Boishakh 8, 1421 Jamadius Sani 20, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 22
MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
B1 | HBFC TO SUSPEND HOME LOANS
7 | SYNERGIES IN THE FINANCIAL LANDSCAPE
20 pages | Price: Tk10
14 | PSG WIN LEAGUE CUP
9 | RUSSIA ‘OUTRAGED’
Shafi’s madrasa grabs railway land Temperature hits record peak
Madrasa authority buys land beside the Tk15 crore railway property to get the lease n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong The authorities of Hathazari Madrasa, the stronghold of the radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, have kept hold of one acre of land worth Tk15 crore, owned by Bangladesh Railway, even after being refused the lease three years back. The railway authorities turned down their application since the rules do not permit the leasing of the 0.8 acre railway pond and the 0.2 acre of agriculture land on the Station Road area to anyone who does not have land adjacent to the location. Later the madrasa challenged the refusal at a court which has yet to be settled. Recently, they bought a piece of land beside the pond to fulfil the lease requirements. During a visit, the Dhaka Tribune correspondent saw a tin-shed house beside the pond in which the rooms are being rented out to shops and for residence. Moreover, there is an under-construction semi-pucca establishment. PAGE 2 COLUMN 5
ABDUCTION OF AB SIDDIQUE
Police still to make anything public n Kailash Sarkar Police are still not willing to make anything public even if they have made progress in the investigation of the abduction of Abu Bakar Siddique, the husband of environment activist Syeda Rizwana Hasan. Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam told journalists at his office yesterday that they had nothing to say as yet about the progress made in investigation. However, he said they have been working on the issue continuously and will inform everyone when the time comes. Meanwhile, authorities have arranged for special security for Siddique, Rizwana and their family; although the couple said they were not happy with the arrangements. Rizwana told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that they could not feel safe until the abductors were arrested. “Security forces have been deployed to our residence. They are escorting us all the time. But it cannot go on forever... We feel neither secure nor easy with them [security forces] around. This measure has curbed our freedom,” said Rizwana. PAGE 2 COLUMN 5
5 The mosquito menace in several areas of the capital continues to rise at an alarming rate as the two Dhaka city corporations were yet to take effective measures to curb the nuisance.
6 Members of seven ethnic minority families in Rajshahi district are living under open sky as their houses were demolished.
11 The official line given at the sudden departure of the British MD of Biman
The country experienced the hottest day of the year yesterday as temperature reached 40.6 degrees Celsius in Rangamati. The Met office said the second highest temperature, 40.3 degrees Celsius, was measured in Chuadanga whereas in Dhaka it was 38.5 degrees Celsius. It said the heat wave would continue for the next few days as there was no sign of rainfall in the atmosphere. “The hot weather will be there for a couple of days but will not go beyond April 27,” said Sanaul Hoque Mondal, a meteorologist of the office, adding that the temperature was likely to reach 4143 degrees Celsius within the next few days due to the absence of rainfall. Regarding the absence of rainfall, the Met office said the westerly wind, which is responsible for rainfall in this time of the year, was yet to blow, thus causing the intolerable heat wave. According to the Met office, the country has experienced only 751 mil-
A signboard placed inside the railway pond states that the Hathazari madrasa possesses it and a farm land on Station Road upon permission of the communications minister DHAKA TRIBUNE
1,058 Rana Plaza survivors out of work n Tribune Report Sajal Das, a survivor of last year’s Rana Plaza collapse, has been jobless for the last one month and all his savings have exhausted. He was forced to quit three jobs in the last six months for what the employers claimed was his failure to perform properly. More humiliating, he was not given the wage for the month when he quit the last job. The 26-year-old still feels the pain of being physically challenged by the injuries he received in the disaster on April 24 last year. Now he cannot work for two hours at a stretch. Two months back Sajal took a job at a factory belonging to Al-Muslim Group but he was able to deliver only 50% of the expected work. “The factory officials were not happy with my output. I had no option but to quit the job,” he said, adding that he had joined the work before being fully cured. A worker at the New Wave Style on the sixth floor of the Rana Plaza building, Sajal was rescued from the debris five hours after the collapse. He was injured in the back and waist, and carried the trauma of the experience with him, always.
n Abu Bakar Siddique
appointed a year ago, Kevin Steele, was that he was forced to quit the airline faced with health issues.
12 Suchitra Sen Film Festival at the BSA saw huge audience in the weekend. The festival features nine timeless Bangla and Hindi films acted by the diva.
13 Dhaka Gladiators chairman Salim Chowdhury slammed ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit’s manner of investigation regarding the fixing allegations which engulfed the second edition of BPL.
REASONS FOR BEING JOBLESS
The doctors asked him to take enough rest and continue treatment. But he was forced to take a job as he could not afford the cost of medicines. Even the money he had got as assistance was almost spent. A recent study report says one year after the incident, as many as 1,058 workers (73.7%) of the 1,436 surveyed have not returned to regular work.
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UNWILLINGNESS TO WORK
23.76% PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA 63.74% PHYSICAL AILMENT TOTAL RESPONDENTS
NOT RETURNED TO JOB
‘Everyone is talking about financial support for Rana Plaza victims, but many are living with trauma’ The study says around 63.74% of the respondents mentioned physical ailment, 23.76% trauma and 7.54% mentioned the employers’ unwillingness as reasons behind not being in jobs or leaving jobs. Findings of the survey conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh were revealed yesterday at a programme in the Brac Centre Inn of the capital. There were five garment factories
DON'T HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES
CAN NOT MEET DAILY NEEDS
FACING SOME DIFFICULTIES
FACING A LOT OF DIFFICULTIES
SNAPSHOT OF COMPENSATION MADE Number of survivors acknowledged Source of support
Government Cash support through mobile cash transfer BGMEA Private Foreign Organisations Others Source: Action Aid
Assistive device Psychosocial (wheel chair, help etc.)
Heat wave hits Rajshahi badly
The mercury lately soared to 35-40 degrees Celsius in Rajshahi, leaving people outdoors panting for water and cool air. PAGE 2 COLUMN 6
HC: No male doctor should examine rape victims to determine age n Tribune Report
JOBLESS SURVIVORS OF RANA PLAZA 4.06%
limetres of rainfall this month which is far below the expected amount. “For instance, the average rainfall during this period in Dhaka is 127 millimetres while we’ve got only 39 millimetres till yesterday,” an official at the Met office said. In the last 10 years, the highest temperature in the country was recorded 43.2 degrees Celsius in Jessore in 2009 and the second highest 41.5 degrees Celsius in Chuadanga on April 9 last year. However, the highest temperature that hit the country was 45.1 degree Celsius on May 18, 1972. Although temperature in Dhaka is lower compared to other areas, it feels hotter. Meteorologists said this was the result of higher population density, fewer plantation and loads of concrete structures.
468 444 236 29
9 12 1,188 63
0 1 8 0
3 4 51 0
3 67 1,722 83
483 528 3,205 175
LATIF HOSSAIN/DT INFOGRAPHIC
The High Court yesterday ordered the Directorate General of Health Services to ensure that male doctors do not conduct medical tests to determine the age of rape victims. On April 2, the court had asked the DGHS director general to appear before it to clarify if he implemented a previous order on appointing female doctors to examine rape victims. DG Deen Mohammad Noorul Huq’s lawyer SM Rezaul Karim informed the court that 40 female physicians had been appointed to different hospitals across the country. He also apologised for not informing the court about it on time. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hosain yesterday disposed its previous ruling and cleared the DG. On April 16 last year, the HC on its own motion issued a ruling, asking the government and Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s director to explain why they should not be directed to take action against male doctors examining rape victims to determine their ages. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
JS body for opening of national database to stop NID counterfeiting n Tribune Report A parliamentary watchdog yesterday assigned two lawmakers to inquire into the incident of counterfeiting of national identity card and talk to the Election Commission on the possibility of opening of its database to stop such forgery. The parliamentary standing committee on Public Administration Ministry at its meeting expressed concerns as the police on Saturday detected a syndicate that made over 53,000 fake
national ID cards. The 10-member watchdog observed that the EC database containing the number and names of nationals should be opened to enable people to verify the authenticity of the data. Awami League MP Abdur Rahman and RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury have been assigned to talk to the EC that maintains the restricted database. “We have come to know about the haul of over 53,000 fake ID cards. Is there any guarantee that 53 lakh more have not been counterfeited already?”
Abdur Rahman, MP from Faridpur 1, said while talking to the Dhaka Tribune. “So, the database should be made open. We will talk to the commission officials and report back to the standing committee,” he said. National ID cards are a must for opening bank accounts, taking admission and many other activities. “Any bank opening an account must have the opportunity to verify whether the national ID cards are genuine. Otherwise, we will get fake bank accounts
for illegal transactions,” a committee member told the Dhaka Tribune. He said the person named Rahim caught by the police could easily introduce himself as Karim just showing a fake identity card. Committee members ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, Sukumar Ranjan Ghosh, Md Abdullah, Mostafa Lutfullah and Amina Ahmed attended the meeting at the parliament building with Chairman HN Ashequr Rahman presiding. l
Hawker eviction: 5 Ansar members hurt in clash n Mohammad Jamil Khan
At least five Ansar members were hurt in a clash with hawkers while the lawmen were conducting a drive to evict them from in front of the emergency gate of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, yesterday. The drive was launched by the Dhaka South City Corporation in a bid to clear illegal establishments from the hospital premises. Executive Magistrate Atul Mondol led the drive along with the DMCH director, deputy director and assistant directors. The drive started around 3:30pm and continued till 4pm. At least 50 unathorised shops were evicted during the drive from the DMCH emergency gate up till the Shaheed Minar. Soon after the magistrate left the spot, the hawkers chased the Ansar staff who retreated since they were few in number. The unruly hawkers vandalised the glass doors of the emergency unit. Later, the Ansar officials, reinforced by the Shahabagh police, made a counter chase and drove the hawkers out of the area. Additional police had been deployed to the area as a tense situation was prevailed. Earlier, the DSCC had launched an eviction drive on March 10, but the
Khaleda: Brutal misrule exists in country n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla A cruel misrule dictated by a single individual’s wishes now prevails in the country, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has said. “This is what the country has got now; instead of the rule of law and opposition, activists as well as the general people have become victims of this,” she said in a statement signed by BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. “During the tenure of the incumbent government, the rule of law has been so badly damaged that the opposition activists are not only being implicated in false cases but are also being robbed of their rights to seek legal resolution.” With a view to suppress opposition parties, the illegal government has turned every institution of the state, including police, into its associate bodies, said the former premier, adding that it has got itself completely detached from the people. Denouncing the ruling administration, Khaleda said it has crossed the final limit of despotism and thus has turned into a giant monster. She said the country is now crossing a key transitional period amid deep frustration and anarchy. The countrymen do not have any safety in their lives and properties, the BNP chief added. In the statement, Khaleda demanded that a false case against BNP leader Amanullah Aman and Goyeshwar Chandra Roy be withdrawn and also called for their unconditional release. l
The parliamentary panel on religious affairs yesterday asked the ministry officials to be alert so Rohingya Muslims cannot use the Hajj pilgrim to go to Saudi Arabia using Bangladeshi passports as they did in the past. At its maiden meeting, the parliamentary standing committee on Religious Affairs Ministry said the government must strongly deal with unscrupulous Hajj agents accused of human trafficking in the pretext of pilgrimage where over 2.2 million Bangla-
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A signboard placed there by the madrasa authorities after the rejection reads: “Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam is the possessing owner of these 2.64 acres of agricultural land and the pond, with the permission of the honourable communications minister.” When contacted, former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain said he had never made any such commitment to the Hathazari Madrasa authorities. Local sources say one katha of land is being sold at Tk25 lakh in the area. Therefore, the price of the encroached land stands at around Tk15 crore. Abdul Bari, assistant estate officer at the railway’s East Zone, said the madrasa authorities have encroached on the pond by placing a signboard and putting up pillars. They also encroached on 0.2 acres of agricultural land that belongs to the railway. According to the railway sources, Shah Ahmed Shafi, chief of Hefazat and director of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam (better known as Hathazari Madrasa), had applied for the pond, an agricultural land of 1.86 acre and an abandoned building on 0.1 acre of land on August 16, 2010. The railway headquarters had formed a committee to submit a report on the application after scrutiny said Mohammed Kamrul Amin, chief estate officer at the East Zone, to the Dhaka Tribune.
“The committee, in its report submitted on February 17, 2011, observed that a section of the guideline on leasing out railway land will have to be amended to lease the land to the madrasa authorities,” he said. The Office of the Director General had rejected the application on receiving the report and the madrasa authorities were informed about it in a letter sent on July 13, 2011. “We have already served a notice to the madrasa authorities to vacate the farm land while the process is underway to reclaim the pond,” Kamrul said. Azizul Hoque Islamabadi, organising secretary of Hefazat, said they had applied for the lease and kept it “protected by putting the pillars” since the process was yet to be completed. He claimed that they were neither using the land nor had they erected any structure on it. “There are about 14,000 students and the madrasa authorities have been bearing their expenses. We hope that the railway authorities will lease the land to us immediately considering the welfare of these people,” said Azizul, who is also a teacher at the Qawmi madrasa. Railway sources said they had earlier sold out 1.6 acres of land at the market rate to the Hathazari Madrasa on March 15, 1993 and 1.31 acres of agricultural land was leased out on October 26, 1992. l
1,058 Rana Plaza survivors
Vendors engage in a clash with DMCH authorities yesterday after they were evicted from the front of the hospital hawkers again congregated in front of the emergency gate of the hospital. A source said a section of unscrupulous hospital staff was involved with the hawkers who set up shops there. However, Abdul Khaleq, president of the DMCH class four workers’ association, refuted the allegation. Assistant Platoon Commander of
Ansar, Abu Taleb, told the Dhaka Tribune that five of their officials received injuries from the hawkers’ attack. Khaza Abdul Gafur Fakir, assistant director (admin) of DMCH, told the Dhaka Tribune the DSCC eviction team launched the drive to free the roads, but the hawkers went on a rampage and attacked the Ansar members.
Shirajul Islam, officer-in-charge of Shahabagh police station, said DMCH ward master Abu Taleb, who is also the secretary of class four workers’ association, filed a case against some unidentified people for vandalising the hospital glass doors and attacking its staff. Investigation is underway to trace the attackers, he added. l
Haider Ali made acting chief prosecutor n Udisa Islam The Law Ministry yesterday issued a gazette, stating that prosecutor Syed Haider Ali would act as the chief prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal in the absence of Ghulam Arif Tipoo. The gazette caused confusion within the prosecution team as Tipoo, who has been on leave for treatment in Singapore since April 13, had handed over the charge to Zead al Malum verbally before leaving. Inside sources said the chief prosecutor could keep someone in charge whom he could reply on and felt most comfortable, and Zead had been in
charge of the administration of the office since the beginning whenever the chief prosecutor was out of country. “How could the ministry make such a decision?” said a source. The sources also claimed that before leaving Tipoo had consulted with the law minister about issuing a letter of handing over charges, but the minister had told him that there was no need – the prosecution’s office would run as usual. According to yesterday’s notification signed by Mohammad Shahin Uddin, senior deputy secretary of the ministry, the government granted Tipoo a month’s leave from April 13.
When contacted, Zead al Malum said the chief prosecutor had asked him to continue the duty. Asked if it could affect conducting of the cases, prosecutor Tureen Afroz said: “As I understand, someone acting cannot make vital decisions. So, there may not be any possibility of any major decisions that might change earlier decisions.” The prosecution has been in an uncomfortable situation since early this month after Mohammad Ali, the conducting lawyer in the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami, in a TV interview made negative comments about the whole team, particularly Tureen Afroz. l
Hefazat-e-Islam denies claim of negotiations with government n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong
The leaders of the radical Islamist platform Hefazat-e-Islami Bangladesh said yesterday that neither Anas Madani, the son of their chief Shah Ahmed Shafi, nor any other leaders have been engaged in any negotiation with the government. “A section of print and electronic media have been spreading baseless propaganda saying that Hefazat leaders have been negotiating with the government,” claimed a statement issued by the Hathazari madrasa-based group. It added that those who had been engaged in such activities were actually implementing the agenda of the atheists. “This is a conspiracy to create confusion among the Hefazat leaders and activists by raising different allegations against Anas, who is also the publicity
affairs secretary of the organisation,” said the statement. High officials of the government have met Shafi on different occasions with a commitment to implement the 13-point demands, Hefazat claimed, adding, “This does not mean that any negotiation is taking place, nor does it mean that any financial assistance has been accepted from the government.” Formed in early 2010, Hefazat resurfaced in February last year against the “atheist youths” who had been staging demonstrations at Shahbagh demanding the death penalty for all war criminals and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami. Hefazat then gave a 13-point demand that included death for “atheists,” formulation of an anti-blasphemy law, a ban on the mingling of men and women and a removal of sculptures.
Key posts of the central Dhaka unit and other committees of Hefazat, which claims to be a non-political group, are held by leaders of the Islamist parties under the BNP-led 18-party alliance. The statement was signed by seven top leaders of Hefazat including its Secretary General Junaid Babunagari. Hefazat also claimed that the Hathazari Madrasa authorities have leased a railway pond and a piece of agricultural land, but did not grab it. “The Hathazari Madrasa authorities applied for the lease of the railway land as per the legal procedures and the railway authorities have leased it out. However, it has not been handed over yet,” they said. The statement said: “The madrasa authorities have just encircled the land by putting up pillars and placing a signboard.” l
JS body warns of Rohingya trafficking as Hajj pilgrims n Tribune Report
Shafi’s madrasa grabs railway land
deshis work legally. The Saudi authorities very often come with the allegation that many of the Bangladeshi passport holders are involved in criminal activities. Dhaka refutes the allegation, saying thousands of Myanmar Muslims, known as Rohingyas, going to Saudi Arabia with fake Bangladeshi passports are involved in crimes. “We have recommended smooth management of the upcoming Hajj… The government must handle dishonest Hajj agents with an iron hand,” Awami League MP Bazlul Haque Haroon, chairman of the 10-member watchdog,
told reporters after the meeting at the parliament building. Replying to a question, he said: “We have asked the government to take measures so that no Rohingya can go to Saudi Arabia using Bangladeshi passports. They are defaming Bangladesh’s image abroad.” The private agencies are the major players in taking Hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh. Attending ministry officials informed the standing committee meeting that 101,758 Bangladeshis would perform Hajj this year and of them
10,000 people would go under public management while the rest were set to travel under private management. They said out of the 628 agencies registered for Hajj management, 134 have been “blacklisted” for irregularities. “Take legal actions against these agencies,” said the committee in its recommendation. Committee members Habibur Rahman Mollah, Md Aslamul Haque, Mohammad Amir Hossain, Dilara Begum, AKMA Awal and Sadhan Chandra Majumder attended the meeting. l
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housed in the faultily-built building. At least 1,135 people, mostly female workers, were killed in the deadly incident and over 2,500 sustained injuries. The report states that economic hardship is acute among the respondents. Still now, 66.6% are facing a lot of difficulties in meeting their daily needs while 2.4% are totally unable to meet the needs. It reveals that the families of the deceased are facing more difficulties than the survivors’ families. While 67.7% of such respondents mentioned a lot of difficulties in meeting the daily needs, 26% are facing only some difficulties, 4.2% are not in a position to meet their daily needs at all and 2.2% do not have any difficulties. “Everyone is talking about the financial support for the affected Rana Plaza workers. But there are still a large number of workers who are living with trauma who crucially require psychological counselling,” said ILO Bangladesh office Chief Srinavasa Reddy. The team leader, A Amanur Rahman, said: “Around 9.1% respondents said their conditions are deteriorating as some injuries need longer treatment. Some owners do not want to recruit the workers due to their lower productivity in comparison with the other workers.” Around 1,368 survivors received cash support from the ILO through bKash, 468 from the BGMEA and 504 from the government. Besides these, they got other assistance like psychological help and assistive devices, says
the report. Amanur said: “There is around Tk127 crore left in the Prime Minister’s Emergency Fund after the distribution of only Tk22 crore. Article 121 of the ILO Convention does not make compensation mandatory for international brands, which should be made mandatory. Also, proper implementation of the labour law is a must.” He said: “We have identified over 200 children of the victims’ families. Some of them did not get compensation at all. So, the compensations need to be distributed as soon as possible.” On the other hand, the family members of the deceased were exposed to life risks after getting compensation. The girls were forced into early marriages due to the lack of money, and the boys got involved in hazardous work and dropped out of schools. Amnaur suggested that the compensation money should be kept with the Rana Plaza Trust Fund. Otherwise it will be hard to coordinate all the sources. “It will be easy to coordinate one source and distribute the money. The government should also provide security for the victims who got compensations to avoid life risks.” Dr Mojtaba Kazazi, executive commissioner of the Rana Plaza Arrangement Coordination Committee, said: “The coordination committee led by the ILO has taken an initiative to open bank accounts for the affected families on a small scale to ensure that all the support is provided in a coordinated way.” l
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She also said: “The law enforcers keep on asking us if we need anything. But they do not tell us anything about the progress in investigation... They [investigators] tell us that they will inform us if any headway is made. They have not told me anything until today [Sunday].” She expressed concerns that the people suspected for the abduction are powerful. Siddique, who was abducted from Narayanganj on Wednesday afternoon, was dropped off by car to the capital’s Mirpur the next night – 30 hours after the abduction. He did not believe that he had been abducted for ransom. “If they had abducted me for money, the amount of ransom that they discussed among themselves, would not have fluctuated from Tk10 crore to Tk4 lakh or from Tk5 crore to Tk1 crore.” Narayanganj police sources said several raids have been conducted at different places in the district and in the capital and its outskirt from Saturday to Sunday. However, Syed Nurul Islam, Narayanganj district police chief, also declined making any comment on the raids and the progress. “We can only say that we are working on it very sincerely and relentlessly,” said Nurul. Rizwana filed an abduction case with the Fatullah police station in Narayanganj. Two separate committees of law enforcers – one 12-member group from Narayanganj district police and another 5-member group from the police headquarters – have been formed to help the investigation. The second committee comprises personnel from police, RAB and the Detective Branch. l
Local Met office said a mild heat wave hit most of the northern districts, restricting people’s movement, particularly at midday when heat from the sun reached its peak. Low-income groups, including day labourers and rickshaw pullers, were among the worst hit, forcing many to refrain from work. People preferred to stay inside due to the scorching heat as city roads and markets remained virtually deserted during the daytime. Traffic policeman Abu Jamal standing at a corner at Gourhanga rail crossing almost fell down on the street because of the sizzling temperature. “I couldn’t take it anymore. I was feeling drowsy and at one point almost collapsed,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. Officials, meanwhile, said temperatures this season might set a new record. “We aren’t certain about whether the situation in the northern districts would become worse but we’re assuming that we might cross last year’s record,” said an official of the local Met office yesterday. Physicians at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) have advised people to drink enough water during the daytime, cold water if possible. Mahbubur Rahman Khan, Associate Professor of Medicine at RMCH, told the Dhaka Tribune that children, newborn babies, elderly people and cardiac patients usually suffer most in sultry weather. “Sufficient oral saline and water should be taken to have protection from dehydration,” he said. Mango farmers in Rajshahi, meanwhile, are worried that they might get a poor production this year. l
Rs80 lakh recovered, one arrested in Uttara n Kailash Sarkar
RANA PLAZA COLLAPSE
Government may ask for fresh DNA samples n Mohosinul Karim Following suggestions from the DNA profiling authority, the government is planning to circulate public notice seeking fresh DNA samples for the 115 unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza collapse. It is also mulling a comprehensive DNA profile database for readymade garment workers, although the tasked is deemed to be a steep on. The National DNA Profiling Authorityrecently submitted five recommendations to the Labour Ministry detailing various short- and long-term preparations for tackling such disasters. “All the suggestions are acceptable,
but will be tough for the government to implement at present. We are examining some of the suggestions that can be implemented shortly. One of them is for the unidentified victims [of Rana Plaza collapse],”Faizur Rahman, joint secretaryof the Labour Ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The labour ministry identified 207 out of the 322 victims, who had to be buried without knowing who they were, by examining DNA samples provided by the relatives at the DNA profiling laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. The profiling authority also recommended the government to test the DNA profiles of the Rana Plaza victims
whose bodies had been given to their families after primary identification. Around 800 dead victims were identified by their family members. The authority claimed that there could be some mistakes in those primary identifications. Some people might have taken the bodies fraudulently in order to get government compensation or support. The government can be sure if that had happened by testing their DNA profiles.It would also help the families of the victims, who are still to be traced. Faizur said:“It is really tough for the government to test the DNA profiles of all the victims. But we are not ignoring the proposal. We will consider it later.” l
INDICTMENT IN GRAFT CASES
High Court to rule on Khaleda’s petitions Wednesday n Tribune Report The High Court fixed on Wednesday to give its ruling on the petitions filed by the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to annul a lower court order indicting her in two corruption cases. The bench of Justice Borhanuddin and Justice KM Kamrul Kader set the date after completing the hearing on the pleas yesterday. Moudud Ahmed and AJ Mohammad Ali pleaded for Khaleda, while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Anti-Corruption Commission’s counsel Khur-
shid Alam Khan opposed the petitions. The attorney general requested the HC not to scrap the lower court order, saying Khaleda will be acquitted if the prosecution cannot prove the charges against her. On March 19, Judge Basudev Roy of the Dhaka Third Special Judge’s Court passed the indictment order against the former prime minister. The trial is supposed to start today with depositions of prosecution witnesses. However, Khaleda’s lawyer, Khandker Mahbub Hossain, said they will
seek an extension from the lower court today, as the High Court is expected to pass its order on Wednesday. Six people, including Khaleda and her elder son, Tarique Rahman, have been indicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust case for embezzling over Tk2.1 crore by establishing a “fake” trust in 1991. The lower court also indicted four people, including the BNP chief, in the Zia Charitable Trust case for raising funds by abusing the power of the Prime Minister’s Office during Khaleda’s 2001-2006 tenure. l
CMP to speed up investigation into 16 political violence cases n
Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
The Chittagong Metropolitan Police yesterday decided to accelerate investigation into political violence cases lodged from 2013 to 2014 by placing charge sheet of the cases before the court quickly. “During a meeting, presided over by CMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam, the decision was made to complete investigations of important 16 political violence cases out of a total 159 lodged with 16 police stations under CMP within a short time,” Additional Commissioner (crime and operation) Banaz Kumar Majumder said. CMP sources said the selected 16 political violence cases include the case filed over the injury of a schoolgirl from a crude bomb explosion, CNG auto-rickshaw driver Mitul murder case, bomb blast at Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport parking lot, attack
on police at the city’s Bepari Para, attack on police at Akbar Shah area, crude bomb hurled on policemen in the port city’s Askar Dighir Par, among others.
Of the 159 cases, 66 were lodged against Jamaat-Shibir men, 28 against BNP-led 18-party alliance members, 13 against the BNP activists and 918 named persons. Of the cases, five were under investigation by Kotwali police station, one by Bakalia, two by Panchlaish, two by Double Mooring, two by Pahartoli, three by Akbar Shah and one by Patenga police station.
Banaz also said the CMP would work to finish the investigations and submission of charge sheets quickly so that the trial could begin immediately at Speedy Trial Tribunals as per the government’s decision. A CMP high-official, seeking anonymity, told Dhaka Tribune that charge sheet of the selected 16 cases would be submitted by the first half of May. Earlier, the government decided to transfer the political violence cases regarding pre- and post-parliamentary election to Speedy Trial Tribunal for quick disposal of the cases. Of the 159 such cases in the CMP, 66 were lodged against Jamaat-Shibir men, 28 against BNP-led 18-party alliance men, 13 against the BNP activists and 918 named persons. As many as 13,000 to 14,000 unnamed persons were sued in these cases. l
Picture shows mealybugs infest a stem of a jackfruit tree beside ULAB campus in the capital yesterday SHEKHAR MONDAL
n Tribune Report At least eight lawmakers of the current parliament are accused in murder cases while 23 others in different criminal cases, said SHUJAN, a civil society organisation. The parliament witnesses a dominance of businessmen with half of the lawmakers belonging to this profession, according to a report of SHUJAN. SHUJAN, however, did not specify who are accused in criminal cases and who are businessmen. The report prepared on the basis of affidavits of lawmakers submitted before the January 5 parliamentary election was disclosed at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity. “Like previous years businessmen and wealthy people got priority in the selection of candidates in election,” the report said. Of the 350 lawmakers, 275 have completed graduation while only 15
n Tribune Report
could not complete secondary level education. Annual income of 55 lawmakers are above Tk1 crore while 17 earn less than Tk2 lakh. Besides, at least 226 lawmakers and their relatives own properties of over Tk1 crore. A total of 258 lawmakers pay taxes regularly. Of them 31 pay taxes over Tk10 lakh annually, said the report. Terming the January 5 national election unacceptable, SHUJAN once again demanded an immediate parliamentary poll with participation of all political parties. It also emphasised formulation of a National Charter with consensus of all political parties aiming at a permanent solution to end political deadlock. The charter will clearly outline polltime government system and its duty from pre-election to post-election period. About the role of Election Commission in recent upazilas elections SHUJAN statement said
A war crimes witness in the case against Syed Mohammad Qaisar yesterday said “Qaisar Bahini” had abducted his father who was a freedom fighter in Habiganj during the 1971 Liberation War. He never returned. Shah Hasan Ali alias Fulu Miah, the seventh prosecution witness, told the International Crimes Tribunal 2 that the anti-liberation group had also captured his brother and tortured him for at least 20 days. He lost his left leg but survived only to tell his agonies. “On June 13, 1971, Soleman Razakar and Abul Thikader who worked as Qaisar’s accomplices picked up my father from our home. During that time they mentioned the name of Syed Qaisar as their leader. “They took my father to Habiganj Sadar police station. Later Qaisar and
Several patients wait outside the entrance of the main building of Birdem hospital yesterday, giving an impression that the doctors were continuing their work abstention DHAKA TRIBUNE Wednesday evening following suspension of Masud for his alleged involvement in the incident. Meanwhile, relatives of Sirajul have filed a case against five Birdem doctors for their alleged negligence of duty while treating him. Sirajul’s daughter Farhana Nasrin
lodged the case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, hours after the Birdem authorities had filed the case against the four. The five accused doctors were Dr Anowar Hossain, Dr Kalyan Debnath, Dr Shamima Akther, Dr Firoz Amin and Dr Azad. l
the commission has failed to ensure free and fair election as the upazilas elections were marked by widespread violence, vote rigging, ballot boxes stuffing and irregularities. The incumbent commission does not have enough psychological integrity, professional efficiency and quality to work with honestly and impartially, SHUJAN claimed. It also strongly criticised the Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad’s (CEC) recent remark that the EC would not take responsibility of violence occurred in the upazilas election and same volume of violence would have occurred, if he had been in the country. The commission should be reconstituted for holding free and fair election in future, Shujan demanded. Shujan Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar, its executive member Ali Imam Majumder and local government expert Prof Tofail Ahmed, among others, also spoke at the briefing. l
Witness says Qaisar Bahini abducted his father n Udisa Islam
that doctors attending the 57-year-old had neglected duty. In protest of the incident, Birdem doctors went on an indefinite strike and claimed that ABM Masud Hossain instigated the patient’s relatives for assaulting their colleagues. The doctors called off the strike on
Police arrested a youth with Indian Rs80 lakh in his possession near Hajarat Shahjalal International Airport at the capital’s Uttara area yesterday afternoon. This happened a day after Rs50 lakh was seized at the airport from a passenger coming from Pakistan. Mohammad Alauddin, 30, was arrested around 1pm by a police team from Airport police station by setting up a check post at Kosaibari on the airport road, said Nisarul Arif, deputy commissioner of Uttara division of police. “The money was found in Alauddin’s travel bag,” Arif said, adding: “He claimed he was given the bag by someone else to just carry.” He also said: “We are verifying the sources of the currencies to know whether the money was being smuggled into the country or was being smuggled out.” However, he could not confirm whether the notes were original or fake. However, Inspector Shah Alam, OC of Airport police station, said they had arrested Alauddin while he had been leaving the airport area. “The detained man has been giving contradictory information to us. Sometimes he says a woman gave him the bag containing the currencies. Other times he says he was given the bag by a man from Haji Camp at Ashkona. We have yet to know the details about the woman,” he said. Earlier on Saturday morning, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) personnel arrested a youth with Rs50 lakh in his possession right after his flight landed from Pakistan. According to the Customs Department officials, almost 95% of the Indian currency seized at the airport – by arresting around 150 people, mainly Pakistani nationals – were found to be fake. l
SHUJAN: 8 MPs accused in murder case
Birdem doctors, patient’s relatives locked in legal face-off A Dhaka court yesterday ordered a judicial inquiry into the attack on Birdem doctors and the death of a patient for alleged negligence on the part of doctors. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mizanur Rahman passed the order after hearing arguments in two cases – one filed by the Birdem authorities and the other by the deceased patient’s daughter – in this connection. The court asked to submit the enquiry report by May 28. Earlier in the day, the Birdem authorities registered a law suit against four people, including Additional Police Super (DB) of Dhaka ABM Masud Hossain, in connection with the assault on physicians following the death of a patient on April 13. The three other accused were Ishaq Hossain Babu, assistant personal secretary of former state minister for labour Munnujan Sufian; Farhana Nasrin, the deceased’s daughter; and Abir Hossain, a BBA student at East West University. Manik Mollah, senior security supervisor of Birdem, filed the case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka against the four and some 20-25 unnamed people. Sirajul Islam, 57, a resident of Old Dhaka, died at the hospital on April 13. He had long been suffering from diabetes. Aggrieved at the death, some relatives of Sirajul allegedly physically assaulted some on-duty doctors and vandalised furniture and windowpanes on the 14th floor of the hospital, claiming
Monday, April 21, 2014
his men handed my father over to the Pakistani troops,” the witness said adding that all these happened because his father Shah Hossain Ali had been a freedom fighter and Qaisar wanted him to surrender his weapon. “We tried to find him alive but did not even get his body while searching various killing fields. My family went through a misery because of his absence.” Fulu said when they had gone to WAPDA colony, “an elderly woman told us to go to a nearby fountain where she saw some bodies. But we did not find his body. I found there two bloodstained machetes. I placed those before the investigation officer when he recorded my statement.” He wished to give those to any museum. After his deposition, defence counsel SM Shahjahan cross examined him and the tribunal adjourned the proceedings keeping it incomplete. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
‘Cyber cops’ to fight online crime
11 BGB men injured CBA leader in Cox’s Bazar blast murdered n Our Correspondent, Tangail n Our Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar Recent incidents such as that in Ramu prompt authorities to mull a cyber shield A CBA (Collective Bargaining Agent) Eleven members of Border Guard Banbook users, 10 million smart phone us- by hackers and Bangladesh was not im- training and after their return, they and leader was murdered in Mirzapur upagladesh-17 battalion sustained burn inSheikh Shahariar Zaman n ers, while over 100 million use mobile mune to it, he said. other Korean experts would train inves- zila, Tangail, yesterday. Police recovered juries in an explosion yesterday during phones; the more people get interconnected with the internet, the more it we are likely to experience the dangers of cybercrime, Hyder said. Any crime related to the internet, intranet or mobile phones is a cybercrime. “Even if somebody sends an SMS for extortion or giving threats, it is a cybercrime,” the police officer said. Malicious mail to foreign diplomatic missions and other VIPs, pornography, use of e-mail for illegal activities, use of internet for transmitting false and malicious information, abuse of intellectual property rights, and use of internet for prostitution and women and child trafficking are common in Bangladesh. “We are living at a time where hackers can break into systems at airports or the central banks and shut them down. These are very much possible in Bangladesh as well,” Hyder said. Even the Nasa system in the USA has been attacked thousands of times
a programme organised to destroy seized narcotics, including Yaba, liquor and hemp. State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan was present as cheif guest at the programme. According to sources, when kerosene was poured on the pile of narcotics to burn, it went off instantly, leaving the 11 injured. Khandaker Saiful Alam, commander of BGB-17 battalion, said the explosion took place in the field of the battalion headquarters around 11:30am. The minister and the BGB DG as well as other high officials were unhurt because they were farther away from the spot, the sources added replying to a question. The injured BGB men were admitted to Cox’s Bazar sadar hospital, said duty doctor Puchnu, adding that their condition were stable. However, six of them were sent to Chittagong CMH for better treatment. Later, the minister visited the injured BGB members at the hospital. l
Police is going to form a “cyber cop” division to tackle the looming social dangers of cybercrime. Bangladesh has in the recent past experienced social unrest triggered by online provocations. The Ramu incident was triggered by a fake Facebook post, while the draft verdict in war crimes cases against BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury was leaked on to the web, which created further unrest. “All these are related to cybercrime and both the cases were referred to the CID for digital forensic, and we investigated the matter,” Special Superintendent of Criminal Investigation Department Sheikh MdRezaul Hyder told the Dhaka Tribune. Hyder is the director of “Enhancing Cyber Crime Investigation Capability of Bangladesh Police” project, assisted by experts from South Korea, the number one internet dependant country in the world. Bangladesh has 3.5 million Face-
Government to take action against illegal foreign fishing trawlers
Probe panels miss deadline n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj Officials have missed the deadline for investigating the Sirajganj train accident that has left two people dead and at least 30 others injured on April 13. On the day of the accident, Ministry of Railways Secretary Abul Kalam Azad visited the spot and formed a four-member investigation committee, with Additional Director General Amzad Hossain (infrastructure) in the lead. General Manager of Bangladesh Railway (west) Abdul Awal Bhuiyan and Pakshi Divisional Railway Manager Pankaj Kumar Roy formed two separate investigation committees. Besides these, Sirajganj Deputy Commissioner Md Billal Hossain formed another committee led by Additional District Magistrate Shafiqul Islam. The Ministry of Railways secretary had asked all the committees to submit their reports to the office of the Bangladesh Railway’s director general and the Ministry of Railways within four working days. But no report was submitted till Sunday. Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Additional District Magistrate Islam said, “Our investigation has not been completed yet.” Deputy Commissioner Md Billal Hossain said, “We have summoned the Ekota Train drivers (driver and his assistant) on Monday (today). We will submit our report soon after recording their testimony.” Additional Director General (railway infrastructure) Amzad Hossain said, “It may take seven to 10 days to complete the investigation of the accident. We are doing it in between our jobs.” General Manager of Bangladesh Railway (west) Abdul Awal Bhuiyan said, “I have come to Dhaka to attend a meeting on this issue. No matter how late it gets tonight, I will submit the report to the director general’s office.” l
Road accident kills BGB member, injures army man n Our Correspondent, Barisal A member of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) was killed and an Army man was injured in a road accident in Jhalakathi on the Khulna-Barisal regional highway, yesterday at noon. The deceased, Sohag Hossain, 26, and the injured, Sagir Hossain, 31, were siblings and the sons of Abdul Latif from Baro Soula under Mathbaria upazila of Pirojpur. Shilmoni Chakma, officer-in-charge of the Jhalakathi Sadar police station, said the siblings were riding on a motorcycle when they collided with a Barisal-bound bus, Anamika Paribahon, at Boidarapur on the Barisal-Khulna route at about 12pm yesterday. They were rushed to the Jhalakathi Sadar Hospital and were referred to the Barisal Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital after their condition deteriorated further. Sohag Hossain succumbed to his injuries and Sagir Hossain was in critical condition, the OC added. Sohag’s body was sent to the hospital morgue for an autopsy after an unnatural death case had been lodged with the Jhalakathi Sadar police station, police sources said. l
n Mohosinul Karim To protect the country’s fish resources, the government will take tougher action against foreign trawlers involved in illegal fishing in Bangladeshi waters. At the same time, the fisheries and livestock ministry has also decided to stop renewing the licences of fishing vessels that are 20 to 25 years old. A high level meeting, chaired by Fisheries and Livestock Minister Mohammad Sayedul Haque, took the decision yesterday, following a directive from the prime minister. A monitoring committee led by the joint secretary of the fisheries ministry was also formed at the meeting to take prompt action against trawlers from Myanmar and Thailand that intrude into Bangladeshi territory in the Bay of Bengal for poaching. After the meeting, the fisheries minister told the Dhaka Tribune that the heads of law enforcement agencies and relevant departments were instructed to apprehend and take legal action against the foreign trawlers trespassing
into the Bangladeshi maritime area. “Bangladesh will not allow any unauthorized trawlers in its territory for illegal fishing. We will catch them immediately,” Sayedul Haque said. State Minister for Fisheries Narayan Chandra Chanda, secretaries of home, shipping, foreign and fisheries and livestock ministries, chiefs of police, navy, coast guard, border guard, RAB, and heads of the Chittagong and Monglasea ports, among others, attended the meeting held in the ministry’s conference room in the capital. The high power committee will monitor the country’s maritime zone, prepare an updated database on fisheries in the exclusive economic zone in the Bay of Bengal and make recommendations to curb illegal fishing and set a limit on catching fish considering the ecological viability. The committee will submit a report every three months, the minister said. Sayedul said experts from the coast guard and navy informed the meeting that unless fishing is restricted, the country’s fish resources will soon be depleted.
‘We are living at a time where hackers can break into systems at airports or the central banks and shut them down. These are very much possible in Bangladesh as well’ Cybercrime project
The project is aimed at providing training to cybercrime investigators and develop an institution. Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) had been providing necessary support as they had the technology and knowledge to fight cybercrime, Hyder said. Under the training programme, six Bangladeshi trainers would be sent to South Korea in July for six months’
tigators in Dhaka, the police officer said. Police would be able to provide training to about 200 people at a time in its cybercrime lab from next year and hopefully it would be able to accommodate over 1,000 people every year, Hyder said. “We will train them about the knowledge needed to investigate cybercrime and other software programmes,” he said. Basic operators would also be trained for assisting the investigators, he added. The 24/7 operational unit 7 would start working from next year, the officer said. Citing example, he said South Korea started its cybercrime wing in 1997 with only two experts and now it has nearly 1,000 investigators. “We are not as much internet dependant as South Korea but we need to develop our own capacity to fight cybercrime,” he added. l
his body 18 hours after he went missing. The deceased, Kazi Shafikul Islam Shafi, 50, was the vice president of the Tangail unit of the CBA of Sonali Bank and the son of late Kazi Moksed Ali of Kurni village in the Mirzapur upazila in the district. Aleya Begum, wife of the deceased, said Shafi went out on Saturday night after getting a phone call from one of his friends but did not return home. Locals found his body when it washed up next to Zinnah Mia’s pond in Kurni village at about 2:30pm and informed the police. Later the police recovered the body and sent it to the Tangail General Hospital morgue for an autopsy. His family members claimed that the murder was pre-planned since the killers abducted him first. Shyamal Kumar Datta, sub-inspector of the Mirzapur police station, confirmed the authenticity of the incident and said four suspects including three women were being held so far for interrogation. l
“Although 75 trawlers should be fishing in Bangladeshi waters, there are about 221 vessels catching fish there now,” he said. The minister also said the authorities will confiscate and destroy older fishing vessels to reduce their numbers. “They will not be sold in auction like before. We will not allow the old vessels to catch fish,” said Sayedul, adding: “We are going to hold up renewing licences of trawlers that are 20 to 25 years old.” Bangladesh has undisputed rights to fish in the high seas and exploit undersea natural resources up to 200 nautical miles off shore. According to the fisheries department, the government approved 199 trawlers for deep sea fishing between 1973 and 2011, but there are around 40,000 fishing boats and trawlers fishing in the area at present. The minister said around 57 older vessels are still fishing in the Bay after filing cases against a government order. “We will also take steps to remove those vessels by challenging the cases in the tribunals,” he added. l
Gayeshwar, Aman sent to jail n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
Police escort senior BNP leaders Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Amanullah Aman and Mirza Abbas out of a court room in the capiital yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE
A Dhaka Court yesterday sent BNP leaders Gayeshwar Chandra Roy and Amanullah Aman to jail after rejecting their bail petition in a case filed over killing a Shibir leader in the capital on December 29. The court, however, granted bail to BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas in the same case. Metropolitan Magistrate Harun-orRashid passed the order when the BNP Standing Committee Members Mirza Abbas and Goyeshwar and the party’s joint secretary general Aman Ullah Aman surrendered before the court and sought bail as their high court bail period expired in the case. After hearing, the court sent Gayeshwar and Aman to jail while granting an ad-interim bail to Mirza Abbas for six months on health grounds. The BNP leaders were shown arrested in a murder case filed with Rampura police for the death of a Shibir leader during BNP-led 18-Party’s March for Democracy programme on December 29 last year. l
9-year-old dead, 20 sick after taking ‘poisonous’ watermelon n Our Correspondent, Kushtia In a terrible incident, a nine-yearold child died and at least 20 fell ill after taking watermelon at Kalua village of Koya union’s Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia yesterday. The child was identified as Sriti, daughter of Askar Ali of the village. The 20, seven from the same family, were admitted to Kushtia General Hospital. Askar’s family members and neighbours ate slices of a watermelon that he had bought from Kumarkhali bus stop in the noon. Soon after taking the fruit, everyone suddenly fell ill and the locals took them to Kushtia General Hospital where Sriti died. Sriti’s 11-year-old brother Anik,
who was said to be in critical condition, was admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
‘We suspect chemicals was injected into the watermelon and the child died of food poisoning’ We suspect chemicals was injected into the watermelon and the child died of food poisoning, Senior Medical Officer of Kushtia General Hospital Dr Salek Masud said. However, any other food could be behind the death, he added.
Our primary suspicion is that the child died of poison that was inside the watermelon, said Kushtia Civil Surgeon Dr Md Mustafizur Rahman, adding that this could only be confirmed following tests. Police, meanwhile, have arrested watermelon seller Rezaul in this connection. Kumarkhali Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shaila Akhter led the arrest operation in the afternoon and the law enforcers also seized 19 watermelons from the shop. Officer-in-charge of Kumarkhali police station Sheikh Lutfar Rahman confirmed the incident and said Rezaul was being interrogated. A sense of panic gripped the locals as the news of death spread. l
A devotee prays infront of a statue of Jesus Christ at Tejgaon Church on the occasion of Easter Sunday in the capital yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
244 migrants to fly to Kuala Lumpur n Rabiul Islam A total of 244 migrant workers are scheduled to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 22 and 24 to work in the plantation sector of that country. Of them, 120 workers are scheduled to fly on April 22 and 124 on April 24 respectively, a Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) official said. Biman Bangladesh Airlines will convey the passengers. The cost for each migrant worker was estimated at Tk24,000 but sources
said the cost came down further when Biman agreed to transport the Malaysia-bound workers. According to BMET, around 3,352 workers out of 10,000 selected thus far have left Dhaka for Malaysia to work in the plantation sector under government-to-government arrangements. The Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Malaysia signed a MoU on November 26 to send the workers to Malaysia under the G2G system. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
DNCC and DSCC fail to swat mosquitoes Townspeople complain that the menace continues for lack of monitoring of two city corporations hammadpur, Shukrabad, Rajabazar, net or mosquito repellent coil or liquid. to control staffs. Besides, for the same here and there which also contributes n Abu Hayat Mahmud “It becomes more difficult when the reasons for the present fiscal the DSCC to the rising mosquito menace. Azimpur, Hazaribagh, Lalbagh, SutraThe mosquito menace in several areas of the capital continues to rise at an alarming rate as the two Dhaka city corporations were yet to take effective measures to curb the nuisance. Citizens from various areas of the capital have complained that the menace continues to rise due to lack of proper monitoring of the city corporations, presence of numerous open garbage cans and stagnant drains and negligence of city corporation field staffs in spraying insecticides at venerable areas of the city. Residents of Mirpur, Uttara, Badda, Shahjadpur, Mohakhali, Nakhalpara, Tejturibazar, Tejkunipara, Monipur, Shewrapara, Kazipara, Taltala, Mo-
pur, Doyaganj, Jatrabari, Dholaikhal, Gigatola, Rayer Bazar told the Dhaka Tribune that the mosquito nuisance was driving them crazy every day. Sultan Ahmed, a resident of Lalbagh said: “There has been an increase in mosquitoes and we cannot sleep properly due to the menace. Poor drainage systems have become a breeding ground for these mosquitoes.” He further blamed the city corporation authorities for turning a blind eye towards the problem, adding that he had not seen any city corporation staff spraying insecticide in his area regularly. Shanta Islam, a resident of Pallabi in Mirpur, said it had become impossible to sleep at night without a mosquito
power goes out and the ceiling fans stop working. Mosquitoes enter the room through the windows in huge numbers. Children suffer the most from mosquito attacks,” she said. While residents of the city find it hard to deal with the problem, officials of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) had a different say. Officials of the two corporations of the city said for the current fiscal year, DNCC was allotted Tk16.5 crore as proposed budget, which was at Tk10.85 crore in revised budget of last fiscal for mosquito control programme, insecticides and instruments, and also dress and maintenance cost for the mosqui-
was allotted Tk11 crore in the proposed budget, which was made Tk7.5 in revised budget. DNCC Chief Health Officer Brigadier General KM Masud Hasan said: “We have been running two supervision teams inside the corporation area to monitor activities of the field staffs. The team members continue to collect residents’ signatures of different areas of the corporation area.” He also claimed that they have tested the insecticides, which were being used to kill mosquito and its larvae. He, however, mentioned that the city drains were not fully dischargeable reasoning the rising mosquito menace. “The city residents dump waste
Meanwhile, DSCC Chief Health Officer Brigadier General M Abdullah-Al-Harun admitted that the nuisance was on the rise and complaints had been received in this regard from city dwellers. “This is the time of the year when people are plagued by an increase in the number of mosquitoes. Our mosquito-killing drive is on and hopefully we will be able to deal with the problem within 2-3 days. Both larvicides and adulticides are being used to control the situation,” Harun explained. “Between 8am and 11am, we are using larvicide to check the development of mosquito larvae while adulticide is being sprayed in the evening to control adult mosquitoes,” he said. l
BCL men beat student at CU n CU Correspondent A student was beaten up by a group of Bangladesh Chhatra League CU unit, the student wing of Awami League, yesterday at Social Science Faculty in Chittagong University campus. The injured, Akramul Haque, a first year student of Anthropology Department, was given primary treatment at CU medical Centre, said police sources. Witnesses said a group of BCL men swooped on Akram with wooden sticks while he was on his way to AF Rahman Hall adjacent to the Social Science Faculty around 1:30pm, suspecting him to be an Islami Chhatra Shibir activist. Police and members of proctorial body rushed to the spot being informed and sent the injured student to CU medical centre. Moin Uddin, officer-in-charge of CU police outpost said police rushed to the spot but could not find the attackers as they managed to flee. Rajiful Islam Bappy, organising secretary of CU unit of ICS said the BCL activists attacked their supporter without any provocation. However, the BCL leaders denied their involvement in connection with the attack. l
Two mobile courts sealed off a CNG filling station and fined another one, along with 13 truck owners, for supplying gas illegally in the city and Raozan upazila in Chittagong yesterday. The mobile court led by Raozan upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Kul Pradip Chakma shut down Yunus Filling Station, located in Raozan’s Noapara area, and fined the owner Tk5,25,000 for illegally selling gas in cylinders. Earlier, following a tip-off, RAB 7 conducted another drive at the same station and seized 13 trucks with 655 gas cylinders for illegally buying gas from the station. The truck owners were fined
MONDAY, APRIL 21 DHAKA TODAY TOMORROW SUN SETS 6:22PM SUN RISES 5:31AM FORECAST FOR TODAY 41
YESTERDAY’S HIGH AND LOW
PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha
4:14am 5:32am 11:57am 4:31pm 6:22pm 7:41pm Source: IslamicFinder.org
A college principal was beaten and chopped by unknown miscreants at the Sadar upazila in Pabna yesterday. The victim, Md Abdul Mannan, 52, principal of “Shahid M Monsur Ali College”, was suspended on charges of corruption on November last year. He was admitted to Pabna Medical College Hospital but the doctors recommended shifting him to Dhaka due to his critical condition. Victim’s brother Md Abdul Khaleque said Mannan was going to the district court yesterday morning. Some criminals suddenly swooped on him when he reached the Joykalibari Mondir area of the district. They beat him up with a hammer and chopped him mercilessly. Internal conflict over the college might be the reason behind the attack, he suspected. “The victim was severely aattacked with hammer and sharp weapons. He had four major fractures while many injuries marked different parts of his body. He was shifted to Dhaka for better treatment as his situation turned critical,” said Dr Masudur Rahman Prince, associate professor of PMCH. The distance of the crime scene was about 30 meter from the Pabna police station. Officer-in-Charge of Pabna Sadar police station Kazi Haniful Islam said internal conflict within the college might be the reason behind the attack. l
Adolescents vital for positive social change: Chumki n Our Correspondent, Moulvibazar
A bulldozer of Dhaka South City Corporation destroys a median strip in the capital’s Shahbagh intersection after evicting illegal roadside shops on the median
CNG filling station shut down n Our Correspondent, Chittagong
College principal assaulted in Pabna n Our Correspondent, Pabna
Tk1,04,000 each by the court. The court also recommended suspending the station’s gas connections and cancelling it’s registration. Meanwhile, another mobile court, led by Executive Magistrate Jhoton Chanda, Chittagong district, fined Almas CNG Filling Station Tk75,000 for selling gas illegally in cylinders. The court also recommended suspending the gas supply of the filling station, located at the City Gate area under Akbarshah police station in Chittagong city, and cancelling its licence for illegally selling gas in cylinders. The mobile court also seized four trucks with 228 gas cylinders from the filling station. l
30 hartal activists indicted n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Police has completed its investigation into the blast that blinded a schoolgirl during a hartal on March 28 last year and is expected to submit the charge sheet of the case with a week against 14 Jamaat-Shibir men. On March 28, 2013, Antu Barua, a student of class nine of Aparnacharan City Corporation Girls High School, received injuries in her right eye after a crude bomb exploded in front of her when she was on her way to coaching centre on Momin Road in the city on the second day of the then BNP-led 18-party alliance enforced 36-hour long shutdown.
Doctors said it would take more time for Antu to fully recover her sight; however, Antu might suffer from cataract, glaucoma or other complications in near future. On March 29, 2013, a case was filed against eight Islami Chhatra Shibir leaders and more than 30 unidentified Jamaat-Shibir activists in this connection. One of the accused Shibir leader, Amzad Ali, who hurled the crude bombs on that day, gave his confessional statement under section 164 under Criminal Procedure Code before a Chittagong court. The name of Amzad, Mashrur Hossain, 31, president of the city (south)
unit of Shibir, Md Mohiuddin, 30, general secretary of the city (south) unit of Shibir, Md Tareque Hossain, 23, general secretary of the district (south) unit of Shibir, Nurul Amin, 30, general secretary of the city (north) unit of Shibir, Md Faisal Younus, 40, amir of the Kotwali unit of Jamaat-e-Islam, ANM Harun, 38, Jamaat activist, Md Sohel Rana, 27, organising secretary of the city (south) unit of Shibir, Mawlana Ferdous Quoreshi, acting general secretary of the district (south) of Jamaat, and Shibir activists Delwar Hossain, 28, Manjur Alam, 22, Kafil Uddin, 18, Mizanur Rahman, 21, and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, 30, have been mentioned in the finalised charge sheet. l
Water crisis crippling life in Barisal city n Our Correspondent, Barisal An acute water crisis has hit the city life in the district as the city corporation is failing to maintain steady supply of water to its stakeholders. The city people are getting only a third of their daily demand of 1.2 crore gallon water from Barisal City Corporation. Less rainfall, filling of water bodies and unplanned installation of tube wells contribute to groundwater depletion that ultimately leads to supply shortfall, said experts. Manirul Alam Swapan, executive engineer, Water Supply Department of Barisal City Corporation, acknowledged the crisis. He said at least half a million city dwellers had a demand for 1.20 crore gallon water per day while the BCC had a capacity to supply 40-45 lakh gallons of water at best. The city corporation extracts groundwater, using its 33 of 36 deep tube wells and submersible pumps. The 3.5 lakh dwellers were deprived of BCC’s supply of water and are dependent on canals, ponds, street hydrants, shallow and deep tube wells, BCC sources said. A trend in sinking tube wells in an unplanned manner by both the BCC and private sectors has led to a rapid fall in groundwater level to 800-1000 feet from 400-800 feet within a decade, alleged Pankaj Gupta, a stake-
Two people collect water from a deep tube well in the city as BCC supply water cannot fulfil the daily demand DHAKA TRIBUNE holder in Hospital Road area. Failing to say how many tube wells in the city corporation area were working properly and how many were out of order, the BCC said although they permitted installation of around 1,500 shallow and deep tube wells till 2012, their numbers would be more than 5,000. Sukumar Biswas, divisional director, Directorate of Environment, said a random extraction of groundwater instead of using surface water would endanger
life, biodiversity and environment. Public Health Engineering Department in 2007 planned to construct two surface water treatment plants (SWTP), each with capacity of refining 40 lakh gallon of water from Kirtankhola River to address water crisis in Barisal city, BCC sources said. The construction of SWTP at Amanatgant at a cost of Tk19.22 crore was scheduled to be completed within 450 days, but only 60% work had been completed, BCC officials said.
On the other hand the construction of SWTP at Rupatali at a cost of Tk30.78 crore was also advancing at a snail’s pace due to obstacle to land acquisition, BCC sources added. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the SWTP foundation on March 21, 2012. The demand for water from BCC could be fulfilled if the construction of two SWTPs had been completed by now, hoped Nikhil Chandra Das, chief executive officer, BCC. Dr Mizanur Rahman, member secretary, Barisal Nagorik Samaj, said sufficient potable water supply was a civic and human right. He said once Barisal was a city of canals and ponds, most of which – surface water sources – had already been filled and silted by encroachers, land grabbers and developers. The construction of high rises, commercial and official structures in Barisal divisional city occupied the places of water bodies, the rights activist said, adding that the demand for water caused more and more extraction of groundwater which led to water depletion. Enayet Hossain Chowdhury, a city dweller and civic right activist, emphasised speeding up installation of water treatment plants and excavation of canals, preservation of ponds and other water bodies to use surface water sources for mitigating demand for sufficient safe water supply. l
The Moluvibazar district administration and the Women’s Affairs office in the district jointly organised a gathering of adolescent boys and girls at the Mathiura tea garden in Rajnagar upazila, yesterday afternoon. Organised under the “Empowerment of Adolescents for Positive Social Change through Clubs” programme, the gathering saw around 1,500 members from 67 adolescent clubs, come together under the programme. State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki was the chief guest in the event. While addressing the youngsters, she said: “Today’s adolescent boys and girls can play a vital role in changing our society for the better. Achieving gender equality and upholding mutual respect, they could contribute to the development of our society and country.” Other speakers also agreed that young boys and girls would be able to help create resistance against social problems like dowry, early marriage, sexual harassment and oppression of women. The speeches were followed by a display of stick-dance, performed by the young boys and girls from the tea garden community. l
Fires gut buildings in Chittagong n CU Correspondent A fire broke out at a ship breaking yard in Bhatiyari, Sitakunda upazila, while at least six houses and three business establishments were destroyed in two separate fire incidents in Sitakunda and Mirsarai upazilas in Chittagong yesterday. No causalities were reported. Abdullah Harun Pasha, senior station officer of Kumira fire station, said a fire broke out at MH Enterprise, a ship breaking yard at the Kadam Rosul area in Bhatiyari. “The fire, which started when iron plate cutting was taking place around 11:30am, caused damage of valuables worth Tk50,000,” said the senior official. Upon receiving information, fire fighters from the Kumira fire station rushed to the spot and extinguished the fire after trying for two and a half hours. Meanwhile, five thatched houses were burnt to ashes in a fire in the Talbaria area in Mirsarai. Sources at the Fire Service and Civil Defence Station, Agrabad said the fire had originated from an electric short circuit in one of the houses at around 9am and soon spread to the other houses. When informed, fire fighters from the Sitakunda fire station rushed to the spot and doused the fire after trying for an hour. In another incident, three business establishments and a house were destroyed by fire in the Joramtal area of Sitakunda upazila early yesterday. The fire originated from a mosquito coil in one building and spread, engulfing the adjacent buildings, around 1am. On information, fire fighters from the Kumira fire station rushed to the area and doused the fire after one and a half hours. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
Killings and abductions on large-scale Criminals mostly abduct, kill people posing as members of law enforcement agencies
Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur
Killings, abductions are increasing at an alarming rate in Lakshmipur. Killers and kidnappers are mostly remaining out of reach because of the police’s failure to unearth the mystery of the cases. Criminals are abducting and killing mostly politicians, businesspersons and students posing as members of the RAB or police. Eighteen killings, 28 women and children abductions and enforced disappearances of two persons, including a BNP leader, took place in three and a half months this year. Police and locals say criminals shot dead Kamal Hossain, an expatriate, of Boralia in Sadar Upazila’s Datta Para Upazila on April 13, Hamchhadi Union Parishad’s Juba League activist Rabiul Islam on April 3. Miscreants also shot dead Durgapur village’s Juba League leader Kabir Hossain on March 31 and Ramganj Upazila’s Karpara Union Parisad’s Swechchhashebok League leader Nur Hossain on March 20. On February 6, Sadar Upazila’s Nal-
dogi village’s Awami League leader Mohammad Ullah was shot, Radhapur village’s microbus driver Sumon was slaughtered on February 8 and another Juba League activist of Lakkhipur village (west)’s was strangled to death on February 1. Juba Dal activists Didar Hossain, also a listed criminal, Abul Hossain, Shahdat Hossain, Babar Hossain and BNP activist Shakil Hossain died in ‘alleged gunfight’ with RAB on January 22, February 7, 12, and March 17 and 19 respectively. Besides this, six more killings took place in the district in the last three and a half months. Meanwhile, 28 persons were abducted over extortions, family feuds and affairs and two others were made to disappear over political conflicts in the current year. Of them, six abductions took place in January, nine in February, 10 in March and 3 in April until yesterday. Earlier on March 10, two brothers Zafar and Bachchu of Sadar Upazila’s Koroitola village were abducted as they refused to pay extortion money. Though Zafar was later freed, Bachchu has ever since been missing, says their
family. Asked about this, Datapara Investigation Centre-In-Charge Wahiduzzaman Biswas said they have not yet been able to make any progress in the case though a case was filed with the Sadar police station about this. On March 9, criminals abducted Abdur Rahim, an office assistant of Kazi Mahmudul Haq Nannu of Sadar Upazila’s Bashikpur village as Nannu refused to pay Tk5,00,000 what they demanded. Ever since, he has also been missing. Earlier on March 15, Dewapara village’s Jinia Hosna Afroze and her threeyear old daughter Sanjida were abducted. Her mother Ayesha Akter filed a case with Sadar police, but police are yet to make any headway in the case. On March 4, criminals abducted Mobarak Hossain, an expatriate of Nandanpur village in the same Upazila as he refused to pay any money they had demanded of him. Posing as members of RAB, criminals abducted Sadar Upazila BNP leader Omar Faruk from one of his relatives’ house at Chittagong’s Patenga on February 3, his family say, adding that they have not yet got him back. BNP activist and Mandari Union Par-
ishad member Rubel Hossain has been missing since March 29, locals say. Lakshmipur BNP president Abul Khair Bhuiyan blamed the government for the killings and abductions of those belonging to the party. “The government is directly or indirectly involved in the killings and abductions. It is also harassing around 28,000 leaders and activists in various cases.” Lakshmipur Awami League president M Alauddin said, “Criminal groups have emerged due to lack of the party’s coordination.” He, however, did not give any explanation about it. “They are regularly perpetrating killings, extortions and abductions,” he said, adding, “Peace would not come back here unless illegal arms were recovered.” Lakhshmipur’s acting Superintendent of Police say, “Law and order is normal here. We have already arrested some terrorists and recovered arms. Efforts are also on to arrest the killers, investigating the cases.” About the abductions, he says, “Most abductions are related to extortions and affairs and family feuds. But some abductees have already been rescued and efforts are on to rescue others.” l
Sugarcane farmers stage demo for payment n Our Correspondent, Pabna Sugarcane farmers staged a demonstration in Pabna yesterday, demanding their payments to be made without any delay. They also urged the government to increase the price of sugarcane to ease the woes of farmers. The Sugarcane Farmers’ Welfare Committee, Ishwardi upazila unit, organised the programme in front of the office of the deputy commissioner in the morning. Presided over by Sajahan Ali Badsha, president of the organisation, sugarcane farmers – Rabiul Alam Malitha, Jakir Hossain Sarde, Amzad Hossain Malitha, Abul Kalam Sardar, Abu Sayeed, Alom Pramanik, Anser Ali, Mokbul Pramanik – spoke on the occasion. Speakers at the demonstration said sugarcane farmers could not cultivate crops on their land due to a lack of money. As it is, the farmers of Ishwardi upazila are owed Tk7 crore by the mills. Farmers across the country are owed Tk2,000 by 15 sugarcane mills which is a major cause for the farmers’ suffering, they said. “We cannot feed our families properly because of the non-payment from
Roadblock in Feni over death of Jubo Dal leader n Our Correspondent, Feni Hundreds of Jubo Dal members, a youth front of the opposition party BNP, took to the street yesterday, protesting the death of a leader of the front at Muhuriganj Bazar under Chhagalnaiya upazila in Feni. Local sources said Shahinur Islam Sumon, son of Liakat Ali and also a Jubo Dal leader had been beaten to death as he prevented drug peddlers from selling abusive drugs at the upazila headquarters. Local sources said Sumon had been raising awareness in the locality against the use of abusive drugs, which caused much annoyance among the drug peddlers. Some local hoodlums led by Azizul Haque Manik beat up Sumon indiscriminately at one stage of the alterca-
Eight shops gutted n Our Correspondent, Laksmipur Eight shops were destroyed by a devastating fire in Laksmipur municipality, yesterday. The fire was caused by a short circuit, said the Laksmipur Fire Service & Civil Defence Station Officer Salah Uddin. He said the fire service men doused the fire after two hours of frantic effort. Sources said a fire broke out at a grocery store, Janani Store in the Hospital Road of the Laksmipur municipality around 3am yesterday. The fire spread quickly to the surrounding shops including Tanmia Pharmacy, Himangsu Bastra Bitan, Zafar Mobile Training Centre, Yusuf Confectionary, Chamak Departmental Store and others. Salah Uddin said the damages are estimated to be around Tk30 lakh while the businessmen claimed that the losses would be worth around Tk1 crore. Belal and Suresh Adhikari, two businessmen who were affected by the incident told the Dhaka Tribune that their shops were burned to ashes and the damage was worth Tk10 to Tk12 lakh. l
tion over the issue, leaving him severely injured. Hearing his screams, local people rescued him in critical condition. Later, he died on the way to Feni Sadar Hospital. Meanwhile, hearing the news of his death, leaders and activists from Jubo Dal put up barricade on the DhakaChittagong Highway for over an hour. During the agitation, traffic movement on both sides of road remained halted for an hour, causing immense sufferings for people. On receiving information, police reached the spot and took the situation under control. Nurul Karim, officer-in-charge of Muhuriganj police station, said a case had been filed in this connection. But no one was arrested in this connection. l
Trade union wants wage hike for tea garden workers n Our Correspondent, Sylhet
Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha brings out a procession in Sylhet yesterday, demanding rise in wages of tea garden workers DHAKA TRIBUNE
3 shot in Lakshmipur Jubo League clash n Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur At least two Jubo League activists and one lay individual received bullet wounds in an intraparty clash in the district yesterday. The wounded are Ibrahim Khalil Bablu, 40, and Md Anowar Hossain, 36, Jubo League activists, and Abdul Mannan, 25, who is a waiter. Of the three, the Mannan’s condition has been reported as critical. He has been referred to Noakhali Sadar Hospital. Sources said the incident took place between two groups of the Jubo League in Bashurhat Bazar under the Charshahi union of the Lashmipur Sadar upazila of the district. According to the locals and the wounded, when Jubo League activists Bablu and Anowar went to a local hotel for breakfast, a gang of 10-12 led by Jubo League leader Shahdat fell upon them. What followed was a chase and counter-chase and the use of firearms.
the mills,” said a farmer. “We have sold the sugarcane three months ago, but have yet to receive any payment. We cannot cultivate IrriBoro paddy on our land this year since we have not been paid any money by sugarcane mills,” he added. The government set price rate of sugarcane is also too little in comparison to the production cost, he added. Farmers do not get the expected profits from sugarcane production as the government rate was not increased in the last two years, said another farmer. The sugarcane farmers later submitted a memorandum with 11 point demands to the prime minister via the deputy commissioner. On receiving the memorandum, Deputy Commissioner Kazi Ashraf Uddin assured the farmers that the memorandum would be sent to the authorities concerned. Meanwhile, farmers of Chuadanga also staged a demonstration in the district town and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner with the same demand. The farmers under the banner of Bangladesh Sugarcane Farmers’ Federation organised the event. l
They added that Shahdat’s men opened fire on his rivals, wounding the three. Local sources said there had been a long-standing enmity between Sadar upazila (east) Jubo Leauge Joint Convener Md Morshed Alam and the union Jubo League Joint Convener Shahdat Hossain, centring establishing supremacy in the Charshahi area. Morshed alleged that Shahdat had been trying to extort money from his brother Bablu who dealt with satellite connections in the area. Shahdat, however, denied the allegation against him. He laid the blame on Morshed, saying Morshed’s supporters assaulted his men on Saturday night. Sub-Inspector Md Mozammel Huq of the Dasherhat police outpost said the situation was under control. Lawmen had been deployed to the area, and action would be taken against those involved in the incident based on specific allegations, he said. l
Youth gets six-month jail for harassing schoolgirl n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj
A mobile court yesterday sentenced a young man to six-month imprisonment for sexually harassing a schoolgirl in Pakundia upazila in Kisshoreganj. The convicted was identified as Mobarak Hossain, 21, son of Abdul Latif of Boro Azali village of the upazila. Local sources said Mobarak made an indecent approach to a female student of Boro Azali village in the upazila near Baharam Khan Pasha High School in the afternoon while she was returning to home from school. Hearing her cry for help, locals rushed in, caught the youth red-handed and handed him over to the Pakundia Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mosharraf Hossain Khan.l
Wife kills husband n Our Correspondent, Bandarban
A wife hacked her husband to death in the Memberpara area of the district, yesterday. The deceased was identified as Muniruzzaman, 53, of the area. Sources said Rahima Akter, Muniruzzaman’s wife, had an altercation with him over a family feud on the day. At one stage, she hacked at him indiscriminately, leaving him critically injured. Later, he died at hospital. l
Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha Sylhet district unit yesterday in a meeting demanded increments to the daily wages of tea garden workers. Sources said the tea workers under the banner of the union had joined a meeting in the court area of the district at 10am. Among others, district unit NDF president Kumar Chanra Roy, union leader Raj Deo Kiori, Bipondop Madraji Chashi, Bimal Kunju, Vasan Chatri, Arun Bouri, Sunil Modi and Ganga Kapoti spoke on the occasion while NDF central committee president MA Karim was present as chief guest. The union leaders demanded the wages of workers be hiked from Tk69 to Tk 300 per day. Later they brought out a procession in the town. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
Synergies in the financial landscape Climate finance governance in Bangladesh Pervin and n Mousumi Sheikh Moinul Islam Moin
here are diverse intermediaries, instruments and planning systems in Bangladesh’s financial landscape. Although they all play a role in mobilising and channelling resources to climate-related investments, disbursement is fragmented. Between 2009 and 2013, Bangladesh needed US$5 billion of investment in climate-related initiatives, but only leveraged US$1 billion. To minimise this deficit and maximise opportunities, it needs to establish local financial intermediaries to complement existing intermediaries, use innovative economic and financial instruments and use financial planning systems to ensure better synergy across the financial landscape. Bangladesh has adopted a pro-poor, climate resilient, low-carbon development pathway for attaining sustainable development by 2021. Its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) indicates an investment requirement of around US$5 billion in climate-sensitive activities for the period 2009–2013. However, to date Bangladesh has only leveraged a little over US$1 billion from the major funds available. Bangladesh’s financial landscape includes a wide range of intermediaries, instruments and planning systems that play a role in mobilising and channelling funds to support investments in low-carbon, climate-resilient development. But the lack of internal resources and shortage of overseas funds call for an integrated approach to ensure that available funds are effectively mobilised and used. The following outlines how policymakers can design Bangladesh’s financial landscape to ease its transition to a climate smart development pathway.
in accessing different sources. But they are also quite project-oriented in nature, and resource prioritisation and allocation is fragmented as a result. There needs to be better synergy among all the intermediaries so that investments are greater than the sum of their parts. This can be achieved by designing institutional arrangements that have the mandate and capacity to manage and coordinate climate investments. With its bird’s eye view of the entire development portfolio, the Planning Commission will be able to ensure better coordination among all these intermediaries and better synergy in fund allocation and investment decisions. Establishing close links with the Ministry of Finance, which has absorptive and financial capacity, will ensure the efficient management of resources. Working closely with a body with proven financial management capacity, will also give the Planning Commission access to international funds it may otherwise be denied.
Developing the capacity of local government intermediaries There is currently a gap in local-level financial intermediaries. Given that a large proportion of LCRD investments target the local level, it is essential to establish intermediaries that have
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
finance through LGIs would establish a sustainable institutional mechanism at local level. But LGIs do not have the tools, systems or manpower in place to determine climate impacts on different vulnerable communities. Their current funding — via central government and donor funds, locally generated revenues, household spending and private funds — does not meet existing local needs. To enable LGIs to leverage funds from different intermediaries, their mandate needs to be enhanced to include mobilisation, management and
overlook climate change when they allocate their yearly budgets and plans) • Establish public ﬁnancial management systems, so LGIs can prioritise actions and identify costs and sources of funding, and • Ensure that they have proper monitoring and evaluation systems in place so they can track progress and measure impacts at local level.
Economic and financial instruments Bangladesh uses various financial instruments, including grants, conces-
4% Research and knowledge management
Financial planning system 1% Capacity development and institutional strengthening
GRAPHICS: NAJMAL A NADVI
Coordination and synergies among intermediaries Bangladesh uses diverse financial intermediaries to tap into public and private funding from national and international sources. Each specialises in drawing down from a particular source of finance and disbursing to specific investors. For example, Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) draws from national public sources; Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) draws from bilateral sources, including the UK, EU, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Australia and Denmark; and the Strategic Climate Fund’s Pilot Project for Climate Resilience draws from multilateral sources. The country also relies on multilateral development banks and agencies to draw down on and disburse resources to support low-carbon resilient development (LCRD) investments, such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation. Other major intermediaries include the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and national banks such as green banking through the Central Bank. The multiple intermediaries work efficiently because they specialise
13% Mitigation and low-carbon development
1% Comprehensive disaster management
10% Food security, social protection and heatlh
Figure 1: BCCTF spending, by BCCSAP theme the mandate and capacity to channel finances into local-level LCRD investments. Local government institutions (LGIs) are one option. The lowest level of government, LGIs in rural and urban areas have different setups, but they all have a mandate to mobilise and disburse resources to support development initiatives. Regardless of the intermediary involved, channelling the flow of climate
disbursement of climate finance. To this end, they should be supported by capacity building initiatives to: • Increase their understanding of climate change, disaster risk reduction and climate finance • Develop climate change and disaster-smart local development strategic planning at local level (current cost plans tend to emphasise infrastructure development, and LGIs usually
sional loans and other tools, to mobilise and disburse financial resources. For example, in November 2010, the World Bank approved a US$110 million PPCR project, US$50 million of which was in grant form, US$60 million as a concessional loan. Alongside the US$37 million in grants illustrated above, GEF is also pulling US$369 million in co-financing. Bangladesh has the opportunity to
Table 1. Bangladesh’s climate change financial landscape Sources of climate finance
Uses and users of climate finance
Various BCCSAP initiatives, implementing government agencies, local non-governmental organisations, universities, research organisations
Green banking through Central Bank Commercial banks
Concessional loans Refinancing
Policy guidelines for green banking (2011)
Renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management, land management
Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund World Bank
Various BCCSAP initiatives
National private finance
Financial planning systems and institutional arrangements
Grants Fixed deposits
National public finance (national budget)
International public finance
Economic and financial instruments
Bangladesh Perspective Plan (2010–2021) Sixth Five Year Plan (2011–2015) BCCSAP (2009) Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund Policy Climate Change Trust Act (2010) National budget
Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund Ministry of Environment and Forest
Multi-donor international public finance
increase diplomatic efforts to collect more grants from major international funding sources such as GEF’s Green Climate Funds and the Adaptation Fund. Devising additional, innovative financial and economic instruments to pull more resources could also help close the existing resource gap. For example, the Ministry of Finance’s Economic Relations Division recently signed an agreement with the Japanese government that will pull US$2 million, to develop innovative crop insurance products that will give smallholder farmers in Bangladesh, income protection from increasingly severe storms and natural disasters. Formulating some portfolios that blend different instruments — such as grants, concessional loans and revenue budgets – is another option for the government to consider.
Climate Investment Funds Multilateral development banks Ministry of Environment and Forest
Grants (45%) Concessional loans (55%)
Improving climate resilient agriculture and food security, strengthening the security and reliability of fresh water supply, sanitation, infrastructure, enhancing the resilience of coastal communities and infrastructure
GEF (Least Developed Countries Fund)
BCCSAP GEF policies and procedures
Biodiversity, climate change, land degradation
Financial planning systems, which include institutional arrangements and budget and planning systems, play an important role in leveraging synergy across the financial landscape. At present, Bangladesh practises two approaches to governing climate-sensitive initiatives. The first relies on the institutional arrangements and budget and planning systems set out for regular development planning. In this approach, ministries develop short and medium-term plans that target development and economic growth objectives. These development plans are collated by the Planning Commission into the Annual Development Programme (ADP), which is financed by the national budget through the development budget. All activities included in the ADP are monitored and evaluated by Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division, part of the Ministry of Planning, to guide effective investment in development, policy formulation and coordinated public procurement. Between 2009/10 – 2011/12, on average 51.6% of the national development budget was allocated to climate-relevant expenditure. The second approach emerged with the advent of the climate change funds - the BCCTF and the BCCRF. Finances are channelled into these funds via the non-development budget, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. The funds are managed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, via the Climate Change Unit, Board of Trustees and a technical committee. The funds allocate resources to projects that fit into BCCSAP’s 44 priority actions under six thematic areas. They are disbursed as a block budgetary allocation to the implementing entity — government agencies, NGOs, universities and research organisations. Between January 2010 and February 2014, the BCCTF pulled approximately US$347 million from national revenues, allocating 66% to end users implementing 270 projects and keeping 34% as a fixed deposit for future use. Given that the majority of identified climate sensitive initiatives are linked to development initiatives, there is an opportunity to leverage synergy in investment into climate-sensitive initiatives by improving coordination between the two approaches. The following could support this: 1. Closer links between the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission would support the integration of climate change initiatives into the annual development planning process, enabling more sustainable and coherent investments into climate change initiatives. The Ministry of Finance and Planning Commission are best placed to identify demand and supply for climate finance and to coordinate and manage the finance of an integrated budget. 2. Budget and planning systems,
such as the proposed Climate Fiscal Framework (CFF), will integrate climate change into national budgeting and planning processes, thereby leveraging synergy in investment. Operationalising the CFF will enable policymakers to link climate change with expenditure and taxation decisions, and ensure that external finances are used more effectively. 3. Using existing monitoring and evaluation systems like the IMED can enhance the effectiveness of climate finance. Climate change initiatives should either be integrated into the ADP process, so that they can be monitored and evaluated by the IMED or the Cabinet should amend IMED’s allocation of business, to give it a mandate to monitor and evaluate climate change projects implemented via the non-development budget.
Uses and users of climate finance Bangladesh uses the flow of climate finance for different purposes, including renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management, land management, agriculture and food security, capacity building and knowledge management, water supply, sanitation, infrastructure, biodiversity and reversing land degradation. Funds from both national and international finance can flow to any initiative that matches with BCCSAP’s programme areas. Various implementing agencies, including government bodies, NGOs, community-based organisations, civil society organisations, multilateral development banks, research organisations and universities, use these funds in different projects.
Conclusion and recommendations Climate change poses a serious threat to sustainable development in Bangladesh. Our understanding of how climate finance can be managed effectively and efficiently is still developing. Bangladesh is already piloting a number of intermediaries, institutions and sources of funding to address extreme climatic events in future. We believe that the government now needs to take further steps to tackle the challenges posed by climate change. • At central level, the government should implement the Climate Fiscal Framework to ensure better synergy between financing intermediaries to leverage investments. • Policymakers should establish a coordination mechanism to manage and oversee the multiple intermediaries working in Bangladesh. This needs to be led by the Planning Commission, which already has strong links with all concerned ministries, in strong partnership with Ministry of Finance. • The government needs to scale up practices at local level. To do this successfully, it should focus on introducing effective intermediaries at local level, and developing the capacity of local government bodies to increase understanding of climate change, plan and monitor climate change activities, efficiently draw down climate finance and disburse resources more effectively. • To overcome its resource constraints, the government needs to find innovative financial and economic instruments to leverage climate finance from international sources in order to minimise the budget gap. Mousumi Pervin is a capacity building analyst for the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (Phase II) at the Government of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. Sheikh Moinul Islam Moin is an assistant chief of the General Economics Division of the Government of Bangladesh’s Planning Commission. This article was first published in April 2014 as a briefing from International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) based in UK.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Russia ‘outraged’ as deadly east Ukraine ‘Iran’s women not second class citizens’ shootout shatters Easter truce n AFP, Slavyansk
n AFP, Tehran
A deadly gunfight in a town in restive east Ukraine on Sunday shattered a fragile Easter truce, with Russia declaring it was “outraged” at the return to violence in the crisis-hit former Soviet republic. Three pro-Russian militants and one attacker were killed in a firefight at a roadblock close to the separatist-held town of Slavyansk, said a local pro-Kremlin rebel leader, Vyatcheslav Ponomarev. Vladimir, a masked 20-year-old pro-Russian rebel who was at the barricade, told AFP: “Four cars pulled up to our roadblock around 1:00am (2200 GMT Saturday). We wanted to conduct a check, and then they opened fire on us with automatic weapons.” He said there were around 20 attackers, and confirmed the three rebel deaths, but was not sure of casualties on the other side. An AFP photographer saw the bodies of two dead militants laid out in a truck near the scene. The identity of the assailants, who escaped before militant reinforcements arrived, was not known. The Ukrainian interior ministry confirmed there was an “armed clash” but gave a toll of one dead and three injured. It said police were investigating. The gunfight broke days of relative calm. Western-backed authorities in Kiev had announced they were suspending
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani admitted Sunday that women in his country still face discrimination and cultural barriers but he insisted they are not universally treated as second-class citizens. In a speech marking Women’s Day in Iran, Rouhani, seen as a moderate reformer, said more had to be done but that the West did not offer a model that had to be followed. The remarks were followed by confirmation that the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of some women prisoners. Rouhani’s speech was consistent with his promise of more social freedoms, a cornerstone of the campaign that gave him a surprise victory in the June presidential election. “I, as the head of the government, confess there are still so many deficiencies with regards to the vindication of women’s rights,” Rouhani told a conference attended by members of Iran’s female elite. “Based on the Islamic criteria, we neither consider men as the first sex nor the women as the second sex ... they both have the same human dignity and none is superior,” he said, drawing warm applause. Iran’s civil rights record is regularly criticised by international rights watchdogs and Western governments.
An armed pro-Russian militiant looks for ammunition casings as he stands guard at a check-point outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk yesterday AFP military operations to oust the rebels over Easter, which ends Monday. The last deadly clash was last Thursday, when three pro-Russian militants were killed by Ukrainian soldiers when they tried to attack a military base in the
southeast port city of Mariupol. Russia’s foreign ministry quickly seized upon the latest violence, saying in a statement that Moscow was “outraged at this provocation by the fighters.”
It urged Kiev to abide by an accord signed in Geneva on Thursday by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union calling for “illegal armed groups” to lay down their weapons and end the occupation of public sites. l
Among the criticisms levelled at the Islamic republic is a ban on women travelling abroad without official permission. Within the country, many hotels will not allow a woman to check into a room if she is alone. And under the Islamic sharia law practised in Iran, a woman’s evidence is considered to have only half the value of a man’s, which Amnesty International says leads to discrimination in divorce proceedings, child custody disputes and inheritance. Rouhani has the backing of reformists, moderates and some conservatives in the Islamic republic. Arguing that it was misguided to think a woman’s place should be limited to the home, he questioned why “some people think the presence of women is a threat?,” noting that women are guardians of their own moral standards, not men. “Is that possible to corner and marginalise the role of half of the society? Women should enjoy equal opportunities, security and social rights,” he said. “We will not accept the culture of sexual discrimination.” A message on the supreme leader’s website said he had agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of a group of convicted women, following a request from the country’s judiciary chief. The crimes of those shown clemency on women’s day were not of a serious nature, it said. l
Kuwait shuts papers for breaking ‘coup tape’ media blackout
Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium
n AFP, Kuwait City
n Reuters, Dubai
A Kuwaiti judge Sunday ordered two newspapers to close for two weeks for breaking a news blackout on a videotape allegedly showing former senior officials plotting a coup, a legal source told AFP. The order against the independent AlWatan and Alam Al-Youm newspapers was issued after the information ministry filed a complaint, the source said. The videotape has shaken the Gulf state, prompting an investigation and parliament to hold a secret debate on the issue.
Kuwait’s attorney general ordered a blackout on news relating to the tape, while the royal court has called for calm. Following parliament’s debate, parliamentary speaker Marzouk al-Ghanem on Tuesday said the prime minister had told MPs that the videotape had been “tampered with” and not reliable. Local media have said the former officials in the videotape include a senior member of the ruling family, without elaborating. The government informed parliament it will hand over all the tapes and related documents to the public prosecution, which is currently
conducting an investigation. The Al-Sabah ruling family has been in power in Kuwait for more than 250 years. But since 2006, Kuwait has been rocked by a series of political disputes between the Sabah-controlled government and MPs, and occasionally between members of the ruling family. About a dozen governments have been formed and parliament has been dissolved on six occasions. Since parliamentary elections last July, when pro-government candidates won a majority after an opposition boycott. l
Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear programme. “Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide,”Iran’s atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75% in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed. Salehi, who heads the country’s atomic energy organisation, said the fast process of uranium conversion was expected to expedite the release of frozen Iranian assets in the West. Under the breakthrough agreement that took effect on Jan. 20, Iran halted
some aspects of its nuclear programme in exchange for a limited easing of international sanctions that have laid low the major oil producer’s economy. If it complies with the interim deal, Iran will get a total of $4.2bn in revenues long frozen oversees, in eight instalments over the January-July period. IncludingJapan’s latest payments, it has received $2.55 billion. South Korea, another importer of Iranian oil, has made one payment. Salehi also said Iran would be ready within a month to answer all six questions raised by the IAEA about Iran’s suspected nuclear activities. l
Joyful homecoming for 4 French journalists after Syria captivity Villacoublay Airbase, n Reuters, France Four French journalists held captive in Syria for more than 10 months returned home to France on Sunday, freshly shaved and beaming, where they were met at an airbase by President Francois Hollande, their families and friends. Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois smiled at a crowd of journalists, some of them colleagues, after descending from a military helicopter at the Villacoublay airbase southwest of Paris. “It’s a great joy and an immense relief, obviously, to be free. Under the sky, which we haven’t seen for a long time, to breathe the fresh air, walk freely,” veteranEurope 1 reporter Francois said in an impromptu speech at the side of his fellow ex-hostages and Hollande. French authorities have released few details of their liberation, but Turkey’s
Dogan News Agency first reported that an unknown group transported the journalists on Friday night to the southeastern border of Turkey, where they were discovered by Turkish soldiers. After identifying themselves as journalists, the group was taken to police headquarters in Sanliurfa province and seen by doctors, Turkish authorities confirmed. Henin told reporters on the tarmac that the four had “not always” been treated well and had been moved from place to place many times by their captors. Visibly moved and flanked by his two young children, he said the hardest part was being separated from his family. “What’s the best thing for a father? To have your two kids in your arms,” Henin said. French authorities have not identified the journalists’ captors, but Dogan said it was the rebel group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). l
Bulgarian Orthodox Christians walk with candles during Easter mass celebrations outside the golden-domed Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Sunday
Nigeria gunmen raze school residence n AFP, Kano
French President Francois Hollande (C) and French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius (R) welcome French journalists Didier Francois (L), Edouard Elias (2L), Nicolas Henin (3R) and Pierre Torres (2R) taken hostage in Syria last year and freed on Sunday AFP
Gunmen in northern Nigeria set fire to a staff residential building at a girls’ secondary school on Sunday but the 195 students sleeping in their nearby dormitories were unharmed, police and a teacher said. The attack in Bauchi state came less than a week after Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped 129 teenage schoolgirls from the Chibok area of Borno state in the northeast. Forty-four of those girls have since escaped. “At about 2:30 am (0130 GMT), unknown gunmen carried out coordinated
attacks in Yana town,” Bauchi’s police spokesman Haruna Mohammed said. They burnt “several buildings including a staff quarters of a girls’ secondary school, an eight-block police quarters, a sharia (Islamic law) court and the local government secretariat,” he told AFP. Mohammed said it was not clear who carried out the attack and provided no details on casualties. Boko Haram, an extremist group fighting to create a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has attacked Bauchi many times in an insurgency that has killed thousands since 2009. l
‘France has “information” of Syria chemical weapons use’ n AFP, Paris France has “information” but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday. “We have a few elements of information but I do not have the proof,” Hollande said in a radio interview after he was asked about reports that Assad was currently using chemical weapons. “What I do know is what we have seen from this regime is the horrific methods it is capable of using and the rejection of any political transition,” he told the Europe 1 radio station.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the same radio station there were “indications, which have yet to be verified, that there have been recent chemical attacks.” He said they were “much less significant than those in Damascus a few months ago but very deadly,” and had taken place in the northwest of the country, near the Lebanese border. A French source close to the matter told AFP that the reports “had come from different sources, including the Syrian opposition.” There are conflicting accounts about one attack that happened in the town of Kafr Zita in the central Hama province earlier in April. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
Abdullah Abdullah strengthens Afghan poll lead to 11 points n AFP, Kabul Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is leading Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan’s presidential election by 11 percentage points after half of the ballots were counted, officials said Sunday, with a run-off vote likely next month. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Abdullah was on 44.4% with former World Bank economist Ghani on 33.2% of the ballots so far counted from April 5, when eight candidates contested the race to succeed Hamid Karzai. If no single candidate gains more than 50% of the vote, a run-off between the two leading names is tentatively scheduled for May 28. The 2009 poll was marred by massive fraud, and hundreds of serious allegations of cheating are being investigated after the latest election. “Almost half of the clean votes have been counted,” Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, the IEC chief, told reporters. With 3.45 million votes now
counted, the overall turnout is set to be nearly seven million voters from an estimated electorate of 13.5 million people – far above the 2009 turnout. The eventual winner will have to lead the fight against a resilient Taliban insurgency as US-led combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan this year, and must also strengthen an economy reliant on declining aid money. Last week, the first 10% of the vote was announced with Abdullah collecting 41.9% and Ghani on 37.6%. Both candidates have expressed confidence they will win the election on the first round, but have also vowed to fight on if a run-off is necessary. Abdullah, who came second to Karzai in 2009, has signalled that he may be open to constitutional changes that could allow for a power-sharing deal before the run-off. Ghani, a former World Bank economist, has also raised the issue, but it is uncertain how any new system could accommodate the two rivals or how long it would take to implement. l
Lighting flares are released over the sea off Jindo where the capsized passenger ship Sewol sank, as fishing boats emit light during the night rescue operation in Jindo yesterday AFP
MH370: Sea bed scans could end in days
Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain’s detention as death toll mounts
The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 entered its 44th day on Sunday as Australian search officials said a crucial series of sonar scans of the Indian Ocean floor could be completed within a week. The air, surface and underwater search is now focused on footage taken by a US Navy deep sea drone, which has narrowed its target range to a tight 10-km (6.2-mile) circle of sea floor. The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has spent the past week scouring the remote and largely unmapped stretch of ocean floor some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) northwest of the Australian city of Perth for signs of the plane, which disappeared on
March 8 with 239 people on board. The remote controlled submarine is now in its eighth deep sea mission with no sign of wreckage so far. The drone has searched about half its targeted area, the authorities said on Sunday. The Malaysian government has said the search is at a “very critical juncture” and asked for prayers for its success. Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has also said the government may consider using more AUVs in the search. After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search is centered on an area where one of four acoustic signals believed to be from the plane’s black box recorders was detected on April 8. l
South Korean prosecutors investigating last week’s ferry disaster said on Sunday they wanted to extend the detention of the captain and two other crew as they try to determine the cause of an accident that likely claimed more than 300 lives. The Sewol ferry was on a routine 400-km (300-mile) voyage from Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju in calm weather on Wednesday carrying 476 passengers and crew, among them 339 children and teachers on a high school outing. Divers gained access to the hull of the Sewol for the first time overnight and the number of those confirmed
dead rose steadily throughout Sunday by 25 to 58 dead with 244 still listed as missing. A clearer picture started to emerge of the time around the capsize after coastguards released a recording of a conversation between vessel controllers and the ship. Witnesses have said the Sewol turned sharply before it began listing. It is still not clear why the vessel turned. It took more than two hours for it to capsize completely but passengers were ordered to stay put in their cabins. According to the transcript, at 9.25 a.m. the controllers told the 69-year old Captain Lee Joon-seok to “decide
how best to evacuate the passengers” and that he should “make the final decision on whether or not to evacuate.” Lee was not on the bridge when the ship turned. Navigation was in the hands of a 26-year old third mate who was in charge for the first time in the passage, according to crew members. The transcript shows crew on the ship worried there were not enough rescue boats at the scene to take on all the passengers. Witnesses said the captain and some crew members took to rescue boats before the passengers. Lee said earlier he feared that passengers would be swept away by the ferocious currents if they leapt into the
Pakistan commission to probe attack on journalist n AFP, Islamabad
Family members of the Everest avalanche victims light oil lamps at Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 20, 2014. Nepal has called off the search for three local guides still missing, citing weather conditions, after the deadliest accident on Mount Everest that killed 13 of their colleagues AFP
Pakistan’s government Sunday announced a special commission to investigate an attack on a prominent television anchor which his brother blamed on the country’s powerful spy agency. Hamid Mir, who hosts a popular talk show on Pakistan’s Geo News channel, came under fire on Saturday while travelling in a car to his office in Karachi. Four gunmen on motorbikes shot at him and he was hit by three bullets, but survived. The office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said a three-member judicial commission would be set up to investigate. It announced a reward of ten million rupees ($102,745) for any information leading to the arrest of the attackers. Mir has long been a critic of the country’s powerful intelligence agen-
cies and military for their alleged role in the abduction of thousands of people in the restive southwestern province of Baluchistan. Amir Mir, brother of Hamid and also a journalist, on Saturday accused the powerful Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of responsibility for the attack, saying the wounded television anchor had felt threatened beforehand. Last year police defused a bomb planted under Hamid Mir’s car before it could go off. The military in a statement on Saturday described the accusations against the ISI as baseless and “condemned the incident and demanded an independent inquiry.” Last month Raza Rumi, a prominent television anchor known for his outspoken critical views on the Taliban insurgent group, survived a similar assassination attempt in Lahore. l
sea, but he has not explained why he left the vessel. Prosecutor Yang Joong-jin told a news conference in Mokpo, one of the centers for the investigation, that some of the crew said they had not received any safety training. “We are trying to find out if there is additional negligence,” Prosecutor Yang Joong-jin told a news conference in Mokpo, one of the centers for the investigation, speaking of the captain and crew. When the captain and two crew were arrested on Saturday, they were detained by police for 10 days and prosecutors for a further 10. If the new extension request is granted, they could be detained for 30 days. l
Indian transgender stands for office after landmark ruling n AFP, Chennai With a tight budget and a humble autorickshaw, a pioneering Indian transgender is campaigning in her southern hometown for a seat in parliament, just days after the country’s highest court recognised “third gender” people. Describing the Supreme Court judge’s ruling as a “milestone,” 53-yearold Bharathi Kannamma hopes to build on the momentum and overturn prejudices against India’s several million transgenders. Running as an independent candidate in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu state, she is thought to be the first transgender accepted as a candidate in a general election. l
Pakistan plans huge desert solar park to fight energy crisis n AFP, Badaiwani Wala, Pakistan For years Pakistanis have sweated and cursed through summer power cuts, but now the government plans to harness the sun’s ferocious heat to help tackle the country’s chronic energy crisis. In a corner of the Cholistan desert in Punjab province, power transmission lines, water pipes and a pristine new road cross 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of parched, sandy land. The provincial government has spent $5m to put in place the infrastructure as it seeks to transform the desolate area into one of the world’s largest solar power parks, capable one day of generating up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity. The desert park in Bahawalpur district is the latest scheme to tackle the rolling blackouts which have inflicted misery on people and strangled economic growth. Temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) in the country’s centre in June and July, sending
demand for electricity soaring and leaving a shortfall of around 4,000 MW. “In phase one, a pilot project producing 100 MW of electricity will hopefully be completed by the end of this year,” Imran Sikandar Baluch, head of the Bahawalpur district administration, told AFP. “After completion of the first 100 MW project, the government will invite investors to invest here for the 1,000 megawatts.” It is believed that the new solar park will make Pakistan a leader in that energy in the region. The initial pilot project is a government scheme but private investors are also taking an interest. Raja Waqar of Islamabad-based Safe Solar Power is among them. His company plans to invest $10 million to build a 10 MW project in the new park. “The government has allotted us land over here. Infrastructure – the transmission line and road are available here, that is why we are investing,” Waqar told AFP. A million dollars per MW is a size-
able investment but Waqar said the company expected to reap returns on it over at least the next decade – and others were keen to get on board. “There are up to 20 companies who are investing in this park and their projects are in the pipeline,” he said. “Some of them are working on 50 MW, some on 10 and others on 20.” But not everyone is so upbeat about the project. Arshad Abbasi, an energy expert at Islamabad’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), said the cost of generating solar power from this project may be uneconomical for the government. He also warned that buying in solar equipment from abroad made little economic sense. “Had the government decided to establish more hydro or thermal plants in the country it would have generated more employment, business and construction opportunities,” he said. And farmers in the area who scrape a living herding cattle on the unforgiving land are worried about their future. l
A policeman stands near a damaged passenger bus at an accident site in the town of Sukkur April 20. At least 41 people were killed and several others were injured Sunday morning in a bus-trailer collision on the National Highway in Sukkur district located in Sindh province, local media reported. The bus, which was carrying more than 50 passengers, was travelling from Dera Ghazi Khan in the central Punjab province to the port city of Karachi when it hit the vehicle coming from the opposite direction, security personnel said REUTERS
Uniform education for all
e welcome the government’s decision to establish a separate directorate for madrasas. Such a move will aid the government in overseeing and improving the quality of education being taught to madrasa students. The directorate is being set up to oversee the 9,441 Alia madrasas in this nation, attended by over 2.2 million students, who will greatly benefit from this move. All students deserve access to a good education. Madrasa students too should be given the opportunity to learn Bangla, English, Mathematics and other primary subjects, in addition to the religious subjects which constitute a major part of their present curriculum. Upon completing their studies, they should have the same prospects when entering the competitive job market, so that they can compete on an equal footing. This directorate will give the government the opening to ensure that madrasas are up to the mark when preparing their students for the future. As we have editorialised before, the Qawmi educational system grants certificates that are not recognised by any authority; the end result is the prospects of their students suffer. A proper education is crucial to ensure that madrasa students get the same opportunity to take part in the mainstream workforce, and that they are not doomed to a future of very limited options.
Madrasas should be up to the mark when preparing their students for the future
On the climate change front lines
here can be no doubt at this stage that climate change is a very real and worrisome phenomenon, and there can also be little doubt that as the Earth heats up that Bangladesh will be one of the countries that will suffer the most. Given our immense population, the effects of climate change could have a devastating impact on tens of millions of Bangladeshis, and we need to be making plans to deal with such a contingency from now. What we need to do is two-fold. The first step is that we need to do everything in our power to keep our own emissions within limits. Some might argue that globally speaking, emissions from Bangladesh are negligible, and that, furthermore, we need to scale up as we industrialise and modernise. Both points are correct, but they miss the bigger picture. While we grow and develop, we need to do so sustainably; otherwise the costs will be so great that we will end up worse than from where we started. In addition, if we can demonstrate that we are good global citizens when it comes to the environment, it gives us the moral authority and legitimacy to demand better from the rest of the world. This way Bangladesh both sets an example and at the same time ensures that it will retain its right to push the environmental agenda. Finally, there are a lot of funds floating around for mitigation and adaptation that Bangladesh both needs and deserves. In such cases, it is up to the government to take the lead in ensuring both that Bangladesh remains eligible for such funding through our actions and to follow through to make sure that such funding is both secured and properly disbursed.
Monday, April 21, 2014
LETTER OF THE DAY
Digital? Not Bangladesh
April 12 This piece doesn’t reflect ground reality but only deals with rhetoric. It is always easy to blame somebody, and it is always a challenge to find a silver lining in the dark clouds, although it does exist. Hasanuzzaman
In defence of Shakib Al Hasan April 11
SA Shakib was right to say that expectations outweigh his team’s potential. It’s true that the team doesn’t match his talents as an individual player. That is probably the biggest tragedy of his career. No argument there. Yet one part of what Shakib said out of frustration, about the fans being one of the main reasons for his team’s performance, is ludicrous. It needs a response. His talent is the reason why Shakib Al Hasan gets to be on a cricket pitch and not some neighbourhood cricket starlet. Simply put, anyone could play on the streets of Dhaka. Very few are able to handle the pressures at Mirpur. Shakib can. If Shakib or the teammates he is defending can’t get into the zone on the pitch, aren’t invested in the game enough that when they set out to play they can’t tune everything else out, if they don’t love the sport enough to be able to do what every professional athlete does in every game of their career, then what are they there for? For fame? Why play professionally? Athletes don’t get to blame their audience for their poor performance on the pitch. That’s a cop out, plain and simple. Everything else Shakib said about the team’s potential/fan expectation should make perfect sense to any reasonable mind. But no matter how frustrated he gets, even Shakib doesn’t get to lash out at the fans because their support “intimidated” his team without being expecting a valid response. Your defence, no matter how eloquent, won’t protect him there.
Shallow and fickle fans apart, it’s an especially craven cop-out for Shakib to glibly blame “fan expectations” and the overwhelming “pressures to perform” for the team’s blow-out in the T20 tournament, at home. Besides, I for one have long sensed a visible sense of conceit and complacency in a few of our players – Shakib and Tamim, particularly. When they think of themselves as rock stars (likewise paid and adored hugely) I reckon they ought to man up to the periodic fan backlash. As persuasive as Mr Sobhan’s passionate defence of Shakib is, he takes it a mile too far, in a sense. I mean, his bits like “... more talent in his little finger,” and “... in ten lifetimes” etc are a bit much. This borders on a mini-hagiography of the player. We need to cut Shakib some slack, no kidding. We need to lighten up about the team’s bad losses, from time to time, agreed. But we do not need to be merely polite and grateful fans, forever in thrall of the players. They need us just as much as we need them, for cricket to remain viable in this country. Shakib and Co (Mushfiq, included) should be channelling their frustrations and disappointments to knuckle down and get their act together again.
Ronnie SA: You’re right on the money! The post of the month, in my book. I couldn’t have said it better. :) Now, I agree with Mr Sobhan about the sometimes churlish, childish attitudes and antics of many fans, generally. I deplore it, too. It’s actually a constantly infuriating trait of the average cricket fan in the subcontinent. In Bangladesh, there’s lately been an unnecessary, unhelpful conflation of cricketing success with many people’s novel notions of patriotism, national glory etc. Outsized expectations from this team have always struck me as faddish, self-indulgent and naive. Still, I don’t have too much sympathy or respect either for Shakib’s rather dishonest and lame scapegoating of the fans for the team’s dismal performance, and his own underwhelming form.
WaliulHaqueKhonder I wholly endorse the editor’s views and Shakib’s expression about the fan pressure being counterproductive in the teams’ performance. “Fan pressure,” I think, works somewhat like the teacher holding a cane over a primary school kid and asking him to do the math, quick time. The problem is the characteristic of the people of the sub-continent. It rarely happens anywhere else (to my knowledge). Shakib has been the number one all rounder of the world in ICC ranking for a number of times. A fact that the fans should always keep in mind before taking offence to his remarks. If any of the multitude of fans could be in Shakib’s shoes to know where it pinches, things wouldn’t come to this sorry state of affairs.
Saj If he’s a world class athlete, shouldn’t he be able to deal with the pressure? And please get off your high horse when you say he owes nothing to us or hasn’t hurt us when the team performs badly. That is simply not true.
Question of BNP’s existence ignites debate! April 11
Mephisto Tarique has become a liability. KZ should offer her leadership position up for grabs by secret ballot by party members. She could do better still by retiring from active politics. Intra-party democracy will ensure the party’s survival. Otherwise, it may well become a fringe party. one Farhad Mazhar means well, I’m sure. But unless he’s indirectly trying to motivate BNP to shift gears and assert themselves more, he is wrong in his assessment of BNP’s likely future. Rafiqul Islam Mia might sound desperate and a denialist to some people, but I believe he’s nonetheless correct in his conviction that BNP will remain politically relevant and highly electable in the foreseeable future. There’s no doubt, though, that there’s serious heavy-lifting work to do within the party on multiple fronts (senior leadership, future policies, alliances and more). Khaleda Zia is still capable of holding the reins and directing these efforts at a revamp and re-mobilisation of BNP. Mephisto: I somewhat agree with you about Tarique Rahman failing to provide the necessary leadership and intellectual heft. Sadly, he has not proved the kind of asset to the party, he ought to have been. Pity how BNP’s last term in office, while positive in some respects, was mostly frittered away in a meandering mess of muddled management, conflict, corruption and ultimate upending by the military takeover. Today, they are in dire straits, and must (will) steer the ship back to the correct, winning course, hopefully.
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CALVIN AND HOBBES
We need to make plans to deal with the effects of climate change from now
SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Waver (6) 4 Dried fodder (3) 7 Nimble (5) 8 Pacific (6) 11 Female pig (3) 12 Italian monetary unit (4) 13 Otherwise (4) 15 Bridges (5) 16 Drive forward (5) 20 Get up (4) 23 Form walking surface (4) 24 Bees’ sound (3) 25 Plundered (6) 26 Danger signal (5) 27 Precious stone (3) 28 Governing body (6)
DOWN 1 Misses achievement 2 Occupants 3 Speed contest 4 Sibilate 5 Drug-yielding plant 6 Tree 9 Tear 10 Period of time 14 Malicious satire 17 Light blow 18 Day before a holiday 19 Shelf-like surface 20 Govern 21 Muslim leader 22 Trees 24 Ugly old woman
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS Crossword
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.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Death of a writer n Saba El Kabir
How long till it’s grounded for good?
Biman: Up in the air
n Towheed Feroze he official line given at the sudden departure of the British MD of Biman appointed a year ago, Kevin Steele, was that he was forced to quit the airline faced with health issues. Somehow, this line does not appear to be the full truth. Obviously anyone can develop illnesses which can hamper work and lead someone to opt for a way out, but once the roller-coaster events of Biman over the past year are analysed, it becomes quite evident that in the face of a hydra-headed monster, perhaps the steely resolve of Kevin Steele finally capitulated. We are reminded of the powerful Bengali aphorism: “Dosh chokre bhogoban bhut hote badhyo,” which in English means that when the forces of evil are united and overpowering, sometimes the good either falters or joins them. That Biman has, for the longest time, been an ailing aircraft is not a new finding; the national carrier had been struggling since the early 90s with successive governments failing to reign in on a variety of allegations, ranging from shady ticket sales, to misuse of funds, to appointment of unskilled staff. The rotting had actually begun much earlier in the early 80s when the carrier started developing the habit of missing arrival and departure times. As I distinctly remember, sitting inside the Tejgaon Airport sometime around the 80s, the flight announcer, exasperated by repeated queries from irate passengers, finally declared: “Beiman (ingrate) is finally arriving from Chittagong after a six hour delay.” But surprisingly, the history of the airline shows a period of strong initial success gradually getting lost in a whirlpool of complexities.
In the mid-70s, when Biman, as a new airliner of a fledgling country, began its journey with their “Majestic all the way” tagline, there were very few competitors around. Special packages were launched, the airline was tagged with the tourism Bangladesh campaign (can still be seen in Parjatan motels) plus adverts, both on TV and other mediums, which lured in passengers. A famous 70s TV advert showed a young couple taking Biman to fly to different exotic destinations, a landmark of each major city placed behind them to create an artistic impact.
Of course, the fact that Biman is still running may seem like a miracle to many. Like many other things in Bangladesh, this is yet another element which keeps on surviving, defying the odds and giving credence to the oft used fatalistic observation: “Allah bachae rakse” (kept alive by divine power) With hardly any publicity, special rates, or standard in-flight entertainment, it has limped on, incurring huge losses. The simple reason why the airline is still carrying on is because millions of Bangladeshis, working abroad, prefer to use it regularly.
This beleaguered airline, which began with a bang, is the perfect example of how, with all the razzmatazz, something can fail to lift off
It was, by today’s standards, a very amateurish production, but eventually did the marketing. The greatest irony is that in a time when too many airlines are locked in an intense battle with countless adverts and promos, Biman does not have a single video commercial on air. In this age and time, aviation is all about fierce campaigning, where an airline must always offer new options – sometimes even free tickets. The market is so tough that even all the flamboyance of Vijay Malllaya, Kingfisher Airline, featuring stunning models for stewardesses, failed to capture the market. This beleaguered airline, which began with a bang, is the perfect example of how, with all the razzmatazz, something can fail to lift off.
So when Steele came, the scene was already in a mess. Reportedly, too many groupings within the airline had paralysed it, making it a political cesspool. One main accusation is the national carrier was used to make a fast buck for a lot of people. Skin-saving by politicians at critical moments was also underlined. While many may differ, those who have followed the airline over three decades will have to concede that the bird has been hamstrung by a variety of administrative anomalies. Government apathy only compounded the problem, and as the Steele era ends, there is no assertive declaration from the authority in maintaining the revamping started by the Englishman. Kevin Steele, after taking over,
made enemies fast since, reportedly, he took a zero tolerance policy towards venality supported by sycophancy. Now that he leaves, within a year, maybe the devils are gloating. A reporter once told me that inside the airline, there was a silent confidence among many who had to take a backseat after Steele came. Today is their day. As Kevin leaves, we come across news of luggage-cutting within the airport, a common complaint, which points the finger at the Biman staff responsible for ground operations. The airline has new planes but without a structured, clear-cut strategy executed by a transparent authority, fresh crafts will be able to do little. To be downright frank, Biman has literally mountains to climb in gaining passenger acceptance. Relatively new airlines like Malaysia Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar, and Etihad have already secured their positions, vying with other top names like Thai and Singapore to grab a large piece of the aviation industry. In that race, there is no mention of our airline. It’s lost in a time capsule. Whatever the circumstances that led to the departure of Kevin Steele, if the government truly harbours a desire to revive the comatose airline, then it should hire another nononsense airline professional, giving him carte blanche to wipe out all weeds. Or better still, cross the Rubicon and let Biman be managed by a private business conglomerate known for professional acumen. That also means disavowing all those poisonous political elements that have been using their links to maintain their positions. We either save the Balaka or we let it perish – there is no middle ground. l Towheed Feroze is a journalist currently working in the development sector.
n early July, 2012, Jaime Garcia Márquez announced the death of one of the most celebrated storytellers of our time. That his brother, Gabriel García Márquez, remained in good health, and still had “the humour, joy, and enthusiasm that he [had] always had” was, somewhat darkly, of scant consolation; senile dementia was robbing him of his memories and his stories, and how can a storyteller exist without his tales? The proclamation of the younger Márquez when asked if his brother would be able to complete the second part of his autobiography, Vivir Para Contarla (Living to Tell the Tale), or any other literary works: “Unfortunately, I don’t think that’ll be possible,” in its stark finality, was jarring. It was a very personal loss. The writer I have known so intimately was not – could not be – anymore. It would generally be foolish – vain, certainly – to presume to know someone without having shared so much as a single moment together. Indeed, the human condition being what it is, to truly know someone, to go beyond the everyday masks and roles and reach something approaching the soul, must be among the rarest and most precious of human experiences. I cannot claim to have met Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to have shared a moment with him, or to have had any sort of contact with the man. Yet I have known the writer, as have millions of others like me. We have known his grandfather, who told him stories of a civil war he had fought in and taught him lessons on principles of life, and his grandmother, whose straight-faced tales of the supernatural we have grown so familiar with. We have seen glimpses of his life in the Colombian village, and then, when he was forced to leave Bogotá after publishing a series of articles on a ship-wreck that displeased the authorities, in Mexico City, Barcelona, Geneva, Rome, and Paris. We have met his generals and his dictators, his lovers and his childhood friends, his wars and his solitude.
I cannot claim to have met Marquez. Yet I have known the writer, as have millions of others like me Granted the conduit for all these have been merely the pages of his books, but having seen so many aspects of the writer vividly painted in ink in those pages, so many parts of the storyteller inscribed within those stories, who could deny that we have known him intimately, that our loss is not personal? I tend to think that for me, the loss had been more personal than some. Gabriel Garcia Márquez, for me, was the gateway. They say that at some point in one’s life, most often during childhood, the page of a book, “that string of confused, alien ciphers,”
shudders into life, into meaning. The words speak to us, give us their secrets. At that moment, whole universes are revealed, and we become, irrevocably, readers. I was only one of the more than 30 million to have bought a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and just one of the more than 100 million to have read that book; yet, this book is mine, and mine alone.
Having seen so many aspects of the writer vividly painted in ink, who could deny that our loss is not personal? And his themes – of oppression, plundering, and abandonment of his native land – are mine too, although these I no doubt share with the millions. It is easy to talk about the “magical realism’’ that dominates his work, of the butterflies that flutter around the hair of eternal beauties, of corpses that have no weight, of thousands killed and completely erased from living memory in one night, of the disappearance of a village without a trace, but as the writer vigorously and consistently tells us, this literary expression of the “outsized reality” of Latin America must not be confused with literary slights of hand; all of these instances of the apparently magical was based on the realities of his life, simply scaled to fit the scope of his novels. This outsized reality is “not of paper,” the writer warns, “but one that lives within us and determines each instant of our countless daily deaths, and that nourishes a source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty.” Living in the tumults of today, among the outsized realities of our country, it is impossible not to find in these words added resonance, another layer of meaning that is deeply personal. There is a paradox to writing. Writing is perhaps one of the most solitary of human undertakings. A writer’s story takes place in the solitude of his own, personal world, and it is peopled by the phantoms of his solitary mind. Yet, writing is also one of the most public of human undertakings. A writer’s world, his entire private universe, becomes public, the riches of his imagination gifted to anyone who is willing to accept. On the fault line between these two opposing universes, there exists a borderland, another private universe with a population of two: The writer and the reader. It is here that the paradox is resolved, where the private and public universes are amalgamated into one, and that which once belonged to the writer, becomes the sole property of the reader. Who would dare challenge the intimacy of this gift? And of those of us who have benefitted from it, who will not mourn the death of the source of such magnanimity? l Saba El Kabir is a freelance contributor.
David vs Goliath? n Garga Chatterjee
s the Congress looks sure to reap what it sowed, the possibilities for the Bharatiya Janata Party looked exceedingly certain in almost a walk-over game. It was just a few months ago when there was an air of everything having been settled. A corruption-ridden second term government of the Indira Congress was looking increasingly out of touch with people’s issues and aspirations. And a “saviour” has descended from Gujarat – a “saviour” whose public image was curated by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s slick PR machine to appear in stark contrast with the Nehru-Gandhi scion. It was but a matter of time. It still is a matter of time. Much is still quite settled. But the air has cleared a bit and faces of the demi-gods don’t appear as divine anymore. The man from Gujarat still stands tall and is way ahead in the battle. However, political currents in the last few months have ensured that at the end, the winner of the battle can claim political power, legislative power, administrative power, even the power to subvert habeas corpus and other things sacred to human dignity, but it cannot claim ethical and moral power with full-throated confidence. The rise of the Aam Aadmi Party has ensured that.
Touted initially as an “electronic media creation” that would vanish as soon as the cameras turned elsewhere, the Aam Aadmi Party has continued to punch way above it popular weight even after much of corporate media turned hostile overnight over the party’s decision to deny the Walmarts and Tescos of the world to set up shop in Delhi.
The ironman may stand tall but his rusty core will not be hidden either
This party, which cannot claim numerical parity with either of the two behemoths of the political scene of the Indian Union, has been able to go strength to strength with these two in the game of political agenda-setting. This is partly due to the base it has been able to create for itself in crucial urban sectors of Hindi-Hindustan (and not in many urban centres of the Indian Union).
Anything in Hindi-Hindustan is able to claim the top slot in the “national” agenda – such is the nature of politics in this republic. But that is not all. The Aam Aadmi Party has been able to edge past its rivals in the universe of political morals and ethics by disclosing the hitherto undisclosable donor lists to party funds, naming the hitherto unnamable individuals and families who hold the political system in an unholy grip, forcing others to respond, retaliate, ignore, and thus expose themselves. The subcontinent has a special place for this sort of thing, even if ethical giants were really acting all the way. Even if silenced by fear or state violence, people in the subcontinent have shown that they have respect for those who speak truth to power. Which is precisely why other agendas for respect-garnering have to be generated – “strong” leadership, teaching “them” a lesson, and content-less slogans of the “India first” type. Such respect-generation is coupled with hope-production by false promises for job-creation and material prosperity that will be ushered in by the same corporates who help fund advertisements of the “strongman” in widely circulated dailies, TV channels, cell phones, and websites.
Arvind Kejriwal, ex-Chief Minister of Delhi and the public face of the Aam Aadmi Party, will be challenging Narendrabhai Modi, the chief-minister of Gujarat and prime-ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in Benares in the upcoming parliamentary elections. This holy city, which is also the site of the controversial mosque that Aurangzeb Alamgir built after destroying the erstwhile Vishwanath temple, is all set for a David versus Goliath battle. And Goliath will win. When Arvind Kejriwal entered Benares for his inaugural political rally, he was pelted with rotten eggs and black ink was thrown on him. The kickback that is given by the saviour’s favourite banias in exchange of mining rights, ports, agricultural lands, tax breaks, mega-subsidies, and natural resources finds its way into the petrol of the campaign helicopter, the liquor consumed by the black ink and egg throwers, the “danda” that holds the “jhanda.” Kejriwal is astute enough to know that focusing on Benares will garner publicity, helping people know about the political agenda of a credible opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party, especially when the Indira Congress is in retreat. An atheist turned believer,
he can publicly pull off a call upon non-sectarian divine powers to intervene on the side of the “aam aadmi.” Call them publicity stunts, call them what you will, but the egg and ink-smeared Kejriwal has ensured that in spite of a “chhappan inch” chest, immaculately clean dresses, and “Har Har” chants, the winner this time cannot rise above the fray. The owner of the 56-inch chest will invariably see
his height diminished when the duel with Kejriwal progresses, when he reacts to the Aam Aadmi challenge. The ironman may stand tall but his rusty core will not be hidden either. That is serious political currency for the Aam Aadmi Party, which really is preparing for the election after this one. l Garga Chatterjee is a freelance contributor. He can be followed on twitter @garga.
Monday, April 21, 2014
n Entertainment desk Suchitra Sen Film Festival at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy saw huge audi-
ence in the weekend. The festival features nine timeless Bangla and Hindi films acted by the diva. The festival, organised by BSA pay-
ing tribute to the Bengali screen goddess marking her birthday on April 6, began on April 18. The nine-day long film festival is going on at the Music and Dance Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy at 6pm till April 26. Today’s programme will feature Andhi which is a 1975 Indian political drama film directed by Gulzar. At the time, the film was allegedly based on life of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her relationship with her estranged husband, but in reality, only the look was inspired by politician Tarkeshwari Sinha, apart from Indira Gandhi, though this got the film into controversy. The movie is noted for its songs composed by Rahul Dev Burman, written by Gulzar and sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Bombay Ka Babu, pairing the actress with Dev Anand, is scheduled to be screened on April 22. Suchitra Sen’s hit Bangla classics with Uttam Kumar such as Jibon Trishna and Moroner Porey will be screened on April 23 and April 24 respectively. Sondha Diper Shikha, which stars Dilip Mukherjee, and Trijama, co-starring Chhobi Biswas, will be screened respectively on April 25 and 26. Suchitra Sen passed away early in the morning on 17 January, 2014 in Kolkata at the age of 82. Her demise left a big void in Indian cinema, but she will remain in the hearts of cinema-lovers forever. l
In conversation with P&F band What about your songs? Our lyricists are basically our friends, most of them are professionals. As for our debut album Awoazz, most of the lyrics addresses real life situations. When we want to produce a new piece of work, we usually come up with a theme and try our level best to explain the idea to the lyricist, and they get it right almost every time. What are the immediate career goals? We are preparing ourselves to go for nationwide concerts.
P&F (Palash and Friends) have released their first solo album on the Internet last year. They will release a CD soon as they have already won the audience’s love through their rock fusion music with influence of eastern classical notes. In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune, the band shared their future plans and aspirations:
Joler Gaan performs at a charity concert on April 19 observing the autism awareness month
TODAY IN DHAKA Exhibition
Exile in Calcutta by Thomas Meyer Time: 3pm – 8pm Drik Gallery, House 58, Road 15/A (New), Dhanmondi Serenading Suchitra Time: 12pm – 8pm Shilpangan Gallery House-7, Road-13, Dhanmondi
n Entertainment Desk Fizz up Channel i Serakontho 2014 launched yesterday through a press conference at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel. Sherakontho's search for new talents will begin in Sylhet, this is the initial phase of the show. After their search in Sylhet, the show will resume their journey to identify and give platform to aspiring singers from other divisions of the country.
What kind of genre does the band explore? Rock- Fusion.
Which one is the band’s signature song? Tokai (from our debut album) is our signature song.
Tell us about your aim. We are a Bangladeshi rock band trying to create a new type of music. In our debut album, we tried to create an awareness among the audience that as Bangalees, we have certain responsibilities towards our motherland. It is up to us to maintain the peace and make the country a safe place for the future generations.
Why did you opt to go for digital release? Digital media is the fastest way to reach a wide range of audience. Each and every one of our songs carry a message. So, we truly want to be heard by everyone. In addition, one of our music videos has been released worldwide on Youtube. More music videos will be released very soon. l
n Entertainment Desk
A scene from Agnigiri
Arfan Nisho and Bidya Sinha Saha Mim are featured in a special single-episode drama titled Agnigiri marking the 115th birth anniversary of the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Directed by Sajjad Sumon, the play is set to be aired on May 25 on RTV. The shooting for the drama has been completed recently in Pubail. The play is set on the backdrop of a village in early 20th century. The story of the drama revolves around a self-effacing and bashful religious college going student named Sabur, played by
Freezing Moments Time: 3pm to 8pm Drik Gallery House 58, Road 15/A (New), Dhanmondi
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D & 2D) Jonakir Alo, Boishommo The Legend of Hercules 3D Avatar in 3D , Frozen in 3D Time: 10am – 10pm Star Cineplex, Level 8 Bashundhara City 13/3 Ka, Panthopath
Serakontho search begins
Nisho-Mim’s love story Lady Gaga getting sees a tragic end engaged
n Entertainment Desk
Last Summer by Iffat Ara Dewan Time: 12pm – 8pm Bengal Art Lounge, Gulshan Avenue
Celebrated singers Sabina Yasmin, Shahnaz Rahmatullah, Rezwana Chowdhury Bonnya, Samina Chowdhury and music director Irar Tipu is announced as main judges of the talent-hunt show. Managing Director of Channel i Faridur Reza Sagor, Chairman of Globe Soft Drinks Ltd and AST Beverage Ltd Harunur Rashid and the four judges with the exception of Sabina Yasmin were present at the press conference. Renowned singers, musicians, lyricists and music directors of the country were present as well at the conference. l
Is the industry welcoming to new bands? To make place in the audio industry is an uphill fight. It’s really very hard to make a difference because of the extreme competition. It has always been a tough industry. But, a new wave is observed with the emergence of the digital media. We are hopeful about the future.
Band members of P&F (Palash and Friends)
n Afrose Jahan Chaity
BAYEZID BIN WAHEED
Suchitra Sen film fest on full swing
Nisho, who pursues his studies by working as a lodging master in Patwar Ali Nasib Mia. He teaches Arabic and Persia to Patwar Mia’s only daughter Nurjahan played by Mim. The very shy Sabur never raises his eyes to Nurjahan though they fall in love with each other at a point. But the harsh reality pushes them to end up in a tragic end. Director Sumon Sajjad said: “It is a periodic drama and everything from dialogue to costume, had to portrayed with authenticity and that was the most challenging part. For the first time, Nisho played a role based on Nazrul’s literature and I hope the audience will accept it.” l
Singer Lady Gaga's boyfriend and actor Taylor Kinney is reportedly planning to propose to her soon, after two years of dating. Kinney is said to be desperate to pop the question, but he hasn't found the right engagement ring yet, reports contactmusic.com. It has been reported that Taylor was considering proposing over her birthday, but he hasn't found the right ring in time. He wants to find something unique that will suit her personality. Gaga's 28th birthday was March 28. "Taylor's been looking at engagement rings for Stef (Lady Gaga) for a couple of months. He has told a couple of his close guy friends that he wants to propose soon. Despite her whole Lady Gaga persona, Stefani is really traditional. Taylor wants the proposal to represent that," said a source. Last week, Kinney said that he believes in monogamy and marriage. He said: "My grandparents have been together for some 50 odd years. I know a lot of happy marriages." l
Ranveer Singh turns rapper in new TV commercial n Entertainment Desk Actor Ranveer Singh is all set to present his vocal skills for the first time in an upcoming TV commercial. The 28-year-old Gunday star, who is appointed as the brand ambassador of Durex, will don the hat of a rapper in the commercial, which will be launched on April 23. "As an actor and as an individual, I have a propensity for pushing the envelope, breaking the mold and taking the road less traveled,” said Raveer Singh. "Over the past three-anda-half years that I've been a part of the Hindi film industry, I've declined several tempting endorsement offers. And now, finally, I'm doing the commercial for world's leading brand Durex. I will also create awareness around sexual wellbeing and promote safe sex through this campaign," Ranveer said in a statement. The actor is currently busy shooting his new film Kill Dil with Parineeti Chopra. l
Did you know? David Moyes has once again named a different starting XI for Man Utd (51 games, 51 unique teams)
Monday, April 21, 2014
14 Cavani scores
brace as PSG win League Cup
14 Roma playing
second fiddle to Juventus
15 Wawrinka wins
Monte Carlo Masters
Gladiators owner slams Acsu Two times Bangladesh Premier League champions Dhaka Gladiators chairman Salim Chowdhury slammed ICC’s AntiCorruption and Security Unit’s (Acsu) manner of investigation regarding the fixing allegations which engulfed the second edition of BPL. In a press conference in Dhaka yesterday, the Gladiators chairman also hinted that they might not form a team in the upcoming BPL season. He also questioned the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) stance and intention regarding this issue. Acsu, hired by the BCB for Tk20m, charged Salim and eight other individuals of match fixing in the BPL 2. This was then followed by the BCB forming a tribunal to hold hearing of the accused. On March 2 this year, that BCB tribunal acquitted six players and officials of charges of match fixing related offences in its short judgment. Salim was one of the six who were acquitted while his son Shihab Chowdhury, who also happens to be the director of Dhaka Gladiators along with national cricketer Mohammad Ashraful were found guilty. “We don’t want to put up with any slander after lashing out millions of taka behind cricket,” said Salim. “I will request BCB not to harass any other franchise owner of BPL. We have spent
BPL franchise Dhaka Gladiators owner Salim Chowdhury (2L) speaks during a press conference at Gulshan yesterday Tk20m in last two years but in return what we got was a libel. Not being a part of the BPL will not stop our earning as cricket is not the only business for us. We became part of cricket because we love the game.” The Gladiators chairman, however, believes BPL played an important role in the development of cricket and hoped the tournament to continue. The storm of match fixing also swept over the Indian Premier League (IPL) recently but still it could not stop the tournament from being held. Salim thinks if the IPL can continue, why not BPL?
Maruf slams ‘nonprofessional’ Russell Former Sheikh Russell KC coach AKM Maruful Haque said it was unexpected from his part to get sacked from the club halfway through the league. Maruf, who guided Russell to a treble last season, added despite the relation not been a good one between him and the club this season, the club should have fulfilled their commitment and let him stay with the team for the AFC President’s Cup.
I was charged up for my first international exposure but unfortunately it is not happening As a result he has now been denied his maiden international exposure as a coach which not only demoralised him, but spilled water on his preparations for the event. “Yes, it hurt me,” Maruf said yesterday. “I started to prepare the team for the President’s Cup, I rarely conduct video sessions but I started video sessions by collecting videos of the three opponents, I was charged up for my first international exposure but unfortunately it is not happening.” Maruf blasted the club officials for their non-professional and ridiculous approach. The club served him a showcause letter that he received on April 9 and he answered it within half an hour. He said, “They served me a show-cause letter for the failure in the Independence Cup football, the subject was why I chose Jamaican Ricardo Cousins and Uruguayan Francisco Usucar for the
penalty shootout against Feni Soccer, they said both the players missed penalties in the practice, it is a laughing stock as both the players missed penalties in a certain day, they scored in the next day. “I answered that the players missed the penalties in the shootout due to my fault and it’s my responsibility, so the club decided to sack me, if the coach can be show caused for the failure of the players in penalties, I thought there are no need to continue the job,” said Maruf. He was not bothered over the salary irregularities, but the club’s mismanagement led him to insecurity from the beginning of the season. “At the start of the season they said the deal will be worth Tk2.3m, later I sacrificed 0.3m for assistant coach Zulfiqar Mahmud Mintu, so the deal came to Tk2m and they paid me 1.5m as the salary of seven and half months. When I asked about the remaining money they said to leave it out, I said ok, I don’t need the money,” said Maruf. It was the club’s Serbian player Savanovic who informed Maruf that a Serbian coach has arrived for the club. “I enjoyed 100 percent freedom over my job last season, from the beginning of current season it was not like that, moreover this year the team was not a formidable one, only one national player Mithun was in the fold, there were no quality forwards, the standards of the foreign players were not up to the mark to meet Russell’s expectation” said Maruf. He regretted not leaving the club when better opportunity knocked his doors and said, “I had some offers even from Kolkata Mohammedan, but I thought twice, I am a job holder of BUET also so I can afford may things and look forward positively.” l
“One can say many things over an issue but this should never hamper the continuity. I think our national team would have performed better in the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20 if the BCB had organised the BPL in January,” said Salim before accusing the Acsu officials being involved with fixing rings. “Our lawyers presented evidences of Acsu officials’ involvement with match fixing to the tribunal. This was discussed several times in the hearings held by the tribunal,” said Salim. He also added that the Acsu reports contained loopholes.
“How come Ravi Bopara (who played for Chittagong Kings) knew that the Dhaka-Chittagong game was fixed three days ahead of the game whereas those charged said to the tribunal that they got to know about it only a day before the game? There is even an Acsu official named Dharamveer Singh who is said to be involved with fixing. “ICC official Ian Higgins threatened to stop BPL. They also tried to produce Darren Stevens as a witness against us by telling him that all his charges will be lifted. Stevens himself confessed this to the tribunal,” he added.
Salim also raised concerns for the two cricketers – Mosharraf Rubel and Mahbubul Alam. The duo was also accused of match fixing and was banned from cricket by the BCB. However, both Rubel and Mahbubul were among the six individuals who were acquitted of the charges by the tribunal but still the banon them from playing cricket has not beenlifted. “It has been two months now since the tribunal made its short judgment. I submitted a letter to the BCB president (Nazmul Hasan) and also a copy of the judgment asking the board to allow me to play. But he hasn’t replied yet,” said Rubel. “What is the use of being found not guilty if I am not allowed to play? I was not even fully paid for second BPL,” he added. Barrister Nawroz MR Chowdhury, lawyer for both Rubel and Mahbubul shed a bit more light on the issue. “A foreign cricketer (Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Sri Lanka) was found guilty by the tribunal but surprisingly he is still playing cricket in his country. Then how come Mahbubul and Rubel are barred from playing cricket despite being found not guilty?” questioned barrister Nawroz. It was learnt that the BCB had halted payment of the cricketers charged of corruption in the second BPL. The players were paid 25% while the remaining 75% is still with the board. l
Mohammedan crawl past Muktis Mohammedan Sporting Club kicked off their second phase of the Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier League by registering a 1-0 victory over Muktijoddha SKC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. An early first-half goal from the goal machine Zahid Hassan Emily was enough for the Independence Cup champions to bag their third victory in the league. With the victory, the traditional Black and Whites leapfrogged Muktijoddha and Sheikh Russell KC to jump to third place in the points table. They now have 17 points from 10 games, two behind their archrivals Abahani and seven points behind leaders Sheikh Jamal.
“We came here for win and all we want is three points. I’m satisfied with the way my players played today. They were organized in defence, midfield and forward line throughout the game,” said Mohammedan coach Rui Jose Capela Batista after the game yesterday. No 7 of both sides – Mohammedan’s Jahid Hossain and Muktis’ Maruf Ahmed – got involved in a scuffle following the latter’s foul on Jahid which only reduced the sides to 10-man in the 57th minute. It was Jahid’s second caution while Maruf was shown a straight red. It was the All Reds who initiated the first attack with just three minutes on the clock. Sunday Chizuba fired in a square pass of Nkwocha Kingsley from the edge of the box that flew inches over the crossbar. Seven minutes later, a blunder from Cameroonian defender Gerard Ledoux
allowed Zahid Hassan Emily put Mohammedan ahead. Arup Kumar Baidya broke into the box from the right side and cut the ball back into path of Emily. Ledoux interrupted but his attempt to clear the ball rolled onto his own net under the legs of baffled goalkeeper Rasel Mahnmud Liton before Emily stabbed home from inches away from goal line. Both the sides struggled to create clear cut chances in the rest of the opening half with Mohammedan concentrating more on keeping the clean-sheet by strengthening their defence line. Muktis finally found a hole in Mohammedan’s defence four minutes into the second half but Mamun Khan produced a brilliant save on a thumping header of Nkwocha Kingsley from the middle of the box. The All Reds slipped to fifth place with 15 points from 10 games. l
Muktijoddha SKS’s Maruf Ahmed and Mohammedan’s Jahid Hossain got involved in an ugly scuffle during their Bangladesh Premier League match at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday MUMIT M
Dhaka Division close in on title, Rangpur ride on Dhiman ton It was a good second day’s play at the 15th National Cricket League after bowlers dominated the first day of all the matches. It now seems that all the four matches played across the country are heading towards a result with two more days remaining in the final round of the first class competition. Table toppers Dhaka Division got the much needed nine run lead against Khulna as Nurul Hasan smashed yet another ton for Dhaka in the league which surely would aid Dhaka Division towards clinching the title.
Dhaka Division v Khulna Division
Dhaka batsmen could not capitalize on their good work on the first day when they bundled out Khulna for 243 and
finished promisingly on 75/1 at the end of day one at the Sheikh Kamal International stadium in Cox’s Bazar. Razzak proved to be instrumental in restricting Dhaka from taking a big lead. At one stage Dhaka were struggling at 139/7 before the inform Nurul Hasan took the responsibility of repairing the innings and together with skipper Mohammad Sharif, added 84 valuable runs. Nurul ended up with yet another brilliant and timely ton. His 101 included six sixes and eight fours while Sharif scored 36 which helped Dhaka Division to take a lead of nine runs as they were all out for 252. National spinner Razzak bagged six wickets giving away 101 runs from his 33.2 overs. At the end of the second day, Khulna were 94/3 with both Anamul Haque (36) and Mithun Ali (8) still at the crease.
Rajshahi v Dhaka Metropolis
After being bundled out for just 126 runs in their first innings, Dhaka Metro made a good comeback by dismissing the strong Rajshahi for 207 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. Though Rajshahi secured a handsome lead of 81 runs, Dhaka Metro ensured there was no repeat of their first innings batting debacle in the second innings as they finished the day on 253/5 which gives them a 172 run lead with two more days remaining. Earlier in the day, Dhaka resumed on 139/7 and the two overnight batsmen Sanjamul Islam (18) and inform Muktar Ali (39) helped Rajshahi cross the two hundred mark. Left arm spinner Abu Bakkar took four wickets for Dhaka Metro. In reply, Dhaka Metro started brilliantly in their second innings with a 161 run opening partnership before Si-
kat Ali had to retire hurt on 94 after he pulled his hamstring while his partner Shadman Islam was dismissed after scoring 85 with twelve fours and a six. However, Dhaka lost some quick wickets later in the day as left arm spinner Taijul Islam bagged two wickets for Rajshahi. Asif Ahmed was still at the crease on 52 runs as curtain fell on second day’s play.
Rangpur v Barisal
At the Khan Shaheb Osmal Ali Outer Stadium, Rangpur took a lead of 57 runs and finished the second day on 346/5 as wicket-keeper batsman Dhiman Ghosh smashed a brilliant 149 with twenty fours and a six. Starting the second day on 89/2, Nasir Hossain was shortly dismissed after adding just five runs to his overnight 27 while his partner and national team mate Naeem Islam smashed half century and
was dismissed after scoring 60. But Dhiman went on to smash a brilliant century and took Rangpur to a commendable position at the end of second day. Barisal’s Monir Hossain claimed three wickets for 91 runs from 41 overs.
Chittagong v Sylhet
At the BKSP-3 ground, Chittagong managed to restrict Sylhet to only 190 and took a first innings lead of 23 runs, all courtesy of their skipper Faisal Hossain. The veteran and occasional left arm spinner took five wickets for just 36 runs from 16 overs after Sylhet resumed the day on 75/3. In reply, Chittagong scored 152/3 in the second innings where opening batsman Abdullah Al Mamun scored 68 while national star Mominul Haque remained unbeaten on 53 to hopefully manage a winning lead for his team on the third day. l
Dukanovic takes Sheikh Russell challenge Montenegrin Dragan Dukanovic will make his debut as the first overseas coach of Bangladesh Premier League defending champions Sheikh Russell against Chittagong Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today. The 45-year-old coach who has an experience of 11 years in the arena has taken the helm of Russell two days ago after the officials cut the relations with Maruful Haque and he said, “I came to Dhaka with the reference of former Bangladesh national coach Zoran Djodevic, he was mainly the middle man.” Dukanovic said it his first overseas job and he looks forward to a silver lining. “It’s a challenge for me, I played in Japan, I have some idea about the football of this part of the world. The standard is not very high, Zoran has also informed me about the standard of Bangladesh football, I find Russell in a little bit demoralized, lifting the team spirits is my first duty,” he said. The coach is aware of the fact that Russell already had failed to defend to titles and said, “Russell won three titles last season but now the league title is only thing to defend, I have seen Sheikh Jamal is a little ahead of us, but as player I have always taken the field to win and as a coach it has not changed, I will try my best to make Russell the champions and I know it is not a easy job.” The coach also has set his eyes to the AFC President’s Cup. “I hope Russell will reach the second round, however now I can field four foreigners whereas it will be two in the AFC President’s Cup, it’s a significant difference, however two teams will qualify and I hope Russell will be one of them,” said Dukanovic. Talking about the formation of the team Dukanovic said as he was a striker he loves an attacking brand of football. “I love 4-3-3 but it depends on the situation and the opponent, I love Carlo Ancelotti and and Marcelo Lippi and they are my idols,” said the Montenegrin. Dukanovic, who has been appointed till June, also said he played for his country’s under-17 and 21 teams while he also played in the 1996-97 Uefa Champions League. l
BRIEF SCORES Dhaka v Khulna Khulna 243 and 94/3
Anamul Haque 36 not out Mithun Ali 8 not out Dhaka Division 252/10 Nurul Hasan 101 Abdur Razzak 6/101 Rajshahi v Dhaka Metro Dhaka Metro 126 and 253/5
Asif Ahmed 52 not out Abu Bakkar 1 not out Rajshahi 207/10 1st innings Sabbir Rahman 64 Rangpur v Barisal Rangpur 346/5
Dhiman Ghosh 149 Barisal 289/10 1st innings Chittagong v Sylhet Chittagong 213 and 152/3
Abdullah Al Mamun 68, Mominul Haque 53 not out Sylhet 190/10 1st innings
Vettel denies ignoring team orders
Monday, April 21, 2014
Durant leads Thunder to win
World champion Sebastian Vettel denied sparking another Red Bull team orders row after he appeared to ignore an instruction during the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday. Vettel grumpily replied, “Tough luck” when told to yield to his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was closing fast in fifth, after the first round of pitstops. Ricciardo eventually passed two laps later and finished fourth, 21 seconds ahead of Vettel in fifth. But despite his initial reaction, Vettel insisted he did give way to Ricciardo when he realised the Australian had more pace. – AFP
Kevin Durant scored 33 points on Saturday to lead Oklahoma City to a 100-86 triumph over Memphis in game one of their NBA Western Conference playoff series. Durant connected on five of six shots from the field as he delivered 13 points in the fourth quarter, when the Thunder thwarted the Grizzlies’ comeback bid and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Oklahoma City had dominated the first half and led by 22 at halftime. But their lead dwindled to just two points, 74-72, after Mike Miller’s three-pointer with 8:46 left in the game. – AFP
Katsu becomes LPGA winner at 15 Schoolgirl Minami Katsu became the youngest winner on Japan’s women’s golf tour Sunday at the age of 15 years and 293 days. Going out one stroke off the pace, the amateur player rolled in five birdies against one bogey for a round of 68 to win the Japan LPGA Vantelin Ladies Open with a total of 11-under-par 205 in the southern city of Kumamoto. South Korean Lee Bo-Mee finished second, one shot back. Katsu broke the Japanese record set by South Korean Kim Hyo-Joo when she won the Suntory Ladies Open in 2012 at the age of 16 years and 332 days. – AFP
Cavani scores brace as PSG win League Cup Paris Saint-Germain won France’s League Cup on Saturday, beating Lyon 2-1 in the final at the Stade de France to secure the first leg of a likely domestic double. Edinson Cavani was the matchwinner for Laurent Blanc’s side, scoring a first-half brace, one of which came from a controversial penalty, and while Alexandre Lacazette pulled a goal back in the second half, PSG proved just too strong for a Lyon outfit who had beaten them in Ligue 1 just six days earlier. It is the second trophy won by the club from the French capital since their takeover by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011 and subsequent transformation into one of the wealthiest clubs in Europe, following their title triumph last season. Two consecutive games without scoring since the loss of 40-goal leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic to injury had also increased the pressure on misfiring record signing Cavani, but the Uruguayan produced a superb first-half
display in which he scored twice and could have had two more goals. The opener arrived with exactly three minutes played, Maxwell playing a one-two with Ezequiel Lavezzi and dinking the ball over advancing Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes for Cavani to poke home.
RESULT Lyon Lacazette 56
PSG Cavani 4, 33-P
Lyon, back at the Stade de France for the first time since winning the French Cup two years ago, might have equalised moments later, but Bafetimbi Gomis hit the side-netting after good work from his strike partner Lacazette. Gomis then headed an Arnold Mvuemba corner straight at Nicolas Douchez, who was preferred in goal to regular PSG first-choice ‘keeper Salvatore Sirigu, just as he had been in the earlier rounds of the competition. However, Paris were on top and Cavani was unlucky not to score with a superb first-time volley from 25 yards that was spectacularly saved by Lopes. l
Paris St Germain's players celebrate with their trophy after defeating Olympique Lyon in the French League Cup final at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis on Saturday
Record breaking Roma playing second fiddle to Juventus AS Roma confirmed their astonishing revival this season by winning 1-0 at Fiorentina and securing second spot in Serie A and a place in the Champions League group stage
on Saturday. Despite their record-breaking season Rudi Garcia’s side have had to play second fiddle to an all-conquering Juventus team on the verge of their third consecutive league title. Roma’s win in Florence, which was decided by Radja Nianggolan’s neat
26th minute finish, was their 25th of the season, beating a club record set by Luciano Spalletti in 2008 when they were challenging Inter Milan for the title.
RESULT Fiorentina Juventus
0 1 1 0
Roma Nainggolan 26
Bologna Pogba 64
That season they finished on a club record 82 points but fell three points short on the final day. Garcia’s Roma are already on the same points total with four games left to play. Roma, however, are still eight points
behind relentless Juve, who beat Bologna 1-0 and are looking to become the first Serie A side to break the 100-point barrier as they march towards a 30th scudetto. The addition of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente in the off season strengthened an already dominant Juventus, with the pair combining to score 32 goals. Garcia’s initiation began in similar circumstances and the Frenchman looks determined to go one further, ready to bring the club on-field success to match its off-field financial backing and appears to be dreaming of an impossible comeback. “There are four games to go and we are sure of a place in the Champions League,” Garcia added. l
Wilshere on track for WC: Wenger Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed confidence that injured midfielder Jack Wilshere will recover in time to make a positive impact for England at the World Cup in Brazil. “I spoke to (England manager) Roy Hodgson and I told him that Wilshere will be available for England,” Wenger told several British Sunday newspapers. “He will be just polished for England.” Wilshere has been out of action since sustaining a hairline fracture of the foot during England’s 1-0 win over Denmark in a friendly at Wembley on March 5. Arsenal hope that the 22-year-old will return in time for the FA Cup final against Hull City on May 17. l
Messi will keep leading Barcelona: club chief Lionel Messi will continue to be Barcelona’s leading light despite the Argentine superstar suffering a stream of criticism in recent weeks, the Spanish team’s president said Saturday. Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted that Messi should not have been singled out for blame as Barcelona’s season has slowly unravelled in recent weeks. “I think people are being unfair to Leo Messi,” Bartomeu told Spanish TV3. “He has led us to so many wins in recent years. He has led the team, and done so very well and we have no
doubt that he will continue to lead the club into the future. “He’s a young player, the best in the world and we have every faith in him.” Messi came in for flak after Barcelona were eliminated in the Champions League quarter-finals by Atletico Madrid, lost 1-0 to Getafe and then slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey. But Bartomeu said that the club would have no hesitation in handing Messi a new deal. “He has a contract until 2018 but we want to make him an offer because we need to adapt to the current situation in football,” said the president. l
Angry Mourinho mocks referees after first home league loss
AS Roma's Serbian forward Adem Ljajic (C) vies with Fiorentina's Argentinian defender Gonzalo Rodriguez during their Serie A match at Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence on Saturday AFP
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho angrily mocked the match officials after suffering his first home defeat in the Premier League in a 2-1 loss to Sunderland on Saturday. Chelsea’s defeat, which left them two points behind leaders Liverpool, having played a game more, was Mourinho’s first in 78 home league matches at the helm of the London club. “I just want to say four things, and I’m sorry, because if you make me (answer) more questions, I will repeat in exactly the same way,” Mourinho told Sky Sports shortly after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge. “Congratulations to my players, because they gave what they have and
what they don’t have. Congratulations to Sunderland, because they won.” Referring to match referee Mike Dean, who awarded the 82nd-minute penalty from which Fabio Borini scored the winning goal, he added: “Congratulations to Mike Dean, because he made a fantastic performance. “And congratulations to Mike Riley (head of refereeing body Professional Game Match Officials Limited), because what they did during the season was fantastic for the way the championship is going. “So congratulations to all of them, and I have nothing more to say. I’m sorry.” Samuel Eto’o gave Chelsea a 12thminute lead, but bottom club Sunderland quickly equalised through Connor Wickham before snatching victory thanks to former Chelsea striker Borini,
Bayern must step up in 'City will take title race down to wire' Madrid, says Guardiola Pep Guardiola has said Bayern Munich will only beat Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final with a vastly improved display after their lacklustre Bundesliga win at bottom-side Eintracht Braunschweig. European champions Bayern ended a run of three Bundesliga games without victory with an unimpressive 2-0 win at Braunschweig on Saturday, four days before their semi-final, first-leg at Madrid’s Bernabeu. “We won’t reach the Champions
League final unless we put in a commanding performance against Real Madrid,” said Guardiola. “It’s not been easy for us after winning the German title, but we fought despite a difficult situation.” “We have the nickname ‘la bestia negra’, but now we have to provide some proof of that in Madrid,” said Rummenigge, who said he hopes Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo will face Bayern. “When Real Madrid play Bayern Munich, it’s a game the whole world will be watching. I’m always for seeing the best players on the pitch.” l
Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City can take the Premier League title race down to the wire because Liverpool and Chelsea will drop more points before the end of the season. City are title outsiders after a 3-2 defeat at leaders Liverpool and then a 2-2 draw with Sunderland in midweek left them six points off top spot. That gap will become nine points if Liverpool win at Norwich on Sunday. But Pellegrini, whose team host West Bromwich Albion in a must-win fixture on Monday, is sure City still have a chance to overhaul the leaders
because the unpredictable nature of the season suggests Liverpool and Chelsea could both slip up before the race is run. Pellegrini’s assessment was made before Chelsea slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland on Saturday, a shock result which confirmed his theory. It also opened the door for City to move closer to the second-placed Blues, who are currently four points ahead of the Eastlands outfit having played two games more. “I am absolutely sure the other teams will drop points in the same way we did in the last game. We have 15 more points to play for and we will try and win the most amount of points,” Pellegrini said. “Then, at the end of the season, we
will see who has the title. All of us want to win as much as we can. We must try to finish this season in the best way. “The game against Sunderland was a disappointment because we always want to win but as I said before that game, playing against relegationthreatened teams during the last games of the season is not easy. “The performance in every game is very important and I hope we are going to improve our performance against West Brom.” Pellegrini wants City to guard against complacency and midfielder James Milner is certain West Brom will offer a similar test to Sunderland as they battle to pull away from the relegation zone. l
who is on loan from Liverpool. There were angry scenes in the aftermath of the penalty, with Mourinho having to restrain his assistant Rui Faria, who was berating Dean from the touchline. Mourinho has had two previous run-ins with match officials this season and was last week fined and warned as to his future conduct after being sent to the stands during a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa in March. He was also fined for being sent off in a game at Cardiff City in September. The penalty incident saw Cesar Azpilicueta penalised for sliding in alongside Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore, who lost his balance after placing his standing foot on the Chelsea full-back’s leg. Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, a former Chelsea midfielder, expressed sympathy with Dean over the penalty, saying: “It was very, very tough on the referee. l
Celtic boss blasts ‘holiday’ players Neil Lennon says a half-time dressingdown inspired his players to come from two behind to seal a dramatic 3-3 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park. The Scottish Premiership champions trailed 2-1 at the break after they fell behind to goals from John Sutton and Zane Francis-Angol. Kris Commons missed a penalty before Anthony Stokes pulled one back for Celtic in first half stoppage time. However, following a heated team talk at the interval the Hoops came out fired up and soon found themselves level when Georgios Samaras prodded home in the 56th minute. l
Zia slips to second place in UAE
Ziaur Rahman lost points for the first time in the Open Section of the Asian Continental Chess Championships when the Bangladesh Grandmaster drew with 2581 rated GM Yang Wen of China in the third round on Saturday in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Zia played with black pieces against Catalan open of Wen and made draw at 31st move which was early Deviations from Catalan. Zia earned 2.5 points after the end of 3rd round and shared the 2nd position in the points table along with other 3 players. In the women’s section, WFM Nazrana Khan Eva earned her first victory in three rounds by beating WGM Assaubayeva Bibissara of Kazakistan. – Tribune Desk
Siddikur finishes 57th in Malaysia Bangladesh golfer Siddikur Rahman finished the Maybank Malaysian Open at joint 57th after carding a oneunder-par 71 in the final round while British star Lee Westwood marched to a convincing seven-stroke victory yesterday. Starting the day on 65th, Siddikur posted five birdies against four bogeys on the last day to make his total of three-over-par 291 and receive $8616 as prize-money at the at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Meanwhile, The Englishman Westwood completed his wire-to-wire win in style when he holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the last for an 18-under-par 270 winning total at the $2.75m event. Major champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa threatened briefly by shooting four birdies in his first seven holes but dropped shots around the turn saw his challenge fizzle as he signed for a 68, taking joint second place with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts. EurAsia Cup star Anirban Lahiri of India, a three-time winner in the region, was the best placed Asian in tied 10th place after a closing 70 while Masahiro Kawamura of Japan, who won his first Asian Tour title last year, finished a further shot back. – Tribune Desk
Massa calls for probe into disastrous pitstop Felipe Massa called for his Williams team to investigate the disastrous pit stop which cost him a chance of a strong finish in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, won by Lewis Hamilton. Massa got a flying start off the grid but he banged wheels with eventual third-place finisher and his former Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso before turn one. From being sixth at the first round of stops, the Brazilian dropped to the back of the field after his team battled to remove and replace a stubborn left rear wheel, losing over a minute. “It is a frustrating situation and something we need to work on to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” said Massa. The troublesome wheel appeared to be the one that made contact with Alonso’s Ferrari, but Massa wasn’t sure if that had caused the problem, which he thought was to do with the wheel nut. – AFP
It’s getting tough for bowlers, says Ajmal Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, widely regarded as the world’s best off-spinner, says that life is becoming increasingly tough for bowlers in limited-overs cricket. The 36-year-old believes the Twenty20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. “Times have changed and there is hardly any respect for bowlers these days. The attitude and approach of batsmen has become more brazen and it has become very difficult for bowlers,” Ajmal told Reuters in an interview. “Cricket is very fast nowadays and as a bowler you are always under pressure.” Ajmal pointed out that batsmen were now playing attacking shots unimaginable a few years back. – Reuters
DAY’S WATCH Sony Six 8:30PM Indian Premier League 7 Chennai v Delhi NBA Play Off 2013-14 5:00AM Washington v Chicago 7:30AM Portland v Houston Star Sports 4 1:00AM Man City v West Brom Star Sport 2 2:00AM La Liga Malaga v Villareal
Monday, April 21, 2014
Wawrinka wins Monte Carlo Masters Stanislas Wawrinka signalled his French Open ambitions when he beat Roger Federer 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-2 in an allSwiss Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday. Third seed and Australian Open champion Wawrinka recovered from the loss of the opening set to claim his maiden Masters title on the Monte Carlo clay just six weeks before the start of the May 25-June 8 grand slam tournament in Paris. “I am really happy, after having won a first grand slam title to win a Masters, it’s outstanding,” Wawrinka told a courtside interviewer. “Roger, you’re the best player ever, it’s always special for me to play against you and I hope we will have a great year you and me.” Federer, whose only defeat in 14 previous encounters against Wawrinka had occurred in Monte Carlo in 2009, said: “I had a great week. Congratulations to Stan, I hope it will continue for you like that for years.” Fourth seed Federer, who had beaten an injured Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, was his brilliant old self for almost an hour but the 17-times grand slam champion was eventually overwhelmed by his opponent’s power. Wawrinka played with great depth and power as Federer was eventually
pushed back far from his baseline and was prevented from attacking. Federer saw off a break point in the fourth game, Wawrinka banging his racket on his head in frustration after his passing shot went long. Federer was more composed, breaking for 3-2 as Wawrinka’s usually reliable backhand sailed long. Another long backhand from Wawrinka gave Federer the opening set after 42 minutes. Wawrinka opened a 2-0 lead in the second set, only for his opponent to steal his serve straight back with a stunning backhand down the line passing shot. Federer saved more break points in the fourth game, including one with a superb forehand winner as the second set went into a tiebreak. Federer saved two set points before Wawrinka finally finished it off with a smash. Wawrinka broke in the first game of the decider with a forehand winner down the line as Federer looked disorientated. Federer went to the net to save another break point at 2-0, but a crosscourt forehand earned Wawrinka a second break and a 3-0 lead. He followed up on serve and Federer never threatened a comeback, bowing out on yet another forehand winner by Wawrinka. l
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland (R) poses with his trophy after winning the final match against his compatriot Roger Federer (L) at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco yesterday REUTERS
Liverpool close on title, Everton sink United Liverpool moved closer to a first league title since 1990 with a 3-2 win at Norwich City on Sunday that sent them five points clear in the Premier League. Quick-fire early goals from Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez put the visitors in control at Carrow Road, before Gary Hooper replied for fourth-bottom Norwich in the 54th minute. Sterling appeared to have made the points safe with a deflected shot minutes later, but a late Robert Snodgrass header obliged Liverpool to endure a nervy last 10 minutes. It was Liverpool’s 11th consecutive league victory and means that they are guaranteed to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but Brendan Rodgers’s side now have a bigger prize in their sights. They need seven points from their remaining three games to win the
league and can eliminate Chelsea from the title race by winning at home to Jose Mourinho’s side next weekend. Chelsea’s shock 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland on Saturday, coupled with Manchester City’s draw against the same side in mid-week, had given Liverpool a huge opportunity to stamp their authority on the title race. They went ahead in the fourth minute when Sterling scored from 25 yards with a fine shot that took a slight deflection off Michael Turner. Sterling then teed up Suarez to add a second goal in the 11th minute, making the Uruguayan the first Liverpool player to score 30 league goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1986-87. Norwich pulled a goal back nine minutes into the second half when Hooper tapped home after Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet miscued an attempted punch. Sterling restored Liverpool’s two-goal cushion in the 62nd minute with a shot
that took a cruel deflection off Bradley Johnson, but Snodgrass’s 77th-minute header set up a nail-biting denouement.
Everton Baines 28-pen, Mirallas 43
Norwich City Hooper 54, Snodgrass 77
2 0 0 3 2 3
Arsenal Ramsey 31, Podolski 45, 54
Liverpool Sterling 4, 62, Suarez 11
Meanwhile, Arsenal kept their noses in front of Everton in the race for the fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth with a comfortable 3-0 win at future FA Cup final opponents Hull City. Arsenal welcomed Mesut Ozil back from a hamstring injury and he played a part in the 31st-minute move that led to Aaron Ramsey drilling the visitors in front. In response, Hull midfielder Jake Livermore drove a low shot against
Hamilton seals first F1 hat-trick Lewis Hamilton sealed his first hattrick of Formula One wins and led Mercedes to their third straight one-two finish at the Chinese Grand Prix as the team tightened their grip on the season Sunday. The former world champion got away smoothly from pole and was rarely troubled as he finished 19 seconds ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo outran his team-mate and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel for fourth spot, with the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg coming home in sixth. Hamilton had a huge grin as he celebrated his 25th grand prix victory, which takes him past legendary Argentine
Juan Manuel Fangio and level with Niki Lauda and Jim Clark for career wins. But despite consecutive wins in Malaysia, Bahrain and now China, the Briton still trails Rosberg by four points in the standings as he seeks to regain his 2008 world title. “I can’t believe how amazing the car is. I was able to look after the tyres and then I was racing myself,” said Hamil-
ton. “I’m really happy Nico’s up here with us. It’s great points for the team.” Rosberg retained his championship lead with a dogged second place after fighting past the Red Bulls and Alonso despite telemetry problems and an early bump. For Ferrari, their first podium of the season was sweetly timed for new team principal Marco Mattiacci, who replaced Stefano Domenicali this week. But there was more woe for McLaren when both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen finished out of the points. No one was able to come close to Hamilton, who powered away from pole position and in dry, cool conditions in Shanghai, had a four-second cushion by lap six. Behind him Vettel moved up from third past his teammate Ricciardo, as did Alonso who got a flying start in the Ferrari. l
the post, only for Lukas Podolski to emphatically volley home Arsenal’s second goal just before half-time from Ramsey’s chested lay-off. Podolski claimed his second goal in the 54th minute, tucking away the rebound after Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor had blocked from the irrepressible Ramsey. The victory provisionally put Arsenal four points clear of fifth-place Everton, but Roberto Martinez’s side trimmed their lead back to a point with a clinical 2-0 defeat of Manchester United. It was United manager David Moyes’s first visit to Goodison Park since he left to succeed Alex Ferguson last year and it was to prove a chastening one, as his side fell to their 11th defeat of a dismal campaign. Leighton Baines, a one-time United target, put Everton ahead from the penalty spot in the 28th minute after Phil Jones had blocked a shot with his hand and Kevin Mirallas added a second shortly before half-time. l
Trescothick ready to help Trott Former England opener Marcus Trescothick has said he is willing to help Jonathan Trott in his struggle with a stressrelated illness after a similar condition ended his international career. Trott, who made a brief comeback after returning home following England’s opening loss in a 5-0 Ashes reverse in Australia, announced he was bowing out of both Warwickshire and international duty with immediate effect after suffering a relapse in his condition. “I’ve spoken to him on a few occasions just to try and help, as someone who has been through exactly the same situation, coming back from Australia,” Trescothick said Saturday. “I can understand it. I know how it all works. Whether we cross paths and talk a few more times over the course of the year and during games, or wherever it may be, then great.” l
Czechs beat holders Italy to reach Fed Cup final Petra Kvitova sent the Czech Republic to their third Fed Cup finals in four years on Sunday after beating Italy’s Roberta Vinci to hand the Czechs an unassailable 3-0 lead over the defending champions. Kvitova, the world number six and a former Wimbledon champion, saw off 20th-ranked Vinci 6-3, 7-5 in an hourand-a-half on the hardcourt of the CEZ Arena in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava. The Czechs, who lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2012, will host Germany in the Fed Cup final on November 8-9. “I’m happy we’ve made it and it will
be a pleasure for the whole country to host the finals again,” said Kvitova, praising her fellow players on “a superb team”. In the first set on Sunday, Kvitova took advantage of Vinci’s two straight double faults to take a 5-3 lead before winning 6-3. In the second set, the fastserving Czech broke Vinci’s serve to take a 4-3 lead but failed to confirm the break in the next game. But Kvitova did the same thing for a 6-5 lead and converted her second match point to take the set 7-5. “The tactic was quite difficult, her chops are quite unpleasant on the hardcourt so I had to move my feet fast and play returns to her forehand side,” Kvitova said. l
Djokovic out for 'some time' with wrist injury Novak Djokovic said on Saturday he would not be able to play tennis “for some time” after being hampered by a wrist injury at the Monte Carlo Masters. The Serbian second seed was knocked out 7-5 6-2 by former world number one Roger Federer in the semifinals, being clearly bothered by his sore right wrist -- a problem he has been suffering from for 10 days. “The good thing is I don’t need to have a surgery,” said Djokovic, who had won the claycourt Masters in the principality last year. “I don’t have any rupture or some-
thing like that. I’m going to go see doctors tonight and then tomorrow again have another MRI, see if anything changed in this seven days since I had the last one. “I just rest now. I cannot play tennis for some time. How long, I don’t know,” he added, six weeks before the start of the May 25-June 8 French Open. “It’s really not in my hands anymore. I’m going to rest and see when it can heal 100 per cent, then I will be back on the court.” Saturday’s defeat ended Djokovic’s impressive run in Masters events as he had won the previous five, in Shanghai, Paris, London (ATP World Tour finals), Indian Wells and Miami. l
Bangladesh Jail beat Mozaffar Smriti Sangsad in the Walton Premier Division Kabaddi at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday. In the other matches of the day Bangladesh Army beat Maniknagar Kabaddi Club by 49-09 points with three lonas and BGB overpowered Bangladesh Air Force by 19-10 points with one lona
Monday, April 21, 2014
Important jails to be brought under CCTV surveillance n Rabiul Islam Prominent jails across the country will be brought under closed circuit television camera while dishonest officials at different jails are set to be transferred with a view to improving the management of jails. The decisions were taken at a meeting with home ministry Senior Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed in the chair at the Home Ministry conference room yesterday. Among others, officials concerned of the home ministry, IG prison, officials from DGFI, SB and police headquarters were present at the meeting. Despite repeated attempts the home secretary was not available over cell phone for comment. Besides, a committee headed by Home Ministry Additional Secretary Shawkat Mostafa will be formed to give specific recommendations to improve the situation of jails, a senior Home Ministry official attending the meeting told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. Officials said electricity would be supplied uninterrupted in the jails so that jammers can remain active. As jammers go out of function during load shedding mobile can be used. Moreover, a section of dishonest officials who help criminals in jail to continue criminal activities will be transferred to break their network, the officials said adding that sudden visits will paid in
jails to curb criminal activities. Meeting sources said after the incident of snatching convicted militants, IG Prison paid a sudden visit to Kasimpur jail. IG Prison found mobile in the prison cell of notorious criminal Sweden Aslam. The mobile set was found inside an abandoned pipe by which time to time call was made. Officials at the meeting expressed concern over the use of mobile by notorious criminals. On February 23, 2014, under police escort, three militant prisoners, Salauddin Salehin, Jahidul Islam (Boma Mizan) and Rakibul were brought to Mymensingh to produce before court from Kashimpur jail. When they reached Trishal, unidentified terrorists attacked police and snatched JMB militants. Following the incident, the government planned to manage the jails in a proper way. Sources said the top-most notorious criminals not only control the underworld and criminals activities using cell phone from jail but also have video chat with close ones by changing their identity with the support of 3G service of modern technology. Even the criminals have fake Facbook Identity. They bring in jails movie, picture and songs with the help of jail staff. Such kind of sensational information was unearthed by intelligence officials of a state-run agency. l
Ban Ki-moon lauds Bangladesh n Tribune Report UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Bangladesh has set an example in disaster management. He made the remark at a briefing on Disaster management at the UN office for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management, reports Bangladesh Shangbad Shangstha (BSS). Appreciating the role of Bangladesh in disaster management, the UN chief also emphasized on achieving the goal of MDG, outlining the development
plan in the post 2015 and adopting a universal policy in the context of climate change. Besides that, he suggested a preventive mechanism to curb the possibility of losses in the economy and the lives of the people. Describing Bangladesh as the most densely populated country, he mentioned that about 135 million people had been victims of natural disasters in the last 20 years. He said the country has trained to 65 thousand volunteers and prepared 25 thousand communities to respond to any disaster, which is exemplary. l
Singer Bashir Ahmed laid to rest n Tribune Desk
Female migrant workers who lost their jobs in Hong Kong wait outside the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry to meet the minister yesterday RAJIB DHAR
48 female migrants in trouble after losing jobs in Hong Kong n Rabiul Islam After being terminated from jobs in Hong Kong around 48 female migrant workers are now in deep trouble paying their bank loan. The ill-fated migrants took loan of Tk1, 40,000each from Probashi Kallyan Bank (Expatriates’ Welfare Bank). Out of 48 around, 15 female migrants yesterday met Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain at his office at Probashi Kallyan Bhaban and requested him to waive their bank loans and compensate them. “After waiting for about three to four hours we met the minister who told us that he could do nothing,” Beauty, hailed from Manikganj, one of the female migrants, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. Angered at the request the minister said he would ask the authorities to
serve notice to the workers to pay back loan, Beauty said in a voice of frustration.
‘I have received a notice from Probashi Kallyan Bank to pay my instalment but I have no way to pay back the loan’ While talking to this correspondent at the Expatriates’ Welfare Ministry, the migrant workers said they had submitted their allegations to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) on October 2013 but yet to get any response. On February 25, 2014, they also submitted a memorandum to the ministry.
“I have submitted my complaint to the BMET which has not done anything to solve my problem,” Sumi Akter told this correspondent at the ministry. “I have received a notice from Probashi Kallyan Bank to pay my instalment but I have no way to pay back the loan,” Faria Akter said. “We have asked the BMET to inform us about the problems of the female migrant workers and as per the request of the BMET steps would be taken,” Expatriates’ Welfare Secretary Khandaker Shawkat Hossain said. On February 25 this year a number of female migrants at a press conference alleged that they were promised a good working environment, suitable food and accommodation, and eight working hours daily but the promises were not fulfilled. Two months after arriving in HK many of them were dismissed and sent back home. l
Noted singer Bashir Ahmed, who died of cancer at 74 on Saturday night, was buried at Dhaka’s Mohammadpur graveyard after Zohr prayers yesterday. His namaz-e-janaza was held at Zohuri Mohalla Mosque of Mohammadpur at 1pm., reports the UNB. Born at Khidirpur in Kolkata in 1939, Bashir migrated to Dhaka in the early 1960s. Starting as a playback singer in Urdu films, he emerged as a lyricist and music director. He has many songs that are still popular. Among his popular songs are Khuje Khuje Jonom Gelo, Pinjor Khule Diyechhi, Dekona Amare Tumi Kachhe Dekona, Amake Porate Jodi Eto Bhalo Lage, Onek Shadher Moyna Amar, Sojoni Go Bhalobeshe Eto Jala. He was only 19 when he debuted as a singer on the lyrics of Raza Mehedi Ali and under the music direction of Mohammad Shofi in a film directed by Abul Hasan. He also lent his voice to a few films, including Zindegi in Mumbai. By penning songs for Talash movie, he began his journey in Dhaka film industry. He was the music director to legend actor Rahman’s debut film Darshan. The noted singer bagged the National Film Award for singing in Kokhono Megh Kokhono Brishti in 2003. To his credit, he had also awards like the Ekushey Padak. l
No national formulary in eight years n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The last time the drug administration updated the national formulary was back in 2006. Over these past eight years, many new drugs have come into the market; but none have been incorporated into the formulary. The Bangladesh National Formulary (BNF) is a comprehensive list of all the drugs available in the market. The list, prepared by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), helps doctors to know the efficacy, price, risks and other information about a drug before prescribing it. Doctors said the lack of an updated BNF has made them dependent on the literature provided with the drugs by the pharmaceutical companies and also the briefing they get from the representatives to know details about many drugs, especially those that hit the market after 2006. Experts said if the government did not maintain a regularly updated guide-
line encompassing all the drugs in the market, the risks associated with irrational use of drugs would keep in rising. The government has so far prepared three BNFs: 2001, 2003 and 2006. After all these years, the DGDA reformed the BNF Committee and formed three other committees in September 2013 to update the formulary. Selim Barami, a director of DGDA, told the Dhaka Tribune that the four committees have been working full time and hope to bring the list out soon, although he cannot specify any time at present. Sources say the committees are going to sit in a meeting today to discuss the progress made. Seeking anonymity, a high-ranking official of the DGDA told the Dhaka Tribune that the rise in misuse is a result of the fact that the formulary had not been updated in so many years which means that there has been no standard prescription guideline for many drugs.
According to the DGDA’s latest annual report, a total of 258 allopathic companies have been producing and marketing 22,000 kinds of drugs in the country. Additionally, there are 268 unani, 79 homeopath and 25 herbal drug producers. Professor Dr Rashid-e-Mahbub, president of Health Rights Movement Bangladesh, said it is the government’s duty to prepare an updated list of available drugs of different pharmaceuticals companies. “An absence of such a comprehensive list is dangerous for public health,” he said. Prof Dr Sayedur Rahman, registrar of BSMMU, said: “New drugs are regularly coming into the market. So, it is not possible for doctors to remember everything about those drugs.” Referring to the World Health Organization, he said the rational use of 50% of the drugs has been hampered by incorrect prescriptions, dispensing and consumption. l
Mother seeks justice for daughter’s murder n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu The mother of Fahima Sultana Yen killed in her husband’s apartment in the capital’s Gulshan area two years back sought justice for the murder of her daughter. According to the case statement, Yen, director of Ethics Advanced Technologies Ltd at Karwan Bazar and her husband, MA Mubin Khan, deputy managing director of International Medical College in Gazipur lived with their three children in an apartment in Gulshan-2. On February 17, 2012 Mubin informed police that his driver Mintu Peda killed his wife Yen and injured the domestic help Bina and made away with cash and gold ornaments from their apartment. On information, police went to the house and recovered the injured domestic help and the dead body of Yen having multiple stab wounds from the bathroom of the apartment.
Yen’s husband Mubin filed a case with Gulshan Police Station stating that the driver Mintu after killing his wife fled with 150 tolas of gold ornaments, Tk2 lakh in cash and other valuables worth about Tk1.05 crore. Police submitted a charge sheet before the court against driver Mintu and his wife Pannan Begum. Later the case was transferred to the Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-3. On December 16, 2012 when Yen’s husband Mubin stood in the dock for giving deposition the detained prime accused Mintu told the court at the top his voice that he had killed Yen on Mubin’s order. Mintu also told the court that Mubin was also present during the murder. “Following the information of Mintu when we asked domestic help Bina about what really happened she said she concealed the matter because of a threat from Mubn, said Dil Afroz Begum. On August 27, 2013, CID police submitted an investigation report
before the court against Yen’s husband Mubin Khan, driver Mintu Peda, Mahmudul Hasam Khan and Md Mukul for the killing. Quoting the report Dil Afroz said, in the report CID mentioned that Mintu killed her daughter at the instigation of Mubin. “Mubin and yen had not been on god terms over Mubin’s extra marital affairs. Dil Afroz said: “The charge sheet was submitted to the CMM court on August 27 last year but the court sent it to Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court without taking into cognisance. The Sessions Judge Court then sent it to the Speedy Trial Tribunal-3 without taking cognisance. Later, the tribunal returned it to the Sessions Judge Court and the court returned it to the CMM court to take it into cognisance, she added Dil Afroz said they were out of patience. “I just want justice for my daughter Yen’s murder.” l
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B3 The robot is ready – so when will deep sea mining start?
B4 Zynga seeks new harvest with mobile FarmVille game
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Fund shortage forces HBFC to suspend home loans n
Asif Showkat Kallol
Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation (BHBFC) has suspended its lending programme for last two months due to shortage of fund. The management instructed verbally the staffs not to process loan applications, officials of the Banking and Financial Institutions Division of the finance ministry said. They said the state-run financial institution for providing housing loans would not be able to resume the credit programme within a short period of time without recapitalisation by the government. In February, BHBFC had sought a budgetary allocation of Tk500 crore for the current fiscal year as well as Tk500 crore every fiscal year beginning from fiscal 2014-15 to continue its lending programmes. In a recent letter to the financial institutions division, BHBFC Managing Director Dr Nurul Alam Talukder said the corporation could not invest commensurate with the demand for loans because of fund shortage. “We need adequate funds to provide financing at district and sub-district levels to follow the directives of President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Presently, BHBFC’s annual demand for loan is about Tk10bn,” he noted. He said the institution is not capable of expanding its activities to upazila and district levels due to fund crisis as
A view of the houses at a neighbourhood in the capital demands for housing loans are there in Kishoreganj, Gopalganj, Sirajganj and Srimangal after opening branch offices in these towns. “But we are unable to disburse loans in these areas due to severe fund shortage.” Banking Secretary Dr Aslam Alam told the Dhaka Tribune the corporation has already exhausted all the funds, resulting in the suspension of the programmes. “Now they would not be able to disburse loans for the clients without realisation of previous loans,” he said. He said: “Sovereign guarantee could have been given to BHBFC for borrowing fund from the development
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
partners like World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international lending agencies.” The finance ministry, however, refused giving the guarantee, he said. Finance ministry sources said the BHBFC received only Tk40 crore as loan from the government in the fiscal 2012-13. It could not mobilise any other fund for lending purposes. The BHBFC provides house building loans in Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan cities at a rate of 12% while it is 10% for other cities and towns. There are plans by BHBFC to expand its activities through setting up offices in every district gradually. Now the or-
ganisation is operating 29 offices across the country. During July-December period of 2013, the amounts of loan sanctioned, disbursed and recovered were Tk222 crore, Tk226 crore and Tk200 crore respectively. The total loan balance was around Tk2,930 crore. During the same period, the amount of classified loans stood at Tk233 crore, only about 8% of the total disbursement. BHBFC has increased the individual loan ceiling to Tk50 lakh two years ago. The corporation’s lending had earlier remained suspended from 1988 to 1992 due to fund shortage, sources said. l
Import rises 13% n
FIs demand corporate tax cut n Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The country’s leading associations of financial institutions (FIs) has demanded the National Board of Revenue to reduce corporate taxes to the level most other listed companies are now paying. They said the FIs are listed companies and their taxes should be set at 37.5%. Bangladesh Insurance Association representative G K Roy said the tax on life insurance and non-life insurance companies are same, which is not justified. “In the neighboring country India, life insurance companies are paying 12.50% taxes and 2.50% additional surcharge. So, the income tax rate for the life insurance companies here should be set at 15%.” The association leader made the demand at a meeting with National Board of Revenue at the NBR headquarters in Dhaka yesterday. NBR Chairman Md. Ghulam Hussain chaired the pre-budget meeting with the representatives from financial institutions. Roy pointed out that the insurance
agents have to pay 5% tax at source if they earn over Tk40,000. Now they have to pay 5% tax on their entire commission. As the tax-free ceiling for the individual taxpayers has been set at Tk220,000, he urged NBR to set a tax limit on agents’ incomes. Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association has demanded including the name of ‘financial institutions’ with the section 23 (6) of Income Tax Ordinance 1984. The section says the income of the institutions, mentioned at the section by way of interest in relation to such categories of bad or doubtful debts as the Bangladesh Bank may classify in the income year in which it is credited to its profit and loss account for that year or, as the case may be, in which it is actually received, whichever is earlier. “Though the tax rates for banks or financial institutions are set at 42.5%, sometimes we are paying 55% taxes due to doubtful taxes. Currently, we are paying same duties as paid by the bank, leasing or insurance companies, which needs to be reduced and should be set at 37.5%,” said Md Ziaul Hoque Khan of the association.
He also proposed for allowing banks, insurance companies and financial institutions to avail of the tax exemption on the income derived from zero coupon bonds. Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association Vice President Md Akter Hossain Sannamat proposed the NBR to reduce corporate tax of merchant banks to 27.50%. “The merchant banks are making losses from 2010 due to the instability in the stock market whereas corporate tax of merchant banks is higher than the asset management companies or the stock brokers. We think the corporate tax for the merchant banks should be set at 27.50%,” he said. He requested NBR to publish statutory regulatory order for initiating incentive package for the merchant banks to cover up the losses which these institutions are making from 2010. The association’s other proposals includes treating 1% general provision and specific provision as tax deductable, treating write off losses of merchant banks as tax deductable, and avoid double taxation on dividend income of the banks. l
NBR chair for MCCI wants tax-free income rationalising tariff raised to Tk2.75 lakh to stop spice in the import level. In response, NBR n Tribune Report chief said the government has to face smuggling The Metropolitan Chamber of Com- revenue loss as the pending amounts of disputed tax are huge. merce and Industry (MCCI) urged the n Tribune Report Citing a loss of Tk26,000 crore revgovernment to raise tax-free income Importers claimed high duty for spice and glass products unlike in any other neighbouring countries has been resulting in peril of the customers and alluring smugglers to make the best out of such supposedly irrational tariff structure. They made the call at a pre-budget meeting with National Board of Revenue yesterday. The NBR chair Md Ghulam Hussain presided over the meeting and said the revenue authority will assess the current tariff structure to rationalise.
The spice importers said three-fourth of hot spices in the local market come through smuggling and therefore B 3 COLUMN 4
ceiling for individual taxpayers to Tk275,000. It also proposed increasing the limit to Tk3,00,000 for female and senior citizens aged over 65 years and to Tk3,50,000 for physically challenged people. MCCI president Rokia Afzal Rahman submitted the proposals at a pre-budget meeting with National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday. The meeting was presided over by NBR Chairman Md Ghulam Hussain. MCCI also proposed reduction of corporate duties on banks, insurance and financial institutions as the organisations have to pay 42.5% tax which is “very high compared to the neighboring countries.” The chamber asked for reducing Advance Income Tax to 3% from 5%
enue loss from this situation, he urged the businessmen to “do something which could benefit both business and government.” Ghulam Hussain alleged the businessmen have a tendency to go for appeals in the tribunal whenever they need to pay a big amount of tax. The demands of MCCI, among others, also include allowing financial institutions, banks and insurances to invest in the form of fixed deposit like savings deposit in post office, deduction of duties on software imports and reduction of Vat from import of services by the export-oriented companies. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firms have been enjoying tax exemption since 1999, but the facility is renewed every year. B 3 COLUMN 1
Jebun Nesa Alo
The country’s import expenditure rose by 13.49% in the first eight months of the current fiscal year as compared to the same period of last fiscal year. The overall import continued to increase at a time when the country had plunged into a political turbulence centering January 5 general polls. Increased import of capital machineries has led the overall import to a positive growth, said a senior executive of Bangladesh Bank. Capital machinery import increased during the period of July-February due to the increased inflow of foreign direct investment mainly in the garment sector, he also added. According to the central bank data, capital machinery import witnessed 8.61% rise in the first eight months from the negative growth of 18.46% in fiscal year 2012-13. The growth was also negative by 15.85% in the previous fiscal year 2011-12. The value of LCs (letter of credits) settlement stood at US$2.4bn in the period of July to February of the current fiscal year compared to $2.12bn in the same period of the last fiscal year. Although the import growth remained positive, it was slower compared to the export growth, the trade deficit during the period reduced to $3.56bn from $4.59bn. The export earnings increased by 13.96% in July-February of the current fiscal year from 9.36% growth recorded in the same period of the last fiscal year. B 3 COLUMN 5
Government to award two more NTTN licences soon n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
The government would soon award two more licences of Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) to get total four operators for strengthening the transmission system. It would also consider awarding licences of NIX – a functional package manager which maintains the local data within the territory of Bangladesh without using international internet bandwidth. Post, Telecommunication and ICT Minister Abdul Latif Siddique announced the measure in a spontaneous response to concerns that experts raised at a high-level policy dialogue in Dhaka yesterday. Experts said the transmission system in the country’s telecommunication sector is hardly improved – a sorry state that runs counter to significant improvement in the country’s telecom and ICT industry in last couple of years. “I am assuring you to award licence,” Siddique told the meeting, inviting proposals. “Try to convince me and educate me about the technology, I will do for the best of the industry and my country, and my people will get the highest priority.” Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury conducted the dialogue jointly organised by the Asia Foundation and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, said: “In last seven years,
there has been tremendous progress in the telecom sector but infrastructure was the least developed among all.” He said the government is working to provide more NTTN licences to ensure the competition in telecom transmission. Presenting a paper, North South University teacher M Rokonnuzzaman said: “The bandwidth which cost Tk400 in Singapore is Tk2,800 in Dhaka at the end user level. If the same bandwidth transmits to other districts of the country, the cost increases substantially.” LIRNEasia’s senior policy fellow Abu Saeed Khan said the government should allow the foreign bandwidth carriers to enter into Bangladesh to reduce the price. “The uncertainty of the regulatory regime often discourages foreign investors. The government should be more open about licence and other fees,” he said. BASIS Senior Vice President Syed Almas Kabir said the bandwidth price is one tiny fraction of the entire cost of the internet. “There is different type of transportation cost in many levels which should be reduced if we want to reduce the price at the user level,” he said. He said that there are too many middlemen in the transmission side which is increasing the cost. Fiber@Home Limited’s Chief Strategic Officer Sumon Ahmed Sabir said the government have to either take the market driven pricing policy of internet or they can take the responsibility in its hand. B 3 COLUMN 4
Hero plans motorcycle manufacturing in Bangladesh n Kayes Sohel Hero Motor, a leading Indian automobile company, is set to manufacture motorcycles in Bangladesh to share the growing local market. The company plans to launch operations immediately in collaboration with a local automobile company Niloy Motor, a concern of Nitol-Niloy Group. After expiry of the deal with Japanese automaker Honda in 2011 and state-owned automobile company Atlas Bangladesh in 2013, Hero now joins hands with Nitol-Niloy Group for marketing motorcycle in Bangladesh. The two companies will ink the deal in Dhaka today. “Bangladesh has enough potential market for motorcycles as demand for bikes is growing in tandem with the expanding economy,” Abdul Matlub Ahmad told The Dhaka Tribune yesterday. His company is set to manufacture the two-wheeler vehicles locally as soon as possible. “Hero with Niloy is ready to begin operation in Bangladesh.” The assembling plant costing more than Tk234 crore is expected to produce 1.5 lakh pieces of motorbikes annually, company sources said. They said prices will come down below Tk1 lakh per piece if assem-
bled here. At present, the price of an imported motorbike is Tk170,000 depending on varieties. According to an estimate, the country’s annual motorcycle sales might hit around 14 lakh units in the near future from around 500,000 units at present. The announcement of the collaboration comes at a time when Honda Motor Corp is taking preparations to launch a full-scale motorcycle assembling plant in the country in partnership with the state-owned Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation and Suzuki Motor, a leading Japanese two-wheeler brand, with local Rancon Motor Bikes Ltd, a concern of Rangs Group. Hero MotoCorp Limited, formerly Hero Honda Motors Limited, is engaged in manufacturing of two wheelers and its parts and ancillary services. The company’s bikes are manufactured across three manufacturing facilities. Two of these are based at Gurgaon and Dharuhera, which are located in the state of Haryana in northern India. The third manufacturing plant is based at Haridwar, in the hill state of Uttrakhand. The company offers a range of bikes which include CD Dawn, CD Deluxe, Splendor Plus, Splendor NXG, super splendor and Passion Pro. Hero brand accounts for 50% of the total motorcycle market in India. l
BGMEA forms body to scrutinise Rana Plaza victims n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has formed a committee to bring all the Rana Plaza victims under a same umbrella to compensate them following proper scrutiny. BGMEA Vice President SM Mannan Kochi has been made the convener of the committee, which is comprised of the representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Labor and Employment Ministry and two other board members of the BGMEA. The decision to forma such a committee was made at a BGMEA board meeting held on April 13 at its Karwan Bazaar office.
The main task of the committee is to bring all the victims under a common umbrella to compensate through reviewing their claims as a worker of those factories housed in Rana Plaza
that collapsed, killing 1,135 workers and injured over 2,500 on April 24, last year. “The committee with the help of the local administration will scan the B 3 COLUMN 2
Financials keep stocks afloat
DSE key features April 20, 2014
n Tribune Report
Number of Contract
Stocks opened flat in the opening session of the week yesterday with limited trading activities. Rally in financials helped offset losses due to profit-booking on some large cap companies that gained over the past several sessions. The benchmark index DSEX gained 17 points or 0.3% to close at 4,616, extending the gaining streak for the last consecutive session. Shariah Index DSES witnessed fractional losses of 0.7 points to 1,034. The blue-chip comprising DS30 fell 4 points or 0.3% to end at 1,698. Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, closed at 8,880 with a gain of 11 points. Volume of trade was poor as the total turnover at DSE declined more than 10% to Tk400 crore. The market breadth was positive as out of 288 issues traded, 182 advanced, 86 declined and 20 remained unchanged. All other major sectors ended lower with telecommunications, power and pharmaceuticals declining 1.7%, 0.8% and 0.3% respectively on profit booking. On the other hand, the financial sectors – banks and non-banking financial institutions –ended higher with a rise of 1.2% and 1% respectively.
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$)
CSE key features April 20, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)
Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index :
Turnover (Million Taka)
“Decline in large and mid caps against the upswing in remaining cap classes neutralised each other and subsequently put DSEX in flat region,” said IDLC Investments in its market analysis. Meanwhile, investors’ preference changed a bit which was stimulated by the news of positive export growth, especially in textile sector, it said adding that besides, lower price at scrips-level also generated another stimulus. “These twin factors assisted textile to lead in sectoral performance with 2.7% gain. However, investors were seemed to be hesitant of positioning in large cap stocks because of their recent spike in prices.” Zenith Investments said the main index rose along with some heavyweight sectors when stocks belonging to blue chip index and the Shariah index faced some correction. It said the total turnover volume is abating gradually day by day, but may soon change its course of direction as the market turned its attention towards mid cap scrips. The top eight positions on turnover chart were dominated by the blue chip stocks. Meghna Petroleum was the most traded stock of the session with almost Tk27 crore. It was followed by two cement companies – Lafarge Surma and Heidelberg Cement. l
Number of Contract
218 144 69
DSE Shariah Index :
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
DSE - 30 Index :
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
CSE All Share Index:
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
4 2,248.71 27.26
CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
Phoenix Finance-A HeidelbergCement -A Delta Life Insu. -A Beach Hatchery -A LR Global BD MF1-A Active Fine Chem.-A Padma Islami Life*-N Shampur Sugar -Z
-7.34 -6.00 -5.15 -4.82 -4.48 -4.17 -4.02 -3.85
Average (% change) -7.36 -6.05 -4.81 -7.14 -3.71 -0.41 -4.64 -3.85
BSC-A Shahjalal Islami -A
Closing (% change)
LR Global BD MF1-A Continental Insur. -A Eastland Insur -A Phoenix Finance-A HeidelbergCement -A Marico BD Ltd-A Aramit -A Delta Life Insu. -A
-9.09 -7.69 -7.54 -7.45 -6.11 -6.08 -5.63 -5.28
Average (% change) -9.09 -7.69 -7.68 -7.25 -6.00 -6.08 -4.22 -4.20
Prime Bank-A Beach Hatchery -A
Closing (% change)
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 516.70 193.36 47.48 279.54 284.03 688.98 3.22 359.15 349.65 0.80 28.08 42.29 10.09 509.53 55.26 50.32 118.18 272.40 47.28 135.13 0.08
26.42 563.56 226.85 23.55 6.49 81.65 69.86 7.50
26.50 555.70 224.60 23.70 6.40 80.40 69.30 7.50
28.00 585.00 235.00 23.70 6.80 85.90 71.10 7.50
25.80 552.90 223.20 19.50 6.20 79.80 68.70 7.50
3.960 202.262 54.241 2.688 3.019 52.597 4.122 0.002
2.58 26.09 2.92 0.99 1.52 4.85 1.10 -50.84
10.2 21.6 77.7 23.8 4.3 16.8 63.5 -ve
Turnover in million
Agni Systems -A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N Rahima Food -Z R. N. Spinning-Z BD Finance-A Bangladesh Welding -A CVO PetroChem RL-Z Anlima Yarn -A National Housing Fin.-B Ambee Pharma -A
7.00 24.00 38.00 26.10 555.20 1,232.70 302.00 226.10
7.00 24.00 38.00 26.30 580.00 1,240.00 302.00 247.90
7.00 24.00 37.80 25.90 553.00 1,231.00 302.00 225.00
0.004 0.012 0.091 0.078 10.361 0.370 0.015 7.623
1.52 1.55 3.71 2.58 26.09 46.53 11.53 2.92
4.6 15.5 10.2 10.1 21.6 26.5 26.2 78.5
Decline in large and mid caps against the upswing in remaining cap classes neutralised each other and subsequently put DSEX in flat region
% change 12.94 4.84 1.19 7.00 7.12 17.26 0.08 9.00 8.76 0.02 0.70 1.06 0.25 12.77 1.38 1.26 2.96 6.82 1.18 3.39 0.00
Million Taka 46.56 12.21 3.91 20.25 19.06 45.28 52.66 23.15 17.33 1.12 20.13 1.78 31.68 6.48 1.41 8.44 25.64 5.85 20.27 0.02
% change 12.82 3.36 1.08 5.58 5.25 12.46 0.00 14.50 6.37 4.77 0.31 5.54 0.49 8.72 1.78 0.39 2.32 7.06 1.61 5.58 0.00
Million Taka 563.26 205.57 51.39 299.79 303.09 734.25 3.22 411.81 372.79 18.13 29.20 62.42 11.87 541.21 61.74 51.73 126.63 298.05 53.13 155.40 0.10
9.90 9.80 9.72 9.70 9.68 7.65 7.44 7.30 7.01 6.93
CSE GAINERS Company Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N Agni Systems -A R. N. Spinning-Z Midas Financing-Z Bangladesh Welding -A BD Finance-A Fareast Finance-N Maksons Spinning-A CVO PetroChem RL-Z National Housing Fin.-B
Closing (% change) 10.00 9.90 9.89 9.87 9.34 8.33 8.04 6.47 6.41 6.32
Average (% change) 7.39 6.49 8.68 11.93 7.49 6.71 2.90 5.72 5.02 6.70 Average (% change) 5.34 8.30 9.89 9.87 7.46 6.22 5.96 8.09 5.00 5.92
Closing average 21.81 54.15 45.31 29.09 16.93 19.41 736.87 24.76 28.65 305.66
Closing average 53.62 21.93 28.67 24.50 19.58 16.74 11.91 14.83 742.82 28.46
Closing 22.20 56.00 46.30 29.40 17.00 19.70 757.90 25.00 29.00 305.60
Closing 56.10 22.20 28.90 24.50 19.90 16.90 12.10 14.80 744.90 28.60
Daily high 22.20 56.10 46.40 29.40 17.20 20.00 758.00 25.20 29.70 310.00
Daily high 56.10 22.20 28.90 24.50 19.90 17.00 12.30 15.20 752.00 29.50
Daily low 18.40 51.60 42.00 24.20 14.00 16.60 700.00 24.10 25.00 296.00
Daily low 52.00 18.50 28.00 24.50 18.50 15.50 11.10 13.00 740.00 25.50
Turnover in million 14.606 85.149 2.877 9.342 15.663 3.947 11.053 1.436 1.792 10.102
Turnover in million 10.027 1.238 1.613 0.012 1.204 0.151 1.519 2.200 2.080 0.221
Latest EPS 1.10 7.26 -1.00 6.11 1.34 0.57 -4.06 0.80 1.39 5.01
Latest EPS 7.26 1.10 6.11 -5.96 0.57 1.34 -0.97 0.64 -4.06 1.39
Latest PE 19.8 7.5 -ve 4.8 12.6 34.1 -ve 31.0 20.6 61.0
Latest PE 7.4 19.9 4.7 -ve 34.4 12.5 -ve 23.2 -ve 20.5
News from trade server BDFINANCE: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 18.06.2014, Time: 10:30 AM, Venue: Institute of Diploma Engineers, 160/A VIP Road, Kakrail, Dhaka. Record Date: 12.05.2014. The Company has also reported consolidated EPS of Tk. 1.34, consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 14.91 and consolidated NOCFPS of Tk. (0.78) for the year ended on December 31, 2013.
ber 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 12.06.2014, Time: 10:00 AM, Venue: Institution of Diploma Engineers, Kakrail, Dhaka. Record Date: 29.04.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 4.85, NAV per share of Tk. 18.74 and NOCFPS of Tk. 3.81 for the year ended on December 31, 2013.
CENTRALINS: The Board of Directors has recommended 14% cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 19.06.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: Trust Milonayaton, 545 Old Airport Road, Tejgaon, Dhaka. Record Date: 28.04.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.98, NAV per share of Tk. 20.69 and NOCFPS of Tk. 2.59 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. ACTIVEFINE: The Board of Directors has recommended 5% cash dividend and 20% stock dividend for the year ended on Decem-
DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Meghna Petroleum -A LafargeS Cement-Z HeidelbergCement -A Grameenphone-A Olympic Ind. -A Padma Oil Co. -A Square Pharma -A
Closing (% change)
AGRANINS: The Board of Directors has recommended 5% cash dividend and 5% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 29.05.2014, Time: 11:00 AM, Venue: Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh, 160/A, Kakrail, VIP Road, Dhaka. Record Date: 29.04.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.83, NAV per share of Tk. 14.91 and NOCFPS of Tk. 1.96 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. PROVATIINS: The Board of Directors has recommended 12% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 22.06.2014, Time: 10:30 AM, Venue: Trust Milonayaton, 545 Old Airport Road, Dhaka Cantonment (Shaheed Jahangir Gate). Record Date: 04.05.2014. The Com-
pany has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.83, NAV per share of Tk. 16.13 and NOCFPS of Tk. 1.36 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. SHAHJABANK: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 29.06.2014, Time: 10:00 AM, Venue: 'Bashundhara Convention Center-2', Block-C, Umme Kulsum Road, Bashundhara R/A, Dhaka-1229. Record Date: 08.05.2014. The Company has also reported consolidated EPS of Tk. 1.96, consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 16.42 and consolidated NOCFPS of Tk. 10.13 for the year ended on December 31, 2013. CITYGENINS: The Board of Directors has recommended 10% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2013. Date of AGM: 24.06.2014, Time: 10:30 AM, Venue: Multipurpose Hall, Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh, Kakrail, Dhaka. Record Date: 29.04.2014. The Company has also reported EPS of Tk. 1.73, NAV per share of Tk. 15.96 and NOCFPS of Tk. 2.08 for the year ended on December 31, 2013.
7.00 24.00 37.98 26.08 563.08 1,232.67 302.00 229.25
SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY Sector
Turnover in million
Monday, April 21, 2014
% change 12.93 4.72 1.18 6.88 6.96 16.86 0.07 9.46 8.56 0.42 0.67 1.43 0.27 12.43 1.42 1.19 2.91 6.84 1.22 3.57 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 email@example.com or call 01552153562 or go to www.biasl.net
UCBL - A AB Bank - A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N
BSC-A Jamuna Oil -A Titas Gas TDCLA Southeast Bank-A Emerald Oil Ind. -N
CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company LafargeS Cement-Z
Grameenphone-A BD Submarine Cable-A Matin Spinning-N UCBL - A Padma Oil Co. -A BSC-A HeidelbergCement -A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Meghna Petroleum -A Delta Life Insu. -A AB Bank - A Square Pharma -A Southeast Bank-A
Volume shares 865,552 3,700,500 358,900 782,898 658,837 430,700 395,613 3,811,067 2,928,199 1,572,500
133,065 346,828 963,885 4,037,212 1,622,500
251,000 53,200 59,725 297,200 458,581 31,140 17,055 18,400 187,000 275,340 24,719 33,250 244,463 25,155 293,874
Value in million 268.35 262.94 202.26 196.15 157.87 152.45 111.62 94.50 86.56 85.15
82.34 81.84 81.73 80.08 78.46
Value in million
17.96 13.32 12.32 11.77 11.42 11.02 10.61 10.36 10.03 7.95 7.66 7.62 7.22 7.08 5.82
% of total turnover 6.72 6.59 5.07 4.91 3.96 3.82 2.80 2.37 2.17 2.13
2.06 2.05 2.05 2.01 1.97
% of total turnover
5.92 4.39 4.06 3.88 3.76 3.63 3.49 3.41 3.30 2.62 2.52 2.51 2.38 2.33 1.92
Daily closing 311.40 72.00 555.70 250.30 238.30 352.70 280.70 24.80 29.60 56.00
609.50 235.40 83.90 20.00 49.20
72.30 250.40 205.70 39.90 24.80 353.30 610.00 555.20 56.10 29.10 312.00 226.10 29.60 280.80 20.00
Price change 0.19 5.42 -6.00 -1.69 -1.73 -1.15 -1.06 2.06 3.14 9.80
Daily opening 310.80 68.30 591.20 254.60 242.50 356.80 283.70 24.30 28.70 51.00
-3.48 -1.26 -1.53 4.71 6.26
4.78 -1.53 -1.72 2.57 2.48 -0.98 -3.25 -6.11 10.00 4.68 0.35 -5.28 3.50 -0.95 4.17
631.50 238.40 85.20 19.10 46.30
69.00 254.30 209.30 38.90 24.20 356.80 630.50 591.30 51.00 27.80 310.90 238.70 28.60 283.50 19.20
Daily high 315.00 72.90 585.00 255.00 244.70 360.00 285.90 25.20 29.90 56.10
635.00 239.00 86.10 21.00 49.90
Daily low 284.00 68.00 552.90 247.10 221.40 335.00 275.00 22.00 26.00 51.60
604.00 218.00 76.70 17.20 46.80
Daily average 310.03 71.06 563.56 250.55 239.62 353.95 282.15 24.80 29.56 54.15
73.00 254.00 210.00 40.20 26.00 357.10 636.00 580.00 56.10 29.20 313.20 247.90 29.80 284.00 20.10
67.50 248.00 205.20 38.60 21.80 349.00 606.50 553.00 52.00 25.20 290.00 225.00 28.00 275.00 17.30
618.78 235.96 84.79 19.83 48.36
71.56 250.39 206.33 39.59 24.90 353.81 621.95 563.08 53.62 28.89 309.89 229.25 29.53 281.52 19.81
BSEC seeks brokers’ opinion on IPO simplification plan n Tribune Report Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) yesterday sought brokers’ opinion about its plan to simplify the IPO subscription process. Earlier, it has decided to make application process for the initial public offering (IPO) easier and free of hassles for the retail investors. “The commission wrote letters to the stock exchanges to submit the brokers’ opinion by this month,” Saifur Rahman, a BSEC spokesperson, told the Dhaka Tribune. A pilot project has also been taken to put the process on right track, he said. Under the new IPO application plan, the regulator will receive the amount in the investors’ bank accounts and keep the money blocked for the subscription period to remove hassles of handling cheques and reduce IPO subscription time. The money will then be transferred from the investors’ accounts to the issuer company’s escrow account if the investors get share allotment after IPO lottery. As per the present procedure, investors need to submit cash or cheques with their applications for IPO shares
to their bank accounts where hours wasted standing in queues. In line with its new plan, the BSEC in January asked BO (beneficiary owner’s) account holders to provide necessary information to update the CDBL database for bringing changes in the IPO subscription process. DP (Depository Participant) is the link between the investor and Central Depository of Bangladesh Ltd (CDBL) that maintains all the account and records. An investor who opens a BO account with a DP can utilise the services offered by CDBL. An official said the new system would help avert the hassles the investors face in getting refunds in cases of unsuccessful IPO applications. Many refund warrants get missing and the investors do not get back the money on due time, he said. Retail investors, if the plan implemented, will be able to apply for IPO shares allotment through their respective brokerage firms and merchant banks, and deposit money to their BO accounts. Moreover, huge amounts of money remain stranded from the date of application to refunding of warrant under the existing system. l
Monday, April 21, 2014
The robot is ready – so when will deep sea mining start? n Reuters, Newcastle The world’s first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea (PNG) - when a wrangle over terms is solved. Beyond PNG, in international waters, regulation and royalty terms for mining the planet’s subsea wealth have also yet to be finalized. The world waits for the judgment of a United Nations agency based in Jamaica. “If we can take care of the environment we have a brand new day ahead of us. The marine area beyond national jurisdiction is 50% of the Ocean,” said Nii Odunton, secretary general of the UN's International Seabed Authority (ISA). “I believe the grades look good, the abundance looks good, I believe that money will be made,” Odunton said from the ISA offices in Kingston. High-tech advances, depleted easyto-reach minerals onshore and historically high prices have boosted the idea of mining offshore, where metals can be fifteen times the quality of land deposits. In Newcastle, the “beasty”, as engineer Keith Franklin calls his machine, lies in wait, resembling a submersible tank with four meter wide cutting blades. Built by Soil Machine Dynamics, it will put Canadian listed Nautilus Minerals on course to become the first company to commercially mine in deep water. Nautilus’ primary resource, Solwara
1, about 1,500 meters underwater, is a Seafloor Massive Sulphide (SMS) deposit, which forms along hydrothermal vents where mineral-rich fluids spurt from cracks in the ocean crust. Equipped with cameras and 3D sonar sensors the robot is driven by two pilots from a control room on the vessel above, attached via a giant power cable. “The cameras aren’t enough by themselves because the machine will be working by vents where black soot spurts from the ocean crust and it will
sometimes be near impossible to see anything,” said Stef Kapusniak, business development manager for mining at SMD. “The 3D sonar will allow it to make images and send it back to the control room.” The machine then cuts up the sea floor and sucks the rocks through a pipe to deposit it in mounds behind “like icing a cake,” Kapusniak said. Another machine, yet to be built, will then help suck the ore to the surface. Nautilus aims to produce 80,000100,000 metric tons of copper and
100,000-200,000 ounces of gold equivalent to a modest onshore mine. It was supposed to be producing by now, but disagreements with the PNG government over financial terms have set it back. Chief Executive Mike Johnston told Reuters he was confident a resolution would be sorted out and the company would be mining within two to three years. Most of the world’s best deposits lie even deeper than Nautilus’ Solwara 1, at around 6,000 meters in an area known as the Clarion Clipperton Zone. l
Hyundai Motor unveils small SUV concept for China NTTN licences soon Import rises 13% n Reuters, Seoul South Korea’s Hyundai Motor on Sunday unveiled its small sport utility vehicle (SUV) concept targeted at the Chinese market, planning to join a flurry of rivals in tapping the growing segment in the world’s biggest market. Hyundai said it had picked popular Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun to promote the subcompact SUV ix25, to capitalise on the Korean pop culture boom in wooing Chinese customers aged between 25 and 35. Small SUVs are a bright spot in key markets from China and India to the United States and Europe, offering the
MCCI wants tax-free
functionality and space of SUVs in an affordable small vehicle. In China, General Motors and Ford Motor are offering small SUVs Trax and EcoSport, respectively, among other carmakers. The ix25 concept, which debuted at the Beijing auto show, is smaller than Hyundai’s Tucson compact SUV and will go into sales in the second half of this year, Hyundai said. Hyundai, which now sells a miniSUV only in Brazil, did not say whether it will roll out similar products in other key markets such as India, the United States and Europe. Hyundai, which ranks fifth in global
PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
Immediate past BASIS President Fahim Mashroor said lowering the power cost for the internet transmission will help reduce the cost. Telecom Minister Abdul Latif Siddique said the private operators are aggressive on profit maximisation and wealth centralisation. He said the mobile telecom companies are involved in illegal VoIP business and there is lack of clarity in their audit reports. “Even the BTRC is not fully fair in many cases.” He said the private companies oppose the foreign investment for their own vested interest. Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury said time has come to amend and review the ICT policy and upgrade it. l
PAGE 1 COLUMN 4
Bangladesh Bank, however, fears that the import of commodity products will be increased significantly very soon ahead of Ramadan. The central bank has already stressed the need for incre asing the export earnings as it might face a setback in balance of payments for the next few months due to significant increase of import. Import has already increased significantly by 23.33% to $3.13bn in February of current fiscal year just after January 5 polls, compared to growth of 15.52% in the same month of the previous year. Meanwhile, the central bank has
urged the government to take necessary measures to enhance manpower export to offset a looming setback in the country’s foreign exchange balance, said an official of the central bank. According to the settlement of letter of credit (LCs), food grains imports rose by 119.78% during the period compared to 41.38% negative growth in the same period of previous fiscal year. Import of food grains followed by industrial raw materials with a rise of 10.57% compared to 6.84% negative growth while petroleum products registered 3.63% negative growth compared to 5.45% negative growth. l
BGMEA forms body to scrutinise NBR chair for rationalising tariff to stop spice smuggling
PAGE 1 COLUMN 3
MCCI wants the facility should be fixed for at least a five-year period, which will be encouraging for the investors. “The renewal of the exemption facility every year is really discouraging to the investors. If it is given for a five-year term, the investors feel encouraged,” said Habibullah N Karim, managing director of Technohaven Company Limited. About automation, Ghulam Hussain said the revenue board is going to integrate works of all its three wings – Customs, Vat and Income Tax - through making services online. “NBR will be the first fullyautomated government office in Bangladesh within next one year and we are working into it,” he said, seeking support from the trade bodies, to achieve the goal. l
sales along with affiliate Kia Motors, hopes the upcoming model will help retain its momentum in China, which generates 22% of its sales. With Hyundai’s sales in the United States and Europe stagnating, China is a bright spot for the carmaker. Its China sales rose 9% to 270,347 vehicles in the period from January to March, compared to a year earlier. Hyundai’s chief financial officer earlier said the firm hoped to boost China sales by more than 10% to more than 1.13 million vehicles this year, aided by a capacity hike at its third Chinese plant and a new commercial vehicle factory there. l
PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
workers portfolios to make sure whether they were the workers of the Rana Plaza factories or not,” SM Mannan Kochi, convener of the committee, told the Dhaka Tribune. He also said: We have made the decision to bring all the victims under a common platform as they are now scattered and wandering for help and the committee will scrutinise the claims of the victims with the help of the local administration. As per the statistics of several trade unions, there are around 120 workers are unidentified and missing, said Sirajul Islam Rony, president of Bangladesh National Garment Workers Employees League. But the BGMEA leaders claimed that the number could be around in between 40-50.
After cross checking the identity of the victims, they will get compensation from Prime Minister Relief Fund, ILO Trust Fund, benefits for losing jobs as per the section 20 of labour law and, said BGMEA vice president (finance) Reaz Bin Mahmood. A total of 207 victims out of 322 had been identified through DNA test, of which in the first phase report last November, the lab identified 157 victims– 116 women and 41 men, while the second phase report in February this year identified 43 more victims – 33 women and 10 men and seven in the third phase. Sources at the national DNA lab said a total of 541 families had provided DNA samples for cross-matching with the 322 unidentified victims, whose bone and teeth were collected as DNA samples. l
PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
urged the government to relax duty on the products. “Hot spices and dry fruits completely depend on import. But high duty has encouraged large scale of smuggling,” said M Enayet Ullah, president of Bangladesh Wholesale Hot Spice Businesses Association. “Due to high duty, the smugglers are leaned towards bringing spices into the country from India and bag the duty amount as their profits.” He added: “Now the import duty on raisin is 92.30%, dry fruits 35% and hot spices 61%. The structure is also making the products out of the people’s purchasing capacity.” The association leaders urged the NBR to waive supplementary duty and Vat on import of the products and cut
customs duty to 15% from 25% now. Attending the meeting, the association leaders said the importers have to pay Tk300 to Tk400 in duties for importing a kilogram of hot spices, which is “illogical and unlike any other neighbouring countries.” The NBR chair heard the requests made by the small, medium and other businesses as part of its budget preparation work. He sought support from businesses to manage the revenue collection in the next fiscal as a collection target has been set at Tk1,49,000 crore.
At the discussion, representatives from Bangladesh Glass Merchant Association have also raised the same demand to rationalise the industry’s currently
set duty of 133%. Moreover, they urged to set the supplementary duty at 10% from the current range of 20% to 45% on different type of imports. “Currently, there are 133% duties on import of sheet and float glasses whereas only 5% VAT has been imposed at the local manufacturers. For the very reason importers are continuously facing losses from such price competitiveness,” said association general secretary M Abu Saleh. Demanding reduction of duties, he said there are no such high duties in the world. He mentioned that the duties are not more than 50% in the neighbouring countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “Therefore, the duties need to go through reduction for the greater good - for protecting businesses.” l
Olympic Biscuit gets ISO 22000 certificate n Tribune Business Desk
Gulshan branch of Jamuna Bank has been shifted to 116 Gulshan Avenue of Gulshan-2 in Dhaka. The bank’s chair, Kanutosh Majumder inaugurated the new premises as chief guest
The state minister of Labour and Employment Ministry, Md Mujibul Haque is seen handing over a cheque for Tk2 lakh to Taslima Akter, wife of late Nirman Sramik Md Million, in settlement of a group insurance scheme with Jiban Bima Corporation and Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation
A 15-day special training course was held at BIBM Bhaban to produce skilled audit officers for Publai Bank. The course was jointly organised by human resources division of Pubali Bank Ltd and Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management at the presence of the bank’s managing director and CEO, Helal Ahmed Chowdhury and director general of BIBM, Dr Taufique Ahmed Chowdhury
A conference for branch managers was recently held where 35 branch managers of National Bank Limited working in the capital along with concerned divisional heads participated at the bank’s training institute. A K M Shafiqur Rahman, managing director and CEO of the bank attended the conference as chief guest
Olympic Biscuit of Olympic Industries Limited has recently earned the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000 certification based on its compliance with international standards of food safety, production and packaging. The certificate was delivered at Olympic
Industries Limited’s office on April 10. On receiving the certification, Quazi Touhiduzzaman, the company’s general manager for sales and marketing said: “We have always been devoted to producing quality food and this certification proves that the quality of our products meet international standards.” l
A six week long course on banking foundation was started for the 8th batch PSO of Standard Bank Ltd at SBL Training Institute yesterday. The president of FBCCI, Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed inaugurated the programme as chief guest while the bank’s managing director, Md Nazmus Salehin presided over the ceremony
Monday, April 21, 2014
Danish website turns homes into take-away restaurants n AFP, Copenhagen A Danish website is turning private homes into take-away restaurants by letting users advertise what they are cooking, when and for what price. “Sometimes I only put one serving up for sale, sometimes up to 20. It depends on what I’m making and how much time I have,” said Ana Teresa Salas, a 32-year-old consultant from Copenhagen. The website, Dinnersurfer.dk, is sometimes described as a restaurant version of the popular lodging site Airbnb, on which homeowners make their spare rooms or unoccupied dwellings available to paying lodgers for a fee. And just like on Airbnb, the cost to consumers is often considerably less than if they had used a professional service - with the added benefit that many of the homemade dishes may be healthier than the greasy fare typically available at take-out counters. “It sounded exciting. I make food for my family every day anyway, and I always make too much,” said Salas, who sells her food on the website two to three times a week. “On weekdays I try to make food that’s healthy, without too much starch and fat,” she added. On most days she makes food inspired by her father’s Argentinian background, which she sells for 35 kroner (4.70 euros, $6.50) per serving to her customers, most of whom are young and single. “When I make healthy dishes it’s mostly women, and when it’s pasta and so on it’s mostly men,” she said. Since being launched in February, the website has attracted 2,900 members, of whom 460 are registered as cooks, meaning they sell food.
Nearly all of them live in Denmark, where the website is especially popular in the trendy Copenhagen neighbourhoods of Noerrebro and Vesterbro, but the site’s founders are hoping it will go global after recently launching an English-language version. Earlier this month, another Danish take-away website, Just-eat.com, which allows users to order food from 36,000 restaurants in 13 countries, was valued at £1.47bn (1.78bn euros, $2.47bn) when it was floated on the London Stock Exchange 13 years after being founded. However, feeling peckish one night, the team behind Dinnersurfer - made up of two business students and a computer programmer - felt that regular take-away wasn’t what they were looking for.
“We were working quite late on another project and we were eating a lot of fast food, which we were getting really tired of,” said co-founder Kasper Kraegpoeth. “Where we were working, we could see a lot of other people cooking their own food and we thought: ‘Why can’t we just buy some of their food?’ “We thought it could be a fun idea if there could be a service that allowed people who want to sell food to find people who want to buy food. That’s how we came up with Dinnersurfer,” he said. Kraegpoeth’s last order was a chicken tikka masala for 30 kroner. “And that was with rice and naan bread,” he noted. The site recently added a function that allows cooks to register a signature dish which they are good at making, and the possibility for members to register their interest so that they know when it will be available. Otherwise, the only way of knowing what is on the menu is to check the website in real-time. A mobile app is currently being developed to facilitate ordering on the go. But not everyone is convinced that ordering food from strangers online is a good idea.
A taxing issue
While the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries regularly publishes inspection reports from the country’s restaurants, Dinnersurfer’s cooks operate without any supervision. On one Danish Internet forum, users questioned how buyers could know whether hygiene standards were being upheld and how the origin of the food could be verified. “We don’t supervise the cooks, but through our ratings system you can see if they have received good or bad reviews,” Kraegpoeth said. “So far we haven’t heard of anyone getting sick,” he added. On its Frequently Asked Questions page, the website has a mere two lines on tax regulation, telling users to check with the tax authority’s website if they have any further questions. “It’s up to the individual user to pay the right amount of tax,” Kraegpoeth said. So far, most sellers appear to be amateurs with little interest in turning their hobby into a full-time profession. “I relax and I feel creative,” said Salas, the consultant. “It’s not my goal to make money from this. I think it’s fun, and at best it will make my own food a bit cheaper,” she added. l
A model poses on a McLaren electric motorbike on display at the China International Exhibition Center during the "Auto China 2014" Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing yesterday. Leading automakers are gathering in Beijing for the kickoff of China's biggest car show, but lackluster growth and environmental restrictions in the world's largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased at the auto show, which opens to the public today AFP
Zynga seeks new harvest with mobile FarmVille game n AFP, San Francisco Social games pioneer Zynga on Thursday released a version of the hit “FarmVille” tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players. The San Francisco-based game maker set on its heels by a shift away from desktop computers is out to regain momentum with the mobile-format “Farmville 2: Country Escape” for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. “Just as the original ‘FarmVille’ created a global phenomena when it launched, we expect the same from ‘Country Escape,’” game general manager Jamie Davies told AFP while providing an early glimpse at the title. The original “FarmVille” will mark its fifth anniversary in June. More than 400 million people around the world have played the game, which has brought in more than a billion dollars in revenue for Zynga. “FarmVille really put social gaming on the map,” Davies said. “It has stood the test of time.” The new mobile version of the game was released globally in more than dozen languages. Since tens of millions of people still play “FarmVille” with friends at Facebook, the mobile version connects back to the leading social network. It also connects with Facebook rival Google+. However, the mobile version of the game gives people the option of playing FarmVille without friends for the
A pedestrian walks by the Zynga headquarters in San Francisco first time in the franchise, according to Zynga vice president of games Jonathan Knight. FarmVille is essentially what it sounds like, in that players feed livestock, nurture crops, craft goods and virtually tend to other aspects of country life. In the mobile version, “we’ve added more ways for players to team up together, help each other out and even
compete,” Davies said.
Zynga has made a priority of adapting games for lifestyles increasingly centered on smartphones and tablets. The new game takes advantage of touchscreen controls and play made bite-size to pop into spare moments in daily routines. “We know people like to pull their
Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay Facebook rolls out
‘nearby friends’ feature
n AFP, Rome Italy’s government on Friday said it had raised 371,400 euros ($513,200) so far in an eBay auction of luxury official cars in a symbolic effort to cut outrageous spending by ministries that has sparked public anger. The 52 cars sold were being used by the police, the fire brigade and the defence ministry and included five BMWs and two Audis, the government said in a statement. “The average final price was 7,142 euros,” it said. A total of 151 chauffeured cars will be auctioned off by May 16 in an initiative that has gained broad public support and was launched by centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shortly after coming to power in February. The cars yet to be sold include eight armoured Maseratis formerly used by
n AFP, San Francisco
Italy's government on Friday said it had raised 371,400 euros (US$513,200) so far in an eBay auction of luxury official cars in a symbolic effort to cut outrageous spending by ministries that has sparked public anger EBAY the defence ministry. A brand new Maserati can cost around 100,000 euros. The government said the official cars chosen for sale were “those that the public administration retains no longer essential for institutional ends”. As Italy struggles to recover from
a painful two-year recession, national and local authorities have been forced to cut down on thousands of official cars known as “auto blu” (blue cars) that have been for decades one of the many perks for the political class. l
Facebook on Thursday began rolling out a feature allowing users of its mobile app to use smartphone location to discover friends near them. The optional “nearby friends” feature “helps you discover which friends are nearby or on the go,” said product manager Andrea Vaccari in a blog announcement. “If you turn on Nearby Friends, you’ll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up,” Vaccari said. “For example, when you’re headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward.” With the feature, Facebook takes a page from other location-based services including the network Foursquare, numerous dating apps and the recently launched social network aggregator SocialRadar. With the Facebook feature, Vaccari said, “You can choose who can see if you’re nearby (for example: your friends, close friends, or a specific friends list) and you can turn it on and off at any time.” He added that the location sharing must be mutual: “You and your friends both have to turn on Nearby Friends
and choose to share with each other to see when you’re nearby. Your friends will only be able to see that you’re nearby if you share this info with them and vice versa.” Facebook will also allow users to share a precise location with the particular friends for a set period of time. “When you share your precise location, the friend you choose will see exactly where you are on a map, which helps you find each other,” said Vaccari. Facebook had an estimated 1.23 billion users at the end of December, and more than one billion who use the social network on a mobile device. The “nearby friends” feature will be available for Android and iPhone users in the United States over the coming weeks. l
phone out while in line at grocery store and fire up the game, quickly accomplish a goal and put the phone away again,” Knight said. Zynga in January bought mobile game and animation firm NaturalMotion for $527 million in a fresh reboot effort for the struggling social games pioneer. Chief executive Don Mattrick said at the time that Zynga had in place a solid foundation for growth and was “excited” about playing competitively in the mobile arena. Mattrick, who took over last year from co-founder Mark Pincus, said the company’s Casino program with realmoney gaming, and its Words With Friends game, were starting to deliver results. Zynga rose to stardom by tailoring games for Facebook, but the two firms have grown apart as Facebook develops new revenue streams and Zynga seeks new consumers. “We are really focused on growth and creating new hits on mobile,” Davies said. The new game is free to play, but people can spend money to speed up progress or for special farm items. Players can also form virtual co-ops and help one another out. “People will always love growing and nurturing and taking care of virtual living things,” Davies said of the enduring appeal of FarmVille. “The game is designed to be a place were our players can escape to for ever if they want to.” l
Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct n AFP, Washington The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday. The poll by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found 53% of new mobile phones activated by US customers were Android devices in the January-March period. Apple’s iOS, the platform used by the iPhone, accounted for 42%, the survey found. Windows and BlackBerry devices each accounted for one percent, while non-smartphones were just three percent, the research firm said. Late last year 20% bought a “basic” mobile phone. Research firm co-founder Mike Levin said Apple’s iPhone user base “grew a little faster than Android, from a smaller base, even though in absolute terms Android - used in Samsung phones - had a larger share. He added: “The long-term issue is where Android and iOS growth will come from when there are no more basic phones being retired. First-time smartphone buyers are key to that equation.” The report was based on a survey of 500 US adults, from April 1 to 6, who activated a new or used phone in the first three months of the year. l