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Magh 14, 1420 Rabiul Awal 25, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 303




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Upazila challenge for parties Awami League faces headache Maintaining party unity at choosing single candidate grassroots crucial for BNP n Emran Hossain Shaikh The ruling Awami League is facing difficulty to pick up a single candidate for every upazila parishad election, with rebel candidates ready to take on a role in vying for the polls. The party president Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued a letter to every president and secretary in the district levels to stop rebel candidates from taking part in the election. Describing the upazila election as

very important under the current political scenario, Hasina asked the party activists to unite for the interest of party politics. She also instructed the upazila unit leaders to make sure that no rebel candidates contest the poll. Earlier, Awami League general secretary sent a similar message to the district unit leaders. The Election Commission has already fixed polls schedule in 215 of  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla With the pro-caretaker movement facing uncertainties, making sure that the grassroots remain united and the local leaders do not run against each other in the upcoming upazila parishad polls will be a steep challenge for the BNPled 19-party alliance. “If we fail to ensure single candidates in the Upazila polls, the Awami League will reap the benefit and the ongoing movement will be hampered,”

said a standing committee member of BNP on condition of anonymity. Just like last year’s city corporation elections, in which the BNP-backed candidates presented a nearly clean sweep, no political party can directly nominate candidates for the upazila parishad elections. But the parties can give support to certain candidates, which have historically played crucial roles in the results of such local body elections.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

First phase of Ijtema ends with prayer for world peace n Mohammad Jamil Khan The first phase of Bishwa Ijtema concluded yesterday with lakhs of devotees joining in a Final Prayer (Akheri Munajat) to seek world peace and stability and divine blessings for humankind. Indian religious scholar Maulana Zobayerul Hassan led the 20-minute prayer. As he started off around 12:55pm, the whole ground became a triumph of kneeling figures with heads lowered and hands held high into the sky – the only sounds audible outside his supplications were that of “Ameen” uttered in agreement by the devotees. Those who arrived at the venue only for the prayer started coming since early morning, braving chilly weather and acute transport crisis. Many walked to the ground from their homes, some  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

Khaleda Zia tells off runaway leaders n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia censured some runaway leaders for their passive role in the anti-government agitation that aimed at resisting the January 5 poll. She warned them that they would face the consequences for failing to remain active on the streets during the agitation. Khaleda Zia is going to her Gulshan office every day but many leaders who has been holed up for quite a long time to avert arrest are yet to meet her fearing harsh criticism.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

Clarification On January 25, Dhaka Tribune ran a front page story entitled ‘Hasina snubs nephew for JS whip post.’ The first paragraph of the article makes clear that the nephew it is referring to is Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury, a prominent member of parliament. However, the prime minister’s nephew, Radwan Siddiq, has pointed out the scope for confusion and requested that we print a clarification lest any reader be misled into believing that the article refers to him. Accordingly, we acknowledge that the prime minister has explicitly stated that her only nephew, as she defines the term, is Radwan Siddiq, the only son of her only living sibling, and, in case there is any confusion, we would like to clarify that we do not intend to implicate Radwan, and that the article does not refer to him in any way whatsoever.

During the hectic rush to return home after the Akheri Munajat of Biswa Ijtema yesterday, a man jumps from one train to another; risking his own life and those of his fellow passengers SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN


National Broadcast Policy okayed Karim and n Mohosinul Rabiul Islam The government has finalised draft of national broadcast policy for television channels and radio stations. An independent broadcast commission will also be formed to monitor activities of the TV channels and radio stations under the policy once the cabinet approves it. The draft will be sent to the cabinet for its approval soon. The draft policy titled National Broadcast Policy-2014 was finalised at a meeting with Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu in the chair in the information ministry conference room yesterday. “The policy will be placed before the cabinet within 10 to 15 days. After the approval it will come into effect,” Inu told the Dhaka Tribune at his office yesterday. The information minister said the policy was made to ensure accountability and protect interest of owners, employees and people. “People lodge complaints but we cannot solve them due to absence of a broadcast policy,” Inu said. Information Secretary Mortuza Ahmed said the ministry would send the draft policy to the ministry of finance and public administration ministry for their approval. According to the draft of the broadcast policy, a chairman will head the commission. Participation of stakeholders such as public servant, media personnel, broadcast expert, technologist, women activist, journalist, teacher, jurist and civil society members will be incorporated into the body. The chairman and members of the commission will be selected by a search committee to be formed by the information ministry. The president will appoint them according to the recommendation of the committee.

The commission will recommend that which TV channels and radio station the government should provide licence to. The commission would formulate a code of guidance or programme code for the broadcasting institutions and regulatory authority comprising four specific criteria into the code. They include authenticity of a news, professional neutrality, professional ethics and accountability. Allegations may be submitted to the commission if any programmes of the television channels and radios are deemed to be offensive. The draft says private TV channels must broadcast government press

‘People lodge complaints but we cannot solve them due to absence of a broadcast policy,’ notes, important announcements and national programmes. Talking to this correspondents, the information minister said the commission would be considered as a regulatory body of the broadcasting stations. The commission will monitor their activities and bring them under discipline, the minister said. “Steps will be taken against those who violates the rules involving anti-state activities. The government will take steps as per the recommendation of the commission.” The policy reads the authorities should not broadcast a news item that goes against the state and public interest. But it is not explained in the policy who to decide it and what type of contents will be considered as “anti-state and conflicting with public interest”. l

Muhith hints at ‘user tax’ Egypt calls early presidential election to boost revenue as violence spreads killing 49 n Tribune Report The Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday hinted at imposing “user tax” on the people who would avail different government facilities as a possible measure to boost revenue collection. He said the government had been emphasising on reducing customs duty to help local industries expand in the world market and strengthen the local market. “We will probably not observe any such day like the international customs day; rather we will discover a new source of tax in the future, to be called ‘user tax.’ People, who avail different facilities, will have to pay such taxes,” he said. The finance minister said such taxation was already in place in a number of sectors including water services and education, but the system needed improvement. The minister was addressing a programme organised by the National Board of Revenue to mark the International Customs Day 2014. A total of 179 countries, affiliated with World Cus-

toms Organisation (WCO), observed the day with the slogan “Communication: Sharing Information for Better Cooperation.” Muhith also said the country had witnessed a record revenue collection during the last five years. “Since 1980, no government has witnessed such record collection as we did in the last five years. Earlier, a major part of the revenue used to be generated from the customs. That has come down significantly and continue to do so in the coming days,” he said. Regarding modernising the Customs Act 1969, the minister said public opinion would be sought and the draft would not be turned into an act without discussion with stakeholders. Emphasising on enhancing public relations and communication with the mass, he said: “We will look to minimising the difficulties that the taxpayers face and be more bent on effectively using technologies.” At the programme, various stakeholders proposed including a private sector representative, along with two  PAGE 2 COLUMN 6


3 Lack of an accurate data on Rana Plaza victims is one of the main reasons why many of the family members of them are still deprived of adequate financial support, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers said yesterday. 5 The suffering of BRTC commuters is its peak; authorities have reduced the number of vehicles available for women and school students in the capital.


6 Over a thousand limestone factory workers have been risking their lives with direct exposure to silica dust, as they have no other means of making a living at

Burimari land port area in Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat.


9 A Thai anti-government protest leader was shot and killed in Bangkok on Sunday when violence erupted as demonstrators blocked early voting in many areas of the capital ahead of a disputed election next week.


11 Leaders of Ganajagaran Mancha had called for a week of boycotting all sorts of Pakistani goods since police stormed the procession of Shahbagh Ganajagaran Mancha before the Pakistan High Commission at Gulshan.

n Reuters Egypt will hold a presidential vote before parliamentary polls, President Adly Mansour said yesterday, in a change to a political roadmap that could pave the way for the swift election of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Parliamentary elections were supposed to be held first under the timetable drawn up after the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July following mass protests against his rule. The decision to revise the order of elections is likely to deepen tensions in Egypt, which is struggling to cope with waves of political violence. Forty-nine people were killed in anti-government marches on Saturday, the third anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. “I have taken my decision to amend the roadmap for the future in that we will start by holding presidential elections first followed by the parliamentary elections,” interim leader Mansour said in a televised speech.

Critics have campaigned for a change of the roadmap, saying the country needs an elected leader to direct government at a time of economic and political crisis and to forge a political alliance before potentially divisive parliamentary elections. Sisi is expected to announce his can-

didacy for the presidency within days and win by a landslide. His supporters see him as a strong, decisive figure able to stabilise Egypt. The Brotherhood accuses him of masterminding a coup and holds him responsible for widespread human  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

Excavators are seen in front of the Cairo Security Directorate, which was damaged by a car bomb attack on Friday, in downtown Cairo yesterday REUTERS




Monday, January 27, 2014

3 Jamaat-Shibir men killed in 'gunfight'

Three sub-inspectors and three constables also hurt in Satkhira and Jhenaidah cused neared the house of Ziaur Rah- naidah Jamaat leader was accused in a 10 cases, including a murder case. n Tribune Report Tarek Biswas, officer-in-charge man, alias Zia, an Afghanistan war vet- number of cases filed in connection with Three people — two of them Islami Chhatra Shibir activists, and the other a Jamaat leader — were killed in “gunfights” with joint forces in Satkhira and Jhenidah early yesterday. The law enforcement agencies said three sub-inspectors and three constables were also hurt in the fights. The deceased were Enamul Haque, 50, the secretary for Financial Affairs of Jamaat’s Kotchandpur upazila unit (killed in Jhenaidah); Abul Kalam, 22, secretary of Shibir’s Debhata upazila unit, and Maruf alias Choto, 23 (both killed in Satkhira). Police claimed Maruf was the member of a Shibir suicide squad. Satkhira police said Kalam, son of Akbar Ali of Kulia village under Debhata in the district, was accused in at least

of Debhata police station, said cases against him were filed in connection with the violence unleashed in February last year by Jamaat-Shibir after the verdict against Sayedee. The men were also accused of killing Abu Raihan, organising secretary of Awami League’s Debhata upazila unit, who was killed on November 21 last year. Maruf was accused in nine violence related cases, including a murder case. Police arrested Kalam and Maruf from their village on Saturday around 9pm. Then, after getting the information from the arrestees, police, with the members of other forces, raided different places in Debhata to apprehend their accomplices. The Debhata police officer claimed: “When joint forces along with the ac-

eran, at Narkeli village around 5:30am, a number of Jamaat-Shibir cordoned them; the mob fired around 50 bullets and hurled 15 bombs at the joint force trying to snatch the arrestees.” Then, in self-defence, members of the joint force started firing back, creating a 15-minute-long gunfight. The officer added that Kalam and Maruf sustained bullet wounds, and were rushed to Debhata Upazila Health Complex, and then to Sadar Hospital as their condition deteriorated. Doctors declared them dead around 6:50am. He claimed that two constables and one SI sustained minor injuries during the gunfight. Shahjahan Khan, officer-in-charge of Kotchandpur police station, said the Jhe-

recent violence staged by the Jamaat-Shibir men in Kotchandpur upazila. Police said he was one of the main people accused of attacking police and snatching their arms, on February 2013, immediately after the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to die in a war crimes case. Police said Enamul was also involved in cutting down government trees, blocking roads and torching polling centers during the polls on January 5. The Jhenaidah gunfight took place at Nawdagram Secondary School grounds in Kotchandpur upazila. The police officer said, acting on a tip-off, joint forces came to know that some criminals were holding a secret

meeting, and went to conduct a raid around 2am. He added: “Sensing our presence, Jamaat-Shibir men fired 10 bullets and hurled three bombs. The forces fired back, creating a 20-minute gunfight.” Enamul Haque, who was in the meeting, led the attack. He was hit by a bullet, he said. Sub-inspectors Mijanur Rahman, Moktar Hossain, and constable Joydev sustained injuries during the gunfight, added the officer. Police recovered a shuttered gun and two bombs from the scene, after the attackers had fled. Kotchandpur upazila ameer of Jamaat, Tajul Islam, said police arrested Haque while he was returning home from his Nirbahi upazila office around 4pm on Saturday. l

Trawler capsizes at Sadarghat, four missing n Kailash Sarkar A passenger trawler capsized on the River Turag yesterday night, leaving at least four missing. “Divers from the Fire Service and Civil Defense, local people and police had been trying to rescue the missing people,” said station officer Didarul Islam from the scene. Quoting witnesses and police, the official said the trawler, carrying at least 15 passengers, capsized immediate after being hit by a sand-laden vessel in the middle of the river near the VIP terminal of Sadarghat River Port. “When the trawler capsized, five of the passengers were rescued by the local people and few others swam ashore. However, at least 4 passengers are still missing,” he added. l

Ganajagaran Mancha to celebrate first anniversary on February 5 n Arif Ahmed The platform formed by the youths demanding trial of war criminals and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami’s politics, Ganajagaran Mancha, will celebrate its one year through a three-day countrywide programme from February 5. Mancha Convener Imran H Sarker yesterday announced the programmes from a press conference at Shahbagh, which was later labelled as Projonmo Chattar, where some 100 youths had begun the country’s unique people’s movement on that day. The programmes include processions, reminisce and essay competition. Imran said: “We have declared the three-day programme with a view to

carry forward our movement to the next generation. We have set many events for the children. They can make themselves prepare to lead the nation in future by participating in the programmes.” As per the scheduled programmes, on February 5 the platform will show respect at the Central Shaheed Minar in the morning. At 3:30pm, activists of Ganajagaran Mancha across the country would take oath; at 4pm, they will bring out a procession titled “Gajaran Jatra;” hold “Open Reminisce” at 6pm; and cultural programmes from 7-10pm. On the second day, a cultural programme will be held in participation with famous cultural organisations between 3pm and 6pm; “Reminisce for Media Workers” at 6-8pm; and

recitation of Liberation War poems at 8-10pm. A drawing competition would be held in the morning on February 7 for children in three categories. At 3pm, a mass rally will held at Projonmo Chattar followed by cultural programmes in the night. The Mancha also arranged an essay completion on “Shahbagh Andolon and Bhobishyat Bangladesh” (Shahbagh movement and future Bangladesh) where everyone can submit their writings within 1,500 words. The interested people have been requested to send their writings to the Ganajagaran Mancha co-ordination cell through and info@ l

Scores of devotees who came for the Akheri Munajat of Biswa Ijtema yesterday gather at Tongi Railway Station, waiting for a train to take them to their destinations SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

First phase of Ijtema ends  PAGE 1 COLUMN 1

came by rickshaws while some by whatever means they could afford. “I have been attending the Akheri Munajat for the past three years. I only come on the final day since women’s participation in the congregation is restricted,” said Josna, who came to attend the prayer from Savar. Many, failing to get through the thick crowds on the 160-acre venue, attended the prayer from the roofs of vehicles and boats and buildings surrounding the area. Those who could not get near the venue had also the opportunity to listen to the supplications in their cell

phones and electronic devices. The president and the prime minister also participated in the prayer, from the Bangabhaban and Gano Bhaban respectively. BNP chief Khaleda Zia joined the prayer sitting on the roof of a nearby factory. The garment factories in Tongi and Gazipur areas remained closed on the day in order for the thousands of workers to join the prayer. Besides, many private organisations, schools and colleges also remained shut for the same reason, said Nurul Islam, district commissioner of Gazipur. Prior to the inception of the prayer,

Khaleds Zia tells off runaway leaders there were sermons delivered like the previous two days starting after Fajr prayer. Muslims from 32 districts in the country and over 22,000 from outside have participated in the first phase of this year’s congregation. Devotees from the remaining 32 districts will participate in the second phase beginning on January 31. Mohammad Shhahid, who came to the venue from Jatrabari, said: “Though I was suffering from cold-related diseases, I could not stop myself from joining in the prayer. It is an amazing feeling to be part of a prayer

joined by lakhs of Muslims at once.” According to sources, around 5,000 devotees who participated in the first phase of Ijtema would travel around the country to spread the universal messages of Islam. More are likely to join them after the second phase. However, this year, the holy gathering was somewhat marred by the deaths of nine individuals who died of old age complications and cold-related diseases. Three of them who died yesterday were identified as Shiraj Mia, 50, Samir Uddin, 75, and Kashem Ali, 57, said Shah Alam Sharif, the civil surgeon of Gazipur. l

Finalising one candidate for each upazila a challenge for BNP  PAGE 1 COLUMN 4

A number of policymakers and local leaders of the party have said they are confident that they will be able to convince the local BNP leaders to not run against each other; but they are not so sure about the local leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the second largest ally of the 19-party combine. In the first phase of elections, which is going to cover 102 upazilas out of a total of 487, Jamaat leaders are contesting BNP leaders in at least 30, sources said. February 3 is the last date for withdrawing nomination papers for the upazila polls. A total of 55 candidates have submitted nomination papers for the elections in three upazilas of Pabna. In Sathia, four from BNP and one

from Jamaat are contesting the elections. In Atgharia, three local leaders – one each the Awami League, BNP and Jamaat – have submitted nominations. In Sujanagar, two BNP leaders are contesting the polls and there is no Jamaat leader in the run. Jahurul Islam, office secretary of the Pabna district BNP, said: “We are yet to decide whether we will contest the polls jointly or individually. That is why our leaders submitted the nomination papers individually.” However, Pabna district Jamaat Nayeb-e-Ameer Jahrul Islam said: “We are trying to reach a consensus with the BNP over finalising candidates. It is reflected in the fact that none from Jamaat is contesting the polls in Sujanagar upazila. We are also discussing the two other upazilas so that we can

back one candidate as an alliance.” However, a BNP leader said it would not be possible to ensure one single candidate in every upazila because there is no official party presence in these elections. “Anyone can contest the polls. But we are trying our level best to make sure that does not happen.” In a meeting on Saturday night, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia asked the alliance leaders to finalise the candidates they were going to back in consultation with their alliance partners. A central committee has already been formed to coordinate the elections in 225 upazilas, to be held in two phases – on February 19 and 27. The committee comprise BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Vice-Chairman Abdullah

Al Noman and BNP chairperson’s adviser Osman Farruk among others. “As there is no scope of contesting the elections using the party banner, local leaders will contest the polls and we will just coordinate. We have already begun talking to the local leaders to finalise the candidates,” Osman Farruk told the Dhaka Tribune. “Local level leaders will finalise the candidates in consultation with their fellow alliance contenders. They will decide on one single candidate for each of the upazilas,” Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, adviser to the BNP chairperson, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Khosru also said since there was still time for withdrawal of candidature, contenders could pull out to ensure one single candidate in each of the upazilas. l

Egypt calls early presidential election as violence spreads killing 49  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

rights abuses in a crackdown against the movement which has killed up to 1,000 Islamists and put top leaders behind bars. While tough measures against the Brotherhood have nearly crippled it, security forces have failed to contain an Islamist insurgency. Militant attacks have raised fears for the stability of Egypt, of great strategic importance because of its peace treaty with Israel and control over the Suez Canal.

Expected move

A new constitution voted in earlier this month cleared the way for a change in the order of the elections by leaving open the question of which should come first. “It was an expected move amid the growing signs that Sisi is being groomed to become the next president,” said Khaled Dawoud, a well-known liberal activist. Mansour did not announce a date for the presidential vote. The constitution says steps towards holding the first of the elections should be begin no lat-

er than 90 days from the ratification of the document in mid-January. Insurgents based in the Sinai Peninsula have stepped up attacks, killing hundreds since army chief Sisi ousted Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president. Gunmen killed three Egyptian soldiers in an attack on a bus in the Sinai yesterday, the military said, prompting a warning from the army that it would eliminate the Brotherhood, which it blames for much of Egypt’s political violence. Anti-government demonstrations in Cairo on Saturday were attacked by supporters of the new political order and security forces, witnesses said. Of the 49 people killed, 22 Brotherhood supporters were shot dead with live rounds in one district of northern Cairo, security sources said. The violence highlighted deep divisions that have flared often since the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak and raised hopes of a stable democracy. In another attack in the lawless Sinai, five soldiers were killed on Saturday when an army helicopter

crashed in the north of the peninsula in an operation against militants. Security sources said it was a missile attack, without giving further details. The army has not commented on the cause of the crash. Militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a helicopter in a statement posted on the internet. Egyptian authorities make no distinction between militant groups operating in the Sinai and the Brotherhood, which renounced violence in the 1970s but has been declared a terrorist group by the Egyptian government. In a statement about the bus attack posted on Facebook, the army said: “We assure the Egyptian people of the great determination of its men to fight black terrorism and the complete elimination of the advocates of oppression and sedition and blasphemy from followers of the Muslim Brotherhood.” The soldiers were killed on their way back home from holiday when gunmen

opened fire with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, security sources said. Mansour suggested that Egypt, criticised by human rights groups for its hardline tactics against both Islamist and liberal opponents, was about to resort to tougher measures. He said authorities would act swiftly to prosecute insurgents. “I have asked the President of the Appeals Court to expand judicial capacity in order to officiate speedy trials of terrorist cases,” said Mansour, adding this should not violate the fundamental rights of citizens. Such moves are likely to reinforce the view of government opponents that Egypt is returning to Mubarak’s iron-fisted rule, or worse. Mocking what has become known as Sisi mania - everything from T-shirts to posters to chocolates honour the general - the April 6 movement, which played a prominent role in igniting the revolt against Mubarak, criticised the change to the roadmap. It used a play on words to describe it in a tweet: “PresSisi-dential elections”. l


A senior leader said Khaleda Zia whined about the role of those leaders saying that they have to shoulder the responsibility for failure to build up resistance in the capital. She said she did not ask all the leaders to go into hiding and those who did so without her instruction the BNP chief was very unhappy with them. A joint secretary general, who was an MP from Chittagong division, of the party phoned Khaleda but he was told off. A few days back a standing committee member, who came to limelight as BNP’s youth front leader, also had to face the same fate as he phoned her, said party insiders. The joint secretary general said, it was the responsibility of the city BNP to wage movement in the capital and that is why it was the failure of the city BNP. He also alleged that the Dhaka city unit BNP Convener Sadeque Hossain Khoka convinced Khaleda to split the capital into eight zones and requested her to assign eight senior leaders

to wage movement in their respective areas. “It was his (Khoka) trick to put the responsibility on other leaders,” he said. Party insiders said a few days back a joint secretary general made a phone call to Khaleda Zia but she called him worthless. In reply the leader said: “We were not the leaders of the capital and even we were not assigned to coordinate the movement in the capital.” He also blamed the city unit leaders for not cooperating them during shutdowns and blockades. The BNP-led 18-party has been spearheading street movement since October 27 and since then more or less all the senior leaders especially the Dhaka city unit leaders have remained holed up fearing arrest. The blockade apparently isolated the capital from the rest of the country but no strong campaign was visible in Dhaka as none of the senior leaders were seen anywhere during the movement. l

AL faces trouble to choose single  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

487 upazilas in two phases. The first phase of the election will be held on February 19, and the second phase on February 27. Besides, the upazila polls will be held in three other phases to complete. In recent political changeover, the BNP-led alliance that boycotted the January 5 polls declared its interest in contesting the upcoming upazila poll. The ruling Awami League has decided to back any single candidate for this election to clinch its win. The premier warned the Awami League central leaders at the central committee meeting on January 18 that the rebel candidates might be bar to the party victory in the election. Sources said Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, also LGRD minister, had been tasked with co-ordination of the upazila election. Awami League would vie for the election individually, he said. Wishing not to be named, a northern district unit AL secretary said the central committee gave them directions, but they only knew how tough it was to carry out those instructions at field level. Advocate Golam Mohiuddin, president of AL Manikganj district unit, told the Dhaka Tribune it was really a tough job to select a single candidate. “Our efforts to choose a single candidate will continue till the last date of withdrawal of nominations, Mohiudin said, adding that in the local body election, most candidates do not want to follow the party high-ups’ order.” Advocate Sajedur Rahman Khan,

president of Natore district unit AL, echoed the same as Mohiuddin. “We held a secret vote to pick up a single candidate, but after that, the defeated group refused the voting result,” said Sajedur. He added that they were yet to get any instruction in writing till yesterday from the central committee to take any organisational action against the rebel candidates. Sirajganj district unit secretary KM Hossain Ali said they were trying to choose a single candidate, but called it a tough job. Nobody at grass roots level wanted to comply with the party decision, he added. Awami League Joint Secretary Mahbub-Ul-Alam Hanif told the Dhaka Tribune the Awami League decided to back a single candidate in every upazila election. “Our district unit leaders at their joint meetings have already started picking up single candidate to vie for the polls. We hope that there would be no more problem in choosing a single candidate in every upazila,” Hanif said. l

Muhith hints at  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

NBR officials, at the courts to make sure that there was no disparity. They said Bangladesh did not have risk management tools of international standards. That must be introduced to ensure transparency and for achieving revenue targets. The NBR honoured 17 of its officials, including two posthumously, and five others from different offices for their contribution in realising duties. l




Monday, January 27, 2014


CPD: Lack of concrete data affects humanitarian aid n MuktasreeChakmaSathi

Lack of an accurate data on Rana Plaza victims is one of the main reasons why many of the family members of them are still deprived of adequate financial support, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers said yesterday. They also pointed out that such lack of concrete data and coordination also affected the commitments given to the survivors and family members of the victims by the government and different organisation. They made the observations in a dialogue titled “Rana Plaza Tragedy and Beyond: An update on commitments and delivery” organised by the CPD in the BRAC Centre Inn auditorium in the city. Mukul Begum who lost her husband Mozammel Hossain, a worker of Rana Plaza addressing the dialogue said she had received only her husband’s salary of TK20, 000 after the disaster. Rathindra Dash who is yet to receive his daughter Nirmala’s body said he only received TK30, 000 through bKash donated by an Irish clothing retailer. Maryam Begum whose right hand was amputated, however, said she had received more than TK12lakh after the building collapse. If information sharing between different stakeholders had happened along with a concrete data on the victims it would have been easier to disburse monetary help to the victims, speakers pointed out. CPD researchers said different organisations came up with different data. The research was prepared by the CPD researchers K G Moazzem, Adiba Afros and FarzanaSehrin. According to the findings, MoLE, BGMEA and Action Aid named 3572

victims while the CPD, Bangladesh Institutes of Labour Studies (BILS) and Primark [an Irish clothing retailer] respectively mentioned the number as 3670, 3948 and 3621. All these organisations, however, put the figure of victims, who were buried unidentified but their identities were unearthed later, at 157. Speaking on the occasion noted economist RehmanSobhan said an integrated drive was needed to ensure the compensation to the victims and to improve the safety standard in the apparel industry. “Commendable steps were taken by the government and other quarters respondingto the situation in the aftermath of the collapse of the Rana Plaza. “It was a great disaster. But it was also proven that the sector had the capacity to turn around,”RehmanSobhan, also the chair of the CPD noted. Stressing the pressure from international buyers and labour organisations to improve the security standard in factories, BGMEA President MdAtiqul Islam said: “Given the reality it is not possible to meet the criteria proposed by them(buyer and international organisations). Now if the Alliance and Accord tell us to close our factories after inspection all factories have to be shut down.” The Alliance, a groupand the Accord, a legally binding agreement were founded recently mainly to ensure workers’ safety in Bangladesh. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of the results of these inspections. “This is a country where people do not even follow the simple traffic laws. This is the reality here. I admit we need to improve our safety measurements but despite many limitations and inter-

national pressure we have to run our readymade garment factoriesfor the sake of the livelihood of labourers and entrepreneurs and national economy as well,” Atiqul added. Referring to Atiqul’s comment, la-

A martyr’s wife yesterday told the war crimes tribunal that the razakars led by accused AKM Yusuf had carried out atrocities in their village in Bagerhat and forcefully converted members of the Hindu community into Muslim. Ullashini Das, the 26th prosecution witness, in her deposition said: “Among other victims, I lost my beloved husband Mahadev Chandra Das. We could not even bury him.” She said the razakars had forced over 300 Hindus of Shakharikatthi village in Kochua to convert into Muslim in the month of Srabon (Bengali month) in 1971. “They asked us [villagers] to go to the house of Dr Sanatan. We had to take beef to save our life.” The witness also told the tribunal that her husband had to go to mosque

five times a day after the conversion. After the cross-examination of the witness by defence counsel Mizanul Islam, the International Crimes Tribunal 2 set tomorrow for recording testimony of Md Helal Uddin, the investigation officer of the case. It is assumed that after the deposition of the IO, the case would start hearing closing arguments of both sides. Accused Yusuf, a senior nayeb-eameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, is facing 13 charges of crimes against humanity. He was indicted on November 1, 2012. According to the prosecution, Yusuf had been the founder of razakar force and chairman of Peace Committee in Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira areas. The groups had collaborated with the Pakistani occupation force to commit murders, rape, arson and looting

against the pro-liberation people. Ullashini in her deposition said the razakars led by Yusuf had gone to Shakharikatthi after two months, on the 18th day of Bengali month Kartik. At this, some villagers had fled the area and took shelter at the market. She said: “When the razakars attacked the marketplace, my father-inlaw and brother-in-law manage to escape but my husband could not.” Ullashini said she had searched the market area and shouted for the whereabouts of her husband but nobody answered. As Mahadev screamed for help from a nearby canal, she and her family members rescued him wounded. “Mu husband died on way back home. As we were afraid, we could not bury him.” l

Ershad, Rawshan differ in view over finalising women MP list n Manik Miazee Until yesterday, the faction of Jatiya Party (JaPa) led by HM Ershad was yet to finalise the candidates for reserved seat women MPs in 10th parliament because of lack of coordination between the party chief and his wife Rawshan Ershad – also the opposition leader. As many as 96 aspirants have bought nomination papers and they were supposed to be interviewed on January 20. But Ershad did not take the interviews. Later the party’s secretary general told the media that Ershad and his wife would select the women MPs within two days. The party is supposed to choose six women candidates and submit the list to the Election Commission within February 10. Party sources said there were differences of opinions between Ershad and Rawshan about choosing the women MPs. “Ershad does not want them who have been picked up by Rawshan. The opposition leader wants the women who support her as MPs; on the other

hand, Ershad wants those who are dedicated for the party,” said a leader wishing anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media.

Party sources said there were differences of opinions between Ershad and Rawshan about choosing the women MPs Meanwhile, many aspirants alleged that the party was selecting candidates on the basis of financial benefits. Refuting the allegation, Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader told the Dhaka Tribune that they were selecting the dedicated leaders of the party. Of the aspirants, 10 are forerunners are Ershad’s sister Marina Ershad; his brother GM Quader’s wife Sharifa Quader; Presidium member Morshad Murad Ibrahim’s wife Mahjabin Morshad; Ershad’s Press And Political Secretary

Sunil Shubho Roy’s wife Kanika Roy; Brig (retd) Giasuddin Chowdhury’s wife Mahmuda Chowdhury; Ershad’s friend and businessmen Md Shahjahan’s wife Sanjida Nahida Idris Nur; Saydabad Pir’s daughter Shahida Rahman; and party’s women affiliate President Nazma Akther. On the other hand, Kazi Zafar led Jatiya Party’s Secretary General Golam Mochi is likely to joint as a Rawshan’s political secretary. Sources said Mochi recently told Kazi Zafar that he wanted to leave the party. Mochi and Rawshan jointly have many businesses. JaPa Presidium member Ahsan Habib Linkan on Saturday joined the Kazi Zafar-led faction. He yesterday sent the resignation letter to Ershad. In the letter, he wrote: “The Jatiya Party is clearly divided over two factions as HM Ershad changes his mind frequently. One of factions is led by Kazi Zafar, while another by Rawshan Ershad.” In this situation, he thinks that the Kazi Zafar-led by faction can uphold the party’s ideology. l

Trial of 46 BNP men in arson case deferred n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed February 25 for witness deposition in the case filed against 46 BNP leaders including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir for torching vehicles in front of the Prime Minister’s Office during the shutdown on April 29, 2012. Metropolitan Magistrate Harun-or-Rashid deferred the trial acting on a time petition filed by the defence. The court fixed the new date for the submission of a High Court order on quashing the case and placing the first prosecution witness. Six BNP leaders including Amanullah Aman, Mirza Abbas, Nazim Uddin Alam and MA Matin appeared before the court during the hearing. Defence counsel Sanaullah Miah filed the petition mentioning that they had earlier filed a quashment petition with the High Court under section 561 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The case proceedings had earlier been stayed for six months following an order of the High Court. Later, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court vacated the stay order and directed the trial court to resume the proceedings. Then the defence filed a live to appeal against the Appellate Division order which is now pending for hearing. Other accused in the case include BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed and Liberal Democratic Party President Col (retd) Oli Ahmed. On May 10, 2012, Detective Branch Inspector Nurul Amin, also the investigation officer of the case, submitted charge sheet before the court. The investigation officer showed 18 people including the owner and the driver of the damaged vehicle as prosecution witnesses. Four other accused – Islami Chhatra Shibir President Delwar Hossain, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Maqbul Ahmed and Chhatra Shibir leaders Nurul Islam Bulbul and Abdul Zabbar – are absconding. The countrywide hartal was enforced to demand rescue of BNP leader M Ilyas Ali and restoration of caretaker government system. l

Govt to go tough on errant private universities n Tribune Report Legal actions would be taken against private universities if they fail to resolve conflicts with their respective trustee board members, said the Education Ministry yesterday. The decision was taken at an evaluation meeting of the ministry presided by Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid in presence of University Grants Commis-

sion Chairman A K Azad Chowdhury. Academic activities in some private universities are being hampered largely for their internal conflicts with members of respective trustee boards, observed the participants. They decided to either halt the academic activities of these universities or appoint an administrator from the government. The meeting stressed that those private universities that could not shift to

you [garments owner]but you have to convince us first that you are empathetic with us,” she added. Distinguished Fellow of the CPD Debapriya Bhattacharya said through this disaster a national unity was formed.

People from every sphere helped each other to turn back. “Mutual accountability was created. All we need is now to utilise such opportunity to bring change in a good way.” l

A rescue worker of Rana Plaza Tragedy speaks in a discussion meeting organised by the CPD in the capital’s BRAC Centre auditorium yesterday

Hindu widow recalls religious conversion n Udisa Islam

bour Leader NazmaAkter said if the garmentfactories are closed it is the workers who have to suffer ultimately as they will lose their jobs. “Improve the working condition gradually, we [labourers] will be with

their permanent campuses after seven years of receiving approval, must do so by September 15, 2015. In case they fail to do so, their temporary licenses would be cancelled, thus restricting from enrolling new students. Government would appoint vice-chancellor, pro-vice chancellor and treasurer for universities where the respective posts have remained vacant for long, and those that had not approached

the government in this regard yet. Action would be taken against universities that do not conduct audit or submit audit reports to the ministry on a regular basis. An audit team will be formed by the ministry and UGC jointly. The meeting decided to soon implement the Cross-Border Higher Education Act for allowing opening of branches of foreign universities in the country after scrutiny. l


BNP concerned over rise in extrajudicial killing n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla The BNP has expressed concerns over the rise of extrajudicial killings and urged the international rights bodies to raise demands for judicial investigation into the killings. “Law enforcers under the name of the joint force and ruling Awami League cadres have been repressing [opponent] leaders and activists. Extrajudicial killing has reached an alarming level. It is a dreadful signal,” said Asaduzzaman Ripon, BNP’s international affairs secretary, yesterday. At a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan office, he claimed that in Satkhira Abul Kalam and Rashedul had been picked up on January 23 and their bodies were found on January 25. The joint force arrested Chhatra Dal leader Azharul Haque of Islamkati union of Tala upazila in Satkhira the same day. “He [Azharul] is yet to be produced in the court. We are apprehending that

a cross fire drama might be staged after killing him tonight,” Ripon said. Regarding the “suicide” of Rana Plaza survivor Salma Begum, he said: “Families of many victims are passing days in hardships. We demand that information on the amount of compensation given to the victims and what amount of aides came for this purpose, and which families got the compensation is made public.” The BNP leader said if the victims and their families did not get the compensation properly, the image of the country’s RMG industry would be tarnished. Ripon also asked the government to make its position on Bangladesh cricket clear. Regarding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s statement about Khaleda Zia, Ripon said: “The prime minister should come out of the culture of vengeance and slamming opponents. The BNP will never say to the prime minister, ‘You go to India.’” l

Model Pallab among 5 freed n Kailash Sarkar In separate drives police detained 20, including fashion model and actor Pallab, from capital’s Rampura, Karwanbazar and Bhashantek areas in the early hours of yesterday and recovered firearms, bullets and sharp weapons. Pallab and four of his associates were released 10 hours after arrest as police found them innocent after interrogation. Along with 10 others, Pallab was detained by Rampura police from a house in Banasree. The detainees are Kamal, Aftab Islam Johnny, Farid Uddin, Obaidul Islam, Liton Matubbor, Ismail Hossain. Police released Pallab along with Saddam, Hridoy, Moniruzzaman and Pallab’s chauffeur in the afternoon. “They were held when Pallab, along with his three associates and driver, went to Kamal for selling cinema and drama,” said Inspector Kripa Sindhu Bala, officerin-charge of Rampura police station. She said they were arrested during a

drive around 1am from Kamal’s place. Police seized three firearms, 14 rounds of bullets and four sharp weapons from the spot. “Kamal and five of his associates are involved in various criminal activities like extortion, robbery, drug peddling and mugging in the area,” said Kripa. Kamal was accused in eight cases and two general diaries were filed against him on various criminal charges, she added. Members of Bhashantek police station detained nine robbers from Bhashantek and Karwanbazar areas with tools for making explosives and conducting robbery. Following statements of six arrested-Mehedi Hasan Rana, Tofazzal Islam, Piayakat Ali, Nannu Miah, Juboraj and Rafiqul Islam- police arrested three other members of the gang-Md Shahjahan, Himel and Alfaz-from Karwanbazar. Eight crude bombs, eight machetes and various equipments used in robberies were recovered from their possession. l




Monday, January 27, 2014

Bangladeshi ‘students’ causing immigration mayhem Malaysian authorities coming down hard on illegal entrants n Rabiul Islam Non-tourists and non-students are going to Malaysia on tourist and student visas, which, the Bangladesh mission officials there fear, will seriously damage the Bangladesh labour market. A senior official said the visas of these people expired soon after arriving, and they were often times caught by Malaysian authorities for overstaying, tarnishing the reputation of Bangladesh, and making it even more difficult for genuine workers to get visas and jobs. According to officials of the welfare desk at the Shahjalal International Airport, around 200 people who are neither

tourists nor students, fly to Malaysia every day on a tourist or student visa. However, immigration officials claimed that the number was around 50-60 a day. “We once encountered a person who could not even write the word ‘student,’ but went to Malaysia on a student visa,” an immigration official told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. A few months back, many were barred from going to Malaysia because of their “suspicious” activities, but following a government instruction the bar was later withdrawn. “We have nothing to do once they file writ petitions with the High Court against the bar,” said the official.

A section of travel and recruiting agencies, along with some officials at the Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka, were responsible for facilitating the illegal act, officials concerned said. “In Malaysia, we face embarrassment when these immigrants who are not really students or tourists, become illegal after a few months,” Bangladesh Labour Counsellor in Malaysia Mantu Kumar Biswas told this correspondent over phone. Admitting the situation, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training Director General Begum Shamsun Nahar said: “We have a taskforce that conducts drives to nab such passengers. Home Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry

should take steps in this regard.” “We need to create awareness among people about these ‘students’ who routinely overstay their visas and then often land in jail. If they are aware of the consequences of their activities, they would not spend such a huge amount to fly to Malaysia in the first place,” she said. Yesterday, coastguards rescued 57 near Kuchbania area under Sabrang union of Teknaf upazila while trying to go to Malaysia illegally through sea. The Teknaf Station Commander Lt Dewan Rafiqul Alam said the rescued were being trafficked to Malaysia. Upon interrogation, the traffickers would be traced. According to Bangladesh High Com-

mission in Malaysia, around 400,000 to 500,000 Bangladeshis are currently working there. Meanwhile, in a nationwide crackdown against unwanted foreigners, Malaysian authorities had nabbed a total of 1,577 foreigners, of whom 275 were Bangladeshis, according to Bangladesh High Commission. On November 3 last year, a Malaysian English daily The Star reported that thousands of illegal Bangladeshi workers were pouring into the country, aided by unscrupulous Malaysian education centres and human trafficking syndicates. The report titled “Bangladeshi illegals are flooding in,” read that these in-

Kidnapped boy found dead n Narayanganj Correspondent

Three on 3-day remand in Rana killing case n Court Correspondent

Narayanganj police recovered the body of a minor boy yesterday from Rupganj, five days after his kidnaping. Police said the gang killed Jahidur, a student of class three, as his parents failed to pay the ransom money of Tk1,000,000 lakhs. Earlier, on January 21 the boy was kidnapped while he was returning home from his school. Along with Jahidur, the gang also kidnapped another minor, Sakim. They demanded Tk1,500,000 lakhs from Sakim’s father as ransom money, and killed Sakim as his family failed to pay the amount. His body was recovered from Sadipur under Sonargaon in Narayanganj. l

A Dhaka court yesterday placed three suspects on three days’ remand in a case filed in connection with the killing of Swechchhasebak League activist Mahabubur Rahman Rana in the capital last week. Metropolitan Magistrate Rezaul Karim passed the order when the investigation officer of the case, Sub-Inspector Kamrul Islam of Ramna police station, produced the three men before the court and sought a 10 day-remand. After a brief hearing, the court granted three days’ remand for each of them. The suspects were identified as Mashiur Rahman Ripon, Shamsul Ahsan and Jamal Hossain. On Thursday, unidentified assailants hacked Rana to death at a lane near the city’s busy Moghbazar intersection. Rana was an aspirant for the general secretary post of the ruling Awami League’s volunteer wing from Ramna. He was also a former vice-president of Chhatra League’s Ramna unit. l

Chhatra League men beat up alleged Shibir activist n Our Correspondent, Barisal Bangladesh Chhatra League activists allegedly beat a Shibir man at Barisal University yesterday. The victim Abdul Hye was a third year student of Mathematics department of the university. Witnesses said Chhatra league men attacked the youth while he was carrying a number of copies of a magazine named ‘Alakto’ around 2:20pm. Then Abdul Hye ran to the vicechancellor’s office and took shelter there, where the VC and other teachers controlled the situation. Jasimuddin, a leader of the Chhatra League, said they nabbed Abdul Hye while he was distributing leaflets in favour of Jamaat-Shibir. But Abdul Hye denied the allegation and said he was a little-magazine activist and he was carrying the magazine that he worked for. l


Night temperature to fall slightly n UNB Weather may remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the river basins and light to moderate fog elsewhere over the country during midnight till morning, Met Office said. Night temperature may fall slightly and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:41pm today and rises at 6:42am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 28.3 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday in Sitakunda and lowest 10.0 degrees in Ishwardi. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

25.0 25.3 25.2 19.8 26.5 25.4 28.0 27.6

16.0 17.5 10.6 11.0 12.5 12.0 13.9 17.5

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

5:23am 6:41am 12:11am 4:06pm 5:41pm 7:00pm


stitutes and centres even falsify attendance records and provide “progress reports” for the disguised “students” to Malaysian Immigration when the visas need to be renewed. These syndicates largely prefer to bring in Bangladeshis under the guise of students as they are granted visas for two and six months, compared to only one month as a tourist, according to the report. Some colleges also provide necessary documents to certify the worker as a “student.” Later these “students” are sent to factories in Selangor, Johor or Perak where they work as a welder or labourer, earning wages of RM30 to RM60 per day. l

Visitors take pictures of paintings exhibited at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the National Museum yesterday. The exhibition was of the paintings that won in an art competition organised last year marking the 38th death anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman RAJIB DHAR

DGHS: Bangladesh ready to eradicate leprosy n Tribune Report

Bangladesh observed World Leprosy Day 2014 yesterday with processions and discussion meetings to create awareness about the infectious but curable disease in line with this year’s theme, “Joining forces: Accelerating progress”. Dr Ashek Hossain, director of leprosy at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Dhaka Tribune that Bangladesh was now at a stage to eradicate leprosy. A country is considered at the eliminating stage if it is able to keep the leprosy prevalence rate below one in 10,000, Hossain said.

The director also said eight non-government organisations were working to eliminate the age-old disease from the country. DGHS, along with different private oganisations, arranged a programme to mark the day at a Catholic church in the capital’s Mohammadpur area. In Barisal, the day was observed with a call to raise awareness of leprosy as a 21st century disease to help transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. According our Barisal correspondent, the district civil surgeon’s office brought out a procession from the Ashwini Kumar Hall to the Oxford Mission School and held a discus-

sion meeting at the school premises. Dr ATM Mizanur Rahman, Barisal district civil surgeon, presided, while Salma Begum and Fakhrul Islam, leprosy eradication project officials at the civil surgeon’s office, addressed the meeting. The speakers said leprosy remains an ignored health problem to this day as the disease usually gets detected at an advanced stage, mostly due to lack of awareness about its early symptoms. Hence, they said, there was a need for speedy and accurate diagnostic tests that can detect the disease in the early stages, especially in remote areas. The debilitating disease affects the nervous system, causing loss of sensation. As initial symptoms of the dis-

ease are often misleading, detection of thickened and enlarged nerves could help in its early diagnosis, they observed. Nowadays, the diagnosis and treatment of the disease is easy, and most endemic countries are striving to fully integrate leprosy care into existing general health services. Such services were especially important for underserved and marginalised communities, who are most at risk from the disease, the speakers noted. The last Sunday of January is dedicated to disseminating information about the disease that can be easily prevented and cured. l

Ex-mayor Khoka denied bail n Court Correspondent A Dhaka court has refused bail to BNP vice-chairman and former mayor of Dhaka city Sadeque Hossain Khoka in two separate cases related to exploding bombs and sedition. Metropolitan Session Judge Md Jahurul Haque passed the order yesterday after hearing a bail petition filed by Khoka’s lawyer, Md Sanaullah Miah. The two cases against Khoka on charges of blasting bombs and sedition were filed with Paltan and Sutrapur police stations on November 15 and December 10 respectively. The same court on Thursday denied Khoka bail in four other cases filed with Ramna, Mohammadpur and Shahbagh police stations. Khoka was arrested from a residence in the capital’s Uttara area on December 4. l

BNP leader arrested, bailed out Petition of accused disposed in idol vandalism case n AUGUST 21 GRENADE ATTACK CASE

Tribune Report

The High Court yesterday disposed of a plea of an accused in August 21 grenade attack cases, Pakistani national Abdul Majed, about the testimony of his former wife as prosecution witness. The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order on the petition seeking cancellation of the deposition of Nahid Laila, a Bangladeshi citizen, against him, Assistant Attorney General Gazi Mamunur Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune. Laila gave her deposition as the 73rd prosecution witness on September 15 last year.

The HC said the trial court could not record the portion of the testimony she had heard from Majed during their marriage life. The trial court could consider only the part of the testimony which she had heard from other persons, in line with section 122 of the Evidence Act, 1872, said Mamunur. The case filed over a grenade attack launched on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004 is underway at the Dhaka’s Speedy Trial Tribunal 1. At least 23 people including Ivy Rahman were killed in the attack. Then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina received ear injury. l

n Our Correspondent, Barisal

A BNP leader was granted bail in a case of idol vandalism within hours of his detention in Barisal on Sunday. However, the members of local Hindu community criticised the indictment and said it was done by police to harass him since he had not been accused in the case filed by the complainant. The case was filed after unidentified miscreants on January 23 damaged four idols of a temple at the Maddhya Rajarchar area of Charmonai union in Barisal Sadar upazila, about eight kilometres off the divisional city.

Police lodged a general diary following the incident while Bijoy Krishna Haldar, president of Maddhya Rajarchar Durga-Kali Mandir, lodged a case without accusing anyone in particular. In his case file, Bijoy Krishna only mentioned that he found the idols partially damaged when he entered the temple on Thursday. However, police on Saturday night arrested Abdus Salam Rari, president of Charmonai-BNP unit and a former UP chairman, from his home and pressed against him charges of idol vandalism. He was produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court on

8 cops suspended as Tk16.4cr looted from Sonali Bank vault n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj At least Tk16.4 crore was looted from a branch of Sonali Bank on Isha Khan Road of Kishoreganj town yesterday. Superintendent of Police Anwar Hossain Khan suspended eight policemen deployed in a barrack on the basement of the bank building. He suspected that a gang might have committed the robbery. “We are looking into the matter.”

Senior Cash Officer Mohosinul Haque said there was at least Tk250 crore stashed up in the vault. He and Cash Officer Hassan Ahmed Moyeen found the vault broken when they went for a check around 3:30pm. Branch Manager Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said the robbers had dug a passage into the vault in the basement. The passageway was dug from an adjacent building, a tenant of which has been missing since the incident. l

Sunday morning and subsequently granted bail upon his prayer. In a statement read out before the court, the complainant said he did not mention any name in the case and had therefore no objection to Rari’s being bailed out. Later, prominent members of the Hindu community at a press conference criticised police’s bringing charges against Rari and observed that it was done intentionally to harass him. In this regard, Shakhawat Hossain, officer in charge of Kotwali police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that Rari had been arrested as a “suspect”. l

Study event held n Tribune report

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Tim Bolotnikoff cuts a ribbon to inaugurate Study in Australia DHAKA TRIBUNE

The Australian Trade Commission (ATC) of the Australian High Commission and IDP Education organised an event titled “Study in Australia” at a city hotel on Friday. Australian Deputy High Commissioner Tim Bolotnikoff and Trade Commissioner Patrick Kearins inaugurated the event. ATC Country Manager Minhaz Chowdhury, Business Development Manager Mostafizur Rahman and IDP Education for Bangladesh Country Manager Ravi Chandran were present at the event. l




Monday, January 27, 2014

BRTC’s special city services in sorry state Despite recent directives from high-ups, the state-run operator has reduced the number of buses for unknown reasons ily subsidised.” n Abu Hayat Mahmud Sajeda Munir, a resident of Mirpur, The suffering of BRTC commuters is its peak; authorities have reduced the number of vehicles available for women and school students in the capital. The BRTC introduced the two special schemes three years ago, with about 22 buses set aside for women and school students. Now only 7-8 of those buses are running. Despite recent directives, from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, to increase the number of buses under the scheme, the state-run BRTC has, for unknown reasons, reduced the number of buses. BRTC former chairman, Major (retd) MM Iqbal, inaugurated the scheme in July 2012. It was later suspended because of a shortage of busses. An official, seeking anonymity, said the reduction occurred because authorities had to use the special service busses to fill the shortage of staff buses for its own employees, and needed to run combined services, as opposed to student or women only ones, to earn enough money. The women and school bus services were at one point suspended for a few days because of a shortage of passengers. The BRTC official also said; “If the authorities run the services with a large number of busses, it will have to be heav-

said; “I usually wait for the bus, but I cannot find it on the road these days.” Only a limited number of buses under both schemes ran on the existing routes when the service began in 2011. “We have urged the authorities concerned to increase the number of school buses. But the BRTC is now trying to stop the services,” she said. The BRTC Director (Admin and Operations) Nikhil Ranjan Roy, told the Dhaka Tribune: “The number of buses has been reduced for the school services: in December-January most of the schools are closed for winter vacation.” “We also reduced the number of busses running due to the recent political violence,” he said. Nikhil said; “We are trying to overcome the crisis; new buses will be added to the scheme.” According to the BRTC sources, when the women-only scheme was inaugurated there were 4 buses on the Rampura-Motijheel route, 2 on the Tongi-Motijheel route, and 2 on the Mirpur-Motijheel route. Now the numbers of busses have reached half what they were. Likewise, BRTC initially provided 14 buses for the schools service to 26 schools situated at different areas from Mirpur 12 to Azimpur in the capital. At present, the numbers are as low as 3 to 4. l

School children along with guardians travel on a BRTC bus

International flights soon from Sylhet Osmani Airport n Our Correspondent, Sylhet The construction work of Sylhet Osmani Airport refueling station is on the verge of the completion and international flights are expected to start from March this year. The construction work began in January 2012 with a budget of Tk51.18 crore under the supervision of Padma Oil, a state-owned petroleum company. The project was scheduled to end in June last year but it was delayed because of many different reasons stated by the authorities concerned. Later, the deadline was extended to June of this year, increasing the budget to over Tk53.15 crore. Project Director Aminul Haq said around 70% work of the refueling station was completed as the construction of three of the total five section sof the

station had finished. He said: “If there is no political unrest in the coming days ahead, the machineries will be installed soon which have already reached Dhaka and Chittagong offices. The work of the project will end by March this year after which international flights can start operating.” Jalalabad Vegetable and Frozen Fish Exporters’ Association General Secretary Monzur Ahmed said: “The refuelling station would create the possibility to export goods along with the transportation service.” Establishments at the refuelling station are a three-storey office building, three storage tanks, pipe line, electric centre, rest house, garage, officers’ and staffs’ rooms, two dispensers and filtering system. Besides, there are three reservation tanks, hydrant line, depot refuelling dispenser and filter, and

large tank lorries. The announcement to make Sylhet Osmani Airport as the third international airport came in December 20, 1998.The airport’s digitalisation process started in 2004. Later, international flight at the airport kicked off in March 12, 2006 which however halted after few days since there was no refuelling system. The refuelling system project started in 2012 after the decision of its construction was taken in 2010, following the promise of Sylhet 1 constituency Awami League candidate Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in the parliamentary election in 2008. Human Rights Peace for Bangladesh lodged a writ petition with the High Court a year back against the decision to suspend the Sylhet-London flight, said journalist Rahmat Ali. l


Tighter security measures taken in Khulna to protect minorities n Dipankar Roy, Khulna Khulna district administration has taken measures to ensure security to the minority communities in the city and nine upazilas under the district. Alongside the regular force, it has deployed Village Defense Police (VDP) in 68 unions under the upazilas to prevent any kind of violence against the members of minority communities, their households, establishments, temples and idols. The Deputy Commissioner Md Anis Mahmud said the security measures were taken upon receiving a letter from the Deputy Secretary of Home Ministry Md Khairul Kabir on January 9. Mobile courts are in operation while

VDP members are on duty round-theclock under the monitoring of the upazila nirbahi officers (UNO), he said. UNO of Batiaghata upazila Shanti Moni Chakma said: “I have always engaged the union parisad chairmen with Hindus in their respective areas so that members of the Hindu community did not feel insecure. People should also be assured that there is no bad omen in the locality. Our slogan is ‘Unity is strength’.” Khulna Police Super Golam Rouf Khan said all the officers-in-charge of the nine police stations in the district had been directed to keep a vigil on the temples. There are 531 temples in 68 unions under Khulna, he said. l

Dhaka-Barisal Biman flights to resume, says Menon n Our Correspondent, Barisal

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina soothes a child during a vaccination campaign at Ganabhaban yesterday. The premier inaugurated the measles-rubella vaccination campaign and the 21st National Vaccination Day PMO

Victim support centre launched in Chittagong n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong Bangladesh Police yesterday launched its Victim Support Centre in Chittagong to provide legal assistance to victims of different social crimes. The centre has been set up at the port city’s Double Mooring Police Station and will cover the entire Chittagong division. Additional Inspector General (CID) Md Mokhlesur Rahman inaugurated the centre as chief guest while Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam presided over the function. During the inauguration, he said Victim Support Centres are being introduced across the country in phases to provide assistance for the victims, especially women and children, and to grow

awareness among the people. “Senior officials have been asked to take action against subordinates who misbehave with women and children while discharging his or her duty at a police station,” he added.

The support centre will cover the entire Chittagong division Under Police Reform Project, the centre will be operated by total 24 trained female police personnel, led by an assistant commissioner, and will be assisted by 10 non-governmental organisations. After the inauguration, police officials and citizens took part at a workshop held at the centre. l

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon yesterday assured that flights of Bangladesh Biman Airlines which were previously operated from the Barisal Airport would soon be resumed on the Barisal-Dhaka-Barisal route. Menon, who also hails from Barisal, made the statement while visiting the airport and exchanging views with journalists and civil society members. He said Barisal Airport was the gateway to the southern region of the country and could play a significant role in expanding the tourism industry and also facilitate relief operations in this natural disaster-prone region. Therefore it needs to be expanded,

modernised and connected with the national and international network, said the Workers Party chief. Built in 1985 on 163 acres of land, Barisal Airport was turned into an abandoned cattle-grazing field in the absence of flight operation in 2009, until United Airways started operating domestic flights on the Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route on April 25, 2013. The domestic airport was also used by the foreign cargo planes for carrying relief materials sent by different countries to Sidr hit 11 southern districts after the catastrophe occurred in 2007. Awami League lawmakers- Talukdar Md Yunus, Sheikh Md Tipu Sultan, Shawkat Hossain Hiron, and Golam Sarwar, editor, daily Samakal, were present at the meet among others. l

Tough fight among relatives for Muksudpur upazila chairman post n Tribune Report There will be a tough fight among the relatives for the post of Muksudpur upazila chairman in Goplagnaj. Awami League upazila unit president Advocate Atikur Rahman Mia, his sonin-law Md Kabir Mia (AL leader) and his nephew Ahajjad Mohasin Khipu (BNP leader) submitted their nomination papers to Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Khairuzzaman on Saturday, the last day of submitting nomination papers. On the other hand, the election of Kotalipara upazila will be held on February 27. Aspirant candidates and their supporters are collecting nomination papers from assistant returning officer.

Now, they are attending social events with a view to introducing themselves with the local voters. In addition, it was also learnt that many candidates and also Awami-backed candidates are staying in the capital in a bid to get favours from party’s high-ups. The premier will talk with the party leader of Kotalipara upazila today at the PM office, said Kotalipara upazila Awami League president Advocate Shubash Chandra Joydhar. A total of 31 candidates have submitted nomination papers to contest for the post of chairman in the upcoming elections of Koira and Digholia upazilas in Khulna.

Of them, eight candidates submitted nomination papers for the post of chairman from Koira upazila. Meanwhile, five candidates submitted nomination papers to contest for the post of chairman from Digholia upazila. All these nomination papers were submitted by candidates of Awami League, BNP, JaPa, CPB and Jamaat-e-Islami. From Koira upazila, five candidates of Awami League, two of BNP and one of Jamaat submitted nomination papers to vie for the post of upazila chairman. Meanwhile, two Awami League and two BNP candidates submitted nomination papers to contest for the post of chairman of Digholia upazila. l

Gold bars worth Tk1cr seized at Dhaka airport n Kailash Sarkar Customs officials have seized 20 bars of smuggled gold worth Tk1 crore from a Dubai expatriate at Shahjalal International Airport yesterday The arrestee has been identified as Nazrul Islam, 43, from Comilla district, who arrived in Dhaka from Dubai by a Qatar Airways flight. AKM Wahidul Islam, assistant commissioner of the Customs Department at the airport, said acting on a tip-off, a team of customs searched the respective flight immediate after it touched down at Shahjalal airport. “After searching Nazrul, the custom officials recovered the gold bars.” Customs officials suspect that Nazrul is a member of a gold smuggling ring and was about to return to Dubai after handing over the gold bars to a contact in Dhaka. A case has been filed with airport police station in this regard. More than 600 kilograms of gold and several currencies worth more than a hundred crore were seized by the customs department in 2013, said airport sources. l

Four injured in Teknaf gunfight n Our Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar At least four people, including two sub-inspectors, received bullet injuries when a gunfight erupted between the police and a group of human traffickers in Teknaf yesterday. The injured are: Sub-Inspector Nurunnabi, 40, and Noyon Barua, 33, Constable Afjal Hossain, 27 and alleged human trafficker Abdul Foyez. Teknaf police station Inspector Didar Ferdous said, acting on a tip-off, a police team went to Katabonia area of Sabrang union to nab human traffickers. “At one stage, the human traffickers fired on the police, forcing them to retaliate. Three policemen and one alleged trafficker received bullet injuries in the gunfight,” he added. l

BNP leader held for assaulting LGED staff n Our Correspondent, Munshiganj Police on Saturday night arrested Abul Kalam Kanon, joint secretary of district BNP, for allegedly assaulting a LGED staff at Sreenagar upazila in Munshiganj. The BNP leader was arrested after the victim, LGED Supervisor Mahmud Mia, filed a case against him and two others with Sreenagar police station. According to the case, a quarrel erupted between the two when the official accused Kanon, also a local contractor, of using sub-standard materials in repairing a road at the Vanga area of the district town. Later, Kanon and few of his associates assaulted the LGED staff. l




Monday, January 27, 2014


Exposure to noxious silica dust can be fatal Correspondent, n Our Lalmonirhaat Over a thousand limestone factory workers have been risking their lives with direct exposure to silica dust, as they have no other means of making a living at Burimari land port area in Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat. Exposure to silica dust, which is commonly present in limestone, can cause Silicosis, an incurable lung disease, within few months. There are around 25 limestone grinding factories at Burimari area, where labourers, mostly young men, work from dawn to dusk for a daily wager of Tk250 to Tk300, generating lime powder to be used as poultry feed. The Civil Surgeon of Lalmonirhat Dr Jahagir Alam Sarker said: “The disease is called ‘simple silicosis’ in the primary stage and if the patient refrains from further exposure, the disease does not get worse.” “However, if the disease gets into the next stage, the patient’s condition worsens gradually,” he added. Sources confirmed that at least 21 people died from Silicosis in the last five years, and day labourers are already suffering from the disease. They also said that many of the patients cannot afford the treatment costs and are now in a financial crisis.

Tree felling kills one in Khagrachhari n Our Correspondent, Khagrachhari

A biker was killed on the spot and his associate seriously injured yesterday after a tree fell on them while cutting it down by the Khagrachhari Municipal Authorities in Bangalkathi area of the district. The deceased was Dhan Kumar Tripura, 32, son of Narayan Tripura. Hota Roy Tripura, 24, was another victim who was critically injured. Both hailed from Matiranga upazila of the district. Officer-in-Charge Mohammad Mizanur Rahman of Sadar police station admitted that the accident took place due to negligence of the municipal authorities concerned. He said there had been no safety measures taken while felling the tree. Contacted, Municipal Mayor Md Rafiqul Alam said the accident occurred due to lack of precautions of the municipality staff engaged in tree felling. l

“We know silica dust is the prime reason behind Silicosis and we inhale it while working in the factories, but we have no other alternative as there is no other work available in the area to make a living,” said worker Moksedul Islam. “Agricultural work here is seasonal and there is not enough work for everyone, so limestone factories are the only work available all the year round that can feed their families,” he added. “In and around the factories, a dense fog of white dust, producedwhile crushing limestone, hangs in the air. The dust makes us looklike white apparitions,” said day labourer Rezaul Islam, 26, who has been working at a factory for the last four years. “Except for our bloodshot eyes, everything else about us is white,” said day labourer ManirulIslam, 25, adding that most labourers get short of breath while working. Burimari land port SangjuktaSramik Federation President SoforUddin said: “Most of the labourers are aware of the occupational hazards, but they are helpless as work is scarce in this Monga-prone part of the country.” “We urged the factory owners to ensure safety measures, especially face masks for the workers in the factory. However, they are yet to reply to our demands,” he said. l

A worker grinds limestone at a factory in Burimari land port area in Lalmonirhaat yesterday. Most workers are now facing health hazards due to the exposure to silica dust at the factories DHAKA TRIBUNE

Furusundi men flee fearing reprisals n Our Correspondent, Jhenaidah Over 1,000 men from five villages under Fursundi union in Jhenaidah sadar upazila went into hiding, fearing arrest in connection with the cases filed for killing two farmers during tri-party clash on January 18. As men are not staying at their houses, the women are passing their nights in insecurity. They are also not sending their kids to school for fear of being harmed. Farmers Arif Hossain, 22, and Shah Alam, 12, were gunned down during a tri-party clash among the supporters of Awami League leader Abdul Malek, Union Parishad Chairman Shahidul Sikder, and police personnel at Tikary village. About 30 BNP men were accused in the murder cases. But police could not find out who were responsible for the double murder even after nine days had passed after the killing. Ali Kadar, a farmer of Fursundi village, said people from a rival group had looted his four goats and a shallow machine during the clash.

He said supporters of Abdul Malek had done the misdeed as like many villagers he was the supporter of Sahidul Chairman. Police said supporters of Advocate Abdul Malek had attacked the law enforcers following a clash between Malek and his rival also another Awami League leader Shahidul Sikder, better known as Shahidul Chairman, over establishing domination in the locality on the day.

Police could not find out who were responsible for the double murder even after nine days had passed after the killing The villagers said at least 53 shallow machines, more than 150 cows and other belongings had been looted from five villages under Fursundi union in last nine days after the clash. Residents of Tikary village – Saidul Islam, Nasir Biswas, Altaf Hossain, Ab-

dur Razzaque and Abdul Majid – said they were not staying at home to avoid arrest. Afzal Biswas, Abdul Aziz and Liakat Ali, residents of Dahakola village, said although it was harvesting time of lentil and mustard, they were not able to take the crops to home. Shila Khatun, daughter of Altaf Biswas of Tikary village, said supporters of Abdul Malek had looted her gold chain, mobile phone and other accessories soon after the killing. Bina Khatun, Majeda Khatun and some other women were also physically tortured. Residents of Dakakola village said they had damaged the bamboo made bridge which was the only the means for crossing river. Some villagers said both Arif and Shah Alam were killed when police opened fire on angry mob to disperse it. They said rivals of the ruling party Awami League were locked in the clashes, but about 30 persons, including former chairman of the union and BNP district unit research secretary Ohidur Rahman, were accused in the

murder case. Ohidur alleged that his name was included in the case only for harassing him as he was involved with the BNP politics. Local said feuds between Awami League leader Advocate Abdul Malek and Fursundi UP Chairman Shahidul Islam was well known to the locals. UP Chairman Shahidul said no person from his group was involved in the clash; rather supporters of Abdul Malek had stabbed one of his nephews Sariful over a small matter. On the other hand, Abdul Malek said armed terrorists of Shahidul Chairman, and not police, had shot two villagers dead. None of his men were involved in the killing, he added. Officer-in-Charge of sadar police station Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury said they did not know how the two persons were killed. The investigation is going on, he said. The law enforcers were deployed to maintain law and order in the locality. About the looting of goods, he said they would take actions against those involved in the looting. l

WDB starts dredging Jamuna again Previous unplanned efforts unsuccessful, costly

n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj

The Bangladesh Water Devolopment Board has started dredging the Jamuna River recently

Magura upazila poll campaigns yet to gain momentum n

Our Correspondent, Magura

Upazila election campaigns in Magura are yet to gather momentum as the two main rival parties, Awami League and BNP, did not officially field their candidates as of yesterday. The election commission has set January 19 for polls in the two upazilas of four in the district – Magura Sadar upazila and Sreepur upazila. A total of 14 candidates have submitted their nomination papers for the post of chairman in the Sadar upazila while 12 male and three female candidates filed their nominations for the

vice-chairperson posts. On the other hand, in Sreepur, eight candidates filed their nominations for the post of chairman while seven male candidates applied for the vice-chairman and four female ones for the vicechairwoman posts respectively. In Magura Sadar, five aspirants are seeking the blessing of Awami League while seven are seeking that of the BNP. In Sreepur, the numbers of aspirants for the blessings of the two parties are five and three, respectively. The two parties are expected to select their nominees soon. l


The Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB) started dredging the Jamuna river channel to protect Sirajganj town from erosion, spending around Tk100 crore. According to sources, the dredging will start from Shoilabari of Sirajganj Sadarupazila to two protection embankments and from Mollabari crossbar embankment to Bangabandhu Bridge through the project ‘Capital dredging river system in Bangladesh’. The sources said the step was taken in the name of maintenance. The work was not effective in the last two years. The WDB sources said the authorities started the work in 2011-12 fiscal year spending Tk 1,028 crore in order to protect Bangabandhu Bridge

and Sirajganj town. The dredging was done from Shoilabari to Bangabandhu Bridge during last two years spending Tk 4,00crore. But the steps failed as a large shoal emerged close to the dam at the eastern side of the city. Later, the authorities started dredging across one kilometre of the river. Tofayel Ahmed, chief of WDB taskforce said, unplanned dredging of the river brought no results. He added it was important to remove sands nearby Sirajganj town protection embankment rather than digging near the cross dam. The embankment collapsed due to floods. Ataur Rahman, consultant of the project said although the project failed during last two years, the work started for the third time costing Tk 100 crore. l

Minority land grabbed in Narail n A Correspondent, Narail

Several Hindu villagers in Narail have expressed their frustration with alleged attempts to grab their land by local musclemen with the help of fake documents and unscrupulous lawyers. They alleged that Hindu minorities in villages Erenda, Kashipur, Padmabila, Basupati and Kachubaria under the Lohagara upazila were being dispossessed of their ancestral lands. Anil Kumar Dutta, 52, a secondary schoolteacher of Padmabila, said several attempts were made to grab his 8.3-acre land by one Sona Mia and his brothers of the same village. “I have collected copies of the fake documents that they produced, claiming

the land to be theirs. In those documents it was said that they had bought the land from my great grandfather in 1967.

A government lawyer recently fired for corruption is allegedly forging documents to help in land grab “But the fact is, my great grandfather died in 1926. As far as I know, a lawyer of the Narail Judges Court is helping them by faking documents. “This is the same lawyer who lost his government job for taking bribe a

few years ago,” Anil said. Kishor Roy, 43, of Kachubaria village, alleged that retired policeman Jaber Hossain had tried to seize his five-acre land by producing fake documents. Pramal Hore of Erenda village made similar allegations and said: “The victims of such attempts have to endure hassles and spend a lot of money to retain ownership of what is rightfully theirs.” When contacted, Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, the newly elected Member of Parliament from Narail 2 constituency, promised an investigation into the allegations and vowed to “drive the culprits away” by forming an alliance of secular and pro-liberation people. “Those responsible will be brought to justice shortly,” he said. l


Accused confesses to murder in Rajbari court n Our Correspondent, Rajbari One of the accused in the Robin Murder case on Saturday confessed in court to killing the schoolboy. Acting on a tip-off, Goalondopolice arrested an accused Elius Ali Khan on January 24, 71 days after the murder, and produced him before the court. Elius gave confessional statement at the Rajbari Magistrate Court. Robin, a fifth grader of Iman Kharpara Government Primary school, was abducted on November 14, 2013. His father Hashmot Ali Khan, a businessman of the village Mankharpara under Daulatdia union in Goalondo upazila, filed a case with the concerned police station in this regard. On the fateful day of abduction, Robin came out of his house in the afternoon to celebrate Moharram when Ellius and his two other accomplices Alimuddin and Yusuf asked himto accompany them to see a boat race in the river Padma. The abductors held Robin at gunpoint and took him to Mominkharhatchar area under Faridpur district. Elius and his cohorts confined him to a boat in the river and contacted Robins’ father for a ransom of TK1,00,000. In his confessional statement before the court, Ellius said when Robin began to weep, they thought if they allowed him to return to his house he would disclose the matter to his parents. Elius added in the confession that they slaughtered Robin in the char areas only to hide their identity. According to the information from Elius, police recovered Robin’s shoes from the char area and sent the killer to jail following the court order. Locals including Robin’s teachers, his classmates, socio cultural and political activists and businessmen in the area formed a human chain in front of Goalondo Press club yesterday, demanding immediate arrest of the rest of the accused. Contacted, investigation officer Md Firoz Ahmed of Goalondo police station said they were raiding different areas to arrest the accused in Robin Murder case. l

Protestors seek justice for murdered schoolboy Rayhan

n Our Correspondent, Kurigram

Hundreds of students brought out a procession in Kurigram town yesterday where they demonstrated and blocked roads demanding justice over the murder of 13-year-old Rayhan. At least 200 protesters along with students, teachers and guardians met at Kurigram College Square and blocked Shahid Minar square for half an hour. The protesters also submitted a memorandum to police super and deputy commissioner. They demanded the arrest of the murderers and exemplary punishment for the criminals. The slain Rayhan, a student of class VIII in Kurigram Government Boys High School, was kidnapped on January 18 by the tenant of Rayhan’s house. Later, the gang demanded Tk5,000,000 lakhs as ransom, but finally they compromised to free Rayhan for Tk450,000 lakhs. Rayhan’s father Ershadul Haque handed over the money to them but they did not return the boy. Later, police recovered the body at Moghol Haat Char in Lalmonirhat district on January 22. A police officer at Kurigram police station seeking anonymity said they had learned that the tenant Nazrul, his wife Jhorna, and their son Sagor— the accused murders— had rented the house to operate there kidnapping gang. He also added that Nazrul and Jhorna were not husband and wife, and Sagor was not there son in real life. They had used a fake identity to rent the house. And Nazrul never came back to his alleged wife and son again after renting the house. l

12 houses gutted n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong Fire gutted 12 thatched and semi-pucca houses in a village in Rangunia upazila under Chittagong yesterday damaging valuables worth around Tk10lakh. Soroj Kanti Ghosh, station officer of Rangunia Fire Station, said the incident occurred around 4am when the fire originated from some lamps kept inside a house in Kodomtoli village for offering puja. Being tipped off by the locals, the fire fighting unit went to the spot and doused the blaze after two hours, he said. l


Long Form


Monday, January 27, 2014

Flying with broken wings The parallel history and political prospects of Bangladesh and Pakistan

‘Historically, states founded by guns tend to give armed men some (if not all) power’


n Jyoti Rahman magical realist masterpiece, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children has weird and improbable events and people juxtaposed against the history of the 20th century South Asia up to the late 1970s. One such improbable fact was that at the time of writing, and thus the story’s culmination, military rulers of the erstwhile two wings of Pakistan had the same first name. This is not the only parallel between the political history of Bangladesh and post-1971 Pakistan. Both successor states of United Pakistan started with larger-than-life charismatic leaders, whose rules ended in tragic denouement inconceivable in 1972. Both giants found governance to be much harder than populist rhetoric, both resorted to un-democracy, and both ended up meeting

discourse around Pakistan is so full of vitriolic jingoism that any suggestion of learning something from the Pakistani experience is likely to be met with scorn. But even outside Bangladesh, there is not much by way of comparative studies of Bangladesh and Pakistan. William Milam’s Bangladesh and Pakistan: Flirting with failure in South Asia is a rare exception. This slender – 276 pages including reference and index – volume begins with a brief history of the erstwhile united Pakistan, and then tracks the military-civilian back-and-forth in the two countries up to 2008. The author, a former American ambassador to both countries, can bring unique perspective to the subject matter. And the book’s conclusion – the tipping points between real democracy and more of the same in Bangladesh and Pakistan are yet to be reached – is something one can hardly quibble with.

And things will remain as they are unless we choose democratic politics. Make no mistake, that’s hard work. But that’s what it comes down to. A bird cannot fly with broken wings

cruel ends at the hand of their trusted guards. Both countries succumbed to dictatorships in the 1980s, although the extent and mechanism varied. In both countries democratic opposition developed. In both countries, some form of democratic politics came into practice by the 1990s. But democracy has failed to take root in either, with military interventions or threats thereof, remaining a constant feature. In both countries, electoral democracy has meant two mutually antagonistic parties/coalitions who differ little on policy, but much on personality and the thirst for power over patronage and privilege. Both countries have experienced increasing religious extremism. More recently, in both countries, judiciary and media are experimenting with new found powers, not always to the best effect. Throw in the political economy of NGO-led development in Bangladesh, or the misfortune of being next to a theatre of the Great Game for Pakistan, and it’s easier to see why democracy may have had such a hard time in these countries. Indeed, with increasing NGO activities in Pakistan and the Great Game coming to Myanmar — a theatre closer to Bangladesh — both countries have much to learn from each other’s misfortunes. Of course, in Bangladesh, the

One does not read a retired career diplomat for facts and figures. And this book is not full of facts and figures. However, one might expect a lot of interesting anecdotes from someone who served in Bangladesh as the Ershad regime ended, and in Pakistan when the Musharraf regime started. Sadly, Milam does not give us such titbits. Instead, he opens up a range of questions that could be, ought to be, explored in depth. Truth be told, it’s a tad disappointing that Milam does not push any of these issues further. But then again, at least Milam has written a book. Surely there are others who can add to the literature. Let me pick up the issue of military involvement, and withdrawal, from politics in the two countries. What are these questions? One is about the role of India in the two country’s politics. Another is Islam. I am going to skirt over these two, not because they are unimportant, but because these are fairly well trodden grounds. From the vantage point of December 1971, one might have expected some form of military involvement in Bangladeshi politics. The nucleus of the Bangladesh army was the victorious Mukti Bahini, and its commanders like Ziaur Rahman might have expected some say in the new country’s

affairs – historically, states founded by guns tend to give armed men some (if not all) power. However, it should have been a different matter in what was left of Pakistan. If there was a state where the army rule, directly or otherwise, should have been thoroughly repudiated, it should have been Pakistan after December 1971. Army rule had lost half the country. A quarter of the army itself was taken prisoner-of-war by the “hated enemy.” The country was bankrupt, with its major port severely damaged. The idea that generals could save Pakistan, should have died in the swamps of Bengal. Of course, it didn’t. ZA Bhutto used the army to silence legitimate dissent in Balochistan. And then, in 1977, he tried to rig an election that he might have won anyway, resulting in months of street violence and political gridlock, which paved the way for Gen Zia-ul-Huq’s grim rule. That’s the most straightforward reading of things. Writers as diverse as Tariq Ali or Anatol Lieven agree that Mr Bhutto deserves to be blamed, if not solely or in whole measure, then at least substantially, for the remilitarisation in Pakistan. So, the question then is, was Pakistan just unlucky to have Bhutto, or was there something about Pakistan that made his power grabs more likely? Let’s look at the issue from a different perspective. Milam ends his book with the observation that the prospect of democracy, indeed the very survival of the state, was bleaker in Pakistan than Bangladesh. As of 2008, Bangladesh army – not formally in charge in the first place – was in the process of handing over power to a democratically elected government. In Pakistan, on the other hand, there was a shaky coalition facing jihadist violence, with everyone assuming that it was the clean-shaved general and not the moustached civilian who had the ultimate power. As of 2008, hardly anyone doubted that the incoming Awami League government would finish its five-year term. After all, three previous elected governments had finished their full terms, something no elected government (with possible exception of Mr Bhutto, depends on how one sees things) in Pakistan had done until then. In Pakistan, at the time, hardly anyone expected Asif Ali Zardari to finish his term peacefully and hold an election in five years’ time. As it happens, the Awami League did finish its five year term, and has just elected itself – not sure how else to put it politely – for another five years. But surprising everyone, Mr Zardari also lasted five years in office, as did the Pakistani parliament that was elected in 2008. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a democratically elected civilian government handed over power to another such government last year.


So, did Pakistan get lucky with Zardari (or Nawaz Sharif, or Gen Ashfaq Kayani)? Or did something about Pakistan change between the 1970s, or even the 1990s, to now? Bangladesh army has shown little interest in running the country in recent years. Had it wanted to, there were many occasions in the past year where the army could have toppled the government, with a large section of the civil society and opinion-making class fully cheering on any coup. But, by all accounts, the army has chosen to remain out of politics. Even its 2007 not-quite-formally-a-coup was at best a half-hearted affair, with full insistence of constitutional fig leaves, no matter how muslin-thin the leaves might have been. What had changed about Bangladesh army from its coup-prone past? Why do armies intervene, or not intervene? Let’s go through a few conjectures. At the simplest level, perhaps it’s all about the base, corporate interest. Pay them well, and the armies will be happily in the barracks? This may well be a major story in Bangladesh. After all, dal-bhaat grievances were a major (though by no means the only) factor in soldiers’ mutinies of 1975 and 2009. However, considering the lavishes spent on the forces by the current government, money should not matter for any would be Bangladeshi coup-maker. And to the extent that no one – not even Bhutto le pere – tried to clip the army’s economic interests in Pakistan, it’s hard to argue that this has been a deciding factor there. Perhaps the story is a bit more highbrow? As is widely accepted, Pakistan army sees itself as the ultimate arbiter of that country’s foreign and defence policies, particularly when it comes to relations with India. As long as these domains are untouched, perhaps the generals are content to let the civilians govern. In that respect, perhaps Pakistan army is similar to the “guardian” armies of Turkey or various Arab republics or Thailand, where the army decides, for whatever historical reasons, that certain areas are no-go for civilian politicians, and they enforce the no-go-zones through coups if necessary. Does Bangladesh army see itself in such a guardian role? When a crisis hits, does it see its role as the national saviour? In the blood-soaked 1970s, individual officers saw themselves as potential national heroes – call it the curse of the majors. But from the 1980s onwards, as a collective, perhaps Bangladesh army waits for orders rather than marching to their own bit? After all, in February 2009, the entire brass held fire, and waited for orders that never came. Of course, this is exactly how it should be. Armies are meant to be guards, not guardians. On the balance, it’s a good thing that the army has not

Had it wanted to, there were many occasions in the past year where the army could have toppled the government, with a large section of the civil society and opinion-making class fully cheering on any coup

intervened during Bangladesh’s latest political drama. But can that remain the case indefinitely? After all, it was Bhutto’s hubris that allowed Zia’s power grab in 1977. Could something like that happen yet again? Even if it doesn’t, it’s important to understand that military rule is not the only obstacle to democracy in Bangladesh and Pakistan – a theme that runs through Milam’s book, and one that needs to be explored further. After all, it was Mr Bhutto who opened the door for the generals to march back in. So, the question again, was Pakistan unlucky with Mr Bhutto, or was there something about Pakistan? And more recently, did it get lucky with Messrs Zardari and Sharif, or has something changed there? Here is another conjecture – for all their personal genius, foibles and shortcomings, it wasn’t the individuals, rather, something did change in Pakistan between the time of Bhutto and Zardari. In the intervening years, multiple centres of power – not just the army-bureaucracy and a towering politician, but also political parties representing different provinces and ethnicities and constituencies, as well as media, judiciary and other civil society organisations – developed in Pakistan. While this fragmentation of authority may hamper its policy deliberations, it probably has driven home to Pakistani politicians the need to coexist and tolerate each other. Papa-Bhutto stood above everyone, and couldn’t countenance anyone else’s existence. Sharif brothers had learnt to live with others. Perhaps that’s what has saved Pakistan, at least for now. What about Bangladesh? This is what Milam says in the penultimate page: “Perhaps there is more hope that a real, sustainable democratic culture can develop in Bangladesh, but old habits die hard.” And thus we come to today’s Bangladesh, on which, Milam observes: “… a government which, because of the perverted institutions of the state, is in a position to eliminate the opposition as a force to be reckoned with, and move towards a one-party state. This election, instead of deja vu all over again, could be the tipping point to something entirely new on the subcontinent.” Bangladesh may well have come a full circle in the past four and half dec-

ades. At the beginning of the 1970s, with the left fractious and the right discredited for its role in the country’s freedom struggle, Awami League was the only major organised political force in Bangladesh. Whatever we have, it’s not democracy. And, Sheikh la fille may well prove to be more successful than her father. Again, over to Milam: “But politics aside, it is 2014 in Bangladesh. The chronic instability and near-anarchy, as well as the abject poverty that prevailed in 1975, have long since disappeared. Bangladesh, while still poor and in the stage of economic development where gains can easily be reversed, is now wired into the global economy with its vibrant garment and other export industries. Growth has been strong for most of the past two decades, and the country as a whole is much more prosperous. More importantly, it has a much more literate and healthy population because of the strides that have been made in mass education and in reducing gender disparity.” In Shame, his novel on not-quite-Pakistan, Rushdie calls the country Peccavistan. Peccavi in Latin means I have sinned. This is the message Sind’s English conqueror sent back to the John Company after he took the country by deception and “rascality.” Pakistan used to be governed by deception and rascality, hence the name Peccavistan. When the results of Pakistan’s first general election became known 37 years ago, a western journalist quipped that Pakistan would soon be replaced by Mujibdesh and Bhuttostan. As things stand, we should rename our country East Peccavistan. And things will remain as they are unless we choose democratic politics. Make no mistake, that’s hard work. But that’s what it comes down to. A bird cannot fly with broken wings. Our democracy is broken. People governing the country are doing so not with democratic mandate. Choosing democracy means opposing this deception and rascality. Only by joining and fixing the opposition, so that when the table turns it lives and lets live, can we end East Peccavistan. Dear reader, the choice is yours, will you choose Bangladesh? l This article was first published by Alal o Dulal.




Focus on prisoners as Syria foes meet in Geneva n

AFP, Geneva

The fates of the thousands jailed, kidnapped or missing in Syria were on the table Sunday as the country's warring sides pursued UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva. A day after sitting together for the first time in the same room, delegates from President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition resumed closed-door talks with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi acting as go-between. Brahimi said Saturday's meeting had been a "good beginning", with the two sides discussing aid to besieged residents in rebel-held areas of the central city of Homs. He said Sunday's talks would focus on "a lot of people who have lost their freedom," including the "thousands and thousands of people in the jails of the government." Prisoner releases could start, he said, with "women, old people and people underage." "We have submitted lists of tens of thousands of detainees including thousands of women and children," opposition spokesman Monzer Aqbiq told reporters in Geneva. "If there is an exchange, women,

Syrian senior presidential advisor Buthaina Shaaban speaks to a Syrian TV reporter at the United Nations Offices in Geneva AFP children and the most vulnerable will be the priority," he said. Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said the issue of prisoners needed to be discussed "without discrimination", with the focus also on people held by rebel forces. "We must be precise on the issue of prisoners. There

are also thousands of people who have been kidnapped, some who have been missing without a trace for two-and-ahalf years," he told reporters here. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a key watchdog, estimates that some 17,000 people have gone missing in the war, tens of thousands are being

held in government jails and thousands kidnapped by armed groups including Islamist militias. It has described conditions in government prisons as "horrific", with overcrowding, supply shortages and outbreaks of disease. A UN-mandated probe last month said Syrian government forces were waging a campaign of enforced disappearances to terrorise the population, amounting to a crime against humanity. The harsh treatment of Syrian prisoners was thrown into the spotlight again when former international prosecutors released a report this month alleging the "industrial-scale" torture and killing of 11,000 detainees by the regime. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said before the Geneva talks that the regime was "ready to exchange lists and develop the necessary mechanism" for prisoner swaps with the rebels. Brahimi said he also hopes a deal can be reached on sending aid convoys on Sunday or Monday to Homs, where hundreds of families in the Old City are living under siege with near-daily shelling and the barest of supplies. l

Monday, January 27, 2014

Al-Qaeda-linked groups expand into Lebanon n Agencies Two Sunni group with links to al-Qaeda fighting in Syria have announced their presence in Lebanon, with one saying all strongholds of the Shia group Hezbollah are “legitimate targets” for attack. Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon - an affiliate of al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria - said in a statement on Sunday that “Iran’s party [Hezbollah] and all its bases and... bastions are legitimate targets for us, wherever they are.” The group warned Sunnis against “approaching or residing in or near [Hezbollah’s] bases, and avoid gathering around its meeting points.” That declaration followed a recording on Saturday by a previously unknown figure who announced the creation of a Lebanese arm of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is fighting in Syria and Iraq. In the recording, Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Iraqi leader of ISIL, which has its roots in the group that called itself al-Qaeda in Iraq. “We pledge allegiance to the prince of the believers, Abu Bakr al-Baghda-

di... and we ask him to guide us past the obstacles, and make us your spearhead in crushing your enemy, and not a single man among us will hold back in helping you,” said Ansari, in a translated report provided by the AFP news agency. The statements come three days after Jabhat said it carried out a car bomb attack in Beirut’s southern suburbs that killed four people. It also earlier said it carried out a deadly car bomb attack in the heart of Hermel town in eastern Lebanon, which killed three people. It was the sixth in a string if attacks targeting Lebanese areas dominated by Hezbollah since the Shia group sent fighters into neighbouring Syria to support the troops of President Bashar al-Assad against rebel forces. In response to the ISIL statement, the former prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, said that the country’s Sunnis refused to be a part of any conflict between al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, and denounced sectarian attacks on civilians. “Every sane and patriotic Lebanese, of any sect, will refuse to be dragged behind these calls, as he refuses Hezbollah’s war in Syria,” Hariri said. l

Ukraine not an East-West Police, protesters clash after Ukraine’s battle: Britain’s Hague president offers foes posts n AFP, London The unrest in Ukraine should not be seen as a battle between the East and the West, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday. Calling for a change in the narrative Hague said free trade between Ukraine and the European Union would benefit Russia too, as he urged restraint from government forces in the face of pro-EU protests. The protests first erupted when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a key deal with the EU in November, opting for closer ties with former master Russia instead. They have since snowballed into wider anti-government unrest, and clashes between demonstrators and police in the capital Kiev have left at

least three people dead. “We’re very worried about the situation in Ukraine,” Hague told BBC television. “I don’t think it need be seen as an East-West struggle. “If Ukraine entered into the agreements with the EU that we’ve put forward, to have free trade with the European Union, that would benefit the people of Ukraine; it would also benefit the people of Russia. “It would benefit that entire region so we have to change the narrative about this.” He said he spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart on Friday “to urge restraint in the face of violence and that repressive laws about freedom of expression and civil society should be changed, should be repealed.” l

France’s ‘bachelor’ president begins new chapter n AFP, Paris French leader Francois Hollande on Sunday began a new chapter in his presidency after splitting from his partner of eight years following an affair with a younger actress. Under intense media scrutiny since the revelation of the affair two weeks ago, Hollande – who had pledged a “normal” presidency after the domestically turbulent stint of his ‘bling bling’ predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy – on Saturday formally announced his split from Valerie Trierweiler. “A Bachelor at the Elysee,” said the

Journal du Dimanche weekly, adding that Trierweiler’s departure as first lady was “the end of an epoch.” Saying he was speaking as a private individual, Hollande, in a terse statement to AFP over the phone, said: “I wish to make it known that I have ended my partnership with Valerie Trierweiler.” Trierweiler, 48, had been convalescing at a presidential residence in Versailles outside Paris after leaving hospital last Saturday, where she was treated for what was described as fatigue brought on by press revelations of Hollande’s affair with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet. l

n Reuters, Kiev Police clashed with protesters who blockaded a building in central Kiev on Sunday and the fate of Ukraine’s government was up in the air after embattled President Viktor Yanukovich offered opposition leaders key posts. One of the president’s main foes called his offer a “poisoned” attempt to kill off a protest movement in a country plunged into political unrest by Yanukovich’s U-turn away from the European Union and toward Russia. In the latest violence, a few thousand protesters tried to storm an ornate cultural centre where hundreds of security forces were gathered in central Kiev, a few hundred metres from the hub of weeks of opposition protests on Independence Square. Demonstrators threw stones and smoke bombs while police fired stun grenades and sprayed water into the crowd. The police and security forces later left the building, its windows shattered, and streamed out through a corridor created by the crowd after an opposition leader, Vitaly Klitschko, arrived at the scene and helped negotiate a solution. The two-hour, pre-dawn confrontation came after Yanukovich made his biggest concession yet in a two-monthold standoff that has cast Ukraine into crisis, killed at least three people and deepened tension between Russia and the West. Yanukovich abruptly abandoned plans to sign political association and free trade deals with the European Union in November, pledging instead to improve ties with former Soviet master Russia and angering mil-

An anti-government protester carries tyres at a barricade at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev lions who dream of being in Europe. Hoping to end protests that threaten to bring the country to a standstill, Yanukovich on Saturday offered former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk the post of prime minister. Klitschko, a former international boxing champion, was offered the post of deputy prime minister responsible for humanitarian issues, a statement on the presidential website said.

The presidency linked its offer to the opposition reining in violent protesters. Though the protest movement is largely peaceful, a hard core of radicals have been fighting pitched battles with police away from Independence Square. Opposition leaders, whose power base is among protesters massing in the square whose name evokes the independence Ukraine gained in 1991, continued to press for concessions in-

New CAR PM says stopping atrocities is priority

Tunisia to vote in new constitution

n AFP, Bangui

n AFP, Tunis

The Central African Republic’s new prime minister said Sunday his priority will be stopping the massacres and other atrocities that have shaken the country for months. Speaking the day after he was named premier by interim president Catherine Samba Panza – herself only in office since Thursday – former banking official Andre Nzapayeke said ending the violence between Christians and Muslims was the key to restoring security and a functioning state. “I’m going to be speaking with the different groups so that we immediately stop certain... atrocities being carried out in this country. We have to put a stop to all that quickly,” Nzapayeke said in an interview with French radio station RFI. He said he planned to “put a team in place that’s going to deal with the question of national reconciliation.” “We have to tackle that quickly, it will make the security question easier,” said Nzapayeke, whose surname means “God is present” in the Sango language. After that, he said, the next step would be helping the one million people who have fled the violence to return home. “There’s a certain number of very

Tunisia’s interim parliament was set to pass a much-delayed new constitution Sunday, after the failure to form a caretaker cabinet showed deep political discord. The Constituent Assembly’s lawmakers have already vetted the new document line-by-line after painstaking negotiations on issues such as women’s rights and the role of Islam. The resulting fundamental law, which has been in the works for two years, is a compromise between the ruling Islamist Ennahda party and the liberal opposition. Lawmaker Karima Souid said the parliamentary session during which the new constitution is expected to be approved was postponed from the morning to the afternoon. The vote was now expected to start at 1500 GMT. The charter needs the support of two-thirds of the 217 assembly members to pass. But in a sign that Tunisia’s political class remains deeply divided, the technocrat prime minister chosen last month to steer the country to fresh elections announced after missing Saturday’s deadline that he had failed to muster sufficient con-

The Central African Republic’s new prime minister Andre Nzapayeke clear actions the government is going to tackle starting this week,” he said. Nzapayeke, a former secretary general of the African Development Bank and vice president of the Development Bank of Central African States, said the country would seek help from its “friends in the international community” to end the crisis. Violence between the Christian majority and Muslim minority erupted after mostly Muslim rebel group Sele-


ka overthrew the government in March last year and installed its leader, Michel Djotodia, as president. Djotodia failed to rein in a wave of killing, raping and looting by his former fighters, leading to the emergence of Christian vigilante groups known as “anti-balaka” (anti-machetes) that are accused of committing atrocities of their own against Muslims, including civilian massacres. l

sensus for a new caretaker cabinet. Mehdi Jomaa had been expected to submit his line-up to President Moncef Marzouki Saturday afternoon but gave a press conference shortly after midnight to say he would not. “I chose not to do it in order for a consensus to be reached,” he said. “I may be asked again (to form a new cabinet), or it could be somebody else.” Jomaa, the industry minister in the outgoing government, was tasked with ending the crisis which has gripped Tunisia since the assassination last year of two opposition MPs by suspected jihadists. Several Tunisian media outlets said the main sticking point in the negotiations for a new government was the identity of the interior minister. Some opposition groups want the current minister, Lotfi Ben Jeddou, removed because he served in the government led by Ennahda, which has the largest bloc in parliament. But others, not only Ennahda supporters, argue that a volatile security situation across the North African country means that continuity is needed at the interior ministry. “We aren’t far from a solution, talks will continue,” Jomaa said. l


cluding early elections and the repeal of an anti-protest law. “We are ready to take on this responsibility and take the country into the European Union,” Yatsenyuk was quoted as telling crowds on Independence Square after emerging from talks with Yanukovich. But he added this would entail the freeing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was jailed in 2011. l

Moroccans sew mouths shut in fresh protest at Italy detention n AFP, Rome Thirteen Moroccan immigrants held in a migrant centre on the outskirts of Rome have sewn their lips together in the second such protest at their lengthy detention, Italian media reported Sunday. The men, aged between 20 and 30, had already stitched their mouths shut in a week-long protest in December over their long stay in a supposedly short-term detention facility. They had only ended that protest at the Ponte Galeria facility south of Rome after assurance that their cases would be speedily dealt with. “It is clear that time in politics moves more slowly than it does for these people, who have gone from the drama of a difficult immigration journey to places of little dignity such as the detention centres,” said Angiolo Marroni, a state official charged with protecting prisoners’ welfare in the Lazio region. “I hope that parliament keeps its word and quickly approves the necessary regulations to put an end to this shame,” he said. The heavily guarded detention centre, located near Rome’s Fiumicino airport to facilitate deportations, houses around 100 illegal migrants. l




Monday, January 27, 2014

Thai anti-government protester killed; doubts over election n Reuters, Bangkok A Thai anti-government protest leader was shot and killed in Bangkok on Sunday when violence erupted as demonstrators blocked early voting in many areas of the capital ahead of a disputed election next week. It brings the death toll to 10, with scores wounded, since protesters took to the streets in November, vowing to shut down the capital and force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office. A spokesman for the national police, Piya Utayo, identified the dead man as Suthin Tharatin, one of the protest leaders. “Suthin was shot in the head and in the chest,” he said. Yingluck called the February 2 election, hoping to cement her hold on power but the protests have continued and the Election Commission has been pushing to delay the vote. In a clear setback for Yingluck, a senior government official said that as many as 45 of the 50 polling stations set up in Bangkok for advanced voting had been shut because of anti-government protesters. Bangkok police said clashes had broken out between anti-government protesters and Yingluck supporters, with the two sides trading punches be-

fore shots were fired. The Erawan Medical Centre, which monitors Bangkok hospitals, said 11 people were hurt in the clashes in the Bang Na district. It was not immediately clear who had fired the shots, but the protesters accused the government and police of trying to intimidate them. “The government has allowed thugs to use weapons,” Akanat Promphan, a spokesman for the protesters, told reporters. Private gun ownership is widespread in the country. The violence, the worst in a month, came after a state of emergency took effect on Wednesday and adds to doubts over whether the February 2 election can go ahead. Chris Baker, a historian and Bangkok-based analyst, said the violence added pressure on Yingluck to delay the vote. “It does weaken the government’s position. The protesters will blame this on the government,” said Baker. “With or without this incident the likelihood for violence was there already. I don’t think it changes in the trajectory.” The protests are the latest eruption in a political conflict that has gripped Thailand  for eight years and which is starting to hurt growth and investor confidence in Southeast Asia’s

second-largest economy. The conflict broadly pits Bangkok’s middle class and elite, and followers in the south, against mainly poor rural backers of Yingluck and her brother, ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, in the populous north and northeast. The protests mark the biggest demonstrations since deadly political unrest in April-May 2010, when Thaksin’s “red-shirt” supporters paralysed Bangkok to remove a government led by the Democrat Party, now in opposition. More than 90 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured in that unrest. The protesters, led by firebrand former premier Suthep Thaugsuban, accuse Yingluck of being Thaksin’s puppet and want an unelected ‘people’s council” to oversee reform before any future election is held. On Saturday, a government minister said Yingluck was prepared to discuss cancelling the February 2 election if the activists ended their protests. Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, also a deputy prime minister, said in a televised address the blocking of advance voting was “a serious offence” and said protesters had used force to prevent people voting.

A Bangkok district officer stands inside the compound of a polling station in central Bangkok Yingluck’s government had already warned anyone who tried to stop voting would be jailed or fined. City officials said they had begun negotiating with the protesters. “We

have to negotiate with them and let them know that blocking the election is illegal,” said Luckana Rojjanawong, a Bangkok district official said. The election was already in doubt


after a Constitutional Court ruling on Friday that opened the possibility of a delay. The Election Commission is seeking the delay, arguing that the current environment is too unsettled. l

India celebrates Republic Day, president warns on corruption

World Bank pledges $2bn for Myanmar

n Reuters

n AFP, New Delhi

n AFP, Yangon

A woman who said she was raped on the orders of village elders has been placed under police protection, along with her family, and will be relocated after being ostracised by villagers following the attack. Officials said on Sunday that the 22-year-old, who was raped last week by 13 men in the Birbum district of West Bengal, was scared. “The girl wants to go back to another village where her uncle lives in the same district,” said Shashi Panja, the West Bengal women and child welfare minister. “She is scared of going back to the village where she was gang-raped since the villagers there do not want her back. The girl’s family is also under protection of the police now.” Police have arrested 13 men but local media have reported villagers as denying the rape ever took place. The suspects - from Labhpur village - were accused of raping the woman on January 21 on the orders of a council of village elders for having a relationship with a man outside their tribe. She made a complaint to the police and was taken to hospital in Birbhum. The gang-rape caused outrage across India and overseas. Sexual violence against women in India has remained in the spotlight since December 2012, after the rape and murder of a physiotherapist in a moving bus in Delhi. A series of high-profile sex attacks on women prompted several foreign governments - including the UK, US and Canada - to update their advice for women travelling to India. l

India marked its Republic Day on Sunday with a parade of military hardware in the capital, as the president warned the country’s politicians against underestimating public anger over corruption. Thousands of spectators turned out for the annual military and cultural parade along New Delhi’s ceremonial Rajpath boulevard, along with political leaders and chief guest Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Security was tight in the capital with police and troops sealing off large parts of the city for the 65th Republic Day, which is a national holiday to mark the day the

Indian rape victim under police protection

Indian constitution came into force. On the eve of Republic Day, traditionally celebrated with shows of patriotic fervour, President Pranab Mukherjee warned politicians against corruption and false electoral promises ahead of general elections due by May. “Corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy, and weakens the foundations of our state,” Mukherjee said in an annual address aired live on national television. “If Indians are enraged, it is because they are witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments,” he said on Saturday night.

The World Bank announced on Sunday a $2bn development programme for Myanmar, including projects to improve access to energy and healthcare in the impoverished former military-ruled nation. Bank president Jim Yong Kim, on his first visit to the former pariah state, said half of the funds would be used to expand power supplies, in a country where more than 70% of the population does not have access to reliable electricity. “We are increasing our support for the huge reform effort underway in Myanmar because we want to help the government bring benefits to poor

people even more quickly,” Kim said in a statement. “Expanding access to electricity in a country like Myanmar can help transform a society - children will be able to study at night, shops will stay open, and health clinics will have lights and energy to power life-saving technology. Electricity helps brings an end to poverty,” he said. The programme also includes $200m to help Myanmar achieve universal health coverage by 2030, the Bank said. The Washington-based institution closed its Yangon office in 1987 and ceased new lending after the then-ruling junta stopped making payments on debts worth hundreds of millions of dollars left from previous programmes. l

Suicide bomber kills four in Kabul n Reuters, Kabul

Indian school children in tiger costumes dance during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India

Philippines, rebels Uighur academic accused see final peace deal of ‘separatist activities’ in weeks his mostly Muslim Uighur minority. The n AFP, Manila n AFP, Beijing academic and his mother were taken on The Philippine government and the country’s main Muslim rebel group said Sunday they hoped to sign within weeks a final peace deal to end decades of deadly insurgency after clearing the last hurdle in 18 years of negotiations. A “comprehensive agreement” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should be signed in February or March, Manila’s chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer told AFP, following a breakthrough announced on Saturday. “We have just been discussing the next steps and our goal is to be able to get a good schedule for that,” she said from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur where the last round of talks was held. “We have set a time frame of between February and March,” she added. The talks that began in 1996 with the 12,000-strong MILF are aimed at ending an insurgency in the country’s south that has left an estimated 150,000 people dead since the 1970s. On Saturday, both sides agreed on a “normalisation” deal detailing how the rebels will hand over their weapons and the creation of a security force to police what will be a self-ruled Muslim region. l

Before his nomination as president in 2012, Mukherjee was a senior minister in the ruling Congress-led coalition which has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals that was eroded voter support. Mukherjee also took what is seen as a swipe at India’s new political star, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who declared himself an anarchist this month as he protested in the capital to press for police reform. Kejriwal, a former anti-corruption campaigner who took office less than a month ago, has faced savage criticism for the two-day sit-in protest which saw police baton charge his supporters. l

Police in China’s western Xinjiang region have accused a prominent Uighur academic detained since last week of being involved in “separatist activities,” state media reported Sunday. Ilham Tohti, an economist who teaches at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, has vocally criticised the Chinese government’s policy towards

Wednesday 15 to an unknown location by several dozen police who seized their mobile phones and computers, his wife Guzaili Nu’er previously told AFP. The mother was released the following day. Early on Sunday the official Xinhua news agency reported that police authorities in Xinjiang said Tohti “formed a separatist group.” l

China activist sentenced to 4 years in jail n AFP, Beijing Prominent Chinese legal activist Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years’ jail on Sunday for his role in organising anti-corruption protests, furthering a crackdown on a rights movement he championed and sparking international criticism. The 40-year-old lawyer was a central figure in the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of activists who organised street protests and dinner discussions on causes from educa-

tional equality to official corruption. Xu is among around 10 activists facing trial for “gathering crowds to disrupt public order” – a charge that carries a maximum five-year sentence. Many had held signs in public urging authorities to disclose their assets as a check against graft, among other causes. The United States said it was “deeply disappointed” at the verdict. “We call on Chinese authorities to release Xu and other political prisoners immediately...” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. l


A suicide bomber attacked an Afghan army bus in Kabul on Sunday, killing four people and wounding up to 22, police said, the latest incident in a worrying surge of violence in the Afghan capital over the past 10 days. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, the worst since a devastating assault on a popular restaurant on January 17 killed 21 foreigners and Afghans. Hashmat Stanikzai, the chief spokesman for police in Kabul, said an investigation into the latest attack was under way. “The number (of victims) might

change,” he said. Stanikzai said the wounded included children who were nearby when the blast occurred. The Afghan capital was hit by at least two other attacks in the previous 24 hours, according to security officials. Two people were wounded in an explosion in the north of the city late on Saturday, while security sources said a rocket landed near the international airport on Kabul’s outskirts without causing casualties. The restaurant attack on January 17 was the worst on foreigners since the Taliban were overthrown by US-led Afghan forces in late 2001 and sent shockwaves through Kabul. l

‘Allah’ rings out in churches despite ban

Taiwan strengthens barriers after attack on presidential office

n AFP, Kuala Lumpur

Taiwanese authorities Sunday strengthened barriers around the presidential office after a truck was rammed into the tightly guarded premises in an attempted suicide attack. More military police with automatic rifles were deployed and a line of huge granite blocks was lifted into place to reinforce existing barriers outside the building, televised images showed. The incident, described by police as an attempted suicide attack, was the worst of its type on the building. It happened around 5:00 am Saturday when Chang Teh-cheng drove a 35-ton truck through several sets of barricades, police said. At high speed, the vehicle ascended a set of steps before being stopped by a bullet-proof screen and becoming stuck in the gate leading to the office’s main building, they said. Chang, 41, was severely injured and taken to hospital. No one else was hurt but the attack prompted an investigation and an immediate tightening of security. Local media speculated that damage and casualties could have been serious had Chang been driving an oil tanker. President Ma Ying-jeou was away on a state visit to Sao Tome and Principe in Africa. He has been notified of the incident, his spokeswoman said. l

Malaysian churches defiantly continued to use the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God in Sunday services despite the Muslim-majority country’s leader saying they must obey rules against it. Malay-speaking Christians prayed and sang hymns using the Arabic word, a practice they have observed for hundreds of years but now the focus of an increasingly tense religious row in the Southeast Asian nation. “They all contain the word ‘Allah’,” a pastor at a church near the capital Kuala Lumpur said of the songs sung by his congregation. “(The Malay-language Bible) contains the word ‘Allah’. When we preach we have to read the text. It’s a really difficult situation,” he added, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the passions surrounding the issue. Under pressure from Muslim conservatives, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Friday that Malaysian Christians must heed rules forbidding them from using the word. Islamist leaders in the country say “Allah” – which also is used by Malay Muslims to refer to their creator – is exclusive to their religion and must not

be used by non-Muslims. Muslim ethnic Malays make up more than 60% of the diverse country’s 28 million people. Malaysia has sizeable ethnic Chinese, Indian and other communities. About 2.6 million people are Christians. Church leaders have vowed not to back down. “Christians in Malaysia have no choice but to use the Malay-language Bibles. To say they cannot use these bibles, it means saying ‘you are not allowed to worship in the language that you want’,” Rev. Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia, told AFP. The government in 2007 ordered a Malaysian Catholic weekly newspaper to cease use of the word, arguing it could entice Muslims to convert, which is illegal for adherents of Islam in Malaysia. The newspaper has launched a long-running court challenge, angering Muslim conservatives, who have demanded Christians use alternative Malay words. “Why insist? They have an option. They don’t really have to use ‘Allah’ to worship,” said Yusri Mohamad, chairman of Muslim rights group Pembela. “This is unnecessary provocation... This is not healthy for Malaysia.” l

n AFP, Taipei




Monday, January 27, 2014

Letters to

Dialogue essential for economic recovery


n its review of Bangladesh’s macroeconomic performance, the Centre for Policy Dialogue estimates losses incurred by four key sectors due to recent hartals and blockades to amount to Tk49,018 crore. While some of this may be recouped, if left unrecovered, the sums lost amount to 4.7% of GDP. This analysis supports the lower range of estimates projected by the World Bank’s recent report on Global Economic Prospects, which forecasts Bangladesh’s GDP growth for the current year to be 5.7%. The IMF and Bangladesh Bank have also forecast rates in the range between 5.5% and 6%. These figures contrast with the finance minister’s view that growth will remain above 6% this year. We welcome the compensatory measures which the government has been supporting to help offset losses suffered by export-oriented sectors. However other large sectors, notably agriculture and small and medium businesses still need more help to get back on their feet. The government needs to take more action to help all parts of the economy to recover. In the long run, it is the opportunity costs inflicted by the political crisis which have the most negative impact. Flows of investment and the implementation of development projects have been slowed down and businesses are deterred from creating new jobs. The government must work urgently to resolve the political disputes which gave rise to the violence. Renewed dialogue is essential to help bring the certainty and stability which the economy needs to stimulate new investment and allow the country to live up to its potential.

The political disputes which gave rise to violence must be resolved urgently

Decentralisation will help the whole country


recent news report draws attention to the fact that public universities outside Dhaka are struggling due to a lack of experienced and qualified teachers, since most teachers want to remain in the capital. The over centralisation of expertise within Dhaka is an endemic problem not only for universities, but across the whole public sector of Bangladesh. It creates a myriad of problems. People outside the capital are deprived of good quality public services, which hampers the spread of economic growth. The concentration of coveted opportunities in Dhaka increases migratory pressure towards the capital, which reduces the quality of life in the city. It also gives rise to corruption and lobbying in the job allocation process, undermining the integrity of the bureaucratic apparatus. A comprehensive approach is required to incentivise more public servants to take up posts outside of Dhaka. Staying in Dhaka is lucrative from the perspective of career advancement because of networking opportunities and the possibility of taking on consultancy jobs. In order to offset this, more key offices should be relocated out of the capital and salary incentives provided to public servants willing to relocate. Investment also needs to be made to infrastructure and facilities, such as education and healthcare, in order to improve the quality of life in cities outside of Dhaka. Decentralisation will help the whole country benefit from economic growth. It is incumbent upon the government to urgently address this issue.

the Editor


Basking in rainbow rays

Oh, poor Bangladesh

January 26 I am feeling very curious about the mental state of the members of the newly-formed government. How are they adjusting to their roles of prime minister, ministers, and MPs, which they became without the mandate of the people, of whom 90% wanted the election to be held under CTG, and in the one-sided election only 5% of total voters cast their votes? But by showing disdain towards the people’s demands and hope, the government went ahead, said it was bound by the constitution, that the 11th parliamentary election will be held soon and include every party. But now they are saying ,as they have been elected for five years, they will finish the term. In the past, when I went abroad, I would feel homesick. Now, everything has changed, and Bangladesh seems an unknown place, and the country is immersed in anarchy. Everyday, news of horrible and unjust acts reach us, dead bodies are recovered regularly and destruction takes place anytime and anywhere. We never thought our beloved country would become so nightmarish. Nur Jahan

January 19

Zareef Hossain Good! We should respect everyone equally! That’s the first step towards development! Nazmul Khair How? This is already illegal in BD, so how did they release it if it is illegal! Federico As we push out more publications of Roopban to the public, there will be more female voices and representatives, Insha’Allah. Congratulations!! abantika Just really great!

BD’s first LGBTQ magazine January 20

HC declares Ashiyan City illegal January 18 An observer Is anyone really concerned about the victims/investors? How will they be compensated? It is madness that after all these years, one fine morning, a person wakes up to find that the plot he/she has bought is on an illegal patch of land! Sad, very sad. There must have been a government regulatory or monitoring cell in the concerned ministry to safeguard people’s interest, in such cases, to caution well in advance. And if they don’t have any, then the people are in deep trouble. Md Sakawat Hossain Thousands of middle-class people, who earn money by working hard in foreign countries, and even in Bangladesh, have invested lots of money – maybe all of them – to buy a plot in Ashiyan City to stay in a planned and safe area. After this decision from the HC, how and who will substantiate their money? I believe the investor, including I, invested our money, relying on Rajuk’s conditional approval for Ashiyan City. If the HC has said this project is illegal, they should suggest how to return that invested amount; otherwise lots of people will die from shock. Please do not be illogical in giving this verdict.

Lloyd Wonderful! I hope it goes well and congratulations for taking a step forward towards becoming a more tolerant Bangladesh! DP This is rubbish. Hijras are born with it, and hence they can’t do anything about it. However, when it comes to homosexuality, I really don’t support it. In my perception, homosexuality is an extreme case of sexual desirability, and it’s controllable like any other form of extreme emotion (eg anger, depression etc). If being “Gay” is “natural,” then why can’t they produce babies “naturally”? If any “openminded” + “non-judgemental” person has an answer to this, then please do inform me. rationalist DP: Homosexuality like heterosexuality is sexual orientation. People are born with it and they cannot change it, just like a heterosexual person cannot change his/her likeness for a person of the opposite gender.

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Ibtisam Ahmed Not perfect – there is still a clear threat to the organisers and there seems to be a male tilt according to the article - but excellent news nonetheless! And the support for the group has been immense. :D

Bangladesh ‘safe home’ for foreign VoIP frauds January 20

Akhtar Shah Only VOIP frauds? Zareef Hossain Let them stay. Don’t deport them if they don’t want to go back! Prove to them we have a big heart!

Rajshahi Simla Govt Primary School students hold classes under makeshift tin-shed

January 19 Unfortunately, it seems as if education is only for the elite. Nazia Jabeen

Gaibandha gunshot Shibir man dies

January 21 Where are the human rights activists now? Why are they silent? Hossain Sajjad


A comprehensive approach is required to incentivise more public servants to take up posts outside of Dhaka



CODE-CRACKER ACROSS 1 Crustacean (4) 5 Mechanical man (5) 8 Repeat from memory (6) 9 On (4) 10 Fuss (3) 12 Waver (6) 13 Christmas decoration (6) 15 Composed (6) 18 Customs (6) 20 Flightless bird (3) 21 Widespread reputation (4) 23 Beginning (6) 24 Drawing room (5) 25 Biblical quotation (4)

DOWN 1 Hard outer covering (5) 2 Corded fabric (3) 3 Fruit of the oak (5) 4 Container (3) 5 Entertains agreeably (7) 6 Annoying child (4) 7 Thunder god (4) 11 Dexterous (4) 12 Suspended chain of flowers (7) 14 Muslim leader (4) 16 Proverb (5) 17 Happening (5) 18 Cuts with blows (4) 19 Farm animal (4) 21 Well (3) 22 Mingle (3)






Monday, January 27, 2014

Whose responsibility is it anyway? n Mehrin Afroze Chowdhury



Shahbagh’s Swadeshi stance


n Audity Falguni eaders of Ganajagaran Mancha had called for a week of boycotting all sorts of Pakistani goods since police stormed the procession of Shahbagh Ganajagaran Mancha before the Pakistan High Commission at Gulshan. Ganajagaran Mancha had held the demonstration to protest the adoption of a resolution in the National Assembly of Pakistan expressing concern over the hanging of notorious war criminal Quader Molla. The resolution in the Pak National Assembly grieved for the execution of this “Butcher of Mirpur,” who alone slaughtered around 350 human beings in 1971, and mourned over his “loyalty to Pakistan.” Imran Khan, noted cricketer-cum-nephew of General Niazi, the commander-in-chief of the Pak invader army in 1971, too termed Quader Molla to be innocent. The response of Pakistan on the issue of our war criminals’ trial is frustrating. But is it not more shocking that the police of our own independent and sovereign state could trample the protesters of Shahbagh under their boots, irrespective of gender, and hurl abuses like “Malaun er bachcha (Children of Hindus)” or “Nastik er bachcha (Children of atheists)”? So, the non-violent movement of Shahbagh started to protest again. They were sad and angry. A calm but enraged Shahbagh held a demonstration meeting on December 20 where Shammi Haque, a female student of Daffodil International University, Ganajagaran Mancha leader Bappadit-




ya Basu, theatre activist Nasir Uddin Yousuf Bachchu, and popular writer Muhammad Zafar Iqbal condemned police action and swearing on peaceful demonstrators. Didn’t our Liberation War of 1971 pledge to establish a state free of all sorts of discrimination on the basis of religion-caste-creed-sex? It’s not a “crime” to be a “non-Muslim” under the auspices of our Constitution of 1972, neither is it a crime to be an agnostic or atheist per Article 39 of our Constitution which endorses freedom of conscience and expression.

many stories of Swadeshi movement and boycotting of luxurious foreign goods during the anti-British Imperialist movement in this sub-continent from my parents and grandparents, read many a classic novel of Bengali literature on this theme, and even saw scores of Bengali and Hindi period movies on Swadeshi movement. This calm, but determined stance of youth in Bangladesh ultimately slaps on the buying of Western lobbyists by Jamaat-e-Islami, who are now shedding crocodile tears against “capital punishment” to safeguard the

The government should understand the sentiment of the youth in Shahbagh, who are reviving the war cry of 1971, ‘Joy Bangla’

The whole world should witness how the non-violent movement of Shahbagh is following the trails of doctrines of non-violence practised by exemplary leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela. As a young writer and activist, I considered myself blessed when Maruf Rassul, one of the pioneering organisers of Ganajagaran Mancha, declared the “Pak Commodities Boycott Week” on December 20 evening. An injured Imran H Sarker, convener of Ganajagaran Mancha, was standing silently on the stage. To me, it was a history-making moment. I had heard



notorious war criminals’ lives. With all respect to UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillai, or UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the youth of Bangladesh wishes to ask: Where were their tears for “capital punishment” when Saddam Hussain was hanged on Eid, or when drone attacks killed millions of children in Iraq and Afghanistan? Can the UN return the three million civilians slaughtered in 1971? Can it give back the honour of 200,000 to 400,000 raped women? To answer the argument of advocates for war criminals like Dr Asif Nazrul or David Bergman, that standards have not been



maintained, we do humbly remind them that our ICT trial maintained much more legal procedure than the Nuremberg trial. The USA has awarded capital punishment to 39 criminals this year. Can the EU, the UN, and the USA bring back the innocent people killed at the hands of extremist Jamaat-e-Islami cadres in the past months? What about the hundreds of Hindu temples torched, the thousands of trees chopped down, and the killing of a number of police and grassroots Awami League activists by Jamaat cadres? Obviously, I do not endorse a one-party election. Since the caretaker government of 2006-2008, the ruling party seems at unease with the very concept of a caretaker government. But the invitation for joining the “all party” government for the election was made to the main opposition BNP. Did this government not allow free and fair polls in five city corporations, and accept its defeat gracefully, despite the playing of the religion card by the opposition? On the other hand, the government should understand the sentiment of the youth in Shahbagh, who are reviving the war cry of 1971, “Joy Bangla,” without any expectation from the ruling party. Not all of them are AL supporters. The Shahbagh movement took a Swadeshi stance for a proud but developing nation in today’s open market and highly globalised world. As Mukunda Das sang: “Cherish the coarse cloth offered by your motherland/ Your poor mom can offer no more!” l

he garments industry of Bangladesh is in turmoil. The breakdown of the industry would mean the loss of the sole breadwinning source for many, causing them to get back on their bare feet in search of a decent job in a deprived society, already crammed with innumerable unemployed citizens. The workers are belligerent about the nasty working conditions, the minimum wage level etc. However their tetchy attitude towards the so-called profit-making industry has fallen on deaf ears, and drowned out in the ever competitive world of global business. The continuous and constant pressure by the foreign buyers to meet the standards and sort out all human rights issues requires an increase in their own cost level. However these illustrious, goodwill-generating companies do not realise, or probably do not want to realise, that if they are not willing to pay more for the added value, where will the extra money come from? These companies are constantly putting pressure on the third world countries to reduce cost, while maintaining all the protocol that amplifies costs. They want to allow their consumers to cosy up wearing a soft blue sweater in winter, without paying an extra dollar for the knitters in third world countries who are unable to wear sweaters themselves.

If they are not willing to pay more, where will the extra money come from?

I am sure the civilized society is aware of the atrocities here and they are willing to pay more for their products, but the companies are mysteriously unwilling to charge higher despite their support towards maintaining quality of life. The manufacturers, often reputed companies of the first world, do not

own up to the tribulations. Instead they label them as the responsibility of the factory owners, often sub-contracted parties in third world countries.

Reputed companies of the first world do not own up to the tribulations

Bangladesh caught the world’s attention once again when the Rana Plaza disaster happened on April 24, 2013. This happened during a time when the Bangladesh government made the promise to raise wages for the garment workers and provide more leniency in labour laws related to the formation of trade unions. After the major disaster, a few companies came forward to prove a point and show direction, namely the Swedish retailer H&M, Spanish giant Inditex, British retailers Tesco and Primark, and US giants Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Izod. They promised to pay a substantial amount to endorse factory safety and quality improvements as a part of their entire plan. This sort of assistance would definitely clear their conscience regarding the “blood products” they were procuring, and complement their long term CSR visions. All these attempts are surely admirable, but they are slightly late with many people already dead from disaster. The blood has already stained the giants’ hands and these attempts can only hope to rinse out the stains over time. What about others? There are many still objecting to the idea of any such agreement, denying outright responsibility. A reputed company also claimed to have hired an inspector and pledged to pay a substantial amount in “loans” for improvement within the factories. How righteous is the idea of loans to companies already suffering from financial turmoil? I leave it to the readers to ponder over. l Mehrin Afroze Chowdhury is a freelance contributor.

Audity Falguni is a writer and development activist.








The Dhaka that was n Towheed Feroze


he news spread fast – the lawyer in the area had just bought a new car. By the way, the word “new” back in the mid 80s meant reconditioned, not brand new. “It has an air-conditioner,” marveled those who went to see the white Toyota. Material possessions always separate the few from the masses, and the lawyer was basking in becoming a member of the privileged few. Owning a car was indeed a massive social boost back then. Well, things haven’t changed that much. But now, no one will go to look in amazement at an Asian car. A BMW from the earlier series is often looked at with disdain. So, unless one has something exotic to show off, the public won’t flock to appreciate. No worries though, there are Jaguars and the latest Land Rovers in the market. The price tag can be the entire life savings of a very lucky middle class man, or it can be the negligible “money to burn” of a top wealthy dog. Dhaka has changed! Sitting in one of the many trendy lounges of the city, while going through the cosmopolitan menu featuring iced coffee and a variety of cheese cakes, this writer remembered

the indigenous burger of the past which were sold in confectioneries. Bet most of the modern readers don’t know what a typical Dhaka confectionery looked like. Amidst the ultra-stylish fast food hangouts, the shops that sold soft butter buns, pastries, and burgers in plastic packets garnished with large green chillies seem so back-dated. At high school, the boy wearing the Casio black plastic belt watch was the “cool,” fashionable person.   The same went for those who managed to buy a pair of Hara jeans or Nike trainers. Honestly speaking, the best place to buy denim was the Gulistan secondhand market, better known as the Nixon market, changing its name with the new guy at the White House. So, in the 80s it was known as the Reagan market where all sorts of denim like Edwin, Lee, and Wrangler were available.   Buying something second-hand was nothing shameful – if someone was lucky, a foreign note could be found in a jacket or a trouser. The possibility of a serendipitous find superseded feelings of hesitation.   Back then, entertainment meant watching BTV and getting the West Bengal channel Durdarshan. Someone

started receiving Durdarshan by putting a metal plate on his roof and voila, a race began to buy all sorts of stainless steel cooking utensils to put on top of the roofs to get the foreign channel. Very few had VCRs because it cost more than a lakh. The house in any area that had a VCR was open to the public. Usually, a movie had two screenings – one for the household people and the other for the people of the area. One favourite pastime was to listen to dialogue tapes of Sholay and other Amitabh films! This was also the era of the Middle East employment boom, and those coming back brought video players and large silver coloured cassette players (called changers).   Soon, the market got flooded with VCPs – much cheaper than VCRs – and the brands Funai and JVC still come to mind. A well-organised commercial VCR screening operation began in old Dhaka’s Thataribazar, where, for Tk10, a person could watch one general movie plus an adult film or “blue” (pronounced bulu) movie, as it was called then.  Porn is now a recognised industry, though in the 80s everything related

to it was hush hush. Cinema halls did brisk business as Bangla films almost always had a full house. Tickets for movies usually sold on the black market, while theatre halls proudly wrote “shitatop niyontrito” (air-conditioned) to attract cinema goers.  

local Chinese restaurant and ordering the same stuff over and over again: Corn soup, beef with chillies, fried chicken, and beef with vegetables. No one heard of sushi or wasabi! Politics was obviously a hot topic, though unlike now, politicians hardly put making a quick buck as the top

The fact of life is that nothing remains static – maybe if we were taken back to the 80s now, we would feel out of place

No one heard of dotted condoms let alone flavoured ones – Raja, the local brand, ruled until Panther came to the market. Advertising was discreet as parents became uneasy when birth control commercials came on TV. I still remember that a student in my class was punished severely because he was copying a rather suggestive line from a contraceptive commercial called “Joy foam tablet.”   Going out to eat meant dining at the

priority. A politician was someone who was sunburnt, wore ordinary clothes, hung out at the tea stalls, was a brilliant orator, and spoke flawless Bangla and impressive English. Young student politicians spent their free time reading, not ogling at scantily dressed women gyrating to “Nagin nagin” at a five star hotel. Libation was always local hooch; single malt was a dream in a James Hadley Chase novel!

Summer holidays meant going to the village to eat mangoes and jackfruits. Winter evenings were spent at fairs or going to the stadium to watch international football matches of the President’s Cup. Those of us who grew up in Bangladesh as her generation ’71, often become nostalgic thinking of the past. But the fact of life is that nothing remains static – maybe if we were taken back to the 80s now, we would feel out of place. Though life back then had its share of imperfections, the money factor was not the most important issue – human relations were not formed by cold-hearted calculations, and in judging a person, social status was not the sole deciding factor. The laid–back, leisurely life of the 80s is gone. With all the changes to make our lives more comfortable, we have only opened a Pandora’s Box. There’s indeed truth in the saying: “Days gone by always seem better!” Close your eyes and visualise: Tiger masks, Bonalim chocolates, white BATA school sneakers, walkmans, Hiramon, “Jodi Kichu Mone Na Koren,” and Pilu Momtaz. l Towheed Feroze is a journalist currently working in the development sector.




Monday, January 27, 2014

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag dominates the Filmfare Awards n Entertainment Desk

Shooting of Mustafa Kamal Raj’s upcoming film Tarkata starts from January 25 at Dhaka. Three leading stars of Dhallywood, Moushumi, Arefin Shuvo and Bidya Sinha Mim share screen space together for the first time. Moushumi will be seen as Shuvo’s sister and Mim as his girlfriend

‘Nishimon Bishorjon’ today at Shilpakala n Entertainment Desk Popular theatre troupe Mohakal Natya Sampraday will stage the 49th show of its acclaimed production Nishimon Bishorjon today, at 7pm, at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Based on Tagore’s popular play Bishorjon, the play was adapted by talented playwright Anan Jaman and was directed by Ashik Rahman Lion. The play features how religious superstition and religious fundamentalism creates obstacles on the way to social progress. The play is the 27th production of Mohakal.

The play starts with Nishimon, a girl from north Bangladesh, narrating her tragic story to the river Gomti. She has lost her beloved, Tarataj, who was killed during a suicide bomb attack. Later, it is revealed that Tarataj was a member of an extremist group, and he was carrying the bomb. The cast of the play includes Mir Zahid Hasan, Kamruzzaman Sabuz, Poly Biswas, Ferdous Ikram, Zahidul Kamal Chowdhury Dipu, Iqbal Chowdhury, Imtu, Shikha Das, Badhon, Sonia, Nivel Hawlader, Abul Kalam Azad, Rasel Ahmed, Mainul Islam, Mohammad Shahnewaz among others. l

The star-studded 59th Idea Filmfare Awards 2013 awards ceremony was held at YashRaj Studio in Andheri Friday evening. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the incredibly realistic biopic of legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh dominates 59th Idea Filmfare Awards 2013. The film scored three out of the top four awards including best actor, best director and best film. The picture won a total of seven prizes. Milkha Singh became India’s icon in the 50s and 60s and his revival in 2013 got extremely lucky as well. He was away in his hometown Chandigarh hence was unable to attend the awards ceremony. The much deserving, Farhan Akhtar won the Best Actor for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He said: “I’m so happy my mom is here. She used to tell me that I hung around Bandra wearing no shoes and what am I doing in my life. Mom, see what all that barefoot running got me.” Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra gained winning position as best director for the same film. While announcing Deepika Padukone’s name for the Best Actor (Female) award for her performance in Ramleela, Rekha said, “This is one woman I wouldn’t mind losing my man to.” While handing over the Lifetime Achievement award to Tanuja, Amitabh Bachchan said, “She was my first leading lady. She was a glorious star, and I was a struggling newcomer. I am honoured to be presenting this award to her.” Leading the list of nominations were films that pleased the box office in 2013, even if not all of them made it to the Rs 100-crore club, Chennai Express shared space with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Ramleela and Raanjhanaa. The jury also acknowledged the

Farhan Akhtar (L) and Deepika Padukone win Best Actor and Best Actress awards respectively popularity of Kai Po Che, Aashiqui 2, Lootera, Krrish 3, and the little nugget, The Lunchbox. Dhanush, whose performance in Raanjhanaa won him the best debut award, and Vaani Kapoor won the best debut award (female) for Shuddh Desi Romance. The RD Burman Award went to Sidharth Mahadevan, dedicated his award for best singer to his mother while lyricist Prasoon Joshi, was adjudged best lyricist for Zinda in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Jeet Ganguly, Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari won the Best Music award for Aashiqui 2, while Arijit Singh who made the nation groove to his voice wins Best Playback Singer (Male) for Tum hi ho - Aashiqui

Lusa’s new album Nirontor hits the market n Entertainment Desk

Promising singer Lusa released her solo Rabindra Sangeet album titled Nirontor under the banner of Azob Records recently. The album contains eight classic Tagore numbers Akash Bhora Shurjo Tara, Kotobar Bhebechhinu, Ami Tomar Preme Hobo, Megher Pore Megh, Aguner Poroshmoni and many more. The music of the album is directed by eminent musician Bappa Mazumder. He said about the singer: “She is a very good singer. I appreciate her dedication for pure Bengali songs. I am glad to work with her.” Lusa was first introduced as a singer at the platform of BTV’s popular talent hunt show Notunkuri in 1993. Since then she is an enlisted Rabindra and Nazrul singer of BTV. l


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Thor: The Dark World Pacific Rim in 3D Time: 10am – 10pm Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City


Ways of Seeing Time: 12pm – 8pm Bengal Art Lounge, 60 Gulshan Avenue Gulshan 1 Gravity-Free World By Artist A Rahman Time: 12pm – 8pm Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, House 42, Road 16 (New) / 27 (old), Dhanmondi Life and Struggle of Padma By Sumon Yusuf Time: 3pm – 9pm La Galerie, Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Dhanmond

ON TV MOVIE 6:41pmWB Flyboys

11:00pmZee Studio Real Steel

DRAMA 9: 00pm Star Jalsha

Bojhena Shey Bojhena

11:00pm Sony TV

Bade Achhe Lagte Hain

Nusrat focuses on anchoring TV show n Entertainment Desk Nusrat Faria, a promising face in showbiz today, is anchoring a lifestyle programme Style and Trends which will start airing today at 9:30pm on NTV. The show has been produced by Wahidul Islam Shuvro. About anchoring lifestyle and fashion shows, the glamorous model says, “I am concentrating only on anchoring TV shows. Right now I am hosting a number of programmes simultaneously. I am thrilled to work for Style and Trends, as it contains different features from other lifestyle shows.” Nusrat is also anchoring various TV shows

2. Monali Thakur won Best Playback Singer (Female) Sawaar loon for Lootera. Best Debut Director Award went to Ritesh Batra for the most delicious film, The Lunchbox which who won Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics). Shilpa Shukla wins Best Actress (Critics) for her bold performance in BA Pass. Sony Trendsetter of the Year Award went to Chennai Express. The talent supreme Nawazuddin Siddiqui won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Lunchbox while Supriya Pathak Kapur won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Goliyon Ki Raasleela, Ramleela. l

such as Late Night Coffee on RTV, which has already started airing from last Saturday. Also she is hosting Channel 16’s musical programme Moner Moto Gaan Moner Joto Kotha and GTV’s World of Glamour. On the other hand, Nusrat is also hosting a radio show Night Shift with Nusrat on Radio Foorti. The stunning beauty Nusrat made her debut on TV as a debater through a programme aired on BTV. She became a brand ambassador of Door Fashion House. Then she caught the public attention by appearing in a number of TV commercials such as Fair & Lovely, Symphony, Strawberry Mobile, Citycell and many more. l

Today’s episode of Cinema Express will feature the life of Bengali screen icon Suchitra Sen. The show will be aired at 7:45pm on Desh Tv. The programme will highlight the actor’s career, personal life and her immense contribution to Bangla and Hindi film industry. Writer and director Amzad Hossain will talk about the diva at the programme. Suchitra Sen passed away early in the morning on 17 January, 2014 in Kolkata at the age of 82. Her demise left a big void in Indian cinema, but she will remain in the hearts of cinema-lovers forever

Lifetime award for the Beatles n Entertainment Desk The Beatles have been honoured with a lifetime achievement award at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles. The Recording Academy Special Merit Awards ceremony was the first of several celebrations of the surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, the latter of whom was unable to make the ceremony because of Grammy Awards rehearsals. The two will appear at the Grammy Awards and will also be the subject of a television special taped to air on February 9, the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performance in the US. Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, the widows of Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, accepted the honours last night for their late husbands, . Accepting his award, Ringo said: “The Beatles’ music is still out there, and that’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

The Beatles and Kris Kristofferson were among an influential group to receive awards at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The Isley Brothers, whose songs Shout and Twist & Shout were early touchstones for the Beatles, were also honoured with a lifetime achievement award. Ronald Isley recounted a story about recently speaking with Sir Paul about those early hits. “Me and Paul talk about that all the time,” Ronald said, noting the two recently spent time together after a concert. “And we talked about that all night, and he said, you know, if it wasn’t for our group, they would probably still be in Liverpool.” The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool, in 1960. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. l

Did you know? Real Madrid recorded a seventh straight win without conceding a goal for the first time in the club’s 112year history


Monday, January 27, 2014

0 4 8 DAYS TO GO

Bangladesh and Sri Lankan players enjoy their training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday on the eve of their today’s first Test

Enhanced Bangladesh look to carry on against Sri Lanka n Mazhar Uddin Cricket has been played off the field in recent times with the Big 3 proposal being the principal topic of discussion, but for Bangladesh, matters are about to return to the green as the first Test against Sri Lanka gets underway today at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today. Historically, Bangladesh have few successes against Sri Lanka, with the islanders having set many records – both in bowling and batting – against the Tigers – but the home team are still remaining positive and can look to previous fighting efforts for inspiration ahead of the series that is about to begin. In the last Test between the two nations at Galle, Bangladesh took a first innings lead after scoring over 600 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings, with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim making Ban-

gladesh’s first ever double hundred and Mohammad Ashraful striking 190. The match was eventually drawn, although Sri Lanka went on to win the series 1-0. Ashraful is no longer in the side after admitting to fixing activity but the Tigers have a number of recently successful performers in Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Haque and Sohag Gazi – among others. The Mirpur wicket, which traditionally been flat and helped the batsman, is expected to play in usual fashion – getting lower and slower as the match goes on after initially helping the seamers a little bit. The Bangladesh side for the series is one of the best ever selected and comprises a blend of proven players and promising newcomers. In the latter category are Marshal Ayub, whose stylish play impressed in the last series against New Zealand and Mominul Haque, who made the last series his own. However, it is unclear if former

vice-captain Mahmudullah will make it into the playing 11. The opening batsman to partner Tamim Iqbal is still up for grabs with both



Maasranga TV


Rupavahini (Terrestrial) Dialog (DTH, Mobile)

Sri Lanka

OSN Pehla Zee Network Willow TV Sommet Sports

Sri Lanka Middle East & North Africa UK & Europe USA & Canada New Zealand

Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes, being contenders. Shamsur has been successful in ODIs and T20s as well as at the domestic level, while Imrul has forced his way back into the nation squad after two years by scoring heavily at the first class level.

14 Wawrinka stuns

Sri Lanka meanwhile will be looking to the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, along with relative newcomers Dinesh Chandimal and skipper Angelo Matthews – who performed credibly recently against Pakistan in the UAE – to give their side the edge.

Bangladesh team (probable)

Tamim Iqbal, Shamsur Rahman/Imrul Kayes, Marshall Ayub, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), Shakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Robiul Islam, Abdur Razzak.

Sri Lanka team (probable)

Kaushal Silva,Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (capt), Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Dilruwan Perera/Nuwan Pradeep, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal. l

n Mazhar Uddin Hard hitting opening batsman Shamsur Rahman, who has had a dream run over the last twelve months, is set to make his Test debut in the first Test in the series against Sri Lanka as the 71st Test cricketer for Bangladesh at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today. The 25-year old gets his reward after he had a terrific time in the Bangladesh Cricket League where he smashed a brilliant double century for Walton Central Zone, which earned him a place in the Test squad against Sri Lanka. Shamsur, who had to wait sometime before finally making his T20 debut against Sri Lanka earlier last year, smashed his maiden half century in his second T20 match against Zimbabwe. Later Shamsur made his ODI debut with a bang against New Zealand, missing a century by only four runs. The dashing opener still rated Test cricket above everything else and informed that it would be a dream come true if he gets his Test cap today, “It was always my dream to play Test for Bangladesh. I think Test cricket is something that every cricketer wished to play and if I get the chance it will be

n Raihan Mahmood Former ICC presidents Malcom Gray and Ehsan Mani categorically stated that the ICC’s “Big 3” proposal clearly goes against the globalization of cricket yesterday. A letter signed by, Ehsan Mani, (President ICC 2003-2006), Malcolm Gray, (President ICC 2000-2003), Malcolm Speed, Former ICC Chief Executive Officer, Clive Lloyd, Former Captain of West Indies and Former Chairman of ICC Cricket Committee, Shaharyar Khan, Past President Pakistan Cricket

Under the proposal, associate and affiliate members would lose more than US$312m in projected revenue Board, Lt Gen. (retd) Tauqir Zia, Past President Pakistan Cricket Board and Saber Hossain Chowdhury, former president of Bangladesh Cricket Board, urged the ICC to withdraw the proposal made by the ICC F&CA Committee. They also urged that the ICC directors and management, its members and other stakeholders are, as a matter of urgency, to review and comment on the Governance Report by Lord Woolf and PWC, published in 2012, with a view to implementing its recommendations and improving ICC’s Governance structure, in keeping with contemporary best practice. Under the proposal, associate and affiliate members would lose more than US$312m in projected revenue, an amount that would instead be redistributed largely to the boards of India,

Australia and England. Mani’s report said, “The biggest gainers are BCCI, ECB and CA. In addition, ICC events for the period 20152023 will be held only in India, England and Australia. These boards will receive hosting fees for the events in addition to the ICC distributions they propose. A point that also needs to be addressed is; why does BCCI need more money at the expense of other countries? The domestic and international media fees that BCCI receives from playing with other members are massive and underpin BCCI’s financial position. It is the richest cricket board in the world. “If cricket is to grow and develop around the world, more investment is required in the associate & affiliate countries, not less. The associate & affiliate countries represent some of the biggest economies in the world. If cricket could be established properly in the United States of America and China and become an Olympic sport, the ICC could double its revenues in real terms over the next 10-15 years. This requires vision and a less parochial approach.” The ICC in its official website says “Our Vision of Success - As a leading global sport, cricket will captivate and inspire people of every age, gender, background and ability while building bridges between continents, countries and communities. Its Strategic Direction will be a bigger, better, global game targeting more players, more fans, more competitive teams. Our long-term success will be judged on growth in participation and public interest and the competitiveness of teams participating in men’s and women’s international cricket. The latest proposals categorically opposes the vision and mission.” l

Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited registered their fourth draw in six Bangladesh Premier League games as they played out a 1-1 draw with defending champions Sheikh Russell KC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Mohammedan centre-back Mintu Sk made another blunder which caused the Black and Whites conceding the opening goal. Jamaican midfielder Ricardo Cousins was the scorer but Zahid Hasan Emily netted a controversial goal in the second half to restore the parity. The draw did not change Russell’s position in the points table as they remained in third place with 10 points from six matches, while Mohammedan moved two steps up to fourth with seven points. Mohammedan coach Rui Jose Batista made two changes in his squad, bringing in Emon Mahmud and Mosta-

fa Seddik for the suspended Bayebeck and Jahid Hossain. Maruful Hoque suffered his first blow when he was forced to make an early substitution, replacing injured inform forward Mithun Chowdhury with Md Robin at the quarter hour mark. Mohammedan’s defensive errors in the league continued as Russell took the lead in the 29th minute after a silly blunder by Mintu. Ricardo snatched a ball from Mintu just outside the box, eased into the penalty area and slotted the ball into the net after rounding off Mohammedan keeper Titu. The Motijheel outfits had their first chance in the 34th minute when Emily headed over the crosspiece from a Mostafa Seddik cross. Russell almost doubled the lead at the stroke of half-time when their Moroccan forward Youness Roux’s shot at an open goal fell wide of the target. Mohammedan brought in Wahed Ahmed and Tapu Barman at the start of the second half to bolster their attack.

Two minutes into the resumption, Nigerian midfielder Demian Chigozie volleyed over the crosspiece from the middle of the box after a headed pass from Emily. Emily restored the parity just seven minutes into the second half, when he headed in a cross from Wahed Ahmed to level the margin. The buildup of the equalizing goal, however, created severe criticism about Mohammedan operating outside “fair play” codes. During a Russell attack, Francisco Usucar intentionally sent the ball outside the field after seeing Mohammedan’s Demian Chigozie fall down a few yards outside the box. Instead of throwing the ball to Russell, Nahidul Islam set up Wahed to run free through the left flank and the play resulted in a goal. Titu made two brilliant saves to save Mohammedan from conceding moreone by tipping away Francisco Usucar’s free kick and another by punching away Ricardo’s powerful strike. l


15 Australia edge

England in lowscoring thriller

Shamsur excited

ICC acting against MSC draw with Russell n its own vision? Shishir Hoque

injured Nadal to win Aussie Open



the best thing happened in my life,” Shamsur told the Dhaka Tribune. However the hard hitting opener informed that he will play his natural game whatever format and will give his hundred percent to try to score runs for Bangladesh, “I will play my natural game as I always try to play whatever format I play but Test cricket is something where your temperament and technique is very important and I will try to give my hundred percent to score runs for my country.” The right hander was close to making Test debut in 2010 against England but was excluded from the final eleven. Shamsur thinks that he has developed since then and is a more mature player. “I never regret that and think what happened was good for me, as I am much more mature now and I know the game much better and have gained experience of international cricket,” said Shamsur. Shamsur made his first class debut in 2005 and since then, he has been a regular performer on the domestic circuit, with almost 4,000 runs, 25 fifties and six hundreds. Most recently, he struck a double hundred to catch the selectors’ eye. l

‘MSC snatched our two points by cheating’: Maruf n Shishir Hoque Sheikh Russell coach Maruful Hoque was on fire after his side was held to a draw following Zahid Hasan Emily’s 52nd minute equalizer yesterday and termed Mohammedan’s goal as cheating. With Russell leading 1-0, Emily restored the parity for the Black and Whites in the second half. Maruful slammed Mohammedan’s national players for their unfair act during the build-up of the equalizing goal. “Worst football played by Mohammedan’s national players. It can’t ever be taken for granted. If a national player doesn’t respect fair play, what will the new generation learn from them? “This is not goal. This is one kind of cheating. Mohammedan snatched our two points today by cheating. We were on the attack and our player gave the ball away after one of their players fell down on the pitch. They should have respected the fair play,” said the angry coach. The goal led to a dispute on the pitch among the players after Russell’s Francisco Usucar pulled Wahed’s jersey. Referee had to show yellow cards to three players to calm the situation down. Meanwhile, Mohammedan’s Portuguese coach Rui Jose Batista did not comment on the incident, saying that he was not paying attention when it occurred. l

Mohammedan players gather around Sheikh Russell’s Moroccan forward Youness Roux (C) during their Bangladesh Premier League match at the BNS yesterday. The incident took place after Zahid Hasan scored the equaliser in the 52nd minute MUMIT M




Wawrinka stuns injured Nadal

Don’t boo Nadal, Wawrinka tells fans n AFP, Melbourne Stanislas Wawrinka took Australian Open fans to task on Sunday after sections of the crowd booed Rafael Nadal for taking a medical timeout during the dramatic men’s singles final. The newly crowned champion said it was “not that nice” that fans booed the Spanish world number one, who was in clear discomfort with a back injury during the second set. “I think it was not that nice, especially Rafa. We all know that he’s a great guy, a great player,” Wawrinka said. “He’s always a really fair player. He always tries his best. He is always fighting.” The Swiss added: “Yeah, was quite strange that the crowd started to boo him.” Wawrinka also had a long argument with the chair umpire when Nadal left the court for treatment, insisting he should be told the nature of his opponent’s injury. “I just wanted to know what was the problem of Rafa. Because before he asked for the physio, he was checking his feet. I didn’t know really what was the problem,” he said. “Normally when the physio is coming on the court, the umpire always tells the opponent why he’s coming. He didn’t want to tell me, so I got (annoyed).” Wawrinka eventually won the match in four sets to claim his maiden Grand Slam title, in his first major final. He said he still planned to play Switzerland’s Davis Cup tie with Serbia, starting on Friday – providing he survives his raucous celebrations. “Davis Cup, it’s really important for me. I’m really proud. It’s a big honour to play for my country. So for sure I’m still thinking to go there,” he said. l

n AFP, Melbourne

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland walks around the court, with the trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne yesterday AP

Mirza will try for more FACTS & STATS Despite losing to Stanislas Wawrinka, Slams with Tecau

n AFP, Melbourne

India’s Sania Mirza said she’ll try for more Grand Slam mixed doubles titles with Romanian Horia Tecau after the pair missed out in the Australian Open final on Sunday. Mirza, 27, said she had made a great start to the year despite the loss to Canadian-French pair Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic, who won 6-3, 6-2. Mirza also reached the women’s doubles quarter-finals with partner Cara Black, where they went out in three sets to eventual champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy. “I’ve had a decent week and we had a really good week in mixed and we’re looking forward to the rest of the year. It’s a good start to the year.” l

Rafael Nadal will today has the highest ever #ATP ranking points at 14,330 Stanislas Wawrinka is the first man ever to beat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same Grand Slam tournament Stanislas Wawrinka will be No3 in rankings today after winning his first ever grand slam title at his 36th try The last time a seed as low as 8 won the Australian Open was in 2002 when Thomas Johansson won the title Before yesterday’s final, the head2head was Rafael Nadal v Stanislas Wawrinka 26-0 In the last 35 Grand Slams (mens), Del Potro was the only title winner outside the “Big 4” before Stanislas Wawrinka yesterday

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka claimed his first Grand Slam title in dramatic fashion on Sunday when he upset injury-troubled world number one Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. The eighth seed roared through the first two sets and overcame the distraction of a back injury to Nadal, and then the loss of the third set, to take it 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours 21 minutes. Nadal, who was chasing his 14th major title, looked as if he might pull out with the back injury but he fought back to take the third set and force the match into a fourth set. It was a stunning result for Wawrinka, who had never taken a set off Nadal in their 12 previous meetings and won his first Slam title at his 36th attempt, the second longest wait on record. Wawrinka’s win was a rare shock at the top of men’s tennis after several years of dominance by the game’s top four players. The last outsider to win was Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open. Injury-prone Nadal was in tears as he said: “Many thanks Stan, you really deserved it, I’m very happy for you. I had bad luck against you today but you really deserve it.” Nadal has had injury problems in the past in Melbourne. He missed the 2006 and 2013 editions, had to retire

injured in 2010 and was hit by a muscle strain during his 2011 defeat to David Ferrer. Wawrinka, who also shocked world number two Djokovic in the quarter-finals, became the first man to defeat the top two seeds at a Grand Slam since Sergi Bruguera at the 1993 French Open. Despite playing his first major final, he began nervelessly and after holding his opening two service games he made the first move, breaking Nadal in the fourth game. The Swiss again had a break point in Nadal’s next service game as he held his own serves without undue pressure. But he was three break points down serving out for his first ever set against Nadal, only to win the next five points with some magnificent serves to go one set up in 37 minutes. Fresh from the psychological breakthrough, Wawrinka broke Nadal to love in the opening game of the second with with a cracking backhand return winner. l



6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3



Nadal 1


Double Faults






Unforced Errors



BP Conversions



Total Points Won


Time: 2hr 21mins

'Wow'rinka in dreamland n AFP, Melbourne Stanislas Wawrinka admitted he was surprised he won the Australian Open and wondered if he was dreaming after his surprise victory over an injury-hit Rafael Nadal on Sunday. The Swiss, who also upset threetime defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, capped a magnificent fortnight with his 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Nadal for his first major title. “I still think that I’m dreaming. It’s a strange feeling,” he said. “I’ve seen so many finals. I always try to watch the final of Grand Slams because that’s where the best players are playing.

“Before today for me, it wasn’t (even) a dream. I never expected to play a final. I never expected to win a Grand Slam. And right now I just did it.” He added: “To beat Rafa, even if he was injured, I think I played my best first set during the match. I was ready to play four hours or five to beat Novak in the quarters, to beat Tomas Berdych in the semis.” Wawrinka became the first player since Sergi Bruguera at the 1993 French Open to beat the two top seeds, Nadal and Djokovic. He said he spoke with his Swedish coach Magnus Norman about playing in a Grand Slam final, and he was surprised how calm he was at the start of

the match. The Swiss got off to a brilliant start, taking his first ever set off Nadal in 12 matches and going a break up in the second before the Spaniard’s back problem became apparent. He went two sets up but lost the third as Nadal threatened a comeback, before stepping up to take the fourth set and the championship. “Magnus told me it was important not to think about the result but think about the way you want to play, the way you want to win every point,” he said. “I was surprised how well I started the match. In the beginning, he was good, he was fit, he wasn’t injured. And I was playing amazing tennis. l

Rafael Nadal of Spain, right, shakes hands with former World No 1 Pete Sampras after his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open yesterday AP

Devastated Nadal says injury made win impossible n AFP, Melbourne A devastated Rafael Nadal wiped away tears Sunday as he said a sudden back problem made it “impossible” to win the Australian Open final, after his latest injury nightmare at Melbourne Park. The top seed was denied a 14th Grand Slam title by in-form Swiss star Stanislas Wawrinka, who was crowned champion with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory. Nadal, who was still distraught and fighting back tears as his press conference started, said he first felt a twinge during the warm-up, and the problem gradually got worse. “It was a little bit worse in the first set. End of the first set, I start to feel worse,” he said. “Then at the beginning of the second was the key moment that I felt, during a serve in a bad movement, it’s very stiff, very bad.” He took a medical timeout when 2-1 down in the second set and bravely battled on, but his movement was restricted and the pace of his serves dropped significantly. Despite clearly being in pain, the Spaniard never considered calling it quits. “Last thing that I wanted to do was a retirement. No, I hate to do that, especially in a final,” he said. “Same time, it’s tough... during the whole year you are working for a moment like this, and it arrives and you feel that you are not able to play at your best. l

Inter, Juve held as Milan snatch late win

Mata finalises record move from Chelsea to United n Reuters, Manchester Spain playmaker Juan Mata has completed his move from Chelsea to Premier League rivals Manchester United for a club record transfer fee of 37.1 million pounds ($61.22 million). “I am thrilled to be joining United,” the 25-year-old told the club’s website on Saturday. “I have enjoyed some very happy years at Chelsea but the time has come for a new challenge. United is the perfect place for me and I am excited at the chance I have to be part of the next phase in the club’s history.” Mata claimed the Player of the Year award in his first two seasons at Chelsea, helping the Londoners win the 2012 Champions League and 2013 Europa League, but has been out of favour this season under manager Jose Mourinho. “Chelsea is a top club and I have many friends there but you cannot turn down the chance to join Manchester United,” said the midfielder who was the darling of the crowd at Stamford Bridge. “I look forward to helping the manager (David Moyes) and the team be successful in the coming years.” l

Monday, January 27, 2014

n Reuters

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon leaves the field after he received a red card during their Italian Serie A match against Lazio at the Olympic stadium in Rome on Saturday REUTERS

Inter Milan’s troubles continued when they were held to a goalless draw at home to bottom club Catania in Serie A on Sunday. Neighbours AC Milan, however, eased their crisis by scoring twice in the last five minutes for a 2-1 win at Cagliari, their second straight league win since Clarence Seedorf took over as coach. Mario Balotelli scored direct from a free kick and Giampaolo Pazzini hooked in the winner for Milan, who had trailed to Marco Sau’s first-half goal in Sardinia. Earlier, second-placed AS Roma cut Juventus’ lead at the top to six points by winning 3-1 at Hellas Verona. Inter are fifth with 33 points, only one ahead of Parma, Torino and Hellas Verona while Milan climbed to ninth with 28 points.

PSG settle for draw at modest Guingamp n AFP, Paris Paris Saint-Germain came within three minutes of suffering a shock defeat on Saturday before an Alex equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw away to Guingamp in Ligue 1. The Brazilian’s 87th-minute header cancelled out Mustapha Yatabare’s effort at the other end with six minutes remaining of a hard-fought encounter played in wet and windy conditions in Brittany. The draw is enough for the defending champions to extend their lead at the top of the table to six points, although second-placed Monaco can trim the gap back to three with a win against Marseille on Sunday. PSG had endured a mixed week,

thumping Nantes 5-0 in Ligue 1 before being surprisingly eliminated from the French Cup by Montpellier. Third-placed Lille could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Rennes on Friday despite Salomon Kalou giving them the lead, and they have now gone four games without a win. l

RESULTS Guingamp







0-0 1-1

Yatabare 84 Andre 8

Niang 32, Hilton 54, Camara 81

Valenciennes Pujol 52


Alex 87


Nogueira 90+3


Bosetti 69

Reims Lorient

Ciss 39-og

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was sent off as 10-man Juventus dropped points for the first time since October last year in a 1-1 draw at Lazio on Saturday. Juventus remain top of Serie A on 56 points but could see their lead over second-placed Roma cut to six points if the Giallorossi account for Verona in Sunday’s early game. Juventus were looking for their 13th successive win since losing 4-2 to Fiorentina on October 20. But their bid suffered a blow before the half hour when Buffon, who had already almost gifted Miroslav Klose a free scoring chance, saw red for hauling the German striker down on the sixyard line. Buffon made way for number two ‘keeper Marco Storari, with Ghanaian midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah forced off to leave Juve a man down. It was Buffon’s first Serie A dismissal since February 2011, against Lecce, and

the visitors were 1-0 down when Antonio Candreva sent Storari the wrong way from the spot in the 27th minute. Juve coach Antonio Conte told Sky Sport Italia: “We were looking for the win, whether we were at full strength or not. Our winning attitude remained intact even with the setback of our keeper’s sending off. Lazio had claims for another penalty waved away just before the interval after the ball clearly came off the arm of defender Leonardo Bonucci as he challenged deep in his own area. Both sides created a series of chances in a lively second half but Juve overcame their disadvantage to pull level on the hour after a well-worked move starting with Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian striker held off his marker on the edge of the area to send Stephan Lichsteiner through on the right, with Fernando Llorente’s glancing header from the Swiss midfielder’s cross creeping inside Etrit Berisha’s far post. l





Inter Milan Livorno

0-0 3-1







Hallfredsson 49

Sau 28

Greco 4, Paulinho 11, Benassi 26 Amauri 35

Gabbiadini 61 Cerci 60-P

AS Roma

Ljajic 45+1, Gervinho 60, Totti 82

AC Milan

Balotelli 87, Pazzini 89

Catania Sassuolo

Berardi 28-P

Udinese Bologna

Diamanti 90-P


Saturday Napoli




Albiol 88 Candreva 27-P


Sardo 18


Llorente 60

Oviedo in World Cup doubt after double leg break n AFP, London Everton midfielder Bryan Oviedo suffered a double fracture of his left leg in Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup win at Stevenage, an injury which will almost certainly rule him out of the World Cup. Roberto Martinez’s team were leading 1-0 when the 23-year-old Costa Rica international collapsed in agony after a first half challenge on Stevenage’s Simon Heslop. He needed lengthy treatment from medical staff before eventually being stretchered off. Everton team-mates Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas were visibly distressed after going over to check on Oviedo. “Bryan was trying to win the ball but unfortunately I think he has picked up a double fracture, the tibia and the fibula,” said Everton boss Martinez. l

Everton's Phil Jagielka (R) holds the broken leg of team mate Bryan Oviedo as he lies during their English FA Cup match against Stevenage at Broadhall Way on Saturday REUTERS



ULAB reach Super Eight University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh cruised into the Super Eight of the ULAB Fair Play Cup Cricket by beating United International University by five wickets at the university’s sports ground at the Ramhchanrdapur, Mohammedpur yesterday. Winning the toss, ULAB elected to field first and restricted UIU to 103/9 in the stipulated 20 overs. Imran of UIU played a superb knock of 52 off 36 balls and got 1 wicket. In reply, ULAB scored 104/5 in 16 overs. Imran of UIU was adjudged man-of-the-match. In the second match of day, BRAC University beat Eastern University by 21 runs. Winning the toss, BRACU elected to bat first and scored 151 for 4 wickets in their 20 overs. Sakib of BRAC scored 48 runs from 50 balls and took 2 wickets. In reply, EU managed to score 130 runs for 9 wickets in 20 overs. Sakib of BRAC was named man-of-the-match. –RM

Falcao given 50-50 World Cup chance Colombia striker Radamel Falcao has been given a 50-50 chance of playing at the World Cup in June after undergoing a successful knee operation on Saturday. Falcao, his country’s big hope for their first appearance at finals since 1998, sustained cruciate ligament damage in his left knee while playing for Monaco in a French Cup tie on Wednesday. Colombian fans fear he will be unable to recover in time for the tournament in Brazil but Portuguese orthopaedic surgeon Noronha did not rule out the 27-year-old, nicknamed Tiger, being fit in time. “I’m going to exaggerate a little but I think he’ll have a 50 percent chance of going,” Dr Jose Carlos Noronha said of the former River Plate, Porto and Atletico Madrid striker. –Reuters

Alonso, Raikkonen launch new-look Ferrari Former world champions Fernando Alsonso and Kimi Raikkonen on Saturday helped unveil Ferrari’s new F14-T car that the Italian team hopes to power to Formula One glory this year. Ferrari’s 2014 model, unveiled at the Scuderia’s Maranello headquarters, features a number of modifications to fall in line with the many changes introduced for the new season by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). The F14-T is powered by a 1.6 litre, turbo V6 power engine and notably features a new-look nose which differs significantly to those seen so far on other 2014 cars. Alonso, who won two world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, replaced Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2010 as the Finn, who had won the title with the Italians in 2007, went on to take a break before returning with Lotus. –AFP

Cook to sit out of England’s ODI tour of West Indies

Captain Alastair Cook will sit out of England’s limited-overs tour of West Indies as the team prepare for the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh in March. Cook, who does not play the T20 format for England, will not be part of the squad to the Caribbean during which the visitors will play three ODIs and three T20 matches, starting Feb. 28. Asked if he would be captain against the West Indies, Cook told Sky Sports: “No I won’t be. The Twenty20 guys have got their World Cup in Bangladesh and I think we see it as a great six weeks for them to start building the team. –Reuters


Matthews confident

Mushfiq looks to pacemen

n Minhaz Uddin Khan

n Minhaz Uddin Khan

The visiting Sri Lanka side will focus on the whole Bangladesh line-up instead of any particular player when they lock horn with the home side in the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) today. Angelo Mathews, the Lankan skipper, also said that his players’ familiarity with the wicket at Mirpur would be an advantage. “Even I played a few games at Mirpur recently (in Dhaka Premier League) and that was a good experience for us to see how the wickets are behaving. It was a good experience for all of us to try and get used to the conditions,” Mathews told the media at the pre-match conference at SBNS yesterday. At least 38 cricketers from the Island played in the Dhaka Premier League in the 2013-13 season last November. The last time Sri Lanka played a Test against the Tigers in Mirpur was in 2008 and they won the game. “We do not have anything in particular to watch out for. When you take on Bangladesh, they have got good batsman and they are a very good fielding unit. We know that they have got a few match-winners, so we need to stay on our guards and also put pressure on them all the time. “A few of the boys have played here before. Our support staff have also been here for quite a while and they know the conditions, so we get a lot of information,” said the all-rounder. The Lankans reached Bangladesh from UAE, where they had recently faced Pakistan. All the three games of that series lasted five days. Mathews said Sri Lanka had been cautious in foiling fatigue in the approach to the Tests with Bangladesh. “We are actually closely monitoring all the work loads of the bowlers, especially the fast bowlers because they have done a lot of hard work in the UAE, they bowled a lot of overs. As far as they are concerned, they are bowling pretty well. They will be good to go. “The schedule is tight for us. We’ve been playing continuous cricket and we will be playing continuous cricket for the next few months. It’s going to be demanding as far as the body is concerned, but it’s about managing yourself,” said the 26-year old captain. l

Bangladesh national skipper Mushfiqur Rahim wants maintain the consistency that Bangladesh has showed at home in the first Test against Sri Lanka that begins today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS). The Tigers had a successful series against New Zealand in October-November last year, in which they drew both Tests and won the ODI series 3-0.  “Being consistent is a challenge for us. I hope we will get a good start tomorrow (today) and hold onto it throughout the game and may be the series,” said Mushfiq.  The wicket-keeper batsman is the only reported international cricketer to open-up about his and the team’s disappointment at the proposed two-tier system in Test cricket. He voiced his opinion to media about the “position paper”, which has been put forward by a working group of the Finance & Commercial Affairs committee of the ICC. However, the 25-year old captain insisted that his focus was on the series ahead.  “The game tomorrow (today) is very important to us. Our focus is on that at the moment. There is no use thinking too much about what’s happening off the field. At the moment we (the team) are planning for the game,” said Mushfiq.  The Tiger’s skipper is thrilled with the first series of the season and noted how important it is since Bangladesh only plays an average of six Tests a year. Mushfiqur stressed the role the pace bowlers would have to play to support the spinners

n Reuters England wilted under pressure as Australia edged home by five runs in a lowscoring thriller in Adelaide on Sunday to win the five-match series 4-1. Set a meagre 218 to win their second match on the tour, England looked on course while Joe Root (55) and Eoin Morgan (39) were at the crease, having added 64 runs for the fourth wicket. England needed another 64 at that stage with seven wickets in hand but Morgan’s dismissal, while trying to loft James Faulkner over the infield, turned the game in Australia’s favour. Root also fell to Faulkner two overs later as Australia tightened the screws. The needless run-out of Tim Bresnan (13), to a direct hit from Glenn Maxwell, complicated things for the visitors and the unfortunate stumping of Ravi Bopara (25) in the penultimate over put paid to England’s hopes. Bopara was England’s best bet with nine required off the same number of deliveries but the batsman was given out stumped when the ball ricocheted off wicketkeeper Matthew Wade onto the stumps with Bopara’s feet barely in the air. Watson came on to bowl the last over with England needing eight but the all-rounder dismissed last man James Tredwell caught behind from the fourth delivery. Mckay and Nathan Coulter-Nile took three wickets apiece as the visitors were shot out for 212.

Australia players celebrate their 4-1 series win against England after their 5th ODI in Adelaide yesterday Earlier, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes shared six wickets as Australia struggled for momentum after captain Michael Clarke won the toss and opted to bat. Broad struck early for England as Australia lost four wickets inside the first 20 overs and were forced to consolidate on a sluggish Adelaide Oval

Sony Six

8:40AM Big Bash T20 Melbourne Stars v Perth Scorchers 8:30AM Hockey India League Star Sports 4 3:00AM La Liga Real Sociedad v Elche CF

BSJA president Sayeeduzzaman hands over a crest to state minster for youth and sports Biren Shikder at the BSJA office yesterday COURTESY

Sports Minister hopes for cricketing prosperity n Tribune Desk

State Minister for Youth and Sports Shri Biren Sikder hoped that Bangladesh cricket would not be affected by the proposed ICC revamp. The new youth and sports Minister expressed his hope about Bangladesh cricket to the press during his visit at the Bangladesh Sports Journalists’ As-

sociation yesterday. He also urged Bangladesh sports journalists to uphold the image of Bangladesh cricket. BSJA president ATM Sayeduzzaman welcomed the Minister at the BSJA. Biren Sikder was accompanied by National Sports Council (NSC) secretary Sibnath Roy and Mezbah Uddin, director of administration and finance of NSC. l

Oscar helped Chelsea draw a line beneath Juan Mata’s departure with a fine free-kick in a 1-0 win over Stoke City in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday. The Brazilian had dislodged Mata from his position as Chelsea’s main playmaker, prompting the Spaniard to join Manchester United, and the quality of his goal demonstrated why manager Jose Mourinho rates him so highly.

RESULTS Chelsea Oscar 27 Sheffield United Porter 31


Stoke City


Fulham Rodallega 75

The Blues failed to add to Oscar’s first-half effort despite hitting the woodwork twice, although it was a largely comfortable victory, with Stoke rarely threatening to score an equaliser and force a replay. Chelsea’s reward is a mouthwatering fifth-round trip to Premier League rivals Manchester City. Fulham survived an FA Cup scare against third-tier Sheffield United on Sunday by battling back to secure a 1-1 draw at a mud-caked Bramall Lane in the fourth round. The home side had captain Michael Doyle sent off for an off-the-ball incident early in the second period and Hugo Rodallega equalised with 15 minutes remaining to send the tie to a replay. l

SCORECARD Australia A. Finch b Broad S. Marsh c Cook b Stokes S. Watson c Buttler b Broad M. Clarke b Bresnan G. Bailey c Broad b Stokes G. Maxwell c Buttler b Stokes M. Wade b Broad J. Faulkner c Morgan b Jordan N. Coulter-Nile lbw Jordan C. McKay not out X. Doherty not out Extras (w4, lb9) Total (for 9 wickets, 50 overs)

Bowling McKay 10-1-36-3, Coulter-Nile 10-134-3, Faulkner 10-0-37-2, Doherty 10-1-40-0, Watson 6.4-0-35-1, Maxwell 3-0-25-0 Man of the Match: Faulkner Man of the series: Finch Result Australia win by five runs and take series 4-1

Leverkusen slump again

National Kite Festival at Cox’s Bazar

RESULTS Dortmund


VfB Stuttgart












Hertha Berlin

S Bender 6, Sahin 66

Abdellaoue 11

Olic 35

Chandler 23, Ginczek 49 Drmic 41, 70, Mehmedi 27, Schmid 53, Klaus 90 Meier 36

n Raihan Mahmood

Bangladesh Kite Federation will host the National Kite Festival with array of colours on 30 and 31 January and 1 February at the Laboni Point, Cox’s Bazar. The festival will be highlighted by the vivid colours with the pocket kite, stunt kite, dragon kite, train kite, lighted kite, rose kite and others. Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jun will be present

7 36 0 8 56 22 31 27 15 1 1 13 217

Bowling Broad 10-2-31-3, Jordan 10-0-37-2, Bresnan 10-0-51-1, Tredwell 7-0-28-0, Stokes 10-0-43-3, Bopara 3-0-18-0 England A. Cook c Bailey b Coulter-Nile 39 I. Bell c Finch b Coulter-Nile 14 B. Stokes c Marsh b McKay 0 J. Root c Doherty b Faulkner 55 E. Morgan c Watson b Faulkner 39 R. Bopara st Wade b McKay 25 J. Buttler c McKay b Coulter-Nile 5 T. Bresnan run out (Maxwell) 13 S. Broad b McKay 7 C. Jordan not out 4 J. Tredwell c Wade b Watson 0 Extras (w6, 1b4, b1) 11 Total (10 wickets, 49.4 overs) 212

Glenn Maxwell (22) for the fifth wicket and then added 55 for the sixth with Matthew Wade (31). Bailey fell trying to clear Stokes over the infield. Fast bowling partners James Faulkner (27) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (15) added some quick runs towards the end to take Australia past 200. l

Champions Bayern Munich remain ten points clear in the Bundesliga after second-placed Bayer Leverkusen suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at strugglers Freiburg on Saturday – their thirdstraight league loss. Borussia Dortmund clawed their way up to third place on goal difference over Moenchengladbach with a 2-2 draw at home to Augsburg with Lars’s twin brother Germany midfielder Sven Bender netting for both sides. l

9:30AM Bangladesh v Sri Lanka 1st Test, Day 1


Oscar stunner puts Chelsea through n AFP, London

pitch. Clarke (eight) and Shane Watson (zero), rested during the one-day series for their Ashes workload, returned to the team on Sunday but had a forgettable outing with the bat. It was left to Bailey to resurrect the innings for Australia and he did the repair job first with a 48-run stand with

n AFP, Berlin

Maasranga TV

Star Sports HD1

and the batsmen. “Our batting is getting consistent, and for them too, batting strength is much heavier than their bowling,” said Mushfiq. “The challenge will be for our pace bowlers, who are yet to play to their full potential. I hope they keep on improving as they have in the last 12 months.  “They have to take wickets but at the same time, create consistent pressure. I hope they deliver this time. I am sure we can take 20 wickets. We should take the most help from the wicket, grab the chances that come our way. If the pace bowlers give us a good start, then our spinners can come together and bowl them out twice,” he said.  The Test against the Lankan’s will be Mushfiq’s first since scoring Bangladesh’s first double century in Galle last March. Despite not scoring a hundred since then, Mushfiq has played a vital role in the Test win against Zimbabwe in April 2013 and against New Zealand at home in the ODIs.  “I want to bat consistently. This is the first Test of the year so I hope that whenever I get set, I should get a big score. I want to make as big a contribution for the team as possible,” he declared. l

Aussies edge England in thriller


NBA 2013-14 5:30AM Boston v Brooklyn 8:00AM Golden State v Portland 1:45AM Scottish League 2014 Dundee United v St Johnstone


Monday, January 27, 2014

on the first day of the occasion. At a press conference at the National Sports Council yesterday, Shahjahna Mridha Benu, the general secretary of the kite federation, said the nation’s heritage would be reflected in the programme. Walton declared that they will provide the prizes worth Tk200,000. Walton additional director A.F.M. Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn was also present on the occasion. l


S Bender 56-og, Ji 72

Mainz 05

Okazaki 40, Saller 87

Hanover 96

Rudnevs 28, Bittencourt 50, 72

L Bender 5, Rolfes 36

Walton Director AFM Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn hands over the cheque to Kite Federation secretary Shahjahan Mridha Benu at the NSC auditorium yesterday COURTESY



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Monday, January 27, 2014

New power plants to go green, cut costs PDB looking to international firms to implement new technology n Aminur Rahman Rasel The Power Development Board (PDB) is going to adopt the latest Ultra Supercritical Technology to set up coal based thermal power plants. The plants will reduce carbon emission, generation costs will be minimised and generation efficiency will be increased. Among the SAARC countries only India has taken up the project so far but they are yet to complete it. In Bangladesh, one coal-fired power plant is running on Subcritical Technology while some are supposed to the built under Supercritical Technology. PDB has taken up a project to build a 6,000 megawatt (MW) ultra supercritical coal- based thermal power plant. “We intend to build 6,000MW ultra supercritical coal- based thermal pow-


Temperature in degree Celsius Pressure (bar) Thermal efficiency

Sub critical




Super critical




Ultra super critical




er plants in different phases at Maheshkhaliupazila in Cox’s Bazar.” Chairman of PDB Md Abduhu Ruhullah told the Dhaka Tribune. For that the PDB has sought Expressions of Interest (EOI) from international firms. The last date of submission is February 6. At the same site, PDB will also go for constructing 3,000MW LNG-based combined cycle power plants, and the PDB sought EOIs on the same date. The plants are supposed to be in operation by 2025. Ultra supercritical is a thermody-

namic expression (pressure above 270 bar and temperature above 580 degree Celsius) where water is directly converted to steam in boiler. A PDB official seeking anonymity said, “PDB did not finish works of some ongoing power plants of Supercritical Technology and they are going for new technology. I think it is a highly ambitious project.” “The fuel envisaged is imported coal and LNG. Five thousand acres of land is in the process of acquisition to implement these power plant projects,” PDB Chairman AbduhuRuhullah said.

The country is suffering from a shortage of primary fuels like gas and coal, which are cheaper modes of generating power. On January 29, 2012, the government struck a deal with India for installing a coal-based power plant with a capacity of 1,320MW at Rampal in Bagherhat near the Sundarbans and in private sector several plants are going to be built of Supercritical Technology. At present Barapukuria Thermal Power Plant in Dinajpur has a power plant of 250MW of Subcritical Technology. “We have already invited expressions of interest from reputed engineering consultancy firms with local associates having relevant overseas experience in rendering engineering consultancy services for at least 500MW coal based supercritical or ultra super-

critical thermal power plant project,” MdNazrul Islam, the chief engineer of PDB and project director, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “PDB intends to prepare a short-list for consultancy firms having requisite eligibility and experience in executing works of similar nature, after getting the EOI,” he said. “Separate Requests for Proposal (RFP) shall be issued according to the short list,” he added. “Ultra supercritical coal based thermal power plant unit size will be 600-1,000MW. The five thousand acresof land will be divided into different blocks to implement power plant projects in Maheshkhali area,” he said. “At present under phase1, PDB intends to implement ultra supercritical coal based thermal power plant project in one block,” he said. l

Bangla Academy almost set to hold Boi Mela n Syeda Samira Sadeque Preparation for holding the Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela is going on in full swing at the Bangla Academy premises. Though traditionally the fair has been held at the Bangla Academy, this year Suhrawardy Udyan would also hold the fair. “We have been holding the fair on the Bangla Academy premises for a long time. This year we have extended it to Suhrawardy Udyan to accommodate an increased number of publishers,” Murshid Anwar, deputy director of Bangla Academy told the Dhaka Tribune. Suhrawardy Udyan will hold the regular publishers, while Bangla Academy will hold government, non-government organisations, and the media centre. The latter will also hold several cultural programmes, and discussions, he said. “Although we are not worried we have tightened security measures,” said Anwar. l

20,000 policemen to be recruited n Rabiul Islam The government has decided to recruit around 20,000 policemen and increase logistics of the law enforcement agency, and set up a counter-terrorism bureau. “We have agreed that the strength of the police department has to be increased because the police cannot deliver their duties properly with their present strength,” Law Secretary Shahidul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. He said more recruitment was required in the highway police and marine police. The decisions were made yesterdayat a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office with PM’s Political Adviser HT Imam in the chair. “The meeting made a number of decisions, including recruiting 20,000 members for the police department,” a secretary told the Dhaka Tribune, preferring not to be quoted. Home ministry Senior Secretary

CQK Mustaq Ahmed was not present at the meeting that discussed various other issues, including the challenge of tackling militancy in the country. The meeting also reviewed the progress of raising police units –abureauof investigation, maritime police and campus police – toenhance maintenance of law and order. HT Imam was not immediatelyavailable for comments. Asked if the meeting was held bypassing the home ministry, a senior official at the ministry said such meetings could be arranged following instructionsfrom the prime minister. The official, however, noted that every activity of the government should be done in compliance with the rules and regulations. Public administration Senior SecretaryAbdusSobhanShikder, Law SecretaryShahidulHaque, Inspector General of Police Hasan Mahmud Khandker and home ministry Additional Secretary Nazimuddin Chowdhury, among others, were present at the meeting. l

Prof Anisuzzaman KIBRIA MURDER gets India’s Padma Bhushan award n Udisa Islam Anisuzzaman, Professor Emeritus n Ashif Islam Shaon at the University of Dhaka, has been

A group of youths bring out a procession in the city’s Shahbagh yesterday, protesting India, Australia and England cricket boards proposal to create a 2nd tier in Test Cricket

Probe underway at snail’s pace

selected for India’s Padma Bhushan award this year for his lifelong contribution to Bangla literature. Prof Anisuzzaman will be the first Bangladeshi to receive the award, the third highest civilian honour in India. He is among 25 personalities to have been selected for this year’s award. A press release issued by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka yesterday stated that the eminent Bangladeshi scholar and writer was conferred the Padma Bhushan for Literature and Education on the occasion of India’s 65th Republic Day. In an immediate reaction, Anisuzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that hewas very happy to have been selected for the award, and thanked the Indian government. He also admitted that he was a little bit surprised as he had no idea that he was in the running for the award. “It is a great achievement for our country,” Anisuzzaman said, as he was busy receiving greetings from colleagues, admirers and family friends yesterday. “This award is for all of my friends, family and countrymen. I feel honoured.” The professor also said he was working for the people to establish a secular and non-communal Bangladesh. Anisuzzaman earlier received the Bangla Academy Award, the Ananda Purashkar, for his work. In 2011, he got the Pandit Iswarchandra Vidyasagar Gold Plaque from the Asiatic Society of Kolkata. Anisuzzaman was born in 1937 at Basirhaat village of 24Parganain West Bengal. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Chicago and taught at universities in Dhaka and Chittagong. He was also involved with the 1952 Language Movement. The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan. The award is traditionally presented by the president of India in a formal ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. l

The fate of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria murder case has become uncertain as the investigation agency is yet to wrap up the probe nine years into the killing in a grenade attack. Police say they have found nothing new in the new probe that began two years back. Family members of the Awami League leader and other four people who were killed in the attack in 2005 see no ray of hope as the trial was yet to begin. The case has been dealt by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police since 2005. So far, the CID pressed two charge sheets. But the aggrieved family of Kibria filed no-confidence petitions against the first charge sheet and also the supplementary charge sheet terming those “incomplete and ill-motivated.” In the petition against the second charge sheet in 2011, wife of the former finance minister Asma Kibria had complained that the names of many bigwigs had been missing. Then chief of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence Maj Gen (retd) Sadik Hasan Rumi, several military officers and leaders of the BNP-Jamaat coalition government were involved in the murder, the petition said. Kibria was killed in a grenade attack on a rally at Baidyer Bazar in Habiganj on January 27, 2005. His nephew Shah Manzur Huda, and local AL leaders Abdur Rahim, Abul Hossain and Siddique Ali were also killed in the attack. The current investigation officer of the case, Assistant Police Superintendent Meherunnessa, was tasked two years back. Yesterday she told the Dhaka Tribune that they had found nothing new in the latest investigation. She also said they had no idea when they would finally prepare the charge sheet as the investigation had been underway. “The new monitoring cell for sensational cases will be formed soon and the investigation will be wrapped

up through the cell,” the official said. Meherunnesa also said they had found no involvement of Maj Gen (retd) Sadik in the incident. They interrogated several military officials but got no clue. “We told the victims’ family members to give us proof against them. But they did not. We talked with the Habiganj people and the witnesses. But they did not co-operate with us,” she alleged. Asked whether the third-time investigation was a failed one, she replied in the negative. When contacted, conducting lawyer of the victims Alamgir Bhuiya Babul said the IO was responsible for the delay in pressing charge sheet. Habiganj district AL Organising Secretary Abdul Mazid Khan MP, also the plaintiff of the case, said the government would finish the trial after new monitoring cell was formed.

Looking back

Mazid filed two cases a day after the attack with Habiganj sadar police station and the home ministry assigned CID’s Munshi Atiqur Rahman as the investigation officer of the cases. In April 2005, a government-formed high-powered committee submitted its report accusing 10 people including some grassroots BNP leaders and activists of the murders. The Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal started the trial through framing of charges against the accused. But following an appeal for further investigation by the complainant, the High Court stayed the proceedings. A further investigation was launched during the past caretaker government rule. The CID on June 20, 2011 pressed the charges against 14 more people, including former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) leader Mufti Abdul Hannan. Asma Kibria filed another no-confidence petition and a court ordered further investigation on January 5, 2012 which is under process. l


Mymensingh sub-health centres left unattended by physicians n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has suspended two doctors for their unauthorised absence in workstations. The two suspended physicians are Dr Nasrin Sultana and Dr Elias Bin Akbar, both posted to the sub-health centres of Uthora and Dholia respectively under Valuka of Mymensingh district. On the other hand the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has suspended MRM Barki, a sub-assistant community medical officer of Utholi sub-health center for the same reason. The suspensions came after a high-powered inspection team directed by the Health Ministry found the physicians absent from their respective workstations at upazilla health complex, union sub-health centre and community clinic at Valuka of Mymensingh on Thursday. The ministry asked the DGHS to increase inspection of the field-level health centres on a regular basis to make sure that healthcare staff were present in their respective workstations. Preferring to be unnamed, several high-ups of the Health Ministry and the health directorate told the Dhaka Tribune Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself had given direction to the

health secretary to send a high-powered team for a sudden inspection of those health centres. A source said the premier was informed of anomalies in carrying out duties by some physicians and health staff at those health centres. It was reported that the suspended health professionals paid a visit to their workstations once a month to just put their signature in the register. Dr Shah Newaz, director (Administration) of the DGHS, confirmed suspensions of the three physicians. He told the Dhaka Tribune a high-powered inspection team went to inspect those healthcare establishments at Valuka on Thursday and found the three absent. The director said there were a lot of complaints against doctors, nurses and other health staff that they remained absent from their duty stations especially in rural areas. While talking to this reporter yesterday Dr Shah Newaz said he would issue a notice to all divisional directors, district civil surgeons, upazila health and family welfare officers to increase monitoring and supervision to make sure that the health staff were present at their duty stations, otherwise actions would be taken against those high-ups. Seeking anonymity, a member of the sudden inspection team told the Dha-

ka Tribune they reached the 50-bed upazila health complex at Valuka by 8am in Thursday morning and found all 28 doctors in the health care facility absent. Even the upazila health and family planning officer was also absent. After 9:30am doctors started coming to infirmary, he said, adding that most physicians were numbed when asked what time their office started. From the Valuka upazila health complex, the supervision team went to the three union sub-health centres at Uthora, Dholia and Dakatia, and came across that all three doctors posted there were also absent. Locals informed the team that they did not know who had been appointed to the health centres. It was learnt that Dr Nasrin Sultana had been staying in her Banasri residence in the capital while the team went to her workstation at Uthora for inspection. Dr Nasrin was also alleged to have been drawing salary without going to her duty station for the past three years. Prof Dr Khondokar Md Sifayetullah, director general of DGHS, told the Dhaka Tribune, “We will conduct more sudden inspections very often and not show any mercy to whoever is found unauthorised absent from their duty stations.” l

MP’s brother allegedly kills hijra n Our Correspondent, Habiganj

The brother of a local Jatiya Party leader beat a hijra to death yesterday in Nabiganj, Habiganj – allegedly for stealing a mobile phone. The deceased was identified as Adar Kha, 25, a resident of Juhurpur village in Nabiganj upazila. Locals said Adar stole a mobile phone on Saturday, around 10pm, from a business establishment belonging to Belal Chowdhury, brother of Habiganj-1 Jati-

ya Party MP Abdul Munim Chowdhury. Following the incident, Belal beat up Adar in Aushkandi bazaar area leaving him critically injured, witnesses said. Adar died around 2pm yesterday, while being treated at the Nabiganj upazila health complex, Nabiganj police station Officer-in-Charge Jahangir Alam said. He said Adar Kha was beaten to death over allegations that he stole a mobile phone. On hearing of his death, agitated members of hijra community took to

the streets and held demonstrations in the area; police, however, brought the situation under control. “Actions will be taken after a case is lodged by the deceased’s representatives,” said the OC. When contacted over phone, MP Munim Chowdhury said local auto-rickshaw drivers beat up Adar Kha for stealing a mobile phone. He refuted the allegations against his brother, calling them a ‘conspiracy’ and “false blame.” l

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B3 Square Pharma most traded stocks

AG wants customs officers to submit wealth statements n Tribune Report Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the customs officers should submit wealth statements to the finance ministry. He was addressing a function in the capital’s Officers’ Club yesterday, organised by National Board of Revenue (NBR) marking the International Customs Day 2014. “Customs officers should submit their wealth statements for bringing transparency and accountability in the office,” said Mahbubey Alam. “Finance ministry will see if the statements are consistent with their earnings.” Alluding to the case of the retired special judge Motaher Hossain who reportedly flied to Malaysia after the Anti-Corruption Commission had launched an inquiry into his wealth, the attorney general questioned: “Who knows you (customs officers) are not making your office a second home for the people like the judge (Motaher Hossain)?” He also criticised the business people as “they have a tendency to avoid taxes.” According to him, the revenue income of the government will jump if all due taxes could be realised. “We can do a research on how many excuses they (businessmen) present to evade taxes.” “Proper amount of taxes cannot be collected due to businessmen’s excuses and foolishness of customs officials.” “Many businessmen use wrong codes in the Customs. They import vehicles and big lorries in the name of capital machineries to pay less taxes or evade taxes,” said attorney general. “And when the Customs do not approve the matters, the importers take them to court,” he alleged. He also expressed his dissatisfaction on a huge number of internal cases of the customs office, saying that NBR should deal with their internal issues and avoid courts. “The courts deal with many cases related with the Customs’ internal issues like promotion disputes, seniority breaks and holding current charges etc. But they should be resolved internally.” On the recent trend of “becoming freedom fighters,” he alleged that some people were lobbying with joint secretary and deputy secretaries to get the title and enjoy special privileges in the customs jobs. “They were kids during the Liberation War in 1971. But they claimed they acted as ‘informers’ to the freedom fighters.” “These people do not want to be teachers, but want to be appointed as customs officers.” l

B4 Buyers' market for oil companies in Davos


BB apprehends setback in BoP Wants manpower exports to be expedited as the central bank announces monetary policy today n Jebun Nesa Alo Bangladesh Bank would urge the government to take measures in increasing manpower export to offset a possible setback in the country’s foreign exchange balance. It is going to propose the measure while announcing the Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) for the second half of the current fiscal year today, said a Bangladesh Bank official. The central bank is apprehending the setback in the Balance of Payment (BoP) as it foresees a possible pick up in the import payments in the days ahead with the apparently stable political situation. The import payments have been substantially slowed down during the first half of the fiscal due to the political unrest ahead of the national election held on January 5. “Bangladesh Bank sees risk in maintaining the BoP position for the next fiscal year because of slower remittance growth,” Chief Economist Hassan Zaman told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He said the slow-moving remittance inflow did not put any pressure on the BoP and exchange rate this year due to lower import payments. “But, if imports pick up next fiscal year and remittance inflow remains still negative, it will put pressure on the BoP.” Amid the apprehension, he said, the central bank in its MPS is going to propose increasing the manpower export at a faster rate. It apprehends the negative remittance growth would have an

Bangladesh Bank sees risk in maintaining the BoP position for the next fiscal year because of slower remittance growth

adverse impact on the BoP in the next fiscal year. The MPS would also slightly increase the credit growth target for the second half of the current fiscal year

from its earlier target of 16.5% as the growth was much short of the target for December 2013. “We have changed the credit growth target slightly as there is little chance

Mobile operators back on track n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Bangladesh’s telecommunication industry has bounced back with the sale of 1.66 crore new connections in 2013, said an official report. The growth slipped to 1.17 crore in 2012 while it had been over 1.6 crore in the previous two years. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) published the report yesterday, which showed nearly 42% growth from the previous year. With the addition, the total number of active mobile connections stands at 11.38 crore. Out of it, 3.42 crore subscribers are using internet through their mobile devices. The data as of December showed the number of internet users through including other devices totalled 3.58 crore. Although the figure grew from one year earlier, it dropped from two

months ago. In October the number was 3.66 core. Bangladesh’s mobile phone industry began the last year with 9.72 crore active SIMs and around 3 crore mobile internet users. “Mobile operators’ per-

with 4.47 crore active subscribers adding new 71 lakh in 2013. In the year, Robi’s subscribers increased 43.6 lakh to 2.53 crore, Banglalink 30 lakh to 2.88 crore and Airtel 12 lakh to 82.69 lakh customers.

Now they (the operators) can try to add new 2 crore (of users) every year as there is a market of another 40-50 crore

formance (in adding new subscribers) is satisfactory,” a high BTRC official told the Dhaka Tribune. “Now they (the operators) can try to add new 2 crore (of users) every year as there is a market of another 40-50 crore.” Currently, Grameenphone is leading

The state-owned Teletalk achieved 71% growth during the year by the help of 3G launch before other operators. The operator added 16.50 lakh new subscribers, taking the total number to 28.22 lakh. But Citycell witnessed a fall in subscribers by 2.85 lakh to 13.65 lakh. l

to extend it considering the existing achievement,” Zaman said. The MPS would also forecast the economic growth to range between 5.8% and 6.1%. l

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has called for restoration of confidence among the businessmen to bring momentum in the country’s trade and commercial activities, putting aside all the hindrances. He came up with the call at a meeting with a delegation of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at his secretariat office in the city yesterday. “As the government’s main job is to ensure an atmosphere congenial for doing business, we are firmed to establish such an environment so the country’s trade and business will grow further soon,” he said. “The country’s overall businesses have already started getting a momentum as soon we came back to power again. If we can maintain such political stability in the coming days, Bangladesh would soon be the next destination for foreign direct investments,” he added. The newly elected body of DCCI led by its president Mohammad Shahjahan Khan met the minister. Coming down heavily on the recent destructive political programmes, the minister said no political programme should be enforced, which is harmful to the country’s economy, specially the export-import business. Tofail urged the political parties to

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed speaks to a delegation of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at his office in Dhaka yesterday shun the paths of destructive political programmes such as arson attack and vandalism, which had paralysed the country before polls. Regarding the GSP restoration efforts, he said: “We are quite hopeful to regain the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in the US market as the government has made a remarkable progress in the condition imposed for the restoration of GSP and rest of the work would be accomplished by April. Tofail was talking to the reporters after the meeting with the DCCI delegation.

“Businessmen are the driving forces of our country’s economy and they have already proved their skillfulness, by pushing up our export growth by 3% against a strategic target in the first half of the current fiscal,” he added. Emphasising on regional connectivity for further enhancing trade and commerce in South Asia, Tofail said, “An initiative has already been taken to from such a regional alliance among Bangladesh China India and Myanmar (BCIM) and if it is done we would be the most beneficiary, out of it.”

In a bid to expand trade volume, the government will put more focus on products diversification and exploration of new markets in the coming days, he added. The DCCI delegation earlier placed a 10-point demands to the minister, which include restoring investors confidence, diversification of products and exploring new markets for exporting products, augmenting Export Development Fund (EDF), exploring Bali Package, reinstating GSP, taking comprehensive action plan including short

n Tribune Report The government would form a working committee to expedite relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh in the city to its outskirt Savar area. The committee would be comprised of high officials from industries ministry and Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (Bscic) and representatives from tannery owners. “This working committee will closely monitor the process of tannery relocation and resolve administrative problems,” Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu told a meeting on Development of Tannery Industry, Tannery Relocation and Footwear & Leather Goods Industries in Dhaka yesterday. He said the project of Savar tannery estate will be extended and plots will also be given to the owners who did not get plot from the existing project. Pointing out different problems, Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association (BFLGFEA) President Abu Taher demanded arrangement of easy loan, incentives on export of crust and finished leather, and opportunity to reschedule loans. At present, China meets 75% of the world’s total demand for footwear of $60b. In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh earned $982m by exporting footwear products. After remaining suspended for a decade due to disagreements between the authorities and tannery owners over bearing the cost of the tannery relocation, the Bscic, Bangladesh Tanners Association and the BFLGFEA recently signed an agreement. l

CPA defies cabinet committee to reappoint five berth operators n Asif Showkat Kallol Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is going to re-appoint the existing five berth operators in Chittagong sea port despite the objections raised by the cabinet committee on purchase. The CPA responded to the three specific questions the cabinet committee raised about the present five operators, said a senior official of the committee. The official said the CPA has already relaxed the eligibility criteria paving the way for the current operators to be reappointed. The shipping ministry will place such a proposal today at cabinet committee on purchase to get the final nod for the re-appointment of the five berth operators. Five berth operators are M/S Fazle Sons Limited, M/S Bashir Ahmed Limited, M/S A&J Trader’s, M/S Everest Enterprise and M/S AH Chowdhury Limited.

Tofail wants to cheer up businessmen n Tribune Report

Committee on cards to relocate tannery

term, mid-term and long term action plan to extend trade and commerce for the sake of economic development, inter ministry cooperation meeting to reduce production cost and cost of doing business, allowing businessmen to operate business in the foreign countries, strengthening Bangladeshi foreign mission and its activities and providing gas and electricity connection. DCCI delegation urged the government to provide uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity. Considering the limited reserve of natural gas, the DCCI also suggested the government to put more focus on the use of LPG cylinder gas, instead of the existing pipe line connection. As asked to comment on the export of Hilsha fish to India, Tofail left the matter to the related stakeholders, raising a further question as to how can we stop smuggling? “We are being deprived of getting revenue from Hilsa fish as it is now being export through illegal means,’’ he explained. He also referred to the demands for lifting ban on Hilsha by Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA). It is noted here, soon after the government came back to power, Indian Higher Commissioner Pankaj Saran urged the government to lift ban on Hilsa fish export. l

Earlier on December 10, the shipping ministry’s proposal was rejected by the cabinet committee on public purchase due to lack of transparency. Apart from that, the cabinet committee asked the ministry to answer to three questions regarding the re-appointment. The job of the five berth operators expired in last October. By the reappointment, they will stay in the office for another three years, according to the proposal. The total cost of award will be Tk89.98 crore for the five firms, which is 51% increase as projected by the cabinet committee while the CPA has claimed the amount increased by 35.68%. “It is nothing but a much specialised job of CPA,” said Shahadat Hossain Salim, owner of M/S Everest Enterprise. He said: “The container handling charge has increased by 29%. So, the rise of cost was logical.” l

$106m foreign loan okayed for 13 private projects n Tribune Report Board of Investment has approved foreign loans of US$106.6m for 13 private sector projects. The highest interest rate of the loans is 6-month LIBOR+4.50% per annum. A meeting of the BOI scrutiny committee at Bangladesh Bank headquarters in Dhaka approved the loans yesterday, with Bangladesh Bank Governor and convenor of the committee Atiur Rahman in the chair, said a press release. Of the total loans, $20m approved for Shah Cement Industries Limited, $45m for Airtel Bangladesh Limited, $12.70m for Samuda Chemical Complex Limited, $4.50m for Premier Cement Mills Limited, $3m for Rahimafroz Accumulators Ltd, $5m for genesis Fashions Ltd, $3m for Karupannya Limited, $3.5m for Envoy Textile Ltd, $2.5m for Rose Dresses Ltd , $2.80m for Plummy Fashions Limited and rest of the amount for three other companies. Earlier, the committee approved foreign loan of $1.8bn in FY2012-13, which was 43% higher than $1b in the previous fiscal year. The loans aim at facilitating import of capital machinery and equipments of the projects. l


n Tribune Report

The heavyweight banks rose highest by more than 3%, as its dividend declaration season approached. The sector was main driver behind such steep gain in the benchmark index


Reckitt Benckiser -A Savar Refractories-Z Samorita Hospital -A IFIL Islamic M.F.1-A National Tubes -A Meghna PET Ind. -Z Prime Bank 1st MF-A Hakkani P& Paper -B Prime Islami Life -A Padma Oil Co. -A

Closing (% change) -6.11 -5.54 -5.48 -5.41 -5.22 -4.94 -4.62 -4.50 -4.40 -4.11

CSE LOSERS Company Imam Button -Z Aziz PipesZ IFIC 1st MF-A AMCL (Pran) -A Samata LeatheR -Z Fareast Islami Life -A Padma Oil Co. -A National Tea -A IFIL Islamic M.F.1-A Monno Ceramic -B

Closing (% change) -6.25 -5.22 -5.19 -4.52 -4.41 -4.38 -4.19 -4.09 -4.05 -3.61

(+) 1.18%


(+) 0.52%


(+) 1.47%


(+) 1.39%


(+) 1.36%

Average (% change) -6.25 -4.61 -1.11 -0.82 -6.13 -4.41 2.08 -3.81 1.54 -2.66 Average (% change) -3.90 -2.60 -1.60 -5.36 -4.41 -1.78 -2.61 -4.09 -0.83 -4.87


Closing average 844.00 63.10 98.41 7.26 104.70 7.81 6.38 32.54 128.84 344.21

Closing average 9.36 21.72 7.40 212.62 26.00 108.18 344.24 820.00 7.21 34.77

Closing 845.20 63.10 96.50 7.00 101.60 7.70 6.20 31.80 123.90 340.50

Closing 9.00 21.80 7.30 211.10 26.00 107.10 340.60 820.00 7.10 34.70

Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)



Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


Turnover in million

841.00 63.10 92.00 7.00 101.00 7.70 6.20 31.20 118.00 338.40

Latest EPS

0.211 0.016 7.071 13.088 22.625 0.168 6.350 2.034 9.682 239.811

28.52 0.40 2.24 1.32 2.26 -0.52 0.76 0.44 4.95 27.28

Turnover in million

Daily low

9.20 22.00 7.50 222.80 26.00 117.00 357.00 820.00 7.50 35.50


Traded Issues

Daily low

850.00 63.10 105.00 7.70 109.70 8.00 6.90 34.00 133.00 356.80

Daily high


Turnover (Million Taka)

▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲

Daily high


CSE key features January 26, 2014

Daily capital market highlights 4758.37506


Number of Contract

Stocks rallied for the fourth consecutive session in a row yesterday, driven by heavyweight banks that gained more than 3%. The benchmark DSEX rose over 55 points or 1% to settle at 4,758, which is a new high since its introduction on January 27 last year with a base point of 4,000. The Shariah-based index DSES gained more than 10 points or 1% to 987. The blue chip comprising index DS30 was up by 8 points or 0.6% to 1,672. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, closed at 9,359 with a rise of over 125 points. Turnover continued to remain buoyant as it stood at Tk859 crore, which is highest since July 17 last year and 3% higher over the previous session. Lanka Bangla Securities said on the day before the announcement of monetary stance for the second half of the current fiscal year, though analysts are eyeing near term slowdown in economic growth indicators, investors remained buoyant over stimulus measures for private sector for escalating economic activities. IDLC Investment said replicating previous few sessions’ pattern, market rose sharply in first few minutes and sustained at that point for the rest of the day. “At the end of the day, stocks with high dividend yield attracted investors.” The heavyweight banks rose highest by more than 3%, as its dividend declaration season approached. The sector was main driver behind such steep gain in the benchmark index. Non-life insurance emerged second rising over 2%, followed by telecommunications over 1% and power 0.2%. Among other sectors, non-banking financial institutions and pharmaceuticals closed almost flat on price correction. The market breadth remained positive as out of 294 issues traded, 161 closed higher, 114 lower and 19 remained unchanged. Activities centered on bank and power, both capturing 14% of total turnover. Square Pharmaceuticals was the most traded stocks, followed by Olympic Industries, Padma Oil, Orion Pharmaceuticals, Meghna Petroleum, United Commercial Bank, Grameenphone, Lafarge Surma Cement and Lanka Bangla Finance. l

DSE Broad Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :


Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)

10.40 21.30 7.30 210.50 26.00 106.20 336.60 820.00 7.00 34.60

Latest EPS

0.084 0.028 0.141 1.063 0.026 0.708 15.215 0.164 0.404 0.080

-2.20 0.59 0.52 5.08 -0.08 4.60 27.28 21.79 1.32 0.38

Latest PE 29.6 157.8 43.9 5.5 46.3 -ve 8.4 74.0 26.0 12.6

Rupali Bank - A Saiham Tex.A Phoenix Insur -A National Bank - B Premier Bank -A 6th ICB M F-A 8th ICB M F-A ICB AMCL3rd NRB MF-A Northern G Insur-A Shahjalal Islami -A

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 1206.21 617.98 401.05 1063.65 193.29 1196.25 1.48 916.47 974.39 2.03 56.31 111.83 43.10 468.77 81.10 409.44 330.12 219.46 169.74 127.08 0.33

% change 14.04 7.19 4.67 12.38 2.25 13.93 0.02 10.67 11.34 0.02 0.66 1.30 0.50 5.46 0.94 4.77 3.84 2.55 1.98 1.48 0.00

Million Taka 153.93 62.86 20.40 88.48 26.90 71.20 98.30 61.40 0.29 9.58 6.25 5.55 29.15 13.03 10.94 19.74 26.93 21.41 22.31 0.01


% change 20.56 8.40 2.73 11.82 3.59 9.51 0.00 13.13 8.20 0.04 1.28 0.83 0.74 3.89 1.74 1.46 2.64 3.60 2.86 2.98 0.00

Million Taka 1360.14 680.84 421.45 1152.13 220.19 1267.45 1.48 1014.77 1035.80 2.33 65.88 118.07 48.65 497.92 94.13 420.38 349.86 246.39 191.15 149.39 0.34


9.73 8.65 8.32 7.75 7.02 6.99 6.99 6.78 6.61 6.43

CSE GAINERS Company Saiham Tex.A Rupali Bank - A Premier Bank -A Phoenix Insur -A Central Insur -A AB Bank - A MutualTrust Bank-A CVO PetroChem RL-Z Prime Insur -A National Bank - B

Closing (% change) 9.97 9.87 8.77 8.41 8.09 7.75 7.47 7.25 7.04 6.92

Average (% change) 9.97 6.47 6.77 4.77 4.65 7.04 5.82 6.64 3.19 4.58 Average (% change) 7.60 9.87 5.98 6.77 7.92 7.28 5.69 7.41 5.35 4.46

Closing average 85.68 33.23 49.97 13.61 11.94 64.02 65.08 6.26 52.05 17.82

Closing average 33.43 84.61 12.06 49.53 33.39 30.21 18.38 736.50 37.40 13.59

Closing 85.70 33.90 50.80 13.90 12.20 64.30 65.80 6.30 53.20 18.20

Closing 34.20 84.60 12.40 50.30 33.40 30.60 18.70 750.00 38.00 13.90

Daily high 85.90 34.10 51.50 14.00 12.30 66.00 67.00 6.40 54.00 18.30

Daily high 34.20 84.70 12.50 51.00 33.40 30.80 18.80 750.00 38.00 13.90

News from trade server MJLBD: The Company has informed that the Board of Omera Petroleum Limited, a 75% subsidiary of MJL Bangladesh Limited has approved the EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction & Commissioning) of self propelled deck loading 300 ton LPG Barge on Turn-key basis. In this connection, a contract has been signed on January 23, 2014 between Omera Petroleum Limited and Parlym International, for a total consolidated amount of Tk. 278,750,010.00 which is composed of EURO 1,650,000.00 for foreign currency portion and Tk. 105,500,000.00 for local currency portion.

that dividend warrants for the year ended on June 30, 2013 has been sent through Continental Courier Services Ltd. to the respective mailing address of the shareholders.

PRIMETEX: The Company has requested the concerned shareholders to collect their dividend warrants for the year ended on June 30, 2013 from 25th January 2014 to 27th January 2014 between 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM from the Share Department of the Company at 11/3 (5th Floor ), Toyenbee Circular Road, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka.

MICEMENT: (H/Y): As per un-audited half yearly accounts as on 31.12.2013 (July'13 to Dec'13), the Company has reported net profit after tax of Tk. 335.59 million with EPS of Tk. 2.26 as against Tk. 288.12 million and Tk. 1.94 respectively for the same period of the previous year. Whereas net profit after tax was Tk. 169.62 million with EPS of Tk. 1.14 for the period of 3 months, (Oct'13 to Dec'13) ended on 31.12.2013 as against Tk. 131.72 million and Tk. 0.89 respectively for the same period of the previous year. MALEKSPIN: The Company has informed

Address for Receiving of NRB Applications of Matin Spinning Mills Ltd.: The IPO Share application of the Company form of NRB is to be received from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Dhaka Zila Krira Shangstha Hall Room during the subscription period from 26 January 2014 to 30 January 2014 under the supervision and control of the Company. 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

Daily low 75.00 31.70 44.90 11.70 10.30 62.00 63.00 6.00 45.00 15.90

Daily low 31.90 84.50 11.50 49.00 33.30 29.10 18.00 750.00 33.00 13.10

Turnover in million 40.559 122.096 23.973 73.179 17.395 2.721 2.050 10.761 94.700 70.065

Turnover in million 8.352 1.083 6.460 0.475 0.053 9.073 0.882 0.088 0.011 18.886

Latest EPS

Latest PE

5.89 2.48 3.81 -3.63 -2.95 15.60 3.48 0.60 3.04 1.67

Latest EPS

14.5 13.4 13.1 -ve -ve 4.1 18.7 10.4 17.1 10.7

Latest PE

2.48 5.89 -2.95 3.81 2.49 1.65 -0.52 -6.76 2.36 -3.63

13.5 14.4 -ve 13.0 13.4 18.3 -ve -ve 15.8 -ve

of rights share: 16.01.2014. BRACBANK: Subscription 20.04.2014 to 15.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 10.02.2014. IPO Subscription: 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. Hwa Well Textiles (BD) Limited subscription date 17-23 February 2014, NRB upto 04 March 2014. At per, face value taka 10 and market lot 500.


GSPFINANCE: 12% stock, AGM: 20.02.2014, RD: 03.02.2014. ECABLES: 10% cash, AGM: 01.03.2014, RD: 29.12.2013. USMANIAGL: 11% Cash & 10% Stock, AGM: postponed, RD: 07.11.2013. SAVAREFR: No dividend, AGM: 30.01.2014, RD: 19.12.2013. PADMAOIL: 90% Cash, 10% Stock, AGM: 15.02.2014, RD: 23.12.2013.

-ve 36.8 14.2 41.9 -ve 23.5 12.6 37.6 5.5 91.5



Closing (% change)

Latest PE

At the end of the day, stocks with high dividend yield attracted investors


Monday, January 27, 2014


DSE key features January 26, 2014

Banks drive DSEX to rally for 4th session




% change 14.56 7.29 4.51 12.34 2.36 13.57 0.02 10.87 11.09 0.02 0.71 1.26 0.52 5.33 1.01 4.50 3.75 2.64 2.05 1.60 0.00

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

Square Pharma -A Olympic Ind. -A Padma Oil Co. -A Orion Pharma-N Meghna Petroleum -A UCBL - A Grameenphone-A LafargeS Cement-Z LankaBangla Fin. -A Titas Gas TDCLA

Bengal Windsor-A Golden Son -A Saiham Tex.A Summit Power -A Appollo Ispat CL -N UNITED AIR-A

CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company UCBL - A Appollo Ispat CL -N Grameenphone-A Orion Pharma-N National Bank - B LafargeS Cement-Z UNITED AIR-A Padma Oil Co. -A Bengal Windsor-A Mozaffar H.Spinning-N

Volume shares 1,754,524 1,479,642 696,708 2,982,380 736,750 5,739,583 809,200 3,858,500 1,975,384 1,787,108

2,070,704 2,085,393 3,674,800 2,598,696 3,132,400 6,444,470

Volume shares 775,344 667,200 105,000 303,600 1,389,258 383,500 950,583 44,200 206,080 348,500

Value in million 412.17 260.38 239.81 198.77 190.76 181.11 175.28 170.45 158.07 151.23

148.86 129.95 122.10 117.79 114.63 113.53

Value in million 24.53 24.48 22.76 20.30 18.89 16.92 16.83 15.22 15.03 14.67

% of total turnover 4.80 3.03 2.79 2.31 2.22 2.11 2.04 1.98 1.84 1.76

1.73 1.51 1.42 1.37 1.33 1.32

% of total turnover 3.28 3.27 3.04 2.71 2.53 2.26 2.25 2.03 2.01 1.96

Daily closing 237.10 179.40 340.50 66.20 255.60 31.70 215.30 43.90 78.80 85.20

73.30 61.80 33.90 45.80 36.40 17.60

Daily closing 31.90 36.50 215.30 66.30 13.90 44.00 17.60 340.60 73.60 41.30

Price change 0.51 3.70 -4.11 0.30 -1.92 4.97 1.51 4.52 -2.60 1.07

Daily opening 235.90 173.00 355.10 66.00 260.60 30.20 212.10 42.00 80.90 84.30

Daily high 242.00 181.90 356.80 67.80 264.30 33.00 218.70 45.50 82.00 85.50

Daily low 220.00 156.00 338.40 59.50 248.00 27.20 214.00 42.00 72.90 76.00

Daily average 234.92 175.98 344.21 66.65 258.92 31.55 216.61 44.18 80.02 84.62

Price change 5.28 -1.08 1.56 0.45 6.92 4.27 0.57 -4.19 5.14 0.00

Daily opening 30.30 36.90 212.00 66.00 13.00 42.20 17.50 355.50 70.00 41.30

Daily high 32.10 37.10 219.90 67.90 13.90 45.30 18.00 357.00 75.00 43.70

Daily low 31.00 36.50 214.50 66.00 13.10 42.90 16.00 336.60 69.50 41.10

Daily average 31.64 36.69 216.73 66.86 13.59 44.11 17.70 344.24 72.95 42.10

5.77 -2.22 8.65 4.33 -1.09 1.15

69.30 63.20 31.20 43.90 36.80 17.40

75.00 65.00 34.10 46.00 37.20 19.00

64.90 58.00 31.70 40.00 36.30 16.00

71.89 62.31 33.23 45.33 36.60 17.62




Square Pharma most traded stocks n Tahmidur Rahman Square Pharmaceuticals Limited, the country’s largest pharmaceutical company, emerged as the most traded company at the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday. Shares of the heavyweight worth more than Tk36.5 crore were exchanged hands, making up over 4% of the total turnover. In the last one month, its stocks prices increased by 24.79% despite any recent corporate disclosure in recent days. On the day, its share prices rose 0.5% to Tk237.1 a share after moving between Tk233.5 and Tk240 during the trading session. The company’s strong fundamentals and recent growth in profits have driven up the price of the stock, ac-

cording to a broker. The company’s net profit during April-September last stood at Tk251.6 crore, which is nearly one-fourth more than Tk205.1 crore it posted profits in the same period a year ago, according to its latest unaudited report. The company along with its subsidiaries saw a rise of 22.6% in gross sales from Tk1081.8 crore in 2012 to Tk1326.3 crore in 2013 during the period, the report said. Its export sales have increased from $7m in FY12 to $9.8m in FY13, the company said in its annual report. It paid out a 25% cash dividend and 30% stock dividend to its investors for the year 2013. The company accounted for almost 4% or Tk11370 crore of the DSE’s total market capitalisation at DSE.l

Plastic industries incur loss worth Tk4,000 crore n Tribune Report The country’s plastic manufacturers industry has incurred a loss worth Tk4000 crore due to suspension of GSP facility by the US government and political instability in the last few months of just concluded year. Like other sectors, plastic industry of the country witnessed severe losses due to political instability including hartals and blockades, said Jashim Uddin, president of Bangladesh Plastic Goods manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPMEA), yesterday. He came up with such a disclosure while he was holding a meeting with commerce minister Tofail Ahmed at the latter’s office. Others leader of the association were attended the meeting. During the meeting, the association demanded 20% cash incentives to maintain the export growth, as the products cost went up by nearly 20% following the GSP suspension by the US administration. The BPMEA placed 10 points demands to the minister to recover the losses, what they suffered due to political unrest. The demands includes-fixing bank interest rate at 12% for the time of political unrest, suspending classification loan for next two years and allowing to open LCs at zero margin, reducing tax and value added tax at a reasonable level, cutting source tax to 0.30% from 0.80% for the plastic sectors as like as the garment sector, providing loans which would be paid by next two years to pay the wages of the workers, not to disconnect gas or electricity and water connection for not being able to pay the dues until the sector is stable, waiving interest of overdue till June and extending time by one year for classified loan, which has been declared classified. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Handicraft Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Banglacraft) urged the government to establish a research institute for the development of handicrafts and design. They also demanded establishment of a Karu Palli (Craft village) to incorporate the sector under a common roof. Besides, they demanded 30% cash incentives instead of existing 20% against export to maintain the growth of the sector. Leaders of Banglacrafts led by its president SU Haider were holding a meeting with Tofail Ahmed at his secretariat office in the city. l

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang, 950km (590 miles) northwest of Lanzhou, Gansu Province


China says US should stop new dumping probe on solar products n Reuters China’s commerce ministry called on the United States yesterday to stop anti-dumping investigations into imports of solar power products from China, expressing “serious concern” and vowing to defend its producers. US trade officials on Thursday opened investigations into imports of certain solar power products from China and Taiwan, a move that could have a major impact on the nation’s fast-growing solar market. The US Department of Commerce said it initiated antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations, which will assess whether the products are being sold in the United States below their fair value, or if their manufacturers receive inappropriate levels of foreign government subsidies. “The Chinese side expresses serious

Prime Bank Limited on Friday opened a medical camp for the devotees of Biswa Ijtema at Ijtema premises, the second largest religious congregation as a part of its corporate social responsibility. Managing director and CEO of the bank Md Ehsan Khasru inaugurated the camp

concern,” the commerce ministry said in a statement on its website. “China urges the United States again to carefully handle the current ... investigations, be prudent in taking measures and terminate the investigation proceedings.” China will assess the impact on its solar industry and “resolutely defend” itself through various mechanisms, the ministry said. The investigations were sparked by a complaint at the end of last year by the US unit of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG. The company at the time said it was seeking to close a loophole in a prior trade case that enabled Chinese solar panel producers to evade duties by using cells manufactured in other countries, mainly Taiwan. The Commerce Department investigation and a parallel inquiry by the US International Trade Commission (ITC)


Monday, January 27, 2014

could open the door to expanding duties on some imported solar panels. In October 2012, the US set steep duties on billions of dollars of solar products from China, but turned down pleas to expand the scope of its order to include Chinese panels made with non-Chinese solar cells. In response, many Chinese module producers simply began sourcing cells from Taiwan. The ITC is to make a preliminary ruling on whether there is a reasonable indication that imports from China or Taiwan materially injure, or threaten to injure, the local industry by February 14. A negative finding would stop the investigations. If the ITC determines that the imports could be hurting the domestic industry, the Commerce department is to make preliminary determinations about subsidies in March and dumping in June. l

Emerging markets rout a reality check for Davos elite n Reuters, Davos Just as they were getting their swagger back, the global elite stumbled last week on an emerging market sell-off that served as a reminder of the risks the global economy still faces. Veterans of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos seized on the wobble as a warning that expectations for a smooth upswing were misplaced, and that recovery would likely be volatile and uneven. The euro zone crisis is out of its acute phase and growth is returning across the developed world but a revival fuelled largely by vast amounts of new central bank money is a capricious one. The prospect of the US Federal Reserve turning off its money taps this year, combined with political troubles in several emerging markets, drove last week’s sell-off and exposed some of the unresolved problems in both developing and advanced economies. “I hear way too much optimism now,” Larry Fink, CEO of investment group BlackRock, told the forum. “I think the experience of the marketplace this week is going to be indicative of this entire year. We are going to be in a world of much greater volatility.” The return of growth in the United States, Japan and Europe masks festering problems from chronic youth unemployment to skills shortages and rising inequality that dampened any hubris in Davos. Tech executives were exuberant about breakthroughs that are revolutionising production, healthcare and communication but others warned those advances may kill jobs.CEOs in Davos complained more vociferously than ever about a lack of talent for hire despite sky-high unemployment in rich and poor countries alike. In the West, too many young people are graduating from expensive colleges with high debts and the wrong skills, while in developing countries a big majority are not achieving their economic potential. Worldwide unemployment hit nearly 202 million in 2013, an increase of 5 million compared with a year earlier, the International Labour Organization reported last week. Joe Kaeser, chief executive of German engineering giant Siemens, questioned whether the world was really seeing an economic recovery at all. “Do we feel good because what we see is good?” he asked. “Or do we feel good because we just have eased the pain? How many jobs have we created? How many of those millions and millions of jobless people in Europe have we put into jobs?”

Global shift The year ahead will witness a marked shift in the balance among the world’s main growth engines, with the United States and other developed economies contributing more and emerging markets somewhat less than before. Reduced Fed bond buying will reverse the liquidity that has flooded into higher-yielding emerging markets assets. “We expected this year to be a volatile year for EM as the Fed tapers,” Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said, adding that volatility “will happen throughout the year as tapering goes on”. Despite particular worries in countries like Argentina and Turkey, CEOs are still determined to tap into the growing middle classes of the new mega-cities of Asia, Latin America and Africa. But they are

becoming more selective. The notion of lumping together diverse economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China has gone. BlackRock’s Fink said the Fed’s tapering was just an excuse for turmoil in some emerging markets. The real cause was “bad policy” in the countries affected. Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, whose company has car plants in many emerging markets, said: “You have to be ready when you invest in emerging markets for ups and downs.” In the short term, investors are braced for more downs. “We are on the cusp of a slowdown in emerging markets,” said Scott Gordon of Taconic Capital Advisors. “There is a higher proportion of developed market growth that will drive the global economy.”

Complacency risk Yet advanced economies also have work to do to put their houses in order. “Complacency is both the positive and the negative of Davos this year,” said John Studzinski, global head of Blackstone Advisory Partners. “On the one hand, we’re not looking at the break-up of the euro zone anymore and people are more relaxed. “On the other hand, people are not paying attention to things they need to, like the education reform that is needed to resolve mismatches in the workforce, particularly in Europe and the United States.” Even as headline growth numbers improve, few citizens are feeling the recovery. A survey by consulting group Alix Partners of 6,000 adults in six European countries conducted in mid-January showed 71% of those questioned saw the economy staying the same or getting worse over the next year. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned policymakers of “some of the old risks that have not yet been completely fixed”, added to which is the threat of deflation in Europe. A case in point is a European Union plan to curb banks’ ability to take market bets with their own money, which Germany and France have attacked, warning in a paper seen by Reuters that it could jeopardise a delicate revival. In some cases, European policymakers cannot even agree on the problems they should be tackling. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble publicly disagreed with EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn’s view that prolonged low inflation in the euro zone would make necessary economic rebalancing harder. Schaeuble called that view “nonsense”. Both Rehn and French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the European Parliament could still “improve” a complex system for winding up failed banks agreed by the EU last month. Schaeuble said there was little scope for change without breaching EU treaties. Joe Jimenez, chief executive of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, said the conversation at Davos had shifted from five years of angst over financial crisis to talk of economic recovery, but companies were still hesitant about the levels of investment which could drive lasting growth. “If we had the certainty I think you would see more and more companies around the world leaning forward in terms of investment,” he said. l

NCC Bank Ltd held a two-day long annual conference for its executives and branch managers at Hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka last Thursday. The chairperson of the bank, Md Nurun Newaz Salim, inaugurated the conference as chief guest while Mohammed Nurul Amin, managing director and CEO presided over the conference

Mutual Trust Bank Ltd (MTB) held its Annual Business Conference 2014 on Saturday at a local hotel in Dhaka. The programme was attended by the founding chairperson Syed Manzur Elahi, vice chairperson Rashed Ahmed Chowdhury and other directors of the bank

Pubali Bank Limited held its first conference for regional and corporate branch managers at the bank’s head office on Saturday. Hafiz Ahmed Mazumder, chairperson on the board of directors of the bank was present at the conference as chief guest while managing director Helal Ahmed Chowdhury presided over the meeting

Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited yesterday held its 563rd meeting of the bank's executive committee at its head office. The meeting was presided over by Alhaj Mohammad Younus, chairperson of the the committee




Monday, January 27, 2014

Buyers' market for oil companies in Davos n Reuters Oil executives normally travel the world to win big contracts - but rarely do government officials travel the other way. This week in Davos, however, some of the most powerful oil CEOs gathered on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum and were presented with an embarrassment of riches. While the appearance of Iran's new president and oil minister in front of the heads of BP, ENI, Total and Lukoil made most headlines, the executives also heard presentations by officials from Canada, Mozambique and Mexico. The head of BP Bob Dudley drew a simple conclusion: "It just shows how big the shifts are in the industry." Oil prices peaked at $147 a barrel in 2008 amid growing fears that the world was running out of oil. Five years on, oil is considered plentiful thanks to the US shale oil revolution and the discovery of massive oil and gas fields elsewhere. Some executives are beginning to talk about an easing of resource nationalism, one of the hottest topics in the industry over the past decade as countries such as  Russia  and Kazakhstan became increasingly assertive about developing their reserves themselves. "Today a number of countries which have huge reserves of oil and gas begin to say that they need investments to develop them," said the head of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov. "It is not only  Iran. It is Mexico, East Africa. We have seen a period of national protectionism when unfortunately we could not access some countries because it was all run by national companies. Today the situation changes," he said.

Capital diet

Privately-held Lukoil, which is limited in accessing giant fields in its home base Russia, this week signed a memorandum to study projects in Mexico with state energy company Pemex as the country opens up its energy sector to boost production. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last month signed a bill into law that ended the country's 75-year-old oil and gas monopoly. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani called on oil companies in Davos to return to Iran as part of Tehran's move for a rapprochement with the West. Meanwhile, Canada and Mozambique are tapping some of the world's biggest oil and gas fields. For oil majors, that means one thing: Their bargaining power is as great as ever as a huge number of large projects compete for their money. "I made it clear some time ago I'm not going back to Iran under old contract terms even if all sanctions are lifted," said the chief executive of ENI Paolo Scaroni. The stiff competition between projects comes as oil majors slash their budgets in response to shareholders' calls on them to stop overspending and increase dividend payouts. "We are all on a capital diet right now, and that means that some of these projects won't be developed unless terms are attractive," the CEO of one oil major said. That presents an opportunity for players who in the old days would always lose out to majors. "Majors will no longer be developing the lion's share of big projects in the world. But it doesn't necessarily mean they will remain undeveloped. I expect national oil companies like China's CNPC and even mid-sized independents to step in and fill the space," another oil executive said. l

Christophe de Margerie, chariman and chief executive of Total attends a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos

Google apologizes after online services stumble n AFP, San Francisco

Britain's car industry may inspire more balanced economic recovery

Google apologised Friday after the Internet giant's widely used free email and an array of other services were disrupted by apparent software woes. "Earlier today, most Google users who use logged-in services like Gmail, Google+, Calendar and Documents found they were unable to access those services for approximately 25 minutes," Google engineering vice president Ben Treynor said in a blog post. "For about 10% of users, the problem persisted for as much as 30 minutes longer." Google did not disclose the full extent of the Gmail glitch but the brief outage was believed to have affected millions of people, including those using the service at work. Complaints were posted online from Europe, Canada, the United States and elsewhere. An online Google Apps tracking dashboard, which indicated that a dozen services - including Gmail and its social network Google+ - had experienced problems. "Whether the effect was brief or lasted the better part of an hour, please accept our apologies-we strive to make all of Google's services available and fast for you, all the time, and we missed the mark today," Treynor said. "The issue has been resolved, and we're now focused on correcting the bug that caused the outage, as well as putting more checks and monitors in place to ensure that this kind of problem doesn't happen again." l

A bumper year for Britain's car industry offers some hope the economy will start to grow in a more sustainable way, with a better balance between investment and spending. In 2013, Britain enjoyed its best year of economic growth since the financial crisis, outpacing other advanced nations. But there was a catch. The recovery was driven by consumers spending more and saving less. A smooth transition to longer-lasting growth, propelled by business investment and exports, is a key hurdle for 2014 according to the Bank of England. The car industry is showing signs of leading the way - but there have been false starts before. Every year since 2010, Britain's budget watchdog has predicted a rebound in annual business investment - but it is still a third lower than before the financial crisis of 2007-2009. It is essential for Britain's recovery. "The pace of investment - when it comes - will ultimately determine the duration of the current upswing," the Bank policymaker Ian McCafferty said in a speech to businesses last week, adding that many firms were operating close to capacity. A string of surveys show firms are more willing to pump money into their businesses than at any time since the crisis - in the services sector as well as manufacturing. Rebalancing is often talked about

n Reuters, London

in terms of moving the economy towards manufacturing and away from services. But what the Bank wants is a shift in spending towards investment and away from consumption, rather than between economic sectors. Other positive signs include a growing appetite among banks to lend. And Britain's stronger economic outlook should encourage firms to invest their large cash reserves. But, for now, official data on firms increasing investment is thin on the ground.

Cars ahead

The exception is the car industry which benefited from an upturn in demand well before other sectors and saw more than 2.5bn pounds ($4.16bn) of new investment in 2013. Britons bought 2.265 million new cars in 2013, the highest number since 2007 and an 11% rise on the year that bucked the trend in Germany, where car sales fell 4%, and France, where they dropped by 9%. One big factor in Britain was probably compensation payments by banks to consumers for mis-sold insurance which were often big enough to be used as a deposit on a new car. Cheap finance deals and record-low rates helped fund the rest. It helped drive Britain to produce 1.510 million cars in 2013, the highest number since 2007, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Britain is a hub for automakers including Nissan, Toyota, Honda, BMW,

General Motors and Tata Group's Jaguar Land Rover. German parts maker ElringKlinger has invested 10 million pounds in a new plant in Redcar, north-eastern England, to make the light-but-bulky heat shields that protect cars from hot exhaust gases. These will be fitted to BMW Minis built in Oxford, replacing parts made elsewhere in Europe. The investment was only feasible thanks to strong domestic demand, said Ian Malcolm, ElringKlinger's UK managing director. "The growth in vehicle production in the UK is of much greater significance to us, because the product we are starting to supply is much more difficult to ship halfway around the world," he said. There are some tentative signs that the growth in automotive investment is being replicated more broadly. Manufacturers plan the biggest increase in investment in 2014 since the start of the financial crisis, surveys show, much of it to replace older equipment. Companies in the services sector showed the strongest intentions to invest since 2000, according to one survey. And Britain's economic turnaround means shareholders are more willing for firms to spend their precautionary cash piles, said Ian Stewart, chief economist at accountants Deloitte. But it is too early to tell if this is just cyclical or marks the start of a longer-term approach to investment. Samuel Tombs, UK economist at

Capital Economics, said he expected the rebound in investment to be cyclical due to investors' pressure for shortterm profits. "The trend before the recession was for business investment to have a smaller share of GDP. Those pressures may still be around even when the economy is back to health," he said. Figures from the OECD from 2012 show British gross fixed capital formation was 14% below its pre-crisis peak, while U.S. investment was 5% below and German investment was 5% higher than pre-crisis levels.

Moving back onshore

But British manufacturers and the country's trade deficit may benefit from the trend in the automotive industry for car makers to source more parts locally, avoiding the risks of long international supply chains and hedging on currencies. This drove Toyota's decision to buy fuel pipes from the UK factories of Japanese parts maker Futaba Industrial. "Toyota were quite insistent on producing it in the UK. A lot of large businesses want to localise production back into the UK to mitigate currency risk," Paul Heard, Futaba's UK managing director, said. Only a third of the parts in a British-built cars are made in Britain, compared with half elsewhere. Improving this could add 3 billion pounds to economic output, making attracting foreign parts makers a government priority. l

Food in the sky? Highrise farming idea gains ground n AFP, Paris Imagine stepping out of your highrise apartment into a sunny, plant-lined corridor, biting into an apple grown in the orchard on the fourth floor as you bid "good morning" to the farmer off to milk his cows on the fifth. You take the lift to your office, passing the rice paddy and one of the many gardens housed in the glass edifice that not only heats and cools itself, but also captures rainwater and recirculates domestic waste as plant food. No, this is not the setting for a futuristic movie about humans colonising a new planet. It is the design of Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut for a 132-floor "urban farm" - the answer, he believes, to a healthier, happier future for the estimated six billion people who will live in cities by 2050. With food, water and energy sources dwindling, the city of the future will have to be a self-sufficient "living organism", said the 36-year-old designer of avant-garde buildings some critics have dismissed as daft or a blight on the landscape.

"We need to invent new ways of living in the future," Callebaut told AFP at the Paris studio where he plies his trade. "The city of tomorrow will be dense, green and connected. The goal is to bring agriculture and nature back into the urban core so that by 2050... we have green, sustainable cities where humans live in balance with their environment." Each building, he said, must ultimately be a "self-sufficient, mini-power station." The quest for sustainable urban living has never been more urgent as people continue flocking to cities which encroach ever more onto valuable rural land, gobbling up scarce natural resources and making a disproportionate contribution to pollution and Earth-warming carbon emissions. Enter Callebaut with his project "Dragonfly" - a design for a massive, twin-towered, "vertical farm" on New York's Roosevelt Island. From each tower springs a large, glassand-steel wing, so that the edifice resembles the insect after which it was named. The draft structure includes areas for

meat, dairy and egg production, orchards, meadows and rice fields along with offices and flats, gardens and public recreation spaces.

‘With the recent economic recession, politicians and government may... have been reluctant to venture into such new, large-scale endeavours that have not been tested before’ Energy is harvested from the Sun and wind, and hot air is trapped between the building "wings" to provide heating in winter. In summer, cooling is achieved through natural ventilation and transpiration from the abundant plant growth. Plants grow on the exterior shell to filter

rain water, which is captured and mixed with liquid waste from the towers, treated organically and used as fertiliser. And at the base of the colossus: A floating market on the East River for the inhabitants to sell their organic produce. "They made fun of me. They said I created a piece of science fiction," Callebaut says of his detractors. But as awareness has grown of the plight of our planet, overpopulation and climate change, his ideas have gained traction, and the Dragonfly design has been exhibited at an international fair in China. No buyers, but rising interest Callebaut has also drafted a concept for a floating city resembling a lily pad that will house refugees forced from their homes by climate change. And he hopes to sell a design for a "farmscraper" in Shenzhen, China that will include housing, offices, leisure space and food gardens. As yet, Callebaut has found no buyers for these big projects. "With the recent economic recession, politicians and government may... have been reluctant to venture into such new,

large-scale endeavours that have not been tested before," Emilia Plotka, a sustainability expert at the Royal Institute of Royal Architects, told AFP of Dragonfly and similar projects. But she pointed out the concept has inspired other, smaller projects. "Instead of majestically tall bionic towers plonked in riverbeds, vertical farms have been rather more modestly integrated into existing buildings, derelict industrial sites and floating barges," said Plotka. One example is the Pasona Urban Farm - a nine-storey office building in Tokyo that allows employees to grow their own food in specially reserved green spaces at work. "Whilst the buy-in may not be as noticeable at the moment, it certainly is widespread and growing," said Plotka of the "vertical farm" movement. "I suspect most other new vertical farms will remain hidden in disused urban spaces or existing business and domestic blocks, which is not bad at all as they will use fewer resources to be set up and enhance their surrounding environments and communities." l


NEWS IN BRIEF Ahluwalia sees growth of up to 8% over 2-3 years India can achieve economic growth of up to 8% over a two- to three-year horizon, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the planning commission in India, said on Saturday. “Personally, I think India can get back to 7.5 to 8% growth,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. - Reuters

Emerging market policymakers move to allay currency concerns Top emerging market policymakers moved to allay concerns about their economies on Friday after investors sold off their currencies, raising fears of a broad market rout. The US Federal Reserve's plan to gradually withdraw its stimulus has long been expected to lead to a pullout from emerging markets. – Reuters

Tesla China chief unveils aggressive growth plan for China US electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc expects its China sales to contribute one third of global sales growth this year, a senior executive said, adding that a trademark issue stalling full-entry into China had been resolved. – Reuters

European banks have 84bn euro capital shortfall, OECD estimates: report European banks have a combined capital shortfall of about 84bn euros ($115bn), German weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported, citing a new study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). – Reuters

Euro zone to assure IMF it will keep funding Greece: EU official The euro zone will assure the International Monetary Fund in coming months that it will continue to bankroll Greece, enabling the IMF to disburse its share of international aid to Athens, a senior European Union official said on Friday. – Reuters

Wall St Week Ahead - US stocks may fall again as Fed stays course Wall Street managed to avoid major selloffs in 2013, but bears look ready - and anxious - to take command. US stocks could be set for another selloff next week as the Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will keep withdrawing its economic stimulus, further pressuring equities already roiled by a flight from emerging markets. – Reuters

Exclusive - Bank of America's trading practices have been probed, filing shows The US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have both held investigations into whether Bank of America engaged in improper trading by doing its own futures trades ahead of executing large orders for clients, according to a regulatory filing. – Reuters

27 January 2014  
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