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Ashwin 30, 1420 Zilhajj 9, 1434 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 204


Tim Steel: Guiding lite


India stampede survivors claim police dumped bodies to lower death toll



EC to finalise electoral code of conduct after eid n Mohammad Zakaria

Khoka warns of ‘armed resistance’ if October 25 rally is foiled BNP acting secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday urged party activists and workers to get ready for the “final match” while BNP Vice Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka warned of “armed resistance” if their scheduled October 25 rally came under attack. The calls come in the back of Sunday’s warnings issued by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina against the BNP, saying necessary steps would be taken if the main opposition were to hinder the election process. Mirza Fakhrul, addressing a joint-meeting of BNP’s Dhaka city unit at the Bhasani Auditorium, hinted at the prime minister’s statement that the parliament session could continue after October 24, and asked the government not to betray the people of the country. He said: “The government has realised that their [Awami League’s] existence will be in danger if they do not remain in power. That’s why they are now saying the parliament session will continue. We want to say it clearly that you have shifted your stance so many times. Do not betray the public at the

last moment. If you do so, you will not find an escape route.” “Right now, our only target is to wage a movement and to make it a success, unity is must.” “The quarter-finals and the semi-finals are over. We have just seven days for the final match. We have no other options except winning. We have to keep in mind that we have to win this game, otherwise our existence will be at stake,” he said. The spokesperson of the party alleged that many of the ruling party leaders have already left the country while many have sent their families abroad, fearing a mass upsurge. Meanwhile, BNP Vice-chairman and former Dhaka city mayor, Sadeque Hossain Khoka asked the party leaders and activists to be prepared to resist any possible attacks on their October 25 rally. “We want to hold the October 25 rally peacefully. But, we will not sit idly if the rally is foiled, we will give a bitter reply. If Awami League activists attack us, counter attacks will be launched. Everyone should be ready with machetes and axe to resist any ploy to foil our rally,” he said.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 3

De Kruif hopeful with U-19 booters

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BNP: Get ready for final match n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla


The Election Commission has prepared a draft code of conduct for the national polls keeping provision for the prime minister, ministers and lawmakers to enjoy special facilities, including protection, for campaigning. The draft has also reportedly proposed certain facilities – including the government bearing the campaign expenditures – for the chiefs and 20 selected leaders of all the political parties. Sources said the commission wanted to ensure a level playing field for all the parties because it was getting prepared to hold the parliamentary polls under a partisan government following the constitution.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

Home-bound people struggle to get on the train at Airport railway station yesterday


Army gets Padma supervision job n Julfikar Ali Manik

The government yesterday formally awarded the Bangladesh Army the job of Construction Supervision Consultant (CSC) of three of the five components of the much talked about Padma bridge construction project. Bridges Division of the communications ministry yesterday signed a Tk1.33bn contract with The Special Works Organisation (SWO-West) of the

Bangladesh Army in association with Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC). This is a three-year-long deal with the army, but there is a provision of extension for one year as “defect liability.” The army will work as supervision consultant of the construction of Janjira approach road and selected bridge end facilities with the estimated cost of Tk10.98bn, the construction of Mawa

approach road and selected bridge end facilities of an estimated Tk2.59bn cost and the construction of Service Area2 (Janjira side) with an outlay of Tk2.86bn. Project Director of the bridge Shafiqul Islam and Maj Gen Abu SyeedMdMasud signed the agreement at Setu Bhaban in the capital. Communications Minister Obaidul Quader and Chief of Army Staff General  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

EID GREETINGS The Dhaka Tribune wishes all its readers, advertisers, hawkers and well-wishers a very happy Eid-ul-Azha.

HOLIDAY All offices of the Dhaka Tribune will remain closed for three days from today for Eid-ul-Azha. Therefore, there will be no issue of the daily on October 16-18. However, our online service will be on to keep our readers updated.




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ECF 4th tranche release in December

We will try to give BNP space: Muhith n Asif Showkat Kallol

Finance minister meets the IMF managing director aboard,” Muhith said. n Asif Showkat Kallol The minister also The International Monetary Fund wants to disburse the fourth tranche of its Extended Credit Facility (ECF) in December despite repeated requests from the finance division to disburse the amount ahead of the general elections. The government had been asking IMF that the fourth instalment of the fund be released in November. “The tentative date of disbursement of the ECF tranche is on December 6,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday after a meeting with IMF Managing director Christine Lagarde at her office at the IMF headquarters in Washington. “IMF did not impose any conditions on the use of ECF, which is meant to be used for the country’s import payments,” he added. Earlier this month, a visiting IMF team asked the government to describe its plans to spend the fourth tranche of ECF. A senior finance division official disclosed to the Dhaka Tribune that IMF wanted to make sure the fund would not be used for projects meant “just to woo the public before the elections.” “We will have the total ECF amount for 18 months without any hitching by the IMF, and because of this huge reserve, Bangladesh government will be able to buy oil from its own funds instead of getting loans from home and

said the government was now in a financially sound position near end of its tenure as unpaid bills in and outside the budget had already been paid. He also said IMF would publish a report on the ECF performances of different countries in December where Bangladesh would do well. Muhith also said Christine Lagarde had praised the achievements of Bangladesh in social sector development and remarked that Bangladesh’s achievement was higher than India in the sector. The minister also said in the meeting the IMF chief had expressed her condolences on the recent garment sector tragedies. The finance minister also said: “I suggested to Lagarde that in future, in the interest of global trade, finance and development public sectors should be monitored by international organisations instead of credit rating agencies like Standards and Poor’s and Moody’s, which will be good for the countries.” “The financial stability boards of the global lenders will look after the matter.” He said the trade and global financial market is looked after by the World Bank arm IFC, and the IMF should look after the trade financing of the world and sovereign funds available everywhere in the world in the future. l

Army gets Padma supervision job  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan were present at the signing ceremony. The communications minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would inaugurate the construction work of the Janjira approach road and selected bridge end facilities after the Eid-ulAzha. A spokesperson of the communications ministry told the Dhaka Tribune that the date of the prime minister’s programme for inaugurating Janjira approach road construction work has yet not been fixed. It might be fixed after the Eid vacation, he said. The government offices will reopen on October 20 after the Eid and puja vacation. Padma bridge is perhaps the most widely discussed construction project of the present government, owing to the longstanding dispute with the World Bank over an allegation of corruption conspiracy in the project. Based on the allegation, the World Bank, ADB and Jica initially suspended their promised loans for the estimated $2.9bn project. But still there was hope when the World Bank said they would

still issue the loan if Bangladesh government took the alleged culprits of the conspiracy to book. At one stage of the bitter exchanges with the global lender over the issue, the government decided to construct the 6.15km bridge with local funds. The government had to face huge criticism for the delay in starting the construction of the bridge. The two other components of the Padma bridge project are the “Main Bridge” and “River Training Works” (RTW). The government floated tenders for construction of the main bridge in June and the bids for this work have to be submitted by November 4. Three qualified bidders purchased the bid documents, said the ministry spokesperson. He said estimated cost of this work was $1.33bn. Tender for river training works has already been floated. The last date for submitting its bids is November 25. Estimated cost of this project is $778m. Five prequalified bidders have already purchased bid documents. The total cost of the Padma bridge project will be $2.97bn. l

EC to finalise electoral code of conduct after Eid  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

The EC sources, however, failed to confirm whether the draft code proposed anything about giving protection to the MPs, the chiefs of the all the political parties and selected leaders. Election Commissioner Md Shah Newaz said on Wednesday that the commission would finalise the code after Eid. The “level playing field” would be ensured in ways similar to those being followed by other democratic countries, especially India. EC Secretary Muhammed Sadique said if parliament was not dissolved, the speaker, deputy speaker, ministers, state ministers and members would get the chance to contest polls keeping their posts. Therefore, the commission needed to change the code of conduct as no parliamentary polls had ever taken place before dissolving the House, he said. Under the new provisions in the constitution after the 15th amendment, parliamentary polls must be held between October 27 and January 24 next year. During this period, Sheikh Hasina’s government will continue and parliament will remain in place as the amendment had nullified the provision for a non-partisan and “unelected” caretaker polls-time government system. Sources said in the draft Political Party and Candidate Electoral Code of

Conduct 2013, the EC had also proposed banning the use of billboards and banners in election campaigns. According to the draft, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also the chief of the ruling party Awami League, will be able to campaign in all the constituencies. The ministers, if they contest polls, will be able to do publicity and get due state protection in their respective constituencies. The MPs, no matter which party they belong to, will be able to campaign in their respective constituencies. EC officials said all preparations for the elections, including delimitation of constituencies, were at their last stages. Nearly 40% of the electoral materials had already reached the commission and remaining would reach by October 24. Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad has recently said the EC could hold election under any kind of government. After ensuring a level playing field for all parties, the EC would announce the polls schedules, he said. He hoped that the political parties would solve the existing problem regarding the shape of the of polls-time government through discussions. However, Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz had earlier said it would be difficult for EC to hold the elections under a partisan government. l

Muslim piligrims gather around the stone atop Mount Arafat, near the holy city of Mecca, one day ahead of the hajj main ritual yesterday. Vast crowds of Muslim pilgrims, all dressed in white, flock from early morning to Mount Arafat, in western Saudi Arabia, to take part in the main rituals of the annual hajj AFP

The finance minister yesterday told the IMF that the government would try to give space to the main opposition BNP to participate in the general elections. At a meeting with the minister, Director of IMF Asia and Pacific Department Anoop Singh expressed his concern about the impact on future economic conditions if BNP did not participate in the elections. In reply AMA Muhith said: “We do not know about BNP’s participation in the elections. Even BNP cannot say whether it would participate in the polls. But we will try to offer BNP a space.” “In my personal opinion, we could give different opportunities to the BNP to participate in the general election. If Sheikh Hasina is the prime minister, the position of home minister could be given to BNP,” he remarked. “I know BNP will not want to take finance ministry,” he added. l

'O God, here I come answering your call' 1.5 million pilgrims reach Mount Arafat n Tribune Desk Chanting “Labaik Allahumma Labaik” (O Allah, here I am answering your call), some 1.5 million Muslim pilgrims thronged Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia yesterday for the high point of the annual hajj, praying for an end to disputes and bloodshed. They had moved to Mina from the holy city of Makkah, home to the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest place of worship which houses the cube-shaped Kaaba structure. On reaching Arafat, they crowded onto the hill and the vast plain surrounding it to pray until sunset. “I will pray the whole day for God

to improve the situation for Muslims worldwide and end disputes and bloodshed in Arab countries,” 61-year-old Algerian pensioner Saeed Dherari said. They offered prayers and later in the day listened to the annual sermon from Saudi top cleric Sheikh Abdulaziz alSheikh, according to Arab News, Saudi Gazette and AFP. Helicopters hovered overhead and thousands of troops stood guard to organise roads flooded by men, women and children. The pilgrims camped in small colourful tents and took shelter under trees to escape temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). Special sprinklers were set up to help cool them.

Attendance is sharply down from last year, due to fears linked to the MERS virus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and multi-billion-dollar expansion work at the Grand Mosque to almost double its capacity to around 2.2 million worshippers. Saudi health authorities have stressed that no cases of the MERS virus had been detected so far in this pilgrimage. The disease has killed 60 people worldwide, 51 of them in Saudi Arabia itself. Governor of Makkah province and head of the central hajj committee Prince Khaled al-Faisal said 1.38 million pilgrims had arrived from outside the kingdom while only 117,000 hajj per-

mits were issued for domestic pilgrims. This puts the number of pilgrims this year at almost 1.5 million, less than half of last year’s 3.2 million after Riyadh slashed hajj quotas. Prince Khaled told the official SPA news agency that authorities had turned back 70,000 nationals and expatriates for not carrying legal permits and had arrested 38,000 others for performing the hajj without a permit. Authorities had also seized as many as 138,000 vehicles for violating the hajj rules and its owners would be penalised, the prince said. The pilgrims are set to perform the ritual of symbolically stoning the devil after spending the night In Muzdalifa. l

JS time stretch to ‘divert’ opposition movement Reza Chowdhury and n Kamran Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Political observers say Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s announcement of stretching parliament after October 24 was aimed at diverting the BNP’s agitation over restoration of the non-party caretaker government system without which it has declared to boycott the polls. Most of them said parliament would dissolve after the Election Commission announced the polls schedules. “The Awami League’s announcement of stretching parliament sittings beyond October 24 is aimed at facing the BNP’s agitation programmes on October 25 and onwards,” said Prof Nizam Uddin Ahmed of Chittagong University. “Continuation of parliament will divert the BNP to the demand for its dissolution from its present demand for a non-party caretaker government,” Prof Nizam told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

Nizam thinks parliament should be dissolved on October 24, but he said that would put Awami League leaders and activists in danger of attacks of BNP-Jamaat activists. “With the debate turning stronger, the prime minister will dissolve parliament and tell people that she accepted the opposition’s demand and so, they should participate in the polls,” he said, but he did not predict any timeframe for this. “This is indicative enough when the prime minister says parliament could go on unless the president dissolves it. The president cannot dissolve parliament without the prime minister’s suggestion,” he said. According to the constitution, the current parliament’s five-year tenure ends on January 24 next year. As per article 123 of the constitution, the next elections will have to take place within 90 days before the expiry of parliament’s tenure, but the charter has no directive on whether to dissolve

parliament or keep it running during that period. The countdown for the 90 days starts from October 27. Election Commission lawyer Dr Shahdin Malik told the Dhaka Tribune that he did not see anything unconstitutional or illegal in holding the sittings of parliament beyond October 24. He, however, said the prime minister must make clear how long parliament would continue. “Otherwise, the Election Commission will have inconvenience announcing the polls schedules.” Former election commissioner Sakhawat Hossain said the commission was free to announce the polls schedules but was bound to hold polls within 90 days – between October 27 and January 24 next year. “The Election Commission can announce the polls schedules in November if they are done with some basic preparations,” he said. Sakhawat said: “As soon as the polls schedules are announced, parliament

will cease to exist.” Senior Awami League lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta, however, told the Dhaka Tribune that announcement of the schedules “will not bring any change to the status of parliament as the Jatiya Sangsad is elected for five years.” BNP Standing Committee member MK Anwar said: “The prime minister has shifted from her own announcement on no parliament after October 24; so, people cannot have trust in her. “Elections cannot take place keeping parliament alive; no such instance exists in the world.” He said the BNP was yet to decide whether to resign from parliament if the Jatiya Sangsad continued after October 24, which the main opposition thought the last day of the ninth parliament. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier told parliament that the next polls could not take place keeping parliament alive. l

Finally, some solace for cattle traders

GB director rejects FM election remark n Abu Bakar Siddique n Abu Hayat Mahmud Cattle traders finally found some soTahsina Khatun, a director of Grameen Bank, rejected the remark of Finance Minister AMA Muhith that no election for female directors had been held in the bank since its foundation 30 years ago. “[Contrary to what he said] there has been an election every three years for the female directors of Grameen Bank. We all are elected directors, not selected. The last election was held in January 2012 and our tenure will be end in January 2015,” Tahsina told the Dhaka Tribune on Monday. The finance minister recently said nine “pro-Yunus” female directors of the bank would lose their positions once parliament approved the Grameen Bank Law 2013 bill. “Professor Yunus selected the female directors at his own whim; there had been no elections in the thirty years of the bank’s history,” he told the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday. l

BNP: Get ready  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

AL had previously instructed its activists to come to the streets with “logs and oars” back in October 2006 against the then government, headed by the BNP-led four party alliance. Several people had died in street battle between the rival political parties and which ultimately resulted in imposing state of emergency and an army-backed caretaker government took over. l

lace on the penultimate day of sale as prices of sacrificial animals edged up yesterday, after two dismal days with less-than-expected returns from the markets. Today is the last day before Eid-ulAzha and traders say there are expecting a higher turnover to make up for the losses they made in the previous two days. “I sold four oxen today (yesterday) which helped me recover some of the losses I made in the past few days. I had sold 10 oxen before at much lower prices,” said Sobur Molla, a trader who came

from Rangpur with a herd of 20 bulls for a cattle market at the city’s Banani area. “If the current market trend continues, with the rest of my herd sold, I hope to go back with a good profit.” In the first two days of sale, the prices of sacrificial animals were comparatively lower than that during the same period last year. Cattle markets started functioning on October 12. The government set up 20 cattle markets in the capital which were mostly flooded by oxen, cows and goats imported from India. Although fewer in number, there were also animals brought up by local entrepreneurs. “I bought an ox at a cost Tk32,000, the asking price of which was Tk28,000

yesterday,” said Abdul Motaleb Bhuiyan, while returning from the city’s Baridhara cattle market. “However, I am still happy because I had to pay almost Tk40,000 for an ox of the same size last year.” Besides the authorised cattle markets, many unauthorised ones were also set up on pavements and roadside areas, where animals can be purchased at comparatively lower prices. However, several traders said they expected a further price jump today as most political leaders and influential people are expected to buy their animals on the last day before Eid. The business is slated to continue till the end of Wednesday. l

Bangladeshi victims of Greece Shooting get extension n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

Thirty-five Bangladeshis who fell victims to the shooting at a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada, southern Greece in April this year, got permission to stay and continue working there for one more year. “I handed over the legal documents to the workers on Saturday,” Golam Mohammad, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Hellenic Republic of Greece told the Dhaka Tribune over telephone. They could stay and work here for one more year and currently they are engaged in work at different places, he

added. The shooting took place in Nea Manolada when a supervisor of a strawberry firm opened fire on workers after they asked their employer to pay their outstanding salaries. ”After the incident, I applied to government for the legalisation of their stay here and I was certain that the issue would be handled with positively,” he said. The workers now can bargain for their salaries and would have a decent pay, he hoped. The owner of the firm and the supervisor were arrested in the cases filed against them. Eighteen Bangladeshi workers were

injured and hospitalized after the incident, that made their stay uncertain in Greece. Nea Manolada, about 260km west of the capital Athens, is an area where thousands of migrant workers are employed. It has previously been in the spotlight over exploitation of migrants. Since 2008, the Greek media has covered the low wages, poor living conditions and mistreatment of strawberry pickers in Manolada. A social media campaign named “blood strawberries” has been launched to boycott fruits imported from Nea Manolada, following the incident. l




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gas crisis looms as production halts in two gas fields n Aminur Rahman Rasel Consumers around the country are going to face an increased gas crisis during the Eid vacation as supply from Bibiyana, the country’s largest gas field would remain suspended from today for urgent maintenance, Petrobangla officials said. Bibiyana gas field, operated by USbased Chevron, supplies around 850 million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas per day to the national grid. As a result, the gas supply would drop to around 1400mmcfd from 2250mmcfd during the vacation. On the other hand, after the Eid vacation production at the Bangora gas field will also remain suspended between October 21 and October 25 for maintenance work. The Bangora gas field, operated by Irish Company Tullow supplies 100mmcfd gas in the national grid, which mainly goes to Chittagong. Petrobangla Chairman Hossain Monsur while talking to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday confirmed the information. Earlier on June 22 this year, nationwide gas supply was disrupted for nearly 20 hours following a leak in the processing plant of the Bibiyana gas field in Habiganj. “Bibiyana will go for regular main-

Eid happiness eludes garment workers n Our Correspondent, Gazipur Khokon Miah works as an operator in the factory of SM Knit Composite Limited in Gazipur for a monthly wage of Tk4,900. During this Eid-ul-Azha, he got a bonus of Tk1,500. Last year his income was the same; but somehow he managed to get a sacrificial goat for “kurbani” for his family with his meagre earnings. But this year, the prospects look dim. “I do not think I can get a sacrificial goat this year because living cost has rocketed over the last one year. Last year I paid Tk150 as bus fare for going to my village home. This year, I am having to pay Tk360,” said Khokon, who is the only bread-earner of a seven-member family. “Nobody thinks about us; how we manage the expenses of our families with such a small wage,” he grimly said. Abu Syed, who works as a knitting operator in the same factory with Khokon, was not as lucky. Syed, who earns a monthly wage of Tk3,000 plus a meagre piece-rate payment, did not even get the Eid bonus this time around. He said the prices of essentials have shot up alarmingly in recent times, robbing him of all hopes and dreams of celebrating a happy Eid with his near and dear ones.

Nobody thinks about us; how we manage the expenses of our families with such a small wage “I could never even dare to think about a sacrificial goat because I have not got a single increment for the last three years that I have been working at SM Composite Limited,” said Syed, who hails from Nalitabari of Sherpur. “Even getting three proper meals a day and managing the least of clothing requirements for my family have got so tough. All we do is somehow survive,” he said with a sunken face. For Ruma Akhter, who works as a sewing operator in a factory of High Fashion Limited in the same area, an enjoyable Eid has been a mirage. She said she did not have any idea what she would tell her family because the authorities of her factory had not even paid the wage – let alone the bonus – till yesterday; not that she could have made much difference with Tk3,000. The government has formed a wage board to fix the minimum wage for the garment workers. That board is supposed to come up with a suitable recommendation by November. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has proposed a “farcical” 20% hike on the existing minimum wage of Tk3,000. That would amount to only Tk600. However, union leaders have been demanding a minimum monthly wage of Tk8,114 for garment workers to give them some sort of economic stability amid the raging inflation. l

tenance tomorrow [today].” Assistant Manager of Communications (Media) at Chevron Bangladesh, Sabreena Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. She said Chevron Bangladesh plans to perform its scheduled maintenance and upkeep of the Bibiyana Gas Field during the upcoming Eid holidays from October 15 to October 19. “As a part of the maintenance, there will be a temporary halt in production. The Operation has been timed to coincide with the holiday closure as national consumption will be at its lowest during this time period. However, the exact shutdown timing may vary based on the gas demand during that period.” she said. “During this time, gas production from Chevron’s Jalabad and Moulavibazar Gas field’s facilities will be maximized. According to the tentative schedule, we anticipate full flow to start from October 20, 2013.” Sabreena said. Meanwhile, Petrobangla chairman said: “We have already informed the Power Development Board (PDB) and all fertiliser factories to take necessary preparations for shortage in gas supply due to maintenance at Bibiyana and Bangora gas field.” “After the maintenance, both gas fields will hopefully start full-fledged production,” he said. l

Homebound people leave Dhaka in throngs even two days before eid. A crowd pushes through the back of a steamer at Sadarghat, struggling to get in first


Mobile phone users may face even bigger problems this eid n

Muhammad Zahidul Islam

“Network busy!” Over the last few years, these two have been the most read words on mobile phone screens during Eid days. Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are the two biggest religious festivals in the country. On these two days, people tend to make more phone calls than on the busiest of weekdays, exchanging greetings with friends, family and sometimes even the most distant of acquaintances. As a result of the overcrowded networks, every year on Eid days, it becomes really hard to reach people on mobile phones. However, industry insiders have warned that the situation this year may get a lot worse than before with the mobile operators upgrading to the 3G platform. “Every year operators take special measures before Eid [to check overcrowding on networks]. But every year new problems arise that cannot be predicted. Moreover, networks and

technologies have also been becoming more complex day by day,” a chief technology officer of a reputed mobile operator told the Dhaka Tribune. “During this Eid-ul-Fitr also, our network got congested in some areas. The services of a leading operator remained down from morning till afternoon,” he said. Statistics suggest that networks experience around 40-50% hike in mobile phone calls and 200-300% hike in short messaging services, popularly known as SMS, on Eid days. Moreover, subscribers make over a hundred million minutes of additional overseas calls on these two festive days. Sources said the existing mobile phone networks in the country did not have the capacity to endure such workload. “Network optimization is a big challenge for an operator, especially when they switch from one technology to another. Optimisation takes time too,” Md Mujibor Rahaman, managing director of state-owned Teletalk, told the Dhaka

Tribune. “We had to deal with huge problems last year after launching 3G services. If the new 3G operators do not take proper precaution, they will also have to face similar challenges,” he said. When Teletalk launched 3G services in October last year, the subscribers of some areas faced severe network problems during Eid. The chief technology officer (CTO) of another leading operator said they were having to change antennas with dual bands for the 3G rollout. He said: “The previous antennas were used for only 1800 bands. Now that we are having to change the antennas, there will be mobility problems.” “As we have just started network up-gradation, it may pose added problems. The problems may remain even after Eid when we go for bigger network up-gradation,” another CTO told the Dhaka Tribune. He said optimising networks after up-gradation took around three-four months and during the period call drop rates might rise. l

Lifeless eid for Chandramukhi’s parents n Moniruzzaman Uzzal “I heard eid is around. So I bought six pink and purple dresses you used to set your heart on. Did not you tell me to buy four dresses for you? Dear daughter, I promise you this eid will be the same as before. I will just miss your delicate movement. I love you way too much, dear. And it is impossible for me to let any of your wishes go unfulfilled.” A grieving father posted the heart-wrenching status on his Facebook that touched many hearts. The fiveyear-old daughter of GTV Chief Reporter Roqibur Islam Mukul had succumbed to her illness. “Everything that had been yours is still here – toys, schoolbag, beautiful dresses in the closet, your paintings on the wall, the letters glued on the refrigerator, packets of milk, water bottles and your iPhone, chocolates in the fridge, clippings and combs strewn on the dressing table – everything. Yet I do not feel an emptiness in my heart. You took away everything with you, my dear Chandramukhi. Stay fine, even if it costs everything I have,” the heart-writhing status continues. Mukul is passing his days sitting by the hospital bed of his wife. His wife Nazneen Akhtar, a senior journalist of Daily Janakantha, had jumped off the balcony of their fourth-floor flat after she heard the news of her daughter’s death. This correspondent went to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital ICU to visit the couple yesterday. “Since Nazneen’s physical condition was stable, she was shifted to a hospital cabin. She is now getting treatment in

cabin no 50,” the on-duty doctor said. It might be that Nazneen was out of danger, but the worsening of her health was obvious. She lost a lot of weight, looking pale and hollow-eyed. Two weeks ago, doctors strapped a device with her right arm that was fractured when she jumped off the balcony.

“Things have improved a bit. You know doctors did not even hope she could ever move her hand,” Mukul said. DMCH ICU Head Prof Abdur Rahman said Nazeen needed to see a psychologist. “She tried not to take medications while she had been in the ICU. She used to say that she did not want to live and that she wanted to be with Chandramukhi. We even arranged for a psychologist for her in the ICU once,” he said. On September 16, Chandramukhi died while under treatment at the ICU of Shishu Hospital. Unable to bear the news,

Nazneen tried to kill herself. That night, after attending his daughter’s funeral, Mukul went to the hospital to stand by his wife. Four weeks have passed since, but he hardly left the sight of her. Mukul who attended his office for the first time yesterday evening since the fateful day, posted a message on his Facebook account right after reaching his workstation. The message, which accompanies two pictures of Chandramukhi sitting on her father’s office desk, said: “You are everywhere my dear daughter. I came to my office for a while after a month’s break only to find you here sitting in my chair!” In a Facebook post, Mukul earlier wrote: “A scar is burning inside my heart like a piece of fireball from hell. Is there any doctor who can heal this?” “You liked Miki Mouse most and you wanted your daddy to take you to Disney. See, daddy has taken you to the largest Disney of the world. Whenever you wanted to have something, daddy used to be mad to bring you that. Well, no one wants anything from me now. Why do not you talk in your sweet voice from other side of phone now - “come dad, bring Kinder Joy for me. Why do you have to be so touchy, dear?” “There is a saying in journalism which is called “Narcotizing Dysfunction”. I know all these things are just solace for the moment.Dysfunctional feelings.Everything will vanish after a few days.Everyone have to guard his/her own mountain of pain, this is reality. Some may come with helicopter or even mountain-high ladder to support you for some time, but in the end, you will find you are on your own,” the post said. l


No let-up in hassles during journey home Eid holidaymakers face disruptions to schedule, congestion on highways

n Ashif Islam Shaon Unpleasantness befell Eid holidaymakers during their travel by roads and rivers as buses, trains and launches – three affordable modes of transportation – fell behind their schedules. A heavy rush of vehicles created congestion on highways yesterday since vacationers joined the mad rush to embark on their journey home for celebration of Eid ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims. The vehicles did not exactly get stuck in the three major highways — Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Aricha, but were moving very slowly. Bangladesh Railway authorities that introduced special trains since October 11 failed to maintain schedule till yesterday while bus companies set examples of even six to eight hours’ late.

Most bus companies missed their schedules yesterday. The bus staff attribute jam on highways to disruption to schedule Sufferings on highways

Our Gazipur correspondent reports there was a 40-kilometre congestion from Chandra of Gazipur to Bangabandhu Bridge in Tangail since yesterday morning. Konabari-Salna Highway police station’s Officer-in-Charge Alamgir Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune over phone in the evening that the pressure of vehicles had been mounting with the time passing by. Konabari, Mouchak, Safipur and Chandra, Jirani and Tangail witnessed a heavy gridlock, with Gazipur town and Dhaka-Tripur surrounding areas having the worst of it. On Dhaka-Tangail highway, pressure of inbound vehicles was less immense. The tailback stretched from Konabari to Mirzapur and Ashulia’s Bipal to Chandra. On Dhaka-Aricha highway, a 20-kilometre jam was created as locals

blocked a road in front of Saturia bus stop of Manikganj after a CNG-run bus caught fire around 10am.

Disruptions to schedule

Officials of Kamlapur Railway Station said special train, Deyanganj express, delayed one hour and 15 minutes in the morning. Mahanagr Parabat left the station around an hour late. Besides, every local train departed the platform from 30 minutes to one and a half hours late. According to the railway officials, to reach the destination and come back to Kamlapur, every train was delayed at least three hours. Abu Taher, director general of Bangladesh Railway, described disruptions to schedule as ‘typical example’ during mad rush to travel home ahead of Eid. “We need time to clear the platform after trains reached Kamlapur. Besides, it kills sometime while passengers are getting on and off the trains,” he said.

Bus passengers suffered a lot

Most bus companies missed their schedules yesterday. The bus staff attribute jam on highways to disruption to schedule. Many passengers alleged that the companies emphasised special trips in comparison with the regular ones. Counter Manager Shyamol Dutta of Sakura Paribahan said on the occasion of Eid they always kept in mind that every bus would at least be half an hour late to depart the station. “One or two days before Eid, city buses ply on highways for extra income. These buses create extra pressure and tailbacks,” he added.

Launch travellers face unique experience

Apart from the scheduled launches, more than 60 special launches apparently had no specific schedules. Passengers rushing to launch terminals complying with the launch authorities’ instruction contributed to traffic congestion on roads leading to Sadarghat. Many were also seen walking miles with bag and family members. l




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Topsoe’s efforts to improve lives of poor Bangladeshi children recalled n Tribune Report The contributions of late Danish scientist and philanthropist Haldor Topsoe in improving the lives of Bangladeshi children through education were recalled by speakers at a discussion yesterday. Topsoe, who died shortly before his 100th birthday, contributed to the founding and development of Utsho Bidyaniketon, a school for underprivileged children run by Utsho Bangladesh, a community-based rights organisation. Topsoe’s daughter Birgette Oigaard said her father’s work has remained a source of comfort to the family. “We would like to see that his spirits and inspiration persist,” Birgette said. The occasion also marked the inauguration of Utsho Bidyaniketon’s permanent building in Sreepur, which was constructed with Topsoe’s donation. Utsho Bangladesh Chairperson Ferdous Ali said by providing the funds for the school building, Topsoe had given them hope and chance to realise the dreams. Utsho founder Mahbuba Mahmud wished to include an article on Topsoe’s life in the English textbook of class VI, and sought Brigitte’s help. Topsoe, a chemical engineer and entrepreneur, was well-known in Bangladesh for promoting the export-oriented Karnafuli Fertiliser Company (KAFCO). l

Durga Puja ends with idol immersion n BSS

Hindu devotees of Chittagong perform the penultimate rituals before the immersion of Goddess Durga’s idols yesterday amid fanfare in Patenga sea beach


Thousands Hindus took to the streets yesterday to the sound of drums and chanting mantras as five days of revelry and celebration on the occasion of Durga Puja ended last afternoon with the emersion of goddess Durga’s idols in rivers and water bodies. In Dhaka, jubilant devotees in colourful attires joined spectacular processions carrying idols amid fanfare towards the Buriganga River for emersion. Both young and the elderly joined hands to slowly put the idols into the water. Durga Puja is the worship divine power embodied in Durga symbolising the battle between good and evil. Bijaya Dashami marks the victory of good over evil is a public holiday. President Abdul Hamid hosted a reception for the members of Hindu community while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited some Hindu temples on Sunday. Bangladesh this year witnessed over 28,000 makeshift puja mandaps or marquees with flowers and multi-coloured lights across the country. The Dhakeswari National Temple, the biggest and oldest Hindu monastery in downtown Dhaka, drew the highest number of devotees. l

Extortion – ‘festival bonus’ Newborn baby found in dustbin Probarona Purnima for political leaders, police n on Friday Mohammad Jamil Khan

n Our Correspondent, Bandarban n Mohammad Jamil Khan Following the Durga Puja and Eid celebrations, another festival closely follows in the Chittagong Hill Tracts - the Buddhist holiday of Probarona Purnima on Friday. Considered to be the second most important festival for Buddhists, Probarona Purnima is celebrated for four days. Festivities will include spectacular fireworks and lighting of paper lanterns, and a grand chariot race. The festival is called “Waggowai Poye” by the Marmas. Bomang King U Cha Pru said it would start on October 19 with a handball match. Candles are lit in temples and paper lanterns are floated at night, and the festivities include cultural and sporting events as well as special prayers. The annual “raath jatra” or chariot procession will be held on October 20. Bandarban police station OC Amir Hossain said: “Security is not a concern right now, but we have taken necessary measures.” The celebrations mark the end of three-month seclusion by Buddhist monks for atonement. Also known as Ashwini Purnima, the celebrations follow a month of preaching and sermons. The highlight of the festival is the lighting of colourful sky lanterns, commemorating an instance of Buddha’s life. According to a legend the Buddha clipped strands of his hair and said if he was enlightened then his hair should float up instead of falling down. l

Incidents of mugging and extortion have increased alarmingly across the country in the last few weeks ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha and during Durga Puja. Criminals, political leaders and law enforcers are extorting money from businesses, landlords and cattle traders, calling the money a “festival bonus.” Interestingly, political differences have been put aside to extort money as opposition activists are teaming up with ruling party leaders to extort. Victims alleged that the extortion began a couple of weeks ago and was going on at every transport hub in the city, like bus, launch and train terminals. A land developer from Sutrapur area claimed to this correspondent that on Sunday night, a police officer invited him to a restaurant to take tea with him. After having tea, the official quietly asked him for a eid bonus and he later gave him Tk5,000. After sunset, police patrol teams allegedly collect tolls from city residents on the streets while civil teams collect tolls from supermarkets and even from traders in kitchen markets.


Hundreds of garment workers demonstrated and blocked roads at Ashulia, Tongi and Gazipur yesterday demand ing wages and eid bonuses. Workers of “Liberty Fashion Wear Limited” in Ashulia barricaded the JiraniShimulia road, said Mostafizur Rahman, director of Savar Industrial Police. Police charged batons, hurled tear gas cannisters and short rubber bullets to stop protesters from blocking the busy road. At least 50 workers were injured in the melee. The agitated workers said they had been demonstrating for several days to realise their dues, but the factory authorities did not pay heed. BGMEA Vice-President Shahidullah Azim told the Dhaka tribune that Liberty Fashion had paid the workers. Meanwhile, the owners of Liberty

Rainfall likely in the next 24 hours n UNB Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at a few places over Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal and Chittagong divisions until 6pm today. Day and night temperature may fall slightly over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:34pm today and rises at 5:56am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 34.0 degree Celsius was recorded at Maijdee Court and lowest 23.5 degrees at Rangamati yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

32.2 31.4 33.1 28.4 32.5 32.0 32.6 32.4

25.8 25.6 25.3 25.8 26.2 25.8 24.6 25.0

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

4:40am 5:54am 11:45pm 3:57pm 5:35pm 6:50pm


Hossain Ali, a covered van owner from Noyabazar area, explained to this correspondent how he had devised a scheme to avoid extortion. When a patrol team stops him for “checking,” he simply says he just went past this spot a little while ago and had already made a payment. Usually a team lets him go. A businessman alleged that a police patrol team had stopped him at a check post at night and treated him very well. However, when he refused to pay the money they asked for, they changed their attitude and threatened to have him jailed with a drugs case. A grocery shop owner at Rayshahebbazar area, requesting anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune that he gave Tk50,000 to an underling of Hannan Sheikh, a notorious local criminal, who came to his shop, asked for an “eid bonus” and threatened to set fire to the shop if he did not comply. Similar incidents took place in Jatrabari, Demra, Mugda, Sabujbagh, Sutrapur, Turag, Kadamtali and Darus Salam area. Some victims told the Dhaka Tribune they did not dare to complain against the extortionists as police are unlikely to investigate against

themselves. According to sources, as part of their “eid bonus collection,” members of Jagannath University Chhatra League took Tk45,000 from Banglabazar Laguna stand, Tk300,000 from Sadarghat terminal and Great Wall Shopping Mall and Tk200,000 more from Islampur area and Victoria Park. Chhatra Dal activists of the university were also collecting tolls from different organisations in the vicinity of the campus. A hotel owner from Sadarghat told the Dhaka Tribune he gave Tk15,000 to a Chhatra Dal leader who came asking for an “eid bonus.” However, he would not identify this the leader. Another businessman from Nagar Siddique Plaza, said a Chhatra Dal leader came to his shop and took more than 15 t-shirts from his shop. When asked why he did not protest, he said, “Their party may come to power in the future and we have to continue our business in the area.” Hassan Mahmood Khandker, the inspector general of police, told the Dhaka Tribune that orders had given to take action against all extortionists including police officials and no one would be spared if found guilty of such. l

A newborn baby boy wrapped in dusty clothes was recovered from a dustbin in capital’s Nurjahan road in Mohammadpur area yesterday. A local couple Nizam Uddin and his wife Lamia Akter Mim spotted the baby while taking morning walk by the road. Alerted by the sound of a baby’s crying, they found it from a dustbin placed beside a local school on Nurjahan road, Azizul Haque, officer-in-charge of Mohammadpur police station told the Dhaka Tribune. The couple took the baby to Mohammadpur police station. “After they brought the baby, we gave them a clearance certificate and sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for the baby’s treatment. Currently the baby is kept inside an Incubator at the Pediatric Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).” He said: “Someone might have dumped the baby at any hour last night.” The couple who recovered the neonate wanted to adopt it, he said. “If legal guardians to the baby are not found then it might be handed over to them through the Support and Investigation department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police,” said the OC.

Nizam Uddin, a local tailor in Mohammadpur area, said: “We go for a morning walk every day. Yesterday while coming back home from the walk we heard a child crying around 8am.” “Noticing the beautiful baby boy, my wife picked him up from the dustbin,” he said. “We bought an antiseptic from a local pharmacy and washed its body with it. Then we took him to the police station and from there to DMCH for treatment,” he said. “I wonder how is it possible to throw away such a beautiful child in the dustbin and leave it to die,” he added. Doctors at the children ward of DMCH told the Dhaka Tribune that the boy was born two or three days ago and his heart and lungs were functioning normal. He weighs 2.7 kg. Different parts of his body have swollen to mosquito bites but it was not something to be worried about. He will be all right if proper nursing was done, they said. Shamima Begum, Deputy Commissioner of Victim Support Centre of DMP, said: ”As it was a newborn baby and the couple was also willing to adopt him, we currently handed the baby to them. However, the court will pass the final order regarding adoption after opening on Sunday.” l

50 workers hurt in clash with police in Ashulia

Cowhides smuggling likely through 13 border points

n Tribune Report

n Mohammad Jamil Khan

Fashion paid wages and bonuses to the workers of their factory in Mirpur in the face of threats by union leaders. “We decided to sell the machinery to pay the workers’ dues as the factory owners went into hiding without paying bonuses and wages,” said Lovely Yasmin, president of Readymade Garment Workers Federation. “The factory owners contacted me and promised to pay the bonuses and wages when they came to know that,” she said. At Cherag Ali in Tongi, 300 workers of a factory demonstrated on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway. Not getting the dues, the workers got angry and blocked the highway, halting traffic. The protesters ended their blockade after the owners assured to pay them. In Gazipur, workers of Dotcom Sweater and High Fashion Composite Ltd staged demonstrations. l

A well-organised syndicate was planning to smuggle cowhides to India by 13 routes at the border, according to a report of intelligence agencies. Sources said the smuggling gang was mainly focusing on the northern and southern borders and it had already contracted several leather traders in India and collected a huge amount of advance payments to supply cowhides after eid. The intelligence report said the gang was planning to smuggle cowhides from Jessore, Khulna, Satkhira, Patkalghat, Kaliganj and Rajarhat area through the Benapol and Satkhira, Koloroa border areas. Cowhides from Jhenidah, Magura, Kotchandpur and Moheshpur area would be smuggleked through Jibonnagar border. Cowhides from Kustia, Chuadanga, Doulatpur and Alamdanga

would be smuggleked through Meherpur and Darshana borders. Cowhides from Natore would be smuggled through Chapanababganj Sona Mosque and Rajshahi Godagori area while cowhides from Sylhet and Moulovibazar would be smuggled through Jaflang, Tamabil and Karimganj. The intelligence report, that was submitted to the home ministry, remarked that the security arrangements at the border should be improved and police patrolling increased at Savar, Joydebpur, Kachpur, Ashulia, Manikganj and Sultana Kamal bridge so that smugglers would not able to take away cowhides from the capital. In this regard, Benazir Ahmed, the commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, has already ordered law enforcers in a briefing that no trucks carrying cowhides are to be allowed to leave the capital within seven days of eid.

Trucks carrying cowhides may, however, enter the capital. Besides the police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have also beefed up their security arrangements and are staying alert so that no one would be able to smuggle cowhides outside Bangladesh illegally. Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed, the director general of BGB, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Cowhides are a national treasure and we have taken special security arrangements to stop its smuggling. In this regard, orders have been given to captains of the 48 battalions at the border to remain alert and take all possible actions to stop cowhide smuggling.” Asked about the security arrangements against cowhide smuggling, Hassan Mahmood Khandker, the inspector general of police, said the police would not allow any kind of illegal trade of cowhides. l

Hospitals to have special arrangements for Eid n Moniruzzaman Uzzal

Public hospitals in the capital will have special arrangements to ensure continuation of emergency health care services during the three-day holiday of Eid-ul-Azha, which begins today. Duty roasters for those staying back have already been prepared in consultation with the medical and nonmedical staff members of the hospitals. Essential drugs, surgical materials and other consumables were also stored for use during this time. The timings of this year’s Durga Puja and Eid-Ul-Azha – coming in quick succession in a week’s time – made it practically easier for the hospital au-

thorities to prepare their roasters, with the doctors of Hindu and Islamic faiths swapping holidays with each other. Earlier on October 7, the Director General of Health Services had instructed all public hospitals to take “special measures” to ensure medical services for the patients during the two festivals. The instruction entailed preparing a full-fledged medical team, ambulance service and medical equipment in order for each hospital to handle any kind of emergency during the week before and after Eid. Only the emergency departments will remain open during the three-day holiday. The outdoor wings will remain

closed and will resume on Friday, once the vacation ends. “From our previous experiences with Eid-time holiday service, we expect to attend a good number of patients with cuts and bruises,” Brigadier General Dr Mustafizur Rahman, director general of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), said. “In 2012, about 250 people came to DMCH on the first day of Eid and most of them were suffering from major to minor cuts. “We have already taken necessary preparations to respond to any sort of emergency during this Eid.” According to sources, patients with no severe ailment are being discharged

from most of the hospitals upon permission of their doctors. Mitford Hospital, DMCH, Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital, National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation and other big hospitals are on course to discharge a large of indoor patients to allow them to spend time with their family. In DMCH, where the average number of admitted patients is between 2,100 and 2,300, the number was less than 1,400 yesterday, according to the hospital’s deputy director Dr Musfiqur Rahman. “Though Monday was a public holiday, our outdoor services were open. More than 400 patients came to

take treatment there and many more sought to opt out of the hospital too,” he added. The outdoor services of Birdem Hospital will remain closed until Friday but its emergency services will be available like any normal day, said Brigadier General (Retd) Shahidul Hoque Mollick, director of Birdem. “The number of indoor patients has reduced to nearly half of what we generally have; there are about 300 patients at this moment.” Big private hospitals in the capital are also on course to have emergency services during the Eid holidays, including Square, Labaid, Popular, Mordern, United, Apollo and others. l




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taha Khana in Chapai Nawabganj is the suburb of the first capital of the sultans of Bengal, established in the 13th century AD


Guiding lite

W n Tim Steel

Guiding is already in a ruinous state in Bangladesh. For even moderately informed guiding of the heritage sites across the country, it is rare to find anyone around with even the most basic knowledge

ith well over 1,000 fascinating heritage sites to visit in Bangladesh, from the outlines of 3,000 year old cities such as Wari Bateshwar in Narshingdhi and Mahasthangarh near Bogra amongst the best, to sites such as Mograpara that, somewhere, must have traces of the Khilji Palace so vividly described by the writer to the Admiral (who led the early 14th century visiting entourage from China, via countless temples, mosques, churches, palaces, mansions, forts and governance centres) a little on-site explanation and interpretation wouldn’t go amiss. On site explanation and interpretation is an essential part of any heritage tourism experience. Heritage tourists are easily the most treasured members of the enormous international tourism market. They are usually the best educated, and, as such, amongst the wealthiest, as well as most culturally and environmentally sensitive. They are, in fact, exactly the kind of tourists that the fragile natural and social environment of Bangladesh could most easily support. Heritage tourism may form the foundation of most major interna-

There are no educated guides who can inform tourists of the significance of our rich heritage. The site is Mahasthangarh, Bogra SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

tional tourism destinations – from Italy, France, Britain and Greece, to Egypt and India, and, not least, newer destinations like Peru, Mexico, China, Cambodia, Myanmar and Japan. But, in all those nations too, a thirst for national identity and heritage produces a torrent of local visitors to important sites, not merely, as is so often the case in Bangladesh sadly, in search of a picnic site! Guiding is, however, like the rapidly disappearing heritage of the nation itself, already in a ruinous state in Bangladesh. For even moderately informed guiding of the heritage sites across the country, it is rare to find anyone around with even the most basic knowledge of who made the place, when, why or how. Without that, since so few sites are written up anywhere and even fewer, accurately, a visitor is rather lost. On a recent visit to the World Heritage site of Paharpur, I was accosted inside the gate by a young man offering his services as a guide. He proceeded to tell me the magnificent site was a tribute to the skills of the great Islamic tradition of art and architecture! I find it hard to believe he really thought so, at what is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the entire sub-continent. Worse still was the large Archaeology Department notice, informing that the site is a 7th century Pala period construction. It is of course certainly true that the visible remains originated in that period, but archaeologists have already established the presence of 3rd century BCE Mauryan period brickwork on the site – a mere thousand years earlier. And it is widely accepted that the site may very well have originated in the lifetime of the Buddha himself. Indeed, the site museum itself gives the lie to the board including many works on display dated to the 5th century and earlier. It was also, almost certainly, a major site where the great Mahayana School of Buddhism developed, the school responsible for the Yogic and tantric traditions often attributed to Tibet. But the traditions were almost certainly taken to Tibet in the 12th century by the Vikrampur born monk, Atish Dipankar. At the request of the King of Tibet he travelled there to assist in restoring the Buddhism that had fallen into decay, taking the practices with him. Indeed, the many terracotta panels, some original, others replicated, that decorate the main structure, clearly illustrate the performance of such practices. Such explanation of the significance of the site would be welcomed by most educated visitors. At Mahasthangarh, visitors to remains of a nearby Vihara are presented with a mishmash of Hindu legends about princesses bitten by men turned into snakes. Possibly it’s an entertaining addition to enjoy, but scarcely the stuff with which to educate and inform and enhance pride in national heritage! Whilst it is clear that there is a need

Hajiganj Jaldurga, popularly known as Narayanganj Fort for better guiding – even a level of expertise that may not be entirely professional but at least better informed – the Ministry of Tourism is presently considering a proposal that is likely to prove disastrous. In the late nineties, the Government of Sri Lanka introduced a scheme to licence guides; it is such a scheme that is under consideration in Bangladesh. There proved to be two fatal problems with the proposal. Trainee guides were to be instructed and examined by “experts” appointed by the government. At the time, I was living at Deniyaya, on the fringes of Sinharaja Rain Forest, a major environmental tourism destination. My landlord and his family had been guiding tourists into the forest for decades, knew it and its wildlife intimately, were widely acknowledged internationally for their work and knowledge, and were at the forefront of conservation activity. They were told they had to take an exam, which was set by someone who was an academic, without detailed knowledge of the actual wildlife of the forest. It is not hard to imagine those at the archaeology department in Bangladesh, responsible for the information board at Paharpur, failing any potential guide who understood the true history. The second problem, that rapidly appeared, and it is hard to believe could be avoided in Bangladesh, was that the issue of licences quickly became a means for bureaucrats and politicians to give family and followers a means of making a living, issuing licences to protégés devoid of training. These licenced “guides” then proceeded to call the police to deal, on each site, with more professional and knowledgeable tour guides, or better informed local young people, who seemed likely to deprive them of

guiding fees and tips. It may well be that a little knowledge is better than none, in assisting visitors to appreciate the places they explore, but such “lite” guiding is likely to prove difficult for the slowly developing cultural, heritage and environmental tourism in Bangladesh to recover from! Accurate, printed information could certainly help, and there seems no reason why tour companies themselves shouldn’t sponsor such publications. But, in the end there


ly well-educated young man thanked me for doing what he dared not, being a Hindu himself, and identified himself as an official guide on the site, employed by the Archaeology Department. A step, at least, in the right direction, with Hindu guides to Hindu monuments if Muslim youths remain careless of other histories and traditions, but a very small step where strides are clearly needed. l Tim Steel is a communications, marketing and tourism consultant.

In my travels around the extraordinary, vanishing heritage of Bangladesh, visiting literally hundreds of sites, I have experienced only one good guiding experience

is little substitute for real, informed knowledge, appreciation and interpretation by a preferably local guide to enhance the visitor experience on site. It is, like staff at hospitality establishments, fundamental that site staff, rather than being employed for their contacts or political affiliations, should have some language skills, and be schooled in charm as well. In fact, in my travels around the extraordinary, vanishing heritage of Bangladesh, visiting literally hundreds of sites, I have experienced only one good guiding experience; and that only materialised when, at Puthia, a television cameraman, without removing his shoes, scrambled for a better filming location onto a temple. When I pointed out to him that prohibition on footwear was the same in temples as in mosques, an evident-




Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Wastes of sacrificial animals to be removed within 48 hours n Abu Hayat Mahmud Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) are gearing up to start a massive drive to clean the city after the slaughtering of sacrificial animals on the day of Eid-ul-Azha. DSCC Chief Waste Management Officer Captain SM Javed Iqbal told the Dhaka Tribune: “Our target is to clean the garbage within 48 hours through a clean-up drive that will be officially inaugurated at 2pm on the Eid day.” Along with the fleet of 5,200 regular cleaning staff, DSCC has employed 1,500 additional cleaners to do the job, he said. DNCC Chief Waste Management Officer Bipan Kumar Saha said: “Modern equipment will be used in the drive and we hope it would take less than 48 hours to clean our zone.” Alongside 2600 permanent staffs, DNCC has outsourced 4,900 cleaners for the waste management during Eidul-Azha, said DNCC officials. The illegal cattle markets lied as a challenge for the city corporations to ensure a clean city during Eid, as they would generate additional piles of garbage, he said. Eid holidays of all the waste management staffs of the two corporations have been cancelled to finish the clean-

up drive by the next day of Eid-ul-Azha. City corporation officials anticipate that this year more than 30,000 tonnes of wastes would be generated during Eid-ul-Azha. A total of 16,700 cleaners from the two city corporations would be on duty in the capital from the afternoon on Eid day, to clean waste produced from sacrificial animals both on the streets and at the cattle market areas. Modern machineries like pay-loaders, tyre dodgers, dump trucks, water lorries, trailers and prime movers would be engaged in the drive to clear the garbage, said officials of the two city corporations. “The water lorries would be controlled centrally,” said Bipan Kumar Saha. Authorities of the two city corporations would distribute 100000 polythene bags among the city dwellers. They urged the people to store the wastes in the polythene bags after slaughtering the sacrificial animals and keep them at designated spots of the corporation or in front of their houses. This year the city corporations hves given permission to set up 20 cattle markets in the city. Special teams from the DSCC and DNCC would clean the makeshift cattle markets by the next day of Eid. l

Mahasthangarh museum lacks proper care n Hasibur Rahman Bilu, Bogra Thousands of relics of pre-Marian period and British period were kept without proper care in store room as well as in front of Mahasthangarh Archeological Museum premise under the open sky since long time. Regional Director in Charge of archeology department in Bogra Md Badrul Alam, admitted it and said that government took an initiative to build another museum building at Mahasthangarh site under South Asian Tourism Infrastructure Development Project (SATIDP). Professor Dr Shahnaj Husne Jahan, cultural heritage management special-

ist of the project, said there was no plan to build new museum building in the site but the authority was going to change the interior decoration of the existing museum under the project. According to the department, at least five thousand artifacts including two thousand statues were kept in the Mohasthangarh museum store room. Artifacts of different dynasties including Gupta and Pala were setup in the museum premise to exhibit for the visitors under the sky long ago. Former director general in-charge of archeology department, Md Abdul Khaleque, said important relics of different era had been kept in the museum properly during his tenure. l

Mounul Islam, who lives in Kushtia with family for work, comes home to Dhaka for Eid. This year he has brought with him a sacrificial goat that he has been keeping as a pet for some time. The photo was taken from the capital’s Kalyanpur yesterday SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Transport owners protest extra tolls at Mayor Hanif Flyover Dhaka South City Corporation to take action after Eid holidays Jamil Khan and n Mohammad Abu Hayat Mahmud Transport owners and workers of Sayedabad area once again demonstrated at the terminal yesterday alleging that the staff of Mayor Hanif Flyover were taking extra tolls. Communications Minister Obaidul Quader was visiting the Sayedabad bus terminal in the morning when the protests took place. The agitated transport workers claimed that the government had fixed the toll rate for public buses at Tk100 but the flyover staff were illegally charging Tk260 from them. The transport workers appealed to the minister to take steps about the ir-

regularities. Minister Obaidul Quader immediately contacted the administrator of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Nazmul Islam and asked him to take steps against the problem by communicating with Orion Group, the company in charge of toll collection. He told the administrator that the communications system was his responsibility and irregularities with the flyover were the administrator’s responsibility. He asked the Islam to take steps to stop the extra tolls immediately. Minister later told reporters that he would discuss the issue with the prime minister so that steps are taken against this irregularity. Ansar Ali Khan, Chief Executive Of-

ficer (CEO) of DSCC told the Dhaka Tribune that they had already sent a letter to Orion Group to fix the problem and charge tolls as per the government rates. “Besides, we already visited the spot on Sunday noon for inspection,” he added. Khan also said if Orion Group did not take steps to fix the problem, action would be taken against them shortly after the offices reopen after eid Holidays. On Saturday, a day after of the prime minister inaugurated the flyover, a group of transport workers and Orion group staff locked in a scuffle when the staff tried to charge extra tolls from transport workers. According to DSCC,

Blacksmiths passing busy schedule ahead of Eid-ul-Azha n Tazlina Zamila Khan

Blacksmiths busy making sharp iron tools as demand of these accessories increases ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. The photo was taken from Kawkhali in Barisal FOCUS BANGLA

The blacksmiths have been passing a busy time making iron made sharp tools as demand of these accessories rises up ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims that is observed by sacrificing animals in the name of the Almighty. Although the blacksmith community remain almost jobless throughout the year, they usually do not get any time to spare during the Eid-ul-Azha season. However, the traditional profession, “Blacksmith,” has been facing several drawbacks nowadays. Mohammad Sumon, a blacksmith at the capital’s Karwan Bazar kitchen market, who had been relentlessly working to prepare iron made sharp tools to meet the overwhelming demand of the buyers ahead of the Eidul-Azha, said he had been working in this business for last 12 years. Two or three days before every Eid-

ul-Azha they remain extremely busy making knifes and other sharp tools, he said, adding: “We usually get Tk100,000200,000 during the Eid-ul-Azha season by selling these sharp tools.” Other than this season, he went on saying, they hardly earn Tk10,00020,000 per month. The price of these sharp tools varies with the quality and quantity of the iron, as chapati (chopper) is sold at Tk300-500, butcher knives at Tk200-150, small knifes at Tk50-120 and cleavers for slaughtering sacrificial animals at Tk500-800. In passage of time, this traditional profession and demand of these locally made sharp tools have been losing popularity, and many blacksmiths have already left this profession because of the low demand and other factors. As a result of increase in price of the raw materials and advent of light, low cost, ready-made knives and cutting tools in the markets, people are now reluctant to purchase knives and chop-

pers made locally by the blacksmiths. Abdul Khalek, a blacksmith of Tongi bazar, said: “I will leave the profession although this has been our main profession for last three generations.” The blacksmiths of the area claimed that raw materials were far cheaper in the past and their workers were not willing to work at a low salary, the employers had been paying since long. At present, per sack of charcoal costs Tk1000-1200, whereas it was sold at Tk400-500 just six years ago, while iron price went up to Tk120-100 from Tk30-40 per kg, Abdul Khalek said. Another blacksmith of the area Hyder Ali said: “I used to pay Tk10002000 monthly to my employees but now they demand Tk10,000-15,000.” Blaming lack of government patronisation for the fall of the business, Mohammad Abu Jafar, a blacksmith of the Karwan Bazar, said: “If the authorities concerned provided us interest-free bank loans, we could mitigate our sufferings.” l

Most doctors at Barisal Medical College Hospital on Eid vacation

City corporation preparing to make port city dirt free

n Our Correspondent, Barisal

n FM Mizanur Rahaman, Chittagong

Medical facilities were severely hampered in Barisal as Eid-ul-Azha and Durga Puja holidays unofficially started from Friday [October 11] and would continue until Saturday. Private hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres in the city already had a festive atmosphere. On other hand, general people and businessmen, especially cattle hide traders would also suffer due to the closure of banks and regular service disruptions at ATM booths during the holidays. Sources said Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH), the biggest and only specialised health service providers in the region, would be operating with only a handful of physicians and staffs assigned for duty dur-

ing almost a week-long Eid and Puja holidays. More than 613 out of 829 doctors and nurses of SBMCH would be out of the station on Eid vacation, which almost 74% of the workforce at the hospital. At least 182 out of 200 intern doctors, the main working forces of the hospital, 139 out of 175 registers, assistant registers, emergency, indoor and outdoor medical officers and 292 out of 454 staff nurses, of hospital started enjoying the vacation. Dr Qamrul Islam Selim, deputy director SBMCH, said 18 intern doctors, 39 registers, assistant registers, emergency, indoor and outdoor medical officers and 162 staff nurses had been assigned to perform duties during Eid. “We cannot deny the right to leave during the Eid and Puja festivals. Doctors and nurses of other religion and

also the ones residing in the city would be available for service,” said Dr Kamrul Islam Selim, acting director at SBMCH. Dr ATM Mizanur Rahman, a district civil surgeon, said: “The upazila level clinics and hospitals have made some special but very limited arrangements to offer health services. They usually refer the patients to district and divisional level hospitals.” “Normally, on an average, 1,200 patients go through indoor treatment at this 500 bed hospital per day but the number of admitted patients during Eid holidays is expected to be an average of 600 to 700. “Today [yesterday], the numbers of admitted patients in SBMCH is 760,” Dr Saidul Islam, assistant director SBMCH, said when asked about the rush of patients during Eid. l

The Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has taken a set of preparations to dump the waste of sacrificial animals starting from Eid day. The authorities concerned said it would be a major challenge for the corporation as huge volumes of refuse from sacrificial animals pile up during the festival. Safiqul Islam Siddique, acting chief conservancy officer of CCC, told the Dhaka Tribune that they would the start cleaning activities from 10am on Eid day with their 1,950 regular staffs and 550 others who has been appointed temporarily. He also said to make the city dirt free by 4pm, they had divided 41 wards of the city into four zones —north, south, west

and east — adding that they had also cancelled Eid vacations of its all cleaning staffs in order perform the tasks rapidly. The official said 100 KG of bleaching powder had been distributed among the cleaners at each of the wards in the city. A total of 12 water-vouchers and 50 tanks on rickshaw-vans would be engaged in spraying water on the city roads after removing the wastes. He said they would open four control rooms in different part at city under one central control room at Dampara area to receive information and deliver direction regarding removal of wastes. Sudip Basak, an assistant engineer at the mechanical department of CCC, said apart from 100 garbage trucks of the conservancy department, 50 trucks of other departments would also be engaged in the cleaning activities. l

the toll collection rate for a single trip over the flyover is Tk150 for a six-wheeler truck, Tk200 for a trailer, Tk100 for a four-wheeler truck, Tk150 for a bus, Tk100 for a minibus, Tk75 for a pickup van, Tk50 for a microbus, Tk40 for a jeep, Tk35 for a car, Tk10 for an autorickshaw and Tk5 for a motorcycle. However, drivers and locals alleged that staff from Orion Infrastructure Ltd on Saturday were charging Tk260 for six-wheeler trucks, Tk173 for four-wheeler trucks, Tk375 for trailers,Tk260 for buses, Tk173 for minibuses, Tk130 for pickup vans, Tk85 for microbuses, Tk70 for jeeps, Tk60 for cars, Tk18 for auto-rickshaws and Tk10 for motorcycles. l

Golam Mohiuddin passes away n Tribune Report Khondokar Golam Mohiuddin, former additional inspector general of police, died of cardiac arrest at Birdem Hospital on Sunday. He was 89. Mr Mohiuddin left behind his wife, and three sons. His namaz-e-janaza was held yesterday after Zohr prayers at the Eskaton Garden colony mosque. He was buried at the Azimpur Boro Taira Shareef graveyard afterwards. Mr Mohiuddin’s family requested all to pray for the departed soul. l

DB rescues six young girls from Joypurhat UP member house n Tribune Report The Detective Branch of Police on Sunday rescued six young girls kept hidden in a bunker underneath a local union parishad member’s house at Harunja village of Kalai upazila in Joypurhat. Four women were also arrested from the underground bunker, who claimed to be wives of UP member Seken. The rescued girls are Shathi Khatun, 19, from Bagmara upazila of Rajshahi, Monowara Khatun of Islampur upazila in Rajshahi, Mukti Khatun Nodi, 20, from Motijheel of the capital, Shikha Rani, 20, Najma Khatun, 17, and Shapla Khatun, 14. The latter three were from Joypurhat district. The arrested wives of UP member were Rina Begum, 33, Mollica, 32, Morsheda, 38 and Beauty, 34. Seken, however, had fled from his house with his two other wives sensing the police presence, police sources said. Joypurhat police Superintendent Hamidul Alam said the girls might have been brought into the house for trafficking from different parts of the country. A case was filed with the Kalai Thana in this connection. l




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tornado damages homes and other buildings

Robber killed in bomb explosion n Our Correspondent, Meherpur A robber was allegedly killed by his own bomb while committing robbery at a house of Ujalpur village of Meherpur early yesterday. The identity of the robber could not be known immediately as his face was blown up in the blast. Quoting villagers, Officer-in-Charge of Meherpur sadar police station Riajul Islam said a gang of robbers numbering 9-10 entered into the house of Abdul Jalil, a postman of Ujalpur Post Office, and started looting, holding the family members hostage at gunpoint around 1am. Hearing the hue and cry of the house members, villagers surrounded the house, the OC said, adding that the robbers hurled bombs at the villagers to disperse them and fled away. But Jalil, 55, and his son Masud, 30, were trying to capture a robber inside the house, and at one stage the robber stabbed Jalil and Masud with a sharp weapon and tried to flee away, the police official said. However, he slipped and fell down on the house yard and a bomb of his own blasted, leaving the robber spot dead, the OC added. Locals said severely injured Masud was rushed to Meherpur General Hospital and later sent to the capital as his condition deteriorated. l

n Our Correspondent, Meherpur

People of Chandbil village in Meherpur fixing a house damaged during a tornado that swept over the district yesterday

Shelters under threat of erosion n Our Correspondent, Gaibandha

Two of the fourteen shelter houses built at the Patilbari area of Gaibandha have been swept away by river recently, fuelling concerns that more houses would come under threat of erosion if preventive measures are not taken. The emergency shelters, locally known as “barracks,” are located under the district’s Shaghata upazila which is partly bordered by Brahmaputra, and were built as temporary residences for the families made homeless by erosion. According to sources, local administration constructed the tin-shed houses as part of a rehabilitation project in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, at a cost of over Tk4m. Each structure contained ten rooms and housed five families—taking the total number of living families to 70.

However, about six months after its initiation, project officials started grappling with a growing threat of erosion as the river became restless and turbulent and the water level went up. The latest incidents of erosion, which occurred in seven days’ time earlier this month, displaced ten of the 70 families for a second time after their original homes were devoured by river several months ago. They are now back to living under the open sky and back in distress and misery. Those living in other houses are anticipating a similar fate and urged the authorities concerned to take steps to avoid erosion. Mohammad Rofiqul Islam, chairman of the Holdia union parishad, said residents of the surviving houses may have to face a second displacement

and attendant dangers with a slightest increase in water level, as “there are no natural shelters like chars or plains near the project site.” Abu Taher, a local social worker, said the situation had been created because of constructing the shelters in an “unplanned way” and “dangerously close” to the mighty river. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, UNO Abdul Awal confirmed the news of erosion threat, saying he had informed the matter to the officials of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and urged preventive measures. Contacted for comments, Rezaul Mostafa Asafuddowla, the executive engineer of BWDB in Gaibandha, said they could not start work towards protecting the rehabilitation site because of fund crunch. l


At least 50 people, including four members of Ansar and a policeman were injured, and over 300 houses damaged in two villages when a tornado struck early yesterday. Saiful Islam, chairman of Amjhupi union parishad, said the tornado damaged buildings and establishments, including educational institutions and a mosque when it swept over Chandbil and Jhobaria. He said around 50 people were hurt, and eight of the injured were taken to Meherpur General Hospital. Four members of the Ansar force and a policeman on duty were injured in the Shyam mandir when a statue fell on them. The storm damaged crops across a large area and also many uprooted trees, bringing traffic to a standstill for several hours on the Meherpur-Chuadanga Highway until civil defence and fire brigade removed the trees later in the morning to allow vehicular movement. Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mahmud Hossain and acting chairman of sadar upazila parishad Abdul Malek went to see the extent of damage, and the DC announced Tk10000 would be given to those injured. l

Thousands of river eroded people deprived of Eid festivity n Our Correspondent, Gaibandha Thousands of river eroded people living at the chars and river basin areas of four upazilas in Gaibandha will remain deprived of eid festivity as they are financially unable to have a complete meal, late alone celebrating eid festival. Sources said river erosion had devoured almost everything from over 500,000 people of Sundarganj, Fulchhari, Saghata and sadar upazilas, leaving them in an extremely poor condition. These people have no work, no earning and cannot even manage their regular meal. Mighty Brahmaputra and Teesta rivers grasped all their arable lands

and homesteads, forcing them to live on the government embankments, khas lands, river banks and under the open sky. Afia Begum of Kanchipara village, Fulchhari upazila said she earned a little by working as a day labour. However, the little money was enough to buy some rice but not for oil, pulse, salt, fish or vegetables for preparing a curry. Saddam Hossain, a social worker of sadar upazila, said the poor of the main land could manage meat of the sacrificial animals as their neighbouring rich and affluent people sacrificed animals. But, the river eroded people, living in the river basins and the chars, could

not collect meat of sacrificial animals as no one in those areas had the ability to sacrifice animal on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, he added. Nurunnabi Hossain Sarker Sakmal, chairman of Kamarjani union parishad, said the condition of the families was so miserable and pitiable. Though a few number of people of the chars and the river basins of the upazilas got government distributed rice under the Vulnerable Group Feeding programme, it was not possible to bring all the ill-fated people under the programme due to several limitations, the chairman said, adding that consequently thousands of poor people remained deprived of eid festivals. l

Fishermen sailing for deep sea ignoring ban on hilsa fishing n Our Correspondent, Kuakata

Some trawlers in Kuakata coast are set to sail for deep sea, defying the government ban on hilsa fishing


Hundreds of trawlers from Kuakata coast in Patuakhali have started sailing for deep sea to catch hilsa, defying the government ban that restricted its netting for 11 day. The department of fisheries imposed the ban on hilsa netting to ensure uninterrupted spawning during the upcoming breeding season. The ban, effective from October 13 to October 23, is expected to prevent about 15m mother hilsa from being caught and about 46,800kg spawns from being destroyed. But no patrol team in the rivers or coast could be seen to execute the ban that raised question about the government’s sincerity to check violation of its order. Despite the ban, fishermen have anchored trawlers in the Andharmanik, Ramnabad and Payrabad river to venture the sea with food supply for few days. Different government branches, including upazlia fisheries office, upazila administration, naval forces, coast guard and police department, are sup-

posed to keep vigilance on hilsa netting, but it seemed that they were reluctant to discharge duty properly. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, many fishermen living near the Patuakhali coast alleged that trawler owners were forcing them to go to the sea in spite of their reluctance. Many fishing vessels that were kept anchored at Shibbaria harbor have started for the sea with enough foods to survive 10 to 12 days while some other trawlers owned by influential warehouse owners at Mohipur-Alipur fishing port are already in the sea to net the fishes, they said. The violation of government ban by deep-sea trawlers triggered much outrage among the owners of boats designed for shallow sea fishing. “Fishermen who fish with homemade net came back ashore respecting government order. But the deep-sea trawlers are out there on the sea busy hilsa netting. The trawlers, laden with hilsa fishes, will return when the government ban would be lifted,” president of Kuakata Ashar Alo Fisherman Cooperative Society Nizam Sheikh said.

Sources at upazila fisheries office said all of the ice factories and fish warehouses would be remain closed as power connection at ice mills would be cut off during the ban period. However, the fishermen said most of the trawlers have already purchased the ice needed for preserving fish from the factories. President of Alipur-Kuakata Fish Warehouse Association Md Ansar Uddin Molla said they had informed the administration that some fishermen were going to deep sea to catch hilsa. Fisheries Officer of Kolapara upazila Shariful Haque Akand said they had no fishing vessel to conduct raid in the deep sea. “But we will conduct raids in the rivers with our boats and take appropriate actions against the fishermen engaged in fish netting,” he added. Contingent commander of Pathorghata Fakirhat Zone Coast Guard Shahidul Islam said they yet to see any trawlers setting out to the deep sea. Kolapra Upazila Nirbahi Officer Jahangir Hossain said he was not aware of any such incident and would take measures in this regard after investigation. l

Thousands still waterlogged Cattle hide wholesalers in Magura in Patuakhali face acute capital crisis

Woman killed for protesting stalking n Tribune Desk

n Our Correspondent, Patuakhali

A woman was chopped to death as she protested stalking of her daughter by a youth at Durbashur village in Muksudpur upazila on Sunday night. Quoting locals, police said Ojit Bagchi, son of Romesh Bagchi of Distail village of the upazila, used to sexually harass college girl Topu Biswas, daughter of Orbindo Biswasof Durbasha village, reports UNB. On that night, when Topu was returning home along with her mother Khoma Biswas, 40, and brother Apu Biswas from a Puja Mandap of the village at about 11:30pm, Ojit teased Topu. As Topu’s mother and brother protested it the youth locked into an altercation with them. At one stage, he stabbed Topu’s mother and brother with sharp weapons, leaving Khoma Biswas dead on the spot and injuring Apu. l

Three months after the collapse of a flood control embankment, over 1,500 families remain under water at the Ramnabaadpar area of Kolapara upazila under Patuakhali district. Waterlogging in 13 villages has been a recurring problem since a devastating cyclone swept through the area in July, washing away 3km of the dyke. Fifty families have already left the area while hundreds are still at the risk of losing their houses, according to the villagers. Many braved incessant rain yesterday to form a human chain in front of the Water Development Board office located at Pashurbunia village on Saturday, demanding immediate government

intervention to repair the embankment. They said they were living in constant distress and were having to wade through chest-deep water to move out of their homes, as the streets were still submerged. “Only eight pillars of my house are left standing. The water devoured everything else,” said Shah Alam, an angler of Charipara village who has been forced to take refuge on the slope of the dyke with his wife and four children. Another villager Manju Sardar said: “We get to eat something only when we find some fishes to catch from the river. Otherwise we would just starve.” Kolapra Upazila Nirbahi Officer Jahangeer Hossain said he had already informed the higher authorities about the situation in his upazila. l

n Our Correspondent, Magura Uncertainty surrounds the purchasing of cattle hide by wholesalers in Magura this Eid due to the lack of sufficient capital. The wholesalers’ appeal for government loan was also unheeded, leaving most of them in worries. According to sources, the tannery owners’ association has fixed the price of cattle hides to Tk75 per square feet for cow skin and Tk55 per square feet for goat skin. Moreover, the price of salt, needed to preserve the skin, has also dropped to Tk490/kg compared to that of last year’s Tk800. Though the rates were satisfactory according to wholesalers, the favourable situation would make no impact on business as they claim they were go-

ing through acute capital crisis. According to the wholesalers of the district, the tannery owners owe them more than Tk50m as they sold hides on credit. They said though the tannery

The government has permitted loans for tannery owners but they sell leathers on cash payment while the wholesalers need to sell it on credit owners had made a commitment to repay the outstanding money within October 10, they have not received any money yet. They also expressed their grief on the matter that the government has sanctioned loan only for the tannery owners.

When contacted, Abu Shari, a hide wholesaler of Magura town said: “I had sold skins worth Tk800,000 to the tannery owners last year but they paid me only Tk200,000.” Kausar Khan, another wholesaler in Vina of Magura town, said: “The government has permitted loans for tannery owners but they sell leathers on cash payment while the wholesalers need to sell it on credit.” He termed the situation as a discrimination. Abdul Haque, a wholesaler of Magura Notun Bazar, said in recent times, the market for Bangladeshi leather held high demands in China, Italy, South Korea, Australia and some other countries and therefore the government should make proper policies in order to earn more foreign currencies. l

8 Nobel prize ‘should have been mine,’ jokes Syria’s Assad n AFP, Beirut Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has jokingly said that he should have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, a pro-Damascus Lebanese newspaper reported on Monday. The prize, which was given to the global chemical weapons watchdog on Friday, “should have been mine,” Assad said, according to al-Akhbar newspaper. Assad made the remark “jokingly,” the daily said, as he commented on the award on Friday of Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is working in Syria to destroy the Assad regime’s massive chemical arsenal by mid-2014. Al-Akhbar also reported that Assad had proposed in 2003 that all countries in the region should hand over all weapons of mass destruction. But the newspaper did not say when Assad made the comments about the Nobel. The OPCW and the UN have had a team of 60 experts and support staff in Syria since October 1, while the civil war rages on. The team started its work after a breakthrough UN Security Council resolution last month ordering Syria’s chemical stockpile destroyed. The resolution came after a chemical attack in Damascus province on August 21 that killed hundreds of people. It also followed US threats to strike Assad’s regime. Syria’s war broke out after the army and security forces unleashed a brutal crackdown against anti-Assad protests that erupted in March 2011. More than 115,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog. l

Cremation calls as Nazi’s body sparks anger in Rome n AFP, Rome The death in Rome of a Nazi war criminal has sparked furore after the Vatican banned a church funeral, Argentina refused the body and relatives of his victims called for him to be cremated. Eich Priebke, who was found guilty of a 1944 massacre in Rome and had been living under house arrest in the city, died last week aged 100. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which hunts Nazis around the world, said the body should be sent back to his native Germany which has laws that would prevent a neo-Nazi gathering. As his body lies in a Rome hospital morgue, debate rages over what to do with the mortal remains of a man who never expressed any regret, insisting to the end that he was just following orders. Tensions are running particularly high ahead of the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Jews of Rome from the city’s ancient Jewish Ghetto by Nazi troops on October 16, 1943. There is concern that any ceremony could draw far-right sympathisers after a group tried to lay flowers at the house where he died and a scrawl reading “Honour to Priebke” next to a black swastika symbol appeared on a wall nearby. l

Thousands evacuated in Vietnam ahead of typhoon n AP, Hanoi Vietnam began evacuating more than 180,000 people on Monday from coastal areas in the path of Typhoon Nari, which killed 13 people and caused widespread damage in the Philippines over the weekend. The storm is expected to hit the central Vietnamese coast early Tuesday with sustained winds of up to 133 km/h, causing possible flooding and damage to property. Disaster official Le Dinh Tuong said 10 hotels popular with foreign tourists close to the town of Hoi An had been ordered to shift their guests to hotels inland. Officials said they planned to evacuate 180,000 residents from six central provinces to schools and public buildings before nightfall Monday. Vietnam and other parts of Asia are regularly hit by storms at this time of the year. l



Jihadists kidnap ICRC worker while bomb blast kills 27 in Syria n

AFP, Beirut

Jihadists in Syria were behind the kidnapping of seven aid workers in the northwest of the country, a monitoring group said Monday, shortly after four of them were freed. “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has freed... International Committee of the Red Cross workers they abducted yesterday on the road linking Saraqeb and Sirmin” in Idlib province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The ICRC on Monday said three of its staff as well as a volunteer with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had been released and were safe, but did not say who was thought to have been behind the kidnapping. The ICRC has not revealed details of the aid workers’ nationalities, though it earlier said that most of the group were Syrian ISIL, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, has operated in Syria since late spring this year and is fiercely opposed to any kind of Western presence in areas which it controls. Kidnapping has become an increasing problem in Syria, with journalists and aid workers frequently targeted in rebel-held parts of the country, largely in the north. The ICRC has some 30 expatriate staff in Syria and 120 local employees. They work hand in hand with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, one of the few organisations able to deliver aid nationwide. Security is a constant concern as aid workers go back and forth across the often-fluid front lines in the war between a range of rebel groups and forc-

An opposition fighter stands with his weapon in a room of a damaged house in the Jubaila neighbourhood of Syria’s northeastern city of Deir Ezzor AFP es loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Twenty-two Red Crescent volunteers have been killed since the conflict erupted in March 2011, the ICRC’s Damascus spokesman Simon Schorno told AFP, adding that he did not immediately have a figure for the number active in the field. At least 27 people, including three children, were killed Monday when a car bomb exploded in the town of Darkush in northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border, an NGO said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which had earlier reported a toll of 20, said the number of casualties was expected to rise due to the large number of people who suffered serious injuries. “The toll has risen to 27 dead, including three children and a woman, as a result of a car bomb blast,” said the Britain-based Observatory, which relies on activists across the country for

Dubai crane collapses, killing three workers n AP, Dubai Authorities in Dubai say three workers were killed when a crane collapsed at a construction site near the world’s tallest building. A police statement on Monday says the crane fell on the workers on Sunday near the landmark Burj Khalifa. Investigators are now studying whether it was properly installed. At least five labourers were injured

in the incident. The Dubai-based newspaper Emirates 24/7 quoted police Col Ali Ghanim as saying some construction company officials were taken into custody as part of the probe. Millions of construction labourers, mostly from South Asia, work around the Gulf Arab states. In recent years, Gulf officials have taken steps to improve conditions for the workers after pressure from rights groups. l

WORLD WATCH Boy aged 10 arrested over death of elderly man in Leeds

A 10-year-old boy is being questioned under suspicions he may have been involved in the death of an elderly man in Leeds. An ambulance crew had been trying to resuscitate Victor Hepworth, a pensioner aged 79, on Sunday when he had been found with a head injury. The crew then called in the police. Hepworth was taken to Leeds General Infirmary and pronounced dead shortly after. While it is understood he may have died from natural causes, the circumstances of his death are currently unclear. Results of a postmortem examination are expected later on Monday.

China offers rewards to six regions to fight air pollution

China said on Monday it would give rewards amounting to 5 billion yuan ($816.91m) for curbing air pollution in six regions where the problem is serious, underscoring government concern about a source of public anger. The awards would be made at the end of the year and would be determined by pollution reduction targets, investment in tackling the problem and falls in PM 2.5 particles, which are especially bad for health, the ministry said on its website. The provinces of Shanxi and Inner Mongolia are among China’s top coal-producing provinces and have been a major source of air pollution.

Zimbabwe police attack miners’ wives protesting over wages Baton-carrying Zimbabwean police beat up more than 100 women protesting against the non-payment of their husbands’ wages by the country’s largest coal miner last week, a rights group said Monday. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the police assaulted the women for staging a protest march after their husbands who are employed by Hwange Colliery Company, west of the country, went for several months without pay. The lawyers said two women arrested during the protest, were later released.

One of the women was so badly injured she is said to be fighting for her life. Zimbabwe police were not immediately available to comment.

Dying Ohio man on gurney leads daughter down aisle

A terminally ill Ohio man who arrived at his daughter’s wedding by ambulance gave her away, from a hospital gurney. Guests cried and clapped as Scott Nagy took part in daughter Sarah’s wedding Saturday at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strongsville, Ohio, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reported. Doctors were uncertain if he would be able to make the wedding, initially scheduled for next year. However, with monitor cords slipped under his tuxedo and a tracheal tube attached, he made the trip down the aisle, kissing a grandson who was the ringbearer and giving a thumb’s up. Sarah said that since she was a little girl, she has wanted her father to escort her down the aisle when she married. She said her future husband assured her she would get her wish. At the vestibule, she burst into tears and told her father she loved him.

its reports. Activists from the Syrian Revolution General Commission network said the blast took place in the market area of Darkush, which is under rebel control. The Observatory confirmed the report. A video posted online by activists showed the aftermath of the blast, with at least one car ablaze and the ground around it covered with smoking embers. A second video showed residents carrying bodies on makeshift stretchers and extensive damage to buildings around the blast site. Darkush, which lies on the Orontes river, is just a few kilometres (miles) from the border with Turkey. The Syrian opposition National Coalition condemned the “terrorist bombing” in a statement, noting that it came a day before Muslims mark the beginning of the Eid ul-Azha religious holiday. l

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Al-Qaeda: September attack targeted joint Yemeni-US drone base n Reuters, Dubai The Yemen-based branch of al-Qaeda said on Monday that its attack on a Yemeni army base last month targeted an operations room used by the United States to direct drone strikes against militants, and threatened more such assaults. Dozens of militants stormed and captured the headquarters of the Yemeni army’s Second Division in the eastern city of al-Mukalla on Sept 30 and took some military personnel hostage. Military officials said four Yemeni soldiers were killed and nine wounded in a counter-strike to retake the base. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is regarded by the United States as one of the most active wings of the diffuse international jihadi network, posing a serious threat to Western interests including nearby sea lanes plied by oil tankers. AQAP said Yemen had turned a number of its military facilities in recent years into “intelligence and operations rooms to direct the war against the Mujahideen (holy fighters) and operate pilotless planes.” “The Mujahideen have directed a harsh blow to one of these headquarters,” it said in a message posted on Shumukh al-Islam, an Islamist website, referring to the Sept 30 attack. “Such joint security targets, which participate with the Americans in their war on the Muslim people, are a legitimate target for our operations, and we will puncture these eyes that the enemy uses.” It said that dozens of officers were killed in the three-day assault and the operations room was destroyed. AQAP

made no mention of any Americans present in the facility and there were no reports of foreigners killed in the attack. The authenticity of the statement could not immediately be verified. The United States regularly stages drone strikes to hunt down al-Qaeda militants in a campaign that has been criticised by rights groups as tantamount to carrying out executions without trial, with civilians often being hit. Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has angered many compatriots by giving unequivocal support for drone operations, which have increased since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Hadi has also asked Washington to supply drones to the Yemeni armed forces. The Yemeni army, with US backing, last year drove al-Qaeda militants and their allies from some of their south Yemen strongholds. However, the jihadists have since regrouped and mounted attacks on government officials and installations. Militants took advantage of political chaos in Yemen during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 to seize control of some towns and their hinterland in the south of the Arabian Peninsula state. They were subsequently beaten back by Yemeni armed forces, with assistance from the United States, and dispersed into smaller groups spread across the south. But they have since carried out a series of attacks on important military and civilian targets, killing hundreds of soldiers and some senior officers, including Major General Salem Qatan, commander of the Yemeni army in southern Yemen. l

IAEA to advise Japan on Fukushima clean-up n TOKYO Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency met Japanese officials Monday as part of a mission to assess clean-up efforts at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The UN atomic agency began the nine-day mission at the request of the Japanese government, as it did in 2011 following a powerful earthquake and tsunami that sparked reactor meltdowns at Fukushima. The plant’s operator has struggled to contain radioactive contamination,

admitting in July that highly toxic water from the site may have leaked out to sea. “The international community and the agency in particular are very interested in following the recovery activities in Japan,” Juan Carlos Lentijo, director of the IAEA’s nuclear fuel cycle and waste technology division, told Japanese officials at the environment ministry. Lentijo will lead a 16-member team of experts to tour polluted areas near the stricken Fukushima plant, some 220 kilometres (140 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Lentijo told reporters the team hoped to advise on the clean-up as well as ways of dealing with radioactive waste. Vice Environment Minister Shinji Inoue told IAEA officials: “We have great expectations that you will provide us with significant advice from international and professional standpoints.” A massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 devastated Japan’s northeast coast and sparked reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima plant by knocking out its cooling systems.l

Experts confirm polonium on Arafat clothing n AFP, Paris Swiss radiation experts have confirmed they found traces of polonium on clothing used by Yasser Arafat which “support the possibility” the veteran Palestinian leader was poisoned. In a report published by The Lancet at the weekend, the team provide scientific details to media statements made in 2012 that they had found polonium on Arafat’s belongings. Arafat died in France on November 11 2004 at the age of 75, but doctors were

unable to specify the cause of death. No autopsy was carried out at the time, in line with his widow’s request. His remains were exhumed in November 2012 and samples taken, partly to investigate whether he had been poisoned – a suspicion that grew after the assassination of Russian ex-spy and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. That investigation is ongoing, conducted separately by teams in France, Switzerland and Russia. In the Lancet report, eight scientists

working at the Institute of Radiation Physics and University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne said they had carried out radiological tests on 75 samples. Thirty-eight samples came from Arafat’s belongings, including underwear, a shapka hat, toothbrush, a hospital cap and sportswear, that were provided by the Palestinian leader’s widow Suha Arafat. These were checked against 37 “reference” samples of cotton clothing that had been kept in an attic for 10 years and protected from dust.l


Notorious Somali pirate ‘Big Mouth’ arrested in Belgium

One of Somalia’s most notorious pirate leaders, known as “Big Mouth,” has been arrested in Brussels and placed in custody pending charges, judicial sources said Monday. Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as “Afweyne” or “Big Mouth,” was being held in Bruges after being detained at Brussels airport on Saturday on disembarking from a flight from Nairobi, Belga news agency said. Afweyne announced in Mogadishu in January that he was quitting piracy after a highly profitable eight-year career. He said he was working to persuade other pirates to do the same. Described last year by the UN as “one of the most notorious and influential leaders” in Somalia’s pirate hub, he notably was involved in the 2008 capture of the Saudi-owned Sirius Star oil supertanker, released for a ransom of several million dollars.

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has swords inserted through his cheeks before taking part in a street procession during the annual Vegetarian Festival in the southern Thai town of Phuket on October 10, 2013. During the festival, which begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts nine days, religious devotees slash themselves with swords, pierce their cheeks with sharp objects and commit other painful acts to purify themselves, taking on the sins of the community AFP


India, US trying to hamper Pakistan quake relief n AFP, Islamabad The founder of a militant Islamist group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks Monday accused the US and India of trying to hamper efforts to help victims of Pakistan’s earthquake. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who has a $10m US government bounty on his head, said joint US-Indian efforts to block funds for his Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation were aimed at stopping its relief work in Baluchistan, hit by a powerful quake last month. JuD is seen as a front for Laskhare-Taiba (LeT), which Saeed founded and which investigators blame for the three-day carnage in Mumbai that killed 166 people. The United States and India agreed on Sunday to step up cooperation to prevent the financing of extremist movements linked to Pakistan, including JuD and LeT. However, JuD denies terror accusations, and in Pakistan is known for its relief work after natural disasters, particularly the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and 2010 floods. “Their aim is to hamper the relief work of our charity Falah-e-Insaniyat foundation in the earthquake hit Baluchistan, that’s why they are trying to stop our funding,” Saeed told reporters. The 7.7-magnitude quake shook the southwestern province of Baluchistan on September 24, killing more than 370 people and leaving more than 100,000 homeless. Both LeT and JuD are listed as terror organisations by the United Nations, but JuD operates freely in Pakistan and, despite the bounty on his head, Saeed lives openly. l


India stampede survivors claim police dumped bodies to lower death toll Toll crossed 100, more than 130 injured

n Tribune Online Report Survivors and villagers at the scene of a stampede in Madhya Pradesh have claimed police dumped bodies in the river of pilgrims in order to lower the official death count, a Times of India report has claimed. The death toll, according to the Indian daily, has now reached 115 with 133 injured. The police have said death toll could reach 120. According to the villagers at the scene, many cops even robbed the bodies of valuables before tossing the bodies off the bridge. “I was there at the bridge during the stampede and I have seen policemen dumping over two dozen pilgrims, some of them alive, into the river,” Geeta Mishra, 55, told Times of India. Another survivor, Asish, 15, alleged that policemen pushed him off the bridge when he went to claim the body of his 5-year-old brother, who was killed in the stampede, according to the Times of India report. Asish suffered critical injuries after the 20-foot fall. “I fell on my knees and begged the cops to allow me to take my brother’s body home. But they pushed me off the bridge, saying that I too should die,” he said. There were several other witnesses who had similar stories. Police were also blamed by witnesses for wading into the crowds with baton sticks, a charge they deny, according to AFP. According to AFP, rescue workers toiled through the night to recover the

bodies from a bridge in the town of Ratangarh and from the water below where many people leapt to their death in a bid to avoid the crush. “The latest information we have from the ground is that 109 people (were) killed and 133 injured,” Anand Mishra, an officer in the local police control room, told AFP in an updated bulletin on Sunday’s tragedy. “We recovered the bodies from the river and from where they were crushed to the death,” said Mishra, speaking by phone from the nearby city of Datia in the state of Madhya Pradesh. An AFP journalist at the site said the operation to recover the bodies had been finished and police investigators were now scouring the site. The tragedy cast a long shadow over celebrations marking the end of one of the holiest festivals in the Hindu calendar. Police said the panic had been

sparked by rumours that the bridge was about to collapse. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the condolences for the victims, which reports said included 31 women and 17 children. “On this day of festivities, our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Singh said in a statement. Up to 400,000 devotees were already inside or around the temple, which is about 350km north of the state capital Bhopal, when the stampede took place. Large crowds began converging on the site from early morning, according to witnesses, on the penultimate day of the Navaratri festival. The nine-day festival is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu goddess Durga, which draws millions of worshippers to temples, especially in northern and central India. Monday marks the official end of the

festival when devotees are expected to immerse idols in rivers as a final offering to the goddess. Police and witnesses said at least 20,000 people were on the bridge over the River Sindh when the stampede broke out. Manoj Sharma, one of the survivors, described a scene of utter mayhem. “People were jumping off the bridge to save themselves, but they could not swim against the tide. I also saw children being tossed from the bridge, only to be washed away,” he told the Times of India. “I saw a mother desperately trying to protect her baby amidst the swelling, rushing crowds. But both died before my eyes. It was the most horrific incident of my life,” he said. Sharma said crowd control measures were totally inadequate. “It was a huge administrative lapse on part of the state government. There were no policemen to control the crowds. Big vehicles carrying devotees were allowed to ply on the bridge and this caused the tragedy.” Uma Shankar Gupta, the state’s home minister, said authorities had not yet determined why the stampede had broken out, but downplayed suggestions that security to deal with the crowds was inadequate. “There were safety measures in place, this is an annual event,” he told reporters. “We don’t yet have information on how this happened, as our focus is on the rescue effort.” l

Malaysia rules non-Muslims can’t use ‘Allah’ Pakistan court reopens

Muslim women join a rally outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur AP

n AP, Kuala Lampur A Malaysian appeals court on Monday upheld a government ban against the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God in non-Muslim faiths, overruling claims by Christians in this Muslim-majority nation that the restriction violates their religious rights. “Allah” is the Arabic word for God and is commonly used in the Malay language to refer to God. But the Malaysian government insists that “Allah” should be exclusively reserved for

Myanmar police probe string of bomb blasts n AFP, Yangon Police in Myanmar said Monday they were investigating a series of mysterious bomb blasts that have left two people dead and several wounded in recent days. A man and a woman were killed and another person was injured in an explosion Friday at a guesthouse in the town of Taunggu about 65km from the capital Naypyidaw, police said. Two other devices exploded in Yangon on Sunday – one at a bus stop and another under a truck which wounded two teenagers, according to the authorities. Two more makeshift devices were found in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay on Monday. “We cannot say who is responsible for these acts,” said Police Lieutenant General Min Aung of the Myanmar Police Force’s intelligence and security department. “We’re still investigating. The system they used is the same in all the cases. We think an organisation or a person planted them all,” he told AFP by telephone from Naypyidaw. He said security had been stepped up in Yangon. Bomb blasts were relatively common under the former junta, which usually blamed the explosions on armed exile groups or ethnic rebels. l

Muslims because of concerns its use by others would confuse Muslims and could be used to convert them. Malaysia’s Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities have often complained that the government infringes in their constitutional right to practice religion freely, accusations the government denies. Monday’s judgment in the Court of Appeals overturns a decision by a lower court nearly four years ago that ruled against the government ban. Anger over that ruling sparked a string

of arson attacks and vandalism at Malaysian churches and other places of worship. The legal dispute stems from efforts by the newspaper of the Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia to use “Allah” in its Malay-language weekly publication. Roman Catholic representatives deny there are attempts to convert Muslims and say the government ban is unreasonable because Christians who speak the Malay language had long used “Allah” in their Bibles, literature and songs before authorities sought to enforce the curb in recent years. Judge Mohamed Apandi Ali, who led a three-member appeals court panel, said the use of “Allah” was “not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity.” “It is our judgment that there is no infringement of any constitutional rights” in the ban, he said. “We could find no reason why the (Catholic newspaper) is so adamant to use the word ‘Allah’ in their weekly. Such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community.” The Rev Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Herald, said they plan to appeal Monday’s verdict in Malaysia’s Federal Court, the nation’s highest.l

former president Zardari’s graft cases n AFP, Islamabad

Pakistan’s anti-graft court has reopened five corruption cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari dating back to the 1990s, officials said on Monday. The allegations against Zardari relate to kickbacks, money laundering and the illegal construction of a polo ground at the prime minister’s official residence, during his slain wife Benazir Bhutto’s two stints as premier. As president Zardari enjoyed immunity from prosecution, but this ended when he stepped down after five years in September and now an anti-corruption court has taken up the cases. “The accountability court has ordered former president Asif Ali Zardari to appear before the court on October 29,” a court official told AFP. The probe includes corruption allegations relating to customs contracts given to two Swiss companies that were behind a long-running tussle be-


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

tween the Supreme Court and the last government, led by Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). For more than two years PPP ministers refused to write to the Swiss to ask them to reopen their probe into claims Zardari and Bhutto laundered $12m worth of bribes.

The allegations against Zardari relate to kickbacks, money laundering and the illegal construction of a polo ground at the prime minister’s official residence, during his slain wife Benazir Bhutto’s two stints as premier In June Swiss prosecutors refused to reopen the cases, saying no new evidence had emerged since they were dropped in 2008 and in any event the statute of limitations had expired. l


Nuts and bolts of Iran’s nuclear talks this week n AP The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany meet Iran in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday to try to reduce concerns that Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons while satisfying Iran’s demands to recognise its right to peaceful nuclear activities. A look at the players, the talks and the issues:

The players Meeting Iran’s negotiating team are delegations from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The six nations are commonly known as the P5+1 because they group the five permanent members of the Security Council along with Germany. European nations in the group prefer the designation E3+3. The P5+1 delegations are headed by political directors or their equivalents who answer directly to their nations’ foreign ministers. Iran’s team will be led by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. But except for the opening session, the main Iranian negotiator will be a deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi. The talks are being convened by Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top diplomat.

The background The P5+1 wants Iran to curb or stop all nuclear activities that can be used to make nuclear weapons. The most immediate concern is Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme. Iran says it is enriching only to power reactors and for research, but enrichment can also produce the fissile core of nuclear arms. Tehran has not enriched to that level, but it has produced some material that can be turned into weapons-grade uranium quickly. It also has tons of lower-level enriched uranium that can also be re-enriched into weapons grade material over a longer time-frame. Iran is also working on a reactor that experts say will produce enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons a year, once completed. Tehran says the reactor is needed to produce isotopes for medical treatment and expects to finish work next year. The plutonium would have to be converted for use in nuclear weapons, and the UN’s atomic energy agency has said it has seen no evidence that Iran is working on a conversion facility.

The positions Iran wants international sanctions crippling its oil exports and financial transactions eased and ultimately removed for any concessions it makes on its nuclear program. Ahead of the talks, Iranian officials have suggested Tehran may be ready to stop enriching to 20%, a level that is only a technical step away from weapons grade uranium. They have also indicated readiness to give UN experts more overview of Tehran’s nuclear program. That is not enough for the P5+1. It seeks sweeping curbs on all of Iran’s enrichment activities. That means capping the number and kind of centrifuges churning out enriched uranium, now at over 10,000. It also wants Iran to ship out all enriched uranium that it does not need for verifiable peaceful activities, instead of keeping a large stockpile that theoretically could be turned to weapons use. Araghchi says Tehran would never ship enriched materials abroad, describing that stance as “our red line,” according to Iran’s state television. In addition, the group wants Iran to shut down Fordo, the smaller of its two known enrichment facilities, because it is so well-fortified that it would be difficult to destroy in case Tehran decided to use it for making weapons-grade uranium. Further down the negotiating road, the P5+1 wants a stop to the construction of the reactor that will produce plutonium.

Ahead of the talks, Iranian officials have suggested Tehran may be ready to stop enriching to 20 percent, a level that is only a technical step away from weapons grade uranium The history

The installation ‘The Time Guardians’ by Austrian artist Manfred Kielnhofer is seen in front of the enlightened Berlin Cathedral on October, 9, 2013 on the first day of Festival of Lights AFP

The present negotiations are an outgrowth of talks that began 10 years ago between Iran and France, Britain and Germany. The United States, Russia and China joined in three years later amid growing UN and other international sanctions on Tehran meant to force it into a nuclear compromise. The talks have proceeded in fits and starts with Iran’s negotiating partners for years rejecting Iranian demands that its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes be recognised. They now are ready to accept some Iranian enrichment but only if Tehran agrees to rigorous international oversight, caps the size of its programme and ships out enriched uranium stockpiles. l



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Letters to

the Editor


The stone must keep rolling

PM Sheikh Hasina must not waste any more time

Style over substance can backfire


he prime minister recently cut the ribbons of 11 development projects in Chittagong. She may have earned marks for style, having “virtually” opened 10 of the 11 projects from a distance, over the internet, while many of the projects are yet to be complete. However, having officially opened 8 projects that are still not fully operational, and not going there in person whilst having been in Chittagong, has resulted in her and her With possible elections, party losing points for subor possible political stance. unrest breathing Her government’s Eid gift down its neck, the has had a lukewarm recepgovernment would be tion from Chittagonians, and better off not making there have been suggestions any more hashes of that these projects were poorpublicity stunts like this ly planned and facilitated only 5% of the Chittagong population. People have received the attempt of opening projects before completion with a pinch of salt, and there have been insinuations of eyewash and deceit. This has been a failed attempt to uplift the government’s public standing through focusing on its commitment to infrastructural development. The government has been ill-advised to hurriedly do so before Eid. The government should have waited until the completion of the projects to add substance to their style. With possible elections, or possible political unrest breathing down its neck, the government would be better off not making any more hashes of publicity stunts like this and the billboard campaign. People remember the failures more than they remember the successes of governments. A better way of working would be to let their actions do all the talking for them.

Probe body finds no wrongdoing

Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: Send us your Op-Ed articles: Visit our website: Come join our Facebook community:

Part of Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover opens to traffic on October 11 October 8 what happens.

October 7

The information is quite vague. What exact medication was injected into these babies? If they were premature, then did they need this injection? Why did the probe not talk to the parents? It seems like the probe body was paid off to come to this quick conclusion. It’s too much of a coincidence that all four babies died right after the same injection and all four of them were premature. NT Rahman

Syed Fahim Lol the zigzag and the up and down flyovers can never work. My vehicle speed has badly decreased with the construction of the flyovers at Bishwa road. :-(

Soni Chowdhury No. They need to have proper road laws enforced to control traffic.

3 youths found dead beside rail tracks

Sayed Saleh Reckless drivers ought to be trained. They can’t even make an effort to drive in the lane. What’s the purpose of multiple lane markings otherwise?

I did not know we refer to men in their twenties and thirties as youths! On the other hand, when you have student leaders at DU or other universities who are old enough to be grandparents, it all begins to make sense! Gorky

Mahedi Hasan Suppose a huge building is on fire and it’s burning from all corners. And if you pour a bucket of water on it, will the fire be doused?? I mean, flyovers are not the exact solution for traffic jams. We need to be more systematic and careful to remove this unwanted malady.

World Cup trophy coming to Bangladesh

Hasina Rahman With proper traffic laws, flyover will help to reduce traffic congestion.

October 8

October 9

The real solution for Bangladeshi fans to see the trophy is to come to Brazil for the tournament next year. Anonymous

Abdur Rashid There seems to be little change in Dhaka. Quazi Monirul Islam Manik Just wait until the flyover opens, and you will find

Kazi Ahmed Why shouldn’t traffic decrease? Why not, if buses and CNGs are not allowed to commute through this road? SH Shaibal It will not. Dhaka city is going to see another dimension of traffic jam. This fly-over has already blocked a very useful road and in the upcoming years everybody will see that. YasserTamim Haque Yes. But first, there’s a need to open the flyover. Tanvir Ahad I hope it will be of help to us. Mahmudul Hasan Rubel It must help to reduce this mess! Petros Mendes Well, one can only hope it does. Mithun Musabbir More than a million vehicles use the Jatrabari to enter or exit Dhaka city. And look at the size of the road, and the number of buildings surrounding the area.




SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Thespian (5) 4 Look after (4) 7 Very small (6) 8 Unmoved by joy or grief (5) 10 Be wanting in (4) 11 Metal (5) 12 Old cloth measure (3) 14 Dash (4) 17 Building cover (4) 19 Before (3) 20 Fragrance (5) 23 Quick (4) 25 Craze (5) 26 Very heavy (6) 27 Part of a shoe (4) 28 Courage (5)

Write to us at:

There is a limit to people’s patience. It has passed long ago by the government’s adamant attitude, rejecting the caretaker government system which came into being by the demand of the Awami League who was then in the opposition and created havoc to achieve it. We have become tired of hearing that under the supervision of this government, so many elections have been held in a free and fair manner. The PM, other ministers, and leaders of the Awami League are continuously reminding us of this. We just cannot take it anymore. How could the general election be compared with these elections? Do they think that people are that foolish? Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is repeatedly saying that if people vote in her favour, she will come to power, otherwise not. Our question is then, why are you not allowing the people to cast their votes in a congenial atmosphere? Why is she not reinstating the caretaker government? We hope she will listen to the public, sense what they want, and act accordingly. Nur Jahan, Chittagong


very economic slowdown follows certain trends in the markets. Currently, we can observe that the slowness of the Eid cattle-markets, the bearish trend in stocks before Eid, the lukewarm response towards Batexpo, and the lack of investment in capital machineries as such trends. This shows that consumers are sitting on their wallets and investors are operating through an air of conservativeness. The economy is losing velocity and is running the risk of stagnation. Such activities can take place for various reasons. Most likely it is because people don’t have money to spend, or they are reluctant to do so as they are bracing themselves for a rainy day. People at the Batexpo have pointed fingers toward There has been the political uncertainty no mentionable that looms large right after development in the Eid; investors staying away political front and from capital machinery have the economy has also done so. With elections started to well and possibly due in 3-4 months, a truly suffer minor slowdown is probably expected. However, this trend has been in continuum for a large part of this year and the finance minister expected the situation to worsen. There has been no mentionable development in the political front and the economy has started to well and truly suffer; hence, root-level consumers have also curbed their natural spending. A certain degree of fluctuation is expected in any election year, but the water levels have started to rise and we should take notice of the happenings now. Our politicians must not allow the economy to stagnate. Such a large rolling stone, once brought to a halt, will require an enormous amount of force to gain momentum again. The nation could do without having to pay this price.

Be Heard

October 12

DOWN 1 Reply (6) 2 Leave out (4) 3 Starchy food (4) 4 Thin net fabric (5) 5 Greek letter (3) 6 Drink of the gods (6) 9 Norwegian capital (4) 13 Scene of an event (6) 15 Not fat (4) 16 Nullify (6) 18 Causing death (5) 21 Augury (4) 22 Neck hair (4) 24 Observe (3)


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.








Op-Ed E



Whatever happened to ideology?

M n Niaz Alam

uch can be confused or lost in translation. The late Chinese premier Zhou en Lai is said to have pronounced when asked about the impact of the French Revolution that “it is too early to tell.” But actually, he was referring not to the 1789 storming of the Bastille but to the événements (national strikes and student riots) of May 1968, which occurred less than four years before his famous statement. Perhaps because it provided a counterpoint to Gandhi’s comment on Western civilisation (“I think it would be a good idea”) and matched a stereotyped view of China’s capacity to think long term, Zhou en Lai’s answer quickly passed into folklore. A classic case of the journalistic injunction that when one is given a choice between printing the truth and printing the legend, one should “print the legend.” Yet his actual interpretation of the question makes his answer far more profound. For a huge number of reasons, the social and political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s still resonate. Not least in China which turned its back on the brutal Cultural Revolution of the sixties for a market led export economy. Or Bangladesh, where the events of this period turned a seemingly far-off ideal of independence into an urgently necessary reality. The history of the 20th century pivots between the defeat of Fascism in World War II and the Cold War, which reached its height around this time, with tumultuous ideologically-driven conflict between the US-dominated West and the Soviet Union. As the era of European colonisation rapidly drew to a close, the Third World bore the brunt as it became the scene of proxy wars enabled by the two power blocks. The popularity of the Non-Aligned Movement can be attributed to its common sense in rejecting a paranoid, US encouraged notion of seeing every nationalist move in the post colonial global South as part of a “worldwide Moscow led communist conspiracy.” Cold War conflicts were on a far more brutal scale than most wars we see today, with millions of civilians being killed in South East Asia alone. Even in the face of a huge anti-war movement, the US in Vietnam was prepared to sacrifice its own soldiers on a scale not seen today. In countries as diverse as Chile, Congo and Indonesia, coups were fomented and great power games were paramount. For instance, Eritriean rebels fighting their long independence war from Ethiopia were supported by Moscow one year and pulverised by Soviet supplied arms the next, after Addis Ababa succumbed to a Marxist-led coup. Similarly, to the chagrin of those American citizens inspired by the movements for equality encapsulated by the Civil Rights struggle for desegregation, apartheid South Africa was supported by Western powers in its wars against Angola, because it was seen as being part of the Western bloc. All this killing did nothing to advance capitalism or communism. Worldwide trends towards decolonisation and latterly, especially since the fall of the Berlin Wall, market-based capitalism,

Compassionate Eid: An open letter n Rainer Ebert Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters, we are approaching a blessed and spiritual time of the year, Kurbani Eid, which comes after millions of devout Muslims complete their pilgrimage to the holy grounds of Mecca. Families and friends will come together for prayers, exchange gifts and enjoy special food. As we prepare to take part in this year’s holiday, we would like to invite you to reexamine some aspects of how it is celebrated with an open mind and an open heart.

The story of Abraham

Though revolutionaries etch their ideals in the heart, in time, those ideals often end up literally written in stone only continued regardless and may have actually been slowed down by the superpower conflict. Yet, if the recent past had too much ideology to choose from, in the present day we are faced with too little as liberal capitalism is supposed to have triumphed above all. Or as the handy US political shorthand puts it, the Right won the economic Cold War and the Left won the cultural war for equal rights. And countries like China and the UAE which may be actively hostile to “cultural” talk of democracy or equality have certainly weighed in to adopt those parts of the globalised free market that suit them.

society while having little impact on its politics. Collectively they are just another mass market consumer segment. Although their societies are built on the shakier temporary foundations of oil and exploited migrant labour, the shopping kingdoms of Arabia and the Emirates are similarly just as much part of the global consumer society as anywhere else. Meanwhile, the most damaging policy that relatively irreligious European states have adopted for radical Islamists is to tolerate the preaching of radical jihadists more than some Middle Eastern states.

The challenges of building equality and feeding and employing a planet with a couple billion more people on it – while keeping within sustainable environmental limits are huge

But try telling the famed “end of history” thesis to the several million people who have died in the Congo since the 1990s. Russia and America may have played little part in this conflict, but why is it often ignored by the world’s media even though far more people have been killed than in all the Middle East’s wars since 1945 – and this killing has been fuelled by funds from conflict minerals including those crucial to the world’s mobile phones? The propensity of capitalism for financial crises and intensifying inequalities means that such value free aspects of unrestrained capitalism will always be challenged. In the absence of a credible international socialism, environmentalism and religious fundamentalism are the only ideologies that seek to do this on a global basis. But however appalled religious individuals may be by secular values they see as immoral, experience from the US Bible Belt proves that fundamentalists can individually prosper in a secular

Of course there is also nihilistic al-Qaeda-influenced terrorism to contend with, but contrary to the rhetoric of the “war on terror” violent fanatics pose little long-term threat as their acts do more to alienate than attract supporters. Perhaps then it falls to Greens to make use of the increased ecological awareness that resulted from the race to the Moon, that other great revolution of the 1960s – which allowed us to see Earth from space for the first time – to change the world by adapting to resource constraints and climate change. But somehow, I think this will have more influence on long-term business planning, rather than individual aspirations. Better governance and environmental responsibility may be urgent but don’t quite have the same ring as Liberty, Fraternity and Equality... However, for all the past failure of utopian ideals, politics is too important to be left to cynics. The other great change to arise since the sixties, the rise of women in the workforce, shows how the collective small actions of millions of individuals, can change society


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


more than big ideas alone. Feminism, contraception and women workers were all around for many years, but it took the mid 20th century’s advent of reliable family planning to empower women in the workplace on a mass scale and to drive global equality. As a threat to tradition, nothing scares many religious fundamentalists quite so much as the worldwide rise of feminism, so their hostility is at least explainable. But their attempts to use worldwide cynicism towards politicians, to smear democracy itself are doomed. While the ideal of all citizens participating equally in the creation and enforcement of laws via elected representatives may be traced back to ancient Greeks, mankind has only seriously practiced universal suffrage in the sense of votes for all men and women in the last one hundred years. If there is now disillusionment with for example, corporations exercising too much political clout and grabbing all the wealth, well then that makes an argument for more democracy, not less and is certainly not a justification for fundamentalist ideas that have been shown to limit political freedoms while failing to advance human society and progress. The challenges of building equality and feeding and employing a planet with a couple billion more people on it – while keeping within sustainable environmental limits – are huge and require every sinew of human creativity, science and goodwill. Without a long term optimistic vision of the future – which is an area in which green activists are often hampered by an ideological commitment to zero growth – there can only be pessimistic scenarios. It is most likely to be ordinary citizens, not present day politicians, who will bring about a paradigm shift that helps to deliver a better future. This won’t be about old ideologies but will require a politics that puts people and planet first. l Niaz Alam has worked on ethical business issues since 1992 and is a former vice-chair of War on Want.

As we are told by the Qur’an, the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) had a recurring dream in which Allah commanded him to sacrifice his son Ishmael (pbuh). Abraham (pbuh) was just about to end the life of his son when Allah called on him to spare his son and instead sacrifice a ram He miraculously provided. During Kurbani Eid, we commemorate and remember Abraham’s (pbuh) willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. Today, the slaughter of millions of animals during this holiday is merely symbolic of Abraham’s (Saw) supreme sacrifice.

Sacrifice, then and now

The Qur’an makes clear that Allah does not take pleasure in flesh and blood. It says of the animals sacrificed: “[their] meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.” (Qur’an 22:37) Animal sacrifice is not part of the core spiritual truth of Islam, and there are many other charitable ways to express our devotion to the will of Allah. In modern Bangladesh, meat is not as scarce or as valuable a resource as it was for the desert community in which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived. Today we can do so much more to help the needy by simply redirecting the money that would have gone towards the purchase of an animal for slaughter and using it for other longer-lasting and more beneficial purposes. The money can be used to improve the situation of more than half a million children living on the streets of Dhaka and other major cities, or to build hospitals in places where access to medical care is still difficult. Care, Save the Children, Oxfam, Brac and countless other organizations are doing great work for the most disadvantaged groups in our society and are in dire need of our financial support in order to create a better Bangladesh for tomorrow. Many of these charities and NGOs also accept valuable and useful items, which are close to your heart, and you might consider donating instead of, or in addition to, money – in the spirit of sacrifice. Opting for charity in lieu of animal sacrifice is in harmony with the meaning of Islam and Kurbani Eid.

The Qur’an makes clear that Allah does not take pleasure in flesh and blood. It says of the animals sacrificed: ‘[their] meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you’

Animals and Islam

While Kurbani Eid will be a time of joy for Muslims, it is not a happy time for Allah’s creatures. The lives of many goats, cows and other domestic animals will end during the festivities. It can be hard to think about the plight of animals in a country in which many human beings have to live under heartbreaking conditions. But we ask you to consider for a moment what the camels, lambs, goats, and cows, that are chosen to be sacrificed on Kurbani Eid, will endure. After all, we know that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advocated compassion toward animals. He was sent as a “mercy to all creation” (Qur’an, 21:107). In fact, the Qur’an explicitly recognizes the fact that animals are sentient beings just like us, thereby anticipating a basic tenet of the modern animal rights movement – “[t] here is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings, but they are communities like you.” (Qur’an 6:38)

It can be hard to think about the plight of animals in a country in which many human beings have to live under heartbreaking conditions Prior to slaughter, many animals sacrificed during Kurbani Eid in Bangladesh are walked long distances, often for days at a time from as far-away places as India, or they are packed into trucks without adequate space, food, water, and medical attention. This is neither humane nor halal, and it stands in stark contradiction to Islamic teachings on kindness and compassion. We should not ignore this reality. In Sahih al-Bukhari, it is told that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was once asked if kindness to animals was rewarded in the afterlife. He replied: “There is a meritorious reward for kindness to every living creature.” Sacrificial animals typically have their legs tied so that they can hardly move. They are surrounded by a group of people that often includes children. The terrified animals are held down by several individuals while a sharp knife is drawn across their throats. As they struggle to break free, they slowly bleed to death – often in front of other animals.

A religion of compassion

Many of us are horrified when we see on TV how animals in Europe, Australia, the United States and other countries across the globe are raised, transported and killed. It is our hope that Islam, being a religion of peace and compassion, can do better. We, the undersigned, respectfully submit these thoughts for your consideration and hope you find them helpful in drawing your very own conclusions about the practice of animal sacrifice, in the light of the universal standards of mercy and compassion that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has set for humanity. Eid Mubarak! This is a open-letter by Rainer Ebert that has been signed by 76 people so far, mostly Bangladeshis:

Africa’s ICC ultimatum poses dilemma for the West n Aymeric Vincenot


he African Union’s demand for the International Criminal Court to defer trials against Kenya’s leadership is unlikely to get UN Security Council support but poses a dilemma for Western powers, analysts say. An AU summit on Saturday stopped short of withdrawing from The Hague-based ICC, but it urgently

cal interests above those of victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” said Tawanda Hondora, an Amnesty International deputy director. The Kenyan leaders have been charged with crimes against humanity for allegedly masterminding the ethnic violence that left at least 1,100 dead after the disputed 2007 elections. Justice for the victims and a clear

those who are the most responsible,” said Herman van der Wilt, an international criminal law professor at Amsterdam University. As for postponing the Kenyan trials, he added: “I can’t predict but I think it is very unlikely” because the permanent members of the Security Council can use their veto power and two members, he said, “France and Britain have always been very supportive of international justice.”

‘New ground for Western powers’

Kenya had tried unsuccessfully in May to get action from the Security Council, which can defer ICC proceedings for one year

asked for the deferral of the cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto so they can fulfil their duties to run the country. “This declaration sends the wrong message, that politicians on the African continent will place their politi-

stand against immunity for heads of state would be among the key arguments against a trial deferral, analysts said. “There is no chance that immunity would be granted. It is a core principle of the Court: Everyone must answer for his actions and especially

But now a new dynamic has entered into the debate that could influence the decision-making: The attack last month by the al-Qaeda-linked Somali group Shebab on a Nairobi shopping mall that left at least 67 people dead. “The dynamic and the politics around Kenya have changed. The attack at Westgate mall has probably shifted the priorities for two countries, France and Britain,” said Anton du Plessis, managing director for the Institute for Security Studies in Johannesburg. Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at the Chatham House

think-tank, also pointed to the dilemma facing the Western powers, who sit on the Security Council. He said they find the Kenya case “uncomfortable.” “Kenya is economically and strategically important for Western countries ... (they) also can’t ignore that Uhuru Kenyatta was elected through a credible electoral process (in March),” Vines said. “This is new ground for Western partners on how to navigate their interests versus values in this case.” Kenya had tried unsuccessfully in May to get action from the Security Council, which can defer ICC proceedings for one year. The Kenyan newspaper the Nation has argued that this time the request would get more attention as some African nations have accused the ICC of acting like a neo-colonialist institution that has singled out Africans. The court founded in 2002 has so far issued indictments related to conflicts in eight countries, all in Africa. l This article has been syndicated from AFP.

The African Union headquarters at Addis Ababa





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Like every Eid, to celebrate the holy occasion, all the TV channels across the country have come up with a wide array of programmes to entertain people. Special musical shows, short drama series, telefilms, single episode plays and shows of many more genres are presented for the duration of the festival. From this wide list, we have selected a handful of programmes and listed them here for the audience to enjoy. On behalf of the Dhaka Tribune family, we wish you Eid Mubarak.

Single-episode plays Ekjon Kritodash

Based on the late eminent novelist Humayun Ahmed’s story and directed by Meher Afroz Shawon, “Ekjon Kritodash” will air on Channel i at 7:50pm on Eid day. The drama features Moushumi Hamid, Farabi, Alvy, Kazi Delwar and many more. The story is about Parul and Rashed’s happy family life. All of a sudden, they face a dire time with the losses suffered by Rashed in his business. He finds Parul supporting him in his time of need.

Telefilms Nirobe Tin Minute

Telefilm “Nirobe Tin Minute” will air on Eid day at 2:10pm on Banglavision. Written by Faruk Hossain, directed by Raihan Hasan, the telefilm features prominent actor Noble, Tania Ahmed, Afsan Bindu and Shams Shumon. The story revolves around a wealthy girl Sanjida who is in love with a software engineer named Sohel. However, Sanjida marries Kayes, a business man. After her marriage, Sohel suffers a breakdown. Later, he falls in love with a girl named Maya.

October 16

Shotyo Balok

Projapotir Dana

Without any commercial break, Shotyo Balok will air on Eid day at 8:10pm on NTV. The play satirises the social structure, and a man who never lies gets into trouble. The protagonist Mir Barkat is a young man who never lies and people around him always tend to exploit him. Even his love life suffers a lot for his nature. Will he change himself or remain honest is the question he finally faces. Mosharraf Karim and Tisha are the lead actors of the play.

Abdul Jaliler Bidesh Jatra

The Toukir Ahmed and Bipasha Ahmed starrer play Abdul Jaliler Bidesh Jatra will air on Banglavision at 8:00pm on Eid day. The play revolves around a simple man named Abdul Jalil who works in a small company. He decides to go abroad and prepares all the necessary papers. But, on the eve of leaving the country, he realises his patriotism which has been hidden inside himself.

On Eid Day, telefilm “Projapotir Dana” will air at 3:10pm on Channel 9. Written and Directed by Matia Banu Shuku, the telefilm features Toukir Ahmed, Shushoma Shorkaar, Tapur, Tupur, Shahed and Tripti Chokroborti. The main theme of the story is about the love and affection one feels for one’s father. Twins Lota and Pata live a happy life with their parents and grandmother. Misfortune overtakes their life as their father is snatched from them by a witch.

Priti O Subhechchha

ATN Bangla is broadcasting “Priti O Subhechchha” on the first day of Eid at 3:05pm. The star-studded telefilm features Nipun, Zahid Hasan and Siddiqur Rahman. Written by Jakir Hossain and directed by Zahid Hasan, the plot of the story revolves around a man who returns from abroad and looks for a wife. Since he is new in the community, he advertises himself on posters and banners with polite Eid greetings. He gets popular in a short time and meets a school teacher.

Uttam Shuchitra

Alien O Rumpar Golpo – 2

Popular actors Apurbo and Aupi Karim have paired-up again after three years for the single-episode play “Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen” directed by Chayanika Chowdhury. The play will be aired on Eid day at 7:45pm on ATN Bangla. Here the duo act as a newlywed couple who rents a house of a middle-aged man who is big fan of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, legendary on-screen couple of Bangla cinema.

October 17

Promila Cricket Coaching

“Promila Cricket Coaching” will air on SA TV at 7:30pm on the second day of Eid. Written and directed by Ferdous Hasan, the drama features Sajal, Bindu, Khaled Masud Pilot, Tania, Lisa, Nupur and many more. It’s a story about a group of talented female cricketers who come from different corners of the country. Roksana is the bffest one among them. But, she becomes distracted from the game, by falling in love with their English teacher.

The telefilm, “Alien O Rumpar Golpo – 2,” airs on SA TV at 3pm on the first day of Eid. Written and directed by Mahbrur Rashid Banna, the telefilm feature Tisha, Tahsan, Iresh Zaker and Shuro. It’s a science fiction story where Rumpa gets involved with an alien. The first part of the story aired during Eid-ul-Fitr and will continue from there.

Kone Dekha Alo

“Kone Dekha Alo” airs on Channel i at 12:05pm on the first day of Eid. Written and directed by Rajibul Islam Rajib, the telefilm features Mim, Tarin, Chanchal Chowdhury, Sohel Khan and many more. It is a story about an orphan girl named Jerin who lives in London. Jerin comes back to Bangladesh. Her uncle receives her, but speculates that she has come back for the properties left behind by her parents. In despair, she leaves her uncle’s home. At last, her uncle realises his mistake.

Black Book

Hoyto Tobuo Bhalobasha

Special drama without commercial break “Black Book” will air on the second day of Eid at 8:00pm on Baglavision. The story, written and directed by Animesh Aich, features Tisha, Shakil Ahmed, Abul Hayat and others. The story is about a twenty-four-year-old girl named Manila who is an artist. Manila was imprisoned for few days in a church by the authorities. After the incident, she becomes a chronic insomniac patient.

Dure Jabo Bole

On the second day of Eid, the drama “Dure Jabo Bole” will air at 9:15pm on Channel 9. Witten and directed by Animensh Aich, the drama features Mahfuz Ahmed and Farah Ruma. The story is based on sacrifices one needs to make due to poverty. Shamoli and Mofiz live a miserable life with their four children. Suddenly Mofiz is diagnosed with a terminal illness and the doctor prescribes him some expensive medicine that is way out of his affordability.

ATN Bangla is broadcasting “Hoyto Tobuo Bhalobasha” on the second day of Eid at 3:05pm. The telefilm features Amin Khan, Momo, Mahmud Sazzad, Saberi Alam and many more. Written by Faria Hossain and directed by Shekh Rana, the story is about a fraud who traps girls from well-off families who go to private universities. He has cheated several girls, promising them love and faithfulness.

Jodi Bhalo Na Lage Deo Na Mon – 2

“Jodi Bhalo Na Lage Deo Na Mon – 2” will air on Channel i at 2:30pm on the second day of Eid. The telefilm is a sequel of eminent playwright late Humayun Ahmed’s “Jodi Bhalo Na Lage Deo Na Mon.” The second part is a continuation of the first part written by Rajibul Islam Rajib and directed by Rayhan Khan. The star cast of the telefilm includes Tisha, Shamim Shahed, Irfan, Saju, Nijam Uddin, Rahman Khalilur, Samira and many more.

October 18

Thought Reader


“Thought Reader” will air on Channel i at 9:35pm on the third day of Eid. Written and directed by Rafayat, the single episode drama features popular soap actors Aupi Karim, Aly Zaker and many more. The story features a girl with supernatural powers. She can read people’s mind just by concentrating on someone. Everyone around her feels out of their depth and soon, her powers become a source of discomfort and problem for her family members and neighbours.

Kak Taruar Deshe

Written and directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul, “Kak Taruar Deshe” will air on Channel 9 at 9:15pm on the third day of Eid. Aparna, Rounak Hasan and Abdullah Rana play the lead characters of the production. Here protagonist Aparna is a literature enthusiast and has an affair with Shams who is a famed writer. On the other hand, a simple man, Nishu, falls for Aparna but she avoids him. To impress her, Nishu gives all his efforts to study and practice literature.

Mou and Sajal starrer Tilottama will air on the third day of Eid at 4:05pm on ETV. The story revolves around Avik who suddenly, in reality, sees the lady in front of him who comes to his dreams frequently. He follows her and tries to make friends with her. But, he discovers that the lady is already married.

Kingbodontir Gaye Holud

Maasranga will air “Kingbodontir Gaye Holud” on the third day of Eid at 11:20pm. Written by Sagor Jahan and directed by Ratan Ripon, the telefilm features Tisha, Anisur Rahman Milon, Farukh Ahmed and many more. A ritual of her upcoming wedding ceremony is taking place at Tisha’s home. All of a sudden her ex-boyfriend Milon comes to meet her at the ceremony. He starts to reminiscence about old times but Tisha remembers the pain and humiliation she felt when they were together.

Music shows

Children’s specials Chhoto Kaku Afzal Hossain plays the protagonist of Chhoto Kaku, a drama series which will air on Channel i at 6:10pm everyday from the day before Eid to the sixth day of Eid. The drama is based on Faridur Reza Sagar’s novel “Rajshahir Roshogolla” and also features celebrated writer Abdullah Abu Sayeed in a special character.

Jion Kathi Children’s Eid special puppet show Golper Deshe series presents “Jion Kathi” this Eid. The show will air on Boishakhi TV at 9:15am from the first day to the fifth day of Eid. The series revolves around the adventurous journey of Bulu and Zinia, who will experience another adventure this Eid. An evil entity eats the sun. For the earth’s survival, someone needs to kill that evil being and protect the sun.

Mostofa Monwar’s Puppet Show Children’s Eid special puppet show titled “Mostofa Monwar’s Puppet Show” by puppeteer Mostafa Monwar will air on Maasranga at 1:20pm from the third day to the sixth day of Eid. Mostafa Monwar is an internationally acclaimed puppeteer. The show features four different stories. His productions portray the rich heritage of our folklore which entertains and educates our children.

Musical show “Giti Ponchok”will air on NTV at 5:30pm on the second day of Eid. The show is produced by Wahidul Islam Shubro and the songs will be presented by Putul, Julie, Pooja, Naomi and Shobhyota

A seven-day long musical progarmme, “Close Up Fusion Lounge” will air everyday starting from Eid-ul-Azha on Channel 9 at 11:30pm. Everyday, the performances of different artists will be shown

Folk rock band Lalon will perform this Eid on ATN Bangla at 11:50pm on the third day of Eid. Band Lalon will perform eight popular songs

Did you know? More than 200 nations took part in the Fifa World Cup qualifiers this time, with just Bhutan, Brunei, Guam and Mauritania opting not to take part


Tuesday, October 15, 2013



14 England look to avoid 14 War-torn Syria vows 15 Pakistan hit to give all in Asian repeat of 1973, Bosnia back after Amla’s Cup Qualifying to make history hundred

Jurgensen hopeful of series win n Mazhar Uddin

Bangladesh national team coach Shane Jurgensen wass happy with the result of the first Test against New Zealand and the Australian said he is hopeful of a series win yesterday. “I am very proud about how the way players played the game and we again achieved a really good result as a team. We batted well despite having some early trouble by the fantastic performance of Mominul and Gazi.   I am really happy to get a minimum result as a draw and there is a possibility of achieving a series win against the New Zealand,” said Jurgensen. The Tigers’ coach was particularly happy with the way the young players were stepping up when the

Australia must stick with top six, says Ponting n AFP, Sydney Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting says selectors need to “pick and stick” with young batsmen in next month’s Ashes series, while claiming Michael Clarke’s captaincy remains “a work in progress”. In an interview with The Australian published Monday Ponting called on selectors to stop their search for a quick fix and realise that players such as Usman Khawaja and Phil Hughes must be nurtured and developed because they are the best available. “I think everybody on the outside has been a little bit worried about what the next generation of players have got, particularly on the batting side of things,” Ponting said. “Everyone acknowledges we have good depth of fast bowling, but where the next Michael Clarke is going to come from in the batting department is what everyone is concerned about. l

situation demanded it. “We have got more players showing the ability to step up and take the responsibility. Obviously Shakib, Tamim and Mushy (Mushfiq) were taking the major part of the responsibility, but in the last 12 months we had seen some young players stepping up in Mominul, Anamul and Gazi. It’s an exciting time for Bangladesh cricket team,” said Jurgensen. Speaking about the first Test, he said, “I was confident that if we batted well than we could score what we have scored and basically that’s what had happened. There were fantastic individual performances from Mominul and Gazi along with Mushy. We were confident that if we could battle, we could post a good total.” Jurgensen was looking to the pace

bowlers to raise their level for the next Test. “If the new ball bowlers can take early wickets, it will help our spinners more and that’s something that we constantly talk about is bowling as a team and getting the best result. We can’t rely on our spinners to take all wickets and all must contribute despite the condition.” The 37-year old went on to express his philosophy of looking to play well rather than focus on the result. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to potentially win a series. I have no doubt we played well but you can’t really go and have the attitude of winning. For me it’s more about the process and if the process is right and we do really good stuff with the bat and ball and in the field, the result will take care of itself,” he said. l

Sylhet venue’s fate still undecided n Mazhar Uddin The fate of the Sylhet stadium to host the next year’s T20 World Cup is still hanging as an ICC inspection team led by Chris Tetley inspected the venue yesterday, but could not make a concrete decision as the ground is still under renovation. They will make another visit on October 27 before giving the final verdict.

The deadline for finishing the works were set on September 30 before BCB asked for another 15 days for completing the job to the ICC team that arrived on October 1 However, the only T20 match of the ongoing New Zealand’s tour against the hosts scheduled at the venue on November 6 will be finalised by an ICC

match referee after Eid, informed Mahbub Anam, a director of Bangladesh Cricket Board. The eight-member ICC inspection made their fifth visit to the Sylhet stadium yesterday morning where they inspected the wicket, ground, grand stand, press box, gallery and the work progress of floodlights. Earlier, the deadline for finishing the works were set on September 30 before BCB asked for another 15 days for completing the job to the ICC team that arrived on October 1. The board now asked for further 12 days to finish the renovation work. Chris Tetley, head of the ICC delegation, informed, “There have been a lot of progress in the stadium from last time we visited here, but still there are some works to be done to complete this venue as an international venue.” l

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson speaks at the press conference at Hotel Sonargaon yesterday

Draw was a fair result: Hesson n Mazhar Uddin The draw in the recently concluded Test match against Bangladesh in Chittagong was a fair enough result according to visiting New Zealand coach Mike Hesson who also informed that he has no idea about the wicket in Mirpur ahead of their second and final Test match of the tour. Hesson opined that they did good with the bat after winning the toss and the bowlers also picked up two early wickets later, but “Mominul Haque played well and got some momentum going for them.” “In the end it was tough to take wickets and it was easy enough to survive. So I think draw was a fair result,” said Hesson. The Kiwi coach informed that his side has no idea about the Dhaka wicket and how it’s going to behave, but said his side has a lot of options before going to the second Test from

Djokovic gives perfect reply to rankings fall n AFP, Shanghai

Col. (Rtd) Faruk Khan, the civil aviation and tourism minister, British High Commissioner Richard Gibson and BOA secretary general Syed Shahed Reza hold the Queens Baton in a program at the British High Commission yesterday COURTESY

Queens Baton visits Bangaldesh n Raihan Mahmood The much loved symbol of the Commonwealth Games the Queen’s Baton Relay was on show at the capital yesterday. The glittering baton arrived at 3:30pm from India and the team that carried it comprised of Louise Martin, the Commonwealth Games Federation honorary secretary, Louis Rosa and Rebecca Hill. Minister for civil aviation and tourism Col. (Rtd) M. Faruk Khan received the baton at the airport. Bangladesh Olympic Association secretary general Syed Shahed Reza was also present on the occasion. Later, the baton moved to Aftab Nagar from the airport to spread the message of the Commonwealth Games spirit and was taken to the British High

Commission where High Commissioner Robert Gibson joined the festivities. “It is a wonderful moment and I feel the spirit of Commonwealth Games here. I hope the next edition of Commonwealth Games would enthrall the sports world as it has doing over the years,” said Gibson. All the lights also focused upon Louise Martin, who has a long and ongoing association with the Games as an athlete, team manager and administrator. Her leadership role in bringing the Games to Glasgow in 2014 was a critical one. In 2003, Louise was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the Commonwealth Games. “It was wonderful, what a reception it was, it was awesome, I was surprised to feel the enthusiasm, a lot of excitement was also there. It feels great to be

in Bangladesh with the Queens Baton,” said Martin. She was also looking forward to host a successful edition of the game. “Over the years the Commonwealth Games has grown bigger and bigger. It has now become the showcase event of young sports persons - a lot of young people eagerly waits for Commonwealth Games to show their talents and I firmly believe that Glasgow 2014 will be a special one. Last time it was in India and this time it is in Scotland, that’s the way the CG goes. It links the culture and heritage of the Commonwealth family,” she said. There will be no official engagement of the baton but the tour party is likely to visit the national mausoleum Savar and the Heritage Park. The Baton will fly to Pakistan tomorrow. l

Shanghai Masters champion Novak Djokovic said he still has unfinished business this season after delivering the perfect response to being knocked off the men’s top ranking. The soon-to-be-married Serb ceded the world number one spot to Rafael Nadal, but his reaction has been emphatic with an unbeaten run in China adding two titles to his collection. Immediately after Nadal returned to number one by reaching the China Open final, Djokovic proved he was not about to go away by defending his title from the Spaniard in straight sets. He then swept all before him in Shanghai to retain a trophy for the second time in two weeks, outlasting Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday’s thrilling final to win his 20th consecutive match in China. Djokovic said he had not yet contemplated next year’s Grand Slams and was still focused on 2013, with the Paris Masters, World Tour Finals and Davis Cup final still to come. “Well, I’m still in this year. It hasn’t finished,” said the world number two, after his 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3) win over del Potro on Sunday. “I really will try to do my best till the end of the season, then I’m going to start thinking about what my goals are for next year.” Nadal has unquestionably been the stand-out player this season after making a phenomenal return from injury to claim 10 titles including the French Open and the US Open. But Djokovic has been no slouch, retaining his Australian Open crown, narrowly losing to Nadal in the semifinals at Roland Garros and again in the final at Flushing Meadows. l

October 21. “We haven’t looked at the wicket. We have watched a lot of games taking place there in the last couple of years and it [Mirpur wicket] varies as well, we have got four genuine quickies who can bounce the ball. We’ve got options where we can play an extra seamer or go for an extra batter,” he said. The 38-year-old hopes the wicket at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium will carry a bit more bounce than the one they just played in, but he did not forget to praise the heroics of Mominul Haque and Sohag Gazi. “We didn’t have a lot of footage on him (Mominul). We knew we were supposed to bowl straight at him. We started off a bit wide, but he played extremely well scoring 180 in a Test. “For Gazi to create so many opportunities on day five showed he can sustain pressure. I actually thought he went well as the Test went on, but scoring a hundred and taking

a hat-trick is something remarkable,” said Hesson. The visitors are however missing the service of their most experienced leftarm spinner Daniel Vettori, who also fared really well over the years against Bangladesh, and Hesson termed that, “Any side that New Zealand puts out with Daniel Vettori missing is a weaker side.” The coach also informed that fast bowler Tim Southee is still injured and has very less chance of taking the field for the second Test. Hesson also said they have everything planned out for the seven-day break and it will be a good opportunity for them to freshen up and also do a little bit of scouting. With the Eid festival around the corner Hesson concluded his conference at the local hotel by saying, “Touring different country is a part of international cricket and the guys enjoy their stay at different places and enjoy different cultures.” l

De Kruif hopeful with U-19 booters n Raihan Mahmood National head coach Lodewijk de Kruif was optimistic about the prospects of the current U-19 football team’s players to continue developing and recommended an intensive training program for them upon their return from Iraq yesterday. Bangladesh U-19 team finished runners-up in the group C with four points but due to the -5 goal difference, finished eighth among the nine group runner-ups. The top six second placed teams qualified for the final round. The coach of the U-19 team Rene Koster thought the team had perform satisfactorily. “There is nothing to be demoralized about. The boys played well but the first match against hosts Iraq made

all the difference. We beat Kuwait and to be frank, the difference between Bangladesh and the Middle East sides are high, but we want to look forward with the positives,” said the coach. De Kruif, who had an advisory role with the team, focused upon the future. “There are a number of players who can find their place in the national team in the future. However they require intensive training and planned grooming” said de Kruif. National team forward and the vice captain of the U-19 team Toklis Ahmed regretted the poor performance against Iraq. “We were below par in the first match. We could not play our normal game and it cost us too much. However, we relish the victory against Kuwait,” said Toklis. l

National head coach Lodewijk de Kruif and U-19 coach Rene Koster gives the U-19 team footballers some advice before leaving the airport after their arrival from Iraq yesterday BFF




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Uruguay resigned to play-off return n AFP, Montevideo

Uruguay have all but resigned themselves to the idea they will need to beat Jordan in a play-off in order to reach next year’s World Cup, even if they beat Argentina on Tuesday. The top four teams in the South American qualifying section gain automatic passage to Brazil while the fifthplace finishers, currently Uruguay, go into a play-off against minnows Jordan. It is a scenario that is far from unfamiliar to Uruguay, who have found themselves in this position in each of the previous three World Cup qualifying campaigns as well. For the 2002 finals in Japan and South Korea, Uruguay overcame a 1-0 first leg loss to defeat Australia 3-1 on aggregate to reach the finals. Four years later, though, and they faced the same opponents, only to lose 4-2 on penalties after both sides won their home leg 1-0. Four years ago, they squeezed past Costa Rica 2-1 on aggregate but there can be no denying that in Jordan, they would face their least challenging opponents yet in such a play-off. Avoiding that possibility seems highly unlikely as Uruguay trail both Ecuador and Chile, in third and fourth in the group, by three points, while

Fixtures Paraguay Chile Peru Uruguay England's James Milner (C) leads his teammates in a training session at Arsenal's training complex in London yesterday. England will play Poland in their last World Cup qualifying match at Wembley today

Fixture Belgium Scotland Serbia Italy Bulgaria Denmark Sweden Rep Ireland Faroe Islands Turkey Romania Hungary Switzerland Norway Cyprus Portugal Israel Azerbaijan Lithuania Greece Latvia England Montenegro San Marino Spain France

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Wales Croatia FYR Macedonia Armenia Czech Republic Malta Germany Kazakhstan Austria Netherlands Estonia Andorra Slovenia Iceland Albania Luxembourg N Ireland Russia Bosnia Liechtenstein Slovakia Poland Moldova Ukraine Georgia Finland


England look to avoid repeat of 1973, Bosnia to make history n AFP, Paris Eight teams go into the final round of European zone 2014 World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday with hopes of securing the final four automatic spots in Brazil next year. Holders Spain and Fabio Capello’s Russia look all but assured of securing their berths at the expense of France and Portugal respectively, though, those two will get another chance in the play-offs for the best eight runners-up. Spain need only a point at home to Georgia to qualify, regardless of France’s result at home to Finland, while Russia, who have a three-point lead over the Portuguese, also need just a point away against Azerbaijan to book their ticket to Brazil. French morale has hardly been boosted by a Sunday poll that found that their predecessors’ past bad behaviour, largely at the 2010 World Cup

finals where they mutinied and refused to train, still lingers with 82% declaring they had an unfavourable opinion of the national side and 76% thought they were just plain rude. Portugal, for their part, will be without captain and playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo and influential central defender Pepe for their final game at home to minnows Luxembourg. While victory should be a formality, the Russians are unlikely to slip-up away at the Azeris. For Bosnia-Herzegovina and perennial finals under-achievers England the scenario is more complicated with both being chased by Greece and Ukraine respectively. England host Poland, with the latter now out of the reckoning for the finals but capable of producing an upset similar to the one they achieved almost 40 years to the day. Then, a 1-1 draw at Wembley prevent-

ed the English going to the 1974 finals and brought to a close the golden era under Alf Ramsey’s management that had yielded the one and only major trophy the national side have won, the 1966 world Cup. The present England side would not be many people’s idea of a future World Cup winner, but Roy Hodgson’s team have at least developed a reputation for being tough to beat. Realistically they will need to beat the Poles on Tuesday as Ukraine, who are just two points behind, are away at pointless San Marino. Hodgson is not taking the Poles for granted, especially as they gave England a really tough game in Warsaw earlier in the qualifying competition. “I watched them (in the 1-0 defeat to Ukraine on Friday),” he said. “In the first half they played very well. They had the best goal-scoring opportunities.

“If they play as well against us on Tuesday as they did against Ukraine in the first half, it will be a tough game. “But I always back the players. I trust them. We are still unbeaten in this qualifying group. While England have graced many finals of major tournaments, Bosnia-Herzegovina have yet to achieve a similar breakthrough. They fell in the play-offs for Euro 2012 to eventual semi-finalists Portugal, but under their former striker Safet Susic, voted by France Football in 2012 the best foreign player to have played in Ligue 1, they have a superb opportunity to reach the biggest tournament of them all. Susic, 58, and who appeared for the then Yugoslavia at the 1982 and 1990 World Cups, said that he expected to get the three points against the Lithuanians which they will need as Greece, who trail them on goal difference, host bottom side Liechtenstein. l

Mexico seek to close campaign with win n AFP, Los Angeles Having resuscitated their flagging World Cup bid, Mexico head into their final qualifier at Costa Rica on Tuesday determined to make the most of their chance. Raul Alonso Jimenez was the unlikely star for Mexico, his spectacular bicycle kick five minutes from fulltime giving the El Tri their first home win in the six-nation final qualifying group in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The victory moved Mexico into

Fixtures Costa Rica v Jamaica v Panama v

Mexico Honduras United States

fourth place, three points behind Honduras -- who need only to draw at lastplaced Jamaica to punch their ticket to Brazil. That means Mexico are almost certainly looking at a playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand for

a World Cup berth, although they still nurse slim hopes of sneaking past Honduras for third place and a direct entry to the finals. While Mexico’s players are well aware they can’t afford a let down, captain Rafael Marquez acknowledged that Friday’s victory was a major morale boost for the struggling side who were facing the real possibility of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1990. If Mexico can’t maintain their momentum, Panama will try to pounce. l

n Reuters

Swansea City forward Michu says he is not thinking about the possibility of joining one of Europe’s heavyweight clubs after finally breaking into the Spanish national team this month. “I am not thinking about that at the moment,” Michu, whose full name is Miguel Perez Cuesta, said in an interview with Marca sports daily published on Monday when asked about the possibility of moving to a “top” club. I am enjoying myself very much at Swansea,” he added. It’s a modest team but we are competing in Europe and we already won a title last season, the first in the club’s history.” Michu was Swansea’s top scorer last term with 22 goals in all competitions. He also won the club’s Players’ Player of the Year, Away Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year awards. l

Syrian head coach Anas Makhlouf on Monday vowed that the strife-torn nation will press on with its Asian Cup qualifying campaign in a bid to lift the spirits of fans back home. Makhlouf’s side face Singapore on Tuesday, and need a crucial win to remain in contention to qualify for the prestigious regional tournament, which will be hosted by Australia in 2015. The team has one point from two games so far, in a group that also includes Oman and Jordan. Makhlouf said the team, which plays home ties in Tehran due to security concerns in Syria, sorely missed the “comfort” of playing in front of a home crowd. “But we will...try to do and play well for them because they wait (for) us and ask about us, and worry about us, and it is most important thing to make a result, a good result for them,” Makhlouf

said in English at a pre-match conference in Singapore. Team captain Senharib Malki said fans have been making up for their ab-

Colombia Ecuador Bolivia Argentina

those two face each other in Lima. A draw between them would ensure both progress and while no-one is yet screaming about a stitch-up, there is the acceptance that a play-off spot, which is the least Uruguay will end qualifying with, is a near certainty. Even Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has been talking up the value of qualifying through that route, dismissing the possibility that his side could lose to Jordan, ranked 73rd in the world compared to Uruguay’s seventh. In that respect they trail Ecuador by six and Chile by four having scored far fewer. Knowing that a heavy defeat is the only likely way they would fail to progress automatically, neither Chile nor Ecuador can realistically be expected to take too many risks, particularly the hosts, who would have already qualified but for losing a 3-0 lead against Colombia on Friday to draw 3-3. Ecuador all but ensured their place by beating Uruguay 1-0 in Quito. They would need to lose 3-0 in Santiago and see Uruguay beat bitter rivals Argentina by the same score to drop into the play-offs. Elsewhere, pride is all that is at stake as rock bottom Bolivia travel to Peru, as well as in Asuncion where second-bottom Paraguay host Colombia. l

Emenike double gives Nigeria advantage in World Cup playoff n Reuters

Former Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, unveils a road sign on the newly named "Sir Alex Ferguson Way", in Manchester, northern England yesterday REUTERS

War-torn Syria vows to give all

New Spain recruit Michu happy with n AFP, Singapore life at Swansea

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sence by sending the team notes of encouragement through social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. “We can’t play at home, and it is dif-

ficult for them to come to Tehran to watch the game. For these kind of people, we need to give everything,” said the 29-year-old forward, who plays for Turkish Super League side Kasimpasa. Syria, which is ranked 143 in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, remains mired in a civil war that has drawn in fighters from across the Arab world and beyond since it flared in response to a bloody government crackdown on democracy protests in March 2011. l


Syria's captain Sanhareb Malki (C) chats with his teammates Hussein Jyawed (R) and Al Masri as they prepare for training at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore yesterday REUTERS

Singapore Jordan Lebanon Iran Indonesia Iraq Malaysia Hong Kong Uzbekistan

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Syria Oman Kuwait Thailand China Saudi Arabia Bahrain UAE Vietnam

Nigeria came from behind to snatch a last-gasp 2-1 win over Ethiopia in the first leg of their World Cup playoff on Sunday after two goals from Emmanuel Emenike helped them take a big step towards next year’s finals in Brazil. A 90th-minute penalty following a moment of defensive folly handed Nigeria an away win in Addis Ababa and set them up for a routine assignment in the return leg in Calabar on Nov. 16. Emenike had been tugged by defender Aynalem Hailu as he got goal side in the last minute in a clear infringement and got up to convert the resulting spot kick with ease. Before that, he had struck a snap shot in the 67th minute from outside the penalty area to equalise after the home side had gone ahead in the 56th minute courtesy of a bizarre decision from the linesman. Television replays proved inconclusive and without goal-line technology officials allowed play to continue. Seid proved a thorn in the side of the Nigerian defence but scuffed several good efforts and a draw would have been a fair reflection of a game in which Nigeria also struck the upright when Ahmed Musa saw his 77th-minute shot cannon back into play. Having snatched the win, though, Nigeria are now overwhelming favourites to qualify for a fifth World Cup, ending a fairytale run over the last 18 months for Ethiopia. l




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aussies to keep injuries secret for Ashes

Quick Bytes

Ford appointed Surrey head coach South African Graham Ford has been appointed new head coach of Surrey, the English county side confirmed on Monday. The 52-year-old has signed a three-year deal and will join the club in February when his contract with the Sri Lanka team ends. He replaces Chris Adams, who was sacked last June after the club were relegated from Division One of the County Championship. “I am delighted to once again be involved in the English cricketing system,” said Ford. “I have, for a long while, been an admirer of Surrey CCC and see it as a great privilege to be actively involved in such a fine club. “I look forward to the exciting times ahead!” Ford will work alongside club board member Alec Stewart, who is to take on the role of director of cricket. He will also join fellow South African Graeme Smith at the Kia Oval with the long-serving national skipper having been re-signed, as club captain, for 2014. – AFP

n AFP, Sydney

Veteran German coach Lattek has Parkinson’s Germany’s most successful domestic football coach Udo Lattek, who steered Bayern Munich to their first European Cup triumph in 1974, is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, according to reports on Monday. Lattek lifted a total of 16 titles in a coaching career spanning three decades where he worked at Barcelona, Bayern, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Schalke, Cologne and Borussia Dortmund. The 78-yearold won a total of eight German league titles, six with Bayern and two with Moenchengladbach, and was Germany’s assistant coach at the 1966 World Cup, when they lost the final 4-2 to England at Wembley. He steered Bayern to the European Cup in 1974, their first of three back-to-back titles, before joining Borussia Moenchengladbach, where he won the 1976 and 1977 Bundesliga titles. He also won the 1982 European Cup Winners’ Cup with Barcelona, as well as the 1983 Copa del Ray, before returning to the Bundesliga and eventually retired from coaching in 2000. – AFP

Kerber qualifies for finals after Linz victory Germany’s Angelique Kerber qualified for the season-ending WTA Championship finals in Istanbul after she won the Linz tournament on Sunday beating Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) on Sunday. The 25-year-old German -- ranked 10th in the world but top seed at Linz -- beat third seed Ivanovic in 1hr 37 minutes to win her first title of the year and third of her career, following those in Paris and Copenhagen last year. Kerber who won on her fourth match point against the Serbian, ranked 16th in the world and who was also seeking her first title of the season. “At the end it was pretty close,” said a relieved Kerber. “I am very happy to have won because Ana is an exceptional player. “I focused on myself but I should have been calmer about taking my chances for winning the match.” – AFP

Ex-Japan star released after night in jail Former Japan international Masakiyo Maezono was released by police on Monday after spending a night in jail for allegedly punching and kicking a taxi driver while intoxicated. The 39-yearold Maezono, who now plies his trade as a TV sports commentator, reached a settlement with the driver early Monday, his management office said in a press release. Maezono, who will not be charged over the incident, bowed his head deep and apologised for the violence at a news conference after his release. “It was shameful that I got drunk and inflicted violence on the driver although I cannot remember what has happened,” Maezono said. “I did what I should not do even if I was drunk.” He was arrested on the spot Sunday when he assaulted the driver, who had chased him down for the fee after he got out of the taxi near his home and refused to pay, according to media reports. He had been drinking since Saturday evening after appearing at a live TV sports programme, the reports said. Maezono scored four goals in his 19 international matches between 1994 and 1997. – AFP

Day’s Watch Ten Cricket 1:00pm Pakistan v South Africa 1st Test, Day 2

Hashim Amla (R) of South Africa bats as Pakistan's wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal looks on during their first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi yesterday


Pakistan hit back after Amla’s ton n AFP, Abu Dhabi A Pakistan attack had South Africa in difficulties with Hashim Amla’s fighting hundred proving useful on the opening day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Monday. The 30-year-old right-hander made an unbeaten 118 for his 20th Test hundred to help South Africa, who won the toss and batted, foil a spin-cumpace Pakistan attack, helping his team reach 245-8 at close at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Number ten Dale Steyn was unbeaten on 13. The prolific batsman from Durban added 61 for the fourth wicket with AB de Villiers (19), and another valuable 95 for the fifth with Jean-Paul Duminy (57) to stop Pakistani bowlers from running away after they had wrecked the top-order. Amla has so far hit 13 boundaries during his 250-ball knock. Currently the number one batsman in Test rankings, Amla reached a hundred with a single off spinner Zulfiqar

Babar, taking 201 balls. Just when it looked as though Amla and Duminy would see off the day, leftarmer Babar (3-89) struck twice, dismissing Duminy and Faf du Plessis in the space of six runs to bring Pakistan back in the game. Duminy, who had not played a Test since rupturing his Achilles tendon on the tour of Australia in November last year, hit six fours and a six before sweeping Babar straight into the hands of a deep fine-leg fielder. Du Plessis edged Babar to slips on one, thrilling the roughly 2,000 fans celebrating the Eid holiday. Pakistan had looked to Saeed Ajmal for the breakthrough, but the off-spinner looked off colour on his 36th birthday, conceding 57 runs and managing only Vernon Philander’s wicket. Pakistani pacemen Mohammad Irfan (2-42) and Junaid Khan (1-52) had generated lively pace, with Irfan taking two early wickets in the first session. Irfan, the tallest ever player at seven feet one inch (2.1 metres), lifted one to Alviro Petersen (three), whose fended

1st Test, Day 1 South Africa 1st Innings Petersen c Masood b Irfan Smith c Akmal b Irfan Hashim Amla not out Kallis c Akmal b Khan De Villiers run out Duminy c Shafiq b Babar Du Plessis c Shafiq b Babar Petersen b Babar Philander lbw b Ajmal Steyn not out Extras: (1b, 4lb, 1nb)

3 15 118 5 19 57 1 5 3 13 6

TOTAL: (for 8 wickets, 90 overs) 245 Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-19, 3-43, 4-104, 5-199, 6-205 , 7-217, 8-222 Bowling: Irfan 16.2-3-42-2 (1nb), Khan 18.42-52-1, Babar 27-3-89-3, Ajmal 28-6-57-1

push was well caught by Shan Masood at short-leg, and then had Graeme Smith for 15 in his fourth over. Smith, who is playing his first international match since an ankle injury earlier this year, hit Irfan for two welltimed boundaries but the lanky paceman had the last laugh, dismissing the

South African skipper caught behind. Pakistan successfully took a review after Australian umpire Rod Tucker initially turned down a confident appeal. Kallis, who is also playing his first Test since February this year, looked rusty before he edged a sharp incoming delivery from Khan for wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal to take a smart low catch. South Africa were struggling at 66-3 at lunch. De Villiers helped Amla take South Africa past the 100-mark before he fell, run out for 19. He defended a slower one from Babar and as the ball rolled to first slip, Younis Khan threw the ball to Akmal who saw the batsman out of his crease and dislodged the stumps. Pakistan chose two pacemen and as many spinners, with 34-year old Babar and opener Shan Masood making their debuts. South Africa entered the match with three frontline pacemen and Peterson as only spinner. The second and final Test will be played in Dubai from October 23. l

Australia will protect information about player injuries so as not to cede any competitive advantage to England in the coming Ashes series, a report said on Monday. Officials will not divulge the nature of any injuries suffered unless the player is ruled out of a Test match, according to Cricket Australia’s general manager of team performance Pat Howard. With the first Test getting underway at Brisbane’s Gabba on November 21, Michael Clarke’s side already has players unavailable through injury -- fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird, while the skipper has chronic back trouble. But after losing the July-August Ashes series 3-0 in England, Australian officials are changing their approach, starting with the state of the team’s injuries. “If a player suffers an injury that rules him out of the match, we’ll tell you,” Howard told the Sydney Morning Herald. “But if it doesn’t rule him out... we’ve got a chance to get a player up in a day or 36 hours to play. If he can play the Test match, and keep playing but he’s got a minor calf injury, really should we be telling you that? “Every sportsman has got a little niggle. In a Test match, a player can play in 24 hours’ time. We can turn injuries around in 24 to 48 hours... it’s not like some of the other sports.” The fact that players’ fitness problems can be turned around so quickly in a five-day match with the help of the team’s medical staff has convinced Australian management that the less they say the better, the newspaper said. Howard’s stance was endorsed by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland when it was announced at a briefing with senior CA officials in Sydney, it said. “I don’t think we should be giving up competitive advantage in the middle of the game,” Sutherland said. After series losses in India and England -- Australia have won only one of their 10 Tests this year and that was in January against Sri Lanka in Sydney -- it appears any edge they can manage over the old enemy is being seized. “We do think if we play our best we will win,” Howard said. l

Chicago marathoners show no fear after Boston attacks n AFP, Chicago

Cheering and even leaping into the crisp Chicago air as they crossed the start line Sunday, tens of thousands of runners showed no fear in the first major US marathon since the Boston bombing. Security was certainly tight and a massive police presence reassured fans and family members that everything that could be had been done to protect the 26.2 mile course. But the new restrictions and massive show of force – including federal marshals carrying machine guns among the crowd – did little to take away from the jubilance of watching 45,000 people push themselves to the limit. “I’m really emotional,” said Lindsay Decker, 23, who was supporting her sister’s first marathon. “I cried when I saw her – I’m so proud.” Decker hadn’t thought too much about the Boston attack until she saw a truck marked “ex-

plosives team” parked on the street and her brother-in-law pointed out snipers positioned on rooftops. “I’m not worried,” she told AFP. “I feel pretty safe because there’s a lot of cops around.” The Boston attack killed three people and injured more than 200 others when two pressure cooker bombs went off near the marathon’s finish line on April 16. Canadian wheelchair racer Diane Roy, 42, was in Boston for the marathon but had long finished when a friend called with the terrible news. The attack was on her mind at her next big race in London – where she came in 9th – but she refuses to let it intimidate her. “I’m going to focus on my course,” she told AFP two nights before race day. People need to stand up to terrorists and show them that life will go on despite the threats, said Philippe DuBois, 43, who flew in from Paris for the race. l

Runners start in the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in Chicago on Sunday


Lynn ends 9-year trophy wait in Portugal Vettel silences critics as n AFP, Lisbon

England’s David Lynn won his first title in nine years at the Portugal Masters Sunday while South African Justin Walters took second spot just two weeks after his mother’s death. Lynn, who started the final round on the Algarve six shots off the pace, carded a final round 63 for an 18 under par total of 266, with Walters a shot further back. Overnight leader Paul Waring of England shared third place on 268 with compatriot Stephen Gallacher and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger. Lynn, a former USPGA Championship runner-up, won his only other European Tour title at the Dutch Open in 2004. He built his victory charge on Sunday on a run of five birdies in a front nine of 30 and, after a bogey at the 10th, picked up further shots at the 11th, 14th, 15th and 17th to set a clubhouse target that was never matched. “I really caught fire on the front nine,

I was making everything I looked at, although I hit it to one foot at the first which got me off to a really good start,” said Lynn, who looked out of contention on Saturday following a third round 73. “After that I made a couple of great putts for par to keep the momentum

going and then I was making the birdie putts.” An emotional Walters holed a 40 foot par putt on the 18th to claim second place on 17 under, the South African breaking down in tears following the death of his mother two weeks ago. “I don’t know if I can talk much right now,” said the 32-year-old from Johannesburg. “Coming into the week I really didn’t have any goals or ambitions, I just wanted to play and honour my mum and make her proud. “The putts kept dropping and I kept hitting some decent shots and the last one at the end, she made it for sure. It was probably the best moment of my career. It was so cool because I had a lot on the line. “I don’t think I have the words for it just yet. Maybe after a drink with my dad who is here with me we can fully take it all in, but at first glance I don’t know how I did it.” l

title beckons n AFP, Suzuka Sebastian Vettel is used to dominating from the front but a brilliant, comefrom-behind victory in Japan silenced the critics and proved it’s not all about his Red Bull car. The young German has attracted cynicism and even boos this year but if there was any doubt that he belongs among Formula One’s greats, he obliterated it at Suzuka. Vettel was accused of sending fans to sleep with his consecutive wins at Belgium, Italy, Singapore and South Korea, but he had to fight for victory in Japan. The performance, described as “quite supreme” by his team principal Christian Horner, leaves the 26-year-old all but assured of a fourth successive world title. Only two men in Formula One his-

tory – Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher – have won four in a row, and neither managed it at such a young age. At Suzuka, Vettel qualified second on the grid despite being without his speed-boosting Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), a handicap estimated at 0.3sec per lap. And at the start of the race, he got away slowly and was clipped by Lewis Hamilton, suffering damage to his front wing. But he waited patiently in third place and nursed his tyres to the extent that he only needed two pit stops, compared with three for his team-mate Mark Webber. Vettel has now won five races in a row, the longest winning streak since Schumacher in 2004, and four of the last five grands prix in Japan. l




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

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October 15, 2013  
October 15, 2013