Falgun 2, 1420 Rabius Saani 13, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 322
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2014 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
Weekend | IS DAY OF LOVE OVERRATED? 7 | RISE FOR JUSTICE
Six foreign firms offer to finance Bangabandhu 1
20 pages plus 32-page weekend supplement | Price: Tk10
8 | SNOW AND ICE PUNCH US COAST
15 | TIGERS LOOK TO LEVEL SERIES
FLAMING FLOWERS BRIGHTLY BLAZE
The government expects full cost recovery of the satellite in 5 years Showkat Kallol and n Asif Muhammad Zahidul Islam Six multinational banks and firms have expressed interest in financing the launching of Bangladesh’s first satellite Bangabandhu 1. A number of officials of the posts and telecommunications ministry said the Finance Division and the Economic Relation Division authorities were scrutinising the financial offers of the Export-Import Bank of USA, HSBC France, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, CWG Gulf International of the UK, and China Great Wall Industry Corporation. The Finance Division and the ERD had sought a business plan and cash flow chart for the Bangabandhu 1 Satellite Launch project from the ministry, they said.
The government will not be able to bear the expenses of the mega project costing Tk3,200 crore, so the consulting agency has brought foreign firms for financing… The government has already spent Tk86 crore for paying the foreign consultants’ fees for the specialised project even before starting the main project work. “Now it is up to them [the Finance Division and the ERD] as all documents, including the business plan and the cash flow chart, have been submitted to them,” Posts and Telecommunications Secretary Abu Bakar Siddique told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “The committee concerned will se-
RAB likely to charge 10 people for killing Milky n Ashif Islam Shaon, Mohammad
Jamil Khan and Sanaul Islam Tipu
The Rapid Action Battalion is likely to press charges against 10 people this month in connection with the murder of Jubo League leader Milky. Out of those 10, six reportedly have given confessional statements before the court dealing with the case, while four of them have been absconding. Reazul Haque Khan Milky, 43, organising secretary of the Dhaka city (south) unit Jubo League – ruling Awami League’s student front – was gunned down in the capital’s Gulshan on July 30 last year. The murder was caught on closed circuit television (CCTV) camera installed at the entrance of a shopping mall in Gulshan. Footage showed a man in white punjabi and white Islamic cap shot at Milky from close range. Some other men were guarding the man in white punjabi. PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
lect the foreign firms for the satellite project in a way as not to burden the country financially. “The government will not be able to bear the expenses of the mega project costing Tk3,200 crore, so the consulting agency has brought foreign firms for financing…We will recommend a proposal that will seem appropriate and profitable for the country,” he said. If necessary, separate international tenders would be floated for the launching of Bangabandhu 1. Abu Bakar said the duration of the pilot project for the satellite launching had been extended for another year from June 2015 to June 2016. Meanwhile, the ministry has sent the pro forma development project to the planning ministry for final approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec). The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission sent the project to the telecom ministry last month. The total cost of the project will be Tk3,200 crore; the BTRC will finance Tk1,555 crore while the rest of the fund will come from foreign sources. The telecom regulator has already prepared necessary documents to finalise the tender process for the manufacturing of the satellite. International tenders for the launching vehicle, ground control station and insurance will be floated in phases. The USA-based Space Partnership International is working as the consulting agency for the satellite project. The BTRC inked an agreement with the SPI on March 29 last year. Bangladesh has already bought the 119 East orbital slot for Bangabandhu 1 satellite from Sputnik for $28m. Applications for three more slots have been lodged with the International Telecom Union. The government expects to recover the project cost in five years. l
Girls attired in colourful saris and flowers put colours on each other, celebrating Pahela Falgun, the first day of spring, at Dhaka University campus yesterday
Indian MPs pull out microphones, use pepper spray in parliament n AFP, New Delhi India’s parliament erupted in chaos on Thursday over a bill to create a new state, with angry MPs coming to blows, pulling out a microphone and pepper-spraying the chamber. Holding banners and shouting slogans, lawmakers disrupted the lower house of parliament as the Congress-led government introduced the contentious bill to carve a new state out of the existing Andhra Pradesh. Legislators opposed to the new state of Telangana tried to rip out the speaker’s microphone while one unleashed a can of capsicum spray, prompting a rush for the exit, TV channels reported.
Business most dominant profession among upazila polls aspirants n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Most of the contenders set to run in the second phase of the upazila parishad polls are businessmen, while a little over one-fifth of them have mentioned agriculture as their professions. The information was found in the affidavits that these contenders have submitted with their nomination papers to the Election Commission. According to the affidavits placed by 279 contestants in 63 upazilas, 171, vying for the post of chairmen, are businessmen by profession. This represents more than 61% of the contenders. A total of 63 contestants said they were in agriculture. On February 22, polls will be held in a total of 117 upzilas around the country where 515 candidates are running for the post of chairmen. There are 22 teachers and 21 lawyers. There was a time when people from these two professions dominated the list of candidates in both national and local elections. Over 80% of the lawmakers elected in the 9th parliamentary polls, held in December 2008, were businessmen. The affidavits also show that a significant majority of the contenders running for chairmen posts are graduates. A total of 43 of them have post-graduate degrees and one has a PhD. The numbers of candidates with secondary and higher secondary education are 36 and 51 respectively. Some
Contenders for 2nd phase of Upzilla Polls Education Graduation and above HSC SSC Below SSC Self-educated Literate
130 51 36 14 16 5
Profession Business Agriculture Teaching Law
171 63 22 21
B1 The National Board of Revenue has decided to raise the tax benefit ceiling for the import of hybrid cars up to 2500cc, which was earlier set at 1800cc, for the fiscal year 2013-14 budget.
5 The Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal could not be completely freed from illegal establishments as the BGMEA headquarters, two makeshift mosques and a madrassa still exist in the middle of the canal. 6 A local leader of Bangladesh Awami Bastuhara League allegedly grabbed a land of the Water Development Board (WDB) at Raipur upazila of Lakshmipur.
Criminal records 110 have criminal records Contenders Total seats
Several lawmakers climbed into ambulances suffering breathing problems before reportedly being taken to hospital. Small fights also flared between MPs opposed to the bill and several trying to stop the chaos and restore order, as the parliament -- known for its disruptions -- was adjourned, the Press Trust of India said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath slammed the unrest as a “big blot on our parliamentary democracy” and called for the strongest possible action against the offending MPs. “It is the most shameful day in our parliamentary history,” Nath told reporters outside parliament.
14 candidates mentioned that they had not studied up to the secondary level. One contestant said he was “SSC failed.” Five candidates declared themselves as “literate” while 16 of them said they were “self-educated.” Interestingly, contestants, who said their profession was business, were PAGE 2 COLUMN 6
11 The results of Dhaka Tribune’s latest national opinion poll are in and it is not good news for the government, though there are pockets of comfort to be found if you look hard enough. But, by the same token, it is not all good news for the opposition BNP, either, and it is the nuanced nature of the responses that gives me confidence that the poll is on the money.
Seventeen MPs were suspended from the house over the unrest, which also saw lawmakers rip up official papers and smash a glass. Others wore black blindfolds as a sign of protest, PTI said. In the confusion one MP from Andhra Pradesh, who opposes Telangana, was accused of brandishing a knife in the chamber, a claim he denied. “I pulled the microphone in front of my seat, not a knife. Why apologise? I will not apologise,” Venugopal Reddy shouted at an NDTV reporter. Cabinet last week approved the creation of Telangana from the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, after PAGE 2 COLUMN 6
Two get life term for raping woman inside bus n Our Correspondent, Manikganj A Manikganj court yesterday handed down life imprisonment to two people for raping a woman inside a running bus. Manikganj District Sessions Judge’s Court handed down the jail terms to and fined Dipu Mia, driver of the bus, and his helper Kashem Ali Tk50,000 each for committing the crime. The court also awarded five additional years of jail and Tk5,000 fine to Dipu if he failed to give the first fine. Both Dipu Mia, 21, and Kashem Ali are residents of the Manikganj district headquarters. According to the case statements, an 18-year old garment factory worker PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
Friday, February 14, 2014
5 ambassadors meet 3 key secretaries BD under the lens over progress in RMG sector after Rana Plaza collapse n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Bangladesh will be under the watchful eye of the whole world, regarding the progress made in the readymade garment sector, on the anniversary of Rana Plaza. “It is very important that we are able to demonstrate results particularly by the anniversary of Rana Plaza, because the international community will be looking at this anniversary very very closely,” Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden said. She made the comments after a meeting on the RMG industry, held with three secretaries and five ambassadors,
at the Foreign Ministry yesterday. Secretaries of commerce, labour and foreign affairs; and envoys of the US, EU, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands; and officials from different government agencies; and the JICA, ILO, US Alliance and EU Accord took part in the meeting. The tragedy of Rana Plaza caught the attention of the whole world as the industrial accident caused the deaths of over 1,100 workers, mostly females. “There will be a lot of press, there will be a lot of visitors from countries that are buying garments. In terms of progress, I think we will be assessing that on the anniversary of Rana Plaza,” she said. The visitors will want to see that
there has been progress made on labour standards, fire safety, building safety and labour codes as well, she added. “We made some progress, but there are lots of things that need to be done.” US Ambassador Dan Mozena said people wanted to get the GSP restored and the way to do that was to follow the roadmap of the GSP action plan. EU Ambassador William Hanna said they had discussed the progress and what more could be done in the coming days. In the meeting, the ILO, JICA, US Alliance, and EU Accord made four presentations on their progress, and what they would do in the coming days. The meeting also asked the ILO to
come up with a time-limited implementation plan for the $24-million RMG development project launched in October last year, said an official who attended the meeting. The ILO also failed to prepare a transparency database that was an important component of the total development plan of the readymade garment sector, he said. The meeting asked the ILO to prepare a plan of how it could develop the transparency database as soon as possible, added the official. In a separate statement yesterday, the Canadian high commissioner said her country remained concerned that
many Bangladeshis did not have the opportunity to vote, and that more than half the seats in parliament were filled by acclamation. Heather Cruden, in a statement, said although Canada did not consider the election to have been fully participatory, it would continue to support the people of Bangladesh by working with the government, opposition parties, civil society and the private sector. “We are encouraged by the moratorium on hartals announced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and we hope that this gesture will encourage genuine and constructive dialogue between the main political parties.” l
Local consortium to provide 6 lakh MRPs to Bangladeshis in Malaysia n Tribune Report The government has signed a deal with a local consortium to provide Machine Readable Passports (MRP) to around six lakh Bangladeshi expatriates in Malaysia in one year. Director General of the Department of Immigration and Passports Abdul Mabud and Syed Ahsan Habib of Dataedge-i-people Consortium signed the agreement at a city hotel on Wednesday night, according to a press release. Under the contract, the consortium will set up eight enrolment centres in Malaysia to collect data along with photographs and fingerprints of the expatriates, which will be sent to Agargaon passport office for the preparation of the MRPs. Later on, the MRPs will be sent back to Malaysia. The consortium will get $18 for each MRP. Helplines will remain open for 24-hours-a-day at all the centres. An expatriate can also make an appointment over phone. Data-edge-i-people will launch a
promotional campaign so that the expatriates in Malaysia can learn about the project. State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan, Senior Secretary of the Home Ministry CQK Mustaq Ahmed, Project Director Brig Gen Masud Rezwan, Malaysian High Commissioner in Dhaka Norlin Othman, Data-edge Chairman Alauddin Al-Majid, Director Noor A Alam Chowdhury and Director of Datasonic Corporation, Malaysia BC Chuah were present at the signing programme. The government took the initiative to provide MRPs to all the Bangladeshi expatriates before the November 23, 2014 deadline, set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. As part of the move, the government decided to outsource the MRP issuance project for the huge number of expatriates staying in Malaysia, Saudia Arabia and United Arab Emirate. Sources said, there are 30-35 lakh Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia, 11-12 lakh in United Arab Emirate and 5-6 lakh in Malaysia. l
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily halted the execution of three Bangladeshis on murder charges, to allow representatives of the convicts to negotiate with the victim’s family for clemency. In a statement released yesterday, the foreign ministry said the death penalties for three Bangladeshi nationals, Mohammed Nayeb Ali, Kamrul Islam and Atique Ashraf Hossain, were scheduled to be carried out on January
22in Sharjah. However, UAE authorities halted the execution to allow representatives of the convicts to negotiate with the victim’s family “to complete the legal formalities regarding the pardon.” The Bangladeshi ambassador to UAE Muhammad Imran, said the convicted migrant Bangladeshi workers were set to be executed for murdering an unidentified foreign national, who was also a worker, in 2009 over a personal conflict. “The highest UAE authorities issued a royal decree last year confirming their
Bail for Ctg BNP leaders extended n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong Four Chittagong courts yesterday extended the bail periods of several hundred leaders and activists of BNP, including the city unit President Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and General Secretary Shahadat Hossain, in six cases regarding blockade violence. The bail periods were extended after more than a hundred BNP leaders and activists, including Khasru and Shahadat, appeared before their respective courts and pleaded for an extension. The court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mashiur Rahman extended the bail period for 73 of the accused, including Khasru and Shahadat, until February 24. The case relates to an arson attack, and was filed with Kotwali police station on November 28 last year. In a case with Bandar police station, regarding the killing of a bus driver in
a petrol bomb attack in December, the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Farid Alam extended the bail period for 39 BNP leaders and activists, including Khasru, until the submission of the charge sheet. The same court also extended the bail periods for 35 accused individuals, including Khasru, in another case regarding an attack on police, lodged with Akbar Shah police station. The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Nure Alam Bhuiyan extended the bail period for 67 BNP leaders and activists until the submission of a charge sheet regarding the killing of an auto-rickshaw driver on November 28, which had been lodged with Chowkbazar police station. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Magistrate Syed Mashfiqul Islam also extended the bail periods for 53 BNP men in two cases, lodged under the Speedy Trial Act. l
President visits Keokradong n BSS President Abdul Hamid yesterday visited the country’s highest peak Keokradong (3,172 feet) of Bandarban. After reaching the highest point in the country by a helicopter, the president enjoyed the scenic view there. Local indigenous groups welcomed the president and expressed splendid joy to see him on their terrain. On his way back, the president enjoyed the superb aerial view of the Boga
lake on top of a hill in the district. Chief of Army Staff Gen Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan and General Officer Commanding of 24 Infantry Division Maj Gen Sabbir Ahmed saw the president off at Keokradong. Earlier last night, Abdul Hamid enjoyed a colourful cultural show, staged by different local ethnic groups, at Nilgiri, where the president spent his night. The president returned to the capital this afternoon after his two-day visit to Rangamati and Bandarban districts. l
The recruitment tests for the posts of assistant teacher in the preprimary sections of government primary schools, which were cancelled due to question paper leaks in 17 districts, will be held on March 14. The districts are: Dhaka, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Sherpur, Rajshahi, Cox’s Bazar, Lalmonirhat, Narayanganj, Pabna, Satkhira, Jhenidah, Rajbari, Meherpur, Khulna, Sunamganj, Habiganj and Moulvibazar. SM Ashraful Islam, additional secretary to the Primary and Mass Education Ministry, on Thursday said the written test, which was cancelled in the districts on December 8, would be held afresh on March 14, reports UNB. Primary Education Directorate Director (Operations) Faruqe Jalil said; “The written tests for recruiting assistant teachers was held on November 8 last year with 9,68,127 candidates taking part in it.” Later, on December 8, authorities cancelled the results of tests in the districts, following a probe report submitted by an inquiry committee formed to investigate the alleged leak of question papers. l
Govt set to break national anthem Guinness record n BSS
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hands over a cheque to a recipient of Bangabandhu Fellowship and NST Fellowship, at a special programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital yesterday BSS
UAE halts execution of 3 Bangladeshis n BSS
Primary teacher recruitment test on Mar 14 n Tribune Report
death penalties after the exhaustion of trial processes in the lower and higher courts of the UAE,” he added. He also noted that the execution was halted for an indefinite period, after an intensive effort by the Bangladeshi embassy while, “we [the Bangladeshi embassy] sought time to find out the victim’s blood heirs, and negotiate with them for the convicts’ clemency,” in line with the Shariah law. President Abdul Hamid earlier sought the intervention of his UAE counterpart to pardon the convicts. l
Deceased army, BGB men in explosion buried n Tribune Report The two army personnel and four members of Border Guard Bangladesh, who had been killed as a mortar shell had gone off accidentally, were buried at their ancestral homes yesterday. Namaj-e-janaza of the two army men was held in Ghatail Cantonment in Tangail yesterday, the Inter Services Public Relations said in a press release. Senior warrant officers Parvez of 20 East Bengal and Manzur of 4 East Bengal had died on the spot. The killed BGB men were Lance Naik Mohammad Ali and sepoys Abu Sufiyan, Ekramul Haque and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Their namaj-e-janaza was held at the Pilkhana headquarters. State Minister for Home Assaduzzaman Khan, BGB DG Maj Gen Aziz, and members and officers of the BGB attended the prayer. The BGB authorities handed over cheques of Tk5 lakh and Tk25,000 in cash to each family of the four deceased. l
BGB detains 26 Bangladeshis n Our Correspondent, Jessore Members of the BGB detained 26 Bangladeshis trying to go to India illegally in Putkhali border area. “They were going to India with the help of human traffickers in search of better jobs there,” said Shafiuddin ,Putkhali officer in-charge of the camp. They were handed over to Benapole port police after a case was lodged. l
The government has taken an initiative to assemble thousands of enthusiastic people at the National Parade Squad in the city on March 26 to sing the national anthem, aimed at including Bangladesh in the Guinness Book of World Record. A coordination meeting of the Steering Committee was held at Dhaka Cantonment’s Armed Forces Division with Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, in the chair, according to a handout. The meeting was attended, among others, by Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, and senior army and civil officers, the handout said. l
RAB likely to charge 10 people
Indian MPs pull out
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Hours after the murder, RAB arrested one Jahid Siddique Tarek from a hospital in Uttara claiming that he was the man in white punjabi. RAB also said one of the man guarding Tarek was Shakhawat Hossain Chanchal, Milky’s counterpart from the organisation’s Dhaka city (south) unit. However, Tarek and one of his cohorts were killed in a “shootout” in the capital. RAB said unidentified criminals attacked them with firearms when they were taking Tarek and his associate to the Gulshan police station a day later. RAB, who later took over the case from Gulshan police, also claimed that Tarek had admitted the killing before he was killed in the “shootout.” The day Milky was killed, his younger brother Maj Rashedul Islam Khan filed a murder case with Gulshan police station, accusing Tarek, Jahedul Islam Tipu, Chanchal, Arif and seven others. RAB sources said Chanchal would be shown as the main planner of the murder in the charge sheet. Intelligence reports suggest that Chanchal flew to the USA immediately after the murder. “In primary investigation, we learnt that a number of leaders [of the Chhatra League] were involved with the murder. Some knew that the murder was going to take place,” said a RAB official, seeking anonymity. During investigation, RAB has found that among other things, Milky, Tipu and Arif – all local Jubo League leaders
from the capital’s Motijheel area – had been fighting to get party tickets to contest for ward councillor posts in the city corporation election. Ironically, because of various administrative and legal reasons, the government has not managed to finalise a date for the election in more than five years. None of the other reasons for which those three had become bitter enemies were even remotely connected with the operations of Jubo League. Establishing supremacy in Motijheel area, feud over grabbing land and securing government tenders, cable connection business in AGB Colony, allotment of shops in the local markets were some of them. Sources said a total of 20 people were primarily suspected. Among them, RAB arrested 13 at different times for questioning. Others were also questioned who would be later shown as witnesses. “Two motorbikes and two cars were used in the killing. Hasan and Sohel were driving the motorbikes. After the incident, Chanchal’s car was seized from in front of Fortune Hospital in the capital,” a RAB official said. “Chanchal fled after the incident. He was seen in a Facebook post taking part in a press conference. We assume that two or more of the suspects may have also fled the country,” he said. Kismat Hayat, commanding officer of RAB 1, told the Dhaka Tribune that two more weeks might be needed for submitting the charge sheet, which might see some last minute changes. l
Two get life term for raping PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
was raped inside a running bus on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway on January 24 last year. Local police rescued the victim from the central bus terminal in the district township. She was later sent to the Manikganj Sadar Hospital for tests. Soon after, the victim lodged a case with the local police station under the Prevention of Women and Children Repression Act accusing Dipu and Kashem. On January 24, Police arrested Dipu from the Manikganj Bus Terminal and Kashem from Nobinnogor of Ashulia near Dhaka. On January 25, the criminals were produced before the court. Admitting the crime, both men gave deposition under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Bangladesh Jatiya Mohila Ainjibi Samity, an organisation of pro-women’s rights lawyers, helped out the prosecution in conducting the case.
a decades-long and sometimes violent campaign. Mainly tribal groups have demanded Telangana be carved out of a northern, impoverished and drought-prone part of Andhra Pradesh, which supporters say has long been neglected by successive state governments. But wealthier regions of Andhra Pradesh, home to IT giants including Google and Microsoft in its capital Hyderabad, have strongly opposed the split because they say it would create economic upheaval. Security at parliament had been high before the bill’s introduction after one MP threatened to set himself on fire in protest. Observers say the Congress government moved on Telangana in hopes of winning much-needed votes in the region at national elections in coming months. But they have warned the move may backfire amid an intensifying political battle in Andhra Pradesh. Violent demonstrations have erupted there since Congress announced the move last July, while three federal ministers have resigned in protest. Outside parliament on Thursday, ugly clashes broke out between supporters of the Telangana state and police, an AFP photographer at the scene said. Police dragged away protesters and bundled them into buses. Congress has denied trying to seek any political advantage from splitting Andhra Pradesh, insisting it is trying to fulfil a longstanding pledge. l
Business most PAGE 1 COLUMN 3
Some 14 witnesses gave depositions before the court before hearing ended on February 9 with the argument placement of the lawyers from both prosecution and defence. An Indian trial court last year sentenced four men to death for raping a woman, who later died in a hospital in Singapore, inside a running bus in Delhi. At the time of delivering verdict, the Indian court said the “beastly” and “hair-raising” manner of committing the crime belonged to the rarest of categories. l
also the ones with the highest criminal records. Among the 21 contenders, who said they were teachers, 11 have cases against them. Shah Alam Sarkar, a chairman contender of Palashbari Upazila, is facing the highest 16 cases. All candidates from Ishwarganj, Kaptai, Kishorganj, Gopalganj Sadar, Jhikargacha, Thanchi, Debidwar, Barisal Sadar, Manikganj Sadar and Roanchari Upazila have clean sheets. In Kaptai and Munsiganj upazilas, the highest qualification of the contestants is the SSC. In Khetlal and Boalmari upazilas, the most qualified contenders have passed HSC examinations. In Chirirbazar upazila, all candidates are graduates. l
Body formed to probe juvenile correctional centre mismanagement n Tribune Report The High Court yesterday formed a three-member committee to scrutinise the alleged “mismanagement” at Gazipur Juvenile Correctional Centre, and directed it to submit a report in seven days. The committee includes the Department of Social Welfare director general, Gazipur deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain, passed the order after Supreme Court lawyer Asaduzzaman drew its attention to a media report that had said some 20 juveniles from the facility had cut themselves with blades protesting the authority’s “mismanagement.” The HC also sought answer within two weeks to why the mismanagement at the correctional centre should not be declared illegal, said Deputy Attorney General Biswojit Roy. The social welfare ministry secretary, DG of Social Welfare Department, the IGP, the SP and DC of Gazipur, and the superintendent and probation officer of the correctional centre, were listed as respondents. Our Gazipur correspondent reported that juveniles had been calling for the removal of acting supervisor Anwarul Kabir because of torturing inmates. The juveniles, aged between 14 and 18,, cut their foreheads, arms and wrists on Tuesday night, reportedly to press home their demand.
Visiting the centre yesterday afternoon, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur Shanawaz Dilruba Khan, quoted the teenagers as saying the supervisor, who joined the centre two months ago after completing training in India, physically and mentally tortured the juveniles for minor infractions such as wearing lungi instead of pants at school assembly. Dilruba also said the juveniles hoped to get the attention of higher authorities. Admitting that acting supervisor Kabir had carried out torture, Dilruba said the higher authorities would transfer the supervisor. Mahbubur Rahman Chowdhury, residential medical officer of Tongi Government Hospital, said: “Most of the injured teenagers carry the wound marks made with sharp weapons. They admitted that they cut their bodies with disposable razor blades.” Yesterday, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member Kazi Riazul Haque also visited the juvenile correction centre, where the teenagers told him that the self-harming was done to protest the misbehavior and physical oppression against them. After the inspection, the NHRC member asked the social welfare secretary to take effective action in this regard. The commission also ordered the district deputy commissioner to probe the objections of the teenagers and remedy the issues. l
BB seeks bank account info of AL MP Badi n Tribune Report
Alliance Francaise Director Oliver Litvine speaks at a press conference announcing an exhibition ‘War and Colonies 1914-1918,’ to be held at the venue from February 24, in the capital yesterday. Story on Page 5 NASHIRUL ISLAM
Fourth-phase upazila polls on March 23 n Mohammad Zakaria The fourth-phase polls to 92 upazilas under 42 districts will be held on March 23, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said yesterday. The Tangail 8 by-election would also be held on the same date. The CEC announced the polls schedule at a press conference at the Election Commission media centre. According to the schedule of fourthphase upazila poll, the last date of filing nomination paper is February 23 which will be scrutinised on February 26. The last date of withdrawal of nomination is March 6. In Tangail 8 by-poll, the last date of filing nomination paper is February 23. The nomination will be scrutinised on
February 26. The last date of withdrawal of nomination is March 6. On January 20, Awami League MP Shawkat Momen Shahjahan died and the Tangail 8 constituency fell vacant. According to the law, the by-poll must be held within 90 days after any seat falls vacant. The CEC said army would also be deployed to maintain law and order and to hold the Tangail 8 by-election peacefully. Regarding the law and order situation, the CEC said the commission had already deployed executive magistrates. In the first phase, polls to 98 upazilas would be held on February 19 and the army would be deployed there from
Detained kidnapper dies in hospital
BBS to survey undocumented Rohingyas
A person detained on allegations of abducting four tourists, died yesterday at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital. The deceased was Armanul Karim, 32, son of the late Yusha from Janarghona in Cox’s Bazar sadar upazila. Cox’s Bazar sadar police station Officer-in-Charge Jasim Uddin said: “Armanul Karim sustained injuries during a mob beating. He was later admitted to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital, where he died this morning.” Earlier, four people including Karim were arrested in connection with the abduction and assault of four Bangladeshi tourists. The tourists were abducted on Tuesday night around 10pm from the medical college area. Police and the Rapid Action Battalion, in a combined drive, rescued the tourists, five hours into their abduction. l
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics is going conduct a survey to profile undocumented Rohingyas living in the country. “Many undocumented Rohingyas are living in Bangladesh and we need to have their profiling due to security reason,” Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune. Rohingyas, the Myanmar nationals, started to come to Bangladesh since their first influx in late 1970s following sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine state, close to Bangladesh border, by the Myanmar government. Bangladesh hosts 30,000 refugees in camps in Cox’s Bazar, and in addition to the number, about half a million undocumented Rohingyas are residing in Bangladesh, posing serious threat to security, environment and society in the country. The secretary said Rohingya problem was created by Myanmar and it must be solved by the country. The Foreign Ministry organised a meeting yesterday to brief foreign diplomats on the national strategy about the undocumented Rohingyas in Bangladesh. Ambassadors from US, India, Saudi Arabia, European Union, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, France, Australia and the UK and officials from different UN offices took part in the meeting. The EU Ambassador William Hanna told the Dhaka Tribune European Union was concerned about the plight of Rohingyas. He said it was very useful to have a comprehensive
n Our Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Dry weather likely n UNB Weather may remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country with chances of light rain or thundershowers at one or two places over Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions during the end period until 6pm today. Mild cold wave was sweeping over Rangpur division and the regions of Rajshahi, Pabna Kushtia and Srimangal, Met Office said. Night temperature may remain nearly unchanged and day temperature may fall slightly over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:53pm today and rises at 6:32am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 31.2 degree Celsius was recorded in Teknaf and lowest 08.0 degrees in Dinajpur yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City
Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar
27.7 30.2 26.6 25.1 27.5 27.6 29.2 30.0
14.8 19.0 09.5 09.0 15.0 13.5 12.8 19.5
PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Jumma Asr Magrib Esha
5:16am 6:32am 12:13am 4:17pm 5:53pm 7:09pm
strategy to solve the problem. He suggested that it should be a very useful idea to disseminate the national strategy to international partners to let everybody know what Bangladesh was doing. An official of the Foreign Ministry said if the government failed to keep track of the undocumented Rohingyas, it might fall in the hand of extremists. “Many ambassadors put forward the idea that addressing the nationality problems of Rohingyas is the solution to everything,” he said. Dhaka wanted to contribute to socioeconomic development of the Rakhine state to create an environment for voluntary return of the Myanmar nationals residing in Bangladesh, he said. Bangladesh had been providing humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees for over 30 years and it was committed to do so, he added. “But the country is overburdened with the problems as it has a very limited capacity,” he said. After recent tensions spiraled into violence in June and October 2012, nearly 200 people were killed and approximately 1,40,000 people, mainly Muslims, displaced and up to 60,000 Rohingyas fled the Rakhine state by boat, the highest number in over 20 years. l
Elderly woman dies after petrol bomb attack n Mohammad Jamil Khan An elderly woman succumbed to burn injuries that she suffered in a petrol bomb attack, at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday. Family members of Ayesha Khatun, 96, alleged that some miscreants hurled petrol bombs at her on February 6 because her son refused paying extortion. Partha Sankar Pal, residential surgeon of the burn unit, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Ayesha was undergoing treatment with 30% burn injuries.” Ayesha’s grandchild Silvi said her father Abu Taher Sazu was a businessperson. A group of criminals has been demanding huge sum of money
Friday, February 14, 2014
from him for a long time. She alleged that they also tried to kill her father several times. Her parents left the country couple of months back for security reasons. The criminals also attacked Silvi’s younger sister, a student of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, several times, she claimed. As her grandmother did not provide any information, the criminals hurled petrol bombs at her last week, Silvi said, adding that the criminals also killed her uncle Foyez Ahmed on April 7 last year for the same reason. Silvi said she was facing too much trouble and feeling insecure. Asked, she said they were too afraid to make any complaint in this regard. l
February 17 to 21. The commission announced the poll schedule of 298 upazilas in three phases. It will hold polls to 477 upazilas out of 487. Polls to 117 upazilas will be held on February 27 in the second phase and 83 upazilas on March 15 in the third phase. About the electoral code of conduct, Rakibuddin said if any candidate violated the rules and regulations, they would not be spared. He added that the commission directed its field-level officers to deal with the matter very strictly. About the influence of political parties, he said: “Politics is a big factor in a democratic system. There will remain political influence in upazila elections, but the candidates are non-partisan to the commission.” l
Bangladesh Bank has sought bank account information of ruling Awami League lawmaker from Cox’s Bazar 4 Abdur Rahman Badi and his four family members. The central bank sent a letter on February 11 to all scheduled bank managing directors, seeking all information related to the bank account of Badi and his four family members. The letter sent by the Financial Intelligence Unit of the central bank has sought the information of Badi, his two wives Shahina Akhtar and Khadeja Akhtar Shakerunnesa (Shaki), daughter Samia Rahman Sami and son Abdullah Arman Shaon. The letter asked to provide all the information within seven working days. Asked, Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Mahfuzur Rahman denied disclosing anything in this regard. The Anti-Corruption Commission on January 22 launched probes into corruption allegations against seven former ministers and lawmakers of the ninth parliament. The ACC on the same day appointed seven investigators to look into the allegations against Badi and six others for “discrepancies” in wealth statements they had submitted to the Election Commission seeking candidature in the 10th parliamentary election. The move came just weeks after different reports were published that Badi’s wealth had increased by around 351 times during the last tenure of the Awami League government. As per the affidavits of candidates submitted to the Election Commission for the last 10th parliamentary polls, Badi earned nearly Tk37 crore during the period. Badi, in his affidavit, mentioned that he earned the money through his export-import business and fuel business in Teknaf. l
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Friday, February 14, 2014
Illegal establishments still in Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal BGMEA filed a petition in May 2013 against the HC ruling for demolishing its office building at Hatirjheel The BGMEA building was n Abu Hayat Mahmud constructed in 1998 after filling up a The Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal could not be completely freed from illegal establishments as the BGMEA headquarters, two makeshift mosques and a madrassa still exist in the middle of the canal. The placements of the structures undermine the beauty of the water body and create obstacles to water discharge. The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk) failed to get rid of the 15-storey building of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association because of legal complexities and shift the mosques elsewhere considering religious sentiments. Of the two mosques, one namely Masjide Baitul Mahfuj is in Morolbari (Nayatola) part of the Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal and another Syed Abdul Kader Jilani Jame Masjid and Madrassa in Madhubagh Jhilpar part. During a visit to the area, the correspondent talked to Ismail Hossain, 76, the caretaker of Masjide Baitul Mahfuj. The caretaker, however, said he knew nothing about shifting the mosque. A few students were seen leaving the Abdul Kader Madrassa by boat after finishing their Arabic lessons. The madrassa is run by the Ahmedia Complex, a two-storey permanent building covering about two-decimal area in the canal. Azhar Islam, a resident of Morolbari in Mogbazar, said only on Friday, a few people assemble to offer their Juma prayers in the mosques. “The other days of the week hardly witness any people because of stinky water of the canal into which where human and industrial wastes from different adjoining areas are released,” he said.
portion of the Hatirjheel canal causing the latter’s water-retention capacity to decrease and normal flow to be hampered. In the dry season, western part of the canal from the BGMEA building to Hotel Sonargaon goes dry. In April last year, the High Court declared that the construction of the BGMEA building was illegal and directed the authorities to demolish the building, giving the occupants a 90-day time to evacuate. However, the BGMEA filed a petition in May 2013 with the appellate division against the HC ruling to demolish its office building at Hatirjheel. The case is still pending in the apex court. The garment factory owners’ association had bought the piece of land from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) for Tk5.17crore with the government approval. According to allegations, the building did not abide by the city development law of 1953. Allegations also had it that the garment factory owners’ headquarters violated the Building Construction Act 1952, because Dhaka’s real estate regulator, Rajuk, had not approved the building design. Rajuk Chief Engineer (implementation) Md Emdadul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune, “All the illegal establishments in Hatirjheel area will be removed.” “The existing mosques will be shifted immediately. We have given money to the Dhaka district deputy commissioner’s office for shifting the mosque from the project area to another place,” he said. Answering to queries about the BGMEA headquarters, Rajuk high-up
A section of influential quarters is still occupying Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal with illegal establishments Emdadul said: “The BGMEA building will be demolished, because the HC ordered that the structure be removed and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also echoed the court verdict.”
Lawyer Rafique-ul Haque, representing the BGMEA, said: “We have lodged an appeal with the appellate division against the HC order. So before the appeal court ruling, the Rajuk
authorities will not take any action against the building.” “The Rajuk officials can say anything; they can say they will kill anybody, but the ruling will come from the
First day of Education UK Exhibition ‘Incorporate climate sees huge crowd change adaptive n measures into policies’ Mushfique Wadud
The 16th Education UK Exibition-2014 ,organised by the British Council, began at the Grand Ballroom of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital yesterday. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid innugarated the function. Among others, Nick Low , acting British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Sanjiv Malhotra ,acting director of the British Council Bangladesh were present at the inauguration. On the day, an overwhelming number of students and parents visited the exhibition. A good number of students also visited the exhibition to inquiry mainly scholarships opportunities offered by the UK universities. Zahidur Rahman, a Dhaka University student was seen visiting every stall. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, he said that he had a dream to study in a UK university and he visited the exibition to inquiry whether he could get a scholarship opportunity at a renowned university. Many students were seen talking about the campus placement and job opportunities with representatives of the UK universities. Nahid said the exibition would help Bangladeshi students to pursue higher
n Abu Bakar Siddique
Visitors visit the Education UK Exibition-2014 yesterday education in the UK’s top universities by giving them information. Nick Low said a good number of Bangladeshi students were studying in the UK universities and the country’s cooperation to Bangladeshi students would continue. This year ,representatives of 40 renowned universities and colleges are participating at the exibition. Among others, Manchester Metro-
Prize-giving ceremony of St Gregory School held n Tribune Report The Annual Prize Giving Ceremony of St Gregory’s High School was held on its school premises on Wednesday. Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, vice-chancellor of the University of Asia Pacific, social activist Matin Chowdhury and Brother John Rozario, CSC, Princi-
pal Emirate of Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School, were also present as special guests. Headmaster of the school Prodip Placid Gomes delivered the welcome speech and presented the annual report of the year 2013 at the function. The toppers of annual examinations were awarded during the ceremony. l
Three held at RU n RU Correspondent Three admission seekers were held for forgery during a viva voce under Law Faculty at Rajshahi University yesterday. They are Nomanul Islam, 19, Sajib Hossain, 20, and Farhad Hossain, 19. The faculty dean Prof Biswajit Chanda told The Dhaka Tribune the admission seekers were se-
lected primarily after the written test held on January, 23. While they sat for viva voce at 2:30pm, their photographs and signatures did not match with the ones they had submitted earlier, he said. They were handed over to the university proctorial body, Proctor Prof Tarikul Islam said. Their admission test result and viva voce were cancelled instantly. l
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
politan University, London Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, University of Bradford, University of Reading, university of South Wales, University of East London, University of Nottingham, Leeds Metropolitan University, The University of Law, London School of Commerce, University of East Anglia, Middlesex University, London, Edinburgh Napier University are participating at the exibition. l
Adaptive measures for tackling the impact of climate change should be incorporated within the policies of the country, speakers at a workshop said yesterday. Participants of the programme titled “National Workshop on Developing and Mainstreaming Climate Resilient Policies in Bangladesh” also emphasised on the need for implementing the existing policies. The major policies that play an important role in taking adaptive measures on climate change include the National Forest Policy 1994, National Land Use Policy 2001, Coastal Zone Policy 2005 and National Environment Policy 1992, speakers said at the workshop in the capital’s Cirdap auditorium. “Most of the policies do not mention the climate change issue, thus creating various kinds of obstacles while taking adaptive measures,” said Mohammad Aminur Rahman Shah, a programme officer of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, Sultan Ahmed, director (natural resources management) of the Department of Environment (DoE),
INVITATION FOR E-TENDER Invitation Reference No.
a) T-1/2014/158, Dated. 12-02-2014 for Tender ID No. 6305 b) T-1/2014/159, Dated, 12-02-2014 for Tender ID No. 6309 c) T-1/2014/160, Dated, 12-02-2014 for Tender ID No. 6310 Name of the Work Tender ID No. 6310 Re-Sectioning of embankment form km. 9.490 to km. 10.090 = 0.600 km. under Ramshil-Kafulabari FCD Project in connection with Non-Development Revenue head (NDR) during the year 2013-2014. Tender ID No. 6309 Repairing of Embankment form km.13.600 to km. 13.800 = 0.200 km. & km. 0.000 to km 1.000 = 1.000 km. under South Kalkini FCDI Sub-project in Connection with Non-Development Revenue head (NDR) During the year 2013-2014. Tender ID No. 6310 Re-Sectioning of embankment form km. 9.490 to km. 10.090 = 0.600 km. under Ramshil-Kafulabari FCD Project in connection with Non-Development Revenue head (NDR) during the year 2013-2014. This is an online Tender, where only e-Tender will be accepted in the National e-GP portal and no ofﬂine/hard copies will be accepted. To submit e-Tender, registration in the National e-GP System Portal (http://www.eprocure.gov.bd) is required. The fees for downloading the e-Tender Documents from the National e-GP System Portal have to be deposited online through any registered Bank’s branches up to 5.00pm on 05/03/2014 for Tender ID No. 6305, 6309 & 6310. Further information and guidelines are available in the National e-GP System Portal and from e-GP help desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) (01762625528-31).
PANI-525/13-14 DG-21/14 (5x3)
Md. Moniruzzaman Executive Engineer Madaripur O&M Division BWDB, Madaripur
said the issue was absent in the national environment policy because climate change was not a concern when the policy was formulated some 20 years ago. The DoE has almost finalised the draft of the revised National Environment Policy 2014, where the climate change issue has been incorporated, he added. Shiekh Mizanur Rahman, deputy conservator of forests, also said the changing pattern of the country’s climate left some gaps in the existing forest policy regarding new conservation aspects, which would be now be reconsidered in the revised policy. In a bid to achieve long-term benefits, various policies need to be synchronised after incorporating the climate change issue, Mizanur said. The participants, most of whom were government officials, expressed concerns over the lack of coordination among the national policies. Citing an example, DoE Director Sultan said officials concerned often had trouble improving the coastal afforestation in the Teknaf peninsula with a certain type of tree, which grew well in the sand but also harmed the ecosystem of sea turtles.. l
court,” he said. Rajuk Executive Magistrate Rokon Ud-Doula said about the BGMEA building: “As the issue is now under trial, it should not be fair to comment on it.” l
Alliance Francaise to host exhibition on First World War n Tribune Report Commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka is going to organise an exhibition and an international conference in the city. The theme of the exhibition and international conference is “War and Colonies”. Director of Alliance Francaise de Dhaka Olivier Litvine made the announcement at a press conference held at the organisation yesterday. The exhibition would begin on February 24 at La Gallarie, Alliance Francaise de Dhaka and continue till March 8. The exhibition will remain open on Monday to Thursday from 3pm to 9pm and Friday from 9am to 12 noon and Saturday from 5pm to 8pm. It will be open for all. The exhibition will show 35 rare photographs of colonial troops in the Great War. The two-day conference on “War and Colonies”, 1914-18 will start on February 25 at Senate Hall, University of Dhaka. A host of Bangladeshi experts and internationally renowned historians from France, Germany, Irland, USA and India will take part in the conference and present papers related to the war. l
Putin backs Sisi’s presidential bid n AFP, Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday endorsed Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s undeclared bid to head the strife-torn North African nation as the two leaders negotiated a massive Moscow weapons deal. Sisi came to Moscow with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy for talks aimed at securing Russian assistance – stagnant since the late Soviet era – that could replace subsiding support from Cairo’s more recent ally Washington. Putin told Sisi that Moscow fully backed Egypt’s new constitution and crucially made no mention of Cairo’s crackdown on protests or the army-backed overthrow in July of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. “I know that you, mister defence minister, have decided to run for president of Egypt,” Putin told Sisi in televised remarks. “I wish you luck both from myself personally and from the Russian people.” The 59-year-old Egyptian field marshal has not actually declared his presidential ambitions but is overwhelmingly predicted to run in elections expected to be held later this year. A Kuwaiti newspaper quoted Sisi as saying last week that he had “no choice but to meet the demands of the Egyptian people” and run for head of state. The army later denied the report. Sisi would have to give up his title as head of the Egyptian armed forces in order to contest the election. Sisi and Fahmy earlier on Thursday met their Russian counterparts to negotiate a $2-billion arms deal the two sides initially discussed in Cairo in November – a month after Washington suspended millions of dollars in assis-
tance to the Egyptian army over Morsi’s ouster. “Our visit offers a new start to the development of military and technological cooperation between Egypt and Russia,” Sisi told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. “We hope to speed up this cooperation,” Sisi said. Top officials revealed no details of Thursday’s military discussions while signalling that both sides were interested in the speedy conclusion of a deal. Russia’s defence chief Shoigu stressed that Moscow “was interested in seeing Egypt be a powerful and stable state.” “In this connection, we need to discuss fairly important issues concerning military and technological cooperation – their current state and prospects for the future.” The head of Russia’s state industrial holding company said after the Cairo meeting that Moscow was on the verge of reaching a landmark agreement to deliver air defence systems to Egypt’s army. Rostec chief Sergei Chemezov said on November 18 that “some contracts (with Egypt) have already been signed – particularly one concerning air defence systems.” But he later clarified that he was referring only to a framework agreement and not to firm delivery contracts. Moscow’s authoritative Vedomosti business daily on November 15 said the deals under discussion were worth more than $2 billion and could be financed by Saudi Arabia. The Soviet Union was the main supplier of arms to Egypt in the 1960s and early 1970s. Cooperation between
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Russia says Syria aid draft could open door to military action n Reuters, Moscow/United Nations
Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo AFP the two sides dropped after Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty and Cairo began receiving generous US aid. Russia is now keen to revive those ties and Shoigu made clear on Thursday that Moscow fully supported the tough measures taken by Sisi against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement. “We cannot but celebrate the adop-
tion of the new Egyptian constitution,” the Russian defence minister told Sisi. “We view your efforts at achieving stability as effective.” Shoigu added that the two sides had touched on the possibility of Russian and Egypt conducting joint military exercises and the option of the North African country’s officers undergoing military training in Moscow. l
Russia denounced on Wednesday a Western-Arab draft UN Security Council resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria as a bid to lay the groundwork for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Russia announced it would veto the current text because it contains “one-sided accusations” against Assad’s government, though Russia and its Security Council ally China said they are prepared to negotiate on a new draft if such a move could boost aid access. Since receiving the draft resolution on Thursday, Moscow has been outspoken in its opposition. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described it as “detached from reality,” while UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin dismissed it as a “non-starter.” On Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov added to Moscow’s argument: “Its whole purpose and aim is to create grounds for future military action against the Syrian government if some demands it includes are not met.” “It is unacceptable to us in the form in which it is now being prepared, and we, of course, will not let it through,” said Gatilov, according to state-run news agency RIA. But Russia appears to have softened its long-held resistance to a resolution on Syria aid access, which was drafted
At least six dead in car bomb attack at Mogadishu airport
Tunisia police rape trial ‘ordeal’ resumes
n AFP, Mogadishu
n AFP, Tunis
At least six people were killed and many more wounded Thursday in a car bomb attack close to the entrance of Mogadishu’s heavily-fortified international airport, police and witnesses said. The bomb went off near a checkpoint at the entrance to the airport complex, which also houses the base of AMISOM – the African Union force fighting Al Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels – as well as a number of for-
eign diplomatic missions and United Nations offices. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack bore all the hallmarks of Shebab, who are fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government. “A car was parked near the airport gate. It detonated. There are casualties,” said police official Mohammed Abdi Rahman. “At least six people, most of them civilians, died in the car bomb explosion. There are many casualties, serious
injuries. We are still investigating the incident, the toll could rise anytime,” another police official, Said Mohamed, told AFP. “The airport was busy when the explosion occurred,” he added. Britain’s ambassador to Somalia Neil Wigan, whose embassy is also within the high-security airport complex, said on Twitter that he had heard a “major explosion” that sent smoke into the air. An AFP photographer at the scene saw the burning wreckage of a vehicle and several destroyed shops. l
The trial of two Tunisian policemen on charges of raping a young woman in 2012 resumed behind closed doors on Thursday, after repeated delays described by the victim as an “ordeal.” “It’s a case that touches on moral issues, we ask everyone present to leave the room,” the judge said as the hearing began. The victim, known by the pseudonym Meriem Ben Mohamed, told AFP she feared that the hearing, in which the policemen are to be questioned and the arguments for the defence submitted, would once again be delayed, as has happened several times since October. “If only this ordeal would end,” the young woman said. A psychologist’s report, commissioned by the court and seen by AFP, diagnosed the victim, who was 27 years old at the time, with “depression aggravating a state of post-traumatic stress.”
“These difficulties can last for months or years after the rape,” the report said. In all, three police officers are on trial, two of them – Chawki Ben Ammar and Walid Feriani – on rape charges and a third on charges of extortion. The policemen say they found the woman and her boyfriend having sex in their car in a Tunis suburb in September 2012. According to the charges against them, they then took the woman to a police car, where two of them raped her, while the third policeman allegedly tried to extort money from her fiance at a bank cashpoint. The public prosecutor tried unsuccessfully to bring indecency charges against the couple, sparking a storm of protest and a campaign of support for the young woman. She has since published a book in France giving her account of what happened, entitled “Guilty of being raped.” l
Venezuelan rivals trade blame over shooting n Reuters, Caracas
Slow moving motorists are seen on a freeway leaving downtown Charlotte as snow continues to fall in North Carolina
Snow and ice storm lands deadly punch on US South, East Coast n Reuters, Atlanta A deadly winter storm gripped the southeastern United States on Wednesday, crippling travel, grounding flights, knocking out power to 363,000 customers and encasing magnolia and palmetto trees in ice. The weather was blamed for at least 13 deaths in the region, including three people killed when an ambulance transporting a patient skidded off an icy road in Carlsbad, Texas. Winter storm warnings and advisories were in place from Arkansas east to much of the Atlantic coast, the National Weather Service said. The storm is expected to sock the northeastern United States in the next two days with up to 15 inches of snow. “We definitely consider this to be a
high-impact event, and we’re definitely telling everyone to stay off the roads and stay inside as much as possible,” said Carl Barnes, a weather service forecaster in Sterling, Virginia. Snow and freezing rain that pummeled South Carolina and North Carolina created a dangerous commute for drivers in a hurry to get home as the snowfall got heavier and the ice thickened. A possibly historic accumulation of ice as well as heavy snow was expected to add up to nearly 8 inches of frozen precipitation for Charlotte, North Carolina, and 9 inches were forecast for Spartanburg, South Carolina, meteorologists said. More than an inch of ice was possible from central Georgia into South Carolina by Thursday morning, according to forecasters.
Traffic on interstate highways ground to a halt, and at least one snow plow went off a North Carolina highway into a ditch. Todd Pekks, a chef at Duke University, was just half a mile into his drive home to Raleigh when he began to skid so badly he gave up, his wife Sherri Pekks said. He made his way back to work on foot, and returned to the kitchen, she said. “He’s definitely gone for the night. I wonder if he’ll be able to make it back tomorrow,” Pekks said. Fatal road accidents were reported in Mississippi and South Carolina. In Georgia, a man died of exposure near his home in Butts County, south of Atlanta, and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory told CNN two people had died in weather-related incidents. l
Venezuela’s government and the opposition traded accusations after at least three people were shot dead in the worst unrest since protests last year that followed President Nicolas Maduro’s narrow election victory. Almost a year after the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez, the bloodshed on Wednesday was the latest demonstration of the OPEC nation’s deep polarization and the mutual mistrust between both political camps. Three people were shot dead after pro- and anti-government marches
in Caracas. Maduro said another person was in critical condition, and he blamed “small fascist groups” that he said infiltrated the opposition protest. “They want to topple the government through violence,” Maduro said on state television. “They have no ethics, no morals ... We will not permit any more attacks.” A government official said 23 people were injured, 25 arrested, four police vehicles torched and some government offices vandalized. Some opposition protesters, many with their faces covered, threw stones and burned tires. l
by Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan, by signaling it would be willing to work with the council on a new draft. Diplomats said Russia presented amendments to the draft at a meeting on Wednesday of the permanent council members, known as the “P5.” “The P5 ambassadors will meet on (Thursday) to merge the texts,” a council diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “We’re all working on a draft and that’s good.” Several diplomats, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Churkin had told the Security Council on Tuesday he did not like 30% of the current draft resolution, but did not specify what aspects he disagreed with. Russia and China have shielded Syria on the UN Security Council during the country’s three-year-long civil war. The pair have vetoed three resolutions condemning Syria’s government and threatening it with possible sanctions. Russia has said it is not trying to prop up Assad, but that he must not be forced out by foreign powers and it opposes Western military intervention. The United States threatened air strikes after a deadly gas attack in August, but that threat was averted when Assad pledged to give up his chemical weapons. The draft aid text, obtained by Reuters, expresses an intent to impose sanctions on individuals and entities obstructing aid and if certain demands in the resolution are not met within 15 days of its adoption. l
US ship stops in Spain on way to destroy Syria weapons n AFP, Madrid A US naval ship was to stop in Spain Thursday while it waits for Syrian authorities to hand over chemical weapons so it can destroy them at sea, diplomats said. The MV Cape Ray container ship “will be anchored from today at the Rota naval base in a routine visit” for rest and supplies on Spain’s south coast, the US embassy said in a statement. “When Syria has fulfilled the order of the United Nations to hand over the chemical products, the Cape Ray will leave Rota for a port in Italy where they will be loaded,” the statement said. The “neutralisation” of the weapons will be carried out on board in international waters under a UN-sanctioned agreement, it added. The Cape Ray set off from Virginia on January 27 bound for the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro. l
Italian government in crisis as PM Letta fights calls to go n Reuters, Rome Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta faces a showdown with his own centre-left party on Thursday that could lead to his resignation and the appointment of Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi as head of a new government within days. Letta, a low-key moderate appointed to lead the cross-party coalition patched together after last year’s deadlocked elections, is fighting for his political future after growing criticism from Renzi over the slow pace of economic reform. l
Saudi interior ministry: Yemen hands over 29 ‘Qaeda’ militants n AFP, Riyadh Yemen has handed over 29 Saudis wanted for suspected links to Al-Qaeda, the interior ministry announced on Thursday. “As part of joint efforts between security services in the two countries, the kingdom has received 29 Saudis... (who) had joined Al-Qaeda in Yemen,” interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told AFP. Eleven of them had already been jailed and later released from prison in
Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s oil-rich neighbour, he said. Nine others were on trial in the kingdom when they fled, said Turki. The defence ministry in Sanaa announced the handover this week without giving details. Saudi authorities are hunting for dozens of the ultra-conservative kingdom’s citizens who have joined Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen. Former prisoners at the US Guantanamo prison who had been returned
to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation in December 2006 later escaped to Yemen, two years ago after completing a reform programme. Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP, posing a serious threat to Western interests across the region. After a wave of deadly Al-Qaeda attacks in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006, Saudi authorities launched a crackdown on the local branch of the group founded by the late Osama bin Laden, himself Saudi-born. l
Car bomb kills at least 12 policemen in Karachi n AFP, Karachi The Pakistani Taliban on Thursday claimed credit for a bomb blast that killed twelve policemen on a bus, the latest in a series of near-daily attacks since the government called for peace talks with militants. The explosion in the commercial hub of Karachi, which wounded almost 60 others, comes as Pakistan has been negotiating with the Taliban to end their seven-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives. Senior police officials initially said the early morning blast was a suicide attack in which a small Suzuki van had smashed into the police bus. But Raja Umer Khatab, chief of the city’s counter-terrorism unit, later said the van had been parked on the hard shoulder along the bus’s route and was remotely detonated when the two vehicles were side by side. Shahid Nadeem Baloch, police chief for Sindh province which includes Karachi, confirmed the bomb was remotely detonated, adding the death toll was 12. Doctor Semi Jamali at Karachi’s Jinnah hospital said 58 people were injured – both police on the bus and civilian passers-by. Nine of the injured police were in critical condition. The attack happened in an eastern district of Karachi near the national highway. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh, announced compensation of two million rupees ($20,000) for families of the victims, and free medical
treatment for the injured. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP it was a revenge attack for the killing of militants. “We carried out the attack against the police because they are killing our people,” he said over the telephone from an undisclosed location. “Our defensive war will continue until an agreement is reached on a ceasefire” between negotiation teams representing the government and the Taliban. The Pakistani Taliban have recently stepped up their campaign against security forces in Karachi, assassinating a so-called “super cop” Chaudhry Aslam earlier this year. The attack was the 11th since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced talks on January 29 and said he wants to “give peace another chance.” Provincial officials vowed the bombing would not deter their campaign to root out criminals and terrorists. “We are investigating this attack from all angles ...The forces will not be demoralised and will work more aggressively,” said Sharjeel Memon, provincial information minister. Karachi, a city of 18 million people which contributes 42% of Pakistan’s GDP, has also been plagued for years by sectarian, ethnic and political violence. Pakistan has endured a bloody start to the year with 114 people killed in attacks in January, according to an AFP tally. More than 60 people have died in
Rescue workers move an injured policeman, after a bomb blast on a bus, on a stretcher outside Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Hospital in Karachi REUTERS Islamist-linked violence since Sharif announced the talks. On Wednesday militants stormed a house of anti-Taliban activists and shot dead nine men in the northwestern city of Peshawar. On Tuesday a triple grenade attack on a cinema showing pornography in
Peshawar killed 13 people. Both government and militants says they are serious about peace talks but analysts remain sceptical about their chances of success. Past agreements between the Taliban and the army have proved to be short-lived.
In 2009 the army launched a fullfledged offensive in the northwestern hilly region of Swat, after a two-year local peace deal with the Taliban broke down there. The hardliners had executed men and flogged women in public during their time in control of the area. l
Thai police target human traffickers US ends boycott of but Rohingya may face more abuse India’s Modi n Reuters, Sadao Thai police have announced a new campaign against human traffickers, although the officer in charge said hundreds of recently rescued Rohingya boat people could end up back in the clutches of the regional smuggling networks they had escaped from. After two raids last month freed a total of 636 people, mostly Rohingya, police said they planned to target the trafficking “kingpins” who routinely smuggle humans through southern Thailand to Malaysia with impunity. Rohingya are mostly stateless Muslims from western Myanmar, where deadly clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012 killed at least 192 people and left 140,000 homeless. After arriving in Thailand by boat, many Rohingya were held hostage in
remote Thai camps near the border with Malaysia until relatives paid ransoms to release them, according to a Reuters investigation published on Dec 5. Some were beaten and killed. Last month, Thai police said they rescued hundreds of Rohingya Muslims from a remote camp in a raid prompted by the Reuters investigation. Ten major traffickers operate in southern Thailand, said Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot, a US-educated commander put in charge of the region’s anti-trafficking campaign in October. “This month I’m going to arrest the big guy,” he said on Wednesday, referring to a Thai suspected of being a regional kingpin. The Rohingya rescued in January will be detained and deported according to a policy secretly implemented by
Thailand last year but still in force. These deportations return many Rohingya to smuggling networks and human traffickers, who often take them back to Thailand’s border camps. Thatchai said under the policy, police hire boats to ferry the Rohingya across Thailand’s maritime border into Myanmar, where he admitted they are met not by the Myanmar authorities but by unidentified brokers who would then smuggle them to Muslim-majority Malaysia. Thatchai admitted this process opened the deportees to possible exploitation by human traffickers. But he said this “natural channel” was better than handing over the Rohingya to the Myanmar authorities, who often meted out long jail sentences. “It’s about humanity,” he said. “We can’t do that. Many are women and children. l
n Agencies The United States has ended a decade-long boycott of Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi over deadly religious riots, as a top diplomat held talks with the man tipped to be the next prime minister. Nancy Powell, the US ambassador to India, shook hands on Thursday with Modi at his official residence in the western state of Gujarat where he is the chief minister, before entering closeddoor talks. Powell and her entourage arrived in four official cars at the residence in the state capital Gandhinagar, but she did not speak to waiting reporters. Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is accused by rights groups of turning a blind eye to riots that killed up
to 2,000 people in Guarajat in 2002. Most of the victims were Muslims. The United States in 2005 revoked a visa for Modi under a domestic law that bars entry by any foreign official seen as responsible for “severe violations of religious freedom.” Modi has denied any wrongdoing over the 2002 violence and investigations have cleared him of personal blame, although one of his former ministers was jailed for life for instigating the killing of 97 Muslims. Powell’s meeting with Modi puts the US in line with European nations and Australia, which have already restored ties with him. Opinion polls show Modi and his party are on course to topple the ruling Congress party at general elections expected in May and lead the world’s largest democracy. l
US would ‘help’ Philippines Afghan, Pakistani leaders in fresh in South China Sea round of Turkey talks n AFP, Manila
The United States will “help” the Philippines in the event that China occupies disputed islands in the South China Sea, the US Chief of Naval Operations said Thursday. Admiral Jonathan Greenert also stressed that the US would honour its mutual defence treaty with the Philippines amid a seething territorial conflict with China over the resource-rich waters. “Of course we would help you. I don’t know what that help would be, specifically. I mean we have an obligation because we have a treaty,” he told students at a state defence college during a visit to Manila.
His remarks – one of the strongest US declarations of support for the Philippines – come as concerns rise that China will attempt to forcefully assert its claim to almost all of the South China Sea. China’s claim conflicts with that of the Philippines, which has a 1951 treaty with the United States that officials say bind the two partners to defend each other in case of external attack. The United States has not taken a stand on the conflicting territorial claims over the South China Sea, which also involve Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. But Admiral Greenert said that he wanted to send a “clear signal... that aggressive behaviour outside of international norms is contrary to good order.” l
‘Korean Dreyfus’ acquitted in retrial n AFP, Seoul A former South Korean student activist at the centre of a notorious miscarriage of justice in the era of military rule was acquitted Thursday in a retrial of abetting a fellow activist’s suicide. Kang Ki-Hoon was convicted in 1992 of aiding activist Kim Ki-Sul to set himself on fire and leap to his death from a university building in protest at the military-backed administration of then president Roh Tae-Woo. He was also found guilty of forging Kim’s will and was sentenced to three years in prison. The case became known as South Korea’s “Dreyfus Affair” with Kang, now 51, widely considered to have been framed by Roh’s government in order to discredit the growing protest movement.
After serving his prison term, Kang, who always denied the charges, sought a retrial, which he was finally granted under the auspices of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in 2005 to review past rights abuses. Delivering its not guilty verdict on Thursday, the Seoul High Court said forensic evidence produced at the time by government prosecutors to show Kang wrote Kim’s will “lacked credibility.” Kim’s self-immolation in May 1991 was the fourth in less than two weeks amid nationwide protests demanding Roh’s resignation and broader democratic reforms. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission had already ruled Kang’s conviction a miscarriage of justice back in 2007, but a retrial was required to give the ruling legal weight. l
n AFP, Ankara Afghan and Pakistani leaders are expected to discuss security in Afghanistan after the NATO troop pullout and efforts to negotiate with the Taliban when they meet in Turkey Thursday. Turkish President Abdullah Gul hosted Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over dinner late Wednesday, on the eve of the summit opening. It is the eighth in Turkey since a regular consultation mechanism was established in 2007 to encourage the neighbours to cooperate in the fight against extremist groups.
The talks will primarily focus on ways to restore peace and promote reconciliation in Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani official told AFP. Sharif emphasized ahead of the summit the need for peace and stability in its neighbour as US-led troops prepare to withdraw. “Peace and stability in Afghanistan has a direct bearing on Pakistan. We support a sovereign, independent and united Afghanistan. The drawdown of NATO/ISAF by the end of the year as part of the security transition, will be a watershed event,” he told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. “We hope the drawdown will be
Friday, February 14, 2014
managed while preserving regional peace and security. Pakistan also wishes Afghanistan every success in drawing a path for sustainable peace and development,” he said. Last month, Kabul reignited traditional cross-border suspicions by suggesting that Islamabad’s spy agency was behind an attack on a Lebanese restaurant in the Afghan capital in which 21 people, including 13 foreigners, were killed. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the January 17 suicide assault, which was the deadliest attack on foreign civilians since the Taliban were ousted in 2001. l
Despite US warnings, Afghanistan releases detainees n Reuters, Kabul The Afghan government released 65 detainees on Thursday who the United States has warned pose a serious security threat, a move that further strains already tense US-Afghan ties as the international mission in Afghanistan winds down. Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said the prisoners had been released from a detention facility near the Afghan capital, Kabul, and would be sent back to their respective home areas throughout Afghanistan. The US embassy called it a “deeply regrettable” move that ran counter to a 2012 agreement on detainees. “The Afghan government bears responsibility for the results of its decision,” the embassy said in a statement. Abdul Shakor Dadras, head of the Afghan board charged with reviewing the prisoners’ cases, said their detention had been unjustified from the outset, despite information put forward by the United States. “We could not find any evidence to prove that these 65 people are criminals, according to Afghan law,” Dadras told Reuters Television. “I believe the release of these 65 people will benefit the Afghan nation, and it will benefit the American nation and American government.” The prisoners were transferred to Afghan authority last year as part of the US and NATO transition out of Afghanistan. l
Japan mayor pleads against US airbase n AFP, Tokyo A Japanese mayor whose city is set to be the site of a re-located US military base pleaded Thursday for the plan to be dropped, as Tokyo and Washington push ahead with the move. Susumu Inamine, who has just been re-elected on a fiercely anti-base platform as the mayor of Nago, Okinawa, said the burden of hosting the 47,000 United States based in Japan should be spread across the country. “For 68 years since the end of the World War II, Okinawa, as the frontline prefecture of the Japan-US alliance, has been forced” to bear the bulk of responsibility, including the accidents and crimes that come with having the bases, he told reporters in Tokyo. “This situations reflects (the Japanese government’s) discrimination against Okinawa,” he said. His call came as the long-stalled plan to move the US Marines’ Futenma Air Station from a crowded urban area of Okinawa to sparsely populated Nago bay has begun to bear fruit, with an agreement in principle from the governor of the prefecture. Japan and the United States originally agreed on the plan in 1996, but the deal never went ahead because of opposition from Okinawan residents, who were demanding the base be moved out of Okinawa altogether. But in December, the prefectural government consented to a landfill scheme that will enable new facilities to be built in Nago, in exchange for a huge development package to boost a local economy that is over-reliant on tourism. Inamine said he had discussed his opposition to the move during a meeting with new US ambassador Caroline Kennedy on the island. “I did most of the talking and explained to her the issue related to nature, the environment, accidents and crimes.” Inamine said. l
Gallery sues dealer over stolen Shiva statue n Agencies Australia’s national art gallery is suing a New York-based art and antiquities dealer over a Shiva statue stolen from an ancient Indian temple for which it paid $5m. The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) confirmed it is taking Subhash Kapoor, his firm Art of the Past, and former manager Aaron Freedman, to New York’s Supreme Court over the 2008 purchase of the Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), a bronze statue dating from the 11th-12th century Chola dynasty. According to the NGA’s affidavit, filed in the US last week, Kapoor and his company “fraudulently induced” the Canberra-based gallery to buy the statue through forged certifications about its provenance and history. Kapoor claimed the statue had been sold to him by the wife of a diplomat. It was not until US federal agents raided Kapoor’s Manhattan apartment in July 2012 over stolen Indian artefacts, including several
Chola period statues worth tens of millions of dollars, that NGA said it became aware that its Shiva could have been illicitly obtained. “It also came out at about this time that in October 2011 Kapoor had been detained by officials in Germany and was being extradited to India to face criminal charges for allegedly running a smuggling ring involving religious idols stolen from ancient temples in Tamil Nadu,” the NGA’s affidavit states. A major break in the case came in December last year when Freedman pleaded guilty to six charges in New York related to trafficking in stolen art, including the NGA’s Shiva. “The Shiva was owned by the central government of India and was stolen from the Sivan temple in India’s Ariyalur district,” the NGA said of information obtained in Freedman’s criminal case. The statue is one of 21 items Australia’s premier art gallery purchased from Kapoor - comprising a third of all the India works on its books. It is seeking a refund of the $5m or “in
the alternative, damages for fraud breach of contract, contractual indemnification and/
or restitution for unjust enrichment” for at least that amount. l
Friday, February 14, 2014
Perceptions of love n Naureen Zaina Azizee
How satisfied are you with the election?
What the people say
n Zafar Sobhan he results of Dhaka Tribune’s latest national opinion poll are in and it is not good news for the government, though there are pockets of comfort to be found if you look hard enough. But, by the same token, it is not all good news for the opposition BNP, either, and it is the nuanced nature of the responses that gives me confidence that the poll is on the money. This was the second poll the Dhaka Tribune has conducted in as many months, and I have to say that both hold up pretty well. In our first poll, published on January 3, there was something for everyone and something to upset everyone, too. The key finding was that 77% felt that elections without the BNP would be unacceptable, but that 41% planned to vote, a number that has since been corroborated by independent observers and another poll. The government could take satisfaction from the 74% who supported the war crimes trials, though, interestingly, a majority disagreed with the banning of Jamaat participation in the election. Also, over 70% felt that the country was going in the wrong direction, another finding that has held up in subsequent polls. The latest poll was equally instructive. The key finding was that 70% of the public want the government to hold fresh elections within the year (indeed 57% want them as soon as possible) and that a majority are dissatisfied with the January 5 elections.
A significant majority (63%) still indicated that the caretaker government was their preferred system for holding elections, but 56% also indicated that elections under an all-party government would be acceptable to them, which should be gratifying to the government. Fully 78% of the respondents did not support hartals/blockades and violence as a means of protesting for fair elections, while a plurality of respondents (49% versus 34%) supported the PM’s stance that BNP needs to disassociate itself from Jamaat before talks can start.
44% say that it is new elections. No one really cares about anything else. The lessons for the political parties are clear. The AL needs to fulfill its pre-election commitment to hold fresh elections as soon as practicable and not act as though it has a mandate to rule for the next five years, and the BNP must abandon the politics of violence and negotiate with the AL in good faith for new elections that would be acceptable to all. I am leaving the most interesting finding for last. In our January 3 poll we found that
What the polls show is that support for the two parties is very low by historical standards and that the swing voters are up for grabs
In short, therefore, there is good and bad for both sides, and the public mood is clear. People want fresh elections as soon as possible, at most within the year. They would prefer a caretaker government system but can live with elections under an interim government arrangement. Despite the fact that they support the BNP call for new elections, they do not want to see a return to the violence of 2013. Almost 50% say that ending the political violence is the most important issue facing the country today, while
elections would be too close to call, with the BNP clocking 37% to the AL’s 36%. In yesterday’s poll, the numbers are AL 36% versus BNP 35%. Both results were essentially the same, within the margin of error. In short, it’s a toss-up. Even more telling is the fact that 14.5% remain undecided and 9% declined to indicate their voting preference. In other words, there is everything to play for and any free and fair election hangs in the balance. It is anybody’s game.
What the polls show is that support for the two parties is very low by historical standards (the numbers reflected are probably close to each party’s natural base-line support) and that the swing voters are up for grabs. The party which shows itself more responsive to the wishes of the people and more willing to compromise for the sake of democracy can expect to reap dividends on election day. This is a battle that either side can win if it decides to place its faith in the Bangladeshi people. The PM should realise that treating the January 5 elections as a mandate offends the Bangladeshi public’s sense of fairness and justice. They know the election was no such thing. Khaleda Zia should realise that hartals and blockades were precisely the wrong tactics and that she once again has a winning hand that only she can throw away. Whoever figures this out and acts accordingly will win the next election, whenever it is. Unfortunately, and as ever, both sides look like they have learned nothing and want to double down on their original bet. But they should both take note of the fact that while they each have the support of roughly one-third of the electorate, that means that they are each opposed by almost two-thirds. Both campaign on the sole premise that they are the lesser of the two evils and that the reason to vote for them is to keep the other side out of power. With each side’s negatives so high, this gambit may not work forever. It might not even work for another five years. l Zafar Sobhan is the Editor, Dhaka Tribune.
ards with romantic messages, chocolates, varieties of flowers (red roses being dominant among them), winged cupids and heart-shaped drawings are everywhere. Everything seems to be beautiful for one day, and everyone seems to be feeling ecstatic. Everyone seems to have blissful smiles on their faces, and a special someone by their side. All these are very common scenes on this day on the streets of Dhaka, as it is none other than the day devoted to love – Valentine’s Day. It is the day to express your love through gifts, exchange cards with romantic messages to communicate feelings to your loved one, and to go out together to solely celebrate just each other. The day is named after Saint Valentine, the third century Roman saint. Thus, the tradition of chivalrous love began. St Valentine breathed his last breath on February 14 in the north of Rome. Celebrated annually worldwide on February 14, and originating in modern England, it is celebrated in Bangladesh with lots of anticipation as well. Especially in urban society, V-Day is widely celebrated, particularly among the youth. Though the day is celebrated, rejoicing all relationships – the mostly celebrated relationships on this day are the romantic ones. There are couples enjoying each others’ company, with both men and women dressed in red, with flowers in their hands, or just spending time together. The traffic on the road is heavy. Parks, food areas, and cafes are all jam-packed with women wearing red. Love seems to be in the air on this day. The first day of spring, as we say in Bengali “Pohela Boshonto” is celebrated usually just the day before V-Day. It is truly the most pleasurable and youthful time of the year, with so many bright colours engulfing the roads of Dhaka. Being an Islamic nation, there is a lot of debate surrounding V-Day. It solely depends on how one perceives it. It varies from person to person. It was introduced in the 1990s and is still flourishing as a celebration with each passing year. With different packages and promotional offers at the gift stores, food
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shops, dining places, shops, card publishers, etc, it is a day of celebrating relationships. It could be the relationship with our better halves, parents, children, friends, or someone from our everyday lives. Now the question is: Is love just a commodity which should be celebrated only one day of the year? Isn’t the term love becoming commercialised like everything else around us? Isn’t the expression of love on Valentine’s Day developing a norm that love should be bound within a certain perimeter?
No emotional expression is genuine unless validated by the online community
Is the commercialisation of this day developing unrealistic expectations for those who consciously choose not to celebrate this day? Should Valentine’s Day only focus on celebrating the romantic surface of human relationships, as it is mostly done? I think it is strange how love has become scarce, whereas the commemoration of love has become too ordinary. Love is kept like a detainee inside a sphere. I sense it is all a kind of hype in order to show off love in the world of social networking, where no emotional expression is genuine unless validated by the online community. Where is the true form of love? Let us observe love not only for a month, week, or calendar day. Let us observe V-Day, but let us also remember not to make the other 364 days redundant of love. Let us not keep love confined to a specific time or bound to one context. Let us not settle on the depth of love or affection for each other depending on how a specific day is celebrated. Let us capture all fleeting moments through our lives and not let love be limited to a perceived idea. Love should not be confined. l Naureen Zaina Azizee is a teacher and a member of the editorial board of Alochonaa. com. This article was first published in Alochonaa.
The good ones revolted n William B Milam
t is unlikely that Edmund Burke ever uttered the sound bite most famously attributed to him: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Yet, these apocryphal words frame the political revolution of the last 325 years, during which, representative governance has emerged as a compelling alternative to the authoritarian rule that prevailed through most of human history.
In this century, revolutions have occurred mainly in the Islamic world
The 1688 Glorious Revolution in England is credited by historians as the starting point of this political transformation. The parliamentary limits placed in that year on the authority of the king and state were, of course, in the beginning, designed by the elite
to ensure their grip on power. But big things start small. Over the ensuing centuries, good people in many countries have pushed back against authority in order to loosen the grip of the elite and share their power. Their success appears to correlate with the development of political and social institutions, which are broadly representative of the interests of society as a whole – in other words, institutions which include not only representatives of the elite clinging to power, but also the groups in society which have attained enough economic leverage and social cohesion to transform institutions and demand a voice in running the state. After 1688, political revolutions became a habit, it seems. Burke liked the 1765-1783 American Revolution, which resulted, ultimately, in an inclusive, democratic society and political structure. He ended up disliking the French Revolution, perhaps because it lasted (as he predicted), in one form or another, with periods of extreme authoritarianism, for about 80 years before France ended up as an inclusive, democratic society. While intellectual contradictions abound in Burke’s writing (both the left and the right take comfort in
things he wrote and claim him for their own), I feel quite sure that he would revile the so-called revolutions of the 20th century. The Russian Revolution of 1917, and the Nazi and other fascist revolutions of the 1920s and the 1930s, were revolutions by stealth, in which minorities seized power, either after elections or in the collapse of a corrupt Ancien Regime, and without popular mandate, imposed their revolutionary agenda through demagoguery, repression, ideological indoctrination, and a falsified historical narrative often including the scapegoating of a particular group. They often used mass murder to carry out their programs. Despite Burke’s ambiguity on democracy, one theme runs through his core political writing – the great danger he saw in all revolutions was the potential for the emergence of an authoritarian, repressive government with unchecked power. In his 1770 treatise, “Thoughts on the Causes of Our Present Discontent” (a title that resonates through the succeeding centuries to the present), Burke argued for strict limits on the authority of the king and supported the role of political parties in preventing abuses of power by the government. He wrote:
“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” In this century, revolutions have occurred mainly in the Islamic world. How Burke would have felt about them is hard to say, but it strikes me that he would initially approve of those that come from the bottom up. Surely, however, he would be quite concerned when well-organised ideological groups appear to take control of what began as a general uprising, as well as the Thermidorian Reactions in some by the elite, which are striving to maintain their exclusive hold on institutions and, thus, the state. I suspect, however, that he would be most concerned about the revolutions by stealth. In this category, Bangladesh is the most egregious, and ironically, the most likely to produce a purely authoritarian state. A one-party election has produced a one-party state. The major opposition party is in both intellectual and organisational disarray, which is, of course, aided by the government crackdown on opponents and dissenters in the media, and the scapegoat religious parties. Civil society is both fragmented and cowed. The government has rewritten the narrative history of the country’s
troubled birth to suit its own purposes. This is surely a Burkean situation: The good people must come together (associate) to stop the bad people, who are together, if those good people are not to fall one by one.
Bangladesh is the most egregious, and ironically, the most likely to produce a purely authoritarian state
Bangladesh, which was once hailed as a paragon of political and social modernisation in the Islamic world, will join the overcrowded ranks of one-party authoritarian states with corrupted, extractive institutions, which real modernisation will continually elude if good people remain supine. l William B Milam is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, and former US Ambassador to Pakistan and Bangladesh. This article was first published in The Express Tribune.
We are still having an affair: Tisha-Farooki n Punny Kabir Tisha and Farooki still spend stolen moments together like a new couple, as their busy schedule keeps them apart most of the time. The celebrity duo are both very much occupied in their individual fields and struggle to manage time for each other and enjoy the precious moments. Director Farooki and actress Tisha first met on the set of telefilm Parapar in 2004 and got married on July 16, 2010. Dhaka Tribune caught up with the romantic couple on the occasion of Valentine’s Day and here are the excerpts from the chit-chat. How did the affair begin? Tisha: It just happened. I don’t know any exact moment or date from which we started to feel for each other. But the comfort between us as working partners in many projects created the confidence that we would be perfect for each other as life partners. Who proposed first and how? Farooki: Well, it was in October 2005 on the set of a TV play where I first let my feelings known to Tisha. I said: “I have had a few affairs before, but I never felt like to marrying any of them. But when I think about you, I can confidently say that I want to marry you.” That’s how the journey began and the affair is still going on. Did your families agreed smoothly? Farooki: My family was more than happy that I finally agreed on tying the knot and they like Tisha a lot. Tisha: By the time I informed my family about Fa-
rooki, we had already worked in many projects and he made a good impression. So, everything went smoothly. We know you are really happily married. But, what are the little things which annoy you about each other? Tisha: Well, I can remember one: The mosquito net. I used to hate mosquito net while Farooki could not sleep without it. But gradually I adopted sleeping under it. But Farooki’s job is put on the net every day. Farooki: Relationship works smoothly when couples have issues to argue about. It is like music, without voids, music cannot be created.
What is the secret behind a happy married life? Tisha: Never “try” to become one by forcing yourself. Keep on respecting your partner’s choices and decisions, and at one point two can really become one. Farooki: The root is to ensure the happiness of your partner. I am always positive to make Tisha happy and the rest of the things just automatically happen. l
What do you like best about one another? Farooki: Tisha is very family oriented and that is what made me to propose marriage to her, since I was like a vagabond. She is my anchor and works as a magnet to bring me home. Tisha: Farooki is honest and always keeps his promises. He promised me that after marriage he would allow me to work as I like. And he has never ever broken the promise.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Ananta Jalil emerges as writer n Entertainment Desk Dhallywood’s superstar Ananta Jalil always has surprises for his fans. Famous for the dialogue “Oshombhob Ke Shombhob Korai Ononter Kaj (Ananta’s job is to make the impossible possible),” Ananta has emerged as a writer in this Ekushey Book Fair. Based on the story of his latest film Nisshartho Bhalobasha, his first novel of the same title will be available in the book fair from today at the stalls of Shabdoshilpo Prokashoni (stall no 171 and 172, Suhrawardy Udyan). Ananta’s big Eid release Nisshartho Bhalobasha was tremendously popular among the movie-goers of the country. The actor/producer has made his mark in the movie industry of the country, with his impressive stunts and new storytelling concepts. Starting from his first movie KhojThe Search, Ananta has only moved forward towards stardom with his films like Speed, Most Welcome and Hridoy Bhanga Dhew. He has recently started the shooting of his upcoming action-packed movie Most Welcome-2. l
VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL ON TELEVISION
Jibondhuli releases today n Entertainment Desk
Ami Devdas Hote Chai Ami Devdas Hote Chai airs on RTV at 8:10pm. The drama features Arfan Nisho, Bidya Sinha Saha Meem, Rashed Chowdhury and many more. Story of the drama revolves around a guy man named Ishtiaq Ilahi, who wants to be Devdas, the romantic character portrayed by legendary actors. He lives like a poet but his poems are more like rhymes and lacks the luster of poetry. He tries to bring some depth to his pieces by getting drunk, but that attempt is also met with failure. For his final attempt to reach success, he tries to find someone like Parboti, the legendary Devdas’ love, to inspire him into producing worthy poems.
Ami Tumi O Chayashongi Banglavision will telecast the drama Ami Tumi O Chayashongi at 6:30pm on February 14. The main attraction of the drama is its popular star cast which includes Tisha, Nisho and Rizvi. The romantic-mystery is directed by Kaushik Das and written by Mostafiz Shahin. Faisal and Rajib, played by Nisho and Rizvi respectively are best of friends. Nova played by Tisha is married to Rajib. One day, her life is changed forever and she is plunged into despair as Rajib dies in a road accident. Faisal lends a supporting shoulder to the widow of his best friend and the lonely Nova finds comfort in his company. Suddenly, Nova is irritated by Faisal’s untimely revelation of some facts about her and Rajib, which only the couple knew. Annoyed by such a conversation, Nova stops talking to Faisal. Lost in confusion, Faisal wonders how he knows the details which his friend never shared with him. The mystery is unveiled at the end of the drama.
Anmone Obhimane with actors Sojol, Shoshi, Mehedi and Shumi will air on Mohona TV at 9:35pm. Directed by Tonmoy Tanse, the story of the drama revolves around a couple who falls in love with each other the very first time they meet. When they meet again, the man expresses his love for her and they embark on a relationship. Things starts to mess up as the woman’s ex-lover comes into the scenario. The problem is that, she was informed that her ex-lover was dead.
Written by Rumman Rashid Khan and directed by Chayanika Chowdhury, Tanaporen will air at 9pm on SATV. The drama features Farah Ruma, Oni, Somapti and many others. Story of the drama revolves around a besotted married couple. Tareq and Mita love each other blindly. Tareq was not the jealous type, therefore, when Mita meets her friend Shanto, he allows Mita to hang out with him without objection. As time went by, Shanto falls for Mita and realising the truth, Tareq forbids Mita to hang out with Shanto.
Pop musician Konal and Apu will be present as guest artists in a special edition of Priyojoner Gaan today at 3:00pm on DeshTV. Priyojoner Gaan is a live musical program where guest artists perform selected songs of their favourite musicians, the show airs every Friday. Through this show, people learn personal stories of the artists that were not public knowledge before. The audience are able to have phone conversation with the musicians and learn about their career and also their personal lives.
Tanvir Mokammel’s latest film Jibondhuli is releasing today at the Sawkat Osman Auditorium of the Central Public Library. The film will be showcased for the media at 10:30pm today and then the movie will be open for the audience until February 21, at the same venue. Tickets for this much awaited release are available at the Bangladesh Film Institute at Kalabagan and at the venue. Narrating a touching story on the milieu of the Liberation War, Jibondhuli features Shatabdi Wadud, Wahida Mallik Joly, Jyotika Jyoti, Ramendu Majumder and Paresh Bhuiya in the lead roles. The film revolves around Jibonkrishna Das, a poor Hindu lower-caste drummer, whose wife and children get killed by Pakistani armed forces. It depicts how he struggles to survive against the brutality of the Pakistanis and local collaborators. l
Tahsan and the Sufis to perform today
Virtual Love will be aired at 9:35pm on Channel 9. The drama is written and directed by Rupok Bin Rouf. The cast of the drama includes young artist Aparna Ghosh, Allen Shuvro, Sporshia, Riad Ashraf and Raju. The story is about three young people who resides in the same building. Adnan is neighbours with Diha and Seha, who are sisters. Diha treats Adnan like a younger brother, but what they were not aware was the fact that they are in reality intimate friends via fake Facebook profiles. One day, Diha discovers that it is Adnan’s profile and asks her sister to take over the profile. Seha falls in love with Adnan and they meet up.
On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, popular silver screen couple Omar Sunny and Moushumi will be seen on the talk show Raanga Shokaal today from 7am to 9am on Maasranga Television. Anchored by Aditi and Kibria, the show has been produced Rakibul Alam Rusho and Zubair Iqbal. The show will focus of the celebrated couple’s on- screen and off-screen chemistry and will talk about their much appreciated love story.
n Entertainment Desk Popular singer Tahsan Khan along with his newly formed band will perform live today at 6:30pm at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Gulshan-1. Tahsan and the Sufis comprises Tahsan as lead vocalist, guitarist and pianist; Sunny as bass guitarist; Tanvir as guitarist; Shishir as drummer; Adit as keyboardist and Aryan Tameen as manager. The band is currently recording the first album. l
CELEBRITIES’ CRUSHES ON CELEBRITIES
Jaya Ahsan After watching Tinanic, I had a crush on Leonardo DiCaprio. As I grew up watching his films, I learned to admire him as an actor for his ability to mesmerise the audience.
Apurbo I am a movie freak, and very few women hold a candle to Nicole Kidman, she is a real lady and I fell in love with her.
Bappa Mazumder I used to watch Bionic Woman, as many others did back at that time. Lindsay Wagner fascinated me, I really had a big time crush on her.
Shatabdi Wadud I use to have a crush on Pooja Bhatt, but it was a secret crush. She was a pretty lady and I even collected view cards of her. With films like Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin to Naaraaz, Pooja Bhatt was truly a versatile actor.
Mir Sabbir In my school days, I had a huge crush on Shomi Kaiser, she was such an attractive woman. I think, during her rise in the small screen as a soap actor, there was many others like me who admired her charming personality .
Azad Abul Kalam From my childhood, I had a great faith in my love for Babita and blindly believed that one day, I will marry her. Slowly, as I grew up, I realised that the probability of that happening was close to zero and I suffered a heartbreak.
Did you know? David Moyes has now won none of 49 PL away games at the ‘Big Four’ (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool & Man Utd)
Friday, February 14, 2014
0 3 0
14 Arsenal held
DAYS TO GO
as Liverpool close on top
15 Johnson blasts
through South African batting
Heavy load for BCB for World T20 opener
Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal, Shamsur Rahman, Anamul Haque (wk), Shakib al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Farhad Reza, Mahmudullah/ Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe bin Mortaza (capt), Rubel Hossain, Arafat Sunny Sri Lanka Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (capt and wk), Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Seekuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis
Bangladesh fielding coach Corey Richards (3R) makes a point while the players and head coach Shane Jurgensen (L) look on during the optional practice session at ZACS yesterday MUMIT M
Tigers look to level series Bangladesh went down fighting in the first Twenty20 of the two-match series against Sri Lanka and the home side will be looking to fill the voids from the narrow defeat when the top and bottom ranked nations in the format meet today. The Tigers have never won a T20 match against their opponents, but on Wednesday they were just two runs short of the feat at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Despite the loss the home side should however be the team oozing with confidence as Bangladesh, missing their captain Mushfiqur Rahim, gave the Sri Lankans a run for their money. Off the positives, debutant Arafat Sunny was a delight to watch as the left-arm spinner’s 2-17 eased a lot of pressure the Sri Lankan top orders created. The way he mixed up his deliveries and tied the batsmen in the crease only suggested he can grow into a better bowler for Bangladesh.
Always a weak link when it comes to death overs, Bangladesh need to restrict their opponents from running away with lusty blows. Off the three fast bowlers in the first match, Rubel Hossain showed glimpse of accurate bowling, but his captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza must cut down his economy. Mashrafe has also proved an expensive choice at the death and he should also consider finishing his quota before the onslaught begins. Meanwhile Farhad Reza, the fast bowling all-rounder who returned to the national team after 2011, bowled two overs for 18, but is likely to retain his place as it could be the off-spinner Sohag Gazi who can make way for Mahmudullah. Gazi was a bit expensive giving away 29 from his three overs. The home side should be content with the batting efforts especially from Anamul Haque w. The 22-year-old appeared as the main threat for the visitors and was unlucky not to harbour the win with his well composed maiden fifty. After a dismal Test series Tamim Iqbal also showed signs of coming back
to form which is an added advantage. Wicketkeeper batsman Mithun Ali, who made his debut in the previous match, might way make for the leg spinner-batsman Sabbir Rahman, who is considered as a future potential, to make his debut. The fielding has been exceptional from both the sides as the 17000+ crowds witnessed a series of brilliant catches taken, but Bangladesh should also keep in mind the overthrows they conceded in the first T20. The visitors on the other hand will be looking to improve their batting as they feel they were 15-20 runs short on the day. Kusal Perera will play a vital role at the top while Tillakaratne Dilshan will also be hoping to mark his 50th T20 game today with one of his scintillating knocks. Sri Lanka would also hope their fast bowlers Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara to perform better as they were not able to create any pressure or impact the other day. Sri Lanka will be looking to secure the series and captain Angelo Mathews could go for an unchanged side. l
Although the ICC (International Cricket Council) has not insisted on an opening ceremony for the World Twenty20, the Bangladesh Cricket Board have planned a mini opening ceremony for the world event. The ceremony will not be as huge the one for the ICC World Cup 2011 – which won praise the world over – but it will take place. To mark event, the BCB has planned to arrange a concert with the probable venue being the Bangabandhu National Stadium. The BCB has already asked the National Sports Council (NSC) ask for the stadium for four days – March 11-14 – from the Bangladesh Football Federation. The football governing body of the country had initially refused to give away field as it jeopardizes their own prospects. However according to the chairman of the BCB grounds committee Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan informed Dhaka Tribune that the BFF never said no according to the NSC. “They (NSC) have asked us (BCB) for a fee. If it was a no then why will they ask for a fee,” informed Lokman. It was learnt sources that the fee is likely to be in between Taka 2 to 3 million. Besides arranging the venue, the BCB will have to work on the financials
Bangladesh batsman Sabbir Rahman (L), likely to make his international debut today, into deep thinking while Anamul Haque (R) looks on during the practice session at ZACS yesterday MUMIT M or run out we can’t say anything about that, I tried to hit the boundary but I guess I couldn’t. “However after the ball, yes I was a bit hopeful, it happens normally, in Test cricket when I was out at 7 the wicket was withdrawn because of a noball so these things happen. “Actually there is nothing to say it. I feel that I couldn’t say that. When I was batting I couldn’t judge, later after coming back I heard a lot of things,” added Anamul. Nicknamed Bijoy, meaning “victory” in Bengali, he said, “I am not at all sad. Right now all that’s in my mind is which side of the boundary to blast the ball if I get a similar delivery in the next match.” l
Country’s most experience Twenty20 cricketer Shakib al Hasan believed they are moving in the right direction and making the necessary changes needed to be successful in the shorter format. The left-handed all-rounder spoke to Dhaka Tribune yesterday and said they need to cut down the small mistakes to become more effective. Bangladesh, who has a poor record in T20s against major Test playing nations, lost the first match against Sri Lanka by a narrow margin of two runs and Sakib said, “We need to cut down the small mistakes which we did in the first match, especially with the bat. “After we got the perfect start in the last match we needed to carry the momentum and finish till the end as you see we were almost there,” said Shakib who has featured in top four T20 leagues in the world – Indian Premier League, Carribean Premier League, Big Bash and the English County . The south paw made 22 from 22 balls and added 43 runs with Anamaul after he arrived at the center with Bangladesh on 64 for two. He looked to heave Nuwan Kulasekara on the on-side, but failed to connect which cleaned up his wicket. As long as he was in the middle the home side had more chances of winning the match and Shakib said, “I was trying to carry the momentum keeping the run rate on mind as I know the
They (NSC) have asked us (BCB) for a fee. If it was a no then why will they ask for a fee man. “It will bare huge expense to run the show. We are expecting good numbers of sponsors to show up,” said the BCB director. The board also plans to air the program live on television however they are yet to confirm if it will be the official broadcasters of the event, Star Network or some other satellite channel. At this point, with only 30 days left for the curtain to raise for the event – the BCB will have to race against time to make its wish a reality. l
Kruif focuses on India friendly Atapattu Bangladesh head coach Lodewijk de Kruif and assistant coach Rene Koster sat with the BFF officials at the BFF House yesterday for the first time after arriving in the city on Tuesday. Their meeting was mainly about making the plan to get the national team prepared for the India friendly next month. After around six months since Saff Championship last year, Bangladesh national football team will play their next game against India on March 5 in Goa. The Dutch duo returned from their Christmas vacation and was officially in charge of the national side asain, informed by BFF yesterday. “The most focus is that the match against India. We have to talk with the players in a short time to run the camp. Sheikh Jamal (Dhanmondi Club) are not in the country and we can’t use their players but what we can do is to make a short list roughly for 30 players,” said Kruif yesterday. The team is expected to leave the country for India on March 3 and it was learnt that the coach will have 7-10 days of training camp for the friendly.
“We want to start the camp as soon as possible. We want to prepare them and there is very few times to make them prepared and solve the problem,” added Kruif. Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has a contract with the Dutch coach for two years with an option to extend the contract for another year. The Dutch coaches want to have their salary issues settled. “What we want is to settle our salary for next three to four months. There were political problems and it is always possible to solve our problem. The last date of solving the problem was February 1 and it is time to talk about it. There is no hard feeling and anger among us. We should talk about it because we are in trouble in our country,” he said. Kruif spoke to Salahuddin and informed, “I expect they will solve the problem on Monday or Tuesday and our focus is the match against India. India’s match is very important for us and the nation and everybody is eager about the national team. It is also important for us to prove our worth and we are reconstructing the national team.” l
Anamul looks ahead ‘We need to cut down small mistake’ Bangladesh’s top-order batsman Anamul Haque opted to move forward rather than looking back in the prematch press conference at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday. The youngster who was caught off the last ball in the first T20 against Sri Lanka said he was upset, but he has to absorb it for the betterment. “Obviously I was upset not to win the match. It felt bad at that point. But after that I told myself that this was just my second T20 game. I might have ten more T20s like this ahead of me what will I do then? I just want to look ahead, the day is gone and I can’t get that back. But now I am thinking of what I can do tomorrow (today) for my side,” said Anamul. Anamul said he was fully focused and there was “nothing about the nerves”. “I needed 17 off the last over and I already had taken 14, so it wasn’t about being nervous. Probably if I got the ball according to my expectations I could have dispatched it. I felt that he would bowl a yorker or a slower, I thought of a number of things in my head. The aim however, was that no matter what, I have to hit a boundary,” revealed the 22-year-old. He was diplomatic on his explanation of the last ball as many had said it was a “no-ball”. “It was completely an umpire’s decision, no-ball, wide ball
to meet up the expenses of the concert. It is norm for ICC to cooperate with the hosts in the putting up the event but here the BCB will be all alone. If the BCB plans to make the captains of the participating teams appear at the concert – a job done mainly by the ICC – they will have to work it out themselves. “There are many things to do for which we might give the job to an event management firm,” said Lok-
partnership with Anamul will be a crucial one for us but unfortunately I was dismissed.” However the all-rounder was also instrumental with the ball, taking two wickets from his four overs giving away only 27 runs, informed that the last game gave them confidence. “Though we lost the match by a very close margin but our approach was positive and the hunger will certainly rise for the cricketers and I am hopeful we can put up a good show tomorrow (today),” Shakib said.
Though we lost the match by a very close margin but our approach was positive Shakib praised his bowling partner on the day, debutant Arafat Sunny, while at the same time felt Mithun Ali, the other debutant, has more to give to the team and it is early to rule him out. “Sunny was very impressive in his debut and he has been performing in the domestic arena for some time. It’s a very positive start for him and I hope he will do much better in future. “On the other hand, Mithun is also a very good cricketer but it was not his day and it will be very early to judge him after the first match as he has also performed well in domestic cricket,” said Shakib. l
warns against complacency Marvan Atapattu, the batting coach of Sri Lanka warned his team about any complacency ahead of the second T20 against Bangladesh in the pre-match presser at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday. “Bangladesh can make a comeback. They are a dangerous team and we pay the respect that they deserve in this format, especially playing at home. They know the conditions better than we do. We should not be complacent, and play as well as we could” said the former Sri Lankan opener. Atapattu poured respect to Bangladesh. “We always thought Bangladesh are a much better side when they come through shorter formats. They played well. One or two mistakes were committed that favoured us, if it was not there the game could have changed in six to twelve balls and that was evident” said Atapattu. The Sri Lankan coach was impressed with the Bangladesh bowling also. “Well, see the wicket did surprise us a bit, the bowlers in the middle part of the Bangladesh innings did well. Didn’t give us any spaces, they did something that restricted our scoring. Things like that can happen in a game. We soon understood that it is going to be slow and low as they day progresses. We tried to restrict them when we bowled,” explained Atapattu. Atapattu was not disappointed with the low scoring dismissals of Dilshan and Sangakkara, “It’s not like that, I mean, see, you’re talking about two world class players. He is so destructive in this format. We would like them to score. It’s up to the other individuals to step up and score when the big guns didn’t fire.” Atapattu enjoyed the way the first T20 was wrapped up. “Well that’s always a case, when it comes to the excitement will run till the end and there was no better example than yesterday. Its only 120 balls, there is no time for settling in. It’s about the confidence level, it’s about how sure you are of your skills and execution under pressure. You need to do that,” he said. Asked about his T20 philosophy Atapattu said, “It’s so simple, it’s about picking the right guys to perform at this format in the sense that you have people who are in the right frame of mind, who have the right mental capacity to try and execute their skills under pressure. It moves so quickly, you should be able to express yourself freely and whoever is willing to do that can be successful.” l
SCORECARD, DAY 2 Australia, first innings (overnight 297-4) S. Marsh c Smith b Philander S. Smith c Petersen b McLaren B. Haddin lbw b Peterson M. Johnson b Peterson R. Harris b Steyn P. Siddle b Steyn N. Lyon not out Extras (b4, lb8, nb2, w11) Total (122 overs)
School hockey Motijheel Govt High School, Shaheed Nobi High School, Nahar Academy and Nobab Habibullah School posted victories in the First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey Tournament yesterday. Motijheel school defeated Rayer Bazar High School 3-1, Shaheed Nobi school beat Harihar Para High School 2-1, Nahar Academy crushed Rahmatullah Model High School 7-0 and Nobab Habibullah School thrashed Barnomala Adarsha High School 5-0 at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium. –Tribune Desk
Ponting says CA made mistake in hiring Arthur
Former Test captain Ricky Ponting says Cricket Australia made a mistake in hiring Mickey Arthur as coach in 2011, claiming he didn’t have the personality or style needed for the team. The South African, the first foreign-born coach of the Australian side, was sacked just 16 days before the start of the Ashes in England last year following a shambolic series loss to India. He was replaced by Darren Lehmann. Lehmann, a former colleague of Ponting’s, turned Australia’s dressing room and demeanour around and went on to lead the Test team to a 5-0 whitewash of England in the Ashes series on home soil. “Mickey might be one of the great cricket coaches in the world, but he wasn’t the guy, the personality, the coach that Australian cricket needed at that time,” Ponting, who played under Arthur, said in a television interview to be aired on Saturday. –AFP
Del Potro, Murray safely through first hurdle safely
Former champions Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray showed off improved fitness in first round victories over French opponents on Wednesday at the Rotterdam World Tennis. Del Potro, the world number four and top seed, tested his delicate left wrist over nearly one and three-quarter hours as he beat Gael Monfils 7-6 (8/6), 6-3. Murray, a late wild card into the field as he builds strength after his 2013 back operation, dispatched Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-3. The Scot won the title at the Ahoy stadium in 2009 over Rafael Nadal while Del Potro is defending his 2013 trophy. –AFP
Alptekin’s temporary drugs ban reinstated Turkey’s women’s 1500m Olympic champion Asli Cakir Alptekin had her provisional ban for doping reinstated on Wednesday by the IAAF. The move by athletics’ governing body comes two months after the Turkish Athletics Federation had cleared the shock London 2012 winner of flouting her sport’s strict drug laws. Anomalies in her biological passport had resulted in the 28-year-old’s original temporary suspension imposed in April 2013. She must now await a final decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport and risks a life ban if found guilty having received a two year ban in 2004 for doping. –AFP
DAY’S WATCH Sony Six 3:30AM (Saturday) New Zealand v India 2nd Test: Day 2 Star Sports 4 12:50 PM Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games Day 7 Ten Cricket 2:30PM South Africa v Australia 1st Test, Day 3
148 100 0 33 19 2 4 25 397
Bowling Steyn 29-6-78-4 (1w), Philander 24-569-1, Morkel 22-5-73-1 (1w), McLaren 20-4-72-2 (2nb, 1w), Peterson 15-0-492, Duminy 12-1-44-0 South Africa, first innings G. Smith c Marsh b Johnson 10 A. Petersen c Haddin b Johnson 2 H. Amla lbw b Siddle 17 F. du Plessis c Clarke b Johnson 3 A. de Villiers not out 52 J. Duminy c Johnson b Lyon 25 R. McLaren b Johnson 8 R. Peterson not out 10 Extras (b10, lb2, w1) 13 Total (6 wkts, 43.3 overs) 140
Zimbabwe wages strike ends Zimbabwe national team cricketers have ended a two-month strike over unpaid wages and bonuses after the cricket union processed outstanding salaries, a players’ representative said Thursday. “The strike is over,” Eliah Zvimba told AFP. “I have been advised by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) that players’ outstanding salaries have been processed.” Zvimba said he had advised the players to resume training in preparation for a domestic Twenty20 tournament that was boycotted this week. The players went on strike two months ago over unpaid wages and bonuses dating back to last September and staged a sit-in three days ago at Harare Sports Club, the venue of the tournament. –AFP
Friday, February 14, 2014
Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson, center, with teammate reacts after dismissing South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis, on the second day of their 1st Test at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday AP
Johnson blasts through South African batting Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson continued his Ashes series form with a devastating bowling performance on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at Centurion’s SuperSport Park on Thursday. Johnson took four for 51 as South Africa crashed to 140 for six at the close of play, still 257 runs behind Australia’s first innings of 397. AB de Villiers was the only batsman to withstand the onslaught, scoring 52 not out. The raw figures do not do justice to the destruction caused by Johnson against the world’s number one rated team.
Johnson needed just four balls to strike a major blow for Australia when he dismissed South African captain Graeme Smith with a vicious bouncer. He followed up with the wickets of Alviro Petersen and Faf du Plessis in his third and fourth overs. Peter Siddle trapped Hashim Amla leg before wicket for 17. Smith started confidently, pulling Ryan Harris’s first ball for four and taking ten runs off the first over of the innings. Petersen scored a single off Johnson’s second ball, bringing Smith on strike against the left-arm fast bowler, who destroyed England by taking 37 wickets at an average of 13.97 during the Ashes series.
Bengali coaches in danger in India After losing to Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and crashing out of the 118th IFA Shield, Kolkata outfits- Mohun Bagan head coach Karim Bencherifa and East Bengal coach Armando Colaco will possibly part way with their respective clubs. Mohun Bagan have not won a title in the last three seasons and they also failed to get anything from the Federation Cup. Rumour has it that their Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa could quit the job following their early exit at the group stage of the IFA Shield. The Moroccan has not left his job yet but according to the Indian media, he announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season after the I-league. On the other hand, other Kolkata giants East Bengal head coach Armando Colaco was under severe criticism fol-
lowing their crushing 3-0 defeat against the Bangladesh Premier League side in the IFA Shield semi-final. They are also the record 28-time winners in this club cup competition. Top East Bengal officials reportedly had a meeting with Colaco at the club on Wednesday where their performance in the Federation Cup and IFA Shield was discussed. Meanwhile, Sheikh Jamal will write history if they beat Mohammedan Sporting, Kolkata in tomorrow’s final and will become the first Bangladeshi club to win the Shield. They will also become the first Bangladeshi club to beat three Kolkata giants - Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting. Bangladesh Premier League club Mohammedan SC are the only Bangladeshi side to make the final of IFA Shield in 1995, a feat Jamal will hope to surpass. l
Johnson’s first ball to Smith was short and there was a half-hearted appeal as it thudded off Smith’s thigh pad to short leg. The next ball was a fast bouncer which climbed towards Smith’s head. The batsman lifted his bat in front of his face and the ball looped over the slips, with Shaun Marsh running back from third slip to take a fine catch. Petersen made only two before flashing at Johnson to be caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and Du Plessis followed soon afterwards, fending another short delivery to Michael Clarke at second slip. Hashim Amla was leg before wicket to Peter Siddle to reduce South Africa
to 43 for four before AB de Villiers and JP Duminy staged a minor recovery with a fifth wicket stand of 67. Johnson was involved in Duminy’s dismissal taking a superb diving catch running back from mid-off when Duminy mistimed a lofted drive against off-spinner Nathan Lyon. Johnson the bowler struck again when he bowled Ryan McLaren, beating the all-rounder for pace. Australia earlier lost their last six wickets for 66 runs. Marsh and Steve Smith took their fifth wicket stand to 233, seeing off the threat of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with the second new ball, before Smith was out for 100, caught at second slip off Ryan McLaren. l
The third round of the Walton 15th National Cricket League began yesterday. At stumps on day one, Dhaka Metro was in a strong position against Barisal Division, riding on Asif Ahmed’s unbeaten ton. The other three games also had cricketer’s reach milestones but the more interesting was Dhaka Division, the table topper along with Rajshahi, getting all out with one of the lowest scores in an innings of the tournament, against Sylhet.
Dhaka Division vs Sylhet
Sylhet got off to a flying start in the game against Dhaka, bowling them out for 100 runs in the first innings after the side was sent in to bat at Khulna’s Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. The Dhaka innings had four ducks – two of them top order batsmen – Rony Talukder and Taiabur Parvez, while only three batsmen were able to reach
Barisal v Dhaka Metro
Riding on Asif Ahmed’s unbeaten 171, Dhaka Metro were in a strong position at stumps on day one against Barisal at Fatullah’s Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium. Metro won the toss and went to bat first. The side lost both openers – Saykat Ali and Elias Sunny for 1 and 9 respectively - but Asif along Marshall Ayub steadied the boat posting 190 runs for the third wicket. Marshal eventually fell for 79 but Asif kept on the sail. At stumps the side scored 295
Collingwood joins England coaching staff Former Test batsman Paul Collingwood will join England’s coaching staff for their upcoming tour of the West Indies and the subsequent World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Wednesday. Collingwood, still an active player as captain of county champions Durham, recently impressed as a coach by helping guide Scotland to the finals of next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Renowned as one of the best fielders of his generation, the 37-year-old Collingwood will be given leave from his Durham duties to replace England assistant coach and fielding specialist Richard Halsall in the Caribbean and Bangladesh. l
Beckham visits Philippines typhoon zone Football superstar David Beckham visited the Philippines on Thursday to give comfort to survivors of the Asian country’s deadliest-ever typhoon - although not everyone was sure who he was. Hundreds of survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan rushed out of their tent shelters in the central city of Tacloban to welcome the global celebrity, who is nevertheless unfamiliar to many citizens of the Philippines, where basketball rather than soccer is king. “He’s so handsome. I heard he plays for the Azkals,” gushed mother-of-four Darilyn Bascug, referring to the Philippines’ national football team. Shortly after Beckham’s arrival, another woman from the area approached an AFP reporter and asked timidly: “Is that man a celebrity?” Wearing a black T-shirt with the logo of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the 38-year-old ex-England international visited a tent city for several hundred families who lost their homes
when giant waves unleashed by Haiyan crashed into Tacloban’s coast. Beckham spent more than an hour
for three in 90 overs. Mehrab Hossain Jr was not out with 31 runs. Kamrul Islam, Nuruzzaman and Fazle Rabbi took
BRIEF SCORES, DAY 1 Sylhet vs Dhaka Div Dhaka (1st innings) 100 all out in 39.4 overs (Nadif 29, Nabil 4/30, Imran 3/26) Sylhet (1st innings) 185/2 in 48 overs (Sayem 111*, Kapali 63*, Shahadat 1/28) Sylhet lead by 85 runs
Chittagong v Khulna Khulna (1st innings) 265 all out in 89.5 overs (Nahidul 64, Ripon 59, Moniruzzaman 5/30)
Rangpur v Rajshahi Rajshahi (1st innings) 260/9 in 90 overs (Muktar 50*, Tanvir 3/46, Shuvashish 2/30)
Barisal v Dhaka Metro Metro (1st innings) 295/3 in 90 overs (Asif 171*, Marshall 79, Rabbi 1/25)
inside a UNICEF tent set up as a nursery, where he played with dozens of young typhoon survivors. l
England football superstar David Beckham (C) interacts with children-survivors of Typhoon Haiyan during a visit to a tent city in Tacloban city, central Philippines yesterday AFP
Defending champions Rajshahi cut down double figures. Left arm-spinner Nabil Samad led the Sylhet attack to jeopardize Dhaka batting. Nabil took four wickets while Imran Ali claimed three. Nadif Chowdhury’s 29 was the top score in Dhaka innings. Later, Sylhet reached 185/2. Opening batsman Sayem Alam hammered an unbeaten 111 while skipper Alok Kapali scored 69 not out, while Shahadar Hossain and Mohammed Sharif claimed one wicket each.
Bowling Harris 12-3-33-0, Johnson 13.3-1-51-4 (1w), Siddle 7-0-21-1, Lyon 11-0-23-1 Match situation South Africa trail by 257 runs with four wickets remaining in the first innings
a wicket each for Barisal.
Li Na battles through on return to action
Khulna v Chittagong
The first day at Bogra’s Shaheed Chandu Stadium ended with Khulna posting 265. Chittagong won the toss and invited Khulna to bat and though the latter had a jerky ride losing couple of the top orders early, decent batting by the lineup saw the side a decent total. Nahidul Islam’s 64 runs was the highest in the innings followed by the 59 from Nizamuddin Ripon. Mahbubul Karin took five wickets for Chittagong while Mehdi Hassan Rana bagged two.
Rangpur v Rajshahi
Defending champions Rajshahi scored 260/9 against Rangpur at Rangpur’s Cricket Garden. Rajshahi won the toss and opted to bat first. Nine of the eleven batters had scored double figures but could not go on to a big score. Coming in at number nine, Muktar Ali top scored with 50 not out. l
Li Na’s return to action after last month’s stunning Australian Open triumph proved a tough battle as she eventually prevailed in three sets over Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova in the WTA Qatar Open on Wednesday. The top-seeded Chinese player Li Na needed two and a quarter hours to overcome blustery wind and Rybarikova, the world number 32, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, which reversed the result of their only previous meeting in 2009. “When I was training with Carlos (Rodriguez, her coach) I was working mentally, you know,” she said. “He thinks technique is not a big problem for me, but if I cannot control myself I become a big opponent for myself. “So I have changed my training on the court a lot. But also off the court.I have changed a lot.” l
Friday, February 14, 2014
HC orders action against Meghna encroachers
Local political leaders filling up river to build jetties, writ claims to why the construction of jetties by shid appeared for the petitioner, while n Tribune Report encroaching the river should not be de- Deputy Attorney General Mokleshur
Falgun fills in colour and joy 110
new books published A M A R E K U S H E Y B O O K FA I R 2 0 1 4
n Ahmed Zayeef Shades of yellow spread over the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday on the occasion of Pahela Falgun, the first day of spring. Hundreds of people, young and old, flocked at the Bangla Academy and Suhrawardi Udyan premises clad in blazing red and bashonti (yellow and orange). Girls adorned themselves with floral ornaments made with Shimul, Polash and Marigold, notifying the arrival of spring. Despite the difficulty in moving around among the human sea, visitors, mostly young, managed to throng the stalls and
Singer Arfin Rumey sent to jail n Court Correspondent Rejecting his bail petition, a Dhaka court sent singer Arfin Rumey to jail yesterday, for violating bail conditions in a domestic violence case filed by his first wife Lamia Islam Ananya. Ananya’s lawyer appealed for the cancellation of Rumey’s bail as he had failed to provide Ananya with the monthly alimony of Tk20,000 and open a fixed deposit receipt account of Tk20 lakh in her name. On October 12 last year, police arrested Rumey and his brother as Ananya lodged a complaint with Mohammadpur police station, alleging that Rumey often tortured her for dowry which intensified after his second marriage. They secured conditional bail from the court on October 20. After hearing the bail petition, Judge Arifur Rahman of Dhaka Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal 4 granted bail to Rumey’s brother. The court fixed March 23 for the next hearing in the case. l
pick up their choices. Evidently the fair became Dhaka dweller’s popular destination to hang out on the special day. Security was beefed up at both the venues along with the Dhaka University area to avert any kind of untoward situation on the special day. Dilshad hossain, a faculty member at a private university who was searching for her favourite book in a stall, said: “Spring brings along the wind of change as the dullness of winter goes away with the emergence of lush green. So this season is special to people all over the world. Now it has become an integral part of our culture.” A number of writers visited the fair on the special day. Celebrated writer Muhammed Zafar Iqbal arrived at the fair in the evening. Sitting under a tree with his wife Yasmeen Haque, he was enjoying his time attending hundreds of young visitors at the Suhrawardi Udyan with an amicable smile on his face.
“I am feeling young, very happy to see the colours of pahela falgun all over the fair. These young people will build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh,” said Zafar Iqbal. Noted writer Anisul Haque was also spotted attending his fans at the stall of Prothoma Prokashoni. He told the Dhaka tribune: “Spring has a strong connection with the Bengali literature. The dominance of bashonti has made the fair attractive”. The publishers said they experienced a phenomenal rise in sale on the special eve which was also the highest since the fair started. A total of 110 books arrived at the fair yesterday including Gonojagoron Mancha’a organiser Maruf Rosul’s “Chaya Pothiker Batighor” from Agami Prokashoni, and Obayed Akash’s “Borshon Shikto Hashpatal” from Brikkho Prokashoni. A total of 10 books were unveiled at Nazrul Mancha. For the special eve gates at the fair were opened at 12am, three hours earlier than other days. Today the fair will open at 9am. l
The High Court yesterday ordered police to take appropriate legal action against those responsible for earth-filling to construct jetties on the Meghna River at Ashuganj. The HC also directed the authorities concerned to remove the construction materials stored at the site within seven days and take measures to prevent anyone from encroaching the river. The court gave the government four weeks to submit a compliance report before it. It also sought an explanation from the government within two weeks as
clared illegal. The bench of Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Md Habibul Gani issued the ruling yesterday after hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh. Ten people, including the secretary to the shipping ministry, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, Brahmanbaria district commissioner, superintendent of police and officer in charge of Ashuganj police station, were made respondents in the petition. Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Mur-
Rahman represented the government. Manzill, who is also on the board of the rights organisation, claimed that local leaders from both the Awami League and BNP have been occupying the land along Meghna and trying to construct jetties. The “joint venture” of the two rival parties has made the administration inactive regarding the encroachment, he alleged. He also cited a ruling of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division that declared the construction of jetties by encroachment of a water body as illegal. l
Court rejects stay petition against sale of Humayun Ahmed’s biography n Court Correspondent A Dhaka Court yesterday rejected an injunction and stay petition against the sales and publication of a book that allegedly describe the final days of famous writer Humayun Ahmed’s life. Meher Afroz Shaon, wife of Humayun Ahmed, filed a case on November 20 last year on suit for declaration, permanent injunction, mandatory injunction, and compensation for defamation through the power of attorney. She also demanded compensation from the book’s writer and publisher, and demanded a stay order on the sales and publication of the book, “Humayun Ahmeder Shesher Dinguli,” written by Bishwajit Shaha and published by Bangla Prokash at last year’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair.
Dhaka Joint District and Session’s Judge Shahriar Kabir rejected the petition, mentioning that the notice had not been served properly and remained hanging, as there was no witness’ name and address. The notice was thus not served properly and duly, and that is why the court rejected the injunction petition, which was filled under section 151 of code of civil procedure. The plaintiff ’s lawyer, Mahabub Islam Majumder, told the court that Bishwajit had written the book on the late author without any source and had mentioned many defamatory comments in the book that were harmful to the plaintiff, Shaon, who is a renowned artiste of the country. The reputation and image of Shaon had been damaged by the book and she faced irreparable losses amounting to Tk10 crore, he added.
In her petition, the plaintiff also said the book – written and published with ill motives – would hamper the normal psychological growth of Humayun Ahmed’s children. During yesterday’s hearing, the plaintiff ’s counsel also pleaded for a permanent injunction against the publication and sales of the book, saying Shaon and her sons would face irreparable losses otherwise. Following the hearing this morning, the court initially decided on scrutinising the case documents, but rejected the injunction petition later in the afternoon. The plaintiff ’s counsel told the Dhaka Tribune that all the summons and notices had duly been served to the defendants – author Bishwajit Shaha and publisher Md Mehedi Hasan – but they did not appear before the court. l
Bangladeshi workers to get scope to change jobs in Saudi Arabia n Rabiul Islam Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia will be able to transfer their residence permits or iqama from next week, allowing them to change their jobs too. It would be a great opportunity for Bangladeshi workers there, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Md Shahidul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune over telephone yesterday. The privilege had been suspended since 2008. “Our workers would be in trouble if a company shut down as they do not have permission to join another company,” he said. The Saudi authorities had not specified any reason behind the suspension, which forced many Bangladeshi workers to leave the kingdom. Bangladesh Embassy officials believed that various crimes, including killings and stealing, committed by the workers might have
led to the decision at the time. They offered expatriate workers the chance to change employers only during an amnesty period from May 10 to November 3 last year. Shahidul claimed that the image of Bangladeshi workers had now improved. A senior official at the Bangladesh mission said the Saudi government would start large scale recruitment from Bangladesh soon. Saudi Arabia decreased the number of workers recruited from Bangladesh in 2009, also without showing any reason. According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, Saudi Arabia recruited 14,666 workers in 2009; 7,069 in 2010; 15,039 in 2011; 21,232 in 2012 and 12,654 last year. Previously, it recruited 132,124 Bangladeshi workers in 2008; 204,112 in 2007 and 109,513 in 2006. l
Deadline over for readying guideline on treating rape victims n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The health ministry has failed to meet a 90-day deadline set by the High Court for developing a comprehensive guideline on the examination and treatment of rape victims. On October 10 last year, the High Court bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued a ruling, directing the ministry to develop the guideline to be observed by police, physicians and judges of the women and children repression prevention tribunals, and produce it before the court within three months. Following the ruling, a 10-member senior-level committee, headed by an additional secretary of the health ministry, was formed on January 1 this year to develop the guideline. Other members of the committee include senior officials from the ministries of health, home, law, and women and children affairs, as well as health officials and human rights activists. A sub-committee, headed by Dr Habibuzzaman Chowdhury, was also formed.
Asked why the committee was formed in January this year although the court had issued its directive on last year’s October, Health Secretary MM Niazuddin said he could not remember the reason behind the delay, but added that work was going on to quickly finish the guideline. Shafiqul Islam Laskar, the head of the 10-member committee who has recently been transferred from the health ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the authorities concerned were late in receiving the court order. Claiming that work was on to complete the guideline soon, he said a plea would be made to the court for a time extension. Dr Habibuzzaman, a member secretary of the 10-member committee and also the head of forensic department of Dhaka Medical College, told the Dhaka Tribune that the 10-member committee has been working wholeheartedly to develop the guideline as per the directions of the High Court. The sub-committee had already developed a draft of the guideline and it would be finalised within February 18,
he said, adding that the body has also collected the guidelines of different countries and examined the shortcomings of existing laws. In its ruling on October 10, 2013, the High Court also asked the government to explain why the two-finger test carried out on rape victims should not be declared illegal as it violates the fundamental rights guaranteed in constitution. Health and family welfare secretary, home secretary, director general of the health directorate and inspector general of police were made respondents to the ruling. The court directed the health secretary to form a committee comprising forensic experts and other officials concerned, who provide support to rape victims, to develop a comprehensive guideline to this end by three months. The ruling was made based on writ petition filed jointly by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Ain O Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Brac, Naripakkha, Dr Ruchira Tabassum Naved and Dr Mobarak Hossain Khan. l
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Hybrid cars import up to 2,500cc to enjoy duty exemption n Syed Samiul Basher Anik The National Board of Revenue has decided to raise the tax benefit ceiling for the import of hybrid cars up to 2500cc, which was earlier set at 1800cc, for the fiscal year 2013-14 budget. Sources said, the NBR also issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) in this regard after getting an approval from the law ministry. The board had earlier sent a proposal to the law ministry for his opinions. The SRO said the government has amended the issuance of previously published SRO dated on June 11, 2009. With the new SRO, “up to 2500cc” will be replaced at the place of existing “up to 1800cc.” Under the facility, such vehicles will enjoy 250% supplementary duty waiver while importing 2500cc hybrid cars. However, the other taxes including 25% import duty, 5% regulatory duty, 15% valued added tax (Vat), 5% advance income tax (AIT) and 3% Advance Trade Vat (ATV) will be imposed on import of hybrid cars having capacity up to 2500cc. The NBR reportedly took the move to increase the tax benefit ceiling following a directive from Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. Although NBR officials were against the move stating that the import of hybrid cars should be considered as luxury items import, however, the finance minister issued the directive saying it would encourage people to use environment friendly vehicles. Meanwhile, NBR member Farid Uddin said the SRO was issued just as a correction, nothing else. However, stakeholders of the country’s automobile industry said the
The number of signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building and Safety in Bangladesh has already grown up to 150. “We are delighted to have reached this milestone so soon. It shows the strength of commitment to the Accord’s aims from a truly international spread of companies. We look forward to more companies joining the Accord,” said Alan Roberts, Executive Director of Bangladesh Accord for International Operations, in a recent statement. The Accord’s extensive inspection programme will help eradicate dangerous workplaces for some of the world’s most vulnerable workers, said Roberts. “The businesses that have signed up to the Accord’s legally-binding agreement include many household names, spanning the globe. The signatories are spread across
An assembly line worker attaches the bumper onto the body of a Toyota Aqua, the world's cheapest and most fuel-efficient conventional hybrid car, at a factory of the automaker's subsidiary, Kanto Auto Works, in Kanegasaki, Iwate prefecture, north of Japan REUTERS move would not be effective until a comprehensive policy in this regard is adopted in Bangladesh. “The government should first think how the decision would affect the economy. The government should also think about the possible impact of such a decision on revenue collection and make sure that it does not create any unusual competition,” Abdul Haque, managing director of Haq’s Bay Automobiles Ltd, told the Dhaka Tribune. “The country is yet to set any com-
twenty countries and are drawn from Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia,’’ the statement said. Following the deadliest incident at Rana Plaza building collapse that killed over 1,100 workers, the retailer platform made commitment to provide financial and technical support to improve fire and building safety standard of RMG factories, from where they source products. As per their commitment, the Accord will inspect over 1700 factories through September 2014 for fire, electrical, and building safety. The Accord has already appointed inspection companies to roll out an inspection programme to be started in coming months. The Accord technical team has finalised the fire, electrical and building inspection standards to be utilised for the inspections of all factories producing for signatory brands of the Accord. l
prehensive plan to deal with it [hybrid cars] in regards to the post-sale services and availability of spare parts. The country still lacks expertise in this regard,” he added. “We do not manufacture such cars locally. We meet local demand through import. So, if the facility given only to new hybrid cars, it will be a discrimination,” he noted. Mahbubul Haq Chowdhury Babur, secretary general of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and
n Kayes Sohel
Bangladesh has the world’s longest list of defaulters on cotton deals with overseas suppliers – an issue that prevents importers from sourcing cotton. A total of 96 textile mills of Bangladesh failed to make payments to the suppliers in due time, putting the country on top of the default list, according to February 4 update of International Cotton Association (ICA). In its previous update in July last year, the country was also on top with 93 defaulters. Textile mills in Bangladesh had the highest number of defaults since 2011 when the tide of contract defaults stemmed due to the wild volatility in cotton prices. India is just behind Bangladesh with its 88 companies defaulting, followed by China with 84, Brazil 55 and Pakistan 50 companies, said the ICA, the world’s leading international cot-
n Tribune Business Desk
desh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), BGMEA, BKMEA, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association and Bangladesh Container Shipping Association will also join the meeting, said public relations officer of the Shipping Ministry Jahangir Alam. Wahid Sikder said the authorities concerned will take suggestions from the business leaders and then take initiatives to extend facilities for the terminal users so they increasingly use it. In November 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Pangaon Inland Container Terminal on the bank of the Buriganga River at Pangaon in South Keraniganj. The Bangladesh Inland Water Trans-
Dealers Association (Varvida) said till date the hybrid cars have not been popular due to lack of post-sale service facilities and technical know-how among the local service providers. He added the market is yet to get momentum and the import of such cars is still low. “We will work for the technical and after-sale services if the government expands the facilities for the reconditioned hybrid cars along with the new ones,” he opined. l
The government is going to appoint 288 fire inspectors for the garment factories from BCS candidates who have passed all three tiers of the test but could not be given cadre posts, said a high labour ministry official. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed also told the journalists yesterday that he already had already talked to Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman in this regard. Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the officials concerned to see if the factory inspectors could be appointed through Bangladesh Civil Service tests. Appointment of factory inspectors was one of 16 conditions outlined in the Bangladesh Action Plan by the United States for GSP reinstatement. “The condition was to appoint to 200 inspectors, but we have decided to appoint 288,” said Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar. Of them, 65 will be non-cadre first class officials while 223 will be second class, he added. “A final proposal will be sent to the PSC by next week,” the secretary said. BCS candidates vie for the first class jobs in the country’s civil service, but the government wants to intake the second class officials from the interested ones. A large number of candidates come out successful in all tests including the viva-voce, but only some win cadre posts due to the limited vacancy. For last couple of years, PSC has been recommending the government to fill the non-cadre first class posts from those successful candidates. The government has been doing accordingly. “I told the PCS chief to recommend
candidates for the second class posts officials. If they are interested, we can take them,” said Tofail Ahmed. He said if the US authorities refuse to reinstate generalised system of preferences (GSP) facility after meeting all the conditions, “I would say it will be a political decision.” “We would not get GSP back if the issues like Grameen Bank, Dr Muhammad Yunus and politics are considered here,” he said. “Business is a non-political issue. It should be kept out of politics,” the minister said referring to the GSP issue. Tofail also said if a group or person is given special advantage in business on the basis of political identity, the business sector would not develop and remain stagnant. “It is an ominous sign for Bangladesh that politics is being mixed up the economy even in the international arena. We are being dictated by the big powers,” he alleged. Tofail Ahmed was talking to the journalists after the meetings with the representatives of Bangladesh-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) and the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB). BMCCI delegation was led by its KB Ahmed while IBFB team was headed by its president Hafizur Rahman Khan at the commerce ministry office at the Secretariat. BMCCI leaders urged the government to allow opening letters of credit (LC) directly to enhance and expand bilateral and regional trade and commerce and connectivity. They also demanded to launch Biman Bangladesh Airlines flights in the Dhaka-Chittagong-Yangon-Dhaka route. l
Bangladesh tops list of cotton-deal defaulters
Steps underway to popularise Pangaon container terminal The government has taken steps to popularise Pangaon Inland Container Terminal in Keraniganj on the outskirt of Dhaka city so that importers and exporters increasingly use the water route between Dhaka and Chittagong Port for transporting goods. “The importers and exporters face various hassles in carrying containers from Chittagong Seaport to Dhaka. Instead, if they use the Pangaon Container Terminal in carrying goods, it’ll be more cost effective,” said deputy secretary of Chittagong Port Wahid Sikder to UNB. The Ministry of Shipping has decided to hold a meeting with the terminal users at Pangaon Container Terminal Bhaban in Keraniganj on Sunday to find a way how the terminal could be popularised. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, Shipping Secretary Syed Monzurul Islam and Chittagong Port Authority Chairperson Rear Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed will attend the meeting. Leaders of the Federation of Bangla-
288 to be appointed from BCS applicants n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi
Bangladesh Accord reaches 150 signatory marks n Tribune Report
RMG FACTORY FIRE INSPECTOR
port Authority (BIWTA) and the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) jointly built the terminal spending Tk1.54bn. The terminal is expected to play a vital role in the country’s economic development by ushering in a new horizon in the transportation of exported and imported goods through waterways. The project aims to help ease the pressure of cargo movement on the Dhaka-Chittagong railway and highway corridors. The terminal will have a storage capacity of 3,500 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers and handle 116,000 TEU containers annually. The capacity will gradually be raised to 160,000 TEUs. l
ton trade association and arbitral body based in Liverpool, UK.
Mills in Bangladesh, which have had the highest number of defaults since 2011, were left high and dry as prices more than halved from the March 2011 peaks ICA, having more than 600 members across the globe, identifies a company as defaulter after failure of payment within a period set by its arbitral body. “Mills in Bangladesh, which have
had the highest number of defaults since 2011, were left high and dry as prices more than halved from the March 2011 peaks,” said Muhammad Ayub, president of the Bangladesh Cotton Association. Manufacturers have also canceled orders in the wake of the price swings but they are not the only ones to blame, either, industry insiders said. Many farmers who contracted to sell their cotton crops at much lower prices in 2010 reneged on those deals as prices soared a year later, forcing merchants to pay much more to meet export commitments, they said. “Defaulters are the victim of the circumstances,” Ayub said. But some breach of contracts has been settled amicably too, he said. A miller admitted that growing default list has an adverse impact on the industry. “It is the question of image crisis … for which cotton sourcing has been hampered,” he said.
Bangladesh, the world’s second-biggest cotton importer after China, has more than 300 spinners who depend on cotton outsourcing to feed their mills with importing more than 10 lakh tons annually. ICA was inundated by a record number of arbitration requests in 2011 and 2012. Its blacklist of companies that have not complied with its arbitration proceedings has risen by more than a third since 2011 to over 500. “At the year-end stage, we received 76 requests for arbitration, a marked reduction compared to the record high of 247 requests received in 2012,” said ICA in its statement. It also saw an increase in the value of arbitration awards – up from a pre2008 average of around $300,000 to $1.1m, a situation that has seen a corresponding rise in the number of appeal hearings at the ICA, with 30 appeals published during 2013 compared to a yearly average of 13. l
14 independent directors selected for twin bourses
Bank branches in 83 upazilas remain open tomorrow n Tribune Report
n Tribune Report
Bangladesh Bank has asked all the scheduled commercial banks to keep open their respective branches in 83 upazilas of 42 districts on Saturday to facilitate the ongoing polls. The banks have been asked to keep open their branches in the electoral areas with ensuring proper security for receiving treasury invoices or pay orders or bank drafts as deposit money of the upazila election candidates, said a circular issued yesterday. The Election Commission (EC) announced the third phase of the upazila parishad elections on March 15 in 83 bodies. The deadline for the filing of nomination papers is February 15. Aspirants must submit them to the returning officers or assistant returning officers by 5pm on the day. The papers would be scrutinised on February 17, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 24. Out of 487 Upazila Parishads in the country, elections to 97 Upazilas will be held on February 19 in the first phase, and 117 Upazilas on February 27 in the second phase. l
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has selected 14 independent dire 0ctors for the demutualised Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. The decision was taken at an emergency commission meeting held at its headquarters in Dhaka yesterday, presided over by its Chairman Khairul Hossain. The list of the directors already sent to the stock exchanges. On February 3, the authorities of the bourses sent the lists to the regulator that finalised the directors based on the recommended lists. As per the demutualisation act, a chairman will be selected from among the seven independent directors. The independent directors for DSE are Abul Hashem, member of University Grants Commission, former secretary Waliul Islam, professor M Kaikobad, of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, FBCCI first vice president Monowara Hakim Ali, retired judge Siddqur Rahman Mia,
the Institute of Cost and Management Accounts of Bangladesh (ICMBA) former president Md Ruhul Amin and Brigadier General Mujibur Rahman. The independent directors for CSE are former NBR chairman Abdul Majid, Ayub Islam professor of Chittagong University in the department of Accounting, ICAB president Showkat Hossain, former BGMEA president Shafiul Islam and former BGMEA first vice president Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, professor Momtaz Uddin Ahmed of Dhaka University in the department of Accounting and Information System and CSE’s present independent director Mynul Islam Mahmud. Meanwhile, The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) held its first annual general meeting in Dhaka yesterday after demutualisation. The AGM was supposed to elect the board chairman, but could not do it as Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission did not approve the names of independent directors proposed by the DSE before the AGM, meeting sources said.l
Stocks continues to close flat
DSE key features February 13, 2014
n Tribune Report
Number of Contract
hefty supply of some large-cap stocks offset the buy pressure and finally closed the index in red. The market is bracing for economic realism at present,” said Lanka Bangla Securities in its market analysis. IDLC Investment said imitating last few sessions, the opening upbeat vibe of the session subsided and turned negative over selling pressure. “Apparent cool down of market rally continued to fuel realisation of quick profit.” Zenith Investment said the market could not generate enough strength to support a rally and, therefore, plunged down with the closing of the week. However, amplified pressure from both buyers and sellers did not let the total turnover volume slide much than last trading day. Life insurers shined on the day with a rise of 3.5%, driven by Pragati Life Insurance that gained more than 8%. Five out of ten gainers came from life insurance companies. Power sector came second as it rallied 1.5%. The large cap sectors – banks, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and food and allied – ended in red. Delta Life Insurance was the top turnover leader with shares worth Tk45 crore changing hands, followed by Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, Square Pharmaceuticals, Olympic Industries, Jamuna Oil, Meghna Petroleum, BD Building and DESCO. l
Stocks continued to close flat for the second straight session yesterday, with limited participation in trading. Like previous session, the market began on positive note in the morning as the main index rose more than 40 points, but profit-booking dragged the market down marginally.
'Apparent cool down of market rally continued to fuel realisation of quick profit' The benchmark DSEX shed slightly by 4 points or 0.09% to settle at 4,759. The Shariah based DSES index saw fractional losses of 0.9 points or 0.08% to 996. However, the blue chip comprising index DS30 rose 3 points or 0.2% to 1,696. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, ended at 9,362 with a marginal fall of nearly 2 points. The total turnover at DSE dipped to Tk533 crore, which was almost 7% lower than the previous session. Out of 287 issues traded, 136 closed positive, 125 declined and 26 remained unchanged. “DSE traders were in wobbly mood. Market opened green, but
DSE - 30 Index :
CSE All Share Index:
CSE - 30 Index :
DSE Shariah Index :
CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS Company Reckitt Benckiser -A AFC AgroBiotech-N Argon Denims Limited-A Imam Button -Z Linde (BD) Ltd. -A Standard Ceramic -A Kay & Que (BD) -Z 1st ICB M F -A ICB AMCL3rd NRB MF-A LafargeS Cement-Z
Closing (% change) -5.96 -4.84 -4.60 -4.44 -4.38 -4.10 -3.94 -3.49 -3.39 -3.21
CSE LOSERS Company Kay & Que (BD) -Z Central Insur -A LR Global BD MF1-A Prime Insur -A Samorita Hospital -A BDCOM Online-A AFC AgroBiotech-N Quasem Drycells -A Argon Denims Limited-A Union Capital -A
Closing (% change) -9.91 -8.79 -7.69 -5.26 -4.83 -4.32 -4.13 -4.04 -3.57 -3.54
Average (% change) -5.70 -6.57 -3.13 -3.96 -0.31 -3.97 -4.05 -3.49 -1.69 -2.28 Average (% change) -9.91 -8.79 -7.81 -3.74 -3.90 -4.21 -6.42 -3.50 -2.77 -4.42
Closing average 910.00 61.62 64.98 8.72 848.06 37.50 19.67 875.00 5.82 39.85
Closing average 20.00 30.10 7.20 36.58 87.52 33.20 61.09 43.29 65.22 30.04
Closing 907.50 60.90 64.30 8.60 833.30 37.40 19.50 875.00 5.70 39.20
Bank NBFI Investment Engineering Food & Allied Fuel & Power Jute Textile Pharma & Chemical Paper & Packaging Service Leather Ceramic Cement Information Technology General Insurance Life Insurance Telecom Travel & Leisure Miscellaneous Debenture
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
Turnover (Million Taka)
Number of Contract
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
146 4 2,166.34
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
910.00 63.90 67.00 8.90 888.00 37.90 20.00 875.00 6.00 40.70
Turnover in million
Daily low 905.00 60.50 61.00 8.60 830.00 37.20 19.30 875.00 5.70 38.90
Turnover in million
20.00 30.10 7.20 37.00 88.60 33.20 63.30 44.10 66.20 31.00
0.182 50.589 32.131 0.109 13.993 0.225 0.059 0.044 2.190 63.209
20.00 30.10 7.20 36.00 86.30 33.20 59.90 42.50 64.50 29.60
0.020 0.012 0.014 0.091 0.656 0.083 19.641 1.553 3.024 1.382
DSE Million Taka 512.65 250.16 132.84 500.97 313.10 928.37 0.99 418.71 608.93 0.34 24.93 57.31 18.08 192.53 64.98 87.18 624.45 351.79 72.09 178.63 0.04
% change 9.60 4.69 2.49 9.38 5.86 17.39 0.02 7.84 11.41 0.01 0.47 1.07 0.34 3.61 1.22 1.63 11.70 6.59 1.35 3.35 0.00
Million Taka 51.37 24.22 5.74 60.91 15.49 49.67 36.25 59.75 0.07 2.34 8.99 2.61 8.96 10.67 2.32 40.89 55.70 12.91 38.09 0.04
% change 10.55 4.97 1.18 12.51 3.18 10.20 0.00 7.44 12.27 0.01 0.48 1.85 0.54 1.84 2.19 0.48 8.40 11.44 2.65 7.82 0.01
Million Taka 564.02 274.38 138.58 561.88 328.59 978.04 0.99 454.96 668.68 0.41 27.28 66.30 20.69 201.49 75.65 89.50 665.33 407.48 85.00 216.72 0.08
9.94 8.45 8.13 6.59 6.21 6.15 5.96 5.54 5.03 4.79
CSE GAINERS Company DESCO Ltd. -A Eastern InsurA Power Grid Co. -A Delta Life Insu. -A BD Building Systems -A Continental Insur. -A PragatiLife Insu. -A Usmania Glass -Z Bengal Windsor-A Apex Tannery -A
Closing (% change) 9.25 8.23 6.67 6.47 6.15 5.61 4.85 4.23 3.24 2.94
Average (% change) 9.86 6.38 5.57 0.39 4.44 4.06 0.94 3.72 4.39 1.40 Average (% change) 6.61 8.23 4.46 4.50 4.37 5.61 4.84 4.20 1.39 5.95
Closing average 159.30 67.69 226.41 62.36 275.21 72.99 31.12 253.74 56.12 772.72
Closing average 67.73 43.40 56.65 275.50 73.01 31.98 222.81 147.91 56.84 176.89
Closing 159.30 69.30 228.80 64.70 278.70 74.20 32.00 257.20 56.40 781.20
Closing 69.70 43.40 57.60 279.90 74.20 32.00 222.80 147.90 57.40 174.80
Daily high 159.30 70.20 229.90 66.00 282.80 74.70 32.90 261.00 57.00 785.00
Daily high 70.10 44.00 57.90 283.00 74.60 32.00 231.00 149.90 58.20 183.00
Daily low 159.30 58.00 201.60 59.10 262.00 63.00 30.10 235.00 48.50 720.00
Daily low 64.10 42.20 55.50 263.70 70.20 31.00 221.10 147.00 55.60 173.00
Turnover in million 0.454 139.740 25.783 4.334 453.530 142.373 60.978 33.642 53.095 14.504
Turnover in million 13.688 0.035 2.124 33.928 14.268 0.066 2.117 0.111 4.265 6.474
Latest EPS 6.44 1.12 2.38 -1.00 0.00 2.92 1.52 17.00 3.16 -4.06
Latest EPS 1.12 2.60 3.16 0.00 2.92 2.35 2.38 5.10 2.50 4.86
Latest PE 24.7 60.4 95.1 -ve 25.0 20.5 14.9 17.8 -ve
Latest PE 60.5 16.7 17.9 25.0 13.6 93.6 29.0 22.7 36.4
GEMINISEA: (Q1): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 1st quarter ended on 31st December 2013 (Oct'13 to Dec'13), the Company has reported net profit/(loss) after tax of Tk. 1.77 million with EPS of Tk. 1.61 as against Tk. (3.60) million and Tk. (3.27) respectively for the same period of the previous year. Accumulated profit/(loss) of the Company was Tk. (16.43) million as on 31.12.2013 resulting total shareholders' equity stands at Tk. (4.50) million.
MAKSONSPIN: (Q1): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 1st quarter ended on 31st December 2013 (Oct'13 to Dec'13), the Company has reported net profit after tax of Tk. 35.13 million with basic EPS of Tk. 0.17 as against Tk. 5.16 million and Tk. 0.03 respectively for the same period of the previous year. However, considering proposed bonus share @ 5% for the year 2013, restated basic EPS will be Tk. 0.16 as on 31.12.2013 and Tk. 0.02 as on 31.12.2012.
23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014.
HRTEX: (Q1): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 1st quarter ended on 31st December 2013 (Oct'13 to Dec'13), the Company has reported net profit after tax of Tk. 9.91 million with EPS of Tk. 0.39 as against Tk. 10.78 million and Tk. 0.43 respectively for the same period of the previous year.
BRACBANK: As per Regulation 30 of DSE Listing Regulations, the Company has informed that a meeting of the Board of Directors will be held on February 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM to consider, among others, audited financial statements of the Company for the year ended on December 31, 2013. RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription
IPO SUBSCRIPTION: Matin Spinning Mills Limited subscription date 26-30 January 2014, NRB upto 08 Feburay 2014. @ Tk. 37/-, face value taka 10 and market lot 200. Hwa Well Textiles (BD) Limited subscription date 17-23 February 2014, NRB upto 04 March 2014. At per, face value taka 10 and market lot 500.
RUPALILIFE: Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. BRACBANK: Subscription 20.04.2014 to 15.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 10.02.2014. GENNEXT: Subscription 18.03.2014 to 09.04.2014, Record date: 25.02.2014.
28.52 1.53 3.33 -2.58 43.13 1.06 -0.89 30.36 0.42 1.63
31.9 40.3 19.5 -ve 19.7 35.4 -ve 28.8 13.9 24.4
-0.89 2.49 1.52 2.36 2.74 1.70 1.53 2.28 3.33 0.28
GeminiSeaFood-Z DESCO Ltd. -A PragatiLife Insu. -A Rahima Food -Z Delta Life Insu. -A BD Building Systems -A Appollo Ispat CL -N Popular Life Insu. -A Power Grid Co. -A CVO PetroChem RL-Z
Closing (% change)
News from trade server
-ve 12.1 4.7 15.5 31.9 19.5 39.9 19.0 19.6 107.3
DSE traders were in wobbly mood. Market opened green, but hefty supply of some large-cap stocks offset the buy pressure and finally closed the index in red. The market is bracing for economic realism at present
SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY Sector
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
20.00 30.10 7.20 36.00 86.70 33.20 60.30 42.70 64.90 30.00
CSE key features February 13, 2014
Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index :
Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)
Friday, February 14, 2014
% change 9.68 4.71 2.38 9.64 5.64 16.79 0.02 7.81 11.48 0.01 0.47 1.14 0.36 3.46 1.30 1.54 11.42 6.99 1.46 3.72 0.00
Prepared exclusively for Dhaka Tribune by Business Information Automation Service Line (BIASL), on the basis of information collected from daily stock quotations and audited reports of the listed companies. High level of caution has been taken to collect and present the above information and data. The publisher will not take any responsibility if any body uses this information and data for his/her investment decision. For any query please email to email@example.com or call 01552153562 or go to www.biasl.net
DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Delta Life Insu. -A BD Submarine Cable-A Square Pharma -A Olympic Ind. -A Jamuna Oil -A Meghna Petroleum -A BD Building Systems -A
DESCO Ltd. -A Southeast Bank-A BSC-A
Padma Oil Co. -A LankaBangla Fin. -A Titas Gas TDCLA Active Fine Chem.-A Grameenphone-A Square Textile -A LafargeS Cement-Z Appollo Ispat CL -N Power Grid Co. -A Aftab Auto.-A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BD Submarine Cable-A
Delta Life Insu. -A BSC-A Appollo Ispat CL -N AFC AgroBiotech-N Square Pharma -A BD Building Systems -A DESCO Ltd. -A Grameenphone-A Southeast Bank-A UNITED AIR-A Jamuna Oil -A Padma Oil Co. -A LankaBangla Fin. -A aamra technologies-A UCBL - A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Olympic Ind. -A Aftab Auto.-A Apex Tannery -A
Volume shares 1,647,950 1,249,573 893,537 1,060,837 886,131 565,260 1,950,450 2,064,367 5,640,311 255,140
308,401 1,315,440 1,028,105 893,151 367,400 681,103 1,586,000 1,959,200 946,085 560,911
201,975 123,150 55,345 696,800 321,500 61,007 195,425 202,104 53,800 442,221 598,729 38,075 26,500 123,000 213,280 303,177 246,730 38,777 83,622 36,600
Value in million 453.53 275.74 238.06 216.43 211.28 165.80 142.37 139.74 130.56 124.82
103.98 92.70 85.18 84.99 76.05 70.21 63.21 60.98 53.10 52.00
Value in million
44.58 33.93 27.10 21.76 19.64 16.29 14.27 13.69 11.12 10.25 9.43 9.10 8.92 8.70 8.51 8.48 8.32 7.95 7.74 6.47
% of total turnover 8.49 5.16 4.46 4.05 3.96 3.11 2.67 2.62 2.45 2.34
1.95 1.74 1.60 1.59 1.42 1.32 1.18 1.14 0.99 0.97
% of total turnover
9.15 6.97 5.57 4.47 4.03 3.34 2.93 2.81 2.28 2.11 1.94 1.87 1.83 1.79 1.75 1.74 1.71 1.63 1.59 1.33
Daily closing 278.70 216.60 266.20 203.90 237.10 292.10 74.20 69.30 23.10 485.75
334.70 70.10 83.00 95.40 207.20 101.80 39.20 32.00 56.40 92.30
217.80 279.90 486.00 31.80 60.30 266.50 74.20 69.70 206.90 23.20 15.80 237.20 334.10 70.50 39.60 27.70 33.60 204.50 92.20 174.80
Price change 6.21 -0.18 -0.22 1.80 0.51 0.14 6.15 8.45 1.32 3.41
Daily opening 262.40 217.00 266.80 200.30 235.90 291.70 69.90 63.90 22.80 469.75
-0.33 -1.41 2.34 0.21 -0.10 -2.30 -3.21 5.96 5.03 -1.07
0.09 6.47 2.79 5.30 -4.13 -0.22 6.15 9.25 -0.29 1.75 0.00 0.38 -0.71 -1.12 -1.00 -1.42 -0.30 1.44 -1.50 2.94
335.80 71.10 81.10 95.20 207.40 104.20 40.50 30.20 53.70 93.30
217.60 262.90 472.80 30.20 62.90 267.10 69.90 63.80 207.50 22.80 15.80 236.30 336.50 71.30 40.00 28.10 33.70 201.60 93.60 169.80
Daily high 282.80 230.00 270.00 207.90 242.10 297.50 74.70 70.20 23.40 495.00
340.00 71.70 83.20 96.70 207.90 106.00 40.70 32.90 57.00 96.50
Daily low 262.00 200.00 243.50 183.00 220.00 282.00 63.00 58.00 20.80 469.75
325.00 69.00 76.00 94.00 206.20 100.00 38.90 30.10 48.50 86.00
Daily average 275.21 220.66 266.42 204.02 238.43 293.32 72.99 67.69 23.15 489.20
225.40 283.00 494.80 32.70 63.30 270.50 74.60 70.10 208.00 23.50 16.00 242.00 342.00 71.30 40.70 28.60 34.20 208.80 94.60 183.00
215.10 263.70 471.00 30.30 59.90 264.00 70.20 64.10 205.50 23.00 15.60 234.40 333.00 70.00 39.40 27.60 33.50 201.20 92.00 173.00
337.17 70.47 82.85 95.16 207.00 103.08 39.85 31.12 56.12 92.71
220.71 275.50 489.70 31.23 61.09 266.97 73.01 67.73 206.66 23.18 15.75 239.10 336.57 70.69 39.88 27.96 33.74 204.95 92.56 176.89
Personal savings used to plug longterm financing gap n Reuters, London The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says. The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment. “The economic and financial crisis has impaired the ability of the financial sector to channel funds to the real economy, in particular long-term investment,” said the document, seen by Reuters. The Commission will ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing”, the document said. Banks have complained they are hindered from lending to the economy by post-crisis rules forcing them to hold much larger safety cushions of capital and liquidity. The document said the “appropriateness” of the EU capital and liquidity rules for long-term financing will be reviewed over the next two years, a process likely to be scrutinized in the United States and elsewhere to head off any risk of EU banks gaining an unfair advantage. The EU executive will also complete a study by the end of this year on the feasibility of introducing an EU savings account, open to individuals whose funds could be pooled and invested in small companies. The Commission also plans to study this year whether changes are needed
to help fund small businesses by creating a liquid and transparent secondary market for trading corporate bonds in the EU. It is also seeking to revive the securitization market, which pools loans like mortgages into bonds that banks can sell to raise funding for themselves or companies. The market was tarnished by the financial crisis when bonds linked to US home loans began defaulting in 2007, sparking the broader global markets meltdown over the ensuing two years. The document says the Commission will “take into account possible future increases in the liquidity of a number of securitization products” when it comes to finalizing a new rule on what assets banks can place in their new liquidity buffers. This signals a possible loosening of the definition of eligible assets from the bloc’s banking watchdog. The Commission will also “review” how EU rules treat covered bonds by the end of this year, the document says, a step that will be welcomed by Denmark with its large market in bonds used by banks to finance home loans. Other steps to boost financing in the EU include possible steps to aid crowdfunding, where many people contribute relatively small amounts of money to create a sizeable funding pool. The document said investors and asset managers also have a role and it will propose a revision of EU rules on shareholder rights to “ensure better disclosure of institutional investors’ engagement and voting policies”. More controversially, the Commission will consider whether the use of fair value or pricing assets at the going rate in a new globally agreed accounting rule “is appropriate, in particular regarding long-term investing business models”. l
'Asset bubbles risk grows with better US economy' n Reuters
The risks of asset-price bubbles are growing now that the US economy is improving, St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Wednesday, adding he would not be opposed to using monetary policy to head off any risks that might develop. “As the economy improves ... and we continue to have low rates, that’s a fertile environment for creation of asset bubbles in the future,” Bullard told reporters at the New York Stock Exchange. “So I would start to put more weight now on that as a risk than I would have last year or the year before.” l
Australian unemployment worst in a decade
n AFP, Sydney Australia’s unemployment rate in January jumped to 6% - its worst in a decade - with the economy shedding 3,700 jobs amid a turbulent transition away from mining, data showed Thursday. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the jobless rate increased from 5.8% in December, with some 7,100 full-time positions lost, which were only partially offset by 3,400 extra part-time roles. The Australian dollar dived on the
data, which was above analyst predictions. It was at 89.52 US cents from 90.11 cents immediately prior to the announcement. It is the highest unemployment has been since the global financial crisis, when it peaked at 5.8%, and its worst since July 2003. It also matches the government’s forecast jobless peak for the year to June 30. Australia is undergoing a bumpy economic transition with its decadelong Asia-led mining investment boom reaching its peak, and the ailing manufacturing sector in dire straits with the announced exit this week of Toyota, its last remaining automaker. The Reserve Bank of Australia forecast unemployment to continue edging higher in its quarterly monetary policy update last week as spending in the mining sector unwinds. A further 1,300 jobs were lost yesterday with the collapse of engineering firm Forge Group, whose clients include Rio Tinto and BHP - both of whom are tightening their belts as commodity prices soften due to a spike
OECD proposes data exchange norm in tax evasion crackdown n AFP, Paris The OECD unveiled yesterday a global standard for the automatic exchange of financial data between countries amid an intensifying international effort to crack down on tax evasion. As public outrage mounted during the global economic crisis over wealthy individuals escaping paying taxes by hiding money abroad, world leaders agreed to a radical shift in practice in which countries will begin to automatically share information on bank accounts. The 34-nation Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development was charged last year with coming up with a global standard on this information exchange, and its chief Angel Gurria said it will prove to be “a real game changer”. “This new standard on automatic exchange of information will ramp up international tax co-operation, putting
governments back on a more even footing as they seek to protect the integrity of their tax systems and fight tax evasion,” he said in a statement. Developed in cooperation with the Group of 20 gathering of advanced and leading emerging markets, it requires countries to gather information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange the data with other participating countries, and the system should come into force in 2015. Previously, countries would have to request data, the process was often complicated, and some countries were uncooperative. The United States was the catalyst for the change with is so-called FATCA law which requires international banks to provide data on accounts held abroad by its citizens and companies or face sanctions. The OECD said its proposed standard sets out what financial account
Dhaka Bank Limited recently launched two new insurance backed savings products, Students’Ledger and Honourable Seniors, at its corporate head office in Dhaka. Khondker Fazle Rashid, the bank’s managing director unveiled the products as chief guest
Transcom Beverages Ltd has been awarded the “Bottler of the year” for 2013 in the annual commercial conference of PepsiCo India region, held in New Delhi on January 27. The company’s chairperson Latifur Rahman, Arshad Waliur Rahman, director, Golam Quddus Chowdhury, managing director and CEO and Prateek Sabharwal, PepsiCo country manager were also at the conference
Friday, February 14, 2014
information is to be exchanged, which institutions need to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed. The proposed standard will be proposed for the endorsement of G20 finance ministers during their meeting in the Australian city of Sydney on February 22-23. More than 40 countries have committed to early adoption of the standard, said the OECD, including those often criticised for their lack of transparency like Liechtenstein as well as the British jurisdictions of Jersey and Guernsey. Luxembourg has also pledged to adopt the standard, even though it is blocking transparency initiatives within the European Union. The OECD’s top official for financial issues, Pascal Saint-Amans, said the OECD’s proposed standard is in effect a multilateral version of the US FATCA, or
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. One major difference, however, is that the OECD standard will be based on a residency test rather than nationality, according to OECD officials. It will cover not only bank deposits, but interest paid and capital gains. It will also require reporting of the ultimate beneficiary, which should hinder the use of trusts and shell companies to evade tax liabilities. Saint-Amans acknowledged, however, that gold and other precious metals will escape the system as banks aren’t forced to open their vaults and safe deposit boxes, and this could pose a problem. The OECD said it was also open to working with developing countries to include them in the system. Non-governmental organisations had in particular expressed concern that poor nations which are often particularly hard hit by tax evasion were not involved in the negotiations. l
BRAC Bank Limited and Envoy Textiles Limited have recently signed banking financing agreement relating to green banking. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of BRAC Bank, and Kutubuddin Ahmed, chairperson of Envoy Group, signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations
Pizza Hut Delivery yesterday launched its fourth outlet in the city to reach its customers in Dhanmondi. Renowned celebrities Munmun and Topu joined Akku Chowdhury, managing director and CEO of Transcom Foods Ltd at the opening ceremony
of new supply coming online and slowing demand from China. Reflecting this, Australia’s mining and manufacturing states fared worst, led by resources-rich Western Australia where there was a 0.5 percentage point increase in the jobless rate to 5.1%. Opposition leader Bill Shorten warned of “more pain coming down the road”, with announced job losses at major firms including Toyota, Holden and Qantas yet to factor into the figures. Shorten said there had been “one job lost every three minutes” since the conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott-led government came to power in September. During the election campaign Abbott promised to create one million new jobs by axing corporate pollution and mining profits taxes and launching a major road-building drive. On Thursday, he blamed Labor policies for the spiralling jobless rate. “I am dismayed that unemployment went up last month but this can hardly come as a shock,” Abbott told parliament.
“They made a bad situation worse with their taxes and regulation and that’s why we’re getting rid of them.” Treasurer Joe Hockey said the rise in unemployment was in line with the government’s own forecasts of 6% this financial year and 6.25% for each of the following three years as Australia’s workforce ages and younger workers delay entry. “If we want to get the unemployment rate down, not only from 6% but from 6.25% which is the current forecast, we need to improve the growth rate of the economy,” he said, warning it would involve “structural change”. Hockey said the economy had expanded at below-trend pace for five of the last six years. Growth in the year to December 31 was 2.3%, well below long-term averages of 3.25%. The government has said that Australia will be in deficit for up to a decade, and warned citizens to “adjust their expectations of what government can sustainably provide” ahead of a May budget expected to include deep spending cuts and asset sales. l
Dollar slips in Asia ahead of US sales data n AFP, Tokyo The dollar slipped in Asia yesterday ahead of the release of US retail sales data seen as key to gauging the strength of the world’s biggest economy. In afternoon Tokyo trade, the greenback bought 102.06 yen, from 102.50 yen in New York Wednesday. The euro fetched $1.3608 and 138.92 yen, against $1.3593 and 139.33 yen, after dovish comments from a European Central Bank (ECB) board member. With few trading cues, attention turned to the January US sales data yesterday after poor jobs figures cast doubt on the strength of the US recovery. “(Retail sales) have been relatively stable, but the January outcome is forecast to be a little softer. The weather may play a part,” National Australia Bank said, referring to severe winter storms slamming the country. “The weather distortions, both in the US (freezing/snow) and the UK
(flooding) are likely to keep market participants, and central banks, guessing in regards to the real state of their respective economies for a little while.” A strong result could indicate recent soft jobs data was caused by the weather and give the Federal Reserve’s policy board more room to further reduce its stimulus programme when it meets in March, said Praevidentia Strategy’s Masafumi Yamamoto. He said such a move could send the dollar back above 103 yen. But if the numbers are bad, “people may start worrying about whether the Fed could keep its pace in tapering the bond-buying programme, putting the dollar in a 101-103 yen range”, he told Dow Jones Newswires. The dollar was given some support from Wednesday’s better-than-expected Chinese trade data and news US lawmakers had agreed to lift the debt ceiling through March 2015, averting another painful Washington standoff that could have rattled markets. l
Mercantile Bank Limited and Bengal Group of Industries have recently signed an agreement on MYCash mobile banking services at the bank’s office. The agreement was signed by Md Abdul Jalil Chowdhury, the bank’s additional managing director and Humayun Kabir, director of Bengal Group of Industries on behalf of their organisations
NRB Global Bank Limited signed an agreement with Bangla Phone Ltd and Commlink Infotech LLC for mobile banking software solution on Wednesday. Md Abdul Quddus, the bank’s managing director and Amjad Hossain Khan, managing director of Bangla Phone Ltd signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations
Friday, February 14, 2014
Small is the next big thing in Asia aviation n Reuters After flying under the radar for many years, manufacturers of smaller jet and propeller-driven passenger aircraft are finding a bigger market in the Asia-Pacific with a slew of orders at the Singapore Airshow. Canada’s Bombardier, Brazil’s Embraer, European joint venture ATR, Russia’s Sukhoi and Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft do not roll off the tongue as easily as Airbus or Boeing, but in the lucrative Asia market there is room for everyone. Embraer, the world’s largest maker of regional aircraft, forecast in Singapore this week that the region will take delivery of 1,500 new jets of 70130 seats over the next 20 years. That translates, it says, to a staggering $70bn worth of business. Importantly, for the likes of Embraer, the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers do not make aircraft that compete in the below-130 seat segment. Low-cost airlines like AirAsia, Lion Air, and Cebu Pacific, with orders for hundreds of Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, have driven much of the growth in the Asia Pacific airline market. Increasingly, however, the major hub airports are getting crowded and there is growing demand for services to and between smaller second and third tier cities. “The great opportunity in Southeast Asia is to get more people to fly, and
Oil prices down in Asian trade n AFP, Singapore Oil prices edged lower in Asian trade yesterday, but losses were curbed on upbeat sentiment over demand in the United States and China, analysts said. The main US futures contract, West Texas Intermediate for March delivery, eased 61 cents to $99.76 in afternoon Asian trade while Brent for March delivery was down 24 cents at $108.55. Sanjeev Gupta, the head of the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at consultancy firm EY, said prices retained support following a rise in Chinese crude imports as well as investor confidence that the US Federal Reserve will continue its accommodative monetary policy. Chinese data released Wednesday showed the world’s top energy consumer imported a record 6.63 million barrels of crude oil per day in January, up 5.2% from December. Its trade surplus surged in January, with exports jumping 10.6% and imports 10.0%. Gupta said the figures “allayed fears of a slowdown” in the world’s second biggest economy. Investors have also been buoyed following comments by US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen that the central bank’s policy-making committee will not shake its current accommodative monetary policy. l
that is about tier two and tier three cities,” said Torbjorn Karlsson, who leads aircraft sales for Bombardier in Southeast Asia. He identified countries such as India, where only about 1% of country’s one-billion-plus population flies, and Indonesia and Thailand as inviting markets.
Costa sees enormous potential
While there may still not be enough passengers to use the A320 or a 737, there is enough for smaller aircraft. And that is where the likes of Embraer and Bombardier come in. Thousands of this type of aircraft have been sold across Europe and the Americas, but relatively few have found their way to Asia. That’s now changing. Embraer announced its first major Indian deal in Singapore, with startup Air Costa ordering 50 jets valued at $2.94bn yesterday. In a country like India, where Airbus and Boeing aircraft have saturated the market with airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir, Costa is trying to find a niche for itself by connecting the smaller cities with Embraer jets. “”You don’t need larger aircraft. This is enough for us,” said Ramesh Lingamaneni, chairman of Air Costa, which began operations in October and now has four Embraer jets. “Regional air services have enormous potential in India.” Bombardier did not get any orders
An exhibitor looks at a model of the Airbus A350 aircraft ahead of the Singapore Airshow
Canadian company’s Q400 turboprop aircraft. ATR, which dominates the
turboprop market, inked a deal to sell up to eight of its 72-600 aircraft to Thai carrier Bangkok Airways. It also agreed
for its CSeries or CRJ jet aircraft, but Thai low-cost carrier Nok Air said that it would order up to eight of the
India set to raise $9.9bn in telecoms spectrum auction n Reuters, New Delhi India is set to raise about 611.61bn rupees from the auction of telecommunication spectrum, the telecoms minister said yesterday, far exceeding the government’s target as it tries to narrow its budget deficit. The government’s initial target was to raise at least $1.8bn from the auction. Still the initial revenue would be much lower as companies need pay only a quarter to a third of the winning auction price upfront and the remainder through to 2026. “The government is happy and we will see a smile on the face of the finance minister,” minister Kapil Sibal told reporters. Finance Minister P Chidambaram faces a challenge to meet the budget deficit target for the current fiscal year ending in March amid a shortfall in tax collections and revenue receipts from divestment of stake in state companies. Eight companies, including Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Group Plc’s India unit and Reliance Industries Ltd, had applied to bid in the auction of 900 megahertz and 1800 megahertz band airwaves.
After 10 days of the sale, bids in the 900 megahertz band, which is being auctioned in just three cities, totalled about 236bn rupees, said a government official who declined to be named as the auction results are not public yet. Bids in the 1800 megahertz band were about 377bn rupees, he said. Details on which companies won airwaves were not immediately available. The stakes are especially high for Vodafone and Bharti which use 900 Mhz, but which will see their rights expire in November unless they buy in the auction. India, which traditionally sold airwaves to run mobile services through a state-selection process, switched to an open auction in 2012 after a scandal over mis-selling of permits. The government’s spectrum auction in November 2012 and March 2013 flopped as most bidders stayed away from the sales, complaining the floor bid prices were too high. Eight bidders applied to participate in the current auction after the government sharply cut auction reserve prices. l
to sell 20 aircraft to leasing firm Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, with options for 20 more, in a deal valued at $1bn. Sukhoi displayed a Superjet in the livery of its customer, Indonesia’s Sky Aviation, on the static display at the show. Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft and China’s AVIC are also developing aircraft that are expected to compete in the segment, and their executives were busy trying to impress potential customers in Singapore. “There is lots of room to penetrate more into this market,” Paulo Cesar Silva, president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, told Reuters. “You have to have the right aircraft. In the US, until two years ago, Delta was flying four times a day on the BostonLa Guardia route using A320s. Now, they place the E-175 11 times a day. You keep the frequency, the load factor is high, and the passenger is happy as every time you head to the airport, there is an aircraft leaving.” There is intense rivalry within the segment too, with turboprop operators like ATR pointing out that their aircraft are more efficient over these short-haul routes. “I think it’s partly the economics. On this short distance route the turboprop is the most efficient aircraft. Jets burn twice as much fuel, so costs are much higher. And a lot of these airports are not accessible for jets,” ATR’s head of Global Sales, John Moore, told Reuters. l
China’s Lenovo aims for third in global smartphone market n AFP, Shanghai The chairman of Chinese computer giant Lenovo pledged yesterday to make the company the world’s third-biggest smartphone seller following an acquisition binge as the firm announced a 30% profit surge. Lenovo, already the world’s largest personal computer vendor, snapped up US telecom firm Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion and IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3bn within days of each other last month. “We will become the number three smartphone player in the world,” Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing told journalists on a conference call. “With the combined business of Motorola smartphone and Lenovo smartphone, we will have much larger scale.” That would put it in position to challenge US tech giant Apple, maker of the iPhone, which is currently the global number two behind South Korea’s Samsung. Lenovo is seeking to grow its business in the highly competitive smartphone market as consumers shift away from personal computers to mobile devices. The Chinese firm was ranked fifth in the global smartphone market last year with a 4.5% share, trailing Sam-
CEO of Chinese computer giant Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing sung, Apple, compatriot Huawei and South Korea’s LG, according to market research firm IDC. But analysts say Motorola is deeply unprofitable with losses approaching $1bn and some question whether Lenovo can turn the business around. Lenovo’s Hong Kong-listed shares have slumped around 14% since the Motorola deal was announced. At midday on Thursday, the stock was down 0.46% on the day at HK$8.64 ($1.11).
The company announced net profit in October-December - its fiscal third quarter - jumped 30% year-on-year to $265 million, helped by laptop sales, according to a statement. Revenue rose 15% on the year to $10.8bn. Lenovo plans to re-launch the Motorola smartphone brand in China as well as other emerging markets, Yang said. Analysts say its acquisition of the firm also gives the Chinese firm a larger foothold in the United States. l
NEWS IN BRIEF ECB survey sees lower eurozone inflation in 2014, 2015 Eurozone inflation will remain below target in the next few years, and growth will speed up, a survey by the European Central Bank forecast yesterday. In its regular quarterly survey of professional forecasters, the ECB found that inflation in the 17 countries that share the euro was expected to reach an annual average 1.1% this year. Inflation would then pick up to 1.4% in 2015 and 1.7% in 2016, the ECB said. – AFP
Indonesia central bank holds key interest rate at 7.50%
Indonesia’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 7.50% yesterday after recent signs that Southeast Asia’s top economy is stabilising following a tumultuous 2013. Bank Indonesia had raised rates by 175 basis points between June and November after the stock market and rupiah plunged amid speculation that the
Japanese model Nana Suzuki poses with a life-sized gold panda and a pure gold "chocolate bar" which is made from fiber rainforced plastic (FRP) and coated with gold foil at the opening of the Gold Expo at Tokyo's Matsuzakaya department store on February 13. The 100 cm tall panda figure is on sale with a price of 8.88m yen (US$88,000), and the gold products exhibition will be held through February 25 AFP
United States would taper off its stimulus programme. – AFP
Renault reports profit plunge, radar on China, shares rise
French automaker Renault reported yesterday a two-thirds net profit plunge for 2013, blaming an embargo block on operations in Iran and restructuring charges. The group said that it would focus on developing activities in China and would not make a production foray into the US market. – AFP
IEA raises 2014 oil demand forecast to 92.6 mbd The IEA on Thursday pushed up its forecast for 2014 oil demand to 92.6 million barrels per day due to a rebound in growth in advanced economies. The International Energy Agency increased the forecast, by 125,000 barrels per day, despite the tapering of US monetary stimulus slowing down oil demand growth in emerging economies. – AFP