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Falgun 16, 1420 Rabius Saani 26, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 335




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AL-BNP rebels boon to Jamaat 115 upazilas go to polls today in second phase Al-Masum Molla and n Mohammad Mohammad Zakaria Just like the first phase of upazila elections, rebel candidates in Awami League and BNP in many seats may open the floodgates for the Jamaat-e-Islami to once again do “unexpectedly well” in today’s second phase of the polls. Out of the 115 upazilas the Jamaat has at least 28 candidates running for the chairman posts. In around 20 of those, rebel Awami League and BNP candidates are challenging the contenders that these two parties are backing. Experience from the previous phase suggests that the presence of AL and

2nd Phase Upazila Polls February 27, 2014 Post



500 506 334

Chairman Vice-Chairman Reserved women Vice-Chairman Voters Polling centres Polling booths

1,95,92,868 8,032 1,02,258

BNP rebel candidates raise the chance of Jamaat-backed contenders coming out on top. In the first phase of the elections, Jamaat-backed chairmen candidates emerged victorious in 12 upazilas. Of them, in at least seven seats, there were rebel candidates either from the BNP or the Awami League or from both parties. When the Awami League and the BNP were struggling to convince the rebel candidates not to run against the party-backed aspirants, there was not a single rebel candidate from the Jamaat in the first phase of the polls.

The Awami League and BNP will be in deep soup in at least 50 upazilas this time as rebel candidates there will make their wins difficult. Some of those upazilas are Patgram and Hatibandha of Lalmonirhat; Badarganj of Rangpur; Kalai of Joypurhat; Birganj and Birampur of Dinajpur; Lalpur, Sadar and Gurudaspur of Natore; Mohespur of Jhenaidha; Bagha of Rajshahi and Chokoria of Cox’s Bazar. Anwarul Islam Nazu, president of Patgram upazila unit Awami League, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Because of the rebel candidates, the Awami League’s vote will certainly be divided helping the Jamaat candidates gain the upper hand over the aspirants of the major parties.” The best example of how the Jamaat candidates come out successful cashing in on internecine feud in the two major parties can be taken from an upazila of Lalmonirhat. According to our Lalmonirhat correspondent Liakat Hossain Bachchu is the Awami League-backed chairman contender in Hatibandha upazila. His nephew Habibur Rahman Satha is a Jamaat-backed candidate. Apart from them, there are three candidates from the BNP tent – one is officially backed by the party and two others are rebels. On Monday night, all the three BNP candidates pulled out of the elections and extended their support to the Jamaat candidate. Nurujjaman Khan Manik, president of Bagha upazila unit BNP, said: “Either the Jamaat or Awami League might secure the chairman post taking the advantage of the rift in our party as we have two rebel candidates.” In Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira where the Awami league-backed candidates did well in other upazials the first phase is now under pressure as they have rebel candidates there. Moreover, the BNP has extended support to the Jamaat. Nazrul Islam, general secretary of Satkhira Awami League, said they had backed Anisuzzaman Anis as the  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

Ansar members transport ballot boxes and other election materials to a polling centre in Bagha upazila of Rajshahi by a tractor-driven vehicle across a char in the Padma River yesterday. A total of 115 upazilas go to the second phase of polls today DHAKA TRIBUNE

Acting JMB chief led hijacking n Kailash Sarkar and Rabiul Islam Tangail police have claimed that the present chief of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh led the operation to hijack the outfit’s three top leaders at Trishal, Mymensingh on February 23 and over Tk60 lakh was spent for the mission. JMB chief Anwar Hossain Faruk was present at the spot himself, conducting the operation to hijack death row convicts Salauddin Salehin and Rakib Hasan alias Hafez Mahmud alias Rasel, and lifetime convict Saidul Islam alias “Boma” Mizan, all of them members of the outfit’s highest decision-making body Majlish-e-Sura. Gazipur police have also been found guilty of negligence for assigning only four policemen for the transfer of the JMB operatives from Gazipur’s Kashimpur Jail to a Mymensingh jail. The escorting police team also let the militants talk on mobile phones inside the prison van.

The Gazipur superintendent of police told the Dhaka Tribune that at least 13 policemen were supposed to be deployed for the transfer of the three JMB men but officials concerned assigned only four, including the driver of the prison van, without informing him.

Probe bodies find jail officials, Gazipur police guilty Meanwhile, the three bodies investigating the incident did not submit their reports within yesterday’s deadline and extended the time for the task for another few working days. Tangail police investigators claim that during interrogation two detained JMB operatives – Zakaria Himel, who was driving a microbus used in the hijacking, and Anwar Hossain – disclosed that JMB’s existing chief Anwar Hos-

INSIDE 4 As part of the attempt to locate the three escaped JMB leaders, the Detective Branch of police is analysing the recordings of the voice calls and the text messages by the fugitive JMB men.

n Mohammad Jamil Khan

4 Bangladesh and 10 other Southeast Asian countries are set to be declared polio-free soon, when they achieve polio eradication certificates.


6 Around 13,230 students and 624 teachers in 228 primary schools out of 466 in five upazilas of the district are suffering due to shortage of drinkable water because of lack of tub-wells.



12 An exclusive talk show with French journalist Philip Alphonse will air today at 9:15am on ATN Bangla.


Abdur Razzaq, the assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami and chief of the defence team representing its top leaders facing war crimes charges, has been nowhere in the scene since mid-December last year, just after the execution of war criminal Abdur Quader Molla. His colleagues claim that he has been abroad since the government is trying to restrain him from taking part in the trial processes. They say Razzaq’s choosing self-exile is a political decision. Party sources say he is now staying in London. In the last two months, he also visited the US and Canada to lobby with international policymakers regarding the party’s position. Jamaat’s registration with the  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

JnU dorms rest far away from students


11 The parliament is the symbol of our national pride and dignity. It is very sad that the citadel of our democracy and freedom has seemingly abdicated its sacred responsibility to the hubris of a handful of lawmakers

sain Faruk himself led the operation. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, acting SP of Tangail district Hasibul Alam said: “Zakaria and Anwar admitted that the JMB chief had given directives and accompanied them during the operation.” Quoting the detained JMB men, he said the banned Islamist outfit had strong financial support and a huge amount of money had been spent to make the hijacking operation a success. “Apart from purchasing two microbuses for Tk21 lakh, they purchased over a dozen firearms for over Tk40 lakh while another Tk1.5 lakh was in their possession,” the SP said. Asked about the source of the money, Hasibul said they were yet to find it out. Syed Golam Faruq, additional deputy inspector general (DIG) of Dhaka Range Police who heads one of the probe committees, yesterday said: “During our inquiry, we have found

Razzaq’s self-exile part of ‘political game’ n Udisa Islam

Dejected Bangladesh players congratulating Indian batsmen. Despite skipper Mushfique’s century, the Bangladesh team went down by six wickets thanks largely to a masterful ton by Mushfique’s counterpart, Virat Kohli MUMIT M

Kohli downs Mushfiq heroics n Reazur Rahman Rohan In a high scoring affair at Fatullah, Indian skipper Virat Kohli powered his side to an easy six-wicket victory over Bangladesh to register their first win in the Asia Cup yesterday. The match witnessed two brilliant centuries coming from the two captains and it needed something brilliant from Kohli to overshadow the patient hundred scored by Mushfiqur Rahim in the first innings. Bangladesh rode on Mushfiq’s highest ODI score 117 to throw a challenging target of 280 to an Indian line-up that

consisted an inexperience middle-order. However, Kohli and young Ajinkya Rahane added 213 for the third wicket, India’s highest ever partnership against Bangladesh, to make sure they stroll to victory with six balls to spare. Mashrafe bin Mortaza and Rubel Hossain started off brilliantly with the new balls as the Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma struggled to find the gaps for single, let alone boundaries. Both Dhawan and Sharma were opening up after India had just 18 after seven overs, but the home side struck twice to stop the flow.

Abdur Razzak trapped Dhawan leg-before which brought Kohli in the middle while Ziaur Rahman cleaned up Sharma in the next over to see Rahane walk in. It was expected that Kohli will be the main man behind the result as India had earlier lost only one match chasing with the 25-year-old scoring a hundred. Kohli nudged around for singles with ease while he showed no mercy in dispatching the short balls for maximum. The dew was also a factor as the Bangladeshi spinners found it hard  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

It might have been smooth passage for Jagannath University to undergo the metamorphosis from a mere college to a public university, but the retrieval of its dormitories from the clutches of grabbers appears to be an uphill task. The Jagannath University (JnU) authorities are having a tough time reclaiming the 13 residential halls for their students over the past nine years since the university status was granted. Of the 13, only three dormitories have come back to its possession while the rest are yet to be obtained from the grabbers. Sources said influential political leaders had taken possession of all JnU dormitories, forcing the varsity’s 23,000 students to suffer accommodation crisis. The situation is a few notches worse for female students. Of the 10 dormitories still occupied, Tibbet Hall had been grabbed by independent lawmaker Hazi Selim, who built a shopping complex after his wife’s name in 2000, grabbing a portion of it. The other portion of the hall is being used by Kotowali police station. The dormitory is situated on an 8.89-Katha land in old Dhaka’s Patuatoli area. Saheed Sahabuddin Hall – situated over a 4.09-Katha land at 82 No Radhikmohon Boshak Lane in Tantibazar area – was taken on lease by one Farhan Gang, according to an official letter issued on January 21, 2010 from Dhaka district administration office.

Talking to some old people in the area, it was found that the dormitory was mainly grabbed by Ansar members in 1985 and they left it abandoned in 1991. Later, some police families used it as their dwelling, they said, adding that finally in 2009, Awami League leader Aminul Haque Biblab raised a five-storey building in the area. Abdur Rahman Hall is situated on a 25.77-Katha land at 6/1, AC Roy Road of Armanitola. Over 17 police officials with their family have been living there since 1990. On February 1, 2010, JnU submitted a

Political clout giving land grabbers impunity letter to the Land Ministry for taking out a lease on the hall, but to no avail. Situated over a 40-Katha land on 1 No Sharatchandra Chakraborty road in Armanitola, Shahid Anowar Shafiq Hall of JnU has been grabbed by an influential local Moktar Ali who built a storehouse and some drugstores in one portion of the dormitory and rented them out. The Babubazar Branch of National Credit and Commerce Bank is using the other portion of the hall. Saidur Rahman and Rauf Mazumdar Halls are situated over 22.97 katahs of land at 15, 17 and 20 No Jadunath Boshak Lane. Some influential people have set up rickshaw garage, storehouse and shops out there.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mahmud Ali made foreign minister n Mohosinul Karim The number of the cabinet members of Sheikh Hasina’s government rose to 51 after the induction of two new ministers yesterday. Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, an MP from Dinajpur 4 constituency, was sworn in as a minister and Narsinghdi 1 MP Nazrul Islam Hiru as a state minister. President Abdul Hamid administered the oath in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Bangabhaban yesterday. Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan conducted the swearing-in ceremony. Mahmud Ali, who served as foreign minister for the interim government ahead of January 5 national poll, was given the foreign affairs ministry while Nazrul Islam Hiru was appointed as the state minister for water resources. The government had to reshuffle the office of the water resources ministry. Deputy Minister for Water Resources Abdullah Al Islam Jacob had to leave the office of the ministry to accommodate the new state minister. Jacob was made deputy minister for the environment and forest ministry.

Earlier, the 49-member cabinet of the new government was formed on January 12 after the January 5 national poll with three ministers from the main “opposition” Jatiya Party (Ershad) and three other ministers from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Bangladesh Workers Party and Jatiya Party (JP). The prime minister did not assign anybody as minister for the offices of home affairs and foreign affairs during the formation of the new government. Ruling party MPs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and Shahriar Alam were given the charge of the two ministries as state minister. The cabinet division officials told the Dhaka Tribune that the ministry on Tuesday prepared to induct some more ministers into the cabinet. They are ruling party MP Rafiqul Islam, Jatiya Party presidium member GM Kader and Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader. But finally the files were dropped as the prime minister did not give her consent to their induction. The cabinet division sources said a home minister would soon be appointed. It is under consideration of the high-ups of the government. l

MP elect Afil’s motorcade attacked in Jessore n Our Correspondent, Jessore The motorcade of Sheikh Afil Uddin, MP elect for Jessore 1, came under attack yesterday during a clash between two rival groups ahead of today’s upazila elections. The incident occurred at Jikargachha as Afil Uddin was on his way to Sharsha on the Jessore-Benapole road, AL sources. Local police said the supporters of two rival candidates were engaged in fighting with sticks and stones in the area at the time. Some local people also reported hearing gunshots. However, the lawmaker elect from

Bombs hurled on Sonargaon Hotel premises

n Kailash Sarkar

Two crude bombs were exploded at the entrance of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Karwan Bazar area last night. However, no casualty was reported, said police. Law enforcers and witnesses said the crude bombs were exploded around 10pm creating huge bang and smoke among the people on the street and others inside the hotel. The incident took place hours after the one-day cricket match of Asia Cup between India and Bangladesh ended. Unidentified criminals riding a motorcycle sped away hurling the two crude bombs one after another, witnesses said. Cricketers of India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and host Bangladesh, and a number of officials of the ICC, are staying at the hotel, said Mashiur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Ramna police station. According to witnesses, soon after the explosions took place, a huge contingent of security forces kept the place cordoned while additional forces were deployed in and around the hotel. The OC, however, said they were not sure whether those were explosions of bombs since a wedding function was also being held in the hotel. “Although none was hurt, we are trying to find out the cause behind the explosions,” he added. l

Indian Navy chief resigns

n Tribune Desk Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned yesterday, hours after seven sailors suffered serious injuries and two officers remained “unaccounted for” in an accident on board India’s Russian-built submarine, INS Sindhuratna, The Hindustan Times reported. The accident, which was the 11th after the INS Sindhurakshak sank in August, has put the navy’s dismal safety record under further scrutiny and underlined its inability to maintain its dwindling Kilo-class fleet. Defence Minister AK Antony accepted Joshi’s resignation, according to Press Trust of India. A defence ministry spokesperson said the Navy chief had stepped down taking moral responsibility for the recent accidents. The latest mishap took place 50 km off the Mumbai coast early yesterday, while the boat was on a routine training exercise. l

the ruling party escaped unharmed as his driver sped away from the scene and took shelter at Sharsha police station. Afil Uddin later told journalists that a number of assailants attacked his motorcade. No one has been arrested so far for the attack, police said. Meanwhile, Awami League and its front organisations held a protest rally at Sharsha Bazar and demanded arrest and punishment of the attackers. Sirajul Haque Manju, president of Sharsha upazila AL, chaired the rally. Candidates supported by rival AL groups are contesting the Sharsha upazila parishad elections today. l

AL-BNP rebels  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

grassroots voted for him but SM Lenin is contesting the polls violating the party order and he was expelled. “As there is a single candidate from the BNP-led 19-party alliance, they are in the upper hand. But voters will obviously think about the Jamaat’s violence in Satkhira.” In the second phase, elections will be held in 115 upazila parishads in 52 districts today with tight security measures in place. The voting will start from 8am and end at 4pm without any break. Polls to Maheshkhali upazila par-

Newly inducted Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, State Minister Lt Col (retd) Nazrul Islam Hiru and their wives pose for a photo with President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Bangabhaban after taking their oaths of office yesterday BSS


HC shifts probe responsibility n Nazmus Sakib The High Court yesterday directed the police chief to conduct further inquiry into the attacks on Hindus perpetrated after the January 5 parliamentary poll either through CID or RAB. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain passed the order saying that the role of police during the investigation was not satisfactory, which was apparent from the compliance report submitted by the IGP. The court also directed the police chief to submit a report by April 3 after complying with its order. Deputy Attorney General Biswojit Roy yesterday placed the probe report on behalf of the police chief. After perusal of the document, the court said the cases filed were not enough and the police failed to arrest the real culprits. The police needed to be more sincere in inspecting such sensitive cases.

ishad in Cox’s Bazaar will be held on March 1 instead of February 27. The election to Haimchar upazila parishad in Chnadpur has been stayed due to a High Court order. A total of 1340 candidates from ruling Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jamaat-e-Islami are contesting in 115 upazila polls. 500 candidates for chairmen, 506 for vicechairmen and 334 for reserved women vice-chairmen are contesting in 115 upazila polls. Of the total, 1,95,92,868 would apply their voting rights where 98, 05, 150 males and 97, 87, 718 are females.

Biswojit said it was not a complete report. The police had not taken action against the perpetrators under the proper provisions of law, he said. The state counsel said: “The report does not reflect what should be done for penalising the culprits. He referred to a case lodged in Pirojpur where maximum punishment is three months jail or Tk500 as fines. Another case revealed that only two years jail can be maximum punishment.” Biswojit said most of the arrested were not mentioned as accused in the First Information Reports while the police failed to nab the accused mentioned in the FIRs. On February 9, the High Court bench termed the recent attacks on Hindus in various districts “terrorism against the state” and asked the police to include sedition charge against those responsible. On January 15, the same bench directed the IGP to submit a report men-

The commission has set up 8, 032 polling centres and 51,129 polling booths to hold the polls. EC officials said it had appointed 8,032 presiding officers and 1, 02, 258 polling officers in 115 upazila polls. The army have been deployed in 115 upazilas as striking force to hold the polls in free and fair manner. Police, RAB, Border Guard Bangladesh and Ansar have also been deployed in the election areas. The commission has also appointed 460 executives and 116 judicial magistrates in the second phases of upazila polls, EC officials said. l

JnU dorms rest far away from students  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Although the university authority appealed to the Land Ministry for the reclamation of the hall three years back, but was yet to get any response. Shahid Azmal Hall is situated over 5.05 kathas of land at 16 and 17 Ramakanti Nandi Lane at Patuatoli. A martyr’s family uses a portion of the hall while the other part is used by some influential locals in name of cooperative society. Bazlur Rahman Hall gave way to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman High School at 26 No Malitola while Nazrul Islam Hall over 1 bigha of land on 2, 3, 4 & 6 No Tipu Sultan Road of Gopibagh Boshak Lane to a market, erected by one Golam Nabi.

JnU staff quarter was situated over 26 No Patuatoli area where an influential leader, Mohammad Obaidullah, raised a seven-storey shopping complex. The only female hall of JnU was proposed at 3/1, Jonson Road, where 37 No Awami League General Secretary Abdur Rahman Niazi built his office. Asked about it, he said the office was allotted to him from the city Awami League. Contacted, Gazi Abu Sayed, JnU unit former general secretary of Chhatra League, told the Dhaka Tribune in the year of 1988 then Home Ministry in its order asked all students to vacate their dormitories. After that policemen found their ac-

Acting JMB chief led hijacking  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

proofs that the militants had been using their own mobile phones inside jail.” He, however, declined to elaborate on their findings. Golam Faruq said it would take them two to three more days to submit the probe report and the time had been extended for that. Assistant Inspector General (Crime 2) of police headquarters Abdul Alim Mahmud, who is a member of another committee, said they would submit their report within two or three days. “We have almost completed our investigation; we are now preparing the report.” Asked why only four policemen had been assigned for the transfer of the JMB men, he said: “We have conducted inquiry only into administrative issues by examining documents. We did not find any cause…The Gazipur SP will be able to answer that question.”

When contacted, Gazipur SP Abdul Baten said he had already taken punitive measures against three policemen for not discharging duties properly. “At least 13 policemen, including an inspector and two sub-inspectors, were supposed to be deployed to escort those three dreaded JMB leaders, but the police officials concerned had assigned only four, including a driver,” he said. He also claimed that the officials had not even informed him about the deployment of only four policemen. “We are looking into the matter to find out the reason,” Baten said. Within six hours of the hijack, police recaptured one of the JMB leaders – Rakib Hasan who was later killed in a reported gunfight. Three JMB cadres named Zakaria Himel, the driver of a microbus used in the operation, his wife Swapna Begum, and Anwar Hossain were arrested with two microbuses, eight firearms and a list of JMB lead-

commodation in those halls, he said. Although police left some dormitories in the year of 1990, but influential residents occupied the dormitories using political clout, he said, adding that some of them fabricated documents to give them a legal shape, he added. Asked about the progress of the halls’ recovery, Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman, vice-chancellor of the university, told the Dhaka Tribune, “We are trying our best to reclaim the dormitories for JnU students as early as possible.” In this regard, Nurul Islam Nahid, education minister, said a committee about the recovery of dormitories would be formed so that students could get back their residential halls. l

ers detained in different jails. Following the incident, the home ministry, police headquarters and Dhaka Range of police formed three committees to probe the incident. Meanwhile, home ministry Senior Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed yesterday said mismanagement of prison authorities and the hijacking of the JMB men would feature a meeting of the cabinet committee today. Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu will preside over the meeting. Mustaq Ahmed yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune over phone that it had been absolute negligence on part of both the police and prison authorities that had led to the hijacking. He said the police could have refused the task of transferring the JMB leaders while the prison authorities could have also declined to hand them over to police under such weak security measure. l

tioning the measures taken for protecting these people as well as actions against those directly or indirectly responsible for the atrocities. According to the police report submitted to the HC on February 9, there were about 160 incidents of attacks on Hindus took place in 21 districts after the January 5 general election. Local BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami activists were found responsible for most of the attacks and property worth around Tk40 lakh were damaged in 70 of these ancients. The report mentioned that 33 cases were registered with different police stations in the districts – Dinajpur, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Sherpur, Tangail, Comilla, Chandpur, Bagerhat, Jessore, Narail, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore, Joypurhat, Barisal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Rangpur, Gaibandha Nilphamari and Thakurgaon. As many as 139 people have so far been arrested, according to the report. l

Temple attacked, idols damaged

n Our Correspondent, Gazipur

Miscreants early yesterday attacked an old Hindu temple in Bathaniachala area of Bowali union under Kaliakoir upazila and damaged several idols. The criminals claiming themselves as “Devoted Muslims” also left a note at the Sarbojanin Durga Temple that says: “Stop worshiping statues or move to India. Otherwise, we will launch bomb attacks on the temples.” General Secretary of the temple committee Surja Kumar Sarker said: “The miscreants vandalised all the idols which were installed at the temple recently.” Officer-in-Charge of Kaliakoir police station Omar Faruque said the incident had taken place in the midnight when the temple’s warden went home after worshipping. A case has been filed. Kaliakoir UNO Habibur Rahman visited the spot and assured the locals of taking adequate administrative and security measures in the area. l

Kohli downs Mushfiq heroics  PAGE 1 COLUMN 4

to grip the ball, making it easier for the visiting batsmen. With 16 fours and two sixes, Kohli was finally dismissed by Rubel in the 46th over, but by then he had scored 136 and harboured India close to the win. On the other hand, Rahane, who was happy playing the supporting role to his new skipper, took time to nurture his innings and opened up in the batting powerplay. He made 73 before falling to Gazi with India only seven away from victory. Earlier, Bangladesh enjoyed a 133-run third wicket stand between Anamul and Mushfiq to post 279 for seven. The Tigers were off to a shaky start losing Shamsur Rahman in the sixth over as Mominul Haque walked in and played some exquisite drives to race to 23 before being stumped off Ashwin. Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal’s absence was hardly felt as Mushfiq and Anamul displayed some sensible batting. They duo milked the Indian

bowling for singles while Anamul jumped down the wicket often to send the ball over the rope. Anamul was unlucky not to get his second one-day hundred as he chopped Varun Aaron’s delivery on to his stumps on 77, but that hardly stopped Mushfiq from playing some delightful strokes on both sides of the wicket. He eventually landed his hundred in the 45th over when the Indians gifted him four overthrows. Shami, India’s best bowler with four for 50, dismissed Mushfiq in the last over, but by then the Tigers skipper had already ensured the challenging total for his side. However, it will be Mushfiq’s injury to his right shoulder that will be more concerning for Bangladesh than the defeat. A diving effort from him in the dying stages of the match saw him immediately rushed to the hospital for x-ray which however did not deliver any negative result, but he will be taken for a MRI today. l

Razzaq’s self-exile part of ‘political game’  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Election Commission was declared illegal by the High Court last year. Since then, the senior Jamaat leader has been lobbying with foreign diplomats at home and abroad over taking part in the election. The party has always tried to hide the position of Razzaq and also stayed mum about his visits abroad. In his last conversation with the defence team from outside the country, Razzaq asked them to continue the trial proceedings and that he would not be able to come and join them because of “personal difficulties.” Seeking anonymity, a reliable source in the party said his exile was part of a “political plan.” “Everybody knows the cause, but nobody is ready to speak about it,” said the senior leader. The Twitter account and the Facebook page of Razzaq show that he had not posted any updates after December 24. The junior counsels are whispering that the government may “harass” him in cases once Razzaq returns from abroad. Last November, Razzaq claimed repeatedly that the government had plans to accuse him for war crimes. The comment came after Chairman of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote Misbahur Rahman Chowdhury in his deposition in a war crimes case stated

that Razzaq had met other alleged war criminals soon after the war in London. Defence counsel Tajul Islam said: “We do not want to lose him. So he is out of the country, but not detached from us.” Law Minister Anisul Huq said there was no bar on Razzaq’s return and that the allegations of possible harassment were baseless. Sources in the defence team also said they were wondering why Razzaq had been remaining absent during the appeals case hearings at the apex court. The sources confirmed that he had been lobbying with powerful states. Razzaq in December said the party wanted to change their image in India. And in the West, they were stronger than any party. He also met Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, a special UN envoy, during his last visit to Dhaka ahead of the January 5 parliamentary election. Another source said Razzaq was trying to convince the Jamaat sympathisers citing the “government crackdown” on its leaders and activists in the last year during street agitation over the January 5 election and the war trial verdicts. A senior prosecutor said Razzaq had also “played game” to stop the execution of Quader Molla. Now he went on self exile and was trying to politicise his move, he said. l




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Clues unearthed from JMB texts, voice calls n Mohammad Jamil Khan As part of the attempt to locate the three escaped JMB leaders, the Detective Branch of police is analysing the recordings of the voice calls and the text messages of the mobile phones used by the fugitive JMB men. The DB police has already traced the location where JMB leader Rakib Hassan communicated over phone while in jail. However, the person who Rakib communicated with had reportedly switched off the mobile phone and fled soon after the JMB members were snatched from police. DB sources said an unknown man had provided two mobile phones to Rakib Hassan, who was in high-security Kashimpur Jail at Gazipur, for planning the snatching of the Jama’atul Mujahedin Bangladesh men. The phone had three SIM cards that Rakib used to contact only one number for the last one month. During the time, the person receiving the call was located at Bhaluka in Mymensingh. However, the phone was mainly used for sending text messages, instead of making voice calls. Sources also said among the three JMB leaders, Rakib mainly communicated with the outsider. On the day of incident, Rakib sent a text message to the person in Bhaluka, saying: “They will take us.”

Another text message that was sent later at 8:47am, mentioned: “They are taking us, you be ready.” Before sending the text message, Rakib reportedly gave green signal to the other two convicts – Mizan and Salauddin – about their escape. DB officials are suspecting that the person in Bhaluka was the mastermind behind the snatching of the JMB leaders from a prison van on Sunday when they were being moved to a Mymensingh court from the Kashimpur Jail. The police are reportedly trying to identify the mastermind, along with the gang involved in the snatching, by analysing and tracing the status of the mobile phone number in Bhaluka over the last month. Asked about the issue, Sanowar Hossain, additional deputy commissioner of the DB police, said mobile phone call logs suggest that the JMB leaders communicated with texts and voice calls with an unknown person at Bhaluka. Attempts are on to identify the person by analysing the sample, he added. Intelligence officials suspect that the person in Bhaluka might have been either JMB reforming coordinator Amir Faruk Ahmed or his second-in-command Shafiqul Islam Shafiq, who had planned and enacted the snatching of the JMB men for Tk50 lakh. l

Election officials guarded by security personnel carrying polls materials from Shahjahanpur of Bogra yesterday ahead of the second phase of upazila elections

Tribunal to rehear arguments in Nizami case n Udisa Islam

The war crimes tribunal has decided to hear again the closing arguments in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami from March 10. The three-member International Crimes Tribunal 1 headed by newly-appointed Chairman Justice M Enayetur Rahim set the date yesterday – almost three months after keeping the case pending for verdict. After the end of closing arguments by both the prosecution and the defence, the tribunal on November 13 last year said the verdict would be delivered any day. The tribunal was reconstituted on February 23 and yesterday was set for giving an order on the closing arguments.

Taking part in hearing, prosecutor Mohammad Ali pleaded for a new date and urged the tribunal to allow rehearing the arguments saying that it was “necessary for a proper adjudication of the case,” a move that stunned his fellows. On the other hand, defence counsel Tajul Islam pleaded for a full-length hearing. Justice Enayetur then asked the prosecutor how much time they needed to place their arguments. Prosecutor Ali said they would need one day. The defence, however, sought a week to begin their part of arguments and pleaded to set the date after March 9. Earlier when the tribunal started its proceedings at 10:47am, prosecutor Zead-al-Malum formally welcomed the newly-appointed chairman on behalf of

ACC summons lawmaker Aslamul Haque n Syed Samiul Basher Anik The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday summoned Awami League lawmaker from Mirpur 14 constituency, Aslamul Haque, on charge of illegally amassing wealth. Signed by the commission’s Deputy Director Mesbah Uddin, a notice asked the lawmaker to appear before the anti-graft body’s headquarters at Segunbagicha on March 5 and present a statement regarding the allegations that had surfaced against him. The ACC last month launched an inquiry into the phenomenal rise in the wealth and assets of three former ministers, three members of parliament, and three former lawmakers from the BNP, the Awami League and the Jatiya Party. The commission yesterday also served a notice to BNP’s Student Affairs Secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anee, also a former lawmaker from Lakshmipur 3 constituency, asking him to appear

Four charged with war crimes

n Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur Two cases were filed against four people on charges of war crimes committed during the Liberation War in 1971 with the Senior Judicial Magistrate Court in Lakshmipur yesterday. Mohammad Raihan, son of late freedom fighter Mustafizur Rahman of Gandhobbopur village and wounded freedom fighter Shafik Ullah of Binoddhormopur village of the district filed the cases against Abdullah and Abdul Wahab, sons of late Jabi Ullah of Gandhobbopur village and Abdur Sattar and Abdul Gaffer, sons of Mostafa Mia of the same village. Court sources said the four accused joined Rajakar forces in 1971 and murdered freedom fighters and innocent people. Kanukarta Sur, Ayub Ali, Abdul Gafur, Abu Taher Majhi, Tayeber Nesha, Mohifuler Nesha, were killed in their hands. In another case, the four were accused of killing Shafiulllah of Binod Dhormopur village. The victim’s family members were made witness in the case. l

before the commission headquarters on March 13 in regards to the inquiry on the phenomenal rise of his wealth.

The ACC inquired into the phenomenal rise in the wealth and assets of three former ministers, six incumbent and former MPs Meanwhile, a commission team, which includes its Assistant Director Masudur Rahman, is scheduled today to interrogate Jatiya Party leader and former lawmaker from Satkhira 2 constituency Abdul Jabbar on similar allegations. Earlier, the commission had interrogated Awami League lawmaker Abdul Rahman Bodi, former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rahman and former minister AFM Ruhal Haque on similar allegations. l

the chief prosecutor. In his short speech, Malum assured Justice Enayetur of providing all necessary supports. On the other hand, Tajul welcomed the new chairman on behalf of the defence team and wished his success. Before starting the day’s proceedings, the tribunal chairman also sought cooperation from both parties. Nizami was indicted on May 28 last year on 16 charges of crimes against humanity including murder, rape, arson and inciting violence in Pabna and Dhaka during the War of Independence. Meanwhile yesterday, the tribunal 1 set April 10 for holding a hearing on a notice issued against Fakhrul Islam as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Earlier on January 14 last year, the tribunal issued the notice upon Fakhrul, counsel for war crimes convict Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, for demeaning the court’s dignity and interfering in the privacy of a High Court judge. Appearing on behalf of the accused, lawyer Tajul Islam said his client had already sought unconditional apology before he went to jail in another allegation. He also said he needed some time to go through the necessary documents. On December 30, 2012, Fakhrul had filed a petition seeking an explanation from the sitting judges of the tribunal 1, whether they had any previous knowledge about the alleged Skype conversation between its former chairman and an expert on international crimes. l


Liberation War Museum to preserve tribunal documents n Udisa Islam The International Crimes Tribunal has finally started a system to preserve all necessary documents of the cases that saw verdicts until date. The tribunal formally handed over the documents to the Liberation War Museum authorities. The tribunal registrar office says they will send all the relevant documents to the museum to preserve these historical documents. At the same time, the office will also hand over copies of the verdicts to the Supreme Court library. Yesterday, the verdict copies were handed over to Mafidul Haq and Akku

Chowdhury, trustees of the museum, by tribunal Registrar AKM Nasiruddin Mahmud at his office. Deputy Registrar Arunava Chakraborty and prosecutor Zead-al-Malum were also present. Later Mafidul said: “These copies of the verdicts are priceless assets for our nation. We will archive these documents for the general people.” The tribunal registrar said: “We are handing over the copies of total nine verdicts that were pronounced by the two tribunals until date to the Liberation War Museum authorities.” He further said the tribunal office would give some more documents to the museum since they knew proper archival system. l

Fugitive Jamaat-Shibir leaders campaign for party-backed candidates

Train driver saves passengers n Our Correspondent, Gaibandha

n Manik Miazee

A train driver saved passengers yesterday at Bonarpara Rail Station under Saghata upazila of the district. Aiyub Hossain, station master of Bonarpara, said a signal was given before Lalmonirhat bound Lalmoni Express in the one No rail line. The point man, Shamim Hossain, did not clear the line. The train entered the fourth No line at 9.35am where a goods laden train was on the line previously. Sensing the presence of the goods laden train, the driver of Lalmoni Express slowed down the train. Meanwhile, he separated hosepipe from the train and saved the train and its passengers from the collision. The train left the station after one hour. At least 25-30 passengers sustained injury while they hurried to get down from the train. The injured passengers were given primary treatment. l

Many Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists, who remain fugitives in different violence-related cases, have been publicly carrying out election campaigns for their party-backed candidates in around 28 of the total 115 upazilas that would see elections today. Law enforcers have allegedly remained silent in many areas where Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir’s leaders, who have been evading arrest, are campaigning out in the open. Party sources said instructions from the centre prompted leaders like Jamaat’s Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher, Shalim Uddin, Rezaul Karim, former MP Hamidur Rahman Azad, Shibir Leaders Neamot Ullah Shaker, Jamal Uddin and others to engage in

public campaigning for party-backed candidates. None of these leaders had secured bail from courts in many respective cases. Chairman candidate in Rajshahi’s Bagha upazila, Zinnat Ali, who is also Jamaat’s local thana unit president, is an accused in seven cases at the Bagha police station, for which he had secured bail. However, Jamaat municipality Secretary Abdul Nuh Sarker, an accused in an arm snatching case of March 2013, thana Jamaat Secretary Abdul Latif, accused of attacking the brother of a Chhatra League leader in February 2013, and Jamaat leader Abul Kashem, who is also accused in several cases, are participating in election campaigning for Zinnat. Noakhali Shibir president and central secretariat member Neamot Ullah Shaker – accused in a case for

snatching the arms of police in 2013 – is campaigning for the party-backed woman vice-chairperson candidate in Noakhali sadar upazila. Noakhali Jamaat acting president Alauddin, accused in more than 20 cases with the sadar model police station, is also conducting campaigning. Meanwhile, Jamaat Executive Committee member Nurul Islam Bulbul told the Dhaka tribune that no accused leader has been participating in poll campaigning. Shibir Central Publicity Secretary Abu Saleh Md Yahya also echoed Bulbul, claiming that party activists have been carrying out campaigning without any accused leader. However, when contacted, Shibir leaders Jamal Uddin and Neamot Ullah Shaker – who are both accused in different cases – said they were busy with election campaigning. l

Kader Siddique disqualified in Tangail by-poll n Our Correspondent, Tangail Election Commission (EC) cancelled the nomination paper of Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui yesterday for Tangail-8 (Basail-Sakhipur) by-poll on the allegation of loan default. The EC also cancelled the nomination paper of Kazi Ashraf Siddique of Jatiya Party (Ershad) on the same charges. Returning officer of by-polls, regional election officer (Mymensingh) Syed Khurshid Anwar confirmed the matter to the journalist. Jatiya Party (Manju) candidate Sadek Siddique was also declared ineligible to contest the Tangail by-poll for not having his signature in the affidavit. Khurshid said: “According to the report of Credit Information Bureau of Bangladesh Bank, Kader Siddiqui took

loan from Tangail branch of Agrani Bank as a chairman of his own organisation-Sonar Bangla Prokaushali Songstha.”

‘I will take legal steps against the decision of the EC’ “But, he did not pay back loan after years and became loan defaulter. So, his nomination paper was cancelled. Kader Siddiqui can appeal to the EC within next three days,” said Khurshid. When contacted, Kader Siddique said: “I will take legal steps against the decision of the EC.” Responding to a query of his participation in the by-polls and boycott of national polls held on January 5, he

said: “I boycotted the national polls. But it is a by-election. I submitted my nomination paper as a part of my movement.” The parliamentary seat fell vacant after AL lawmaker Shawkat Momen Shajahan died on January 20. The EC delayed the by-polls which was scheduled on March 23 for five days. The by-election will be held on March 29. The last day of nomination paper submission was February 23 while the last date for withdrawal of the nomination papers is March 6. The supporters of Kader Siddiqui organised a blockade programme at Basail Bus Stand which continued from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Vehicles plying from different areas to Basail, Sakhipur, Mirzapur of Tangail and Valuka, Trishal, Phulbaria of Mymensingh struck in long tail back in the wake of the protest. l

SEEKING BLESSINGS S.M. Woahead Sorower and Jesmin Akhter tied the knot recently.The newly wed couple seek blessings from all the wellwishers and apologise for not informing them accordingly.




Bangladesh set to be declared polio-free soon n Moniruzzaman Uzzal Bangladesh and 10 other Southeast Asian countries are set to be declared polio-free soon, when they achieve polio eradication certificates. The countries are Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bhutan, North Korea, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and East Timor. Vismita Gupta-Smith, public information and advocacy officer at the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) told journalists: “We expect that SEARO [member countries] will be declared as polio free on March 27, but the final announcement will be declared by Regional Certification Committee. WHO will officially issue press note at that historic moment.” She made the comment at a media workshop by the WHO yesterday at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. The WHO, with the help of Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum, organised the workshop to exchange views

with medical journalists about different health issues in Bangladesh. Dr Jayantha Liyanage, medical officer for the WHO’s Immunization and Vaccines Division, said the WHO required all the member nations of the southeast Asia region to be free of polio patients for at least three years, before the countries could be eligible for polio-free status. He said six SEARO countries – Bhutan, North Korea, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and East Timor – have been poliofree for more than 15 years, while the rest have remained polio free for different time periods (Bangladesh and Indonesia since 2006, Myanmar since 2007, Nepal since 2010, and India since 2011). Liyanage expressed hopes that the SEARO states would receive polio-free certificate, unless something unexpected occurred. He added that the national certification committees of each member country would submit necessary documents to the Regional Certification Committee (RCC) in a meeting on March 26-27.

During the meeting, the RCC would review all the polio case, documents, evidence and performance of the 11 SEARO countries; and if convinced, they would issue polio eradication certificate to all the countries together. A high-powered committee would monitor the polio situation even if the poliofree certificate was issued, he added. Dr Tajul Islam Bari, Expanded Immunization Programme officer of health directorate, said no polio patient had been found in the country since November 2006. At present, only three countries are polio-endemic: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. According to a WHO report, cases of polio have decreased by over 99% since 1988. Among others, WHO representative in Bangladesh Dr Thushara Fernando, Additional Director General of health directorate Abul Kalam Azad, Media Officer of WHO Saiful Islam and Health Reporters Forum President Toufiq Maruf spoke at the programme. l

Thursday, February 27, 2014

WB to provide additional $265m to support secondary students n

Tribune Report

World Bank will provide an additional amount of $265m to support around 4.5 million Bangladeshi poor students to continue secondary level education. In this regard, Bangladesh signed an agreement with the International Development Association (IDA), the WB’s concessional arm, for the ongoing Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project. Secretary of Economic Relations Division Mohammad Mejbahuddin and WB Country Director Johannes Zutt signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. The credit from the IDA has 40 years of maturity, including a 10-year grace period with a service charge of 0.75%, according to a press release issued by the World Bank. With this additional financing, the WB’s commitment stands at $1.1b in primary, secondary, tertiary, and voca-

tional levels as well as support to out-of school-children. The official said additional financing will help annually around 4.5m poor rural children in 215 upazilas across the country to continue secondary level education. The project will continue to provide poverty-targeted stipends and tuition to poor students and give incentives to students, teachers and schools to increase enrolment and retention in secondary level education. It will also scale up activities in 125 upazilas where the project is being implemented and expand in 90 more upazilas to improve secondary education quality and systematically monitor learning outcomes and ensure greater accountability at school level. The project started in 2008 and provided targeted stipends and tuition to around 1.8 million disadvantaged children. The rate of poor children in total secondary enrolment rose to 38% in 2012, up from 30% in 2008. l

Five children hurt in bomb explosion n Our Correspondent, Kushtia

Shibir leader arrested in Rajshahi

n Our Correspondent, Rajshahi


Dry weather likely n UNB Weather may remain mainly dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country and chances of light rain or thundershowers at one or two places over Rangpur and Rajshhai divisions until 6pm today, Met Office said. The sun sets in the capital at 6pm today and rises at 6:22am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 31.0 degree Celsius was recorded in Cox’s Bazar and lowest 10.6 degrees in Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

28.5 29.8 28.5 27.0 28.6 29.0 30.5 31.0

17.1 18.2 15.2 15.5 17.2 15.8 12.5 20.5

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

5:07am 6:22am 12:11am 4:22pm 6:00pm 7:16pm


A case was filed with a Gaibandha court yesterday afternoon against six people including the director general of Primary and Mass Education Department on charge of manipulating primary scholarship results. A total of 39 guardians lodged the case with Senior Assistant Judge Court of the district. After hearing, Judge Abdullah Al Mamun issued summons against the six men. The five other accused were district deputy commissioner and primary education officer, sadar upazila nirbahi officer, upazila primary education officer and director of Snigdha Coaching Centre. According to the case, the guardians alleged that their children had done well in the primary school exams held in 2013 but they could not obtain scholarships because of irregularity, fraud and corruption in the results published on February 16. The guardians claimed there was no other possibility and reason for their children no not achieve the scholarships. They demanded re-evaluation of the scholarship results and exemplary punishment for the persons involved in the fraudulent act. l

Indigenous groups face land-grabbing n Our Correspondent, Sylhet

Five children were injured by an abandoned crude bomb explosion in Kushtia on Wednesday. The incident took place around 1pm in Bilshukavobonipur village of Bheramara upazila of Kushtia on Wednesday. The injured are Rabbi, 4, Bappi, 10, both are son of Anwarul Islam, Sakib, 8, son of Selim and Sifat, son of Saidi. They received splinters of the bomb in their arms, chests, and bellies. The injured were taken to Bheramara Upazila Health Complex. Three of them were critically injured. Locals said the victims were playing in a village field. Suddenly the crude bomb exploded with a big bang injuring five of them as it was lying on the field. Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Rezaul Karim and Model Thana Officer-inCharge Parvez Islam visited the spot. l

Rajshahi city unit president of IslamiChhatra Shibir was arrested by Detective Branch of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police on Tuesday night. The arrestee was Anisur Rahman Biswas. Police said some 22 cases were filed against him with different police stations of Rajshahi. Sources said he was captured along with his associate Shahidullah, a Shibir activists, from Sheroil Bus Terminal area of the city. Later they were kept at DB office for preliminary interrogation. Deputy Commissioner of RMP ASM Golam Mahmud said the Shibir leader was also accused in police constable Shiddhartha Sarkar murder case. A Shibir city and RU unit issued a joint press release and said police arrested their leader illegally. l

DG, DC sued for alleged fraudulence n Our Correspondent, Gaibandha

A month-long traditional fair has started in Sonargaon of Narayanganj. An artiste is giving a final touch to his colourful earthenware products


Indigenous people in Baluchar area under the city came under land-grabbing pressure as the local UP chairman tried to occupy their 200 acre land. According to sources, nine families of Orao, an indigenous group, live in the area. Local union parishad chairman Abdul Mosobbir built a house on their land on February 18. He also tried to occupy their 200 acres of land. To protest the incident, civil society activists including the indigenous people held a rally in the area yesterday. Sujon president Faruk Mahmud Choudhury, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon(BAPA) Secretary General Abdul Karim Kim and Workers Party Secretary General Sikandor Ali took part in the rally. When contacted, Mosobbir denied the allegation. The chairman and his followers also staged demonstration protesting the allegation. They obstructed journalists to come into the area. A committee was also formed to save the land from the grabbers. Faruk Mahmud Choudhury is the convener while Laksmi Kantha Singh will perform as member secretary in the committee. l

Verdict likely in April for Matia slams environmentalists for 1989 grenade attack on protesting Bt Brinjal n Hasina's residence Abu Bakar Siddique

n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu Almost 24 years after a grenade attack at Awami League President Sheikh Hasina’s residence, the verdict of an explosives case in this regard is expected in April, as trial proceeding of the case is nearing its end. On August 11, 1989, some Freedom Party leaders and activists had allegedly tried to kill Sheikh Hasina at her Dhanmondi residence by throwing grenades. Asked about the verdict of the case, Additional Public Prosecutor of the court ABM Bashir Uddin Miah told the Dhaka Tribune: “The recording of depositions and cross-examinations of prosecution witnesses have been concluded; a few more days are needed to complete the trial proceeding, and the verdict may be handed down in April.” The trial proceeding of the case is running at the Dhaka’s Fourth Additional Metropolitan and Session’s Judge AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan’s court. The court completed recording the statements and the cross-examinations of all 13 prosecution witnesses in the case yesterday, by recording the deposition of the case investigation officer Md Khalequzzaman, while the defence counsel Md Shajahan also cross-examined him. The court also fixed March 19 for self-defence hearing. According to the case details, on the night of August 11, 1989, some militants who are also leaders of the Freedom Party attacked the Dhanmondi 32 residence of the Awami League president to kill her. Hasina, now the prime minister, was at her house during the incident. At that time, the security guard of her house opened fire. In this connection, the then secu-

rity guard Habilder Md Jahirul Haque filed the case under the explosives substances act against some unknown accused with the Dhanmondi police station the same day. The police initially submitted its final report in 1996 during the first tenure of the Awami League government. After re-investigation, the CID submitted the charge sheet. On February 20, 1997, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Assistant Superintendent Md Khalequzzaman, also investigation officer of the case, pressed charges against 16 people including Freedom Party chief Lt Col (retd) Farooq Rahman and Maj Bazlul Huda. The court framed the charges against the accused on July 16, 1997. Of the accused, Sohel alias Freedom Sohel, Md Golam Sarwar alias Mamun and Joj Miah are now in jail, while Humayun Kabir, Mizanur Rahman, Khondoker Amirul Islam and Md Shajahan alias Balu are on bail. Five accused absconding from the beginning are Lt Col (retd) Khondoker Rashid, Jafor Ahmed alias Manik, Syed Nazmul Maksud, Gazi Imam Hossain and Md Humayun Kabir. The main accused of the case, Lt Col Syed Farooq Rahman and Maj Bazlul Huda, were hanged in Bangabandhu murder case on January 28, 2010. Two other accused – Gazi Liakat Hossain and Rezaul Islam Khan – have died. Of the accused, Humayun, Rezaul and Liakat made confessional statement on September 23, 1996, before the court. In connection with the attack, another case was filed against the same accused for the attempted murder of Hasina. Proceedings of that case is also nearing its end, with the same court set to record final arguments from both sides on March 3. l

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday came down heavily on the protesters for their stance against the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) Bt Brinjal in Bangladesh. She also alleged that some quarters were blindly opposing the cultivation of Bt Brinjal and filed cases against the introduction of the new crop in exchange for money from the pesticide companies.   She said this while addressing a seminar on Global Perspective of Biotech/GM Crops and its Contribution to Food Security and Poverty Alleviation at the auditorium of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council.   “Those who staged human chain are not accountable to people but we are,” she said adding that the GM variety was released after ensuring all

kinds of safety measures.   Referring to the survey of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri- Biotech Applications (ISAAA), Matia also said the use of pesticide reduces a total of 497 billion kg after cultivating biotech food grains in the world.    Biotech crop double the food production that may contribute to poverty alleviation, said Dr Clive James, Founder & Emeritus Chair, ISAAA while presenting his article on “Global perspective of Biotech/GM Crops: 2013” in the seminar. He said this technology will help farmers throughout the worlds produce higher yield while reducing pesticide use and soil erosion at the same time.  “We have necessary contribution to feed the people of the world. It’s a contribution not solution.” he said.   It is an exemplary technology for

Bangladesh as the country can double its agricultural production by using this, he added. Dr Randy A Hautea, Global Coordinator of ISAAA, presented an article on Impact of Bt Maize in the Philippines during the seminar. He said Philippines became self-sufficient in corn in 2012 after it introduced biotech corn. Bhagirath Choudhury, director of India BIC, ISAAA said with the help of biotech cotton seeds India achieved the productivity for their country by making it triple. The government on October 30 last year released four genetically modified Brinjal varieties known as Bt Brinjal, in the country amid the concern of environmentalists regarding its probable environmental and health hazards. They are named Bt Uttara, Bt Kajla, Bt Noyontara and Bt Isd 006. l

Parbatya Chattagram Pahari Parishad brings out a procession in the city protesting the attack on indigenous people




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Coaching centres still flourishing flouting guidelines Teachers’ promise of ‘extra care’ keeps private tutoring alive Manju Ara, principal of ViqarunniCollege, said: “My daughter is a weak n Tazlina Zamila Khan student. One day, her Bangla teacher sa Noon School and College, said: “We Many schools in the capital have been ignoring the government guidelines that bar teachers from tutoring students of their own institutions even after two years. It is alleged that weak students are lured for private coaching in the name of “extra care.” Israt Jahan Zerin, a student of Viqarunnisa Noon School & College, said: “Coaching has become necessary to get better marks. Teachers give us suggestions and lectures for getting good marks.” Students are usually given a list of questions as suggestions and handouts to read which is eventually reducing the dependency on textbooks. Fahida Haque, a guardian of a class two student of Milestone School &

said she would take extra care of my child in coaching. So, I sent my child for tuition.” Another guardian Rasheda Khan said some students were weak and teachers took the advantage of the situation. Teachers of National Ideal School, Rajuk Uttara Model School and College, Ideal School College and other institutions have been allegedly providing private tuition to students of their own and other institutions. However, Prof Md Shahidul Islam, principal of Milestone College, denied the allegations and said: “Our teachers are not providing private tuition to our students at home. We have a vigilance team that sometimes visits the houses of teachers for investigation.”

have not got any complaints from the students or guardians in this regard yet.” Earlier in 2012, the government issued a policy to stop teachers from doing coaching business in educational institution. The policy says teachers at schools, colleges and madrasas will not be able to provide coaching or private tuition to students of their own institutions. On June 14, 2012, Education Minster Nurul Islam Nahid said: “Teachers can provide tuition to maximum 10 students a day from other institutions at home.” The policy came up after the High Court, on October 17, issued a rule asking the government to explain why it should not direct the teachers to stop working at coaching centres and why a

law should not be enacted in this regard. Ziaul Kabir Dulu, the president of Obhibhabok Oikya Forum, said: “Government has been playing reluctant role in implementing the policy properly.” Prof Md Ataur Rahman, director (College & Admin) of Directorate of Secondary & Higher Education (DSHE), said: “We have directed the headmasters of each institution to submit a report on implementation of the policy. But, we have not got any report yet.” Professor Sajal Kanti Mandal, director (Secondary) of the DSHE, said: “We have taken actions against some institutions after getting complaints. But, the guardians should have to speak up fearlessly to help us implementing the policy.” Actions would be taken immediately if any complaint was filed, he added. l


ACC likely to interrogate Rajuk chairman today n Syed Samiul Basher Anik The Anti-Corruption Commission is scheduled to question Chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) M Nurul Huda today in regards to its inquiry against the irregularity made by former housing and public works secretary Dr Khondaker Showkat Hossain. Signed by ACC Deputy Director Jatan Kumer Ray, the commission yesterday served a notice to Rajuk chairman seeking his statement with regards to the inquiry against Dr Khondaker Showkat Hossain, now the secretary at Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, on charge of acquiring different plots from Rajuk projects abusing power. Following specific allegations against the secretary, the commission, in early of this month, appointed its Deputy Director Jatan Kumer Ray to investigate into the allegations against the secretary, while ACC deputy Direc-

tor Benzir Ahmed is assigned to supervise the inquiry. ACC officials said the commission had primarily found that the secretary, while serving as the housing and public works secretary, had acquired plots in the name of himself, his wife and his mother at different Rajuk projects. Quoting documents received from Rajuk, the officials said he had taken a five-katha plot in his name, and a fivekatha plot in his mother name. He also took a five-katha plot in his wife’s name in Purbachal New City Project in 2005, which later was converted to a 10-katha plot and later to a 12-katha plot exchanging the previous ones. Officials said they had already analysed the documents received from Rajuk and found the evidence of irregularity. They also said the commission would soon grill Dr Khondaker Showkat Hossain, and some Rajuk members, if needed related to the inquiry. l

AL fearing JMB attacks during upazila polls n Our Correspondent, Barisal JMB militants, with the help of BNP-Jamaat, may attack vote centres, AL leaders and activists, to defeat AL backed chairman candidates in upcoming Barisal Sadar upazila election.

BNP leaders said AL leaders and candidates were trying to create panic of JMB attack by miss-propagations Shawkat Hossain Hiron MP, Barisal city unit of AL president came up with the remark at a press conference on Wednesday. The press conference was held at election coordination office of AL backed candidate Saidur Rahman Rintu, protesting the alleged attacks on his election camps and offices. In the press conference, it was al-

leged that cadres of Enayet Hossain Bachchu, BNP backed chairman candidate, cut down trees of pro-AL voters and activists and set fire on election camps of AL candidate in Badulla, Tunigibaria, Shayestabad and other places in the upazila trying to create panic. Hiron also cautioned that JMB militants may capture vote centers. On other hand, district unit of BNP held a counter press conference in Abdur Rahman Tapan Foundation office in the afternoon, denying the allegations. BNP leaders said AL leader and candidates were trying to create panic of JMB attack by miss-propagations. Israil Pandit, Sadar upazila election coordinator of BNP, read out the statement and Ebaedul Huque Chan, district unit president, Abul Kalam Shahin, secretary of BNP answered the questions of Journalists in the press conference. The BNP leaders also cautioned if election would not be conducted in a free and fair manner, they would boycott. l

HSC candidates form a human chain in front of the National Press Club Yesterday, demanding change in the schedule of the examinations

Seven get life term imprisonment for killing JnU student

Demo staged against US envoy in Barisal

n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

n Our Correspondent, Barisal

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced seven people to life term imprisonment and another to three years for killing a student of Jagannath University in 2008. The life term convicts were Kamal Hossain Jewel, Miraz, Ashraful Newaz, Maqfi Mahmud Maishu, Mostafa Kamal Roman, Sharif Ahmed and Mahmud Hasan Rony. They were also fined Tk20,000 each, in default, to suffer one year more in jail. Judge Md Nuruzzaman of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal 2 handed down the verdict after examining the witnesses and records in the case. The court also awarded three years

imprisonment to another accused, Rizia Begum, and fined her Tk5,000, in default, to suffer one month more in jail. According to the case details, the body of Hasib Humayun Prince, a Jagannath University third-year student of Statistics Department, was recovered from a CNG filling station in Rupganj of Narayanganj on October 5, 2008, hours after he left his Azimpur house with one of the convicts Meraj. The case statement said the accused Kamal Hossain had killed Hasib with the help of the other convicts as the victim obstructed him from having an extra-marital affair. Victim’s father Kanchan Hossain Talukdar filed a murder case with Rup-

ganj police station, accusing unknown people in this connection. Later, Criminal Investigation Department Sub-Inspector Pravat Kumar Nandi pressed the charge sheet, accusing the eight people with Narayanganj court on August 5, 2010. The case was later transferred to Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal 2 on September, 2011. One of the accused, Miraz, is absconding from the beginning of the case. A total of 29 out of 41 prosecution witness was examined by the court. Meanwhile, Hasib’s mother Hasina Aktar expressed her dissatisfaction over the verdict and said she will appeal to the High Court against the verdict. l

AL-led alliance, associated with other organisations, formed human chain and held rally in Barisal yesterday asking the US ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena to go back, during the third day of his five-day visit. The programme was held under the banner of Protibadi Nagorik Samaj in front of Ashwini Kumar Hall in the city at 4:00 pm. Among others Syed Anis, publicity secretary of district AL, Abdul Hye Mahbub, district JSD president, Nazrul Huque Nilu, Shanti Das, central committee member of Workers Party, AK Azad, district CPB president, Hiron Kumar Das Mithu, district Gano Forum

president, Mizanur Rahman, secretary of Sangskritik Sangothan Samannya Parishad, Bishwanath Das Munshi, Udichi Barisal president, Anwar Zahid, Kazi Enayet Hossain Shiplu and Suvangkar Chakroborty-NGO organisers addressed the programme. The speakers asked Mozena to return to his country, and not destabilize Bangladesh. Police led by SI Kabir, at the mid of the programme, snatched the banner. The US Ambassador to Bangladesh and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Janina Jaruzelski have been visiting Barisal, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Jhalokati, Barguna and Bhola for a five-day tour since February 24. l

Mass signature campaign at JnU n

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at a rally tries to calm students of Jagannath University yesterday


Mohammad Jamil Khan

On the 11th day of the continuous demonstration by the students of Jagannath University (JnU), a two-day long mass signature campaign began yesterday. Demanding recovery of the grabbed halls, the students also blocked roads of surrounding areas of the campus as part of their continuous demonstration yesterday. The three-hour long road blockade in English Road, Rayshaheb Bazar and Banglabazar areas kept Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and lawmaker Sahara Khatun waiting for 20 minutes. The two Awami League lawmakers went to the area to attend two separate programmes. Nurul Islam Nahid asked that students to demonstrate peacefully, and assured the students of taking steps to retrieve the grabbed dormitories soon. Earlier in the morning, students brought out a procession around 9am. After parading different main roads of the campus, they created blockade at

Rayshaheb Bazar intersection. The two-day long mass signatures campaign, which would be submitted to the government and authorities concerned to press home their demand, began on the campus yesterday. At the end of yesterday’s demonstration, Shariful Islam, president of Bangladesh Chhatra League of JnU unit, said they would resume their demonstration at 9am today and would continue till their demands were met. Meanwhile, JnU Teachers’ Association held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the ongoing situation. Following the meeting, Prof Sarkar Ali Akkas, president of the association, said they would boycott all classes today and would hold a human chain on the campus today. He also said they would submit a memorandum to the home ministry in this regard. On the other hand, Sheikh Rezaul Karim, deputy registrar and president of JnU officers’ association, said they would hold a human chain on the campus today, protesting Sunday’s police attack on students and staffs. l


Transports workers demand smooth gas supply n Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur Transport workers brought out a procession in Lakshmipur town yesterday, demanding smooth gas supply and protesting the closing down of the Chandraganj Shahi CNG filing station. A large number of CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver formed a human chain and blocked the Dhaka-Raipur highway from 10am to noon, resulting a tailback on both sides of road on the Dhaka-Noakhali Highway.

‘We are compelled to take to the street as authorities are not taking any action over the issue’ Later, police rushed to the spot and removed the blockade dispersing the transport workers. The agitated workers said they had been facing gas crisis for the last two months, but the authorities are yet to take any measure to solve the crisis. Transport workers said they could not refuel their vehicles despite waiting in long queue for hours. “We were forced to take to the street as authorities are not taking any action over the issue.” The workers said they had to submit Tk500/Tk600 to auto-rickshaw owner per day. “It has become tough for us to manage the money as we cannot run vehicles on run for shortage of gas,” said another worker. Owner of a filing station Mezbah-ur-Rahman Chisti said: “We have closed the station temporarily because of low pressure of gas.” Filling station owners are facing huge losses due to the on-going gas crisis, he said, urging the government to take measures to ease gas crisis so that they could get rid of the problem. l




228 primary schools suffer for want of tube wells n Our Correspondent, Rajbari

Around 13,230 students and 624 teachers in 228 primary schools out of 466 in five upazilas of the district are suffering due to shortage of drinkable water because of lack of tub-wells. According to the district education officer sources, severe water crisis prevails in 201 schools as existing tube wells at these schools have been out of order for long while 21 schools are without any tube wells. Department of Public Health and Engineering office Rajbari sources said the students, teachers and staffs of the schools would not get pure drinking water in upcoming dry season as the tub wells were out of order.

“We have sent a list of the schools to the district public health office recently,” said an official. “We also requested the executive engineer to resolve the crisis,” the official said. Student of B-Koya and Narua Government Primary Schools under Pangsha upazila said that they often had to risk their lives as they crossed the main roads in search of a tube well for potable water. Boalia Govt Primary School headmaster Akbor Hossain said: “The school toilets are almost unusable due to lack of water and we suffer most during school hours.” Charpaturia Govt Primary School headmaster Shakhwata Hossain said: “The students and teachers both

are equally suffering due to water crisis.” The headmaster of Laribari Govt Primary School said that water crisis was a long standing problem in the primary schools. “I have informed the authorities concerned but they seem indifferent to the matter,” he said. “Sometimes the children have to drink unhygienic surface water from nearby sources for which they often suffer from water born diseases,” said Jamalpur Government Primary School headmaster. When contacted, District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) Mohammad Fazlul Haque said:”We are preparing to make a list on non-operative tubewells and latrines.” l

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Illegal structures on highways to be demolished n Rabiul Islam The government has decided to demolish all the illegal structures, including kitchen markets, on both sides of roads across the country, with a view to ensuring smooth movement of all kinds of vehicles. Moreover, strict actions would be taken against shallow-engine run vehicles popularly known as Nosimon, Korimon and Votboti so that these types of vehicles could not run on the highways. The decisions was taken at a cabinet committee meeting on road safety with Communication Minister Obaidul Quader in the chair at the secretariat yesterday. The meeting also took decision to remove speed breakers from highways

which cause frequent road accidents. The meeting elaborately discussed ways to remove illegal structures and stop the plying of illegal humanhaulers, said Road Division Secretary MAN Siddiq while talking to journalists after the meeting. The meeting decided to hold discussions about the traffic congestion in the capital at its next meeting, he said. The committee includes shipping minister, rail minister, land minister, state minister for finance, state minister for home and state minister for LGRD. All of the ministers concerned were present at the meeting. The official said letters would be sent to the committees concerned from the cabinet division soon asking them to take actions in this regard. l

50km tailback on Dhaka-Chittagong highway n Our Correspondent, Comilla Thousands of passengers got stranded for hours on Dhaka-Chittagong highway yesterday afternoon as a 50-km tailback was created following road accidents. Sub-Inspector of Daudkandi Highway Police Md Rois Uddin said: “The vehicle movement on the both sides of the road was halted as a bus, truck and culvert collided in Amirabad in Daudkandi upazila, leaving 12 people injured.” A truck was also severely damaged during the accident, he said. The long tailback stretching from Moinamoti of Comilla to Bhoberchar area under Gozaria upazila of Munshiganj was created as large number of vehicles plied the highway after the accident. l

Khulna oil workers protest police assault n Our Correspondent, Khulna Fuel oil workers of three depots in Khulna yesterday observed work abstention as a worker was assaulted by a police officer on Tuesday. The workers under the banner of Khulna Divisional Tank Lorry Workers Union have announced yesterday morning that they would go on a strike sine die protesting the assault. During the announcement Mir Moksed Ali, president of the Tank Lorry Workers’ Union, said labourers would not extract oil from Padma, Meghna and Jamuna oil companies till the authorities concerned take action against the officer.

Transport workers block the Dhaka-Jhenaidah Highway yesterday, protesting a directive of the High Court that prohibited plying of shallow-engine vehicles on the roads of 10 south-western districts in the country DHAKA TRIBUNE

BAU crossbreeding project for Brahman cattle gets off the ground n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh The scientists of Bangladesh Agricultural University have become successful in crossbreeding Brahman cattle without using any chemical hormones. The researchers of artificial breeding centre imported a species of American Brahman cattle in 2011. After a three-year research, they succeeded in crossbreeding local cattle with the Brahman species using an artificial breeding technology. Previously, the government and nongovernment organisations had taken initiatives to increase the production of milk. The crossbreeding of Brahman cattle has been considered the first move to develop cattle population in t he country.

Sources said people’s demand for meat was mostly fulfilled by local livestock, but to fulfill the other big demand, the country had to depend on India. To overcome the situation, the scientists started to work on a three-year project title “Pranisompod Udbhabonmukhi Gobeshona” funded by the World Bank and the University Grants Commission (UGC). Under the project, the scientists took initiatives for crossbreeding local cattle with the American Brahman species. Field Assistant of the breeding centre Yunus Ali said: “Brahman cattle grow up quickly, so farmers have become interested in crossbreeding.” The farmers said they were hopeful after getting Brahman species of calves

because of its rapid growth. Assistant Professor and PhD student Noni Gopal Shaha said the weight of eight-ten-months-old crossbreed calves became 150-160kg. Professor Azharul Haque of the Animal Breeding and Genetics Department project said they got over 500 calves through the crossbreeding of 1,500 local cattle with the American Brahman species in last three years. The Brahman species of calves grew up with such a rapid pace that they gained 1.5kg per day, he added. Chief scientist and Professor of Animal Science Department Mohammad Mozaffar Hussain said they would take steps to deliver the artificial breeding technology to all farmers soon considering the deficiency of animal protein. l

Campaign to clean Cox’s Bazar beach n Tribune Report A team from the Nielsen Bangladesh has carried out a beach-cleaning campaign in Cox’s Bazar beach area recently to create awareness among tourists and locals against environment pollution. About 60 employees of the organisation took part in the beach cleaning initiative with a call to reduce and prevent plastic and marine debris, which may promote tourism in the country, says a press release. During the drive, the participants removed trash and debris from the beach. Participants said they were glad after taking part in beach clean-up campaign. Beach walkers were also asked to volunteer and to advise other people to keep the beach clean. The Nielsen Bangladesh, the leading survey research company in the country, is a member of The Nielsen Company, the world’s largest research and measurement company based in the USA. l

Anwar Hossain, manager of the Padma Oil Company, said the labourers withdrew their strike following Khulna Metropolitan City authorities assuring them of taking measures against the officer. Sources of the association said a tank-lorry driver Sirajul Islam was going to Jhenaidah for supplying fuel to different filling stations. When he reached Daulatpur Mohsin intersection around 12:30pm, a uniformed police officer riding a motorbike stopped him. As the cop intercepted him without any reason, he started arguing with him and at one stage of altercation the police personnel beat up him in-

discriminately, leaving him critically injured. On receiving information, leaders from the organisation rushed to the spot and rescued him. He was later taken to Khulna Medical College Hospital. Soon after the incident, a good number of workers put up barricades on the Khulna-Jessore Highway, demanding stern actions against the official. During the agitation, they also tried to vandalise vehicles, but their efforts went in vain as by then police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. The workers later withdrew their barricade after police administration assured them of taking actions. l



Thursday, February 27, 2014





Alarm in Ukraine as Putin puts Russian troops on alert n

Reuters, Simferopol

President Vladimir Putin put Russian combat troops on high alert for a drill on Wednesday, the Kremlin’s most powerful gesture yet after days of sabre rattling since its ally Viktor Yanukovich was toppled as president of Ukraine. Thousands of ethnic Russians, who form the majority in Ukraine’s Crimea region, demonstrated for independence for the peninsula that hosts part of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet. They scuffled with rival demonstrators, mainly from the Tatar minority, who support the new authorities in Kiev. With the political turmoil hammering Ukraine’s economy, the hryvnia currency tumbled 4% on Wednesday, with ripples spreading to Russia where the rouble fell to five-year lows and bank shares took a hit. Ukraine’s central bank, which has been rapidly burning its hard currency reserves to protect the hryvnia, said it has abandoned a managed exchange rate policy in favour of a flexible currency, a senior official told CNBC TV. Moscow also denounced what it described as the rise of “nationalist and neo-fascist sentiment” in the country’s mainly Ukrainian-speaking western areas, where it said Russian speakers were being deprived of rights. It has repeatedly expressed concern for the safety of Russian citizens in Ukraine.

“In accordance with an order from the president of the Russian Federation, forces of the Western Military District were put on alert at 1400 (0500 ET) today,” Interfax news agency quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.

Any military action in Ukraine would be arguably the closest the West and Russia have come to outright confrontation since the Cold War Since Yanukovich’s downfall on Saturday, all eyes have been on Putin, who ordered an invasion of neighbouring Georgia in 2008 to protect two self-declared independent regions with many ethnic Russians, which he then recognized as independent states. Any military action in Ukraine, a country of 46 million people that has close ties with European powers and the United States, would be far more serious - arguably the closest the West and Russia have come to outright confrontation since the Cold War.

New Cabinet

Ukraine’s new leadership plans to

name its new cabinet on Wednesday, paving the way for urgent IMF talks to stave off financial meltdown now that Russia is all but certain to cut a $15 billion financial lifeline it offered Yanukovich as the prize for turning his back on ties with the EU in November. The International Monetary Fund has said it is prepared to send a team of negotiators to Kiev, but a government must first be formed there and request the aid. US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, visiting Kiev, said American financial experts were already in the country looking for ways to help. Yanukovich fled his luxurious palace on the outskirts of Kiev on Friday night after days of violence in which scores of his countrymen were killed, including demonstrators shot dead by police snipers from rooftops. His downfall, three months after he abruptly turned his back on a free trade pact with the European Union to seek closer ties with Russia, has infuriated Moscow, which describes the new authorities as extremists who seized power through force with the aid of Western powers. In the Crimean regional capital Simferopol, pro-Russian crowds, some of them cossacks in silk and lambswool hats, shouted “Crimea is Russian!.” Mainly ethnic Tatar demonstrators backing the new authorities rallied under a pale blue flag shouting “Ukraine! Ukraine!” l

Thursday, February 27, 2014

US warns banks to watch for Yanukovich moving looted funds

n Reuters

The US Treasury warned banks on Tuesday to be on the look-out for potentially suspicious transfers of financial assets by Ukraine’s fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich or members of his inner circle. Yanukovich is on the run after being toppled by bloody street protests in which police snipers killed demonstrators. An advisory from the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said that US financial institutions “should be aware of the possible impact that public reports of high-level corruption by senior members of the Yanukovich administration and other illicit activity by members of the administration may have on patterns of financial activity.” FinCEN said it was reminding banks they were required to apply “enhanced scrutiny” to accounts held by Yanukovich or his circle “and to monitor transactions that could potentially represent misappropriated or diverted state assets.” Ukraine’s parliament voted on Tuesday to send Yanukovich to the International Criminal Court over police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens of Ukraine and other states. The country’s new leaders have appealed for urgent international aid, saying it needed $35 billion over the next two years. Acting President Oleksander Turchinov warned that Ukraine was close to default and “heading into the abyss.” l

43 killed in Nigeria in suspected Boko Haram school attack n AFP, Kano Suspected Boko Haram Islamists killed 43 people on Tuesday in an attack on secondary school students as they slept in the latest school massacre to hit Nigeria’s troubled northeast. Nigeria meanwhile issued an appeal to France and Abuja’s Francophone neighbours, especially Cameroon, to help it in the battle against Islamists, two days before a planned visit from French President Francois Hollande. The raid at 2:00 am (0100 GMT) targeted the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and bore the hallmarks of a similar attack last September in which 40 died. The attackers reportedly hurled explosives into student residential buildings, sprayed gunfire into rooms and hacked a number of students to death. A senior medical source at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Yobe’s capital Damaturu said the gunmen only targeted male students and that female students were “spared.” “So far, 43 bodies have been brought (from the college) and are lying at the morgue,” said the source, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to discuss death tolls. A statement released by President Goodluck Jonathan’s office described

Iraqi leaders give Turkey: Syria crisis a threat to all conflicting answers on reported Iran arms deal n Reuters, Baghdad Iraqi officials gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday about whether or not Baghdad had agreed to buy $195 million worth of arms and ammunition from Iran as reported by Reuters, a deal that if confirmed could damage IraqiUS relations. The Defence Ministry denied any such deal had been done, while a senior Iraqi government lawmaker who heads parliament’s security and defence committee said Baghdad had bought “some light weapons and ammunition” from Tehran. The United States has demanded explanations from Iraq since such a deal would violate US and UN sanctions imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme. An influential US senator said the sale of 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq should be reconsidered until the matter was cleared up. The United States has supplied weaponry to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government to help it combat al Qaeda militants and related splinter groups. However, Maliki’s Shi’ite Muslim-dominated government has strong relations with Iran, the biggest regional Shi’ite power. Washington has been vying with Tehran for influence in Iraq since the 2003 fall of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein to a US-led invasion. The last US troops left Iraq in December 2011. Reuters, citing documents it had obtained, reported on Monday that Iraq

struck the arms deal with Iran at the end of November after Maliki returned from Washington where he had lobbied for extra weapons to fight al Qaeda. Some in Washington worry about providing sensitive US military equipment to a country they worry is becoming too close to Iran. Several Iraqi lawmakers said Maliki had made the deal because he was fed up with delays in US arms deliveries. The Iraqi Defence Ministry denied Reuters’s report, saying it had used the issue “for political and media purposes.” The ministry acknowledged Iran had put in a bid for a contract to supply Iraq with night vision goggles and ammunition, but said that the tender was granted to other parties it did not identify. “Bids were received from many international companies, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, China, Ukraine and Pakistan, along with other companies,” A ministry statement said. “The Iranian Defensive Industries Organisation submitted offers. However (our) reference was with other companies and no contract was signed with the Iranian company.” Two contracts seen by Reuters were agreed with the state-owned Iran Electronic Industries for night vision goggles, communications equipment and mortar-guiding devices. However, the Iranian government denied any knowledge of a deal to sell arms to Iraq. l

Couple finds $10m in buried treasure n Reuters, Los Angeles A trove of rare Gold Rush-era coins unearthed in California last year by a couple as they walked their dog may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States, worth more than $10 million, a currency firm representing the pair said. The 1,400 gold pieces, dating to the mid- to late 1800s and still in nearly mint condition, were discovered buried in eight decaying metal cans on the couple’s land last April, said coin expert David McCarthy of currency firm Kagin’s. “We’ve seen shipwrecks in the past where thousands of gold coins were found in very high grade, but a buried treasure of this sort is unheard of,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never seen this face value in North America and you never see coins in the condition we have here.” Kagin’s has declined to identify the couple, who according to the firm want to remain anonymous for fear treasure hunters will descend on their property in Northern

California’s so-called Gold Country, named after the state’s 1849 Gold Rush. The couple had been walking their dog when they came across a rusty metal can sticking out of the ground and dug it out. After finding gold coins inside they searched further and found the rest of the cache.Also unclear is who hid the gold pieces, which were minted between 1847 and 1894, in a variety of 19th-century metal cans on land that eventually became part of the couple’s yard. McCarthy said it was curious that the containers were discovered scattered across one section of the property at different depths, suggesting that they were not all put there at the same time. The $20 gold pieces appeared to have been new when they went into the ground and had suffered little damage from being in the soil for so long. McCarthy said Kagin’s will sell most of the coins on Amazon for the couple and that a sampling will be displayed at the upcoming American Numismatic Association show in Atlanta later this month. l

People walk in a street where buildings were damaged on February 21 on the key rebel-held bastion of Yabrud north of Damascus

n Reuters, Ankara Turkey’s foreign minister said Syria’s worsening war now posed a danger to all countries because President Bashar al-Assad’s government had been allowed to continue its “crimes” while jihadists from around the world flooded in to fight him. Ahmet Davutoglu told Reuters a robust international strategy including “real intelligence cooperation” and withdrawal of all foreign fighters was needed to end the conflict and help millions of Syrians devastated by violence.

US expels three Venezuelan diplomats n Agencies The US State Department has expelled three Venezuelan diplomats in response to last week’s expulsion of three consular officials from Caracas. Jen Psaki, the department’s spokeswoman, said on Tuesday that First Secretary Ignacio Luis Cajal Avalos, First Secretary Victor Manuel Pisani Azpurua, and Second Secretary Marcos Jose Garcia Figueredo, had 48 hours to leave the US. The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, expelled three US diplomats from Caracas on February 17, saying they were supporting opposition plots to overthrow him. Psaki cited US concerns about Venezuela’s record on human rights and support for democracy, but said the US remained open to a diplomatic relationship with Maduro. “But recent actions, including expelling three of our diplomats, continue to make that difficult.” Elias Jaua, Venezuelan foreign minister, said the US moves were “a retaliation” and “not reciprocity.” l

The crisis was “a threat to all,” he said in an interview, pointing to what he called the totalitarian nature of the Assad government and the presence of al Qaeda-linked armed groups. He added that Damascus had in effect colluded with the militant rebel groups to fight moderate opposition factions. Syria has not responded to similar charges made in recent weeks and says it is leading international efforts against terrorism. The government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted Justice and Development (AK) Party is


already reeling from graft allegations, civic protest, and a struggle for control of institutions with former Islamist allies that have turned against it. But a long-simmering internal debate over Turkey’s policy on Syria and other Arab Spring countries is starting to boil up once more, as fears grow of blowback from Ankara’s support for Syrian rebels increasingly dominated by Islamist factions. “The problem is not only for Turkey, the problem is for the region,” Davutoglu told Reuters on Tuesday. “This is a threat to all of us.” l

the killing by people it called “deranged terrorists and fanatics,” as “callous and senseless.” Yobe has been one of the hardest-hit areas in Boko Haram’s four-and-a-half year Islamist uprising, which has killed thousands of people. The name Boko Haram means “Western Education is forbidden.” The group has been blamed for waves of school attacks, especially in Yobe, where scores of students have been slaughtered in the last year. The state’s police chief, Sanusi Rufai, who confirmed the attack and had given an earlier death toll of 29, went to Buni Yadi – roughly 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Damaturu – with Governor Ibrahim Geidam to assess the damage. Yobe is one of three northeastern states which was placed under emergency rule in May last year when the military launched a massive operation to crush the Boko Haram uprising. At least 40 students were killed in September at an agriculture training college in Yobe after Boko Haram gunmen stormed a series of dorms in the middle of the night and sprayed gunfire on sleeping students. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the northeast since the emergency measures were imposed, despite the enhanced military presence. l

Britain’s Labour party to pledge EU referendum n Reuters, London Britain’s opposition Labour party is preparing to change its policy on the European Union by pledging to hold a referendum on the country’s membership of the bloc at some point if elected in 2015, the Times newspaper reported on Wednesday. Citing an unnamed source close to the Labour party, it said Labour leader Ed Miliband would seek to reform Britain’s EU ties and back holding a membership referendum, but not by 2017 as Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged. The report said Miliband was open to changing the bloc’s founding treaties and would use any treaty change as an opportunity for a referendum. An announcement was expected in the next two weeks, the article said. Labour has yet to publicly state whether it wants an EU referendum, but has been critical of a promise by Cameron’s Conservative party to hold an in/out vote on Britain’s EU membership by the end of 2017 - if it retains power. “We do not believe it is in the UK’s national interest now to set an artificial timetable for a referendum,” a Labour spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday when asked about the report, which he declined to confirm. Some opinion polls show a slim majority of Britons would vote to leave the EU if given the chance, with many frustrated at perceived interference from Brussels in domestic politics. That frustration has been reflected in the growing support in polls for the anti-EU UK Independence party (UKIP). l

Ex pope denies he was forced to resign n Reuters, Vatican City Former Pope Benedict, in one of the few times he has broken his silence since stepping down nearly a year ago, has branded as “absurd” fresh media speculation that he was forced to quit. Church law says a pope’s resignation is valid only if he takes the decision in full freedom and without pressure from others. “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Benedict, 86, who now has the title “pope emeritus,” said in a letter to the Italian website Vatican Insider published on Wednesday. “The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simple absurd,” he wrote in answer to a request by the website for comment on recent Italian media reports. Benedict announced his decision to resign on Feb. 11, 2013 and formally stepped down on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope in 600 years to do so. Two weeks later, Francis was elected the first

This handout picture released by the Vatican press office on May 2, 2013 shows Pope Francis (R) greeting Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, Benedict’s new residence AFP non-European pope in 1,300 years. Benedict said at the time that he was stepping down because he no longer had the physical and spiritual strength to run the 1.2 billion member Church and that his decision had been taken in full freedom. Earlier this month on the day after the first anniversary of the announce-

ment of the resignation, Italian newspaper Libero ran a long story reviving speculation that Benedict may have been forced to resign because of scandals in the Vatican. In 2012, Benedict’s butler was arrested for leaking sensitive documents alleging corruption among Vatican prelates and irregularities in Vatican finances. l



Khurshid defends ‘impotent’ jibe at Modi BJP tells Sonia, Rahul to control Congress leaders


Agencies, New Delhi

Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Wednesday defended the use of word ‘impotent’ for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. “Why should I apologize? What should I say but impotent? Impotent means he failed to do what he was supposed to do. It is politics of incompetence, the BJP should look it up in the dictionary,” Khurshid said refusing to take back his remarks for Modi made in the context of 2002 Gujarat riots. The BJP, meanwhile, reacted strongly to Khurshid’s remark. “The comment is not only regrettable but shameful, coming from a person who is the foreign affairs minister of India. It is a new low. I can understand their desperation but let me ask Sonia Gandhi: does she approve of this comment?

India court orders arrest of Sahara group boss n AFP, New Delhi India’s top court Wednesday ordered the arrest of the head of the giant Sahara business group for failing to appear in a case involving repayment of billions of dollars illegally collected from small investors. The Supreme Court issued the order after Subrata Roy’s lawyer said the flamboyant billionaire could not appear because his elderly mother was ill, the latest twist in the 18-month-long case. “The arms of this court are very long. We can get him, we are issuing a warrant against him,” said Judge K S Radhakrishnan, rejecting the lawyer’s argument and ordering Roy to appear on March 4. On Tuesday the court rejected Roy’s request for an exemption from appearing in person over delays in repaying money collected from rural savers through bond sales. Sahara, a famous name in India through its former sponsorship of the national cricket team, raised around 200 billion rupees ($3.2 billion) from millions of savers in a process judged by authorities in 2012 to be against the law. The court then ordered the group to hand over money to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the securities regulator, which is overseeing the repayment process. In February last year Sebi ordered the bank accounts of two of Sahara’s companies to be frozen. During the hearing on Tuesday, the court said Sebi could go ahead with sales of Sahara properties to recover some of the money. It added that Roy and three other directors must comply with its orders to appear. l

China blames Philippines for latest South China Sea incident n Reuters, Beijing China on Wednesday accused the Philippines of “deliberate provocations” over an incident in disputed waters in the South China Sea that drew a protest from Manila about what it called Chinese ships’ use of a water cannon on Filipino fishermen. The Philippines lodged a protest with China on Tuesday over the issue, saying the Chinese were trying to keep the fishermen from fishing in Philippine waters around the Scarborough Shoal. China’s foreign ministry, which has already rejected the complaint, said its boats had every right to respond to “provocative” acts in its territory. China suspected the aims and identities of several Philippine fishing boats that recently appeared in the waters around the Scarborough Shoal, as some of them appeared to just “hang around,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. The Philippine boats ignored calls from the Chinese ships to leave, with some aboard even adopting a “provocative posture of appearing to spoil for a fight” in activities showing “a strong level of organization and confrontation,” Hua said. The Philippines was guilty of seizing Chinese fishing boats in the South China Sea, he added. l

Khurshid should apologize for the kind of language he has used against Modi. The desperation is there and the people will give response,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

We don’t accuse you (Modi) of killing people ... Our accusation is that you are ‘napunsak’ (impotent) BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi advised Congress leaders to keep patience. “They are using this kind of language as they are frustrated ... All the senior leaders and ministers are aware that they would be wiped out. This kind of statements will take them nowhere. “We would like to advise them to

keep some patience. Elections will come and go, you shall reap what you sow. The people will account for your scams, your performance, your corruption with interests. Why are you so worried,” he said. Another senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said that Congress and its leaders have “forgotten manners and etiquettes” and asked Rahul Gandhi whether he had imparted this kind of training to his leaders. The external affairs minister of India had on Tuesday called the Gujarat chief minister “impotent.” “Some people came, attacked and went, and you couldn’t protect. Are you not a strong man?” he had said. “We don’t accuse you (Modi) of killing people ... Our accusation is that you are ‘napunsak’ (impotent). You couldn’t stop the killers,” he added. l

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Data ‘manipulation’: AAP calls for regulation of opinion polls n Agencies, New Delhi Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav on Wednesday requested the Election Commission to regulate opinion polls and not ban them. On the issue of “manipulation” of data by pollsters, AAP said, “We are playing with future of our country, the manner in which democracy is run, there should be criminal probe.” Earlier on Wednesday, in the wake of allegations that some firms which conducted pre-election surveys were willing to tweak their findings, chief election commissioner VS Sampath said the Election Commission has in the past given recommendations on opinion polls and it was now for the government to act. He said the Election Commission will look into the allegations levelled by a TV news channel after a purported sting operation that “exposed” eleven agencies

which conducted opinion polls. “As far as opinion polls are concerned, Commission has taken a view, not today but ten years back in the year 2004 after they held an all-party meeting. They made their recommendations, subsequently also they collected the views of different political parties which have been given. The ball is in the court of the government,” Sampath said. The EC had in its recommendation called for restriction on opinion polls for a specified period during the election process. He was asked as to what course of action the Election Commission would take on the claims made by a TV channel which did a sting operation on some polling agencies. “We will certainly look into the matter. Whatever legal action that needs to be taken, that will be duly examined,” Sampath replied. l

Eyeing Afghan exit, US Japan moves to relax intensifies campaign arms-export ban against Haqqani militants n AFP, Tokyo

n Reuters, Kabul/Washington The United States has intensified its drive against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in an attempt to deal a lasting blow to the militants in Afghanistan before foreign combat forces depart this year, according to multiple US officials. The effort is taking on added urgency as the clock ticks down on a NATO combat mission in Afghanistan set to end in December, and as questions persist about whether Pakistan will take action against a group some US officials believe is quietly supported by Pakistani intelligence. The Obama administration has created a special unit based in Kabul to coordinate efforts against the militant group, according to officials familiar with the matter. It was set up late last year, as part of a new strategy that involves multiple government agencies. The unit, headed by a colonel and known in military parlance as a “fusion cell,” brings together special forces, conventional forces, intelligence personnel, and some civilians to improve targeting of Haqqani members and to heighten the focus on the group, the officials said. “Things are coming together in terms of the more comprehensive approach (against the Haqqanis). So, there’s a lot of focus - there’s a lot of energy behind it right now,” said a US defence official, who asked not to be identified. It was not immediately clear wheth-

er the intensified focus on the Haqqanis has led to increased strikes on the group by the US military or the CIA, which operates drones over Pakistan’s tribal areas. And it remains to be seen, this late in the NATO combat mission, how much damage the United States can inflict on the Haqqani network, which has proven resilient and uses Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border, including the North Waziristan region, as a sanctuary. The White House announced on Tuesday that President Barack Obama had ordered the Pentagon to prepare for a possible complete withdrawal of troops following Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a bilateral security pact. The Haqqani network, which professes obedience to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, is believed to have been involved in some of the most audacious attacks of the Afghan war. These include assaults on hotels popular with foreigners, a bloody bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, a 2011 attack on the US embassy, and several massive truck bombing attempts. The group is also believed to be holding Bowe Bergdahl, the only known US soldier missing in the war in Afghanistan. Some US lawmakers have complained that the Obama administration has dragged its feet in cracking down on the group after designating it a “foreign terrorist organization” in September 2012. l

Japan’s ruling party wants to loosen self-imposed rules banning arms exports in a bid to boost the country’s defence influence, a report said Wednesday, a move that would mark a major shift from its pacifism and could irritate China. A draft document that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants approved by his cabinet next month would allow Tokyo to supply weaponry to nations that sit along important sea lanes to help them fight piracy, Kyodo News said, an important step for a country like Japan which depends so heavily on mineral imports. This would mean nations such as Indonesia, but could also include others around the South China Sea – through which fossil fuels pass – such as the

Philippines, for example, which has a territorial dispute with Beijing. China and Japan are at loggerheads over the ownership of a string of islands in the East China Sea, while Beijing is also in dispute with several nations over territory in the South China Sea, which it claims almost entirely. Beijing resists attempts to multi-lateralise its disputes, while Manila has sought to make common cause with other countries at odds with China. Japan already supplies equipment to the Philippines’ coast guard, an organisation that is increasingly on the front line in the row with Beijing. Any move to bolster that support with more outright weapon supplies could irk China, which regularly accuses Abe of trying to re-militarise his country by the backdoor. l

Chinese sue Japan firms over forced WW II labour n Agencies A court in China has accepted a case filed by Chinese citizens seeking compensation from Japanese firms over forced labour during World War Two, reports BBC. The 37 plaintiffs include lawyers, academics and individuals who say they were forced into labour. They are seeking compensation and an apology printed in newspapers in both countries. It comes a day after China said it was mulling holidays to mark the Nanjing massacre and Japan’s wartime surrender. Ties between China and Japan have

recently been strained over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea over islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Japan controls the islands. The plaintiffs say that they or their relatives were taken to Japan and forced to work in coal mines during World War II, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper says. Beijing’s No 1 Intermediate People’s Court has accepted the lawsuit, Chinese state media report. “We believe the Chinese court will handle the case according to law,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing. l

US museum eyes influences of Indian-Americans n AP, Washington Indian-Americans are doctors, engineers, motel owners, taxi drivers and spelling bee champs — just a few takeaways from a new exhibition at the Smithsonian. Looking closer, though, curators are probing the history behind certain cultural stereotypes of this population of 3.3 million Americans in a new exhibit opening Thursday. The influx of Indian doctors, for example, began in the 1960s as the US needed more physicians for its new Medicare system and immigration law opened the door to those with medical training. Later, the American inventors of Hotmail, the Pentium chip and fiber optics were all of Indian origin, perhaps because H-1B visas for engineers were a US effort to remain competitive with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” is the Smithsonian’s first major exhibit to examine the history of Indian immigration to the United States and the influence of Indian-Americans. The exhibit is on view for at least a year and is expected to travel to 15 cities through 2019. It’s a story that dates to the first Indians arriving in 1790, those who helped build the nation’s railroads and farms, and those who fought for citizenship when immigration from Asia was discouraged. There are also plenty

of more recent contributions of leading Indian-American writers, entertainers, athletes and a fashion designer favoured by first lady Michelle Obama. Curator Masum Momaya said her team used Indian-American stereotypes as an entry point for visitors to learn more. “We want to take people beyond some of the things they know and have seen in popular culture to the deeper and more nuanced history,” she said. The Smithsonian borrowed and collected objects from many Indian-Americans, from family photos and shoes that evoke a family home to the a professional football helmet worn by the first Indian-American to win the Super Bowl, Brandon Chillar with the Green Bay Packers. For more than a year, curators worked to borrow a dress made by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan for Mrs Obama. Khan draws on a line of Indian embroidery techniques in his design for an American silhouette. The rarely seen gown joins items from other Indian-American ground breakers. There’s the NCAA basketball jersey from the first player wear a turban in competition as a symbol of his Sikh faith, a silver Olympic medal won by gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj in Athens, and the first US spelling bee trophy won by an Indian-American in 1985. Coincidentally, Indian-American students have been on a spelling bee winning streak for most of the past decade. l

9 Pak cabinet approves national security policy n Agencies, Islamabad The federal cabinet of Pakistan approved its much-awaited national security policy on Tuesday. However, its official unveiling was pushed to Wednesday evening. Titbits of information gleaned from various sources suggest that setting up of a joint intelligence directorate and conversion of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) into a powerful decision-making body are the mainstay of the first-ever national security policy of the country. The Interior Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had on many occasions said that a meaningful intelligence sharing between civilian and military agencies would be ensured in the new policy. The proposed regime envisages a key role for Nacta. The body is to plan and oversee everything which comes under the realm of ‘counter-terrorism’, with top civilian and military leaderships on its list of members. The policy carries broad guidelines for dealing with increasing extremism and sectarian strife in the country, improvement in anti-terrorism laws and speedy prosecution and conviction of terrorists. Irfan Siddiqui, special assistant to the prime minister on national affairs and coordinator of the four-member government committee, briefed the cabinet on the events which led to the breakdown of peace talks with the negotiators nominated by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. In no-nonsense terms, he explained that members of the TTP committee – Maulana Samiul Haq, Prof Mohammad Ibrahim and Maulana Abdul Aziz – were completely helpless and had nothing in their hands which could persuade the Taliban leadership to agree on an unconditional ceasefire. “In so many words, Mr Siddiqui said it would be a futile exercise to hold talks with the TTP through its present committee, even if tomorrow Taliban agree to an unconditional ceasefire,” said another source privy to the meeting. The cabinet unanimously upheld the government committee’s decision that there would no talks with the TTP unless it renounced violence and announced an unconditional ceasefire. The meeting was told that the ongoing military action against militants was a first phase and would continue in coming days. The prime minister told the sitting: “I have given strict instructions to the military leadership to avoid collateral damage, but the state is left with no option other than to react after the militants continued their attacks on security forces and civilians.” “All necessary steps will be taken to restore peace and put Pakistan on the track of progress and prosperity,” he said. l

US says military engagement key for Myanmar reform n AP, Washington

This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian shows a dress designed by IndianAmerican designer Naeem Khan for first lady Michelle Obama. It was worn to the 2012 Governors Dinner and is now on display at the Smithsonian’s first major exhibit AP

The appointee to become the top US defense official for Asia has said that engagement with the Myanmar military is crucial for democratic reform in the Southeast Asian nation. David Shear said in congressional testimony that without support from Myanmar’s military, the transition to democracy “will likely falter.” But State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said the US is not considering resumption of arms sales that were stopped after a bloody military crackdown on democracy protesters in 1988. “The U.S is not considering lifting the arms embargo on Myanmar,” she told reporters. The United States and other Western nations have rapidly eased economic and political sanctions against the nation known as Burma as its government has initiated reforms after five decades of military rule. The US has retained stiff restrictions on military engagement, however, although it’s begun dialogue on human rights and military law, hoping to encourage reforms within the military itself. “I would characterize engagement with the Burmese military as crucial to the overall success of the ongoing reform movement in Burma,” Shear said, adding that the Pentagon should move ahead with “calibrated and conditional engagement.” l




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Letters to

the Editor


Bias against private universities is harmful


e are dismayed by the education minister’s recent remarks about taking legal action against private universities. The minister’s frame of reference and tone betrays a regrettable prejudice against private universities and a mindset that too willingly advocates government interference. By their growth over the years, private universities have shown themselves to be highly capable and popular. Excessive regulation or interference in them will do nothing to raise standards in public universities and can only harm the future of higher education in our country. The current regulatory regime surrounding private universities is already unnecessarily cumbersome. Most of our public universities would not be able to withstand the same level of scrutiny. Private universities in Bangladesh fill the void left by a public university system which is crippled by poor resources, corruption, unending session jams and campus politics. On the other hand, the fact that many private universities are offering a high standard of education is proven by the success rate of their graduates in the marketplace. Under the circumstances, it would be much more helpful if the government focused its attention on helping private universities do their jobs better by removing red tape and implementing a fairer certification process. It is the duty of the government to ensure that the youth of our country has access to quality higher education. If the government is unable to provide this service then it should at least create a supportive environment where private entities can fulfill this role.

Interference will do nothing to raise standards in public universities or improve access to quality higher education

High tech crime calls for better cyber security


anks and customers must both become more vigilant to guard against the threat of cyber crime. The Banking and Financial Institutions Division Secretary has revealed that $250,000 was looted from Sonali Bank last year through the hacking of passwords. As mobile and online services become more popular, all banks must act together to better guarantee that customer services and accounts are not subverted by criminals or hampered by technical glitches. Unless cyber crime is firmly clamped down on and prevented, it poses a growing threat. The spread of IT gives criminals new tools with which to engage in financial crime. While systems are designed with checks and balances to prevent fraud and identity theft, there is always room for human error. The good news is that this means that individuals can take more responsibility through such simple measures as regularly changing and protecting their passwords. However, banks and law enforcers must also become more proactive. They need to move beyond traditional methods and regularly upgrade systems and technology to protect key information. More technicians need to be employed to test network vulnerability at appropriate intervals. Better screening of inside staff and background checks have to be part of the system as well. Assuming a constant threat is a necessary stance where large sums can easily be moved electronically. As well as improving and constantly monitoring internal systems, banks should work with regulators to raise awareness and improve customer education to help prevent cyber crime.

‘Uphold Language Martyrs Day spirit for positive politics’ February 21

Jamaat faces voter backlash February 21

Why don’t they, the politicians, start practicing positive politics first? That would be the example the rest of us should follow. Aritro Chowdhury

Has the BNP learned its lesson? February 21

nds This also proves that AL’s claim of popular legitimacy of their win in the January 5th election is not tenable. BNP’s mistake does in no way legitimise the AL’s continuation in power. They acquired this power by default, not out of people’s choice. Holding onto power without having the people’s mandate only establishes the fact that they are no different from those forces in this country that are accused of betraying the spirit of the liberation war. Their refusal to negotiate an interim fresh election is a gross insult to the people’s wishes and desires. imohammad In other words, the school of thoughts that suggests BNP was set not to participate in the election because of the war crimes trial issue might be correct. Had they won, it would have been difficult for them to scrap the on-going trial procedures. So, they would have landed on Damocles’s sword. Neither swallow nor cut throat. Ronnie Mr Sobhan makes some pertinent points here. However, a few necessary counterpoints must be made. First, I stress that outside the camp of AL die-hards, and several disingenuous commentators, it didn’t exactly take BNP’s recent slew of upazila election triumphs to convince too many people of that party’s resilience, continuing public appeal, and strong electoral viability. Clearly, there are multitudes of the voting public in this country who had not started writing misconceived, premature obituaries of the BNP yet – despite the party’s recent errors and troubles. Also, the just-concluded UZ elections were marred by more than mere isolated instances of rigging and other irregularities. I laud BNP’s wins, despite these predictable odds. Unlike the author, (and I hope I’m wrong), I actually sense that the remaining upcoming UZ elections are ever more susceptible to ruling party manipulations. Second, Mr Sobhan, rather naively and insincerely conflates the comparatively “fair” upazila election(s), so far, with the prospects of the January 5 national general election of having been the same. And he further speculates that BNP’s implacable distrust was exaggerated. I have to say it’s a pretty uncontroversial given in this country that UZ elections and the general

election are manifestly vastly different ballgames. Again, I believe that the arguments in favour of BNP’s participation in the January 5 election are greatly outweighed by the arguments in favour of that party’s eventual full boycott of said election. I have argued elsewhere about why I believe that the BNP was largely correct in rejecting the PM’s “offer” back in October, last year. I still feel that BNP’s shunning of the 5/1 polls will, in time, stand wholly vindicated. Third Mr. Sobhan makes a rather startling suggestion that BNP’s fears that AL would edge out a narrow victory in a relatively free and fair election were greater than their fears of an outright “stolen” election. I must say that not only do I not subscribe to the author’s apparent insinuations, but frankly, I also find the near-emphatic certainty with which he makes this highly speculative suggestion to be extremely odd. Fourth, the by now rather one-dimensional chorus of condemnation of, and righteous preaching to, the BNP regarding the Opposition’s indulgence in gratuitous violence is starting to really grate – at least with me. Sure, BNP’s tacit tolerance of the violence we witnessed during the hartal/blockades was dreadful. Yes, fortunately, they appear to have since made a vital course correction, on that count. But I resent the persistent and downright dishonest diatribes associating the BNP with ALL the violence, when the blatant truth is that the perpetrators of this violence belong in several different quarters. Indeed, there hasn’t even been a proper identification of, let alone an arrest and credible conviction of, any BNP men linked with the violence. It is outrageous how rampant BCL brutality, regime’s repression, police/ RAB excesses, judicial over-reach are treated by a craven, complicit media as if all this were mere fiction. You don’t reckon that the public looks upon the ruling AL regime with extreme disdain for this? Finally, it’s fair to say that the remainder of the author’s analysis is more credible and convincing. At any rate, his concluding remarks are, arguably, the most pragmatic and prudent course for the BNP to now pursue. I only fear that the AL regime’s increasingly recalcitrant, arrogantly autocratic attitudes portend the preclusion of any peaceful resolution to our current political predicament. Question is: What price will the AL exact on average Bangladeshis before they “learn” their own “lessons”?

khan This result in the Jamaat stronghold was expected. That was the place where Jamaat was expecting a good turnout. So the efforts were good for the ruling party. freebangladesh Given that most Jamaat/Shibir leaders are in jail or in hiding, and given the scandalous vote-rigging by AL, Jamaat have done fantastically well.

Inaugural of Cox’s Bazar stadium Sunday February 22

Tauhidur Rashid Finally, a properly designed stadium at the right place. There should be flights from Dhaka available before and after the match. Khandaker Hamidul Haque Panoramic view!! Good news for sports lovers. Mithun Musabbir We are still watching an animation. Remember that. Mohammad Rashed Bin Kamal Too early to comment on this. We haven’t forgotten what happened (and is still happening) with the Padma Bridge.

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Banks and customers must both become more vigilant



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Crustacean (4) 4 Ballot choices (5) 8 Optical illusion (6) 9 Apostle (4) 11 Time in grammar (5) 12 Killed (4) 14 Neckwear (3) 15 Holiday period (6) 19 Sailor (6) 21 Whichever it may (3) 22 Dry (4) 24 Deception (5) 27 As well (4) 29 Quickly (mus) (6) 30 Consumed (5) 31 Poet’s Ireland (4)

DOWN 1 Drinking vessel (3) 2 Talisman (6) 3 Peevishness (4) 4 Fermentation vessel (3) 5 S-shaped mouldings (5) 6 Perfect score (3) 7 Wine (6) 10 Continent (4) 13 Lump on the skin (3) 14 Popular dessert (6) 16 Turkish commander (3) 17 Maker of suits (6) 18 Extremities (4) 20 Accustom (5) 23 Scold (4) 25 Liable (3) 26 Lair (3) 28 Possess (3)


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





Thursday, February 27, 2014

The urban botanist n FS Aijazuddin


he city of Chandigarh is Islamabad gone right.  The similarities between these two cities – of their size, the most modern in the subcontinent - are numberless.   Both were established with the stroke of a pen, like Lutyen’s New Delhi. The three were conceived ab initio as capitals – New Delhi to flaunt British imperialism, Islamabad as a covert acknowledgement of the Pakistan Army’s role in the nation’s governance, and Chandigarh as compensation to East Punjab for losing Lahore.

Today, Chandigarh is a sort of urban Draupadi, sharing its favours with three states

A masterpiece from many angles


Fencing off democracy

T n MH Bari

he parliament is the symbol of our national pride and dignity. It is very sad that the citadel of our democracy and freedom has seemingly abdicated its sacred responsibility to the hubris of a handful of lawmakers, who have taken the parliament hostage by their sweet whims. From the very beginning, the parliament has been unable to function as the main forum for dialogue, debate, and negotiations to resolve policy differences amongst political parties. Members in the cabinet or the opposition party are found indulging in mudslinging with their opponents on the rare occasions that they are found participating in debates in the parliament. Though our parliament cannot work effectively, the Bangladesh National Parliament building is an architectural masterpiece and a real accomplishment for the country. World famous architect, Louis I Kahn, designed the parliament building to be constructed over 200 acres of land in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, which was inaugurated in 1982. The physical and architectural design of the building gives off a strong modernist vibe. The interiors apparently resemble a modern-day cathedral, intersected with pure geometrical elements. The geometrical windows allow natural light in the form of circles, triangles, and rectangles. It is very strong, yet simplistic. The use of concrete and its very visible role as the dominant building



material was by no way an accident. Indeed it was very deliberate and apparently typical of Kahn’s work. Utilising light and space to create, in the architect’s own words, a “poetic entity,” formed the basis of much of his work and design philosophy. Like the Taj Mahal, it looks amazing seen from afar but is much more than just the main building – the entire complex and grounds are beautiful. The complex is divided into three parts: The Main Plaza, the South Plaza, and the Presidential Plaza. The main building is at the centre of the complex. The outer parts of the complex include the MP hostel. An intricately designed lake surrounds the main building.

overlooked. Spoiling its beauty and defying citizens’ rights, the parliament secretariat has embarked on a plan to cage the parliament complex with an iron fence for security. The Public Works Department is implementing the project in which an 8.5-foot high iron fence would be set up on three sides of the complex – the South Plaza, and the lawns in the east and the west – replacing an existing four-foot high barrier. They have already dug trenches to install the fence at a cost of Tk9.5 crore to keep out “miscreants” and “security threats.” But security with an iron barrier is ridiculous as it does not guarantee

This is an uncivil and futile attempt at protecting an architectural marvel and symbol of our national identity

The complexes are popular among the joggers and skaters of Dhaka. The official prime minister’s residence is on the northwestern corner of the Mirpur Road and Lake Road crossing, and is a five-minute walk from the parliament. The area is one of the higher security zones of Dhaka. Although not a relic of the historical age, it is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture. This makes for a great tourist site. But sadly, this superb piece of architectural work is often


protection against potential threats or any attempt at sabotage. Close-circuit surveillance and other high-tech security systems are usually used across the world to secure important establishments. The lawns in the east, west, and the South Plaza must remain open to people. The existing barrier is adequate in preventing unwanted entry of stray animals. This is an uncivil and futile attempt at protecting an architectural marvel and symbol of our national


identity. It only shows the foolishness of this initiative. It may be cited here that any visitor, including foreigners, could enter the German national parliament even during sessions. Despite the 1987 grenade attack at the Sri Lankan parliament, there was no physical barrier put in place there. We have passed 42 years with no question of a security breach. What prompted our government to take this nonsensical initiative? Eminent architects, civil society members, and architecture departments of government and private universities are vehemently protesting this move. They have already organised a human chain in opposing this uncivil action of the government on February 21 for creating public awareness in front of the parliament. Teachers and students from different architecture departments took part in this human chain by carrying placards and chanting slogans. The entire South Plaza was dedicated to blurring the lines between the people and the parliament. The people’s rights cannot be violated. Our parliament building is a masterpiece of architecture. The building is one of the world’s best examples of architectural work in terms of its inspired use of light and space. This building must be protected and allowed to retain its own entity. We hope that our present government will respect the people’s opinion and refrain from fencing the citadel of our democracy. l MH Bari works in the global marketing of seafood from Bangladesh.


Had Lahore been portable, a third of it would have gone across the border as the rest of Punjab’s assets did in August 1947. Instead, East Punjab had to wait twenty years to be given a capital. Today, Chandigarh is a sort of urban Draupadi, sharing its favours with three states: Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Islamabad sits poised like an armed shakti astride the tiger of terrorism, detached from the samsara or the worldly reality called Pakistan. I saw Chandigarh for the first time in 1978. My introduction to it was through the eyes of Dr MS Randhawa, a retired IAS officer who, as Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh, had been singularly responsible for the city’s establishment. It is said that Mr AS (Pitras) Bokhari once offered a visiting IAS (then ICS) officer a chair, and when the man boasted of his rank, retorted: “In which case take two chairs.” Free of such arrogance, Dr Randhawa sat on more chairs than he had fingers. As Settlement Commissioner, he had found homes for millions of Sikh and Hindu refugees who crossed the new border in 1947. He salvaged priceless Pahari miniature paintings, re-settling them in Punjab’s nascent museums, and published a number of monographs on various aspects of Kangra paintings – on the “Bhagavata Purana,” the “Gita Govinda,” the “Ragamala,” and the “Bihari Sat Sai.” These might have been accomplishments enough for a lesser man, but Dr Randhawa in parallel founded the Punjab Agricultural University at Ludhiana and also steered East Punjab through its Green Revolution until it became the granary of India. The seeds he sowed in the 1960s have fifty years later yielded India a record bumper crop of 263.2 million tonnes of food grain. When he was asked how he had achieved this modern agricultural miracle, his answer was deceptively simple: By electrifying every village in the Punjab and by connecting every village by road to the nearest town.


Electrification, he explained, lengthened the working hours of every farmer into the night and road connections enabled farmers to bring inputs like fertilizers and pesticides and to send their produce out to the nearest market. Punjab’s farmers did the rest. Residents of Chandigarh nowadays drive blithely past the extensive mango orchards he laid out with such solicitude. They are largely unaware that his planning causes avenues to explode into colour in different months - one blue, another red, a third yellow, and so on. He welded his training as a botanist, his aesthetic sense and his administrative authority into one, creating Chandigarh, a garden with buildings, a city with a green soul. His pride was its Rose Garden. Jealously protective, he once caught someone plucking a rose from a flowerbed. He stopped his car and raced to reprimand the culprit, only to discover that the thief was Mulk Raj Anand, the famous writer and doyen of art-historians. Dr Randhawa’s generosity towards authors, artists, singers, and sculptors knew no bounds. He adopted a craftsman named Nek Chand who recycled broken glass bangles into figurines. Dr Randhawa gave him space in a public garden to exhibit his works. In time, the prolific Nek Chand, like the proverbial camel, made enough statuary to fill and then overcrowd the garden. Today, Nek Chand is almost as famous as Chandigarh itself – with decidedly less justification. Visitors with more discerning taste spend their time in Chandigarh’s Government Museum and Art Gallery. It houses the Indian share of the Lahore Museum’s collection of paintings, sculptures, textiles, coins – all apportioned in the ratio of two to one. As Buddha did not come three-legged, one footprint carved in schist went to Chandigarh, while the other remained embedded in Lahore. I spoke recently in the museum’s auditorium on the role of three Muslim fakir brothers at the Sikh Court of Lahore. Dr Randhawa had written extensively on Sikh paintings, and although he died 26 years ago, for me his presence exuded from every leaf, every flower and every stone that is Chandigarh.  

He welded Chandigarh, a garden with buildings, a city with a green soul

His widow Smt Iqbal Kaur lives there, a spritely ninety-seven year old with perfect recall. Her presence at the lecture was more than mere courtesy; it possessed the grace of a benediction. Dr Randhawa had dedicated his book “Kangra Paintings on Love” to her. How could one not dedicate the lecture to him? l   FS Aijazuddin, OBE, is the author of more than a dozen books. This article was first published in Dawn.


What’s best for bourses n Mamun Rashid


want to congratulate our finance minister, the Finance Ministry, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for the successful completion of the initial phase of the demutualisation of stock exchanges. I have all the reasons to be happy. It was I who championed the idea of demutualisation of stock exchanges through my writings in vernacular and English dailies and in other media. I was possibly the first to share this idea with the finance minister just after he took over the office at the finance ministry at the end of January 2009. It was the finance minister who re-emphasised the importance of demutualisation in the launching of my book “Sombhaboner Orthoniti.” The Daily Star reported on February 7, 2011: “The government will implement demutualisation or separation of management of bourses from their shareholders within its tenure to infuse dynamism into the stock market, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.” “We will realise our goal of demutualising stock exchanges before our

tenure ends. We must do it. Otherwise the stock market will never be dynamic,” insisted Muhith. The minister made the pledge at the launch of the book “Sombhaboner Orthonity,” or my preferred English title: “Hopeconomics.” It is good to see that in recent days, we, with the leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in close liaise with the finance ministry’s banking division, can make some directional moves towards ensuring better governance in our bourses, demutualisation being one of them. However, the journey has just begun. We have recently seen both our bourses at Dhaka and Chittagong having their new board and president. Incidentally though, both the presidents have worked for the government in the past – one as a justice and another in civil bureaucracy. I guess, governance being the “centre of the plate” issue, the government has chosen its former lieutenants to head the bourses and iron out the glitches between various stakeholders. Though we have mostly seen demutualised bourses picking up their heads from the private sector opera-

tors, in Bangladesh the governments were always happy with civil bureaucrats driving reforms for this transition economy. How far it can produce results, only time will tell. Apart from bringing in synergy and more dynamic approaches from the management, one convincing point for the original members or owners was, after demutualisation, the bourses will be more profitable, well-governed, and protecting of the interests of all the stakeholders – owners, investors, and regulators. We have so far received only a few lines from the newly elected presidents regarding their plan to streamline the bourses, and more importantly, ensure desired results. Though it is a little premature, I am sure they won’t forget – while their primary responsibility would be to ensure internal governance, bring back investor confidence, and establish a fault-free transaction platform. They must not lose focus of the profitability side of it. They must ensure enough turnover and lobby with the regulator for new listings. In every possibility, they should try to attract new and large companies to list through them. This

is happening everywhere. We also want to see more healthy competition between the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. More investment should be made on the training and development of their executives as well. We want to see more dynamic capital market professionals engaged in equity research and investor relationships. The stock exchange president and board membership is more than a full-time job. How far an independent director with very low board fees and 20 other tasks on their plate can do justice to this role, may always raise doubts. Developing an efficient management structure for the bourses is going to take time, and we should always try to develop people from within and bring them up to the curve. It is deemed that the management, with the help of independent directors, would make sure the bourses are wellrun and profitably managed. Without a market-friendly and profit-focused leadership, the job may not be well done. We want to see more synergy between business and the academia, more importantly, for professionals

to run our regulatory and quasi-regulatory bodies. Where, in an emerging economy, many professionals or businessmen could be conflicted in their ultimate business interests, a proper corporate governance guideline should help the situation.

After demutualisation, the bourses will be more profitable, well-governed, and protecting of the interests of all the stakeholders

Otherwise, it may end up as a club for retired professors, judges, or bureaucrats, not attending to the ultimate business purpose. Regulators can also embark on continuous coaching and training during the initial phases, till a respectable competence is built. Our development partners should be ready to step in. l Mamun Rashid is a business professor and financial sector entrepreneur.





Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kobor to be staged at Curzon Hall after six decades n Entertainment Desk TheatrEX Bangladesh is all set to stage its debut production Kobor by Munier Chowdhury today at the venue where the play was first staged for public viewing—Curzon Hall. To mark the month of language movement and paying tribute to the intellectual martyr Munier Chowdhury, TheatrEX comes up to revive history by staging the play at the momentous venue after six decades. Munier finished writing Kobor on January 17, 1953 and the drama was staged on February 21 on the same year in the prison cell where he was captivated. In 1956, Kobor was staged publicly at Curzon. Directed by Nila Saha, designed by Sudip Chakroborthy, the story is based on the brutal killing of the Language Movement of 1952. “We have put emphasis on the art design of the stage. We used countless roots of trees on stage, as a sym-

bol of our language. The roots define our identity and the stage has been set up as a broken graveyard to give an ambiance of the darkness and fear of the grave,” said chief director of TheatrEX, Sudip Chakroborthy. Along with twelve former students from the department of Theatre and Performance Studies, TheatrEX has staged Kobor on February 21-22 in Belonia, India. Sudip Chakroborthy, a multitalented and passionate theatre activist, has recently founded TheatrEX with the aim to give a platform for theatre practice to the ex-students of DU theatre department. The troupe aims to bring together and produce outstanding theatre that entertains, inspires, challenges and informs both audiences and participants alike. The promising theatre troupe participates in national and international seminars, discussions, workshops in home and abroad. l

Philip Alphonse to share Liberation War experience in talk show

n Entertainment Desk

Star Cineplex brings Avatar in 3D from tomorrow. The 2009 American epic science fiction action film is directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron, and it is set in the mid-22nd century, when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na’vi–a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film’s title refers to a genetically engineered Na’vi body with the mind of a remotely located human, and is used to interact with the natives of Pandora

Russian folklore steals the show at Shilpakala’s 40th anniversary



47 Ronin (3D), Aakash Koto Dure, Thor: The Dark World 3D, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 3D, Frozen in 3D, Shunte Ki Pao, Agnee Time: 10am - 10pm Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City Jibondhuli Bangladesh Film Institute

Film Festival

Amar Bhashar Cholochitro Time: 10:00am – 6:30pm TSC Auditorium, Dhaka University,


Duet Art Exhibition By Hashem Khan and Moham-

Nakphul: a touching story of a sex worker

mad Iqbal Time: 12pm – 8pm Gallery Twenty One, 751 Satmasjid Road


Prometheus By Mohakal Natya Sampraday Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm National Theatre, Shilpakala Academy, Shegun Bagicha

An exclusive talk show with French journalist Philip Alphonse will air today at 9:15am on ATN Bangla. The journalist will share at length his knowledge and experience of the wartime with anchor Joy- E- Mamun. Jointly produced by Tashik Ahmed and Faisal Mahmud, the show will also feature president of France-Bangladesh Economic Chamber, Kazi Enayet Ullah. In March 1971, French journalist Philips Alphonse was at Dhaka to collect news. He then witnessed the dark night of March 25. Philip documented the primary public resistance during the Independence War. Later he went to Kolkata from Dhaka. From there he visited the war free zones of Kushtia, Meherpur, and Jessore. He also documented the war free zone of Comilla. A documentary titled Ekti Potakar Jonmo was made by a Bangladeshi journalist, Prokash Chandra Rai, based on the footage of Philip’s work. l

Shaina, Tarin and Samia share TV screen

n Entertainment Desk

n Afrose Jahan Chaity 40th anniversary celebration of Shilpakala commenced on February 19 and yesterday, joining the celebration with their own 40th anniversary programme, Russian Centre of Science & Culture in Dhaka (RCSC) organised a cultural programme at the auditorium of National Art Gallery of BSA at 6pm on February 25. The event was a joint collaboration between Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Russian Centre of Science & Culture in Dhaka. The programme opened with a welcome speech by the Director General of BSA, Liaquat Ali Lucky. He emphasised on the importance of international cultural collaboration and how Russia work in partnership with Bangladesh about international cultural exchange. Director of Russian Centre of Science & Culture in Dhaka Alexander P Demin was present at the discussion session. He invited all to enjoy Russian cultural programme after the discussion part ended. The first performance of the event was a melodious Russian song rendered by Timir Nandi, a well known Bangladeshi singer. His performance was highly praised by the audience, as Russian is a difficult language to learn and he rendered the patriotic song with the grace and expertise. The next two perfor-

mances that got the audience appreciation were love songs presented by three Russian singers. Attired in traditional Russian avatar, the singers were able to breach the language barrier with emotion and music at their disposal. A group dance performance by students of the Russian Embassy School was also praiseworthy. Based on a modern folk tune, the children were dressed in traditional Russian dress and the presentation had elegance. The recitation was that of a mesmerising love story. Following the students’ performance, a video presentation on Russian folklore, traditional dance and folk songs was screened at the auditorium. Then, once again the audience had the opportunity to enjoy Timir Nandi presenting two more Russian love song. Later, a Russian comedy film named Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future, was screened. Directed by Leonid Gaidai in 1973, the film is based on the play Ivan Vasilievich by Mikhail Bulgakov and was one of the most attended movies in the Soviet Union in 1973 with more than 60 million tickets sold. RCSC in Dhaka was established in March 1974 in accordance with the agreement between the governments of the Soviet Union and Bangladesh. Its activity is primarily aimed at promoting the interests of the Russian Federation in Bangladesh. l

Popular TV actor Tarin appears as a sex worker in a single-episode play Nakphul to be aired today on Channel 9 at 10pm. The play is written by Pantha Shahriar and directed by Niaz Mahbub. Here, Tarin plays the role of Archana, who works in a brothel. Shantu, who was brought up in the brothel is like a younger brother to Archana. Santu is very fond of Archana and dreams to find her a better place and better life far away from the demeaning life of a sex worker. However, Archana is in a relationship with Mostak and dreams of marrying him. One day, to please Archana, Santu buys a nose pin (nakphul). On the same day, Mostak betrays Archana and they get into a fight. An angry Shantu rushes to take revenge on Mostak and that makes the whole situation go out of hand. Following the unfortunate incident, Shantu gets barred from seeing Archana for many years. But, after many years they come face to face once again. l

A scene from Nakphul

Godzilla trailer wows online audience n Entertainment Desk One of the more anticipated films of the coming summer, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, released the first trailer of Godzilla this morning and it has every possibility of being a great movie. It comes after months of teasers and beautifully made posters, starting at last year’s Comic-Con convention in San Diego. It was there that they released what became the first teaser for the movie which mostly focused on the soldiers as they parachuted into the middle of San Francisco as Godzilla trampled its way through it. The trailer follows around the same area they had ventured in before. This time though, there is much more of a focus on the rampant glob-

al destruction that the legendary lizard is unleashing. It opens with a skyward shot of a massive traffic jam somewhere, ending with the charred remains of a 747 in the middle of it all. There are also shots of tidal waves and people running for their lives from mass destruction, as is to be expected from a big monster movie. The shot that some will probably view with a lump in their throat, given its similarity to the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, comes from a skyline shot of what appears to be Tokyo being torn to bits as Bryan Cranston’s character Joe Brody watches on, frustrated at being told that what has been destroying large areas in America is a natural disaster. l

n Entertainment Desk Newcomers of showbiz, Shaina Amin, Samia and Tarin Rahman will be seen together in an upcoming single-episode TV play Ke Bhashabe Shada Megher Bhela. Written by Matia Banu Shuku, the whole play is shot at some beautiful locations of Cox’s Bazaar and the shooting has been finished recently. The drama features Shaina Amin as Tania, Lux Channel i Superstar Samia as Tarin and Tarin Rahman as Tuba. Apart from the three leading females, Niloy and Asif are also acting in lead roles. Five youthful and happy-go uni-

Proxy airs tonight n Entertainment Desk Telefilm Proxy will air today at 7:50pm on Maasranga TV. Written by Tushar Abdullondahr and directed by Sarkar Milton, the telefilm features Moutushi Biswas, Arsha, Rifat Chowdhury, Azad Amin, Sohel Khan and SM Mohsin among others. The story is about a young man with a mysterious and elusive character. He goes around acting as proxy to various errands requested by his friends and peers. Refusing to settle down for a stable relationship and facing real life, one day he wakes up to the reality that his actions had lead him to a point in life, where, he is not so sure about himself anymore and decides to deal with the actuality. l

A scene from Proxy

versity students go on a trip to Cox’s Bazaar. They were well occupied with sightseeing, relaxing on the sandy beach and spending quality time with each other. But the ambience of peace was interrupted through a shocking revelation. The group discovers that Tuba, who is pampered by all is actually married to Asif and kept it a well hidden secret from everyone. Already upset by the truth, the group faces other complications as a love triangle forms among Niloy, Tarin and Tania. Matter worsens when both of them tries to win his affection and as time passes, hostility starts to overshadow their friendship. l

Did you know? Mesut Ozil has the best games per assist rate in Premier League history (minimum 5 assists)


0 1 7

“Ban Gunday” The crowd turnout was disappointing in the opening game of the Asia Cup between defending champions Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday, but with the hosts taking the field it was only a matter of time that the empty stands were filled by the enthusiastic fans. There were around 200 people inside the stadium when both the teams came on for their pre-match warm-up and as soon as the toss took place and Bangladesh were asked to bat, the seats slowly began to fill. Within an hour the stadium was fully packed with Bangladesh colours. Banners, face painting, flags, placards – nothing was missing. Among many banners one stood out effectively which said “Ban Gunday”. For those who do not know, Gunday is a recently released Bollywood film which misrepresented the birth of Bangladesh as a result of an “India-Pakistan War”, and undermined Bangladeshis in its storyline. In the past few days, it saw wave of protests and furious reactions from the Bangladeshis and it was another form of protest yesterday. l

14 Olympiakos

15 Warner tampering

stun poor Man United

claim will motivate us: S Africa coach

A dewy debate

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim celebrates his 2nd ODI ton against India at the KSOAS, Fatullah yesterday

Mushfiq’s bat does the talking Both on field and off field the Bangladesh team was under pressure when they took to the field yesterday against India, and added to that was the absence of two key players Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim’s outburst in over the selection policy also hampered the atmosphere and the solution could have only come from the little man himself. There was no one better than Mushfiq to answer the controversies of recent times and the Tigers skipper did just that by slamming his second ODI hundred that put Bangladesh in a strong position in their Asia Cup opener at Fatullah. His well-paced his innings of 117 from 113 balls under pressure did not let anyone in the stadium feel the vacuum of their two senior players. Mushfiq milked the Indian bowlers to perfection. He took 37 balls to hit his first boundary and in total struck seven along with two well timed sixes, which explains how patient he was during his knock. Mushfiq added 133 runs for the third wicket with Anamul Haque, Bangladesh’s highest for any wicket against India and the team’s eighth 100-plus stand against them.



India’s home away from home? Bangladesh has never traveled to India to play in a bilateral series, but yet when the sides met after two years for an ODI in the same country it seemed the match was being played at the latter’s home ground. Though the home side had the full house crowd behind them, it was the advertising boards inside the ground that gave a taste of India. Kesh King, Peps, Varmora, Baba Elachi, Savsol, Kajaria, Wham Mobiles are only few of the names from the bouquet of Indian sponsors that no one had any clue of. Many were even seen asking each other what were the function of a particular brand, for example “Varmora”. India holds majority of the sponsors in the cricketing world and it is a very good sign that the sponsors came in for the Asia Cup, but one would expect to see some Bangladeshi brands in there as well. The only local “brand” that was seen in the ground was FMC Paint that was written on a banner on top of the giant screen in the ground. Even the broadcasting right for this edition was scooped by Star, while its needless to say that the commentary team is oozed by the Indian greats. The last edition was also hosted in Bangladesh and Indian cellular brand Micromax was the title sponsor, and this time around it is Arise (inverters and batteries), another Indian product, supported by Cycle Agarbathies!. l


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mushfiq, who averages 26.92 in ODIs, came in to the match with an average of 33.42 in 10 outings against India and his brilliant century yesterday lifted it to 43.87. India’s new captain Virat Kohli looked clueless against his counterpart as Mushfiq built his rhythm slowly before he got into the groove and clobbered the opposition bowlers, especially Varun Aaron. Mushfiq hit Aaron for two fours and a six in the 39th over and it seemed the rightarm fast bowler had no other option, but to hurt him to stop him.

P15 SCORECARD, BD v IND Aaron’s second beamer, first was to Anamul, hit Mushfiq on his ribs which saw him immediately fall on the ground writhing in pain. Mushfiq took time but stood up again while the full house crowd chanted his name. He eventually landed his hundred in the 45th over when the Indians gifted him four overthrows. Mushfiq was finally dismissed in the last over having ensured Bangladesh reach a sizeable total. Mushfiq also became the highest ODI scorer as a Bangladeshi captain beating Mohammad Ashraful’s 109 against UAE in 2008. l


After a good start with the ball, taking two early wickets of India, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s 213 run stand in the third wicket saw Bangladesh to a six wicket defeat after posting the target of 280 and Abdur Razzak, who came in at the post match press conference in place of injured Mushfiqur Rahim informed that the dew factor was the main reason for the lose said at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium yesterday. “It was possible to defend a good total. But the big problem was dew. It was present from probably the 22nd or 23rd over. There is no way out from playing with dew, we have to play with what we have,” said Razzak. But Ajinkya Rahane who scored 73 thought there was no dew factor when Bangladesh was on the field till the 40th over and earlier after the first match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan Lankan skipper Angelo Matthews also said that there was no dew factor when they fielded in the second innings. “Well I don’t think there was no dew factor till the 40th  over when Bangladesh was at the field and I think this should not affect them,” said Rahane However Razzak went on and said that the dew factor was there and it will affect the other teams when they came to field on the second innings in

Shihab Chowdhury found guilty The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) tribunal found Dhaka Gladiators owner Shihab Chowdhury guilty of “being party to an effort to fix” a match in second season of the BPL, while six others from the nine accused of on field corruption were found not guilty by the tribunal. Shihab joins suspended cricketer Mohammad Ashraful and Sri Lanka cricketer Kaushal Lokuarachchi who were charged of offences by the ICC (International Cricket Council) after the duo confessed to wrong doing to the tribunal. Meanwhile, it was learnt that New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent’s name came up during the hearing process and that he also was convicted of fixing, not in the BPL, but another Twenty20 tournament. Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens, Mahbubul Alam, Mosharraf Hossain, Dhaka Gladiators owner Salim Chowdhury, Gaurav Rawat, CEO of the Gladiators franchise, and Mohammad Rafique, the bowling coach of the team were found not guilty by the tribunal and were relieved of all charges placed by the ICC. The BPL Tribunal informed through a media release that it received two rounds of written submissions and convened yesterday to hear oral sub-

missions from the counsel of the contesting defendants. After careful and detailed deliberation and consideration of the evidence, the Tribunal published its conclusion and orders. Excerpts of the Tribunal’s determination were made available to the media. The four convicted have been asked to appear before the Tribunal on a date to be fixed for the hearing on sanctions and costs either in person or with their legal representative. In the event that he fails to attend or is not represented, the Tribunal shall proceed with the hearing in his absence. Each of the Defendant - Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 - are discharged in respect to the charges on which they have been found to be not guilty and the Provisional Suspension imposed upon each of Mosharraf Hossain Rubel and Mahbubul Alam Robin was lifted with immediate effect. The Tribunal expects to give its full reasons for the aforesaid determination within a few days, hopefully within the next two weeks. The hearing of the sanction and cost is adjourned to a date to be fixed after two weeks from the date for delivery of the full reasons of the judgment of the tribunal. Meanwhile, the ICC and the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) through a media release informed that the orga-

nizations have received the determination and are surprised and obviously disappointed with the outcome. “Both organisations await the Tribunal’s detailed written determination setting out the reasons for the outcome, which will be provided shortly, and will consider it carefully before determining the next steps, including whether to appeal any aspect(s) of the judgment,” was stated in the media release. The incident of alleged match and spot-fixing was revealed in May 2013 after a Bangladesh player had been questioned by the ICC. Ashraful was the first player to admit to being involved in corruption, after which formal charges were laid against nine individuals, including six players from the Dhaka Gladiators franchise. The BCB decided “not to involve” Ashraful in any kind of cricket until investigations into the matter were complete, and appointed a disciplinary panel, from which an anti-corruption tribunal was formed to probe the issue. The tribunal held a preliminary hearing in November last year and full hearings began in January. Stevens had been charged by the ICC for failing to report a corrupt approach during the tournament. Bangladesh cricketers, Mosharraf and Mahbubul had pleaded not guilty during a preliminary tribunal hearing. l

Pakistan take on Afghanistan today It will be a trial by fire for Afghanistan when the gutsy team from the strife-torn country makes its Asia Cup debut by taking on defending champions Pakistan at the Khan Saheb Osma Ali Stadium, Fatullah today. Defending champions Pakistan who lost the first game against Sri Lanka, will be firing on all cylinders with a view to bounce back to the winning ways. It will be the second One Day International between the two neighboring countries after 2012. In Sharjah, Pakistan beat Afghanistan by three wickets scoring 198 for three to overhaul Afghanistan’s 195 all out. Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haque remained 40 not out, steering his team to victory. Afghanistan are not expected to go too far in the tournament given that they have

Misbah ul Haque

Mohammad Nabi

played just two one-dayers against Test nations, losing both matches to Pakistan and Australia. Misbah also urged his team to get serious after their 12 run defeat and today’s match provides them the opportunity for recharging themselves before the crunch match against arch rivals India. Mohammad Nabi, the Afghan captain will be hoping the team’s firm understanding of the local conditions given that eight from the current squad have participated in various domestic competitions is an advantage. “Rahmat Shah, Azghar (Stanikzai), Gulbadin Naib, (Mohammad) Shahzad, Shapoor (Zadran), maybe half the team has played in Bangladesh and this is a good experience for them and for Afghanistan,” said Nabi, himself a regular at the T20 event. “We will try our best against every team. There is no target. We will play good cricket and when the time comes we will win,” he added. l

Fatullah. “I don’t know what Angelo Mathews said but you will see in the next matches here, how the team fielding second will be hampered,” he said. Bangladesh posted a target which would have defend by the Bangladeshi bowlers as Razzak said that the Bangladeshi bowlers did not bowl badly but Virat Kohli’s brilliant knock took the match away from the host, “I think our bowlers didn’t do too badly. Virat Kohli played really well, he did something special today,” he added.

It was possible to defend a good total. But the big problem was dew. It was present from probably the 22nd or 23rd over. There is no way out from playing with dew, we have to play with what we have Though Bangladesh initially took two early wickets where India after 13 overs was struggling on 54/2 Razzak informed that they tried everything to pressure the batsman but Indian batsman played well in that situation. “They just played well in that situation. We already need to have four in the circle. At times I pulled in an extra fielder, but they still picked the singles,” he said. l

Moments of the day Aaron’s beamer to Mushfiq Varun Aaron’s second beamer of the match ruled him from bowling any further after he had delivered 7.5 overs in the match. The bowler’s second waist high ball hit the ribcage of Mushfiqur Rahim on the last ball of the 39th over, hurting the batsman. Earlier the fast bowler was warned after he bowled his first beamer to Anamul which was dispatched for four.

Mushfiq- Anamul partnership Captain cool continued his impressive performance, holding the ship when the home side was struggling on 49/2 in the 12th over, with young Anamul. The two batsmen not only repaired the initial damage but also charged the Indian bowlers and added 131 runs for the third wicket, which laid the foundation for Bangladesh to post the challenging target of 280 yesterday. Anamul, who was the more aggressive of the two, played some beautiful shots. A straight drive of Varun Aaron in the 20th over was surely the shot of the match. On the other hand, the skipper was playing with great responsibility, giving full support to the youngster at the other end. A trademark flick for six off Aaron over midwicket however, delighted the crowd.

Funny reaction from umpire Bowden Billy Bowden’s funny gesture, showing Dinesh Karthik that the ball hit the bat, was eyecatching. As Karthik appealed for LBW when Mushfiq mistimed a scoop shot off Mohammed Shami in the 48th over, Bowden made the gesture to much laughter.

Brilliant start with the ball It was the best possible start for Bangladesh when the two opening bowlers Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain started the bowling for the home side. The first ball of the Indian innings, bowled by Mashrafe, surprised Rohit Sharma as the ball kept very low which automatically forced the Indian batsman to rethink their approach. Mashrafe gave only one run in the first over while Rubel bowled a maiden in the next over followed by another maiden by Mashrafe. The pace duo gave only 33 runs from nine overs and at one time India were 13/0 from six overs. And it was the brilliant start from the fast bowlers that helped Bangladesh to get their first breakthrough in the 12th over when Shikhar Dhawan was frustrated and tried to slog Abdur Razzak and in the next over Ziaur Rahman clean bowled Rohit Sharma to leave India struggling at 54/2 in 13 overs, chasing the target of 280. l



Aberdeen end Celtic’s unbeaten run Aberdeen became the first team to defeat Scottish champions and runaway leaders Celtic in the Scottish Premiership in nearly a year pn Tuesday as they emerged with a deserved 2-1 home victory. The champions arrived at Pittodrie not having tasted defeat in 26 league matches and on a run of 15 straight victories but had been knocked out of the Scottish Cup a fortnight ago by Aberdeen. Their last league defeat dated back to an away loss to Motherwell on April 28, 2013. –AFP


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Murray to warm-up at Hurlingham

Benfica, Portugal great Coluna dies

Andy Murray will warm up for his Wimbledon defence by participating in the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic at London’s Hurlingham Club in June, it was announced on Wednesday. Murray, the world number seven, will be one of the star attractions at the exhibition event in west London from June 17-20 where leading male and female players will get in practice ahead of Wimbledon, the last of tennis’ four major tournaments still played on grass. “Playing at the Hurlingham Club last June was the perfect way for me to warm up for Wimbledon,” said Murray. –AFP

Mario Coluna, who captained Benfica to two European Cup wins and Portugal to third place in the 1966 World Cup, has died aged 78 in the Mozambique capital Maputo, his former club announced on Tuesday. Coluna had been hospitalised since Sunday because of a “serious lung infection” according to Benfica. Coluna, who captained a fine Portugal side which included Eusebio and Jose Torres and eventually went out in the semi-finals to hosts England in 1966, scored a goal in both the European Cup finals Benfica won in 1961 and 1962. –AFP

Dortmund run riot as Zenit are routed Borussia Dortmund are poised for the Champions League’s quarter-finals after Robert Lewandowski scored twice in Tuesday’s 4-2 win at Zenit St Petersburg in their last 16, firstleg clash. Dortmund raced into a 2-0 lead after only five minutes at Zenit’s Petrovsky Stadium as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, then Marco Reus scored to leave the Russians reeling. The hosts pulled two goals back after the break as central midfielder Oleg Shatov scored, then Brazil’s Hulk converted a penalty. On both occasions Dortmund gave the perfect response, with Lewandowski scoring just seconds later, as the Germans take a commanding lead home for the second leg on March 19. Zenit got off to a nightmare start as both of Reus’ first two touches led to goals. With barely four minutes gone, the Germany winger muscled through the Zenit defence and on to a Lewandowski pass. When he went to ground, central midfielder Mkhitaryan fired home to put last season’s Champions League

finalists ahead. Only 70 seconds later, Mkhitaryan crossed from the right for left winger Kevin Grosskreutz to lay off to Reus, who fired a right-footed shot past Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin. Zenit leaked nine goals in the group stages and their back four were woeful for both goals. Dortmund struggled to maintain the lightning tempo after the initial goals, while Zenit were left subdued. It finished 2-0 at the break, but the hosts pulled one back on 57 minutes after a goalmouth scramble. Lewandowski exchanged passes with Poland team-mate Lukasz Piszczek then slotted the ball past Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin on 61 minutes. Piszczek then conceded a penalty when he blocked Viktor Fayzulin’s run into the area and Brazilian right winger Hulk stepped up and smashed home the 69th-minute penalty. It took Dortmund just 90 seconds to reply when Lewandowski snapped up Reus’ pass and fired his 71st-minute shot past Lodygin for his second of the game. In contrast, Dortmund can start planning for the last eight in Europe having given the perfect response to Saturday’s shock 3-0 at relegation-threatened Hamburg in the Bundesliga. l

Manchester United were shunted towards an unscheduled exit in the Champions League after crashing to a shock 2-0 defeat at Olympiakos in their last 16 first-leg match on Tuesday. Goals from Alejandro Dominguez and Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell gave Olympiakos victory at an ecstatic Karaiskakis Stadium, to leave the Greek champions on the brink of the last eight for the first time since 1999. It was the first time United had ever lost to a Greek team, but their error-

prone display was fully in keeping with a season in which the self-belief of the Alex Ferguson era has thoroughly abandoned them. Previously unbeaten in the group phase, David Moyes’s side conceded defeat with a whimper on a chastening night in the Athenian port of Piraeus, failing to muster a single shot on target. A sloppy pass from Rio Ferdinand gave Hernan Perez a free run down the left flank and although that came to nought, moments later Nemanja Vidic had to launch himself into a last-ditch block after an untimely slip by Chris Smalling enabled Dominguez to drive into the United box. Perez then slammed a shot into the side-netting after leaving Smalling in

Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring against Zenit Saint Petersburg during their Uefa Champions League last 16, first-leg match at Petrovsky Stadium in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, on Tuesday AFP

delights as Olympiakos stun poor United Klopp Dortmund hit top gear his wake, and with a wayward Tom Cleverley shot the best United could muster in reply, the hosts’ 38th-minute opener came as little surprise.

RESULTS Olympiakos

2 0


2 4

Dominguez 38, Campbell 54 Shatov 57, Hulk 69-P

Man United


Mkhitaryan 4, Reuss 5, Lewandowski 61, 71

Campbell’s cross from the right was only partially cleared and although Giannis Maniatis’s low shot appeared to be heading straight at United goalkeeper David de Gea, Dominguez’s op-

portunistic flick sent the ball skidding into the opposite corner. Kostas Manolas headed a Wayne Rooney free-kick narrowly over his own bar before half-time, but Olympiakos were the first side to threaten in the second half, with Perez working De Gea from 20 yards. Despite United’s need, the English champions were unable to establish a foothold in the opposition’s half and in the 55th minute they found themselves 2-0 down. It was a goal that shone with the invention that United had been missing, as Campbell picked up the ball on the right, insouciantly nutmegged Michael Carrick, and arced a 25-yard shot into the bottom-left corner with his left foot. l

Coach Jurgen Klopp said Borussia Dortmund had produced a near-perfect performance to leave them on the verge of the Champions League’s quarter-finals after routing Zenit St Petersburg away on Tuesday. Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Dortmund romped to a 4-2 win at Zenit’s Petrovsky Stadium in the last 16, first-leg clash. Klopp was delighted as Borussia bounced back from Saturday’s shock 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened

Spurs aim to bounce back against Dnipro

Olympiakos' Alejandro Dominguez (2nd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Manchester United during their Champions League round of 16 first leg match at Karaiskaki stadium in Piraeus, near Athens on Tuesday REUTERS

Spirit of revolt deserts flatlining United For supporters reeling from Manchester United’s miserable 2-0 loss to Olympiakos in the Champions League, the sobering thought is that their club may not have even hit rock-bottom yet. With United dangerously close to an exit from this season’s competition and 11 points off the pace in the battle to qualify for next season’s tournament via the league, a bleak vision of their immediate future is emerging. There was shock when United lost three of their first six games in the Premier League, but if anything, their form now is even worse. They have lost six of their first 12

games in 2014; a period that has seen them eliminated from both domestic cup competitions, slip to 11 points below the top four, and now witnesses them clinging to life in a tournament that Ferguson prized above all others. Against Olympiakos on Tuesday, the sense of bewilderment at United’s nonperformance was exacerbated by the fact that the English champions had travelled to Greece with a more than ample squad. Despite the presence of both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, United failed to test Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto once, and it was not until Van Persie blazed over with eight minutes remaining that they even managed a

meaningful attempt on goal. Asked to explain the absence of Adnan Januzaj, the livewire 18-year-old who has been the one spark in a season of gloom, Moyes offered an unconvincing explanation that the winger had lost out to Cleverley – a central midfielder. Commenting on the game for British television, former United captain Roy Keane was characteristically blunt in his assessment of his old side’s failings. “We’ve been brainwashed that the Premier League is the best in the world - nonsense,” the Irishman said on ITV. “It’s the best brand in the world but they have fallen behind, United more than most. They need six or seven players to rebuild the club.” l

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has called on his players to show character after two successive 1-0 defeats going into Thursday’s Europa League Last 32 second leg clash at home to Ukrainian side Dnipro. Spurs went down 1-0 to Dnipro, coached by their former manager Juande Ramos, in last week’s first leg. and while qualifying for next season’s Champions League remains the priority, Sherwood wants a marked improvement in their performance. Sherwood, who was surprisingly given the Spurs job full-time after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked earlier in the season, will be mindful that for some English clubs the Europa League has proved an unnecessary distraction, coming at the expense of their domestic form. However, Spurs have a far larger squad – bought at greater expense – than most of those sides who have found that competing in the Europa League has left them fighting for survival in the far more lucrative Premier League. While Sherwood is looking to a general improvement to see off Dnipro, some of his players are seeking to set the record straight with Ramos. While he delivered them the League Cup in the 2007/08 campaign, Ramos was sacked the following season after Spurs garnered only two points from their opening eight league games. And Ramos, who had a good record in the predecessor to the Europa League, winning the UEFA Cup twice as coach of Sevilla, has angered several

of the players who remain at the club from that time with remarks that when he took over there they were fat and the staff canteen was like a wedding buffet. Spurs fellow-Premier League side Swansea are a case in point IN finding a domestic campaign and a prolonged Europa League run debilitating both in playing resources and results. The Welsh side, who made the Europa League on the back of their success in the League Cup, will travel to Italy to take on Serie A side Napoli all square after the 0-0 draw in the first leg. They followed that a few days later with a thrilling 4-3 defeat away at Liverpool, which left them just four points above the relegation places. However, their captain Ashley Williams said they would not sacrifice their game against Napoli in order to focus solely on survival. l

FIXTURES Rubin Kazan Napoli FC Sevilla Shakhtar Ludogorets Salzburg FC Basel Frankfurt Spurs Trabzonspor Lyon Fiorentina Genk Valencia Benfica AZ Alkmaar

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Real Betis Swansea Maribor Viktoria Plzen Lazio Ajax Maccabi FC Porto Dnipro Juventus Odessa Esbjerg Makhachkala Dynamo Kiev PAOK Salonika Slovan Liberec

Hamburg in the Bundesliga to dominate Zenit. “That was close to an optimal performance,” said Klopp. “In terms of pressing and counter pressing, that was a copybook performance from us against a dangerous team. We were incredibly active and aggressive. It’s not easy to do that and the team put in a fantastic performance. “We played against a very talented side, who showed the whole time that they wanted to play football. “Even up to the end of the game, St Petersburg didn’t resort to hitting long balls and always tried to find ways of getting behind us. Zenit were always dangerous whenever Hulk had the ball.” l

Poyet faces ‘big decisions’ ahead of Cup final Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet said on Tuesday that he faces some “big decisions” when he picks his team for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley. “It’s hard for people who have been involved and playing, not only in the league but especially in the cup,” former Brighton and Hove Albion manager Poyet told the club’s website (www. “They have helped us get there but everybody is fit and I am only allowed to take a certain number of players, so it’s going to be hard for a few.” l

Fines, bans for Juve, Roma, Fiorentina Italian football authorities have reacted sharply to an eventful week of Serie A action, which included indiscipline and fan misbehaviour. League leaders Juventus were fined 25,000 euros ($34,000) after fans displayed two banners at the derby with Torino taunting the visiting fans over the 1949 air disaster which killed almost the entire squad of the legendary “Il Grande Torino”. The crash killed 18 players, club officials, journalists accompanying the team and the entire crew when the plane in which they were flying crashed into the Superga hill overlooking the city in thick fog. l




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pakistan names Latif as chief selector

SCORECARD, BD v IND Bangladesh Anamul Haque b Aaron 77 Shamsur Rahman c and b Shami 7 Mominul Haque st Karthik b Ashwin 23 Mushfiqur Rahim c Sharma b Shami 117 Naeem Islam c Ashwin b Shami 14 Nasir Hossain c Karthik b Shami 1 Ziaur Rahman c Aaron b Kumar 18 Sohag Gazi not out 3 Mashrafe Mortaza not out 1 Extras: (b1, lb3, w12, nb2) 18 Total (for seven wickets, 50 overs) 279 Fall of wickets 1-16, 2-49, 3-182, 4-231, 5-241, 6-270, 7-276. Bowling Kumar 8-1-41-1, Shami 10-1-50-4, Aaron 7.5-0-74-1 (nb2, w7), Ashwin 10-1-50-1 (w5), Jadeja 10-0-37-0, Rayadu 3-0-170, Kohli 1.1-0-6-0 India R. Sharma b Ziaur 21 S. Dhawan lbw b Razzak 28 V. Kohli b Rubel 136 A. Rahane c sub (Kayes) b Gazi 73 A. Rayudu not out 9 D. Karthik not out 2 Extras: (lb1, w9, nb1) 11 Total (for four wickets, 49 overs) 280 Fall of wickets 1-50, 2-54, 3-267, 4-272 Bowling Mortaza 9-1-44-0, Rubel 10-1-63-1 (w1, nb1), Razzak 10-0-55-1, Ziaur 5-0-20-1, Gazi 8-0-49-1 (w4), Mominul 2-0-13-0, Naeem 1-0-15-0 (w3), Nasir 4-0-20-0 (w1) India won by six wickets


Women’s chess National Woman Champion WIM Shamima Akter Liza lost to German International Master Anatoly Donchenko in the 4th round of the Open A Group of 28th Cans Winter Chess Festival on Tuesday which is being held at Cannes in France. Liza now has 2 points after the end of 4th round. –Tribune Desk

Del Potro threatened by injury again Juan Martin Del Potro, the former US Open champion who became the ATP Tour’s comeback player of the year after recovering from a career-threatening wrist injury, has been struck down by a similar injury again. The courageous and usually hard-hitting Argentine lasted little more than an hour and only one set in the Dubai Open, before requiring lengthy treatment after which he called it quits. The beneficiary was Somdev Devvarman, whose entry as a wild card made him hugely popular here with the ex-patriot crowd which yelled him through the saving of three set points to snatch the only set 7-6 (7-3). But the real focus of attention was Del Potro who, having battled from around 500 in the world rankings back into the top five, may be fearing a similar plunge again. –AFP

Woods urged to ‘respect’ WGC-HSBC Champions

HSBC’s sponsorship chief has urged Tiger Woods to respect the bank’s large investment by playing at this year’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai instead of “meaningless... money-making opportunities”. Giles Morgan, HSBC’s global head of sponsorship, said the bank had “had words” with the golf tours about impressing on players the importance of appearing at the sport’s biggest events. World number one Woods has caused controversy by skipping the last two editions of the $8.5 million tournament, the richest seen in Asia, in favour of exhibition appearances in the region. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Channel 9 & Star Sports 1 2:00PM Arise Asia Cup Pakistan v Afghanistan Sony Six NBA 2013-14 7:00AM Memphis v L.A. Lakers 9:30AM L.A. Clippers v Houston Ten HD Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 5:00 PM Quarter Final Ten Action 12:00 AM Uefa Europa League Tottenham v FC Dnipro Ten Sports 12:00 AM Uefa Europa League Trabzonspor v Juventus

Indian skipper Virat Kohli executes a cut during his 19th ODI century against Bangladesh at the KSOAS, Fatullah yesterday


Warner tampering claim will motivate us: S Africa coach Australia opener David Warner’s claim that South Africa tampered with the ball during the second test has “added 10 percent motivation” ahead of the series decider, Proteas coach Russell Domingo said on Wednesday. Warner told Sky Sports Radio the Australians felt AB de Villiers had used his wicketkeeper gloves to rough up one side of the ball, helping their bowlers gain reverse-swing during South Africa’s crushing 231-run victory on Sunday. “We were actually questioning whether or not AB de Villiers would get the ball in his hand and, with his glove, wipe the rough side every ball,” the left-hander told Sky Sports Radio. “That’s another thing we have to try

to bring up with the umpires.” Domingo dismissed the comments and said it gave his side extra motivation to claim a first home series win over Australia in 44 years in the decider at Newlands starting on Saturday. “It’s disappointing when guys throw these accusations around, it’s added an extra 10 percent motivation to the guys following the comments he has made,” Domingo told reporters. “We pride ourselves on playing the game as hard as we can, but also in a fair manner. I just don’t think it is a nice comment to make, I don’t think teams should be accusing other sides of that.” Proteas manager Mohammed Moosagee also rejected Warner’s complaint as “sour grapes” and said few people took the outspoken Australian’s words seriously.

Kayes hat-trick sinks Badda Kayes slammed a sensational hat-trick in the inaugural match of the Bangladesh Championship League as Arambagh Krira Chakra kicked off their campaign in style with a 4-1 victory over Badda Jagoroni Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Kayes netted four goals in the 41st, 59th, 66th and 67th minute of the game while Pritom scored the consolation for Badda in the 17th minute. Earlier, Arif Khan Joy, Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports, inaugurated the tournament as chief guest. Rahmatganj MFS will face Victoria SC today at the same venue while Wari Club play Agrani Bank in the other match of the day at the Kamalapur stadium. l

Pabna Rajshahi reach zonal final of inter dist volleyball Pabna and Rajshahi reached the zonal final of the Walton Inter District Volleyball winning their semifinals at the Naogaon Stadium yesterday. Pabna beat hosts Naogaon 25-23, 2729, 25-20, 25-14 in the evenly contested

match while Rajshahi confirmed the final slot yesterday. Earlier in the day Pabna beat Joypurhat by straight 3-0 sets while Naogaon routed Joypurhat by the same margin. The matches of Syhet zone starts today. Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulavibazar and Sunamganj will play in the zonal round. l

“David Warner’s remarks are disappointing and discouraging. It takes the gloss off a great Proteas team performance, having come back from losing the first test and then going on to win the next,” Moosagee told South African newspaper DFA. “It smacks of sour grapes and it could just be a tactical plan to get us involved in matters that will distract our attention from this crucial test in Cape Town,” he said. The Proteas would not seek any action against Warner, who followed up his first innings 70 with a belligerent 66 in the second, and would leave it to the game’s governing ICC to look into the remarks, Moosagee added. JOHNSON MASTERED Turning to Australia’s bowling, Domingo said South Africa had mastered

Mitchell Johnson after restricting the quick to three wickets in the second test. Johnson blitzed the opposition batsman as he took 12 wickets for 127 runs in Australia’s impressive 281-run victory on a lively wicket in the first test in Pretoria. However, his wickets came at over 40 runs each in Port Elizabeth, where the slower pitch took much of the venom out of his deliveries. He also failed to find the reverseswing that Dale Steyn used to rip through the Australian batting lineup on Sunday. Australia, chasing a 448-run victory target, cruised to 126 for no loss before being undone by a devastating spell from Steyn as South Africa levelled the three-match series at 1-1. l

Pakistan Wednesday appointed former Test captain Rashid Latif as chief selector and tasked him with helping in the fight against corruption. The straight-talking 45-year-old is known for taking a stand against match-fixing, which has dogged cricket in Pakistan over the years. “Latif accepted the offer to become the chief selector with effect from 1st April 2014,” said a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) release. The position was left vacant after the appointment of another former captain, Aamir Sohail, was cancelled by the new PCB chairman Najam Sethi earlier this month. Sohail had been appointed chief selector and director of game development by Zaka Ashraf, who was replaced as PCB chairman on February 10. The PCB said Latif will also assist in giving training and lectures on anticorruption matters. Latif said he was excited at the challenge. “I will endeavour to build a strong team, keeping in view the ICC cricket World Cup 2015,” he said in the release. “I will also assist PCB in whatever way I can in anti-corruption matters,” said Latif, who famously blew the whistle on his team-mates in 1994. l

NCL resumes today The fifth round of the Walton National Cricket League will begin today with eight teams facing each other at four different venues around the country. Cox’s Bazaar’s Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium will host a first division game for the first time with the match between Chittagong and Rangpur division starting at 9.30am. Dhaka Division will take on Dhaka Metro at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra while Rajshahi will host Khulna at the Kamruzzaman Stadium. Hosts Barisal and Sylhet will lock horns at the Barisal Divisional Stadium. After the end of fourth round, Dhaka Division stayed at the top of the points table with total points of 61 while Rajshahi are six points behind the leaders in place second. l

MSC players miss national training Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has showed show-cause notices to six national players of Mohammedan Sporting Club for not attending the first day of the training camp for the friendly match against India on March 5. The six Mohammedan players areZahid Hasan Emily, Jahid Hossain, Mamun Khan, Tapu Barman, Emon Babu and Hemanta Vincent Biswas. BFF sent the letters to the six players and asked to reply in ten hours. However, Mohammedan said that they had a practice match with foreign players which is why the national

players could not join the camp but the players will attend the camp from today. Bangladesh national team started their camp yesterday and the Dutch head Lodewijk de Kruif had only eight players to start after Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell’s national players failed to attend the training due to their tomorrow’s Bangladesh Premier League. Kruif, however, is likely to get extra days to have the players back as tomorrow’s match between Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell is likely to take after the venue allotted for the final and closing ceremony of Bangabandhu Gold Cup

Primary School Football Tournament and Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Gold Cup Primary School Football Tournament. The closing event will be held on March 2 but the authority wanted the venue from today for preparation and security reason as the Prime Minister is expected to be present at the event. Bangladesh plays India at Goa in March 5 in the Fifa International Friendly and the squad is scheduled to fly to India in March 2. The postponement of the Jamal-Russell match will be a blessing to de Kruif as they will have two days more to prepare the team. l

Narail moves into the final round on inter dist women’s kabaddi Narail moved into the final round of the Marcel Television Inter District Women’s Kabaddi overpowering Bagerhat by 33-22 points at the Narail Stadium yesterday. In the first match of the day Narail beat Stakhira by 50-20 points with two lonas while Bagerhat defeated Magura by 28-08 points to reach the zonal

final where Narail prevailed. Walton additional director A.F. M. Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn distributed the prizes as the chief guest. Kabaddi federation Nazrul Islam, Narail DSA general secretary and BOA deputy secretary Ashikur Rahman Miku were also present on the occasion. l

Raj Kumar, Baki Bilah lift lifting title Raj Kumar of Modern Body Building Club won the 56 kg category lifting 180 kilos in the Walton National Club Weightlifting at the National Sports Council gymnasium yesterday. Hashmatullah of Moazzem Club Faridpur and Nuruzzman of the

same club finished second and third respectively. Baki Billah lifted 210 kilos in the 62 kg category to finish first while he was followed by Hafizul Islam and Belal Hossain of Moazzem Club Meherpur and Dinajpur Body Building Club. l

National head coach Lodewijk de Kruif conducts the training session of the national football team at BNS yesterday




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Thursday, February 27, 2014

PM: BD, US to jointly resist militants n Tribune Report Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told the parliament that her government took an initiative to resist terrorism and militancy in partnership with the US. “The government has taken a fresh initiative with the US to resist terrorists and suppress militants under the Global Fund for Community Resilience and Engagement where Bangladesh will play an active role,” the premier said. Sheikh Hasina, also president of ruling Awami League, said the ongoing security dialogue and partnership with the US would continue, and expressed hopes that the bilateral cooperation would be very strong. Meanwhile, replying to the supplementary question

of independent candidate Rustam Ali Farazi, the premier hinted that the electricity tariff might be increased. “You must pay the production cost of electricity,” the prime minister said. The premier also requested all to compare the country’s power tariff with the other countries. She also instructed the countrymen to reduce power expenditure through decreasing consumption. “It will not create any problem if all reduce their consumption of electricity,” she said. The premier said her government increased the power production to 11,000MW in last five years, although the government started its journey amid power crisis. “We have set our new target to produce 24,000MW,” she said.

Replying to a query by independent lawmaker Haji Selim, the prime minister said: “As the world community has taken the result of the recently held national elections positively, the evil attempt of the vested quarters has failed. People did not respond to the call of BNP and Jamaat-Shibir.” Sheikh Hasina also mentioned many initiatives taken by her government, and said a congenial atmosphere had been created for business with the formation of the new government in line with the constitution. She expressed hopes: “With support from all we will be able to bring a new dimension in the economy increasing the country’s business.” The country’s economy was put in a crisis with the destructive activities by the BNP-Jamaat over the last three

months, she claimed, and added that the country would be able to achieve 6.5 gross domestic products in the year end despite the crisis. The government would provide financial support to those sectors that had suffered during the political actions by the BNP-Jamaat, the premier asserted, saying: “Measures will be taken to cover up the loss.” Responding to a written question by Awami League lawmaker Enamul Haque, the prime minister said some 37 countries and their heads and 11 international organisations, including the United Nations already welcomed the new government and pledged to work with it to maintain the ongoing progress of democracy, rule of law and development activities. l


Expat authors pen tales from abroad 107

new books published AMAR EKUSHEY BOOK FAIR 2014

n Ahmed Zayeef Books of expatriate writers, published in this year’s “Amar Ekushey Book Fair,” have got the attention of connoisseurs and book lovers. Experts opined that those books, depicting the lives and legacy of Bangladeshi diasporas, were of high interest as the number of people living abroad was quite large. Expat authors have a more cosmopolitan view that local readers love, plus a large section of the readers have friends and relatives living abroad, something that entice them to read about tales outside the country. Meanwhile, the fair witnessed a huge gathering yesterday as its month long festivity is going to end tomorrow. Book lovers were seen busy buying books, while the publishers were also very active in the stalls. Expressing his content regarding the works of expatriate writers, Bangla Academy Director General Shamsujjaman Khan said: “Their works have ushered a new era in Bangla literature. It shows their commitment to their roots. As Bangladeshis are living in every nook and cranny of the world, their works have great impact inside Bangladesh, and outside.”

He also opined that these works were creating an international platform for Bangla literature, and mentioned about the academy’s initiative to award the expatriate writers. He said: “We think the award will encourage them to create more literature and research.” This year the academy has decided to confer the award to Ishaq Sajal, Faruque Ahmed and Dr Jakaria. Lutfor Rahman Riton, a Canadian expatriate writer who has come to Bangladesh to attend the Book Fair, told Dhaka Tribune: “Every year, a big number of expatriate Bangalee writers come to Bangladesh to attend the fair. This shows how much they love Bangla literature and language.” Different publications have published few expatriate writers’ books this year – Dr Foyjul Islam’s “Swopner Prithibite Nishprovo Podocharona” by Utsho Prokashoni, Joglul Alom’s “Markin State Department Er Gopon Dolil” and “The Birth of Bangladesh in American Press” by Oboshor Prokashoni, Daud Hayder’s “Bilomber Deri Holo Keno” and Dr Abdur Rob’s “A Voice across the Ocean” by Joyoti Prokashoni. A total of 107 new books, including Dr Anu Muhammad’s “Democracy, Government, Development” by Nalonda, Topon Bagchi’s “Amar Vetor Boshot Kore” by Ilma Publication, Udisa Islam’s “Comic Rajjo: 14 Nari Nirmata” by Vashachitro, Ahsan Habib’s “Krishno Mekur O Onnanno Dhekur” by Noborag Prokashoni, were published yesterday. A discussion titled “Bishwa Oitijjo Hishabe Jamdani” was held at the central stage of the fair where Dr Firoj Mahmud presented the key note paper. l

NHRC Chief: Why Taslima in exile? Women yet to achieve real rights in Bangladesh: seminar

n Mohammad Atiqur Rahman A patient had to be stretchered away as protesting JnU students in front of Raishaheb Bazar area prevented the movement of vehicles, including ambulances


Hasina, Manmohan meet on Mar 4

Clinic caretaker gets death penalty for doctor’s murder n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will meet her Indian counterpart Manmohan n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu Singh on March 4 on the sidelines of A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced to death the caretaker of a city clinic for the killing of Dr Sajia Afrin Eva after attempted rape. ABM Nazmul Haque, judge of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal 4, pronounced the verdict yesterday afternoon in the presence of the accused, Mohammad Faysal, 30, caretaker of Amtola Brac clinic. After hearing the judgement, the convict burst into tears in the dock. Terming the killing of the young doctor as “heinous”, the court said the accused should get the death penalty. Fifteen prosecution witnesses were examined during the trial. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune after the verdict, Sajia’s father, Monirul Islam, and other relatives said they got justice. They also appealed to the government to execute the judgement immediately. On November 29, 2012, Dr Sajia, 28, was found dead inside her office room at the Amtoli Brac clinic in the capital’s Dakkhin Khan area. It was her first day at work and she was on night duty. The next day, the victim’s father filed a case with Dakkhin Khan police station accusing three staff of the clinic, including Faysal. Assistant police superintendent Shampa Rani Shaha submitted a charge-sheet against Faysal on January 20, 2013. The investigating officer, however, dropped the names of the other accused as the charges against them could not be proven. Faysal went into hiding soon after the killing. He was eventually arrested from Brahmanbaria on December 2 last year. On December 3, in a confessional statement before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Hasibul Haque, Faysal admitted that he entered the doctor’s room at 12:30am and strangled her to death after failing to rape her. Dr Sajia graduated from Sylhet Osmani Medical College. l

Bimstec summit to be held in Myanmar. “The prime minister is scheduled to meet Myanmar president Thein Sein on March 3 afternoon and the following day she is scheduled to meet the Indian premier,” said a director general of the Foreign Ministry. Meanwhile, India-based Outlook reported quoting Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh that the Indian premier would meet Hasina on the sidelines of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectorial Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) Summit on March 4. This will be the first meeting between the two prime ministers after Awami League came back to power through an election on January 5.

Teesta agreement, ratification of Land Boundary Agreement and important bilateral issues would be discussed in the meeting, said another official. The Teesta agreement could not take place due to strong protest from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while LBA ratification process was delayed due to strong resistance from different stakeholders including BJP. Hasina would also have meetings with president and prime minister of Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, he said. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are the member countries of Bimstec and currently Naypyidaw is the chair. Bimstec was formed in Bangkok in 1997 and had its first summit in 2004 in Bangkok and the second one in New Delhi in 2008. It has 14 sectors and Bangladesh is the lead country in trade, investment

and climate change issues. At the summit, the countries were likely to sign a deal to set up the Bimstec Secretariat in Dhaka and also a weather and climate centre in New Delhi, said another diplomat. An agreement on cultural industries commission to be set up in Thimpu was also in the pipeline, he said. “All countries agreed to set up the secretariat in Bangladesh but the formalities are yet to be completed and we hope to conclude them at the summit,” he said. The government has already allocated a building in Gulshan as an interim headquarters for the secretariat. Renovation of the building is expected to complete in next three or four months. Sri Lankan Diplomat Sumith Nakandala would be the first secretary general of Bimstec. He would visit Dhaka after the completion of renovation of the headquarters building. l

Nine more injured; section 144 imposed in Khagrachhari n Tribune Report The district administration yesterday clamped down ban on all sorts of public gathering at Kamalchhari union of Khagrachhari sadar and adjacent Mohalchhari upazilas following clashes for the second consecutive day between Pahari and Bangalees that left nine more people injured. Additional District Magistrate Anar Koli imposed the section 144 at 4pm which will remain in force until tomorrow midnight. Officer-in-charge of Sadar police Md Mizanur Rahman said with yesterday’s victims, the number of clash victims stood at 19. They were admitted to Khagrachhari Sadar Hospital. The injured were Ripon Mia, 45; Shahid Biswas, 35; Rashedul Islam, 25; Zahed Alam, 28; Shah Alam, 35; Rezaul Karim, 30; Bipul Jyoti Chakma, 35; Roma Devi Chakma, 56; Mamoni Chakma, 25, said the OC.

To tackle the situation worsened by rumours, the district administration also formed a six-strong committee comprising members of both indigenous and Bangalee settlers. It is headed by Kamalchhari union parishad Chairman Shupan Khisha. A total 12 platoon police, BGB and army personnel were deployed at different spots in the conflicted areas, the OC added. The two communities yesterday blamed each other for the clashes when the attackers ransacked Apar Betchhari Buddha Bihar (temple) and looted cash and Buddha idols. Around 100 settlers attacked ethnic villages Apar Betchhari, Barnalmukh and Barnal Headman Para, said Gayano Chakma, a villager of Kamalchhari village, quoting the affected locals. On the other hand, Mohammad Shahor Ali of Bhuachhari alleged that around 100 indigenous people attacked their men when they went a nearby

jungle, adjacent to their village to seek Shahid, who has been missing since Tuesday’s clashes. He also denied the involvement of Bangalees in attacking the temple saying that the hill people themselves had torched it to shift the blame on the settlers. “None of our men went to Apar Betchhari which is situated around five kilometres from our village,” Shahor Ali added. When asked about the incident, local lawmaker Kujendra Lal Tripura said he had visited the spots and was trying to get the real picture. Hill District Council Chairman Chaithwang Marma, BGB Regional Commander Brig Gen Md Kazi Shamsul Islam, Mohalchhari army zone commander Lt Col Shahidul Islam, Police Superintendent Sheikh Mohammad Mizanur Rahman and sadar upazila Chairman Chanchumoni Chakma among others visited the affected areas. l

Mizanur Rahman, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, yesterday wanted to know from the authorities concerned the reasons behind writer Taslima Nasrin’s exile. Mizanur also questioned the role of the country’s women community in bringing Taslima back home. The NHRC chairman made the remarks while addressing a seminar titled “Women’s Empowerment in

‘Women’s rights will not go forward if we fail to avert communalism and fundamentalism. Minority women need extra support and protection’ Bangladesh: Expectation and Achievement,” at the Cirdap auditorium in the capital. Mizanur also said, “Women’s rights will not go forward if we fail to avert communalism and fundamentalism.” Referring to the recent attacks on members of the minority Hindu community before and after the January 5 parliamentary polls, he added: “I do not want to see my brothers and sisters leaving the country.” Taslima Nasrin, a physician turned author, left the country in 1994 following death threats from an Islamic group for views expressed in her writings. She has lived in various countries in the West and in India since. In an interview with the Indian state-run news agency, PTI, earlier this

month, Taslima claimed that despite her feminist leanings, women leaders have not been sympathetic towards her. She blamed Bangladeshi leaders Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for making her life “difficult”. At yesterday’s seminar organised by the NHRC, Mizanur also claimed that women had not obtained real achievement, but were just coming out of deprivation. “It has become impossible for women to come out of a patriarchy in which women themselves have become embedded,” said Dipu Moni, a member of parliament and a former foreign minister. “Apart from considering a woman as a mother, we do not give women importance and they are ignored,” said Dipu while presenting a paper on the achievements of women. Ayesha Khanam, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad said: “The society has not given every facility to women….Women have to come forward by their own effort.” Rokeya Kabir, executive director of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, said the mindset of the people needed to be changed for empowering women. Sharing her experience of a visit to a char (mudflat) area where pregnant women do not get proper food, author Selina Hossain said there were still ways to move ahead, but women themselves have to come forward. Zakia, a participant at the seminar, said children’s achievements were always considered as a legacy of the father. Journalist Abed Khan and NHRC member Nirupa Dewan also spoke at the seminar, which was conducted by Mahfuza Khanom, head of NHRC’s women’s rights committee. l

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

Continue to the Business section...


B3 BSC continues to shine

B4 Get ready for higher inflation


Hasina assures all out support to capital market n Tribune Report

Bangladesh to get duty-free market access to Chile n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi Chile will provide duty-free access for Bangladeshi products to its market from the beginning of 2015. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday came up with the disclosure about the new market for Bangladesh after a meeting with the ambassador of Chile Cristian Barros at his secretariat office. Cristian Barros, ambassador of Chile in Dhaka yesterday paid a courtesy call on the commerce minister Tofail Ahmed to discuss a wide-range of bilateral issues, especially trade and investments. “The government of Chile has decided to provide duty-free access of Bangladeshi products to its markets from January 1, 2015,’’ Tofail categorically told the reporters, after the meeting.

As per the existing laws of Chile, imports from Bangladesh are subject to 17% duty. “We will sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Chile soon to avail the privileges and it would also help us to further improve our bilateral relations.” The minister said: Under the WTO framework, there has been an option for providing duty-free and quota-free access for the products of the least developed countries. As there has been no quota facility for our products in the market of Chile, the country has decided to provide us with duty-free facilities in their markets. “Our export to Chile will be increased multifold when we will be able to enter into the unexplored market with the duty-free privileges,’’ said the minister.  B3 COLUMN 1

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday assured of providing all-out support to help develop the capital market of the country. The assurance came at a meeting with a delegation of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), led by its Chairman Prof M Khairul Hossain. PM lauded the latest BSEC achievement of becoming A-category regulator as upgraded by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an association of organisations that regulates the world’s securities and futures markets. She handed over a crest to the BSEC chairman for the upgradation. “Prime Minister has appreciated the commission’s feat and assured to provide support for taking the capital market to a new height,” said BSEC Commissioner Arif Khan, who was present

at the meeting. “It will brighten Bangladesh’s image abroad and boost confidence of investors, including foreigners,” the PM was quoted as saying. BSEC apprised the PM of the recent demutualisation of the stock exchanges and, amended and modified rules and regulations since restructuring of the commission. It also made a presentation about the current stock market situation, future plan like setting up a clearing house, and introducing commodities exchange and derivatives. Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who was also present at the meeting, said performance of BSEC has so far been good as we saw the country’s two bourses more or less stable during their time. “Among all the regulatory bodies in the country, BSEC is the best.” Since stock market debacle in late 2010, the government has been making efforts to bring back investor confidence from the brink. Since then, the

market is going through volatility as it still bears nightmare of stock crash. The upgradation of the BSEC would yield some benefits, including international assistance for its enforcement action and providing assistance to the member country as well, achievement to be eligible for being appointed or elected in the leadership position of IOSCO and attachment in the policymaking committee of IOSCO, said a BSEC official. It has got membership of IOSCO in 1995. Its members are typically the Securities Commission or the main financial regulator from each country. IOSCO has members from over 100 countries, regulating more than 90% of the world’s securities markets. Earlier, the government had decided to extend by one more year the term of appointment of the present chairman and four commissioners, as their three-year term expires between May and July this year. l

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaking with the members of delegation from Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission at her office in Dhaka yesterday BSS

Atiur rebukes new banks as they defy farm loan guideline n Tribune Report Eight new banks came under criticism yesterday for not disbursing farm loan in the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2014. Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman criticised them at a review meeting on agriculture loan with the commercial banks at the central bank headquarters in Dhaka. “Of the new nine banks, eight did not disburse any farm loan in the first seven months up to January of the current fiscal year, which was not expected,” he said. One of the major conditions for awarding licences to the new banks was to provide 5% of their total loans to the agriculture sector. “So, we may think the banks did not lend other sectors too,” he said. Banks have disbursed farm loan of Tk8,820 crore during the July-January period, which is over 60% of the fiscal year’s total target of Tk14,595 crore, according to Bangladesh Bank. Foreign banks have showed exemplary achievements in disbursing the loan despite not having adequate branches. They achieved 95% of target through micro finance institutions (MFIs), said the governor. Private banks have disbursed 32% of their total loan through the MFIs. Atiur said commercial banks have disbursed farm loan 4% higher than their target for the last fiscal year and the target for the current fiscal year is 3.3% higher than the target of last year. He asked the banks to increase lending to import-based goods like pulses, spices, oilseeds and corn so that it helps to keep the price of these goods at levels of purchasing power of general people. l

Trade portal in the offing to curb corruption

HC order on Pubali Grameenphone wins Green Mobile Award Bank directors community through CO2 emission and “Now in the 19th year, the Global MoZahidul Islam n Muhammad bile Awards once again showcase the burning of fossil fuel. stayed from Barcelona, Spain Tanveer Mohammad, Chief Techni- outstanding level of innovation and Bangladesh’s largest mobile phone cal Officer of Grameenphone, received creative products and services being n Nazmus Sakib n Tribune Report developed across a diverse and growoperator Grameenphone has been ac- the award on behalf of the company. The Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division has stayed till Sunday the High Court order which cancelled the posts of eight Pubali Bank directors including its chairman. Justice Hasan Foez Siddique yesterday delivered the stay order following a petition of the directors, said Reshad Imam, lawyer of the bank. The judge referred the matter to the full bench of the top court for further hearing to be held on Sunday. On Tuesday, the HC scrapped the directorship of the eight. They are Hafiz Ahmed Majumder (chairman), Muhammad Faizur Rahman, Ahmed Shafi Choudhury, Fahim Ahmed Faruk Chowdhury, Muhammed Kabiruzzaman Yaqub, Rumana Sharif, Suraiya Rahman and Azizur Rahman. “The HC observed in the judgment that only the independent director and nominee director will be kept immune from the minimum share-holding requirement,” Mohammad Mehedi Hasan  B3 COLUMN 4

corded the Green Mobile Award for its Climate Change programmes. The prize was handed over at the Global Mobile Award prize ceremony at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday. “It’s a great honour receiving this prestigious award on behalf of all employees of Grameenphone,” said Vivek Sood, CEO of Grameenphone, in a statement congratulating all his collegues. According to him, the award was the result of extensive efforts to utilise energy with more efficiency in order to reduce negative environmental effects stemming primarily from carbon emission. “This is not the end of our journey, but a recognition of our continuing effort. We also acknowledge support from Telenor Group in these efforts,” he said. The Climate Change Program was initiated by the operator in 2010, with the objective of minimising the negative environmental impact on the

Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Chairman of GSMA and President and CEO of Telenor, was also present at the function. GSMA has declared 32 awards in different categories this year. While launching the Climate Change Program, Grameenphone adopted Environmental Management Systems (EMS) approach which laid out the policy framework to look for continual improvement in every other area. The programme started with a network swap through which power consumption was reduced significantly by opting for lower power consuming BTS and replacing all air conditioners in BTS sites. Employing new and more efficient BTS has also enabled use of solar power in all sites, a conscious move towards renewable power sources. Having a greener workplace in GPHouse (the operator’s headquarters) has contributed to better conservation of valuable resources like paper and water, Grameenphone said. GSMA CEO John Hoffman said:

ing industry.” “With more than 680 high calibre entries this year, the competition was stronger than ever and it is a significant achievement to have been honoured today,” he said. He said the GSMA would like to warmly congratulate all Global Mobile Awards winners and recognise all those who took part for continuing to drive mobile communications into the future. From Telenor’s perspective, another venture also won awards in the gala event. Telenor Pakistan won two awards; one in “Best NFC/Mobile Money Product or Service” category and another in “Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets” category jointly with Tameer Micro Finance Bank for Easypaisa. This year, some other highlighted awards are “Best Low-Cost Smartphone (sub-$150 wholesale price)” went to Nokia Lumia 520. The company also won the “Best Entry-Level or Featurephone” award.l

The government has decided to lunch Bangladesh National Trade Portal (BNTP) by the end of this year to curb corruption and ensure transparency in trade and commercial activities. Commerce ministry will formally launch the proposed BNTP to facilitate the country’s trade and commerce and thus stimulate overall economic growth. Trade licenses will be issued and renewed by the Chief Controller of Import and Export using the trade portal facilities for curbing corruption in the process. “If we can launch the trade portal, it will help provide us up-to-date data and information on trade and commerce related services to the businessmen at home and abroad,’’ said a senior official of commerce ministry. The proposal has already been finanlised at a commerce ministry meeting with commerce minister Tofail Ahmed in the chair. The chief controller of export and

import will operate through online licensing module. International Finance Corporation (IFC) will give technical and consultancy support to develop the portal under the condition of a 9-month Asia Development Bank (ADB) project titled “South Asian Regional Integration,” according to the project proposal. A steering committee will be formed by the commerce ministry, which includes members of the business associations. After lunching of the BNTP, funds will be allocated in the next budget for the operation of the trade portal and business community will have easy access to all the important trade related information, said a commerce ministry source. The country’s total export earnings stood at $17.43bn in the first seven months of the current financial year 2013-14 with a growth of 15.08% yearon-year, despite last two months’ sluggishness due to political unrest. Riding on the performance of readymade garment sector, the export  B3 COLUMN 4




n Tribune Report


Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract


Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


CSE key features February 26, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)


Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract

Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index :


Turnover (Million Taka)

Engineering and insurance were the highest hit with 1.4% and 1.1% slump in market capitalisation respectively. However, cement and, food and allied enjoyed the rally with 1.9% and 2.9% increase in market capitalisation respectively. Lanka Bangla Securities said with no major negative cue, investors appeared to be jittery about the sector specific movement. It said intra-day benchmark index showed twist and turn in the last hour as market sentiment seems to have been jolted by stringent movement in market for last few trading sessions. Zenith Investment said the market drifted between gains and losses for the past few days, and again drifted lower. In the middle of declaration season, the enthusiasm of investors is yet to build up, which may create a catalyst for the bulls to cling to, it said. Bangladesh Shipping Corporation was the most traded stocks, followed by Olympic Industries, Confidence Cement, Square Pharmaceuticals, Meghna Petroleum, Grameenphone, Navana CNG and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd. l

Stocks edged lower in volatile trade yesterday amid poor turnover. The market moved between red and green but strong profit booking sell pressure dragged it down marginally at the end of the day. The benchmark DSEX index edged 6 points or 0.2% lower to 4,750, after marginal rise in the previous session. Shariah-based DSES index saw fractional losses of 0.9 point to 992. The blue-chip comprising DS30 index ended at 1,688 with a fractional fall of 0.9 point to 1,688. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, was marginally down 12 points to close at 9,328. “Falling turnover coupled with short term profit booking put a drag on upbeat tone,” said IDLC Investment in its market analysis. As the bourse once again turned red after two positive sessions, volatile small cap took the maximum hit, it said, adding that with a number of companies awaiting earning declarations, stock specific vibration continued in the market. Participation in trading took a jolt as turnover shrank by 27% and went below Tk400 crore.


DSE key features February 26, 2014

Stocks edge lower amid volatile trading


Traded Issues



(-) 0.14%



(-) 0.10%

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)



(-) 0.06%

Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)

CSE All Share Index:


(-) 0.05%

CSE - 30 Index :

12420.89740 9328.71070

DSE Shariah Index : DSE - 30 Index :

CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS Company G Next Fashions-A NCCBL Mutual Fund-1-A Zeal Bangla Sugar -Z Shampur Sugar -Z Islamic Finance-A Trust Bank-A Singer BD -A Prime Bank-A BSRM Steels-A

Meghna PET Ind. -Z

Closing (% change) -19.59 -9.28 -7.78 -6.33 -5.10 -3.57 -3.23 -3.07 -2.96


CSE LOSERS Company G Next Fashions-A Midas Financing-Z NCCBL Mutual Fund-1-A Phoenix Insur -A Usmania Glass -Z Union Capital -A Singer BD -A BSRM Steels-A Hakkani P& Paper -B

Islamic Finance-A

Closing (% change) -19.26 -9.79 -9.35 -8.69 -6.63 -5.18 -4.15 -4.14 -3.77


Average (% change) -20.09 -8.66 -15.80 -9.62 -4.93 -1.27 -2.97 1.90 -3.73


Average (% change) -19.78 -17.84 -7.88 -7.41 -5.79 -3.32 -3.08 -3.84 -3.76



Closing average 23.79 8.86 8.42 7.14 18.89 19.39 229.28 25.68 72.30


Closing average 23.89 30.40 9.70 45.83 154.87 29.66 229.20 72.30 30.46



Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)

(-) 0.08%

Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


(-) 0.13%

Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


Closing 23.80 8.80 8.30 7.40 18.60 18.90 228.00 25.30 72.20


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

DSE Million Taka 370.39 251.22 95.44 462.05 388.14 415.75 2.81 329.27 373.23 0.60 28.08 90.54 8.23 305.07 33.76 51.63 206.06 210.27 55.56 284.38 0.49

20.00 8.80 8.20 7.40 17.70 17.70 220.00 25.00 67.00


Daily high

23.90 30.40 9.70 45.20 153.50 29.30 226.20 71.80 30.60



8.329 11.425 0.016 0.005 10.807 9.118 69.159 9.579 49.242


Turnover in million

Daily low

23.90 30.40 9.70 45.20 160.00 29.80 237.90 73.30 32.00


Turnover in million

Daily low

23.80 9.50 8.50 8.00 20.00 20.40 235.70 26.30 75.00


23.80 30.40 9.70 45.10 153.50 29.20 225.00 70.30 30.10


Latest EPS 1.35 1.03 -25.08 -50.84 0.87 0.85 9.35 0.56 4.08


Latest EPS

1.696 0.015 0.010 0.024 0.054 0.162 6.008 5.106 0.152

1.35 -5.96 1.03 3.81 5.10 0.28 9.35 4.08 0.28



Latest PE 17.6 8.6 -ve -ve 21.7 22.8 24.5 45.9 17.7

% change 9.35 6.34 2.41 11.66 9.79 10.49 0.07 8.31 9.42 0.02 0.71 2.28 0.21 7.70 0.85 1.30 5.20 5.31 1.40 7.18 0.01

Million Taka 35.58 22.11 4.65 43.52 33.73 24.63 22.13 28.71 0.32 1.46 4.88 0.93 17.42 4.50 3.77 10.85 37.72 9.02 59.64 0.06


% change 9.73 6.05 1.27 11.90 9.23 6.74 0.00 6.05 7.85 0.09 0.40 1.34 0.25 4.76 1.23 1.03 2.97 10.32 2.47 16.31 0.02

Million Taka 405.97 273.32 100.09 505.57 421.87 440.38 2.81 351.40 401.94 0.92 29.54 95.42 9.15 322.49 38.26 55.39 216.91 247.98 64.58 344.02 0.55


Desh Garments -B Al-Haj Textile -A Mithun Knitting -A H.R. Textile -A Sinobangla Indu.-A Kohinoor Chem -A Apex SpinningA Modern Dyeing -Z Eastern Lubricants -A National Tubes -A

Closing (% change) 9.87 9.23 9.00 8.62 7.89 7.57 7.11 6.51 5.32 5.31

CSE GAINERS Company Sinobangla Indu.-A Apex SpinningA H.R. Textile -A Mithun Knitting -A Samata LeatheR -Z PragatiLife Insu. -A Aziz PipesZ BATBCL -A Beach Hatchery -A Eastern Bank - A

Closing (% change) 9.71 8.97 8.60 8.42 7.11 6.99 6.25 4.91 4.73 4.33

Average (% change) 5.07 2.13 0.73 6.29 6.21 6.95 7.85 9.07 7.86 1.25 Average (% change) 6.95 9.00 8.18 1.44 6.48 6.96 5.95 4.91 1.57 1.67

Closing average 89.52 117.98 93.93 37.19 29.92 351.36 89.27 81.80 415.59 116.29

Closing average 30.00 91.09 37.71 94.69 26.94 234.25 22.08 2214.82 30.46 32.84

Closing 93.50 125.40 99.30 37.80 30.10 353.70 90.40 81.80 406.10 119.10

Closing 30.50 91.10 37.90 99.10 27.10 234.30 22.10 2214.80 31.00 33.70

Daily high

Daily low

93.60 126.00 100.20 38.20 30.70 357.50 91.00 81.80 419.30 122.00

Daily high 31.00 91.50 38.00 99.00 27.10 235.00 22.10 2216.60 31.00 33.70

85.10 103.50 82.00 33.00 28.80 325.00 86.00 81.80 396.10 105.00

Daily low 29.10 91.00 36.90 100.00 26.90 234.00 22.00 2200.00 29.90 32.40

Turnover in million 10.913 21.522 50.459 7.105 10.698 2.949 5.767 0.008 2.639 29.869

Turnover in million 5.596 0.146 0.339 3.181 0.189 0.469 0.013 1.329 15.291 0.401

Latest EPS 1.18 2.06 2.42 1.56 1.24 7.88 1.85 1.54 6.02 2.26

Latest EPS 1.24 1.85 1.56 2.42 -0.04 2.38 0.59 76.51 0.79 2.27

Latest PE 75.9 57.3 38.8 23.8 24.1 44.6 48.3 53.1 69.0 51.5

Latest PE 24.2 49.2 24.2 39.1 -ve 98.4 37.4 28.9 38.6 14.5

News from trade server BSRMSTEEL: The Board of Directors has recommended 15% cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 24.04.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: The Institution of Engineers Bangladesh, Chittagong Center, S.S. Khaled Road, Chittagong. Record date: 09.03.2014. The Company has also reported consolidated net profit of Tk. 1,394.55 million, consolidated EPS of Tk. 4.08, consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 21.75 and consolidated NOCFPS of Tk. 10.13 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. TRUSTBANK: The Board of Directors has recommended 12% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 22.05.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: Army Golf Club, Airport Road, Dhaka. Record date: 08.04.2014. The Company has also reported consolidated net profit after tax of Tk. 321.97 million, consolidated EPS of Tk. 0.85, consolidated NAV per Share of Tk. 18.92 and consolidated NOCFPS of Tk. (7.91) for the year ended on December 31, 2013. SINOBANGLA: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% cash dividend for the year ended on October 31, 2013. The Board has also decided to increase the Authorized Capital of the Company from Tk. 32.00 crore

to Tk. 100.00 crore by necessary amendment in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company in the EGM. Date of EGM and AGM: 22.05.2014, Time of EGM and AGM: 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM respectively, Venue: Factory premises, Boro Baluakandi, Gazaria, Munshiganj. Record Date for EGM and AGM: 18.03.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.24, NAV per share of Tk. 23.65 and NOCFPS of Tk. 0.51 for the year ended on October 31, 2013. MITHUNKNIT: In response to a CSE query dated February 24, 2014, the Company has informed that there is no undisclosed price sensitive information of the Company for recent unusual price hike. Board Meeting: PRIMEFIN March 01, 2014 at 12:00 noon instead of February 27, 2014. EBL on February 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM. BRACBANK on February 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM. ABBANK scheduled to be held on February 26, 2014 at 3:00 PM has been postponed. Fresh date for consideration of the above will be intimated subsequently in due course. Conduction of IPO lottery of Matin Spinning Mills Ltd.: All concerned are hereby informed that the IPO lottery program of Matin pinning Mills Ltd. will be conducted on 27 February

2014 at 10:00 am at The Institution of Engineers Bangladesh, Ramna, Dhaka. From BIASL Desk: Impact after declaration: Price of BSRMSTEEL slided by 2.95% though its EPS growth as 40%, yesterday’s closing price was 72.20 and PE 17.70. With 77% EPS growth in 2013 and 2% increased dividend TRUSTBANK’s price declined by 3.57%, yesterday’s closing price was 18.90 and PE 22.24. Despite 29% low EPS and 1% less dividend price of SINOBANGLA shot up by 7.88% with closing of taja 30.10 and PE 24.27. Price correction after record day: After record day for 2R:3 right share offer, GENNEXT price correction was 19.59%. Restated EPS is taka 1.01 and NAV per share taka 13.09. RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. BRACBANK: Subscription 20.04.2014 to 15.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 10.02.2014. GENNEXT: Subscription 18.03.2014 to 09.04.2014, Record date: 25.02.2014.


Latest PE 17.7 -ve 9.4 12.0 30.4 105.9 24.5 17.7 108.8


Falling turnover coupled with short term profit booking put a drag on upbeat tone


Daily high

Thursday, February 27, 2014

% change 9.38 6.31 2.31 11.68 9.75 10.17 0.06 8.12 9.29 0.02 0.68 2.20 0.21 7.45 0.88 1.28 5.01 5.73 1.49 7.95 0.01

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

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BSC-A Olympic Ind. -A ConfidenceCement A Square Pharma -A Meghna Petroleum -A Grameenphone-A Navana CNG-A

BD Submarine Cable-A BATBCL -A Delta Life Insu. -A

Singer BD -A Jamuna Oil -A LankaBangla Fin. -A LafargeS Cement-Z IDLC Finance -A S Purbanchol Power-N HeidelbergCement -A Mithun Knitting -A Apex Footwear-A Southeast Bank-A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BSC-A

BD Submarine Cable-A Beach Hatchery -A Navana CNG-A Grameenphone-A Delta Life Insu. -A Olympic Ind. -A UNITED AIR-A AFC AgroBiotech-N UCBL - A S Purbanchol Power-N Singer BD -A ConfidenceCement A LankaBangla Fin. -A Appollo Ispat CL -N Sinobangla Indu.-A Square Pharma -A BSRM Steels-A LafargeS Cement-Z Prime Finance-A

Volume shares 379,740 881,802 984,362 484,081 402,718 524,875 1,370,748 455,966 40,850 319,575

301,639 279,201 803,002 1,474,500 716,835 767,090 117,000 537,194 89,600 2,219,076

Volume shares

77,330 122,971 501,958 153,227 51,707 30,400 38,000 483,987 110,500 233,865 84,420 26,212 38,748 81,079 187,400 186,500 21,351 70,627 126,000 163,224

Value in million 240.29 189.88 148.66 126.00 115.45 111.36 99.47 98.91 86.97 86.42

69.16 64.73 57.53 56.24 56.06 55.37 51.54 50.46 49.55 49.44

Value in million

48.91 26.71 15.29 11.13 11.01 8.24 8.20 7.45 7.31 6.67 6.11 6.01 5.85 5.81 5.80 5.60 5.56 5.11 4.81 4.80

% of total turnover 6.06 4.79 3.75 3.18 2.91 2.81 2.51 2.50 2.19 2.18

1.75 1.63 1.45 1.42 1.41 1.40 1.30 1.27 1.25 1.25

% of total turnover

13.40 7.32 4.19 3.05 3.02 2.26 2.25 2.04 2.00 1.83 1.67 1.65 1.60 1.59 1.59 1.53 1.52 1.40 1.32 1.32

Daily closing 650.00 216.40 152.60 261.40 286.10 210.40 72.20 217.70 2198.90 270.40

228.00 232.00 71.70 39.20 78.60 72.10 440.50 99.30 555.30 22.20

Daily closing

650.50 217.60 31.00 72.30 211.20 271.30 217.80 15.30 65.20 28.60 72.00 226.20 152.70 71.90 30.80 30.50 261.00 71.80 39.70 29.90

Price change 3.67 -0.51 2.35 0.11 -0.21 -0.99 1.55 0.05 4.54 1.16

Daily opening 627.00 217.50 149.10 261.10 286.70 212.50 71.10 217.60 2103.40 267.30

Price change

Daily opening

-3.23 0.35 -0.28 3.43 -0.51 0.42 0.16 9.00 -0.20 -1.77

4.20 -0.14 4.73 1.54 0.19 1.04 0.00 -1.29 -1.95 -1.04 0.14 -4.15 2.28 0.28 -0.65 9.71 -0.27 -4.14 4.75 3.10

235.60 231.20 71.90 37.90 79.00 71.80 439.80 91.10 556.40 22.60

624.30 217.90 29.60 71.20 210.80 268.50 217.80 15.50 66.50 28.90 71.90 236.00 149.30 71.70 31.00 27.80 261.70 74.90 37.90 29.00

Daily high 657.00 218.80 158.00 262.10 289.80 215.60 73.20 229.00 2208.50 272.80

Daily low 610.25 200.00 142.00 241.00 270.00 202.00 65.00 200.00 2060.00 268.30

Daily average 632.78 215.33 151.03 260.29 286.68 212.16 72.56 216.92 2129.06 270.43

Daily high

Daily low

Daily average

235.70 233.70 72.90 39.50 79.10 73.00 444.00 100.20 562.50 22.90

659.00 219.50 31.00 73.60 215.40 273.00 223.50 15.60 67.50 28.80 73.00 237.90 153.80 72.40 31.20 31.00 262.50 73.30 39.80 30.30

220.00 211.00 65.00 37.50 75.00 64.70 436.00 82.00 543.00 20.50

610.30 215.20 29.90 71.80 209.20 268.70 213.00 15.20 64.80 28.20 71.50 225.00 148.40 70.00 30.70 29.10 248.00 70.30 37.40 29.10

229.28 231.85 71.64 38.14 78.20 72.18 440.53 93.93 553.01 22.28

632.47 217.17 30.46 72.62 212.92 270.95 215.73 15.39 66.13 28.50 72.39 229.20 150.85 71.66 30.94 30.00 260.21 72.30 38.17 29.43



BSC continues to shine n Tahmidur Rahman Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) continued to shine at the Dhaka Stock Exchange, as its share prices surged by 40% in the past six trading days. Analysts said its better-than-expected half-yearly earning boosted by non-operating income has put buying enthusiasm among the investors despite current accumulated losses. Buying interest yesterday made the state-owned company to become most traded stocks worth Tk24 crore, making up 6.6% of the total turnover and its stock prices gained 3.66% to Tk650 a share. According to its half yearly (JulyDec) statement, in 2013 the company’s non-operating income jumped to Tk40 crore, a sharp rise of almost 87% a year before. In addition, income from the core business freight earnings also increased that inflated the operating income by 11%.

Second half of last year the company made net profits of Tk16.6 crore against a loss of Tk20.9 crore in the same period of 2012. However, the company’s accumulated loss stood at Tk204.6 crore last year. In May last year, the company said

Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) gave its consent for raising capital through issuing 5,345,200 shares worth Tk500 (including Tk400 premium) each in favour of government against government equity of Tk267.26 crore. l

Bangladesh to get duty-free  B1 COLUMN 1

In the 2012-2013 financial year, Bangladesh exported goods worth US$30.37m to Chile. Out of the total export volume, 93% or $28.26m were earned only from the apparel sector, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh fetched $22.73m exporting products to Chile, of which $21.10m came from readymade

garment sector. Bangladesh export’s to Chile includes Pharmaceuticals, woven and knitwear garment, jute yarn, footwear, caps, cotton bags, engineering products and parts, plastics, ceramics products and clock and watch etc. Bangladesh imports cooper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals and wine from Chile and the import value in the first half of the current fiscal year stood at $2.70m against

export value of $22.73m in the first seven month of the financial year, shows Bangladesh Bank. “Duty-free access to Chile markets could be a great opportunity for the country’s apparel sector and it would also help reduce dependency on the traditional market and expand export volume,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB). l

Trade portal  B1 COLUMN 6

earnings in July-January in the FY14 crossed the government-set target for the period by 3.04%, showed the Export Promotion Bureau data released on Sunday. The RMG sector fetched $14.17bn in export earnings in July-January, growing by around 17.50% compared with the same period of the last FY13 but jute sector continued to struggle. Total export earnings in July-January of the FY13 were $15.15bn with a growth of 8.83% year-on-year. “As part of our move to further facilitate our trade to the businesses and traders, trade portal will be lunched soon, commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune. He also noted that the export and trade will be boosted further as soon as the international traders will be involves with the local trade portal. l

The BRICS bloc of emerging economies will set up its development bank with a total capital of $100bn within five years, but member countries still haven’t agreed on their share in the bank’s structure, a senior Russian official said on Tuesday. The bank is being set up by Brazil, China, India and South Africa to fund infrastructure projects. But it has been slow in coming, with prolonged disagreements over funding and management of the institution. The start-up capital of $50bn would eventually be built up to $100bn. Rus-

sia has proposed that each member contributes an equal, 20% share. Other BRICS officials say their share should depend on the size of their economies, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said. “Russia’s stance is that this is a new development bank, based on new principles, so we vote for equal participation, 20% from each,” Storchak told journalists. Establishing the bank was first proposed in 2012. It was approved last year at a BRICS summit in South Africa. Officials from the group met last weekend in Sydney on the sidelines of a meeting of the finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group

of 20 developed and developing nations. “After numerous attempts, we were able to agree that the process of building up the capital ... will be stretched over time,” Storchak said. “We managed to come to an agreement that the period of contributions to the capital’s share can be up to five years.” The group has struggled to take coordinated action in the past year, after the scaling back of US stimulus prompted an exodus of capital from their markets. That in turn raised fears about the health of the BRICS economies. The five-year span allows time for the global economy to improve and for growth in emerging markets to revive,

Jamuna Bank’s Banani branch has been shifted at Green Grandeur, Kamal Ataturk Avenue in Banani, Dhaka. Kanutosh Majumder, the bank’s chairperson inaugurated the new premises as chief guest

HC order on  B1 COLUMN 1

Chowdhury, the lawyer of the eight directors who were nominated from the general shareholders, told the Dhaka Tribune. In its order, the HC declared the posts of the eight directors illegal as they failed to hold 2% shares each of the bank during their election on August 21 last year. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), by issuing two notifications on November 22 and December 7 of 2011, made it obligatory that every director must have 2% shares. It said the shares should be acquired by six months of the directive. On February 12, 2012, the stock regulator BSEC clarified that the director nominated from the general shareholders, independent director and nominee director need not to have that minimum shares however. l

Russia: BRICS to set up their bank within five years n Reuters, Moscow


Thursday, February 27, 2014

which would help in replenishing domestic budgets, Storchak said. “(Then) we will get more favourable conditions for countries to fully engage in the bank’s operations,” he said. The location of the bank, another longdebated issue, was not decided in Sydney. “There are interesting diplomatic negotiations because each country has declared that they will propose their candidates (for the bank’s headquarters),” Storchak said. “We have reached an agreement that it should be decided through ... consensus.” The group’s other project, a $100bn fund designated to steady currency markets has also been off to a slow start, awaiting a final approval. l

First Security Islami Bank Limited has donated money to one BDR Peelkhana martyred army officer’s family as a part of its corporate social responsibility programme. A cheque worth Tk480,000 for 5th year out of Tk4,800,000 in ten years, was handed over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Dhaka Bank Training Institute recently organised a four-week long foundation training for bankers. A total of 29 officials from different branches, divisions, units of the bank’s head office and DBL Securities Ltd have taken part in the programme. Khandker Fazle Rashid, the bank’s managing director addressed the inauguration as chief guest

Hasna Hena Chowdhury, EVP and chief manager of Trust Bank Limited, principal branch received a cheque from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the cause of BDR mutiny

Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox goes dark in blow to virtual currency n Reuters, Tokyo Mt Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, abruptly stopped trading on Tuesday and its chief executive said the business was at “a turning point,” sparking concerns about the future of the unregulated virtual currency. Several other digital currency exchanges and prominent early-stage investors in bitcoin responded with forceful statements in an attempt to reassure investors of both bitcoin’s viability and their own security protocols. The website of Mt Gox suddenly went dark on Tuesday with no explanation, and the company’s Tokyo office was empty - the only activity was outside, where a handful of protesters said they had lost money investing in the virtual currency. Hours later, Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles told Reuters in an email: “We should have an official announcement ready soon-ish. We are currently at a turning point for the business. I can’t tell much more for now as this also involves other parties.” He did not elaborate on the details or give his location. Bitcoin has gained increasing acceptance as a method of payment and has attracted a number of large venture capital investors. At a current price of about $517, the total bitcoins in circulation are worth approximately $6.4bn. Investors deposit their bitcoins in digital wallets at specific exchanges, so the Mt. Gox shutdown is similar to a bank closing its doors - people cannot retrieve their funds. A document circulating on the Internet purporting to be a crisis plan for Mt Gox, said more than 744,000 bitcoins were “missing due to malleability-related theft”, and noted Mt Gox had $174m in liabilities against $32.75m in assets. It was not possible to verify the document or the exchange’s financial situation. If accurate, that would mean approximately 6% of the 12.4 million bitcoins minted would be considered missing. A statement on Bitcoin’s website said, “In the event of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market,

a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.” The digital currency has caught the eye of regulators concerned with consumer protections and bitcoin’s use in money laundering. Benjamin M Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, said in a statement, that while all of the facts surrounding Mt Gox are “not yet clear, these developments underscore that smart, tailored regulation could play an important role in protecting consumers and the security of the money that they entrust to virtual currency firms.” Lawsky said last month that he planned to issue rules for businesses handling virtual currencies.

Security questions

Mt. Gox halted withdrawals earlier this month after it said it detected “unusual activity on its bitcoin wallets and per-

formed investigations during the past weeks.” The move pushed bitcoin prices down to their lowest level in nearly two months. Even with the halt on February 7, Mt Gox still handled more transactions than any other in the past month. Over the last 30 days, Mt Gox has handled more than one million bitcoin transactions denominated in dollars, or about 34% of activity, according to Bitcoincharts, which provides data and charts for the bitcoin network. Critics of the exchange, from rivals to burned investors, said the digital marketplace operator had long been lax over its security. Investors in bitcoin, who have endured a volatile ride in the value of the unregulated cyber-tender, said they still had faith in the currency despite the problems at Mt Gox. “Mt Gox is one of several exchanges, and their exit, while unfortunate, opens a door of opportunity,” The Bitcoin Foundation, the digital currency’s trade group, said in a statement. “This incident demonstrates the need for re-

sponsible individuals and members of the bitcoin community to lead in providing reliable services.” United Kingdom-based Bitstamp, the second-largest bitcoin exchange by volume, said on its website that it had done an audit of its systems and that it was not subject to the same kind of “malleability” that “was apparently exploited at Mt Gox.” Similarly, BTC-E, another exchange, assured investors that it has “no vulnerabilities during client transactions.”

“Very angry”

Bitcoin has been a roller-coaster of late, rising and falling dramatically, sometimes on an intraday basis, and its price varies greatly depending on the exchange. The program that runs the currency has been the target of hackers disrupting transactions recently. The Mt. Gox bitcoin, which traded at $828.99 before February 7, when the exchange halted withdrawals, since plunged 83.7% to $135. At Bitstamp, the price hit a low of

$400 on Tuesday, down 40% since February 7. It had recovered lately to $517. Bitstamp has had more than 800,000 US dollar transactions in the last 30 days, according to Bitcoincharts. In the last two days, Bitstamp has handled more volume than Mt Gox. Mt. Gox was a founding member and one of the three elected industry representatives on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation. A bitcoin exchange since 2010, Mt Gox is a relatively old player, having grown quickly when there were few alternatives. On Sunday Karpeles resigned from the Foundation’s board. “I’m very angry,” said Kolin Burges, a self-styled “crypto-currency trader” and former software engineer who came from London for answers after Mt Gox did not tell him what happened to his bitcoins, which at one point were worth $300,000. Six leading bitcoin exchanges which allow users to trade bitcoins for US dollars and other currencies - distanced themselves from Mt Gox. “This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” the companies - Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, BTC China, Blockchain and Circle - said in the statement. “As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we’re seeing today.” Venture capitalists, many of whom have invested in bitcoin and related services, jumped to bitcoin’s defense. Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures and a backer of Coinbase, which allows consumers to easily buy and sell bitcoins with wallets directly connected to their bank accounts, wrote in a blog post that part of the maturation of a sector “will inevitably be failures, crashes, and other messes.” “The wonderful thing about a globally distributed financial network is that if one of the nodes goes down, it doesn’t take the system down,” he wrote, adding that he had bought some bitcoin on Tuesday. “I always feel good

buying when there is blood in the streets in any market.” Marc Andreessen, whose venture capital firm has invested millions in bitcoin ventures, told CNBC that other exchanges are doing fine. In Boston, Kyle Powers and Chris Yim, co-founders of Liberty Teller, a company that operates a bitcoin automated teller machine, answered customers’ questions at their kiosk in South Station Tuesday. Yim said he expects a price dip in bitcoin, but no longterm problems with the currency.

Teething problems

Virtual currency exchanges “stand to benefit from the Mt. Gox fallout,” but there will be “increased expectations on the transparency and disclosures they need to make to customers,” said Jaron Lukasiewicz, co-founder and chief executive of Coinsetter, a New York-based bitcoin exchange. Steve Hudak, spokesman for Treasury’s anti-money laundering unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), said it is “aware of the reports regarding Mt Gox” but had no additional comment. To date it is the only US regulatory agency to have any oversight of Mt. Gox. Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement that Mt Gox “is a reminder of the damage potentially ill equipped and unregulated financial actors can wreak on unsuspecting consumers. US policymakers and regulators can and should learn from this incident to protect consumers.” Karpeles himself, while insisting on his own exchange’s reliability, has made no secret that bitcoin is, as he told Reuters last April, a “high-risk investment.” “If you buy bitcoins, you should buy keeping in mind that the value could be zero the day after.” The concierge at his home - an upscale apartment in the Shibuya district - said he was not answering his intercom. His mailbox was so stuffed with mail that the flap would not close. l

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


Get ready for higher inflation n Asif Khan In mid January 2014, I felt that inflation would continue to remain weak in the absence of consumer confidence and low credit growth. In the light of new information and some simple grade six mathematics, I am now changing my view on inflation. To cut a long story short, I now believe that by June 2014, inflation will go very close to double digits. Without much ado, let me give my explanations. Benefit of base year effect would reverse From July 2013 to January 2014 MoM inflation averaged 1.1%. Despite that, YoY inflation was relatively low due to what economists commonly term “base year effect.” Because of that, going forward a

small 0.6% MoM (7.2% annualized) inflation for the next 5 months would be enough to take inflation to double digits at the end of June 2014.

Min wage hike of 77% for RMG workers

The minimum wage hike by 77% for RMG workers was responsible for January 2014 MoM inflation of 1.2%. I believe that the full effect of the minimum wage hike will be visible in the February 2014 numbers. Also around 30-40% of the factories are yet to implement the wage hike, which can have another round of effects.

Energy price hike on the cards

Another variable I have not taken into consideration yet is the potential energy price hike. Media reports clearly

suggest that the government is considering hiking both the energy price and the gas price which had been pending for some time. However, the timing and magnitude of both are both quite unknown at this point.

Unlikely for food prices to go lower

Since 2013, Bangladesh has had the benefit of very low food prices that helped inflation remain at reasonable levels. Unfortunately that is very bad for farmers who typically cannot cover their production costs. Thus, according to the “cobweb” theory, they will go for underproduction in the next harvest cycle. For example I heard that in certain parts of Bangladesh, 5kg of tomatoes were sold for Tk7 (9 cents). That kind of price should not be sustainable. The chart shows where YoY inflation will end up assuming different MoM inflation rates of 0.4%, 0.6%, and 0.8%. At best, I would say it will be 0.6% MoM for the next 5 months, even though that is much lower than the last 6 months average of 1.1%. Bangladesh Bank has also been clearly showing us, in the last two monetary policy statements, that they are afraid of inflation pressure building up. That prompted them not to reduce policy rates even though GDP growth is expected to come down this fiscal year. l The writer is deputy head of equity research at BRAC EPL Stock Brokerage who writes on finance and economics at

A woman tests a Samsung S Console during the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona


Disney launches cloud film Global investors look to equities in 2014 - survey service for mobile devices n Reuters, London


AFP, New York

The Walt Disney Co announced Tuesday the launch of a service allowing users of iPads and iPhones to access hundreds of movies via the Internet cloud. “Disney Movies Anywhere” is being offering as an app for Apple devices which “enables consumers to discover, purchase, manage, and watch movies from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel at home and on the go.” “Disney Movies Anywhere offers an exceptional consumer experience built around some of the most beloved and popular entertainment brands in the world,” said Alan Bergman, president of Walt Disney Studios. “This unique technology underscores Disney’s commitment to meet-

ing our consumers where they are with the content they want, and we’re thrilled to debut with iTunes, the number one digital media retailer in the world.” Users will be able to link their iTunes account to Disney Movies Anywhere to create a “digital movie locker” of streaming films stored in the cloud. It will also be offered for desktop and laptop computers. Consumers who have purchased Disney films released since 2008 will be able to use the codes on those titles to watch on their tablets, phones or computers, the company said in a statement. The system is built upon Disney’s proprietary digital rights locker, KeyChest. l

Global investors plan to buy more equities in 2014 in the hunt for higher returns, a survey showed on Wednesday, although some fear they could be crimped by increased taxes, rising inflation and a slowdown in the economic recovery. While Wall Street saw record highs and world equity markets hit six-year peaks in 2013, seven out of 10 investors surveyed by British fund manager Schroders (SDR.L) said they still planned to purchase stocks in the coming year, far more than the 18% who were looking to bonds. “The overall feedback was respondents would invest more in 2014 on the basis on an improved economical landscape,” said Carlo Trabattoni, head of European intermediary distribution. The group surveyed 15,749 investors

in 23 countries who intended to invest at least 10,000 euros or the equivalent over the next 12 months. It found 41% planned to invest in their own country, the rest in international equities or other asset classes. Around two in five respondents saw the best growth opportunities in Asia Pacific. Three in 10 looked to North America.

Of those surveyed, 56% said they were more confident than last year about investment opportunities - an improvement from 48% in the same survey last year. The biggest concern raised by 26% of respondents was tax increases, with a proposed financial transaction in the European Union potentially placing a

charge on share trading. Around a quarter of global investors also flagged worries over untamed inflation - despite persistently low inflation forecasts in the euro zone - and a prolonged economic recovery, both in their own country and internationally. The International Monetary Fund forecasts global growth of 3.7% this year. The survey also found investor confidence for the year ahead was lowest in the United States. Particular concerns were tax rates and the robustness of the global and domestic economic recoveries. “You could be up 20 to 30% in 2013 (through US investments), which was very strong, so maybe the retail US investor thought, ‘That’s pretty good, I don’t think we’ll have back-to-back years like that,’” said Carter Sims, Schroders’ US head of intermediary distribution. l

EU upgrades growth forecasts but says reforms essential n AFP, Brussels Struggling out of the debt crisis, the EU felt confident enough Tuesday to upgrade its economic forecasts, betting a modest recovery is sustainable if member states stick to reforms. The 18-nation eurozone will grow 1.2% this year and 1.8% in 2015, up from previous estimates in November for 1.1% and 1.7%, the European Commission said. Similarly, the full 28-member EU will expand 1.5% and 2%, also both revised up by 0.1 percentage point. “Recovery is gaining ground in Europe,” said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, while warning against complacency. “The worst of the crisis may now be behind us but this is not an invitation to be complacent as the recovery is still modest,” Rehn said. “To make the recovery stronger and create more jobs, we need to stay the course of economic reform.” The eurozone escaped a record 18-month recession in the second quarter 2013 and after “three consecutive quarters of subdued recovery, the outlook is for a moderate step-up in economic growth”, the Commission said in its Winter forecasts report. Among member states, powerhouse Germany should post growth of 1.8% this year, rising to 2.0% in 2015, slightly better than November’s estimates, while struggling France will pick up slightly to 1% but is flat at 1.7% for next year. Such variations “will make eurozone policymaking a difficult balancing act for some time yet”, said Tom Rogers of EY Eurozone Forecast. Twice-bailed out Greece is expected to escape six years in deep recession with growth of 0.6% and then 2.9%, while Italy will expand 0.6% and 1.2% as Spain does better with 1% and 1.7%. Non-euro Britain, however, easily out-distances its eurozone peers with gains of 2.5% and 2.4% this year and next. For comparison. the US economy is

expected to grow 2.9% this year and 3.2% in 2015.

Low inflation risks

Noting very low inflation, the Commission said it could “entail risks” but believed there was “only a marginal probability of shocks large enough to de-anchor inflation expectations and initiate EU-wide deflation”. Inflation has fallen steadily in recent months - it hit 0.8% in January, way below the European Central Bank’s 2% target - reflecting very weak consumer demand and sparking fears of deflation, when prices fall in real terms. In deflation, consumers put off purchases to a later date when they expect them to be cheaper but this leads companies to cut investment, hitting salaries and jobs, and in turn, undercuts demand further. The Commission said offsetting this risk, the recovery could be stronger than expected, especially if “further bold structural reforms are implemented”. Rehn said low inflation for a short period was positive as it helped consumer demand while the ECB is committed to do everything necessary to prevent it becoming a long-term problem. The Commission put 2014 eurozone inflation at 1%, rising to 1.3% in 2015, compared with its previous estimates for 1.5% and 1.4%. For unemployment, currently running at near record highs around 12%, it saw no change this year at 12% and an improvement next year to 11.7%, better than November’s figures. Member state finances which have suffered huge strain during the debt crisis show signs of stabilising, the Commission said. The average annual eurozone public deficit - the shortfall between government revenues and spending is expected at 2.6% of Gross Domestic Product this year and to improve to 2.5% in 2015, well below the EU 3.0% limit.




But that is still slightly worse than the previous estimates of 2.5% and 2.4%. Total accumulated debt is expected to show little improvement at 95.9%



and 95.4%, still way over the EU 60% limit. While Germany again leads the field with a zero public deficit forecast for the two years, France falls badly short



of targets agreed with the Commission to stabilise its finances at the 3% ceiling, coming in at 4.0% and 3.9%. Greece, however, which is locked in difficult talks with its international



creditors over its reform commitments and future funding needs, should return to positive territory at 1.0% in 2015, after a deficit of 2.2% this year and 13.1% in 2013. l

27 February 2014  
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