that the premier league clubs will recruit cricketers through a players’ draft - popularly known as the “lottery” – and this will be held tomorrow at a press conference room at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium tomorrow. l

Andy Murray of Britain (R) and Serena Williams of the United States pose alongside the Men and Women’s US Open trophies during the draw ceremony prior to the start of the 2013 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Thursday REUTERS

Saber wants ‘level playing field’ Former Bangladesh Cricket Board president wants board to prioritize cricket over election n Mazhar Uddin Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Saber Hossain Chowdhury said yesterday that a level field for the upcoming BCB election was important and on-field cricket should be given more importance than the upcoming BCB elections, a day after incumbent president Nazmul Hasan announced that he would run for BCB president. Saber Hossain complained that the current BCB boss exchanging views with others was unacceptable since Nazmul was a candidate in the upcoming election. “I always said that I needed a level playing field, and how it that be done. We have to monitor this long before the election. If the president wants to discuss something with someone it’s not a fault. But he can’t do it within the BCB, he can do it outside, else it won’t be a level playing field,”

claimed Saber. Saber, however, welcomed Nazmul’s candidacy as they both belong to a political party that welcomes democracy. “We are not contesting this election with our political banner. What is very important is that our party also believes in democracy and that’s the same with a federation for organizing a proper election. We have heard that in the football federation there would be contest but later on it didn’t happen,” he said. Saber expressed concern about the letter that the BCB was supposed to have sent to the National Sports Council (NSC). “More than one date when the letters would be sent to the counsellors have been given. Frist it was the 12th, then the 22nd, but we still don’t know when it will be sent,” said the presidential candidate. The former BCB president expressed the opinion that the BCB should give

greater attention to the game of cricket itself rather than the upcoming election. “First priority should be Bangladesh cricket, which is the game and the other part is the board. Obviously because of the board elections coming up, everyone is very interested but one can’t just forget about the game. The recent performance of the ‘A’ team, under 19 and U-23 teams show that we have to focus on this as well. And I think Bangladesh cricket is a lot more important than the board and I hope that we have our focus on that.” He added that the poor performances of the above mentioned teams was a sign that the BCB should give more attention to the game and if they did not, the board would be a meaningless organisation, existing in name only. Saber was also critical of chief selector Akram Khan’s interest in attending meetings related to election issues and again suggested that the recent

poor performances of Bangladesh teams abroad was somehow related to off-field activities of the board. “The performance on the field is affected somehow by off field happenings. And

I think everyone has lost focus. The chief selector was seen with the representatives of the DSAs. He didn’t need to be present there,” said Saber. He also claimed that the delay in

Big guns start strong in Ascent Corporate 5-A-Side Soccer Cup n Shishir Hoque

An action shot from the match between Securex and GPIT in the 8th Ascent Corporate 5-A-Side Indoor Soccer Cup at the STM Hall of Scholastica School, Uttara yesterday MUMIT M

Reigning champions Beximco Pharma gained a maximum three points in a walkover victory over their opponents Olympic Industries, while last-time runners-up Gemcon Group won their first game 9-0 over General Electric on the opening day of the 8th Ascent Corporate 5-A-Side Indoor Soccer Cup yesterday. Dhaka Tribune also made a decent start as they defeated Therap BD 4-1 at the STM Hall of Scholastica School, Uttara yesterday. Monu scored a hattrick while Shakib Hasan netted one for the winners, who are taking part in the meet for the first time. Another title contender, IIDFC handed Green Delta Securities a crushing 10-0 defeat while Lanka Bangla earned a hard-fought 1-0

victory over HRC. In the day’s other matches, Qubee outplayed Incepta 4-1, Chevron rout ULAB 4-0, Bangla Cat drew with Metlife Alico 2-2, Aarong Dairy defeated Textmart 2-0, Ascent were held 2-2 by Phillip Morris International, Securex outclassed GPIT 3-0, Tesco Sourcing beat Ceat BD 2-0 and Flora Telecom edged past Rahimafrooz-Renewable Energy 1-0. Dhaka Tribune will take on Pepsi in their second game of the meet today at the same venue. l

the Dhaka Premier League was linked with election concerns and went on to speak about allegations of corruption in the board. “Regarding corruption, I said that if we see corruption, we need to see who the president was at the time when these things happened. If Mostafa Kamal did something wrong, he should be responsible for it. If you enjoy the high profile and don’t do anything else, the steps taken to eradicate corruption won’t work,” said Saber. Saber went on to point out the weaknesses of the BCB constitution and how the elected president could be removed if the government were to change if those weaknesses were not rectified. “Whether the president can continue or not will depend on the constitution and how strong is the election. If this is election such a weakness, a new government can cancel the elected body. We have to follow a process where this cannot happen.” l

Bangladesh beat Chinese Taipei n Shishir Hoque The Bangladesh national hockey team came back from after Thursday’s defeat against Pakistan to earn a comfortable 3-1 victory over Chinese Taipei in their second practice match in Malaysia yesterday. Puskor Khiso Mimo netted two goals while Krishna Kumar scored one for the men in red and green, who dominated play throughout the game. The Bangladesh Hockey Federation general secretary believes that the victory will boost the team’s confidence. “The defeat against Pakistan was not a big thing and not abnormal since they are the former World and Olympic champions. We are still learning, which was reflected in the second game against Chinese Taipei. This victory will boost our confidence,” said Khwaja. The Asia Cup Hockey will get underway today. Bangladesh will play their first match against Korea tomorrow before taking on Oman August 27 and India the day after. l




Saturday, August 24, 2013

Scudetto favourites Juve begin season on a high Milan missing 10 players for opener of Ferguson. He leaves nothing n AFP, Milan chance.” Reinforced Juventus begin the defence of their Serie A crown with an away trip to Sampdoria today, when newly-promoted Verona host Milan in the opening match of the 2013/2014 season. Juventus were virtually untouchable last season as coach Antonio Conte led the Bianconeri to a second consecutive scudetto with a nine-point cushion on Napoli.

Fixtures Verona v AC Milan Sampdoria v Juventus And the Turin giants have already fired a warning shot to their scudetto rivals by routing Lazio 4-0 in the Italian Super Cup at the Olympic Stadium. Former Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, one of Juve’s two major signings along with Fernando Llorente, marked his official debut for the Old Lady with a second-half goal on Sunday and says Juve can go far this season. “This Juve side can go far, and win another scudetto, but we still have room to improve,” said Tevez, who took the bold step of likening Conte to another former coach, Alex Ferguson, whose near 27-year tenure of Manchester United ended last season. “In some ways Conte reminds me


Conte’s only major absence for Saturday’s away trip is injured midfielder Claudio Marchisio, although with Frenchman Paul Pogba in fine form that is unlikely to worry the Juve handler. The 44-year-old is already considered one of Italy’s most astute coaches and Sunday’s victory has installed the Bianconeri as firm scudetto favourites. Napoli, Milan and to a lesser extent Inter — who finished a disappointing ninth last season and will miss Europe altogether — will be hoping it does not all go Juve’s way. Napoli face Bologna at home on Sunday still feeling buoyed by their second-place finish, under former coach Walter Mazzarri - now at Inter which secured a long-awaited return to the Champions League. But the departure of Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, whose league-leading 29 goals played a huge role in that achievement, to Paris Saint Germain is likely to be felt. New Napoli boss Rafael Benitez has signed Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain as a direct replacement and will expect results from the FrancoArgentine, who scored 121 goals in a six-year spell with Real. Benitez — who also brought in goalkeeper Pepe Reina on loan from Liverpool as well as Real Madrid pair Raul Albiol and Jose Maria Callejon — believes Napoli’s demanding fans are ready to get behind him. l

Real Madrid's forward Raul celebrates after scoring during the Santiago Bernabeu trophy football match against Al-Sadd SC at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Thursday

Walcott hopes Turkish romp will boost Arsenal n AFP, London Theo Walcott believes Arsenal’s midweek Champions League victory over Fenerbahce can help kickstart the troubled club’s Premier League campaign. England winger Walcott and his team-mates will aim to bounce back after the opening day home defeat to Aston Villa when they travel across London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday. The Villa loss triggered a wave of criticism directed towards Gunners boss Arsene Wenger from Arsenal supporters frustrated by his failure to strengthen his squad since the end of last season. A succession of injuries to key players seemed to have further exposed the weaknesses in Wenger’s squad, but an emphatic 3-0 win in Turkey on Wednesday moved the Gunners to within 90 minutes of a place in the Champions

League group stage and provided a timely boost to morale. “It was very important after such a disappointing start to the Premier League,” Walcott said.

Fixtures Fulham Everton Hull City Newcastle Southampton Stoke City Aston Villa

v v v v v v v

Arsenal WBA Norwich City West Ham Sunderland Crystal Palace Liverpool

“There was a lot of pressure on us as well and we’re happy we got that clean sheet, which was important. “As players we don’t take any notice of that criticism. We know the best person to listen to, and our best critic, is the manager. “We knew the Villa game was very disappointing and we needed to bounce back from it.

“We work hard for each other and that’s the most important thing - if everyone works hard for each other we can get the results. “I think at the weekend that probably wasn’t the case, and we knew how disappointing it was. “You don’t want to start a season like that but, like I said, that’s out of the window now. “We’ve forgotten about that and we’re concentrating on Fulham. And if we perform like that, with that intensity, we can beat anyone.” Wenger has stepped up his efforts to bring in new players, although he now concedes he has no chance of signing Liverpool forward Luis Suarez. Instead, Arsenal have been linked with Real Madrid pair Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria and Swansea duo Ashley Williams and Michu. Wenger admits he is short on numbers at present, a situation not helped by the loss of French defender Laurent Koscielny to a one game suspension following his sending off against Villa. l


AFP, London

West Bromwich Albion announced on Thursday that they have signed winger Scott Sinclair on a season-long loan from Premier League rivals Manchester City. Sinclair, 24, joined City from Swansea City in a £6.2 million ($9.7 million, 7.2 million euros) transfer last year, but he failed to make an impact at the Etihad Stadium and started only two Premier League games last season. “Scott understands he needs to play football and we’re delighted he feels this is the right club for him at this stage of his career,” West Brom coach Steve Brom, who worked with Sinclair during his formative years at Chelsea, told the club website. “He’s the type of player we were missing from the squad. He’s a pure winger who is quick, direct, and scores goals — he has proved that over his career. “He’s frustrated he didn’t get the chances to play at Man City last season and hopefully he’ll take those frustrations out on Premier League defenders this season.” l

Clarke confirms Anelka contemplating retirement n AFP, London

West Brom manager Steve Clarke has confirmed that veteran striker Nicolas Anelka had spoken to him about quitting football, but the coach remains hopeful the player will return to the club once he has “got his head clear”. On learning that his agent Eric

Manasse had died over the weekend, the former French international left training on Thursday following conversations with Albion’s technical director Richard Garlick and Clarke, but the Scottish manager is adamant there was no hostility on any side. “Obviously Nicolas lost a close friend and an agent over the weekend - he died

suddenly. Nicolas went to Richard (Garlick) on Thursday and indicated that he wasn’t in a good place,” Clarke told a press conference. “Really, that is as much as there is to tell on the situation - it wasn’t dramatic, there was no big bust-up, he didn’t storm out of the training ground. It is just a boy who is really quite upset.” Asked directly if Anelka had mentioned quitting, Clarke added: “I’m not going to deny that he used that word in the conversations we had with him. But we’ve given him time to go away and think about it and I don’t think we could do any more in the circumstances as they were.” “He was down, really down. He was actually injured. He hadn’t trained with us this week, so I was preparing the team for Everton without Nicolas in it anyway - he got a kick against Southampton.” Asked if he fully expected Anelka to return, Clarke said: “I don’t know, because from the conversation we had the other day, it was really negative. But as I said, we have given him time to think about it. So I’d like to think he could play for West Bromwich Albion again.” l

Guardiola ready to face Mourinho

Townsend stars as Spurs rout Tbilisi

n AFP, Berlin

Bayern Munich tackle three games inside a week, culminating in the Super Cup against Chelsea next Friday which will pit the Bavarians’ coach Pep Guardiola against former rival Jose Mourinho. Guardiola’s Bayern have a taxing schedule en route to the UEFA Super Cup showdown in Prague where the Champions League winners take on Europa League champions Chelsea, but the Spaniard is relishing facing Mourinho. “Yes, it’s not the first time we’ve met and we know each other well,” said

n AFP, Paris

Young winger Andros Townsend gave England’s Aaron Lennon food for thought with a starring role in Tottenham’s 5-0 win at Dinamo Tbilisi in the Europa League on Thursday. In a startling display, Townsend scored the opener and then set-up Brazil’s Paulinho to open his Spurs account before laying a third on a plate for Roberto Soldado. Soldado bagged another while young left-back Danny Rose scored his first for Spurs since netting on his debut against Arsenal in April, 2010. Townsend’s pinpoint crossing was in itself telling for a player who may be looking to displace Lennon in the north Londoners’ first team this season, given the diminutive former Leeds United winger’s own failings when centring from out wide. The result in this playoff first leg tie has all but rendered next week’s second leg at White Hart Lane meaningless and should see the English Premier League side safely into the Europa League group stages. Townsend started off the rout when latching onto a ball cleared from the Spurs box following a Dinamo corner. Kyle Naughton played the ball to Townsend, who raced 50 yards before firing low past goalkeeper George Loria from fully 25 yards on 11 minutes. “I was delighted to score and that’s what I have to do when I get my chance, score goals and make assists,” said the 22-year-old Londoner. l

West Brom hand Sinclair loan lifeline


Guardiola of the self-styled “special one” Mourinho. “I have huge respect for his career and you can’t forget the Bayern-Chelsea game, but we have two more games before us and the next match is always the most important one. “Bayern have never won it (the Super Cup) and it’s an important title. “I don’t know what will happen next Friday, but they will win it sooner or later.” The Prague showdown rekindles memories of past El Clasico clashes with ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola against Chelsea’s former Real Madrid coach Mourinho, but before that Bay-

Bale Real shirts for sale n AFP, Madrid

Tottenham Hotspur FC's Andros Townsend (R) celebrates with teammate Roberto Soldado after scoring a goal during the Uefa Europa League qualifying football match against FC Dinamo Tbilisi in Tbilisi on Thursday AFP

Real Madrid put shirts bearing the name of Wales winger Gareth Bale up for sale on Thursday after a world record deal for the Tottenham player appeared to enter its closing stages. Negotiations between the Spanish giants and Bale’s current club Tottenham Hotspur over a potential record move are believed to be in advanced stages, but the 24-year-old has not yet made the move to the Bernabeu. Leading Madrid sports dailies Marca and As published online screen grabs from the shop section of Real’s website, listing Bale as the team’s number 11 alongside pictures of the strips for sale. The gaff was soon spotted, though, and the shop section of the site was inaccessible later in the evening.

Newspaper As said the online shop is operated by sports brand Adidas and not by the club itself. Reports have been circulating for weeks that Bale will move to the ninetime European champions for a fee that could eclipse the £80 million ($123.6 million, 93.2 million euros) Madrid paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. Spanish media said Thursday an announcement on Bale’s signing may come within hours. Last year Real listed Croatian Luka Modric as a player on their site before signing him, also from Spurs. The club blamed hackers for that mistake. Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas refused again to be drawn into speculation over Bale’s future.l

ern face Bundesliga matches at home to Nuremberg on Saturday, then away to Freiburg on Tuesday. Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has described the next seven days as “the first hot phase” of the Bavarians’ season and the triple-bill of matches will test Guardiola’s new 4-14-1 formation. Bayern host Nuremberg at Munich’s Allianz Arena without Spain’s Javi Martinez, who is lacking match fitness according to the Bayern boss, while France winger Franck Ribery is back in the team after an ankle injury kept him out of last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt. l

Scottish great Miller quits int'l football n AFP, Glasgow Striker Kenny Miller has called time on his Scotland career and will retire from international football with immediate effect, the Scottish Football Association confirmed yesterday. The 33-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps frontman won the last of his 69 caps in the 3-2 defeat to England at Wembley last week and signed off with a goal - his 18th for his country. The former Hibernian, Rangers, Celtic, Wolves and Cardiff striker quits the national team with only Kenny Dalglish, Denis Law, Hughie Gallacher, Lawrie Reilly and Ally McCoist ahead of him on the all-time list of Scotland goalscorers. l


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Nazrana Eva takes lead

Nazrana Khan Eva took the sole lead in the preliminary phase of the 34th National Women Chess Championship-2013, which is being held at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room. Eva beat Evana to and now has four points at the end of the fourth round. Zakia Sultana, Shamiha Sharmin Shimmi, Mahmuda Hoque Chowdhury Moly and Dilara Jahan Nupur shared the 2nd position with 3.5 points each. Jahanara Haque Runu, Afrin Jahan Munia, Kishwara Sjarin Evana, Shukannya Saba and Hamida Rahman are jointly 3rd with 3 points each. - SH

Monfils reaches Winston-Salem semis France’s Gael Monfils won an errorfilled match over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (8/10), 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the ATP Winston-Salem Open. The 15th seeded Monfils will Friday face off for a place in the final when he takes on Ukrainian tenth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, who beat Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 7-6 (7/2), 6-3. “It’s always good to be in the semis after two big wins,” said Monfils. Austrian Jurgen Melzer came through three rain interruptions to take out Russian Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-3. He will play sixth seed Sam Querrey, a winner over Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4. Querrey repeated his winning scenario over the Lithuanian after dominating him for the Los Angeles title in July, 2012. The Califonian winner fired ten aces and broke four times. Berankis entered the match without having lost serve all week, but dropped to 1-7 in quarter-finals over his career with the loss in 69 minutes. – AFP

Button deal with McLaren not yet signed

Jenson Button is hoping to stay with McLaren next year, despite their disappointments in 2013, but is still waiting for the team to sign a contract. The 33-year-old Briton revealed his position at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday, but made clear he has no intention of seeking a drive elsewhere. Button said: “I think I have a contract for next year, but I don’t think it has a signature on it yet though... I really want to be here next year. “You might think that is strange after this season, but I think this year has been good for us in a way. We will be a much stronger team next year. “I want to be here next year, but I haven’t heard the confirmation of that yet from the team — and you have to wait for that.” – AFP


Shehzad, Afridi lead Pakistan to Twenty20 win n AFP, Harare Ahmed Shehzad shone with the bat and Shahid Afridi struck with the ball as Pakistan opened their tour of Zimbabwe with a comfortable victory in the first Twenty20 international yesterday. Shehzad’s measured 70 allowed Pakistan to post a strong total of 161 for five, before Afridi snubbed out Zimbabwean resistance with three wickets to secure a 25-run victory. Although Zimbabwe were much improved from the side that lost a recent one-day series against India 5-0, they let things slip in the field midway through the Pakistan innings and also lost their way after a promising start with the bat. Shehzad’s patience up front proved key to the match as he saw out a tricky opening period when Pakistan lost Nasir Jamshed and captain Mohammad Hafeez to Tendai Chatara, before slowly taking control against Zimbabwe’s other seamers. “Early on it was doing a bit. They bowled a good channel and that’s why they picked up a couple of wickets, but after six overs the ball was coming on nicely and I was able to manoeuvre the ball,” Shehzad said. The opener took 17 runs off Elton Chigumbura’s first over to put the pressure back on Zimbabwe, and shared in a 55-run stand with debutant Sohaib Maqsood. Shehzad struck six fours and a six in his 50-ball innings before he was eventually caught on the boundary off the bowling of Shingirai Masakadza.

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Boycott slams slow England over-rate n AFP, London

Afridi ensured that Pakistan finished strongly, hitting 23 not out from 16 deliveries, and then made key breakthroughs in the Zimbabwean innings in claiming figures of 3 for 25. The home side started brightly with a 53-run opening stand between Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda, but their inability to accelerate from a solid base meant that they never really threatened to achieve their target. Afridi picked up the wickets of Sibanda and Timycen Maruma after laboured innings by both batsmen, and

Brief Score

Pakistan 161 for 5 ( Shehzad 70, Afridi 23*) Zimbabwe 136 for 5 (Sibanda 31, Taylor 32*) Pakistan won by 25 runs also dismissed the dangerous Chigumbura cheaply. Although Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor came in at number three and finished unbeaten, he was often starved of the strike as he faced just 30 balls in top-scoring with 32. Malcolm Waller’s late salvo saw him take a six and a four off Saeed Ajmal’s final over, but with too much to do Zimbabwe finished well short of the line. “We always know that once we score 150-plus, it will be tough for the opposition to score the runs with our good bowling side,” Hafeez said. The two teams will face off again at the same venue in the second and final Twenty20 international on Saturday. l

Pakistan big hitter Shahid Afridi is in action during their opening game of the two-match T20 series against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club yesterday AFP

England find life tough in Ashes finale n AFP, London Runs dried up for England as Australia dismissed Joe Root and Jonathan Trott in an attritional second session on the third day of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval yesterday. England, who at 3-0 up had already

Kevin Pietersen was 29 not out and Ian Bell, who came into this match having scored exactly 500 runs in the series with three hundreds, four not out. Pietersen, who at The Oval in 2005 scored a stunning maiden Test hundred to help secure a draw that saw England regain the Ashes, had been unusually re-

Wozniacki, Kvitova reach New Haven semis

Former winner Caroline Wozniacki and reigning champ Petra Kvitova beat a pair of WTA young guns Thursday to reach the semis of the New Haven Open, the final tune-up for the US Open. Four-time winner Wozniacki defeated American wild card Sloane Stephens 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 in a quarterfinal contest at the Yale University hardcourt facility. The former world number one Wozniacki, who is seeded fourth this week, captured the New Haven event four years in a row from 2008-11. The third-seeded Czech Kvitova fought back from a first-set stumble to outlast Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. The former Wimbledon champion Kvitova topped Russian Maria Kirilenko in last year’s New Haven final. – AFP


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Australia's Mitchell Starc appeals successfully for the wicket of England's Jonathan Trott, out LBW for 40 runs, during the third day of the fifth Ashes cricket Test at the Oval in London yesterday AFP won the five-match series, were 181 for three at tea, 311 runs behind Australia’s first innings 492 for nine declared and still needing a further 112 to avoid the follow-on.

strained in facing 82 balls with just two boundaries for his runs on Friday. He was not alone, England scoring just 84 runs in the session’s 38 overs. England resumed Friday on 32 with-

Chappell says Lehmann a ‘hypocrite’ in Broad row n AFP, London Former captain Ian Chappell has accused Australia coach Darren Lehmann of hypocrisy in attacking England’s Stuart Broad for “blatant cheating” during this season’s first Ashes Test. Lehmann’s comments in an Australian radio interview saw him fined 20 percent of his match in the ongoing fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval. The 27-year-old Broad angered Australia during England’s narrow 14-run first Test win at Trent Bridge when he refused to walk after a thick edge deflected off the wicketkeeper’s gloves to slip. Victory sent England on their way to taking an unbeatable 3-0 series lead in the Ashes. Chappell said Australians, who’ve traditionally always waited for the umpire’s decision, were in no position to complain about opponents who did exactly the same thing.

“I don’t like to be called a cheat and basically he (Lehmann) is calling all people who don’t walk a cheat, which would include himself,” Chappell told BBC Radio Five on Friday. “’Cheat’ is not a word you should use very light-heartedly, and even if you are being light-hearted that’s a word you should steer away from,” added Chappell, captain of the successful Australian side of the early to mid 1970s. “And even when you’ve got your tongue in your cheek it’s pretty hypocritical for an Australian to complain about somebody not walking.” After Broad defended his actions earlier this week, an unimpressed Lehmann told Australia radio station Triple M in an interview broadcast on Wednesday: “Certainly our players haven’t forgotten, they’re calling him everything under the sun as they go past. l

out loss after Shane Watson’s Test-best 176 and Steven Smith’s 138 not out - his maiden hundred at this level - had taken Australia to their imposing total. Alastair Cook, the England captain, was 17 not out and Joe Root 13 not out. The openers made a solid start, with Root clipping Ryan Harris off his legs for four while left-hander Cook squaredrove the fast bowler for a boundary. But Cook’s mediocre series with the bat continued when, three balls after drinks, he followed a delivery angled across him from Harris, Australia’s best bowler of the Ashes, and edged to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 25. It was an all-too familiar exit for Cook in a series where he has scored 243 runs in nine innings with a best of 62 at an average of just 27 — a far cry from his triumphant 2010/11 Ashes tour of Australia where he scored 766 runs at 127.66 with three hundreds. Root’s pull off Peter Siddle saw him to a 145-ball fifty with eight fours, but after lunch he fell tamely for 68 when he topedged a sweep off Lyon straight to Shane Watson at short fine leg, where the allrounder had been positioned exactly for such a mistimed shot. Root’s exit ended a stand worth exactly 50, with England 118 for two. Pietersen was nearly run out on 11 with the batsman yards short of his ground going for a risky single when David Warner missed with a shy at the stumps from mid-on. There were ironic cheers from a capacity crowd when Pietersen went down the pitch to drive leg-spinner Smith for

four — the first boundary in 11 overs. But the first delivery with the new ball saw Trott go lbw for 40 to leftarm paceman Mitchell Starc. England challenged but, with the Decision

At Tea Australia 1st Innings 492-9 dec (S Watson 176, S Smith 138 no; J Anderson 4-95) England 1st Innings (overnight: 32-0) A Cook c Haddin b Harris J Root c Watson b Lyon J Trott lbw b Starc K Pietersen not out I Bell not out Extras (b5, lb4, w4, nb2) Total (3 wkts, 82 overs)

25 68 40 29 4 15 181

Fall of wickets 1-68 (Cook), 2-118 (Root), 3-176 (Trott) To bat: C Woakes, M Prior, S Broad, G Swann, S Kerrigan, J Anderson Bowling Starc 19-3-46-1 (1nb, 1w); Harris 18-727-1 (1nb); Faulkner 7-2-17-0; Siddle 16-5-36-0 (3w); Lyon 17-4-31-1; Smith 5-1-15-0; England are 311 runs behind Australia with seven first-innings wickets standing. Review System upholding experienced Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar’s verdict, it was the end of Trott’s 134-ball innings and a stand of 58 with fellow South Africa-born batsman Pietersen. l

England great Geoffrey Boycott accused Alastair Cook’s men of “poor cricket” as the over-rate slowed to a crawl on the second day of the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval on Thursday. Hosts England may have already won the series at 3-0 up but they have so far been on the ropes in this match. That was apparent after tea on Thursday’s second day when England captain Cook set excessively defensive fields even when Australia’s tailenders, rather than century-maker Steven Smith, were on strike. England bowled just 11.5 overs in 64 minutes after tea, but still conceded 95 runs in the process, before Australia captain Michael Clarke declared on 492 for nine with Smith, whose hundred was his maiden Test century, 138 not out. Teams are meant to bowl 15 overs an hour under International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations governing Test cricket. If not, they can be fined and, ultimately, see their captain banned from matches for repeat offences, although the rules do give scope for officials to apply ‘allowances’ for third umpire referrals and injuries. But Boycott said the ICC all too rarely clamped down on slow over-rates, insisting most leading teams were serial offenders when it suited them, and urged them to take stronger action “The field placing was disappointing, England knew Australia were going to declare, but it’s poor cricket when a team is bowling five overs in half an hour,” Boycott said while commentating for BBC Radio’s Test Match Special. l

Tennis ace Nadal to show his poker face in Prague n AFP, Prague

Tennis star Rafael Nadal will take part in his first live poker tournament in December, Czech media reports said yesterday, after devoting himself to the game since a knee injury last summer knocked him off court for several months . Nadal will participate in the European Poker Tour in Prague from December 8 to December 18, according to Dnes newspaper, which quoted online gambling company Pokerstars. It is the first time the Spanish star will have played “offline” in a tournament, but whether he would take part in the official competition or a separate fringe event was not specified. Nadal appears in advertising for Pokerstars and has previously participated in online events for the company. A documentary about the current world No 2 and winner of 12 Grand Slams will also be screened at the tournament. “When he started playing poker, he only had the very basics of the game. But his competitive nature meant he quickly improved,” said Alfonso Cardalda, Nadal’s poker coach. Nadal has made a superb comeback to top form this year after a sevenmonth knee injury layoff, winning a record eighth French Open title in June. He is seeded second for the US Open which starts in New York on Monday and has a shot at regaining the world number one spot. l


Agnieszka Radwanska attends the 14th Annual BNP Paribas Taste Of Tennis at W New York Hotel n New York City on Thursday




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Saturay, August 24, 2013

90K Hajj pilgrims Historic mosque loses originality due to ill-conceived renovations yet to get visa Many pilgrims are concerned that their paperwork will not be completed in time (MERS-COV) has raised concerns n Moniruzzaman Uzzal among pilgrims. The annual pilgrimage of Hajj will be held this year on October 14, subject to the sighting of the moon. However, the visa processing of 87,689 pilgrims have not even started yet. Only the 1,490 pilgrims who are going under government supervision have gotten their visas from the Saudi embassy in Dhaka. The other 87,689 pilgrims, who are expecting to perform Hajj with the help of 626 private hajj agencies, are yet to get their visas. Agencies are saying Bangladesh Biman’s delay in declaring the Hajj flight schedules has caused this dilemma. One of the preconditions for a pilgrim travelling with an agency to get Hajj visa from the Saudi embassy is that the agency must submit documents showing they had rented a place for the pilgrim in Makkah or Madina. Most of the private agencies have not yet submitted any papers to the religious affairs ministry. State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Shahajan Mia in a meeting on Hajj management on August 14 announced that the first flight of Hajj pilgrims will start on September 7. MA Rashid Shah Samrat, former general secretary of Hajj Agencies of Bangladesh (Hab), told the Dhaka Tribune that Biman Bangladesh Airlines was supposed to declare Hajj flight schedules in July but they had not done so yet. “As the agencies do not yet know the flight schedule, they cannot rent houses,” he said. Last year many agencies had incurred unnecessary costs because of the same problem, he alleged. Many pilgrims are concerned that their paperwork will not be completed in time. Moreover, the Saudi government’s warning about health criteria for the pilgrims due to recent outbreaks of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia has urged that the elderly, pregnant women, children and those with chronic diseases should postpone Umrah and Hajj this year. Those aged above 65 and below 12 years have been advised not to perform Hajj. Religious Affairs Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal told the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday that they did not receive any official letter from the Saudi government about the age limit. “Usually they [Saudi government] discourage the elderly and the children to come to perform Hajj because to perform Hajj properly, physical fitness is very important. Moreover they are more cautious this year because of the MARS-COV attacks which killed 38 people,” he said. Awal hoped that Bangladeshi pilgrims will not have to face any problems to get Hajj visas. “We have requested the health ministry to do proper health check-ups on each pilgrim and issue medical certificates. Now the people are also conscious about their age limit and the number of elderly pilgrims is decreasing day by day,” he added. When asked about the slow progress of visa processing, the secretary said Hab leaders had informed him they had almost completed renting houses for the pilgrims. “They told me they will submit all necessary documents to the religious affairs ministry soon. Within a week pilgrims with private agencies will start getting visas,” he said. This year, fewer Bangladeshi pilgrims are going for Hajj. Ministry reports said a total of 89,179 people have registered with the government and private agencies for Hajj. Last year there were 105,617 hajis, 16,438 more than this year. l

BCL office attacked in Jessore n Our Correspondent, Jessore

Unknown people yesterday hurled crude bombs on the office of Bangladesh Chhatra League at Bakultala in Jessore, injuring an activist of the student front of the ruling Awami League. Witnesses said the attackers had fired six to seven rounds of bullet and hurled a crude bomb targeting the office. They also damaged a mural of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Shamim, activist of Jessore district

unit of Chhatra League was injured in the attack. Unit General Secretary Anwar Hossain Bipul claimed that about 10 people, including Tak Shipon, Setu, Kasai Faruk, Rabiul, Jewel and Esha, had carried out the attack. Emdadul Haque, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, said he had been informed of the incident. The attack might have been a sequel to the rivalry between two groups led by influential leaders of Awami League. l

The Archaeology Department is repainting the Satgombuj Masjid, above, in the capital’s Mohammadpur area to restore its original brick colour from white. The photo below, taken in 2004, depicts the mosque – built during the Mughal era in the 17th century – in its original form SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

n Abu Bakar Siddique Saat Gombuj Masjid, a historic seven-domed mosque in the capital, bears the scars of “ill-conceived renovations” by the archaeological officials and mosque authorities, who brought changes to its original design over the years. The mosque’s original colour pale red was changed to white about a decade ago, and several other changes were made on various occasions. Sources said, the colour was changed when the department of archaeology, which is responsible for conservation of archaeological sites, took up a project to renovate the mosque in 2003. Later, in the last fiscal year, the government took up another project to make a few more repairs, including changing the mosque’s damaged plasters, and restore it to its former look. Dr Ataur Rahman, current regional director of the department of archaeology, said the plan to change colour was “ill-conceived” and “wrongheaded.” “The then director of the department is responsible for making the change. We are now working to restore the originality of the architectural monument through a Tk1m renovation project that would finish by this fiscal year.” About Tk330,000 worth of work had already been completed, he mentioned. Apart from the colour, the management committee of the mosque incorporated several changes in its design, including constructing a washroom with tiled floor and sidewalls and modern toilet facilities.

Such changes, Ataur said, may add up to a gradual process of distortion of archaeological sites, which require proper awareness of common people and proper renovation by the authorities. Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, a professor of archaeology at Jahangirnagar University, said the government should be strict about implementing guidelines with regard to renovation of a monument. “Under no circumstances can you allow the originality of an archaeological site to be damaged or altered,” he said. Saat Gombuj Masjid, not to be confused with the famous Shaat Gombuj Masjid (sixty-domed) located in Bagerhat, is located at the Jafrabad area of Mohammadpur. It is popularly known as Saat Masjid, after which an adjoining road was named. Prof Muntassir Mamoon, a professor of history at the University of Dhaka, said the

mosque, judging from its stylistic patterns, was supposedly built during the reign of Subahdar Shaista Khan, in 1680. Sources said, the Buriganga River used to flow past the mosque when it was built, on a beautifully landscaped land covered with forests. With time, the river changed its course and now flows off one kilometre west of the mosque. Saat Masjid is about 38 feet long and 27 feet wide and the thickness of its walls measures four feet. In recent times, the authorities lengthened the prayer hall by making canopied rooms at the front side, to meet the increased pressure of prayer-offering people. There are three large onion-shaped domes placed over the main prayer hall and four small ones on all four corners of the rooftop – hence the name Saat Gombuj Masjid (seven-domed mosque). l

UD suspension withdrawn at 48 factories

n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi

n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi

The North American Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety will hold its next meeting at Bangladesh in mid-September, aimed at observing progress of safety measures and setting work procedures. “The next meeting of the North American Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety will be held in Bangladesh,” Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association told the Dhaka Tribune. The alliance is expected to arrive in Bangladesh in mid-September, he added. The upcoming meeting will set parameter and action plan, and discuss common code of conduct, said Islam, also a member of the alliance board. The alliance will also observe the progress of safety measures. Earlier on August 20, the US based clothing retailer’s alliance of 20 compa-

materially change the safety and work conditions of tens of thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers.” Last week, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety elected Ellen O’ Kane Tauscher as its chair for a threeyear term on the board of the group. Tauscher was formerly a democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California, and then under-secretary of state for arms control and international security. The alliance launched a five-year project to inspect 500 factory sites in the region, implementing safety standards and assisting owners with making the necessary improvements. US retailers took the initiatives following the Rana Plaza collapse in April, which killed more than 1,100 workers and injured over 2,500, putting immense pressure on retailers to address safety concerns. l

The management committee of a local bus service, Nasib Paribahan, was alleged for extorting Tk60m, in a press conference on Friday. The newly formed executive committee of Nasib Paribahan alleged that the management committee headed by Ehsanul Haq Nipu, president of local Chhatra League and relative of Narayanganj Awami League leader Shamim Osman, formed the committee in 2009 and have been extorting Tk10,000 per day since then. A total of 24 buses of Nasib Paribahan ply inside the district every day. In the conference, the local bus owners association pledged to prevent extortion by any means and restore discipline. They expressed to refrain from paying toll to anyone, even if the person holds a higher rank or is associated with Shamim Osman. The conference was held at a local hotel near the central bus terminal in Narayanganj. The speakers alleged that Nipu was made president of the management committee illegally and had extracted Tk60m and Tk600,000 extortion from them in between 2009 and 2013. Awal said the bus fare was raised from Tk10 to Tk18 after Nipu’s committee was formed. However, Rab-11 had seized Saiful Islam, a fellow of Nipu on charge of extortion, he said. When contacted, Ehsanul Haq Nipu denied all the allegations saying he was elected the president of the management committee in due procedure and had never realised tolls from the bus owners. l

Rehab cautions against purchasing property abroad n UNB

US retailers’ alliance to meet in Dhaka for ensuring worker safety nies held a meeting in Chicago, where they announced steps to implement a safety plan for factories in Bangladesh. “As a board member I could not attend the first meeting physically, but had a teleconference through which I shared my opinions and presented current status of garment sector of Bangladesh,” Atiqul Islam informed. “I look forward to going to Bangladesh soon, so I can see firsthand the kind of progress that the Alliance is making, and to meet government and industry officials, because we have to move rapidly to bring these improvements for the workers in the garment factories,” said Ellen O’ Kane Tauscher, chair of the alliance. Speaking after the alliance’s first meeting, Tauscher added, “I am pleased to be part of this unique public-private partnership between companies and stakeholders who want to

Local bus owners to thwart extortion n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has withdrawn the suspension of Utilization Declaration (UD) to 48 companies as they have ensured 25% open space on the roofs of their factory buildings complying with the building code. Earlier, the BGMEA had suspended UD facilities for 160 factories, for not ensuring 25% open space on the roofs of their factory buildings. The BGMEA has withdrawn UD suspension for the 48 companies, while 34 companies got an extension up to September 10 ensure the requirement, said Shahidullah Azim, Vice-President of apparel trade body Apex. Rest of the 78 factories has been asked to come up with proposals on how they would ensure 25% open space at their respective factories, he added.

After the Tazreen Fire incident, the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense directed factory owners to ensure space on the roofs of the factory buildings. Later, 25% open space was made mandatory. The move came following the deadly Rana Plaza collapse, which killed 1,127 workers, while over 2500 sustained injury. Meanwhile, the BGMEA also urged the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) to submit proposals detailing on their plans to set up towers on factory roofs. Azim said AMTOB had submitted their meeting minutes and we had asked them to submit more detailed paper regarding establishment of towers. The BGMEA will provide the list of vulnerable towers and the AMTOB will watch over with their expert panel and take necessary actions, said a director of BGMEA, seeking anonymity. l

The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (Rehab)expressed caution over buyers’ look out to purchase apartments abroad. They fear the buyers might fall into traps and lose large sums of money. The apex body of the real estate businessmen expressed the concern following a foreign company’s newspaper advertisements about opportunities to buy apartments in Dubai. “Such an illegal campaign will only encourage siphoning off money abroad at a time when the housing sector is going through a critical phase. It’s an ominous sign indeed,” a statement by Rehab read. Mentioning the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947, the organisation said there is no scope to buy apartments abroad. “Rehab expects appropriate steps from the ministry concerned.” Citing statistics from an international study, it also said about Tk1.12tn has been siphoned off abroad from Bangladesh over thelast decade, as well as another Tk35bn in the name of buying ‘Second Home’ in Malaysia. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank has warned against purchasing property abroad by violating restriction on foreign currency transfer. It issued a cautionary notice after advertisements were published in local newspapers offering apartments abroad. Recently, a Dubai-based company called DAMAC Properties offered luxury apartments,villa, condominiums and townhouses in the UAE city for sales. The central bank, citing Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947, said there is a bar on sending money abroad to buy properties. It also said “collaborating” to send money illegally will be a punishable offence. DAMAC Properties was established in 2002, as a private residential,leisure and commercial developer in Dubai and the Middle East. In the past decade, it expanded its operation into as far as North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. l

Banghabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University abuzz with election excitement n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The two fractions of Banghabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) are passing busy time in campaigning for their respective candidates for the upcoming Dean’s election of the institute. The Swadhinota Chikitshak Parishad (Swachip) and the Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB), backed by ruling Awami League and main opposition BNP, consider the election highly crucial

ahead of the next parliamentary polls. Candidates from four faculties – Basic Medical Science, Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry – will participate in the election on September 5. Four deans will be elected by 427 faculty members from the faculties. Among the voters, 179 are from Faculty of Medicine, 185 from Faculty of Surgery, 45 from Basic Medical Sciences, while 18 belong to the Faculty of Dentistry. A five-member election commission has been formed with BSMMU

Registrar Prof Dr Sayedur Rahman as the chief and Deputy Registrar Zafor Ahmed Zahangir as the member secretary. Dr Sayedur told the Dhaka Tribune that they had received the nomination papers on August 17, 18 and 19. After scrutinising them, 14 candidates were announced on August 20 to fight for the four posts. He added that tomorrow was the last date for withdrawing nomination. The final list will be announced on August 27.

Prof M Iqbal Arslan, secretary general of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Swachip and the present dean of the basic medical science faculty, will contest with DAB candidate Prof Dr Kuddusur Rahman from the clinical pathology faculty. Three Swachip candidates from the Faculty of Surgery have already withdrawn their nominations. However, Dr Syed Sirazul Karim will run as the Swachip candidate contested by two candidates from DAB – Md Saiful Islam,

ex-dean of BSMMU and chairman of Paediatric Surgery and Prof Dr Aftabuddin Ahmed, Faculty of Cardiac Surgery. Prof Dr ABM Abdullah of medicine faculty, who is also the personal physicist of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will contest against DAB member Dr Nuruddin Ahmed, chairman of herpetology department. Prof Dr Shamsul, current dean of Faculty of Dentistry, is not contesting in the upcoming election. Swachip candidate Prof Dr Ali Asgar Morol was

contesting against DAB candidate Dr Mujibur Rahman. However, Dr Mujibur’s nomination has been announced illegal. Seeking anonymity a BSMMU official said Mujibur could not run in the election as he had been demoted during the tenure of the present government from the post of associate professor to assistant professor. DAB leaders claimed that the decision was illegal and it might boycott the dean’s election. l

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August 24, 2013  
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