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Chaitra 29, 1420 Jamadius Sani 11, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 14




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EC for amending upazila parishad laws soon It wants the government to add a clause that authorises it to hold polls on one day

n Mohammad Zakaria The Election Commission is thinking about proposing amendment to the upazila parishad laws to hold the polls on a single day. It observes that violence escalated in the fourth round of the latest upazila parishad polls across the country because of holding the elections in phases. “We are thinking of asking the government to add a clause to the existing law that will stipulate that the Election

‘It is now imperative to change the laws to hold a free, fair and neutral election’ Commission can hold local body polls anytime it deems suitable after the tenures of the parishads are over,” Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz said yesterday. He said the EC would also propose amending the upazila parishad laws to clearly stipulate the timeframe for oath-taking and the first meeting of an upazila parishad. Hafiz said it was now imperative to change the laws to hold a free, fair and neutral election. The commission’s plan to this end will be presented at the full commission meeting scheduled to be held after the return of Chief Election Com-

missioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad. The CEC is supposed to return home on April 14. “If these are changed in the current laws, the commission can hold the polls on the same day or at any suitable time,” Hafiz said. He explained that the commission held the last upazila parishad polls in phases according to the laws as it was mandatory to hold the polls before the expiry of the tenure of the upazila parishad concerned. The tenure of upazila parishad expired at different times in different upazilas. It is mandatory to swear in the new MPs-elect within three days after the gazette of parliamentary election results are published. If the same provision is included in the upazila parishad laws, the tenure of the elected representatives will start and end at the same time. The commission pointed out some problems in the last upazila polls held in five phases, Hafiz said. “The Election Commission will discuss them at the commission’s meeting. Then the commission will discuss them with its stakeholders, civil society and election observers before taking the final decision.” The third upazila parishad polls were held on a single day on January 22, 2009. But after the swearing-in ceremony, the first meeting of the upazila parishads were called on different dates. In 1990 also, the elections to upazila parishads were held on the same day. l

With Pahela Baishakh only two days away, a woman as part of her preparation to celebrate the occasion sorts out traditional glass bangles of her choice. The photo was taken yesterday in front of the Fine Arts Institution of Dhaka University RAJIB DHAR

Migrants in Iran forced into ‘slavery’ n Rabiul Islam Believe it or not, many Bangladeshi migrant workers are being forced into “slavery” in Iran and work at factories there without wages. According to the Criminal Investigation Department dealing with a number of such incidents, several thousand Bangladeshi migrant workers have been compelled to get into a sort of modern slavery in Iran and work there without pay. “We hope to bring back 27 Bangla-

deshi victims home from Iran in midApril and the number of such victims might be higher,” CID Additional DIG Md Shah Alam told the Dhaka Tribune at his office on Tuesday. “We are planning to send a delegation to Iran who will help rescue our people,” he said. Pervez Rana, a victim from Jatrabari in the capital, said he had worked as a housekeeper in Dubai since 2012 and got Tk24,000 as monthly wage. “One day a colleague named Sumon from Noakhali told me that a man famil-


4 The Directorate General of Health Services brought about a change to the viva voce pattern to recruit 1,808 3rd and 4th class employees in 26 districts.

6 People in the Gopalganj municipal area have been going through a severe crisis of drinking and cooking water for the last month as the water supply is neither suitable for drinking nor cooking.


7 It was thought that the iron fist, persecution, and oppression in Egypt had been brought to an end when Hosni Mubarak was toppled in the 2011 Tahrir Square revolt. But now history seems to be repeating itself, with the army bent on eradicating the Islamists militarily.


12 Artistes and students of Chhayanaut are all set to welcome the Bangla newyear with spontaneous participation from the masses. The celebration will start with a raga, simultaneously an Alaap will be presented welcoming the audience to the event.

At least 108 Bangladeshis, who fell victim to human traffickers, have been trapped in Iran and 53 of them are expected to be repatriated by this month. “We are trying to bring back 27 victims in the first phase and 26 others in the second phase by this month,” Binoy Krishna, executive director of Rights Jessore, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday.



n Ahmed Zayeef



iar to him would send us to Europe and we would get higher salary,” said Rana. He gave Sumon’s acquaintance Tk30,000 and was contracted to pay another Tk40,000 after reaching Turkey. “I was given assurance that I would be able to go to Greece from Turkey,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. In Dubai, Rana and five others were handed over to some Pakistani people who threatened them, brandishing pistols and knives, and took them to Oman by road.

n Our Correspondent, Jessore

Moncho demands neutral probe into assault


11 Reading last week’s grand pronouncement of a cabinet member about the billion dollars Bangladesh stands to gain from information technology freelancing made me realise again how slogans and emotions substitute for ground-level action in Bangladeshi politics.

108 Bangladeshis trapped in Iran

Members of Gonojagoron Moncho led by Imran H Sarker march towards Shahbagh to hold a press briefing


Gonojagoron Moncho has asked the government to form a high-level probe committee over the assault of its activists on April 3 at Shahbagh by the pro-government cadres. Imran H Sarkar, spokesperson of the platform, said: “We are surprised by the attacking attitude of both the police and the pro-government cadres. “The government and its cadres have been oppressing us as the Moncho protested taking money from Islami Bank in ‘Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla’ programme and for criticising delay in the trial of war criminals.” At a press briefing in front of the National Museum, he said: “For protesting this, the intruders of Jamaat-Shibir in the government count Gonojagoron Moncho as a bar since they want to

make a secret pact with the anti-liberation force. “These intruders are hatching conspiracy to uproot the platform.” On the incident of the attack on leaders and activists of the Moncho, Imran said: “The injured activists of the Moncho mentioned few names in the case they filed. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure punishment of the real accused through neutral investigation.” He, however, said the investigator of the case would not conduct the probe. “It is very easy to realise as the group attacked us inside the police station when the law enforcers did not take any action against them.” The Moncho which normally arranges press conference in front of their Media Cell at Shahbagh intersection could  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

Rawshan acts as catalyst BNP not in House, but in discussion for Ruhul’s replacement n Kamran Reza Chowdhury

n Manik Miazee HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party (JaPa), also the main opposition in parliament, on Thursday brought a dramatic change to its post of secretary general because of intervention from Leader of the Opposition in parliament Rawshan Ershad. Party insiders said the matter of bringing a change to the top post had been discussed within the party for months. Eventually, following special recommendation from Rawshan Ershad, Bablu was made the new secretary general. Ershad, however, yesterday said the replacement in the party’s secretary general post had been made in a bid to curb confusions among party members.

Party sources said there had been conflicts between Rawshan and senior presidium member ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader centring the January 5 parliamentary election. Ruhul, who is known for being close to HM Ershad, belonged to a faction of the JaPa that did not want to take part in the national poll. Ershad’s wife Rawshan, on the other hand, eventually contested the poll as part of the ruling Awami League-led alliance. There had been rumours about the replacement of the party secretary general for the last two months but the date was not fixed but Rawshan was in a hurry to do that. Rawshan, however, refused to make any comment on the issue.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5

Even though the BNP has no representation in the 10th Jatiya Sangsad, the party seems to have all the attention from almost all lawmakers in their discussions. During the just concluded maiden session of the current parliament, most of the MPs from all political parties were focused on BNP chief Khaleda Zia, the party founder Ziaur Rahman, their son Tarique Rahman. They came down heavily on Khaleda and Tarique for their recent controversial comments. The MPs also criticised the party leadership for not participating in the January 5 general elections. During the question-answer hours, discussions on public importance issues and the president’s address, the MPs came down hard on the BNP leadership, targeting it as the opposition as

seen in the previous ninth legislature. The question-answer hours for the ministers and discussions on the public importance issues were often put on hold and the MPs uttered unparliamentary words about the BNP, Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman with the start of the days’ business. In the last 35 sittings since the first day of the Awami League-led parliament on January 29, the MPs were busy criticising the BNP. Up to April 8, a total of 223 MPs delivered speeches on the president’s address, costing 52 hours. With a few exceptions, the lawmakers dedicated their speeches to attack the BNP. “Our MPs talk against the BNP as there is a friendly opposition [in parliament]. They [BNP] are the real opposition. So, our MPs will be talking about them,” Atiur Rahman Atik, a whip of the ruling Awami League, told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said: “Can I quarrel with you if we have friendly relations?” Rahmat Ali, a senior Awami League leader, told the Dhaka Tribune that the BNP was the Awami League’s archrival, no matter whether it had representation in parliament or not. “So, such discussions will go on,” he said, “unless the relations between the two parties improve.” On at least 26 of the total 35 days of the session, the MPs from the ruling Awami League, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Workers Party and the opposition Jatiya Party took floor in unscheduled slots called “point of order” to counter the statements of Khaleda and Tarique. On March 30, JSD lawmaker Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal raised the statements of Tarique and Khaleda who claimed that Ziaur Rahman was the first president of the country.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 5




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Patients evacuated for safety after fire at Mirpur CRP Plastic factory, several shanties also burnt down in capital n Kailash Sarkar A fire broke out at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) at Section 14 in the capital’s Mirpur yesterday evening, forcing the authorities concerned to evacuate all the patients. Fire Service and Civil Defence officials could not determine the cause of the fire that broke out on the ninth floor of the 13-storey building around 6:15pm. With the help of hospital employees and police, fire fighters put out the flames after one-hour hectic effort. Ziaur Rahman, an official at control room of the FSCD, said eight fire fighting units from the FSCD headquarters and Mirpur rushed to the spot and brought the fire under control around 7:15pm.

“But the fire fighters were conducting search to be sure whether any patient remained trapped inside the hospital,” he added. The official, however, could not establish the cause of the fire or make sure whether there was any casualty. Dr Narayan Chakroborti of Child Unit at the CRP said there were a total of 60 patients in the hospital and all of them were evacuated within few minutes. He said the patients would be sent back to the hospital after cleaning their wards and rooms. Maj Mahbubur Rahman, director (operations) of the FSCD, said the fire broke out on the ninth floor of the building and also spread to the eighth floor. Imtiyaz Ahmed, deputy commissioner (DC) of Mirpur zone, said fire

fighters, police and hospital employees evacuated all the patients soon after the fire broke out. The fire broke out on the ninth floor which had been used mainly for official purposes, he said, adding that the fire might have originated from an electric short circuit. In reply to another query, Imtiyaz said he was not aware of what measures would be taken for the patients who had been evacuated from the building. “The hospital authorities will decide it.” Witnesses said panic gripped the patients and employees of the CRP while hundreds of people thronged the area to witness the fire incident. Meanwhile, a plastic factory was gutted in a devastating fire that broke out inside a three-storey building around 8:00pm.

Ziaur Rahman said on information, seven units of fire fighters rushed to the spot and were trying to douse the fire. He, however, could not ascertain the cause of the fire. Kabir Hossain, a witness to the incident, said the fire broke out at the plastic factory housed in a tin-roofed three-storey building and located near Rahmatganj playground. He said as the factory was located in a congested area, the fire fighters had to face difficulties in reaching the spot and put out the flames. Another fire broke out at a slum in capital’s Bhashantek in the afternoon, burning down several shanties. The fire originated around 1:15pm and four units of fire fighters put out the flames around 2pm. No casualty was reported in the fire. l

108 Bangladeshis trapped in Iran  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

And the rest of victims would be brought back home in phases, he said, adding that two middlemen have been arrested in Iran. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is also trying to bring back the victims. “We are trying to identify the traffickers and bring them to book,” CID additional DIG Md Shah Alam told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Promising lucrative jobs in Greece or Turkey, the traffickers took these Bangladeshis to Iran and confined them to realise ransom, he added. Rights Jessore at an advocacy meeting with journalists held at its conference room yesterday disclosed that 108

Bangladeshis who fell victim to human trafficking in Iran are now in the police custody. A total of 215 trafficked persons were repatriated in last two years under “action for combating trafficking in person” programme carried out by Rights Jessore, a human rights organisation. Shah Mohammad Azharul Islam, coordinator of Rights Jessore, presented keynote information with the help of legal adviser Ashraful Alam Biplob. The meeting was attended, among others, by Ahsan Kabir, general secretary of Jessore Press Club, Tauhidur Rahman, ex-secretary, Saifur Rahman Saif, Tauhid Zaman, Sarwar Hossain, Razek Jahangir, Saiful Islam Sazal and BM Faruk. l

BNP not in House  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Eight lawmakers Matia Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Tajul Islam Chowdhury, Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari and Kazi Feroz Rashid spoke in the unscheduled discussion that lasted for over two hours. The time for the scheduled discussion on the president’s speech was reduced. Only three MPs – Faruk Khan, Mujibul Haque and Biren Shikder – spoke on the president’s address. Before the start of scheduled discussion on Monday, Housing and Pub-

lic Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain took floor on a “point of order,” initiating a discussion on a news report that claimed Khaleda had been in economic hardship. He spoke for more than 10 minutes, criticising Khaleda, Zia and the BNP bitterly. Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury followed and spoke on the same issue, criticising Khaleda and her status in 1971. Parliament Secretariat officials have said they are yet to calculate the time dedicated to holding the unscheduled discussions. l

Migrants in Iran forced  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

“After two weeks, three Afghans armed with pistols and knives forced us to leave the place in a speedboat. As one of us fell sick and started vomiting, an Afghan stabbed him in the stomach and threw him into the Arab Sea,” said Rana. He said later they had been taken to a jungle in Iran where he saw around 200 more Bangladeshis. “The Afghans and Pakistanis handed us over to a person named Kashem, who also goes by the name of Quader Molla, from Sylhet.” They had been confined in a room and their money and mobile phones had been taken away, he said, adding that they had been asked to pay Tk500,000 for their release. “As my relatives could not pay the money, they beat me for months. I could not even contact my relatives for six months,” said Rana. He said Russell, one of his friends from Comilla, had been brought to Tehran from Port Abbas and sold to

a company for Tk250,000. Russell worked there without any wage for a few months. Afterwards, he fled the company and joined another. In January Russell had phoned Rana from Tehran and said he was trying to return home. According to a letter of the Bangladesh Embassy in Tehran, a number of Bangladeshi migrants had been forced to work at a factory owned by an Iranian without wage. “It is a serious crime. If the affected people file complaints, we will take it into account,” Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune. “We are committed to bringing the perpetrators to book.” Sakiul Millat Morshed, executive director of SHISUK working with migrant workers who fall victims to human trafficking, said the labour market would be affected seriously due to such incidents. l

Moncho demands neutral probe  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Police recover a number of sharp weapons from a dormitory of Dhaka University after two groups of ruling party's student wing locked in clashes yesterday


Eight injured in BCL factional clash at DU n DU Correspondent At least eight students were injured as two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League Surya Sen Hall unit of Dhaka University were locked in a clash yesterday. Following the clash police raided the dormitory and recovered twenty crude bombs, six sharp knifes of different sizes and hundreds of iron sticks. The clash erupted following an altercation between two first-year students of the hall who belong to two factions of the ruling party student’s body during a lunch in the Surya Sen Hall cafeteria. Tension spread among the support-

ers of Surya Sen Hall Chhatra League President Mobarak Hossain and Secretary Arefin Siddique Sujan following the altercation which turned into a clash around 3pm, witnesses said. They said they heard sounds of two crude bombs as the clash escalated. On information, police, hall provost and house tutors, university proctor and Dhaka University unit Chhatra League leaders including its President Mehedi Hasan and Secretary Omar Sharif rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. The injured were identified as Belal Hossain (a first-year student of Economics Department), Nahid (a firstyear student of Finance), Shahzad,

Monir (second-year), Abu Sayeed, Sani (fourth year), and Ikbal (first year). The injured were taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital for primary treatment. All of them belong to the Chhatra League hall unit. None has been arrested so far in connection with the clash, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Ramna Zone) SM Shiblee Noman. Secretary General of Surya Sen Hall unit Chhatra League Arefin Siddique Sujon denying that there was a clash said it was a trivial issue and a misunderstanding between first-year students. “The clash was not between the two Chhatra League factions as the

secretary and I are very close to each other.” He also denied the recovery of any weapons possessed by the Chhatra League activists of the dormitory. Omar Sharif, secretary of Dhaka University Chhatra League unit, also denied any factional clash saying that it was not a big deal and they were taking care of it. Hall Provost Maksud Kamal said: “The clash erupted over a trivial issue but we have taken the situation under control.” He, however, said a probe committee would be formed to investigate the matter and to ensure exemplary punishment to the students involved. l

Suranjit: Khaleda, Tarique New GB election system should face sedition charges to trigger protest n Emran Hossain Shaikh

Senior Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta has said the Home Ministry should file sedition case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman on charges of violating the constitution by claiming that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first illegal prime minister of Bangladesh. “This is a seditious remark and the Home Ministry has to file sedition case against them for the sake of the constitution’s sanctity. It not to be done that the Law is existing but application is not so,” Suranjit Sen, also member of Awami League advisory body, said yesterday while addressing a discussion at the auditorium of Institute of Diploma Engineers of Bangladesh (IDEB) in the capital. Bangabandhu Academy organised the discussion with independent MP

Haji Mohammad Selim in the chair. The AL leader said if it was not possible to file case against the two under the Code of Criminal Procedure, it might be resolved through presidential ordinance. Suranjit also urged Khaleda and Tarique, also the party’s Senior Vice-Chairman, to apologise to the nation, saying: “If Tarique’s remark was an expression of his ignorance or stupidity then they should offer an apology to the nation. Otherwise, the matter should be resolved through legal procedures.” The BNP is telling lies one after another in order to destroy the country’s history, he observed. “Tarique earlier said his father announced our independence and now is terming Bangabandhu illegal president. I think there is a big conspiracy behind his comment,” the AL leader said, adding that if it could not be handled now, it would get worse over time. l


The elected representatives of Grameen Bank governing body yesterday deplored the government decision to change its governing body election system. A statement issued by Grameen Bank Director Tahasina Khatoon alleged that the government had a motive to “destroy” the bank by giving the election a political shape.

According to a circular issued by the government earlier this month, a three-member committee appointed by the Bangladesh Bank will oversee the election of nine borrower-directors from the grassroots. The remaining three members including its chairman will be picked up by the government. Tahsina said the old system had ensured a fair election through the election of representatives at different levels. l

Last Chawkbazar fire victim dies n Kailash Sarkar A perfume factory employee, who was critically injured in a fire at Chawkbazar near Chhotokatra in old Dhaka on April 2, died yesterday evening. Mafizur Rahaman, 40, was being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit at

DMCH, said Dr Afzal Hossain. He had sustained burns to 40  % of his body, he said. Mafizur hailed from Matlab Upazila in Chandpur. One victim died on April 3 and another on April 7 after receiving burn injuries in the fire at the warehouse of a perfume factory at Chawkbazar near Chhotokatra. l

not arrange yesterday’s briefing there as two organisations, backed by ruling Awami League’s student body Bangladesh Chhatra League, Muktijoddhar Shontan Command and Muktijoddha Projonmo, occupied that place by setting up a makeshift stall. They arranged a views-exchange programme yesterday. The Moncho activists were also barred from holding its views-exchange meeting on the Public Library premises. They were set to hold the meeting before the press briefing. But at 3:30pm, when they wanted to enter the premises, the library authorities shut down the main gate. Later they arranged the meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan. Lucky Akhter, general secretary of Bangladesh Students’ Union, Jonardon Dutta Nantu, president of Chhatra Front, Baki Billah, former president of BSU, and blogger Arif Jebtik attended the press briefing. But the leaders of JSD Chhatra

League, Chhatra Moitree and Chhatra Andolan, whose mother organisations are all allied with the ruling Awami League, did not attend the Moncho’s programmes. From the press briefing, Gonojagoron Moncho announced special programmes for Pahela Baishakh on April 14. At 9am, the platform’s activists will meet the inhabitants of Alubdi village in Mirpur where executed war criminal Abdul Quader Molla had led atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War. The platform would arrange a cultural programme at Shahbagh at 3pm and candlelight vigil at 7pm. On April 18, the activists would hold protest processions and rallies across the country to press home their sixpoint demands. The Dhaka rally will begin at Shahbagh at 3pm, Imran said. Meanwhile, some activists under the banner of “Activists and Organisers of Gonojagoron Moncho” – allegedly backed by the Chhatra League – will hold a press conference at Shahbagh today to declare counter programmes. l

Rawshan acts as catalyst  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

Ershad said: “Many people, both from inside and outside the party, think that there had been a long-standing dispute between me and Rawshan. I have made the decision of appointing Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu as the secretary general of the party removing ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader to curb confusion.” The JaPa chief made the statement while talking to journalists at his President Park residence in the capital yesterday afternoon, a day after he appointed Bablu as his party’s new spokesperson. The former president said: “Ruhul Amin Howlader has served the party as the secretary general for the last 14 years. Now he is tired and needs rest. “I think the present government will stay till 2019. We need new leadership to boost the party. That’s why I have made Bablu the secretary general of the party,” he added. Prime Minister’s adviser Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu was made the secretary general of the main opposition on Thursday evening.

Ershad also focused on the recent decision of the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate “illegally amassed” wealth of Howlader. “We removed him before the controversy surfaced following the ACC investigation.” Meanwhile, the newly appointed secretary general of the JaPa, Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu said he was made the secretary general on the order of the party Chairman Ershad not by anyone’s pressure. He said this to the newsmen during an unofficial press conference at his Gulshan residence yesterday. “I will not only organise the party from local level I will also take the party close to power,” he said confidently. Bablu, the legislator from Chittagong-9 (Kotwali) constituency, was also made adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the election-time government before the January 5 polls. Howlader reportedly represents the faction within the party which is more prone to the BNP. However, the Patuakhali-1 lawmaker has been placed in the presidium. l



ConocoPhillips refuses to sign PSC for shallow block 7 n Aminur Rahman Rasel For the first time in the country’s history, an international oil company has refused to sign the production sharing contract (PSC) for oil and gas exploration in a shallow sea block as the Energy and Mineral Resources Division failed to get prepared in due time. Earlier, Secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan of the division had said the contract would be signed with USbased ConocoPhillips within February for block 07. When contacted yesterday, he refused to make any comment. ConocoPhillips’ refusal came at a time when state-run Petrobangla is preparing to fix a final date for the signing. Petrobangla Chairman Hossain Monsur yesterday said they ha d received a letter last week from ConocoPhillips which said they would not sign the deal.

“The US-based firm has argued that the block lies in deep waters of the Bay of Bengal, not in shallow waters. It is frustrating,” he said. “This is a negative sign for the country. They [the company] might have assumed that there is no prospect in the block. But we think there are other reasons behind the refusal,” said M Tamim, a professor of Buet’s petroleum and mineral resources engineering. Seeking anonymity, a Petrobangla high official said: “The energy division delayed in the process. ConocoPhillips dropped the bid in April last year. But the government y could not use the time properly. “If the contract is signed now, it will eat up the company’s one more year time leaving them to incur loss since they will not be able to conduct the 2D-seismic survey. This survey has to be conducted within January-March period,” the official said.

After the US firm dropped the tender, Monsur had told Dhaka Tribune that the contract would be signed within June last year. Asked why Petrobangla delayed in the singing, he said yesterday that the country’s political unrest centring the national poll had delayed the process. In September last year, Petrobangla had signed the initial deal with ConocoPhillips. The company had submitted its tender for one shallow block out of nine, which were offered by Petrobangla in the December 2012 bidding round. ConocoPhillips has offered to invest $23.5m to conduct surveys and drill a single exploration well in block 07. The profit-share of the government would be 55%-80% for gas and the same for oil. Meanwhile, in January this year, the US firm and Norway-based


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Statoil jointly dropped bidding documents for exploring oil and gas in three deep sea blocks (12, 16 and 21) in the Bay of Bengal. Three years ago, Bangladesh had signed deals with ConocoPhillips to drill deep sea blocks 10 and 11. The US firm, however, did not say anything about these deep-water blocks, the Petrobangla chairman said yesterday. Petrobangla in the last couple of months awarded three shallow blocks to the IOCs. Shallow blocks 04 and 09 were awarded to a joint-venture of India’s ONGC Videsh Limited and Oil India Limited, and block 11 was awarded to a joint venture of Australia’s Santos and Singapore’s KrisEnergy. For all the shallow blocks, state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd, or Bapex, holds 10% interest. l

36 ministries evade taxes of Tk1,690 crore n Mohosinul Karim About 36 ministries and divisions of the government except for the Foreign Ministry have not paid land development tax to the land ministry for years. As a result, the amount of unpaid taxes of those ministries and divisions stood at around Tk1,690 crore until February this year. The ministry could collect only Tk102.42 crore in tax while the target was Tk1,792.57 crore. Of the total 36 ministries and divisions, the environment and railway ministries evaded tax of a staggering TK900 crore while dues of full private sector are only Tk180 crore. The Land Ministry has started a move to collect outstanding taxes from those ministries shortly after getting instruction from the prime minister. The Finance Ministry too has taken steps to this end. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on

Monday asked secretaries, top bureaucrats in the meeting of secretaries held at the secretariat to take measures to collect the unpaid taxes. Land Ministry’s Senior Secretary Mohammad Safiul Alam on Thursday said the ministry in consultation with the Finance Ministry had already taken steps. It would be solved shortly according to the instruction of the premier. An inter-ministerial meeting of the officials of land and finance ministries would be held soon to resolve the problem immediately, said the ministry’s Additional Secretary Ibrahim Hossain Khan on Tuesday. According to the Land Ministry information, it is mandatory for all private and public offices to pay land development taxes to the ministry. Rejecting the allegation of negligence in collecting taxes Ibrahim Khan said: “We always put pressure on the ministries to pay off their dues. Several letters have also been sent to them but they have never responded.” l

Ahmed Shafi: Allah’s Bangladesh not for non-believers n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

A forum of bloggers and online activists form a human chain in front of the National Museum yesterday, demanding release of two bloggers detained recently, a stop to harassment and attack on activists, and annulment of section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act terming it a ‘black law’ RAJIB DHAR

Bangladeshi worker wrongfully jailed in Malaysia He sues Malaysian authorities for 3m Ringgits Alamin was caned on October 9 last days he did not work, for depression n Rabiul Islam and also RM25,000 a day for 90 days year and was jailed from July 19 until A Bangladeshi migrant worker in Malaysia yesterday filed a suit against the Malaysian authorities demanding three million Malaysian Ringgits (RM) in compensation for physical torture and wrongful incarceration. Alamin Sheikh Badsha filed the suit with Penang High Court against the Malaysian government, immigration department director-general and investigation officer, inspector-general of police, the Penang police chief and the investigation officer, reported malaysiakini, a Malaysian news website, yesterday. His lawyer S Raveentharan said at a press conference that Alamin also claimed compensation for “losing his manhood” due to whipping, loss of income of RM1,300 per month for the

for wrongful imprisonment. “I am still not aware of the matter but our legal workers should not be disturbed,” Labour Counsellor Mantu Kumar Biswas at the Bangladesh mission in Kuala Lumpur told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. Alamin’s lawyer Raveentharan said the victim was jailed and had indeed suffered badly as he was deprived of his basic human rights as an individual. “By bringing this matter to the High Court, we hope the court will see it fit to deliver justice to this innocent man,” he said. Alamin was arrested and subsequently imprisoned by a Bukit Mertajam magistrate in Penang last year based on a false allegation that he did not have a valid work permit. But he had a work permit valid till July this year.

Nov 18 upon pleading guilty. The worker did not have a valid travel document and the work permit with him when he was stopped at a police roadblock in Bukit Mertajam on June 6 last year. His documents were with his employer. The High Court in Penang on Oct 25 last year revised his case and set aside the conviction under Section 6(3) of the Malaysian Immigration Act. Raveentharan said the HC Judge Zamani Abdul Rahim became surprised that the worker had already been caned and had his sentence completed. Alamin is currently detained at the Langkap Immigration Detention Centre and his deportation is pending. Raveentharan said it is believed that for cases involving deportation, the execution of a sentence on the wrongdoers or the designated individual to be punished would usually be carried out prior to the deportation to the respective countries and not otherwise. He said this was “highly questionable” and there seemed to be an apparent and glaring “miscarriage of justice” suffered by Alamin. “Justice hurried is justice buried? This man is innocent. The execution of the sentence was hurried, indeed for reasons only known to the Malaysian Crown officers, namely the Prisons Department and Police Department,” Raveentharan stated. l

Rickshaw puller shot by JaPa leader n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj

A rickshaw puller was shot allegedly by a leader of Jatiya Party (JaPa) at Sonargoan in Narayanganj yesterday. Local sources said Liakat Hossain, a MP from JaPa, had inaugurated a road in Shanti Bazar area under Bardi union Parishad. They said the incident had occurred when member of Narayanganj district unit convener committee Shahjahan Mia and his accomplice Anwar Hossain Amu were going to the event. When the two leaders reached the spot, they had an altercation with rickshaw puller Shariful Islam over fare. At one stage of altercation, Shahjahan fired at Shariful. Locals rescued Shariful and took him to Sonargoan Upazila Health Complex. Later, he was referred to Dhaka Medical College Hospital as his condition deteriorated. Family members of Shariful alleged that Shahjahan shot at him over trivial matter. When contacted, Shahjahan denied the allegation. Rizaul Haque, officer-in-charge of Sonargoan police station, he was informed about the matter. l

Shah Ahmed Shafi, the chief of radical Islamist platform Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, yesterday said the persons who do not believe in Almighty Allah would not be allowed to live in Bangladesh. “We are Muslims. We have no conflict with anybody. But the persons, who are living in this country of Allah, and taking different facilities from Him, cannot live in His country,” Shafi said at a two-day Islamic Conference at Laldighi ground in the port city. “We have no conflict with [Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina, Awami League, Bangladesh Chhatra League and others. They are our friends. If we become good human beings then the country will become Sonar Bangla. We have to become good people to live in the country peacefully,” he added. Some 12 of the platform’s central leaders out of 24 who are accused in 42 cases filed with different police stations of Dhaka and Chittagong also attended the programme, organised by Hefazat. The leaders include Secretary General Junaid Babunagari and Organising Secretary Azizul Haq Islamabadi. Police, however, did not arrest them since they were on bail, Inspector (investigation) Nezam Uddin of Kotwali police station told the Dhaka Tribune. Some 200 police personnel were deployed at Laldighi which is located

near the CMP headquarters, Chittagong Court Building and deputy commissioner’s office. Earlier, the Chittagong Metropolitan Police allowed the Qawmi madrasa-based platform to hold the programme on 12 separate conditions. The police had asked the Hefazat leadership not to invite the accused, who are not on bail, on the stage to address the event, and not to give provocative speeches. However, Babunagari reiterated the demand for formulating a law (anti-blasphemy law) keeping the provision of death penalty against those who demean Prophet Mohammad (SM). “We will resist them who make derogatory remarks about our prophet,” he said adding that no “atheist” could live in the country. He also said people from other religion had the right to live in the country “as it is a democratic country.” Other leaders of the platform threatened that the government would be destroyed if it had revised the Qawmi madrasa education system. Hefazat Central Committee Joint Secretary General Mahmudul Hasan, Chittagong city unit Nayeb-e-Ameer ATM Taher, Dhaka city unit Publicity Secretary Altaf Hossain and Mufti Amini’s son Mufti Abul Hasnat Amini also spoke at the programme chaired by Chittagong city unit Nayeb-e-Ameer Shamsuddhoha. l




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Change brought to DGHS viva voce pattern Five instead of three to vie for single post

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The Directorate General of Health Services brought about a change to the viva voce pattern to recruit 1,808 3rd and 4th class employees in 26 districts. The health directorate picked up five qualifying candidates instead of three to vie for a single post through the viva voce examination likely to be held in the third week of April. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) brought this change after 2006 at the directive of Health Ministry high-ups. A five-member central recruitment committee, headed by Dr Subash Kumer Shaha, additional director general of the DGHS, nodded to the changeover. A total of 9,024 candidates from 26 districts had qualified in the written test to face the interview. It was reportedly said although the viva voce date was yet to be fixed recommendations from influential persons in favour of candidates had been

Top terrorist held in Chittagong, three cops injured n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong Police arrested one of the top terrorists, who are on the list of the Chittagong Metropolitan Police, at Chandgaon in the port city early yesterday. They also recovered a US-made pistol, ammunition and some machetes from a den of the terrorists, police sources said. During the gunfight, Sub-Inspectors Nurul Islam, Alim and Nasim sustained injuries, the sources added. The arrested Ismail Hossain, the ringleader of a mugging gang, was undergoing treatment at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH). He was accused in 21 cases, including murder, mugging and extortion, lodged with different police stations in the city. Mohammad Shahidullah, additional deputy commissioner of the CMP (north zone), told the Dhaka Tribune that acting on a tip-off, they conducted a drive at the den of the criminals in Shamserpara area around 12:15am and arrested Ismail after a gunfight with his cohorts for about 25 minutes. Three cases were filed with Chandgaon police station in this connection. l

Suspect in Jubo League leader’s murder arrested n Our Corresponent, Comilla Police arrested the main suspect in the murder of Comilla City (South) Jubo League leader Mostak at 6am yesterday from his residence in the city’s Uttorrampur area. Prashanta Pal, OC at Comilla Sadar (South) Model police station, said police arrested Kala Swapan and his wife Rokeya Begum and recovered four rounds of bullets and three packets of yaba from their house. He also said there were 23 cases filed against Swapan, and two more had been filed for possessing bullets and yaba. Mostak was killed from severe head injury in a scuffle between two groups over CNG-run auto rickshaw toll collection on August 10 last year. l

Student dies from electrocution n CU Correspondent A master’s student at Government City College in Chittagong died yesterday from electrocution at his residence at the city’s Panchlaish area. The deceased was identified as Mohiuddin Kader, 25, said sources at the police outpost in Chittagong Medical College Hospital. Nayek Jahangir Alam from the police outpost said Mohiuddin was electrocuted, which left him critically injured, around 1:30pm when he switched on the water pump. His family members rushed him to the medical college hospital where the doctors on duty announced him dead. l

pouring in. Several DGHS high-ups told the Dhaka Tribune they had been receiving recommendations from ministers, bureaucrats, political leaders etc. They suspect that the recruitment will be done on political consideration. Asked about introducing the new pattern for viva voce, Dr Shah Newaz, director, administration, DGHS, and member secretary of the central recruitment committee, said there was no legal binding on bringing about change. According to the recruitment rule, there was option to select three to five candidates for viva voce, he added. The health directorate received 81,944 applications against 1,260 vacancies for third class posts, and 22,170 applications for 548 vacant posts of fourth class employees. A 70-mark written test containing Multiple Choice Questions was held on March 28 to select candidates facing viva-voce. l

A fleet of tongas rallies the main throughfares of the capital on the inaugural day of a four-day cultural function organised by Dhaka Samity ahead of Pahela Baishakh


Jica demands immediate RAB arrests one for resumption of gas supply to Kafco fake Facebook page n UNB

Worried at the suspension of production at Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Limited (Kafco) for lack of gas, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has urged the government to resume the gas supply to the plant “immediately” considering its huge importance. Jica Vice President Masakazu Ichikawa has already written two letters with similar contents to Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury expressing worry at the gas suspension “again.” The Jica vice president hoped that both the Industries Minister and Energy Adviser understand the importance of Kafco’s plant in terms of Bangladesh’s national economy, and urged them to take “necessary actions” for the resumption of gas supply to the Kafco plant immediately. The Kafco plant in Chittagong remained closed since March 14 due to stoppage of gas supply following a government instruction, said an official at the Industries Ministry. Sources said the decision of gas sus-

pension was taken at the instruction of Prime Minister’s Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid to increase gas supply to power plants to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply for the just-held T-20 Cricket World Cup. Terming Kafco one of the most productive fertiliser plants in Bangladesh, the Jica vice president said the government of Bangladesh had assured the shareholders of supplying necessary gas. In the letters, dated April 4, Ichikawa also mentioned that the Japanese government has announced the support to Bangladesh for 35th Yen Loan Package with about US$ 1,200 million. “This package contains key sectors to be supported, such as development of coal-fired power generation (Ultra Super Critical), efficient allocation of natural gas and support to the agricultural development,” the letter read. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, during his recent meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, said it is required to ensure a better business environment, including stable energy supply, to develop the

relationship of private sectors between Japan and Bangladesh. The Jica vice president said he believes that more and more efficient use of energy is necessary to realise stable energy supply and development of the country. “From this point of view, the Kafco plant in Chittagong has to be utilised as much as possible by allocating natural gas as stipulated in the agreement, which will lead to the development of agricultural sectors in your economy,” the letter said. A Kafco official said: “Of course, we are counting losses every day. I cannot give you the exact amount of the losses right now.” Responding to a question, he said they hope that the government would take a judicious decision in this regard since it is actively involved with the plant. According to an unofficial estimate, the company counts a daily loss of Tk5 crore in case of gas suspension. KAFCO is a 100-percent export-oriented international joint venture company. KAFCO markets its products - granular Urea and anhydrous Ammonia -- to many countries around the world. l

n Ashif Islam Shaon RAB arrested a man from the capital’s Baridhara area on Thursday night for creating a fake Facebook page titled “Nirapad Sarak Chai” and uploading “offensive” content. Abdul Malek Selim, alias Selim Pasha, 38, was arrested around 11pm after film star and Nirapad Sarak Chai Chairman Ilias Kanchan filed a complaint against him with the elite force. RAB also seized a laptop from Selim’s possession. Nirapad Sarak Chai is a campaign-based organisation that is devoted to creating awareness about road safety. Major Rumman Mahmud, deputy director of RAB’s media wing, said Selim had created the page aiming for financial benefits. “A few days back, Kanchan alleged that someone had opened a Facebook page in the name of his organisation and started uploading indecent, defamatory photos and videos on the page. Our intelligence traced Selim in connection with the page

and nabbed him in front of Jamuna Future Park Shopping Mall,” said Lt Col Kismat Hayat, commanding officer of RAB 1. RAB also raided his house in Baridhara. This is Selim’s second stint with RAB as he was arrested by the law enforcement agency once before. Hayat said: “Selim went to Saudi Arabia in 1993 where he was part of a computer parts and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business. He came back to Bangladesh in 2007 and continued VoIP business here, which is why RAB had arrested him four years ago.” After being arrested, Selim switched profession and opened two computer selling shops, which did not do well. Later, he opened an online news portal named According to RAB, he posted objectionable photos and videos on the website to increase online traffic. He also created several fake pages on Facebook where he posted weblinks to the portal. A case has been filed against Selim under the ICT act. l

Sunamganj to have largest solar power plant n Tribune Desk

Arts Faculty Dean Sadrul Amin is speaking at the get-together of the Islamic History and Cultural Department yesterday. The get-together was organised at the Dhaka University ClubCaption NASHIRUL ISLAM


Obaidul: Up to 90% during this government n Our Correspondent, Bandarban A total of 80 to 90% of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Treaty will be implemented during this government, said Communications Minister Obaidul Quader on Friday. Besides this, there will be a radical change in the development of communications system, he said while visiting Thanchi-Ali Kadam road construction work in Bandarban. A tourism village along with Cox’s Bazar and three hilly districts – Ban-

darban, Khagrachharhi and Rangamati, will also be built during this government, said the minister. The distance between Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban will come down by 82 kilometres once the Thanchi-Ali Kadam road construction is completed, he said. State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, Deputy Commissioner KM Tarikul Islam and Superintendent of Police Debdas Bhattacharya, among others, were present during the visit. l

The government will install a solar power plant in Sulla upazila of Sunamganj district aiming to give the people of remote haor (wetland) areas access to solar energy facilities. The solar power plant will be installed under a project involving Tk29 crore with finance from the Climate Trust Fund and the government of Bangladesh. RRIL Suncret Consortium will implement the scheme. The country’s biggest solar plant with 400 kilowatt production capacity will provide power to 400 families in the area.

The plant will be installed on 4 acres of land at Sashkhai Bazar in Sulla upazila which will also facilitate irrigation in five villages. Subal Chandra Das, chairman of Habibpur union under Sulla upazila, said the residents of Narainpur, Mourapur, Aguai, Saraspur, Sashkhai, Beelpur and Dattapara and some adjoining areas would have access to power with implementation of the project. Awlad Hossain, residential engineer of Power Development Board, Sunamganj, said it was a pilot project and more areas would be brought under the project after its expansion. l

Study set to begin outlining power import from Tripura n UNB State-owned Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Limited (PGCB) and the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) will conduct a joint feasibility study to facilitate Bangladesh’s import of 100 MW electricity from gasfired Palatana power plant in India’s Tripura state. According to official sources, a PGCB-PGCIL joint team will carry out the study within the next three months to outline the necessary arrangements for Bangladesh’s power import from the Indian north-eastern region. As per commitment of both the Ban-

gladesh and Indian governments, a joint steering committee on power sector development took the decision it its meeting last week in Dhaka. Both sides agreed on power trade between the two neighbours in addition to their existing trade of 500 MW of electricity from Indian eastern grid near Bheramara border. Officials at the Power Ministry here said the new proposal will require installation of about 32-35-km long new transmission lines, including 12 km on Bangladesh side and 20-23 km on India side. As per a preliminary assessment, they said, power from Palatana will

come to Comilla to get connect with Bangladesh’s national grid. At present, Bangladesh has a power substation at the border point under Comilla-North power supply system. “But the existing substation will require to be upgraded to off-take Palatana’s power from Indian grid system” said a top official at the Power Ministry requesting anonymity. He said lots of technical works need to be done to synchronise Indian power system with the Bangladesh one. The PGCB-PGCIL team will soon start their joint study to identify the technical nitty-gritty of the systems on both sides. l



Piracy, smuggling continue unabated in Ctg port waters

Baisabi celebrated in Khagrachhari n Our Correspondent, Khagrachhari

186 incidents of piracy recorded by International Maritime Bureau in one decade

n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong Incidents of piracy and smuggling are taking place unabated in the waters of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) because of a lack in modern monitoring systems. There have been 186 incidents of smuggling and piracy in the last one decade in the sea port territory, says an International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report. The Year, 2013 alone saw 12 incidents while the years, 2010 and 2011, witnessed 10 and 11 incidents of smuggling and piracy, it says, adding that it is too high for an international standard port. The actual number of such incidents is much higher than that recorded by the international maritime organisations, say sources at the port. Seven incidents of piracy have been reported in the past three months of the current calendar year, they say, exposing the security risk at the sea port territory.

Port sources said a government wheat laden vessel MV Chin Shwe Haw managed to flee the port secretly in the last year due to poor monitoring system of the port. Sources also said the miscreants managed to bring two stolen fishing trawlers from abroad to the water territory of the port in January last; however, these were detained by the coast guard. Port officials say water vessels cannot be operated on the regular basis as there is no modern monitoring system here. Water vessels are still operated in a manual way. The CPA, however, undertook a project involving Tk 44 crore in 2010 to bring in the modern monitoring system but that has yet to be implemented due to irregularities. The authorities aimed at monitoring the water territory through setting up rudders, video cameras and introducing Automatic Identification System. Port sources said the Holland Institute of Traffic Technology was award-

ed the tender in 2011 to implement the project by December 2013. The project implementation work has been halted for several months after a committee of the port, headed by member (administration and planning) Nazrul Islam, reported irregularities in it. Commodore M Shahajahan, member (harbour and marine) of the CPA, said they have extended the timeframe to June, 2014 for implementing the project. He added that they are now training up the concerned officials to operate the system properly. Shahjahan said they would be able to monitor movements of vessels from the control room at the Bandar Bhaban following implementation of the project. Once the project is implemented, it will bring order to the plying of vessels as well as ensuring foolproof security, he said. “We should be able to monitor the vessels within 24 nautical miles of the


Saturday, April 12, 2014

port with our radars. When the vessels are within five nautical miles they will come under the range of our video cameras,” he explained. According to the CPA sources, 70 to 120 foreign and local vessels stay within seven nautical miles of the port a day. Besides this, 300 to 350 lighter vessels and numerous small boats also ply in the area every day. Captain Shahidul Islam, regional commander of Bangladesh Coast Guard, said they were monitoring the water territory of the port, patrolling with the ships and speed boats. There is no alternative of modern automatic system to oversee such a large number of vessels, he admitted. He, however, said the incidents of smuggling and piracy in the waters of the port had reduced significantly in the recent period owing to their strong vigilance. The situation would improve further, said Islam, once modern equipment is set up. l

At least five indigenous communities in eight upazilas of Khagrachhari are celebrating Baisabi, their biggest social festival. Celebrations will continue till April 15. Khagrachhari District Tribal Cultural Institute formally opened the Baisabi celebrations in the district on last Wednesday while Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) organised a colourful rally yesterday morning. Lawmaker of Khagrachhari constituency Kujendra Lal Tripura inaugurated the rally. Later, a discussion was held at the conference hall with KHDC chairman Chai Tow Aung Marma in the chair and Kujendra Lal Tripura as the chief guest. Region Commander of Khagrachhari army Brigadier General Md Shamsul Haque, Deputy Commissioner Md Masud Karim, Superintendent of police SK Mizanur Rahman, Director of Khagrachhari Tribal Cultural Institute Susomoy Chakma addressed the programme among others. Kujendra Lal Tripura said the Tripura community had taken a three-day programme in celebration of Baisabi. The programme formally begins on 29

Chaitra with “Hari-Baishu” celebration. On the day, the Tripuras clean and decorate their houses with flowers and foliage. They also perform traditional dance “Goraiya”. Chai Tow Aung Marma said the Marma community observes Baisabi through a four-day programme. Like the Tripuras, they clean and decorate their houses and light candles at their prayer houses.

On the day, the Tripuras clean and decorate their houses with flowers and foliage. They also perform traditional dance “Goraiya” KHDC, Khagrachhari District Administration, Khagrachhari Tribal Cultural Institute, Marma Unnayan Shangsad, Bangladesh Marma Sangathan Oikya Parishad, Bangladesh Tripura Shangsad and several other socio-cultural organisations in the district have planned week-long programmes to celebrate Baisabi. l


Victims want to know account of foreign aid n Our Correspondent, Savar Several hundred affected workers and the families of victims of the garment factories housed in collapsed Rana Plaza have demanded proper compensation for rehabilitation and urged the government to disclose account of the foreign aid which came in this regard. At a human chain formed yesterday morning at the collapse site in Savar, they also sought information about the relatives who have been missing since the devastating incident that took place on April 24 last year. They said the government had failed to prepare a complete list of deceased, injured and missing workers in the last one year. The dreadful incident caused the

Man beaten dead

n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj An elderly man was beaten to death allegedly by members of a gang in Narayanganj Sadar upazila yesterday morning. Family members said a gang of criminals beat Samsul Islam, 60, in the Nurbagh area around 9am over a land dispute, leaving him critically injured. He was taken to Narayanganj Sadar Hospital where the on duty doctors declared him dead. A case was filed. l



deaths of at least 1,134 workers and injured over 2,515, most of whom are women. Expressing concern about the recovery of skulls and bones at the site in the recent months, they also called for further search operation. The speakers said over 300 workers were still missing. In the first phase report on examinations last November, the DNA lab identified 157 victims – 116 women and 41 men; while the second phase report in February this year identified 43 more victims – 33 women and 10 men. As many as 541 families provided DNA samples for cross-matching with the 322 unidentified victims, whose bone and teeth were collected as DNA samples. l

Members of United Federation of Workers’ bring out a procession yesterday, demanding list of safe garment factories along with compensations for Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza victims. The photo was taken in front of the National Press Club MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Minor boy sexually assaulted, arbitrators force mutual compromise n

Our Correspondent, Natore

Local arbitrators have prevented a man from lodging a case in connection with sexual assault on his six-year-old son by a neighbouring youth. The disturbing incident took place at Choumuhon village in Baraigram upazila of the district on Tuesday and the victim is now undergoing treatment in a local clinic. “My son was alone in the house at noon when an 18-year-old youth living nearby invited him over to have biscuits. When my son went there, he then dragged him to bed and assaulted him. When my son began yelling, some locals came in, recovered him and took him to

a local clinic,” said the victim’s father. The father said he attempted to file a case in this connection but local arbitrators Maznu, Kalam, Shohrab and Litu asked him not to go to the police. “They asked me to compromise it within us.” Kalam told the Dhaka Tribune they forced the father not to lodge any case as mutual compromise between the two families would be better in this regard. Ibrahim Hossain, officer-in-charge of Baraigram police station, said no arbitrators had any right to ask anyone not to file a case. “If we receive any complaint, we will take action against the arbitrators,” he said. l

Roadblock in Narayanganj for smooth power supply n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj Agitated residents of Kutubail area in Pagla under Fatullah police staion blockadedthe Dhaka-Narayanganj road yesterday, demanding measures to repair a transformer which has remained out of order since Tuesday. Local sources said hundreds of local people of all ages took to the street at about 9am and put up barricade on the road putting logs and setting straws on fire. The protesters also laid seige to the residence of upazila nirbahi officer in demand of smooth power supply. During the agitation, they brought out a procession chanting various slogans in favour of their demand. A good number of vehicles on both


n Our Correspondent, Chittagong







24 22












Cox’s Bazar




38.5ºC Chuadanga

17.0ºC Dinajpur

Source: Accuweather/UNB

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

4:27am 5:41am 12:00am 3:28pm 6:17pm 7:33pm Source:

The locals alleged that they have been also suffering from acute water crisis for the last three days as there was no electricity at Kutubail. “The HSC candidates are the worst sufferers of the situation as they could not concentrate on their studies because of scorching heat.” When contacted, the UNO said: “Local people came to my house. They informed me that they have been suffering in absence of electricty.” He said he had informed the bidyut office about the matter and the office would take measures to repair the transformer without any delay. If needed, the authorities concerned would install a new transformer in the area, he said. l

Baishakhi fair in Chittagong


sides of the road remained stranded for three hours because of the blockade, causing much suffering to the passengers. On receivign information, Upazila Nirbahi Officer Gausul Azam rushed to the spot and tried to calm the agitators. The local people withdrew the blockade after the UNO assured them that the district administration would take immediate measures to ease the suffering of local people. Local people said a transformer situated at Kutubail went out of order after a covered van hit it. They said they had already informed the electricy office about the matter, but they were yet to take any effective measures in this regard.

Model take part in catwalk during a Baishakhi Fair in the port city yesterday


A three-day boutique fair titled Baishakhi Mela ended on Wednesday in Chittagong ahead of Pahela Baishakh 1421, with a fashion show showcasing Baishakhi outfits designed by leading designers and boutique houses in the port city. Held at the Shishu Academy premises by Designers Forum, the fair, organised for the second consecutive year, was termed a huge success by noted painter and fashion designer Ahmed Newaj, who also heads the Designers Forum. He believed they had been able to achieve the goal through a healthy competition among the boutique houses, which also occasionally met to exchange views and ideas. Subrata Barua Rony, a renowned fashion designer in the city and one of the leaders in the forum, said this year’s fair had the potential to cater to a wider audience, given that last year’s fair was a success even amid the unstable political situation in the country. He said: “Pahela Baishakh is not about buying new outfits and fashion accessories only. There is a demand for

home decor items as well, and the participating boutique houses kept that in mind for this year’s fair.” Ivy Rahman, reputed designer and owner of Doll’s House said this year her designs were influenced by Tagore’s “Shesher Kobita”. Kazi Shahtaz Perveen, owner of fashion house Munmun’s said her boutique used canvas art in the clothes. “The response from the fair visitors was quite encouraging,” she said.

Visitors on shopping spree

Sheehabuddin Ahmed, who works at an insurance company, visited the fair with his wife and two children, and was glad that he could make all his purchases for the Bangla New Year at one place. He said: “I was attracted by the colours of Baishakh and ended up buying a lot of things.” College students Naseema Ferdous and Tushi Barua came to have a casual look around in the fair and was impressed by the array of imitation jewelleries, ending up buying necklaces and bangles. “We are glad we came to the fair,” they said. l




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gopalganj municipal dwellers Hilsa price hike in Kishoreganj ahead of face salt water woes n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj People in the Gopalganj municipal area have been going through a severe crisis of drinking and cooking water for the last month as the water supply is neither suitable for drinking nor cooking. Bottled water companies and faraway tube wells have now become their sources for usable water. Over 2,00,000 people live in the municipality, most of them poor. Men and women have to wait in long lines for their share of tube-well water, from early in the morning to late into the night every day. Most people there depend on the semi-deep tube-wells at Nichu Parha, Udayan Road and Miaparha as well as some further places for water. The rest are buying bottled water. Local water authorities say river water from the Madhumati River is refined step by step before being and then supplied to municipal residents.

Water flow into the river drastically fell in the middle of March and a salt water incursion occurred. As there are no desalination machines, they are forcibly releasing it in the supply line, authorities say. Miaparha’s housewives Kabita Bhakta, 38, and Nichu Parha’s Reva Biswas, 45, say they cannot drink the water as it is salty. They gather water from tube wells far away and drink it. “Water-borne diseases have broken out due to drinking saline water,” says Narad Kumar, who lives on Theatre Road, adding, “I am struggling to treat my family suffering from stomachache and various water-borne diseases.” The municipal authorities should take measures immediately to supply potable water and bring an end to their sufferings, he demanded. Gopalganj Civil Surgeon Dr Sirajul Islam said salt water is harmful for people suffering from heart diseases. They

must not drink it, he insisted. Local Niloy Drinking Water Company owner Md Shamim Khan says they are struggling to meet the demand for bottled water. Salination of the water supply was discovered in March and will continue till June, said Executive Engineer of Gopalganj Public Health and Engineering Department. To overcome this problem, eight new deep tube wells have been proposed and approved. It would be possible to supply potable water all year round once this project is done, he added. Gopalganj Mayor Md Rezaul Haq Sikder Raju said they have no option but to supply saline water for lack of a desalination machine. He said the project for setting up deep tube wells to overcome this crisis would, however, begin in July. Once it begins, they will try hard to complete it as soon as it is possible. l

Pahela Baishakh n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj

The prices of hilsa have shot up in the kitchen markets of the district town on the eve of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla year. Hilsa is one of the traditional, delicious items on the menu of New Year celebration feasts and so its increased demand has led to a price hike. Consequently, comparatively low earning people here are struggling to include the item in their menu. Currently, the price of one hilsa weighing around 1.2kg has increased by Tk500 per kg, which was previously being sold at Tk1,200-1,400 per kg at Purantana Bazar, Kachari Bazar and Boro Bazar. A 1.5kg weight Ilish was sold for around Tk1,600-1,700 per kg yesterday while the same item was sold at Tk1,100-1,200, just a few days ago.

On Friday, traders were demanding Tk350-400 for single 600-700gm weight Ilish at Purantana Bazar, whereas its price was Tk200- 250 just three days back, said Majibur Rahman, a retailer from the Sholakia area of the town. Badrul Ahmed, a buyer, says that with the boosted demand, during this time every year a section of traders make a windfall profit by manipulating the prices on the eve of Pahela Baishakh. Traders Majnu Mia and Kamal Uddin concur, saying that usually the demand for hilsa increases ahead of Pahela Baishakh since it is a meal-time favourite on the occasion and people from all walks of life have already started buying Ilish as early as seven days back, causing the unusual price hike. They think that “the hike will continue in line with the approaching Bangla New Year.” l

8-year-old killed, 15 hurt in Kishoreganj clash n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj A schoolchild was killed and 15 others injured in a clash about ducks between groups from two villages in Tarail upazila, Kishoreganj district yesterday afternoon. Police arrested two people in connection with the incident. The deceased was identified as Tonni, 8, from Samakjani village and a Class III student of Shimulhati Primary School. Md Aminul Islam, OC of Tarail police station, said: “Two groups from Samakjani and Shimulhati villages clashed over the ownership of ducks around 12:30pm. Tonni received head injuries in the class and died on the spot. 15 others were injured.” The OC said Tonni’s body was sent to Kishoreganj Sadar Hospital for post mortem, and the injured were admitted to Tarail Upazila Health Complex A murder case was filed with Tarail police station in this regard. But no one was arrested in this connection. l

Kurigram Border Haat falls below people’s expectation n Our correspondent, Kurigram Trading at the border market (haat) at Baliamari border in Rajibpur upazila goes on at a snail’s pace, failing to live up to people’s expectations. A visit to the haat last Wednesday revealed that only a handful of shops have been set up by both Bangladeshi and Indian traders.

A syndicate purchases a large portion of Indian ginger, depriving general customers Indian produce like ginger, bananas, arum, oranges and hilly potatoes are sold in the haat while Bangladeshi products such as shirts, jackets, sweaters, betel nuts, brinjals, plastic and melamine products are available. “We sell arum, banana and shimla potato every week in this market,” said Jayant, 38, and B Sangma, 40, from Meghalaya province in India. Indians Monilal Sangma said they sold ginger bottle gourd, parbal and brinjal.

Melamine and plastics products, jackets, and other Bangladeshi items are in high demand by Indian nationals, but BSF personnel prevent Indian citizens from buying those, alleged some Bangladeshi traders at the haat. They said because of this alleged interference by the BSF, Indian buyers were reluctant to enter the Border Haat and thus their sale was affected. On the other hand some Bangladeshi buyers said a syndicate purchased a large portion of Indian ginger and oranges at a time, depriving general customers. Rajibpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abdul Latif Khan said the authorities were trying to improve the condition of the weekly trade at the haat. The Border Haat was launched in Baliamari border area, Rajibpur upazila, Kurigram district on July 23, 2011. Former Bangladesh commerce minister Faruk Khan and his Indian counterpart jointly inaugurated the haat. A total of 50 traders from both India and Bangladesh sell their wares, with no buyer being allowed to purchase products worth more than $50. l

The photo taken yesterday shows that a woman collects water from a deep tube well which is set up on the river dried bed of the Mahananda River at Chapainawabganj sadar upazila yesterday. Water crisis has turned acute in the locality DHAKA TRIBUNE

Farmers deprived of land rent, crops for 8yrs n Our correspondent, Gaibandha For nearly eight years, a number of farmers in Goghat area of Gaibandha Sadar upazila have been unable to grow crops in a 10-bigha land because the terrain is littered with hard rocks. Although the situation has been prevailing for eight long years, the farmers have been given no compensation. Neither do they know when the rocks, owned by Gaibandha District Water Development Board, will be displaced. Sources say in 2004, the Water Development Board (WDB) took a project to use cc block and hard rock on the right bank of Brahmaputra with a view to protecting Kamarjani Bazar from erosion. Contractor firm Western Engineering Private Limited was awarded the project estimated to be worth Tk40 crore. While implementing the project, the company brought large amounts

of hard rocks in Kamarjani. In order to store those, it leased 10 bighas of land in nearby Goghat area from 14 farmers under yearly contract. Yunus Ali, one of the 14 farmers, said according to the contract, the firm was supposed to pay them Tk500 in rent annually for each decimal of land. “In the first year, they paid the amount but later on, they began raising excuses and refused to pay. This is how the farmers were not only deprived of the rent but were also unable to cultivate the lands,” he said. The project was completed in 2007 but there was nearly 3,500 cubic metres of hard rock left over, according to sources. The contractor firm took the money equivalent to the price of the leftover rocks from the WDB and left, thus leaving the farmers in a predicament. When the farmers contacted WDB officials, they refused to pay the rent.

This added to the farmers’ woes. After eight long years, they are now in a quandary as they do not know what to do with the rocks. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, WDB executive engineer Md Abdul Awal said the rocks, worth around Tk1.25 crore, were not needed now for the project and could be displaced. “In that case, they could be used for preventing Jamuna erosion in Ratanpur of Fulchari upazila. Last year, we sought Tk56 lakh in transportation cost from the higher authorities but till date, we haven’t received a single penny. That’s why the rocks are lying around there,” Awal explained. Kamarjani union parishad chairman Chakmal Hossain said the rocks were stored illegally in the lands of the farmers. “Consequently, not only the farmers but also the country itself is being deprived of crops that could have been grown there. l

15 injured in Jhenaidah clash n Our Correspondent, Jhenaidah

2 die in separate incidents in Gopalganj, Kurigram

At least 15 people have been injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over a school managing committee election, which is scheduled to be held on May, at Siddi village of Shailakupa upazila in Jhenaidah yesterday morning. Shailakupa police station Officerin-Charge Moniruzzaman Mollah said: “Two groups led by Tapan Bishwas and UP chairman Tuzam Mia locked into clashes over the managing committee election of Bakai Siddi High School after the headmaster of the school enlisted a dead man as voter. 15 people were injured in the incident at around 11:00am.” He said: “The situation is now brought under control and additional police have been deployed in the area to avoid any unwanted situation.” l

n Tribune Report 2 people including a housewife and a child died in seperate incidents in Gopalganj and Kurigram district yesterday. Our Gopalganj correspondent reports that police fished out the dead body of a housewife early yesterday from a fish enclosure at Karpara village under Sadar upazila in Gopalganj district. The diseased was identified as Lucky Vadra, 30, wife of Golok Vadra of village Karpara in the district. Her body was recovered from the neighbouring enclosure of Choton Shikdar. Primary investigation suggested that she might have been strangled to death, police sources said. Abdus Sobhan, subinspector of Sadar police station said Gobinda Vadra, son of Lucky, is grade

VIII student of Boultali High School in the area and he stays at the mess of the school. The housewife went to the mess on Thursday night to provide supper for her son but she didn’t return home. Her relatives searched her here and there but failed to trace her whereabouts that night. The Karpara villagers found the floating body of the victim in the enclosure early yesterday. The police rushed to spot and recovered her body around 10am in the morning. Her body was sent to the morgue of Gopalganj Sadar Hospital for autopsy. It was suspected that her body had been left at the scene of recovery after killing elsewhere, police sources said. In another incident, a child drowned in a pond at Rajarhat upazila in Kurigram. l

Earth cutting from river goes mindlessly in Gopalganj n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj

Labourers are seen cutting earth from the bed of Jalipar River in Gopalganj Sadar upazila yesterday


A section of local influential people has been cutting earth mindlessly from the bed of Jalirpar canal, a tributary of the Madhumati River, in Gopalganj for the last four months for using those at a brick kiln. Local people fear that this rampant earth cutting would put bridges and croplands along the river at risk. They said despite knowing the fact, the authorities concerned do not take any action against the unscrupulous traders. Abu Musa, who is involved in earth cutting, said they filled at least 10 trucks with the earth and take those to

a brick kiln owned by one Sentu Mia. He said they had been cutting earth since the dry season began. Subash Chandra Daidya, member of Jalirpar union parishad, said: “Under the leader of Kenai Sardar who an associate of Sentu Mia labourers have been cutting earth from the river, depriving the government of a huge amount of revenue. “When local people try to resist them from earth cutting, local handlooms assault them, the concerned is yet to take any measure against such illegal task.” He feared that a vast track of land may be eroded in the rainy season. After being by locals, police earlier vis-

ited the site, but could not dare to take action against the earth cutting, he added. When contacted, Kenai Mia he had nothing to in this regard as he was just employee of Sentu Mia. He also said Sentu Mia had taken permission from the office of deputy commissioner for cutting earth. But, Sentu Mia said he only bought sand from Kenai to use those at his brick kiln. “We have taken permission from the authorities concerned,” he added. Md SAiful Islam, additional deputy commissioner, said nobody had taken permission from them for sand lifting. He said he would look into the matter and take action against the people, who have been cutting earth. l



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tahrir Square dream fades as Sisi builds power n Reuters, Cairo It was thought that the iron fist, persecution, and oppression in Egypt had been brought to an end when Hosni Mubarak was toppled in the 2011 Tahrir Square revolt. But now history seems to be repeating itself, with the army bent on eradicating the Islamists militarily. Mubarak’s army–backed dictatorship, the continuation of a police state established by Gamal Abdel Nasser with the ousting of the monarchy in 1952, had faced down an Islamist insurgency that targeted him, his ministers and tourists in the 1990s. In 30 years of Mubarak rule, military tribunals with scant respect for civil law sentenced 90 Islamist militants to death, of whom 68 were executed. In nine months of Sisi’s army–led government, courts have condemned 529 Islamists to death. Nor was Egypt so polarised then as it is now. Over 1,000 Mursi supporters were shot dead after last July’s coup, and some 16,000 Brothers, and leaders of the secular youth movement that sparked the Tahrir revolt, have been rounded up and jailed. Officials privately agree that Egypt needs not just the iron fist but a whole new outlook from its rulers, including an overhaul of the nation’s religious and political institutions. The pent–up anger among the Tahrir Square youth, close watchers say, is likely to explode again if Sisi or his future government fail to create jobs in the Arab world’s most populous country of 85 million people. Sisi’s security establishment has already destroyed nearly all opposition, Islamist and secular. Besides the 529 Islamists sentenced to death, almost 1,000 more have been brought before the courts. Defense lawyers say Egypt’s judiciary is handing down politically motivated sentences to wipe out the Brotherhood, which won a series of elections after the fall of Mubarak. The crackdown, the most brutal in Egypt’s modern history, is fuelling a violent Islamist insurgency across the country. Since the coup, insurgent attacks have spread from the ungoverned badlands of the Sinai peninsula into the cities, with a rash of attacks on police,

and spread across Egypt’s villages and towns.

Stuck in a time warp

Riot police and soldiers from the army take up positions during clashes with stone–throwing members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi around the area of Rabaa Adawiya square, where the protesters are camping, in Cairo in this August 14, 2013 file photo REUTERS security targets and judges. Alaa Abdel Fattah, a secular young software engineer and blogger at the heart of the 2011 Tahrir rebellion who is now being prosecuted for demonstrating against the new post–coup order, says Egypt is a dark place now. “The country is more militarised now than under Mubarak (and) the scale of violence, repression, corruption and direct military control is unprecedented,” Fattah says. “We are already in a much worse position than during Mubarak’s time.” “The hope that existed after the downfall of Mubarak has become a distant memory,” he said. Warning that Sisi has to resolve huge problems that will not evaporate, he says “there is despair among a young generation; they are offering nothing. There is no future, no jobs for graduates and no way out.” For now, Sisi enjoys the adulation of the majority of Egyptians, who see him as a savior following three decades of Mubarak and three turbulent years since his demise. They appear to believe he is the man to improve their lot.

“People on the street tell me: Don’t talk to me about democracy, talk to me about bread and butter,” said Khaled Dawoud, an activist and spokesman for the liberal Dostour Party. The economic pressures in Egypt, where millions endure poverty and unemployment, remain the most serious threat to its stability.

Growing insurgency

Sisi, politicians say, is aware of how dangerous the situation is but depends on his generals and army intelligence for information about the state of the country. A youth boycott this year of a referendum on a new constitution drawn up by a panel named by the military–backed interim government sent shockwaves through the establishment. There are fears that Sisi’s rise to power will provoke more Islamist protests and tempt him to use force to silence all dissent. “When Sisi becomes president the Brotherhood won’t stop protesting, we won’t see any let–up in the crack-

‘Searchers confident of position of MH370’s black boxes’ n Reuters, Perth/Shanghai Search and rescue officials in Australia are confident they know the approximate position of the black box recorders from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday. At the same time, however, the head of the agency coordinating the search said that the latest “ping” signal, which was captured by a listening device buoy on Thursday, was not related to the plane. “We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometers (miles),” Abbott said in a speech in the Chinese commercial capital Shanghai. “Still, confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost four and a half kilometers beneath the sea or finally determining all

that happened on the flight.” The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared more than a month ago, has sparked the most expensive search and rescue operation in aviation history. The search was focusing on a small patch of the Indian Ocean on Friday, after the latest “ping” seemed to lend credence to four previous “pings” detected by a US Navy “Towed Pinger Locator” (TPL) towed by Australia’s Ocean Shield vessel. All five acoustic signals were detected in this small area. But Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency supervising the search effort, said on Friday that analysis of acoustic data confirmed that the latest signal was unlikely to be related to the missing plane’s black boxes. “On the information I have available to me, there has been no major break-

through in the search for MH370. I will provide a further update if, and when, further information becomes available,” he said in a statement. The black boxes record cockpit data and may provide answers about what happened to the plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew when it vanished on March 8 and flew thousands of kilometers off its Kuala Lumpur–to–Beijing route. Search efforts are now focused on three areas. Aircraft and ships are combing two large search zones, some 2,390 km (1,485 miles) northwest of Perth, for possible floating debris related to the crash. But it is the much smaller search zone, just 600 sq km (232 sq miles, located about 1,670 km (1038 miles) northwest of Perth that has generated fresh optimism. l

down, and as long as you have instability we won’t have economic recovery,” said Dawoud. Former Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaeddine, a moderate in the army– backed government, said Egypt’s future depends on rebuilding national consensus on issues such as a budget deficit estimated at 11% of GDP, fuel subsidies that eat up one quarter of the budget, and addressing acute poverty while maintaining growth. “Egypt totally collapsed. If you don’t have a national approach you cannot do anything,” he said. Sisi has defended his crackdown, saying he has to eradicate terrorism, protect national interests and the economy, including the country’s industrial base, which has been hit by instability. Egypt’s battle with the fundamentalists dates back 60 years. Presidents Nasser and Anwar Sadat tried to crush them but each time the crackdowns failed to eradicate political Islam. The confrontation with the Brotherhood is particularly hard because of their wider popular base. The movement is embedded in society

The Egyptian authorities accuse them of fomenting a jihadi insurgency which appears to be gathering force since the coup, accusations the Brotherhood dismisses. Ahead of next month’s polls, those who have worked with Sisi say he did not oust Mursi to advance his own presidential ambitions, but has found himself almost obliged to step forward at a critical juncture of Egypt’s history. They describe him as pragmatic and driven by what he sees as the national interest of Egypt. He regards the army as the only reliable institution able to protect Egypt, take it through a divisive period and prevent a breakdown of the whole system. That is why, they argue, he has taken control of billions of dollars in aid from the Gulf rushed to Egypt after the coup, and intends to supervise what Cairo hopes will be a further wave of investment from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “I don’t believe Sisi had a plan from the outset to push them out of power and take over. It was a progression of events – there was a political crisis and millions went to the streets – in which the army felt it had no choice,” the European diplomat said. Looking forward, there is a consensus among diplomats extending even to some officials, that the military solution will not solve the problem and is making a bad situation worse. But the Brotherhood is determined to present itself as a victim stripped of legitimate power rather than a movement that can learn from its mistakes and negotiate a return to mainstream politics. “The Muslim Brotherhood is stubborn and fossilised. It needs to change and move on to a new policy. It is still where it was before July. It is stuck in a bunker,” the European diplomat said. Yet many Egyptians have no faith in the army either. “We tried the military for 60 years and where did we get to? We got corruption, no proper healthcare or education, no real political power or parties. This was the achievement of Mubarak so why do you want to repeat that again?” said Dawoud. l

Israeli coalition partner threatens to quit over peace talks n Reuters, Jerusalem A key partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition threatened on Friday to pull out of the government if a deal to salvage peace talks with the Palestinians includes the release of Israeli–Arab prisoners. The ultimatum by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the ultra–nationalist Jewish Home party, further complicates US efforts to keep fraught negotiations from collapsing. Bennett’s party has 12 of the 68 seats in ruling coalition, and should it quit, Netanyahu would have to find new allies to maintain a working majority in the 120–seat parliament. There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu’s office, but senior

members of his right–wing Likud party dismissed Bennett’s announcement as an “empty threat.” Bennett says the Palestinians should not have any say in how Israel deals with its own citizens. “The emerging deal, if it includes the release of murderers with Israeli citizenship, damages Israeli sovereignty,” Bennett said in a statement. “If the proposal passes, the Jewish Home will quit the government,” he said. As part of a deal to revive moribund peace talks last July, the Israelis agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in four batches. However, it failed to set free the final group at the end of last month, triggering a crisis in the negotiations. l

7 Rahul accuses Modi of hypocrisy n AFP, New Delhi Rahul Gandhi, vice president of the ruling Congress party, Friday accused opposition election frontrunner Narendra Modi of hypocrisy over his belated disclosure that he is married. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) premier candidate Modi, 63, is routinely described as a bachelor and is thought to have lived alone in his adult life, having risen through the ranks of a grassroots Hindu nationalist organisation in which celibacy is expected. But on Wednesday Modi acknowledged he had a wife in an affidavit while filing papers to run for the national parliament in western Gujarat state. Gandhi, the 43–year–old scion of India’s famous political dynasty and unwed himself, is leading the campaign for Congress, which is tipped to lose to the BJP in elections that began this week. He said Modi promises respect and security for women while on the campaign trail but never acknowledges his own wife. “I don’t know how many elections he (Modi) has fought before but this is the first time he’s mentioned he’s married,” Gandhi told an election rally in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, has contested seats four times in the state’s regional assembly but never previously revealed his marital status on affidavits. “In Delhi, posters read ‘respect for women’ but his wife’s name never reaches his affidavit,” Gandhi said. In the column of the affidavit mentioning spouses, Modi wrote the name “Jashodaben.” But he stated elsewhere in the filing he had “no information” about her. Modi’s brother said in a statement Thursday that Modi was betrothed as a child to the now 62–year–old retired schoolteacher, who gave an interview in February in which she said she didn’t “feel bad” about not being part of her husband’s life. l

Switzerland to give Ben Ali money to Tunisia n AFP, Geneva Switzerland said on Friday it will hand over to Tunisia $40 million (29 million euros) stashed in Swiss bank accounts by the family of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Swiss authorities had frozen the funds as part of a probe launched following the revolution that forced the longstanding Tunisian leader from power in 2011. Speaking on Swiss public radio, chief prosecutor Michael Lauber said the transfer of the funds had been made possible thanks to the cooperation of Tunisia’s new authorities. The Swiss launched their investigation after Tunisia filed a request for legal assistance alleging that ill–gotten gains had been hidden in the Alpine country. The Ben Ali family still has the option of contesting the money’s handover by filing a court appeal. Ben Ali’s January 2011 ouster after a groundswell of demonstrations marked the start of the Arab Spring. He has since gained asylum in Saudi Arabia while his son–in–law Sakher El Materi, once considered a potential successor, has fled to the Seychelles. A World Bank report last month detailed the family’s grip on the economy during Ben Ali’s 23–year reign. It found 220 companies owned by family members, accounting for 21% of net private sector profits in Tunisia. l

Ukraine looks to Europe for gas as Russia ups pressure n Reuters, Kiev Ukraine said on Friday it would turn to Europe for gas and won a promise of help from Brussels after Russia warned it could cut supplies over Kiev’s refusal to pay Moscow’s “political, uneconomic price” for supplies. Presenting a united front a day after President Vladimir Putin wrote to the European Union warning that its supplies could be disrupted if Ukraine failed to cover its bills, European officials said they had little to fear and would help Ukraine pay. With Russia increasing the pressure on Ukraine’s faltering economy, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan told parliament the EU would stand in solidarity with Kiev if Russia reduced supplies, making sure Moscow could not increase flows through alternative pipelines to bypass its neighbour. “Ukraine cannot pay such a political, uneconomic price, so now we are

negotiating with the European Union about reverse deliveries into Ukraine,” Prodan said. “We will make gas purchases from reverse flows urgently. On the conditions offered by European gas companies. We plan that they will be Germany’s RWE and a French gas company.” The ministry’s spokeswoman confirmed the French company was GDF Suez, adding no agreement had been signed as yet. GDF Suez declined to comment. Prodan said Ukraine needed European gas to build up its reserves as Russian gas was no longer being pumped into storage, adding Ukraine had unused capacity of 15 billion cubic metres. Kiev has around 7 bcm in storage and says it needs 14–15 bcm to be able to guarantee transit to European consumers. Russia meets 30% of Europe’s natural gas demand, and half of this goes through Ukraine.

Russia has nearly doubled the gas price it charges Ukraine, punishing an economy that for years was mismanaged by pro–Moscow President Viktor Yanukovich and has been in freefall since he was toppled in violent protests. Kiev’s new leaders accuse Moscow of using gas as a way of punishing them for pursuing closer ties with the EU, and the standoff has deepened the worst East–West crisis since the end of the Cold war in 1991. Washington accused Moscow on Thursday of using energy as “a tool of coercion.” But on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stepped up the pressure on Ukraine, reiterating that its gas debt was mounting and Kiev was failing to meet its payment obligations – a wording that could trigger the reduction of supplies. He also criticised the EU for not responding to Putin’s letter on the situation. l

Pro–Russian activists warm themself near a fire outside the Security Service building in estern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 11, 2014. Ukraine’s embattled leaders, scrambling to hold their splintered country together after the annexation of Crimea, on Thursday offered amnesty to pro–Russian separatists occupying eastern state buildings if they lay down their arms and halt a four–day siege AFP




Saturday, April 12, 2014

50,000 years in Bangladesh

Recent finds by archaeologists excavating in Jerreru Valley, in Andhra Pradesh, on the east coast of India, will certainly reawaken interest in the archaeology of human habitation of the lands that are now Bangladesh


n Tim Steel ifty years ago, a distinguished archaeologist observed: “There was no Stone Age in Bangladesh. It was an uninhabitable

swamp.” Of course, despite a significant lack of resource for archaeological excavation in Bangladesh since independence in 1971, and some very apparent lack of interest, we already know that was an ill-founded proposition. There is no doubt that the coastal lands around the great Ganges delta, the world’s largest such phenomenon, have, for millennia, certainly comprised significantly of mangrove swamp. But, in fact, since the collisions of continental masses about 50 million years ago, that thrust the drifting Indo-Australian Plate into the Eurasian Plate, driving the Himalayan range into existence, there have existed, on the surface of the lands behind the coastal waters, three primary, “ripples,” or ridges of seabed, sedimentary rock. Much of the rock of north India, and even the Himalayas themselves, are, similarly, raised seabed. Indeed, the very peak of Mount Everest itself comprises of marine limestone. It may also be interesting to note that the movement of the continental plates continues, resulting in the regular earthquakes in the region. Indeed, it is estimated by experts that, in 10 million years time, the Indo-Australian Plate will have advanced a further 1,500 km into the Eurasian! These sedimentary rocks in Bangladesh are low ridges, but it is upon them that we find the most obvious of the archaeological sites in the country, such as Wari Bateshwar, Mahasthangarh and Paharpur. And it is also from those ridges, including that behind Chittagong, and from the site at Wari Bateshwar, that a collection of stone weapons from, certainly, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and perhaps Paleolithic times have been made. The materials collected from Jerreru Valley, preserved beneath a layer of volcanic ash that is thought to have originated from the eruption of the volcano, Toba, in Indonesia, 74,000 years ago. When considering the depths of alluvium on most of the lands of Bangladesh, it is interesting to note that, so far, there is no evidence of such volcanic ash so far revealed. Is it possible that a cloud of such ash, that blanketed southern India 74,000 years ago, concealing beneath it such evidence of human habitation, did not spill onto the lands that are now Bangladesh? The find at Jerreru Valley has sparked off a major controversy in the world of archaeological academia. That controversy can be summed up as one of “Pre Toba versus Post Toba.”


Essentially it is an argument about whether the ‘out of Africa’ migration, that migration, widely accepted, as being the migration of early human species who are known to have worked their way across the world, arriving, eventually, certainly in Australia, and probably in many other parts of the world, too, did so 100,000 or more years ago, or only about 50,000 years ago. In fact, the controversy may well bear upon the question of the earliest inhabitants of Bangladesh, but not on the principle that, indeed, there were human inhabitants in Bangladesh, at least 50,000 years ago. The great debate may impact upon a question of just what kind of humans passed through, and probably settled in Bangladesh. According to one school, the humans living in Jerreru would have been a more primitive form of human life. However, recent discoveries in the Arabian Peninsular of what were identifiably ‘modern’ humans, with materials making possible dating to 100,000 years ago, support the view that the Jerreru settlers may well have been “modern” humans. By extension, we may make the same assumption for any such settlements in Bangladesh. There can be no doubt that, in the course of a migration that took these ancient peoples along the Arabian coast, and round the coast of India, down through Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia... in all of which there are traces of these peoples...then island jumping, and on to Australia, they must have passed across the lands

that are Bangladesh. In the case of Bangladesh, simply because of the Ganges delta, their course of travel may be debateable. We know, from remnants in the Andaman Islands, that they probably both travelled, and settled, as close to the sea edge as they could. In such as Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, their few remnants are now to be found in inland jungle areas, to which they probably migrated in the face of the

arrival of gene bearers of Indian origin around 4,000 years ago, together with, in all probability, the Dingo, whose closest relative has long been recognised as the Indian Dog. Possibly the best collection of primitive stone tools in Bangladesh is a part of the extraordinary Pathan collection at Wari Bateshwar, but the exsistence of such surface finds from that Narshingdhi site close to the course of the Old Brahmaputra

Somewhere, deep beneath the alluvial plains of Bangladesh, or neglected on the low ridges, or even, the hills of the Bandarban, it seems entirely probable that evidence, akin to that of Jerrura Vally, lies undiscovered

development of the later peoples who, rather than travelling, settled, as they did across the world, as farmers, rather than hunter gatherers. Here, we are delving far beyond the Ethno archaeology into which Jahangirnagar University is at present moving, and into such advanced studies as archaeogenetics. Such genetic research has already revealed, in northern Australia, the

An excavation site in Bikrampur showing an unearthed portion of the vanished city

certainly raises the prospect of further such finds in Bangladesh. However, since we know that these ancient inhabitants are believed to have stayed as close as possible to the sea edge, we have to wonder quite where that sea age lay, 50,000 or more years ago. There are two major considerations to be taken into account in such wondering. The first, of course, is the

annual deposit of alluvial outflow by the three great rivers of Himalayan origin, the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, which seems likely to have moved to sea edge further into the Bay of Bengal. On the other hand we know that, probably within the last 50,000 years, the melt waters of ice ages across the world has raised sea levels, and, certainly, a shelf has been identified as lying, now, beneath the sea, when once it was a part of the coastal lands. Where, between coast and land, and extensive river waters, lay a route for these travellers who, unlike such migrants today, may well have not only stayed for the centuries, if not millennia, that would qualify them as resident, but have also left behind, in their continuing migration, those who chose, rather, to remain. Somewhere, deep beneath the alluvial plains of Bangladesh, or neglected on the low ridges, or even, the hills of the Bandarban, it seems entirely probable that evidence, akin to that of Jerrura Valley, lies undiscovered. And when it is found, we may well be able to identify some ancestry of today’s Bangladeshis. We can, in all likely hood, already establish that a genetic examination of today’s people of Bangladesh may have one of the greatest diversities in the world. All such international centres of trade with an ancient history, tend to that reality, but amongst them, the earliest travellers in the world seem likely to make an appearance. l Tim Steel is a communications, marketing and tourism consultant.





Saturday, April 12, 2014

Keep cool and healthy, enjoy Pahela Baishakh Tips for enjoying Pahela Baishakh without getting sick or even worse, a heat-stroke n Dr Sajol Ashfaq

Here’s a sample of diet that you can follow

Breakfast: Eat fresh fruits like water melon, papaya etc. as they can help neutralise your stomach acids and make you feel light and active. They are natural sources of energy. Then you can have the traditional breakfast “Panta-Ilish”. It will give you energy for the whole day.

Keeping well-hydrated throughout the day is important. Don’t wait until feeling thirsty; keep sipping on liquids in between. For those HEALTH who indulge in walkFLASH ing under Sun in Pahela Boishakh, taking a water break every twenty minutes is essential.

As the ice melts, it will be a ready supply of cold water. If one feels too hot after being outdoors then spraying water to face may be quick refreshening

Keep water with you

As it is summer, excessive sweating may cause loss of necessary salt and water from the body while going out. So, drinking the right kind of fluid is important. Water is the best option and carrying a bottle while travelling will prove beneficial. Caffeine drinks should be kept to minimum. They may quench the thirst but does not give the necessary salts and nutrients the body needs. Further, energy drinks are full of sugar. One should stick to lemonade or fresh fruit juices. It would be wise to keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer and grab one when going outside. As the ice melts, it will be a ready supply of cold water. If one feels too hot after being outdoors then spraying water to face may be quickly refreshening.

Check for dehydration

Be aware of the signs that your body is giving out. Notice if your heart rate is increasing or if the colour of your urine is darker than before. If yes, get out of the sun and start consuming saline water. Dehydration usually happens when the body has lost too much fluid and electrolytes (the salts potassium and sodium). Coconut water is good too. Salty snacks can help. Try adding some salt or chaat masala to sliced apples or cucumbers as a refreshing snack.

Mid-morning: Have a glass of buttermilk or mattha / coconut water to refresh you.

Choose loose cotton wears

What you wear also plays a role. Loosefitting clothing is preferable. Light clothing is important to help the skin breathe. Cotton or light fabrics like linen is a good option. Such materials let the body sweat, yet keep it cool and airy. Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.

Take hand fan

You can keep small, portable, batterypowered fans or hand fans. Use hat cap on your head. To prevent sun burn, you


Vitamin E and beta carotene doesn’t prevent heart disease or cancer BIGSTOCK

Healthy Adults over age 50 shouldn’t take vitamin E or beta carotene supplements to help prevent heart disease or cancer, an influential panel of experts concludes. They said the value of a daily multivitamin to evade these diseases remains unclear. Taking beta carotene might even raise health risks for some people. On average, extra beta carotene increased the risk of lung cancer in smokers by about 24%, the panel said. According to the representatives of the vitamin industry the recommendations do not apply to children, women of childbearing age or adults with known nutritional deficiencies. The experts’ recommendations for the healthy adults are to get their nutrients from a healthy diet, rather than supplements. The new statement, published online Feb. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is an update of a 2003 recommendation. l

Specific blood group may act as a risk factor for coronary heart disease Studies have identified the relation of ABO blood group with coronary heart disease. Individuals with blood groups A, B, or AB were 5% to 23% more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with subjects with O blood group, and the associations were not altered by multivariate adjustment of other risk or dietary factors. Compared with individuals with O blood type, individuals with blood group A, B, or AB had a respective 5%, 11%, and 23% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease in an age-adjusted model. According to the


researchers the underlying cause is, increased level of factor VIII (a specific protein helps in blood clotting mechanism), which is a known risk factors for coronary heart disease. l

can use sunscreen on the exposed part of the body before going out door.

Use common sense

Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight. Pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Select correct foods

Instead of hot foods, try lighter food in-

cluding frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. Curd is excellent for summers as it increases friendly bacteria in the gut and improves digestion and boosts immunity. Salads may increase the water content in your body. Avoid heavy meals at one time as it can cause acidity and affect digestion. Rather, eat small meals to feel light and keep your system active. Raw mango is extremely good to prevent sunstroke and weakness. Raw mango juice can help balance electrolytes in the body.

Lunch: After returning home, have a glass of green mango juice, it will refreshen you. Then have a bowl of salad with other light food according to your choice, some sweets will keep you better. Avoid heavy foods like polau or khichuri as it may cause heartburn & feeling of discomfort. But If you have to have these foods purpose, it is better to have curd at the end, it will help digest the foods. Evening: Have fruit, (pine apple, pear, strawberry etc.) yoghurt/fruit smoothie. They are filling, nourishing and very cooling. Dinner: Try to have a light dinner. Here are a few options – Vegetable soups + grilled chicken with one or two homemade rice bread / steamed fish/ lemon juice. So in this Pohela Boishakh, stay healthy and cool by eating right. l

QUICK TIPS Soft drinks can hurt you

Cut down on carbonated soft drinks as these are sweetened with lots of sugar. Even though diet drinks do not contain as much sugar, they do contain other chemicals and components that are not good for your body either. Fruit juice contains a lot of natural sugar and so isn’t as healthy as most people think. If you are craving a glass of juice, make sure it is fresh and dilute it with water. l

Baggy lower eyelids!

Your eyelids can make you look older than you really are. Sagging or baggy skin around your eyes can make you appear tired even when you are rested. This problem can be alleviated with the help of a qualified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon. l

Bleaching for teeth whitening

Asthma attacks triggered by fast food n Prescription desk

If you or a loved one has asthma, you should know about the most effective asthma treatments for short-term relief HEALTH and long-term control. ALERT During an asthma attack, you may cough, wheeze and have trouble breathing. An asthma attack may be minor, with symptoms that get better with prompt home treatment, or it may be more serious. Foods such as saturated fats and refined sugars may be a trigger for asthma attacks, according to Australian research. Recently two studies suggesting that people with a diet high in inflammatory foods are more likely to suffer asthma attacks compared to those who eat anti-inflammatory foods such as fruit and vegetables. Researchers also found significant associations with inflammatory diets and reduced lung function. Associate Professor Lisa Wood from the Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases at the University of Newcastle said that when it came to pro-inflammatory foods, saturated fat consumption was the most important dietary component while fibre was the most important anti-inflammatory dietary component, along with beta-carotene. “It is possible that people who are regularly consuming high levels vegetables could reduce their tendency to have an exacerbation,” Professor Wood said.

Don’t settle for less than white teeth. Your cosmetic dentist has a number of different bleaching options available to you. The procedure is relatively simple and inexpensive but can offer dramatic results. l

Unknowingly eating habits make you weight gain


“If you are someone who chronically eats high fat food… then you will be chronically in that inflamed state.” In a separate study, Professor Wood’s team, with researchers from The University of Sydney, found dietary fat also played a role in reducing the effectiveness of Ventolin (salbutamol). They found that bronchial epithelial cells transported more salbutamol through the membrane in the pres-

ence of polyunsaturated fat or no fat, compared to saturated fats. Bronchodilators relieve the symptoms of asthma by relaxing the muscles that can tighten around the airways. This helps to open up the airways. Short-acting bronchodilator inhalers are often referred to as rescue inhalers and are used to quickly relieve the cough, wheeze, chest tightness, and shortness of breath caused by asthma. l

When you take a spoonful of something to taste out of the saucepan or take just a handful of peanuts out of the bowl you hardly notice what you are doing. You may be fooling your brain but you won’t be fooling your body as those extra calories add up. Make it a rule that you won’t eat anything that is not on a plate. This really makes you stop and think about what you are eating and will help you stop picking at things. You really will start to think twice about what you are about to eat and if you really need it. l

| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat

Eating pulses daily may help you cut down on LDL

Seniors who take drugs to lower their blood pressure may be more likely to fall and end up with a broken hip or head injury. Side effects of blood pressure medications include dizziness and problems with balance, the study authors noted. Older adults taking these drugs were 30% to 40% more likely to suffer a serious injury following a fall than those who did not take these drugs. The risk was more than double among those who had suffered a similar injury previously, the researchers added. The report was published online Feb. 24 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Dr. Sarah Berry, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School said, “When treating an elderly patient with high blood pressure, it makes sense to use the lowest dose possible to achieve the target blood pressure.” Another expert thinks the risk of high blood pressure and the risk of injury from falls need to be considered in context of overall health. l

In a world of good cholesterol and bad, LDL(Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the bad one. LDL cholesterol circulating through the bloodstream tends to deposit in the walls of DID YOU arteries causing the blockages KNOW? of atherosclerosis. Higher LDL levels increases the risk for a heart attack from a sudden blood clot in an artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. According to a meta-analysis, one serve daily of dietary pulses reduces LDL cholesterol by about 5%, which significantly and independently lowers the cardiovascular disease risk. North American researchers found that consumption of about three-quarters of a cup (130g) of beans, lentils, chickpeas or other legumes and


Antihypertensive drugs may raise risk of falls for olds

| Dr Kazi Mahbuba Akhtar

n Prescription Desk

pulses every day boosted the effects of hearthealthy diets. The heart-healthy effect of legumes was greater in men than women, the research found. That may be because men tend to have worse

eating habits and higher cholesterol levels to begin with than women, so they might gain more from switching to a healthier diet. l Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal 2014; online 7 April




Letters to

Drop two finger test without delay


e welcome the recommendation in draft guidelines, announced by the Health Ministry for investigations into sexual assault, for dropping the so called “two finger”

test. The “test” is an absolute disgrace and a gross violation of privacy and constitutional rights. It is a shameful indication of how rape victims have been treated. The government should not tolerate any dragging of feet in putting this recommendation into practice. It would be an important practical and long overdue step towards meeting the High Court’s directive last October to ensure rape victims are treated fairly and justly and to create a civilised and sensitive environment for victims of rape. The guidelines will compel law enforcement officers to record the victim’s statement within three hours of being approached and hospitals to conduct a medical examination without having a police report filed first. They also specify how rape victims should be dealt with and how a trial should be approached. As we have editorialised before, not only does the two-finger test have no scientific merit, and cause undue duress and intrusion to the woman undergoing it, but forcing women to undergo such a test is akin to requiring rape victims to subject themselves to a second rape. We hope the health ministry committee, which is currently reviewing the draft, will complete its review shortly, and expedite its implementation. These guidelines are a welcome move and it is high time they were implemented.

This is an important step to create a civilised and sensitive environment for victims of rape

Saturday, April 12, 2014

the Editor


Prisoners’ luxurious lifestyle April 10

Jamil Khan’s very interesting front page report, published on April 4 – Money brings luxury for top criminals behind bars – describes the lifestyle and the inside story of rich criminals, staying in the Dhaka Central Jail! These “prisoners” live, eat and relax in luxury, enjoying surprising comforts more in line with a five-star luxury hotel! Meanwhile, it is as if the jailers “see no evil, do no evil and hear no evil.” Given their isolation and insulation, it seems the jailers too thrive on satisfactory returns on investments, managing and controlling the prisoners’ outside activities, thereby enabling the prisoners to enjoy and live their lives of luxury! It boggles the mind and brings on the question: Who will prosecute and jail this new class of criminals? Astonished reader

A letter to Shakib Al Hasan April 4

Ribo Alam Spot on! Hats off to Ekram Kabir.

money and Bangladesh, I feel as if he loves money more.

Ekram Kabir Ribo Alam: Loads of thanks for reading the piece.

Guest Very much an emotion-driven article. Be practical and be realistic. Knowing your limit only helps you to thrive forward. Emotions will never take you anywhere. That’s why he is the only world-class player in the current BD cricket team. Do you see where this emotion is taking us as a nation? Muntasirul Haq Easy for you to write such a long and thoughtful opinion. Why don’t you bring back your experiences from your cadet college days to the International matches? We are sure you will perform better than Shakib. Unless you agree to disagree.

Mohaimenul Amazing! Hope Sakib reads this. Bangla Chele Shakib Al Hasan, no longer Bangladesh’s “praan.” To be honest, I’m fed up with him after reading that interview, and think he is pathetic. Faiyaz Hats off. You just spoke the words that I had kept inside of me, and was craving to pass them on to him. Thanks brother. :-) Ekram Kabir Faiyaz: Thanks a lot. kabdullah Shakib has made tons and tons of money. Between

Concerned citizen Shakib, you have amazing potential. Just enjoy the game and do your best. There will always be pressure at this level. Just accept it and concentrate on your game. Cheers.

Suranjit comes down on CEC for vacationing during poll April 5

deep purple blue What is wrong with Suranjeet? His long absence made it difficult for us to defend the CEC. Is it Suranjit’s responsibility to defend the CEC or that of the EC itself? Sam deep purple blue: The EC and the CEC demonstrably look to be the lackeys of the ruling party, and only the ruling party is left to defend them. In an actual republic this would be different, because the EC is a powerful, independent body, not an extension of the ruling party’s office.

‘Moncho rally not allowed fearing clash’

April 5 Oh, how quickly they arrested the killer of a BCL leader. Would have taken months and years if an ordinary citizen was killed. Doesn’t matter who rules, this kind of garbage keeps happening in this country. People

Be Heard

Write to us at: Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: Send us your Op-Ed articles: Visit our website: Come join our Facebook community:

Don’t bash the messenger April 5

Strategy needed to rise up IT value chain


irms involved in outsourcing software and IT services earn at least US$200 to $250m annually. While the IT sector has multiplied many-fold during the past decade, government optimism that it can earn $1bn within the next five years needs to be matched by a strategy to help the sector grow and rise up the value chain. “Digital Bangladesh” requires more than just optimistic projections. The government must implement a coherent strategy to allow the IT sector to blossom to its full potential. With high demand for IT services and a large population base, there is little doubt that the goal of Bangladesh earning 1% of the $100 billion a year market for freelance services is attainable. However, the government should heed the advice of Bangladesh Computer Samity, to focus assertively on developing the IT sector, and not depend solely on freelancing which occurs anyway. As a customer and facilitator of IT services, the government must do more to stimulate the market by for instance encouraging and enabling electronic payment systems for utility bills and bank transactions. Many of the measures which can help the IT sector, such as improvements in education and reliable provision, would be beneficial to the economy as a whole. The same goes for plans to ensure high speed internet in all upazilas by 2015. Bangladeshi IT professionals and software companies should be supported by an infrastructure which allows new talent to develop and seize new opportunities.

Sam Obvious or not, anyone speaking out against the regime, by the “Chetona” definition, gets branded a razakar. That seems to be the regime’s modus operandi and has been the thinking of the ruling party from the very first days of Bangladesh. nds Sam: Liberal democrats are always found to enlist them with the political parties opposed to the party in power. For example, BNP and all other parties

not in power are packed to the capacity with liberal democrats, but when these parties are vested with powers, they seem to meticulously strip themselves of these elements you call liberal democrats. We are destined to have liberal democrats in plenty that have no bearing on our practical lives. Sam nds: You are mostly correct. Most Bangladeshi politicians seem to become liberal democrats overnight when they are in the opposition. That said, another obvious tactic to deflect legitimate criticism

is the typical “they did it too” statement. nds Sam: But this time AL has crossed all limits of a minimum sense of democratic norms and values. Corruption has been institutionalised in such a manner that has surpassed all past records. The last election process has been totally bruised. But the question is, who is going to set things right? The parties waiting in the wing to take up this task are BNP and Jamaat. Do you seriously and honestly think that they would come up to our expectations?


‘Digital Bangladesh’ requires more than just optimistic projections



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Adhesive (3) 3 Scoundrel (6) 8 Prayer ending (4) 9 United (3) 10 Things to be done (6) 11 Heckle (6) 14 Endures (5) 17 Representative (5) 20 Assistant (6) 24 Examined (6) 26 Be indebted (3) 27 Female horse (4) 28 Buy back (6) 29 Help (3)

DOWN 1 Profit (4) 2 Labyrinth (4) 3 Actual (4) 4 Divine messenger (5) 5 Ice cream holders (5) 6 Also (3) 7 Is ahead (5) 12 Work unit (3) 13 Clamour (3) 15 Boring tool (3) 16 Neckwear (3) 17 Thespian (5) 18 Comforted (5) 19 Motif (5) 21 Dutch cheese (4) 22 Excuse (4) 23 S African monetary unit (4) 25 Female sheep (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, April 12, 2014

Not so helpless n Khawaza Main Uddin



Digital? Not Bangladesh


n Esam Sohail

eading last week’s grand pronouncement of a cabinet member about the billion dollars Bangladesh stands to gain from information technology freelancing made me realise again how slogans and emotions substitute for ground-level action in Bangladeshi politics. The fact, entirely well-known to the minister, is that even as thousands of Bangladeshis do such freelancing, his government has refused to take the simplest steps to assure that they get paid their due. For all the talk by the heir apparent about a “Digital Bangladesh,” the fact on the ground remains that the most basic global payment systems like PayPal and international credit/ debit cards are arbitrarily blocked in Bangladesh, forcing freelancers and charitable institutions to bear hefty transaction costs to receive funds from abroad. The byzantine manner in which donors and project sponsors have to go around the official obstacles to send their recipients funds in this age of instant payment systems is truly a disgrace for any regime, let alone one peddling the Digital Bangladesh mantra ad nauseum. The currency control mechanisms in existence today are still based on

the 1947 Foreign Exchange Control Act from an era which simply is long gone. Only the desire of bureaucrats and their ministerial masters to retain the last vestiges of control of individuals excuses the pathetic attempt at keeping one of the most bizarre laws from the same Pakistani rulers that the regime purports to despise.

a single government ministry whose website is 100% functional, or any Bangladeshi mission abroad where you can set up appointments through an internet portal or fill a web-enabled form, or a utility provider in Bangladesh where verifiable payments can be made by the click of a mouse by the customer. In fact, by and large, paying bills

For its extravagant promises of a digital future, it can barely manage an analogous presence

The truth of the matter is that this government, intoxicated with its “victory” in the joke of the January 5 elections, believes in an alternate reality where its own sycophants create a narrative of catchy phrases that substitute for reality in the halls of unchallenged power. For its extravagant promises of a digital future, it can barely manage an analogous presence in the digital age. You will be hard pressed to find

for gas or electricity in the “Digital Bangladesh” of 2014 is very little different from the same in the “Analogue Bangladesh” of 30 years ago. It is not that making substantive steps towards a digital future is so difficult in an operational way. Given that, by and large, the “law” in Bangladesh at any given point is whatever a minister and the concerned top bureaucrat decrees it to be, it will literally take a click of a mouse to make

Bangladesh open for two-way business for cross-border payment platforms like PayPal and major international credit cards. Given the continued projections of healthy foreign exchange reserves, nor is a capital flight likely to occur when such a reform takes place. The same can-do attitude applied to fixing shamefully dilapidated government websites and 50-year-old utility bill payment systems can yield results at minimal cost. And these simple changes form just the tip of the iceberg: A plethora of minor fixes and a few major ones can create an atmosphere where “Digital Bangladesh” is more a digital reality than an analogue hoodwink. I am highly doubtful, however, that any such reform will take place given an ossified bureaucracy barely answerable to a government, which itself is not answerable to any real elected legislature, and remains openly contemptuous of civil society. It is much easier, instead, to go to round-table discussions and grandiosely headlined seminars where everyone talks about a “Digital Bangladesh,” and none needs to pay heed. Nobody will be happier than I to be proven wrong in regard to my pessimism. l Esam Sohail is an educational research analyst and college lecturer of social sciences. He writes from Kansas, USA.

stranger could be confused in ascertaining the party affiliations of a few Awami League leaders if some of their recent comments were to be printed anonymously. It would seem like these AL leaders have fallen in love with the BNP. Sometimes their ultra-sympathetic views of the rival political party would bear notes of sarcasm. The crux of the statement is: “The BNP has made a blunder by not contesting the 10th parliamentary polls.” They callously referred to the ballot being plagued by political corruption topped by other controversies – non-inclusive, non-participatory, unfair, biased, rigged, and statistically manipulated. It was not credible to anyone else, save the accused party – the AL with one-party Baksal legacy, and its allies like ex-autocratic rulers and derailed revolutionaries. The British Conservative Party doesn’t express this kind of concern for the Labour Party, nor do US Republicans for rival Democrats. But, the AL leaders exercised their liberty to advise the most suitable political course of action for the BNP. If they had a democratic heart, they could have stopped the BNP chairperson from committing such a “mistake” by allowing a level-playing field for elections. The AL leaders can still offer, as they were committed to, a dialogue to work out a formula to ensure free and fair elections. It would have been a most precious gift to Khaleda Zia. Oh sorry! They shall certainly not invite an electoral defeat. So, what are the options left for the BNP chief – except mobilising the masses for a greater movement, demanding a good election? The recent upazila polls have boosted the morale of the BNP leadership. Wherever the elections were relatively fair, BNP-backed candidates proved to be more popular. Also, desperate manipulation, intimidation with precision, targeted violence, and massive rigging by the ruling partymen in connivance with officials, have once more justified the BNP demand for a non-party interim administration for overseeing general elections. A certain AL advocate should now swallow his own words. He said that an environment for holding dialogue would be created upon completion of the upazila polls. What would be the excuse for such deceptive remarks? One of his party colleagues warned that the hands and legs of BNP leaders and activists would be cut off, should they wage a movement next time. The prime minister and AL president reportedly asked the police to update the list of “terrorists” of the BNP-Jamaat alliance. We dare to ask: What about the mobsters and goons within the ruling party? There is a feeling that efforts are underway to tame the opposition before any future anti-government agitation. Sorry to be blunt, but coercion seems to be the one and only method to cling on to power. For obvious reasons, through this process the ruling party is getting alienated from all its support bases and

has become hostage to a single force. The vigorous voices of opinion leaders who keep finding more faults in BNP’s demonstrations, have become considerably subdued when referring to the electoral crimes of the AL. The AL top leaders have been exposed after pushing the BNP to nowhere. All activities of the government and ruling party – be it corruption, extortion, heated bouts between ministers, or campus violence – are under public scrutiny.

They shall certainly not invite an electoral defeat. So, what are the options left for the BNP?

We feel the eventual result of public dissection is a state of disgust in the enlightened mind. Recent job shrinkage at home and abroad, increasing utility tariffs, rising inflation, stagnation in investment and business opportunities, low levels of investors’ confidence, poor economic governance, and probable effects of drastic revenue fall on development and welfare can be listed as ominous signs for Hasina’s government. A dwindling economy is like a lifestyle disease that grows and metastasises within the body with insidious precision. The BNP has no responsibility of taking fiscal and regulatory measures to bring an economic recovery. It is also not in charge of weighing who is more patriotic. The current situation offers it a lot of options to outsmart an illegitimate regime. Today’s movement for democracy is not limited to street protest in the capital. Rural bazars and roads, highways, headquarters of national and international organisations, court premises and campuses, professional bodies, socio-cultural and developmental organisations, global cities of higher concentration of diasporas, social media, and other new and conventional media outlets are all platforms for an all-pervasive movement. Any crackdown on the “helpless” BNP men could compel them to organise thousands of farewell receptions to the incumbents. In the face of repressive measures, Khaleda Zia may be forced to shift her position from one court to another to quarantine Dhaka at one stage. She has the luxury of consolidating her party’s alignments with other stakeholders, and negotiating with civic forums, power brokers, and foreign friends before the final push. However, the BNP’s ultimate recourse lies not with jugglery but with the will of the owners of the republic. Why would the people support and join a BNP-sponsored movement? The BNP leadership should submit a manifesto detailing what the party will do for Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. A national movement could then be relevant to the masses. l Khawaza Main Uddin is Executive Editor at ICE Business Times.

The largest democratic event on Earth n Abdul Matin


inally, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, had to comply with the Election Commission’s order and remove seven officials from their existing posts and replace them as desired by the poll panel. Earlier, she was adamant. “I challenge the Election Commission to remove anybody while I am in charge,” she declared. “How can the Election Commission transfer and name new officers without consulting the state government?” asked the chief minister. Banerjee promised she would “not remove a single officer” and was ready to face the consequences. Perhaps Mamata had no other option. She knew her challenge would bear no fruit. There was every possibility of a postponement or cancellation of the polls if she didn’t comply. The Indian EC has demonstrated once again that it has the upper hand in the administration during the poll period. In February 2012, union law minister Salman Khurshid was obliged to apologise to the EC for violating the code of conduct by promising a 9% sub quota to the minorities in Uttar

Pradesh. Dr SY Quraishi was then the chief election commissioner of India. I read the news of Mamata’s compliance with great interest after having attended a presentation by Dr SY Quraishi at the CIRDAP auditorium on March 24 on “India’s General Elections – 2014.” He cited many instances to show how he managed to transfer several influential government officials as there were allegations of partiality against them. I was, therefore, very curious to know the outcome of the challenge by Mamata Banerjee. I am now convinced that what we heard from Dr Quraishi about the authority of the Indian Election Commission is not fiction but absolutely true. Before the presentation, I was introduced to Dr Quraishi by Mr Sujit Ghosh, counsellor of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. I thus got an opportunity for an informal discussion with Dr Quraishi. He was very amiable and receptive. Our discussion centred on the caretaker government and neutrality of the Election Commission. He said: “There is no need for a caretaker government if you have a strong and independent Election Commission.”

According to him, the government has virtually no function as far as the election is concerned, and “the Election Commission assumes absolute supremacy over the administration during the polls.” I asked him if he ever faced any criticism about the neutrality of the Election Commission by any political party. He emphatically said, “No, as far as I remember.” Dr Quraishi spoke for about an hour and later answered questions. He cited several interesting incidents to show how the Indian Election Commission exercises its powers and maintains neutrality. In one incident, he forced an incumbent chief minister to pay for the plane fare of his entourage from his own pocket as he flew to New Delhi to discuss with the commission about the election date in the state. By the way, his request was also not accepted. He added that even “the Indian prime minister knows the schedule only at the last moment.” In another incident, the chief secretary, the police chief, and the home secretary of a state, were removed simultaneously as they appeared to be biased to a party. India conducted 15 parliamentary

elections, and more than 340 general elections, to state assemblies, while more than 3 million representatives were elected in the national, state assembly elections and local bodies’ polls after the country had chosen democracy in 1950, Dr Quraishi told the audience. He said the use of money power was a major concern, but the EC devised ways to enforce a stringent vigil on election expenditures to minimise such practices. He said the opposition parties, the mass media, and the people were so vibrant and active in India that it was not easy to influence the commission. Dr Quraishi said every voter was important, and there were instances of walking an elephant three days to set up a polling station in a deep forest area for a lone voter, trekking 45 kilometres in snow in Ladakh, 16,000 feet above the sea level, to reach 37 voters, and using camels, boats, cycles, helicopters, and trains to transport polling personnel and materials. The Election Commission tries to follow some rules for the convenience of the voters: No voter has to travel

more than 2km, and no polling station should have more than 1,500 voters. The former Indian CEC said the commission takes all possible steps to ensure inclusiveness while ramps are provided at polling stations for people with disabilities, Braille paper for the blind, and companions to help physically-challenged persons.

number of eligible voters reached the enormous figure of 814,500,000. Around 5 million people are employed to conduct the election. It is simply amazing how the largest event on Earth is conducted, and made almost flawless. “Our credibility is our pride,” Dr Quraishi said.

The Indian EC has demonstrated once again that it has the upper hand in the administration during the poll period

Dr Quraishi had a good sense of humour too. During the presentation, he took pause to show some pictures of elephants, camels, and carts used, and snow-covered mountains visited during the polls. He described the national poll of India as the biggest event on Earth. In the current national poll, the

The conduct of the Indian national election should be an example to other countries, where frequent allegations of vote-rigging and use of muscle and money power are too common during elections. l Abdul Matin is a former chief engineer of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.




Ferdous: Dedication and earnestness are prerequisites for making good films n Entertainment Desk Watch out for Ferdous Ahmed in tonight’s episode of Late Night Coffee, a TV show which will be telecast on Channel 9 tonight at 12:01am. Ferdous is a renowned Bangladeshi actor and a frequent face in both Bangladesh and West Bengal films. He became notable first as a television actor and then

When you are going to release the film Ek Cup Cha?

Although the film is all set to release, we still haven’t decided on the exact date. I am hopeful about the film as it contains inclusive matters which will make the audience theatre oriented.

Tell us about the director of the film.

Naim Imtiaz Neamul directed few television dramas under the banner of my production house earlier and, as I have faith on his works and dedication, I assigned him for the film. I am really impressed by his work and I hope the audience will appreciate this young director. Neamul tried to make something different which goes with the taste of the audience.

The cinemas from West Bengal are now battling with Bollywood films but cinemas from Bangladesh are still fighting to create its own space. What are the shortcomings of films here?

In West Bengal, from a regular shooting unit crew to the director or producer, everyone honours their work. Literally they just worship their profession. Suppose, the shooting call is set at 5am, it will start exactly on the call time. Meanwhile in Bangladesh, sometimes we delay for 2 to 3 hours. Film related personnel have to increase their dedication. Also, technological barriers and inadequate scripts are creating such situations. Dedication and earnestness are prerequisites for making good films.

Who is your co-actor in the film?

Mousumi, she is a good friend of mine and a tremendous actor. At first I thought of Rituporna, but her inability to be present at the shooting continuously abstained me to put her in the lead role. Rituporna appeared in a key guest role. as a film actor in the mid 1990s. He acted in more than two hundred films, both in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India and debuted in the film Hothat Brishti, an India-Bangladesh co-production. Ferdous who also a part-time model owns a film production house Nuzhat Films which is all set to produce its first film named Ek Cup Cha. Recently, Dhaka Tribune caught up with the actor on his recent ventures:

You won the National Film Award (NFA) for three times. How does it feel?

I got my first National Film Award for my role in Basu Chatterjee’s Hotath Bristi. Subsequently, I worked in many good films and Wahiduzzaman Diomond’s Gangajatra won me the second award. This award enhanced my dedication and lately, I got another NFA for acting in Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzer’s Kusum Kusum Prem. l

Partha and Shoshi pair up for Shedin Dujone n Entertainment Desk Based on a true event of Italy, director of the telefilm Afzal Hossain Munna titled Sedin Dujone, Iqbal Ferdous written the story. Scripted by Afzal Hossain Munna, the telefilm features Partha Barua and Shoshi as pair. Story of the telefilm revolves around Ovi and Mrittika. Both of them love each other but eventually they fall apart from each other. After a long time they meets each other and their desires makes them closer again. With interesting twists the story goes on. Singer and actor Partha Barua is

playing the role of Ovi and Shoshi as Mrittika. About pairing with Shoshi, Partha Barua shared: “I have worked with Shoshi before. She is very cooperative as co-actor. I hope people will love our chemistry and also the story has its own taste which I thought my directors one of the best works.” Shoshi shared: “I am fan of Partha Barua. He is my favourite singer and I am very glad that I got the opportunity to work with him.” The telefilm will air very soon. Partha-Shoshi pairs up first time in the direction of Afzal Hossain Munna on Tomay Bhebe Lekha. l

Chhyanaut gears up for Pahela Baishakh n Afrose Jahan Chaity Chhayanaut – a leading cultural organisation – holds a special programme at Ramna Botomul every year for welcoming the Bangla New Year (Pahela Baishakh). This is the 46th celebration of the organisation and the programme titled Borshoboron 1421 will be held on April 14, 6:15am at the usual venue. Artistes and students of Chhayanaut are all set to welcome the new-year with spontaneous participation from the masses. The celebration will start with a raga, simultaneously an Alaap (reading session) will be presented welcoming the audience to the event. Performers will render songs and recite poems and

PM David Cameron and East Enders star Danny Dyer have lent their voices to the official World War One centenary album of the spoken word and music. David has recorded The Soldier by Rupert Brooke while Dyer has read In Memoriam by Ewart Alan Mackintosh. Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est has been performed by Cold Feet actor John Thomson on the record. Some descendants of recipients of World War One Victoria Crosses have recorded John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields. It will be released as a single, with 40 pence from each sale being donated jointly to the Royal British Legion and the Victoria Cross Trust. Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean, comedian Sarah Millican and broadcasters James Naughtie and Stephen Fry have also recorded tracks. The Central Band of The Royal British Legion have re-recorded classic tracks of the time such as It’s a long way to Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning, which has been sung by soprano Laura Wright, and Pack up your Troubles. The album is a “truly unique and painstaking collaboration” according to Royal British Legion Director of Fundraising Charles Byrne. l

a total of 150 participants will celebrate the morning which is open for all. With the slogan “Sompriti O Swadesh,” Chhayanaut wants to establish the fact that culture and celebrating its norms does not necessarily indicate any disrespect towards religion. Vice president of Chhayanaut, Dr Sarwar Ali said: “Last year was a difficult time due to the political and social unrest. It is a social responsibility to bridge the gap and make it known that culture does not have any conflict with religion. Chhayanaut considers it their duty to take an initiative towards the situation to make these facts more peaceful and acceptable to the masses.” BTV will air the programme live.

Private TV channels may also air the programme live by taking footage from BTV. Apart from this, Grameenphone 3G subscribers can log on to to watch the programme live on their handset. A press conference was held at Rameshchandra Datta Memorial Auditorium of Chhayanaut building in Dhanmondi on April 10, announcing the event. Vice president of Chhayanaut Dr Sarwar Ali, General Secretary Khairul Anam Shakil, Treasurer Pradip Nag and Head of Corporate Communication of Grameenphone Sayed Tahmid Azizul Haque was present at the press conference. Chhayanaut has been observing the day since 1965. l

Altaf’s music focuses on realities of life

n Limana Solaiman

Altaf’s third solo album Pashe Theko was launched at a programme on April 10 at the café Thirty3 located at Baily Road. The album is produced by Agniveena and has eight tracks, six of which are his own lyrics. The track Maula, a wonderful melodious song is by Jalaluddin Baul and the opening track of the album Balu Jhor is written by Altaf’s father, late Mosharraf Hossain Shahjahan. The music composition and arrangement of the album is done by Fuad Almuqtadir. About his songs Altaf said: “My songs are about people and the realities of life. My work does not belong in any particular genre and I think when music is classified into genres, it is restricted.” When questioned about his success as a musician and the response to his previous albums, he said: “I am a musician, it is my passion, I do not practice and produce music for fame, I do it because I enjoy losing myself in music.” About the audio industry, the singer said: “The current scenario of the audio industry does not permit a struggling singer or musician to earn a living by producing music only. Very few can manage the feat of being a


Jibondhuli, Shongram, Frozen in 3D, Boishomyo, Avatar in 3D Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City Panthapath


Serenading Suchitra Time: 12pm – 8pm Shilpangan Gallery, House-7 Road-13, Dhanmondi Crossing Through Time: 3pm – 8pm Dhaka Art Center (DAC) House-60 Road-7A Dhanmondi R/A


full time musician and earn a living through the same means. One can only practice and produce music as a hobby at present.” It took two years for the aspiring singer to come up with this album. Altaf started training in classical music from the age of 5 with his older sister Sheta and later trained under Benjamin Sarker. He is inspired by Bhuben Hazarika and met with him on several occasions. l

Shaatkahon Rongila Mela Jatra Time: 10am – 8pm Road 27 (old) ), House 39 Dhanmondi


China-Mridha Friendship Lion Dance Competition By Bangladesh Lion and dragon and Lion Dance Sports Association Time: 10:30am National Sports Council Gymnasium

Nirvana enters Rock and Roll Hall of Fame n Entertainment Desk The surviving members of Nirvana have led fellow inductees, including Kiss, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band, whose lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide 20 years ago, was inducted in its first year of eligibility for the honour. Joan Jett replaced Cobain on-stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to sing Smells Like Teen Spirit with Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Pat Smear, who was a live guitarist with the band. Grammy-winning singer Lorde was among fellow female singers Kim Gordon and Annie Clark who also joined in with a medley of Nirvana songs. “Nirvana fans walk up to me every day and say thank you for the music,” said bass player Novoselic. “When I hear that, I think of Kurt Cobain.” Former REM singer Michael Stipe traced Nirvana’s origins through the hardcore punk scene of the 1980s and said they were a voice for the disaffected. “This is not pop music,” Stipe said. “This is something much greater than that.” Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, hugged the surviving band members, with whom she has had some bad blood. “I just wish Kurt was here to do this,” she said. The original four members of Kiss didn’t perform due to a dispute between active members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and retired members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. But they did make peace and saluted each other in heartfelt induction speeches. Bruce Spingsteen’s E Street Band, Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel and Daryl Hall and John Oates were also inducted into the Hall of Fame at the concert. l

PM David Cameron records on a charity album n Entertainment Desk

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Famous Baul singer Rob Fakir and his group perform on the first day of Saaykahon Rongeela Mela organised by Jatra at its outlet in Dhanmondi. The festival will continue till Pahela Baishakh evening SADIA MARIUM

Deepika evasive about starring in Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani

n Entertainment Desk

Actress Deepika Padukone is evasive about whether she would team up with Ranveer Singh in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie Bajirao Mastani. “I will let you all know (about the project). You all will know soon,” Deepika said. Incidentally, Karan Johar wanted to cast Ranveer and Deepika in his movie Shuddhi but Ranveer chose to do Bajirao Mastani over Shuddhi. “If there are two mega projects happening at the same time, it is difficult to accommodate both the films. I will let you know which film I will do. It is not about giving preference to one film over the other. It is more about the film and the character that excites you at that point,” Deepika said. l

Did you know? Andrea Pirlo has scored 6 goals for Juventus in all competition this season, all from direct free-kicks


Saturday, April 12, 2014

14 Bayern-Real clash

dominates semis

14 Juve, Iberian trio



15 Powell handed

into last four

18 months ban

India likely to visit in June n

Feni Soccer Club captain Akbar Hossain Ridon (L) and Mohammedan captain Zahid Hasan Emily pose with the trophy yesterday prior to their Modhumoti Bank Independence Cup final at Bangabandhu National Stadium today MUMIT M

India cricket team is likely to tour Bangladesh in June to play a threematch ODI series and it was decided during the two-day ICC executive meeting in Dubai, informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury who returned after attending the meeting yesterday. “The tour is definitely on. The BCCI has confirmed it,” said Nizamuddin to the media yesterday. “We had a fruitful discussion at the sidelines of the ICC’s board meeting and they have submitted their dates. We will have to finalise them,” he said. According to a BCB high official, the two boards had been discussing the dates for a while now and there have also been talks about a possible addition of Test matches, but it is yet to be finalised as there has been some negotiations among the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the BCB. India has played a number of ODIs in Bangladesh in various tournaments. The last time they played a bilateral ODI series was back in 2007, immediately after the World Cup in which India lost to the Tigers and exited early. The last time India played a bilateral Test series

against Bangladesh was in 2010 when they won a two-match Test series 2-0. The BCB’s acting CEO also said that the bigger teams like England and Australia may also play bilateral series against Bangladesh but for that the Bangladesh team’s performance will be a major factor as their boards informed that they are ready to play only if the performance of the Tigers improves. “We have finalised quite a few series and tours and after that we have a lot of time and if we can perform well then definitely we can play Test matches in both home and away against big teams. What we have been informed that if we can perform well we will get the opportunity to play more against the big sides. This is the thing we have to consider as whenever we talk with boards they asked us to improve our performance,” said Nizamuddin. Meanwhile the recently finished ICC’s meeting also approved the same format for the next World Twenty20 which will be played in India on 2016 where the ninth and 10th ranked sides have to play the qualifier round against the Associate Nations. Nizamuddin informed that they opposed against the decision, but Zimbabwe did not support Bangladesh and also said that it’s linked with financial factor which the BCB have to agree on. l

Rejuvenated Feni eye historic win n It will be a significant day for Feni Soccer Club who is appearing in a professional football tournament final for the first time in their brief history that also against a traditional name like Mohammedan SC. The two sides with completely different experience meet in the Modhumoti Bank Independence Cup final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today. BTV will telecast the match live from 5pm. Mohammedan has never lifted the trophy of the coveted tournament, though they successfully secured two Super Cup titles, in the last decade. It’s their reputation that makes them the favourite in today’s final, but the “nothing to lose” attitude from the Feni outfit is what makes them a dangerous challenger. Feni’s highest achievement was reaching the semi-final of the Federa-

tion Cup in its debut season where they lost to the same opponents to bow out. “Mohammedan are a better team, they are definitely favourites but they

win it. If we can play the way we started the tournament, I hope we will win the cup,” said the in-form national striker who scored four goals out of Moham-

‘If we become the champions it will be a good achievement for my career and for my team. Mohammedan is my favourite team and I want to give the club a trophy as being captain for the first time’ – Mohammedan captain Emily says what the trophy means to him are the ones who should be under pressure. We will play without any pressure,” said Feni captain Akbar Hossain Ridon yesterday. “This is a historic event for us and we want to write history by clinching the title,” he added.

Big Three’s ICC deal benefits Pakistan: PCB chief n

Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi said Friday his country will get eight years of series, including with archrivals India, earning $30 million, after agreeing to the revamp of the game’s governing body. Pakistan had opposed changes to the International Cricket Council (ICC) which hand the majority of powers and revenues to the “big three” of international cricket, India, Australia and England. The suggested reforms were approved by majority (eight out of 10 countries in favour) at the ICC Board meeting in February, during which Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstained from voting. After an ICC meeting in Dubai on Thursday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced it would conditionally support the reforms -- to be officially signed in June this year -- which Sethi said will bring major benefits to cashstrapped Pakistan. “We were left isolated in world cricket, we could have gone bankrupt but we agreed to the revamp after getting written assurances of eight years cricket with all member countries including India which will benefit us to the tune of three billion rupees,” he told a press conference. India have not played a full series with Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, which New Dehli

The pressure was also felt by Mohammedan captain Zahid Hasan Emily who was determined to take the trophy home. “I feel huge pressure. They (Feni)

blamed on militants based across the border. Pakistan did play a short limited over series in India in December 2012 but a full tour has yet be finalised. Pakistan have not hosted any international cricket since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore five years ago. Sethi also said banned Pakistan paceman Mohammad Aamer could get a one-year relaxation in his five-year ban for spot-fixing. “The ICC has promised us to consider our request of relaxing of the ban on Aamer and a decision is expected in a meeting in June,” said Sethi. “Aamer can get a one year relaxation during which he can play first-class cricket.” Aamer along with former captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif was banned from all cricket for a minimum of five years over a spot-fixing scandal in 2010. l

are not under any pressure. All the pressure is on us because when the team officials formed the team we gave them words that we would win every tournament. After the failure in the Federation Cup and in the league, now we want to

League. The sudden transformation in Feni squad was made possible by their head coach Omar K Sisse who roped in Gambian trio Mathew Mendy, Land-

‘This is a historic moment for us and we want to write history by clinching the title. If we lose the game nobody will slam us, but if Mohammedan loses then their fans will slam them’ – Feni Soccer Club captain Ridon says there is no pressure on them medan’s seven in the tournament. In case of scoring most number of goals, Feni Soccer put the most, nine goals, in their opponents’ net in the tournament, more than they netted in the first leg of the Bangladesh Premier

ing Darboe and Kabba Jobe to give the team a new dimension. Mohammedan’s Portuguese coach Rui Capella Batista was also very aware of Feni’s Gambian force and said, “They have three new forwards from

Gambia. They have strong attacking line-ups. Feni are not the same team at the moment than they were before. They have improved a lot with new foreign players. They have a very good squad now and produced some good results in the tournament.” The Portuguese coach also said he will not tinker with his usual 4-3-3 formation and their aim remains the same – a win. Sisse also showed no signs of negligence to their opponent and said, “I have great respect for Mohammedan. But this is football so we are going there to work hard and fight; I don’t want to go down without fighting hard. We was so much united and we work hard to reach where we are now. We don’t want to stop here. “We were never under pressure because pressure will not lead us anywhere. All we need is peace of mind in our heart, get us together and go and get what we are supposed to,” he added. l

Norde flies to Belgium for trial n Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club’s Haitian forward Sony Norde has left Dhaka yesterday noon to try his luck for a Belgium club. He was granted a three-day leave for the trial by Jamal and he is expected to return to Bangladesh on April 14. “He flew for Belgium today (Friday) at 1pm. He asked for a leave to go for a trial at a Belgium club and the club granted him three-day leave. He will return on April 14 after the trial,” confirmed Sheikh Jamal DC football manager Anwarul Karim Helal yesterday. Norde earlier drew attention of renowned I-League clubs including Mohun Bagan and East Bengal after his sparkling display in the IFA Shield. l

JU pick second win n Jahangirnagar University, Stamford University Bangladesh, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Shanto Mariam University and Green University won their respective matches on the second day of the Clemon Indoor Uni Cricket yesterday. JU picked their second win in the group beating Northern University by a huge 81 runs while Stamford picked their first win against ASA University by 27 runs. SMU and NSTU won by identical five wickets margin over Sylhet Metropolitan University and East West University respectively before GU beat BUBT by two wickets. l

Mohammedan Sporting Club players attend a practice session at their club ground yesterday


NCL resumes with sixth round games n

The 15th National Cricket League recommences today with the remaining four matches of round six in the first-class cricket tournament. Table toppers Dhaka Division will take field against the weakest team in the season Barisal Division at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium while second placed Rajshahi

Division face Chittagong at BKSP. Khulna Division will face Dhaka Metropolis at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox’s Bazar and Fatullah Outer Stadium has Sylhet Division scheduled to play Rangpur Division in the other two matches of the round. The seventh round games will be played from April 19. All-rounder Shakib al Hasan, who has left to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, will miss the remaining matches for Khulna while injured Mashrafe bin Mortaza

POINTS TABLE Teams Dhaka Div Rajshahi Div Sylhet Div Khulna Div Dhaka Metro Rangpur Div Ctg Division Barisal Div

Mat Won Lost Draw Pts 5 3 1 1 87 5 2 0 3 65 5 2 2 1 62 5 1 0 4 59 5 1 2 2 54 5 1 1 3 46 5 1 2 2 38 5 0 3 2 23

and Al Amin, who is suffering from a side strain, is also unlikely to play for their respective divisions. l



Del Piero could join A-League farewells


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Short-handed Spurs down Mavs

Former Italy and Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero could play his last match for Sydney FC, and potentially his career, this weekend as the A-League regular season comes to a climax with the playoff picture far from clear. Del Piero, whose two-year contract expires at the end of the season, is hoping to lead the Sky Blues to a win, or at least a draw, against Perth Glory at the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS) on Sunday that would earn them a spot in the post-season. –Reuters

Dortmund to use buy option for Sahin

Australian Patty Mills scored 26 points on Thursday to lead San Antonio to a 109-100 victory over Dallas that moved the Spurs closer to clinching the NBA’s best record. Kawhi Leonard finished with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for San Antonio, who were without Tony Parker for the second straight game as the star point guard continued to recover from a back sprain. With the victory, San Antonio stayed on course to secure the best record in the league and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. –AFP

Borussia Dortmund will make use of an option to buy on-loan midfielder Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid, making his return to last season’s Champions League runners-up permanent, the German club said on Friday. Turkey international Sahin, a product of Dortmund’s youth system, joined Real in 2011 but after failing to hold down a starting spot was loaned out to Liverpool. He returned, again on loan, to Dortmund in January 2013 for an 18-month spell with an option for the German club to buy him. –Reuters

Sevilla-Valencia in Europa League semi finals

Brazil will stage best WC, Blatter tells Rousseff



Spain is guaranteed a place in the Europa League final after Sevilla and Valencia were drawn against each other in Friday’s draw for the semi-finals. The winner will play Benfica of Portugal or Juventus of Italy, who will dispute the second semi-final. Valencia, winners of the 2004 UEFA Cup, made a sensational comeback against FC Basel of Switzerland this week to reach the semi-finals. Paco Acacer hit a hat-trick on Thursday as Valencia beat Basel 5-0 to overcome a three goal deficit from their quarter final first leg. Sevilla, winners of the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007, similarly came back from a 1-0 defeat in Porto to beat the Portuguese side 4-1 on Thursday. Juventus, UEFA Cup winners a record three times, will take on Portugal’s Benfica who have not claimed a European club title since winning the European Cup two years in a row in 1961 and 1962. l

Three stadiums and several airports are not ready, and other promised infrastructure has been shelved, but the 2014 World Cup will “be the most successful of all time”, the head of FIFA told Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff on Thursday. Rousseff said she spoke with Sepp Blatter on the phone for 10 minutes and accepted his invitation to attend FIFA’s 64th Congress in Sao Paulo on June 10, two days before the World Cup kicks off in the city. “Blatter told the president he is ‘certain that the World Cup will be the most successful of all time’,” Rousseff ’s office wrote in a blog post. Blatter told Rousseff that with just 63 days until the tournament kicks off, 2.5 million tickets have been sold, or almost 75 per cent of the total available. Three months ago, Blatter told a Swiss newspaper no country had ever been so behind schedule in organising a World Cup in all the years he had been at FIFA. In December Blatter appealed to “God, Allah, whoever” to help ensure all 12 stadiums would be finished on time. l

Europa League semi finals 1st leg: April 24




2nd leg: May 1







Courtois free to face Chelsea: Uefa n Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be free to face his parent club Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, UEFA claimed on Friday. European football’s governing body said that any provision in Courtois’ loan agreement preventing his participation is against the competition’s rules. “Both the Champions League and the Disciplinary Regulations contain clear provisions which strictly forbid any club to exert, or attempt to exert, any influence whatsoever over the players that another club may (or may not) field in a match,” they said in a statement. “It follows that any provision in a private contract between clubs which might function in such a way as to influence who a club fields in a match is null, void and unenforceable so far as UEFA is concerned.” l

Chelsea FC club ambassador Paulo Ferreira (L) shakes hands with Athletico de Madrid club ambassador Jose Luis Perez Caminero during the draw for the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League at the Uefa headquarters in Nyon yesterday. Titleholders Bayern Munich face nine-time winners Real Madrid while surprise packages Atletico Madrid will meet 2012 winners Chelsea in a tantalising Champions League semi-final draw made at Uefa headquarters in Nyon yesterday AFP

Bayern-Real clash dominates semis n Titleholders Bayern Munich will face ninetime winners Real Madrid in a dramatic Champions League semi-final, which was

drawn Friday. Surprise packages Atletico Madrid must take on 2012 winners Chelsea in the second semi-final with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at the centre of a contractual intrigue between the two sides. Bayern, who knocked out Manchester United on Wednesday, are aiming to become the first club to successfully defend the trophy in the 22-season Champions League era. Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said the two leg clash should be the tournament final. “The top two teams will play each other.

“These games are worthy of being the final. You only have one goal when you are in the semi-final - to reach the final at all costs,” said Lahm. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti forecast “a very difficult tie for us, but also for Bayern Munich”. The Italian added: “I think Bayern Munich are a great team. They have individual and collective quality and have had a great season. “Pep Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world and has a lot of experience. “Bayern Munich could be the favourites, but our objective is to win the Champions league and if we want to win it we have to beat Bayern Munich.” Guardiola’s German champions met Real in the semi-finals in 2011/12. They won that match on penalties in Madrid before losing to Chelsea in the final. The continental superpowers have

met five times in the semi-finals in all, with Bayern winning four. While Bayern, seeking their sixth European trophy, are trying to reach their fourth final in five years Atletico are aiming to make it to their second, having been beaten by Bayern in the 1974 climax. The La Liga leaders’ reward for their stunning victory over Barcelona in the quarter-finals is a match up against former Real boss Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. The pair last met in the 2012 Super Cup with Atletico beating Chelsea 4-1. Mourinho is trying to win the coveted title for a third time with different clubs after Porto and Inter Milan. Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay on the semi-final clash said: “They’re all fantastic sides. The important thing to us was to make sure we were in the semi-final. “We need to make sure we are totally prepared for these games. I’m sure

Jose will make sure we are but we have some important games before that.” The Champions League first legs are on April 22/23 with the return legs on April 29/30. The final is in Lisbon on May 24.

Juve, Iberian trio into last four n

Juventus' midfielder Andrea Pirlo celebrates after scoring against Olympique Lyon during their Europa League quarter-final match at the Juventus stadium in Turin on Wednesday AFP

Italian champions Juventus proved too strong for a spirited Lyon in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, while Sevilla, Valencia and last season’s runners-up Benfica also clinched their places in the last four. Juve’s main focus is on retaining the Serie A title, but Antonio Conte’s side are also desperate to reach a Europa League final that will be played in their own stadium in Turin on May 14, and a 2-1 win against Lyon on Thursday took them into the semi-finals 3-1 on aggregate. Benfica, who suffered an agonising 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in last season’s final in Amsterdam, beat Dutch side AZ Alkmaar 2-0 to go through 3-0 on ag-

Spurs coach eyes final fling n

Tim Sherwood will attempt to press his claims to remain in charge at Tottenham by securing a victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday that would keep alive his side’s fading top four hopes. Sherwood’s chances of retaining his job beyond the end of this season appear slim with reports of Spurs’ interest in Holland coach Louis van Gaal gathering strength. But Sherwood, who was hired on an 18-month contract after succeeding

Andre Villas-Boas earlier this season, will enhance his reputation if he can revive the club’s season in the final five games of the campaign.

FIXTURES Crystal Palace Fulham Southampton Stoke City Sunderland West Brom

v v v v v v

Aston Villa Norwich City Cardiff City Newcastle United Everton Tottenham

Tottenham visit the Hawthorns in sixth place, five points behind Arsenal in fourth and four points behind Ever-

ton who have a game in hand. The stakes are sky-high at Craven Cottage on Saturday when Fulham host Norwich in a game that is sure to have a major bearing on who is eventually relegated from the Premier League. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has warned his players not to underestimate struggling Sunderland when the Toffees look to maintain their push for a top-four finish at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. The Black Cats are at the bottom of the Premier League table, seven points from safety, and look strong candidates to be relegated to the Championship. l

RESULTS Benfica Rodrigo 39, 71

Juventus Pirlo 4, Umtiti 68-og


2 0 2 1 4 1

Rakitic 5-pen, Vitolo 26, Bacca 29, Gameiro 79

Valencia Paco Alcacer 38, 70, Vargas 42

3 0

AZ Alkmaar Lyon Briand 18

FC Porto Quaresma 90+2


gregate, while Sevilla recovered from a 1-0 first-leg defeat away to Porto, beating the Portuguese side 4-1 in the return at the Sanchez Pizjuan. And Valencia recovered from a 3-0 first-leg loss to Basel, winning 5-0 after extra time at the Mestalla to progress. Unbeaten at home this season and

leading 1-0 from last week’s first leg in France, Juve got off to a superb start at a packed Juventus Stadium as veteran Andrea Pirlo curled home a typically brilliant free-kick inside four minutes. Having fallen just short in the Portuguese league and Cup as well as the Europa League 12 months ago, Benfica are still on course to win all three competitions this time around. Seven points clear in their domestic league with four games to go and through to the last four of the Portuguese Cup, Benfica are also into the last four in the Europa League after Spanish striker Rodrigo bagged a brace at the Estadio da Luz to clinch a comfortable aggregate win against AZ. Benfica’s bitter rivals Porto are out, though, after a first-half collapse in southern Spain. l

Wenger hopes Cup can lift Arsenal’s flagging spirits n

Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal players to use Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against holders Wigan to lift their shattered spirits. Wenger’s side head to Wembley with their confidence in tatters after a miserable run ended their hopes of winning the Premier League and left them fighting to secure qualification for the Champions League. Last weekend’s chastening 3-0 defeat at Ever-

ton was a major blow to the Gunners’ hopes of securing a top-four finish and the squad’s morale is at a low ebb following the latest in a long line of big game flops this season. Arsenal had already been thrashed at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but it is the loss to Everton. In the circumstances, Wenger knows Arsenal desperately need the confidence boost of moving a step closer to winning a major trophy for the first time since they last lifted the FA Cup in 2005. l

Europea League semi-final draw pitted Spanish duo Sevilla and Valencia against each other. The other semifinal sees Benfica of Portugal play Juventus of Italy with the semi-finals to be be played on April 24 and May 1. l

Bayern, Dortmund clash for bragging rights


Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich face arch rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, but the eagerly anticipated league clash of Germany’s powerhouses is for little more than bragging rights. Bayern were crowned German league champions a fortnight ago and are 20 points clear of second-placed Dortmund in the table. “The game has some statistical value, but nothing more,” chairman Kalr-Heinz Rummenigge said of ‘Der Klassiker’ against Dormtund, while director of sport Matthias Sammer was damning in his appraisal. Nevertheless, Bayern’s bosses will be extremely irritated by a defeat to Dortmund, especially after last Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at Augsburg and the 3-3 draw at home to Hoffenheim. Despite Guardiola’s words, relations between Germany’s top two clubs have soured recently, especially since Borussia won back to back league titles in 2011 and 2012 which culimnated in Dortmund’s 5-2 routing of Bayern in the 2012 German Cup final. l

FIXTURES Gladbach Hanover 96 Wolfsburg Freiburg Mainz 05 Bayern

v v v v v v

Stuttgart Hamburg Nuremberg Eintracht Werder Bremen Dortmund




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wasim wants boot camp for Pakistan World Cup hopes


Aguero makes timely return for Man City Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is set to make his return from injury against Liverpool after being named in the squad for the crucial Premier League match between two of the title favourites at Anfield on Sunday. The Argentina striker has been plagued by a hamstring problem in recent months and has been restricted to just over an hour of Premier League football since the start of the year. Yet City’s top goalscorer, with 15 goals in 17 league games, is set to make a timely return as his side visit leaders Liverpool in a match that is being billed as a potential title decider. “Sergio is okay,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told a news conference on Friday. –Reuters


Marquez seeks season-opening win World champion Marc Marquez returns to the scene of his first MotoGP triumph on Sunday and looks to be in even more formidable form for the Grand Prix of the Americas. Marquez was just a month removed from breaking his right leg in a dirt-bike accident when he won a 2014 season-opening thriller in Doha on March 23. After almost three weeks’ more recovery time, the 21-year-old Spaniard expects to be even stronger in Austin, where his historic victory last year made him the youngest rider to win a MotoGP race and launched him on his remarkable run to a precocious world title. “Since round one I’ve been focusing on getting my leg stronger and my body fitter in preparation for the Austin race this weekend,” Marquez said. –AFP

Dortmund target Swiss striker Drmic Swiss striker Josip Drmic, who has scored 16 goals in 28 games for Bundesliga strugglers Nuremberg, has been linked to rivals Borussia Dortmund, according to reports. After Dortmund announced the signing of Hertha Berlin’s Colombia striker Adrian Ramos on Wednesday to replace Bayern Munich-bound Robert Lewandowski next season, Drmic has also been linked to Borussia by German magazine Kicker. “We do not comment on individuals, but it is true that we plan to sign two strikers,” said Dortmund CEO HansJoachim Watzke. The 21-year-old Swiss international has attracted interest with ten goals since January, including five in his last five league games. –AFP

Vietnam players admit fixing role Around 10 players of Vietnam’s XM Vissai Ninh Binh team have admitted to taking money to fix an AFC Cup match last month, according to the state-run media on Friday. The players told the police they received around 800 million dong ($38,000) for fixing a March 18 match against Malaysia’s Kelantan, the Hanoi police-run Capital Security newspaper reported. Police investigators in Hanoi and Ninh Binh, the home province of the football club, could not be reached for comments. –Reuters

DAY’S WATCH Star Sports 4 8:00PM English Premier League Sunderland v Everton FA Cup 10:00PM Wigan v Arsenal 2:00AM La Liga Real Masrid v UD Almeria Star Sports 1 8:00PM English Premier League West Brom v Tottenham La Liga 10:00PM Villarreal v Levante 12:00AM Granda v FC Barcelona Star Sports 2 English Premier League Southampton v Cardiff City 12:00AM Red Bull GP of the Americas Qualifying Ten Action French Ligue 1 2013/14 9:00PM Losc Lille Sa v Valenciennes FC 12:00AM AC Ajaccio v FC Bordeaux Sony Six NBA 2013-14 5:30AM Miami v Indiana 8:30AM LA Lakers v Golden State

Former Brazilian footballer Cafu (L) looks at Brazilian model Fernanda Lima during the presentation of World Cup 2014 volunteers uniform in Fashion Rio de Janeiro on Thursday

Asafa Powell handed 18-month doping ban n Former 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell was handed an 18-month suspension on Thursday for his positive test for a banned stimulant. Powell and training partner Sherone Simpson tested positive for oxilofrine after the 100m finals at the Jamaican national championships on June 21, 2013. A three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission Disciplinary Panel unanimously ruled that Powell, who blamed the positive result on a nutritional supplement, was negligent, panel chairman Lennox Gayle said in announcing the verdict. The suspension is due to end on De-

cember 20 this year. “Having reviewed and listened, and bisected all evidence in this matter, and reading the submissions of both councils, the panel arrived at a unanimous decision and it is a decision that Mr. Powell was found to be negligent and that he was at fault, especially since he is an elite athlete, so the period of ineligibility will be 18 moths, starting from the date of the positive test,” Gayle said. JADCO lawyer Lackston Robinson had argued in February that Powell should be banned a minimum of two years, telling Gayle, Peter Prendergast and Dr. Japheth Ford that the sprinter was “guilty of gross negligence”. Powell, who set a world record in

Second-seeded Robredo ousted in Houston n

Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo sent second-seeded Tommy Robredo packing Thursday, while two other seeded Spaniards made it safely into the quarter-finals of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship. Giraldo saved all four break points he faced en route to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Robredo, who was making his Houston debut. It was a different story for third-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro and number four Fernando Verdasco, who both moved into the last eight of the ATP event.

Almagro, last year’s runner-up in Houston, cruised past American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-3 while left-hander Verdasco got past American Steve Johnson 6-0, 4-6, 6-3. Almagro, 28, peppered Russell with seven aces, denying the Houston resident a second quarter-final appearance of the season. He next faces 21-year-old American Jack Sock, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Germany’s Benjamin Becker. Verdasco dropped serve just once and converted four of his five break chances against Johnson, who arrived in Houston at a career-high 69th in the world after winning Le Gosier Challenger last week. l

the 100 metres in 2008 with a time of 9.74 seconds, blamed Canadian physical therapist Chris Xuereb for the positive test, saying he provided the nutritional supplement, Epiphany D1, that resulted in the positive test. Robinson argued that Powell’s trust of Xuereb, whom he had known for less than two months was “gross negligence” and cited discrepancies in testimony by Powell, Simpson and their manager, Paul Doyle. A bottle of Epiphany D1 submitted for testing to a US lab by Doyle showed traces of oxilofrine while one bought by the lab from the Epiphany D1 website did not test positive for the same substance. l


Powell blasts ‘unfair, unjust’ ban n Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, the former 100m world record holder, slammed the 18-month doping ban meted out to him on Thursday calling it “unfair” and “unjust”. “This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust. Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously come into conflict with the rules of sport, a chance at equitable redemption,” Powell said in a statement posted on his website. “Unfortunately, this was not the case.” Powell and training partner Sherone Simpson tested positive for banned stimulant oxilofrine after the 100m finals at the Jamaican national championships on June 21, 2013. Powell’s lawyer Kwame Gordon said

Bubba Watson, seeking his second green jacket in three years, and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt charged into the hunt in Friday’s second round of the Masters. Watson, the 2012 Masters champion from the United States, opened with a 69 and on Friday opened with six pars and a birdie at the seventh to reach four-under. That was the same mark as Bill Haas, who fired a four-under 68 to lead the field of 97 after 18 holes. Haas was among those set to tee off in the final groups of the afternoon. Blixt, one of a record 24 first-time Masters players this year, birdied the second and third holes to join the leaders on four under. Australia’s Marc Leishman opened with three birdies to briefly take the lead. But Leishman, who only qualified for the Masters based on his major careerbest fourth-place showing last year at Augusta National, fizzled as quickly as he flashed, taking bogeys at the fourth, fifth and seventh holes to fall back to two under. Also on two under was 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. The South African who lost to Watson in a 2012 Masters playoff, made bogeys at the fourth and seventh holes and a birdie at the eighth.

Defending champion Adam Scott of Australia, who opened on 69, was in the penultimate group while two-time major winner Rory McIlroy, a fan and oddsmakers favorite this week, was set to be the last man off the tee after opening on 71. As warm and dry conditions allow the undulating greens to harden and become lightning-fast, Watson marveled at how the club recovered from ice storm damage in February that led to the removal of the giant 17th hole pine known as the Eisenhower Tree. McIlroy, who has taken the bulk of the crowds in the absence of world number one Tiger Woods, is paired with young rising US stars Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, both in their first Masters. McIlroy says the firmer conditions will make an already crowded field of contenders open to even more of the field, which includes a record 24 firsttime Masters players. The low 50 and ties and anyone within 10 strokes of the lead will make the cut. Among those players with concern about reaching the weekend after poor starts are three reigning major champions -- British Open champion Phil Mickelson (76), US Open champion Justin Rose (76) and 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner (80). l

the athlete would appeal. Powell insisted that oxilofrine was not listed on the contents of his supplement. l

'England flops have to take charge' n

England pace bowler James Anderson admits he and his team-mates must take more responsibility as they look to bounce back from a woeful Ashes defeat against Australia. Anderson and company will be led by a new coach this season, with the new man set to be appointed next month and charged with revamping a squad that slumped to a dismal 5-0 whitewash in the Test series in Australia before crashing out of the World Twenty20 at the group stage. However, Anderson, one of the team’s senior figures, believes the onus should be on the players rather than

the coach to ensure England return to the form that saw them win the Ashes on home soil last year. “As important as a head coach is, I feel it’s the players that have to try and turn things round,” Anderson wrote on his personal blog, www. “I honestly believe the group of players that are selected have to take responsibility to try and get the team out of the trough we find ourselves in. “A successful team is not led by one man. The captain is also important, of course, but a successful team has a group of leaders within the team. We will need a nucleus of four or five

Watson, Blixt make early charge at Masters n

Former Pakistan great Wasim Akram Thursday said players heading for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand should sweat it out at a boot camp to boost their chances of victory. Pakistan are in Group B of the World Cup alongside arch-rivals India, South Africa, the West Indies, Ireland United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. To prepare for the challenges ahead, Wasim suggested a boot camp. “Since Pakistan have no cricket until October (against Australia in the United Arab Emirates) they must hold a boot camp on hilly areas just like Australia do when they go into an Ashes series,” Wasim told AFP. “For me the only worry is the 2015 World Cup will be totally different as grounds in Australia and New Zealand require great expertise and good preparation,” Wasim told AFP. “I remember we went to Australia three weeks before the event and it helped us a lot,” said Wasim. “The grounds in Australia need adapting to because if you are not used to them you tend to injure yourself.” Wasim said Pakistan also need to improve their fielding. l

leaders who can drive the team in the right direction.” Anderson has worked under both and is confident either would be a suitable fit to help reinvigorate the national team. “Ashley Giles and Peter Moores have been named in the shortlist of candidates and, having worked under both, I think they are each well equipped for the job,” he said. “Peter Moores has played a big part in my career and I have always enjoyed his enthusiasm and skill for coaching. Likewise, I have enjoyed working with Ashley Giles, particularly during last year’s Champions Trophy (when England reached the final).” l

Cardiff sack staff member over Palace leak n

Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark (L) works as the caddie for her boyfriend, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, during the Par 3 Contest ahead of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday REUTERS

Cardiff City have sacked one staff member and are set to discipline another over claims their team to play Crystal Palace was leaked to the London club, Britain’s Press Association reported Friday. Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier dismissed suggestions of any involvement by a member of the Welsh club’s squad. Mehmet Dalman, the Welsh club’s chairman, has been in contact with the Premier League over the incident. Cardiff lost the match 3-0, a defeat that left the relegation-threatened side second bottom in the table ahead of Saturday’s match away to Southampton. Palace sporting director Iain Moody worked for Cardiff until earlier this season before joining Palace in November. There had been reports Cardiff were worried he had used his connections with his former club to find out the team that started against Palace. However, Moody denied those allegations, telling the Sun: “That is incredibly, extraordinarily untrue. That is untrue, completely untrue.” Cardiff are currently six points adrift of safety, with just five games remaining in the season. l



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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Receiving blood? Is it tested? Injecting donated blood without a screening may cause five severe diseases n Udisa Islam A rickshaw puller before undergoing a heart surgery requested some volunteers for some 10 bags of blood. When 10 young people went to a renowned government hospital, where the elderly poor man was admitted, the doctors received the blood without knowing about their health issues and endorsed the bags without screening for diseases. In response to questions raised by the donors, the hospital authorities claimed that they had no time for screening the blood as the patient was in critical state. It is a clear violation of rules and an

example of sheer negligence for which the patient may develop more serious diseases transmitted through the donated blood. Not only for the public hospitals, blood provided by different private blood banks for clinics is also mostly unsafe as those are often contaminated with various germs, says a haematologist working with a renowned blood bank. According to the police, there are over 100 illegal blood banks operating in the capital. Some secret blood banks in Old Dhaka, Mohammadpur and Shyamoli areas are run by gangs comprising two or

three nurses and assistants who work at different hospitals. They collect blood from drug addicts and homeless people who sell blood on regular basis, and store haphazardly in unhygienic condition. When any poor patient needs blood, they offer those secretly. Such banks do not have any government approval to operate. According to the licence rules, a blood bank must recruit doctors, nurses and technicians to test five diseases in the blood of a donor – HIV Aids, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, malaria and syphilis, said experts. Though some blood banks have au-

thorisation, they do not maintain record books to store data of the donors. On March 23, a mobile court sealed off a registered blood bank for irregularities in the capital’s Bakshibazar. Executive Magistrate AHM Anwar Pasha said: “Though it has a licence, the authorities did not recruit any doctor or nurse to test donors’ blood for diseases. A staff at the centre used to do the job instead.” There was no information available with the centre on the donors too. An illegal blood bank owner, Rawnak Parvin, who has only a deep freeze at her bank in Shyamoli, said: “Patients need blood and we serve it.”

Physician Dr Gautam Ray said: “Hepatitis B virus is common in our blood; so we have to screen the donated blood before giving it for any patient.” When the blood is collected on commercial basis, the situation is more vulnerable. A research of the ICDDRB says blood selling is an income-generating activity for the homeless men and women. Seven percent of the drug addicts in Dhaka donate blood regularly to earn money, it states in a recent report. The Dhaka Tribune met several donors at a dumping ground in the city. They are drug addicts, but escape by selling blood regularly. They said it was

a quick way to earn money. Expressing concern over such risky process, Professor Rashid-e-Mahbub, an activist of Bangladesh Health Rights Movement, said: “These are not blood banks; we should call them killer banks.” Professor ABM Abdul Hannan, director (hospital) at health department, admitted that they were facing difficulties to supervise the private blood banks. “We are trying to monitor the centres whether they follow the rules, and already sealed some of the illegal banks.” He also asked the media to come forward on this issue. l


Three more victims die, 3 still in critical stage n Mohammad Jamil Khan Three more victims of a fire at a Tejgaon sewing shop succumbed to their injuries at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday. With the three, the death toll in the fire incident rose to four as a rickshawvan puller named Abdul Latif, 50, had succumbed to 96% burns around 1am yesterday. Ibrahim Khalil, 35, who suffered 91% burn, died around 12:45pm yesterday; Shafiul Azam, 48, died from 95% burn injuries around 1:30pm; and Motaleb, 14, died around 11:30pm with 75% burn. Ibrahim was an IPS businessman in Tejgaon area and a resident of West Tejturibazar area while Shaiful was the manager of the shop that caught the fire from chemical explosion. The teenager was an employee at that shop. The fire broke out at Mahfuz Sewing and Service shop in the capital’s

Tejgaon area on Thursday, leaving 11 people burnt. Three of the injured were still in a critical condition and was receiving treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital burn unit. They were shop owner Mahmudul Hasan, 38, who suffered 35% burn injury, van driver Jahirul Islam, 60, with 34% burn, and Zakir Hossain, 38, a security guard of a garment unit who suffered 25% burn. Partha Shankar Pal, resident surgeon of the burn and plastic surgery unit at DMCH, said: “We are doing our best to remove the pain of the injured.” One of the injured – Rifat Ara Yeasmin, 19, student of Electrical Engineering of Northern University – went back home after recovering. Meantime, Dhaka deputy commissioner’s office has started giving Tk20,000 as compensation to the family members of each of the deceased. l

Relatives of Ibrahim Khalil, a victim of Thursday’s fire at Tejgaon who died along with another victim, mourn as they look at the dead body at the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

70-yr-old mother abandoned by son She nursed freedom fighters, now all alone in hospital bed “We lived at Kacharipara village money before abandoning her. n Mohammad Jamil Khan “Sangram told me he would adof Jamalpur. After the death of my She once passed her days helping wounded freedom fighters at a refugee camp in Kolkata area during the 1971 War of Liberation. After all these years, however, destiny has been so cruel with her that she has now ended up in a hospital bed as her son has abandoned her. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune in ward no 206 of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the 70-year-old woman identified herself as Kohinoor Bewa. She urged this correspondent to sit beside her on the bed and said: “I have no relatives at all. I’ll fell better talking to you.” Kohinoor said she worked as a presenter at Shadhin Bangla Betar at the time of the war and would encourage freedom fighters through her words. She was also widowed when her husband Badsha Miah died around that time.

husband, I went to Kolkata with General MAG Osmani and worked at a refugee camp as a nurse as per his instruction to help the wounded freedom fighters,” the aged lady recalled. She said she adopted a twomonth old boy after the war as she was feeling lonely. “I raised him with the best care and affection and named him Sangram. A couple of years back, I fell ill and because of pain in my legs, I was only able to move around with the help of a wheelchair. I went to my son’s house to live with him but my daughter-in-law wouldn’t like me much,” Kohinoor said. Describing her woes further, the woman said she received Tk1.5 lakh and a wheelchair from Sheikh Hasina for her contributions during the war but her soon took away all the

mit me to DMCH for better treatment and I agreed. However, after coming to the capital on last Friday midnight, he took Tk7,000 from me as ambulance fair. He then left leaving me on the road outside DMCH.” The DMCH authorities at first did not agree to admit her but when the Dhaka Tribune contacted them, they finally admitted the woman on Wednesday. She had a big trunk with her that was kept in police custody before she was admitted to the hospital. It will be returned to her once she leaves the hospital as that is all she now has. “I want nothing but to just ask my son why he left me on the street. I want to live with him and will pay him for that if he wants because I have nowhere else to go,” Kohinoor said with her eyes filled with tears. l

Flabbergasted as Kohinoor Bewa was left all alone by her adopted son outside the DMCH she stares at nothing with a blank expression with just one burning question how a son can be so cruel and rude to her MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Jute goods worth Tk859 crore remain unsold n Rabiul Islam Jute products worth nearly Tk859 crore have remained unsold for a couple of months at different jute mills under the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation. Against this backdrop, the BJMC is facing fund crunch to pay the employees and workers. A number of 26 BJMC jute mills failed to pay their workers their weekly wages for about two weeks. “Jute products could not be sold due to frequent hartals and blockades before the January 5 general elections while political turmoil in some jute importing countries, including Syria, had caused such a situation,” Textiles and Jute Minister Md Emaz Uddin Pramanik told the Dhaka Tribune at his office on Thursday. Besides, India, the largest importer of Bangladeshi jute products, has reduced import of jute goods for several months, the minister added. India imports 63% raw jute and jute products. Pramanik said his ministry had taken measures to expedite sales of jute goods, revamp jute sector and protect jute growers. “We will seek additional budgetary allocation for jute sector in the next budget,” the minister said. Officials concerned said Syria, Sudan, Morocco, Turkey, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE also import jute products from Bangladesh, but these countries have decreased import of jute products due to internal crisis. An eight-member delegation, led by BJMC Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Humayun Khaled, is scheduled to leave on April 12 for Morocco, Nigeria and Oman. “We have arranged meetings with government officials and people from private sector in the three countries to expedite sales of our jute products,” the BJMC chairman said yesterday. According to BJMC sources, around 75,000 workers work at 26 jute mills. “We have sought Tk200 crore as loan from the government to cope with the crisis and the situation would improve within a few months,” Khaled said. Sources say India has slowed import due to devaluation of rupee. According to BJMC, jute mills produce 2.50 lakh tonnes of jute goods a year while BJMC earns Tk950 crore by exporting about 2.20 lakh tonnes of jute goods per year. l

Biman’s NY flight now to resume in mid-August n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Biman has shifted the date for resuming its Dhaka-New York flight from June 4 to mid-August as it failed to hire any category 1 carrier with crew maintenance insurance (CMI) from tender proposals. The national flag carrier invited an international tender last month for CMI and received offers from eight carriers but its board of directors could not be satisfied with any offer, officials said after a meeting of the Biman board held on Tuesday. Currently Biman Bangladesh Airlines is listed as a category 2 carrier according to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which never allows any flights of category 2 operators to land in New York. The FAA will, however, allow Biman if it subscribes to any category 1 flight services. Biman received offers from the Breaking International Air of Finland, China Southern Airlines, Omni Air International and Omni Apico White Airways from Portugal, Air Atlanta of Iceland, Atlas Air from the USA, Eagle Express and Egypt Airlines. “Although we found lots of response, unfortunately the offers are not satisfactory enough and that’s why the board of Biman has decided to offload a fresh tender for CMI soon,” Biman’s Managing Director Kevin Steele told the Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday. He said: “That is why Biman needs more time, and it may resume the service in mid-August.” Earlier Steele had declared that Biman would resume operating direct flights

from Dhaka to New York from June 4. “I am sorry that we couldn’t manage everything and stick to our declared plan. That is why, this time I am not saying anything confirmed, but the whole arrangement is going on to start the flights from mid-August,” he said. Steele, a British citizen, is, however, leaving Biman on April 19, eleven months before his contract tenure ends. Biman’s New York flights were grounded in 2006. Although the FAA listed Biman as a category 2 carrier on December 2, 1997, it did not stop Biman’s flights as it had allocated a regular slot for the flights. Restarting Biman’s flights to New York was an election pledge of the Awami League before the 2008 general election, but Sheikh Hasina’s government failed to fulfil the promise. The FAA is scheduled to visit Dhaka later this month but as the other arrangement has not yet completed, the Biman authority may request them to reschedule the visit, Steele said. The Biman MD had planned to lease two Boeing aircraft from category 1 Egypt Airlines for the route, but the board changed that decision as Biman currently has four brand new Boeing 777s. When contacted about the resumption of the Dhaka-NY flights, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon told the Dhaka Tribune that resuming the flights was a top priority of his ministry. “Biman will fly on this route soon again. But we have to follow some formalities before that happens,” he said. l

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13 April 2014  
13 April 2014