Magh 16, 1420 Rabiul Awal 27, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 305
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
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Rooppur plant may see budget slashed by 62% Russia declines to provide funds citing slow progress; fast-track status of no help
n Asif Showkat Kallol The government is likely to curtail 62% of the budget for the execution of the first phase of the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in the revised budget of the current fiscal year, as Russian counterparts are not happy with the progress of the work, official sources said. “We have completed the revised budget of the Rooppur power plant and the amount stands at Tk472 crore,” a senior official of the science and technology ministry told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The official also said the Finance Division had finalised the cut in the upcoming revised budget, although the new government had marked Rooppur power plant a fast-track project. An official of the Finance Division said the science ministry wanted the budget cuts because the Russian gov-
ernment was unwilling to give that amount this year, citing slow progress of the project. Only a few buildings have been constructed near the power plant, despite ministry efforts to hasten construction, official also said. According to the revised budget, the total amount of has dropped by Tk776 crore from the previous total of Tk1,246.00 crore, and now stands at only at Tk 472 crore. The Russian counterpart has decided to allocate funds amounting to only Tk 134 crore, a cut of almost Tk 866 crore from the previous tota of Tk 1000 crore. The government resources will increase to Tk 336 crore in the revised budget, up from existing amount of Tk 246 crore State Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman expressed his ignorance about the matter. PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
The bank robbers, Habib and Motahar, are paraded in front of the press with the recovered cash
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
‘Worst model’ parliament starts today Hasina alerts MPs to tough n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
The Awami League-led 10th Jatiya Sangsad is set to start its journey today with a parliamentary model that is followed by a foreign country having the “worst” history in terms of parliamentary practices. A total of 297 MPs, elected in the poll boycotted by the BNP-led alliance, are expected to attend the inaugural session of the 10th parliament that will practically have no opposition party as Opposition Leader Rawshan Ershad’s JaPa has representatives in the Awami League-led cabinet. This is the third time a parliament is formed through an election boycotted by the major parties. Gen HM Ershad’s JaPa first in 1988 introduced the culture of forming a parliament without the participation of major parties. The BNP followed suit and arranged
MOTAHER’S ILLEGAL WEALTH
a one-sided poll on February 15, 1996. Now the Awami League leads a parliament formed by an election boycotted by the opposition parties. Experts and the politicians are critical of the government decision to include JaPa in the cabinet and appointing Rawshan as the opposition leader.
P16 INCOMPLETE PARLIAMENT But the treasury bench and the JaPa leaders defend the decision referring to Pakistan that in 2008, formed a government inducting MPs from the Pakistan Muslim League, the leader of which Nawaz Sharif was the opposition leader. “As a student of political science and history, I have never seen or heard of a government like this. The opposition can in no way join the cabinet,” AK Mayeedul Islam, a Jatiya Party MP, told the Dhaka Tribune after a meeting
of the Jatiya Party MPs with Rawshan Ershad in the chair. The meeting decided to play the role of a “strong” opposition in parliament. Replying to a Dhaka Tribune question about how the JaPa could play the dual role of opposition and the treasury, Mayeedul Islam said with an oblique smile: “Let us see whether we can initiate a new model of democracy. Tell the ministers, how they would.” Rawshan Ershad, however, did not talk to the media after the meeting. State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune that the Gilani government in Pakistan had nine ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League. “They worked well,” he said, clarifying that the ministers from JaPa would not criticise the government policy, but the party MPs would oppose the government in the House. PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
fight in upazila polls n Emran Hossain Shaikh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alerted her party’s parliament members about the upazila parishad elections, saying it would be challenging for them as the BNP had decided to participate. “As the BNP has decided to join the poll, upazila election will be a tough
Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury nominated as speaker, Fazle Rabbi as deputy speaker fight. So, you have to try your best so that the party-backed candidates win,” Hasina told her party’s MPs at the Awami League Parliamentary Party meeting. A number of MPs attending the meet-
ing told the Dhaka Tribune that the party chief had also asked them not to oppose the grassroots’ choice of candidates. The ALPP nominated Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury as the speaker of the 10th parliament, Fazle Rabbi as the deputy speaker and Syeda Sazeda Chowdhury as the deputy leader of the House. In the meeting, Hasina also instructed the MPs to ensure that every upazila parishad had a single candidate. “A single candidate will be chosen through discussion with the party’s grassroots – the ward, union and upazila units of the party. All MPs will coordinate the process but no interference will be allowed,” Hasina was quoted as saying. She added that the MPs must not support anyone against the grassroots decisions. PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
10-TRUCK ARMS HAUL
Bashundhara official quizzed
Previous government to blame for ‘flawed probe’
Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday questioned Pabitra Sarker, an assistant general manager of Bashundhara Group, to enquire about the illegal wealth of recently retired special judge Motaher Hossain. Motaher acquitted a son of Bashundhara’s Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam in a murder case filed in 2011. The retired judge, who is now living in Malaysia, also acquitted BNP Senior PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
Julfikar Ali Manik
Multiple but unsatisfactory investigations into the chilling recovery of 10-truckloads of sophisticated military arms and ammunition in Chittagong in 2004 delayed justice in the incident, perceived to be the largest ever smuggling of weapons that raised concerns about the country’s security issue. The BNP-Jamaat-led four-party alliance government was in power during the smuggling attempt. It was apparently very unusual that the investigation was done only in 70 days since the
seizure of the arms on April 2 and the trial began the following year at a trial court in Chittagong. However, it took almost 10 years to end the trial and get a verdict date, scheduled for tomorrow, as the police investigations done hurriedly during the then government were found flawed. The second investigation officer of the case, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) official AKM Kabiruddin, submitted charge sheet in the arms case filed in connection with the smuggling accusing more than three dozen people on June 11, 2004.
As Kabiruddin was transferred, another CID official Mir Nawsher Ali in August the same year submitted charge sheet in the smuggling case accusing 45 people. Though there was small dif-
P3 VERDICT TOMORROW ference in the number of accused, findings in the two cases were identical. The court framed the charges against the accused in April 2005 and the trial began in June based on the findings of the first charge sheet. The trial was in progress when the four-party alliance
government left office in October 2006. During the military-backed caretaker regime in 2007-08, the court ordered further investigation after the prosecution had expressed dissatisfaction over the investigation claiming it “incomplete.” Law enforcers seized 4,930 types of sophisticated firearms; 27,020 grenades; 840 rocket launchers; 300 rockets; 2,000 grenade launching tubes; 6,392 magazines; and 11,40,520 bullets as they were being loaded on to 10 trucks from two engine-boats at
Tk16.19 crore recovered, 2 arrested n Kailash Sarkar The Rapid Action Battalion yesterday recovered Tk16.19 crore stolen from the Kishoreganj branch of Sonali Bank, and arrested two people in connection with the burglary. Col Ziaul Ahsan, additional director general (operations) of RAB, said the two detainees – Habib alias Sohel, and Motahar – were arrested with five sacks of bank notes in the capital’s Shyampur Balurmath area yesterday afternoon. The robbers had rented a house in the area three days earlier, the RAB official said. They were taken to RAB headquarters in Uttara, along with the money. Of the total Tk16.4 crore stolen, around Tk19 lakh remains missing. “They planned to loot the bank two years ago, and for this they rented the house adjacent to the branch,” Col Ziaul said. Habib had hired a truck at Tk12,000 for Dhaka and purchased 230 sacks of rice from a nearby warehouse to conceal PAGE 2 COLUMN 3
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B1 A team from the United States would visit Bangladesh by April to have discussion on the follow up of Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) Bangladesh signed with its biggest importing country last year.
4 Bangladesh and Myanmar are planning to sign a deal to hold dialogue on regular basis on non-traditional security threat. 5 City residents are saying streetlights on the capital’s roads are in bad shape as the two city corporations of Dhaka do not maintain them properly.
6 Potato growers in Bogra are getting frustrated because of the low prices of the crop in local markets and the shortage of space in cold storages.
DG – 10/14 (3.5 X 6c)
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
EC undecided about entertaining ACC request n Syed Samiul Basher Anik
reads that all the authorised copies of the affidavits are currently with the respective returning offices now and therefore EC cannot support ACC with the copies; rather it will request ACC to collect the copies from returning offices concerned or collect the wealth statements by downloading them from the EC website. EC Secretary Dr Muhammad Sadiq told the Dhaka Tribune that they were waiting for the commission’s decision regarding the issue. According to an analysis by Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik, the wealth statements of the candidates of the last parliamentary election had seen an increase of up to 32,985% in their income. According to the affidavits submitted to the EC, the total incomes of ministers increased by 243% and their wealth by 247%, while the total income of state ministers increased by 464% and wealth 459%. l
The Election Commission is yet to make a decision on clearing its position over serving the wealth statements of two former ministers, a state minister, and three lawmakers to the Anti-Corruption Commission, a senior official has said. He said the commission had not decided on the issue as yet; but had drafted a letter where it said it could not provide the certified copies of wealth statements since none of them were available at the EC headquarters. “After getting approval from commission meeting, we will write to the ACC stating our inability to provide them the certified copies,” he said. The ACC on January 23 served letters to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed, seeking certified copies of affidavits that six ruling party candidates had submitted before the
9th and 10th parliamentary elections. All of them are now on the ACC’s radar. The six are: former health minister AFM Ruhal Haq, former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan, former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rahman, and lawmakers Abdur Rahman Badi from Cox’s Bazar, Aslamul Haque from Dhaka and Abdul Jabbar from Satkhira. The ACC is also looking to trace the reasons behind the astronomical rise in wealth of Awami League lawmaker Enamul Haque from Rajshahi. However, the graft buster has not sought the copy of his wealth statement from the EC. On January 22, the ACC assigned seven officials to inquire into the phenomenal rise in wealth and assets of two former ministers, a state minister and four lawmakers. The letter that the EC has drafted
Tajul made opposition chief whip
Two outlaws killed in ‘gunfights’
n Manik Miazee
Jatiya Party Office Secretary Tajul Islam Chowdhury has been made the opposition chief whip for the 10th parliament. The decision was made yesterday afternoon at a meeting of the parliamentary committee of the Jatiya Party. “The parliamentary committee has decided to make Tajul Islam the opposition chief whip,” Jatiya Party Presidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid told reporters after the meeting. l
n Tribune Report
Two wanted criminals were killed early yesterday in separate “gunfights” between their cohorts and law enforcers, in Khulna and Jessore. The deceased are Rabiul Islam, 28, the second-in-command of criminal gang Mesbah Bahini, killed in Jessore, and Touhidul Islam Sabuj, 28, a leader of the outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party, killed in Khulna. In Jessore, Police said, members of
joint forces with Rabiul, who was arrested earlier on Monday in connection to a mugging case, went to Ziadanga village in Abhaynagar upazila to recover arms. At the spot, members of Mesbah Bahini opened fire on them, prompting the joint forces to retaliate. During the 20-minute “gunfight”, Rabiul tried to escape and came into line of fire. He was rushed to Abhaynagar Upazila Health Complex in a critical condition, where the duty doctor declared him dead. Four police
President Abdul Hamid greets Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with a bouquet at Bangabhaban yesterday as the premier went to meet the president PID
members were also injured during the gunfight, our Jessore correspondent added. In Khulna, Phultola police station officer-in-charge Mohammad Elias Fakir said, “Sabuj was killed in a ‘gunfight’ that occurred in Phultola upazila, after police raided the area.” After the one-hour “gunfight”, Sabuj received bullet wounds and was rushed to Phultola Upazila Health Complex where he succumbed to injuries nearly eight hours after the incident, the OC added. l
'BCB is confusing people' n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday accused the Bangladesh Cricket Board of confusing people with different statements on its stand regarding the proposal placed at the ICC by India, England and Australia. “The cricket board has not disclosed what decision it has made to place at the ICC,” he said in a statement. The cricket boards of India, England and Australia have proposed a structural
overhaul to the sport’s governing body International Cricket Council for greater revenue and authority. The BCB earlier said Bangladesh would stand against the proposal. But, board chief Nazmul Hassan Papon, an Awami League leader, said he would “keep an open mind.” “If the proposal is passed, Bangladesh will have to be content playing against Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan, the Netherlands and Kenya in the intercontinental cup,” Mirza Fakhrul said. l
Hasina alerts MPs to tough fight Tk16.19 crore
‘Worst model’ parliament starts today
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Meeting sources said Hasina had asked the lawmakers who had been elected unopposed to deposit Tk10 lakh in the party fund. She also instructed all MPs to deposit their party subscriptions of Tk2,000 each. At a briefing after the meeting, Chief Whip ASM Feroz said the prime minister had instructed them to ensure single candidate in each upazila election. “The Leader of House has instructed us to work honestly and transparently,” Feroz said. Sources said Hasina had suggested that the MPs highlighted the violence, killings and anarchy carried out by the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami while speaking in parliament on the president’s speech. She alerted her MPs to conspiracies
Rooppur plant PAGE 1 COLUMN 2
“We have enough time to look into the issue,” he said. “We are also confident that the Rooppur nuclear power plant will go to trial run in the next five years,” he added. At a meeting of the reconstituted Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee held at the Prime Minister’s Office last week, the government marked six projects, including the Padma Multipurpose Bridge and Rooppur Nuclear power plant, as fast-track projects and directed the authorities concerned to implement them with the highest priority. Meanwhile, the government allocated only Tk100,000 in the current fiscal year for the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur, although the science and technology ministry sought Tk2.463bn in October to start the first phase of the plant’s construction. A senior official at the Finance Division said they had received the ministry’s
against the government, saying: “The actors of 1/11 were still active and were trying to harass the government.” The prime minister also observed that her party was more united than ever and praised the way Awami League had faced the BNP and its key ally Jamaat. At the meeting LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said according to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) they had no scope to get directly involved in the upazila election. But Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the BNP would join the upazila polls openly as a party to reinforce its organisation, which was a matter to think about. “It is not always possible to follow the grammar at every step,” Matia told the meeting, according to several MPs. l
proposal for the allocation under the prime minister’s fast-track project on July 17, missing the Annual Development Programme for this fiscal year. The official said the Planning Division had allocated only Tk50m for non-approved projects for this fiscal year. The Finance Division disbursed Tk424m on June 20 in the last fiscal, after the revised budget and the ADP had been finalised, for the consultancy fees of the Russian firm Atomstroyexport. According to its contract, the Russian government will not disburse its promised loan of Tk10bn unless the Bangladesh government pays 10% of it. The government disbursed the consultancy fee to meet that condition. Now the inauguration of the first phase of the work on October 2 seems uncertain because of the lack of funds. The government plans to take five years – from March 2012 to 2017 – to complete the Tk50.87bn Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, which will produce 2,000MW of electricity. l
Bashundhara official quizzed PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman in a money laundering case. ACC Deputy Director Harun-UrRashid questioned the official, also a lawyer, if Motaher had taken any financial benefit for acquitting the accused of the Sabbir Murder case, ACC sources said. Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Telecommunications Network Ltd, was killed in July 2006. Judge Motaher Hossain of Speedy Trial Tribunal 4 delivered the verdict on December 15, 2011, acquitting all five accused saying the prosecution had failed to prove the charges. According to an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam had bribed former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar Tk21 crore to save his son Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir.
The commission is scheduled to take statements of two bench clerks of tribunal 4 – Abul Kalam Azad and Ariful Islam. On Thursday, the ACC took statements of two stenographers – M Abu Hasan of the tribunal and M Nurul Islam of Special Judge’s Court 3. On January 20, it launched a probe against Motaher Hossain following allegations of amassing illegal wealth, abusing judicial power, earning wealth contradictory to his known sources of income and amassing movable and immovable property in his and others’ names. He left the country for Malaysia on January 8 – 53 days after delivering the judgement on the money laundering case, Harun-Ur-Rashid last week said. On November 17, Motaher Hossain acquitted Tarique Rahman and sentenced his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years' imprisonment and fined him Tk40 crore in a money laundering case involving Tk20.41 crore. l
PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
the five sacks of bank notes. But the helper of the truck figured out that there was money in the consignment when the truck had a flat tyre at Narsinghdi, said RAB officials. “Habib gave the helper Tk7 lakh to keep his mouth shut,” said Col Zia. “Although Habib had purchased 230 sacks of rice, he kept only eight sacks and sent the rest to the programme of Atroshi Pir in Faridpur as per his maternal uncle’s advice.” Col Zia said Habib had claimed that another maternal uncle named Siraj had given him the idea of the burglary. The RAB official said a few officials of the bank had been linked to the burglary. On Monday, around 45 people, including Branch Manager Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan and 11 officials of the branch, were held for interrogation, said Kishoreganj Sadar police station Officer-in-Charge Abdul Malek. Deputy General Manager Sheikh Amanullah filed a case with the police station against unidentified criminals in connection with the burglary. l
In 2008, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League joined hands to counter Gen Parvez Musharraf, who in 1999 overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government and sent him to exile. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the elected PPP government handed over state power to another elected civilian government headed by Nawaz Sharif. “This is nothing but a political opportunism of the Jatiya Party. When a party joins the cabinet, it cannot be the opposition anymore,” Professor Nizam Uddin Ahmed, a Chittagong University teacher who wrote several books on parliamentary affairs, told the Dhaka Tribune. “Pakistan is not a correct reference as a model for democracy. No democracy in the world has such a model [where the opposition joined the cabinet],” he said. Chief whip ASM Feroz told the Dhaka Tribune that the JaPa would play the role of a real opposition. “It is possible for JaPa to work as opposition, even after sending representatives to the government,” he said. Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal, an MP
of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, told the Dhaka Tribune that a party could not play the dual role of opposition and ruling party. “Pakistan should in no way be a model for us; it has the worst history of parliamentary democracy,” he said. Political observers say the government had to accommodate the JaPa in the cabinet as a section of the party led by Rawshan Ershad brought it to the election.
Inaugural session preparations
According to the order of the day, the House will sit at 6pm with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. The first business of the day will be electing a speaker and a deputy speaker. After the elections of the speaker and the deputy speaker, the house will go for a recess of around 20 minutes. The president will administer the oath of the newly elected speaker and deputy speaker. The new speaker will preside over the meeting as the House resumes. The House will go for another recess of 20 minutes after the adoption of a condolence motion on Awami League MP
Previous government to blame for 'flawed probe' PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) jetty. When the court ordered further investigation in 2008, the judge observed that the two investigation officers who submitted charge sheets in 2004 had failed to unearth seven major issues related to the smuggling episode. The issues were: who brought the arms from abroad, for which country the arms were brought; to whom those arms were going to be delivered; by which vessel the arms were brought to Bangladesh from abroad; how the CUFL jetty was used for unloading the arms though it was reserved only for fertiliser export; how two police sergeants took away two arms from the jetty (later recovered by RAB) and in which country arms were manufactured. The court also observed that the two investigation officers had not investigated deep into the case. The trial proceedings had been stalled and a new investigation officer assigned in 2008 for the further investigation as the court directed to appoint an efficient and honest IO. During the regime of Sheikh Hasina-led past government, the IO was changed as per a court order since the previous one was not much efficient. The fifth and last IO, Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, submitted supplementary charge sheets in the cases implicating 11 more people including some bigwigs. The number of accused in the arms case went up to 50 and in the smuggling case 52. The last IO came up with fresh chilling revelations including the alleged involvement of some former ministers,
top intelligence officials, bureaucrats and a leader of an Indian separatist group with the smuggling. The question naturally rises why the two IOs could not unearth answers to many significant issues involving the scaring smuggling. “The previous IOs could not proceed on the right path of investigation. They had their failures. They could not show their efficiency,” Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, the IO, observed. But a leading security analyst, Maj Gen (retd) Abdur Rashid, thinks the investigation done during the BNP-Jamaat regime was incomplete because the administration had a motive to “close the cases keeping the real things undiscovered.” Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune: “It was not merely an ordinary arms smuggling. It was happening with a purpose of disrupting stability in the neighbouring country for the interest of few other countries using the land of Bangladesh.” “So, the arms smuggling was taking place with the involvement of some politicians of the ruling parties and some officials of government agencies,” Rashid said. “Naturally, there could have been attempts to conduct investigation avoiding those people when those smuggled arms were caught red handed.” He suggests that the smuggling took place with the knowledge of people in the then administration. When the question of involvement of government, intelligence officials and people in security forces comes forward, this may put the image of the country in controversy. “It is a dangerous allegation against
a government,” Rashid said, “and sensitive too, undoubtedly.” Possibly, the former investigators conducted the “incomplete investigation” to hide these issues, he observed. The involvements of those have been discovered in further investigation. IO Moniruzzaman said he could not unearth only one of the seven issues. He failed to identity the ship that had brought the arms to the outer anchorage of the Chittagong port from abroad. Besides this, the weapons which the two sergeants had found were not in the consignment. He found answers of rest of the questions. The arms were being brought for the separatist Ulfa which had financed the smuggling. The ULFA was formed in late ‘70s to begin an armed rebellion for independence of Assam, a north-eastern state of India. The Indian government, considering it as a terrorist organisation, banned the Ulfa in 1990. An Indian English daily published an interview of detained Ulfa Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in 2011 where the leader said they had used Bangladesh as a corridor to smuggle the firearms into Assam. For the first time, Rajkhowa admitted that the Pakistani fundamentalists had long been backing them. The smuggled military weapons were manufactured by a Chinese company in Beijing named Norinco. According to the company’s website, China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) is a pioneer and leader of Chinese military trade, and an important team to implement China’s Going Global strategy. “In pursuit of customer-orientation
Shawkat Momem Shahjahan, who died on January 20. President Abdul Hamid, according to the constitution, will address the MPs highlighting the performance of the government. The House will then be adjourned for a couple of days. The newly elected MPs would then discuss on the president’s speech and finally thank the head of state for the speech. Out of a total of 300, the election commission has already published gazettes declaring 297 MPs winners. With Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury being elected unopposed on Tuesday in the Rangpur 6 by-poll, the number of MPs elected uncontested rose to 154. The Awami League commands the House with 231 seats while the JaPa has 34. The Workers Party of Bangladesh and the JSD won six and five seats respectively. Tariqat Federation and Jatiya Party (Manju) got two seats each while Bangladesh Nationalist Front has one. A total of 16 independent candidates were also elected. Jessore 1, Jessore2 and Tangail 8 constituencies are currently vacant. l
and the demand of revolution in present military affairs for equipment and technologies, Norinco develops high-tech defence products for international military trade market and provides systematic solutions in accordance with customer demand,” says the company website. Jane’s Intelligence Review (JIR), a leading global defence magazine, in an investigative report on the Chittagong arms haul said the arms and ammunition had been shipped from Hong Kong, and then more weapons were added to the consignment in Singapore before being brought to Bangladesh. Hafizur Rahman Hafiz, an arms smuggler in Chittagong, is the prime accused in the charge sheet submitted after further investigation. But the alleged involvement of 11 bigwigs and Ulfa leader has created much hype about the haul. The 11 accused are: BNP’s former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar; Jamaat-e-Islami chief and former Industry minister Motiur Rahman Nizami; Ulfa leader Paresh Barua; former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim; then director of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury who was later appointed as the DG of NSI; former NSI director wing commander (retd) Shahab Uddin; former deputy director of NSI Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain; former NSI field officer Akbar Hossain Khan; former additional secretary of the industries ministry Nurul Amin, ex-CUFL managing director Mohsin Talukder and former CUFL general manager (admin) Enamul Hoque. Except for the Ulfa leader and Nurul Amin, the rest are in prison. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
10-truck arms haul case verdict tomorrow n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
The verdicts in two cases in the sensational 10-truck arms and ammunition recovery of April 2, 2004 will be delivered tomorrow. Judge of Chittagong Metropolitan Special Tribunal-1 SM Mujibur Rahman is expected to deliver the verdicts, said court sources. Earlier, the same court on January 13 fixed the date for the much-awaited verdicts in the cases after completion of argument from both prosecution and defence sides. Ahead of the verdict, the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) intensified security across the city especially in Chittagong Court Building and at the residence of the judge who will deliver the verdict, said Banaz Kumar Majumder, additional commissioner (crime and operation) of the CMP. The additional forces of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB-7) will also keep vigilance over the city including the court building and the area of the judge’s residence, said Mifta Uddin, commanding officer of the RAB-7. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, public prosecutor (PP) of the Chittagong Metropolitan Court, said they expected the highest punishment to the accused in the cases as they could prove the allegations against them. On April 2, 2004, the police seized 4,930 types of sophisticated firearms, 27,020 grenades, 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 2,000 grenade launching tubes, 6,392 magazines and 11,40,520 bullets when they were being loaded on to 10 trucks from two engine-boats at the jetty of the CUFL. Ahadur Rahman, the then Karnaphuli police officer-in-charge, filed the two cases – one under section 19 (A) of Arms Act and the other for smuggling under section 25 (B) of Special Power Act – on April 3, 2004 in connection with the incident. Ahadur, who was also the investigation officer of the cases, initially accused 43 people in the arms case and 45 others in the other case.
The cases were handed over to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Chittagong on April 26, 2004 when Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kabir Uddin was appointed as investigation officer. CID ASP Kabir Uddin submitted the first charge sheets accusing 39 persons in the arms case on June 11, 2004, said the case documents. ASP Mir Nawsher Ali of the CID was later appointed as the third investigation officer of the cases. ASP Nawsher submitted the supplementary charge sheet of the arms case implicating 43 persons on August 28, 2004 as then PP Abdus Sattar filed discontent petition before the court while the court framed charges against the accused on April 23, 2005. He also submitted charge sheet in the smuggling case implicating 45 persons on November 9, 2004 while the court framed charges against the accused on November 30, 2004. After that the trial started on July 5, 2005 with the deposition of OC Ahadur but the trial continued till August 14, 2007. A total of 31 prosecution witnesses in the arms case and 28 in the smuggling case were testified till then while Additional Public Prosecutor Humayun Kabir Rasel, a state-side lawyer, pleaded before the court on November 20, 2007 for further investigation into the two cases. On February 12, 2008, during the tenure of the last caretaker government, the court of Metropolitan Session Judge ANM Bashirullan ordered further investigation into the cases. The court in its order directed to investigate seven specific points in the further investigation. ASP Ismail Hossain of the CID carried out the investigation as the fourth investigation officer of the cases but he failed to submit charge sheets even after extension of timeframe for six times. On January 29, 2009, ASP Moniruzzaman was appointed as the fifth investigation officer after a court order to
replace Ismail Hossain on an appeal by the state lawyer. Moniruzzaman on June 26, 2011 submitted supplementary charge sheets implicating 11 more persons including former industries minister Matiur Rahman Nizami, former state minister for home affairs Lufozzaman Babar. He mentioned 265 prosecution witnesses in the supplementary charge sheet. Former directors general of the National Security Intelligence retired major general Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury and retired brigadier general Abdur Rahim, former NSI directors retired wing commander Shahabuddin Ahmed and retired major Liakat Hossain and field officer Akbar Hossain, former managing director of the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited Mohshin Talukder and its former general manager AKM Enamul Haque, ULFA leader Paresh Barua and former Industries Secretary Nurul Amin were among the newly implicated persons. Of the 11 Paresh Barua and Nurul Amin have been on the run while the rest are behind bars. Four accused – Monir Ahammad, Yiakub Ali, Hazi Mohammad Ataur Rahman and Abul Kashem Modhu – had been dropped from the charge sheet as they died earlier. 12 accused including ULFA leader Paresh Barua and Industries Secretary Nurul Amin are on the run in the arms case. 13 accused are on the run in the smuggling case. Of them 12 were also accused in the arms case. In the arms case, 27 accused are on bail and 11 are behind bars while 28 are on bail in the smuggling case and 11 are in jail. The court of Chittagong Metropolitan Special Tribunal-1 SM Mujibur Rahman framed the charges against the accused in both cases on November 15, 2009 while the trial started on November 29 in 2011. A total of 38 accused were examined under section 342 of Criminal procedure Code (CrPC) while 53 prosecution witnesses in the smuggling case and 56 in the arms case were testified. l
Detective Branch arrests a gang of eight for impersonating DB men from the capital’s Rampura yesterday. The gang had been hijacking people while posing as detectives MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
8 charged for killing blogger Rajeeb n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
The Detective Branch of Police yesterday submitted charge sheet against eight accused, including Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmania, chief of Islamist outfit Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, in blogger Ahmed Rajeeb Haider murder case. DB Inspector Nibaron Chandra Barman, also investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet before Dhaka’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court. General Recording Officer of the court Mokshed Ali Talukder told the Dhaka Tribune: ‘‘I received the charge sheet. It will be placed before Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Rani Chakrabarty Wednesday [today].” The seven other accused are Faisal Bin Nayeem alias Dwip, Maksudul Hasan alias Anik, Mohammad Ehsan Reza alias Rumman, Nayeem Sikder alias Irad, Nafiz Imtiaz, Salman Yasir Mahmud and Redwanul Azad alias Rana. All the seven accused are students of North South University (NSU) and were
expelled from the university after their arrest. Of the accused, Redwan is on the run while the rest of others are in jail. The IO of the case also filed an application to the court to issue warrant of arrest against Redwan. Inspector Nibaron made 55 prosecution witnesses in this charge sheet. Rajeeb, known as Thaba Baba in the blogging community, was hacked to death on February 15 last year near his Pallabi home, only 10 days into the historic movement at Shahbagh demanding death penalty for 1971 war criminals and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and its students’ body Islami Chhatra Shibir. Several websites run allegedly Chhatra Shibir activists first disclosed the murder and tried to defend the killing terming Rajeeb “atheist.” Rajeeb was one of the active members of Shahbagh movement and was vocal on Facebook and blog against Jamaat-Shibir and their institutions, including Islami Bank. A day after the murder, victim’s father Nazim Uddin filed a murder case with Pallabi police station.
BNP denied permission n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Rajshahi Water Development Board authorities put sacks of sand along the bank of the Padma River in Poba upazila, Rajshahi to prevent erosion. The photo was taken yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE
ACC to sue Tarique’s mother-in-law n
Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to file a case against Syeda Iqbal Mand Banu, mother-in-law of BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, for not submitting her wealth statement. A meeting of the commission approved filing of the case as she had not submitted her wealth statement on time as asked by the ACC, said an official. The anti-graft body served a notice upon Iqbal Mand Banu on January 25, 2012, asking her to submit her wealth statement. Zakir Hossain, caretaker of her house, received the notice on her behalf. On May 29, 2007, the ACC had served a notice upon Tarique Rahman, asking him to submit his wealth statement.
Later, analysing his statement, the commission found that Tarique had accumulated wealth worth Tk4.82 crore through illegal means and concealed information of his properties valued at Tk4.23 crore. Following the findings, the ACC on September 26, 2007 filed a case with Kafrul police station against Tarique, his wife Zubaida Rahman and motherin-law on charge of concealing wealth information. Sources said of the Tk4.82 crore, the commission had found Fixed Deposit Receipts for Tk35 lakh against Zubaida. But Tarique claimed that Zubaida had got the money from her mother. The ACC, however, did not find any evidence supporting the claim. It rather got proof that Zubaida and her mother had aided Tarique in his attempt to show illegal income as legal. l
The BNP will stage demonstrations at every ward of the capital today, after it was denied permission by the police to bring out its pre-announced black flag procession in Dhaka. However, the party would continue with its programmes of peaceful black flag processions across the country to protest the “fraudulent elections of January 5.” “We hope that the government’s good sense will prevail and Dhaka Metropolitan Police will give us permission to hold the rally,” Asaduzzaman Ripon, international affairs secretary of the party, told journalists at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters. On January 15, Khaleda Zia announced the programme at a press conference, terming the day “democracy killing day,” but the party was yet to secure
Bangladeshi maid abused in Hong Kong n Rabiul Islam A 58-year-old housewife in Hong Kong was arrested following a complaint by a Bangladeshi domestic help that she had been physically and mentally abused, Hong Kong-based English daily The Standard reported on Monday. In this latest case, police said a 27-year-old Bangladeshi named Kalpona Akter, who arrived in October to work as a helper for a family of four, had filed a complaint claiming she had been abused. Kalpona’s story came out yesterday after she went to a police station to provide a statement after she had gone to the Hong Kong office of her recruitment agency, Technic Employment Service,
on Saturday to complain. She claimed to have been punched - including blows to the head - and that her employer had used a metal brush to scratch her hands, pulled her hair and confined her in a storeroom. Kalpona said she was not even allowed to apply medical cream to her wounds. On November 12 last year the Dhaka Tribune ran a report on Bangladesh domestic workers being ill-treated in Hong Kong. Seven female migrants who were compelled to return home after losing jobs in Hong Kong, brought allegations of mistreatment against their employers. They claimed they were provided with insufficient food, had to put up with excessive pressure of work and were frequently terminated from jobs.
HRW calls for probe into recent extrajudicial killings n Tribune Report Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Bangladesh government to allow an independent investigation into suspected extrajudicial killings of detained opposition activists by the country’s security forces in recent months. “The Bangladeshi government should authorise an independent investigation into a recent spate of alleged
extrajudicial killings by security forces,” the international human rights organisation said in a statement published on Monday. HRW said the government should publicly order law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of all those taken into custody. “Joint forces, consisting of the Bangladesh Police, the Rapid Action Battalion and the Border Guards Bangladesh, continue to arrest opposition supporters,
permission for holding the programme. Ripon also said: “If we do not get permission in Dhaka, our alliance leaders will observe black flag procession in every ward of the capital, but the programme in the rest of the country will be observed peacefully.” The party had already prepared to ensure mass participation in the programme and Khaleda Zia might join the programme, a party insider said. Senior leaders would lead the procession if Khaleda did not attend. Additional law enforcers were deployed in front of the BNP headquarters and a water canon was stationed nearby. At the briefing, Ripon also said: “Our programme is peaceful. We expect democratic attitude from the government. We want to move forward avoiding confrontation. We hope that the authorities concerned will give permission.” l
some of whom are accused of involvement in violent protests before and during the January 5 elections, which were boycotted by opposition parties,” the statement said. “Security forces claim that the deaths after arrest occurred during crossfire, which Human Rights Watch has previously documented is used by the security forces as a common euphemism to describe what they claim to be
shootouts, but which in reality appear to be the killing of people already in detention,” it added. HRW called on the government to publicly order the security forces to follow the United Nations principles on the use of force by law enforcement officials, which state that security forces shall “apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.”l
A delegation led by Additional Director General of the Bureau of Manpower , Employment and Training Jabed Ahmed visited Hong Kong from November 5 to 9 to inspect the condition of female workers over there. “We have reviewed the MoU and strengthened the training so that our migrant workers are not abused,” Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He also claimed that there had been no complaints of abuse recently. According to BMET officials, around 300 female workers have gone to Hong Kong so far. The recent cases of abuse of domestic helps caused a public outcry in the city, prompting Hong Kong’s Labour Department to take preventive measures.l
After two weeks, the IO arrested five NSU students. But none of them witnessed the killing directly, the investigator said in his report. The detained NSU students reportedly confessed that they had killed Rajeeb upon the directives of the chief of Ansarullah Bangla Team, a Bangladeshi follower of Al-Qaeda. The organisation aims at establishing Islamic rule through armed revolution. Mufti Jasim, also the chief of Markajul Ulum Al Islami from Dhaka’s Mohammadpur, was arrested along with 30 of his followers at his house in Barguna on August 12 last year. On September 2, he made confessional statement before a magistrate but said he had never asked anybody to kill the blogger. As a teacher of Mohammadpur Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasa, Mufti Jasim used to preach his students on various occasions giving references from the Hadith. Students of different universities, colleges and schools also visited his madrasa frequently for religious advice, he said. l
Hindu families threatened by anonymous letters n Our Correspondent, Satkhira Twenty Hindu families received anonymous letters yesterday, threatening them to leave their homes in Satkhira, an area considered to be a stronghold of Jamaat-e-Islami, or face dire consequences. “You have been living here for a long time. Not anymore. Either you sell your domain or leave it; time has come to leave immediately,” the letters read. The letters also read: “This time you have been told nicely. But the next time there will be no niceness.” The 20 families residing near Judge Court in Palashpole area have been tense since receiving the hand-written letters via post from Manobadhikar Sangha Satkhira, said representatives from a local human-rights association. Satkhira is enlisted as one of the “vulnerable” areas of the country where specialised forces are running drives. Satkhira sadar police station Officerin-Charge Enamul Haque said no one had filed a written complaint in this regard; however, police was looking into the matter. Those who received the letters include five advocates -Raghunath Mondal, Tapan Kundu, Tapan Das, Arpan Sarkar, and Kanti Lal Sarker and Rabin Sarker, Kamalesh Ghosh, Swapan Sana, Proshenjit Chakrabarty, Sanatan Shil, Bappa Dey, and Tapan Swarnakar. Members of the Hindu community came under attack immediately after the national elections held on January 5, an incident condemned by national and international quarters. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Bangladesh and Myanmar to sign deal n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Bangladesh and Myanmar are planning to sign a deal to hold dialogue on regular basis on non-traditional security threat. “Bangladesh wants to engage with Myanmar extensively and it floated the security dialogue idea during the foreignsecretary level meeting between the two countries held last June and it was agreed by Myanmar,” said a diplomat. A draft memorandum of understanding on security dialogue was prepared by the foreign ministry and it would be conveyed to Myanmar side, he said.
When asked Myanmar Ambassador Myo Myint Than told the Dhaka Tribune that his country was waiting for the draft MoU. A Bangladeshi diplomat said they wanted to have as many as possible platforms to engage with Myanmar to strengthen bondage. Bangladesh and Myanmar have regular meetings under foreign office consultation and joint trade commission and they also defence cooperation. Dhaka has separate security dialogue arrangement with Washington and New Delhi, but Bangladesh would like to follow the US arrangement with Myanmar, said another Bangladeshi diplomat.
Non-traditional security issues like climate change, environment disaster, natural calamities, epidemic, illegal movement of people and drugs will be discussed under the arrangement, he said. Both the countries can work together to reduce the impact of climate change and jointly face epidemic like bird flu or any other contagious diseases, which are threat to both countries, he added. Illegal movement of people is big problem for both the countries and they can jointly formulate policies to stop this, the diplomat said. “Drugs like yaba are smuggled into
Bangladesh through Myanmar border and the security dialogue can be a strong platform to discuss the issue too.” The government is planning to have at least one meeting in a year where a foreign ministry high official will lead the Bangladesh delegation, the diplomat said. Meanwhile, Senior Advisor for Burma at the State Department Judith Beth Cefkin is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on February 1 to discuss Rohingya issue in Myanmar. “Washington feels that Bangladesh help is needed to have short-medium and long-term solution to Rohingya problems in Rakhine state,” said another diplomat.
She is expected to meet officials of prime minister’s office, foreign ministry, home ministry and disaster management ministry during her visit. In a testimony in Senate last December, Judith said: “The US government coordinates closely with the international community to send unified messages to the government of Burma on Rakhine State.” She said after tensions spiraled into violence in June and October 2012, nearly 200 people were killed and approximately 140,000 people, mainly Muslims, displaced and up to 60,000 Rohingyas fled Rakhine State by boat, the largest number in over 20 years. l
Jubo Dal-Jubo League clash kills 1, 3 injured
n Our Correspondent, Pabna An activist of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, the youth wing of BNP, was killed and three others injured in a clash between Jubo Dal and Jubo League, youth wing of Awami League, in Ishwardi on Monday. Leaders of BNP Ishwardi unit claimed that a group of Jubo League activists stabbed Jubo Dal men, including Jahngir Alam, 27, in College Road area near the upazila headquarters around 9pm. Jahangir died on the way to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital around 10pm. The injured are Amanullah allias Buru, Nayan Hossain, and Sumon. When contacted, Md Fazlur Rahman, secretary of Ishwardi unit of BNP, said Jubo League men had attacked the Jubo Dal men over political enmity. The Jubo League men also vandalised the Islamia Hospital and three other shops owned by BNP-Jamaat men in the area at night, claimed Yasin Ali, uncle of the deceased. Officer-in-Charge of Ishwardi police station Biman Kumar said police went to the spot immediately and brought the situation under control. l
4 special assistants to PM appointed n Mohosinul Karim Four people have been made special assistants to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the public administration ministry said in separate orders issued yesterday. Former special assistants Abdus Sobhan Golap, office secretary of ruling Awami League, Ferdous Ahmed Khan, owner of Octokhan, a consulting firm working with the Anti-Corruption Commission, and Mahbubul Haque Shakil were reappointed to their posts on contractual basis. Retired deputy secretary Mosammat Selima Khatun was also appointed as a special assistant. Golap, Ferdous and Selima will enjoy the status of a secretary in their new posts, while Shakil, a former deputy press secretary to the PM, will have an additional secretary’s rank. l
Dry weather likely n UNB Weather may remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country in next 24 hours till 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country during midnight till morning, Met Office said. Mild cold wave is sweeping over the regions of Rajshahi, Paban and Jessore and it may continue. Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital today at 5:42pm and will rise tomorrow at 6:41am. Country’s highest temperature 26.5 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday in Teknaf and lowest 08.2 degrees in Ishwardi. Highest and lowest temperature and humidity recorded in some major cities and towns yesterday were: City
Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar
22.5 22.4 22.4 18.0 20.0 20.7 24.3 25.5
13.0 14.3 8.6 12.2 12.2 11.5 13.6 16.0
PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha
5:23am 6:41am 12:12am 4:07pm 5:43pm 7:01pm
30 nominated for Ekushey Padak n Mohosinul Karim The cabinet committee on national awards has proposed a list of 30 personalities for Ekushey Padak for this year. Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the committee finalised the list of nominees through a meeting held at the cabinet conference room on Monday. The list was prepared based on the recommendations made by different ministries, intellectuals and civil society members which would be placed in the next cabinet meeting for final approval. When asked about the names, the minister said: “It would not be fair to disclose the names before cabinet’s approval as all of them are revered personalities.” Ekushey Padak is one of the highest civilian awards in Bangladesh that was introduced in memory of the martyrs of the Language Movement of 1952. Renowned intellectuals, professionals and civil society personnel who have outstanding contributions to the country had been selected, he added. This year, 15 personalities would be awarded in 15 categories. l
Manabzamin editor gets bail n Tribune Report
Children of Gulshan's Korail slum take lessons in a tiny room of a community school there yesterday. There is no government primary school in the area
National polling centres to be used for upazila polls n Mohammad Zakaria The Election Commission will hold the first phase of upazila parishad polls using the same polling centres and booths from the recently held 10th parliamentary polls. The commission has finalised 6,992 polling centres and 44,225 polling booths at 98 upazilas for holding the polls on February 19, a deputy secretary of the EC told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The decision to use the same polling centres as the national election was made because of the shortness of time, he added. However, the commission would publish the final list of polling centres and booths after ending objection by February, he added. In the first phase, 16,477,660 voters are expected to cast their votes. According to the list of polling centres, Sirajganj had the most number of polling centres, 474, while Mohonpur upazila in Rajshahi had the lowest number of 42 centres.
Following scrutiny by returning officers, nominations were cancelled for 112 hopefuls out of 1,720 who applied for the posts of chairman, vice-chairman and reserved posts of vice-chairman for women. The people whose nominations were cancelled can appeal to the commission, while the EC would hold appeal hearings before the last date of nomination withdrawal, said EC officials. The cancelled nominations included 41 out of 692 candidates for the post of upazila chairman, 48 nominations out of 660 for vice-chairman post and 23 nominations out of 380 for the post of vice-chairman for women. According to the first phase schedule, the last date of withdrawing nomination is February 3. The second phase of the poll in 117 upazilas would be held on February 27. A five-member delegation of the Election Working Group (EWG) yesterday met with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad to discuss about observing the upazila parishad poll. l
Tolerable loadshedding this summer: junior minister
n Aminur Rahman Rasel
The government is looking to bring down load-shedding to zero during next summer, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said. During a visit to the Desco head office yesterday, he said there was no load-shedding in the country at present as the government had successfully enhanced generation capacity to over 10,000MW. He admitted a shortage of primary fuel for generating power and said two compressor stations would be set up in two months to maximise gas pressure. “We have made special preparations to ensure uninterrupted power supply to rural areas for irrigation during the next Boro season [January-May],” he said. According to the Power Division, the estimated demand for power during Boro season is about 1,700MW. Desco Chairman Md Mofazzel Hossain and acting MD Arjad Hossain accompanied the state minister. l
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
A court in Chandpur district on Tuesday granted bail to the editor, chief editor and chief reporter of the Daily Manabzamin in a case filed on September 9, 2013 for news regarding the exForeign Minister Dipu Moni. The accused appearing before the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Asim Kuman Dey sought bail in the case. On July 17, 2013 the daily published a news titled “A world record of Dipu Moni”. On September 9, 2013 ex-Chhatra League leader filed a defamation case of Tk 100 crore with Sadar Judicial Magistrate Court. The editor of the newspaper Mahbuba Chowdhury, chief Editor Motiur Rahman Chowdhury and Chief Reporter Mizanur Rahman were present when the bail was granted. l
Mahbub denied bail, Shimul granted n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu Scrapping both bail and remand petitions, a Dhaka court sent back BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s adviser and Vice-Chairman of Bangladesh Bar Council Khandker Mahbub Hossain to Dhaka central jail yesterday. Mahbub was produced in Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Rezaul Karim’s court for hearing on a case for instigating violence and obstructing police’s duties. Detective Branch Inspector Fozlul Rahman, also the investigation officer of the case, had shown Mahbub arrested in the case and sought seven days' remand. Requesting bail, Mahbub’s lawyer said his arrest and the remand petition were illegal as the High Court had granted Mahbub ad interim bail on January 23. He said the BNP leader was just a “suspect” in the case and was free to be released as there was no case pending against him. The HC had also directed law enforcers not to harass Mahbub or arrest him in new cases where he was not an accused, he added.
Public prosecutor Md Abdullah Abu said it would have been easier to identify the culprits if Mahbub had been placed on remand. The BNP leader was arrested on January 7 in a case filed with Ramna police station for attempted murder, vandalism, crude bomb explosion and obstructing police. Some 26 BNP leaders, including acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, are on bail in the case. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Sessions Judge Md Juhrul Haque yesterday granted bail to Khaleda’s special assistant Shimul Biswas in a case filed over Hefazat-e Islam’s May 5 violence. Shimul’s lawyer Sanaullah Miah submitted a bail petition, challenging a lower court’s bail rejection order. He said: “Now there is no legal bar to his release as he has secured bail from the High Court in four other cases.” Five cases were filed against him for hartal related violence and Hefazat’s mayhem last year. Police held Shimul outside Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan residence on November 8. l
Statement of cop recorded in village quack murder case n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu A Dhaka court yesterday recorded the confessional statement of Constable Shawkat Ali for his alleged involvement in the murder of a village quack at Rajarbagh Police Lines barrack in the capital. Metropolitan Magistrate Shariar Mahmud Adnan recorded the statement as Tofael Ahmed, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Paltan police station produced Shawkat in the court and filed a petition for recording his statement. The court later sent the accused to jail after completion of his three days’ remand. In January, the CMM court’s magistrate granted three days’ remand for interrogation. Police detained Shawkat from the Rajarbagh Police Lines barrack on January 22, following information received
from the family members of the victim. The police had recovered the victim’s beheaded body from the roof of a fivestorey house at Rajarbagh traffic police barracks the previous day. They recovered the decapitated head from a pond at the police lines on January 22. A relative identified the body of Nannu Munshi, a quack from Bakkhana village in Jhikargachha upazila of Jessore. Police sources said Shawkat had a family feud with his wife for a long time. Nannu, who used to practise herbal treatment, took a total of Tk 1.70 lakh from Shawkat at different times by giving him assurance of resolving his family feud. On January 20, Nannu came to Shawkat and demanded more money at which point they started fighting on the rooftop of the traffic police barrack. At one stage, Shawkat killed Nannu on the rooftop of the building. l
Former Chittagong mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury comes out of the Chittagong Divisional Special Tribunal after getting bail in a corruption case yesterday. Story on Page 5 DHAKA TRIBUNE
JUTA polls today n JU Correspondent
The election to the 15-member executive body of Jahangirnagar University Teachers’ Association will take place today. About 470 teachers will select a new association president, general secretary and 13 members through today’s ballot, which will be held from 9am to 1pm at the Teachers Club on the campus, election officials said. This year, the university teachers have formed two separate combined panels to contest the election. A group of pro-Awami League and pro-BNP teachers will contest under the banner of “General Teachers’ Forum”, while another section of pro-AL teachers, along with left-leaning and non-partisan candidates, will compete from the “Muktijuddha O Progotibadi Chetonay Biswasi Jote Ebong Shotontro Shikkhokder Shomonnito Panel”. Source said pro-AL teachers loyal to former vice chancellor Shariff Enamul Kabir, incumbent JUTA president Ajit Kumar Mazumder and pro-BNP teachers who had recently agitated to oust ex-VC Anwar Hossain will contest from the Forum. Farid Ahmed of the Physics department and Kamrul Ahsan of Philosophy will vie for the posts of president and general secretary respectively from the Forum. “Neither Awami League nor BNP is a vital fact in this election. Rather, protecting the university’s interest is our priority,” Farid Ahmed said. Meanwhile, a group of pro-AL teachers from “Neel Dol” and “Shadharon Shikkhok Porshod” and some left-leaning teachers who opposed the Forum’s anti-VC movement will compete from the Muktijuddha panel, sources said. Noim Sultan of the Politics department and Maliha Nargis Ahmed of Archaeology department will run for president and general secretary respectively from the panel. Maliha Nargis Ahmed, an individual candidate who is running for general secretary from the Muktijuddha panel, said: “As a protest, I am taking part in this poll against the teachers who are responsible for nine months of academic loss at the university.” Another group of left-leaning teachers, who had supported Anwar Hossain under the banner of “Shikkhok Moncho”, will work for the Muktijuddha panel against the Forum, Moncho coordinator Rayhan Rhyne said. l
54 shops burnt in Chittagong n Tribune report
A fire gutted 54 shops at Bibirhat Bazaar of Fatikchhari upazila in Chittagong yesterday morning. No causality was reported over the incident. Jasim Uddin, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarter in Chittagong, said the fire originated at one shop at the Bazaar from an electric short circuit at 7:30am. Soon the fire engulfed adjoining shops, he added. Being informed, the fire fighters with two units from Hathazari and Fatikchhari station rushed to the spot and doused the blaze at 11:30am, after four hours of frantic efforts, said the fire fighters. The official estimated the loss of the fire is Tk20 lakh. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
City streetlights in bad shape Officials allegedly embezzling money through frequent change of lamps n Abu Hayat Mahmud City residents are saying streetlights on the capital’s roads are in bad shape as the two city corporations of Dhaka do not maintain them properly. The two city corporations - Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) have put three kinds of lights in the streetlights – sodium, fluorescent and energy saving lights (ESL). Residents of Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Jigatola, Azimpur, old Dhaka, Jatrabari, Moghbazar, Kamlapur, Shantinagar, Kalabagan and other different areas under both DNCC and DSCC said many streetlights in different alleyways and smaller roads were out of order. This correspondent found that DNCC had set low power ESLs instead of sodium light in the lampposts on the busy road between Gulshan 1 and Gulshan 2. Farhan Islam, a resident of Gulshan, said, “The ESLs in the streetlights are not enough for the busy and wide road. They give a thin amount of light which is not enough to see the road.” “When there is fog, the ESLs become useless for their poor delivery of light. The road is more than 100 feet wide, so it needs sodium light all over,” he added. Shubhas Saha, a resident of Gopibagh, said the city corporations only maintain the lights on the main streets. “The corporation collects holding tax from all household owners, but they are not giving proper service,” he added. Sources in the city corporations said a number of corrupted officials are embezzling money through frequent change of lights and purchasing low quality lights. DNCC sources said in 2012 the cor-
poration purchased at least 8,000 ESL and sodium lamps, accessories from Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory and Aluminates BD in the last year and issued it to different zonal representatives to set them up on the streets. The corporation purchased different types of lights and a committee was formed to check the quality of lights before being supplied to zonal representatives. Officials of the corporation said the DNCC authority removed new ESLs from the streetlights in less than a month because of problems and low quality. Brig Gen Md Abul Khair, the chief engineer of the DNCC, admitted the poor condition of streetlights in different areas. “We know that streetlights in different areas are in poor condition. We have taken steps to improve the streetlights in the city roads, and hope that the improvement work will be complete by June,” he said. “I have directed every zonal office of the corporation to submit a report on the condition of the streetlights,” he added. Asked about the allegation of purchasing lights in 2012, Brig Gen Khair said: “I do not know about the allegation, because the purchase was completed before I joined.” Md Zahangir Alam, the chief engineer of DSCC, said: “We have not asked for reports. In every annual report we discuss the problems of streetlights and take steps to resolve them.” “Presently there are no complaints. If there is a problem in any area, the respective zonal officials can inform us and we will take initiatives to solve them,” he added. l
More gold seized at Dhaka airport n Kailash Sarkar Customs Department personnel seized gold chains weighing around 3kg from a Bangladeshi man arriving from Malaysia at Hajarat Shahjalal International Airport late Monday night. Only two days ago another 2.3kg of gold was seized from a man immediately after he arrived in Dhaka from Dubai. Customs officials said the gold chains were worth around Tk1.2 crore. They were seized by searching the luggage of the man identified as Joj Miah, 52, after he had arrived at Dhaka airport late Monday night by a flight of Malaysia Airlines. Customs Assistant Commissioner Wazed Ali said acting on a tip off they had searched the luggage of Joj Miah and found the gold chains. The customs officials said the passport of detained Joj Miah showed he travelled from Dhaka to Malaysia, Dubai and other countries frequently. Sub-inspector Kamrul Islam of
Airport police station said the man was handed over to them after filing a case of smuggling. Police and customs officials suspect Joj Miah is a member of a ring involved in the smuggling of gold through the airport. On January 25, the customs officials seized 20 bars of smuggled gold weighing around 2.3kg and arrested a Dubai expatriate at a flight of Qatar Airways at the airport. Around 60 gangs of smugglers are engaged in the smuggling of gold, currencies and precious materials through the airport in association with a section of unscrupulous officials and employees of different government and non-government agencies at the airport. In January the customs officials also seized 1 crore Indian rupees smuggled into the country from Dubai and a captain of Biman Bangladesh Airlines was arrested with currencies worth Tk20 lakh. More than 600kg gold and currencies worth several hundred crores were seized in 2013, said airport sources. l
Two streetlights just a few metres away from the office of Dhaka South City Corporation remain out of order MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
The Department of Women Affairs, Sirajganj has allocated Tk1.5 crore to 160 women welfare organisations in the last five years with a view to uplift the status of women in the society, but now almost 90% of the organisations have no existence. The organisations had registered their names in the list of Department of Women Affairs to get government’s grant. Normally, the Bangladesh Mohila Kollyan Parishad, district administration, the Department of Women Affairs and Women and Children’s Affairs Ministry scrutinise the information provided by the organisations before providing the grant. It is alleged that leaders of Bangladesh Mohila Kollyan Parishad and employees of Department of Women Affairs are involved in the illegal business. Most of the accused are involved with politics of the ruling party, local sources said. The women affairs’ department allocated Tk2,090,000 to 102 organisations while it was proposed to raise the allocation to Tk20, 00000 in the current fiscal year. During a visit to some areas, it was revealed that around 50 organisations which are supposed to have offices at Sirajganj Sadar, Kazipur, Ullapara, Belkuchi and Kamakhando upazilas,
have no existence. Sokhina Talukder, wife of former Awami League president Motahar Hossain, had started ‘Gozaria Mohila Kollyan Samity’ at Gozaria village. After her death, her daughter-inlaw Jannat-Ara-Talukder Henri, also a leader of AL had become president of the organisations and took government allocations several times. But, the organisation is now hardly functioning. Many leaders of the ruling party and wives of many leaders have got the allocation in the name of running women’s welfare organisations. But, deferring with the allegations, these leaders said they had started their organisations after getting the allocation, but they were compelled to shut down because of many unseen obstacles. Moreover, many of them expressed hope that they would start operating the cooperatives soon. Fatima Al Ashraf, programme officer of Sirajganj District Department of Women Affairs, said: “To get grants, women leaders set up the organisations attractively, once they get allocations, there is no trace of them.” Laila Nagis Begum, district women affairs’ officer, said after making the list, they send it to Dhaka. Later, Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Department of Women Affairs and Bangladesh Mohila Kollyan Samity grant
n RU Correspondent Rajshahi University’s students and teachers yesterday staged demonstration and held rally on the campus against fee hike and evening courses at the university. More than 3,000 students from different departments started gathering in front of the university’s central library, from where they brought out the procession around 11am. The procession ended at Old Folklore Chattar on the campus after parading the main streets of the university. Recently, the university authorities took a decision to double all kinds of academic fees. The university authorities also initiated a move to introduce evening master’s courses at seven departments under the social science faculty, in addition to courses now underway at the BBA and law faculties. Students had been continuing their movement from January 16 this year to push their three-point demands that included decreasing the increased fees, to withdrawing the decision to introduce evening courses under social science faculty, and to stop the ongoing evening masters’ courses at the BBA and Law faculty. The protestors vowed to continue their protest until their demands were met. The progressive student’s alliance had initiated the movement while university’s Kendriya Sangskritik Jote expressed their solidarity with the movement. According to the university sources, the fees for withdrawal of provisional certificate on normal basis have been increased to Tk300 from Tk100 while the fees for emergency basis increased to Tk1,000 from Tk200. l
ABM Mohiuddin gets bail n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
A Chittagong court yesterday granted ad interim bail to ABM Mohiuddin, the former mayor of Chittagong, until February 16 in a case lodged for the acquisition of wealth from unknown sources and hiding information in his wealth statement. Judge Md Ataur Rahman of Chittagong’s Divisional Special Tribunal passed the order after Mohiuddin’s lawyers placed a bail plea. The Awami League leader had earlier surrendered before the court following a warrant issued on Monday for his arrest. “The court granted bail to ABM Mohiuddin until February 16, the next
hearing date for the case,” said Iftekhar Saimul Chowdhury, one of Mohiuddin’s counsels. On Monday, the court issued the arrest warrant against Mohiuddin, president of the Chittagong city unit of Awami League, as he did not appear before the court during the hearings. On December 2, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission lodged a case against Mohiuddin for allegedly amassing wealth worth Tk28.30 lakh from unknown sources and hiding information of about Tk1.23 lakh in his wealth statement. Mozammel Hossain Khan, deputy director of the ACC, submitted the charge sheet against Mohiuddin in November
2008 and the court indicted the Awami League leader on February 5, 2009, said Mahmudul Haq Mahmud, counsel for the ACC. He added that the High Court later stayed the case after nine prosecution witnesses had already testified before the trial court. On November 27, 2013, the High Court withdrew the stay order and ordered the lower court to resume the trial, and ordered Mohiuddin to surrender before the trial court. As Mohiuddin did not appear before the court during the hearings, the court issued the arrest warrant, said court sources. l
Youth shot dead in sleep n Kailash Sarkar A youth was shot dead by unknown miscreants while asleep in his room in capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area yesterday. The deceased was identified as Sazzad Hossain Swapan, 25, son of Sultan Miah, hailing from Sonargaon, Narayanganj. He used to live in an abandoned building of National Heart Foundation in the
area. Some unknown miscreants left him dead after shooting him inside his bedroom around 8:30am while he was sleeping, said family members of the victim. They said Swapan had enmity with another youth named Onik, who might have killed him, they said. Sub-Inspector Shamsur Rahman of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station said the youth was shot on his head and died
‘Fake’ welfare organisations disappear with grants n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj
RU students protest fee hike, evening courses
on the spot. “Being tipped off, we recovered the body and sent it to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy”, said the SI. “Filing of a case was under process. Police are trying to identify the killers,” he added. However, the SI could not confirm whether the killing took place following previous enmity or the deceased had any criminal record. l
JU admission tests start Feb 16 n JU Correspondent The authorities of Jahangirnagar University yesterday declared the date of first year admission tests in honours programme under 2013-14 academic sessions. The admission tests will begin from February 16. The university’s central admission test direction committee took the decision in a meeting yesterday. The examination schedule and other details would be published in national newspapers and the university’s website, said Deputy Registrar (Education) Mohammad Ali. Source said there were some changes brought into admission tests this year. Separate tests would be held for each department unlike previous years. l
Transformer stolen n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj The office of Gozaria Mohila Kalyan Samity lies in a decrepit state with garbage the allocation. She said they had visited 20 offices of the organisations two months back, but of them, 16 organisation have no activities. The organisations were issued warnings, she added. Jannat-Ara-Talukder Henri, member of Bangladesh Mohila Kollyan Parishad, Rajshahi region, and president for forest
and environment affairs of Women Awami League, central committee, said the department of women affairs mainly created the list of the organisations. “Then we send the list to women’s ministry through district administration,” she said, adding that about 10 out of 160 organisations are
now functioning. About her organisation, she said, “I have become busy with politics. I will soon start operation of the organisation.” Ashraf Hossain, director general of the Department of Women Affairs, they would take actions after getting specific allegations. l
An electric transformer was stolen from Dhaka-Narayanganj link road yesterday. Thousands of locals in Chanmari area under Narayanganj Sadar upazila have lost electricity connection as the 200MV transformer was gone. A case was filed by Mehedur Rahman, executive engineer of Dhaka Power Distribution Company, Narayanganj, with Fatullah Model police station as a complainant. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Potato growers face losses in Bogra
Two siblings sentenced to death for murder
n Our Correspondent, Bogra Potato growers in Bogra are getting frustrated because of the low prices of the crop in local markets and the shortage of space in cold storages. According to sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), 4.44 lakh hectares of land has been brought under cultivation with a production target of 86.5 lakh metric tonne (mt) this season. But officials of the department expect production of one crore metric tonne, which is approximately 10 lakh more than last year. DAE Deputy Director AH Bazlur Rashid said; “We expect 20 mt production per hectare of land by the end of the season.” Abdul Mannan from the village of Mundia,l in Khetlal upazila, Joypurhat, said he spent Tk80,000 to cultivate the crop on 1.50 hectares of land but earned only Tk 40,000. Sirazul Islam from Matidali Village in Bogra Sadar upazila said he sold his diamond variety of potatoes at Tk1 per kg on Monday in the wholesale market. DAE office sources said the cost of production for potatoes reached Tk5 to Tk5.50 per kg this season. Md Abdul Gafur, chairman of Shahasultan Group, said 10,000 bags of the
n Our Correspondent, Barisal
Farmers stockpile potatoes at a field in Bogra crop remained unsold in his five cold storages. “I have sold one lakh bags at Tk80 to
A court in Barisal district on Tuesday sentenced two siblings to death in a murder case filed on July 1, 2008. The convicted are- Shahidul Islam Shahed Boiragi and his brother Shahjahan Boiragi, a suspended police officer. The court also sentenced three associates of the killers to life imprisonment. They are- Sultan Khan, Kayum Khan and Abul Bashar. The court fined them Tk 5,000 each and in default they will serve six more months in jail. All of them were from Khalishar Uttarpar under Vashanchar union of Mehendiganj upazila. Md Motiar Rahman, first additional district and session judge, handed down the verdict after examining 42 out of 54 witnesses. Advocate Giasuddin Kabul, district public prosecutor, said slaughtered bodies of Tanjila Begum, 38, and her daughters Ferdausi Begum, 6, Jannat Begum, 10, Sathi Begum, 14, and Anjuman, 17, were recovered from their house on June 30, 2008 at Khalishar Uttarpar under Vashanchar union of Mehendiganj upazila in the district. Nuruzzaman, Chowkidar (night guard) of the union, lodged a case in this connection with Mehendi-
Tk100 to vacate the storage,” said Gafur. Al Haj Tipu Sultan, chairman of TR Specialized Cold Storage and M Rajia
Cold Storage said over one lakh bags of potatoes remain unsold in his two cold storages. l
River sedimentation to VGD members stage protest lead to waterlogging against upazila chairman n Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur Around 100km areas of Chandpur district are going to experience waterlogging in the up-coming rainy season due to river sedimentation. In a visit to Hazarimara area it was found that the exit point of Hazarimara sluice gate has been closed due to sedimentation for last three years. Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) planned to dredge the inner and outer side of the sluice gate costing Tk42,00000 last year. But, the officials only dredged the inner side of the gate. As a result, the river became dry during high tide at the outside of the sluice gate. Charbangshi Union Parishad Member Gias Uddin Kamal said; “Farmers cannot go to the river due to sedimentation. As a result, many of them have to face starvation as they cannot manage food due to lack of money.” He said; “1-2 cargo can pass the sluice
gate during high tide but stationary goods and bricks laden cargo service remain halted.” Raipur Water Development Board office sources said, embankment for Chandpur irrigation project was build surrounding 100km area of six upazilas of Chandpur and Lakshmipur in 19631978. There are around 53.363 hectares of croplands under the project in Lakshmipur Sadar, Raipur, Ramganj, Chandpur Sadar, Haimchar and Faridganj upazila. Modern sluice gate was built for discharging water. Lessee of the sluice gate-Mannan Sarker said; “Travelling of ship and boats was halted due to sedimentation.” Government would be deprived of a huge amount of revenue if the river was not dredged soon, he said. Executive Engineer of Laxmipur Water Development Board ATM Khalekuzzaman said; “We have informed the matter to higher authorities.” l
n Our Correspondent, Natore Beneficiaries of Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme staged demonstrations at Ramananda-Khazura union parishad of Singra upazila in Natore yesterday morning, protesting alleged irregularities by upazila chairman. The beneficiaries alleged that they had been receiving only 12-15kg wheat instead of 30kg every month for the last 10 months. At least 178 people were selected for VGD programme, the largest social safety net programme of the government that exclusively targets ultra poor households. The selected people were supposed to get 30kg of wheat under the social safety network programme every month. They said son of upazila Chairman Rana and his followers had seized the cards of seven women three months back as they protested against the misdeed.
unit Awami League Ohidur Sheikh rushed to the spot and recovered the cards. Sweety, wife of Saiful Islam of village Malkur, said they had kept mum, although the authorities had been giving them 12-15kg of wheat from the very beginning. Shyamol, secretary of the union, said they were compelled to stop the distribution to avoid any untoward incident. “The chairman will give the wheat Wednesday (today),” he said. Sultan Ali, chairman of the upazila, denied the allegation and said he would distribute the wheat in presence of the upazila nirbahi officer. UNO Salma Khatun said she was informed about the demonstration, adding from now on the distribution will take place in presence of her representatives. About the irregularities, she said she would take necessary steps after investigation. l
Since then, they have not been getting the government grant. Like the previous month, employees of the chairman gave them the reduced amount of wheat, creating annoyance among them.
The beneficiaries alleged that they had been receiving only 1215kg wheat instead of 30kg every month for the last 10 months They then chanted slogans against the chairman and demanded disciplinary action against him and his cohorts. Upon seeing the angry reaction of the beneficiaries, chairman’s son seized the cards of Momin, Hudu, Malek and Anser and also stopped providing the wheat. Afterwards, president of upazila
ganj police station on July 1, 2008 without mentioning any name of the accused. Later, police arrested suspected accused-Shahjahan Boiragi, Shahidul Islam alias Shahed Boiragi, Sultan Kha, Kaium Kha, Abul Bashar alias Badsha Kha, and Farhad Hossain Labu, Nazrul Islam Chunnu, Anis Matubbar, Jamal Chowkidar, Karim Haoladar and Anwar Hossain alias Babul Molla.
The court accepted the charge sheet on April 6, 2009 and sent that for trial to speedy trial tribunal Among them, Shahidul Islam and his brother Shahjahan in confessional statements admitted that they murdered their sister Tanjila Begum and nieces Ferdousi Begum, Jannat Begum, Sathi Begum and Anjuman over land dispute. SI Md Anwar Hossain, investigation officer of the case, submitted charge sheet against 10 on 19 March, 2009. The court accepted the charge sheet on April 6, 2009 and sent that for trial to speedy trial tribunal. l
Adulterated fertiliser seized in Kurigram n Our Correspondent, Kurigram Police recovered adulterated fertilisers and pesticides from Nageshwari upazila of Kurigram yesterday. But members of the police failed to detain any accused in this regard. Police and witnesses said police halted a van loaded with fake fertilisers and pesticides from Puraton Bazar area of the upazila at 9:30pm. Then, the driver of the van managed flee the scene. The van carried around 320 packets of pesticides and 650 packets of fake fertilisers from Bogra. Inspector of Nageshwari police station Abdur Rashid said: “The samples of the seized fertilisers and pesticides were sent to Dhaka BSTI office. “We will file case if it is proved as fake.” Upazila Agriculture Officer Masudur Rahman Sarker said: “Those are fake fertilisers and will damage the soil if applied.” l
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Zilla Parishad, Kushtia Memo No: ZP/KUSHlEB/141 166(150)
Invitation for Tender (Works) Tender Notice Number: 02/2013-14 Sealed tender are hereby invited from the eligible (For limited tendering method) Tenderers as deﬁned in the tender documents for the under mentioned works as per terms and conditions stated below:
A shoal has emerged near Hazarimara sluice gate in Chandpur. The photo was taken yesterday
Two trampled to death by wild elephants n Our Correspondent, Bandarban Two people, including a minor boy, were trampled to death and another was injured by wild elephants in Bhaggokul area under Sualok union of Bandarban sadar upazila yesterday morning. The deceased were identified as Zubair Hossain, 7 and Dilowara Begum, 60. Injured Saddam Hossain was undergoing treatment at a hospital. Local people said a herd of 10-12 wild elephants entered the village and damaged 12 dwelling houses. The wild elephants also uprooted trees and damaged standing crops. The elephants also on the villagers, leaving Zubair and
Dilowara dead and Saddam injured. Zohra Begum, mother of Zubair, said, “We were sleeping at night, so many of our family members managed to escape, but children could not be able to go out of house.” Sub-Inspector of Badarban Sadar police station Suman Saha said on information they rushed to the spot and sent the bodies to the morgue of Sadar Hospital.” Local people have become anxious after the incident. Sadar Upazila Chairman Abdul Kuddus and officials of Forest Department also visited the spot. Every year, a good number of people are trampled to death by wild elephants in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. l
DoE fines four brick fields in Barisal n Tribune Report The Department of Environment (DoE) realized Tk 1.30 lakh as fine from four brickfield owners in Banoripara upazila of the district on Monday. The brickfields are M/S Tazem bricks, M/S Malek bricks, M/S Nur bricks and M/S Kalam bricks in South Baishari area of the upazila. The DoE team led by DoE divisional director Sukumar Biswas realized the fine from the brickfields on charges of polluting environment and for running the brickfields in traditional system. l
Limited Tendering Method
Source of Funds
26 Nos (Package Details Known in ofﬁce of the Undersign)
Date, time and place of pre Tender meeting
Date: 17/02/2014, Time: 11:00 am and Place: Ofﬁce of the undersigned
Last date, time and place of selling tender document
Date: Date: 24/02/2014, Time: During ofﬁce time (a) The Deputy Commissioner, Dist, Kushtia. (b) The Superintendent of Police, Dist,Kushtia. (c) Tthe Executive Engineer LGED, Dist,Kushtia. (d) Tthe Upazila Nirbahi Ofﬁcer, Kushtia sadar, Kumarkhali, Khoksha, Mirpur, Bheramara, Daulatpur, Dist, Kushtia. (e) The Assistant Engineer, Zilla parish ad, Kushtia.
Last date, time and place of receiving tender document
Date: 25/02/2014, Time: 12:00 pm (a) The Deputy Commissioner, Dist, Kushtia. (b) The Superintendent of Police, Dist,Kushtia. (c) The Executive Engineer LGED, Dist,Kushtia. (d) Tthe Upazila Nirbahi Ofﬁcer, Kushtia sadar, Kumarkhali, Khoksha, Mirpur, Bheramara, Daulatpur, Dist, Kushtia. (e) The Assistant Engineer, Zilla parishad, Kushtia.
Date, time and place of opening of tender.
Date 25/02/2014 Time 3.00 P.M and place: Ofﬁce of the Undersigned.
If the Tender price of a Tender exceeds More than 5% (ﬁve percent) Less or above than the ofﬁcial estimated cost, Tender will be rejected. Tender shall be valid for a period of 90 days after tender opening and must be accompanied by the tender security speciﬁed above. Interested tenderer may obtain further information from the ofﬁce of the undersigned and purchase the tender documents in cash/from the places mentioned above. The tenderer or their authorized representatives are allowed to attend the opening of tenders. The authority reserves the right to accept or reject any or all the tenders without assigning any reason whatsoever.
This invitation for tender is available on the website www.zp kushtia.org
(MD. Motiur Rahman) Assistant Engineer Zilla Parishad kushtia Phone: (071) 62390
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Beyond 2015: How the youth see it
n Miriam Ebner and Merel Fuchs et us acknowledge and celebrate what youth can do to build a safer, more just world. Let us strengthen our efforts to include young people in policies, programmes and decision-making processes that benefit their futures and ours.” -UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon In 2000 nearly all governments signed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which had been discussed and formulated by a small group of (mostly male) intellectuals. The eight MDGs were the first time-bound, quantifiable global development goals and ranged from halving extreme poverty, to creating a more gender sensitive world, ensuring primary education for all and establishing a global partnership for development. The MDGs have had a huge impact on development around the world and especially Bangladesh is often highlighted as a country, which managed to address some of the most
ment doctrine is ending, the United Nations have decided to ensure that the next development framework is discussed globally and involves people from all over the world. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made it clear that the global conversation on post-2015 should be the most inclusive debate the world has ever seen. Creative online and offline methods have been used to encourage people around the world to participate in the discussion and share their vision for post-2015. Today, a quarter of the world’s population is made up of 1.8 billion adolescents and youth, who have proven that in an age of globalisation they are driving social change, building networks across borders and getting involved in international issues. The Report of the High Level Panel on post-2015 emphasizes the need for young people to be involved in the development of the post-2015 agenda. Considering the fact that 50% of Bangladesh’s population is below 25 years, we believe it is essential to create a platform for young people to
‘We see a world that values equality in all its facets, strives for sustainable solutions and active participation of all groups of society in decision-making processes. A world that is free of poverty and hunger and where everyone feels safe. A world, in which everyone has equal access to quality education, employment and information. A world in which human resources are valued and will bring the development of all to the fore. Nobody would be excluded or discriminated against because of gender, sexuality, color, class, religion or caste. The protection of the environment and sustainable development would be as important as economic growth. Through decentralization, improved access to information and the promotion of leadership skills, political instability would not exist. Globally people would be connected and values such as togetherness emphasized.’ Vision of youths crucial issues, such as the reduction of poverty and the improvement of maternal and child health. However, at the same time the MDGs did not focus on essential issues such as growing inequalities or the interrelatedness of various development challenges. Now, as the timeframe in which the MDGs have been the guiding develop-
share their thoughts and voice their opinion on the next development agenda. Bangladesh was one of 88 countries in which national consultations took place and civil society organisations had the chance to actively engage in the discussion around sustainable development goals. To specifically capture the voices of young peo-
ple, JAAGO Foundation, Jege Otho Foundation, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme jointly organized youth consultations in Jessore, Chittagong and Dhaka between August and October 2013. 84 young people representing over 30 youth organizations participated in our consultations and shared their
Youth representatives share their dreams for a post-2015 world in Dhaka vision for a post-2015 world. Other youth-led organizations such as the United Nations Youth and Student Association in Bangladesh (UNYSAB) are currently organizing dialogues and discussion with young people on the post-2015 framework. The report “The World We Want – Bangladeshi Youth Voices on a post-2015 World” is the result of these youth consultations organized to understand young people’s vision of a post-MDG world, and ensure that their voices are heard at national and global levels. It gives insight into the views and thoughts of young people, summarizes the ideas and discussions
Creating a World of Equality & Gender Equality “I want to live in a world where people are not judged based on their gender or sexuality. A world where everyone is equal and has the freedom to love” (participant in Dhaka) While the MDGs succeeded in reducing extreme poverty, they did not focus on reducing inequalities. In South Asia as a whole, the challenge of growing inequalities is evident when looking at the increased Gini-coefficient from 0.39 in the mid-1990s to 0.46 in the late 2000s. In order to address root causes of inequality such as stereotypes, discriminatory structures and the “superiority complex” of the powerful, young people want to change values within their society. This means ensuring equal access to education, employment, health and justice for all through providing free basic services, institutionalizing minority participation, offering incentives for equal participation in the work force, and embedding sections on diversity, equality and respect into national curricula.
Gender inequality was discussed as a major global problem. One root cause for gender discrimination is the existence of rigid gender norms, which limit the opportunities of individuals and prescript gender roles. Women in particular often face difficulties in challenging these roles and accessing their rights. At the same time boys and men can find it difficult to oppose these structures due to a lack of role models. Of course these gender stereotypes also affect sexual minorities. Ensuring gender equality also needs to focus on creating a world in which people are not discriminated against based on gender or sexuality. While mostly discussing social inequities, youths in Jessore also discussed global disparities, for example, the unequal effects of global warming in different parts of the world, in which the biggest contributors to climate change are often the least affected and so do not see the need to act on the issue. In all of the discussions the participants agreed that most development issues can only be solved in a sustainable way if existing inequalities are systematically addressed.
Strengthening global connectivity & peace
Bangladesh is one of few countries in the world that achieved two MDGs related to health: the reduction of child mortality (MDG4) and the improvement of maternal health (MDG5). However, limited access to basic healthcare facilities and quality treatment still make child birth risky and can have negative impact on the first five years of a child’s life. Health includes many different topics such as access to safe water, nutritious food and medical services. When looking at these areas it becomes clear that gender discrimination strongly influences accessibility. In order to live in a healthy society, people need to be educated about basic health issues, the number of healthcare centers and qualified staff has to increase, and free primary healthcare services need to be established. Moreover, doctors from developing countries should have access to ongoing training and skills development in order to be updated and knowledgeable about newest research and techniques.
Another important area that is closely connected to leadership and political stability was the discussion around global connectivity and the creation of unity in the world. Youth in Jessore stressed that they felt discriminated against by the dominance of ‘western’ values in the media, which did not allow for diversity. They felt disconnected from the national discussion because of this influence. This fear reflects the urban-rural divide that can be found on national, but also international level, where countries like Bangladesh are often seen as disempowered and at the margin of power and decision-making bodies. In Dhaka, Chittagong and Jessore, youth demand a more prominent role in decision making and want to contribute to a true exchange of ideas and values. Apart from the desire for social inclusion, the participants demanded a ban of nuclear weapons and the stop of profitable arms trade to create a peaceful world.
Children are among the most vulnerable groups of society and need special protection. Children, being dependent on their parents, are often in a social position in which they cannot choose their destiny, and life in poverty additionally reduces their ability to claim their rights. In order to strengthen and ensure rights of children, access to education has to be improved, violence against children needs to be reported, and perpetrators have to be held accountable. Furthermore, teachers need to be trained on child and adolescent related issues, e.g. adolescent health, in order to be able to discuss these issues with their students.
Mitigating climate change & strengthen environmental sustainability Bangladesh is known to be one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change and natural disasters. Floods, cyclones and earthquakes pose a realistic threat to the lives of many people and many young people volunteer in disaster management and response. While discussing challenges on local and global levels, possible solutions identified were reforestation, awareness raising, rural development, decentralization of industries and treatment facilities, policy changes, and the enforcement of these policies and law. Most importantly a strengthened lobby of least developed countries in climate change discussions would be necessary on global level.
Living in a poverty free world Upholding Human Rights On 10 December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. However, basic human rights are still not available to all. Child labor, human trafficking and freedom of thought are important issues that must be addressed in the next development framework. Youth emphasized the need to ensure human rights at local, national and international levels, so that people – no matter where they are – are protected by human rights.
of social problems. It is worth noting that while only 84 young people participated in the qualitative discussion on post-2015, these were also reflected as key priorities by 4,200 youth who participated in the My World survey in Bangladesh. The priorities from Bangladeshi youth are consistent with the findings of youth consultations held in other countries in areas of equality, employability, education, climate change, poverty and governance. This shows that while the world’s youth are very diverse, they prioritize similar areas and share similar views on important development topics.
Improving access to education and employment
Living in a healthy society
Enforcing the rights of children
of the consultations, and identifies the ten priorities young people believed to be most important. Equality in all its facets was overwhelmingly highlighted as the most important principle in the youth consultations and is closely related to respect for diversity. Participants in Jessore, Chittagong and Dhaka emphasized the need for a fair and just world, in which people are not discriminated against based on their gender, sexual orientation, colour, caste, class, religion or abilities. The topics identified by the youth cover a wide range of development issues and reflect the interconnectivity
“I want to live in a poverty-free world, a hunger-free world, where people can live in justice” (Dhaka) Even though Bangladesh has made great progress in reducing extreme poverty, it is still considered a least-developed country facing the continual challenge of poverty, hunger, malnutrition and lack of access to basic services. For many participants the root causes such as overpopulation, lack of good governance, and decent employment opportunities can only be tackled by changing values and raising awareness on basic rights. Participants believe that to address poverty, many different strategies have to be used as reasons for poverty are interlinked. They also believe that quantitative and qualitative indicators are needed to measure improved living conditions and overall well-being.
Young people all over the world emphasize the need to improve access to quality education and employment. As in many countries, adolescents and youth are particularly vulnerable to unemployment and have difficulties entering the job market. The different educational systems in Bangladesh do not offer the same opportunities to their students and young people often have difficulties in finding a job. The participants of the youth consultation underlined the importance of supporting young people when entering the job market. To reduce the drop-out rate in school, participants want to address child marriage and allocate more resources to education and skills development. They also believe that youths from developing countries should receive full scholarships from international universities. Concerning improved access to employment, youth want to ensure the free flow of workers, and upholding labor laws and worker’s rights.
Creating political stability Political stability was identified as one key priority by the youth. The creation of a stable political situation was of high importance nationally and globally. Two key challenges were identified as the main obstacles to political stability: (1) a loss of faith in national and political leaders and (2) lack of global consciousness. Youth envisioned a world in which countries both look at the national consequences and global implications of their actions, and where leaders are well connected to the needs of the people.
How can you be part of the post-2015 process? • • • • • • •
Discuss with your neighbours, family or friends what you/they find important and share your views with us through Facebook. Consider the priorities and recommendations of Bangladesh’s youth while developing your own position on the post-2015 development framework. Read the full report, online: http://www.volunteeractioncounts.org. Recognize the creativity and expertise of youth on different development issues. See youth as partners and involve them in decision making. Participate in the global My World survey, in which you can choose 6 development priorities (it only takes 2 minutes) www.myworld2015.org. For more information please contact unvbgd.bd@ undp.org
Miriam Ebner is UNV Programme Officer. Merel Fuchs is UNV Youth Networks Development Officer.
Ukraine PM resigns to ease crisis Mykola Azarov and his cabinet quit, anti-protest laws dropped n AFP, Kiev Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned on Tuesday in a bid to defuse Ukraine’s deadly crisis and preserve its unity, finally giving into months of pressure from street protesters. Azarov said he had taken a “personal decision” to resign to preserve Ukraine’s unity as parliament opened a session to vote on reforms and concessions backed by President Viktor Yanukovych. The European Union and United States cranked up pressure on Yanukovych to impose serious reforms to end a standoff that turned parts of Kiev into a war zone patrolled by masked protesters and left three activists dead. After a four hour meeting with opposition leaders, the presidency said that controversial anti-protest laws passed on January 16 would be cancelled and amnesty granted for jailed protesters on conditions public buildings and streets were freed up. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton brought forward a visit to Kiev by several days while US Vice President Joe Biden urged Yanukovych to work with the opposition on “immediate measures” to de-escalate the crisis. The crisis was also due to dominate a summit between the European Union and Russia attended by President Vladimir Putin who will not want the standoff to overshadow the Winter Olympics in Sochi starting February 7. In a dramatic morning announcement, Azarov yielded to months of pressure from the opposition who have made his resignation a key demand of protests based on Independence Square in Kiev. Azarov said that he hoped his resignation would create “an additional possibility for a political compromise to peacefully resolve the conflict.”
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov greeting deputies of the majority after a vote for his resignation at the parliament in Kiev AFP “The government has done everything during this standoff for a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” he said, adding that his cabinet had been forced to work in “extreme conditions.” “Today the most important thing is to preserve the unity and integrity of Ukraine. This is far more important than any personal plans or ambitions. That is why I have taken this decision,”
he said. There was no immediate comment from the opposition, with a spokesman for the Fatherland Party telling AFP they were waiting to confirm that Yanukovych would accept the resignation. Kiev calm as parliament meets The streets of Kiev were calm on Tuesday in contrast to days of clashes
last week. However the barricades built by protesters out of sandbags and which reach several metres high were still in place with the city centre now clearly divided between areas controlled by protesters and those by security forces. Members of a radical splinter group of the protest overran the justice ministry building on Sunday but vacated it on Monday after an appeal from opposition leaders. Western leaders are hoping for a breakthrough at the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada parliament -- notorious for fistfights -- but opposition leaders were guarded after the latest meeting with Yanukovych. Fatherland party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk formally rejected an offer to become prime minister himself, the presidency said. The leader of the UDAR (Punch) party, world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, said he could not imagine himself in a government under Yanukovych. The special parliament session in Kiev is expected to debate ways of ending the crisis, including abolishing draconian anti-protest laws that have angered the opposition. Despite Azarov’s resignation, a key sticking point in the negotiations between the opposition and Yanukovych has been the president’s own political future. The opposition says it wants him out before the end of his term next year and radical protesters are pushing to oust him as soon as possible. Ashton to Kiev, Biden worried Amid growing international concern on Ukraine,the European Union’s foreign policy chief Ashton is due to fly to Kiev after the EU-Russia summit in a flurry of diplomacy to end the deadlock. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Ex-prime minister Azarov: Loyal bureaucrat with nasty temper n AFP, Kiev Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who offered his resignation on Tuesday after months of pressure from the opposition, is a loyalist bureaucrat with a nasty temper who once told his critics to “piss off.” The 66-year-old former Soviet geologist has been a faithful servant to President Viktor Yanukovych and has been mercilessly mocked by the nationalist opposition for his inability to speak Ukrainian. Azarov said he was stepping down in a bid to ease “a political compromise to peacefully resolve the conflict” and preserve Ukraine’s unity, adding that he had been forced to work in “extreme conditions.” Born in Russia and resident in Ukraine only since the 1980s, Azarov has shown a nasty temper in public. He has blasted an EU partnership deal that was scrapped by Yanukovych and has hailed Russia’s controversial bailout of Ukraine as “historic.” Azarov has also taken to Facebook to thank supporters and take on critics, accusing the opposition of trying to stage a “coup” and reiterating his message of stability -- particularly for pensioners. His supporters have pointed to Azarov’s wide economic experience that has seen him serve as head of the tax service and also as finance minister. He headed the election campaign in 2010 that helped Yanukovych defeat his sworn rival -- now jailed opposition leader -- Yulia Tymoshenko. White-haired, bespectacled and rarely seen out of a suit, Azarov could hardly be a greater contrast to his glamorous predecessor Tymoshenko who was known
for her designer dresses and iconic golden hair braid. “Azarov is more a bureaucrat than a politician. He can be described as the classic accountant,” Volodymyr Fesenko, director of the Penta centre for political research, said earlier. Azarov was born in the Russian city of Kaluga outside Moscow and was educated as a geologist at the prestigious Moscow State University. He moved to Ukraine when it was still part of the Soviet Union in 1984 to head a geological research institute. In 1994, he was elected an MP in a newly independent Ukraine and became head of parliament’s budget commission. Subsequently he worked as head of the tax service from 1996 to 2002, remembered for a strict management style that many saw as a throwback to the Soviet era. The business community at that time became exasperated with his interference in the economy. He fell out with the head of Ukraine’s state entrepreneurs council, Inna Bogoslovska, who resigned in 2004 denouncing the “ferocity” of the tax service. She famously created the Ukrainian word “Azarovshchina” (Azarov Rule) to describe his taxman stint which she alleged was marred by rampant corruption and a complete disregard for the law. Azarov was then a deputy prime minister from 2002 to 2005, during Yanukovych’s first stint as prime minister, and deputy prime minister and latterly finance minister from 2006 to 2007. The influential Ukrainian weekly Dzerkalo Tyjnia said when he was nominated after Yanukovych’s victory in 2010 that Azarov was headed for trouble because of “his rigidity, his toughness and lack of flexibility.” l
Syria says US ‘arming terrorists’ n AFP, Geneva
Activist’s road from Syrian prison to Geneva peace talks Morsi on
Syria’s warring sides will not meet again at peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday, the UN said, after a morning session broke up with the regime accusing Washington of “arming terrorists.” After announcing the start of a morning session around 11:00 am (1000 GMT), the UN said in a terse statement later that “no meeting has been planned for this afternoon.” A member of the opposition negotiating team, Rima Fleihan, told AFP that UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi had adjourned the meeting “because the regime is not cooperating on any subject, not on humanitarian issues and not on a transitional governing body.” “There will be no session this afternoon or tonight. The next session will be tomorrow at 10:00 am,” she said. Tuesday’s morning session saw the regime present a statement it wanted adopted by participants condemning Washington. The statement, obtained by AFP, said “the United States has made a decision to resume arming terrorist groups in Syria.” l
Not so long ago Noura al-Ameer was being beaten and subjected to electric shocks in a Syrian prison. Today, she sits across from the regime that put her there, hoping diplomacy can end her country’s suffering. “It was as if I was seeing the faces of the killers, the bombers, the torturers,” Ameer told AFP, describing her first meeting with regime representatives in Switzerland last week. At 26, she is a vice president of the opposition National Coalition and the youngest member of the delegation in talks in Geneva aimed at ending her country’s nearly three-year civil war. It was not easy, she said, sitting down across from representatives of the “executioner” and “criminal” President Bashar al-Assad. “I felt the same thing I felt for my jailers: contempt,” she said, her black-charcoaled eyes shining defiance under a headscarf dotted with bright red flowers and black and grey leopard spots. “I tell myself: You cannot hurt me no matter what you do, because I defend a cause and you are only here to defend one
n AFP, Geneva
person,” said Ameer, who does not have a seat at the negotiating table but is one of the few women in the opposition’s extended delegation. Sitting in the lounge of a luxury Geneva hotel, a stone’s throw from the UN’s European headquarters where the talks are taking place, Ameer described how she had been studying literature at the University of Homs in early 2011 when a “massacre” in the central Syrian city prompted her to put her studies on hold and join protests. She was soon handing out fliers, shouting anti-regime slogans from loudspeakers and documenting abuses. “We wanted the voice of the people to ring louder than the repression,” she said, speaking in Arabic and gesticulating with delicate hands for emphasis. She had known from the beginning that she might be arrested, and when the moment finally came -- in March 2012 as she sat on a bus from Damascus to Aleppo -- “I didn’t feel anything.” But soon she did. Ameer was shuttled between some of Syria’s most notorious prisons, where she was first held incognito for three months before serving three more months for “offending the state authority
and the president” and “incitement to sectarian dissent.” ‘I was only beaten and shocked’ She was tortured, but not as badly as some, she insisted, straightening her black skirt over crossed knees and nervously tapping her foot. “I was only beaten a bit and shocked with electric cables. It was nothing,” she said, waving her hand dismissively. But then her dark eyes suddenly filled with tears: “I’m embarrassed to talk about my experience in prison, because others have suffered so much worse.” Many women are raped, others folded into rubber tires suspended from the ceiling before being beaten, or hung by their wrists for hours and even days, she said, clasping her wrists together and lifting her arms above her head to illustrate. Her sister, only 20, was tortured in this way, forced to hang for hours on end until her shoulder was dislocated, she said. Ameer’s lips trembled, her gaze focused somewhere in the distance. She swallowed and took a deep breath before continuing: “Then they hung her by only her bad arm.” She shifted uncomfortably on the silk upholstered chair, flames flickering in a
large fireplace behind her. The luxurious setting was far from the scene in her devastated hometown of Homs, where parts of the city have been under siege since June 2012. “For the past 18 months, children, the sick and elderly have been starving to death in Homs,” she said, her eyes flashing with anger. Ameer, who now lives in Turkey but is in regular contact with people in the besieged areas over the Internet, described how “parents are giving their children sleeping pills to help them forget that they are hungry, and people are eating grass.” “The international community should be ashamed that no one has managed to get in a single carton of milk to a child in need,” she said. Despite her own story and the catastrophe still unfolding in Syria, Ameer said she was convinced negotiations, in Geneva or elsewhere, will help bring an end to the suffering. “There has been a pacifist battle, then a military battle. Now we need a political battle,” she said, insisting the revolution will succeed “through a political process, not war.” l
Egypt back to square one as army returns to politics n AFP, Cairo Three years after a popular uprising forced out ex-general Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s army is again pushing a commander to stand for president after he ousted the first civilian head of state. On Monday, the army endorsed its Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s candidacy for an election he is expected to win amid a strong nationalist fervour since he overthrew president Mohamed Morsi. In just over six months, Sisi has managed to win accolades from a vast section of Egyptians for leading the ouster of Morsi and crushing the Muslim Brotherhood movement to which the Islamist belongs. Morsi was toppled after one turbulent year in office following mass street protests amid allegations of grabbing power and ruining an already deteriorating economy. Announcing its backing for Morsi, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said that “the people’s trust in Sisi is a call that must be heeded as the free choice of the people.” Sisi is soon expected to resign as army chief and announce his candidacy in a presidential election scheduled to be held by mid-April. A victory for the 59-year-old would keep alive a tradition of Egyptian presidents being drawn from the armed forces. Mubarak and all of his predecessors came from the military, starting with the
charismatic colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, who ruled Egypt between 1954 and 1970. And after Mubarak’s ouster, it was Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi who ruled Egypt until the election of Morsi in June 2012. But Tantawi’s tenure was marred by deadly street protests before Morsi was elected. Sisi is riding a wave of nationalist fervour, however, amid a heavy handed crackdown on Morsi’s supporters, which according to Amnesty International has left at least 1,400 people dead. To Sisi’s supporters, he is the best option for ending three years of political instability following the 2011 uprising that ended Mubarak’s reign. And to his critics and experts it is the military’s decades-old iron grip on Egypt that has once again brought an army man to the forefront after civilian leaders blew their shot at power. “There is definitely a political vacuum with no civilian parties able to throw up a good leadership,” said Mohamed Ghorab, an activist from a group that campaigns against military trials of civilians. “We saw this with the Muslim Brotherhood, (and) they failed. We hoped that another liberal party would come up and fill the vacuum, but that didn’t happen. “Hence given the backing from a section of the society, the military is now filling the vacuum,” he said in his personal capacity. ‘Old demons of repression’ returning Since Morsi’s ouster, Sisi has emerged as
A supporter of Egypt’s army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is to run for the presidency in the upcoming elections a nationalist icon, but simultaneously Egypt is also witnessing the return of the feared security services which were widely hated under Mubarak. In recent months a deadly crackdown that began against Morsi’s Brotherhood has widened, with activists who spearheaded the anti-Mubarak revolt finding themselves behind bars. Top anti-Mubarak campaigners Ahmed Douma, Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Alaa Abdel Fattah have been detained for organising protests the military-installed
authorities say were illegal. The authorities had defended the removal of Morsi on the back of mass street protests against his rule. “Their current policies are a betrayal of all the aspirations of bread, freedom and social justice” of the anti-Mubarak revolution, said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International in a statement marking the third anniversary of the 2011 revolt. She charged the security forces had also not been held to account for using “excessive” force in dealing with protests
staged by Morsi’s supporters who continue to demand his reinstatement. Analysts say the repressive old regime of Mubarak is returning to the fold, but that it is unleashing even more force on dissent than before, now that the military is clearly at the helm. “Even if the military authorities try to maintain a democratic face, it is now clear that Egypt is being overtaken by old demons of repression, authoritarianism and personal power,” said Karim Bittar of the Institute of International Strategic Relations. l
trial for 2011 jailbreak n AFP, Cairo Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi went on trial Tuesday on charges of breaking out of prison during the 2011 uprising against veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak. Morsi, ousted by the army in July, is already on trial for inciting the killings of opposition activists during his presidency and faces two other trials that have yet to begin. Official news agency MENA said the trial had commenced, but did not say whether Morsi was present in the dock. An AFP correspondent present in the courtroom was unable to communicate as authorities had taken away the mobile phones of reporters covering the proceedings. Until now, Morsi has only been brought to court once, for the first hearing on November 4 over the killings of opposition activists. He is being tried with 130 others, including members of his banned Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah. The trial is being held under tight security in a makeshift courtroom inside a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo. The Islamist leader was deposed following massive popular protests against his one-year rule. He also faces charges of espionage involving Hamas, with that trial due to open on February 16, and for insulting the judiciary, for which a date has yet to be set. Tuesday’s hearing comes a day after the powerful military gave its backing to army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for the presidency after he led the ouster of Morsi -- Egypt’s first democratically elected president. The trial is part of a relentless government crackdown on Morsi and his Islamist supporters that has seen more than 1,400 peopled killed since he was deposed, according to Amnesty International. Most of those killed have been pro-Morsi demonstrators in street clashes with police and the former president’s opponents. Tuesday’s trial date is symbolic as it marks the third anniversary of the prison break. Prosecutors have said almost 70 of the defendants belonged to Hamas or Hezbollah and that some of them were also accused of murdering police officers and helping thousands to escape during the jailbreak. Morsi was among those who escaped from Wadi Natrun jail. l
India top court refuses to review gay sex ban
Singapore jails maid for burying baby in yard
Supreme Court dismisses petition filed by government and activists
n AFP, New Delhi India’s top court Tuesday rejected a plea filed by the government and activist groups to review its shock ruling which reinstated a colonial-era ban on gay sex. A Supreme Court bench dismissed petitions filed by the government and rights groups against a verdict last month that recriminalised gay sex and made it an offence punishable by up to life imprisonment. “We see no reason to interfere with the order impugned. The review petitions are dismissed,” Supreme Court Justices H.L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya said in their deccision. In its December 11 ruling, the top court reversed a lower court verdict from 2009 which had set aside a 1860 law outlawing “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” The Congress-led government filed the so-called review petition amid an outcry among activists against the December judgement. It asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to “avoid a grave miscarriage of justice to thousands of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals.”
The government added in its petition that the ruling upholding the more than 150-year-old law was “violative of the principle of equality.” Anand Grover, lawyer for the gay rights activist group Naz Foundation, said he was “shocked” by the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to reject the review petitions. But Grover told AFP that though “this battle may be lost, the war will still go on.” The Supreme Court said in its December 11 ruling that responsibility for changing the law rested with lawmakers and not the courts in the sexually conservative nation. The government and gay rights groups now have the option of filing a “curative petition”, which is the last stage of the legal appeal process and is intended to remedy gross miscarriages of justice. But lawyers say the chances of success for such petitions are slim and the controversial issue now will likely land in parliament’s lap, meaning the law could take years to change. Observers say they see virtually no possibility parliament can reverse the law in the immediate future before national elections due by May. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
n AFP, Singapore
An Indian gay-rights activist takes part in a protest against the Supreme Court ruling reinstating a ban on gay sex in Kolkata
A Singapore court on Tuesday sentenced an Indonesian maid to three months in jail for burying her dead baby in her employer’s backyard. Musliyati, 37, who goes by one name, had faced up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine - or both - for secretly disposing of the remains. She had been charged under a section of the penal code called “offences affecting the human body.” According to court documents, Musliyati gave birth to a baby boy in the toilet of her Singaporean employer’s home in the early hours of November 8 last year. She subsequently scooped the baby from the toilet bowl where it had fallen into, and cut off the umbilical cord. She then wrapped the baby in a blanket, placed him in a black plastic bag and buried the body in a hole in the backyard of the home, according to the documents. Forensic investigations ascertained that the baby was “between eight and nine months intra-uterine gestation” but did not conclude if it was stillborn, court documents said. l
Thailand to proceed with election despite opposition protests n AFP, Bangkok
Deputy Thai Prime Minister Phongtep Thepkanjana and election official Somchai Srisuthiyakorn address a press conference Thailand’s government vowed on January 28 to push ahead with controversial elections this weekend AFP
Thailand’s government vowed Tuesday to push ahead with controversial elections this weekend, despite threats by opposition protesters to disrupt the polls in an attempt to stop the ruling party returning to power. The announcement followed talks between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and election officials, who urged a delay following violence in which at least 10 people have been killed and hundreds injured in grenade attacks, drive-by shootings and clashes. In the latest incident, shots were fired Tuesday near a Bangkok army facility where Yingluck was holding meetings, as hundreds of protesters massed outside. Emergency services said two people were injured although the exact circumstances were unclear. The Thai capital has been shaken by nearly three months of mass street demonstrations, demanding Yingluck’s
elected government step down to make way for an unelected “people’s council” that would oversee reforms aimed at curbing the dominance of her billionaire family. “Even if the election is postponed, the problems will not go away. I don’t think that the (protest) movement will stop,” Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana told reporters. The kingdom has been bitterly divided since Yingluck’s older brother Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted as prime minister by royalist generals in a coup more than seven years ago. Critics accuse the billionaire tycoon-turned-politician of controlling his sister’s government from Dubai, where he lives to avoid prison for a corruption conviction. The Election Commission (EC) proposed during Tuesday’s talks to postpone the election for 120 days, but after discussions it agreed with the government to press ahead with the February 2 vote.
Taiwan minister set for historic China visit Pakistan halts Malala n AFP, Taipei
Taiwan’s minister in charge of China affairs said Tuesday he plans to visit the mainland next month in a landmark trip that marks the first official contact between the two former bitter rivals in six decades. Wang Yu-chi, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council which formulates the island’s China policy, is scheduled to fly to the mainland on February 11 to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office chief. The meeting in Nanjing in China’s eastern Jiangsu province symbolises persistent efforts to normalise relations in recent years after a decades-long freeze. “The trip has crucial implications for further institutionalisation of the ties between the two sides of the Straits,” Wang told a press briefing. “As the first Mainland Affairs Council chairman to visit the mainland, I feel my responsibility is arduous and the road long.” In June 2010 Taiwan and China signed the landmark Economic Coop-
Wang Yu-chi, minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said he plans to visit mainland China AFP eration Framework Agreement, a pact widely characterised as the boldest step yet towards reconciliation since the two were split in 1949 at the end of a civil war. However, the hard-won trade pact, along with other achievements like direct flights, was the result of negotiations
by quasi-official bodies from each side. Taipei and Beijing have had no official contact in 65 years. Relations have improved significantly since Ma Ying-jeou of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008. He was re-elected in January 2012. l
The EC fears that there might be “clashes” during voting, election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn told reporters, adding that polling stations would close early in the event of problems. The main opposition Democrat Party is boycotting Sunday’s polls, saying reforms are needed to ensure the vote is truly democratic and to prevent abuse of power by the next government. ‘No justification’ for voter intimidation Advance voting over the weekend was marred by widespread disruption by opposition protesters who besieged polling stations and stopped hundreds of thousands from casting ballots. “The protesters claim they are fighting corruption and seeking reforms, but this doesn’t justify their use of force and intimidation to block voting,” Brad Adam, Asia director at New Yorkbased Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Tuesday. l
‘Shocking’ Child sex abuse claims in Australia
n AFP, Peshawar
n AFP, Sydney
A launch ceremony for education activist Malala Yousafzai’s book at a university in her native Pakistan was cancelled after pressure from the provincial government, organisers and officials said Tuesday. Malala, now 16, survived a Taliban assassination attempt in the country’s restive northwest in 2012 and has become a global champion for the struggle for all children to go to school. An event to launch her memoir “I am Malala” at the Area Study Centre of Peshawar University on Monday was called off after police refused to provide security, organisers told AFP. She had not been due to attend in person. “We were forced to cancel it. We were pressurised by provincial ministers and university vice chancellor,” Sarfaraz Khan, the Area Study Centre director, told AFP. “When I refused to follow this ille-
Children were sodomised with a garden hose, locked in outdoor cages and savagely beaten by Salvation Army majors in graphic cases of abuse detailed Tuesday to an Australian inquiry. A Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in Australia began hearing evidence into allegations of abuse at four Salvation Army homes for children between 1966 and 1977, which counsel assisting the inquiry Simeon Beckett warned would be “shocking to many.” “The abuse that is to be detailed before the Royal Commission in the course of this case study is likely to be disturbing and at the severe end of sexual abuse,” he said in his opening address. The investigative commission was established by former prime minister Julia Gillard in response to a series of child sex abuse scandals involving paedophile priests, though she insisted the probe would be much broader than the Catholic Church. l
gal order (to cancel the event) police refused to provide security.” Peshawar is the capital of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has borne the brunt of Pakistan’s bloody homegrown Islamist insurgency. l
Five rare white tiger cubs die in Indian zoo n AFP, New Delhi Five rare white tiger cubs have died at New Delhi’s zoo because of “neglect” by their mother, an official said Tuesday. The cubs, born last week, died over the weekend after the seven-year-old tigress refused to feed or care for them, curator of Delhi’s National Zoological Park told AFP. “The mother did not even try to feed the cubs. She would not even hold the babies close to her. She totally neglected them,” Riaz Ahmad Khan said. The zoo said it was unable to save them because they were too young. A sixth cub survived against the odds and is now battling for its life in a
veterinary facility, where it is being fed fresh goat’s milk, Khan added. Early death is common among white tigers since they owe their appearance to a genetic mutation, which can result in other defects such as low immunity and malformed organs, experts say. White tigers hail from eastern and southern Asia, but have not been seen in the wild in India since the 1950s, according to conservationists. Khan said the zoo had been trying to breed its white tigers in a bid to boost numbers. The zoo has six white tigers, four of which are female. “White tigers are very popular with visitors. We try to ensure the breeding takes place between partners born of different sets of parents,” he said.
Some experts say inbreeding of white tigers to boost numbers can magnify their genetic problems. Indian zoos have been the target of fierce criticism from wildlife experts in the past over concerns including poor sanitation, overcrowding and contaminated food. A rhinoceros died at the Delhi zoo last year from suspected anthrax while a female giraffe died of severe diarrhoea in 2011 after contracting a virus. In 2010, 32 blackbuck antelopes died after drinking sewage water that flowed into their enclosures at the same zoo. “We try to give the animals the best care possible but sometimes there are situations which are unavoidable,” Khan said. l
Five rare white tiger cubs have died at New Delhi’s zoo because of ‘neglect’ by their mother
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Meet deadline on tannery relocation
LETTER OF THE DAY
Thoughts on Zafar Iqbal
he relocation of central Dhaka’s tanneries to improved facilities has been stalled far too long. It is a disgrace that Hazaribagh has earned the dubious distinction of being labeled as one of the five most polluted sites on earth. For workers local residents and buyers alike, it is essential that the sector act to implement the long planned move from Hazaribagh to the Savar area. We hope that ongoing meetings between the high-level officials from the industries ministry, the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation and representatives from tannery owners will expedite the relocation. It is essential for the sustainability of the sector that it work to improve negative environmental and social impacts. Disputes over cost sharing between tannery owners and the government which have stalled progress in the past must not be allowed to again threaten the process. Tannery owners have asked for soft loans to assist with the costs and are calling for revision of land usage rules, to better accommodate the particular needs of leather goods factories. The government and industry should work in close cooperation to help the new working committee resolve all remaining obstacles as a matter of priority. A concrete, time-bound action plan is vital to make sure the relocation proceeds smoothly this year.
It is essential for the sustainability of the sector that it work to improve negative environmental and social impacts
Impartial justice for all
he murder of Adar Kha, a 25 year old Hijra in Nabiganj this week has received wide coverage. Interest increased because of the deceased’s hijra identity and the fact that disputed allegations have been made that the brother of a MP beat Adar to death for stealing a mobile phone. Following the murder, members of the hijra community held demonstrations in the area and the police station Officer-in-Charge has promised that action will be taken after a case is lodged by the deceased’s representatives. Neither the fact that the victim is a hijra nor the context that accusations have been made against a politically connected person affects the fact that a person has been unlawfully killed. Law enforcement officials have a duty to impartially investigate the killing regardless. While the recent legal recognition of hijras as a separate gender may add a topical dimension to this story, it makes no difference to the basic principles of justice and the need for equality before the law. Hijras are citizens of Bangladesh and have a right to the protection of the law. The police have a duty to investigate this case and every other murder impartially. The stigmatisation of hijras in our society does not reduce this responsibility. Rule of law means that no one can be beaten to death with impunity.
January 25 The article, “Prayer to the new generation,” written by the renowned Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, has touched us. I am in full agreement with his view. But when Muslims are tortured and murdered in Palestine, India and in other countries in the world, we do not see such writings. Neither have we seen him write anything in response to the Awami League cadres who murdered Bishwajit, the Sagor-Runi murder, nor the rapes of female students of Jahagirnagar University, or the torching of the homes of Hindu families, where it has been alleged that AL cadres carried out these attacks. We hope to see him write on these topics, and also about having a large Cabinet for a small country, thereby wasting taxpayer money, and about democracy and the farcical 10th parliamentary election. Sheuly Haque
Govt forced its way to power, says Khaleda January 22
Ronnie If anything, Khaleda Zia was stating the blatant truth. And frankly, she was stating it pretty mildly, given the indefensible manner of the holding of this putative “election,” and events prior to, and after the Jan 5 polls. I’m not oblivious to the fact that BNP is also partially to blame for failing to stake a more coherent, flexible, and pragmatic approach to solving the standoff between the two parties over the election crisis. It’s time to move on, and make amends for the wrongs of all sides leading up to the ludicrous January 5 polls. It’s now crucial to seriously start dialogue toward holding a genuinely free, fair, legitimate national election, as soon as possible. That remains an inescapable reality and a non-negotiable demand of an overwhelming majority of the voting public in our country. The incumbent “government” is still
the party more responsible for devising an honest, acceptable formula based on dialogue that must begin without delay. I’m optimistic that despite the seemingly daunting odds, a solution will be found to achieving the goal of holding a legitimate, inclusive election in the near future. BNP’s current peaceful political campaign will be a vital component in attaining that outcome. Hello world What else is new? Akhtar Shah Don’t agree with the way the elections played out, but it would perhaps be appropriate to say “BNP forced and facilitated a travesty of an electoral process.”
The song of Achilles January 22
WaliulHaqueKhondker BNP just gave its arch rival AL a very winnable general election. It will continue to haunt BNP supporters for a considerable length of time, why? Everybody can speculate but none has the correct answer except the party boss. If political parties in Bangladesh had democracy within themselves, such mishaps would never have occurred. What next? The author gives a prescription and even a longer prescription has been advanced by the author he referred to in this piece. But neither makes any attempt to diagnose the disease. Prescription of medicines without diagnosing the disease can be counterproductive, even dangerous. But the fact remains, the Achilles’ heel has been exposed. It’s a matter of time before Paris shoots his arrow!
nahiyan_dhaka1 Very well written. While I agree with the suggestions given above, I do not really think either of the two parties has the humility to admit to their mistakes and wrongdoings. Aksha Try as one may, “one cannot make a chair that would last without some strong pieces of timber!” Junaed Article made no real comment on the present political situation. Author says, BNP needs to change and AL needs to be a generous winner. We all know neither will happen. So what new ideas have you introduced through your idea? A waste of my 10 mins.
Sending journalists to prison unacceptable January 21
K M Noor Boksh Yet, these particular journalists confused the public with false news. No one should be above law. Arch Bishop KM Noor Boksh: Causing confusion is not a crime, except in the minds of those pursuing a dictatorial term. Zakirul Shariff Arch Bishop: Causing confusion is not a crime? Really? I guess that’s why the culprits who caused communal riots across the country through all sort of methods got away with it. Arch Bishop Zakirul Shariff: What do you expect from the party which in 1975 shut down all newspapers because it seemingly didn’t believe in a free press? Zakirul Shariff When journalists use their position and profession to spread rumours and propaganda, or don’t authenticate the source of their reports with due diligence, they need to be stopped. Arch Bishop Zakirul Shariff: True, but in civilised countries that is done through libel and slander laws. Zakirul Shariff In civilised countries, newspapers act responsibly in a civilised manner. They do not try to instigate riots and bring harm to people’s lives. Those in the media who take advantage of the freedom of speech need to be tackled with aggression, since that’s all they understand.
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CALVIN AND HOBBES
Citizens have a right to the protection of the law. The police have a duty to investigate every murder impartially
CODE-CRACKER ACROSS 1 Hawaiian dish (3) 3 Morse elements (4) 6 Cast off (4) 7 Colour (3) 9 Tree (4) 10 Kimono sash (3) 11 Object of worship (4) 13 Has fondness for (5) 16 Measuring instrument (5) 18 Discharge (4) 19 Possess (3) 20 Black deposit (4) 21 Floor covering (3) 23 Govern (4) 24 Summit (4) 25 United (3)
DOWN 1 Danger (5) 2 Lyric poem (3) 4 Spoken (4) 5 Result of addition (3) 6 Tally (5) 8 Underwater worker (5) 9 Assumed attitude (4) 12 Frighten from (5) 14 Leave out (4) 15 Time in grammar (5) 17 Scoundrel (5) 18 Golfer’s warning (4) 20 Mineral spring (3) 22 Rounded vase (3)
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS Crossword
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
RIP test cricket? n Arshad Mansoor
Do war criminals have a place in politics?
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
What can be done about Jamaat?
n Nazmus Sakib amaat-e-Islami and its student wing, Chhatra Shibir, have once again come to the focus of attention due to strong demand from many quarters – national and international – for the imposition of a ban on their politics. However, Jamaat (which includes Shibir) thinks the ruling Awami League might not proceed to outlaw them. Rather, the AL would prefer to keep the party under pressure, as banning them would mean losing a vital part needed towards winning the national polls. The ruling party is really frightened over that issue. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, after the January 5 elections, in a press conference confirmed that her government would not proscribe Jamaat as a terrorist organisation by applying executive power, since a case on the ban over the party was pending with the top court of Bangladesh. The government, when it had lodged an appeal with the apex court seeking the death penalty for Ghulam Azam, the chief of Bangladesh chapter of Jamaat in 1971, also sought the ban on the party for its role in the Liberation War. As a political party, the AL carries out the political calculation of benefits and losses on the ban issue. But we think the party should be banned not because of war crimes only, but also for deep flaws in its ideology. Jamaat
says it is working towards establishing an “Islamic state.” However, it does not follow the teachings of the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam, which stands for peace and for upholding human rights. In fact, they have a vision to establish a theocracy to suppress the people in many ways in the name of Islam. When this type of party climbs to power, first they execute their Muslim opponents who preach human well-being and the unmasking of zealots as the first and foremost duty, terming them as “Murtad” (a person who forsakes Islam).
Hadith said this. When these leaders are not sure about things, how could they run this country according to Islam? Islam would teach us to protest against the oppression that was waged on us by the then West Pakistan regime. So, when a political party under the guise of Islam actively supports the oppressors, what word should be used to describe them? Though it is evident from the recent resolution of the Pakistan parliament that Jamaat actively supported them in 1971, the party has not yet apologised to the people of this country for their reprehensible stance.
The party should be banned not because of war crimes only, but also for deep flaws in its ideology After the International Crimes Tribunal’s first verdict which ordered the hanging of Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar, a former leader of Jamaat, in my capacity as a journalist I met a top Jamaat leader who was also a former chief of Shibir. At that time, I asked him where in Islam it was prescribed that execution was the punishment for an apostate. At first, he said it could be found in the Qur’an. Then I affirmed that not a single verse of the Qur’an said such a thing. He then backtracked from his stance, but stuck to his point saying the
The war crimes trial, which started in 2010, has played a substantive role in unmasking the character of Jamaat. The party has left no stone unturned – causing bloodshed while persuading the international community, including superpower USA, to mount pressure on Bangladesh in order to save Bangladeshi leaders from execution or conviction on charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, and other heinous crimes committed in the Liberation War of 1971. But they failed eventually.
The phone call from US secretary of state John Kerry did not succeed in saving Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla from the gallows, as the people of Bangladesh wanted the execution of all war criminals. On February 28 last year, when the war crimes tribunal ruled for the execution of Delwar Hossain Sayedee, a rumour was widely circulated that the face of the Jamaat leader was seen on the moon. Asked about the issue, a Jamaat leader in Cox’s Bazaar said believing such things went against Islam, but was correct as a strategy. This is the character of Jamaat men. In Jamaat-Shibir, there are many activists whose intentions are good, but they fall victim to brainwashing. We urge them to ponder over the message of the Qur’an, think freely, and scrutinise the party leaders and their ideology, which will lead them to leave the religious fanatics and work for the well-being of humanity. We press for the banning of the politics of Jamaat-Shibir for the sake of humanity. If the government ensures sound education and helps people understand that the banning of militants is not something that will merely serve a political purpose, but the greater interest of the country, I think there is very little chance for Jamaat-Shibir to continue as a terrorist organisation. Power revolves around the people. l
hould cricket move forward without test cricket? I know the question is almost sacrilegious for cricket aficionados in this group. And I happened to be one of them. Having grown up with test cricket and the likes of Bedi and Zaheer Abbas and Viv Richards, I am surprised that I am even raising this question. Like many of you, since leaving Bangladesh over two decades ago, I have kept on following cricket pretty routinely with ESPN 3 and Willow and Cricinfo etc. Especially now that Bangladesh is playing competitive cricket in all forms, the interest which waned during the early and mid-2000s is now back in full force. But I think regardless of the nostalgia we have for test cricket, we should ask this practical question: Can a sport without spectators survive? I can imagine when the sun never used to set on the British Empire, our Lords had enough people to take care of their needs, and they could enjoy a five-day match and a cup of tea and some lunch to go along with it. But is that a practical form of sport to survive in the 21st century lifestyle? I was watching one of the most exciting tests in recent times, the Pakistan-Sri Lanka third test in Dubai (full disclosure: I was supporting Pakistan and no, I am not a Razakar sympathiser) and was amazed to see the complete lack of spectators in the stadium similar to what I have seen even in Bangladesh when we play test matches notwithstanding the passion of Bangladeshis for cricket.
Regardless of the nostalgia we have, we should ask this question: Can a sport without spectators survive?
The Pakistan-Sri Lanka game was absolutely a thriller. From a purely cricketing point of view, anybody who has watched that game cannot but like test cricket. But liking test cricket is different
from questioning the practicality of the infrastructure and resources (read money) needed to keep test cricket alive. Money in sports is not the only thing, it is everything. If you follow any sport that has relevance now in society, you can see the role money plays in the betterment and debasement of the sports. And while we may not like the proposal from India, Indian spectators and businesses (and England and Australia) are what is keeping the money flowing in the game of cricket.
Can we not make one day games less batsman-friendly and bring back the days when 200 was a competitive score?
I know truth sometimes is hard to swallow, but test cricket from a monetary point of view is now supported by a few for many, and stadiums are going almost empty in test matches except if it is on a weekend. How long can this survive? So, should we think of a future of cricket without test matches? Can we not make one day games less batsman-friendly and bring back the days when 200 was a competitive score? While the Pakistan-Sri Lanka test match was indeed a thriller, I see those thrillers every week in a one-day or a T20 – like the third India-New Zealand one-day which ended in a tie. Yes, we will miss the true form of cricket if test cricket dies, but everything in life has to die one day, and maybe the time for test cricket has come to die in this decade. I would love to be proved wrong. Like a drowning man, I am looking for a straw to hang on to my love for test cricket. But reality can be harsh, and unfortunately I see the writing on the wall for test cricket irrespective of what the three clowns are now trying to do to flaunt their money. Let’s all give test cricket its respect, and may test cricket RIP. What do you say? l Arshad Mansoor is Senior Executive VP, Electric Power Research Institute.
Nazmus Sakib is a journalist.
Why you should read n Ivdad Ahmed Khan Mojlish
n most of my travels abroad, if there’s one thing that has gone unmistakably missing, it is the failure to catch a glimpse of people reading. Whether it’s in the airport, on the airplane, in the public transports or even across the tourist spots, I have always observed a certain number of people engrossed in reading. Smiling or frowning – young or old, men or women – they always radiate an invisible connection to the fonts on the pages that is as hard to describe as it is to perceive. And as an observer, no matter how hard I may try to fathom that imperceptible power of connection, only the one who reads can comprehend the true magnitude of satisfaction of the art of reading. Reading, to me, is bliss. There’s just something about reading that resonates in perfect harmony with my being. They say a dog is a man’s best friend. I say, it’s a book. Seriously, I can’t seem to pass a single day without having to flip through pages in a paperback, smell its distinct scent, and pore over the little fonts. Reading gives me a sense of pleasure and purpose unlike any other. In all honesty, I think I have learned
more about the world, about cultures, and about new ideas and trends through reading. By reading, I definitely don’t necessarily mean academic textbooks; in fact, on the contrary. Started off by the likes of William Shakespeare and Mark Twain, through JK Rowling, Michael Porter, and John
Grisham, all the way up to Jim Collins, Malcolm Gladwell and Patrick Lencioni, my reading sojourn has spanned across a variety of genres fraught with wisdom and delight. While novels and fictions may have dominated my early years, today I find myself more occupied with readings
about psychology, business, religion, and biographies. Whatever the case, every reading has practically helped me to broaden insights, gain a deeper understanding of the world around, enrich vocabulary, and enhance reflection skills – all in a concerted effort to aid my personal development. Many great leaders, from the past and the present, have articulated how reading helped them to their success, be it on a personal or a professional frontier. You talk about Steve Jobs, Phil Knight, Donald Trump – all have correlated their reading insatiability to their organisation’s success. Even from a religious perspective, the first word that came down as part of the Holy Qur’an is “Read.” No one knows us better than the Almighty, and clearly He has carved His expectations out of us, too, by encouraging and commanding us to read in order to enhance our quality of living. If not for anything else, there’re few things that are more relaxing than reading. Today, behavioural science suggests that six minutes of reading could actually cut down stress levels by more than two-thirds. While it will be a folly for organisations not to take advantage of this fact and foster a cul-
ture of reading among their employees, the young generation should aim to cultivate a habit of reading to keep up with the demanding pace of the changing world.
Today, behavioural science suggests that six minutes of reading could actually cut down stress levels by more than two-thirds
In a nation where traffic jams are a daily ordeal, and entertainment avenues are not prevalent, perhaps getting into the habit of picking up a book may not be all that bad. Indeed, in every crisis looms an opportunity. Call it a blessing in disguise, but I strongly believe that we as Bangladeshis can learn this custom from our Western counterparts, and collectively leverage the benefits out of it to help prosper our nation. As they say, readers are leaders. l Ivdad Ahmed Khan Mojlish is Co-founder and Managing Director, LightCastle Partners.
Did you know? In 1934, Egypt became the first African nation to participate in Fifa World Cup. They lost to Hungary 2-4 in the first round
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
0 4 6
DAYS TO GO
PSG agree Cabaye deal
Dropped catches galore on second day n Mazhar Uddin It was a difficult day for Bangladesh as the pace bowlers struggled, catches went down behind the wicket and Sri Lanka - riding on Kaushal Silva’s maiden century – amassed 375/5 by stumps to give the visitors 143 run lead in the first Test at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. The silver lining for the Tigers was two quick strikes by Shakib al Hasan and Sohag Gazi late in the day to somewhat check the rampaging visiting batsmen. Bangladesh’s decision to play three seamers looked odd and has so far, not been effective as the pacemen could take just one of the five wickets to fall. Youngster Al-Amin was the pick of the quicks and was able to create a few chances, but poor catching from captain and wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim and debutant Shamsur Rahman only added salt to the wound of a poor day’s out cricket. Resuming at 60/0, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva struggled initially on a pitch offering movement to the pacemen and in the fourth over of the day, Al-Amin induced an edge from Silva – who was on 39 – but Mushfiq spilt the regulation catch.
PCB chief says 4 nations oppose ICC revamp n
Pakistan’s cricket chief said yesterday that his board, along with South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, were united in opposing plans to revamp the game’s governing body. Proposals under discussion at a twoday International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting in Dubai on Tuesday and Wednesday would effectively cede control of the sport to the three richest nations: India, Australia and England. Cricket South Africa and Sri Lanka Cricket have both called for the withdrawal of the “position paper” and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said they were not alone. “Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka, we all have one stance. Let us see what we vote inside. We will stick to our stance,” Ashraf told media before entering the meeting in Dubai. India have offered Pakistan a sweetener to support the so-called “Big Three” plan by proposing a bilateral series, possibly in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistani cricket has been badly hit by foreign teams refusing to tour since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in 2009 and a series against wealthy arch-rivals India could be a huge money-spinner for the PCB. “They (India) have offered us to play series on neutral venues but we have to see how sincere they are in their offerings,” Ashraf said. “Pakistan has stuck to its stance and we can see there is a reaction on this proposal.” India and Pakistan have not playing a full series since Pakistan toured in 2007, as New Delhi stalled ties in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, blamed on militants based in Pakistan. l
Luck continued to go Silva’s way when Al-Amin induced another edge minutes later and this time, it was taken by the keeper. However, because the bowler had knocked the bails off in delivering the ball it was ruled a noball. Worse was to follow for Bangladesh as Silva was again reprieved, this
SCORECARD, DAY 2 Bangladesh 1st innings: 232 Shakib 55, Mushfiq 61, Gazi 42, Eranga 4-49, Lakmal 3-66 Sri Lanka 1st innings (overnight 60-0) D Karunaratne c Robiul b Shakib K Silva lbw b Shakib K Sangakkara c Nasir b Al-Amin M Jayawardene not out D Chandimal b Shakib S Lakmal c Nasir b Gazi Extras: (b8, w12, nb6)
53 139 75 42 40 0 26
Total (for five wickets, 108.2 overs) 375 Fall of wickets 1-118, 2-273, 3-302, 4-374, 5-375 Bowling Robiul 14-1-43-0, Al-Amin 25-2-87-1, Rubel 17-0-74-0, Gazi 16.2-3-44-1, Shakib 27-4-94-3, Mominul 6-0-20-0, Nasir 3-0-5-0. Sri Lanka lead by 143 runs with five wickets in hand
time by Shamsur in the gully, after he had crossed his fifty. It was all-rounder Shakib al Hasan who made the breakthrough. Karunaratne tried to force the ball off the back foot through the off-side, only to give a straightforward catch to cover. The opener made 53 and the opening stand was worth 118. Silva carried on in company with Kumar Sangakkara and the pair put on 155 runs. The two men were dominating the bowling with apparent ease before Al-Amin, with the new ball, finally got his reward when Sangakkara fell for 75, edging an attempted off drive to Nasir Hossain at slip to leave Sri Lanka 273/2. The centurion Silva was once again dropped by Mushfiq off Shakib’s bowling, but this miss ended up not being costly. Two balls later, Shakib trapped Silva LBW with an arm ball for 139. Mushfiq grassed his third when Mahela Jayawardena was on 9 off Shakib’s bowling. The former captain went on to add 72 for the fourth wicket with vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal. Bangladesh, however, did finish the day on a bright note. A beautiful turning delivery from Shakib knocked over Chandimal’s off-stump for 40 and in the last over of the day, Sohag Gazi removed nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal to leave Sri Lanka five wickets down. l
The International Cricket Council at its board meeting in Dubai yesterday decided not to change the membership status of any of the teams but unanimously supported a number of changes that would give a new look to the world cricket. However the new decisions more or less remained dictated by the Big Three- The Board of Control of India, Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board. The first day of the board meeting agreed to a set of principles relating to the future structure, governance and financial models of the ICC. The ICC unanimously supported the following principles: (a) There will be an opportunity for all Members to play all formats of cricket on merit, with participation based on meritocracy; no immunity to any country, and no change to membership status. (b) A Test Cricket Fund paid equally on
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) expressed the hope that the three members of its executive committee members, who have recently been elected to parliament, would be able to aid in the developing the game across the country, at a reception at the BFF House yesterday. BFF vice presidents Arif Khan Joy, Kazi Nabil and member Shamsul Haque Chowdhury were elected MP’s from different constituencies and Joy
continue to misfire
Sri Lanka opener Kaushal Silva jumps in the air as he celebrates his maiden century during the Test match against Bangladesh at SBNS yesterday MUMIT M
elected to Chair the Board and anybody from within ExCo and F&CA can be elected to Chair those Committees. With the ICC undergoing a transitional period that includes a new governance structure and media rights cycle, this leadership will be provided for two years from June 2014 by: a BCCI representative to Chair the ICC Board, a CA representative to Chair the ExCo and an ECB representative to Chair the F&CA. (f) A new company will be incorporated to tender future commercial rights for ICC events. There will be three major ICC events in each four-year cycle, including the ICC Champions Trophy which will replace the ICC World Test Championship. (g) ICC will utilise a more efficient operating model for all ICC events, with a simplified accounting model across ICC income and expenditure to help better manage
ICC administrative and event costs. (h) Recognition of the need for strong leadership of the ICC, involving leading Members, which will involve BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility. (i) A need to recognise the varying contribution of Full Members to the value of ICC events through the payment of ‘contribution costs’ ICC president Alan Isaac expressed his disappointment over the misconceptions across the world but hopes to reach a consensus. “It is obviously very disappointing that a draft position paper from these Members was leaked as this prompted a debate that ignored the ongoing negotiations between all Members and led to unwarranted criticism of many of those involved in the process. The principles agreed today provide clear evidence that through the course of further discussions over the coming weeks we can be increasingly confident in achieving consensus,” said Isaac. l
Sri Lankan opener Kaushal Silva, who smashed his maiden Test century against Bangladesh yesterday, said that he capitalised on his luck but getting his first century will help him all the same. The centurion added that the Lankan side will look to bat throughout the third day, at the press conference yesterday at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. “Getting a first century was really good for me. I got some luck so I think I capitalised on that. After two good partnerships, sometimes you tend to lose some wickets. Apart from that our guys batted really well. Dimuth and Kumar – both of them batted really well. Now Mahela is there. If we can get a good total tomorrow and if we can bat the whole day, we can have a good total on the day,” said Silva. The 27-year old was dropped three times and was caught behind by AlAmin off a no-ball, where the bowler knocked down the bails in delivering the ball. Speaking of the last mentioned incident, Silva said, “Well actually I didn’t know about it until Nigel Long came and told me to stay. Luck is sometimes part of the game. I’m really happy about my century and the way the team has gone up to now.” Silva who recently just missed a hundred in Dubai against Pakistan, scoring 95, said that Sangakkara gave him advice when he was in the 90s yesterday. “He didn’t say anything too big, just reminded me to watch the ball. Even though I got out close to a hundred last time, I wasn’t thinking of the hundred this time. I just wanted to bat normally without putting pressure on myself. I was waiting for a loose ball, and that paid off,” he explained. Silva informed that the pitch was getting slower and thought that as the match progresses, batting against spinners would become more difficult, “It will get slower and slower as I said earlier. If it comes on to the bat, it’s easy, but if it gets slower and starts to grip and turn it will be harder for the batsman. The spinners might have a better chance on this wicket.” The 27- year old, who usually to bats at number three in domestic cricket, said that he did not have any trouble opening the innings and credited the hard work he had put in since being dropped from the national team for that. “I first came into the national team in 2011, but on that occasion, I could only play three matches before I was left out. After being dropped, I was determined to somehow play for Sri Lanka again. Not only that, I had a hunger to score runs and show who I am – my talents and my ability. In the past three matches for Sri Lanka, I couldn’t do that, but now I feel I’ve done it to some extent,” he said. l
TI calls on ICC to publish formal response on Woolf Report n Tribune Report
BFF felicitated Kazi Nabil Ahmed (3L) and Shamsul Haque Chowdhury for being elected as lawmakers at BFF house yesterday COURTESY
BFF MPs to aid football n Raihan Mahmood
n Mazhar Uddin
No change in membership statuses an annual basis to all Full Members (except the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board) will be introduced to encourage and support Test match cricket. (c) A larger percentage from the increasing Associate Members’ surplus will be distributed to the higher performing nonFull Members. (d) Mutually agreed bi-lateral FTP Agreements which will be legally binding and bankable and will run for the same period as the ICC commercial rights cycle (20152023). (e) The establishment of an Executive Committee (ExCo) and Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) to provide leadership at an operational level, with five members, including BCCI, CA and ECB representatives. Anybody from within the Board can be
Silva lining’s playbook
ICC BOARD MEETING IN DUBAI
n Raihan Mahmood
was named as the deputy minister of the youth and sports ministry. Joy, however was not present at the reception as he had official commitments to fulfill in Tangail. BFF president Kazi Salahuddin look forwards to optimum support from the lawmakers. “Firstly they are football orgainsers, they are well aware of what to do for football. It’s an honour to see that three football federation members have been elevated to members of parliament. I don’t have to tell them what they have to do,” said Salahuddin.
Kazi Nabil Ahmed expressed his desire to aid football to the greatest extent possible. “Football needs a lot of work and we, with our positions, will try our best to help it. The national football team requires governmental support, we will try to explore new horizons,” he said. Shamsul Haque Chowdhury described football as his first love, adding that his relationship to the game is eternal and that developing the game further would be his key focus. l
Expressing serious concern over the proposed reform of the International Cricket Council, the nine chapters of Transparency International (TI), an anti graft global organisation called on the ICC to publish a formal response to the Woolf Report immediately. The Woolf Report, delivered in 2012 suggested a series of reforms to make cricket’s governance more transparent and better equipped, however, the ICC has not responded formally to the Woolf recommendations till date, TI said. “The current proposals bear little or no relation to the principles outlined in the Woolf report, which in itself only represented standard corporate governance practice in many parts of the world,” it said adding “The proposals are notable for ignoring other wider indicators of good governance such as accountability, transparency, participation, consensus, equity and inclusiveness.” The statement was issued by TI chapters from nine cricket playing countries that includes Australia, Bangladesh, India, Jamaica, Netherlands, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, and United Kingdom. “The intention to establish ‘The Big
Three’ in a privileged position seems to be an abuse of entrusted power for private gain, giving them disproportionate, unaccountable and unchallengeable authority on a wide variety of constitutional, personnel, integrity, ethics, development and nomination matters,” it said. The organisation added that it made an initial submission to Lord Woolf and
The Woolf Report, delivered in 2012 suggested a series of reforms to make cricket’s governance more transparent and better equipped subsequently published its own report on cricket’s governance challenges in 2013, entitled Fair Play. “Yet cricket’s governance problems and corruption risks go far beyond the on-field players, and include officials, administrators and sponsors, it said adding that the reform proposal has not mentioned on how it will address these salient issues ensuring the future growth
of the sports,” said the statement. The proposed changes will create a concentration of power in the big three and there will be no oversight to bring members to account which could lead to the abuse the power rather than serving the best interest of the game, the organisation said. The organisation’s four point proposal includes giving a formal response to the Woolf Report as well as the related de Speville Report, identifying which recommendations it accepts and the reasons for rejecting others, and halt any other significant governance reforms; acknowledge the problems associated with weak governance and related corruption risks within cricket; introduction of independent non-executive directors to the ICC board, as recommended by the Woolf Report; indicating how the so-called “weaker” test-playing countries, as well as the associate and affiliate members of the ICC, will be accommodated in a reformed structure that pays regard to good governance. It also said TI believes that the ICC should aim to be a model of good governance and transparency for domestic cricket boards, and should act in the best interests of the game of cricket. l
Taylor ton seals NZ series win
R Sharma c Ronchi b Williamson V Kohli c Neesham b Southee A Rahane c Southee b Mills A Rayudu c Ronchi b Bennett MS Dhoni not out R Ashwin c Bennett b Southee R Jadeja not out Extras: (lb4, w7) Total: (five wickets; 50 overs)
79 2 3 37 79 5 62 11 278
n AFP, Hamilton New Zealand sealed their one-day international series against India with a game to spare yesterday when a Ross Taylor century set up a convincing seven-wicket victory in the fourth ODI. It was New Zealand’s third win in the five-match series, with one match tied and one remaining. At Hamilton’s Seddon Park, they chased down India’s 278-5 for the loss of only three wickets and with 11 balls to spare after Taylor paved the way with a masterful 112 not out. He received sound support from Kane Williamson (60) as they rebuilt the innings and then from Brendon McCullum (49 not out), who finished the match with a colossal six. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had won the toss and opted to bowl in the first three games, won the toss again and this time decided to bat. But the change of tactics did not improve their fortunes. In addition to losing the series, India also slipped from number one in the world one-day rankings to number two, behind Australia. New Zealand improved from a lowly eighth to seventh. McCullum described Taylor’s in-
Bowling Mills 10-2-42-1, Southee 10-1-36-2, Bennett 9-0-67-1, Neesham 8-0-59-0, N McCullum 10-0-44-0, Williamson 3-0-26-1
M Guptill lbw Shami J Ryder b Aaron K Williamson run out (Jadeja) R Taylor not out B McCullum not out Extras (b1, w3, lb1) Total: (three wickets: 48.1 overs)
35 19 60 112 49 5 280
Bowling Kumar 10-0-62-0, Shami 8-0-61-1, Aaron 6.1-0-51-1, Jadeja 10-2-33-0, Ashwin 10-0-41-0, Binny 1-0-8-0, Rayudu 3-0-23-0 New Zealand by seven wickets NZ lead 5-match series 3-0
New Zealand's Ross Taylor celebrates his century against India during the fourth ODI match at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand yesterday AP
Newcastle, PSG agree Cabaye deal n AFP, London
Newcastle United have agreed to sell France international midfielder Yohan Cabaye to big-spending French champions Paris Saint-Germain, according to widespread British media reports yesterday. PSG were reported to have had a £14 million ($23.1 million, 16.9 million euros) offer for the 28-year-old rejected on Sunday, but several media outlets, including the BBC, claim that a deal
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
worth around £20 million has now been reached. Cabaye will reportedly travel to Paris to undergo a medical examination on Tuesday, ruling him out of Newcastle’s trip to Norwich City in the Premier League later in the day. Speaking on Monday, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had expressed pessimism about the club’s chances of holding onto Cabaye, who signed from Lille for a fee of £4.3 million in 2011.
“You are talking to someone who lost Andy Carroll (to Liverpool in January 2011) with eight hours to go (in the transfer window), so am I confident?” he asked at a press conference. “No, I’m not confident, and I don’t think any team not in a Champions League position or fighting for a Champions League position could be.” Cabaye missed the first three games of the season after Arsenal reportedly had a £10 million bid for him rejected last August. He subsequently issued an apology to Newcastle’s fans, asserting that he was “happy” at the club. PSG coach Laurent Blanc has confirmed his interest in both Cabaye and Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic. “They are two targets that are interesting for Paris Saint-Germain,” he said last week. “They have the same profile and they’re very technical. There are negotiations, which sometimes go on. Will it become concrete? I don’t know.” Blanc can already call upon Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti, Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot in central midfield, but he is looking to bolster a squad that is competing in Ligue 1, the League Cup and the Champions League. l
nings as the “match-winning performance” on a wicket that tends to favour the side batting first. “We knew someone was going to have to get a big 100 and we saw it from Rosco (Taylor). Obviously his partnership with Kane was the backbone of our innings.” Dhoni paid credit to the New Zealand bowlers whom he said set up the victory. “They put pressure on the batsmen to play the big shots and at times it doesn’t pay (to play them). We lost wickets at the wrong time, which put pressure on the middle order,” the Indian captain said. Faced with a target of 279 on a runladen wicket, New Zealand opened at a rapid rate with Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill clocking up 54 in seven overs before falling in quick succession. Ryder was bowled by Varun Aaron for 19 and Guptill was trapped leg before by Mohammed Shami for 35, leaving Williamson and Taylor to consolidate the innings as they have done so often before. Their cautious approach to India’s spin twins Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja saw the run rate slump, although New Zealand still reached 100 in 22 overs compared to 25 overs for India. l
Lazio take on Napoli in the last Italian Cup quarter-final today, knowing that victory will bring an extra special reward - three derby matches agasint arch-rivals AS Roma in the space of a week. The two Roman clubs, who share the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium, are already scheduled to meet in the league on February 9, while a semifinal clash over two legs would take place on February 5 and 12. However, before the Lazio faithful can savour that prospect, there is the not inconsiderable matter of seeing off the threat of high-flying Napoli. Rafa Benitez’s men have slipped off the pace at the top of Serie A and are now third, 12 points adrift of leaders Juventus, so the Cup would seem to offer their best hope of a trophy this season.
old scores to settle along the way. On the field, the key clash could be between the two clubs’ main strikers - Lazio’s Miloslav Klose and Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain. Particularly as the last time the two came face-to-face was in the World Cup in 2010 when Klose’s Germany annihilated Higuain’s Diego Maradonamanaged Argentina 4-0 - with Klose chipping in with two of the goals. Even so, both are likely to start on the bench as both clubs face a heavy calendar in February already with Europa League matches, but will probably feature at some point in the proceedings. Then there is the question of Lazio’s recently-appointed coach Edoardo Reja, who was Napoli president Autrelio de Laurentis’ first managerial appointment when he took over the reins of the club back in 2005 and remained in charge for four years. l
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has made a personal donation of £96,000 ($159,000, 117,000 euros) to families affected by the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, he revealed yesterday. The England midfielder has a family connection to the tragedy, as his cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley was one of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster. “I think the timing’s right and having spoken to the club, I’ve decided to do it now,” Gerrard told Tuesday’s edition of regional newspaper the Liverpool Echo. “It had been in the media a lot so I didn’t think it was needed where I had to step in and keep it on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s minds. “But now it’s gone a little bit quiet over the last couple of weeks, I think the timing’s really good to get it back out there – sending another message out about how much we really want this justice.” Gerrard made the donation to the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose chairwoman Margaret Aspinall applauded the move. “It’s a wonderful gesture by Steven and we cannot thank him enough,” she said. “It’s a lot of money he has donated and it will help all the families a great deal with our work.” l
Iniesta back for Barca
Aguero vows to fire City to Premier League glory
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta will make his return after two weeks out with a knee injury in the Spanish Cup against Levante today, according to his club. The 94-time capped Spain international suffered bruising on his left knee during Barca’s 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on January 11, and has since missed two La Liga two King’s Cup matches. “We have seen Andres through his rehabilitation,” coach Gerardo Martino said Tuesday, 24 hours ahead of the quarter-final second leg fixture against Levante, Barca having won the first leg 4-1. “He needs to have some game time because his injury lasted a little longer than expected. “Two weeks have passed since the match against Atletico Madrid and it seemed to us a good time and a good match to allow him to come back into the team.” His return from injury will allow Martino to rest much-used midfielder Xavi, with Sergio Busquets and Brazilian full-back Dani Alves also given the night off. l
n AFP, London
n AFP, Madrid
Sergio Aguero has warned Manchester City’s title rivals he will do everything in his power to fire the club to Premier League glory this season. Aguero scored a hat-trick in City’s FA Cup fourth round win over Watford to take his goal tally so far this term to a remarkable 25 from 24 appearances. While Aguero’s second half treble once again showcased his sublime skills, more significantly the goals spared City’s blushes after Manuel Pellegrini’s team trailed 2-0 against second tier Watford. Pellegrini, whose side continue their challenge for the Premier League title at Tottenham on Wednesday, later branded City’s defending in the 4-2 win as a “disaster” and said he could have made 11 substitutions at half-time. Fortunately for the City manager, Aguero is in the form of his life and shows little sign of being slowed by the calf injury that sidelined him over the Christmas period. Since returning to fitness, Aguero
Odemwingie, Lazio look to see off Napoli Jones make Stokeand set up derby treble Cardiff swap And, in addition to the prize of a n AFP, London n AFP, Rome semi-final place, there are a couple of Stoke City have signed Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie from Cardiff City with Kenwyne Jones moving in the opposite direction in a player-exchange deal, the Premier League clubs announced yesterday. Odemwingie, 32, has signed an 18-month contract with Stoke and could make his debut in Wednesday’s league game away to Sunderland. “We’re delighted to have signed Peter,” Stoke manager Mark Hughes told the club website. “Things haven’t perhaps gone as well for him at Cardiff as he would have hoped and he’s really keen to start afresh with us. “He has a good goal-scoring record in the Premier League and will bring a different dimension to our attacking options. I’ve no doubts he will prove to be an excellent addition to our squad.”l
Gerrard makes £96k Hillsborough donation n AFP, London
has scored six times in four matches to keep City firmly in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple trophy haul. The 25-year-old is happy to take the plaudits when he shines, but he is more concerned with ensuring City finish the year with silverware. “The important thing is the goals contribute to the team’s victories and we win titles,” Aguero said.
FIXTURES Aston Villa Chelsea Sunderland Tottenham
v v v v
West Brom West Ham Stoke City Man City
“I don’t have any specific goals to reach but (I want) as many as possible. “We weren’t expecting to score four goals. We knew at half-time we needed to improve and in the end we won and we have made it to the next round. We are happy with that.” City travel to White Hart Lane unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all competitions and having scored 22 goals in their previous five games. l
Falcao to fight to make World Cup n AFP, Lisbon
Colombian star Radamel Falcao is helped with his crutches by Doctor Carlos Ulloa (R) after a press conference at the Trindade Hospital in Porto, Portugal on Monday AP
Colombian international striker Radamel Falcao said on Monday he would do everything in his power to recover from his serious knee injury in time for the World Cup finals in June. The 27-year-old – who has yet to appear at world football’s showpiece tournament – ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during his side Monaco’s 3-0 win in the French Cup over amateur side Chasselay last Wednesday. However, Falcao, who underwent an operation on Saturday in Oporto, Portugal, said he would draw on the slight hope he had been given by the surgeon that he would be fit for the finals in Brazil. “They told me there was a slim chance of me being fit for the World Cup finals and I am going to cling to that hope,” he said at a press conference in the city where he first made his name in European football for Porto. l
No place for egos in Bayern squad
Ngog returns to Premier League
Pirlo wins player of the season award
Captain Philipp Lahm has said there is no room for egos in Bayern Munich’s squad as they bid to go 13 points clear in the Bundesliga at Stuttgart today. Pep Guardiola clamped down on any complacency by dropping top-scorer Mario Mandzukic for Friday’s 2-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach for poor performances in training. Lahm has said Bayern’s star-studded squad can expect a few more tough-luck stories to come in the following weeks in their quest for a 24th league title. “We have an enormous squad and when everyone is fit, there will be more hard-luck cases for those not involved,” said Lahm. “I don’t judge the other players. The coach chooses the team, we have to accept that and stand behind his decision.” –AFP
French striker David Ngog was back in the Premier League on Monday after signing for Swansea from English second-tier club Bolton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old, whose Bolton contract was due to expire at the end of the season, missed Wanderers’ FA Cup tie against Swansea’s Welsh rivals Cardiff at the weekend. Ngog completed a medical at Swansea on Monday and his arrival is a welcome boost for Swans manager Michael Laudrup, who is looking to reduce the club’s reliance on Wilfried Bony, with last season’s top scorer Michu still struggling with an ankle injury. Ngog arrives at the Liberty Stadium in good form, having scored three goals in his last four appearances for Bolton, whom he joined from Liverpool in 2011. –AFP
Italian football great Andrea Pirlo was named Serie A player of the 2012/13 season on Monday by his fellow players. The 34-year-old Juventus playmaker – a pivotal player in the Italy side that won the 2006 World Cup and is set for another appearance in the finals in Brazil later this year – said the award meant extra because it came from his fellow players. The former Brescia, Inter Milan and AC Milan star – nicknamed ‘Mozart’ by the Juventus fans for his supreme talent – was also named in the team of the season. “The fact the vote was by my colleagues makes it extra special,” he said before adding he would be remaining with Serie A champions Juventus. “That is for sure,” added Pirlo, who was also Serie A player of the year in 2012. –AFP
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Jamal team yet to get visas
Sadharon Bima beat Azad
n Shishir Hoque
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club players have yet to get their visa to travel to India where they are scheduled to take part in the 118-year-old club cup competition IFA Shield tournament which gets underway at the Barasat Stadium, West Bengal today. Sheikh Jamal manager Anwarul Karim Helal, however, was confident that they would receive the visas during the day today and fly to Kolkata at night. The Federation Cup champions will play their first game against Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan tomorrow, which means they will not have any time to adapt to the new environment. The 118th IFA Shield is set to kick off today with the match between East Bengal and South Korean club, Busan SunMoon FC. United Sikkim FC takes on Geylang International in the second match of the day. Sheikh Jamal has been placed in group B. After facing Mohun Bagan tomorrow, the Dhanmondi based club will play Mohammedan Sporting, Kolkata on February 2 and United Sikkim on February 5. l
Sadharon Bima registered their second victory in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League 2014 by beating Azad Sporting Club 3-0 at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday. Golam Hafiz Rabbani opened the scoring in the 6th minute from a penalty corner, before Md Rafi doubled the lead nine minutes later. Abdus Sazzad John sealed the victory in the 25th minute from another penalty corner. Sadharon Bima now have six points with the victory. Abahani Limited will take on Sonali Bank in today’s match at the same venue. - SH
Sunderland consider legal action over Di Canio blast
Sunderland are taking legal advice after the team’s former manager Paolo Di Canio launched a scathing attack on the struggling Premier League club. Di Canio branded the Black Cats “weak” as a club and called some of his former players “cowards”, with his strongest criticism reserved for captain John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley and Lee Cattermole. In his comments over the weekend, the controversial Italian, who was sacked in September after just 13 games in charge, also suggested he was too good for Sunderland and confirmed his intention to make his name as a manager in England with another Premier League club. Sunderland’s owners have been infuriated by Di Canio’s outburst and hit back in a statement on Monday that hinted they were considering legal action. “Sunderland AFC would like to express its disappointment in relation to the disparaging comments made recently by Paolo Di Canio regarding the club and its players,” the statement read. –AFP
Vettel still in shock over Schumacher accident
Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has said he is still coming to terms with the serious injuries suffered by compatriot Michael Schumacher in a skiing accident last month. Schumacher, himself a seven-time world champion, remains in a medicallyinduced coma following the accident whilst skiing off-piste in the French Alps. “I was as shocked as everybody else in the paddock,” Vettel said in a press conference on the first day of testing ahead of the 2014 season in Jerez, southern Spain. “I have known him for a long time and looked up to him my whole life. “I got to know him better when he made his comeback and we spoke to each other regularly. “We still don’t know what shape he will be in when he wakes up, which is awful for his family and friends. Vettel added that he hadn’t been to visit Schumacher in the Grenoble hospital where he is being treated. And he echoed the sentiments of Schumacher’s wife, Corinna, who asked for the press to respect the family’s privacy. –AFP
DAY’S WATCH Maasranga TV & BTV 9:30AM First Test, Day 3 Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Sony Six NBA 2013-14 7:00AM Houston v San Antonio 9:30AM LA Lakers v Indiana Star Sports HD1 2:30PM Australia v England 1st T20 8:30PM Hockey India League 1:45AM English Premier League Tottenham v Man City Star Sports 4 1:45AM English Premier League Chelsea v West Ham Ten Action 12:00AM French Ligue Olympique Marseille v Valenciennnes 3:00AM Copa del Rey 2013/14 Quarter-final, 2nd leg Barcelona v Levante Ten HD 10:00PM Ram Slam T20 Challenge Titans v Dolphins
Bangladesh players celebrate wicket during their second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday
Pacemen continue to misfire n Minhaz Uddin Khan Bangladesh playing three seamers was questioned by many on the first day of the Test match against Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and the second day’s play did little to diminish criticism of the move. Star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan defended the selection on the first day, saying that the team management, the selectors and the captain must have tried to put together a winning combination. How “winning” a combination it has proved to be is loud and clear at the end of the second day – the scoreboard screams it. The seamers had just one success in the day, Al-Amin Hossain being the wicket taker. That came with the new ball, which moved around for only about 10 overs – just as on the previous day, when Mushfiq had to bring in the spinners after 10 overs.
“The wicket is friendly to the batsmen; there isn’t much help for the bowlers. The coach gave us some plans to follow and we hope to continue with it tomorrow,” said Al Amin at the postday presser yesterday. Al-Amin, standing in his second Test, can also said to have been unlucky. Poor catching by his team mates – his skipper among the culprits – cost the youngster, as did an unfortunate incident in which he knocked down the bails on his follow through on a delivery that should have claimed a wicket. The chief beneficiary of Al-Amin’s misfortune was opening batsmen Kaushal Silva, who scored a measured 139, his maiden Test hundred. The right-handed batsman got his first life on 39. Squared up, Silva edged a routine catch to Mushfiq behind the stumps, which the keeper dropped. After adding one more run, Silva again snicked the ball and this time, Mushfiq made no mistake. Silva had actually started walking back to the
dressing room when the umpire halted him and referred the ball to the third official. he was edged to the keeper Mushfiqur who had let go a dolly. Silva added one more to his score when he edged Al-Amin again to the keeper, who took it cleanly. The Lankan batsman had started walking back to the dressing before he was asked to wait by the umpires who referred the verdict to the third umpire. Al-Amin’s front foot was behind the popping crease but unfortunately, his back foot knocked the bails down before delivery and as per the recent amendment to the laws, it was declared a no-ball. Silva was fortunate to escape again, on 42, when he edged an attempted drive low to Shamsur Rahman, who failed to catch it to his right at gully. On all three occasions, Al-Amin was the bowler. “It feels bad not getting wickets in spite of bowling well. The two dropped catches and the peculiar no-ball made
me doubt if I would be able to get any wickets today,” said the 24-year old. It was a brand new ball that changed the youngster’s luck. In the final session, he induced an edge from Kumar Sangakkara, who miscued an off-drive. Al-Amin’s heart must have been in his mouth as he saw second slip Nasir Hossain juggle the ball before finally controlling it to remove the dangerous left-hander for 75. “Mushfiq bhai and others on the field gave me courage and said to stick to my basics and this got me Sangakkara’s wicket. It felt good to get his wicket as he is a batsman who plays long innings,” said Al-Amin. Under such circumstances the spinners, led by Shakib, came in to rescue the toothless pace attack, though even they were occasionally guilty of bowling short. Shakib, who had scored 55 in Bangladesh’s innings, was a little below par but took three wickets in his 27 overs. The last wicket of the day fell to another spinner, Sohag Gazi. l
SUB and IUB into Super Eights n Raihan Mahmood State University Bangladesh (SUB) and Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) made their way through the Super Eight phase of the ULAB Fair Play Cup Cricket by beating United International University (UIU) by 66 runs and BRAC University by 17 runs respectively at the ULAB playground, Ramchandrapur, Mohammadpur yesterday. SUB, who opted to bat first, scored 150/3 in the stipulated 20 overs. Noman’s brilliant knock of 55 runs off 48 balls helped SUB was the highlight of the innings. In reply, UIU were bundled out for 84, with man-of-the-match Mahi taking four wickets. IUB had to work hard to beat BRAC University. Having made 131 all out, IUB struggled to restrict BRAC but were eventually able to bowl out the chasing team for 114. Mamun, who hit 44 off 36 balls for IUB, was named man-of-the-match. To date, six teams have qualified for the Super Eight phase and they are Group A : champions – ULAB, runners up – State University Bangladesh. Group B : champions – North South University, runners up – South East University. Group C : champions – Independent University Bangladesh, runners up – BRACU. l
Fans continue protests n Arif Ahmed
Some Cricket fans, who started demonstrations on 25th January against the draft proposal of India, Australia and England, formed a human chain yesterday and staged a demonstration for the fourth day in front of the National Library from 4:00 to 6:00pm. The youths gathered there under the banner of “Poriborton Chai”, which called upon the Bangladesh Cricket Board and also the government to take a stand against and reverse the proposal to save the country’s cricket. As on earlier days, cricket fans with festoons, banners and placards inscribing various words queued up in front of the Nation Library and National Museum. The protesters also expressed confidence that Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Bangladesh would stand against the Big Three draft proposal. The organization (Poriborton Chai) convener Fida Haque told the Dhaka Tri-
bune, “We have continued our program for the fourth day. We are satisfied to the four countries cricket board for taking against position to the draft proposal.” When asked, whether their program will continue or not, Fida said, “We will decide it tomorrow after the final decision of ICC. Maybe today is our last demonstration.” Earlier, the protesters urged the BCB to take of their opinion at the upcoming ICC conference in Dubai and announced they would continue their program until their demands were met. They also placed a five-point demand. The demands included—BCB taking a firm stand against the draft proposal, responsible role of BCB officials approving the proposal, no politicization of cricket, effective role from both ruling Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia to persuade India against the proposal and no police interference at their peaceful program. l
Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel of Germany (R) and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia unveil their new RB10 Formula One car at the Circuito de Jerez in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain yesterday AP
Abahani move to top with 2-0 win n Shishir Hoque
Abahani midfielders Shahedul Alam Shahed and Awudu Ibrahim scored a goal each as the traditional Sky Blues moved to the top of the Bangladesh Premier League table with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Uttar Baridhara Club at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Meanwhile, Muktijoddha SKC beat Chittagong Abahani by the same margin in the day’s first match with Nigerian forward Nkwocha Kingsley making both strikes. Along with the victory, the Sky Blues also maintained their amazing defensive record in the league where they have only conceded one goal. They have kept five clean-sheets in six matches, more than any other team in the league. With 16 points, they remain
three points clear of Sheikh Jamal who have played one fewer game. Uttar Baridhara remain in eighth place with five points. Abahani midfielder Shahedul Alam Shahed put the Sky Blues ahead in the 12th minute. Following a cutback pass from Nigerian striker Osei Morrison, the Abahani number 10 sent the ball into the net with an angled left-footed shot from inside the box. Ghanaian forward Awudu Ibrahim scored a screamer to double Abahani’s lead three minutes into the second half. After a poor clearance from the Uttar Baridhara defence, the Ghanaian midfielder unleashed a powerful strike from just outside the box that gave goalkeeper Osman Goni no chance. Uttar Baridhara had a glorious opportunity to pull one back in the 71st minute. Md Sujon could have become Abahani’s villain of the game when his clearance header hit the woodwork but
the skipper took just a moment to rectify his mistake, clearing Nigerian forward Akindele’s close-range header off the goal line. Meanwhile in the other match, Muktijoddha took the lead in the 21st minute when Nkwocha Kingsley headed in a cross from the right wing by Elita Kingsley. Chittagong Abahani for their part had good chances in 18th and 43rd minutes but Abdul Hannan and Ahsanul Haque Milon were unable to finish. Nkwocha took his goal tally to 4 as he netted his second of the day in the 86th minute. The Nigerian striker received a long ball from defender Rafique Rahman and fired a shot in from the top of the box. Muktijoddha moved to fourth place with 10 points from six matches, while Chittagong Abahani remained at ninth with four points from the same number of games. l
Atherton and anti-corruption watchdog slam ‘Big Three’ plan n AFP, London Former England captain Michael Atherton and a leading global anti-corruption watchdog have joined the chorus of criticism regarding plans to effectively cede control of world cricket to India, Australia and England. Leaked draft proposals to be discussed at a two-day International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting in Dubai on Tuesday and Wednesday call for more decision-making powers for a three-strong group of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board, who between them represent the game’s wealthiest nations. There is also a plan to create two divisions for Test cricket but with England, Australia and India all guaranteed
to avoid relegation from the top tier because of their commercial importance. Atherton, now the cricket correspondent of The Times, was scathing in his condemnation of the proposals, writing they represented “the end of the notion that a fair and principled and just body can govern cricket in the interests of all.” ‘Incompetence is a given’ Atherton agreed the ICC had to be reformed but said there was little merit in the ‘Big Three’ plan. “No one doubts that the status quo, as far as the ICC is concerned, is unacceptable: two full-member countries are thought to be corrupt; four are essentially broke; most rely on India’s largesse to keep going...Politics, race and personalities interfere with decision-making at every turn. Incompetence is a given.” l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Incomplete JS goes into session today ‘Parliament session without MPs for resereved seats violation of constitution’
n Kamran Reza Chowdhury The 10th Jatiya Sangsad goes into its maiden session today without electing 50 women lawmakers to the reserved seats – a practice which many view as a violation of the constitution. However, the law on electing women lawmakersto the reserved seats forces the authorities to convene an incomplete parliament. The 10th parliament is set to start its first session with 296 lawmakers out of the total 300 elected by adult franchise. The procedures of elections of women MPs stipulated in the Jatiya Sangsad (women’s reserved seats) Election Act2004 compelled the Awami League to convene the 9th parliament on January 25, 2009 before they were elected. Considered as the leading constitution expert in Bangladesh, Mahmudul Islam in his book Constitutional Law of Bangladesh said: “Even a single member of parliament could delay the sitting of parliament by not making and subscribing oath”. Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury told the Dhaka Tribune: “The culture of taking women MPs (from the reserved seats) after the MPs elected from general seats is unlawful and discriminatory.” She said the law on electing women to reserved seats “should be amended to stop discrimination against women”. ShirinSharmin was elected MP to the reserved seat for women in the 9th parliament. According to the article 65 of the charter, parliament must comprise of 350 members – 300 to be elected by direct popular votes from the same number of constituencies while 50 women MPs for the women’s reserved seats by those lawmakers. The law passed by the BNP-Jamaat government says the political parties will get the share of the 50 women MPs according to their party strength in the legislature. But the MPs elected from the general seats will elect women lawmakers in parliament if the parties nominate more candidates than the number a party deserves on the basis of its strength in parliament. Since 2004, none of the parties have nominated candidates more than the fixed number of candidates for the parties having representation in parliament. But the women MPs came late. “While the provision ofthe reserved seats was in place parliament could not sit unless the election to the reserved seats was held,” said Mahmudul Islam in his book. “The election to the reserved seats could not wait on the ground that some persons elected to the general seats had not made and subscribed the oath as otherwise; even a single member of parliament could delay the sitting of parliament by not making and subscribing oath,” he said. Dr Kamal Hossain, who was the chief of the constitution framing committee, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Mahmudul Islam’s views deserve respect.” The election commission is yet to announce schedules for the election to
the reserved seats. The 2004 law says the election commission must prepare the list of all MPs elected from the general seats and demonstrate the list on the 31st working day since the publication of the gazette on MPs elected by the adult franchise. The MPs cannot get elected without preparing and demonstrating the list of the MPs who would elect the women lawmakers. Former chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said his commission elected the MPs to the reserved seats late due to the law related to the issue. “According to the law, the women lawmakers will be elected by the directly elected MPs. So, unless we completed the electoral college, how can we elect the MPs,” he said while talking to the Dhaka Tribune. He, however, said ideally all MPs should start their business simultaneously. Senior Awami League MP Rahmat Alisaid: “According to the constitution, parliament should comprise of all MPs;there should not be any discrimination.” He said unless the law is changed, convening parliament without the women MPs is ‘not illegitimate’. According to the constitution, any law contradicting the constitution would turn ineffective. The provision of the women’s reserved seats has been in the constitution since the creation of Bangladesh. The original constitution framed in 1972 had the provision of 15 women MPs from the reserved seats. The party winning majority seats used to get all the reserved seats. Military ruler Ziaur Rahman raised the number to 30 in 1979 making the provision in effect for the next 20 year and which was expired with the dissolution of the 7th parliament on July 13, 2001. The Awami League government on June 17, 2000 tabled a bill proposing to increase the number of lawmakers for the reserved seats for women but failed to pass the bill as it lacked two-thirds majority in parliament, a provision necessary for any constitutional change. In 2004, the BNP for the first time introduced the provision for the parties to get seats according to their party strength in direct votes raising the number of reserved seats for women to 45. On September 3, 2005, the election commission published gazette on the women’s reserved seat. The ninth parliament with Awami League’s three-fourths majority had its first session on January 25, 2009 while the official gazette on the 45 women reserved seats was published on March 24, 2009. In all other parliaments since first one in 1973, the women MPs in reserved seats were elected before the JS went into first session as the majority party used to get all the seats. But the BNP-led sixth parliament (election held in February, 1996), had no MPs from the reserved seats as the parliament was dissolved before it was properly formed. l
Pedestrians crossing the Mitford-Gabtoli Road on the city protection embankment are almost invisible because of thick dust. The road has been dilapidated for a long time, causing heavy dust during the dry season, but the authorities are yet to take any measure. The photo was taken in front of the Mitford Hospital yesterday Rajib Dhar
193 hajj agencies to face punishment n Mohosinul Karim
The government is going to take punitive steps against 193 hajj agencies for deceiving the pilgrims and being involved with human trafficking. The owners of these agencies have already been served show-cause notices by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. They were asked to attend a hearing and give statements before the ministry on February 4, 5 and 6. Officials said the ministry would take actions against them in February after getting reports from its hearing committee. Jahangir Alam, deputy secretary of the ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the ministry had identified 196 agencies as guilty of being involved in such offenses. Of them, three agencies have already been punished with their licenses cancelled and de-
posits confiscated. Earlier, Kazi Habibul Awal, secretary of the ministry, said a total of 162 pilgrims had failed to go to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj this year because of negligence and fraud by seven agencies. These agencies were found guilty in an internal investigation. Of them, 143 pilgrims registered with the Saudi Hajj Air Services and 15 with Rafique Travels. The licenses of these two agencies were cancelled for good and cases were filed against them. The government also attached TK60 lakh deposit money of those agencies, the secretary said. The ministry fined Saudi Hajj Air Services TK50 lakh and Rafique Travels TK15 lakh. The ministry officials also said the Saudi Arabian authority had claimed that a total 176 people, who went to perform hajj from Bangladesh last year,
did not come back home. However, the hajj management portal of the ministry claimed that a total of 498 persons did not return. The agencies had been accused of failing to keep their commitments about accommodating the pilgrims in the houses that they had registered, provide adequate transport, sufficient housing and quality of food. Farid Ahmed, joint secretary of the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB), said: “The number of agencies accused of fraud is less than the previous years. But, we demand punitive actions against those agencies.” He said 196 hajj agencies out of the 628 were found guilty last year. A total of 289 hajj agencies out of 355 were accused in the year before. A total of 87,854 pilgrims went to Saudi Arabia for performing hajj last year. l
Lack of audio CDs holding back English lessons in schools n Mushfique Wadud Even after a year of including listening exercises in the English textbooks as part of the national secondary curriculum for schools, the government is yet to provide audio CDs that are supposed to complement these exercises. Without the audio CDs, students are unable to practice and complete their listening exercises. Schools teachers told the Dhaka Tribune that due to the lack of audio CDs, they have to sometimes entirely skip the listening exercises. “There are some tasks in the English books on listening but audio CDs have not been provided for these. We cannot teach students without them.” said a teacher in a school in the capital.
“Students often get confused about what to do with these tasks, but we have no other option but to tell them that the exercises will be practiced after the audio CDs are made available, and hence skip them for now,” he added. National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) officials said they were not sure if it was possible to publish the CDs before 2015. “The listening text was included in curriculum with a view to improving school children’s’ proficiency in English speaking and listening,” said a curriculum expert, who was involved in formulating the new curriculum, while talking to the Dhaka Tribune. “The Bangla medium students have a very poor standard in terms of lis-
tening and speaking, so these exercises were introduced to overcome the weakness,” he said. “But now it seems that these exercises have become useless as audio CDs are yet to be produced,” he added. The listening exercises were introduced in English Paper-I textbooks from ClassVI to Class-X from 2013. When contacted, NCTB Chairman Shafiqur Rahman said a recent meeting of the board has decided to start formulating the audio CDs. “We are working on it,” he added. When asked whether it is possible for the board to provide students with audio CDs from 2014 academic year, he said NCTB is trying its best to do so, but cannot make any promises. l
Smoking minister apologises publicly n Our Correspondent, Sylhet Social Welfare Minister Syed Mohsin Ali has apologised for smoking publicly during a reception programme of students in Sylhet on Monday. The minister made the apology from a press conference at his Moulvibazar residence yesterday afternoon. “I am extremely sorry for the incident. It will not be repeated in the future,” said the Moulvibazar 3 lawmaker. Earlier in the morning, the minister said sorry to all in his Facebook status. He stated that the incident had happened unconsciously. “I am embarrassed by the picture of mine which has been published in several news media. I am not denying that I am a chain smoker, but smoking in public was obviously not right,” reads the status. “I hope you will pardon me considering my self-realisation,” he added. The minister triggered huge criticism as he openly smoked on stage at the reception programme for GPA 5 holders in JSC and PSC examinations. He was the chief guest at the event held at Sylhet Border Guard Public School and College. l
Shirin wins Rangpur-6
n Mohammad Zakaria The Election Commission (EC) yesterday published the gazette of Rangpur-6 by-election declaring Awami League candidate Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury elected. The returning officer of Rangpur yesterday declared Shirin Sharmin Chaudhuary winner as no other candidates contested the poll, Senior Assistant Secretary Farhad Hossain yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune. The commission also sent the copy of gazette to the parliament secretariat in the evening. l
Biman board yet to approve resuming NY flights n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
People take part in a festival of catching fish with ‘polo,’ a trap made of bamboo, in Goahori Beel in Biswanath upazila of Sylhet yesterday. Use of such pristine methods for fishing has long been replaced with modern methods. People of Biswanath organise the festival called ‘Polobawa’ every year FOCUS BANGLA
Resumption of the planned Dhaka-New York Biman flights from June has become uncertain as the national flag carrier’s board of directors refused to approve it. A meeting of the Biman board of directors yesterday discussed the matter and decided not to resume the flights from June 4 as planned. A few hours before the meeting, however, Biman’s Managing Director Kevin Steele had told reporters that they were ready to resume the airlines’ Dhaka-NY flights – after a break of eight years. This was the first meeting of the board after its reshuffle this week by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Biman Chairman Air Marshal Jamal Uddin Ahmed presided over the meeting. A director, who attended the meet-
ing, told the Dhaka Tribune: “There are some technical problems in approving the Dhaka-New York flights…the Biman MD had made the declaration in this regard before settling those issues.” Steele, however, said: “The board has simply asked for some more information on the leases. So, they have neither approved nor rejected [the plan].” Resuming Biman flights to New York was an election pledge of the Awami League and although it tried hard in the past couple of years to achieve that target, it failed. Requesting not to be named, the Biman director said: “As it is an election pledge of the government, we are not against resuming the flights, but we must go through the regulation.” When asked about his early declaration about the flight resumption, MD Kevin Steele avoided a reply, but he said Biman would lease two aircraft
from Egypt for five years to resume the Dhaka-NY flights, subject to the board’s approval. He said the first aircraft would arrive in February and the other in March. Biman’s New York flights were grounded in 2006. A source in Biman’s marketing division said the Biman MD had a plan to start selling tickets for the New York flights from January 31, but that might be delayed now. Biman had got approval for two flights a week on the Dhaka-NY route, which remained suspended because of financial losses and serious shortage of aircraft. Biman plans to have a stopover in Birmingham. Now a losing concern, Biman recently requested the government to allow it a commercial borrowing of $200m to help overcome the financial crisis before the fleet lands. l
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B3 EPB hopes DITF to witness record spot orders this year
B4 How postmen and
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014 www.dhakatribune.com/business
Ticfa follow-up Stocks shrug off economic downturn meet likely in April n Kayes Sohel
Tofail hopes to reap trade benefit out of the agreement n Tribune Report A team from the United States would visit Bangladesh by April to have discussion on the follow up of Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) Bangladesh signed with its biggest importing country last year. “The government already had talks with the US administration for holding a meeting,” Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters, after a meeting with The Netherlands Ambassador to Bangladesh Gerben De Jong at his secretariat office yesterday. “We’re hopeful that Bangladesh would also reap trade benefits from signing the Ticfa as we may get duty-free and quota-free access of our products to the US market also due to the WTO’s Bali declaration,” he said, replying to a question. Tofail also pointed out his plan to diversify markets for Bangladeshi products in the international market. He said the government would set up more commercial wings in its diplomatic missions abroad, where there has been no wing. “This is to explore untapped markets for Bangladeshi products across the world.” Putting more emphasis on exploring new markets as well as diversified export basket, the minister said: “We will definitely put more focus on the unexplored countries, especially of
Africa and Latin America as part of our bid to explore new markets.” In response to a query relating to the target missed by Bangladeshi missions abroad, the minister said: “It is still a good news for us that we have achieved more than 3% of our strategic export target despite the failures of our diplomatic missions abroad.’’ He gave all the credits to the businessmen for the overall success in achieving the export target despite all odds. Meanwhile, Tofail urged the Netherlands government to allow import of Bangladeshi produced cut-flowers in its unexplored huge potential market. “We have urged the Dutch envoy to import cut-flower from Bangladesh as we are now looking forward for the expansion of the existing market with our diversified products,” he said. In response, Dutch Ambassador Gerben De Jong said commercial ties between the two countries are very good and the private sectors of both countries have played a pivotal role in further improving business relations. Talking to reporters after the meeting, the Dutch envoy said his government would provide room for different Bangladeshi products in the market of the European country. In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh exported goods worth $712m to the Netherlands market, while Bangladesh imported goods worth $137m from the country. l
Stock market continues to rally since the formation of the new government, with renewed interests despite poor performance by the key economic sectors. From January 1 to 23, the benchmark index DSEX continued to witness record-breaking rallies and jumped almost 10% to 4,700 and turnover increased by more than 100% to Tk800 crore. Average daily volumes doubled from over 10 crore shares to 20 crore shares during the period. The upswings of the market is in sharp contrast to the economic growth, as the central bank, donor agencies and other independent organisations already revised down the GDP growth projections to below 6% – much lower than the fiscal’s target of 7.2%. Analysts remained skeptical over the sustainability of the market rally against the backdrop of worrying state of the economy dogged by the political violence. “If the economy is forecast to enter into a downturn, stock markets will generally fall. This is because a downturn means lower profits and less dividends, which are bad news for shareholders,” said Mirza Azizul Islam, finance adviser to the last caretaker government. In an economic downturn even, a stock market could sometimes increase. This is because stock market is forward looking, he said. In Bangladesh, investment in real economy continued to fall due to political uncertainty that helped pile up huge surplus amount of liquidity in the banking sector. “This fund might creep into the market,” he said. Another fact is that the country’s stock market was on downbeat mood over the last two years, sending many stocks to
‘If the economy is forecast to enter into a downturn, stock markets will generally fall. This is because a downturn means lower profits and less dividends, which are bad news for shareholders’ close their face value, which probably generate buying interest, he said. Stock markets in 2011 and 2012 performed badly since the market crash in late 2010. But Islam, also former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, warned that the upswing in some scrips might be unusually “engineered by some.” Investors should pick up good stocks, which is less risky, he said.
VIPB Chief Executive Officer Shahidul Islam said the current economic scenario does not support the bullish market. “So, it is clear that the gain was based not on fundamentals but speculative, which is unsustainable.” Most scrips have already become overvalued, making the investment risky, he said, adding that price earnings ratio has gone up at a riskiest level beating the economic performance of the companies. On January 23, the benchmark index rose 62 points, which was its biggest single-day rise since its launching on January 27 last year and turnover crossed Tk800 crore for the first time in two months. “These trend basically raised prospect of better days ahead,” said Abul Kalam, an investor. The long rally has also attracted many investors like me who so far preferred to stay sidelines, he said. “Some of my portfolios were in red few months ago, but now they are back in positive, increasing my trading capacity.”
Monetary policy warrants stable political situation n Tribune Report The monetary policy is an investment-friendly and pro-growth one, but warrants a stable political situation to deliver necessary impetus to the economy. Stakeholders were of the opinion about the Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) Bangladesh Bank announced on Monday, yet skeptical whether the present political stability would continue in the days ahead. Their apprehension over the political stability emerged as they though the situation might turn bad any time in the near future due to a controversial election through which the present government assumed office. Bankers, businesses and stock market stakeholders expressed their views over the MPS for the second half of the current fiscal year, which aims at boosting investment and economic growth that saw a spate of political violence late last year. NCC Bank Managing Director Nurul Amin termed monetary policy investment friendly. “But Bangladesh Bank
should focus on boosting growth rather than maintaining inflation target.” He said achieving the credit growth target depends on political stability. If the present situation does not continue in next six months, he said, the target could not be achieved. “The government borrowing might remain limited subject to increase in the revenue income and sales of national savings instruments,” he said. Pubali Bank Managing Director Helal Ahmed Chowdhury said the central bank kept private sector credit growth unchanged, which is positive. “But it totally depends on political situation.” He was, however, skeptical about restoring investment-friendly climate. IDLC Investment Managing Director Md Moniruzzaman said confidence of the entrepreneurs has not yet returned. “So, it will be very tough to implement the monetary policy.” He said Bangladesh Bank has encouraged the large scale borrowers to raise fund from the stock market, which is good. “But it will not bring any result in the short term.”
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) said the private sector credit growth has been targeted at 16.5%, which was 15.5% in the previous MPS, which could not be achieved entirely.
'The government borrowing might remain limited subject to increase in the revenue income and sales of national savings instruments' “It feels that the high rate of interest on bank loan and contemporary political instability were one of the major factors behind non-achievement of that target,” it said in a statement issued yesterday. So, BB should take effective steps in achieving the target of private sec-
tor credit growth through reducing the spread of interest rates, it said. The target of public sector credit growth has been increased to 22.9% from the existing 19.5%. DCCI thinks that BB should handle the public bank borrowing carefully so that the targeted amount cannot be exceeded. The policy has projected that the GDP growth rate of current year will be around 6% though the targeted rate was 7.2% in the national budget of current fiscal year. DCCI thinks that considering global economy and domestic political and economic viewpoint the projection of BB regarding GDP growth is realistic. DCCI feels that the MPS emphasises the large corporate and conglomerates to raise their funds from capital market through issuing equity and debentures instead of getting loan from banks which will create positive impact in reviving the capital market. Chittagong Stock Exchange President Al-Maruf Khan said there is nothing new in the latest monetary policy, which can have adverse impact on the capital market.
“The monetary policy speaks of liquidity supply and asks big borrowers to raise fund from the market. This is also not new,” he said. But the bottom line is that rules never implemented. Banks usually give waiver to the large scale borrowers for financing their projects, he said. Lanka Bangla Securities in its analysis said monetary policy does not have much to say about the capital market. “If external equilibrium remains positive, this monetary policy will be accommodative for the capital market. As current private sector credit demand is low, rising excess liquidity in the banking system will keep interest rates down and may find its way into the risk assets slowly.” It said BB has indicated facilitating institutions like private equity or venture capital as sources of finance. “These sorts of institutions are experts in making equity investment and maturing seed companies. Facilitating these sorts of specialised companies will be helpful for the long term development of capital market.” l
Call for raising awareness on US law Fiscal coordination council meeting next week FATCA for financial institutions n Tribune Report Speakers at a workshop yesterday called for building awareness on the US law Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) among the Bangladeshi financial institutions. Citibank NA Bangladesh organised the day-long workshop on FATCA to familiarise the participants with the new law. Enacted in 2010 in the United States, the law requires a foreign (non-US) financial institution or FFI to report to the US internal revenue service (IRS) information about certain accounts held by US taxpayers or by foreign entities in which the US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. In Bangladesh, all banks as defined in the Bank Company Act, 1991 have come within the provisions of FATCA. The ultimate goal of the law is to ensure that income earned and assets held by the US citizens in offshore accounts or indirectly through ownership of foreign entities are appropriately reported to the IRS. National Board of Revenue member
(income tax policy), Syed Md Aminul Karim said FATCA affects both the US and non-US financial institutions. “Its broad scope effectively impacts nearly all parties that make or receive cross border payments.” He said a broad agreement between the two governments needs to be reached prior to implementation of the FATCA in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury stressed that since FATCA requires disclosures which would normally be breaches of the bankers’ general duty of confidentiality under prevalent Bangladeshi laws, banks are to obtain written consents from their customers before reporting the requested information to IRS. He also encouraged the scheduled banks and financial institutions to study the implications of FATCA as it can affect all of them. Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, vice chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Ltd and managing director of Pubali Bank Ltd, Karyn Kenny, resident legal advisor of Embassy of the United States in Dhaka, and Rashed
Maqsood, managing director and Citi’s country officer in Bangladesh, also spoke. Bangladesh Bank in a circular said as Bangladesh has not yet decided to execute an intergovernmental agreement with the US, these obligations can alternatively be discharged at individual financial institution level by registering and signing “Participation Agreements” with the IRS. The NBR also consented on registering with the IRS if an institution has US taxpayer accounts in its books. Therefore, financial institutions may have implications for their customers and operations should register themselves with the IRS and put in place appropriate processes and controls to ensure compliance with FATCA. Financial Institutions should communicate with the existing customers well in advance of executing Participation Agreement with the IRS enabling the accountholders to comply with reasonable requests for information or to provide documentation to meet the FATCA obligations. l
n Asif Showkat Kallol Finance Division will hold its first fiscal coordination council meeting on the 6th of February after new government assumed office this month. “First fiscal coordination council meeting after the new government took office will be held next week,” a senior official of the Finance Division told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “The meeting is essential for the government agencies to adjust fiscal and monetary policies,” he added. “As there was a loss of around Tk50,000 crore during the recent political unrest, high-level directives are necessary for banks, small and medium enterprises and government agencies,” the official said. Finance Minister AMA Muhith will preside over the meeting to be attended, among others, by Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed. The finance ministry along with the government agencies has estimated that the GDP growth in the current fiscal year may be at 6-6.5%, down from the budgetary target 7.2%.
But the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), an independent think-tank, estimated the economy will grow at 5.65.8% this fiscal as the four sectors lost over Tk49,000 crore due to continuous hartals and blockades. The damages in terms of money were calculated taking into consideration 55 hartals and blockades enforced between July 2013 and January 2014 – before and after the general election held on January 5. While talking to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday, a member of the coordination council rule out the CPD’s estimate saying “the think-tank didn’t follow any method to prepare their estimation.” “CPD’s estimate about economic growth is wrong. They didn’t apply any method,” said Dr Shamsul Alam, also a member of Planning Commission. According to him, the country has the capacity to absorb the shocks of economic loss of such scale and the economy will grow at 6.5% this fiscal which will end on June 30. He said agricultural output will increase this year compared to other sectors including industries. l
A stock broker said political field looks calm in these days, as there are no strikes, blockades and political violence. This development might boost sentiment, he said. Interest rates declined in the recent days, which an analyst said had boosted earnings and encouraged funds to flow from government securities into equities. Recently, 15-year Treasury bond fell to 12.29% from 12.42% and 20-year bond to 12.33% from 12.48%. At present, retail investors accounted for nearly 45% of the total trading at the Dhaka Stock Exchange, sources said. However, this figure was around 20% one month ago, they said. Recent developments in the political arena indicate that the worst case scenario is a low possibility as the opposition has called off strikes till further notice, said BRAC-EPL in its analysis. “On the bright side, the strong foreign exchange reserve minimizes the risk of a currency crisis, while relatively benign inflation will allow space for monetary stimulus.” l
BGMEA to hold meeting with Global Retailers to boost up their confidence n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi In a major breakthrough, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is finally going to hold a meeting with the global retailers on February 3 in a bid to restore confidence among the buyers, who were traumatised by the recent political turmoil and labour unrests. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed is scheduled to attend the meeting as chief guest and would brief the global retailers about country’s latest political as well as business situation. Among others, the EU-based “Accord” and north America-based “Alliance for Bangladesh worker Safety” and International Labour Organisation (ILO) will attend the meeting as the stakeholders. The meeting is aimed at updating the potential buyers about the improved latest political situation in Bangladesh, so the global retailers would be cheered up in choosing Bangladesh for buying more RMG products following such an image repairing meeting. “Bangladesh has rightly come back to its own track as the overall political situation has already been improved,” Shahidullah Azim, Vice President of BGMEA, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. We would like to rightly inform the global potential buyers as well as the stakeholders that the country’s business environment has now been quite stable by holding this meeting, he added. The country’s readymade garments witnessed 40% decline in orders for the spring-winter season due to the political unrest in the last few months, according to RMG industry insiders. In December last year, the buyers have expressed concern over the security of their investment due to the recent violence, especially after the torching of Standard Group garment factory. They had also threatened to leave the country and to switch to an alternative outsourcing from another countries, until and unless the political unrest is over and work place security is ensured. l
B2 MPS exerts no influence on stocks n Tribune Report
'Recent run up seen in the stock market can be largely attributed to the political easing' The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, was down 90 points to 9,252. Market participation remained subdued at DSE with the total turnover going further. It stood at Tk593 crore, down 11.7% over the previous session. A bout of profit booking has sent the market to the red, which is inevitable after long rally, said a stock broker. “Profit booking on stocks provid-
DSE - 30 Index :
CSE All Share Index:
CSE - 30 Index :
CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS Company
Closing (% change)
6th ICB M F-A Shampur Sugar -Z R. N. Spinning-Z Eastern Bank - A LafargeS Cement-Z Kay & Que (BD) -Z GeminiSeaFood-Z Dutch Ban. Bnk- A Monno Stafllers -A Bengal Windsor-A
-7.24 -7.14 -6.25 -6.10 -5.65 -5.43 -5.31 -5.25 -4.92 -4.85
Prime Insur -A BD Fixed Income MF-A Republic Insu.-A R. N. Spinning-Z Bengal Windsor-A LafargeS Cement-Z Dutch Ban. Bnk- A Rupali Bank - A 6th ICB M F-A Saiham Tex.A
Closing (% change) -9.21 -8.89 -7.68 -5.99 -5.73 -5.65 -5.12 -4.96 -4.87 -4.61
Average (% change) -5.11 -5.88 -5.23 -3.05 -3.97 -5.52 -5.31 -3.43 -5.94 -4.30 Average (% change) -9.21 -8.89 -7.68 -5.04 -4.91 -4.42 -4.43 -5.27 -4.88 -1.65
Closing average 60.14 8.00 34.80 31.47 40.85 20.87 137.30 115.39 310.67 63.21
Closing average 34.50 8.20 48.08 34.70 63.07 40.70 113.80 81.17 60.56 33.88
58.90 7.80 34.50 30.80 40.10 20.90 137.30 113.60 311.30 62.80
Closing 34.50 8.20 48.10 34.50 62.50 40.10 113.00 80.40 60.60 33.10
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 (Million Taka)
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
58.40 7.70 33.50 30.00 39.80 20.00 137.30 113.00 307.00 60.00
3.320 0.028 68.690 6.319 102.109 0.241 0.007 14.135 0.233 123.995
Turnover in million
34.50 8.20 49.50 35.50 64.50 42.50 120.00 87.90 64.00 35.80
62.50 8.00 35.90 33.00 42.80 22.50 137.30 121.00 315.10 64.70
CSE key features January 28, 2014
Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index :
Number of Contract
ed selling pressure on market and pushed index to take correction for one more day,” said Lanka Bangla Securities in its market analysis. It was a stellar rally at the end of trading session, setting the 4,700 level as a short term support for the index, it said. Some stocks have met the short interest for take a squeeze before future rally. “Recent run up seen in the stock market can be largely attributed to the political easing.” IDLC Investment said the announcement of latest monetary policy statement could not exert any tangible influence on the market while profit booking pulled bank and non-banking financial stocks down. All the major sectors ended in red except power and food and allied. Cement sector was the biggest loser with a drop of almost 3%, driven by Lafarge Surma Cement that shed nearly 5%. Power and, food and allied stocks dominated the trading, accounting for 18% and 7% respectively of the total turnover. Padma Oil was the top traded stocks with shares worth Tk17crore changing hands followed by Square Pharmaceuticals, Summit Power, Meghna Petroleum, Bengal Windsor and Thermoplastics, United Commercial Bank and Lanka Bangla Finance. l
Stocks fell yesterday as investors went for booking profit for the second consecutive session. The benchmark DSEX index dropped 45 points or 1% to close at 4,706. The Shariah based DSES index declined almost 11 points or 1% to 971. The blue chip comprising index DS30 ended at 1,647, shedding 12 points or 0.8%.
Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)
34.50 8.20 47.20 33.10 61.00 39.80 112.40 80.00 60.10 33.00
Latest EPS 6.54 -45.28 6.11 2.27 1.63 -0.89 -15.39 9.21 5.25 2.50
0.009 0.004 0.337 4.143 12.433 8.994 0.455 0.440 0.103 1.890
2.36 0.52 3.03 6.11 2.50 1.63 9.21 5.89 6.54 2.48
Latest PE 9.2 -ve 5.7 13.9 25.1 -ve -ve 12.5 59.2 25.3
Rahim Textile -A Padma Islami Life*-N CVO PetroChem RL-Z Rupali Life Insur.-A Sun Life Insurance-N Rahima Food -Z Argon Denims Limited-A Imam Button -Z Hakkani P& Paper -B Beacon Pharma Ltd.-Z
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 897.49 433.57 187.42 511.06 263.37 1018.62 1.21 737.40 658.87 1.91 28.90 81.51 29.35 264.87 58.40 158.43 257.71 96.25 136.63 108.09 1.80
% change 15.13 7.31 3.16 8.61 4.44 17.17 0.02 12.43 11.11 0.03 0.49 1.37 0.49 4.46 0.98 2.67 4.34 1.62 2.30 1.82 0.03
Million Taka 98.01 37.24 12.70 58.43 17.85 71.32 61.78 45.24 0.17 4.01 12.17 4.54 14.72 11.57 5.17 10.23 8.09 25.10 17.19 0.04
% change 19.01 7.22 2.46 11.33 3.46 13.83 0.00 11.98 8.78 0.03 0.78 2.36 0.88 2.85 2.24 1.00 1.98 1.57 4.87 3.33 0.01
Million Taka 995.49 470.81 200.12 569.49 281.22 1089.94 1.21 799.18 704.11 2.08 32.91 93.68 33.89 279.58 69.97 163.60 267.94 104.34 161.73 125.28 1.85
8.67 7.92 7.46 5.56 5.05 4.90 4.64 4.40 4.26 4.20
CSE GAINERS Company Padma Islami Life*-N Rangpur Foundry -A Sun Life Insurance-N Argon Denims Limited-A Rupali Life Insur.-A Mercantile Insur -A Rahima Food -Z CVO PetroChem RL-Z Central Pharm-A BSRM Steels-A
Closing (% change) 7.59 6.93 5.36 5.30 5.25 4.38 4.33 4.23 4.14 3.94
Average (% change) 7.14 5.08 8.92 4.75 2.77 3.99 2.23 5.15 4.18 4.41 Average (% change) 5.50 2.86 4.07 2.98 5.84 4.53 5.97 5.88 4.18 1.56
Closing average 266.30 79.19 761.32 102.98 66.13 71.11 71.46 9.60 34.38 14.92
Closing average 78.47 108.00 66.77 72.15 100.81 28.63 71.17 740.92 47.56 80.75
Closing 274.50 80.40 766.70 102.50 66.60 70.70 72.10 9.50 34.30 14.90
Closing 79.40 108.00 66.80 73.50 100.30 28.60 69.90 740.00 47.80 81.80
Daily high 274.70 81.50 767.00 105.70 68.70 73.90 73.10 9.90 35.00 15.40
Daily high 80.00 108.00 68.60 73.50 96.60 28.70 72.50 763.00 48.50 82.30
News from trade server JAMUNAOIL: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 848.17 million with basic EPS of Tk. 9.29 (8.45 diliuted) as against Tk. 736.88 million and Tk. 8.07 (7.34) respectively ** SEBL1STMF: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 43.66 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 0.44 as against Tk. 36.21 million and Tk. 0.36 (restated) respectively ** NLI1STMF: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 23.54 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 0.47 as against Tk. 25.44 million and Tk. 0.51 (restated) respectively ** 8THICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 20.80 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 4.16 as against Tk. 17.38 million and Tk. 3.48 respectively ** 7THICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 20.75 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 6.92 as against Tk. 19.87 million and Tk. 6.62 respectively ** 6THICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 16.33 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 3.27 as against Tk. 14.47 million and Tk. 2.89 respectively ** 5THICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 15.99 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 10.66 as against Tk. 16.00 million and Tk. 10.67 respectively ** 4THICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 12.98 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 12.98 as against Tk. 11.24 million and Tk. 11.24 respectively ** 3RDICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 11.87 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 11.87 as against Tk. 11.11 million and Tk. 11.11 respectively ** 2NDICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 8.86 million with
earnings per unit of Tk. 17.71 as against Tk. 7.69 million and Tk. 15.38 respectively ** 1STICB: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 11.39 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 15.18 as against Tk. 8.41 million and Tk. 11.22 respectively ** USMANIAGL: (H/Y): NPAT=Tk. 27.59 million with basic EPS of Tk. 2.81 (2.55 restated) as against Tk. 12.79 million and Tk. 1.30 (1.18) respectively ** NPOLYMAR: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 10.36 million with EPS of Tk. 0.85 as against Tk. 9.87 million and Tk. 0.81 respectively ** ICB: (H/Y): NPAT = Tk. 853.46 million with consolidated EPS of Tk. 20.23 as against Tk. 848.87 million and Tk. 20.12 respectively**. SAMORITA: (H/Y): NPAT=Tk. 14.22 million with basic EPS of Tk. 1.37 (1.05 restated) as against Tk. 12.41 million and Tk. 1.20 (0.92) respectively**. MIRACLEIND: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 2.57 million with basic EPS of Tk. 0.11 (0.107 restated) as against Tk. (4.83) million and Tk. (0.21) (restated) respectively**. ** for the same period of the previous year. RNSPIN: The Company has informed that "by an order dated 23.01.2014 of a Division Bench of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, was pleased to pass an order for staying operation for a further period of 6 (six) months from the date of expiry of earlier stay order, upon the BSEC
Daily low 245.00 68.00 680.00 95.00 60.00 68.60 63.00 9.20 33.50 13.00
Daily low 75.00 108.00 60.00 64.00 100.00 28.50 69.00 720.00 46.70 79.00
Turnover in million 6.666 67.738 37.022 26.801 19.921 2.809 69.358 0.168 1.908 14.153
Turnover in million 3.627 0.054 2.043 1.137 1.059 0.043 0.569 1.200 11.312 9.799
Latest EPS 1.52 1.10 -4.06 5.33 0.00 -0.64 3.33 -2.20 0.44 0.08
Latest EPS 1.10 3.03 0.00 3.33 5.33 1.49 -0.64 -4.06 1.48 4.37
Latest PE 175.2 72.0 -ve 19.3 -ve 21.5 -ve 78.1 186.5
Latest PE 71.3 35.6 21.7 18.9 19.2 -ve -ve 32.1 18.5
Order/memo no. SEC/SRMIC/15/2012/504 dated 20.09.2012. The order of BSEC, dated 20.09.2012 was related to prohibiting the Sponsors and Directors shares of R.N. Spinning Mills Ltd. from selling/gifting/mortgaging or transferring in any other way until further order by BSEC". RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. 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.
14.6 15.8 15.9 5.7 25.2 25.0 12.4 13.8 9.3 13.7
DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company
Closing (% change)
Profit booking on stocks provided selling pressure on market and pushed index to take correction for one more day
SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
DSE key features January 28, 2014
Profit taking pulls stocks down for 2nd day
% change 15.44 7.30 3.10 8.83 4.36 16.90 0.02 12.39 10.92 0.03 0.51 1.45 0.53 4.34 1.09 2.54 4.16 1.62 2.51 1.94 0.03
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01552153562 or go to www.biasl.net
Square Pharma -A Padma Oil Co. -A Summit Power -A Meghna Petroleum -A Bengal Windsor-A UCBL - A LankaBangla Fin. -A UNITED AIR-A LafargeS Cement-Z Olympic Ind. -A
Tallu Spinning -A GBB Power Ltd-A Barakatullah E. D.-A S Purbanchol Power-N Southeast Bank-A Central Pharm-A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company UNITED AIR-A UCBL - A National Bank - B Padma Oil Co. -A Appollo Ispat CL -N GBB Power Ltd-A Bengal Windsor-A Summit Power -A LankaBangla Fin. -A Central Pharm-A
Volume shares 1,212,767 521,943 3,164,252 553,891 1,961,712 3,918,585 1,403,278 5,937,268 2,499,500 566,645
2,466,368 2,964,370 2,490,481 1,224,220 4,135,077 1,854,800
Volume shares 1,253,779 685,672 1,317,988 43,200 381,200 402,141 197,120 263,916 143,800 237,850
Value in million 279.45 176.55 146.81 140.98 124.00 120.52 110.71 103.72 102.11 99.56
97.41 97.37 92.85 91.74 88.38 88.28
Value in million 22.03 21.15 18.60 14.61 13.83 13.25 12.43 12.29 11.36 11.31
% of total turnover 4.71 2.98 2.47 2.38 2.09 2.03 1.87 1.75 1.72 1.68
1.64 1.64 1.56 1.55 1.49 1.49
% of total turnover 4.28 4.10 3.61 2.84 2.68 2.57 2.41 2.39 2.21 2.20
Daily closing 233.40 340.30 46.80 256.10 62.80 30.30 78.00 17.30 40.10 175.60
39.20 33.00 37.10 74.90 21.10 48.00
Daily closing 17.40 30.50 14.30 339.90 36.20 33.00 62.50 46.90 78.30 47.80
Price change -0.89 1.67 2.63 1.55 -4.85 -3.81 -0.64 -1.70 -5.65 -1.73
Daily opening 235.50 334.70 45.60 252.20 66.00 31.50 78.50 17.60 42.50 178.70
Daily high 242.00 345.80 48.00 258.20 64.70 32.00 82.00 18.50 42.80 178.90
Daily low 225.00 315.00 41.10 235.00 60.00 29.00 72.00 15.90 39.80 162.10
Daily average 230.43 338.25 46.40 254.53 63.21 30.75 78.90 17.47 40.85 175.70
Price change -1.14 -3.48 -0.69 1.22 0.00 3.13 -5.73 2.63 -0.51 4.14
Daily opening 17.60 31.60 14.40 335.80 36.20 32.00 66.30 45.70 78.70 45.90
Daily high 17.80 32.00 15.80 345.00 36.60 33.40 64.50 47.30 80.70 48.50
Daily low 17.40 30.30 13.00 334.00 36.10 32.20 61.00 45.70 77.90 46.70
Daily average 17.57 30.85 14.11 338.21 36.28 32.94 63.07 46.58 79.02 47.56
0.51 3.77 0.82 0.94 0.00 3.90
39.00 31.80 36.80 74.20 21.10 46.20
40.00 33.40 37.60 76.00 22.00 48.50
35.50 29.00 33.20 67.00 19.00 42.00
39.50 32.85 37.28 74.93 21.37 47.60
What emerging market meltdown? Caterpillar more worried about Europe n Reuters Caterpillar Inc said on Monday it remained upbeat about the outlook for China, even as concerns about the world’s second-largest economy and other developing countries triggered another sharp selloff in global financial markets. The comments came as Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, reported better-than-expected earnings, lifted in part by another strong quarter of construction equipment sales in China. Caterpillar, which also makes diesel engines, turbines and railroad locomotives, said it expected China to continue to be a source of strength in the coming year, despite a report last week showing a slowdown in the country’s huge manufacturing sector. Caterpillar said its 2014 outlook assumed the Chinese economy would grow at a rate slightly above 7.5% in 2014, enough to support additional sales of its machinery as well as increased demand for industrial commodities. Last week’s report out of China, which showed the country’s manufacturing sector contracting for the first time in six months, has raised concerns that resource-rich emerging markets could be headed for trouble after benefiting from China’s outsized growth over the past decade. The worries triggered a three-day selloff in stock indexes across the
globe, and was especially pronounced in emerging markets. During a conference call with analysts on Monday, Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the company was watching the Chinese situation “very, very closely” but, so far, was not worried. In an interview with Reuters, Brad Halverson, the chief finance officer, said: “At this point, we don’t see a meltdown in China.” Indeed, in a 34-page presentation Caterpillar released on Monday on its fourth-quarter results and its 2014 outlook, the company seemed far more concerned about continued weakness in key parts of the developed world, like Europe, than a slowdown in China or a slump in emerging markets. Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar predicted the overall world economy would grow about 3% in 2014. Emerging economies should grow by 5%, on average, more than twice as fast 2% for the developed world, it said. The big drag on the developed economies is Europe, where growth was being retarded by central bank inaction and austerity measures enacted by national governments in the wake of the recent recession. “The Eurozone economy is recovering,” Caterpillar said on Monday, “but is far from healthy ... The unwillingness of the European Central Bank to take more aggressive actions risks leaving the economy struggling for years. l
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
EPB hopes DITF to witness record spot orders this year n Tribune Business Desk Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is expecting to have a record spot orders from the country’s biggest trade show, surpassing last year. Customs officials have so far collected a VAT of Tk40 lakh from the participants, reports BSS. The turn out of visitors and interests of local and foreign participants are quite satisfactory despite widespread apprehension of slim turnout due to the political situation at the trade fair, which began on January 11 at the city’s Sher- e-Bangla Nagar. EPB officials, co-host of the monthlong Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) said political unrest did not have negative impact on the trade fair, as the presence of visitors on daily basis is around one lakh, which outnumbers previous year’s presence. “On daily basis, over one lakh visitors are visiting the fair, which is more than the last year,” said Shubhashish Bose, vice-chairperson of EPB. Bose said visitors are showing increased interest in their most favoured trade event that is benefitting both local and foreign participants; however, previously it was the participants whose request initially deferred the fair by 10 days. He added: “We’re expecting number of spot orders will surpass previous year’s Tk157 crore.” Local players are displaying new products, he said adding that performance of local electronic manufacturer Walton and some other handicraft and furniture companies are satisfactory.
The local players are now thinking of producing an array of foreign products as those displayed in the trade show, he said terming their tendency as good sign for Bangladesh economy. Besides, he said, these local companies are also producing their export-oriented products to meet local demand after meeting export order. According to customs officials, among the VAT payers, Walton gave around Tk3.5 lakh as VAT, Fit Elegance Taka two lakh, Brac Enterprise Tk97,000 and Sony Rangs Tk90,000. An array of local products of host Bangladesh especially electronics, traditional Jamdani products, jute and jute goods, leather and leather goods, export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) goods, furniture and handicrafts are being displayed at the show to woo foreign buyers. Majority of the visitors were seen
assembling at different stalls that are displaying home appliances, kitchenware and textiles or clothing items. Akramuzzaman Opu, in-charge of Walton Pavilion, said at the beginning the fair witnessed lower turn out of visitors but the number increased gradually and is still on the rise as we are moving to the end of the fair. “We are satisfied with the presence of visitors, especially on holidays. We are hoping to be able to fulfill our sales target by end of the show,” said Sarwar Jahan Chowdhury, Pavilion in-charge of Sony Rangs. Ayubur Rahman, proprietor of Salma Jamdani Weaving Factory, a traditional Jamdani clothing manufacturer, who is displaying Tangail Tant and Jamdani sarees, said the main objective of his company’s participation is to know the customers’ choice and attitude. l
India imposes 5% export duty on iron ore pellets n Reuters India imposed a 5% duty on exports of iron ore pellets, taking yet another step in conserving the raw material for domestic steelmakers that has slashed its shipments to top market China. India already levies a 30% tax on exports of iron ore fines and lumps since December 2011. Along with mining and export curbs in key producing states Karnataka and Goa aimed at addressing illegal mining, the tariffs have helped cut India’s iron ore exports by around 85%, or 100 million tonnes, over the past two years. Iron ore pellets had been exempted from any duty previously given negligible exports out of India. “However, in April-November 2013, exports of iron ore pellets have risen sharply, causing an apprehension about shortage of iron ore in the country,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Monday. India’s steel producers last
month sought a tariff on exports of iron ore pellets to safeguard domestic supplies. India’s iron ore exports to China, most of them in the form of fines, dropped 65% to 11.7 million tonnes last year, Chinese customs data showed. “I don’t think the tax move will have much impact on the Chinese market,” said an iron ore trader in Shanghai. “Chinese buyers are not that interested in Indian pellets because the price is always high so they are sold mostly to the Japanese and Korean markets.” India’s efforts to curb iron ore mining and exports via bans and higher taxes have choked the industry so hard that companies which have invested in the sector are throwing in the towel and exiting. Top trader MMTC’s $80m iron ore export terminal, ready since 2010, has never handled a cargo and now the company wants to spend $16m to convert the terminal to ship coal. l
Employees are seen at the Bedara Bhommanahalli (BBH) iron ore mines at Chitradurga in Karnataka
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Foundation of Bangladesh hosted a reception, DEA Night to honour the contributions of the educational institutions, partner award units of the DEA foundation award coordinators and award leaders in Dhaka on Saturday. The British High Commissioner, Winnington Gibson CMG graced the occasion as chief guest
Global Brand Limited, authorized distributor of Brother Printer in the country has organised a programme named “Brother Corporate Seminar 2014” at a restaurant in Dhaka on Monday. Following the programme, Global Brand has organised a press conference to launch of Brother’s latest range of products
Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd disbursed blankets among miscreants attacked people at Chapatola in Jessore as a part of its corporate social responsibilities. The bank’s vice chairperson of the board of directors, Alhaj Syed Nurul Arefeen and managing director Farman R Chowdhury distributed the blankets
Smartphone sales top billion, Samsung leads' n AFP, Washington The smartphone market hit a milestone in 2013 with more than a billion shipped, a survey showed Monday. Samsung extended its lead as the world’s biggest vendor, accounting for 31.3% of sales, ahead of Apple’s 15.3%, according to the poll by market research and analysis firm IDC. IDC said vendors delivered a total of 1.004bn smartphones last year, up 38.4% from 2012. And smartphones made up 55% of the total mobile phone shipments of 1.8bn. “The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013,” says Ramon Llamas, an IDC analyst. “Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.” South Korea’s Samsung saw growth of 42.9%, allowing it to extend its dominance in the global market, the IDC figures showed. Apple saw 12.9% growth, slower than the overall market, resulting in a declining market share. China’s Huawei narrowly captured the number three spot with a 4.9% market share, ahead of South Korea’s LG (4.8%) and Chinese maker Lenovo (4.5%), IDC said. Data from the fourth quarter showed Apple rebounding slightly with the release of its new iPhone models, and capturing 17.9% of sales to Samsung’s 28.8%. A separate survey out Monday showed that the Android smartphone platform has extended its lead over Apple’s iPhone in key markets including the United States, Europe and China. Windows Phone, meanwhile, has made inroads to secure a strong third place showing in some markets, and is ahead of Apple in Italy, according to the survey of fourth quarter sales released by Kantar Worldpanel. The survey showed that Android, the free operating system from Google, remained on top in Europe and most other major markets outside Japan. Android ended 2013 as the top platform across the five major markets in Europe with 68.6% share, while Apple held second place with 18.5%. Windows Phone showed strong year-on-year growth, and in Italy captured 17.1% of the market, ahead of Apple’s 12.8%, but behind Android’s 66.2%, according to the survey. In the United States, the survey showed Android’s share rising more than four percentage points over the past year to 50.6%, while Apple’s share declined to 43.9%. In Japan, Apple held 68.7% of smartphone sales. In China, Android’s share increased to 78.6% while Apple’s declined to 19%. “Android finished 2013 strongly, showing year-on-year share growth across 12 major global markets including Europe, USA, Latin America, China and Japan,” said Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo. l
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Shariah Supervisory Committee held a meeting yesterday for taking various decisions on compliance of the bank’s activities at Islami Bank tower. Mufti Sayeed Ahmad, vice chairperson of the committee presided over the meeting in the presense of Mohammad Abdul Mannan, managing director of the bank
Modhumoti Bank Limited held a board meeting at its head office on Monday. Humayun Kabir, chairperson of the bank’s board of directors along with MP, Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh were present at the meeting among others
GIZ (German Development Cooperation) held a handover ceremony on Sunday at the CIRDAP auditorium for presenting 20 motorcycles to the Labour Inspectors under the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE). German Ambassador Dr Albrecht Conze addressed the ceremony discussing the problems prevailing and significance of this distribution to industrial development in Bangladesh
RFL inaugurated its ‘Best Buy’ outlet at Adabar in the capital yesterday. Lt Col (Retd) Mahtabuddin Ahmed, chairperson of PRAN-RFL group launched the outlet
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
INDIA’S MONETARY POLICY
How postmen and their wives may help set it n Reuters Global investors may well be putting their faith in postmen like Phanin Deka when they decide to buy or sell Indian assets in the future. He is one of about a thousand post workers collecting data that determines the level of India's consumer price index, which is likely to become the central bank's most important tool for setting monetary policy. Deka, a postmaster in Sarpara in Assam, spends 6 days every month visiting two villages by bicycle to collect prices from 15 shops. "At times, some shopkeepers refuse to co-operate. I think they consider me as an irritant, particularly when customers are around," said Deka. Last week, a committee formed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan proposed making CPI the central bank's main inflation measure and using it to set an inflation target, part of sweeping proposals to revamp monetary policy in a country that has long struggled with high inflation. It would make CPI the most important data followed by the central bank and key in determining changes in interest rates that could affect millions of dollars in investments and loans. For years, India has been an outlier among major economies by relying as its main inflation gauge on changes in wholesale prices, collected from India's cities. That was because the CPI was seen as too heavily geared to food prices, which are unresponsive to the ups and downs of interest rates because people have to eat. On Tuesday, the RBI unexpectedly raised its policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 8%, citing its intent to bring consumer inflation down in line with the path spelled out by the panel, an indication it will adopt those recommendations. Rajan said the RBI would discuss the panel report with the government before proceeding on its proposals, but said retail investors and consumers look at CPI inflation for guidance. "Over time we have to figure out how we make the index better," Rajan said.
India hikes interest rate to curb inflation n AFP, Mumbai India's central bank announced a surprise 25 basis point hike in its key interest rate Tuesday, signalling that taming inflation is its key priority, rather than spurring growth, just months before a general election. After a meeting in financial hub Mumbai, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lifted the benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, to 8%. The cash reserve ratio, the amount banks must keep in hand to withstand financial shocks, was left unchanged at 4%. India's currency rose on the news, firming half a rupee to 62.91 rupees to the dollar from Monday's more than two-month low. The unit has come under renewed pressure as investors fret about the impact of a rollback in the US Federal Reserve's easy money policy on India and other emerging markets. The rate hike was unexpected as most economists forecast rates would remain on hold, especially after a fall in the widely watched Wholesale Price Index last month to 6.16% year-on-year in December from 7.52% in November. But RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said there was still upward pressure on inflation from economic factors such as the rising services prices. "It is critical to address these risks to the inflation outlook resolutely in order to stabilise and anchor inflation expectations, even while recognising the economy is weak and substantial fiscal tightening is likely" (in the January-March quarter), he said. Tuesday's announcement disappointed business leaders, who have been clamouring for a rate cut to kickstart badly needed investment to spur an economy which has been growing at a decade low. But Rajan said the "gravest risk" to the economy came from the increasingly important consumer price index, which remained "elevated". Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, Care Ratings, said: "Usually (the) RBI talks about growth and inflation. But this time it was just inflation and inflation. "The signal is that corporates should not expect growth to be driven by interest rate adjustments." l
be brought down in a new CPI series, said TCA Anant, India's chief statistician. Clothing, now just under 5% of the basket, would also change, he said. "There has been a decline in the share of food in the total expenditure, and within food there is shift from cereals to protein, eggs, milk and other items that need to be reflected in the index," he told Reuters. Food is a major source of inflation about a third of fresh produce perishes before it reaches the shops - and is currently running at double digits.
"But the fact that the index is not perfect does not say that there is no problem. CPI inflation is too high." There is a wide gap between wholesale and consumer inflation in India, so if the new set up is approved, economists expect higher interest rates for longer. In December, WPI inflation in Asia's third-largest economy was 6.16% and CPI was nearly 10%. Using CPI as a benchmark eventually to bring inflation down to a targeted 4%, plus or minus 2%, would better reflect the way inflation affects the broader population, the committee argued. However, the current CPI inflation series was launched only in 2012 and is based on nearly decade-old con-
sumption patterns in a country of 1.25 billion people whose spending habits are changing fast. Average incomes have more than doubled over the same period. It still measures changes in the cost of cassette tapes, while smartphones fast becoming ubiquitous in India - are not included. Power failures, worker strikes that shut shops and businesses, heavy rains and flooding, and even insurgencies all make the postal workers' data collection more difficult. That leads to some guess work. "Sometimes during the rainy season, I am unable to go out. Then I have no option but to fill in the prices of different items myself," said a postman in
Guwahati in northeastern India, who declined to be identified. "Usually I go to shops once or twice in two or three months to check price trends and fill in the price details myself by cross-checking with my wife," he said. Arvind Mayaram, economic affairs secretary at the ministry of finance, acknowledged there are shortfalls in the consumer price index. "CPI has a lot of imperfections," he told a TV channel last week. "We know that it requires a whole lot of sophistication, which we haven't achieved yet on determining CPI."
Houses and milk
Consumption patterns between rural
and urban India differ dramatically, and there is no data available on rural housing costs. Food consumption, the key driver of persistent consumer price inflation, is changing as incomes grow, especially in rural areas. Indians now eat more protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whereas in the past their diet was more based on cereals, rice and vegetables. Statistics Ministry officials say the data is fairly robust and comparable to international standards, but needs to be updated to reflect changing consumption habits. Food is now about 50% of the index, the highest among the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. That weighting will
US debt ceiling looms, but battle may not be as bitter n
The world's largest economy once more faces the threat of default unless the US Congress raises the debt ceiling, but feuding between Barack Obama and foes may not push the nation to the brink this time. Republicans on Capitol Hill are keen to avoid a repeat of the kind of crippling fiscal showdown like the one in October that brought the government to the brink of default and prompted a 16-day shutdown. But, with a budget deal now concluded and campaigns kicking off for mid-term November elections, conservatives are nevertheless staking out their positions with a February debt ceiling deadline looming. They want the Democratic president to agree to debt reduction measures in exchange for any extension of borrowing, and say such a move is simply prudent politics. The White House calls such efforts "ransom threats." By law, Congress sets a cap on the level of public debt, beyond which the US Treasury can not borrow. Lawmakers regularly raise that ceil-
ing to allow government to pay its bills - notably creditors on international financial markets but also the pensions and benefits of Americans and state expenditures. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has warned that the debt ceiling will be reached in late February. In October, Congress authorized borrowing through February 7, but Treasury estimates it can use extraordinary measures to provide an additional three weeks of cushion. "I really don't expect the same kind of melodramatic confrontation as in October," Steve Bell, senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Centre, told AFP on Monday. In last year's standoff, Republicans tried in vain to torpedo Obama's health care reform law as part of the debt ceiling deal. The president did not flinch, and Republicans were left licking their wounds. "When push comes to shove they're not going to come close to defaulting on the debt again," Bell added. "They're going to take a more prudent course." The White House is signalling once again that it will not waver. "We're doing it the exact same way
we've done this from before, which is we were not going to pay them ransom. Nothing has changed in our position," White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told Fox News. But top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell made clear it was "irresponsible" for Obama to ask for a clean debt ceiling hike with the country mired in $17tn in debt and counting. "We ought to attach something significant for the country to his request to increase the debt ceiling," McConnell told Fox. Waning Tea Party influence After losing by the October fight, conservatives are opting for more modest measures, like legislation to prohibit the government from bailing out insurance companies if they suffer losses within the health care system's framework. But Bell said it would be highly unlikely for Democrats to cave on any aspect of Obamacare, the president's signature domestic initiative. He predicted instead they could move on something that Obama could do with the stroke of a pen: approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, on hold for years over envi-
ronmental concerns. "We need not have a default," McConnell said, citing Keystone as a possible element of a deal. But McConnell said the staggering size of the debt - which at 2013 stood at 106% of gross domestic product, according to the Congressional Budget Office - should force spending cuts. With a potential showdown lingering, eyes were on Tea Party conservatives in the House, where the faction's few dozen intransigent lawmakers have played a key role in congressional paralysis. "We shouldn't just write a blank check," Senator Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favourite who coordinates with House conservatives, warned on CBS. The Republican image took a hit from October's crisis and party leaders sought to re-assert control of the troops, recently backing a compromise that brings some stability back to the budgeting process. House Republicans meet Wednesday for a three-day retreat outside Washington. The goal: game out the strategy of the coming weeks and emerge united on the debt-ceiling front. l
The postal service started in 2011 to collect price data for the Statistics Department. Collecting quality information on roughly 300 index items is a challenge in such a large country, and some officials privately expressed doubt over the quality of price data collected by the postmen in village markets. "A postman who cannot even timely deliver letters, you expect him to gather price data on hundreds of items?" said a senior official at the statistics department. "You can imagine what happens when a truck driver drives a Mercedes-Benz car." Large swathes of rural northeastern and central India are essentially controlled by militants in long-running ethnic and Naxalite insurgencies, one of the more extreme factors making it difficult to gather data. "Half of the month here businesses remain shut due to strikes called by various organisations or there are other problems related to militancy," said another postman, who also declined to be identified. Pronab Sen, head of the National Statistical Commission and Anant's predecessor as India's chief statistician, said that until the CPI index builds long-term data, the central bank should use both the CPI and WPI to set monetary policy. "If two indices are telling me two different stories, and I ignore one, then what I am doing is essentially, deliberately losing information, and any loss of information leads to lower quality of decision," said Sen. l
NEWS IN BRIEF Apple's iPhone sales, revenue forecast fall short; shares slide Lower-than-expected holiday iPhone sales and a weak revenue forecast by Apple Inc renewed fears about Chinese demand and a tepid global market, wiping 8% off company stock. This year was to have been Apple Inc's watershed moment in China, when a long-awaited deal with the nation's largest carrier was to have propelled it back toward the top ranks of its most crucial market, clawing back ground from rival Samsung Electronics. – Reuters
Emerging market rout pauses ahead of Turkey, Fed meetings Emerging markets steadied after three days of intense selling yesterday, as investors waited to see if Turkey, one of the epicentres of the rout, would hike interest rates to defend its battered lira. – Reuters
Honda becomes first Japan automaker to be net exporter from US Honda Motor Co last year exported more cars out of the United States than it imported into the country, claiming a first among major Japanese automakers. More than 30 years after it began building cars in the US, the company's North American arm said it shipped 108,705 Honda and Acura brand vehicles out of the US in 2013. – Reuters
Etihad Airways and JetBlue Announce code share plans JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced plans to begin codeshare operations and provide customers with enhanced travel options worldwide. The agreement, which is subject to government approval, will see Etihad Airways place its “EY” code on JetBlue-operated flights, initially facilitating connections between the two airlines at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD). - Press release
Sony falls 3.3% to two-month low, Moody's cuts debt rating to junk Shares in Sony Corp shed 3.3% to a twomonth low of 1,654 yen after Moody's Investors Service cut its debt rating on the Japanese consumer electronics company to junk status. – Reuters A lone worker passes by the US Capitol building in Washington