Ashwin 20, 1420 Zilkad 28, 1434 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 194
Probiotics: The best friend of your tummy
UN Nuclear Agency sends new Fukushima expert mission
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2013 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
Afghanistan reach World Cup for first time
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2 tribunal staff arrested for leak Jamaat has no right to do DB raids chamber of SQC’s lawyer, seizes computers, CDs, documents n Kailash Sarkar The Detective Branch of Police yesterday arrested two staff of the war crimes tribunal in connection with the leak of draft verdict in the case against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. The arrest of cleaner Nayan Ali was disclosed by the DB officials at a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre in the evening. He was arrested in a case filed yesterday over the incident. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Deputy Commissioner of DB (south) Kr-
ishnapada Roy said: “We have taken few people, including another tribunal employee, to the DB office for questioning. But we hope to make further arrests during the night.” Meanwhile, sources in the investigation team confirmed the Dhaka Tribune that the other detainee was Mohammad Faruque, stenographer of the tribunal registrar. At the press conference, DB Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam said the tribunal employees had stolen the copy from a personal computer at the Inter-
national Crimes Tribunal 1 and supplied it to one Mehedi Hasan, a junior to the convict’s lawyer Fakhrul Islam Chowdhury, using pen drive. Nayan did it for money, but later was blackmailed. “But the amount is yet to be known,” Monirul added. Asked about the time of the stealing, the DB official said Nayan had supplied the copy in phases. A DB source said Nayan was convinced by Faruque to conduct the leak. Faruque and Mehedi have close relation for a long time.
A case was filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act naming three persons and several unnamed others yesterday. DB Inspector Fazlur Rahman lodged the case with the Shahbagh police station, said a DB source adding that they were trying to arrest Mehedi, who is on the run. Earlier in the afternoon, detectives raided Fakhrul’s chamber on Pioneer Road in the capital’s Kakrail from where they seized two computers, PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
politics in Bangladesh: Son of Jamaat founder kar Ali Manik and n Julfi Muktasree Chakma Sathi
A son of Jamaat-e-Islami founder Syed Abul A’la Maudoodi believes that the religion-based party should not be allowed to continue politics in Bangladesh since it opposed the country’s birth. In an exclusive interview with the Dhaka Tribune last night, Syed Haider Farooq Maudoodi, one of Maudoodi’s nine children, said parties that op-
‘Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh and Pakistan are just the left and right hands of the same person – there is only one head controlling the both’
Construction work of Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover damages a part of Sayedabad road, which puts vehicles at risk. The photo was taken yesterday
No Bangladeshi victim in Italy boat capsize n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman No Bangladeshi so far has been reported to be injured or killed in the boat that sank off the coast of southern Italy on Thursday. “Our embassy in Rome is in close contact with the Italian authorities to find out if any Bangladeshi was on the boat,” Director General of external publicity wing of the foreign ministry Shameem Ahsan told the Dhaka Tribune. “By 8:30pm today, no news of Bangladeshi casualty was reported,” he confirmed. Currently there are over 100,000 Bangladeshis in Italy. Meanwhile, BBC reported that due to rough weather, rescue operation had been postponed. The rescuers found 111 bodies and 155 people were rescued alive from the sea from the island of Lampedusa after the accident. PAGE 2 COLUMN 6
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance government will not be able to update the national drug policy during its remaining tenure, following a High Court ruling banning the passage of Drug Policy 2013 for six months. Despite committing to the update in its election manifesto in 2008, any review by the government is now unlikely following the High Court directive to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Several senior officials at the ministry and the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) told the Dhaka Tribune that the High Court had imposed a six-month suspension on the proposed policy. The recent High Court
3 Selfish craving among teachers for
power and negligence towards the noble profession have pushed Jahangirnagar University to a miserable condition, students have said.
8 Italy on Friday mourned the 300 African asylum-seekers feared dead in the worst ever Mediterranean refugee disaster, as the government asked Europe to help stem the influx of migrants.
6 The two city corporations of Dhaka will
set up 20 makeshift cattle markets in the capital for the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
7 The bumper potato season has left many farmers in Rajshahi in crisis as a low market price forces them to keep their stocks in cold storage for longer than normal.
12 Director-artist Khalid Mahmud Mithu is finally done with the shooting of his upcoming big budget movie Jonakir Alo.
14 Barcelona and Atletico Madrid look to extend their club record starts to the season when they host Valladolid and Celta Vigo respectively this weekend.
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
backing them even today,” he said. One of the independent Bangladesh government’s first decisions was to ban five political parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami, which not only opposed the nation’s independence but also actively helped Pakistani occupation forces commit genocide and other war crimes. The four other political parties were the Muslim League and all its factions, the Pakistan Democratic Party, Nezame-Islam, and Pakistan People’s Party. Soon after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, military ruler Ziaur Rahman opened politics for all in the name of introducing multi-party democracy, which gave Jamaat the opportunity to enter Bangladesh’s political arena again. Asked if Jamaat in Bangladesh and Pakistan had any relation between them even after 42 years of Bangladesh’s liberation, Haider Farooq said the two parties in the two countries were “just the left and right hands of the same person – there is only one head controlling the both.” Haider vehemently opposes the idea of having a state religion and using of religion in politics. “It is very dangerous when there is a state religion. The state is a roof under which every sort of people from different religions can stay,” he said. PAGE 2 COLUMN 5
BTRC likely to award 3 more Wimax licences at 2008 price
AL runs out of time to update National Drug Policy n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
posed a nation’s birth should not have the right to do politics in that country. “Rightfully, Jamaat does not have the right to do politics in Bangladesh since it opposed the birth of this country,” said Haider Farooq, who along with all his siblings has never been involved with Jamaat’s politics in Pakistan although their father founded the Islam-based communal political party in 1941. Haider, who was a civil pilot and is now a columnist in Lahore, Pakistan, arrived in Dhaka on Thursday – for the first time after Bangladesh’s independence – to attend an international conference on religion and politics that began yesterday. He insisted on giving the interview in Urdu, saying: “I hate English.” Haider Farooq said their father had always kept them away from politics for some reasons but never explained them. Haider, however, talked about many issues, including politics, use of religion in politics, radicalism, war crimes of 1971 and the ongoing trial of war criminals in Bangladesh. “As locals you also had a duty to not let them [those who were against the birth of Bangladesh] do politics here. But when Sheikh Shaheb [Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman] was gone, the party in power used them – they are
Syed Haider Farooq Maudoodi
n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
ruling also observed that Naser Shariar Zayedi was the legal president of the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Society (BPS). Sources said Professor ABM Farook of Dhaka University was made president of BPS after the AL-led government came to power. As the BPS president, he was selected as a member of the sub-committee for drug policy review. After receiving the court ruling, Zayedi wrote a letter to the Director General of DGDA to incorporate him as BPS president and review the proposed drug policy. A senior DGDA official told the Dhaka Tribune that the health ministry had been informed to incorporate Zayedi as the BPS president, but the ministry PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is allegedly maintaining no consistency in allocating spectrum, often “ignoring the economic value” of radio frequencies. Many allege that the regulator has often charged the highest for spectrum in the past two years while allotting multi-million dollar bands sometimes absolutely free. Abu Saeed Khan, a senior policy fellow at the Colombo-based regulatory thinktank LIRNEasia and former secretary general of the Association of Mobile and Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (Amtob), has termed the situation utterly unprofessional. “The BTRC often ignores the economic value of radio frequencies and grants the invaluable national assets mostly on political whims. It largely
imitates India’s 2G frequency scandal but has learnt no lessons from that,” Saeed told the Dhaka Tribune. Unlike in India, the institutions to investigate and prosecute the telecom regulator’s anomalies in Bangladesh “lack the tooth and nail,” he said.
Professionals criticise the regulator for ignoring economic value of spectrum At the latest auction on September 8, the BTRC sold spectrum on 2,100 band to mobile operators for Tk1.61bn per Megahertz with additional 5% VAT. The operators have already paid 60% of the amount. The regulator is now going to give at least two Wi-max licences consisting of 20MHz spectrum on the 2,600 band – which is mostly known as the LTE (long term evolution, a 4G standard for
high-speed wireless data) band – for Tk2.15bn, meaning the price of 1MHz LTE spectrum will stand at Tk107.5m. ICT professionals claimed that 2,100 and 2,600 bands held technically the same power, both spectrums being a natural extension of the 3G and widely auctioned for 4G LTE. Amtob has already expressed concern over the issue, terming the process discriminatory as the price of the Wi-max licences was fixed in an auction held in 2008. The BTRC and the government have decided to award Wi-max licence to Bangladesh Internet Exchange Limited (BIEL) for its Ollo brand. On September 15, the BTRC sent a letter signed by its Senior Assistant Director Shazeda Parvin to the BIEL, informing it about the licence awarding. The government has also approved PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY TODAY
Low salary for teachers affecting primary education n Mushfique Wadud Despite being in his mid-50s, Abdul Wahed Mian, the head teacher of a government primary school, walks past all classrooms in his school every day to see how the teachers are taking classes. But Wahed does not find the encouragement by observing the teaching that he used to get in the past. To him it seems that a large number of today’s teachers are depressed and not interested in teaching. “When I came to the teaching profession, it was a life choice for many of
AL election pledge for separate pay scale yet to be fulfilled Positions always remain vacant in government schools as young teachers do not want to continue This results in low quality teaching us. But many of today’s teachers consider this a transitional job. That makes the difference,” Wahed, who has been teaching for the last 41 years, told this correspondent while visiting a classroom at his school, Senpara Parbata Government Primary School.
In his years as a head teacher of different government primary schools across the country, he found many talented teachers who stayed in teaching for six months to a year before switching to a better job. “Some of them call me often and say they think the decision to quit the profession was right and now they are leading much better lives than the life of a primary teacher,” he said. “This is in fact true. Many of teachers at my school tell me that their friends who are employed in the garment sector are earning much better
than a primary teacher,” he said. Wahed said from his experience he thought that this was the main problem for primary education. “Billions of taka is spent for infrastructure development and other development works but if qualified people are not in teaching profession, how will you improve the quality of education?” Wahed said. The low pay is not just a problem for primary teachers, at high schools, colleges or at public universities, teachers work for meagre payments. PAGE 2 COLUMN 5
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Frozen by shutdown, US warns of ‘catastrophic’ default n AFP, Washington President Barack Obama demanded an end on Thursday to a three-day government shutdown he decried as a reckless “farce,” piling pressure on Republicans to climb down first on a budget impasse. The US Treasury meanwhile warned of “catastrophic” consequences if there was no deal within weeks to raise the country’s debt ceiling, and the IMF chief said navigating a way out of that next crisis was “mission critical.” Obama travelled to the Washington suburbs to lambast Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who emerged from a White House meeting late on Wednesday complaining that the president would not negotiate with him. “Take a vote, stop this farce and end this shutdown right now,” Obama said during a fiery speech in the Maryland suburb of Rockville, which is home to many federal workers laid off in the shutdown. Branding the crisis a “reckless Republican shutdown,” Obama said that
Boehner could reopen the government and get hundreds of thousands of people back to work “in just five minutes” by passing a temporary operating budget with no partisan strings attached. “Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes or no vote, because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his party,” Obama said. The government ran out of money on Monday, after Congress failed to pass a budget, forcing authorities to send all non-essential workers home and to close museums, monuments and national parks that are all popular with tourists. The Democratic-led Senate had turned back repeated Republican efforts to pass a budget while defunding or delaying Obama’s health care law, which is a centerpiece of his political legacy and reviled by Tea Party conservatives. The talks at the White House between Obama and congressional leaders made no progress, and there was no sign that the dispute will be solved before dragging into a second week.
The crisis rattled Wall Street on Thursday, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 136.66 points (0.90 percent) to 14,996.48, amid ongoing jitters from the shutdown and nervousness about a looming battle over Congress’s responsibility to raise the $16.7tn US statutory borrowing limit. If there is no resolution before October 17, the government could begin running out of money to pay its bills and an unprecedented US debt default could result. But Republicans are again demanding concessions on Obamacare before voting to raise the debt ceiling, raising fears of unpredictable consequences, which the Treasury said in a report Thursday could plunge the United States into deep recession and rock global markets. “In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth,” the report said. l
DB police seize computers of barrister Fakhrul Islam, lawyer of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, from his Segunbagicha office in the city yesterday as part of its investigation into the leak of International Crimes Tribunal's draft verdict DHAKA TRIBUNE
No let-up in miseries of homebound people n Ashif Islam Shaon There is no let-up in miseries experienced by homebound passengers seeking tickets for inter-district buses and trains ahead of Eid ul-Azha. A continuous drizzle throughout the day yesterday left the merging crowds in front of bus and train ticket counters to suffer in long queues. Sale of advance tickets that started from September 30 saw a tremendous pressure of expected holidaymakers in front of ticket counters at Gabtoli, Kalyanpur, Motijheel, Syedabad and Mohakhali bus stations. There were also long queues at Kamalapur Railway Station. The counter masters of inter-district bus companies said almost 85% of their advance tickets had been sold out. Only the bus companies at Syedabad
bus terminal are yet to release their advance tickets for the upcoming Eid and Durga Puja. Eid ul-Azha will be celebrated on October 16 while Durga Puja between October 10 and 14.
Rush for Bus Tickets
This year holidaymakers seemed to have chosen to travel by roads rather than rail or waterways. The demand for tickets is higher because of the upcoming Eid ul-Azha and Durga Puja going to be celebrated concurrently. A good number of crowds were seen standing in queues in front bus counters braving rain yesterday, but the crowds became thin as the day approached. Around 11:30am at Gabtoli bus terminal in front of Eagle Paribahan’s Khulna-Jessore counter, a private company employee Hasanur Rahman John said
he came here around 6:00am fearing crowd. “Normally, we do not get a long vacation to go home except two Eid festivals. So, I don’t want to lose the opportunity,” said Hasanur, a ticket seeker of Khulna route. But the bus staff were not happy with the thin presence of crowd. “The number of ticket seekers is smaller than Thursday. I think many passengers are waiting for the rain to stop,” said counter master Bappi of Darshona Deluxe on Mazar road of Mirpur. “We have reserved some tickets for the last hours’ rush,” he added. Meanwhile, a number of passengers who have already started leaving the city alleged that the bus companies were falling behind schedule though the major rush of passengers was yet to begin. Hanif Paribahan Counter master Sanjib Kumar Ghosh, however said, buses
were late to arrive at the destination as the roads became slippery due to rain. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation has already announced its special bus service ahead of Eid to meet passengers rush. It will also run another 500 buses for different routes across the country as regular services. In a press release, BRTC said it would kick off special service from October 12 and continue till three days after Eid. The tickets will be on sale from October 10 from bus depots. The buses will start journey from Motijheel, Joar Sahara, Kalyanpur and Mirpur 12, Fulbaria, Gabtoli, Mohakhali, Airport and Cantonment bus stations. A help desk will be opened in this connection. Commuters can call at 9564361 and 9333803 for information and assistance.
BTRC likely to award 3 more PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
Mango Teleservices’ application for Wi-max licence, but the telecom regulator is yet to take any initiative to that end. According to documents, the BIEL secured fifth position in the 2008 auction, having called a price of Tk1.75bn, but soon afterwards it pulled out of the auction by withdrawing the Tk30m earnest money. Terming this the “biggest spectrum scam” in Bangladesh, legal professionals said the same thing had happened in India in 2008 in which the Indian telecommunication ministry had caused the exchequer losses of nearly $40bn by selling licences at a
price fixed back in 2001. Indian telecommunication minister A Raja had to resign after the country’s comptroller and auditor general had detected the scam. The matter also went to the country’s High Court. BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that the spectrum prices had been different because “we have to set prices as per government directives.” On giving spectrum to Wi-max operators at a rate of 2008 auction, he said: “The price Tk2.15bn for 20MHz was too high for the time. Charging that now would be justified. “This will not be unlawful and this will not cause any loss to the government.”
Supreme Court lawyer barrister Tanjib-ul Alam, however, said it was totally illegal. He said: “The BIEL is not eligible for the licence unless a new auction is held.” In a letter to the telecommunication ministry dated August 29, Amtob said: “Since the 2,600 band is widely considered as the natural upgrading for the 2,100 band, their prices cannot be so widely apart, thus it should be fixed rationally.” In a recent interview mobile operator Banglalink’s CEO Ziad Shatara told the Dhaka Tribune that the price difference for the two spectrums was not justified. The CEO of another mobile operator,
requesting anonymity, said: “We got spectrum free in 1997, then bought it at Tk800m per Megahertz in 2008 and at Tk1.5bn in 2011. This time at the 3G auction we bought it at a rate of Tk1.61bn per Megahertz. So, why is the spectrum price for Wi-max operators in 2013 the same as 2008?” The changed guideline on the BTRC website announces that it is going to award three licences for Wi-max. Officials at the BTRC told the Dhaka Tribune that a few interested parties had already started lobbying with high officials. The BTRC notification dated August 4, 2008, however, said no licence could be awarded without auction. l
AL runs out of time to update National Drug Policy PAGE 1 COLUMN 3
had denied to take the issue into cognisance. The 2008 election manifesto of the Awami League promised to formulate “an appropriate pharmaceutical policy to bring self-sufficiency in the production of medicines of an international standard and to promote their export….and to take effective measures for education in traditional medicine and for the improvement of its quality”. In 2011, a 14-member committee led by the director general of the DGDA was formed with an aim to come up with a time-befitting, pro-welfare, and
acceptable drug policy. The committee was also tasked with reviewing the National Drug Policy 1982 and the National Drug Policy of 2005, and setting out recommendations for the latest one. Sources in the DGDA said the committee – comprising lawmakers, pharmacists, doctors, pharmaceutical company representatives and university professors – finalised and submitted its recommendations to the ministry in September 2012. Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the proposed policy includes a list of all essential drugs, by bringing all drug manufacturers – allopathic, homeopathic, ayurvedic, unani and kaviraji – under
one umbrella policy. The proposed policy also recommended not allowing companies to manufacture all kinds of drugs in order to prevent the illegal production of fake, adulterated and substandard drugs. There were also recommendations for including representatives from the consumers and prescribers in the Drug Pricing Committee of DGDA. Seeking anonymity, some members of the drug policy committee said the proposal prepared by them would be acceptable to all and would be instrumental in stopping the manufacture and sales of fake, adulterated and substandard drugs.
They accused a vested quarter of continuously pressuring the government and heavily bribing the officials concerned to make sure that the policy remained in the dark. When contacted, Selim Barami, member secretary of the drug policy updating committee, refused to comment in detail. Sources in the DGDA alleged pharmaceutical companies of increasing the prices of drugs mostly on their whims, based on an executive order of the health ministry in 1994, which gave the manufacturers the right to fix the prices of all drugs except for 117 essential items. l
2 tribunal staff arrested for leak PAGE 1 COLUMN 4
a printer, around 50 CDs and a printed copy of the online version of the leaked verdict. The seized items belonged to Mehedi. The tribunal in its judgement on Tuesday gave Salauddin Quader, a BNP Standing Committee member and lawmaker, death penalty for committing crimes against humanity in Chittagong during the 1971 Liberation War. The previous night, a copy of the draft verdict was found in the internet through a little-known Belgium-based www.tribunalleaks.be. It was later spread in several other local websites, three of which have been blocked by the BTRC. Salauddin Quader’s family members of the convict raised the leak issue at the tribunal after the verdict.
On Wednesday, tribunal Registrar AKM Nasiruddin Mahmud filed a general diary with Shahbagh police station expressing concern over the security of the special tribunal dealing with war crimes case. Later the DB was assigned to probe the matter. According to sources, the DB personnel arrested Nayan and Faruque in the afternoon and took them to the DB Headquarters on Minto Road. Monirul Islam said: “Nayan was arrested for leaking a copy of the draft verdict from a computer of the tribunal. During primary interrogation, he admitted stealing of the data through pen drives.” He said although Nayan was a cleaner of the tribunal as a master role employee, he has expertise in handling computer. He used to stay on the tribunal premises in the night and
Rush for Train Tickets
Many ticket seekers came to the Kamalapur Train Station before sunrise. Tickets of normal compartments were available, but those of Air-Conditioned and first class compartments were not easily collectable. There were also allegations of selling tickets on black market. “Though the sale started from 9am, I arrived here before 6am almost drenched. After a couple of hours the authorities said the first class tickets were sold out,” said Md Tamjid Hossain hailing from Jatrabari. Netrokona-bound train ticket seeker Monirul Islam echoed the same with Tamjid. He said he waited from early morning and stood after two people at the front of the queue. l
At about 3:30pm, around 300 law enforcers from the DB and Ramna Division of police conducted raid at the chamber of Fakhrul Islam in his absence. One of his employees unlocked the office. Witnesses said the law enforcers had cordoned the chamber while around 50 DB personnel searched the office. Earlier on Wednesday night, the DB officials seized the computer of the tribunal 1 and footage of the CCTVs in and around the tribunal building. The following day, the computer was sent it to the CID for forensic test. On Wednesday, tribunal judge Justice Jahangir Hossain pointed fingers at the family of the convict for the leakage saying that a huge amount of money was spent to make the tribunal controversial. l
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said opposition BNP was much ahead of Awami League in terms of campaigning in the run-up to the next general election. “The opposition has adopted a dual policy. Although they threatened (the government) with movement, actually they’re preparing for the polls,” he said while talking to reporters after inspecting conditions of various roads at Ashulia. Obaidul said installation of digital banners, festoons and billboards at the venues of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s recent rallies were testament to the party’s preparation for election. He warned there was no point in threatening to oust the government with only less than three weeks remaining before its present term expires. “There’s no route to power except through election.” l
Low salary for teachers affecting primary education PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
At present, an assistant teacher of a government primary school earns Tk8,000 monthly in total at the entry level while a headmaster gets Tk8,300-Tk8,500 depending their level of training. A driver in the government service gets Tk8,000-Tk8,500 as monthly salary and he also earns a good amount by doing overtime. A driver can earn Tk12,000-Tk13,000 monthly at the entry level. Campaign for Popular Education executive director Rasheda K Choudhury said teacher’s pay in Bangladesh for all levels was lower than any other South Asian country. She said this was leading to low quality teaching as qualified people often do not choose the profession. Many choose the profession for a short time as a transitional option and change the profession when they have a better options. According to Directorate of Primary Education and Directorate of Higher and Secondary Education, a good number of posts in schools always remain vacant as the young teachers leave frequently. This has a severe impact on the quality of education. It is said that people who are choosing teaching are not qualified or are not interested in teaching. According to Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics, only 4% of the teachers who teach mathematics in the secondary schools have completed their honours degree
Jamaat has no right sometimes compose documents in the computers of the tribunal alongside serving some different other duties. The computer was designated for the tribunal chairman, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir. Two other staff of the tribunal also had access to the computer. According to DB sources, some other persons, apart from the three accused, were also involved in the process and that they would be implicated in the case with the progresses in investigation. The press conference was also attended by Krishnapada Roy and Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of DMP Media Centre. Asked, Monirul said they had come to know that the leaked copy was uploaded online from the UK where it was sent through emails.
BNP ahead of AL in election campaign n UNB
PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
“If a country wants to practise democracy, it cannot have a state religion. If a state has a state religion, then it is practising something else, not democracy.” Haider said: “Whenever religion was interpreted politically, it killed humans, and it ruined humanity.” The son of the religious preacher said: “Religion helps a person become a better one. Every religion – Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam – they teach individuals to be better. “Religion also teaches us to understand that all of our forefathers were one and we should not hate one another. The Holy Qur’an talks for humankind so that one can be better. “The only aim of using religion in politics is to exploit people’s emotion. All they [politicians who use religion] want to achieve is their own goals by using people’s religious sentiments.”
in Mathematics while about 11% of the secondary Math teachers have only passed high school and did not study mathematics in high school. The condition is same in other subjects. The Awami League election manifesto pledged that they would create a separate pay commission for teachers. But in its nearly five years’ time, the government has failed to do so. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, however, said the government had increased teachers’ salaries and was working hard to improve their conditions. The World Teachers’ Day will be observed in the country and elsewhere in the world today. The theme for World Teachers’ Day 2013 is: “A Call for Teachers.” Different teachers’ organisations and NGOs will arrange programmes on the occasion. l
No Bangladeshi victim in Italy boat capsize PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
The ship, which sailed from the Libyan port of Misrata, was carrying around 500 migrants - mostly from Eritrea and Somalia. An estimated 25,000 have lost their lives in the past 20 years in shipwrecks while migrating by ship to Europe by Mediterranean routes. l
About the ongoing trial of war criminals of 1971 at Dhaka tribunals, Haider Farooq said: “No one should go unpunished, particularly when they committed crimes against humanity. “If it is proved that they did atrocities in Bangladesh, they should be punished. It is needed to establish the rule of law.” Asked if he thought Jamaat in Bangladesh and Pakistan had contribution to Islamic radicalism, terrorism and militancy, Haider said: “The two parties have only contributed to making Islam controversial and all these people have the same goal.” When asked about his views about Islamist parties’ claim that Islam is all about politics, Syed Haider Farooq Maudoodi posed a counter question: “If Islam is politics, then those who are not casting votes for Islamist parties – are they kafirs?”l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
ANTI-VC MOVEMENT IN JU
‘Dirty’ politics by teachers jeopardise students’ future Admission tests for 2013-14 in uncertainty new VC took over. n Mahadi Al Hasnat Moreover, newly appointed Selfish craving among teachers for power and negligence towards the noble profession have pushed Jahangirnagar University to a miserable condition, students have said. The admission tests for the 201314 academic session, due in just a few days’ time, have plunged into uncertainty by the ongoing anti-VC agitation. Moreover, because of teachers frequently remaining absent from classes, the term final examinations of various departments have been held back resulting in session jams. The university had been going through unrest since early last year when sections of teachers and students started agitation against former Vice Chancellor Professor Shariff Enamul Kabir charging him of resorting to widespread irregularities in administration. The campus came to an apparent calm after Prof Shariff eventually resigned on May 17 last year and former Dhaka University teacher Prof Anwar Hossain took over soon after. However, a few months later, the teachers, who had been loyal to the former VC, raised the same allegations against the new VC, and the unrests resumed. A section of pro-Awami League teachers, in association with some pro-BNP teachers, have launched the agitation against the new VC because they were not getting a share of the “cream of power,” sources said. These pro-Awami League teachers, comprising mostly those loyal to the former VC, initially welcomed the new VC. But soon they got frustrated as Prof Anwar, the new VC, started getting close to those teachers who were not know to be in the good books of the former VC. Visible examples include the two pro vice-chancellors Prof Dr MA Matin (education) and Prof Dr Afsar Ahmed (authorities), who were not known for having good terms with the former VC and have come to prominence after the
Treasurer Prof Dr Abul Khayer, who was once part of the pro-Shariff Enamul Kabir teachers’ platform “JU Progressive Teachers’ Society,” have recently expressed his backing for Prof Anwar. Last but the not the least is Prof Dr Muzibur Rahman, who took part in the movement against the former VC, has been made the proctor of the university. Sources said after having failed to get one of his followers in for the treasurer and the proctor posts, Prof Shariff instigated the movement for ousting Prof Anwar.
Facing strong movement of the teachers, the VC announced to step down from the VC’s post, however, he retracted reportedly because he was told by the government not to resign Sources also said the followers of the former VC were currently playing the main role, providing all kinds of financial and moral support to the movement against the new VC. Requesting anonymity, a proAwami League teacher told the Dhaka Tribune: “Our VC [Prof Anwar] has been appointed by the Awami League government. But he is patronising others neglecting the mainstream Awami Leaguers.” Prof Anwar, who has a past of leftwing politics, has also been reportedly favouring the teachers of the “JU Shikkhak Mancha”, a platform of left leaning teachers. The Shikkhakh Mancha had played an instrumental role in the movement for ousting Prof Shariff last year. In a recent press conference, the Mancha openly announced its support for Prof Anwar and termed the movement against him as “immoral and irrational.” Meanwhile, the pro-BNP teachers of the university has been playing a critical role by tactically fuelling the
anti-VC movement. They also took part in the movement against the former VC last year and now they have joined hands with the supporters of the former VC, who is also known as a proAwami League figure. In February this year, facing with strong movement by the teachers, Prof Anwar announced that he would step down from the VC’s post. However, a day later, he retracted reportedly because he was told by the government not to resign. Kazi Jasim, a final year student of the history department, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Because of the teachers’ movement, one VC goes and another comes, but sufferings of the students never end. We expect rational and honest behavior from our teachers. We are not willing to ruin our education lives because of their dirty politics.” On the other hand, Prof Kamrul Ahsan, general secretary of the platform that has been waging movement against the VC, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Our agitation is very much rational. We are agitating peacefully with some serious allegations against the ‘autocrat’ VC.” Earlier this year, a section of teachers under the banner of JU Teachers’ Association blockaded the administrative building of the university for 39 days. Later they changed the banner and formed the General Teachers’ Forum following a High Court rule that had said the academic activities of the university could not be interrupted. Since then, the teachers have launched several strikes and boycotted classes and examinations. Currently they are staging a sit-in in front of the VC’s residence. In reply, the VC himself is also staging a sit-in programme of his own protesting the teachers’ agitation. Prof Anwar told the Dhaka Tribune: “They are ruining the university’s future in the name of irrational agitation. A public university cannot run like this and that is why I would not stop my protest until the crisis is eliminated.” l
A vendor goes to his destination braving heavy downpour yesterday morning. The photo was taken at the city’s Purana Paltan RAJIB DHAR
Religion ‘centrepiece of Rooppur locals in dark over nuclear politics’ in South Asia power plant pros and cons n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
Speakers at an international conference in the capital said religion had become the “centrepiece of politics” not just in Bangladesh, but the entire South Asian region, threatening to shake the very foundations on which the so-called secular states stand. To make matters worse, they observed, the states, instead of safeguarding the rights of all citizens irrespective of their faiths and convictions, are compromising with the reactionary elements – triggering sectarian divides and conflicts. The two-day conference, being hosted by Bangladesh Itihas Sammilani (Bangladesh History Congress), a civil society platform based in Dhaka, drew participants from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. On the first day of the event, speakers stressed the importance of secularism being at the helm of all state affairs and decisions to ensure uninterrupted social and cultural development. “For those concerned about the idea of secularism, it is not against religion. It is a way of life promoting fraternity and pluralism and accommodation of all belief-systems,” said Mashirul Hasan, former vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi. Referring to the situation in India, Mashirul said: “Our constitution is secular, no doubt, but the society is not. Sadly, the state sometimes tends to compromise with the reactionary ele-
ments and create disturbance. Rashed Khan Menon, president of the Workers’ Party of Bangladesh, traced the shared history of politics and religion back to the British era and said the people of Bangladesh had traditionally been “non-communal.” “But today, religion has become the centrepiece of our politics. The problem is not exclusive to Bangladesh only. In India too, we saw the rise of Hindutva putting national unity into jeopardy,” said Menon. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who attended the function as chief guest, hailed the role of Bangladesh in pioneering secularism as a state policy in South Asia. “Bangladesh was the first South Asian country to introduce secularism in its 1972 constitution, as one of its four founding pillars. Even India incorporated it in its constitution in 1976, four years after Bangladesh,” she said. She further said the ruling Awami League government had restored the secular constitution of 1972 with a view to promoting a secular society. In his speech, Tariq Rahman, dean of the School of Education Beacon House National University, Pakistan, reflected on the growing tendency of Islamisation in his country. “Over the past decade, Pakistan witnessed a surge in the tendency of Islamising its core principles and conventions,” he said, mentioning how something as mundane as names were being Islamised. l
Rahman Rasel back from n Aminur Rooppur, Pabna Residents of Rooppur in Pabna, the site for Bangladesh’s first ever nuclear power plant, are seemingly in the dark on the benefits, risks, and probable side-effects of living alongside the facility in the absence of a mass campaign on the project. Although hopeful the plant would help curtail the country’s power shortage, many were confused about how the plant would develop. The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) will be constructed within a kilometre of the Lalon Shaha Bridge on the River Padma. The project site falls under the Pakshi union, and the plant authority has acquired around 260 acre of land. Md Abdul Karim, a shopkeeper at the Rooppur intersection area, told the Dhaka Tribune that he feared RNPP might cause health issues likes skin diseases for the locals, or in the case of natural calamities such as an earth-
quake, it might blow up altogether. Mr Karim said the locals believed the power plant would be useful for the area and said a campaign to explain the positives and negatives of nuclear reactors would also be broadly welcomed. Rebeka Khatun, a housewife from Rooppur, expressed her hopes for economic regeneration, saying: “A power plant like this might give job opportunities to the people of the area. We will also get better electricity supply, which will be a great thing for us.” Md Sabuj, an HSC student, also seemed excited when the Dhaka Tribune asked if he had heard about the project: “I am waiting to see what this project will look like. Will any of our villagers work there?” Yeafesh Osman, state minister for the ministry of science and technology, told the Dhaka Tribune that a people’s council would be formed in the project site. “A museum would (also) be set up where the dummy equipment of the
Bikalpadhara offers conditional support to BNP Rahman Bilu, n Hasibur Bogra Bikalpadhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday said his party would support the opposition BNP if it made pledges to build a corruptionand terrorism-free country. The former Bangladesh president made the statement while addressing a public rally organised by Bogra unit Bikalpadhara at the grounds of Dhunat NU Pilot High School.
“The present government has failed to make an agreement on the Teesta water sharing and border treaty,” he said, also alleging that the ruling government has failed to control the prices of essentials. The rally was chaired by Mahbub Ali, vice-president of Bikalpadhara executive committee, and it heard speeches from Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui, Secretary General Iqbal Siddiqui, and local leaders. l
power plant will be kept so that people can get an idea about the process of setting up a nuclear power plant.” Abu Sayeed Mohammad Feroz, Chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), said nuclear power is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option for electricity generation. “In this process there is no emission of carbon-dioxide, which is a major factor for global warming and climate changes. Nor does it produce any harmful chemical that causes disasters like acid rain or the depletion of the ozone layer, affecting bio-diversity. That is why this option is safe,” he said. “From a nuclear reactor the amount of radiation released in the surroundings in 2,000 years is almost equal to the amount of radiation absorbed by a patient exposed to X-ray machine for purpose of medical diagnosis.” he said. “The new generation nuclear reactors are more reliable and efficient than the earlier ones. New technologies
have made them safer,” he claimed. Nuclear power generation would bring a revolutionary change in the economy of the country and improve the standard of life of its people, he added. He said presently there are 437 nuclear power plants in 31 countries around the globe from where 14% of the total electricity is produced. Bangladesh plans to produce 1,000MW of electricity by June 2017 and another 1,000MW by 2022 from the RNPP. The tenure of the plant would be 60 years, with options to extend it by another 20 years. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated groundwork of the 2,000 megawatt facility last Wednesday. BAEC, under the science and technology ministry, will implement the project while Russian State Atomic Energy Commission (RosAtom) will build, operate and provide fuel to the plant and take its waste back to Russia regularly. l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Overseas Employment Policy in the offing
‘Expired’ antibiotic kills four newborns, government forms probe body n Tribune Report n Rabiul Islam Four newborn babies died after they were allegedly given out-of-date antibiotic injections at a government hospital in Tangail yesterday. Following the incident, the government has formed a committee to investigate the death of the newborns. The three-member body consist of Dr Naharin Nasim, director for Dhaka Division of the DGHS, Dr Shafi Uddin, associate professor of Mymensingh Medical College and Dr M Nozabot Hossain, DGHS deputy director, according to a health ministry press release. The committee has been asked to submit a report within three days. The four infants were aged between two and nine days and died in the Special Child Care unit of Tangail Sadar Hospital between 10am and 12pm, according to UNB. Three of the babies were admitted with pneumonia and respiratory problems on Thursday. The father of the fourth, Shah Alam, said his nine-day-old child was brought to the hospital with pneumonia related problems on September 26, but died “as it was given the out-of-date injection.” Outraged by the deaths, the victims’ relatives and locals tried to attack the doctors, who fled the scene before police arrived to bring the situation under control. Regarding the incident, the hospital’s Assistant Director Dr Nur Mohammad claimed the injections were not out-of-date. He gave the version that the babies died due to their ailments. l
The government has prepared a draft Overseas Employment Policy to bring transparency and accountability in the sector given the importance of labour migration to the economy and shifts in demand globally. Officials said the draft policy considers the opinions of all stakeholders and has been prepared with the technical support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Though published, further opinions on the draft Overseas Employment Policy-2013 are still being taken on the website of the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry. “If the policy is formulated it’s all good,” a senior official of the expat ministry said in return for anonymity, as the draft is yet to be approved by the cabinet. He said the policy lays down the ways in which migration costs could be reduced while ensuring the rights of female migrants. Under the proposed policy, migrants in the destination countries and their families at home will be protected.
“The overseas employment policy-2006 needs to be updated as many things including demand in the destination countries have undergone changes,” the official said. The official believes a government policy update is overdue as remittance contributes 11% to the GDP of Bangladesh and the demand for labour in many countries is changing, with new opportunities emerging. About 8 million Bangladeshis are working in different countries and sending over $10bn as remittance annually. Given this, the draft policy stresses the need for strong leadership at the highest level. Consequently, a national steering committee will be formed, headed by the prime minister and co-chaired by the expat minister. Ministers and secretaries from different government departments will be included in the committee, which will sit at least once a year. Secretarial assistance will be provided by the expatriates’ welfare ministry. The committee will provide a guideline so that all stakeholders including ministries, recruiting agencies and organisations of civil societies can have a
unified approach to ensuring an effective and transparent labour migration. It will advise and instruct stakeholders on policy making and reformation, and it will work to integrate and rehabilitate returning migrant workers. A national migration forum will also be formed, involving 60 representatives of ministries, labour migration bodies, the federation of employers, trade unions, research organisations and recruiting agents, each appointed on a three-year basis. It will identify priority activities for the implementation of the policy and review the plans related to it. The policy proposes the creation of a market research unit to conduct a study on the demand and supply of workers. It will also study the existing labour markets and new destination countries. For sending skilled manpower abroad training will be given in the trades which are of high demand in the world market, the policy says. The policy also proposed for a comprehensive data bank of workers so that aspirant workers can be sent abroad in a systematic manner and with low migration cost. l
BNP chief stuck in gridlock as party men block road to receive her n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Khaleda Zia, head of the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance, will address a public rally on the grounds of the Aliya Madrasa in Sylhet today. Today’s rally is the fifth one out of the eight rallies the opposition alliance had chalked to carry out countrywide in order to stimulate public support for the demand that the next general election be held under a caretaker government. The motorcade of Khaleda left her Gulshan residence around 5:30pm yesterday. Khaleda arrived in Sylhet around 12:30am and spent the night at the Sylhet Circuit House. On her way she took rest for some time at the residence of Habiganj district unit BNP’s president SM Faisal. From evening, amid drizzle, hundreds of party leaders and activists gathered at several points from Jatrabari to Sylhet with festoons and placards yesterday that created huge tailback
Bangladesh ranks 85th in Global Visa Restrictions Index n Tribune Report
People will not accept one-sided polls: Ershad n UNB, Habiganj Casting doubt on the next election, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said the people would not accept any attempt to hold the polls without the participation of all political parties. He said: “There is uncertainty whether the election will be held in time. The people of the country will not accept the election if it is held without the participation of all parties. Such an election will not have credibility either.” The former president also said the country has been plunged into a severe crisis and there is a need for bringing about changes in the election system to restore peace and stability. The JP chief made the remarks while addressing a rally at New Field in the district with district JP president and presidium member, Atiqur Rahman Atique, in the chair. Pleading to the people about the next poll, he said: “This is probably my last election. I seek your vote as before and I hope you will not deprive me of it.” l
No change in temperature likely n UNB Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at most places over Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions and at many places over Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions until 6pm today. Moderately heavy to heavy falls are 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 5:42pm today and rises at 5:53am today. Country’s highest temperature 32.5 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday at Sitakunda and lowest 23.4 degrees at Rangamati. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City
Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar
28.5 26.6 31.6 30.8 28.6 29.3 28.8 30.0
25.0 24.1 24.6 25.0 25.5 25.0 24.0 24.5
PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha
Workers of light-vehicles bring out a procession in the city’s Paltan area yesterday demanding Eid-ul-Azha and Durga Puja bonus. They also protest ‘inhuman’ workload and ‘repression‘ at workplace RAJIB DHAR
Primary school teachers give ultimatum
4:37am 5:51am 11:47pm 4:03pm 5:42pm 6:57pm
on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway causing immense suffering to commuters. Khaleda remained stuck in the gridlock for 40 minutes near Kachpur bridge next to the highway. Earlier, during her tour to Khulna, Khaleda asked her party leaders and activists for not staging showdowns as her tours were meant for gathering public support to the cause of holding election under non-partisan caretaker government, not for seeking votes. However, a number of nomination seekers from the party staged showdowns to draw the attention of Chairperson Khaleda in order to get nominated for contesting in the next general elections. Earlier, the former premier addressed rallies in Narsingdi on September 8, in Rangpur on September 15, in Rajshahi on September 16 and in Khulna on September 29. The rally scheduled for September 29 was postponed and fresh schedule is to be announced. Khaleda is also scheduled to address rally in Dhaka and in Chittagong after Eid-ul-Azha. l
n Tribune Report Primary school teachers across the country have issued a October 13 ultimatum to the government for the fulfilment of their 11-point demand. Bangladesh Primary Teachers’ Association issued the ultimatum from a rally and hunger strike programme held at the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital yesterday morning. The teachers warned of waging tougher agitation programmes including demonstrations and the boycott of examinations, if the government failed to publish a gazette notification to facilitate their demands by the mentioned date.
The agitating teachers have long been battling for implementation of an 11-point demand that includes the recognition of primary school head-
The teachers warned of waging tougher agitation programmes including demonstrations and the boycott of examinations masters as second-class government officers, a separate pay scale for assistant teachers, a hassle free process for promoting assistant teachers to headmasters, and the immediate payment of due salaries and bonuses. President of the faction of the as-
sociation Md Nuruzzaman Ansari said although the process to meet their demands began in 2006, they were still unimplemented. “The main obstacle that stood in the way of achieving our rights is the ministry of public administration itself. The ministry officials had objected our demands even a few days back,” he said. A number of primary school teachers took part in the rally amid the rain and drizzle. Earlier on October 1, another faction of the association staged a rally and hunger-strike to press home the same demands. That faction, against the backdrop of the government’s assurance, served a October 6 ultimatum. l
Jamaat calls demo for Sunday n Manik Miazee Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami declared a countrywide demonstration programme for tomorrow demanding the release from jail of 18-party leaders and the restoration of a caretaker government system. Party acting secretary general Rafiqul Islam Khan said in a written media release yesterday: “The government is hatching a conspiracy to stay in power. But we will not let it happen.” According to the release, Jamaat called the demonstration to protest mass arrests and torture and demand the release of its detained leaders and activists. It also wants the withdrawal of “false” cases, the cancellation of “questionable” war crime tribunals, and the restoration of the caretaker government provision in the constitution. l
Shoppers rush to the newly launched showroom of Grameen UNIQLO in the city’s BananiKakali bus-stand area. The photo was taken yesterday. Story on page 6 NASHIRUL ISLAM
Bangladesh has placed 85th in Visa Restriction Index 2013, the global ranking of countries based on freedom of travels for their citizens. Although Bangladesh is lagging behind of many countries, still with a score of 41 Bangladesh is ahead of countries, including Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, according to a press release. Scoring 52, India has ranked 74th. Finland, Sweden and the UK top the list scoring 174 each. Afghanistan went down the list having a score of 28. Scoring 172, the USA, Germany, Denmark and Luxembourg placed second. Henley & Partners, the global leader in international residence and citizenship planning, has carefully monitored and analysed visa regulations for many years. It has been publishing the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index since 2006. The global ranking is produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In compiling the index, Henley & Partners applies a unique global ranking methodology to data provided by the IATA’s Timatic passport and visa information database. l
JU withdraws expulsion orders against BCL activists n Mahadi Al Hasnat Jahangirnagar University authority has withdrawn the expulsion orders against some Chhatra League activists in order to win their backing against the teachers’ movement, claimed a section of teachers at the university. The university Deputy Registrar (education 1) Mohammad Ali told the Dhaka Tribune: “These students have been excused by the special power of the Jahangirnagar University vice-chancellor.” Angry reactions came from the protesting teachers who opposed the decision. Arts and Humanities Faculty Dean Prof Syed Kamrul Ahsan said: “The VC cannot do this without placing the matter in the syndicate meeting to get approval first, before excusing those students charged with offences.” An office order issued on September 25 signed by JU deputy registrar said the university authority had excused four students who were expelled for different terms and declared unwanted by the VC for their involvement in an unexpected incident during Students’ Union election of the History Department on February 27. The four were Mohitosh Rai Titu and Asfikur Reza Sagor of Shahid Rafiq-Jabbar Hall and Md Salahuddin Parvez and Taimur Rahman Russel of Mir Mosharrof Hossain Hall. All of them are students of different academic sessions at the History Department. Asked about the withdrawal of expulsion orders, JU Proctor Prof Md Muzibur Rahman said: “I had only recommended permitting the students to
join classes and examinations, as they appeared to be repentant, but apparently by mistake, they have been excused from punishment.” “However, the students are committed to not creating any anarchy on the campus,” added the proctor. A section of JU unit BCL leaders and activists are allegedly working in favour of Anwar Hossain under the banner of general students, to protest the teachers’ strike and demand the resumption of classes and examinations. They also hung some banners and held a human chain on the campus to reinforce their protest. Sources said the VC had pardoned these BCL activists at a time when the anti-VC movement in the university was at its peak. A section of JU teachers have long been abstaining from work – boycotting classes and examinations. The ruling party student front met the VC on Thursday night to discuss the ongoing situation, said a source. Some expelled BCL activists were also seen to talk with Prof Anwar. However, JU unit Chhatra League General Secretary Rajib Ahmed Rasel told the Dhaka Tribune: “As the ruling party’s student wing it is our duty to help JU authority to run academic activities smoothly.” “It hardly mattered to Chhatra League who took up the VC post,” he said, adding that their position would always be with the general students. “General students want regular class and examinations,” said Rajib. However, the VC was unavailable for his comment on the withdrawal of expulsion orders. l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Probiotics: The best friend of your tummy Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that are very useful to maintain natural balance of organisms in the gut otic substance. Now it’s no secret that Lowers bad cholesterol n Dr Sajol Ashfaq probiotics are beneficial for your gut, High cholesterol? Then it may be the but they are loaded with other benefits too! From reducing inflammation to boosting immunity, probiotics silently played multiple roles. You can get your probiotics easily through foods like yogurt, milk, or by taking supplements. Probiotics offer many reasons to make it a part of your daily diet.
time to embrace milk or yogurt for breakfast! Studies have shown that probiotics can help to lower bad cholesterol, LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), in turn reducing the risk of heart attack.
A healthy digestive system and probiotics go hand in hand. Because probiotics are friendly bacteria, they promote good digestion by balancing the pH of the intestinal tract, creating a less desirable environment for harmful bacteria. Similar to vitamins A, C, and E, probiotics are known to help maintain a strong body defence system. If the body’s defence mechanism is stronger, it will not be challenged by bad bacteria. Thus, introducing friendly bacteria by taking probiotics can be helpful to protecting yourself from diseases.
A study has found that the bacteria
Minimizes the side effects of medicines
You can get your probiotics easily through foods like yogurt, milk, or by taking supplements. Probiotics offer many reasons to make it a part of your daily diet in probiotics (formally known as Bifidobacterium infantis) could reduce arthritis or inflammation of joints.
Probiotics can also relieve intestinal inflammation often caused by IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Although antibiotics will ultimately make you feel better, the symptoms can be rather uncomfortable. Many antibiotics sometime disrupt the balance of micro-organism in the intestines, often causing diarrhoea or fungal infections. Introduction of any probiotics with your antibiotic can decrease these symptoms. l The writer is Associate professor in Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College Hospital, Dhaka.
Listening to music is good for the heart Vitamin B may be a defence against stroke n
Increasing your yogurt intake can keep you fungus free. It is said that eating yogurt with live cultures or taking probiotics will help to renew the vagina with protective bacteria species and will help to maintain the balance of organisms in the vagina, which in turn decreasing the chance of a fungal infection.
Restores body defence
Protection from sun
Prevents fungal infections
The term “Probiotics” is not well understood to all of us but its products are well known. Recently the term has created a great imporDID YOU tance due to its health KNOW? benefits. Bacteria are not always harmful to the body. There are few bacteria which are essential for the body and acts as a friend. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that are very useful to maintain natural balance of organisms in the gut. Normally the human gut contain about 400 types of probiotic bacteria. The main activity of these probiotic bacteria are to suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and thus promote a disease-free digestive system. The reduction of Probiotics in the gut can enhance the growth of harmful bacteria which in turn affects the digestive system badly and make the person sick. Lactic acid bacteria is the largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine of which lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probi-
For complete sunscreen protection, dermatologists advise applying your sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you plan to go outdoors. This extra time will allow the chemicals in the sunscreen to bond to your skin. The strength of the sunscreen should be at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 for our country, said dermatologists. l
Be careful with bad teeth
Dr Mohammad Sayem
n Prescription Desk
Who does not listen to music? Music lovers would be glad to hear that listening to music, specially our favourite tunes, strengthens our LIFESTYLE heart. A study of 74 patients with heart disease, done at Europe, revealed that music can in fact strengthen the heart as well as improve the recovery of a patient suffering from heart disease. Patients with heart disease were divided into three groups. Some were enrolled in exercise classes for three weeks. Second group of patients were put in the same classes, but also told to listen to music of their choice at any point for 30 minutes every day. A third group only listened to music and did not take exercise. After three weeks of supervised trial, patients of first group, who were only taking exercise, improved their exercise capacity by 29%. But patients of second group who had listened to music as well as exercised had boosted measures of heart function significantly and improved their exercise capacity by 39%. The third group of patients who took no exercise only listened to their favourite music for half an hour
a day improved their exercise function by 19%. Professor Delijanin Ilic, cardiologist of University of Nis, Serbia, the lead investigator said: “When we listen to music we like then endorphins are released from the brain which improves our vascular health. Music without word, possibly have more beneficial
impact on heart. There is no ideal music for everybody and patients should choose music which increase positive emotions and makes them happy or relaxed.” There are also other studies showing some types of music like heavy metal are not as good for heart as the classical, soft music. l
People in our country like to take vitamins very much, specially vitamin B. Here is good news for those who are taking Vitamin B comHEALTH plex on a regular basis. NEWS A new research found that risk of stroke can be reduced by taking vitamin B supplements. A previous study was conflicting about whether taking vitamin B supplements reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Some studies even suggested that taking vitamin B supplements can increase the risk. In these circumstances, a new research based on 14 clinical trials with 55,000 people conducted for six months showed some benefits of tak-
found that vitamin B12 had no effect on stroke risk. Before you begin taking any supplements, you should always talk to your doctor. But every researcher agreed, strokes can be caused by many varying factors; only vitamin supplements cannot reduce the risk effectively. Ischemic stroke, which is caused by lack of blood supply into the brain, can have many different causes. Hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smok-
The researchers found that folic acid, a supplemental form of folate (B9) that is common in fortified cereals, appeared to reduce the beneficial effect of vitamin B. They also found that vitamin B12 had no effect on stroke risk
Human hearts has been grown in test tubes. And there are hopes of bringing it in the transplants list. The team used inRESEARCH duced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)—mature cells that can be “reprogrammed” and developed into different types of cells—and induced them to become multipotential cardiovascular progenitor (MCP) cells, which are basically precursor heart cells that grow into muscle. The scientists
then”decellularized,” or removed all the cells, from a mouse heart, and attached the iPS cell-derived MCPs onto the decellularized mouse organ. Amazingly,
after about three weeks, the mouse heart had been completely rebuilt with human heart cells, and it began beating autonomously. In the near future, doctors hope to be able to save heart patients by just growing those new ones. A team of scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has created lab-grown human heart tissue that can beat on its own, said on mid august of this year. “We hope our study would be used in the future to replace a piece of tissue damaged by a heart attack, or perhaps an entire organ, in patients with heart disease,” the researchers said. l
Don’t live with broken or worn down teeth. Not only does it affect the way you look but it can also affect your self-confidence. Broken tooth can cause cancer of your tongue anytime. So address the situation very fast and consult an ENT specialist and dental surgeon. In case of worn down teeth cosmetic contouring is a relatively simple and very effective way. l
Easy way to fall asleep fast When thoughts, worries and ideas
Human hearts created in lab Prescription Desk
ing vitamin B. Among the participants, 25,000 were stroke patients. The study concluded that vitamin B supplements can reduce the risk of stroke by 7%. The researchers found that folic acid, a supplemental form of folate (B9) that is common in fortified cereals, appeared to reduce the beneficial effect of vitamin B. They also
ing and obesity are the most common factors, researchers said. They have found that there is a group of patients who are sufferers from stroke due to deficiency of vitamins and enzymes. The result of this research earned great importance because it reflects the increased public thirst for dietary prevention of stroke. l
whirl around in your head at night, it can be impossible to fall asleep at all, let alone quickly. Yet it is possible to fall asleep fast; it just takes a few changes to your daily habits. Try the following techniques to encourage faster sleeping in your life. Turn off all your electronics. Reduce unwanted noise. Cool off your room and keep it dark. Read a book. Adjust your pillows. Make yourself comfortable and then you will fall asleep. l
| Compiled by: Shirsho Sikder
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Dhaka to have 20 cattle markets DMP told city corporations to not allow any illegal cattle market
n Abu Hayat Mahmud
Members of the affected families form a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday, demanding arrest and punishment of the embezzler MLM entrepreneur Jalal Uddin DHAKA TRIBUNE
The two city corporations of Dhaka will set up 20 makeshift cattle markets in the capital for the forthcoming Eid-ulAzha. The venues at DSCC are Armanitola Playground, Meradiya Bazar, Sadek Hossain Khoka Playground, JigatolaHazaribag playground, Rahamatganj playground, Moitrishongho at Shahjahanpur, Brothers Union at Gopibagh, East-End Club at Dhupkhola, Adarsha School at Golapbag and Postagola. Nine venues at DNCC are Agargaon Playground, Banani-Kakoli, Eastern Housing Playground at Mirpur, Dhaka Polytechnic Playground, Baridhara Block-6, Uttara Section-11, Taltola Playground, Ajampur Primary School, and Banarupa-Khilkhet. Besides these makeshift sites, the biggest permanent cattle market in the country will also be set up at Gabtoli. The sacrificial animals will be put up for sale from four days ahead of Eid, which is expected to be observed on October 16, depending on moon sighting. The market will run until the Eid day. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has told the two city corporations to not allow any illegal cattle market in the capital ahead of Eid. Last year, nearly a dozen were opened illegally, leaving an adverse effect on the city’s environment.
Eid drives refrigerator sales boost in city
JCD activists assaulted by BCL at SBMC
n Tribune Desk
n Our Correspondent, Barisal
The onset of Eid-ul-Azha has led to a surge in refrigerator sales in the city as observers make plans to preserve the meat of animals sacrificed during one of the biggest festivals of Muslim. Apart from local companies including Walton Hi-Tech Industries Ltd (WHIL), Marcel and MyOne, sales of fridges imported by manufacturers such as LG, Esquire, Hitachi and Singer have also soared, reports BSS. “We’ve doubled our target of selling refrigerators.We hope that we will sell a record number compared to the same period last year,” said Mohammad Baten, manager of Walton’s Malibagh plaza. Baten said new designs, improved
after-sales service and the modernisation of show rooms are proving the main attractions for customers. “Prices of our refrigerators are within the purchasing power of middleclass people, unlike the foreign products available in the country,” he said. Abul Hossain, proprietor of Ababil Electronics at Stadium market, said they have taken steps in advance to bring more refrigerators in to the show room as demand for the home appliances is “very high”. Hitachi Showroom ManagerMizanur Rahman said consumers were choosing local brands instead of foreign ones due to cost. “We’ve expanded our after-sale home services as four more service centres have been set up in the
city,” said manager of LG Showroom at Stadium Market.
Prices of our refrigerators are within the purchasing power of middle-class people, unlike the foreign products available in the country Singer showroom manager Syed Jamal Abedin said they have taken diverse preparations to sell their product during Eid, considering Bangladeshi customers. It has been a common phenomenon that ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, consumers buy refrigerators, televisions, blenders, rice cookers, and microwave ovens to improve their standard of living, said industry sources. l
Two activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), the student wing of BNP, were beaten up by members of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at the Barisal Sher-E-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) campus yesterday, immediately after the admission tests for the next academic session were held. BCL activists Rafi and Plabon, students of the 40th batch, assaulted JCD activists Ripon and Arif, students of the 43rd batch at SBMC Hostel 2 at about 1pm, police said. “Shortly after the assault police were deployed in the campus and brought the two sides to an arbitration to avoid an escalation of violence,” said
Shakhawat Hossain, the Kotwali police station in-charge. Eyewitnesses said the assault was a result of JCD activists welcoming participants of the test with flowers. More than 50 activists stood outside the exam hall handing out flowers to the participants. The BCL activists did not organise any such event. Dr. Shahidul Alam, the principal of SBMC, said the admission tests were conducted peacefully. Out of 2,252 candidates, 2,111 participated in the test. “No one was expelled during the intake test,” he said. Many candidates alleged that they were harassed for not having brought original and attested copies of SSC and HSC admit cards to the exam hall. l
Country’s aging population to ‘hit 50m by 2050’ n Tribune Desk Senior citizens yesterday urged the media to take a more proactive role in promoting their rights with the country’s ageing population on course to hit 50m by 2050. Addressing a held for senior media professionals, they also put forward a seven-point demand, including the introduction of a separate beat on ageing issues in all media houses and the provision of a special section on ageing in daily newspapers.
Though several newspapers try to cover special issues and events like the International Older Persons Day, they miss the other issues throughout the remaining year They also called for less fragmented, distorted and negative attitudes towards the elderly in news presentation, more programmes to inspire the younger generation to help their elders, and the highlighting of the achievements of senior citizens at national and international levels. Additionally, they demanded awareness-raiding programmes in media houses about the rights of older people, recognition of the contributions of senior media professionals, and the utilisation of their experiences and wisdom. The programme was arranged by Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Institute of Geriatric Medicine (BAAIGM) at its headquarters in the capital. BAAIGM this year also honoured seven senior media personalities for their contributions to journalism, particularly for their efforts to promote the causes of senior citizens in society.
Dhaka University Vice Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique was present at the programme as the chief guest, and distributed crests among five senior citizens. They are Daily Independent editor and former caretaker government adviser Mahbubul Alam, UNB chairman and former president of BAAIGM Amanullah Khan, chief editor and managing director of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) DP Barua, Prof Shakhawat Ali Khan of Dhaka University’s Journalism Department, and former BSS chief editor and managing director Jaglul Ahmed Chowdhury. Speaking on the occasion, UNB chairman Amanullah Khan said that the issues of senior citizens are not properly focused by most media outlets in Bangladesh. “Though several newspapers try to cover special issues and events like the International Older Persons Day, they miss the other issues throughout the remaining year,” he said. Amanullah Khan said a prerequisite to building an inclusive society is creating mechanisms for using the wisdom and experiences of older people. “There’s no mention of the older persons in the country’s development agenda. They’re being eliminated day by day,” he observed. In his keynote presentation, BAAIGM secretary general Prof ASM Atiqur Rahman said the government must take immediate steps to ensure the rights of the fast-growing ageing population of the country. By 2050, he added, about five crore people of the country will graduate to the senior category. The programme was presided over by BAAIGM president Engineer Nazrul Islam. l
“We have already sent letters to the DSCC and DNCC separately, requesting them not to allow any unauthorised cattle market in the capital as they create traffic congestion causing sufferings to the public,” said DMP Commissioner Benazir Ahmed at a press conference at the DMP Media Centre on Wednesday. Benazir said police had information that 11 markets out of the 20 given a lease, are unauthorised. “If found, any illegal cattle market would be evicted with the aid of the city corporations,” he said. Chief Estate Officers of both DSCC and DNCC said they had not received any letter from the DMP regarding unauthorised cattle markets yet. They said no one would be allowed to set up illegal cattle markets on roads and the city corporations would take stern action against anyone found doing so. The two DCCs have leased out 10 temporary cattle markets at Tk69.79m. Of the 10, four markets have been leased out under the DNCC at Tk53m, while the DSCC leased out six markets at Tk16.79m. Fresh tenders have been for nine others, said officials of DSCC and DNCC. The biggest market at Gabtoli was earlier leased out by the DNCC in April for one year at Tk81.48m including VAT. l
Grameen-Uniqlo launches third store in city n UNB Grameen-Uniqlo, a social business initiative of Japanese apparel firm Fast Retailing Company Limited, opened its third chain store in the city’s Kakoli area yesterday. Chief Operating Officer Tadahiro Yamaguchi inaugurated the new outlet in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and pledged to offer “the ultimate shopping experience for its valued customers.” In the first phase, two stores were opened in New Elephant Road and Banassree areas which feature Uniqlo’s signature “beauty in hyper practicality” – tailored to the specific needs of local customers. A fourth chain store is slated for launch in Paltan today (Saturday). l
Dhaka-Chittagong Highway blockaded n UNB, Comilla
Aspiring students of Medical Collages taking examination at Arts Faculty of Dhaka University yesterday
A 60km-long tailback was created on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway early yesterday after truck drivers blocked the road following an altercation with Ansar members at the Meghna Bridge toll plaza in Munshiganj. Sources at Gazaria Highway Police said a goods-laden truck had driven in the ordinary lane instead of going through the load control machine around 4am. Later, the on-duty Ansar members beat up the driver and helper of the truck over the incident. Outraged by the beating, the truck drivers blocked the busy highway and staged demonstrations for almost three hours, creating a 60km tailback from Shaheednagar in Daudkandi upazila to Kanchpur of Narayanganj. The truckers withdrew their blockade around 7am following the intervention of the local administration. l
14 get four year Government urged to recognise terms for attacking Jibanananda role in Bangalee literacy mobile court the installation of sculptures of the poetic works and Shantanu Kaisar for n UNB, Satkhira n Our Correspondent, Barisal poet in places connected with his life, prose works. A Satkhira court on Thursday sentenced 14 people to four years imprisonment for attacking a mobile court and vandalising its vehicle. The court also fined the convicts Tk5,000 each, in default, to suffer two months more in jail. According to the prosecution, a team of mobile court led by Executive Magistrate RobiulHasan conducted a drive at a brick kiln owned by Ali Mollah in Joynagar of Shyamnagar upazila on April 21. During the drive, supporters of Ali Mollah and his brother Habib Mollah, equipped with homemade weapons, swooped on the mobile court team and vandalised the vehicle. l
The government should recognise the contribution of Jibanananda Das to Bangalee literacy as he was the greatest Bangalee poet of all time and the creator of ‘Banalota Sen’— the embodiment of the serene beauty of Bangali woman, speakers told a discussion in Barisal yesterday. Jibanananda introduced modernism in Bangalee literature, but apart from introducing a postal-stamp, his contributions are yet to be recognised by the state of Bangladesh, they said. They also demanded the implementation of the Dhanshiri River eco-park project, the excavation of Dhanshiri River, the founding of a museum, and
works and memories. They also called upon the government to conduct more studies and research into the life and achievements of the poet so that a new generation could know the importance of his role in literacy. The calls were made at the distribution of the Jibanananda Prize in memory of the poet in Barisal city, during a discussion chaired by poet Asad Chowdhury and presided over by poet Shamim Reza. During the prize-giving, the Jibanananda Purshkar 2013 was awarded to the literary personalities Khondakar Ashraf Hossain (posthumous) for
The discussants celebrated the life, works and achievements of the award winners and also poet Jibanananda Das. The festival in two sessions was jointly organised by Adda, Dhansiri of Barisal, and Sahitya Soikat of Rajapur, Jhalakathi and the magazine Durba of Gopalganj. The inaugural session was held in the morning at Jibanananda Angan, the house of the poet, and saw wreaths placed at his portrait. The second session in the afternoon was held in the conference hall of Barisal University, presided over by Poet Belal Chowdhury. l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Rajshahi farmers face loss over unsold potato Low market price means huge quantity remains stockpiled at 26 cold storages n Tribune Desk
The bumper potato season has left many farmers in Rajshahi in crisis as a low market price forces them to keep their stocks in cold storage for longer than normal. In line with previous years, over 70% of potatoes are supposed to be released from 26 cold storages in the district at this time, but more than half remain stockpiled. Rahim Uddin, a producer of Bargachhi village under Paba upazila, said the present market price is unexpected for the traders and growers and is discouraging them from lifting their preserved goods from the storages. An 86-kilogram potato sack is being sold at Tk600 to 650 in different wholesale markets and other village level growth centres at present, which is half the total production and storage cost of Tk1200 to 1300. In this situation, the farmers are incurring loss of Tk600 to 650 per bags. For the last couple of years, many farmers have been encouraged to cultivate potato with the promotion of
modern farming systems, including a hybrid variety. “Most of the farmers were seen opting for high yielding potato varieties and adopting scientific methods of cultivation, resulting in bumper yields,” said Abu Bakkar Ali, president of Rajshahi Cold Storage Owners Association. “But the potato growers incurred losses this year as they did not get fair price of their produce,” he said, adding that to overcome the loss, he was seeking government intervention for exporting potato. There was a bumper production of potato in Rajshahi last harvesting season due to favourable climatic conditions. But the low price of potato could not even cover production cost, Abu Bakkar added. “The farmers are not happy over the market price. Because of inadequate preservation facilities in the region, they are forced to sell their potatoes at a low price, incurring a loss,” he also said, adding that the future cultivation of potato in the region will be adversely impacted as growers will surely lose all
Special train services in western zone for Eid-ul-Azha n Tribune Report
Bangladesh Railway (BR) is set to run an extra four intercity trains on its Dhaka-Parbotipur and Dhaka-Khulna routes, in a bid to make travel easier for passengers during the rush of Eidul-Azha. According to official sources in the western zone of the BR and Parbotipur railway junction, the four special intercity trains will not operate on two days - the day before Eid-ul-Azha and on Eid day. Under the special service, the Eid Special-1 and -2 trains with nine compartments each will operate on the Dhaka-Parbotipur route, while Eid Special-3 and -4 trains with 10 compartments each will run on the Dhaka-Khulna route. According to BR sources, the Eid Special-1 Train will leave Kamlapur railway station at 5:20pm daily to reach Parbotipur at 3am. In the other direction, the Eid Special-2 Train will leave Parbotipur at 6:45am to reach Kamlapur railway station at 3:45pm. On both ways, services will stop at Fulbari, Birampur, Panchbibi, Joypurhat, Akkelpur, Santahar, Ahsanganj,
Madhnagar, Natore, Ishwardi Bypass, Chatmohar, Boral Bridge, Ullapara, Bangabandhu Bridge (West and East), Mirjapur, Mouchak, Joydevpur and Airport railway stations. The train service will start three days before Eid and also run for five days from the second day of Eid. Meanwhile, the Eid Special-3 train will leave Kamlapur railway station at 9:25pm daily to reach Khulna at 7am, and the Eid Special -4 train will leave Khulna at 10am to make the return journey to Kamlapur by 8:20pm. These trains will stop at Noyapara, Jessore, Court Chandpur, AlamDanga, Poradaho, Bheramara, Ishwardi, Boral Bridge, Ullapara, Bangabandhu Bridge (West and East), Mirjapur, Mouchak, Joydevpur and Airport railway stations. The Eid Special-3 and -4 trains will start operating three days ahead of Eidul-Azha and also run for a week from the second day of Eid. The rate of passenger fare for these special intercity train services will remain the same as all other intercity trains currently operating, sources at the BR said. l
interest in cultivating the crop again, he said. Many of the farmers had cultivated potato after borrowing money from different banks, money lenders and NGOs. “With this odd situation, how they will repay the loans?” he asks.
In line with previous years, over 70% of potatoes are supposed to be released from 26 cold storages in the district at this time, but more than half remain stockpiled Abu Bakker said the government should take immediate measures: “We have no way but to protect the interests of the producers to boost the agriculture sector”, he said. Muhammad Ali Sarker, owner of Raj Cold Storage, said, “The government is initiating many safety-net programmes including VGF, VGD, OMS, FW and so on for vulnerable group development. It will be a great solution if government includes potato in the programmes which will help the farmers to get a reasonable price,” he said. l
Children under the banner of Amar Adhikar Campaign form a human chain in Satmatha area of Bogra district town yesterday, demanding inclusion of child rights in the manifestos of political parties for the upcoming general election DHAKA TRIBUNE
Short duration paddy harvest begins in northern districts n BSS Farmers in Rangpur have begun harvesting short duration paddies during the low point of the seasonal lean period, creating jobs for labourers almost everywhere in the northern region, official sources have said. Reaping will continue during the Bangla months of Aswin and Kartik to help the poor, including farm workers, overcome the seasonal “monga” that was last seen in the region five years ago. Large-scale farming of short duration paddies has already become a popular way of combating “monga” in the northern districts. Executive Director of the Rangpur-based North Bengal Institute of Development Studies Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said there was no “monga” for the fifth consecutive time this season following expanded farming of short duration paddies with early harvest, and the government’s huge social safety net programmes. Alongside harvesting the short du-
ration paddies, farming of the early variety of potatoes and vegetables in the same land will create working opportunities for day labourers during the lean period. According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), the farmers are benefitting from an excellent yield of paddy - 4.8 tonne per hectare on average at the beginning of the harvesting period. The farmers have cultivated short duration paddies in 172,690 hectares of land this season in the northern districts and they will cultivate the subsequent early variety of potatoes and vegetables in the same land after reaping the harvest by the next month. The short duration variety of paddies cultivated this season include BINA dhan 7 in 118,780 hectares of land, BRRI dhan 33 in 26,822 hectares, BRRI dhan 39 in 25,898 hectares, BRRI dhan 56 in 710 hectares, BRRI dhan 57 in 97 hectares, and BRRI dhan 46 in 383 hectares. Additionally, different short duration hybrid variety of paddies
have been cultivated in 11,469 hectares of land. Farmers Shachindra Nath, Abdur Rahman and Tayebur Rahman of Gangachara upazila in Rangpur said they had enjoyed a very good harvest this time after cultivating such paddies. Farmers Kochim Uddin got 5.6 tonne yield per hectare from BINA dhan 7, while Nosim Uddin, Nur Alam, Alamgir and Abul Kalam got an average yield of 6 tonnes per hectare in Ramchandrapur village of Rangpur. Renowned rice scientist and Associate Director Agriculture of BRAC International (South Asia and Africa) Dr MA Mazid said expanded farming of short duration paddies has brought revolutionary success in combating “monga” in recent years. Rangpur Regional Additional Director of the DAE Sikander Ali said farmers were getting more profit through cultivation of short duration paddies followed by farming of early variety of winter vegetables, such as potato, maize, mustard. l
AL-backed candidate wins Tarakanda upazila election n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh The Awami League-backed candidate bagged the chairman post of the newly-formed Tarakanda upazila in Mymensingh yesterday. “Sharif Ahmed, son of late AL lawmaker Md Shamsul Haque, achieved 66,948 votes while his nearest competitor, BNP-backed Motahar Hossain Talukder, received 49,609 votes,” said
10 drug peddlers held in Lalmonirhat n Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat Police arrested 10 drug peddlers including four women and recovered an unspecified amount of phensydil and marijuana in separate drives near the Teesta Road Bridge in Lalmonirhat yesterday. All 10 were arrested as they were riding passenger buses in different directions across the city, police said. The female peddlers were identified as Julekha Begum, 44, wife of Maha Alam Miah; Amena Bewa, 48, wife of late Sirazul Islam; Zarina Khatun, 50, wife of Fazlu Miah; and Shahina Khatun, 32, wife of Islam Miah. All were residents of Kharuya, a river basin char of Dharla in the district’s sadar upazila. The male peddlers were Shafiqul Islam, 35, son of Basar Ali; Uzzal Miah, 25, son of Abdul Quddus; Selim Miah, 30, son of Kafur Ali; Shahin Islam, 35, son of Akbar Ali; Saiful Islam, 27, son of Saher Ali; and Islam Hossain, 35, son of Hafez Ali. l
Returning Officer, also Additional Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh, Dr Suvash Chandra Biswas. The number of voters in the upazila was 188,655 split 95,193 male and 93, 462 female, sources said. The result from 72 centres in 10 unions of the upazila was declared at 11pm. No untoward incident was reported during the election, said Md Abdul Wadud, officer-in-charge of Tarakanda police station. l
A farmer was killed by unidentified miscreants at Kodalkati village, Gangni upazila, Meherpur yesterday.The victim was Abu Bakar Siddique, 45, of the village. Phulchand, the brother of the victim, said Abu went missing after he went to Khalishakundi Bazar in Kushtia to selling chillis on Thursday afternoon. Later, his body was found in a field around 1am yesterday. Police recovered the body and sent it to Meherpur General Hospital morgue for post mortem examination. – UNB
College student drowns in Magura A college student drowned in a pond at Binodpur village, Mohammadpur upazila, Magura yesterday. The victim was Shah Mokhdum Sohan, 19, a second year (honours) student of Jessore M M College. The victim’s family members said Sohan slipped into a pond near their house and drowned in the morning while taking bath as he did
Unidentified miscreants damaged an idol of Hindu goddess Durga at a temple in sadar upazila of the district in the early hours of yesterday. “The idol of goddess Durga, set up ahead of Durga Puja, was vandalised in the dead of night. When the devotees went to the temple for Mahalaya in the morning they had found the idol broken,” said Jagodish Chandra Karmakar, president of Chandrakala temple committee Regarding the incident, Aslam Hossain, officer-in-charge of sadar police station, said they were trying to arrest those involved. l
Fire guts seven shops, halts traffic on DhakaTangail Highway
n UNB, Gazipur
A fire gutted seven shops in a market at Chandora intersection in Kaliakoir upazila of the district yesterday, disrupting vehicular movement on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway for an hour. According to fire service sources, the fire broke out around 6:30am. On receiving information, members of Kaliakoir fire service went to the spot and doused the blaze around 8am after one-and-a-half hours of frantic efforts. Traffic on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway and Kaliakoir-Nabinagar road was disrupted for one hour due to the extinguishing work by the firefighters. The cause of the fire was not known. l
Mentally challenged schoolgirl raped in Lalmonirhat Farmers of Rangpur harvesting of short-duration paddy yesterday
NEWS IN BRIEF Farmer slaughtered in Meherpur
Durga idol damaged in Natore temple n UNB, Natore
not know how to swim. Family members pulled Sohan from the pond and took him to Magura Sadar Hospital where doctors declared him dead. – UNB
Man gets jail term for arms possession in Tangail
A Tangail court on Thursday sentenced a man to seven years imprisonment for possessing arms. The convict was Nurul Islam, 26, from the Sakrail area of the district town. According to the prosecution, a team of police arrested two youths - Nurul and Hridoy- in possession of a foreign-made revolver and five rounds of ammunition in Porabari, Sadar upazila on July 13, 2009. A case was filed against them under the Arms Act. The court acquitted Hridoy as his guilt could not be proven. – UNB
Seven held in Benapole Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) arrested seven people in Gatipara border area yesterday while they were trying to enter India illegally. Benapole ICC Camp Command-
er Nayek Subedar Abdul Mannan said a BGB team, acting on secret information, raided the area and arrested seven youths. The arrestees were Shyamol, 22, Sajal, 28, Razib, 17, Masud, 22, Chintu, 25, Babu, 23 and Batu Mia, 22. All of them were from different areas of Faridpur and Gopalganj districts. – UNB
Lightning kills schoolgirl in Chapainawabganj A schoolgirl was killed and three others were injured when lightning struck them at Chhatrajit village, Shibganj upazila on Thursday afternoon. The deceased was named as Maksuda, 15, a class 8 student. Locals said lightning struck the four girls while they were returning home from school around 1pm, leaving Maksuda dead on the spot and the three others injured. The injured- Ruma, Rehena and Shahnaj- were admitted to Sadar Hospital. – UNB
2 bodies found in Munshiganj Police recovered two sacks containing the
bodies of two men from a water body in the Baluakandi area of Gozaria upazila, Munshiganj on Thursday. Hazim Uddin, second officer of Gozaria police station, said criminals might have killed the two men, both aged around 35, 8-10 days ago and then dumped the bodies in the water body. The identities of the deceased have not been confirmed. The decomposed bodies were sent to Munshiganj General Hospital Morgue for post mortem examination. – UNB
Housewife murdered in Jessore A housewife was killed by unidentified criminals in the Kholadanga area of sadar upazila early Thursday. The victim was Anwara Begum, 45. Locals said two Burqa-clad people entered Anwara’s house in the dead of night on Wednesday and murdered her. The motive behind the murder was not immediately clear. However, locals suspect that the victim’s husband Anwar Hossain might have been involved in the killing. - UNB
n Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat A mentally challenged schoolgirl was raped in her room in absence of family members at Haribhanga village under Lalmonirhat sadar upazila on Thursday afternoon. The victim was admitted to Lalmonirhat Sadar Hospital in critical condition. Police said when the girl was alone at her residence, the rapist, who is a newspaper hawker, entered the house to sell paper in the afternoon. Sensing nobody’s presence in the house, Rafiqul Islam, 35, residence in the North Bengal Dalala Tari area in the town, raped the girl, a student of class IV at a local school for children with disability. Hearing her groaning, neighbouring people even family members of the victim rushed to the spot and caught the culprit red-handed. On receiving information, police rushed to the spot and arrested Rafiqul. The acting residential medical officer of Lalmonirhat Sadar Hospital Dr Mrinal Kanti said the victim was out of danger. A case was lodged with Lalmonirhat sadar police station at night, police said. l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Italy mourns migrant shipwreck tragedy n AFP, Lampedusa Italy on Friday mourned the 300 African asylum-seekers feared dead in the worst ever Mediterranean refugee disaster, as the government asked Europe to help stem the influx of migrants. As the grim search for bodies off the island of Lampedusa continued, an emotional Pope Francis said Friday should be “a day of tears” for a “savage world” that ignored the plight of refugees. Emergency services on the remote island – Italy’s southernmost point – said they had recovered 111 bodies so far and rescued 155 survivors from a boat with an estimated 450 to 500 people on board. “Divers have seen dozens more bodies in the wreck. There could be even more in the hold, where the poorest of the poor are usually put,” Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told parliament. “The search is being complicated by worsening weather conditions,” Alfano said after visiting the island, which he
said he would be proposing as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Rescuers said strong currents around the island may have swept other bodies further out to sea. “After these deaths, we are expecting something to change. Things cannot stay the same,” the mayor of Lampedusa, Giusi Nicolini, told reporters. “The future of Lampedusa is directly linked to policies on immigration and asylum,” she said. The migrants, all Eritreans or Somalis, departed from the Libyan port of Misrata and told rescuers they had set fire to a blanket on board near Italian shores to attract the attention of coast guards after their boat began taking on water. The fire quickly spread on the badly overcrowded 20-metre (66-foot) vessel, which capsized and eventually sank in the early hours of Thursday morning just a few hundred metres from Lampedusa, as its terrified passengers jumped into the sea.
The boat’s Tunisian skipper, already arrested in Italy in April for people trafficking and deported back to Tunisia, has been detained as prosecutors investigated on charges of multiple murder. Flags flew at half mast across Italy and schools held a minute of silence for the victims while President Giorgio Napolitano has called for the overhaul of a law against facilitating illegal immigration that penalises potential rescuers. Alfano also appealed for greater European assistance in patrolling Italy’s southern maritime border and more action in countries of origin in Africa to stem the flow of risky refugee crossings. “Lampedusa is the new Checkpoint Charlie between the northern and southern hemispheres,” Alfano said, referring to the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. “This is not just an Italian problem,” he said. l
The body of a drowned migrant is being unloaded from a Coast Guard boat in the port of Lampedusa, Sicily, Thursday. Many migrants have been rescued, but the boat is believed to have been carrying as many as 500 people AP
Experts report progress over Syria Rome confirms Italian lynched in Madagascar chemical weapons n AFP, Damascus International experts were on Friday gearing up to disable the chemical weapons programme in war-hit Syria after reporting “encouraging” progress in a day of meetings with regime officials. The Syrian regime and its armed opponents have both been accused of carrying out numerous atrocities in the 30-month conflict, which began as a popular uprising and has since snowballed into a full-blown war that has killed 115,000. In a television interview broadcast Friday, President Bashar al-Assad again denied having perpetrated an August 21 chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus that killed hundreds of people and prompted Washington to threaten military action. Syria’s chemical arsenal – to be destroyed under a United Nations reso-
lution – were in the hands of “special forces” who were the only ones capable of using them, Assad told opposition Turkish channel Halk TV. “Preparing these weapons is a complex technical operation ... and a special procedure is necessary to use them which requires a central order from the army chief of staff. As a result it is impossible that they were used,” he said. A team of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations has been tasked with implementing the UN resolution to destroy the banned arsenal by mid-2014. They arrived in Syria on Tuesday, and reported “encouraging initial progress” after a day of meetings with the authorities on Thursday. “Documents handed over yesterday by the Syrian government look promising, according to team members, but
further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams, will be necessary and some more questions remain to be answered,” it said. The team said it hopes to begin on-site inspections and the initial disabling of equipment “within the next week.” The 19-member team from The Hague-based OPCW faces a daunting task, as Assad’s regime is understood to have more than 1,000 tonnes of the nerve agent sarin, mustard gas and other banned weapons stored at dozens of sites. Their immediate aim is to disable production sites by late October or early November using “expedient methods” including explosives, sledgehammers and pouring concrete, an OPCW official said. It is the first mission in the organisation’s history to be undertaken in a country embroiled in a civil war. l
n AFP, Rome
Rome confirmed on Friday that an Italian was lynched by an angry mob on a Madagascar tourist island which also killed a French citizen and a local man in a grisly rampage. “I can confirm the Italian nationality of the victim but not his identity, the corpse was burnt,” a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP, adding that identity documents had been found with the body. The three men were killed and burnt in a day-long rampage on Thursday on the tourist island of Nosy Be by residents who suspected them of murdering a young boy for his organs. Nosy Be lies just off the northern tip of the vast Indian Ocean island. “Rioters launched a manhunt and killed the Europeans,” in the early hours of Thursday morning after a missing eight-year-old was reportedly found dead, gendarmerie commander
Assad warns Turkey will ‘pay dearly’ for rebel support n AFP, Ankara Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Turkey it will “pay dearly” for supporting rebels fighting to overthrow his regime, in an interview broadcast Friday on Turkish television. “In the near future these terrorists will have an impact on Turkey. And Turkey will pay very dearly for its contribution,” Assad told the opposition station Halk TV. He was being interviewed over the presence of Al-Qaeda-linked rebels on
the long and volatile border between the two nations. There are several hardline Islamist groups among the numerous rebel formations fighting in Syria. “It is not possible to use terrorism as a card and put it in your pocket. Because it is like a scorpion which won’t hesitate to sting you at any moment,” said Assad. Relations between once close allies Damascus and Ankara have deteriorated since a popular uprising which began in March 2011 in Syria snowballed into a full-blown conflict that has
claimed more than 115,000 lives and forced millions to flee. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted conservative government has become one of the most fervent supporters of the Syrian rebellion. “All that he says about Syria and its people is a heap of lies, that is all ... Erdogan is doing nothing but supporting the terrorists,” said Assad. The Syrian leader again denied having perpetrated a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus in August
which left hundreds dead and Washington threatening a military strike. He said his country’s arsenal of chemical weapons – to be destroyed under a United Nations resolution – were in the hands of “special forces” who were the only ones capable of using them. “Preparing these weapons is a complex technical operation ... and a special procedure is necessary to use them which requires a central order from the army chief of staff. As a result it is impossible that they were used.” l
IDOLS OF THE GODDESS
Guy Bobin Randriamaro told AFP. Local police commissioner Honoya Tilahizandry said the men “were killed and burnt on Ambatoloaka beach,” a popular palm-fringed stand ringed by bars and hotels. Gory pictures taken after the lynching showed a mound of ash, wood and iron bars, with a torso and pair of charred legs the only recognisable remains. “They suspected the two foreigners of being behind the murder and trafficking human organs,” said the gendarmerie’s Randriamaro. The two men “confessed under torture to having trafficked organs,” he added. Hours later in a nearby suburb, a Malagasy was also killed, as mobs of hundreds of men roamed the streets setting fires. According to an AFP correspondent, the victim was dragged from a vehicle and his body thrown onto a fire. l
A religious leader on Kenya’s coast says that a cleric who preaches at a mosque whose last imam was mysteriously killed in a barrage of bullets Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa, secretary of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, said Friday that Sheikh Ibrahim Ismael and three others were killed late Thursday near the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisauni police chief Julius Wanjohi confirmed the deaths but refused to release more information. Ismael preached at Mombasa’s Masjid Musa Mosque, where Aboud Rogo Mohammed once preached. Mohammed was shot dead in August 2012, but a Kenyan government task force failed to establish the perpetrator. The assassination sparked days of deadly violence. The deaths come less than two weeks after militants attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, killing more than 60 people. l
Gunmen kill Yemeni officer in Yemen: security official n AFP, Aden Unidentified gunmen have shot dead an officer in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden in the latest attack targeting military personnel, a security official said on Friday. Lieutenant Colonel Waleed al-Wahabi, a member of the special forces, came under fire late on Thursday in the Tawahi district, the official said.
Attacks targeting the security forces are on the increase in Yemen, but mainly take place in its lawless southern and eastern provinces, where jihadist groups are active. Authorities have blamed Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for a spate of drive-by shootings from motorbikes, but AQAP has never actually admitted carrying out such an attack. l
WORLD WATCH Indian woman killed in Thai parasailing accident
An Indian tourist celebrating her wedding anniversary was killed in a parasailing accident off Thailand’s coast, police said Thursday. Shilpi Agarwal, 36, and her husband had hired a speedboat to parasail Wednesday near Pattaya’s beach but it failed to launch. The woman fell into the water and the driver backed up the boat to retrieve her. Agarwal was immediately killed by the boat’s rotating blade. Suwan said police planned to press charges for causing death by careless action, which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years or a fine of 20,000 baht ($638). Wednesday’s accident came shortly after the Thai prime minister encouraged government agencies to help ensure safety of tourists using jet skis, speed boats and taxis.
News helicopter helps police nab reckless motorcycle thief
An Indian artist paints lions, part of idols of Hindu goddess Durga, being prepared at a workshop ahead of the Durga Puja festival in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Oct. 3. The five-day festival commemorates the slaying of a demon king by goddess Durga, marking the triumph of good over evil AP
Kenyan cleric, 3 others, die in barrage of bullets n AP, Nairobi, Kenya
A TV news helicopter in southern California helped police keep tabs on a reckless man on a motorcycle who apparently thought he had outrun his pursuers. On Wednesday afternoon, cops spotted him weaving in and out of traffic and nearly causing several collisions. Police attempted to pull the man over, but he sped away. The news chopper, however, followed the rider as he exited the freeway, got off his motorcycle, and walked into a house. When the biker came out, police were waiting. He was arrested and taken into custody. LAPD said the motorcycle had been reported stolen.
Russian cosmonaut wins wages case vs space agency
A Moscow regional court has upheld a lawsuit filed by a prominent cosmonaut against the Russian space training centre complaining about wages. Col Sergei Volkov, who has logged 199 days in space, was contesting a recent government decision to strip retired military men like himself of extra pay for their space experience. The court in the Moscow region where the Russian cosmonauts’ training ground is located upheld Volkov’s lawsuit on Friday, ordering the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre to pay cosmonauts with military backgrounds for the spaceflights they have completed. It awarded him 1.4m rubles ($43,500) in back wages. Volkov, who went on long-term missions n
Bikers assault SUV driver in NYC
The driver – who was driving his wife and his young child – hit a motorcyclist’s back wheel after being cut off on the highway. No one was injured and the driver initially stopped. However, when the crowd of motorcyclists swarmed the Range Rover, attempting to damage the car, the driver sped ahead, running over several bikes and a biker in the process. The angry crowd of bikers gave chase and caught up with the SUV in traffic. One biker took off his helmet and smashed it into the window of the Range Rover. Several bikers beat the driver. He sustained injuries to his face and torso as well as two black eyes. The run-down biker was paralysed for life and his spine was broken in two places.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Obama cancels Asia trip to deal with government shutdown n AP, Washington President Barack Obama is cancelling a trip to Asia to stay in Washington and push for an elusive funding bill to get the federal government back up and running after days of a shutdown, with no end in sight. The White House, in a statement late Thursday, blamed Republicans, saying the “completely avoidable” government shutdown was hurting the president’s efforts to promote trade and US influence in emerging world markets. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Bali, Indonesia, on Friday and will head the US delegation to the summits. Obama’s decision to skip the summits in Indonesia and Brunei was an indication of how entrenched the stand-off appeared to be as it entered its fourth day. Funding for much of the government has been cut off since Tuesday, when a Republican effort to thwart President Barack Obama’s new health care law stalled a normally routine spending bill that would have kept the government going. Obama had been set to leave Saturday night for the Pacific island getaway of Bali for a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. It originally was scheduled as one of four Asian stops, and the White House announced earlier in the week that the final legs of Malaysia and the Philippines were being cut because of staffing problems due to the shutdown. Obama had held out hope that a budget deal would allow the visit to Bali and Brunei, where more economic summits were planned, but decided
Muslim protesters hold up placards and shout slogans during a protest against the visit of US President Barack Obama scheduled for Oct. 11, in Kuala Lumpur AP the cancel the entire trip Thursday. “The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of US exports and advance US leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world.” On Friday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives planned a vote to fund a popular programme providing food aid to pregnant women and their children, as well as ongoing disaster relief. The White House and Democratic allies in Congress reject the strategy of passing piecemeal efforts to finance essential and popular programmes and want a
General Giap: Military genius, humbler of the West n AFP, Hanoi General Vo Nguyen Giap, who died Friday at the age of 102, was considered one of history’s greatest military strategists and was the architect of Vietnam’s stunning battlefield victories against France and the US. Second only to late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh as modern Vietnam’s most revered figure, the former history teacher’s first military lesson came from an old encyclopedia entry about the mechanism of a hand grenade. He went on to defeat Vietnam’s colonial masters in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu, the battle that ended French rule in Indochina and started direct US involvement leading to the Vietnam war. Over the next two decades the
founding father of the Vietnam People’s Army, whose guerrilla tactics inspired anti-colonial fighters worldwide, again led his forces to victory with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. “When I was young, I had a dream that one day I would see my country free and united,” Giap later recounted in a PBS interview. “That day, my dream came true.” Giap’s brilliance as a strategist places him “in the pantheon of great military leaders” with the Duke of Wellington, Ulysses S Grant and General Douglas MacArthur, wrote American journalist and author Stanley Karnow. “Unlike them, however, he owed his achievements to innate genius rather than to formal training.” l
vote on a straightforward measure to fund the entire government through mid-November or mid-December. Republican leaders like Republican House Speaker John Boehner originally had tried to engineer such an outcome but were forced to change course after protests from a small group of very conservative lawmakers seeking to defund the president’s health care law. Furloughed federal workers were expected to get some relief with legislation authorising back pay due for a vote on Friday or Saturday. Obama has turned more personal in his criticism of Republicans for seeking to use a temporary funding bill to extract concessions on his health care law, calling out Boehner as standing in the way of a vote for a bill with no strings attached.
“Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes-or-no vote, because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his party. That’s all. That’s what this whole thing is about,” Obama said Thursday. Lawmakers said the battle over the government shutdown seemed to be quickly merging with a more critical showdown over the nation’s expiring line of credit, raising the stakes for the still-fragile economy. The US Treasury warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling could spark a new recession even worse than the one Americans are still recovering from. Obama and his Treasury Department said failure to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, expected to hit its $16.7tn cap in mid-October, could precipitate an economic nosedive worse than the recent Great Recession. A default could cause the nation’s credit markets to freeze, the value of the dollar to plummet and US interest rates to skyrocket, according to a Treasury report Thursday. Obama cataloged a litany of troubles that could be caused by the failure to raise the debt ceiling, from delayed benefit and disability checks to worldwide economic repercussions. “If we screw up, everybody gets screwed up,” he said. The speaker’s office reiterated Boehner’s past assertion that he would not let the government default on its debt. “But if we’re going to raise the debt limit, we need to deal with the drivers of our debt and deficits,” his spokesman, Michael Steel, said. “That’s why we need a bill with cuts and reforms to get our economy moving again.” l
This aerial photo shows the storage tank, fifth from left at left plot, in which workers detected the water dripping from the top, at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant AP
UN Nuclear Agency sends new Fukushima expert mission n Reuters, Vienna The UN nuclear agency said on Friday it would send an international team of experts to Japan later this month to look into efforts to clean up affected areas around the crippled Fukushima atomic power plant. Japan’s nuclear regulator earlier ordered the operator of Fukushima to draft in additional workers if needed to plug leaks of radioactive water from its tanks and report within a week on steps taken to fight the crisis. The warning was the second in as many months issued to Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, after the company found a second escape of contaminated liquids that probably entered the Pacific Ocean. In Vienna, the UN International
2 Indian ministers quit over plans to split southern state n Reuters, New Delhi Two Indian ministers resigned on Friday over a cabinet decision to create a new state, the latest bout of infighting that threatens to weaken the ruling Congress party in the run-up to elections due by next May. The walkouts were sparked by the move to split the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, a growing hub for Western IT giants, and create a new state called Telangana. Pallam Raju, minister for human resources and development, and K Chiranjeevi, a former film star who is junior minister for tourism, handed in their notice, officials at their ministries told Reuters. Both are from Andhra Pradesh. “It is a very sad day for Andhra Pradesh, and I’m hurt and aggrieved at the way the decision has been rushed to bifurcate the state,” Raju told reporters. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must sign off on the resignations before they become official, and he might yet persuade the pair to stay put. Two other ministers have also offered to resign, according to media reports, but their ministries could not immediately be reached for confirmation. The Congress party approved the creation of Telangana in July, a move that fanned the embers of political divisions within the state and raised fears of violence. The cabinet cleared the proposal on Thursday. Supporters of the move say the
Indian Congress members and supporters celebrate after India’s Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new state ‘Telangana’ AP
Pakistan army chief tipped to get new powerful job on retirement - sources
N Korea warns ‘imbecile’ Park of confrontation
n Reuters, Islamabad
n AFP, Seoul
One of Pakistan’s most powerful men, General Ashfaq Kayani, is likely to stay head of the military with a new title when he steps down as army chief next month, government and security sources said, taking over some of the duties of his successor. The expected move comes at a time when Islamist violence is on the rise in Pakistan, tension boils with arch rival India over disputed Kashmir and as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seeks to shore up a stable government just months into his job. And for the United States, it would mean continuity in Pakistan’s approach ahead of a pullout of most foreign troops in neighbouring Afghanistan at the end of 2014. There has been speculation over who will take over as chief of the army, which has ruled the nuclear-armed South Asian nation for more than half
of its history since independence in 1947, when Kayani steps down. Sources and aides close to Kayani said Sharif wanted to make him head of a revamped and more powerful Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC). One senior intelligence official said Sharif planned to overhaul the JCSC, a largely ceremonial office, into a “central defence body” by restoring its command over the entire military establishment and giving it additional powers. “The new JCSC chief will be in charge of the nuclear arsenal. He’ll decide on action against terrorists,” said the source, adding that new powers included the right to promote, post and transfer key military officers. Sharif has a history of bitter relations with the army but is keen to preserve a semblance of continuity at a time when Pakistan is struggling to contain a growing Taliban insurgency. But keeping Kayani in a powerful role would entrench the army once
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the Oct 14-21 mission would “review the implementation of remediation activities in areas affected by the accident ... and provide advice to address associated challenges.” It did not give details and an IAEA spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. The 16-person mission of IAEA as well as other experts, a follow-up from one carried out in 2011, was sent at the request of Japan’s government, the UN agency said in a statement. In the world’s worst nuclear accident in a quarter of a century, reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima facility after an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 sent radiation spewing over large areas, forcing more than 160,0000 people to flee.l
again as the real decision maker in Pakistan, with the civilian government playing second fiddle. Military officials did not return repeated calls seeking comment. The government’s spokesman said he also could not comment until an official announcement on Monday when the current JCSC chief is due to step down. Kayani’s post had already been extended for three years in 2010 – to the discontent of some climbing the ranks below him. “The JCSC chairmanship is the most likely option for Kayani,” said a close Sharif aide. “He’s an expert on the Pakistani insurgency. He understands the war in Afghanistan.” Under Kayani’s command, the army has launched several offensives against al Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants in the tribal regions on the Afghan border. In response, militants have extended their attacks to major cities across Pakistan.l
North Korea’s top military body launched a blistering personal attack Friday on South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and vowed to push ahead with the country’s nuclear weapons programme. The harsh tone of the attack, attributed to a spokesman from the National Defence Commission (NDC), echoed the bellicose rhetoric employed by Pyongyang when military tensions soared following its nuclear test in February. Referencing Park by name, rather than using the more neutral “chief executive” moniker, the spokesman told the president that she was steering the Korean peninsula back into a period of dangerous “confrontation.” The commentary, carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency, was largely a response to a speech by Park on Tuesday urging Pyongyang to give up its nuclear ambitions.
The president had also talked up the development of a military deterrent capability that would render the North’s nuclear weapons “useless.” A day later, visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-Jin signed a new strategic plan to counter the growing threat of a North Korean nuclear or chemical weapons attack. “If Park and her group conspire with outsiders under the pretext of leading (North Korea) to ‘change’ ... and force it to dismantle nuclear weapons, it will be little short of digging their own graves,” the NDC spokesman said. “There will be no bigger fool and poorer imbecile than the one who schemes to side with a nuclear-wielding robber and urge one’s own kinsmen to lower a knife first,” he added. South Korea is protected by the US nuclear umbrella and there are currently nearly 30,000 US troops stationed in the country. l
Telangana region’s economic development has been neglected in favour of the richer and more powerful coastal region of Andhra. The booming state capital, Hyderabad, where Google has its Indian headquarters, and where Microsoft and Dell also have large offices, will remain the common capital for the two states for 10 years. Critics say the Congress party had long resisted calls for a new state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, and only took the step now to win votes in the coming elections. Another rift within the party was exposed last week over an executive order passed by the cabinet to protect politicians convicted of crimes. Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that leads the party, slammed that move and the cabinet subsequently dropped the order in an embarrassing u-turn. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the leader of a breakaway Congress party that enjoys wide support in coastal Andhra Pradesh, said he would go on a hunger strike to protest against the creation of the new state. “Is it right on anybody’s part to split the state just for the sake of votes and seats?” he said on Friday. Andhra Pradesh first came into existence after a hunger strike. Potti Sriramulu, a follower of India’s revered freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi, died in 1952 after a two-month fast for the creation of the state. l
Sri Lanka navy rescues suspected illegal migrants n AP, Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s navy rescued 70 suspected illegal migrants Friday after a fishing boat they were traveling in was found stranded in international waters off the country’s southern coast. The Sri Lankans, including children and women, were brought to the port in the southern city of Galle, navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. Authorities had still not questioned them and it was unknown where they were heading. But Australia has been the targeted destination for most would-be migrants in the past. Australia is trying to stop a surge of would-be refugees from poor or wartorn countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. It has returned more than 1,300 Sri Lankans in the past year and sent some to Papua New Guinea and Nauru to assess their claims for refuge. l
10 DHAKA TRIBUNE
Saturday, October 5, 2013
LETTER OF THE DAY
Solving the wrong problem
We in Haiti are so grateful or the commitment of Nobel Laureate Prof Mohamad Yunus in Haiti. He has been involved in so many projects there in the areas of education and vocational training, agriculture, environment and nutrition. He has trained over 950 local people in entrepreneurship and financial literacy courses. Roland Berthold
he latest initiative to fit out roads that are barred to rickshaws, with special gratings or traps, is one more example of solving the wrong problem. There is no question that traffic congestion is a serious problem in the capital city, but the problem is not too many rickshaws, it is too many cars. Many may imagine a more modern and free-flowing metropolis without rickshaws, but that is exactly what this idea is: imagination. As a practical matter, rickshaws not only All that has been provide a livelihood for hundreds accomplished is that of thousands, they also provide life has been made one of the few affordable and more difficult for efficient means of transportation rickshaw-pullers for the middle and working and their customers, classes. who between them The steps we have already number a safe taken to restrict certain roads majority of the city’s from rickshaw access have done residents precisely zero to cut congestion and to make traffic flow quicker and smoother. The problem is not that rickshaws are sneaking into roads where they are banned, thus messing up the whole system. The problem is that it was a lousy idea to begin with. All that has been accomplished is that life has been made more difficult for rickshaw-pullers and their customers, who between them number a safe majority of the city’s residents. The rickshaw trap is just another example of the kind of initiative that looks like the government is taking concrete measures but is in reality a measure that avoids taking the tough decisions and decisive actions that are needed.
Nice to know that Hefazat is supporting higher wages for our RMG workers! If they run in the next elections, no doubt they will get nearly 2 million votes, guaranteed. rutland waters
A tale of two dates September 29
Brilliant article. Touching on a subject going on for years, yet people hardly talk about it or know of it. Yes, political sharks are everywhere, waiting to benefit from those that are illiterate, but at the end of the day, it is all about money and power and who wins the race. Unfortunately, in both the short and long run, lives are being sacrificed, lives with no value to the eyes of such so-called higher causes or purposes, causes and purposes that are fake, sugar-coated, and only beneficial to the higher ranks of Olympus. Losing lives is an inevitable factor as the world is getting used to it day by day. What we need is a voice to unite all and stand up against these gods or so-called gods waiting to usurp the throne and dominate with greed and false hopes Shamim Rahman I am a student of politics and policy-making and I find this side of the global narrative is constantly overlooked. Excellent article, very well-written and on a very important topic. Thank you for opening up the discussion, I hope it continues from here. Ibtisam Ahmed Opened my eyes. Critical to have national and international discussions about this. Very important issue. S Chowdhury
Begging the question
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e would like to extend qualified support for the government’s move to prohibit begging in some areas of the capital. There is some evidence to suggest that cracking down on this kind of pretty harassment and minor misdemeanour sends a message and sets a tone, thus helping to reduce incidences of more major disturbances, and creating a safer and more livable atmosphere. People have a right to go about their business without being harassed or intimidated, and there is no question that Begging is one thing. moving towards a begging-free Exploiting and living environment is something that off the misery of any modern, progressive city those who have no should aspire to. better option is quite Nor should we see this as another an anti-poor move. The vast majority of beggars in the city are only allowed to ply their trade by mafia syndicates who cream off the lion’s share of their take and ruthlessly enforce their territorial claims, dealing harshly with freelancers and those who try to challenge their control. But in order to underscore that it is not simply turning its back on those who beg for a living, the government must at the same time crack down hard on the gangs or syndicates who control the trade. Begging is one thing. Exploiting and living off the misery of those who have no better option is quite another, and the elimination of the begging industry is long overdue. At the same time, the government needs to take steps to reach those who are so destitute that begging is their only option. To make an anti-begging initiative credible and not seem like a callous anti-poor policy, the government must step up its services specifically targeted at those who will be hit by the anti-begging initiative.
Nagorpur Palace September 28
Antoinette Hook Is that made from mosaic? Waziuddin Chowdhury Glass shards set onto (believe it or not) brick formwork, where the gaps are grouted with mortar/ lime. The precast wrought iron Corinthian columns and small steel beam sections were actually supplied by the British. A typical detail used by local “zamindars/ nobilities” in their creations – they were emulating the British. These elements still show up in surviving structures of Kolkata (West Bengal in India), Dhaka and other significant cities. I should have said ceramic glass! Bangladesh still has a fledgling ceramic industry creating dishes for export. These indeed look like they were built around the same time. The structures on the banks of Buriganga were built in the late 1800 through early 1900s, such as the Ruplal house. The mosaic work of broken ceramic shards is more typical of the houses near Shonargaon and Panam Nagar. At Ruplal House, under the debris and dust, I noticed that there were original marble tiles. Those will probably not be there the next time I get to visit it.
Thanks for sharing this. Looks like the details have survived the ravages of time better than at many other places. Raj Hameed Wow - my father’s birthplace, in Nagarpur,Tangail. I had no idea about the existence of such marvelous architecture! I was watching a cooking show, shot on the banks of the Jamuna in a place in Tangail, and the host showed around a Jamindar bari which was also eye-catching. Natasha Ahmad I hope we will be able to preserve this place. Estambul Hoque Beautiful article and photographs on Nagorpur Palace! Shireen Amin Amazing. Sabbir Bhuiya I visited that place many years back. It is a nice place!
CALVIN AND HOBBES
SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Utter gratingly (4) 4 Giver (5) 8 Incentive (6) 9 Woody plant (4) 11 Small children (5) 12 Headwear (4) 14 Through (3) 15 Looked narrowly (6) 19 Oriental seaman (6) 21 Female sheep (3) 22 Stringy glutinous formation (4) 24 Glossy fabric (5) 27 Standard (4) 29 Hostility (6) 30 Horrify (5) 31 Transmitted (4)
Hefazat chief instigated RMG unrest: minister
Haiti allocates land for Yunus Social Business projects
DOWN 1 Groove (3) 2 Spreads with oil (6) 3 Writer of verse (4) 4 Obscure (3) 5 Sheeplike (5) 6 Fish trap (3) 7 Dwell (6) 10 S American ostrich (4) 13 Mineral spring (3) 14 Liquid part of blood (6) 16 Do wrong (3) 17 Rest (6) 18 Water pitcher (4) 20 Country (5) 23 Responsibility (4) 25 Faucet (3) 26 No score (3) 28 Floor covering (3)
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS Crossword
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, October 5, 2013
Iran eyes economic revival after historic Obama call n Cyril Julien
Domestic workers, like Aduri, are also human beings, and should be treated with humanity
n Syeda Samara Mortada umanity has taken a back seat in our lives as is clear once again from Aduri’s case. Aduri, an elevenyear-old-girl was found in the dumpster in the city’s Baridhara DOHS area with marks of torture on her body, hardly able to move or talk. When her employer Nadi was arrested, she denied knowing anything about Aduri’s whereabouts as she ran away from their residence a few months back. However, on October 1, Nadi finally gave a confessional statement after which she was sent to jail.
involve looking after a child who is probably not much younger than the help him/herself. According to Research Initiative for Social Equity (RISE) Society, in an article titled A Glimpse of Child Domestic Workers in Bangladesh, around 7.4 million children are economically active of which, around 400,000 child domestic workers are aged between 6-17 years in Bangladesh. Obviously, these children receive no education, sometimes only begetting shelter and food in return for the services they provide. The study also revealed that around 80% of all domestic workers are girls who are forced to work under such cir-
Child labour will continue to remain a constant variable simply because these children have the bulky burden to contribute to their family’s well-being
This is not the first of such cases in the city; while Aduri has been saved, possibly by sheer luck, many have lost their lives due to torture and maltreatment in the hands of their employers. Several households prefer to keep children as helps because of their low demands and even lower wages. They are also good companions to children and can be used for small tasks that
cumstances because of large families, ill or elderly parents, and responsibility to contribute to their families. As such, their mental growth ceases as does their physical growth in cases where they do not even receive the required nutritional food. To say that these girls are most prone to sexual abuse would be a runin-the-mill statement and one even
more difficult to decipher because of the fact that such children remain confined within the four walls of their employer’s home, which makes it difficult to ensure any form of protection or security for them. Even though the government has formulated the National Child Labour Elimination policy 2010 (NCLEP) and National Children’s Policy (NCP) to promote and protect children’s rights, little has been achieved thus far. Child labour remains one of the most sweeping problems in the country that takes Bangladesh further away from eradicating poverty and remains one of the main reasons for lack of education amongst the masses. Is there a solution then, to this crisis? Probably not, at least not at the moment, since poverty cannot be eliminated in a day. As such, child labour will continue to remain a constant variable simply because these children have the bulky burden to contribute to their family’s well-being. But what we can ensure is some sort of skill development for such children so that they have a means of earning their living, which does not involve working in households or begging in streets, and giving up on their education altogether. Or, if we absolutely must hire children to work in our homes, then it is of utmost necessity to treat them well, to provide them with the love and care
they deserve, to feed them and clothe them, and to treat them like we do our own children. They too have the right to some form of entertainment, to walks in the park and to breathe in the fresh air; simple things that other children their age take for granted. RISE Society recognises the need for children to earn a living and contribute to their families. But they also say that “Until we can ensure enough funds to facilitate what is right, we have to manage a system which ensures safety and a scope for development for the child.” This could have happened in your home, or in your neighbour’s; let’s not pretend anymore. Here’s hoping that the educated and privileged classes will take more responsibility for their actions, and that cases like Aduri’s will become extinct. Here’s also hoping that digital Bangladesh will actually make a difference in all our lives, instead of a handful in society, and will enhance a positive Bangladesh sooner rather than later. Let’s teach ourselves and those around us to be more compassionate, and first and foremost, let’s learn to be humans. l Syeda Samara Mortada is the Associate Editor of ICE Today, a lifestyle magazine, a freelance writer, and a firm believer in all things equal.
ranians hope international sanctions that have suffocated the economy could be lifted if relations improve between Tehran and Washington after President Hassan Rouhani’s historic phone chat with Barack Obama. Iran and the United States, which have had no diplomatic relations since 1980, “should have done it earlier,” said Morteza, a taxi driver who did not want to be fully identified. “Because everyone is affected by the sanctions and the economic situation,” he said, complaining that he could not find quality spare parts for his car because of sanctions. Iran, subject to UN sanctions over its controversial nuclear programme, is also struggling with harsh measures imposed by the United States and the European Union targeting its vital oil income and access to the global banking system. Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia warned in August that the official figure of 3.5 million unemployed, or 11.2% of the workforce, could rise to 8.5 million with a wave of young people on the verge of entering the job market. While inflation has dropped slightly, it currently stands at 39%. Consumer prices have nearly doubled in a year, making common commodities such as staples rice, cooking oil, and chicken too expensive for many people, according to the official statistics organisation. Iran’s currency, the rial, has been grossly devalued since late 2011. But since Rouhani’s charm offensive targeting the international community, the rial has started to stabilise. Today, some 30,000 rials buy $1, compared with a rate of 38,000 to $1 just a few months ago. Officials have warned that detente with the world, and the eventual lifting of sanctions, would be a drawn-out process. But for Iranians, last Friday’s phone conversation between Rouhani and the American president – the first such contact since the 1979 Islamic revolution – is a real sign of hope. Mehdi Miremadi, head of the Franco-Iranian chamber of commerce, told AFP that he was optimistic but said it was vital not to forget how bad the economic situation is. Large companies facing closure “If certain sanctions are not lifted within six months, with the priority on those affecting banking transactions, half of large companies running on imported materials will close,” he said. Iranian firms have had to resort to back channels just to survive, he said, explaining that the cost of doing business has risen by 25% because of this.
A European economic observer in Tehran agrees. “The pressure is clearly on the economy. It is evident with high figures in unemployment and inflation, as well as the dramatic drop in production,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. After Rouhani’s June election, “entrepreneurs in my country were optimistic but also realistic at the same time. They wanted to see what happens,” he added. The momentum quickly began to build. “I organised a regional meeting with a couple of small businesses,” he said.
Consumer prices have nearly doubled in a year, making common commodities such as staples rice, cooking oil, and chicken too expensive for many people
He had expected 15 businesses to attend, but 50 came in the end. “There is huge expectation,” he said. And since Rouhani’s contact with Obama, “large companies are preparing to go back to Iran as soon as sanctions are lifted.” French oil giant Total announced on Tuesday that it was ready to do just that. “Today there is an embargo. This embargo is valid for everybody and we will wait for this embargo to be lifted,” its chief executive Christophe de Margerie said, adding that he hoped that this would happen “as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, the priority is the normalisation of foreign relations because, according to the European expert, “Iran on its own cannot make its economy recover.” He estimates that Rouhani has a grace period of less than a year to get the economy on the mend. If his government fails to come up with tangible results, hardliners and those opposed to rapprochement with the West “will go on the offensive again.” “For now, the Revolutionary Guards and the establishment, which have billions of dollars and economic clout, have no option but to give Rouhani free rein,” said the European observer, who remains optimistic. “If Rouhani succeeds, their businesses could flourish. Iranians are opportunists.” l This article has been syndicated from AFP.
Electoral politics in Bangladesh: Focusing on the wrong things n Mijanur Rahman
mid the ongoing tussle of our politicians over the nature of the next polls-time government, a serious political issue which is frequently being reported and commented on in the print and electronic media, very few of us can ponder on the fact that once a consensus is made on this transitional government, what could be the major issues for our politicians to argue about, refute and convince the voters to win the much coveted next national election.
A fair portion of the blame must also fall on the shoulders of the voting people who allowed the politicians to manipulate their voting sensibilities into no substantial gains
A close analysis of the recent electoral politics in Bangladesh shows that some extraneous elements have dominated the electoral politics of Bangladesh. In our nation, less relevant issues frequently overshadow the burning social issues we are faced with on a day-to-day basis. The recently concluded five city
corporation elections are a prime example of this. There were reports that BNP and Hefazat men successfully used religion as a major campaign tool in Gazipur in the same way as they did against the ruling Awami Leaguebacked mayoral candidates ahead of the Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet city corporation elections on June 15 this year. This foregrounds a vital but disturbing issue in our national electoral politics. However, this tendency to depend on extraneous elements to gain public support in the election is not new. One can remember what Awami League and the sector commanders’ forum did ahead of the 2008 general election to garner popular support against BNP and Jamaat men whom they called “anti liberation forces.” It clicked then and a landslide victory for Awami League in that election only intensified that propaganda. But a number of scandals and corruption charges along with many other factors, especially the dealings with Jamaat-Shibir and Hefazat movements, have started overshadowing the previously dominant discourse of anti liberation forces, creating a completely new scenario in Bangladesh electoral politics. The table has been turned by the BNPbacked 18 party alliance through the agency of an alternative discourse, that of religion, this time. Question is, whether people belonging to the 18-party-alliance are all “anti liberation forces” or whether the 14-party-alliance adherents are
all “atheists and infidels?” This sort of question was repeatedly asked and many of us allied with one option or the other, and what resulted is a nightmarish experience on the street. While Gonojagoron Moncho appealed to our sense of patriotism, Hefazat drew our attention to the religious status we have. But do these two issues really matter when it comes to the questions of the physical development of our nation? This is a very sensitive question to ask as the majority of Bangladeshis are born and brought up with one religious status or the other. They are also taught to cultivate patriotism and to show respect to the liberation war heroes and victims. While these two questions are significant in their own terms, the attempt at persuading us to choose one of the two does not really make sense. I know the case of a freedom fighter who fought bravely in 1971 with a small Quran in his pocket all the time. But we also know some persons who opposed the division of Pakistan for the same religious cause. But do all these issues of religious and liberation war spirits actually play any role in bringing about positive social and infrastructural changes in our homeland? The answer, for me, is an emphatic no. When it comes to the physical hard realities of life, the usually crucial questions of religion and liberation war do not bring us any tangible results. But the tendency in electoral politics of Bangladesh in recent years
disregarded the issue and instead concentrated on these extraneous elements to gain popular mandate. While more innovative techniques and strategies for changing Bangladesh for the better could have been the mechanism for public support, all political parties’ priorities have been wrongly placed on some otherwise significant issues of religion and the liberation war. What this situation shows is a kind of bankruptcy in our national politics, a symptom one cannot escape noticing even in the nation’s highest law-making compound, the national parliament, a place usually supposed to house dialogues and debates on the major policy issues of the country’s present and future. Unfortunately though, what could have been a platform for healthy debates on the current issues between the government and the opposition has frequently turned into a living pandemonium with lawmakers from both the camps busy badmouthing and assassinating characters of the nation’s veteran politicians. In the hectic debate on the nation’s past, we have forgotten the present and in forgetting the present, we have become oblivious of our future as well. That’s why, our politicians can manipulate the people’s voting power by drawing their attention to not so significant issues, with the main questions of national development constantly unasked. In the recently held five city corporation elections, religion had
its sway, and with national election just a few months ahead, one cannot ignore the same for the entire country. Politics has taken a predictable path in the wrong direction as competing discourses are drawing our attention, keeping the more substantive issues untouched. The wrong questions have been asked, and people have died for it. Crucial issues have not been asked and people are dying even now, in frequent road accidents, fires and building collapses. A political bankruptcy has descended on us. The politicians are to be blamed for this. But a fair portion of the blame must also fall on the shoulders of the voting people who allowed the politicians to manipulate their voting sensibilities into no substantial gains. The remedy must also come from them as they are the stakeholders and main actors. It is high time the people in general forced the politicians to ask the right questions, especially before the next general election. For this, the civil society, the conscious citizens, and the media people all have to shoulder the responsibilities of promoting appropriate discourses to make the right areas the electoral issues, to make the aspiring political parties committed to addressing more pressing problems of the nation. Only then can we hope of radically changing the face of our country. l The writer is Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Department of English, Northern University Bangladesh.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Jonakir Alo seeks clearance from censor board
n Punny Kabir Director-artist Khalid Mahmud Mithu is finally done with the shooting of his upcoming big budget movie Jonakir Alo. After completing fifteen months of shooting and post-production, the movie has been submitted to the censor board, informed the director to Dhaka Tribune. Mithu says, “I target December to release the film, if everything goes smooth.” After sending huge ripples with his debut feature film “GohineShabdo,” the director is set to display some bold issues in Jonakir Alo. The National Film Award-winning director is going to portray his criticism on social obstinacy through the eyes of an urban woman. With the backdrop of a “hero-dominated” film industry the progressive director has again come up with a female character as the lead role of his film. The talented director, who is also an acclaimed artist, says to Dhaka Tribune: “The film revolves around Kabita, who dreams of working for children’s welfare, and is torn between adopting a child and her responsibility
Chhayanaut celebrated the advent of autumn with a colourful programme yesterday morning on the premises of Bakultala, Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University. With an array of solo and group songs narrating the exquisiteness of the unique season, the programme also included a few dazzling dance recitals. The audience was not as big as expected because of drizzle in the morning MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
as a daughter-in-law of a conservative family.” Most interestingly, the protagonist meets the legendary artist SM Sultan and becomes inspired with his philosophy, said Mithu. Gazi Rakayet has enacted the role of SM Sultan and Bidya Sinha Saha Mim is the lead actress of the movie. “The story develops as a love triangle and the viewers will experience a couple of melodious songs shot in some fascinating spots of St Martin’s Island and Rangamati,” says Mithu. Imon and Kalyan play the two lovers of the heroine. About her role in the film, celebrated actress Mim shares with Dhaka Tribune: “I always like to work in off-track productions. In this film I have enacted such a character which I have never done before. At a point in the movie, the heroine becomes sick and proves to be unable of being a mother. The struggle begins when she decides to adopt a child and her husband and in-laws oppose her decision.” Mim said that she had to work really hard to carry out such a bold character. “The hardest part was portraying the contrast between the emotion and the boldness of a barren woman,” expresses Mim. l
Britney Spears’ latest music video banned in UK
Dancers’ Guild of India mesmerises Dhaka audience
n Entertainment Desk
n Afrose Jahan Chaity
The music video for Britney Spears’ “Work Bitch” is apparently too much for audiences in the UK. The Ben Mor-directed clip, which sees the former Disney star dancing seductively and posing in several provocative outfits as she busts out a whip, has now been banned before 10 PM on all UK TV channels, including MTV. “While the video has gone down a storm online, it’s a bit too much to play on TV,” a source told British media Daily Mirror. He added: “Music stations like The Box and MTV have their hands tied.” Spears has reportedly been asked to release an edited version that is more safe for all audiences. However, there’s still no word on whether Spears will drop one. Spears herself thinks that the final
cut of her video is appropriate enough for all viewers. During a radio interview with The TJ Show on Thursday, October 3, the mother-of-two revealed that the video’s initial version was raunchier. “Oh my god, we showed way more skin and did way more stuff for the video then what is actually there,” Spears said of the initial version. “Like, I cut out half the video because I am a mother and because, you know, I have children, and it’s just hard to play sexy mom while you’re being a pop star as well. I just have to be true to myself and feel it out when I do stuff.” l
For two evenings in a row, Dancers’ Guild staged Rabindranath’s dance-drama “Chitrangada” at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. They simply wowed the Dhaka audience. The show was staged as part of a three-day dance workshop with the participation of the prominent group from India and Bangladesh Dance Artiste’s Association (BDAA). With the troupe’s unique improvisation, the much-acclaimed dance drama was given an exclusive look. Moreover, scroll paintings by the talented artists of Medinipur on the background added more dazzle to the performance. Theatrical movements, martial arts – especially Kalaripayattu, Chhau and Thangta were moulded into the choreography with their “Navanritya” expression, pioneered by Manjusri Chaki-Sircar. Dancer’s Guild’s performance was a grand illustration and a clear distinction between theatre and dance-drama.
Dhamrai Metal Craft Brass and bronze sculpture exhibition EMK Centre, Dhanmondi 27 I am Gautam Chakraborty Time: 1:00am – 7:30pm Galleri Kaya, Sector 04, Uttara Invitation to the Dance Carel Richter Time: 12 - 8pm Bengal Art Lounge Gulshan Unity of Souls Time: 10am – 8pm Athena Gallery of Fine Arts AJ Heights, Cha-72/1/D Progati Shoroni
Theatre Roktakto Prantor A production of Bangladesh
Kana Manush Bho Bho Street theatre production By Pathanatoker Dal Time: 6pm Venue: Premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
Film Anwar Hossain Film Festival Department of Theatre and Film Time: 7pm Studio Theatre Hall Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Diana Red 2 R.I.P.D (3D) Nishwartha Bhalobasa Udhao Star Cineplex Bashundhara City Panthapath
solo dance numbers in different genres. But, it was Sadhana Hazra as Kurupa who won the heart of the audience with her technical vividness, physical movements and facial expressions. She was bold, to say the least. On the other hand, Chitrangada’s beautiful avatar created by another dancer of Dancer’s Guild was elegant. In this story of Mahabharata, Chitrangada meets and falls in love with Arjun, who refuses her because she is not beautiful. Rejected and insulted, the princess seeks Madan’s (God) help to transform her into a beautiful woman to draw the attention of her beloved. Arjun naturally falls for her. But as he faces dire times, he quickly realises his mistake in judging someone for her looks and starts avoiding Shurupa. The production concludes with a duet dance recital of Arjun and Kurupa with a song that proclaims strongly: “I am Chitrangada! The princess, no ordinary woman, I have an identity of my own and will move on equal terms with a man.” l
TODAY IN DHAKA Shilpakala Academy Time: 7pm Experimental Theatre Hall Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
The production is scripted and choreographed by Aishika Chakraborty, and directed by Jonaki Sarkar with assistance from Sadhana Hazra. The light design by Sasanko Mondal created a perfect illusion on stage. Chitrangada is the representation of one woman torn apart by her two conflicting identities (Kurupa and Surupa). But in this version, Chitrangada is not two but three women! This is the high point of the production. The first signifies the self, the unchanging identity of Chitrangada, who narrates her own journey on stage. The character has been enacted by Jonaki Sarkar. The other two are her outer selves enacted into two split identities, Kurupa and Surupa, sharing and overlapping the stage with the first one. The opening dance recital with “Bol” of tabla was highly impressive and had the audience’s full concentration. The next presentation had fewer songs and more dialogues with movements that went round the narrative of Chitrangada’s story and wonderful
COMEDY 2:30pm Star World
Two And A Half Men
9:30pm Comedy Central Saturday Night Live
DRAMA 8:30pm Star Plus Arjun
9:00pm Zee Tv Pavitra Rishta
MISC 3:00pm Travel XP Strictly Street
7:30pm Fox Traveller Sound Trek
Artistes of Dancers’ Guild, Kolkata perform at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
Did you know? Manchester City have dropped the most points from winning positions this season in the English Premier League
Saturday, October 5, 2013
14 Spurs, Swansea, Wigan in triple Euro joy
14 Mata returns for Costa-less Spain
15 Afghanistan reach World Cup for first time
Mahmudullah confident n Mazhar Uddin
The water-logged ground of the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong that caused the first day’s play of thematch between BCB Xl and New Zealand to be abandoned yesterday
Rain ruins first day for Kiwis n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Fulton wary but confident n Mazhar Uddin
was unfit for play, leading to the referee’s decision. AZM Nasir Uddin, member of the ad-hoc committee of the BCB, said that spectators who bought tickets for the day would be able to enjoy the match today with the same ticket. “If the weather is favourable, the match will be played Saturday,” he said. The Tiger team and New Zealand are currently in the port city for the first Test, which will be held at the Zahur Ahmad Divisional Cricket Stadium from October 9 to October 13. The two teams practiced at the indoor facility of the Test venues yesterday – the Bangladesh team in the morning and the Kiwi’s in the afternoon. l
New Zealand all-rounder Peter Fulton is not worried about the 0-4 defeat the Kiwis sustained the last time they were in Bangladesh, acknowledged that the home side was a formidable unit in home conditions but remained confident that the Kiwi’s – who have been solid in the last six months – could obtain good results in the upcoming series between the two sides. “Bangladesh is a strong team here. We have competed against some good teams in the last six months, particularly England. That gives us confidence,” said Fulton. The 34 year old batsman was disappointed that the first day of a three-day practice match had been washed out
DPL pushed back by rain
Segun Bagicha, St Gregory to meet for rugby title
The New Zealand team’s practice match was supposed to put an end to Chittagong city’s MA Aziz Stadium’s eight years of “international cricket infertility” yesterday, but that will have to wait at least one more day after the first day of the three day game between New Zealand and a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Eleven was abandoned due to rain yesterday. The match was scheduled to start at 9:30am and with rain continuing to pour down, the match referee announced the day’s play abandoned at about noon. BCB sources said that the pitch curator declared that the ground
n Minhaz Uddin Khan The Dhaka Premier League (DPL) matches yesterday were washed out by rain. The games between Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi and Kalabagan Cricket Academy and Cricket Coaching School and Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Sangstha saw some action, while the match between Brothers Union and Kalabagan Krira Chakra did not see a single ball bowled. All three games will resume from the point they were stopped today.
Kalabagan CA v Sk. Jamal DC
Middle order batsman Gulbadin Naib’s unbeaten 99 was the backbone of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi’s to set 205 total at the BKSP-3 ground, after Kalabagan won the toss and elected to field first. With rain shortening the game to 34
overs a side, Jamal lost openers Jahurul Islam for 6 and Junayed Siddique for a duck before Dilshan Munaweera (30) and skipper Tushar Imran (39) steadied the ship. It was Afghan Naib though that made the score formidable with a stunning 68-ball innings that included six fours and eight sixes. For Kalabagan, seamer Dewan Sabbir bagged three wickets while Maksudul Hasan and Sharif Ullah claimed two each.
Cricket Coaching Sc v Khelaghar SKS
Cricket Coaching were sent in to bat and finished the rain curtailed day on 99-5 after 24 overs at Bogra’s Shaheed Chandu Stadium. The Khelaghar bowlers put in a disciplined performance and none of the batsman were able to play comfortably CCS lost wickets regularly. l
Grandmaster Abdulla Al-Rakib of Duronto Rajshahi retained at the top of the Berger Paints 39th National ‘A’ Chess Championship points table despite being held to a draw by reigning champion GM Niaz Murshed of Dhaka Mohammedan at the BOA media centre yesterday. With just one round left, Rakib has 10 points after 12 rounds and will take on Fide Master Kh. Aminul Islam – who is one six points - today in the last round. Yesterday, Rakib seemed con-
tent with a draw and after using a Reti Opening with the white pieces, offered Niaz a draw on the 6th move – which was accepted. Meanwhile, Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman of Dhaka Mohammedan defeated International Master Abu Sufian Shakil of Access Group to remain in second position with 9.5 points. Zia played a French Defence with the black pieces and went on to win in 40 moves. Third placed IM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar of Bangladesh Ansar drew with FM Debaraj Chatterjee of
as he had looked forward to spending some time in the middle. “It is a bit disappointing because of the rain, and we had the whole day’s play called off. Hopefully it will clear out and we will have a good hit before the first Test.
We are assuming (the pitches) will be low and slow and it will spin. We have talked about that, we have an idea of what to expect. If it is different from that, we will be prepared “We want to bat for one day, so that all our batters get a hit. We would also want a day in the field, to get our bowlers used to the heat and different conditions as well,” he said. Fulton was well aware of the differ-
ent conditions the Kiwi’s would be facing and explained the measures they had taken to adjust to them. “We have tried to replicate as much of the conditions as we can, but it is quite hard to do it in the New Zealand weather. It is not quite the same. We have had a good week in Colombo, where the preparations went pretty well. “We are assuming (the pitches) will be low and slow and it will spin. We have talked about that, we have an idea of what to expect. But we will go in with an open mind. If it is different from that, we will be prepared,” he said. The current New Zealand side is relatively inexperienced, particularly in subcontinent conditions, but Fulton did not see it as a problem and looked
to the top order to lead the way. ”I feel there’s responsibility for all the top six batters. If we get big scores, which is our responsibility, it will help the bowlers. I don’t think it will be too much of a factor. Most of our guys have played in the subcontinent before, and quite a few of them have been in Bangladesh too,” he said. Fulton was wary of the threat posed by left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan. “We have to face as much left-arm spin in the nets as possible. We know he’s a good bowler, but we just have to play more bowling of left-arm spin or offspin in the nets.” Peter Fulton has played 15 Test matches in which he has scored two centuries and two fifties. l
n Shishir Hoque St Gregory High School and Segun Bagicha High School will lock horns for the title of the Cooline AC School Rugby Championship 2013 at the Paltan ground today. Earlier, St Gregory, Segun Bagicha and Shaheed Nobi High School reached the super league after topping their respective groups after winning their matches on the second day of the tournament. In the super league, St Gregory outplayed Shaheed Nobi School 22-5 and Segun Bagicha High School thrashed the same opponents 15-0. The final take place today at the same venue at 4pm. l
Rakib leads going into final round n Shishir Hoque
Bangladesh vice-captain Mahmudullah hoped the national team could repeat a 4-0 series win over New Zealand and said that the last series win over the Kiwi would give the side confidence at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday. The all-rounder added that he is not worried about his performance and ready to give his all at the site of the three day practice match between BCB XI and New Zealand, the first day of which was called off due to rain. “We are positive about the result but we have to play well. Last time we have played exceptionally well against them and that will boost our confidence. If we can achieve anything like 4-0, it will be great,” he said. Mahmudullah was however, disappointed that the day’s play was washed out. “We have not played any longer version cricket for a long time. It was a good opportunity for us but unfortunately the first day was called off for rain, so we have nothing to do but we have practiced among us.” Though he has not been out of form, the Mahmudullah was confident that he would be able to put his best foot forward in the series. “I don’t think I am in a bad form. My batting has not clicked in the last few Test matches,
but I was batting well. If the practice match had taken place, it would have been great for me to get some match practice,” he said, adding that he would prefer to bat at the five or six position but was ready to play wherever the team needed him. The 27 year old thought that one of Bangladesh’s biggest advantages was home wickets which would help the spinners and noted that the pace attack was also in good form. “The wicket will favor the spinners and Shakib is back with Razzaq who is bowling well. Along with Sohag Gazi, he will be the main strength for us. All the pacers are in good form and Robiul had a good series last time. The batsman are also performing well and we are confident that if we give our best, we’ll do well.” Mahmudullah was well aware of the ICC Test ranking, which had Bangladesh placed 9th, below Zimbabwe. “We are not thinking about the rankings but the Test format is something we would like to improve. We have played well in the last few Test matches but the results have not gone in our favour. Hopefully, this time will be different. “They are an inexperienced side and we have discussed that. If we play to our potential, I think we can beat them,” said the vice-captain. l
Access Group in a Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence. In other matches, FM Mohammad Javed drew with GM Enamul Hossain Razib of Duronto Rajshahi, FM Sk. Nasir Ahmed of Titas Club beat Shafiq Ahmed of Golden Chess Club, FM Kh. Aminul Islam of Bangladesh Ansar beat Md. Jamal Uddin of Titas Club. In the final round today, Niaz will take on Shakil, Parag plays Jamal, Razib faces Chapal, Debaraj squares off with Javed, Shafiq clashes with Sagar and Zia battles Nasir. l
Action from the match between Segun Bagicha High School and Shaheed Nobi High School in the Cooline AC School Rugby Championship 2013 at the Paltan ground yesterday MUMIT M
Siddikur in fourth place
Rooney returns for final qualifiers n AFP, London n Fazley Rabbi Moon Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge were on Thursday recalled by England manager Roy Hodgson for the decisive World Cup qualifiers at home to Montenegro and Poland later this month. Both players missed England’s last two games through injury. Rooney has been recalled despite sitting out Manchester United’s 1-1 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday with a shin injury, but Hodgson expressed confidence about his fitness.l
Bangladesh golfer Siddikur Rahman posted a one-under-par 71 to make his twoday total to 143 after the second day of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters yesterday. Starting the second day on 7th, Siddikur made four birdies along with three bogeys to share the 4th spot with Korean Baek Seuk-hyun after the second round at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club. Siddikur started impressively with birdies on the 5th, 6th and 7th holes during his bogey-less opening half. Three bogeys at the start of second half pushed
him back in the scorecard before he ended the day with a another birdie. Siddikur started the season in good form but lost his way in recent months. “The first half of the season was not too bad for me but it hasn’t been going well for me since the start of the second half. The same thing happened to me last year. I’m not disappointed but I just want to find out what went wrong and then work on it. There are still a lot of tournaments to go. I hope to concentrate on my own game. I’ll be happy if I can regain my good form,” Siddikur told the Asian Tour. l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Match Results Kuban (RUS)
1-1 Standard Liege (BEL)
Rubin Kazan (RUS)
Alcacer 73, Feghouli 81
Quixada 12, Misidjan 34, Dyakov 61
Pape Pate Diouf 89 Claesson 23
Depay 13, Jozefzoon 88 Alan 6, 38
Mujangi Bia 62
Duplus 60-og, Eremenko 73, Ryazantsev 81, Natcho 89 Powell 22, 90+1, Watson 34 Seleznyov 57-pen
Rui Miguel 49
Burgstaller 53, Trimmel 90+4 Gorius 55, Vossen 63 Sural 15, Ra. Kovac 62 Perotti 63-pen, Bacca 90+1 Benko 10
Erdogan 12, Mierzejewski 22, Paulo Henrique 35
Finonchenko 40, Tarasov 45 Gouweleeuw 81
Gonzalo 53-pen, Ambrosini 73 Momcilovic 5
Alexandrou 28-o.g., Lakic 59, Jung 66
Tel Aviv (ISR)
YItzhaki 71, Micha 80
Yarmolenko 30, Dibon 34-o.g.
Martínez 90+3 Luís Leal 45
Maazou 39 Sangoy 56
Onazi 29, Floccari 84, 85
Defoe 34, Chadli 39 Ricardinho 87 Ezra 54, Turgeman 79
Tottenham's forward Jermain Defoe (L) scores as Anzi's forward Serder Serderov tries to stop him during their Uefa Europa League Group K match in Ramenskoye, Moscow on Thursday
Spurs, Swansea, Wigan in triple Euro joy n Reuters, London Tottenham Hotspur exposed the weaknesses in Anzhi Makhachkala’s star-shorn squad, winning 2-0 in Moscow to maintain their perfect start in the second round of Europa League group-stage matches on Thursday. Jermain Defoe and Nacer Chadli scored first-half goals for the visitors who cruised through the Group K clash against the Russian side whose once-
impressive lineup has been depleted by a recent clearout. Sergio Floccari inspired a stunning late fightback for Lazio to draw 3-3 against Trabzonspor as Eintracht Frankfurt, Ruban Kazan, Sevilla and Fiorentina joined Racing Genk, Swansea City, Ludogorets and Salzburg in getting two wins from two games in their respective groups. Valencia shrugged off the scars of their opening defeat by Swansea to secure three vital points in Russia
Vidic tells United to get back to basics n AFP, London Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has told his teammates to get back to basics as they bid to ease the pressure on David Moyes at Sunderland today. Under-fire boss Moyes has endured a bumpy beginning to his first season at Old Trafford, with United slumping to 12th in the Premier League table after their worst start since 1989. Defeats at bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the league had alarm bells ringing among United fans concerned Moyes won’t be able to emulate Alex Ferguson’s glorious reign, and last weekend’s 2-1 home loss against West Bromwich Albion sparked a rare chorus of disapproval from the Old Trafford crowd. United’s 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday was a creditable result in the circumstances. But Serbian defender Vidic acknowledges United have been well below their best so far, and he believes his defence must provide a solid foundation to allow Moyes’ men to get back on track against
Sunderland, who sit bottom of the table without a manager after Paolo Di Canio’s sacking and still waiting for their first win of the season. “We have to accept it has not been a great start,” Vidic said. “We have not been getting the performances we would have liked and we also have to be realistic enough to accept we have made some mistakes.
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“This team has a lot of potential and we are working really well. “Sometimes the results don’t come. Sometimes the performances don’t come. But I am really positive. “The most important thing is to defend right. If we defend well, I think we have a really good chance to win trophies.” Across Manchester, City manager Manuel Pellegrini is also sorely in need of a victory after seeing his side crushed
Wenger warns Wilshere over smoking n AFP, London Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he “completely disagrees” with Jack Wilshere’s smoking and will speak to the England midfielder in a bid to get him to stop. Wilshere was photographed smoking a cigarette outside a London nightclub in the early hours of Thursday morning as players relaxed following their Champions League victory at home to Italian side Napoli on Tuesday. Wenger said he intended to make his feelings known to the 21-year-old Wilshere before that match. “I don’t know really what happened, so I will need to have a chat with him about that,” Wenger said at a news conference on Friday. “There are two things -- first of all when you are a football player you are an example and as well you don’t do what damages your health.
“The fact is that you can damage your health at home, you can smoke at home and you can drink at home, and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially you also damage your reputation as an example.” Many leading sportsmen have smoked, with Wenger’s fellow Frenchman Michel Platini, one of the best footballers of his generation and now the president of Uefa, and rugby great Serge Blanco two examples. Wenger, who has seen Wilshere struggle with injuries including an ankle problem, is in no doubt of how much the players means to both club and country. “He is a very important player here, you know. All my plans for the future at the club have always been built with Jack and around Jack. We had some setbacks with him – a lot – but he is a very important player in my squad.”l
by Bayern Munich in midweek just days after a humbling loss at Aston Villa. Like Moyes, former Malaga manager Pellegrini has found it hard going since taking over in the close-season and, ahead of Saturday’s clash against Everton, City defender Micah Richards admitted his side have to mount an immediate response. City and United have little margin for error as they are already five and eight points respectively behind leaders Arsenal, who head to West Brom on Sunday with confidence sky-high after a 2-0 win over Napoli in the Champions League. Arsene Wenger’s side have won five successive league matches to open up a two-point lead at the top and Tuesday’s dazzling display against the Italians, which included a first Arsenal goal for club record £42.5 million signing Mesut Ozil, has only increased the feel-good factor. Former Real Madrid midfielder Ozil has been the key to Arsenal’s renaissance and Gunners defender Per Mertesacker says he has been helping his fellow German get used to life in London in an attempt to aid his transition. Second placed Liverpool will expect to keep the pressure on Arsenal when they host struggling Crystal Palace.l
A second defeat for Valencia could have left them facing the possibility of a shock early exit but Paco Alcacer came off the bench to open the scoring and Sofiane Feghouli added a second late in the second half with a precise free kick. The darker side of soccer showed its face in Sofia as 45 fans of Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb were detained for acts of violence before their team’s 3-0 Europa League defeat by Bulgarian champions Ludogorets. l
with a 2-0 win at Kuban Krasnodar and Olympique Lyon were held to a 1-1 home draw by Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes. PSV Eindhoven, who also suffered a surprise loss in their first match, recovered with a 2-0 win over Ukrainian side Chernomorets Odessa and stoppagetime goals rescued draws for PAOK Salonika and Rapid Vienna. The first goal arrived on 34 minutes for Tottenham, thanks to sharp movement and a powerful finish from Defoe
who found a yard of space inside the area and fired home a Lewis Holtby pass from 12 metres for his third goal in two group games. He is now just one short of Martin Chivers’s Tottenham European scoring record of 22 goals. Lazio striker Floccari made an emphatic impact in their Group J match in Trabzonspor, coming off the bench in the second half with his side trailing 3-1 and scoring two goals in as many minutes late in the game to grab a point for the Italians.
Hollywood treatment for Pele n AFP, Rio De Janeiro
Barca, Atletico look to extend magnificent seven
The story of how Pele conquered the footballing world aged just 17 is coming to Hollywood with filming under way in Rio de Janeiro, Seine Pictures said Thursday. The film, entitled simply, “Pele”, “tells the wonderful story of the rise to glory of the legendary player,” said the US company, which is producing the work with Imagine Entertainment. Pele, 72, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento and nicknamed O Rei (the king), is widely considered the greatest player of all time having helped Brazil to their first World Cup title in 1958 and then having triumphed again with an all-star ensemble in 1970. Brazilian singer “Seu Jorge” (Jorge Mario da Silva), Mexican actor Diego Boneta and Irish screen idol Colm Meaney are in the cast for a film written and directed by brothers Michael and Jeff Zimbalist. Brazilians Kevin de Paula and Leonardo Lima Carvalho play the young Pele, respectively between the ages of 13 and 17 and aged 10. Meaney will play George Raynor, who coached Sweden in the 1958 final when Pele announced his arrival as a global star.l
n AFP, Madrid Barcelona and Atletico Madrid look to extend their club record starts to the season when they host Valladolid and Celta Vigo respectively this weekend. Both sides have won all seven of their league matches to date and could set a new Spanish record should they make it eight out of eight. The Catalans have the chance to open up a three-point gap at the top of the table as they play first on Saturday night. Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s men continued their fine start to life under the Argentine by also making it two wins from two in the Champions League in midweek with a hard-fought 1-0 success over 10-man Celtic. Young defender Marc Bartra particularly impressed in Glasgow as he continues to deputise for the injured Javier Mascherano and he is thankful for the confidence Martino has showed in him. Real Madrid are also in action on Saturday as they travel to Levante needing to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0
defeat to Atletico which left them five points off the leaders. Gareth Bale is once again unavailable due to a thigh strain, but Argentine winger Angel di Maria showed he is more than a capable replacement for the Welshman with two goals and a stunning assist in Real’s 4-0 win over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday. Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s defensive
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options have also been swelled by the return of Raphael Varane and Marcelo from injury, but Sergio Ramos will certainly start after being rested in midweek. Atletico also continued their 100 percent start in the Champions League thanks to a come from behind 2-1 win away to Porto on Tuesday that owed much to Diego Simeone’s men’s expertise from set-pieces.l
Inter to test Roma as Napoli wait in wings
Leverkusen out to down high-flying Bayern
Mata returns for Costa-less Spain
n AFP, Milan
n AFP, Berlin
Roma’s newly-acquired Serie A title credentials face their first serious test when Rudi Garcia’s team visit in-form Inter Milan on Saturday. When former Lille coach Garcia took over Roma at the start of the season the initial aim was to start strongly and
Bayern Munich earned the plaudits with their impressive Champions League mid-week win at Manchester City, but Bayer Leverkusen are out to end their unbeaten Bundesliga run on Saturday. Bayern travel to Leverkusen top of Group D in the Champions League and second in the German league on goal difference with leaders Borussia Dortmund, but level on 19 points after seven matches. Leverkusen are just a point behind in third and eager to claim the scalp of Pep Guardiola’s Bayern, who are on a 32-match unbeaten league run. “I don’t think Bayern are unbeatable. On a good day we can do it,” said Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling,
Spain manager Vicente del Bosque reiterated his intention to call up Brazilianborn striker Diego Costa as he named a 23-man squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia later this month. A statement from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said on Thursday that the Atletico Madrid man couldn’t be called upon just now as there was still some paperwork pending to switch his allegiance from Brazil to Spain. Costa has played twice for Brazil, but just in friendly matches, meaning he is able to play for the world champions, for whom he qualifies on residency grounds. And the 24-year-old has flourished this season with eight goals in seven league games making him La Liga’s joint top goalscorer alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.l
Fixtures Chievo v Atalanta Inter v Roma erase the memory of a seventh place finish last season. However, the French coach and Roma have gone one better, grabbing the league’s attention after winning all of their first six games to top the table with a two-point lead over Napoli and champions Juventus.l
the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season. Bayer were the last team to beat Bayern in the Bundesliga, on October 28 last year, when they stunned Munich with a 2-1 home win. It was Bayern’s only league defeat
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last season. Bayern are closing in on the Bundesliga’s record of 36 matches unbeaten – set by Hamburg in 1983 – and Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno said respect, not fear, must be the order of the day.l
n AFP, Madrid
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Afghan fans in cricket heaven as World Cup dream comes true
Quick Bytes Squirrel, high fives give Tiger more trouble than foes Top-ranked Tiger Woods had a tougher time with a squirrel and a handslap routine swiped from a 1990s television show than anything Presidents Cup rivals offered in Thursday’s four-ball matches. US PGA Player of the Year Woods, a 14-time major champion, and Matt Kuchar, this year’s WGC Match Play winner, routed Argentina’s Angel Cabrera and Australian Marc Leishman 5 and 4 on day one at the biennial team golf showdown at Muirfield Village. The day’s most comical moment came at the expense of Woods when he was introduced by his girlfriend, US ski star Lindsey Vonn, to “Sammy”, a squirrel who met US assistant captain Davis Love at the second hole and rode around the course with him on a cart as a lucky charm. “I had to keep it as long as we were winning holes,” Love said. After Woods was done and watching his teammates on the 18th green, Vonn playfully swiped the squirrel from Love and placed him on Woods’ right shoulder. – AFP
n AFP, Kabul
Fans who chant abuse face ban - West Ham West Ham have warned their supporters that anyone found “acting inappropriately” at this weekend’s London derby away to Tottenham Hotspur risk a ban. Fridays statement by the Hammers comes after police warned fans of both clubs that anyone found chanting “Yid” at White Hart Lane on Sunday could be arrested. “A London derby is always a passionate affair and, as ever, we know the players will be backed by a loud and proud travelling support,” West Ham said. “However, the club seeks to remind all fans attending the match at White Hart Lane that they will be acting as ambassadors for West Ham United and their behaviour should reflect the values and standards of our club.” For years, sections of Tottenham’s support have described themselves as ‘Yids’, in a bid to reclaim the pejorative term from antiSemitic opposition fans who have used it to make slurs about north London club Spurs’ longstanding links to the Jewish community. – AFP
Lee wins Japan Open despite coach trouble Malaysia’s world badminton number one Lee Chong Wei overcame the shock resignation of his coach to outlast Kenichi Tago of Japan 23-21, 21-17, in the Japan Open final Sunday. Rashid Sidek, who was not in Tokyo, resigned on Thursday as Malaysia’s singles coach. Sidek reportedly accused the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) over their treatment of national coaches following a recent management shake-up. “As a matter of course, this news had some impact on my performance mentally. It left me somewhat depressed,” Lee said through an interpreter after taking 55 minutes to tame Tago at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Lee had been forced to survive three game points in the first stanza. – AFP
Australians fight for Ashes chance on India tour
Australia head to India on Saturday for a one-day series against the world champions with selectors making clear players have the chance to force themselves into the frame for Ashes selection. The 14-man squad contains just three players who featured in the fifth Test against England at the Oval in August – all-rounders Shane Watson and James Faulkner and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Others are either injured or will be playing Sheffield Shield cricket, which more closely resembles Test cricket, in preparation for the return Ashes series that starts in Brisbane on November 21. With Michael Clarke ruled out of the India tour with a long-standing back problem, George Bailey is in charge and he said it was an opportunity to push for Ashes selection. – AFP
Day’s Watch ESPN Barclays Premier League LIVE 5:35pm Manchester City v Everton 7:50pm Liverpool v Crystal Palace 10:20pm Sunderland v Man United 1:55am La Liga LIVE FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid Star Sports 12:40am Italian Serie A 2013/14 LIVE Inter Milan v AS Roma
Afghanistan players and officials celebrate after qualifying for their first 50-over World Cup in Sharjah yesterday
Afghanistan reach World Cup for first time n AFP, Sharjah Afghanistan reached the World Cup for the first time yesterday, completing a remarkable journey from refugee camp cricket to rubbing shoulders with the sport’s superpowers. The team who were playing in the fifth-tier just five years ago, and are forced by the precarious security situation in their country to stage home matches in the Gulf, swept past Kenya by seven wickets to secure an historic spot in the 2015 showpiece. After dismissing Kenya for just 93 in the 44th over at the Sharjah Cricket Ground, Afghanistan reached their tar-
get in the 21st over when captain Mohammad Nabi hit Shem Ngoche for a boundary through midwicket.
Brief Score Kenya - 93 all out in 43.3 overs (Morris Ouma 39; Hamza Hotak 3-19) Afghanistan - 96 for 3 in 20.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 46 not out)
Result Afghanistan won by seven wickets. They had to endure a brief moment of worry before romping to victory when they were reduced to 34 for 3. But Nabi, who finished on 46 not
out, and Hashmatullah Shaidi, put on 62 for the fourth wicket to bring their side home with 175 balls to spare. Nabi smashed two huge sixes and three fours to assure his team of second place in the World Cricket League behind runaway winners Ireland who have also qualified for the World Cup. Afghanistan will play in Pool A at the World Cup in 2015 along with cohosts Australia and New Zealand as well as Bangladesh, England, Sri Lanka and another qualifier. Netherlands, UAE, Scotland, Kenya, Namibia, Canada, Uganda, Hong Kong, Nepal and Papua New Guinea will now
compete for the last two World Cup berths at the final qualifying event to be staged in New Zealand in February next year. Afghanistan were already overwhelming favourites to beat Kenya in the last match of an exhausting twoyear qualifying competition. In Monday’s Twenty20 international, they routed the African side by 106 runs and carried that form through to Wednesday when they romped to victory by eight wickets in the first of the two determining ODIs. Then, Kenya were dismissed for just 89 with Afghanistan reaching their target inside 18 overs. l
War-torn Afghanistan erupted in wild celebrations yesterday as its cricket team beat Kenya to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, just 12 years after the game took hold in the wake of the Taliban’s fall. About 3,000 fans packed onto the field at Kabul’s only cricket stadium to watch the match on a big screen, with noisy chants and dancing marking each boundary as Afghan batsmen carried the side to an easy victory in Sharjah. Celebratory gunfire tore through the air in the eastern city of Jalalabad, but there was no immediate repeat of the nationwide explosion of bullets that met Afghanistan’s recent victory in the South Asian Football Federation cup. “Tears come out of my eyes because of my happiness,” Zakir Mohammadi, 23, told AFP, the national flag draped across his shoulders. “I am speechless and can’t express myself. This is a great feat for our cricket team and for all Afghans.” Large crowds of supporters also celebrated in the southern city of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, where police issued strict warnings on the radio before the game that people should not celebrate by firing guns in the air. “This is a great success for our country. Afghanistan have proved their ability to the world despite 30 years of war,” Shahzada Masood, chairman of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), said. “This shows the talent of our players. They can beat any team on their day despite the limited facilities that they have.” Afghanistan’s cricket side has progressed rapidly since the country emerged from the austere rule of the Taliban in 2001, and the achievement makes up for narrowly missing out on the 2011 World Cup. Tens of thousands of Afghans learned the game in refugee camps in Pakistan after they were forced to flee during the decades of war and turmoil that followed the Soviet invasion in 1979. Cricket boomed after the Taliban era as many Afghans returned home, despite the Islamist militants waging a bloody insurgency against US-led troops and the Kabul government. l
'No pressure for No 1 crunch match' n AFP, Beijing World number two Rafael Nadal said yesterday he felt no extra pressure heading into a semi-final at the China Open which could see him return to the top of the men’s rankings. The number two seed in Beijing staged an extraordinary comeback against Fabio Fognini in his quarter-final match to keep alive his hopes of unseating Novak Djokovic at the top spot. Djokovic, meanwhile, powered through his match with American Sam Querrey to set up a clash with France’s Richard Gasquet, who sent third seed Spaniard David Ferrer crashing out 6-3, 6-4. Nadal will now have to beat Czech fourth seed Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s match to return to the top for the first time since July 2011. “It’s something that doesn’t create me more pressure,” Nadal said. “It’s something that already happened in the past. If that happens again, it will be good, it will be special for me, but we’ll see. “I am going to have a very tough opponent in front. In the end, it’s another match. True, it’s a little bit more special for that circumstances, but nothing else.”
Nadal looked to be heading for a crushing defeat in his quarter-final after Fognini claimed the first set and powered to a 4-1 lead in the second. But he broke the Italian’s serve in the seventh game, before winning the next three to take the second set 6-4. Fognini, who is ranked 19th in the world, won the opener of the third set. But the Spaniard sealed his passage through to the semi-finals by claiming victory in the remaining games to seal the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. Current China Open champion Djokovic has spent 101 weeks at number one, but can only remain top of the rankings if he reclaims his title and if Nadal fails to reach the final. Nadal has not lost a hardcourt match all season, after he missed the opening few weeks of 2013 with a stomach virus. He was also sidelined for the second half of last year with a knee injury. Berdych earned his place in the semifinals with a convincing 7-5, 6-2 victory over American John Isner on Friday. Djokovic was also ruthless in his disposal of Querrey, crushing his opponent 6-1, 6-2. Meanwhile, in the women’s tournament, Serena Williams powered through her match with Caroline Woz-
niacki 6-1, 6-4. The Danish sixth seed only briefly offered resistance, breaking Williams’s serve in the sixth game of the second set before forcing the world number one to go on the offensive in a 38-shot rally in the seventh. But Williams extinguished any hope of a comeback by maintaining her twogame lead up until the conclusion of the set. In her semi-final game, the top seed will face Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. The fourth seed defeated German Angelique Kerber 7-6, 6-4 in their match. It was heartbreak for Chinese star Li Na, who was dumped out in her quarter-final match 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 by Petra Kvitova. The 2011 French Open winner has twice reached the semi-finals in Beijing, and looked set for her third appearance when she took the first set by breaking Kvitova’s serve in the final game. The home crowd favourite traded breaks with the ninth seed Czech at the start of the second set, but Kvitova pulled clear, winning the final four games. The match remained an intriguing battle in the decisive set, with both Li and Kvitova fighting furiously over break points.l
Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning a point against Fabio Fognini during their quarterfinal in the China Open at the National Tennis Stadium, in Beijing yesterday REUTERS
Hamilton sets pace, Roddick says he tried to fight ‘Schmokovic’ Raikkonen escapes crash n AFP, Los Angeles
n AFP, Yeongam Lewis Hamilton was fastest in both free practice sessions for the Korean Grand Prix Friday as Kimi Raikkonen escaped a heavy crash in the opening run-out. Britain’s Hamilton, whose debut season for Mercedes is in danger of petering out, nudged Red Bull’s world championship leader Sebastian Vettel into second in both sessions. Vettel, 60 points ahead in the standings and firmly on course for a fourth world title in a row, was 0.108sec off Hamilton’s best time of 1min 38.673sec in the second outing. Under blue skies at the Yeongam circuit Lotus driver Raikkonen, fourth in
the title race, was only eighth quickest in both sessions and spun off towards the end of the morning practice, slamming into a wall. Asked by AFP if he had had any problems with his back during practice, Raikkonen said: “No, it was okay.” He also played down the crash, saying he just lost control of his Lotus on a corner. Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg was third-fastest in the second session, followed by Vettel’s stablemate Mark Webber. Felipe Massa was fifth but the fellow Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, Vettel’s nearest rival in the world championship, was down in seventh after an error-strewn run. l
Retired American tennis player Andy Roddick has lifted the lid on his feud with world number one Novak Djokovic, revealing the two players almost came to blows in a locker room bust-up. Roddick said he pinned Djokovic up against a locker in the US Open locker room after Djokovic “beat the pants off
him” in a match between the two at the final major championship of the ATP tennis season. Roddick, 31, did not say what year the incident happened but the two had a very public row during the 2008 US Open in New York. “I won’t say his name, I’ll just say it rhymes with ‘Schmovak Schmokovic’,” Roddick said on a panel discussion on
the American sports network Fox. “We got into it at the US Open one time,” Roddick continued. “I was kind of talking trash and he came out and beat the pants off of me as he would. “But then he kind of chirped afterward and he came straight in, I went right up to him and had him up against the locker, but then I realized his trainer was about a little bit bigger.” Roddick, who retired in September after the US Open, said he stopped when he realized the confrontation might escalate. “I kind of checked myself. My trainer is about five-foot-eight, 130 ... I kind of backed off real quick. I was about to get railroaded from the side.” Roddick is a former world number one-ranked tennis player whose only major championship came at the 2003 US Open.l
Saturday, October 5, 2013
FIRE FROM CIGARETTE
Parents, daughter die, 2 sons fighting for lives n Mohammad Jamil Khan
Farmers in haor areas raise ducks to make a living during the rainy season. In this recently taken photo, a farmer on a boat is seen to tend to his flock of ducks in the Tangua haor
Post-election violence after Barguna-2 by-polls n Our Correspondent, Barisal Some incidents of post-election violence took place after Barguna 2 by-polls results were declared Thursday night. Golam Sarwar Hiru, defeated candidate of Islami Andolon Bangladesh, alleged that different houses and shops belonging to his campaigners came under attack Thursday night and Friday by the cadres of his rival candidate Shawkat Hachanur Rahman Rimon. He said Abul Farazi of Harin Baria, Abdus Salam of Gayaanpara and Abdur Rahman of Islami Chhatra Andolon of Patharghata unit were assaulted while motorcycle of Bayezid Molla of Chardoayani and shop of Jalal of Gayaanpara were ransacked. Abdul Huq Qari, vice-president of Islami Chhatra Andolon Patharghata unit, said his house and that of another activist Nasir Zamaddar were cordoned by AL cadres at Gayaanpara. Manik Mia, a wood shop owner, Nurul Islam, a tea-stall owner, were also assaulted by Betagi Municipal Mayor and Awami League leader Altaf Hossain Biswas in Betagi. However, AL and Chhatra leaders denied all allegations. Shyamoal Kumar Nath, Barguna district police superintendent, said action would be taken if anyone lodged allegations about any violence. Nur Afroz Happy, Kalmegha union parishad chairman of Patharghata, yesterday alleged vote rigging against winner AL candidate Rimon. Happy alleged that polling agents of Islami Andolon Bangladesh were ousted by the AL cadres from 18 vote centers in order to rig votes. The authorities also remained indifferent, she added. l
‘Wicked’ British mother gets 15 years over ‘mummified’ son n AFP, London A British mother who starved her fouryear-old son to death — and whose body was discovered two years later in a mummified state in his cot — was jailed for 15 years yesterday. Amanda Hutton, a 43-year-old alcoholic, was told her conduct had been “wicked” as she was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in northern England for the manslaughter of her son, Hamzah. The court had heard that Hamzah’s decomposed and insect-infested body was found in a cot in the squalor of Hutton’s bedroom almost two years after he died in December 2009. Photographs of the house showed clothes and waste piled up in several rooms. Police also found five of Hamzah’s siblings, aged between five and 13, living among the knee-deep pizza boxes, used nappies, vodka bottles and cat faeces. Hutton was convicted of manslaughter by a jury on Thursday. Hutton was sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter, a further three for child cruelty and two and a half more — to be served concurrently — for preventing the lawful burial of Hamzah. l
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
Climate Change Trust flouting own law with annual reporting failure Evaluation not carried out even for once over past 4 years n Abu Bakar Siddique Bangladesh Climate Change Trust has failed to submit a single yearly evaluation report of its activities to the government since 2009, despite the trust’s own act requiring such a review annually. Trust officials said they had not been able to perform the evaluation even once over the past four years because of heavy workload and a manpower shortage. “We have been busy with other works like releasing different projects under the trust fund,” said secretary Md
Rashadul Islam, who has been working for the trust since its inception. “But recently we have increased our manpower and now we are planning to form an evaluation team,” he said. Under the trust act the government established the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) in 2009-10 fiscal with its own fund to undertake projects to tackle adverse impacts of climate change. Currently, the total amount of the fund is $340m. The government has already allocated $190.78m for 139 government and 63 non-government projects.
At the same time, the government also formulated the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009 - considered to be a guideline on climate change adaptation measures. The trust board consists of 17 members including 10 ministers and it has already been accused of cronyism and misuses of funds for the projects. On October 3, a Transparency International Bangladesh report said the main obstacles to adapting to the negative impacts of climate change are corruption and a lack of good governance.
Clashes erupt in Egyptian cities n Reuters, Cairo
Clashes erupted in several Egyptian cities yesterday after supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets to demand the end of army-backed rule. The marches were the most ambitious attempt by the Brotherhood to press its demands since August 14, when authorities smashed two pro-Mursi sit-ins in Cairo and then declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew. An Egyptian army vehicle fired live rounds in the direction of Muslim Brotherhood supporters who had been pushed away from Cairo’s Tahrir Square by security forces, a Reuters witness said. Medical sources said one Brotherhood supporter had died from a gunshot wound in clashes in the centre of the capital. Onlookers threw rocks at the pro-Mursi protesters, who hurled them back. Riot police had earlier fired tear gas to push back the march. Thousands of protesters headed toward the site of a former Brotherhood protest camp in northeast Cairo which was crushed by security forces in Au-
gust. By late afternoon, protesters had retreated from the area. Members of the Brotherhood, which has been banned by court order, tried to reach the presidential palace but were turned back by police. The state news agency said protesters failed to reach the defence ministry and a Republican Guard facility. Fighting also erupted in Egypt’s second city Alexandria and two Nile Delta cities. The Brotherhood won every election after a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but became deeply unpopular under Mursi’s rule. Mursi was accused of trying to give himself sweeping powers and entrenching the Brotherhood - allegations he denies. Egypt has been gripped by political and economic turmoil since army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew Mursi, the country’s first freely elected president, on July 3 after mass protests against his rule.
Efforts at reconciliation
Friday’s violence came a day after European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton held talks in Cairo
with top government officials, Sisi, and two Brotherhood politicians and urged both sides to pursue reconciliation. There was no sign either side was prepared to heed her call. Hundreds of people were killed in mid-August when the security forces broke up Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo. Many of the Brotherhood’s top leaders have been arrested since, in a bid to decapitate the Islamist movement. Sisi has promised that a political road map will lead to elections in the Arab world’s most populous nation. The Brotherhood, which says the military staged a coup, has refused to take part in the political transition. Yesterday’s clashes in Cairo broke out as Mursi supporters tried to enter the centre of Tahrir Square, the rallying point for hundreds of thousands of protesters during the popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The protesters chanted slogans calling for the removal of Sisi and waved Egyptian flags. State news agency MENA said the army fired warning shots and tear gas to prevent Brotherhood supporters from crossing a bridge leading into Tahrir Square. l
“The trust is yet to carry out an evaluation of its activities because of various anomalies in the fund management records,” said a climate change expert seeking anonymity. Such anomalies could be avoided if the evaluation had been done regularly, said the source, who is also a member of the government’s International Climate Change negotiation team. Hasan Mahmud, the minister for environment and forests who is also the chairman of the trust board, told the Dhaka Tribune that he was not aware of the issue. l
Following deaths of father, mother and a daughter two other members of the family are now fighting for their lives at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital after a cigarette caused a fire at their apartment in Shafipur area of Gazipur. Rina Rani Saha, 35, suffered 80% and her daughter Rumki Saha, 18, suffered 90% burn injuries all over their bodies. They died at DMCH around 4.00pm and 3.00am respectively on Friday. Earlier, Rina’s husband Shuvash Saha, 50, who suffered 70% burn injury, lost his struggle for life on Tuesday. Two other victims – sons of the couple Rentu Saha, 22, and Sumon Saha, 16 – suffered 50% and 25% burn injuries respectively but were yet to recover from their wounds even after four days of the incident. DMCH doctors said the condition of Rentu was still critical while Sumon was yet to start healing. During a recent visit to the burns unit this correspondent found the patients lying motionless on their beds with no relatives around and only one attendant, a female nurse, present at the ward. Occasionally, doctors visited them. Sumon Saha told this correspondent with tears brimming to his eyes that they had not been able to contact with their relatives. They phoned them on Friday and they were coming to hospital to attend them. Earlier on Tuesday at around 3.00am a fire broke out at the house of the family members when house owner Shuvash got up to smoke. He was trying to light a cigarette with his matches. There was a gas oven in the kitchen which caught fire as he failed to control his move. Soon the fire spread to other rooms and the whole house was on fire. The victims said the gas pipeline of their house had been under repair for two days preceding the accident. The victim suspected that it had not been properly shut off by the repair workers causing the fire to spread further. Local people rescued the severally burnt Saha family and took them to hospital. l
Electricity import from India begins today n Aminur Rahman Rasel Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the commercial transmission of electricity imported from India today. Hasina will be present at the inaugural function at Bheramara Power Transmission Substation in Kushtia while the Indian premier will join in from New Delhi through video conferencing, confirmed acting managing director of the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) Chowdhury Alamgir Hossain. The PGCB under the Power Development Board (PDB) was scheduled to implement the project Grid Interconnection between Bangladesh (Bheramara) and India (Bahrampur) by 2012 at a cost of Tk10.79bn. Though the project cost has increased by Tk5bn, officials now say it will not be able to add more than 175MW before November as work on substation and transmission line have not yet been fully completed. The test transmission began on Sep-
tember 27 at the Bheramara substation, adding 50MW to the national grid. For the project 100km double circuit 400kV transmission lines were installed and a high voltage direct current substation was also installed at Bheramara. Dhaka and New Delhi signed the MoU on the import during Hasina’s visit to India in January 2010. India’s state-owned NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) and Power Trading Corporation India Limited (PTC) will supply 250MW each. The cost of per kilowatt electricity from NVVN is expected to be around Tk4, plus Tk0.80 as wheeling charge, while the PTC will charge Tk6.34 with Tk0.31 wheeling charge. The PM will also unveil the foundation plaque for the coal-fired 1320MW Rampal power plant and 360MW Bheramara Power Station. The Rampal power project has drawn fierce criticism and protests with the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports organising a long-march towards the Sundarban last month. l
Pakistani woman stoned to death for owning cell phone n Tribune Desk A young mother of two has been put to death in Pakistan for possessing a cell phone, Opposing Views reported on Thursday. Arifa Bibi was executed three months ago, on July 11, after a Pakistani tribal court sentenced her to death by stoning. Her uncle, cousins and other family members carried out the order and threw stones at the woman until she died – all because she had a mobile phone. She was buried in the desert far away from her village and, according to reports, her family was not permitted to be involved in her funeral. Stoning has been a common sentence in countries like Pakistan for a long time and is used against women and other vulnerable groups. Stoning is also in the law code for adultery, but the rare sentences in recent years have either been overruled or not acted upon. Since the stoning of Arifa Bibi this summer, women’s rights groups have launched an even
stronger campaign to put a ban on stoning. Naureen Shameem, representative for women’s rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, says stoning is used against women particularly as a way to control them. “Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment,” says Shameem. “It is a form of torturing someone to death. It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms.” The Asian Human Rights Commission explained the act of stoning against women in a recent press release. “Stoning to death is a barbaric act from a primitive society,” reads the press release. “Society is sent the message that violence is the way to deal with women and other vulnerable groups. Women’s rights are negated through the use of these forms of punishment. Pakistani society has degenerated to the point that, for a woman, keeping a cell phone has become a serious crime.” l
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