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Magh 19, 1420 Rabiul Awal 30, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 308



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Fear, dismay grasp BNP grassroots



‘Crossfire,’ abductions and lack of party directives holding back movement n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla The grassroots BNP leaders and activists were overcome with deep disappointment as they apparently failed to capitalise on the vigorous street movement before and after the election. The party men at grassroots level shudder at the thought of being “killed in crossfire or of being abducted” following the January 5 poll, thus holding themselves back from waging future anti-government movement, said a section of BNP grassroots leaders and activists. It was also alleged that the “killings, abductions and disappearances” added salt to their wounds which got them morally down. A number of BNP leaders and activists maintained that they were yet to get any directives from the central leaders on their movement strategies to materialise the demand for midterm election.

Unilever boss to visit Dhaka

The activists said after the January 5 poll many leaders emerged from their hideouts, but in the wake of “killings and abductions” they started retreating to their sanctuaries again. The lack of specific directions from the BNP high command demoralised the leaders at grassroots level, they added. Abdul Kader Sikdar, general secretary of Narail district unit BNP, said his party members were either on the run or behind bars for which it was tough for them to observe any programme. “Our activists are frustrated with the movement waged at grassroots level, and we failed to capitalise on it,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. The leader added that it was disappointing to the grassroots BNP because the movement incurred a heavy loss of finances and also cost many their lives. “It will take sometime to rejuvenate  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

A conviction warrant of the trial court that awarded death sentence to 14 accused including an Indian separatist leader Paresh Barua in the 10-truck arms smuggling case will be sent to the foreign convict’s home thorough the foreign ministry. Public prosecutor of the cases linked with the 10-truckloads arms haul Kamaluddin Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune: “It is the legal procedure to send conviction warrant against the fugitives to their permanent address.” “As Paresh Barua is a foreign citizen

Executive Vice-President of Unilever South Asia Sanjiv Mehta, who is also the managing director and chief executive officer of Hindustan Unilever Limited, is set to arrive in Dhaka today on a three-day visit to Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL). During his visit, Mehta will be meeting with the UBL leadership team and managers to discuss the plans for the company in 2014. Mehta also previously served as chairman and managing director of the UBL, playing a critical role in turning around the business and creating many business leaders who are now working across Unilever’s global organisation. Mehta has also served as the chairman of Unilever Philippines and Unilever North Africa and Middle East (NAME). During his tenure as the chairman of Unilever NAME, Mehta led 20 countries in the region, making significant contribution in accelerating both growth and profitability. This will be Mehta’s first visit to UBL, since taking on the role of executive vice-president of Unilever South Asia. l


Paresh’s death warrant 10-TRUCK ARMS HAUL Acquitted 38 were scapegoats to be sent to India n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong

n Tribune Report

People fly kites on the Cox’s Bazar beach yesterday marking the start of a two-day National Kite Festival. Story on Page 3

we will have to send the conviction warrant through the ministry to his address in India,” he added. Kamaluddin also said they had permanent address of Paresh Barua in the charge sheets of the cases, so they would also send another copy of conviction warrant by post. A Chittagong court on Thursday gave death sentence to Paresh Barua in the smuggling case and life term imprisonment in arms case linked with the seizure of 10 truckloads of weaponries supposed to go to the India’s separatist group United Liberation Front of  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

kar Ali Manik and Tarek n Julfi Mahmud, from Chittagong

The arms and smuggling cases filed in connection with the seizure of sensational 10-truckload arms can be referred as example of unhealthy practice how innocent people, mostly porters, are victimised to divert investigation with a view to save real culprits. Two cases – one under Arms Act and the other for smuggling – were filed in connection with the chilling recovery of weaponries at Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) jetty on April 2, 2004. After multiple investigations since 2004 to 2011, the number of ac-

cused in the arms case reached at 50 and in the smuggling case 52. In the verdict delivered on Thursday, the judge acquitted 36 accused of the arms case and 38 of the smuggling case. All those freed were initially implicated by the second investigation officer, AKM Kabiruddin, who submitted charge sheet in the arms case in 2004 – during the BNP-Jamaat-led four-party alliance government. They were also made accused by the third IO, Mir Nawsher Ali, who filed charge sheet in the smuggling case the same year. The charge sheet was almost identical with Kabiruddin’s except for

the inclusion of only a few names. The fifth and last IO, Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, after further investigation, accused 11 new persons including two former ministers, some military and civil officials who were in intelligence, and a leader of India’s separatist group United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa). Moniruzzaman kept all the names mentioned earlier by Kabiruddin and Nawsher. But only 14 people have been convicted by the court that awarded death sentence to them in the smuggling case and life-term imprisonment in the arms case.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

Amar Ekushey Book Fair begins today ‘Arms case verdict a plot n to ruin BNP’s image’ Muktasree Chakma Sathi

The month-long “Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela 2014” begins today. The fair will be held at its traditional Bangla Academy grounds, but organisers this year will be hoping for an increased number of participating publishers, as the venue of the fair has been extended up to Suhrawardy Udyan. This year, as part of new arrangements, the government sponsored publications have set up their stalls inside the Bangla Academy premises, while all the private publishing houses will operate at the adjacent Suhrawardy Udyan. Security has been beefed up at both the grounds, and proper arrangements for sanitation and drinking water has been made for the visitors, said the Bangla Academy officials at a press briefing yesterday. Director General of the academy Shamsuzzaman Khan said: “As of now, everything might not be ideal; however we will try our best to maintain law and order.” The book fair will remain open from 3pm to 9pm every day and from 11am to 9pm on holidays. On February 21, the International Mother Language Day and Martyrs’ Day, the fair will remain open from 8am to 9pm. The schedule for “Shishu Prahar” (children’s hour) would be announced soon, said fair organising committee Member Secretary Shahida Khatun. The academy will provide 30% discount while other publishers would  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Labelling the verdict in 10-truck arms haul cases as “politically motivated,” the BNP yesterday alleged that it was a grave conspiracy to malign the party’s image. “The verdict is farcical and politically motivated. It is part of a grave conspiracy against the BNP to ruin its image,” Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told reporters at the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters.

Rizvi, who came out of jail a day before, alleged that those who had recovered the weaponries faced the trial. “It is part of a conspiracy to uproot the party,” he said. A Chittagong court on Thursday sentenced 14 people, including two ministers of the BNP-led four-party alliance government – Motiur Rahman Nizami and Lutfozzaman Babar – to death in the sensational arms smuggling case.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

Jamaat-Shibir men harass Satkania MP n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

With only one day to go, craftsmen give their last touch to decorate stalls at this year’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair inside the Bangla Academy premises yesterday RAJIB DHAR

Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked Abu Reza Mohammad Nejamuddin Nadvi, an Awami League lawmaker from Chittagong’s Satkania constituency, at a religious programme in Lohagora last night. Md Shahjahan, officer-in-charge of Lohagora police, told the Dhaka Tribune that some Jamaat-Shibir activists had thrown shoes at Nadvi as soon as he arrived at Sirat Mahfil, a 19-day religious programme at Shah Shaheb Kebla under Chunati union of Lohagora

upazila, around 8:30pm. Later, the MP, who was the chief guest at the programme, and his followers took shelter at an adjacent mosque. A team of Lohagora police rushed to the spot and tried to control the situation, the OC said. Members of paramilitary force BGB also went to the spot. They rescued the lawmaker around 11pm. While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Nadvi claimed that the attack had been pre-planned. The Satkania constituency comprising Lohagora and Satkania upazilas is known as a Jamaat-Shibir den.l




Saturday, February 1, 2014

500 passports missing from Kuala Lumpur mission n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Over 500 passports have gone missing from the Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia. “We are investigating the matter and expect to get a report by next week,” Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia AKM Atiqur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune. After getting the report, the mission will inform the foreign ministry and take action in line with the report, he said. He said the mission in early December received some passports which belonged to a series that should still be in the stock and that was when the mission discovered that about 500 passports were missing. “After getting such passports, we started the investigation,” he said. When asked if the mission authorities suspected Suchona Rani Halder, the custodian of the passports, the high commissioner replied that before getting the report he could not say anything. However, the high commission

through a mail asked Halder, a former Chhatra League leader, to report to the mission. The Dhaka Tribune obtained a copy of this email. Halder, who was posted to the mission last October, went on leave for 10 days and was supposed to report to the mission by December 15 but she is yet to return. When contacted, she told the Dhaka Tribune that she was sick and she would go back after completing her medical treatment. About the missing passports, she said: “There is a racket working there and passports go missing frequently.” When asked who were involved in the racket, she said: “Some officers and staff. I do not want to name any names.” She said she wanted to be posted in the Australian mission but she did not get it and later she was posted to Malaysia. “I don’t want to stay there [Malaysia] and I want posting in Kolkata or Delhi and I will meet HT Imam [political adviser to the prime minister],” she said. l

84 Jamaat-Shibir held for SUST violence n Our Correspondent, Sylhet The Joint Forces have held 84 activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir for their alleged involvement in a clash that occurred on Shahjalal University of Science and Technology premises on January 26. They were detained from several messes near the university on Thursday night. Jalalabad OC Gausul Hossain said: “Identities of the detainees are being verified. Among them, there are several

Paresh’s death warrant to be sent to India  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

Assam (Ulfa) using Bangladesh’s land. Paresh Barua is a top leader of Ulfa who looks after military wing of the group. He was fugitive and tried in absentia in the arms haul cases. The address of Paresh Barua’s home in Assam of India in charge sheet is – Father – Dizen Barua, Mother – Milik, Village – Jeraichhakoli, Taraigaon, Chakun, Bhibrugar, Assam. Meanwhile, a police official in Chittagong, on condition of anonymity, said police might request Interpol to issue an arrest warrant to catch Paresh Barua. Inspector General of Police Hasan Mahmud Khandaker told the Dhaka Tribune over phone: “We will act according to the direction of the court and we will follow all legal procedures and formalities. “We will take all necessary steps to implement the verdict following all legal formalities.” Another fugitive Nurul Amin, former additional secretary to the Industry ministry, has also been convicted and awarded death sentence in the smuggling case. Kamaluddin said they would send conviction warrant to the address of Nurul Amin mentioned in the charge sheet. He added that it is the duty of law enforcement agencies to take necessary steps for the fugitives. l

Shibir supporters who are students of the university.” Proctor Himadri Shekhar Roy said: “We have asked the law enforcement agencies to ensure that no innocent student is harassment.” On January 26, the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and Chhatra Shibir engaged in an altercation after a Shibir leader’s motorcycle had been torched on the campus. The Chhatra Shibir members went on a rampage during the clashes. Later, the university authorities and the police filed separate cases over the incident. l

Of the 14, only three were made accused in the charge sheets submitted by Kabiruddin and Nawsher. Moniruzzaman said those who were acquitted had not been involved with the arms smuggling. They were hired porters, boatmen, day labourers and workers. They were brought to unload the boxes of arms from two fishing trawlers at the jetty and carry those to the trucks parked there. “These people were not aware of anything about the arms,” he said. Some people from villages in the jetty area were made accused who rushed to the spot to watch the incident out of curiosity. He, however, could not say why those ordinary people had been made accused in the initial investigations

Protesters demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators of the Maj Gen Manzoor murder case at a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday RAJIB DHAR

‘For a special reason’ n Our Correspondent, Lakshimpur

The law restricting Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to sue government officials had been passed at the fagend of the immediate past government “for a special reason,” ACC Chairman M Bodiuzzaman said yesterday. “The government too was not in favour of this law,” he said, while laying the foundation stones of two bridges in

the district. The chairman claimed the ACC was now working more independently and powerfully as there was no pressure from the government. “As a proof, we are investigating into the corruption allegations against former ministers and MPs of the current government. ACC will lodge cases against them.” The High Court on Thursday, however, declared unconstitutional the section


provide 25% discount on the prices of books. Wi-Fi facilities will be available at the fair. While asked about BNP’s scheduled rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan today, the academy director general urged the political parties not to create any untoward situation at the fairgrounds. According to the organisers, 534 stalls have been allocated to 232 publishing houses at the Suhrawardy Udyan, among which 33 stalls will hold children books of 24 publishing houses. As many as 69 stalls will hold books of 43 other publishing houses on the academy premises. A little magazine corner with 55

32A of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2004 that had restricted the ACC from suing public officials. Terming the corruption allegations over the proposed Padma Bridge a political issue, Bodiuzzaman said even the World Bank has not found corruption there. “The investigation from Bangladeshi side into the case was completed, but on the Canadian side, it has not been completed yet,” he added. l

15-year-old gang-raped n Our Correspondent, Madaripur Holding her hostage at gunpoint, four men raped a 15-year-old SSC examinee on Thursday night at Noyanagar village under Badarpasha union of Rajoir upazila of the district. The victim was admitted to Madaripur Sadar Hospital. Police, hospital sources and the victim’s family said the victim left home on Thursday dawn to head to her tutor’s home. She was stopped on her way by four men, who took her hostage at

gunpoint. They gagged her and took her to an adjacent wheat field where they gang-raped her. The perpetrators were later identified as Ferdaus Sheikh, Roman Mia and an unnamed person of Badarpasha village in the police case filed by the family. The victim’s family admitted her to Rajoir Upazila Hospital and later took her to Madaripur Sadar Hospital. Mother of the victim demanded exemplary punishment of the criminals. “I am not sure whether my daughter now can sit for the exam. I

Amar Ekushey Book Fair begins today publishing houses would be set up at the academy premises in memory of late poet Khondokar Ashraf Hossain, vice-chancellor of Jatiya Kabi Nazrul Islam University in Mymensingh and former professor of Dhaka University, said officials. Last year, the Bangla Academy premises held 274 institutions within the premises, creating a congested atmosphere for book lovers. This year should be different as Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor approved the proposal of extending the fair to Suhrawardy Udyan. According to the Bangla Academy officials, a total of 299 publishing houses, government, non-government and socio-cultural organisations are

participating in this year’s event. The academy, however, has failed to allot the stalls among participators by January 23 which is a breach of section 12.3 of the book fair rules and regulations. When asked, Shamsuzzaman said the publishers could not be allotted in due time because the decision of the extending fair ground was belated. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the fair at 3pm today while Assaduzzaman Noor is likely to speak at the programme. The Bangla Academy chief and Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman will also be present. Late Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, who is also a language

want the perpetrators to be arrested as soon as possible,” she said. Office-in-Charge of Rajoir police station Md Moniruzzaman said: “A case has been lodged by the victim’s family. The criminals have gone into hiding after the incident.” Additional Police Superintendent Uttam Kumar Paul said a special drive was going on to arrest the perpetrators. Medical Officer at Madaripur Sadar Hospital Siddiqur Rahman said: “We have completed medical test of the victim and a medical report will be issued within two days.” l

movement hero, would be paid respect at the programme, said the organisers. The Bangla Academy Literary Award 2013 will be awarded to 11 personalities at the inaugural session. Celebrated mime artiste Partha Pratim Majumder would be awarded with an honorary fellowship. Later in the fair “Chhittaranjan Saha Smrity Purashkar” and “Munier Chowdhury Smrity Purashkar” will be awarded to the best publishers for quality publications of last year. The book fair was held for the first time in 1972 in an informal manner at the Bangla Academy premises. Later it was institutionalised in 1978. In 1984, the fair was named as the Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela. l

Fear, dismay grasp BNP grassroots  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

the grassroots BNP and to wage movement again,” he added. The BNP leader said their activists were getting panicky, and the situation was such that the party sympathisers dared not say anything about BNP publicly. However, Abdullah Al Noman, BNP vice-chairman, claimed that the party leaders and activists started overcoming their frustration and moving forward. “Organisational tour will kick off soon and specific directives will be issued to the grassroots leaders and activists.” The BNP has already alleged that the extrajudicial killings are on the rise and the government is using law en-

Acquitted 38 were scapegoats  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

331 Bangladeshis held in Malaysia n Rabiul Islam

done by two of his former colleagues at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police. “As I knew that there were involved in the arms smuggling, I did not try to prove their offence. The previous investigations were carried out to conclude the probe making them accusing in the cases,” he said adding that he would not know most of the acquitted accused. During his investigation, none of the stalwart witnesses or accused brought any allegation against the 38 ordinary people. Marium Begum alias Badani, an elected member of ward two under Boirag union of Anwara upazila, was one of the 16 people from her locality who were made later acquitted. She told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: “Still I do not know why I and

forcers for the purpose in the name of joint-forces operation. The party has already claimed that more than 30 BNP men were killed in “gunfight” and over 150 leaders and activists abducted. On Thursday night, three BNP activists were killed. The party formed four citizen committees to investigate into the abductions and killings. After getting reports on them, BNP Chief Khaleda Zia will hold a press conference to talk in detail about that. BNP leaders and activists at grass roots level also said it would not be possible within the shortest possible time to compel the government to realise the demand for mid-term poll as their pri-

ority was to ensure safety of the leaders and activists at the present time. Mojibur Rahman, general secretary of Kaliakoir municipality BNP, said it was proven that none would be able to last long, fighting against the state mechanism. “The way the government uses the law enforcers is dreadful. And at the same time mass upsurge is not possible now in the country.” “We are now busy with securing of bail for our leaders and activists and soon we will revamp the grassroots BNP and involve more people in our movement,” said Mojibur. The BNP leader continued under the circumstances they wanted a clear di-

other 15 from my locality were made accused. We are innocent. “Three months after the recovery of arms, I came to know that I was an accused in the cases along with 15 others of my area.” Marium said she had to suffer a lot during this period. “But I am happy now as I was acquitted,” she said. IO Moniruzzaman said: “I conducted the investigation only on seven points. These [acquitted] accused were not part of my investigation.” The seven points 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 ser-

geants took away two arms from the jetty (later recovered by RAB) and in which country arms were manufactured. Kabiruddin and Nawsher’s investigations were flawed and there were no findings about the seven issues. So the trial court had ordered further investigation during 2007-08 caretaker regime. Only arms smuggler Hafizur Rahman Hafiz, Deen Mohammad and Hazi Abdus Sobhan have been convicted and awarded death sentence from the list of charge sheets submitted by the second and the third IO as their involvement with the smuggling was proved. The 11 other convicted include former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar and industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami. l

rective from the party high command on what to do and demanded that the party chairperson go on the districts’ tour in order to mobilise public opinion in their favour. Since the January 5 poll, BNP is yet to hold a meeting of its standing committee, the highest policy making body. Saiful Islam, Chhatra Dal president of Daganbhuiyan upazila under Feni district, said they were at a loss and did not know what directives they would give to their activists as their central leaders were yet to give them any directions. Khaleda would hold meetings with the district and upazila unit leaders, he hoped, adding that even she might call a meeting for the grassroots BNP. l

As many as 331 undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers were arrested in the last 10 days in Malaysia. The immigration department arrested 2,544 illegal immigrants for various offences during the second phases of the nationwide integrated operations that started on January 21, Bernama, the national news agency of Malaysia, reported on Thursday. While talking to this reporter, Bangladesh’s Labour Counsellor in Malaysia Mantu Kumar Bishwas said the arrested Bangladeshis would have to return home on their own expenses. “We have no plan to give them air tickets. But we will provide them travel permit to return to Bangladesh,” he added. Among those detained were 1,064 Indonesians, 341 Myanmar nationals, 331 Bangladeshis while the others were Filipinos, Indian nationals, Nepalese, Cambodians, Pakistanis, Chinese nationals, Vietnamese, Thais, Yemenis, Sri Lankans, Cameroonians and Togolese. l

Demonic ‘pir’ finally arrested for raping child n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong The Chittagong police early yesterday nabbed a person, locally known as a “pir” (saint) from Mirsarai, for raping an eight-year-old girl. The arrestee, Hakim Bhandari, 54, resides in the port city’s Madarbari area, said police. A police probe has found that Hakim earlier violated his step-mother, step-sister and one of his aunts. For the incidents, he was also punished in local arbitration. Pranab Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Sadarghat police station, said they had arrested Hakim at Mithachhara Bazar under Mirsarai upazila around 1:30am. He was hiding there after violating the child on January 28 at his Madarbari house. According to the police official, on that day, when the victim went to Hakim’s house who she addressed as “grandfather,” the so-called pir raped her. Later the victim went home and told her parents about the matter. She was taken to the One-stop Crisis Centre of Chittagong Medical College Hospital in critical condition, said the OC. Police arrested Hakim following preliminary investigation in a case filed by father of the victim with Sadarghat police. l

30 injured as vessels collide in Meghna n Our Correspondent, Chandpur A head-on collision between a passenger launch and an oil tanker in the Meghna River left around 30 passengers injured in Chandpur yesterday morning. The launch, which was carrying around 400 people, was severely damaged, although it did not sink. Many of the injured were in critical condition. They were taken to different hospitals and clinics in Chandpur. Witnesses said the three-storey launch Sonar Tori, which left Dhaka around 7:30am, was hit by the speeding oil tanker MV Samiya 2, coming from the opposite direction, in Mohanpur area. The front side of the launch was smashed, leaving around 30 passengers injured. A large number of them fell off the launch or jumped into the river for safety, said the witnesses. A port official in Chandpur, Mobarak Hossain, said the incident might have happened because of the heavy fogs. A case was filed by the launch’s owner. l

Arms case verdict a plot  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

During the haul on April 2, 2004, Nizami was the industries minister while Babar the state minister for home affairs. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, a key ally of the BNPled 19-party alliance, yesterday called a countrywide daylong hartal for Monday protesting the death sentence of party chief Nizami. The High Court granted Rizvi six months’ bail in three separate violence-related cases on Monday. He was released from Dhaka Central Jail on Thursday night. Several party leaders and activists yesterday welcomed him at the office with bouquets. The BNP leader claimed that the ruling government had no mandate of the people as it came to power through a “voter-less election” on January 5. The provision of a non-partisan

caretaker government system was scrapped by the prime minister “to stay in power permanently,” he said adding that the government had turned many districts into “mass killing fields” through “extrajudicial killings.” “We want to tell the government that if anyone has committed any offence, bring him in the book. Do not kill people without any trial. Stop it immediately. Otherwise, there will be no option except for waging tougher movement to overcome the confrontational situation of the country,” he said. Talking about the party’s recent nonstop agitation programmes, Rizvi said: “Our movement was against the one-party rule which the Hasina-led Awami League government has established in the country. “Our demonstration was for the people of the country. We fought for restoring good governance.” l




Saturday, February 1, 2014

BTRC reopens auditing mobile phone operators Advertisement for EOIs soon

n Muhammad Zahidul Islam The telecom regulator is going to launch a fresh initiative, after two failed attempts earlier, to audit the information systems of mobile phone operators in Bangladesh to see whether they comply with the regulations. The official examination would facilitate Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to check how the operators were maintaining books of fees and charges as well as revenues payable to the national exchequer. The BTRC would invite expressions of interest (EOI) from the intending audit firms through newspaper advertisements within a day or two, officials said. According to a draft of the advertisement which the Dhaka Tribune obtained yesterday, the audit firms, to be appointed through due process, should examine the accounts like revenue sharing, spectrum charges, license fees, royalty, VAT, tax and other fees/ charges etc. which is payable to BTRC or National Board of Revenue (NBR). The commission has the authority “to get the operator’s procedure and systems audited so as to be satisfied about the compliance of the directions issued by the commission, and to examine the propriety of the reporting system of the operators, and to give directions on these matters.” In accordance with the authority, BTRC audited Grameenphone in 2011, but was declared illegal by the apex court of the country. On January 9 last year, BTRC again invited EOI for appointment of new audit firms but the process faced a challenge from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB). ICAB had argued that international firms could take part in the bid but local firms will have to take a lead under a joint venture. BTRC then sought legal opinion from its consulting firm, Lex Counsel, which suggested the regulator to go for

a fresh initiative. Barrister Khandaker Reza-E-Raquib, legal adviser to BTRC, said: “We also found legality of ICAB’s claim and requested the telecom regulator for inviting a fresh EOI.” Earlier, on the basis of previous EOI, the telecom watchdog made a shortlist of Request for Proposals (RFP) from six international audit firms and disqualified five other firms. According to BTRC high officials, audit firms needs to find out the actual revenue generated and the calculation procedure to make the payment to BTRC, NBR or other agencies for a particular or whole licensing period and reconcile those with the operator’s financial statements. They also need to analyse audit reports to discover understatements, misstatements or manipulation of any facts. The regulator will also examine suspicious invoicing by the operators for importing hardware or software, according to BTRC officials. On the basis of the audit reports, the regulator will take action against any operator, if found guilty, said the officials. Following the audit of mobile operators, all the private land phone operators, internet service providers, international gateways, inter-connectivity exchanges, international internet gateways, and WiMax operators, among others, would come under the audit process. On May 2011, the telecom regulator appointed a firm that audited the largest mobile operator, Grameenphone, and submitted a report in October. It claimed that Tk3,034 crore in revenue had remained unpaid. The High Court ruling in the same year that declared illegal the appointment of audit firms by the telecom regulator in opening audits was also upheld by the Supreme Court on December 9 last year. BTRC had sent an audit firm to the second largest operator, Banglalink, but it could not complete their task. l

Children participate in an art competition on the Mirpur’s Jalladkhana premises, celebrating the eviction of Pakistani forces from Mirpur, in the capital yesterday

‘Government failed to protect minorities’ n Abu Bakar Siddique Politicians and civil society leaders yesterday alleged that the government had failed to protect the religious minorities of the country from the clutch of violence. They also said communalism was created in the country for political reasons and for use of religion in politics while addressing a discussion on ‘postpoll violence on minorities, sharing knowledge of the witnesses and duties in future’. Samprodayikata-JangibadBirodhi Mancha organised the discussion at Liberation War Museum auditorium in the city’s Segunbagicha on the wake of countrywide violence on the religious minorities, especially the Hindu community. Speakers at the meeting also alleged


BNP shifts Suhrawardy Udyan rally to Sunday

n Kailash Sarkar

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Movement of trains on Dhaka-Sylhet and Dhaka-Chittagong routes resumed yesterday afternoon after threeand-half hours of the disruption in train communications following the derailing of a cargo train at Jatrapur in Ashuganj, Brammhanbaria in the morning. Dhaka’s railway communications with Chittagong and Sylhet remained suspended from 10:30am when a Chittagong-bound cargo train derailed outside the Ashuganj railway station. Witnesses said at least four wheels of a train compartment got derailed, blocking the railway tracks. Following the accident, several trains, including Chittagong-bound Mohanagar Provati and several other intercity trains were stuck at different places on the tracks, causing suffering to several thousand passengers. Immediately after the incident, a salvation train from Akhaura rushed to the spot to rescue the derailed train and was able to remove the derailed train and restore the communications system around 2pm. Ashuganj railway station Manager Abdullah Al Faruq confirmed the restoration of the railway communications system. l

The BNP will stage countrywide demonstrations today, except for in Dhaka, to demand the cancellation of the January 5 election and protest the DMP’s refusal to permit the BNP to carry out black-flag processions in the capital on January 29. Although the party was scheduled to hold a rally at the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan today, the programme has now been shifted to Sunday, BNP’s Assistant Office Secretary Abdul Latif Jonny told the Dhaka Tribune.

Dhaka-Sylhet, DhakaChittagong lines clear after three hours

The change in the programme for Dhaka came as part of the Ekushey Book Fair is to be inaugurated today at Suhrawardy Udyan. Earlier, BNP Joint Secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi issued a press statement, asking the leaders and activists of the 19-party alliance to spontaneously participate in the programme to make it a success. On January 29, the opposition alliance announced the rally to protest what the party said were attacks on their “peaceful” black flag processions on January 29. l

Fire rages at two factories n Our Correspondent, Gazipur Fire broke out at two factories, Shamim Spinning Mills Ltd at Nishchintopur area and Northern Fashion Ltd at Baroipara, in separate incidents in Gazipur yesterday. However, no casualties were reported. Witnesses said, a fire erupted at the thread warehouse of Northern Fashion Ltd at around 5:30am on Friday. Later, two units from Kaliakoir fire station and two units from adjacent Savar EPZ fire station rushed to the spot and took

the fire under control after two and half hour effort. Sub Inspector Md Shah Alam of Gazipur Industrial police said the factory claims around 170 tonnes of thread, worth around Tk3.5 crore, were gutted in the fire. On early hours of Friday, a fire broke out at the blower room of Shamim Spinning Mills Ltd following an electric short-circuit. After the fire spread out of control, two units from Kaliakoir fire station rushed to the spot and doused the fire. l

Hajj is the biggest Muslim congregation in the world; but it seems that everyone goes to Mecca to perform hajj as a mandatory Islamic ritual. At the Biswa Ijtema in Tongi of Bangladesh, people come willingly to learn about Islam and send invitation to others to follow its path. “We visit this place after travelling hundreds of miles from our country only to learn Islam,” said Kalimullah, 40, a pharmacist from Saudi Arabia. Asked how long he will stay in Bangladesh, Kalimullah said he had come to

complete his learning Islam, and that he would not leave the country until he found almighty Allah through his prayers. Mohammad Yeasin, 35, who is a primary school teacher in Palestine, said he had come to exchange the knowledge of Islam with the fellow devotees. Ijtema of Tabligh Jamaat is considered as the second largest Muslim congregation after the hajj. The Dhaka Tribune spoke to a retired government official from the Philippines, Khalilullah, 60, on the Ijtema ground. He came to Bangladesh to learn the way of sending invitation of Islam.

Working with a Tabligh Jamaat team since he came to Dhaka on January 26, Khalilullah said he would not return home until he was satisfied with his learning. Another foreigner Sahideen, 45, who is a businessperson in Malaysia, told the Dhaka Tribune that he came with a group supported by the organisers from Bangladesh Tabligh Jamaat. He plans to leave the country after getting their instruction on how to invite people to Islam. He also joined the last four congregations. Abu Ubaida, 21, a youth of Kirgizstan, says he came to Bangladesh

Haque Prodhan also supported the fact that some Hindus were leaving the country every year and said communalism and violence on minorities would decrease if the persons responsible for communalism were punished in special tribunals. Dhaka University professor Syed Anwar Hussain alleged that the government’s role in handling post-attack situation was inadequate. “Two or three attacks on minorities were committed in Abhoynagar in Jessore even after the prime minister’s visit in the affected areas,” he said. Presided over by the Mancha coordinator Ajay Roy, the discussion was also addressed by Shahidullah Shikder of Ganotantri Party, educationalist Hannana Begum and Bangladesh Peace Council General Secretary Abul Kuasem. l

that Jamaat had been supporting communalism, with the full backing of the BNP and some support from the Awami League as well. The culture of impunity after committing an offence encouraged the violence against minorities, they said and pointed out that every year, Hindus were leaving the country. Veteran politician and Oikya NAP President Pankaj Bhattacharya said the anti-liberation forces who were defeated in 1971 have been taking revenge by creating communalism and the government should take stern actions to stop communalism through bringing the country out of the culture of impunity. The veteran politician said the persons in the administration assigned to protect the people who failed should also be brought under legal action.

He urged for a ministry for minorities and a minorities commission to uphold the rights of and to build trust in the minorities. Pankaj demanded that Jamaat be banned and their financial empire destroyed through nationalisation of their financial and service-related establishments to root out communalism. Awami League presidium member Nuh-ul-Alam Lenin pointed out that oppression on Hindu women and their lands were the main reason of the minorities’ exodus from the country and that the governments often denied the fact. He urged for banning the use of religion in politics, removing communalism from education system and to uphold the spirit of the Liberation War to resist communalism. Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal MP Nazmul

Three robbers killed in ‘gunfight’ n Tribune Report

A kaleidoscope of colours in Cox’s Bazar sky

Three alleged robbers were killed and another sustained bullet injury in a “gunfight”with police in Mithapukur upazila of Rangpur in the early hours of yesterday. The deceased are Jahangir Hossain Anwar, 28, Ripon Miah, 35, and Ahmed Ali, 35. Officer-in-Charge of Mithapukur police station said Moazzem Hossain the robbers’ gang was returning to Rangpur after looting Tk1.19 lakh from Shathibari petrol station station. Informed by the petrol pump staff around 5am, police chased the private car carrying the bandits. When police personnel challenged them, they fired gunshots prompting the law enforcers to fire back, triggering a gunfight. Jahangir was caught in the line of fire and died on the spot while Ripon and Ahmed sustained bullet injuries. Ripon succumbed to his injuries at Mithapukur Upazila Health Complex soon after the incident while Ahmed died at Rangpur Medical College Hospital at about 1:30pm. Police, however, managed to arrest rest of the gang members, including one with bullet wounds, and took them to the police station for interrogation. Police seized a pistol, 10 sharp weapons and Tk1.19 lakh. Police said four policemen were injured in the incident. l

n Tribune report

Foreigners opt to stay beyond Ijtema to learn Islam n Mohammad Jamil Khan


two years ago and stayed at the Kakrail mosque. He mentioned that he wanted to spend his life by serving Islam. Al Teen, 22, came from Tajikistan, says he came to Bangladesh a couple of months ago. According to members of law enforcement agencies, presence of foreigners is not too much during the second phase of Ijtema compared to the first phase. Around 10,000 foreign devotes are attending the second phase while 25,000 foreigners from 120 countries including Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia and Palestine participated in the first phase. l

Six years old Tanjila Mahmood Moushumi was staring up into the sky with her eyes wide open, amused by the spectacle taking place in front of her. The sky she looked into was not her everyday sky: it has turned into a kaleidoscope of colours. “What is this?” she asked her father, who was standing nearby, pointing to the multihued kites that were flying in all directions. She asked for one and, as soon as she was given, began to fly it in emulation of the hundreds of kite flyers scratted across the beach. These people, sporting fancy clothes and trying to snag each other’s kites, were the highlight of the two-day National Kite Festival 2014 that began yesterday at the Laboni beach point in Cox’s Bazar. Apart from the participants, there were many tourists who came from around the country to witness the fights of the kites. One of them, Mohiuddin, who came with his daughter Moushumi, said: “Before the event began, my daughter was not in the best of her moods. But the festival changed the scenario.” Bangladesh Kite Federation is organising the event with a view to promoting kite-flying as a sport and popularising Cox’s Bazar as a tourist destination. Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jhun jointly inaugurated the event. They were accompanied by Cox’s Bazar 3 lawmaker Saimum Sar-

war Kamal and several government high officials. In this speech, Li jhun likened Chinese collaboration with the festival to a “new start” in the relations between Bangladesh and China. “It had been celebrated before, but today opens a new chapter in our bilateral relations.”

Kites of various names were flown on the first day, including Pocket, Stunt, Dragon, Series, Train, Butterfly, Snake, Airplane, etc Hasanul Haque Inu said the event would uphold the traditional practice of kite flying. “These kites, coming in various shapes and designs, present a valuable source of entertainment for the spectators. But more than that, they help us revisit our childhood.” BKF General Secretary Shahjahan Mridha Benu spoke in the same vein: “In our childhood, we used to fly kite but unfortunately its popularity is on the decline. Through this event, we are trying to revive this traditional sport which is at once easy to play and environment-friendly.” Kites of various names were flown on the first day, including Pocket, Stunt, Dragon, Series, Train, Butterfly, Snake, Airplane, etc. In addition, lanterns were flown away in the evening. l




Saturday, February 1, 2014


Businesspersons, makeshift shops profit Tk100 crore Around 60 hotels and restaurants and 260 clothes shops have been set up on the congregation ground Jamil Khan, n Mohammad from Tongi The Bishwa Ijtema on the bank of river Turag on the outskirts of capital is not only a religious congregation but also an opportunity for some to make quick bucks by doing brisk business within a couple of weeks. A good number of makeshift restaurants, clothes shops and bookshops alongside the permanent ones have mushroomed in the area centring the Ijtema. Besides, a number of hawkers from Gazipur, Tongi and Uttara assemble at the 160-acre land of Ijtema there in a bid to make a brisk business. Most businessmen said they made

double profit during Ijtema, the second largest Muslims congregation after Hajj. According to law enforcers’ directory, there are around 60 hotels and restaurants and 260 clothes shops raised in the area. The restaurants are full of people either taking lunch or snacks round the clock while most other shops witness a heavy crowd of customers busy buying knickknacks and other necessary stuff. Normally, the hoteliers do not come to their business centres at daytime, but during Ijtema they were found working with the hotel managers. They were seen busy counting money always. Talking to this correspondent, Abu

Taleb, owner of the Maya Hotel, told the Dhaka Tribune they were making a good sale because of Ijtema. “Normally, our daily sale ranges between Tk10,000 and Tk12,000, but in these days, the sale goes near Tk20,000,” he said. Taleb added: “This is a usual scenario during Ijtema. Our sale increases. All 30 restaurants established near DhakaMymensing road in Tongi Bazar area make a good sale.” Some other restaurant mangers echoed the same as Taleb. They mentioned during Ijtema they had to hire additional workers and sometimes they bring their relatives from villages to face customers. Even many set up temporary restau-

rants and roadside eateries with a view to making quick bucks. Mohammad Ali, who set up a roadside eatery beside Munnu Textile by placing a table and two benches only, told the Dhaka Tribune during Ijtema he sold Tk3,000 to Tk5,000 daily by selling beef, rice and vegetables items. “I have set up this makeshift food shop to earn some extra in line with my main restaurant established in the station road area,” he said. Like the restaurants, some 260 clothes shops have been set up in the Ijtema area. Mohammad Babul Mia, a businessperson in Uttara area, told the Dhaka Tribune he set up his makeshift clothes shops paying Tk25,000 for space to a

permanent clothes shop owner, and his sale crossed Tk20,000 daily. Contacted, Ismail Hossain, officerin-charge of Tongi police station, said there were around 250 to 300 clothes shops in the area and mainly these shops sold space to the makeshift shop owners as they alone failed to deal with a large number of customers. Alongside hoteliers, clothes shops and makeshift restaurant owners, hawkers also eke out living through brisk business in the Ijtema area. Fraid Mia, a puffed rice and peanut seller, said he had been able to sell Tk2500 to Tk3,000 in six days of Ijtema. There were around 50 other hawkers like me on the ground, he said.

Anower Sadat, president of Gazipur Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told the Dhaka Tribune the sale had doubled during Ijtema and businesspersons were making a profitable business as a huge number of devotees gathered at the Ijtema. About shops at the congregation, Lehaz Uddin, assistant engineer of Gazipur City Corporation, told the Dhaka Tribune they were the annexes of permanent shops. He gave the version that there were no chances of setting up makeshift shops on the Ijtema ground because mobile court was always active in the area. The court would not allow any temporary shops out there, he added. l

Chittagong Divisional Physics Olympiad held

Body of woman found split in two at Uttara

n FM Mizanur Rahman

n Tribune Report

The 4th Chittagong Divisional Physics Olympiad was held at the Presidency International School in Chittagong yesterday. A total of 1,000 students from different institutions of Chittagong took part in the programme held in three sessions. During the first session, the participants went through an exam while the second round was marked by screening of science related films and documentaries and a question-answer session.

The body of an unidentified woman was recovered by police yesterday in Uttara. The woman’s body was found in a sack behind a house in Uttara’s sector 14, around 12:30pm. Locals had told the police that the sack was giving off a foul smell. The victim had not been identified by the time this story was filed. Police said the woman was aged between 2530 years. Sub-Inspector Firoz Alam of Uttara West police station said the body was cut into two pieces, and that the sack might have been dumped 4-5 days ago, since the body was in a badly decomposed state. He said: “She was wearing a blue sweater but the lower half of her body had no cloths. The killers put the lower part in a sack and the upper portion in another. Both the sacks were placed inside another big sack.” Firoz said the victim had a black mark on her throat. “We are investigating the incident and trying to find out her identity,” he added. The body has been sent to the Dhaka Medical College for autopsy. l

A total of 200 examinees across the country will take part in the finale Addressing as the chief guest, Professor Dr M Samser Ali of Open University said educational institutions have a significant role to motivate students to study science. Later, a colourful rally was brought out that paraded through different roads and ended at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital. Earlier in the 44th International Physics Olympiad held in Copenhagen, Denmark in July last year, five students represented Bangladesh of whom three were from Chittagong A total of 200 examinees across the country will take part in the finale to be held at the University of Dhaka on February 28. Ziauddin Ahmed, Bir Uttam, principal of Presidency International School and also head of organising committee, Chittagong district presided over the programme while Dr AKM Mominul Haque Miazi, Dr Md Nasim Hasan, Professor Najiba Siddique, Dr Arun Kumar Deb. Dr Kamrul Huda, among others, were present. l


Dry weather likely n UNB Weather is likely to remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country during midnight till morning, Met Office said. Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:45pm today and rises at 6:40am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 31.1 degrees Celsius was recorded yesterday in Sylhet and lowest 08.4 degrees in Srimangal. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

24.2 27.8 20.2 23.0 24.3 26.0 31.1 30.0

14.5 15.0 10.8 13.2 12.8 13.0 12.9 17.1

Thousands of devotees join the Jumma prayers of the second phase of Biswa Ijtema, which ended yesterday at the bank of Turag in Tongi

Toll-free numbers for government services soon n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will soon seek government approval for introducing tollfree phones, both mobile and landline, for different government services. Sources in BTRC said recently different government wings and ministries had requested the telecom watchdog to approve toll-free phones. BTRC officials said currently some law enforcement agencies and serviceoriented organisations had individual toll-free numbers, but they were not performing actively. “We have attended a meeting about toll-free services and decided to leave the matter for government decision, ” said a senior official of the BTRC. Couple of months ago the telecom regulator introduced approved tollfree numbers for both local and in-

ternational connections. Police has a toll-free short code (999), but it is only accessible from BTCL land lines, as the toll issues have not been settled with mobile and other land phone operators. BTRC has also assigned some tollfree numbers for agriculture, family planning and health care. The telecom watchdog decided that initially they could go for separate tollfree numbers for different government wings and respective organisations would have to maintain the systems themselves. “But within a short time we can go for a single toll free number where a citizen can get all the services and public information from one call,” the BTRC source said. Calling the number, callers will be able to request for police, fire service or hospital or any other services through an Interactive Voice Response system. l

Power Division to go paperless soon New system to provide more efficient services service) under a National e-Service will be fully digitalised by March 26 n Aminur Rahman Rasel System (NESS) to provide hassle-free, this year using the e-filing software. The Power Division of Bangladesh will soon become a paperless office by introducing an e-Filing system for its daily activities. The e-Filing system is a digital registry and workflow system, providing an efficient computerised version of the century-old manual and heavily bureaucratic service delivery system now being used at every office affiliated with the division. “The new system has been implemented on a trial basis in limited scale. Soon, it will be implemented fully. The file management system will be fully digitalised under the e-Filing system,” Power Secretary Monwar Islam said while talking to the Dhaka Tribune. “All services of power division will be turned into e- service (electronic

5:22am 6:39am 12:12am 4:09pm 5:45pm 7:02pm


quick services to the people,” he added.

The system will also work to ensure service delivery to the people in the least possible time, saving both time and labour in the process Earlier, State minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid announced that the power division will become paperless within a year. On January 23, a meeting was held in this regard over the implementation of the system. The meeting decided the division

The minister also asked the division to draw an action plan in this regard. Monwar also expressed hope this digitalisation will help improve service delivery system, institutional capacity and establish good governance in the sector. “The system allows us to track individual files swiftly and pending files can be easily identified, which will improve the files disposal rate.” he claimed. The system will also work to ensure service delivery to the people in the least possible time, saving both time and labour in the process. The division also hopes that the eFiling system will help serve more clients per day, reduce corruption and ensure accountability and transparency in working process. l

ACC to trace illegal wealth of education directorate employees’ leader n Syed Samiul Basher Anik

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha


Speakers at a discussion, organised by a platform against militancy, condemn the recent attacks on minority communities across the country at the Liberation War Museum in the capital yesterday RAJIB DHAR

The Anti-Corruption Commission is conducting an inquiry against Mostafa Patwary, known to be an influential leader of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education employees, on charges of accumulation of illegal wealth, an ACC official said. He said the commission initiated the inquiry on charges of accumulation of illegal wealth and obtaining plots and flats using fake names. The ACC inquiry has already found that the official took a five-katha plot in Purbachal Notun Shohor project under the reserved quota for freedom fighters which he mentioned in his income tax return of Dhaka Zone Office 7. The ACC official said during inquiry they also found the official having another Taxpayers Identification Number

in another tax office – Dhaka Tax Zone 4. Both TIN numbers and details of the TINs were same, but a person is not allowed to hold double TINs at a time, said the official. He said the commission served a notice to the National Board of Revenue seeking information on the TIN numbers and irregularities. Meanwhile, officials at the NBR confirmed that they received a letter from ACC Deputy Assistant Director Meftahul Jannat seeking information. The letter has asked to immediately submit a detailed report by analysing both TINs of Mostafa Patwary. The letter also asked the NBR to serve details about Shomiron Das, commissioner at circle 82 under Dhaka Income Tax Zone 7. The details must include the current position and contact information of the official. l




Saturday, February 1, 2014

DC Narinda building vulnerable to collapse Families living near the establishment urge the authorities to take steps to either demolish or rebuild it property damage.” n Abu Hayat Mahmud “The building has been in this conThe century-old building of Dhaka Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Old Dhaka’s Narinda has not been demolished yet despite its being marked by Rajuk as “vulnerable” about three years ago. Families living near the derelict two-storey building have expressed concerns about its vulnerability to collapse and potential to cause damage, urging the authorities concerned to take steps to either demolish or rebuild it. Rajuk, the urban development authority of the capital, prepared a list of over 300 vulnerable buildings in Dhaka in 2010 and the Narinda building was one of them. During a recent visit to the spot, the Dhaka Tribune found the building inhabited by families of several lower-ranking officers, braving its conspicuously unsound conditions with crumbling plaster and a leaking roof. Cracks developed in different parts of the old building, on the walls and floors and balconies, posing a grave risk to the safety of those living inside as well as their neighbours in adjacent buildings. The residents, however, declined to comment on the validity of their using the house as a staff quarter. Md Habibur Rahman, who has a one-storey house close to the back of the old building, said: “We are afraid the building may collapse any time and cause a humanitarian catastrophe and

dition for quite a while but no steps were taken to demolish it.” Several locals living near the building also expressed similar concerns and urged the authorities to take steps to demolish the structure soon. It has been alleged that the actual owner of the 1.5-katha land, on which the building stands, was one Nabajeet Chandra Roy from whom the DC office took the land. Ratan Roy, nephew of Nabajeet and current claimant to the land, told the Dhaka Tribune that the land was forcibly requisitioned. “We filed a case against the DC office for occupying the land. The court ruled in favour of us but they did not yet hand it over.” He also said the city corporation had served a notice on him asking him to have the building demolished but the DC office would not allow it as, he alleged, doing so would mean eviction of its employees. Contacted, Deputy Commissioner Sheikh Yusuf Harun denied prior knowledge of the building. “I will collect information in this regard and if the building is found to be vulnerable, it will be demolished.” He also denied having any knowledge of the claim about land ownership. “It will not be fair to comment on the matter without knowing and checking documents first. I will take steps after checking necessary documents.” l

Ferry service on the Maowa-Kaorakandi route resumed yesterday morning after a 10-hour long disruption. The service resumed at 10am after it was halted around midnight because of poor visibility due to dense fog. Four ferries were stuck in the Padma River during the time with more than 400 vehicles stuck on both sides of the river. Shekhor Chandra Roy, assistant manager of BIWTC, said as the signal lights of the vessels were not visible because of the fog the fourferries had to anchor in the river to avoid accidents. l


Protesters demand exemplary punishment for Ershad n Mohammad Atiqur Rahman

A front view of dilipidated Dhaka Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Old Dhaka’s Narinda that has developed several cracks


Green actvists for protecting Cox’s Bazar ecology

Mymensingh four-lane work finished by December

n Tribune Report

Communication Minister Obaidul Quader said the construction work on the Dhaka-Mymensingh four-lane from Mymensingh to Bhaluka would be completed by December this year. The minister said the speed of construction work of the project had slowed down because of political unrest, but now it has expedited. The minister said this while visiting Dhaka-Mymensingh four-lane project site at Trishal yesterday. The minister said the government had given emphasis on the development of communication sector and the works for renovation and maintenance of roads, bridges and culverts had already been started. The damaged roads will be repaired and illegal structures besides roads and

The next generation of the country will be at risk if the country fails to save its natural environment and ecology, speakers said yesterday at a discussion. They also expressed concern over unplanned urbanisation, hill cutting and forest degradation in the tourist district of Cox’s Bazar. The programme was held at the conference room of the Cox’s Bazar district administration’s office. The discussion, titled “It is everybody’s duty to save the nature,” was jointly organised by Bangladesh Kite Federation, Cox’s Bazar district administration and Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa). Chittagong Divisional Commissioner

Mohammad Abdullah said that the government has already allocated Tk2,500 crore to this purpose. Of that

Astronomer Dr Deepen Bhattecharjee said it was our civic duty to save the Cox’s Bazar sea beach by making it environment-friendly money, Tk2 crore has been dedicated for protecting the nature of Cox’s Bazar district. Dr AR Khan, the president of Bangladesh Kite Federation, urged

everyone to save nature, social and family atmosphere. Astronomer Dr Deepen Bhattecharjee said it was our civic duty to save the Cox’s Bazar sea beach by making it environment-friendly. Among others Shahjahan Mrdiha, the general secretary of Bangladesh Kite Federation and Ruhul Amin, member of Bangladesh Tourist Board also spoke at the discussion while Sharif Jamil, the joint general secretary of Bapa, moderated the discussion. The discussion was organised to mark the beginning of a two-day long kite festival on the world’s longest sea beach at Cox’s Bazar which was inaugurated by Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu. l

n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh

Construction of shops on a canal on despite BCC directives n Our Correspondent, Barisal Despite Barisal City Corporation issuing a notice to stop construction work of three shops on a canal in Sagordi area, a leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League is still continuing construction of the shops. After visiting the spot and talking with the local people, it was learnt that construction of three shops on about 600 square feet is going on in full swing on the canal. Suranjan Saha Babu alias Saha Babu, secretary of the Sagordi Kitchen Market committee, said Jasimuddin, city unit BCL president, was constructing the stalls for rent or lease. Councilor of ward 23 Rijvi Chowdhury said four stalls of the Sagordi kitchen market were constructed on the bank of the canal and were leased to Abdul Aziz Hawladar, Balai, Surjyapal and Hossain in 1975. During his tenure as a mayor of the city, Awami League city unit president Shawkat Hossain Hiron demolished the stalls in the name of reconstruction and development of the market, giving assurances that after the renovation works he would give lease of the shops to the old owners. But the then mayor did not keep his words as he did not give lease of the shops to the previous lease holders. He leased the shops to Kamal Pasha, brother-in law of BCL city unit president Jasimuddin, and Abul Hossain Arun, Jubo League leader. The mayor also extended the area of the shops 20 feets into the canal. Then, Jasimuddin started constructing three more stalls adjacent to those four stalls grabbing the canal and almost has completed the construction works, locals said.

But denying the allegation, Jasimuddin claimed owners of the leased stalls constructed embankments to prevent their establishments from erosion of the canal. The local ward councilor said he had informed the matter to the authority of the Barisal City Corporation. Humayun Kabir, executive engineer of the city corporation, said he had informed the higher authorities and requested them to issue notice to stop illegal construction and the notice was

Maowa-Kaorakandi ferry service resumes after 10 hours n Our Correspondent, Munshiganj

served on Sunday. Rijvi Chowdhury, acknowledging the fact of issuing notice by BCC authority said an employee of BCC was assaulted and drove away by the cadres of the BCL leader when he came to serve the notice. “The work is almost already complete there. In this situation, only giving notice without any rapid action, will not stop the grabbing process,” he added. SM Shahzada, a canal and wetland

highways across the country will be evicted soon, the minister said. The BNP has become detached from the people as they had not participate in the recent national election. “Although the BNP termed the government “illegal”, now they are participating in the upcoming upazila election and also showing interest in talking with the government,” he said. The minister also inaugurated Sutia Bridge which had been constructed at a cost of Tk5.20 crore on the Sutia River at Trishal. Officials of four-lane project, secretary of district Awami League Abdul Matin Sarker and Mayor of Mymensingh Municipality Ekramul Haque Titu were present during the visit. The minister visited the project site last February and then he said the construction work of the lane will be completed by August 2013. l

Protesters at a human chain yesterday demanded exemplary punishment for JaPa Chairman HM Ershad as the prime accused in the Manzoor murder case. The human chain, organized under the banner of Shaheed Asad Parishad, was held in front of the National Press Club in the capital. “It is not right to keep this issue suspended for the last 33 years. I urge the premier as the daughter of Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) not to compromise with the killers of Manzoor,” Shamsuzzaman Milon, general secretary of Saheed Asad Parishad, told the Dhaka Tribune. Similarly, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Andolon Convenor Hamidul Haq said: “How come the prime accused in the Manzoor murder case can be the Prime Minister’s special envoy? Prime Minister has done an offence morally through by appointing him in the capacity.” Major General Abul Manzoor was killed while being transferred from police custody to Chittagong Cantonment on June 1, 1981, just two days after the assassination of BNP founder and military strongman Ziaur Rahman. On February 28, 1995, the victim’s brother Abul Mansur Ahmed filed a murder case in this connection with Panchlaish police in Chittagong. The charge sheet of the case was submitted the same year. On January 22 this year, a Dhaka court set February 10 for delivering the verdict of the case. l

Seven die in city road accidents n Ashif Islam Shaon

recovery activist in the city, said Barisal town, once known as the ‘Venice of Bengal’ had nearly 600 ponds and water bodies. The number of water bodies in the city has reduced because of rampant filling and encroachments, he said, adding, now the city has only four canals – Jail Khal, Sagordi Khal, Rayer Khal and Bhatar Khal. He said the city corporation authority should take prompt measures to save the canal from encroachment. l

A race between two teenage bikers cost one life and injured three people yesterday afternoon at Hatirjheel, a popular place for the city dwellers to roam around on weekends. Besides, eight more people died in separate road accidents at different places of the city and Bogra yesterday. Witnesses said four teenagers on two motorbikes were racing against each other that led to a collision. Badhan Rana, 16, one of the bikers 16, died on the spot around 4pm at Hatirjheel. Another driver Hridoy, 18, and his co-rider Emran sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in a critical state, said Moshiur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Ramna police station. All of them are the residents of Badda Notun Bazar area. In other incidents, two people died at Gabtoli in the afternoon. Khorshed, 25, sustained injures after being hit by an unknown vehicle and later succumbed to his injuries around 1am at DMCH, said Mozammel Haque, inspector of DMCH police outpost. Meanwhile, Md Russel, 20, was killed after a truck hit him in Beribadh area at 12 noon. On the other hand, Al-Amin, 35, worker of a steel mill died as a CNGrun auto rickshaw hit him at Kodomtoli in the capital when he was going to Gendaria around 1pm to attend a milad-mahfil.

Sub-Inspector of Tejgaon police station Md Mahbub said pedestrians rescued an unknown youth from the road in front of Tejgaon Women’s College after he was knocked down by a private car. At Kuril, Md Ohid, 26, died after being hit by a car around 1am. In Bogra two motorbike passengers were killed in a road accident in Santahar of Adamdighiupazila of the district.

Four teenagers on two motorbikes were racing against each other that led to a collision. Badhan Rana, 16, one of the bikers 16, died at Hatirjheel The deceased were identified as Md Harun and Md Mohsin, said Santahar police outpost SI Mizanur Rahman. He also said an unnamed person also sustained severe injuries and was rushed to hospital, reports our correspondent. SI Mizanur Rahman said, “A speeding motorbike was heading towards Bogra at around 3pm. The motorbike collided with a three-wheeler and fell under a tractor. Two passengers died on the spot while other one sustained severe injuries.” l

Six shops burnt in Chittagong n FM MizanurRahaman

The photo taken yesterday shows that the front side of the shops have already been completed


A fire gutted six semi-pucca shops at Nanupur Bazar area of Chittagong’s Fatikchhari upazila yesterday. Agrabad fire service sources said the fire had originated from an electric short

circuit in a shop at the local market and soon engulfed surrounding shops around 10:20am, burning down goods worth Tk5 lakh. Fire fighters were able to douse the flame after an hour’s effort. However no casualty was reported over the incident, said the sources. l




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Robotics: Child’s play for budding enthusiasts World’s Next Education System (WNES) leads the way in bringing robotics technology to the new generation dren, but only seven remain – all of and listen to theories and explana- development and electronics along n Ishrat Jahan whom show a strong passion for robot- tions, while they seldom want to with robotics. Our present batch has al-


The children learning about circuitry at the school


ur kids can beat a university graduate any day at building a robot,” claims Shams Jaber, as he moves among children and robots. Shams and his team, an eccentric mix of six engineering and business undergraduates in their final year at BRAC University, have been holding robotics classes for the past three months. They teach children how to build robots and familiarise them with complex concepts of wiring and circuitry. Every Saturday, an empty room in one of the many high-rises in the urban maze of Niketon is filled with the hustle and bustle of seven eager children rummaging through boxes of wires and half-made robots. I arrived at their door, sceptical of what lay on the other side. I expected an ordinary classroom, with the typical austere white-washed walls and wooden benches. Instead, I found a room with colourful walls with graffiti of Gandhi and Galileo. Equipment was strewn across the tables – evidence of impatient little artists at work. The kids kept teachers Shams Jaber and Maisun Ibn Monowar busy from the moment they came in, demanding new projects to work on, or searching for their half-made robots. These students spend weekdays in educational environments, governed by rules, and under constant supervision. Then they come to this class, where the only rule is: “Let your imagination flow.” The school started out with 15 chil-

ics. They undertake a variety of projects, like building and programming a pathfinding robot. “Usually children are reluctant to do their homework or pay attention in class, but our students surprise us with their enthusiasm to learn. Nine-yearold Abrar cries when his father doesn’t allow him to take his projects and electronic kits home,” Shams says. A confident and serious twelveyear-old named Fahim walks into class and instantly picks up bits of wire and batteries, pouring all of his concentration into his muse for the day: the circuit board. Asked why he chose to come here, he shrugs and says: “I just like doing this class.” He finds nothing unusual about building a robot from scratch at such a young age. Maisun Ibn Monowar and Probal Barman, engineering students at BRAC, are the helping hands behind the success of these kids, making lessons easier for them to learn, and simplifying the more intricate details of programming and circuit development. Maisun says: “In any other school or class you would depend on books and theories to get you through the course, but with robotics you can’t go far without practical classes. Instead of teaching them complex methods through theories, we just show them how to do it. The kids basically play around with wiring and breadboards. We just show them the how-to-play.” “It’s not easy. At more complex levels, we need the kids to sit down

Khiyo performing their controversial version of the national anthem, Amar Shonar Bangla


move away from their worktables. In such situations, you have to sit

ready started working on building a cell phone,” says Shams.

Despite the school’s practical approach, learning some theories is important to understanding critical concepts COURTESY and figure out how to keep the kids interested while teaching them the critical concepts. Working that out is both exhilarating and exhausting. But it is worth the hard work,” says Maisun. Shams says WNES was started with the intention of creating an education system that thrives on imagination, and does not reduce itself to standardised learning. The classes for robotics are meant to be the stepping stones to their larger, innovative enterprise. “We plan to expand into a fullfledged engineering school, offering a wide range of subjects with the flexible and interactive approach to teaching that is missing in today’s education system. For our new batch of students this February, we are offering game

WNES’s current batch of seven kids have enrolled as participants in BRAC University Robotics Club’s competition, Path Finder Robot Contest 3, an inter-university competition where teams compete against one another to create the best line-follower robot. Participating with experienced university graduates shows the level of expertise the kids have achieved at such a young age. “When I look back to my school days, studies were not a good memory. I find the traditional system of memorising and following the book to be suffocating. I wanted to change that. So last February, I decided to do something about it. The robotics classes are the first of many such programmes to come.” l

Sohini performing with Khiyo at London’s Southbank Centre


Sohini Alam: Musically speaking… n Promiti Prova Chowdhury


here was a time when waking up to the sound of riyaz was a regular thing; singing was an integral part of Bangali family life, something embraced by everyone. “Nowadays there is a guitar player in almost every household, which is wonderful, but I wish there were more tabla, esraj, violin and flute players as well.” These are the wistful observations of Sohini Alam, lead vocalist of the London-based band Khiyo, popularly known for their interpretation of the national anthem, which caused controversy because of its use of Western and local instruments, much to the dismay of purists.

Musical genes S o -

hini belongs to a musical family. She was trained by her mother Hiron Alam and aunts Jannat Ara and Ferdous Ara, the latter being a leading Bangladeshi

I love to listen to Tagore’s Amar Shonar Bangla; it reminds me of the mango trees in my nana’s yard exponent of Nazrul Sangeet. So it comes as no surprise when she says: “I am not at all a fan of auto-tuning. You should be able to sing. If you cannot sing it, you probably should not record your voice.” Born

in the United Kingdom, she was raised in London until the age of nine. After the passing of her mother, she moved to Dhaka and lived here till she was 17. In her teenage years she saw singing as a pastime rather than a prospective career, but four years ago she decided to pursue music ahead of all else.

The glass slipper

It was 2009 by the time she started singing for theatre productions. Her big moment was performing at the Tara Arts’ Christmas pantomime in London. Pantomime is a Christmas tradition in London; they are light-hearted plays, usually based on children’s fairy tales. Sohini’s challenge was to compose a Bollywood-style score to accompany a production of Cinderella. “Pantomimes have a very particular aesthetic: singing, dancing, comedy, and music; it’s all very English. But this was Bollywood-style Cinderella; it was set in India. Cinderella and her mother wore kameez and lehenga. We [the singers] were on stage and the characters acted out the lines that we sang. You have to remember that the lyrics were in English, and we had to sync them with popular Bollywood tunes. For example, we used the tune of “Pahela Nasha” to accompany a love scene–writing English lyrics to go with it. “You have to change voices; so versatility is a must,” says Sohini.

Banding together

She met Oliver Weeks while doing a show in London. Oliver, who

was already involved in a band called “Parapar” with seasoned singer Moushumi Bhowmick from Calcutta offered to jam with Sohini. Sohini formed the band Khiyo with Oliver in 2007. The other band members are Ben Hillyard and Derek Scurll. Sohini is also the lead singer of the band Lokkhi Terra, an Afro-CubanBengali band led by Kishon Khan, a Bangladeshi-born British jazz pianist and composer. “London is a place where you find people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and where language is not a barrier. I studied in Texas, so I have Latin friends. I was influenced by their music. When working with Kishon, I tried to find similarities between Bangla and Cuban music,” she says.

much more organic than that. It has to flow naturally and touch the soul.” The band is currently working on its first album, which is expected to hit the market in July this year. The album will contain a few Nazrul Sangeet numbers, and songs from Tagore and Lalon.

Sonar Bangla

When asked about her musical preferences, Sohini mentions patriotic songs. She says: “Maybe it’s because I live abroad. The patriotic songs remind me of my country, my nana’s place. I do not need

my eyes closed. It reminds me of my country; it reminds me of the mango trees in my nana’s yard.” The ebullient vocalist wants to embrace traditional music on an international platform, and makes the suggestion that other contemporary musicians do so too. “We have moved away from playing local instruments. I like it better with our own instruments that are indigenous to this part of the world, like the sarod, flute and dhol. We have amazing players of these across the country.

True fusion

Sohini rues the way the term “fusion” has become cheapened. “What it has become now is you just tack on two lines of a raga [a melodic mode used in Indian classical music] to western beats, play some rap over it and call it a “fusion”. “Ideally it should not be instant. What happens with us is my band members and I sit together with food, and start eating and playing. It is like you sit with your set of musical knowledge, next to a person who has his own set of knowledge. “For example, I sing a Bangla song and tell Oli [Khiyo’s guitarist] to play. I come up with what I have acquired so far and so does he. Then we look for the commonalities between both, and see if they work together or not. If it does then we expand. This is how we try out several songs. It is not just about a number of beats matching together, it’s

Sohini with bandmate Oliver Weeks at London School of Sound a special occasion to listen to such songs because they resonate in my memory. “Moreover, I love to listen to Tagore’s Amar Shonar Bangla, which is also the national anthem, lying down with


Rock-metal is fine; but exploring Salil Chowdhury and Sachin Dev Burman is not a bad idea either. I am not suggesting a rock version of Burman, but I like to think about its influence.” l



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Essential nutrients for your baby Iron

Iron is needed for brain development, and is also involved in various bodily functions such as transporting oxygen through blood. Babies store iron while in the womb, and usually have enough to get them through the first

Essential for strong bones and teeth, calcium also helps with enzyme and muscle functions, and blood clotting. Dairy food is the best source of calcium, but some baby cereals are also fortified with calcium. According to the most recent Australian Nutrition Survey, 70% of children don’t meet their recommended daily intake for calcium. Babies aged 7-12 months are estimated to need around 270mg of calcium a day if they’re breast-fed, and 350mg if they’re bottle fed. Milk, yoghurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, tofu, sardines, and salmon are the best sources.


Zinc helps cell growth and repair, and helps maintain a healthy immune system. It is also necessary for brain cognition and development. Baby formulas generally contain zinc and some cereals are fortified with it. Zinc is often found in the same foods that contain iron, so if your baby is getting enough iron, they’re usually getting enough zinc too. Look for eggs, fish, milk and cheese.


Vitamin B12

healthy eating patterns that are associated with decreased risk of chronic conditions and diseases in adulthood. Inadequate intake of nutrients can impair growth and development in children. Unfortunately, the foods and snacks that taste the best are usually the worst for our bodies, and a child left to their own whim will almost always choose

six months of life. But after that, human milk alone won’t provide an adequate source. Once you introduce solids around six months, choose first foods like rice cereals that are fortified with iron. Lean red meat is also a great source, and can be pureed for babies around seven-nine months old. Other useful foods include baked beans, green, leafy vegetables, and fish.



Fructose linked to gout

All of you know that gout is a disease of painful joints caused by higher level of uric acid in blood. It’s usually found in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is added

to many processed foods, sweetened fruit juices, and soft drinks, as well as to sauces and condiments. And researchers have already linked it to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, to name a few. Now a study of more than 78,000 women, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has also found that an increased intake of fructoserich beverages, which was defined in the research as being one serving per day, is also linked to a 76% higher risk of gout among women. The researchers suggest that this effect is probably due to the fact that fructose can increase serum uric acid levels, which is a trigger for the disease. 

Plastic water bottles have become an indispensable companion of the modern era. For years, rumours have swirled about the health dangers of reusing PET bottles. A coding system is used on plastic bottles inside the recycling logo to identify the type of plastic it’s made from. The water bottles usually are made from lightweight plastic called PET or code 1. “PET is not one of the plastics causing any problems,” states Michael Moore, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Queensland. But, he adds, such bottles are only meant to be used once. Over time, these slowly break down, releasing the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) into the water, especially if the bottle is repeatedly heated – such as in a dishwasher. BPA is shown to cause cancer, diabetes, and reproductive disorders in animal trials, yet no


Don’t reuse plastic bottles

effects in humans have been shown. So, don’t heat plastic bottles by filling them with hot liquid or putting them in the microwave or dishwasher. 

Every cell that divides in a baby’s rapidly growing body requires B12, one of the eight B-group vitamins. B12 is also essential for normal nerve cell function. It is only found in products of animal origin. Good sources include dairy products and eggs, while some soya formulas and cereals are fortified with the vitamin.


Babies need enough fat in their diet for proper growth and development, but it’s important to make sure they’re getting the right types of fat and cholesterol. Children under two should have full-fat dairy products including milk and cheese. l

n Prescription Desk

than two hours; the limit is one hour if the air temperature is above 90°F (32°C). Also, keep in mind that your car is probably even hotter than typical room temperature, so it’s important not to leave groceries in your car longer than absolutely necessary, and never more than 2 hours (or 1 hour on a hot day).  Leftovers: These need to be refrigerated or frozen within two hours, as well. Despite what some people believe, putting hot food in the refrigerator doesn’t harm the appliance. To help hot food cool faster, divide leftovers into smaller containers before putting them in the refrigerator.  Doggie bags and take-out foods:  Again, the “two-hour rule” applies to carry-home foods. Leftovers from takeout or restaurant meals need to go into the refrigerator within two hours at most. If you can’t get home within two hours after eating out, don’t request a doggie bag.  Marinated foods: Always keep food in the refrigerator while it’s marinating. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in foods left to marinate at room temperature. Also, remember this tip for marinating safely: Never reuse marinating liquid as a sauce unless you bring it to a rapid boil first. l

When it comes to protecting yourself and your family from foodborne illness, one of your most effective tools is the kitchen DID YOU refrigerator. In fact, KNOW? at room temperature, the numbers of bacteria that cause foodborne sickness can double every 20 minutes! Chilling foods to proper temperatures is one of the best ways to slow the growth of these bacteria. To ensure that your refrigerator is doing its job, it’s important to keep its temperature at 40°F (4°C) or below; the freezer should be at 0°F (-17°C). Whether you’re dealing with leftovers or just-purchased foods, it’s important to get foods that need refrigeration into your fridge quickly. Leaving perishable foods out for two hours or more allows bacteria to multiply rapidly, and can put you at serious risk of contracting foodborne illness.  Groceries: When you get home from the grocery store, put your refrigerated items away as quickly as possible. Never allow raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or produce that requires refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more

Lycopene is a carotenoid – a family of pigments responsible for the red colour in certain fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is also FOOD a powerful antioxidant THERAPY that eliminates dangerous free radicals that can damage DNA and other fragile cell structures. Tomatoes are the most concentrated food source of lycopene, although apricots, guava, watermelon, papaya, and, pink grapefruit are also significant sources of this pigment. American Cancer Society suggested lycopene as a potent natural anti-cancer diet. Eating foods containing lycopene may reduce the risk of some diseases such as certain cancers and heart diseases. A number of studies have shown strong evidence of an association between the intake of tomatoes and tomato-based products and a lower risk of lung, stomach and prostate cancers. A recent study has also shown the beneficial antioxidant action of lycopene on blood cholesterol. As lycopene levels increase in the blood, there is a reduction in the levels of oxidised cholesterol, which in turn helps to lower the risk of heart disease. Although fresh tomatoes are rich in lycopene, more lycopene is released when tomatoes are cooked or pro-

| Dr Mohammad Sayem

Eating empty calories Foods high in sugar, fat, and oil de-

liver calories. People who are likely to reduce their weight always prefer low calorie food. Studies have shown that a diet full of empty calories increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. Look for foods dense in nutrients, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans, and peas, and unsalted nuts and seeds. Lean meats and poultry, along with fat-free and low-fat milk, are good choices as well. 

Never ignore chest pressure If you used to walk up three flights of BIGSTOCK

Tomatoes are the most concentrated food source of lycopene, although apricots, guava, watermelon, papaya, and pink grapefruit are also significant sources of this pigment. American cancer society suggested lycopene as potent natural anti cancer diet cessed. Tomato and tomato products – such as juice, soup, sauce, and paste – should be included as part of a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Studies that looked at lycopene levels in the blood found that levels were higher after people ate cooked tomatoes than after they ate raw tomatoes or drank tomato juice. This suggests that lycopene in cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce or paste may be more readily absorbed by the body than lycopene in raw tomatoes. Eating lycopene-rich vegetables and fruits together with a small amount

of oil or fat (for example, salad oil or cheese on pizza) increase the amount of lycopene absorbed by the intestines. Lycopene is also available in soft-gel capsule and liquid supplements Multiple studies have demonstrated higher consumption of tomato products producing higher levels of lycopene. Nutritionists note that heating the tomato with olive oil or consuming products like tomato paste or sauce actually makes the lycopene more absorbable.  Source: American Cancer Society, Harvard Medical School health publications

stairs without a problem, but suddenly you’re short of breath after one flight or have chest pressure, it’s time to call your doctor ASAP. Never assume it’s because you’re out of shape; it can be a heart attack! Doctors say: “Time is muscle,” meaning the quicker you get treatment for possible troubles, the less likely you are to have permanent damage to your heart muscle. It is only a matter of minutes before an oxygenstarved muscle begins to deteriorate. That is why it is imperative for someone experiencing a heart attack to get immediate medical intervention. Minutes are muscle when it comes to a heart attack because the heart is being deprived of the oxygen it needs to function. The faster oxygen supply is restored to the heart, the less damage the heart will suffer. 

| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat

Get your cholesterol levels back on track n Prescription Desk

switching tasks for those who drank the tea, study said. Tea was also found to reduce tiredness among the volunteers, according to the researchers reporting on their findings in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience. Another previous study showed drinking two cups of black tea improves the ability to react to stimuli and to focus attention on the task in hand. Tea drinking has already been linked with lowering the risk of heart diseases, cancer and Parkinson’s. Other research shows drinking tea on a regular basis for 10 or more years may help improve bone density. According to new data that adds to the growing science, drinking tea, preferably four cups of tea a day, is good for our health and wellbeing. 

The most heart-healthy diet is a plantbased diet where junk food is minimum. That means loading up on fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein. In fact, dietary guidelines recommend that half of each meal should be composed of fruits and vegetables. Research has found that people who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, had about 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke than people who ate less than three servings per day. 

n Dr Sajol Ashfaq



faster. Here the researchers looked at the effect of key chemicals found in tea on the mental performance. One of the active ingredients in tea – an amino acid called L-theanine – significantly improved the accuracy of

How to store food safely at home

Lycopene, a wonderful natural anticancer pigment

Tea time is brain time According to the latest study, natural ingredients found in a cup of tea can improve brain power and increase alertness. It is claimed, having a cup of tea could help you solve the crossword

Avoiding fruits and vegetables




Good nutrition throughout childhood is important not only to support normal growth and cognitive development, but also to establish

junk food over fruits and vegetables.


n Prof Abid Hossain Mollah




Cholesterol is a substance that comes from food, and is also made in the body. There are two types of cholesterol: LowSELF CARE density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is known as the unhealthy cholesterol as it can build up in artery walls, block the lumen, and hamper in blood flow. HDL is known as the healthy cholesterol as it acts as a scavenger, cleans out the lipids from the lumen of the arteries and benefit the body. Having high LDL levels, or low HDL levels isn’t good for your body, particularly your heart. The only way to learn about your

cholesterol levels is to have them checked. Got high cholesterol? Here are some top tips for getting your levels back on track:  Exercise every day. It’s an effective way to boost healthy HDL levels.  Don’t smoke, as it has been shown to significantly lower healthy HDL levels.  Go easy on saturated fats, including fatty meats and full-fat dairy foods.  Include foods that contain polyunsaturated fats such as fish, raw nuts, and olive oil.  Stay away from trans fats, as they raise harmful LDL levels. Foods high in trans fats include baked goods such as pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits, and buns. 




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ukrainian protest leader tells of torture n Agencies

An anti-government protester stands at a road block in Kiev


Ukraine president approves amnesty, repeals anti-protest laws n AFP, Kiev Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday signed a law offering an amnesty to jailed opposition activists and repealed controversial laws cracking down on protests, his office said. The amnesty bill passed by parliament on Wednesday gives protesters a 15-day deadline to vacate the public buildings they have occupied in order for it to be implemented. Under the law, protesters will have to vacate the flashpoint Grushevsky Street in the capital Kiev, where several activists were shot dead during bitter

Kerry warns Syria of consequences on chemical weapons n AFP, Berlin US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he could face consequences for failing to live up to international agreements on removing his chemical weapons stockpile. Kerry told reporters ahead of talks in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel that Damascus was not complying with a US-Russian agreed timetable for shipping out the arsenal. “We now know that the Assad regime is not moving as rapidly as it promised to move the chemical weapons out of Syria,” he said. “I would remind Bashar al-Assad that the agreement that we reached in New York with the (UN) Security Council makes it clear that if there are issues of non-compliance, they will be referred to the Security Council for Chapter 7 compliance purposes.” The United States and Russia agreed a deal last September to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. The accord included a commitment to imposing measures “under Chapter 7 within the UN Security Council,” referring to a UN article which sets out possible sanctions including the threat of military force. The agreement was brokered as a way to avert US missile strikes that Washington threatened after a chemical attack near Damascus that the US and other Western governments blamed on the regime. Kerry said Syria must respect “a global, legal, international obligation” it made. l

15 Yemen soldiers killed in suspected Qaeda attack: Security n AFP, Aden Suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed 15 Yemeni soldiers on Friday when they attacked a military checkpoint in the city of Shibam in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, a security source told AFP. “Unknown armed men suspected to be from Al-Qaeda attacked an army checkpoint in Shibam, killing 15 soldiers and wounding several others,” the official said on condition of anonymity. He added there were also casualties among the attackers, but “they were able to withdraw with their dead and wounded.” He said that “Al-Qaeda took advantage of tension in Hadramawt province to carry out this cowardly attack.” l

clashes with security forces during a recent outbreak of violence. They will also have to leave streets and squares they have been occupying “except those where peaceful protest actions are taking place.” This opens the possibility that protesters could be allowed to stay at their tent city on Kiev’s Independence Square. The amnesty law was backed by Yanukovych’s Regions Party and passed in a chaotic late-night session. Opposition lawmakers did not vote for the amnesty law, stressing that it would mean the jailed protesters were effectively being held hostage until the buildings were freed. Yanukovych, who on

Thursday went on indefinite sick leave, also signed legislation scrapping draconian anti-protest laws passed earlier this month which radicalised the twomonth protest movement. The laws had made the occupation of public buildings punishable by up to five years in prison, outlawed protest convoys of more than five cars and imposed a ban on protesters wearing masks or helmets. The measures seen as a concession to the protest movement are unlikely to placate opposition leaders, who are gearing up to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior foreign officials in Germany this weekend. l

A Ukrainian anti-government activist who disappeared a week ago has appeared on television, his face badly beaten and with wounds to his hands, saying his abductors had “crucified” him. Dmytro Bulatov, 35, who was one of the leaders of anti-government protest motorcades called ‘Automaidan’, was taken to hospital after he appeared on Ukrainian TV 5th channel. “They crucified me. They punctured my hands,” he said on Friday, pointing to marks on the backs of his hands. “They cut off my ear, slashed my face. There’s not a single alive spot on my body. But I am alive, thank God,” he said. The spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, called for an investigation into claims of torture in Ukraine. Bulatov was reported missing on January 23. He was involved in several motorcade protests in which scores of cars would drive to the homes of Ukrainian leaders. In the biggest such protest, about 2,000 cars drove to the country residence of Yanukovich at Mezhyhirya, outside the capital Kiev, on December 29. They came within 300 metres of his residence before being stopped by security roadblocks. Traffic police have begun to try to identify participants in the ‘automaidan’ protests and protest groups say that about 20 people so far have been detained for questioning. Bulatov’s reappearance came two

days after the prime minister, Mykola Azarov, offered his resignation in a bid to ease the two-month crisis. Ukraine’s army meanwhile called on embattled President Viktor Yanukovych to take “urgent steps” to ease the political crisis in the ex-Soviet country. “Laying out their civil position, servicemen and employees of Ukraine’s armed forces... called on the commander-in-chief to take urgent steps within the limits of existing legislation with a view to stabilising the situation in the country and reaching consent in society,” a statement from the defence ministry said on Friday. It was not immediately clear what the army would do if the president, on sick leave after respiratory issues, did not heed the call. Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, who visited Bulatov in hospital, said: “What was done to Dmytro was an act to frighten all citizens who are being active now.” A friend of Bulatov’s said: “We know that they [his abductors] did not feed him. We know that they abandoned him in a wood and we know he managed then to get to a village. “He was able to call friends,” said Yuri Zozulya. Yanukovich, 63, went on sick leave on Thursday, leaving a political vacuum in a country threatened with bankruptcy and destablised by anti-government protests. The protests began after Yanukovich rejected an EU trade deal in favour of closer ties with and a financial bailout from Russia. l

French president deals blow to Cameron’s EU plans

n AFP, Brize Norton French President Francois Hollande dealt a blow Friday to Prime Minister David Cameron’s hopes of renegotiating Britain’s membership of the EU before a referendum in 2017, saying treaty change was “not a priority.” At an Anglo-French summit held at an airbase in Oxfordshire, west of London, Hollande indicated he might be open to treaty change in the future to ensure the eurozone was “better coordinated and better integrated.” But he added: “We feel that revising the treaty is not a priority for the time being.” Under pressure from eurosceptics in his Conservative party, Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain’s position in the European Union and put the new deal to a referendum after the next election in 2015. Hollande said he “perfectly respected” Britain’s right to hold a vote, but added: “We can’t impose the British choice on Europe.” Cameron brushed off the comments, however, saying he was optimistic of achieving the change he wanted and insisting nothing would stop him holding a referendum provided he is re-elected next year. “My position absolutely remains that we want to see those changes, we want that renegotiation... that renegotiation will involve elements of treaty change,” Cameron told a joint press conference. At their first summit since Hollande was elected in 2012, the two leaders sought to emphasise their shared European goals, notably to improve growth and create jobs. l

Syria will not make ‘any concessions’ Russia backs Syria on in Geneva talks: minister chemical weapons plan n Agencies

Syria’s Foreign Minister and head of the Syrian government delegation Walid Muallem (C) arrives to give a press briefing with the Syrian governement delegation on peace talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva AFP

n AFP, Geneva Damascus will make “no concessions” in peace talks with the opposition, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said as a week of negotiations were wrapping up in Geneva. “Neither in this round, nor in the next will they (the opposition and their allies) obtain any concessions from the Syrian delegation,” Zohbi told a group of pro-regime demonstrators outside the UN’s European headquarters in the

Swiss city. Several hundred demonstrators cheered, waving Syrian flags in all sizes and giant pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, shouting “Bashar forever!” “They will not obtain any concessions, Israel has not been able to obtain any concession (from the Syrian regime) in half a century, terrorism has not been able to obtain any concession over the past three years, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the plotters in Lebanon have not managed to

obtain any concession through force,” he shouted. “They will not get through politics what they couldn’t get through force,” he insisted, to thundering applause. Delegations from Assad’s regime and the opposition National Coalition have been locked in talks for the past week in the biggest diplomatic push yet to end a near nearly three-year civil war that has left more than 130,000 dead and forced millions from their homes. l

Russia has backed Syria as acting in good faith to eliminate its chemical weapons, after the US accused the government of Bashar al-Assad of stalling the plan due to end in June. Mikhail Ulyanov, a Russian diplomat, was quoted by the Interfax news agency on Friday as saying that there was no need for additional pressure on Damascus over the destruction of its stockpiles. “We see that the Syrians are approaching the fulfilment of their obligations seriously and in good faith,” he said. The comment came after the US said just four% of Syria’s declared chemical stock has been eliminated. Efforts to remove these materials from Syria have “seriously languished and stalled,” said ambassador Robert Mikulak in a statement to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Thursday. “Syria must immediately take the necessary actions to comply with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, Executive Council decisions, and UN Security Council Resolution 2118,” said Mikulak, the US permanent representative to the OPCW. Timelines adopted last year required that 100% of “priority one” chemicals be eliminated by December 31, 2013, while the deadline for removing “priority two” chemicals is Feburary 5. That deadline will also not be met. The Syrian government has attributed the delays to “security concerns,” saying it needs additional equipment to ensure their safe transportation - a

EU pledges 45 million euros to C. Africa

30 killed in C. Africa capital in three days

n AFP, Addis Ababa

n AFP, Bangui

The European Union pledged 45 million euros ($61 million) in fresh funding for the conflict-wracked Central African Republic on Friday, EU officials said. “We are mobilising all available resources, not just development aid, to help the people of the Central African Republic and improve their security,” said EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. The EU has already committed around 150 million euros to the crisis, and this month approved a 500-strong force to be deployed in CAR, alongside some 7,000 African and French troops. The new funding will support the African Union-led mission in CAR (MISCA) and also back elections, set to take place by the end of the year. Just over half of the fresh funding

promised – 25 million euros – will go to the military force, with the remainder earmarked for the political process. Piebalgs said supporting security operations was crucial in CAR, “where the situation has been getting worse for more than a year now.” “It’s important that there is security, and the African troops should be able to provide it. The only challenge is if there is more troops, there is more financing needed,” he told AFP. The announcement comes ahead of a pledging conference on Saturday at the AU to drum up support for the crisis in CAR. The CAR descended into chaos 10 months ago after rebels overthrew the government, sparking violence between the Christian majority and Muslim minority that has uprooted a million people out of a population of 4.6 million. l

Fighting in the capital of strife-torn Central African Republic has killed at least 30 people over the past three days, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday. Thirty bodies have been collected from the streets of Bangui, the head of the ICRC delegation Georgios Georgantas said, adding that he was very concerned by the “unprecedented level of violence” that has also left at least 60 people wounded. Georgantas urged the authorities and some 7,000 French and African troops deployed to help end months of inter-religious violence to “take up their responsibilities.” He also called on civilians “to respect the emblem of the Red Cross and

its personnel while they do their jobs.” “When we go through roadblocks to evacuate the wounded, each trip calls for long and difficult negotiations to move on. This endangers the lives of the wounded and causes a lot of stress to our personnel,” he added. The violence in the poor, landlocked nation erupted when former rebels of the mainly Muslim Seleka coalition that seized power in March last year targeted civilians, which prompted fighters from the Christian majority to form community self-defence groups known as “anti-balaka” (anti-machete). Both sides are accused by the United Nations, rights movements and relief organisations of atrocities such as murder, rape and looting in a spiral of violence, affecting towns in the interior of the country as well as the capital. l

claim Mikulak rejected. “Syria’s requests for equipment and open-ended delaying of the removal operation could ultimately jeopardise the carefully timed and coordinated multi-state removal and destruction effort,” he said. During a visit to Poland on Thursday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel also criticised Syrian efforts, saying he has asked his Russian counterpart to put pressure on Damascus to comply with the deal. “I do not know what the Syrian government’s motives are - if this is incompetence - or why they are behind in delivering these materials,” Hagel told reporters in Warsaw, the capital. “They need to fix this.” Meanwhile, peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition continued on Thursday, with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi reporting little progress. In an afternoon update to the media in Geneva, Switzerland, Brahimi said he hoped the two sides would “draw some lessons” from the first round of talks, scheduled to end on Friday, in hopes of becoming better organised for the next round. Terrorism was among the topics discussed on Thursday, Brahimi said, although there was no agreement on how to deal with it. “We had tense moments and also rather promising moments,” he said. Opposition delegation spokesman Louay Safi told reporters that the two sides had spoken about stopping the violence in Syria, noting the opposition presented evidence of government massacres within residential neighbourhoods. l

Two roadside bombs wound policeman in Cairo n AFP, Cairo Two roadside bombs exploded near a passing patrol car in a Cairo suburb on Friday, slightly wounding one policeman, an Egyptian interior ministry statement said. The attack came as Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi called for protests after the weekly Friday prayers. Cairo has been rocked by several bombings and shootings targeting police over the past week. On January 24, a day before the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, a car bombing hit police headquarters, one of four bombs targeting the force in the capital. Six policemen were killed that day. Four days later, police general Mohamed Saeed, an aide to the interior minister, was killed outside his home by gunmen on a motorbike. l




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Indian Kashmir shuts down to protest military court verdict n AFP, Srinagar Large parts of Indian Kashmir shut down on Friday and protests were held against a military court verdict last week that exonerated five army officers involved in the killing of civilians 14 years ago. Most shops and businesses were closed and public transport halted in the main city of Srinagar and other areas of the restive region after separatist groups called a strike over the court’s decision. Scores of protestors shouting anti-India slogans pelted stones during clashes with police and paramilitary forces who fired tear smoke canisters to disperse them in the city’s old town area. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who also heads a faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a grouping of separatist organisations, urged Kashmiris to “raise our voice against the verdict,” in a statement this week. Police detained more than a dozen activists after they tried to stage a protest near a central commercial district in Srinagar, an AFP photographer said. Hundreds of residents also protested near the graves of the five civilians in the southern village of Brari Angan, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, chanting “we want justice,” according to a police officer. The five victims were killed days

‘Missing women’ loom over India’s art fair n AFP, New Delhi Large black figures cast in steel loomed over the India Art Fair as it opened on Friday with the display of the eerie silhouettes seeking to highlight the country’s millions of “missing” women. The outdoor installation called M.I.S.S.I.N.G. by artist Leena Kejriwal is a visual response to alarming research showing a gaping gender gap in India, which has led to severe imbalances in some parts of the country. Caused by sex-selective abortion, infanticide and the death of girls through neglect, the issue is part of a national debate about women’s rights sparked by fresh scrutiny of sexual violence. The three outsized sculptures are meant to be “like sharp, black holes cut out of the sky. Holes into which millions of girls disap-

after the massacre of 35 Sikhs in the remote village of Chattisinghpora in March 2000. The army claimed the victims were “foreign militants,” accusing them of being responsible for the massacre. But a subsequent probe by India’s top investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, described the killings as “cold blooded murder,” paving the way for a trial in a military court held behind closed doors. The five soldiers were however cleared last Thursday as “the evidence recorded could not establish a prime facie case against any of the accused persons,” according to an army statement. In its verdict, the military court did not dispute the CBI’s findings that the victims were civilians but it added that they were killed during an operation “based on specific intelligence.” The decision has been denounced by rights groups and Kashmiri separatists and fuelled anger in the already tense region. Security forces, particularly paramilitaries and army personnel, in Indian Kashmir are routinely accused by human rights groups of using excessive force and torture. The local government was preparing a “legal recourse” to try to reopen the case, but it is unclear how this could be

pear from the face of this earth,” according to Kejriwal’s description of the project. India’s 2011 census data showed that just 914 girls are born nationwide per 1,000 boys – much behind the global benchmark of 952 – reflecting a cultural preference for male heirs. The India Art fair has been phenomenally successful since its first edition in 2008 and now draws leading local and international galleries and artists, as well as hundreds of thousands of members of the public. This year organisers signalled their intent to tackle some of the issues thrown up by the sweeping changes underway in the world’s biggest democracy, wrought by economic development and globalisation. Another public photo display challenges a recent Supreme Court decision which has recriminalised gay sex by reinstating a 1860 colonial law that outlaws “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” “We are in a state of flux, in a state of change and the art is responding to that,” Art Fair founder Neha Kirpal told AFP. “There is a degree of freshness and energy, a degree of revolt and rebellion sometimes. The art reflects the mood and energy of the country,” she added. The Indian market is still far off its peaks of 2008 when the global financial crisis led to a sharp fall in prices, leaving many investors who had rushed into the young art scene badly burned. The market for top-end pieces by established modern artists remains strong – as demonstrated by a recent record Christie’s auction in Mumbai – but prices for the rest are still depressed, experts say. In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme said that Asia was “missing” about 96 million women – the vast majority in China and India – who died from discriminatory healthcare and neglect or who were never born at all. l

Indian paramilitary forces keep watch during protests against a military court verdict in downtown Srinagar

India’s top court stays execution of Delhi car bomber n AFP, New Delhi


for Kashmir’s independence or for its merger with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, dead. l

India’s Supreme Court on Friday stayed the execution of a Sikh militant convicted over a car bombing two decades ago, after his wife said he had developed mental illness while languishing on death row. The Supreme Court announced it would review a plea for clemency for Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, who was convicted over a car bombing in the Indian capital that killed nine people and injured more than 20 in 1993. “We want to know the present condition of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar,” Chief Justice Palanisamy Sathasivam told the court in New Delhi. Bhullar’s case is the first to be taken up by the Supreme Court since its landmark ruling earlier this month that places new restrictions on executing prisoners in the world’s biggest democracy. The top court commuted the death sentences of 15 convicts on January 21, announcing that “inordinate and inexplicable” delays in carrying out executions were grounds for reducing their original punishments. The court ruled that mental illness was also grounds for commuting sentences of death row convicts, a ruling hailed by rights activists. The court on Friday directed the hospital where Bhullar is being treated to file a report on his condition to determine if he was suffering from schizophrenia after spending two decades on death row. l

achieved since the military court handling the case was outside of civilian jurisdiction and scrutiny. Kashmir, a picturesque Himalayan

region, is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. About a dozen rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989

Musharraf barred from leaving country n Agencies

Warlords and old faces dominate Afghan poll line-up

A court in Pakistan trying former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason has refused to allow him to go abroad for medical treatment, saying it did not have the authority to lift his travel ban. The court on Friday issued a warrant for Musharraf’s arrest and ordered him to appear at the next hearing on February 7, setting his bail at Rs 2.5m ($20,000). There had been speculation that Musharraf, who faces several charges relating to his time in power, would be allowed to leave Pakistan on medical grounds as part of a deal to head off a clash between the government and the military. But after hearing medical reports from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, where Musharraf is being treated, the court said: “It is not in the jurisdiction of this court to allow him to go abroad for treatment, because his name is on the exit control list.” The 70-year-old is facing treason charges over his imposition of a state of emergency in 2007 while he was president. He also faces separate charges of murder and detaining judges. He is the first former military ruler to face trial for treason in Pakistan and, if found guilty, could be sentenced to death or life in prison. Musharraf, who governed Pakistan from 1999 until 2008,  has been in a military hospital since falling ill with heart trouble en route to court on January 2. l

Afghanistan’s presidential election campaign starts on Sunday, with an array of former warlords and veteran politicians lining up to succeed President Hamid Karzai.

n AFP, Kabul

Among the leading candidates are: Abdullah Abdullah

A smooth-talking former foreign minister who was a close aide to Ahmad Shah Massoud, the legendary commander of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance militia. Abdullah Abdullah was a member of Burhanuddin Rabbani’s government before the austere Taliban era, and made a name for himself abroad for his fluent English and courtly manner. A qualified eye surgeon, he was born in Kabul to an ethnic Pashtun father from Kandahar and a Tajik mother. After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, he was appointed foreign minister during the transitional government and served under Hamid Karzai until he was sacked in 2006. He came second in the 2009 election with around 30% of the vote, triggering a run-off against Karzai. He then pulled out amid allegations that Karzai supporters were involved in massive vote fraud. Abdullah is married with three daughters and a son.

Qayum Karzai

President Hamid Karzai’s elder brother moved to the US after being born in

Kandahar, the centre of the ethnic-majority Pashtun culture and of the hardline Taliban movement. He is a savvy businessman who owns a chain of Afghan-themed restaurants in the US. Aged 66, he holds an MA from the University of Southern California and is known as a shy character who lacks Hamid’s charisma. Qayum previously served in parliament but resigned after criticism that he was often absent.

Ashraf Ghani

A puckish academic and internationally-known intellectual, 64-year-old Ghani took a degree in anthropology from the American University in Beirut. He also met his future wife Rula in Lebanon. He earned his Masters and PhD from New York’s Columbia University, and taught at several universities in the United States during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. He worked with the World Bank for 11 years from 1991 and served in Kabul as special adviser to UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. He was appointed finance minister in Karzai’s transitional government of 2002-2004 and then became chancellor of Kabul University before heading up the national security transition commission. Ghani, who is known for his quick temper, contested the 2009 election but came fourth with less than three

per cent of the votes. This year he came second in a “world thinkers” poll by Prospect magazine.

Zalmai Rassoul

The softly-spoken foreign minister is one of President Karzai’s closest loyalists. Aged 70, he was born in Kabul and is a doctor by profession, training at a medical school in Paris. He was a royalist, serving as chief of staff and personal doctor to former king Zahir Shah who lived in exile in Rome for 30 years. In 2002, Rassoul was minister of civil aviation and later was national security adviser to President Karzai from 2003-2010. Rassoul, a bachelor, is fluent in Dari, English, French, Italian and Arabic. He may attract support as a compromise candidate.

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf

A former Islamist warlord, Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf, aged around 70 is also a religious scholar who sports a long beard and traditional turban. His candidacy has caused alarm among diplomats due to his close links to Saudi Arabia and Islamic extremism. He was named in the 9/11 commission report as the “mentor” of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. He also ran militant training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, from where several of the 2002 Bali bombers emerged. l

Asia rings in Year of the Horse with fireworks, festivities

Thai protesters back on streets ahead of vote

n AFP, Colombo

n AFP, Beijing

n Agencies

A top US envoy on Friday pushed for reconciliation in Sri Lanka which is under intense international pressure to probe rights abuses during the final stages of the island’s decades-long separatist war. Nisha Biswal, the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, held talks with Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris over a range of issues including allegations that government troops killed thousands of Tamil civilians during the final months of the war in 2009, official sources told AFP. Biswal, who arrived in Colombo on Friday, is the second US envoy to travel to Sri Lanka in recent weeks after war crimes investigator Stephen Rapp stirred controversy by visiting a former Sri Lankan battleground earlier this month. The visits come ahead of a UN review of Colombo’s human rights record. A third US-initiated censure motion against Sri Lanka is set to be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council in March. During her two-day visit, Biswal will travel to Sri Lanka’s former war zone to meet ethnic minority Tamil leaders, a US embassy spokesman said. “She will discuss with Sri Lankan (government) officials on the need to do more to ensure reconciliation and accountability,” he said. l

Fireworks illuminated the skies across Asia and millions of families gathered together Friday to usher in the Year of the Horse, kicking off a week of celebrations that included a performance by Braveheart actress Sophie Marceau on China’s annual televised gala. Residents from China’s small towns and villages to its sprawling megacities rang in the Lunar New Year, the country’s most important holiday, by indulging in feasts of dumplings and rice cakes and exchanging hongbao, red envelopes stuffed with “lucky money.” Many of them were among the hundreds of millions of people, including 245 million migrant workers, who had crammed planes, trains and buses to return to their hometowns in what is the world’s largest annual human migration. Chinese communities across Asia also came together to celebrate, marking the holiday with flowers and offerings. Hong Kong was due to hold a massive fireworks display over Victoria Harbour on Saturday, the second day of the new year. In Sydney, which regularly hosts one of the biggest new year celebrations outside mainland China, a parade scheduled for Sunday night featuring 2,700 performers and 32 floats

Thousands of Thai anti-government protesters have marched through the capital Bangkok as part of a three-day push to show their opposition to elections due on Sunday. Carrying whistles and waving large flags, protesters marched down streets with Suthep Thaugsuban, the protest leader, greeting supporters and collecting money as he walked. “I’m not going to vote on Sunday, because [if you do] that means you accept this election. We have been defying this government for a long time. We need to finish it this time,” Pongphan Nanthasri said. The government has vowed to push ahead with the general election despite threats by anti-government protesters that they will disrupt the polls in an attempt to stop the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and her Puea Thai party from returning to power. Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said the protesters had prevented ballot boxes from being delivered to polling booths and that the election was likely to be “severely disrupted.” The anti-government protesters took to the streets in November in the latest round of an eight-year con-

US envoy in Sri Lanka as pressure builds over war crimes

Members of the Chinese community perform a lion dance as they celebrate the Chinese New Year in Kolkata AFP was expected to draw more than 100,000 people. Citizens in North Korea welcomed the new year with “beautiful dreams, great ambitions, confidence of future and optimism” according to the staterun Korean Central News Agency, adding “cheerful laughter is heard from every family.” The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and through Chinese folklore ascribes 12 animals, one for each year in the rotating cycle. The

horse is in the seventh position. In China, the horse is traditionally associated with loyalty and energy, and is considered the second-most popular animal sign of the zodiac, after the dragon. The phrase for “at once” in Chinese literally means “on horseback,” and some popular New Year cards this year have featured money, houses or cars on horseback, expressing the sender’s wish of speedy good fortune for the receiver. l

flict that pits Bangkok’s middle class, southern Thais and the royalist establishment against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in 2006. The main opposition Democrat party, which backs the anti-government protests, is boycotting the election, which Yingluck’s party is bound to win but without enough members to achieve a quorum in parliament. The prospect of polling stations having to close early because of trouble on the streets will only add to doubts about the vote’s legitimacy. Puchong Nutrawong, the secretary-general of the Election Commission, said it was concentrating on security in Bangkok and the south, where the opposition is strong, after hundreds of thousands of people were prevented from casting their ballot during early voting last Sunday when protesters obstructed polling venues. The protesters say they want to rid the country of the Shinawatra family’s political influence and accuse Yingluck, who swept to power in the last election in 2011, of being Thaksin’s puppet. About 10,000 police would be responsible for security on Sunday and the army said it would increase its troops in the capital as back-up. l




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Letters to

Move Rampal to Rooppur?

the Editor


Fans slam ICC revamp proposal, form human chain at Shahbagh

Population caught in the crossfire January 29 The recent lawlessness by the opposition had turned this nominally peaceful country into “hell on earth.” Ordinary people were being killed and burned mercilessly, without any reason and beyond any limits. The BNP and Jamaat, apart from ruining the lives of many ordinary families, have burnt, damaged and destroyed many public road and rail transport assets. Is this acceptable political practice? No, it is a totally uncalled for and unjustified punishment for the public. What right nave these opposition leaders to incite and encourage this uncalled for destruction of scarce national assets? We should pass a law so that all the costs for restoring and putting together the destroyed assets are recovered from the funds and assets of such irresponsible leaders and their political parties. The new parliament, now in office, should seriously look into the matter, so that such irresponsible destruction of national assets is stopped, once and for all! Suffering citizen


slowdown in funding from Russia has caused the government to consider cutting 62% of the budget for the first phase of the nuclear power plant project in Rooppur, adding to the many concerns that already exist about the project. Building a nuclear power plant under such tight budget constraints poses new doubts about the plant’s safety and viability. This is on top of questions about the obsolescent nature of the reactor planned for use and the plant’s location in the middle of a potential earthquake fault line. Furthermore, when 260 acres of land was first allocated for a nuclear power project in 1961, the area was much more sparsely populated than today. The current setback does however provide an ideal opportunity to replace the long delayed nuclear project altogether. We believe the government should move the controversial planned Rampal coal power plant in the Sundarbans to Rooppur. By moving the Rampal project to Rooppur, the government would not only reduce environmental risks to the world’s largest mangrove forest, but the country could start to make use of land that has been set aside for over 50 years. The facilities being built in Pabna can continue to be adapted to encourage high-tech scientific or industrial uses in the area. The need to bring in coal would in addition stimulate better road and rail links. Not only could this move vastly reduce environmental risks for the nation as a whole, but it would also create new jobs and opportunities in a region that would benefit from the development.

This move could vastly reduce environmental risks and create new jobs and opportunities in a region that would benefit from the development

January 26

Tariqul Islam Siam Have respect for you all. Keep it going, for our cricket team. And tell the world that we can do anything. Amrin Afroz Bangladesh will carry on no matter how they treat us. All the countries will hear the roar of our team.

Why should they get a second chance? January 23 pleb Normally I don’t like any meddling, but this is a balanced article. Nonsensical Nonsenso Mr Shoesmith, you seem to be very poorly informed about Bangladeshi politics. There is no question about the fact that BNP was outwitted and outplayed thoroughly. In analysing the measures taken by both, you comfortably ignore the ruling party’s obstinacy in asking people whether they wanted a caretaker government or not. That is the main point because everyone wanted a caretaker government. And in a democracy whatever happens is because people want it. The ruling party knew it themselves and therefore made excuses and nonsensical explanations to ensure that the public was never asked for an opinion at all. Then came the election in which people who went to vote were sent back saying “your vote has already been cast, go home.”

Be Heard Write to us at: Dhaka Tribune

Diplomatic missions need to improve trade profile

FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: Send us your Op-Ed articles:


nly 26 out of 51 diplomatic missions met their export targets in the first half of the current fiscal year. The commerce minister is right to say the country’s overseas diplomatic missions must extend and improve their work in building trade links. Bangladesh’s exports grew by 16% during the same period, but this can mostly be attributed to the efforts of the private sector. This begs the question how much better the figure could be if diplomatic missions improved their impact. If diplomacy was more effective, the government and private sector could achieve far more together in attracting overseas investment and encouraging exports. Of course, the most critical needs of the economy remain internal, namely ending the risks of violence and restoring political stability. Nonetheless, growing overseas trade has to come in tandem with ensuring a conducive business environment, as a key priority. Diplomatic missions are the primary official interface for Bangladesh overseas. They must all become more effective in developing the country’s good standing, attracting investment, and serving the needs of expatriates. After the damage done by recent turmoil, the country cannot afford to miss opportunities to open doors. Searching for new markets needs to be of premium importance for our diplomatic missions. This will help the private sector in its efforts to restore dynamism to the economy and in maximising the country’s potential.

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nds Nonsensical Nonsenso: AL is definitely not a democratic party in the real sense of the term and quite authoritarian in nature, but its counterpart BNP can’t be a better alternative. Raihan Karim You mentioned cricket and Westminster system. Am I safe to assume that you are a Brit? As a foreigner, you shouldn’t get involved in your host country’s political situation. For months now the esteemed editors and columnists have urged the politicians to not kill true democracy in Bangladesh. But no one listened and they did whatever they wanted to do. As an outsider, you are a minority voice here, so what chance do you have for them to see the light? None. pleb Raihan Karim: A simple Google search shows the writer is an Aussie.

WaliulHaqueKhondker The parties in power seem to have taken this op-ed piece to their heart! Ever since its publication, more than one responsible government minister has said that this government is here for a full five-year term! Their position before the poll was different ie a possible midterm poll when the dust settles! But the PM has not yet fallen back on her words. Jettison Jamaat, form your fold, then come to talk, she told BNP, and the offer remains valid till date. But BNP can’t do that for fear of Jamaat’s reprisal! Hence, it works out to be five years again for AL. This puts AL in a challenging position of legitimising itself through good governance. If BNP-Jamat start messing things up again (God forbid), that will be like offering an olive branch to the AL! They will have enough excuses to hide behind the “situation” and cover up their failures. And the public as usual will suffer quietly. I hope BNPJamaat understand that too!


Political violence causes Tk49,000cr loss: CPD

January 26 If even 1% of this amount could be invested in our e-commerce sector, we would have been able to go global. Abu Naser

Mosharraf: BNP successful

Bangladeshi-born wins Ms Ireland Beauty pageant 2014

Why does politics turn educated people into delusional fools? With nearly 300 people dead, it was a great success indeed! If that’s success then I am Issac Newton! Akhtar Shah

January 26 Congratulations Maksuda Akhter!

January 19

Leaquat Ali


The country cannot afford to miss opportunities to open doors. Searching for new markets needs to be of premium importance



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Ridiculous sham (5) 4 Church service (4) 7 Top card (3) 8 Lacking discipline (3) 9 Angry (5) 12 Stagger (4) 13 Gnawing animals (7) 15 Period of time (3) 16 Strange (3) 18 Tree (3) 19 Of advanced age (3) 21 Support for railway lines (7) 24 Snare (4) 26 Bird (5) 27 Church seat (3) 28 Slippery fish (3) 29 Was sorry for (4) 30 Full of cheer (5)

DOWN 1 Impartial (4) 2 From side to side (6) 3 Peruse print (4) 4 Planet (4) 5 Tool (3) 6 Not hollow (5) 10 Golf mound (3) 11 Register (5) 14 Stories (5) 17 More abstruse (6) 18 Thespian (5) 20 Lair (3) 21 Hurried (4) 22 Jetty (4) 23 Depend on (4) 25 Copy (3)


How to solve Sudoku: Fill in the blank spaces with the numbers 1 – 9. Every row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain all nine digits with no number repeating.





Saturday, February 1, 2014

The burden of uncertainty n Abdul Khaleque


Biman’s marketing team may have missed a trick









Biman, Cobain, and the leaving of a jet plane

B n

Niaz Alam

iman Bangladesh Airlines deserves credit for its marketing nous in adding three scenic tours for plane enthusiasts, after the world’s last passenger flight of a DC-10 on the Dhaka-Kuwait-Birmingham route next month. It is a fitting way to say goodbye to the DC-10, as Biman phases in a more modern fleet. One suspects though, that by confining ticket sales for the farewell trips to aisle and window seats only, Biman’s marketing team has missed a trick. Plane spotters don’t strike me as the type to want to rush off a plane before it gets to the end of a runway. The old McDonnell Douglas workhorse may not be Concorde, but wouldn’t they still be happier to linger on a full aircraft, rather than peer out the window? Either way, the heritage flights at least offer a unique chance to experience a piece of aviation history. They provide more real value than the ticket stubs which obsessive music fans seem to want to collect. I say “seem” because, as a new memoir by a London concert promoter explains, such markets can easily be manipulated. Simon Parkes, the former owner of the Brixton Academy, a cinema hall turned concert venue, has written candidly about a radio interview he gave in 1994 on the death of Kurt Cobain. He had been phoned by the station because his venue was due to host a series of sold out concerts later that year by the late singer’s ill fated band, Nirvana. While the interview naturally focused on the tragedy of Cobain’s suicide, a spur of the moment impulse propelled Parkes into claiming that “people from America and Japan are offering us over £100 for Nirvana tickets, as a piece of history.” At the time, this was not the case,

but the interview rapidly took on a life of its own, and huge demand sprang up to buy the cancelled concert tickets. Far from being hurt by fans wanting refunds for tickets, the venue ended up having to buy back fewer than a fifth of the £13.50 tickets, which it was immediately able to sell on for £100. In the end, Parkes noted: “We ended up turning a profit on four gigs that never happened.” A valuable lesson in supply and demand no doubt, but this month’s revelation of the truth behind the tale still raised eyebrows about opportunistic marketing. Given the popularity of old band reunions with the public however, not to mention the prevalence of never-ending farewell tours in the music industry, the demand for those tickets was almost certainly inevitable.

on the poor, are an old idea in art and satire), the act of sitting on the “racist chair” understandably raised public ire, regardless of the intentions of the artist and patron. What is telling about this incident is that the power of art criticism was highlighted by Zhukova’s statement shortly afterwards that: “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.” Her reference to the critical approval which the work received is a powerful reminder of how commentators and kudos can influence demand and drive up prices. While it is easy to look askance at the prices paid for some

Would the world be better off if all the talent and money in advertising was used in other ways? The market for high end art is another area where hype and perceived critical merit can do as much to raise demand and prices as the intrinsic value, quality, or scarcity of the work/product itself. This had curious consequences recently when Dasha Zhukova, the partner of Roman Abramovich, was photographed sitting on a racially provocative artwork, the image of which went viral on Martin Luther King’s birthday. The work consists of a chair whose back legs are made up of an undressed black woman and not surprisingly, sparked accusations of racism and sexism. While this may conceivably work as a conceptual commentary on gender, race, and power (and images of the rich and powerful sitting, or worse,

artworks by the wealthy, perception and psychology play just as big a part in influencing demand by everyday consumers. Hence, the power of advertising and marketing to sometimes create demand for products which people did not know they wanted, is a perennial topic for debate. As a worldwide industry with revenues north of $550bn, advertising’s influence on peoples’ lives is certainly immense enough for there always to be a need to debate its ethics and impact. It is clearly reasonable to be wary of misleading or unethical marketing which undermine the functioning of a free and fair marketplace. But while few would argue against the need for some regulation of advertising to reflect societal consensus on


issues such as say, limiting cigarette marketing, its role in encouraging consumption or influencing culture is far more complex. It is as equally easy to assert that there would be less environmentally harmful consumption in the world if there was less advertising, as it is to argue that it is absolutely essential for capitalism and culture to flourish. After all, the industry pays for most of the world’s media and television, including lest we forget, free at point of use email and internet services. Perhaps the latter is not a real problem though, because however popular paid for advertising-free subscription services such as the BBC prove, the constant need for advertising companies to capture our attention drives an arms race of creativity in the sector. On the other hand, the question has to be asked: Would the world be better off if all the talent and money in advertising was used in other ways? My in-built inclination towards the latter question makes me welcome examples of marketing that succeed without spending lots of cash. And that is why Biman’s success in generating publicity by making lemonade out of the lemon of having to retire an old aircraft, has a certain appeal. It may not be enough to justify the government continuing to prop up the state airline, when the flying public has so many other choices available and taxpayer funds would be better spent improving airport hubs and training flight staff and engineers, but the DC-10 heritage flights do at least show some marketing initiative. Whether that is enough for Biman to one day turn a profit is a more doubtful proposition, but at least it gives taxpayers more cause for hope. l Niaz Alam has worked on ethical business issues since 1992 and is a former vice-chair of War on Want.

s politicians fight over power, the people whom the parties claim to serve are hit the worst. Day labourers, farmers, fishermen, and the extreme poor find it difficult to make ends meet. Those who were just above the lower poverty line find themselves plunged into the depths of poverty, a fall that they may not be able to climb up from in this lifetime. Over the past six months, civil society organisations working with the poorest have had a challenging time providing support to beneficiaries. Livelihoods have come into danger. Outlined here are some of the troubles faced by the extreme poor and NGOs in the South.

NGO field level

Field staff have continued with their work, moving about, but always with fear and restrictions. Field visits fell by at least 40% over the past six months. Banks have been unable to deliver cash as per demand. Distribution of income generating goods for sale has been difficult, both to purchase and deliver. Fuel is not available to run transport vehicles. Survey data collection has fallen by at least 20% in comparison to normal situations. Delays in the selection and enrolment of new beneficiary households, especially in the Satkhira district, has left many households without the support they were hoping for.

Beneficiary level

Rickshaw-van pullers have suffered a loss in earnings of at least 50% (based on analysis of NGO monthly report and staff visits). Small and micro traders, trading products such as groceries, readymade clothes (second hand), hawkers, tea stall wallahs, and other petty traders have not been able to run their businesses properly, resulting in income reductions of at least 40%.

vember, hostile people burned down the market. Several shops were damaged, including hers. She was a single mother with three children, one of whom was disabled. She is now passing very bad days. Another beneficiary in Matna village was killed a few days ago. He was a rickshaw-van puller with a wife and three children to support, and the only income earner in the family. Miscreants wanted to kill his brother (who was an Awami League supporter according to local AL men, though his family denied this later).

We hope that the peace we have experienced the past week will prevail

Unable to locate the brother, miscreants stabbed Hafiz to death in his own home instead, in front of his family. His distraught widow is trying to sell the rickshaw to pay for immediate food expenses.

District project office level

Senior staff have continued with field visits, but in a state of fear and psychological stress. Satkhira staff cannot visit all seven project areas operating in Satkhira district. The use of local transport, like vans and buses, has stopped due to hartals. Banks are unable to deliver cash as per project demands. The process for khas land distribution to beneficiaries has been delayed, as the government staff cannot visit the field for khas land verification and validation. Nutrition training could not take place.

Administration and logistics level

Let us learn a lesson from the past six months: Violence is not the answer

Those selling handmade food items have not been able to open their shops on the street sides, and suffered the greatest loss in income, on average over 60%. Fish and crab traders also faced great problems transporting products to upazila markets. Those who sell daily labour were unable to go outside to work, especially outside upazilas. Tragedies have occurred from which families are unlikely to ever recover. One beneficiary in Mathurapur village received support to build a small cosmetics shop at Harinagar Bazaar near Munshiganj Union. In No-

It has been difficult to arrange interview boards for the hiring of people to fill three vacant positions. Interviews were cancelled due to hartals. New procurement delays have been common, as most goods vendors shut their shops down during hartals. The reality of our situation is that life must go on, but let us learn a lesson from the past six months: Violence is not the answer. We hope that the peace we have experienced the past week will prevail, and that those who love the people of this country will act with kindness and compassion, to re-establish a smoothly functioning economy and harmonious life between different communities of varied beliefs. With new hope, we look forward to quick action to eradicate extreme poverty and pro-poor economic policies that prevent the erosion of hard-earned livelihoods. l Abdul Khaleque is a Project Coordinator at Uttaran.

Poor and dead n FS Aijazuddin


here is hardly a family in Pakistan, middle-class or above, that does not have a relative in Canada, or a juvenile working in its kitchen at home. As one migrant put it, he does not mind having to vacuum his home in Toronto, but he would look askance at equating himself with a servant by clearing the meal table in Lahore. Here, we live our own version of the British sitcom “Downton Abbey,” in which the landed gentry lived in comfort above while their menial staff slaved in the pantry below. In that series, when the young daughter of the aristocrat lapses by marrying their driver, it is the driver who moves up the social ladder into the big house, not the other way round. A serial shown on television channels had a parallel story line with a difference. A middle-class Pakistani father discovers his daughter is interested in some boy of whom he disapproves. Irate, he forces her to marry their young servant, and when that marriage collapses (the servant becomes more interested in his master’s wealth than his daughter), the father makes her marry her juvenile underage cousin. Millions of families throughout

Pakistan must have watched that serial and empathised with the trauma of the young girl. Not one of them is likely to remember the names of the teenaged housemaids assaulted or beaten to death by their educated employers. If anything of them remains, it will be as nameless statistics in a thin file, buried in the cemetery known as police records. In Pakistan, the good die young; poor housemaids die even younger.

He would look askance at equating himself with a servant by clearing the meal table in Lahore

Whoever chooses to write a social history of Pakistan will find it difficult to pinpoint the exact moment our hearts stopped beating for our fellow citizens. Was it in the 1950s when the anti-Ahmadi riots stained the Mall at Lahore red? Was it when we chose after the 1971 war to ignore the sufferings of

the thousands of Prisoners of War (POWs) and the Civilians in Protective Custody (CUPCs)? Was it when in 2007, we watched the streets of Rawalpindi being hosed down, diluting a fallen leader’s blood as it trickled down the drain? Or was it when we saw bodybags being delivered to hospitals throughout the country as if they were daily medical supplies? Of course, there never is any one single trauma, no unique Pearl Harbour, that causes a nation to galvanise into a unified remonstrance. Reaction to tragedy is a slow process. It takes time. Meanwhile, crises, like the relentless drip of water on a prisoner’s forehead, gradually numb a people’s consciousness into an inert, unresisting acceptance. Pakistan can be described as a country whose leadership over the years has institutionalised callousness and indifference to a level where it is indistinguishable from public policy. The state’s ownership towards its citizens has been privatised. It no longer has a stake in them. Were Doomsday to occur tomorrow, were Pakistan to implode suddenly, it would solve all its myriad problems. It would certainly satisfy many an armchair Cassandra. Countries with a population of over 180 million humans however do not disappear into a Black

Hole of non-existence.   They continue to exist because, like Mount Everest, they are there. The more mundane reason is that international creditors cannot bring themselves to unplug the life-support system that sustains such bedridden economies. The truth is, nations survive because ultimately the will of the people is more resilient than the willful errancy of its leadership. In India, as in other developing countries, class barriers have been eroded by the tsunami of widespread education. In Pakistan, class barriers have themselves become the barriers to the wider dissemination of education. And again, while India has demonstrated that mass education produces a vibrant middle class, Pakistan has inverted that maxim and made the middle class responsible for its own education. Anyone in government concerned with education would be hard-pressed to provide a clear vision of the contours of Pakistanis in 2030. Will they be open-minded citizens capable of integrating in a modern world? Will they continue to remain stratified in the present class distinctions? Or will they migrate and clear tables in Toronto? There are some who would maintain that the churning of a troubled childhood produces geniuses. Take

Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplin. Both of them spent their precious childhood doing menial labour. Dr Abdus Salam (our sole Nobel Laureate) came from a backwater: Maghiana in Jhang District.

Whoever chooses to write a social history of Pakistan will find it difficult to pinpoint the exact moment our hearts stopped beating for our fellow citizens

Dr Salam’s birthday January 29 should be celebrated as our equivalent of Martin Luther King Day in the United States. King lived and died championing emancipation, Salam lived and died advocating education. Salam, Dickens, and Chaplin are names those juvenile maidservants would never have recognised. But then, they could barely write their own. l FS Aijazuddin, OBE, is the author of more than a dozen books. This article was first published in Dawn.




National Street-theatre Festival begins n Afrose Jahan Chaity Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation is all set to celebrate the National Street-theatre Festival 2014, to mark the International Mother Language Day and Martyrs’ Day. The programme will begin today at the Central Shaheed Minar and continue untill February 7, organisers said at a press conference. The slogan of the festival “Culture against violence,” is adopted from Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation’s five month long project. Around 35 theatre troupes from all over the country including Udichi, Dhaka Sanskritic Dol, Mahakal Natya Sampraday, Opera, Muktangan Natyalay, Brahmanbaria Shahitya Academy, Drishtipat, Bonolota and others will take part at the seven-day long festival to showcase an array of street-plays, along with

dance recitals, music, songs, snake charmer shows and poetry recitals. Songs of many different languages will also be presented at the festival that is sure to enthrall the audience. Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation will also celebrate National Street-theatre Festival in seven divisions after the fiesta in Dhaka. Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Liaquat Ali Lucky, Secretary General of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation Jhuna Chowdhury and convener of the festival Chandan Reza was present at the press conference held at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on January 30. Under the five-month long project, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation has already completed a theatre production workshop titled “Jagorone Natya Nirman” at seven divisions of the country. l


Chhayanaut’s two-day celebrations marking its 50th anniversary began yesterday with an array of programmes at the institute’s auditorium

Sumon Wahed’s Academic-Postacademic

An artwork by Sumon Wahed

n Hasan Mansoor Chatak Art institutes of the country always wish for talented artists like Sumon Wahed who studied at the fine arts institute of the University of Dhaka. Later, he reinvented himself as a strategist confronting the new notions of emerging art practices at Shantiniketon. Wahed’s first solo art exhibition, curated by Wakilur Rahman is currently on at The Dhaka Art Center. Aptly titled Academic -Postacademic, the inaugural ceremony of the week long exhibition was held on January 28 with the graceful presence of AASM Arefin Siddiqui, vice chancellor of DU, Abul Barq Alvi, dean of Fine Arts Institute, University of Dhaka, Shaheen Reza Noor, executive editor of The Daily Ettefaq and eminent artist Rafiqun Nabi.

Sumon’s images portray contagious enthusiasm. His works on popular images of circulation-movie posters, rickshaw painting, magazines, advertisements, billboards, comics, cartoons, leaflets, newspapers, popular texts, roadside symbols, animations, photography and cyber images all suggest a penchant for culturally produced and provoked signs, also a certain kind of practical interest in image collation. While continuously strategising his conceptualising methods, Sumon addressed issues like political killing, curse of capitalism, deep malaise of consumerism by deconstructing the popular conceptions, In fact, he followed and subverted the “meanings” in circulation in slight yet telling juxtapositions. His artworks Prison 1&2, Death Waiting on Red Carpet 1&2 and Nothing is Happening There 1&2 are garnered to capture the spectators’ concentration, while the added frankness in his works will also enhance its communicative efficacy to the spectators. Sumon said that he wanted to depict the postmodernism in his works by juxtaposing traditional form of image with the very modern. The canvases are dominated by nature, human and animal figures that capture the universal beauty of realistic emotion which is re-imagined through his work. Sumon has also depicted the complex city life in some of his works. In his painting Winter Morning, he portrays the activities of the city on a winter morning. Brutal truth, Butcher shop, Adda at Modhur Canteen, Landscape and Figure Study are some of the captivating images that Sumon has painted. His style is somewhat influenced by some of his teachers and fellow senior artists, yet, his figurative works are well developed and has his own distinct touch. His work possess an originality that quite evidently sets him apart from most artists. Sumon shows talent when using traditional media like pen, pencil, ink and water colors. Even though he shows radiance in all mediums of painting, he has a special flare when using water colors. Sumon has mastered the art of portrait painting and book cover illustrations. He previously worked as a contributing artist at a national English daily and now works as a freelance artist. He has illustrated a lot of comic and story books, the most recent being Lalon and Rabindranath Tagore. l

To promote and protect the legacy of Bangladeshi films, an interesting documentary titled Shorup Shondhan is in the making by Mohammad Shazzad Hossain and Arafatul Kabir Rizve. The documentary focuses on the history of film in Bangladesh, the rich cultural heritage, evolution of language and the social change process. The documentary is well underway with the shooting of eight of its songs already completed last Wednesday. The songs “Raifel Jokhon Camera,” “Obiram Srome R Foshole,” “Koto Gunijon Cinema Banalo,” “Kotha Theke Jay” and three more are written and composed by Arafatul Kabir and Bhagirath Malo. The music directors of Shorup Shondhan are Didarul Karim and Robins Chowdhury, while Bhagirath Malo lends his voice in all of the songs. Directors of the documentary are very hopeful about the project as they are considering the well researched documentary to be a reference for aspiring filmmakers and researchers. l

Aishwarya, Deepika on World’s 30 Most Beautiful Women n Entertainment Desk Bollywood actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Deepika Padukone made it to the list titled World’s 30 Most Beautiful Women of 2014. The poll was conducted by the website Hollywoodbuzz. While Ash clinched the fourth position - after Italian actress Monica Belluci, model Kate Upton and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie Deepika ranked 29 on the list. A statement from an elated Ash read: “The results of this poll by Hollywood Buzz was brought to my notice by my well-wishers ‘whatsapping’ me. Believe it or not I must admit it’s overwhelming to hear that over 4 million people across the globe have voted and listed me amongst their top choices with such beautiful and talented women. I say a huge loving thank you to all my well-wishers [fans] for making me smile and always being there for me. More power to our love.” Ash and Deepika are the only Indian women to figure in the list which consists largely of Hollywood names including actresses Charlize Theron, Amber Heard, and Jennifer Lawrence. l

Rajbongshi performs at IGCC


n Entertainment Desk

MOVIE 7:14pm HBO Romeo Must Die 9:30pm Star Movies

Silver Linings Playbook

DRAMA 8:00pm Sony Aadalat 9:30pm Star World Bunheads

COMEDY 1:30pm Comedy Central Outsourced 10:30pm Star World Two And A Half Men

MISC 1:30pm Discovery Man Woman Wild 7:30pm AXN The Millionaire Matchmaker

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre located at Gulshan is organising a folk music evening by eminent classical artiste Indra Mohan Rajbongshi at 6:30pm. Born in Dhaka, in 1952, Indra Mohan Rajbongshi is a versatile singer and researcher with expertise in singing in the genres of classic music and folk music. He started learning music at an early age under Late Kestodas Rajbongshi. His gurus in classical music include renowned musicians such as Ustad Munshi Raisuddin, Pandit Barin Majumdar, Ustad Aminul Islam, Ustad Monjoor Hossain Khan, Ustad Akhtar Sadmani and Ustad Azad Rahman. He learnt folk music from legendary folk artistes of the sub-continent such as Abdul Alim, Kanailal Shil, Momtaj Ali Khan, Hasan Ali Khan, Abdul Latif and Hafijur Rahman. Rajbongshi is closely associated with the Bangla film industry. He has been a playback singer and lyricist in many short films and feature films produced in Dhaka and Kolkata. He was awarded the best singer by the Bangladesh Cine Journalist Association in 1976 for the film “Nayan-Moni” directed by Amjad Hossain. He is also the proud recipient of the “Meril Jay Jay Din Award” in 1995 for being the best singer of the year. l


Shorup Shondhan promotes Bangladeshi film

n Entertainment Desk

Saturday, February 1, 2014


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim in 3D, The Conjuring, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Escape Plan Time: 10am – 10pm Star Cineplex, Level 8 Bashundhara City


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

Paying a tribute to legendary actor of Bangla cinema, Suchitra Sen, musical programme was held on January 30 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Celebrated singers of the country rendered popular songs from the films of Suchitra Sen. A houseful of audience attended the programme

Shakira and Rihanna embrace in steamy music video n Entertainment Desk

The Barbadian beauty has joined the Colombian bombshell on her latest single “Can’t Remember To Forget You” and fans eagerly awaiting a saucy video were not disappointed. Shakira and Rihanna lived up to their sex symbol statuses as the video finally hit Vevo. Posted online Thursday, it’s already shaping up to be the hottest spot of 2014 with more than 2 million views in just a matter of hours. The 36-year-old Colombian and 25-year-old Barbadian certainly do not hold back as they flaunt their incredible figures in an array of rather skimpy outfits. And just to make sure they grab everyone’s attention, the two also share a naked embrace. As the duo sing about their mutual addiction to a man who is no good for them, they indulge in a dance off, with a wall separating them, showing off their coordinating choreography which gets progressively raunchier. It’s not all about hanging out with a scantily clad Rihanna though as Shakira shows off her musical prowess, playing guitar and then the drums. The Joseph Khan-directed video follows the single’s initial release earlier this month. Shakira previously explained the reasons for choosing Rihanna: “This song ‘Can’t Remember To Forget You’ combines both the reggae and the rock spirit.” l

Did you know? New Zealand’s Kane Williamson against India yesterday becomes only the second man to have scored fifties in all the matches of a 5-ODI series


Mushfiq GP’s while Shakib opts for Banglalink n Raihan Mahmood The stars of the national cricket team seem to be flying high in the sky as far as personal endorsements go, with Grameephone and Banglalink, the two top cellular operators of the country, roping in Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Nasir Hossain and Shakib al Hasan as their brand ambassadors recently. While Banlgalink will officially reveal the deal today at the Westin Hotel, Grameenphone completed the agreements three days ago but are yet to make an announcement. It was learnt that Banglalink has roped in Shakib for a two year deal amounting to Tk9m. Shakib was also a part of Grameenphone’s plan, along with the three other big names in Bangladesh cricket but opted to bat for Banglalink at the last moment. “He was also a part of our plans but he opted to go out. We are happy with the involvement of Mushfiq, Tamim and Nasir. We were involved with cricket and we remain with it, the three ambassadors will promote not only Grameenphone but also Bangladesh’s cricket,” said Tahmid Azizul Haque, the chief of corporate communications of Grameenphone. l

Leandro Negre, the Spanish president of International Hockey Federation (FIH), expressed the hope that Bangladesh would be able to raise their standard as the FIH needs countries like Bangladesh in order to expand. The 67 year old Spaniard arrived in Dhaka yesterday and is scheduled to inaugurate the National School Hockey Championship at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium today. The president first visited Bangladesh in February 2013. The FIH president was excited about tournament he is scheduled to open. “I am excited with it. It would be a fantastic idea to see that a huge number of school boys holding hockey sticks with a vision to play hockey in their eyes,” said Negre. The FIH president was aware of the Bangladesh’s performance in the last few months but said hard work could raise the standard. “The FIH thinks Bangladesh would go ahead, we are proud the heritage of Bangladesh hockey. We have every hope that Ban-

0 4 3

n Mazhar Uddin Usually, the day after a Test match ends, the players rest, but after suffering a crushing defeat to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh coach Shane Jurgensen had his boys in the field practicing yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Jurgensen said that this was the worst his side had performed since the Australian took over and added that the players had been distracted by ICC issues. “I am very disappointed after the first Test. The cricket we have played in the last match is no way near to our standard. I have sat with the cricketers yesterday (Thursday) and discussed our mistakes but we have no much time left before the next Test, so we have to move on quickly,” he said. Shane Jurgensen added that poor performance was linked with the recent issue of the ICC’s draft proposal, as it served to distract the players, “I think there was also a little distraction before the game that probably didn’t help either with the ICC, but at the same time there are no excuses.

gladesh would continue to work hard to go to the higher stages,” said the president. Negre also seemed keen to assist in laying out new turf in Bangladesh, “We have been working on that. FIH has a clear vision about its support, we have said that we will try our best to help Bangladesh.” Negre will open the national school hockey tournament in which 102 schools from all around the country will participate in 10 venues. First Security Islami Bank are the sponsors of the tournament. A total of 29 teams will qualify for the final round that will begin in the capital on 24 February. The inaugural ceremony will take place at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium with 560 school girls displaying Bangladesh’s heritage. Bangladesh Hockey Federation has handed over 16 composite hockey sticks and nine balls to each of the schools so that the youngsters can prepare themselves for the upcoming challenge. After the tournament, 65 players will be selected for intensive higher training with a view to grooming them for the future. l

We are representing Bangladesh in international cricket and we just couldn’t quite come through and play well in this game.” The Tigers were terrible in every department of the game and the Australian said that since he took charge, this was the poorest the team had been. “Probably we are played out


Leandro Negre, the FIH president arrives in Dhaka yesterday


in all departments in the last game. We really hadn’t had a game like this since I have been around or for a while. It hasn’t been often and that is the way we have to look at it. We’ve got to look at the positives and say that it’s just a bad game. “We did not bat well and struggled for long periods and kept losing wick-


15 India fail again

against Black Caps

fashion, dominating the first half and going ahead at the death. However, the situation changed after Enamul was given a red card at the hour mark and the Muktis were on the defensive for the rest of the game. Muktijoddha coach Shafiqul Islam Manik blamed Enamul for his irresponsible approach at the post-match briefing, insisting that it had cost them the game. “I didn’t expect such an act from a senior player like him (Enamul). After receiving one yellow card in the first half, I warned him to be more careful at the break. After being reduced to 10 men, it was difficult for us to hold onto the lead,” said Manik. Muktis had their first real chance in the 9th minute when in-form Nigerian forward Nkwocha Kingsley broke into

ets. When we bowled, I think there were good period for the bowlers, but they (Sri Lanka) batted well. We did not put enough pressure in the field and missed a few chances,” he added. However Jurgensen praised Shakib and young pacer Al-Amin and informed that Shakib showed his class with both bat and ball, “I think Shakib showed his


class with the bat and the ball and AlAmin was very good with the ball. For such a young bowler he got better and better with every spell. I think Robiul got better the more he bowled also,” said Jurgensen. The 37-year old said that whatever the wicket was, the fact that Bangladesh could not play well since batsmen were unable to hang onto their wickets, “Whatever the wicket was we did not play well. It could have been a sporting wicket or a flat wicket or turning wicket and you still need to stand up and bat well, bowl well and field well and we really did not do that,” he said. Though Bangladesh are now down 0-1 in the Test series, the tiger coach is hopeful of making a comeback in Chittagong, where both teams will arrive today. “This has happened before in Zimbabwe where we lost the first Test match and that is when you work harder with a purpose. I will just work harder and get their heads in the right space and make sure we have good plans in Chittagong,” he said. l

Bad on the field, bad for TV n Mazhar Uddin

Bangladesh’s poor performance in the first Test against Sri Lanka, where they were thrashed by an innings and 248 runs in little more than three days, not only disappointed the fans but adversely affected the channel that bought the TV rights for the series as well. Masranga TV earlier won the TV rights battle after the private channel outbid another satellite channel Gazi TV, who had telecast the home series against New Zealand last year. With Bangladesh drawing the Test series and whitewashing the Kiwis in the ODIs, millions watched the matches on TV and the demand for commercial advertising at Gazi TV shot up – this being the main source of income for a TV channel. By contrast, with the first Test

against Sri Lanka ending in the second session of the fourth day, the air time the Masranga TV had booked for commercials in between overs for the rest of the time the match was supposed to have been played was lost – leading to a loss in revenue for the channel. TV channels look to make up the money they spend on buying rights to a series from the Bangladesh Cricket Board with promotional activities. Other incentives are a high Television Rating Point high and gaining notice from viewers. Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing of Masranga Ajoy Kumar Kundu informed that they had it in mind when they bought the TV rights that the match could finish on the fourth day, but admitted the channel would suffer some loss. “We had everything on our mind and we went ahead accepting

the fact. You can’t do anything if the match finishes a day before scheduled time. Though there are some financial lose for us, such as if we targeted 100% from a five day Test match we get 80% as those 20% were reserved for the fifth day,” he said. Ajoy also informed that if Bangladesh plays good cricket and win matches, the TV broadcasters get more benefits as the market of Bangladesh is increasing and expanding daily. The performance of the Bangladesh team is also engaged with the financial aspects of the board as Bangladesh team receives more attention from the world media, where many of the international broadcasters get interested in buying the TV rights for the team’s matches. At the moment, the BCB does not have any permanent TV rights holder

Dhaka Division post massive total n Mazhar Uddin Nurul Hasan joined teammates Suvagoto Hom and Rakibul Hasan in reaching three figures as Dhaka Division amassed a massive 616/7 at the end of the second day against Rangpur Division at the 15th National Cricket League yesterday. Resuming with 357 on the board, Dhaka lost Shuvagata for 165 and Rakibul for 154, before wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan made 109 to take them to 616/7 declared, at the Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi. In reply, Rangpur finished the second day at 151/2, with opener Salauddin Pappu 78 not out.

Rajshahi v Sylhet

Sylhet, who bowled out Rajshahi for 217 runs on the first day and started the second day at 95 for no loss, were bundled out for 244 courtesy of left arm spinner Saqlain Saji, who claimed six wickets and another left arm spinner Taijul Islam, who took the other four. Opening batsman Sayem Alam top scored with 83. Rajshahi also struggled in their second innings and were cut down to 100/6 at sumps at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.

Khulna v Barisal

Riding on three half centuries, hosts Khulna, who scored 252/6 on the first day, were all out for 357. National cricketer Ziaur Rahman was the highest scorer with 77 not out while Tushar

Brothers hold 10-man Muktijoddha After two consecutive victories, a 10-man Muktijoddha SKC were held to a 1-1 draw by Brothers Union in the Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Nigerian striker Eleta Kingsley scored his first goal of the league this season to put the All Reds ahead in injury time of the opening half before Brothers’ Nigerian hitman Keston Akon also netted his first to restore the parity in the second half. Muktijoddha, the Federation Cup runners-up, won their last two games against defending champions Sheikh Russell and Chittagong Abahani and they started yesterday’s match in bright

Mata impact

Bangladesh head coach Shane Jurgensen discusses a point with the players during a practice session at the SBNS yesterday

Dhaka v Rangpur

n Shishir Hoque

14 Young delights in


Jurgensen looks ahead, claims ICC proposal were ‘distraction’

Negre wants Bangladesh to raise standard n Raihan Mahmood

Saturday, February 1, 2014

the penalty area but shot just wide of the target. In the 24th minute, Victori Antoni delivered a long ball into the box for Kester Akon but the Nigerian’s weak shot was easily blocked by goalkeeper Md Sujon. Muktijoddha finally broke the deadlock a few seconds before the whistle went for the first half. A short pass from Enamul set up Eleta Kingsley, who swept into the penalty area from the right side and slotted the ball past Sujon with his left foot. Muktis almost doubled their lead six minutes into the second half. Following a one-two with Enamul, Nkwocha chipped the ball over the keeper and also the goal. The Orange had an opportunity to equalize in the 56th minute when Nigerian forward Victori Antoni’s header from a Faisal Mahmud

cross hit the woodwork. The All Reds were reduced to 10 men when Enamul picked up his second yellow card in the 60th minute and Brothers took full advantage as they piled the pressure on their opponents. Rasel Mahmud Liton made a decent save in the 69th minute to deny Jewel Rana’s close-range effort, after Faisal Mahmud provided a long ball. Brothers did not have to wait long for their next chance and in the 74th minute, Kester Akon found the back of the net. Ghanaian Issah Yousuf beat Liton in the air to head a pass to Kester, headed it in from the six yard box. Muktijoddha remain in fourth position with 11 points from seven matches, while Brothers moved to fifth with eight points. l

Imran made 61 at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. Fazle Rabbi and Golam Kabir took three wickets each for Barisal. In reply, Barisal lose three wickets in reaching 78 and they are still 279 runs behind.

Dhaka Metro v Chittagong

At Bogra’s Shaheed Chandu Stadium, Metro, who were restricted to 221 in the first innings, bowled Chittagong out for 195 to take a 26 run lead. Nafees Iqbal was the star for Chittagong with 97. Fast bowler Shohid took five wickets for Dhaka, while Asif Ahmed provided able support with three. In their second innings, Metro lost three wickets before the stumps as they accumulated 77 runs, with Mehrab Hossain and Bishwanath Halder at the crease. l

but rather, calls for bids before each series. Asked if TV broadcasters ever pressured the board to see to it that the Bangladesh team play exciting cricket, chairman of the BCB Marketing committee Kazi Inam Ahmed said “no”, but admitted that it is good for the board when Bangladesh play well. “I never faced such questions but it’s always better for the BCB if Bangladesh team plays good cricket and we get noticed by the international TV broadcasters and then they can come to us and ask for a long term contract, which I have been looking for since I took over as the chairman of the marketing committee,” said Kazi Inam. He went on to give the opinion that the Tigers have played good cricket for the last 12 months and hoped that they could come back strongly in the second Test. l


ULAB, NSU reach semis n Raihan Mahmood

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) and North South University (NSU) cruised into the semi-finals of the ULAB Fair Play Cup Cricket by winning their Super Eight matches at the ULAB playground, Ramchandrapur, Mohammadpur yesterday. In the first game of the Super Eights, ULAB beat BRAC University by 10 wickets and later, NSU overpowered East West University (EWU) by six wickets. Opting to field first, ULAB bundled BRACU for 64. Man-of-the-match Mursalin bin Mortaza was the chief wrecker and returned figures of 3/12. In reply, ULAB raced to the target in just 4.5 overs, with Hasan Zaman striking 40 off 12 balls. By contrast, North South University were made to work hard to edge past East West University. Winning the toss, EWU elected to bat first and put 121/6 on the board. Rifat’s 28 runs off 17 balls was the notable score. NSU chased down the score, reaching 123/4 in 18.4 overs. Rakin Ahmed of NSU scored 61 of 43 balls and was named man-of-the-match. Independent University Bangladesh will face State University Bangladesh at 9:30am and Manarat International University will face Northern University Bangladesh at 1:30pm in today’s matches. l ULAB’s Mursalin bin Mortaza receives his man of the match award against BRAC University at the ULAB playground, Ramchandrapur yesterday COURTESY




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Racing Santander forfeit Cup tie over unpaid wages n AFP, Madrid

Referee whistles the end of the game few minutes after it started as players of third-tier Spanish side Racing Santander refused to play in their Copa del Rey quarterfinal, second leg against Real Sociedad in a dispute with the club's president Angel Lavin over unpaid wages, at El Sardinero stadium in Santander on Thursday AFP

Tough tests await for title contenders n AFP, Madrid Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid all face difficult games this weekend as they return to La Liga action after qualifying for the Copa del Rey semi-finals in midweek. Just one point separates the top three with Barca and Atletico leading the way on 54 points, but a five-game winning run in the league has brought Madrid right back into the hunt with 17 games still to go. Real could start the game four points off the top, though, as Barcelona are the first of the title contenders in action this weekend when they host Valencia on Saturday.

Coach Gerardo Martino was also able to rest the majority of his stars against Levante in midweek, so the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Gerard Pique will return to the starting line-up for the visit of Los Che.

FIXTURES Barcelona Levante Getafe Malaga

v v v v

Valencia Rayo Vallecano Valladolid Sevilla

Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita has arrived on a short-term deal for Valencia until the end of the season but will not be involved against his old club after not being included in coach Juan Antonio Pizzi’s squad. l

Young delights in Mata impact n AFP, Manchester Ashley Young believes Juan Mata’s arrival has taken competition for places to another level at Manchester United as the English champions prepare to visit Stoke. Mata, who joined from Premier League rivals Chelsea for £37.1 million ($61.2 million, 44.8 million euros) earlier this month, made his debut for United in the 2-0 win over Cardiff on Tuesday. That match saw Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney return from injury lay-offs, and both will be in contention for a place at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. It would mean United’s star strikers starting together for just the eighth time in 24 Premier League matches this season. The availability of the three

players means other places in the front four are sure to be squeezed. England winger Young, who will be battling with Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck for the

FIXTURES Cardiff Everton Fulham Hull Newcastle Stoke West Ham

v v v v v v v

Norwich Aston Villa Southampton Tottenham Sunderland Man United Swansea

last spot in manager David Moyes’s strongest side, said: “You have to be on the ball. You have to put in big performances every week. We have a big squad and we can rotate the team. “When you are playing well, get-

Arsenal lose Ramsey for around six weeks

Qatar gets 14 days to send labour report to Fifa

Aguero out for a month

n AFP, London

n Reuters, Zurich

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be unavailable for up to six weeks after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh injury, manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Friday. The 23-year-old Wales international has been one of the London club’s star performers this season, but he has not played since December 26 due to the problem. He returned to full training earlier this week, only to aggravate the injury, which prevented him from making a comeback in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at Southampton on Tuesday. As a result, and with Arsenal having conceded top spot in the Premier League table to Manchester City, Wenger has revealed that he will try to sign a new midfielder before the January transfer window closes later on Friday. “It is certainly a few weeks. It will be between four to six weeks. I count six, so I have no bad surprise,” Wenger told a press conference. “We are still trying to bring at least one body in because we are a bit hit now by the red card for (Mathieu) Flamini, the setback of Ramsey and the fact that (Jack) Wilshere is not available, which I hope will be short term. l

Qatar has been given two weeks to provide a report to FIFA on how it has improved working conditions for labourers in the 2022 World Cup host nation. “FIFA expects to receive information on the specific steps that Qatar has taken since president Sepp Blatter’s last trip to Doha in November 2013 to improve the welfare and living conditions of migrant workers,” world soc-

Manchester City’s leading scorer Sergio Aguero is likely to be sidelined for around a month due to a hamstring injury, manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed on Friday. The Argentina international, who recently missed eight matches with a calf problem, was forced off in the first half of City’s 5-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Wednesday. “The doctor is seeing him -- maybe one month, but we are not sure absolutely,” Pellegrini told reporters. The injury to Aguero, who has scored 26 goals this season, arrives at an unwelcome juncture in City’s campaign, with the 2012 English champions having just taken over from Arsenal at the top of the league table. He stands to miss the first leg of City’s Champions League last 16 tie with Barcelona, as well as key league and FA Cup games against Chelsea. However, with City having already amassed 115 goals in all competitions this season, Pellegrini believes that his team can cope with Aguero’s absence. “It is very difficult. Sergio is a top player for us, but I think we can replace him,” said the Chilean. “All the other strikers - Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and now Stevan Jovetic - replace him.” l

cer’s ruling body said in a statement on Thursday. “The application of international norms of behaviour is a FIFA principle and part of all of FIFA’s activities and is expected from all hosts of its events. “FIFA firmly believes in the power the World Cup can have in triggering positive social change in Qatar including improving the labour rights and conditions of migrant workers,” the statement read. l

A combination photo shows the two sides of the Fifa 2014 World Cup commemorative gold coin during its launch ceremony in Brasilia on Wednesday. Made in gold, silver and cupronickel, the coins were launched on Thursday REUTERS

Ribery and Benzema cleared on underage n Reuters, Berlin sex charges

n AFP, London

Schalke resume league with Huntelaar

n AFP, Paris

Frank Ribery and Karim Benzema were Thursday acquitted of charges of having sex with an under-age prostitute that have been hanging over the two France stars for four years. The decision by a Paris court ends legal proceedings that had threatened to end in prison terms that could have prevented one or both of them from playing in this year’s World Cup in Brazil. Ribery’s brother-in-law was also cleared of the charges against him in what had become known as the “Zahia affair” after the former prostitute involved, Zahia Dehar. The judge however convicted five other men linked to Ribery and Benzema of pimping. l

The return of Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after a five-month injury absence has filled Champions League club Schalke 04 with confidence they can turn their domestic season around. The forward made his first appearance last week since August, scoring in their 3-0 win at Hamburg SV and sending Schalke back up to fifth place as they challenge for yet another Champions League spot next season. “It is this aura that we have been lacking in the past months,” said coach Jens Keller. “Klaas is worth his weight in gold in such form. His presence on the pitch alone is important for us.” Keller could not have asked for bet-

The players of third-tier Spanish side Racing Santander refused to play in their Copa del Rey quarter-final, second leg against Real Sociedad on Thursday in a dispute with the club’s president Angel Lavin over unpaid wages. Despite an amazing cup run that has included victories over La Liga sides Sevilla and Almeria, the players haven’t been paid since September. The squad warned on Monday that they would refuse to play the match if Lavin and the rest of his board didn’t resign. Both sides took to the field of play and kicked off as normal. However, after Sociedad had kept possession for 40 seconds without any challenge from the Racing players, referee Gil Manzano called the game off when Santander captain Mario Fernandez informed him his side would take no further part. Sociedad were leading 3-1 from the first leg last week and are expected to be awarded a 3-0 win on the night to progress to the last four where they will meet Barcelona. l

ter timing in his return with Schalke up against VfL Wolfsburg, a point behind in sixth place, on Saturday with both teams eyeing Champions League spots next season.

FIXTURES Schalke 04 Leverkusen Hoffenheim Mainz Augsburg Hanover 96

v v v v v v

VfL Wolfsburg VfB Stuttgart Hamburg Freiburg Bremen Gladbach

“There are a lot of teams battling for Champions League spots so this will remain a tight race for a long time,” said Schalke sports director Horst Heldt. “We now have two home games and one against a direct competitor (VfL

Wolfsburg) and we need to pick up where we left off against Hamburg.” With appearances such as the one against Hamburg, Schalke are also eager to quickly extend Huntelaar’s deal past 2015. The Ruhr Valley club, who face Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 next month, will also have captain Benedikt Hoewedes back in the squad after he missed last week’s Bundesliga resumption following the winter break with a stomach virus. Wolfsburg will be a tough opponent, having boosted their frontline with Belgian forward Kevin De Bruyne from Chelsea but are going to Schalke on the back of a surprise defeat to Hanover 96 last week. Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen entertain Stuttgart while Borussia Dortmund, four points back in third, travel to bottomplaced Eintracht Braunschweig. l

ting goals and assists, you are there in the manager’s thoughts,” added the 28-year-old, who scored United’s second goal against Cardiff following Dutch striker van Persie’s sixth-minute opener at Old Trafford on Tuesday. “We have competition for places and that keeps you on your toes. You want to keep playing well and training well, because that is the only way to keep yourself in the team,” Young explained. “Robin is a goalscorer. You put him in the box and he will score, and he has done that again. “There will be a lot of talk about Juan’s arrival and the fact that we have broken the transfer record for him, but he looks like he has been here for years. “It was his first game but he has gelled straight away with the way we play. He is going to add something spe-

cial to the squad.” Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is facing a major post-season rebuilding process after admitting defeat in his attempts to sign France international Clement Grenier in the January transfer window. The latest Tyne-Wear derby has been almost an afterthought, with both clubs experiencing hectic spells in the final week of the window. Nevertheless, with Newcastle eighth in the top flight and Sunderland in 17th place, two points above the relegation zone, there is more than just local pride to play for at St James’ Park this weekend. But the hosts will be without 11-goal top scorer Loic Remy after they failed with an appeal to get the Frenchman’s red card received in the midweek goalless draw against Norwich overturned. l

SUMMER TRANSFERS Chelsea sign teenage Frenchman Zouma

Premier League giants Chelsea announced on Friday that they have signed 19-year-old French centre-back Kurt Zouma from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne on a five-and-a-half-year contract. The powerful French Under-21 international, who made his first-team debut at the age of 16, will be loaned back to SaintEtienne until the end of the season.

Man United’s Zaha loaned to Cardiff

Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha has been loaned to Cardiff City until the end of the season, the Welsh club’s manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, announced on Friday. Zaha, 21, signed for United from Crystal Palace in a deal worth £15 million ($24.5 million, 18 million euros) a year ago before being loaned back to the London club.

Fulham sign Holtby on loan from Tottenham

Fulham have signed the German international midfielder Lewis Holtby on loan from Tottenham Hotspur until the end of the season, the club confirmed on Friday. Holtby, 23, who played three times for Germany, joined Tottenham from Schalke 04 in the January transfer window a year ago but has been unable to establish a regular place in the first-team.

Scocco becomes Sunderland’s latest arrival

Argentina international striker Ignacio Scocco became Sunderland’s fourth arrival of the January transfer window when he signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Premier League club on Thursday. Announcing the deal on their website, the club did not disclose the fee they paid Brazilian club Internacional for the 28-year-old.

West Ham sign Ivory Coast’s Razak on loan

Ivory Coast international midfielder Abdul Razak returned to the Premier League when he signed a short-term loan contract with strugglers West Ham United on Thursday. West Ham, who battled to a 0-0 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday, are still in the relegation zone. Razak, 21, began his career with Manchester City before moving to Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala last year.

Saints’ Osvaldo undergoing Juve medical

Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo moved closer to signing for Juventus on Friday as the Serie A champions announced the player was undergoing a medical in Turin. Osvaldo, who quit Roma last summer to sign for Southampton in a four-year deal worth a reported £12.8 million ($21.2 million) is expected to sign for the Serie A champions on loan until the end of the season.

Milan complete Taarabt loan signing

AC Milan on Thursday completed the signing of attacking midfielder Adel Taarabt on loan from English Premier League side Fulham. Taarabt is currently owned by QPR, who loaned the Moroccan international to Fulham for the current season. The 24-year-old signed a deal that will see him remain on loan, with an option to join permanently, at the Serie A giants until the summer.

Napoli sign Brazil defender Henrique

Napoli have signed Brazilian international Henrique from Palmeiras for an undisclosed fee, the Serie A club announced. The 27-year-old centre back, who has played four times for Brazil, has signed a contract that will keep him at Napoli until June 2017. Napoli are third in Serie A, six points behind secondplaced AS Roma and 12 behind league leaders Juventus.

Hernanes set to join Inter

Brazilian Hernanes edged closer to completing a move from Lazio to Inter on Friday, a day after an emotional exit from the Roman club marked by tears and gifting his football boots to waiting fans. The 28-year-old midfielder, who did not train with Lazio on Friday morning, is expeced to be confirmed as an Inter player later in the day.

Dortmund sign Serbia midfield talent Jojic

Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund have signed Serbian midfielder Milos Jojic from Partizan Belgrade on the last day of the transfer window as they look to plug the gap of injured Jakub Blaszczykowski. The 21-year-old Jojic signed a four-year deal becoming Dortmund’s only transfer in the winter after the club had initially ruled out buying any players.




Saturday, February 1, 2014


SCORECARD New Zealand M. Guptill c Shami b Aaron J. Ryder c Rahane b Kumar K. Williamson c Rahane b Aaron R. Taylor c Dhawan b Shami B. McCullum c Sharma b Kohli J. Neesham not out L. Ronchi not out Extras (b1, w5, lb6) Total (5 wickets: 50 overs)

Usha continue winning

Usha Krira Chakra registered their fifth consecutive victory to continue their 100% winning record in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League by beating Sonali Bank 4-2 at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday. Penalty corner specialist Mamunur Rahman Chayan netted twice for the victors, once in the 6th minute and the other from a penalty corner in the 22nd minute. Krishna Kumar Das and Rimon Kumar Ghosh added one each in the 45th and 46th minutes respectively. Ekanul Kabeer Turzo scored two for Sonali Bank in the 31st and 52nd minutes – both goals coming from penalty corners. –SH

Bowling Shami 10-3-61-1 (2w), Kumar 8-0-48-1 (2w), Aaron 10-0-60-2 (1w), Ashwin 6-037-0, Jadeja 9-0-54-0, Kohli 7-0-36-1 India R. Sharma c Taylor b Mills 4 S. Dhawan c N.McCullum b Henry 9 V. Kohli c Y-Husband b McCullum 82 A. Rahane lbw Henry 2 A.Rayudu c Williamson b Henry 20 M. Dhoni c Williamson b Neesham 47 R. Ashwin b Williamson 7 R. Jadeja c Guptill b Mills 5 B.Kumar c Ronchi b Henry 20 M. Shami not out 14 V. Aaron b Neesham 0 Extras (lb1, w4, nb1) 6 Total (all out: 49.4) 216

2nd HABHIT cup golf begins in Tangail The two-day long 2nd HABHIT cup Golf tournament begins at the Ghatail Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment golf course in Tangail on Friday. The tournament is sponsored by HABHIT Tangail. A total of 70 players including eight women golfers from different golf clubs in the country are taking part in the tournament. The tournament was inaugurated by the GOC of 19th infantry Division of Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment, Major General Shafiqur Rahman on the morning. Chairman of HABHIT and also lawmaker of Tangail-5 constituency Sanwar Hossen and Other army officials and HABIHT officials also attended the inauguration program The GOC of the Ghatail cantonment Major General Shafiqur Rahman and Chairman of HABHIT mp Sanwar will be distributed prizes to the winners on Saturday evening. A cultural program and raffle draw will be also held on the occasion and 60 prizes will be distributed to the winners on Saturday. –Tribune Desk

Fulham signs Greece striker Mitroglou Fulham have signed Greek international striker Konstantinos Mitroglou from Olympiakos on a four-and-a-halfyear contract, the Premier League strugglers announced on Friday. Mitroglou, 25, was the top scorer in this season’s Greek Super League with 14 goals and arrives for an undisclosed fee reported to be in the region of £12.5 million ($20.6 million, 15.3 million euros). “Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Greece international Konstantinos Mitroglou on a four-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee, seeing the player at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2018,” read a statement on the Fulham website. Mitroglou began his professional career with Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany before joining Olympiakos in 2007. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Sony Six NBA 2013-14 7:00AM Brooklyn v Oklahoma City 9:30AM LA Lakers v Charlotte Rugby Six Nation 2014 8:30PM Wales v Italy 11:00PM France v England Ten Golf 3:00PM Omega Dubai Classic Day 3 Star Sports HD1 3:30PM & 8:30PM Hockey India League Star Sports 4 English Premier League 6:45PM Cardiff City v Norwich City 9:00PM Stoke City v Man United

New Zealand players celebrate winning the ODI series after the fifth and final match against India in Wellington at Westpac Stadium yesterday

McIlroy stays ahead in Dubai Rory McIlroy shrugged off a wayward start to his second round at the $2.5million Dubai Desert Classic on Friday to move further clear of the field. A nine-under 63 had given the 24-year-old Ulsterman a two-stroke overnight advantage and the early starters failed to knock him off his perch as he sat back to wait on his early afternoon tee-time. Englishman Danny Willett was the first to make a charge with six birdies down the back nine after starting his round at the 10th. A bogey at the fifth was the only blemish on his card of 65, and he reached the halfway stage of the European Tour event at eight under. Italian Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari, solo second overnight on 65, was next to challenge McIlroy and he even drew level with a birdie at the 10th, but he followed that with a bogey at the next hole. Australian Scott Hend then fired three straight birdies from the second on his back nine to get to nine under and level with McIlroy, who was just teeing off at the first. But he then crashed with a triple bogey seven at the next. Irishman Damien McGrane also got to eight under after firing a second round of 70, but no-one was able to dislodge the world number six from the top of the leaderboard. l

Poor India fail again against Black Caps A Ross Taylor-inspired New Zealand crushed India by 87 runs in the fifth and final one-day international in Wellington on Friday to extend the tourists’ miserable run against the Black Caps. India could manage only 216 in reply to New Zealand’s 303 for five, slumping to a 4-0 series loss despite a battling 82 from Virat Kohli. Veteran batsman Taylor blazed his second successive century to set India the imposing run chase before seamer Matt Henry skittled the world champions’ top order in a dream debut, claiming four for 38. The result completes New Zealand’s best one-day winning streak against India in 33 years and provides a huge psychological boost ahead of a twoTest series next month. Meanwhile, India’s failure to perform against modest opposition has seen them ousted from top spot in the oneday rankings by Australia, and will raise questions about their form away from home ahead of next year’s World Cup. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the result was disappointing but showed

opposition teams were targeting India because of their recent success. “It’s a phase that we’re going through but what will be crucial is what kind of solutions we have got, how we plan to get out of it,” he said, adding that he was determined to stay positive despite the defeat. Taylor, fresh from an unbeaten 112 in the fourth match, laid the foundations for victory with a commanding 102, receiving able support from Kane Williamson (88), who has posted a halfcentury in every match of the series. Dhoni urged his pacemen to “use their brains” after losing the fourth match on Tuesday, and the new-ball pair of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar initially responded to the challenge. Shami began with two maidens, while Kumar showed improved accuracy as the New Zealanders were restricted to just 10 runs in the first five overs. The hard work paid off when Jesse Ryder (17) snicked an outside edge from Kumar to Ajinkya Rahane at gully and Martin Guptill was out for 16 after hitting the ball straight to Shami, who


took the chance after a nervous juggle. That brought the in-form partnership of Williamson and Taylor together and they immediately lifted the glacial run rate, scoring more boundaries in their first three overs at the crease than New Zealand managed in the previous 12. They brought up their third century partnership of the series in 108 balls, with Williamson reaching his fifth consecutive 50 in the 30th over. Taylor notched his own half century a few balls later as the pressure India had painstakingly built early in the innings dissipated. Williamson departed on 88 when he sliced a Varun Aaron delivery to Rahane at point and was replaced by Brendon McCullum, who provided a useful 23 off 18 balls before he was caught at cover trying to drive Kohli. Taylor brought up his 10th ODI century after 105 balls with a boundary hit through mid-wicket, but was out next ball attempting to belt Shami over the boundary. Jimmy Neesham contributed an unbeaten 34 off 19 balls to take New Zealand past 300, a mark that India’s batsmen reached only once in the series. l

Bowling Mills 10-1-35-2, McClenaghan 10-0-450, Henry 10-1-38-4, Neesham 5.4-045-1, N.McCullum 10-1-33-1, Williamson 4-0-19-2 New Zealand win by 82 runs New Zealand win 4-0

Alonso fastest as Mercedes pile on the miles Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso gave the home fans something to cheer about on Friday as he was fastest on the fourth and final morning of pre-season testing in Jerez, southern Spain. In wet conditions following heavy overnight rain, the Spaniard posted a best time of 1min 35.334secs from 55 laps. Germany’s Nico Rosberg was second fastest as he continued to give the Mercedes W05 a thorough workout, completing 91 laps in little over three hours to take the team’s overall count past 250 for the week. McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen also built on his impressive start as, after going fastest on his first run with the team on Thursday afternoon, he was down in third after getting another 43 laps under his belt. However, there was no end in sight to reigning double world champions Red Bull’s issues as Australian Daniel Ricciardo could only manage seven laps early in the day to take their tally to the week to just 21. The problems at Red Bull have been reflected across all the teams using Renault engines as Toro Rosso and Caterham have also struggled this week, whilst Lotus didn’t even make it to Jerez due to delays in delivering their new season car. l

Australia too strong for England to take T20 series Australia continued England’s miserable tour with an emphatic eight-wicket victory to claim the Twenty20 series with a match to spare at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. England only posted 130 for nine after winning the toss and the home side coasted to victory with 5.1 overs left at 131 for two. Skipper George Bailey clubbed an unbeaten 60 off just 28 balls with three sixes and seven fours, while opener Cameron White continued his magnificent series with 57 not out off 45 balls. England will finish their troubled tour of Australia in Sydney on Sunday in the final dead rubber T20 game after losing the Ashes 5-0 and the one-day series 4-1. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was named man-of-the-match with career-

best T20 figures of four for 30 in England’s innings, including two wickets with his last two balls. “Australia outplayed us fantastically today. They held length pretty well and we didn’t react to that and the two needless run-outs hurt us in the middle which cost us getting a decent score,” England skipper Stuart Broad said. “We need to get some momentum from somewhere. It’s been a long tour, it’s been a long 100 days in Australia and it would be nice to finish with a win. “We have not (win) a series over here which is heart-breaking for Team England, but we can finish on a high before we fly two hours later.” Australian captain Bailey said his side’s bowlers had set up the win. Bailey paid credit to Hazlewood and also 20-year-old leg-spinner James Muirhead (1-17 off 4 overs). l

SCORECARD England A. Hales c Starc b Hazlewood 16 M. Lumb c Coulter-Nile b Hazlewood 18 L. Wright c Hodge b Starc 0 J. Root run out (Maxwell/White) 18 E. Morgan run out (Hodge) 6 J. Buttler lbw b Coulter-Nile 22 R. Bopara c Maxwell b Muirhead 6 T. Bresnan b Hazlewood 18 S. Broad not out 18 J. Tredwell b Hazlewood 0 Extras (lb4, w4) 8 Total (9 wickets; 20 overs) 130

Ten Action

Fall of wickets 1-24 (Lumb), 2-30 (Wright), 3-42 (Hales), 4-55 (Morgan), 5-63 (Root), 6-87 (Bopara), 7-96 (Buttler), 8-130 (Bresnan), 9-130 (Tredwell) Bowling Hodge 1-0-10-0, Coulter-Nile 4-0-29-1, Starc 4-0-19-1, Hazlewood 4-0-30-4 (2w), Maxwell 1-0-7-0, Muirhead 4-017-1 (2w), White 2-0-14-0 Australia C. White not out 57 A. Finch lbw b Bresnan 10 G. Maxwell c Bresnan b Tredwell 2 G. Bailey not out 60 Extras (lb1, w1) 2 Total (2 wickets; 14.5 overs) 131

6:10PM Sky Bet Championship QPR v Burnley French Ligue 1 9:30PM FC Lorient v AS Monaco 1:00AM Evan Thonon v AC Ajaccio

Fall of wickets 1-48 (Finch), 2-53 (Maxwell) Bowling Broad 3-0-29-0, Dernbach 3-0-42-0, Bresnan 3-0-11-1 (1w), Tredwell 3.5-036-1, Bopara 2-0-12-0 Australia won by 8 wickets Australia lead series 2-0

Star Sports HD2

16 17 88 102 23 34 11 12 303

La Liga 9:00PM Barcelona v Valencia 11:00PM Levante v Rayo Vallecano 1:00AM Getafe v Real Valladolid 3:00AM Malaga v Sevilla

Australia's Cameron White (R) and George Bailey celebrate victory over England during the second T20 international cricket match in Melbourne yesterday AFP

Switzerland's Roger Federer returns the ball to Serbia's Ilija Bozoljac during the Davis Cup first round tennis match between Serbia and Switzerland in Novi Sad yesterday AFP

Fedex puts Swiss ahead Roger Federer got Switzerland off the mark in their Davis Cup World Group opener against Serbia on Friday as France, Germany and Kazakhstan also took early leads. Federer, a last-minute addition to the Swiss team, won through 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 against 268th-ranked Ilija Bozoljac on the hard court surface in Novi Sad. The Swiss, bouyed with two Grand Slam winners in their ranks, are favourites with Serbia weakened by the absence of their top players Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic. Switzerland’s newly-crowned Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka is due to take on Dusan Lajovic later on Friday. In Astana, Mikhail Kukushkin and Andrei Golubev gave hosts Kazakhstan a 2-0 advantage against Belgium. Kukushkin beat Ruben Bemelmans

6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3 in just over three hours and was followed by Golubev who overcame David Goffin 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 12-10 in a four hour 38-minute thriller. “I’m really pleased to win the first point for my team,” Kukushkin said. “The match was much tougher than one can imagine looking at the scoreline.” Hosts France went 1-0 up on clay in Mouilleron-le-Captif with Richard Gasquet seeing off Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, 6-2. Gasquet held off the 18-year-old Kyrgios in straight sets in just over two hours. “I knew that the first set was really important. I had to win it,” said Gasquet. “Once I did I gained in confidence. If he (Kyrgios) had won the first set it would have been a different match. “He’s (Kyrgios) a player with a big serve who already has a lot of talent. I was favourite today but he’s still young I think he has a huge future.” l



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Saturday, February 1, 2014

School authorities ignore HC guidelines Government yet to enact separate law on sexual harassment n Muktasree Chakma Sathi In the afternoon on January 23, an 18-year-old student was picked up by a group of four in Brahmanbaria’s Kasba upazila on her way back home from college and later raped. Media reports suggest that she had been stalked for a long time. She shared the matter with her friends too. On the day of the gruesome incident, being “harassed” again on the street, she resisted and engaged in an altercation with those youths. A student of Mohammadpur Preparatory School said she had heard of many incidents where her friends faced “uncomfortable situation” by teachers and male students of the same school. “We often face uncomfortable situation on our way to and from school. But, you know, we just decided to be silent, because we do not know what to do or where to go,” she said amid a helpless gesture. At least 12 incidents of sexual harassment took place in the last 10 days, media reports say. In the recent years, a number of people were killed or injured by stalkers for trying to resist sexual harassment while many others committed suicide. According to a baseline survey

by Brac, around 36% of the female students face sexual harassment on their way from home to schools or school to home. Almost no school authorities are following the landmark directives given by the High Court five years ago particularly to protect the female students and girl children from sexual harassment and punish the culprits. As per the guidelines provided in 2008 and 2010, all the public and private institutions including the educational institutions were supposed to form complaint committees unless the government enacts a specific law to deal with sexual harassment incidents. The complaint committees are supposed to deal with any sort of allegation related to sexual harassment or assault including passing comments or sound or make distasteful gesture, text message and calls on mobile phone that the students face on their way from and to educational institutes and on the school premises and take effective measures, say the 2008 directives. No public or private school, so far, has followed the directives regarding formation of the complaint committees. The directives came following writ petitions filed by the Bangladesh

National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA). Officials working with a programme titled “Meyeder Jonnyo Nirapod Nagorikotto (MEJNIN)” operated under the Gender Justice and Diversity project, BRAC said the school authorities were reluctant whenever they had tried to hold programmes on sexual harassment. Sara Zaman of MEJNIN said: “Our experience regarding working in schools on sexual harassment is totally frustrating. Many schools including Viqarunnisa Noon and Monipur School and College did not even allow us to have a discussion with the students once we mentioned the topic – sexual harassment.” She adds: “We told them about the High Court guidelines too, but they simply denied our entrance on the school premises.” Manju Ara, principal of Viqarunnisa, admitted that she had refused the entrance of few NGO’s working on sexual harassment. “As a reputed institution, we often remain busy with so many works, sometimes it just happens. But it will be wrong if one thinks that we always unwelcome them deliberately,” she argues.

Asked about formation of the Complaint Committee, Manju replied: “We have a committee formed by the school teachers only.” The 2008 directives clearly state that the Complaint Committee will have minimum five members of who two have to be from outside preferably from organisations working on gender issues and sexual abuse. Viqarunnisa came under spotlight as one of its teachers assaulted a girl and recorded the incident on his mobile phone on May 28, 2011, as per the case details. He also threatened the girl saying that he would post the video and photos on the internet. The teacher allegedly abused her again on June 17, 2011. Former principal Hosne Ara Begum, along with some other teachers, allegedly tried to save the accused when the girl lodged a written complaint. The case is still going on. Expressing deep frustration, Salma Ali, the executive director of BNWLA, said: “It seems that the authorities think of such issue as insignificant as it could be. I do not know how justice can be served if such deliberate negligence prevails in the country.” Fahima Khatun, director general of the Directorate of Secondary and

Higher Education, said it was difficult for them to monitor whether the institutions were following the court directives. “There are 35,000 secondary schools and college across the country. We sent them a letter asking to form the committees. It is difficult to monitor what these schools are doing or not doing.” She hoped that the field-level education officers would soon inform the authorities about non-compliance of the court directives. “Then we will send another letter to the institutions, may be in a harsh way.” Led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the ruling Awami League which is in power for consecutive two tenures since 2009 has also failed to enact a separate law to deal only with sexual harassment as per the court directives. Its manifesto for 2008 and 2014 elections say stringent legal measures will be taken to stop oppression on women. However, the government in 2010 only proposed inclusion of a new section in the existing Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, providing jail terms from one year to seven years for harassing women sexually. The amendment did not take place yet. l

US spying on climate talks slammed n Tribune Report Activists and experts have expressed outrage at the revelations that the US government, through the NSA and its allies, conducted espionage on participants of the 2009 UN climate talks in Copenhagen. Through press statements in the last two days, they have called for President Barack Obama to commit to no further spying on participants of the talks. The US allies accused of spying include the UK, Canada and Australia. Brandon Wu, senior policy analyst with ActionAid in the US, said: “Fighting climate change is a global struggle, and these revelations clearly show that the US government is more interested in crassly protecting a few vested interests – rather than acting ethically by taking responsibility to lead and working cooperatively with others to find solutions.” Lidy Nacpil, director of the Philippines-based Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, said: “This is yet again an underhanded, undemocratic and arrogant use of power by the US government to protect corporate interests.” “The UN climate talks are supposed to be about building trust – that’s been under threat for years because of the US’s backward position on climate action – these revelations will only crack that trust further,” said Meena Raman, negotiations expert from Malaysia-based Third World Network. Also Climate Action Network (CAN), the world’s largest network of NGOs working on climate change, in a statement called on the US and other governments to publicly renounce such underhanded tactics. Condemning such actions, CAN said the work was currently underway to secure a comprehensive, global plan to save the climate – which is supposed to be delivered in 2015 and include all countries – already suffers from a dearth of trust between nations. “If we are to achieve this monumental deal for the planet, all countries must work on repairing these burnt bridges,” said the platform having over 850 member NGOs. The IPCC’s recent first instalment of the fifth assessment report – released in September – said that in to have a good chance of avoiding the very worst impacts of climate change, carbon pollution would need to peak in the next few years, and that if we failed to reduce emissions, we were on track to use all of our remaining carbon budget in the next 30 years. The countries who have been accused of spying are among those who have done the most to cause the climate crisis and can also be leaders in delivering solutions. “But we need a radical shift in ambition and trust to tackle the planetary emergency – and that starts with the attitudes of the governments to this problem over the next two crucial years for the climate. The allegations come off the back of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this week which failed to raise a bar on climate action,” CAN said in a statement. l

Hundreds of school children express their joy by displaying their prized books at Ramna Batamul in the capital yesterday. Biswa Sahitya Kendra distributed books among school children with a view to create an enlightened generation NASHIRUL ISLAM

Myanmar removes army camps near Bangladesh n Rabiul Islam Following a letter of protest from the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Myanmar has removed the army camps that it had set up near Bangladesh border, violating the international border rules. “Following our note of protest, Myanmar removed the camps and now the situation across the border is calm and normal,” Lt Col Md Shafiqur Rahman of 31 BGB Battalion told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. BGB Director General Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed also confirmed the matter. Shafiqur said although Myanmar army had expressed need to put up the tents to handle conflict with Rohingyas, following the protest they had removed them. According to the BGB, Myanmar army established four camps at Saludong in Myanmar, approximately 300 yards from the zero line, on January 11. The place is near Ashartoli in Naikkhangchhari. A total of 24 members of the Myanmar army were deployed at each camp. On January 21, the BGB Operation Department informed the home ministry about the development through a letter. The letter said Myanmar army’s move was a clear violation of the international law and breach of the Bangladesh-Myanmar Border Agreement 1980. The presence of army near the border is a clear threat to the peace-loving border population, BGB officials observed. Four camps are mentioned in the copy of the letter preserved by the Dhaka Tribune. However, Shafiqur mentioned of one camp in his statement yesterday. Earlier, BGB had removed around 40 land mines from areas close to Myanmar border pillar 44 at Kachubunia in Naikhangchari of Bandarban district. According to BGB officials, Myanmar border force Rakapha planted the mines along the zero point of the border, violating international rules. “We removed around 40 land mines, and since then their tendency to planting of land mines have decreased,” Shafiqur said. Rakapha had planted the mines fearing attacks by Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), a terrorist group, he said. According to BGB, a captain of engineering core of the Myanmar army along with three others was kidnapped in 2012. Rakhapa alleged that a terrorist group from Bangladesh had kidnapped them. The BGB, however, denied the allegation. “We have been searching for last one year but we did not find any such organisation in Bangladesh,” the commanding officer said. Asked about the border situation near Myanmar, Kamal Uddin Ahmed, an additional secretary of the political wing of the home ministry, said there was no major problem along the border. Any kind of problem arising on the border is solved through flag meetings, he added. l

Turag bank turns into human sea; 5 reported dead

Jamaat calls hartal for Monday n Manik Miazee

Less than 3% of GNP used for education

n Mohammad Jamil Khan

Jamaat-e-Islami has called a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal for Monday protesting the death penalty of its chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in one of the 10-truck arms haul cases. Jamaat’s acting secretary general Shafiqur Rahman made the announcement in a statement issued yesterday. The statement reads: “The government is conspiring to kill Jamaat-e-Islami’s Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami in a planned way. To implement the plan it arranged the farce of a trial with false and fabricated allegations.” A Chittagong court on Thursday handed down death sentences to 14 people including former industries minister Nizami for masterminding the country’s largest ever smuggling of weaponries in 2004. He was given lifeterm in the arms case. Meanwhile, Syed Munawar Hasan, the ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, condemned the death sentence handed down against Nizami. He denounced the verdict in a statement issued on Thursday, according to the official website of Pakistan Jamaat. He also termed the verdict politically motivated. Syed Munawar Hasan said: “The false case made out against the Bangladesh JI chief had fully exposed India which had a hand behind all political victimisation in Bangladesh.” l

n Mushfique Wadud

It was a human sea of Muslim pilgrims on the bank of river Turag yesterday when the vicinity witnessed the convergence of thousands of devotees as the second phase of Bishwa Ijtema began. The main Ijtema venue had already been occupied since Thursday by the devotees who also assembled on the streets, in Tongi Bazar, and in the surrounding areas yesterday. The religious congregation started after the Fazr Prayer through the sermon by Indian Islamic scholar Moulana Jamshed. Prior to the Jummah prayer, the Ijtema venue turned into a sea of devotees as they began to arrive in large numbers. Maulana Qwari Zobayer, imam of Kakrail mosque, led the Jummah prayer. The crowd spilled into the adjoining areas and performed their prayers with many spreading newspaper on the streets. Vehicular movement on the Dhaka-Mymensingh, Ashulia-Savar and Abdullahpur highways was halted for over an hour as the devotees were saying their prayers on the road. Many passengers got down from their vehicles and took to walking down the streets to reach their destinations. Five devotees died of old-age complications, cardiac arrest and road accidents from Thursday night to Friday morning. The dead were Tozam Sardar, 80, of

Hazrabati in Magura, Abdul Latif, 75, of Debidar of Comilla, Nure Alam, 65, of Begomganj of Noakhali, and Abdur Rab Sheikh, 70, of Mokshedupur of Gopalganj district. Mahbubur Rahman Chowdhury, residential surgeon of Tongi hospital, confirmed the deaths. On the other hand, Hedaet Ullah, 68, of Narayanpur of Noakhali, died after a passenger bus hit him on the Dhaka-Mymensingh road around 9am, said Ismail Hossain, officer-in-charge of the Tongi police station. Over nine different organisations are providing free healthcare through medical camps near the Ijtema ground. Besides, over 200 doctors are present round the clock to ensure special medical services for the devotees. Police, RAB and intelligence agency members set up a multi-layer security system to avoid any untoward incident, said Captain Riadul Islam, assistant director of Rab 1. Mobile court of Gazipur district administration fined four shops and restaurant owners Tk45,000 for selling adulterated food, Mohammad Nurul Islam, upazila sanitary inspector, told the Dhaka Tribune. The devotees from across the districts are attending the second phase of Ijtema. Ijtema organisers have divided the total 160-acre vicinity into 38 sections for setting up area-wise tents for the devotees. l

A recent report by Unesco has said it is worrying that Bangladesh, which spends only a small proportion of its gross national product (GNP) on education, has reduced spending further. The “Education for All Global Monitoring Report of 2013-14” – which was published on Wednesday – said low spending on education was affecting the overall development of education. “It is particularly worrying that some countries that were already spending a relatively small proportion of GNP on education, such as Bangladesh, have reduced their spending further,” the report said. The report added that Bangladesh was among 25 countries which dedicate less than 3% of GNP to education. The report showed that in terms of public spending on education, Bangladesh’s condition was worse than some African countries. According to the report, Tanzania was already spending more than 6% of its GNP on education. A total of Tk119.35bn has been allocated for education, including primary and mass education (from the development and non-development budgets combined) in 2013-14 fiscal year. In terms of the percentage share of the total budget, the education budget has been decreasing in the recent years. Educationalists have long been de-

manding an increase to overall spending on education. In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune before the budget had been placed in front of parliament, Brac University’s Institute of Education Development Senior Adviser Manzoor Ahmed said: “Since the adoption of the new education policy in 2010, the allocation to the sector had decreased every year – from around 13% in FY2010, to 12% in FY2011, and around 11% in FY2012. He said the 2% GDP allocated to education by Bangladesh was less than half of what it was in neighbouring South Asian countries. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid stressed on several occasions the need to increase budget of the education sector. The report also said the Dakar Framework for Action – which affirmed the commitment to achieving education for all by the year 2015 – did not establish financing targets for education, resulting in wide differences in government spending on education. Therefore, children’s chances of being in school continue to depend on where they happen to be born. It said the failure to set a common financing target for the “education for all” goals should be addressed after 2015, with the specific goal that countries allocate at least 6% of their GNP to education. l

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February 01, 2014