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Boishakh 4, 1421 Jamadius Sani 16, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 18





Husband of BELA chief abducted Rizwana’s activism may be reason for kidnapping n Kailash Sarkar Unidentified miscreants abducted the husband of Syeda Rizwana Hasan, executive director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) and winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award, from the Jolkuri area on the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road yesterday. A gang of seven to eight armed criminals abducted 47-year-old Abu Bakar Siddiqui in broad daylight, when he was passing the Jolkuri area in a red-coloured car driven by his chauffeur Ripon, said Syed Nurul Islam, superintendent of police for Narayanganj. Quoting Ripon, who witnessed the abduction, the SP said: “While the businessman’s car had been crossing the Jolkuri area near the Bhuiyan Filling Station at Bhuigarh Delpara on the Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road, they [Siddiqui and Ripon] stopped the car after a blue-coloured microbus had hit his car from behind. “When Siddiqui and Ripon got down to check the damage, the criminals hit them both with pistols. They sped away

ABDUCTION OF BUSINESSMAN SIDDIQUI Criminals hit his car as part of their plan with the businessman at gunpoint after smearing pepper-like material over Ripon’s eyes,” the SP said. Also quoting Ripon, Akhter Hossain, officer-in-charge of Fatullah police station, said around seven to eight miscreants carried out the abduction before speeding off towards Dhaka. Akhter said: “It seemed to us that the criminals had hit the car of the businessman intentionally as part of the plan.” The OC said Rizwana has filed a case with the station mentioning that her husband was kidnapped in a preplanned way as revenge for her activities regarding environmental causes.

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Bodies of 2 missing students recovered from the Bay Jamil Khan with our n Mohammad correspondent in Cox’s Bazar The bodies of two students from Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST), who, along with two others, had gone missing from Saint Martin’s Island in Teknaf on Monday while out swimming, were recovered on Wednesday morning. The deceased were Shariar Islam Noman and Golam Rahim Bappi, as identified by their relatives. All four were final year students of the Computer Science and Engineering Department of AUST. The two students still missing are Sabbir Hossain Sagoto and Istiaq Bin Mahmud alias Uday. With the latest recovery, the death toll from the mishap now stands at four, two of whom died earlier while receiving treatment at a hospital in Cox’s Bazar on Monday after being rescued in critical condition. The search team comprising members of the Navy and the Coast Guard



spotted the bodies floating near the island. “One body was recovered from the north side of the island around 9am while the other was found around 11am in the eastern part,” said Lieutenant Quazi Harun-ur Rashid, commander of the Teknaf Coast Guard. “Our team will continue the search for the other missing students,” the commander added. Around 1pm, the bodies were handed over to their family members in Teknaf. Noman’s family members set out for Muktagasa village, Mymensingh, to bury the body. Noman used to reside with his uncle in the Uttara area of Dhaka. Tomal, Noman’s cousin, told the Dhaka Tribune via phone that his cousin was an expert swimmer and the cause of his drowning was very strange to him. Golam Rahim Bappi’s family members also left Teknaf for Trisal, Mymensingh. He was the only son of Shams Uddin Ahmed. Teary-eyed Shams said his son had  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

CEC: Poll violence would Dry Teesta mutating farming pattern n have still occurred Abu Bakar Siddique, back from the north


Mohammad Zakaria

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday said there was nothing more to prevent upazila polls violence – even if he had been in the country during that period – as the commission had taken all necessary preparations. “I got always updated about the elections. I contacted my colleagues, officials, the chiefs of law enforcement agencies, and the PSO of the Armed Forces Division during the polls,” he said at a press conference, explaining his long absence from office. “The distance did not matter – I observed the polls just as I would do if I were here,” Rakibuddin said. The long vacation of the CEC during the third, fourth and fifth phases of upazila parishad elections caused a wave questions and criticism. The recent polls saw numerous incidents of violence across the country while voting was also marked by rigging and other irregularities. The CEC yesterday said violence would have still occurred even if he


5 The vehicle dumping ground in Agargaon, where the Dhaka Metropolitan Police keeps its seized vehicles, has allegedly become a supply depot for thieves who collect car parts by paying the necessary fees to unscrupulous law enforcers.


11 History tends to repeat itself. However, we fail to correct our mistakes from the past. Again, we have come across an undesirable and unacceptable situation in which citizens are being denied access to basic necessities such as urgent healthcare.


12 Daruchini Dwip girl and Lux Channel i Superstar winner of 2006, Zakia Bari Momo is now busy shooting for silver screens only. Although the National Award winner has acted in many dramas, at present, she is only focusing on films.

had been present during the polls. “We had been instructed to hold the polls in a free and fair manner. But stray incidents occurred and will always occur,” Rakibuddin said. “No one can prevent an attack when it happens – even if they are the army or air force personnel. “The judiciary will punish those responsible as per the laws,” he said. Rakibuddin said causing violence depended on the mentality of people. “Our democracy has often faced obstacles. People’s mentality has not changed. Everyone wants to win. So, incidents of violence occur.” He also said his being present or absent would not have mattered in the upazila polls “because all necessary security measures had been taken.” “I left the country after completing two phases of upazila polls. But we had already planned all the upazila polls. The commission held the polls traditionally.” Asked about his long leave duringthe polls, the CEC said: “The leave was for official and personal work… There was no big deal.”  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2

A drying up Teesta River and falling ground water levels have forced many Boro paddy growers in the north to switch to or consider crops such as maize, tobacco and potato, which require much less irrigation. According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), around 10,000 hectares of paddy land have already switched to growing maize and tobacco in the northern Lalmonirhat district in Teesta basin. This correspondent came across many farmers in the northern districts who had to redig or shift their shallow irrigation pits because they had not been getting the amount of water they used to get a few years ago. Mokbul Hossain, a farmer from the Sadar upazila in Lalmonirhat, said: “I had a 40-foot deep hole. But that hole had not been fetching me much water these days. So, I had to dig a new 65-foot deep hole. That cost me an extra Tk8,000. The Teesta is only 300 metres away from my 1.2 hectare paddy field though. “I have been having this trouble with the shallow pump for a few years

Birdem doctors end strike n Mohammad Jamil Khan The doctors of the Birdem hospital finally withdrew their ongoing work stoppage yesterday evening and went back to regular work. The declaration came soon after Additional Police Super of Dhaka range ABM Masud Hossain was withdrawn and attached to the police headquarters. AKM Kamrul Ahsan, senior information officer of police headquarters, confirmed the news of removal. When contacted, Professor Dr Nazmun Nahar, director general of the Birdem hospital, said the demonstrating doctors had gone back to work as one of their major demands had been met. Birdem doctors went into a strike on Tuesday morning, protesting an alleged attack on three colleagues over the death of a patient on Sunday night. However, the family of the deceased claimed that they did not assaulted any doctor but there had been a scuffle between them and the doctors over wrong treatment and negligence in duty. The doctors stopped all kinds of services except at the ICU and CCU and to those who had already been admitted. At a press briefing at the hospital’s auditorium yesterday morning, the doctors threatened that they would not go back to work until action was taken against the attackers. During the strike many patients were seen waiting anxiously; some of

them left the hospital after an agonising wait for treatment. Just in front of ward 131 this correspondent met the relatives of patient Joynal Abedin. They were going to the account section of the hospital to get discharge clearance. Joynal said the doctor had told him to leave the hospital as they would not provide any treatment. Visiting a couple of wards this correspondent saw only a few number of patients lying in hospital beds as most of the patients had either gone back home or taken admission to other hospitals. On Tuesday, doctors said patient Sirajul Islam, the ex-president of the Press Club Employees’ Union, died at the endocrinology unit on April 13 despite proper treatment. After the death, 6070 family members and friends of the patient vandalised hospital’s equipment. Additional Police Super of Dhaka range ABM Masud Hossain and an ex-minister’s APS named SM Babu led the attack, which left doctors Anwar Hossain and Kalyan Debnath injured. The attackers also injured a female doctor, dragging her out of a washroom, the doctors claimed. On the other hand, Sirajul’s daughter Farhana Nasreen at a press briefing said the doctors had staged the vandalism and “injury drama” to cover up their negligence and wrong treatment that caused her father’s death.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

The recently taken photo shows how Boro paddy farmers of Lalmonirhat are using the dried up bed of Teesta River by switching to crops like maize, tobacco and potato, that require much less irrigation ABU BAKAR SIDDIQUE now. That is why, I have cultivated maize in another 1.2 hectares.” Farmer Hazrat Ali from Hatibandha upazila of the same district has not yet dug a new pit. As a result of the falling

ground water level, he is now having to spend much more time to lift water. That is adding to his fuel cost for running the shallow pumps. Two years ago, he used to spend

Tk5,000 for irrigation. This year, his expenditure rose to Tk8,000. “Cultivating maize or tobacco is comparatively less expensive because  PAGE 2 COLUMN 2




Thursday, April 17, 2014


State minister for home unaware of the capture

BNP demands explanation from government

n Rabiul Islam

The BNP yesterday demanded that the government clarify the Times of India’s report that the Indian intelligence agency picked up a Pakistani intelligence agent from Bangladesh airport. “A report was published in an Indian English daily which reported that the Indian intelligence agency – RAW – picked up a Pakistani intelligence agent of the ISI from Bangladesh airport. We want an explanation from the government about this.” “What is the government’s view? Is the Times of India right?” questioned BNP’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Fakhrul was addressing a discussion

The immigration authorities at Shahjalal International Airport have denied that Indian intelligence agency RAW captured a Pakistani spy from the airport as reported by the Times of India on April 15. “I can assure you that such incident did not happen at the immigration,” Police Super (immigration) Nafiul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. Assaduzzaman Khan, state minister for home, admitted having read the news in newspapers but “I do not know anything about it.” “Information in this regard is being collected,” he told reporters at his office

yesterday. The Times of India reported that Zia-ur Rehman alias Waqas, a spy of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and an operative of the Indian Mujahideen, had been held at the Dhaka airport and taken to India. It said the ISI got a passport made for Waqas, but when he reached the airport, Bangladesh’s immigration officials discovered that there was no entry stamp on his passport. “Even as they set out to detain him, the commotion attracted the attention of a RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] staffer who swiftly used his smart phone to photograph [Waqas] one of India’s biggest tormentors and relayed

it to his superiors. “RAW officers were thrilled when they saw that the six-foot man being held at Dhaka airport was their elusive quarry. What followed was an intense spy game in which Indian agents managed to spirit him away to India without leaving footprints,” reads the Times of India report. In reply to a question, the state minister said RAW could not do it. “We have an extradition treaty with India, but no other arrangement.” Shahjalal Airport’s Immigration SP Nafiul Islam said the civil aviation authorities checked a passenger’s documents before the immigration. l

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

hosted by Swechchasebak Dal at the National Press Club in the city. He said if the news was correct, then how could an intelligence agency of another country pick up an individual from this country and how could an agent of another country enter Bangladesh? According to the report, Indian Mujahideen’s Pakistani operative Zia-ur Rehman, alias Waqas, was picked up by the Indian intelligence agency. Waqas had been hiding in Bangladesh and was supposed to leave for Pakistan via Nepal when he was apprehended by the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing. Fakhrul said an undeclared Baksal system was prevailing in the country.

Regarding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s claim that BNP is illegal, Fakhrul said, “After the formation of Baksal in 1975, there was only one political party. When Ziaur Rahman assumed the office and introduced the multiparty democracy, Awami League had its rebirth.” Meanwhile, at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters, Fakhrul said they would start their long-march programme towards the Teesta Barrage on April 22 to press home their demand for proper share of water from neighbouring India. The party will start the programme around 8am from Dhaka on April 22 and hold a rally in Rangpur around 4pm on the same day. l

Polls to 14 upazilas on May 19 n Mohammad Zakaria The Election Commission has announced that 14 upazila parishad elections will be held on May 19. The by-election for the chairman post of Tarakanda Upazila Parishad will also be held on May 19. Chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad announced the polls schedule yesterday at a press conference at the EC’s media centre in the capital. The CEC said the commission has held polls for 459 upazila parishads in five phases across the country thus far. According to the poll schedule, the last date for filing nominations is April 24 and the nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 26. The last date

for withdrawing nomination is May 3. The upazilas are Rangpur Sadar, Kaunia, Gangachara, Pirgacha in Rangpur district, Kamarkhand in Sirajganj, Narayanganj Bandar, Gazipur Sadar, Adarsha Sadar and Comilla Sadar(South) in Comilla and Basail in Tangail. The newly formed upazilas are Taltoli in Barguna, Rangabali in Patuakhali, Kalukhali in Rajbari, Bijoynagar in Brahmanbaria. Meanwhile, the first phase of polls for 97 upazilas were held on February 19, the second phase for 116 upazilas was held on February 27, the third phase for 81 upazilas was held on March 15, the fourth phase for 91 upazilas was held on March 23 and the fifth phase for 73 upazilas was held on March 31. l

Chittagong, Rajshahi medical colleges upgraded to varsities n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The government has decided to upgrade Chittagong and Rajshahi medical colleges to the status of medical universities. The health and family welfare ministry issued two separate circulars in this regard on April 15. Md Rezaul Alam, senior assistant secretary of the medical education unit1, said the president had given the order in the circular. These will be the country’s first public medical universities. At present there is only one medical university – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical Universities – in the coun-

Bodies of 2  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

graduated from a cadet college and knew how to swim very well. “It is not clear to me at all why he drowned in the sea.” Farhanul Morteza Farhan, a survivor, told the Dhaka Tribune via mobile that they had fallen into a quicksand trap. Farhan alleged that there was no cautionary flag hoisted as is mandatory during ebb tide. However, soon after the incident, the authorities concerned erected a flag there. On Friday night, 34 students of the department went to Cox’s Bazar to celebrate Pahela Baishakh and on Monday, they reached the island. Ten of them were carried out to sea in huge surge. Locals and coast guard members were later able to rescue six of them. l

Birdem doctors  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

She also said the hospital authorities had wanted to negotiate with them on Tuesday, calling them over phone until 10am, so that they did not file any case against the doctors. However, as the relatives refused to negotiate and announced to take legal action the doctors staged the drama. Yesterday at the doctors’ press conference, Dr Firoz Pathan claimed that the allegation of wrong treatment or negligence was not correct. “Joynal Abedin had been my patient since 2010. He died from cardiac arrest,” he said. Sirajul’s family members said they did not have any complaint against Dr Firoz. “Anwar and Kalyan are interns. They did not consult with Dr Firoz when my father’s condition deteriorated that afternoon. They pumped oxygen manually, which caused his death. He was bleeding from the nose, which normally happens when someone dies from suffocation,” said Sirajul’s daughter Farhana. l

try. In 1998 it was upgraded to a medical university. A few days ago Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while visiting Chittagong and Rajshahi said both the medical colleges would be transformed into medical universities. Earlier, the Awami League government initiated to upgrade the Dhaka Medical College to the status of a medical university but the government cancelled the decision due to huge protest of 3rd and 4th-class employees. The health ministry high officials told the Dhaka Tribune that the authorities concerned would soon start their works to this end. l

Patients and their families wait for services to resume at Birdem, as doctors of the hospital continued their work abstention for the second day yesterday

Factory owner stabbed, mason shot in the city n Mohammad Jamil Khan

A plastic factory owner from the capital’s Kamrangirchar area was allegedly stabbed by local Awami League supporters yesterday for refusing to donate the money demanded by said leaders. The victim, Mohammad Mintu, 40, is currently being treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. He was stabbed when he tried to

stop the ruling party activists from taking away equipment and personal belongings from the workers, he said. On Sunday, Mostofa Kamal Sarker, brother of local Awami League unit President Abul Hossain Sarker, allegedly demanded Tk50,000 as donation from Mintu for an event to be held on Monday. “When I refused to donate the money, they threatened me," Mintu claimed. A group of Awami League activists lat-

Husband of BELA chief abducted  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rahman, director of legal and media wing of Rapid Action Battalion, said they were trying to trace and rescue the abducted businessman and arrest the criminals. Ripon, the driver, is currently being interrogated under RAB custody. When speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, who is vocal in favour of environmental causes, said: “My husband was not abducted for his activities; rather he was abduct-

ed for my activities.” The Narayanganj SP also echoed Rizwana, saying Siddiqui might have been abducted by those who were affected by the activities of the BELA executive director. Without disclosing details for the sake of the ongoing investigation, Narayanganj SP Syed Nurul Islam said the family of the businessman has suggested some suspected reasons behind the abduction. The SP also said a 12-member committee has been formed to accelerate

the operational activities in rescuing the businessman, but added that there were some difficulties in figuring out jurisdiction as the incident took place on the bordering area between Dhaka and Narayanganj districts. AB Siddiqui, who owns a garment manufacturing unit, previously worked for a garment factory owned by State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid Bipu, as well as working for former Jatiya Party MP and ex-vice president of FBCCI Mohammad Ali. l

Dry Teesta mutating farming pattern  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

they need much less irrigation. Only Tk1,000 is enough as irrigation expenses for these crops on the same stretch of land,” Hazrat said. “If this trend continues, it will surely cast negative impacts on our food security because Boro is a major source of the country’s food stock,” said agro-economist Dr Asaduzzaman, professional fellow of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. Water experts said the shortage of water in the Teesta River – the lifeline

of the country’s north – has in fact resulted in falling ground water levels in the basin. “The reserve of ground water could go further down if minimum water flow in Teesta during the dry season could not be ensured,” said water resources expert Ainun Nishat. By now, this year has seen the worst scarcity of water in recent history. In February, March and April, Bangladesh has received only 409, 500 and 550 cubic feet per second (Cusec) water on an average respectively.

January-April is generally the cultivation time of Boro, the largest cereal crop in Bangladesh. It is during this time of the year that the crop needs constant irrigation. “Up until last year, the normal flow in the Teesta during January-April was around 6,000-7,900 cusec. Things have changed drastically this year. India is using up more water for irrigating their expanded farmlands,” said Mir Sajjad Hossain, a member of the Joint Rivers Commission of Bangladesh and India. l

olence? Those who caused the violence are responsible for it. The commission will take action as per the laws.” On political parties’ criticism of his leave, he said: “The parties can criticise – the ruling, opposition and neutral parties, all can criticise, because no one has kept the commission in comfort.” Rakibuddin expressed hope that

violence would decrease in the future and the winners and defeated would all accept the poll results. He said the EC was planning to reform the electoral laws to curb violence and was discussing the matter with the political parties. “The violence during the upazila polls was an impact of the last parliamentary election,” he said. l

CEC: Poll violence would have still occurred  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

Regarding PM’s political affairs Adviser HT Imam’s statement that the CEC had been tired and sought to go on a leave, Rakibuddin said: “I did not apply to anyone for leave as I am the sole authority to grant myself leave.” Replying to a query, he said: “Why will we take the responsibility for the vi-


er went to Mintu’s factory at around noon yesterday and tried to rob the place. “When I tried to stop them, they stabbed me in the abdomen,"Mintu said. Abul Hossain Sarker however denied the allegation, saying: “This is nothing but a misdeed by a vested group to foil my image." In a separate incident, a mason was shot in the chest by miscreants at the capital’s Rampura area yesterday.

The victim, Abdus Salam, 45, is currently undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. “I was standing in front of Sohel Phone-Fax Shop, when a group of men came to the shop and started causing a racket. When I asked them to leave, one of them shot me,” said Salam. Alamgir Hossain Bhuiyan, OC of Rampura police station, said an investigation was underway. l

Moncho activist goes missing n DU Correspondent A Dhaka University student went missing from the Fuller Road area in the Dhaka University campus on Tuesday evening, claimed classmates and family members. The missing student, Azizul Haq Khan Kanak, is a first year student of the Finance Department of DU and a resident student of Ziaur Rahman Hall. Kanak, an activist of the Gonojagoron Mancha and a member of Bangladesh Chhatra Union DU unit, sought help from his party leaders and friends before he went missing, said Kanak’s family members. Kanak’s elder sister Monira Yeasmin said: “Kanak made phone calls to Maruf Billah, president of the Chhatra Union DU unit, Liton Nandi, secretary of the same student body and Tuhin Das, cultural secretary of the central committee of Chhatra Union, and sought their help saying ‘he was in trouble at DU Fuller road area.’ But Liton and Maruf could not respond to his call as they were busy while Tuhin Das went to Fuller road along with other party members in search of Kanak. They could not find him there and his mobile phone was found to be switched off.” In the meantime, ABM Faruq, the provost of Ziaur Rahman Hall, lodged a

general diary with the Shahbagh police station regarding Kanak going missing yesterday afternoon, said Kazi Sirajul Islam, officer-in-charge of the police station. According to the diary statement, Kanak was on his way to his hall on Tuesday evening from tuition. When he reached Fuller Road, he called several Chhatra Union leaders to rescue him from the spot citing that he was in trouble. Later, he went missing from the spot and his phone was found switched off, it added. However his sister Monira expressed deep concern and said they had searched for him in every possible place. Lucky Akter, secretary general of the Bangladesh Chattra Union central committee and an organiser of the Gonojagoron Mancha, said: “We are not sure of what actually happened, but it could have happened due to either intra party conflicts or the gonojagoron’s recent clash.” Lucky also said Kanak had been very active in both the Chhatra Union and the Gonojagoron Mancha’s activity. When contacted, acting proctor of DU Amzad Ali said: “We are trying our level best to trace the missing student; we have already talked with the highups of the law enforcing agencies to find him as soon as possible.” l

Khandaker Mosharraf hospitalised n Our Correspondent, Gazipur

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain was admitted to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University yesterday after falling sick in the Kashimpur jail in Gazipur.

The jail authorities said Mosharraf felt pain in his chest around 7am and soon after, was taken to the Cardiology Department of the BSMMU. On March 12, Khandaker Mosharraf was arrested in a money laundering case filed by the ACC with the Ramna police station on February 6. l



Government sets new deadline to improve labour conditions Shahariar Zaman and n Sheikh Mohosinul Karim

The government has sought more time to fulfil the pledges it made to improve labour conditions in Bangladesh. The recruitment process of 200 factory inspectors is likely to be completed by June while an amendment to EPZ laws to allow freedom of association might be made by October. Transparent database on factories is likely to be brought up-to-date by May and formulation of labour rules is expected to be completed by July. “We could not fulfil some pledges within the timeline and we set new

deadline today,” said Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar after meeting with five ambassadors at the secretariat yesterday. Chaired by Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed, the meeting was also attended by Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque. After the two tragic incidents – Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse - the government last year took steps to improve labour conditions by implementing the pledges it made to minimise the risk of the recurrence of such incidents. “The envoys suggested improving the transparent database by including the findings of Alliance and Accord in it,” the labour secretary said.

In the database, some basic statements are included and the government will insert more information in the database by May, he said. “They also raised the issue of amendment to EPZ laws so that workers can enjoy freedom of association and we told them that we hope to complete it by October,” Shipar said. After the meeting, European Union Ambassador William Hanna said they discussed the inspection of factories and database, recruitment of inspectors, and labour laws and its implementation. “We looked at the question of inspection of the factories and the database, so the information about the


Thursday, April 17, 2014

inspection will be made available,” Hanna said. He said protection of workers’ rights is very important and it did not happen in Rana Plaza. Development partners are working with the government, manufacturers, unions and ILO to improve labour conditions in the country, he said. “We made good progress today and so much more needs to be done.” US Ambassador Dan Mozena, British High Commissioner Robert Gibson, Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden and Dutch Ambassador Gerben Sjoerd de Jong also attended the meeting. l

HC hears Khaleda’s pleas for scrapping lower court orders n Tribune Report The High Court yesterday began the hearings of the petitions filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for scrapping the lower court’s orders that indicted her in two corruption cases. The bench of Justice Borhanuddin and Justice KM Kamrul Kader will also hear the pleas filed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, today. Khaleda’s lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain told the bench that the charges were not framed in line with the CrPC while attorney general Mahbubey Alam said the lower court specifically mentioned what offences she had been accused of. In her petition, Khaleda sought stay orders on the indictments until the dis-

posal of the petitions and also claimed that the cases were filed only to harass her politically. On March 19, Judge Basudev Roy of the Dhaka Third Special Judge’s Court passed the indictment and also fixed April 21  for the start of the trial with depositions of prosecution witnesses. The judge framed the charges against six individuals including Khaleda and her son Tarique in the Zia Orphanage Trust case for embezzling over Tk2.1 crore by forming the “fake” trust in 1991. In the case of Zia Charitable Trust, four people including the BNP chief were indicted for raising funds by abusing the power of the Prime Minister’s Office during 2001-2006. l


HC accepts Nizami’s appeal for hearing n Tribune Report The High Court yesterday accepted for hearing the appeal filed by death row convict Motiur Rahman Nizami, also Jamaat-e-Islami chief, challenging his conviction by the Chittagong lower court in the 10-truck arms haul cases. A bench comprising Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore also accepted the appeals of three lifers — former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim, then director of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury who was later appointed as the DG of NSI and former deputy director of NSI Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain for hearing in the case filed under the Arms Act. The High Court earlier accepted their appeals in the case lodged under the Special Powers Act. They were sentenced to death in the case. Except for the fugitives-- Ulfa leader Paresh Barua and former additional secretary of the industries ministry

HC issues order on forming monitoring cell for hospitals

n Tribune Report

The High Court issued a ruling yesterday asking the government why it should not be directed to form a high-powered monitoring cell to check the government and private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic centres and laboratories. The court also wanted to know why the government should not be directed to halt unauthorised private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and diagnostic centres across the country. The bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued the rule in response to a writ petition lodged by Supreme Court lawyer JR Khan Robin. Secretaries from Health, Law and Home Ministries, the director-general of Health Directorate and the president of Private Clinics and Diagnostic Owners Association were asked to reply to the rule within four weeks. The court asked why the government should not be directed to frame a guideline to provide free admission, treatment and clinical, pathological and diagnostic tests for poor patients at government and private hospitals, clinics, nursing home and diagnostic centres. The bench also asked why the respondents should not be directed to implement the provisions of the Medical Practice and Private Clinics and Laboratories (Regulation) Ordinance 1982, amended in 1984, to regulate medical practice and operations of private clinics and laboratories. Supreme Court lawyer Badruddoza Badal pleaded for the petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Al-Amin Sarker represented the government. l

Nurul Amin, the 12 other death row convicts had lodged appeals with the HC on different dates.

The High Court earlier accepted their appeals in the case lodged under the Special Powers Act They are BNP’s former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar, Jamaat chief Nizami, Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim, Maj Gen (retd) Rezzaqul, former NSI director wing commander (retd) Shahab Uddin, Maj (retd) Liakat, former NSI field officer Akbar Hossain Khan, ex-CUFL managing director Mohsin Talukder, former CUFL general manager (admin) KM Enamul Hoque, smuggler Hafizur Rahman Hafiz, Deen Mohammad, and fishing trawler owner Hazi Abdus Sobhan. On April 1 in 2004, police seized 10 truckloads of illegal arms and ammunition at the jetty of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd. l

Doctors of Birdem Hospital bring out a procession in the capital’s Shahbagh yesterday, demanding punishment to the miscreants who attacked their colleagues. The procession caused a tailback on the road and in surrounding areas MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Hearing against Khokon Razakar likely to end today n Udisa Islam

The hearing in the trial of Zahid Hossain Khokon alias Khokon Razakar is scheduled to close today as the prosecution and defence concluded their arguments yesterday. The International Crimes Tribunal 1 may keep it CAV (waiting for verdict) today. Prosecutor Mokhlesur Rahman Badal concluded his arguments during the morning session, seeking the death sentence for Khokon, claiming that all charges against the accused have been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Badal told the tribunal that relatives of his victims were forced to dump bodies of their loved ones in mass graves without their last rites, out of fear of Khokon and his cohorts. Even children, women and elderly people

were not spared Khokon Razakar’s brutality, he added. Md Abdus Shukur Khan, state-appointed defence counsel for Khokon, argued that his client MA Zahid was not the same Zahid Hossain Khokon who was charged with committing crimes against humanity. He claimed that the investigation officer did not do his job properly and included many different aliases for the accused. After his concluding remarks, the tribunal adjourned the hearing till Thursday, saying they might close the case for verdict, after hearing comments on legal points by any party interested. Khokon, former mayor of Faridpur’s Nagarkanda municipality and a BNP leader, was indicted in absentia on October 9 last year, on 11 charges of crimes against humanity.

During the proceedings, the prosecution called 24 witnesses against Khokon, while no witnesses were produced for the fugitive accused. The accused is currently in Sweden.

Witness’ deposition in Qaisar case

Meanwhile, a new prosecution witness against another accused, Syed Mohammad Qaisar, told the International Crime Tribunal 2 yesterday how Qaisar formed the “Qaisar Bahini” to help Pakistani occupation forces, and carry out brutal acts during the Liberation War. Sixty-three-year-old Mohammad Yakub Ali, who was a student of class ten of Andi Ura Ummutun Nessa High School of Habiganj during 1971, gave a brief deposition before the tribunal adjourned the session for the day. The witness said, on March 25, 1971

Deputy commissioners (DC) from across the country have recommended raising the age limit for entering government service to 33 years from the current 30. At the same time, the public administrators have also suggested reducing the time for voluntary retirement of civil servants to 20 years, from 25 years

ermen, however he admitted that he had heard about most of these from his seniors and was not an eyewitness to them. The witness further described how Qaisar Bahini looted and burnt his house before the Pakistani Army and its cohorts killed at least 15 civilians at the southern part of his house. On April 28, Yakub went to the nearby village of Sandadil, where he heard about the killing of Ohid Pathan from Nayeb Ali, and later met Ohid’s son Mohammad Ali Pathan in Mouzpur. The defence also concluded its cross examination of the second prosecution witness in the trial of Mawlana Abdus Subhan at the same tribunal, before the tribunal adjourned the hearing until April 27 as it wanted to continue the trial against yet another accused, Mir Kashem, during this time. l

84 gold bars seized from 2 passengers at Chittagong airport, 1 suspect flees n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

A mobile court seizes chocolates and lozenges, which were made using expired and substandard materials, during a raid at a factory in the capital’s Keraniganj DHAKA TRIBUNE

Customs authorities at Chittagong airport yesterday seized 84 bars of gold worth over Tk4 crore from two passengers returning home from Middle Eastern countries. One of the suspects, however, managed to escape from custody, a customs official said. Moshiur Rahman Mondol, assistant commissioner of Chittagong customs at Shah Amanat International Airport, said they found 60 gold bars stuffed inside four electric irons after searching the luggage of Mohammad Shamsul Is-

DCs propose raising age limit for public service entrance n Mohosinul Karim

Qaisar formed a gang under his own name to assist the Pakistani Army, adding that the accused had also become the Razakar commander of Madhabpur. “On April 27, when the Pakistan Army along with Qaisar Bahini came to the southern end of our village, I told my relatives to escape while I hid at Madhabpur market. They set fire to the western part of the market and started looting shops. They burnt at least 200 shops including the ones belonging to Sachindra Babu, Kamini Roy, Hirendra Lal Roy,” Yakub said. “After that they [Qaisar Bahini] went to the north end of Madhabpur market and shot dead at least four unarmed civilians including Ohid Hossain Pathan,” the witness said. Yakub also described the atrocities that took place at Katiara, a village of fish-

at present. The suggestions, sent to the cabinet division, came ahead of this year’s DC conference, scheduled to be held July 8 to 10. They have sent in the suggestions. Maksudur Rahman, joint secretary of the cabinet division, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had received several suggestions from DCs from across the country. “Those would be scrutinised before

placing at the conference. The suggestions that are unnecessary would be excluded from the final list,” Maksudur said. A good numberof divisional and deputy commissioners also recommended preparing a code of conduct for public representatives, claiming that the behaviour of many civil servants was uncontrollable due to lack of guidelines. They also proposed increasing the

retirement age of public servants to 59 years from 57,considering the average life expectancy in the country. They also suggested installing a new wing in DC offices for freedom fighters’ welfare. Earlier, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain rejected a proposal for extending the entry age, saying, “The government is yet to take any decision in this regard.” l

lam, who arrived on an Oman Air flight from Muscat around 5:10 pm. The bars, weighing 25 grammes each, has a market value of Tk3 crore, the customs officer said. Earlier, customs officials found 24 gold bars strapped to the knees of Ismail Hossain after he arrived on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from Dubai at 5pm. Ismail, however, fled from a customs office, where he was being held, while officials were busy checking other passengers, Moshiur said. “It is an embarrassing matter for us, and we have lodged a general dairy

with Patenga police station,” he added. The gold bars, estimated to be worth Tk1.20 crore, were handed over to the Bangladesh Bank. Both suspects come from Raozan upazila of Chittagong district, airport sources said. As per law, a passenger is allowed to bring in a maximum of 200 grammes of gold into the country after paying duty at the airport. Customs sources said a total of 1,800 gold bars, worth about Tk85 crore, have been seized from Chittagong airport so far this year in more than 50 drives. Last year, 686 gold bars, worth Tk35.30 crore, were confiscated. l




Thursday, April 17, 2014

‘Quarters active to create water hegemony in SA’ n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla A section of the international community has been trying to create “water hegemony” centring India in South Asia, said Tauhidul Anwar Khan, former member of India-Bangladesh Joint River Commission, yesterday. “A section of donor countries sometime try to create water hegemony centring India. But water is a fundamental right of a citizen [of any country, including Bangladesh],” he said addressing a workshop titled “Strengthening Transparency and Access to Information on Transboundary Water Governance in South Asia” at a hotel in the capital. Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies organised the workshop with the support of the Asia Foundation. Khan, who was a key person in the commission for more than three decades, said there are 54 rivers common between Bangladesh and India, but the treaty between the two countries covers only the Ganges, even though all the transboundary rivers are supposed to come under bilateral treaties by phases. When asked about whether it was diplomatic or a political failure on Bangladesh’s part as it had been receiving less water than the expected level,

Khan dodged the question and said: “Analyse the data and you will get the answer.” Khan said Bangladesh repeatedly asked India to go for multi-lateral treaties – Bangladesh-India-Nepal – on water issues to construct reservoirs in Nepal, but India was reluctant to do so. “However, India is now going for bilateral agreements with Nepal keeping Bangladesh out of the purview. If multi-lateral treaties were signed, then the whole region would be benefited,” he said. In the welcoming speech, A Atiq Rahman, executive director of Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies, said: “We did not get any information about the government-level meetings on transboundary water-sharing in South Asia. We want to get proper information.” BUET Professor Mashfiqus Salehi presented the key note paper and blamed India for insufficient water flow in Bangladesh during the dry season, saying it was not possible to meet the demand through rain water harvesting only. “Common understanding of the problems and issues involved and common interests and concerns on the part of riparian countries are necessary preconditions for finding effective solutions,” he added. l

Teenager gang-raped n Our Correspondent, Kurigram

An 18-year-old girl was gang-raped in Nageshwari upazila, Kurigram district, yesterday. The incident happened when she visited her friend’s house. According to the prosecution, Aminur Rahman Shaon, 20, of Andarijhar area, Bhurungimari and his friend Abu Taleb Murad took the girl to Shaon’s home for a visit, assuring her that they would later drop her off at her elder sister’s house in Berubari. But, on the way, Jahanur Rahman, 32, son of Kasmat Ali Master, Ershadul

Haque, 28, and Sirajul Islam, 24, sons of Abdur Rahman, Al Amin, 24, son of Khairab Ali in the area raped the girl with her friend Shaon’s help. Hearing her screams, locals rushed to the spot and rescued her. They also detained Shaon and Murad and informed the police. The police arrested Shaon and Murad and sent the girl to Kurigram Sadar Hospital. The victim’s father filed a case accusing eight persons. Later, the police also arrested Jahanur Rahman. OC Badrul Alam said the arrested had been sent to jail. l

Discussants address an inter-ministerial workshop on ‘Manifesto for the Extreme Poor’ in the capital’s Cirdap conference centre yesterday

12 migrant victims coming home from Iran today n Rabiul Islam After months of captivity and inhuman torture, 12 Bangladeshi migrant workers are scheduled to return home from Iran today. The returning workers are Aminul Haque, Forhad Hossain, Firoz Miah, Jashim Mia, Jakir Hossain, Mahfuzur Rahman, Montaz, Mehedi Hasan, Muslim Uddin, Shafiqul Alam, Shafiul Islam and Sajib Nath. Rights Jessore, an NGO working for victims of trafficking, came to know about the captivity of these migrants

last December, and took steps to bring them back home. “We got information from Rights Jessore and the victims’ families and contacted the Iranian police to rescue the abducted migrants,” CID additional deputy inspector general Md Shah Alam told the Dhaka Tribune over the phone yesterday. Alam also said a section of Bangladeshi traffickers last year lured the migrants of lucrative jobs in European countries, including Turkey and Greece, and thus traded them into Iran. The ill-fated migrants were held

hostage in Iran’s Bandar Abbas and Tehran while ransom was demanded from their relatives in Bangladesh, the CID official said, adding that all these victims had to pay ransom to their abductors. Staying in the Middle Eastern countries, the traffickers had been carrying out their illegal activities with their local agents in Bangladesh for the last couple of years. Following the return of 29 victims from Iran last December, the CID started to investigate incidents and arrested 14 local agents so far. l


‘Country poverty free by 2021’ n Tribune Report Speakers at a discussion opined that pulling one million families out of extreme poverty every year starting 2016 is needed if the government wants to achieve its goal. The speakers yesterday made the remarks at a workshop organised by the Economic Empowerment of the Poorest in Bangladesh (EEP) project. They stressed on reforming public and private services would help the poor to come out from the situation. Shazia Omar, head of advocacy of the project, in a documentary presentation showed the present situation and the means to get rid of the problem by 2021, the deadline set by the government. l

Poverty: A persisting challenge 28 million people are extremely poor in Bangladesh countries have been able to reduce to contribute to poverty reduction in n Tazlina Zamila Khan child labour, Bangladesh has yet to suc- two ways: preventing people from fall-

Guests hold up copies of a book titled ‘Social Protection in Bangladesh’ at the book’s launching ceremony in the capital’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday NASHIRUL ISLAM

Over 50 million people are poor while around 28 million are extremely poor in Bangladesh, with poverty being one of the biggest challenges for the country. The statistics have been taken from an excerpt from the book “Social Protection in Bangladesh: Building Effective Social Safety Nets and Ladders Out of Poverty,” which was launched yesterday in a ceremony organised by the UNDP, University Press Limited, Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and Brooks World Poverty Institute in the capital’s Bangabandhu International Conference Center. Edited by Hossain Zillur Rahman, David Hulme, Mathilde Maitrot and Luigi Peter Ragno, the book reveals that the estimated number of working children aged 5-17 years in Bangladesh is 7.42 million. While other South Asian


US-based consortium agrees to give $20 million as bank guarantee n Aminur Rahman Rasel The US-based Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy Consortium has agreed to give $20 million as a performance bond to implement the Floating Storage and Re-Gasification Unit known as Liquefied Natural Gas terminal on Moheshkhali Island in Cox’s Bazar. “The consortium agreed to pay a performance bond to set up the first-ever Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal with the capacity to process 500mmcfd gas daily,” Petrobangla Chairman Hossain Monsur told the Dhaka Tribune after holding a meeting at the Energy and Mineral Resources Division office regarding the technical committee report to set up the LNG terminal. “We will sit with the energy consortium team on May 5 this year and finalise the terms and conditions to set up

the terminal,” he said. “We are planning to sign the contact by December this year under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) Act, so that we can set up the terminal within a year and a half,” he added. He also said the contractor company agreed to work under a build-own-operate-transfer basis for a period of 15 years. Earlier on February 9, 2014, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) asked the Petrobangla to submit all financial and technical proposals by March this year. On February 19, The EMRD formed a five-member technical committee led by Petrobangla Director (operation and mines) Md Quamruzzaman. The EMRD later asked the committee to evaluate proposals, considering

clarification on invitations of request of proposals a few years back. The committee submitted the report as per the order of EMRD recently. The US-based Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy Consortium has agreed to transfer the Floating Storage and Re-Gasification Unit (FSRU) to Petrobangla without any cost after 15 years with re-gasification tariff at $0.39 per mmcfd. The terminal will have the capacity to handle five million tonnes of LNG per year and a re-gasification capacity of at least 500mmcfd. The purpose of establishing the terminal was to import LNG, so the country did not face any sudden energy crisis due to supply shortfall in near future, sources said. The country had recently been facing an acute gas crisis as the daily pro-

duction of gas was around 2,300mmcfd against a demand of 3000mmcfd. After assuming office in 2009, the then Awami League-led government decided to import LNG to add to the national grid from the year 2013, but failed to implement it during its previous tenure. Now, the new government has taken a fresh initiative from the beginning of its tenure to set up the FSRU as early as possible. Separately, state-owned Gas Transmission Company Limited has undertaken a move to lay a 91-km Moheshkhali-Anowara gas transmission pipeline to carry the imported re-gasified LNG from the proposed terminal to the shore. So far, a few countries including Qatar have been considered as the primary source for the LNG gas. l

ceed. Neal Walker, resident representative of UN in Bangladesh, said: “There are lots of work to be done in order to reduce poverty as the country faces the emerging challenges of migration. Making middle-income people rich is not social protection while we have to improve the financial status of the extreme poor.” He stressed on the critical importance of leadership, urgent response of the government to this issue, adequate resources and equal distribution of resources to face the challenges. Professor David Hulme of University of Manchester said: “More than 40% children are poorly nourished and 60 to 80% of the population are vulnerable to shocks that would make them poor.” The speakers said social protection had a development role and was meant

ing into poverty and supporting people and households which are already impoverished. In this case, policies set by the government to reduce poverty should be implemented soon. Dr Mahabub Hossain, adviser to executive director, Brac, said: “Child and maternal nutrition issue should be addressed first.” Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, chairman of PPRC, said: “The government should implement a time-bound action plan, otherwise it will become a paperbound document only. We need innovative ideas and should think out of the box to reduce poverty in this country.” He pointed out malnutrition, urban poverty and climate change to be major challenges, adding that Bangladesh could easily achieve the Millenium Development Goals in 2015 if these problems were solved. l

ABM Mohiuddin gets bail upon surrender n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong A Chittagong court granted bail yesterday to ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury in a corruption case over allotment of shops owned by the Chittagong City Corporation. The Court of Metropolitan Session Judge in Chittagong, SM Mojibur Rahman passed the order yesterday when the former mayor of the CCC surrendered before the court with a bail plea, said court sources. “The court granted the bail to ABM Mohiuddin till the next hearing date,” said Kamal Uddin Ahmed, public prosecutor of Chittagong Metropolitan. The court also censured the counsel of the Anti-Corruption Commission as it did not take timely legislative measures. The public prosecutor said the trial had been halted in accordance with a writ from the High Court while Mohiuddin was on bail but the HC has withdrawn their interdiction recently and Mohiud-

din surrendered yesterday, on the first hearing date after the withdrawal. On October 13, 2002, the then ACC inspector Shamsul Islam lodged a case with Kotwali police station against the former mayor and 23 others on the charge of alloting 23 CCC-owned shops at the port city’s Muradpur without any kind of tender from January 1997 to December 1997. On November 16, 2002, the HC gave a ruling while the former mayor was on bail but later dismissed the ruling. The then ACC Inspector Jahangir Alam submitted the charge sheet on February 9, 2006 while the HC gave an interdiction on the trial of the case on February 22, 2006 following the writ petition of Mohiuddin. The HC withdrew the interdiction in December 2012 after rejecting the rule of writ and sent the notice to the ACC in April 2013. But the ACC counsel did not submit the notice before the lower court for a year during which time he did not inform the defense about the matter. l




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Agargaon vehicle dumping ground, a supply depot for thieves At least 49 police stations in the capital have around 4,000 motorised and non-motorised vehicles in their custody When contacted, Yeasmin-Ud-DoA large number of seized vehicles n Mohammad Jamil Khan end up at the dumping ground, as la, the police sergeant in charge of the

Agargaon dumping ground, told the Dhaka Tribune that since the ground started its operation in 2001, many owners did not reclaim their vehicles after the cases were solved. Speaking on the fact that engines go missing from the vehicles, Yeasmin admitted that thieves often steal car parts as there is no boundary wall surrounding the ground, but added that police stations also often send vehicles that have no engine in the first place. Meanwhile, the Dhaka Tribune has learnt that car body parts of different popular brands – stolen from the dumping ground – are later sold at the Dholaikhal market for as low as onethird their market price. Disguised as a car parts trader, this reporter learned from other businesspeople at the Dholaikhal market that most of the vehicle parts sold there were stolen from seized vehicles. Seeking anonymity, an employee of a popular store of the area told the Dhaka Tribune that in order to succeed in the business, one had to maintain high-level contacts with thieves from the “black market” of law enforcers of the “white market.” l

The vehicle dumping ground in Agargaon, where the Dhaka Metropolitan Police keeps its seized vehicles, has allegedly become a supply depot for thieves who collect car parts by paying the necessary fees to unscrupulous law enforcers. The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that most of the components of the seized vehicles end up in the second-hand car parts markets in city’s Dholaikhal, after the dumping ground is scavenged by thieves, allegedly under the nose of the police force. The dumping ground in Agargaon is used to store vehicles that law enforcers have seized from crime scenes, or were used for committing crimes, or ones that lacked legal papers. Left unclaimed by their owners, many of these vehicles soon become damaged and useless for the lack of proper maintenance by authorities concerned. According to DMP sources, the 49 police stations in the capital have around 4,000 motorised and non-motorised vehicles in their custody. Among these, the Agargaon dumping ground keeps around 625 vehicles which still have cases pending against them, according to register book of the ground.

most of the capital’s police stations were set up in rented buildings that lack adequate space for keeping vehicles. A faction of unscrupulous police officials, who are in charge of the dumping ground, reportedly sell off valuable car parts to buyers from Dholaikhal to make a hefty profit without breaking a sweat. During a recent visit to the dumping ground in Agargaon, the Dhaka Tribune found that a number of vehicles including trucks, covered vans, CNG-run auto-rickshaws had been kept haphazardly, with a thick layer of dust covering all the vehicles. Thanks to scavenging drives by thieves, most vehicles were missing either an engine, or headlights, or seats; while some vehicles only had their skeletal body frames left. The Agargaon dumping ground has no boundary wall, making it easy for thieves to enter and pick through the wide array of vehicles. In the vicinity of the dumping ground, the Dhaka Tribune also found several repair shops, which also sold vehicle parts salvaged from the nearby ground, sources claimed.

7 Rohingyas held at Chittagong airport n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

Probe body formed to look into death threat to RU teacher

Authorities at Chittagong airport yesterday detained seven Myanmar nationals,including three women,as they were attempting to board a flight for Saudi Arabia allegedly with forged Bangladeshi passports. Wing Commander Nur-e-Alam, airport manager of Shah Amanat International Airport said the seven suspects were stopped when they were collecting boarding passes for the Jeddah-bound Bangladesh Biman flight BG037 around midnight yesterday. Although the passports carried by the detainees said they were from Satkania upazila of Bangladesh, they were Rohingyas from Myanmar, Nur-e-Alam said. A case was filed. l

Mugger beaten to death n CU Correspondent

n RU Correspondent The authorities of Management Studies Department at Rajshahi University yesterday formed a five-member probe committee to investigate into the matter of a death threat to a teacher by a student of the department. Campus sources said a masters’ student of the department Rahajul Amin Ridoy, who was also a joint secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League RU unit, had threatened to kill Shamim Hossain, an assistant professor of the department, as the teacher refused to give lunch boxes to a group of BCL activists without vouchers on Pahela Boishakh. Shamim Hossain said Ridoy along with 12/13 BCL activists came to his

room and demanded lunch boxes for all of them around 1:30pm. “When I refused to give them lunch boxes without vouchers, Ridoy argued with me and left the room threatening to kill me,” the teacher said. “Two hours later, around 3:30pm, Ridoy repeated those threats over phone,”he added. Chairman of department Professor Saiful Islam said after getting allegations from the teacher against BCL leader Ridoy, we formed a five member probe committee to investigate matter. A general diary will be filled with the local police station. When contacted, Ridoy denied allegation and said he was not aware of such incident. l

A car kept at Agargaon vehicle dumping ground has virtually become a skeleton of an automobile as thieves took away all of its parts NASHIRUL ISLAM

Miscreants set fire to a school in Feni n Our Correspondent, Feni Miscreants set fire to the West Bijoysingho High School in Feni, early yesterday. A Fire Service and Civil Defence team took control of the fire after four hours of frantic efforts. Anwar Hossain Manik, chairman of Pachgachi Union Parisad complained that the incident took place due to animosity between two groups of the area. Mahbub Morshed, officer-in-charge of Feni Model police station said they are investigating the reasons behind the arson attack. Local sources said there has been a long standing feeling of animosity in the area due to political activities centring the school. The incident might have been associated with the hostility between the two rival groups. Around 400 students will have to suffer because of the arson, since the first term final examination was scheduled to begin on April 26.


27 24




















Cox’s Bazar


39.5ºC Rangamati

19.2ºC Srimangal

Source: Accuweather/UNB

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

4:19am 5:36am 11:59am 4:26pm 6:21pm 7:39pm Source:

Bangladesh Rail Sramik Union yesterday staged demonstrations in the capital’s Kamalapur area demanding hike of daily wage for temporary labour requisition (TLR) and regularisation of their job. Rail Sramik Union President Dewan Mohammad Ali at the programme threatened that if government did not increase their daily wage, they would announce tougher programmes like rail strike. “We get only Tk150 a day, but it is not enough to maintain a family.” He also demanded that the government raise the daily wage from Tk150 to Tk300. The country has 2,541 rail crossings, but there are only 153 gatemen, he said, adding that although they work for the whole month, they are getting wage for

n Tribune Report



n Tribune Report

28 days. “Even we are not getting salary regularly.” Rail Sramik Union started staging demonstrations around 11:00 am and later they submitted a memorandum to Bangladesh Railway’s Divisional Personnel Officer Ashraf Uddin to press home their 8-point demand. Ashraf Uddin told reporters that he would take the issues to the higher authority. Bangladesh Rail Sramik Union Vice-president Abu Musa, General Secretary Abdus Sabur, Assistant General Secretary MA Mannan and Executive President Golam Moktadir were also present. When asked why temporary gatemen are not paid salary for two days, Mohammad Tanvirul Islam, railway divisional engineer, said they do not pay the gatemen salary for two days as per the rules. l

CPB, SPB road march to Teesta Barrage starts today

The mob beat an alleged mugger to death in Chittagong’s New Market area yesterday. Police said the mob caught a youth around 3pm while he was running off after snatching a cell phone from a pedestrian. Later the mugger was beaten up by the angry mob. Police rushed to the spot on being informed and sent the youth to Chittagong Medical College Hospital, where the duty doctors declared him dead, said the SI. l


Rail Sramik Union stages demo at Kamalapur

The Communist Party of Bangladesh and the Socialist Party of Bangladesh bring out a procession in the city yesterday, protesting obstruction of the water flow of the Teesta River by India RAJIB DHAR

Son beaten to death by father in capital n Mohammad Jamil Khan A father allegedly beat his elder son to death in the Bagichartek area of Rampura in the capital yesterday. The deceased Mohammad Alam 21, was the son of a CNG driven auto-rickshaw driver Dulal Mia, a resident of Bagichartek of Rampura in the city. Aleya Begum, the deceased’s mother, said her son had married eight months ago. However, Dulal was not happy with his son’s marriage and often used to fight with Alam to leave the girl. Alam brought his wife to his home on Tuesday night as his father, Dulal was out. However, Dulal came back home late at night and noticed his daughter-in-law’s presence in the home. At

this, Dulal got furious and started quarrelling with Alam. At one stage of the altercation, Dulal beat up Alam indescriminately, leaving him critical injured. Alam was admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where the duty doctor later declared him dead around 5:00am in the morning, she added. When contacted, Alamgir Hossain Bhuiyan, officer-in-charge of Rampura police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that the father of the victim fled the scene soon after the incident occurred and they are still searching for him. Process of filing a case regarding the murder with the police station is underway and they are hopeful of arresting the accused shortly, he added. l

Protesting the “weak foreign policy” of the ruling AL and demanding proper shares of the Teesta River water from India, the Communist Party of Bangladesh and the Socialist Party of Bangladesh are going to start their road march towards Teesta Barraage together from the capital today. In a Tuesday press briefing, CPB and SPB announced the 3-day road march programme. As per the announcement, the activists of the parties are supposed to hold a rally in front of the National Press Club before starting the march around 3pm. On the way, they will hold roadside rallies in different areas of Gazipur, Tangail and Bogra before stopping over at Sirajganj for the night. On the second day, the march will leave the district for Rangpur, holding

similar rallies on the way and on the final day they will hold a concluding rally at Shadubazar in Hatibandha, Lalmonirhat. In the briefing, the leaders of the parties said the Indian government has no rights to withdraw water unilaterally from any river common to both countries. They opined that due to the subservient foreign policy of the incumbent government, India has dared to do this. SPB general secretary Khalequzzaman, said there are 54 common rivers flowing through Bangladesh and India, and the latter government has been obstructing the water flow of those rivers by building barrages upstream in violation of international river laws. Consequently, vast areas of the greater Rangpur, Dinajpur and Bogra are gradually becoming barren and cultivation is being hampered severely, he claimed. l

Six die in separate road accidents n Tribune Report

Six people were killed in three separate road accidents on Tuesday night in Chapainawabganj, Moulvibazar and Narsingdi, while seven others were injured. In Chapainawabganj, four died and seven were injured in a collision between a truck and a human houlier on the Chapainawabganj-Sonamasjid highway at Boltola in Shibganj upazila, reported our Chapainawabganj correspondent. The deceased were: Hridoy, 25, Ariful Islam, 33, Suraj, 25, and Russell, 19. The injured are: Kishore, 25, Bairamnal Islam, 23, Prashanta Kumar Saha, 45, Atiqur Rahman, 35, Nasim, 30, Maolana Arif, 40, and Maha Alam, 28. The victims were all riding the human holier. According to the witnesses and police, the human houlier collided with

a Chapainawabganj-bound truck at 10pm, killing Arif on the spot. The 10 severely injured passengers were rushed to Chapainawabganj Sadar hospital, where Hridoy and Suraj died. Later, the remaining victims, all in critical condition, were sent to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, where Russell died. Meanwhile, a severe lack of attending doctors was seen at Chapainawabganj Sadar hospital when the injured passengers were taken there. This upset the victims’ families, but police and RAB officials stopped the agitation from escalating further. Only one doctor were seen attending all 10 patients. In Moulvibazar, an elderly man was critically injured in a road accident in the district town and later died on Tuesday night, reported our Moulvibazar correspondent. The victim, who could not be iden-

tified, was run down by a CNG-run auto rickshaw when he was crossing the road near Kushumbagh area around 9pm, according to police and witnesses. Critically injured, the man was immediately taken to Moulvibazar Sadar hospital, where he died around 11pm. Confirming the accident, Md Abdus Salek, OC of Moulvibazar police station, said the auto rickshaw driver had been arrested. In Narsingdi, an assistant sub-inspector of Raipura police station was run over by a bus on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Kararchar, Shibpur upazila at 8pm, reported our Narsingdi correspondent. Police said Assistant Sub-Inspector Al Mamun was on his way to Narsingdi Police Super office from work on his motorcycle when it collided with the bus, killing him instantly. l




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tal Pakha business fanning flames of success People become hopeful in Barisal

n Our Correspondent, Barisal A Tal Pakha, a hand-made fan of palm leaves, has changed lives of 400 unemployed people of fifty families in Uttar Chandsi village, a remote corner of Gournadi upazila under Barisal district. The village, about 44 kilometers far from the city, is now known as ‘Pakha Palli’ or Tal-Pakhar Graam, due to their source of livelihood. It is said more than 150 years ago, a woman named Khodeza Begum coming from Faridpur settled in the village after marriage, and trained the locals to make Tal Pakha for financial sufficiency. Now 400 people of the village are dependent on the business. In a recent visit, it was found that they were busy collecting and processing palm leaves. Many of them were busy shaping and sizing the leaves. Some were preparing and slicing bamboo sticks to bind with Pakha. Some were stitching, colouring or giving final touch to their products. Pakha makers were seen singing folk songs like ‘Orey o taler  pakha, sheet kaletey daona dekha, Grishsha kaley praner shokha (O the fan of palm leaf, you are not seen in winter, but became friend of heart in summer)”, or ‘Tomar  haat  pakhar  batashey,

pran juraia ashey (By the breeze of your hand-fan, my heart becomes calm)’. There are several types of fans. Some are with handle and some are without one. One can make 20-25 fans everyday on average depending on type of fan. The fan is in high demand during the summer season. Hashem Khalifa said he and his family members had been doing the business since last twenty years to maintain their seven-member family. “Since many palm trees and bamboos have been destroyed by storms or lightning, we often face acute shortage of raw materials and we have to collect them from different areas for high prices,” Hashem said. “A pakha costs Tk4 to Tk13 and it is sold at the rate of Tk6 to Tk17 in wholesale market and at Tk10-25 in retail market,” Hashem added. There is no government assistance in this business. Many producers have to take loans from their wholesalers or NGOs on high interest. “Tal  pakha not only gives us relief from the soaring heat of summer and during power-cuts, it is also a heritage of our culture and tradition,” said Gias Khalifa, local UP member “We should save it from extinction by giving necessary support,” he added. l

The number of people who have been suffering from diarrhoea related diseases has seen a sharp rise in the district as the extreme hot and humid weather is making things worse. Consequently, the 250-bed hospital was not being able to accommodate the inflow of patients. As a result, the patients had to staying on the floors and corridors of the hospital to get medical services. On the other hand, there have been allegations of negligence of duty of doctors and patients here which has worsened the situation. Sources at the district civil surgeon office said people have been afflicted with various types of diseases, including diarrhoea, caused by the increasing heat and about nine diarrhoea patients got admitted daily against one seat in the ward.

While visiting the diarrhoea ward recently, the relatives and patients alleged to the correspondent that there was no doctor until 1pm though they (doctors) were supposed to visit in the morning.

Most of the patients were low earning people. As a result, they had to be admitted to the hospital and they were not getting any medicine except oral saline They also said necessary number of nurses were not also present in the ward. Most of the patients were low earn-

Schoolboy burnt alive in Jamalpur

The recently taken photo shows women busy in making Tal Phaka, a hand-made fan of palm leaves, at Uttar Chandsi village in Barisal DHAKA TRIBUNE

ing people. As a result, they had to be admitted to the hospital and they were not getting any medicine except oral saline. They also alleged that when they tried to draw attention of the hospital’s Residential Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Ashim Kumar Shaha to the irregularities, but he rebuked them and threatened to discharge their admission. Contacted, the RMO denied the allegation brought against him, saying the visiting doctors might have been absent during the visit of the correspondent. “There is a scarcity of push saline in the hospital, which is hampering the medical services to the diarrhoea patients.” Feni Civil Surgeon Dr Jakir Hossain confessed the outbreak of diarrhoea, adding that he would take legal action against the responsible doctors and nurses after investigation. l

Minister: Series of scanners to spot fake freedom fighters n Our Correspondent, Kushtia The minister for the Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Huq hinted yesterday that they will go through many steps to track down fake freedom fighters. “We will identify them (fake freedom fighters) by forming new committees in the upazila level and by checking their names against the Indian registers that recorded the names of the people who took part in the 1971 liberation war by getting training there,” said AKM Mozammel. The minister also said if there are any specific complaints against the existing freedom fighters in the Muktibarta, a pro-liberation publication during 1971, will also be checked and finally, they will face the contemporary free-

UP chair in Chapainawabganj sued for extortion

45 BNP men sent to jail for vandalism

Correspondent, n Our Chapainawabganj

Correspondent, n Our Narsingdi

An extortion case has been filed against Bangabari union parishad chairman and his seven associates in Gomostapur upazila under the district. Union Parishad resident Sultanul Islam filed the case with Gomostapur police station on April 14 against the chairman. Sources said Union Parishad Chairman Shahidul Islam along with his cohorts allegedly tried to take over the mango grove belonging to its heir Sultanul. The chairman in association with his armed men allegedly fished in a canal beside the grove on April 12. UP Chairman Shahidul also threatened to kill Sultanul and demanded

Tk5 lakh from him, or else he would take over the grove. On Monday last, when Sultanul was returning home, the chairman and his men waylaid him at Bangabari Bazar. They fell upon him and robbed him of Tk1,30,000 and mobile phone. Following the attack, locals rescued Sultanul and took him to Gomostapur Upazila Health Complex. He was later shifted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital as his condition deteriorated. Later, the victim filed the case against the UP chairman with Gomostapur police station. Seeking anonymity, some villagers said they were getting irritated and impatient with the chairman and his men. They called for his immediate arrest and trial. l

Elderly man beaten to death in Lakshmipur An elderly man was beaten to death by his rival over land-related disputes in Basghar area under Ramganj upazila in Lakshmipur yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Abul Khayer Patoary, son of late Basir Ullah. Police and locals said the incident occurred in Basghar area in the morning when Abul Khayer along with his supporters tried to prevent his rivals from constructing a building on the disputed land. On receiving information, police recovered the body and arrested three people from the scene. The body was sent to Lakshimpur Sadar Hospital for post-mortem examination. Police said they had arrested three people in this connection. – Our Correspondent

Feni Sadar Hospital flooded with diarrhoea patients n Our Correspondent, Feni

News in Brief

At least 45 BNP men were sent to jail for attacking police personnel, vandalising vehicles and exploding crude bombs during hartal hours enforced by the BNP-led 19-party alliances last year. Chief Executive Magistrate, Narsingdi Nitai Chandra Saha passed the order after the accused surrendered before a court yesterday seeking bail. President of Sadar upazila unit BNP Samir Bhuyan, President of Madhabdi municipality unit BNP Aman Ullah, General Secretary Md Jakaria, Organising Secretary Md Mijanur Rahman,

vice-organising secretary of district unit BNP Sheikh Farid, Madhabdi Municipality Councillor Mokbul Hossain, among the BNP leaders, were sent to jail. According to court sources, these leaders along with their supporters put up barricade on the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway putting logs and setting fire on road on October 30 last year. The BNP men also vandalised scores of vehicles and swooped on police personnel. On that day, three separate cases were filed with Narsingdi Sadar police station. Police also submitted chargesheets against 73 BNP leaders and activists. l

Drug peddler held with 1,400 Yaba tablets

Correspondent, n Our Cox’s Bazar Detective Branch (DB) police have detained a bulletwounded drug peddler with 1,400 pieces of Yaba tablets in Utoron Housing area on Bypass road in Cox’s Bazar early yesterday. The detainee is Mohammad Aiyub, 25, son of Baita Rashed of Naitongpara area under Teknaf municipal area. Acting on a tip off, a team of DB police raided an area adjacent to Utoron Housing area. Sensing our presence, Yaba traders fired bullets targeting the police around 3:30am. He said: “In retaliation, DB police fired back.” Later, Aiyub was detained. l

dom fighters with whom they fought. The minister said all this while inaugurating the Kushtia District Freedom Fighters Building in the morning. Mozammel Huq continued that the AL government has increased the monthly allowance for the freedom fighters and it is also building complexes for the freedom fighters in each upazila, the use of which will allow them to be able to manage their own cost. Mausoleums will be built on the mass graveyards of the country so that the next generation can know of the atrocities of the occupational Pakistani army during the war, Mozammel stated. Afterwards, the minister visited the homestead of prominent litterateurs Mir Mosharraf Hossain and Shilaidah Kutibari. l

A school boy has been burned to death and four others sustained burn injuries in a fire at Hatbari village under Madarganj upazila in Jamalpur early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Lanzu, 13, a class III student of Abul Hossain Primary School. Madarganj police station Officer-in-Charge Abdul Aiyub said: “Fire originated from cattle house and soon engulfed nearby house.” “Lanzu was burned to death as he was in the house when the fire broke out,” he said. Meanwhile, Lanzu’s elder brothers Shorif, 18, and Arif, 15, his younger sister Shorifa, 9, and his paternal aunty Hazera, 45, sustained burn injuries while trying to douse the blaze. They injured have been admitted to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital. Later, firefighters went to the spot and douse the blaze. However, six houses, three cattle along with the cattle house, 50 to 60 domestic animal were burned in the fire. – Our Correspondent

Abductor throws acid at Jhenaidah Imam An alleged abductor has thrown acid on an Imam of a local mosque for “for helping to free an abducted girl” at Korapara village under Jhenaidah Sadar upazila yesterday afternoon. The injured Imam Masum Hossain, 27, has been admitted at Jhenaidah Sadar Hospital immediately after the incident. Witnesses said one Shamim threw acid on Masum while the Imam was coming out of the mosque around 2pm. Police said Shamim has given a confessional statement in primary interrogation and explained the police the reason behind the attack. Police said Shamim abducted a girl a few days back. Masum helped the guardians of the abducted girl to rescue her from the clutch. Later, Masum helped the relatives of the girl to get her married to another person,” he added. – Our Correspondent




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guarding our environment


Strict implementation of the law is required

Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. Albert Einstein

German physicist 1879-1955




n Abdullah Al Arif

ith the rapid growth of industrialisation and urbanisation, our environment is on the brink of destruction due to serious pollution in the air, water and soil. The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 was enacted to provide for conservation of the environment, improvement of environmental standards, and control and mitigation of environmental pollution. The Environment Conservation Rules, 1997 which was made under the Act, provides the modalities of implementation of the law.

What is conservation of environment?

According to the law, the word “environment” means the inter-relationship existing between water, air, soil and physical property and their relationship with human beings, other animals, plants and micro-organisms. And, “conservation of environment” means improvement of the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of different components of environment as well as prevention of degradation of those components.

Department of Environment (DoE)

The government, for carrying out the purposes of this Act, established a department to be called the department of environment (DoE) which is headed by a director general (DG). The powers and functions of the DG is very extensive. The DG may take such measures as he considers necessary and expedient for the conservation of the environment, and improvement of environmental standards, and for the control and mitigation of environmental pollution. He may also issue necessary directions in writing to any person for the discharge of his duties under this Act.

Declaration of ecologically critical area

If the government is satisfied that an area is in an environmentally critical situation or is threatened to be in such situation, the government may declare such area as an ecologically critical area and specify the activities or processes that cannot be initiated or continued in an ecologically critical area. The government shall take the following factors into consideration while declaring any area as ecologically critical area: (a) human habitat (b) ancient monument (c) archeological site (d) forest sanctuary (e) national park (f)

game reserve (g) wild animals habitat (h) wetland (i) mangrove (j) forest area (k) bio-diversity of the relevant area and (l) other relevant factors.

Restrictions regarding vehicles emitting smoke injurious to environment

A vehicle emitting smoke or gas injurious to health or environment shall not be operated nor shall such vehicles be switched on except for the purpose of test-operation for stopping the emission of such smoke or gas. The owner of a vehicle using petrol, diesel and gas as fuel shall, before registration of the vehicle or renewal of its fitness certificate under the Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1983 ensure that a catalytic converter or a diesel particulate filter is fitted in the vehicle. If a vehicle is not fitted with the apparatus mentioned above, the vehicle shall be deemed to be a vehicle emitting smoke harmful to the environment or injurious to health. To implement the law, the DG or any person authorised by him may test any vehicle at any place or may stop a vehicle in motion for testing, and instantly test it or detain it for necessary period or may, if any vehicle violates this provision, seize it and other related documents, or may give necessary direction for testing the vehicle.

Restrictions on manufacture, sale of anything injurious to the environment

If the government is satisfied that all or any kind of polythene shopping bag, or any other article made of polyethylene or polypropylene, or any other article is injurious to the environment, the government may issue a direction imposing absolute ban on the manufacture, import, marketing, sale, demonstration for sale, stock, distribution, commercial carriage or commercial use, or allow the operation or management of such activities under conditions specified in the notification, and every person shall be bound to comply with such direction.

Discharge of excessive environmental pollutant

According to the law, where, due to an accident or other unforeseen incident, the discharge of any environmental pollutant occurs or is likely to occur in excess of the limit prescribed by the rules, the person responsible and the person in charge of the place of occurrence shall take measures to control or mitigate the environmental pollution.

Moreover, the expenses incurred with respect to remedial measures to control and mitigate the environmental pollution under this provision shall be payable to the DG and may be realised from the persons responsible for the pollution as public demand.

Environment clearance certificate

No industrial unit or project shall be established or undertaken without obtaining an environmental clearance certificate from the DG. For the purpose of issuance of environmental clearance certificate, the industrial units and projects, in consideration of their site and impact on the environment, are classified into the following four categories: Green (very low risk), Orange - A (low risk), Orange – B (medium risk) and Red (high risk). For all red category industrial units, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report has to be submitted to get the environment clearance certificate. The period of validity of an environmental clearance certificate shall be, in case of green category, three years from the date of its issuance and in other cases one year.

Offences and punishments

Violation of a provision of the law or for non-compliance of a direction of the DG of DoE or a person authorised by him in discharging his duties or intentionally delaying the discharge of such duty result in serious consequences. For example, if any person violates the provision of the Act by continuing activities or processes, or by initiating activities or processes, prohibited under the law in an area declared as an ecologically critical area shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or fine not exceeding Tk1,000,000 or both.


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Consult Your Counsel

Offences committed by companies

If a company violates any provision of this Act or fails to perform its duties in accordance with a notice issued under this Act, the owner, director, manager, secretary or any other officer or agent of the company, shall be deemed to have violated such provision or have failed to perform the duties in accordance with the notice. However, if any such person proves that the violation or failure was beyond his knowledge or that he exercised due diligence to prevent such violation or failure, shall not be liable for the violation. l

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Combating domestic emotional abuse of children n Mirza Farzana Iqbal Chowdhury


hild abuse has become a household issue nowadays. However, when speaking of child abuse, mostly physical abuse or sexual abuse is addressed as it is quite easy to identify these abuses by medical examinations. Emotional abuse, which has profound effect on the overall development of the children, remains in the dark because it is not easily identifiable. Effects of emotional abuse on children include short-term and long-term consequences, eg frustration, suicidal tendency, low self-esteem, problems in socialisation, drug addiction, sexual crime and tendency to be engaged in crimes against the society. In various national and international commitments, Bangladesh is one of the resolute countries for establishing children’s rights. However, out of the issues relating to child abuse, “domestic emotional abuse” gets negligible attention by the government and non-government stakeholders in Bangladesh. How do we expect people in Bangladesh to be active to prevent such abuse when they are not even aware of this abuse and its negative impact? As the word “domestic” is included with the term “emotional abuse,” governments try to avoid its responsibility in the name of privacy of people. And, people try to take the control of the topic by defining their power in domestic matters. However, can any matter related to child abuse come under privacy issue? Children are the most vulnerable human beings who need special care from the family, society and the country for their full and uninterrupted development. In our patriarchal society, the father is the head of the family who expects other family members to abide by him including the children. Excessive domination by any member of the family may hurt the sensitivity of the children. It should be kept in mind that children are not like grownup people; each of them is gifted with his or her own traits which should be allowed to develop by cautious upbringing and not by domination. Furthermore, gender discrimination may add fuel to make this situation worse.

Out of the issues relating to child abuse, ‘domestic emotional abuse’ gets negligible attention by the government and non-government stakeholders in Bangladesh Very often, parents, siblings or caretakers abuse children emotionally in various ways without knowing the nature of their act, such as, belittling, false promises, false accusation, nagging, isolating, finding faults in every act, threatening to desert them or threatening to deprive them from inheritance, threatening to hurt physically, not showing love or sympathy, neglecting their feelings, etc. These actions are often done in very casual ways, but effects of these can persist lifelong. A case-study may help us understand the issue. Amina, a 27 year old lady, was a liberal-minded girl child in her very conservative Muslim family. She was meritorious and dynamic in nature. Her family tried to bring her up in their own ways; she tried but could not cope with their lifestyle. Eventually, her family started noncooperation with her by giving false accusation of being immoral, misinterpreting her approach, intimidating her by threatening to give complaints to her academic teachers, misbehaving with her friends at home, etc. At those times, what could she do except cry alone? She started to detach herself from the society and got afraid to maintain friendship. She tried to commit suicide but was saved by her parents who afterwards told her that they saved her because of the fear of being stigmatised by the society. Her heart broke again thinking that her parents did not love her, she was only an object of their social status. She was growing up with all these mental tortures and pressures induced by her family.


Amina, a grown-up lady now and a working mother, still faces inferiority complex, frustration and weeping tendency. There are many children in Bangladesh who do not possess the same inner strength and merit like Amina to face such family-odds. These children should be protected by their own family, society and country from any kind of abuse and the perpetrators, whether they are outsiders or

family members, should be punished by way of warning and other harsh punishments in case of repetition of the abuse. Bangladesh government tried to include this matter in the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2010. The Act defines psychological abuse as (i) verbal abuse including insults, ridicule, humiliation, insults or threats of any nature (ii) harassment (iii) controlling behaviour such as restrictions on mobility, communication or self-expression and any other behaviour of like nature. However, though the Act adopted a good definition of emotional abuse, it did not include the community participation in addressing the issue and left the issue to be dealt with by the conventional law enforcement agencies. In a country like Bangladesh, where corruption is ubiquitous, the delicate issue of child protection should not be kept only in the hands of the law enforcement agencies, rather it should embraced by family members, community members, non-governmental organisations, educational institutions and other related stakeholders. Development of children not only means physical growth, but it also means balancing emotional health and with the help of sound physical and mental health, development of full potentialities of children. Thus, ensuring development of children does not allow us to neglect the silent domestic emotional abuse issue, rather it calls for more attention than what it gets. In this backdrop, campaigning through media will be fruitful to raise awareness among guardians and community people regarding proper treatment of children. A childfriendly law addressing all scrupulous behaviours and actions against children should come forward. And then only, can we expect the nation to be driven towards a better future by more confident and more sustainably developed leaders as we all know that today’s children are the future driving force of the nation. Mirza Farzana Iqbal Chowdhury is a Lecturer, Department of Law, Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rivals flex muscles on streets of east Ukraine n AFP, Slavyansk Ukrainian and pro–Russian forces flexed their military muscles in the restive east of the country yesterday, a day ahead of high–level diplomatic talks on the escalating crisis. Armoured vehicles from the rival sides appeared on the streets of two neighbouring towns after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Kiev’s decision to send in troops to put down a separatist uprising in its industrial heartland had dragged the country to the brink of civil war. Nato said it planned to deploy more forces in eastern Ukraine in the face of the crisis, while Germany warned of more bloodshed if the four–way talks in Geneva on Thursday fail. An AFP reporter in the flashpoint town of Slavyansk saw at least six APCs and light tanks, some flying Russian flags, parked in the city centre with dozens of unidentified armed men in camouflage stationed around them. Russian media said Ukrainian troops in the vehicles had switched sides to join the separatists but the Ukrainian army told AFP that it had no reports that any of its equipment had been seized. An AFP reporter in the nearby town of Kramatorsk also said Ukrainian forces had deployed a column of 14 armoured vehicles, although these were being blocked by a crowd of pro–Russian protesters. Military jets could be seen flying low over both towns in an additional show of strength. As the situation on the ground appeared to escalate, the authorities in Kiev ratcheted up the verbal attack on Russia, with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accusing Moscow of trying to build “a new Berlin wall.” Yatsenyuk demanded Moscow halt its alleged support for the separatists but said Kiev remained committed to

Thursday’s crunch talks between the top diplomats of Russia, the European Union, the United States and Ukraine. “There is only one directive for the Ukrainian foreign ministry – the Russian government has to immediately withdraw its commando groups, condemn the terrorists and demand they leave the installations,” he said. Ukraine’s acting Defence Minister Mykhailo Koval yesterday headed out to the east to check on the progress of Kiev’s seemingly stalled bid to oust the separatists. Ukraine’s military also pledged a firm response after two serviceman were allegedly taken hostage by pro–Russian forces in the Lugansk region. The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said in a statement that Russian commanders in the east had issued pro–Kremlin militants with “shoot–to– kill” orders. Elsewhere, pro–Moscow gunmen stormed the mayor’s office in the regional capital of Donetsk, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

‘Sharp escalation’

On Tuesday, authorities in Kiev launched what they called an “anti– terrorist operation,” sending tanks towards Slavyansk – which remains effectively under the control of pro– Russian gunmen – in a high–risk strategy sharply condemned by the Kremlin but supported in Washington. The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers sent to Slavyansk were the most forceful response yet by the Western–backed government in Kiev to the pro–Kremlin militants’ occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine’s rust belt. But the move drew a sharp response from Putin. “The Russian president remarked that the sharp escalation of the conflict has placed the country, in effect, on the verge of civil war,” the Kremlin said in a statement. l

Russia mulls lawsuit against US in WTO over sanctions n Reuters, Moscow

Men wearing military fatigues ride on armoured personnel carriers in Kramatorsk. Russian leader Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war after the Kiev government sent in troops against pro–Moscow separatists in the east of the country AFP

Factbox: Ukraine’s eastern hot spots n AFP, Kiev

Ukraine’s heavily Russified southeast has been the scene of a string of uprisings and attacks by pro–Russian armed groups since April 6.


In Donetsk, a city of one million inhabitants and the secessionist hotspot, demonstrators stormed the government building on April 6, and are still holed up there. On April 7 they proclaimed the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and vowed to hold a referendum on joining Russia. Yesterday, they entered the mayor’s office in the city centre.


In the run–down industrial town of Slavyansk (100 kilometres, 60 miles north of Donetsk), pro–Russian gunmen dressed in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas took over the police

Palestinians injured in Al–Aqsa clashes

In this photo dated February 7, Israeli riot police stand outside the Dome of the Rock mosque during clashes with Palestinian stone–throwers (unseen) at Jerusalem’s al–Aqsa mosque compound AFP

n AFP, Jerusalem Dozens of Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli police that erupted yesterday when Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al–Aqsa mosque compound was opened to Jewish visitors. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Palestinians threw “stones and firecrackers” at police

when they opened the walled compound’s gates. Police responded with stun grenades, Rosenfeld said, and closed the complex to the Jewish visitors after a small number had toured the site. An AFP correspondent at the scene said dozens of Palestinians were wounded by rubber–coated bullets and stun grenade canisters, and were

staying inside the Al–Aqsa mosque out of fear they would be arrested when leaving. The compound, in Jerusalem’s Old City, is revered as the location of the biblical Jewish temples and is considered Judaism’s holiest place. It also houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al–Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Rosenfeld said the situation on “Temple Mount,” the Jewish term for the complex, was “calm again” and police had left the site. He noted that in a separate incident elsewhere in Jerusalem’s Old City a police officer was lightly wounded by stones thrown by Palestinians. Non–Muslim visits to the Al–Aqsa complex are permitted and regulated by police, but Jews are not allowed to pray at the site. Jews are marking Passover, a seven–day holiday which in ancient times was marked by mass pilgrimage to the Temple Mount. On Monday, police arrested five Jews suspected of intending to sacrifice a goat at the Al–Aqsa mosque complex, in a bid to reenact an ancient Passover ritual. Jewish fringe groups have vowed to build a third Temple, but Israeli political and religious authorities have repeatedly dismissed the idea. l

station and local security services building on Saturday. On Tuesday, authorities in Kiev launched an “anti– terrorist” operation to oust the separatists, sending some 20 tanks towards the town of some 100,000. Yesterday, six armoured vehicles and light tanks displaying Russian flags appeared on the streets of Slavyansk.


On Saturday, in neighbouring Kramatorsk (70 kilometres, 45 miles north of Donetsk), masked and uniformed gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs attacked the police and municipal headquarters. On Tuesday, Kiev helicoptered in reinforcements to a key airbase on the outskirts of the town and tightened its controls over the installation. Yesterday, 14 Ukrainian armoured vehicles and tanks entered the centre of Kramatorsk after pro–Russian gunmen vacated the police station.

Israel, Palestinian peace meet postponed after killing n AFP, Jerusalem A meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators scheduled for yesterday has been postponed, an official said, after a fatal shooting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed on Palestinian leaders. “The meeting that was planned for tonight between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will not be taking place. It’s being postponed,” the Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The official declined to explain the decision, but said Monday’s killing of an Israeli police officer in the West Bank “was the direct result of ongoing incitement and glorification of terrorism that we see in the official Palestinian media and education system.” On Monday evening 47–year–old Baruch Mizrahi, a high–ranking officer in the intelligence division, was shot dead in Idhna, a village outside Hebron. The talks hit an impasse two weeks ago when Israel refused to release as agreed a group of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians retaliated by seeking accession to several international treaties. l


In Lugansk, an industrial city of 400,000 people, armed pro–Russian militants forced their way into and occupied a building belonging to Ukraine’s SBU security services on April 6. They demanded that separatist leaders arrested days earlier be released. Yesterday, Kiev’s defence ministry pledged a firm response after two Ukrainian servicemen were allegedly taken hostage by pro–Russian forces near Lugansk.


In the main eastern city, which has 1.5 million inhabitants, clashes erupted on April 6 between more than 2,000 pro–Russian protesters who took over the offices of the regional governor and nationalists loyal to Kiev. A day later they were made to leave the building. Three days of riots followed. On Sunday, demonstrations unsuccessfully tried to enter the town administration headquarters. l

Nasa images suggest that Saturn is about to ‘give birth’ to a new moon n Agencies New images from Nasa’s Cassini–Huygens space probe suggest that Saturn may be in the process of forming a new moon, which has already been affectionately named by scientists as “Peggy,” The Independent reported. The tiny, icy satellite has not been spotted directly, but a bulge in Saturn’s A Ring — the brightest and outermost ring — suggests that the new arrival could soon join Saturn’s already impressive family of 62 moons. “We have not seen anything like this before,” said astronomer Carl Murray, lead author of a study in Icarus which outlined the findings and the discoverer of the moon. “We may be looking at the act of birth, where this object is leaving the rings and heading off to be a moon in its own right.” Saturn’s rings are comprised almost entirely of ice with a trace amount of rocky material and stretch from 7,000km to 80,000km above the surface of Saturn’s equator with a thickness varying from 10 metres to 1 kilometre. The rings are not solid, but are made up of countless individual fragments ranging

Egypt clamps hold over mosques to control message n AP, Cairo

In his weekly sermon, Muslim cleric Ali Abdel–Moati preached to his congregation in a southern Egyptian city about the evils of making hasty judgments. That prompted a complaint to authorities from a judge, who accused him of criticizing a recent mass death sentence issued against supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Days later, Abdel–Moati was suspended from the mosque in Assiut, replaced by a new preacher, and put under investigation by the Religious Endowments Ministry. Egyptian authorities are tightening control on mosques around the country, purging preachers and seeking to control the message, as the military– backed government cracks down on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood following his ouster last summer. Some 12,000 freelance preachers have been barred from delivering sermons. The Religious Endowments Ministry, or Awqaf in Arabic, now sets strict guidelines for sermons, and anyone who strays from them in Egypt’s more than 100,000 mosques risks removal.

In this April 11 file photo, Egyptian worshippers enter Amr ibn al–Aas Mosque for Friday prayers, in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian authorities are tightening control on mosques around the country, filtering out preachers and seeking to control the message, as the military–backed government cracks down on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood following his ouster last summer AP

Russia is looking at the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the United States in the World Trade Organisation over sanctions hitting Russian banks, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said yesterday, according to Russian news agencies. St Petersburg–based Bank Rossiya was sanctioned alongside its chairman and largest shareholder Yuri Kovalchuk in March as part of punitive measures by Washington over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Russian bank SMP was also indirectly affected as co–owners Boris Rotenberg and his older brother Arkady fell under US sanctions. SMP chief executive Dmitry Kalantyrsky has said that an estimated 9 billion rubles ($249 million) had been withdrawn after the sanctions were imposed. “The WTO gives us some additional possibilities,” Ulyukayev was quoted by Interfax as saying on Wednesday. “We at the WTO council in Geneva talked about the possibility of filing lawsuits against the US over the sanctions against Russian banks and we hope to use the mechanism of the WTO to keep our partners in check regarding this issue.” In an April 9 bulletin on its website detailing a meeting regarding the council for trade in goods, the WTO said that Russia had expressed concern about a recent Executive Order signed by US President Barack Obama regarding “listed persons of Russian Federation whose bank accounts were blocked.” Russia was “closely monitoring the effect of this measure on Russian operators and on the potential violation of WTO Agreements” and “urged other members not to be drawn to political motivations when it comes to trade,” the WTO statement said. l

The aim, officials say, is to prevent mosques from spreading extremism and becoming a platform for political groups, after widespread criticism that the Brotherhood and its more ultraconservative allies used them to build support, recruit new followers and sway voters. During elections the past three years, Islamist clerics would often tout a vote in the Brotherhood’s favor as a vote for Islam or supported by God. But the result is silencing any sort of critical voice and making the minbar — the name for the pulpit in a mosque — apolitical, bringing no potential challenge to authorities and delivering a single shade of Islam to the public. It is not clear if the government will have the ability to completely control the vast number of mosques, given the state’s sometimes limited reach. Still, moves of the new Awqaf minister, Mohammed Mokhtar Gomaa, have been sweeping. In his first decision, he revoked the licenses of all clerics and preachers and forced them to apply for new ones, giving the ministry the chance to vet them. He also issued a ban on holding Friday prayers at thousands of small, unregulated mosques. l

in size from particles as small as a grain of sand to boulder–like lumps metres across. It’s thought that the rings act as a galactic nursery for the planet’s many moons, with material gradually clumping together in orbit until it gathers enough momentum to separate. “The theory holds that Saturn long ago had a much more massive ring system capable of giving birth to larger moons,” Murray said. “As the moons formed near the edge, they depleted the rings and evolved, so the ones that formed earliest are the largest and the farthest out.” The largest of Saturn’s moons is Titan with a diameter of more than 5,000km and a mass nearly double that of our Moon. If Peggy does eventually grow up enough to leave home it would be tiny in comparison, perhaps only 0.5 miles in diameter. Although many of Saturn’s satellites eventually take on orbits many thousands of miles away from the planet, others stay closer to home, sculpting the rings by either collecting stray matter to sharpen their edges or carving out thin gaps like someone a giant snowball rolled through a snowy field. l

Zarif not worried about pushback on nuclear deal n Reuters, Abu Dhabi Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he does not fear opposition from hardliners as he leads negotiations to reach a comprehensive agreement about Iran’s nuclear program with world powers by the end of July. “I am optimistic” that a deal will be reached in three months, he told Reuters in Abu Dhabi. “There is the political will to get an answer.” Iran and six world powers – the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China– struck an interim deal in November under which Tehran agreed to limit parts of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some sanctions imposed on Iran for its disputed atomic program. They have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long– term deal that would lead to a gradual lifting of all nuclear–related sanctions. Iranian hardliners, unsettled by the shift to a more moderate foreign policy since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August, have repeatedly criticised the agreement. l




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Four dead, 291 missing in S Korea ferry sinking n AFP, Jindo South Korean rescuers, including elite navy SEAL divers, worked frantically under floodlights yesterday to find nearly 300 people missing after a ferry sank with 459 on board, mostly high school students bound for a holiday island. Lee Gyeong–Og, the vice minister of security and public administration, said 164 people had been rescued, leaving 291 “unaccounted for.” There were four confirmed deaths, including a female crew member and a student. There are fears the confirmed death toll could rise sharply. The 6,825–tonne Sewol listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9:00am (0000 GMT). “I’m afraid there’s little chance for those trapped inside still to be alive,” one senior rescue team official, Cho Yang–Bok, told YTN television as teams of divers struggled to access the submerged, multi–storey ferry. Dramatic television footage showed terrified passengers wearing life jackets clambering into inflatable boats as water lapped over the rails of the vessel as it sank 20 kilometres (13 miles) off the southern island of Byungpoong. Some could be seen sliding down the steeply inclined side of the ferry and into the water, as rescuers, including the crew of what appeared to be a small fishing boat, pulled them to safety. As night fell the coastguard said the rescue operation was continuing using floodlights and underwater flares. Several rescued passengers said they had initially been ordered to stay in their seats, but then the ferry suddenly listed to one side, triggering panic.

Told ‘not to move’

“The crew kept telling us not to move,” one male survivor told the YTN news channel. “Then it suddenly shifted over and

people slid to one side and it became very difficult to get out,” he added. Lee’s ministry earlier announced that 368 people had been rescued – a mistake it attributed to conflicting information from multiple sources. Of the 429 passengers on board the ferry bound for the popular southern resort island of Jeju, more than 300 were students travelling with 14 teachers from a high school in Ansan just south of Seoul. Among those confirmed as rescued, 78 were students. “I feel so pained to see students on a school trip... face such a tragic accident. I want you to pour all your energy into this mission,” President Park Geun–Hye said on a visit to the main disaster agency situation room in Seoul. Many of the survivors were plucked from the water by fishing and other commercial vessels who were first on the scene before a flotilla of coastguard and navy ships arrived, backed by more than a dozen helicopters. Lee said 178 divers, including a team of South Korean navy SEALS, were working at the site, but low visibility and strong currents were hampering their efforts. The US 7th Fleet sent an amphibious assault ship on patrol in the area to help. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, although rescued passengers reported the ferry coming to a sudden, shuddering halt – indicating it may have run aground. The weather was described as fine with moderate winds and sea swell. One local official, who had taken a boat to the site and arrived an hour after the distress signal was sent, said he was “very concerned” about those still missing. “The ship was already almost totally submerged when I got there. A lot of people must have been trapped,” the official, who declined to be identified, told AFP by phone. l

This photo taken at sea some 20 kilometres off the island of Byungpoong in Jindo on April 16 shows coast guard members searching for passengers near a South Korean ferry (C) that capsized on its way to Jeju island from Incheon. South Korean rescue teams, including elite navy SEAL divers, raced yesterday to find up to 293 people missing from the capsized ferry carrying a total of 459 passengers and crew, mostly high school students bound for a holiday island AFP

Factbox: Major ferry accidents worldwide n AFP, Paris

Islander ferry sinks between two Zanzibar islands. Another 619 people are rescued.

July 18, 2012: Tanzania

January 11, 2009: Indonesia

A total of 1,028 people die when the ferry al–Salam 98 catches fire and sinks in the Red Sea.

A total of 144 are killed or go missing when a ferry sinks off the semi–autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.

At least 235 people are killed when a ferry goes down during a storm off the island of Sulawesi.

July 7, 2005: Indonesia

Two are confirmed dead and 293 missing after a ferry capsizes as it heads to a holiday island in South Korea carrying mostly high school students.

April 30, 2012: India

More than 800 people die when the MV Princess of the Stars sinks off Sibuyan island during Typhoon Fengshen.

August 21, 2013: Philippines

September 10, 2011: Tanzania

At least 71 are killed and 49 go missing

More than 200 are killed when the Spicy

The sinking of a South Korean ferry yesterday with 477 people on board is the latest in a series of such accidents. Here is a round– up covering the past 10 years:

April 16, 2014: South Korea

A total of 203 are killed or go missing when a ferry sinks in the Brahmaputra river during a storm in the northeastern Assam state.

June 21, 2008: Philippines

December 30, 2006: Indonesia More than 400 people are killed when the Senopati Nusantara ferry sinks off Java coast.

Uncharted depths provide reality check for MH370 hunt

S Korea, Japan hold rare ‘comfort women’ talks



AFP, Kuala Lumpur

Hopes that Malaysia’s missing jet might soon be found are yielding to the sobering realisation of the immense challenge of searching an uncharted seafloor at depths that push deep–sea technology to its limits. “I have compared it to sending a man to the moon. We know how to do it, but we can’t just do it in three weeks,” said Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer at the University of New South Wales. Twice in two days, an advanced US Navy mini–submarine has had to abort its search of the remote Indian Ocean for wreckage from the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8. The unmanned Bluefin–21 bounced back to the surface on Tuesday after hitting its maximum depth of 4,500 metres (15,000 feet), and Wednesday’s search was cut short due to technical trouble. The hitches have raised the spectre of a prolonged, difficult search that

may require even more sophisticated equipment to be deployed. For nearly a month, the search effort has focused on a vast and lonely stretch of ocean where the Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to have crashed after inexplicably veering far from its Kuala Lumpur–Beijing flight path. Underwater signals detected in the last eleven days – thought to be from the plane’s “black box” – raised hopes that wreckage could soon be found. But these beacons, with a normal lifespan of around 30 days, have since gone silent – forcing investigators to look below the surface in a targeted area encompassing 40 square kilometres. “It has not been mapped – in fact most of the deep ocean has not been mapped,” Charitha Pattiaratchi, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, said of the search area. Authorities may need to take a step back and begin seafloor mapping by ships at the surface to get an idea of the

environment below, said Ian Wright, director of science and technology at Britain’s National Oceanography Centre. “It would give you an idea, for instance, of which areas were hard substrate, volcanic ridges, faults, those sorts of things,” Wright said. Afterwards, submersibles could be sent down for a closer inspection of more defined areas. There is a gathering sense that the Bluefin–21 might not be up to the enormous task of searching a large undersea expanse at depths more than 2,000 feet lower than where the Titanic came to rest. Angus Houston, the Australian head of the search operation, acknowledged Monday that “much larger,” and deeper–diving, equipment may be needed. “They are being looked at as we speak,” he said, adding that partners in the international search will need to discuss “who has the capabilities to do this work” at such depths. l

AFP, Tokyo

South Korea and Japan held rare high– level talks yesterday on the extremely sensitive issue of wartime sex slavery, which has contributed to a virtual freeze in diplomatic ties. Kyodo News cited an unnamed government official as saying the Japanese side would indicate Tokyo is mulling an official apology and money for the so–called “comfort women” forced to work in military brothels. Seoul said the meeting between Junichi Ihara, head of the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asia and Oceania affairs bureau, and Lee Sang–Deok, South Korea’s director–general for Northeast Asian Affairs, marked the first time high–level officials had discussed the comfort woman issue in isolation. Briefing domestic reporters after the talks, a South Korean official would only reveal that both sides had laid out their respective stances and agreed to meet again soon.

“They shared the opinion that this issue should be settled speedily in order to remove obstacles in South Korea–Japan relations,” Yonhap news agency quoted the official as saying. Relations between Tokyo and Seoul are at their lowest ebb in years, mired in emotive disputes linked to Japan’s 1910–45 colonial rule over the peninsula. But as President Barack Obama heads to both Japan and South Korea next week there is renewed impetus for the two key US allies to heal their fractured relationship, despite domestic pressures on both sides not to bend. The comfort women issue has deeply divided the neighbours – frustrating Washington at a time of growing regional instability, with China’s military build–up snowballing and North Korea warning that it may carry out another nuclear test. Japan has long maintained that all issues relating to the colonial period were settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalised diplomatic ties with South Korea. l

Surge in voter turnout in Indian polls n AFP, New Delhi Turnout in India’s multi–phase election is so far almost eight percentage points higher than last time, data showed yesterday, reflecting enthusiasm for polls expected to bring the opposition Hindu nationalists to power. Polling in five of the ten phases has been completed, with the biggest day of voting set for Thursday. The last ballots will be cast on May 12 and final counting is scheduled for May 16. “The aggregation of figures from these 111 seats gives a 2014 polling percentage of 68.29, almost 8.0 percentage points higher from 60.39% for the same seats in 2009,” Akshay Rout, director general of the national election commission, told reporters. The number of ballots cast in these seats has increased by 28.8% between 2009 and 2014. The electoral rolls have swelled by 100 million since 2009 due to India’s growing population. Officials attributed the significant

surge in voter turnout to a variety of factors, including increased awareness about the election. “One reason could be a significant increase in polling hours, which are almost 11 hours at several places. Besides, we have also carried out massive publicity and awareness campaign, particularly targeting the youth across the country,” Rout said. Another reason could be an increase in the number of women voters and strong anti–incumbency sentiment in the country, which returned the Congress party to power in 2009 for a second term. Most opinion polls in the last few months have predicted a rout for the left–leaning ruling alliance led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi. The polls predict that an alliance led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by hardliner Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, will form India’s next national government. A total of 814 million adults are eligible to vote in the ongoing elections. l

February 3, 2006: Egypt

when the St Thomas Aquinas ferry sinks after it collides with a cargo ship near Cebu.

Around 200 people, including children on a school holiday, go missing when a ferry sinks off the eastern province of Papua.

January 26, 2004: DRCongo Around 200 people go missing when a ferry sinks on the Congo river in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. l

Female Afghan MP shot in Kabul n AFP, Kabul A female member of Afghanistan’s parliament was recovering in hospital yesterday after being shot the previous night, officials and her sister said. The interior ministry said Mariam Koofi, a member of parliament from the northeastern province of Takhar, was shot in Kabul by a member of the security forces following an argument. It said police have detained a suspect and are investigating the motive behind the attack. But her sister Fawzia Koofi, who is also a member of parliament and a prominent defender of women’s rights, said she was not certain who the attacker was. “I am not sure who may have been behind this attack, and I hope the interior ministry takes serious actions to punish the attacker,” she said, adding shots were fired at her sister’s car, hitting her in the leg once and her bodyguard twice. Afghanistan’s parliament reserves just over a quarter of its seats for women, who are active participants particularly on rights issues. l

Bollywood urges voters to shun BJP n AFP, Mumbai

Indian supporters of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani chant pro–freedom slogans as he arrives in Srinagar from New Delhi on April 16, 2014. Geelani renewed a call to boycott the ongoing national election. Indians began voting in the world’s biggest election on April 7 and today marks the start of the fifth phase of the mammoth election AFP

More than 50 Bollywood filmmakers, actors and writers yesterday urged Indians not to vote for the party of Hindu nationalist hardliner Narendra Modi in the ongoing general election. The group signed an appeal calling on Indians to choose a “secular” party, without naming Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Critics fear the BJP could stoke religious tensions if it comes to power. The letter, endorsed by directors Imtiaz Ali, Mahesh Bhatt and Zoya Akhtar, actress Nandita Das and singer Shubha Mudgal, comes as the BJP is tipped to win the biggest share of votes in the election, with Modi becoming the next prime minister. “The best thing about our country is its cultural diversity, its pluralism – the co–existence of a number of religions and ethnicities over centuries,” the letter said. “And, this has been possible only because Indian society has prided itself on being essentially secular in character, rejecting communal hatred, embracing tolerance.” l




Letters to

Progress needed on water sharing

A fair resolution must be reached for the sake of Bangladeshi farmers

BTRC must not let off defaulters


n the last six months, nine international gateway operators have gone out of service without paying dues owing to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Under existing rules, the IGWs are required to share 51.75% of their revenues from incoming international calls with the government. It is reported that these nine recently closed operators alone have failed to share revenues worth in excess of Tk600 crore. It is good news then that the BTRC is acting in response to concerns expressed by the government and changing the system to make it more difficult for the IGWs to default. It is introducing a prepaid system which will require operators to pay an advance deposit against calls at a rate of Tk10 crore pre-paid balance per 1 million call minutes a day. However, the BTRC still badly needs to tighten up its procedures for administering and collecting revenues. The previous post-paid system included an element of bank guarantees which were allowed to be exceeded. The building up of such large sums owing to the government by operators was then in part due to poor administration of the previous system, and not just weaknesses in the system itself. The BTRC must improve its monitoring to prevent such maladministration. It must also bring appropriate legal action to ensure that sums owing from defaulting operators are duly received, so such defaults do not happen again.

the Editor


If the house could speak April 9


armers in northern Bangladesh are struggling with water rationing and increased irrigation costs as a result of historically low inflows of river water, brought about by India holding back an unprecedentedly high amount of water on the Teesta basin. This makes it more urgent than ever to ensure swift progress on water-sharing talks with India. Our boro paddy farmers are being forced to resort to outrageously expensive means of irrigation. Getting underground water using shallow pumps is 12 times more expensive that using the river water that Bangladesh would have gotten naturally had it not been for India’s barrage in West Bengal constructed almost four decades ago. There have been many stop start efforts over the years to resolve this issue. Political parties, including the CPB, have recently been conducting marches, and the BNP plans to hold one as well to highlight the need for these talks. With the Indian general election in progress, and various campaigning politicians articulating hostility towards the idea of a water-sharing treaty, the Bangladesh government must make sure that it keeps up sustained diplomatic pressure on India. A fair resolution to the matter must be reached for the sake of Bangladeshi farmers, and to protect the nation’s interests under international law. Bangladesh and India have a staggering 54 rivers in common. As such, our two nations have a practical need as well as a moral duty to resolve water-sharing issues for the greater good.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An awesome piece indeed on Moyez Manzil and its history! Thanks to the author and to DT for enlightening us on something very important, which many of us had very hazy knowledge about. WaliulHaqueKhondker

Setting the record straight April 8

Sam The author is using facts and clear-headed logic in trying to battle the mob mentality of those for whom none of those pesky things matter. Ronnie This is a simple, candid and compelling corrective to the forced conventional wisdom on this issue. It obviously won’t ever “set the record straight” for a lot of people. It is an extraneous fact that President Zia himself never personally claimed to be the first president, per se. Perhaps, he was too self-effacing on this issue. Tareque Rahman’s recent original comment , and Begum Zia reiterating the same a day later, are only a righteous plea to everybody to acknowledge President Zia’s rightful place in history, and the acceptance of their claim – however controversial and unsettling – that he should be regarded, for all intents and purposes, as the first president. As inconvenient and needless as it may seem, maybe a collectively dispassionate reevaluation of this fragment of our country’s history is ineluctable. Sam Ronnie: You’re asking for “dispassionate” under this one-party regime? You’re more of an optimist than I am. Ronnie Sam: Well, I’m thinking of the multitudes of our very politically-minded compatriots. Personally, I’m honestly not hugely exercised by this issue. Heaven knows that BNP has a ton of other higher priorities than have to deal with this predictable backlash. But since Tareque and the chairperson have raised it anew, with their recent comments, sending the entire ruling coterie into mass hysteria, I reckon a rigorous historical debate on it is not to be shoved aside. Let the chips fall where they may. :) Az Zia was “the most prominent military leader of Bangladesh’s war of independence”? You lost me right there. Why does the BNP feel it needs to fabricate history? The war belonged to the people, not to any of the privileged few, the Awami League or to the sector

commanders. In any case, why doesn’t the BNP rely on its record of economic achievements since the Zia presidency? I am surprised to see that the party is least bothered about highlighting its successes when in power, and more obsessed with distorting history. This will not get them anywhere. Ronnie Az: “Fabricate”? That’s just over-the-top. To glibly accuse BNP of “distorting” history is just disingenuous and pretty shallow. Besides, BNP has never claimed sole proprietorship of the sacrifices and plaudits for our war of independence. You surely know who is notorious for that self-glorification. I’ll readily agree with you that BNP should be strongly reminding and emphasising to the voting public its indisputably impressive economic record, especially during its first term in office – 1991-1996 – a period that I still consider the best-governed in Bangladesh’s democratic era. Az Ronnie: You lot are the ones being disingenuous. It is a complete fabrication to claim Zia as the paramount military leader of the war, as if General Osmani and all other sector commanders never existed. This is a shameful distortion of history. Plain and simple, people are sick and tired of this. One would have thought that the BNP might consider reinventing itself and cater to the new generation of Bangladesh, but alas, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman have proved again that partisanship rules their head as much as their rivals’ heads. Ronnie Az: No, I can speak for myself (the author merely offers a conjecture about then Major Zia’s seniority and prominence). I sure don’t go out of my way to toot horns about Ziaur Rahman being the “paramount,” peerless military leader in ‘71, at the expense of his other important, brave colleagues. Point is, Zia, the man, and his significant role in the liberation war has been (still is) trivialised and trashed. That distortion is the real, greater disgrace.

Unpatriotic for Bangladeshis to support Pakistani cricket team? April 9

Ahmed Asif One can support a team according to his own will, but the question is we fought to take down the Pakistani flag for the sovereignty of our country, so is it acceptable to wave the Pakistani flag once again??? Fahmida Rob Supporting a sports team and a country’s politics are two very different things. In the case of a ‘’democracy’’ such questions shouldn’t even arise. It is an individual’s choice to support whoever they want. Don’t host international events in the country if you’re going to implement such ridiculous jingoistic rules.

27kg gold recovered from a house

April 8 Are people not allowed to keep gold in their houses? Is there a limit as to how much gold can be stored in one’s house? DB

Imran about forming party: Time and people will say

April 8 Imran Sarker does not fit into Kejriwal’s boots. deep purple blue

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:


BTRC still needs to tighten up procedures for administering and collecting revenues



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Slight error (5) 6 Lubricant (3) 7 Dens (5) 10 Angry (5) 12 Welsh national emblem (4) 13 Ship of the desert (5) 15 Article (4) 16 Vestment (3) 18 Colour (3) 20 Meshed fabrics (4) 22 Undress (5) 23 Maori charm (4) 25 Farm birds (5) 27 Time in grammar (5) 28 Incision (3) 29 Locations (5)

DOWN 1 Tarry (6) 2 Melody (3) 3 Calm (6) 4 Component (7) 5 Land measure (3) 8 Unwell (3) 9 Vend (4) 11 Make lace (3) 14 Comes forth (7) 16 Way of viewing (6) 17 Headwear (6) 19 Way out (4) 21 Neckwear (3) 22 Wrongdoing (3) 24 Opener (3) 26 Prosecute (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.





Thursday, April 17, 2014

A life well lived n Ekram Kabir


Don’t doctors have a solemn duty?


Doctors do little


n Nausheen Khan istory tends to repeat itself. It is an expression we hear all the time. However, we fail to correct our mistakes from the past. Again, we have come across an undesirable and unacceptable situation in which citizens are being denied access to basic necessities such as urgent healthcare. Yesterday, the doctors of the Birdem hospital began an indefinite strike protesting an “assault on colleagues” by the relatives of a patient who died on Sunday night. The doctors have demanded judicial investigation into the incident, and punishment of the perpetrators. They have stated that they will continue the strike until the perpetrators have been brought to book, which, unfortunately for all of us civilians, is far from ideal, considering the less than dependable justice system we have in place in our country. This is not the first time that the Birdem doctors have gone on strike. In 2007, the Birdem doctors, including medical officers and consultants, enforced a strike on June 25 demanding regularisation of their service following issuance of a letter that said jobs of the doctors recruited on contract basis would not be renewed further. At that time, no surgery took place, and admission of the new patients in the in-patient department was stopped. With the current protest, we see the same dire consequences – they



have announced that the outdoor services are closed, and that the admission of new patients has been stopped. Additionally, although Birdem has claimed to continue its operations at the hospital’s emergency wing – which include the ICU and the CCU – patients and their relatives fear that the delivery of emergency services will be hampered like the last time, when, from morning till afternoon, only one doctor visited the CCU, where patients are supposed to stay under direct observation for 24 hours.

tients to pregnant women, no one was spared from the anguish. This is not simply about the physical strain that one has to go through in such times of crisis. There are also huge financial and time costs that are incurred as a result of the strikes and closures. Yesterday, Nazma Begum brought her husband, who was suffering from respiratory complications and back pain, all the way from Narayanganj. These two, like many others, are spending their hard-earned income on travel expenditures and may have

Doctors have a moral obligation to put the needs of the patients above everything else. This may require some compromises on their part

Now let us focus on the main problem here, which is that the civilians are bearing the brunt of these actions. Access to healthcare is at the cornerstone of any nation attempting to modernise and achieve progress. It is a basic necessity – a right that should not be denied. We have seen the suffering in 2007, and we see it again. In 2007, over 500 indoor patients were left almost unattended and uncared for – from elderly diabetic pa-


sacrificed one day’s work and wages to come to Birdem in the mere hopes of receiving some quality medical care, not to mention the hours that they must have spent travelling back and forth from their homes in Dhaka’s horrific traffic. In 2007, the issue was about job renewals, and it was between the Birdem staff, ie the contract basis doctors and the authorities (the board). So, it was a purely internal matter. This time, the


matter is between the doctors (service providers) and a patient’s family (service receiver). The doctors want to see justice as a result of an attack on them, whereas the attackers have claimed that the negligence of the doctors have resulted in the death of their relative. In any case, resorting to violence by attacking the doctors and vandalising property is not the correct response on the part of the relatives. Although both the circumstances are complex, it does not give the right to the doctors to punish the healthcare-seekers. Doctors and hospitals have a moral obligation to put the needs of the patients above everything else. This may require some compromises on their part, and they need to have the mental acceptance to make them. Hospitals must also have in place policies and due-process for such situations in order to minimise the sufferings of the patients and care-seekers. We need to stop making excuses for not being able to attend to the needs of the millions of vulnerable women, men, and children who deserve access to quality healthcare. We need to ask ourselves how much longer we are willing to wait till we can get the benefits from our greatest asset, ie our people. Building human capital is only possible with access to health and education. A healthy nation is the only way to achieve development, and we must not forget that. l Nausheen Khan is a democracy and human rights activist working in the development field.


is village home and his school were separated by Kushiara river. Geographically, the school was located in Balaganj and he lived in Maulvibazar. He and his mates had to cross the river everyday for their education. Crossing a river was a simple thing for the village boys. But one day, there wasn’t any boat, for whatever reason. The school-going bunch waited by the river, but no boatman was in sight. Many men and women had failed to go to their workplaces. He proposed to his friend to swim across and go to school. They had a test to appear for. His mates thought he was crazy, and they went back home. But he held them along in his left hand, and swam across the river using one hand, keeping his books afloat. He confidently reached school with his belongings. Many years later, when he was about 55, he told me this childhood story. I asked: “You didn’t have to do that. Your teachers would have understood.” “Come on, why should anything obstruct me from what I want to do?” Since the day he swam the river to attend school, this boy never compromised with any challenge that came along his way. Nothing could stop him from what he wanted to achieve in life. He lived in a time when everyone, after the HSC exam, wanted to go to London. His elder brother had gone there during the late 50s, and he consequently followed his brother. He started studying engineering and at the same time helped his brother in his restaurant. After the graduation, he got involved in the business full time. “I could never psychologically settle in that country. I always felt that I should be working in my own country. I was always looking for an opportunity to come back and build some business here,” he told me much later in his life.

Nothing could stop him from what he wanted to achieve in life

He found that opportunity, as he saved some money that he could invest in Bangladesh. He came back in 1970 and bought two passenger ferries, popularly known as launches. He got married and started living happily. Then the war of independence broke out. He started utilising his ferries for shipping Bangladeshi refu-


gees to a safer place in India. He was blacklisted by the Razakars and the Pakistani Army. His ferries were set ablaze and his house was attacked. As he was well-connected with General Osmani, Osmani forced him to go back to England. He left the country again, leaving his family. His first child was born in his absence.

He was one of the pioneers who started modernising the treatment facilities in Bangladesh

For him, leaving Bangladesh was a fall. Bangladesh became independent, and two years passed after that. One day, he was travelling on a train. He saw a few white Londoners standing in front of him. He asked them to sit by him. “But they said they won’t sit beside a brown-coloured man! And that was it for me.” It took a week for him to return to Bangladesh. On his return, he tore up his British passport. Reunited with the family, he tried his hand in several businesses and settled down in the hotel business. He was a very pious man and believed that God liked someone who helped God’s creations. He always used to share a portion of his profit with his employees. In the early 90s, his mother had a heart attack. At that time, Bangladesh wasn’t that advanced in cardiac treatment. He took her to UK but couldn’t save her. That’s when he decided to establish a cardiac hospital after his mother’s name, Tairunnessa, with highly skilled physicians from across the world. He was one of the pioneers who started modernising the treatment facilities in Bangladesh. He didn’t stop there. A few years later, he established Tairunnessa Memorial Medical College and Hospital, which now is one of the finest medical colleges in the private sector. The reason for establishing the college was, again, as he believed, to help God’s creation. “That’s how you could get closest to God,” he used to tell all of us. As a human, one of his successes was that he could instill this particular belief in his children as well as in people around him. His name was Mohammad Shamsul Huq. l Ekram Kabir is the Executive Editor of



Telling the story of the war n Mamun Rashid


t was the first time someone asked me about my memories or role in the 1971 war. I was not at all prepared, nor do I usually dare to comment on our liberation war other than paying respect to the great man whose voice got us into a war and ultimately got an independent nation for our people, to the commanders of the forces, the military warriors, and more importantly, the thousands of civilian “Mukti Bahini” members drawn from every walk of life – students, farmers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, and so many more. Though it was all about commenting on the budget and the country’s economic performance and future, we could not avoid the discussion on the liberation war, since it was the early hours of March 26. The bad part was, I was becoming very emotional narrating a totally unknown and silent story of a 10 year-old boy’s fight against the Pakistan occupying forces in the most indigenous way – throwing a pebble at their jeep passing by and sinking in the nearby pond. It was tough to regain my voice to talk about the hard realities on GDP growth, privatisation, implementation of the growth-impacting projects, and broadening the tax base. Our problem is that we could never discuss the unbiased story of our liberation, and most importantly could not offer an unbiased, properly scrutinised story of our liberation war to the rest of the world. Many during my audit

days in Africa or Asia thought that the number of people killed in the war was seriously exaggerated. Many felt it was more of a war between the two super powers – America and Russia. Many more felt the creation of Bangladesh was nothing but the outcome of an age-old hatred between Pakistan and India. They strongly felt our country had become a playground for RAW and ISI.

We could never offer an unbiased story of our liberation war to the rest of the world

I recently skimmed through three interesting books on Bangladesh’s independence – Dead Reckoning by Sarmila Bose, 1971 by Srinath Raghavan, and The Blood Telegram by Gary J Bass. I was also privy to two recently made movies – Gunday in Hindi, and Shongram made by British-Bangladeshi Munsur Ali. My friends didn’t like Sarmila Bose’s Dead Reckoning and a few of them declined to let me have a copy. They thought it failed to tell the true

story of our liberation, that it leant towards the Pakistan occupying forces and more importantly, favoured the Urdu-speaking Biharis in East Pakistan. The author rather thought the allegation of genocide and rape by the Pakistan army was seriously exaggerated; many historians ignored the atrocities against the Biharis in East Pakistan, and considered the death toll of 3 million to be hollow and self-promoting. Though I thought the book was not a well-written and articulated one, I do agree with what Ian Jack said while writing about the book: “A truth about Bangladesh war is that remarkably few scholars and historians have given it thorough independent scrutiny. Bangladeshis are prone to melodrama and self pity.” While I myself could never prove to my English friend whether the death toll was 3 million or 3 lakh, I do emphasise with Sarmila Bose that “research [is] to be conducted by a credible team of international scholars in a systematic and verifiable manner.” It does not matter to me whether it was a political killing by the West Pakistan army or genocide. However, it is painful to see that our liberation war could not arrest the attention of international researchers as in the World Wars, Vietnam Wars, or even the Gulf War. Even people in the West don’t talk much about the 1971 killings nearly as much as they talk about the Rwanda or other killings. I quite liked the book 1971: A global

history of the creation of Bangladesh by Srinath Raghavan. The writer thought the 1971 war was a significant geopolitical event for India and Pakistan since its partition in 1947. The writer thought the war tilted the balance of power between India and Pakistan steeply in favour of India. He further thought the line of control in Kashmir, the nuclearisation of Pakistan and India, the conflicts of Siachen glacier and Kargil, the insurgency in Kashmir, and the political travails of Bangladesh can all be traced back to the intense nine months in 1971. Raghavan also contends that far from being a predestined event, the creation of Bangladesh was the product of conjuncture and contingency, choice and chance. He thought the breakup of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh can be understood only in a wider context of the period: Decolonisation, the cold war, and incipient globalization. In a narrative populated by the likes of Nixon, Kissinger, Zou Enlai, Indira Gandhi, Zulfiker Ali Bhutto, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, George Harrison, Tariq Ali, Ravi Shankar, and Bob Dylan, Raghavan vividly portrayed the prominent international cast that shaped the origin and outcome of the Bangladesh crisis. In The Blood Telegram, we get to see Kissinger deliberately hiding the atrocities done by the Pakistan armed forces on the innocent Bangladeshis. Nixon, the American president always admired Yahya Khan and considered

him a friend. While Kissinger may have privately not thought much of him, he saw in him a supremely useful instrument to pursue America’s geopolitical interests. The author was right to say: “The months of killings were sustained by schemes radiating out from Washington.”

(Anupam Kher) on his deathbed in 2013, who finally shared his account from four decades ago. While it nicely brought in the NBC news loops, Major Zia declaring independence on behalf of the great leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, what I liked most was the way the movie ended – the editor

In fact, most global stories on the war are the outcome of how the Indians perceived it. We could not do much about this

In the movie Gunday, apart from the touchy story of two kids, Bikram and Bala, torn from their families by the partition that created the nation of Bangladesh and unceremoniously dumped in Kolkata with few options, we also get to see the long-drawn Indian version of the liberation war. In fact, most global stories on the war are the outcome of how the Indians perceived it. We could not do much about this. The movie Shongram by a Bangladesh-born British citizen Munsur Ali is a romantic drama set during the 1971 liberation struggle. A daring reporter in London (Asia Argento) interviews a Bangladeshi Londoner named Karim

throwing the Bangladesh genocide story into the bin as the story is not yet marketable to the international community. Unless Bangladesh matters significantly to the rest of the world, we may not get a true and more acceptable history of the emergence of the country beyond the story of Bangladesh being the outcome of an Indo-Pak war, or a domain created by the Americans and the Russians. There are stories beyond, the story of a respectable nation in the making against an unjust war forced on them. l Mamun Rashid is a business professor and financial sector entrepreneur.




I want to focus on films only: Momo

Ondhokare Methane explores Oedipus in modern era

n Entertainment Desk

n Hasan Mansoor Chatak

The Daruchini Dwip girl and Lux Channel i Superstar winner of 2006, Zakia Bari Momo is now busy shooting for silver screens only. Although the National Award winner has acted in many dramas, at present, she is only focusing on films. Currently she is shooting for the film Prem Korbo Tomar Sathe, directed by Rakibul Alam. The movie falls under the mixed genre of romance and action, featuring Anisur Rahman Milon as Momo’s counterpart. The talented actor is also working in Shihab Shaheen’s Chuye Dilo Mon, with Arifin Shuvoo as her costar. The movie is set apart from the usual romantic stories because it is set in the backdrop of an imaginary city called “Hridoypur,” which is thought up by the producer. The plot revolves around a couple who broke up a long time ago, the breakup being initiated by the woman. The story moves forward when the male protagonist finds the woman of his desire after a long time. It has been reported that Momo is also working in two more movies. About her work, Momo said: “As I have mentioned before, I just want to focus in films only. I am choosing the films based on the script and my character. At this moment, I want to create a lasting impression in Dhallywood.” While asked about her preference between art and commercial films, Momo replied: “I just look for a good script to work on. In these days, the line between the two genre has become really thin. Good films can be both commercial and slightly off-beat art films.” According to Momo, the director and the character are the two prime aspects factors while she considers a work. “I try to experiment with new characters. Even if the character is close to some roles I have already portrayed, I attempt to add some diverse dimensions to it so that the audience is clearly able to differentiate between them.” l

As the verve of a theatre lies inside the acting and the number of acting based theatre is diminishing in recent era, Agontuk, a repertory theatre, emerges with the aim to emphasise on acting through its debut productoion Ondhokarer Methane. The play was staged at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on April 15. The repertory consists of four leading troupes including Theatre, Nagorik Natya Sampradaya, Aronyak Natyadal and Prachyanat. The play, inspired by Greek tragedy Oedipus the King by Sophocles, is written and directed by Pantho Shahriar. The repertory portrays a contemporary tale and find out how the human being is tied to his destiny through the story of Oedipus who was born with a prophecy, which said that his child would grow up to murder his father and marry his mother. The plot of Ondhokare Methane is set on a coal mine colony of 1920 in USA and the whole drama is staged in a nearby restaurant run by a woman named Vivian. The play opens with the dramatic sequence where a son is born to single mother Vivian. The son was the result of vivian’s sudden encounter with Lawrence, a strangerwho mesmerised her by his charismatic character and made her fall in love with him. But, as Lawrence leaves Vivian, Vivian’s father forces her to kill her baby boy. In a form of disguise, she

Shunno’s 4th album Bhaago hits the market


Thursday, April 17, 2014

The final act of theatre production Ondhokare Methane

manages to bestow her child to a distant childless father named Thomas. After many years, a young and slightly physically handicapped boy named Edward come to Vivian’s restaurant and Vivian provides shelter and later marries him. Few months later, Lawrence returns and wants to take away Vivian with him but Vivian playfully provokes Edward to kill Lawrence. In the final act, both Vivian and Edward


learn that they are carrying a mother-son bond. In the role of Vivian, noted actor Tropa Majumdar brilliantly portrayed a woman’s helplessness in the harsh world. The tension and the tragedy were depicted very authentically through light, sound and set designing. Tahnina Islam, Foyez Zahir, Jahangir Alam, Pantho Shahriar, Mostafiz Sahin and Fakhruzzaman Chowdhury donned the other characters of the play. l

Jisshu-Raima to play Uttam-Suchitra

Exile in Calcutta by Thomas Meyer Time: 3pm – 8pm Drik Gallery, House 58, Road 15/A (New) Dhanmondi Water Colour Exhibition By Mintu Dey Time: 3pm – 8pm Dhaka Art Center (DAC) House-60 Road-7A Dhanmondi Death Trap WhenThu, April 17, 3pm – 9pm WhereAlliance Française de Dhaka, Dhaka Serenading Suchitra Time: 12pm – 8pm Shilpangan Gallery House-7, Road-13 Dhanmondi


n Afrose Jahan Chaity On the occasion of Pohela Boishakh (first day of the Bangla year), popular pop-rock band Shunno released their forth album in the market. The album titled Bhaggo released digitally through robi radio. A total of eight tracks are featured in the album, Bhaggo, Jiboner Utsob, Shono Mohajon, Somoy Ekhon Amar and more. The song Shono Mohajon is a joint composition of Shunno and Fuad. This time around, the band experimented with electronic music and keeping live performances in mind, the songs are composed in energetic rhythm and beats. Vocalist of the band Emil said: “Through this album, we want to share our views. Specially, the title song is an interesting piece of work. It talks about the serious aspects of life in a humorous manner. “Bhaggo is all about running after something, most of us are not even aware of what that ‘something’ is. We even forget why we are running and for what,” he added. Shooting of the title song’s music video is directed by Paperfox. About releasing the album on Robi, Emil said: “Listeners have to dial a specific Robi number which is 80806 and then, they can listen to our new album. After a couple of months, we will think about releasing the songs on CD.” Radio Foorti will air the songs of Bhaggo after its release on Robi. About releasing the album on the telecommunication media, guitarist and producer of the album said : “Nowadays piracy has become a curse for the music industry. It makes sense to release an album or songs digitally rather than producing CD’s. We all need to be aware about it and awareness only among the musicians and industry people will not work. The audience should step forward and join us in our fight against piracy. I am very hopeful about the decision.” Imrul Karim Emil is the lead vocalist of Shunno, Shaker Raza is the guitarist, Andrew Michael Gomes is the bassist and Rafatul Bari Labib is on drums. Shunno’s first album titled Notun Srot came out in 2008 and was nominated for the Best Band Album award in the “Meril Prothom Alo Awards.” Their second album Shoto Asha released in 2009 and won them the Best Band of Bangladesh award in the “6th Citycell Channel I Music Awards.” Gorbo Bangladesh, their third album came out in 2011 and once again won them the Best Band of Bangladesh award in the “8th Citycell Channel I Music Awards.” Shunno will go for more than ten tours all over the country soon.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D & 2D) Jonakir Alo Boishommo The Legend of Hercules 3D Avatar in 3D Frozen in 3D Ender’s Game Time: 10am – 10pm Star Cineplex, Level 8 Bashundhara City 13/3 Ka, Panthopath

n Entertainment Desk Raima Sen and Jisshu Sengupta are playing Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar in an upcoming film based on the glorious career of the diva of Bangla cinema. Directed by Abhijit Chaudhuri, the film is tentatively titled Nayika. Director Abhijit said: “ It is a work of fiction and is inspired by events in the life of Suchitra, whom I see as a big feminist star. We will focus on some of the major incidents in her life. Raima plays a heroine who rules the industry. The film only focuses on Suchitra’s professional career and has nothing to do with her personal life.” Raima is all geared up for the role, as she said: “It’s my tribute to my grandmother. It’s a huge responsibility and I

am working on every aspect so that I can do justice to the role. The script is excellent. Ma (Moon Moon Sen) has gone through it and has given some suggestions which are being incorporated into the storyline.” Apart from Raima and Jisshu, Abhijit has zeroed in on Parambrata Chatterjee, who may play a character resembling director Asit Sen who played key roles over Suchitra’s career. Actor Saswata has been approached for the role inspired by Suchitra’s husband, Dibanath Sen. “There is no direct reference to Uttam Kumar or Supriya Devi in the film. But yes, we will show a hero who is very popular and does most of his films with her. So, one can say there are similarities with Uttam Kumar,” added the director. The shooting of the film will start from August. l

Paul Walker’s brothers to fill in for late actor in Fast & Furious 7 n Entertainment Desk

Star Cineplex brings Divergent n Entertainment Desk Divergent, a recently released Hollywood science-fiction, is going to hit the Star Cineplex from this Friday. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth. It was directed by Neil Burger and was released on March 21, 2014. The story takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic Chicago where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. He protagonist Tris learns she is Divergent and unable to fit in and soon discovers that a sinister plot is brewing in her seemingly perfect society. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it is too late. l

The brothers of actor Paul Walker, who died in November, will fill in for the late action star in order to complete scenes in the upcoming film Fast & Furious 7, according to a statement posted on the film’s Facebook page. Caleb and Cody Walker would appear in the car racing movie to finish some of the action scenes and other parts of the film that were not completed before Paul Walker’s tragic death in November. Walker, 40, died on November 30 in a fiery one-car crash in Santa Clarita, California, northwest of Los Angeles. “Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us, too,” the statement said. Walker was on break from filming Fast & Furious 7 at the time of his death, which led to a temporary halt in production. The actor had become an emblem of street racing and car culture in the role of law enforcement officer Brian O’Conner in five of the six Fast & Furious films about illegal street racing, heists and organised crime.

Universal Pictures, which is owned by Comcast, subsequently pushed back the release of the seventh installment of the highly lucrative franchise by nine months to April 2015. Walker’s penultimate film role was in Brick Mansions, which will be released in U S theatres on April 25. l

Did you know? Olivier Giroud is the first Frenchman to score 14+ goals in a PL season since Nicolas Anelka scored 19 in 2008-09


Thursday, April 17, 2014

14 Podolski double

keeps Arsenal Euro bid alive

14 Liverpool marks



15 Federer delivers

25th anniversary of Hillsborough

crushing victory over Stepanek

McInnes to cut ties with Bangladesh n Mazhar Uddin Bangladesh National Cricket Academy (BNCA) head coach Richard McInnes will cut his tie with Bangladesh cricket by end of this month as he will be joining a sports software company in Brisbane. The Australian, who played a crucial role in grooming up players like Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in the past, will be leaving his current designation three months before his two-year contract expires in July.

Richard McInnes McInnes’ first stint with Bangladesh cricket as High Performance (HP) coach and Under-19 team mentor between 2003 and 2005 was a success which prompted the Bangladesh Cricket Board to hire him for the second time after another Australian Ross Turner had left the job in October 2011. However, the experience this time around was very frustrating for McInnes his work did not progress as planned. “It is very frustrating, I like to work hard and make a difference. I am not angry, and I still think Bangladesh cricket will get better,” said McInnes to Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “It [the second time] was similar to what I had expected. I knew it would be challenging. I had hoped to have more influence on the system, not just players. 2013 was a tough time to work in Bangladesh. Not much was done due to the political situation, so it is no one’s fault. It was difficult to achieve what I wanted to. We haven’t been able to bring a lot of players here but we have had some success with players that we were able to get to the NCA,” he said. Last time around it was the 39-year old’s plan of setting up a HP unit which paid huge dividend. Players cashed in from the experience and most also made it to the national team. But in

2013 there was little to work with as the BNCA was deserted for almost six months while the long-lasting drama-filled Dhaka Premier League also spilled water of planning a schedule. “I actually think we achieved more last time. We were starting at a lower base but we achieved more last time. Maybe that’s because we worked in BKSP where we didn’t have to ask permission for everything. “Here [at the Academy in Mirpur], the facility and opportunity is fantastic but there are a lot more complications. It is understandable because lots of team are training here like the senior team, women’s team, age-group and club teams and international teams. In BKSP, it was just us. Programmes were run easily,” he added. McInnes, who worked small hours with Robiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed and Mominul Haque during his current stay, blamed the structure for Bangladesh’s poor international performance and said the Tigers should have been a mid-table team by now had the process he left been continued. “We had [Robiul Islam] Shiblu in for a block of time before he went to Zimbabwe. Taskin Ahmed was with us and he went on to play in the World T20 and it went well. Mominul Haque was also with us, but we haven’t had a full programme at any point. That has been frustrating, but it wasn’t lot different than what I had expected. “When I left last time, I thought if they continue to progress at that rate, they would be mid-table in 5-7 years in the different formats. There has been some good players coming through, but in terms of overall system and structure to sustain consistent success, there hasn’t been much progress,” he said. Shakib had earlier raised concerns of not having enough cricketers in the pipeline but his HP guru thought, “I think the youth pipeline is okay, but as soon as they come out of the under-19 programme, there is a big hole. No one is there to put pressure on Shakib [al Hasan], or [Sohag] Gazi. Domestic cricket in every country is weaker than international cricket but our gap is bigger than most.” The Australian also spent few months as the U-19 coach last year but he informed it wasn’t his job and he did it because the delay in the DPL and the failure in running a programme at the BNCA left him with no other option. l

Bangladesh basketball team celebrate the Citycell SABA 3X3 Basketball Championship title at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday

Bangladesh lift SABA 3x3 basketball title n Raihan Mahmood

Bangladesh crushed Maldives by 20-9 points to emerge as the unbeaten champions in the Citycell SABA 3-on-3 Basketball at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday. Bangladesh, who beat Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan on Tuesday, required the win to lift the title as Rasheduzzaman,

n Mazhar Uddin

The remaining rounds of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL-longer version) for the 2014 season will resume at two different venues of Fatullah from April 28 after over two months of unscheduled breaks. The home series with Sri Lanka, Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 for both Men and Women meant the BCL had to take the back seat temporality as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) suspended the last round along with the final of the current edition after January 18 of this year. The BCB will reveal the fixtures for the remaining rounds (third and final) on Wednesday after holding a meeting with the participating teams’ officials at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. 

Abahani, Usha receive their trophies Abahani Ltd and Usha Krira Chakra, the joint champions of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League received their trophies and the prize money in a simple program held at the Falcon Hall of Bangladesh Air Force yesterday. Sadharan Bima, who finished runner-up was also awarded while Sonali Bank received the Fair Play Trophy. Both the joint champions received Tk 30000.00 each while the runner-up team received Tk 20000.00. Pushkor Khisha Mimo who was adjudged the best player of the league was awarded

with a crest and Tk. 10000.00 and Mamunur Rahman Chayan, the drag and flick specialist who scored 17 goals, also received the same prizes. National and Abahani midfielder Moshiur Rahman Biplob, who sustained a jaw injury during the league, accepted the donation of Tk 100000.00 from the Green Delta Insurance for his treatment. Nasir A. Chowdhury, the founder managing director and the adviser to Green Delta Insurance distributed the prizes as the chief guest. Farzana Chowdhury, the CEO of Green Delta and Mahfuzur Rahman, the chairman of ATN Bangla were also present. Air

Mithun Biswas, Shamuzzman Khan Shoyeb and Khaled Mahmud Akash appeared as an unbeatable unit against Maldives. Wasif Ali and the Khairul Alam Farhad were the coach and the manager respectively. Bangladesh won the SABA Basketball Championship last September and all the current players were part of the champion team. Mithun Biswas was buoyant with the achievement. “We were confident

that we will lift the title and we worked hard, with two consecutive SABA titles we proved that Bangladesh basketball has progressed in the recent days, we want to achieve more and hope the federation and the government take the required steps’ said the tall cager. Sri Lanka finished runners-up, Nepal third, Bhutan fourth while Maldives, who won the Fair Play Trophy, finished last in the five-team event.

BCL resumes on April 28

Abahani Ltd receives their prize money and the trophy from Nasir A. Chowdhury, the adviser of Green Delta Insurance Company at the Falcon Hall yesterday COURTESY

n Raihan Mahmood


Marshal Enamul Bari, the president of the Bangladesh Hockey Federation presided over the program. However, like the darkness beneath the lamp, a number of players of Abahani expressed their frustration over not getting their full payments though the league came to end about two and a half month ago. Hasan Jubear Niloy, Pushkor Khisha Mimo and Moshiur Rahman Biplob were under contract for a purse of Tk. 400000.00 each. But they regret not receiving their full payment yet although Abahani manager Zaki Ahmed Ripon said that only one third of the payments was due and it would be cleared within this month. l

Advocate Qamrul Islam, the minister of food ministry distributed the prizes as the chief guest. Syed Shahed Reza, the secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association was the special guest. Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, the president of Bangladesh Basketball Federation, AK Sarker, the general secretary and Taslim Ahmed. Head of Corporate Communications & PR of Citycell was also present on the occasion. l

BFF completes venue inspection

“The last round of the BCL will start from April 28  at the inner and outer stadium of Fatullah Stadium, the fiveday final will be played at the SBNS from May 4 to 8,” said BCB’s tournament committee’s acting secretary Ziaur Rahman yesterday. In the third round matches, Islami Bank East Zone will be facing Prime Bank South Zone at Fatullah Outer Stadium while defending champion Walton Central Zone will be playing against BCB North Zone at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah on April 28. Ziaur also informed that they were also planning to stage the National Championship League after finishing the BCL.  After the end of the second-round, Walton Central Zone are leading the points table with 31 points from two matches with a win and a draw.BCB

North Zone is in second position after playing the same number of matches with only a solitary point separating them from the leaders. Prime Bank South Zone is in third position with 17 points while Islami Bank East Zone remain bottom of the points table with no win and two points. “We demanded to hold all the remaining matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. But only the final of the league will be played at Mirpur because of ICC’s rule and regulation,” said Uday Hakim, representative of the Central Zone after the meeting. All players of the national team will be participating in the tournament. However, star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is now in the UAE to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, will miss the four day matches. l

Akash, Labiba lift boy’s and girl’s title n Raihan Mahmood

2019 Asian Cup expanded to 24 teams

Akash of Armanitola High School and Labiba of South Breeze School emerged as the champions in the boy’s and girl’s section in the Walton Dhaka Metropolis School Table Tennis at the Shahid Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium yesterday. In their respective final matches, Akash beat Raihan of Ahmed Bawani Academy by 3-0 games while Labiba outplayed Urmi of Prayash by the same margin to lift the title. Lalbagh Model School’s Junaed and Saiham of Ahmed Bawani finished third and fourth in the boy’s section respectively while Sweety of Prayash and Azimpur Girls School’s Fatin finished third and fourth in the girl’s section. Armanitola High School also overpowered St. Joseph High School by 3-1 sets to bag the boy’s team title while the girl’s team event was won by Sunnydale who overwhelmed Prayash 3-0 in the final. The most talented players in the boy’s and girl’s section went to Scholastica’s Raiyan and Rukaiya Hossain Meem respectively. Communication minister Obaidul Kader distributed the prizes as the chief guest. BTTF general secretary Zobera Rahman Linu, former national champion Mosaddekul Huq Rochi and Walton additional director AFM Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn was also present among others. l

n AFP, Kuala Lumpur Asia’s football body Wednesday announced an expansion of the flagship Asian Cup from 16 to 24 teams but killed off the lower-level Challenge Cup as part of a regional shake-up. The 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said. Preliminary qualifying for the Asian

n Raihan Mahmood

Bangladesh Football Federation’s outside the capital venue inspection committee completed their assessment at Feni, Chittagong and Gopalganj yesterday. The team comprising BFF senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy, vice president Badal Roy, BFF executive committee members Satyajit Das Rupu and Sheikh Md Maruf Hasan flew to the three venues by helicopter from Dhaka and examined all the infrastructures and the facilities. It was learnt that the venues of Gopalganj and Chittagong does not have any notable problems, but BFF will scrutinize the facilities at the Feni stadium and will provide a deadline to improve the state of affairs. BFF will disclose all the details officially in a press conference today. l

Cup and World Cup will also be combined, the body said following an executive committee meeting. Teams will be divided among eight groups with the pool winners and four best-placed second sides reaching both the Asian Cup and the final World Cup qualifiers. The next 24 best teams will be split into six groups of four to battle it out for the remaining Asian Cup spots, the AFC said in a statement. l

The winners of the Walton Metropolis School Table Tennis pose with the chief guest yesterday COURTESY



Gundogan extends Dortmund deal Injured Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has signed a year’s extension to keep him at Borussia Dortmund until 2016, despite playing just 56 minutes of Bundesliga football this season. The 23-year-old defensive midfielder had been linked with top European clubs among them Barcelona and Manchester United. However, a recurring back injury has destroyed his season. He last played in Germany’s 3-3 draw with Paraguay last August shortly after his sole league appearance on the opening day of the season. –AFP


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Clippers down Nuggets The Los Angeles Clippers rolled past Denver 117-105 on Tuesday for a clubrecord 57th win that kept their hopes of claiming the NBA Western Conference second seed alive. Blake Griffin had 24 points -- and was assessed his 16th technical foul of the season -- in the victory. Chris Paul added 21 points and 10 assists for Los Angeles, who must beat Portland on Wednesday, the last night of the regular season, and have the lowly Detroit Pistons beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City to earn the second seed behind San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs. –AFP

Johnson keen to prolong Test career Australia Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his Test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler said on Tuesday. The 32-year-old has been Australia’s talisman in a spectacular recent run, bowling them to a whitewash of arch-rivals England and a series victory in South Africa with hostile pace bowling. A toe infection kept him out of Australia’s doomed World Twenty20 campaign in Bangladesh where they could not advance beyond the group stage and Johnson spent the time in Perth pondering his future. –Reuters

Podolski double keeps Arsenal Euro bid alive n AFP, London

Arsenal came from behind to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League as Lukas Podolski’s double inspired a vital 3-1 win over West Ham on Tuesday. Arsene Wenger’s side are in danger of failing to reach Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in 17 years after a miserable run saw them surrender fourth place to Everton. The Gunners needed a victory over their London rivals to climb back into fourth, but their European bid looked in dire straits when Matthew Jarvis struck for the visitors late in the first half at the Emirates Stadium. That shock revitalised a previously lethargic Arsenal and German forward Lukas Podolski equalised minutes later before France striker Olivier Giroud put them ahead soon after the interval. Podolski’s second in the closing stages sealed Arsenal’s first victory in their last five league games and lifted the north Londoners one point clear of Everton, although Roberto Martinez’s men are still in pole position as they

will reclaim fourth place if they draw or win at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. “We were under absolute pressure to win the game and after giving a lot on Saturday it was difficult,” Wenger said. “I was satisfied with the mental response of the team. We showed maturity not to panic when we went 1-0 down. “The vital thing was to come back to 1-1 before half time. It was a hardfought and very enjoyable win.” Hammers boss Sam Allardyce added: “We worked really hard to get 1-0 up, but if you gift them two goals it’s difficult to get a result. The defending for the second goal was pathetic.” Wenger had made five changes from the team that beat Wigan on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final, with Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom making his first start and Laurent Koscielny returning from injury. Podolski sealed the Gunners’ eighth successive victory over West Ham in emphatic fashion, driving home a lethal finish after Giroud and substitute Aaron Ramsey combined to open up the visitors’ defence in the 78th minute. l

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski (R) scores a goal against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates stadium in London on Tuesday

No World Cup for Totti and fellow veterans: Prandelli

Pellegrini defends Kompany choice n AFP, London


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no regrets about selecting captain Vincent Kompany to play in last weekend’s costly 3-2 loss at Premier League title rivals Liverpool, he said Wednesday. A training-ground injury scare had put Kompany’s participation in doubt and although he was ultimately passed fit to play, he produced an uncharacteristically error-strewn performance. The Belgian centre back was partly at fault for Liverpool’s first two goals and directly responsible for the hosts’ 78thminute winner, when his sliced clearance enabled Philippe Coutinho to score. Defeat left City 7 points below the league leaders, albeit with two games in hand, but Pellegrini does not believe that his decision to pick Kompany was a mistake. “He started the game because he is the captain,” said the Chilean. l

AFP, Milan

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli on Tuesday ruled veterans Francesco Totti, Luca Toni and Antonio Di Natale out of his World Cup squad for Brazil as he backed Giuseppe Rossi and a clutch of emerging younger players. Totti and Toni had notably harboured hopes of travelling to Brazil for what would have been a last World Cup hurrah -- Toni’s dreams boosted by his 17-goal tally so far in Serie A this season. However Roma captain Totti, Verona striker Toni and Udinese forward Di Natale were all ruled out by Prandelli after the coach assembled a group of 42 players from which he will select his final 23-man squad. “I have a huge amount of respect for these players, and they deserve a much

fuller explanation than they’re going to get here,” said Prandelli. “But they will only be called up in case of emergencies.” Rossi, who was leading the league scoring charts before suffering a knee ligament injury in early January, from which he is still recovering, has always had the backing of the 56-year-old coach, who appeared to leave the door open to the Fiorentina striker. However, Prandelli said Rossi’s World Cup future could depend entirely on the outcome of scheduled fitness tests. “On Rossi I can’t say anything. The tests he undergoes must be analysed and then compared with the old data we have on him,” added Prandelli. “I don’t want to put any pressure on him. He needs peace to recover.” Rossi is expected to make the trip to Brazil alongside number one forward pick Mario Balotelli. But younger, emerg-

ing talents like Mattia Destro of Roma and Torino’s Ciro Immobile, who tops Serie A scoring on 19 goals – one more than Carlos Tevez – are also in the reckoning. “We ‘provoked’ a number of younger players recently, they’ve silenced their critics and reacted positively. There’s no truth to the suggestion that they both can’t be in Brazil.” The Azzurri coach, meanwhile, sent a clear message to the players whose bad attitude, he says, does not belong in this summer’s showpiece. “This morning I met with the players and I reminded them that the league’s code of ethics will count. Even in the last month of the season, whoever slips up stays at home because it means he won’t be able to handle the pressure of the WC. “I’m sick of seeing certain attitudes. National team players must be strong enough not to allow themselves to react to provocation.” l

54 arrested in Brazil demo against World Cup n AFP, Sao Paulo

Brazilian police arrested 54 people at a demonstration late Tuesday against the World Cup in which two banks were vandalised, officials said. About 1,000 people marched along the key Avenida Paulista road in Sao Paulo where the World Cup opening game will be held on June 12. Demonstrators carried banners with slogans such as “There will be no Cup.” They denounced the billions of dollars spent on preparations for the tournament, the world’s biggest sporting event. Police said on Twitter the 54 people arrested had been “promoting disorder.” At the start of the rally a Brazilian flag was burned. Later, demonstrators smashed win-

dows at two bank branches and took refuge at a subway station, where police surrounded them. Sao Paulo has seen several protest rallied against the World Cup, but numbers have shrunk. Huge rallies were held in June last year when Brazil staged the Confederations Cup, a rehearsal tournament for the World Cup. Then, a huge grassroots movement took to the streets with more than one million people demanding better services in health, education and transport and a crackdown on corruption. Recent demonstrations have been smaller but more violent, tending to end in vandalism and clashes with police, who sometimes have taken a hard line on protesters. Police used a stun grenade to disperse the latest demonstration. The World Cup will be held in 12 Brazilian cities with the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. The home country is a strong favourite to win the trophy. l

Lewandowski’s 100th goal puts Dortmund in final

Anelka rebuffs Mineiro move claims

n AFP, Paris Controversial French forward Nicolas Anelka on Wednesday rubbished claims he was ever in line to join Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro. Atletico claimed on Tuesday they had scrapped plans to sign Anelka after running out of patience waiting for him to make contact with them. That came after Mineiro chairman Alexandre Kalil had said that Anelka would be signing. But on Wednesday the 35-year-old striker uploaded a video to his Twitter and Facebook pages showing him talking on April 8 about his future, which he said would not be in Brazil. l


n AFP, Berlin

People hold up football scarves during a minutes silence as they attend a memorial service to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, northwest England on Tuesday AFP

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski hit his 100th goal for Borussia Dortmund to book their place in next month’s German Cup final in Tuesday’s 2-0 semi-final win over VfL Wolfsburg. Lewandowski, who joined Dortmund four seasons ago from Polish side Lech Posen, brought up his landmark goal when he scored his team’s second shortly before half-time. The 25-year-old could well face his future club Bayern Munich -- whom he joins at the end of the season -- in the

May 17 final as the holders play second division Kaiserslautern at Munich’s Allianz Arena in Wednesday’s other semi-final. Lewandowski, who scored a hat-trick in the 2012 Cup final when Dortmund routed Bayern 5-2, has vowed to leave the club having delivered silverware this season and he final will be his last chance. “We’re in the final, so all is well,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, who has replaced Lewandowski already for next season with Colombia striker Adrian Ramos arriving from rivals Hertha Berlin. l

Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring his 100th goal for the club, during the German Cup yesterday AFP

Liverpool marks 25th anniversary of Hillsborough disaster

Poyet dismisses Sunderland exit

Rennes edge past Angers to reach cup final

n Reuters

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has dismissed speculation suggesting he is poised to leave the relegation-threatened club after telling reporters earlier this week that there was “something wrong” at the club. Sunderland are mired at the bottom of the EPL on 25 points, 7 adrift of 17th Norwich City but with two matches in hand among their six remaining fixtures. “I’m coming from a place where to resign is natural. I’m not going to quit. Simple. That I can promise you,” Poyet said. l

n AFP, Paris

Thousands gathered at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium on Tuesday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 of their fans died during an FA Cup semi-final, one of the darkest days in the history of English soccer. The supporters lost their lives in a crush at the Leppings Lane End of Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground at the start of the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.

Over 20,000 people attended the memorial service, where the number 96 was spelled out on the pitch using scarves donated by fans from around the world following an appeal by Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool’s manager at the time of the disaster. The names of the 96 victims were read aloud, the youngest being 10-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley, the cousin of current Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who attended the ceremony along with his team mates. After reading the psalm “The Lord is my Shepherd”, current manager Bren-

dan Rodgers said his biggest match-day inspiration was the Hillsborough memorial featuring the names of those killed. “Ninety-six individuals that were all loved, cherished and all went too soon,” he said. “Those who we lost, and for those of you who have fought and campaigned tirelessly on their behalf and on behalf of the survivors, you are the real true inspiration for us.” He paid tribute to Dalglish, saying he helped hold the club together in the aftermath of the disaster. l

n Reuters

Two-time French Cup winners Rennes reached the final of this season’s competition with a nervy 3-2 win over Ligue 2 side Angers on Tuesday. Rennes, who won the Cup in 1965 and 1971, will hope for better luck in the final on May 3 than their last visit to the Stade de France in last season’s League Cup final where they lost 1-0 against Saint-Etienne. Rennes – who are in a lowly 14th position in Ligue 1 – came from a goal

down early on to lead 3-1 but a penalty a minute from time by Mohammed Yattara, who had also scored their opener, made it a nervous last few minutes for the Brittany-region hosts. However, they safely negotiated the dying stages to deprive Angers of what would have been their second ever appearance in the final, the first occasion being in 1957 when they were beaten 6-3 by Toulouse. Angers – who are in the mix for promotion to Ligue 1 – got off to a fantastic start as Yattara put them ahead in the third minute. l



Court rejects plea to reinstate Srinivasan as BCCI chief n


Tevez denies talk of rift with Messi Juventus striker Carlos Tevez has denied suggestions that a falling out with Lionel Messi is behind his ongoing absence from the Argentina side, saying that the two players “get on well”. “I don’t know where they got such nonsense from! Everyone publishes it but the truth is that we get on well. We have shared moments together, training sessions, matches and there has never been a problem. He is a charming and very polite person,” said Tevez in an interview with the Argentine daily Cronica on Wednesday. “This should be his World Cup and I hope that is the case with all my heart because he is a marvellous player. He and Cristiano (Ronaldo), with whom I played at Manchester United, are the best players in the world.” –AFP

Puyol, Bartra increase Barca’s injury problems Brazilian full-back Adriano looks set to play at the centre of Barcelona’s defence in the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid as captain Carles Puyol and Marc Bartra were unable to train with the rest of the squad on Wednesday morning. Puyol, who will leave the club at the end of the campaign due to ongoing injury problems, has missed most of the season due to knee troubles, whilst Bartra strained his hamstring as Barca were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last week. Gerard Pique has also been ruled out due to a hairline fracture in his hip. Coach Gerardo Martino had used Sergio Busquets and Alex Song at centreback during the Catalans’ 1-0 defeat to Granada at the weekend, but Spanish media reported that Adriano was the favourite to partner Javier Mascherano on Wednesday night, to allow Busquets to maintain his normal role in midfield. –AFP

Akmal in trouble over wedding party Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal could be in fresh trouble with the law after a party for his wedding breached local rules restricting marriage celebrations, police said Wednesday. Officers in the eastern city of Lahore said the 23-year-old international held a function on Tuesday that violated bylaws which say only one food dish can be served at wedding parties, which must end at 10:00 pm. Akmal, who was to wed former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir’s daughter Noor Amna on Wednesday, left the venue before the police raid. “There were violations of marriage act and a case has been registered and four people were arrested,” police official Rana Imtiaz told reporters. The law was brought in to try to curb excessive wedding celebrations and has proved unpopular in Lahore, traditionally known for lavish marriages. Imtiaz said Akmal was not named in the police report, but action could still be taken against the cricketer, as it was his function. –AFP

Prosecution pillories Pistorius expert The prosecution on Wednesday derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances in which Reeva Steenkamp died. State prosecutor Gerrie Nel sought to prove that forensic geologist Roger Dixon was out of his depth in testifying about the lighting, sound and physical evidence inside Pistorius’s home. Dixon, a university professor, told the court about the sound made by Pistorius’s cricket bat hitting his toilet door, visibility in the star sprinter’s bedroom and blood splatter. Pistorius’s defence team has argued that neighbours who testified to hearing “bloodcurdling screams” followed by gunshots were mistaken. If proven correct, the neighbours’ account could punch a hole through Pistorius’s claim he did not know Steenkamp was in the toilet. Pistorius’s defence team has tried to show that the noises were in fact Pistorius bashing a cricket bat against his toilet door after realising he mistakenly killed the model. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Sony Six 8:30PM PEPSI IPL 2014 Delhi v Bangalore NBA 2013-14 6:00AM Memphis v Dallas 8:30AM Portland v LA Clippers Ten Golf 12:00PM Malaysian open Day 1


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold cricket bats presented to them as they stand near the Cricket World Cup trophy during a reception at the Sydney Opera House yesterday. Australia and New Zealand will host the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Prince William and his wife are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son, Prince George REUTERS

Pakistan must restore int'l confidence: ACC n Pakistan authorities need to restore the confidence of the cricketing world to bring international activity back to the country, an Asian Cricket Council official said Tuesday. Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket since a brazen militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive Ashraful Haque said the situation was improving but that Pakistan needed to do more to convince teams to tour there. “At the ACC level we are doing our best to help Pakistan, through educational things, convincing Under-15 and Under-19 teams to come but Pakistan needs to restore the confidence of the

cricketing nations,” Haque told AFP on Tuesday after an ACC development committee meeting. The attack, which left eight people dead and seven visiting players injured, caused foreign teams to shun tours to Pakistan, leaving it in international isolation. The five years of exile have forced Pakistan to play most of its home series at neutral venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Haque said there efforts are underway to convince smaller Asian nations to tour Pakistan once again. “I have no security concerns in Pakistan,” said Haque, a former first class cricketer from Bangladesh. “We are trying to convince the minor Asian cricketing nations like the UAE, Hong Kong and Nepal to tour Pakistan in a programme which will give an oppor-

tunity to these fledgling countries to play bigger Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.” Haque said Bangladesh hosted the Asia Cup (February-March) and World Twenty20 (March-April) despite the initial security concerns in the lead-up to troubled general elections there. “There were apprehensions about Bangladesh though both the tournaments were held without trouble,” said Haque, adding however that Pakistan faced greater challenges, so would need to work harder for the same result. “(The) ACC programme for new nations is bearing fruit and it was evident during the World Twenty20 where four of the six qualifiers were from Asia,” said Haque of the UAE, Afghanistan, Nepal and Hong Kong who featured in the World Twenty20. l

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected N. Srinivasan’s plea to reinstate him as India’s cricket chief, saying he had effectively turned a blind eye to allegations of wrongdoing in the Indian Premier League. The court last month ordered Srinivasan to stand aside as president of the Indian board, installing batting great Sunil Gavaskar to oversee the latest edition of the Twenty20 tournament which opens later Wednesday. Srinivasan asked the court on Tuesday to reinstate him, saying he was being unfairly blamed for corruption allegations that have hit the board’s flagship IPL. But the court said Srinivasan knew about, but did not take seriously, allegations contained in a courtcommissioned report over claims of illegal betting and spot-fixing embroiling the IPL. Justice A.K Patnaik reiterated the court’s opinion that Srinivasan’s presence as head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was preventing a fair probe into the allegations. The panel’s report, sections of which were released in February, concluded that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan -- who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games. l

Shakib steady in KKR win n Bangladesh’s leading allrounder Shakib al Hasan had a decent outing as Kolkata Knight Riders began their seventh Indian Premier League (IPL) edition with a comfortable 41-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians yesterday night. The tournament kicked off in Abu Dhabi with a mix-up at the toss, with the match referee confused whether it was heads or tails. Once that was sorted out, Kolkata chose to bat in the opening encounter. Though the match was moved out of India, a large crowd was on hand to cheer the two teams on. KKR rode on a majestic 131-runs second wicket partnership between South African Jacques Kallis (72 from 46 balls) and Manish Pandey (64 from 53 balls) to reach a challenging 163 for five in the slow paced wicket at the Sheikh Abu Jayed Stadium. Shakib went in at No 6 in the penultimate over and lasted only two balls

for one run. He holed out at extra cover off Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga who took 4/23. MI were not let loose inside the powerplay which also saw Shakib bowl the sixth over for seven runs. He dismissed Tare in his second over when the batsman charged down the wicket and heaved across the line only managing a leading edge that flew high before the left-arm spinner took the catch himself, albeit after a bit of juggle. Shakib eventually finished with 1/29 and helped KKR in tying the opponents below the required run rate. Sunil Narine cashed in from the pressure built and left with figures of 4/20, three of which came in the 17th and 19th over. MI were restricted to 122/7. l

SCORECARD Kolkata 163/5 (20 ov) Kallis 72, Pandey 64, Malinga 4/23 Mumbai 122/7 (20 ov) Rayudu 48, Rohit 27, Narine 4/20 Kolkata won by 41 runs

Federer delivers crushing victory over Stepanek n

Roger Federer delivered a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing to fellow veteran Radek Stepanek as the fourth seed powered through his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday. The Swiss, who has never won the title at the seaside Monte Carlo Country Club, will next face off for a quarter-final spot on Thursday when he takes on Lukas Rosol. The Czech booked his spot over Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4. Federer’s rout in 52 minutes was seven minutes longer than another easy victory by holder Novak Djokovic a day earlier. Top seed and eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, runner-up to Djokovic in last year’s final, was beginning his week against Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia.

Australian Open champion and third seed Stanislas Wawrinka was taking on Croatian Marin Cilic. Federer improved to 14-2 over Stepanek, 35, whose last victory in the series came in Rome six years ago. Federer, 32, swept the first set in 22 minutes and faced his only spot of bother as he saved a pair of break points in the sixth game of the second set. The winner was aided by five Stepanek double-faults, with Federer breaking four times. The Swiss won an ATP Tour-leading 25th match of the season. Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic duplicated his best showing in the principality with a 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Taiwan’s Yen Lu-Hsun. Italian tenth seed Fabio Fognini beat Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6 (8/6), 6-4. l

KKR batsmen Manish Pandey (R) and Jacques Kallis run between the wickets during their IPL–7 match against Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium yesterday BCCI

Phelps’s return greeted with shrug by fellow Olympians n The news that Michael Phelps was returning to the pool with an eye toward possibly participating at the 2016 Summer Olympics was greeted with a big yawn by fellow swimmers. While Phelps’s un-retirement did indeed create a flurry of excitement in social media, those who know him best were not shocked by Monday’s announcement. “I wasn’t surprised,” 17-year-old Olympic champion Katie Ledecky told Reuters in a telephone call after a workout at her swim club in Bethesda, Maryland. “The swimming world has known for a while that he’s been training the past year so it wasn’t too big of a sur-

prise. I’m definitely excited that he’s going to swimming in Mesa.” Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time with a total of 22 medals, has not competed since the 2012 London Games. The Baltimore native will headline an April 24-26 meet in Mesa, Arizona, with fellow Olympians Ledecky and Ryan Lochte. The 28-year-old, 18-time gold medalist returned to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency registry over nine months ago and has been subject to out-of-competition testing. Dara Torres, a winner of 12 Olympic medals, said she knew all along that Phelps would return to the pool. “I just kind of giggled when I heard the news,” she told Reuters on Tuesday via telephone from her Boston home.

Torres, who won her medals over five Olympics and missed out on a ticket to the 2012 London Games by nine one-hundreths of a second in the U.S. trials, is convinced Phelps misses competing. “I have never seen anyone as competitive as me except for Michael Phelps,” said the 47-year-old Torres. “I am so competitive it’s ridiculous. You have someone like Michael and now he’s in the real life. He’s playing golf, he’s doing things here and there. “But it’s not the same as something you’ve been doing your whole life. For me personally, I missed the sport. I love the sport. But most of all I missed competing. “If you’re a very competitive person, it’s very tough to let that go.” l

Uefa probes clubs’ finances n Uefa on Wednesday investigated the accounts of top European clubs to see if they complied with financial fair play rules, but declined to comment on reports that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both faced punishment. A UEFA spokesman told AFP that “several clubs” had been spotlighted during a session of the European governing organisation’s Club Financial Control Body. The control body was created to insure UEFA regulations barring clubs spending beyond their means were respected, in a bid to prevent them gaining an unfair advantage over their competitors. On Tuesday, British media reported that both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain risked hefty fines for failing to comply with the rules. But UEFA declined to comment,

saying it “does not provide any details about clubs’ ongoing investigations as part of the monitoring process nor will it comment on correspondence between the Club Financial Control Body and clubs”. “UEFA will only communicate once decisions have been taken by the CFCB Investigatory Chamber, which we anticipate will happen at the beginning of May,” it said. A central tenet of financial fair play is that clubs are forbidden from making losses of more than 45 million euros ($62.1 million) during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, with exceptions for certain forms of expenditure. Each bankrolled by mega-rich owners from the Middle East, City and PSG both spent heavily on new players during that period. City’s outlay helped them to win the Premier League title in 2012, while PSG claimed the Ligue 1 crown the following season. l



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Thursday, April 17, 2014

IGW operator Ratul Telecom gets more time to pay dues BTRC more strict against four IGWs on similar offence due over Tk100 crore. n Muhammad Zahidul Islam In August last year, the telecom regRatul Telecom Ltd, an International Gateway (IGW) owned by former state minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak’s daughter and wife, has received yet another time extension to pay Tk100 crore in outstanding revenues to the telecom regulators; although four other IGWs are facing cases for the similar offence of failing to share revenues on time. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) approved Ratul Telecom’s application yesterday at a commission meeting and gave them the opportunity to pay the outstanding amount of Tk96.79 crore with 15% late fees by May 31.

Ratul Telecom managed to evade prosecution by influencing senior officials “We have given them more time to pay the outstanding revenues according to the [telecom] minister’s recommendation,” Md Abdus Samad, commissioner (legal and license) of BTRC, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Earlier, Telecommunications Minister Abdul Latif Siddique recommended on allowing more time to Ratul Telecom for paying its dues. However, on February 18, the regulator had declared there was no way to allow more time for Ratul Telecom to pay the dues. Ratul Telecom, 50% of which is owned by Nanak’s daughter Syeda Amrin Rakhi and 20% more by Nanak’s wife Syeda Arzuman Banu, had paid only Tk15.01 crore in revenue share, while they left dues of around Tk96.79 crore. According to BTRC documents, they also needed to give an additional 15% charge as late fees, making the total

ulator barred call termination for Ratul Telecom along with a few other IGWs. Although Ratul Telecom was allowed a time extension, BTRC sources said cases have been filed against four other IGW operators for a similar offence. The BTRC filed certificate cases to get Tk92.5 crore from Telex Ltd, Tk181.5 crore from Vision Tel Ltd, Tk122.5 crore from Bestec Telecom Limited and Tk84.27.5 crore from Kay Telecommunications Ltd – as dues against revenue sharing plus annual license fees. According to the IGW guideline, the companies can earn $0.03 per minute against incoming international calls. The operators are required to pay 51.75% of revenue to the telecom regulator. Despite initiatives by the telecom watchdog to file a case against Ratul Telecom, the company allegedly managed to evade prosecution by influencing senior officials. Despite repeated attempts, the Dhaka Tribune failed to reach the telecom minister for comments yesterday. Earlier, former telecom minister Shahara Kahatun had allegedly violated the existing act and approved three installments to the company for depositing their dues, but Ratul Telecom still missed all the three deadlines – on November 30 and December 31 last year and January 31 this year, sources said. Meanwhile, the BTRC served a notice to Ratul Telecom on not giving them more time, and prepared to file one criminal case and another case under Public Demands Recovery Act. On the first week of February, the BTRC decided to file a case under telecom act section 73/2, where the punishment is maximum five years’ imprisonment or Tk300 crore fine or both. However, all initiatives stopped when the new telecom minister reportedly gave them another chance. l

Curious children enjoy the rare entertainment of a bioscope at a fair on the Bangla Academy premises yesterday. The bioscope, once a popular source of entertainment for the masses, was brought to the fair by Jalal Miah, a trader from Rajshahi’s Bagmara RAJIB DHAR

Sayedee appeal judgement any day n Nazmus Sakib

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict any day in the war crimes appeal case by deathrow convict Delawar Hossain Sayedee. The five-member top court bench headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain yesterday passed the order after rejecting two petitions lodged by both government and defence sides. regarding calling the records of the case on Ibrahim Kutti’s murder, on which charge the Jamaat leader was given capital punishment at the tribunal. The other judges are – Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Hasan Foez Sid-

Whither Mujibnagar Complex? n Our Correspondent, Meherpur

Long sixteen years have elapsed since the construction of the Mujibnagar Complex on a 66 acres of land started but it is yet to be completed. After coming to power in 1996 the Awami League government undertook the project named Mujibnagar Complex at Mujibnagar to commemorate the historic oath-taking ceremony of the first Bangladesh government on April 17 in 1971 at the then Baidyanathtala Mango Orchard in Meherpur. The project comprises motel, helipad, telephone office, six rose gardens symbolising the six-point movement, the war-time map of Bangladesh showing the sectors, Muktijuddah Museum, sculptures and many other monuments to different historical events of the Liberation War. The mausoleum in the complex with 23 pillars symbolise the 23 years of oppression by the Pakistani rulers. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Mujibnagar on 17 April 1998 and declared that Mujibnagar would be turned into a National Memorial Complex where the real history of the war of liberation would be preserved for research and future generation. As part of her declaration Mujibnagar was turned into an upazila in Feb-

The Mujibnagar Memorial at Meherpur

ruary, 2000. To prepare and implement the project Professor Abdul Mannan, former MP and the then chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on cultural affairs ministry and the then DG of Bangla Academy Professor Dr Syed Anwar Husain played a vital role. They visited the place several times. The complex has also a war-time map of Bangladesh under the title Muktijuddhe Bangladesher Manchitra. It was built under the liberation war ministry. The map portraits several bloody wars between freedom fighters and Pakistani Army at several places under the sector 11, escape of Bangalee refugees to India, attacks on Rajarbag Police Line, the EPR Pilkhana and Jagannath Hall, killings of intellectuals, Rayer Bazar Killing Ground, violation of women by Pakistani Army, Historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu, Major Zia’s declaration of independence on behalf of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Kalurghat Betar Kendra, and many more brutalities by the Pakistani Army. What the map is lacking is oppression by the collaborators – the Rajakar or al-Badar groups – in an unholy alliance with the Pakistani Army. As Captain AB Tajul Islam, the then

state minister for the ministry of liberation war, visited the Mujibnagar Complex in 2010 he was asked why the map did not include the role of Rajakar and al-Badar he said the map was not completed one and it would include everything once it is revised. After visiting the project last week Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq said the full construction of the complex would end within this year. He also conceded that the map was lacking some information. “Let us all see if there is anything missing. I hope we can complete it before the next Mujibnagar Day.” Meanwhile, all preparations to observe the historical Mujibnagar Day was completed. The national flag will be hoisted at dawn at Mujibnagar Mausoleum on the occasion of the day. A public meeting will be held at the Sheikh Hasina Moncho with Health Minister Mohammad Nasim in the chair. Industries Minister Amir Hossein Amu will be present as the chief guest while several ministers and lawmakers will address the meeting. Police Super AKM Nahidul Islam said they had taken all kinds of security measures to observe the day’s event. l


were proved but without the handing of any sentences. AG Mahbubey Alam yesterday told the reporters that it was his belief that they were able to prove all the eight charges where Sayedee was found guilty at the tribunal. Alongside, he expressed his hope that the Appellate Division would uphold the death penalty for the Jamaat leader in the two charges of his involvement in killing Ibrahim Kutti and Bisabali and sentence him in other six charges of rape, forceful conversion to Islam, loot and torture. There are other five appeal cases of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Ghulam Azam, Ali Ahsan Mujahid, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Abdul Alim pending at the Appellate Division. l

dique and Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury. Defence lawyer SM Shahjahan told the Dhaka Tribune that the total case was focused on whether Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was Delawar Shikdar. In this regard, senior defence lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain, also BNP chairperson’s adviser, claimed that Sayedee and Delawar Shikdar were different persons though the facts of the crimes might be true while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said Shikdar later took the name Sayedee. The top law officer of the country also said like Sayedee the defence earlier claimed that Abdul Quader Molla was not Kasai Quader (Bucher of Mirpur) which they could not prove at both

the International Crimes Tribunal and the Appellate Division. Molla was executed on December 12 last year in light of the verdict of the apex court. The hearing on the appeal case ended on Tuesday. It started on September 24 last year. On February 28 last year, the International Crimes Tribunal 1 sentenced Sayedee to death in two out of eight charges of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War in 1971 that were proved. He was acquitted in twelve other charges. On March 28 last year, Sayedee registered an appeal with the top court seeking acquittal, while the government lodged an appeal for specifying sentence in the other six charges that

Historic Mujibnagar Day today n Emran Hossain Shaikh

Ilyas Ali’s family still hopes for his return

The nation will observe the historic Mujibnagar Day today to mark the formation of the Bangladesh’s first government in exile. On this day in 1971 the provisional Bangladesh government named Mujibnagar Government was constituted at the Mango Orchard at Baidyanathtala of Meherpur during the Liberation War. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was chosen as the president of the maiden government of Bangladesh. After the declaration of independence when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested on the midnight of March 25 vice-president of the government Syed Nazul Islam served as the acting president. Tajuddin Ahmed was the prime minister, Khondakar Mostaq Ahmed foreign minister, M Mansur Ali Finance Minister and AHM Qamaruzzaman was the home and relief minister of the provisional government. This core cabinet steered the Liberation War to the victory on December 16 that year. Different political parties, including the ruling Awami League and its associated bodies, socio-cultural and professional bodies, have chalked out a daylong programme to celebrate the day. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent separate messages on the occasion of the historic day. The programmes include hoisting the national and party flags at all offices of the Awami League across the country at 6am and placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi at 7am. Besides, the Awami League central committee will place wreaths at Mujibnagar Memorial in Meherpur at 11am. The party will also organise a discussion meeting there to highlight the significance of the day at Hasina Moncho of Meherpur. Awami League Presidium Member and industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu will address the function as chief guest while its presidium member Mohammad Nasim will preside over it. l

Sarkar and Mohammad n Kailash Al Masum Molla Even though two years have already elapsed after the disappearance of former BNP lawmaker Ilyas Ali, all the family members still hope for his return. Law enforcers, however, said although they could not make any progress in the investigation, they were trying their best to find out the missing lawmaker. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, the family members of the BNP leader said they still believe that Ilyas Ali would come back even after he had been ‘forced disappeared’ two years ago. Since the missing of Ilyas Ali at night on April 17 in 2012, his family and BNP leaders pointed the finger at the law enforcers for the disappearance of the BNP leader, but the law enforcers as usual denied the allegation rather they claimed that they were trying to find out the former lawmaker. Tahsina Rushdir Luna, wife of Ilyas Ali, told the Dhaka Tribune that people from different sections, including media people, wanted to know about Ilyas Ali. “I have no answer. What should I say? How I will seek help from the

government and the law enforcement agencies? Those who destroyed my family would have to face the trial of Almighty Allah,” she said. Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rahman, director of Legal and Media Wing of Rapid Action Battalion, said like in the past, they continued carrying out their activities to find out Ilyas Ali. “Our activities will continue until the missing BNP leader is traced.” He also denied the allegation of any involvement of RAB in the abduction or disappearance of the BNP leader. According to different human rights bodies, over 170 people have fallen victim to ‘forced disappearance’ in recent years. They pointed the finger at the officials of RAB and police as ‘miscreants’ picked up most of the victims, posing as the lawmen. Of them, a t least 50 people were picked up in last three months this year while 53 in 2013. The victims include politicians, businessmen, students, teachers, and leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and the BNP. According to Ain O Salish Kendra, more than 156 people went missing during the period between 2009 and 2013. l

Missing student’s body found in Karnaphuli n CU Correspondent The dead body of a university student, who had been missing since Monday after falling from a boat into the Karnaphuli River, was recovered by the police from the Sadarghat area, Chittagong, on Tuesday night. Ridwanul Haque Raktim, 26, was a BBA student of International Islamic University Chittagong and  the son of Abdul Mahid Mridha of the Kalyanpur

area under the Mirpur police station in Dhaka, said police sources. Pranab Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Sadarghat police station, said the police recovered the floating body from the Anu Mazhir Ghat area by the Karnaphuli River on Tuesday at 9:30pm. The body was sent to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital morgue for an autopsy while an unnatural death case was filed with the police station, added the OC. l

Editor: Zafar Sobhan, Published and Printed by Kazi Anis Ahmed on behalf of 2A Media Limited at Dainik Shakaler Khabar Publications Limited, 153/7, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208. Editorial, News & Commercial Office: FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath, Shukrabad, Dhaka 1207. Phone: 9132093-94, Advertising: 9132155, Circulation: 9132282, Fax: News-9132192, e-mail:,, Website:

B3 China denies US warning

B4 Fall for the perfect part-

of undervalued currency

ner, not the priciest ring


Consumer credit soars as BB overlooked

Dull industrial credit demand forces banks to resort to provide unproductive loans He said Bangladesh Bank had ver- to Tk33,140 crore in July-September preneurs, said a senior executive of the n Jebun Nesa Alo bally asked the commercial banks to quarter. central bank. He said the commercial banks are also interested in consumer financing as it helps increase interest earnings more than that of industrial term-loan. “The consumer financing increased rapidly last year as industrial expansion and business activities remained almost stuck up and credit growth slowed down amid political turmoil,” said a senior executive of private bank. In order to achieve credit growth target bank focused on agriculture sector and consumer financing last year, he added.

The commercial banks have relied heavily on consumer financing last year as industrial credit disbursement suffered a setback in the wake of the political unrest ahead of the national election held on January 5. They had to go beyond Bangladesh Bank’s instruction to increase credit exposure in the productive sector instead of consumer financing, bankers said. The consumer credit started growing from the beginning of last year due to lack of loan demand by the big entre-

disburse loan focusing on agriculture and other sector as loan demand in industrial sector was very shy. The consumer financing registered a substantial 32% growth in the first quarter (January-March) of 2013 compared to a negative growth of 5% in previous quarter (October-December) of 2012. During the same period total loan growth increased by 0.83% from 3.06%, according to the central bank data. The consumer loan increased by 10.5% to Tk28,021 crore in AprilJune quarter of 2013 and over 18%


The industrial loan growth was negative by 3% to Tk1,47,361 crore in July-September quarter compared to the growth of 1.76% in the preceding quarter. In January 2012, Bangladesh Bank had slashed the loan margin ratio to 70:30 from 80:20 in housing finance and the ratio for car loans and all other consumer financing to 30:70 from 50:50. It brought the changes in the margin ratios against the backdrop of the rising trend of consumer loans despite repeated attempts by the regulator to discourage consumer loans. The average credit growth of the banking sector was 15% in 2011 while the growth of consumer loan was 19%. Consumer financing growth came down in 2012 due to the strong monitoring of Bangladesh Bank. Credit growth to the agriculture sector increased by 7.34% in July-September of 2013 compared to the growth by 3.03% in the previous quarter. Bangladesh Bank had issued a circular on April 25, 2012 asking the commercial banks not to exceed the consumer credit growth more than its total average growth of loan portfolios. It took the measure to achieve a sustainable economic growth through increasing credit flow to the productive sectors by slashing loans from unproductive sectors, including consumer financing. The central bank, however, overlooked the rising trend of consumer financing than industrial loan growth so the banks could achieve the credit target, said a senior executive of Bangladesh Bank. l

Different companies set up stalls at Travel Mart 2014, an international tourism fair, at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka NASHIRUL ISLAM

Travel Mart 2014 begins today n Tribune Report A three-day international tourism fair styled “Eastern Bank Travel Mart 2014” begins today at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital. The Bangladesh Monitor, a travel and tourism magazine, is organising the fair, which will remain open for the visitors from 10am to 8pm from today with an entry fee of Tk20. Being the chief guest, civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon formally inaugurated the fair at a city hotel yesterday. Travel Mart 2014 has successfully gathered-round different industries within the tourism sectors such as airlines, hotels, resorts, tour operators and travel trade bodies for attracting the visitors, who are interested in finding their preferred travel arrangements and destinations. Out of the participating 50 organisations, most of them are offering up to 50% discounts on their products and services to allure the visitors. Among others, the event partici-

pants Bangladesh Tourism Board, Flydubai, Novoair and Tourism Malaysia expressed their optimism on the prospect of the fair, especially on doing better business with higher turnout of visitors this year. Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the minister expressed his vision on the prospect of tourism sector in line with its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product growth. In tourism sector, everything adds more value unlike any other industry, as nothing needs to be imported to keep its revenue wheel rolling. With the increased participation from the private sector, the industry is now set to reach a new high, said FBCCI President Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed while addressing the ceremony as special guest. The inaugural ceremony was also attended, among others, by the CEO of Bangladesh Toruism Board, Akhteruz Zaman Khan Kabir, General Manager (Marketing) of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Abduallah Hasan and Editor of the Bangladesh Monitor Kazi WahidulAlam. l

DCCI calls for NRB investment from UK n Tribune Business Desk

Local exporters seek duty protection to become competitive n Tribune Report A group of manufacturers and exporters without bond facilities have urged the government to provide them with cash incentives and zero import duty on capital machineries. They also sought duty-free import of raw materials for enhancing competitiveness of their products in the global market. They came up with the plea while attending a regular pre-budget meeting with the top officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) held at NBR headquarters in the capital yesterday. A total of 14 exporters, who do not have any bond facilities, including Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters (BPGMEA) and Bangladesh Foods and Vegetable Exporters Association (BFVEA) attended the meeting. Plastic goods makers sought zero duty on import of capital machineries, reduced duty on imported raw materials while higher duty on imported plastic items. “The industry is now going through a real hard time since the suspension of the GSP facilities in the US market and incurring huge financial losses due to previous shutdowns and blockades,” said BPGMEA President Md Jashim Uddin. To tackle the situation, the government should withdraw duties on the

import of all the capital machineries to help enhance its competitiveness in the global market as the existing 2% import duty pushed this sector to a tougher global competition in the backdrop of the increased production cost, he added. He also sought for some incentives, including LC opening at zero margin for two years, reducing interest rate on bank loans, 20% cash incentive and reducing tax at source to 0.3% from 0.8%. BPGMEA also proposed for lifting tax and VAT on the import of gas generators as the frequent load shedding is badly disrupting the overall production in this sector. As per the existing budget, plastic goods producers have to pay 2% duty on import of generators. To encourage the local industry, it also proposed to increase duty on imported plastic products like boxes, cases, bags, trays for transportation of chicks and eggs, seedlings, tableware and kitchen wares as these items imported from India and China have already engulfed the domestic market. The BPGMEA leaders stressed the need for establishing an Inter-bond transfer facilities and setting up of a planned plastic industrial estate to increase export. Handicrafts exporters also proposed a zero export duty on their products and withdrawal of the exist-

ing 5% income tax. Food and vegetable exporters demanded setting up of a central packaging house and special incentive to help increase export volume. Jamdani Saree Manufacturers and Exporters Association President M R Mustak said: “We used to receive 25% cash incentives earlier, but now it has been reduced significantly.” He urged the government to take necessary steps for stopping the smuggling of Jamadani Sarees from India to help grow the local industry. Leaders of Bangladesh Embroidery Manufactures and Exporters Association demanded of the government to withdraw the existing export duty and issuing bond license free of cost. Besides, exporters and manufacturers from timber and potato industries sought various facilities to help flourish their respective industries. Responding to the demands raised by the exporters, NBR Chairman Golam Hossain said: “All the exporters have just demanded reducing taxes, VAT and duties. The demands should be rationalized as we have also a sort of limitation in meeting all the demands.” “Being a citizen of the country, we should also think about how to boost revenue income for the betterment of the people and also for the overall economic development of the country.” l

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has urged the non-resident Bangladeshis residing in the United Kingdom to invest in Bangladesh. The chamber made the call at a meeting with a visiting delegation of UK-Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry (UKBCCI) yesterday. UKBCCI Chairman Iqal Ahmed OBE, President Bajloor Rashid and Senior Vice President MA Rouf were present in the meeting at DCCI office in Dhaka, said a DCCI press release. DCCI President Mohammad Shahjahan Khan welcomed the delegation. He invited members of UKBCCI to invest in power, oil and gas, tea garden and financial sectors in Bangladesh. Shahjahan Khan said there were some other potential sectors for British investment, which could include ag-

Fish exporters want restart of providing cash assistance and removal of ban on hilsa fish export as foreign currency earnings from the sector slumped by 35%. According to an annual figure provided by Non-packer Frozen Foods Exporters Association, the volume dropped to Tk450 crore from Tk700 crore. The comparison

was between March-February periods in last two years. It marks an annual decline of Tk250 crore in foreign currency earnings from fish exports. “Fish exports have been badly affected because of suspension of cash assistance and ban on hilsa export,” said Babul Akhter, president of the port-city based association. He said the opportunity is being taken over by the neighbouring countries like

Thailand, Myanmar and India. “These countries are grabbing the international market share of Bangladeshi fishes as they receive cash help from their governments.” In a circular issued on July 7, 2013, Bangladesh Bank suspended cash assistance on fish exports, except for shrimp, while the commerce ministry banned hilsa export on July 31, 2012 to ensure sufficient supply to local market. The associa-

among the new generation entrepreneurs of Bangladesh and UK.” “NRB business community of UK are eager to work for the small and medium enterprises of Bangladesh.” Iqbal Ahmed OBE expressed their intention to establish catering training institutes in Bangladesh to create skilled workforce. “UKBCCI started ‘Student Membership’ in their institute to encourage young entrepreneurs in the UK.” Besides, the delegation leader said Bangladeshi exporters can be benefited from spice exports to the European country. DCCI Vice President Shahidul Islam and directors Md Iftekharuddin Naushad, Rizwan Ur Rahman, Muktar Hossain Chowdhury, S Rumi Saifullah, Abdus Salam, Md Shoaib Choudhury, Khair Mohammad Khan and KG Karim were also present in the meeting. l

Philippines entrepreneurs invited to invest in Bangladesh n Tribune Report

Philippines entrepreneurs were urged to invest in Bangladesh taking advantages of very liberal and attractive investment opportunities offered here. The call was made at a seminar on “Doing business with the Philippines” organised jointly by the Embassy of the Philippines in Dhaka and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI) at a city hotel yesterday. FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed invited them to invest in the country and to participate in trade fairs and exhibitions held in Bangladesh. He recommended flexible visa regime and exchange of frequent high-level trade delegations to

Fish exporters for cash support as exports fall n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong

riculture, ceramics, frozen foods and ICT etc. The direct investment flow from the UK to Bangladesh in fiscal year 2012-13 was $159.5m elevating the UK to the second top position among countries investing in Bangladesh, the DCCI leader said. Chairman of UKBCCI Iqbal Ahmed OBE said UKBCCI will work for the development of bilateral trade relation of both the countries. He said the NRBs residing in the UK want to invest in Bangladesh especially in the IT sector. “But Bangladesh needs to improve its infrastructure to attract FDI.” He expressed his intention to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the DCCI for further strengthening bilateral relation where the chamber will act as catalyst. “We have increased the know-how

tion said the shrimp sector receives 12% cash facility on export. Bangladesh exports fishes to different destinations including Middle East, European Union, Canada, the USA, Singapore and Korea. Babul Akhter urged the government to lift ban on hilsa export and restart providing cash help to the sector. “Cash help and no ban on hilsa export will help significantly increase the export volume.” l

strengthen the trade relations in the coming days. The FBCCI president emphasised on reactivating the joint cooperation agreement signed in 1989 as Bangladesh is eager to increase cooperation in trade and investment with the Philippines. Ambassador of Philippines to Bangladesh Vicente Vivencio T Bandillo said the Philippines government is keen to strengthen the bilateral relations. He agreed with the FBCCI president to exchange business delegation, easing visa regime and cultural cooperation. He also sought cooperation from Bangladesh government and private sector for the common interest. Commercial Counselor of Embassy of the Philippines in New Delhi John Paul

B. Inigo made a power-point presentation on Philippines’ various sectors. According to the presentation, Bangladesh is the Philippines’ 54th trading partner in 2012, 46th export market and 67th import supplier. FBCCI First Vice-President Monowara Hakim Ali, FBCCI ex-directors and chairman of Nitol-Niloy Group Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of the Philippines-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry Eng Rashed Makshud Khan and businessmen of different sectors were also present at the seminar. Philippines export to Bangladesh is about $29m while import from Bangladesh $8m. The balance of Trade remains in favor of Philippines amounting US$ 21m. l

B2 Profit booking edges stocks lower n



Tribune Report

Stocks edged lower yesterday as late profit booking on few stocks cut early gains. The market was in the positive territory throughout the entire session but investors released stocks in the final minutes to make quick profits, particularly on telco, financial institutions and food and allied stocks. After rally in the previous two sessions, the benchmark DSEX was down 19 points 0r 0.4% to close at 4,590. The comprising blue chips index DS30 was down 10 points or 0.7& to 1,692. The Shariah index DSES closed at 1,032, slightly shedding over 3 points or 0.3% to 1,693. The Chittagong Stock Exchange’s Selective Category Index, CSCX, dropped 59 points to 8,832. The market slowed down a bit due to digesting the start of T+2 formula in share trading cycle settlement period. Turnover in value at DSE was Tk530 crore, slightly down 3% over the previous session. Fuel and power continued to dominate the trading strongly, accounting for about one-fourth of the total market turnover. Out of 285 issues traded, 106 advanced, 146 declined and 33 remained unchanged. Among the large cap sectors, only power sector

closed positive with a rise of 1.3%. Telecommunications suffered correction after retaining the top gainer position in the last three sessions. Pharmaceuticals and food and allied, banks, textile and non-banking financial institutions also ended in red. “Index declined, erasing some profits of previous trading session. However, consistent buying in some stocks capped the day’s downside,” said Lanka Bangla Securities in its daily market analysis. It said multinational companies and oil stocks posted 5% to 8% return which pushed up market strongly while these stocks have been battered as investors were prone to scaling out stocks to bag some profit at this level. Investors showed buying interest in economically sensitive sector like bank, and stocks of cement industry, it said. “New trading cycle period at DSE is likely to have a positive impact on market liquidity”. IDLC Investments said late hour sale pressure reversed opening hype and pulled down the market. “Investors booked some profit from the recent bull trend of a few heavy-weighted scrips.” Zenith Investments said market decided to stay low, absorbing the commencement of the new T+2 formula, introduced to increase the liquidity flow in the capital market. l

DSE key features April 16, 2014


Turnover (Million Taka)


Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract


Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


Average (% Change)





Turnover in Million

Latest EPS

Latest PE

9.91 9.83 9.51 9.09 8.86 8.73 7.40 7.24 5.37 5.18

10.16 10.13 7.52 (0.63) 4.59 0.06 3.46 1.42 4.78 4.76

110.02 68.06 197.09 36.56 108.04 211.08 578.49 209.36 122.99 73.06

112.00 69.30 200.30 39.60 110.60 225.50 596.50 214.70 123.60 73.10

112.00 69.40 200.40 39.90 111.70 225.50 597.00 217.00 124.20 75.80

105.50 58.00 180.00 33.60 95.00 202.00 560.00 195.00 112.30 69.10

9.363 396.003 44.117 2.541 11.243 74.986 10.326 11.201 15.433 9.096

1.18 2.19 5.10 -1.00-ve 5.33 2.92 6.02 2.38 2.06 1.10

93.2 31.1 38.6 20.3 72.3 96.1 88.0 59.7 66.4

Closing (% Change) 10.00 9.94 9.91 8.82 8.72 7.62 6.16 5.65 5.13 4.55

Average (% Change) 10.00 9.33 6.20 7.78 1.65 7.26 6.56 4.77 5.01 4.55




Latest EPS

Latest PE

Desh Garments -B LafargeS Cement-Z Usmania Glass -A Rahima Food -Z Rupali Life Insur.-A Delta Life Insu. -A Eastern Lubricants -A PragatiLife Insu. -A Al-Haj Textile -A Padma Islami Life*-N

Company LR Global BD MF1-A LafargeS Cement-Z Sun Life Insurance-N Usmania Glass -A Delta Life Insu. -A Padma Islami Life*-N Power Grid Co. -A Eastern Cables-A Anwar Galvanizing-B Hakkani P& Paper -B


7.70 68.44 58.73 197.99 214.03 73.15 53.64 162.74 28.70 32.20

7.70 69.70 58.80 198.70 224.40 73.40 53.40 162.70 28.70 32.20

7.70 69.70 58.80 200.10 224.40 74.00 54.20 164.30 29.00 33.00

7.70 66.00 58.50 193.40 201.00 72.00 51.50 159.60 28.30 31.00

Turnover in Million 0.039 29.223 0.117 2.000 6.282 0.149 1.127 0.602 0.560 0.113

1.52 2.19 0.00 5.10 2.92 1.10 3.16 1.40 0.02 0.28

5.1 31.3 38.8 73.3 66.5 17.0 116.2 1435.0 115.0


WED 16-Apr SUN 13-Apr

WED 09-Apr TUE 08-Apr

TUE 15-Apr

News, analysis and recent disclosers

CSE key features April 16, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)

359.40 7,206,587

Number of Contract


DSE Broad Index :


(-) 0.36%

Traded Issues


DSE Shariah Index :


(-) 0.34%

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


DSE - 30 Index :


(-) 0.62%

Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)

142 2

CSE All Share Index:


(-) 0.35%

Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)

CSE - 30 Index :


(-) 0.63%

Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)



(-) 0.67%

Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


CSE Selected Index :

Closing (% Change)


Turnover (Volume)

Daily capital market highlights

Thursday, April 17, 2014

From TradeServers: TAKAFULINS: The Board of Directors

has recommended 15% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 31.05.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh, Multipurpose Hall, 160/A, Kakrail, VIP Road, Dhaka-1000. Record Date: 28.04.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 2.28, NAV per share of Tk. 17.45 and NOCFPS of Tk. 3.67 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. EXIMBANK: The Board of Directors has recommended 11% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 26.06.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: ‘Bashundhara Convention Center-2’, Block-C, Umme Kulsum Road, Bashundhara R/A, Baridhara, Dhaka-1229. Record Date:

27.04.2014. The Company has also reported consolidated EPS of Tk. 1.63, consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 17.72 and consolidated NOCFPS of Tk. 0.19 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. ENVOYTEX: (H/Y): As per un-audited half yearly accounts as on 31.03.2014 (Oct’13 to March’14), the Company has reported profit after tax of Tk. 101.19 million with EPS of Tk. 0.72 as against Tk. 228.59 million and Tk. 1.63 (restated) respectively for the same period of the previous year. Whereas profit after tax was Tk. 61.83 million with EPS of Tk. 0.44 for the period of 3 months (Jan’14 to March’14) ended on 31.03.2014 as against Tk. 124.59 million and Tk. 0.89 (restated) respectively for the same period of the previous year.

RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. RD for 6entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. RD for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. BRACBANK: Subscription 20.04.2014 to 15.05.2014. RD for entitlement of rights share: 10.02.2014. GENNEXT: Subscription 18.03.2014 to 09.04.2014, RD: 25.02.2014.

IPO Subscription: Shahjibazar Power Co. Limited subscription date 06-04 April 2014, NRB upto 19 April 2014. @ taka 25, face value taka 10 and market lot 200. Khulna Printing & Packaging Limited subscription date 04 – 08 May 2014, NRB upto 17 April 2014. @ taka 10, face value taka 10 and market lot 500.


210.60 45.10 27.80 49.80 20.20 5.40 30.70 32.30 254.00 1026.40

Average (% Change) -7.32 -7.99 -7.19 -6.85 -6.13 -2.27 -4.36 -3.60 -5.16 -4.22





Turnover in Million

Latest EPS

Latest PE

0.032 0.014 0.030 1.069 0.038 5.566 1.023 2.746 0.161 0.304

2.75 1.99 1.56 1.44 -2.58 7.26 1.14 2.80 1.04 1.17

8.9 32.6 18.4 7.1 36.7 10.6 19.1 21.3 25.5 20.2

Closing (% Change)

Company Pragati Gen. I -A City G Insu.-A H.R. Textile -A Envoy Textiles Ltd-N Imam Button -Z Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N Beach Hatchery -A Paramount Textile Ltd.-A Safko Spinning-A Union Capital -A

-8.77 -7.35 -7.19 -6.81 -6.25 -5.72 -5.70 -5.01 -4.96 -4.72


52.83 22.68 29.70 46.50 7.51 52.51 25.23 38.81 22.96 24.29

52.00 22.70 29.70 46.50 7.50 51.10 24.80 37.90 23.00 24.20

53.00 23.50 29.70 48.90 8.00 54.00 26.00 39.90 23.00 25.00

52.00 22.50 29.70 45.60 7.40 50.20 24.60 37.60 22.50 24.10

19.2 11.4 19.0 32.3 -ve 7.2 22.1 22.1 20.8

Index declined, erasing some profits of previous trading session. However, consistent buying in some stocks capped the day’s downside

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

DSE Million Taka 428.52 166.33 59.25 321.89 397.62 1329.32 3.45 397.11 507.43 1.57 36.74 45.74 25.68 718.37 17.48 41.83 161.58 391.64 64.98 188.59 0.24

% change 8.08 3.14 1.12 6.07 7.49 25.06 0.06 7.49 9.56 0.03 0.69 0.86 0.48 13.54 0.33 0.79 3.05 7.38 1.22 3.55 0.00

CSE Million Taka 36.72 9.29 3.34 16.82 22.49 69.03 40.18 29.56 16.64 1.59 19.99 2.50 46.71 2.33 1.99 7.51 43.55 9.81 28.90 0.03

% change 8.98 2.27 0.82 4.11 5.50 16.88 0.00 9.82 7.23 4.07 0.39 4.89 0.61 11.42 0.57 0.49 1.84 10.65 2.40 7.07 0.01

Cement Index


Total Million Taka % change 465.24 8.14 175.62 3.07 62.59 1.10 338.71 5.93 420.11 7.35 1398.35 24.47 3.45 0.06 437.29 7.65 536.98 9.40 18.21 0.32 38.33 0.67 65.73 1.15 28.18 0.49 765.08 13.39 19.81 0.35 43.83 0.77 169.10 2.96 435.19 7.62 74.79 1.31 217.49 3.81 0.27 0.00

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

DSE BroadIndex

4% 3% 2% 1% 0% -1%







210.60 47.80 29.90 54.20 21.60 5.70 33.00 35.80 270.00 1092.00

Latest PE


210.60 46.60 27.90 50.70 20.30 5.40 31.10 34.00 255.80 1040.30

Latest EPS 23.74 1.44 1.56 7.26 0.56 0.52 1.65 1.62 10.23 52.75


210.60 46.91 28.69 51.77 20.53 5.51 31.48 34.58 261.36 1064.02

Turnover in Million 0.011 46.315 2.754 85.169 2.094 1.204 25.298 6.860 320.376 26.707










Average (% Change) -7.63 -6.52 -4.56 -3.77 -1.49 -3.33 -6.11 -4.05 -0.91 -2.31


3rd ICB M F-A Envoy Textiles Ltd-N Bay Leasing.-A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N Prime Bank-A ICB Emp. PMF-A Delta SpinnersA Golden Harvest Agro-N Grameenphone-A Bata Shoe Ltd. -A

Closing (% Change) -7.63 -6.99 -6.69 -6.63 -5.58 -5.26 -5.18 -5.03 -4.98 -4.83



-2% -3%

DSE TURNOVER LEADER Company Meghna Petroleum-A LafargeS Cement-Z Padma Oil Co. A Grameenphone-A Olympic Ind.-A HeidelbergCement-A Square Pharma-A Titas Gas TDCLA Jamuna Oil-A BSC-A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N UCBL-A LankaBangla Fin. -A Delta Life Insu. -A BD Submarine Cable-A Southeast Bank-A AB Bank-A Renata Ltd.-A UNITED AIR-A Golden Son -A

Volume Shares 1,332,236 5,818,505 914,275 1,225,800 1,275,310 415,900 810,427 2,355,076 614,919 160,205 1,645,000 3,444,539 1,310,362 355,250 336,885 3,616,372 2,280,854 59,415 4,331,826 999,031

Value in Million 410.60 396.00 332.78 320.38 302.82 249.47 231.52 200.61 147.16 98.55 85.17 84.23 75.05 74.99 71.26 68.07 66.78 65.76 57.06 56.05

% of Total Turnover 7.74 7.46 6.27 6.04 5.71 4.70 4.36 3.78 2.77 1.86 1.61 1.59 1.41 1.41 1.34 1.28 1.26 1.24 1.08 1.06

ClosingP 303.70 69.30 355.90 255.80 234.20 591.20 282.60 85.90 235.50 609.50 50.70 24.30 56.40 225.50 208.60 18.70 29.10 1086.20 13.00 55.10

Change % -0.98 9.83 -4.07 -4.98 -1.06 -2.15 -0.88 4.12 -1.88 2.31 -6.63 2.97 -2.25 8.73 -2.11 1.08 1.75 -2.20 -4.41 -2.99




306.70 63.10 371.00 269.20 236.70 604.20 285.10 82.50 240.00 595.75 54.30 23.60 57.70 207.40 213.10 18.50 28.60 1110.60 13.60 56.80

315.30 69.40 376.50 270.00 240.00 615.00 290.00 86.40 243.40 633.00 54.20 24.90 60.00 225.50 220.00 20.00 30.00 1129.00 14.90 57.40

280.00 58.00 340.10 254.00 216.00 585.00 262.00 74.30 230.00 588.00 49.80 21.30 52.00 202.00 194.60 16.70 25.80 1078.10 12.30 51.50

AvgPrice 308.20 68.06 363.98 261.36 237.45 599.83 285.68 85.18 239.32 615.17 51.77 24.45 57.28 211.08 211.53 18.82 29.28 1106.81 13.17 56.10

Latest EPS 22.36 2.19 20.68 10.23 6.90 26.09 11.36 8.50 16.90 23.48 7.26 3.66 4.36 2.92 3.28 3.69 2.06 41.39 0.98 3.35

Latest PE 13.8 31.1 17.6 25.5 34.4 23.0 25.1 10.0 14.2 26.2 7.1 6.7 13.1 72.3 64.5 5.1 14.2 26.7 13.4 16.7

CSE Turnover Leader Company

Volume Shares

Value in Million

LafargeS Cement-Z Grameenphone-A Padma Oil Co. -A BSC-A Meghna Petroleum -A Square Pharma -A BD Submarine Cable-A HeidelbergCement -A UCBL-A UNITED AIR-A Emerald Oil Ind. -N Jamuna Oil -A Titas Gas TDCLA Matin Spinning-N BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Delta Life Insu. -A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N AB Bank - A LankaBangla Fin. -A Appollo Ispat CL -N

427,000 104,800 50,987 29,855 58,112 60,755 76,700 21,550 430,238 673,037 37,000 35,319 90,630 198,600 263,545 29,350 106,000 176,141 72,825 163,400

29.22 27.29 18.57 18.38 17.87 17.33 16.27 12.91 10.51 8.91 8.74 8.47 7.72 7.54 7.31 6.28 5.57 5.15 4.20 4.03

% of Tota Turnover 8.32 7.77 5.29 5.24 5.09 4.93 4.63 3.68 2.99 2.54 2.49 2.41 2.20 2.15 2.08 1.79 1.59 1.47 1.20 1.15


Change %





Latest EPS

Latest PE

69.70 255.70 355.90 611.00 303.20 282.50 209.00 591.30 24.40 13.10 233.50 236.80 85.60 37.50 27.40 224.40 51.10 28.80 56.60 24.30

9.94 -4.70 -4.22 2.55 -1.40 -0.81 -1.42 -2.43 3.39 -3.68 -1.52 -1.13 4.26 -1.06 -3.86 8.72 -5.72 0.70 -1.91 -2.80

63.40 268.30 371.60 595.80 307.50 284.80 212.00 606.00 23.60 13.60 237.10 239.50 82.10 37.90 28.50 206.40 54.20 28.60 57.70 25.00

69.70 270.60 377.00 635.00 315.00 289.50 216.00 613.00 24.70 13.60 238.00 243.00 86.10 39.50 28.40 224.40 54.00 30.00 58.60 25.80

66.00 253.10 354.10 588.30 302.00 282.00 208.10 586.00 23.60 13.00 233.20 235.00 84.40 37.10 27.20 201.00 50.20 28.60 56.00 24.10

68.44 260.36 364.14 615.79 307.48 285.17 212.11 599.05 24.42 13.23 236.13 239.95 85.22 37.98 27.72 214.03 52.51 29.23 57.71 24.67

2.19 10.23 20.68 23.48 22.36 11.36 3.28 26.09 3.66 0.98 1.40 16.90 8.50 2.64 1.03 2.92 7.26 2.06 4.36 1.52

31.3 25.5 17.6 26.2 13.8 25.1 64.7 23.0 6.7 13.5 168.7 14.2 10.0 14.4 26.9 73.3 7.2 14.2 13.2 16.2



Thursday, April 17, 2014


China denies US warning of undervalued currency

Pakistan publishes list to embarrass tax cheats into paying up

n Reuters, Beijing

n Reuters, Islamabad

China rejected on Wednesday a warning from the Obama administration that its currency was too weak, urging the United States to recognise that China aims to “perfect and regulate” the exchange rate system. The Obama administration on Tuesday warned China that its currency was too weak and expressed doubt over the Asian giant’s resolve to let market forces guide the value of the yuan. In a semiannual report to Congress, the US Treasury stopped short of declaring China a currency manipulator, but singled it out among large US trading partners for its currency practices. “Recent developments in the ... exchange rate raise particularly serious concerns if they presage a retreat from China’s announced policy of allowing the exchange rate to reflect market forces,” the Treasury said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China would continue with the “reform of its renminbi exchange rate mechanism”. The yuan is also known as the renminbi. “We aim to perfect and regulate the exchange rate system,” Hua said at a daily news briefing. “We hope the US can correctly recognise this and appropriately deal with the relevant trade issues related to the RMB exchange rate, and take a cooperative and constructive attitude with the Chinese side, making unceasing shared efforts to push forward the trade cooperation between China and the US.” The United States sees currency management by China and other de-

Desperate Pakistani tax authorities are publicly shaming defaulters by publishing their tax details in a directory for the first time, officials said on Wednesday. The cash-strapped authorities find it almost impossible to chase down the large number of defaulters - many of them powerful politicians - through the country’s moribund courts. Only around one in 200 citizens files income tax, leaving the state begging foreign donors to help fund crumbling public schools and hospitals. Anger over poor public services fuels the Taliban insurgency and other militant groups destabilizing the nuclear-armed nation. So far, there’s little been political will to improve tax collection, since most legislators and many ministers have been tax evaders too. Reformists hope publication of the directory marks a change of policy. “We hope this will become the talk of the town,” said Shahid Asad, the spokesman of the Federal Board of Revenue. “People will be living these luxurious life styles and others will be saying to them – where is your name on that list?” Cracking down on tax evasion is a key condition of a $6.7bn loan from the International Monetary Fund intended to prop up Pakistan’s dwindling foreign reserves. The cash is being doled out in increments and should stop if Pakistan fails to institute reforms. Directory publication signals that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is serious about tackling the problem, said Umar

Oil prices mixed after weak Chinese GDP data n AFP, Singapore Oil prices were mixed in Asia yesterday after data showed Chinese economic growth slowed further in the first quarter of the year, while investors await the latest US supply report, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for May delivery, rose six cents to $103.81, while Brent North Sea crude for June eased 18 cents to $109.18 on its first day of trading. Brent’s May contract expired Tuesday. China’s economy expanded 7.4% year-on-year in January-March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday, weaker than the 7.7% expansion in October-December. While the figure exceeded the median forecast of 7.3% in a survey of 13 economists by AFP, it is the latest in a string of figures showing the world’s number two economy and key driver of global growth is slowing. Dealers are also awaiting the latest US stockpiles report out later yesterday for clues about demand in the world’s biggest economy. l

Chinese banknotes are seen at a vendor's cash box at a market in Beijing veloping countries as an impediment to rebalancing the global economy away from a situation in which rich nations borrow heavily to buy goods from poor nations. Emerging markets often build dollar reserves by keeping their currencies weak to spur more exports, pushing developed economies to borrow to cover their import bill.

Gaining an edge?

The United States initially welcomed a move by China in March to allow the yuan currency to vary more in value. But in the month prior to China’s trading band decision, there were reports of “heavy intervention” by Chinese authorities to keep the yuan’s value low, the US Treasury said in its

report. Many US lawmakers and firms have long complained that China deliberately undervalues the yuan to gain an edge in international markets. Some developing countries argue that America’s easy-money interest rate policies result in a flood of cash into their markets, pushing them to build up dollar reserves to intervene in their currencies and keep them stable. In the report, the Treasury said currency interventions and dollar reserve accumulation appeared to have increased globally in the second half of 2013. “Progress on rebalancing global demand continues to remain inadequate and may, in fact, have worsened,” the Treasury said. While noting a rise last year in the


value of the yuan, the report said the increase was too slow and did not go far enough. “Factors indicate a RMB exchange rate that remains significantly undervalued,” it said. The turn lower in the yuan this year, however, drew particular scrutiny in the report: “This suggests continued actions to impede market determination.” As has become its custom, Washington called on the stronger economies in Europe to do more to boost domestic demand so as to lift the economic growth in the euro zone. However, the Treasury did appear to soften its criticism against Germany, dropping language from a prior report that labeled Berlin’s economic policy as having a deflationary impact on Europe. l

Cheema of the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan. “It’s a kind of miracle,” said Cheema, who triggered a public outcry when his outfit published two reports showing that nearly 70% of Pakistani lawmakers did not file taxes in 2011 and around half did not file in 2012. “Information is the first step towards change,” he said. “Tax has become part of the mainstream debate and people are getting radicalised about tax evasion by the rich.” The publication of the directory makes Pakistan the fourth country in the world – after Sweden, Finland and Norway – to publish the details of all individual and corporate tax payers. Citizens have until May 15 to dispute the records. But some reformists doubt that public shaming will be enough to provoke payment in a country where most of the wealthy are tax cheats. They are calling for prosecutions - no one has been jailed for income tax evasion for more than 25 years. “By publishing this figure, they can’t say they have done their job. They should pinpoint tax offenders, start an investigation and prosecute them,” said Ikramul Haq, a professor of tax law and Supreme Court lawyer. “Otherwise what is the purpose of publishing this list? It is just wasting time.” Many judges, generals and legislators were not on the 17,000 page list, he said, underscoring the deep-rooted interests that prevent reform. But Pakistan’s problems go beyond just collecting more taxes, said Nadeem Haque, a former deputy head of the country’s Planning Commission. l

USAID programmes to use mobile money payment system

Yen weakens as buoyant stocks boost sentiment

n Tribune Business Desk

n AFP, Tokyo

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the FHI360 Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project has signed an agreement with the WorldFish Center and Dnet to utilise mobile money payments within their agriculture and health programmes in Bangladesh. These one-year grants would enable NGO development partners currently implementing USAID programmes to move away from cash payments and use mobile technology to exchange money, said a press release. As a result, project staff, vendors, and other individuals such as community health workers and fish farmers would be able to deliver and receive aid funds through electronic transactions to increase efficiency within their programmes. As part of this collaboration, mSTAR offers targeted grants to help USAID development partners adopt and accelerate the use of mobile money and electronic payments.

The yen weakened in Asia on yesterday as the head of the Bank of Japan said the country was on target to meet its inflation target next year while buoyant equity markets lifted investor sentiment. In Tokyo afternoon trading, the greenback fetched 102.19 yen, up from 101.94 yen on Tuesday in New York, as traders moved out of the Japanese unit which is seen as a safe haven during times of turmoil and uncertainty. The euro also rose to 141.27 yen from 140.80 yen, while the single currency fetched $1.3824 against $1.3813 in US trade. Helping boost sentiment was Chinese economic growth figures for the first three months of the year that came in slightly above forecasts. China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the world’s number two economy expanded 7.4% year on year in January-March. The figure was lower than the 7.7% seen in the final three months of last year and marks the fourth slowdown in the past five quarters, putting China on track for its worst annual performance since 1990. But “many were anticipating bad results. Compared to such earlier speculation the reading was much better,” a senior dealer at a Japanese bank told Dow Jones Newswires. And the numbers were slightly up on the 7.3% median forecast in a survey of 13 economists by AFP. “China’s GDP slightly contributed to the pressure on the yen, but rather, rallies in the stock market are improving risk sentiment, which is a bigger factor,” said Shinichiro Kadota, a forex analyst at Barclays in Tokyo. Traders were also listening to comments from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, after the BoJ disappointed markets when it stood pat

Jeff de Graffenried, Programme Development Officer of USAID, Bangladesh along with others was present at the event In addition, the grants help organisations overcome initial cost barriers that may exist with shifting to electronic payments. Introducing these digital payment transaction platforms can help pave the way for the emergence of new business models that make basic services more accessible to the general public. The WorldFish Center will incorporate mobile money technology to help them disburse allowances to around 13,000 farmers participating in training workshops under the USAID Feed the Future initiative in the Khulna region.

Dnet will incorporate electronic payments under the USAID Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action mobile phone health messaging programme to reimburse registration fees, travel and training expenses of more than 1,000 of their “Aponjon” community health workers and field staff in 25 districts, and to pay local vendors. Over the course of the grant, WorldFish and Dnet will compare the difference between mobile and cash payments in terms of cost, efficiency and convenience. l

Muklesur Rahman MD and CEO of NRB Bank seen handing over a memento to the newly elected chair of ABB (Association of Bankers, Bangladesh), Ali Reza Iftekhar at a reception programme organised by NRB Bank

Dutch-Bangla Bank has arranged an operation camp (cataract operation) at free of cost for a hundred poor patients at Dhaka Eye Hospital in Mirpur-1, Dhaka under the supervision of Bangladesh National Society for the Blind as part of its social cause activities to serve the distressed humanity. KS Tabrez, the bank’s managing director visited the operation camp yesterday

Mutual Trust Bank Ltd recently organised a conference on anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism for its branches’ compliance officers at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development in Comilla. The bank’s deputy managing director, Md Hashem Chowdhury inaugurated the conference as chief guest

Managing director and CEO of Prime Bank Limited, Md Ehsan Khasru at a press conference yesterday that was organised on the occasion of the bank’s 19th anniversary at a city hotel

on its year-old monetary easing programme last week, despite fears that an April 1 sales tax rise - Japan’s first in 17 years - would hold back its recovery. Kuroda told a parliamentary session Wednesday that it was too soon to talk about exiting the easing campaign, as the Federal Reserve winds down its own stimulus drive. The BoJ chief added that Japan was on track to hit a 2% inflation target seen as key to conquering years of falling prices and flat growth. The BoJ chief also rejected suggestions that recent stock market volatility was linked to the bank’s stimulus drive, launched last year. Kuroda acknowledged volatility may have increased “a little bit” but added that it was “difficult to flatly state that (the easing programme) is strengthening the speculative nature of the markets”. Investors remain jittery over the situation in Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that it was now on the verge of civil war after the Kiev government sent in the army against pro-Kremlin separatists in the east of the country. There are planned four-way talks on Ukraine on Thursday between top diplomats of Russia, the European Union, the United States and Ukraine. In other trade, the dollar weakened to Sg$1.2514 from Sg$1.2537 on Tuesday, to 1,038.26 South Korean won from 1,042.00 won, to 44.51 Philippine pesos from 44.56 pesos, and to 60.25 Indian rupees from 60.31 rupees. The greenback firmed to 11,480.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,437.50 rupiah, to Tw$30.25 from Tw$30.21, and to 32.33 Thai baht from 32.30 baht. The Australian dollar weakened to 93.72 US cents from 93.95 cents while the Chinese yuan fetched 16.42 yen against 16.37 yen. l

New blend yarn unit of Pahartali Textile and Hosiery Mills, a unit of MM Ispahani Limited was recently inaugurated at Ispahani Complex, Pahartali in Chittagong by the company’s chair Ali Behrouze Ispahani



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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fall for the perfect partner, not the priciest ring n Ivdad Ahmed Khan Mojlish Sitting back in my school’s cozy auditorium, I listened with rapt attention to a riveting talk on entrepreneurship by Andy Dunn, founder of the popular e-commerce driven apparel brand – Bonobos. In the course of his spiel, he used a brilliant analogy to underscore the importance of having the right co-founders in business; one that swooned and drew raucous laughter and applause from the audience. He said: “Fall for the perfect partner, not the priciest ring.” What’s more important in a conjugal life – the person you will have fun living with or the one who offers the more expensive gifts? At the risk of sounding experienced (no clue at all!), I guess there’s nothing like getting lucky enough to stumble upon one with both attributes! However, in reality, if you had a choice, logic and emotion would unequivocally answer the former. And that’s exactly the point that Andy was trying to hit home as he paralleled the simile to entrepreneurship. It’s wiser, safer, and absolutely paramount to team up with person(s) who you will just love doing business with. Finding the right business partner is one of the most seemingly easiest but practically difficult tasks. From Silicon Valley to the meandering alleys of Dhaka, it’s the same old story. I have heard of many narratives where two or more persons scramble to co-found an initiative in a moment of frenzy, but part ways much sooner than they had even imagined. Not only that, this sad phenomenon can also be traced in many more apparently committed partnerships. As a spillover, personal relationships frail, a brilliant idea falls flat, and the intended economic/social impact barely gets to see the light of day. Whether drawing knowledge from listening to inspiring talks, reading a book, or reflecting on and analyzing observed events, I have come to the realisation that it’s infinitely more imperative to tag along with the right partner, or more, than to just select whimsically.


As famous business author, Jim Collins, beautifully articulates, “Leaders that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who.’ They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” As a co-founder of a humble startup, if I may dare to share my thoughts on the traits that you will need to look at while looking for the perfect partner, I’d say the three most important elements, and necessarily in a sequential order, are: trust, commitment, and proficiency. Look, at the end of the day, you have to realise that your capacity to earn breads will depend in part on the actions of the other partner(s). Work with

someone whom you can blindly trust. Someone who is willing to go to the world’s end to see through the idea you have conceptualized. Someone who will not stab your back, siphon off finance, or malign your image. Once that level of trust is established, you will need to understand how much time he/she can give. Contingent on that, you will be able to determine what amount of responsibilities he/she can burden. Now keep in mind that everyone has a personal life and as such priorities are meant to vary. While some experts opine that partners should share as much off-work hours as possible to fortify kinship, others differ to say that as long as the professional commitments are met, you shouldn’t

even care if they live in another part of the world. Bottom-line is, you have to use your best judgment, an offshoot from the established level of trust, to measure what best suits your requirements. The final straw is dexterity. Always look for someone who can bring a different set of skill to the table than that of yours. There’s little point in having co-founders with a complementary skill-set as that predisposes homogeneity. It’s best to work with someone who adds a new feather to the organisational repertoire, in effect broadening the competency bandwidth. Believe me, the gains of undertaking the search for the perfect partner is worth the pain. The power of a suc-

cessful partnership holds the potential to weather menacing blizzards that will leave you awestruck. While there’s no guarantee that it will always culminate in a success, the odds of getting it right are significantly higher. So next time you are in a dilemma between choosing a person or a largess, know that falling in love with the perfect human is more gracious and desirable than getting enamored by other fleeting parcels of life, or in this case business. l Ivdad Ahmed Khan Mojlish is the Managing Director at LightCastle Partners, an emerging market specialized business planning and intelligence firm. The article was originally published in the LCP Blog (lightcastlebd. com/blog)

New CEO Nadella pushes data culture at Microsoft n Reuters, San Francisco Microsoft Corp needs a “data culture” to thrive in the new computing environment, according to Chief Executive Satya Nadella, in his third public appearance in three weeks putting his imprint on the software company. Nadella, who took the helm in February, is seeking to push Microsoft further toward mobile and ‘cloud,’ or Internet-connected, computing. That marks a shift from his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, whose world view was more tied to personal computers and the Windows operating system. “Every aspect of Microsoft’s business is being fundamentally transformed because of data,” said Nadella at a presentation in San Francisco on Tuesday. “You have to build deeply into the fabric of the company a culture that thrives on data.” From managing its own heating costs to analyzing customers’ website usage, Nadella set out Microsoft’s plan to play a central role in gathering, storing, processing and presenting data, taking advantage of its database products, data centers and its Office suite of applications, including the ubiquitous Excel spreadsheet program. “Think of Office as the canvas, or the surface area, or the scaffolding from which you can access the data,” said Nadella. His comments about a data-driven computing environment were not ground-breaking, but they form a part of a striking new approach at Microsoft, which Nadella calls “mobile first, cloud first.” Broadly, that means focusing on making Microsoft’s internet-friendly software widely available as services rather than traditional products, and playing a role in all realms of computing rather than just attempting to dominate markets with Windows and Office. l

China’s economy slows sharply in first quarter n AFP, Beijing China’s GDP grew at its weakest pace for 18 months in the March quarter, data showed Wednesday, testing Beijing’s resolve as its campaign to transform the world’s number-two economy comes at the cost of a sharp slowdown. Analysts said that while China’s leaders will not likely react to the news with any significant measures to boost the economy for now, they suggested that further weakening could tip their hand. Gross domestic product grew 7.4% on year in the first three months of 2014, well down from the 7.7% in October-December. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) blamed the figures on a slower-than-expected global recovery as well as economic structural reforms at home. The result was the worst since a similar 7.4% expansion in the third quarter of 2012, but marginally higher than a median forecast of 7.3% in a survey of 13 economists by AFP. It marks the fourth slowdown in the past six quarters and comes as Beijing shows a willingness to accept weaker growth, as leaders try to pivot the economy away from decades of double-digit expansion fuelled by bigticket investment projects. NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun told reporters China is in the “crucial stage of structural reform”, while government efforts to get rid of outdated industrial capacity, conserve energy and protect the environment “come at a price.”

‘Policy response likely to be muted’

Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, wrote in an analysis Premier “Li Keqiang presumably already had a good idea of where Q1 growth would come in when he ruled out major stimulus last week”.


He added: “Meanwhile, today’s figures show that wage growth continues to outstrip output growth, suggesting that the labour market, now policymakers’ primary concern, remains healthy. “As a result, the policy response to today’s numbers is likely to be muted.” Authorities say they want consumer spending and other forms of private demand to propel the economy into a future of more sound and sustainable growth, though they are quick to emphasise that rebalancing must not come at the expense of job creation. The government “must fortify confidence to promote reform”, Sheng vowed. China’s “external environment remains complicated and volatile, and the national economy still faces downward pressure”, he said. But he stressed the number of new urban jobs created in the first quarter was 3.44 million, 40,000 more than the same period in 2013. The government last month announced a target of creating 10 million new city jobs this year. “The more important (indicators) by which we judge whether the growth rate has slipped below the targeted range ... are employment and income,” he said. Li last week poured cold water on measures to boost growth, saying authorities “will not resort to short-term stimulus policies just because of temporary economic fluctuations”. Rather, he said they “will pay more attention to sound development in the medium- and long-run”. China in March set its annual growth target for this year at about 7.5%, the same as last year, though officials, including Li, have been quick to stress the target is flexible - seen as a hint it may not be reached.

The last time China missed the target was in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.

Positive factors at play now

The economy grew 7.7% in 2013, the same as 2012 - the worst pace since 7.6% in 1999. For the full-year 2014, the median forecast in the AFP survey was for expansion of 7.4%. The NBS also said industrial production, a measure output at factories, workshops and mines, rose 8.8% yearon-year in March, from a combined January-February figure of 8.6%. Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, increased 12.2 percent in the same month, the NBS said, accelerating from 11.8% in January-February. China announced combined statistics for January and February due to the country’s Lunar New year holiday week, which fell in both months. Fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, rose 17.6% on-year in the first three months of this year from the same period last year. Liu Li-Gang, Hong Kong-based economist for ANZ Bank, said the figure was no surprise and there were some positive factors at play now. “We think the Chinese economy will likely rebound in the second quarter due to seasonal factors - like (the fact that) the number of newly started projects always peaks in June,” he told AFP. “But whether the rebound can be sustained depends on whether China will relax its monetary policy,” he added. “We think the central bank may continue with its current monetary policy and only relax it by cutting (the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve) if the economy shows signs of further slowdown in the third quarter.” l

Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford stands on top of the observation deck at the Empire State Building with the new 2015 Mustang convertible in honor of 50 years of the Ford Mustang AFP

Cash-rich global firms face calls to crack open war chests n AFP, Tokyo Impatient shareholders are calling on the world’s top firms to start spending some of the eye-popping $2.8tn in cash built up since the financial crisis, as analysts warn that their thriftiness could be holding back global growth. The combined war chests held by companies including Apple, Google and Samsung - roughly equivalent to the size of France’s economy - has swelled since the 2008 global downturn hammered stock markets and saw nervous firms pinching their pennies as they waited out the storm. But even as markets bounced back and business confidence recovered, the cash piles kept growing. That has prompted a drumbeat of calls for firms to start spending more on share buybacks or boosting dividends, building new factories, or acquiring rival firms. Among those targeted was Toyota, which last month announced a plan to start buying back $3.5bn worth of its shares after its annual investor meeting in June. The move by the world’s largest automaker would be the first time in five

years it has embarked on a buyback, which tends to boost a company’s stock and signals growing confidence among management. “Since Toyota has said it would scale down its investment over the next three years, share buybacks are one of the practical options that a cashrich company can take,” said Yusuke Miura, analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center in Japan. Toyota is far from alone. Together, Apple, Microsoft and Google have over $300bn in cash, while US non-financial firms held a record $1.64tn in all - double the amount back in 2007, according to a report last month by ratings agency Moody’s. While major US firms have also increased their debt in recent years, the cash buildup has generated criticism from investors and critics who say some of America’s best-known firms are hoarding money overseas -- and out of the hands of the taxman. But “Moody’s expects businesses to remain cautious over the next year, with spending on capital investments, dividends, acquisitions and share buybacks going up only slightly,” it said.

Cash ‘rethink’

Earlier this year, US activist investor Carl Icahn said Apple was “doing a disservice to shareholders”, despite the iPhone maker agreeing to a plan that would return some $100bn to investors including $60bn in share buybacks. The billionaire has since said he would no longer press Apple - whose cash holdings are larger than Hungary’s economy - after a proxy advisory firm recommended against his proposal. “Companies have been well served during the financial crisis by being fiscally prudent,” said a January report by consultancy Deloitte, which pegged the liquid holdings of the world’s top 1,000 firms at about $2.8tn. But it added that “this could hamper their progress in times of recovery. Companies now need to rethink their cash strategy to create growth opportunities.” Mark Carney, current head of the Bank of England, was more blunt in a 2012 speech as he derided unused corporate cash as “dead money. “If companies can’t figure out what to do with it, then they should give it to shareholders and they’ll figure it out,” said Carney, then governor of the Bank of Canada. l

April 17, 2014  
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