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Magh 4, 1420 Rabiul Awal 15, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 293




BNP to ‘go slow’

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It will take about one year to put pressure on the government to hold a mid-term election n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

On January 13, diplomats asked the BNP to avoid calling hartals and blockades. Their expectations were apparently reflected in BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s press conference, from which announcements of mainly peaceful programmes like demonstrations and public gatherings were made instead of hartals and blockades. Diplomats also told the BNP that although the party was terming the government illegal, there was no room to ignore either the election or the government. “We are moving forward very cautiously. We are announcing

The BNP is planning to adopt a “go slow” policy in waging movements in the coming months, with an aim to enforce a mid-term election in about a year’s time, with the apparent realisation that nothing fruitful could be achieved by being tough in the short term. Insiders said the BNP-led 18-party alliance would not wage any tough programme like hartals and blockades in the next few months as continuous hartals and blockades and the subsequent losses of lives and properties had ended up tarnishing its image.

Party leaders said although the “farcical” election could not be resisted, one of their main aims to prove the election “controversial” had been reached – much to their content. In a press conference on Wednesday, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also said they had achieved the “primary victory” by succeeding in to keep people away from the polling centres during the January 5 elections. The international community has been repeatedly urging the political parties to shun the path of violence and start a dialogue as soon as possible, while also expressing disappointment over the poor turnout in the election.

Envoys press for talks, election soon

BNP-Jamaat encourages people to Nayapaltan BNP office cast vote in Jessore 4 constituency returns to life

n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

Foreign diplomats have hammered on about the need to hold dialogue between the two major parties – Awami League and BNP – with a view to hold election “as soon as possible.” The ambassadors of the USA, the UK, the European Union, Italy and Egypt made the observation yesterday at a briefing organised by the foreign ministry to inform the foreign diplomats about the thoughts of the newly-formed government on the election. “The two parties can find a way forward to restart the dialogue soon with the intention of having an election as soon  PAGE 2 COLUMN 6

INSIDE Business

B1 Bangladesh Bank has imposed a restriction on commercial banks’ spending on purchasing motor vehicles.


5 The World Bank will give $410m credit to promote municipal governance and basic urban services in district towns and municipalities in Bangladesh.


11 The Awami League-driven government is here again. It’s going to steer the helms, constitutionally, for the next five years. It wasn’t easy for the AL, as it had to overcome quite a lot of obstacles from the opposition political alliance.

n Emran Hossain, from Jessore Re-election to 60 out of 122 polling centres in Jessore 4 constituency yesterday witnessed 58% voter turnout which was contrary to the expectation of locals. Interestingly, Jamaat-Shibir and BNP men visited voters’ residences over the last two nights preceding the re-polling and campaigned for independent candidate Swapan Bhattacharya, an Awami League rival candidate. Swapan contested as an independent candidate with the electoral symbol Kalosh, a traditional earthen water reservoir and carrier.


Bilash Kundu, 19, standing outside Syed Mahmud Government Primary School polling centre around 1:30pm said he said he had heard that Swapan and Jamaat-Shibir-BNP men made a deal. “If he [Swapan] wins the election our neighbours arrested by the joint forces in raids that continued since the election day violence will be released,” said Elija Begum, a voter at Hazrakathi primary school polling centre. She alleged three of her innocent neighbours, either son or brother or relatives of two BNP activists, were arrested by the joint forces. “In today’s election we don’t have

After spending over a month in hiding, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir surfaced at BNP’s Nayapaltan office as the political tension eased. He did not appear anywhere near his party office despite Khaleda Zia’s repeated calls to the party top brass to remain active on streets. In the picture Fakhrul waves to his party men before he enters the headquarters yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

any political identities. We have joined hands for the sake of our survival,” said Azizur, 42, a resident of Fotehabad village. Swapan, however, refuted the allegation of a secret deal with BNP-Jamaat men: “I did not say that criminal would be released. I will definitely recommend releasing the innocent people arrested for the election violence and withdrawing of the cases filed against them,” Swapan told journalists. Tipu Sultan could not be reached for his comment. Monirampur Thana BNP General Secretary SM Mashiur Rahman admitted that this time they did not ask  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla The central office of the BNP in the capital’s Nayapaltan, which remained deserted for many days, finally got back to life as normal yesterday, as leaders and activists were allowed to enter it after 47 days. Around 11:30am, three office secretaries and a senior leader of Jubo Dal

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– BNP’s youth front – along with some 50 activists came to the office and unlocked the collapsible gate. At 1:30pm, the party’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who had been in hideout for months giving rise to widespread criticism, also entered the office. He was greeted with bouquets by the party  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Friday, January 17, 2014

Re-elections: AL wins 3 seats n Mohammad Zakaria Ruling Awami League nominated candidates won three out of seven parliamentary constituencies where re-elections were held yesterday in 390 suspended polling centres. Jatiya Party (Ershad) and Bangladesh Tariqat Federation got one seat each while independent candidates won in two others. On January 5, the Election Commission suspended voting in 597 centres of eight constancies because of widespread violence. The EC did not hold re-election in Kurigram 4 constituency yesterday following a High Court stay order. Re-polling in 207 other centres will not be required as the winning candidates have already got majority votes. As per the roundup, the AL has got 234 seats, JaPa got 34, Workers Party of Bangladesh six, Hasanul Haque Inuled Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal five, Bangladesh Tariqat Federation two, Anwar Hossain Manju-led Jatiya Party one, Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) one and independent candidates won in 16 seats. Of the 234 seats won by the AL lawmakers, the EC did not publish results of Jessore 1 and Jessore 2 constituencies and issued show-cause notices on them. The EC is now examining their

responses. In Laxmipur 1 constituency, Tariqat Secretary General MA Awal won the election with “boat” symbol bagging a total of 49,656 votes. His rival, independent candidate Shafiqul Islam, got 21,859 votes. Independent candidate Swapan Bhattacharya won the poll in Jessore 5 constituency. He got 78,428 votes while AL-candidate Khan Tipu Sultan got 58,418 votes. In Gaibandha 1, AL candidate Monjurul Islam Liton bagged 1,18,152 votes. His contender JaPa’s Abdul Kader Khan got 13,044 votes. In Gaibandha 3, AL aspirant Yunus Ali Sarker won the poll bagging 1,27,563 votes while independent candidate SM Khadimul Islam got 18,204. Independent candidate Abul Kalam Azad won in Gaibandha 4 constituency bagging 98,546 votes while AL nominee Monwar Hossain Chowdhury got 64, 614 votes. In Dinajpur 4, AL candidate Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali won the poll getting a total of 1,42,406 votes while his nearest contender, Workers’ Party candidate Enamul Haque Sarkar, got 2,797 votes. JaPa candidate Muhammad Altaf Ali won the Bogra 7 seat bagging 17,879 votes. His rival Jatiya Party’s (Manju) Aminul Islam got 10,104 votes. l

Pankaj meets Khaleda, Rawshan n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Rights bodies for dropping charges against Odhikar officials

and Manik Miazee

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday told Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Pankaj Saran that her party wanted to maintain good relation with India based on mutual and equal respect. “The Indian High Commissioner told the BNP chairperson that people of Bangladesh will take the decision what type of government they want. India wants to work with the hopes and aspirations of the people of Bangladesh,” Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, vice-chairman of the BNP, told journalists quoting Pankaj after the meeting. In reply, Khaleda said the BNP wanted good relation with all the countries but it should be based on “mutual and equal respect.” She said her party would continue good relations with India in the future. Pankaj entered Khaleda’s office at 8pm. The BNP chief came at 8:15pm and held an hour-long meeting. After the meeting, Pankaj did not speak to media. The Indian envoy met Khaleda for the first time after January 5 election. l

BNP to go slow  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

programmes to gradually get the common people involved in our movement. We are sure that we will get results,” Abdullah Al Noman, vice-chairman of the party, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He also said the general election was farcical because there was no participation of the people. “Whatever the situation may be, we will have to talk to the government for resolving the crisis.” In a meeting of the 18-party alliance last week, partners reportedly advised



Three international human rights watchdogs urged the government of Bangladesh to immediately drop criminal charges against Odhikar Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and Director AKM Nasiruddin Elan, in a joint statement issued from New York on Wednesday. The rights bodies - Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists – also made a call to end harassment of Odhikar personnel both in the capital and around the country. “Bangladeshi authorities should immediately drop criminal charges against two senior members of the leading human rights organisation, Odhikar, and end the surveillance and harassment of its workers both in Dhaka and around the country,” the statement said. They called upon the international community to voice out and press the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to end harassment and intimidation towards workers of Odhikar, a

Khaleda Zia to enforce a hartal on January 29 – the day the 10th parliament sits in its first session. Khaleda, however, did not listen to their suggestions and announced a “black flag procession” instead. In her Wednesday’s presser, leaving the usual strategy of enforcing hartals and blockades to put pressure on the government, Khaleda hinted that they would go slow and for “soft programmes” like demonstrations and rallies at the district level. “I and our lead-

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pays tribute to the martyrs at the Shikha Anirban yesterday

Bangladesh based human rights watchdog. “With the politically motivated witch-hunt of Odhikar, Bangladeshi authorities are essentially shooting the messenger and saying that its security forces are above the law,” said Polly Truscott, director of Amnesty International’s South Asia division. Adilur Rahman Khan and Nasiruddin Elan were charged under section 57 of the Information and Technology (ICT) Act for publishing a report on violence and fatalities at the hands of government forces during a protest of Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam on May 5-6 in the capital last year. In the report published in June they alleged that 61 people were killed in the overnight protest, a figure that the government strongly denies. Khan was arrested on August 11 and detained for 62 days before the High Court overruled the lower court and granted him bail. Elan was initially denied bail during his first appearance in the court on November 6.

ers will gradually visit all the districts,” she said. In last week’s meeting, leaders of the 18-party alliance discussed the loopholes in the movement that they had been waging. A decision was reportedly made to keep a close watch on the situation and the government’s attitude towards them over the next six months. “If the government bars us from observing peaceful prgorammes, then we will be compelled to announce hartals and blockades. Otherwise, we will go

However, they have both been released on bail, pending a hearing on 22 January, 2014. Police also raided Odhikar offices, confiscating computers and other materials Through investigation into the demonstration held on May 5-6, 2013, Human Rights Watch found at least 50 dead and more than 2,000 injured. Security forces confronted tens of thousands of protesters. While some police appeared to disperse the crowd adhere to the international standards, in many cases their use of force was unlawful, stated the investigation report. “Democracies should not attempt to shut down criticism by locking up human rights activists,” said Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division. He further said: “Dropping these charges and accepting the rights of civil society to function would go a long way to establishing proper dialogue between all sides in Bangladesh’s fractured political space.” l

for mass contact-based programmes in the days ahead,” seeking anonymity, a standing committee member of the BNP told the Dhaka Tribune. Although many leaders and activists are still detained in the various jails around the country, a number of BNP leaders including Abdul Awal Mintoo and Selima Rahman secured bail yesterday. Following a High Court directive that instructed law enforcers to not harass or arrest him until police filed reports in the cases against him, BNP’s acting secretary


EC to take action against AL candidate Tipu Sultan n Mohammad Zakaria

The Election Commission is set to take action against Awami League candidate Khan Tipu Sultan of Jessore 5 for violating the electoral code of conduct in the 10th parliamentary polls. In this regard, the commission yesterday sent a show cause notice to him asking why his candidature would not be cancelled as per section 91E of the Representation of the People Order and asking for a reply to the notice within 10 days. The EC also asked the divisional commissioner of Khulna to send a probe report on the matter within three days, EC sources said. On January 5, criminal activities allegedly by supporters of Tipu Sultan forced the postponement of voting at 60 polling centres, where re-polls were held yesterday. On January 12, the joint force detained Adam Ali, Tipu Sultan’s supporter and a known criminal, prompting the AL candidate to allegedly pressure the concerned police administration and block Jessore’s Monirampur police station for

general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also came out in public yesterday after remaining in hideout for months. For the first time in 47 days, BNP leaders and activists were allowed to enter the party’s Nayapaltan office yesterday without any bar from law enforcers. Since taking oath as members of the new cabinet earlier this month, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the other ministers have been saying that a dialogue for progress is possible only if the BNP severed its ties with Jamaat-e-Islami. l

BNP-Jamaat encourages people to cast vote in Jessore 4 constituency  PAGE 1 COLUMN 4

people to boycott the election just for the sake of getting rid of “dreadful” Khan Tipu Sultan who has been elected MP thrice on Awami League tickets since 1991 from the constituency. Khan Tipu Sultan’s electoral symbol was Boat. “He (Tipu) has 10-15 gangs of criminals who have maimed at least 2000 people in the last 23 years,” said Mashiur. Voting in 60 out of the total 122 polling centres in constituency on January 5 was suspended following mindless violence by the opposition. But this time voters queued up in

hundreds, especially women, as the re-polling started at 8am yesterday heavily guarded by police, army and members of the BGB and the RAB. Even police had to intervene to put people in order often settling altercations over jumping the queue. By 4pm, when the re-polling ended 137,613 out of the total 286,496 votes were cast which took the voter turnout on an average to a surprising 58%. The turnout appears to be one of the highest in the 10th national parliament election in a constituency, Monirampur, where just 11 days back cocktails fell on polling centres like hailstorm,

ballot boxes were snatched and burned, and election officials beaten up along with law enforcers. A BNP activist was killed in police firing and over 50 were injured as groups of hundreds of masked Jamaat-Shibir and BNP supporters clashed with police throughout the day. Even journalists had to travel in a motorcade throughout the election day as some areas were announced off-limit for them by Jamaat-Shibir thugs. “I was too afraid to come receiving reports of polling centres set afire on January 5 with only one or two police guarding the centres,” said Nargis

Parvin, a voter at Chinetola Government Primary School polling centre which was guarded by 15 policemen, 10 BGB and 12 Ansar members with additional army men and RAB members constantly patrolling the streets throughout the constituency. “I felt safe to come out of my house to cast vote as adequate number of law enforcers were deployed at the polling centres this time,” she said. Almost 1000 of the total 1230 votes were already cast at the centre by 12:30pm and there was not a single report of exploding crude bombs. Upazila Awami League President

Kazi Mahmudul Hassan views the vote as a political defeat for the opposition who eventually participated in the polls they had boycotted. At the end of the day, independent candidate Swapan Bhattacharya has defeated his rival AL candidate Khan Tipu Sultan by a margin of over 20,000 votes. Swapan bagged 78,424 votes while Tipu Sultan 58,418 votes. As many as 771 votes were cancelled. Swapan, who was 12,200 votes behind Tipu Sultan in the election held in the rest 62 constituencies on January 5, was happy seeing the “huge” voter turnout. l

the presser, the day before he reportedly held a four-hour meeting with the party chief at her Gulshan office. The details of that meeting, however, are still to be known. Fakhrul, also the spokesperson of the BNP-led 18-party alliance, is facing three charges, including a police killing case. Of the charges, two were filed with the Ramna police station and one with the Shahbagh police station. Finally, talking to reporters yesterday at the Nayapaltan office for the first time in months, he said it was the government’s duty to create a suitable environment for a dialogue. He also urged the government to free the detained leaders of the party. “Our office was cordoned off for 47

days. In the name of drives by the joint forces, hundreds of leaders and activists were either killed or abducted. False cases were filed and thousands were thrown into jail. The government has turned the whole country into a jail. These sorts of activities are bad signals for democracy,” Fakrul said. Regarding the new cabinet, Fakhrul said: “Only 5% vote was cast in the election. The media know very well what a drama was staged. In such a situation, there is no point in giving reactions about who became a minister and who did not.” The last time he was seen in public was on November 1 when he attended a gayebana janaza at Nayapaltan and quickly left the area on a bike. l

Nayapaltan BNP office comes back to life  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

leaders and activists present at the office when he entered. Although the water cannon and police vehicles remained stationed in front of the office just like usual, no leader or activist was barred by police from entering the building. After the arrest of some of the senior BNP leaders by October last year, Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi had been staying over in the office and briefing media regularly on the party’s day-to-day affairs. However, on November 28, police raided the office at midnight and picked up Rizvi and executive committee member Belal Ahmed. After that, the office put on a haunted look as the

other leaders kept on avoiding it fearing arrest or harassment. Whenever leaders tried to enter the building, they were either barred or arrested. After October 17, the entrance to the building remained locked from the inside and law enforcers continuously guarded the area. Abdul Latif Jony, assistant office secretary of BNP, told journalists yesterday that they had sent a letter to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police seeking permission to use loudspeakers during the January 20 rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan.

Fakhrul re-emerges

The High Court yesterday issued a directive for law enforcers to not harass

or arrest Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general of BNP, in connection with three cases until police filed reports against him. Immediately after those cases were filed against him and some other BNP leaders in connection with blockade violence, Fakrhul went into hiding and intermittently kept on issuing statements about the then opposition’s stance regarding various issues. Reportedly, Fakrul’s hiding gave rise to huge criticism from both outside and inside the party. On Wednesday, a group of aggrieved activists chanted slogans against Fakhrul in the presence of party Chief Khaleda Zia after her press conference. Although Fakhrul was not present at

nine hours in violation of the electoral code of conduct. Sources said independent candidate Shopon Bhattacharjee filed an application on January 13, asking the EC to take action against Tipu Sultan by cancelling his candidature. The application reached the chief election commissioner on January 15. Before the application reached the CEC, Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak also added a note against Tipu Sultan, suggesting that the commission can order the divisional commissioner to investigate the allegation through additional commissioner and send the probe report to the EC within three days. Following the allegation and commissioner’s note, the EC yesterday issued two letters that were sent to the divisional commissioner and Tipu Sultan. Earlier, the commission sent show cause notice to Jessore 1 and 2 MPs-elect for violating the electoral code of conduct. The commission would take action against two MPs-elect from Jessore 1 and 2 after examining their replies of show cause notices. l

Envoys press for talks, election soon  PAGE 1 COLUMN 1

as possible,” US Ambassador Dan Mozena said after new State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam had briefed the foreign envoys yesterday. Almost all the heads of around 50 missions in Dhaka attended the briefing. “Yesterday, we certainly saw some positive steps from both sides,” Mozena said. British High Commissioner Robert Gibson at the briefing said it had been disappointing that voters in more than half the constituencies had not had the opportunity to express their will at the ballot box while the voter turnout in most other constituencies was low. EU Ambassador William Hanna also expressed the same views and emphasised on dialogue and holding the dialogue. Egyptian Ambassador to Dhaka Mahmoud Ezzat asked whether there would be mid-term election. The state minister in his briefing said an inclusive and fully-contested election could have been held, had the BNP participated in 10th parliamentary poll. The prime minister had already made fresh offers to sit for dialogue with the BNP to arrive at a shared understanding on the modalities for conducting the next general elections within the constitutional parameters, Alam said. “This can only happen provided the BNP decided to shun the path of violence and subversion, and also disentangle itself from the clutches of Jamaat.” He said the government was encouraged by some vibes from the BNP leadership about their interest in pursuing the path of dialogue. “We hope that such decisions and pronouncements by the BNP will help pave the way for dialogue with the government in a peaceful atmosphere sooner than later.” l




Friday, January 17, 2014

Second witness tells about Daleem Hotel brutality n Udisa Islam A new prosecution witness in the war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Kashem Ali alias Bangla Khan yesterday said the accused and his cohorts had tortured pro-liberation people at Daleem Hotel in Chittagong City to collect information about freedom fighters. Md Sanaullah Chowdhury, 67, the second witness, told the International Crimes Tribunal 2 that he had been freed after a week of confinement as he signed a bond mentioning that he would inform Kashem about the freedom fighters of the area. The accused was sitting in the dock. Following Sanaullah’s testimony, defence counsel Mizanul Islam cross examined him. The questioning remained incomplete and the tribunal set January 23 for rest of the crossexamination. Mir Kashem is facing 14 charges of crimes against humanity he had committed in Chittagong during the 1971 Liberation War. The trial began on November 18 last year with the prosecution’s placing opening statement. Earlier in the day, the defence ended grilling the first witness, Syed Mohammad Eamran of Chandgaon Chittagong. He testified at the tribunal on December 11, 2013. Later the tribunal had to defer the trial proceedings twice. After the cross-examination of the first witness, the prosecution produced Sanaullah who had been an office assistant at the deputy commissioner’s

Sayedee appeals hearing underway n Nazmus Sakib The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday heard the defence and adjourned the proceedings in war crimes appeals case of death row convict Delawar Hossain Sayedee until Sunday. The five-member bench led by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain gave the order after the defence read out witness testimonies given at the International Crimes Tribunal. On January 13, the court resumed the hearing after a long 48-day gap because of the 18-party alliances’ hartal and blockade programmes, and the winter vacation. The tribunal handed down the death penalty to Sayedee on February 28 last year. He appealed against the sentence seeking acquittal on March 28. The government also lodged an appeal to specify the sentence in all the six charges that were proved at the tribunal. The Appellate Division bench has so far disposed of the appeal case of Abdul Quader Molla, who was executed on December 12 in light of the top court’s verdict. Six other appeals cases are pending with the court. l

office during 1971. He lived at a rented house near Muslim High School in the city. The witness said some of his friends and neighbours used to go to his house to listen to programmes on the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra and the BBC. After the evening prayers on November 27, Sanaullah was at home with his brother-in-law Habibur Rahman, neighbour Jafar and Ilias. “Some eight people came and took us on a jeep blindfolded. We were taken to Daleem Hotel and kept on the first floor of the building.” Sanaullah said there he had seen lawyer Shamsul Islam and Shah Alam from North Nalapara, and Toontu Sen and Ranjeet Das from Hajari Lane. At that time, Kashem and his accomplices had grilled all of them to know information about the freedom fighters of their areas. The next day, the witness said, they had seen some al-Badr members coming to the room with an adolescent boy – a freedom fighter from Swandip who was tortured severely. “We heard someone commanding the al-Badr members to throw the boy [outside] before the eyes of others so that we could imagine about our future.” Sanaullah said he had seen the killings of at least five persons at the Daleem Hotel including Jasim, Toontu and Ranjeet. After his deposition, the defence asked him one question, whether he had seen Mir Kashem after the independence. The witness answered in the negative. l

Hundreds of local people take part in a human chain organised by NGO Somonnoy Parishad at Savar yesterday, condemning attacks on Hindus

PM asks ministers to refrain from corruption n Mohosinul Karim

In the first meeting of the newly formed cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged her colleagues to refrain from corruption and control the law and order situation with strong hands. The cabinet, which took oath on Sunday, generally sits on Monday every week but this week’s meeting

was shifted to Thursday. A minister, who was a state minister in the previous cabinet, quoted the PM as saying: “You will have to work with full transparency and accountability. Hard steps will be taken against those involved with corruption and irregularities.” He told the Dhaka Tribune that the prime minister had instructed them to make sure that the people of the coun-

try lived peacefully during this government’s tenure. “The new government must ensure safety and security of the people from the destructive activities of the opposition. So, the government will have to work for curing the injuries,” he said. Following a discussion on the atrocities that the people belonging to the minority communities had been enduring, Hasina ordered the cabinet

members to control and bring such violence to book with iron hands. After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters that the cabinet approved the draft of the speech that President Abdul Hamid was going to deliver at the opening session of the 10th parliament. President Hamid is scheduled to address the House on January 29 as per the existing rules. l

Cabinet approves draft speech of the president n Mohosinul Karim and Rabiul Islam

The first meeting of the new cabinet yesterday approved a draft speech to be delivered by President Abdul Hamid in the first session of the 10th parliament starting on January 29. Members of the cabinet including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, however, put forward some points and suggested their inclusion in the draft speech, said Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan at a press briefing shortly after the meeting. The premier chaired the meeting

held in the conference room of the secretariat’s cabinet attended by all ministers, state ministers, her advisers, and secretaries.

The president’s speech also includes a call to the opposition to hold dialogue to reach a consensus on the modality of conducting a free and fair polls in future, he points out Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed did not attend the meeting as he had left

for Delhi on a two-day official visit. The meeting of the cabinet started at 10:15am and continued until 12.30pm. All secretaries of the ministries and divisions attended the meeting as it’s a tradition that all secretaries have to join the cabinet meeting in which the president’s speech is included in the cabinet agenda. Later, the prime minister met the cabinet members separately and gave them some directions. The cabinet secretary said the president would talk about overall political and financial condition, trial of war

criminals, Vision- 2021, digital Bangladesh, social safety net, employment, foreign relation and future plans in the first session of the new parliament. The president’s speech also includes a call to the opposition to hold dialogue to reach a consensus on the modality of conducting a free and fair polls in future, he points out. According to the section 73(2) of the constitution and rules of business, the cabinet division prepares the draft speech of the president to be delivered in parliament. After the prime minister’s nod the

draft speech will be sent to president. The cabinet secretary refused to disclose the full context of the draft as it is a confidential document. Earlier on Sunday, the Awami League formed a 49-member cabinet led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by removing the majority of ministers from the previous cabinet for “incompetence” and “controversy”. Half of the new cabinet is comprised of first-time ministers. 11 ministers and two state ministers from the last cabinet and 24 freshers were inducted into the new ministry. l

Do not arrest, harass Fakhrul: HC n Nazmus Sakib

Hearing starts at HC on Tarique case n Nazmus Sakib The High Court yesterday started hearing on whether it could admit the petition lodged by the Anti-Corruption Commission that appealed against the lower court verdict that acquitted BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman in a money laundering case. After the hearing ACC counsel Khurshid Alam Khan, the bench of Justice Nizamul Huq and Justice Md Jahangir Hossain adjourned the case to Sunday. Khurshid told the Dhaka Tribune that if the court admits the petition, it would summon the documents from the lower court and give notice to Tarique about the appeal. He told the High Court that the bench had jurisdiction to hear about the admission of the petition. He said if the lower court had considered the testimony of the witnesses properly, the verdict might have been changed. In addition, the Dhaka court wrongly interpreted the definition of money laundering, he said. On December 5, the ACC filed an appeal with the concerned section of the High Court challenging the lower court verdict. A Dhaka court on November 17 acquitted Tarique, the elder son of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, and sentenced his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years’ imprisonment and fined him Tk400m in the money laundering case. l


Voters wait in a queue to cast vote at Damodorpur Primary School polling centre in Gaibandha amid tight security. Postponed voting in 206 centres under three constituencies of the district were held yesterday FOCUS BANGLA

Selima, Mintoo granted bail; Khoka’s bail, remand rejected n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to Khaleda Zia’s adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo and BNP Vice-Chairman Selima Rahman in separate two cases. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Maruf Hossain passed the order after Barrister Rafiq-ul Haque submitted a bail petition for Mintoo in a case filed with Motijheel police station centring the Hefazat-e-Islam violence last year. The defence counsel also petitioned for cancellation of his 10-day remand, the hearing of which was fixed on January 21. Another Defence Counsel Md Sanaullah Miah told the Dhaka Tribune Mintoo would not be released from jail despite his bail as he was accused in three other cases. On January 13, the High Court asked the law enforcement agencies not to

show Abdul Awal Mintoo arrest or harass him without following due legal process. Police arrested Mintoo from in front of Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan residence on November 9. BNP Vice-Chairman Selima Rahman was granted bail in the case filed with Ramna police station for setting off crude bombs on January 4 in front of the office of Police Commissioner Maruf Hossain in Shahbagh. Magistrate Mahbubur Rahman passed the order. Plain-clothes police picked up Selima from her Gulshan residence on January 7. Another Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court rejected both bail and remand prayers and ordered the investigation officer to interrogate BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka in front of jail gate in five working days. Khoka was picked up by Rab and DB

police from the capital’s Uttara on December 4 last year. Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal central leader Habibur Rashid Habib was yesterday placed on a five-day fresh remand in several cases filed for creating anarchy, violence and vandalising vehicles in the city on different dates. Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court allowed the remand when the investigation officers produced him before the court with a 64-day remand prayer in the cases filed with Shobujbagh and Paltan police stations in the city. Habib’s counsel Md Sanaullah Miah said police showed the Chhatra Dal leader arrest in 36 cases after he was detained on November 17. Earlier, he was placed on a 30-day remand in 18 other cases, he added. Plain-clothes police arrested Habib from the city’s Shantinagar area on November 17 last year. l

The High Court yesterday directed law enforcers to refrain from arresting or harassing BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in connection with three cases till the submission of police report in the cases. While passing this order, the bench of Justice Borhanuddin and Justice KM Kamrul Kader told the lawyers of the BNP leader that police could arrest Mirza Fakhrul anytime after submitting charge sheet against him. The lawyers agreed with the court. The High Court said it had disposed of the three petitions of the BNP acting secretary general. The pleas sought anticipatory bail and sought the order on not to arrest-harass in the three cases. Ruhul Quddus Kazal, a lawyer of Fakhrul, told the Dhaka Tribune that according to the section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a police report includes charge sheet and final report. The final report discharges a person from allegations in a case. The High Court mentioned the phrase “police report” as there was no term such as charge sheet in the law, he said. Mirza Fakhrul was present in the courtroom until the order of the court in the afternoon. He was seen in the Su-

preme Court premises around 9.30am, said Sharif U Ahmed, a pro-BNP lawyer. AJ Mohammad Ali, Zainul Abedin and Sagir Hossain contended for Fakhrul, saying the name of the BNP leader was mentioned in the case, but not as an accused. Deputy Attorney General Md Salim and Aminur Rahman Chowdhury represented the government. After the order, when Fakhrul and his lawyers left the courtroom, a Supreme Court lawyer told the court they had acted foolishly by not seeking anticipatory bail. In reply, Justice Borhanuddin said the court could do nothing if they did not seek it. The court, when passing the order, gave the chance to the lawyers of Fakhrul to decide whether they wanted bail or “not to arrest-harass” order. They chose the latter. All three cases were related to murdering people by torching buses.

Khandker Mahbub case

The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Mohammad Ullah extends the stay for two months more on the two-day police remand against Khandker Mahbub Hossain, an adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. l




Friday, January 17, 2014

Management at public hospitals in disarray Monitoring and supervision absent as hospital management committees stay almost inactive

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal Government-run health facilities have been lacking monitoring at the local level for nearly five years, as management committees at public hospitals across the country had been inactive over the period. To solve the issue, the health ministry on December 31 last year issued an emergency notice to all public hospitals to re-activate their Hospital Development Management Committees (HDMC) and asked to be sent the minutes of their monthly meetings . The HDMCs – comprising ministers, local MPs, hospital chiefs, influential political and social personalities – were originally directed to be formed in April

2009, at all public medical colleges, specialised and district hospitals, and upazila health complexes However, apart from a few exceptions, most of the HDMCs stayed inactive throughout the tenure of the past government as ministers and lawmakers were not interested to stay present at the committee meetings. As a result, no success was made in achieving the committees’ main objectives that included identifying the obstacles to health services, ensuring emergency funding, liaison with senior health officials, reporting local demand and ensuring supply. Several senior officials of the health ministry and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told the Dhaka Tribune that the lack of proper man-

agement denied patients the proper health facilities, despite the ministry having invested billions of taka in the development of the health sector. Seeking anonymity, a former district civil surgeon, said the patients received better healthcare when ministers or MPs were active in the HDMCs. Issues like emergency budgets for ambulance repair, funds for generator fuel and equipment maintenance could be immediately addressed by the HDCMs, instead of having to write to the DGHS and wait for the funds, the former civil surgeon said. Meanwhile, an investigation by the Dhaka Tribune revealed that the office of the director (hospital and clinic) of the DGHS – which is responsible for monitoring and supervising public and

private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres – had remained vacant since February 2013. Since that time, the post has been held by Prof Dr ABM Abdul Hannan, director (medical education) of the DGHS, as an additional duty. Seeking anonymity, several senior DGHS officials expressed suspicions about the possible reasons behind former health minister AFM Ruhal Hoque’s decision to ignore many capable candidates for the directorial post. The vacancy of the post was a major reason behind the lack of active monitoring and supervision in public hospitals, they added. Sources said around 31,000 new personnel including doctors and nurs-

es have been recruited in the health sector over the past five years, in a bid to ensure quality health services, from big hospitals to the grassroots level. When asked, Dr Shah Newaz, director (administration) of the DGHS, admitted that the HDMC meetings had not been as successful as desired, but added that the HDMCs of several districts had been active and performing very well. Prof ABM Abdul Hannan, acting director (hospital and clinic) of the DGHS, said the regular meetings of the HDMCs could not be held because of various reasons, but added that initiatives have been taken to make the HDMCs a success following the ministry direction to regularise the meetings. l

n Kailash Sarkar


Temperature to remain unchanged n UNB Weather is likely to remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country during night till morning, Met Office said. Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:34pm today and rises at 6:43am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 26.2 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday in Sylhet and lowest 10.0 degrees in Kutubdia. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

21.6 21.5 16.2 17.0 16.5 17.2 26.2 25.0

14.2 14.4 12.5 12.2 13.8 10.5 15.3 16.0

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Jumma Asr Magrib Esha

5:24am 6:42am 12:09am 3:58pm 5:34pm 6:53pm


n Tribune Report

President of the Republic of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her assumption of the office of the Prime minister of Bangladesh. He said the two countries enjoy friendly relations and he look forward to cooperating with the newly elected government of Bangladesh on matters of common interests for mutual benefit. In a separate messages, IUT Secretary General Hamodoun I. Toure and Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Francis Gurry also congratulated the newly elected government headed by Sheikh Hasina. l

JU JCD president held from Dhanmondi n Kailash Sarkar

3 Inqilab journalists held, case filed against publisher Detective police yesterday arrested three journalists of the Bangla daily Inqilab and sealed off its printing press located at the capital’s Ramkrishna Mission Road on charges of publishing a false report. The detectives led the drive immediately after the filing of a case against Inqilab publisher AMM Bahauddin, the editor, the chief news editor and a reporter. The case was filed with the capital’s Wari police station under the Information and Communication Technology Act. The arrested journalists were Rabiulla Ulla Robi, a news editor, Rafiq Mohammad, a deputy chief reporter, and Ahmmed Atiq, a reporter of Inqilab. Computers used by these journalists were seized and several rooms in the office were sealed off. Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Hossain Matubbor of DMP East Division said, “We arrested reporter Ahmmed Atiq for filing the report, and news editor Rabiulla Ulla Robi and deputy chief reporter Rafiq Mohammad who helped him write it.” “We are trying to arrest the publisher, the editor and the chief news editor. They were not found in the office,” he added. DB officials accompanied by a Rab team conducted the hour-long drive at 9pm at the Inqilab office. Sub-Inspector Md Jahangir Alam filed the case with the capital’s Wari police station saying the Bangla daily had published a false report claiming the joint forces had conducted raids in Satkhira with the help of Indian military forces. “The false report also said Indian forces were deployed to resist the movement against the government. It said with the prime minister’s approval, the foreign ministry had sent a letter to Delhi seeking help,” the case statement read. The case statement said the report was false, fabricated, intentional and misguiding and had tarnished the image of Bangladesh abroad. Moreover, the report had also tarnished the image of law enforcement and security forces. l

Maldives congratulates Sheikh Hasina

Rights activist Sultana Kamal speaks at a round table discussion on violence against minorities. The discussion was organised by DU Jagannath Hall Alumni Association at the city’s Cirdap auditorium yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Detectives have picked up Faisal Ahmmed Sajal, Jagannath University unit president of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), from the capital’s Dhanmondi area yesterday afternoon. Confirming the matter, Deputy Commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said a team from the Detective Branch of Police arrested Sajal at Jigatola area. He, however, did not disclose the charges for which the JCD leader was arrested. He said the charges against the JCD leader will be disclosed later. Similarly, Deputy Commissioner at South Division of Detective Branch Krishnapado Roy, also confirmed the arrest of the JCD leader, did not to give any further details. Meanwhile, sources said that Sajal, along with two other JCD activists, were arrested by police for their alleged involvement in different incidents regarding bombs attacks, arson to vehicles and assaulting law enforcers during the recent blockade and hartal programmes of BNP. Along with the top leaders of the BNP, more than ten JCD leaders, including its central committee president and general secretary, have been arrested by law enforcing agencies. l

Ganajagaran Mancha to launch second road march today

ACC sues five for embezzling Tk33cr

n Arif Ahmed

n Tribune Report

Ganajagaran Mancha will launch its second road march towards Thakurgaon today to protest the recent atrocities against members of the local Hindu community, centring their participation on the 10th parliamentary elections. Although the 3-day road march was scheduled to begin from 16th January, the programme later was deferred for a day due to unavoidable circumstances. The new date for the second road march was announced by Imran H Sarkar, convener of Ganajagaran Mancha, at a press conference in front of the National Museum, now known as Projonmo Chattar, at the capital’s

Shahbagh area yesterday. As announced earlier, the rally would visit places of the recent attacks and press home their 3-point demand. Their demands include -- introducing separate laws to ensure stern action against communal attackers, bringing criminals responsible for the attacks under trial, and ensuring adequate compensation for the families of the victims. On the first day today, activists of youth platform will be gathering at Projonmo Chattar at 7.00am and the road march is expected to start at 8.00am. The road march would also hold several street rallies along its route – including Gazipur, Chandra, Mirzapur, Tangail,

Sirajganj, Pabna, Sherpur and Bogra. On the second day, the road march will begin its journey from Bogra towards Thakurgaon, holding several street rallies in Gobindaganj, Polashbari, Pirganj, Mithapukur, Taraganj, Sayedpur and Dinajpur. On its last day, the activists will visit Goria and other venerable places in Thakurgaon, and distribute relief and other aid materials for the victims. They would also hold a mass rally at Thakurgaon Central Shaheed Minar in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Ganajagaran Mancha has also said that more than 250 people participated in their first road march to Jessore’s Malopara on 10th January. l

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed a case against five officials of Aimway Corporation, an MLM (multi level marketing) company, including its chairman and managing director, for embezzling around Tk33crore from clients. The accused are Chairman of the company Syed Redwan Bin Ishaque, Vice-Chairman M Saiful Islam, Managing Director M Masud Rana, Deputy Managing Director GM Salahuddin, and Director Moshiur Rahman. Under Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012, ACC Deputy Director Mojahar Ali Sarder filed the case with the

Paltan police station. According to the case statement, the accused had been operating the MLM business illegally by misappropriating money of the clients. They took deposits on high interest from around 40,000 investors by luring them. Such an act is a violation of the Co-operative laws of Bangladesh. In cooperation with Alor Disha Small Cooperatives ltd, a sister concern of Aimway Corporation, they transferred the money to their personal accounts, according to the First Information Report. Lion’s share of the money was collected through multi level marketing of herbal products between January 1, 2011 and March 11, 2012. l

Inu: Khaleda conspiring to unseat government Karim and n Mohosinul Rabiul Islam Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has claimed that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s terming of the present elected government as “illegal” – meant that she had started a conspiracy to unseat the government. Inu made the remark yesterday at a press conference, organised to give a reaction to the statement made by Khaleda at an earlier press conference on Wednesday. He said it has become a “fashion” for Khaleda to call an elected government illegal, adding that the BNP chairperson considered any government she was not a part of as illegal. After the ninth parliamentary election, Khaleda had also termed the elected government illegal, the minister mentioned. Inu also observed that Khaleda Zia has moved far away from democracy by joining hands with extremist or-

ganizations like Jamaat-e-Islami and Hefazat-e-Islam. The minister said Khaleda had to leave Jamaat and Hefazat if she wanted to become a member of a club that works for democracy. Asked whether BNP has backtracked from its movement by calling off hartals and blockades, Inu said: “I do not think so.” Khaleda showed “audacity” by calling the opposition movement – that had caused a huge loss of lives and properties – as proper, Inu said, adding that the BNP chief should have apologised to the people for all the damages. The BNP-led 18-party alliance boycotted the January 5 election and had called almost non-stop hartals and blockades over the past few months, demanding the restoration of the caretaker government to oversee the polls. About the permission for BNP’s scheduled rally on January 20, Inu said the administration will make the decision. l

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran inaugurates the Ultra Sound Unit at the BSMMU yesterday





Friday, January 17, 2014

$410m WB credit to promote basic urban services The project aims to build roads, water and sanitation systems, markets and bus terminals for municipal services institutions able to provide better urn Tribune Report ban services.” The World Bank will give $410m credit to promote municipal governance and basic urban services in district towns and municipalities in Bangladesh. The credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s arm for the world’s poorest countries, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period and carries a service charge of 0.75%. It will benefit 3.4mn people in around 100 urban communities across the country. The Municipal Governance and Service Project will provide financial support to 26 urban government bodies with high economic growth and job creation potential. It will also cover three district towns in the south. “Bangladesh experienced some of the most rapid urbanisation in South Asia. Yet, the cities offer inadequate infrastructure and low-level urban services, particularly in district towns and municipalities,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank’s country director for Bangladesh. “In response to urban governance challenges, this project aims to make the urban local bodies strong, responsive and inclusive of local government

The country’s urban population rose from 15% in 1980 to 28% in 2010. The municipalities and towns play key roles in supporting economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction, and are growing rapidly. However, they face severe challenges such as weak municipal finances and governance systems, insufficient administrative capacity, and inadequate basic urban services that constrain them from transforming into competitive, innovative and livable places. Through a demand-driven approach, the project aims to build roads, water and sanitation systems, markets, bus terminals and centres for municipal services. “The project incorporates a number of innovations to improve the municipal governance and basic urban services,” said Shenhua Wang, senior urban specialist at the World Bank. The World Bank board also endorsed the Bangladesh Country Assistance Strategy progress (CAS) report for the fiscal period from 2011 to 2015. The CAS progress report tracks the performance of the World Bank Group’s Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh. l

Risking lives, people cross the road in front of the Hotel Sonargaon in the capital on foot although the underpass is just a few metres away

RU students protest evening courses n Nazim Mridha, RU Correspondent

Students of Rajshahi University have alleged that the authorities of their university were selling certificates in the name of providing evening courses, instead of developing the quality of existing courses. Recently the university issued a circular to introduce evening master’s courses at seven departments under the Social Science faculty. Under the banner of “Progressive Students Alliance” the students called a

press conference yesterday where they alleged that the university authorities were trying to sell certificates in exchange of huge sums of money. They also alleged that without developing the quality of the regular courses the authorities had taken initiatives to introduce evening courses just to draw financial benefits for the teachers. Terming the newly launched evening course as a “business-oriented programme,” they said quality of education was likely to decline if a public

university opted for issuing private certificates. The leaders of the alliance called the authorities concerned to discard the ongoing EMBA (Evening Masters in Business Administration) and ELLM (Evening Masters of Law) programmes and scrap the decision to introduce evening courses. They vowed to go for a tougher movement on campus if their demands were not fulfilled. Earlier in 2010, the university authorities took an initiative to introduce

Daylong nature fair tomorrow n Tazlina Zamila Khan A daylong fair celebrating nature and advocating proactive environmental awareness is going to be held on Saturday. The third episode of the annual event, Grameenphone-Channel i Prokriti Mela-2014, will be open to the public from 11am to 5pm on the Channel i premises in Tejgaon. The objectives and highlights of this year’s fair were disclosed at a curtain-raiser press conference yesterday. Muqeed Majumder Babu, director of Impress Telefilm Ltd and chairman of Prokiti O Jibon Foundation, underlined the importance of conservation of nature and said the fair was intended to send a message to the people in this regard. “The current state of our

environment requires urgent attention of both the general people and the government. We want to get a strong message across through this initiative,” he added. Botanist Dwijen Sharma stressed the need for increased involvement of policymakers in the conservation process. “The government must play an active role in formulating and implementing eco-friendly policies.” “It is sad that the government didn’t yet reach any agreement on reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.” The fair will feature various forms of awareness programmes including folk songs, jatra (folk-theatre), dance, recitation, photo exhibition, puppet show, sketch competition and tree plantation. The open-air play will be based on Nawab Sirajuddaula. There will be around 25 stalls including a butterfly stall, seafood stall

and pottery stall in the venue. In addition, a 48-page supplement titled Prokiti Barta, and a nature club will be inaugurated. As a prelude to the fair, organisers are scheduled to host awareness-raising rallies in 20 districts of the country today. Some of these districts include Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Khulna. Like every year, an institution with contributions towards raising awareness of nature will be recognised at the fair. The winner of this year’s award is Nature Study Club of Notre Dame College. The programme will be telecast live on Channel i. Among others present in the press conference, there were Ali Imam, advisor to Prokriti O Jibon Foundation, and Tahmid Azizul Haque, head of communications of Grameenphone. l


a two-year long evening masters but had to back off in the wake of students’ protests. Abdullah-al-Muiz, general secretary of Chhatra Federation RU unit, read out the written statement at the press conference. Asaduzzaman Asad, the cocoordinator of Progressive Students’ Alliance, Ayatullah Khomeni and Abu Sufian Bakhshi, the president and general secretary of Chhatra Union RU unit respectively were present among others. l

Victim reattacked in hospital n Our Correspondent, Madaripur Unidentified miscreants allegedly hacked at a businessman yesterday, related to a conflict concerning to a sand excavation business, in Madaripur. The victim Jakir Hawlader, 40, was assaulted once again by miscreants while he was being treated at a hospital. According to his family, Jakir, a sand contractor from Mohesherchar, had long been involved in the business of sand excavation and selling. He got involved in a rivalry with local influential leader Al-Amin after he destroyed the leader’s sand excavation pipes, hampering the latter’s business. On Wednesday, a group of miscreants hacked Jakir in Chourasta area. Then, Jakir was later taken to the emergency unit of Faridpur Medical College Hospital. l


Family, friends still await justice n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong The family members of an English medium student Himadri Majumdar Himu, who was killed allegedly by his friends in the port city in 2012, expressed their frustration over not getting justice as yet, since the hearing on charge framing in the case was being deferred repeatedly. The court of Metropolitan Sessions Judge SM Mujibur Rahman yesterday deferred the hearing on charges in the gruesome murder case for the third time, said Md Fuad, bench assistant of the court. The court fixed January 27 for hearing the charges. The date was twice deferred, first on November 17 and then on November 28 in 2013. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Chittagong metropolitan public prosecutor, said the first charge hearing date was deferred as the prosecution sought time while the second date was deferred because of blockades. He added that he failed to appear before the court yesterday as he had been out of Chittagong. The case was shifted from the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court to Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court at the beginning of this November while the charge sheet of the case was submitted before the court on September 30, 2012. Himu, 18, an A level student of Summerfield School and College, was

pushed off the roof of a four-storied building in Panchlaish residential area on April 27, 2012 by his friends who let ferocious German Doberman dogs loose on him. He succumbed to his injuries 26 days later in Dhaka. Asit Das, maternal uncle of the deceased, lodged a case with Panchlaish police station, accusing Shah Selim Tipu, his son Junaid Ahmed Riad, Riad’s friends Shahadat Hossain Saju, Mahbub Ali Khan Danny and Zahidul Islam Shaon. Tipu, Riad and Shaju are on bail from the High Court while Danny and Shaon are on the run since the incident. Himu’s father Prabir Kumar Majumdar told the Dhaka Tribune they were concerned about the constant delays as the trial was yet to be started even 20 months after the incident. “Repeated deferrals of charge framing hearing because of the absence of public prosecutor have vexed us,” said Himu’s father. Prabir alleged that the accused Tipu and his son, who were on bail, had been trying to influence the trial. “I just want proper justice in time which will help rest the soul of my son in peace,” he added. Admitting the repeated deferrals of charge hearing, Public Prosecutor Kamal said hopefully the charges against the accused would be framed within a short time. l

DNCC cleaner, five others killed in road accidents n Tribune Report

Guests at a curtain-raiser press conference of nature fair in city’s Tejgaon yesterday


A cleaning worker of Dhaka North City Corporation was crushed to death by a bus in the city’s Badda area early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Mahbub, 55, son of late Safiz Uddin Sarder of Jongalia village in Louhajang upazila of Munshiganj district. He had been residing at Adarshanagar of the Badda area. Quoting witnesses, police said Mahbub was cleaning Badda-Gulshan Link Road in the early hours when the speedy bus crashed into him around 4am. The bus sped away leaving the DNCC cleaning worker in a pool of blood. He was rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead, said sub-inspector Nurul Islam of Badda police station.

The body was sent to the hospital morgue for postmortem. Meanwhile, at least five people were killed and nine others injured as a bus plunged into a ditch at Beltali on Mymensingh-Netrakona highway in Gouripur upazila yesterday afternoon. Identities of the deceased could not be known immediately, reports UNB. Abul Hossain, Assistant Director of Mymensingh Fire service said the Mymensingh-bound bus from Netrakona fell into a roadside ditch after its driver lost control over the steering around 1pm, leaving four people dead on the spot and 10 others injured. The injured were rushed to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where doctors declared an injured passenger dead. Two people, including a schoolgirl, were killed as a bus hit a van carrying

them at Badhalbazar in Kachua upazila in the morning. The deceased were identified as Farzana, 13, a class VIII student of Balbardhapur High School and daughter of Alhaj Uddin Sheikh of Badhalbazar village, and van driver Al Amin, 22, of Daibokathi village of Morelganj upazila. Police said M Abu Zihad Fakhrul Alam said the Barisal-bound BRTC bus from Khulna crashed into the van from behind on Bagerhat-Pirojpur Highway around 10am, leaving van passenger Farzana and its driver Al Amin dead on the spot. On receiving information, police recovered the bodies and were preparing to take those to Bagerhat Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Locals seized the bus but its driver and helper managed to flee the scene, added the OC. l




Friday, January 17, 2014

Chilly weather halts normal life in Rajshahi

College student burnt alive in Madaripur n Tribune Report

Sufferings of poeple of low income group, especially day labourers, farm labourers and rickshaw pullers, have mounted An increasing cold spell with mild also said malnourished and premature n Tribune Report chilly wind and heavy fog has triggered babies are especially vulnerable to cold For the last couple of days, normal life in Rajshahi city and its adjacent areas is being affected due to the unabated cold weather coupled with chilly wind and dense fog. The sufferings of daily wage earners like day labourers, rickshaw pullers, traffic police and farm labourers have also mounted, especially in the morning and evening. Life has become difficult for Rajshahi residents with the lowering of mercury level. Local Met Office recorded the lowest temperature of 12.5 degrees Celsius against the highest of 16.2 degrees Celsius in Rajshahi yesterday. Sources said the temperature fell further with a decrease in humidity and blowing of Himalayan winds from the north and northwestern directions, reports BSS.

cold-related diseases. With such a marked fall in the temperature, there has been a steady increase in the number of patients suffering from pneumonia, asthma and respiratory complications in the upazila and district level hospitals, including Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, hospital sources said. Assistant Professor Dr Belal Uddin of Pediatrics Department of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital informed that all three pediatric wards of the hospital were occupied with patients with cold related diseases. Some patients even had to take up space on the floors of the wards. A huge number of children were also attacked with viral fever, ARTI (Acute Respiratory Tract Infection), bronchitis, pneumonia and diarrhoea, are being admitted to the hospital. He

Abducted sex worker rescued n Our Correspondent, Rajbari A female garment worker abducted over three months ago from Gazipur was rescued from Daulatdia brothel at Goalondo in Rajbari in the small hours of Wednesday. Police arrested a person named Parveen Begum in this connection. Abul Bashar, officer-in-charge of Goalondo police station, said Parveen, a house owner at the brothel, forced the garment worker into prostitution. The victim’s elder brother Abdul Aziz said his sister was abducted on October

22 while she was returning home after work at Mentex Garment in Gazipur. Later, on January 13, Abdul Aziz came to know from a source that his sister was taken to the Daulatdia brothel. He then brought the matter into the notice of the Goalondo police station. Police rescued the garment worker and filed a case against the house owner under the Women and Repression Prevention Act. Victim’s brother said Emon Sheikh, 25, a colleague of her sister, sold her to the Daulatdia brothel. l

related diseases. Meanwhile, many elderly patients, attacked with asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infection, and cold allergies, are also being admitted to RMCH, upazila health clinics and different private clinics in the district. According to the concerned sources, the unusual situation has been preventing people from going outside of residences in the morning, disrupting their daily lives. Especially in the early hours, only a few people are seen going out of their houses on urgent need while the day labourers cannot work in fields due to the biting cold. In addition to the sufferings of the people, particularly the poor, cultivation, especially wheat, potato, chilli and Irri-Boro and pisciculture, is also being hampered. l

A college student was burnt to death in a fire erupting form a laptop at Purba Puali village in Kalkini upazila early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Rony, 20, a class XI student of Abul Hossain University College in Kalkini upazila and son of Alam Bepari of the village, reports UNB. Local people said the fire originated from an electric short circuit form a laptop around 4:00am and it soon engulfed the room of the house. All the house inmates except Rony, who was then asleep, managed to come out. Later, locals doused the flame and recovered the charred body of Rony. l

Magura Bar election held n Our Correspondent, Magura A woman takes care of her child who is affected by cold-related disease. The photo was taken from Khulna Medical College Hospital yesterday FOCUS BANGLA

Woman killed, 59 hurt in separate clashes n Tribune Report A woman was killed and 59 others were injured in separate clashes that took place in Sunamganj and Habiganj yesterday. In Sunamganj, a woman was killed and nine people were injured in a clash between residents of two villages at Muktarpur in Jamalganj upazila. The deceased was identified as Chand Banu, 30, wife of Sohel Mia of Sujatpur village in the upazila. Police said the residents of Bhutiarpur and Sujatpur villages, equipped with lethal weapons, locked into the clash at 12 noon over establishing dominance in the locality.

A chase and counter-chase took place during the melee that left 10 people injured from the both sides, reports UNB. Of the injured, Chnad Banu succumbed to her injuries on the way to hospital while rest others were admitted to Jamalganj Upazila Health Complex. Meanwhile, our Habiganj correspondent reports: at least 50 people were injured in recurrent clashes between two groups from separate villages in Banaichong upazila of Habiganj yesterday. Among the injured, around 20 were admitted to Habiganj Sadar Hospital in critical condition. According to sources, a conflict over establishing dominance in the upazila

persisted between Liton Mia of Uttar Sangar village and Salauddin of Ikram village for years. Yesterday, a clash broke out between supporters of both the groups in the afternoon. They attacked each other with lethal weapons leaving at least 50 people injured, including women. On information, police went to the spot and fired 40 rounds of rubber bullets to bring the situation under control. When asked about the injured, Nazmul Hasan, assistant superintendent of police, said: “Police has been deployed in the area to avoid any further untoward situation and the injured are currently undergoing treatment in the hospital.” l

Guidebook sellers doing brisk business in Barisal Government ban remains unheeded 1,250 guidebooks of secondary level n Our Correspondent, Barisal had been kept. The total value of the A syndicate of unscrupulous businessmen is selling banned note and guidebooks in different parts of Barisal city, flouting government ban. District administration along with law enforcers often conduct raids in different wholesale book markets and they sometimes seize a good number of books, but it seems it is not enough to stop such illegal trading. A mobile court in a drive seized a huge quantity of note and guidebooks in the city yesterday. Executive Magistrate Qamruzzaman accompanied by Administrative Magistrate Shafiullah Tapan and members of law enforcement agencies conducted the drive at Barisal River Port. The mobile court was informed that a huge amount of illegal note and guidebooks were brought to the port from Dhaka by MV Parabat 11 to sell those in different parts of Barisal region. Acting on the information, the mobile court conducted a raid at the port and seized at least 285 sacks where

catch was about Tk6 lakh, said mobile court sources. The sacks were meant to be sent to Islamia Library and Rahmania Library, but none from those two wholesale book sellers came to receive the books, sensing the drive of the mobile court. After recovering the books, the mobile court ordered its officials to destroy them immediately. When quizzed, the proprietor of Rahmania Library, Mizanur Rahman, said publishers of guidebooks had sent those copies without contacting with local book sellers first. Acknowledging the rampant sale of guide and note books in the city and town markets, the officials of the district administration told the Dhaka Tribune that their drives against the selling of illegal note and guidebooks would continue in future. The demand for note and guidebooks among students is high because of failure of the entire education system, said Delwar Hossain Rupak, presi-

A mobile court a seizes huge quantity of guidebooks at Barisal River port yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

dent of Barisal Book Sellers’ and Publishers’ Association. Das Gupta Ashish Kumar, former headmaster of Chaitanya Govinda Mohon Institution of the city and regional president of Bangladesh Teachers Association, said before standardization

of educational institution and introducing indiscriminate unitary education system, needs for note and guide books could not be eliminated. For lack of quality education system, markets are witnessing an influx of low quality guidebooks published

at different places of the country and a section of unscrupulous traders are marketing the books defying the government ban, he said. So government should first ensure the proper system and status of education sectors before taking steps to ban note and guidebooks, he added. A notebook seller in the city requesting anonymity said he had been selling the banned note and guide books and textbooks printed secretly avoiding real addresses of printers and publishers since the beginning of this year. “We sell the books at high prices to cover business risks and high demand for those books,” said another bookseller at Sadar Road in the city. Earlier in 1980, the government banned printing, importing, sale and distribution of notebooks as they stifle the creativity of students. However, the notebook publishers went to the High Court challenging the government ban. Then a High Court bench in 2008 gave a verdict banning not only notebooks but also guidebooks. l

NEWS IN BRIEF 20 maunds of hilsa fry seized in Chandpur Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard seized two fishing trawlers along with 20 maunds of jatka (hilsa fry) from the Meghna River under Sadar upazila on Wednesday night. A team of coastguards conducted separate drives from 11:30pm and seized the fishing trawlers along with the hilsa fries worth Tk2.5 lakh from the river, said Coast Guard sources. However, no one was arrested in this connection. The sources said the jatkas were being brought to Chandpur from Doultkhan of Barisal for sale. Meanwhile, the seized hilsa fries were distributed among the poor and orphanages in the district town on Thursday morning while the trawlers were sold at auction. – UNB

Three held with 100 sacks of wheat in Bagerhat

Members of Sammilit Sangskritik Jote form a human chain in Goplaganj yesterday, protesting attack on Hindus across the country FOCUS BANGLA

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard in a drive arrested three smugglers along with 100 sacks of wheat in Nala area of the Mongla River on Wednesday. Identify of the arrestees could not be known yet.Lieutenant Commander M Mohiuddin Majumdar, staff officer

(Operation) at Bangladesh Coast Guard (West Zone-Mongla) said they had secret information that a group of smugglers along with smuggled wheat was going to Rampal upazila on a trawler and a team of Coast Guard conducted a drive in Nala area of the river in the afternoon and seized the trawler. Later, the team recovered 100 sacks of wheat from the trawler and arrested three people for their alleged involvement in smuggling. The market value of the seized wheat would be Tk18 lakh, said Mohiuddin Majumdar. – UNB

Youth found dead in Sirajganj Police recovered beheaded body of a young man from rail track at Jhaoil village in Kamarkhanda upazila on Wednesday. The deceased was identified as Manik Sarkar, 22, son of Lebu Sarkar of Enayetpur of the district. Sirajganj GRP thana police said locals spotted Manik’s beheaded body on rail track under Jhaoil over-bridge on the Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge’s west connecting road in the morning and informed police. The body was sent to the district hospital morgue for an autopsy. – UNB

Magura Bar Association election was held in the bar association building yesterday. AL backed candidate Shafiqul Islam Bablu was elected president while BNP backed candidate Abdush Sattar Biswas general secretary. Among others, Kumud Ranjan Biswas was elected vice president while Syed Amir Ali and Mahamudul Islam joint secretary and Amit Kumer Mitra treasurer. Advocate Shib Proshad Vottacharga conducted the election as election commissioner. Out of 234 voters, 187 cast their votes in the election. l

3 arms traders held in Pabna n Our Correspondent, Pabna Police held three alleged arms traders from Majhdia village of Ishwardi upazila in Pabna yesterday. An LG, five rounds of bullets, and a motorcycle were sized from the possession of the arrestees. The arrestees were Md Arif Bangal, 32, of village Varuimari, Hamidul Islam, 30, of village Atua and Md Abdul Wahed, 28, of village Charkurulia in Pabna. Officer-in-Charge of Ishwardi police station Biman Kumar Das said, acting on a tip off, police arrested the three people from a local market in Majhdiar village around 9am. The regional leader of the alleged arms trader was Arif who was an accused in many cases filed with different police stations, said the OC. l

New teachers’ association in PUST n Our Correspondent, Pabna A new teachers’ association has been formed in Pabna University of Science and Technology (PUST). The name of the association is ‘Progressive Teachers Association Committee.’ The association was formed in a meeting on Wednesday held in the university building presided over by by Dr Mushfiqur Rahman. The committee will be headed by Md Saiful Islam as convener, assistant professor of the university. Rahidul Islam Rahi was selected as the secretary of the organization while Kislu Noman, Tanvir Hyder, Mahabub Polsh, and Abdullah Al Mmun were selected as members. The association is committed to establish the spirit of 71. l

Blankets distributed among poor in Panchagarh

n Tribune Report A total of 400 blankets were distributed among poor, destitute and coldstricken people yesterday. A local NGO Debiganj TMS distrcibuted the blankets on its office premises Upazila Parishad Chairmen Abdul Malek Chistee distributed the blankets as the chief guest. UP Chairman Abu Torab Sarkar was the special guest. TMS Law Adviser Md. Abdus Samad, deputy director of the organization Moni Sankor, Rafiqul Islam and Mozur Rahman spoke on the occasion. Meanwhile, Panchagarh Press Club distributed some warm clothes among the cold-stricken people. Deputy commissioner of Panchagarh Md Saleh uddin distributed the warm clothes among the people. l


Long Form

Friday, January 17, 2014



Approval of Bt Brinjal: From India to Bangladesh


n Farida Akhter

t Brinjal, (also known as eggplant, begun, or aubergine), a genetically modified food crop, inserted with a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis, has been approved by the National Committee on Biosafety (NCB) in Bangladesh for limited scale cultivation by farmers. In an October 30 notification (reference No.22.00.0000., last year, the Environment Section-2 of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry provisionally approved the petition of Bari (Bangladesh agricultural research council) to cultivate Bt Begun varieties 1,2,3, and 4, in a limited scale, at the field level by following seven conditions:

spreading and can be remedied. The applicant organisation must bear the responsibility of the potential environmental risks or situation under the biosafety rules; 6. The applicant organisation must take effective measures for labeling so that Bt Brinjal can be marketed as per biosafety rules; and 7. A monthly report with detailed description on biosafety measures in the areas of limited cultivation should be submitted to NCB and BCC for publication in Biosafety Clearing House as per requirement of Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to CBD. The above conditions prove that Bangladesh is not yet prepared for commercial release of Bt Brinjal. The country does not have appropriate and adequate mechanism to prevent and handle the risk of GMO crops.

It is unfortunate that the promoters of GM crops can take advantage of the weak regulatory mechanism of biosafety in Bangladesh 1. Bari Bt Brinjal 1, 2, 3 & 4 can be released for cultivation on a limited scale according to the specific work plan proposed and recommended by Bari and the Ministry of Agriculture; 2. Prior to the release the relevant Ministry, the institute must formulate field production planning, field biosafety management planning, emergency response planning, Safety measures such as isolation distance management planning, border row management planning, techniques for protection of local and indigenous variety and wild plants and submit to NCB (National Committee on Biosafety) and BCC (Biosafety Core Committee); 3. In order to ensure monitoring of Biosafety Measures in the places with limited cultivation Bari must form a Field Level Biosafety Committee with the local agricultural extension officer, the scientific officer of Bari experimental centre, the district or divisional officer of Environment Directorate and the Upazilla administrative officer and submit to NCB; 4. The farmers in the limited cultivation areas will have to be trained on environment friendly cultivation and on biosafety. Farmers should be provided with a manual on biosafety and Bt Brinjal cultivation; 5. In case of risks of health and environment are created, the applicant institution and the relevant Ministry must take immediate action and implement the necessary plan, so that the risks can be prevented from

The nature of the whole approval process with series of restrictions is simply hypocritical because it is very much likely that the “limited scale” approval will be used as approval for commercial release and therefore the Ministry of Environment and Forest does not take any responsibility of the highly risky endeavour of Bt Brinjal commercialisation. It is unfortunate that the promoters of GM crops can take advantage of the weak regulatory mechanism of biosafety in Bangladesh. This apprehension comes from the desperate efforts of the company Monsanto-Mahyco who have started the research in three countries (Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines) on this very important vegetable, brinjal. In India the first agreement to develop Bt Brinjal was signed in 2005 between India’s leading seed company, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, (in short Mahyco, a subsidiary of Monsanto, USA), and two agricultural universities-University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Dharwad and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in Coimbatore. An expert committee (EC-I) was set up in 2006 to examine the biosafety data presented by Mahyco which recommended that large scale trials be allowed to go ahead. In 2009, a second expert committee (EC-II) examined the data from these trials and tabled the recommendation for commercialisation on October 14, 2009. However, on October 15, 2009 the State Minister of

Ministry of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh intervened to stop the approval process because of the nationwide criticism of the EC-II and the apparent haste with which the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) gave its consent. Coincidentally, in Bangladesh also, it was in the month of October (2013), when the NCB under Ministry of Environment & Forest (MOEF) gave approval as recommended by the National Technical Committee on Crop Biotechnology (NTCCB) under Ministry of Agriculture. The NCB gave the approval letter on October 30, 2013, after receiving the request for recommendation on October 20 to give its views by October 22. Only three days! So the haste was there in the case of Bangladesh as well. As the government was going into its poll-time period, both the Minister of Agriculture Matia Chowdhury and Minister of Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahmud were not sure about the continuity of their portfolio, so it was apparent that they had to give approval not on the basis of “scientific” arguments, but on political decision. In fact, it was just to make Indian counterparts happy disregarding all the protests, outcry, and writ petitions within Bangladesh as well as concerns expressed directly to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by international scientists and a lot of press reporting on the negative impact of the introduction of GMOs. In India, after nation-wide consultation with farmers groups and environmentalists Jairam Ramesh declared a moratorium on February 9, 2010 (after 3 months) on the commercial approval of Bt Brinjal, citing the need for further safety testing. Now they have an indefinite moratorium. In such a situation, Bangladesh has given its approval! So the argument that Bt Brinjal is safe does not stand as Bangladesh research did not prove any better results than that prevailed in 2009 for India. The Hindu (Business Line) wrote on October 29, 2013, “Even as the Supreme Court is hearing a petition on allowing even field-trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops in the country, neighboring Bangladesh is set to allow farmers grow transgenic Bt brinjal. Ironically, the Bt brinjal varieties approved for commercial cultivation by NCB are based on technology developed and transferred by Mahyco. Commercialisation of Bt brinjal in India was halted by a “moratorium” imposed by former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh ... It is Indian technology that has seen the light of the day in Bangladesh,” said Bhagirath Chowdhary, India representative of the GM lobby group, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications or ISAAA.”

In the Philippines, a group of scientists, farmers, and concerned individuals filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, the Writ of Kalikasan, to stop the government from introducing genetically engineered eggplants, Bt Talong to Philippine soil, citing health and environmental hazards. On May 17, 2013 the Court ruled “[F]ield trials of Bt talong could not be declared by this Court as safe to human health, and to our ecology, with full scientific certainty, it being an alteration of an otherwise natural state of affairs in our ecology.” On September 20, 2013 the Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the earlier ruling, denying the motion for reconsideration filed by the respondents seeking to reverse its ruling to stopping field testing for the plants, thus preventing the government from conducting field testing of genetically modified, pest-resistant Bt talong (eggplant). The CA said the writ of Kalikasan and continuing writ of mandamus it had issued in favor of the petitioners were “justified and warranted. [Asian Peasant Coalition, September 27, 2013]” The Bangladesh Government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and Forest, and the Prime Minister’s office were all made aware of this by the concerned groups within the country and abroad. Top independent scientists wrote to the Prime Minister to stop approval expressing concern over health and environmental safety. Even after approval, there is an International Civil Society Statement of Concern on the Commercialisation of Bt Brinjal sent to the Prime Minister, President and the Opposition Leader. The statement said, “This is the same Mahyco-Monsanto Bt brinjal that was stopped in India, and its history there is highly relevant. The self-assessed dossier submitted by Mahyco-Monsanto was subjected to a comprehensive appraisal by several leading international scientists who examined the raw data. They found that biosafety studies, which were claimed to have been conducted, were essentially not done. The international appraisal of the raw data was only made possible when the dossier was forced into the public domain by an Order of the Supreme Court of India. We are concerned that the same dossier may have been submitted to Bangladesh for approval, when it has been shown in India to be essentially fraudulent.” This statement is signed by 100 non-governmental organisations, farmers’ organisations, consumer groups, and independent scientific organisations from different parts of the world including Third World Network (TWN), Save Our Seeds, Germany, Pesticide Eco-Alternatives Center

(PEAC), China, No! GMO Campaign, Japan, Navdanya, India, Millennium Institute, USA, Institute of Science in Society, United Kingdom, Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, FOODwatch, Australia, European Network to Keep Seeds GMO Free, Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP), Malaysia, Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), Vietnam, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), Canada, African Centre for Biosafety, South Africa, etc. and many NGOs in Bangladesh. They have requested the government: 1. To adopt a precautionary approach and suspend the commercialisation of Bt brinjal as directed by the Bangladesh High Court; 2. Release all information related to the development and testing of Bt brinjal; 3. Conduct meaningful and effective public consultation processes among the different stakeholders at the local and national levels, who will be affected by the possible release of Bt brinjal. The Government of Bangladesh, perhaps, is aware that such “approval” was not justified on many grounds, particularly on the methodology of the research and the process followed for approving a GM crop. Moreover, it did not follow a transparent process and have maintained a strategy of keeping its mouth shut and not to respond to any enquiry for information, since the resistance against approval process started within the country and abroad.

and the shipment will surpass $600 million in the current financial year. According to an official in EPB, “If Bangladesh begins cultivating GMO crops like brinjal, potato and rice, the importing countries in EU could impose restrictions on Bangladeshi agro produce import, hampering country’s exports.” On the other hand, Bangladesh Fruits, Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters Association (BFVAPEA) reported that the authority concerned did not consult with them before the release of GMO varieties. They expect that the government will take necessary initiatives so that country’s agricultural exports would not be affected. Not only the exporters, farmers, consumers and the retailers are not aware of such move by the government. The question is with the approval of the limited scale cultivation, is the government trying to produce seeds of Bt Brinjal? If so, it will pose a great danger to the farmers and consumers who will not know what they are producing and what they are eating. Brinjal is a very common vegetable consumed by majority of the population. So the risks are very high for the people in Bangladesh and even to the consumers in the neighboring country India and those in Europe and Middle East. We urge to the government again to stop the introduction of GM food crops in Bangladesh. l Farida Akhter is a freelance contributor.

The government, perhaps, is aware that such approval was not justified on many grounds, particularly on the methodology of the research and the process followed for approving a GM crop

The other stakeholders such as the agricultural produce export, mostly vegetables, in the European Union and Middle East is going to be affected by such move of introducing GM food crop. According to a report titled “$600m agri export at risk as government hurries to release GMO crops” [Financial Express, December 2, 2013] it is feared that the move will put agricultural produce export with likely embargo by the importing nations specially in the EU and Middle East. Bangladesh exported agricultural produce worth $535 million in the financial year (2012-13)




US Marines in Fallujah


US probes photos of Marines burning corpses in Iraq n AFP, Washington

ate photos on the battlefield. “Based on our initial discussions with our legal team, there’s been no law of war violations here,” Colonel Steven Warren said. In some cases, torching corpses can be permitted under military rules for “health and hygiene,” Warren said. If military authorities conclude there was wrongdoing, the individuals involved could be prosecuted under the military code even if the incident occurred several years ago, Warren said. If the troops have since left the military, they would have to be ordered back to duty to face charges, which is extremely rare, he added. Military commanders have called for tightening up discipline after a series of incidents in the war in Afghanistan. l

The US Marine Corps has launched an investigation into photos released Wednesday that purport to show troops burning corpses in Fallujah, Iraq, a spokesman said. The probe was focused initially on verifying if the images were genuine, after the gossip website TMZ, known for its coverage of celebrities, posted eight grisly photos online. “We are conducting an investigation into it right now,” Captain Tyler Balzer told AFP. “At this point it’s just to really determine the veracity of the photos and what the circumstances depicted in them are, and, if possible, whether we can identify the service members involved,” he said.

The TMZ site said it had 41 photos and were told the images were taken in Fallujah, the scene of heavy fighting by Marines nearly ten years ago and where al-Qaeda-linked militants recently took back control. In the photos, an American Marine appears to be pouring fuel or other flammable liquid on two corpses. Then other pictures show the remains on fire. In other pictures, a US Marine smiles for the camera as he kneels next to a corpse, and another soldier appears to search the pockets of the clothes on a corpse. TMZ wrote that it handed over the photos to the US Defence Department. A Pentagon spokesman said the photos do not appear to show a war crime, but the troops in the pictures possibly violated military rules that prohibit the mishandling of remains or inappropri-

Iran rejects Syria talks preconditions n Reuters, Moscow

Russia denies ‘hidden agenda’ in Syria talks

Iran wants to take part in next week’s international peace conference on Syria but will not attend if conditions are set for its participation, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday. The United States says Iranian delegates should be at the conference in Montreux, Switzerland, only if they are willing to accept an agreement reached at a June 2012 peace conference in Geneva calling for a transitional government body to be established in Damascus “by mutual consent.” Washington interprets that language as requiring President Bashar al-Assad’s departure from power but Russia and Iran reject this interpretation. “If the Islamic Republic of Iran is invited like all other participants in the conference, it will take part in this event,” Zarif told a news conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He added: “We do not accept any pre-conditions for our country’s participation.” Lavrov urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to invite Iran and Saudi Arabia to the conference starting an January 22, saying the participation of regional powers would help find a political solution to the nearly three-year-old conflict. l

n AFP, Moscow Russia denied Thursday it had a “hidden agenda” on Syria as it launched a fresh round of crisis diplomacy by hosting the Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers ahead of peace talks in Switzerland. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in the Russian capital late Wednesday on the same jet as Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. Zarif met Lavrov on Thursday and the Russian foreign minister was due to hold talks with Muallem separately on Friday. The three sides are working to come up with a joint stance that would keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power after next week’s talks. Iran’s ambassador to Moscow, Mehdi Sanaie, told the Interfax news agency that the three diplomats would meet for joint talks later in the day. “This does not mean that we have some tri-party (peace) draft,” Lavrov told reporters after his talks with Zarif. “We have nothing to hide,” said Lavrov. “We have no hidden agenda.” Zarif will also meet later on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chemical watchdog worried over Syria attack reports

Syrian air force bombs opposition n AFP, Beirut

n AFP, Rome

Mainstream rebels and al-Qaeda-linked jihadists clashed Thursday in northern Syria, as government warplanes battered opposition areas near Damascus with explosives-packed barrel bombs, a monitor said. “Fierce clashes pitting ISIL against several Islamist and moderate (rebel) groups are raging in Saraqeb, Idlib,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The town of Saraqeb is home to ISIL’s last remaining position in the northwestern province of Idlib, and has seen heavy fighting since Tuesday. The fighting is part of a massive offensive launched by forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, who turned against their erstwhile ISIL allies because of the jihadists’ quest for hegemony and their horrific abuses. Enraged by the offensive, ISIL has staged about two dozen suicide and car bomb attacks targeting rival rebel positions in the past two weeks. The latest attacks hit Aleppo province during the night, said the Observatory. One was a car bomb attack in the town of Maznar, the other a suicide blast staged near onetime ISIL bastion Atareb by a jihadist wearing an explosive belt. On Wednesday, at least 26 people were killed in a car bomb attack in Jarabulus, also in Aleppo province. More than 700 rebels and jihadists have been killed in the fighting that broke out on January 3. On another front, the Syrian air force dropped powerful explosives-laden barrel bombs on rebel positions near Damascus, including Zabadani and Daraya, said the Observatory. Under siege for more than a year, Daraya has come under a massive, renewed bid in recent days by troops loyal to Assad to break the opposition’s grip over the town. Meanwhile in the central city of Homs, the number of people killed in shelling on Tuesday of the Ghouta neighbourhood rose to 19, including three children, said the Observatory. l

The head of the world’s chemical weapons watchdog voiced concern on Thursday about reports from the Syrian government of attacks on two chemical facilities but said they could not be independently verified. “The Syrian authorities have reported attacks on two sites,” Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said on a visit to Rome. “It would be worrying if there are attempts to capture those chemicals. I don’t think it’s in the interests of anyone,” he said, as Italy prepared later Thursday to announce the the port where the chemicals will be taken. A United Nations-backed plan to destroy Syria’s 1,290-tonne declared chemical weapons arsenal has been delayed by the fighting raging across the country. Uzumcu said that talks were ongoing for “temporary truces” to allow the safe passage of chemical arms convoys to the Syrian port of Latakia for loading. The OPCW chief also said there had been a delay over requests from the Syrian government for extra security equipment for the convoys, including armoured vehicles. He said “most” of the Syrian demands would be met. Uzumcu said he was still confident the arsenal would be destroyed by June 30 as specified in a September 2013 UN resolution and said co-operation on chemical weapons could help foster a broader peace process in Syria. “The international community should seize this opportunity to extend this consensus to other areas,” Uzumcu said, speaking ahead of Syria peace talks dubbed Geneva II due to start on January 22. “The current compromise on this particular limited issue may have paved the way for a wider process.” He told AFP in an interview that the transfer of Syrian chemical agents from a Danish ship onto a US vessel in an as-yet-unnamed Italian port was now

expected to take place “by the end of January or early February.” The transit of some 500 tonnes of Syria’s deadliest chemicals including mustard gas and the ingredients for the nerve agents sarin and VX, which could take up to 48 hours, has already sparked local concern in Italy. “Every possible measure is being taken for a safe trans-loading. The risks are very obvious and we have taken every measure to minimise these risks,” he said. Ugo Cappellacci, the regional governor of Sardinia, which is referred to in the Italian press as the most likely choice for the operation, said on Wednesday he does not want his island to be “Italy’s waste bin.” “We are absolutely opposed to the transit,” he said.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons say Syrian authorities have reported attacks on two chemical weapons sites Commercial and military ports in the Calabria, Puglia and Sicily regions in southern Italy are also possible. The Danish ship earlier this month took a first cargo of materials from Latakia and is now back in international waters under military protection, awaiting a return to pick up the remainder. Uzumcu said the initial load was “a little more than 16 tonnes.” Once the ship has fully loaded, the plan is it will sail to Italy, escorted by Danish and Norwegian warships. US ship expected to set off for Italy by next week In Italy, the chemicals will be transferred onto the US ship MV Cape Ray, which will destroy them at sea – to avoid risks to civilian areas – over a period of up to three months using specially-built mobile hydrolysis equipment. The MV Cape Ray is still in the United States and is expected to set off this week or early next week for the twoweek voyage to Italy. l

Georgian PM wary over Russian ‘provocations’ n AFP, Tbilisi

Putin to discuss curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme and the possible purchase of missiles that could fend off punitive strikes by arch-foe Israel. The talks between the Damascus regime and its two main allies come four days after a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris of mainly Western and Gulf nations backing the rebels. World powers are seeking to bring the warring parties together for their first direct discussions at the so-called Geneva II peace talks beginning on January 22. “There is a strong Tehran-Moscow-Damascus axis emerging,” said Russian PIR Centre research institute analyst Andrei Baklitsky. “Russia and Iran support Assad and a political settlement to the conflict – and this is the only thing working right now,” said the analyst. “The West has no other alternative.” Millions have been displaced and at least 130,000 killed in nearly three years. Some 70 nations that gathered in Kuwait on Wednesday raised $2.4bn for what aid organisations describe as the world’s worst unfolding humanitarian disaster. l

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Thursday that he was wary about “provocations” from Moscow but confident the ex-Soviet state could withstand any fresh pressure from the Kremlin. Georgia, which fought a brief 2008 war with Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, initialled a deal for closer ties with the European Union in November and officials in Tbilisi say they hope to ratify the pact later this year. Moscow is staunchly opposed to its former Soviet allies moving closer to the West and has strong-armed Ukraine into rejecting a similar agreement with the EU prompting mass street protests in Kiev. “We expect provocations. There were provocations during the last year,” Dzhugashvili, who took over from hisbnaire mentor Ibidinae Javakishvili as premier in November, told reporters. “There might be other provocations but we don’t expect serious ones or something extraordinary,” the 31-yearold prime minister said. Following the 2008 conflict Russia recognised the Georgian separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries and stationed thousands of troops there in what Tbilisi considers a De facto occupation. l

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili


Kabul’s new female police chief hopes to inspire others n Reuters, Kabul An Afghan policewoman took charge of a district in the capital Kabul this week, such an unusual and dangerous appointment in a country where women have few rights that her bosses gave her four bodyguards. Colonel Jamila Bayaaz, who joined the force more than 30 years ago, heads one of Kabul’s busiest shopping districts. Interviewed on Wednesday, Bayaaz said she hoped to inspire other women and improve paltry numbers in police ranks in the post-Taliban era, despite highly publicized recruitment drives. One aspiring officer, she said, had already visited her office with an application. “She was very excited and told me that when she saw me on television she was encouraged to serve as a policewoman. I was surprised,” Bayaaz said in her office, bedecked with flowers from well-wishers. “My priority is to protect women and help them recruit in the police force through this job.” Colonel Jamila Bayaaz talks on the phone at her office


Joining the police force is a brave but risky move. Working alongside unrelated men in a deeply conservative society exposes women to criticism and most will suffer some form of abuse from male colleagues. Hence the four bodyguards, twice the number usually allotted to a comparable male officer. And the armored car. “I know there are dangers and threats in this job, but I don’t worry about them. I focus on my job, how to make things better,” Bayaaz said. Creating a female police force was considered an important victory for Western efforts to promote equality after a US-led military coalition toppled the Taliban in 2001. Forced by the Taliban to wear the headto-toe burqa, unable to leave home on their own and barred from schools, women were supposed to secure basic freedoms. But gains have been limited. Women in high-profile positions are often targeted by insurgents or conservative male relatives. Policewomen have suffered some of the more deadly attacks.

In southern Helmand province, the most senior female member of the force was killed last year, as was her successor. Numbers remain around 1,700, far below a target of 5,000 set by President Hamid Karzai for the end of 2014. Bayaaz had previously worked on the Criminal Justice Task Force tracking smugglers. And like most female officers, she wore no uniform - a sure way to attract unwanted attention. Now, she works in a crisp, green jacket studded with shiny badges and tight-fitting trousers. Witness to the convulsions that have gripped Afghan society since the 1980s, Bayaaz worked at Kabul airport during the decade-long Soviet occupation, a job she said was easier than now. Under the Taliban, she raised her five children at home. With Afghanistan in flux as foreign troops prepare to leave, her family was supportive, though well aware of the dangers. “People’s mind-set has changed a lot towards women and become more radical,” she said. “My children and husband are wor-

ried about my job, but I can’t quit simply because they say so.” A shortage of female staff is one of the greatest challenges facing organizers of presidential elections due in April. Polling stations are segregated and about 12,000 women are needed to carry out female body searches to guard against bombings. But fewer than 2,000 policewomen are available. Bayaaz’s appointment comes up against the reluctance of women victims of violence to report abuse to a force in which 1% of officers are female. And a culture of impunity remains entrenched among male officers in terms of harassment. “No one has been prosecuted, that’s for sure. What normally happens is that a huge amount of pressure is put on women to withdraw their complaints,” Elizabeth Cameron, senior adviser in Afghanistan to NGO Oxfam, said by telephone. “Having a head of district is just fantastic and it sends a very strong signal to policewomen in Kabul – and to policemen.” l




Friday, January 17, 2014

Musharraf needs heart UK probes role in India’s Golden Temple assault treatment in US n AP Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan on trial for high treason, is to be assessed by a medical board after his lawyers asked the court for him to be sent for treatment in the United States. Anwar Mansoor Khan said he submitted a letter to court on Thursday asking that Musharraf be transferred to the Paris Regional Medical Centre in Paris, Texas. In response, the court ordered a medical board to be set up to determine Musharraf’s health. It will have to present its report by January 24. Musharraf, 70, has been a patient at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi since January 2 after complaining of heart problems while on his way to court. Doctors diagnosed him with coronary artery disease. Another lawyer for Musharraf told

the court that his client had received medical care from the Paris clinic in 2006. He added that his doctor in Texas “is of the view that the type of disease he is undergoing, there is a likelihood of a sudden heart attack and cardiac arrest.” Lieutenant-General Rashid Qureshi, spokesman for the former military ruler said he “looked rested” when he visited him on Tuesday. The court will resume its hearing tomorrow. The high treason case relates to his 2007 decision as president to impose a state of emergency during which he suspended the constitution and detained several judges, including the Chief Justice, sparking widespread protests. He stepped down in 2008 and moved away from Pakistan, before returning in 2013 hoping for a political comeback. Instead, he was arrested and accused of a string of crimes. l

Delhi police hunt further suspects over gang-rape n AFP, New Delhi Indian police carried out raids across New Delhi Thursday as they hunted for a further six men wanted over the gang-rape of a Danish tourist which has cast the country’s record on sexual violence back into the spotlight. Police announced the arrest of two homeless men late on Wednesday who are suspected of taking part in the assault and robbery of the 51-year-old victim on Tuesday. The duo, covering their faces to hide their identify from the waiting media, appeared in a city court

on Thursday afternoon where they were remanded in custody for three days, the PTI news agency reported. The tourist, travelling alone and in Delhi after visiting the Taj Mahal, had lost her way as she returned to her hotel in the main backpackers’ area and apparently approached a group of men for directions. “We have already arrested two of the eight suspects in the case and are still carrying out raids across different locations to nab others,” Additional Commissioner of Delhi Police Alok Kumar told AFP. l

The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India

n AFP, London Britain said Tuesday it would investigate its involvement in India’s 1984 Amritsar Golden Temple assault after previously top secret documents showed British elite forces played an advisory role. Newly declassified government letters show New Delhi had requested British advice over a plan to flush out militants who had occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar, northwest India – considered Sikhdom’s holiest shrine. With the approval of then prime minister Margaret Thatcher, an officer from the elite Special Air Service (SAS) travelled to India and drew up a plan which was approved by India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi. It is not known how close the February 1984 plan was to the eventual


deadly Operation Blue Star raid, which triggered a cycle of bloody revenge attacks. Retired lieutenant-general KS Brar, who led the eventual June 1984 assault, said it was the first he had heard of it. The raid on militants demanding an independent Sikh homeland left at least 500 people dead. In retaliation, Gandhi was assassinated four months later by two Sikh bodyguards. That triggered anti-Sikh riots in which thousands of people were killed, mostly in New Delhi. Two letters released from the archives, both marked “top secret and personal,” reveal details about the SAS advice. The documents, declassified after 30 years, appeared on the Stop Deportations blog. The National Archives did not return calls.

Thai anti-graft panel to probe PM Yingluck n AFP, Bangkok

Thailand’s anti-corruption authorities launched an investigation against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Thursday in a new setback to her government following weeks of mass opposition protests. The National Anti-Corruption Commission said the inquiry would probe possible negligence of duty by Yingluck in connection with a controversial subsidy scheme for rice farmers. The panel will charge 15 other people, including a former commerce minister, with corruption linked to the rice programme, commission spokesman Vicha Mahakun told a news conference. The scheme has been strongly criticised by Yingluck’s opponents, who have occupied major intersections in the capital since Monday as part of their efforts to force her elected government from office and install an appointed “people’s council” in its place. The protesters aim to rein in the political dominance of Yingluck’sbnaire brother, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whom they accuse of controlling the government from self-exile. Critics say the rice programme was designed to shore up Yingluck’s popularity in her party’s northern heartlands, but has left the country with a mountain of unsold rice.

Yingluck has called an election for February 2 in an effort to defuse the crisis but the main opposition Democrat Party is boycotting the polls, which they fear will only return the Shinawatra family to power. Police said Thursday the demonstrators’ self-styled “shutdown” of Bangkok appeared to be losing momentum with a dwindling number of protesters on the streets. The rallies are the latest twist of a political crisis that has gripped Thailand since Yingluck’s brother Thaksin was ousted in a military coup seven years ago. They were triggered by a failed amnesty bill that could have allowed Thaksin to return without going to jail for a past corruption conviction. Thebnaire tycoon-turned-politician has strong electoral support in northern Thailand, but he is reviled by many southerners, Bangkok’s middle class and members of the royalist establishment. Yingluck is facing several legal moves which experts say could potentially bring down her government. Dozens of her MPs face possible impeachment by the National Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with a bid to make the upper house fully elected. If found guilty they could be banned from politics for five years, undermining Yingluck’s chances of forming a new government after the February polls. l

A top Chinese military officer was arrested for corruption after lining his pockets with kickbacks and buying dozens of homes, a gilded statue of Mao Zedong, and a “golden boat.” Gu Junshan, a former lieutenant general and deputy logistics chief with great influence within the People’s Liberation Army, was arrested after an investigation into his personal affairs. The Caixin magazine reported this week that the state confiscated possessions including the Mao statue and a mansion he built modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. It alleged he took huge kickbacks through selling military-owned land. In Shanghai, Gu allegedly received a six% kickback for a military plot that fetched more than $330m, and in his hometown of Puyang, his family was

known for land grabs and property developments, Caixin said. Officials seized “a gold boat, a gold wash basin and a gold statue of Mao Zedong” along with “crates of expensive liquor” on the premises known by locals as the “General’s Mansion,” according to Caixin.

Officials seized ‘a gold boat, a gold wash basin and a gold statue of Mao Zedong along with crates of expensive liquor’ Gu has not been seen since early 2012 and his name has been removed from the official Defense Ministry website. Last summer, Gong Fangbin, a professor at the PLA National Defense University, confirmed that Gu was under investigation saying the public was upset over the

Japan brushes off China ‘troublemaker’ criticism n AFP, Tokyo

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

Chinese general arrested for decadent lifestyle n Agencies

One letter, dated February 23, 1984, is from foreign secretary Geoffrey Howe’s private secretary to his counterpart in the Home Office interior ministry. Howe wanted to warn home secretary Leon Brittan of possible repercussions of the planned attack. “The Indian authorities recently sought British advice over a plan to remove Sikh extremists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar,” it reads. “The foreign secretary decided to respond favourably to the Indian request and, with the prime minister’s agreement, an SAD (sic) officer has visited India and drawn up a plan which has been approved by Mrs Gandhi. “The foreign secretary believes that the Indian government may put the plan into operation shortly.” The letter warns that the operation could trigger tensions in Britain’s Indi-

crimes of Gu and his predecessor. The predecessor, Wang Shouye, was given a suspended death sentence by a military court in 2006 for taking tens ofms of dollars in bribes. However, details of the case may never be announced publicly because it most likely will go before a military court. China’s leadership has issued a raft of bans over the past year ranging from fancy banquets to expensive gifts, in an effort to deter graft and impose frugality. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday promised a no-holds-barred corruption crusade, warning ruling Communist Party officials that “all dirty hands will be caught,” state media reported. Xi has taken a much-publicised hard line against corruption since coming to power a little over one year ago; stressing that corruption could destroy the party. l

an community, “particularly if knowledge of the SAS involvement were to become public.” It says knowledge of the SAS officer’s visit and plan has been “tightly held” in both India and London. An earlier letter dated February 6, 1984 was sent from Robin Butler, Thatcher’s principal private secretary – the civil servant running her private office – to Howe’s private secretary. “Thank you for your letter of 3 February about the Indian request for advice on plans for the removal of dissident Sikhs from the Golden Temple,” it reads. “The prime minister is content that the foreign secretary should proceed as he proposes. “She will look forward to receiving a report on the adviser’s visit.” Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague were hitherto unaware of the letters, a government spokeswoman said. Cameron has asked Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood, Britain’s most senior civil servant, to investigate further. Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said there was no evidence so far that British special forces played a role in India’s 1984 Amritsar Golden Temple assault. “I don’t want to prejudge the outcome, but I would note that so far it has not found any evidence to contradict the insistence by senior Indian army commanders responsible at the time that the responsibility for this was carried out solely by the Indian army,” Cameron told parliament. “I think it is important to put that, but it is important to get to the bottom of this.” He said the assault left “deep scars” and “incredibly strong feelings that exist to this day.” At least 500 people were killed in the June 1984 raid to flush out militants who had occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar, northwest India – considered Sikhdom’s holiest shrine. l


Japan on Thursday brushed off a bristling attack in which a Chinese diplomat branded Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a “troublemaker,” saying Beijing’s sentiment is inaccurate and ignores the facts. The rebuttal came after China’s envoy to the African Union fired the latest salvo in an increasingly bitter war of words between Asia’s two largest economies with a dramatic display of pictures he said showed the results of Japanese atrocities during World War II. In a press conference held the day after Abe wrapped up a landmark African tour aimed at boosting Japan’s presence in Africa, Ambassador Xie Xiaoyan accused him of trying to undermine Beijing’s own diplomatic reach. “Abe has become the biggest troublemaker in Asia,” Xie, who is also China’s ambassador to Ethiopia, told reporters. “He has worked hard to portray China as a threat, aiming to sow discord, raising regional tensions and so creating a convenient excuse for the resurrection of Japanese militarism,” the ambassador said at the news conference. He said the conservative Japanese leader’s visit to Africa was part of what he described as a “China containment policy.”

Xie also repeated criticism over Abe’s visit last month to the Yasukuni war shrine, which honours around 2.5m of Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II. In Tokyo on Thursday, the government issued a low-key response, with a deputy press secretary of the foreign minister telling reporters Japan had a decades-long record of peace. “Japan has been contributing to the peace and stability of the region as well as the world for 60 years since World War II,” said Koichi Mizushima. “Japan has no intention of containing China. Rather, Japan wants China to be a responsible partner in contributing to peace and stability,” said Mizushima. The response is an increasingly familiar mantra from Tokyo, which says it has repented of its warring past and made reparations for its brutal invasions and occupations of the mid-20th century. It says Beijing persistently resurrects the issue for domestic political reasons and to distract attention at home from inequalities and the poor state of the environment. Beijing says Tokyo refuses to accept its responsibility for atrocities carried out in the name of its then-emperor, and says Abe’s visit to Yasukuni is evidence. l

China detains prominent Uighur academic n AFP, Beijing China has criminally detained a prominent Uighur academic and outspoken critic of government policy towards the mostly Muslim minority for “violating the law,” it said Thursday. Ilham Tohti was taken to an unknown location by several dozen police on Wednesday along with his mother, his wife Guzaili Nu’er told AFP, adding that police had confiscated their mobile phones and computers. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Tohti had been “criminally detained” because he was “under suspicion of committing crimes and violating the law,” suggesting he is likely to face criminal charges. No details were provided. Tohti, 45, is an economist at a university in Beijing and has been critical of China’s policies towards Uighurs, who are concentrated in the far western region of Xinjiang, which is regularly hit by unrest. Police did not carry out any legal procedures while forcibly detaining Tohti in front of his two young children, his wife said.

Uighur university professor Ilham Tohti “I asked (the police) where they had taken him, but they didn’t say a word,” she said. “It had a big impact on my kids, they have been upset and crying since last night, now I don’t even have


a mobile phone.” Police combed through the family house, confiscating several computers and other items including phones and academic writings, she said. l




Friday, January 17, 2014

Letters to

Khaleda should clarify her position


t her press conference on Wednesday, Khaleda Zia called for peaceful agitation programs and proclaimed that her party does not condone violence and confrontation. We certainly welcome her shift away from confrontational violent street politics, and her readiness to hold dialogue with the AL. However, we must call attention to the fact that her words contradict the relentless two-and-a-half month long assault on the nation through hartals and blockades by the BNP and its allies. If her stance had been less rigid during recent months the violent blockade may not have been prolonged and the Awami League’s victory in this month’s one-sided national elections may not have been inevitable. It is important then for her to make crystal clear that she indeed fully denounces the mayhem and loss of life caused during the recent non-stop hartal and blockades. We would also call on her to clarify her party’s position on the war crimes trials, which has been a hot button issue surrounding the controversial election. Khaleda Zia should put her money where her mouth is, and decisively distance herself from her Jamaat allies who were behind much of the violence and have been involved in the recent atrocities committed on Hindu communities. If she is indeed serious about demanding an investigation into these attacks, she should prove it by ending her alliance with Jamaat-Shibir terrorists. These moves could help her party’s standing and facilitate a better atmosphere for dialogue.

Khaleda Zia should decisively distance herself from her Jamaat allies who were behind much of the violence

DITF inspires business to rise to the challenge


n her speech opening the 19th Dhaka International Trade Fair, the prime minister remarked on its importance to the economy. The fair’s 471 stalls and pavilions provide a high profile platform for businesses of all sizes to showcase their products and attract new customers. Now more than ever, it is important for events such as DITF to help the country’s businesses to attract new customers and grow their exports. Last year’s DITF helped businesses achieve orders worth Tk157 crore. With the latest World Bank figures suggesting Bangladesh’s economy will grow at 5.7% this fiscal year against a world average which is expected to go from 2.4% in 2013 to 3.2% in 2014, there is reason to hope this year’s event may be even more successful. The organisers deserve credit for making the event into a focal point for traders and exporters. The annual month-long event has become a popular fixture in the winter calendar for many city dwellers. Its varied stalls and pavilions are an inspiration to consumers and regularly draw large crowds. The fair’s international dimension with stalls from all around the world is a key part of its attraction for businesses and consumers alike. The buzz of the fair is a welcome reminder of Bangladesh’s potential. We hope it acts as a catalyst to help reinvigorate the economy and wish the stall holders well and hope all attendees enjoy and make the most of the event.

the Editor


Quality education and morality of students are both of concern January 10 I had an opportunity to hear Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid speak on the publication of the PSC public examination results. When journalists remarked the pass rate has risen, but quality of education has deteriorated, the minister answered the quality of education has not deteriorated. Many of my relatives and friends work in the education sector. One relative, an English teacher in a renowned Dhaka school for a long time, said many students failed even four to five subjects in the PSC examination pre-test, but achieved GPA-5 in the PSC examination. One friend, who works as a supervisor at an NGO looks after a good number of primary schools. Before the PSC examination, we conversed about the PSC examination and her students. She told me many students from some of her schools did not do well in Mathematics. She said all of them could pass the exam, as could see each other’s exam papers in the examination hall. Students are learning to cheat at the very start of their lives! Moreover, teachers were asked to give over marks on the exam papers! Merina Hossain

Myopic dystopia: My address to the nation January 8

shireen ismail Matthew, please write about something else! Don’t want to read about politics anymore. The past election is water under the bridge now? Are you crazy? It is because of people like you the politicians get away with anything. Dhaka’s liberals are cheering the government on their hollow victory. What is wrong with this picture? matthewislam shireen ismail: I’ll keep that in mind. All writers are slightly crazy. ;-) My apologies for that. The piece isn’t intended to cheer the government on. Trust me. Disappointed Reader I was starting to really respect the writer, but then the last six paragraphs made me realise that sadly this guy too is just another partisan he describes as “part of the problem”. All that seemingly unbiased intro before he gets to his point was just his preparation for the ground, so I’m not really surprised that he doesn’t get “why

2 BNP leaders arrested January 8

Where are they keeping these people? And what for? These blanket arrests are a sign of the law enforcers’ inability to deal with the situation. Akhtar Shah

everyone is fussing.” matthewislam Disappointed Reader: Thanks for reading. Sorry to disappoint. The intended slant of the op-ed is for people to break free and do something different. To shun the current status quo. I hope that much was expressed clearly. I was an activist of AL in the past until 1/11, so some of who I was and stood for still rings true. Jamaat makes it impossible for me to support BNP but, before you stone me, AL makes it impossible for me to support them in any real way and without being offended at what they have become and stand for. Therefore, I envision a day when a platform will exist with diverse ideologies but a united, respectful and sincere bunch of people who will be true nationalists and I was hoping that we could be part of that movement. Anyways, I will endeavour to be clearer about my main bias being with the people and only the people.

Fakhrul: AL men torched schools January 8

If AL torches the schools, all blame will go to BNP-Jamaat. BAL cadres certainly are heinous enough. Something to think about. Md Walid Akram Hussain

Restaurant owner sacrifices business to help waitress January 8 Sheikh Jinat Mahmid You proved that humanity still exists! Mohammad Tanvir Khalid Hats off to you! MD Easir Arafat Siddik May God bless you. It’s very rare to be seen in this 21st century as a very generous human being.

British HC to meet Khaleda Zia in evening January 8

We don’t like any violence in our country. Just want to stay peacefully here. This is our right. So please, we would like to see this country develop, not go backwards. Just see within five years, how well we develop, better than we have in the last 40 years. Habib Khan

17.5 lakh investors cheated by Destiny Tree Plantation January 9

The amount in terms of people invested and the amount invested both show that greed can overwhelm someone’s judgement! MLM and Pyramid are banned from western countries, yet in Bangladesh they still invested! Shahid Russell

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Now more than ever, events such as DITF are important for business to attract new customers and grow their exports



CODE-CRACKER ACROSS 1 Turn (6) 6 Situated between extremes (3) 9 Silly (5) 10 Large volume (4) 11 Wax-stemmed match (5) 12 Monkey (3) 13 Teacher (6) 15 Emit fumes (4) 18 Matures (4) 21 Supplication (6) 24 Male sheep (3) 25 Combine (5) 28 Article (4) 29 Saloon car (5) 30 Homo Sapiens (3) 31 Wait on (6)

DOWN 1 Waterway (5) 2 Numeral (3) 3 Sample (5) 4 Insect (3) 5 Sporting side (4) 6 Water-filled trench around castle (4) 7 Obstruct (6) 8 Swift animal (4) 14 Mineral spring (3) 16 Noted printing mistakes (6) 17 Opener (3) 19 Show the way (5) 20 Use money (5) 21 Stiffly neat (4) 22 Prayer ending (4) 23 Corrosion (4) 26 Meshed fabric (3) 27 Make brown (3)





Friday, January 17, 2014


The whipsaw of politics n FS Aijazuddin


The election has weakened both parties in the eyes of the people
















AL and BNP need to rescue each other


n Ekram Kabir he Awami League-driven government is here again. It’s going to steer the helms, constitutionally, for the next five years. It wasn’t easy for the AL, as it had to overcome quite a lot of obstacles from the opposition political alliance. However, the success of the AL-led alliance, especially of Sheikh Hasina, needs to be commended in winning the game over the opposition. They played it in such a way that the need for a state of emergency, or something similar to that, wasn’t necessary. The opposition, on the other hand, seems to have missed the chance of winning an election. Political analysts thought the BNP-led alliance would have won if it participated in the polls. Khaleda Zia remained unmoved as she wanted Sheikh Hasina to step down from the prime minister’s post as the pre-condition to participate in the polls. However, she could have changed the political wind if she had accepted Hasina’s invitation and gone to Ganabhaban. If she had made an announcement of heading for Ganabhaban and urged all her party members as well as the people at large, it would have made a huge difference in her favour. That, we believe, was a great and sure chance of occupying the streets as well as winning the minds of the

people. However, she missed it. Having said that, it seems the leaders of AL and BNP have both weakened themselves in the eyes of the people. The BNP has weakened itself by not participating in the election which may have borne the party a great result, and the AL has done it by holding that election which wasn’t, in any way, competitive for the party itself.

So, if they have the same goal, it’s very surprising that they always fail to sit together and nurture that common ground. If we remember the Mujib-Yahiya dialogue before the independence of Bangladesh, they had different goals and that’s why their dialogue failed. As the party in power, AL needed to do more than make just one phone call. It saw this was coming and it

The BNP has weakened itself by not participating in the election which may have borne the party a great result, and the AL has done it by holding that election

The AL had little to prove in the 10th parliamentary polls. As part of their electoral themes, one party was adamant to keep the democratic process on, and the other was clinging on to hold the polls under a caretaker mechanism. This situation is déjà vu for the common people – an old cycle of two main political parties that have actually no difference between themselves. At least the common people’s experience says these two parties bear the same goal in their minds: To go to power and develop the lot of the country.

needed to show more fervour towards the BNP. On the other hand, what it did was to push (and push and push) BNP towards Jamaat to such an extent that BNP almost reached to a point of no return. That was a mistake that the AL committed by attaching BNP with Jamaat when it needed to rescue the party from them. If AL wanted to isolate Jamaat, which follows entirely different political values from these two parties, it really needed to do something for salvaging BNP from the clutches of Jamaat. On the other hand, BNP itself also

hardly did anything to leave the Jamaatis. BNP’s stance on the war crimes issue sounded as if it was in favour of Jamaat. Again, in order to raise a movement against the government, BNP completely depended on Jamaat. BNP said the alliance with Jamaat was an electoral one. But it failed to realise that Jamaat followers would be of little use when it came to voting. However, if BNP could identify itself as “BNP” in the past few years, it would have acquired some political strength of its own and it would be difficult for the AL to ram BNP on Jamaat. These two political parties seem to have always failed to realise that they, having the same objectives, are the ones who would steer Bangladesh to a place that the people hope for. Jamaat, as a party, has never made clear what it wants. Its activities don’t indicate that it wants to go to power. The people would negate it, even if it wanted to. On the other hand, Jatiya Party also has no such aim. We fail to understand why it even exists as a political party. Therefore, AL and BNP need to come out of these dull elements for making themselves stronger. If two of them are strong, we believe the future of democracy (as well as stability) in Bangladesh wound be brighter. They need to work towards rescuing each other for the sake of the people. l Ekram Kabir is Executive Editor of

nyone expecting an improvement in Pakistan needs to be patient. At its present pace of progress or regress (it depends upon whether you see things as half-full or half-empty), Pakistan can confidently look forward to becoming a developed country in another three hundred years. This statement should not cause Pakistanis to lapse into a slough of despondency. It took China three thousand years to reach the level they are today, Europe almost a thousand. South America and India are within sight, if not within reach of their goals. African countries have yet to emerge from the chrysalis of their potential. Despair is a daily exercise for most Pakistanis. Their mornings begin with it. It is akin to the slow motion T’ai Chi routine practiced at the start of each day by millions of health fiends across the world. The only difference is that here, the need for self-defence is not simulated; it is all too real. Danger, disaster, and death have become daily companions –unwelcome, unavoidable, and dangerously sinister. This triad is indiscriminate in its choice of victims: a young Shia teenage boy on his way to school in Hangu; a senior police officer who hunted terrorists until finally he became their quarry; a bus load of passengers exterminated because they happen to be Shias; the sons of political leaders slain because their parents choose to sit in the opposition; military officers caught in the firing line of duty. The list is longer than the memory of an increasingly demoralised public. It would be tempting to lay the burden of these crises at the threshold of the present government. If only it was that easy. A party that has gone into the Opposition may have shed the mantle of governance; it cannot escape the hair-shirt of responsibility. Our politics has become what the American call a whipsaw, in which there is a man at each end of the saw, each pulling alternately in his direction.

Politics demands an acknowledgement that the political pendulum, like the whipsaw, swings both ways

Many cynics have come to the conclusion that the main political parties – the PPP and the PML-N – have agreed upon an arrangement by which one will be allowed to pull and the other to push for five years, after which it will be the turn of the other. The supine log in-between is the long-suffering public. It is less than seven years since the Pakistani spring of May 2006 when the leaders of these two parties – the late Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif – pledged themselves to implement

a Charter of Democracy. Re-reading its text, one’s attention is caught by Article 26: “Terrorism and militancy are by-products of military dictatorship, negation of democracy, are strongly condemned, and will be vigorously confronted.” The Charter was careful not to go into details. Confronted how? And by whom? Alone, or together? Every government – whether colonial or national - has learned that tackling terrorism and even insurrection is never an easy task. The British could not eradicate the Jomo Kenyatta’s Mau Mau in Kenya, General Grivas’ EOKA in Cyprus gave them as much of a headache, the Americans conceded defeat Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Cong and finally lost South Asia, and Mandela’s African National Congress – the tortoise with a shell tempered by adversity - eventually won the race.  

Every government has learned that tackling terrorism and even insurrection is never an easy task

A war on terrorism does not come cheap. It is estimated that in the decade between 1965 and 1975, the United States squandered over $100 billion in its ultimately fruitless conflict in South Asia. Pakistan does not have that kind of loose change. By comparison, our resources are petty and sadly, our issues in the global context are equally petty. Ten years ago, General Musharraf was in the chair, confident of his power, convinced of his legitimacy. Today, he is in the dock, like Hosni Mubarak, reminded every day of his vulnerability to the whims of fortune and vagaries of our legal system, while those whom he hounded have the upper hand. Will it always be like this? Will one man’s meat always become the same man’s poison? One hopes not. Politics demands a spirit of accommodation, an acknowledgement that the political pendulum, like the whipsaw, swings both ways. Judging by the behaviour of Musharraf’s opponents, they are all too keen on making him grovel before granting him any sort of amnesty. To foreign friends of Pakistan like the Saudis and the Chinese, such public spectacles are best avoided. The Saudis are too secretive to hold such show case trials, and the Chinese have realised (after the self-damaging indictment of the Gang of Four in 1981) that they have held one too many. It might help all our leaders – regardless of their party affiliation - to pause for a moment and to think, not of themselves, but of future generations of Pakistanis. They deserve more mature behaviour. l FS Aijazuddin, OBE, is the author of more than a dozen books. This article was first published in Dawn.

Avoiding constitutional face-off n Syed Emran Hossain


ur constitution is the solemn expression of the will of the people of Bangladesh. It is the supreme law of this land. If any law is inconsistent with this constitution, that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. This constitution is our pride, most beloved and respected since we achieved this after a nine-month War of Independence in 1971. Politics with this constitution is not something new in Bangladesh. Defamation of the constitution, misuse of constitutional power, and violations of the constitution are very popular means of blame games. Political parties who secure two-thirds majority in the parliament are entitled to bring any amendment to the constitution. Such provisions are not prima facie dreadful, but in a country like ours where politicians lack basic humanitarian attributes, such power can be lethal for the nation. The Constitution of the United States went through 27 amendments in the 238 years of it existence, and no amendment has been made in the last 22 years, whereas we have already made 15 amendments in the 43 years since independence. I am not against the frequent rate

of amendments, but am concerned with the idea of treating our beloved constitution as a weapon or shield to safeguard one’s political agenda. Recently, another controversy ignited with the oath-taking ceremony of 292 newly elected parliament members. On January 9, the speaker administrated the oaths of the newly elected members of the 10th National Parliament. The members of the ninth parliament are also there since it is not yet dissolved.

Both articles are in defiance and compliance of the constitution at the same time Therefore, right now we have more than 600 MPs in a parliament of 350 seats. The situation is surprising, but true. President Abdul Hamid invited the parliament leader to form a new government on January 12. The BNP is terming such oath-taking ceremony and formation of government as a violation of the constitution, and the

Awami League claims such actions are in consistency with the constitution. Before I put forward my opinion, I would like to mention a few relevant provisions of the constitution. Article 123(3) of the constitution says: “A general election of the members of Parliament shall be held - (a) in the case of a dissolution by reason of the expiration of its term, within the period of ninety days preceding such dissolution; and (b) in the case of a dissolution otherwise than by reason of such expiration, within ninety days after such dissolution. Provided that the persons elected at a general election under sub-clause (a) shall not assume office as members of Parliament except after the expiration of the term referred to therein.” Article 148(2A) says: “If, within three days next after publication through official Gazette of the result of a general election of members of Parliament under clause (3) of article 123, the person specified under the constitution for the purpose or such other person designated by that person for the purpose, is unable to, or does not, administer oath to the newly elected members of Parliament, on any account, the Chief Election Commissioner shall administer such oath within three days next thereafter, as if, he is the person specified under the constitution for the purpose.”

From the plain reading of Article 123, it appears that taking oath and forming government before the dissolution of the ninth national parliament on January 25 is unconstitutional. On the other hand, if we read Article 148, we understand that it is now a constitutional obligation to administer oath, since the official gazette of the election result was published. Therefore, I will term this predicament as a “face-off between constitutional provisions.” In this particular complex scenario, both the articles of the constitution are applicable, and the same are defiance and compliance of the constitution at the same time. Now, a few questions can arise, like how this complexity kicked off, who is responsible for this, and how it can be cured. The answers to the questions are all inter-related. First of all, the election could have been held a few days later, like just before January 24, in order to avoid the confusion. Or it could have been held under Article 123(3)(b), ie within 90 days after dissolution of the ninth parliament. On the other hand, the Election Commission could have avoided the controversy by publishing the gazette of the election result after a few days, as there is no legal bar for them to do that. If the gazette is published on January 23 or 24, and the oath takes

place on January 25, all the activities would have been in consistency with the constitution. Without keeping this in mind, the Election Commission hastily published the gazette, and the government is left with no option but to violate an article of the constitution to comply with another of the same.

In the future, both the government and the Election Commission should do their homework cautiously to avoid a constitutional face-off In a concluding remark, I would say that in one sense, the oath-taking by newly elected members is legal, but will remain debatable always. The newly elected should refrain from forming a cabinet until January 25 to remedy the present controversy a little. In the future, both the government and the Election Commission should do their homework cautiously on constitutional provisions regarding the holding of general elections to avoid a constitutional face-off. l Syed Emran Hossain is Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh.




Artcell finally returns n Punny Kabir Finally the big news for Artcell fans arrives: the progressive metal band is coming back with their third album. The vocalist of Artcell, Lincoln confirms Dhaka Tribune that they have signed a contract with G Series for their next album. With two studio albums Onno Shomoy (2002) and Oniket Prantor (2006), a number of singles contributed in different compilation albums and numerous live shows, Artcell ruled the country’s band music scenario for almost a decade. However, from 2010, the band’s activity came to a halt. The members seemed to have gotten involved with some personal clashes and rumours were there that they declared an end to all the activities of Artcell. Later, bassist Cezanne and drummer Shazu settled abroad and the fans, with massive disappointment, became used to the fact that the band is “no more.” But the demand of their reunion has always been there. The fans have been continuously posting their demand in the band’s Facebook page and other social media. And thanks to the Artcell members that they finally respond-

ed to the pleas of the sea of followers across the country! Lincoln said: “The immense popularity is a blessing and that is a key point for us to come back with our third album. We were never apart from the band. For a lengthy period, we went through some hard times and that created confusions among people. While talking about how they would manage to record with Cezannne and Shazu who are currently staying in Australia, Lincoln said: “They are sending their parts of music through internet. I and Ershad (lead guitarist) are taking We were never apart from the band. For a lengthy period, we went through some hard times and that created confusions among people. care of the rest.” He further added: “We are planning to do a big reunion concert when Cezanne and Shaju returns home for holiday.” However, Artcell was in a legal conflict with G series regarding a copyright issue filed on 2011. In this regard, Lincoln said: “As you know a copyright/ intellectual property right issue is not very common to go for court proceed-

Friday, January 17, 2014

LRB performs live today

ings in Bangladesh in general. So for, a legal remedy to certify the protection of intellectual rights of all our creative works from Onnoshomoy and Oniket prantor (both) released by G series and to overcome the confusions with copyright of those works, we had to patiently go through the formalities of court and Copyright Board of Bangladesh. And this battle finally was worth involving in, after the Copy Right Board issued an order clarifying the Intellectual rights of those works belonging to Artcell as the creative owner and G series holds the business rights. And on the basis of that order, around the end of 2013 the court concluded the case between Artcell and G series.” However, Lincoln clarifies: “Technically the case was filed by Artcell against their record label G series, but the core purpose of the two parties were not indifferent enough to be enemies of each other. Rather, both sought an authentic direction through a court order to protect the creative right along with business interest of a released musical work and thus benefit the industry overall in setting a legitimate standard to practice, avoiding certain confusions forever.” l

n Entertainment Desk

Suchitra Sen not yet out of danger n Entertainment Desk The condition of legendary Bengali actor Suchitra Sen, who is undergoing treatment at a nursing home for serious respiratory problems, was extremely weak, a medical bulletin said on Thursday. She is not yet out of danger, doctors said. “Her condition remains much the same as yesterday (Wednesday). Her vital parameters are stable,” said the brief bulletin released by the Belle Vue Clinic where Sen is being kept in the intensive therapy unit. Wednesday’s bulletin had described the 82-year-old actor as extremely weak with her oxygen saturation being maintained with the help of continuous oxygen therapy, nebulisation and chest physiotherapy. l

LRB, a legendary name in the history of Bangladeshi band music, will perform today evening at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre at 6:30pm. The famous band was founded in 1991 by Ayub Bachchu, who is the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist. LRB released its debut album entitled LRB 1 and 2 in 1992 which was a big hit in Bangladesh. With the passage of time, their music has been widely appreciated by music lovers in Bangladesh and abroad. LRB’s first concert abroad was in India in 1997 at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata. In 1998, the band travelled to USA where they played in 7 states of that country. The group then per-

formed at Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Japan, UK, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Australia, Singapore and Hongkong. They also has had the honuor of playing at the prestigious Madison Square Garden, New York. They also participated in several stage shows in prestigious venues in India and abroad such as the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, Science City Theater in Kolkata, Alpha Bangla, ETV Bangla, Nazrul Manch, Rabindra Shorobor, Guru Nanak University, Haldia Utshab, Durgapur University, and London Ananda Utshab Concert. LRB, at present comprises of Ayub Bachchu – lead vocalist and guitarist, Swapan—bass guitarist, Masud—guitarist, Romel - drums and Shamim Ahmed as sound engineer. l



DeReal Solo exhibition by Bahram Time: 3pm – 8pm Dhaka Art Center (DAC) House-60, Road-7A Dhanmondi

Sylvester Stallone to star in Rocky Balboa spin-off

Telefilm Shondhikhhon featuring a love triangle among Aupi Karim, Mahfuz Ahmed and Tarin will be aired on NTV at 2:35pm today.

n Entertainment Desk

Hollywood action star Sylvester Stallone is set to reprise his legendary character of Rocky Balboa in spin-off film Creed. It will show the 67-year-old actor as the ageing boxer training the grandson of his most famous opponent and friend Apollo Creed. “I’m supposed to be doing a film with Ryan Coogler, who did Fruitvale Station, called Creed. It’s very interesting because people think it would be Rocky VII, it’s not, I have a supporting role,” Stallone said. “It will be great to take that character, who’s actually not well, and pass on his knowledge while he still has time. I think it could be a great movie and a great challenge. It is going to happen,” he added. l

Bhager Manush Samoy Nattya Samprodaya Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm Experimental Theatre Hall Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Segun Bagicha

Nagor Alir Kichha Drishtipat Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm Studio Theatre Hall Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Segun Bagicha Dhaka

Rivers of the World — a river-thematic global exhibition— began yesterday on the premises of Rabindra Sarobar, Dhanmondi. The British Council Bangladesh and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Limited in Bangladesh jointly organised the event. The Bangladesh phase of the project showcases artworks by 10 groups of school students from Bangladesh and more works by other participating countries from all over the world. The exhibition is open for all and will continue till January 19.

Reality show Magic Bauliana airs on Maasranga TV tonight n Entertainment Desk Very little is known about the origins of the mystic minstrels, the Bauls of Bengal. They constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition and can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments. Lalon Fokir is regarded as the most important poet-practitioner of the Baul tradition.

To satisfy people’s thirst for the music of these root level philosophers who talk about the simple realities of life, a reality show based on Baul music, Magic Bauliana is being aired on Maasranga TV every Friday and Saturday at 9pm. In the competitive audition, sixty Baul musicians got nominated, among them, forty participants got selected by a jury panel consisting of Nashid Kamal, Milton Khondokar and Abu


Bakker Siddique. The set of the show has been placed in Ashulia under open sky. The set design emphasised on the folk motifs and fusion aesthetics. The judging panel of the competition is made up of Kiron Chandro Rai, Tapan Chowdhury and Kanak Chapa. Directed by Hasan Abidur Reza Jewel and Aual Reza, the show has been sponsored by Square Toiletries Ltd. l

Francisco Veres on Dhaka Cine Workshop n Afrose Jahan Chaity

A scene from Oass

A scene from Waiting for the Miracle

Seven Asian films to be screened today n Entertainment Desk Nineteen films including seven Asian films will be screened today at different venues across the capital. Four films will be screened at the main auditorium of National Museum from 10am to 9pm in the “Cinema of the World” and “Retrospective and Tribute” categories – Simurgh at 10:30am, Dendrologium at 3pm, Waiting for Miracle at 5:30pm and I’m Sleepy at 7:30pm. Five foreign films and one Bangladeshi film from Short and Independent and Spiritual section will be screened at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium from 10:30am to 9pm. These are, The Bag of Flour at 10:30am, Scattered Windows Connected Doors,

Chokhaunee from 1pm to3pm, Ure Jaoa Golpo (Tale of Flying Away), Algorithms from 3pm to 5:30pm and Nrityer Talay Talay at 7:30pm. From three sections, Australasian Competition, Women Filmmaker, and Children Section, five films will be screened at the Public Library auditorium - Queen at 10am, The Sealed Secret at 1pm, Light Breeze, Afghan Women Behind The Camera from 3pm to 5:30pm, Oass (The Dew Drop) at 5:30pm and Hush…Girl’s Don’t Scream at 7:30pm. In the Australasian Competition category, three films, including a Bangladeshi movie will be screened at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Gending Sriwijaya (The Robbers) at 10am, Constructors at 12pm and Oass (The Dew Drop) at 3pm. l


As part of the ongoing 13th edition of Dhaka International Film Festival, a total of 37 film enthusiasts including seven oversees students are participating in the Dhaka Cine Workshop. This is the fourth edition of the workshop that was introduced in 2008 as a parallel event to the biennale film festival designed to utilise the ambiance, resource and coming together of cine professionals as well as creative talents, old and new. International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh – IFCAB in association with the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh organised the workshop which began on January 12 and will end today with the screening of around seven short films made by the participants during the workshop. From script writing to shooting and editing—the workshop facilitated the participants with logistic and intellectual support. The participants have made short feature and documentary films on different subjects like traditional Benarosi Saree, rickshaw and more. The workshop has been an intensive week-long academic work with creative professionals from diverse fields of the film industry as speakers and moderators. Internationally acclaimed Portuguese director Francisco Veres Machado is the course coordinator of this year’s

as well as a professional can learn and practice the elements necessary for international standard film making. My first concern was making them aware about the new media. It is crucial as they can always learn from new inventions and adopt them to compete with the international film market. Another practice was emphasised on, to pick up an idea and present it onscreen successfully.

workshop. Dhaka Tribune caught up with the filmmaker: Did you find it tough to conduct the workshop? This is the first time I got the opportunity to work with university faculties, students, film-makers, journalists and beginners at the same time and it’s really very tough to conduct a workshop with such a diverse group. What are your observations on the Bangladeshi participants? I found them very professional and in harmony with each other, very understanding. What you are expecting from the participants? The entire programme was planned with immaculate precision, so that a beginner,

Tell us about yourself and your work. I began my career in the film industry as an actor and then moved on to producing, editing and directing. I taught at Universidade Moderna de Lisboa where I founded the first private film school in Portugal – IAT (Institute of Audiovisual Technology). I also teach in Goa University – India, Escola Superior de Tecnologias de Abrantes – Portugal, and London University – UK. I love to travel and this is my first visit to Bangladesh. For the last ten years, I am residing in India. I love to go with the flow. Most of my works are documentaries and I also love making feature films. I am conducting international film making workshops all over the world. What is the current film you are working on? I am working on a documentary about the identity of Goa. It has been a passionately debating question. Goa was a Portuguese colony and now within a span of 60 short years, it became one of the richest states of India. l

Did you know? Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman are the only men’s doubles team of Australia in 1951 to win all four Grand Slam doubles titles – a feat that hasn’t yet been repeated


Friday, January 17, 2014

0 5 8

14 City crush


Rovers in FA Cup reply



15 Sri Lanka battle

hard against Pakistan spinners

ACC chief squashes Asia Cup rumours n Minhaz Uddin Khan

Chairman of BCB Media Committee Jalal Younus (L) speaks while ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq (C) and BCB acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury look on during the ACC press conference at a city hotel yesterday COURTESY

ASIA CUP 2014 SCHEDULE Tuesday 25 February Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Fatullah Wednesday 26 February Bangladesh v India at Fatullah Thursday 27 February Afghanistan v Pakistan at Fatullah Friday 28 February India v Sri Lanka at Fatullah Saturday 1 March Bangladesh v Afghanistan at Fatullah Sunday 2 March India v Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla Monday 3 March Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla Tuesday 4 March Bangladesh v Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla Wednesday 5 March Afghanistan v India at Sher-e-Bangla Thursday 6 March Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla Saturday 8 March Final at Sher-e-Bangla

Five-team Asia Cup progresses as planned n Mazhar Uddin The speculations and doubts surrounding the Asia Cup not taking place in Bangladesh were put to bed after Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq confirmed that the 12th edition of the Asian event will be held in Bangladesh from February 25. In an ACC press conference yesterday, Ashraful also confirmed the participation of Afghanistan, for the first time, along with the hosts, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The five-team tournament will get underway with the match between defending champions Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Fatullah before Bangladesh get on the field against India on Feb-

ruary 26. After five matches at Fatullah the tournament will move to the Sher-eBangla National Stadium with the final scheduled on March 8. The introduction of Afghanistan, who obtained their ODI status in 2009, increased the number of matches from seven to 11. All matches of the round-robin format tournament will be day-night affairs. “We are delighted to be having the Asia Cup in Bangladesh again,” said ACC chief, after the signing of the Host Nation Agreement with the Bangladesh Cricket Board. “The success of the last event in Bangladesh, where there was crowd support for all teams, not just the home nation, made it a terrific event. After what has been a particular-

ly difficult time for the citizens of Bangladesh, people can once again unite in support of their country, their visitors and the Asia Cup - an event which over the years has held up the cause of a united Asia, the new centre of cricket. “STAR TV are the rights-holders of the event, having taken on broadcast and commercial rights from the previous holders where Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, now with Afghanistan, are guaranteed to play each other at least once,” he added. The total prize money of the event is $260,000, with the winning team receiving $60,000 and the runner-up side $30,000. The man of the tournament will be awarded $12,500. l

The declaration of the fixture for the 12th Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh next month meant the multi-nation tournament is on track. At the same time, it also meant that all the speculation and talks of the tournament being shifted to some other country due to security concerns has beenproved to be baseless. In the recent past, there have been rumours that the tournament would be shifted to Sri Lanka or India and that the respective cricket boards have been asked to prepare venues in the case. However, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) CEO Syed Ashraful Huq ruled out such possibilities. “There is no way that the tournament is being shifted to any other country and we (ACC) have never told any board to get ready for it,” said Ashraful to the media yesterday.  “We are delighted to be having the Asia Cup in Bangladesh again,” he added, after the signing of the Host Nation Agreement with the Bangladesh Cricket Board.   “The success of the last event in Bangladesh, where the support of the crowds for all teams, not just the home nation, made for a terrific event. After what has been a particularly difficult time for the citizens of Bangladesh, people can once again unite in support of their country, their visitors and the Asia Cup, an event which over the years has held up the cause of a united Asia, the new centre of cricket.”  The tournament is scheduled to begin on February 25 at Fatullah, with the final on March 8 at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.    Five ODI nations – India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and recently included Afghanistan -will take part in the 13-day competition.  Off the four visiting teams, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had raised concerns about their participation on security grounds and the anti-Pakistan

sentiment in the country. However, the ACC CEO informed the teams’ participation was subject to security clearance by their respective boards, but added he was confident all five nations would take part. Security representatives from the PCB are due in Dhaka on Saturday, as part of the ICC’s security meeting on Monday.  “Pakistan’s security officer will arrive here on January 18 to take part in the ICC’s security meeting which will, I am sure, give a clean report that there is no problem at the moment. The two officials of Sri Lanka Cricket are very close to me and they too, I hope will give a clean report,” informed Ashraful.  He further said that the tournament will go ahead as planned even if one of the teams pulls out.  “Even if one team does not come, the tournament will go ahead,” said Ashraful. “But I am sure they will all be here.”  He further confirmed that Pakistan are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on February 22 and attend training for the next two days, and play the tournament opener in Fatullah against Sri Lanka on February 25.  “The Asia Cup will go on even if any team decides not to participate in it,” Ashraful said. “Earlier in 1986 in Sri Lanka, India didn’t participate while in 1991, Pakistan didn’t participate in India,” he added. The ACC CEO also informed that the organisation has gained a commitment from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which is opposing the government for not having elections under a caretaker government, to not interfere in cricketing matters. “I have been informed by BNP’s authorised spokesperson that they will support the event. But I can’t disclose a name. Those who believe that the Asia Cup will be shifted elsewhere are living in a fool’s paradise,” he said. l

Russell beat Feni, move to top n Shishir Hoque Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra returned to winning ways in the Bangladesh Premier League with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Soccer Club Feni at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. The reigning champions had to wait till the 78th minute to get their first goal, a header from Shakil Ahmed, before Moroccan forward Youness Roux doubled the lead just a minute before the estimated time. Mithun Chowdhury put an impressive display setting up both the goals for Russell. Soccer Club, who held Abahani Limited to a draw in their previous match, continued with their defensive strategy and were successful in resisting the Russell attackers most of the time. Russell for their part, were desperate to salvage three points after a shocking defeat to Brothers Union in the last game, which ended their 8-match unbeaten streak in the league. Last-year’s treble winners kicked off

the game brightly and dominated their opponents throughout the match but struggled to find hole in the Feni defence. Feni meanwhile, mostly relied on counter attacks but were unable to find many attacking options. They started the game without the service of goalkeeper Md Nehal and midfielder Motiur Rahman Rintu due to injury. Russell initiated the first attack a minute into the game. A through pass from Mithun allowed Youness Roux into the left of the penalty area but the Moroccan shot straight to the keeper. Four minutes later, Russell had another attack. Youness Roux even sent the ball into the net after a cross from Mithun but the goal was disallowed as the linesman raised the flag for offside. Roux had another shot on target in the 25th minute but his effort from outside the six-yard box was saved by Uzzal. Robin passed the rebound to Mithun, whose shot was blocked by Feni defender Liton. Roux wasted another chance ten minutes later as well.

Siddikur posts 71 in first round n Tribune Desk

Siddikur Rahman started his new year on an indifferent note as the Bangladeshi golfer carded one-under-par 71 on the opening round to share the 31st spot at the King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin yesterday. However, Hua Hin native Prom Meesawatposted carded seven-under-par 65 to grab a share of the first round lead with Sweden’s RikardKarlberg at the $1m showcase event. Though this is the final tournament to earn places with Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in March, all the contenders are up for making some good money to enter in top four of the Asian Tour Order of Merit. Siddikur, currently on third position in that order, carded three birdies along with two bogies on the windy first day. He surly needs some good strokes in the remaining rounds to keep his position solid as Lahiri showed some decent skills to go joint 8th. l

In the 70th minute, Youness Roux provided a low cross for substitute midfielder Sabuj Kumar Biswas but Reza cleared it for a corner. Sheikh Russell finally broke through the Feni defence in the 78th minute. Unmarked national midfielder Shakil Ahmed ran forward to meet Mithun Chowdhury’s cross from the right and headed the ball into the open net at the near post. Feni came out from their defensive shell and went all out for an equalizer. Russell took advantage of the change and extended the lead in the 89th minute. National forward Mithun Chowdhury was the architect of the goal once again. Receiving the ball from Sabuj Kumar, Mithun run down the right flank before sliding the ball into the path of Youness Roux, who made no mistake in smashing it home from close range. With the result, Russell moved to the top of the table with nine points from four matches, one more than Sheikh Jamal. Feni remained at the bottom with just one point. l

US coaches to train age-level footballers

n Raihan Mahmood Former USA and Los Angeles Galaxy footballer Tony Sanneh and former United States women’s national team defender Linda Hamilton are expected to arrive in Dhaka on February 3 to conduct a training session with the agelevel footballers. There will be four groups trained under Tony and Linda. Tony will train the U-13 to16 and U-17 to 21 men’s teams while Linda will conduct girls’ U-13 to 16 and U-17 to 21. There will be 25 players in each age-level group. BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag said that the duo will train the age-level groups for three days from February 4-6 before they play two exhibition matches at the BFF artificial turf on February 7. Linda made 82 appearances for the USA while 42-year old Tony ended his 15-year long senior career on 2009. l

Sheikh Russell KC’s Moroccan Youness Roux (25) celebrates after scoring against Soccer Club Feni during their Bangladesh Premier League match at BNS yesterday MUMIT M

Premier Hockey to start without MSC

Provisional WT20 squad declared n Tribune Desk

n Raihan Mahmood

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday announced the provisional 30-man squad, which every board needs to submit to the International Cricket Council before a world event. l

For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, the Premier Division Hockey League is commencing tomorrow without traditional powerhouse Dhaka Mohammedan. Mariners, Wari and Bangladesh Sporting are the other three non participating clubs in the top flight hockey league of the country consequentially making it a seven-team affair. Green Delta Insurance remained as the sponsors. Mohammedan, also the defending champions, and the other three clubs have revolted against the current executive committee of the hockey federation and boycotted the Premier Division Hockey League. With lesser number of team in the league, the hockey federation has decided that

there will be no relegation. However the federation has altered the format of the league and introduced a Super Four phase to decide the champions. If the points of the top two teams remain same in the Super Four phase the title will be decided through a play-off. The treasurer of the federation and the tournament secretary Kazi Moeenuzzman Pila said there are no directions of the International Hockey Federation regarding the absence of the four clubs while vice-president Abdur Rashid Sikder said the league will not lose any colour despite the absence of Mohammedan and the fate of the four clubs will be decided later. The seven participants of the league are Abahani, Usha, Ajax, Sonali Bank, Azad Sporting, Shadharan Bima and Wanderers. l

SQUAD Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Hoque, Mahmudullah, Shamsur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Muktar Ali, Shohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Anamul Haque, Shabbir Rahman, Shakib al Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Nasir Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Elias Sunny, Junaed Siddique, Ziaur Rahman, Arafat Sunny, Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mohammed Mithun, Jahurul Islam, Alauddin Babu, Shafiul Islam, Shubhashis Roy, Abdur Razzak, Soumya Sakar, Imrul Kayes, Taijul Islam, Mohammad Al-Amin, Farhad Reza




Friday, January 17, 2014

Ronaldo on target as Real knock out Osasuna n Reuters, Barcelona

Manchester City's Argentinian forward Sergio Aguero (C) celebrates after scoring the fourth goal with his teammates during their English FA Cup Third Round Replay football match against Blackburn Rovers at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Wednesday AFP

City crush Rovers n Reuters, London Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko scored twice each as Premier League high-fliers Manchester City comprehensively quashed second tier Blackburn Rovers’ hopes of causing an FA Cup shock with an emphatic 5-0 third-round replay win on Wednesday. After being held to a surprising draw 11 days ago, City proved far too strong for Blackburn with Negredo bagging his 20th and 21st goals of the season in two minutes either side of halftime before strike partner Edin Dzeko got in on the act. His two goals came either side of one from Sergio Aguero, who netted a minute after coming on for his first appearance following a month-long injury absence. Last season’s beaten finalists City will face Watford at home in the fourth round. “I don’t think it was easy,” Dzeko told ITV. “Especially, in the first half.

“The first goal was very important for us as well as the goal at the start of the second half. And as usual we then scored some more.” City fans who expected another goal-scoring procession would have been disappointed by a largely unexciting first half in which Blackburn dug in, with little ambition to break. The hosts made eight changes to


Negredo 45+1, 47, Dzeko 67, 79, Aguero 73



their side and while the five-times Cup winners still fielded a stellar cast, without the injured Samir Nasri, stringpuller David Silva and powerhouse Yaya Toure they lacked creativity in midfield. City’s passing and decision-making were sub-standard and chances were scarce before the hosts broke the dead-

lock in first-half stoppage time. Negredo had been a willing runner up front and was rewarded with his 20th goal of the season, a towering header on the run after Fernandinho had whipped and excellent cross to the far post in a rare moment of quality. The striker’s 21st of the season arrived two minutes after the break, a neat finish from halftime substitute Aleksandar Kolarov’s fantastic crossfield pass, with Negredo flicking the ball over Blackburn’s advancing keeper with the outside of his left boot. Dzeko’s first goal on 67 minutes made the game safe and was an equally stylish finish with the Bosnia striker swivelling in the area to rifle Jesus Navas’s near post cross into the top corner. City are not in need of striking reinforcements, but Aguero came off the bench to bolster the attacking options and found the net immediately with a low finish before Dzeko added the final flourish with another near-post effort 10 minutes from time. l

Messi misses out on Uefa’s team of the year

Socceroo star Emerton retires

n Reuters

Australia’s third-most capped player Brett Emerton brought an end to a glittering career Thursday announcing his retirement due to chronic back injury. The 34-year-old Sydney FC stalwart, who earned 94 caps for the Socceroos, has made just nine appearances this ALeague season. “Injuries have plagued my last couple of years,” Emerton told a news conference. I’m almost 35 now... it catches up with everyone at some stage.” The former Blackburn Rovers skipper, who played at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and scored 20 times for his country, said he would remain involved in the game including coaching children. “My playing career is over but my involvement in football won’t end. I’ll be working with the Football Federation (Australia) in the future,” he said. l

Lionel Messi, who lost his World Player of the Year crown to Cristiano Ronaldo this week, has failed to make the Team of the Year picked by users of European soccer governing body Uefa’s website. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo were picked as forwards in the team which was dominated by players from the Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga. Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil was the only current Premier League player to make the line-up and there were none at all from Italy’s Serie A. UEFA said that 6.3 million people cast votes in the poll on its website. Real Madrid and Portugal forward Ronaldo was included for a record

seventh successive year and Paris St Germain’s Brazilian Thiago Silva was the only non-European. l

SQUAD Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany); Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain), Thiago Silva (Paris St Germain and Brazil), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany), David Alaba (Bayern Munich and Austria); Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund and Germany) Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid/Arsenal and Germany), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur/ Real Madrid and Wales), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France); Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain and Sweden)

Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal as 10-man Real Madrid beat Osasuna 2-0 on Wednesday to qualify for the King’s Cup quarter-finals 4-0 on aggregate. Osasuna held Barcelona and Real to draws at El Sadar in the league this season but the visitors, fired by the confidence of a 2-0 first-leg win, had far too much for them in attack. Ronaldo, named Fifa World Player of the Year on Monday, was fortunate to score, however, as his free kick slipped through the hands of keeper Andres Fernandez after 20 minutes. Angel Di Maria slotted in the second to seal a comfortable win even though Real defender Fabio Coentrao was given his second yellow card six minutes from time. “We knew it was going to be difficult and that Osasuna were going to come out strong, so it was good to get the opening goal. The shots from Cristiano are difficult to stop as they move around a lot,” Real midfielder Asier Illarramendi told reporters. “We worked hard but now we need to keep going and next we have Betis in the league at the weekend.* “Real put out a strong side but Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were left out of the attack with Isco given the unfamiliar role of leading the line.”

As Real began to relax towards the end of the first half, Osasuna threatened and Alvaro Cejudo hit the woodwork with a 25-yard drive while Miguel De las Cuevas forced a smart save from Iker Casillas. Their heads dropped, though, when Di Maria fired home a Jese Rodriguez cross 10 minutes into the second half. With the match all but won Coentrao needlessly fouled Roberto Torres and was given a second booking but Real still sealed an easy win. Espanyol survived a scare as they went a goal down having lost the first leg 1-0 at second division Alcorcon but they responded with a 4-2 win and 4-3 aggregate success. Athletic Bilbao also knocked out Real Betis and Levante eliminated Rayo Vallecano. Champions Barcelona take on Getafe on Thursday following a 4-0 victory in the first leg. l

RESULTS Espanyol



Athletic Bilbao


Real Betis



Real Madrid



Rayo Vallecano

Simao 9, S Garcia 23-P Plano 4, Alvarez 83, Pizzi 86 Javito 80 Espanyol win 4-3 on aggregate Mikel Rico 23, 67 Athletic Bilbao win 2-1 on aggregate

Ronaldo 21, Di Maria 56 Real Madrid win 4-0 on aggregate

Barral 43 Levante win 1-0 on aggregate

Barca under investigation over Neymar deal

Chelsea re-sign Matic from Benfica n Reuters, London

n Reuters, Barcelona

Chelsea have re-signed midfielder Nemanja Matic from Benfica, three years after selling him to the Portuguese side, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. Chelsea did not reveal the transfer fee but British media reports said they had paid 21 million pounds to re-sign the Serbian international, who left Stamford Bridge as a makeweight in the deal that brought defender David Luiz to Chelsea in January 2011. “I am very happy for this opportunity to be back at this club,” Matic, 25, said on the club website ( Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho added: “He has grown as a player in Portugal and has become a fantastic all-round midfielder. I am sure he will become a very important member of the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.” l

Barcelona’s payment of 40 million euros ($54.75 million) to a company owned by Neymar’s father as part of the Brazil forward’s 57.1 million euros transfer fee is being investigated by Spanish state prosecutors for misappropriation of funds. Neymar was paraded as the Catalan side’s main signing ahead of the season, after they beat off competition from Real Madrid, to partner Argentine Lionel Messi in attack. However, the details of the contract were shrouded in mystery and a club member, Jordi Cases, having not received a reply from Barcelona for more information, took legal action against club president Sandro Rosell. Rosell denies any wrongdoing and the club reacted angrily after the state prosecutor asked the courts to open proceedings, saying Neymar’s sign-

ing was “complex” and an example of “business engineering” and that they would act forcefully to defend the honour of the club and its president. Spanish media have reported that an agreement was made between Barcelona and N&N, a company owned by Neymar’s father, which gave the Catalan side the right to buy Neymar in 2014 in return for a downpayment of 10 million euros. The player’s price would be 40 million euros but if either side broke the agreement then that sum would have to be paid as a “penalty clause” which is what local media say happened because Barca bought him a year earlier in June 2013. A further 17.1 million euros was paid as a transfer fee to Neymar’s former club Santos in Brazil, Barca said last month. The legality of the agreement has been investigated by prosecutors who have examined the contracts and the club’s accounts and believe there may be a case to answer. l

n AFP, Sydney

AC Milan's Keisuke Honda (C) shoots to score against Spezia during their Italian Cup match at San Siro in Milan on Wednesday REUTERS

n AFP, London

Napoli, Siena into last eight Lyon sink OM in League Cup Milan, n

Croatian international striker Nikica Jelavic joined Hull City from Premier League rivals Everton on Wednesday after signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Tigers. The 28-year-old, who has joined Hull for a reported club record £6.5 million ($10.6 million, 7.8 million euros) rising to £7.5 million if they stay in the Premier League, is set to go into Tigers manager Steve Bruce’s side to play Norwich City on Saturday. “As soon as the manager called me I realised straight away that he was really interested in signing me and that it is a great opportunity for me to come here,” Jelavic told Hull’s website on Wednesday. l

Lyon’s recent improvement continued as they sank Marseille 2-1 at the Stade de Gerland on Wednesday to progress to the semi-finals of the French League Cup. Goals either side of half-time from Yoann Gourcuff and Bafetimbi Gomis took OL through, with Andre-Pierre Gignac scoring a late penalty for the visitors, and OL’s win means they have now lost just once - against Paris SaintGermain - in their last 15 games in all competitions. Lyon coach Remi Garde said the victory was deserved but added it should be put into context. “We are happy to qualify obviously

Hull sign Jelavic

n AFP, Paris

but it is a Cup match so one shouldn’t draw too many conclusions,” he said. His Marseille counterpart Jose Anigo concurred that Lyon deserved to go through and was scathing about his forwards. l







Djordjevic 48, 52, Vizcarrondo 77, Gakpe 87

Nivet 33, Gimbert 43, Cabot 90+2 Gourcuff 24, Gomis 74


Digard 17, Kolodziejczak 72, Cvitanich 85


Nsikulu 69


Gignac 89-P

AFP, Milan

Japanese international midfielder Keisuke Honda scored his first goal for AC Milan and Jose Callejon struck a double for Napoli as the Serie A giants sealed their places in the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup on Wednesday. Honda’s goal helped Milan see off second tier La Spezia 3-1 while Callejon’s double came in Napoli’s 3-1 win over Atalanta. Serie B side Siena stunned Catania 4-1 to also reach the last eight of the competition, in which Lazio, Roma, Udinese, Fiorentina and Juventus won their respective ties played previously. Honda made his debut for Milan in

Serie A last week when he came off the bench and came close to scoring in a 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo which prompted the sacking of coach Massimiliano Allegri.

RESULTS Napoli Catania AC Milan

3-1 1-4 3-1

Atalanta Siena La Spezia

Caretaker coach Mauro Tassotti was in charge Wednesday at the San Siro and gave Honda his first start although new coach, Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, arrived in time to see the 2nd half. Brazilian Robinho opened the scoring for the hosts on 28 minutes, with

striker Giampaolo Pazzini doubling the lead three minutes later. Honda struck two minutes after the restart to all but wrap up the win, with Nicola Ferrari hitting a consolation for the visitors in second-half injury time. Napoli were a class above Atalanta although there was controversy at the San Paolo, where Lorenzo Insigne’s second goal was perhaps offside and protests from Atalanta led to the expulsion of veteran Colombian defender Mario Yepes. Atalanta opened the scoring on 13 minutes thanks to a Giuseppe De Luca tap-in following a counter-attack, only for Callejon to level a minute later with a superb volley from a tight angle from Anthony Reveillere’s cross. l




Friday, January 17, 2014


Football tournament starts today The second football tournament of the season, organised by Liverpool FC Supporters of Bangladesh (LFCSBD) Clash of the Kopites: Season 2 will kick off at the Banani Club Ground today. The tournament is being sponsored by Pran FootBall Gum. A total of 12 teams, split into four groups, are taking part in the two event. The teams are Carra’s Warriors, Dynamites of Dalglish, Macca’s Mavens (Group A), Heroes of Hansen, Keegan’s knights, Mamma’s Hammans (Group B), Barnes’ Left Foot, Bengal Rush, Fowler’s Red Platoon (Group C), Berger Brawlers, Desi Heskeys, Hyypia Hyenas (Group D). –Tribune Desk

Pakistan cricket writer completes 400 Tests n AFP, Sharjah

Ecclestone graft trial to start in April: German court

Formula One commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone is expected to go on trial on bribery charges in Germany in late April, a Munich court said Thursday. He was charged last July in relation to a $44 million (32 million euro) payment he made to former German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky which was linked to the sale of the Formula One championship rights in 2006. “According to current plans, the trial is set to start at the end of April,” the Munich regional court said in a statement. The 83-year-old motor-racing magnate has repeatedly denied he did anything wrong. –AFP

Powell says therapist injected him The former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell told a Jamaican disciplinary hearing that he received several injections from his physical therapist. The 31-year-old Jamaican sprint star said he received “four injections,” including vitamin B12, from Christopher Xuereb, who Powell had been working with for two months. “It took me four weeks to have confidence in him,” Powell told the three-member panel. The panel also asked if Xuereb was the first person outside of a doctor to give him injections. –AFP

West Brom accept Hull bid for striker Long Hull City were granted permission to open talks with West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long on Thursday after having an undisclosed offer for the Irishman accepted. Hull completed the signing of Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic from Everton on Wednesday for a reported club-record initial fee of £6.5 million ($10.6 million, 7.8 million euros) and are now pressing ahead to further strengthen their strike-force. “We began talking to Shane about a new contract last spring and, during the ongoing negotiations, we made him two offers which would have significantly increased his salary,” West Brom sporting director Richard Garlick told the club’s website. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Sony Six NBA 2013-14 6:00AM Indiana v New York 8:30AM Houston v Oklahoma City 12:00AM Pakistan v Sri Lanka 3rd Test, Day 2 Ten Sports Hero Hockey World League Final 01:15PM Match 17, 18, 19, 20 Star Sports 1 9:10AM Australia v England Second ODI Ten Golf 10:00AM Asian Tour 2014 Kings Cup, Day 2 3:00PM European Tour 2014 Abu Dhabi Championship, Day 2 Star Sports 4 2:00AM Australian Open 2:00AM La Liga Malaga v Valencia Ten HD 10:00PM Ram Slam T20 2014 Lions v Titans 1:30AM French Ligue 1 Saint Etienne v LOSC Lille

Pakistan bowler Junaid Khan (2R) celebrates dismissing unseen Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara during the opening day of their third and final Test match at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium in the Gulf emirate of Sharjah yesterday AFP

Sri Lanka battle hard against Pakistan spinners n AFP, Sharjah Sri Lanka battled hard against Pakistan’s spinners led by Saeed Ajmal to reach 220-5 at close on the opening day of the third Test in Sharjah on Thursday. Ajmal took 2-62 to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 166-5 before Angelo Mathews (24) and Prasanna Jayawardene (28) saw off the day with a 54-run unfinished stand on a spin-friendly Sharjah stadium pitch. Pakistan were left to rue a dropped catch by paceman Mohammad Talha when Mathews had yet to get off the mark, while a leg-before decision against Prasanna was turned down on referral -- two lapses which denied Pakistan the chance to take full control. Pakistan took the second new ball after 87 overs with Sri Lanka on 206-5, but Mathews, who hit a career best 157 not out, and Prasanna, who helped Sri Lanka to salvage a draw in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, batted sensibly. Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the second match in Dubai by nine wickets. The first Test ended in a draw. Spinner Abdul Rehman admitted Mathews catch had made a big difference. Pakistan grabbed the key wickets

of Kumar Sangakkara (52) and Mahela Jayawardene (47) on either side of tea. Sangakkara flicked a straight drive into the hands of mid-wicket from paceman Junaid Khan, two balls after completing his half-century. The left-hander could have been dismissed on 14 when he gloved a miscued sweep to Younis Khan at slip off Rehman, but Indian umpire Sundaran Ravi turned down a vociferous appeal.

SCORECARD, DAY 1 Sri Lanka Ist innings D. Karunaratne c Younis b Rehman 34 K. Silva c Sarfraz b Talha 17 K. Sangakkara c Manzoor b Junaid 52 M. Jayawardene c Ali b Ajmal 47 D. Chandimal c Shafiq b Ajmal 11 A. Mathews not out 24 P. Jayawardene not out 28 Extras: (lb5, nb2) 7 Total: (for five wkts; 90 overs) 220 Fall of wickets 1-31 (Silva), 2-65 (Karunaratne), 3-125 (Sangakkara), 4-159 (Jayawardene), 5-166 (Chandimal). Bowling Junaid 17-3-44-1, Talha 20-2-64-1 (nb2), Ajmal 29-7-62-2, Rehman 24-9-45-1

Unfortunately Pakistan did not challenge the decision while television replays showed the ball had hit the batsman’s glove. Sangakkara took full advantage of the lucky escape, hitting Junaid for his fifth boundary to reach his 44th halfcentury but perished soon after. Jayawardene, who hit 129 in Sri Lanka’s nine wicket win in the second Test in Dubai, hit two sixes and five boundaries during a 108-ball knock but edged a turning ball and was smartly caught at short-leg. Dinesh Chandimal did not stay long at the crease, as he miscued a drive off Ajmal and was caught by a running Asad Shafiq at mid-on after making 11. Pakistan had a good start as they removed both Sri Lankan openers Kaushal Silva (17) and Dimuth Karunaratne on either side of lunch. Paceman Mohammad Talha forced an edge off Silva in his second spell to leave Sri Lanka on 31-1. Silva -- who has made 81, 95 and 58 in the series -- hit one boundary. Left-hander Karunaratne hit two boundaries and a six before he edged left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman in the first over after lunch and was caught by Younis Khan in the slips. l

Veteran Pakistani cricket journalist Qamar Ahmed became only the third man in history to cover 400 Test matches on Thursday, at the third match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Sharjah. The 76-year-old, fondly known as Q to friends and cricketers around the world, follows British journalist John Woodcock of The Times and former Australian captain-turned-writer and commentator Richie Benaud to the milestone. Ahmed covered cricket’s 1,000th Test, between Pakistan and New Zealand at Hyderabad, Pakistan, in 1984 and the 2,000th, between England and India at Lord’s in 2011. He has also clocked up 732 one-day internationals and eight World Cup tournaments. l

Azarenka on the march as Sharapova wobbles n AFP, Melbourne Defending champion Victoria Azarenka breezed into the Australian Open third round Thursday in contrast to Maria Sharapova, who survived a big scare in sapping heat. The two-time title-holder crushed Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 6-4 in 88 minutes, benefiting from the roof being shut on centre court for her night match after another day of

scorching heat. There was no such luck for third seed Sharapova, the 2008 champion, who endured a brutal three-hour marathon against Karin Knapp in temperatures touching 42 Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit) before the tournament’s extreme heat policy was enforced. She had her work cut out with a third set lasting nearly two hours before downing Knapp 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 to set up a clash with France’s Alize Cornet. Caroline Wozniacki, who this week said she had never been happier after getting engaged to golf star Rory McIlroy, also had a wobble against unseeded American Christina McHale. The Dane, seeded 10, blasted through the first set 6-0 but her form then deserted her. She won just one game in the second before regrouping to take the third 6-3. Another former world number one, Jelena Jankovic, seeded eight, also progressed, as did fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, a quarter-finalist here in all of the last three years. Romanian 11th seed Simona Halep and 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova also survived on a day where play was halted for some four hours on the outside courts due to the heat. l

Haitian Pascal ready to fire in Bangladesh

No sweat for Nadal, Federer, Murray at Australian Open

n Raihan Mahmood

n AFP, Melbourne

Pascal Miliien, the Haitian international, is looking forward to generate pace for defending champions Sheikh Russell in the Bangladesh Premier League. The 27-year old attacking midfielder arrived in the capital yesterday and was watching his team play Feni Soccer at the big bowl and the slow pace of game caught his eye. “I have watched the first half and I don’t know, I found it a little slow. Whatever it is, I have to pick up the speed, and it’s my game to go fast,” said Pascal, who was born in Haiti, but moved to Lakeland, Florida as a teenager. He played his youth club soccer for HC United. He attended Auburndale High School, where he totaled 114 goals in three seasons with 40 assists and was named 2005 Florida Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year. Pascal explained his late arrival. “I was a little bit late because my father was sick and I have to take care of my family. I also have a foundation or academy where I have to take care of the kids. That’s why I had to go home, now I have a four months contact here,” said the Haitian.  Pascal has played 14 international matches, the last of which was against El Salvador when he scored four goals and played alongside good friend Sony Norde, who is playing for Sheikh Jamal. Last season, he played in Sligo Rovers FC in Ireland premiership, where his team finished third and won the F.A. I. Cup “Sony told me about Bangladesh.

Title-contenders Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray reached the Australian Open third round unscathed Thursday after extreme heat forced organisers to suspend play and close the stadium roofs. World number one Nadal, chasing his second Australian crown, overcame rising Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 under the closed roof on Rod Laver Arena. Nadal won match point not long after his great Grand Slam rival Federer wrapped up a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) win over Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic on Hisense Arena. British fourth seed Andy Murray strung together an extraordinary winning sequence of 23 points to beat French qualifier Vincent Millot 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 in the night match on the main court. Spanish top seed Nadal needed one hour and 53 minutes before extinguishing the 570th-ranked Kokkinakis in their first-ever meeting. Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Federer, playing away from the main Rod Laver Arena court for the first time in 10 years, was in exquisite touch romping through the opening two sets in 54 minutes. The Swiss maestro blazed away for 52 winners, six service breaks and 11 aces to control his match with the 99th-ranked Slovenian.

He told me that football in this part of the world is a bit competitive. Whatever it is I am looking forward to put on my best,” said Pascal. “I came here to play as I want to travel. I have played in America, I have played in Europe, now I have arrived here I want to gain experience and prove myself. Sony is playing here, I have seen a number of players coming here when I was in Malaysia.” Regarding his current condition, Pascal said, “I cannot adjudge myself at the moment. I have been running and lifting as per the instructions of my personal trainer. I think its football and I’m used to it, I don’t have any injuries. I have to play and I think it will be ok, I am looking forward to get on the field.” He seemed to be a bit disturbed when a comparison with Sony Norde was raised. “Sony is Sony, I have a lot of respect for him but I am Pascal. I am here to do the best for my team. I don’t like any comparisons, I won’t compete with anybody apart from me,” said the Haitian. l

Kavcic could only shake his head and marvel at the brilliance of the four-time Australian Open champion, although he came more into the match in the final set when he forced a tiebreaker. But Federer played the pressure points the better to finish well on top in front of an adoring Australian crowd. Murray, a three-time beaten finalist in Melbourne, was down two breaks in the final set against the 267th-ranked Millot, but reeled off the last 23 points to get a double break and serve out for the match. Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also profited from the heat-prompted switch to indoor conditions to breeze

past Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-4 and into the last 32. Japan’s Kei Nishikori mastered Dusan Lajovic to advance to the third round in straight sets. The Japanese 16th seed kept the match to just one hour 49 minutes before prevailing 6-1, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) over the Serb. American Donald Young upset Italian 24th seed Andreas Seppi in five sets, and Spain’s 31st seed Fernando Verdasco was knocked out by Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili in another five-setter. Power-serving Canadian Milos Raonic blasted 27 aces in ousting Romania’s Victor Hanescu in straight sets.l

Switzerland's Roger Federer walks on court during his men's singles match against Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia on day four of the Australian Open yesterday AFP



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Friday, January 17, 2014

Fund diverted to pay salaries n Asif Showkat Kallol

Nurul Amin, of Dinajpur, sits silently in front of the rubbles of Rana Plaza yesterday. Nurul does not expect to find his daughter Bilkis alive anymore but he cannot give up hope as lots of bones and skulls have been found at the spot RAJIB DHAR


ACC to charge 51 officials n Tribune Report The Anti-Corruption Commission will soon press charges against 51 top executives of Destiny Group including its President and former army chief M Harun-ur-Rashid and Managing Director Mohammad Rafiqul Amin for their alleged involvement in the embezzlement and siphoning of Tk4,119 crore from clients’ deposits. “M Rafiqul Amin was the main accused behind the irregularities while Destiny Group President Harun-urRashid was informed about all these activities. Thus, he was also involved with the misdeed,” Commissioner M Shahabuddin Chuppu told reporters at the ACC headquarters after the approval of the charges. The ACC prepared the 1,300-page report after investigation for 17 months. According to the charges, 46 people have been charged for the irregularities in Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (DMCSL) while 19 for the Destiny Tree Plantation Limited (DTPL). Most of these accused are from the group’s board of directors. The other accused include Mohammad Hossain, Md Gofranul Haque, Mohammad Saidur Rahman, Mohammad Mezbah Uddin, Syed Sajjad Hossain, Irfan Ahmed Sani, Farah Deeba (wife of Rafiqul Amin), Jamshed Ara Chowdhury, Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and Nepal Chandra Bishwas. The charge sheet will be placed before the court soon, the ACC commissioner told reporters. The probe report, which is the largest of its kind in the ACC’s history, reveals that the Destiny officials collected money from investors under its projects DMCSL and DTPL luring them of providing high interest. But the accused swindled the money – either transferred to their personal accounts or embezzled in the name of allowance, salary, remuneration, profit, spe-

cial allowance or commission. According to the findings, the group laundered a major portion of the money to the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, France and Canada. The Destiny Group officials had transferred the money to their 722 accounts with 35 banks. The report also found that the sister concerns of the group were also involved with the laundering process. They include Best Aviation Ltd, Air Destiny Ltd, Diamond Builders Ltd and Destiny Agro Industries Ltd. The probe team has found that 19 Destiny top executives had collected Tk2,433 crore during March 21, 2006 to February 17, 2009 by selling over sex crore trees to 17.5lakh investors under its tree plantation project and had embezzled Tk2,257crore from it. “Though they sold six crore fictitious trees through different packages, however, during spot visit to the forests we found only 32.5 lakh trees,” Shahabuddin said. “The Destiny officials even went to High Court when the court directed that the trees must be living and standing. It also said ownership and protection has to be given to the owners of the trees. However, they [officials] have violated the directives of the High Court and cheated with the clients,” he added. Meanwhile, the probe team has also held 46 people of the group responsible for transferring or swindling Tk1,861 crore from the Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited. The accused had collected Tk1,901 from over eight lakh investors by offering 46% interest in between July 2009 to June 2012. On July 31, 2012, the ACC filed two cases against 22 high officials of Destiny 2000 Limited accusing them of embezzling around Tk3,285 crore under the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2004 and 2012. Destiny President Harun is currently on bail, while Rafiqul is in jail in connection with the cases. l

The government has again diverted the unexpected expenditure management fund to pay the salaries and allowances for the next six months of operation of the newly formed Pay Commission, in violation of the budget management act. Finance ministry yesterday disbursed Tk1.99 crore for the payment of the salaries and allowances and other expenditures of the Pay Commission through a circular. The government allocated Tk1,200 crore in the current budget for unexpected expenditures, but 75% of the fund has already been spent because of shortage of available funds. The unexpected expenditure management fund is kept for disaster management and emergency situations. The government on November 24 last year constituted the eighth Pay and Service Commission to formulate a new pay structure for public servants and it came into effect from December 17. The commission will submit a report on the salary hike of 13 lakh government employees in six months. However, the time limit can be extended if necessary, according to a Pay Commission circular. As per the Public Moneys and Budget Management Act, 2009, the government cannot divert funds which have already been allocated for a specific purpose in the budget announcement. An official of the Finance Division

HC declares Ashiyan City illegal n Nazmus Sakib

The High Court yesterday declared the Ashiyan Group’s housing project Ashiyan City, on 230.46 acres of original wetland at two Mouzas, Dakkhin Khan and Barua in the capital’s Uttara area, illegal. It also held illegal the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkhya’s approval for the project and the site clearance certificate given by the Department of Environment for 43.11 acres of land. The group has to pay a fine of Tk50 lakh, which was imposed on them by the DoE for harming the environment by filling the rest of the wetland. A special bench comprising Justice Syed AB Mahmudul Huq, Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain delivered the verdict by majority view on a public interest writ litigation, jointly registered on December 22, 2012 by Ain o Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Associa-

tion and six other organisations. After the pronouncement of the verdict, Iqbal Kabir, a lawyer of the petitioners, said as a result of the ruling, Ashiyan City cannot do any activities in the area including filling the land, selling plots and advertising. During the declaration of the ruling, Ikbal Kabir was present on behalf of the writ petitioners, Deputy Attorney General Biswojit Roy for the government and Rokanuddin Mahmud for Ashiyan City. Syed Shafiqul Islam Shaon, the media and communications officer of Ashiyan City, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone last evening that they would file an appeal with the Appellate Division after getting the full text. For the moment, however, they would lodge a petition with the Chamber judge of the top court to stay the judgement, he said. Shaon said he did not know how many plots had been sold so far.

Following the writ plea, the High Court bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar on January 2 last year issued a rule upon the relevant authorities and Ashiyan City to explain as to why the issuance of the environmental certificate and its renewal, the approval of Rajuk and the ministry decision to reduce the amount of fine should not be declared illegal. The court also sought an explanation as to why the area developed by the real estate company should not be returned to its original condition. It also wanted to know why the company should not be directed to cease all kinds of activities in the area. The six other petitioners were Association for Land Reforms and Development, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Nijera Kori and Paribesh Bachao Andolan. l

Guests release sky lanterns at the inaugural ceremony of a public artwork exhibition named Rivers of the World organised by British Council and HSBC at Rabindra Sarobar yesterday SADIA MARIUM

said the government diverted funds from the unexpected expenditure allocation, which was not illegal. The 20% dearness allowance of the government employees may be given out from the unexpected expenditure allocation, since the allowance was not announced in the current fiscal year’s budget, the official said. The official also admitted that the Finance Division had allocated money for the Pay Commission in the budget announcement from the beginning of fiscal year. According to the Pay Commission circular, this allocation amounted to Tk2.51 crore. Former adviser to caretaker government AB Mirza Azizul Islam said the government could not divert a fund that was specifically allocated, which would basically be a violation of the budget management act. The Finance Division may have diverted the unexpected expenditure fund for payment of salaries and allowance in the Pay Commission if allocations were not made in the budget announcement, he said. Last month, the government diverted a portion of Tk900 crore stock market refinance scheme to Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd (BCB) for issuing a rights share. Of the amount, Tk67.5 crore was invested in Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited, which issued one rights share of Tk100 against existing ones to increase its paid up capital. l

MK Alamgir’s motorcade attacked in Chandpur n Our Correspondent, Chandpur Lawmaker Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday incurred the wrath of reportedly Jamaat-BNP activists while attending a Waz Mahfil at Uzani Madrassa in the district. Locals said some activists of Jamaat, Hefazat and BNP in the guise of devotees hurled abuses and bricks at the former home minister. They also vandalised three vehicles including the one for the lawmaker. Mahfil Director Maulana Abdur Rahman, also education secretary of the madrasa, called upon the assailants over microphone to restrain from going berserk, but they were heedless of the request. They also tried to bring in more people on the premises in their favour, chanting Jamaat-e-Islami slogan. Police fired 13 rounds of blank shots to take control of the situation. Maulana Abdur Rahman termed the attack pre-planned. No madrassa students were involved in the attack, he said, adding that the attack had been carried out in order to tarnish the image of the madrassa. “We condemn the attack,” he said. Assistant Police Superintendent Abu Hanif said some individuals went berserk while the former home boss was delivering speech. Mahfil organisers requested them to calm down while the latter hurled bricks at Alamgir. The lawmaker left the spot in a hurry for safety. Chandpur Police Superintendent Ameer Jafar said he came to know about the attack. Jamaat-Hefazat-BNP activists might be involved in the attack, he said, adding that legal action would be taken after proper investigation. l

Toll bonanza: Small vehicles pay bribes to stay on city streets Islam Shaon and n Ashif Mohammad Jamil Khan

Small vehicles illegally picking up passengers on the city’s streets have occasioned a toll bonanza for the traffic police, who are allegedly making millions by permitting operation of old and unlicensed vehicles in exchange for bribe money. The Dhaka Tribune recently interviewed a number of owners and drivers of such vehicles and found evidence of a pseudo-legal arrangement allowing the illegal operation of vehicles. The auto-rickshaws that are marked only for private use are reportedly the favourite targets for toll collection, as many of the owners of these vehicles opt

to use the auto-rickshaws commercially. Seeking anonymity, an auto-rickshaw owner said the traffic sergeants mainly collected tolls for operating the vehicles at 16 areas. “For operating at each area, he [the owner] has to give Tk500 monthly. The money increases with parameter,” said the owner who has to pay bribe to police in seven areas. He said the roads from Mirpur 14 to Mirpur technical intersection were considered as a toll area where a traffic sergeant collected money. “Like that, Gabtoli-Beribadh-Kalyanpur is a route. The other routes are Uttara-Airport-Rampura Bridge, Gulashan 1, 2-Kakoli-Banani, from Mohakhali to Karwan Bazar, from Ka-

krail to Gulistan, from Gulistan to Jatrabari-Wari-Postogola Bridge, from Dhanmondi 27 to Kolabagan-Lab Aid intersection,” he explained. Sergeants also reportedly kept a list of vehicles and the owners’ phone numbers to demand money at the end of every month. “If any sergeant stops the vehicle in any area, he first asks the driver the name of the sergeant to whom the owner has given the money. The driver needs to mention the police official’s name to be allowed to pass,” the auto-rickshaw owner said. Sometimes, the law enforcers phoned the bribe-taker to confirm the matter. Asked what happened if the money was not given, he said the police sent

the vehicle directly to the dump yard and the owner then had to pay Tk3,500 to bring back the vehicle. Contacted, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority Director (Engineering) Saiful Haque said the BRTA gave license to some 400 privately owned auto-rickshaws until 2010, while only 22 private auto-rickshaws currently ran on the road legally. “The rest are registered under Dhaka district and are not supposed to run on city roads,” he said. The owners said many people registered their auto-rickshaws as private vehicles with the district authority, after the BRTA stopped registering commercial auto-rickshaws in 2005. Meanwhile, the city’s human haul-

ers have also become another source of money for the traffic police. “The police station takes Tk40,000 for parking space on a monthly basis and Tk120-160 from each of the human hauler every day,” said a human hauler driver at Banglabazar human hauler stand. Out of over a hundred human haulers at the stand, Jatrabari-bound vehicles give police Tk120 per day, Postagola-bound vehicle Tk80 and Gulistan-bound vehicle Tk140. A committee which supervised the monetary issues with police and the local political leaders gave Kotowali police station Tk40,000 for the parking space, said the committee’s Secretary Faruque. However, the police station’s Officer-in-Charge Abdus Salam denied the

allegation and said he will check if the stand was illegal. There are more than 30 human hauler stands in this metropolitan from where police, local goons and party leaders allegedly extract money. Modified battery-run rickshaw and auto-rickshaws are also not free from the bribery demands, with auto-rickshaws requiring a daily fee of Tk100 and the rickshaws having to pay Tk50-70. The garages for these vehicles also need to pay the nearby police station Tk500 each month. Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Hassan Mahmood Khandker said they were looking into the issue and would take action if any specific proof was found against any police official. l

Editor: Zafar Sobhan, Published and Printed by Kazi Anis Ahmed on behalf of 2A Media Limited at Dainik Shakaler Khabar Publications Limited, 153/7, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208. Editorial, News & Commercial Office: FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath, Shukrabad, Dhaka 1207. Phone: 9132093-94, Advertising: 9132155, Circulation: 9132282, Fax: News-9132192, e-mail:,, Website:

Continue to the Business section...


B3 India to consider incentives for raw sugar production in next cabinet meet

B4 World Economic Fo-

rum warns of dangers in growing inequality


No more luxurious car for banks n Tribune Report Bangladesh Bank has imposed a restriction on spending by the commercial banks on purchasing motor vehicles, apparently to prevent them from the recent buying spree of expensive luxurious cars. All the scheduled banks have been asked not to purchase any more motor car (Sedan) for their own at a cost more than Tk50 lakh and a SUV (sport utility vehicle) not above Tk1 crore, even if it is with the banks’ own funds. “Bank companies should show their cost affordable tendency to maintain confidence of the depositors and equity providers on management,’’ said a circular issued yesterday. The directives take immediate effect. Recently, Chairmen, CEOs and high officials of some banks seemed to have the tendency to purchase luxurious motor cars and high expenses for branch decoration. The central bank issued the directive to discourage the high expenses. The commercial banks often come under criticism recently due to their desperate spending particularly to provide the directors with luxury cars, which put pressure on the banks’ profitability. The circular said the bank companies are allowed to purchase vehicles

similar to those of security vehicles for carrying remittance. However, they are not allowed to collect motor car by taking lease financing facility from other banks or financial institutions, according to the circular. The growth of increasing vehicles has to be consistent with the increase of manpower as well as the branch of the company. Annual expenditure growth in this sector should be limited to 10%. The vehicles for the board chairman and chief executive officers should be replaced after using vehicles for at least five years. The information on using the motor vehicles and their operating cost should be placed before the board meeting in every six months and the annual general meeting. Banks are not allowed to use space above 5,000 square feet for city branches and 2,000 square feet for rural branches. The expenditure on IT equipment will not exceed Tk1,500 for occupying one square feet of space for new branches and for existing branch transfer, it will not exceed Tk1,000 per square feet, according to the circular. The banks should consider quality and durability of the furnitures and fixtures to be procured based on the necessity instead of their luxuriousness.

Workers loading a lorry with the sacks of essentials at Karwan Bazar in Dhaka yesterday. As blockades and shutdowns have been postponed for an indefinite period by the opposition, trading has resumed in full swing MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Dhaka-Doha to sign double taxation avoidance deal n Asif Showakat Kallol

SME Foundation allocates Tk3cr for light engineering n Tribune Report

After 17 years of hectic negotiation, Bangladesh is finally going to sign an accord with Qatar soon to avoid double taxation for the sake of reducing illicit financial flow from Bangladesh, officials said. A six-member Bangladesh delegation led by National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Ghulam Hossain will visit Qatar from January 24 to 26 to sign the much-awaited agreement on avoidance of double taxation between the two countries. The final draft of the agreement is now waiting for getting the approval from the Prime Minister, said an official of Banking and Financial Institutions Division. “Bangladesh had earlier incurred a loss worth around Tk2,470 crore as the amount transferred in an illicit ways of financial transaction to foreign countries between the years of 1979 and 2010,” says a research paper prepared by London-based tax justice network in November 2013. NBR had sent a proposal on the agreement to its counterpart in Qatar in 2010, but the Qatar authorities did not respond to the proposal positively. In a latest development, as the Qatar government has expressed willing-

The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation has allocated Tk3 crore for the light engineering entrepreneurs of Dholaikhal and its adjoining areas. The fund will be disbursed among those SME entrepreneurs at a single-digit interest rate even without having any collateral, according to a SME foundation press statement. The statement reads-the SME Foundation and Midas Financing Ltd has signed a bilateral agreement to provide such fund to those investors involved in the light engineering industries in Dholaikhal area. SME Foundation managing director Md Ihsanul Karim and Midas Financing managing director Shafiul Azam signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at a programme held at Foundation’s office, yesterday. Earlier, the Foundation had distributed Tk6cr as loans at an interest rate of 9% among 152 entrepreneurs of the light engineering industries located in Bogra. The SME foundation operating credit wholesaling activities to provide collateral free loan to SME entrepreneurs in service and productive sector through Midas Financing. l

ness to sign an agreement with Bangladesh, prompting the foreign ministry to sent a letter to NBR asking it to prepare a final draft on avoidance double taxation with Qatar. A total of 130,000 Bangladeshis are currently working in the Qatar who are contributing to the economy of both the countries. Qatar government had earlier expressed its desire to invest in Bangladesh especially in the sectors such as information technology, engineering, management, accounting and banking. Apart from that, Bangladesh’s trade might be increased further if Qatar imports ceramics, pharmaceuticals, readymade garments, frozen fish and

leather goods which are now being exported in the US and European markets, according to the exporters. In 2011, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates signed a deal on avoidance of double taxation to boost the bilateral trade between the two countries. Former Bangladeshi foreign inister Dipu Moni and UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan inked the deal on their respective sides. The deal was signed in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who went to the gulf country to attend the Fourth World Future Energy Summit. Bangladeshi goods export to Qatar rose to US $1.8m in the last fiscal year. l

Banks advised to follow FATCA for US taxpayers’ accounts n Tribune Report Bangladesh Bank has advised the bank companies which have accounts of US taxpayers to report to the country’s internal revenue service (IRS). A circular issued yesterday made the advice to do it as per Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) of the United States. As Bangladesh government has not yet decided to execute an intergovernmental agreement with the US, the obligation can alternatively be discharged at individual bank level by registering and signing ‘Participation Agreements’ with the IRS, it said. National Board of Revenue also consented on registering with the IRS if a bank has US taxpayer accounts in its books. FATCA enacted in 2010 requires a foreign financial institution (FFI) to report to the IRS information about certain accounts held by US taxpayers or by foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. According to the definition of FFI, all banks as defined in the Bank Com-

pany Act, 1991 have come within the provisions of FATCA. Banks said FATCA may have implications for their customers and operations should register themselves with the IRS and put in place appropriate processes and controls to ensure compliance with the law. The concerned banks are advised to visit the IRS’s website, fatca-registration, for necessary guidance in this regard. Banks should communicate with the existing customers well in advance of executing “Participation Agreement” with the IRS enabling the accountholders to comply with reasonable requests for information or to provide acceptable documentation to meet the FATCA obligations, according to the circular. Bangladesh Bank said because the agreement requires disclosures which would normally be breaches of the banker’s general duty of confidentiality under prevalent Bangladeshi laws including the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act 1891, banks are to obtain written consents from their customers before reporting the requested information to IRS. l

Refrigerator producers RMG export to Turkey rises 107% n want duty hike on imported ones n Syed Samiul Basher Anik Local refrigerator manufacturers and assemblers have demanded of the National Board of Revenue to increase the tariff value of imported refrigerators to encourage them investing in developing domestic market. It would help increase the duties on the imported refrigerators. They want the tariff value should be set at US$1 per litre for two-door refrigerators while it should be US$1.50 for three-door and display panel refrigerators. The existing rate is US$0.75 and US$ 1.20 respectively. Leaders from Bangladesh Refrigerator Manufacturers Association made the demand at a meeting with NBR officials at its headquarters in Dhaka yesterday. Presiding over the meeting, BRMA Secretary General Lokman Hossain Akash said the country’s four refrigerator manufacturing companies have the capacity to produce 22 lakh refrigerators annually against the domestic demand for 8 lakh only.

Among the four, Walton High-Tech Industries Limited manufactures 14 lakh, Jamuna Electronics and Automobiles Company Ltd three lakh, Butterfly Manufacturing Company Ltd two lakh and RFL Electronics Ltd three lakh refrigerators annually. They said the price of imported products is much higher than the actual prices, and therefore, they requested the NBR officials to take a long term policy and impose more duty on the imported ones to encourage the local manufacturers. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Electronic Merchants Association said the minimum taxable price on imported refrigerators should not exceed US$0.60 per liter. “Now, imported refrigerator requires 108% import duties while local manufacturers pay only 14%. That means there is a huge gap of 94% between the two that needs to be rationalised. According to industrial policy of Bangladesh, the difference of duties is 24%,” said association president Sana Ullah Shahid. l

Bangladesh’s readymade garment exports to Turkey have seen a robust growth of nearly 107% to US $335m in the first half of the current fiscal, as seen such penetration in other non-traditional markets. During the same period of July-December, 2012, Bangladesh had exported apparel products worth $162mto Turkey, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

As a non-traditional export market Turkey emerged as an export destination for the country due to effort of the manufacturers as they individually tried to grab the market, said Shahidullah Azim, vice president BGMEA

The EPB data shows that knitwear garment products exported to Turkey is worth $96m, while woven garments earned $239m in the first half of the current fiscal year (2013-14). In the fiscal 2012-13, garment ex-

ports to Turkey amounted to $415.31m, which was 17% up compared to the amount of $356m in 2011-12 fiscal. Export to Turkey decline in the fiscal year 2011-12 as the Turkish governmenthad imposed safeguard duties on Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG). But in the year 2013, it rose sharply as the earlier imposed safe guard duty has been eased a bit, said BKMEA vice president Mohammad Hatem. However, currently there is 17% duty on Bangladesh export products imposed by Turkey, for which RMG exports to the countryfaced a serious setback in the previous years, he added. As a non-traditional export market Turkey emerged as an export destination for the country due to effort of the manufacturers as they individually tried to grab the market, said Shahidullah Azim, vice president BGMEA. To expand the export volume the government should take initiatives to get privilege from the country, he added. Export to Turkey rose sharply as the whole Bangladesh’s RMG export performed well in the first half of the current fiscal, EPB vice chairman Shubhashis Bose told the Dhaka Tribune. Low prices of products attracted the buyers to choose Bangladesh as sourc-


Source: BGMEA

Ibrahim Hossain Ovi

ing destination for RMG products. In thefourth Session of the Bangladesh-Turkey Joint Commission for Trade, Economicand Technical Cooperation (lEC) held in Dhaka on November 2012, the two countries put emphasis on importance of expansion of trade between two countries up to

$3bn by 2015. The core objective of the Joint Economic Commission session was to explore thepossibility of enhancing bilateral trade based on mutual benefits, and to advance economic tiesand cooperation between the two countries. l



'The session marked significant advancement in financial sector. Earnings expectations coupled with optimism over upcoming monetary policy statement created the bullish vibe in the sector' The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, closed at 8,900 with a rise of 64 points. The total market turnover was Tk643 crore, which was more than 7% less than that of the previous session. IDLC Investment said after some hesitation in the initial hours, market regained its momentum with strong activities. “The session marked significant advancement in financial sector. Earnings expectations coupled with optimism over upcoming monetary policy statement created the bullish vibe in the sector.” Non-banking financial institu-



(+) 0.56%


(+) 0.61%


(+) 0.59%


(+) 0.80%


(+) 0.59%

Stylecraft -A Libra Infusions-A Paramount Textile Ltd.-A Desh Garments -B 4th ICB M F-A Delta SpinnersA Central Pharm-A Al-Haj Textile -A EXIM Bank 1 MF-A

-6.25 -3.62 -3.55 -3.13 -2.80 -2.79 -2.76 -2.75 -2.60

Average (% change) -6.25 -3.57 -1.81 -1.87 -2.90 -3.04 -3.27 -1.12 -2.60

Bangas -A




Closing (% change)


GreenDeltaInsu -A Asia Pasific Insu. -A Paramount Textile Ltd.-A Central Pharm-A IFIC 1st MF-A Delta SpinnersA Rangpur Foundry -A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N Malek Spinning-A

-9.81 -4.42 -3.19 -3.16 -2.90 -2.78 -2.77 -2.77 -2.62

Average (% change) -9.86 -4.51 -1.97 -2.85 -2.62 -3.19 -3.18 -1.89 -1.35

Appollo Ispat CL -N




Closing (% change)

Closing average




Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)

128 5

Market Cap. Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Cap. Equity (Billion US$)


CSE key features January 16, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)


Turnover (Volume)


No. of Contract


Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis) Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis) Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis) Market Cap. Equity (Billion. Tk.) Market Cap. Equity (Billion US$)


Turnover in million

Daily low

104 2 2,0081.81 25.23

Latest EPS

Latest PE

1009.90 405.00 55.37 68.84 201.00 42.42 46.37 74.44 7.50

1009.90 404.80 54.40 68.20 201.30 41.80 45.80 74.20 7.50

1009.90 406.00 60.00 70.40 202.20 43.50 47.80 76.70 7.50

1009.90 404.00 50.80 67.90 200.10 41.60 43.00 69.20 7.50

0.101 0.405 98.597 1.184 0.201 47.881 40.005 5.231 0.004

20.50 4.88 3.00 0.48 35.20 1.16 1.48 2.60 0.64

49.3 83.0 18.5 143.4 5.7 36.6 31.3 28.6 11.7








Closing average


Daily high

Turnover in million

Daily low

Dulamia CottonZ

Samata LeatheR -Z Alltex Industries -Z Zeal Bangla Sugar -Z Imam Button -Z Rahima Food -Z Shampur Sugar -Z Kay & Que (BD) -Z Savar Refractories-Z ISN Ltd. -A

Latest EPS

Company Samata LeatheR -Z

Rahima Food -Z Alltex Industries -Z PragatiLife Insu. -A Imam Button -Z Kay & Que (BD) -Z Bata Shoe Ltd. -A ICB -A Pragati Gen. I -A ISN Ltd. -A

Sector Bank NBFI Investment Engineering Food & Allied Fuel & Power Jute Textile Pharma & Chemical Paper & Packaging Service Leather Ceramic Cement Information Technology General Insurance Life Insurance Telecom Travel & Leisure Miscellaneous Debenture

DSE Million Taka 867.27 489.92 125.58 1124.83 212.09 712.18 1.59 801.59 793.43 1.67 25.46 145.84 26.05 259.18 72.38 177.67 230.68 141.64 115.94 109.75 0.42

93.80 32.40 54.60 45.90 6.70 42.00 98.30 56.10 29.70

93.80 32.40 56.80 47.50 6.80 43.50 98.30 57.60 30.40

93.70 32.40 54.30 45.70 6.60 41.80 98.30 55.60 29.60

0.038 0.032 18.105 4.690 0.070 3.407 0.049 1.077 2.341

5.34 2.67 3.00 1.48 0.52 1.16 3.03 8.29 2.60

17.6 12.1 18.4 31.4 12.9 36.6 32.4 6.8 11.5








Million Taka 84.80 48.75 9.50 132.08 39.57 45.15 71.23 51.54 0.40 2.01 10.52 3.49 18.82 12.40 4.89 7.48 13.96 16.78 17.05 0.00


% change 14.36 8.26 1.61 22.37 6.70 7.65 0.00 12.06 8.73 0.07 0.34 1.78 0.59 3.19 2.10 0.83 1.27 2.36 2.84 2.89 0.00

Million Taka 952.07 538.67 135.08 1256.92 251.67 757.34 1.59 872.82 844.97 2.07 27.47 156.36 29.54 278.00 84.78 182.57 238.16 155.60 132.72 126.80 0.42


9.96 9.35 9.09 8.90 8.65 8.37 7.50 6.21 6.19 5.85

Average (% change)

9.96 4.95 10.06 9.15 7.27 8.59 6.11 6.22 5.47 7.15

BRACBANK: Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has approved the Rights offer of BRAC Bank Limited for 221,652,288 ordinary shares of Tk. 10.00 each issuing at Tk. 20.00 each, including a premium of Tk. 10.00 per share, totaling Tk. 4,433,045,760.00 at a ratio of 1R:2, i.e. one Rights share for two existing shares. The approval has been accorded subject to the condition that the Company shall comply with the requirements embodied in the Securities and Exchange Commission (Rights Issue) Rules, 2006 and other relevant laws and Regulatory Requirements, and shall also adhere to the conditions imposed by BSEC under Section-2CC of the Securities and Exchange Ordinance, 1969. BENGALWTL: Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Limited (CRAB) has announced the entity rating (surveillance) of the Company as "AA3" based on audited financial statements up to June 30, 2013; bank liability position as on December 30, 2013 and other relevant quantitative as well as

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Appollo Ispat CL -N Active Fine Chem.-A Square Pharma -A Mercantile Bank -A LankaBangla Fin. -A Bengal Windsor-N UCBL - A Meghna Petroleum -A Olympic Ind. -A Golden Son -A

Though the prolonged political strikes have stopped for the time being, economic activity painted a picture of anemic growth

% change 13.48 7.61 1.95 17.48 3.30 11.07 0.02 12.46 12.33 0.03 0.40 2.27 0.40 4.03 1.12 2.76 3.58 2.20 1.80 1.71 0.01

Closing (% change)

9.22 10.09 12.31 (1.40) 7.51 2.09 10.03 6.13 6.56 7.57

Closing average

10.19 29.25 9.40 9.86 11.16 74.91 9.76 23.02 65.00 21.46 Closing average

28.70 76.05 9.52 201.17 11.06 23.13 742.80 1608.10 59.15 21.57


10.20 29.20 9.40 9.90 11.20 76.90 9.60 23.60 65.30 21.70


28.70 76.00 9.60 200.70 11.30 23.30 742.80 1608.00 60.00 21.70

Daily high

10.20 29.30 9.40 10.00 11.30 78.30 9.70 23.90 67.00 22.00

Daily high

28.70 76.40 9.60 201.80 11.40 23.60 742.80 1608.50 60.00 22.30

Daily low

9.50 29.00 9.40 9.30 10.10 69.00 9.60 21.00 63.00 19.00

Daily low

28.70 75.30 8.30 200.70 10.50 22.40 742.80 1608.00 57.10 21.00

Turnover in million

0.491 0.585 3.558 0.071 1.535 5.618 0.041 2.448 0.026 10.568 Turnover in million

0.029 0.760 2.318 0.302 0.138 0.613 0.074 0.402 0.219 2.516

Latest EPS -1.90 -0.08 -1.56 -5.64 -2.20 -0.64 -45.28 -0.89 0.40 -0.36 Latest EPS

-0.08 -0.64 -1.56 2.38 -2.20 -0.89 52.75 48.16 4.19 -0.36

Latest PE -ve

-ve -ve -ve -ve -ve -ve -ve

162.5 -ve

Latest PE

-ve -ve -ve 84.5 -ve -ve 14.1 33.4 14.1 -ve

qualitative information up to the date of rating declaration. UNITEDAIR: Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Limited (CRAB) has announced the entity rating (surveillance) of the Company as "BBB1" based on audited financial statements up to June 30, 2013; bank liability position as on December 31, 2013 and other relevant quantitative as well as qualitative information up to the date of rating declaration. PTL: The Company has informed that it has credited the bonus shares for the year ended on June 30, 2013 to the respective shareholders' BO Accounts on January 13, 2014. PTL: The Company will be placed in "A" category from existing "N" category with effect from January 16, 2014 as the Company reported disbursement of 12% stock dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2013. RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014.

IPO Subscription: Emerald Oil Industries Limited subscription date 06-12 January 2014, NRB upto 21 Januray 2014. At per, face value taka 10 and market lot 500. Matin Spinning Mills Limited subscription date 26-30 January 2014, NRB upto 08 Feburay 2014. @ Tk. 37/-, face value taka 10 and market lot 200.


ECABLES: 10% cash, AGM: 01.03.2014, RD: 29.12.2013. USMANIAGL: 11% Cash & 10% Stock, AGM: postponed, RD: 07.11.2013. DESCO: 10% Cash & 15% Stock, AGM: 04.01.2014, RD: 05.11.2013. ANWARGALV: 7% Case for general shareholders, AGM: 13.01.2014, RD: 11.11.2013. MPETROLEUM: 70% Cash & 20% Stock, AGM: 17.01.2014, RD: 28.11.2013. POWERGRID: 15% Cash, AGM: 25.01.2014, Time: 10:00 AM. RD: 01.12.2013. EASTRNLUB: 30% Cash, AGM: 25.01.2014, RD: 04.12.2013. JAMUNAOIL: 90% Cash & 10% Stock, AGM: 25.01.2014, RD: 04.12.2013.

Latest PE

93.75 32.40 55.25 46.43 6.70 42.48 98.30 56.69 29.92


.68 .36 9.30 8.79 8.74 8.01 7.87 7.76 7.05 6.90

Average (% change)

News from trade server



Closing (% change)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)

▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ Daily high


Traded Issues

Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :


No. of Contract

tions posted impressive gains of over 4% - highest among all the sectors. Other major sectors saw marginal gains. Banks and power went up by 0.9% and 0.7% respectively. On the other hand, cement sector contracted after previous session’s robust gain, followed by textiles. The market breadth remained positive as out of 283 issues traded, 178 advanced, 96 declined and 19 remained unchanged. LankaBangla Securities said fall in trade deficit and interest rate tapering, pacifying in political agitation and anticipation of easing monetary stance for the second half of 2013-14 fiscal played as driving factors in the market throughout the week. On the last day of trading this week, market extended its winning streak above 4,500-mark riding on market fundamentals, it said. “Though the prolonged political strikes have stopped for the time being, economic activity painted a picture of anemic growth. Interestingly, this does not appear to be bothering investors, who are continuing to bid stocks price higher pumping fresh funds in the market.” Appollo Ispat Complex topped the turnover chart for the second consecutive session with a turnover of nearly Tk25 crore. It was followed by Active Fine Chemical, Square Pharmaceuticals, Lanka Bangla Finance, Bengal Windsor and Thermoplastics, United Commercial Bank, Meghna Petroleum and Olympic Industries. l

Stocks posted modest gain yesterday, with the benchmark DSEX capping its longest winning streak in the recent months. The rally was led by financials amid speculations for a better than expected earnings coupled with optimism over upcoming monetary policy statement, analysts said. After an initial volatility, the DSEX rose 25 points or 0.7% to 4,519, which is its highest level ever. The DS30 Index comprising blue chips gained slightly 9 points or 0.7% to 1,592.


Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)

Friday, January 17, 2014


DSE key features January 16, 2014

DSEX on longest winning streak in months n Tribune Report


% change 13.55 7.67 1.92 17.89 3.58 10.78 0.02 12.42 12.03 0.03 0.39 2.23 0.42 3.96 1.21 2.60 3.39 2.21 1.89 1.80 0.01

Prepared exclusively for Dhaka Tribune by Business Information Automation Service Line (BIASL), on the basis of information collected from daily stock quotations and audited reports of the listed companies. High level of caution has been taken to collect and present the above information and data. The publisher will not take any responsibility if any body uses this information and data for his/her investment decision. For any query please email to or call 01552153562 or go to

S Purbanchol Power-N Delta Life Insu. -A Padma Oil Co. -A Generation Next-A ApexAdelchi Ftr -A Paramount Textile Ltd.-A LafargeS Cement-Z BD Submarine Cable-A Brac Bank -A BD Building Systems -A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Appollo Ispat CL -N UCBL - A Beach Hatchery -A LankaBangla Fin. -A Paramount Textile Ltd.-A Bengal Windsor-N UNITED AIR-A BD Building Systems -A S Purbanchol Power-N Golden Son -A

Orion Pharma-N BEXIMCO Ltd. -A LafargeS Cement-Z Legacy Footwear -A Rangpur Dairy-N

Volume shares 6,182,400 2,473,387 1,030,708 11,678,143 2,568,797 2,629,112 6,589,941 699,912 955,649 2,184,976

1,969,900 516,150 444,419 3,168,380 199,000 1,780,580 2,579,000 564,453 2,615,409 1,187,425

Volume shares 1,324,600 1,074,504 637,820 253,069 327,670 217,080 744,812 171,025 171,890 175,500

175,340 317,180 261,000 214,000 326,238

Value in million 248.05 236.85 223.89 212.14 196.40 192.41 184.59 168.68 164.07 142.29

140.25 138.73 136.80 115.77 109.32 98.60 97.38 96.82 90.41 86.79

Value in million 53.06 30.14 20.32 19.39 18.11 15.94 12.60 12.50 12.28 11.44

11.22 11.18 9.76 9.20 9.16

% of total turnover 3.85 3.68 3.48 3.30 3.05 2.99 2.87 2.62 2.55 2.21

2.18 2.16 2.13 1.80 1.70 1.53 1.51 1.50 1.40 1.35

% of total turnover 9.01 5.11 3.45 3.29 3.07 2.70 2.14 2.12 2.08 1.94

1.90 1.90 1.66 1.56 1.56

Daily closing 39.90 96.70 218.90 17.50 77.30 74.30 28.30 240.70 174.10 64.90

72.10 268.20 306.80 36.20 547.60 54.40 37.10 170.90 34.70 72.60

Daily closing 39.90 28.40 31.80 77.50 54.60 74.20 16.90 72.70 72.00 65.10

64.00 35.20 37.10 42.70 27.90

Price change -2.21 0.83 1.62 2.34 5.03 4.80 4.04 0.71 1.52 -0.92

Daily opening 40.80 95.90 215.40 17.10 73.60 70.90 27.20 239.00 171.50 65.50

Price change -2.44 3.65 4.26 5.44 -3.19 4.51 0.00 -1.89 1.98 -0.91

2.27 -0.45 1.52 -1.36 -0.15 -3.55 -0.54 -1.78 1.17 -1.49

-0.78 -0.85 0.54 1.43 1.45

70.50 269.40 302.20 36.70 548.40 56.40 37.30 174.00 34.30 73.70

Daily high 41.40 97.50 234.00 18.50 78.50 75.50 29.00 242.40 176.00 66.00

72.50 272.00 311.00 37.30 556.50 60.00 39.40 175.00 35.00 74.70

Daily low 39.60 88.00 200.00 15.40 66.30 64.00 25.00 230.00 155.00 60.00

Daily average 40.12 95.76 217.22 18.17 76.45 73.19 28.01 241.00 171.68 65.12

Daily opening 40.90 27.40 30.50 73.50 56.40 71.00 16.90 74.10 70.60 65.70

Daily high 41.60 28.60 32.40 78.20 56.80 75.50 17.30 74.80 72.50 66.10

Daily low 39.40 27.40 29.00 73.70 54.30 71.10 15.40 72.50 64.00 64.50

Daily average 40.06 28.05 31.87 76.62 55.25 73.42 16.91 73.09 71.47 65.18

64.50 35.50 36.90 42.10 27.50

64.90 35.80 39.00 43.60 28.40

64.00 267.30 279.00 33.50 542.10 50.80 36.70 161.00 31.00 66.50

59.50 35.10 36.20 42.30 27.80

71.20 268.78 307.81 36.54 549.35 55.37 37.76 171.53 34.57 73.09

64.01 35.25 37.40 43.00 28.09


DSEX and DS30 reshuffled n Tribune Report Dhaka Stock Exchange has reshuffled its two indices with effect from Sunday next as part of its annual rebalancing the indices. In accordance with the DSE Bangladesh Index Methodology, designed by S&P Dow Jones Indices, DSEX and DS30 have been reconstituted, said a DSE press release yesterday. The new 23 companies that were included to the DSEX are Fareast Finance, Eastern Cables, Renwick Jajneswar, National Tubes, Bengal Windsor Thermoplastics, Bangladesh Building Systems, AMCL (Pran), Rahim Textile, Ambee Pharma, The Ibn Sina, Libra Infusions, Global Heavy Chemicals, JMI Syringes & Medical Devices, Central Pharmaceuticals, Hakkani Pulp & Paper, Samorita Hospital, Information Services Network, Purabi General Insurance, Pragati Insurance, Prime Insurance, Sunlife Insurance, Usmania Glass and Berger Paints. On the other hand, existing four companies that lost their eligibility to retain their position in the index are Kay & Que, Midas Finance, CVO Petrochemical and Rahima Food. In the DS30, the four new companies were added to the index. They are United Commercial Bank Ltd., Delta Life Insurance Ltd, Orion Pharma Ltd and Renata Ltd. The existing four companies that were excluded from the index are Beximco Ltd, Khulna Power Company Ltd, Square Textiles Ltd and Southeast Bank Ltd as they failed to meet their criteria to stay in the index. l


India to consider incentives for raw sugar production in next cabinet meet n


India will consider providing incentives for production of raw sugar up to 4 million tonnes for exports in the next cabinet meeting, Food Minister K V Thomas said, as part of efforts by the world’s secondbiggest producer to stop adding to massive mounds of the refined grade which are piling up because of low prices. The export incentives would be World Trade Organisation (WTO)-compatible and applicable for the crop produced in this and the next season, Thomas said yesterday. A group ministers under the chairmanship of Farm Minister Sharad Pawar yesterday revived the proposal to be placed before the cabinet, but haven’t decided about the quantum of incentives yet, Thomas said. Indian mills traditionally produce white sugar but a global glut has made exports difficult. A rise in sugar refining capacity in Asia and Africa has now given an opportunity to export raws. Exports of raws from India, the world’s biggest consumer of sugar, will eat into the share of top suppliers Brazil and Thailand. Extra supplies could also put further pressure on benchmark prices in New York, which are hovering around a 3-1/2-year low in an over-supplied world market. l

Global oil prices were mixed yesterday but analysts said sentiment would continue to be boosted by expectations of higher world economic growth. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February rose 37 cents to $94.54 a barrel.

'Crude oil prices are supported by an overall improvement in global sentiment' Brent North Sea crude for February fell 11 cents to $107.02 per barrel in London midday deals. Prices had risen on Wednesday in New York following a bigger-than-expected drop in US stockpiles that indicated stronger demand. “Crude oil prices are supported by an overall improvement in global sentiment,” said analyst Desmond Chua, of CMC Markets in Singapore, also citing an upbeat forecast

NBFIs post most gains n Tribune Business Desk Non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) posted most gains of over 4% among all the sectors at Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday. A total of Tk48.9 crore shares in the sector changed hands at DSE and Tk4.9 crore at CSE. The sector contributed over 7% of total DSE turnover, second to all the sectors as banking stocks made up about 11% overall.

According to DSE news server, none of the 23 companies listed in the sector has disclosed information of any sort during the past week

A worker spreads sugar inside a sugar factory at Sanyan village in the western Indian state of Gujarat


Among the top gainers within the sectors, ICB and LankaBangla Finance dominated with gains of 6.24% and 5.03% respectively. Contrarily, the companies in the sector depreciated were National Housing Finance by 0.3% and IPDC by 1%. According to DSE news server, none of the 23 companies listed in the sector has disclosed information of any sort during the past week. Brokers believe, the increase in trading at the bourses have pushed up the price of sectors such as NBFIs. The sector roughly makes up 6.1% of the total market capitalisation. As of yesterday, the sector’s price to earnings is over 20. The sectoral index has changed slightly over 4% during past week. l

German industry confident on economy in 2014

Oil market trades mixed n AFP, London


Friday, January 17, 2014

from the World Bank. “WTI gains are outpacing the Brent benchmark amid a prolonged widening of spreads and a constant decline in US supplies,” he told AFP. The US Department of Energy said Wednesday that commercial crude inventories fell 7.7 million barrels in the week ending January 10. “The increase in price was attributable in part to a sharper-than-expected reduction in US crude oil stocks and in part to significantly rising equity markets,” Commerzbank analysts said. “Nonetheless, the underlying trend remains downward given the plentiful supply of the market and the expectation of growing supply from Libya and Iran.” Wednesday’s rise in oil prices also came after the World Bank upgraded its 2014 forecast for global economic growth, indicating a potential improvement in oil demand. Global growth was estimated to hit 3.2% this year, accelerating from 2.4% in 2013. l

n AFP, Berlin Germany, Europe’s top economy, could notch up growth of 2% or more this year if investment picks up and the eurozone stabilises, the powerful BDI industry federation said yesterday. “The BDI is confident about the economic outlook this year. It should be possible to achieve growth with a ‘two’ before the decimal point,” BDI president Ulrich Grillo said. “That would be five times the growth we saw in 2013,” Grillo said. A day earlier, a preliminary estimate by the federal statistics office Destatis put gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 0.4% last year, the lowest level for four years. “But whether the growth impulses

that are there actually have any effect lies largely in the hands of the politicians,” Grillo said. BDI’s forecast is more optimistic than the German government’s own prognosis of growth 1.7%. The International Monetary Fund is pencilling in growth of 1.4% for Germany this year. “The global economic environment is looking brighter. And the euro area is also gradually moving out of recession. These are all positive signals for German exports,” the BDI chief said. l The main driver of growth will be consumer spending, with high wage increases, low inflation expectations and the favourable outlook on the labour market supporting this, the BDI said. l

CIRDAP and DIU arrange workshop on rural SME development

Standard Bank opens new branch Standard Bank Ltd inaugurated its 86th branch at Comilla recently. Vice Chairman of the bank Ashok Kumar Saha inaugurated the branch through Video Conferencing and on his behalf Md Sanaullah, Vice President of the Bank’s

Head Office physically inaugurated the same by ribbon cutting. Local prominent businessman Md. Hasanur Rahman, UP Member Mirza Abul Kashem, Abdus Salam were attended the ceremony as Guest of Honour. l

A workshop on “Strengthening Rural SME Development” was held recently at CIRDAP Auditorium organized by Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) and Daffodil International University (DIU participated. Director General of CIRDAP Dr. Cecep Effendi and Chairman of Daffodil International University Md Sabur Khan lead workshop on behalf of their respective institutions. Vice Chancellor of DIU Prof. Dr M Lutfar Rahman, Treasurer Professor Dr M Mizanur Rahman, Director (Studies) Professor Dr M. Zakir Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Science and Information Technology Professor Dr S M Mahbub Ul Haque Majumder, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, Professor Dr Golam Rahman, Director (Administration) Emran Hossain, Director (Student Affairs) Syed Mizanur Rahman, took part in the workshop on behalf of Daffodil International University. On the other hand, Director Hossein Shahbaz, Pilot Projects Division, M Mahbub Alam, Head of Admin & Finance, Nasim Al-Rashid and other high officials on behalf of CIRDAP attended the workshop. l

Eastern University organised Development Programme Eastern University recently organized a teacher training workshop on “Education system for university students 21st century”. Former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr. Saleh Uddin Ahmed was present as the chief guest. In his speech, he stated that there is no alternative to formative education to develop students as

enlightened human beings. Vice Chancellor Dr. Abdur Rab emphasized on creative ways of education. Also present in the workshop were member-Board of Trustees Mr. Ali Azam and Professor Shahidul Islam, Registrar, Deans of different faculties, the Chairman and thirty university teachers. l

Mollah Wahiduzzaman Privatisation Commission chairman

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd. opens its 35th ATM Booth at Nandipara, Dhaka recently. Managing Director of the Bank Md. Habibur Rahman inaugurated the new booth as Chief Guest . Among others, Managing Director of Sicily Garments SM Morshed, Executive Vice President of the Bank Syed Masodul Bari were present

The government yesterday appointed Mollah Wahiduzzaman as chairperson of Privatisation Commission. Wahiduzzaman will enjoy the status of a state minister, reports UNB. Prior to the new assignment, Mollah Wahiduzzaman served as secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office. l

NRBCB handed over blankets to Bangladesh Bank as part of its CSR, which would be distributed among the suffering mass. Md. Rafiquzzaman, EVP and Company Secretary of NRBCB is seen handing over blankets to A F M Asaduzzaman, GM, and Governor’s Secretariat, Bangladesh Bank. M M Moshiur Rahman, Asstt. Vice President and Muklessur Rahman Principal Officer of NRBCB were present from NRBCB side while Arif Hasan and Siddiqur Rahman, Governor’s Secretariat of Bangladesh Bank were present from Bangladesh Bank side

Noor Mohammad Akond passes away

Formar alternate director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Nur Mohammad Akon passed away on January 15, 2014, Wednesday at a City Hospital due to brain sroke. He died at the age of 82. He was Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited from 1997 to 2003. Prior to this, he served as Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Director General of Postal Department of Bangladesh. Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Chairman Prof Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher and Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Mohammad Abdul Mannan expressed deep shock at the death of Nur Mohammad Akon, they also expressed a very deep condolences to the bereaved family members. Special Doa and Munazat was offered for his eternal peace. l




Friday, January 17, 2014

World Economic Forum warns of dangers in growing inequality n Reuters A chronic gap between rich and poor is yawning wider, posing the biggest single risk to the world in 2014, even as economies in many countries start to recover, the World Economic Forum said yesterday. Its annual assessment of global dangers, which will set the scene for its meeting in Davos next week, concludes that income disparity and attendant social unrest are the issue most likely to have a big impact on the world economy in the next decade. The forum warned there was a "lost" generation of young people coming of age in the 2010s who lack both jobs and, in some cases, adequate skills for work, fuelling pent-up frustration. This could easily boil over into social upheaval, as seen already in a wave of protests over inequality and corruption from Thailand to Brazil. "Disgruntlement can lead to the dissolution of the fabric of society, especially if young people feel they don't have a future," said Jennifer Blanke, the World Economic Forum's (WEF) chief economist. "This is something that affects everybody." The survey of more than 700 global experts identified extreme weather events as the second most likely factor to cause systemic shocks, reflecting a perceived increase in severe conditions such as America's big freeze this winter. The risk of precarious government finances triggering fiscal crises remains the hazard with the potential to have the biggest economic impact, but the likelihood of such fiscal blow-ups is lower now than in previous years, the report said.

Capitalism 'Overdrive'

Europe, in particular, is out of the immediate financial danger zone - a fact which has helped income inequality to rise up the agenda, according to David Cole, head of risk at Swiss Re, who worked on the report. Increasing public attention to inequality, which has in fact been trending upwards since the 1980s, will require policymakers and the global elite to tread carefully, he said. "I'm a big supporter of capitalism but there are moments in time when capitalism can go into overdrive and it is important to have measures in place - whether regulatory, government or tax measures - that ensure we avoid excesses in terms of income and wealth distribution," Cole said. So far, the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus that has helped stabilise and revive economies has had little impact on the poor, the unemployed and the younger generation. In the West, the WEF said young people were graduating from "expensive and outmoded" schools and colleges with high debts and the wrong skills, while in developing countries around two-thirds of them were not reaching their economic potential. The 60-page "Global Risks 2014" report analyses 31 global risks for the next 10 years and comes ahead of the WEF's annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos from January 22 to 25, where the rich and powerful will ponder the planet's future. Bringing together business leaders, politicians and central bankers, Davos has come to symbolise the modern globalised world dominated by successful multinational corporations. The theme of this year's meeting is "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business". l

Children sitting inside cement water pipes play on the Marina beach in Chennai REUTERS

IMF predicts higher global growth but warns of risks

Hacker threats rise, with defenders n Reuters lacking: report The International Monetary Fund expects global growth to pick up this n AFP, San Francisco year, though deflation is a “rising risk” A Cisco security report released yesterday showed that hacker threats reached "startling levels" last year and that the world is suffering from a shortage of skilled computer defenders. Cracks in defenses and weapons for attacks rose to the highest levels since tracking began in 2000, while there was a worldwide shortage of nearly a million skilled security professionals to protect networks and machines, according to the annual Cisco report. "To truly protect against all of these possible attacks, defenders must understand the attackers, their motivations and their methods before, during and after an attack," said Cisco Threat Response Intelligence chief security officer John Stewart. "Although the Cisco Annual Security Report paints a grim picture of the current state of cyber security, there is hope for restoring trust in people, institutions and technologies - and that starts with empowering defenders with real-world knowledge about expanding attack surfaces." Technology and tactics used by online criminals have outpaced the ability of security professionals to defend against those threats, according to Cisco. The problem is compounded by the fact that most organizations lack staff or systems to detect and counter hacker attacks quickly, the report concluded. Hacker tactics include tricking people into revealing passwords or other sensitive information with ruses referred to as "social engineering" and taking advantage of trust relied on for financial, government or social activities online. A sampling of 30 of the world's largest Fortune 500 companies showed that websites booby-trapped with malicious code were visited from each of their networks, according to the report. l

Citi to replace debit cards involved in Target data breach Citigroup will replace all customer debit cards involved in the data breach at Target Corp, the No3 US retailer, a spokeswoman for the bank said. The bank did not replace the debit cards sooner because it wanted to minimize disruptions during the holiday shopping season, the New York Times reported earlier, quoting a person briefed on the bank’s decision. -Reuters

Global stocks, dollar cheered by global economy pick-up Global stocks steadied around multi-year peaks and the dollar rose yesterday, held aloft by robust US, Japanese and European data and some upbeat corporate earnings. European car sales posted their highest year-on-year gain in four years in December, while in Japan core machinery orders jumped in November in a sign companies may be ready to ramp up investment and increase wages. – Reuters

'If inflation is the genie, then deflation is the ogre that must be fought decisively'

Banking regulation meets law of unintended consequences International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington REUTERS its lowest level since October 2008, the decline mostly reflected people leaving the labor force. Lagarde said central banks should be careful to withdraw monetary stimulus only once the economy is clearly on a firm footing. The Fed last month decided to trim its monthly bond purchases to $75bn from $85bn, and two of the US central bank’s most hawkish policy-

makers said this week that it should bring its bond-buying program to a swift close. Lagarde said the so-called “taper” of the Fed’s bond buying was not expected to roil markets as long as it was gradual. “We don’t anticipate massive, heavy and serious consequences,” she said. However, she said more rapid adjustments could cause sharp market

gyrations and volatile capital flows, which would hit some emerging markets in particular. Developing economies, which had been the engine of the global recovery after the 2008 financial crisis, are now slowing due to cyclical factors, Lagarde said. “Overall, the direction is positive, but global growth is still too low, too fragile, and too uneven,” she said. l

Dollar rises in Asia on upbeat US data n AFP, Tokyo

The dollar rose against the yen in Asia yesterday following another batch of upbeat US data that has fuelled speculation the Federal Reserve will announce a further cut to its stimulus this month. The greenback bought 104.73 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 104.59 yen in New York on Wednesday. And the euro climbed to 142.64 yen from 142.29 yen, rebounding after taking a hit in Europe after the release of weak German growth data. The single currency also strengthened to $1.3621 from $1.3606.

The dollar also climbed against its Australian counterpart in response to a report out of Canberra showing the economy lost 22,600 jobs last month. The "Aussie" fell to 87.96 US cents, a three-year low, from 89.03 cents the day before. On Wednesday, the Fed released its "Beige Book" survey that showed the US economy grew at a "moderate" pace across most regions at the end of 2013, with muted price and wage rises. Adding to the upbeat tone for traders was the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's general business conditions index that showed manufacturing activity in New York state reached

Microsoft considers Ericsson CEO for top job: report Microsoft Corp is considering Ericsson Chief Executive Hans Vestberg as a possible successor to outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, Bloomberg reported, citing sources briefed on the software giant’s executive search.

as long as economic growth stays below what policy-makers believe is optimal, the head of the Fund said on Wednesday. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde expressed concern about price growth remaining below the target of many central banks, which could hurt the nascent recovery. “If inflation is the genie, then deflation is the ogre that must be fought decisively,” Lagarde said at the National Press Club in Washington. An inflation rate that is well below the 2% targeted by some of the world’s major central banks carries risks in the longer term because it can deflate wages and demand, depressing the economy.

In the United States, Federal Reserve officials are stumped about why inflation has stayed so low for so long, and some worry it could be a sign the US recovery is not as strong as some other economic data might indicate. In theory, inflation should rise as the job market heals. However, disappointing data on US nonfarm payrolls last week offered a cautionary note after a string of data - from consumer spending and trade to industrial production - had suggested the US economy ended 2013 on strong footing and was positioned to strengthen further this year. While December’s unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 6.7%,


its highest level in more than a year. Also, the Labour Department reported that its producer price index rose 0.4%, slightly above estimates. The reports came after the World Bank raised its growth forecast for the global economy, and as the US House of Representatives approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2014, capping months-long negotiations and marking a truce in three years of fiscal battles plaguing Washington. The upbeat news followed weak US jobs data last week which dented speculation that the Fed would continue to scale back its monthly-bond buying scheme.

In December, the bank said it would reduce the easing measures by $10bn to $75bn in January. A reduction of the stimulus programme is a positive for the dollar as it means there is less cash in the financial system. "Consensus is being formed that the US jobs data don't reflect the actual status of the US economy," said Toshihiko Sakai, a senior manager of forex at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking. Markets are looking to US jobless claims later in the day for more clues about the employment market. "Even if the outcome just matches the market expectation, it should push up the dollar, especially because

it's after the poor jobs data last week." Praevidentia Strategy's Masafumi Yamamoto told Dow Jones Newswires. The greenback was higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to Sg$1.2737 from Sg$1.2712 on Wednesday, to 1,063.70 South Korean won from 1,062.79 won, and to 45.06 Philippine pesos from 44.99 pesos. It also gained to 61.62 Indian rupees from 61.57 rupees, to 12,120 Indonesian rupiah from 12,078 rupiah, and to 32.90 Thai baht from 32.86 while being unchanged at Tw$30.09. The Chinese yuan was at 17.28 yen against 17.24 yen. l

Arcane measures designed to make banks safer are pushing trading activity into areas where the banking regulator›s writ doesn›t run, making conventional markets more risky as volumes dwindle. Regulators determined to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis that floored investment banks in 2008 and beyond introduced a rule at the beginning of last year that makes banks hold enough capital to cover the worst 12 months in the history of their trading portfolio, on top of a capital provision to cover recent asset volatility. – Reuters

Apple to refund at least $32.5m in disputed kids’ app purchases Apple Inc will refund consumers at least $32.5m to settle a longstanding complaint that the technology company billed US consumers for charges incurred by children through mobile apps without their parents’ consent. Under the terms of the settlement, announced on Wednesday by the US Federal Trade Commission, Apple also will be required to change its billing practices to ensure it obtains consent from parents before charging for such in-app spending. – Reuters

S&P 500 closes at record on bank earnings, data US stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 climbing to an all-time closing high after strong earnings from Bank of America and data signaled that the economy was improving. -Reuters

January 17, 2014  
January 17, 2014