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Chaitra 4, 1420 Jamadiul Awal 16, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 354




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25 newborns found dead in last 2 months Unsafe abortions go unabated; police say most cases not reported Islam and Mohammad n Udisa Jamil Khan Almost every day newborn babies are found either dead or alive – abandoned in drains and dustbins wrapped in schoolbags and packets – in the capital. Authorities concerned claim that if they count the abortion rate, the number of such infants may increase sharply as unsafe abortion goes on unabated across the country. According to the statistics, Anjuman-e-Mofidul Islam buries nine babies on average every month. It is only 10% of the total dead babies across the country.

Police: Due to lack of clues and absence of plaintiffs, the cases filed do not proceed It could not be ascertained how many clinics are there in the capital where women have abortion. There are about 100 unauthorised clinics in Mohammadpur, Mirpur and Shantinagar areas where pregnant women abort. After recovering the body of a newborn child, police send it to Dhaka Medical College morgue for post mortem examination, but the report is not used later. For this reason, the persons responsible for the killing of newborn are continuing to commit offence. Police claim that due to lack of clues and absence of plaintiffs, the cases filed in connection with the killing of newborn children will not proceed. As per Anjuman’s statistics, it buried at least 97 babies in 2011 while 110 in 2012 and 127 babies in 2013. Abdul Halim, assistant director of the organisation, told the Dhaka Tribune that on


3 The government is set to raise the transfer fees for floor spaces of flats and shops in the capital’s Dhanmondi and Tejgaon industrial areas by 150%.


6 Patients are not getting proper healthcare services from Zia Nagar Upazila Health Complex in Pirojpur as it has no indoor treatment facilities.

average, they buried 110 newborn babies every year. “Usually, the hospital authorities send these bodies to us, but a large number of bodies cannot be recovered as these bodies are dumped into dustbins and drains and get decomposed in most cases,” Halim said. “In recent times, the bodies of newborns have been found almost every day,” he added. According to the DMC morgue register, at least 25 bodies of newborns were recovered in the first two months this year. Dr Sohel Mahmud, associate professor of medicine and forensic department at DMCH, told the Dhaka Tribune that on average, they prepared at least 50 neonatal autopsy reports every year. The reports are of no use as police only file general diary or unnatural death case after the body of a newborn baby is found. So, no one has been punished so far for the death of a newborn. Abu Yusuf, assistant commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told the Dhaka Tribune that these were clueless cases as no one had filed any case or complaint with police in this regard. “If anyone lodges complaint with police, we will certainly take action against the person responsible after investigation,” he said. “Sometimes newborns are found alive and in such cases, we hand them over to those who submit applications to us and want to take care of the babies,” he added. Police recovered the body of a newborn from Kadamtali area last Thursday and handed it over to Anjuman for burial after filing a general diary. Besides, a one-day-old baby was found alive in Mirbagh Balurmath area on Monday. Sahjahan, a resident of the area, recovered the baby around 8am and later  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

Bangladeshi players enjoy a light moment during practice on the eve of a crunch game with Nepal


Dhaka, Barisal reject Jamaat n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, led by convicted war criminals, failed to secure a single chairman post in Dhaka and Barisal divisions during the last three phases of upazila parishad elections. However, the party did better in the north-western region upazilas, thanks to its key ally BNP that traditionally maintains stronghold in the region. Jamaat also failed to show its strength in Satkhira as it secured only one chairman post out of three whereas the others were won by the Awami Leaguebacked candidates. Jamaat staged violent showdown across the country during the election resistance movement in November-December last year when they also kept Satkhira district isolated from rest of the country for around one month. In the local body election, BNP-Jamaat participated jointly and in many


Awami BNP Jamaat League





























places they jointly extended support to a single candidate through the alliance that boycotted the January 5 national elections. In the first two phases, the BNP-Jamaat took the lead in the elections but in the third phase, the Awami League performed the best. In the last three phases when elec-

tions were held in 295 upazilas on February 19 and 27, and March 15, the Jamaat-backed contenders bagged 12 chairman posts in Rajshahi division, seven in Rangpur and five in Khulna division. The war crimes tribunal in its verdicts termed the party “criminal organisation” for its role against the country’s independence in 1971. A top Jamaat leader, Abdul Quader Molla, already walked to the gallows for war crimes while several others have been given death penalty for the same offence. The High Court in August last year declared illegal its registration with the Election Commission since its party charter contradicted with the country’s constitution. A poor picture was projected by HM Ershad’s Jatiya Party as it secured only one chairman post out of 295 – in Rangpur division, where the party is  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

US, EU go tough on Russia SWEDISH THINK TANK STATISTICS over Crimea annexation China biggest arms supplier to Bangladesh n Reuters

Russian could face additional sanctions if it proceeds with formal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region or takes further military action in Ukraine, a senior US official said yesterday. “There is ‘concrete evidence’ that some ballots arrived ‘pre-marked’ in Sunday’s secession referendum in Crimea and other voting anomalies were also detected,” another US official said after Washington announced visa bans and asset freezes on 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. Meanwhile, the European Union also took a cautious approach to imposing sanctions against Moscow yesterday, targeting 21 people in Russia and Crimea while leaving open the possibility of adding harsher economic measures when EU leaders meet later this week.

Those targeted include politicians responsible for calling for and organising Sunday’s referendum in Crimea, when 97 percent of voters decided the region should secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The EU says the referendum was illegal and does not recognise the result.



“More ... measures in a few days,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on Twitter, after announcing the decision taken by EU foreign ministers in Brussels. His Czech counterpart, Lubomir Zaoralek, said earlier that any decisions taken yesterday would be the “first set”. “I would not rule out that this list  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman China was the biggest supplier of arms to Bangladesh from 2009 to 2013, with the country accounting for 82% of the total arms imported by Bangladesh during the period. “China was also a major supplier in the region, accounting for 54% of total Pakistani arms imports,” according to a press release issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The Swedish think tank reported that China exported arms to 35 countries and of those, Bangladesh was the second biggest importer. It also reported that Bangladesh last year agreed on procurement of its first two submarines from China.

Contrasting aim for Bangladesh, Nepal Rahman Rohan n Reazur from Chittagong Bangladesh will be looking to seal another convincing victory when they face an emotion-charged and inexperienced Nepal side today in their second ICC World T20 first round match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. The Bangladesh side after a gruelling year in the early quarter picked their form in the T20 warm-ups and followed it with a dominating nine-wicket win over Afghanistan in the tournament opener couple of days back and will be looking to carry the momentum.


“Most of the arms are used by the armed forces while some aircrafts were also purchased from China,” he said. The analyst found that the SIPRI import figure concerning Bangladesh was correct. Asked why Bangladesh purchased

Meanwhile, Nepal not only beat Hong Kong by 80 runs but the newbies also became the first Associate nation in five years to win a game in the World T20 that would keep them on their feet. For the home side, the game should be a walk in the park, but if Nepal, appearing for the first time in an ICC global event, manages to squeeze in an upset, it will be their biggest achievement in sports history. However, playing against a Test-playing nation for the first time will also work in the nerves of the Nepalese and the big task for them would be to control their emotions. They should be prepared to face a huge home crowd in Chittagong against their small contingent of Chittagong-based Nepalese, mostly made up university students. Bangladesh, who played their first match in Dhaka, reached Chittagong



Former major general and security analyst Abdur Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune that China had been the major arms supplier to Bangladesh for a long time.

Lucrative deal, lower cost cited as key reasons




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Upazila polls violence may mar govt’s credibility n Emran Hossain Shaikh Several leaders of the ruling Awami League have expressed concerns that the recent violence that erupted across the country centring the recent upazila polls had marred the ruling party’s credibility in holding a free, fair and transparent election under a political government. They said the first phase of the upazila polls held on February 19 was held in a free and fair manner. However, violence escalated in the subsequent phases. “First phase of the upazila polls was held in a free and fair manner, but then violence set in, which is very alarming for the government,” an Awami League leader told the Dhaka Tribune.

During previous term of the ruling Awami League, around 5,650 elections, including by-election and city corporation elections, were held in a peaceful manner. Many opposition party candidates won in constituencies considered to be strongholds of the ruling party. At the same time, election observers, both local and international, had not raised any questions regarding the credibility of the elections. Reiterating the Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s strict directive not to interfere with the upazila polls, many ruling party leaders have also stressed that the government as well as party should focus more on holding elections in a free, fair and non-violent environment. They also added that if the government

failed to do so, it may raise doubts on the government’s credibility in the long-run. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Awami League Presidium Member Kazi Zafrullah has said most of the violence occurred due to feuds within the party. He also said the party high-ups had already passed strict directives to the grassroots regarding the matter. In answer to the question, he said the violence that occurred in the last two phases of the upazila polls might raise questions on the achievements of the government over the last five years. “It [the violence] might raise questions among the people. After realising this, we will remain alert for upcoming elections,” he said. However, Prime Minister’s Politi-

cal Adviser HT Iman, who is also the co-chairman of Awami League’s election steering committee, said the party was aware of the incidents of violence centring the upazila polls but was not anxious over the issue. “In the last phase of upazila poll, slight irregularities were witnessed but it is not a matter to be anxious about. We have been holding elections in a free, fair and non-violent environment over the past five years, but the continuity was slightly disrupted in this phase of the upazila elections. We will more cautious during the next phase,” Imam, also a member of Awami League’s Advisory Board, told the Dhaka Tribune. He said that applying experiences of previous phases, the government would provide necessary assistance

to Election Commission to avoid incidents of violence, as witnessed in the third phase. “Out of some 4,500 polling centres, the election commission had suspended elections in around 20 centres, which is not a serious matter,” he added. Although another party Advisory Board Member Suranjit Sengupta had not shown interest to comment over the issue, another influential member of the advisory board, seeking anonymity, expressed his concerns over the issue. “The government and party should look into the matter; otherwise such incidents will raise doubts on whether our government can hold a free and fair election in the country, something that we achieved in our previous tenure,” he said. l

Father suspected for Sabbir murder n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj Police are suspecting that the father of Sabbir, a schoolchild whose body was found in the Shitalakkhya on March 16, might have been involved in the murder of his own son over family dispute. Sabbir, the eldest son of Mobarak Hossain’s second wife, went missing on March 7 after allegedly visiting a fair in Narayanganj. Later, Mobarak filed a general diary with Narayanganj police station. On March 16, some young boys found the body of Sabbir in the Shitalakhya. The police primarily suspected that the killers were local residents or had help from the locals. Without mentioning any name, Mobarak also filed a murder case with Narayanganj police station. The police detained four of Sabbir’s friends – Mahim, Himel, Masum and Mohasin – all students of class VI at Tajek High School. SM Monzur Kabir, officer-in-charge of Narayanganj police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that four friends of Sabbir had been interrogated; but it was unlikely that they had committed the murder. Even if the teenagers had killed Sabbir, it was “unbelievable” that they had the mental capacity to make Sabbir disappear, he added. The OC said they were trying to learn if there was any conflict centring Mobarak's marriage to Sabbir’s mother or any tension surrounding Sabbir’s mother having a job. Asked about his son’s death, Mobarak said some of Sabbir’s friends had earlier beaten up his son over an altercation for throwing a sandal in the river. The boys went away when he stopped the fight, but Sabbir also went with them. Sabbir had been missing until his body was found on March 16. l

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pay respect after placing wreaths at the grave of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara, Gopalganj on the occasion of birth anniversary of the father of the nation PMO

Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary celebrated n BSS Rich tributes were paid to the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the nation celebrated his 94th birth anniversary yesterday. The National Children’s Day was also observed on the occasion. The day was a public holiday. National dailies published special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations aired special programmes highlighting the significance of the day. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city’s Dhanmondi area at 7am. President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day yesterday paying glowing tribute to Bangabandhu, the architect of independent Bangladesh. As part of the national programme, Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina along with her party leaders and members of the cabinet laid wreaths at 10am at the grave of the great leader in Tungipara where she was given a “Guard of Honour”. Sheikh Hasina also attended a children’s rally, discussion, book fair and a cultural function at Tungipara on the occasion. Apart from national programmes, children’s gatherings, rallies, discussions and cultural functions were organised at the district and upazila levels while documentaries on the country’s Liberation War were screened at district and upazila headquarters. Bangladesh missions abroad also held various programmes to observe the day. l

Dhaka-Delhi secretary-level meet this week Matbars’ comments lead n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque will fly to New Delhi tomorrow on a four-day visit, his first trip to the neighbouring country. “This is a goodwill return visit. I will fly on Wednesday and meet with my Indian counterpart and other secretaries,” Shahidul told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He said during the visit, all issues including Teesta, Land Boundary Agreement, border killings and river-linking project would be discussed. Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh visited Dhaka in December last year on a bilateral trip, just before the national election. In the last 15 months as a secretary,

Shahidul visited the US three times; Beijing twice and also had one foreign office consultation with the Chinese foreign secretary, and had a foreign office consultation with Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw. During the same period, two Indian foreign secretaries – Ranjan Mathai and Sujatha – visited Dhaka. During the period of Awami Leagueled government, relationship between Bangladesh and India has reached a new height with back-to-back summit meetings in 2010 in New Delhi and 2011 in Dhaka. “The foreign secretary-level meeting will be a preparatory meeting for the third joint consultative commission between the foreign ministers of the two countries,” said an official of

the foreign ministry. Ranjan Mathai visited Dhaka in February last year when the second JCC was held. “We will also raise flags on water issues, including sharing of Teesta water and river-linking project,” the official said. Water flow from Teesta dropped to one-third compared to the regular flow during the last three months. “Bangladesh has sent letters expressing its concern,” Joint River Commission Member Mir Sajjad Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune. New Delhi has undertaken a massive river-linking project to divert water from some of the joint rivers to dry areas of India causing serious concern in Bangladesh. l

teenage rape victim to suicide n Our Correspondent, Habiganj In the face of hassles of village arbitration and fatwa (religious edict), a teenage girl committed suicide in Gondhobpur village in Madhobpur upazila of Habiganj on Sunday after being raped by a local man. On March 11, Babul Mia, son of Sofol Mia, allegedly raped Taslima. Hearing her scream, locals went to the spot but Babul managed to flee the place. Local leaders requested the father of the victim to refrain from filing any case and assured him of resolving the matter. An arbitration led by Nurul Islam decided to give the victim’s family Tk5,000 and asked Babul to apologise.

On Sunday around 10pm, Taslima locked herself in a room and committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling. Taslima's father said: “The matbars forcefully held the salish. Everyone was teasing my daughter. Now the culprits are threatening me with a false case. I want justice.” He also said the three matbars – Nurul Islam, Miab Ali and Sundar Ali – allegedly ran the salish in exchange for money and they had been spreading rumours that Taslima was mentally ill, which “led her to commit suicide.” Madhobpur police station OC Amal Kumar Dhar filed a case, accusing six people including Nurul Islam in this regard. l

US, EU go tough

China biggest arms supplier to Bangladesh

25 newborns found dead




can be widened at the next meeting of the Council,” he said, referring to an EU summit on Thursday and Friday. European officials have said they are determined to punish Russia for its actions in Crimea, imposing sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes on those responsible. However, EU sanctions require unanimity among all 28 member states and there are several countries, including Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Portugal, which have reservations about moving too quickly. As a result, yesterday’s move was not as far-reaching as initially hoped. At the end of last week, the EU had drawn up a master list of 120-130 names for possible sanctions, which has now been whittled down. Some EU governments, including Poland, had pushed to add a few more names yesterday but failed to win sufficient backing.

Tightening the screw

One EU diplomat said out of the 21 targeted people, 10 were Russian politicians, three were military officials and eight were Crimeans. The full list of names will be published when the travel bans and asset freezes take effect. There are few signs that the threat of sanctions is having an impact on the ground in Crimea or on Russia, although the threat of sanctions has unnerved investors. Officials in Crimea formally applied to join Russia on Monday and the head of the local parliament said Ukrainian military units on the peninsula would be disbanded. Russian President Vladimir Putin will address a joint session of Russia’s parliament on Crimea on today, when it is possible the secession will be formalised. l

mostly from China, Abdur Rashid pointed out two key reasons: lucrative financial arrangements and lower cost of arms. “Bangladesh doesn’t have adequate budget to procure arms from the wider global market,” he said. Bangladesh can buy arms from China on credit and in some cases, the loans are soft loans, the former army official added. “In 2013, Bangladesh and Russia inked a $1 billion defence purchase agreement with an interest rate of 4.5%.” Meanwhile, Chinese ambassador in Dhaka, Li Jun, at a meet-the-press programme said procurement of Chinese submarines by Bangladesh would help bring stability in the region. China is helping Bangladesh to

strengthen its national defence mechanism in accordance with Bangladesh’s defence strategy and this kind of cooperation would make its own contribution to ensure stability in the region, he observed. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 1 said Bangladesh Navy would get two submarines by 2015 and the process of construction of a submarine base was underway. On that day, two new frigates – Abu Bakar and Ali Haider – procured from China were commissioned. According to IHS Jane’s, Bangladesh was the second biggest importer of Chinese arms, spending over $350 million in 2012. SIPRI data shows Bangladesh procured anti-ship missiles, tanks, fighter aircrafts and other arms from China between 2008 and 2012. During the same

Dhaka, Barisal reject Jamaat  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

popular. Jamaat candidates got seven posts in the division whereas the Awami League bagged 17 and the BNP 19. Interestingly, Jamaat also performed well in Bogra, the hometown of BNP founder Gen Ziaur Rahman, as they bagged five chairman posts while the same by the BNP-backed candidates. “If the government did not interfere in the elections, we would have got more chairman seats and demonstrated our strength more significantly,” Abdullah Mohammad Taher, Central Working Committee member of Jamaat, told the Dhaka Tribune. Taher also added that in many places they had failed to ensure single candidate. “If we could ensure single candidate, then the result would have been better.” Of the three phases, Jamaat performed well in securing chairman posts in the first phase. But in the second phase, they started to get more vice-chairman posts. The Jamaat-backed

contenders bagged 21 vice-chairman posts in the first phase, 32 in the second and 17 in the third phase. After the verdict in Jamaat’s central leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee case, the party men went into massive rampage across the country, especially in the northern region including Bogra, Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Joypurhat, Gaibandha and Lalmonirhat. Not only Jamaat but also the BNP staged its strength in the northern region as the BNP-backed contenders bagged 19 chairman posts in Rangpur division and 22 in Rajshahi while the Awami League-supported candidates secured 17 and 11 chairmen posts. The Awami League-backed contenders took lead in Dhaka, Sylhet and Barisal divisions while the BNP in Chittagong. In Dhaka, the Awami League-backed candidates secured 38 chairman posts while those backed by the BNP won in 35 seats. Ershad’s JaPa and Jamaat got no seats in the division.

period, it also procured helicopters from France, MP aircrafts from Germany, light helicopters from Italy and APCs from Russia. India has been the world’s biggest arms buyer over the past five years, with its major arms import being nearly three times higher compared to its nearest competitors China and Pakistan, the Swedish think tank noted. India accounts for 14% of the world’s arms trade, purchasing their weapons mainly from Russia (75%) while the US and Israel contribute 7% and 6% respectively. The top five countries buying arms include the UAE and Saudi Arabia. From 2009-13, the US, the biggest arms seller in the world, was followed closely by Russia. Germany, China and France also secured positions as the top arms selling countries. l

The candidates supported by the Awami League and the BNP came out neck and neck in Sylhet division where the ruling party-backed candidates bagged nine and the BNP eight chairman posts. Jamaat got two seats. In Barisal division, the Awami League-backed contenders got absolute majority as they bagged nine chairman posts while the BNP-backed candidates got just three. In this division, at least in eight upazilas, the BNPbacked candidates boycotted the elections alleging vote rigging and illegal stamping by the ruling party men. There were incidents of stray violence in the first phase of polls but it increased in the second phase. In the third phase, violence took a serious turn as three people were killed and clashes took place at a number of places. Regional political parties like the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and the United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) backed candidates bagged nine chairman posts. l

filed a GD with Ramna police station. On March 7, the body of another newborn was found in Amtola mosque area in Shahjahanpur. On February 15, the bodies of three newborns were recovered from Mohammadpur area and police handed those over to Anjuman for burial. Abdul Aziz, officer-in-charge of Mohammadpur police station, said it was a clueless case and quite difficult for them to trace the criminals. “So, we handed over those bodies to Anjuman for burial.” Professor Dr Sadeka Halim of Dhaka University sociology department said awareness in this regard should be created among people in the society and the

state should take responsibility for it. “Police have no right to avoid the responsibility and they should be more responsible for it after working with the government and non-governmental organisations,” she added. Preferring anonymity, a senior official of Marie Stopes Society said every day many young girls went there to have abortion. Most of them were already six months pregnant and the babies were in almost mature stage, the official added. “As we do not allow abortion after 10 weeks, they go to unauthorised clinics to have abortion. Later, the babies are dumped somewhere,” the official said. l

Contrasting aim for Bangladesh  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

yesterday morning and carried out a light training session in the afternoon, while Nepal also had a brief net session simultaneously. After a small fun game and football session, the Tigers went to the nets and Sabbir Rahman batting along with the opening pair of Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal, indicating he might be promoted up the order against the minnows. Anamul has been a bit inconsistent with his scoring at the top and it is the perfect platform for him to get some runs in the bag. However, the match will be significant for local boy Tamim who has not been at his best after returning from a neck injury. The south paw got starts, but has not been able to convert them into big scores. With the family and home crowd at the stands this is a great opportunity for Tamim to return in runs with the second round in catching distance. The pitch that will be used in today’s match wears a bit of grasses on top, unlike other Chittagong wickets, and since it is a night game it is likely the seamers will get some assist off the pitch.

However, the Tigers are unlikely to tinker with their winning combination as all-rounder Farhad Reza gives that extra edge to Mushfiqur Rahim in the pace bowling department. Nepal should take inspiration from their win and most importantly from their spinning duo – Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan – who shared six wickets to land their historic win. Keeping the pitch condition in mind, left-arm seamer Amrit Bhattarai might be picked in the top XI. The 23-year-old with a very swift action bowled a whole hearted spell during the nets and the Bangladesh openers should look out for him if he plays. Skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla remain the two big names in Nepal’s batting unit and it will be a test for them in front of the spirited Bangladeshi spinners. Despite all the factors, the Tigers are the favourites in the game in all departments and anything short of full points would be a disaster for the World T20 hosts and on the other hand for Nepal the match should be an exam to stage their fighting skills to survive among the big nations. l




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Transfer, mutation fees raised for land JS decision on apex and flats in Dhanmondi and Tejgaon court judges’ pay hike n Asif Showkat Kallol The government is set to raise the transfer fees for floor spaces of flats and shops in the capital’s Dhanmondi and Tejgaon industrial areas by 150%, in a bid to enhance revenue earnings, official sources have said. The mutation fees – needed to change title ownership – of land, housing space and flats of the two areas will also increase between 40% and 300 % soon. President Abdul Hamid signed a gazette notification by the housing and public works ministry last week regarding the increase of mutation fees and transfer fees for Dhanmondi and Tejgaon areas under Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk). The development branch of the housing ministry is expected to issue a gazette notification on this issue within a few days. Housing Secretary Md Golam Rab-

bani confirmed the fee increase, and said authorities would further look into the “small increase” in land transfer and mutation fees. General Secretary of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) Md Wahiduzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that recent months had seen land prices of Gulshan, Dhanmondi and Baridhara areas stay low compared to two years ago. The situation was similar in Chittagong and other parts of the country. He also claimed that bankers and realtors have blamed the price slide on political unrest, the slow pace of economic growth and a bar on investing untaxed money in the housing sector. The raise in fees would not increase government earnings from the housing sector, he added. Wahiduzzaman also said thousands of unsold flats, priced at 10% less than from a year ago were discouraging de-

velopers to buy new land for fresh projects, further contributing to the fall in land prices. The deterioration of the political situation might cause prices to fall further, he added. As per a circular dated last month, the transfer fee for shop and floor spaces at Dhanmondi and Tejgaon areas would see a 150% rise, climbing to Tk200 from existing Tk80 for every square feet area. The Tk5,000 mutation fees for five kathas of land in Dhanmondi area will not increase, while those for 10, 15, and above will see 100%, 200% and 300% rises respectively. Transfer fees for housing and flat spaces of 1,500 square feet in Dhanmondi will see a 40% increase, becoming Tk7,000 from the existing Tk5,000. Mutation fees of housing and commercial space of above 1,500 square feet at Dhanmondi will double to Tk10,000 from the existing Tk5,000 fee.

Mutation fees for 10 katha plots at Tejgaon industrial area will double to Tk10,000 from an existing Tk5,000; for 15 katha it will see a 200% increase to become Tk15,000 while plots above 15 katha will need Tk20,000 as mutation fees, a 300% rise from the existing rate . In 2008, a survey by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology showed that Dhaka had experienced an unprecedented increase in land prices since the early ‘70s, with Dhanmondi showing a rise of 12,000%. According to the land registry office in Dhaka, upwards of Tk428 crore was realised through registration charges, fees for certified copies of registered deeds, stamp fees and pay orders during the July-December period last year, compared to Tk697 crore during the January-June period of 2013. The government annually earns Tk5,000 crore from 13 areas through registration of transfer deeds. l

likely today n Kamran Reza Chowdhury The 10th parliament is set to see the first bill that will provide a 50% raise to the chief justice and the judges of the High Court and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. According to the order of the day approved by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Law Minister Anisul Huq is scheduled to table the Supreme Court Judges’ (remuneration and privileges) Bill, 2014 today. The bill, if passed, will amend the existing Supreme Court Judges’ (remuneration and privileges) Ordinance, 1978. The proposed law says the judges will get 50% of their basic salaries as special allowance every month. If the bill is passed, in addition to the chief justice and the judges, the

commissioners of the Anti-Corruption Commission and other autonomous bodies will also get a similar allowance, law ministry officials say. Since its opening sitting on January 29, the government has not tabled any bill in the last 20 sittings of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad, practically devoid of a true opposition. Parliament will resume its sitting tomorrow after a five-day recess. After its initiation in the House, the bill will go to the 10-member parliamentary standing committee on law ministry headed by former railways minister Suranjit Sengupta. The watchdog will examine the bill and bring out changes to it, if necessary. The standing committee will then place in the House a recommendation for its passage. l

Public servants hit hard by accommodation crisis n Mohosinul Karim Mojaffar Hossain, who works at the public administration ministry as a class IV employee, has long been striving to get a government residence. He has already submitted applications several times to the ministry, but the authority concerned failed to provide him with accommodation due to severe shortage of official residences. Once again Mojaffar has applied to the authority for allocating a house which would be vacant after five years. He told the Dhaka Tribune that there is not a single official residence that could be allocated to him within next five years. “This is why I have applied again to get a house which would be vacant after five years.” Bijli Rani Bishwas, a senior staff nurse working with a public hospital, is also trying to get an official residence. For this reason, she has long been keeping in touch with the authority concerned. Failing to get a house as normal, she contacted a mediator to help her find out a house that could be allocated to her. Even though she gave him a handsome amount of money, finally she gave up hope for getting a house within a short time. A good number of officials from assistant secretary to additional secretary are also waiting for the decision of the directorate of government accommodation, the authority for allocating official houses to public servants. But, the authority could not arrange houses for most of the officials due to its serious crisis. Many officials meet the director of the directorate of government accom-

modation at his office or contact him over phone to resolve their problem. The director is getting hundreds of requests every day, but he has nothing to do, the officials concerned told the Dhaka Tribune last week. Admitting the accommodation crisis and huge applications from public servants to get houses, Director of the DoGA Dr Ashraful Islam told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are facing a huge crisis of government accommodations in Dhaka and Chittagong cities as we have only 7% of houses against our demand. “We do not build houses. We only allocate the houses to public servants. Public works department usually builds houses for them. As far as I know, the department has not built any official house for a long time. The number of employees has increased, but not the accommodation.” According to the ministry of housing and public works, there are only 24,000 government residences in the country against around 1.3m public servants. The rest of the houses are in the district and upazila towns. Of them, there are around 15,000 houses in Dhaka and Chittagong cities. There are about 13,000 houses in Dhaka against 200,000 public servants. The DoGA only maintains the houses in Dhaka and Chittagong cities. The rest of the houses are maintained by the district administrations and executive engineers of local public works department. According to the ministry, there are 5,595 houses for class I cadre, non-cadre and class II officials in Dhaka. Of them, around 86 bungalows and 206 superior class houses are distributed among ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers and important per-

sons working with the statutory bodies of the country. Besides, at least 30,000 class I and class II officers are entitled to get around 5,000 D, E and F type buildings while about 7,500 A, B and C type houses are reserved for class III and class IV employees. According to the DoGA officials, although the authority has not constructed any new building, several old buildings have already become unusable. Most of the buildings at Azimpur staff quarters and Motijheel AGB Colony are in a bad state. The authority has already stopped allocating those buildings. Ashraful Islam said it’s a profitable project for the government as allotment receivers have to pay rent regularly. The authority deducts house rents from their monthly salaries every month. “I think the government should take steps to construct new buildings as government accommodation that would mitigate sufferings of public servants. If the initiative is taken, public servants would be able to concentrate on their responsibilities,” he added. Influential people have grabbed government lands in Keraniganj and Kamrangirchar areas. The government can easily construct houses after recovering its lands from illegal grabbers. Meanwhile, the officials concerned informed that the government took up two projects in 2009 and 2010 to resolve the accommodation crisis. The projects were taken to construct buildings at Azimpur and Motijheel government colonies for public servants, taking into account maximum use of government properties and solution to the crisis of public accommodations. l

A boy tries to make a big shot during a game of cricket in the capital’s Chandrima Udyan yesterday. Children who are passionate for the game take refuge in such open spaces and roads as playgrounds are becoming scarce inside the city SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

PM: Stay away from terrorism, militancy n BSS, Tungipara Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked children to grow up with the ideals of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to realise his dream of establishing a happy and prosperous nation. Hasina also urged the children to always stay away from terrorism, militancy, drug addiction and other social crimes and become worthy citizens of the country to lead the nation in future. The prime minister made the remarks while addressing a children’s rally and cultural function marking the 94th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu and National Children’s Day at Tun-

gipara in Gopalganj. The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Gopalganj district administration jointly arranged the programme at the mazar complex of Bangabandhu. “We want to build a nation where no child like Russell would brutally be killed, no children would pass their nights in the street and every child would have access to food, shelter and education,” Hasina said. “I want that you would contain (sic) the ideology of the Father of the Nation, show respect to the seniors and help the poor and distressed children. While you read the biography of Bang-

abandhu, you will see how he helped the distressed children,” Hasina said, addressing the children. “There is a history of struggle, realising rights for the people and establishing truth, justice and peace in every fold of his life and works,” she said. “Bangabandhu is not alive among us. My little brother Russel is not alive. The killers on that day did not spare him. I always find Russel among you,” she added. Terming the children as future leaders of the nation, Hasina urged them to give more attention to their studies and materialise Bangabandhu’s dream by building “Sonar Bangla.” l

Virtual school aims to enlighten indigenous children Child trafficking, n Ahmed Zayeef, from Bandarban

Technology indeed can do wonder for people to help them realise their potential and this is exactly the idea an Internet-based school in a remote village of Bandarban aims to turn into reality. The exclusivity of Bandarban Online School founded by the JAAGO Foundation in association with Grameenphone lies in the fact that the connection between the teachers and the students will be established in the cyber space, meaning the teachers from Dhaka will teach the learners through videoconference sessions rather than having a face-to-face contact. Located on top of a hill in Reicha union of Bandarban, the English-medium school is bordered by Dathbhanga Para, Kana Para, Dulujhiri Para and Meghla Para. Dulupoti Tonchongga, a mother of two living in Meghla Para, has this dream that her younger son Shojib Tonchongga will one day become a minister of the country. For Dulupoti, it was like a daydream a few months back as she is an inhabitant of a remote village in the hills where education seems to be a luxury. But now she thinks her dream can come true because of the school which is very close to the village she lives. Expressing her elation, the lady told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are happy as we don’t have to pay for educating our children and also don’t require going far away from the village for giving our offspring primary education.”   Apart from Dulupoti, the virtual school has indeed provided children

Children attend a class of an Internet-based school on top of a hill in Reicha union in Bandarban DHAKA TRIBUNE of nearly 100 families living in four adjacent villages with the opportunity to receive education. Shudanonda Tonchongga, local coordinator of the school, told the Dhaka tribune that 40 children had enrolled in the school and most of them were from Tonchongga and Bhomong communities. Some Bengali children are also studying here, he said.

Melori Bom, a student of the school, hardly speaks Bangla. With the help of Shudanonda, she said: “I used to study in a school located far away from my home. Every day, I had to walk for two to three hours. Now I’m happy as the school is near to my village.” Yesterday the authorities arranged an inauguration ceremony on the school premises that was attended by

Bohmongree U Chaw Prue, chief of the Bhomong community. “I am honoured that Grameenphone has chosen our area to establish the school. It will give our children access to modern education and other facilities,” he said. Debdas Vottachajay, Superintendent of Bandarban police, termed the school a new concept in Bangladesh. “This is our vision to empower the society through modern education,” said Mahmud Hossain, chief of corporate affairs at Grameenphone. “There exists a gap between the urban and rural education systems. Besides, indigenous children have no Internet access. The school is our effort to provide the indigenous children here with the access to Internet. The 3G network system has brought the opportunity to ensure Internet service for all,” he added. “Internet connectivity will develop the quality of education in rural areas,” said BTRC director Lt Col Sajjad. Brigadier general Nakib, brigade commander of Bandarban, said: “I hope teachers will teach social responsibilities to the children to help them become good citizens in the future.” Bandarban deputy commissioner Tarikul Islam and Korvi Rakshand, founder of the JAAGO Foundation, attended the ceremony among others.   Grameenphone funded the school in an effort to reduce the gap between urban and rural education systems through Internet connectivity. This is a pilot project which is assessing the impact of such education system on students. l

prostitution on the rise n Tribune Report In an increasingly interconnected world, children are more at risk than ever of being sexually exploited or sold, a United Nations independent expert has warned. The UN expert called for decisive steps at the global level to stop crimes such as child prostitution and trafficking. “Millions of girls and boys worldwide are victims of sexual exploitation even though this issue in recent years has gained increased visibility,” said UN Special Rapporteur Ms Maalla M’jid during the presentation of her final report to the UN Human Rights Council on March 13, according to a press release. The UN independent expert warned that certain forms of sexual exploita-

tion were increasing, i.e. sale and trafficking of children for sexual purposes and economic exploitation, child sex tourism and online child sexual exploitation. But she noted that the true scope of the problem was not clear due to inadequate legislation, lack of reliable data, and under-reporting. “The clandestine nature of such exploitation, fear of reprisals and stigmatisation as well as lack of child-sensitive complaints mechanisms hamper our understanding of these crimes.” The special rapporteur said various factors added to the children’s vulnerability, including social tolerance and impunity, persistent demand and global criminal networks profiting from the increasingly lucrative trade in exploiting children. l




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Transport owners demand compensation n Mohosinul Karim Transport owners in the country are demanding compensation from the government, claiming they incurred a loss of around TK 130 crore when violence surrounding the political deadlock erupted prior to the January 5 general elections. At a meeting of Bangladesh Road Transport Advisory Council on Sunday, transport leaders raised a 15-point demand, including compensation for the loss the sector had experienced. The meeting was held at the secretariat. “The country’s political situation changed following the polls but the transport owners who had incurred losses are yet to recover,” said Bangladesh Road Transport Association’s Secretary-General Khandaker Enayet Ullah. At present, there are around 180,000 trucks and over 200,000 buses in the country. The truck owners alone are suffering a loss of TK 90 crore a day on their net income, excluding expenses, speakers told the meeting. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Enayet Ullah said the recovery would really be hard for the transport owners.

'Empower women to lead water decisions' n Tribune Report Every citizen’s right to water cannot be ensured without empowering women to play a leadership role in the country’s water-related decisions, according to participants at a panel discussion on various water related issues. The participants said creation of new social business models for water were required to solve problems related to water in the country. Discussants also stressed the need for an effective rain water harvesting system and the creation of a water code of responsibility in office and homes. The views came at a discussion titled “Is Water Important To You?” organised by in the capital’s Dhaka Regency Hotel on Saturday. The theme of the discussion was aligned with UN World Water Day 2014 campaign: Water and Energy. Afrina Choudhury, a gender specialist at The World Fish Center, and Bidhan Chandra Pal, executive member of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, spoke at the programme, among others.Several students and representatives of youth organisations also participated the discussion. is a new blog site aimed at encouraging water related conversation amongst the youth of the country. The independent blog is supported by a leading water management company, PNL Holdings Ltd. PNL is the mother company that markets the popular Pedrollo water pumps in Bangladesh since 1985. l


Dry weather likely n UNB Weather is likely to remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Day and night temperatures might rise slightly over the country, Met Office said. The sun sets in the capital at 6:09pm today and rises at 6:04am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 35.3 degree Celsius was recorded in Rangamati and lowest 15.2 degrees in Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City



Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

33.6 32.1 34.3 33.2 34.5 33.7 34.5 35.0

18.2 18.4 16.0 18.0 19.0 17.0 19.4 20.0

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

4:49am 6:04am 12:07pm 4:28pm 6:09pm 7:24pm


“Now that the new government has assumed power, it should extend its assistance to the owners in order to help them recover from the losses. That’s why we placed the 15-point demand.” Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, also chief of the Road Transport Advisory Council, told the Dhaka Tribune he was yet to go through the demands submitted by the transport leaders. “The government is concerned about the damage made to the sector. We will consider the demands they have placed,” the minister observed. The 15-point demand includes ensuring all facilities for this sector in line with an industry (as was announced by the government), ensuring bank loans and fixing the interest rates at 7%, a plea not to hike the taxes in the next budget and withdrawal of vat imposed on commercial transports that now stands at 15%, cancelling the decision to fix the expiry date of CNG-driven auto rickshaws and diesel-run vehicles at 15 and 20 years respectively, imposing ban on movement of light vehicles on highways, and raising transport fares. l

Members of Harijan community play Holi at the capital's Wari area yesterday


NBR to form separate cell for resolving pending cases

Pirojpur, Feni BNP aspirants struggle to campaign

n Syed Samiul Basher Anik

n Tribune Report

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will soon form a separate legal cell to deal with some 30,000 cases which had been pending for years at different courts. The pending cases involve over Tk30,000 crore in tax revenues, said officials. They further added that the NBR chairman had instructed the board’s three separate wings- income tax, customs duties and value added tax - to speed up in resolving the cases which has been pending at courts. The move has been taken to collect the arrear revenue to meet its revenue target of Tk125,000 crore, set for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Currently, NBR has only one officer to handle the vast number of incoming cases. Thus, the board was failing to attend these cases and realise the arrear revenues.

According to NBR data, more than Tk30,000 crore revenue had remained stuck due to the backlog of cases with different courts, which includes Tk24,000 crore in customs duties, Tk4,000 crore in income tax and Tk2,000 crore in VAT.

ADR received only 212 cases from income tax. Among them, 197 cases have been settled so far and NBR realised around Tk65 crore out of total Tk603 crore Under the plan, the NBR will establish its own legal cell consisting of NBR members and senior lawyers to realise the arrear revenues and settle disputes

between taxpayer and taxmen. Earlier, NBR Chairman Ghulam Hussain told the media that due to lack of representatives to monitor the cases pending at courts, the board had failed to attend the hearings of the cases and lost the cases. Meanwhile, the officials have also been working to resolve such disputes through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). However, the process is yet to get momentum even after 20 months into its introduction. On July 2012, NBR introduced an ADR process to resolve disputes and ensure a win-win situation for both the government and taxpayers. Till December last, ADR received only 212 cases from income tax. Among them, 197 cases have been settled so far and NBR realised around Tk65 crore out of total Tk603 crore. No cases from the VAT and customs have been settles so far by the ADR process. l


BNP blessed candidates in three upazilas of Pirojpur and Feni alleged that they were not be able to campaign properly in the upcoming forth phase of upazila elections scheduled for March 23 as the AL backed candidates harassing them in many ways, including filing the cases against them. Our Pirojpur correspondent reports: the BNP backed chairman candidate Ruhul Amin Dulal for Mathbaria upazila from a press briefing yesterday alleged that he was not be able to conduct campaign as local cadres of the AL backed candidates were beating up the party activists continuously and filing cases against them. Dulal also said the ill moves of the ruling AL made difficult for his activists to attend the campaign ahead of the polls Our Feni correspondent adds: Daganbhuiyan police on Sunday filed sev-

eral cases against 120 local leaders and activists BNP on charge of attacking law enforcers during the March 15 third phase of upazila polls. Dagonbhuiyan police station OC Anwarul Azim confirmed it, saying BNP backed chairman candidate Akbar Hossain swooped on police vehicles at Alayearpur Primary School polling centre. Single candidates from the AL are vying in Sonagazi and Fulgazi upazila and they are expecting to win while BNP secured chairmen posts in two other upazilas in the immediate past polls. The AL candidates across the country are trying to take lead like the third spell in the next two phases of upazila polls scheduled for March 23 and 31 respectively across the country. Rebel candidates in both parties have appeared main factor to win the upcoming uapzila parishad polls while Jamaat is doing well by giving single candidate. l

Two teens blackmailed into marriage n Our Correspondent, Pirojpur Police and ruling party activists allegedly confined two teenagers and forced them to marry after taking some intimate pictures of the pair suspected of having an affair at Nazirpur upazila in Pirojpur. The police also reportedly took money from the boy’s family and threatened them to keep quiet about the matter. According to sources, a 14-yearold rickshaw van driver was returning home with a neighbour, a female student of SM Darusunnat Dakhil Madrasha on Wednesday. As soon as the pair reached Ramvodra village, local Awami League leaders Dalim and Tuku, along with their supporters, confined them at

the Rajlokhhi Foundation in Bakshi. On being informed, Matia union AL president and madrasha teacher Mujahidul Islam Jafor, Matia Jubo League secretary Kamruzzaman Motin and sub-inspector (SI) Abdur Rahman of Babur Haat police outpost arrived at the scene. The boy’s mother, Julekha Begum, said Jafor demanded Tk10,000 from her to release her son. “I am very poor, but I managed to borrow Tk2,000 from some people. I gave the money to them, but SI Rahman just threw it away and started beating my son and the girl,” Julekha claimed. “I pleaded with them and promised to get the rest. Rahman then took the money and kept it in his pocket, but handed over my boy to Jafor and Motin

instead of releasing him,” she said. Asim Kumar Mistri, assistant teacher of the madrasha where the girl is a student, said he went to the foundation and saw the police officer going inside a room with the girl and the boy. Later, intimate pictures of the pair were seen on the cell phones of different people in the area. The police officer and the AL activists later that night took the boy and the girl to the latter’s house and called a kazi (marriage registrar) to marry them. However, the kazi refused to marry the teenagers as they were underage. Jafor, himself, then married the couple, witnesses said. However, there was no immediate comment from the girl’s family on the forced marriage. Also, no case has been

filed yet in this connection by either family. The couple, meanwhile, was believed to by staying at the boy’s house. When contacted, Mujahidul Islam Jafor refuted the allegations against him, saying he did not marry the couple nor did he demand any money from the boy’s mother. He added that SI Rahman asked for Tk1,500 as fuel cost for his vehicle and the family gave him the money willingly. SI Rahman denied taking any pictures of the couple, adding that he left the scene after the girl and the boy agreed to marry each other. Abdul Khalek Howladher, officer-incharge of Nazirpur police station, also claimed that the allegations against Rahman were baseless. l

7 killed, 60 injured in different districts n Tribune Report

At least seven people were found dead yesterday in differnt places across the country, while seperate clashes injured around 60 people in Sirajganj and Noakhali. The police in Noakhali's Chatkhil recovered the bodies of Md Akash, 20, convener of ward No 1 of Mohammadpur union unit Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal; and Md Al Amin, 25, a Jubo League activist. Locals found the bodies floating in a pond and a nearby ditch at Pashchim Deliai Bazar, said Ibrahim Khalil, officerin-charge of Chatkhil police station. He said one of the bodies bore bullet injuries to the chest while another to the throat. Meanwhile in Hatia, police recovered the floating bodies of three unidentified persons at different points of the river Meghna yesterday, confirmed Fazle Rabbi, OC of Hatia police station. In Chittagong, police recovered the

bodies of two young men from a septic tank of an under-construction building in the city’s Sholoshahar Gate 2 area, reports UNB. The dead were identified as Kamrul, 24, an HSC student of MES College and also an activist of the college unit Chhatra League, and his friend Forkan, 24. The MES College unit BCL activists blocked the road in front of the college area and vandalised a number of vehicles. In the capital, a wife stabbed his husband to death centring a family feud while the former suffered stab injuries and was undergoing treatment in a hospital at Turag. The incident took place at the couple’s house at Nolbhog on Sunday while husband Monir Hossain, 28, died during treatment in the morning and wife, aged around 22, was under treatment in the same city hospital. The couple had two children aged five and three respectively. The incident took place before their eyes, said police.

Nisharul Arif, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Uttara division, said the wife took a kitchen knife and stabbed Monir indiscriminately during heated arguments, while Monir managed to take the knife away and also stabbed her. Hearing the children's cry neighbours rushed in and took the couple to a private hospital, where Monir died, he said. Monir’s relatives told police the couple had been suspecting each other of extramarital affairs. In Jhenaidah, Sultan Mollah, 45, was killed when his nephew Shukur Ali Mollah threw brick at him at Baniabahu village under the Sadar upazila of the district yesterday. In Comilla, an unidentified body, 40, was recovered from an abandoned temple at Mukimpur village under Madhappur union. Police said the man was killed 10-12 days back. In Charghat upazila of Rajshahi, unknown miscreants stabbed a local JCD ac-

tivist Roki, 22, and cut off the tendons of his two legs and one hand Sunday night. Charghat Model police station OC Golam Martuja said Roki came under attack in PDC Government Primary School area around 8:15pm while he was going home in Miapur.

Clashes in two districts

Centring a cultural programme, residents of Rail Colony and Mahmudpur clashed yesterday, injuring at least 50 people. At least 10 houses were also vandalised during the incident. In Muhuriganj area under Sonaimuri upazila in Noakhali, at least eight people were injured, 13 shops gutted and 11 looted in a clash between several villages. Section 144 was imposed in Muhuriganj area to avoid tension. OC Abdus Samad of Sonaimuri police station, quoted locals saying that the villagers of Barabari, Surholia and Deuty were locked into clashes over paying half-fare of an auto-rickshaw. l

Abul Mansur Ahmad’s death anniversary today n Tribune Report The 35th death anniversary of Abul Mansur Ahmad, a renowned litterateur, journalist and politician of the sub-continent, is today, said a press release. On the occasion, the Bangla Academy has already published three volumes of six covering the whole literary works of Abul Mansur while the rest three are in pipeline to publish. His major works include satires Aina (1936-1937) and Food Conference (1944); novels, Satya Mithya (1953), Jiban Ksudha (1955) and Ab-e-Hayat (1964); his book of reminiscence, Amar Dekha Rajnitir Panchash Bachhar (1969) and Shere-Bangla haite Bangabandhu (1972) and his autobiography Atma Katha (1978). For the contribution to literature, he was awarded the Bangla Academy Prize in 1960, the Independence Day Medal in 1979 and the Nasiruddin Gold Medal. Abul Mansur was also the pioneer of modern and progressive journalism and was the editor of the daily Ittehad published from Kolkata in 1946. He was born at Dhanikhola village of Mymensingh in 1898 and died in 1979. l




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

City dwellers suffer from ‘smelly, dirty’ water Wasa blamed for failing to take proper even after townspeople complained

BSMMU to host free checkups on March 21

n Abu Hayat Mahmud

n Tribune Report

Residents in different areas of the capital are reportedly being forced to purchase bottled water to fulfil their drinking needs, as Dhaka Wasa authorities have allegedly been supplying “foul smelling” and “dirty” water during recent weeks. People living in different areas in Taltola, Shamim Sharani, Shewrapara, Agargaon, Kazipara, Ibrahimpur, Farmgate, Rajabazar, Tejkunipara, Tejturi Bazar, Shyamoli, Mohammadpur, and Kalyanpur complained that they were getting smelly and dirty water, unsuitable for human consumption, from the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa). The city dwellers also alleged that

state-owned agency Wasa was yet to take any proper step to resolve the problem, despite being informed of the crisis. Jannatun Nahar, a resident of South Shewrapara, said the water supplied by Wasa has been containing a bad smell for the last five days. “We cannot drink, take a bath or cannot cook using the filthy water supplied by Wasa. The body is itching rough after bathing in the water,” she said, adding: “This is not the first time this problem has occurred. Earlier, we faced the same problem, but authorities had not taken any sustainable step to solve it.” Mustafizur Rahman, a resident of West Rajabazar, said people in the area could not collect fresh drinking water from the Wasa supply lines, as water in the area’s pipes get contaminated.

Shamim, a caretaker of a house in Shamim Sharani, echoed Jannatun, saying: “The situation has worsened as the water could not be used for any household work in the last week. Many residents in the area are purchasing bottled water because of the bad smell and dirt in Wasa’s water,” he added. Rafiqul Islam, pump operator of the Dhaka Wasa’s southwest Shewrapara pump, told the Dhaka Tribune: “There is no problem in our pump water. The smelly water came from Wasa’s Sayedabad Water Treatment Plant through the main pipeline. “The treatment plant’s water may include some odour because of the mixing of chemical with the river water for purification,” he said. SDM Kamrul Alam Chowdhury,

deputy managing director (additional charge) of cooperation and maintenance of Dhaka Wasa, however denied that the supplied water had any bad smell. “From last week, we have started to supply treatment plant water to different areas in Mirpur zone. The resident of those areas are not used to drinking the treatment plant water, because we had supplied them pump water earlier,” he said. Kamrul, however, said water from the Sayedabad Treatment Plant might have a slight smell because of the presence of chlorine. He also said the problem might also be caused by leaks in pipelines, with filthy water from open road drains becoming mixed with the water in the pipe through the leaks. The senior Wasa official assured that pipelines would be checked for

leaks and steps would be taken to remedy the situation. Answering to a different query, he said Wasa would continue to supply the areas with water from the treatment plant. Water crisis is common in Dhaka during summer, as its demand goes up during the period. Seeking anonymity, a Wasa official said falling groundwater levels has repeatedly caused Wasa to fail in providing adequate water supply during dry season, while dependency on surface water has also risen over the years. The official also claimed that the quality of the water from Wasa’s treatment plants was unlikely to improve before monsoon, as the water of the rivers Buriganga and Shitalakkhya was highly polluted. l

REHAB fair begins Thursday

Teenage sold to brothel in India n Tribune Report

n Tribune Report

Traffickers sold a teenage girl of Fatullah in Narayanganj to a brothel in India whom they were supposed to send to Dubai for Work. The victim’s mother came to know about the incident after the victim called her over phone from India.

The ‘REHAB Fair 2014’ will begin at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on Thursday with a view to promoting the country’s real estate sector. State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid is expected to inaugurate the fair. In the opening day, the fair will remain open for visitors from 2pm to 9pm, and on the remaining days it will remain open from 11am to 9pm “The fair is an effort to introduce apartments and plots to the customers. The fair will build bridge between realtors and customers, and also gives the customers ideas and help them to choose,” Rehab General Secretary M Wahiduzzaman said at a press conference held in the National Press Club yesterday. The REHAB leader said this year there would be a total of 155 stalls by 141 housing companies. Moreover, 14 construction material companies and 11 co-sponsor companies will take part in the fair. REHAB Organising Secretary Saidul Islam Badal, Joint Treasurer Engineer Ansar Ali, co-chairman of fair standing committee Engr Suhrawardi and fair convener Asadur Rahman, among others, were present at the press conference. l

The traffickers allured the teenage girl and her family of sending her abroad for work and took Tk30,000 from them Lipi Akhter, the mother of the victim lodged a general diary with Fatullah Model police station accusing her neighbors in this connection. Lipi said Kaiyum, a broker lived next to their house at South Sheharchar area of Fatullah. He and his wife Moyna allured her teenage daughter and family of sending her abroad for work and took Tk30,000 from them for this purpose on March 8 this year. The victim called her mother on Saturday last and informed that she had been sold to a brothel in India. When contacted, Officer-in-Charge of Fatullah Model police station Akhter Hossain said they were investigating the matter. l

A Dhaka City Corporation worker paints the trunk of a tree inside a central reservation with white paint in the capital’s Monipuripara Road yesterday. According to city corporation officials, the initiative is taken only as a measure of the city’s beautification SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Civil society members for stopping use of minors for political purposes

Live discussion with Sajeeb Wazed Joy on ICT

n Our Correspondent, Barisal

n Tribune Report

The civil society members in the district yesterday called for an end to the use of minors in political violence including casting fake votes and capturing poll centres. They made the call yesterday at a programme held in the city. Professor Moazzem Hossain, educationist and president of Conscious Citizens Committee, a sister concern of Transparency International Bangladesh, said the use of children for political purposes became a trend nowadays. The children were made to take to the streets during procession, throw bricks and cocktails and carry out arson attacks, he said.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) will provide free checkups to patients on March 21, celebrating the birthday of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. According to the announcement, specialised doctors from all departments will be available at the outdoor for at least three hours from 9:00am onwards and consult patients free of cost. Professor Dr Sayedur Rahman, treasurer of university, confirmed this to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He also added that at least one professor and one associate professor from each department will be present during the event. l

Prof Moazzem observed that in a recent trend the minors were being hired to cast fake votes for the election and capture vote centres as original voters remained absent and boycotted the election. The rights activist termed such use of children devastating. Enayet Hossain Chowdhury, secretary, election-observing organisation, FEMA, said as the voter ID cards were yet to be introduced everywhere for casting votes, political parties were cashing in on the absence of voter ID cards and using children for casting votes. He called for a concerted effort by all political parties, election commission officials and law enforcement agencies to stop the use of children. The rights activist also stressed the need for social awareness in this regard.

Jiban Krishna Dey, a retired primary school headmaster and child rights activist, said if the children were taught to involve in corruption by casting fake votes and capturing vote centres from their childhood, the nation would not be able to expect that the children would be patriotic, honest and disciplined citizens in future. He emphasised that the authorities strictly enforce law against the use of children for political purposes. District Returning Officer Dulal Talukdar said casting fake votes by anybody was completely forbidden and a punishable crime. The polling agents of different political parties could play a more important role by challenging fake voters than the electoral officials, he said. l

Policy Café, an initiative of Centre for Research and Information (CRI), is going to stage a diversified discussion programme named “Policy Café with Sajeeb Wazed Joy on ICT.” The programme will be held at a city hotel, which will be presided over by the prime minister’s son and ICT specialist Sajeeb Wazed Joy. The programme has been arranged to facilitate the youth ICT experts, professionals and entrepreneurs to create a platform for public discussion and debate on the National ICT policy of the country as the government is going to revise and formulate a complete, people friendly ICT policy within a few months.

It is the first time in the history of Bangladesh that youth leaders of the society will involve themselves in sharing opinions and suggestions to form a national policy for the development of the nation. It is believed, involvement of the youth with the policy formulating procedure will strengthen the democratic process in the country. Ekattor TV and People’s Radio will broadcast the programme as a live event from 8pm to 9pm on March 18. The country’s first exclusively online news portal and official websites of Bangladesh Awami League and CRI will stream the programme live. l

Three of a family killed, six injured in microbus cylinder blast n Tribune Report

A girl casts a forged vote in place of a 60-year-old woman in a polling centre in Barisal yesterday


Three women of a family were killed and six passengers critically injured in a microbus gas cylinder blast in Fatikchhari upazila yesterday. The dead were identified as Halima Begum, 65, mother of Dubai-expatriate Safiul Alam, his mother-in-law Bulbuli Akhter, 60, and sister-in-law Parveen Akhter, 30. Mohammad Kabir Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Bhujpur police station, told the Dhaka Tribune 17 people, including the driver of the microbus, were on their way to Harrualchhari, after receiving Dubai-returnee Shafiul Alam from Chittagong’s Shah Amanat International Airport around 4am.

“The gas cylinder of the vehicle exploded while it was crossing Suabil area, leaving the three women dead on the spot and six passengers injured,” he said. The injured were expatriate Safiul Alam, 40, his daughters Promy Akter, 7, Sarmin Akter, 11, Loveli Akter, 9, and Sumi Akter, 12, daughter of Safiul’s elder brother Abdus Sattar and Morium Begum, 65, mother-in-law of Abdus Sattar. Of them, four were sent to the Burn and Plastic Surgery unit of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), said SI Jahirul Islam, in-charge of CMCH police camp. The dead and injured were all from Nur Islam Sowdagor Bari of Amanbazar area under Harualchhari union of Fatikchhari upazila, said police. l

DU students receive Mitsubishi UFJ Foundation scholarships n DU Correspondent Mitsubishi UFJ Foundation of Japan awarded scholarships to 30 meritorious under-graduate students of different Departments of Dhaka University. Mr Shigemitsu Miki, chairman of the Mitsubishi UFJ Foundation distributed the scholarships among the students at a ceremony held yesterday at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of the university. DU Vice-Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique presided over the function while Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Shiro Sadoshima addressed as chief guest and Yoshiaki Ozawa, managing director of the Mitsubishi UFJ Foundation addressed as special guest.

The VC also hoped that friendly relationship between Bangladesh and Japan will be cemented in the days to come Professor Md Kamal Uddin, treasurer of DU gave vote of thanks. Jiban Kumar Mishra, acting director of Planning and Development of DU moderated the programme. VC Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique hoped in his speech that the scholarships given by the foundation would play a vital role to promote the development of human resource in Bangladesh. He said there had been a longstanding bilateral relationship between the two countries in various sectors. Japanese people and media extended their all-out support and cooperation during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, he added. The VC also hoped that friendly relationship between Bangladesh and Japan will be cemented in the days to come. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Mr Shiro Sadoshima urged the brilliant students to work together to establish a developed and peaceful Bangladesh. l




Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Lack of indoor services a hurdle for patients n Our Correspondent, Pirojpur Patients are not getting proper healthcare services from Zia Nagar Upazila Health Complex in Pirojpur as it has no indoor treatment facilities. Although the health complex was established in 2009, the authority concerned is yet to introduce indoor healthcare services for lack of logistic supports. Moreover, the outdoor services have almost become futile as physicians only provide prescriptions to the patients. Zakir Hossain of Hoglabunia village at Morolganj upazila in Bagherhat came to the hospital on Sunday. He said, “My father is a heart patient. I took him to the hospital as I could not take him to Bagherhat for non-availability of transport. Abdul Kuddus, a resident of Zianagar upazila headquarters, said he along with his wife went to visit a doctor. The doctor only provided prescription to them and asked them to do tests from another hospital. “If we have to go somewhere else, then why was this hospital built,” he asked. A good number of patients were seen standing in queues in front of doctor’s chamber, but they apprehended that they would not be able to visit the doctor because of long queues. Another inhabitant of the upazila headquarter and former commander of Zianagar upazila Muktijoddha Sangshad Belayet Hossain said: “The emergency department has not started yet.” Upazila unit BNP President A Latif said, “As Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, who has been awarded life sentence for crimes against humanity, has contributed to the construction of the health complex. So, a group of people do not want the hospital to be run fully.” Motiur Rahman, Awami League upa-

zila unit president, “Around 125,000 people live in the upazila. They have to travel around 18km to get treatment at the hospitals situated in Pirojpur town. I also demand the opening of services for indoor departments.” Chief Assistant of Pirojpur Public Health Engineering Department Selim Ahmed said, “The hospital was built with a cost of Tk6 crore.” Accountant of the health complex, Mithun Roy said, “There are 10 posts for doctors and 71 posts for third and fourth class employees. But only three doctors and 58 third and fourth class employees are available in the hospital.” Storekeeper Md Riaz Hossain said, “The health complex has been suffering from lack of beds and other equipment shortage for the last three years.” He added, “Medicines last came a month ago. Contractors were hired to deliver stationery goods and foods on March 10.” Upazila health and Family Planning Officer Prashanta Kumar Biswas said, “Around 150-200 patients come every day to take treatments. But they only get prescriptions.” Medical Officer of the health complex Tanzila Zaman said, “No waters are available in the hospital for doing regular works. “As the administrative department cannot work properly, doctors are giving prescriptions without tickets.” Civil Surgeon of the district Dr Md Abdul Gani said, “The overall medical facilities and services will be available for patients soon.” The hospital was built on five acres on land. The construction work ended in 2008 and the hospital remained open for patients since 2009. “If we have to go somewhere else, then why was this hospital built,” he asked. l

The photo taken recently shows a portion of the Sitalakkhya River grabbed by a section of influential people for brick business, putting the river in perilous state

Punishment for rapists demanded n Our Correspondent, Rajbari People from all walks of life joined hands yesterday to form a human chain in front of Rajbari Press Club in Sadar upazila demanding capital punishment for the rapists of a woman who was killed after a gang rape on March 1 in speedy train. According to police sources, Morzina Khatoon ,20, daughter of Abdus Sukur Mandal of Gangaprosadpur village under Mizanpur union in the upazila, also a student of Rajbari Govt Adarsho Mo-

hila College, was killed after gang rape while she was returning home from the college by Nokshikatha mail train. “The GRP police found the body hanging from the ceiling in compartment 5002 when the train reached Pangsha Rail Station,” said SI Babon Uddin Mollah , investigation officer(IO) of the case. Ahamed Mandal, uncle of the victim, said Morzina had been married off with police constable Mamun Mollah, son of Helal Uddin Mollah of Jhawudi village under Rotondia in Kalukhali upazila of the district.

Police foil child marriage n Our Correspondent, Gazipur

A marriage attempt of a 15-year girl was foiled by the police in Sorol village of Gazipur’s sadar upazila on Sunday night. Five people were arrested including the bride, groom and two assistants of the kazi, a marriage register for Muslims, in this connection. However, the kazi could not be arrested as he was not at the scene during the time. The detainees were Shaheb Ali alias Shahaz Uddin, his son and the groom Saddam Hossain, 22, two assistants of Kazi, Mosharraf Hossain, 35 and Jahirul Sarker, 30 and the bride Amena Akhter, 15, daughter of Akbar Hossain of Kaliganj upazila. According to police and locals, Amena was having an affair with Saddam for which she left her parents’ house and went to his house. Later, Saddam’s parents arranged their marriage. Upon learning the matter, Amena’s parents informed the police after which they stopped the marriage. Sub-Inspector Mobarak Hossain of Pubail police camp under Joydebpur police station said: “Amena is a class X student of a school in Tumilia area under Kaliganj upazila. She is not yet an adult. So, we arrested them.” l

Five held for trafficking ivory n Our Correspondent, Bandarban A joint force composed of Ansar and the police detained five for allegedly trafficking tusks of wild elephants from Lama upazila of Bandarban on Sunday. The five detainees are Maikau Hla Marma, 37, Md Jakir Hossain, 34, Mohammad Selim, 32, Sayed Ahmad, 39 and Almas Khatun, 45 – residents of Chokoria under Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar and Lama upazila. Officer-in-Charge of Lama police station Md Shahjahan said: “They were arrested while carrying tusks of two wild elephants by rickshaw for trafficking.” They had killed the two elephants in Lama upazila and had stolen their tusks, he said. Number of wild elephants is declining in the district day by day in the face of hunting, deforestation, and lack of food. l

Three cloth stores burn down in a fire that took place in New Market area of Satkhira town in the early hours of yesterday

Indefinite transport strike starts today in Bandarban Correspondent, n Our Bandarban Leaders and workers of ChokoriaLama-Alikodom Road Transport Owners’ Committee has called a transport strike for indefinite period in Lama and Alikodom upazila in Bandarban from today demanding discontinuation of carrying passengers on motorcycles. They said they had been providing transport services to the locals

in the two upazilas for last 32 years. However, recently a local group had purchased over 150 motorcycles and had been charging people Tk300 for a ride on the roads of Chokoria, Lama, Alikodom, Thanchi, Sualok and Gozalia. Owners and workers of three wheelers echoed with the committee members. As a result, the owners and workers of bus and three wheelers were counting losses, they said.

Vice-president of the committee Mohammad Hossain said: “We had sought help from the local administration many times to solve the matter. But, we did not receive any result. So, we have called for a strike.” Officer-in-Charge of Lama police station Shah Jahan Khan said: “We have conducted drives many times to remove the illegal motorcycles from the upazila. But, the locals protested our move.” l

Assistant primary school teachers go for movement n UNB Assistant Teachers of Primary Schools Society (ATPSS) yesterday announced a series of programmes to press home their demands, including removal of salary disparity with the head masters and cent percent promotion. According to the programmes an-

nounced from a national convention held at Suritola Government Primary School in the capital, teachers of primary schools across the country will enforce a 10-day work abstention for one hour from 10am beginning on April 1, along with a signature campaign of the teachers to be placed to the prime minister. l

LOST My original marksheet of SSC Exam 1979 got lost. Name: Sharmin Haq, Roll: Ma 2855, Registration: No: 126-1977, Dhaka Board. GD No: 790, Date: 16.03.2014, Dhanmondi Police Station.

Family members said Mamun had cut off relations with Morzina after a few days of the marriage. Officer-in-Charge of Sadar police station Md Abdul Khaleque said Morzina was killed after being raped by goons hired by Mamun. He said the police were trying to arrest the rapists immediately . The human chain was addressed among others by father of the victim Abdus Sukur Mandal, UP Member Mohammad Machem Ali Sheikh and Abdur Rasheed Sheikh. l

Arms seized in Jessore, one held n Our Correspondent, Jessore Members of Border Guard Bangladesh seized arms and ammunition, and arrested a man in this connection in Jessore. Raiding a house at Baropota village along Putkhali frontier under Benapole port police station, the BGB men seized three 7.65 pistols, 6 magazines and five rounds of bullets and arrested Imarul, a local resident, for keeping the arms and ammos in his possession, said Lt Col Matiur Rahman, commanding officer, 26 Border Guard Battalion. l


Long Form

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Cashing in the cow The intertwined fate of the export sector and the rationale for government subsidy


Akhter and n Khaleda Nadee Nabaneeta

pared to the match period of FY2013. The fall of raw jute export has been drastic (-21.24%) over July to January of FY2014 compared to the same time last year. Graph 1 shows the growth of the different export commodities in


angladesh owes its growth of the past two decades to the success of the export sector that has been the driving wheel of the economy and has earned Bangladesh the proud label of being one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In spite of the phenomenal growth and strength it has rendered to the economy, the mighty sector has not been free from blows and shocks that it handled with utmost resilience. The recent past has been another dismal scene for the sector with political disruptions, global economic crisis and other unwanted incidents threatening to bring the industry to its knees. However, to the relief of the economy, the sector has stood strong against the wind and succeeded to maintain a sturdy growth. In the backdrop of all the shocks, the government of Bangladesh has planned to cooperate and compensate the exporters for their losses through various cash and non-cash measures. In this article, we aim to look into the rationale of such incentives and their effectiveness. Let’s take a look at the current export scene before going into the rationale for providing government incentives. The significant export growth of 15.08% during July to January of Fiscal Year 2014, compared to the corresponding period of FY2013 was a big achievement given the political turbulence that created unwanted supply-side glitches during that period. The RMG sector along with other growing export sectors like leather, shrimp, footwear and pharmaceuticals have contributed meaningfully to the growth of the export sector during the first seven months of FY2014 com-





Raw Jute Knit




FY2014 and FY2013 (July-January). Market decomposition analysis shows that the robust growth of RMG sector can be traced from the export growth to the US and EU markets. In between July to October of FY2014 the exports from Bangladesh to US markets rose by 17.6% compared to its corresponding period in FY2013 closely followed by India and Vietnam. On the other hand, Bangladeshi RMG exports to EU markets grew by 16.6% between July to September of FY2014 compared to matched period last year. However, trade with India over the concerned period has experienced a sharp decline (-31.72%) hinting at the mighty impact of the political turbulence on trade relation between these two neighbouring nations heavily dependent on the roads and land

35 30 Growth of RMG export to EU 27 FY14 (July-Sept)

25 20 15

Growth of RMG export to USA FY14 (July-Sept)






na et on



Vi In d


ex ico




Tu rk ey

0 Ba ng lad es h Ca m bo di a

Frozen Food




Home Textiles Leather

Growth Jul-Jan F13

Growth Jul-Jan F14




routes for their trades (Graph 2). The list of disruptions caused due to these political shutdowns include but is not limited to lower production, order cancellation, shipment delay, higher transportation cost, high cost of doing business and other losses

incurred by vandalism. The blockades severely hindered the smooth flow of raw materials and capital machineries to and from the ports leading to delayed production process, missed deadlines, cancelled orders and congestion related problems both at the ports and warehouses. The transport cost escalation was reflected directly through the higher cost of doing business for the exporters and loss of profitability. There are also cases of inability to get transport for goods on time even at high prices due to the vandalism during hartals and blockades. The higher cost of doing business teamed with lost capacity forced many firms to shut down during this period. Although a perfect figure for losses incurred by the export sector is unavailable, we can certainly conclude that the exporters had higher costs during this crisis. A common fear among the stakeholders in the aftermath of the tarnished reputation and missed deadlines that have already spurted out in the form of cancelled orders and orders shifted to other countries. Exporters have assumed 30-40% declines in orders received in the apparel sector. BGMEA estimates a total loss of USD 5.56m due to order cancellations. Further, cases have been reported of orders being shifted to Vietnam, India and Indonesia. In the face of the current situation and the roars of demand emancipating from various export groups the government has extended its hands of cooperation by offering some incentives to the export oriented industries

like cash subsidy, loan rescheduling and reduction at tax source. Among the notable initiatives are Bangladesh Bank’s scheme to provide loan upto $10m from Export Development Fund (EDF) at a rate of 1.5% and a 3% subsidy on export loans to encourage export sector. The government itself has decided to reduce tax at source from 0.80% to 0.30% for the apparel and textile sector, provide cash incentives for the apparel sector against telegraphic transfer (TT) and provide cash subsidy worth Tk25.92bn to several export sectors. The jute and jute products sector will receive Tk3.47bn as cash incentive in the FY2013-2014 while agro based and agro processed products will enjoy 20% cash incentive followed by leather industry which will receive 15%, shrimp and fisheries 10% and home textile 5%. A stimulus package for the exporters in general is under discussion but has not seen daylight as yet. The economic argument in favour of subsidisation is that if an important industry may run into serious temporary difficulties and be in danger of ceasing operations, then the government can subsidise the industry with direct cash support or loan guarantees. The broad argument in favour of these policies for the export sector is given below: • Reduce the loss in the export sector • Offset high cost of doing business in the short term, and • Higher export earnings Advancing export sector through incentives might increase the output as well as the aggregate demand in the economy. These initiatives can help export oriented sectors to reduce the losses due to the crisis and to boost the export earnings in near future. However, the initiatives have several implications for the economy in the long run. Government cash subsidy will lead to an expansionary fiscal policy, which will raise the government expenditure. Since the government needs to go for expansionary fiscal policy, it is implicit that the pressure of this expenditure either has to be borne out by the public in terms of higher taxes or the government needs to borrow from public and private sources to support these measures. Loan rescheduling and other facilities also create severe pressure in the banking sector of the economy. Reductions of taxes also have negative impact on the government earnings. The fiscal incentives/measures do have higher opportunity cost as the government has limited resources. Hence, increased allocation for export sector might reduce the allocation from other priority sectors such as

infrastructure, health or education which have higher implications on poverty reduction for Bangladesh. Theoretically, under flexible exchange rates, expansionary fiscal policy is ineffective in bringing about the desired goals. However, Bangladesh as a growing economy with a booming export sector may not face total offsetting of next exports due to interest rate increase rendering the expansionary fiscal policy partially, even if not totally, effective. Several country experiences showed that the notion of higher output due to the subsidy may be less than optimal because of underlying market failures. Therefore, these supportive measures for the exporters need to have an economic efficiency rationale; and a social equity perspective should also be taken into account. Social equity has its own importance in the context of Bangladesh’s economy due to the number of poor

Total concentration on the RMG sector when devising the incentives may have implicit flaws in that other potential export sectors like shrimp and fisheries, leather, footwear and bicycle may need more impetus than the existing giants

and disadvantaged people and the strong presence of the informal sector in the economy. Total concentration on the RMG sector when devising the incentives may have implicit flaws in that other potential export sectors like shrimp and fisheries, leather, footwear and bicycle may need more impetus than the existing giants. More concentration on these growing sectors may help create a more diversified and well-balanced export sector with reduced burden on the RMG sector. Providing subsidies to large sectors might also deprive the small and medium scale enterprises. Therefore, it is needless to mention that the selection criteria of the exporters from varied industries need to be transparent ºand accountable. Political patronage should not be given any consideration while giving cash subsidy, tax reduction, and loan rescheduling benefit to promote the export sector. l Khaleda Akhter is Senior Research Associate and Nadee Nabaneeta Imran is Research Intern at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Moscow wins overwhelming Crimea vote n Reuters, Simferopol Crimea’s Moscow-backed leaders declared a 96-percent vote in favor of quitting Ukraine and annexation by Russia in a referendum Western powers said was illegal and will bring immediate sanctions. As state media in Russia carried a startling reminder of its power to turn the United States to “radioactive ash,” President Barack Obama spoke to Vladimir Putin, telling the Russian president that he and his European allies were ready to impose “additional costs” on Moscow for violating Ukraine’s territory. The Kremlin and the White House issued statements saying Obama and Putin saw diplomatic options to resolve what is the gravest crisis in EastWest relations since the Cold War. But Obama said Russian forces must first end “incursions” into its ex-Soviet neighbor while Putin renewed his accusation that the new leadership in Kiev, brought to power by an uprising last month against his elected Ukrainian ally, were failing to protect Russian-speakers from violent Ukrainian nationalists. Moscow defended a military takeover of the majority ethnic Russian Crimea by citing a right to protect “peaceful citizens.” Ukraine’s interim government has mobilized troops to defend against an invasion of its eastern mainland, where pro-Russian protesters have been involved in deadly clashes in recent days. With three-quarters of Sunday’s votes counted in Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula that is home to 2m people, 95.7%had supported annexation by Russia, chief electoral official Mikhail Malyshev, was quoted as saying by local media. Turnout was 83 percent, he added - a high figure given that many who

opposed the move had said they would boycott the vote. Russia’s lower house of parliament will pass legislation allowing Crimea to join Russia “in the very near future,” news agency Interfax cited its deputy speaker as saying yesterday. “Results of the referendum in Crimea clearly showed that residents of Crimea see their future only as part of Russia,” Sergei Neverov was quoted as saying. Japan yesterday echoed Western nations in rejecting the referendum and called on Russia not to annex Crimea. US and European officials say military action is unlikely over Crimea, which Soviet rulers handed to Ukraine 60 years ago. But the risk of a wider Russian incursion, as Putin probes Western weakness and tries to restore Moscow’s influence over its old Soviet empire, leaves NATO calculating how to help Kiev without triggering what some Ukrainians call “World War Three.” “We hope all parties can calmly maintain restraint to prevent the situation from further escalating and worsening. Political resolution and dialogue is the only way out,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong told reporters yesterday, ahead of a visit to Europe by President Xi Jinping later this month. China avoided making a comment on the Crimea referendum and has said it does not back sanctions on Moscow - a close diplomatic ally and key economic partner. For now, a pressing concern for the governments in Kiev and Moscow is the transfer of control of Ukrainian military bases. Many of the bases are surrounded and under control by Russian forces, even though Moscow formally denies it has troops in the territory beyond facilities it leases for its important Black Sea Fleet. On Sunday, the Ukrainian and Russian militaries agreed on a truce in Crimea until March 21, Ukraine’s government said. l

‘Russia a gas station masquerading as a country’ n Agencies

Pro-Russian Crimeans wave Russian flags as they gather to celebrate in Simferopol’s Lenin Square on March 16, after exit polls showed that about 93%of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia AFP

Crimea’s first steps to joining Russia n AFP, Simferopol Crimea launched a raft of measures yesterday to facilitate its entry into Russia, a day after the separatist region voted overwhelmingly to split from Ukraine. Here is a summary of its first political, economic and military steps.

Independence declaration Crimea’s regional assembly declared independence from Ukraine and appealed for recognition from the international community. “The Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea... declares Crimea an independent sovereign state – the Republic of Crimea,” said a document approved by the assembly. “The republic of Crimea appeals to the United Nations and to all countries of the world to recognise it as an independent state.”

Application to join Russia The authorities simultaneously applied to become part of Russia, reversing a 1954 move

US Navy takes control of North Korean oil tanker n AFP, Washington

Syrian army pursues rebels near Lebanon border

US Navy Seals boarded and took control of a North Korea-flagged tanker that had loaded crude oil at a port held by rebels in eastern Libya, the Pentagon said yesterday. No one was hurt “when US forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.  The operation was approved by President Barack Obama and was conducted just after 0200 GMT yesterday “in international waters southeast of Cyprus.”  The Morning Glory “is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government’s National Oil Company. The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained from the Libyan port of As-Sidra,” the statement read.  The tanker will be “underway soon to a port in Libya” with a team of US sailors aboard. It was reported to have loaded at least 234,000 barrels of crude. l

Syrian regime forces were yesterday readying an assault on the last rebel-held areas in the Qalamoun mountains, strategically located on the Lebanese border, after overrunning key opposition bastion Yabrud. The capture on Sunday of Yabrud by Syrian troops and fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah marked a significant setback for the rebels as it severs their supply lines from across the Lebanese border. “The army will under the battle plan launch operations in all areas where terrorists are to be found,” said a security source in Damascus, using the regime’s term for rebels. These included Rankus, south of Yabrud, and Ras al-Maarra and Flita, northwest of the town. “The aim of the army operation is to entirely secure the border and to close all corridors to Lebanon,” the source added. An AFP reporter entered Yabrud, north of Damascus, after the army on Sunday declared it had seized full control of the town.

n AFP, Damascus

‘Very difficult battle’

Exhausted Syrian soldiers sat in the streets after seizing the town in fierce clashes with the support of battle-hardened fighters from Shiite militant group Hezbollah and pro-regime militiamen. “It was a very difficult battle, possibly the most difficult we have faced,” a soldier who identified himself as Abu Mohammed told AFP in Yabrud’s central square between puffs from a water-pipe. A source close to Hezbollah in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley told AFP that the battlefield victory came after a Hezbollah commando raid on Yabrud during which 13 rebel leaders were killed. Among those killed, said the source, was Abu Azzam al-Kuwaiti, a key Al-Nusra Front commander in Yabrud. The fighting along the border has sparked a fresh flight of civilians into Lebanon, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “So far 150 families have crossed the border since Yabrud fell,” said the UNHCR’s Lisa Abu Khaled. “NGOs there were on standby so they have handed out food, blankets, etc, and the UN plans to register the arrivals this week,” she added. l

by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who had handed the peninsula as a “gift” to Ukraine, then still a Soviet republic. “The Republic of Crimea... applies to the Russian Federation to accept the Republic of Crimea as a member of the Russian Federation,” they said.

Nationalisation of Ukrainian state property The assembly decreed the nationalisation of all Ukrainian state property in Crimea, saying: “All establishments, businesses and other organisations of Ukraine or with Ukrainian participation on the territory of Crimea will belong to Crimea.” It also noted that Ukrainian law would no longer apply in the breakaway region, nor would decisions taken by Kiev since the ouster of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last month. “The activities of state institutions of Ukraine on the territory of Crimea are finished and their powers, their property and their budgets are transferred to the state organs of the Republic of Crimea,” it said.

Military control Crimea moved to rid the peninsula of Ukrainian forces, with regional assembly chief Volodymyr Konstantynov saying they would be given two alternatives: to swear allegiance to the local authorities or leave. Konstantynov was earlier quoted by Russian media as saying all Ukrainian military units on the peninsula would be “disbanded” as part of the nationalisation of Ukrainian state property.

Accepting Russian currency The Russian ruble was introduced as a second official currency in Crimea alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia, which will continue to be valid in Crimea until January 1, 2016.

Switch to Moscow time zone In perhaps the most potentially confusing move yet, Crimea’s local prime minister Sergiy Aksyonov tweeted that from March 30, the region would switch to Moscow time (GMT +4), two hours ahead of clocks in Ukraine. l

Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 United States election, called for “a fundamental re-assessment” of the United States’ relationship with Russian Vladimir Putin. “No more reset buttons,” McCain told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “No more reset buttons, no more ‘Tell Vladimir I’ll be more flexible.’ Treat him for what he is. That does not mean re-ignition of the Cold War.” McCain, who has been critical of the Obama administration’s response to the crisis in Crimea, said the White House should target Russia’s oil exports. “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country. It’s kleptocracy, it’s corruption. It’s a nation that’s really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy. And so economic sanctions are important.” l

‘World should welcome Crimea joining Russia’ n AFP, Moscow The world should welcome the prospect of Crimea becoming part of Russia as it rectifies a historic mistake from the Soviet era, the Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev said yesterday. Gorbachev said that Crimea had only ended up in the territory of post-Soviet Ukraine because it had been transferred from Russia by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev when both countries were part of the USSR. “For sanctions to be imposed there should be a very serious basis. And they must be supported by the United Nations,” Gorbachev told the Interfax news agency. “The possible taking of Crimea into Russian territory does not constitute such a basis,” he added, describing the referendum where almost 97%voted in favour of Crimea joining Russia “as a success.” l

Thousands take to West Bank streets to support Abbas n AFP, Ramallah

Venice votes on cutting ties with Italy

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of West Bank cities yesterday in support of president Mahmud Abbas’s visit to Washington for talks with Barack Obama on the peace process with Israel. Demonstrators waved the Palestinian national flag as well as that of Abbas’s Fatah party, chanting “we are with you, president!” as Abbas was to weigh up an anticipated US request to extend the faltering negotiations with Israel. “We’re here today to stand up to pressures upon us and make sure president Abbas adheres to his convictions,” said Nasser Eddin al-Shaer – former Palestinian education minister and member of Fatah’s Islamist rivals Hamas – who joined a 5,000-strong rally in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Some 1,500 people turned out in the West Bank administrative centre of Ramallah, and more than 1,000 in the southern flashpoint city of Hebron. Abbas was to meet President Obama in Washington yesterday, as an April 29 deadline for the nine-month negotiations loomed. l

Italians in Venice and its surrounding region are voting this week on whether to break away from rest of the country and form their own country, organisers told AFP yesterday. The online vote, organised by local independence parties, is not legally binding but aims to galvanise support for a bill calling for a referendum on whether the region of Veneto should split from Italy. The new Republic of Veneto would be inspired by the ancient Venetian republic – a rich economic, cultural and trading power which existed from the 7th century until its fall to Napoleon in 1797. The Indipendenza Veneta party behind the bill said the separatist movement was fuelled by the government’s apparent inability to stamp down on corruption, protect its citizens from a damaging recession and plug waste in the poorer south. “We no longer want to be part of a country that has gone to the wall. Nothing works anymore,” Nicola Gardin from the party said.

n AFP, Rome

“Italy is weighed down by an enormous level of public debt, thousands of businesses have closed, we have lost count of the number of people who have committed suicide in Veneto,” he said. The region pays around 71bn euros ($98.5bn) in taxes to Rome, 21bn euros more than it receives in investment and services. The latest polls show that – of the 3.8m people eligible to vote in the region – around 60%is in favour of independence. Despite protests that any attempt to split from Italy would be unconstitutional, the governor of the Veneto region Luca Zaia has told Italian media that secession is an option under international law. Venetians will be closely watching independence movements in Scotland – which will hold a referendum in September – and Catalonia, he said. “If Barcelona gets independence, Veneto could adopt the same method and get it too. We have knocked politely on the door of federalism, but it did not open. Now we will break down the door,” he said. l

Sinai militants outwit Egyptian army n Reuters, Al-Lafitaat, Egypt

Boys look at a burnt area around a house after assaults on militant targets by the Egyptian Army, in a village on the outskirts of Sheikh Zuweid, near the city of El-Arish in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula REUTERS

Egypt’s army says it is crushing Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula, but in the region’s villages and towns a victory for the state feels a long way off. In a rare visit to eight villages in Northern Sinai last week, a Reuters reporter saw widespread destruction caused by army operations, but also found evidence that a few hundred militants are successfully playing a catand-mouse game with the Arab world’s biggest army and are nowhere near defeat. It is increasingly difficult for foreign correspondents to openly enter conflict zones in the Sinai. Residents say the militants - a mix of Egyptian Islamists, foreign fighters and disgruntled youth - have seized control of about a third of the villages in the region and are now taking their fight closer to Cairo. “The army is in control of the main roads but is unable to enter many villages. It can only attack them by helicopter,” said Mustafa Abu Salman, who lives near al-Bars village.

“Even when the army’s armored personnel vehicles enter villages they fail to arrest militants who have better knowledge of the place, which the military completely lacks.” Many residents say that the authorities’ military operations are actually creating new enemies for the state. The fight against militant Islam is a key test for the interim government in Cairo. Sinai-based militants stepped up attacks on police and soldiers last year, soon after Egypt’s army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and tried him on a wide range of charges. The violence has left 300 people dead and hammered Egypt’s economy, which has not recovered from the political turmoil that began in early 2011 when a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak. The army and the government say they are beating the militants. In an attempt to stop the illegal flow of arms, Egyptian authorities have destroyed thousands of tunnels that ran under the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, which borders North Sinai. Sisi has described the Sinai opera-

tion as an ongoing security campaign to rid the region of extremists and criminals. The Sinai, he has said, is a top security priority. So far, though, local residents say the military is making little progress. The army’s blunt tactic of rocketing suspected hideouts is failing, they say, because the militants have mastered the terrain. They move around villages using alleyways where it is difficult to spot them from the air, and mix with civilians or hide in olive groves. The effort to stop the flow of weapons is also a struggle, they say, in large part because smugglers are bringing in weapons from Libya. “The army has entered a war, but it is not specialized in this type of war, which requires special counter-insurgency forces, not an army,” said Mussab Abu Fajr, a Bedouin leader in the Sinai’s main city of al-Arish. An army official in Cairo said the Sinai militants had made a strategic move to shift operations to other places in Egypt. If Sisi becomes president, the attacks are most probably going to increase. l




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Did the missing jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? n Agencies The missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370 may have been deliberately flown under the radar to Taliban-controlled bases on the border of Afghanistan, it has emerged, as authorities said that the final message sent from the cockpit came after one of the jet’s communications systems had already been switched off. Eight days after the Boeing 777 vanished, the Independent has learnt that Malaysian authorities are seeking diplomatic permission to investigate a theory that the plane was flown to one of a number of Taliban strongholds on the Afghan border in North West Pakistan. The latest revelation came as it was revealed that the final message sent to air traffic controllers from the jet’s cockpit “ All right, good night” - was spoken after someone on board had already disabled the plane’s ACARS reporting system. Around 14 minutes later someone also switched off the plane’s transponder, which identifies it to commercial radar systems. Malaysian Air force Major General Affendi Buang told reporters that the two separate actions, along with the calm message in between, “will tell you something” about whether the diversion was deliberate or not. At least 25 countries are now assisting in the search for the plane, intensifying challenges of co-ordinating ground, sea and aerial efforts. Countries known to be involved include Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, with special assistance regarding satellite data requested from the US, China and France. On Sunday Malaysian officials examined a sophisticated flight simulator belonging to the chief pilot of the missing jet, after experts said only a trained person could have turned off the plane’s communication equipment and flown it off course without being detected. Working on the theory that the plane was intentionally flown off course, po-

lice have delved into the backgrounds of captain Zaharie Ahmed Shah, 53, and 27-year-old co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid. Their homes were searched on Saturday, and on Sunday, experts examined the simulator Mr Shah kept in his home which he had built himself. There have been no reported sightings or concrete leads on the whereabouts of the jet, which vanished from radar screens shortly after it took off in Kuala Lumpur at 00.40am on the morning of 8 March, destination Beijing. The final confirmed location for MH370 on civilian radar was at 1.21am, but it was spotted less than an hour later on military radar, far to the west of that position. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak revealed that “ping” signals from the plane was last received at 8.11am. Based on data collated by the British company Inmarsat’s satellite network, at that point the plane was on one of two possible arcs - one stretching north from Thailand to Kazakhstan and crossing more than 10 countries, and one to the south over Indonesia and out across the southern Indian ocean. Experts have said the aircraft could have been on the ground when it sent its satellite signals. Boeing 777s need a runway of at least 5,000ft long, limiting the number of possible sites within the 2,200 nautical mile-radius it is believed the plane could have flown from its last known position. Last night sources in Kuala Lumpur assisting with the investigation told The Independent that full diplomatic permissions were being sought in order to rule out the theory that the plane could have flown to areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan that are not under government control. Large areas of the southern half of Afghanistan are ruled by the Afghan Taliban, while some areas of northwest Pakistan, adjacent to or near to the Afghan border, are controlled by the Pakistani Taliban. l

A performer poses in front of messages expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370. An investigation into the pilots of the missing jet intensified yesterday after officials confirmed that the last words spoken from the cockpit came after a key signalling system was manually disabled AFP

India denies ‘9/11-style attack’ theory n AFP, New Delhi

India rejected suggestions yesterday that it could have been the intended target of a 9/11-style attack by the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised maximum assistance in the massive hunt for Flight 370, India’s foreign minister said it was vital that the mystery over its fate was cleared up. But asked by the CNN-IBN network about suggestions that the plane was hijacked with the aim of flying it into an Indian city, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid replied: “I don’t think we have gone that far.” The speculation was fuelled by for-

mer US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott who tweeted that the “direction, fuel load & range now lead some to suspect hijackers planned a 9/11type attack on an Indian city.” His comments over the weekend have been widely picked up by the Indian media and Khurshid said people needed answers to allay their fears. “We hope to come to some conclusion that is both credible and reassuring,” he said. The Times of India  said security sources had «rubbished» the idea that the plane could have got anywhere close to an urban centre and insisted it would have been detected by a naval base on the Andaman islands, more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) off

n Agencies

Indian fishermen walk after they were freed by a local Sri Lankan court at Katchchativu in Jaffna District. The straying of fishermen from the two neighbouring countries into each othersí territory has become a thorny issue for Colombo and New Delhi AFP

Sri Lanka has arrested two leading rights activists including a Catholic priest under anti-terrorism laws, police and campaigners said yesterday, before an expected UN censure vote later this month. Father Praveen Mahesan, head of the Peace and Reconciliation Centre in the war-torn Jaffna region, and Ruki Fernando of the Colombo-based INFORM advocacy group were detained on Sunday as they met relatives who lost loved ones during the Tamil separatist conflict. “The two suspects were arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act for trying to cause communal disharmony and disturbance,” said police spokesman Superintendent Ajith Rohana. While the spokesman did not name the pair, the Asian Human Rights Council said Fernando and Father Praveen were detained on a visit to Kilinochchi. The city was the last major stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels before they were routed at the end of the war in 2009. l

“Operations are suspended as of now, everything is grounded,” Indian Navy spokesman D.K. Sharma said. “Malaysian authorities will now decide and tell us where to go. They have asked us to be on standby for now. We are awaiting further instructions. Once we have them, we will move.” Prime Minister Singh’s office said that his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak, in a phone call late Sunday, had requested “technical assistance from Indian authorities in corroborating the possible paths that the missing Malaysian airliner might have taken.” Singh “assured all possible assistance from concerned Indian authorities,” the office said in a statement. l

India’s arms imports almost three times of China, Pakistan


Sri Lanka arrests rights activists ahead of UN meeting n AFP, Colombo

the Indian mainland. “There is no way our military radars would have missed the airliner as it flew over Andaman Sea, as there is high traffic around that time,” one military intelligence source told the paper. The US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan meanwhile said it was not looking for the missing plane there, and Islamabad’s Civil Aviation Authority said the flight never appeared on Pakistani radar. Indian ships and planes scoured the seas off the sprawling Andamans archipelago last week but they suspended their search on Sunday as they awaited fresh instructions from Malaysian authorities.

China rejects N Korean crimes report n Reuters, Geneva China dismissed a UN  report  alleging North Korea has committed crimes against humanity yesterday, effectively confirming the fears of human rights advocates that Beijing will shield its ally  Pyongyang  from international prosecution. The  report, published in February, accused the reclusive country of killings and torture comparable to Nazi-era atrocities and said officials, possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un himself, should face the International Criminal Court (ICC). Chen Chuandong, a counsellor at  China’s mission in Geneva, told the UN Human Rights Council that the independent commission of inquiry had made unfounded accusations and made recommendations that were “divorced from reality.” “The inability of the commission to get support and cooperation from the country concerned makes it impossible for the commission to carry out its mandate in an impartial, objective and effective manner,” Chen said.

China, as a member of the UN Security Council, would have the power to veto any move to refer North Korea to the Hague-based ICC. Diplomats had already warned  China  was likely to object to the  report, which also criticised Beijing for its treatment of North Korean defectors. The chief author of the  report, retired Australian judge  Michael Kirby, had opened the debate by challenging the United Nations to act to stop crimes against humanity that ranked among the worst in modern history. “Contending with the scourges of Nazism, apartheid, the  Khmer Rouge  and other affronts required courage by great nations and ordinary human beings alike,» Kirby said. “It is now your solemn duty to address the scourge of human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” Kirby said the team’s findings, based on testimony from hundreds of victims, defectors and witnesses, were unequivocal, and demanded closure of political prison camps believed to hold up to 120,000 people. l

India’s continuing failure to build a robust defence industrial base (DIB) has come into focus once again, with an international thinktank saying its arms imports are now almost three times as high as those of the second and third largest arms importers, China and Pakistan, the Times of India reported. As per the latest data on international arms transfers released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the volume of Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111% between 2004-08 and 2009-13, and its share of the volume of international arms imports increased from 7% to 14%. The major suppliers of arms to India in 2009-13 were Russia (accounting for 75% of imports) and the US (7%), which for the first time became the second largest arms supplier to India, said SIPRI. As ear-

BJP: Congress a ‘sinking ship’ n Agencies Terming Congress a “sinking ship,” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley yesterday said even its senior leaders have decided to desert the party while some are refusing to contest the Lok Sabha elections. “Faced with odds, even senior leaders have decided to desert the sinking ship. Some are refusing to contest. Others are feigning ill health for not contesting,” the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha wrote on his website.  Attacking Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, he said, the Congress leader “has decided to talk up the morale of his party” in these difficult times.  “He claims that opinion polls are jokes and that the Congress would improve upon its 2009 tally. If this is sheer bravado in order to lift the sinking morale of the Congressman, it is understandable. However, if he genuinely believes this to be true then surely he is completely cut off from reality,” Jaitley, who is BJP’s candidate from Amritsar in Punjab, said.  He said several UPA partners, who had extended their support to the government in the past, are now distancing themselves from the Congress. l

lier reported by TOI, the US has already bagged defence deals close to $10bn over the last decade in the lucrative Indian defence market, with the latest being the $1.01bn one for six additional C-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft. The other deals on the anvil are the ones for 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, four P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, together worth another $4bn or so. SIPRI, on its part, said the USA’s share of Pakistani imports in the same period was 27%. China was also a major supplier in the region, accounting for 54% of Pakistani arms imports and 82% of Bangladeshi imports. “Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations,” said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI. In particular, China and the US

appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region, he added. The five largest suppliers of major weapons during the five-year period 2009-13 were the United States (29% of global arms exports), Russia (27%), Germany (7%), China (6%) and France (5%). Despite India’s emergence as the world’s largest arms importer over the last decade, the modernisation of its armed forces continues to take place in a haphazard manner due to the lack of concrete strategic planning in tune with the country’s long-term geopolitical objectives, as reported by TOI earlier. China, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the fastest growing arms exporter around the globe after assiduously building a strong DIB. It’s now hawking fighter jets, warships, missiles and smaller arms to countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bolivia and Zambia. l

Nasa study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ n Agencies Modern civilisation is heading for collapse within a matter of decades because of growing economic instability and pressure on the planet’s resources, according to a scientific study funded by Nasa. Using theoretical models to predict what will happen to the industrialised world over the course of the next century or so, mathematicians found that even with conservative estimates things started to go very badly, very quickly.  Referring to the past collapses of often very sophisticated civilisations - the Roman, Han and Gupta Empires for example - the study noted that the elite of society have often pushed for a “business as usual” approach to warnings of disaster until it is too late.  In the report based on his “Human And Nature Dynamical” (Handy) model, the applied mathematician Safa Motesharri wrote: “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.”  His research, carried out with the help of a team of natural and social scientists and with funding from Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has been accepted for publication in the Ecological Economics

journal, the Guardian reported. Motesharri explored the factors which could lead to the collapse of civilisation, from population growth to climate change, and found that when these converge they can cause society to break down because of the “stretching of resources” and “the economic stratification of society into ‘Elites’ and ‘Masses’.”  Using his Handy model to assess a scenario closely resembling the current state of the world, Motesharri found that civilisation “appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among the Masses that eventually causes the collapse of society.”  The report stressed, however, that the worst-case scenario of collapse is not inevitable, and called on action now from the so-called real world “Elites” to restore economic balance.  “Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion,” the scientists said. l




Letters to

Kick start more young entrepreneurs


t is encouraging to see this month’s Startup Weekend, Dhaka conclude by awarding prizes to three new entrepreneurs, giving them access to workspace, seed funding and a tailored mentorship programme. The economy needs many more start up events of this type. Crucially, they attract investors and provide invaluable networking opportunities for young businesses to learn off each other. They offer a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch ideas and put themselves on a path to securing funding. The value added by start-ups extends across the entire economy, by generating new income streams and improving productivity. This can be seen by some of the ideas highlighted by this weekend’s event, including in online retail, software for the RMG sector and apps for on-demand ride-sharing services. Improvements in internet and mobile infrastructure have clearly been vital to progress. The success of NewsCred, a content syndication service started by entrepreneurs from Bangladesh which has to date raised $45 million in venture funding, provides an inspiring example for others to follow. Further improvements are needed for Bangladesh to maximise the demographic dividend offered by over half of its population being less than 25 years old. This extends beyond merely providing better advice and funding for young entrepreneurs. All types and sizes of businesses can benefit from improvements to the regulatory environment to make it easier to set up businesses. Policymakers must take heed of these needs and also keep improving the country’s physical infrastructure and communications, so it can encourage and benefit from more start-ups.

The value added by start-ups extends across the entire economy

Free trade with African states


he commerce secretary is considering proposals for Bangladesh to sign separate free trade agreements with Nigeria and Mali. A feasibility study by the Bangladesh Tariff Commission has recommended agreements with both these countries to encourage bilateral trade in goods and investment. Currently Bangladesh’s total exports to Nigeria and Mali are in the order of $150m a year, so there is huge untapped potential for growth in trade. Nigeria opened up barriers to import various apparel items from Bangladesh last year, so there is already a good foundation from which to build mutual trade and investment. The expertise of Bangladeshi businesses in areas like food processing, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture offers considerable scope for further development and to open up exports of products from other sectors such as light engineering. We welcome the government’s initiative in seeking to open up new non-traditional markets for the country. However, Bangladesh needs to do much more of this in order to grow as a trading nation. This is particularly so in relation to Africa, large parts of which are seeing unprecedented growth in trade and foreign investment. While commentators often focus on China’s huge role in the continent, it is worth noting that trade between India and Africa, which stood at less than $5bn ten years ago, has multiplied more than ten-fold in the last decade. Bangladesh should do more to build bilateral relations with African countries as part of a concerted move to build international trade links.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

the Editor


Meeting held bypassing tribunal’s chief prosecutor

Undressing the American Apparel ad

March 12

It’s a pity that the trial is being hampered not by the activities of Jamaat-Shibir but by the prosecutors themselves. The government should immediately address the matter or else the trial will come under more questions.

March 14 Raju

Khaleda: No transit for India until Teesta treaty signed March 10

Ronnie It’s good to know that the Chairperson referred to all of these very pertinent points at the reception. I endorse and welcome Begum Zia’s remarks about denying transit to India if that country continues to be so callous and intransigent on the Teesta water treaty and intolerable border killings. I expect her to be true to her word, when her party returns to power, and should India continue the reprehensible status quo on both issues. Also, I’d argue that “gratitude” is a truly odd, misplaced notion which should never characterise the relationships between sovereign nations. Bangladesh graciously acknowledges Indian support during the Liberation War, but ought to never be beholden or grateful to that country, in perpetuity. At least, that appears to have always been the politically and morally correct position of BNP and the chairperson. Begum Zia is also spot-on in her other comments made during the ceremony. Sam Ronnie: Well said, to a large extent. That said, I am not sure that a BNP government would be able to do much about it. I am okay giving India transit rights if it is reciprocated via similar rights to Bangladeshis’ commerce going to/from Bhutan and Nepal ... something that India has denied for almost the entire existence of the country. Ronnie Sam: Alas, I recognise the reality of just how daunt-

Bank account with Tk10 for street children

March 11 Good initiative but I don’t understand why NGOs have to be involved! How can NGOs run a bank?! Why not try implementing the project as a (social) business, with the same principles, connected to existing banks?! Vikram Khan

ing a future BNP government will find making India budge from its obdurate, unconscionable denial of Bangladesh’s rights to equitable water-sharing. And this owes much to the fact that this crucial issue has been especially relegated to near-irrelevance by the combined colossal indifference and ineptitude of the ruling regimes of the past seven years. It’s no exaggeration to say that, since 2007, an average Bangladeshi could be forgiven for thinking that a water-sharing dispute with India didn’t even exist. Such has been the abject political apathy and incompetence shown by governments of said period. Of course, the blame for the failure to clinch a just water-sharing pact with India can be variously ascribed to every government in Bangladesh, since independence. But with the current governing party having fresh cause for being personally grateful to our neighbour, I certainly have zero expectations for any serious breakthrough any time soon. That’s why I’m holding out hope for a future BNP government finally making headway on this issue – this time with more prudent planning, savvier negotiating strategy and indefatigable political resolve that will persuade India to finally sign up to a just, credible, and enforceable water-sharing treaty with Bangladesh, benefiting both countries. Granting transit facilities to India must be strictly predicated upon reciprocal concessions by India that are to be clearly aligned with Bangladesh’s own trade requirements and goals. Short of that, India can expect no joy whatsoever, as the BNP Chairperson stated on Sunday. And I’ll hold Begum Zia to her word.

Be Heard

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Shahed Kazi I think it’s silly to make it into such a huge issue. This girl was brought up in USA. It’s silly to have so much expectation from her. She is more of an American than a Bangladeshi. Instead, treat her like you would treat an American model or actress. NTR Let’s face it, what’s bothering everyone is the bare boobs. The ad doesn’t make me want to buy AA or be bare-chested but it does make me happy that a woman born into a religion and culture shoved in her face was able to set free from it and show the world her boobs. Women have boobs, it’s about time everyone got used to it. Traveller_23 NTR: Yes but that’s not the thing actually problematic about the ad. They’re essentially using a cross between racialised sex appeal and the Rana Plaza tragedy to sell clothes. Not worth the furore it’s created IMO, but not a positive image either. Ronnie Traveller_23: You’ve got a point. Advertising can be so cynical. I especially know, because I briefly worked in the industry. Ronnie NTR: People who are bothered by this image can simply look away ... and move on. By the way, this “Made in Bangladesh” is a rather silly turn of phrase. The woman is a human, not an AA t-shirt, so she wasn’t made anywhere, but born in Bangladesh. Anyway, as long as Maks, herself, is totally comfortable and unapologetic about doing this ad, everybody else can save themselves the judgmental sneers. But I don’t really see this as some terrific act of defiance against social conservatism either. Nor is it a particularly top-notch ad, to my eyes. nafees AA has been doing this for a long time with women. Nothing new and now just taking advantage of the Rana Plaza disaster to woo in American buyers. Nothing to do with Bangladesh in general, other than telling us we are disaster prone.


Bangladesh needs to do much more of this in order to grow as a trading nation



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Withdraw (6) 6 Insect (3) 9 Fragrance (5) 10 Discover (4) 11 Stops up (5) 12 Top card (3) 13 Malignant substance (6) 15 Kiln for drying hops (4) 18 Part of a yacht (4) 21 Mode of standing (6) 24 Craft (3) 25 Country (5) 28 Asian republic (4) 29 Disliked intensely (5) 30 Tree (3) 31 Heavenly bodies (6)

DOWN 1 Proportion (5) 2 Period of time (3) 3 Large volumes (5) 4 Little devil (3) 5 Coarse file (4) 6 Prejudice (4) 7 Call for repeat (6) 8 Biblical garden (4) 14 Vex (3) 16 Starry (6) 17 Perfect score (3) 19 Select group (5) 20 Is ahead (5) 21 Auction (4) 22 Minute particle (4) 23 Reflected sound (4) 26 Poor actor (3) 27 Meshed fabric (3)


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





Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The parties need new scripts n Mohammad Ali Sattar


Human life is what matters
















239 greater than 370


n Ikhtisad Ahmed

ull disclosure: Governments the world over have always kept secrets, and guarded them with a ferocious devotion beyond even new mothers in the Serengeti. The cold calculations of the likes of James Bond and Jason Bourne operating in and with secrecy fuels the imagination to conjure images of legions of them working relentlessly for the governments. The distorted lines between fact and fiction were removed altogether when along came WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, and the technology savvy geek armies. Faced with irrefutable proof that there was no full disclosure and probably no privacy, the comfortable façade of Bond, Bourne, and company removed, the world realised how much of a lie it is made to live by those in power. Man’s new best friend became the internet, the very same tool that the governments use for their wicked deeds and the geeks use to uncover the evil. People took to it to spin ever more absurd conspiracy theories. Except, in the 21st century, the much-maligned tin-foil hat has become a badge of honour. Walmart will have a sale on them soon, ethically made in China no doubt. When an aeroplane vanishes without a trace and remains missing for

over a week without any explanations in such a world, the immediate reaction is one of unbridled, almost gleeful conspiracies. There is almost a desire for the search for answers to be prolonged to allow increasingly elaborate plots to be thought up. Extra-terrestrial abduction, a new Bermuda triangle, secret government experiment, one or more governments covering their tracks regarding some misdeed, one or more governments acting pre-emptively to prevent an enemy from gaining an advantage, hijacking, an act of terrorism – everything is plausible, nothing is too bizarre.

complications and security issues that arise out of logging this data – leaves so much to be desired that over 168 hours after this inexplicable disappearance, nothing can conclusively be stated by the authorities. They have tried to reassure the world. 10 of the total of 158 passengers, all deceased, of Air India Flight 812 that crashed in 2010 were travelling on forged or stolen passports. Sorry world, security checks are far from perfect, but rest easy because illegal immigration is more common than terrorism. The last pieces of Air France Flight 447 that went down in 2009, crucially

Amongst all the fanatical fantasies is one truth: There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board

It is impossible for the common man, armed with the knowledge that his location can accurately be tracked if he uses his mobile or some similar form of technology, to comprehend that an aircraft nearly 210 feet long and with a wingspan of almost 200 feet can simply disappear. It is inconceivable in the age of technology that the manner in which planes are tracked – with there being no real-time documentation of any flight, partly owing to legal

amongst them the black boxes and answers, were found over two years after the crash that killed all 228 people on board. Less reassuring is the irritating fact that debris had been located five days after the crash, and general crash and debris sites had been charted shortly after. The mysterious case of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is, therefore, a cruel conspiracy brought to life. Recent findings of the investigators – that the transponder had been shut

down, the automated tracking system had been turned off, and that the Aircraft Communications and Addressing Reporting System had been silenced – coupled with the alarming change of direction long after the last communication and the absence of any distress signal or message points to there being no other explanation. Amongst all the speculation and the fanatical fantasies attempting to make sense of a situation in which the only fact seems to be that there is a dearth of fact is one truth: There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board Flight MH370. They represent 14 nationalities, countries that are trying not to lose hope for their lost sons and daughters. 24 of the 153 Chinese are national treasures – a distinguished group of calligraphers, artists who had attended a cultural exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. 1 of the 3 Americans was making one last trip to China before settling in Malaysia with a new job, 1 of the 5 Indians and his Chinese wife were returning home to their children, 2 of the 38 Malaysians were going on their honeymoon. The 239 people and their loved ones still praying for their safe return represent the only thing that really matters in all of this: Human life and the fact that more can always be done to preserve it. l Ikhtisad Ahmed is a writer and an erstwhile lawyer. He can be contacted on Twitter via @ Ikhtisad.

o, everything is happening within and outside the BNP. The party has been in disarray for the last couple of years. Weaknesses and subsequent failures in organising the party ranks and implementing effective anti-government movements have exposed further cracks along the party line. More damaging for the party hierarchy has been the continuing cold rift among top and mid-ranking leaders. It reached the lowest tier in the local polls issues. Rebels that have emerged vying for local positions have added to the woes. It now appears that only the chairperson is holding her rank securely. She is struggling to get the best out of the senior leaders. There’s no doubt that she is frustrated. Begum Zia is considering massive change in her party’s leadership, sending clear signals to those who failed to impress party workers and the people at large. Advisers have been picking up wrong threads to reinvigorate the party movements, ignoring the promising issues that could easily catch the government in the wrong foot. Inside sources say many top ranking leaders are considering opting out of the responsibilities they were supposed to carry out. While failing to convince the people of their conviction towards party policy, the leaders never seemed to be looking for better alternatives of a movement, or applying constitutional measures. Add to it the harsh measures taken by the government to foil any move by the BNP and its allies to disrupt ruling party actions and initiatives. The surge of arrests of the senior and mid-ranking leaders finally swept them to the farthest corner of the political ground. The government has been absolutely uncompromising. A series of cases have been instituted against the leaders, and they have been ceaselessly chased and kept under legal pressure. However, the party can take solace from the recently held local government polls. BNP-backed candidates have performed well against those backed by the ruling party. The first two phases have been sweet comebacks for the opposition. The third phase outcome (81 upazilas) went for the ruling party backed contestants, but narrowly. The grassroots level politics and power has not been lost altogether. The party should now capitalise on the victories achieved in the local levels. How well they respond remains to be seen. There remains the Jamaat factor. The party has to come up with a clear stand regarding Jamaat. It should have realised a long time back that BNP alone is strong and popular enough to

take on any opposition in the polls and in parliament. With regards the ruling party, there has been a marked change in its attitude immediately after the national polls of January. It was somewhat lenient in speech (but not in act) just prior to the polls, even hinting at a possible re-election shortly after the January 5 polls.

The AL should rather take note of things and, like the BNP, it should also redesign its thoughts and actions What we behold now need not be the right picture. There’s the other side of the coin. The government shows complacency and wears a laid back attitude after consolidating its position after the January 5 polls. The ruling party is in power, but not in control of things. It is not easy to be the champions of democracy. Upazilas are supposed to be the grassroots democracy bastions. Party cadres and supporters are openly using force to rig the polls. Reports show brazen use of muscle in stuffing false votes, snatching of ballot boxes, and the forceful occupying of polling centres. It goes on without shame or fear. The Chhatra League has gone out of control. BCL cadres have taken the law in their own hands, and have taken up the role of the police in using force in the open. They dare to claim that their actions are valid. Thus far, people witnessed police and AL activists jointly conducting anti-opposition operations, now the party leader and activists have overtaken the police. The OC and his juniors were made to apologise for trying to prevent an AL rally in a district town. Imagine the dangers that we are inviting, and the precedence the ruling party is setting. The AL cannot afford to be unworried. It should rather take note of things and, like the BNP, it should also redesign its thoughts and actions. The old politics of bullying will be over soon. People are tired. Muscle cannot be a permanent feature of any politics. You will have to win the people, not beat them. History is replete with instances of “people’s power” that can destroy citadels of oppression and corruption. Bangladesh politics has entered a phase of change. In the coming years, the parties will be bound to think differently, and there has to be positive change. We cannot be negative any longer, for we have reached our lowest. l Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist and DT columnist.

Unequal traditions n Ainab Rahman








What’s in a name? n Mohammad N Miraly


audi Arabia’s interior ministry has banned 50 names they argue contradict the culture or religion of the Kingdom,” reports The Independent UK. There is no such thing as a Muslim name. Names come from languages, not from religions. You can have an Arabic name, or a Celtic name, or a Gujrati name. But you can’t have a Muslim name. Sure, most Muslims choose Arabic names. That’s because Arabic is thought of as the official language of Islam. Truth is, Arabic is just the language of the Qur’an. There is no official language of Islam, because Islam is made up of people who speak all the world’s languages. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than in

Saudi Arabia. There are more Muslims in South Asia than in the Middle East. Any historical reasons for looking to the Arabs as the arbiters of how to be Muslim no longer pertain. Muslims can be of any race, speak any language, and have different rituals and clothes. Islam was built for diversity, it was made to be applicable to different cultures and places. Islam, like many religions, is pan-human – it’s not restricted to a certain ethno-linguistic race. Since anyone from anywhere can be a Muslim, any name from anywhere can be a Muslim name – so long as its bearer calls him/herself a Muslim. l Mohammad N Miraly is an educator and film producer. He holds a PhD from McGill University in religion, ethics, and public policy, and is the author of themiralyblog.

owheed Feroze’s piece “Marriage Under the Magnifying Glass” was, in my opinion, one of the most patriarchal and misogynistic pieces I have ever seen coming out of DT. As a part of the educated class, we should not be encouraging these patriarchal and unequal traditions, but should instead be working towards a society that is more egalitarian. Take the following paragraph for instance: “For example, if the person asked to do the sleuthing says that the girl in question is seen moving around with men all the time, then naturally the marriage potentiality gets a jolt. This is why most girls who are to be married follow some strict social movement restrictions.” Naturally? This is not natural. Such patriarchal thinking has become naturalised because we are used to a power hierarchy wherein men benefit from controlling women and their bodies. The fact that a woman has friends of the opposite sex should not affect her “marriageability.” Unfortunately, because Bangladeshi culture is still deeply sexist (as can be evidenced by Towheed Feroze’s point of view), this is still a common occurrence. However, we have a responsibility to discourage such types of damaging thinking. “Before being shackled, a guy will

always want a final night of wild fun (bachelor’s night out), preferably with a playboy bunny stepping out of a large cake.” This type of thinking is not only offensive, but it is highly damaging. The underlying assumption of this comment is that it is acceptable to excuse disrespectful male behaviour, reinforcing the “boys will be boys” mentality that is so commonly accepted in traditional society. Such a precedent allows people to excuse behaviour such as marital infidelity or spousal abuse because society says, “boys will be boys” or “it’s just their nature.” Whereas if a woman commits the same act, she is perceived in a completely negative way. Whether it is a woman or a man that cheats on their spouse, the crime is the same. Unfortunately, only one of the offenders is punished by society, and the other is simply excused. Furthermore, this comment assumes that women wouldn’t want a night of wild fun – such gender stereotyping is detrimental to all of society. Women are not this monolithic entity upon which the author can attribute the characteristics he sees fit of a woman. We are a diverse group, with different needs and wants, and to portray us as one lump category is not only unfair but also downright ignorant. These are only some of the

points from Towheed’s article that are offensive. But I do not think his piece deserves any more of my time. Patriarchal voices like his are the reason that misogynistic traditions and customs continue to exist in our society. Though his views may seem innocuous and just simply ignorant, such views and presuppositions about women’s role in society and women’s nature are the reason that women are often prevented from being socially equal, and the reason for which women are not afforded equal opportunities as men.

Gender stereotyping is detrimental to all of society. Women are not this monolithic entity

Such views are the reason that women are shamed and ostracised when they fall outside the purview of a man’s control. For instance, when they choose to keep working against their father’s wishes, when they choose a career over getting married, when they choose not to put up with their husband’s bad behaviour. l Ainab Rahman is a freelance contributor.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

50th batch of Charukala pays tribute to Shilpacharya n Shadma Malik

Jonakir Alo to hit cinemas on April 14 n Entertainment Desk Jonakir Alo, a film by director-artist Khalid Mahmud Mithu is all set to be released on April 14. After making waves with his debut feature film Gohine Shabdo, the director is to address and display some bold issues in Jonakir Alo. The National Film Award-winning director is going to portray his criticism on social obstinacy through the eyes of an urban woman. With the backdrop of a “hero dominated” film industry the progressive director is again coming up with a female character as the lead role of his film. The story develops with a triangular love story and the viewers will experience a couple of melodious songs shot in some fascinating spots like St Martin’s Island and Rangamati. The film revolves around Kabita, who dreams of working for children’s welfare, and is torn between adopting a

child and her responsibility as a daughter-in-law of a conservative family. Most interestingly, the protagonist meets the legendary artist SM Sultan and becomes inspired by his philosophy. Gazi Rakayet has enacted the role of SM Sultan and Bidya Sinha Saha Mim is the lead actress of the movie. Imon and Kalyan play the two lovers of the heroine. About her role in the film, celebrated actress Mim said: “I always like to work in off-track productions. In this film I have enacted a sort of character I have never done before. At a point in the movie, the heroine becomes sick and rendered incapable of being a mother. The struggle begins when she decides to adopt a child and her husband and in-laws oppose her decision.” Mim said that she had to work really hard to pull off such a bold character. “The hardest part was portraying the contrast between the emotions and the boldness of a barren woman,” expresses Mim. l

A group exhibition by the 50th batch of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka is being held at the Zainul Gallery and will continue till March 19. The exhibition is a tribute to Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin marking the great artist’s birth centenary. Government Institute of Arts and Crafts (now Institute of Fine Arts) was founded in 1948 in Dhaka under the leadership of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. Highlighting the legacy of Shilpacharya, a pioneering artist in introducing contemporary art in Bangladesh, around twenty two artists have exhibited their experimental works at the exhibition. Nazia Masud Khan’s Naree is an acrylic on canvas, which depicts two facets of woman: naïve and strong. With innovative composition, the artist metaphorically creates two separate worlds of women with two different expressions. She said: “Earlier women were seen as weak. The earlier facial expression conveys that they had been accepted as being vulnerable. The other face in my painting shows woman as a strong and confident entity.” A series of Pijush Kanti Sarkar’s signature work Breaking Wall is on display. He said about his work: “These walls are barriers to one’s dreams. If a person gives effort to overcome these obstructions, he/she would be able to live the dream joyously.” Asmita Alam Shammy’s Seated is about divinity. In a figurative image she depicts a woman worshipping God ignoring the turmoil in life. “The contours and strokes explain chaos in the environment. My artwork on etching aqua tint is about dedicating yourself to God,” said the visionary artist. Provati Jharna’s Light of Ray is acrylic on canvas. With her artistic creativity, she portrays a woman boldly, which is dominated by the colour Artwork Light of Ray by Provati Jharna red. She said about her work: “There is always something burning in every human life. Sometimes a person is not able to express the fire inside. The ray By realising their dreams and potential, they desire to reach their destination through this exhibition. represents a passion or yearning that is yet to be realised.” The exhibition has been sponsored by the Bellissimo These creative friends endeavour to reunite and revive their memories of academic art practice at the institution. Premium Ice Cream. l

New drama serial Dhonni Meye begins today

Band Obscure goes digital with ME Label

n Entertainment Desk New drama serial Dhonni Meye featuring Intekhab Dinar and Zinat Sanu Swagata in the lead roles will begin airing on Channel 9 today at 8:30pm. The serial is scheduled to air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on Channel 9 at 8:30pm. Written and directed by renowned maker Matia Banu Shuku, the cast of the drama serial also includes Samia Purba, Abul Hayat, Doli Juhur, Dipanwita Halder and many others. The story of the drama revolves around a middle class family led by a retired government employee Anowar. The story rolls on with the struggles of Anwar’s children mostly his daughters. His second daughter, Manisha, most adorable of all, gets into a relationship with Pallab, hailing from a rich family.

n Entertainment Desk

Intekhab Dinar and Zinat Sanu Swagata in a scene from Dhonni Meye Through many struggles, Pallab finally manages to wed Manisha with consent of both the families. Subsequently, Manisha’s in-laws put impediments to her

studies but she continues pursuing it with the support of her husband. And so the story of Manisha, the Dhonni Meye, marches forward in spite of obstacles. l

Renowned theatre troupe Aranyak stages Munier Chowdhury’s landmark play Kobor at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Sunday. It was staged as part of an ongoing theatre festival organised by Dhaka Drama marking its 37th founding anniversary SUBRIN AL AZAD

Renowned Bangladeshi band Obscure has signed up with ME Label to digitally distribute their albums. All the albums of Obscure will be available on international outlets including iTunes, Amazonmp3, GooglePlay, Rhapsody, Emusic and other popular platforms. Furthermore, the songs will be monetized on free streaming sites including Spotify, YouTube and Mushroom Entertainment’s own platform ME Radio, where the users can listen to the songs for free, while the artist still collects the ad revenue.

The band is going on its 29th year of existence and 8 albums till date with many hits songs including Majhrate Chad, Nijhum Rater Adhare and Chhaira Gelam Matir Prithibi. With their current line- up including Tipu, Rajib, Binod, Raajue, Rabbi, they recently released their newest album Fera with local company G Series, and international distribution by ME Label. ME Label has been working with record labels and artists to ensure that due online royalty is received from sales and streaming sites via a transparent and automated online accounting system. l


Enders Game Avatar 3D Aakash Koto Dure Thor: The Dark World 3D The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 3D , Frozen in 3D Agnee Time: 10am - 10pm Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City Robocop, Gravity

Captain Phillips, Elysium Time: 12:30pm – 9:30pm Blockbuster Cinemas Jamuna Future Park Ka- 244, Pragati Avenue, Kuril


Sculpture Exhibition By Hamiduzzaman Khan Time: 10am – 8pm Athena Gallery of Fine Arts, Progoti Shoroni, Uttar Badda

Porshi brings new song on cricket n Entertainment Desk Popular young singer Porshi gave her voice to a song titled Joy Hobei Hobe marking the T20 cricket world cup. The music is composed by Imran who also lent his voice along with Porshi to the song. The recording of the song, written by Robiul Islam, has been completed recently. About singing the song Porshi said: “I was looking forward to singing a song for cricket lovers as I am a big fan of cricket. As the T20 world cup is being held in Bangladesh, I didn’t want to miss this chance. I have dedicated the song for all the cricket lovers around the world. The music composition is excellent and I hope audience will give it a positive response.” “I am releasing this song digitally for now and it will be also available on my next album. I even want to make a music video of this song,” Porshi added. She released her first solo album, Porshi, in 2010 and it turned out to be a big hit. In 2012, she released her 2nd Solo album, Porshi 2, which was also appreciated by all. She also worked on some mixed albums and did a lot of playbacks and jingles. Last year, she released her 3rd solo album titled Porshi 3. l

IUB theatre stages Aaj Komondol-er Fashi n Entertainment desk IUB Theatre staged their 15th production Aaj Komondol-er Fashi on Sunday. The play exposes the loop holes in the law and order system of Bangladesh where criminals are punished but the system never investigates the reasons behind the crime. The play highlights serious social issues that can force otherwise honest people to become criminals. IUB Theatre celebrated their 15th production with the promise to keep up the good work and go beyond the campus grounds to national and international stages. IUB’s Vice Chancellor Prof M Omar Rahman, former Chairman Board of Trustee Towhid Samad and Registrar of IUB Tanvir A Khan were present as guests. The play was supervised by Dr G M Shahidul Alam and directed by Saiful Islam. l

Sushant to play Mahendra Singh Dhoni

n Entertainment Desk Having inspired million of youngsters, the captain of the Indian national cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni is considered as one of the most efficient captains of the Indian cricket team. Hence, it does not come as a surprise that an official biopic on his life is in the offing. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput will most likely play MS Dhoni in the film which is being helmed by Neeraj Pandey. Quoting a source, a report further says that the cricketer has already given his approval for the film. The actor, who is very keen to don Dhoni’s jersey, is studying Dhoni’s mannerism and other aspects of his personality by watching match clippings and interviews. Sushant is preparing himself for the role and hence visited Dhoni’s hometown Ran-

chi to talk to people associated with the cricketer to know more about him. Rumours also suggest that Sushant even met Dhoni in Mumbai before the cricketer left for the New Zealand series. The biopic will be a true account on Dhoni’s life and will trace his journey from a smalltown boy to the captain of the Indian cricket team. The movie will also show instances from his personal life too and a part of it will focus on his wife Sakshi. Most probably Deepika Padukone or Shraddha Kapoor will play Sakshi. Further to reports, the movie will go on floors in early 2015 and Sushant will have to work on his physique before that. The report adds that the movie will be made in a budget of approximately 95 crore and will be shot in India as well as abroad. l

Did you know? Ireland yesterday recorded the 12th instance of a team winning on the last ball of a T20I match


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

14 Drogba nervous

about Stamford Bridge return

14 Abahani,

Mohammedan in same group



15 Malinga jolts

India in World T20 warm-up

Mushfiq ready for green track n

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim takes a look at the pitch ahead of their clash against Nepal today, at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday


Nepal skipper Paras excited to meet Tigers n

Nepal will be excited when they lock horns with Bangladesh today at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) for the reason that they are facing a Test playing nation for the first time. The ICC associate member, Nepal, had a dream debut in the world event with the win against Hong Kong on Sunday however, it was not all in the “show” according to the side’s skipper Paras Khadka. The Nepal captain informed that the

team didn’t celebrate their first win of the world event firstly because it was late by the time they reached the team hotel and that they don’t want to get overjoyed. “I think it is more about being happy to do well. We have been playing against Hong Kong regularly, so it was another win. Of course it came in our debut match. We didn’t want to be too overjoyed. We want to continue from what we have done yesterday and move forward,” said Paras to the media at the pre-match press conference at ZACS yesterday. The 24-year-old informed that Ne-

pal will look forward to start from zero against the host nation and try to make a mark. “We will play the cricket that we know. We can’t change anything. We are here to compete. We are not here for participation. Everybody is keen to do well. The nervousness of the World T20 debut is gone. We have managed to win well, but we have to start from scratch, from ball one. We need to think positive. “We displayed good cricket yesterday (Sunday). It was almost like a perfect game for us. We are playing the host team [Bangladesh] who are also a Test-playing nation, so it is a great opportunity, which

Sri Lanka lean on ‘team spirit’

Women’s captain share ambitions n Bangladesh women’s cricket team, led by Salma Khatun, will be taking part in the World T20 Championship for the first time and the skipper informed that they are ready to give the country something good at an official press conference yesterday where the skippers of West Indies, Sri Lanka and newcomers Ireland also shared their thoughts. Salma Khatun added that her side will be looking to reach the semi finals of the mega event, “We had a bit of a problem in batting and with the wicket in Cox’s bazaar. Hopefully the wicket in Sylhet will be better. We are ready to give the country something good, our target is to reach the semifinals.” Meanwhile, the skipper of Ireland Isobel Joyce informed that it’s amazing for her to take part in the World Cup also added that women’s cricket back in Ireland is not yet developed and professional. “Women’s cricket isn’t professional at all in Ireland. We aren’t paid for training or anything. We are either full time employees or full time students. There’s no money at all. “It’s amazing playing in a world cup. The last time I played in a world cup was 2007, it’s been a long time. Playing here in Bangladesh is great, I’ve been here before. The involvement of the people here with cricket will add to the enjoyment,” said Joyce, who is also the sister of Ed Joyce and Dom Joyce, both of whom play for the Ireland national cricket team. West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira said that they are here to sell women’s cricket for her country and show that they are here to stay. “It’s a good feeling to know that you are not only playing but playing alongside the guys. We are looking to sell women’s cricket. And the more we perform, with matches being telecasted, we want to show that we are here and it will really help women’s cricket,” she said. The Sri Lankan skipper Shashikala Shiriwardene is looking forward to reach the final of the tournament, “It’s (women’s cricket) is becoming professional in Sri Lanka, twenty players have been contracted in the last three years. Level of cricket is improving a lot,” said Shiriwardene. l

we don’t get often. We will push everyone to each person’s limit,” he said. Paras informed that the players are all known faces and have been studied well and that the players are denying mounting pressure, seeing the game as an opportunity. “We shouldn’t be thinking too much about being explosive. We should take it nice and slow, build it up. We get all the TV channels that you get here. We have watched every player on TV and now we are playing against them. So we are looking forward to it,” said Paras, who has a reputation for grabbing wins from scratch. l

Hosts Bangladesh broke its 10-match losing streak in World T20s by defeating Afghanistan in its first group match. With the win, Bangladesh took a big leap towards the Super 10 round of the competition. Today Bangladesh face another ICC associate member, Nepal – a much weaker side compared to Afghanistan and a “sure win” tie for the Tigers on pen and paper. But Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim is not in a mood to relax. “T20 is a game that can change easily. Tomorrow’s (today) game is very important for us because it’s the world cup. The last three months the results didn’t come our way, so from that aspect we are not ready to give away anything. If we have an opportunity to beat them by ten wickets, we will do that, and even if it’s a well-contested game, we will cope with that as well. Whatever it is, our main focus will be to win the game,” said Mushfiqur to the media at pre-match press conference at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium yesterday. Mushfiq explained it is because of the format of the game that demands a side to deal with every opponent carefully.   “Probably they are upcoming a side, but in T20 format you can never tell who will win. The only option for you to win is play well. We are taking the game tomorrow (today) very seriously. Nepal played well in the warm up matches and they know the conditions

because of their first game [against Hong Kong] here and we haven’t. So hopefully we can put a good show. I think it will be a good game, and we will try our level best to play well tomorrow (today),” said Mushfiqur. The 25-year-old wicket-keeper batsman informed that he and his team has done homework on Nepal and that the strategies to claim a second win in the tournament are ready to fire. “We have plans. We saw their qualifying games. We also saw a few practice games of theirs during in Fatullah. We will try to learn as much as possible before tomorrow’s (today) game. Every team is dangerous, and we are preparing accordingly. They won the last game well. There is no big or small team in T20, the team that plays well on that day can win,” said Mushfiq. The first game of the tournament at ZACS, between Nepal and Hong Kong on Sunday saw a grassy wicket – a scenario unusual for a venue in Bangladesh which is known for flat tracks. Mushfiqur is aware of the change and believes his side can adjust. “Saw the last game and saw the results of practice matches as well. This is not a typical Chittagong wicket. There is a bit of grass. Because it’s a night game, the pacers might get a little bit more help. We might play an extra pacer. There might be more work done on the wicket. So we will see till tomorrow (today). Normally, the turn that the spinners get they may not get that but we have quality spinners and they are smart they will do well. We have good pacers as well. We have a well balanced side,” he said. l


A group of Chittagong-based Nepalese, made up university students who study at the port city, gathered at the gate of Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium to show support for their team yesterday RAJIB DHAR

Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal will rely on team spirit in his quest of winning the title of the ICC T20 World Cup. The young Lankan skipper was speaking at the open media session yesterday. “We have been playing in Bangladesh for quite a long time and the conditions are known to us, it’s an advantage but as a captain, I will rely on the team spirit and that’s my expectation,” said Chandimal. Chandimal said Sri Lanka are yet to decide who will be the openers. “Mahela is there, Kushal was in good form and Thirimanne showed super application,

Gayle and Narine ready to deliver n Defending champions West Indies will be riding on Chris Gayle, the T20 superstar, in this T20 World Championship and the spotlight will be on the big man who is known all over the world for his explosive batting. The 34 year old admitted that there’s always pressure when everyone expects big from him after setting such standards. “It’s a lot of pressure to be honest with you, actually set that trend you know everybody expects a lot from me like you mentioned. It’s not only about Caribbean but the whole world want to see Chris Gayle play well and that’s what they want to see by paying. “When I do get a chance, I try to entertain people as much as I can and about the tournament you know, we are the defending champions so we will obviously look forward to retain that, but you know there will be a lot of challenge so we want to ensure the final first but it’s a tough group. You see other groups are easy because this is T20 cricket and everyone is capable of winning the tournament,” said Gayle. Gayle, who was there at an open media conversation at a hotel yesterday, informed that his side will definitely miss Pollard but this team has twelve players from the previous champion side which will be a plus point for them.

“We definitely miss Pollard, he is huge for us and done wonders for us and we know Pollard definitely adds the strength with the bat and ball so that’s a big loss for us. But the others are ready to do their job and looking forward to play and we have twelve players here who played in the last world cup so that’s a big plus point for us. Whoever gets the opportunity, will fill those gaps and give their best,” he said. Gayle, who was the first batsman to smash century in the shortest format of the game and smashed many more in T20 tournaments all over the world, is hoping to smash another century in the tournament. “Obviously, I would like to score a hundred but it will depend on the situation and I am sort of batsman who can score in any wicket anywhere in the world and I am looking forward to and I would love to add for the team and get a few wins,” he said. However being the defending champions, the Jamaican informed that every team has a chance of winning the tournament and it will be tough choose any particular side as a threat, “Honestly every team has the chance and each teams are capable, so it’s difficult to say who will win the tournament. If you ask me, I say it would be six favorites. It’s all happens on the particular day and this is the game that can be change by one particular over,” said Gayle. The big man, who was also known

for his funny reactions and his Gangnam dance in celebrations after winning the title previously in Sri Lanka, was in a funny mood yesterday as well and said funny things during the conversation and when he was asked if he remembered Sohag Gazi of Bangladesh who troubled him earlier when West Indies side came for a series. “Did I hit six him in the first ball of the Test match (laughs). He’s a good bowler now. That would be nice, to face him again. He’s a good young man and a prospect for Bangladesh cricket and a bright future ahead,” Gayle said. Meanwhile, Sunil Narine the number one bowler in the ICC T20 rankings, will play a vital role for his side on the spinner friendly tracks here and he said that they will be facing the teams in their group who are good against spin, including Bangladesh. “I think we’re playing against three teams that play spin pretty good, and Bangladesh is at home, but I think once you have full confidence in yourself, anything’s possible,” said Narine. The mystery bowler, who also holds the key role for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, said that performing well in the IPL always helped coming on to the mega tournaments, “I think the IPL brings a high level of performance. Performing in the IPL and then coming and playing a big tournament like this make it a lot easier because IPL is always a sold out crowd,” he said. l

Dilshan has also returned to the fold. We have great combinations and hope we stick to our plans,” said Chandimal. Meanwhile ace batsman Kumar Sangakkara said it was not so difficult to take the retirement decision. “It wasn’t too difficult really. There are no significant T20 tournaments in the near future. I think we will play just one or two T20 international games until the 2015 World Cup. Whether I would have announced it or not, this would have been my last T20 international tournament. You always hope that the day when you retire never comes but that day definitely comes,” said Sangakkara. The Sri Lankan star also pointed out his age level.”As far as ODI and

Test cricket are concerned, it’s hard to make a time frame. I am 36 years old now and will be 37 next year during the time of World Cup. By next World Cup, I will be 41 and I don’t hope that I am playing then. So 2015 World Cup will be my last. It’s a kind of natural progression,” opined Sangakkara. Sri Lanka have played two finals in four editions of World T20 but Sangakkara rued having not won a single of them. They have also lost two finals in the 50-over World Cups. “In 2007, in South Africa, we were pretty raw but to reach the final in 2009 (England) was great. In 2012, at home again, we reached the finals but let it slip. I think in the two finals, we made enough mistakes to let it slip,” he said. l



Aberdeen end trophy drought Aberdeen ended their 19-year trophy drought as they defeated Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4-2 on penalties in the Scottish League Cup final at Celtic Park after the match ended 0-0 after extra-time. Greg Tansey was off-target and Billy McKay had his effort saved by Dons ‘keeper Jamie Langfield before Adam Rooney slotted home the decisive kick to send the 40,000 Aberdeen fans wild. Manager Derek McInnes, who only took over at Pittodrie at the end of last season, was delighted to claim the first trophy of his managerial career. –AFP


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Late heroics give Senden 2nd US title

Malaysia Grand Prix to go ahead

Australian John Senden birdied two of the last three holes in impressive fashion Sunday to win the Valspar Championship, his first US PGA title in eight years. The 42-year-old from Brisbane sank a 68-foot chip shot to birdie the 16th and a 22-foot birdie putt at 17 on his way to claiming the $1.02 million (733,600 euros) top prize at the $5.7 million (4.09 million euros) event. “I’m just so happy to come out on top,” Senden said. “I just went out there and felt comfortable throughout the first 10 or 12 holes. “Then I started to make a few little errors and get a little uptight on the back nine. –AFP

Malaysia’s Grand Prix will go ahead as planned this month despite the national crisis over a missing airliner, but proceedings will be more subdued out of respect, the organiser said Monday. “Whatever it is, Formula One will go on and the concert after that will proceed but we will be sensitive and not go overboard,” said Razlan Razali, chief executive of the Sepang International Circuit where the annual race and subsequent musical extravaganza are held. The race is set for March 30. The Sepang circuit is next to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. –AFP

Clasico on Madrid minds as Schalke hope to save face n AFP, Madrid

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (C) watches a team training session at their training ground in Cobham, southern England yesterday

Drogba nervous about Stamford Bridge return n Reuters, London Former Chelsea great Didier Drogba does not know how he will react when he returns to Stamford Bridge with his Galatasaray team on Tuesday for their Champions League last-16 second leg, the Ivorian striker said. Drogba won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and, most memorably, the 2012 Champions League when his penalty in the shootout clinched victory for the Londoners against Bayern Munich in the final at the Allianz Arena. He scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for Chelsea between 2004-12 and was voted the greatest player in

Cassano still hoping for call up

n Reuters

Antonio Cassano says he has stopped gobbling focaccine, lost 10 kilos and is waiting for Italy coach Cesare Prandelli to call him up in time for the World Cup. The 31-year-old has not been picked by Prandelli since Euro 2012 when he formed the partnership with Balotelli. But his fitness and form this season, with 11 Serie A goals for Parma, has raised his hopes that he could get a last-minute recall. “I can’t do better than this. I don’t know if there’s still a chance but I’m doing everything in my power to give Prandelli something to think about,” he said after scoring twice in a 4-2 win away to former club AC Milan on Sunday. l

the club’s history. “It is the club where I experienced everything,” Drogba told the UEFA website ( “I experienced the highest level, big games - it allowed me to get closer to the best players in the world.

FIXTURES Chelsea v Galatasaray Real Madrid v Schalke 04 “It is a very special moment because I do not know what my reaction will be. I am quite apprehensive about it,” he said of the second leg after the opening match in Istanbul ended in a 1-1 draw. Jose Mourinho looked close to tears after being given a rapturous welcome by the Stamford Bridge faithful when he returned for his second stint

n AFP, Indian Wells World number two Novak Djokovic rallied to beat Roger Federer in a three-set thriller on Sunday to win his first title of 2014 at the Indian Wells ATP Masters. Djokovic defeated Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to add a third title in the California desert to those he captured in 2008 and 2011. “I’m just very happy and thrilled to be able to win the first title in this season,” Djokovic said. “I played, three, four matches in three sets, a couple of

n Reuters

Hamburg SV, the Bundesliga’s only ever-present team, scored two late goals to beat Nuremberg 2-1 and Freiburg pulled off an extraordinary 4-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. The two results pushed five-times German champions VfB Stuttgart into the danger zone after their 1-1 draw at Bremen. l

RESULTS Calhanoglu 80, Frantz 86-og

Eintracht Frankfurt Joselu 59

2 1 1 4

Nuremberg Drmic 90+1

Freiburg Schuster 34, Guede 54, 90+3, Klaus 70

Pirlo keeps Juve on track n AFP, Milan


Andrea Pirlo produced a piece of free-kick magic to keep Juventus on track for a third consecutive scudetto thanks to a late 1-0 win away to Genoa on Sunday. Juventus looked to be heading for only their fourth draw of the season, having seen goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon save Emanuele Calaio’s 72nd minute penalty and two other great earlier chances for the hosts. However Antonio Conte’s men were handed a lifeline when Fabio Quagliarella won a questionable free kick on the edge of the area, and Pirlo stepped up to send a curling drive over the wall and past the outstretched hands of Mattia Perin. “We knew it would be a hard game but for us it was crucial to take the win back to Turin,” Pirlo told Sky Italia before turning his focus on what his goal cold mean in terms of Juve’s likely title chances.


3 1

Cuadrado 11, Matri 39, Gomez 89


0 1

Chievo Paloschi 62

Juventus Pirlo 89

“It was an important goal, I hope it helps.” Juventus now have 75 points and a 17-point lead on Roma, who host Udinese on Monday but also have a game in hand. Napoli sit third, a further three points off the pace, ahead of their trip to Torino on Monday when Rafael Benitez’s side will look to avoid any slip-ups following Fiorentina’s 3-1 win Sunday night over outclassed Chievo. Juan Cuadrado, Alessandro Matri and Mario Gomez were on target for La Viola, while Alberto Paloschi scored Chievo’s only goal, who are back up to fourth but with only a one-point lead on Inter and a seven-point deficit to Napoli in the last Champions League spot. l

Djokovic beats Federer for Indian Wells crown

Dramatic win for Hamburg


as manager at the start of the season but he believes Drogba deserves even more adulation from the fans. “I think I’m allowed to say that I will receive a warm welcome because I know Chelsea’s fans and our relationship is really special,” said Drogba. “It will be great to see them again. I am looking forward to it.” Mourinho brought Drogba to Stamford Bridge from Olympique Marseille and the pair clearly share a special bond. Galatasaray warmed up for the trip to Stamford Bridge by drawing 0-0 at Karabukspor on Friday. Roberto Mancini’s side are second in the Turkish championship, five points adrift of leaders Fenerbahce. Drogba believes that if Galatasaray are firing on all cylinders they are capable of knocking Chelsea out. l


Real Madrid already have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after thrashing Schalke 6-1 in the first leg of their last 16 tie in Germany three weeks ago. However, Los Blancos are looking to head into Sunday’s potentially decisive La Liga clash with Barcelona on a positive note by extending their 30-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is likely to rest a number of first-team regulars with the Barca match in mind with the likes of Isco, Asier Illarramendi and Jese Rodriguez likely to start. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice in the first leg to take his tally in the Champions League this season to 11 in just six appearances, is expected to be involved though as he targets Lionel Messi’s record for Champions League goals in a season with the 14 he struck in the 2011/12 season. French defender Raphael Varane should also start and after being plagued by a knee injury throughout the campaign, the 20-year-old believes he is now able to play two consecutive games at a high intensity. “I always have to be careful with the knee, but it is fine and I can play two games in a row,” he said after complet-

Djokovic holds up the champions trophy after defeating Federer on Sunday AFP

matches had to come from a set down. Mentally this definitely helps my confidence.” Having gained an early break for a 2-1 lead in the third, Djokovic served for the match at 5-4 but was broken. From there they went to a tiebreaker that Djokovic dominated. “You always have to dig deep against Roger,” said Djokovic, who put every first serve in play in that ninth game and still dropped his serve. “When I served for the match, he played a fantastic game. I couldn’t do much about it. I managed to regroup and get into the tiebreak. “That was absolutely great for me, I mean, from the first to the last point.” Federer sent a backhand long on the first point of the breaker, and Djokovic seized a quick 3-0 lead with an overhead smash off a lackluster Federer lob and another errant backhand from the Swiss. “I think I played a good game to break back,” Federer said. “Got the first serve returns back, and then played well from the baseline.” He said playing into the wind likely made it harder for Djokovic to serve it out, but then the Serb had the wind with him for the first six points of the tiebreaker. “He took advantage of that,” Federer said. “So it was an interesting end to the match, no doubt ... I might have made a few too many errors when it really mattered.” l

Juventus' Andrea Pirlo (hidden) celebrates with his team mates and coach (1st R on top) after scoring against Genoa during their Italian Serie A match in Genoa on Sunday REUTERS

ing the 90 minutes in Real’s 1-0 win over Malaga on Saturday. “Now we have to first think about the game against Schalke and then about Barcelona.” Schalke were also victorious at the weekend as their 2-1 win over Augsburg on Friday night consolidated their position in the fight to qualify for next season’s Champions League. And whilst accepting a remarkable comeback is well beyond his side, captain Benedikt Hoewedes has said he wants the Royal Blues to sign off this season’s European campaign with their heads held high at the Bernabeu. “We want to make a sensible farewell from the Champions League,” said the Germany international. “Unfortunately, the good Champions League season we had played up until then paled into the background after the 6-1 defeat against Real, so it’s even more important for us to leave behind a positive impression of both us and the club in the competition.” Former Real striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar grabbed his side’s consolation goal with a spectacular volley in the first leg and he will once again be the major threat to his old club having notched six goals in his last four games. Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan is likely to be missing for the Germans, however, as he missed the trip to Augsburg with a knee injury and is set to sit out the return leg. l

Pennetta beats injured Radwanska n Reuters Italy’s Flavia Pennetta captured the biggest title of her career on Sunday when she beat Poland’s ailing Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. As Radwanska struggled with a knee injury, Pennetta cruised to a 6-2 6-1 victory in less than an hour and a quarter in the Californian desert. Better known as a doubles player, Pennetta had contemplated retiring last year after tumbling down the world rankings, but the veteran Italian has rediscovered the fountain of youth. She reached the semi-finals of last year’s U.S. Open and has now won one of the biggest events outside the four grand slams. “Today was my day and I really enjoyed this moment,” Pennetta said at the trophy presentation. After so many years of working hard, this is the best moment.” Radwanska went into the match as a slight favourite but was unable to play near her best because of a knee injury that severely restricted her movement. She called for a medical timeout early in the second set and struggled to control her emotions at the ceremony. “I’m sorry I could run as much as I could,” she sobbed. “But I had a great week, it was my first final here. It’s disappointing to lose but Flavia was just playing too good today.” Pennetta beat rising American Sloane Stephens in the quarter-finals and Australian Open champion Li Na in the semis and was never in trouble against Radwanska. She chalked up 20 winners and saved both break points she faced as she claimed the 10th singles title of her career and her first in four years. l

Mourinho opposed Ibrahimovic fires PSG, to Foy officiating Monaco edge Lyon Chelsea again RESULTS n Reuters, London n AFP, Paris Jose Mourinho says referee Chris Foy should not be allowed to take charge of any more Chelsea matches after he dismissed Willian and Ramires in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa and also sent the him to the stands. “Maybe it would be helpful that the committee doesn’t send him to our matches,” Mourinho told reporters. “I don’t have the right to request that. It’s just I think they have to analyse the situation and see if every time he has Chelsea and problems are there, I think maybe it would be a good decision.” l

Paris Saint Germain, fresh from progressing to the Champions League quarterfinals, capped a profitable week with a 2-0 win over Saint Etienne on Sunday. The Ligue 1 leaders’ closest rivals Monaco had earlier cut the gap to five points after a controversial 3-2 win over Lyon in a game where the referee subsequently admitted to mistakes on all three of Monaco’s goals. But PSG regained their eight-point cushion on Claudio Ranieri’s side with superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Lyon Briand 32, 78

Montpellier Hilton 34

PSG Ibrahimovic 14, 41

2 3


Germain 4, Rodriguez 27, Berbatov 51

1 1 2 0

Bordeaux Henrique 24


putting the game to bed with two first half goals. Ibrahimovic had PSG deservedly in front in the 14th minute, the Swedish striker rolling the ball in although St Etienne rounded on the referee claiming Matuidi had been offside. l


Battle of pride n Afghanistan and Hong Kong will be looking to forget their disastrous start to the ICC World Twenty20 and bag their first World Cup win when the Group A teams meet at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium today. Afghanistan, after a pretty impressive performance in their major 50-over tournament the Asia Cup, were not able to hold on to the momentum as their batting unit since then had failed to rise on the occasion. Their intensity was tested in the tournament opener where they were caged by the Bangladesh spinners to crumble for only 72. However, they will be eyeing a turnaround against Hong Kong today and hope Bangladesh to slip against either of the remaining two teams in the group. Or else, it will be the end of their dream run. With the bat Ahmad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari will be instrumental while the latter two would also be controlling the spin department and support the two new ball bowlers Shapoor and Dawlat Zadran. Meanwhile, Hong Kong would be a very disappointed side having lost their opening match against Nepal. Honk Kong stunned Zimbabwe and Netherlands in their two warm-up games which made them the favourites over Nepal, but the disability of playing in a turning wicket had cost them. Pakistani born Hong Kong fast bowler Haseeb Amjad will be a key factor in their bowling attack while a lot also depends on the young shoulders of 19-year-old batsman-cum-left-arm spinner Mark Chapman. l

Injured Broad positive

n The England side headed, by Stuart Broad is all set to fire in the World T20 in subcontinent conditions, which has always been a tough ask, and Broad informed that they are not worried about the conditions at a hotel yesterday. “We are not thinking about the conditions. However the conditions here are totally different but we have worked on it before arriving here and I hope we can adopt to the conditions quickly,” said Broad. The English side recently played in West Indies and Australia, where the pitches are totally different from Bangladesh and the 27 year old admitted that the pitches here will suit the spinners and said that they have some experienced spinners on the side. “I know the wickets in Australia and West Indies are different from here, where the spinners will come in to play and we have some good and experienced spinners in the side,” he said. However the recent performance of the England is something to think about. They lost the T20 series against West Indies 2-1 and had a disastrous series in Australia. The English skipper is looking forward to play well in the tournament. “We have played good cricket in West Indies which will help us and the 15-16 guys are together for some time which will also help us to regroup and we are confident to do well,” he said. England won their first ever World T20 in 2010. Broad said that it’s a funny game and anything is possible in this format of the game. Broad was rested from England’s final two T20s in the West Indies because of swelling and discomfort in his right knee. He has since had an injection on the joint and is not likely to play in England’s first warm-up match against West Indies on Tuesday, meaning that he will have just the second practice match against India to prove his fitness. l

DAY’S WATCH Sony Six NBA 2013-14 6:00AM Chicago v Oklahoma City 07:59 AM Denver v LA Clippers 2:30PM AFC Champions League Melbourne V v Yokohama Marinos BTV, Maasranga TV, GTV, Star Sports 1, HD1 ICC World T20 2014 3:30PM Afghanistan v Hong Kong 7:30PM Bangladesh v Nepal Ten Action 1:45AM UEFA Champions League, R16-Leg2 Chelsea v Galatasaray Ten Sports 1:45AM UEFA Champions League, R16-Leg2 Real Madrid v Schalke 04



Jayawardene to follow Sangakkara in T20 exit n

Malinga jolts India n


Lasith Malinga’s four-wicket haul steered Sri Lanka to a morale boosting five run victory over India in a ICC World T20 warm-up match at the Shere-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. A decent 154-run target set by the Lankans seemed a bit much for India who needed 12 runs in the last over of Malinga. Malinga, who took one each in his first two spells, picked up two more in the final over giving only six runs. After the fall of two openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina hit 41 runs from 31 ball with five 4s and one over-boundary. Later, Yuvraj Singh’s 33 off 28 and Ashwin’s lastditch attempt of 19 saw India stop on 148/9. Malinga’s four-wicket cost him 30 runs in four overs while Kulasekara took two. Earlier, Sri Lanka posted a total of 153 runs for 6 after India opted to bowl first. Mahela Jayawardene was the highest scorer scoring 30 off 20 deliveries featuring two 4s and 6s, Chandimal added 29 off 25 balls, Kulasekera chipped in 21 off 14 balls

Sri Lanka 153-6 in 20 overs ( M. Jayawardane 30, D. Chandimal 29 N Kulasekara 21; R. Ashwin 3-22, S Raina 1-12) India 148-10 in 20 overs (S Raina 41, Yuvraj 33, R Ashwin 19; L Malinga 4-30, N Kulasekara 2-37) Sri Lanka won by 5 runs with two huge sixes. Varun Aaron provided India the breakthrough in his second over taking the wicket of Kushal Perera (21 off 15) thanks to Mohammed Shami for his brilliant effort while taking the catch. Amit Mishra later took another superb catch to dismiss Angelo Mathews off a delivery of Ashwin who earlier picked up two important wickets of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal giving away only 22 runs in his four-over spell. India lacked the fine tuning after Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh regained the rhythm in the middle of the innings but Malinga’s prowess proved too much for India. l

During the warm-up match of the ICC World T20 between India and Sri Lanka at Mirpur stadium yesterday the stumps and bails illuminated when dislodged. This system is created by South Australian manufacturer Zing International and will be called the Zing Wicket System. The Zing wickets will come fitted with LED. The bails will also have an inbuilt sensor than can determine if a wicket is broken, in just 1/1000 of a second. It will be one among the many innovations that the ICC is planning to introduce to make the game more attractive and interesting MUMIT M

Abahani, Mohammedan in same group n Arch rivals Abahani Ltd and Dhaka Mohammedan were pitted in the same group of the Modhumoti Bank Independence Cup Football that starts from March 22nd at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. The ten teams of Bangladesh Premier League and Bangladesh Championship League outfits Rahmatganj and Arambagh will feature in the tournament that marks the independence of the country. Modhumoti Bank Ltd, a new private sector bank of the country, stepped ahead to sponsor the tournament and vowed to support football in the deal signing and the draw ceremony at the BFF House on Monday. Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, MP, the

GROUPINGS Group A Team BJMC, Feni Soccer, Rahmatganj.

Group B Abahani Ltd, Dhaka Mohammedan, Arambagh

Group C Sheikh Jamal, Muktijoddha, Uttar Baridhara

Group D Sheikh Russell, Brothers Union, Ctg. Abahani chairman of the Executive Committee of Modhumoti Bank said football is still the mass people’s game of the country. “I believe football is still the mass people’s game where everyone enjoys the


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

passion of the beautiful game, we are here to support football and believe it will one day fulfill the expectations,” said Taposh. BFF president Kazi Salahuddin welcomed Modhumoti Banl to the football arena. “I welcome Modhumoti Bank in our football world, I have every belief that Bangladesh would become the top footballing nation in the sub-continent and we need some support from the sponsors, I hope Modhumoti Bank will continue the involvement with football,” said Salahuddin. BFF senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy, Modhumti Bank CEO Mizanur Rahman BFF executive committee members, general secretary Aby Naeem Shohag and others were also present on the occasion. l

Top Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene said Monday he would retire from international Twenty20 cricket after this month’s World Cup in Bangladesh, days after a similar announcement from teammate Kumar Sangakkara. In comments posted on the International Cricket Council website, the 36-year-old said he had taken the decision as he knew this tournament would be his last World Cup and he did not want to block a younger player. “It makes more sense for a youngster to come into the mix and establish himself,” said Jayawardene, who has played 49 T20 internationals and scored a record 1,335 runs for Sri Lanka. The elegant right-hander is the highest scorer in Test match cricket among current players, with 11,319 runs from 143 matches. Speaking at a press briefing in Dhaka on Monday, Sangakkara expanded on his decision to quit the shortest form of the international game after the tournament which began in Bangladesh on Sunday. l

Norde sinks Russell n Haitian forward Sony Norde made all the difference with a penultimate minute strike that steered Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club to a 1-0 win over defending champions Sheikh Russell in the Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Monday. In an action packed encounter, both the teams came close to a strike but wasted the chances before Sony Norde settled the issue Sheikh Russell’s Haitian forward Pascal Millien squandered the first chance in the 20th minute. Jamaican midfielder Ricardo Cousins delivered a lob to Pascal, who

shot the ball past the side post in a one on one situation with Jamal goalie Ziaur Rahman Zia. Sheikh Jamal also came close to a score in the 25th minute but their Nigerian forward Emeca Darlington’s header went straight to Russell goalie Biplob on a cross off defender Md. Raihan from the left flank. Pascal again squandered Russell’s best chance in the 41st minute as the Haitian capitalized on a back heel of Ricardo Cousins but shot straight to Zia from the middle of the box. When the match was heading towards a draw, Sony Norde broke the deadlock in the 89th minute. Taking control of a pass of compatriot, Wedson Anselme, Sony hit the back of the net with an angular placing shot. After the win, Jamal took their tally to 18 points from 8 matches, while Russell on 12 points from 9 matches. l

Pakistan cruise past NZ n

Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, the chairman of Modhumoti Bank (2L) and BFF president Kazi Salahuddin rejoice in the logo unveiling ceremony of the Modhumoti Bank Independence Cup at the BFF House yesterday COURTESY

Bangladesh take on Singapore in qualifiers n Bangladesh will be firing on all cylinders against Singapore in the Islami Bank Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium at 4:00 pm today. Bangladesh beat Hong Kong China 5-1 in their opening match but the forwards were misfiring and head coach Naveed Alam expressed his anxiety over the subject. “I have talked with the boys and some of them admitted that they were a little unsettled, I have asked them about keeping cool and play according to the plan, I hope the performance will be better against Singapore,” said Naveed. Commenting about Singapore, Naveed said they re-grouped against Iran and won the match after trailing by two goals and they are a fit unit. Meanwhile Oman continued their winning spree with a 3-2 win over Sri Lanka yesterday. Oman took the lead in the 12th minute though their second penalty corner with Rajab Basim Khatar hitting the board after Al Nofli Younis Ghabish Salmeen’s push and Khalfan Qasim Moosa’s stop. Sri Lanka equalized in the 28th minute as Lahiru Gihan Weerasooriya produced brilliant stickwork in the right flank and beat onrushing Omani goalie Fahad Khamis Salmeen with an angular hit. Oman retained their lead in the 45th minute through their in-form forward Mahmood

Ashoor Ramadhan, who dragged a penalty corner into the left hand post of Sri Lankan goalie Darsana Ratnasiri Ramadhan, the tall forward repeated the act in the 50th minute with another efficient drag off a penalty corner. Sri Lanka tried hard to hit back and Lahiru Gihan Weersooriya again struck in the 63rd minute as his timely deflection on a Tharanga Gunawardana hit crashed into the post. Oman beat Chinese Taipei 1-0 in their first match while Sri Lanka were held to a 1-1 draw with Qatar in their first encounter. In the other match of the day Chinese Taipei bounced back to their winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Qatar. Taipei, who lost to Oman 1-0 in their opening match, went ahead in the 13th minute as Liu Chin-Kun made his way through the Qatar defence with a solo effort and scored the goal with a soft push past Qatari goalie Ali Shahzad. Taipei doubled their lead in the 32nd minute with a superb effort of Lin TseYen. Lin flicked a cracking hit of Lin Cheng-Yan at the roof of the Qatari post with the others still to react. Three minutes after the resumption, Qatar reduced the margin with a field goal from Stevenson Savio. Liu Chin Kun was adjudged as the man of the match. Taipei has three points from two matches while Qatar remained on their previous collection of one point. l

A fifty each from Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez led Pakistan to a comfortable six wicket win over New Zealand in the two teams’ first warm-up match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Opting to bat first, the Kiwis posted 146 and although Pakistan were able to reach the target without difficulty, Tim Southee said at the post match conference that it had been a defendable total. Only three out of 11 New Zealand batsmen were able to reach double figure and it was in-form hard-hitter Brendon McCullum who singlehandedly led the way to the final total of 145/9. After opener Kane Williamson fell in

the second over to Mohammad Talha, McCullum came in and struck an unbeaten 59 off 45 balls, with three fours and four sixes. For Pakistan, Umar Gul conceded just 16 runs in four overs while picking up three wickets and he was supported by Talha, who returned figures of 2/22. In reply, wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal gave Pakistan a bright start and after losing Sharjeel Khan with the score on 38, Kamran built an 83-run partnership with Mohammad Hafeez. Kamran eventually retired after making 52 off 45 balls while Hafeez seemed to be practicing six hitting in a thunderous knock of 55 off 39 balls, including five sixes. For New Zealand, Nathan McCullum took two wickets. l

Ireland shock Zim, Dutch beat UAE n

Opener Paul Stirling smashed 60 off 34 balls to set Ireland up for a last-ball victory over Zimbabwe while The Netherlands eased to a six-wicket win against first-timers United Arab Emirates in the opening round of the World Twenty20 at Sylhet Stadium on Monday. Opener Stephan Myburgh hit a punishing 36-ball 55 with two sixes and seven boundaries to help the Netherlands overhaul a modest 152run target with seven balls to spare. It was a clinical finish by the Netherlands who are vying to progress from Group B for a place in the main rounds. Michael Swart (26) partnered Myburgh in a quickfire 69-run opening stand as the two put their team on the right track within the first seven overs. Swart hit three boundaries and a six off just 16 balls while Wesley Barresi (24) and Tom Cooper, who was 34 not out with four boundaries and a six, completed the task. UAE, who won the toss and batted, lost their openers for 12 runs after just ten deliveries before Swapnil Patil (23) and skipper Khurram Khan (31) put on 67 for the third wicket to steady the innings. Shaiman Anwar, who hit a solid 19ball 32 with the help of four boundar-

ies and a six, lifted the UAE past the 150-run mark. Rohan Mustafa made 20 before medium pacer Ahsan Malik stopped the final over slog with a career best 3-16. Cooper took 2-18 to complete an all-round performance for the Netherlands. In the first game of the day, Ireland needed four runs off the last over but lost Ed Joyce (22) and Max Sorensen, run out without scoring, before winning through a bye off the last ball of the over -- bowled by paceman Tinashe Panyangara who finished with 4-37. Stirling and skipper William Porterfield, who scored a 23-ball 31 with three fours and a six, had given Ireland a fiery 80-run start in 8.2 overs as their run chase began confidently.

BRIEF SCORES UAE 151 all out in 19.5 overs Shaiman Anwar 32, Khurram Khan 31; Ahsan Malik 3-16 The Netherlands 152-4 in 18.5 overs S. Myburgh 55, Tom Cooper 34 not out The Netherlands won by six wickets Ireland 163-5 in 20 overs B Taylor 59, Chigumbura 22, H. Masakadza 21; G. Dockrell 2-18, A. McBrine 2-26 Ireland 164-7 in 20 overs Stirling 60, Porterfield 31; Panyangara 4-37 Ireland won by three wickets Zimbabwe earlier owed their total to a solid 46-ball 59 by Brendan Taylor. The Zimbabwe skipper hit six boundaries and two towering sixes, while Elton Chigumbura made 22 and Hamilton Masakadza scored 21. l

The green gallery of Sylhet Stadium was an added attraction for the spectators




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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sodium intake double in Bangladesh n Moniruzzaman Uzzal

Excessive intake of sodium is resulting in serious health problems like high blood pressure, as people have been found to be taking more than double the required amount of sodium through salt. As many as 12 million people suffer from high blood pressure in Bangladesh which is the main cause of heart attacks, brain strokes and kidney diseases, according to a survey conducted by National Heart Foundation Hospital

and Research Institute (NHFHRI). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an adult man or woman should take only five grams of salt every day. The NHFHRI survey, however, found that in urban areas, people take 10.3 grams of salt a day, with males taking 11 grams and females 9.3 grams. Findings of the survey was disclosed at a seminar organised by the NHFHRI at the institute’s auditorium in the capital yesterday. The seminar was titled “World salt awareness week-2014”

while Dr Sohel Reza Chowdhury, Professor of the Department of Epidemiology and Research at NHFHRI, presented the keynote paper. The keynote paper said heart attacks and strokes are the leading causes of death globally. Each year, 1.73 crore people die of these diseases while more than 80% of the deaths occur in lower and middle income countries. In Bangladesh, the prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCD) is on the rise while heart attacks and strokes are the most common among the NCDs.

Health minister Mohammad Nasim spoke as the chief guest at the seminar. He said in order to ensure proper investigation into the incidents of deaths due to negligence of doctors, the government was planning to introduce new rules for Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC). “BMDC will be given the power to cancel the registration of a doctor if the allegation of negligence against him is proved. The health ministry will sit with renowned and senior health professionals to discuss the issue,” he said.

The minister urged the authorities of big hospitals to provide the poor patients with special facilities. NHFHRI secretary general National Professor Brigadier General (retd) Abdul Malik presided at the seminar. Director-General of Health Services Professor Dr Din Md Nurul Haque, Professor Dr Habib E Millat, parliament members, Chairman of the Hypertension Committee of National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh Professor Dr A R Khandaker spoke at the programme among others.l

Malaysia jet search expands n Reuters Australia yesterday took charge of scouring the southern Indian Ocean for a missing passenger jet, while Malaysia requested radar data from countries stretching as far as central Asia, amid mounting evidence the plane’s disappearance was meticulously planned. No trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found since it vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard. Investigators are increasingly convinced it was diverted perhaps thousands of miles off course by someone with deep knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER and commercial navigation. Suspicions of hijacking or sabotage hardened further after it was confirmed the last radio message from the cockpit - an informal “all right, good night” was spoken after someone had begun disabling one of the plane’s automatic tracking systems. “Initial investigations indicate it was the co-pilot who basically spoke,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a news briefing yesterday. Satellite data suggests the plane could be anywhere in either of two vast arcs: one stretching from northern Thailand to the borders of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, or a southern arc from Indonesia into the Indian Ocean west of Australia. Kazakhstan has joined the hunt for the missing jet. Authorities are not ruling out the northern corridor that crosses through China, India and Pakistan - all of which have indicated they have seen no sign of the plane so far. China, which has been vocal in its impatience with Malaysian efforts to find the plane, called on its smaller neighbour to “immediately” expand and clarify the scope of the search. About two-thirds of the passengers aboard MH370 were Chinese. Malaysia’s transport ministry said in a statement yesterday it had sent diplomatic notes to all countries along the northern and southern search corridors, requesting radar and satellite information as well as land, sea and air search operations. Meanwhile, central Asian neighbours Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan yesterday said no unidentified planes had crossed their air space on March 8. In a detailed statement, the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee said even if the airliner had reached Kazakhstan’s air space, it would have been detected there. Meanwhile, Kyrgyz civil aviation authorities had ruled out any possibility of the airliner disappearing in or near Kyrgyzstan. “No, this plane did not fly over Kyrgyzstan’s territory,” Dair Tokobayev, vice-president of Kyrgyzstan’s main civilian airport Manas near the capital Bishkek, told the news agency. l

An array of billboards placed along a city road in Agargaon displays advertisements of T20 World Cup cricket tournaments and March 26 National Anthem world record programme. Billboard owners claim that these are being taken over by high authorities without their consent. The photo was taken yesterday SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Govt’s billboard hogging frustrates advertisers n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Government advertisements promoting the month-long Twenty20 Cricket World Cup and other government-sponsored cultural events have occupied hundreds of operational billboards in three major cities, much to the dismay of private advertising firms. Billboard owners and firms concerned say because of such promotional activities, they would have to face losses amounting to at least Tk5-10 crore. The authorities did not feel any obligation to discuss such matters with the owners before taking over the billboards in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet – three venues of the T20 World Cup which Bangladesh is hosting for the first time. The billboards containing logos of the cricket board, the cultural affairs and sports ministries or the Armed Forces Division come from the government side. Most of the billboards were occupied in February, before the Asia Cup cricket tournament. “In the last two to three years, the trend of grabbing billboards by both

Faecal pathogens contaminate 65% of tube well water, says study n UNB In Bangladesh, up to 65% of tube well water is contaminated by faecal pathogens, although the level of contamination is relatively low, according to a recent study by the icddr,b. The study revealed that possible mechanisms were infiltration into the groundwater aquifers from nearby latrines, septic tanks and ponds, seepage of contaminated surface water through leaky seals of tube well components and harbouring of bacteria in hand pumps. The water, sanitation and hygiene research group of icddr,b’s Centre for Communicable Diseases conducted the study, with support from the USAID. The research group carried out a randomly controlled trial to evaluate the individual and combined impacts

of chlorinating and safely storing tube well water on household water quality and diarrhoea prevalence among children in rural Bangladesh. The study also showed that tube well water becomes contaminated during collection, handling and storage in households. There was evidence from various settings on contamination of drinking water during household storage. The extent of point-of-use contamination was typically more pronounced in settings where the source water quality was relatively good, such as in the case of tube well water. The researchers screened 87 randomly selected villages in Fulbaria upazila of Mymensingh to identify households that consistently relied on shallow tube wells (with depth of less than 250 feet) as their primary source of drinking water. l

the political parties and the government has increased. Businesses have lost crores of money because of the practice,” Hazi Md Rashed, secretary of Bangladesh Outdoor Advertising Establishment Owners’ Association (BOAEOA), told the Dhaka Tribune. Rashed, also owner of Century Art, further said: “No doubt the World Cup and the national anthem events will bring glory for us, but nobody from the government felt the need to tell us about the matter beforehand.” The billboard owners had been informed and invited by the government to attend a meeting before the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Morshed Ahmed, a senior executive from Udayan advertising firm, said 16 of their billboards had been grabbed by the government in the capital. “Before the 2011 World Cup, the government called a meeting and told us which billboards they wanted.” “We also contacted our clients attached with the government letter then and negotiated the matter. But this time nobody bothered informing us,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

Only a few months ahead of January 5 national election, the ruling Awami League resorted to a massive billboard campaign in the capital, and later outside Dhaka, which is unprecedented in the country’s history. The government earlier took over a number of billboards after the verdict on maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar. Businessmen say because of the confrontational political activities that took place just before the election, many of them faced losses. Most of the billboards then were seen empty for several months. But as the T20 World Cup neared, the Bangladesh Cricket Board occupied billboards in lucrative positions, most of which carried advertisements of reputed businesses. A senior executive of Ad Valley claimed that some politically-influential advertising companies were also taking over billboards, with the help of government men, ahead of the cricket festival. Mizanur Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Publicity and also a senior leader

of the BOAEOA, said: “An advertisement agency attached with the World Cup celebration concert also grabbed billboards of multinational company products. “But there is no remedy,” he said. Awal Hossain, a senior executive of Rupayan Advertising Agency, said six of their billboards in different prominent places had been taken by the government. “Lots of our billboards are free but the government did not take any of them. We will go for negotiation if the government frees the six,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. Morshed Ahmed, an executive of E-Vision advertising firm, calculated that during the month-long World Cup, they would face loss of at least Tk30,000 for each of the billboards. Seven of their billboards on Airport Road have been occupied. “We are thinking about how to free those,” he said. The Dhaka Tribune tried to contact Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Deputy Sports Minister Arif Khan Joy over the phone. But they could not be reached. l

Postgraduate residency courses introduced n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) has introduced five-year postgraduate (MD, MS) residency courses to 14 more public and private medical colleges and institutes to improve the standard of postgraduate medical education. More than 600 students have enrolled for the current academic session of the residency course, with more than 300 admitted at the BSMMU and 300 others at 14 medical colleges and institutes. Classes for the courses began on March 1, while the admission process was completed last November, with around 6,000 students sitting for the admission test. All traditional postgraduate courses would reportedly be closed gradually and residency courses would be introduced at all 33 affiliated postgraduate institutes. “It will follow the same curriculum for five-year course. The examination will be held centrally at Dhaka on the same date with same questions. It would definitely elevate the standard of postgraduate medical education,” Professor Dr Ruhul Amin Miah, pro-vice-chancellor of the BSMMU, told the Dhaka Tribune. He said the residency course was completely different from traditional MD or MS courses, as more emphasis was given on hands-on training than on knowledge-based education. The BSMMU followed other developed countries in introducing the residency course four years ago, enrolling over 1,200 students since then. Seeking anonymity, a senior BSMMU official told the Dhaka Tribune that the standard of postgraduate courses and the students’ results were below par, as there was no uniform syllabus or exam system for conducting the courses. He added that after coming to power in 2008, the Awami League government brought back all postgraduate institutes under the affiliation of the BSMMU, in a bid to ensure uniform standard for all postgraduate courses. The residency courses have been introduced at 14 medical colleges and institutes. They include Dhaka Medical College, Sir Salimullah Medical College, Chittagong Medical College, Mymensingh Medical College, Rajshahi Medical College, Rangpur Medical College, Sylhet Medical College, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Chest Disease & Hospital, National Institute of Ophthalmology, Dhaka Dental College, Birdem Academy, Institute of Child and Mother Health, and Khaja Yunus Ali Medical College. Professor Dr Sayedur Rahman, treasurer of the BSMMU, said training has been provided to course directors, supervisors, managers and co-ordinators of 14 postgraduate institutes over the last two months. The students of the residency programme do not need to go anywhere outside the BSMMU for any academic purposes during the entire duration of the programme. A senior professor supervises each student and develops their medical skills through rigorous practical work, intensive study and research. The standard of education would be elevated once the courses are conducted at the 14 institutes, Dr Sayedur expressed hopes.l

Abandoned girl in DMCH for seven months n Maria Salam Annu, a seven-year-old disabled girl, has been staying alone at the children’s ward at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for seven months, after she was left abandoned. The ill-fated girl was left abandoned in front of the children’s ward in October last year. The on-duty doctors of the ward informed the Dhaka Tribune about the girl when a Dhaka Tribune reporter was visiting another abandoned boy Siam at the same ward. They said Ansar members of the hospital first noticed the girl and admitted her at the children’s ward. She might be left abandoned as she was disabled, they added. On-duty doctor Nilufar said: “Our director has talked to several human rights organisations and NGOs, requesting them to take the custody of the baby. However, nobody has taken her.” Another on-duty doctor Tasnim said: “Our director somehow manages the costs

of medicines and other essentials for the girl; and special attendant of the ward Fhoolbanu has been taking care of her. “Nobody brings any food or clothes for the poor girl. She cannot walk or speak,

however she can smile. We feel pity for her and try taking good care of her. However, we do not have enough facilities to keep the baby with us for a long time. Moreover, as she stays here, she needs to occupy a

bed, which could be allotted to a critical patient. So, we really need someone to take the baby from here to a place which would be better for her,” she added. Regarding the physical condition of the helpless girl, on-duty nurse Hasi Rani Das said: “When she came here she could not move her hands, but after regular message, now she can take food without any help. She will be able to move her legs, if someone gives her regular physiotherapy.” While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Fhoolbanu said: “Though she cannot speak, she can utter few words. She can recognise me and call me Maa [mother]. “Although I love her, feel pity for her, but it is difficult for me to take care of a disabled baby alone. I am bringing up her like my own daughter, but now she is growing up,” added the special attendant. “Our director sir told me that she will be shifted to a better place soon,” Fhoolbanu said. The Dhaka Tribune has tried several times to contact DMCH Director Dr Mostafizur Rahman for his comment over the issue, but he could not be reached.l

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18 March 2014  
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