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Chaitra 15, 1420 Jamadiul Awal 27, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 365




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Load shedding replaced by ‘power interruption’ Overloaded transformers, worn out distribution lines blamed for power cuts n Aminur Rahman Rasel Despite the government’s claim that load shedding has been eliminated from the country, citizens are now facing a different kind of suffering – several rounds of daily “power interruptions” ranging from 10 to 30 minutes each. Although a new landmark of 7,000MW daily power generation was reached last Thursday, officials from different power distribution companies said the frequent interruptions happened because of nine reasons, mainly overloaded transformers, substations and worn out distribution lines. Development work, short circuits, daily maintenance, work on giving new lines or reconnections, excess demand on consumers’ end and consumer-end problems are also reasons behind the frequent interruptions. “There is no load shedding, but now we are facing power interruptions. People have to be patient. We are working on it,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “We have specially tried to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the rural areas during the T20 world cup, irrigation and summer,” he said. According to government estimation, the country’s highest demand for 7,500MW of power would be during the ongoing world cup, Boro irrigation and

Two die from upazila polls violence n Tribune Report At least two people, who were injured in upazila poll violence in Munshiganj and Khulna on Sunday, succumbed to their injuries while receiving treatment in the capital yesterday. Of the deceased, one Lucky Begum, who was injured during a clash between law enforcers and supporters of BNP-backed candidate Abdul Mannan Dewan Mona at Gojaria upazila in Munshiganj during the upazila polls, died while receiving treatment at the capital’s Apollo Hospital on Thursday  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2


5 With summer just weeks away, people in certain parts of the capital are finding it hard to deal with mosquito nuisance.


9 A multinational fleet of planes and ships raced Friday to a fresh search zone after a “credible new lead” that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was flying faster than first thought before it plunged into the remote Indian Ocean.


11 In a sudden move, Maldives is closing its mission in Bangladesh on April 1. This is not an April fool’s joke but a final closure. Closure was earlier threatened in 2009, during that time, as the high commissioner of Bangladesh to Maldives, I was able to persuade the then President Nasheed to keep the mission open.

summer season between March and May. The state minister also said: “Bangladesh’s installed electricity generation capacity stands at about 11,000MW. The fuel oil- and gas-based power plants will be used to their highest capacities to meet the demand.” Expressing hopes that load shedding

‘We have specially tried to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the rural areas during the T20 world cup, irrigation and summer’ will cease to exist in the country, he said: “One of the major visions of the government is to secure uninterrupted supply of electricity for all citizens within 2021 at an affordable price.” Md Kamal Uddin, a resident of the capital’s Mohammadpur, said the load shedding crisis had eased as there was no major interruption during night, but added that there was still 10-15 minutes of power outages during day. Nasrin Sultana, an Uttara resident, echoed Kamal and said she thought the

cause of interruption was load shedding, which is an intentionally engineered power shutdown. The country’s power generation on Thursday evening stood at 7,032MW, which fulfilled that day’s demand. During the evenings of March 22-28, the average power generation in the country was around 6,500MW. Five companies – Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC), Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco), Rural Electrification Board (REB), West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCO) and Power Development Board (PDB) – currently distribute electricity to 1.4 crore consumers throughout the country with a 285,101km network. One of the causes behind power interruptions was transformer breakdown, said DPDC Managing Director Brig Gen (retd) Md Nazrul Hasan, adding that transformers catching fire often result in supply disruption. Five distribution companies under the Power Division have 690,257 transformers, while 135,287 (20%) of which were overloaded, according to the Power Division, while around 7% of the substations had already exceeded their capacities. Among the power distributors, the REB has the maximum overloaded transformers, with 130,259 of its total 644,079 transformers being overloaded.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

Virat Kohli executes an off-drive in his unbeaten innings of 57 against Bangladesh in the ICC World T20 at the SBNS yesterday MUMIT M

Hefazat plans showdown Tigers put to ground by India n in Chittagong city Reazur Rahman Rohan

n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong The radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam is planning to flex its muscle in Chittagong city in the name of a two-day Islamic conference scheduled to be held in the first week of April in Laldighi Maidan. Leaders of the organisation at a press conference on February 11 announced that it would hold the Resalat Conference on April 3. Hefazat Organising Secretary Azizul Hoque Islamabadi said they had already gotten approval from the CMP. However the date of the conference could be deferred by a day or two due

to the ongoing ICC World Cup T20. He also said although there was no cricket match on those days the CMP requested them to defer it by a day or two for the sake of the smooth exit of the foreign guests. “We have completed all preparations,” he said adding that they were expecting participation of more than 50 thousand people at the two-day conference. A leader of the organisation preferring anonymity said they would hold the conference in Chittagong as the government was not allowing them to hold any rally in the city since the incident of Shapla Chattar in Dhaka on May 5, 2013.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 6

Spineless batting, toothless bowling and a shambolic fielding display saw hosts Bangladesh remain winless in the World Twenty20 after they suffered their second consecutive defeat in the Super 10s yesterday. India dominated once again to justify their position at the top of Group 2 as they sailed past Bangladesh’s 138 with eight wickets and nine balls to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Mushfiqur Rahim made two changes from the previous game as Shamsur Rahman was handed his World T20 debut while Nasir Hossain returned after experiencing a match from the dugout; they replaced Sabbir Rahman and Mominul Haque.

Taming of the rebels n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

It is difficult to identify one specific reason behind the gradually declining number of rebel candidates in the upazila polls but a combination of factors has emerged that may account for the trend. Compared to what it was before the first phase held in February, the number of rebel candidates has almost halved before the fifth phase, slated for March 31. As of yesterday, a total of 43 rebel candidates are running against their Awami League mates and 44 against their BNP mates in Monday’s fifth phase. But by the time more than half a dozen rival candidates from each of the camps have withdrawn their candidatures and announced to work for the party nominated aspirants. Though they could not formally pull out of the race in writing as the last date of withdrawing candidature was already over. In the second phase, the numbers of rebel candidates were 79 and 60 from the Awami League and the BNP respectively. In the third, there were 57 and 51 rebel candidates from each of the tents. In the fourth phase held last week, Awami League had 43 and BNP 44. A total of 74 upazila parishads are voting in Monday’s spell of the

polls. Interestingly, at least 14 of these local bodies are not seeing any rebel candidate from either of the major parties. Conversely, in the first couple of phases, there was at least one rebel candidate in most upazilas. Poor performance of rebels discouraged other aspirants Both major parties organisationally convinced some rebels to pull out Vote rigging dissuades rivals from participating in elections An analysis of the political contexts of some of these upazilas has revealed that there are a number of reasons why the rebels have gradually become less severe headaches for the two major parties. First, many rebel candidates have stepped backed after realising that although the upazila polls are non-partisan affairs, it is really hard to triumph going against the party. Some of them have also realised that dissidence may eventually hurt the party’s local causes. The fact that only 13 rebel candidates from either parties have managed to win the chairman posts in more than 300 upazilas that voted so far, bears testimony. Abu Taher, rebel BNP candidate from Chapainawabganj Nachole

Upazila, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Given the widespread violence and rigging by ruling party men and tremendous pressure to pull out from the central high command, it would be very hard to find a candidate who would be ready to rebel anymore.” Second, a significant number of rebels, mainly from the BNP, have pulled back after seeing many Awami League rebel candidates boycotting the polls alleging widespread rigging. “Everyone is seeing what is going on in the name of elections. Things will go exactly the way the government wants. So nobody is interested anymore to spend money for contesting elections,” said Jatindranath Mistri, a rebel Awami League candidate from Agoiljhara upazila of Barisal. Third and the most important reason is that in a number of upazilas, the rebel candidates, who did loud electioneering, were convinced by central and district-level leaders to eventually not run against the candidates that their party high command had backed. This has mainly happened in those upazilas where either of the two parties or both are organisationally strong, meaning that the intra-party rifts are not too wide.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 4

It was a full house on Friday evening and the home crowd backed their demoralised players with utmost cheer, but that hardly changed the outcome.

Statistics showed India loose only once out of 10 matches chasing a target below 140 and Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli made sure the records stay intact. After Shekhar Dhawan fell early, bowled by Al Amin, with 13 runs on the scorecard, the right-hand combination of Rohit and Virat added exactly 100

before the partnership was broken in the 16th over by Mashrafe bin Mortaza. In between, Mushfiq shuffled his bowlers but was not successful in getting a breakthrough. A chance however went begging when Rohit was on 34. He looked to hit Ziaur Rahman out of the park but only managed to sky it on the midwicket region. Sohag Gazi ran back from short midwicket towards the deep and completely messed up Anamul’s catch as the latter had it covered running in. Rohit notched his second 50 of the tournament before his attempted slice over point went straight to the fielder, and thankfully it was taken by Nasir. India’s future captain Virat was joined by his present captain MS Dhoni  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Saturday, March 29, 2014


17 accused still on the run n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

Even though more than four months have elapsed after a Dhaka court had issued warrants for the arrest of 17 people accused in the 11 cases filed over the much-talked-about Hall-Mark loan scam, police are yet to arrest any of them. Court sources said Judge Md Jahurul Haque of Senior Special Judge’s Court on November 13 last year issued the warrants for the arrest of 17 officials of Hall-Mark and Sonali Bank as they have been absconding since the filing of the cases by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on October 4, 2012.

The ACC filed 11 cases against 27 officials of Sonali Bank and HallMark Group ACC’s lawyer Kabir Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that police arrest any accused immediately after a court issues a warrant for his or her arrest. “I don’t know as to why police are not arresting these officials accused in the loan scam cases.” “They are still on the run, but law enforcers are yet to take any move to arrest them,” he added. The fugitives are Shahidul Islam, owner of Apparel Enterprise, Abdul Basir, owner of Star Spinning Mills, Mir Zakaria, owner of Max Spinning Mills, Md Ziaur Rahman, owner of Century International, Jahangir Alam, owner of Anwara Spinning Mills, Taslim Hasan, director of TN Brothers, Saiful Islam, managing director of Paragon Group, and Abdul Malek, managing director of Nakshi Knit.

The Sonali Bank officials who are also on the run include former Managing Director Humayun Kabir, Senior Executive Officers Saiful Hasan and Meherunnesa Mary, Executive Officer Abdul Matin, General Manager Nani Gopal Nath, Deputy Managing Director Mainul Haque and Assistant General Manager Kamrul Hossain Khan and Assistant General Manager Ejaz Ahmed. The other fugitive is Jamal Uddin Sarker, chairman of Tetulbari union parishad in Savar, who was accused of issuing fake trade licences to Hall-Mark. Meanwhile, Hall-Mark Chairman Jasmine Islam has been freed on bail while seven of the charge-sheeted accused are now in jail. They are Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud, General Manager Tusher Ahmed, former Ruposhi Bangla Branch Manager AKM Azizur Rahman, General Manager Mir Mohidur Rahman, Deputy Managing Director Atiqur Rahman, suspended Deputy General Managers Sheikh Altaf Hossain and Safizuddin Ahmed. Earlier on November 23 last year, a Dhaka court took cognizance of charges brought against 25 people, including Hall-Mark Group Chairman Jasmine Islam and its MD Tanvir Mahmud. The ACC submitted a charge sheet against 25 accused on October 7, 2013. Earlier, the Bangladesh Bank in May 2012 unearthed a loan scam of over Tk3,500 crore in Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch. Of the total, HallMark alone took Tk2,686 crore loan, using forged documents. On October 4 2012, the anti-graft body filed the 11 cases with Ramna police station against 27 top officials of Sonali Bank and Hall-Mark Group on charge of misappropriating more than Tk1,568 crore. l

Patients in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital lie unattended yesterday as doctors and medical staffs of the hospital went on a strike from Thursday onwards. The strike was called after Bangladesh Medical Association Joint Secretary Dr Samiul Ahmed Shimul was sent to jail in connection with the death of a patient in a private clinic because of 'faulty treatment' DHAKA TRIBUNE

Aussie cricketers see taxes saving lives in Bangladesh n Moniruzzaman Uzzal Six Australian cricketers have taken time out in Dhaka to learn how Australian taxpayers’ money is saving lives in Bangladesh and other emerging economies. The players – Aaron Finch, David Warner, Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Muirhead – were joined by Cricket Australia Chief Medical Officer Justin Paoloni on a visit to ICDDRB’s Dhaka Hospital yesterday afternoon as part of Cricket Cares, Cricket Australia’s community action programme. They spent an hour at the acclaimed public health research institution,

receiving a briefing on health issues and achievements in Bangladesh, and touring the hospital, which treats over 200,000 of Dhaka’s poorest residents each year free of charge, says a press release issued by the hospital. The players also chatted with Australian researchers working at ICDDRB and met a number of national staff who were able to study in Australia, thanks to the Australian government scholarships. Australian cricketer James Muirhead, 20, said the visit made him realise how fortunate he is. “It’s a real eye-opener and something I’m really glad I’ve experienced. It was pretty hard to look at. It’s just

Nine killed in separate incidents n Tribune Report At least nine people – two of them children – were killed yesterday in separate incidents across the districts including the capital. In Dhaka, class IV employee of Dhaka Zoo Samir Majumder, 31, son of Swapan Majumder, reportedly took his own life after being beaten by his wife and brother-in-law Thursday night. Police arrested Samir’s wife and her brother on charges of inciting him to commit suicide. Ismail, sub-inspector of Shah Ali police station, said the body was sent to Dhaka Medical College for post mortem. He said Samir had a feud with his wife Sheuly Rani on Thursday evening.

Later, Sheuly and her elder brother Sadhan Kumar allegedly beat Samir. In another incident, a youth named Mohammad Al-Amin, 17, son of Mozibur from Gendaria, was killed after a passenger bus knocked him down around 10:30am. Shafiqul Islam of Jatrabari police station said the body was sent to DMC morgue. An unidentified person aged around 55 died after a vehicle knocked him down at Baitul Mukarram South Gate. Mehedi Maksud of Paltan police station said they were trying to identify the deceased. Besides, a youth named Anowar Hossain, 25, succumbed to his burn injuries at DMCH yesterday.

SI Nazmul of Lalbagh police station said Anowar had set himself on fire and was suffering from severe skin disease. In Savar, police recovered the body of an RMG worker named Sumi Akter, 22, from a house in Narsinghapur area. Aminul Islam, SI of Ahsulia police station, said: “Primarily we suspect she might have committed suicide centring family feuds. We are investigating the incident. The body was sent for post mortem examination.” In Sherpur, police recovered the bodies of two children from two separate spots. Mamata, 12, daughter of Ali Shekh, was found dead in Doripara village of Krishnapur. The slaughtered body of another

child named Firoz Mia, 9, son of Tofazzel Hossain, was found in Khoria border bazar area. SI Bashir Ahmed of Shreebordi police station said a land dispute between Tofazzel and his stepbrothers might have led to the killing. “We are investigating to arrest the killers.” In a separate incident, a housewife named Jhumur, 25, wife of Biswajit, hanged herself in Ghunapara village under Shreebordi upazila of Sherpur. Belal Uddin Tarafder, OC of Shreebordi police station, said an unnatural death case was filed in this connection. In Jessore, police recovered the body of an unidentified young woman aged around 30 from a field of Lebutala village. l

Two die from upazila polls violence


night, confirmed district Police Superintendent Md Habibur Rahman. According to sources, the army personnel fired blanks on BNP supporters when they blocked the way of election officials protesting fake vote casting. “Lucky, wife of the BNP-backed aspirant who was also pregnant, was critically injured after receiving bullet injuries to her abdomen, right thigh and left hand during clash,” Habibur said adding that it was not confirmed whether she was wounded by the shots fired by the Army personnel during the clash.

as the duo carried the team home with no surprise. Virat was on 57 when a big hit from Dhoni, unbeaten on 22, straight over the bowler Zia sealed their victory. The game was half in the bag after India had the limping Tigers restricted below 140, a feat that only Nepal other than them have achieved so far in the tournament. Put in to bat, Bangladesh’s batting was disastrous as it has been in the recent past. It was not only their second lowest T20I powerplay score of 27, but they had lost the top three in quick succession again. However, the start was promising with Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal clobbering three fours in the first over from Bhuveneshwar Kumar. Tamim was on six when Dhawan failed to run him out from handshaking distance, but the opener failed to add up as he departed in the next over to trigger the top order collapse. Tamim fell prey to Ashwin’s tossed up delivery, edging it to slip, before Shamsur gifted his wicket in the next ball. He played a sweep first ball which was pouched safely by the only man deep in the midwicket. Shakib lasted two balls and made just one before an inside edge off Kumar rattled his stumps, and put Bangladesh on 21 for three. Mushfiq (24) and Anamul (44) rescued them with a 46-run partnership, but the run-rate was low which was never recovered by the remaining batsmen. Another partnership developed for the sixth wicket between Nasir and Mahmudullah, but their 49-run only took Bangladesh past par score. Nasir made 16 while Mahmudullah was not out on 33 from 23 balls with five fours and a six. l

According to Gajaria Upazila Thana Nirbahi Officer ATM Mahbub, vote casting at the Bauhsia Government Primary School polling centre was suspended after supporters of one of the candidates staffed around 300 ballots after the elections had concluded. Later, supporters of Abdul Mannan Dewan Mona barricaded the election officials and demanded the result immediately. Soon, the Army intervened and fired few blank rounds to take control of the situation. At least 15 people, including Lucky, were injured during the clash. Meanwhile, a Krishak League lead-

Load shedding replaced by ‘power interruption’  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

Every year, 35,000 transformers are damaged for overloading, causing losses worth Tk200 crore. To tackle the crisis, REB chairman Brig Gen Moinuddin asked all Palli Bidyut Samity to submit reports on the reasons behind the overloading and the damage. The REB chairman said: “We have the maximum consumers and the power supply lines are worn out. In REB areas, interruption rate is apparently higher because of lack in maintenance. We have taken some projects to solve the problem within 3-4 years.” According to Power Division, 382 of Desco’s 5,332 transformers were overloaded, while 1,090 of the DPDC’s 9,348 transformers were also overloaded. Of the PDB’s 25,809 transformers, 3,450 were overloaded, and 106 of WZPDCO’s 5,689 transformers were overloaded. Desco officials said several hundred kilometers of their 3,500km supply

lines were in a vulnerable state. “The DPDC has supply lines over 4,000km, of which 200km lies in dilapidated condition,” a DPDC official said. The REB has supply lines of over 228,000 km, while most of its substations were not in a state to sustain the overload. The REB distribution lines were also quite old and there had been technical problems because of long power outages and frequent damage of transformers, said REB officials. The WZPDCL supplies electricity to its consumers through 9,000km of distribution lines, a large portion of which was in sorry state. Nearly 12% of PDB’s 40,000 km distribution lines were in bad shape, said PDB officials. The DPDC and Desco supply power to the capital and its outskirts, the REB covers rural areas, and WZPDCL supplies to 21 districts in the southwestern region. The PDB supplies electricity to both rural and urban areas except Dhaka, Barisal and Khulna metropolitan areas. l

decades in dealing with the numerous complex and tragic health issues related to extreme poverty. “Although many challenges remain, we are sure icddr,b and other key players will achieve more great results in the next five years thanks to continued support from donors in Bangladesh and around the world.” ICDDRB has received Australian support for over 50 years, and has developed products, programmes and policies that are credited with saving at least 50 million lives worldwide. Established in 1960, the centre develops practical solutions to the key health challenges facing people living in poverty. l

Tangail 8 goes to by-polls today

Tigers put to ground by India


good to see all the work that is being done. It comes at no cost to the people who need this help.” He was proud that Australian aid money was supporting the work of ICDDRB. Professor John D Clemens, Executive Director of ICDDRB, said the players’ visit extended the many existing links between Australia and the centre. “I thanked them for the lives saved and transformed by Australian taxpayer funding, and said they should be as proud of this as they are when representing their country on the cricket field,” he observed. Professor Clemens said Bangladesh had made excellent progress in recent

er, who sustained bullet injuries during polls violence in Rupsha Upazila on Saturday, also died while receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital yesterday, reports UNB. The deceased was identified as Selim Patwari, vice-president of Rupsha upazila unit Krishak League. Police said 11 people, including Selim, were injured during a clash at Rupsha Samantasena Siddiqia polling centre during upazila elections on Saturday. Selim was first admitted to Khulna Medical College Hospital and later shifted to a hospital in Dhaka when his condition deteriorated.

n UNB The residents of Tangail 8 (Basail-Sakhipur) are all set to cast votes in a by-election today to elect their representative to the Parliament. The polling will open at 8am and continue up to 4pm without any break. The parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of Awami League MP Shawkat Momen Shajahan on January 20. “The Election Commission has taken all necessary preparations for the Tangail by-elections,” Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz told the UNB. He hoped that the by-polls would be free and fair as election-friendly atmo-

Apart from this, Baluakandi Union Parishad Chairman and Union Awami League president Shamsuddin Prodhan was killed during a clash between the activists of AL backed aspirant and AL rebel candidate Refaetullah Khan Tota at the upazila during the polls. In addition, another upazila Awami League leader, Mahbubur Rahman Joton, was killed on the same day during a clash between supporters of BNPbacked rebel candidate and AL-backed rebel candidate. Till now, 15 people have died from violence that occurred during the fourth phase of the upazila polls. l

sphere prevailed there. Five candidates are contesting the by-election to the parliamentary constituency. The MP candidates are Shawkat Momen’s son Anupam Shahjahan of the ruling Awami League, Sadek Siddiqui of Manju-led Jatiya Party and independent Abdul Malek (Awami League rebel) and Principal Abu Sayeed (Awami League rebel) and Liaqat Ali. The constituency has a total of 307,382 voters – 145,576 men and 161,806 women – and 711 booths at 117 polling stations in the by-election. On February 13, the Election Commission announced the schedule for the by-election. l

Hefazat plans showdown in Chittagong city  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

“We will ensure huge gathering as it is the first programme in the city after the incident at Shapla Chattar,” he added. Earlier, the Hefazat announced to hold two-day Islamic conference on the Jamiatul Falah Mosque premises in the city on December 12 and 13 but failed to do so as the CMP did not allow them. The organisation announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Chittagong on December 15 protesting the decision of the CMP but they later called it off. l

Taming of the rebels  PAGE 1 COLUMN 4

In Thakurgaon Sadar Upazila, there is no rebel candidate from either parties. JaPa leader and incumbent chairman Sultanul Ferdous joined BNP a few days ago. After that, he pulled out of the race and extended support to the candidate that the BNP had backed in the upazila. In the last elections held in 2009, Tahmina Akhter became the vice-chairwoman of the Thakurgaon Sadar Upazila by securing the highest number of votes in the country. This year, she intended to run for the chairman post. However, she also pulled out and extended support to the Awami League-blessed candidate. “I work for the party [Awami League] because of political reasons. I listened to the party’s political decision and decided to pull out,” Tahmina told the Dhaka Tribune. In Chuadanga Sadar Upazila, initially there were 10 candidates from the BNP. One of them backed by the party and the rest were rebels. On the last day of withdrawing nomination

papers, four pulled back. Of the remaining five, four were convinced by the central high command to step back and extend their support to the candidate that the party had backed. As of yesterday, there was only one rebel candidate in this upazila. “There were some confusions about who the party was going to back in the elections. Now, all the confusions have been cleared. That is why, obeying the instruction of the central leaders, we have extended our support to the party-backed candidate,” said M General Islam, a BNP rebel. In Amtoli upazila of Barguna, wife Nasima Bagum decided to stay in the field as a BNP rebel candidate, only to make sure that her husband, who is the BNP-backed contender in the area, is not affected by vote rigging by ruling party men. “I have not pulled out because I want to keep my agents stationed at very polling centre to prevent the ruling party men from rigging votes. In that way, I want to help my husband,” Nasima said.

BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told the Dhaka Tribune: “Aspirants must have already seen what might happen if they go against the party. They must have already realised that they had been pushed to a corner after becoming rebels. The central leaders have also tried their best to convince some of them to not run against their party mates.” When asked why the number of rebels had been going down, Awami League Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said: “Firstly because we did not get much time to get prepared between the upazila elections and the national poll. As a result, there remained a gap between the central command and the grassroots. However, now that we have settled down, we have been successful in convincing many of the rebel aspirants. “Second, the fact that the party had not done as expected in the first two phases, made many rebel candidates realise that what they were doing was not helping the party,” Khalid said. l




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Indigenous dancers perform at the annual general meeting of village organisations under the sustainable food security programme in Rajshahi’s Godagari yesterday. However, the food to be served at the same programme is seen to be prepared in an unhygienic manner at a nearby playground DHAKA TRIBUNE

BGMEA for optimum use of Mongla port Reza Chowdhury and n Kamran Ibrahim Hossain Ovi Local apparel makers can reduce the cost of business if the government copes with the demand for optimal use of the Mongla port for quicker shipments to save time and money, BGMEA leaders say. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said its members can export readymade garments through the Mongla port, provided the government ensures smooth ferry service at Mawa ghat for crossing the River Padma before construction of Padma Bridge. Besides, the association demands that the authorities build container yards near Mawa ghat for housing the containers before transhipment to Shibchar on the other side of the river by the ferry. The BGMEA has already held meeting with the shipping ministry officials and made a formal proposal in this regard. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan

told the Dhaka Tribune that his ministry would provide the garment exporters with exclusive ferry service for optimum use of the Mongla port and reduce pressure on the Chittagong port, which remains very often congested. He said the businesspeople should come up with detailed proposals so that the government could proceed to materialise their demands, taking into account the construction of Padma Bridge starting in June or July this year. BGMEA leaders said they made the proposal considering the enormous problems the exporters faced in November-December when the troublemakers snapped the Chittagong port from the rest of the country by attacks in Sitakunda, the gateway to the port city. An alternative port could ensure smooth export and reduce the fare as the authorities have been monopolising the Chittagong port, they added. Shahidullah Azim, a BGMEA vice-president, told the Dhaka Tribune that use of Mongla port would be very viable for RMG trade.”Not only the

smooth ferry service, the government will have to guarantee container yard at ferry ghat; otherwise the businessmen will not use it.” He said RMG traders paid US $15,000 to US $18,000 for a standard consignment to Europe. “In Mongla, the price will be lesser as the businessmen can bargain with the Chittagong port. It will help us reduce the cost of business,” said Shahidullah. Abdul Wadud, another RMG exporter, said a covered van charges up to Tk15,000 for a trip from Chittagong port to Dhaka, but it would not cross Tk10,000 for Mongla. He said traffic jam on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway and congestion at the port very often delayed the shipments. “Usually, we need three days to load the consignment in Chittagong port, but we would be able to ship the products on one day if the government guarantees uninterrupted ferry service and necessary infrastructures,” he said. The traders must pay the port authorities additional charges for every

single day in case of delay of shipments, ultimately hiking the cost of business. The main reason for which Bangladesh turns into the second largest RMG exports in the world is least labour cost, giving competitive advantage against other apparel exporting countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and others. The businesspeople said only reduced cost of business can help Bangladesh retain its status as a giant in the RMG. Salam Murshedy, a former BGMEA president, said use of Mongla port could reduce their time to ship the consignments. “Time is money for us. If we use Mongla, we can easily ship the consignments as the port is underused and is not congested. This port can be an alternative to Chittagong port,” he told the Dhaka Tribune, suggesting that the government should associate the personnel with good knowledge on customs regime. Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA)


Members of Old Dhaka Youth Club form a human chain on the Dhaka University campus yesterday, demanding the restoration and preservation of the Dhaka Gate, a historical landmark of the city DHAKA TRIBUNE

Scanty Teesta water hampers irrigation n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Farmers this year received inadequate water for irrigation under Teesta Barrage project as India released less water, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said yesterday. Anisul admitted that he did not discuss the issue with his Indian counterpart since he assumed the post of the minister in January. He, however, said Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque went to India a few days back and he raised the issue at official level. “There are some realities. When an election takes place in a country there is no point of raising such a sensitive issue

as it will not yield any result,” he said. “That’s why we will discuss the issue after the election is over and the new government takes over.” National parliament election will be held in India in April and May this year. Anisul Islam Mahmud was speaking at a workshop in the city yesterday. The two-day regional workshop on sharing lessons and experiences on the current water management issues in South Asia was organised by Bangladesh Water Partnership and Institute of Water Modelling. The water flow of Teesta dropped significantly to one-third of its regular flow during January and February – the vital irrigation period for Boro which is the

main crop of Bangladesh. Due to water shortfall in Teesta over one lakh hectare of land could not be irrigated properly and it might result in less crop for farmers. The minister said there was no interim arrangement with India over the issue. When asked if India has the authority to withdraw water unilaterally, he said: “They have to give us the rightful share. I hope that after the election, we can discuss it.” About an international arbitration he said: “We will think about it later. We will discuss the issue with India bilaterally and I believe that it can be resolved through negotiation.” He stressed the need for proper water management and

sharing of river data regionally. Bangladesh and India share 54 cross-boundary rivers but Dhaka hardly has any data from the other country on these rivers. “Unless I have the raw data, I don’t think it will be an effective way of doing it.” Teesta is the fourth major trans-boundary river in Bangladesh and the Teesta Barrage is the largest irrigation, flood control and drainage project in Bangladesh. The command area of the Bangladesh Teesta barrage is 154,250 hectare, of which 111,406 hectare is a net irrigable area. The project area spreads over seven districts in greater Rangpur, Dinajpur and Bogra. l

One killed, 8 injured in a clash in Barisal n Our Correspondent. Barisal

A man was killed and eight were injured in a clash between transport workers and picnic-bus passengers over boarding a ferry on Barisal-Kuakata highway in the early hours of yesterday in Barisal. The victim was identified as Jasimuddin Haoladar, 30, an assistant of Shakura Paribohon and son of Sekandar Haoladar from Boikathi village under Wazir-

n Tribune Report Ten people were injured in a fire incident in Ulukandipara of Araihazar upazila of Narayanganj that gutted eight textile mills. They were injured while trying to douse the fire. Fire fighters of Fire Service and Civil Defence units in Madhobdi of Narsingdi were able to douse the fire after three hours of effort. The affected mills are Bikrampur Textile Mills, Gopal Textile Mills, Osit Textile Mills, Esha Textile Mills, Pathan Textile Mills, Bhai Bhai Textile Mills, Mojibur Textile Mills and Louhojong Textile Mills. Locals said the fire broke out in Bikrompur Textile Mill around 11:45am and spread within a short time burning clothes, cottons and power loom machines of the eight mills. Joydeb Shaha, owner of Bikrompur Textile Mill said: “The loss is worth around Tk20 crore.” Belayet Hossain, assistant station officer of Fire Service unit in Madhabdi, said: “417 power loom machines, around two lakh meters of clothes and other machineries were burnt.” l

Lax echo-friendly disposal of lead batteries poses health risk

Miscreants demand Tk40 lakh extortion from two Hindu businessmen n Our Correspondent, Sherpur Criminals have demanded Tk40 lakh from two Hindu businessmen in Sherpur and threatened to kill them if they failed to comply. Identifying themselves as a Mafia don, the criminals sent text messages to District Wholesale Trader’s Union President Priyotosh Sarkar and a clothing trader Malik Suman, forcing their demands and issued death threats. The demands for extortion and the death threats to the two businessmen have raised insecurity among the Hindu community in the district town. Meanwhile, Police Super Mehedul Karim told the Dhaka Tribune that police was working to arrest these miscreants. l

is also positive about optimal use of Mongla port. Mohammad Hatem, the first vice-president of BKMEA, told the Dhaka Tribune that Bangladesh’s earnings from RMG would exceed US $100 billion from US $21.5 billion (2012-13). “In that case, Mongla port can help us reduce pressure on the Chittagong port, provided the government puts in place necessary infrastructures and smooth facilities, including banking and customs,” he said. Hatem said the current volume of global RMG trade was US $450 billion, which would touch US $700 billion by 2025. Salam Murshedy said a vibrant Mongla port would also help the businesspeople shift their RMG units from Dhaka to the south-western districts such as Khulna, Bagerhat and other nearby districts if other components of investments such as gas, electricity and better infrastructures were ensured. The railway authorities have already taken measures to set up a rail link from Khulna to Mongla port. l

Eight textile mills gutted in Narayanganj

pur upazila of Barisal district. Abu Zafar Khan, Patuakhali counter in-charge of Shakura Paribohon, said staff Sugandha Paribahon and passengers of NK Travels bound to Kuakata from Jessore were engaged in an altercation over who to board the ferry first at Vorpasha-Lebukhali ferry crossing point on Barisal-Patuakhali route. The feud rapidly spread among the transport workers and passengers of

other vehicles including Shakura Paribahon about 4:30am. Jasim was stabbed at that time and declared dead after he was rushed to Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital, Barisal at 8am yesterday, the counter-in-charge said. Eight more people were injured in the incident. Among them, Ebaidul, 35, helper of Sugandha Paribohon, was critically wounded and admitted to the SBMCH and others were released after

giving first aid, SBMCH sources said. Police detained 20 passengers and staff of the NK Travels picnic-bus, said Sub-Inspector Gazi Nazrul Islam of Bakerganj police station of Barisal. The victim’s body was awaiting autopsy at the Barisal. Police were interrogating the detainees on charge of the killing and preparing to lodge a case in this regard, said Inspector Masum, acting OC of Bakerganj police station. l

As the multiple use of lead acid battery is growing fast in the country, concern is mounting among environmentalists about its proper disposal as most manufacturers lack appropriate disposal system. “Frequent disposal of lead acid battery at open places by battery sellers, users and manufacturers leads to serious air pollution posing a risk to human body,” said Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA). According to Bangladesh Accumulator & Battery Manufacturers Association (BABMA), annually about 2.8m pieces of batteries are used by different sectors in the country with its 10% growth rate. Experts say lead-acid batteries are made up of plates of lead and separate plates of lead dioxide, which are submerged into an electrolyte solution of about 38% sulphuric acid and 62% water. If the batteries are melted in open places without following modern disposal and recycling system, it interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. They also said lead interfered with the development of the nervous system and was, therefore, particularly toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning and behaviour disorders. Symptoms include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anaemia, irritability, and in severe cases, seizures, coma and death. Routes of exposure to lead include contaminated air, water, soil, food, and consumer products. Experts said the recent introduction of solar home system and electric vehi-

cles had given a big boost to the use of lead acid batteries, which prompted a number of local firms to come into the battery manufacturing business. At present, there are about 30 battery manufacturers, but six are leading in the battery business as they hold 93% of the total market share, while only 7% by the traders who import batteries and sell those locally. Among the local manufacturers, Rahimafrooz has been leading the market with 35% market share, followed by Hamko with 18%. Volvo, Ramso, Rangs and some other companies are also active in the battery market. Industry sources said among the battery manufacturers, Rahimafrooz and some 5-6 companies have modern disposal system with environmental safety and compliances. Of them, Rahimafrooz, meeting the compliances, has also been exporting batteries to more than 45 countries across the globe. Waste Concern, a local NGO, conducted a survey in 2005 and found the same fact. Director and Co-founder of the Waste Concern Iftekhar Enaytullah said they found only 5-6 companies were complying with the law. “Others have no echo-friendly disposal and recycling system. They are just violating the law through releasing lead in the open air,” he said. Contacted, Director of Department of Environment (DoE) Mahmud Hasan Khan said they were trying to ensure mandatory compliance of law by the manufacturers. But the compliance by importers depended on the Ministry of Commerce who issue the license to the importer. “If the Ministry of Commerce imposes a condition on the importers to ensure recycling system, then the open disposal will come under control,” he said. l




Saturday, March 29, 2014

SHUJAN: Lawmen fail to contain violence in upazila polls n Mohammad Zakaria The law enforcement agencies and army failed to play an effective role in curbing violence during the recent upazila parishad elections, SHUJAN said yesterday. It alleged that the lawmen did not take prompt action in fourth phase upazila poll to rein in violence even after the EC issued directives for them to do so. Shushashoner Jannoy Nagorik (SHUJAN), a civil society organisation, working for establishing good governance, came up with the allegation at a press conference in the capital’s Mukti Bhaban. The patrol of army, RAB and BGB in the poll centres before and during poll did not prove effective, SHUJAN observed.

Even in the fourth phase, the law enforcement agencies’ role was not praiseworthy,” SHUJAN Secretary Badiul Alam Mujumder said.

Of the 354, at least 161 completed graduation while 77 could not complete SSC The civil society organisation criticised the role of EC, saying it had lost control over the election. The incidents of violence and vote rigging were gradually on the rise from one phase to another, it claimed. In a written statement, SHUJAN

said: “The EC has failed to discharge its duty for holding free, fair and peaceful elections and to prevent vote fraud, irregularities and violence centring the upazila polls.” It observed that political parties were violating the electoral code of conduct by meddling in the local body polls, which should be non-partisan in nature. The organisation called upon the EC, political parties and the government to make an all-out effort to hold the next phase of upazila election in a controversy- and violence-free manner. In the press conference, SHUJAN disclosed a series of information about chairman hopefuls fighting for the fifth phase upazila parishad election to be held Monday next. A total of 360 candidates are con-

testing the posts in 74 upazilas in fifth phase. SHUJAN, however, talked about 354 aspiring chairmen. Affidavits of the remaining six candidates were not available. Of the 354, at least 161 completed graduation while 77 could not complete SSC, according to the report of SHUJAN. Among the candidates, 112 are accused of different cases including murder. At least five candidates earn more than Tk1 crore annually while 58 contestants own properties worth more than Tk1 crore. Among others, local government expert Tofail Ahmed and Shujan officials were present at the press conference. l

Suranjit asks Khaleda to apologise for first president statement n Tribune Report Awami League Advisory Council Member Suranjit Sengupta yesterday asked BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to apologise to the nation for making false claims that her husband, late President Ziaur Rahman, was the ‘first president’ of Bangladesh. He also said that the BNP chief and her son Tarique Rahman were trying to mislead people with such baseless claims. “At a time when the nation had united to create a history by singing National Anthem together, Begum Zia was trying to divide the nation by uttering such fictitious comments,” he said while addressing at a discussion

meeting, organised by Bangabandhu Academy, in the capital. Suranjit also added that after 43 years of independence, such claims by Khaleda Zia and her son was very strange and ridiculous, “All of a sudden, the mother [Khaleda Zia] from Bangladesh and her son [Tarique Rahman] from London had ‘discovered’ this theory. It is a crime and I would like to ask you [Khaleda Zia] to apologize to the nation,” he said. Saying that Ziaur Rahman himself never made such claims during his lifetime, Suranjit also added: “One needs a sovereign land and a constitution to become a President and the President has to be elected… but nothing such happened in the case of Ziaur Rahman.” l

TUC demands food rationing for RMG workers n Tribune Report

Chhatra League issues ultimatum to Khaleda, Tarique n DU Correspondent

The Trade Union Centre (TUC) yesterday demanded rationing opportunity for the ready-made garment workers in the coming budget of 2014-15 fiscal year. The garment workers contributed 80% to the country’s economy directly or indirectly, but there was no certainty that they would have shelter and food, said the TUC President Montu Ghosh. He demanded the government allocate funds in the budget to support RMG workers by giving housing and rationing facilities. Montu made the demand at a protest rally in front of the National Press Club yesterday. “We have always become the victims of oppression and no one cares about the garment workers,” said Joli Talukder, joint general secretary of the organisation. She demanded informing the garment workers about their wages before employing them. The Trade Union Vice-President Mahbub Alam demanded to ensure justice for killing all garment workers. Several hundred RMG workers participated in the protest rally. l

The Bangladesh Chhatra League gave a 24-hour ultimatum to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her elder son Tarique Rahman to withdraw their claim that Ziaur Rahman was the first president of Bangladesh and he declared country’s independence first. The student wing of the ruling Awami League made the demand at a protest rally yesterday afternoon at its central office on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. They later brought out a procession, marching up to the National Press Club. After holding the rally, the speakers said Chhatra League would organise protest rallies in all educational institutions and districts and divisional headquarters across the country tomorrow unless Khaleda and Tarique withdrew their claims by today. Chhatra League President HM Bodiuzzaman Shohag said: “Begum Khaleda Zia has failed in every aspect. Now she is trying to hatch a new conspiracy by claiming her husband Ziaur Rahman was the first president of Bangladesh. We do not expect such falsehood from a chief of a political party.” DU unit President Mehedi Hasan Molla, General Secretary Omar sharif spoke among others at the rally. Central leaders Joydev Nandi, Mustafizur Rahman Mustak and others were present at the event along with hundreds of activists. Later, Chhatra League activists burnt effigies of Khaleda. On March 25, Tarique claimed that his father and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was the first president of Bangladesh. Khaleda also echoed her son on Thursday, also claiming that Zia had first proclaimed the country’s independence. l

15 Indian fishermen held in bay n UNB Members of Bangladesh Navy arrested 15 Indian fishermen for illegally fishing in the Bay of Bengal under Mongla upazila on Thursday. Mohammad Aminul Islam, officerin-charge of Mongla police station, said a patrol team of Navy arrested the Indian fishermen along with a trawler “FB Prosenjit” while they were fishing in the fairway buoy area of the Bangladesh territory violating the maritime boundary law at noon. They arrestees were taken to the Mongal Naval base early yesterday and handed over to police in the afternoon. All the arrestees hailed from different villages in Chabbish Pargana and Hugli districts of West Bengal. During primary interrogation, the fishermen said they had entered the Bangladesh territory mistakenly, said the OC. l

Although the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover in Jatrabari was built to ease traffic congestion in the capital, most vehicles still use the road below to avoid the high tolls taken for using the flyover. The picture taken yesterday shows a gridlocked road below while the flyover remains nearly empty MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Delays to increase Tongi-Bhairab Bazar double line project cost by 17% n UNB The cost of Tongi-Bhairab Bazar Double Line Project will mark a rise by about 17% because of the delay in implementation caused by political turmoil and excessive rainfall over the years. “Many locations of the project went under water and remained inundated for 5-6 months during monsoon in last two years. So, earthwork had to be suspended during the period. Hartals were enforced for a total of 333 days after the launching of the project, delaying the construction work,” said Najnin Ara Keya, deputy director of Bangladesh

Railway, according to UNB. As the project period would have to be expanded for its smooth completion, its allocation would go up in line with the inflation, Najnin said. “As per the international contract, the project allocation is revised every year considering the inflation,” he added. The total cost of the railway project is Tk203.68 crore (US$ 293.64 million) for which the government has taken a loan of Tk20.252 crore (US$ 202.52 million) from the Asian Development Bank. Although the project period was

from July 1, 2006 to December 31, 2014, it would need to be expanded up to June 2015, according to Bangladesh Railway officials. Bangladesh Railway and China Railway Group Limited signed a contract of around Tk1.4 crore on July 27, 2011 to implement the project and the project officially kicked off on November 2 in the same year. About the progress of the project, official sources said the earthwork started on April 4, 2012. The work was going on covering 64km and about 48.58km embankment had already been completed.

Soil treatment was going on in a 20.2km area. Removal and replacement of soil was being done in 10km area. About 314,116 meters of wick drain, 19,447 meters of sand piles and 46,550 sqm geotextile had been completed, they said. Najnin said the physical work of the project would be completed by March, 2015 and another three months will be needed to complete other works. Once completed, Tongi-Bhairab Bazar Double Line Project will help reduce travel time, improve the service of Bangladesh Railway and reduce accident risks. l

Ex New Zealand PM sees scope for more scholarships n UNB

Children take part in a painting competition in the capital yesterday organised jointly by Bangladesh National Museum and cultural affairs ministry marking the Independence Day RAJIB DHAR

Former prime minister of New Zealand James Bolger said there was a scope for more university scholarships for Bangladeshi students to study in New Zealand, with a view towards benefitting both parties. “One area where I do believe we can see greater cooperation (between New Zealand and Bangladesh) is in university scholarships for Bangladeshis to come and study in New Zealand. Your students get to learn in very good universities, and our system benefits from having a more diverse student body,” Bolger said in an interview. Bolger, who was twice elected prime minister of New Zealand in the 90s, was in Dhaka last week to gather support for his country’s bid to be elected as one of the 10 rotating members of the UN Security Council for 2015-16, in his new role as a special envoy of the current New Zealand premier John Key. The vote to elect the 10 new rotating members of the Security Council for 2015-16 will be held in the UN General

Assembly later this year. New Zealand, according to Bolger, will be standing on a platform that reflects their position as a country close to the emerging nations of the Asia Pacific, but sharing good, established relations with the West. “The UN was of course founded in the aftermath of World War II, and as such it still reflects the world as it was back then. Hence, we are grouped with ‘Western Europe and others’ and our nomination comes from that group, even though these days we are probably closer in terms of our dealings as a nation to Asia Pacific,” he said, adding that it would allow them to play a “balancing” role between the two groups. Bolger also said New Zealand would look to use their place in the UNSC to push for reforms to the UN system, but cautioned that this would take time, and could only happen “incrementally”. But he sees the UN as still the best forum for the world to come together and tackle problems multilaterally, such as climate change. l

Sector Commanders’ Forum protests BNP's claim

n Tribune Report Sector Commanders’ Forum yesterday protested the attempts of a political group to establish BNP founder Ziaur Rahman as first president of the country, terming it a distortion of history. “Sector Commanders’ Forum believes that such a weird claim is not only a great historical lie, but also a new attempt of the continuation of distortion of history of the Liberation War,” a press statement of the organisation, signed by its acting secretary general Harun Habib, said. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday claimed that Ziaur Rahman was the first president of Bangladesh as he proclaimed the independence of the country. Earlier, Tarique Rahman, eldest son of Khaleda Zia and Ziaur Rahman, at a discussion in London first claimed that his father was the first president of the country citing the same logic. The press statement said the legal and constitutional base of Bangladesh was established in 1970 by the elected representatives who made Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the first president on April 10. It said as Bangabandhu was detained by the Pakistanis, Syed Nazrul Islam was given the charge of acting president and Tajuddin Ahmad the prime minister. It also said it was a surprise after 43 years, a political group was trying to make Zia the first president against the nationally and internationally recognised history. “It is even surprising that Ziaur Rahman even did not make this weird claim,” it said and urged the people to stand against such ill motive of distorting the history of 1971 Liberation War. l



Mosquitoes provide daily dose of trouble for city dwellers Officials of two city corporations in Dhaka have remained indifferent to this snag

n Abu Hayat Mahmud With summer just weeks away, people in certain parts of the capital are finding it hard to deal with mosquito nuisance. The presence of a large number of rubbish bins and drains clogged with waste have been said to be responsible for the unbridled reproduction of mosquitoes, though officials of two city corporations in Dhaka have remained indifferent to this snag. Residents of some of the localities in Dhaka claim that the problem has got worse lately, hampering their daily lives. It has reached to such an extent that staying indoors without using mosquito repellent coil or liquid even during the daytime has virtually become impossible. “There have been an increase in mosquitoes and those are preventing

people from having a sound sleep. Poor drainage system has contributed to the breeding of mosquitoes,” said Amirul Islam, a resident of Badda.

There have been an increase in mosquitoes and those are preventing people from having a sound sleep Amirul said the city corporation authorities were turning a blind eye to the problem. He lashed out at the city corporation authorities for the irregularity of mosquito-killing drives, adding that he had not seen any city corporation staff spraying insecticide in his area regularly. Like Amirul, many residents of Old

Dhaka, Azimpur, Rayer Bazar, Mohammadpur, Shewrapara, Uttara, Kalabagan, Shukrabad, Farmgate, Nakhalpara and Tejgaon told the Dhaka Tribune that the mosquito nuisance was driving them crazy every day. Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) officials have, however, claimed that they run mosquito-killing drives according to their annual routine programmes during the breeding season, which begins in November and continues till January. DSCC Chief Health Officer Brigadier General M Abdullah-Al-Harun admitted that the nuisance was on the rise and that they had received complaints in this regard from city dwellers. “This is the time in the year when people are plagued by an increase in the number of mosquitoes. Our mosquito-killing drive is on and hope-


Saturday, March 29, 2014

fully, we will be able to deal with the problem within 2-3 days. Two sorts of pesticides – larvicide and adulticide – are being used to control mosquitoes,” Harun explained to the Dhaka Tribune. “Between 8am and 11am, we are using larvicide to check the development of mosquito larvae while adulticide is being sprayed in the evening to control adult mosquitoes,” he said. In reply to a question, the DSCC Chief Health Officer said the quality and effectiveness of pesticides was beyond question. DNCC Chief Health Officer Brigadier General KM Masud Hasan, however, could not be reached for comment as he was on leave. Sources say DNCC and DSCC authorities have allocated around Tk23.5 crore for the mosquito-killing drive, with DSCC allocating Tk14.5 crore and DNCC around Tk9 crore. l

Physicians’ strike causes immense suffering to patients n Our Correspondent, Rajshahi

Patients in Rajshahi have been suffering since Thursday evening as medical services at government and private hospitals and clinics in the city have remained suspended because of a strike called by the physicians there. The physicians and the owners of clinics and diagnostic centres declared a non-stop strike, protesting imprisonment of a physician. Seven organisations, including Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) units of Bangladesh Medical Association and Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad, on Thursday evening announced the strike at a press briefing at Lakshmipur Mukti Clinic in the city. At the conference, the doctor leaders demanded release of Dr Samiul Haque Shimul, owner of Dolphin Clinic, by 10am yesterday. They also threatened that medical services at all the public and private hospitals and clinics in the city would remain suspended and doctors would observe work abstention until Dr

BCS election today n Tribune Report

Two female Chhatra League leaders evicted from hall

The largest trade body in the country’s information and communication technology sector Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) is going to hold its biannual election today for 2014-2015 at Institute of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB), Ramna in the capital. For the first time ever, voters will cast vote in digital format in the elections. Jessore branch committee election will also be held today at the IEB, while Khulna, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Barisal, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Comilla committees were already formed as they were elected unopposed. For the central committee, a total of 13 candidates will fight for seven executive members’ posts and the elected executive members will then elect president and general secretary and other leaders from this elected body. l

Fire at city residential building


A residential building caught fire in the city’s Mirpur area yesterday afternoon. Fire Brigade sources said the fire had originated inside a clothes storehouse on the 3rd floor of the four-storey building, opposite to Gate 5 of Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur around 4:23pm. Four firefighting units went to the spot and brought the fire under control around 4:50pm. However, no one was hurt in the incident. Contacted, Sub-Inspector Abdullah Al Mamun of Mirpur police station said the main door of the storehouse was locked from the outside when the fire originated. “The fire came to light after smoke started billowing out of the warehouse through the window.” The SI added that the fire might have had originated from an electrical short circuit. l


CLEAR SKIES SATURDAY, MARCH 29 DHAKA TODAY TOMORROW SUN SETS 6:13PM SUN RISES 5:53AM FORECAST FOR TODAY Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

38 34 41 39 40 40 36 34

26 25 24 21 23 24 19 24


38.0ºC Jessore

19.7ºC Dinajpur

Source: Accuweather/UNB

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

4:37am 5:53am 12:03am 4:29pm 6:13pm 7:29pm


Shimul was released. Meanwhile, patients’ sufferings knows no bounds because of the strike and a few of them had already left the hospital. Azibar Rahman, son of a patient at the RMCH, said that they decided to shift his father to a private clinic in Dhaka. Contacted, RMCH Director Brig Gen Saidur Rahman claimed that many regular doctors were providing necessary treatment to the patients and medical services were running almost usual. Earlier on Thursday, Rajshahi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Bishwanath sent Dr Samiul Haque Shimul to jail after rejecting his bail petition in connection with a death of a patient at his clinic. Anwarul Haque Tipu, 35, of Sheikhtola of Shibganj upazila, died around 10:30pm on Wednesday while he was undergoing treatment for a broken leg at the Dolphin Clinic. Incensed at his death, the patient’s relatives aided by some local people vandalised the clinic. l

n DU Correspondent

Social activists form a human chain in front of Dhanmondi field in the capital yesterday, demanding the playground to be opened for all


The Kuwait-Moitri Hall authorities of the Dhaka University Thursday night ordered the president and general secretary of the hall unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League to stay out of the hall to avoid any unpleasant incident. Hall President Ajmeri Binta Jaman Nila and General Secretary Lisa Chambugong allegedly beat a student mercilessly on Thursday night suspecting her to be a Shibir activist. Students alleged that the Chhatra League activists of the hall left Islamic books under the victim’s bed intentionally to prove that she was a Shibir activist. Then the general students started demonstration and confined the hall president into a room and beat her with shoes. DU acting proctor Amzad Ali told the Dhaka Tribune: “We have formed a three-member probe committee to investigate the issues.” l

Removal of structures from Dhanmondi Errant flat owners now playground demanded under NBR scanner n Abu Hayat Mahmud Activists from over 50 environmental and social organisations demanded that the structures built on the Dhanmondi playground be removed immediately. They also demanded punishment of those who had built structures on different playgrounds in the city, violating directives of the High Court. They made the demand while addressing a rally held in front of the Sheikh Jamal Club yesterday. The environmentalists held the rally following a report published in English daily the Dhaka Tribune titled “Public playgrounds off-limits to public!” on Tuesday. Most of the public playgrounds under two city corporations in Dhaka have reportedly become off-limits to children and youngsters for lack of proper monitoring and maintenance by the authorities concerned. The Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club authorities have allegedly taken control

of Dhanmondi playground despite repeated directives from the High Court to keep it as a public place. Sources said the club has taken control of the ground bit by bit beside the Road 8 since 1962 with city corporation authorities continually playing a dubious role in this regard. With Mobasser Hossain, member, national assembly of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (Bapa) and former president of Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) in the chair the programme was moderated by Bapa leader Sharif Jamil. Professor Jamilur Reza, former president of Bapa, said once upon a time the public field was free, but now it had gone under control of grabbers for lack of proper maintenance. He also urged the government to free the playground from illegal occupation immediately. Professor Abdullah Abu Sayed, vice-president of Bapa, in his speech said earlier all of the playground were free from encroachment but it was pathetic that in the recent years almost all

the playgrounds in the city have gone to the possession of grabbers. He also said a group of people were using the name of the PM’s youngest brother Sheikh Jamal as a technique to occupy Dhanmandi playground. “We are urging the government to take immediate steps to free all the playground from illegal occupation,” he added. Professor Nazrul Islam, vice-president of Bapa, said: “The Dhanmandi playground is not only for a person or an organisation, it is for public.” Architect Mobassar Hossain said: “We will not accept encroachment of the playground.” “I do not understand by what rights Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Benazir Ahmed was involved in the grabbing of the public playground. I am requesting the DMP commissioner to change his controversial decision,” he said. Dr Abdul Matin sought prime minister’s intervention in this regard, as the South City Corporation has repeatedly avoided the issue. l

n Tribune Report The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has begun targeting the errant apartment owners who are reluctant to pay their taxes. The move came after the organisation in a survey found that many apartment owners of the country have dodged income taxes for years. The tax authority detected that some 166,500 flat owners and traders were still out of the tax net despite having taxable incomes of which 45,600 were home owners mainly in Dhaka city, reports UNB. According to data provided by Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), realtors had handed over around 164,000 flats to their buyers since 1992. The NBR has started to collect apartment owners’ payment information from the realtors in a bid to net tax-dodger flat owners in major cities. According to a source at the NBR, most people usually register their flats in the name of their housewives, evading tax. “We want to examine how much

money the apartment owners have paid to developers to buy flats. Many housewives, who own apartments, do not give taxes,” an NBR high official said. He said the NBR would initially send reminders to such tax-evaders and then force them to pay taxes. In December 2012, the revenue authority had launched a survey targeting homeowners and landlords in metropolitan cities, and shops in markets and malls, aiming to bring three lakh new people under the tax net. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a recent meeting at her official residence Ganabhaban asked the NBR to conduct strong drives against the tax-dodgers and if necessary, search their homes and business establishments. Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman and secretaries of different ministries were present at the meeting that revised budget for the current fiscal (2013-14). l

Jibanananda Mela starts n Our Correspondent, Barisal A three-day-long fair commemorating Jibanananda Das started yesterday in Barisal, the ancestral home of the premier poet of the post-Tagore era in Bangladesh and India. The Barisal unit of Jatiya Kobita Parishad organised the event titled “Sahitya Sammilon and Jibanananda Mela 2014” for the second time. Chaired by Imdadul Haque, director of Janata Bank, a literary conference was held at the Amritalal Dey College during the second session of the day where distinguished cultural personalities discussed the emergence of Jibanananda in the 20th century. Though there had been many other poets in that era who were equally powerful, Das stood somewhat apart from the mainstream because of his unparallel lyricism. His early poems were vivid, eloquent celebrations of the beauty of Bengal; however, his later works, written in the 1940s and 50s, were more opinionated over political

issues and current affairs like the Second World War, the Bengal Famine of 43’ and Hindu–Muslim riots at the time of partition, they observed. They also highlighted that while Jibanananda was best known for his poetry that revealed deep love for nature, tradition and history, he was also strikingly urban, and introspective, centering on themes of loneliness, depression and death. Shohidul Alam, deputy commissioner of Barisal was the chief guest at the inaugural session held at the Amritalal Dey College. National flag was hoisted amid national anthem and festoons were released at the inaugural session. A painting competition for children was also organised. A procession was brought out from the college to the Poet Jibanananda Memorial Hall, the parental house of the poet situated on Kobi Jibanananda Das Sarak followed by a writer’s get-together. Principal of the college Tapankar Chakraborty presided over the discussion. l

Visitors place floral wreaths in front of the portrait of poet Jibanananda Das during the three-day long second Sahitya Sammilon and Jibanananda Mela in Barisal yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Human hauliers still operate on highways n Our Correspondent, Jhenaidah Ignoring the High Court directives, locally made human hauliers – Nasimans and Karimans – have been operating on the highways in Jhenaidah and Chuadanga and Magura. It is alleged that some dishonest policemen took money from the drivers to allow them to operate on the highways. Contacted, some of the drivers of such vehicles on the Jhenaidah-Kushtia highway said most of them were driving the three wheelers by managing the policemen, and added that policemen considered their movement on highways on humanitarian ground. Some other drivers alleged that the leaders of the transport workers union or local units had been collecting Tk200 per day when any of these vehicles ran on the highway. The three-wheeler drivers said around 10,000 vehicles out of total 25,000 vehicles with shallow machine

engines were operating on the highways. The three wheelers gained the popularity as they were used to carry people and agricultural produce at a lower transport cost. Moreover, thousands of unemployed and poor family members were engaged in income generation activities investing minimum capital, the drivers said. Rokanuzzaman Ranu, president of Jhenaidah Bus-Minibus Owners Association, alleged the government had created the environment when the three wheelers started their movement on highways, risking lives and property. It was really a big challenge to stop them completely as it became the only means of their livelihood, Ranu said. Meanwhile, when contacted, Superintendent of Police Altaf Hossain said majority of the locally made threewheelers went off the roads because of police drives on the highways. Movement of the remaining vehicles would be stopped within few weeks, the SP said. l

A shallow-engine-run vehicle popularly known as Nasimon runs on the HSC Road in Jhenaidah town on Thursday, ignoring directives of the High Court


Delay in road repair causes sufferings for locals

Freedom fighters A month on, housewife’s protest against killer still at large filing up canals became unconscious. n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj n Our correspondent, Mymensingh n Our Correspondent, Pirojpur The deceased’s father claimed that A war injured freedom fighter protested yesterday against destroying the forest and environment through filling up canals, swamps and ponds at the Bhaluka upazila in Mymensingh in the name of establishment of industrial plants. War injured freedom fighter Abul Kalam Azad was addressing in a press conference yesterday at the National Press Club in the capital. “Plenty of the industrial plants have been established by filing up many canals and small rivers including Khiru river, Laoti and Kalenga canals at Bhaluka which have been dumping their wastes in these rivers and canals,” he said. “People are unable to use the water from this sources as these have been filled up with industrial wastes and fishes are becoming rare in these rivers and canals,” he added. He also claimed that locals had submitted complaints to the deputy commissioner, but no tangible action was taken so far. Mymensingh Press Club President Ataul Karim Khokon, Journalist Sheikh Mohiuddin Ahmed also spoke among others at the programme. l

A month has passed since a housewife was killed at Jujkhola in Shikder Mollik union in the district, but police are yet to arrest the miscreants. The locals have expressed anger over the reluctance of law enforcers in nabbing the miscreants behind the killing of Moksuda Akhter. Sub-inspector of the thana police station Bikash Chandra told the Dhaka Tribune that drive was on to nab the culprits. Moksuda, 19, daughter of Mojibor Rahman, tied the knot with Jahidul Islam, son of Jahangir Gazi on December 24, 2012. Following the marriage, Jahid and Gazi allegedly borrowed Tk24,000 from Mojibor. Mojibor alleged that Moksuda’s brother-in-law Rocky Gazi and motherin-law Nasima Begum beat his daughter up demanding Tk100,000 in dowry on February 12. At one point, the girl

Moksuda’s in-laws were trying to portray the murder as suicide. They poured poison in her mouth following her death in an attempt to hide the real incident. Her husband first took her to Kachua upazila of Bagerhat and then to Bagerhat District Hospital, said Mojibor. Moksuda’s mother Hasina Begum said: “We married Moksuda off to Jahidul as the latter had been harassing my daughter since she was a ninth grader. We are disappointed that the killers haven’t been detained.” Shikder Mollik union parishad member Md Amir Hossain said Jahidul wedded another girl before Moksuda but she left him as she had been tortured. “He then married Moksuda forcefully.” Mojibor Rahman said he lodged a case with Pirojpur Sadar police station on February 20, accusing five, including Jahidul, in connection with his daughter’s death. l

Local people are suffering a lot as renovation work of Kodalia-Bagutia-Bonna road in Chouhali upazila of Sirajganj is delayed because of alleged negligence of authorities concerned. Local sources said contractors had repeatedly missed deadlines of finishing repair work for lack of supervision by engineers. Renovation work of the road costing Tk2,700,000 was supposed to be finished on January 23 this year while it has started only one week ago. The sources also alleged that five engineers of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), who have been entrusted with job, were not performing their duties properly. As three sub-assistant engineers did not come to the site regularly taking the advantage of engineers’ absence, Johurul Islam, surveyor of the LGED, was handed over the responsibility to supervise the work.

Chittagong’s rail links snapped n Our Correspondent, Comilla The railway communication between Dhaka-Chittagong and Chittagong-Sylhet routes have been halted as a compartment of a train was derailed at Bizupur in the district yesterday morning. Assistant Traffic Officer Omar Faruk said a compartment of Chittagongbound Jalalabad Express had gone off the track around 10am. “A rescue train came around 11am and hopefully the rail communication would resume soon,” he added. Different trains from and to Chittagong had to be halted in different railway stations because of the derailment, said railway sources. Besides, the schedules of Dhaka and Sylhet bound trains from Chittagong may be delayed because of the derailment. l

The authorities concerned should not hand over the responsibility to a surveyor although having three subassistant engineers They also halted the construction work on Sunday as sub-standard construction materials were being used in the renovation work. Laborers were using earth instead of sand in the work and no supervisor was present at that moment to monitor

the work, locals said. Union Parishad Chairman Mizanur Rahman said, “Contractor will not use standard materials, if supervisors do not come to the project site regularly.” The LGED Surveyor Johurul Islam said, “We have not started carpeting yet. The road was constructed many years back so bricks have got damaged badly. We cannot do anything in this regard.” Assistant Engineer Ansar Ali said, “The authorities concerned should not hand over the responsibility to supervise the construction work to Johurul although having three sub-assistant engineers.” Upazila Engineer Nasir Uddin said Johurul have educational qualification to supervise constructions. “Local without understanding anything stopped the work. We will resume work after talking to them,” he added. When contacted, Executive Engineer, Sirajganj district, Md Golam Mostafa said he would look into the matter. l

Police yet to arrest accused in triple murder case

Woman found dead in Jessore n Our Correspondent, Jessore Police recovered the dead body of a woman at a field in Lebutala village under Jessore Sadar upazila yesterday. The deceased could not be identified immediately. Jessore Kotwali police recovered the body of an unidentified young lady aged about 30 from a field at Lebutala village under Jessore sadar upazila on Friday. Kotwali police station Officer-inCharge Emdadul Haque Sheikh said: “On information, police went to the spot and recovered the body in the morning.” “The body was recovered from a jute field”, the OC said. He said the reason behind the killing could not be known immediately. Later, the body was sent to Jessore Medical College Hospital for post mortem examination. l

But, most of the time he stays out of the upazila for personal purposes. Locals expressed annoyance about the reluctance of the supervisors and contractors in finishing the work.

n Our Correspondent, Jamalpur

Hindu pilgrims having a ritual bath in the Baleswari River in Habiganj yesterday


Although five months have passed since three people, including a union parishad member, were killed after abduction at Sorishabari upazila in Jamalpur, police are yet to arrest any accused in this connection. Relatives of victims said they were passing days with insecurity as the accused were issuing threats to them saying if they do not withdraw the case, they would have to face dire consequences. Union parishad member Fazlul Haque, trader Yousuf, and a boatman were kidnapped while Fazlu along with Yousuf were going to their native homes on a shallow-engine-run boat on November 14 last year. Later, police recovered a bloodstained boat and arrested two people

in this connection on the next day. On November 18, police recovered the body of Fazlul Haque from Gabinddadasi area in Tangail while Yosuf was found dead at the same place on November 19. But, the boatman is still remained missing. Suraiya Begum, wife of Fazlul, filed a case with Sarishabari police station on November 16 accusing 10 people, including Abdul Hye, who is known as a notorious dacoit in the locality. Plaintiff of the case alleged that police were not arresting the accused as they had good connections with highups. She also sought protection for her family. Officer-in-Charge of Sarishabari police station Kamrul Ahsan said they were trying their best to arrest the accused. All of the accused went into hiding since the killing incidence, he added. l

Groundwater depletion hits irrigation hard in NW districts n Tribune Report

Paddy cultivation in many northwestern districts have long been facing greater difficulties for inadequate irrigation during the dry or Boro season due to the depletion of groundwater table, reveal some recent surveys. This depletion of groundwater is actually linked to the extraction of excessive groundwater for nothing other than the growing irrigation demand for Boro rice fields, observed agriculture officials and farmers. Additional director of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Rajshahi Region M Nurul Amin said some 16,433 deep tube-wells and 353, 767 shallow ones are in operation to provide irrigation to paddy cultivation in eight districts under his jurisdiction in the current Boro season. Most of the 731,370 hectares of Boro

acreage achieved in this season are irrigated with groundwater, he added. “The number of tube-wells has already exceeded the sustainable limit. And we’re not allowing any new tubewells since 2012,” he said. Besides, we’re encouraging the farmers to go for alternative crops such as pulses and oil seeds that require less irrigation,” Nurul Amin added. DAE Naogaon district deputy director SM Nuruzzaman said Boro acreage in his district had reduced by 1,300 hectares compared to that of the previous season due to the difficulties in pulling up the groundwater. The DAE officials observed that the main reason for the difficulties is the excessive extraction of groundwater for the dry season irrigation. According to records of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), groundwater extraction

for irrigation through deep and shallow tube-wells stands at nearly 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) in recent years against the extraction of only 10-13 bcm surface water used in irrigation. About a decade earlier, groundwater and surface water extraction for irrigation purpose stood at 40 bcm and 8 bcm respectively. One of the major reasons for the saturation of aquifers in the Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts was that excessive number of deep tube-wells -- about 12,000 deep --has been drilled by the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), violating the provision of minimum distances between two deep tube-wells, claimed officials at the Minor Irrigation Division under BADC. A distance of at least 2,800 metres should be maintained between two deep tube-wells, whereas BMDA kept

only a 1,200-metre distance on average, complained the BADC officials. The latest groundwater zoning maps formulated by BADC in 2004 and 2010 showed that groundwater level along the banks of the entire course of the Padma River (Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts) have sunk between two and three metres over the six years since 2004, whereas in Natore and Sirajganj the depletion was between one and two metres. Shallow tube-wells over 23 thousand square kilometres in the country became inoperative for about two to four weeks between March and April, the peak of the irrigation activity, and deep tube-wells over six thousand kilometre area in the country became dysfunctional over the recent years, according BADC surveys updated till 2011. Notably, a study on the recent trends of groundwater level in the Ganges-

Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, published in 2009 in the international journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, states that the groundwater levels in western, northwestern, and northeastern areas are declining at a rate of 0.1 to 0.5 metres annually due to excessive irrigation in the dry season. Though not visible, the changes taking place underground can be gauged easily by the growing difficulties faced by farmers while drawing the groundwater with the motor-driven tube-wells. In most of the northwestern districts, the farmers have been replacing the shallowdepth tube-wells with the deep ones. Md Emdadul Haque Talukdar of Dhawapiction village in Bogra Sadar had to replace one shallow tube-well in his homestead with a deep tube-well and installed a submersible motor in the deep tube-well he used in the rice field back in 2011. l




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Toddlers’ tummy troubles

Disorders of the stomach and bowels in infants and toddlers are one of the most common complaints of children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years of age. Pediatricians report that children who are being weaned off breast milk are affected more. Here are a few of the most common causes of tummy trouble in toddlers and how you can help them through it gus. Certain foods, large meals, or eat- avoid spicy or fatty foods for a couple n Prescription desk ing near bedtime can make symptoms of days. Children who have diarrhea worse. Taking smaller, more frequent meals can help. If your child has these symptoms often, see your doctor.

A tummy upset is a common complaint in small children. Sometimes your child may complain of pain when they are just hungry. CHILD HEALTH Understanding the signs of tummy trouble, encouraging good hygiene habits, and dealing effectively with illnesses can make a big difference.

Germs in stomach

Bacteria and viruses can mess with your child’s digestive tract. Kids can get sick by eating food that hasn’t been properly washed or cooked. It can cause an upset stomach, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. Viruses that spread from child to child are also a common source of diarrhea. Help protect your kids by washing hands often, discouraging sharing food, and keeping them away from kids who are sick.

Hunger pains

A small child may busy himself for some time before he realises he’s hungry, and by then, the physical need may feel very intense to him. Hunger pain is usually relieved by taking food. Don’t give spicy food after hunger pain.

Vomiting in Children

Gas and children

Everyone has gas — even kids. It happens naturally after they eat foods and drinks like beans, vegetables, and sodas. When kids eat or drink too fast or chew gum, they might swallow extra air — that also can cause gas. Although gas is normal, it can trigger stomach pain and bloating. Children don’t get gas as often as adults. If your child often has gas pains, talk to a pediatrician. BIGSTOCK

Acid Reflux in Children

If your child often has heartburn, he may have acid reflux, when food from the stomach rises up into the esopha-


Diet soda may cause harm to health


Vitamins may prevent drug-induced hearing loss

The drug gentamicin can provide effective treatment for people with bacterial infections that are resistant to other antibiotics, but this medication can cause hearing loss. Now, University of Florida researchers have discovered that a dietary supplement shows promise for protecting against drug-

induced hearing loss when taken during gentamicin treatment. The findings of this study in rodents appear online in the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. Studies have shown that between 2 and 25 percent of patients taking aminoglycoside antibiotics experience hearing loss which may develop slowly over weeks. The researchers said, use of a dietary supplement containing the antioxidants beta carotene andvitamins C and E, as well as the mineral magnesium, are help to protect gentamicin-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss is largely caused by the production of free radicals, which destroy healthy inner hair cells of internal ear. The antioxidant vitamins prevent hearing damage by “scavenging” the free radicals and protecting against their effects. l

Time spent sitting down linked to diabetes risk in South Asians


Stomach pain often can be blamed on constipation. Kids can get constipated when they purposely won’t go to the bathroom. Constipation can be a side effect of certain medications or a lowfiber diet. Talk to your child’s pediatrician if it lasts more than one week or if your child has other symptoms, like fever, vomiting, or bloody stool. Treatment may include laxatives and dietary changes. Regular intake of vegetable and fruit can help to relieve constipation. If your child’s pain is severe, see a doctor right away.

Children and lactose Intolerance

Does your child get cramps, gas, nausea, or diarrhea not long after drinking or eating dairy products? If it happens on a regular basis — about 30 minutes to two hours after having milk, soft cheese, or ice cream — he could have lactose intolerance. That means his body can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk. If you suspect lactose intolerance, talk to your pediatrician. There’s no cure, but making changes in his diet can help a lot. l

Dr Sajol Ashfaq

Ear infections are the second most common illness among infants and toddlers, after the common cold. Most children get at DID YOU least one ear infection KNOW? in their first 3 years, usually between 3 and 18 months of age. So it’s best to be prepared to deal with ear infections. The most common type of ear infection, ‘acute otitis media’, is an infection of the middle ear which contains the hearing apparatus behind the eardrum, deep inside the ear canal. Most ear infections are caused by viruses (such as the cold and flu viruses) and some are caused by bacteria. Germs from nose and throat can enter easily to the middle ear through the Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tube is a canal that connects your middle ear to your throat is designed to protect the middle ear by helping to equalise pressure and drain fluid from the middle ear. However, in infants Eustachian tubes are very short, wider and placed more horizontally. As children get older, those tubes stretch into a more vertical position. All these properties of Eustachian tube in infants allowed entering any liquid substances and germs from the baby’s nose and throat to travel up into the middle ear, which in turns lead to higher rates of ear infection in infants. Feeding while lying flat, liquid flows to this area at the back of the throat without being swallowed; it can enter into the middle ear, this is also a common cause for an ear infection. Breastfed babies are naturally fed at a 45-degree angle or greater on mother’s


without vomiting can usually continue to eat normally. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If your child has a fever, seems dehydrated, or can’t keep down small sips of clear liquids, then talk to your child’s pediatrician.

Infants can get ear infection while fed lying flat n


Diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss. Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day may not be harmful for health but some studies suggest that drinking more than one soda a day — regular or diet — increases the risk of obesity and related health problems such as type 2 diabetes. So the day should be started with some healthy choice like a small glass of 100 percent fruit juice or skim milk & diet soda should be saved for an occasional treat. l

Like diarrhea, vomiting can have many causes. Viral infections usually are to blame. In most cases vomiting gets better in a day or two without any treatment. But it’s important to watch your child for signs of dehydration. When children are vomiting or have diarrhea, they can become dehydrated quickly. Look for symptoms like a high fever, dry mouth, lower energy, and little urination. If your child has been vomiting, stick with a liquid diet for about eight hours. Give him/her small sips of water or oral rehydration solution. After that, feed your child with small amounts of bland foods, such as rice, toast, applesauce, bananas, and crackers. Return to a normal diet within 24 hours, but


Feeding while lying flat, liquid flows to the back of the throat without being swallowed can enter into the middle ear. lap or chest in a sitting position of both mother and baby. Sometimes, due to tiredness, mothers themselves in lying position feed their babies at a lying position too. A regular practice of feeding on lying position can make babies vulnerable to have a middle ear infection. Middle ear infection causes pain in ear but most of the babies cannot express their discomfort right away. The parents become concerned when infection worsens. When liquids enter in to middle ear, infection has

progressed, pus builds up in the ear, tympanic membrane gets perforated and pus comes out from the ear canal. At this time babies may have slight fever with pain. If this is left untreated, there can be very serious consequences that might even cause permanent damage of tympanic membrane and middle ear. To prevent such middle ear infection feed your baby in an upright or sitting position. Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle because the milk can enter the eustachian tubes and make ear infections more likely. Use high pillow behind baby’s head and neck if you need to feed your baby on lying position or you can keep your arm underneath baby’s head and neck to place the baby’s head 4-5 inches above from the bed. l The writer is an Associate Professor, ENT Department, Holy Family Red Crescent medical College Hospital, Dhaka.

A hiccup is an unintentional movement of the diaphragm, the muscle at the base of the lungs. It’s followed by quick closing of the vocal cords, which produces the “hic” sound you make. Hiccups may result from a large meal, alcoholic beverages or sudden excitement. In some cases, hiccups may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. For most people, a bout of hiccups usually lasts only a few minutes. Although there’s no surefire way to stop hiccups, if you have a bout of hiccups that lasts longer than a few minutes, the following home remedies may provide relief:  Breathe into a paper bag  Gargle with ice water  Hold your breath  Sip cold water l

Foreign body in eye

If you get a foreign object in your eye:  Wash your hands.  Try to flush the object out of your eye with clean water or saline solution. Use an eyecup or a small, clean drinking glass positioned with its rim resting on the bone at the base of your eye socket.  Another way to flush a foreign object from your eye is to get into a shower and aim a gentle stream of lukewarm water on your forehead over the affected eye while holding your eyelid open. To help someone else:  Wash your hands.  Seat the person in a well-lighted area.  Gently examine the eye to find the object. Pull the lower lid down and ask the person to look up. Then hold the upper lid while the person looks down.  If the object is floating in the tear film on the surface of the eye, try using a medicine dropper filled with saline solution or clean, lukewarm water to flush it out. If a medicine dropper isn’t available, use a glass of water or hold the person’s head under a gentle stream of water. Caution  Don’t try to remove an object that’s embedded in the eyeball.  Don’t rub the eye.  Don’t try to remove a large object that makes closing the eye difficult. l

| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat

n Prescription desk People of South Asian to have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes if they spend much of their time sitting down, regardless of how much exercise they do during their free time, a study suggests. Researchers at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh analysed more than 1,200 people from India and Pakistan. Participants’ blood glucose levels, waist size and exercise levels were recorded, along with the amount of time they spent sitting down. The study explained that South Asians are already known to have a heightened risk of

developing type-2 diabetes at an earlier age. It is well known that carrying too much fat, particularly around the waist, lack of physical activity increases the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes, but this is the first time that time spent simply sitting down has been shown to be an independent and significant risk factor for diabetes in a population of south Asian origin. The research is published in the journal Diabetes Care and suggests that south Asians with sedentary lifestyles should consider taking exercise during lunch breaks. l

| Dr Kazi Mahbuba Akhtar

Drinking a few glasses of water immediately after waking up is good for the health. Drinking water on SELF CARE an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, helps flush out any toxins in your colon. In a way, your colon is ready to take in all the good nutrients you plan to feed your body for the day. Water also boosts metabolism. Drink 2 cups of cold water in the

morning and you are ready to go. In Japan, drinking water immediately after waking up has become a popular habit due to many benefits proven by many scientific tests. From old and serious diseases to modern illnesses, curing them by drinking water has seen many successes. Drinking water in the empty stomach dilutes these all valuable acids and chemical compositions moreover it deactivates the fermentation process in the stomach which leads to indigestion. l


Drink water in empty stomach




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Obama says Russia must ‘move back’ troops Russia says it faces growing threats from US and allies

n Agencies US President Barack Obama in an interview aired Friday said Russia must “move back” its troops from the Ukraine border and start negotiating. Obama told CBS News that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to assemble forces on the border may “simply be an effort to intimidate Ukraine, or it may be that they’ve got additional plans.” Although estimates of troop numbers vary vastly, Obama said that “to de-escalate the situation” Russia should “move back those troops and begin negotiations directly with the Ukrainian government as well as the international community.” He also said Putin had been “willing to show a deeply held grievance about what he considers to be the loss of the Soviet Union,” and the Russian leader should not “revert back to the kinds of

Muqrin secondin-line to succeed Saudi King n Reuters, Riyadh Saudi Arabia’s Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence chief in the conservative Islamic kingdom, has been appointed deputy crown prince, making it likely he will one day become king. The appointment makes Muqrin, the youngest son of the kingdom’s founder King Abdulaziz al-Saud, next in line to succeed King Abdullah in the world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam after his half-brother Crown Prince Salman. “Prince Muqrin is granted allegiance as deputy crown prince, a crown prince if the position becomes vacant and to be given allegiance as king of the country if both the positions of crown prince and king become vacant at the same time,” a royal court statement said. The announcement gives more assurance to the kingdom’s long-term succession process at a time when Riyadh sees itself as being an island of stability amid conflict and political turmoil across the Middle East. US President Barack Obama visits Riyadh on Friday to meet King Abdullah at a time of frosty relations between the old allies over their differing approaches to the multiple crises afflicting the region. US Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks appear to show Muqrin as sharing Abdullahs’s views that Western countries should take a strong line against Shi’ite Iran, which they see as pursuing an expansionist agenda in Arab countries. l

practices that, you know, were so prevalent during the Cold War.” “I think there’s a strong sense of Russian nationalism and a sense that somehow the West has taken advantage of Russia in the past and that he wants to in some fashion, you know, reverse that or make up for that,” Obama said, referring to Putin.. “What I have repeatedly said is that he may be entirely misreading the West. He’s certainly misreading American foreign policy,” the US leader told CBS. “We have no interest in circling Russia and we have no interest in Ukraine beyond letting Ukrainian people make their own decisions about their own lives.”

Russian concerns

On the other hand, Moscow faces growing threats from the United States and its allies, who are trying to weaken Russia’s influence on Ukraine, a senior

security official was quoted as telling President Vladimir Putin on Friday. “There has been a sharp increase in external threats to the state. The lawful desire of the peoples of Crimea and eastern Ukrainian regions is causing hysteria in the United States and its allies,” Interfax quoted Alexander Malevany, deputy head of the Federal Security Service, as saying. He said Russia was taking “offensive counter-intelligence and intelligence measures” to blunt Western efforts to “weaken Russian influence in a region that is of vital importance,” Interfax reported. The report indicated Malevany had given no details about the measures, but the remarks could increase Western concerns that Moscow may have designs on eastern Ukraine after annexing the Crimea region, a move that has caused the biggest crisis in EastWest relations since the Cold War. l

Obama arrives for talks with Saudi King on US Middle East role n Reuters, Riyadh US President Barack Obama arrived in Riyadh on Friday, aiming to persuade King Abdullah Saudi Arabian concerns that America is slowly disengaging from the Middle East are unfounded. Obama, on his first visit to the kingdom since 2009, was due to meet Abdullah and other senior princes of the ruling al-Saud family in the monarch’s desert farm at Rawdat Khuraim northeast of the capital Riyadh. Obama descended to a red carpet, where he was welcomed by a group of Saudi princes. Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice followed Obama down the

stairs and into the receiving line. While Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, supplies less petroleum to the United States than in the past, safeguarding its energy output remains important to Washington, as does its cooperation in combating al Qaeda. Saudi rulers are hoping for the United States to shift its position on support for Syrian rebels, whom Riyadh has backed in their battle to oust President Bashar al-Assad. They have previously fretted about Washington’s reluctance to allow the supply of surface-to-air missiles, sometimes known as manpads, for fear they could end up in the hands of militants outside of Syria.

n Reuters, Washington An influx of almost 1 million refugees from Syria into neighboring Lebanon poses a serious threat to the already fragile country, but donor nations may not grasp the potential impact of further destablization, a UN official said on Thursday. “There is not a single country in the world today that is shouldering as much in proportion to its size as Lebanon,” said Ninette Kelley, regional representative for Lebanon for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“If this country is not bolstered, then the very real prospect of it collapsing and the conflict of Syria spreading full force to Lebanon becomes much more likely,” she said during a visit to Washington. Last month, top UN officials said that as Syria’s grinding conflict enters its fourth bloody year, Syrians are set to replace Afghans as the world’s largest refugee population. The largest concentration of Syrian refugees, close to 1 million people, can now be found in Lebanon. l

plicate him in corruption and topple him, said suggestions Gulen was involved were “beyond comedy.” The leaking of such sensitive material, and other evidence of infiltration of the security and surveillance apparatus, could also raise alarm among NATO allies who see Turkey as occupying a crucial position on the edge of a volatile Middle East.


Supporters of Turkey’s Prime Minister cheering and waving Turkish and AK Party (AKP) flags during an election rally in Istanbul AFP

Turkey’s spymaster discusses possible military intervention in Syria with army and civilian chiefs, and days later it all appears on the Internet. This breach appears to highlight a shocking truth for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: that Turkey can no longer keep even top-level security planning secret, despite his purge of thousands of officials to root out a covert network of enemies he accuses of sabotaging the state. Erdogan was out of public action on Friday, resting his voice strained by campaigning for local elections this weekend - the first in a string that will decide the future of a man who has reformed Turkey fundamentally but is now accused of authoritarian and divi-

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said coordination with the kingdom on Syria policy, particularly regarding providing assistance to the Syrian rebels, had improved. “That’s part of the reason why I think our relationship with the Saudis is in a stronger place today than it was in the fall when we had some tactical differences about our Syria policy,” he told reporters on Air Force One. But he added Washington still had concerns over the supply of manpads to rebels, and that one of the main topics Obama and Abdullah would discuss would be how to empower the moderate opposition to counter Assad and isolate extremist groups.

King Abdullah and his family believe it is a strategic imperative to end Assad’s rule to block what they see as a threat of Iranian domination in Arab countries, a view not shared by Washington. The Saudis hope that by strengthening the rebels, they can change the balance of power on the battlefield enough to make Assad’s main foreign backers more open to the idea of a political transition that involves a change of government. However, Obama has shown himself wary of being drawn into another conflict in the Muslim world after working hard to end or reduce American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. l

UN: Syria refugee crisis poses Obama ready to expand covert major threat to Lebanon aid to Syrian opposition

Turkish security breach exposes Erdogan vulnerability to ex-ally

n Reuters, Istanbul

Washington National Guard rescue workers make their way through the mud and wreckage left behind by Saturday’s mudslide as they look for signs of missing persons, in Oso, Washington March 27. Washington state officials said the confirmed death toll from a huge mudslide in the US Pacific Northwest was likely to rise sharply from 25 on Friday as residents accused local authorities of a slow early response to the disaster that had cost lives. Picture taken March 27 REUTERS

sive tendencies. Even without the principal actor, the drama played on over the leaked audio tape that appeared on YouTube on Thursday. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in whose office the security meeting took place, said “everyone and everything within the Foreign Ministry will be investigated with utmost scrutiny” - a measure of the alarm stirred by the tape and fears of others that might follow. “This is an act of espionage against the security of the state, it is audacity the like of which we have never seen before,” said President Abdullah Gul, an Erdogan ally. A body close to the Hizmet movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of running a “dirty campaign” of espionage to im-

Sunday’s local polls will test Erdogan’s popularity following the corruption scandal and a heavyhanded police crackdown on anti-government protests in the summer. Failure by Erdogan’s AK Party to hold Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city, and the capital Ankara could undermine his authority. It is unclear yet what effect the corruption scandal and leak will have on the outcome, but government officials argue the tape could work in Erdogan’s favour by rallying voters disgusted by the release state secrets behind him. Sympathetic media stuck up for Erdogan on Friday. “We condemn the heinous treason against Turkey,” a couple of dozen pro-government newspapers and television stations said in a joint statement. “Exposing all kinds of state secrets and strategic plans to overthrow the government in pursuit of success, the shadow organisation has given itself away.” Erdogan used Gulen’s influence in his early years in power to help rein in an army that had toppled four governments in 40 years. l

n Reuters, Washington The United States is ready to step up covert aid to Syrian rebels under a plan being discussed with regional allies including Saudi Arabia, according to a Washington Post report. The plan includes CIA training of about 600 Syrian opposition forces per month in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar, foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius wrote on Thursday. That would double the forces currently being trained in the region.

UN raises alarm over escalating violence in Darfur n Reuters United Nations and African Union officials sounded an alarm on Thursday over the worsening violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region, which has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people this year in the remote, conflict-torn territory. The expressions of concern came as a US activist group released an analysis of new satellite images that it said showed signs of devastation in an area of Darfur in which Khartoum-backed Janjaweed fighters were recently present. Joseph Mutaboba, deputy head of the joint UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, and Ali AlZa’tari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, issued a joint statement that said it had become extremely difficult to deliver aid to the needy people of Darfur. “In the last month, a wave of violence has been underway in Darfur, affecting tens of thousands of people,” they said. “Since the beginning of 2014, more than 215,000 people in Darfur have been displaced from their homes. Many people in Darfur have no choice but to flee their homes in fear.” “We call upon the Government of Sudan and all actors and parties involved in the conflict and the international community to take robust measures to ensure the protection of civilians and unimpeded access of aid workers in Darfur,” they said. Earlier this month the United States accused the Sudanese government of obstructing peacekeepers in Darfur. l

The Obama administration was debating whether to use US Special Operation forces and other military personnel in the training, something Syrian rebels have argued would carry less political baggage than the CIA, according to the column. President Barack Obama was en route Friday to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strong supporter of Syria’s rebels but has clashed with Washington over how aggressively to intervene in Syria. There was no announcement planned on additional aid. l

Tymoshenko ignites Ukraine election campaign n AFP, KIEV Ukraine’s race to succeed ousted Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych heated up Friday after his arch-rival Yulia Tymoshenko joined a crowded field of contenders ready to tighten Kiev’s embrace of the West. The charismatic but hugely divisive Tymoshenko’s decision to contest the May 25 poll encapsulates the spectacular scale of change that has swept over the culturally splintered nation since it was first hit by waves of deadly pro-Europe protests four months ago. The 53-year-old -- her hair bleached and braided in a peasant style meant to appeal to her Ukrainian nationalist base -- was released from a disputed jail sentence within hours of parliament’s decision to strip Yanukovych of power on February 22. Yanukovych, who fled to Russia, has become for many a symbol of the cronyism and corruption that has stopped the ex-Soviet nation from enjoying the growth and living standards of other east European states that fell under Kremlin rule after World War II. The deposed leader added fuel to the election-day fire by calling Friday for every region to hold its own sovereignty referendum following the Kremlin’s annexation of Ukraine’s Russian-majority Crimean peninsula. “Demand a (May 25) referendum on determining the status of every region in Ukraine,” Yanukovych said in a statement quoted by Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency. l

Italy sells Jaguars, Maseratis on ebay to cut costs

n Reuters, Rome Italy’s government is selling off scores of official cars including Jaguars and Maseratis on online auction site eBay as it strives to show it is responding to public pressure to cut spending and the privileges of the powerful. A total of 151 vehicles, including 40 BMWs, are up for sale - a fraction of a 60,000-strong fleet owned by Italy’s public bodies that the state estimates costs more than 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) a year to run. The auction is unlikely to make a dent in Italy’s 2 trillion euro debt. But it is widely seen as a highly visible and symbolic move by new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Popular fury at the luxuries enjoyed by the political elite at a time of economic hardship helped the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement sweep up a quarter of votes in its first national election a year ago.

But Renzi, who took power in a February party coup, has sought to transform the public mood with promises of tax cuts, ambitious reforms and a less ostentatious style. He drove to a meeting with his predecessor Enrico Letta, shortly before he replaced him, at the wheel of a blue Smart car. So far online bidding has been concentrated on a grey Alfa Romeo 166, with a current top offer of 8,621 euros. A BMW 525d, with camel-coloured leather seats, is going for 15,050 euros after 75 bids. Bidding has yet to open on two Jaguars, among the most exclusive models on offer. They were previously used by the Justice Ministry, which had a fleet of more than 830 chauffeured cars at the end of last year. Nine Maseratis are also on offer at the auction, which began two days ago and runs until mid-April. l




Saturday, March 29, 2014

MH370 search pivots north n AFP, Perth A multinational fleet of planes and ships raced Friday to a fresh search zone after a “credible new lead” that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was flying faster than first thought before it plunged into the remote Indian Ocean. Ten aircraft from six countries -Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States -- diverted to an area 1,100 kilometres (685 miles) northeast of where they have been looking for a week, far off western Australia. Late Friday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said five aircraft had spotted “multiple objects” in the new search area but they were not expected to be reached by ship for confirmation until Saturday. Five Chinese ships and an Australian naval vessel were steaming to the new zone after the weather cleared fol-

lowing the suspension of the air search Thursday due to thunderstorms and high winds. AMSA said Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 was in the search area and would be in a position to locate the objects on Saturday. Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the new search area, “although more focused than before, remains considerable; and the search conditions, although easier than before, remain challenging.” The revised search sector -- about the size of Norway -- was “based on continuing analysis of radar data between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca before radar contact was lost (with MH370),” AMSA said. “It indicated that the aircraft was travelling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean.” l

Taliban attack: Four trapped in Kabul building n Reuters, Kabul

US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon, state of the art marine surveillance aircrafts are joining the search for the MH370


Roots for Peace, a US-based aid group, said that four people were trapped in its guesthouse, which was still under attack by the Taliban in the Afghan capital on Friday. “I can confirm it was attacked and that there are only four people (inside),” said country manager Hajji Mohammad Sharif Osmani. “The rest of the guys are outside,” he told Reuters by telephone. Osmani said that most of the group’s staff had been rescued and no one was known to have been killed. A Reuters witness at the scene saw about 20 people who appeared to be non-Afghans being evacuated from the guesthouse in an upmarket residential area of the capital, many looking frightened and in shock. A gun battle erupted after a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside the building and insurgents forced their way in, and heavy gunfire resonated in the area for more than an hour after the initial explosion. l

Sri Lanka leader releases Indian fishermen n Reuters, Colombo,

Pakistan Taliban agrees to UN to investigate Sri Lanka war crimes ceasefire to help Afghans n

Sri Lanka’s president ordered the release on Friday of 98 Indian fishermen detained for poaching as a “goodwill gesture” after New Delhi abstained in a vote on a UN resolution that approved an international inquiry into alleged war crimes on the island. India, Sri Lanka’s largest trade partner, backed two prior resolutions, but on Thursday unexpectedly took a neutral stand on the demand for a probe into actions by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during the 26year conflict that ended in 2009. “The president ordered the release of all Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture,” Mohan Samaranayaka, a spokesman for President Mahinda Rajapaksa, told Reuters. A total of 23 states voted in favour of the US-led resolution, 12 against and 12 abstained. Among those who voted against were China and Pakistan, while India withheld its vote over concerns that the investigation would be “intrusive.” Sri Lanka says poaching and illegal fishing by Indian fishermen depletes the catches of its own fishermen. l

The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have secretly agreed to focus on carrying out operations in Afghanistan, with Pakistani militants announcing a ceasefire with their government in order to preserve militant bases used to stage cross-border attacks. The collaboration between the two Talibans, revealed to Reuters by militant chiefs and security officials in the region, increases the risk that violence will escalate further in a crucial year for Afghanistan. The nation of 30 million people holds a presidential election on April 5, a litmus test for foreign donors hesitant about bankrolling the government after the bulk of NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan withdraw this year. The Pakistani and Afghan Taliban are closely allied and both aim to impose a strict form of Islam on their societies. But their leadership and targets differ. The Pakistani Taliban focus their attacks in Pakistan, while the Afghan Taliban focus on Afghan and NATO security forces and anyone allied to

Reuters, Geneva

n Reuters, Kabul

them. A rash of Taliban attacks this month has already raised concerns about the credibility of the poll, which should mark the first democratic transfer of power in war-ravaged Afghanistan. Most foreign observers withdrew their monitors after a deadly attack on a hotel in the heart of the capital, increasing the risk of the widespread fraud that marred the last presidential election in 2009. A large number of voters may also be too scared to cast their ballot. Afghanistan’s interior minister said this week that the one-month ceasefire announced by the Pakistan Taliban on March 1 to revive peace talks with the government in Islamabad had prompted militants there to switch focus from home soil to Afghanistan. “From the day there was a ceasefire on that side, almost every night one or other of our border posts has been attacked by people from the other side of the border,” Umer Daudzai told Reuters. The ceasefire was urged on the Pakistani Taliban by the hardline Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban. l

The United Nations on Thursday launched an inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during the conflict that ended in 2009, saying the government had failed to investigate properly. “The international community has become increasingly concerned by the continued lack of progress in achieving reconciliation, justice and accountability for serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” Paula Schriefer, US deputy assistant secretary of state, told the UN Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka, which rejected the resolution, has been under international pressure to deal with war crimes allegedly committed in the final stage of the 26-year conflict, when the army defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Sri Lanka’s ambassador, Ravinatha Aryasinha, told the talks on Thursday the island nation had made tangible progress in addressing accountability. He said parallel processes would be “counter-productive.” “Sri Lanka categorically and unreservedly rejects this draft resolution as it challenges the sovereignty and inde-

pendence of a member state of the U.N ... and is inimical to the interests of the people of Sri Lanka,” he said in a speech before the vote. But Britain’s ambassador Karen Pearce said: “This is not about needing more time. It is about the government not showing the political will to back a transparent, thorough and credible investigation that delivers truth to those who seek it.” The head of Sri Lanka’s human rights council said the inquiry’s eventual report could lead to sanctions on the country imposed by the UN Security Council, including a freeze of bank accounts and bans on travel by Sri Lankan leaders. “That is where the problem will start,” said Prathiba Mahanama. “But we still have an opportunity to do things in a way to prevent a report reaching the Security Council.” A total of 23 states voted in favour, 12 against and 12 abstained. States that voted against included China and Pakistan, while Sri Lanka’s neighbour, India, abstained. US Secretary of State John Kerry said the vote “sends a clear message: The time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now; justice and accountability cannot wait.”

“We are deeply concerned by recent actions against some of Sri Lanka’s citizens, including detentions and harassment of civil society activists. Further reprisals against these brave defenders of human rights and the dignity of all Sri Lankan citizens would elicit grave concern from the international community,” Kerry said in a statement. The investigation will be led by the office of UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, a former UN war crimes judge. Amnesty International said the inquiry would bring hope for thousands of victims of abuses in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a gathering on Wednesday the West and the United Nations were talking about false allegations, and had failed to take similar action when the separatist Tamil Tigers had attacked people and religious places. Rajapaksa was speaking in southern Sri Lanka among the country’s Buddhist majority at a campaign event for local polls on Saturday. Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance, the main Tamil party, thanked the countries that supported the text. “We appeal to the government of Sri Lanka to extend their fullest cooperation to ensure the implementation of the resolution. l

Pakistan sentences Christian to death for blasphemy n Reuters, Lahore

Left: A worker from India’s ruling Congress party holds a broken cut-out of Rahul Gandhi, Right: Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat’s chief minister, attends the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) national convention in New Delhi REUTERS

The great Indian election: It’s about jobs n Reuters, Patna

Old enough to vote for the first time, student Sheeba Shamim, the daughter of a middle class family, and young construction workers sweating on a nearby building site are impatient for a government in India that delivers jobs and hope for the future. They are among more than 100 million registered new voters, who will cast their ballots when the world’s biggest democracy holds a general election that will run from April 7 to May 12. The election comes as India struggles through its longest period of sub5 percent economic growth since the 1980s. Job growth has slowed and infrastructure projects stalled just as the biggest youth bulge the world has ever seen nears its peak in a country where more than half its 1.2 billion people are aged under 25. Shamim, a 20-year-old undergraduate in media studies at university in Patna, the capital of Bihar, one of the states that make up India’s Hindi speaking heartland, is hungry for change. “I want India to become the world’s biggest economy. I want my country to be at the top. If we get a perfect, strong

leader, that day is not far away when we actually get there,” Shamim told Reuters in a leafy college campus. In five years, Shamim aims to anchor a national news show. A few hundred metres away, 22-year-old construction worker Ashok Tiwari dreams of becoming a music star. Right now, he earns $3 a day building luxury flats for the newly wealthy in what is one of the world’s fastest growing cities. “There are many issues that require urgent attention. Corruption is the most important of them,” Tiwari says. “You have to make sure that jobs don’t go to only those who have money and can pay for them.” Having led the country for a decade, octogenarian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is due to retire, leaving behind a Congress Party dogged by graft scandals and pilloried for its poor handling of the economy. India needs far faster economic growth rates than the 4.9 percent expected for the fiscal year that ends on March 31, but it also needs to reduce inflation, currently running at just over 8 percent. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram says economic growth averaging 8

percent is required to generate jobs for the increasing numbers of youth joining the workforce. Some 200 million people will reach working age over the next two decades. How well the next government does on that score will decide whether India will follow China’s dynamic growth path or resemble Brazil in the 1980s, politically fragile and poor. Even by the government’s own estimates 270 million Indians still live in poverty despite gains made in the past decade. The ambitions of youngsters like Shamim and Tiwari reflect changes taking place in giant northern states like Bihar and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, which have a combined population almost that of the United States but have seen their development lag while other regions have flourished. Semi-urban sprawl and new roads blur boundaries between villages and towns, while migration, new media, mobile phones, and of course television, mean people are more keenly aware of how the lives of others are improving faster than their own. “Information has been democratised,” said Saibal Dasgupta of the Asia Development Research Institute, a

think tank in Patna. “Aspirations have no upper limits now. Even provincial India has become aspirational.” This mood seems to favour opposition candidate Narendra Modi. The leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has marketed himself as the man who will kickstart the economy, bring in factories, and educate the densely populated and still-poor heartland states. “We should be like China or America,” said Ravi Prakash Shukla, 23, a science graduate who recently joined the BJP youth wing to support Modi’s campaign. “I feel we can do better because we are young,” he told Reuters at a rally in Uttar Pradesh. A BJP official involved in drafting the party’s manifesto, due to be released next week, said it would include ambitious goals to create 250 million jobs over the next decade, build 100 ‘smart’ cities, and construct a high speed rail network. Critics acknowledge Modi’s credentials as an economic manager, but say he is autocratic and has sectarian tendencies that could alienate India’s large Muslim minority. l

A Pakistani judge has sentenced a Christian to death for blasphemy, lawyers said on Thursday, in the latest of a rising tide of such legal cases. Judge Lahore Ghulam Murtaza Chaudhry sentenced Sawan Masih to hang after a Muslim said he had insulted the prophet Mohammed in the eastern city of Lahore a year ago. The accusation against Masih sparked a riot in which Muslims burned more than 100 Christian homes. “Today (the judge)announced his verdict that says that Sawan must be hanged and fined,” said Nameem Shakir, a lawyer for the accused. Masih planned to appeal, he said. At least 16 people are on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy and at least 20 others are serving life sentences. Pakistan has not yet executed anyone for blasphemy. Members of religious minorities say they are often threatened with such accusations.

The law does not require evidence to be presented in court and there are no penalties for false allegations. Courts often hesitate to hear evidence, fearful that reproducing it will also be considered blasphemous. Activists who want to reform the law say it is often abused by those seeking to grab money or property from the accused. Often the accused do not even make it to court. At least 52 people accused of blasphemy have been lynched since 1990, according to a 2012 report from the Islamabad-based think tank the Center for Research and Security Studies. “The severe penalties for Pakistan’s blasphemy law make it one of the most repressive laws in the world,” said a report released this month by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a government advisory panel. Judges have been attacked for acquitting blasphemy defendants, the report said. l

Indian air force cargo plane crashes, killing all 5 crew n Reuters, New Delhi An Indian Air Force cargo plane crashed on Friday, killing its crew of five, in the latest of a string of accidents to spotlight poor safety standards across the country’s armed services. Last month, India’s navy chief resigned, taking moral responsibility for a series of accidents, on the same day that two officers were killed by smoke in a submarine. In Friday’s crash, a US-made C-130J Hercules aircraft came down in a desolate area of the central state of Madhya Pradesh while on a routine training mission. All five crew members on board were killed, Air Force spokesman Capt

Gerard Galway said. The defence ministry said it had ordered an investigation into the cause of the accident. The aircraft, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, was one of six bought for the air force at a cost of $962 million in 2011. It crashed to the west of the city of Gwalior after taking off at 10 a.m. (0430 GMT) from Agra, home of the famed Taj Mahal monument. It was the first crash of a Hercules aircraft of the Indian Air Force, which has been plagued for years by the crashes of its Russian-made MiG-21 fighters. More than half the MiG fleet of 872 aircraft has been lost to crashes that killed 171 pilots, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament in 2012. l




Letters to

Profit or perish the right message for SOEs


e welcome the prime minister’s speech to employees of Biman Bangladesh Airlines urging them to make the airline profitable, or to face possible loss of support from the government. Her frankness marks a welcome turn in attitude and policy. It is neither desirable nor necessary for taxpayers to keep subsidising Biman’s losses and loan guarantees. Despite the many travellers which the country provides, Biman’s prospects for profitabilty are limited and, in the current fiscal year, it has lost nearly a fifth of its year on year revenues and passengers. The PM’s tough love message for employees of the national carrier should be extended and given to managers of every state–owned enterprise. Bangladesh cannot afford to keep propping up loss-making state–owned enterprises. This is not just because of the vital funds which many of them waste, but more crucially because they amount to a vast opportunity cost which holds back the growth of the economy. Privatisation can not only lower the taxpayers’ burden, but also enable the government to lease or sell the large amounts of valuable land and buildings currently occupied by loss–making SOEs. For instance, instead of subsidising loss making SOEs, state– owned resources could be put to far better use by profitable privately owned enterprises, by providing space for EPZs or new RMG factories. It is time for state enterprises to make a profit or to step aside for better managed private sector businesses who can boost the economy by creating new jobs.

State resources could be put to far better use by private sector businesses

EC must set an example on election violations


he Election Commission is due to give an order on Sunday in the case of two ruling party candidates elected from the Jessore-1 and Jessore-2 constituencies, who violated the electoral code of conduct during the 10th parliamentary elections held on January 5. An electoral inquiry committee submitted a report to the commission on January 3 finding that the two had been breaching or conspiring to breach the code of conduct, and the EC has been seeking to declare their candidatures invalid since January 7. In making their case for the EC to issue gazette notification of election results in these two constituencies, the pair asked the High Court to declare that the returning officer should have enforced the electoral laws before the election was held on January 5. The High Court referred the matter back to the EC to resolve, and at a short hearing earlier this week, the two candidates sought to apologise for their actions, while remaining of the view that they should be declared elected. It is clearly insufficient for these two candidates to merely apologise for violating electoral laws. The offending candidates should both be punished to the maximum extent of the law. The law requires and the public deserves zero tolerance for violations of election codes and procedures. The EC needs to uphold its rules and set an example to deter others from breaching the law in this way. It should not accept an apology as a reason for leniency.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

the Editor


Investors’ swoop on debutants may burn fingers March 25

Good article. On a similar note, a few years ago I recall reading research titled “Why US Firms Choose Global Equity Offerings” by Wu, highlighting how announcing global offerings have significantly less negative market reaction than had they limited issues to domestic issuance/IPO only, with a reduced price drop negatively associated with pre-announcement run-up, firm size, and M/BVE, and positively associated with unsystematic risk. Additional research conducted by the professors also highlighted allocating a sizeable portion of total shares to overseas investors relieves price pressure exerted in the domestic market, and a higher corresponding price. As markets and companies become more developed, over time Bangladeshi companies may decide to pursue global equity offerings. Samiur Rahman

A referendum in Rakhine State March 20

KH Pathetic idea. To use your pathetic idea, CHT should be separated from Bangladesh and integrated into Myanmar. Or swap the people. Take your “ethnically South-Asian Bengali, aka so-called ‘Rohingya’” into Bangladesh.

Bengali people are native to their lands. There are claims Bengalis aren’t native to Dhaka, Rajshahi etc. It is pure racism. These Tibeto-Burman groups have emigrated from Burma. Rakhine State needs a referendum with all Rohingya returned there, and then they can join Bangladesh.

idiot A referendum in the CHT then?

People Imzy: Then what about CHT, where both the government forces and also the settlers have been killing the adivasis?

People Such a foolish idea. The writer thinks Bangladesh is Russia and can defy US and EU. Imzy This is a great idea. The Rohingya Bengalis have been attacked, slaughtered, raped and been under ethnic cleansing attempts for decades. As anyone who knows history would know, the western half of Rakhine state was meant to join East Pakistan anyway but the British used the divide and conquer policy to keep these places poor and at war even 67 years later. It has come to the point where Rohingyas don’t want to call themselves Bengali because they are killed being called that name. They are called Black, they are called foreign. The Sylhetis, Rangpuris and most compellingly the Chittagonians speak variants of Bangla further from Standard Bangla. Rohingya is one of those too. They are not the immigrants there; Indic presence has been there since the 6th century AD, and Rohingya Bengali presences in mass since the 15th century. Migration of “Indians” was to Central Burma. They may be deemed “foreign” if necessary. However, sinister, racist groups try to claim Rohingya are foreign, whereas Marma (Burmese immigrants) are native of Hill Tracts.

Shameema N A Mallik The article makes some very good points. However, it should also be noted that Crimea happened because Russia wanted it so. Unfortunately, there is no military backing the cause of the Rohingya. It is unlikely that Myanmar would give up the claims to the maritime boundary associated with the Rakhine state that is believed to hold some very lucrative offshore oil and gas blocks. Ethnicity and religion being the deciding factors behind citizenship is something I cannot agree with it at all. It is the same call for homogeneity that was rejected by so many Hindus/Muslims when India was divided based on religion in 1947. The claim that people of the same religion belong to the same country is ludicrously wrong. I believe the point of all this discussion is, treat your people right. The international community can put pressure on a national government to do just that. Rannin Soe Living peacefully, that will be the solution to all the problems. Open your eyes and see the whole environment around you. That is the key to the development of your mind and your society.

76 incidents of rape last year in Dhaka March 27 PB It’s a DMP statistic, undoubtedly downplayed. Rainer Ebert The real number is almost certainly much higher! Vikram Khan It’s really shameful that some men and youngsters do not know how to behave in the presence of a (young) woman. Do they not have a mother, aunt, sister or wife? Most men in our society are raised as superior beings, due to religious doctrines, but they’re nothing more than fools if they do not respect women!

Economies of BRICS nations slowing down sharply

March 28 The Bangladesh economy will also slow down sharply, but not sure if it will last 10 years, as it did for these big five emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Ahmed Waris Al Majid

BCB boss says he can’t see any reason behind Mushfique’s concerns March 27

It seems to me the BCB boss is quite blind, can’t see anything. Rafique

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It is insufficient for candidates to merely apologise for violating electoral laws



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Thespian (5) 4 Tumble (4) 7 Optical illusion (6) 8 Skin openings (5) 10 Expensive (4) 11 Joint (5) 12 Liable (3) 14 Pace (4) 17 Final (4) 19 United (3) 20 Wash lightly (5) 23 Sport (4) 25 Comforts (5) 26 Waver (6) 27 Passing crazes (4) 28 Furniture item (5)

DOWN 1 Call for help (6) 2 Augury (4) 3 Hazard (4) 4 Loses colour (5) 5 Mature (3) 6 Very heavy (6) 9 Rodents (4) 13 Eastern temple (6) 15 Digits (4) 16 Individual (6) 18 Moves at easy pace (5) 21 Require (4) 22 Hindu garment (4) 24 Cover (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.





Saturday, March 29, 2014

A hit of inspiration n Mahir Ahmed


nspiration often comes out of nowhere, almost in an instant. It originates in the prefrontal cortex, a part of our brain that separates us from all other species of animals. The prefrontal cortex is the reason humans survived the torrid journey of evolution, because it allowed us to innovate. When an idea comes to you, it suddenly overwhelms you, just like how a single light bulb suddenly illuminates a very dark room. As soon as you experience what David Jones calls “The Aha Moment,” you feel like you have to do something about it now because you feel incredibly empowered by the idea.

Behind the beautiful tourist infrastructure lies the contribution of Bangladeshi workers


A fractured link


n Selina Mohsin

n a sudden move, Maldives is closing its mission in Bangladesh on April 1. This is not an April fool’s joke but a final closure. Closure was earlier threatened in 2009, during that time, as the high commissioner of Bangladesh to Maldives, I was able to persuade the then President Nasheed to keep the mission open. He appreciated the importance of such a bilateral link. A bond was strengthened. It is surprising that because there is a financial crunch in Maldives now, the new government is to close its mission in Bangladesh, which supplies so many migrant workers, while the one in Pakistan remains open although they supply none. The archipelago of Maldives, renowned for its natural beauty and fabulous overwater villas on ultramarine blue lagoons, makes it one of the finest tourist destinations. But, behind these remarkable villas lie a dark story of the blood, sweat, tears and death of numerous workers, mostly Bangladeshis. They construct them under hazardous conditions and their lives seem dispensable. Tourism provides 28% of the GDP and 65% of the foreign exchange. It also generates 90% of the revenue from import duties. Bangladesh has over 70,000 migrant workers in the Maldives – more than from India or Sri Lanka. They face dubious recruitment procedures, their passports are seized by unscrupulous brokers on arrival, and often wages are withheld. The work is arduous and the danger of death is quite prevalent. The situation is dreadful. As high commissioner (20082010) I found that on an average one Bangladeshi worker died each week. For instance one died from poisonous fumes while cleaning a well. He was


just 22 years of age. While Bangladeshi labourers were constructing a resort villa, over a lagoon, a wooden pole fell over one of them and he died from head injury. Such events occurred regularly. There was no legal requirement for compensation but as the bodies of the deceased could not be buried without clearance from the Bangladesh mission, we were able to negotiate with the employers. It was sometimes possible to get an employer to remit $500 to the family of the deceased – a

were finalised. A manpower MOU was being considered. All efforts were made to strengthen bonds between the two Saarc countries. A 14-day “Festival of Bangladesh” was organised to display the cultural diversity and rich heritage of our country. It began with a forum on the historical links between the two states. Hundreds of years ago the main export of Maldives was “cowry shells” which were used as legal tender in Bengal and parts of South Asia. Boats, known as “Dhonis,” streamed through

Bangladesh has over 70,000 migrant workers in the Maldives – more than from India or Sri Lanka

small price to pay for a human life. It was also possible to legalise over 17,000 migrant workers, but their status was still precarious. Maldives was placed in the end of 2008 by the US State Department’s Tier Two Watch List for Human Trafficking. They identified many expatriate workers as victims of “forced labour, fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or nonpayment of wages, and debt bondage.” Despite this, during the 15th Saarc Summit in 2008 in Colombo, the president of Maldives requested the prime minister of Bangladesh for skilled and semi-skilled workers. Consequently, the Maldives’ mission in Bangladesh could have negotiated mechanisms to regularise the recruitment procedures to ensure acceptable working conditions. While I was high commissioner, among other bilateral activities, a Cultural Agreement and an MOU on Education

the Indian Ocean to reach the ports of Bengal, mainly Chittagong. They unloaded the cowry shells and took textiles, non-perishable foods and wooden boxes to Maldives. A Bengali princess was once a queen of that country. We displayed strong ties between the two nations that most had forgotten. The festive music, dance, songs, and painting exhibition enthralled Maldivians. The events ended with an auction of painting produced by famous Bangladeshi artists. Bangladesh has always been ready to lend assistance to Maldives. The Bangladeshi Army undertook relief operations within 48 hours of the 2004 tsunami. Victims received pure drinking water, patients were treated, sunken ships were recovered, relief materials distributed and hygiene conditions improved. Again in 2007, Bangladesh offered US $1m to help the flood-affected country. Currently, Bangladesh provides


97 scholarships to students from Maldives at various medical colleges. Half of them have recently graduated and are undergoing internship training. Furthermore, 30 physicians are already in Maldives working in hospitals and clinics and 15 more doctors are being recruited. In 2012 the Republic of Maldives introduced direct flights from to Dhaka via Chennai and expressed its willingness to introduce a direct shipping link between Male and Chittagong for trade. Bangladesh and Maldives are two of the nations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The 2012 UN Climate Summit at DOHA acknowledged both as top countries in adaptation. Both have developed strategies and established “Climate Change Trust Funds” to combat the adverse effects of global warming. They could collaborate in international forums to make lasting impact on climate change policies. The Maldives economy is suffering from the costs of elections and termination of the GMR airport contract gained during Nasheed’s government. It was India’s largest private investment, over US $500m. Similarly, a Tata Housing Project is facing difficulties. Clearly, decisions based on political antagonism can be counterproductive. Recently, out of desperation, President Yameen visited India for a loan of US $25m after cancelling investments from India! Quite ironic. Now, one result of the financial constraint is the closure of the Maldives mission in Bangladesh. It is the wrong move. Diplomatic continuity is a necessity and reciprocity is essential to foster good relations with a friendly Saarc state. But countries are not always ruled by rational consideration of advantages, but often by unthinking foolhardiness. l Selina Mohsin is a former High Commissioner to Maldives.



The only things human beings need are companionship, food, and water

Every year on our birthdays, we reflect on the year gone by and evaluate how we can make the next year a better one. As each birthday goes by, our transience becomes more apparent, and eventually one of our birthdays will be our last. Because all of us will once leave this earth, we must do something that ensures our existence matters. Whether you are a good parent, philanthropist, economist, scientist or an amateur writer like myself, something we do should leave an imprint, which shows we existed, lived, loved and made a difference. As I reflected over the last 25 years, I began to realise that happiness came from those things that are considered uneventful by the mass media: Giving charity, family life and achieving selfless goals. This is where inspiration comes from. Inspiration is the enthusiasm, which gives us the creative impulse to ensure a positive legacy of ours to be retained on this earth.  Our impermanence is the only certainty, which inspires us to leave something beneficial behind provided we give our life meaning. What has the general population done so far? They bought things. The whole idea behind cyclical consumption makes us want to buy everything. It feeds us the idea that we need “things” to be happy. In essence a material lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. The unfortunate part is most people who succumb to this cyclical consumerism keep thinking they will live on through the ages, and forget that one day they will cease to consume. Is there meaning in this? From an evolutionary perspective, the only thing we leave on this earth is our children. Our children are a “fitter” version of our gene pool and they will remain once we are gone so we should focus on developing them. This is how our gene pool survives throughout the ages. Any other material possession is deemed purposeless because we can-


not take them with us once we leave this earth. Can materialism increase ones’ knowledge? From my experience, I have seen two types of humans that inhabit this beautiful planet. One type wants to save the world and other wants to buy it. The system is designed so that we will always “need” something new. Truth be told, the only things human beings need are companionship, food, and water. So why is this capitalist world tricking us to think that we should buy everything? A material way of life is a very selfish way of life where as a spiritual way of life is a selfless way of life. It seems that societies that are spiritual in nature and culture always do things for the benefit of the society. They feel that the world has given them enough and they want to give it something back. The idea of materialism and the culture of self-indulgence do not allow one to do meaningful things for this planet.  While I was carrying out vaccination studies during my internship at the cholera hospital, I had an eye-opening experience at the Karail slums located right adjacent to my affluent Dhaka neighbourhood. I was surprised to see that the average slum-dweller leads a very happy life, full of smiles, laughter and love. While having tea with a gunrunner, I sat and listened as he elaborated on his dangerous livelihood. To my surprise, he did not complain about a single thing and instead kept on inducing laughter from me. He just traded guns for the pure reason that it would allow him to educate his children. He invited me later to his daughters wedding, which I gladly attended, and the people I interacted with in this simple wedding have accepted life as it is and were happy with the love that surrounded them. Everything was geared towards developing their community. The striking difference between this and the upper class Dhaka society that I come from was that they embraced their spirituality and never even heard about materialism. We must all embrace all levels of spirituality to inspire us to make a difference.

I had an eye-opening experience at the Karail slums located adjacent to my affluent neighbourhood The world was here before us so we are not entitled to anything. I believe we are here specifically to make a difference so how will cyclical consumption make that difference? Take some, but give back more. As privileged members of society (if you can read this you are a minority in Bangladesh) we should be inspired to make a difference for the betterment of the people around us. l Mahir Ahmed is a freelance contributor.


True Detective/true religion n Mohammad N Miraly


rue Detective is the modern story of the hero’s journey. It is the allegory of one man’s disenchantment with the cosmic powers that seemed to take away his control over his life and destiny. It’s the story of how, after a lifetime of inner struggle, Rust Cohle finally enters the labyrinth of his mind to face and defeat his own demonic Moby Dick, the great whale, the monstrous Yellow King. He sees, in his mind’s eye, the grand unity of his life and of every life, and he articulates it in a way that has been done for centuries – as a cosmic shadow-play of light and darkness dancing on the fringes of our consciousness. “Looking out those windows every night just thinking,” he tells his friend, “it’s just one story. The oldest – light versus dark.” At the end of his battle for control of his life, he realises that that was never really the object of his struggle, and that the course of his life was always his to chart. He gets up and walks away from the powerlessness of his past, taking control of his life, making his destiny his decision. This is our oldest story. This is the

allegory of life that each of us plays out on our journeys, on our own quests for that simple realisation that we are the creators of our worlds, that we are the masters of our destinies. This is the simple/profound teaching that we’ve been trying to teach ourselves since we first tapped into our own consciousnesses and articulated the myths that made our earliest religions.

But, if this is old truth, why should a man like Rust – a seeker of truth – have had to endure his mental anguish without the knowledge/faith that he was on the same journey that every human has ever been, and that its conclusion would be in the realisation of his own power? Embittered by his isolation, Rust was a man marginalised because of a neurological system that

Rust Cohle - alone until he came to the edge of death

should have been recognised as genius, but whose ideas were dismissed as rancorous by a society still burdened by superstition. It seems unfair. The answers are there, but we aren’t taught them. Rust knew there was more to his mind, but he’d been taught to ignore his metaphysical power because it was encased in the shell of dogmatic religion. He was never taught that there was a deeper kernel beyond the dogmatic. But that’s the bequest of a society that cast out its existential allegories because of its distaste for the corruptions of priests five hundred years ago. It’s the bequest of a society that didn’t realise the value of its spiritual inheritance – the teaching that the cosmic power resides within us, that we are the makers of our own worlds, and that we are the true masters of the universe. This is the true religion that we were never taught. This was the misfortune that Rust lived with every night when he looked up at the night’s darkness and saw himself alone. Until he came to the edge of death and his mind allowed itself a peak into the power it had been taught to ignore. Then, in that epiphanic moment, when his definitions faded and subject

disappeared into object, he felt that “beneath that darkness there was another kind – it was deeper – warm, like a substance.” In that eternal moment, he could feel his father’s peace, he could feel his daughter and her love – “even more than before … nothing but that love.”

Rust was a man marginalised because of a neurological system that should have been recognised as genius

And that is the bequest of true religion – to look up at the night sky and see hope in the cosmic play, to see the darkness as simply the shadow of our own great, grand light. 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.





I am of you, for you: artist Shahid Kabir

n Punny Kabir His paintings delve deep into the stories of “our” common people who are daily wage earners and are born to struggle. But the artworks do not struggle to prove that Shahid Kabir, who spent a remarkable time of his artistic career in Spain, is one of us. On the note of his ongoing solo exhibition titled I bow my head to you in deep obeisance at the Bengal Shilpalaya, the insightful artist explained his attachment to the marginalised people with the headline: I am of you, for you. Faces of underprivileged people, beauty of struggling women, objects from the daily life of

For audience who stay up late, RTV showcases Late Night Coffee at 12:01am today. The show features different celebrities in each episode, where they share their real life experiences and tips with the spectators. On this episode, the fun-filled show will have singer Konal as its special guest. Late Night Coffee is a live show, where the audience can call and email to interact directly with the host and guest of the show. The programme deals with topics such as the changing trends of arranged marriage, the various funny moments that occurs in a relationship and more. The entire show will telecast live from the RTV studio. In between these entertaining discussions, music videos and cinema clips will be presented, related to the topic at hand. The hosts of the show are Faria Nusrat and Abir

ordinary people are the subjects of Kabir who is hailed from a well-off family but never hesitated to embrace the people who go through untold sufferings to manage their basic needs. The colours he uses in most of his paintings reflect the soil and landscape of his homeland. “These images are expressions of my real life experiences. I personally encountered most of the figures on the canvases. Later, I painted them with my deep empathy and profound intuition,” said the passionate artist. The work titled “Where is my Medicine?- Sobhan Chacha, helpless old man from Banari Para,” depicts a fierce yet helpless looking old man. “I met

Kusum and Himu pair up after five years n Entertainment Desk Kusum Shikder and Humaira Himu worked together five years ago in a television series and recently the duo has paired up for the third time in drama series Batighor Kotodur. The drama is directed by Mijanur Rahman Labu and written by Sourja Dipto Surjo. The story of the drama starts with a coincidental meeting of Kusum and Himu on a vacation in Cox’s Bazaar. Their male counterparts are Rawnak Hasan with Kusum, while young actor Sabbir Ahmed coupled up with Himu. Kusum expressed her feeling about working with Himu after five long years: “Actually it does not seem to me as we are working after a long

Children of War goes to censor board for Dhaka release

time. We meet frequently in various places during shooting and other media activities. Himu is an exceptional actor and has created a steady place for her career in acting. I also enjoy working with Mijanur Rahman Labu, he is really sincere about his directorial job. I hope the audience with accept the drama positively.” Himu expresses gratitude towards Kusum in her remarks: “Kusum is a gentle and talented actor. I enjoy working with her a lot. I hope the audience will accept our acting positively.” Kusum and Himu worked together for the first time in a drama titled Ami Oporupar Kache Jacchi directed by Mejbaur Rahman Sumon. The drama Batighor Kotodur will be aired soon in a private television channel. l


Solo Sculpture Exhibition By Hamiduzzaman Khan Time: 10am – 8pm Athena Gallery of Fine Arts, Progoti Shoroni, Uttar Badda ‘Water | Ink | Paper’ - sketches of Japan 1996 By Salauddin Ahmed Time: 3pm – 8pm Dhaka Art Center, House-60, Road-7A Dhanmondi


Documentary Festival By Documenting Bangladesh 5 Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm Main Auditorum, National Museum, Shahbagh


n Entertainment Desk


him when I visited my birth place Banari Para in Barisal. On the first moment of the meeting, he asked for his medicine. That moment was captured in my head as a picture and later I painted the memory,” said the empathetic painter. The incomparable beauty of Bangladeshi women from rural and underprivileged settings has been portrayed with unmatched compassion and depth in Kabir’s canvases. Some of such paintings are Alta Sundori, Slum Queen 1 and 2, and Drying Her Only Saree which are the most dazzling gems of the exhibition. A great deal of Kabir’s philosophy is inspired by the great mystic bard of Bengal, Lalon. During the decade of ‘70s he painted a number works with the philosophy of Lalon and those were exhibited in 1980. In those images he experimented with forms in order to divide the physical space of his canvas into various compartments and placed Lalon in suggestive locations. In the current exhibition, he copied the only sketch of Lalon’s figure with mixed medium. Kabir said: “My understanding of Lalon has been evolved from what I used to feel about him during my youth. Sometimes I surrender and sometimes I even challenge his philosophy.” Some of the large-scale works featured in the Bengal Gallery exhibition takes the audience by surprise. The exhibition will conclude on April 1. Shahid Kabir, went on his own to the land of Pablo Picasso, to paint as the French Impressionists did, especially Vincent Van Gogh, who painted with his whole mind and heart, he loves Gauguin, Pissaro and the rest. He began as a print-maker in Europe, and now, he is a master painter of nature and man. The paintings at the exhibition are outputs of six-years of painstaking work. “I worked seven hours almost every day during these six years.” About his unique style of painting, he said: “When I paint, I simply submerge into the work. I do not know what it is looking like. After finishing it, I look at it from a distance to speculate.” l

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Children of War was supposed to release on December 27, 2013 in India, but the complexity over the title of the film delayed its schedule. Recently, the release date is rescheduled to April 25, but the audience of Bangladesh will be able to watch the film before the Indian timeline. The Khan Brothers in Bangladesh is importing the film from Kolkata’s J K Enterprise. Sudipto Das of the Khan Brothers said: “In the meantime, the obligatory approvals are received from the related ministries. The film is submitted be-

fore the censor board aiming to release in the first week of April. Considering the censor certificate, we have planned to release the film on April 18. The entirely digital manufactured film will be released in few cinemas in the country altogether.” The dubbing of the film in Bengali is done and subtitle is also set up where Urdu dialogue appears. Previously the movie faced hurdles due to its earlier title The Bastard Child and Mrityunjay Devvrat was urged by the censor board to change the film’s title to Children of War. Children of War is based on the

Bangladesh genocide in 1971 where thousands of women were raped and the resulting illegitimate children during the war for the liberation of Bangladesh. The film depicts the 9 months of inhuman attacks of the Pakistani army during the genocide that took place in East Pakistan in 1971 and the struggle of the Bangladeshis to attain independence from these atrocities. Directed by Mrityunjay Devvrat and produced by Soumya Devvrat, the film has notable stars like Raima Sen, Indraneil Sengupta, Farooq Sheikh, Tillotama Shome and Victor Banerjee, among others. l

Classical Music By Shuddha Sangeet Proshar Goshthi Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Bishwa Shahitya Kendra (4th floor), Banglamotor


Dance performance: ‘Alor Pothhojatri’ By Bhabna Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm EMK Center, 9th Floor, Midas Center, Road 16, Dhanmondi


The Tempest Time: 7pm – 9pm National Theatre Hall, Shilpakala Academy, Shegun Bagicha

Fifty Shades film more romantic than sexual n Entertainment Desk

On March 27, World Theatre Day was celebrated through various performances by renowned theatre troupes. The event was organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, International Theatre Institute (ITI) Bangladesh Centre, Group Theatre Federation and Street Theatre Parishad. The aim of the initiative is to tie an affable liaison with all the theatre activists and artists of the world to discover the power of theatre in a new dimension. In the evening, a discussion meeting and gratitude event was held at the main auditorium of Jatiyo Nattyashala, Bangladesh Shipakala Academy. This year’s gratitude is received by eminent academic Professor Anisuzzaman QUAMRUL ABEDIN

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return with Megan Fox n Entertainment Desk Megan Fox is seen coming face-to-face as April O’Neil with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the first trailer for Michael Bay’s spin on the old-school franchise. Alan Ritchson will play Raphael, Noel Fisher is Michelangelo, Jeremy Howard is

Donatello, Pete Ploszek is Leonardo, Danny Woodburn is starring as Splinter and William Fichtner as Shredder, with the characters being brought to life through motion-capture for the first time. Will Arnett is in the supporting cast as April’s cameraman Vernon Fenwick, and Whoopi Goldberg is Bernadette Thompson. l

Should the film adaptation of E L James’s best-selling S&Mthemed novel be called 50 Lighter Shades of Grey? If the approximate five-minute preview of the hotly anticipated movie (which began filming in December) shown this week at Las Vegas’s CinemaCon is any indication, then fans of the book may be in for a less sexually charged on-screen story than the one the book tells. Attendees at the film festival got a peek at an opening scene, which apparently featured Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) meeting in the billionaire’s highrise office – and at one point cuts to a watered down scene of the actress wearing a black blindfold in a red room. That’s about as racy as the clip gets, with most of the focus being on the pair’s mutual attraction. “Smart, intense and courteous” is apparently how Anastasia describes Mr Grey in another portion of the clip. Christian is soon seen sending Anastasia on her way, and they start exchanging suggesting comments back and forth, such as, “Your face gives me some clue as to what I might be thinking.” l

Did you know? Anamul Haque has passed Alex Hales as the leading T20I run-scorer of 2014, with 246 runs in seven innings

Saturday, March 29, 2014


14 Udinese teenager

frustrates Inter

14 Williams, Li set for

Miami showdown



15 Team Asia claws

back in EurAsia Cup

Sammy heroics stun Aussies

GROUP 2 Teams India West Indies Pakistan Australia Bangladesh

Mat Won Lost Pts RR 3 3 0 6 +0.477 3 2 1 4 +1.223 2 1 1 2 +0.077 2 0 2 0 -0.503 2 0 2 0 -2.204

West Indies captain Darren Sammy celebrates his teams magnificent victory over Australia with his players at the SBNS yesterday


Faulkner will not like us anymore: Sammy With 12 needed off six balls and James Faulkner to bowl, the stage was perfectly set for West Indies captain Darren Sammy to answer the Australian all-rounder for his pre-match critics. The Caribbean side burst into wild celebration after Sammy landed the win with two straight sixes which also pushed Australia to brink of elimination from the World Twenty20s. “Like I said in the pre-match press conference: talk is cheap. Cricket is a game of action, you can talk all you want, but it is the action that matters. West Indies acted today (yesterday), it feels very good to come home. We fought for it. Faulkner will not like us anymore,” said Sammy after the game at SBNS.

“I don’t care who was bowling. We had to get 12 runs. But you feel better when it is the guy who was talking a lot before the game. He bowled some good yorkers but I stayed low and got under the ball. It is just a good feeling, it was a crucial match for both teams. We handled pressure better than them,” he added. It was only a matter of time for the crowd to witness the Windies trademark celebration to the popular hit “Gangnam Style” led by none other than Chris Gayle, who also returned to form with a fifty yesterday. “DJ was playing Gangnam Style. Chris is our dance group leader. We are just happy. We play with flair and passion. It is not pre-planned, comes out with the celebrations. It feels good to beat the Australians. “He (Gayle) played two knocks which we were not used to seeing. Fact

Charlotte praises Bangladesh One of the matured women cricketers of current time England captain Charlotte Edwards led her side to 79-run victory against Bangladesh with a 69ball 80 that illustrated little of her belligerent playing style. However she praised the newest member of the family, Bangladesh, and admired their approach in the field. “They (Bangladesh) played brilliantly today (Friday). They bowled extremely well in the first 15 overs. I think their weaker point is batting but their bowling and fielding was impressive,” said Charlotte. Charlotte has been the face of English women’s cricket for over a decade now and the 34-year-old is the only female cricketer in the ongoing World Twenty20 to be born in the late 70’s. She is one of the very few female cricketers who have been honoured with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) that she achieved

in 2009 for her service to cricket after making her international debut in 1995 at the age of only 16, the then youngest woman to play for England. Out of many personal records, Charlotte is the leading run-scorer in T20Is and ODIs history. She has played 72 out of England’s 76 T20Is, the most played by any cricketer. Edwards was looking forward to their next game against Sri Lanka on Sunday and said, “We are getting better in every game. I have played lot of World Cup and winning trophy is about clicking at the right time. We prove today that we are getting better and we want to play better against Sri Lanka.” l

that he is batting for long periods must be a concern for other teams. Once he gets going, anything is possible. He

It was West Indies’ highest successful chase in Asia It was the first time yesterday that West Indies batted second in a T20I in Asia It was Australia’s second highest T20I total in Asia It was the 14th time yesterday in 22 matches that Sunil Narine bowled his 4 overs at less than run a ball In the last 10 games between the sides, the captain winning the toss batted first gave us the start needed to finish the game,” Sammy added. Meanwhile, Aussie skipper George Bailey was once again disappointed the way they approached in the game.

It was their second successive defeat in as many matches and looking forward to next round Bailey said, “I haven’t actually crunched (the numbers) or been told. I don’t know where this leaves us. I would imagine it makes it pretty difficult. At the start of the tournament we thought that we could afford to lose one, but not sure if we could afford to lose two, we have to check that out, but I imagine it makes it pretty difficult.” Australia have a very attacking top four at their disposal and Bailey admitted the ambition to post a big total batting first sometimes backfires and they were lucky to scamper to 178. Bailey however thought West Indies deserved to celebrate and said, “I guess they are entitled to celebrate however they like. I have always felt that the art of winning is almost harder than the art of losing.” l

You don’t often see such excitement and celebrations what the spectators witnessed from the West Indian cricketers after skipper Darren Sammy smashed two consecutive sixes to record their highest successful chase in T20Is against Australia at Mirpur yesterday. Skipper Sammy was rightly adjudged Man of the Match as he led from the front by scoring a 13 ball 34 run cameo to clinch a brilliant six wicket win to keep his side’s hope of reaching the semi-final well and truly alive. It was a tense atmosphere in the West Indies dugout chasing 179 as they needed 31 runs from the last two overs. But skipper Sammy spoiled the party for the Aussies as he launched his brutal attack on Starc in the 19th over and scored 19 runs in that over with 2 fours and a six. James Faulkner, however, started the last over with two dot balls to make it 12 runs from 4 balls. But Sammy had other ideas as he coolly smashed the 3rd delivery, which was a full-toss, over long off for the maximum. The next ball disappeared over the helpless Faulkner’s head for another maximum and thus Sammy finished the match in style with two consecutive sixes to trigger that wild Caribbean celebrations led by the big man Chris Gayle. It was Gayle himself who actually gave West Indies a brisk start at the beginning of the chase and scored 53 runs from just 35 balls before leg spinner James Muirhead dismissed him. The massive crowd must have enjoyed the muscular hitting of Gayle when he smashed Aussie pacer Starc for four consecutive boundaries in the 2nd over of West Indies innings. One must not forget to give credit to Dwayne Bravo also for his support to Sammy during that unbroken 49 run 5th wicket partnership with Bravo himself contributing 27 runs of just 12 deliveries. Earlier Australian skipper George Bailey decided to bat first on a flat track after winning the toss. All the Aussie batsmen

were looking for quick runs right from the start and were reduced to 77-4 in the 10th over as they kept losing wickets at regular interval which denied them any momentum to build a solid foundation. However, in form batsman Glenn Maxwell started from where he left off against Pakistan in the previous match as he again raced to 45 runs of just 22 balls and smashed the West Indies bowlers all over the park with 5 fours and 3 sixes. Going by the celebration of Bravo who caught him off the bowling of Badree, West Indies were ecstatic to see the back of Maxwell. But the veteran and experienced Brad Hodge smashed 35 off 26 balls at the end which gave Australia 178 runs to defend. Sunil Narine was again the pick of the West Indies bowlers with figures of 2-19 off four overs. l

SCORECARD Australia A Finch b Samuels D Warner b Badree S Watson st Ramdin b Narine G Maxwell c Bravo b Badree G Bailey c Sammy b Samuels B Hodge b Narine J Faulkner c Bravo b Santokie B Haddin not out M Starc c Russell b Bravo J Muirhead not out Extras: (b2, w7, nb6) Total (for eight wickets, 20 overs)

16 20 2 45 12 35 13 15 4 1 15 178

Bowling Santokie 4-0-30-1, Badree 4-0-37-2, Samuels 2-0-20-2, Narine 4-1-19-2, Sammy 1-0-16-0, Bravo 4-0-39-1, Russell 1-0-15-0 West Indies D Smith c Haddin b Starc 17 C Gayle c Maxwell b Muirhead 53 L Simmons c Maxwell b Bollinger 26 M Samuels c Haddin b Starc 12 D Bravo not out 27 D Sammy not out 34 Extras: (b2, lb6, w2) 10 Total (for four wickets, 19.4 overs) 179 Bowling Watson 2-1-11-0, Starc 4-0-50-2, Bollinger 4-0-34-1, Maxwell 3-0-28-0, Faulkner 3.4-0-27-0, Muirhead 3-0-21-1 West Indies won by six wickets

England hand hosts big defeat Hosts Bangladesh women’s slumped to another big defeat in their debut World Twenty20 outing as they went down by 79 runs to England at the Sylhet International Stadium yesterday. The English side rode on their skipper Charlotte Edwards’ 80 to post a challenging 138 before another poor batting display saw Bangladesh crumble to 58 for nine, their lowest total in the format. The margin of win was also the biggest in women’s World T20 history. After been asked to field, Salma Khatun claimed star opener Sarah Taylor early to give Bangladesh a good start. But Edwards, who is considered as one of the greatest batswoman, dominated the home attack in her 69-ball

knock, featuring 11 boundaries, before her counterpart Salma dismissed her in the last ball of 19th over. Khadija Tul Kubra added two more wickets to her tally and she is placed third in the wicket takers chart with five wickets. The top two


England Women 137/5 in 20 overs (C Edwards 80, N Sciver 20; Salma 2-26) Bangladesh Women 58/9 in 20 over (Fahima Khatun 16, Ayasha 10; D Hazel 3-4, N Sciver 3-10) England Women won by 79 runs in the chart- Shrubsole and Sciverboth played one game more than the Bangladeshi spinner. Bangladesh on their chase lost wickets in regular intervals as only three players managed double figures. Ayasha Rahman and Lata Mondal scored 10

Bangladesh team celebrate the fall of England opener Sarah Taylor’s wicket, during their Women’s World Twenty20 match in Sylhet yesterday CRICINFO each while No 10 Fahima Khatun made the highest 16. Off-spinner Danielle Hazell enjoyed a great evening by bagging three wickets for the expense of just four runs while

Natalie Sciver also claimed three for 10. Meanwhile, in the other match of the day, high-flying West Indies Women side hammered Sri Lanka to win by eight wickets with 30 balls in hand. l

Focused Proteas take on charged England today Gavaskar steps in as India South Africa will be trying to continue their winning streak against England in their last group stage match in ICC World Twenty20 2014 at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed CHowdhury stadium today. However England will be ready to fight it out in a match that is crucial for their existence. The state of affairs is simple for South Africa as a win means the Proteas will move to the semi-finals for the second time of the tournament’s history. Sri Lanka and New Zealand still

need to play each other and only one of those two can end with six points. The Proteas will be missing their captain Faf du Plessis in the very important game. The 29-year-old has been suspended for a slow over rate against Netherlands.  South Africa’s coach Russell Domingo expects England’s quickies will be posing prpblems in what is a mustwin game for his opponents and at the same time also a little anxious with the batting which hasn’t been consistent.  “We haven’t batted well to be honest. Our thinking during our innings hasn’t been what it used to be. There are some poor thinking, poor dismissals at crucial stages which are setting

us back in the big stage,” said Russell. “We know we have to beat England to progress. If we do that, it might still come down to run rate. They are a dangerous side, we try and do things maybe we shouldn’t have done. That’s always going to be danger in these types of games,” informed the 39-year-old from Port Elizabeth.  While on the other hand, a defeat for England will mean they are out of the tournament for good. However this will be too harsh for the side that had a magnificent win riding on blitz by Alex Hales against Sri Lanka to keep themselves rolling in the multination tournament. If New Zealand overcome Netherlands in the first match of the

day and Stuart Broad’s team finish as losers, the English lions will have to take the exit door. “Twenty20 is a moments’ game and the innings we chased against Sri Lanka was one of the best I ever witnessed. It was historic chasing 190, Alex Hales getting first 100, but most importantly it got the team over the line,” said England captain Stuart Broad.   “The confidence and belief we get from the Sri Lanka win going into our final two games is going to be huge. We got the advantage of playing two games under lights. I think the conditions are completely different. We can use the advantage from our first two games for an advantage on Saturday (today),” said Broad. l

board chief ousted The Supreme Court placed batting legend Sunil Gavaskar in charge of the troubled Indian Premier League on Friday after forcing scandal-tainted cricket board president N. Srinivasan from office. Three days after warning Srinivasan they would order him to stand down if he tried to cling to power, a panel of judges announced that 64-year-old Gavaskar would now take charge of the board’s flagship tournament. Gavaskar would be made “interim working president” with responsibility

for the IPL when it begins next month, while Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Shivlal Yadav would be in charge of the board’s dayto-day administration. The Twenty20 competition has been embroiled in allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing, including against Srinivasan’s son-in-law. However it was not immediately clear if Gavaskar would stay on beyond the tournament which begins next month, with a lawyer for the BCCI saying only a current board member could take over on a permanent basis. l




Hiddink to return as Dutch coach Guus Hiddink will take over from Louis van Gaal as Netherlands coach after the World Cup finals, the Dutch Footall Federation (KNVB) announced Friday. Hiddink, 67, will bring in former internationals Danny Blind and Ruud van Nistelrooy as his main assistants. He had already indicated this month that he would return. Hiddink was in charge of the Dutch team that came fourth at the 1998 World Cup. He ended that three year stint shortly after the finals. Hiddink will coach the side until the 2016 European championships in France. –AFP

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rosberg, Hamilton stamp authority Mercedes underlined their superiority in the new Formula One season as first Lewis Hamilton and then Nico Rosberg led the timings in the Malaysian Grand Prix practice sessions on Friday. Hamilton topped the first session with his team-mate third, and it was Rosberg, winner of the season-opener in Australia, who took control in the later run-out. Both drivers carried the message, “#TributeToMH370”, on their cars as Malaysia mourns 239 people presumed dead in a disappeared passenger jet. Sunday’s race will be preceded by a minute’s silence. –AFP

Lavillenie in painless return to action French world record holder Renaud Lavillenie made a painless return to pole vault training on Thursday after more than five weeks on the sidelines with a foot injury. Lavillenie sustained the injury on February 15 in Donetsk while attempting to vault 6.21 metres, having just broken Sergei Bubka’s world record by successfully clearing 6.16m. The injury kept Lavillenie out of this month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in the Polish city of Sopot, where he was favourite to defend his title. –AFP

Barca hoping to continue revival in Catalan derby Barcelona have the destiny of the tightest La Liga title race in years in their own hands after gaining six points on eternal rivals Real Madrid in the past week. The Catalans followed up their 4-3 win in El Clasico against Real at the Bernabeu last Sunday with a routine 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo in midweek, whilst Los Blancos slipped to another defeat, 2-1 at Sevilla. Atletico Madrid lead the way with eight games remaining, a point clear of Barca and three ahead of Real. However, Barca host Atletico on the final day of the season in what could be a title decider. It wasn’t quite a perfect week for Barcelona as goalkeeper Victor Valdes will miss the rest of the season after

FIXTURES Espanyol Celta Vigo Athletic Bilbao Real Madrid

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Barcelona Sevilla Atletico Madrid Rayo Vallecano

suffering cruciate ligament damage in his right knee against Celta. Gerardo Martino’s men can also expect a difficult test this weekend as they visit city rivals Espanyol in the Catalan derby. And midfielder Andres Iniesta insists they can’t let their concentration be swayed by the misfortune that has afflicted Valdes or their upcoming Champions League quarter-final against Atletico. Jose Manuel Pinto will replace Valdes for the rest of the season as Martino ruled out the possibility of signing a goalkeeper, which would have been allowed outside of the transfer window as an emergency measure. Iniesta will be fit to start despite coming off at half-time against Celta due to a slight muscular injury, whilst Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Xavi will all return after all were rested in midweek. By contrast, it has been an awful week for Real Madrid as having gone five months and 31 games in all competitions without tasting defeat, they were beaten twice in four days. l

Udinese teenager frustrates Inter

Inter Milan's Yuto Nagatomo (L) fights for the ball with Udinese's Silvan Widmer during their Italian Serie A match at San Siro stadium in Milan on Thursday REUTERS

Teenage goalkeeper Simone Scuffet performed heroics for Udinese to secure a share of the points from a thrilling scoreless draw with Inter which dented the Milan giants’ Europa League hopes on Thursday. Inter hosted the northerners looking to make amends for a 2-1 home defeat to Atalanta at the weekend. But despite dominating for large periods, Walter Mazzarri’s men were frustrated by an astute Udinese defence as well as the quick reflexes of 17-year-old Scuffet. Having dropped to below mid-table, Udinese were visiting the San Siro for the first time since knocking AC Milan out of the Italian Cup in January. Coach Francesco Guidolin decided to rest veteran striker Antonio Di Natale for Colombian striker Luis Muriel and in the first half the visitors shaded the encounter with Muriel coming close twice. Inter’s Fredy Guarin saw a powerful free kick go over but moments later ‘keeper Samir Handanovic had to react quickly to parry a Bruno Fernandes shot, with Emmanuelo Badu seeing his follow-up deflected into the side-netting.l

enheim hope Bayern City take aim at fragile Arsenal Hoff suffer title hangover Manchester City will look to kill two birds with one stone this weekend by keeping the heat on Premier League leaders Chelsea and definitively dashing Arsenal’s title hopes. City’s 3-0 win at Manchester United on Tuesday took them to within three points of Chelsea and with two games in hand, they are the bookmakers’ favourites to finish the campaign on top of the pile. Arsenal are only three points behind Manuel Pellegrini’s side, but having played two games more, they cannot

afford to lose when the teams meet at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Humiliated 6-0 by Chelsea last weekend, Arsenal conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City on Tuesday, and defeat by City would likely end their title challenge for good. Arsenal conceded early goals in both the thrashing by Chelsea and last month’s 5-1 loss at Liverpool, and having gone down 6-3 to City in the reverse fixture, midfielder Mathieu Flamini says they cannot afford another sloppy start. City’s win over United will give them a spring in their step as they head to the Emirates, but with a trip to second-place Liverpool coming up in a


Arsenal Crystal Palace Man United Southampton Stoke City Swansea City West Brom

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Man City Chelsea Aston Villa Newcastle Hull City Norwich City Cardiff City

fortnight, captain Vincent Kompany is not getting carried away. “We have a game against Arsenal and that’s good in a way because you don’t have to make a big effort to get the lads focused again.” With Liverpool not in action until

Sunday, when they host sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea will have an opportunity to stretch their lead to four points when they visit fourth-from-bottom Crystal Palace the day before. Saturday could also prove a pivotal day for Manchester United manager David Moyes, whose position is once again under scrutiny following his side’s midweek derby defeat. There were isolated displays of fan dissent towards Moyes at the end of that game, while a group of United supporters have threatened to charter a plane to fly over Old Trafford during Saturday’s match with Aston Villa, towing a banner calling for him to resign.l

Hoffenheim hope they catch newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich suffering from a Berlin hangover when they chase a historic first victory against the Bavarians in Saturday’s German league clash. Bayern were confirmed champions with a record seven games to spare on Tuesday after their 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin and partied into the morning light in Germany’s capital. Despite Bayern’s massive 25-point lead in the table and their Champions

League quarter-final trip to Manchester United looming next Tuesday, midtable Hoffenheim hope to beat the Bavarians at the 11th attempt. “Playing Bayern is the greatest task in Germany, well probably in Europe, that a team can face at the moment,” said Hoffenheim’s director Alexander Rosen.l

FIXTURES Bayern Munich Leverkusen VfB Stuttgart VfL Wolfsburg Mainz 05 Freiburg

v v v v v v

Hoffenheim Braunschweig Dortmund Frankfurt Augsburg Nuremberg

Nadal, Berdych book semi berths

England's referee Howard Webb (C) takes part at a training camp for referees for the 2014 World Cup Brazil at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich on Thursday REUTERS

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal advanced to the semi-finals of the ATP Tour’s Miami Masters tournament Thursday by rallying to beat Canadian 12th seed Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Spain’s Nadal, who has lost three times in the Miami final, clinched the victory on the first match point in the third set when Raonic failed to reach a spinning serve out wide on hardcourts at the Crandon Park Tennis Center. “Today was a special opponent with an unbelievable serve and with a strong game from the baseline. Normally I have to be better than him, so I tried to use that strategy,” Nadal said. Top seed Nadal advances to the semis, where he will face seventh seeded Tomas Berdych, who cooled off the red-hot Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), earlier in the day.

The other Friday semi features Japan’s Kei Nishikori squaring off against second seeded Serb Novak Djokovic. Raonic kept Nadal on his heels with his strong serving in the first set. But Nadal recovered quickly in the second to get a service break. Nadal was on his toes and moving quicker side to side as he took advantage of Raonic’s slower second serve to win the final two sets to close out the two and a half hour match. He tallied just two aces but won 47 of 63 points on his first serve. “I was lucky at the beginning of the second set because I started with a break and that was very important for me,” Nadal said. “I felt that I finished the match playing better. “I think I started the match playing okay, but not playing well on the break points.”

World Cup referees told to Williams, Li set for Miami showdown focus on protecting players Protecting players from heavy tackles will be the priority for referees at this year’s World Cup in Brazil rather than other contentious issues such as diving, handball and the triple punishment. Football is generally considered to have become much less violent on the pitch in the last few years and the game’s governing body FIFA said during a training week for World Cup referees on Thursday that it wanted to keep it that way. “There are always things we are asked to be vigilant on, pretty much always trying to protect the players, from heavy play, from foul play and violent play and also protecting the image of the game,” 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb told

reporters. FIFA’s head of refereeing Massimo Busacca said referees attending the World Cup, which starts on June 12, would be instructed to nip any signs of rough play in the bud. “The safety of the players is very important so the referees have to read the situation carefully at the beginning of the game,” he said. “If players start committing this type of (violent) foul, we have to take action to avoid it. We have to say: ‘We do not want to see this kind of football in this competition’. “This is the role of the referee, to try to understand and anticipate. Sometimes, the players forget because of the adrenalin. The role of the referee is to say: ‘Do you want to play today or do you want to take a shower?’ l

Serena Williams extended her dominance of Maria Sharapova on Thursday, defeating the Russian 6-4, 6-3 to reach the final of the Miami hardcourt tournament for the ninth time. World number one Williams will be seeking her second straight Miami crown when she takes on Australian Open champ Li Na who booked her spot in the final of the combined WTA and ATP event by beating Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. The 32-year-old Williams is the top seed and Li is No. 2 but their head to head record is one-sided in favour of Williams, who has won 10 of 11 career meetings and hasn’t lost a match to Li in six years. “She brings some good game,” Williams said of Li. “She comes to the net, and I’m enjoying that right now.” Sharapova, ranked fifth in the world and seeded fourth, seized the first

break in each set against Williams, but couldn’t build on that as she went down to the American for a 15th straight time. Williams leads their career headto-head 16-2, and Sharapova’s two

victories in the rivalry came back in 2004, when a precocious 17-yearold Sharapova beat Williams in the finals at Wimbledon and the WTA Championships.l

Serena Williams (R) shakes hands with Maria Sharapova after their match on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Wiliams won 6-4, 6-3 AFP

Raonic hammered eight aces but also made five double faults. Raonic won just 18 points on his second serve, or 39 percent, compared to a 57 percent second serve ratio for Nadal. “He just had the right approach after that first set,” Roanic said. “We were both struggling quite a bit. He let go a little bit more. “He’s been in that situation much more than I have. He dealt with it from a mental and strategical side better than I did.” Nadal has reached the quarter-finals or better in his last six appearances in Miami but he has failed to win the title. He lost three times in the final in 2011, 2008 and 2005. Seventh-seeded Czech Berdych secured his semi-final berth by blasting 11 aces. He had one more service break than Dolgopolov during the one hour, 45 minute match played in windy conditions.l

Blanc won’t play Mourinho’s mind games Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc insisted Thursday he will not be dragged into mind games with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho ahead of their Champions League duel. Mourinho has proved a master of psyching out opponents during his career but Blanc will concentrate on matters on the pitch when they meet in Paris in the first leg of their quarterfinal on Wednesday. “I will not get involved in that game. I am just focused on the match against Nice on Friday,” said Blanc. “Mourinho will talk and comment, that’s the way he works.” Blanc says he has the utmost respect for former Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss Mourinho for all he has achieved. l




Saturday, March 29, 2014


SCORECARD Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal c Raina b Ashwin 6 Anamul Haque b Mishra 44 Shamsur Rahman c Sharma b Ashwin 0 Shakib Al Hasan b Kumar 1 Mushfiqur Rahim c Kohli b Shami 24 Nasir Hossain st Dhoni b Mishra 16 Mohammad Mahmudullah not out 33 Ziaur Rahman c Jadeja b Mishra 0 Mashrafe Mortaza not out 6 Extras: (b4, lb2, w2) 8 Total (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 138

BGB’s strong start in Independence Day Kabaddi Defending champion Border Guards Bangladesh started their title’s defence of the Independence Day Kabaddi with a hard fought 39-27 points win over Bangladesh Jails at the Laboni Point, Cox’s Bazar yesterday. Bangladesh Police outplayed Bangladesh Air Force by 45-13 points and BGB returned to the court to register their second win of the day with a 46-19 victory over Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence in the other matches of the day. Cox’s Bazar DC Md. Ruhul Amin was the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony. Additional Director of Walton A.F.M. Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn, Police Superintend of Cox’s Bazar Md. Azad Mia, Senior Assistant Secretary from the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs Babul Mia were also present among others during the occasion. – RM

FSIBL Nat’l School Hockey Final Round starts today

The final round of the First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey starts at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium today. A total of 29 schools will feature in the final round. As many as 102 schools from across the country participated in the preliminary round at 10 venues across the country. International Hockey Federation president Leandro Negre inaugurated the First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey Championship as the chief guest on February 1 of this year. The First Security Islami Bank Ltd (FSIBL) sponsored the meet with a purse of Tk. 20m and half of the amount has already been given to the federation. The amount is the largest sponsorship deal the hockey federation has been involved in to date, surpassing the Tk. 10m deal with Islami Bank Ltd for the Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers. – RM

ICC fine England for slow over-rate Under ICC rules players are fined 10 percent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount. “As such, Broad was fined 40 percent of his match fee, while his players received 20 percent fines. “If Broad is found guilty of one more minor over-rate offence in T20 internationals over the next 12 months, he will receive a one-match suspension as per the provisions of the ICC code for players and support staff,” the ICC said. – AFP

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal returns to the dressing room amid the celebrations of Indian fielders in the ICC World T20 at the SBNS yesterday

New Zealand, Netherlands hope for better fortune Both New Zealand and Netherlands would dearly hope for a change of fortune after their heartbreaking defeats against South Africa as they face each other in today’s Group 1 encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 in Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the afternoon. Dwelling on the last match is something both teams would surely love to avoid as their quest for survival in the tournament intensifies.  The Kiwis are in a slightly better position than the Dutch with one win and one defeat after two games. The Dutch, on the other hand, have lost both their matches so far. On paper though, the Kiwis are favorite to come out of the contest with a win. The likes of Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor

NBA 2013-14 6:00AM Chicago v Portland 8:30AM Golden State v Memphis BTV, Gazi TV, Maasranga TV Star Sports 1, HD1 ICC World T20 2014 3:30PM New Zealand v Netherlands 7:30PM England v South Africa

and Brendon McCullum provide them with solidity and firepower, arguably the two most vital ingredients to succeed in this format of the game. They also have all-rounders like Corey Anderson, Nathan McCullum, Jimmy Neesham and Ronnie Heera in their squad to up the ante in a match when needed. New Zealand know they have to win against the Dutch for their last group encounter against Sri Lanka to mean anything at all. However, that will not be an easy task against a Dutch side which is more than capable of creating an upset as they almost did against South Africa just two days ago. Therefore, New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is vigilant ahead of the match. “The way the Dutch are playing, I think it’s incredibly courageous, rocks or diamonds, so to speak. They’re either going to come off or they’re not. It takes balls to play like that, and it’s why they’re a dangerous team to play

against.” However, the Kiwi captain was in confident mood too. “We’ve prepared well today and we’ll see what we come up with tomorrow. Hopefully, if we play well, we should be strong enough for them.” McCullum is also aware of the fact that run rate might be a key factor in this group to determine the spots for the semis as four teams in the group have won at least one game. “For us we have to play two good games of cricket. If we don’t, we don’t deserve to be here. If we can play to our potential then the gap between the teams should sort of take care of the run-rate and stuff. It can become a factor but ultimately you have to look at how you want to play and whether you play to your potential,” said McCullum. Netherlands, on the other hand, would once again hope for a good start from the dashing Stephan Myburgh at the top of their batting order. Captain

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal and South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis were suspended for one Twenty20 match after their sides were charged for slow over-rates for the second time within 12 months, the ICC said Friday. It was both captains’ second offence in the same format, as South Africa were fined for being two overs

short against New Zealand on Monday while Sri Lanka were short by one over against New Zealand in Pallekele in November last year, the International Cricket Council said. The ICC match referee David Boon of Australia imposed the suspensions and penalties after both sides were ruled to be one over short of their targets at the end of their matches in Chittagong on Thursday.

Sri Lanka lost to England by six wickets while South Africa pulled off a dramatic six run victory over the Netherlands. Under ICC rules a captain is suspended for one match if his team are found guilty of a slow over-rate twice within 12 months. That means Chandimal will miss Sri Lanka’s next game against New Zealand in Chittagong on Monday – a crucial match which will decide both teams’ fate for semi-final places. l

Team Asia claws back in EurAsia Cup

Star Sports 4

Today’s Foursome Results

English Premier League 6:45PM Man united v Aston Villa 9:00PM Crystal Palace v Chelsea 11:30PM Arsenal v Man City

(Team Europe 2-3 Team Asia) Jimenez/ Larrazábal halved with Jaidee/ Aphibarnrat, Bjorn/Olesen lose to Marksaeng/Hyung-Sung 4 & 3, Fdez-Castano/ Gallacher halved with Oda/Tanihara, Dubuisson/Luiten lose to Lahiri/Siddikur by 1 Hole, Mcdowell/Donaldson bt Bhullar/ Fung 2 & 1

Star Sports 2

Final Round Singles Draw

La Liga 9:00PM Espanyol v Barcelona 11:00PM Celta Vigo v Sevilla 1:00AM Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid 3:00AM Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano Star Sports 1 Italian Serie A 1:45AM AC Milan v Chievo Verona Ten Golf 6:30AM Eurasia Cup Day 3 Ten Action French Ligue 1 2013/14 10:00PM Montbeliard v Olympic Marseille 1:00AM Evian v AS Monaco

Peter Borren and the Cooper brothers would also like to replicate their performances of the qualifying round to gift their team a win to remember. One must also not take their bowling lightly, especially after their brilliant display against South Africa where they restricted the Proteas under 150. Seamer Ahsan Malik is the one who should be leading from the front as he must be in a very confident mood after taking a 5-for against the Proteas. The Dutch skipper Peter Borren is optimistic about a win although he did sound aggrieved too. “I guess in a way we have shown that we can compete, we know that we should have won that game [against South Africa]. We played nowhere near our best cricket that day. Let’s hope that we can win a game,” said Borren. All in all, another interesting match in prospect and with the Dutch playing, one never knows what surprise awaits us all. l

Sylhet lift Plan U-15 Girls Football title Sylhet Division lifted the title of the Plan U-15 Girls Championship beating Chittagong Division by 2-0 goals at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Maria put Sylhet ahead in the 11th minute and Lipi sealed the fate of the match with the second goal in the 58th minute. Chatuima Marma of Rangamati, Chittagong was adjudged the most valuable player of the tournament. Lipi Akter of Narshindi was the highest scorer of the meet. Kazi Salahuddin, the president of the Bangladesh Football Federation distributed the prizes as the chief guest. The winner’s purse contained Tk. 50000.00 while the runners-up received Tk. 25000.00. Senait Gebregziabher, the country director, Plan International Bangladesh was the special guest. Ayako Kurihara, social Innovation team, UNIQLO, Sirajul Islam Bachchu, the president of BFF women’s wing, Mahfuza Akhter Kiron, the deputy chairman and Abu Naeem Shohag, the general secretary of BFF were also present on the occasion. l

Chandimal, Du Plesis get one-match ban



Fall of wickets 1-20 (Tamim), 2-20 (Shamsur), 3-21 (Shakib), 4-67 (Rahim), 5-82 (Anamul), 6-131 (Nasir), 7-131 (Ziaur). Bowling Kumar 3-0-21-1, Ashwin 4-0-15-2, Shami 3-0-29-1 (w1), Jadeja 4-0-30-0, Raina 2-0-11-0, Mishra 4-0-26-3 India R. Sharma c Nasir b Mortaza 56 S. Dhawan b Al Amin 1 V. Kohli not out 57 M. Dhoni not out 22 Extras: (w4, nb1) 5 Total (for two wickets, 18.3 overs) 141 Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-113 Bowling Mortaza 4-0-23-1 (w1), Gazi 3-0-21-0, Al Amin 4-0-38-1 (nb1), Shakib 4-0-26-0 (w2), Ziaur 2.3-0-26-0, Mahmudullah 1-0-7-0 (w1) India won by eight wickets

(Team Europe first) Jimenez v Fung, Mcdowell v Jaidee, Bjorn v Aphibarnrat, Donaldson v Marksaeng, Larrazábal v Hyung-Sung, Dubuisson v Lahiri, Olesen v Bhullar, Luiten v Oda, FdezCastano v Tanihara, Gallacher v Siddikur

Team Asia bounced back on Friday from a first-round drubbing in the inaugural EurAsia Cup, taking three out of five available points in foursome play on day two to close the gap with Europe. Friday’s results brought the score to 7-3, keeping Team Asia’s slim hopes alive in a tournament clouded by a war of words between its organisers and those who stage the rival Royal Trophy. Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand shuffled his pack for the foursomes and it paid off, with two of his three new pairings winning their matches. South Korea’s Kim Hyung-sung and Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand took a point for Team Asia, as did the pairing of Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman and

Anirban Lahiri of India. The other new Asian pairing of India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Nicholas Fung of Malaysia lost 2 and 1 to Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson. In order to win, Asia will need seven-and-a-half points from 10 available in Saturday’s final-round singles play at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club. Captain’s pick Fung, 23 takes on Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez in the first match Saturday. Jimenez, 50, who shot two eagles on Thursday, was involved in another two on Friday, as he prepared to face a player young enough to be his son. Thongchai was delighted with Friday’s results, but admitted it will be an uphill task to overtake Europe. “There is still a chance, but Europe

Well, it was a really great day for us, especially for me and Anirban. I was really excited to play with him, one of my best friends on the Tour.  It was really great and we played really good golf, both of us.  We enjoyed ourselves, a lot. Really looking forward to tomorrow. If we can play like this tomorrow, I think it will be a good fight for us. Playing with Anirban has helped me a lot. We know each other’s game from the beginning and we played good golf.  I’m glad we saved the last hole to win the match. I think our whole team did well today.

- Siddikur Rahman

have been in this position many times before. We have another 10 points to play for. I understand what we need to do to win and I won’t put any pressure on my players. I want them to enjoy the tournament,” he said. l

Sylhet Division players rejoice their title of the Plan U-15 Girls Football at the BNS yesterday



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Saturday, March 29, 2014

DU teachers falling behind in international publications Poor funding, lack of accountability holding back scholarships n Ahmed Zayeef Teachers at the Dhaka University have reportedly been lagging in getting adequate number of articles published in international academic journals in recent years, compared to the large number of teachers currently working at the university. The number of international publications is considered as a key indicator in measuring the depth of knowledge of university teachers. According to Dhaka University’s annual report, 150 articles from 24 departments were published in international journals during the 2009-10 session; 234 articles from 22 departments were published during the 2010-11 session; while 187 articles from 34 departments were published during the 2011-12 session. According to the DU registrar’s office, 1,938 teachers are currently working at the university under 73 departments. Of them, 712 are professors, 300 associate professors, 501 assistant professors, and 425 lecturers. The last three annual reports of the

university showed that no one from the fine arts or the law faculties succeeded in publishing any article on international academic journals, while only a handful of teachers from the faculties of arts, social sciences, and business studies managed to publish articles on international journals. However, the number of publications was comparatively better among teachers from the faculties of science, biological science, earth and environmental science, and engineering. Traditionally, publishing articles on international journals is considered as an “honourable achievement” for the teachers, while it also helps the teachers to be promoted. As per the existing provisions of the university, DU teachers need articles published in “recognised journals” to get promotions. However, as there was no clear description about the standard of a “recognised journal,” a large number of DU teachers allegedly bag promotions by showing write-ups published in local journals or the journals published from the teachers’ con-

cerned faculties or departments. DU Public Relations Officer Ashraf Ali Khan told the Dhaka Tribune that every year the departmental chairpersons are requested to submit their departments’ annual activities including academic work done by the teachers. “Heads of the departments forward the details including teachers’ achievements. We publish the annual report after getting feedback from the departments,” added Ashraf. Arshad Momen, a professor of theoretical physics, said the quality of the journals was defined by the “impact factor,” a measure reflecting the average of citations on recent articles published in the journal. Until now, no Bangladeshi journal has been listed as a good impact factor journal. “Foreign university teachers are always competing to publish their scholarly articles on famous international journals. But Dhaka University teachers hardly give effort to publish articles on the international journals, as they do not have any obligation,” Momen said. According to the 2010-11 year’s

annual report of the DU, the applied chemistry and chemical engineering department published a maximum 48 articles in international journals. Publications from other departments included one article from genetic engineering; two from international relations; three from English; four each from information science and library management, soil, water and environment, and applied physics; five from zoology; six from psychology; 10 each from mathematics, chemistry, microbiology and botany; 11 from clinical pharmacy and pharmacology; 13 each from applied chemistry and geography; 15 from computer science and engineering; 20 each from physics and pharmaceutical chemistry; and 25 from medicine technology. In the 2011-12 session, the department of pharmaceutical chemistry published the most – 31 articles – in international journals. One each was published from the departments of Urdu, drama, journalism, public administration, soil, water and environment, education and counselling

psychology, geography, chemistry, Islamic history and culture; two each from English, Farsi language and history, linguistics, population science, applied physics, electronics and electrical engineering; three from psychology, genetic engineering and physics; four from physics, and biomedical physics and technology; five each from international relations, accounting, applied chemistry and molecular biology; seven from botany and microbiology; 10 from medicine technology; 11 from zoology; 13 from information science and library management; 13 from geology; 15 from applied chemistry; and 25 from clinical pharmacy and pharmacology. Most of the articles from science-related departments were jointly written by several teachers. Social science faculty’s Dean Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed said international journals took too much time to publish an article after it was submitted, while it was much easier to publish articles in local journals. Yousuf Ali Mulla, dean of the science faculty, admitted that the number

of articles published by DU teachers on international journals was low compared to the total number of teachers. “Usually, a teacher writes a good scholarly article based on research finding where fund is a big challenge for conducting research. Our university teachers get little money to do research work,” he said. DU Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Nasrin Ahmad also said: “It is true that the number of teachers having publications in international journals is small. However, we have a good number of teachers who are doing excellent work. Most of them cannot publish their articles on standard international journals because of fund crisis,” she said. University Grants Commission Chairman AK Azad Chowdhury said: “Write-ups in good journals indicate how active teachers are in research. Teachers must be lacking devotion and excellence as they are failing to publish their articles in such journals. “The nation expects more effective and intellectual work from DU teachers,” he added. l

‘Parking fees’ extorted by Jubo League men n Abu Hayat Mahmud A group of local goons are allegedly pocketing a large sum of money from truckers every day by letting them use a portion of Dhaka’s protection embankment at Shahidnagar in the city’s Lalbagh area to illegally park vehicles. The goons are believed to be involved in the practice with the backing of a Jubo League leader. Several truckers seeking anonymity told the Dhaka Tribune they pay Tk 80 every day to park their vehicles. The trucks mostly supply goods to several wholesale markets in the capital, including Kamalbagh, Chompatoli, Borokatra and Mitford. “We are forced to pay to park here because we don’t have adequate space to park nearby. Sajib collects the money from us but we don’t know any of his accomplices,” they said. Asked, Abdus Salam, a resident of Shahidnagar, said: “Sajib is a Jubo League activist of ward no 23 and lives in Shahidnagar. The 26-year-old collects money from truckers and is backed by Billal, a leader of one of the allies of the ruling party. Billal takes a portion of the money that Sajib collects.”

When this correspondent approached Sajib, he refused to talk and quickly left the area. This correspondent also tried to meet Billal at ward no 23 Jubo League office but found it shut at the time. A man finally arrived after long hours but he refused to disclose any information or even the phone number of Billal. The office was also found to have been established by occupying a portion of the embankment. Several illegal shops and others establishments were seen on government lands on both sides of the embankment. The storeowners said they had been running businesses there for long and hence should not pay any rent for the space. Contacted, Tariq A Al-Fayyaz, executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board, told the Dhaka Tribune: “We’ve conducted eviction drives several times to remove illegal establishments there but they return a few days later.” “We have lodged cases against a number of illegal occupants who repeatedly built illegal establishments after being evicted,” he added. l

Trucks and other transport vehicles are recently seen parked illegally on a portion of Dhaka’s protection embankment at Shahidnagar in the city’s Lalbagh

‘Crimea secession vote invalid’ n Reuters

The UN General Assembly on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution declaring invalid Crimea’s Moscow-backed referendum earlier this month on seceding from Ukraine, in a vote that western nations said highlighted Russia’s isolation. There were 100 votes in favor, 11 against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation assembly. Two dozen countries did not participate in the vote, either because they did not show up or because they have not paid their dues, UN diplomats said. Western diplomats said the number of yes votes was higher than expected despite what they called Moscow’s aggressive lobbying efforts against the resolution. The General Assembly resolution echoed a text that Moscow vetoed earlier this month in the Security Council. The

approved declaration dismissed Crimea’s vote as “having no validity, [and] cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the city of Sevastopol.” The resolution, which does not mention Russia by name, says the General Assembly “calls upon all states, international organisations and specialised agencies not to recognise any alteration of the status” of Crimea and Sevastopol. Although the resolution is non-binding, western diplomats said it sends a strong political message about Russia’s lack of broad support on the Crimean issue. They said the fact that Russia lobbied so hard to persuade UN member states not to vote for it was proof that Moscow took it seriously. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia, who introduced the text to the assembly, said after the vote that an “overwhelming majority of nations

in the world supported this resolution.” “The purpose of this document is to reinforce core United Nations principles at a moment when they are experiencing a major challenge,” he said before the vote. “This text is also about respect of territorial integrity and non use of force to settle disputes,” he added.

‘Dirty dozen’

speaking before the vote, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin urged countries to support what he said was Crimea’s right of self-determination and to respect the Crimeans’ choice to place themselves under the authority of Moscow. “Russia could not refuse the Crimeans to support their right to self-determination in fulfilling their long-standing aspiration,” he said. “Historical justice has been vindicated.” Churkin said: “The fact that almost

half of the members of the United Nations refused to support this resolution, I think, is very encouraging,” he said. Several western diplomats, however, said many states which sympathise with Ukraine abstained or chose not to be present for fear of angering Russia. Israel, Iran, Serbia and several former Soviet republics in central Asia like Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were among those that did not take part in the vote. Ukraine’s former Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovich, was Only 10 other countries stood with Russia in voting against the resolution. The group of 11 states, which the senior western diplomat described as the “dirty dozen”, included critics of western nations like Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Both Nicaragua and Bolivia railed against what they described as western attempts at “regime change.” l

Paraplegic girl waiting for ‘saviour’ at DMCH n Mohammad Jamil Khan

The girl once tried to escape the torture of her employer by jumping off the roof of her employer’s house. By a strange twist of fate, she survived but got her spinal cord broken. Now in her 20s, the girl is undergoing treatment at the one-stop crisis centre of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). She barely remembers her past and identifies herself as Josna. Doctor says she needs rehabilitation. On June 6, 2012, after Josna survived the jump, her employer admitted her at the Neurosurgery Department of DMCH. The register book of ward no 204 of unit-2 at DMCH says

someone named Ayesha admitted her there. Ayesha’s address mentions just two words: Badda, Dhaka.

A broken spinal cord has caused Josna to develop Paraplegia coupled with spinal disease Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday, Josna, in a weak voice, said her mother had died while giving birth to her and her father also died a few days later. “Mohammad Barud adopted me and I’ve known him as my father. He

raised me. He also brought me to Dhaka from Sylhet and left me at my employer’s house. That’s all I can remember,” she said. Josna is now confined to a wheelchair as, because of her broken spinal cord, she has developed Paraplegia coupled with spinal disease. On July 2012, doctors made an operation on her spinal cord and three months after the operation, she was transferred to the one-stop crisis centre. The operation, however, did not help her much to recover. Worse, the disease claimed both of her legs. Josna was sent to Savar CRP for psychotherapy and rehabilitation on December 10, 2012. She was sent back to DMCH

after 10 months. Then, after 20 days, she was sent to Manikganj Shelter Centre but authorities concerned there sent her back as well, saying she was suffering from physical and mental diseases. Josna has been passing her days in a little room at DMCH ever since. Dr Bilkis Begum, coordinator of the one-stop crisis centre at DMCH, told the Dhaka Tribune that Josna was pretty well but needed rehabilitation now. “We tried a lot to know her address but she doesn’t remember anything. There are many private organisations who deal with such cases but no one is apparently interested in helping Josna,” she said. The doctor also urged all to extend their help to the unfortunate girl. l


Dhaka offers on-arrival visa for six Gulf countries n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Bangladesh has offered on-arrival visa for the citizens of six Gulf countries aiming to boost engagement and cooperation with these nations. “Bangladesh has taken the decision as trade and investment with the Gulf countries have increased many fold,” Director General of the Foreign Ministry Nazrul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune. As a large number of Bangladeshis are now working in the Gulf countries, visit by their employers to Bangladesh was also taken into account, he said, adding that about 400 to 500 Gulf citizens visit Bangladesh every month for trade, investment or official purposes. Citing statistics, Nazrul said Bangladesh exported products worth about $50m to the United Arab Emirates in the fiscal year 2009-10 which jumped to over $250 million in the last financial year. Products worth about $400m are exported to the six countries where Saudi Arabia has a share of about $100m. It could increase to $1bn if proper steps were taken as these countries import a huge quantity of products, Nazrul said. “We import various products worth about $2bn from the Gulf countries which include petroleum products worth over $1.5bn,” he added. About five million Bangladeshis are now working in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain

and Qatar and send billions of dollars as remittance every year. The Gulf countries are also keen to invest billions of dollars to take advantage of the lucrative market in Bangladesh. Qatar had expressed willingness to invest in the second international airport in Dhaka and 2,000MW power plant and their proposed investment size ranges between $4bn and $5bn altogether. Kuwait is interested to build a refinery in Bangladesh with an estimated investment of $1bn. Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia visited Bangladesh in 2012 and expressed a desire to invest in tourism and power sectors and he might invest $1.5bn to $2bn. The UAE has offered to invest in four multibillion dollar projects in shipping sector. They showed interest in Chittagong seaport, Mongla seaport, setting up a dry dock and deep sea port. Oman was keen to sign a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh on gas and oil exploration. Bahrain had proposed investing $200m to set up a power plant in Bangladesh. l

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29 March 2014