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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New voters to get ID from today n Mohammad Zakaria The Election Commission starts distribution of national identity card among newly-enrolled voters of Dhaka, Gazipur and Manikganj today. Information collectors will visit door to door to hand over the ID cards to the first-time voters. Distribution of national ID cards will begin tomorrow in Faridpur, EC Secretary Mohammad Sadik told reporters. Information collectors are supposed to deliver ID cards to new voters at their homes in the first two weeks. If anybody is left out, he or she will be able to collect it from information collectors in next two weeks, Sadik added. Those who will not get ID cards within four weeks have been advised to approach thana and upazila election offices. Earlier, election commissioner Md Shah Newaz told media that the EC would start distribution of NID cards to

Three to hang in Chittagong gang rape case

n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong A Chittagong court yesterday awarded death sentence to three accused and fined them Tk 100,000 each for gangraping an indigenous girl in 2011. The same court also acquitted two other accused as their guilt could not be proved. Md Rezaul Karim, judge of Women and Children Oppression Repression Tribunal 2, passed the verdict when the accused were produced before the court. Those convicted were Kamal Uddin alias Jewel, 22, Md Iqbal Hossain, 20 and Suman Robi Das, 18, all from Rangunia upazila of Chittagong. Advocate Md Idris, counsel for the plaintiff, said four persons took the victim, who was a Marma ethnic lady, from Kaukhali upazila of Rangamati district to the port city on November 8, 2011, on the pretext of getting her a job. The accused confined the young lady in a house in the city’s Sholoshahar area for three days and gang-raped her, he said. On November 12, she managed to flee and later, lodged a case with Rangunia police station accusing four persons in the case. After completing the investigation, police submitted charge-sheet before the court, naming five persons as accused on April 8, 2012. Later, the court framed charges against the convicted three on November 3, 2012. The court gave the verdict after hearing the testimony of seven prosecution witnesses. l


Temperature unlikely to change n UNB Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at a few places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions until 6pm today. Moderately heavy falls were also likely at places over the country, Met Office said. Day and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:52pm today and rises at 5:49am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 37.9 degree Celsius was recorded at Rajshahi and lowest 23.7 degrees at Rangamati yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

35.0 33.2 37.9 35.5 34.8 33.5 32.1 33.0

28.4 25.1 27.4 27.6 27.4 27.3 25.7 27.0

voters in Dhaka today and distribution across the country will start in phases. ID card distribution will be completed by October. According to the EC, there are 508,465 new voters in Dhaka district and 367,460 in the Dhaka City Corporation area. There are around 1, 70, 844 new voters in Gazipur and 1, 37, 120 Manikganj, who will get national ID cards. The commission updated the voter list from March 10 to December 15 last year and a final voter list was published on January 31 this year. About 6.9 million new voters were included in the latest list, previous update between 2010 and 2012 added over 7m voters, reaching the total number to 92,198,029, according to an EC official. The commission, which began giving ID cards in 2008, is spending Tk3 against each card, with the total costs exceeding Tk21m. l

Children, accompanied by Unicef’s goodwill ambassadors and information minister, light up candles at the 9th Meena Media Awards 2013 at a city hotel yesterday. Unicef honoured 33 media professionals for their outstanding contribution to promoting child rights in media in the last one year DHAKA TRIBUNE

37 prisoners to walk free before Eid-ul-Azha n Mohosinul Karim The government will free 37 prisoners from 20 jails in the country under the president’s special clemency order, before Eid-ul-Azha. The clemency is a common tradition, awarded to some prisoners convicted for minor offenses during special occasions. During this year’s Eid ul-Fitr, 48 prisoners were freed. Home ministry sources said it had sent a proposal, mentioning the names of the prisoners, to the law ministry. “Following the law ministries’ opinion, the list will be sent to the prime

minister. Then it will go to the president’s office,” sources said. Ministry high-ups said the list was prepared on basis of intelligence reports. Of the prisoners, who are being considered for clemency, 3 are from Dhaka central jail, 1 from Kashimpur, 2 from Mymensingh, 2 from Netrokona, 1 from Faridpur, 3 from Comilla, 3 from Chittagong, 1 from Cox’s Bazar, 2 from Rangamati, 2 from Sylhet, 2 from Moulavibazar, 2 from Rajshahi, 1 from Pabna, 1 from Joypurhat, 2 from Rangpur, 1 from Nilphamary, 3 from Dinajpur, 2 from Bhola, 2 from Bagerhat and 1 from Kushtia. l

Meena Media Award honours 33 n Md Atiqur Rahman

A total of 33 media professionals from print and electronic media achieved Meena Media Award 2013 yesterday for their outstanding works in promoting child rights during the last one year. Meena Media Award, named after the iconic animation character “Meena” that imparts messages as a change agent, was first initiated in 2005 and had been promoting children’s issues in the media since then. The awards were given in two different age groups: Under-18 and 18 & above, and under six categories: print media (creative and reports), television (creative and reports) and radio (creative and reports).

‘ICT-led innovations needed for development’ n Tribune Report

Innovations led by information and communication technology could solve Bangladesh’s development challenges, said discussants and participants at the second annual Social Good Summit’s Dhaka meet-up yesterday. Speakers at the programme, organised by United Nations Development Programme in partnership with Brac, Ericsson and BASIS at Dhaka University’s Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban , said today’s youths have adopted the new wave of technologies at an accelerated pace and continue to play a pioneering role in the forward march of the country. Parliament Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, who addressed the event via a live stream from the parliament, spoke of a new world order that

has been brought about by rapid surge of globalization. “The world today is all about connectivity and people-to-people connect. After China and India, facebook is now the world’s biggest country. Paradigm shift has already taken place in the way we connect to others, in our own life styles and in the way get together,” she said. The digital transformation had positively impacted the country as it paved the way to save millions of lives from natural disasters by sending out early warnings through mobile phone messages, she pointed out. Action to Information (a2i) Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury gave a detailed account of how Bangladesh has transformed in the last 17 years, partly because of technological development. “The GDP per capita tripled now from just $300 - seventeen years back. Parents preferred not to send their children to

school as they used to feel schooling was counterproductive for income. Now all children are enrolled in school because parents finally understood it’s the only way out of poverty,” he said. “Our government officials at district, upazila and union level, whom we thought as very unlikely to utilize the power of technology, are increasingly using email and social media for official work,” he mentioned. Dhaka University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Nasreen Ahmad also highlighted the convergence of technology and education as a catalyst for development in Bangladesh. “In the last couple of decades, especially with the rise of mobile technology, we have witnessed waves of change in Bangladesh, where we are finding ways to improve our quality of life through innovations. The govern-

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ment is taking the initiative to convert all public school textbooks to digital talking-books for the visually challenged,” said Prof Ahmad. Managing Director of Ericsson in Bangladesh Gary Dewing said the timing of Social Good Summit- a conference that aimed at bringing together social good community and generating conversation for a better future - could not be better with the introduction of 3G round the corner. A pre-recorded message by UNDP Resident Representative Neal Walker was played where he spoke about the power of human-centric technology simple, available and accessible technology that has saved millions of lives. Other speakers at the event included UNDP Country Director Pauline Tamesis, Brac Senior Director Asif Saleh and community organizer Iresh Zaker. l

dique and Dr Shawakt got the first prize in the television (creative) over 18 category. Furthermore, in the television (reports) under 18 category Sushmita Sen got the first prize and in the television (reports) over 18 category, Atika Rahman and Md Asad Hossain bagged the first position. Pascal Villeneuve, Unicef representative in Bangladesh, said there are still challenges remain although there are some “remarkable achievements” in child rights issues. Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu said: “Society, media and administration can help the children to grow up without any form of oppression.” He urged all to identify the places of oppression. l

Court grants 4-day remand against fake ACC official n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu A Dhaka court yesterday granted fourday remand against a fake ACC official in connection with an extortion case. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Hasibul Haque passed the order, rejecting a bail petition. According to the remand prayer, Papiya Akhter Popy was a fraud and had been cheating people for a long time. She needed to be in police remand for further interrogation for finding out if others were involved. On September 23, the ACC detained Papiya, who allegedly demanded money from a businessman in Uttara, claiming that she was an ACC official. l

AL to extend IT coverage for electioneering EC staff to wage movement for promotion n Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee

The ruling Awami League is planning to bring the 35% people, who are still to enjoy the benefits of information technology, within the coverage and tell them about its achievements. The party sees this as a unique chance to reach that part of the population ahead of the parliamentary polls by making the best possible use of technology, especially, motivate the youth to come under the party fold through social media.

The publicity cell of the Awami League discussed these possibilities in a three-hour long meeting at the party chief Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office yesterday evening. Redwad Mujib Siddique Boby, Sheikh Hasina’s nephew, said 35% of the population of the country were still far from using even radio and television. He also stressed the needs for making the best usage of the 3G technology in the build up to the parliamentary polls, meeting sources said.

Boby, son of Hasina’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana, also reportedly told the meeting that the party needed to use all possible modes of publicity to woo those voters, who were currently not in favour of the Awami League. The meeting also stressed the needs to make the secretaries of the party’s district units tech-savvy. A meeting insider told the Dhaka Tribune that Boby had also said a coordination was need among the various methods of electioneering that the party was conducting. l

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

Sumaya Barkat Ullah achieved first prize in print (creative) under-18 category, while in the print (reports) under-18 category, Rubaya Porshi Onta was the winner. Meanwhile, Rokeya Khatun Rubi secured first position under the print (creative) 18 and above category. Radio version was added last year in the Meena Media Award. Golam Kibria Sarkar of ABC radio won the first prize in the radio (creative) above 18 category, while Shahnaz Sharmeen and Shakil Mahmud of the same radio station received first and second prize in radio (reports) above 18 category respectively. In the television (creative) under-18 category Sadma Karim and Srijon received the first prize, while Sumona Sid-

National Committee to protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources, Power and Ports activists start a ‘long march’ demanding cancellation of Rampal power project MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

n Mohammad Zakaria Staffs of the Election Commission across the country have threatened to wage a tough movement if their demand for promotion is not met by the end of this month. The EC is taking preparation to hold the next general parliamentary polls in a few months. Bangladesh Election Commission Services Association had started the movement recently demanding promotion for the field level officials and provide them with wages at a greater scale. They have also demanded that the in-house officials be appointed as returning officers. On Saturday, it had urged the EC to take immediate steps to fulfill the demands within shortest possible time. Members of the association would wear black badges on September 30 and October 1 and would go for tougher movements after Eid-ul-Azha, if the demands were not met by September 29. President of Bangladesh Election Commission Services Association Jesmin Tuli said: “Many of the officials had not been promoted for quite a long time. If the commission does not fulfill our demands, we would wage a tougher movement.” On the other hand, the Karmachari Oikya Parishad of the Election Commission had been engaged in the movement demanding promotion for the third and fourth-class employees of the

commission for last couple of months. They declared to go for hunger strikes if the commission does not realise their demand by September 30. Some of the EC officials complained that the commission authority had delayed in promoting field-level officials to the secretariat. They demanded that 50% of the employees in upazila and thana level be appointed to the secretariat with an increased pay. Secretary General of Karmachari Oikya Parishad, Rezaul Mostafa, said the commission must ensure the rights of the employees. We would go for a continuous movement against it if it fails to do so, he added. According to sources at EC, officials of 64 district offices, 512 thana offices and 10 regional offices had been holding on to same posts for last 25-28 years. Election Commissioner Md Shah Newaz said the commission was concerned to meet the demands of its workforce. If the demands were logical, the commission would grant them. Many field-level officials who are engaged in the movement, had already submitted applications seeking promotion. The sources said so far, the EC did not have any policy on appointing its officials It is learnt that the EC has formed a five-member committee headed by Md Sirazul islam, additional secretary of EC, to prepare a policy regarding appointment of staff inside EC. l

September 25, 2013  
September 25, 2013