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Chaitra 2, 1420 Jamadiul Awal 14, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 352



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AL takes lead in third spell of polls Four ruling party rebels win chairman post while JaPa fails to secure even one Al-Masum Molla n Mohammad and Mohammad Zakaria After lagging behind in the first two phases, the ruling Awami League took lead in early unofficial results in the third spell of elections to 81 upazila parishads yesterday amid allegations of violence and vote rigging. This time the Awami League-backed chairman contenders bagged 40 seats while BNP-sponsored candidates secured 28 seats. The candidates backed by the Jamaat-e-Islami continued to keep up its winning trend with seven chairman posts. Vote count was still going on in three upazilas – Haziganj in Chandpur, Muktagachha in Mymensingh and Hizla in Barisal – as the report was being prepared. However, the Election Commission postponed voting in two centres in Haziganj and three each in Muktagachha and Hizla. Interestingly the candidates belonging to the Awami League won almost all the seats where there were allegation of vote rigging and violence like Bagerhat, Kurigram, Feni, Chandpur, Barisal, Bhola and Shariatpur. Ershad’s Jatiya Party performed worse than the last two phases as they failed to secure even a single chairman post till filing of this report at 2.30pm. Like the previous phases, regional parties Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) maintained its hold in the upazilas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The PCJSS has claimed two chairman posts. In Tungipara of Gopalganj – the home of Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina – the rebel candidate of the Awami League won the chairman post by a big margin of around twenty thousands. In this upazila The BNP field no candidate. Four Awami League rebel candidates won chairman post in Tungipara  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

n Mohammad Zakaria Several candidates, mainly those backed by the BNP, made allegations of irregularities in the third phase of upazila parishad polls held yesterday. In complaints submitted to the Election Commission and returning officers, they claimed that capturing of polling centres by supporters of rival candidates, stuffing fake votes and violence were rampant during the local elections in 81 upazilas. However, the Election Commission said the polls were held in a totally free, fair and peaceful manner. “Alhamdulillah (praise to Allah), the third phase polls were held hundred percent free and fair, and the commission is satisfied with holding the polls peacefully. The polls were held prop-



Phase I & II




213 RESULT 209 AL 79 BNP 94 JAMAAT 20 JAPA 2 OTHERS 14

The government has decided not to curtail the fund allocated for the Padma Bridge project this fiscal year as it may give out ‘negative signal’ to prospective foreign bidders. Finance Minister AMA Muhith in a letter has recently asked the finance division not to cut the fund for Padma Bridge project in the revised budget for the draft Annual Development Programme in a bid to attract foreign investment. The revised budget might be placed at a meeting of the National Economic Council to be held sometime after March 20. The letter also revealed that the bridges division will take decision to


3 The law ministry may take steps this week to settle the disagreements within the prosecution team. The prosecutors, divided into two groups, are trying to protect their post and position by lobbying. 5 Only 50% of the construction of the Purbachal Link Road has been completed during 14 years.

The people injured during the third phase of voting included law enforcers, voters, supporters of different political parties, election officials and observers. In Megnitola area of Bagerhat’s Kachua upazila, miscreants stabbed Manjurul Islam, an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir, to death. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Bagerhat unit Secretary Abdul Wadud blamed Awami League activists for the killing. In Shariatpur’s Naria upazila,  PAGE 2 COLUMN 3


allocate around Tk 8,100 crore for its fast-track Padma Bridge project in the next budget, official sources said. An official of the finance division said  if such amount of fund allocated, it would be higher by about Tk 1,248 crore than that of the current fiscal year. Earlier, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal put forward a proposal to the finance division to slash the allocation for the Padam Bridge project by 70% to Tk  2,108 crore in the revised budget for the current fiscal year, but the finance division rejected the proposal. The official said the finance division has decided not to slash any fund for the construction of Padma Bridge this fiscal year. The bridges division and planning ministry have already been informed of the matter, he added.


Polls-related violences kill three n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla At least two people were killed and hundreds more injured across the country yesterday during the staging of the third phase of upazila parishad elections in 81 upazilas; while another person was also killed in an incident of pre-poll violence ahead of the fourth phase voting in Netrokona. The deceased included a Shibir activist, an Awami League activist and a BNP activist in Bagerhat, Shariatpur

The finance division has also dropped the move to cut fund for Padma Bridge which was supposed to be spent on dearness allowance, subsidy and allowance for freedom fighters, the official said. Initially, Tk 6,888 crore was earmarked for the mega project in the current fiscal year and only Tk 2,601 crore was released during the period from July to January in the fiscal year 2013-14 which is only 4% of the total amount. The bridges division allocated Tk6,852 crore for the construction of the bridge this fiscal year. Earlier, the finance minister said ‘major foreign contractors’ were yet to sign any agreement to construct the multipurpose bridge because the  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

and Netrokona respectively. The level of violence was significantly higher than the previous phases, with a large number of reports about clashes, postponement of voting and allegations of ballot box snatching coming in from a number of upazilas. Earlier, the Election Commission had postponed poll in Shreepur upazila of Gazipur, while violence also caused voting to be suspended yesterday at 26 polling centres. Hartals were also called in eight upazilas.


Communication system ‘deliberately disabled’ n


Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday said the communications systems of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were deliberately disabled. According to satellite and radar evidence, he said, the plane then changed course and could have continued flying for a further seven hours. He said the “movements are consistent with the deliberate action of someone on the plane”. The plane disappeared a week ago with 239 people on board. Mr Razak stopped short of saying it was a hijacking, saying only that they were investigating “all possibilities”. He said the plane could be anywhere

from Kazakhstan to the Indian Ocean. The developments have added further uncertainty to the relatives of the 239 people on board the Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight.

P16 DHAKA JOINS SEARCH Some in the Chinese capital said the news had made them more hopeful that their loved ones are alive, but one woman said they were on an emotional rollercoaster and she felt “helpless and frustrated”.

Search enters new phase

The flight left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing at 00:40 local time (16:40 GMT) on  PAGE 2 COLUMN 3

Tigers ready to rumble n Mazhar Uddin The stage is all set at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for a cracking start to the ICC World Twenty20 with an upbeat Bangladesh side taking on Afghanistan in the tournament opener today.

The hosts went through a tricky situation when questions were raised earlier this year regarding the security during the tournament. With passing days the matters were solved and Bangladesh groomed itself  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1


erly by Allah’s grace,” acting chief election commissioner Abdul Mobarak told reporters yesterday at the EC media centre in the capital. Mobarak claimed that the elections were more free, fair and peaceful than previous local polls. “It is not a question of failure. When holding elections, some stray incidents may take place. The violence cannot be controlled beforehand,” he said. About assaults on EC officials in Barisal’s Hizla upazila, the commissioner said the perpetrators would not be spared as the attacks were criminal offences. “The responsible persons will not be spared. They will be brought to justice,” Mobarak said. However, he added, the commission did not have jurisdiction in investigating criminal offences. “As per a court order, the commission cannot investigate a criminal offence. The aggrieved person can file

Two factions of Awami League armed with bamboo stick lock in a clash to take control over a polling centre at Daganbhuiyan in Feni yesterday

Government decides not to slash fund for Padma Bridge project n Asif Showkat Kallol

Alhamdulillah, polls 100% peaceful, says acting CEC

Members of the Bangladesh national cricket team take part in a practice session in Dhaka yesterday


Mahathir: Wait until next polls n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Either boycotting or rejecting election will not help the democratic process to work, the visiting former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammad said yesterday. “If you boycott election, you reject the results and you question everything, then it will not work at all,” Mahathir, who led government in Malaysia for 22 years, told a press conference. The Malaysian leader arrived in Dhaka on Saturday to attend the 2nd convocation of University of Information Technology and Sciences (UITS) held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. “There is a need for us to accept that the system is not meant for us to win, it’s meant for the nation to win,” Mahathir said. Whoever gets the support of the people for the next five years, others have to let that person or that party rule the country, he said. “If you question that, if you take to the streets, then when you win and set up the government, the same thing will happen and what you will get is of course anarchy and inability to be stable and without stability you can never develop the country. “So, we need to wait until the next election before you begin to change the government. But, if you take to the streets, then there will be no government,” Mahathir said. About the manpower situation in Malaysia he said, “We have problems not only with Bangladesh, we have problems with Indonesia, with many other countries in the region.” Malaysia has three million foreign workers and it needs to regulate them and wanted to reduce their number. “It’s not easy to manage them because they are of different nationalities. Some of them are not quite good people, some of them indulge in  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ballot boxes snatched, magistrate harassed n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj Compared to the last two phases, the third phase of upazila polls in the district was vivid when more or less all the stakeholders of the electoral process came under attack of rivals in Tungipara yesterday. Reports of violence, taking possession of polling centres, snatching of ballot boxes, blockade and firing of rubber bullets by police marked the polls in the upazila – a stronghold of the ruling Awami League and hometown of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Violence were seen in Madhukhali, Tarail, GT Government High School, Purbo Gimadanga Government Primary School, Baladanga Government Primary School, Gopalpur High School, Goadhana-Silna School and other polling centres. Election was cancelled at Tarail Government Primary School centre after snatching of ballot boxes by the supporters of an Awami League candidate. An executive magistrate and polling officials were locked inside the centre after the poll was cancelled. Around 25 people were injured during clashes between the supporters of rival candidates in Gopalpur High School and Goadhana Silna High School centres. The election was peaceful from 8am to 1pm. Later supporters of AL-backed chairman candidate Solaiman Bishwas

entered Madhukhali centre and ousted all polling agents of Gazi Golam Mostafa, a rebel candidate of the party, from the centre. With the help of Presiding Officer Abu Sayeed, they then took hold of around 700 ballot papers, stamped seal on those and put inside the ballot boxes. When interrupted, they beat up two supporters of the rebel candidate – Rafiqul Islam and Didarul Islam. Md Russel, an agent of chairman candidate Rawshan Ara, said: “Solaiman’s men locked us inside a room.” She also alleged that the presiding officer had helped the supporters of Solaiman. Assistant Police Super Badsha Bepari, also in-charge of the centre, confirmed the incident and accused the presiding officer of helping the supporters. Other police officers said they failed to control the situation as Solaiman’s supporters had entered the centre all of a sudden. The presiding officer said: “Solaiman’s men entered the centre forcefully and then put seals on 400 ballot papers. I asked help from the police, but they did not help me that time.” In Tarail Government Primary School centre, the supporters of Solaiman were caught red handed by Executive Magistrate SM Manjurul Haque while returning after putting seals on ballot papers illegally around 2pm and

he decided to cancel election in the centre. After learning the matter, the locals locked the polling officer along with the executive magistrate inside the centre. The agitated mob hurled also brick chips at the centre. On information, members of the army and the police charged batons on the protesters to disperse them and rescued the polling officers. Manjurul said: “The round-shaped seal was missing in the ballot papers. So, the election will be cancelled.” Presiding Officer of the centre Md Azizul Islam said: “Kalu Bishwas snatched 200 ballot papers from me and more from the assistant presiding officer. He put seal on the papers and dropped those inside the ballot box.” Sub-Inspector Shah Alam said: “Police fired 13 rounds of rubber bullets in Baladanga Government Primary School centre when the supporters of Solaiman were snatching ballot papers around 3:45pm. Sridham Bala, a supporter of the Awami League-backed candidate, received bullet during the firing.” Later, BGB, army and police teams controlled the situation. Earlier, ballot boxes were snatched from Gimadanga Purbopara Government Primary School centre. Voting was postponed in the centre over the incident, said Assistant Returning Officer Md Ruhul Amin. l

OC assaults election officer n Mohammad Zakaria The Election Commission’s own official and assistant returning officer of Hizla upazila, Zahidul Islam, and his assistant were physically assaulted by the officer-in-charge of Bakerganj police station when the former went to visit a centre during polls yesterday. Senior Election Officer and also

Returning Officer Dulal Talukder informed the EC about it in writing around 2pm. Following this, the victim also sent the EC a written complaint. “The OC forcefully shoved him out of the centre [Hizla Government Primary School] after assaulting him and his assistant Hiron Bepari. The OC insulted them in public,” the letter sent by Dulal says. The Bakerganj OC, who could not be

named immediately, was on duty at the polling centre. When the returning officer informed the superintendent of police of the district about the incident, the authorities withdrew the OC immediately. The district police chief also directed Additional Superintendent of Police Jahangir Mallick to submit a report after investigating the spot. l

RAB members take part in a counter-terrorism drill at the Army Stadium ahead of the T20 World Cup in Dhaka yesterday


‘None can stop BNP from waging movement’ n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said none would be able to bar the party when they would take to the streets demanding parliamentary election under a non-partisan interim government. “We will definitely take to the streets at the right matter what obstacles you [government] create. None can prevent us,” she said at a reception programme of the members of newly-elected Supreme Court Bar Association at her Gulshan office. The former premier also urged political parties to get united to wage movement against the “killer and repressive government.” BNP-Jamaat backed Jatiyatabadi

Ainjibi Oikya Parishad has swept the SCBA election against the Sammilita Ainjibi Samannay Parishad, supported by the ruling Awami League. Khaleda asked the lawyers to form Legal Aid Committee to give assistance to the opposition men who are facing “false cases.” She also asked them to visit districts to inspire the party leaders and activists. Alleging vote rigging in the upazila polls, the 19-party alliance chief said: “If the ruling party men do not occupy the polling centres, the Awami League will face massive debacle.” Claiming that fair election was not possible under the Awami League government, Khaleda said no election had taken place on January 5, rather it was a “mockery.”

Regarding the independence of judiciary, the former premier said: “Today judges cannot conduct fair trial due to interference from the top of the government.” Pointing her finger at neighbouring India, Khaleda said: “We do not get anything but we are giving them whatever they want. Now we have only the country to give them. We want to say clearly that we will not allow it.” Slamming the government for increasing electricity prices, Khaleda said the recent hike would adversely affect the people of all sections, especially the lower- and middle-income groups. She alleged that the prices were increased to give subsidy to the quick-rental power plants, through which thousands of crores of taka had been plundered. l

Mahathir: Wait until next polls

AL takes lead in third spell of polls Alhamdulillah, polls 100% peaceful, says acting CEC


in Gopalganj, Bhanga in Faridpur, Dhubaira in Mymensingh and Raumari in Kurigram. In Kishorganj Sadar Upazila, the paternal cousin of Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam was defeated by the BNP-backed contender. Like the previous two phases, the BNP-backed candidates failed to ensure a single chairman seat in Barisal and Bhola districts.

crimes and things like that,” he said. Bangladesh and Malaysia have government-to-government arrangement to send workers to Kuala Lumpur, but the process is very slow as only 3,000 people could go in the last one year as per the agreement. At the convocation, President Abdul Hamid awarded six gold medalists while Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid also spoke on the occasion. l

Padma Bridge  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

tender process could not be completed within last year. “We will need the amount [foreign currency] after finishing the selection of foreign contractors,” he said. The minister also said state-run Agrani Bank had been tasked with handling $2.1bn from the money market in the next five fiscal years (FY2013-14 to FY2017-18). According to the finance division, around $200m will be needed


for the current fiscal year while $700m for FY15, $600m for FY16, $500m for FY17 and $100m for FY18. The finance minister last year ruled out Russian and Chinese proposals to construct Padma Bridge. “My position is very clear. I am not prepared to accept any fixed contractor. We’ve invited international bidders. That’s my view,” he said. The communications minister proposed investing $2.4 billion in the Padma Bridge project. l

Tigers ready to rumble  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

for the big event with utmost pleasure. However, since only one team will qualify from Group A of the World T20’s first round, result of this particular game between Bangladesh and Afghanistan, with the threat of elimination hanging over both teams, will set the mood of the tournament in the country. The Afghan’s are a confident side after their recent success against the same opponents in the Asia Cup and they will be eyeing a similar upset in front of a packed Bangladesh crowd. Injury blows were a major concern for the Tigers in the recent past, but the on time recovery of Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe bin Mortaza and Sohag Gazi is a major boost. Meanwhile, Mushfiqur Rahim taking up his job behind the wicket is also a relief for the home side. Rankled 4th in T20I all-rounder list, Shakib al Hasan will be a key figure in today’s clash. It is not only his part with the bat and ball, but the presence of the country’s leading all-rounder has always proved to be a booster for the home side. It is likely Anamul Haque will open the innings with Tamim who showed a glimpse of his class in the last two warm-up matches after returning from a neck injury. The number three position is still for grab for either Sabbir Rahman or Mominul Haque, but in a crucial match like this the latter is expected to take the field.

The middle-order should be controlled by Mushfiq and Shakib like they did in the warm-up game against Ireland, which will allow players like Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah and Gazi to cash in from the death overs. Spin will play a major role today as it was seen in the Asia Cup that the Afghans are a bit weak against the spinners. Along with Shakib, the spin department will be handled by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak while Gazi and Mahmudullah must be used to make things as uncomfortable as possible for the associate nation. A win today will also break Bangladesh’s 10-match losing streak in the World T20 as their only win in the tournament came against West Indies in the inaugural edition in 2007. Meanwhile the pressure on the home side is an added advantage for Afghanistan. Since their win in Asia Cup, whenever they had the chance they expressed their desire to achieve the feat again. The Zadran’s, Shapoor and Dawlat, will be a threat with the new ball while the hard hitters like Mohammad Shahzad, Ashgar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi will be key in any score Afghanistan makes or chase. However, the Afghans have lost some momentum in their last four outings and it remains to be seen whether they have the temperament and calmness to overcome the huge hurdle today. l

However, in Noakhali and Feni districts, the stronghold of BNP, contenders loyal to the ruling party won one and BNP-backed candidate managed to secure one. In the first two phases BNPbacked candidates won the chairman post in 98 upazilas, the Awami League 82, the Jamaat-endorsed aspirants won 20, the Jatiya party two, the PCJSS four while three goes to the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF). l

tried accordingly,” Mobarak noted. He said some stray violence had occurred in some upazilas due to personal and political reasons, and the commission suspended voting in those polling centres. The commission suspended polls at 26 centres in 13 uapzilas, out of a total of 5,444 centres in 81 upazilas, the commissioner said. The affected centres included four at Kachuan and two at Hajiganj in Chandpur; three at Muktagacha in Mymens-

ingh; three at Hizla in Barisal; three at Nangolkote, one at Titash and two at Chouddagram in Comilla; three at Dagonbhuiyan in Feni; and one each at Charghat (Rajshahi), Kuliachar (Kishoreganj), Monirampur (Jessore), Kamalnagar (Laxmipur) and Bhola sadar. When asked about interference by ministers and MPs in local polls, Mobarak said the commission was concerned about the issue and took action according to the law, sparing none. “When I got information that the local MP of Chandais in Chittagong was

staying in the area, I talked to him and asked him to leave the upazila in 10 minutes. The MP left the area within that time,” he said. The commissioner, meanwhile, said it would take more time to hold polls without any violence, “when people become more tolerant.” Replying to query on why the 2008 parliamentary polls were relatively free of violence, he said, “It may be that people were tolerant at that time. If people are intolerant, violence may erupt.” l

signal - was switched off,” he said. According to military radar, the aircraft then turned and flew back over Malaysia before heading in a north-west direction. “A satellite was able to pick up a signal from the plane until 08:11 local time - more than seven hours after it lost radar contact - although it was unable to give a precise location,” Mr Razak said. He went on to say that based on this new data, investigators “have determined the plane’s last communication with a satellite was in one of two possible corridors”: a northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through to northern Thailand and a southern corridor stretching from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Investigators will now focus on try-

ing to obtain the radar data from any of the countries the Boeing 777 may have passed over. This could include Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Pakistan. Mr Razak said that in light of the new evidence, the investigation had “entered a new phase” and would focus on the crew and passengers on board. Shortly after the news conference finished, Malaysian police searched the Kuala Lumpur home of the plane’s pilot, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah. Malaysia’s prime minister confirmed much of what had been leaked to the media, from US agencies and satellite companies, in the last 48 hours. His government had been facing severe criticism for not being more open

about what it knows. China - which had 153 citizens on board the flight - has urged Malaysia to continue providing it with “thorough and exact information” on the search, state news agency Xinhua said. The foreign ministry said it was sending technical specialists to participate in the investigation, and appealed for the help of other countries and organisations. Along with the Chinese passengers, there were 38 Malaysians and citizens of Iran, the US, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, India, France, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia, Taiwan and the Netherlands on board. An extensive search of the seas around Malaysia - involving 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft - since the plane disappeared had proved fruitless. l

were injured when miscreants tried to snatch away the ballot papers. Witnesses said supporters of Awami Leaguebacked candidate Meer Faruk Ahmed tried to snatch away ballot paper from the Patol Akkas Alo primary school. On the other hand, a presiding officer was detained by law enforcers in Dhobaura upazila of Mymensingh because of negligence in duty. In Babuganj upazila of Barisal, miscreants occupied and snatched away ballots from different polling centres. Assistant Residing Officer Nurul Haque said miscreants stamped and cast 66 ballots. Witnesses also said five people were injured during chase and counter-chase between Awami League and BNP-backed contenders. In Kaliganj upazila of Satkhira, the Jamaat backed chairman contender boycotted the polls and called day-long hartal for Sunday in the upazila, alleging vote rigging and ballot snatching. In Bhola Sadar upazila, 30 people including two policemen were injured in a clash between supporters of BNP and Awami League-backed chairman candidates. Witnesses said violence caused voting to be suspended for an

hour in at least five polling centres. In Kuliarchar of Kishoreganj, miscreants snatched ballots from voting centres in government primary schools in Barchara, Abdullahpur and Kolakopa, while voting in these centres remained suspended for around two hours. In Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga, BNP and Jamaat-backed chairman candidates boycotted the elections alleging vote rigging and centre occupying. In Tungipara of Gopalganj, two election observers were allegedly beaten up by supporters the Awami League-backed chairman candidate, while nine observers withdrew from field citing security reasons. Violence, ballot snatching, illegal ballot stamping, attack on magistrate’s vehicle also marked voting in Tungipara. Voting was temporarily suspended in two centres in Shibganj of Chapainawabganj, following clashes between supporters of Awami League and BNPbacked candidates. In Rajshahi’s Charghat upazila, BNP activists allegedly stabbed a Chhatra League man at Paranpur Primary School centre when he reportedly tried to obstruct voters. l


Missing Malaysian plane ‘deliberately diverted’  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

March 8 and disappeared off air traffic controllers’ screens at about 01:20. Mr Razak told a news conference that new satellite evidence shows “with a high degree of certainty” that the one of the aircraft’s communications systems - the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System - was disabled just before it had reached the east coast of Malaysia. ACARS is a service that allows computers aboard the plane to “talk” to computers on the ground, relaying in-flight information about the health of its systems. “Shortly afterwards, near the crossover point between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic controllers, the plane’s transponder - which emits an identifying

Polls-related violences kill three  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

Ripon Majhi, a polling agent of Awami League-backed candidate Jakir Hossain, was killed, when he and some other people allegedly tried to snatch away ballot papers from the polling centre. Witnesses said Ripon was killed when police opened fire trying to stop miscreants from snatching ballot papers from the polling centre at Bhumghara Government Primary School. However, Ehsan Saha, additional police superintendent of Shariatpur, claimed that Ripon was not killed by police fire. Meanwhile, a factional clash of the BNP left one of its activists dead in Netrokona’s Madanpur upazila, where voting is scheduled to be held during the fourth phase of upazila poll. Witnesses said the clash between the supporters of BNP-backed candidate MA Haresh and BNP’s rebel candidate Rafique Miah killed Genu Mia, a supporter of the rebel candidate. Relatives of the deceased said Haresh’s supporter Abdur Rahim opened fire on the supporters of the rebel candidate, seriously injuring Genu, who was later declared dead at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.

Seven candidates including five BNP-backed chair candidates in Barisal, Bagerhat, Feni and Shariatpur districts boycotted the elections bringing allegations against ruling party activists of vote-rigging and ousting agents and voters from different polling centres. In Chauddagram, BNP-backed candidate Kamrul Huda demanded suspension of ballot casting, alleging polls irregularities and vote rigging. Law enforcers detained seven people for occupying Mahalpara polling station in Brahmanpara upazila of Comilla. In Kurigram Sadar upazila, pickets snatched 246 ballot papers at Halokhana High School polling centre. In Manirampur upazila of Jessore, miscreants attacked Hajrakathhi Government Primary School polling centre and snatched away ballot boxes. Police fired 47 rounds of bullets to bring the situation under control. In Kachua upazila of Chandpur, at least 15 people were injured in a clash between the supporters of the Awami League and the BNP in Shilasthan Government Primary School polling centre. In Dhanbari upazila of Tangail, three people including a presiding officer




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Consumers remain apathetic, wary of state-run watchdog World Consumers Rights Day observed

n Kamran Reza Chowdhury Although the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) has received only 101 complaints regarding adulteration and cheating by food producers and grocery stores until December 2013, its officials claim that violation of consumer rights is still rampant across the country. Urging to address the sufferings incurred in availing different services, the directorate has sent over 50 crores of SMSs to mobile phone users of all telecom operators since its inception in 2010. However, despite the rigorous campaign, people’s response remained negligible as the directorate had received only 101 complaints in between January 2012 and December 2013, according to a paper presented by Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed in the parliament. Abul Hossain Mia, director general of DNCRP, told the Dhaka Tribune that people “are not interested in filing complaints to the directorate because of mistrust and fear of hassle.” Out of the 101 complaints, 45 charges were genuine while 52 allegations were found baseless through investigation and four allegations were currently under investigation, he said. He said people’s positive attitude was necessary to make the directorate a success in its bid to eliminate adulteration through strict implementation of the Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009. The state-run watchdog to monitor the quality of goods and manufactured items observed the World Consumers Rights Day yesterday. In line with the law, the government set up the DNCRP that started func-

tioning on April 6, 2010. “Since establishment, we have sent each of the 11 crore SMSs six times to the mobile users urging them to lodge complaints against any kind of consumer rights violation but people are reluctant towards our calls,” said Abul Hossain. “Most of the people do not even read the SMS which is unfortunate. Citizens should play their roles in order to protect their rights,” said the director general. Two days ago DNCRP had sent its last message. “Can you guarantee that they [the directorate] will investigate my complaints with honesty?” said Abdul Mannan, a resident of capital’s Pallabi area, who was found throwing away a packet of milk on Sunday founding it to be rotten. “They will simply collect fines from the company if I file a complaint,” he said. Denying such allegation Abul Hossain Mia flagged out the shortage of manpower in his office. According to the official figure, the directorate had searched 24,750 commercial entities until February 16 this year and collected fines amounting to around Tk7.47 crore for adulteration. In line with the Consumer Rights Protection Act, the government set up a National Consumer Rights Protection Council headed by the Commerce Minister in 2010. The deputy commissioners of the 64 districts head the district consumer rights protection committee while 487 upzila nirbahi officers head the committee at the upazila level. On February 25, the Commerce Minister told the parliament that the government would form similar protection committees at the union level. l

Clockwise from top left: Voters queue in lines to cast their votes at a polling centre in Shatkhira upazila. Miscreants vandalise ballot boxes and loot ballot papers at Alia Madrasa polling centre in Bhola. Election officials unload ballot boxes for counting at a polling centre after the upazila elections ended in Gaibandha. Miscreants cast fake votes in front of the presiding officer at a polling centre Daganbhuiyan in Feni BANGLAR CHOKH/FOCUS BANGLA

Ministry to intervene in tribunal crisis this week n Udisa Islam After almost 15 days, the law ministry may take steps this week to settle the disagreements within the prosecution team. In the meantime, the prosecutors, divided into two groups led by the chief prosecutor and the chief coordinator, are trying to protect their post and position by lobbying. Some prosecutors think that the situation cannot recover without rearranging the team. Meanwhile, activists are concerned that things might go worse if the government cannot handle the matter properly. Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: “I have been informed about everything, but took some time. I will sit with all of them this week and try to settle the issues.” He, however, did not elaborate anything, saying: “Whatever I say now may go against me. So let us wait some more days.” The prosecution team has been in an embarrassment for the last two weeks after Mohammad Ali, conducting lawyer in the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami, in a recent TV interview criticised the whole team and particularly attacked prosecutor Tureen Afroz. The incident has brought the other issues to front which had remained subdued in the past. Tureen on March 3 complained to Chief Prosecutor Golam Arif Tipoo in writing. He then asked the law ministry

on March 5 to take proper measures in this regard. Last week, Ali was reluctant to allow Tureen taking part in the closing arguments in Nizami case, even though the chief prosecutor had mentioned the two names in a letter issued before rehearing of the arguments. In the last two weeks, the chief coordinator-led prosecutors held several meetings at the prosecution office excluding some members to deal with the situation. Sources said they were trying to save their posts by any means. They are likely to raise some questions about the chief prosecutor. These prosecutors have never dealt any case and alleged to have acted like political appointees and created unwanted situation at different times over the issues of media coverage and personal benefits. Syed Rezaur Rahman, a member of the Awami League advisory council, is one of them. He was active when the tribunal started but lately he had been engaged with the case on August 21 grenade attack, of which he is the chief prosecutor. He reportedly leads the group of some 11 prosecutors loyal to the chief coordinator, MK Rahman, also an additional attorney general. The coordinator is not regular at the prosecution office and for that, Rezaur leads the group in his absence. Prosecutors Mir Iqbal Hossain and Altaf Hossain were replaced by Ali for

“poor performance” in the trial against Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami. These prosecutors think that they are harassed by the others who are close to the chief prosecutor. Meanwhile, some members of the team claimed that the division came forth just after MK Rahman was appointed as chief coordinator last year. Prosecutors who are inactive are grouping with him for their survival. MK Rahman refutes the claim. “I did not come here for grouping, I have my particular responsibility.” Tipoo recently termed his appointment made through a special circular in January last year “unacceptable.” As per the law, the post of the prosecution’s chief coordinator is illegal. Senior prosecutor Rheshikesh Saha told the Dhaka Tribune that the chief prosecutor had been a wrong choice by government as he was not able to do any work due to his old age. So the team cannot work properly. Shahriar Kabir, an activist for the trial of war criminals, said: “In this situation, if the government does not take a particular strategy to settle the situation, then they may create nuisance. “Since the situation has been getting worse day by day, the government should not take more time to solve this. To try the war criminals, we need a potential team, not the one who quarrels for their posts only,” he said. l

‘Anti-liberation forces still active’ n BSS

No contractual appointment in admin

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the anti-liberation forces were still active in the country, but none could suppress the Bengali people in the past and they would not be able to do so in future. Addressing a seminar organised by the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust titled “Speech of March 7: A Masterpiece Speech of Liberation in the World History” yesterday, the premier made the comment. Hasina also said no political speech except that of Bangabandhu could inspire people of a country for a long time. Speakers at the seminar also echoed the premier’s voice, and said the speech of Bangabandhu on March 7, 1971 was a source of inspiration for all freedom-loving people of the world. Terming the historic speech of Bangabandhu as one the best impromptu speeches of the liberation in the world history, they laid importance on establishing its inherent spirit in the mind of the future generation of Bangladesh. They said the speech inspired the Bengali people to get prepared for a potential war of independence, amid widespread reports of armed mobilisation by the then West Pakistan, declaring civil disobedience. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave the speech at the then Ramna Race Course Maidan in Dhaka at a time of increasing tensions between East Pakistan and the powerful political and military establishment of West Pakistan. l

n Mohosinul Karim

Muhith for quota to directly recruit qualified job seekers n Asif Showkat Kallol Finance Minister AMA Muhith has reportedly rejected students’ demand for extending the government’s recruitment age limit. In a letter to the public administration ministry, Muhith, however, recommended the introduction of a quota for the direct recruitment of qualified job seekers at every level of the ministries and divisions. Sources in the ministry said the public administration ministry was now examining the matter. The observations from the minister came following demands raised by

Shadharan Chhatra Parishad, a body of students, last week for extending the age limit of government recruitment from the existing 30 to 35 years. In his letter, dated March 3, Muhith wrote a personal note saying that he was against extending the age limit, but recommended a quota for educated job seekers at every level of ministries and divisions. The recent labour survey 2010 by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistic (BBS) revealed that a large number of people with a master’s degree were unemployed in the country, while unemployment was low among the uneducated and informally educated people.

The BBS findings also said the country had around 25.68 lakh unemployed people in 2010. The survey also found that of the total unemployed, 14.27% were doctors and engineers, while 31% of all women doctors were unemployed. The unemployed also included 13.78% people with higher secondary degrees, while 10.25% of the unemployed were masters degree holders. Shadharan Chhatra Parishad General Secretary Al Ammin Raju told the Dhaka Tribune that educated people would not be benefitted from the finance minister’s recommendation, as he did not mention the age limit of direct recruitment at the ministry and divisions for

educated people. The students would graduate by the age of 23 in an ideal world, Raju said, adding that mismanagement by the country’s universities force students to spend three to five extra years for higher studies. “Recruitment should be based on a candidate’s competence and not age,” he added. Current and former students, under the banner of Shadharan Chhatra Parishad, termed the 30-year age limit unfair, and said most students could not graduate until they were nearly 28 as the public universities were burdened with session jams. l

No contractual appointment will be allowed in the civil administration from now as the government has already taken decision to encourage fresh recruitment and retirement process, officials said. However, the government may allow contracts for technical experts and most senior officers for any particular sector for a certain period. It would not be more than six months to one year, the officials of the public administration ministry said. The decision was taken as per the desire of the prime minister who is against contractual appointments in the administration after extending retirement age of public servants to 59 from 57 years. Finance Minister AMA Muhith has recently sent letters to the state minister for public administration, cabinet secretary, principal secretary to the prime minister, public administration secretary and finance secretary requesting them not to allow contractual appointment in the administration, citing its inconveniences. According to the ministry officials, at least 160 people, including some secretaries of the civil administration, are now in service on contractual basis. Most of the appointments were given based on political consideration. State Minister for Public Administration Ismat Ara Sadique told the Dhaka Tribune that the finance minister issued letters as per the decision of the prime minister. The ministry has already taken steps against contractual appointments as the premier also wants to make the civil bureaucracy more effective. The government usually gives con-

tractual appointments to get additional services from senior and skilled officers who gained professional competence and expertise. They get contracts for one or two years, she said. “So, it’s not necessary to give them contracts again for getting extra services. It will create barriers to the promotion of other officers and recruitment process of new officers in the administration. We want fresh blood to get their services,” she added. The Awami League-led grand alliance government in December, 2011 extended the retirement age of public servants, taking account of increase in average life expectancy of people in the country. As a result, the retirement process of senior officials was stuck. It began again since December, 2013. At least 100 senior officials have already started enjoying leave preparatory to retirement. The vacancies of senior officials were filled temporarily with putting them in charge of the offices or posting new officers. Finally, the vacant posts would be filled by promoting them. Ismat Ara said, “We will be able to promote and recruit some new officers soon as some vacancies have already been created. At least 276,000 out of 1.3m posts lie vacant in the administration.” “We have already started the recruitment process for filling the vacancies. It would be completed as early as possible,” she added. The finance minister requested the public administration ministry and others to prepare a guideline on contractual appointment of retired public servants and fix the age limit to be considered for public service. The contractual appointment would remain stopped until the guideline is prepared. l




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Malarial mosquitoes fly higher n Tribune Report Things are looking up for the little parasite that infects 200 million people a year, and kills more than 600,000 of them. As global temperatures rise, so will the altitude at which the Anopheles mosquito and its plasmodium parasite can survive, and so will the numbers at risk from malaria, reports Londonbased Climate News Network. The global war against malaria has always been an uphill struggle, but populations in highland regions have usually been safe, because the parasite cannot replicate at low temperatures. Amir Siraj of the University of Denver in Colorado in the US and colleagues in the UK and Ethiopia report in the journal Science that they have started to consider the effect of climate change on the spread of the disease. Projections of hazards such as these are difficult: the likelihood of infection can depend on steps civil, national and international health authorities may take, the preparedness of communities depends on spraying programmes and the availability of drugs, and the numbers at risk alter as populations grow and economies develop. All malaria needs is somewhere warm and wet, and a steady supply of potential hosts. The disease was once endemic in mild, low-lying or marshy areas of Europe (the name comes from the Italian mal aria or bad air). It can be controlled by spraying, and by public education. But it remains an enduring hazard in Africa, parts of Asia and South America. Upland communities, however, have tended to be safe. In Bangladesh, malaria is one of

the major public health problems. Out of the total 64 districts, 13 are in the high endemic areas of malaria transmissions. In these 13 endemic districts there are 70 endemic upazilas covering 620 unions with the total population of over 1 crore, according to the government’s National Malaria Control Programme. The high endemic districts are Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and three districts of the hill tracts; Kurigram, Sherpur, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Moulvibazar and Sylhet. They have bordering areas with India and Myanmar that are full of forests and hills – breeding ground for malaria carrying mosquitoes. Over 98% of the total cases in the country are reported from these areas. The Denver team decided to forget about all the complex possibilities and just look at some very precise data from Colombia between 1990 and 2005, and Ethiopia from 1993 to 2005. They reasoned that a match of seasonal temperatures and reported cases would tell them what to expect. Sure enough, they found that during warmer years, there were more reported cases of malaria in both countries. As average temperatures rise, so will the numbers of potential victims soar, and so will the need for investment in mitigation and insect control. “With progressive global warming, malaria will creep up the mountains and spread to new high altitude areas,” said Menno Bouma of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, one of the authors. “And because these populations lack protective immunity, they will be particularly vulnerable.” l

SI beats a lawyer for bribe in Naogaon n Our Correspondent, Naogaon A Sub-Inspector (SI) of Manda police station allegedly assaulted a lawyer of Naogaon Judge Court for not giving bribe in Naogaon yesterday. The victim was identified as Dipen Kuma Sarker, 35, son of Sri Dinesh Cahndra Sarker of Manda upazila of the district while the name of the accused SI was Shafiqul Islam who had allegedly threatened of killing Dipen in crossfire and making accused under false cases such as robbery and murder. Dipen’s uncle Bishwajit Sarker submitted an application to the officerin-charge of the Manda police station seeking justice. Bishwajit said Shafiqul arrested Golam Rabbani, an accused under a

robbery case, on a one-day remand on March 11. The accused’s father along with Dipen went to the police station. The SI allegedly demanded Tk20,000 as bribe for not beating the accused. Shafiqul beat him when Dipen refused to pay the money and took Tk5000 from him and took his signature on a blank paper. Dipen’s family came to know the matter on Friday and admitted him at a local hospital. Refuting all allegation Shafiqul Islam said: “I detained him as Dipen tried to bribe me Tk1,000. Later on, I freed him on request from his family.” Officer-in-charge of the Manda police station, Abdullah Hel Baki said: “I have heard the matter. Legal action will be taken after necessary investigation.” l

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina receives donations for the upcoming T20 World Cup from representatives of different private organisations and companies at Ganabhaban in the capital yesterday FOCUS BANGLA

Appointment of female personnel for female victims demanded n Tribune Report Speakers at a two-day conference on “Violence Against Women” yesterday said it would be convenient if the government appointed female personnel to help female victims in seeking justice. Additional Attorney General MK Rahman said: “If female police officials investigate the cases filed under Women & Children Repression Prevention Act, female doctors examine them, female lawyers help them on the dock, the justice seekers would feel more comfortable in the social context of our country.” Addressing the inaugural session of the conference organised jointly by Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamen-

tary Affairs and UNDP’s Justice Sector Facility project at a city hotel, MK Rahman made the comment. He also said the defence lawyers and also the investigation officers should be trained to be soft on the female victims, while the investigation officers should be make bound by law to keep contact with public prosecutors so that no female victim was deprive of justice. The conference aims at working with the commitment to address such issues through the project’s goals to ensure delivery of better justice services for women and other vulnerable groups. Addressing the programme, Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain said: “Our judiciary has always been highly sensitised about the rights, liberties

Jagannath University female student found dead in city n UNB A female student of Jagannath University allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan in the city’s Sabujbagh area yesterday. The deceased was identified as

Indra Rani, 20, a 2nd year student of History Department of Jagannath University. Daughter of Sunil Kumar, Indra, was residing at a house at Kadomtoli School Road under Sabujbagh police station with her parents. Hospital sources said Sunil and his son

Dry weather likely n UNB




Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

32.1 33.5 32.5 31.6 33.0 32.0 34.1 34.5

19.0 21.8 15.6 17.0 19.5 18.5 17.8 21.4

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Jumma Asr Magrib Esha

4:51am 6:06am 12:07am 4:27pm 6:08pm 7:23pm


Shourav found the hanging body of Indra at her room at about 5:00 pm and rushed her to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared her dead. The body was sent to the DMCH morgue for autopsy. l

The National University Vice Chancellor Harun-or-Rashid on March 7 said “CHT Problem in Bangladesh stemmed from pursuance of a policy of Homogenization and Majoritarian State Ideal.” The VC made the remarks at a seminar on his research titled” Process of Marginalization of indigenous people In Their homeland: A Study on CHT in Bangladesh” at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan, said a media release signed by NU director (Public Relations, Information & Coun-sel-ing) Md Faizul Karim. He also said the 1997 CHT Peace Accord is a landmark in the country’s political history, which shows the policy of homogenization and majoritarian state ideal as the root cause of the CHT problem resulting in an insurgency spanning over two decades. Dr Harun-or-Rashid termed the growth of a nexus of vested interests encompassing all segments - civilian, non-civilian, administration, business, corporate houses, politicians, settlers, NGOs and other bodies, a section of tribal leaders, individuals- centering land as the main impediment to the implementation of the accord. The VC is now on a two-month visit at the university on the research. l

Matia: Foreign ambassadors interfering in internal affairs


Weather is likely to remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Day temperature might rise slightly and night temperature might fall slightly over the country, Met Office said. The sun sets in the capital at 6:08pm today and rises at 6:06am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 34.5 degree Celsius was recorded in Cox’s Bazar and lowest 14.6 degrees in Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were:

and status of women under the international covenants and treaties ratified by Bangladesh and those under the constitution and laws of Bangladesh. “Special and exclusive court/tribunals with special procedural laws have been established in each district to deal with women rights and violence against women. We still have to go a long way.” Deputy Country Director Nick Beresford of the UNDP said they would help Bangladesh improve delivery of justice and develop a gender oriented police force. Among others ASSM Zahirul Haque, secretary in charge of law and justice division, Additional Inspector General of Police Nazmul Haque were also present. l

Homogenization & Majoritarian State Ideal causes CHT problem: NU VC n Tribune Report

n Tribune Report

Nick Beresford, deputy country director of UNDP Bangladesh, speaks at the inaugural session of a two-day conference on violence against women at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla in the capital yesterday RAJIB DHAR

Social Business Design Lab held at Yunus Centre n UNB

The 13th Social Business Design Lab was held at the Yunus Centre in the capital yesterday with around 150 different organisations taking part in it. Innovators of six new social business plans presented their projects at the Design Lab. Chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus via live stream,

the Design Lab was also attended by a delegation from Yunus Centre at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and Diabetic Association of Bangladesh President Prof AK Azad Khan. Prof Yunus provided a summary of the projects that were presented at the previous 12 labs. Of the total 86 social business projects presented at the Design Lab, 73 have already received approval for implementation.l

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury yesterday alleged that foreign ambassadors in Dhaka were interfering with Bangladesh’s internal affairs, including its politics. “Do not interfere or say whatever you like. We will not allow such activities. Try to understand that we need not to beg to anyone for anything anymore,we have enough food and clothes,” she said while addressing a rally of Bangladesh Krishak League in the capital. Hinting the US ambassador in Dhaka, Matia, who is also a presidium

committee member of the ruling Awami League, noted that even when they say that were against militancy but still hold discussions with Hefazate-Islam. “Do we talk about your election, so why do you talk about ours? We can judge what is right and what is wrong on our own.” Mentioning the government’s initiative to support farmers across the country, the minister said: “Now, one kilogram of MoP fertiliser costs less than a bottle of drinking water.” “Farmers now pay Tk22/kg for TSP fertiliser and Tk27/kg for GSP fertiliser,” he added. l

50 hurt in rival group clash n Our Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar At least 50 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups of terrorists over establishing supremacy in Moheshkhali area of Cox’s Bazar yesterday. Locals say that the clash ensued between Jonab ali group and Jalal group around 5.30am in Kathaltali and Kalazirpara area of Moheshkhali. The clash continued until around 11.00am on the

day and during the time the terrorists damaged over 50 residential houses. Contacted, Mohammad Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Moheshkhali police station, says that on information, they rushed in and take the situation under control. Investigation in this regard is on and action will be taken against all responsible, he added. Jafar Alam, local Awami League leader, says that around 200 terrorists

led by Jonab Ali, who is also prime accuse of police officer Porosh murder case, made the attack on 50 residential houses and looted valuables from there. The injured were admitted at different hospital of Moheshkhali and Cox’s Bazar. In this regard, Enamul Haque, Upazila Chairman says that he was out of the area but on information, he sent police force to the area and Union Parisahd guards and officials. l




Sunday, March 16, 2014

50% progress in 14 years for Purbachal Link Road Rajuk appoints new contractor for one lot following repeated delays n Abu Hayat Mahmud Only 50% of the construction of the Purbachal Link Road has been completed during 14 years since the project was first initiated by Rajuk, as authorities concerned repeatedly shifted responsibility of the project to different agencies and contractors The snail’s pace of the project, wrong choices in appointing contractors and repeated suspensions of construction work have allegedly been caused by indifference from the state agency Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk). Rajuk originally initiated the construction of the road in 2000 to connect the satellite city Purbachal with the capital, with the proposed road supposed to make commuting easier in the northeast parts of the city. The road was also planned to improve the capital’s road communications with Chittagong, Sylhet, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and other northern and eastern districts, in a bid to save time and huge amount of money every year. Earlier in 2000, Rajuk initiated the construction of the link road, while in 2004, the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) was tasked with its construction. However, Rajuk took charge of the project in mid-2008 after the RHD failed to make progress. Later in 2010, Rajuk decided to construct the road with funds under the Purbachal New Town Project at a cost of Tk350crore. Rajuk officials said the construction of the 300-feet wide Purbachal Link Road started in October 2011 and was scheduled to end last April, while the deadline was later extended to August of the same year. The under-construction 13.3km link road has been divided into two lots;with the lot 1 consisting 6.9kmof road from Balu bridge to Kanchan bridge on Shitalakkha, while the lot 2 consisting 6.4km of road from Kuril flyover to Balu bridge. The contractors have reportedly halted construction demanding additional funds as cost adjustment for the rising price of building materials. The suspension of the construction came at a time when the link road assumed a far greater importance than previous times following the inauguration of the Kuril flyover, as one of its ramps

50 injured as RMG workers clash with police n Tribune Report A clash between cops and a garment factory workers who have been protesting the factory closure left at least 5o protesters injured at city’s outskirt Savar yesterday. The clash erupted when the workers of Dhaka Sweaters Limited of Genda tried to occupy the Dhaka-Aricha highway in the morning. Police charged batons, hurled tear shell canisters while workers hurled brick chips in retaliation that left the injuries, police said. According to the workers, since the last few days workers have been agitating demanding increase in piece rate, basic salaries, providing ID cards including 10-point demands. To curb the agitation, the factory authority closed the factory for an indefinite period. l


Police remains clueless even after three months n Mohammad Jamil Khan Police investigators are yet to arrest any suspects or find any clues in the killings of six people, including a father and son, inside a flat in the capital’s Gopibagh area nearly three month ago. While an investigation is on, family members of the victims are reportedly passing their days in hiding, fearing reprisals by those responsible for the murders. On December 21, the slain bodies of a local religious leader, “Pir” Lutfar Rahman Faruk, his son, Sarowar Islam Faruk, and four followers Monzurul Alam, Mohammad Rasel, Mohammad Shaheen and Mujibar Sarker, were found in their rented flat at 64/6 Gopibagh.

‘We are living in hiding although it is the criminals who are supposed to be in hiding’

Workers resume construction of the Purbachal Link Road after authorities finally appointed a new contractor to finish the project. This picture was taken yesterday was linked to the Purbachal link road, and another face of the road was linked with the Dhaka bypass road in Rupganj. ZahirulAlam, a resident of Dumni, said hundreds of people used the link road daily to save time. “People living in Kuril, Khilkhet, Barua, Dumni, Isapura, Rupganj and different adjoining areas are using the road as a shortcut,” he said. Zahirul also said the incomplete and bumpy road allows only CNG-run auto-rickshaws and battery-run three-wheelers to operate on the road, adding: “Driv-

ers charge Tk70 as fare for each trip from Khilkhet to Kanchan Bridge.” Jahanara Akhter, another Dumniresident, said travelling on the potholed road was uncomfortable, especially for the children and the elderly people. Uzzal Mallick, project manager of Rajuk, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Rajuk has cancelled contracts with former two venture companies – CTCL-Monico of lot 1 and ACL-RP Construction of lot 2 – for the delay of construction. “Rajuk cancelled contract with ACLRP Construction in September last

‘Comply with building code in constructing RMG factories’ n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for complying with the building code while constructing garment factory buildings to ensure the safety of workers and avert any untoward incident. “We are ready to offer the technical support needed in constructing RMG factory buildings properly,” Professor Dr M Shamim Z Basunia, president of Engineers’ Institution Bangladesh, said while addressing the seminar. The seminar, titled ‘Building, Fire and Electrical Safety of RMG Factories’ was organised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association as part of the ongoing Chit-

tagong Apparel, Fabric and Accessories Exposition (CAPAXPO-2014), at the Mahabub Ali Auditorium in the port city. Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Abdus Salam, who was present at the seminar as chief guest, stressed the need for abiding by the building code and added that the CDA would extend its all out cooperation in providing approvals for proper plans. Dr Hazrat Ali, professor of civil engineering at Chittagong University of Engineering Technology, who was the special guest at the seminar, advised the garment owners to take advice from the construction engineers and architects while building their factory buildings. l

year, and also cancelled contract with CTCL-Monico this month,” he added. Uzzal said construction for lot 2 has restarted after Rajuk signed new contracts with two joint venture companies NCEL-FF CRUZ in December last yearfor the cost of around Tk142 crore. No new contract, however, has been signed for lot 1, he added. Answering to a query, he said around 50% of the construction has been completed. Rajuk Chief Engineer (implementation) Md Emdadul Islam admitted that the construction has been suspended,


adding that agreements with the former contractors had been cancelled because of delays in construction. Rajuk officials said the 12-lane road is planned to have a four-lane expressway with two service roads on its both sides, as well as seven bridges, six underpasses and two culverts. During a visit to the project area, the Dhaka Tribune found that although the road was incomplete, the bridges and culverts were almost completed. The new construction companies have also started work on lot 2. l

Abdullah-Al-Faruk, Lutfar Rahman’s younger son and plaintiff of the murder case filed with police, told the Dhaka Tribune that the family’s everyday lives were disrupted due to fear of the killers as police had failed to make any progress in their investigation. “We are living in hiding although it is the criminals who are supposed to be in hiding,” Faruk said. During a primary investigation, law enforcers on examining the crime scene suspected that some militant Islamic group might be behind the killings. However, the Detective Branch of Police, which is now in charge of the case, has failed to identify any suspects or ascertain a motive. DB inspector Abul Khayer Matubbor, the investigating officer of the case, said they suspected that a militant group was involved in the killings, but were yet to find any trace of the killers. “The killers were experts, and they did not leave a single clue at the crime scene. We sent samples collected from the spot to a laboratory for examination, but could not get much information,” he said. Meanwhile, a high DB official claimed that “Pir” Lutfar Rahman often used to give confusing statements about Islam which might have angered some militant group and led to the killings. The official named banned Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Hizbut Tahrir and Harkatul Jihad as possible suspects. l

President urges private universities to enroll poor students n BSS President Abdul Hamid yesterday asked the authorities of private universities to increase numbers of scholarships so that poor but meritorious students could get access to higher education alongside the students from well-off families. “I urge all concerned to consider the issue,” he said while presiding over the second convocation of University of Information Technology and Sciences at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital. The convocation got a new look as former prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohamad, who is widely called as the architect of modern Malaysia, spoke as the convocation speaker. Abdul Hamid expressed his gratitude to the former Malaysian premier

for visiting Bangladesh. “On behalf of the University and on my own behalf I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to you [Mahathir] for honouring us with your kind presence and delivering convocation speech at this august gathering,” he said. Nearly 6,000 students were conferred graduate and post graduate degrees from different disciplines while six students received gold medals for their outstanding academic results. Terming the graduates as higher human resources of the country, President Hamid said: “Keep in mind that the country as well as the state has helped you to reach this level. So you are in debt to the country. If you are able to serve the nation through your acquired knowledge and merit, that debt will be paid to some extent.” The president also stressed the need

for combining joy with education, saying affection for people, humanity, culture, tradition, and knowledge and technology-based techniques must be infused in education. “We need such education that can produce creative and enlightened people, not certificate oriented education or the kind of education which rely on reading of textbooks and memorising guide books,” he said. Bangladesh needed an education that would teach students to wipe out all superstitions, narrowness and fundamentalism as well as gave emphasis on unity among human race eradicating all discrimination, the president said. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, UITS board of trustees Chairman Mohammad Mizanur Rahman and Vice-Chancellor Muhammad Samad also addressed the programme. l

JnU suspends 2 BCL activists for assaulting teacher over tender dispute n Mohammad Jamil Khan The authorities of Jagannath University (JnU) yesterday suspended two Bangladesh Chhatra League activists for allegedly assaulting a teacher over a procurement dispute. The suspended students were identified as SM Sirajul Islam, secretary of Chhatra League’s JnU unit, and Shamim Ahmed. The university also served a notice to Shamim Mollah, a former JnU student, demanding to know “why the university would not cancel his certificate” for his alleged involvement in the matter. JnU proctor Asoke Kumar Saha confirmed the suspensions, saying the decision was taken yesterday in an emergency meeting of the university’s law and order committee. In a press statement, the JnU authorities said the students were accused of assaulting Mohammad Sayed Alam, a

professor of the chemistry department, last week. The university also planned to file a case in this regard, it added. According to the statement, the JnU authorities had formed a committee with Sayed Alam as convener to procure furniture for the students’ common room through inviting tenders. The statement claimed that Sirajul Islam went to Sayed Alam’s office room on Thursday and asked him to stop the bidding process. Sirajul also asked the professor to issue a statement declaring that the tendering was over. But when Sayed Alam refused to do so, Sirajul and his supporters assaulted him, the press statement added. Sirajul, however, denied the allegation against him. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, he claimed that the JnU teachers’ association was “staging a false drama” against him to foil an ongoing student movement to recover university dormi-

tories from illegal occupiers. He also alleged that the university authorities and teachers’ association had taken huge sums of money from local lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and other property “grabbers” to stop the students from demonstrating. “For this reason, they staged the drama just before the day of our grand rally today at Shaheed Minar,” claimed Sirajul, who is also the member secretary of the “hall recovery committee” formed by the agitating students. Meanwhile, Sarkar Ali Akkas, president of JnU teachers’ association, refuted the student leader’s claims. “We are always with the students and we are also holding protests in support of their demand. So, we are not against their demonstrations,” Sarkar said, adding, “He (Sirajul) was punished as per the decision of the law and order committee following a primary investigation.” l

President Abdul Hamid awards a student at the second convocation of University of Information Technology and Sciences, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital yesterday. Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad was also present at the event PID




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Govt preparing visitor’s policy to protect Sundarbans n BSS The government is preparing a visitor’s policy to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest the Sundarbans. The policy will include comprehensive guidelines for the tourists as part of the government effort to save the mangrove forest from pollution created by the vessels and visitors. “We are exchanging views with both the government and private stakeholders, who are directly involved with the tourism industry,” Faiz Ahmed, joint secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, said. He said the policy would be finalised immediately after getting the opinion of the people concerned in the tourism sector.

Officials of the ministry said the government had initiated the process of preparing visitor’s policy nearly two years back. As part of the process, the ministry sent letters to different stakeholders, including the tour operators, seeking opinion. Apart from the tour operators, all the organisations concerned have given feedback in this regard. Yunus Ali, chief conservator of Forests, said the policy was needed for the sake of greater interest of the Sundarbans. “All the tourists and vessels are used to leave solid wastages which are not decomposed properly, polluting the environment of the Sundarbans severely,” he added. l

Sultana Kamal: Crossfire, a threat to humanity and good governance n Our Correspondent, Jhenaidah Ain O Salish Kendra Executive Director Sultana Kamal said extrajudicial killing, widely known as crossfire by the law enforcement agencies, was one of the barriers in establishing good governance in the country. Such type of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearance must be stopped immediately, she added. While unveiling the cover of a new book in Jhenaidah, Sultana Kamal made the comments. She also said the incidents of human rights violation, especially to the women, were increasing in an alarming rate. Mentality of the people should be changed to ensure human rights equal-

ly for men, women and children, she added. Condemning torture and repression on women, rape, killing and other crimes, Sultana Kamal said an independent country could not move forward if such crimes were not swept away. The people should protest the misdeeds of the government to establish a just society free from terrorism, killing and abuse, she said. The programme was presided over by Deputy Commissioner Safiqul Islam, while Assistant Police Super Nazrul Islam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer Julkar Nayon, Human Rights Lawyers’ Association President Dabir Hossain addressed the programme among others. l

A bus topples upside down after falling into a roadside ditch at Mirkandapara in sadar upazila in Mymensingh yesterday

Slaughtered body recovered n Our Correspondent, Khagrachari

4 killed in Mymensingh road crash

Police yesterday morning recovered the slaughtered body of a man in Chenguchara village under Manikchari upazila in Khagrachari. The deceased was identified as Mohammad Zakir Hossain, 30, son of late Ali Hossain Patwary of Eksatya Para in the same upazila of the district. Officer-in-charge of Manikchari Police Station Keshob Chakrabarty said the man might have been killed any time following Friday night. “Either he was killed by snatchers who snatched his motorcycle or by his neighbours whom he had long-standing dispute with over land,” the officerin-charge observed. “We recovered the body and have sent it to Khagrachari Modern Sadar Hospital for autopsy,” he added. l

n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh

‘Water sharing issue should be taken to international forum’ n Our Correspondent, Jessore Speakers at BBC Bangladesh Sanglap held on Jessore Collectorate premises yesterday stressed the need to take the issue of water sharing with India to the international forum. “Water sharing concerning several rivers having links with India will not be possible without taking the issue to the international forum,” the speakers

observed. In reply to questions, speakers said opening session of the T20 World Cup in the capital city focused largely on Indian culture. “Bangladeshi culture was neglected during the programme. We need to focus and promote our culture more because Indian culture has invaded ours.” Opening ceremony of the Asia Cup last month coincided with the nation

commemorating the killing of 65 army officials, said speakers. “Imposition of ban on Indian channels is needed,” they added. Highlighting attacks on the minorities, the speakers said people belonging to these groups were being subjected to torture not only in Bangladesh but also across the world. They also described upazila polls as farce. l

Businessman picked up again Correspondent, n Our Narayanganj

6th Death Anniversary of Advocate Aminul Islam Today (16th March 2014) is the 6th death anniversary of Advocate “Md. Aminul Islam”, a member of the then East Pakistan Civil Service (Judicial), Advocate Aminul Islam, worked with Sherpur Bar for about 50 years.


Detective Branch (DB) of police allegedly detained a businessman yesterday who was hassled in Navy police outpost earlier for protesting extortion in the district. The victim was identified as Md Ezaz who was tortured and beaten up on March 6. According to sources, Sub-Inspector of

DB police-Shafiq picked up Ezaz from a shop in Riverview Market. The police showed recovery of an empty bottle of phensidyle and a knife, wrapped with polythene from the shop. During the arrest, Shafiq wanted to know if Ezaz had any clash with SI Nazrul, incharge of Navy outpost. The businessmen of the market said Ezaz was arrested without any reason. l

Husband kills himself, wife Correspondent, n Our Mymensingh A young husband committed suicide by hanging himself after allegedly killing his wife at Habirbari village under Bhaluka upazila in Mymensingh district on Friday night. Police sources said Khokan Miah, 28, hailing from village Bhayaboh in Bhaluka upazila and a mason by profession allegedly strangled his wife Sabina Yeasmin, 21, a worker at Square Fashions Ltd Bhaluka upazila around 9pm over a family feud on Friday night. Khokon and Sabina got married one and a half

years ago and they couple were residing at Habirbari for their job purposes, police said. Primarily it was suspected that Khokon killed himself after killing his wife as there was mark of injury in Sabina’s neck, said Abul Kalam Azad, officer-in-charge of Bhaluka police station. Being informed by the locals, police rushed to the spot and recovered the bodies by breaking open the door around 10pm on Friday night. We are looking into the incident, said the OC. A case was lodged with Bhaluka police station in this connection. l

At least four people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a road accident on the Shambhuganj-Paranganj road at Faliamari in sadar upazila here yesterday. Of the deceased, three are Sultan Miah, 45, son of Helal Uddin, Abdur Rahim, 40, son of Mujibur Rahman, and Hasmat Ali, 35, son of Nuru Sheikh, who hail from Boror Char village in the upazila while the identities of the rest could not be confirmed immediately. Kotwali police station OC Golam Sarwar said the accident took place on the road around 11:45am when a speeding Boror Char-bound bus from Netrokona veered off the road and fell into a roadside ditch after losing con-

trol, leaving the four dead on the spot and the 50 injured. On information, police and fire brigade personnel from the district rushed to the spot and rescued the victims after an hour of frantic efforts, said Abul Hossain, assistant director of Mymensingh Fire Service and Civil Defence. However, the driver of the vehicle fled the scene after the crash. Quoting locals, police said the passengers, most of them are residents of the village were returning home by bus from a mazar (shrine) of Modanpur of Netrokona. “The bus was overcrowded that led to the accident”, police added. Principal Motiur Rahman, minister for religious affairs, visited the spot. l

Law flouted as trees sold from government land n Our Correspondent, Magura A government officer sold trees recently worth about Tk 12 lakh in Magura district from the Water Development Board compound, without informing higher authorities or calling tender. According to sources, the WDB planted the trees on the bank of the Ganga-Kapatakha canal in Sreepur upazila under social plantation programme with a view to enhancing beauty and maintaining ecological balance. But Shanta Kumar Dutta, WDB sectional officer, in collusion with Nakol union council member Ebadat Hossen sold the trees. When contacted, Ebadat Hossen said that the trees were cut down and sold directed by WDB sectional officer Shanta Kumar. l


Memo No.Z.P.Meher./Eng./2014-35(100)

Dated: 12-03-2014.

INVITATION FOR TENDER (IFT) Tender Notice: 02/2013-2014

Sealed tender are hereby invited from The Zilla Parishad, Meherpur enlisted Contractor, as defined in the tender documents for the under mentioned works as per terms and conditions stated below: Group No

Name of work


Estimated Cost (Tk)

Tender Security (Tk)

Time of completion (Days)

Price of tender documents (Tk)


Completion of incompletion work Meherpur of Gate with Father of the nation Sadar Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National four leaders in front of Zilla Parishad office Campus.



75 Days



Completion of incompletion work on waterfall/Fountain in front of Zilla Parishad office.




75 Days



Repairing & Painting of Zilla Parishad office Bhabon.




60 Days



Maintenance of chief executive officer`s Resident and approach road.




60 Days



Repair and maintenance of Latrines at Zilla parishad Sadar Dakbanglo-1 & 2.




60 Days



Source of Fund


Last date, time & places of selling : Date : 01-04-2014. Time : up to office time tender documents. Place : (a) Deputy Commissioner, Meherpur. (b) Zilla Parishad, Meherpur. (c) Executive Engineer, LGED, Meherpur. (d) Upazilla Nirbahi Officer Meherpur Sadar, Meherpur.


Last date, time & places of receiving : Date : 02-04-2014. Time : up to 12.30 P.M tender documents. Place : Zilla Parishad, Meherpur.


Date, time & places of opening : Date : 02-04-2014. Time tender. Place : Zilla Parishad, Meherpur


Tender security will be in favour of “Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad, Meherpur” in the form of Pay Order/Bank Draft from any schedule Bank in Bangladesh.


If the quoted amount of any tender is more than 5% above or less than the estimated cost, his/her tender shall be rejected.


If the quoted rate become same for any group then the lottery will be held after tender evaluation report at Zilla Parishad, Meherpur.


The Tenderer will have to apply in their original letter pad and submit attested photocopy of the up-to-date Trade License, VAT Registration, Income Tax Certificate, Cash flow and Liquid Assets for purchasing tender document.


Tender shall be valid for a period of 120 days after bid submission and must be accompanied by the tender security specified above. Interested Tenderers may obtain further information from the office of the undersigned and purchase the tender documents in cash from the places mentioned above. The tenderers or their authorized representatives are allowed to attend the opening of tenders. The authority reserves the right to accept or reject any or all the tenders without assigning any reasons whatsoever.

GC-31/14 (10"×4)

: ADP & Revenue.

: 2.00 P.M.

(Md Liakat Ali) Assistant Engineer Zilla Parishad, Meherpur




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Staring down the barrel of a social science major Job prospects and career insights for graduates of social science backgrounds Zeba Bakhtiar and n Anita Naiian Yazdani Social sciences are comprised of a variety of subjects, many of which often do not appeal to those who are opting for a safe and secure option. Some perceive that the more conventional routes, such banking, are the only way ahead. However, once the surface is scratched opportunities emerge in social sciences, and as the name suggest there is scope to make a wider impact. Social science subjects include economics, anthropology, political science, psychology, journalism and sociology. Bangladeshi students that choose “the road not taken” do so from these disciplines. Often in such scenarios, students are misrepresented as naive and unable to make wise career choices for themselves. Furthermore, there is a belief that social science graduates find it more difficult to attain jobs that are satisfying and of a high stature. These beliefs may have been legitimate concerns in the past but are less so today, when everything around us is evolving and opportunities are springing up in areas like never before. Drawing inspiration from what is happening globally, it is clear that graduates with majors in social sciences are leaving a mark in today’s world. A good place to start is right at the top with Dr Mohammad Yunus, who majored in Economics from Dhaka University, and went on to found the organisation called the Grameen Bank, later bringing in Bangladesh’s first Nobel Peace Prize (jointly his and the Grameen Bank’s) through microcredit schemes and social businesses. While Dr Yunus represents the pinnacle, what are the options available to students who have commenced down this path? Although a rewarding career at an NGO may appear to be the only

The common thread through all these occupations is they all deal with the current issues affecting people

available career option for social science graduates, it is not the case. For example, a graduate of psychology who chooses to do a masters in child education could work as a child psychologist, helping children afflicted by mental ailments, supporting them as they recover from hardships and deal with trauma. Today as the awareness of the importance of mental health rises, as will roles such as these. This is an

example of the changing landscape of Bangladesh and creating opportunities in social sciences which were unavailable previously. An alternative career choice for majors in political science, anthropology or sociology could be to work for organisations such as the World Bank, the ADB or the UN, in which case, a proficiency in English, along with another language (preferably French, German,

or Spanish) is a must. A career in such institutions is a privilege and the work can not only be ever changing, fascinating and intense but also provide the opportunity to travel and to serve on a global platform. Students of international relations can join corporate jobs after completing their bachelors and secure an MBA majoring in human resources management. Roles include acting as liaisons

between offices of MNCs such as British American Tobacco in Bangladesh and overseas. They could also work as assistants of high-ranking officials in these MNCs who have come from abroad, and need an organised person to manage their itinerary. This should be an interesting and fulfilling choice for the adventurous as it might involve travelling to foreign countries every now and then.

Organisational communication: Makes it or breaks it? n Farah Iqbal In today’s global business environment, effective organisational communication has significant impact on the organisation’s success. CAREER To provide a thorough ASCENT definition, organisational change, or the systematic change effort may be defined as the usage of behavioral science knowledge and skill to change or transform the organisation to a more advanced and efficient state. Ideally, the department of human resources facilitates organisational communication by sharing of information, project coordination, and social interaction within the organisation—but role’s importance is often questioned. Many assume human resources only deals with employee management– but that is not entirely true. One could argue that internal communications build on the relationships that influence employees to double the efficiency of each department and cater to increasing the business size. The necessity to hire individuals who are particularly trained to handle this side of the business did not seem to be of utmost importance until very recently. Corporate offices in Bangladesh have finally entered the global trend to prioritise the importance of ensuring that their human resources and communications are catering towards the company’s overall growth. It could therefore be assumed that the public representation of the company is in essence the reflection of the internal communications, effective resource management between functions, and the necessity to build and develop employee relationships. The demand for public relations and communications officers had not been a trend, or mainstream per se, until multinational companies started publicising their efforts to bring their human resources team to the forefront of the company. Public relations research is not only a fundamental part of identifying and resolving important issues in the organisation in a strategic manner, but also significant to enhance the worker productivity level. It provides a multidimensional platform for the organisation to scan the environment to identify key issues early, and resolve them via strategic

ity. Change can be very difficult, yet healthy relationships within the organisation can help build a platform to provide opportunities to strengthen teamwork, increase employee productivity, and construct resourceful third party business rapports. It is extremely important that while an organisational change is taking place, the media keeps the positive aspects of the change in the limelight with the least amount of criticism. Dealing with the media presents unique challenges, since the news media cannot be controlled — they have ultimate control over whether stories pitched to them are of interest to their audiences.

where participants share their experiences and learn from their interactions. It focuses the attention on the dynamics of group or team interaction, provides a basis for team building through individual attention, and in turn inspires workers. As a result, they are more positive about adapting to the idea of a different work setting, a diversified corporate culture, and even reporting to a different set of top level management. This article is not suggesting that local corporate houses do not give any importance to communications, but rather, there is always room for improvement. There is no one particular

Top authorities of every organisation are ensuring that employees are kept happy in an effort to increase the level of productivity and the concept of organisational hierarchy has become extinct

planning and strenuous teamwork. Research uncovers potential areas of concern so that the organisation can build relationships, develop programmes and take corrective action to prevent small problems from becoming major issues both internally and externally. One area where public relations can play an important role in organisational communication is by recognising areas of not only actual agreement and disagreement, but also of perceived agreement and disagreement. Debatably, organisational communication will become the “next big thing” to indicate a company’s growth and forecast. Human resource manage-

ment has mainstreamed over the past couple of years to primarily recognise essential aspects of maintaining efficient standard of structural changes that are actually a major reason behind the company’s road to perfection. Public relations, media relations, and various kinds of practical training can be identified as structured organisational communication; not only does this ensure a positive stride towards improving a company’s infrastructure, but also helps move towards a more developed direction. In the process, organisational communication can aid in enhancing team building and worker productiv-

Because of this, an ongoing relationship between an organisation and the news media is vital. One way to possibly ensure a positive working relationship with media personnel is to become deeply familiar with their areas of interests — a good enough reason as to why the necessity of organisational communication personnel should be prioritised. Google’s theory that the most productive workers are happy workers has reached the corporate houses in Bangladesh today. Top authorities of every organisation are now ensuring that employees are kept happy in an effort to increase the level of productivity; furthermore, the concept of organisational hierarchy has more or less become extinct and teamwork has become the new trend of corporate houses. When a company is lean and ensures a good relationship between their management staff and their non-management staff, the achievements such as increased worker productivity and satisfaction, smooth structural changes are highlighted with little or no emphasis on the negative impacts. Training and worker development is one of the most important pillars of organisational communication that is used to facilitate change and development. It comes in many forms including unstructured, small-group sessions

department of an organisation that is more prestigious, or more important than the other – just as the spine of a human body is incomplete with only 25 ribs—consider the “least important” department to be the 26th rib. Each organisation may be particularly well known for a department, but it is the other supporting functions that have brought the strength into limelight. With Google’s proven theory of the correlation of happiness and high productivity, Bangladeshi corporate houses should be commended for their effort in taking a leaf out of the multinational giant’s book to enhance their corporate settings and double their business sizes. Poor communication in a nonfunctional organisational change leads to confusion, lowered morale and loss of productivity. Therefore, it is important that qualified leaders are guiding the employees to remain strong during the structural changes, since their opportunity costs are higher than the rest. If not already, it is recommended that to experience a smooth organisation transition, the department of human resources should partner with each function/department to enhance the growth of business, and eliminate weak links. l Farah Iqbal is a freelance contributor.

On the other hand, one can choose to continue academics, for example obtain a PhD in political science and be a full-time professor or faculty member in any one of the leading public or private universities offering the subject currently. There is scope to be a political analyst and provide commentary to the media and foreign embassies. A prime example is Professor Dr Piash Karim, who majored in anthropology, and is currently a full-time faculty member at BRAC University. His wide knowledge of current affairs and his interest in Bangladeshi politics means that he is often called to analyse politically motivated scenarios both locally and globally. The common thread through all these occupations is they all deal with the current issues affecting people. In truth, the science subjects with its job security and technical requirements may not be able to offer the dynamism which the social sciences do. While they may be riskier industries, the chance to shine and engage with the world makes them attractive. Therefore, although one cannot predict one’s own fate, if you are ready to be high performer and have a social bent, then with the right attitude, spirit, determination, and perhaps luck anything is possible - even a Nobel Prize. l Anita Zeba Bakhtiar recently completed her research internship at GradConnect, an international career information and advisory firm. Naiian Yazdani is the Director of Strategy at GradConnect. You can email him at and find more career information at www.grad-insights. com and

Sales idioms: Sell like a silver-tongue n Career Desk


Buyer’s market – a situation where there are more sellers than buyers of a product or service and the buyers have an advantage

Come down in price – to lower the price of one’s product, to become cheaper Come in high – to charge too much for your services, to ask for a price that is too high Come in low – to offer a low amount of money for a product or service Corner the market – to dominate a particular market with your product A hard sell – a way of selling something that is very aggressive and uses much pressure Have good contacts – to know people who can help you get a job or do some kind of business Knock down the price – to lower the price of something Land an account – to acquire an account Line of products – a group or category of products that are similar to each other Make a cold call – to visit or telephone a potential but unknown customer from a list of people Make an offer – to make a financial proposal for a product or service Move a product – to sell a product Preferred customer – a customer who does much business with you and who you give special discounts to Sell like hotcakes – to sell very quickly Seller’s market – a situation where there are more buyers of a product/ service than sellers so the sellers have an advantage

8 Syria troops advance in Yabrud as war enters fourth year n AFP, Damascus Syrian troops advanced Saturday on the key rebel bastion of Yabrud as the country’s civil war entered its fourth year, with more than 146,000 dead, millions displaced and peace efforts stalled. Army troops were locked in fierce clashes with rebel forces, including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, after they entered the town on Friday. The strategic stronghold is the last rebel-held town in the Qalamun region, which lies along the border with Lebanon and on the key highway between Damascus and third city Homs. The latest fighting illustrated the intractability of the conflict that began on March 15, 2011 after popular uprisings that toppled dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. Protests erupted in Syria’s southern city of Daraa after teenagers were arrested over graffiti declaring: “The people want the fall of the regime.” President Bashar al-Assad’s regime reacted with force, and people began to die in the demonstrations that grew week after week. Civilians took up arms, soldiers began to desert and an insurgency became full-scale civil war after the regime bombed the central city of Homs in February 2012. Two years later, the war appears to have reached stalemate, with some predicting it could last another 10 or 15 years, like the 1975-1990 civil war in Lebanon. Rebels control large swathes of the country, but are fighting both the regime and an Al-Qaeda-inspired group they once welcomed. And the government holds the more densely-populated regions, seeking to protect “useful Syria” – the coast, major towns and key roads. The regime is advancing on three fronts, south of Damascus, in the strategic Qalamun region and in Aleppo in the north. l


The US government announced Friday it was giving up its key role overseeing the Internet’s technical operations, handing over those functions to “the global multi-stakeholder community.” The move “marks the final phase of the privatization” of the management of the Internet domain name system, said a statement from the US Commerce Department. The US agency called for “global stakeholders to develop a proposal” for a transition to a new plan with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit group that took over some of the functions in 1997 under an agreement with the US government. The decision comes with Washington under pressure following revelations about vast surveillance programs operated by the secretive National Security Agency to collect intelligence and other data through a variety of methods.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Deadly violence flares up in Ukraine; stage set for biggest east-west showdown since Cold War n AFP, Kharkiv Ukraine braced on Saturday for a breakaway vote in Crimea as deadly violence flared again in the ex-Soviet country’s tinderbox east amid the biggest eastwest showdown since the Cold War. The second successive day of deadly unrest that has now claimed three lives in the mainly Russian-speaking east of the country came hours after Moscow, whose forces have seized control of Crimea, warned that it reserved the right to “protect” compatriots in the whole of Ukraine. US secretary of state John Kerry had on Friday failed to either avert Sunday’s Crimea ballot or win Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s assurance that Moscow may delay annexing the Black Sea region that Ukraine only received as a “gift” from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. The rugged Black Sea peninsula — home to two million mostly Russian speakers and the base of czarist and Kremlin navies since the 18th century — is widely expected to vote in favour of joining Russia after its lawmakers declared independence from Kiev earlier this month. The referendum comes weeks after a pro-Kremlin regime was toppled in Kiev after months of deadly protests and replaced with western-leaning leadership, which has denounced Sunday’s vote as illegal. But Moscow, whose troops seized control of Crimea in the days after Ukraine’s president was ousted, strongly backs the referendum despite international condemnation and a new round of painful sanctions against top Russian officials that Washington and EU nations are expected to unveil as early as Monday. The latest deadly violence flared on Friday evening in Kharkiv when a group of nationalists opened fire on pro-Russian supporters in the heart of the eastern industrial city of 1.4 million.

US to relinquish key oversight role for Internet n AFP, Washington


ICANN leaders said during a conference call that the move by the US was a sign that the organization has matured and that it was in the works long before leaked documents showed massive online snooping by intelligence agents. “Every president, every board of ICANN since its inception has been working toward this day,” ICANN president and chief executive Fadi Chehade said during a conference call. The end of the US oversight role has no immediate impact for Internet users, and ICANN will continue to administer the network’s key technical functions. The change affects US government oversight of “root zone” of databases underlying the Internet which makes Washington a steward of that system, even though the functions are contracted out to ICANN and the infrastructure company Verisign. ICANN said its role as administrator of the Internet’s unique identifier system remains unchanged. l

No one was hurt but police said the pro-Russians then chased the gunmen to the headquarters of a far-right group called Patrioty Ukrainy (Ukrainian Patriots) — an offshoot of the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) organization that was at the heart of the Kiev anti-government protests. Police said a pro-Russian protester and a passerby were killed when the nationalists holed up inside the building opened fire. Six others were hurt — including one officer — when police arrived at the scene. The group of about 30 gunmen eventually gave up their arms and handed themselves over to the police. The Russian foreign ministry’s human rights pointman Konstantin Dolgov urged Kiev in a tweet to immediately ban all organizations “inciting inter-ethnic hatred.” The Kharkiv clashes came one day after a 22-year-old man was killed in another eastern city of Donetsk when 2,000 pro-Russian supporters attacked a smaller group rallying on the same square in the defence of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr Turchynov blamed the Donetsk death on thugs “sent in” from Russia. The worst standoff in east-west relations since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall found no solution when Kerry and Lavrov locked horns in six-hour talks in London that ended in a handshake and an agreement that the two sides still remained far apart. “We have no common vision of the situation,” Lavrov grimly told reporters. A US diplomat said Kerry found himself at check-mate when Lavrov “made it clear that President (Vladimir) Putin is not prepared to make any decision regarding Ukraine until after the referendum on Sunday.” That timing is far too late for US officials who accuse Crimea’s separatist leaders and their Kremlin backers of holding the vote at “gunpoint.” l

Left: People take part in an anti-war rally in Moscow, yesterday. Participants, including opposition activists and supporters, protested against the incursions of the Russian army into Ukraine’s Crimea, according to organizers REUTERS

Bottom: Pro-Kremlin activists march in Moscow, on March 15, 2014, during a rally in support of recent Russia’s move on Crimea. Around 50,000 people rallied today in central Moscow in protest at Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, a day before the Crimean peninsula is expected to vote on switching to Kremlin rule, an AFP team estimated. A rival demonstration, which appeared to be well-organised, attracted 15,000 people in support of Putin, police estimated AFP

US defends Venezuela’s Foreign Minister surveillance before Calls Kerry ‘Murderer’ UN rights panel in a speech carried on state TV. n AFP, Geneva n Reuters, Caracas “Mr. Kerry, we denounce to the

Gaza’s only power plant ‘shuts down for lack of fuel’ n AFP, Gaza City

Lebanon reaches Hezbollah arms compromise

Egypt protest leader Abdel Fattah faces trial on March 23

The United States defended its controls on mass surveillance on Friday before a UN watchdog body amid a sweeping review of Washington’s record on civil and political rights. The US government has faced a cascade of scandals over online and telephone snooping around the globe by the US National Security Agency (NSA) since fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden went public in 2013. During a session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, experts from the 18-member panel repeatedly quizzed Washington’s delegation about the scale and scope of spying. Bruce Swartz, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division at the US Department of Justice, underlined that the intelligence programmes in the spotlight were “lawful under the law of the United States.” In addition, Swartz said, there was “rigorous oversight” by a host of authorities and the courts. l


Venezuela’s foreign minister lambasted US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday as a “murderer” fomenting unrest that has killed 28 people in the South American OPEC member nation. Since street demonstrations began against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government in early February, Venezuelan officials have been accusing Washington of stirring the country’s worst political troubles in a decade. US officials say Venezuela is using them as a scapegoat, inventing accusations to distract from internal economic and political problems. In the sternest words during the crisis from Washington, Kerry said on Thursday the Venezuela government was using a “terror campaign” to repress its own citizens. “Every time we’re about to isolate and reduce the violence, Mr. Kerry comes out with a declaration and immediately the street protests are activated,” Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said

n AFP, Beirut Lebanon’s new cross-party government, formed last month, adopted a political programme Saturday after reaching a compromise over the thorny question of the arsenal of Hezbollah, one of the coalition’s members. The Shiite movement, known as the “resistance” because of its opposition to Israel, never disarmed after Lebanon’s

whole world, you encourage the violence in Venezuela ... We denounce you as a murderer of the Venezuelan people.” After tense relations during the 14year rule of the late Hugo Chavez, there had been some hopes on both sides of a rapprochement between Venezuela and the United States. Kerry and Jaua did actually meet in June last year, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization of American States in Guatemala, with both governments saying they wanted better ties. But the bitterness and incidents have continued, with Maduro last month expelling three US diplomats he accused of recruiting protesters. Washington responded in kind. “In Guatemala, you said to me ‘you have to lower the tone’,” Jaua added in his speech. “We are not going to lower the tone to any empire until you order your lackeys in Venezuela to cease the violence against the people.” l

15-year civil war ended in 1990, and its military power rivals that of the army. The group sent its fighters into neighbouring Syria last year to support Bashar al-Assad, fuelling tensions in multi-confessional Lebanon. Hezbollah insists its arms are necessary for protecting Lebanon from Israel, but detractors argue that its arsenal allows it to impose its will on the country. l

Palestinian president heads to US n Reuters, Jerusalem

This combination of photos shows the Eiffel tower (R) in central Paris through a haze of pollution taken on March 14, 2014 and during clear weather (L) on August 17, 2012. More than 30 departments in France are hit by maximum level pollution alerts since the day before, prompting Ecology Minister to say air quality was ‘an emergency and a priority for the government.’ AFP

With pessimism growing by the day over the future of Middle East peace talks, US President Barack Obama will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington on Monday to try to break the stalemate. The deadline for the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, aimed at ending their entrenched conflict, expires next month and Washington is eager to persuade the two sides to prolong their discus-

sions within a new framework. But expectations of imminent progress are minimal. After eight months of initial talks, and at least 10 trips to the region, US Secretary of State John Kerry sounded unusually gloomy during a Congressional hearing on March 12, indicating that little progress had been made so far. “The level of mistrust is as large as any level of mistrust I’ve ever seen,” said Kerry, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy. l

The Gaza Strip’s only power plant shut down Saturday due to a lack of fuel from Israel, which closed a goods crossing after militant rocket attacks, the energy authority said. “The plant has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel’s) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing,” said Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas. On Thursday, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza and the Erez pedestrian crossing “until further security assessments.” In response, the energy authority cut the plant’s operation from only 12 hours a day to six until the fuel ran out. The facility, which supplies some 30 percent of Gaza’s electricity needs, has been forced to shut down several times, most recently in December. l

n AFP, Cairo

Prominent Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah will stand trial on March 23 for allegedly participating in a violent protest, state media reported Saturday, amid concerns the military-installed regime is increasingly stifling dissent. Abdel Fattah was a well-known activist and blogger during the 2011 uprising that overthrew strongman Hosni Mubarak, and supported the military’s ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi two years later. But he and other activists have since clashed with the new military-installed government, which has waged an extensive crackdown on both Islamists and secular activists like him. He had been hailed as an “icon of the revolution” by the military-installed presidency after Morsi’s overthrow, before he began protesting against the new regime. Abdel Fattah will face trial with 24 other defendants for a November protest against a clause in the constitution allowing the military to court martial civilians, the official MENA news agency reported. l



Sunday, March 16, 2014

‘Deliberate’ disappearance of Malaysian flight fuels Chinese families’ worries

India ‘disappointed’ at US re-indictment of diplomat n AFP, New Delhi

n AFP, Beijing Relatives of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 voiced fear and concern Saturday after reports that the jet’s diversion may have been intentional, demanding answers one week after the plane’s disappearance. As emotions over the missing plane continued to run high, China’s foreign ministry and official news agency added to the urgency, upping their calls for greater clarity from the Malaysian government and other parties. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that the plane’s sudden changing of direction after vanishing from civilian radar was “consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane” and that its final satellite communication came more than sixand-a-half hours after it vanished from civilian radar. The flight’s 153 Chinese passengers comprised nearly two-thirds of the 239 people on board, and relatives gathered at the Lido Hotel in Beijing said after watching Razak’s televised press conference that the prime minister’s

People watch a live TV feed of Malaysian Prime Minister speaking at a press conference, at a hotel in Beijing yesterday remarks did little to ease their nerves, with some openly suggesting foul play on the Malaysian side. “I feel (Malaysia Airlines) had a role to play in this incident,” Wen

No alliance with Congress, says Telangana’s KCR n Agencies, Hyderabad The Telangana Rashtra Samithi has said it will go alone in the ensuing elections to state assembly and parliament. Ruling out any alliance with the Congress party, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao said after a meeting of the election committee of the party in Hyderabad today, that the Congress had only delivered a state but failed to do justice in terms of getting resources, water or jobs for Telangana. “Telangana needs its own political identity and regional leadership who can fight for Telangana and its development,” KCR said. He also pointed out that they had proposed merger of TRS with the Congress to secure statehood for the region and prevent suicides by hundreds of youth. “But now, people are against our

merger and hence we are going by their wish,” he added. Newly-appointed Telangana Pradesh Congress committee chief Ponnala Laxmaiah said the TRS had offered to merge by itself and went back on their own word. “We are strong and confident,” he said. An opinion poll by NDTV shows that KCR will win 11 of the 17 parliamentary seats in Telangana, to be officially born as India’s 29th state on June 2. The Congress is likely to get five seats. KCR had recently rejected an overture by the Congress for a merger. The Congress had reportedly rejected KCR’s demand to be made chief minister of the new state during the negotiations for a merger. He was also irked by the fact that the new state will not be formally founded till after the national election. l

Wancheng, a man from east China’s Shandong province whose son is among the passengers on the missing flight, told a gaggle of reporters after watching Razak’s news conference.


He expressed scepticism at the latest update given by Razak regarding the time of the plane’s final communication, calling the flight’s disappearance “a conspiracy...from the beginning.” l

India on Saturday said it was “disappointed” by new US visa fraud charges against an Indian diplomat over her employment of a domestic servant and warned the move could reignite a bitter row between the countries. Government spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said India was “disappointed” the US justice department “chose to obtain a second indictment” against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade even though a US judge threw out similar charges earlier in the week. “Any measures consequent to this decision in the US will unfortunately impact upon efforts on both sides to build the India-US strategic partnership, to which both sides are committed,” the Indian spokesman warned. “This was an unnecessary step,” Akbaruddin said in a emailed statement to AFP, calling the case “without merit” and adding the Indian government will “no longer engage on this case in the United States’ legal system.” A New York grand jury re-indicted the senior diplomat accusing her of two counts of visa fraud and making false statements.

Rahul Gandhi dubs poll surveys as ‘jokes’ n Agencies, New Delhi Rahul Gandhi today dubbed poll surveys predicting that Congress could get just 100 seats in Lok Sabha polls as “joke,” and said opinion polls are “not the law” and there is no question of Narendra Modi and BJP coming to power. Holding a ‘Google Hangout’ with party workers, the first such interaction by any Congress leader, Gandhi also hit out at the main Opposition party over reports of an internal war within BJP over candidatures of senior leaders including Modi, PTI has reported. “The talk of 100 seats is a joke and you have to understand that... the entire campaign of the Opposition is to demoralise you. If you are not demoralised, we shall smash them. “If you do not have a doubt in your mind, we are getting 200 plus seats. The entire game is to demoralise the Congress workers, to create doubts in

their mind,” Gandhi said while replying to a question on what would Congress do after polls if it gets about 100 seats. “First of all we fought in 2004. Every single opinion poll said we are going to get thrashed. Congress won that election. In 2009, every single opining poll said we are going to get thrashed. We doubled our tally.

In 2004. every single opinion poll said we are going to get thrashed “We are now fighting a third election. They always say Congress will not do well. Let us not start with the assumption that opinion polls are the law. We have to fight a strong election,” Gandhi said seeking to dispel the notion that Congress is down in the dumps and enthuse the cad-

res to go out in the field and propagate the UPA government’s achievements. Asking the partymen from different parts of the country “not to fall in the Opposition trap,” Gandhi said Congress is a party which believes in revolution while the BJP symbolises conservationism and status quo. “If you look at our Opposition, every single candidate is decided by one man. Their senior leaders are saying that every single candidate is decided by one man. They are heading in one direction and we are heading into entirely another direction,” Gandhi said extolling the primary initiative of the party to select candidates. To a query as to how Congress should fight the communal forces if Mr Modi and his party come to power, Mr Gandhi said, “we are going to win the next election. Therefore, BJP coming to power, their leader coming to power is a non-question.” l

Sri lanka arrests Tamil woman who pressed case for disappeared rebel son


In this photograph taken on March 14, an Indian widow adorned with coloured powder looks on from the doorway of a bedroom following celebrations for the spring festival of Holi at the Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, some 135 kilometres (80 miles) south of New Delhi. Widows are considered social outcasts in Indian society and usually refrain from celebrating Holi, but in a break from tradition around 1,000 widows living in the holy city of Vrindavan celebrated the spring festival. Holi AFP

n Reuters, Colombo An ethnic Tamil woman who has become a prominent face in the effort to find out what happened to the tens of thousands who disappeared in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year war has been arrested, the main Tamil party TNA said on Friday. Sri Lankan police said Balendran Jayakumari, a 50-year-old widow and mother of four, was arrested in Sri Lanka’s former northern war zone of Kilinochchi on the charge of harboring a criminal who shot at a police officer to evade arrest. The Tamil National Alliance, which was the political proxy of the now-defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said she was being punished for repeatedly protesting over the fate of her son, an under-age rebel who disappeared after the Tigers surrendered to the gov-

ernment at the end of the war in May 2009. “I think they have been targeted and charging her will send a message to the other relatives of disappeared people. Those people may not come out to tell what happened to their beloved ones in the future,” TNA lawmaker Eswarapatham Saravanabavan told Reuters. International pressure is growing on Sri Lanka’s government to address allegations that tens of thousands of civilians were killed by the army in the final weeks of the war and some thousands are still missing or unaccounted for. The TNA said in a statement several hundred security personnel surrounded Jayakumari’s house on Thursday, confiscated her mobile telephones and interrogated her for more than four hours before taking her and her daughter away. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said Jayakumari was arrested “on the offence of harboring an escaped criminal.” l

Japanese rally against nuclear power

China’s Xi assumes new role overseeing military reform

n AFP, Tokyo

n Reuters

Thousands of campaigners rallied against nuclear power in Tokyo Saturday, as the government and utilities move toward resumption of reactors in southern Japan. More than 5,000 protesters gathered at Hibiya Park in downtown Tokyo to urge the government not to restart nuclear plants, as regulators review whether to let Kyushu Electric Power to restart two reactors at its Sendai power plant. “Japan is prone to earthquakes. We have to seriously think about whether nuclear power is a good idea for Japan,” said Masatoshi Harada, 60, as he joined fellow protesters at the park and later to march toward the Ginza shopping district. “This is an opportunity for Japan to drop nuclear power,” he said. Last week tens of thousands held a rally at the same site to voice fears about any reliance on nuclear power.

Saturday’s event came days after Japan marked the third anniversary of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Japan in March 11, 2011. The quake prompted killer tsunami along the northern Pacific coastline. The twin disasters killed 15,884 people and left 2,633 people still unaccounted for. Huge waves swamped cooling systems of the Fukushima plant, which went through reactor meltdowns and explosions that spewed radioactive materials to the vast farm region. No one died as a direct result of the atomic accident, but at least 1,656 people died as a result of complications related to stress and other conditions while their lives in evacuation become extended. Supporters of nuclear power, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, say Japan needs atomic energy to ensure the economic health of the world third largest economy. l

Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken on a new role overseeing a group in charge of deepening military reform, state media said on Saturday, adding to the list of bodies Xi is taking charge of in his rapid consolidation of power. Xi is already head of the military in his role as chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission. The official news agency Xinhua said Xi had chaired the first meeting of the new leading group for deepening reform on national defense and the military, in the first mention of the group by state media. Xi has already taken charge of similar bodies overseeing economic reform and internet security, besides running the new national security commission. During the military meeting, Xi


“stressed the country’s military reform should be guided by the objective of building a strong army,” Xinhua said. Xi’s speech, full of turgid communist phrases, gave no specifics of how China will modernize its military. “National defense and military reform are an important part and an important symbol of China’s overall reform,” Xi said. With “being able to combat and win battles” as the focus, Xi said reforms should “target key problems in strengthening combat preparedness and weak links in honing combat effectiveness.” The goal is to build an army that “obeys the Party’s command, is capable of winning battles and has a sound work style,” he added. China this month announced its biggest rise in military spending in three years, a strong signal that it is not about to back away from its growing assertiveness

in Asia, especially in disputed waters. The government said it would increase the defense budget by 12.2 percent this year to 808.23 billion yuan ($131.57 billion), as China seeks to develop more high-tech weapons and to beef up coastal and air defenses. The increase follows a nearly unbroken run of double-digit hikes in the Chinese defense budget, second only to the United States in size, for the past two decades. The 2014 defense budget is Xi’s first since becoming president last year, and the spending increase appears to reflect his desire to build what he calls a strong, rejuvenated China. Xi also recently urged military leaders to speed efforts to get the country’s sole aircraft carrier combat-ready. Aside from the carrier, China is developing a range of high-tech weaponry, from stealth fighters to systems to shoot down satellites. l

Khobragade, who has since returned to India, was arrested December 12 outside her children’s school and later strip-searched, enraging the Indian government and some of the Indian public. The row fanned resentment between the two countries, which had embraced each other as strategic partners. Indian lawmakers denounced the diplomat’s treatment as a violation of national sovereignty and said Washington should not ride roughshod over Indian interests. The deeply unpopular Congress government, struggling to win back favour in general elections starting next month, has been under heavy domestic political pressure to act tough with Washington. The fresh charges came two days after a US judge threw out a previous case on grounds the former New York deputy consul-general was granted full diplomatic immunity after her arrest. The new indictment paints a devastating picture of the lengths to which Khobragade allegedly went to infringe US laws in hiring an Indian nanny-cum-housekeeper when moving to New York in 2012. l

Court cuts jail term of Pakistan doctor who helped find bin Laden n Reuters A court in Pakistan on Saturday reduced by 10 years the jail term handed down to a Pakistani doctor who helped the United States track down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in a blow to his supporters who have been fighting for his release. Shakil Afridi, hailed as a hero by US officials, was arrested after US soldiers killed bin Laden in May 2011 in a raid in a northern Pakistani town that outraged Pakistan and plunged relations between the strategic partners to a new low. Pakistan arrested Afridi and sentenced him to 33 years in jail for being a member of a militant group, a charge he denies. On Saturday, a court in the city of Peshawar reduced his sentence to 23 years following repeated calls by the United States and his legal team for his release. “We will receive a complete court order on Monday and will then challenge it at the FATA Tribunal,” said Afridi’s lawyer, Qamar Nadeem, referring to a higher tribal court. Afridi has become a new irritant in the complex ties between Washington and Islamabad that have been deteriorating over past years despite Pakistan’s pivotal role to US interests in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and nuclear security. The day after Afridi was sentenced, the US Senate expressed its anger by voting to dock Islamabad $33 million in aid - $1 million for every year of the term. l

Thailand sentences suspected Uighur asylum seekers n AFP, Bangkok Thailand on Saturday sentenced dozens of asylum seekers thought to be from China’s Uighur minority for illegal entry, an official said, despite a US appeal for their protection. About 120 adults among the group were fined 4,000 baht ($124) each by a court in southern Thailand, according to police, who said they were waiting to identify the families before deciding their fate. The men will be detained by immigration and the women and children will be taken to a shelter, Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot said by telephone. The group of roughly 200 people was discovered in a raid on a suspected people smuggling camp on Wednesday in the kingdom’s deep south. They presented themselves to police as Turkish, but US-based activists have identified them as Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim group from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. Thailand, which says their nationality is still unconfirmed, has not said whether they might be forced to return to China, but the kingdom has a history of repatriating illegal immigrants. The Turkish embassy and the UN refugee agency have been providing assistance. On Friday the US State Department urged Thailand “to provide full protection” to the asylum seekers. l




Letters to

Welcome to the T20 World Cup


ts’ finally here. Warm up matches have been completed and Bangladesh is all set to host the fifth ICC T20 World Cup. The roads to Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium will be packed today, as Bangladesh take to the field in the opening match against Afghanistan. Hundreds of millions of people around the world will be drawn to the country by television. We are confident that our enthusiastic cricket fans will give a good impression and the country will be a friendly host for the many overseas spectators travelling to see their teams. Experience from previous occasions when Bangladesh has been a co-host for World Cup matches, guarantees that the stadiums will be busy. Tickets for all but four matches in this year’s expanded 18 team tournament, sold out in record time online. With new and hungry cricket nations joining the jamboree, which has seen four different winners on four previous occasions, there is every potential for great competition. The excitement generated by the tournament will be welcomed across the land. We earnestly hope the Tigers put on a good show and make a solid start to see themselves through to the Super-10 round featuring the top eight Test nations. A strong tournament will of course also do no harm for Bangladesh’s case to host IPL matches and franchises. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is a World Cup to be played. We wish all the teams and spectators the best of luck. And hope the Tigers make Bangladesh proud.

The country will be a friendly host. We hope the Tigers make Bangladesh proud

Sonadia proposals herald hope for deep-sea port


he economic future of Bangladesh would be greatly boosted by development of a new deep sea port. As the economy continues to develop, Chittagong which handles nearly all the country’s sea-borne trade, faces severe bottlenecks. With container traffic rising by more than 11% a year, it is important for the government to make progress on plans to increase the country’s capacity by building a deep sea port at Sonadia island, north of Cox’s Bazar. With two of the world’s largest marine terminal operators, the UAE owned DP World and the Rotterdam Port Authority, which runs Europe’s busiest port, among the firms making presentations to the government’s high-level committee this week, there are signs of renewed progress on this key project. By its nature, a port at Sonadia will require long term multi-billion dollar commitments to be made. The business case for it is strong, as such a port will not only ease congestion at Chittagong, but will be a key sea access point for all neighbouring countries in the region. Its location near an existing large port, with the potential for close land links with India, gives it an advantage over other deep sea port proposals which are currently being developed around South Asia, particularly in Myanmar. The government must act pro-actively to support investment in this project, by developing more detailed plans and looking at the way it can help the deep-sea ports logistics, by building more efficient road and rail links.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

the Editor


ICCT20 World Cup 2014: Bangladeshi performers deemed secondary March 13

My friend said: “What if a guy from China sees this? He will think this is an Indian concert.” My thoughts exactly! But isn’t it a world cup opening ceremony? Why have all Bangladeshi media shown only Akon and AR Rahman? Is this a promotional program for them? Or does it simply mean Bangladeshis do not think there are enough artists here? Was it necessary to telecast and prioritise Indian artists and performers instead of Bangladeshi ones? So, the Bangladeshi organisers have finally reached consensus that there are no suitable artists in Bangladesh to promote Bangladesh, and instead they found it easier to entertain people with borrowed cultures! What kind of a low mentality is this and for how long will we follow it? And why would any Bangali buy a ticket to these concerts? There are 16 countries vying for the glory of winning the cup. It could have been a glorious ceremony if the organisers had invited all representative artists and performers from all respective nations. This event has brought shame to this country, and even to the glory of an international event. Instead of remembering this event, we will try to forget how it was organised and managed. Ayan Rahman University of Rajshahi

Joy: World standard Hi-Tech park in Gazipur soon March 12

Abu Ahmed Majumder Majumder If this is true, and it does come to pass, then it is very good news indeed! Ahnaf Saber I beg to differ. It’s another “overpromise” only to be “under-delivered.”

In praise of two women March 8 Ronnie speeches of fake promises at rallies. So, let’s get Enjoyable read! I won’t begrudge Mr Sobhan’s real here. inclination to feel this way about these two I hate to have to say it here, but since you enduring ladies in our national politics, because needlessly came out with this phony jibe at Begum I find so much to agree with him here. I’m not Zia, I have to remind you that the PM’s litany so sure, though, that average Bangladeshi girls of obscene and abhorrent personal attacks on are all that optimistic about emulating these two another woman, ie the BNP chairperson, have women and clinching the top job in the country been an affront to the PM’s office, and diminished someday. But gosh, the scale and scope of male her own stature and image as a leader and a subordination that Begum Zia and the present PM woman. enjoy must surely be a hugely tempting aspiration, in its own right, for ambitious girls in Bangladesh. Shah Ali Farhad I can’t help but point out that many ordinary Ronnie: Perhaps to you, but I’m sure, certainly not people (supporters of both parties, included) often to any objectively observing bystander. Unless you actually bemoan the longevity of the two women can objectively point out why I should speak with in our politics, and the stagnation in leadership any single iota of respect for Zia, I would take your that they feel has been the consequence. But no, comment as a personal expression owing to your Mr Sobhan is right; it would be churlish not to fondness for her maybe? acknowledge the impact of the two ladies. Ronnie Shah Ali Farhad Shah Ali Farhad: Oh, so you’re actually saying that Good one Zafar bhai. While I am not a fan of the PM’s habitually atrocious personal rants against Khaleda’s, I have no problem in giving credit where Begum Zia are perfectly okay? You have some gall, it is due. However, let me remind you that as far mister! as empowerment of women goes, Khaleda does I’m obviously not the only one who feels utter not even come close to Sheikh Hasina. One fights contempt for the PM’s despicable personal attacks (literally) on behalf of women, whereas the other on Begum Zia. Legions of “objective” (your word) shelters elements who would rather see women people certainly feel the same way about it. Now, I going back to caves. have no desire to try and make you respect Khaleda Zia. I couldn’t care less whether you do, or not. And Ronnie she’s doing just fine without your respect and admiration. Begum Zia has more principles, scruples, Shah Ali Farhad: Empowering women isn’t merely about granting a few women cabinet appointments dignity and humanity than many of her detractors will ever have. in government, or making empathetic, insincere

Diana ‘gave royal phone book to NoW’

March 13 She was a fairy tale princess indeed! Javed Arun Zaman

AR Rahman ‘lights up’ Dhaka

March 13 The whole city is now lit up like a red-light district! Parveen

Be Heard

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The business case is strong. Its location give’s it an advantage over other proposals around South Asia



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Additional payment (5) 4 Wager (3) 6 Worshipped image (4) 8 Traffic light (5) 9 Inter (4) 11 Love god (4) 12 Lustre (5) 15 Burnt remains (5) 18 Network (4) 20 Veinlike deposit (4) 21 Time in grammar (5) 22 Therefore (4) 23 Extinct bird (3) 24 Scottish dances (5)

DOWN 1 Alloy (5) 2 Illustrious (5) 3 Sea nymph (5) 4 Make indistinct (4) 5 Playthings (4) 7 Follows orders (5) 10 Acting part (4) 13 Brave man (4) 14 Duck with soft down (5) 15 Thespian (5) 16 Door fitting (5) 17 Oozes (5) 18 Gloomily sullen (4) 19 Notion (4)


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.





Sunday, March 16, 2014

Poetic justice n Khawaza Main Uddin


e could have been rather proud of his ability to make or break a regime. He should have at least relished his survival many years after his fall from the “heaven” of power. But now, in his 80s, Ershad’s hands are tied with an invisible rope which is tethered to Nazimuddin Road. He is fully aware of the consequence of the “betrayal” with his masters.

The irony of fate is that others are now doing to him what he did to others during the formation of the party Did AR Rahman’s performance expose some double standards?














Not a cultural hijack


n Matthew Islam

rattish puritanism ensues and so commences the whining. My God! What is happening to this nation? Why are we so insecure and childish? Why does every big entertainment event hosted here have to enrage nationalists, VIPs, or be an occasion of war to protect our heritage? Is our thousand-year-old culture really going to go extinct? Is chomchom going to be less sweet tomorrow? Do we not celebrate March 26 or Pohela Boishakh the way we always do? Are all our own TV and radio channels broadcasting in Hindi? Why can’t a show be just that, a show? Why does it need politicisation? It wouldn’t be farfetched to label us the leading drama queens of South Asia. Please have some dignity or display restraint in your paranoia, so that some of us, with our diminishing stocks of self worth, may continue to retain it more easily. The stench of hypocrisy in the current flow of borderline racist and bigoted outrage is all pervasive. We must make a concerted effort to be a part of this century, lest we be abandoned completely, at which point we truly will see a hijacking of our culture. Following pre-show “India is taking over Bangladesh’s culture” rants on Twitter and Facebook to the postshow conspiracy theories as to why it’s unfair to have Hindi songs play in our opening ceremony, to our baseless lamenting of public funds being used in the show prominently featuring Indian artists; our image to those who believe in a cooperative global village abroad is getting smaller with each instance of such demented close mindedness.  For one, this is an opening ceremony/celebration concert for a sport that is multicultural and global; we don’t own cricket, and no one else does. To

stage a global sporting event in its full glory, it requires that we summon our resources and contacts globally and present a show that’s “entertaining” and of a “world standard.” Everything – the lights, the budget, the artists – must represent a global standard and display our abilities to host events like this in the future. There must be an element of novelty and brevity. An attempt must be made on such instances to display a vision that’s global, that we too can compete with the world. Whether we succeed or not is a different question meriting perhaps a debate, but we must intend to put our best foot forward.

was made on account of Mr Akon. Is there more to this selective protest by nationalist advocating of local artistic protectionism? Would the guardians of our culture please stand up? Can the non-religious elitists amongst you please explain to me how perhaps having Shakira or Justin Timberlake would make you less angry? Why was Bryan Adams’ opening turn at the cricket World Cup more palatable? One must be realistic and pragmatic about our artistic image in the world. I find it hard, with due respect to our own crop of legendary performing artists in the show, to claim that they

Can the non-religious elitists amongst you please explain to me how perhaps having Shakira or Justin Timberlake would make you less angry?

FIFA World Cup musical ceremonies, like that of the Olympic ones, no matter in which country they are hosted, often prominently feature headlining artists of varying nationalities. Think Shakira, a Colombian, at the football World Cup in Africa. Hosting a celebration for a global sport often requires that you present your nation’s strengths “in organising” such events and in this instance our headliner was AR Rahman, an Oscar winner and multiple Grammy winner who has in the past performed in numerous distinguished global events such as the Oscars and the Nobel Peace Prize concerts, amongst many such other illustrious examples. It strikes me as odd and selectively political in its tone that the uproar in one section of our society centres on AR Rahman performing, yet little noise

could, by merit, stand shoulder to shoulder with other artists worldwide perhaps with the exception of Arnob and friends. Who really are the only artists that we can be proud of on a global stage? If the others could, and had it in them, we’d have seen it by now, and have witnessed universal appreciation for them, both critically and commercially the world over, like that of an AR Rahman and Akon, who they claim, they are better than. Then after all that, to argue that we are deprived of opportunities worldwide, so on our soil we must make exceptions for them, is really taking the cake and burning it. That would be a true waste of our phantom public funds. To the proponents of the anti-Hindi language movement in Bangladesh,

you are overlooking that we are a pretender progressive nation, and must on the face of it, in events such as this, regardless of personal biases, pretend to uphold the tenets of what that means. To be less bigoted. To be more accepting of diverse cultures. To be more humble and kind to guests. To believe that we have still lots to learn as a nation from others in the world. These are all qualities we must begin schooling on if we are to grow in the world stage. To end, seriously ask yourself, where’s the novelty in seeing Miles or LRB perform for the umpteenth time the same songs they have performed for two decades? Why should we be protecting their interests? What would be their universal draw in such a ceremony? A cover of Santana? The only fair thing would be to leave these matters to the free market capitalistic community that we truly are, and I see nothing wrong in that. There must be a freedom to plan these kinds of mega events in our country, and for us to not shiver and acquiesce every single time to the unreasonable demands of being represented, because that is what a progressive nation does. We must fight and compete for our representation worldwide. We must reject free handouts. We must enhance our art to international standards and fight for recognition. We must make a global impact with our art. We must collaborate with open hearts with other artists, and not condemn their art because of misplaced pride and ego. That is how our brethren across the borders progressed to the front stage of world entertainment, and we’d be wise to take a leaf out of their book. l Matthew Islam is a Barrister-at-Law, a textile businessman, and a columnist at the Dhaka Tribune. He can be contacted on Twitter via @matthewislam.

In 2014, Ershad regretted frequent shifts in his political stance, saying he was not a free man. So what he said, or rather admitted, did not necessarily reflect his views. Now could he recall that he had compelled someone at gunpoint in 1982 to say what he was not willing to say? In a recorded address to the nation on March 24, 1982, the then president Justice Abdus Sattar said it had been essential to proclaim martial law in the country. Cabinet Secretary Keramat Ali was directed to ask the president at Bangabhaban to read out the speech authored by Ershad’s collaborators to justify his usurpation. During his rule in the 1980s, he used to claim that his hands were not drenched in blood. Assuming he was right, history has done justice to him by not seeing him as a victim of the bloodshed during or soon after his downfall. His name is also associated with allegations of some political killings. Interestingly, the first court verdict against him after 1990 was related to the possession of firearms. He used firearms on a different occasion nine years ago – to force president Sattar to relinquish his office. In a turnaround of political events, today Ershad has by his side JSD leader Hasanul Haque Inu as an ally who sued him in 1991 for hijacking state power. Ershad resorted to political adventurism by deciding to boycott the 10th parliamentary elections held on January 5. One of the vocal student leaders of the 1980s who led the anti-autocracy movement told me that they might have forgiven Ershad had he stuck to this “moral” position at this stage of his life. He befooled everyone, including himself. He could have smiled a bit seeing the quality of governance in the aftermath of his rule. He might argue that the “prime ministerial” form of government, reintroduced after his exit, was no better than the presidential system which was blamed for encouraging autocracy. He may also think that he is not the only ruler who faced allegations of killing and displayed “shamelessness” to stay in power. Ershad’s Jatiya Party (JP) contributed to the formation of the govern-

ment and electoral victory of the AL in 1996 and 2008 respectively. He had the credit of postponing for two years the elections scheduled for January 2007 when his nomination paper was cancelled. The man who assassinated the characters of many politicians managed to make the entire process of the one-sided elections on January 5 more controversial by announcing his withdrawal from the race. Ultimately he had to pay some price and land in a virtual jail at CMH before the polls. And again, from captivity, he has been made a part of the AL-led grand alliance government of democratic deficiency. He has lost control over the JP parliamentary party. For quite a number of years, the JP looked divided into two streams – pro-AL leaders and proBNP leaders. The irony of fate is that others are now doing to him what he did to others during the formation of the party. However, the biggest casualty of the January 5 elections, to date, is the JP. The party, which once had command over up to 10% of all votes, has been razed to the ground in the ongoing upazila polls. It won only two upazila chairman posts so far out of 210. Who would say that it was during Ershad’s reign when the upazila or sub-district system was introduced? Still, Ershad has no regret in public. The Sheikh Hasina-led government addressed his major worry. Delivery of the judgment on the General Manzur murder case against him has recently been deferred once again. What else could he expect from the government which has given him freedom in exchange for alignment with it? He should appreciate it even if there is political blackmailing, just for the sake of impunity. Nobel Laureate poet Pablo Neruda died 12 days after General Augusto Pinochet had overthrown Chile’s elected president Salvador Allende in 1973. His aides called it a murder. His body was exhumed last year. Officials claimed that he was not poisoned. But hardly anyone seemed to be convinced about it, for Neruda, critical of the coup, was planning to go into exile before his sudden death.

The party, which once had command over up to 10% of all votes, has been razed to the ground in the ongoing upazila polls

Is Ershad smarter than Pinochet? A bicyclist ruler in his early days, Ershad emerged as a poet and lyricist and started patronising other poets. He was not found writing any longer once he had more leisure time outside the realm of power. Poems bid him goodbye, according to him, for his fear of going to jail. Critics have never believed this poet. l Khawaza Main Uddin is Executive Editor at ICE Business Times.

Is the worst yet to come? n William B Milam


ast December, a month before the January 5 election in Bangladesh, in this space, I wrote that history does not always repeat itself. It was an effort to dissuade all those who believed that somehow, somebody or something – the army, the international community, the West, a leader on a white horse – would appear and stop the clearly defective election that was in the offing.  Of course, the political opposition believed that extreme violence and chaos would force the Awami League from its catbird seat to the negotiating table to work out a more equitable election structure. Those hopes hinged on the history of the past 25 years repeating itself – a period when election crises were the rule, not the exception, and some combination of violence and intervention always served to put things right. But that history failed them this time. Instead, it suddenly seems that Bangladesh may be on the verge of repeating an older version of its history, the attempt to create a one-party

authoritarian state 40 years ago. With India at its back, and only a token (captive) opposition, the AL pushed through to what automatically became a one-party government. With no real opposition in the National Assembly, Bangladesh is again, in effect, if not constitutionally, a one-party state. The 1975 effort ended very badly; is it likely to succeed this time around? In the December article, I opined that there were two possible scenarios in the aftermath of the one-party election. One was to foment sufficient violence to force the AL to step down and call another election, vis 1996. But if the opposition couldn’t muster the muscle before the election, it seemed unlikely that it would be able to bring down the government after the election. Clearly, violence has no place in democratic politics; yet this seemed to many the best-case scenario (of a bad lot of scenarios). The alternative was worse – an AL one-party government that would move inevitably, as authoritarian parties do, towards a formal one-party authoritarian state.

Perhaps, the only good decision that the opposition alliance, led by the BNP, made was to eschew an all-out campaign of post-election violence to try to force another election. Many innocent people would have lost their lives and the economy would have been pulled down immiserising many more. There were those who hoped that such violence would force the army’s hand and lead it to take over and install another technocratic civilian reform government. But this army seems to have washed its hands off politics. And that is not a bad thing, even considering the political direction of the country. Those who lament the outcome of the election because of its political implications for the future of democracy in Bangladesh are accused of assuming that the BNP was the “wronged party.” At least for me, that is a complete fabrication. In my view, the wronged party was the people of Bangladesh, who may either suffer under a growing authoritarian government, or spend much life and treasure trying to overthrow it. They will be adversely affected by a deteriorating economy

that will result from the political uncertainty that will characterise the next few years. The BNP is equally responsible for the “farcical election” (as it continues to refer to it) because of its many errors of strategy and judgment. Had it contested and won even 50 seats in a rigged election (a low estimate, my friends tell me, given its popularity in the polls), there would be a brake on the AL ambitions, even if the AL had a two-thirds majority. Many still wish for a “third force,” but I can’t see the AL providing political space. The BNP it is, and after success in the recent upazila (local) elections, this moment for reform must not be lost. The election and its role as the opposition could have presented the BNP with the opportunity to refine its image, construct a coherent centre-right voice – to contrast with the centre-left AL – and to use that voice in the national assembly and in the public to constrain the increasing authoritarian actions of this government. This would be a juicy agenda – the rapid rise of extrajudicial killings, the

increasing attacks on minorities, and the growing attempts to intimidate opposition leaders and media voices, who speak out against such government acts.

Many still wish for a ‘third force,’ but I can’t see the AL providing political space

It would be important for a reformed opposition to re-establish that the true intellectual and moral foundations of the state are political rights, freedom, and economic equality, and insist that a one-party government leads away from these foundations. l William B Milam is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, DC, and former US Ambassador to Pakistan and Bangladesh. This article was first published in The Express Tribune.




MA portrays different aspects of motherhood

Emon-Prosun-Sumon in Ochena Hridoy n Afrose Jahan Chaity Shafiqul Islam Khan is well on his way to hit the cinemas with his debut film Ochena Hridoy. The film will release in fifty cinemas at the same time. Filming of the movie is already completed as it is now in post-production after which it will be submitted to the censor board for approval. Ochena Hridoy is co-produced by Film Life Factory and New View Pictures. The 134-minute film features the first runner-up of Lux Channel i Superstar 2012 Prosun Azad who will be sharing the lead role with Emon and newcomer ABM Sumon. The plot focuses on love involving three people and the promising movie falls into the mixed category of romantic action thriller. The story is bound to hold the interest of the audience with its striking cast and unique script. Plot of the story revolves around a university student named Rupa falling in love with her senior. There is a second man in the picture who is also in love with Rupa. But unaware of her other admirer, Rupa gets involved in a relationship with the man she loves. But then the sad reality sets in as she loses her love and also begins to lose her memories as the aftereffects of that trauma. Speaking of the film, Prosun said: “This is the first time I am working with Shafiqul Islam Khan. He is a

good director and has a knack for coming up with unique scripts. I hope I will be able to meet expectations of the audience and will strive to deliver my best in my debut film. After all, first impressions are a big deal in all fields and that is why I chose this film as my debut on the silver screen.” Another attractive aspect of the film is its music. With direction from Emon Saha, the film features six songs while music of the film was composed by Belal Khan and Pinto Ghosh. Singers including Konal, Naomi, Sukonna Tithi and Shamim Hasan lent voice as playback singers on the lyrics of Wahid Babu and Pinto Ghosh. “Right now, I am working on the post-production phase of the film. The movie is packed with social messages for our society. It is a representation of the ideas, emotions and social values of the young generation. I even went ahead with a survey to determine the name of the film. The initial decision was to name it Nisshobdo Artonad, but, after the survey, we changed it to Ochena Hridoy,” said Shafiqul Islam Khan. l

n Entertainment Desk The Bengal Art Lounge presents a group exhibition titled MA (mother) by renowned artists which will continue till March 30.The exhibition is comprised of more than 30 works including paintings, drawing, sculpture and ceramic works. Exploring the various interpretation of motherhood, the display features figurative images and is inclined towards projecting a more realistic image of a woman. It is diverse and will give an insightful view to the art lovers of the country. The modernist movement, introduced a new interpretation of motherhood and a more realistic image began to appear of a woman with pain, flaws and tried weaknesses. The differences and changes in the images of a mother are triggered by the development of public opinion of feminity and the role of women as well as the process

The tragedy of Rana Plaza which claimed the lives of over one thousand workers is still fresh in the memory of the people of the country. To pay tribute to the lives lost, theatre troupe Aranyak produced a heartwarming production titled Swapnopothik. On March 14, the play was showcased at the Jatiyo Nattyashala of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy at 7pm. The touching play showcases how the tragedy snatched normalcy from the lives of a staggering number of people. Key factors that led to the tragedy was shown through performances, set in the backdrop of the innovative set de-

sign and a touching script. The misdemeanors of factory owners who built illegal death traps, politicians bribed to look the other way and large retailers hiding behind policies that deem them untouchable are portrayed in the production. The tragic tale of the victims, their rescue and the role of police and media was also shown in an adept manner. The play is written by Harun Rashid and directed by thespian Mamunur Rashid. The cast of the production is comprised of popular theatre actors Mamunur Rashid, Momena Chowdhury, Tamalika Karmaker, Arif Ahmed Apel, Abu Hasib Masuduzzaman, Chitra Chobi, Shaju, Kamrul, Monir Zaman. l

of creation. The exhibition strives to deliver these dimensions with artworks such as Monirul Islam’s art which is enclosed with symbols of growth and creation, Rafiqun Nabi’s Mother and Child in an urban setting with a morose feel, Kalidas Karmakar’s abstract artworks with elements pointing at the mystery of creations and many others. Bringing together artists of varying generations and practices, the exhibition aims to analyze the experience of motherhood from different angles. Other artists in the show include Rokeya Sultana, Bishwajit Goswami, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, ceramist Ashim Halder Sagor, Jon Den Hartigh and creative director and artist Khaled Mahmud. l

LRB quits Bamba n Entertainment Desk Popular Bangladeshi band LRB (Love Runs Blind) has decided to withdraw its membership from the Bangladesh Musical Band Association, Bamba permanently. LRB has sent a letter signed by Ayub Bachchu, lead vocal of the band, to the member in charge of Bamba on Friday. LRB shared the letter on its Facebook page also. When contacted to the lead guitarist Ayub Bachchu of the LRB, he confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune about the move. He said: “The reason behind leaving Bamba for lifetime is our band’s personal issue. Actually, we are busy with our band’s own activities, and not able to give time in Bamba anymore. So, we thought of leaving it.” On the other hand, the social network buzzed with criticism of the concert ahead of Twenty20 World Cup on Thursday. Several people alleged that local band Miles was prevented from their scheduled performance at the programme. A number of Facebook profiles also slammed LRB for playing 40 minutes instead of 20 SHAWON minutes in the concert. l

Aranyak’s heartwarming Swapnopothik staged at Shilpakala n Entertainment Desk

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Deshghorer Gaan celebrates traditional folklores and performances n Entertainment Desk On the occasion of birth anniversary of Waheedul Haq – the founder of Chhayanaut – one of the leading cultural organisation, hosted a two-day programme titled Deshghorer Gaan at the Bokul-tola of Charukola – Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University – inaugurated by Toronikanta Roy on March 14. Md Asad Ali Mondol and his troupe (Joypurhaat), performed Kissapala: Kolaboti Konya, and followed by Kirtan: Nouka Bilash by Manindranath Bishwas and his troupe (Khulna). Last day, at the same venue, featured folk songs by Belal Hossain (Noakhali), Zaynab Tabassum Banu (Bogra), Shahiduzzaman Mamun (Barisal) and Pareshchandra Mondol (Potuakhali), and Palagaan: Mohua Shundori by Udichi Shilpi Goshthi (Mymensingh). l

No wall around Louis I Kahn’s magnum opus, demanded n Hasan Mansoor Chatak


Virat Kohli in Sri Lanka for his ladylove

On March 14, conscious citizens of Dhaka took to the streets of Manik Mia Avenue to express their dissent on the government’s decision to put up fencing around the Sangsad Bhavan. Numerous cultural and professional organisations and individual from all walks of life have demonstrated a peaceful protest against the move. Watching the protesting artistes peacefully prove a point through their niche was a treat and a lesson for the passersby audience. The organisers strongly believes that constructing the 8.5 foot high fencing will destroy the aesthetic value of the Sangsad Bhavan designed by famed American architect Louis I Kahn and will also create a psychological hurdle between the people and the parliament. An assembly of live arts performance, song, pieces of artwork, recital, street painting, drama and mime act were presented by various art groups and individuals including Prachyanat, Tirondaz, Bottola, Aranyak, Theatre Art Unit, Nattyadhara, Podatik, Shonglap, Jahangirnagar Theatre, Shamageet, Chitkar, Kafil Ahmed, Neela, Shadhona, Short Films Society, Pathsala and Institute of Architects Bangladesh. Live arts performances by individual art performers were more interesting and eye catching and blended well with the theme of the protest. A performer demonstrated his body being entrapped with iron fencing while another performer installed a case of birds to his body. Renowned artist Hashem Khan said: “Erecting a fence around the parliament building is morally ille-

n Entertainment Desk Bombay Velvet, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, seems to be making more news for the lead pair’s real-life relationships than their onscreen chemistry. So while Katrina Kaif has flown to Sri Lanka to catch up with beau Ranbir at every given opportunity, it’s now Virat Kohli’s turn to spend some quality time with rumoured girlfriend, Anushka Sharma. After returning from Bangladesh, the cricketer apparently flew down to Sri Lanka last week


gal. No example of fencing will be found across the world in a democratic system unless the country’s system is despotic.” Mubasshar Hussain, the president of the Institute of Architect Bangladesh said: “The parliament building stands as a democratic icon to the nation. The lawns in the east and west and the south plaza must remain open to people as per the master plan of the parliament complex, but the government violated

in order to meet Anushka. Virat joined Anushka in Sri Lanka where the latter has been shooting for her film over the past few weeks. “He came in for a few days and they would hang out together during her free time. They were also put up in the same hotel, but they were a lot more discreet this time around. They made sure that they weren’t get clicked together, so not many crew members knew about this,” said a source. The cricketer apparently had some time on hand before the start of the next series, and he wanted to make the most of it. He returned to Mumbai from Sri Lanka on Thursday morning in time to join the Indian team for the ICC World T20 Championship. l

the committee’s plan led by the deputy speaker.” Public Works Department is implementing the project in which 8.5-foot high iron fencing would be set up on three sides of the complex - South Plaza and the lawns in the east and the west - replacing an existing four-foot high barrier. World famous architect Louis I Kahn designed the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban on 200 acres of land in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and it was inaugurated in 1982. l

Did you know? Edin Dzeko’s goal ended his run of 10 hours and two minutes without scoring a competitive goal for Manchester City


Sunday, March 16, 2014

14 West Brom

sacks Anelka

14 Starc spell sets

up Australian win



15 Bangladesh face

Hong Kong today

Nothing but a win will satisfy Mushfiq Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim is confident of putting on a good show in their crucial World Twenty20 opener against Afghanistan today and said experience will make the difference in the result. “I think in the T20 format every team has the fifty-fifty chance and it really matters who plays well on the given day and I think we have played more T20 matches than Afghanistan and we have more experience than our opponent. Even we are ahead of them in terms of skills and we are confident to play better than Afghanistan, rest is up to the almighty,” said Mushfiq after their practice session at Sher-eBangla National Stadium yesterday. Only one team will qualify from the group and though Bangladesh face a tough challenge today, Mushfiq said they want to win every match and progress further. The 25-year-old said they are not only thinking about Afghanistan as they also look to beat Nepal and Honk Kong. “No I am not thinking that way and we will be playing for win in every match and as our first match is against Afghanistan we want to start with a win. As you know Nepal and Hong Kong also played very well in their warm up

matches and I think they are also good sides. My aim is to become the group champion so we definitely want to win tomorrow (today),” he said. The expectation will be sky high and it can add some extra pressure on the home side, but Mushfiq remained confident in fulfilling the expectations instead of taking extra pressure. “I don’t think there is any extra pressure on us there’s always some pressure in the international match and I think the way we played last two years we could not fulfill that recently and these pressures will be there. We are looking forward to fulfill those expectations and I think as we are playing on the home soil we will also have the crowd support and hoping to do well,” he added. The wicket-keeper informed that they worked on their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and they will try to create pressure on Afghanistan. After a series of defeats, the two warm-up wins over UAE and Ireland brought back some lost confidence and Mushfiq revealed they are hungrier for a win than ever. “We know how hard we worked the last three months. But it was not reflected on the result. We know how one or two good games could change the whole scenario which we felt after winning the last two warm-up games. We are now more aggressive and more hunger than any other time which is what the motivational factor of the team,” said Mushfiq. l

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim sweats it out in the indoors of SBNS ahead of the crucial Afghanistan tie of the ICC T20 World Cup yesterday

Pressure on Bangladesh, says Nabi It was not long ago that for Afghanistan playing in an international event was just an achievement, but their recent performance certainly takes them a force to recognise. The associate member is all set to upset the home side as skipper Mohammad Nabi informed that they are a better Twenty20 unit. Though Afghanistan carry the edge over Bangladesh in their Asia Cup win, the 29-year-old skipper added that it’s a different format of the game, “Asia Cup is totally a different game - 50 overs game - this is Twenty20 game. Both are

India don’t look at stats: Kohli India begin their ICC World Twenty20 campaign with one of the most hypedup fixtures in the cricketing world. India have never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup, but that hardly puts any pressure on the team as their last oneday international captain Virat Kohli expressed that they don’t look at the past statistics rather they go out to play their best. “The excitement is created by the crowd. For us, we don’t look at past stats and we just go out in every game trying to perform our best and win, no matter which team is against us,” said Kohli at India’s open media session yesterday. Kohli’s batting is a big asset for India and the right-handers said he wants to carry his recent Asia Cup success in the World T20 while the presence of other seniors in the team will also be crucial. “In a T20 game you have to bat as a unit, you might be the most important player even by playing the last three balls of the innings. It’s not only me, everyone can play a part. Of course I want to contribute to the team but the others - Ajinkya, Rohit, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina everyone would want to contribute to the team. I did well in the Asia Cup, will try to maintain those factors and do well here too,” he said. “It was a very young team and we fought well in the Asia Cup. We brought that confidence

here and we will try to carry in this T20 World Cup,” added Kohli who led India in the Asia Cup in absence of Dhoni. Meanwhile, Ravinchandran Ashwin was asked during the session that whether it will be difficult to adopt as India as a unit has played very few T20 internationals in the past two years. “As such, there is enough T20 cricket being played. As Dhoni has mentioned, we have played a lot of IPL cricket, everybody has gone through it. In that regard, we are not falling short. Yes, it’s a different format, the World T20, it’s not the IPL. I understand that. Still, the experience of T20 cricket is obviously the same all over the world,” said Ashwin. Ashwin is considered a player of an aggressive mindset and though it has

sometimes brought the worst instead of best, he said, “Definitely, adaptation is the key to playing at the international level. If you ask anyone, they will tell you that. “Yes, there are going to be scars that you carry from the previous game, but predominantly, the scars that the Indian team carries are from what they read. We eventually don’t read nowadays. “When we go into a game, I try and replicate as many times as possible to take an aggressive mindset into a game. When I am not able to do it, I still will tell my mind to get around to doing it. I try to be aggressive 99% of the time and it eventually works out that way 80% of the time, which is not a bad thing at all,” said the 27-year-old off spinner. l

Indian stars Virat Kohli (2R), Ashwin and others arrive at the open media session at Sonargaon Hotel yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

different format game. Afghanistan, you know, is better in Twenty20. We’ll try our best to perform very well and fight for the next round,” said Nabi at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. The Afghan captain added that they will be more relaxed as the pressure will be on the home side for their supporters’ expectation, “We will play a relax game here, but I don’t know how it will advance. But pressure will totally be on Bangladesh at their home ground from supporters. They have already lost to Afghanistan, so totally pressure on Bangladesh.”  

No one could have asked for a better start to the main stage of the ICC World Twenty20 as the archrivals India and Pakistan are set to clash in the opener on March 21 at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, and as expected Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez faced a bulk of questions involving the match when he turned up for the pre-tournament media conference yesterday. “I have always maintained that an India-Pakistan game is full of pressure,” said Hafeez, who seemed well aware it was only the first of several questions on the match. “You enjoy playing it. We as a team are very happy and as a captain, I am delighted that the first match itself is

33-year-old all-rounder. In the Group of Death, Group 2, the former T20 champions will also face Australia and defending champions West Indies and Hafeez said that they have plans again all the teams and not only India. “No team is easy in this format and especially in a tournament of this nature. Our group has all the favourites of the tournament, all the teams that are fancied to win the title are in our group. “We are here to go all the way, we are not here just for the one game. The media and people will focus more on the India game because it is about more pressure and it is something people want to watch. But we are not targeting only one team. We have our plans against Australia and West Indies as well,” he said.

The home side is bolstered by the return of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib al Hasan and Mashrafe bin Mortaza, but Nabi said, “We are not playing the names. We’re playing the game. That’s why, we just play the game. We don’t know who is in the other side Shakib (Al Hasan), Tamim (Iqbal) and Mortaza. We just play the game out of inspiration.” Nabi added that, “We have fourfive-six all-rounder in the team. That’s why we are good side in T20. Also plus point is fielding. We’ve good fielders.” The Afghans lost their last warm-up game against Zimbabwe and despite the defeat Nabi thought they played

well. “Last game we played really well. Not a bad game. But (Hamilton) Masakadza played very well for the side. We lost the game. We pushed the game in the last over. That’s Good fight against Zimbabwe,” he said. Bangladesh faced Afghanistan in this format only twice – once in Trinidad and Tobago and the other time in the Asian Games T20, which was played by a second string Bangladesh side. However, Nabi expressed, “They beat us one time in T20 in Asian Games. Both of them were a close game. That was not won easily. This time it will be tougher (for winning).” l

Shana clinches Gold in Archery GP Mohammad Ruman Shana came from behind to clinch gold medal in the men’s Recurve event of the 1st Asian Archery Grand Prix in Bangkok as Bangladesh enjoyed their most successful international archery outing in recent years yesterday. This is the biggest success for Bangladesh in four years since Imdadul Haque Milon won gold in the same event of youth Asian qualifiers. Shana beat men’s Olympic silver medallist Takahara Furukawa of Japan in the quarters and showed perseverance with a semi-final single-arrow shoot-off win. Shana matched up in the final against Russian Recurve archer Bair Tsybekdorzhiev. Three of Shana’s sets totalled just 26 points, while his Russian opponent started with a 29 which put the Bangladeshi athlete 3-1 down at the halfway. But while Tsybekdorzhiev struggled to keep his arrows inside the red zone with strong wind blowing, Shana’s groups were tighter. Two set wins in a row reversed the advantage, and he sealed a well-deserved gold medal in a last-set draw, 6-4. All three members of Bangladesh’s Recurve men’s team finished in the top 16 at this Asian Grand Prix, and the team finished on an impressive fifth place after losing a quarterfinal shootoff to Russia. l

Not here for India game only: Hafeez such that if we do well in that game, then the ones to follow will look easier as far as pressure is concerned.” Pakistan had beaten an Indian side that didn’t have the experienced MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina in it in the recent Asia Cup at the same venue. However, the return of the trio and most importantly with Dhoni back at helm hardly adds any pressure revealed Hafeez. “MS Dhoni’s leadership, there is no doubt that he has led the Indian team very well in the last six years. But we are not going into the match thinking we won in the Asia Cup because he wasn’t there or that it will be difficult now because Dhoni is in the Indian team. We will try to perform well against any team that is put out against us,” said the


Shahid Afridi is a name that comes automatically when Pakistan cricket is concerned and the type of player he is added with the rediscovered batting form, he will be a key member if Pakistan clinches glory. Hafeez said, “Afridi is fit, his rehab is going on. We have given him some extra time so that he joins the team after he is fully fit. He is joining us on March 17 and I hope he will recover very well.” Meanwhile, Umar Akmal, who has taken up the glove work from his brother Kamran Akmal, will also be instrumental in any success they get. “The batting order depends on the match situation. My team management decides when to send me and I try to give my best whenever I am sent in,” he said. l

Afghan captain Mohammad Nabi enjoys a light moment during a practice session at SBNS yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE




Djokovic books semi clash with Isner

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Heat suffer fifth loss in six games

Second-seeded Novak Djokovic swept past unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau on Friday to set up a semi-final showdown with American John Isner at the Indian Wells ATP Masters. Djokovic, a two-time champion in the California desert, needed just 68 minutes to power past Benneteau 6-1, 6-3. The world number two didn’t face a break point in the match, but had the chance to break Benneteau in all but the first of the Frenchman’s service games. “I have done everything I wanted,” said Djokovic. –AFP

Denver’s Kenneth Faried scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Friday to spark the Denver Nuggets over the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat 111-107. Darrell Arthur came off the bench to contribute 18 on 7-of-11 shooting to help the Nuggets give the Heat consecutive home losses for the first time since the 2010-11 season. The Heat have lost five of their past six games overall. “We haven’t been in a stretch like this since probably the 2010-11 season,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “When we were in that stretch, we had to figure it out. –AFP

Hamilton snatches Aussie pole Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position from home favourite Daniel Ricciardo in the dying seconds of a thrilling Australian Grand Prix qualifying session Saturday, as world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make the top 10. Australia’s Ricciardo, embarking on his first race with Red Bull, stormed to the top of the field on his last run, before he was trumped by Mercedes’ Hamilton in a flying final lap in treacherous wet conditions. Nico Rosberg, placed third, with McLaren rookie Magnussen fourth and Ferrari’s Alonso fifth in the season’s first qualifying session. –AFP

Tendulkar voted Cricketer Top dogs Liverpool scent of the Generation blood at Man United Liverpool hold the whip hand over Manchester United for the first time in decades and could land a devastating blow on their rivals’ top-four challenge at Old Trafford on Sunday. Having endured year upon year of United supremacy, Liverpool have turned the tables this season and approach this weekend’s match 11 points above their floundering foes in the Premier League table. While Liverpool still have eyes on the title, United’s bid for Champions League qualification is in dire straits as they trail fourth-place Manchester City by nine points, having played two games more. David Moyes’s side have already lost at home four times in the league this season and they can expect no sympathy from a Liverpool team whose fans have endured season after season of torment at United’s hands. While Rodgers has been eager to

play down Liverpool’s title chances, he says that silverware, rather than success against United, will be the only reliable barometer of his team’s progress. Devoid of distractions in the cup

FIXTURES Man United v Liverpool Tottenham v Arsenal

Suarez at Messi–Ronaldo level, says Rooney Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has hailed Liverpool counterpart Luis Suarez as “one of the best players in the world” ahead of the teams’ Premier League encounter on Sunday. “Suarez, for me, is up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world,” Rooney told United’s in-house television station, MUTV. “He has been that good and the two of them together have been in great form this season. We will have to do everything we can to stop them on Sunday."

competitions, Liverpool have found fine form in recent weeks, winning seven and drawing two of their last nine league games. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the division’s two leading scorers, have now amassed 42 goals between them, which is only four fewer than United’s entire squad. United enjoyed breezy wins over Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion in their last two league outings, but disaster has never been far away for Moyes this season and on Wednesday his side must attempt to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Olympiakos in the last 16 of the Champions League. Moyes can also now call upon winger Nani, who has recovered from a long-term hamstring problem, while centre-back Jonny Evans (calf) and striker Javier Hernandez (knee) could also be in contention to play. Liverpool, who last tasted victory at United in March 2009, have been given a boost by the returns to fitness of midfielder Lucas Leiva (knee) and centreback Mamadou Sakho (hamstring). l

'Neymar affected by controversy'

Australia players celebrate a wicket against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Friday AFP

Starc spell sets up Australian win Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc led a strong Australian bowling performance and set up a comfortable sixwicket win against South Africa in the third and final Twenty20 international at SuperSport Park on Friday. South Africa struggled to 128 for seven after being sent in. Aaron Finch hit 39 and Shane Watson 35 as Australia cruised to victory with five overs to spare. Man-of-the-match Starc started with a maiden and dismissed Hashim

SCORECARD, SA V AUS South Africa Q de Kock c Haddin b Hogg H Amla lbw b Starc F du Plessis c Hogg b Maxwell J Duminy c Henriques b Maxwell A de Villiers c Hodge b Hogg D Miller c Bailey b Henriques A Morkel b Starc W Parnell not out B Hendricks not out Extras (b1, lb2, nb1, w3) Total (7 wkts, 20 overs)

41 2 5 13 11 2 18 17 12 7 128

Fall of wickets 1-15, 2-20, 3-44, 4-68, 5-75, 6/81, 7-103 Bowling Starc 4-1-16-2, Coulter-Nile 4-0-33-0, Maxwell 4-0-19-2, Henriques 3-0-15-1, Hogg 4-0-31-2, Watson 1-0-11-0

Australia A Finch c Miller b Imran Tahir 39 C White c Imran Tahir b Parnell 14 S Watson c Du Plessis b Imran Tahir 35 G Maxwell lbw b Hendricks 17 G Bailey not out 12 B Hodge not out 11 Extras (w1) 1 Total (4 wkts, 15 overs) 129 Fall of wickets: 1-43, 2-67 Bowling Duminy 2-0-27-0, Tsotsobe 2-0-19-0, Hendricks 3-0-21-1, Parnell 2-0-15-1 (1w), Imran Tahir 4-0-21-2, Morkel 2-0-26-0 Australia won by six wickets. Australia won the three-match series 2-0 (1 match abandoned)

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino believes star striker Neymar’s inability to live up to high expectations in his first season with the club could be related to the intense scrutiny of his transfer from Santos. Sandro Rosell resigned as the club’s president in January as he faces legal action for misappropriation of funds, whilst Barca were also charged with tax fraud over the deal.


Amla in a second over which cost only three runs. He came back later and bowled big-hitting Albie Morkel to finish with two for 16 in his four overs. Australia got off to a rapid start, with Finch and Cameron White putting on 43 for the first wicket before White slashed Wayne Parnell to third man off the fifth ball of the fifth over. Tahir dismissed both Finch, who made his 39 off 27 balls, and Watson, whose 35 was scored off 28 deliveries. Both were deceived by the flight and were caught going for big hits. l

Elche Barcelona Sevilla Real Sociedad

v v v v

Real Betis Osasuna Valladolid Valencia

The Brazilian was also sidelined by an ankle injury for a month at the start of the year and Martino also thinks that has also played a part in the 22-yearold’s return of just one goal in 2014. “Returning after a month out injured it is always difficult to get back into rhythm and then the problems with his signing appeared,” he said at a press conference on Saturday. If I had to choose one reason I would focus in the non-sporting issues.” l


Sunday, March 23

Group A

Australia v Pakistan at Dhaka India v West Indies at Dhaka

Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Hong Kong

Group B Sunday, March 16 Bangladesh v Afghanistan at Dhaka Nepal v Hong Kong at Chittagong Monday, March 17 Zimbabwe v Ireland at Sylhet UAE v Netherlands at Sylhet

3:30PM 7:30PM

Tuesday, March 18 Afghanistan v Hong Kong at Chittagong Bangladesh v Nepal at Chittagong

3:30PM 7:30PM

Wednesday, March 19 Zimbabwe v Netherlands at Sylhet Ireland v UAE at Sylhet

3:30PM 7:30PM

Thursday, March 20 Afghanistan v Nepal at Chittagong Bangladesh v Hong Kong at Chittagong

3:30PM 7:30PM

Friday, March 21 Zimbabwe v UAE at Sylhet Ireland v Netherlands at Sylhet

3:30PM 7:30PM 3:30PM 7:30PM

Tuesday, March 25 3:30PM 7:30PM

11:30AM 3:30PM


West Indies v A1 at Dhaka

3:30PM 7:30PM

Friday, March 28 Australia v West Indies at Dhaka India v A1 at Dhaka

3:30PM 7:30PM

Saturday, March 29 New Zealand v B1 at Chittagong England v South Africa at Chittagong

3:30PM 7:30PM

Sunday, March 30 Pakistan v A1 at Dhaka Australia v India at Dhaka

3:30PM 7:30PM

Monday, March 31 England v B1 at Chittagong New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Chittagong

3:30PM 7:30PM

Tuesday, April 1 Australia v A1 at Dhaka Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka

Group 1


Thursday, March 27 South Africa v B1 at Chittagong England v Sri Lanka at Chittagong

South Africa, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand, B1


Group 2

Thursday, April 3

3:30PM 7:30PM

India, Pakistan, Australia, West Indies, A1

Group 1 winners v Group 2 runners-up at Dhaka 7:00PM

Friday, March 21

Friday, April 4

India v Pakistan, at Dhaka


Group 2 winner v Group 1 runners-up at Dhaka

Saturday, March 22


South Africa v Sri Lanka, at Chittagong 3:30PM England v New Zealand, at Chittagong 7:30PM

Sunday, April 6 at Dhaka (Reserve day - Monday, April 7)

ESPNCRICINFO AWARDS 2013 WINNERS Test bowling performance Mitchell Johnson 7/40 v England, Adelaide Test batting performance 187 v Australia, Mohali Odi bowling performance Shahid Afridi 7/12 v West Indies, Georgetown Odi batting performance Rohit Sharma 209 v Australia, Bangalore Debut of the year Mohammed Shami Contribution to cricket Tarak Sinha Cricketer of the generation Sachin Tendulkar

Juventus aim to tighten stranglehold Verona and Parma could throw a spanner into the European ambitions of both Milan giants this weekend while Juventus travel to Genoa looking to tighten their stranglehold on Italy’s Serie A. For city neighbours AC Milan the situation is dire. Three days after elimination from the Champions League last 16 at the hands of Atletico Madrid, Clarence Seedorf’s side host Parma knowing that anything less than a win would deal a massive blow to their top five hopes and a place in Europe. Milan currently sit 10th, but are nine points adrift of Inter, eight behind Parma and five behind Verona. Juventus, meanwhile, travel to Genoa on Sunday looking to build on the momentum of a precious 1-0 win over Fiorentina last week when secondplace Roma fell 1-0 at Napoli. Genoa will start as underdogs but defender Luca Antonelli is hoping a red-hot Luigi Ferraris stadium gives

the hosts a much-needed edge. “There’s a massive difference in terms of value and where we sit respectively in the league table, but we want to make the impossible possible,” Antonelli told Genoa’s official website. Last week Napoli launched their bid for a second successive runner-up finish thanks to a 1-0 win over Roma, who are three points ahead with a game in hand.

FIXTURES Atalanta AC Milan Cagliari Livorno Sassuolo Fiorentina Genoa

v v v v v v v

Sampdoria Parma Lazio Bologna Catania ChievoVerona Juventus

Although still in Europa League contention, despite losing 1-0 at FC Porto on Thursday, and facing Fiorentina in the Italian Cup final, goalkeeper Pepe Reina said claiming second and an automatic Champions League spot is Napoli’s priority. “We believe we can finish second,” Reina told La Gazzetta dello Sport. l

West Brom sacks Anelka after he quits West Bromwich Albion announced Friday that it had sacked banned French striker Nicolas Anelka for “gross misconduct”, just hours after he announced on Twitter he was leaving. Anelka, who turned 35 on Friday, was due to start a five-match ban after being punished for his controversial “quenelle” goal celebration at West Brom’s 3-3 draw at West Ham on December 28. “Following discussions between the club and me, proposals have been made to me that I rejoined the group under certain conditions,” Anelka wrote on his official Twitter account. “I cannot accept. Wishing to keep my integrity, I decided to free myself and to terminate the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014 as of now.” l


Monday, March 24 New Zealand v South Africa at Chittagong Sri Lanka v B1, Chittagong

Zimbabwe, Ireland, UAE, Netherlands

One of the greatest batsmen of all time, the iconic Sachin Tendulkar was on Friday voted Cricketer of the Generation as he staved off stiff competition from spin legend Shane Warne and allrounder par excellence Jacques Kallis at the ESPNcricinfo awards function. The award is meant to honour the most outstanding cricketer between the years 1993 and 2013, and the occasion also marked the 20th anniversary celebrations for the cricket website. “I am speechless, honestly,” said Tendulkar after receiving the award. “Thanks to ESPNcricinfo for considering me worthy enough. When Martin (Crowe) and Rahul (Dravid) both spoke about me, I didn’t know how to react.” Tendulkar has been the most successful batsman of his generation, having set innumerable records in both Tests and ODIs. He rewrote some of the most coveted batting records, including those for most Test runs and Test hundreds, and for most ODI runs and ODI hundreds. The Mumbaikar is the only cricketer to score hundred international centuries.

On Kallis, Tendulkar said, “I first saw him in 1996. He looked an okay player and I thought, this guy could become a decent allrounder. But over a period of time, how he changed his batting technique and worked on his bowling was incredible. “Kallis used to walk with his head down and I used to tell my teammates that once he has realised which way the blades of the grass are, he is going to make you pay.” Talking about Warne, he said, “I first played against Warne in 1992 and you could make out he had the talent, but he wasn’t consistent enough in the first game. “The second time I faced him was in Sri Lanka and I was beaten by his spin. I charged him next ball and was lucky to get away. Warne came up to me and tried to charge me up, but I turned towards square leg and ignored him. Post match, i asked him, ‘Warne, what were you trying to say?’ From then onwards, we became good friends.” Tendulkar ended his glorious 24year international career last November, signing off with an elegant 74 against the West Indies in his final Test innings. l

7:00PM 7:00PM

Afghanistan Mohammad Nabi (capt), Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadiq, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Taraki, Najibullah Zadran, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Shahzad, Shafiqullah, Shapoor Zadran. Bangladesh Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Al-Amin Hossain, Anamul Haque, Farhad Reza, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Sohag Gazi, Tamim Iqbal. Hong Kong Jamie Atkinson (capt), Aizaz Khan, Mark Chapman, Ehsan Nawaz, Haseeb Amjad, Babar Hayat, Irfan Ahmed, Roy Lamsam, Munir Dar, Nadeem Ahmed, Najeeb Amar, Nizakat Khan, Kinchit Shah, Tanwir Afzal, Waqas Barkat. Ireland William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Andrew Poynter, James Shannon, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young. Nepal Paras Khadka (capt), Pradeep Airee, Prithu Baskota, Binod Bhandari, Naresh Budhaayer, Shakti Gauchan, Sompal Kami, Avinash Karn, Subash Khakurel, Gyanendra Malla, Jitendra Mukhiya, Sagar Pun, Basant Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar, Rahul Vishwakarma. Netherlands Peter Borren (capt), Wesley Barresi, Logan

van Beek, Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tim Gruijters, Timm van der Gugten, Tom Heggelman, Vivian Kingma, Ahsan Malik, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski. United Arab Emirates Khurram Khan (capt), Ahmed Raza, Amjad Ali, Amjad Javed, Asadullah Shareef, Faizan Asif, Kamran Shahzad, Manjula Guruge, Moaaz Qazi, Rohan Mustafa, Swapnil Patil, Rohit Singh, Shadeep Silva, Shaiman Anwar, Vikrant Shetty. Zimbabwe Brendan Taylor (capt), Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams. Australia George Bailey (capt), Daniel Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White. England Stuart Broad (capt), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Michael Lumb, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Stephen Parry, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Luke Wright. India Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran

Ashwin, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Shami, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh. New Zealand Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson. Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Talha, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar. South Africa Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Sri Lanka Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardena, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne. West Indies Darren Sammy (capt), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.




Sunday, March 16, 2014


Bangladesh face Hong Kong

A Sri Lankan players goes air bound to avoid a hit of a Qatar player during their AGHQ match yesterday


Siddikur remains at 13th after 3rd round Siddikur Rahman remained at 13th position after playing an equal-par 71 in the third round of the Solaire Open yesterday. The Bangladeshi golfing ace totaled a 2-under 211 after the end of third round. Filipino star Angelo Que fired a third round twounder-par 69 to hold a one shot lead over a persistent Miguel Tabuena. Que stayed on track for a fourth Asian Tour title despite missing a 10 footer par putt on the last to settle for nine-under-par 204 at the challenging The Country Club, where blustery conditions made life difficult. –Tribune Desk

Ranjan, Mamun in tennis final Ranjan Ram of International Club and Mamun Bepari of BKSP moved into the final of the Runner Group Independence Day Open Tennis Championship after winning their respective semi-final matches at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday. Ranjan Ram outplayed Mofazzal Hossain of Uttara Club 6-4, 6-1 while Mamun thrashed Rustam Ali of American Club 6-3, 6-3 to claim the final spot. The final matches in both men’s and women’s section will be held today at 3pm. Meanwhile in the men’s doubles, Amol Roy and Ranjan Ram pair defeated Alamgir Hossain and Rustam Ali 6-4, 6-1 in the semi-final while the team of Mofazzal Hossain and Milon Hossain beat Anwar Hossain and Dipu Lal by 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 to reach the final. –Tribune Desk

DAY’S WATCH Maasranga TV, Gazi TV, Star Sports 1, HD1 ICC World T20 2014 3:30PM Bangladesh v Afghanistan 7:30PM Nepal v Hong Kong Sony Six NBA 2013-14 6:00AM Chicago v Sacramento 11:00PM Toronto v Phoenix 08:30AM UFC 171 Johny Hendricks v Robbie Lawler 1:30AM Major League Soccer 2014 Portland Timbers v Chicago Fire

Big stage for Nepal, Hong Kong Nepal will take on Hong Kong on the opening day of the ICC World T20 2014 in Bangladesh today to qualify for the tournament’s major group. The second opening match of the tournament will be played at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong in Bangladesh. Hong Kong lost a last-ball thriller to Nepal in the quarter-final of the ICC World Twenty Qualifier UAE 2013 last November, but went on to beat Papua

New Guinea by 29 runs to qualify in sixth place for its maiden ICC global event. Hong Kong may hope for explosive beginning with batsmen Irfan Ahmed and Jamie Atkinson, who scored 241 runs at a strike-rate 115.31 in the qualifying tournament. Hong Kong first became an ICC member in 1969 and played four One-Day Internationals in the Asia Cup tournaments of 2004 and 2008. Hong and Nepal finished third and fifth in ICC World Twenty20 qualifier 2013 in UAE. Nepal has won twice in previous Twenty20 meetings with Hong Kong in

Star Sports HD1 La Liga 10:00PM Barcelona v Osasuna 12:00AM Sevilla v Real Valladolid 2:00AM Real Sociedad v Valencia Ten Action 10:00PM French Ligue 1 2013/14 Olympic Lyon v AS Monaco

the past at the 2012 and 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournaments. In the very first match, Paras Khadka hit the highest score for Nepal in T20 matches – 68 from 62 balls. The same match had the third-best figures for Nepal in T20 matches – Chandra Sawad’s 4-24 from four overs. In their recent meeting, in the qualifying tournament for this event, Nepal won but with the final ball of the match. Irfan Ahmed of Hong Kong has recorded the two highest scores in T20 matches (100 against Canada in November 2013 and 91 not out against Denmark in March 2012). l

Silva, Dzeko kickstart City title charge RESULTS Everton

2 1


1 0


Deulofeu 59, Coleman 90

Fulham Dejagah 68

Hull Southampton

0 2

Cala 68

Man City Silva 14, Dzeko 90

4 2


Schneiderlin 5, Lambert 57, Rodriguez 72, Gallagher 90

Stoke Odemwingie 33, 79, Arnautovic 69

Sunderland Swansea Lamah 2

Elmander 85, Snodgrass 86

3 1

West Ham

0 0 1 2

Crystal Palace

Carroll 5

West Brom

Sessegnon 52, Mulumbu 85

Manchester City survived the 10th-minute dismissal of captain Vincent Kompany to win 2-0 at Hull City on Saturday and reduce Chelsea’s lead in the Premier League to six points. Kompany saw red for a last-man foul on Nikica Jelavic, but David Silva put City ahead with a glorious curling effort just four minutes later and Edin Dzeko made sure of victory at the death. It was City’s first league match for three weeks and they still have two games in hand on Chelsea, although the leaders can reassert their ninepoint advantage with victory at Aston Villa later on Saturday.

Jamal’s BPL wait continues The two postponed matches of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in the Bangladesh Premier League has been deferred once again by at least a day due to unplayable pitch condition at Bangabandhu National Stadium. The crucial match between defending champions Sheikh Russell and Sheikh Jamal will now be held tomorrow which was earlier rescheduled to take place today, confirmed Bangladesh Football Federation general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag yesterday. “We went to inspect the stadium today and it was left in an unplayable

state after the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) concert. We were not convinced by the condition. The ground has been cleaned but it’s still dry and hard. The ground has been watered today (yesterday) and so we had to defer the fixture,” said Shohag. Sheikh Jamal, who flew to Kolkata to play in the IFA Shield where they finished runners-up, will now face Uttar Baridhara in their last match of BPL first phase on March 20 instead on March 19. Meanwhile, the delay in completing the first phase of BPL is likely to see the Independence Cup shifted by two days and start on March 22, hinted Shohag. l

City were missing top scorer Sergio Aguero due to injury and they received a further setback in the 10th minute when Kompany was given his marching orders. Jelavic appeared to foul Kompany as they jostled for possession, but play was allowed to continue and when the City captain hauled the Croatian down, referee Lee Mason immediately brandished the red card. Kompany kicked out at a door in frustration as he stalked down the tunnel, but City reacted in stirring fashion, with Silva gathering a pass from Yaya Toure and arcing a beautiful shot inside the left-hand post from 25 yards. Meanwhile, bottom club Fulham gave their chances of avoiding relegation a boost with a 1-0 win at home to

Newcastle United that kept them four points from safety. West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel tasted victory for the first time as an 85th-minute Youssouf Mulumbu goal saw his side complete a 2-1 comeback win at Swansea City that sent them three points clear of the drop zone. Sunderland remain in the bottom three after a 0-0 draw at home to Crystal Palace, but they moved above Cardiff City, who fell to an injury-time Seamus Coleman strike in a cruel 2-1 defeat at Everton. Goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and Sam Gallagher saw Southampton beat Norwich City 4-2, while Peter Odemwingie scored twice as Stoke City sank West Ham United 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium. l

Pennetta shocks Li to reach Indian Wells final

Dortmund shocked at home by 10-man Gladbach

Flavia Pennetta shocked Li Na in the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Friday, beating the Australian Open champion 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to set up a title clash with Agnieszka Radwanska. Li had pounded winners past Pennetta in a crushing 6-2, 6-2 victory in the Australian Open quarter-finals in January. Pennetta will vie for the title on Sunday against Poland’s Radwanska, who beat sixth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep 6-3, 6-4. l

Man City's David Silva celebrates scoring against Hull City during their EPL match at the KC Stadium in Hull yesterday AFP

RESULTS Borussia Dortmund stay second in the Bundesliga despite slumping to a 2-1 defeat at home to ten-man Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday. Gladbach earned their first win in ten games to dent Dortmund’s confidence ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 clash at home to Zenit St Petersburg when they hold a 4-2 lead from the first leg. Mainz moved up to fifth with a sensational 4-2 victory at Hoffenheim with Japan’s Shinji Okazaki netting their last two goals. l

Dortmund Jojic 77

Werder Bremen Hunt 79


1 2 1 1 2 4

M'gladbach Raffael 31, Kruse 40

Stuttgart Niedermeier 55

Mainz 05

Polanski 49, Choupo-Moting 67, Saller 73, Roberto Firmino 53 Okazaki 75, 90+2

Braunschweig Bellarabi 48

Hertha Berlin

1 1 0 3

Wolfsburg Luiz Gustavo 36

Hanover 96

Stindl 49, Schlaudraff 57, Huszti 90+1

Salahuddin eyeing Club Cup in Dhaka

Star Sports 4 11:45AM Formula One Australian Grand Prix English Premier League 7:30PM Man United v Liverpool 10:00PM Tottenham v Arsenal Italian Serie A 1:45AM Genoa v Juventus


Bangladesh opens their Islami Bank Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers against Hong Kong China at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium at 4pm today. In the last edition of the hockey qualifiers in 2010 Hong Kong held Bangladesh to a 2-2 draw, but Bangladesh hold the upper hand as they beat the same opponents 6-1 in their last encounter in the World Hockey League. Bangladesh skipper Mamunur Rahman Chayan expects to go off a winning note. “We are not taking any match lightly, we have respect for Hong Kong and we will take the field with all our cylinders firing. We want to make a winning start and make an impact,” said the drag and flick specialist. Mark Kawiti Kake, the New Zealander coach of Hong Kong, said his team is ready for the challenge. “Bangladesh is a strong team and we are ready to fight it out, we will not let anything go without a fight,” said Kake. Meanwhile Oman kicked off their Islami Bank Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers with Khalfan Qasim Moosa scoring the only goal in their 1-0 win over Chinese Taipei while Sri Lanka was held to a 1-1 draw by Qatar in the opening day matches yesterday. Oman started in an attacking mode as Chinese Taipei opted for a counter attacking strategy in an evenly contested match.

Chen Yuan Fan, the Chinese Taipei skipper failed to flick the ball into an open net in the 25th minute while two minutes later Rajab Basim Khatar, the tall Omanese forward made his way through the Taipei defence only to see his weak push cleared from the goal line. Oman took the lead in the 47th minute after Rajab Basim Khatar cut a fierce cross from the right flank as Khalfan took control at the left edge of the box before striking the board with a fierce reverse hit. Rajab Basim Khatar was adjudged as the man of match. Meanwhile in the second match, Qatar took the lead in the 25th minute through a combined attack. Midfielder Ali Sheraj saw his fierce hit rebound off the pad of Ishara Madhushanka as unmarked forward Aslam Adnan unleashed a fierce hit to score. Sri Lanka reacted sharply and initiated a series of attacks but lack of finishing saw the chances go wide. In the 33rd  minute Shanaka Nandaslochana missed and open net in a one-on-one situation with the Qatar goalkeeper Ali Shazad. In the 44th  minute Sanadaruwan Priyalanka saw his hit miss the side post by a whisker while three minute later Chulalankara Asanka’s slap hit was saved by Shahzad once again. The lead was however cancelled three minutes before the stipulated time when Sri Lankan midfielder Sanadaruwan Priyalanka equalised with a reverse hit from the edge of the box. l

Officer’s Club emerged as the champions of the Ispahani Corporate Badminton yesterday


Triple Crown for Mahbub Mahbubur Rab clinched triple crown in the Ispahani Corporate Badminton Grand Slam winning the title of men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles at the Officers Club yesterday. With Mahbub playing for the Officers Club it emerged as the champions of the meet.

The winners are as follows-

Men’s singles winner: Mahbubur Rab

(Officer’s Club). Runner-up: Linkon (Banglalink). Men’s Doubles: Mahbubur Rab & Hasem (Officer’s Club). Runnerup : Linkon & Mujib (Banglalink), Women Single’s : Jafry (Officer’s Club). Runner-up: Daisy (Officer’s Club), Women’s double’s: Daisy & Jafry (Officer’s Club). Runners-up :Maria & Rajasree (City School), Mixed double’s : Mahbubur Rab & Daisy (Officer’s Club). Runnersup: Linkon & Rubayyat (Banglalink). l

Kazi Salahuddin, the president of South Asian Football Football Federation pledged to host the first ever SAFF Club Cup Championship in Dhaka in a felicitation program held at the BFF House on Saturday. The Executive Committee of BFF, the Professional League Committee, the Referees Committee, the Women’s Wing, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club combinedly felicitated Salahuddin for being elected as the president of SAFF again. “The Club Cup Championship will be held in August next, the top eight clubs of the eight SAFF countries, one invited club by the hosts will be playing in the inaugural tournament, there will be two clubs of the host country making it ten, I am every hopeful that Dhaka will be the first venue” said Salahuddin. Salahuddin added that national U-19 skipper Vincent Hematna and national u-16 defender Tutul Hossain Badshah may fly to Belgium under the auspices of national head coach

BFF executive committee members hand over a garland to SAFF president Kazi Salahuddin at the BFF House yesterday COURTESY Lodewijk de Kruif. Meanwhile Monjur Kader, the president of Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Ltd, who was also present on the occasion, said he had brought two Nige-

rians who will sign for the club in the second transfer window. Wasiu Asas, an attacking midfielder and Daniel, a forward will be taking the place of Femi Orunimi and Okemiri. l



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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Police claim to find foreign links with JMB snatching Islam Shaon and n Ashif Mohammad Jamil Khan The law enforcers have claimed that they found specific foreign links with the snatching of three convicted JMB militants at Trishal of Mymensingh. “We have received specific information of foreign aid to the JMB militants in planning and carrying out the snatching, but for the sake of investigation, we cannot disclose the names of those involved and their country of origin,” Joint Commissioner of Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Monirul Islam said yesterday. He said they received information by interrogating the JMB men arrested so far since the incident. At least 20 days have passed since the two convicted JMB men were whisked away. A large group of young thugs intercepted a prison van, opened fire on police that killed a constable and whisked away three including two death row activists of JMB in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh on February 23. Later, police recaptured one militant Rakib, who was killed in “crossfire” on February 24. However, two remaining militants Salauddin Salehin and bomb specialist Mizan are still on the run. The DB and Dhaka district police yesterday arranged a joint press conference to announce the update of their drive against JMB men. They said they had so far arrested 11 suspected militants who were involved with the incident of snatching. The seized materials also included a Pakistan intelligence manual’s Bangla translated copy which described how the JMB men would carry out operation dodging law enforcers, added police. Of the arrestees, five including two financers of the outlawed organisation were arrested in the last 36 hours from inside and outside the capital. Though several high-ups of different intelligence agencies had earlier suspected that the two JMB men slipped out of the country through northern frontier, the DB chief claimed that the JMB men were in the country. “There is no specific information that they escaped the country. So, we believe that they are still in our territory,” he said. However, the DB chief said they

sought help from intelligence agencies of some countries to capture the JMB men by sharing information with them. “We have been searching for the runaway JMB operatives also in the bordering areas. Border Guard Bangladesh and the Coastguard have been kept on high alert,” he said. The latest arrestees are Ruhul Amin, alias Raju, Amin Rahat, Azmir and Jitu. Raju was arrested from the city’s Badda area yesterday while Amin Rahat, Azmir and Jitu were held from Hatirjheel area Thursday. The law enforcers also seized 4.5kg explosives, motorbike, training manual and maps from the possession of the detainees. Police said Rahat and Azmir were garment factory owners. They had been financing the organisation, giving jobs to its members and providing monetary support to the arrestees’ families. Recently, Azmir bought a garment factory at Tk5.80 crore in Satarkul, police said, adding that Rahat had also a factory at Kalyanpur in the capital. The outfit also runs hundi and fake note business. “These garment factories are local source of money for the JMB operatives. We have also found some other sources,” the DB official said. He claimed that they had detected the whole network and the fled convicts would be arrested soon. “A section of the old JMB network somehow revived and carried out the snatching. We have broken the network already,” he said. The investigators found that convicted Rakib used to make plan with some other JMB men who were about to get bail within some days. As per the plan the men come out of jail and take steps to collect money and arms. The men behind bars contacted their cohorts over mobile to carry out the attack, said police. They first thought of the snatching at Gazipur and rented some houses out there eight months back. But as they found it difficult, they changed the plan and set their mission at Bhaluka-Trishal in Mymensingh. Dhaka range DIG Nuruzzaman, Additional DIG Shafiqul Islam and Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanowar Hossain were present at the press briefing. l

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greets former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad when he arrived at Ganabhaban in the capital yesterday

Crimea to vote in Russia referendum, Moscow vetoes U.N. move n Reuters Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of sanctions from the West. Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that declared the referendum invalid, as Ukraine’s defense ministry said it scrambled aircraft and paratroops to confront a Russian encroachment beyond Crimea’s regional boundary. Ukraine’s new rulers accused “Kremlin agents” of fomenting deadly violence in the Russian-speaking east and urged people not to respond to provocations Kiev fears Moscow may use to justify further incursions its takeover of Crimea. Russia issued a new statement

Study: Abuse of veterinary drugs endangering vulture species The local vulture population has been on a steady decline due to an excessive use of veterinary medicines which continues unabated, researchers have said. They observed veterinary medicines and painkillers like Diclofenac and Kitoferon, used on local cattle, contributes to the death of vultures, a trend that might have disastrous effects on local ecology. A research in 2012 shows that the vulture population in the country has been reduced by 60% between 2008 and 2012 and 98% in the last two decades due to lack of food, habitation and excessive use of animal drugs. Of four species of vultures in Bangladesh, the White-rumped vulture, popularly known as “Bangla Shokun”, has been hit the most. Its number came down to only 816, according to the study titled “Whiterumped vulture population in Bangladesh, breeding and threats.” The study found that the reason for the extinction of White-rumped vulture was the food and habitation shortage and excessive use of animal painkiller drugs like Diclofenac and Kitoferon and fattening pills like Butaphosphan. A researcher, Prof Monirul H Khan, who led the study, said the Whiterumped vulture was a common species even two decades ago, but the population came down sharply in recent years. Besides the White-rumped vulture, three other species – Cinereous Vulture, Himalayan Griffon and Eurasian– are also found in the country, though they are very few in numbers now. Another two species of vulture, Long-billed vulture and Red-headed vulture, have not been seen in the country since 1980s. Bodies of cattle that die after suffer-

n Rabiul Islam

VETERINARY DRUGS ENDANGER VULTURES IN BANGLADESH Inhabiting regions: • Sylhet • Mymensingh • Sundarbans Varieties of vultures found • Cinereous Vulture • Himalayan Griffon • Egyptian Vulture • Eurasian Vulture


Critically endangered ones • White-rumped vulture [Bangla Shokun]



Not seen since 1980’s • Long Billed Vulture • Red Headed Vulture [Raj Shokun]

991 816


White-Rumped Vulture

Photo: Monirul Khan

ing reactions to the drugs posed a great threat to the vulture population because their livers had failed to tolerate the hazardous chemicals found in such medicines, he said. Birdlife International, a wildlife platform, working for conservation of nature, declared the species as “critically endangered” in Bangladesh back in 2001. Another census of the vulture population across the country is being conducted under a project named White-rumped vulture conservation in Bangladesh under International Union for Conservation of Nature. The census will end by June next. Anybody could easily spot dozens of vultures in the north-eastern part of the country only a few years ago, but they were rarely found in the same area these days, said Prof Monirul, a vulture specialist. He called for immediate steps to conserve the vulture population in the wild. Nowadays, vultures are mostly seen



saying it was ready to protect Ukrainians from nationalist militants it said were threatening eastern cities. Sunday’s vote in Crimea, dismissed by Kiev and Western governments as illegal, has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War and marks a new peak in turmoil in Ukraine that goes back to November when now ousted President Viktor Yanukovich walked out on a trade deal with the European Union. Though the situation was calm on the Black Sea peninsula itself on Saturday ahead of the vote, tensions remained high in eastern Ukraine where two people were killed in Kharkiv late on Friday. Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov, whose election in a closed session of the regional parliament is not recognized by Kiev, said there were enough security personnel to ensure the poll would be safe.

“I think we have enough people more than 10,000 in the self-defense forces, more than 5,000 in different units of the Interior Ministry and the security services of the Crimean Republic,” he told reporters. In Kiev, the Ukrainian parliament voted to dissolve the Crimean regional assembly which has organized the referendum and backs union with Russia. And on Kiev’s Independence Square or Maidan - lodestar of the revolt against the Moscow-backed Yanukovich - hundreds of people chanted “Crimea is Ukraine! Crimeans, we support you!” One Ukrainian nationalist leader in the Kiev legislature said the Crimean assembly must be sanctioned to discourage separatist movements in the mainly Russian-speaking east. Aksyonov and Moscow do not officially recognize that Russian troops

have taken control of Crimea, and say that thousands of unidentified armed men visible across the region belong to “self-defense” groups created to ensure stability. But the Russian military has done little to hide the arrival of thousands of soldiers, along with trucks, armored vehicles and artillery. Masked gunmen surrounding Ukrainian military bases in Crimea have identified themselves as Russian troops. Polling stations will open at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Sunday and close 12 hours later. Preliminary results are expected within hours of polls closing on Sunday night. Crimea’s electorate of 1.5 million, according to a format of the ballot paper issued last week, will choose between one of two options - but both imply Russian control of the peninsula. l

Baby of raped migrant gets shelter


Reasons of extinction • Lack of food • Shortage of habitations • Excessive use of painkillers and cattlefattening drugs


n Abu Bakar Siddique


in Sylhet division, greater Mymensingh and some parts of the world’s single largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans. The environment and forest m inistry took an initiative to impose ban on use of hazardous medicines for cattle in 2011. The researchers say the ban has slowed down the trend of extinction of White-rumped vulture to some extent. Prof Monirul suggested the government should ban the use of another animal drug – Kitoprofen– which is now largely being used as a substitute for Diclofenac. The vulture specialist also advocated the use of Meloxicam as a substitute for Diclofenac, though it was costlier. Bangladesh National Vulture Recovery Committee headed by an additional secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Forest recently made recommendations to establish two safe zones with the radius of 100km where the number of White-rumped vulture population was comparatively higher. l

The Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association has taken over the responsibility of the child who was conceived after the alleged rape of his mother by an employer in Dubai. Kohinur Khatun (not her real name), a Bangladeshi female migrant worker allegedly raped by her employer’s son in the UAE, gave birth to the child on March 5. Kohinur later left the infant at BNWLA’s safe home in the capital and returned to her home in Mymensingh on March 13. “I have come to my village home for an important family matter and my baby is now at a safe home in Dhaka,” Kohinur told the Dhaka Tribune on Friday. “I would go to Dhaka to see my son on Sunday,” she added. BNWLA Executive Director Salma Ali told the Dhaka Tribune: “The baby is now in good health at our safe home.” With the help of non-government or-

ganisation Bangladeshi Obhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA), the baby was born in Mymensingh, while both the mother and the child later came to Dhaka to receive treatment at a health facility. On March 8, the child’s care was handed over to the BNWLA. Kohinur, who has a daughter and two sons with her husband in Mymensingh, claimed that earlier in March 2013, middlemen helped her find work in the UAE, where she was raped by her employer’s son and eventually sent back home in October after becoming pregnant with her rapist’s child. Kohinur alleged that her recruiters had promised her the job of a cleaner at a madrasa, but later forced her to work as a domestic help. Salma Ali said: “We find many inconsistencies in her statement; still we consider her claim to be true. “We are collecting the documents based on which recruiting agency and travel agency sent Kohinur to the UAE,

and we would go for legal steps next,” Salma said, adding: “It is very unfortunate that Kohinur wants to sell the baby.” She also claimed that the BNWLA had taken up three such cases, but the embassy did not cooperate, as there was no bilateral agreement between the countries concerned on this regard. “There is no adoption system in our law and sometimes many people come for a child. We hand over babies to their custody through court for bearing up the children,” Salma added. She said, “For legal steps we need Kohinur’s assistance and we can realise compensation for her.” Kohinur said she would cooperate with the organisation, and that she would file a complaint at the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said the government would try to realise compensation for the victim if she would file a complaint. l

Bangladesh joins Malaysian plane search n UNB Two frigates and two maritime patrol aircraft of Bangladesh Navy have been deployed in the Bay of Bengal and its adjoining areas as part of a search operation for the missing Malaysian aircraft. The move came following the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said a press release of the Inter-Services Public Relations. The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 people on board, dropped off the air traffic control screens on Saturday, less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It is one of the most baffling mysteries in the history of modern aviation as there has been no trace of the plane since nor any sign of wreckage despite a search by navies and military aircraft of over a dozen countries across Southeast Asia. l

B3 Banks to be hit with Mi-

crosoft costs for running outdated ATMs

B4 Fed’s balance sheet

reaches $4tn at end of 2013

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014

Telcos oppose SMS permission to IP service providers The internet telephony operators now cater to mainly corporate clients with voice market n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Mobile phone companies have strongly opposed the regulator’s decision to allow Internet Protocol Telephony Service Providers (IPTSPs) to operate SMS service. They argued that SMS service was the mobile phones’ business and others should not be allowed to intrude it using their network. Besides, SMS and data business would gradually take the front line against the voice market which was on the wane also in Bangladesh like other parts of the world, mobile operators said. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) made the decision at a meeting in January. The government too has given permission. IPTSPs said the mobile phone companies were creating “obstacles” to the regulator’s move and claimed they would offer better service at cheaper rates. IPTSPs now mainly cater to corporate clients with voice service. In the wake of the debate, BTRC called a meeting on Thursday with the stakeholders to discuss the matter. Only three IPTSPs and four mobile phone operators - Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Airtel - attended the meeting. “If the regulator or government tries to give our cake to others, what will happen to us? They have to think about it,” Mahmudur Rahman, executive vice president of mobile operator Robi, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Mobile operators said while they

had to spend millions of dollars for spectrum, IPTSPs literally had no investment. If IPTSPs are given SMS permission, there will be no difference between the two sides – one is investing high while other is making almost no investment, mobile operators said. But according to the IPTSP operators, they would never grab mobile operators’ business as the services offered by the two are different. “For a healthy market, it is mandatory to open scopes for everybody to offer better services for their clients,” Saykot Raihan, AGM and head of IPTSP business for BDcom online Limited told the Dhaka Tribune. “But mobile operators are trying to create obstacles to this goal,” he alleged. BTRC has currently awarded licences to 46 IPTSPs. Out of them, only five to eight IPTSPs are prominent and trying to introduce SMS service for their customers. BDcom Online Limited, the market leader among IPTSPs, along with other two operators applied late last year for the SMS licence. The telecom regulator prepared a directive recently making only Tk10 as interconnectivity charge for each SMS. “Even after taking the charge (Tk10 interconnectivity) we can offer the service at the cheapest price,” said a high official of another IPTSP. According to statistics of the teleom regulator, in Bangladesh around 5 crore local SMS are generated currently every month through mobile phones. l

Small-cap stock prices jump sky-high n Tahmidur Rahman

SMS business should not be intruded, say mobile phone operators


Small-cap companies at the Dhaka Stock Exchange registered substantial gains in the recent sessions what analysts considered to be abnormal in absence of any corporate disclosures. Shares of three such companies – Standard Ceramic, Renwick Jajneswar and Eastern Cables – have gained substantially in last week as they recorded 38.8%, 38.3% and 31.8% increase respectively to close at Tk52.6, Tk288.5 and Tk165.7 each. Apart from Eastern Cables, two other companies showed fall in profits in the last quarter as compared to same period a year earlier. However, the disclosures came almost a couple of months ago. The “A” category scrip, Renwick Jajneswar, saw a rise in its price of 76% in the last 18 trading sessions while the “Z” category stock Eastern Cables surged 59% in last 19 trading sessions. Two of the companies belong to the engineering segment at the bourse while one belonging to ceramics sector. “Price manipulation of such sort is not a new phenomenon at our bourses and it is sad to witness it over and over again,” said Md Moniruzzaman, managing director of IDLC Investments Ltd. He said investors would need to be made aware about the dynamics of our capital markets.

The three companies were traded of a value of Tk12 crore last week at DSE. Stocks of Renwick Jajneswar were traded valued Tk7.2 crore last week, which is 12% of its market value of Tk57.7 crore. The company has also an accumulated loss of Tk7.7 crore as of last year-end. Analysts suggested that looking at the major buyers and sellers of the stock could help the concerned authorities take steps towards putting a stop to such price manipulations.

Price manipulation of such sort is not a new phenomenon at our bourses and it is sad to witness it over and over again “It is a sheer manipulation and the regulator is not acting on it,” said a capital market analyst, asking his name not to be mentioned. Recently, Renwick Jajneswar and Eastern Cables have informed that they have no undisclosed price sensitive information of their company for recent unusual price hike, in response to DSE and CSE queries. l

Financial data recovery centre to Tea prices dip again on poor quality n be set up at Jessore software park Reuters, Dhaka

n Tribune Report The government has decided to set up a Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) centre at the Software Technology Park in Jessore to protect data of the banks and financial institutions, official sources said. Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) will provide the financial assistance to set up the DRS. Sources in the Banking and Financial Institutions Division (BFID) said the state-owned commercial banks will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ICT ministry in this regard.

The DRS centre would be set up with joint venture as it is too costly for

The DRS centre would be set up with joint venture as it is too costly for one business entity to establish one business entity to establish. Now, each of the financial institu-

tions has their own data centre. Secretary of ICT ministry Md Nazrul Islam Khan held an inter-ministerial meeting recently on setting up of the DRS with the representatives from Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank, Bangladesh Development Bank and Sadharan Bima Corporation. The meeting decided to set up the data centre as soon as possible as the Prime Minister already gave her consent to the project. Rupali Bank and Sadharan Bima have already expressed their interest to invest in the joint venture project, sources said. l

Bearish spell continues to hit stock n Tribune Report

Bearish spell continued to hit stock markets for the third consecutive week, putting damper on investor mood in trading. Even, dividend declaration of several companies particularly banks failed to create any positive impression on overall investors’ sentiment, analysts said.

WEEKLY REVIEW During the past week that ended Thursday, the benchmark DSEX fell over 64 points or 1% to 4635, which is 7-week lowest. The blue chips comprising DS30 was down 20 points or 1% to close at 1,670. However, Shariah Index DSES gained almost 3 points or 0.3% to 1,014. Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Categories Index CSCX lost 172 points or nearly 3% to 9,035. The average daily turnover came down to Tk410 crore, registering a fall of more than 11% decline over the previous week, indicating that investors cautious in trading. “Lack of direction of the market made investors behave passively to-

wards the market. This week, market experienced four red days and only one green day with mild return,” said LankaBangla Securities in its weekly market analysis. It said investors remained sluggish about major sectors like banks and financial institutions as price is not reflecting fundamentals properly. Some of the banks are being traded below their net asset value according to financials posted for the year 2013, it said. Also, after registering significant growth in earnings some banks failed to uphold the momentum in price as investors are waiting to see whether these earnings are sustainable or not, the brokerage firm said. In the past week, banking sector suffered most losing 4%, followed by non-banking financial institutions that shed 2.5% and mutual fund 1%. Telecommunications and power edged lower. IDLC Investments said ripples in investors’ sentiment and apparent lack of directions prompted much more market level volatility this week. Additionally, shifts across selective large cap and micro cap scrips sterilized the market sentiment to retain flat endings throughout the week, it said.

“Sectoral preference shifted from one to another and investors’ switch prolonged for lucrative price hunts. Supported by these, DSEX remained below 4,700 points level for the whole week”. It said dullness continued throughout the week, which bet on market sentiment in frequent intervals. As a result, the detracted market scenario approached to third week, it said. The losers took a modest lead over the gainers as out of 299 issues traded during the week, 185 declined, 103 advanced and 11 issues remained unchanged at DSE. Top gaining sectors of the past week was cement that rallied almost 5%, driven by Lafarge Surma Cement. The sector was followed by engineering that rose 0.9%, food and allied 0.5% and pharmaceuticals 0.08%. Fuel and power and pharmaceutical sectors attracted the investors attention as they accounted for 15% and 12% of the total turnover of the past week. Square Pharmaceutical was the week’s most traded stocks with shares worth Tk 110 crore changing hands, followed by Lafarge Surma Cement, Padma Oil, Meghna Petroleum and Bangladesh Shipping Corporation. l

Tea prices in Bangladesh plunged for a seventh straight week at a weekly auction last week, dragged down by endof-season leaf that tends to be of poor quality, brokers said. Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of Tk144.19 ($1.85) per kg at the auction, down from 146.71 taka in the previous week’s sale, when prices fell 6.5%, said an official from National Brokers Limited. More than 2.68 million kg was offered at the auction centre in Chittagong, with nearly 50% remaining unsold. At the previous auction, nearly 3.2 million kg was offered, of which 61% went unsold. “There was huge demand for quality tea, which is in short supply. Larger volume of poor grade tea pulled down

prices and almost half of the tea that was offered in the auction went unsold,” the official said. Bangladeshi buyers have imported tea in bulk from neighbouring India, contributing to a glut in the domestic

market and reducing demand at the auction, industry sources said. The large volume of unsold tea prompted authorities to extend the season by two weeks to April 15, allowing for two more auctions. l


Mutual Funds


Daily High 44.90


Daily Latest closLow ing price 44.10 44.40

Change % -1.34%
















7.10 7.10






















218.00 219.80





214.90 215.10
















855.00 855.00 0.00




















5.90 6.00





























8.80 8.80

















6.80 6.80





6.80 6.80





5.80 5.90










6.60 6.70











6.80 6.80





9.20 9.50

















6.40 6.40




DSE key features March 09-13, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)



Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract


Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


















Turnover (Million Taka)










6.60 6.70


Number of Contract







Traded Issues













Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)



Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)



Closing (% change)

IDLC Finance -A UCBL - A Brac Bank -A Singer BD -A Pubali Bank - A Eastern Bank - A First Lease- A Northern Jute -Z Al-Haj Textile -A United Leasing - A

-23.79 -17.08 -16.21 -15.06 -14.69 -12.89 -10.20 -10.00 -9.70 -9.24


Closing (% change)

IDLC Finance -A UCBL - A Eastern Bank - A Brac Bank -A Pubali Bank - A Singer BD -A Phoenix Insur -A Northern G Insur-A Prime Finance-A Islami Ins.BD-A

-23.66 -17.31 -16.82 -16.67 -15.13 -14.87 -10.21 -9.62 -9.41 -9.37


(-) 1.37%


(-) 1.21%


(-) 1.52%


(-) 1.81%


(-) 1.93%

Average (% change) -22.78 -16.73 -15.58 -14.61 -13.15 -12.31 -8.54 -10.00 -11.61 -8.18 Average (% change) -22.59 -16.68 -16.43 -16.45 -14.35 -14.69 -10.21 -9.62 -9.52 -9.31


Closing average 58.83 23.55 24.44 219.21 30.37 28.06 26.76 57.60 122.57 27.96

Closing average 58.93 23.72 27.16 24.18 30.26 218.44 42.20 45.10 23.19 30.00

Weekly closing

Weekly closing

Bank NBFI Investment Engineering Food & Allied Fuel & Power Jute Textile Pharma & Chemical Paper & Packaging Service Leather Ceramic Cement Information Technology General Insurance Life Insurance Telecom Travel & Leisure Miscellaneous Debenture

DSE Million Taka 1743.10 744.43 343.85 2015.27 1156.94 3038.93 39.31 2332.15 2497.72 8.03 127.91 477.04 104.18 1792.36 168.87 278.16 1159.25 1215.97 255.16 1025.26 3.50

62.10 29.00 31.00 275.00 36.50 32.00 29.70 57.60 135.00 31.00

Weekly high

58.40 23.40 27.20 24.50 30.30 218.10 42.20 45.10 23.10 30.00

61.00 29.00 31.60 29.00 36.00 263.50 46.00 48.40 25.50 30.00

37,845,826 67,840

Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


Weekly low

Turnover in million

53.30 22.40 22.00 190.00 27.70 26.00 25.90 57.60 109.70 26.00

Weekly low

108.819 244.690 33.670 498.055 46.260 39.144 54.160 0.035 115.895 29.409

Turnover in million

57.10 23.00 27.10 24.10 30.10 200.00 40.90 45.00 23.00 30.00

Latest EPS 3.33 3.66 2.91 6.23 2.64 4.15 2.07 -10.24 2.06 2.09

Latest EPS

7.070 55.953 0.740 1.544 3.701 39.466 0.098 0.367 7.879 0.030

Company Eastern Cables-Z Samata LeatheR -Z Apex SpinningA Samorita Hospital -A Apex Foods -A LafargeS Cement-Z Safko Spinning-A Standard Ceramic -A Anlima Yarn -A The Ibn SinaA

Closing (% change) 33.60 28.16 23.24 19.89 15.79 13.72 13.64 12.77 12.55 11.66

Average (% change) 30.18 28.16 23.21 17.74 16.65 14.61 13.71 17.86 11.54 10.47

Closing average 162.13 275.07 102.17 107.36 127.90 30.04 106.90 48.93 34.65 52.53

Closing average 159.94 31.40 105.00 107.14 131.18 48.96 30.02 53.00 27.55 125.02

Weekly closing 165.70 288.50 103.10 108.10 130.70 30.60 110.30 48.80 34.70 52.60

Weekly closing 164.20 31.40 105.00 109.10 132.00 48.90 30.00 53.00 27.80 126.40

Weekly high 165.90 290.00 107.00 110.90 135.00 31.20 112.00 49.70 35.90 53.20

Weekly high 164.20 32.00 105.00 110.00 135.00 49.60 31.20 53.00 28.10 127.00

Weekly low 120.00 235.00 88.00 85.00 114.60 26.50 95.10 43.00 30.00 43.00

Weekly low 125.20 26.50 90.00 92.20 114.50 42.60 26.00 44.50 24.50 114.50

Turnover in million

Latest EPS

44.767 71.785 37.927 68.941 132.161 3.259 53.200 1090.70 8.026 3.658

1.40 5.32 1.85 2.74 3.56 -0.04 1.18 2.19 0.28 1.06

Turnover in million

Latest EPS

2.187 0.740 1.131 3.841 8.648 98.833 5.925 0.396 1.616 9.082

1.40 -0.04 1.85 2.74 3.56 2.19 1.14 1.06 0.80 3.12

Latest PE 115.8 51.7 55.2 39.2 35.9 -ve 90.6 22.3 123.8 49.6

Latest PE 114.2 -ve 56.8 39.1 36.8 22.4 26.3 50.0 34.4 40.1

3.33 3.66 4.15 2.91 2.64 6.23 3.81 3.04 1.10 1.60

Latest PE 17.7 6.4 8.4 35.2 11.5 6.8 12.9 -ve 59.5 13.4

Latest PE 17.7 6.5 6.5 8.3 11.5 35.1 11.1 14.8 21.1 18.8

UNIQUEHRL: The Board of Directors has recommended 25% cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. The Company has also informed that an EGM will be held to extend time for implementation/utilization schedule of IPO fund. Date of EGM and AGM: 08.04.2014, Time of EGM and AGM: 10:00 AM and 10:30 AM respectively, Venue: Spectra Convention Center, House #19, Road #7, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212. Record Date for EGM and AGM: 18.03.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 3.44, NAV per share of Tk. 87.40 and NOCFPS of Tk. 5.34 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. MTBL: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 10.04.2014, Time: 10:00 AM, Venue: Bashundhara Convention Centre 2, Block C, Umme Kulsum Road, Bashundhara R/A, Baridhara, Dhaka 1229. Record date: 20.03.2014. The Company has also reported net profit after tax of Tk. 573.25 million, EPS of Tk. 2.05, NAV per share of Tk. 19.48 and NOCFPS of Tk. 15.47 for the year ended on December 31, 2013 as against Tk. 327.87 million, Tk. 1.17, Tk. 17.28 and Tk. 13.79 respectively for the year ended on December 31, 2012. SAFKOSPINN: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. The Board has also decided to issue Rights shares @ 3R:2 (i.e. 3 Rights shares for every 2 Ordinary shares held) at an issue price of Tk. 10.00 each after considering 10% bonus share for the year ended on December 31, 2013 subject to approval by the shareholders and the regulatory authorities. Date of AGM:

12.04.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: Mill premises, Noyapara, Saihamnagar, Habigonj. Record Date: 20.03.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.14, NAV per share of Tk. 22.88 and NOCFPS of Tk. 0.73 for the year ended on 31.12.2013. Another record date for entitlement of the proposed rights shares to be notified later after obtaining approval from BSEC. ARAMITCEM: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 10.04.2014, Time: 12:00 Noon, Venue: Hotel Saint Martin Limited, 25 Sheikh Mujib Road, Chittagong. Record Date: 20.03.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 2.56, NAV per share of Tk. 16.22 and NOCFPS of Tk. 4.21 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. ABBANK: The Board of Directors has recommended 5% cash dividend and 7% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. The Board has also decided to issue 'AB Bank Subordinated Bond' up to Tk. 250.00 crore for Tier-II Capital subject to approval of the concerned Regulatory Authorities and EGM of the Company. Date of EGM and AGM: 21.04.2014, Time of EGM and AGM: 9:00 AM and 9:15 AM respectively, Venue: Bashundhara Convention Centre-02, Block-C, Umme Kulsum Road, Bashundhara R/A, Baridhara, Dhaka. Record date for EGM and AGM: 25.03.2014. The Company has also reported Consolidated EPS of Tk. 2.20, Consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 34.78 and Consolidated NOCFPS of Tk. 1.03 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. FIRSTSBANK: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% cash dividend only for

Shareholders except Sponsors/Directors for the year ended on December 31, 2013. The Sponsors/Directors holding total 210,974,520 shares of the Company will not be entitled to recommended dividend. The total amount payable to public Shareholders as dividend is Tk. 200,464,200.00. The Board has also decided to issue Rights shares @ 1R:2 (i.e. 1 Rights share for every 2 Ordinary shares) of Tk. 10.00 each at an issue price of Tk. 12.00 each (including a premium of Tk. 2.00 per share) subject to the approval by the shareholders and regulatory authorities. Purpose of the Rights share issue is to enhance and strengthen the capital base of the Company. Date of AGM: 25.04.2014, Time: 10:00 AM, Venue: Hotel Agrabad, Agrabad, Chittagong. Record date: 25.03.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.87, NAV per share of Tk. 15.64 and NOCFPS of Tk. 18.41 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Another record date for entitlement of the proposed rights shares to be notified later after obtaining approval from BSEC. GBBPOWER: The Board of Directors has recommended 15% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 16.04.2014, Time: 10:00 AM, Venue: Conference Hall, Hotel Naz Garden, Silimpur, Bogra-5800. Record Date: 25.03.2014. The Company has also reported net profit after tax of Tk. 139.26 million, EPS of Tk. 1.90, NAV per share of Tk. 24.44 and NOCFPS of Tk. 2.91 for the year ended on December 31, 2013 as against Tk. 117.69 million, Tk. 1.61 (restated), Tk. 22.63 (restated) and Tk. 1.46 (restated) respectively for the year ended on December 31, 2012.

Ripples in investors’ sentiment and apparent lack of directions prompted much more market level volatility this week


Weekly high

58.30 23.30 24.30 218.80 30.20 27.70 26.40 57.60 122.90 27.50


Turnover (Volume)

▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼

30.88 18.77 18.51 16.86 15.05 15.04 13.95 13.49 13.40 13.36

Average (% change) 29.21 16.87 16.63 16.75 13.79 12.93 10.64 14.06 13.20 13.95

Weekly news from trade server


DSE Broad Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :

Eastern Cables-Z Renwick Jajneswar-A Apex SpinningA Samorita Hospital -A Apex Foods -A Samata LeatheR -Z Desh Garments -B LafargeS Cement-Z Hakkani P& Paper -B Standard Ceramic -A

Closing (% change)


CSE key features March 09-13, 2014

Weekly capital market highlights

Sunday, March 16, 2014

% change 8.49 3.63 1.68 9.82 5.64 14.80 0.19 11.36 12.17 0.04 0.62 2.32 0.51 8.73 0.82 1.36 5.65 5.92 1.24 4.99 0.02

Million Taka 170.32 67.87 19.14 149.64 104.27 207.79 0.00 215.17 246.29 28.58 11.96 80.54 15.97 138.87 18.31 14.12 52.44 190.26 47.33 208.95 0.27


% change 8.57 3.41 0.96 7.53 5.24 10.45 0.00 10.82 12.39 1.44 0.60 4.05 0.80 6.99 0.92 0.71 2.64 9.57 2.38 10.51 0.01

Million Taka 1913.42 812.30 362.99 2164.91 1261.21 3246.72 39.31 2547.32 2744.01 36.61 139.87 557.58 120.16 1931.23 187.19 292.28 1211.69 1406.22 302.48 1234.21 3.77


% change 8.50 3.61 1.61 9.62 5.60 14.42 0.17 11.31 12.19 0.16 0.62 2.48 0.53 8.58 0.83 1.30 5.38 6.25 1.34 5.48 0.02

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 Square Pharma -A LafargeS Cement-Z Padma Oil Co. -A Meghna Petroleum -A BSC-A BD Submarine Cable-A Olympic Ind. -A Grameenphone-A Square Textile -A Singer BD -A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BSC-A BD Submarine Cable-A Square Pharma -A LafargeS Cement-Z Padma Oil Co. -A Grameenphone-A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A UCBL - A Square Textile -A Singer BD -A

Volume shares 3,864,455 23,155,660 3,058,834 2,583,537 1,042,445 2,840,522 2,679,290 2,707,498 4,824,406 2,169,942

Volume shares 212,635 574,366 376,731 2,123,500 241,897 288,000 1,834,425 2,193,257 475,266 175,961

Value in million 1106.45 1090.71 1045.64 739.11 654.48 631.43 591.97 584.54 561.39 498.06

Value in million 133.12 128.04 107.87 98.83 82.98 62.22 60.37 55.95 55.62 39.47

% of total turnover 5.39 5.31 5.09 3.60 3.19 3.08 2.88 2.85 2.73 2.43

% of total turnover 7.02 6.75 5.69 5.21 4.38 3.28 3.18 2.95 2.93 2.08

Weekly closing 285.00 48.80 348.20 288.00 634.50 220.40 222.30 214.60 115.30 218.80

Weekly closing 631.00 219.70 285.20 48.90 348.70 214.60 31.80 23.40 116.00 218.10

Price change 1.86 13.49 5.68 1.44 1.68 -3.33 -0.76 -0.05 2.31 -15.06

Weekly opening 279.80 43.00 329.50 283.90 624.00 228.00 224.00 214.70 112.70 257.60

Weekly high 295.00 49.70 355.00 292.80 651.00 235.00 226.00 219.50 120.00 275.00

Weekly low 265.00 43.00 302.00 257.00 592.50 198.90 205.00 200.00 104.00 190.00

Weekly average 285.98 48.93 349.98 289.37 641.07 221.30 221.55 215.35 114.62 219.21

Price change 0.99 -3.68 1.89 13.72 5.76 0.23 1.27 -17.31 2.75 -14.87

Weekly opening 624.80 228.10 279.90 43.00 329.70 214.10 31.40 28.30 112.90 256.20

Weekly high 650.00 233.00 295.00 49.60 353.80 219.90 34.20 29.00 120.90 263.50

Weekly low 591.00 210.00 255.50 42.60 301.00 212.50 28.30 23.00 112.00 200.00

Weekly average 639.32 220.61 285.68 48.96 349.14 215.03 31.96 23.72 114.82 218.44



Sunday, March 16, 2014


Facebook airs TVBanks to be hit with Microsoft advertisements costs for running outdated ATMs style n AFP, San Francisco

n Reuters, London Banks around the world, consumed with meeting more stringent capital regulations, will miss a deadline to upgrade outdated software for automated teller machines (ATMs) and face additional costs to Microsoft to keep them secure. The US software company first warned that it was planning to end support for Windows XP in 2007, but only one-third of the world’s 2.2 million ATMs which use the system will have been upgraded to a new platform, such as Windows 7 by the April deadline, according to NCR, one of the biggest ATM makers. To ensure the machines are protected against viruses and hackers many banks have agreed deals with Microsoft to continue supporting their ATMs until they are upgraded, extra costs and negotiations that were avoidable but are now likely to be a distraction for bank executives. “There are certainly large enterprise customers who haven’t finished their migrations yet and are purchasing custom support,” a spokesman for Microsoft said, declining to name those customers or to quantify the extra revenue it is earning. “The cost will depend on both the specific needs of the customer and what support they already have in place, so it’s different for every customer.” Britain’s five biggest banks - Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays and Santander UK - either have, or are in the process of negotiating, extended support contracts with Microsoft. The cost of extending support and upgrading to a new platform for each of Britain’s main banks would be in the region of 50 to 60m pounds ($100m), according to Sridhar Athreya, Londonbased head of financial services advisory at technology firm SunGard Consulting, an estimate corroborated by a source at one of the banks. Athreya said banks have left it late to upgrade systems after being overwhelmed by new regulatory demands in the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis. “They were probably not very serious about the directive that came in from Microsoft. There’s a lot of change going on at these banks at this moment

Facebook on Thursday began weaving video ads into people’s news feeds at the leading online social network in a move to grab revenue from the lucrative television market. Premium Video Ads that Facebook began testing at the end of last year are being gradually integrated into accounts of its more than 1.2 billion members, product marketing manager Susan Buckner said in an online post. “Brands now have another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences,” Buckner said. “We’ll roll out Premium Video Ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them.” The 15-second video ads play automatically when they pop-up in news feeds and are designed for advertisers who want to reach large audiences

India inflation falls to surprise nine-month low A man walks past automated teller machines (ATMs) outside a HSBC bank in London in time and they would have seen Windows XP as one more change,” he said. Windows XP currently supports around 95% of the world’s ATMs. About 440,000 - or one-fifth of the world’s ATMs - are located in the United States and many of the banks operating them will still be running their ATMs with Windows XP for a while after the April 8 deadline, said Doug Johnson, vice president for risk management policy at the American Bankers Association. “One thing in our favor is that XP is battle-hardened,” Johnson said. “People will benefit from years of fine-tuning of XP...It has been through wars.”

Stand in line

The queue of banks waiting to upgrade means there aren’t enough people to do the work. “There is a little bit of a bottle-neck,” said Johnson. Some banks are using the upgrade as an opportunity to introduce new features to their ATMs such as being able to read cards that have microchips rather than magnetic stripes.

GoDaddy eyes initial public offering n Reuters Web hosting company The GoDaddy Group Inc is preparing for a second run at an initial public offering, according to two people familiar with the matter, as the 2014 tech IPO pipeline continues to grow. GoDaddy, the Internet domain registrar and web host known for its racy ads, would join a number of high-profile technames expected to go public this year in the wake of Twitter Inc’s successful debut. They include “Candy Crush” developer King Digital

with sight, sound and motion, according to Facebook. Facebook did not disclose rates, but online reports indicated daily spots aimed at wide numbers of members at prime times could cost as much as $2.5m a day. “Premium Video Ads are bought and measured in a way that’s similar to how advertisers already buy and measure ads on TV,” Buckner said. Facebook has teamed with a company called Ace Metrix to measure such creative components of ads as watchability, meaningfulness and “emotional resonance.” Facebook said it is working with a small set of advertisers at the start to develop high-quality campaigns. New video ads should begin appearing in Facebook members’ news feeds on desktop computers and mobile devices over the course of the next few months, according to Buckner. l

and cloud services providers Box and Dropbox. The company is in the process of selecting underwriters for its IPO, one of the two sources said on condition of anonymity. GoDaddy was not immediately available for comment. GoDaddy had filed to go public in 2006 but was told at the time that it would be required to take a 50% haircut - a percentage that is subtracted from the par value of assets that are being used as collateral - on its initial public offering. l

Banks in the United States, where the old-fashioned swipe and sign magnetic stripe credit cards are still in use, have to upgrade their ATMs to read chip cards. JPMorgan, which has 19,200 ATMs, will start converting its machines to Windows 7 in July, with a goal of finishing by the end of the year. With the change, JPMorgan expects to improve data encryption and ensure machines take software upgrades more efficiently and be offline for less time. A spokeswoman for the bank declined to say how much JPMorgan is paying Microsoft for the extended XP coverage. Bank of America also said it would ask Microsoft to extend support for its machines still running on Windows XP. Citigroup Inc, which has more than 12,000 ATMs worldwide, said it is in the process of upgrading its machines from XP and declined to give further details. In Britain, RBS, which has been hit by a succession of IT problems, has agreed a fee with Microsoft in return for it continuing to support its 9,000 ATMs for up to three years, a source


familiar with the arrangement told Reuters. RBS will begin upgrading its ATMs to run on Windows 7 next year and expects to complete the process within three years, the source said. The investment is part of the 1.4bn pounds each year which new Chief Executive Ross McEwan has committed in order to improve the bank’s computer systems. McEwan admitted in December that RBS had neglected its technology for decades. Lloyds said it had agreed to pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount to extend support until 2016 while it upgrades its 7,000 ATMs. The bank will start upgrading its ATMs later this year. HSBC, which has 3,200 ATMs, said it was two years into a three-year programme of upgrades which it expects to complete next year. It had also reached a deal with Microsoft. Barclays, which has 4,300 ATMs, said it was still negotiating with Microsoft while Santander UK, which has 2,370 ATMs, said it had already agreed a deal. l

n AFP, New Delhi India’s inflation slipped to a surprise nine-month low in February, official data showed Friday, offering the government some respite ahead of elections that kick off next month. The Wholesale Price Index - the most widely watched price barometer eased to 4.68% in February from a year earlier from 5.05% the previous month. The data - the last before a central bank policy meeting in April 1 - beat market forecasts of 4.9%. But the good news may come too late to boost the fortunes of the Congress-led government, which is trailing in opinion polls and which has been desperate to tame inflation and revive the economy as it seeks a third term. Asia’s third-largest economy has been gripped by “stagflation”, economists say, with prices accelerating briskly while economic growth slowed last year to 4.5%, its lowest in a decade. Business has been clamouring for a cut in the benchmark lending rate, now at a hefty eight percent, to boost slumping growth by lowering borrowing costs. Earlier this week, retail inflation,

which uses a smaller basket of goods hit a 25 month low of 8.1% in February, but still twice as high as the long-term target of 4% targeted by the central bank, which has hiked rates three times since September to curb price rises.

Asia’s third-largest economy has been gripped by 'stagflation' economists say, with prices accelerating briskly while economic growth slowed last year to 4.5%, its lowest in a decade The slip in February’s inflation the back of a drop in food costs but lashing rains in the past few weeks have hurt crops, which could see prices rise again, economists say. India’s right-wing Hindu nationalists, perceived by business as more likely to get the economy back on track, are tipped to win the general elections, whose results are due in May. l

Yen rises in Asian trade on China, Ukraine woes n AFP, Tokyo

The yen rose in Asia Friday, extending gains in New York on concerns about China’s economy and the Ukraine crisis, while the euro fell after the head of Europe’s Central Bank pledged to take action to fight deflation. The dollar fell to 101.73 yen from 101.85 yen late in New York and well below 102.73 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday. And the euro 141.14 yen against 141.28 yen and 142.81 Thursday in Tokyo. The single currency also eased to $1.3860, from $1.3870 - after touching a 29-month high of 1.3967 at one point in

the previous session. Global markets have been in turmoil this week after China at the weekend released surprisingly weak trade data

The dollar fell to 101.73 yen from 101.85 yen late in New York and well below 102.73 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday that compounded lingering fears of a downturn in the world’s number two economy and key growth driver. Another batch of disappointing fig-

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in Bangladesh, with support from Chinese Chamber of Commerce, has recently organised a discussion platform on the topic of ‘Bangladesh - China Business Outlook’. Li Jun, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Andrew Tilke, CEO of HSBC Bangladesh, Li Zhen, head of China outbound of HSBC China, Bai Junkun, chairperson, China Chamber of Commerce and Shahidul Islam, research fellow and consultant at the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS), BRAC University in Dhaka, were the speakers of the session

Bank Asia has provided higher studies scholarship to 17 insolvent meritorious students of Lohagara Upazila of Chittagong recently as a part of its corporate social responsibility. Md Mehmood Husain, the bank’s president and MD handed over the scholarship money to the students at a function held at a local hotel

NRB Global Bank Limited formally opened its Motijheel branch in Dhaka on March 13. Nizam Chowdhury, the bank’s chairperson inaugurated the operations of the branch as chief guest

In a grand ceremony at hotel in Dhaka, mobile handset company Symphony has launched Octa Core run smart phone, ZIII on Friday. Chairperson of Edison group Md Aminur Rashid introduced the Octa Core handset after a laser and fashion show

ures Thursday added to those worries, sending investors into lower-risk assets such as the yen, which is viewed as a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty. Investors are also on edge as the Crimea prepares for a referendum Sunday on becoming part of Russia, a vote the West has called illegal. The top diplomats of the US and Russia are due to meet in London to defuse the crisis but the West has warned Moscow of a serious backlash over the vote as the US and EU prepare sanctions against those blamed for stirring the tensions. The euro came under pressure after European Central Bank chief Mario

Draghi said Thursday that the risk of deflation in the eurozone was limited, but said he was ready to act decisively in case inflation expectations shift down. He also noted that medium and long-term expectations remain anchored to the ECB’s objective of just below 2% but acknowledged “the longer inflation remains low, the higher the probability of such risks emerging”, according to a text of his speech released by the bank. The euro on Thursday touched its highest level since late 2011 after upbeat eurozone industrial output data raised hopes for recovery in the troubled economy. l

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited has signed International Air Express Services Agreement with DHL Express Bangladesh on March 10 at the bank’s board room. Md Habibur Rahman, the bank’s MD and Desmond Quiah, country manager of DHL Express Bangladesh signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides

Standard Bank Training Institute organised a course on banking laws and practices during March 9-13. Mr. Md. Nazmus Salehin, MD and CEO distributed the certificates among the participants in concluding ceremony as chief guest



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Sunday, March 16, 2014

'Sanctions will badly squeeze Russian economy' n AFP, Moscow A former Russian finance minister and one-time close confidante of Vladimir Putin said the country’s already-troubled economy could be in serious difficulty if the West imposes sanctions over Crimea. Alexei Kudrin, who remains well-respected in business circles despite being fired from his post in 2011, said the knock-on effects of Russia’s apparent annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula were already being felt. “I can already say that the credit taps for Russia are being turned off,” he said. “Russian companies have around $700 billion-worth of outstanding loans. “The amount of money available is already starting to fall because some lines of credit are being stemmed, and this has already started,” he said in comments published on his

website on Friday. “That means some joint projects will have to be stopped.” Moscow and the West are facing off over the fate of Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking peninsula in Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin forces have taken control ahead of a referendum on Sunday over whether to join Russia. Washington and its allies say the referendum is an illegal fig leaf for Russian annexation. Moscow claims it is protecting ethnic Russians who should be allowed to determine their own identity. The West have threatened economic and political penalties unless Putin withdraws from Ukraine, but with only two days to go before the vote, there is no sign of his backing down. “I think in these circumstances (economic growth) will be less than one percent, maybe even zero,” said Kudrin. l

Pedestrians pass giant sunglasses in Piazza Farnese, d Rome as part of an advertising campaign

Fed’s balance sheet reaches $4tn at end of 2013 n AFP, Washington LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2014

Building business through connectivity

n Tribune Business Desk Before joining Grameenphone Ltd in January 2013 as CEO, Mr Vivek Sood was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Indian mobile operator Uninor. With more than 42 million subscribers, Uninor is one of the fastest growing mobile operators in India. As CFO of Uninor, Mr Sood was responsible for setting performance measures and achieving financial goals. His 22 years of experience also include executive positions in companies like Tata AIG life Insurance, Hutchison Telecom, Tupperware India and Hindustan Lever Limited (Unilever). “Throughout my career I have always been driven by a hunger and passion to build business. I am therefore delighted and pleased to be offered the opportunity to head Grameenphone, the leading telecom operator in Bangladesh, and one of the country’s most recognised brands. I look forward to working with the employees in developing the company further to benefit customers, employees and the Bangladeshi community,” said Vivek Sood, appointed CEO of Grameenphone. In the Leadership Summit 2014 Mr Sood’s discussion will revolve around the topic, Communication to Connectivity. l

The Federal Reserve said Friday its balance sheet swelled to $4tn at the end of 2013 as it made massive asset purchases to support the US economy. The Fed, in a report of its 2013 financial results, said net assets increased by $1.1tn compared with its balance on December 31, 2012. It paid net profit of $79.6bn to the US Treasury. By law, the non-profit central bank is required to turn over any profit in excess of operating and other expenses to the government. Last year’s Treasury payment was

less than the record $88.4bn in 2012. The Fed said it had reaped no gains on the sales of US Treasury securities in 2013 compared with $13.3bn in gains in the prior year. While earnings are generated by the interest rate the Fed charges to banks in refinancing operations, the bulk of the Fed’s 2013 earnings came from interest accrued from the asset-purchase program, which is aimed at tamping down long-term interest rates to encourage US lending and hiring. Interest income on securities grew to $90.4bn at the end of 2013, an increase of $9.9tn from a year earlier.

A woman walks in front of the Federal Reserve Building in Washington while the Fed is inside meeting

Coca-Cola hoping to score big at World Cup n AFP, New York

The world’s football stars will not be the only ones competing for glory at this year’s World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Coca-Cola will also be running hard. The US soft-drink giant, facing lower sales in North America, is an official sponsor of the 20th World Cup, considered along with the Olympics as one of the world’s top sporting events. Coca-Cola plans a marketing blitz with commercials featuring football stars and jingles celebrating the football extravaganza. The beverage maker has also sponsored a tour of the FIFA World Cup trophy that will visit 90 countries overall. “The event is a win-win for Coke,” said William Chipps, an analyst at IEG, a leading sponsorship consultancy. “With an event, especially a global event like the World Cup, that’s a very unique platform for global brands. There’s only a handful of properties that will allow you to have a global campaign built around it.” Brazil seen as growth market Along with a massive global audience, Coca-Cola has high hopes that Brazil itself will be a major growth market that will make up for headwinds in its huge US market. Soft-drink consumption in Brazil remains relatively low on a per-capita

The central banked racked up $85bn a month in asset purchases every month last year. In January and February it cut that back by $10bn each month, slowing the buying pace to $65bn. By the end of the year, the Fed’s holdings of US Treasury securities increased by $550.2bn, and federal agency and certain mortgage-backed securities grew by $583.5bn. The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to decide another $10bn cut to asset purchases at its policy meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday. l

basis. So far there has been scant attention paid to concerns about potential health ills from the carbonated soft drinks that have hit US sales. US states such as California and Illinois have proposed taxes on soda. In Mexico, a major Latin American market, the government recently imposed a tax of one peso per liter on soda to counter the risks of obesity and diabetes from the sugary drinks. Coca-Cola expects to invest $7.6bn in Brazil between 2012 and 2016 to build its soda-making and distribution businesses. The Atlanta, Georgia-based giant holds 27% of the market in non-alcoholic drinks in Brazil, a sector estimated at $43bn in 2013 and which could grow by six percent through 2017, according to analysts at Trefis. Brazil accounted for seven percent of Coca-Cola’s sales by volume last year. Charm offensive The World Cup, which starts June 12, is expected to be watched by four billion fans worldwide, according to IEG. Major advertising is planned not only for the company’s iconic soda brands, such as Coke and Diet Coke, but also for other beverages, like its Dasani water brand and Minute Maid fruit juices. A commercial spot for Coca-Cola’s Powerade sports drink will feature Andre Iniesta, who scored the goal in 2010

that won the World Cup for Spain. The company will manufacture about 300 million pieces of merchandise with the World Cup logo. It has also commissioned singer David Correy to record “The World is Ours” with Brazilian band Monobloco. Coca-Cola says it has already spent millions on early marketing efforts. A spokeswoman declined to disclose the marketing budget. “The 2014 FIFA World Cup is the most important marketing initiative for the company in 2014 - in terms of both short-term volume growth and longterm brand-health scores,” said CocaCola spokeswoman Kate Wharton. Wharton said the spending would be higher than it was for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa or last year’s Europe Cup. IEG estimates an overall Coca-Cola marketing budget in the “multi-millions,” plus $30 million per year in its multi-year partnership with FIFA, the international governing body of association football. “When you look across the world at consumer passions, one of the things that resonates almost everywhere is soccer,” Chipps said, using the American name for football. “It is an opportunity for Coke to associate its brand with consumers’ passion.” l





Global powers sign declaration on sustainable fishing n AFP, Athens Officials from some of the world’s top fishing powers signed a declaration in Greece on Friday to promote sustainable management of fish stocks. The signatories - the EU, United States, Japan, Philippines, Colombia and Indonesia - pledged to support measures to address fishing overcapacity. These include developing international fishing vessel records, limiting the number of licenses and vessel tonnage and eliminating fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing. “We bear responsibility for the conservation of living marine resources and thus for addressing overcapacity when it undermines conservation and sustainability objectives,” the statement said. The event was organised in Thessaloniki under Greece’s rotating EU presidency. According to the European Commission, the EU imports 70% of its fish intake. Overall, the bloc accounts for a fourth of the world’s seafood resources. Some progress has been made. In 2013, 25 stocks were fished sustainably in the North Sea and Atlantic, five times more than in 2009, the European Commission says. This is expected to increase to 31 stocks in 2015. But environmental group Greenpeace stressed that more action is needed. “EU countries should start by scrapping the largest and most destructive industrial fishing vessels, initiating a shift towards small-scale low-impact fishing, which is more environmentally sustainI



able, creates jobs and supports local communities,” the group said in a statement. The organisation’s oceans policy advisor Sebastian Losada added: “Better management of fishing capacity is critical and long overdue. Governments must ensure that excess fishing capacity is removed and not just dispatched to new fishing grounds.”

Scrapping fishing vessels piecemeal was not in itself an answer to the problem EU Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki conceded in an online article this week that enforcing compliance by states has been a “struggle”. “To achieve the right balance between fishing power and natural resources, all global actors need to pull together,” she wrote in a Huffington Post article. But she noted that scrapping fishing vessels piecemeal was not in itself an answer to the problem. “The solution must be a well-designed mix of structural and conservation tools, rights-based management systems, tighter controls and, especially, incentives for diversification,” Damanaki said in the article, jointly written with former World Trade Organisation director-general Pascal Lamy and South African national planning minister Trevor Manuel. l O

The curious case of rights share n Asif Khan On the morning of July 30, 2013, Barclays saw its share price come down by 5%. The reason was a declaration by the bank that they will raise GBP 5.8bn via a rights offering. The move was mainly driven by the banking regulator’s new rule requiring banks to have more capital. Shareholders clearly did not like it. In a similar fashion, National Grid, which is a power utility company in the UK and US, saw its share price come down by 7% on May 20, 2010 following an announcement to gather around GBP 3.2bn through a rights offer. A rights offering is basically a form of raising capital. Companies in need of capital for various purposes can ask its existing shareholders to provide additional funds in exchange for newly issued shares. Stocks in


developed markets typically can go either way when a rights offering is announced. For example in our Barclay’s example, the stock price came down on the announcement. In Bangladesh, the direction mostly goes one way, which would be upwards. This phenomenon explains the title of this article. For the typical retail (and even institutional investor) in Bangladesh “rights share” is a magical word full of promises, and the smell of it can cause stock prices of companies to skyrocket. Back in the golden era (pun intended) of 2009-2010, stock prices would easily double due to such rumours. This is clearly inefficient, because the price of the company’s shares, following an announcement for rights, should actually depend on what the company plans to do with it. In layman terms, if the company can invest these newly-injected funds for highly


profitable businesses with high Return on Investment (ROI), stock price should go up. If the historical ROI is low, then there is a very high chance that this marginal capital will also lead to suboptimal returns. There is absolutely no reason on earth for stock prices to jump upwards. Even companies with high ROI have seen stock prices slump as they planned to do costly acquisitions with the money raised by the rights. Just like any other investment, for rights shares also “the devil lies in the details.” Stock market is not a place for speculation; and unless careful analysis is done before making investment decisions, it is very easy to get burned. l The writer is deputy head of equity research at BRAC EPL Stock Brokerage who writes on finance and economics at www.

March 16, 2014  
March 16, 2014