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Falgun 16, 1420 Rabius Saani 27, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 336




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BNP-Jamaat start from where they left Voters have rejected outright the rebel candidates from both parties United People’s Democratic Front n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla and and (UPDF) have maintained their hold Mohammad Zakaria

Carrying on from the first phase of the upazila parishad polls, the candidates backed by BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami have done better results than the ruling Awami League-backed contenders in yesterday’s second phase of polls as well.

UPAZILA POLLS RESULTS February 27, 2014 Parties


BNP AL Jamaat PCJSS Independent UPDF JaPa Re-poll Waiting Postponed Total * unofficial sources

2nd phase

1st phase

51 44 8 3 2 1 1 2 2 1 115

44 35 12 1 2 2 1 – – – 97

According to unofficial results from 112 upazila parishads, BNP-backed candidates have clinched the chairman posts in 51 upazilas, Awami League 44 and Jamaat eight. The results of two upazilas did not arrive until filing of this report at 2:25am because vote counting was still going on. Just like the first phase, Ershad’s Jatiya Party has once again got just one upazila parishad chairman post this time. Regional parties Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS)


3 Terming poverty as the main enemy of this region, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon writers and litterateurs to work together to build a poverty-free peaceful South Asia.


6 All kinds of surgical operation at Bhola Sadar Hospital have remained suspended over the last seven months for want of anasthetists, much to the sufferings for surgical patients.


11 Full disclosure: David Bergman is married to my cousin, and I have known him for over 25 years. Over the past few years David has earned a great deal of notoriety and some enmity inside the country for his blog on the war crimes trials


12 American root musical troupe Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards and Bangladeshi folk ensemble Joler Gaan performed at the Bangladesh National Museum Auditorium on February 26 as a part of the American Music Abroad programme.

in the upazilas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. PCJSS has claimed three chairman posts, bettering its first phase result of one, but UPDF, who got two seats in the first phase, got just one this time around. In the seven hilly upazilas, none of the candidates backed by the Awami League succeeded in impressing the voters. The candidates backed by the BNP, on the other hand, have bagged two seats and one chairman post went to an independent runner. In Feni – home of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia – and Noakhali districts, both traditionally known as BNP strongholds, the ruling party-backed contenders have “unexpectedly” won in five out of the six upazilas in this round. Only one BNP-backed candidate has managed to live up to the expectations in these two upazilas. The voting in these two upazilas have also seen marked violence, especially the Noakhali sadar seat, where polling has been entirely suspended because law and order situation worsened beyond control. Interestingly, the voters in this round of the polls have completely rejected the “rebel” candidates from both Awami League and BNP, although they have been major headaches for both the parties in the build up to the elections. Although the scorecard shows that Jamaat have not done as well as it did in the first phase winning only eight seats this time, it, however, has managed to keep its tight grip in the areas known as its stronghold, namely Gaibandha, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Chittagong, Jhenaidah and Satkhira. Election Commission sources have hinted that two upazilas – Laksham in Comilla and Tarash in Sirajganj – may see re-election due to strictly technical and mathematical reasons. l

Supporters of an AL-backed candidate pounce on a voting centre at Paragaon of Sreenagar upazila in Munshiganj yesterday

Violence makes a return in second phase polls n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Compared to the largely peaceful first phase of the upazila polls, the second round yesterday saw a marked rise in violence, with reports of clashes, postponement of voting and allegations of ballot box snatching coming in from a number of upazilas. In Sonaimuri Upazila of Noakhali, an activist of Chhatra Shibir, student front of Jamaat-e-Islami, was killed when law enforcers opened fire during a clash with BNP activists. There have been also reports about election officials of various ranks and law enforcers getting hurt in violence

around the polling centres in some upazilas. At least 13 BNP-backed chairman candidates from around the country pulled out of the polls raising allegations of irregularity.

Clashes, death, vote rigging reported from many upazilas In the first phase held earlier this month, three BNP-backed candidates for various posts in an upazila, emerged victorious and accepted the

Unless there is a clear shift towards coal or gas-based generation from the existing dependence on costly fuel oil, keeping consumers happy with the price of electricity and simultaneously reducing subsidy to ease pressure on finances will be a daunting task for the government. For running fuel oil-fired plants, the last government has raised subsidy by over 450% on fuel oil since 2010. Moreover, retail power prices were increased in six phases during the government’s previous term as one of the ways to cut down on subsidy. The power sector has been getting over Tk5,500 crore allocation annually as subsidy. In FY2009-2010, subsidy in the sector was Tk994 crore which jumped to Tk4,000crore in the following fiscal. A large part of the subsidy was consumed by the fuel oil-powered quick rental power plants, according to official sources. According to the Power Division, a unit of fuel oil-fired electricity costs Tk16-20 while gas-fired power costs below Tk2 and coal-fired about Tk6. Official data shows that the average retail price of per unit of electricity has been raised by 50% from Tk4 to Tk6 over a two and half-year period from March 2010 to September 2012. Recently, the five state-owned electricity distribution companies proposed further increasing retail power tariff by 8.58% to 23.50% per unit. They urged the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to make the proposed rate effective from March 1. Because of a shortage of cheaper




Gas (4616MW) Solar, coal, others (3267MW)


Fuel oil (2527MW)




994 2009-10



primary fuels such as gas and coal, the government could not ease reliance on costly fuel oils although it claimed to have raised generation capacity to over 10,000 megawatt. Professor Shamsul Alam, adviser of the Consumers Association of Bangla-



desh, said: “Keeping price of power at the present and lowering subsidy at the same time will be a steep challenge. It would be even steeper as the government is focusing more on setting up new power plants instead of discovering new gas fields.

Manzur murder to be probed again n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

results after having announced boycotting the polls. Voting has been postponed in at least 151 polling from centres around the country including 30 alone from Noakhali sadar because of violence, snatching of ballot papers and allegations of vote rigging. An Election Commission official said the polling centres in Noakhali will soon see reelection. According to our local correspondents, BNP-backed candidates have boycotted polls in Barisal Sadar, Shibchar of Madaripur, Borhanuddin and Charfashion of Bhola, Faridganj of Chandpur

A Dhaka court yesterday ordered the Criminal Investigation Department to reinvestigate the major general Abul Manzur killing case. The court also ordered the CID to submit its investigation report before it by April 22. Special Public Prosecutor Asaduzzaman Khan Rochi alleged that there were some flaws in the charge-sheet and he sought further investigation into the murder although the case is now at the final stage for pronouncing verdict. Placing the closing arguments yesterday the prosecution said: “While scrutinising the charge sheet I found some flaws and it seemed the probe is incomplete.”



Government at crossroads with electricity n Aminur Rahman Rasel


“As a result, the government has to keep on depending on the fuel oilbased plants. That will definitely lead to higher power prices,” he said. With the overall gas generation nowhere near encouraging – partly because no significant gas reserve has been discovered in recent times – the government had no other option but to extend the costly contracts with the fuel oil-based power stations because elongated periods of darkness in the households will turn out to be immensely unpopular. Then again, the government cannot continue to rely on fuel oil-based plants for indefinite periods of time and keep mounting pressure on its finances because charging the entire rental on the consumers would take power prices beyond their affordability. The more the government delays in coming up with the much awaited national coal policy, the more it seems to be the magic wand for the country’s power sector that, if aptly laid out, can be the answer to most of the prevailing and future crunches. During its previous five-year tenure, the government initiated a number of coal-fired plants; but all those plants could move only as far as the laying of foundation stones. Chances are thin that these coalbased plants will be able to contribute anything significant in near future because such a plant needs five to seven years to come to operation. Power Division sources said power generation shortfall hovers around 1,000-1,200 MW every day because of poor gas supply. Bangladesh, whose 62% of total  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

Ukraine warns Russia after gunmen seize Crimea parliament n Reuters, Ukraine Armed men seized the parliament in Ukraine’s Crimea region yesterday and raised the Russian flag, alarming Kiev’s new rulers, who urged Moscow not to abuse its navy base rights on the peninsula by moving troops around. Crimea, the only Ukrainian region with an ethnic Russian majority, is the last big bastion of opposition to the new leadership in Kiev since President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted at the weekend and provides a base for Russia’s Black Sea fleet. “I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet,” said Olexander Turchinov, Ukraine’s acting president. “Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be seen by us as military aggression,” he said, a day after 150,000 Russian troops near Ukraine were put on high alert. The Ukraine foreign ministry also summoned Russia’s acting ambassador in Kiev for immediate consultations as the face-off between Moscow and the West over Ukraine revived memories of the Cold War. The United States called on Moscow to avoid doing anything risky over Ukraine, which has been in crisis since November, when Yanukovich abandoned a proposed trade pact with the EU and turned instead towards Russia.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Friday, February 28, 2014

Authorities directed to stop use of cellphones inside prisons n Rabiul Islam Jail authorities across the country will have to face the music if they fail to stop prisoners from using mobile phones. “We will call and ask jail authorities to enforce the ban on the use of mobile phones by prisoners inside prisons,” State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan told the Dhaka Tribune over the phone yesterday. He also added that if the ministry directive was not implemented, exemplary punishment would be given to those failing to do so. The use of mobile phones inside jails is now being discussed widely following the recent assisted escape of three convicted leaders of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), as well as other criminal activities that are being directed by prisoners from inside the prisons. A senior home ministry official, requesting anonymity, said the cabinet committee on law and order, in its maiden meeting, has expressed concerns over the use of mobile phones in jails. The meeting, presided by Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, stressed the need to effectively stop the use of mobile phones in jail. It also observed that criminals get the opportunity to direct illegal and destructive activities using their phones. The meeting was, however, not attended by the Inspector General of Prisons. A home ministry official has said every jail has a mobile-network jamming device, which is only effective when electricity is available.

AL: Second Phase Upazila Poll free and fair n Emran Hossain Shaikh HT Imam, co-chairman of election steering committee of the ruling Awami League, yesterday said the second phase of upazila polls was held in a free, fair and neutral mood. There were some minor occurrences during poll in only two districts of 52 that went to poll, he said at a press conference at Dhanmondi AL office. He said the election would be accepted in home and abroad. “Based on information received from poll centres, we can say that the election was held peacefully,” said HT Imam, also adviser to the premier. He said the BNP announced poll boycott only in those areas where Awami League had widespread popularity. “Being sure that the candidate they are backing will defeat in those areas the BNP has boycotted the poll,” he said. He alleged that the BNP had a habit of telling lies since its birth. l

“During power cuts, the jammer goes inactive and the mobile phones inside the jail start function again,” he added. Several jail staff have also alleged that a section of unscrupulous officials allow prisoners to use mobile phones in exchange for bribes. Talking to journalists, Amir Hossain Amu explained that the escaping of convicted JMB leaders from police custody was an isolated incident. “Such an incident does not mean that the government has failed to maintain law and order,” he added. The minister also said authorities concerned have been instructed to stop fertilizer smuggling. He added the Border Guard Bangladesh has been asked to check infiltration of Rohingyas from Myanmar. An official at the home ministry said Health Minister Mohammad Nasim sought assistance from all to evict illegal occupants from in front of and around Dhaka Medical College Hospital. The committee also reviewed decisions taken at earlier meeting, said a senior official preferring not to be named. The official also added that many decisions taken earlier have already been implemented. The 12-member cabinet committee includes the commerce minister, the expatriates’ welfare minister, health minister, shipping minister and state minister for home. Information minister and post and telecommunication minister, also part of the committee, were not present at the meeting. High officials of different government agencies, including Police and BGB, were present. l

From left: Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, PM's special envoy HM Ershad and Opposition Leader Rawshan Ershad sit at the first meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the 10th parliament yesterday PID

Thin presence in Gopalganj centres for violence n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj

Clashes, alleged vote rigging, harassment of presiding officer and snatching of ballot papers were reported during the voting in Gopalganj Sadar Upazila yesterday. The presence of voters was thin because of chaos in many centres and clashes in at least seven others. Chairman candidate and district unit Bangladesh Chhatra League President Abdul Hamid blamed opposition supporters for rigging votes in 40 centres by ousting his polling agents. Addressing reporters at the Gopalganj Press Club, he said: “Abid Ali, the Suktail Union chairman and union unit Awami League president, and his supporters ousted polling agents of

‘lock symbol’ from different centres including Charsuktail, Ichhakhali and Durgapur, and rigged votes. They also created chaos in many centres.” He declared boycotting the election if vote rigging continued. The supporters of Abid Ali also harassed the presiding officer of Suktail Primary School centre, Golam Kibria. He said Abid’s followers had entered the centre and tried to influence the voters. He was harassed for protesting such activities. The miscreants also snatched 57 ballot papers from the centre, he said. Presiding Officer of Tala Primary School centre Md Abul Hasnat said the assistant presiding officer of the centre had also been harassed by a youth. A voter, Alamgir Hossain of Char-

suktail village, said: “I heard about clashes since morning. So, I did not go to the centre out of fear.” Only 95 out of 325 votes were cast at a booth in Suktail Primary School centre. Chairman aspirant Hamid alleged that a team led by Abid hurled fire towards the Charsuktail centre to create chaos. On-duty police constable in the area Jamal Hossain said: “Locals took hold of the centre and created unrest. The outsiders also created obstacles in casting votes.” Sub-Inspector of Gopinathpur Police Investigation Centre Ikram Hossain said: “The presence of voters was thin as the supporters of candidates engaged in clashes inside and outside the centre.”l

n Tribune Report The degree of clashes, irregularities, allegations and counter-allegations was higher in the second phase of upazila election than the first phase, election-observing body Brotee has said. “Overall, the quality of the election was low in standard,” the organisation added in its monitoring report. Brotee made the observations in a

report titled “Primary Report on the Upazila Election Second Phase,” in which it said 300 Brotee observers monitored the election in 23 upazilas, with polls being held in 115 upazilas for the second phase. Although sufficient law enforcers were deployed at the voting centres, the election was marked by sporadic clashes, irregularities, the postponing of voting in some centres, and allegations and counter-allegations. In some

centres, political activists attacked law enforcers, the report added. Such occurrences take place because of over politicisation of the polling centres, the report by Brotee observed. The report also said there were allegations against Awami League activists of vote rigging in several centres, but added that Brotee was unable to confirm those claims. The report mentioned that the Elec-

n Tribune Report Health Minister Mohammad Nasim yesterday told the House the transfer of doctors from their workstations in rural areas and their leave entitlement would not be allowed. “I will not allow this to happen. The doctors have to carry out their duties at local level at least two years,” the minister said. He added that he did not entertain any request for transfer of doctors in the last one month and a half since he took office as health minister. But a doctor-turned lawmaker Dr Habibe Millat disagreed with the minister, saying it is less likely that the physicians will be able to keep their body and soul together with the amount of salary they draw through their services. “The neighbouring country pays two to three times the honorarium our physicians draw from their services in

our country. If you want to keep doctors in their rural workstations you have to increase their salary.” At this, the health minister toned down his speech and said the government would provide the doctors with incentives to keep them at their workstations in rural areas.

'If you want to keep doctors in their rural workstations you have to increase their salary' “We are thinking of this. We will take decision about the matter at the meeting of national council of health affairs headed by the prime minister,” said Nasim. In answer to a supplementary question of Awami League lawmaker Abdul Mannan, Health Minister Nasim came up with his opinion on doctor transfer.

He told the House, “I am not helpless. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina entrusted me with a lot of responsibilities.” In the last parliament, former health minister Ruhal Haque expressed his incapacity to compel the doctors to work in their posted rural areas. Incumbent Health Minister Nasim urged lawmakers to see to it that the physicians observed their duties duly in their constituencies. It was your duty to ensure doctors’ presence in the hospitals and health centres, the minister said, adding that you must monitor whether or not they were working properly. “I want you to help continue my job and keep doctors in their respective workstations in rural areas to provide health care for all,” he said. Nasim said a letter has been sent to all lawmakers that they observe that doctors continue with their job in their workplaces. l

n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

The US State Department has released a Human Rights Report which revealed that the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh last year were arbitrary arrests, regulation of online speech, and poor working conditions and labour rights. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices yesterday. The country reports cover the status of human rights in countries around the world. The country report on Bangladesh also said extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, weak judicial capacity, and lengthy pre-trial detentions were other human rights problems. Politically motivated violence and pervasive official corruption remained serious issues while some nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) faced legal and informal restrictions on their activities, the report said.



to the brink of collapse. He accused the deposed president of stripping state coffers bare and said $70 billion had disappeared into offshore accounts. Yanukovich said yesterday he was still president of Ukraine and warned its “illegitimate” rulers that people in the southeastern and southern regions would never accept mob rule. l

Government at crossroads  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

population enjoys power coverage at present, is witnessing 8-10%annual rise in demand for power. People get better power now compared to five years ago, but at higher prices. Moreover, load-shedding situation has not improved significantly either. The government has chalked out ambitious plans for the power sector which require big funding. But gathering the funding too remains a challenge. An amount of $10bn will be required to produce the targeted 10,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2018, said a top official of the Power Division. Of the 10,000 MW, gas-based plants will produce 4,616 MW, for which around 950 million cubic feet of gaswill be needed daily. According to the Petrobangla, the present recoverable gas

Unidentified miscreants stole a firearm from the possession of three policemen as they fell asleep while on duty at a polling centre in Shalikha upazila of Magura district during early hours of Wednesday. The Upazila Parishad polls are scheduled to be held today in the upazila. The firearm belonged to constable Saiful Islam of Shalikha police station who was assigned on duty at Panchapalli Secondary School polling centre. Two other constables were of Bagharpara police station of Jessore - Moudud Ahmed and Raihan Sardar. Magura’s Superintendent of Police Jihadul Kabir suspended the three constables yesterday. l

tion Commission had taken immediate steps in some cases, including the cancellation of a presiding officer in Karnakathi upazila in Barisal, the arrest of three people in Lalpur and fines for two youths in Magura. The report said the average voter turnout in the monitored centres was 54-58%. The presence of women voters and minority communities’ voters was spontaneous and significant, it added. l

Nasim: Doctors must serve in rural US State Department slams arbitrary arrests areas for at least two years

Violence makes a return in second phase polls

Ukraine’s new rulers pressed ahead with efforts to restore stability to the divided country, approving formation of a national coalition government with former economy minister Arseny Yatseniuk as its proposed head. Yatseniuk told parliament that Yanukovich had driven the country

n Our correspondent, Magura

Brotee: Second phase upazila poll was substandard

Ukraine warns Russia Coalition government

Firearm stolen from a polling centre

reserve of the country is 15.32 trillion cubic feet while the annual consumption amounts to nearly 1tcf. The present reserve can supply gas for 15 years and is not sufficient to meet the additional demand of the gas-fired power plants. “No progress in the implementation of the coal-based plants is a failure of the government,” said Ijaz Hossain, a professor of Buet. Ijaz also said supplying gas and coal as primary fuels to generate electricity was another challenge because some proposed plants would have to rely on imported coal. While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, he suggested that focus should be shifted to extracting indigenous coal. “If we depend on imported coal to run our power plants, we cannot reduce power prices,”said Professor Ijaz. l

and Mirpur of Kushtia. The district unit BNP in Cox’s Bazar announced boycotting the polls in Chakaria upazila bringing allegations of irregularity against the leaders and activists of ruling Awami League. Some of these boycotting candidates have also called hartal in different upazilas of Barisal, Munsiganj, Bhola, Jamalpur, Kustia, Jessore, Cox’s Bazar and Feni districts for three days beginning today. Our Barisal correspondent reported that local BNP held a press conference in the afternoon alleging that the agents

of the candidates it backed had been thrown out of the polling centres and the activists of Awami League openly stamped on ballot papers right in front of the election officials in many centres. Similar allegations were also raised in Munshiganj Sadar, Cox’s Bazar, Shyamnagar of Satkhira, Gangni of Meherpur, Mirpur of Kushtia and Balaganj of Sylhet. Incidents of clashes between Awami League and BNP men have been reported from more than a hundred polling centres out of the over 8,000, where voting took place today.

Besides these, our Chittagong correspondent reported that at least four people, including two election officials, were injured in clashes between supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Jamaat-e-Islami in Lohagara upazila in the district. LDP is led by Col Oli Ahmed, one of the founders BNP who left the party a few years ago and has recently joined the 19-party alliance. He is originally from one of the neighbouring upazilas of Lohagara. Citing witnesses, our Kushtia correspondent reported that a number of ballot papers with stamp marks

Manzur murder to be probed again  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Asaduzzaman also said as it is a sensational case names of some vital witnesses have been dropped. HM Ershad’s Chief Counsel Md Sheikh Sirajul Islam opposed the public prosecutor’s plea saying the prosecution was trying to delay the judgment which was injustice to the accused. Judge Khondker Hasan Md Firoz of the First Additional District Sessions and Judges’ Court of Dhaka yesterday heard the petition and ordered to reinvestigate the case. The main accused in the Manzur murder case Jatiya Party Chief HM

Ershad, Major Retd Emdadul Islam and Lt Col (retd) Mostafa Kamal Uddin Bhuyain were present before the court. Legal proceedings against the other accused Lt Col Shams and Major Gen Latif were stopped by an order of the High Court. Earlier, on February 10 newly appointed Judge Khondoker Hasan Md Firoj fixed yesterday for closing argument instead of judgment. Public Prosecutor Ashaduzzaman said the case had seen 22 judges so far since the case was filed in August 1995. Earlier, Dhaka First Additional Dis-

trict and Sessions Judge Hosne Ara Akhtar fixed February 10 for delivering the verdict of this case. According to the trial documents, 28 out of 49 witnesses, including Investigation Officer Abdul Kahar Akand, testified before the court. On June 2012, the court completed the deposition of prosecution witnesses. The court had previously granted bail to all of the accused. General Manzur was killed in 1981 after the assassination of BNP founder and then president Ziaur Rahman. On February 28, 1995, barrister Abul Monsoor Ahmed, brother of slain Abul

“Women suffered from unequal treatment. Many children were compelled to work, particularly in the informal sector, because of economic necessity or in some instances trafficking.” Official corruption and related impunity also remained as problems, it added. “Weak regard for the rule of law not only enabled individuals, including government officials, to commit human rights violations with impunity but also prevented citizens from claiming their rights.” In recent years, the government did not take comprehensive measures to investigate and prosecute cases of security force abuse and killing, it found out. Instances of societal violence against religious and ethnic minorities persisted, although many government and civil society leaders claimed that these acts had political or economic motivations and should not be attributed wholly to religious beliefs or affiliations, the report said. l

on the symbol of the Awami Leaguebacked candidate, were found at the Jagannathpur Primary School centre even before voting started at 8am. However, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday said the second phase of the election in 115 upazila parishads was held peacefully except for a few stray incidents. “Today’s polls have been completed by and large peacefully except a few incidents of violence in some places,” said the CEC at a press briefing at the Election Commission Secretariat in the evening. l

Manzur, lodged a case with Panchlaish police station in Chittagong accusing Major Emdadul of killing Manzur. On July 15, 1995, CID officer Abdul Kahar Akand submitted the charge sheet to the court against five including Ershad, former DGFI officer Kazi Emdadul Haque, who was later discharged from the service, discharged officer Mustafa Kamal Uddin Bhuiyan and two retired army officers – Abdul Latif and Shamsur Rahman Shams. The then army chief, Abu Saleh Md Nasim and metropolitan judge Abul Hashem gave testimony before the court on October 28, 2010. l



Friday, February 28, 2014


Clockwise from top left: Police and supporters of an AL-backed candidate lock into a scuffle at Paragaon of Sreenagar in Munshiganj; locals armed with sticks rush to the polling centre after the outcry; army intervenes to stop the clash l Female voters stand in long queues at Monigram Government Primary School polling centre at Bagha in Rajshahi l Police recover ballot boxes and papers after it was snatched by supporters of AL-backed candidate from Konapara High School polling centre. l Polls continue at Kukutia High School polling centre in Sreenagar DHAKA TRIBUNE

PM urges writers to work for building a poverty-free South Asia n


Terming poverty as the main enemy of this region, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon writers and litterateurs to work together to build a poverty-free peaceful South Asia. “Whether it is politics or literature, all is directed towards improving the living standard of the citizens. I frequently mention that the main problem of this region is poverty. We have to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty,” Hasina said while inaugurating the SAARC Literary Festival at the National Museum in the capital yesterday. The prime minister said she believed that if the SAARC nations worked together, they would be able to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty at the earliest. To achieve the goal, a close connectivity would have to be built among the people of this region, she said. “We, the politicians and the people of the literary arena can work together in this field. I think the people of the cultural arena can contribute more in

building fraternity among people and nations as literature and culture do not abide by geographical boundaries,” Hasina said in her speech. The PM added that the connectivity among people could eradicate differences, inequality and darkness. The WRITE Foundation, the Bangladesh chapter of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature, has organised the two-day festival with the theme, “Beyond Borders: Towards Trust and Reconciliation”. Some 30 authors of international repute from Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as 38 from host Bangladesh are participating in the festival, the organisers said. WRITE Foundation president Selina Hossain delivered the welcome address, while its general secretary Rubana Huq gave the vote of thanks. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, writer Syed Shamsul Haque and president of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature Ajeet Cour also addressed the function.

Tribunal gives HRW more time n Udisa Islam

Hasina also said the SAARC countries were interlinked in respect of history, tradition, literature, culture and language. “The geographical boundaries separate the people, but their mindsets and hopes and aspirations are identical,” she said. The PM said not only the educated, but self-taught bauls (folk singers) and bards of this soil have enriched the country’s literature and songs. “The potters, blacksmiths and carpenters are also creative artists of Bangladesh,” Hasina said. She said singers and composers like Fakir Lalon Shah, Siraj Sai, Shah Abdul Karim and Radha Raman Dutta have all sharpened the realm of our imagination and enlightened our hearts and souls with their music. Hasina also said poet Alaol, Abdul Hakim, Ishwarchandra Bidyasagar, Michael Madhusudhan Dutta, Bankim Chandra, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Jasimuddin, Jibabnananda Das and Shamsur Rahman have enriched Bangla language and literature through their works. l

Mother condemns militant son Keraniganj polls n BSS Jama’atul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) activist Salehi’s mother Shamsunnahar has called upon the nation to shun the path her accursed son was following. She said this while talking to the BSS at the militant’s ancestral home. Salauddin, also known as Salehi, was condemned to death. He was one of the three top militants who were snatched away from a prison van last Sunday while they were being taken to Mymensingh court from Gazipur’s Kashimpur prison. He still remains at large. As Salehi hails from Narayanganj, law enforcers are conducting raids in different places of the district. Salehi’s ancestral home is in Pathanbari of Bandar upazila of Narayanganj where they have a two-storey concrete house. When the house was identified, Salehi’s maternal grandfather, who lives on the ground floor, was outraged to hear his name. “Because of him, the family has suffered a lot. We will be happy if he dies,” he said. Despite mild protests from him, the correspondent took the stairs to the top floor where Salehi’s father Rafiqul Islam was stretched out on a bed. Salehi’s mother was beside her

bed-ridden husband. Through her tears, she said Salehi had been arrested in 2004. After hearing the news of his son’s involvement in militancy and his arrest, his father had suffered a stroke. Since then, he has been lying on the bed. The mother said Salehi had been a very good student. He got a merit scholarship in the class V examination. After that he enrolled at Sylhet Polytechnic and later at Dhaka’s Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute, where he pursued studies in engineering for a diploma. The parents had hoped that the son would establish himself as a successful engineer one day after completing his studies. The tearful mother said: “We do not care about him anymore. His father has abandoned him. He is no longer our son. I appeal to all boys to refrain themselves from the path of militancy.” District Police Superintendent Syed Nurul Islam, said Salehi had been the third in command of Bangla Bhai.He has no contacts with the family since 2004. On last Sunday, a militant attack on a prison van at Trishal of Mymensingh killed a police constable and freed three convicted fellows, two of who were death row convicts while the other was given life-term imprisonment. l

Humorous remarks make JS members laugh

The war crimes tribunal has again given Human Rights Watch more time to respond to a contempt notice issued last year for commenting “illegally” on the conviction of top war criminal Ghulam Azam, the former Jamaat-e-Islami chief. On a defence plea, the International Crimes Tribunal 1 set April 10 for the submission of the response. Lawyer Anisul Hassan on behalf of the New Yorkbased rights body yesterday sought adjournment for filing the reply until the first week of June. The defence submitted another petition in which they said HRW’s attorney Dinah Pokemner would have to authorise the reply, and if the tribunal allows, the response would be sent through the Bangladesh High Commission in the USA. Otherwise, she would have to fly to Bangladesh which might cost the tribunal valuable time.

The tribunal then fixed March 6 to decide whether Pokemner could do so. It also asked the defence to supply copy of the petitions to the prosecution team as none of the 20 prosecutors was present at the court. One senior prosecutor said they did not know about the tribunal’s holding a hearing yesterday. In the contempt notice issued on September 3 last year, the tribunal 1 asked the HRW to respond within three weeks. It set September 30 for further order on this matter. But the HRW sought time on several occasions. The respondents are the HRW, its San Francisco-based Executive Director of Asia Division Brad Adams and Washington-based Associate of Asia Division Storm Tiv, who is also the writer of the report published on August 16 titled “Bangladesh: Azam Conviction Based on flawed proceedings.” They were asked to reply to the notice by themselves, or through a lawyer. l

Fakhrul: Ruling party ‘grabs’ voting centres

Savar upazila polls see low turnout

n Tribune Desk

Awami League captured most voting centres in the second phase of the upazila polls across the country like grabbing chars. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir , BNP acting secretary general , came up with the remark yesterday while talking to the reporters after placing wreaths at the grave of BNP founder late president Ziaur Rahman, marking the recent release of BNP vice chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed from jail. He said the upazila polls again proved that no fair election could be held under the current illegal regime. Fakhrul criticized the inactive and silent role of Election Commission and said the incidents of vote fraud and polling station grabbing occurred in the local body elections due to the puppet commission, reports UNB. “We’ve come to know that the most polling centres have been occupied even before the end of the elections,” Fakhrul said. l

n Kamran Reza Chowdhury Hazi Selim, leader of the opposition group comprising 16 independent MPs, yesterday in parliament made a comment that made every attending lawmakers laugh as he praised the government. Another lawmaker made the whole House laugh through his hilarious presentation of a question during the scheduled question-answer session for ministers. While placing a supplementary question to Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Hazi Selim in his written statement was giving a detailed account of the government’s initiatives in the shipping sector instead of making the question.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, who was chairing the sitting, intervened and asked the MP to formulate the question in lieu of praising the minister. “How can I make it [the question] without praising [the government] a little bit?” said the MP, elected from Dhaka 7 constituency, and continued commending the minister. At this, the speaker remained silent, but many MPs started laughing in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition Leader Rawshan Ershad. The session was aired live on BTV, Sangsad TV and Bangladesh Betar (radio). Shaimim Sarwar Kamal, an Awami League MP from Ramu of Cox’s Bazar, made every MP laugh while making a

question to Health Minister Mohammad Nasim. He said health services in Cox’s Bazar 3 constituency were very poor, which could easily be understood by taking a look at his health. “I am the shortest of all the MPs. My predecessor Lutfor Rahman Kajol [of the BNP] was the shortest MP in the previous parliament. Again, his predecessor Shahiduzzaman [BNP] was also the shortest MP,” Kamal said asking the minister to ensure posting of more doctors in the area. “Honourable speaker, I cannot make a short person taller,” said the health minister, making the MPs laugh for the second spell, adding that he would rather post 10 more doctors in the constituency. l

Irregularities found at many polling centres, voting at two centres postponed At Gyan Bikash School, which was a centres in the afternoon and gave fake my centres, there are polling agents n Adil sakhawat female centre, only 283 votes were cast votes. Later, voting was postponed at from every candidate and everything Savar upazila, which had the highest number of voters in comparison to other upazilas, ended yesterday amid low voter turnout and allegations of irregularities at different polling centres. During the polls, which began from 8:00am and continued till 2:00pm, most of the 260 polling centres in the upazila were almost empty. Savar upazila has 79, 5585 voters, the highest number in 2014. The number was at 67, 9848 during the previous upazila polls in 2009. At 10:00am, only 165 votes were cast at the male polling centre and only 98 votes were cast in female centre at the Savar United School. By 3:00pm, the number of votes at the male centre rose to 285, while 170 votes were cast at the female centre. Total number of voters for the polling centre was 3,578.

till 1:30 pm. At the end of the day, only 565 votes were cast at the polling centre among 2,200 voters. At Baktarpur Kindergarten, only 305 votes were cast till 12:30pm. Throughout the day, 730 votes were cast among 3,902 voters listed at the polling centre. At Atomic Energy School & College, 740 votes casted were out of 3,984 listed voters. At Holy Child Kindergarten polling centre at the Dhamsona area of Ashulia, 532 votes out of 3,786 were cast till the election ended at 4:00pm. Many female voters of at the centre also complained that they could not cast their vote as their names were not included in the voters list. Meanwhile, supporters of Awami League-backed candidate Feroz Kabir reportedly took position of two polling

the centres till 3:30pm. The supporters also took attempts to assault the presiding officer of Anirban Kindergarten polling centre. Similar allegations of fake votes and other irregularities were also received from different polling centres in the upazila. Meanwhile, polling agents of the BNP-backed candidate Kafil Uddin complained that they were thrown out of the polling centres by ruling party men. “We were kicked out of the polling centres,” Sohel Rana, a polling agent of Kafil Uddin at Shimulia area, told Dhaka Tribune. A similar scenario was also witnessed at Holy Child Kindergarten polling centre, where this reporter found only polling agents of Feroz Kabir. However, when asked, Jahangir Alam, the presiding officer, said: “In

is going in the right way.” A combined force of 1,518 armed police, 5,424 Ansar and VDP members had been deployed for ensuring security at the 260 polling centres in the upazila. l

end peacefully

n Abu Bakar Siddique, Keraniganj Polls were held peacefully at Keraniganj upazila in Dhaka yesterday with the participation of a large number of voters. Voters exercised their franchise at 192 polling centres at the upazila from 8am to 4pm. A total of 14 candidates contested for three different posts in the upazila. No unexpected incidents were reported during the polls. A total 46, 2642 voters including 23, 4624 males and 22, 8018 females were enlisted as voters in the polls. A large number of female voters along with males were seen crowding the polling centres to cast their votes on the day. This correspondent visited at least 15 polling centres in the area and found extensive poster and leaflet campaign of the ruling Awami Leaguebacked chairman candidate Shahin Ahmed while such campaign of the main opposition candidate was rarely visible. Even presence of supporters and loyalists of BNP-backed chairman candidate too was not noticeable in the area. Mozadded Ali Babu, chief election agent of Nazim Uddin, the BNP-backed chairman candidate, said they had placed adequate numbers of polling agents and workers across the polling centres but they did not turn up in fear of ruling party men. None of the polling agents of Nazim Uddin were seen anywhere at Kadamtali Government Primary School around 8:15am. However, this correspondent found them later around 12:30pm during his second visit. Later, Nazim Uddin alleged that the ruling party men were trying to manipulate the election result and urged the authorities to form a judicial probe committee to look into the matter. He also asked the Election Commission to cancel the election. About his allegation Abul Bashar Mohammad Fakhruzzaman, Upazilla Nirbahi Officer of Keraniganj, said: “Nazim Uddin complained to me over phone around 3:30pm and I asked him to submit his complaint in writing to the EC.” “I cast my vote and nobody influenced me,” said smiling Mohammad Aslam as he was coming out of Konakhola government primary school polling centre. Mamunur Rashid, presiding officer of Kalunagar government primary school polling centre, said a total of 1584 votes were cast as of 3pm at his centre. Army, BGB and RAB along with police and ansar were deployed in the upazila to avoid polls-time violent. l




Friday, February 28, 2014

Bangladesh for comprehensive security cooperation with UAE n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Bangladesh wants to have comprehensive security cooperation with the United Arab Emirates against the backdrop of rising criminal activities by Bangladeshis in the Gulf countries. “We had an inter-ministerial meeting today to discuss the security cooperation with the UAE in comprehensive manner to improve the bilateral relationship,” Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday before his departure for Myanmar. About one million Bangladeshis are currently working in the UAE, one of the biggest manpower destinations for Bangladesh. But for the last one and a half years, it has cut down its number of issuing visas. Security is the biggest concern for the UAE as Bangladeshis living there are allegedly engaged in different criminal activities, said a senior official who attended the meeting. The UAE authorities have handed over two agreements on security cooperation and transfer of sentenced persons for consideration by Bangladesh, he said. Bangladesh is planning to send a delegation comprised of home, foreign and expatriate ministries to negotiate the agreements, the official said. Violence against properties, money laundering, human trafficking, cybercrime, prostitution, terrorist act and other criminal activities would cover under the agreement on security cooperation, he added. “Exchange of information of experience sharing will be also incorporated

in the agreement,” the official said. The UAE authorities want to have an arrangement under which Bangladesh will provide it with information on an alleged criminal, he added. About the sentenced person agreement, he said the government is working on how best it can cooperate with the UAE authorities with the issue. Out of one million Bangladeshis, 19 Bangladeshis are facing death penalties and 104 are serving life imprisonment. This is the highest number of capital punishment and life imprisonment for a single country. In recent times, Bangladeshis are engaged in several gruesome killings and other heinous crimes in the UAE. “In more than 50% cases of UAE courts, one or the other party or both are Bangladeshis, and in UAE jails around 30-40% of the inmates are from Bangladesh,” said the official. Bangladeshis are engaged in running brothels and forcing runaway maids into prostitutions, human trafficking, robbery, theft, smuggling of contraband items, roadside gambling and various other crimes, he said. The UAE media is carrying all the bad news about the crimes committed by Bangladeshis creating a negative image of the country resulting in visa problem, he added. “We are considering to introduce massive motivational campaign through TV and newspaper to educate people and make them aware of crimes,” the official said. Bangladesh successfully introduced the campaign in Saudi Arabia and the crime rate by Bangladeshis dropped significantly over the years, he said. l

Activists of Writers-Readers-Publishers Forum form a human chain in front the Bangla Academy Information Centre yesterday, demanding the arrest and punishment for the killers of writer Humayun Azad RAJIB DHAR

Bail cancellation hearing of Tazreen MD’s wife on March 5 n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu A Dhaka court yesterday set March 5 to hear a prosecution petition seeking cancellation of the bail granted to Mahmuda Akhter Mita, the chairman of Tazreen Fashions. Acting judge of the Dhaka’s District and Session’s Court Hosne Ara Akhter set the new date after hearing both the sides. On February 12, public prosecutor

Khondoker Abdul Mannan filed the plea before the court. The state counsel mentioned in the petition that the accused had been absconding for a long time and that she was not obedient to the court. The accused could threaten the victims’ families and the prosecution witness, the petition says. On that day, the court also issued a showcase notice to the accused as to why her bail should not be cancelled.

ACC questions former minister, Rajuk chairman


Weather to remain dry n UNB Rain or thundershowers is likely to occur at one or two places over Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions and the regions of Jessore, Kushtia, Tangail and Mymensingh and weather may remain mainly dry with temporary partly cloudy sky elsewhere over the country until 6pm today. Night and day temperatures might remain nearly unchanged over the country, Met Office said. The sun sets in the capital at 6:01pm today and rises at 6:21am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 32.1 degree Celsius was recorded in Sitakunda and lowest 12.0 degrees in Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna 2 Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

29.2 30.5 27.8 27.7 9.3 29.7 30.2 31.5

16.6 17.4 14.4 16.4 17.5 16.0 14.8 18.5

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday questioned former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) Chairman Engineer M Nurul Huda over corruption allegations. ACC Deputy Director M Nasir Hossain questioned Abdul Mannan Khan for more than two hours, started from 8:30am, on allegations of amassing wealth illegally. After the interrogation, the former state minister told reporters that he had responded to all queries made by antigraft body and believed the commission would be satisfied with his answers. “I will not comment further since the matter is now under inquiry. Truth will prevail at the end of the day,” he added. Similarly, the Rajuk chairman was questioned by ACC Deputy Director Jatan Kumer Ray in connection to the commission’s inquiry against the irregularities made by former housing and public works secretary Khondaker Showkat Hossain. The ACC is now probing allegations against Khondaker Showkat Hossain, now the secretary at expatriates wel-

5:06am 6:21am 12:11am 4:23pm 6:01pm 7:16pm


n FM Mizanur Rahaman The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed a case against 17 people, including 15 officials and employees of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and two C&F agents, with Bandar police station in connection with smuggling of a container from the port’s restricted area. Mohammed Sirajul Haque, deputy assistant director (DAD) of ACC Chittagong Office 1 filed the case against port employees.

Meanwhile, he and two C&F officials were also accused in the case. Jahidul Islam, officer-in-charge of Bandar police station, said on the charges of smuggling of a goods laden container from the port jetty. A total of 17 people had been sued in the case filed by the ACC around 11am. Sirajul Haque, DAD of ACC Chittagong 2, said the culprits had allegedly smuggled a goods laden container from the restricted area of Chittagong Port Authority and embezzled Tk35m. l

Ctg port under illegal occupation Abdul Mannan Khan fare and overseas employment ministry, of acquiring different plots from Rajuk projects abusing power. After the interrogation, Nurul Huda challenged the allegations and said he was not involved with any such irregularity. “I have not been involved with any kinds of irregularity during my service and this is an open challenge,” Huda said while speaking to newsmen. He also said the commission has

M Nurul Huda taken his statements in connection to the inquiry and he has fulfilled the ACC queries with all necessary documents and information as per his knowledge. Meanwhile, ACC Assistant Director Masudur Rahman questioned former lawmaker from Satkhira 2 constituency Abdul Jabbar in connection to the commission’s inquiry into the phenomenal rise in his wealth and assets. However, the Jatiya Party leader has refused to comment before the media. l

n Tribune Desk Around 73 acres of lands in Chittagong port and seven acres in Mongla port remain under illegal occupation for years. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan disclosed this in a written reply to a question from treasury bench member M A Latif, in the parliament yesterday. He also said that the present government had evicted about 3,000 illegal structures and recovered 131.34 acres of lands on the banks of Buriganga, Shitalakhya and Turag rivers, reports BSS.

“The Chittagong port authority has undertaken a plan to construct a 1,000 metre bulk terminal at Laldiar Char at its own cost. It will help recover 27 acres of lands,” he added. In Mongla, an eviction drive has been strengthened to recover illegally occupied lands and so far 70 illegal structures were evicted by the Bagerhat district administration. Replying to a question, Shahjahan Khan said the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation was operating eight vessels in the international routes. l

Re-deployment of security President: Do not commercialise education for Justice Kabir demanded n Tribune Report

n Tribune Report Ekattorer Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee has expressed grievance and condemned the decision to withdraw police security for Justice ATM Fazle Kabir also the former chairman of International Crimes Tribunal 1.

In future, no justices will willingly involve themselves with such trials, if the administration does not ensure security of the justices

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

granted her bail on specific grounds that she had two children and one of them was sick. So the bail was needed to take care of them. He claimed that Mahmuda had not violated the bail conditions as she had already submitted her passport before the court. A day after the deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions on November 24, 2012, police filed a case accusing 15 staff of the factory for murder by negligence. l

ACC sues 17 for smuggling container at Chittagong port

20 workers injured in boiler explosion at hosiery factory n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj n Tribune Report At least 20 workers were injured in a boiler explosion at a hosiery factory in Narayanganj yesterday. Police said the explosion took place in Al Joynal Garments and Hosiery housed on the third floor of a high-rise building. The injured were taken to Narayanganj Sadar Hospital in critical condition. Labours alleged that the owners did not repair the boiler of the factory’s ironing department though they had requested several times. Journalists were even restricted to enter the premises by the owners after the incident. l

On February 11, Dhaka’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Md Ismail Hossain rejected the bail petition of Tazreen Managing Director Delwar Hossain but gave his wife Mahmuda one month’s conditional bail. Yesterday, the public prosecutor filed a time petition for hearing the prayer as the judge was on leave. Defence counsel ATM Golam Gaus submitted the reply of the show cause notice mentioning that the court had

A press released signed by President of the committee Justice Mohammad Golam Rabbani, acting president Shahriar Kabir and General Secretary Kazi Mukul yesterday made the statement. The press released said: “We are

shocked after reading the news article on withdrawing police security of retired chairman of International Crimes Tribunal 1 Justice ATM Fazle Kabir. "We do not know the reason behind withdrawing police security of the justice who delivered the verdict of three notorious war criminals, mass killers and whose house came under attack by Jamaat-Shibir miscreants several times.” The concern rose after several incidents of hurling bombs at the residences of some justices of tribunal 1 and Appellate Division. Whoever is responsible behind the decision had showed irresponsibility, the release said, adding that the committee members expressed grievance and condemned the decision. The press release also said: “In future, no justices will willingly involve themselves with such trials, if the administration does not ensure security of the justices. "We are demanding re-employment of the police security for Justice ATM Fazle Kabir.” l

President Abdul Hamid yesterday said education should be oriented towards everyday life, which nurtures talents and creates employment. “Instead of certificate-based bookish education, we want an education that enlightens human beings and creates a creative personality,” he said while addressing the 14th convocation of American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB), at the Military Museum ground at the capital’s Bijoy Sarani. The president, who is also the Chancellor of the university, also asked universities not to be guided by commercial interests. “Education is not a commodity, and should not be commercialised in any way,” he added. He also said that universities should act as social welfare bodies, along with imparting quality education, giving priority to the interests of the nation. Asking all university authorities to adopt various programmes to explore the creative side of the students, he also said: “We cannot compromise with science and technology-based quality education.” Education Minister Nurul Islam Na-

President Abdul Hamid awards a meritorious student during AIUB’s 14th Convocation Ceremony held yesterday in the capital’s Army Stadium PID hid was present as special guest, while University Grants Commission Chairman AK Azad Chowdhury, delivered the convocation speech. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, in his speech stressed on the quality of higher education in the country so that Bangladesh can face the global competition. AK Azad Chowdhury hoped that the degrees earned by the students from AIUB will make them leadership guid-

ance by which they will be able to serve the nation as well as their family. University’s Vice Chancellor Carmen Z Lamagna congratulated students and asked them solve every problem in their life with patience and intelligence. The convocation conferred degrees to a total of 2,730 graduates, where many students were awarded with medals for their outstanding performance. l



Forced toll collection continues at Sadarghat terminal n Mohammad Jamil Khan The forced collection of toll by the porters at Sadarghat launch terminal continues unabated, with passengers being forced to take their service of carrying luggage to the water vehicles bound for southern regions. The incidents of toll collection happen in front of the on-duty police and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Association (BIWTA) officials, but they hardly show any interests to take action against it. The porters not only stop the passengers from taking their own luggage all by themselves to the vehicles, but also misbehave with them if the latters do not

concede to the porters’ service charge. Abdul Aziz, in charge of Sadarghat terminal police outpost, claimed that they did not find any irregularities at the terminal, otherwise they would have taken action. Ironically, a Bangla College student Mohsin Khan fell victim to the terminal porters who harassed him yesterday while he was carrying an 18-inch monitor with him to get on board the launch. The porters would not let him board the vehicle unless he took their service and paid them Tk300 as service charge. Mohsin, with the help of this correspondent and the on-duty police officials at the terminal, managed to get on board the launch.

Unlike Mohsin, a lot of southerners are facing porters’ harassment at the launch terminal every day while police act as silent observers out there. The porters said they were charging fees from passengers as per the government chart. Mahbubul Alam, in charge of porters at terminal 5, told the Dhaka Tribune they mainly realised service charge for goods transportation and did not take any extra charge for that. Noticing that the porter in charge had been talking to this correspondent, a Chandpur-bound passenger Abdu Rauf came running to the reporter. Rauf complained in front of Mahbubul that he just took two plastic chairs with him, but the porters


Friday, February 28, 2014

charged him Tk200 for that. Asked about it, Mahbubul Alam replied that it might have happened mistakenly and refunded Tk150 to Rauf outright. Asked about terminal condition, Mohammad Asaduzzaman, assistant director of BIWTA at Sadarghat terminal, told the Dhaka Tribune the present condition of terminal was quite better than any other time in the past. “Even then, we conduct raid at the terminal off and on and take action if any complaint is received from passengers,” he said. In this regard, Mohammad Saiful Islam, joint director of BIWTA, claimed that they had already taken steps to stop harassment facing passengers. l

Two BIWTC’s steamers to start operation soon n Tribune Report The two new passenger vessels, built in the shape of decades-old steamer, will hit their respective routes soon as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to formally inaugurate the operation of the ships in March and July this year. “One of the two large passenger vessels constructed by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) would start operation next month and the other in June this year,” said Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan. Replying to a supplementary question in parliament day, he said the BIWTC for the first time in the country’s history had built such steamers with its own resources for ensuring safe and

easy transportation of passengers, reports BSS. Responding to a question of treasury bench member Nurunnabi Chowdhury, the minister told the House that the BIWTC under a project from 20082013 has refurbished two KK type ferries, three Ro-Ro ferries and six Ro-Ro pontoons and these vessels are now in operation at Paturia-Mawya ferry hat. Apart from this, the BIWTC from 2009 to February 2014 has constructed four KK type ferries, four utility ferries and one Ro-Ro ferry. Besides, two more Ro- Ro ferries, two K-type ferries and five utility ferries are now under construction. The minister said the government had also taken steps to construct three more ferries. l

Teachers of JnU to boycott classes for indefinite period n Mohammad Jamil Khan A section of teachers of Jagannath University yesterday declared that they would boycott classes for an indefinite period expressing solidarity with the ongoing student-movement, which is demanding recovery of halls from grabbers. A 14-member teachers’ team, led by JnU Teachers’ Association president Prof Dr Sarkar Ali Akkas declared the programme on the 12th day of the movement, after visiting the ministry of home affairs at 11.00am. They submitted a memorandum in support of the demand. The team leader declared they would make a ‘Hall recovery demand placement’ stage at the university campus. Prof Dr Akkas told the Dhaka Tribune that their ongoing protest programme of boycotting classes would continue until the demands are met. Additionally, the JnU Officers Association held a human chain in front of the Shaheed Minar at the university,

expressing solidarity with the demand. Earlier, students of the university, like all others days, brought out a procession on the campus at 9am, soon after the university opened for the day. They held demonstrations, a protest rally and a petition signing. JnU hall recovery agitation committee member secretary also the secretary of JnU Bangladesh Chhatra League unit, Shirajul Islam, told the Dhaka Tribune that their protest would continue until their demands are met. They also plan to step up to tougher measures from Sunday. Students of the university have been observing agitation programmes, including bringing out procession and arranging cultural show, in the city for the last few day, demanding measures to recover dormitories grabbed by influential quarters. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid on Wednesday assured the students of taking appropriate steps to recover the halls from the vested quarters. l

3 killed in Khulna road accident n Our correspondent, Khulna

Police station to be set up in Hatirjheel area

Health officials to be punished for wasting taxpayers’ money

Three people were killed in a road accident early yesterday in Arong Ghata police station of Khulna city. The victims were identified as Pripa Rudra, 20, daughter of Pratap Rudra, Joyty, 20, and Zakaria, 27. Police said Pripa Rudra along with her father Pratap Rudra, 55, her relative Joyty and Ritu Islam, 23 another admission seeker, were going to Khulna University in a private car to attend the first year (Honours) admission test. As the car reached Rayermohol Akmaner More area under Arongghata Police Station in the city, a speedy truck from opposite direction collided head on with the private car. Among them Pripa, Joyty and the car driver Zakaria died on the spot while Pripa’s father Pratap Rudra and relative Ritu received serious injuries. Of the injured, Ritu was taken to Dhaka for better treatment. l

n Tribune Report

n Moniruzzman Uzzal

A police station will be set up in Hatirjheel project area with a view to ensuring security of passers-by and commuters. A letter would be sent to the Home Ministry to set up a police station for ensuring safety in the Hatirjheel area, said a press release of Ministry of Housing and Public Works. The decision came in a meeting held at the ministry yesterday that advised to complete the Dasherkandi sewerage treatment plant soon. The Hatirjheel-Begunbari integrated development project aims to conserve rain water, improve the water quality in the canal, reduce water-logging in the capital and maintain environmental balance. Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain said:

A section of teachers of Jagannath University go to Ministry of Home to submit memorandum yesterday

“Hatirjheel project is an important project of the country now. Apart from Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, all concerned public companies need to consider the project as their own.” He said because of the delay in the construction of the plant, unfiltered water was entering through the Balu River. Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal connects with the river Balu, which later joins the Shitalakkhya. Upon completion of the plant, the wastes generated in the residential areas surrounding the Hatirjheel would be passed through another drain; as a result, there would be no waste in Hatirhjeel during dry season, said the minister. However, a few wastes might pass with rain during the rainy seasons, he added. l

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is going to take punitive actions against 12 health officials, who allegedly used millions in taxpayers’ money to go to Thailand for training but left without finishing a 90-day programme on bone marrow transplant . All the doctors and technologists, who returned to Bangladesh 26 days prior to the completion of the training, would reportedly have to return Tk107,185 to the government treasury that had been given to them by the government as expense for accommodation and miscellaneous uses during the training. As part of the disciplinary action, all of them would also be disallowed from participating in any foreign training for the next one and half years. Dr Ruhul Forkan Siddique, DGHS

Two jailed for selling dead chickens in city n Tribune Report

Police detain two people for selling dead chickens at the capital’s Tejgaon area yesterday


A mobile court in the city yesterday sentenced two people to two years imprisonment each for selling dead chickens in the city’s Tejgaon area. The court also fined the two convicts – Salma, 45, and Delu, 46 – Tk1 lakh each, in default, to suffer three months more imprisonment. Acting on the information, a mobile court team of Rab-2 led by him conducted a drive at rail station in Tejgaon in the morning and recovered 120 dead chickens searching a house adjacent to a wholesale chicken market in the area, reports UNB. Salma and Delu were also arrested from the house on charge of collecting and selling dead chickens. They were later produced before the court of Anwar Pasha who handed down the verdict. Delu earlier served two year jail for the same offence, said Anwar Pasha. l

coordinator for foreign training said the 12 officials would receive punitive measures after an inquiry committee had found the 12 officials guilty. The decision to mete out financial punishment and suspension of foreign training privileges was made based on suggestions from legal department of the DGHS, Ruhul said. Letters regarding the issue have reportedly been prepared, but could not be served to the 12 officials allegedly because of the health directorate DG had suddenly been changed. Sources said under the in-service training operation plan 2011-2012, a 14-member team traveled to Thailand’s Eastern Asia University on August 26, 2012, to receive training on flow cytometry, stem cell counting and viability, clinical BMT, procedure protocol and follow-up complications. All the trainees, except for two, re-


turned to Bangladesh on October 26. On December 2012, the health ministry formed a three-member probe committee, after receiving an allegation letter from the dean of School of Public Health in Eastern Asia University to the health secretary. The committee submitted its report on March 10 last year before the ministry. According to a copy of the report acquired by the Dhaka Tribune, the people accused of returning early could not present any valid reason for quitting the training prematurely. However, the accused health officials told the probe committee that the Eastern Asia University lacked any BMT centre, or a haematology department or even a faculty of medicine. The officials also claimed that they had to face poor accommodation arrangements and substandard behaviour by the training coordinator. l

Mawa ferry terminal to be relocated n Tribune Desk The Mawa ferry terminal will temporarily be relocated to Simulia to facilitate the construction of Padma Bridge. Communications Minister Obaidul Quader came up with this remark while talking to reporters after an inter-ministerial meeting on the relocation yesterday. “A decision has also been taken for the permanent relocation of the ferry terminal at Kandipara,” said the minister. As the work order for the construction of the main part of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (PMBP) will start in June, the temporary relocation of the ferry terminal to Simulia will take place very soon, spending about Tk 105 crore. The minister said the relocation would remove the obstacles towards starting the construction of the main part of the bridge, UNB reports.

Obaidul Quader also noted that more than Tk 500 crore will be needed for the permanent relocation of the ferry terminal to Kandipara and the work will start after the construction of the bridge. The work for the permanent relocation of the ferry terminal will be done by the Shipping Ministry. Besides, the Bridges Division, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transportation Authority (BIWTA) and the Army have been asked to put forward their recommendations within a week for checking river erosion around Kandipara, he said. The Army will also undertake the construction of about one and a half kilometre road from Mawa to Simulia. The meeting was attended by Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and Water Resource Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, held at the Secretariat with Obaidul Quader in the chair. l




Shortage of anasthetists hits Bhola Sadar Hospital

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hearing of revision petition against RAB for laming Limon deferred again

Patients in agonies as surgeries suspended n Our Correspondent, Barisal Dr Khairur Bhasar, resident medi- The hearing of the revision petition They are being forced to receive n Tribune Report treatment at higher cost at different cal officer (acting) of the hospital, said lodged by Henoara Begum, mother of All kinds of surgical operation at Bhola Sadar Hospital have remained suspended over the last seven months for want of anasthetists, much to the sufferings for surgical patients. Providing medical service to the patients is now being seriously hampered as the lone post of anesthetist has remained vacant at the hospital for long, said officials concerned. They said though conducting surgery is not possible without anesthetists, there is no doctor to provide anesthesia at the hospital since July last year. Amid the prevailing situation, patients who come to the hospital seeking treatment for delivery cases and complicated diseases including Hepatitis B are facing varies difficulties.

clinics and hospitals either in the district or other places. In the meantime, many critical patients have reportedly died on way to distant hospitals from Sadar Hospital, reports UNB. Describing the sufferings he is now undergoing, Abdur Rahim, an admitted patient with the legs broken, said despite the doctors’ recommendation, operation on his legs cannot be done at the hospital for lack of anesthetists. “It’s not possible for me to go to other places (outside the district) for operation,” said Rahim. Like him, a number of patients have shared similar stories. Hospital sources said costly medical equipment are lying idle for want of anesthetists.

they have no ways but to refer surgical patients to other hospitals in absence of anesthetist. The hospital which came into existence with 50-bed was later upgraded to a 100-bed one in 1996. Since the establishment, it has faced ever doctors’ shortage. Though a process is underway to upgrade the hospital to a 250-bed one from 100-bed, medical service is being seriously hampered for lack of doctors. There are only 10 doctors available here against the sanctioned 22 posts, including medical officers’. Contacted, Bhola Civil Surgeon Dr Farid Ahmed said they had already informed the higher authorities about the appointment of anesthetists on emergency basis. l

Limon Hossain, challenging dismissal of the case against six RAB personnel accused of maiming her son, was deferred for the seventh time yesterday. The next date for the hearing was fixed at April 24, 2014. Kiran Shangkar Haldar, acting district and sessions’ judge, accepted the time plea and fixed the new date, said Advocate Akkas Hossain, lawyer of Henoara. According to Jhalakathi district Public Prosecutor Advocate Golam Rasul Mannan, the date was deferred as Shahidullah Baqaul, district and session judge, was transferred from Jhalakathi to Dhaka on January 16, 2014 and his replacement is yet to join duty. He submitted a time petition on Wednesday as the prosecution was not prepared for a hearing. When asked about the delay, Henoara Begum she would continue her fight for justice against the six RAB personnel accused for maiming her son and attempting to murder him. Limon, a college student was shot in the leg and maimed in an alleged RAB shooting adjacent to his house at Jamaddarhat in Rajapur upazila of Jhalakathi on March 23, 2011, just about a fortnight before his HSC examination. Limon’s left leg was amputated from

the thigh on March 27 at Dhaka National Institute for Traumatolgy and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Hospital. Henoara then tried to lodge a case against six RAB personals, but Rajapur police refused to file one. Later, police filed a case against the RAB members on April 10, 2011 following a court directive. However, police on August 14, 2012 secretly filed the final report claiming that they had found no evidence against the RAB men. Limon’s mother filed a “no confidence (Naraji)” against the report on August 30, 2012. Jhalakathi Senior Judicial Magistrate on February 13, 2013 rejected the “no confidence (naraji)” plea and acquitted the six RAB personnel. A plea of revision against the rejection of the no confidence motion was lodged with Jhalakathi District and Sessions’ Judge Court on March 13, 2013. A hearing of the “Naraji” was first fixed on August 13, later on September 9, then October 9, November 27, 2013, January 15 and February 27, 2014. Its bears mentioning that the RAB on March 23, 2011 filed two cases with Rajapur police station against Limon and seven others, accusing them of obstructing government duty and attempting to murder and injure RAB personnel. The Home Ministry ordered them to withdraw charges against only Limon in the first two cases and they were withdrawn on July 30, 2013. l

Chemists for controlling MRP of medicines n Our Correspondent, Dinajpur

Activists of the BNP-led 19-party alliance bring out a procession in Barisal town yesterday, protesting ‘rigging’ done by the ruling men in the upazila polls DHAKA TRIBUNE

Dinajpur unit of Bangladesh Chemist & Druggist Samity demanded proper controlling of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of medicines. The body also urged the Director General of Drug Administration, Bangladesh for creating provisions for returning date-expired medicines

Drowning claims 12,000 children every year n Tribune Desk Drowning is the leading cause of death among children aged between one and four years in Bangladesh, claiming nearly 12,000 young lives every year. This was revealed at the launching ceremony of a project to prevent and reduce child deaths from drowning at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR’B) in the capital yesterday. Bloomberg Philanthropies, a US charity, launched the project, titled

“Saving of Lives from Drowning” (SoLiD). Health and Family Welfare Secretary MM Neazuddin, ICDDR’B executive director Adnan Hyder, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Deen Mohammad Noorul Huq, director of public health at Bloomberg Philanthropies Dr Kelly Henning and executive director of the Centre for Injury Prevention, Health Development and Research, Bangladesh Fazlur Rahman, among others, addressed the function at the centre’s

Rape victim beaten for demanding justice Correspondent, n Our Narayanganj A rape victim and her husband were injured after being beaten up by the alleged rapist and his family at Chourapara for demanding justice. According to Bandar police, the victim was allegedly raped by the son of the landlord when she was alone in her room last Friday. The husband then demanded justice from local residents and the couple moved to another location. Apparently angered by the move to seek justice, the alleged rapist, Ruhul, along

with his parents, Ainal and Taslima Haque, and three siblings went to the couple’s new place and beat them up. The husband and wife were injured in the attack and received first aid at a local clinic. The wife later filed a case with Bandar police station in this connection. “The victim lodged a case with our station as a complainant. Police have been trying to arrest the suspects,” said Akter Murshed, officer in charge of Bandar police. However, a rape case was yet to be filed as police were waiting for forensic report of the victim. l

Sasakawa auditorium. Noorul Huq said the mortality rate due to drowning was rising gradually in the country, with the figure proportionally higher among children. The death of one in four children _ or more than 32 children every day _ occurs due to drowning in Bangladesh, the DGHS chief said. The incidents of drowning mostly increase during floods, he added. “If we want to reach the target of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 by 2015, we must prevent drowning of children,” Noorul said.

He also said the country’s child mortality rate had decreased significantly due to the sincere efforts of the government, NGOs and development partners. Other speakers said lack of supervision, high exposure to water hazards, lack of education and poverty were some major risk factors for childhood drowning in Bangladesh. In the flood-prone delta nation, drowning was now the single leading cause of death among children aged one to 17, having overtaken pneumonia and diarrhoea, they added. l

to the respective pharmaceutical companies. The members of the body raised the issues in a meeting yesterday. The organization’s district unit President Sorlendu Bosak spoke at the meeting. Aftab Uddin Chowdhury Mandal and Ahbabul Alam Dulal, general secretary and member respectively also spoke on the occasion. l

ACI warehouse looted in Jessore n Our Correspondent, Jessore A warehouse of ACI Ltd was robbed early yesterday at Nawapara industrial area under Abhaynagar upazila in Jessor. About 20 armed men looted poultry, cattle and fish feed storming the warehouse by breaking locks at around 2am. The warehouse is situated right in front of Nawapara Highway police station. Owner of the warehouse Sheikh Asadullah, former councillor of Nawapara Municipality told the Dhaka Tribune that armed robbers plundered about 300 sacks of food items worth about Tk7 lakh from the warehouse. A case was lodged with Abhaynagar police station, he added. l

Woman killed for dowry in Narayanganj n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj A homemaker was beaten to death in Rupganj upazila of the Narayanganj. The deceased was identified as Nasrin Akter. Family members of the deceased alleged that her husband and father-in-law killed her on Wednesday night. Police arrested Suman and Shamsul Haq, respectively the husband and the father-in-law of the deceased yesterday. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Rupganj police station Asaduzzaman said, “Police went to the spot in the morning after they had been informed by the locals. Relatives of the victim alleged that she was jointly beaten by her husband, father-in-law and other in-laws on Wednesday night that caused her death.” Based on the allegation, police arrested Suman and Shamsul Haq in connection with the murder. Police sent the body of the deceased to Narayanganj General Hospital morgue for autopsy. A case has been filed with Rupganj police station in this regard, our correspondent reports. l


Long Form

Friday, February 28, 2014


The glorious history of Tamil language movement


n Shafiqur Rahman nyone familiar with history and the rise of nationalism in the last three centuries would know that language rights have been forefront in many struggles of national self-determination in Europe and Asia. In the 19th century, there were many uprisings and revolutions centered on language and cultural rights in multi-ethnic empires like the Austro-Hungarian empire or the Russian empire. In the 20th century too, there have been many language movements in the near and far east. Closer to our home, the Tamil language movement of the 20th century has a history that is every bit as glorious and as bloody as our own movement. Tamil is a very ancient language. Linguistically Tamil and other major South Indian languages like Telegu and Malayalam belong to the Dravidian branch of world languages which is distinct and separate from the great Indo-European branch of languages to which many of the European and Asian languages like Sanskrit, Bangla, Hindi, Persian, German, English, Greek, Latin, Slavic, etc belong. The earliest written artifacts of Tamil go back to 200-300 BC and the classic work of Tamil literary text, the Sangam Literature, is generally dated 500 BC to 200 AD. Many anthropologists claim that history of Dravidian languages goes back to the ancient Harappan civilisation (2500-1500 BC), but that claim is disputed by many others too. As such, as an ancient but still living language, Tamil is recognised as one of the very few classical languages of the world that are still being widely used. The ancient pedigree of Tamil and the distinctness of Dravidian languages from the Sanskrit based counterparts had always been a great source of pride for Dravidians in face of forty centuries of repeated Indo-European aggression and expansionism from the north. Thus, it is not surprising that when during the later parts of the 19th century, as the educated Tamils began to internalise modern ethnic-nationalistic ideals imported from Europe, linguistic identity became a key cornerstone of their nationalism. Tamil nationalism got an added impetus from the eternal Dravidian-Aryan conflict when rising Indian nationalism in response to British rule in India was given a monochromatic pan-Indian hue by Hindu nationalists in late 19th century by promotion of an Aryan-Sanskrit heritage as the foundation of Indian and Hindu identity. Moreover, the monopoly domination of Brahmins in education and employment in the early decades of 20th century fuelled resentment among educated non-Brahmin upper castes who equated Brahminism with Sanskritism. National political leadership added fuel to the fire when leaders like Gandhi and Nehru insisted on making Hindi the common language of whole India to politically unite the diverse population. In 1918, Gandhi established a Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha to propagate Hindi in the South and in 1925, the Indian National Congress adopted Hindi as the official language of all its proceedings instead of English. Dravidian nationalists saw these instances as the new phase of the ageold northern chauvinistic attempt to dominate the South and extinguish its distinct identity. Anxiety of North Indian and Brahminical dominance precipitated crystallisation of Tamil nationalism in the early decades of 20th century. In 1916, educated non-Brahmins in the Madras Presidency formed the Justice Party to look after the regional interests of Tamils, and lobby the colonial government. The most seminal figure of Tamil nationalism in the first half of the 20th century is Periyar EV Ramasamy, popularly known as EVR. Widely regarded as the father of the Dravidian movement, Periyar (1879-1973) came from a non-Brahmin family, and was a politician, social reformer, rationalist, litterateur, and linguist. His towering stature in the modern Tamil nation can be glimpsed by the fact that the two main political parties that have been ruling Tamilnadu alternatively since 1970s, DMK

and AIDMK, are both offshoots of the organisation founded by Periyar. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1919, but resigned in 1925 in protest of northern and Brahminical dominance. He founded a movement called Self-Respect League, and became an advocate of South India becoming independent of the North and become Dravida Nadu or land of Dravids. The self-respect movement worked for education reform, social and economic equality, women’s rights, rationalism and enlightenment in society and many other reforms, but more than anything it tirelessly fought against the evils of caste system. In 1939, Periyar became the head of the Justice Party, and renamed it Dravidar Kazhagam, party of Dravids; it became the main opposition to the national Congress Party in the South. The first phase of the Tamil Language Movement began when Congress Party was elected to form the state government of the Madras Presidency in 1937 in the first Provin-

The issue of a national language became central to India at the end of British rule in 1947. As the leaders gathered to develop the framework of the republic and a constitution, the question of English or Hindi as the official language of India raised a firestorm. At one side were Congress Party stalwarts like Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad and Hindu nationalist leaders who wanted Hindi to be the only national language. The opposition was mainly comprised of leaders from South India. They wanted to retain English as the official language of India. Such was the temper of debate that at one stage one north Indian Congress leader declared in the Constituent Assembly that: “People who do not know Hindustani have no right to stay in India. People who are present in the House to fashion a constitution for India, and do not know Hindustani are not worthy to be members of this assembly. They had better leave.” The speaker was supported by Nehru him-

Many people protested against the Hindi imposition by pouring gasoline over their body and burning themselves to death. This was the biggest self-immolation in the 60s, surpassing even the ones in Vietnam The statue of Thiruvalluvar, the icon of Tamil literature, stand tall in Kannyakumari and looks over Tamil Nadu cial Election held in British India. In accordance to the Congress Party’s policy of establishing Hindi as the common language of India, the new state government issued an order in April 1938 making Hindi language teaching compulsory in all the secondary schools of the province. Tamil nationalists all over the province immediately erupted in protest against this perceived marginalisation of regional identity and imposition of a dominant culture. Agitations and street protests took place almost daily in all the major towns of the province. Periyar and the opposition Justice Party fully backed the Anti-Hindi protests; Tamil intellectuals, litterateurs actively joined the protests too. Several anti-hindi long marches and Conferences took place in 1938. In one such conference in September, Periyar EVR declared that Tamil Nadu should be an independent country, “Tamil Nadu for Tamils.” Most remarkable was the huge participation of women in every aspects of anti-Hindi protests. In 1939, a conference on Tamil language was held exclusively for women. The first elected government in British Madras province responded with this opposition to its policy and authority with no less fury than the norm set by the colonial government. More than one thousand protesters were arrested and given various jail terms. There were 73 women among the jailed, almost half of them mothers with children. Periyar and many other leaders were given rigorous imprisonment sentences. In January 1939, two arrested protesters, Thalamuthu and Natarajan, died in prison. The government said this was due to sickness but the language movement claimed they were victim of brutality in custody. The two deaths instantly became a cause célèbre to the movement, and the dead became first martyrs. Even now, there is hardly any city or town in Tamil Nadu where there is not a street named after Thalamuthu and Natarajan. These were but just the first deaths for the long Tamil Language Movement; there would be many more deaths and in far bloodier circumstances. The first phase of the Tamil language movement was over when the beginning of Second World War in September 1939 made Congress Party resign from government all over India and the British governor suspended the compulsory Hindi order in early 1940.

self. The debate continued for nearly three years. In face of unyielding opposition from the South, an interim compromise was reached. English was to remain official language for 15 years, and during this period Hindi would be promoted as national language with the gradual phasing out of English. This only created a ticking time bomb that exploded with bloody violence when the time ran out. While Periyar EVR dominated the pre-war Tamil nationalism landscape, the key figure to emerge after independence was CN Annadurai. Annadurai was a disciple of Periyar, but he had falling out with his mentor and he formed a new party DMK after getting out of DK. He too was a staunch defender of Tamil identity and heritage. An orator and mass-politician par-excellence, Annadurai was the main political opponent of the Congress Party in Madras in the 50s and 60s. During these two decades there were many attempts by Congress government in Delhi and in Madras to re-impose Hindi as compulsory subject and official language. Leaders like Annadurai resisted all such attempts vigorously.

bird when the crow is ubiquitous?” With Hindi set to become official language from January 26, 1965, the Republic Day when Indian constitution came into being in 1950, anti-Hindi protests burst forth in January in Tamil Nadu. Unlike the pre-war counterpart, the anti-Hindi protests in 1965 were led mostly by general people and students, but the level of violence was far more deadly. On January 25, there was a statewide strike in all educational institutes. Annadurai declared January 26, 1965 as a day of mourning. Students and general people brought out large processions in all the large cities over the next couple of days. The processions were generally peaceful, but in several places police and ruling-party men attacked the protesting students. A student named Rajendran died when police fired on students in Annamalai University at Chidambaram on January 27. This death was the spark that ignited the movement. From January 27, the students called indefinite strike, and every day protest marches before Indian government offices took place. The government used police to try to clamp down on the agitation but such were

Unlike the pre-war counterpart, the anti-Hindi protests in 1965 were led mostly by general people and students, but the level of violence was far more deadly

In 1963, Annadurai said in a speech: “Making a language (Hindi) that is the mother tongue of a region of India the official language for all the people of India is tyranny. We believe that it will give benefits and superiority to one region. If Hindi were to become the official language of India, Hindi-speaking people will govern us. We will be treated like third rate citizens.” He also mocked the majoritarianism of the pro-Hindi block: “It is claimed that Hindi should be the common language because it is spoken by the majority. Why should we then claim the tiger as our national animal instead of the rat which is so much more numerous? Or the peacock as our national

the passion and extent of the protests that they could do little. The central government rushed army and Central Reserve Police to brutally suppress the protests. Between January 25 and February 15, at least 63 protesters were killed and thousands injured. Moreover, many people protested against the Hindi imposition by pouring gasoline over their body and burning themselves to death. This was the biggest self-immolation in the 60s, surpassing even the famous Vietnam self immolations. The situation in Tamil Nadu got so out of hand and gained such worldwide attention that even the UN took note of the government crackdown, and scheduled a discussion.

The central government relented in face of such escalating protest and deaths, and on February 11, Prime Minister Shastri announced that English will not be discarded as official language. In elections of 1967, the Congress Party suffered reversal all over India and the new prime minister Indira Gandhi announced that English will remain an official language indefinitely. In Tamil Nadu too, DMK won State Assembly elections in 1967, Annadurai became chief minister and the long dominance of Congress was over in Tamil Nadu, seemingly for good. To this date, Tamils all over the world remain fiercely proud of their language and the anti-Hindi struggle. Those who have visited Tamil Nadu know that Tamils would rather converse in broken English than Hindi with all outsiders. Tamils also credit the language movement for the eventual emergence of India as the world’s largest English speaking country, and the preservation of the federal character of the Indian government. They say that the language movement was crucial in stopping India from being a centrally dominated country, and the flourishing of regional politics and regional identity in India. The preservation of English has also given rich dividend to India in international business and society. From IT, service, trade, business, education to politics, the English speaking edge has provided India a decisive edge over other developing countries. There is a flip side to this development too. India has a huge English speaking elite that competes with the best in the world arena, but India is home to 40% of world’s 800 million illiterate people too. India has world beating businesses and plutocrats, but its human development indicators put sub-Saharan Africa to shame. Development of English as the official language and the language of the elite must have played in widening such contrasts. International Mother Language Day should make us aware that February 21 is not just a celebration of Bengali nationalism but a day of celebrating language rights and ethnic heritage of every cultural community, however small or large. A dominating group cannot impose its cultural practices on minorities on any excuse, national unity or ethnic cohesion. l Shafiqur Rahman is a freelance contributor. This article was first published in





Friday, February 28, 2014

Russia to expand worldwide military presence

Kerry decries 'new isolationism' Says US acts like poor nation this was a direct result of the bipartisan n Reuters, Washington budget deal that cut funding further

Vows to abide by agreements with Ukraine on Black Sea fleet

n Agencies, Moscow Russia says it plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday in remarks carried by Russian news agencies the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore. He said that it was essential for the Russian navy to be able to call at their ports to service its ships. Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries asking them to allow long-range bombers to use their air bases for refueling. President Vladimir Putin has launched a massive military modernisation program and sought to demonstrate Russia’s global reach by sending navy ships to the Mediterranean, Latin America and other areas. Russia will abide by treaties regarding its Black Sea fleet in Ukraine’s Crimea region, the foreign ministry said Thursday, after Ukraine’s interim leader warned Moscow to keep troops at their bases. “Regarding the statements about Russia’s violation of the agreements on the Black Sea fleet, we declare that in the current difficult situation the Russian Black Sea fleet is strictly adhering to said agreements,” Russian

File photo shows Russian Black Sea Navy ships being anchored in Sevastopol bay with a Russian naval flag (R) flying agencies quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying. Ukraine’s interim president Oleksandr Turchynov earlier said that any movement of Russian troops out of their Black Sea bases “will be considered as military aggression.”

Turkish PM targeted in second audio tape n Reuters, Ankara An audio recording purporting to be of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan giving his son business advice has been published on YouTube, following one earlier in the week that fuelled a corruption scandal and unnerved markets. Erdogan said a similar post on the video-sharing site YouTube on Monday, allegedly of him telling his son Bilal to

dispose of large sums of cash as a graft investigation erupted, had been faked by his political enemies. The recordings, posted under pseudonyms, appeared within days of his AK Party launching its campaign for local elections in March, and are potentially the most damaging allegations in a scandal that became public on December 17 with the arrest of businessmen close to Erdogan and three ministers’ sons. l

US court orders pull of YouTube anti-Islam film n AFP, Los Angeles A US appeals court on Wednesday ordered YouTube to take down an anti-Islamic movie that triggered protests in the Muslim world, after an actress alleged she had been duped into appearing in it. The 2012 appearance of “Innocence of Muslims” on Google’s video-sharing site provoked deadly violence, but the current legal case against it relates only to the concerns of

one of its stars. US actress Cindy Lee Garcia brought a lawsuit claiming she was tricked into appearing in the film, without realising its provocative anti-Muslim slant, and has received death threats as a result of it. A lower court refused to grant an injunction forcing Google to remove the film while her case goes forward, but on Wednesday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision. l

The Russian defence ministry on Wednesday said that it has to take “security measures” in Crimea, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been based since tsarist times in the port city of Sevastopol. On Thursday the buildings hous-


ing Crimea’s parliament and government were occupied by armed men of unknown affiliation who hoisted a Russian flag, and reported sightings of armed personnel carriers on the peninsula proliferated on social networks. l

US Secretary of State John Kerry decried what he called a "new isolationism" in the United States on Wednesday and suggested that the country was beginning to behave like a poor nation. Speaking to reporters, Kerry inveighed against what he sees as a tendency within the United States to retreat from the world even as he defended the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts from Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In comments tied to the budget that US President Barack Obama is expected to present on Tuesday, Kerry suggested that tighter spending, in part at the behest of congressional Republicans, may limit US clout around the world. "There's a new isolationism," Kerry said during a nearly one-hour discussion with a small group of reporters. "We are beginning to behave like a poor nation," he added, saying some Americans do not perceive the connection between US engagement abroad and the US economy, their own jobs and wider US interests. Kerry made the case as Obama prepares to release a budget that will adhere to spending levels agreed to in a two-year bipartisan budget deal struck late last year, entailing some spending cuts the administration would have preferred to avoid. The US State Department budget will decline slightly in the president's budget submission, Kerry said, saying

Amnesty says some Israeli West Bank killings may be war crimes n Reuters, Jerusalem Israeli forces are using excessive, reckless violence in the occupied West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians over the past three years in what might constitute a war crime, Amnesty International said on Thursday. In a report entitled “Trigger Happy,” the human rights group accused Israel of allowing its soldiers to act with virtual impunity and urged an independent review of the deaths. The Israeli army dismissed the allegations, saying security forces had seen a “substantial increase” in Palestinian violence and that Amnesty had revealed a “complete lack of understanding” about the difficulties soldiers faced. According to UN data, 45 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank between 2011-2013, including six children. Amnesty said it had documented the deaths of 25 civilians during this period, all but three of whom died last year. “The report presents a body of evidence that shows a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in the West Bank,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at

The remains after the Israeli army entered Bir Zeit around yesterday morning and used ‘riot dispersal means’ to clear stone-throwing Palestinians from their path to the house. AFP Amnesty International. Amnesty said that in none of the cases it reviewed did the Palestinians appear to be posing any imminent threat to life. “In some, there is evidence that they were victims of wilful killings, which would amount to war crimes,”

the group said. After a three year hiatus, Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct peace talks last July, which the Palestinians hope will give them an independent state on territory seized by Israel in the 1967 war, including the West Bank. The 87-page report focused only

Nato calls Crimea developments ‘dangerous and irresponsible’

Crimea is bastion of resistance to Ukraine’s new rulers

n Reuters, Brussels

Waving the Russian flag and chanting “Russia! Russia!,” protesters in Crimea have become the last major bastion of resistance to Ukraine’s new rulers. In the region’s capital, dozens of armed men seized the parliament building and raised the same flag. President Viktor Yanukovich’s overthrow on Saturday has been accepted across the vast country, even in his power base in the Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine. But Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula attached to the rest of Ukraine by just a narrow strip of land, is alone so far in challenging the new order. As the only Ukrainian region with an ethnic Russian majority, and a home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the strategically important territory is also now the focus of a battle between Russia and the West over the future of Ukraine. Tensions are mounting in the Crimean capital Simferopol as separatists try to exploit the chaos after the changes in Kiev to press demands for Russia to reclaim the territory which Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev gifted in 1954 to the Soviet Ukraine. Amid some shooting, 50 gunmen entered the parliament under cover of

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that an armed group’s seizure of regional government headquarters and parliament in Ukraine’s Crimea was “dangerous and irresponsible.” “I am extremely concerned about the most recent developments in Crimea. This morning’s action by an armed group is dangerous and irresponsible,” Rasmussen told a Nato meeting also attended Ukraine’s acting defence minister. “I urge Russia not to take any action that could escalate tension or create misunderstanding.” Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday warned Russia not to take any action over Crimea that could stoke tensions or misunderstandings in the Ukraine crisis. “I’m concerned about developments in Crimea,” Rasmussen said in a tweeted message. “I urge Russia not to take any action that can escalate tension or create misunderstanding,” he said. Rasmussen’s comments were made as the Ukraine interim government

called in Moscow’s representative in Kiev to warn that Russia must respect its territorial integrity after pro-Russian gunmen seized control of government buildings in the Crimea peninsula. Rasmussen later told a meeting of the Nato-Ukraine Commission that the latest developments in Crimea were “dangerous and irresponsible.” “I urge all parties to step back from confrontation,” he said, calling on the Kiev authorities to lead the country forward in the most inclusive political process possible. Nato defence ministers on Wednesday agreed a statement which said a sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine was essential to security in Europe. Rasmussen said after the statement that “Ukraine is the most important security issue in Europe today.” The latest developments have stoked growing concern about Ukraine’s future and the possible wider fallout after the ouster of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. In 1997, Nato set up a joint commission with Ukraine to oversee relations and in 2008 agreed that Kiev could eventually be considered for membership of the Cold War-era alliance. l

than Obama wanted. "This is not a budget we want. It's not a budget that does what we need," he said, saying the budget deal entailed cuts demanded by the Republican-led House of Representatives. "It was the best the president could get. It's not what he wanted." In speaking of what he called the "new isolationism," Kerry cited the limited support in the US Congress to back Obama's plan to launch an air strike against Syria last year because of its suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians. Obama, in a decision criticised by some US allies in the Gulf and elsewhere, asked Congress to vote on a strike. With limited congressional backing, he ultimately abandoned a strike and pursued a deal to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons. "Look at our budget. Look at our efforts to get the president's military force decision on Syria backed up on (Capitol Hill). Look at the House of Representatives with respect to the military and the budget," Kerry said. "All of those things diminish our ability to do things," he added. Kerry took particular aim at critics of his efforts to get the Syrian government and the opposition that has sought to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for nearly a year to reach a peace agreement that would entail Assad's departure. l


Reuters, Simferopol

darkness. The regional prime minister spoke to them by telephone, but they had not made any demands or said why they were there. They had promised to call back but had not done so. About 100 police gathered in front of the building, and a similar number of people carrying Russian flags marched up chanting “Russia, Russia” and calling for a Crimean referendum. One of them, Alexei, 30, said: “We have our own constitution, Crimea is autonomous. The government in Kiev are fascists, and what they’re doing is illegal.” Washington has warned Moscow not to send in tanks, an action that could result in yet another war in a region that has been fought over - and changed hands - many times in history. But President Vladimir Putin flexed his muscles on Wednesday, putting military forces in western Russia on alert and saying Russia was acting to ensure the security of its facilities in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. On Thursday he put war planes on alert too. The view from separatists in Crimea is that there has never been a better time to appeal to Moscow for help than now. “I crossed two oceans and four

seas with the Russian navy, and now I have fascists telling me what to do?” said Daniyel Romanenko, a 73-yearold retired officer, portraying the new Ukrainian leadership in the worst possible terms in a country that was overrun by Nazi Germany in World War II. “We should be given the choice to unite at last with Russia,” he said at a rally in Sevastopol, wearing his uniform. Crimea’s balmy climate once made it a favoured holiday destination for Russian tsars and Soviet leaders. Vineyards, orchards and the “green riviera” along its southern coast make for some stunning scenery. But even before the national parliament in Kiev stripped Yanukovich of his powers on Saturday, after three months of protests by largely pro-Europe demonstrators, there were rallies in Crimea by worried ethnic Russians. Although he was little loved in Moscow, Russia had backed Yanukovich and his departure reduces the Kremlin’s ability to influence Ukraine. For the more than 1 million ethnic Russians in Crimea, it increases uncertainty, and many want protection by Mother Russia, with whom cultural and religious ties are strong. l

on violence in the West Bank, not the adjacent Gaza Strip. It highlighted a number of the deaths, including that of 21-year-old Lubna Hanash, who was shot in the head on Jan 23, 2013 as she left an agricultural college near the flashpoint city of Hebron. l

New Ukraine ministers proposed n Reuters, Simferopol, Kiev Ukraine’s protest leaders named the ministers they want to form a new government following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich, as an angry Russia put 150,000 troops on high alert in a show of strength. President Vladimir Putin’s order on Wednesday for soldiers to be ready for war games near Ukraine was the Kremlin’s boldest gesture yet after days of sabre rattling since its ally Yanukovich was ousted at the weekend. Moscow denied that the previously unannounced drill in its western military district was linked to events in its neighbour but it came amid a series of increasingly strident statements about the fate of Russian citizens and interests. US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Moscow that “any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge - a grave mistake.” With the political turmoil hammering Ukraine’s economy, the central bank said it would no longer intervene to shield the hryvnia currency, which tumbled 4% on Wednesday and is now down a fifth since January 1. Wednesday’s abrupt abandonment of Ukraine’s currency peg sent ripples to Russia where the rouble fell to five-year lows and bank shares fell. l



Kerry: US must pursue Iran talks before considering going to war

Pakistan denies plans to arm Syrian rebels

n Reuters, Washington

n AFP, Islamabad

The United States has an obligation to pursue nuclear negotiations with Iran before it considers going to war with Tehran to force it to give up its nuclear activities, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday. “We took the initiative and led the effort to try to figure out if before we go to war there actually might be a peaceful solution,” Kerry told a group of reporters. Iran reached a landmark preliminary agreement with six world powers, including the United States, in November to halt its most sensitive nuclear operations, winning some relief from economic sanctions in return. US President Barack Obama, like his predecessors, has said that all options are on the table with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, using diplomatic code for the possibility of military action. While US officials have long held out that threat, Kerry’s comments appeared to indicate the Obama administration would seriously consider a strike on Iran if the diplomatic talks fail.

Indian court issues arrest warrant against Sahara chief n Agencies, New Delhi The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy for failing to appear before it in person as directed at the court’s last hearing. Roy was also given till March 4 to comply with the court’s order. An apex court bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice JS Khehar, while noting that Subrata Roy’s plea for exemption from personal appearance was specifically turned down, said: “Since, we have already declined to grant exemption from personal presence ... on Feb 25, 2014, we find no reason to accede to the renewal of the request made today.” Apparently displeased, Justice KS Radhakrishnan said: “The arm of this court is very long. We will issue warrants. This is the Supreme Court of the land. When other directors are here, why cannot he be here?” The Supreme Court had directed the presence of Roy and three directors of Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL) following the failure of two companies to submit to market regulator SEBI title deeds of its unencumbered properties to secure the balance of Rs190bn of Rs240bn crore that it had collected through Optionally Fully Convertible Debenture (OFCD). l

“I happen to believe as a matter of leadership, and I learnt this pretty hard from Vietnam, before you send young people to war you ought to find out if there is a better alternative,” said Kerry, who served in the Vietnam War as a young US naval officer.

The Obama administration is under pressure from Republican lawmakers threatening to revive a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran “That is an obligation we have as leaders to exhaust all the remedies available to you before you ask people to give up their lives and that is what we are doing” with Iran, he added. The Obama administration is under pressure from Republican lawmakers threatening to revive a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran, a move

the White House is warning could interfere with delicate nuclear talks to find a lasting agreement. Iran denies allegations by the United States and some of its allies that it is seeking to develop the capacity to build nuclear weapons. Pressure from lawmakers may increase with signs that easing of sanctions pressure on Tehran has boosted oil export. Sources who track tanker movements told Reuters that Iran’s oil exports rose further in February for a fourth consecutive month. In addition extra cargoes had headed to Syria and South Korea in February, according to a second tracking source. Kerry said Iran was so far keeping its end of the bargain under the Nov. 24 agreement by, among other things, reducing its stock of 20% enriched uranium, not enriching uranium above a purity of 5% and not installing more centrifuges. “Generally speaking, they have done I think everything that they were required to do with respect to the reductions,” Kerry told reporters.l

Indian soldier kills five colleagues, himself n AFP ,Srinagar A soldier armed with two automatic weapons shot dead five of his colleagues as they slept early Thursday before killing himself in restive Indian Kashmir, police and the army said. The soldier, who was on night duty, walked into the barracks where the soldiers were resting and opened fire at a military camp 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the region’s main city of Srinagar. “The soldier ran amok, killing five others before shooting himself dead in the camp in Ganderbal district,” army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Narinder Nahar Joshi told AFP. Another soldier who was injured in the attack recalled the events to police before being shifted to a military hospital in Srinagar for treatment, local superintendent of police Shahid Mehraj told AFP. A military inquiry and a separate police probe were under way to determine what sparked the incident at the camp in Safapora village, including whether the soldier was suffering from stress. “We don’t know what triggered this incident, but we are investigating thoroughly so that such an incident is not repeated in future,” Mehraj said, adding police have seized two automatic rifles used by the soldier. “We are also talking to soldiers who

It’s a solid ... it’s a liquid ... it’s a dropleton

were awake at the time of shooting,” Mehraj said. The killer was a member of a counter-insurgency force called the Rashtriya Rifles posted to the heavily militarised Himalayan region and charged with tracking down suspected militants. Indian forces have since 1989 been fighting some dozen militant groups seeking independence or the merger of the territory with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, dead. Several similar incidents have occurred in the past in the region, including one in 2011 when an Indian soldier killed four of his comrades after an altercation in a camp in Anantnag district. The Indian government and security establishment have recently expressed fears of a possible escalation in rebel activity in Kashmir ahead of the country’s general election due by May. Kashmir is divided and administered separately by India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both. The two countries have fought two wars since independence from Britain in 1947 over the region. On Tuesday hundreds of angry villagers clashed with police near the de facto border with Pakistan following suspicions that security forces shot dead seven civilians they mistook for rebels. l

Chinese lawmakers approved national remembrance days Thursday to commemorate the Nanjing Massacre and Japan’s defeat in World War II, state media said, amid bitter disputes over territory and history. “September 3 was ratified as the victory day and December 13 the national memorial day for massacre victims,” the official Xinhua news agency said, reporting decisions by members of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament. Japan invaded China in the 1930s and the two countries fought a full-

n AFP, Paris Scientists said Wednesday they had discovered a new type of microscopic particle cluster that is found in solid materials but strangely behaves like a liquid. They called it the “dropleton.” The new entity, infinitely small and with a blink-and-you-miss-it lifespan, is a quasiparticle – a combination of other, fundamental particles with unusual properties that exist in solids. “The dropleton is a new element – a stable building block to build more complicated many-particle constructions in solids,” study co-author Mackillo Kira of the Philipps-University Marburg in Germany told AFP of the discovery. “Our discovery adds a new element to the ‘periodic table’ of existing quasiparticles in solids.” Each dropleton or “quantum droplet” is thought to comprise about five electrons and five quantum “holes” – spaces in solid

matter where an electron once was, according to a paper published in the journal Nature. Stimulated by light, this combination of smaller particles briefly condense into a “droplet” with characteristics of liquid water, which includes that it can have ripples. The dropleton exists for a mere 25 picoseconds (trillionths of a second). Though fleeting, this is long enough for researchers to study how light interacts with specialised forms of matter, according to a statement from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which took part in the study. The dropleton was discovered when researchers bombarded a semiconductor made of gallium arsenide with lasers at a rate of 100 million pulses per second in search of new quasiparticles. The main use of the discovery is to understand more about how photons, or particles of light, can react with matter. l

Pakistan on Thursday denied any plans to send weapons to Syrian rebels, amid reports that Saudi Arabia is holding talks with it about arming the insurgents. A Saudi source said Sunday that Riyadh was seeking Pakistani anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets for forces fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad. The United States has long opposed arming the rebels with such weapons, fearing they might end up in the hands of extremists. But Syrian opposition figures say the failure of peace talks in Geneva seems to have led Washington to soften its opposition. Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, told reporters Pakistan has not considered such a proposal. “The reports about arms supply to Syria are totally baseless,” Aziz said. The Saudi source had pointed to a visit to Riyadh earlier this month by Pakistan’s army chief, General Raheel Sharif, who met Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

Prince Salman himself last week led a large delegation to Pakistan, shortly after Saudi Arabia’s chief diplomat Prince Saud al-Faisal visited the country – a key ally. Rebels have long sought anti-aircraft rockets to defend themselves against Syrian warplanes, which regularly bomb rebel-held areas with barrels loaded with TNT and other ordnance. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said at a regular briefing that Pakistan did not supply arms to «entities», meaning rebel groups. “The policy guidelines for the sale of arms that we have are in line with the adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN charter,” she said. “We also have what is known as end users’ certificate which ensures that our weapons are not resold or provided to a third country.” The nearly-three-year conflict in Syria has torn the country apart, killing more than 140,000 people including some 50,000 civilians, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. l

Rajiv Gandhi murder case: SC stays release of 4 convicts

Thailand’s anti-corruption agency weighed charges of negligence against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday as the leader of protests aimed at forcing her from power suggested a televised debate after weeks of refusing to talk. The charges relate to a disastrous rice subsidy scheme that paid farmers above the market price and has run out of funds, adding to the government’s woes as farmers - normally the prime minister’s biggest supporters - demand their money. More than 300 government supporters gathered outside the National An-

North Korea fired four short-range missiles over the sea off its east coast on Thursday, a media official at South Korea’s Defence Ministry said, while providing no information on the purpose of the firing. North Korea fired the missiles at 5:42 pm (0342 ET) from a mountain site just north of the border with South Korea, the official said. Launches by the North of shortrange missiles are not uncommon as part of military exercises. The firing came days after the beginning of annual joint US and South Korean military exercises which the North routinely denounces as preparation for war. The North was angered this month when a nuclear-capable US B-52 bomber made a sortie over South Korea, though the flight did not trigger a sharp escalation of military tension. The South’s Yonhap News Agency said the missiles fired on Thursday were believed to have a range of about 200 km (125 miles), which means they could not reach Japan. l

n Agencies, New Delhi The Supreme Court of India on Thursday stayed the release of four convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, ordering status quo on a plea by the Centre challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s proposal to release them, reports Times of India. The court bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam directed that the central government’s plea would be heard on March 6. The court also issued notice to the state government and the four prisoners on the Centre’s plea against their release. It asked as to why the Centre rushed to the apex court instead of replying to the state government’s letter seeking the stand of the Union government on the release of the prisoners. “Is the Centre rushing or you are rushing?,” the bench questioned the state government and made it clear that it will first consider the maintainability of the Centre’s petition before going into its merits. “You take it from us that we would consider the maintainability issue first,” it said, adding, “We would solve the problem amicably.” The bench said that every state must be aware about the procedure to be followed for the release of prisoners. The Centre on Monday had moved the apex court to prevent Tamil Nadu gov-

The Congress vice-president on Thursday criticised his Congress colleague and Union Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid for calling BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi “impotent” over the latter’s handling of the post-Godhra riots in 2002. “I do not appreciate this kind of comment ... this kind of language,” Gandhi said. The Congress leader was talking to reporters at the AICC headquarters after a meeting of the campaign committee of the party. Khurshid had on Tuesday described Modi as “impotent” while speaking at a rally in Farrukhabad. Without taking the name of Modi, Khurshid, who is a sitting MP from Farrukhabad, asked why a man who aspires to be the prime minister of the country could not do anything during the 2002 riots. “Some people came, attacked and went, and you couldn’t protect. Are you not a strong man?” the senior Congress leader had asked. More than 1200 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the Gujarat carnage that happened after about 60 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive in a train near Godhra. Modi has been criticised for not doing enough to stop the anti-Muslim pogrom that followed. l

ernment to set free four other convicts serving life imprisonment in the case. The apex court had on February 20 stayed the release of three convicts – Murugan, Santhan and Arivu – whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on February 18 in the case, saying there had been procedural lapses on the part of the state government on the decision to release them. The Centre’s move came after the apex court had said it could file a fresh petition regarding the other four prisoners whose sentence has also been remitted by the Tamil Nadu government. It has sought stay on the release of convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran. The Jayalalithaa government had on February 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at an election rally in Sriperumbedur on May 21, 1991. l

scale war from 1937 to 1945. China says more than 300,000 people were slaughtered by Japanese troops in a six-week killing spree in the then-capital Nanjing, which began on December 13 1937. Some foreign academics put the figure lower. It was unclear what significance the formal “national days” will have, although they are not expected to be public holidays. The Chinese government previously designated as victory day September 3, the day after Japan formally surrendered to the Allies on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay in 1945. “The approval of the national days

has great historical significance and is a necessity in current circumstances,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said following the decision. Tokyo and Beijing are embroiled in a series of rows, including a long-running diplomatic spat over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Tensions rose further last month when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine, which honours Japan’s war dead, including convicted war criminals. Chinese officials often call on Japan to “reflect” on its past, while Tokyo says its neighbours use history as a diplomatic stick to beat it with. l

Thai PM faces negligence charges as protest leader broaches talks n Reuters, Bangkok

North Korea fires short-range missiles in ‘exercise’ n Reuters, Seoul

Rahul censures Khurshid’s Modi jibe n Agencies

China declares national days for Nanjing Massacre, Japan defeat in WW II n AFP, Beijing


Friday, February 28, 2014

ti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in north Bangkok where the charges were due to be discussed with Yingluck’s lawyers, as riot police stood guard inside the complex. Because of the protest, the hearing had to be moved to a different location. Yingluck, who has stayed mostly out of Bangkok in recent days, did not attend. The anti-government protesters elsewhere in the city, whose disruption of a general election this month has left Thailand in paralysis, want to topple Yingluck and erase the influence of her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, seen by many as the real power in the country. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban,

known for making dramatic gestures without always following through, said he was willing to appear in a live television debate with Yingluck after weeks of refusing any form of talks. “Just tell me when and where,” he told supporters. “Give us two chairs and a microphone and transmit it live on television so the people can see.” Yingluck gave a guarded response. “The talks have to have a framework though I am not sure what that framework would look like,” she told reporters in the town of Chiang Mai in the north, a Thaksin stronghold. “But many parties have to be involved because I alone cannot answer on behalf of the Thai people. l

South Korean arrested in DPRK makes spy ‘confession’

n AFP, Seoul A South Korean missionary arrested in North Korea in October told a news conference staged in Pyongyang on Thursday that he had been working for South Korean intelligence. Kim Jeong-Wook, wearing a dark suit and in apparent good health, detailed a number of “anti-government” activities as he read out a statement. No questions were taken at the event, footage of which was broadcast on South Korean television. Foreigners arrested in North Korea are often required to make a public “confession” which can then expedite their eventual release. “I thought that the (North’s) current regime should be brought down and acted ... under directions from the (South’s) National Intelligence Service,” Kim said. “I met with North Koreans and introduced them to the NIS,” he added. When Kim was first arrested, the North simply announced that it had captured a South Korean “spy” and ignored repeated requests from Seoul to properly identify the detainee. It later emerged that he was Kim Jeong-Wook, 50, a Baptist evangelist who for seven years had been providing shelter and food to North Koreans living in China’s northeastern border city of Dandong. South Korea reacted to Kim’s news conference by calling for his immediate release. “It’s hard to understand how our citizen, involved in purely religious activities, was rated an anti-state criminal,” said Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-Do. “Our government strongly urges North Korea to release and repatriate him,” Kim said. l




Friday, February 28, 2014

Letters to

the Editor


Privatisation is the best option for state owned banks

Verify measurement of dispensers of CNG in re-fueling stations February 24

Many vehicles in Dhaka operate on compressed natural gas (CNG). I too have been using a CNG-run car the last couple of years. The gas cylinder that is fixed in the car is re-filled in full by a maximum Tk330 CNG at 200-bar presser @ Tk30 per cubic meter. Recently, I have been observing that it required over Tk420 to fill the cylinder in full. The price of CNG has not increased, nor has the cylinder changed. Its capacity remains the same. The cylinder used to fully fill a maximum 11 cubic meters of CNG, but it takes 14 cubic meters now. How is this possible? I have every reason to believe that the measuring meters at the filling stations are showing excess reading. The meters need to be verified by proper authorities. Surprisingly, the measuring meters do not show lower readings than appeared before at any CNG filling station I visited recently. All stations where I took my CNG recently showed higher reading. Probably deliberately, the measuring meters had been calibrated to show the higher readings. As a consumer, I would therefore like to urge the government authorities to verify all dispensers of CNG re-filling stations and impose fines as per the law, if evidence of cheating CNG consumers is found. Md Ashraf Hussain


t is common knowledge that Bangladesh’s state-owned commercial banks have not been well managed. The Ministry of Finance has often been forced to recapitalise them and, in December, the Bangladesh Bank had to work with the IMF to arrange finance to make up capital shortfalls. It is no coincidence that a state-owned bank was subject to the country’s largest banking fraud. The Banking Division of the Ministry of Finance which had oversight of the stateowned Sonali Bank failed to stop it sanctioning huge loans to Hallmark without any regard for prudent limits on exposure to single borrowers. Although the finance minister is rightly talking of the need to improve state banks, this is insufficient to overcome their institutional weaknesses. Private banks have a better track record than state banks because they are less prone to politically influenced appointments and are better managed. They are also doing well in addressing national policy goals, such as tackling financial exclusion, by developing mobile banking services. Being accountable to private investors, their management is less prone to take unwarranted risks and to act more promptly to rectify weaknesses. The government should free the regulators to focus on their core roles of protecting depositors’ assets and preventing fraud, rather than continuing to spend taxpayer money to bail out poorly run state banks. It should reconsider its policy options. In most, if not all cases, the public will be better served if state-owned banks are either privatised or wound down and their assets distributed.

Regulators should be allowed to focus on their core roles of protecting depositors’ assets and preventing fraud

Let the people decide the fate of Jamaat February 22

deep purple blue The AL collaborated with Jamaat in 1996. Who is AL to tell BNP to abandon Jamaat? People have voted Jamaat leaders as chairmen and vice chairmen in several upazillas. The AL should flush out 1971 collaborators from their own party. Interesting that the AL candidate lost even in Gopalganj!

In so many words February 21

Ian Fantom A very interesting analysis. I’d be interested to know whether there has ever been any attempt to subvert Urdu, as there has with Esperanto. The philosophy of both Urdu and Esperanto – of a neutral common language which respected the native languages – is directly opposed to that of hegemony.

Green mobile award shows value of sustainablity

HilaryChapman I am one of many people who for decades have argued quietly that support for Esperanto as a lingua franca could bring many benefits to the world. Esperanto is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states. Using it brings speakers of different mother tongues together without having to resort to English or a strong regional language.


rameenphone has won the GSMA’s “Green Mobile Award” for its climate change programme at the 19th Annual Global Mobile awards in Barcelona. This is one of six prestigious awards selected from over 680 entries by from leading mobile and technology companies around the world. We hope this significant achievement will encourage businesses across all sectors in Bangladesh to incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly policies into their operations. The Global Mobile Awards showcase outstanding innovation and creative products and services across the mobile phone industry. This year’s “Green Mobile Award” recognises the company’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact by enabling more efficient energy use and reducing its CO2 emissions. Businesses in Bangladesh will do well to pay attention to this trend and incorporate sustainable practices in their operations, not only for the greater good but also to be competitive in the global marketplace. In an emerging economy such as Bangladesh sustainable development and environmental issues often take a second seat to cutting costs and profitability. However, this strategy sacrifices the future for short-term gain. Thankfully, a shift is starting to happen at the global level and sustainability is becoming a sought-after value across all sectors. The example of Grameenphone shows that it is possible for Bangladeshi businesses to be profitable while remaining true to sustainability goals such as fighting climate change.

nds To mobilise some people in favor of any ideology or belief, however detrimental to or against the interest or wishes of the peoples at large might be. For instance, to garner some people’s support in favour of legitimising homosexuality, but would the author agree to legitimise a political party that wants to incorporate an appropriate provision in our constitution legalising homosexuality?

Violence against indigenous women rarely gets law enforcers’ attention February 22

People These people will pay for these crimes one day. Bangladesh is suffering because of the sins committed by the government, security forces, and ignorant and uncivilised Bengalee settlers. Bappi Tsangma Settlers get support and energy from law enforcement agencies. As minorities are powerless, it is as if they only have to depend on Allah. Let us wait and see what will happen to the uncivilised culprits. May be there will be a miracle and Allah will force the police to do something.

Stop screening ‘Gunday,’ Dhaka asks Delhi February 23

No country, organisation, media, or individual has the right to comment, screen, or print anything controversial to the interest of any country. Distortion of historical facts of the birth of a country is simply a criminal act libelous in the international court of law. Zaman Khan

PM: No scope for terrorism

February 22 Does the PM really believe that? I have so many doubts about how honest she is being, because in 1996 when her government was in power, the militancy started. There is little credibility in her government’s tackling of militancy. It is the people of Bangladesh who refused to join and prevented its spread by their resolve. But in the last few years, her government policy towards peaceful religious-minded people and oppression towards different political activists has divided the country and national security is at risk, giving some hardliners the option to make it more so. So dear prime minister, please be honest and listen to the citizens, to civil society and our foreign friends, and hold a free and fair national election to uphold a true democracy. Thunder Voice

Bangla skills on the wane February 22

Instead of changing the Communicative System, which is being followed by universities around the globe, the DU admission test question paper can be changed altogether, as it is obsolete. misbah

Be Heard

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Sustainable practices matter not only for the greater good but also the marketplace



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Annoying children (5) 5 Sect (4) 8 Climbing palm (6) 9 Bishop’s headdress (5) 10 New wine (4) 11 Secret agents (5) 12 Mineral spring (3) 15 Limbs (4) 18 Blackboard support (5) 21 Morse element (3) 22 Support (4) 24 Impartial (4) 25 Ancient tongue (5) 28 Revolve (6) 29 Water pitcher (4) 30 Requires (5)

DOWN 1 Stupefy (6) 2 Craft (3) 3 Sailors (4) 4 Pace (4) 5 Ship of the desert (5) 6 As new (6) 7 Make lace (3) 13 Father (coll) (2) 14 Be eager (6) 16 Depart (2) 17 Showy deeds (6) 19 Mistake (5) 20 Behold! (2) 23 Scheme (4) 24 Enemy (3) 26 Consumed (3) 27 Golf mound (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.





Friday, February 28, 2014

Hope for the common man? n Mustafa Zaidi


We all want justice for 1971














In good faith


n Zafar Sobhan

ull disclosure: David Bergman is married to my cousin, and I have known him for over 25 years. Over the past few years David has earned a great deal of notoriety and some enmity inside the country for his blog on the war crimes trials, which includes trenchant criticism of the processes, rule-making, and decisions that he believes do not rise to the level required of such a seminal legal proceeding. Now, it is certainly possible to disagree with his analysis and conclusions. It is possible to believe that he is holding the ICT to an impossible standard that does not take into account the difficulties posed by the fact that the defendants are influential men who have been close to power for 40 years, and that, contrary to his assessment, the trials are proceeding as fairly and judiciously as can be expected given the realities. It is possible to be exasperated by the fact that criticisms from his blog provide succor to those who have no interest in justice, and provide intellectual ballast for those whose sole aim is to discredit the entire proceedings, either for political reasons, or even worse, because they believe that the actions of the defendants were justified and nothing to condemn. There are a lot of enemies of the ICT out there. There are paid propagandists, lobbyists, and spin doctors. There are those who fought tooth and nail against our Liberation War and believe that those in the dock are heroes

who did nothing wrong. There are those who might admit in the dark recesses of their own minds that the defendants are guilty of atrocities but not think that such crimes merit any kind of legal action, as they sympathise with their cause and secretly (or not so secretly) believe that those who fought for Bangladeshi independence got what they had coming. There are those with no sympathy at all for the countless victims of 1971 and the pain and suffering of their families. There are those who do not care that to allow the war criminals to walk free mocks the memory of the dead and shames us all, or even worse, oppose justice for 1971 for precisely this reason.

crimes trials are necessary to give both individuals and the nation the justice and closure that is needed – but is also concerned that the trial process should live up to the highest standards. I feel that somewhere over the past five years, that sense of nuance has been lost. To voice criticism or concern or misgivings about any aspect of the trial process is to run the risk of being denounced as a Jamaat sympathiser or to be harboring anti-trial if not anti-liberation sentiments. I wish we could all step back for a moment and accept that it is possible to disagree in good faith about how the trials have unfolded. David has done more to bring the war criminals to justice than most of

We need to be able to differentiate between someone who opposes the trials and someone who is critical of the trials

Bangladesh and the war crimes trials have enough enemies. But David Bergman is not one of them. It is important for us to be able to distinguish between someone who is an enemy of the war crimes trials out of political reasons or sympathy for the crimes committed, and someone who believes in bringing the war criminals to justice – who believes that terrible atrocities were committed in 1971 and that the perpetrators must be held to account, who believes that war

those denouncing him. It was he who back in 1994 produced a documentary, the War Crimes File, which remains a seminal document and helped keep the fire behind the war crimes trial campaign burning. His blog is also a valuable historical record of the process as it has unfolded. When I read his blog, I see someone who believes the war crimes trials are necessary, but feels that they could and should have been conducted in a better manner.

Sanctimonious and frustrating? Sure. Doing more harm than good? Quite possibly. Misguided and prone to being manipulated? Not unlikely. But hostile to Bangladesh and the Liberation War and to bringing the war criminals of 1971 to justice? No. David Bergman is acting in good faith, with what he sees as the best interests of Bangladesh and the victims of 1971 and of justice at heart. We need to be able to differentiate between a Toby Cadman and a David Bergman, between someone who opposes the trials and someone who is critical of the trials. We need to be able to accept that it is possible to be in favor of the war crimes trials while at the same time be critical of how they have been conducted.  We need to accept that there are many people of good conscience and unimpeachable fidelity to the Liberation War who nonetheless feel that the trial process has not been up to the mark that such a momentous proceeding in our history merits. I believe that the ICT’s tolerance so far for David’s criticism shows the court in its finest light. The credibility of the trials will not be enhanced by the appearance that voices critical of the trial process are being stifled. The best way for the court to counter criticism is the way it has been doing so – to let the public decide which critiques are justified and which are not, and to make up its own mind. A recent Dhaka Tribune poll suggests that fully 74% of the public are satisfied or very satisfied with the war crimes trials.  l Zafar Sobhan is the Editor, Dhaka Tribune.

ill today, I have witnessed my independent country rise and fall, and rise and fall in its stature. It is natural, I suppose, for every country in the world which is trying to make a mark, but with my country it is not the same issue. It has always been the people at the very top of the governing level and the high and mighty industrialists that have contributed to the contractions and tension within India. Currently, India is run by the dynastical Congress party, the famed party that fought for and helped gain our independence. Over time, it has made it a family affair to run it and gain from it. In the earlier part of independent Indian history, the Congress was all about doing well for the nation, making the state prosper, and showing the promise to lead Indians out of the misery faced by a newly formed country after centuries of colonisation. At present the Congress party has lost popularity and support from the common Indian man. This is largely due to the party’s money-minded corrupt politicians, various insane numerical monetary scams, and the robbing of poor Indians of their fair share of growth. All that has grown are the politician’s Swiss bank accounts. In the opposition house stands the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), always known to be affiliated with right-wing Hindu chapters of India and its anti-minority attitude. The BJP is no different when compared to the Congress Party. When they were in power they resorted to the same wrong doings as their counterparts. They have always promoted the concept of Hindu nationalism, have been sceptical of western world influences and have defied American sanctions in order to go ahead with nuclear arms detonation testing. India goes into election this year for its new prime minister and the formation of a new government. By the looks of it, it is highly unlikely that the Congress Party will form the majority in the house, thanks to its chosen dynastical candidate for the post being their worst choice ever for the role. The scope of the BJP looks good in their chances of gaining a good number of seats, thanks to its prime ministerial candidate being one of the most controversial figures of modern India, who has quite a record behind him, churning up a high velocity campaign and calling himself a “Hindu nationalist” and having fascist dreams.  So this year will be the same story where these two parties switch roles from majority to minority, but the remaining effect is the same – the common man of India suffers in the process. But just as I thought the future looked bleak, another political party has entered into the big time foray by calling itself the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or in English, the Common Man’s Party. Their start looked impres-

sive and their intentions seem genuine in correcting the wrongdoings of the big wigs of parliament. Their political presence and their win of the majority of seats in the Delhi Parliament has definitely rung warning bells within the two big wig monopolistic parties regarding the future outcome of the 2014 elections. The AAP traces its roots and formation back to the Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill (Jan Lokpal Bill) protests back in 2011-2012, citing against corruption. The party has communicated their objectives clearly from the beginning. The protests were a big hit and were received warmly by the media all across the world, but most importantly within India.

The cold smoke could turn into a massive fire and lead this country to the path it was intended for Very recently the Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill, which was slated to be passed in parliament, was held back, resulting in the chief minister of Delhi resigning from the post, blaming the major players of the parliament as responsible for its non-implementation. This straightforward approach to corruption and no nonsense attitude towards the betterment of the state and country, regardless of its people’s caste, creed, or colour is what has caught the eye of the common man, giving it a glimmer of hope and something to look forward to. For now one could hope that the cold smoke could turn into a massive fire and lead this country to the path it was intended for – glory. The youth have received the ideas of the AAP and its governance in a positive way. It is the most talkedabout discussion in politics today on social media. As a simple, general, common Indian Shiite Muslim, I would simply wish that my country receives a worthwhile leader and a deserving political party with an everyday common attitude to lead it to a very high stature. I hope the successful party from the 2014 election will work towards eradicating diseases, ending poverty, creating jobs and technology, promoting clean living, taxing the rich while sparing the poor, being exportorientated, developing infrastructure, being no-nonsense, and controlling inflation. Here’s to hoping the future of India is bright, and not the same old mixed-tape. l Mustafa Zaidi is Indian and is currently based in Mumbai, India. He studied engineering in Auckland, New Zealand. This article was previously published in Alochonaa.

A hand to the elderly n Kira Galbraith and Sally Faulkner


angladesh faces a multitude of challenges with high poverty rates, a dense population, and increased vulnerability to climate change. On top of that, it has an ageing population with an estimated 16% of the population as over 60 years old by 2040 (help age), more than double what it is now. What is more, 50% of the elderly (2 million people) are extremely poor, earning less than a dollar a day. They are frail, infirm, often chronically ill, and unable to do physical labour for a living. They are some of the most vulnerable people in Bangladesh, but many of them do not have access to social safety nets. The government offers old age and widow allowances, but these often don’t reach the people who need them most. This leaves a significant portion of the population in a state of poverty and high vulnerability. Shiree is a partnership between the governments of Bangladesh and UK that aims to help lift 1 million people out of extreme poverty by 2015. Around 15% of the 300,000 households Shiree currently works with include members that are elderly and

often excluded from the old age allowance they are entitled to. Through an innovative smartphone monitoring application (CMS 2), Shiree uses a monthly tracking system to monitor real-time changes in the socio-economic wellbeing of its households. In December 2013, approximately 3,200 out of 5,200 old age headed households reported not receiving any safety nets despite their eligibility to receive such government support. The old age allowance is a meagre Tk300 distributed monthly, which is not enough to support even a single person and furthermore it is poorly targeted, with high exclusion rates and irregular distribution, and still, this miniscule amount of taka can mean a lot for someone living on the brink of destitution and is often the difference between destitution and resiliency. Fortunately, there are a number of NGOs across Bangladesh who are providing support to the elderly, countering the lack of access to government safety nets. However, there are additional challenges to consider when working with the elderly to lift them from extreme poverty. Some of the NGOs in the Shiree portfolio have been studying sustainable income generation options

for the elderly. This research hopes to understand how to effectively work with the elderly in livelihood programs and assess which income generating assets (IGAs) they can most easily manage. Research findings have shown that family reconstruction appears to be common when an elderly beneficiary receives an IGA. In many cases, children will return to support their parent in managing the asset. In some cases however there appears to be exploitation of elderly people. Although many children manage the IGA for their elderly parent, this is not always done fairly. They will often give their parent a portion of the money generated that week, keeping the majority for themselves. In one severe case, an elderly woman explained that her son had taken her asset away but still refused to feed her unless she paid him. Already in a highly vulnerable state, she was forced to resort to begging. Unfortunately, these stories are not uncommon. There are further issues when elderly beneficiaries have no children to look after them. One elderly man was given a cow but he got sick and his children would not look after it for him. He told the project staff he no longer wanted the cow and that they

should take it back as he was better off before. IGAs that require physical labour such as livestock or rickshaws are often burdensome for the elderly with the considerable amount of work necessary to manage them. Asset transfers can help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty in a sustainable way, but when they are transferred to the elderly there is a danger that the transfer could fail, decrease their self confidence or result in their exploitation. Many elderly people say that rather than receiving livestock which they cannot look after, they would prefer to be given land. This would enable them to build a permanent shelter and reduce any threat of eviction. In order to successfully lift the elderly from extreme poverty, implementing agencies need to work closely with them to understand what type of support they need when transferring them an asset. Furthermore, it is important to ensure they are receiving their entitled old age allowance. Access to social safety nets is crucial as the elderly are often far less able to generate a sufficient income and need the additional support. One way of ensuring this is to lobby the local government to make certain all those qualifying for social safety nets are

receiving it, particularly those most vulnerable. Educating the elderly on their rights is also important so they know what entitlements they can demand from their government.

In order to successfully lift the elderly from extreme poverty, implementing agencies need to work closely with them

Essentially it is about striking a balance between a secure asset transfer that can sustainably generate an income for an elderly person as well as ensuring they regularly receive their entitled social safety net. At scale, this could enable the 2 million elderly people living in extreme poverty to meet their basic needs and no longer worry over where their next meal will come from. l Kira Galbraith is Research and Advocacy Manager at Shiree. Sally Faulkner was Research Focal Point at Shiree and is now working for Water Aid, Tanzania.




Chhayanaut to celebrate the arrival of spring

Friday, February 28, 2014

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards enthralls Dhaka audience

n Afrose Jahan Chaity As a leading cultural organisation of the country, Chhayanaut has introduced many traditions and norms in the cultural arena of the society and celebrating the arrival seasons is one among many. To celebrate the arrival of spring, Chhayanaut will hold a musical soiree titled Bosonto Utsob tomorrow at 7pm at the auditorium of Chhayanaut. Bosonto Utsob celebration is a cultural boost, an affirmation of Bangla history and customs. It is a reunion for the people who love the Bengali culture, irrespective of caste, creed and colour. It has become a milestone of Bengali history and has also captured international interest. Chhayanaut is organising the programme as a belated observance of the season. Sharmila Bandyopadhyay will present a solo dance performance describing the beauty of spring. Sonia Rashid, Farhana Ahmed and students of the dance department of Chhayanaut will perform several group performances. Students and teachers of the cultural organisation will render songs of the season spring, as well as classical music and songs. In total, fifty performers will perform Nazrul Geeti and Rabindra Sangeet in tomorrow’s event. Mohiuzzaman Chowdhury Moyna, ATM Jahangir, Tania Manna, Sumon Mazumder and others will render songs at the Bosonto Utsob. Literary titan of the subcontinent Rabindranath Tagore described this lovely season in plenty of his seasonal songs. On the other hand, National Poet Kazi Nazrul also expressed the beauty and spirit of nature during spring in a huge number of his works. Both the poets took the spring season as a symbol of youth and joy. A major part of the programme will consist of songs by both the poets. l

A scene from Roton

Ratan gets censor certificate


Avatar 3D 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 Kalabagan


Duet Art Exhibition By Hashem Khan and Mohammad Iqbal Time: 12pm – 8pm Gallery Twenty One, 751 Satmasjid Road


Munier Chowdhury’s legendary play Kobor TheatrEX Time: 7pm Curzon Hall, Dhaka University

Rajrupa’s solo sarod show today n Entertainment Desk n Hasan Mansoor Chatak American root musical troupe Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards and Bangladeshi folk ensemble Joler Gaan performed at the Bangladesh National Museum Auditorium on February 26 as a part of the American Music Abroad programme. The US Embassy in Dhaka brought the public concert to the city denizen. This was the first performance of the American group in Dhaka and they opened their presentation with a song titled I can hold the wind and the trio then performed from Laura’s recent album Into the Dark including tracks For Catherine, Lay Me Low and Hill to Toe. They laid vibrant pulsing grooves beneath a mixture of original songs, contemporary covers and reworked traditional numbers, delivered in a voice that mingled with shades of blues, gospel, country, blue jazz and dance. The theme of their songs varied from

n Entertainment Desk Ratan, a short film based on Dr Zafar Iqbal’s short story of the same title, has received censor certificate. The 28 minutes film is directed and scripted by N S Bulbul Biswas. The eponymous roles are portrayed by Rasel, Rashed Mamun Opu, Mahmudul Islam Mithu, Raju Khan, Bithi, Munni, Talukder and many others. The plot of the film revolves around the lives of rural people and farmers, the history of their revolution and their awareness about the Liberation War. The story is set in a village named Tatibondho where the Pakistani army killed many people. In the upheaval and frightening period, two freedom fighters find a ten years old boy named Ratan. He describes how his family was brutally killed by the Pakistani army in front of him. Although they lack security themselves, the freedom fighters give shelter to Ratan by letting him tag along with them. In a misfortunate incident, Monju, the leader of the group of freedom fighters in the area is caught by the enemy and Ratan, winning every obstacle rescues him from the grip of an execution. l

Hollywood stars meet Dalai Lama n Entertainment Desk Many stars attended a question and answer event with Dalai Lama on Wednesday afternoon, February 26 at the California Science Center. Held by The Lourdes Foundation, the event was aimed at spreading the message of compassion for world peace. According to E! News, the event took place in the same room as the Space Shuttle Endeavour. There were 40 round tables to accommodate the audience. Celebrities who were present at the event included Sharon Stone, Larry King, Anna Kendrick, Lupita Nyong’o, Amber Heard, Eva Longoria, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Renner, Jim Carrey, Nikki Reed, Joshua Jackson, Malin Akerman, Christina Hendricks, Rosario Dawson, Sandra Oh, Amber Valletta, Joanna Krupa and Lisa Vanderpump. l

Sonam Kapoor set to play politician in dad’s production n Entertainment Desk Last year, Sonam Kapoor had an on-screen brush with politics when she played a political activist in Raanjhanaa. And now, the actor is all set to play a full-fledged politician in her yet-untitled upcoming film, which is an adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s book, Battle For Bittora. In the film, Sonam will be seen playing a “dynamic, good-looking politician,” revealed an insider close to the production team. The film is set against the backdrop of elections. Sonam’s father, Anil Kapoor will be producing the film that will go on the floors around September-October this year. “Anil has already roped in two writers — Parvez Shaikh (Ghanchakkar, 2013) and Jasmeet Rei — to begin work on the screenplay,” the insider added. The book is a love story between two up and coming politicians who, despite being in love, are contesting against each other in the elections. Kapoor is considering three young actors — Imran Khan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sidharth Malhotra — to play the male lead opposite his daughter. Apparently, Sonam is a fan of Anuja’s books, and likes the author’s strong, female characters. l

Richmond, California’s gender based violence to the story of the daydreaming street child. Mariel Vandersteel, another fine and emergent fiddle player of the trio thrilled the attending crowd with an instrumental piece composed by herself. Earlier Joler Gaan, a Bangladeshi popular band who are celebrated among the fans for using various instruments and folk flavored lyrics, caught the audience’s attention with an exclusive opening instrumental. They started with their popular love song Bokul Phul, the band mesmerised the audience with their popular songs Chithi, Ei Pagoler Bhalobasa, Kagojer Nouka and Ektu Boshiya Thako. At the end, both bands from the US and Bangladesh brought an astonishing joint performance with a Joler Gaan song Ghorer Vitor Ghor and a gospel song This Little Light of Mine in the memory of recently deceased American folk music legend Pete Seegar.

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards is an all-female Boston based string group brought together by the love of traditional American music and the myriad of ways it can be expressed in a chamber-folk setting. With their feet solidly grounded in traditional fiddle styles, they reach for the sky with their original compositions, arrangements and interpretations of OldTime, Bluegrass, Country, and Celtic music. The ensemble includes Laura Cortese (fiddle, vocal), Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle, vocal) and Valerie Thompson (cello, vocal). This trio goes from hard-driving tunes to heart-breaking songs of Americana deftly and with the sensitivity of players beyond their years. The American Music Abroad program is designed to communicate America’s rich musical contributions to the global music scene as it fosters cross-cultural communication and people-to-people connection to global audiences. l

Celebrated artiste Rajrupa Chowdhury is all set to enthrall classical music lovers in a solo show this evening at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in Gulshan-1, Dhaka. Born at Kolkata, India Rajrupa Chowdhury took up sarod at the tender age of five at the Ustad Ameer Khan School of Instrumental Music. Chowdhury was

Sojol-Momo in Nokkhotrer Pane Bedonar Pane placed first class first in her Masters in Instrumental Music from the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.. Chowdhury has performed at various concerts and competitions in India and at USA, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. She was the youngest sarod player to perform at the North American Bengali Conference held at New York, USA in 1995. She has been regularly performing in Dhaka for last few years. She performed at the Bengal ITC-SRA Classical Music Festival (2012), Chhayanaut Suddha Sangeet Sammelan (2012), and on several occasions at Bengal Shilpalaya, Bengal Art Lounge and Shadhona. l

n Entertainment Desk Popular duo of the small screen Sojol-Momo will star in tonight’s drama Nokkhotrer Pane Bedonar Pane, which will air today at 8:50pm on ATN Bangla. Directed and written by S A Haque Olik, other members of the cast includes Doli Johur, M A Salam and Abdul Alim. Story of the drama is about a young poet named Mizan who is unemployed. He loves a girl named Shathi from a wealthy family. One day, he goes to an interview for the position of a sub-editor in a newspaper. The whole episode blows up on his face

Mohakal Natya Sampradaya staged its latest production Prometheus, an adaptation from Ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy yesterday. The tragedy is based on the myth of Prometheus, a Titan who defies the gods and gifts humanity with fire, for which he is subjected to eternal punishment. Written by Anan Zaman and directed by Mustafizur Noor Imran, the play was staged for the third time yesterday and was enjoyed by a houseful audience

once the editor realises that Mizan does not read newspapers and insults him by saying that he should establish a business of selling bananas at Kawran Bazaar instead of interviewing for newspapers. Humiliated beyond belief, he sells his mobile phone which was a gift from Shathi and becomes a banana merchant. As a surprising turn of events, he actually succeeds at the endeavour but loses the love of his life in the process. Through the incidents, Mizan comes to realise that life is not about earning money and career. Financial solvency is important for survival, but it is not worth the risk of losing something as precious as love. l

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Did you know? 33 of Virat Kohli’s 73 innings batting second in ODIs have been 50+ scores. He averages 64.3 batting second


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Akmal shadows spirited Afghans

Mushfiq uncertain against Afghans More misery could be added to the side who is already dealing with several criticisms as Bangladesh could be taking the field against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup tomorrow without their captain Mushfiqur Rahim. It will be a huge blow for the Tigers as they are already missing the service of two senior players Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. Shakib, who was banned for three matches due to inappropriate gesture, will be eligible for selection after tomorrows clash while Tamim was rested for the tournament with a neck strain. After a brilliant 117 with the bat against India on Wednesday, the Bangladesh skipper hurt his right shoulder in the 44th over of India’s innings when he dived on the boundary to save a four. He was immediately rushed to the hospital for an x-ray which revealed no damage. However after another scan yesterday the Tigers physio Vibhav Singh did not clearly say if Mushfiq was fit or not, indicating he might be rested. “For now we will continue to assess his (Mushfiq) condition,” said Vibhav. Mushfiq had hurt his finger during the second Test against Sri Lanka last month which kept him out of the T20 series against the same opponents. He however returned to the side in the ODI series but stood away from his job behind the stumps to avoid further damage. It will be a huge blow to the home side as Mushfiq has been in prime form with the bat. Mushfiq, prior to the Asia Cup, had an outburst with the national selectors over the selection row while his appeal of reducing Shakib’s ban was also turned down by BCB president. If Mushfiq is rested keeping the World T20 in mind and with Shakib and Tamim already out, it could only be Mashrafe bin Mortaza to lead the Bangladesh side. l

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal bursts into joy after reaching his second ODI hundred during their Asia Cup match against Afghanistan at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah yesterday MUMIT M

Umar Akmal’s beautifully constructed hundred under nervy situation and an experienced bowling attack enabled Pakistan to pick their first win in the Asia Cup against Afghanistan at Fatullah yesterday. Despite having a nightmare of a start the defending champions eventually beat the Afghans easily by 72 runs. The enthusiastic Afghans, playing in only their third ODI against a Test-playing nation, put Pakistan under severe pressure by reducing them to 117 for six before Akmal took things on his own hand. Afghanistan was denied a brilliant start when umpire Johan Cloete ruled Sharjeel Khan not out with Pakistan only five runs on scorecard. Replays clearly suggested the ball touched his glove before wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad caught him flying down the leg. The Pakistanis rather forced themselves in the trouble as even after a steady 55-run opening stand some hideous shot selection let the spirited Afghans crawl back in the game. All batsmen gifted their wickets trying to force a scoring shot off the Afghans while a diamond duck for in-form Misbah-ul-Haq, who was run out after a poor call from Shoaib Maqsood, only worsened things for Pakistan. However Akmal concentrated on staying in the middle and blasted in the last five overs to take Pakistan to 248 for eight. Afghanistan produced some brilliant fielding throughout the day, but their only mistake of dropping Akmal on 28 came back to bite them. Akmal completed his second consecutive fifty in the 44th over before launching in an assault against the Afghan bowlers as he landed his next fifty runs in just 28 balls. Akmal hit a 96m

six over long-on in the second last ball of the innings to reach his 100. Right-arm fast bowlers Dawlat Zadran and Mirwais Ashraf along with leg-spinner Samiullah Shenwari grabbed two wickets each for Afghanistan. With a score around 250 to defend, Pakistan had to start off in emphatic fashion with the ball, but Afghan openers Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran clobbered six fours in the first four overs to give them a promising start. However, a contradictory decision from umpire Billy Bowden saw Afghanistan lose Shahzad on nine. A rising out-swinger from Umar Gul squared up Shahzad who was beaten playing away from the body but after a huge appeal from the bowler and wicket-keeper Akmal, Bowden raised his finger. This

P15 SCORECARD, PAK v AFG brought number three Asghar Stanikzai who scored 40 runs and was involved with two partnerships. He first added 33 runs for the second wicket with Noor Ali Zardan, who made 44 from 63 balls, before putting on a further 74 runs for the third wicket with Nawroz Mangal. The Afghan batsmen were finding it difficult to get the scorecard moving one the Pakistani spinners came on to bowl. The spin trio of Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez tested them and they were also replying with great patience having lost just two wickets for 136 runs when they went in to the batting powerplay in the 36th over. Afghanistan lost three wickets for 25 runs during the powerplay which effectively ended their hopes of pulling an upset over Pakistan. Afghanistan lost their last seven wickets for just 36 runs as Pakistan bowled them out for 176. Hafeez’s topped the bowling chart for Pakistan with three wickets while Akmal bagged the man of the match award. l

Pakistan amply supported Misbah content, Kabir warns the hosts Most parts of the stands at Fatullah’s Khan Shaheb Stadium in the match between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup yesterday were empty, but that didn’t mean that the Pakistan team were short of supporters. A decent crowd, which increased as the game progressed, were present to support Pakistan, a team that was concerned about “anti-Pakistan” sentiment. They had Pakistani flags in hand and some had it painted on their face and even body. It is of no doubt that there were noises against the nation in Bangladesh after the Pakistan parliament passed a resolution against the execution of a Jamaat-e-Islaami leader, who opposed the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and was treated as a war criminal. The support for Pakistan seen during their first game, against Sri Lanka earlier this week and also in the game yesterday has made part of the society criticize the supporters and to some extent terming them as ‘turncoats’. But as said over and over by many stakeholders of cricket in Bangladesh, the ‘sentiment’ was never above cricket – a game that Bangladesh is known to be crazy for. According to a supporter who was found wrapped with a Pakistan flag around his body, the only issue was en-

joying the cricket. “As a Bangladeshi, I do also have sympathy for those lost lives during our liberation war and hatred for those who turned against our country. But I am crazy cricket fan and alongside supporting my country [Bangladesh], I am also a big fan of Pakistan,” said a 22year old who requested to be unnamed. When queried if his fanatic support to Pakistan makes him face criticism, he was prompt in answering ‘yes’. “Many of my friends tells me that my support is not right but I simply disagree to the fact that they places, issues between two nations should not hamper any sports. If the issues were that big we might not have had the Asia Cup on first place,” he said. While searching for answers, the reporter of this article came across a security personal on duty at KSOS. He was accompanied with her 6-year old daughter who was carrying a Pakistan nation flag. But when the official was queried of his sentiment, he looked annoyed. The images on the television sets from the Asia Cup with a part of Bangladeshis going mad in supporting Pakistan might be annoying to some, but as said by the Asian Cricket Council CEO Ashraful Haque during the pretournament conference – ‘all is fine as long as it is cricket’. l

A number of school going teenagers were seen illustrating Pakistani flags on their faces at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah yesterday MUMIT M

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq thought the win under pressure will energise his team ahead of the crunch game against India while Afghanistan coach and former Pakistani left armfast bowler Kabir Khan warned Bangladesh of a tough challenge. “We lost the first match and bounced back to the winning ways through a tough situation. At one stage I thought the match has gone out of our hand, thanks to Umar Akmal who guided us to the fighting total. However I think that these tough situations will shape us up for the crunch match against India,” said Misbah at the postmatch conference yesterday.

Jahid ruled out of Fifa friendly Mohammedan Sporting Club’s winger Jahid Hossain was ruled out of the Bangladesh squad yesterday for their Fifa friendly against India due to a hamstring injury he picked up during their last league match earlier this month. A total of 27 players attended the second day of the training camp yesterday under the national team’s Dutch head coach Lodewijk de Kruif ahead of the friendly scheduled on March 5 in Goa, India. Kruif will announce his final 20-member squad a day before leaving for India on March 2. Meanwhile, five out of six Mohammedan players, who submitted the answer to their show-cause notice on Wednesday for not attending the camp on the first day, joined the camp except Jahid who was given at least ten days rest to recover from the injury. The national forward suffered the injury in Mohammedan’s last league match against Feni Soccer Club on February 8. Kruif admitted that they will miss the presence of Jahid in India and said, “Jahid has the ability to win a game. He has pace, he can take long-range shots and could provide defence splitting pass. No coach wants to lose such a player.” l

At the same time Kabir Khan expressed their target in the remaining matches of Afghanistan’s first major 50over tournament. “After today’s performance all the other teams would think twice about Afghanistan. We came here with a different cause as other teams may have arrived here to win the trophy, but we have arrived here to win a match that I believe will shape the next ten years of Afghanistan cricket. We want to learn cricket, learn the different technics, our cause is totally different. If we win a single match here the youngsters will come to cricket,” said Kabir. Hameed Hasan, the six feet five inch tall fast bowler, is recovering from injury and Kabir hinted his comeback against Bangladesh. “We have an im-

portant match against Bangladesh and we know where to put him. All the boys are hungry and keen to win a match or two here and they know how important that is for the whole of Afghanistan. We are fighting against the teams with more facilities and more money, we challenged Pakistan all through the match, and the dropped catch of Akmal was the turning point. Otherwise we would have been chasing a target of 180 and it would be attainable,” said Kabir. The Afghan coach also looked beyond Asia Cup and said, “We are in the same group with Bangladesh in the World Cup, so if we want to move ahead we have to beat Bangladesh, that’s our main cause, we have to keep pressure on them and boost our chances,” said Kabir. l

Bulbul’s new experience Former Bangladesh captain and currently Asian Cricket Council’s Development Officer in China, Aminul Islam Bulbul was appointed as the ongoing Asia Cup’s tournament director just two weeks ahead of the start and he took the challenge with the belief that he has a lot of friends in the country. It was learnt that Iftekhar Rahman Mithu was chosen as the manager of the tournament but due some complication he was removed from the responsibility and all of a sudden Bulbul’s name was finalised. “I was in Australia on an assignment, Syed Ashraful Haque was also there, suddenly I got a call that I have been selected as the tournament director of the Asia Cup,” said Bulbul. “It was February 11 and the tournament was scheduled to start on 25, not many people will agree to the proposal but I was confident that I would succeed as it is my country,” he added. As all the venues and the infrastructure are well known to Bulbul he took little time to get set and he praised his team for a job well done. However, among everything he had to experience a funny incident which could have turned embarrassing if not his

team had buckled up at the right time as he came to know that the red light, which is used for giving the signal of “out” by the third umpire, was not working until few minutes before the start of the tournament. “I found the Fatullah stadium in a miserable situation, its normal that it does not hold international matches regularly, but I boosted my team who has done a splendid job. “However I was lost when I found that the third umpire’s light was still out of order rarely ten minutes before the first match. I was thinking of using a torch light, but my team members fixed the problem,” said Bulbul. “The big screen is also out of order as it was not properly maintained, we had set a makeshift screen,” added the country’s maiden Test centurion on Bangladesh’s Test debut. However, Bulbul who works in China said he is not interested in these kind organisational jobs and teaching and preaching cricket remains as his sole concentration. “I am working hard to expand cricket in China, I can speak Mandarin now. I enjoy teaching cricket. Nowadays cricket is a popular sport in Bangladesh. I remember Eddie Barlow said Bangladesh is a gold mine of cricket, I also believe it,” said Bulbul. l



15 Bangladesh lift

U-19 WC Plate Championship

Old foes promise cracking encounter It will be a cracker of a match when Sri Lanka face India today at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, after both teams won their opening matches in the Asia Cup, and both sides will be looking to top the table. Sri Lanka vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal said yesterday that his team was not overly worried about Virat Kohli’s fine form as his side’s bowling attack can unsettle the Indian batting, following the Lankan’s 12-run victory over defending champions Pakistan – in which paceman Lasith Malinga took five wickets. “India are a very good side, especially in last two three years they have been playing good cricket. Virat Kohli is batting exceptionally well. They have some really good players but we got bowlers like Malinga. So we will see tomorrow (today),” said Chandimal. However the 24 year old added that his side is also in good form as they are doing well in all departments of the game. “We are also doing well at the moment. Everyone in both batting and bowling departments are in good form. We are looking forward to a good job.” Kohli smashed a match-winning 136 to set up India’s 280-run chase against Bangladesh on Wednesday and break their eight-ODI winless streak. “We all know, he is a really good batsman. But as I said we have something in our mind and we will see it on Friday. We are keeping our fingers crossed,” said Chandimal. “They played really special. They are good at chasing but we have a good bowling attack. We have something in our sleeves for them tomorrow so we are looking forward to do that.” Malinga’s match winning 5/52 against Pakistan had given them a winning start and Chandimal said they would look to take early wickets to expose the inexperienced Indian middle order without Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “It is crucial for us to get early wickets. With Dhoni not in the middle-order, we might be in a good chance if we can take early wickets. Everyone is fit and looking forward to the match.” Having come in Bangladesh in January for a full series, Sri Lanka would have the advantage of knowing the conditions better, Chandimal noted. “We are here for quite some time, we know the conditions better like when the dew is going to play a role and how the wicket would behave, we have got the advantage.” For India, fast bowler Varum Aaron – who was restricted to bowling 7.5 overs after delivering two beamers in the first match against Bangladesh – will likely be replaced by Ishwar Pandey. l

MOMENTS Catch drop costs too much In the fifth ball of the 37th over of Pakistan’s innings, Samiullah Shenwari dropped Umar Akmal at point. Akmal, batting on 28, swung across the line, trying to exploit the gap at square leg. The leading edge flew in the air for quite a time but Shenwari could not hold it as the ball slipped between his hands. Akmal was lucky and he did not look back and duly accomplished his second ODI ton.

Mangal holds a brilliant catch While Afghanistan were still to move beyond the Shenwari trauma, Nawroz Mangal lifted the Afghan spirit. Mangal ran about 15 yards backward to hold a lofted drive of Anwar Ali at the wide mid off, kept his eyes on the ball and grabbed the ball like he was plucking an apple from a tree.

Sunny moment under lights Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar was walking back to the commentary box after the middle of the innings analysis that is aired from the field. One spectator requested for a snap shot and Gavaskar also known as Sunny agreed. Seeing this, all of the nearby standing spectators rushed to the fence and Gavaskar, in a jolly mood did not deprive his audience and allowed them to take a few snaps.l



Jagielka out of Denmark friendly Everton defender Phil Jagielka has been ruled out of England’s friendly international against Denmark at Wembley next week with a hamstring injury. “Phil has felt his hamstring over the last couple of days and will be missing at the weekend and for England,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said Thursday. “I don’t think it will be a long-term injury, but Phil will be missing for a couple of weeks.” England manager Roy Hodgson was due to name his squad for Wednesday’s match later Thursday. –AFP


Friday, February 28, 2014

Ex-F1 racer Villeneuve back to Indy Former Formula One and IndyCar champion Jacques Villeneuve will attempt a comeback at this year’s Indianapolis 500 at the age of 42, race team co-owners San Schmidt and Ric Peterson said Wednesday. The Canadian driver was the 1994 IndyCar Rookie of the Year and 1995 Indy 500 winner and IndyCar season champion, setting the stage for a successful F1 career that saw him win the 1997 world championship. “I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in several of the world’s top racing series and nothing excites me more than entering the IndyCar Series. –AFP

Mourinho quashes Zanetti rumours Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho quashed reports the Premier League giants had offered Inter Milan icon Javier Zanetti a player-coaching deal. Several media outlets last week cited a report on which said Mourinho, who steered Inter to an historic Champions League, league title and Cup treble in 2010, wanted to bring the veteran defender to the club. In an interview with Italian television Mourinho said: “It’s not true. He’s at Inter and always will be.” Zanetti last week also poured cold water on the report. –AFP

Ancelotti hails ‘perfect’ Real Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed his team’s performance as “perfect” after their 6-1 romp at Schalke 04 in Wednesday’s Champions League’s last 16, first-leg clash. Real are now all but guaranteed a quarter-final place, even with the return leg in Madrid to come on March 18, after Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both scored two goals apiece. Despite the massive advantage, Ancelotti said the Spanish league leaders will be taking nothing for granted for the return leg. “There is a return leg to come and football is strange,” he said. “The advantage is big, but we want to make sure we go through. “We need to have respect for Schalke and our fans, so we will be putting out our best possible side for the return leg. We didn’t think about the curse in Germany, but in doing as much as we could to win the game and take control of the tie as quickly as possible,” added Ancelotti. Ronaldo has now scored 36 goals in 33 games and his brace saw him take over from Ibrahimovic as the competition’s top-scorer this season with 11 goals. l

Real Madrid players celebrate their fourth goal against Schalke 04 during their first-leg round of 16 Uefa Champions League match in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany on Wednesday

Mourinho happy to tame passionate Turks Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was content with a 1-1 draw at an emotional Galatasaray stadium in his team’s Champions League last-16 first-leg match on Wednesday. “This is Turkish football, it’s very emotional, Galatasaray are a big club with big players and it was not easy,” Mourinho told reporters. “The first half we had chances to kill game, I am not criticising our strikers but they had chances to do the second goal, and that would have changed the game. “In the second half they put pres-

sure on us, they had attacking fullbacks and powerful strikers, and they put pressure on us. Fernando Torres and Andre Schurrle were in trouble in the second half, they were a bit exhausted. But we were comfortable, until we conceded at the corner. “The performance of the players in a difficult place to play was amazing,” he said. “I just ask for 10 per cent of what this stadium gave Galatasaray when we play in three weeks. “It’s better to be 1-1 than 0-0, this result is better than the 0-0 we had in the first minute, it’s not a bad result but they are an experienced team with good strikers and we will have work to do.” l

Chelsea held, Real crush Schalke Chelsea became the only English team to secure a positive result from the Champions League last 16 first leg ties with a 1-1 draw away at Galatasaray on Wednesday. In the other game Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho’s former side Real Madrid strolled to a 6-1 win in Germany against Schalke 04. Chelsea, winners of the trophy in 2012, slightly redeemed English Premier League honour by their result in Istanbul and in the process were also the only one of the quartet to even

Greece coach to step down after WC

Galatasaray forward Drogba (L) kicks the ball in front of Chelsea defender John Terry during their UCL round of 16 match at the TT Arena Stadium in Istanbul on Wednesday AFP

Mel gets Baggies’ backing West Bromwich Albion gave a public declaration of support to coach Pepe Mel on Wednesday following recent speculation over the Spaniard’s future with the Premier League club. The Midlands side have still to win their first match since Mel replaced the sacked Steve Clarke and are currently just a point above the relegation zone. And while meetings have bene held at The Hawthorns, Albion indicated Mel would remain in charge until the end of the season. The previous three came against Everton, Liverpool and, Chelsea, but defeats by Aston Villa and Crystal Palace have prevented West Brom climbing further away from the bottom three. l


Fernando Santos will step down as Greece coach after the World Cup finals, the Greek FA said on Thursday. The 59-year-old Portuguese has been in the job since taking over from Otto Rehhagel in 2010. “A short while ago I informed the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) board that Mr. Santos will end his tenure with the national team after our commitments in the World Cup” EPO president Giorgos Sarris said in a statement. “It is obvious that, regardless of his decision, Mr. Santos still enjoys our respect. “The federation will support him until the last day in the job in exactly the same way we have done in the period he has guided us to 12th position in the world and eighth in Europe.” Greece will face Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C in the finals. l

score a goal. Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all lost 2-0, to holders Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Olympiakos respectively. Real’s victory was never in doubt after they went 2-0 up early in the game - their first goal giving them a Champions League record of scoring in 32 successive matches - against a Schalke side that had never conceded more than one goal against Spanish opposition in Gelsenkirchen. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both scored braces with Cristiano Ronaldo marking his return from a three game suspension with a double as well. Mourinho may have been caught unawares by a camera crew deriding

his strikers but one of them Fernando Torres -- making his 300th appearance for an English club -- made no mistake for his ninth goal of the season in the ninth minute.

RESULTS Schalke 04

1 6


1 1

Huntelaar 90

Chedjou 64

Real Madrid

Benzema 13, 57, Bale 21, 69, Ronaldo 52, 89


Torres 9

Aurelien Chedjou gave the hosts a deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute as he shook off John Terry to volley home. Real had the match wrapped up

early on and while Schalke had their chances the visitors showed them what class finishing was all about. Ronaldo’s first was probably the pick of the bunch as he bedazzled Joel Matip with three stepovers before unleashing his shot which whistled into the net. The Ballon d’Or winner’s double took him to the top of the scoring charts for the competition this season with 11. “The team has played a lot of good games and this is one more,” said Ronaldo. “We played well and didn’t allow Schalke to play at their best. We are happy and a step away from the next round. l

'Japan are no World Cup underdogs' Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said Thursday his squad can match Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in their World Cup group, despite their underdog status in the global pecking order. “I am confident we can go head-tohead with any of them if we perform to the best of our abilities,” the Italian tactician said as he announced his squad for a friendly against New Zealand in Tokyo next Wednesday. “About gaps with other teams in the group, I feel there are not so big gaps. I’d rather say there are none.” Zaccheroni called up the usual suspects for the 23-man squad including Keisuke Honda, who has yet to show a spark in AC Milan’s midfield after moving from CSKA Moscow in January, and Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa who has mostly warmed the bench under David Moyes. Inter Milan’s Yuto Nagatomo is expected to play left back

for Japan as usual. But Schalke defender Atsuto Uchida and Nuremberg midfielder Makoto Hasebe were dropped due to injuries. The Blue Samurai, four-time Asian champions, will play Cyprus at home on May 27 in their only other warm-up match before the World Cup months of June and July. Zaccheroni said New Zealand, who failed to qualify for Brazil but impressed at South Africa 2010 with three draws at the group stage, are “ideal opponents” at this point. “They are physically strong and it will be an important game in our preparations.” Japan’s opponents in World Cup Group C are all ranked higher in the FIFA table. Colombia stand fifth against Greece (12), Ivory Coast (23) and Japan (50). Ivory Coast have the potential to become “the eye of the storm”, said Zaccheroni, who took over the Blue

Samurai after they reached the last 16 at South Africa 2010.


Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds) Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo) Defenders: Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata) Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka) Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata) Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan/ITA) Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo) Maya Yoshida (Southampton/ENG) Hiroki Sakai (Hannover/ GER) Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart/GER) Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka) Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) Hajime Hosogai (Hertha Berlin/GER) Keisuke Honda (AC Milan/ ITA) Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United/ENG) Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg/ GER) Manabu Saito (Yokohama Marinos) Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka) Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz/GER) Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka) Masato Kudo (Kashiwa Reysol) Yuya Osako (TSV 1860 Munich/GER) l

Wenger rounds on Arsenal ‘rest’ critics Arsene Wenger said he “didn’t have to justify” his decision to give Arsenal players a two-day break this week as he hit out at the “unbelievable” criticism his move had received. “It’s not necessarily fatigue, I don’t see why that’s suddenly a problem,” Wenger said Thursday. “We have played without a break since December, we don’t have to justify that, it’s unbelievable. “We are in a society where everyone wants to control everything; I don’t understand this at all. “We are entitled to do unusual things. We came out of a heavy schedule. We had two days off, that’s all. “Sometimes it’s not only physical, it’s mental, you’re under pressure all the time, there’s nothing unusual

there,” the Frenchman explained. “Sometimes when you’re under this kind of pressure it’s good to refresh. “My opportunity is just to put the best team out who can win the game, it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team.” Meanwhile Wenger added he expected Mesut Ozil to be fit for Premier League title contenders Arsenal’s match away to Stoke on Saturday. And he backed Ozil to be strong enough mentally to overcome the disappointment of his woeful penalty miss during the Gunners’ 2-0 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich. “He (Ozil) had a difficult game because he missed that penalty, and it was on his mind,” said Wenger. One Arsenal player who has enjoyed rather more European success recently, albeit not with the London club, is Joel

Campbell. On loan to Olympiakos, the forward scored an excellent goal in the Greek side’s 2-0 Champions League win over Manchester United in Piraeus on Tuesday. “He was good (against Manchester United), convincing in going forward, he looks like he has adapted better to the physical side of the European game,” said Wenger. “We knew always that he had the talent to create something special. “He did rely a bit too much on that, but he has now been out at three different clubs, at Lorient, Sevilla, and Betis. “Now he is at Olympiakos and he has learnt the toughness of the European leagues. “I will decide (his future) later, but why not? We bought him to bring him here.” l

Atletico Mineiro's Ronaldinho plays with the ball during their Libertadores Cup match against Colombian Independiente Santa Fe in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Wednesday AFP


SCORECARD, PAK v AFG Pakistan Sharjeel Khan c Noor Ali b Hotak 25 Ahmed Shehzad b Shinwari 50 Mohammad Hafeez b Nabi b Ashraf 10 Maqsood c Stanikzai b Shinwari 13 Misbah-ul Haq run out 0 Umar Akmal not out 102 Shahid Afridi b Dawlat Zadran 6 Anwar Ali c Mangal b Ashraf 21 Umar Gul b Dawlat Zadran 15 Saeed Ajmal not out 1 Extras: (lb2, nb1, w2) 5 Total: (for eight wkts; 50 overs) 248 Fall of wickets 1-55, 2-78, 3-89, 4-89, 5-108, 6-117, 7-177, 8-217 Bowling Shapoor 9-1-42-0 (1w), Dawlat Zadran 10-0-73-2 (1nb), Nabi 8-0-46-0, Hotak 8-1-22-1, Ashraf 8-1-29-2, Shinwari 7-034-2 (1w) Afghanistan Mohammad Shahzad c Akmal b Gul 9 Noor Zadran lbw b Ajmal 44 Asghar Stanikzai c Hafeez b Afridi 40 Nawroz Mangal run out 35 Mohammad Nabi lbw b Gul 15 Najibullah Zadran b Hafeez 1 Samiullah Shinwari b Hafeez 14 Mirwais Ashraf run out 4 Dawlat Zadran b Ajmal 0 Shapoor Zadran c Ajmal b Hafeez 1 Hamza Hotak not out 0 Extras: (b8, w5) 13 Total: (all out, 47.2 overs) 176 Fall of wickets 1-32, 2-65, 3-139, 4-140, 5-151, 6-159, 7-172, 8-172, 9-175 Bowling Gul 9-0-44-2, Ali 4-0-23-0, Junaid 6-116-0, Afridi 10-0-31-1, Ajmal 9-1-25-2 (2w), Hafeez 9.2-0-29-3 (3w) Pakistan won by 72 runs


Mansur new hockey goalkeeping coach Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) brought in Pakistani Olympian coach Mansur Ahmed to take the responsibility of the national team goalkeeping role ahead of Asian Games qualifiers scheduled to begin from March 13 in Dhaka. Mansur will join national team’s Pakistani head coach Naveed Alam who joined last year. Mansur played for Pakistan national team in World Cup and Olympic during his time from 1988 to 2000. After experienced goalkeepers Zahid Hossain and Shakil were banned from national team activities, Mansur’s main job will be to boost the confidence of young fresh goalkeepers in the team. “We had a plan to appoint a specialist coach for the goalkeepers. Besides, Naveed also wants one too. That is why we bring in Mansur,” said BHF general secretary Khwaja Rahmatullah. –Shishir Hoque

VPL 2 starts today The Volunteer Premier League (VPL) organised by Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD) the volunteer wing of JAAGO Foundation starts at the Rayer Bazar Boishakhi ground today. The second edition of VPL will see Alphaq, Action Ninja, Bomb Squad, Red Submarine, Lion Sixer, Banglawash, Thunder (Chittagong), Silent Assassin (Rajshahi) vying  for the title  in the eight over matches. VBD initiated VPL last year, the final of the knockout basis tournament will be held tomorrow. Jaago Foundation is a civil society organisation (CSO) working towards alleviating poverty and illiteracy from Bangladesh. They introduced the first Free-of-Cost International Standard School exclusively for the underprivileged children and operates a number of supporting development projects to ensure their physical and emotional well-being. –Tribune Desk

DAY’S WATCH Channel 9 & Star Sports 1 2:00PM Arise Asia Cup India v Sri Lanka


Majid ton leads Dhaka Metro in NCL Dhaka Division rode on their opening batsman Abdul Majid’s brilliant ton as the table toppers posted a respectable 375 runs for nine wickets after the 1st day of the fourth round of Walton National Cricket League yesterday. In Rajshahi, Forhad Reza’s 4-wicket haul allowed the hosts to bowl out Khulna for 274 while Barisal were bowled out for 224 against Sylhet at home. Meanwhile in Rangpur, the home side showed great patience to score 172/6 with a run rate of 1.91.

Dhaka Division v Dhaka Metro

Openers Abdul Majid and Rony Talukdar gave Dhaka Division a bright start after Dhaka Metro opted to field first at

the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra. After Rony was dismissed for 46, Majid continued to steer the innings as he scored 142, with 24 boundaries. He also made a 123-run seventh wicket partnership with Sharif, who contributed a rapid 79 off 72 balls. Azim took three wickets while Saykat Ali and Elias Sunny picked up two each for Metro.

Khulna v Rajshahi

At the Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi, Khulna lost five wickets for only 71 runs, then wicketkeeper batsman Mithun Ali and Nizamuddin Ripon built a 89-run stand for the sixth wicket to save the visitors from any further blows. After Mithun got out on 61, Ripon, scoring 83 off 172 deliveries, shared another brilliant 87-run partnership with Nahidul Islam (58). Forhad Reza grabbed four wickets, giv-

Tamim to be treated in Mount Elizabeth Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal will be treated by an Indian neuro-surgeon in Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital today, it was learnt. According to the sources in Singapore, the lefthanded opener’s appointment with Dr. Prem Kumar Pillay was confirmed yesterday. The 25-year-old had suffered a neck strain after the second Test against Sri Lanka earlier this month and missed the three-match ODI series before been left-out of the Bangladesh squad in the on-going Asia Cup. “Tamim Iqbal’s appointment with Dr. Pillay got confirmed today (yesterday) and accordingly, he will be examined by Dr. Prem Kumar Pillay on March 3 at 11:45am,” the source at the hospital said over telephone from Singapore. 

Living in Singapore for many years, Dr. Prem Kumar Pillay has been running a Brain Spine Nerve Centre in Mount Elizabeth Hospital. He spent many years working for the Cleveland Clinic, a top hospital in the United States, and won many awards for his neuro research works.l

Arrest warrant issued for Umar Akmal A court in Lahore found Pakistan wicketkeeper Umar Akmal guilty for failing to attend a hearing for allegedly getting into a scuffle with a traffic cop and subsequently issued a warrant. On February 1, Akmal was accused of flouting traffic rules, interfering in government work and confronting a traffic official and had ordered Akmal to appear before the bench on March 11, Express News reported. He was detained by the Gulberg Circle Police station for a few hours, dur-

ing which even older sibling Kamran was denied entry in the police station. Akmal was released on a personal surety bond of Rs 100, 000 and was granted bail a day after he was arrested. An FIR was registered against the talented yet erratic batsman under Sections 279 (rash driving), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault to deter public servant). Akmal is currently in Bangladesh, representing his country for Asia Cup 2014 and played in Pakistan’s opening day defeat to Sri Lanka by 12 runs. l

Two teams in dire need of rehabilitation ahead of the next global cricketing contest start what should be an intriguing fortnight of competition on Friday when the West Indies host England in Antigua. While the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is still just under a year away, the Caribbean side’s defence of the World T20 crown begins in three weeks’ time in Bangladesh. So it will be no surprise if there is even greater interest and purpose attached to the three T20 fixtures between Dwayne Bravo’s men and Stuart Broad’s side in Barbados the week following the final ODI. However, in the almost immediate

Sony Six

Sylhet v Barisal

At the Barisal Divisional Stadium, the home side decided to bat first after winning the toss but the only one of their batsman to reach 50 was Salman Hossain as the side was bowled out for 224. Nabil Samad bagged three wickets while Alok Kapali and Abu Jayed took two each for Sylhet.

Chittagong v Rangpur

Rangpur were slow and steady to put up only 172/6 in 90 overs at the newly constructed Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox’s Bazaar. Sohrawardi Shuvo was the highest scorer with 54 runs with opener Ahmadul Kabir and Tarik Ahmed adding 33 and 36 respectively. Younus took three for Chittagong. l

Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent has pleaded guilty to not reporting an approach by a bookmaker while playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) last year. The 35-year-old Vincent is one of three former New Zealand cricketers under investigation by the ICC for alleged match-fixing. Vincent, who retired from all cricket last year, had failed to report the approach to the ICC while playing for the Khulna Royal Bengals in the domestic T20 competition in January last year. “I confirm I rejected this approach at the time,” Vincent said in a statement carried by New Zealand media on Thursday. There is no allegation or suggestion anything untoward occurred beyond the approach itself. “I also express I have no involvement in any of the matches, or matters, involving the other parties, which were the subject of recent hearings and investigation in Bangladesh.

Star Sports 4 1:30AM Athletic Bilbao v Granada Ten Cricket 7:30PM West Indies v England 1st ODI Ten Action

Officials of Wari Club and Shah Jalal Islami Bank Ltd attend a press conference yesterday

“Unfortunately, I am unable to comment any further on this matter, as it is subject to an ongoing judicial process. “I am also continuing to co-operate with the ICC in respect of other inquiries, they are making, which also restricts my ability to comment any further.” The two other New Zealand cricketers being investigated have been named by local media but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has declined to confirm their identities. The three have been probed as part of a wider investigation into alleged matchfixing in the BPL. An anti-corruption tribunal found the managing director of BPL champions Dhaka Gladiators, Shihab Jishan Chowdury, guilty of a charge for being “a party to an effort to fix a match against Chittagong”. The tribunal dropped charges against six other Dhaka players and officials, including Kent cricketer Darren Stevens, who was found not guilty of a charge of failing to report an illegal approach by a bookmaker. l

Bangladesh lift U-19 WC Plate Bangladesh Under-19 lifted the Plate title of the Under-19 World Cup for the fourth time after beating New Zealand Under-19 by 77 runs in the Plates final at Abu Dhabi yesterday. Bangladesh batted first and made a modest 223 in 47 overs. In reply it was Mosaddek Hossain’s four-wicket haul and tight bowling from the winners that tied New Zealand to 146 for nine in 50 overs. The young Tigers rode on fifties from Shadman Islam and Liton Das as the pair added 124 runs for the second wicket to set a platform for a big total. Liton, the dominant of the two, struck 10 fours and a six in his 75-ball 79 while Shadman was the unlucky one to register his second hundred in the tournament. Shadman got out on 97 from 113 balls which included 13 boundaries. In the meantime, Liton’s dismissal triggered a collapse as the Bangladesh side

BRIEF SCORE Bangladesh U-19s 223 (47 ov) Shadman 97, Litton 79, Randell 2/22 New Zealand U-19s 146/9 (50.0 ov) Randell 51, Mosaddek 4/23 Bangladesh Under-19s won by 77 runs slipped from 145 for two to 223 all out. New Zealand never looked comfortable in their run chase against the Bangladeshi spinners after losing their first wicket on 26. The Bangladesh bowlers did not allow the New Zealand batsmen to score freely, with their first three bowlers conceding 73 runs in 21 overs together. The batting side lost wickets in regular intervals as Mosaddek caused the most damage having claimed four wickets for just 23 runs in his 10-over quota that also had four maidens. l

Bangladesh U-19 spinner Mosaddek Hossain celebrates a wicket with his teammate during their U-19 World Cup Plate final against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi yesterday COURTESY

lasted all of nine deliveries before it was abandoned due to a poorly-prepared outfield covered with more sand than any of the island’s idyllic beaches. Then, Kevin Pietersen had just been replaced as captain by Andrew Strauss. Now, he is out of the picture altogether, the general perception being that for all his abundant batting talent, he is too much of a maverick to be accommodated at a time when all hands are needed on deck and working together for the good of the team. West Indies have no intention of parting ways with their own mercurial batsmen as yet. Still, Chris Gayle will not be in the line-up for the three ODI’s due to a back injury sustained in the first of

two T20’s against Ireland the previous week in his native Jamaica. It is hoped he will be fit for the T20s against the English, but the same cannot be said for power-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard who misses this series and the World T20 as he continues his recuperation from knee surgery. In sharing the honours with the Irish in two scrappy, low-scoring matches and then taking the lone one-dayer by four wickets at Sabina Park, the home side presented little in the way of significant improvement. And that suggests that England, for all their travails in Australia where they lost 12 of 13 international matches, may actually start the series as marginal favourites. l

Shahjalal Bank boosts Wari

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1:30AM French Ligue 1 Evian Thonon v Nantes

ing away only 40 runs while Sanjamul Islam took three.

Lou Vincent admits bookie approach

WIndies, England face-off in search of revival aftermath of horrendous foreign campaigns, victories for either side in any format and against any opposition will be welcome. England’s annihilation in Australia over all three established formats of the game grabbed most international attention, but the West Indies also endured humiliating Test series defeats in India and New Zealand, despite performing more creditably in the one-dayers. Both squads are without key performers going into the opening exchanges at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, named in honour of the tiny nation’s greatest cricketer. On England’s last visit to the Caribbean in 2009, the scheduled second Test in the same North Sound venue


Friday, February 28, 2014

Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd stepped ahead to sponsor the football team of Wari Club in the Bangladesh Championship League yesterday. It was a noble gesture from the bank as they decided to assist the second tier club of the professional league in the country. The bank initially handed over a cheque of Tk160000 to the club and assured more in course of time. It would be mentionable that Wari Club is the oldest football club in the country and has been playing in the local football leagues since 1901.

Shamsuddoha Shimu, the vicepresident and the head of the public relations of SIBL, said they came forward to help the club as it grooms players. “Instead of tagging with the big names we thought it would be better to get involved with Wari Club who have a tradition and producing good players. We hope Wari will revive its glory,” said Shimu. Wari Club general secretary Shahiduzzaman, joint secretary Mohidur Rahman Meraj and BFF general secretary Abu Naeem Shohag were also present on the occasion. l

Siddikur hits another 67, jumps to 2nd Bangladesh golfing ace Siddikur Rahman posted a consecutive five-under 67 on the second day to join the second spot with a two-day total of ten-under 134 in the season-opening SAIL-SBI Open in Delhi yesterday. However, overnight leader Rashid Khan of India shot a three-under-par 69 to make his two-day total of fourteen-under 130, keeping him ahead of Siddikur, Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka (68) and Australia’s Unho Park (65) in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event. Siddikur, who qualified to represent Team Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM against Europe in Malaysia next month, carded five birdies alongside a bogey to give himself another chance of winning at the fabled Delhi venue following his triumph at the Hero Indian Open in November. “Another five under today, I’m happy. It’s good, that’s my target every day. I’m especially happy with my putting as I struggled a bit yesterday,” said Siddikur, the lone Bangladeshi winner on the region’s premier Tour. “I just want to follow what I’ve done in the first two days. If I can continue doing that, I think I can win. During the off season, I did my fitness with my local trainer and also did my yoga. I’m very serious on that. It’s given me more flexibility and mobility. When I wake up, I don’t feel tightness in my body which is good,” he added. l



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Friday, February 28, 2014

For the first time since 1996 the leader of the opposition yesterday attended the meeting of the business advisory committee considered to be the highest legislative body that determines the businesses of the House. Raushan Ershad, the leader of the opposition, attended the first meeting of the business advisory committee which decided to run the first meeting of the 10th parliament up to April 3. Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury presided over the meeting in the cabinet committee room at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Deputy Leader of the house Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Chief Whip ASM Feroz, Law Minister Anisul Haque and Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal are the members of the 15-member committee. Since the 7th parliament was formed in 1996 none, who led the opposition in parliament, had attended the meeting of the business advisory committee. Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia swapped the posts of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition up to the ninth parliament that ended in January 2014. Apparently owing to bitter relation between the two leaders, Khaleda Zia did not attend any of the 23 meetings of the committee. She used to send MK Anwar as her representative to the meeting. In the 8th parliament (2001-06) then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina skipped all 23 meetings of the business advisory committee, according to the records of the parliament secretariat. She too sometimes sent her representatives to the meeting. Khaleda Zia avoided all 19 meetings of the committee of the 9th parliament. She hardly sent her representatives to the committee meetings. “At least, we got the opposition leader at the business advisory committee,” the prime minister told the committee. The meeting decided that the House would have 45 hours of discussion on the president’s parliamentary address. l

The government is likely to confiscate the site of Rana Plaza in Savar, ten months after the eight-storied building collapsed claiming lives of over a thousand garment workers. Dhaka District Deputy Commissioner Shaikh Yusuf Harun said a committee, which has been leading the coordination works of Rana Plaza will soon implement the decision. “Earlier, there was a plan to confiscate the site as Khas land. But the decision has remained pending due to the compensation issues of the victim’s families,” said Harun while talking to the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.

Fires, looting still occur frequently “Now, it seems frustration of the victim’s families have come down as many of them received their compensation. We have already published advertisements in the newspaper regarding confiscation and we have not received any objection in this regard. Therefore, we will soon go forward with our decision,” he added. Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories, claimed 1,135 lives when it collapsed in April 24, 2013. Some 2,438 people survived, while hundreds still remain missing. After the collapse, a mass rescue operation, led by the Bangladesh Army, formally concluded its activities on May 13, 2013, and the site was handed over to the district administration on the same day for maintenance. However, locals have said the place was left unguarded as the government showed very little interest to protect the site. They also said three fire incidents also took place at the site after being handed over to the administration. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, locals complained that even though the authorities have created a boundary in the area using corrugated tin sheets and wires, street children and drug addicts had cut open a part of the boundary and frequently loot valuables from the site. “Street children regularly take valu-

ables from the wreck. There are clothes, iron rods and other valuables there,” said Fazal Bepari, a resident of the area. He also said the site must be put under police guard and there should be a secondary search in the area since many of the Rana Plaza workers were still missing. Hasem Ali, who lives near the site said: “Sometimes, commoners and duty policemen throw cigarettes butts inside the site, which can cause a serious fire.” During a visit to the spot, it was found that the place was filled with pieces of fabrics, bobbin, rod and cement. No members from local police were seen guarding the area; rather the correspondent found some street children collecting iron rod from the debris. “We often sell the iron rods found at the site,” said Sohel, a street child. Rana Plaza worker Emdadul Haque, who claimed that street children have recovered skulls and bones from the site several times, said: “Due to the negligence of the authority, many of the valuables and evidences of the collapse are being lost.” Sources at the local fire service office have also confirmed that fire had erupted at the site three times and admitted that the site had been often left without security. “Street children and addicted people enter the site to collect things. Sometimes, they use fire to separate iron roads from the debris. The place is full of many combustible substances,” Station Officer of Savar Fire Station Anwar Hossain said. He also added that the site is vulnerable to such risks and suggested that the entire site should be announced restricted. Department of Disaster Management Director General Mohammad Abdul Wazed said the district administration was the sole authority to protect the site and they must be sincere about their responsibilities. When asked, the Dhaka DC, however, said his department had ordered the local police to secure the area. “We ordered the police to deploy forces to protect the site until further orders. If police violate this order, it is their negligence,” he said. l


Govt to confiscate Rana Plaza site

Finally business advisory committee gets opposition leader Samiul Basher Anik and n Kamran Reza Chowdhury n Syed Adil Sakhawat

Justice sought for Humayun Azad 122

new books published AMAR EKUSHEY BOOK FAIR 2014

n Ahmed Zayeef Thousands of visitors at both the venues of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair demanded punishment for the attackers of eminent writer Humayun Azad. In 2004, on this very day, the freethinker was brutally attacked by a fundamentalist group near the Bangla Academy inside the Dhaka University campus. Recalling the vicious attack that led to his death a few months later, the litterateurs and book lovers also pledged to build a non-communal nation. Demanding punishment for the attackers, the Writer, Reader and Publisher’s Forum arranged a human chain in front of Burdwan House, the main office of the Bangla Academy. Osman Gani, proprietor of Agami Prokashani, said: “Humayun Azad was attacked just a while after he left the stall

of Agami Prokashoni. The attack is a part of a conspiracy by the local and international fundamentalist forces.” Mouli Azad, daughter of the late writer, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I have been waiting for justice for ten long years now. Since the pro-liberation war party is in power, I hope prompt action would be taken.” “The attack on Humayun Azad was an attack on the culture, literature and freethinking,” said Maruf Rosul, one of the key organisers of the Gonojagoron Moncho. He criticised Bangla Academy for not holding any special programme to mark the day. Poets Mohon Raihan, Ayat Ali Patwari, Aminur Rahman Sultan, journalist Anjon Roy, and folk singer Fokir Alamgir attended the human chain. The organisers called upon all the visitors, both inside Suhrawardy Udyan and the Bangla Academy, to raise their hands from their respective positions to express solidarity with the demand. In the evening Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s book “Bangladesh Niye” was unveiled at Nazrul Moncho on the Bangla Academy premises. Published from Amar Prokashoni, the book is a collection of posts made by the politician on social networking site

Facebook. Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu and Daily Samakal’s Editor Golam Sarwar unveiled the book in presence of Managing Director of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha Abul Kalam Azad. Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, special assistant to the Prime Minister, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Junaid Ahmed Polok also attended the launching ceremony. A total of 122 new books were published yesterday, the second last day of the fair, including Syed Anwar Hussain’s “Robindranather Itihash Chetona” from Murdhonno Prokashoni, Lutfur Rahman Riton’s “Tukro Smritir Marble Gulo” from Bangla Prokash. A discussion titled “Muktijudhher Adorsher Nobojagriti O Torun Projonmo” was held at the central stage where Dr Sonia Nishat Amin presented the keynote paper. Presided over by Professor Muntasir Mamun, the programme was attended by, among others, Shahriar Kabir, and Nasiruddin Yousuf Bachchu. Yesterday the fair witnessed a huge crowd as the month-long festival comes to an end today. l

Even though the Saat Rasta intersection in Tejgaon is one of the busiest roads in the capital transport vehicles are seen parked on the roadside, blocking a section of the traffic flow. The photo was taken yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Al Jazeera for global push to free staff n Tribune Desk Highlighting the need for press freedom, journalists in 40 locations around the world staged vigils yesterday to express solidarity with the four Al Jazeera staff jailed in Egypt. All staff of the Doha-based broadcaster also gathered in the newsroom for a silent protest. The day of action began in Sydney, where a mixture of journalists, human rights activists and supporters of media freedom came together to call for the release of Peter Greste, an Australian citizen, and his three colleagues. Greste, meanwhile, was elected chairman of Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa in absentia. In the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman, the face of the Yemeni uprising of 2011, joined journalists and rights activists to demand the their release. Martyr’s Square in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, saw a big turnout of journalists and friends of the media,

holding banners and posters saying, “Journalism is not a crime”. Public events also took place in Manila, Islamabad, Amman, Nairobi, Ankara, Berlin, London, Rio, Montreal, Washington DC, Kabul and San Francisco. “Al Jazeera hopes through the attention of the world’s media and partners, pressure can be brought to bear on the Egyptian authorities to hasten the release of Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Abdullah Al Shamy by reminding them in a united voice that journalism is not a crime,” the media network said in a statement on Wednesday. Al Jazeera English correspondent Greste, an award-winning journalist, Egypt bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, and producer Baher Mohamed were arrested from a hotel on December 29, and accused of spreading false news and belonging to a “terrorist group”. They appeared in court for the first time on February 21, but their trial was then adjourned to March 5.

Abdullah Al Shamy from Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel has been detained for more than six months without any charges and has been on a hunger strike since January 23. Al Jazeera has rejected the charges against its staff. Mostefa Souag, the acting general director of Al Jazeera Media Network, said: “We truly appreciate the solidarity from everybody right around the world. The pressure, support and calls for our colleagues to be released have continued to keep the story in the news. “The global day of action is about the freedom of the press, it is about objective reporting and to ensure journalists cannot be gagged or silenced,” he added. Freedom of speech in Egypt has been the focus of mounting global concern since the government adopted a hardline approach towards journalists. The country was ranked the third deadliest destination for journalists last year by the Committee to Protect Journalists. 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:

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B3 Facebook says makes

progress targeting users

B4 Banking on technology FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014

Individual buyers State banks asked to recapitalise them from stock market will not inspect RMG factory

Appointed local engineering firms will do it for them: BGMEA President n Tribune Report Individual buyers, who are signatories of the Alliance for Bangladesh workers’ safety, will no more inspect apparel factories in Bangladesh they source from. Instead, the job will be performed by local engineering firms the Alliance had hired earlier. The decision emerged from a meeting between Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporter Association (BGMEA) and the executives of the Alliance in Dhaka yesterday.

'These firms will continue to inspect the factories solely … none of the brands will directly inspect the factories individually'

The Alliance of North American retailers had appointed seven local engineering firms to inspect apparel factories. These are Shahidullah Associates, Bureau Veritas, Uttaran, MK, BD Technology and EIMS. “These firms will continue to inspect the factories solely … none of the brands will directly inspect the factories individually,” BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told reporters, following the meeting on building, fire and electrical safety assessment of RMG factories. The engineering firms have so far in-

spected over 222 factories from around 800 factories selected for inspection. They would now inspect the remaining factories. The alliance said the factories already inspected would not be inspected again, which is good news for the sector, he added. RMG factories, which already installed fire doors, alarm and others safety equipment, would not need to install further as they have already showed good intension. The remaining ones, however, will have to install certified products, said Atiq, quoting Alliance executives. He said the Alliance had recommended factory owners of shared buildings for relocation, but now they would get time to do this. As per the Alliance inspection standard, a factory having more than 22,000 square feet per floor will have to install sprinkler while factories with over 23-metre high also have to install sprinkler. “We will install sprinkler, but it would take time,” Atiq said, replying to a question. “They (Alliance) would give the time.” The US retailers took the initiative of factory inspection to ensure workers safety following the Rana Plaza collapse in April last year, which killed more than 1,100 workers, putting pressure on the manufacturers to address fire and building safety. As a part of their initiatives, the alliance has set a five-year project to inspect RMG factories in Bangladesh, from which they source clothes, to improve safety standards. Under the project, the Alliance had started inspection under a common safety standards on fire, building and electrical safety. l

n Tribune Report

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday advised banks to meet their capital shortfall by raising fund from the stock market as “it has been stable for last three years.” “There is almost no chance of market crash to its worst level,” he told the annual business conference of Bangladesh Development Bank Limited in Dhaka. The minister’s advice emerged amid BDBL’s demand for strengthening its capital base from the national exchequer. He instructed the bank to submit a proposal within next six to nine months on how they would like to raise fund from the market. The state-owned banks have long been suffering from capital shortage, particularly after the credit scams of Hall-Mark Group and others. For recapitalisation, they are seeking fund from the government. “We’ve made the market strong through formulating rules and

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal (Lotus Kamal) yesterday said the next five years would belong to Bangladesh and its people, projecting that the country would eliminate poverty by 2030 achieving a per capita income of US$2,100. “Next five years will belong to Bangladesh, belong to you. We will be successful,” he said at a views exchange on development works and future plans of the present government in Dhaka yesterday. The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) organised the meeting at its conference room. In response to businessmen’s allegation high interest rate, he advised them to borrow from foreign sources at lower rates like 5-6%. The minister said the private sector would work to take the country towards economic growth while the government would ensure a business-friendly environment.

In response to businessmen’s demand for establishing good governance and transparency in the government system, he argued the government cannot achieve it alone. “Everyone should change themselves and help establish good governance.” He said the government had put LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal on the fast-track for implementation. FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed presided over the function attended, among others, by Planning Commission Member Hedayat Ullah Al Mamun and Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam. Kazi Akram urged the government to formulate business-friendly plans as “the contribution of business is 6070% to the economy of Bangladesh.” He said the success of business is the success of the government. “Make plans to build a developed country in next 50 years.” He described the present political business environment as “peaceful and calm” and hoped the situation would continue to prevail.

Monowara Hakim Ali, first vice president of FBCCI, called for setting up Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar rail lines to promote tourism. “Tourism will flourish if rail lines to sea-beach town are introduced.” A good number of business leaders were present at the function. They demanded development of infrastructure including the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway to help business grow exponentially. If the Dhaka-Chittagong economic corridor as planned by the Asian Development Bank was implemented, they said the country’s economy would have grown at a rate more than 8%. According to the business leaders, to achieve double digit GDP growth, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector need to be made stronger. Some expressed frustration over the high interest rate of bank loans, which they said was hindering the expansion of business. “How can we do business with 22% interest rate on bank borrowing?” questioned a businessman. l

Making a new record of visitors, the 19th Mobile World Congress concluded in the Spanish city of Barcelona yesterday. The four-day telecom trade show began on Monday, which saw over 80,000 visitors against 72,000 last year. The GSM mobile operators now plan to draw 1bn customer s by 2020. GSMA director general Anne Bouverot and Telenor Group president Jon Fredrick Baksaas also shared their plans in different forums.

Telenor has the lion’s share in Bangladesh’s largest mobile operator Grameenphone. The organisers described the even as most successful so far, where a huge number of new technological innovations were demonstrated along with the signing of lots of business deals and holding of policy dialogue. The mobile operators, vendors and the over-the-top (OTT) content operators like Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp tried to find out some solutions and new business models. Vivek Sood, CEO of Grameenphone,

said this would be a great achievement for both the parties that “everybody feel to find out a solution.” “Two years back there was conflict between the mobile operators and the OTT operators, but this time I found some new way forward by both the parties,” Vivek Sood told the Dhaka Tribune sitting in the Telenor pavilion. He said the revenue could be shared by both the OTT and mobile phone operators, “and we can find out some solution about it.” But earlier the top leaders of the mobile operators expressed their concerns over


BCS ICT fair kicks off n Tribune Report

A 10-day first-ever mobile and computer fair titled “BCS ICT World” kicked off for the enthusiastic tech savvy yesterday at the Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka.

The country needs more initiatives for organising such ICT-related fairs where both computers and mobile phones can be sold side by side

Being chief guest, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith formally inaugurated the fair at an opening ceremony held the park. The largest computer and mobile fair, which will continue till March 8, will remain open from 10am to 10pm for the visitors. Entry fee for the visitors is fixed at Tk20 each, but students with ID cards would have free access to the fair. Inaugurating the fair, the finance minister noted that the fair would be

GSM operators plan 1bn customers by 2020 Zahidul Islam n Muhammad from Barcelona, Spain

“However, BDBLperformed better than what others did – there is no chance we can say others performed well.” He said the great success of the bank was deposit collection that stood at Tk2,003crore in 2013 from only Tk142 crore in 2010.The bank disbursed loans of Tk1,545 crore last year. Aslam said the weaker side of the bank is the status of classified loan that stood at Tk420 crore– one third of the bank’s total loan portfolio. “Banks have to minimise the classified loans andthe board of directors should give special attention to reduce it.” The bank should also pay attention to its profit as the operating profit stood at Tk225 crore, but the net profit came down to Tk100 crore in 2013, he said, adding the provision requirement was Tk298 crore. If the bank had maintained therequired provision at previous rate, secretary said, the profit would have been negative. l

Finance Minister AMA Muhith speaks at the inaugural function of the BCS ICT World fair in Dhaka yesterday

Lotus Kamal: Next 5 years belong to Bangladesh n Tribune Report

regulations after the debacle in late 2010. As a result,the market remains stable for last three years and is capable now to supply enough fund,”said the minister. The market has remained stable after crashing to its bottom level in 2011 and since then the sluggish trend continued before taking a little uptrend after the January 5 parliamentary election. “The market index is now witnessing ups and downs within a certain boundary. There is no more chance of further disaster,” he said. He said the demutualisation process of the capital market has already started and will complete in next one year. With BDBL chairman Shanti Narayan Ghosh in the chair, the meetingwas also addressed, among others, by State Minister for Finance MA Mannan and Banking and Financial Institutions Division Secretary AslamAlam. Aslam said most of the state-owned banks’ financial condition is very poor.

the OTT operators. Some said it would create “enormous threat” for them. Mark Zuckerberg, the father of the Facebook, was the star of the mobile world congress on the very first day of the trade show. Zuckerberg said he had a plan to deliver internet access to 5bn people across the world within a short time. Before the announcement of the plan, Facebook bought WhatsApp at $19bn becoming talk of the even. GSM Association claimed on Wednesday evening that the total participation crossed 80,000, making a new record. l

ended up after 10 days but the technology loving people would remember it for quite a long time. He added: The country needs more initiatives for organising such ICT-related fairs where both computers and mobile phones can be sold side by side. Addressing as special guest, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for posts, telecommunication and ICT, urged the government for extending further support to the ICT sector, so the people from all walks of life can easily get the modern technology at an affordable price. A total of 150 organisations gave gathered under a roof with a space of 2.5 lakh square feet for attracting the tech lovers to enjoy the fair, said Mustafa Jabbar, President of Bangladesh Computer Samity. Apart from the latest technologies, the fair will have entertaining segments - quiz contests, virtual sports, magic performances and few other competitions for the visitors. Speaking at the programme, Jamuna Group Chairman Nurul Islam Babul talked about prospect of the ICT industry, which will contribute in turning Bangladesh into a middle income country as it has already been able to allure more investors in the recent times, creating more fresh jobs. l

Muhith finally finds job for his deputy n Asif Showkat Kallol After 43 days of taking oath, state minister MA Mannan, who has virtually passed an idle days at his office without any work since the installation of the new government on 12 January, 2014, has finally got his job to work. Although MA Mannan was given the portfolio of the state minister of the ministry of finance, which has been single handling by the finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith for the last seven consecutive years, he has been deprived of performing any duties and responsibilities for the at least 43 days. Finally, finance minister on 26 February signed a letter, stating the duties and responsibilities of his deputy to back him to work. “Finance ministry has finally identified the areas of work and responsibilities for the state minister for finance. His main jobs include looking after the activities of the Economic Relation Division (ERD), getting preparation for the enactment of necessary laws and also involving in the ongoing reform activities of the ministries and division,” said an official. Another senior official of the finance division said, “The finance minister himself distributed the routine work the state minister two days ago.’’ According to finance ministry officials, Finance Minister AMA Muhith sent a letter to four secretaries of the finance division and the ERD on February 26, distributing the job responsibilities of the MA Mannan. The four secretaries are – finance division, ERD, internal resources division and chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bank and Financial Institutions Division. “Obey the activities of the finance minister and the then the state minister will take complete responsible other matters of the ERD,’’ reads the letter. The letter also directed the state minister to take initiative to enact law, amendment of law and cancel of the law, state minister of the finance will also give consent about the new law, said the letter. State minister will involve all types of reform activities of ministry and divisions, letter said. Finance minister’s letter also revealed that the state minister would give decision on the ministry staffs, foreign tours, trainings and his deputy will take care the staffs leave related matters. l

Muhith: No plan to cut agri credit rate n Tribune Report The government has no plan right now to cut interest rate on agriculture credit, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said in parliament yesterday. “Right now, there is no plan to reduce the interest rate on agriculture credit,” he said, in response to a starred question of Golam Dastagir Gazi (Narayanganj-1). The minister said the interest rate is 10% to 13% at present, which is cheaper than loans to other sectors. Replying to a question of Enamul Haque (Rajshahi-4), he said total operating profits (unaudited) of the top ten banks stood at about Tk9,768 crore in 2013. Of the 10 banks, Standard Charted Bank’s operating profit stood at Tk1,548.6 crore, followed by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Tk 1,456.6 crore.





Stocks end flat with choppy trading

DSE key features February 27, 2014

Traded Issues


n Tribune Report

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


6,465.43 101,048,999

Number of Contract

performed well. Singer Bangladesh’s healthy dividend declaration attracted investors, making it top gainer and also turnover leader. Its stock prices soared more than 13% with shares worth over Tk37 crore changing hands. Lanka Bangla Securities said after moving to the upside in the morning session, stocks gave back some ground in the afternoon and close slightly lower today. “The choppy trading extended as market became rate sensitive.” IDLC Investment said: “Market remained volatile, with more than 50 scrips showing more than 3% movements. Corporate declarations made some strong ripples across the bourse.” Zenith Investment said after moving in a zigzag trend with some gains and losses throughout the day, the market slowly drifted lower during the end. However, the turnover volume was quite high contrary to last day, as investor interest was mainly alive in blue chip stocks and the new index, it said. After Singer BD, other turnover leaders included Olympic Industries, Square Pharmaceuticals, Confidence Cement, Apex Footwear, Delta Life Insurance, Grameenphone and BATBC. l

Stocks ended flat amid choppy trading yesterday with significant increase of trading activities. The market swung between positive and negative throughout the session as investors played both sides of the fence, leading turnover to cross Tk600 crore after two weeks. The benchmark DSEX index witnessed factional loss of 0.4 points to 4,749, after marginal fall in the previous session. However, Shariah DSES index rose 9 point or 1% to 1,002.The blue-chip comprising DS30 index ended at 1,693 with a gain of 5 point or 0.4%. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, was down 41 points to close at 9,287. Participation in trading improved remarkably with the DSE turnover hitting at Tk646 crore, which is more than 63% higher over the previous session. All the major sectors ended in green except banks and power. Food and allied posted the highest gain of 3.51%, driven by heavyweight BATBC that rallied 4.7% as the multinational company declared impressive dividends for the last year. Pharmaceuticals, tannery, engineering and telecommunications


Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


CSE key features February 27, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)


Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract

Daily capital market highlights


Traded Issues


DSE Broad Index :


(-) 0.01%


DSE Shariah Index :


+) 0.99%

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


DSE - 30 Index :


(+) 0.31%

Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)

CSE All Share Index:


(-) 0.37%

CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS Company Prime Insur -A Pubali Bank - A H.R. Textile -A ICB AMCL IslamicMF-A One Bank -A Imam Button -Z City Bank - A B I F C -A Mercantile Bank -A

Kay & Que (BD) -Z

Closing (% change) -14.91 -6.72 -4.50 -3.56 -3.49 -3.41 -3.38 -3.37 -3.28


CSE LOSERS Company Prime Insur -A Asia Pasific Insu. -A AIBL 1st Is. M. F.-A Nitol Insurance -A Apex SpinningA NCCBL Mutual Fund-1-A Eastern Bank - A Reliance1 M.F.-A Pubali Bank - A

Mercantile Bank -A

Closing (% change) -10.43 -9.09 -7.95 -7.89 -7.68 -7.22 -6.23 -4.95 -4.69



Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)



(-) 0.45%

Average (% change) -15.14 -2.18 0.13 -3.29 -2.44 -3.07 -2.22 -2.90 -2.87


Average (% change) -18.01 -9.09 -7.19 -7.89 -7.67 -7.73 -0.91 -3.87 -2.03


Closing average 29.20 37.70 37.24 21.78 16.82 8.53 20.22 17.40 17.93


Closing average 28.37 32.00 8.13 35.00 84.10 8.95 32.54 9.68 37.24



DSE Million Taka 456.66 395.76 101.19 900.86 587.17 570.31 4.56 540.22 651.17 1.13 36.86 316.54 24.03 546.20 53.49 94.76 322.68 556.85 54.87 249.92 0.21

Daily high

29.10 36.10 36.10 21.70 16.60 8.50 20.00 17.20 17.70


27.30 35.00 35.50 21.50 16.00 8.40 18.80 16.50 16.50


Daily high

30.90 32.00 8.10 35.00 84.10 9.00 31.60 9.60 36.60



2.369 11.065 5.074 0.588 25.090 0.388 17.118 3.981 28.312


Turnover in million

Daily low

30.90 32.00 8.20 35.00 84.10 9.20 33.00 9.80 38.30


Turnover in million

Daily low

29.90 38.70 38.50 22.00 18.90 8.70 21.70 17.90 19.00


27.10 32.00 8.10 35.00 84.10 8.80 31.60 9.60 36.00


Latest EPS 2.56 2.11 1.56 2.56 0.97 -2.58 1.17 0.13 1.61


Latest EPS

0.021 0.032 0.012 0.035 0.017 0.089 0.730 0.029 0.897

2.56 2.67 1.24 2.75 1.85 1.03 2.27 1.86 2.11



Latest PE

% change 7.06 6.12 1.57 13.93 9.08 8.82 0.07 8.36 10.07 0.02 0.57 4.90 0.37 8.45 0.83 1.47 4.99 8.61 0.85 3.87 0.00

Million Taka 37.89 33.23 5.64 83.64 33.56 28.19 47.01 52.01 0.44 1.68 11.90 3.61 34.64 8.01 1.84 18.51 47.31 9.49 42.67 0.02


% change 7.56 6.63 1.12 16.68 6.69 5.62 0.00 9.38 10.37 0.09 0.33 2.37 0.72 6.91 1.60 0.37 3.69 9.44 1.89 8.51 0.00

Million Taka 494.55 428.99 106.83 984.50 620.73 598.50 4.56 587.23 703.18 1.57 38.54 328.44 27.64 580.84 61.50 96.60 341.19 604.16 64.36 292.60 0.23


Singer BD -A Rahima Food -Z Renwick Jajneswar-A BD Fixed Income MF-A Kohinoor Chem -A Eastern Lubricants -A The Ibn SinaA Apex Tannery -A Global Insurance -A Apex Footwear-A

Closing (% change) 13.29 9.75 9.16 8.99 8.71 7.26 7.18 7.17 6.97 6.81

CSE GAINERS Company Singer BD -A Usmania Glass -Z Rahima Food -Z The Ibn SinaA Apex Tannery -A Aramit -A Ambee Pharma -A National Polymer -A Apex Footwear-A Anwar Galvanizing-B

Closing (% change) 14.77 9.71 8.15 7.67 6.29 5.84 5.56 5.40 5.26 4.38

Average (% change) 8.84 7.43 10.23 10.23 8.51 2.89 6.22 4.09 5.14 5.58 Average (% change) 9.59 6.68 8.88 7.17 4.14 5.70 5.42 5.89 6.03 4.38

Closing average 249.54 65.21 205.39 9.70 381.26 427.60 118.70 187.25 30.26 583.85

Closing average 251.17 165.21 65.35 119.40 188.41 354.52 311.24 67.91 590.17 28.57

Closing 258.30 66.40 208.60 9.70 384.50 435.60 119.40 192.70 30.70 593.10

Closing 259.60 168.40 65.00 119.30 192.70 355.00 311.50 68.30 590.20 28.60

Daily high

Daily low

272.00 66.50 208.60 9.70 384.60 441.00 120.00 194.80 31.20 595.00

Daily high

225.00 61.00 195.00 9.70 360.00 417.00 111.40 180.00 27.80 550.00

Daily low

270.00 168.80 65.70 121.60 194.40 360.00 317.90 68.50 598.90 29.00

239.00 158.00 65.00 113.00 182.00 350.00 300.00 65.80 578.00 28.20

Turnover in million 372.574 5.641 16.421 0.005 6.955 3.207 25.783 101.901 1.034 196.956

Turnover in million 39.939 0.665 0.065 2.507 7.009 0.372 1.607 2.506 1.889 0.414

Latest EPS 7.79 -1.00 5.32 0.54 7.88 6.02 3.12 4.86 1.48 28.27

Latest EPS 7.79 5.10 -1.00 3.12 4.86 11.53 5.01 1.70 28.27 0.02

Latest PE 32.0 -ve 38.6 18.0 48.4 71.0 38.0 38.5 20.4 20.7

Latest PE 32.2 32.4 -ve 38.3 38.8 30.7 62.1 39.9 20.9 1428.5

News from trade server BATBC: The Board of Directors has recommended 520% final cash dividend (i.e. a total 620% cash dividend for the year 2013 inclusive of 100% interim cash dividend which has already been paid) for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 23.04.2014, Time: 10:30 AM, Venue: Ball Room of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Karwan Bazar, Dhaka. Record date: 12.03.2014. The Company has also reported net profit after tax of Tk. 4,868.65 million, EPS of Tk. 81.14, NAV per share of Tk. 148.36 and NOCFPS of Tk. 100.54 for the year ended on December 31, 2013.

Record date: 10.03.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 7.79, NAV per share of Tk. 53.64 and NOCFPS of Tk. 30.07 for the year ended on December 31, 2013.

SINGERBD: The Board of Directors has recommended 100% cash dividend and 25% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. The Board has also decided to close the production facility of Motor Cycle and Electric Cable manufacturing unit of the Company. Date of AGM: 28.04.2014, Time: 10:30 AM, Venue: Spectra Convention Centre Ltd., House # 19, Road # 07, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212.

SAIHAMCOT: (Q3): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 3rd quarter ended on 31st January 2014 (Nov'13 to Jan'14), the Company has reported net profit after tax of Tk. 53.89 million with EPS of Tk. 0.40 as against Tk. 63.32 million and EPS of Tk. 0.47 respectively for the same period of the previous year. Whereas net profit after tax was Tk. 177.50 million with EPS of Tk. 1.31 for the period of nine months (May'13 to Jan'14) ended on 31.01.2014 as against Tk. 241.83 million and EPS of Tk. 1.79 respectively for the same period of the previous year. GPHISPAT: (Q3): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 3rd quarter ended on 31st January 2014 (Nov'13 to Jan'14), the Company has reported profit after tax of Tk. 99.37 million with EPS of Tk. 0.84 as against

Tk. 80.80 million and EPS of Tk. 0.68 respectively for the same period of the previous year. Whereas profit after tax was Tk. 242.84 million with EPS of Tk. 2.04 for the period of nine months (May'13 to Jan'14) ended on 31.01.2014 as against Tk. 161.52 million and EPS of Tk. 1.36 respectively for the same period of the previous year. MHSML: Alpha Credit Rating Limited (AlphaRating) has rated the Company as "BBB" in the long term and "AR-3" in the short term along with a stable outlook based on audited financial information of the Company up to 30th June 2013 and relevant qualitative information up to January 31, 2014. PUBALIBANK: As per Regulation 30 of DSE Listing Regulations, the Company has informed that a meeting of the Board of Directors will be held on February 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM to consider, among others, audited financial statements of the Company for the year ended on December 31, 2013.

11.4 17.9 23.9 8.5 17.3 -ve 17.3 133.8 11.1


Latest PE 11.1 12.0 6.6 12.7 45.5 8.7 14.3 5.2 17.6


Market remained volatile, with more than 50 scrips showing more than 3% movements. Corporate declarations made some strong ripples across the bourse

SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY 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

Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)

(-) 0.48%




Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Friday, February 28, 2014

% change 7.10 6.16 1.53 14.13 8.91 8.59 0.07 8.43 10.09 0.02 0.55 4.71 0.40 8.34 0.88 1.39 4.90 8.67 0.92 4.20 0.00

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

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Grameenphone-A Singer BD -A Olympic Ind. -A Square Pharma -A ConfidenceCement A Apex Footwear-A Delta Life Insu. -A

BATBCL -A BSC-A BD Submarine Cable-A

LankaBangla Fin. -A Meghna Petroleum -A G Next Fashions-A HeidelbergCement -A Apex Tannery -A LafargeS Cement-Z Padma Oil Co. -A UCBL - A Jamuna Oil -A Renata Ltd. -A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Singer BD -A

BD Submarine Cable-A BSC-A G Next Fashions-A Square Pharma -A Grameenphone-A Delta Life Insu. -A ConfidenceCement A Beach Hatchery -A AFC AgroBiotech-N Olympic Ind. -A UCBL - A LankaBangla Fin. -A LafargeS Cement-Z BEXIMCO Ltd. -A BD. Thai Alum -B Appollo Ispat CL -N Apex Tannery -A UNITED AIR-A Padma Oil Co. -A

Volume shares 1,901,304 1,493,027 1,170,281 922,509 1,411,092 337,340 689,850 70,000 242,635 705,819

1,769,579 447,509 4,773,240 236,150 544,200 2,443,000 305,202 3,497,946 409,493 77,676 Volume shares

159,012 140,206 46,310 741,000 70,423 78,000 51,650 83,854 370,586 162,000 46,500 356,548 133,015 230,000 249,766 217,910 238,000 37,200 444,267 20,337

Value in million 402.08 372.57 259.94 243.41 219.71 196.96 188.11 158.96 158.40 154.77

127.48 127.28 117.84 105.29 101.90 100.87 99.95 97.92 95.07 77.36

Value in million

39.94 30.70 30.25 18.57 18.52 16.61 14.14 13.12 11.72 10.59 10.36 9.99 9.58 9.38 8.12 7.31 7.29 7.01 6.75 6.66

% of total turnover 6.22 5.76 4.02 3.76 3.40 3.05 2.91 2.46 2.45 2.39

1.97 1.97 1.82 1.63 1.58 1.56 1.55 1.51 1.47 1.20

% of total turnover

7.99 6.14 6.05 3.71 3.70 3.32 2.83 2.62 2.34 2.12 2.07 2.00 1.92 1.88 1.62 1.46 1.46 1.40 1.35 1.33

Daily closing 214.00 258.30 224.50 265.70 158.10 593.10 271.00 2299.10 644.75 219.30

72.00 284.80 24.50 447.40 192.70 40.50 327.20 27.90 232.40 1014.70

Daily closing

259.60 218.10 643.50 24.80 265.00 213.60 272.20 158.30 31.20 65.60 225.20 28.10 72.00 40.40 32.20 33.70 30.50 192.70 15.10 327.30

Price change 1.71 13.29 3.74 1.64 3.60 6.81 0.22 4.56 -0.81 0.73

Daily opening 210.40 228.00 216.40 261.40 152.60 555.30 270.40 2198.90 650.00 217.70

Price change

Daily opening

0.42 -0.45 2.94 1.57 7.17 3.32 -0.58 -2.45 0.17 5.03

14.77 0.23 -1.08 3.77 1.53 1.14 0.33 3.67 0.65 0.61 3.40 -1.75 0.14 1.76 -1.83 4.01 -0.97 6.29 -1.31 -0.24

71.70 286.10 23.80 440.50 179.80 39.20 329.10 28.60 232.00 966.10

226.20 217.60 650.50 23.90 261.00 211.20 271.30 152.70 31.00 65.20 217.80 28.60 71.90 39.70 32.80 32.40 30.80 181.30 15.30 328.10

Daily high 215.00 272.00 225.00 271.50 159.00 595.00 275.90 2310.00 669.00 229.00

Daily low 202.00 225.00 200.00 250.00 144.90 550.00 269.00 2007.00 642.00 199.80

Daily average 211.48 249.54 222.12 263.85 155.70 583.85 272.68 2270.87 652.82 219.28

Daily high

Daily low

Daily average

72.50 290.00 25.90 448.90 194.80 42.20 340.00 30.00 235.00 1025.90

270.00 222.00 668.00 26.20 266.00 214.90 277.50 159.20 32.20 66.50 227.00 28.40 72.50 41.90 33.00 34.30 31.30 194.40 15.50 330.00

65.00 262.00 23.00 440.80 180.00 40.10 305.00 26.00 220.00 966.10

239.00 216.50 640.00 24.40 260.00 208.70 271.30 152.00 31.00 64.00 217.10 27.70 71.60 40.00 31.90 32.00 30.40 182.00 15.10 325.10

72.04 284.42 24.69 445.86 187.25 41.29 327.48 27.99 232.17 995.91

251.17 218.98 653.20 25.06 263.05 212.92 273.73 156.46 31.62 65.37 222.88 28.02 72.04 40.79 32.52 33.56 30.61 188.41 15.20 327.61



Narendra Modi signals shift in favour of big retail n Reuters, New Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday the country’s millions of family-owned traders must learn to work with large modern stores and online retailers, in comments that could signal a shift in thinking. The BJP opposes a policy to allow foreign supermarkets to open in India, which it says is a threat to millions of grocery stores and traders who are a backbone of the party’s support. Sketching out his economic views ahead of a general election likely to be held in April and May, Modi declined to reiterate that stance or oppose a proposal to allow foreign investment in online shopping, which is growing rapidly in India. Instead, he said small traders should put an emphasis on the quality of their products to compete better. He said they could enter into contracts with big online retailers to create “virtual trade”.

“We should not worry about the challenges from global trade,” Modi told a meeting of the Confederation of All India Traders. “The government should not look to curb online trade. We should not worry about these things, our children have taken IT to the world. We’ll have to embrace it.” Modi also said he favoured introducing a nation-wide goods and services tax (GST), a long-planned reform to usher in a uniform market, cut business costs and boost government revenue. The country’s states have stood in the way of a GST, fearing that they would face revenue losses if the current array of inefficient levies were replaced. Chief minister of Gujarat, one of the country’s most industrialised states, Modi is campaigning on the back of a record of strong growth over more than a decade in office. But until Thursday he had given few details about how he would steer the economy, which has

Economist: Numbers back high seas fishing n AFP, Half Moon Bay Fishing the high seas is a losing investment, an economist told political leaders, corporate kings and environmental warriors Wednesday, backing calls for protecting the open seas. McKinsey & Company director Martin Stuchtey subtracted politics from the equation and laid out numbers showing that a ban on high seas fishing would cost $2 per person on the planet, while returning $4 per person.

'It is often hidden behind complex relationships, shortterm interests and entrenched behaviors' “You would need to spend the two dollars to get the four dollars; that is much better than anything the bank offers you right now,” Stuchtey told AFP after an on-stage chat at a World Ocean Summit organized by The Economist weekly newspaper. A handful of nations spend lots of money subsidizing fleets that must range farther and farther at sea for fish as stocks are depleted. The bulk of their catch goes to developed nations. Ending subsidies and the practice would result in huge financial savings, as well as let sea life rebound and regenerate areas designated by the United Nations as exclusive economic zones in which countries have rights to resources, according to Stuchtey. Stuchtey’s figures, which he promised to publish soon, backed calls declaring all the world’s open ocean

protected marine areas complete with enforcement to stop illegal fishing. Hard numbers reveal that today’s fishing industry is not profitable and as fleets work harder chasing fewer fish, the losses grow and stocks are further depleted in “a race to the bottom,” the economist explained. “The case of the ocean stands upon good old-fashioned economics,” Stuchtey said. “It is often hidden behind complex relationships, short-term interests and entrenched behaviors.” Summit participants pointed to the need to translate the destruction of seas and marine life into economic values that everyone, from world leaders to fishermen, can take to heart. Factoring the value of “natural capital” off coasts into the wealth of countries promises to change the way nations manage such assets and to turn some countries from aid cases into investment opportunities, said World Bank vice president and special envoy for climate change Rachel Kyte. “We will have to use economic modeling that counts in natural resources and the cost of policy measures,” she added. “We are just starting to do that.” US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prince Albert II of Monaco were among summit speakers calling for meaningful action to save the ocean on which life depends. They pointed to the need for sustainability when it comes to fisheries and other sea resources, and for nations to work together on the issues. Among the threats to these resources are illegal fishing practices smashing food chains and wiping out species, pollution, including fertilizer run-off from inland farms, and climate change. l

seen growth at its slowest in a decade.

Economic diplomacy

The Hindu nationalist leader also said India needed to cut red tape by reducing the number of laws, and called on the foreign ministry to focus on “economic diplomacy” to improve India’s commercial standing in the world.

'This looks like a strategic direction which is being set ahead of the elections and it’s a very welcome one' “Times have changed, the core work of external affairs ministry today is trade and commerce,” he said. In an effort to attract overseas investment and revive the economy,

eBay: attacker Icahn ‘dead wrong’ about company n AFP, New York EBay accused Wall Street activist Carl Icahn of playing with the truth Wednesday as it defended itself against a fresh assault on the company’s directors. “Carl Icahn doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story,” the company said after Icahn repeated charges that eBay board member Marc Andreessen profited to the company’s disadvantage when it sold subsidiary Skype to a group of investors in 2009 for $1.9bn. Icahn said the consortium, led by tech investor Silver Lake Partners and including an Andreessen company, later sold the Internet telephony service to Microsoft for $8.5bn, “netting a $4bn gain... that should have accrued to eBay stockholders.” But eBay said the Silver Lake group’s offer for Skype was the best of several bids, and that Andreessen had recused himself from talks on the deal. Moreover, eBay said, it had retained a 30% stake in Skype giving the company “a substantial gain” from the subsequent sale to Microsoft. “Icahn seems to be deliberately disseminating claims that are dead wrong,” eBay said in a statement. “While his letters and media interviews may be entertaining, they are not factually accurate.” On Monday Icahn, one of Wall Street’s most storied corporate raiders, accused eBay’s board and chief executive of not serving its investors, and called on shareholders to elect two of his own men as directors. Wielding a 2.1% stake, Icahn’s main goal was to force eBay to hive off payments unit PayPal, which he argued would allow it to grow and compete better in the online payments industry. l


Friday, February 28, 2014

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh threw open the country’s $500bn retail industry to foreign investors late in 2012. That allowed companies such as Wal-Mart Stores and TESCO Plc to own majority stakes in Indian chains for the first time, pending approval by individual states. This month, the newly elected BJP government of Rajasthan became the second state government to roll back the policy. Fewer than half of India’s 28 states have agreed to implement the policy. The traders had hoped Modi would vow to make opposition to foreign retailers a part of the party’s manifesto, which is due to be released in the next few weeks. “This looks like a strategic direction which is being set ahead of the elections and it’s a very welcome one,” said Kishore Biyani, chair of the retailer Future Group. “These comments and clarity will help everyone in the industry and foreign players to take decisions.” l

Dollar moves narrowly ahead of Yellen testimony n AFP, Tokyo The dollar was stuck in a tight range yesterday as investors sit on the sidelines before the head of the US Federal Reserve gives testimony to senators later in the day. The greenback was quoted at 102.38 yen in Tokyo, unchanged from New York late Wednesday, while the euro was at $1.3686 and 140.10 yen from $1.3683 and 140.11 yen. Janet Yellen’s comments to the Senate Banking Committee later Thursday will be pored over for clues about the bank’s view on the US economy and its plans for its stimulus programme. While she is unlikely to deviate from her testimony to the House of Representatives’ committee two weeks ago analysts will be interested to hear whether the bank expects the recent severe cold weather that paralysed parts of the country recently has affected growth prospects. A recent spate of downbeat data out of the United States in recent months, including jobs growth, have been blamed on the weather. “Her comments on the current situ-

ation of the US economy, tapering (of its stimulus) and forward guidance (on interest rates) will be closely watched,” Barclays currency analyst Shinichiro Kadota said in a note to client. Minutes released last week from the Fed’s policy committee meeting on January 28-29 showed a generally upbeat mood, shrugging off turmoil in emerging markets and judging that poor December employment numbers were mainly weather-related. Policymakers agreed for the second time in two months to proceed with cutting its massive bond-buying programme, which it has used to hold interest rates low to stimulate investment and jobs growth. The dollar was higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to Sg$1.2664 Thursday afternoon from Sg$1.2644 Wednesday, to 11,662 Indonesian rupiah from 11,637 rupiah and to 32.58 Thai baht from 32.56 baht. It also firmed to 61.99 Indian rupees from 61.97 rupees, and to 44.66 Philippine pesos from 44.60 pesos while slipping to 1,066.21 South Korean won from 1,066.66 won. l

Facebook claims makes progress targeting users n Reuters Facebook highlighted on Wednesday two ad campaigns in an attempt to persuade advertisers that its massive membership base and ability to home in on specific audiences makes it a more effective advertising platform than broadcast TV. The No 1 social network revealed in a blog post some details about marketing campaigns from AARP and the American Legacy Foundation to show how Facebook can target specific age groups among its audience of more than 1 billion global users, which rivals the number of people watching TV. Facebook is hoping to tap some of the billions of dollars that advertisers dedicate to television commercials to reach large groups of people. “For an advertiser, in Facebook’s view their users are more engaged than when they are watching TV,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at research firm eMarketer. “It’s not just sitting on the couch and watching something go by.” Still TV gets the lion’s share of ad dollars with more than $66bn in 2013 in the US alone, according to eMarketer. Facebook generated roughly $7bn in global ad revenue during the same year. The AARP, an association for older Americans, sought to target ads to Facebook members over 45 in order to build awareness that the organization is for more than just retired people, Facebook said in its blog post, while the American Legacy Foundation wanted to reach teenagers for its Truth campaign to curb smoking. Both campaigns ran in Facebook’s News Feed interspersed among a user’s stream of news and other updates. “One of the things we wanted to test

is if there a better result when you air a TV ad spot and support it on social media,” said Tammy Gordon, AARP vice president of social strategy. A survey conducted by Nielsen Online suggested that 14% of 45-to-64year-old Americans said they saw the AARP campaign. “You don’t just do a TV commercial, you have to be looking at multi-media campaign,” Gordon said. In the case of the Truth campaign, almost half of all Americans between the age of 13 and 19 saw at least one ad in their News Feed stream, the Nielsen survey found. Investors have been concerned that teenage users may be drifting away from Facebook in favor of alternative online services such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, which Facebook recently

acquired for $19bn. But the survey results suggest marketers still view Facebook’s social network as an important channel for reaching teenagers. Christine Dela Rosa, senior brand manager of marketing at the American Legacy Foundation, said that Facebook was still a good way to expose teens to brands. She noted, however, that the foundation also adjusted its marketing campaign to run on other platforms like deviantART, a social network for artists that is attracting teens. “Facebook is really huge and people tend to want to converse with us in that space,” Dela Rosa said. “We are in other places too because teens aren’t using Facebook for expression. Every single platform has a different purpose. We want to be there in all those different places.” l

Nitol Insurance Company Limited held its annual branch conference at Metro Hotel in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia on Feb 13. The company’s chair AKM Monirul Hoque was present as chief guest Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seen handing over cheques of TK19.2 lakh to four families of the martyred army officers in the Pilkhana carnage on Feb 25. The financial support was from Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited. The bank’s chairperson Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher was present on the occasion

EXIM Bank donated yearly amount of Tk4.8 Lakh for the consecutive sixth year to the each of eight families among the martyrs of BDR mutiny happened in 2009. Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina hands over the cheques to the victim families in a program held at PM Office on Feb 25 where the bank’s chairperson Md Nazrul Islam Mazumder was present

Rashed Ahmed Chowdhury

MA Rouf

MTB gets new chair and vice-chair Chairperson of NCC Bank, Md Nurun Newaz Salim seen passing over a cheque worth Tk4.8 lakh to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina which is in turn given to Dr Rowsan Ara Begum, wife of Lt Col Lutfur Rahman, a martyred army officer as yearly contribution for sixth year at a ceremony at Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday

Chairperson of Meghna Bank Limited, HN Ashequr Rahman has formally launched “Meghna Bank Fastcash Card,” an innovative service of mobile banking in a ceremony at the bank’s principle branch in Gulshan 2, Dhaka

Rashed Ahmed Chowdhury, director of Associated Builders Corporation Ltd and the Founder Trustee and chairperson at the trustee board of Independent University, Bangladesh has been

elected as the chair of Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. The bank also got MA Rouf, the bank’s one of the sponsor directors, chairperson of Britannia Group, as its new vice-chair.l



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Friday, February 28, 2014

Five big trends in the mobile world


n AFP, Barcelona From the release of connected bracelets, watches and even a smart toothbrush to a future of one-second highdefinition movie downloads, the mobile world is developing rapidly. Here are five major trends to emerge at the four-day World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, the industry’s biggest annual gathering, which wrapped up yesterday:

Connected watches, bracelets, and a toothbrush

The new star accessories of manufacturers such as mobile titan Samsung, Sony or China’s Huawei are smartphone-connected bracelets and watches. You can take a call and read messages on them. But now they offer to count your steps, check your pulse, even monitor your sleep cycle and decide the best moment to wake you. They are part of a “quantified self” trend, in which smartphone owners can measure the minutiae of their own lives, right down to cleaning their teeth. Procter & Gamble’s Oral-B smart toothbrush will check your technique, and you can share the results on social networks.

Cheap smartphones

A woman tests a 'Nickel Account' machine that allows clients to remotely open up a bank account, in a shop in Nantes, western France

Oil prices ease ahead of Yellen testimony n AFP, Singapore Oil prices eased in Asian trade yesterday as investors await congressional testimony by the US central bank chief for fresh clues about the state of the world’s biggest economy, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery, was down 32 cents at $102.27 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for April was 28 cents lower at $109.24. Fed chief Janet Yellen will appear in front of the Senate Banking Committee later Thursday. Equity markets as well as oil prices were boosted after Yellen’s inaugural testimony to House representatives on February 11 when she said the bank would continue its market-friendly, low-interest rate policies. “The market is expecting her to remain confident,” Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP. Chua said investors were anticipating Yellen would reiterate that the Fed will continue to slowly pare back its massive stimulus programme unless economic conditions deteriorate significantly. Oil prices also retained support from a bullish US stockpiles report, he said. The US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum stockpiles report Wednesday showed commercial crude oil supplies rose only 100,000 barrels last week, one-eighth of what analysts expected. l


Toy maker Lego posted rising annual profits and revenue yesterday and said it would set up global management hubs to attract more foreign talent to the group’s management. “I’m very excited that it’s the ninth consecutive year of organic growth,” chief executive Joergen Vig Knudstorp said at a press conference at the familyowned company’s headquarters in Billund, Denmark. Net profit in 2013 rose 9% to 6.12bn kroner (820m euros, $1.12bn). Sales grew by 10% to 25.38bn kroner, marking a quadrupling in just 10 years. The Friends collection, launched in late 2012 and aimed at girls between the ages of five and nine, and last year’s hugely successful Legends of Chima, where animal tribes battle for world dominance, added the most to sales growth. But old-time favourites like Lego City and Duplo were also among the top sellers. “The large US, British and Cen-

Smartphone for a better 'selfie'

Often neglected, the camera on the front of your smartphone for taking a photo of yourself is becoming more powerful to satisfy the growth of the “selfie”. Huawei’s Ascend G6 boosts the front camera to five megapixels. More broadly, photo and video quality is improving rapidly. Sony’s new Xperia Z2 allows users to film in 4K resolution, the most advanced available on the market.

Spam and other threats

As people pour sensitive personal data into their smartphones and tablets, and as more objects are hooked up to the network, security threats can take on a new dimension. Some hackers manage to get into target devices to take photos or record conversations. One compromised refrigerator has been caught sending spam. Security specialists say even your connected car’s brakes could be at risk.

A movie downloaded in one second

The next, fifth-generation mobile networks to begin rolling out in 2020 promise to let users download an entire high-definition movie in one second flat. The network will have to cope, also, with billions of connected objects communicating with each other, from kitchen appliances to cars and traffic signals, industry players say. l

Smart watches, bracelets: The new mobile phenomenon n AFP, Barcelona Smartphone-connected watches and bracelets have emerged as the technological phenomenon for 2014 as manufacturers rush for new sources of revenues. At the industry's biggest annual fair, the February 23-27 World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain, players from global leader Samsung to China's Huawei and Sony Mobile released a string of such devices. Connected by wireless Bluetooth technology to the handset, they let users take calls and check emails or text messages. Many now offer to track your every step, read your heart rate, and even monitor your sleep pattern. Mobile titan Samsung showed off a Gear 2 watch with sports tracking software, a heart rate sensor and camera; and a sleek Gear Fit bracelet, also with a pulse sensor, featuring a curved touch screen that wraps around your wrist. China's Huawei presented its TalkBand B, which has a pedomotor and pop-out earpiece for taking calls. Sony Mobile is banking on its SmartBand, which keeps a record of your movements; the photographs you take; your communications and even the music you listen to. It will measure your sleep cycle, too, to decide the best moment to wake you. South Korea's LG said it would release a smart watch this year. The big question mark in the industry is whether Samsung's archrival Apple, which traditionally skips the mo-

bile fair, is developing a much-awaited iWatch or similar mobile device. As smartphone sales slow in mature markets such as the United States or Western Europe, such connected objects offer a chance to pry open the wallets of consumers reluctant to update their devices. Global smartphone sales surged 42.3% to 968 million units last year, powered by demand for cheaper devices in developing markets, according to industry research group Gartner Inc. Yet sales in mature, more profitable markets actually slowed, it said. Research house Canalys predicts sales of connected bracelets and watches, however, will surge to 17 million units this year, and 45 million in 2017. In Barcelona, manufacturers showed off some examples, from a connected basketball that can improve your shot to a smart toothbrush that gives you tips on technique. "The world is approaching a tipping point in technology," Nokia chairman and interim chief executive Risto Siilasmaa told reporters in Barcelona. "We see a world where connectivity will expand massively, linking everyone and everything, altogether tens or hundreds of billions of physical objects." Objects would be aware of their location, temperature, motion, and chemical composition, while also being capable of communicating to each other, said the head of Nokia, whose handset division is being taken over by Microsoft.

'Massive' data flows

"Massive flows of information will come from these objects, making today's data traffic look modest," Siilasmaa said. Excluding computers, phones and tablets, there were 175 million connected objects in 2013, a market worth 24.2bn euros ($33bn), according to research house Idate. That figure is predicted to rise to 470 million objects generating revenue of 40bn euros by 2017, Idate said. Market analysts booz&co estimated that 80% of revenue in the connected objects industry will go to information service providers such as Google, not the networks. Yet as networks becomes more advanced, the operators can gather greater volumes of real-time, potentially lucrative data about each of their users. As operators learn to analyse each user's location, surroundings and habits, that information could spark a boom in personalised advertising, providing customers opt-in, analysts say. Improved location and personal data-based advertising could generate as much as $44bn a year in revenue by 2017 for network operators, according to a study by mobile network technology group Syniverse. Indeed, research house Gartner Inc. predicts that global mobile advertising will grow from an expected $18 billion this year to $42bn in just three years, helped in part by geolocation-based publicity drawing in smaller, local advertisers. l

Lego bricks builds up profits, hunts global talent n AFP, Billund

From a $25 smartphone, which Mozilla Foundation says it is developing for this year for developing markets, to Nokia X models for less than 150 euros ($200), manufacturers are trying to tap into the fastest-growing markets such

as Latin America, China, South Asia and Africa.

tral and Northern European markets achieved healthy single digit growth rates, whereas markets like France, Spain, Russia and China grew double digits,” Lego said.

Group expects to grow moderately ahead of the global toy market,” it said. “This is expected to be achievable due to the group’s continued focus on innovation and its commitment to

'It would be arrogant to think that simply because you are Danish you (know) what it takes to succeed in countries all over the world'

The results did not include any sales boost from the blockbuster Lego movie, which was released earlier this month, after the end of the group’s fiscal year. The unlisted company said it expected the global market for traditional toys to experience flat to lowdigit growth in 2014, but that the group would continue to outperform. “During the coming years the Lego

global expansion,” it added. Lego expects an additional 600 to 800 people to join its target consumer group over the next decade in China, as more people there enter the urban middle class. To meet burgeoning growth in developing markets and elsewhere, it aims to attract more international talent by setting up “major regional sites” in London, Singapore and Shanghai as

well as at its existing facility in Connecticut in the US. Each site will have a “significant top management presence,” the company said. “What we have found is that the brick, the building system and that creativity is not just a Danish idea,” Vig Knudstorp said. “It is equally relevant in any culture. This is one of the things I took home from my visits with Chinese children,” he said. “To take the bricks all over the world, we need a different kind of organisation. We need a set-up that is much more diverse, much more international than we are today,” he said. The group, which has come under fire in the Danish press for not branding itself as a Danish company, said it would continue to be headquartered in Billund. But “it would be arrogant to think that simply because you are Danish you (know) what it takes to succeed in countries all over the world,” Vig Knudstorp said. l

A visitor takes a picture of the new Samsung Galaxy Fit during the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona AFP

Boeing making ultra-safe smartphone n AFP, New York US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has developed a smartphone geared mainly toward people working in defense and homeland security, the company said on its web site Wednesday. Boeing filed papers this week with the Federal Communications Commission describing the phone, which is called Boeing Black, uses Google’s Android system and is made in the US. “The US defense and security communities demand trusted access to data to accomplish their missions,” the


web site says. “The Boeing Black smartphone was designed with security and modularity in mind to ensure our customers can use the same smartphone across a range of missions and configurations,” it adds without specifying if the phone is already on sale. The phone will be earmarked mainly toward government defense and homeland defense agencies and their sub-contractors, Boeing said in papers filed with the FCC. “The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing.”l

28 February 2014  
28 February 2014