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Boishakh 20, 1421 Rajab 3, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 33

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Narayanganj turns hotbed of abductions Abducted trader Saiful found near National Mausoleum in Savar, one still missing Sarkar and Ashif n Kailash Islam Shaon with Narayanganj Correspondent Before the incidents of horrific kidnaps of seven individuals and their grisly murders vanished from the memory of Narayanganj residents, fresh abductions and ransom demand hit the flashpoint. In the latest developments of such incident, a businessman got kidnapped Thursday night in the city on his way home, sending the city dwellers into a panic. Victim Saiful Islam, 35, owner of a departmental store, however, was rescued last night around 11:45pm from Nabinagar in Savar. Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police personnel rescued him 24 hours after his abduction from in front of the National Memorial. With the RAB and police close on their heels the abductors tossed blindfolded Saiful out of the microbus with his hands tied from behind.

P3 BNP SUPPORTS HARTAL Immediate after Saiful was rescued RAB personnel took him to the headquarters of the Rab-4 in the capital where he described his horrific experience. “None of them told me anything and they did not demand any ransom. They gave me only a piece of bread today (Friday) morning,” said Saiful. Saiful said he could not see the faces of any of the abductors as they had grabbed him from behind and perhaps five to six people whisked him off into a car from near Sanarpar Bus Stand between 9:30pm and 10pm Thursday when he was on his way home on foot. “I lost my consciousness soon after and later when I came back to my sense I found myself blindfolded and my hands tied from behind. But I could not recognise the place as I was confined to a room.” He said one of the abductors beat him up with a stick five to six times. Asked, he claimed that he could not guess for what he had been kidnapped and who might have been involved in the abduction. Meanwhile, at the press briefing, Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rah-

man, Director of Legal and Media Wing of the RAB, claimed that the abductors freed Saiful in the face of their massive operation and the RAB personnel could guess that Saiful had been kept on the Western side of the capital. Saifuil went missing from Siddhirganj’s Sign board area around 9pm Thursday. The abductors demanded a ransom of Tk10 lakh from the victim’s family. Victim’s wife, Afrin Sultana, said Saiful set out from his house for his workplace around 5pm Thursday. As he did not return home within 9pm and his cellphone was switched off, Saiful’s family was apprehensive that he was abducted on his way back home. They started searching for his whereabouts, but failed to trace him. “In the morning we filed a general diary with Siddhirganj police station in this connection,’’ said Afrin, who claimed that her husband had no enmity with anyone. “On Thursday he was about to receive money from an individual, who had borrowed that some days back. We asked that man whether he met Saiful, but he replied in the negative,” she said. The wife said around 2:30am yesterday, their shop manager, Hannan, received a call on his cellphone and the caller demanded Tk20 lakh.” “We suspect that Hannan is involved with the gang. If not, the abductors would make a call on my cellphone,” she argued. Earlier, the new abductions and apparent police failure so far to nab killers of the seven abductees sparked fresh street protest yesterday. Locals issued an ultimatum to the law enforcement agencies to rescue the abducted businessman by yesterday evening. As the lawmen failed to arrest any, angry mob tried to block the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in the evening. Police charged baton, lobbed tear gas canisters and fired blank shots to disperse them. A tense situation had been prevailing there. A large contingent of lawmen had been deployed in Sanarparh, Siddhirganj, Sign Board and Kachpur areas.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

Locals and relatives of abducted businessman Saiful Islam hold demonstration on the Dhaka-Narayanganj highway yesterday

24 abductions in last week, 8 found dead n Kailash Sarkar With the country still reeling from the panic after the abduction of seven people from Narayanganj, a rapid succesion of 12 more kidnappings have followed across the country. And within only just the space of a week, at least 24 people have reportedly been abducted across the country; while among those kidnapped, eight have been found dead, 11 rescued or found alive, while five have remained missing. The Narayanganj area has reportedly experienced the highest number of kidnappings in the recent days, with

the bodies of the seven abducted people found floating in Shitalakkhya River on April 29, just two days after their abductions. With Narayanganj residents already on the streets protesting the deaths of the seven, the district saw two more abductions: buying house employee Towhidur Rahman went missing on April 29, while businessman Saiful Islam was kidnapped on May 1. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said they suspected that the BNP and its allies might be behind the abductions and killings of people. The state minister, however, said

‘SPs, OCs to face music if abductions happen anymore’ Islam and Mohammad n Rabiul Jamil Khan

Jahanara Imam’s birth anniversary today n Tribune Report Today is the 85th birth anniversary of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam who lost her freedom fighter son Rumi in the liberation war and blazed a trail in the war crimes trial movement. Born this day in 1929, she died of cancer at 65 on June 26, 1994. Different organisations, including Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committtee (Committee for Uprooting Collaborators and Killers of 1971) she had founded on Jan 19, 1992, will organise various programmes marking her birthday. Under the banner of her organisation, she had led a strong movement demanding trial of all war criminals and a ban on all communal political partis, including Jamaat-e-Islami and its Islami Chhatra Shibir that opposed the birth of Bangladesh.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 3

Any superintendent, officer-in-charge or inspector of the police force will be transferred immediately if incidents of forced disappearance or abduction were to take place under their jurisdiction, the authority concerned has decided. A meeting at the Police Headquarters, chaired by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Hassan Mahmood Khandker, made the decision on April 30, a senior police official who attended the meeting told the Dhaka Tribune on condition of anonymity. Following the abduction of seven people including Narayanganj city councillor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarker on April 27, the Police Headquarters held several meetings and decided to launch special drives to nab the abductors. “We have asked our law enforce-

ment agencies to identify those involved in the incidents of forced disappearance and abduction, and arrest them immediately,” the IGP had told the Dhaka Tribune.

Following the abduction of seven people on April 27, the Police Headquarters held several meetings and decided to launch special drives to nab the abductors Sources said a special team of police was working to identify the abductors, while a deputy IGP under the Police Headquarters was monitoring the ac-

tivities of the team, which has been asked to submit daily reports on their progress. A special team of Rapid Action Battalion has also started working to investigate the incidents of abduction. “A special team is working in the field to investigate the incidents of disappearance and abduction,” Additional Director General of RAB Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan told the Dhaka Tribune. The special teams have so far arrested 41 persons across the country in connection with recent abductions. Of them, 11 people were arrested in Natore, two people in Tangail, and nine people were arrested in Comilla and Laxmipur, while three people were rescued. Meanwhile, work on installing CCTV cameras has started in Gabtoli, Gazipur, Jatrabari and Babu Bazar areas. CCTV monitoring will also be introduced in the areas experiencing a higher rate of abductions, sources said. l

INSIDE News

5 The National Mausoleum at Savar was erected to commemorate the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs in our liberation war. But the beauty of this place of national importance is being gradually ruined.

Nation

6 Thousands of fishermen and Irri-Boro farmers are struggling as all 20 small and big-sized rivers flowing through the district which they heavily rely on, have dried up.

World

7 Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters on Friday, killing two crew, as troops tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk and Moscow accused Kiev of launching a “criminal” assault that wrecked hopes of peace.

Op-Ed

11 An eerie sense of panic and insecurity is prevailing in the public mind, but we’re not sure whether our leaders can see this.

they would make arrests after being confirmed about the involvement of any BNP activist. Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rahman, director of RAB’s legal and media wing, said the elite force was working to rescue the abducted victims and to arrest the kidnappers. Meanwhile, the bullet-riddled body of a fisherman was found yesterday at Bhodra in the Sundarbans, three days after he had been abducted from Bagerhat’s Mongla. The fisherman, Luis Ijaradar alias Nishi, had been abducted allegedly by the gang of Dholu Bahini, a local gang of robbers.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 4

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Plain-clothes police drives suspended in Chittagong n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong In the wake of the recent spate of abductions across the country, the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) have decided to take special security measures to prevent any kidnapping from taking place in the port city. In a special meeting yesterday, senior officials of the CMP suspended all plain-clothes police drives in the city until further instruction; with the exception of some special cases where  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1


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DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Asaduzzaman: BNP instigating abduction

BOI AND PRIVATISATION COMMISSION MERGER

Government forms 7-member committee

n Rabiul Islam

Committee to enact law and submit report within three months to do so in the past two years, official n Tribune Report sources said, adding that officials of the The government has formed a seven-member committee to make recommendations on merger of the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Privatisation Commission in order to slash state expenditure. The two agencies have earned notoriety for ineffectiveness over the years and the government has no choice but to amalgamate those, said a senior official of the cabinet division, adding the division would go for the merger after receiving recommendations from the committee. The cabinet division issued a circular on April 30 for forming a seven-member merger proposal preparation committee headed by Additional Secretary M Mainuddin. The other six was to come from the Privatisation Commission, BOI, public administration division, Prime Minister’s Office and cabinet division. According to the circular, the committee would enact a new law on merger of the two agencies, submit a report within three months and would prepare a coordinated administrative structure. In the first week of April, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to the cabinet division which said merger of the two agencies would be good for the development of the country’s investment and business sectors and asked the cabinet division to take necessary steps. Hasina is the ex officio chairman of the two bodies. The BOI and the Privatisation Commission were supposed to play a pivotal role in attracting foreign and local investments in the country but failed

agencies were now sitting idle. The Privatisation Commission officials, however, said the ministries and divisions did not pay heed to the suggestions of the two bodies which was why they could not work to attract investments. They said both the bodies had to wait for Prime Minister’s intervention in most cases. For long, there have differences between ministries and the Privatisation Commission regarding privatisation of state-owned enterprises under the ministries. The commission has always alleged that the ministries have never taken any initiative to ensure profits for the firms that have been operating at a loss. In 1993, the government formed the Privatisation Board which was turned into the Privatisation Commission in 2000. At present, a total of 70 officials and workers work at the commission Although the government spent Tk17 crore in the last four years, no public firms were privatised during the period. The BOI, on the other hand, was established in 1989 to grow local and foreign investments in the country. The board began its journey with 495 employees and of them, 359 posts now lie vacant. According to a World Bank study, the private sector investment declined by 1.2% in 2013 and reaching 7.2% growth rate as per the government’s target in the current fiscal is at risk. According to the BOI, investments rose a little in last January but went down by Tk30 billion in February. l

Plain-clothes police  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

plain-clothes teams – accompanied by some uniformed police personnel – will be able to carry out drives with special permission from the police deputy commissioner concerned, said CMP sources. If any plain-clothes police team from outside the Chittagong metropolitan area want to conduct drives in the port city, they will have to inform the DC, said CMP Spokesperson Babul Akhter, also the additional deputy commissioner of CMP’s Detective Branch. The meeting at the CMP Headquarters, chaired by CMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam, also instructed city residents to notify local police stations if they spotted any plain-clothes police

teams carrying out drives. Sources also said any plain-clothes police teams will have to ensure their proper identities while boarding a civilian vehicle. Surveillance is being increased at the port city’s entrances, while car owners have been instructed to remove tinted glasses from their vehicles. Yesterday’s CMP meeting was also attended by Banaz Kumar Majumder, additional commissioner (crime and operation) and AKM Shahidur Rahman, additional commissioner (administration, finance and traffic), along with all CMP deputy commissioners, additional deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and officers-in-charge under the jurisdiction of the CMP. l

Wife of businessman Saiful Islam holds a picture of her husband after filing a general diary with the police yesterday. Story on Front Page DHAKA TRIBUNE

‘Real progress made after Rana Plaza disaster’ n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman British Minister of State in the Department for International Development Alan Duncan said on Wednesday that genuine progress had been made in the country’s readymade garment sector following the Rana Plaza collapse. “We want to see continued growth, rather than boycott or abandonment, so that the sector continues to flourish as an important part of the economy, thus increasing the number of safer and better jobs for women in particular,” he said at a parliamentary debate on Rana

As the news of abduction spread across the city in the morning, hundreds of people including businessmen and relatives of the victims took to the streets in Sanarpara area at noon, demanding immediate rescue of the “abductee”. Vehicular movement on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway remained suspended for an hour till 1pm as locals put barricades at different points, protesting the abduction. The protesters withdrew themselves from the highway around 1pm after issuing an ultimatum to the lawmen. They also threatened to take a tough line if the law enforcers failed to rescue Saiful within the given time. Police detained Hannan for interrogation. Earlier, the bodies of Narayanganj city councillor Nazrul Islam, senior lawyer Chandan Sarkar and five others were found floating in the Shitalakkhya river on Wednesday and Thursday. The seven were kidnapped in broad daylight in Narayanganj on Sunday. The incident led to removal of several top administrative officials of Narayanganj, including the deputy commissioner, police superintendent and RAB commander.

Missing of Buying House Official

Meanwhile, the family of a buying house employee who lived in Siddhirganj alleged that he had been missing since April 30. The family of the missing buying house official, Taiubur Rahman, 37, alleged that Taibur had been missing since April 30. The abductee’s father, Ekhlasur Rah-

man, said on the fateful day his son went to his workplace in the city’s Mirpur. His cellphone has since remained switched off. On April 16, BELA Chief Syeda Rizwana Hasan’s husband Abu Bakar Siddique was abducted from Fatulla, Narayanganj. He was released 30 hours later.

No Headway in Abduction cases

Newly appointed Narayanganj Police Superintendent Kha Muhid Uddin yesterday admitted that they were yet to trace the killers of the seven who were abducted and killed. “But the investigation is going on fast. We are taking into consideration the victims’ social, political and economical positions in the interest of investigation,” he said. He said police had also been interrogating some suspects. They had also talked to the wife of deceased ward councilor to find any clue. About Saiful’s abduction, Muhid Uddin said they would try to rescue him in the shortest possible time. Meanwhile, additional Deputy Inspector General of Police (Dhaka Range) Khandokar Golam Faruque said they had contacted the Border Guard Bangladesh and the immigration police to make sure that no suspect could flee the country.

Home boss wants calm first

About the abductions and murders of seven individuals, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan said the law enforcers would not be able to arrest the killers till the situation in Narayan-

towards the goal of building a healthy, safe and sustainable garment sector in Bangladesh that benefits everyone.” Speaking of compensation of workers, Duncan said Primark and some other British companies had made contributions. “I use this opportunity today to ask other UK firms to step up and contribute in order to help Rana Plaza workers,” he said, adding: “I urge all brands, companies and retailers to think about their sourcing practices and to introduce more transparency of supply chains.” l

Jahanara Imam birth anniversary today  PAGE 1 COLUMN 1

According to a communique signed by 101 personalities during the formation of the Committee, “We will try Ghulam Azam on the Gonoadalot (People’s Court) if the government does not try him for genocide and war crimes.” The communique had also called for banning Jamaat-Shibir to rid the country’s politics of communal poison. She had formed Muktijuddher Chetona Bastobayon-Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee along with all political parties, social, cultural, professional, students, women and freedom fighters organisation on March 26, 1992.

Narayanganj turns hotbed of abductions  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

Plaza at the UK House of Commons. The whole world was shocked by Rana Plaza tragedy, the country’s deadliest industrial accident, last year as more than 1,100 people were killed and another 2,500 were injured in the incident. Duncan visited Dhaka last month, the second after the disaster, to see progress in the garment sector. He said a new labour law had been introduced that would allow greater freedom of association and would increase occupational health and safety for workers. “The UK will continue to support work

ganj turned normal. “We understand that if we can arrest 2-4 of the accused, the situation in Narayanganj will turn normal. But those who we want to arrest have fled. So, we need to get the situation calm first,” he told the Dhaka Tribune over phone. Asked, why the criminals could not be arrested by this time, he said the lawmen were trying. “It is wrong if you think we did not try. Since the beginning, the abductions have been the highest priority,” he said.

Lawyers call hartal, BNP backs

The Narayanganj District Lawyers’ Association called a dawn-to-dusk strike tomorrow to protest against the abductions and murders. On the other hand the BNP has lent its moral support to the strikers. BNP Spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday told this to the press at the party’s Gulshan office yesterday. “Our lawyers will be there during the hartal.”

Bar Council Announces Programmes

The Bar Council will observe various programmes including procession with black flags on May 4, protest rally on May 5 and May 7, human chain on May 6 and token hunger strike on May 8 in all Bar Associations across the country. The institute Vice-Chairman, Khandker Mahbub Hossain, also an adviser to the BNP chairperson, announced the programmes at a press briefing at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium yesterday. l

That organisation had held the trial of Ghulam Azam as symbolic at Suhrawardy Udyan when over 5,00,000 people attended regardless of all threats. “The current trial of the war crimes is a result of Jahanara Imam’s movement and to foil it, Jamaat has begun conspiring at home and abroad,” said the Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee yesterday in a press release yesterday. The Committee will begin its daylong programme today through paying respects to her by placing flowers at her grave at Dhaka’s Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard.

It will hold a discussion on obstacles and successes of Jahanara Imam’s movement at Bilia Auditorium (House-22, Road-7) in Dhaka’s Dhanmandi at 4pm. Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq will attend the discussion as the chief guest, with the Committee’s Advisor Justice Syed Amirul Islam in the chair. Acting President of the Committee Shahriar Kabir, Sectors Commanders’ Forum’s acting Chairman KM Shafiullah, Bir Uttam, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad President Ayesha Khanam, among others, speak at the discussion. l

24 abductions in last week, 8 found dead  PAGE 1 COLUMN 5

In Noakhali’s Begumganj, 42-year-old businessman Abul Bashar was abducted yesterday from the house of one Foyez contractor in Alaiyapur union parishad, with the kidnappers reportedly demanding a Tk5 lakh ransom. Elsewhere in Gazipur, tenth-grade student Ashraful Islam Dipu was rescued by the Armed Police Battalion from Tangail on May 1, a day after his abduction from Meerergaon in the district. Also on the same day, another ninthgrade student named Mobarak Hossain Raqib was left abandoned near his home in Gazipur’s Shreepur upazila by his kidnappers, a week after his abduction. Raqib’s younger brother was also kidnapped and killed earlier last month. On April 29, gold trader Kedari Chandra Mondol and his brother Jhilmohan Mondol were freed by their kidnappers at Baroipara in Gazipur, only 16 hours after they had been kidnapped by a gang guised as policemen. In Naogaon, locals detained 11 suspected abductors yesterday while they were attempting to kidnap fabrics trader Bazlur Rashid, 27, from Moiyanam Bazar in Manda upazila. On April 30, garment worker Mobarak Hossain was rescued by Detective Branch personnel in Tangail, three days after his abduction from Gazipur, while five suspects were arrested in connection with the abduction. Businessman Abdul Jabbar, who was abducted on 29 April from Tangail’s Mirzapur, was found from the

capital’s Kakrail yesterday. In Feni, woods trader Yusuf Miah was abducted on April 30 from the court area in Feni town, said his family members on May 1 at a press conference at Feni Press Club. Yusuf’s son said his father was abducted when he had gone to Feni in connection with a case related to a land feud. In Jamalpur, a 27-year-old Power Development Board employee named Ali al-Razi alias Ridoy was rescued from Singhajani High School in the town yesterday afternoon, six hours after he had been abducted by unidentified criminals, who had demanded Tk50,000 from his family. In Kurigram, at least two members of the detective branch of police and one of their informants were arrested in connection with the abduction of an NGO official named Maidul Islam, who was rescued by law enforcers. On April 27, Milestone College student Rajeeb was freed in Tangail after his father paid kidnappers Tk24 lakh, while RAB members managed to arrest nine members of the kidnapping gang, including a cousin of the victim. Madrasa student Zakir Hossain, who was abducted from Gulistan on April 25, was rescued from Narayanganj’s Rupganj upazila on April 30; while two people were arrested in this connection. In the capital’s Uttara, businessman Shamsul Islam alias Solaiman, 40, was allegedly kidnapped on April 25 by people posing as law enforcers, claimed his wife Salma Islam. l

State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan said Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is instigating the incidents of abduction and disappearance in the country. After the threatening statements of BNP leaders, the incidents of disappearance and abduction across the country have increased. On April 27, seven people including Narayanganj city councillor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarker were abducted, and two days later their bodies were recovered from the river Sitalakhya. When asked whether BNP leaders and activists were involved in the abductions, the state minister said it could be confirmed after finishing the investigations. Those who have been abducted and killed are loyal to Awami League and the lawyer who was abducted and killed is a good man and people respect him, he mentioned. Why BNP leaders and activists have not been arrested yet? Asaduzzamam told the Dhaka Tribune over phone that the matter is under investigation, and we would arrest them after confirmation. When asked on progress of the investigation of abduction in Narayanganj, the state minister said the effort is on to arrest the abductors. One person was arrested in connection with another case of abduction in Narayanganj on Thursday. “I hope there would be a clue for investigation of the abductions in Narayanganj,” Khan claimed. On Thursday Saiful Islam, a business man, was abducted, and Hanan, a manager of a shop was arrested in connection with the abduction. Meanwhile, Ministry of Home Affairs has banned the use of tinted glass in micro buses. The ministry has already issued an order in this regard. Sources at the Ministry of Home said such decision was taken at a meeting in 2003. At that time, the intelligence agencies were kept out of bound of the decision. But the decision was not implemented and duly followed up. Seeking anonymity, a senior official at the Ministry of Home said: “I have found the decision in a document but I could not find any office order. It is true that the decision lost its effect in course of time.” But there will be no problem if new decision is taken; the official said adding that the people are being abducted in broad daylight. l

Dr Kamal for citizens' committees in every upazila n UNB Gono Forum Chairman Dr Kamal Hossain has called for forming citizens committees in all upazilas of the country to organise citizens for a nationwide movement against the “sick politics” practised by the two main parties. “People want to see a working democracy, accountability, and the rule of law prevails. They want to see the security of life and property provided by the state,” he said. “If these are being undermined we need a unified assertion that challenges the process through which it is happening.” Dr Kamal, the architect of the country’s constitution, professed his unassailable faith in the power of the people to be agents of change, against the efforts of the main political parties to “capture the state,” that yields fundamentally undemocratic actions such as the January 5 election. “Take those who were denied their right to franchise in January. This is a minimum expectation for anyone living in a democracy. It showed total contempt for people’s rights, contempt for public opinion,” he said. “Through citizens’ committees we can articulate what we have lost with our right to vote being taken away,” he said, keen to point out that the denial of the right to vote was not a “BNP issue. It is true for everybody.” The Gono Forum president went on to bemoan in the influence of black money in politics. “The electoral process has long been undermined by the injection of money, especially the influx of black money into the campaign-financing process,” said the architect of Bangladesh’s first post-independence Constitution. Dr Kamal described the High Court judgement based on which the caretaker government provision was removed from the Constitution as “peculiar,” but said it would be unwise to blame the judgement only. l


DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, May 3, 2014

3

Clockwise from top left: Thousands of people join the namaj-e-janaza of panel mayor Nazrul Islam in Narayanganj yesterday. Protesters set fire to the office of Nur Hossain, the prime accused of the murder case. Protesters burn tyres and bamboo sticks on the road while supporters of slain panel mayor takes our a demonstration in the district town yesterday RAJIB DHAR

DPDC yet to begin prepaid meter installation n Aminur Rahman Rasel The state-owned Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) is yet to install even a single prepaid meter out of a total of 5,000 that are supposed to be installed by May. With a view to putting an end to harassment of consumers and ensuring 100% revenue collection in advance, 10,000 single-phase prepaid meters will be installed under the Azimpur Network Operation and Customer Services division as part of the pilot project. Of the meters, 5,000 are supposed to be installed by May and the rest by September this year.

Areas in the pilot project include Dayra Sharif, Eden College, Salimullah orphanage, government quarters in Azimpur and its adjacent areas. On February 9 this year, the DPDC and Bangladesh Diesel Plant (BDP) Limited, a commercial enterprise under the management of Bangladesh Army, inked a deal on installation of prepaid meters in the DPDC area for the first time. On September 7, 2005, the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco) introduced locally made prepaid meter system in the capital’s Uttara but failed to start the main project. Under the pilot project,

Desco installed 14,000 meters back then. A DPDC official said a prepaid meter would cost a consumer Tk8,000 that could be paid in monthly installments in eight years. “The DPDC board will fix the cost of prepaid meter which is yet to be finalised. We hope we will begin installing meters from this month,” director of the project AHM Mohiuddin told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He said it was a win-win situation for the DPDC as well as customers because it would bring a number of benefits to both parties. Upfront payments, improved cash flow, decreased non-technical

losses, lower overhead expenses and protection against meter tampering are the benefits the company would enjoy following installation of the new meters, he explained. “We are trying our best to reduce system loss and to save consumers from the hassle of getting new connections,” DPDC Managing Director Md Nazrul Hasan told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “Meters will be imported from China-based Wasion Group on May 6 and installation would start afterwards. It, however, would be difficult to complete the whole process by May,” he said. “Other Network Operation and

Customer Services divisions will be brought under the prepaid meter system gradually,” he added. A consumer will have to buy a smart card from the Network Operation and Customer Services division and deposit an amount against the card. It will then have to be inserted into the slot of the meter which will enable electricity supply. The DPDC will establish 36 vending stations for selling the smart cards. Those could also be recharged from the stations. The company, which began commercial operation in Dhaka City Corporation on July 1, 2008, has nine lakh consumers at present. l

Two bodies found in capital BNP backs Narayanganj hartal n Ashif Islam Shaon

Police recovered two bodies of unknown men from the city’s Mirpur Flyover and Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on Thursday night and early yesterday. Police said both of the victims’ bodies had been run over by several vehicles after they were dumped on the road. The body in Mirpur was unclothed. Police suspect that he was murdered and dumped on the street. Officer-in-Charge of Cantonment police station Atiqur Rahman said the body was recovered around 8:15pm on Thursday from the Matikata area. “The man, aged around 50, might have been dumped from a moving car. We have found several injuries which indicated that he was killed before he was dumped. Some speeding cars also hit the body on the street,” he said. The body has been sent to the Dhaka Medical College morgue. Police are trying to ascertain his identity. Morgue sources said the body bore a number of stab wounds on the hands,

head and legs. Police recovered another body from in front of the Bangabandhu International Conference Center early yesterday. The body was sent to the DMCH morgue. Police claimed that the middle-aged man was run over by a speeding car. Later, several cars ran over the body, turning it into a grisly scene. “The body parts were recovered from the road. We could not even clearly identify whether it was a man or woman. We found torn pieces of clothes which indicated that the victim was a male,” he said. Police collected the body parts in a sack. Sub-Inspector Mohammad Shahjahan of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station said they found the mangled body of the unidentified man around 1am Friday and later sent it to the morgue at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. “We are yet to be sure whether the body was left on the road after his murder or it got damaged after it had been run over by vehicles,” he said. l

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

The BNP has extended its moral support to the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by local lawyers association in Narayanganj for Sunday in protest at recent abductions and forced disappearances. “Our lawyers have already extended their support to the hartal. As a party of people, the BNP has lent its moral support to the hartal called in protest at killings, abductions and forced disappearances,” party’s Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a press briefing held at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office yesterday. He also put 10 propositions to the party leaders and activists and asked them to be alert to any sort of untoward incidents. While making the suggestions, Fakhrul asked the party leaders and activists of all tiers to follow the “organisational red alert” issued by the BNP chief earlier. Pointing at the recent abductions

and killings, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday said she would take to the streets herself as part of a move to ensure the security of the people. “No one is safe now,” she added. Fakhrul said: “We want cooperation from the people to ensure the security of the common people. We urge them to stage protests and build resistance. We want a safe and democratic society. So, come and get united.” “There is no guarantee of normal death in the country and even there is no certainty whether the victims’ families will get the bodies, but the government claims that the law and order situation is normal. Even some persons in the government are blaming the opposition party.” About Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s allegation that those who want to oust the government by clandestine attack are killing and abducting people, Fakhrul said, “This sort of statement has been made just to make people fool, but people know who are doing these things.”

Relatives of Naogaon abduction accused deny allegation n Tribune Online Report The family members of the eleven accused persons, who were earlier sent to jail for their involvement with the abduction of a businessman, have denied the allegation citing that the incident took place centring the victim’s manpower export business. The family members claimed that the businessman Bazlur Rashid ran a

manpower export business besides his cloth trading and he cheated the accused with false promises of sending them abroad. They also added that Bazlur took money from one of the accused, Sri Sujon Kumer, and did not return the amount back despite several promises. Sujon’s uncle Rafiq told the Dhaka Tribune: “Bazlu took Tk 220,000 from Sujon alluring him with a job abroad

some two years back. But, he never received his job offer. After several arbitrations, we understood that we have been cheated. Later a local mediation fixed that our money would be returned on Thursday [April 30]. As per the promise, our relatives went to get the money.” Claiming that Bazlu was trying to escape the scene when Sujon along with others reached his place, he add-

ed: “People from our side caught Bazlu and tried to take him to nearby police station using the tinted-glass microbus. But, Bazlu’s people assaulted our people and handed them over to police claiming that they were trying to abduct him.” Rafiq also claimed that they have a written document that contained the record of money transaction. However, Bazlu denied the allegations. l

The propositions include creating awareness among people and building resistance against killings and abductions and avoiding single movement and unsafe places. Leaders were asked to look after the party activists and work to ensure the security of the common people and maintain mutual contacts. Party leaders and activists were asked to collect the phone numbers of journalists, rights activists and law enforcement agencies. “If any untoward incident takes place, inform the party leaders and activists of it. Keep regular contact with the central office of BNP and report on every single incident.” “If any news on abduction is heard, gather at the spot and try to resist jointly. If anyone tries to pick up anyone in the name of law enforcement agencies, be sure of their identity and try to know about the whereabouts of the detainee.” “If anyone poses as law enforcers, try to resist him and hand them over to police.” l

Suranjit for preventing abduction, killing n Emran Hossain Shaikh Senior Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta has called on the government to prevent incidents of killing, forced disappearance and abduction, saying those are not pleasant to democracy. “Such incidents cannot be accepted at all. The administration has no scope to take a soft stance on these and the government must show zero tolerance for the culprits. Terrorists, no matter how influential they are, should be brought to book,” Suranjit, a member of Awami League advisory body, said while addressing a discussion at Diploma Engineers Institution in the capital yesterday. Referring to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, he said she and her party were involved in initiating the ill politics of killing and abduction. “You and your party have started this and the ill politics is now producing poisonous fruits and obstructing democracy,” Suranjit said. “Ziaur Rahman is the father of the politics characterised by killing and abduction. The BNP released the killers of Bangabandhu and other killers with indemnity. Now Khaleda has no right to criticise killing and abduction,” he added. Suranjit urged the government to protect democracy and uproot the poisonous tree of ill politics planted by the BNP. He called on all to stand against killing and abduction by taking a neutral position. Criticising Khaleda’s Thursday’s statement, in which she said movement would be waged against the government, Suranjit said all her previous ultimatums were in vain and she would fail again this time. Awami League leader Haji Mohammad Selim, Mozaffar Hossain Paltu, Foyez Uddin Miah addressed the discussion among others. l


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DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Institute of Public Health jolted by illegal power lines IPH currently has around Tk1.5 crore outstanding bill to Desco

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal Rampant siphoning of electricity by illegal power subscribers residing inside the premises of Mohakhali’s Institute of Public Health (IPH) has caused the electricity bill of the institute to skyrocket, as well as put a strain on the production of essential healthcare products. Many of households inside the IPH premises have been set up without any proper permission, with all of them allegedly consuming electricity from the institute’s main power line.

‘Monthly electricity bill of average Tk20 lakh could be cut down by at least 40-50% if the illegal lines were disconnected’ As a result, the IPH has to bear the burden of the bill racked up by the illegal power consumers. The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the IPH currently has around Tk1.5 crore as outstanding bill to the Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco), which has repeatedly sent letters requesting that the bills be cleared off. A Desco team has also visited the IPH twice in the past week to disconnect the power line. However, the IPH is unable to pay the outstanding bill because of fund shortage, and the authority concerned has already sought Tk2.5 crore from the Health Ministry to meet various expenses including the outstanding electricity bill. Seeking anonymity, several senior

IPH officials told the Dhaka Tribune that the monthly electricity bill – averaging around Tk20 lakh – could be cut down by at least 40-50% if the illegal lines were disconnected. Dr Subimal Sinha Choudhury, director of the IPH, told the Dhaka Tribune that he has sent official letters to the Desco officials for disconnecting the illegal lines, adding that the IPH would provide necessary assistance in identifying the households that siphon power. There are allegations that the illegal residences have been set up on the IPH premises by an unscrupulous section of health directorate employees, who use goons to collect utility bills from the residents, but keep the money in their own pockets. Those living in the houses also allegedly use illegal gas connection to do their cooking. With load shedding becoming frequent again during recent times, the IPH is facing a setback in its production of intravenous fluid, blood bags and diagnostic reagents. The institute has reportedly asked Desco to ensure that there was no load shedding during daytime after 11am, as it needs uninterrupted power supply for manufacturing more than 7,000 bags of saline in the intravenous fluid section. An official of the IPH said load shedding on April 23 caused around 1,000 bags of saline to become spoiled during production. Although the IPH has its own power generator, it reportedly does not run because of low gas pressure. After taking office in January, Health Minister Mohammed Nasim had announced that a drive would be carried out at the IPH to evict illegal established; but that announcement was yet to be implemented. l

Members of Kendriya Khelaghar Asar form a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday, demanding arrest and punishment for the killers of Trisha

Government plans to establish country’s first freelancing training institute n Muhammad Zahidul Islam The government is planning to establish the country’s first freelancing training institute from its own funds, said sources in the Information Communication Technology division of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunication and Information Technology. Already, the authorities of Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority of the ICT division has finalised an organogram for the institute, which will be forwarded to the planning ministry for approval. Following the approval, they will move forward to secure the funds for the project. “We have already finalized the PPNB (Program Proposal for Non-rev-

50% power generation to come from coal by 2030 n UNB Bangladesh has adopted a master plan in the power sector giving coal a dominant source as primary fuel for the country’s 50% power generation by 2030. The new strategy for the country’s latest “Power System Master Plan 2010” has been prepared recently with the financial support and technical assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica). Japan has been showing special interest in Bangladesh’s development and has already financed a number of projects in the power and communications sectors. Official sources said the country had chosen the coal as its prime fuel source after a comprehensive study conducted by Jica, which revealed that in the next decades, only coal will be the available and reliable fuel source with stable and cheaper price. As per the master plan, the coun-

try’s power generation will reach over 40,000MW against a demand of 38,000MW by 2030, where half of the generation will come from domestic and imported coal-fired power plants. “Especially coal will be an important resource as the primary energy supply in Bangladesh due to its price stability and lower volatility compared with oil and natural gas, longer reserve to production ratio compared with oil and natural gas, and its widespread availability throughout the world, and is expected to be supplied stably,” the master plan says. It also forecast that natural gas supply will drop after 2017 while coal supply will rise as an alternative source of natural gas. In the master plan, the target composition of power supply as of 2030 has been set at 50% for domestic and imported coal; 25% for domestic and imported (in the form of LNG) natural gas; and 25% for other sources such as oil, nuclear power and renewable energy.

MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

As part of the newly evolved strategy, the government has initiated move to set up a number of coal-fired power plants in public and private sector. Contracts have been signed by the government to award the projects to the sponsors and contractors for implementation. These include 1,320MW coal-fired plant at Rampal in Bagerhat with Indian NTPC; 1,320MW plant at Patuakhali with a Chinese company; and 1,320MW plant at Maheshkhali. Jica has been conducting a comprehensive study to create a coal-fired power plant in Matarbari area of Cox’s Bazar where the government has planned to create a hub of 9,000MW coal-fired power plant. As per the recommendation of Jica, officials said the government had already set up a state-owned commercial entity – Bangladesh Coal Power Generation Company Ltd – which will implement the future power plants in Matarbari area. l

enue Budget) from our side which we will send to the planning ministry within a week,” Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority Managing Director Hosne Ara Begum told the Dhaka Tribune last week. Saying that the establishment of a primary level freelance institute will require only Tk10 crore, she also said the authorities have bigger plans for the institute after its establishment. This institute will be established at Natore, the home town of the ICT division’s state minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak. Earlier, the junior minister requested the World Bank representatives to establish a freelance institute in the

Ring of muggers busted n Our Correspondent, Chittagong

Detective Branch of Chittagong Metropolitan Police nabbed five members of a ring of muggers, who were involved in mugging and theft in different points of Chittagong city’s Halishahar area early yesterday.

‘The ring members were experts in stealing any kind of vehicle from garage and workshop within a very short time’ The DB personnel also found a toy pistol, three machetes, a Chinese machete, eight mobile phones and some equipment of cutting rod and grille from their possession, said a press release. The arrestees are Alauddin Sagar, 26, Md Shahid alias Shahidullah, 50, Mohammad Monir, 29, Mohammad Manjur, 36, and Akbar Ali, 30, said Ba-

BCL man loses leg n Our Correspondent, Comilla

Activists of Bigyan Andolan Mancha form a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday, demanding punishment for those responsible for the recent question paper leak in public examinations MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

country at Natore when they visited him in the last week of January. Although the World Bank representatives gave their assurances, ICT division started its own initiatives before even receiving a reply from the global donor, sources said. Hosne Ara further added that 1.46 acres of land has been acquired for the institute in Natore and expressed hope that another 5 acres will be allocated by the government to make a fully-fledged institute. Sources said, ICT division secretary Md Nazrul Islam Khan was keen interested to establish the freelancing institute at Natore. Earlier, ICT ministry established

A Bangladesh Chhatra League activist lost a leg, while 20 were injured, during a clash between two local Awami League groups at the Hasnabad market in the Manoharganj upazila, Comilla. According to the local sources, two groups of Awami League activists of Ashiadari village got involved in an argument while sitting at a tea stall in the Hasnabad market on late Wednesday afternoon. Later in the evening they fought, leaving five injured. On Thursday afternoon, when the Chhatra League activists Jewel Rana and Dukhu Mia from South Ashiadari went to North Ashiadari, the local Chhatra League activists attacked them and severed one of Jewel’s legs. Jewel was taken to Laksham Health Complex but later shifted to the Comilla Medical College Hospital. The two factions again locked in a clash yesterday at the Hasnabad Bazar, where 15 more people were injured. Md Harun-or-Rashid Chowdhury, OC of the Manoharganj police station, said two have been arrested in this regard, but no case has been filed yet. l

bul Akhter, additional deputy commissioner of DB. He told the Dhaka Tribune that several teams of the DB conducted separate drives in the area around 1:30am following a tip-off and nabbed the five muggers. He termed the ring “all-rounders” for their versatile criminal activities. In primary interrogation, the DB found that Sagar was a hawker in the port city’s Free Port area, Shahid, ring leader, and Monjur were auto-rickshaw drivers, Monir was a micro-bus driver, and Ali Akbar was a cohort of the ring leader. The ring members were experts in stealing any kind of vehicle from garage and workshop within a very short time, the ADC added. However, another member of the mugger ring, who was carrying a light gun for mugging, could not be nabbed. The DB men were continuing drives to nab him, he said. The arrestees were handed over to the Halishahar police station and a case was lodged with the police station in this connection. l

an IT park in Jessore, which is Nazrul Islam Khan’s home town and also the electoral constituency of former ICT minister Mostafa Faruque Mohammad. Nazrul Islam Khan also somehow managed to declare Jessore as a digital district. Earlier, the ministry also adopted a project for constructing the Borendra silicon city at a cost of Tk373.16 crore when Md Abdul Wadud was the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on ICT ministry of the ninth parliament. Sources also added that Abdul Wadud was not interested in building the silicon city in his city but the secretary somehow influenced his decision. l

Nine Jamaat activists arrested n Our Correspondent, Munshiganj At least nine Jamaat-e-Islami activists were detained during a police drive in Munshiganj’s Shologhar area on Thursday night. Police said the drive was conducted on a tip-off, adding that the Jamaat activists hurled crude bombs at the law enforcers on sensing their presence. Police also recovered 11 crude bombs from the scene. Officer-in-Charge Sheikh Mahbubur Rahman said the arrested were Mohammad Laknur Rahman, president of the Shramik Kalyan Federation of Jamaat, activists Mohammad Chandu Mia, Mosharaf Sheikh, Ali Nur, Shamim Molla, Omar Faruk Molla, Hatem Ali, Selim Sheikh. The meeting was being held at the house of Mosharaf Sheikh, the OC said, adding that the process of filing a case was underway. l

Tea labourers threaten to go on strike on May 21 n Our Correspondent, Moulvibazar Tea labourers have threatened to go on strike for an indefinite period on May 21 if their six-point demand are not met by May 20. Bangladesh Tea Labourers Union (BTLU), the only recognised organisation supporting tea labourers in the country, gave the ultimatum to the government and tea garden owners in a BTLU meeting at Bharaura tea estate in Srimangal, Moulvibazar on May Day. The union also announced a series of programmes to press home their demands to the authorities. Ram Bhajan Koiri, general secretary of BTLU, read out the six points of their demand in the meeting, which were: BTLU election by May 20; a new deal regarding wage and other benefits for tea labourers between the existing BTLU committee Bangladeshiyo Cha Sangsad – the organisation of tea garden owners; a raise of daily wage from Tk69 at present to Tk200; re-launch

of tea-garden education trust; and stipend for tea-labourer welfare trust. They also talked about others issues they wanted to be resolved by May 20. Earlier in a rally held in Sylhet town two weeks ago, Joy Mahato Kormokar, president of Cha Sramik Sangha, another tea labourers’ organisation, demanded the daily wage for tea labourers to be fixed at Tk300, along with the provision for revision every six months and extension of all wage and nonwage benefits to the seasonal workers. It is to be noted that the last BTLU election was held in 2008 and the agreement between BTLU committee and Cha Sangsad was made the next year. There is also a provision in the agreement that states it would be revised every two years to cater to the tea garden workers’ interests. Ram told the Dhaka Tribune that, as a registered organisation, BTLU had followed all norms and rules before launching the movement. l


DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

5

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Illegal establishments occupy National Mausoleum n Our Correspondent, Savar The National Mausoleum at Savar was erected to commemorate the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs in our liberation war. But the beauty of this place of national importance is being gradually ruined by some influential people with the aid of unscrupulous government officials.

There are around one hundred temporary shops in front of the main entrance of the mausoleum In a recent visit to the place, this reporter saw that around five hundred illegal shops have been set up alongside the boundary wall of the mausoleum. Locals complained that the public officials and the police are jointly involved in operating these illegal businesses. Sources said there are around five shops alongside the boundary wall of the mausoleum which are being run at the behest of the Asulia unit of the Bangladesh Hawkers’ League, the ruling party’s hawker wing. Every day the shops have to pay a sum of Tk70 as subscription in the names of leaders and activists of the organisation. It includes Tk30 as electricity bill, Tk20 as security fee, and Tk20 as daily rent. Sumon, one of the shopkeepers told the Dhaka Tribune that he, along with all the other traders, has to pay the amount to the leaders of the organisa-

6 hurt as DU students clash with police n DU Correspondent At least six people were injured in a clash between Dhaka University students and the law enforcers at the Nilkhet intersection over the alleged assault of a DU student, yesterday. Police said Mukit, a second-year Bangla student at DU and resident of the AF Rahman Hall, and Saifullah, assistant sub-inspector at the New Market police station, got involved in an altercation over a trivial matter in Nilkhet around 2pm while they were having lunch at a restaurant. At one point of the scuffle, Mukit called two of his classmates to the area and slapped Saifullah. In retaliation, Saifullah pushed Mukit down on the road. At that moment, on-duty police came to help and took the three students to the police station. When word got out about the fight, students of AF Rahman Hall went to the police station and fought with the law enforcers, leaving the aforementioned people injured. The students also vandalised the gate and billboard at the station, said police officials. DU Proctor Amzad Ali said: “We heard about the incident. Necessary steps will be taken in this regard.”. l

tion in order to continue possessing the place. Requesting anonymity, a member of the Hawkers’ League association said they have around four hundred shops in that area. Abdul Mannan Munshi and Sree Gouranga Hawladar, two leaders of the Ashulia Hawkers’ League, raised Tk70 from each shop. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Ashulia police station Sheikh Badrul Alam, OC of Savar Highway police Mahbubur Rahman, In-Charge of Mausoleum police outpost, and Assistant Engineer of the Mausoleum Zakir Hossain Jocky are given fixed monthly bribes from the raised amount and the rest of the money is deposited in the organisation’s account. In addition to these shops, there are around one hundred temporary shops in front of the main entrance of the mausoleum. These shops are being run at the behest of the in-charge of the police outpost of the mausoleum and the assistant engineer, sources claimed. Shujan, one of the shopkeepers said he has to pay Tk20 on a daily basis to them. Abdul Mannan Munshi, president of Bangladesh Hawkers’ League, confirmed the authenticity of the matter and said they raise the money for the development of the association. The OC of the Ashulia police station denied the allegations and said actions would be taken if any police are involved in connection with the extortion. Kamrul Hossain Molla, upazila nirbahi officer said they will soon start a drive to evict the illegal establishments alongside the Dhaka-Savar highway. l

A good number of makeshift shops are set up beside the boundary wall of the Nation Mausolem, ruining beauty of the memorial

‘Chinese firm to get Padma Bridge contract’ n Our Correspondent, Munshiganj Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said Chinese construction company China Major Bridge is set to get the contract for constructing the Padma Bridge, if their proposal does not go against the interest of Bangladesh. He made the statement while talking to journalists at the Mawa Padma Bridge Rest House in Munshiganj, yesterday. During the talk, the minister said: “China Major Bridge is set to get the contact, however there are still a lot of things to be considered. If the proposal of the China Major Bridge does not go against the national interest then they are going to get the work.” Saying that the main construction work of the Padma Bridge will begin from the first week of June instead of the last week of the month as scheduled earlier, he further added that the ruling of the river has been given more importance in this project and four

companies are expected to submit their monetary proposals on May 29. The companies are- China Sino Hidro, Hondai Engineering and Construction Company of Korea, Jandinol of Belgium and Van Od of Netherlands. Obaidul said: “Lot of work needs to be done on the Mawa approach road and there is an urgent need to start the work in June. The replacement work of the Mawa Ghat from Mawa to the Shimulia Bazar has begun on an emergency basis.” “Bangladesh Army has already started work on 2.5kilometres of road. Mawa Ghat will be replaced in Kantipara permanently, however, the process will take one year. To start the [construction] work of the Padma Bridge immediately, the ghat has been replaced temporarily,” the minister added. Obaidul said the work on the river embankment has almost been completed. Besides this, he said the highway from Mawa to Babubazar Bridge will be extended to four lanes. l

DHANMONDI PLAYGROUND

Sports personalities demand withdrawal of case filed against green activists n Abu Hayat Mahmud Several sports personalities demanded the immediate withdrawal of the case against environmentalists, filed by Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Ltd, for entering the Dhanmondi playground and the demolition of all illegal structures of the private club from the public playground, yesterday. The protesters raised their demands at a press conference at the Women’s Voluntry Association (WVA) Auditorium in Dhanmondi. They also declared they would work together in the future to free all the public playgrounds and open spaces from grabbers. Speaking at the press conference, former Footballer and National Coach Golam Sarwar Tipu said their movement was to press home their demands to withdraw the false case against national award-winning sports person Kamrun Nahar Dana and three other sports personalities. “The city corporation has reopened the playground to all people, the why was the case filed by the private club

n Kailash Sarkar

RAIN

SATURDAY, MAY 3 DHAKA TODAY TOMORROW SUN SETS 6:28PM SUN RISES 5:22AM FORECAST FOR TODAY 35

24

Chittagong

33

25

Rajshahi

38

25

Rangpur

33

23

Khulna

37

25

Barisal

35

26

Sylhet

33

22

Cox’s Bazar

33

26

YESTERDAY’S HIGH AND LOW

37.5ºC Rangamati

19.0ºC Rajshahi

Source: Accuweather/UNB

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

not considered illegal? The government should immediately take steps to dissolve the false case,” he said. Former cricketer and Manager ASM Faruk said: “It is very pathetic that the authorities of Sheikh Jamal club, who were trying to occupy a public playground, have filed a case against the green activists and protesters.” “Kamrun Nahar Dana had not visited the playground on that day, and yet the club authority filed a fake case against her,” he added, and also demanded the immediate cancellation of the case. The briefing was moderated by Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, former captain of the national cricket team and convener of the playgrounds protest committee of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa). Lipu said a vested quarter had intentionally filed the case accusing the green activists. The Dhaka South City Corporation’s (DSCC) decision to open the field to the public proves that the accused did nothing wrong by entering the field. “So the case should be dropped im-

4:01am 5:22am 11:55am 4:32pm 6:28pm 7:50pm Source: IslamicFinder.org

mediately,” he added. In response to a query, Lipu said a case filed by the environmentalist groups was now pending, therefore, it is not wise to comment about it. The press conference was also addressed by former cricketer Shafiqul Haque Heera, former swimmer Laila Nur Begum, former Judo player Kamrun Nahar Hiru and many former and active sports personalities. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club General Secretary Arifur Rahman filed the case against former Institution of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) President Mubasshar Hussain, Architect Salma A Shafi, Bangladesh Women’s Sports Association General Secretary Kamrun Nahar Dana and Bapa Joint Secretary Iqbal Habib, after some green activists staged demonstrations protesting the “illegal occupation” of the Dhanmondi playground by the club on April 18. On April 22, a Dhaka court granted bail to the four environmentalists on a bond of Tk 2,000 each in a case filed for “creating chaos by entering the Dhanmondi playground illegally.” l

Security guards kill youth in Uttara

WEATHER

Dhaka

DHAKA TRIBUNE

The photo shows that a portion of a wall of an eight-storey under-construction builing collapses on an adjacent house on Thakurdas lane in the old city on Thursday night DHAKA TRIBUNE

Two killed as nor’wester lashes city n Ashif Islam Shaon

Two persons died and a woman sustained serious injuries in Sutrapur and Chawk Bazar areas as nor’wester swept over the capital in the early hours of yesterday. Officer-in-Charge of Sutrapur police station Md Khalilur Rahman said at midnight Monoranjan Shaha, 45, died on the spot in sleep when a wall had collapsed on him and his wife at Laxmibazar. Monoronjon was a shop employee of a cycle shop at Bongshal. His wife Mitu Saha, 35, was admitted to Mitford

Hospital in a critical state. A nephew of the dead victim Sagar Shaha told reporters that a portion of a wall of an adjacent eight-storey under construction building fell of the roof of their one-storey building during the storm. “The one-story building was old and could not bear the weight of the wall which fell from the eighth floor. Breaking the roof, it fell on sleeping Monoronjon and Mitu. They have a twoyear-old son who was sleeping aside, but the brick did not hurt him,” he said. After the couple was rushed to the

hospital, doctors declared Monoronjon dead on arrival. Doctors said, Mitu’s condition was critical. In the meantime, Nurul Alam, 65, died at Chawk Bazar around 12:15am when a brick fell on his head during the storm. The incident took place in front of a beetle leaf selling shop when he, after taking supper went there to bring cigarette. Police and locals said, there was an under construction building nearby. The brick might have fall from there. No cases were filed in these connections. l

A young employee of a restaurant was brutally beaten to death allegedly by two security guards of an under construction building in the capital’s Uttara yesterday morning, suspecting him to be a thief. Hailed from Gaibandha, the deceased was Sujon Miah, 16. The youth died on the spot around 8am when the security guards – Nazrul Islam and his father Abul Kashem – allegedly beat him mercilessly after tying his hands and legs. Witnesses said the security guards detained Sujon around 6:30am while he was passing through the area in suspicion of stealing a fan from the building on Thursday. Immediately after the death of Sujon, Nazrul fled from the scene, they added. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to the Dhaka Med-

ical College Hospital morgue. Kashem and his wife Ambiya were arrested in connection with the murder. Locals alleged that the police did not arrest the building owner Hasem Ali as he was rich and the brother-in-law of Habib Hasan, general secretary of Uttara unit Awami League. Nesar Uddin, father of the deceased, said his son had been working as an employee of a restaurant in Sector 10 and the security guards detained him on his way to his workplace. Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Uttara West police station, confirmed the incident and said: “We are trying to arrest the fugitive.” Process of filing a murder case in this connection was on. The OC, however, did not reply to a query regarding the arrest of the building owner. l

One dies after falling from rooftop in Chittagong n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong One man was killed after falling from the roof of a multi-storey building in Chittagong city’s Bandartila area, yesterday. The deceased, Md Abu Hanif, 32, from the Madaripur district, was an apparel worker, said police sources. Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) Police Camp sources said Han-

if climbed up to the water-tank on the rooftop to fetch water at around 6am and accidently slipped off the roof. CMCH Police Camp In-Charge Sub-Inspector Jahirul Islam said: “Hanif was pronounced dead upon arrival by the on-duty doctors.” The body was handed over to the victim’s family after completing all legislative formalities, he said. l


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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Nation

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fishermen suffer as rivers run dry n MR Razu, Nilphamari

Thousands of fishermen and Irri-Boro farmers are struggling as all 20 small and big-sized rivers flowing through the district which they heavily rely on, have dried up. This list of rivers comprises the Teesta, Buri Teesta, Noutara, Komlai, Deonai, Kolomdad, Burikhora, Charalkata, Khontamari, Dhaijan, Mora Dhaijan, Chilki, Khorkhoria, Salki and Jamuseswari. Fishermen have mostly become unemployed and are trying to switch to other professions in order to survive

and the farmers are struggling to irrigate their Irri-Boro paddy, say the locals. A fisherman, Taiyab Ali, 42, the son of Mansur Ali, of the Dimla upazila’s Nalparha village, says, “We cannot catch fish in the summer season due to a lack of water in the river. Besides this, we cannot switch to other professions and so are living miserable lives.” A farmer, Anisur Rahman, 50, the son of late Abdul Latif, also of the Nalparha village, says, “We could easily divert water from the river to our cropland but now we cannot do so as the rivers have dried up. This is happening

every year.” “Though shallow machines are available for irrigation, they are costly, and so we can hardly benefit from using the shallow machine water. We have to spend a hefty amount for irrigation,” he added. All the rivers have silted up and due to dredging, they easily overflow, vastly damaging the farmland in the rainy season while it suffers from a lack of irrigation in the dry season, say the locals. As the rivers have dried up, many farmers grow crops on the river beds. Once, when these rivers were full to the brim, their water was used to help grow

crops on tens of thousands of acres of land. Sirajul Islam, deputy director at the Nilphamari’s Agriculture Extension conceded that the suffering of the farmers and fishermen is multitudinous and said, “Their suffering will not come down unless navigability is brought back to the rivers.” “The relevant authorities (like the water development board) should work toward this end immediately and end the suffering of the people like the farmers and fishermen who are heavily dependent on the rivers for their livelihood,” he added. l

Woman dies in AL factional clash n Our Correspondent, Faridpur A woman died and at least 30 others sustained injuries in an Awami League factional clash over the establishment of supremacy at the Saltha Upazila in Faridpur. The clash occurred between followers of two local Awami League leaders, Habibur Rahman and Selim Molla, at around 8am on Thursday, said witnesses. Kuti Khatun, 55, went to save her son who was attacked by the rivals and

Fire burns 6 houses, damages Robi crops in Madaripur n Our Correspondent, Madaripur At least six houses were gutted and seasonal crops were burnt to ashes on Thursday at the Bohertala union under the Shibchar upazila in Madaripur. Locals said the fire originated from an oven in Freedom Fighter Nurul Haque Matubbar’s kitchen in the Matborkandi village under the Bohertala union of the Shibchar upazila and quickly spread through the neighbouring houses. Locals doused the flame after half an hour of frantic efforts. At least six houses including two houses belonging to Nurul Haque Matubbar, two houses of Ahmed Matubbar, and one house of Joynal Matubbar were burnt to ashes in the incident. Plenty of Robi crops (harvested in the winter and spring seasons) stored in those houses were damaged during the incident. Around Tk25 lakh worth of crops were damaged, claimed the victims. Madaripur Assistant Police Super (circle) told the Dhaka Tribune that police have visited the spot on receiving information. Locals doused the blaze as there is no fire service in the area, he added. l

NEWS IN BRIEF 1 dies falling off rooftop in Chuadanga A person fell from the rooftop of his in-laws’ house in the Dashamipara area under the Damurhuda upazila in Chudanga and died on the spot. The victim was identified as Ansar Ali, 60, resident of Santoshpur village under the Jibannagar upazila in the district. Abul Hashem, a member of ward 3 under the Damurhuda union told the Dhaka Tribune that Ansar Ali went to sleep on the rooftop of his second wife’s house on Thursday night due to the scorching heat. A nor’wester suddenly started in the area at around 10:30pm and Ali tried to get down quickly from the rooftop when he tripped and fell. He died on the spot and his relatives took his body to his village home yesterday morning. Officer-in-Charge of the Damurhuda police station Shikdar Moshiur Rahman said nobody informed the police regarding the incident. –Our Correspondent, Chuadanga

Youth electrocuted in Chuadanga

A woman cuts a log in Paris road area of Rajshahi yesterday morning as many trees were uprooted during nor’wester which swept over the district on Thursday night

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Inadequate cyclone shelters worries Khulna people Many of the existing centres lie in rundown state in the coastal district n Tribune Desk People in highly natural disaster-prone Khulna are now passing worrying moments during the current stormy weather season as the number of shelter centers in the coastal district is less than required. The existing cyclone shelters are in dilapidated condition as well in absence of proper maintenance for long. Many of these shelter centres are in so shabby state that they even appear to be risky for the people coming to take refuge here at the time of any natural calamity. Due to the inadequacy of shelter centres, lakhs of people in the coastal district will find nowhere to seek shelter even after getting signal of any impending disasters, like tidal surge, cyclone, depression or river erosion. Consequently, there might be massive casualties and damage of properties if natural disasters hit the coastal district. While visiting different disaster-

in the process, was critically injured at 12 noon, said Saltha police station Officer-In-Charge Tota Mia, quoting the witnesses. She died soon after being rushed to the Faridpur Medical College Hospital, he said. Besides this, at least 30 others were injured in the clash that lasted until about 1:30pm. They received treatment at the local hospitals, he added. Tota Mia said they used 51 rounds of shotgun bullets and 12 tear gas canisters to control the situation. l

prone coastal areas of the district, locals told the UNB correspondent that they were now passing their days in panic with the advent of the season of nor’westers. According to the Meteorological Department, three to six lows might be formed in the Bay of Bengal in AprilJune this year, two of which are likely to be changed into cyclones. It also predicted violent storms including nor’wester in different parts of the country during the same period, reports UNB. Sources at the District Relief and Rehabilitation Department office said there are 157 cyclone shelters in the district out of which 48 are in Koyra upazila, 27 in Paikgachha upazila, 57 in Dacope upazila, 17 in Batiaghata upazila and eight in Dumuria upazila. However, there is no such shelter building in Rupsha, Dighalia, Terokhada and Phultala upazilas of the district. Locals said super cyclone Sidr swept over 31 districts including Khulna on November 15, 2007, wrecking havoc on

life and properties. About 80 lakh people were affected by the impact of the cyclonic storm of hurricane strength. According to official estimate, Sidr claimed lives of about 3,300 people. However, unofficial figure is being quoted as the death toll in the storm to be over 20,000. With people still reeling from the shock and pain caused by the Sidr, cyclone Aila hit the coastal areas on May 25, 2009. Aila devastated Khulna and Bagerhat districts affecting several lakhs of people and claiming lives of 193. Many villages in the two coastal districts were razed to the ground while a good number of people rendered homeless by the onslaught of the cyclone. Tidal surge accompanied by the cyclone submerged some thirteen unions under Koyra and Dacope upazilas in Khulna and Shyamnagar and Ashashuni upazilas in Satkhira. About 711 kilometres stretch of flood

and river control embankments in the upazilas was also damaged. Trail of devastation left by Aila and Sidr still haunts local people. After nightmarish experience of Sidr and Aila, numerous people of Koyra, Dacope, Paikgachha, Batiaghata and Dumuria upazilas in Khulna rushed to cyclone centres on May 15 last year after being warned about tropical storm Mahasen. But, most of them had to return as cyclone centres with the capacity of accommodating only 50,000 people were already overcrowded. For safety, the returnees looked for high structures including schools-colleges. They got relieved as Mahasen did not hit the area. However, they fear massive devastation and huge loss of life if there is any repetition of natural disasters like Sidr and Aila. Officials concerned said a large number of people are under disaster risk due to lack of required number of

shelter houses. To add to their worries, many cyclone shelters including those set up at Goalkhali Government Primary School, Dakkhin Bedkashi High School, Horiharpur Government Primary School in Koyra upazila, Gunari Shital Chandra High School, Sutarkhali High School, Kalabogi Saleha Government High School, Purba Kalabogi Government Primary School, Kaminibasia Raskhola Primary School, Saint Joseph Primary School, Bajua Girls’ School are in dilapidated condition. Due to lack of maintenance, the above-mentioned cyclone shelters have become unusable and risky. When his attention was drawn to the matter, Khulna deputy commissioner Anis Mahmud told this correspondent that the number of existing cyclone shelters in the district is inadequate compared to its population. He said a proposal was sent to the authorities concerned to set up seven more cyclone shelters in Koyra, Dacope and Batiaghata upazilas. l

A young man died from electrocution in the Santoshpur village under the Jibannagar upazila in Chuadanga, yesterday. The The victim was identified as Russel Hossain, 20, son of Abdul Malek of Santoshpur village under the Jibannagar upazila in the district. The accident took place at around 9:30am yesterday morning. After visiting the spot, Dulal Azad, sub-inspector of Jibannagar police station said Russel used to work at the Kontek Khamba factory of the area. He was trying to pluck fruits from a mango tree adjacent to his factory with an iron rod. The rod accidentally touched the electrical wire that passed over the tree and the boy was electrocuted and died on the spot, he added. –Our Correspondent, Chuadanga

1 killed, 1 injured from electrocution in Sherpur An SSC candidate was killed and another person was seriously injured on Wednesday night from electrocution at the Sreebardi upazila in Sherpur. The victim was identified as Mamun, 20, son of Ashraf Ali of the Bara Poragarh village under the Sreebardi upazila in the district. He was an SSC candidate from the Tatihati Technical School of the area. The injured, Shahidullah, 35, is the son of Abed Ali of the same area. Sources said Mamun and his neighbour Shahidullah were trying to repair a short circuit at Mamun’s house and they were electrocuted. They were rushed to the Upazila Sadar Hospital but the on duty doctors referred them to the district hospital as their conditions were critical. Mamun died at midnight but Shahdullah was out of danger, said the on duty doctor of the district sadar hospital. –Our Correspondent, Sherpur

Barisal Shaheed Minar now a depot of construction materials

Government to impose ban on fishing in Mohalchhari Lake

n Our Correspondent, Barisal

The government is likely to impose a three-month ban on netting, transporting and exporting fishes from Mohalchhari Lake in Khagrachhari from May 8 with a view to ensuring safe spawning and protect the breeding of fish from any disturbances. Mohalchhari Upazila Fishery Officer Faruk Hossain confirmed the ban. He said he had informed fishermen, who are maintaining life through netting 270 different species of fishes in Mohalchhari lake, stretching about 12,000 hectors of land, through loud speaker. “We have already prepared a list of 1,368 professional fishermen, who live at 15 villages under the upazila, Faruk Hossain added.” “We sent the list of fishermen to project

The Central Shaheed Minar in Barisal city has been turned into a depot of construction materials, creating resentment among the locals. Visiting the spot, this reporter found construction workers piling the materials on the premises of the Shaheed Minar as well as the surrounding areas. The materials are being used at the site of the under-construction Bangabandhu Auditorium, which is near the Shaheed Minar. This has stirred resentment among the residents in the city. Enayet Hosain Chowdhury, convener of the Shaheed Minar Sangrakshan Committee, said: “The Shaheed Minar is not only our national pride, but also a symbol of the Language Movement around the world. We should not disrespect it in anyway.” He said he did not see why the Shaheed Minar premises were being used to keep the construction materials when there are other available places

like the Judge’s quarters and circuit house. Mizanur Rahman, secretary of the Barisal Sanskritik Sangathan Samannay Parisad condemned the disrespect of the Shaheed Minar, demanding immediate removal of the construction materials from its premises. Nazrul Islam, president of the Barisal Reporters’ Unity, said: “As supervising authority, Barisal City Corporation is responsible for this situation. They should have allotted a place near the construction site where the workers could stock all the materials and debris. Then they would not use the Shaheed Minar premises as their storage space.” Nurul Islam, superintendent engineer of the city authority, said the construction work of the 550-seat Bangabandhu Auditorium started in March and will be completed within the year. “This is a temporary inconvenience for the greater good of development work,” the city corporation official said. When contacted, Momen Shikdar,

The photo taken yesterday shows that construction materials are kept in front of Central Shaheed Minar of Barisal city DHAKA TRIBUNE the contractor in charge of the auditorium’s construction, who is also the brother of Shahin Shikdar, Jubo

League’s joint convener in the city, refused to make any comments on the matter and switched his phone off. l

n Our Correspondent, Khagrachhari

office. We are hoping that the department concerned would take measures so that they could main their family through alternative profession during the ban period,” he added. Fisherman Robiul Hossain and Farid Mia of Seletipara, Hemo Ranjan Chakma and Bakul Chakma of Singhinala, Ratna Chakma and Riton Chakma of Jaduganala under Mohalchhari upazila in Khagrachhari said they were informed about the matter. But they apprehended that it would be difficult for them to maintain family without fishing. l


DHAKA TRIBUNE

World

7

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rebels down Ukraine choppers, Putin denounces city assault Russia calls for UN security council meeting over Ukraine United Nations Security Council over also made more moves on Thursday, n Reuters a Ukrainian army operation in the seizing a rail control center for the Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters on Friday, killing two crew, as troops tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk and Moscow accused Kiev of launching a “criminal” assault that wrecked hopes of peace. Though Ukrainian forces appeared to be carrying out one of their most concerted military operations yet, their advance on the ground was limited. Nevertheless, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman accused Kiev of firing on civilians from the air in a “punitive operation” that destroyed an international peace plan. Russia was “extremely worried” about the fate of Russians in the city, including an envoy sent to help free German and other foreign hostages, the Kremlin spokesman said. Russia called for a meeting of the

south-eastern city of Slaviansk, Russian news agencies said on Friday, quoting Russia’s mission to the UN. The dramatic language seems to raise the stakes, as Moscow has tens of thousands of troops massed on the border and claims the right to invade if needed to protect Russian speakers. Reuters journalists in Slaviansk, the most heavily fortified bastion of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, heard shooting break out and saw one helicopter opening fire before dawn. Ten hours later, the city was largely quiet, with shops shut and armed separatists in control of the streets. Advancing Ukrainian forces in armored vehicles took up positions closer in to the suburbs, but rebels still controlled most of the city of 130,000. The separatist pro-Russian militants

Donetsk region, a railway official said. By cutting off power, they had all but paralyzed train traffic. Kiev said the firing of missiles that brought down its helicopters was evidence that Russian forces were present in the town. Moscow denies that its troops are on the ground. Nonetheless, Kremlin accounts of grave threats to civilians highlight the risk of a Russian move to seize territory ahead of a vote the rebels aim to hold on May 11 seeking a mandate to break with Kiev, like one held in the Crimea region before Moscow annexed it in March. Russia staged a huge May Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square for the first time since the Soviet era on Thursday, with workers holding banners proclaiming support for President Vladimir Putin after the seizure of territory from neighbouring Ukraine. l

A civilian carries a shield as he walks past Ukrainian soldiers standing near an armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine REUTERS

India to appoint judge to probe ‘snoopgate’ before election ends

Hagel calls on Nato allies to step up defense spending

n Agencies

n Reuters

The Indian government today said that a judge will be appointed to conduct probe into Gujarat “snoopgate” before counting of votes in Lok Sabha polls and rubbished BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s claim that no judge will “lend” himself to the “political and malafide” exercise targeting Narendra Modi. “The Cabinet had taken the decision to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to probe the incident of snooping on a woman in Gujarat. We will soon appoint the judge ... before May 16,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told a press conference in Shimla.

Asked whether the appointment of a judge in the midst of Lok Sabha elections would not amount to violation of India’s Model Code of Conduct, Shinde said, “It will not” as the decision had been taken more than four months ago by the Union Cabinet. “I am worried. The way the Chief Minister of Gujarat had snooped into the life of a woman, I am really worried what will happen to the women of the country if he becomes the Prime Minister,” he said. In New Delhi, Law Minister Kapil Sibal rubbished Jaitley’s claim that no judge will “lend” himself to the “political and malafide” exercise targeting the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

“You will get a snoopgate judge before May 16. I don’t know why these people are so worried? Why leaders of BJP are worried and why they are making public statement that no judge should join this commission?,” he said. Sibal said that Modi against whom accusations have been made in the controversy will be investigated. The Congress leader said BJP is worried as its leaders know the fact that “once the commission is set up there is no saving for Narendra Modi.” Reacting the government’s move, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was nothing but a reflection of arrogance of the UPA government. l

Nato’s European members need to increase their defense spending in light of Russia’s action in Ukraine, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in planned remarks released on Friday. “We must see renewed financial commitments from all Nato members,” Hagel said in excerpts from a speech on the Nato alliance to be delivered at the Wilson Center and released by the Pentagon. Hagel’s comments come amid increased violence between Ukraine loyalists and Russian separatists despite an international peace deal, and echoed calls by other top US officials

this week for Nato members to shore up their commitments. The level of defense spending by Nato allies has been a longstanding concern of US defense secretaries. Only a handful of the 28 countries actually spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense as agreed under the Nato partnership. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry also urged Nato allies not meeting the 2 percent benchmark to boost their payments to the alliance in the next five years. Russia’s recent incursion in Ukraine has rekindled concerns among Nato allies. On Friday, pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters,

Friends of ‘jihadist’ Mideast peace talks dead, no resumption on horizon deported from struction of Israel and embraces peace tactics had plunged the Netanyahu agreement over the course of the next n AFP, Jerusalem and denounces terror, or president Ab- government into “a confused, passive nine months.” France stupefied For his part, Erakat said: “I’m deUS Secretary of State John Kerry’s bas renounces Hamas,” Israeli Prime and mainly reactive state.” lighted all issues are on the table nine-month effort to broker an Israe- Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said AFP, Albertville n and will be resolved without any li-Palestinian peace deal formally col- this week. Cracks in the foundations Shocked relatives and friends of an Algerian who was kicked out of France for allegedly recruiting jihadists to go to Syria said Friday they believed he was innocent. Describing Sala Bouhabila as a gentle man who enjoyed partying and clubbing, they said the 37-year-old – whom the interior ministry said was detained in Turkey in March in a bus taking a group of people to Syria – had travelled abroad to do humanitarian work. “I don’t believe this story, I don’t believe that he went to do jihad, we would go out partying together to nightclubs, he’s not at all radical,” Maydime, one of his friends, said in the Alpine city of Albertville where Bouhabila lived. His father told AFP he had gone abroad for humanitarian work – a claim echoed by his friends. He was handed over to France by Turkey on Wednesday evening, and was sent back to his home country of Algeria the following morning – the first immediate eviction from France of a foreigner allegedly involved in jihadist networks. l

lapsed this week, with no revival on the horizon because each side appears firmly entrenched in its positions. Kerry said Thursday it was time for Washington to “pause, take a hard look at these things, and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead.” He was speaking two days after the expiration of a Tuesday deadline by which the sides had committed themselves to seek a peace deal. But the talks had already unraveled last week when Israel suspended them after Hamas, which is sworn to the Jewish state’s destruction, and president Mahmud Abbas’s Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), dominated by the Fatah movement, reached a reconciliation deal. Despite that, Abbas has said he would be ready to resume dialogue if a discussion on borders was a top priority, along with a settlement freeze. But Israel says it will only return to the table if Abbas renounces the pact with Hamas. “Either Hamas disavows the de-

But chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Israel’s argument that the talks had collapsed because of the reconciliation deal was “completely disingenuous.” “Netanyahu’s government has refused to recognise the 1967 border or even put a map on the table proposing Israel’s idea of its final borders,” he said in an opinion piece in TIME magazine. The Hamas-PLO deal gave the sides five weeks to agree on a transitional government which would organise presidential and parliamentary elections. Palestinian analyst George Giacaman said that deal, alongside a Palestinian diplomatic offensive in the United Nations, were Abbas’s trump cards. “There are five weeks in which to form a government, which will be an indicator of the success of the Palestinian leadership’s domestic policy,” he said. Israeli defence analyst Alex Fishman, writing Thursday in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily, said Abbas’s

THE WRATH OF ‘SURYADEVA’

The stand-off sparked by Palestinian reconciliation was only the latest in a string of disputes. Netanyahu repeatedly attacked the Palestinians over their refusal to recognise Israel as the Jewish state, which he said proved their lack of sincerity. On Thursday he pledged to draft a bill “that would provide a constitutional anchor for Israel’s status as the national state of the Jewish people.” Major cracks appeared in late March when Israel refused to free a group of veteran Palestinian prisoners, the last batch of an agreed 104, sparking a furious response from Ramallah. The Palestinians, who had agreed to freeze all moves to seek international recognition in exchange for the staged release of the prisoners, promptly applied to adhere to 15 international conventions and treaties. Both commitments had been made as a first step towards the reopening of peace negotiations last July 29, in the first direct talks in three years. At the time, Kerry said “our objective will be to achieve a final status

Subway trains crash in Seoul, 200 injured n Reuters

A villager along with his cow walks through a parched land of a dried pond on a hot day on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar in the eastern Indian state of Odisha May 2 REUTERS

exceptions.” And his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, said: “I believe that history is not made by cynics. It is made by realists who are not afraid to dream.” But hopes were quickly ground down on the hard rock of reality, with the Palestinians accusing Israel of slamming the door in their face by ramping up settlement construction, house demolitions and deadly army raids. Each time Israel released a batch of 26 prisoners, it also announced more settlement construction. In mid November, Netanyahu was forced to cancel plans to build 20,000 new settler homes after coming under huge international pressure. A month later, the Palestinian negotiating team resigned en masse, in a move never accepted by Abbas. In the face of persistent setbacks, Washington began preparing its own framework of how to guide the talks past the April deadline until the end of the year, but efforts to secure an extension never came to fruition. l

South Korea suffered its second serious transport accident in just over two weeks on Friday when a subway train in the capital, Seoul, crashed into a train at a station, injuring 200 people although no one was killed. The country is still mourning the victims of a ferry accident on April 16, when 300 people were killed or are missing in the submerged hull of a capsized ship in the country’s worst disaster in 20 years. Most of those hurt in the mid-afternoon accident on Friday appeared to have suffered minor abrasions, according to emergency officials at Sangwangsimni station in the east of the capital, although one person was being treated for a brain hemorrhage and one for a fracture. “An incoming train crashed into one that was stopped at the station,” fire department official Kim Kyung-su told a news conference.

About 1,000 people were evacuated, Kim said. Seoul Metro official Chung Sooyoung said the accident was caused by a signal failure and that two subway cars were derailed. “I fell forwards maybe two or three meters,” said Lee Dong-hyeon, 26, an office worker on the train that crashed into the one stopped at the station. “It was like tripping over when running really fast.” About 4.5 million passengers use Seoul’s modern metro system every day. The last major accident on a South Korean subway system was in 2003 when 192 were killed in a subway fire in the city of Daegu, which prompted major safety improvements. Last month’s ferry accident off the southwest coast led to the resignation of the prime minister and President Park Geun-hye’s approval rating has dropped sharply due to the slow response of rescue services. l

killing two people, as Ukrainian forces tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk. “Russia’s actions in Ukraine have made Nato’s value abundantly clear,” Hagel said in his prepared remarks. “Over the long term, we should expect Russia to test our alliance’s purpose, stamina, and commitment,” he said. Hagel called for Nato members’ financial ministers or budget officials to attend an alliance meeting to discuss defense spending, saying members must “break through the fiscal impasse.” Still, US officials have been seeking a financial boost for Nato for years. l

UN human rights office condemns US execution n AFP, Geneva The UN’s human rights office on Friday condemned a botched execution by lethal injection in the United States which left a prisoner writhing in agony before he died. Clayton Lockett, a convicted murderer and rapist, was put to death in the state of Oklahoma on Tuesday after he was administered a new, untested threedrug protocol. He died 43 minutes after the lethal injection, instead of the usual 10 minutes, from a massive heart attack. “The suffering of Clayton Lockett during his execution in Oklahoma on Tuesday, April 29, may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment according to international human rights law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights. “The prolonged death of Clayton Lockett is the second case of apparent extreme suffering caused by malfunctioning lethal injections reported in 2014 in the United States,” he added. The other case was that of Dennis McGuire, executed in Ohio in January with an allegedly untested combination of drugs. l

Saudis get Internet hotline to the king n AFP, Riyadh Saudi citizens can now petition 90-year-old King Abdullah directly and lodge complaints through an Internet site set up at the initiative of the monarch himself. The portal tawasol.royalcourt.gov. sa, named after the Arabic word for communication, was launched on an experimental basis on Wednesday. All messages are to be forwarded to the king. “People will be able to inform the king about any shortcomings in the services offered by government agencies, and to take suitable action for the benefit of all citizens,” the website says. More and more Saudis in the ultra-conservative Muslim state are turning to social networking sites to demand improved living conditions. However, the authorities, who block access to politically sensitive or pornographic websites, made several arrests in March for tweets deemed offensive to the king. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where protests are banned. l


8

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Heritage

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Iron duke

The Iron Duke, Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, stands out, not merely for his military activities in India, but also for the benign tenor of his despatches and his references to Bengal

PHOTOS: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

M n Tim Steel

uch of the heritage of Bangladesh is inextricably interlinked with the history of Britain. And this is far from the simplified version of that story most often told; that or rulers and ruled. Indeed, today, a number of prominent politicians in UK are descended

Would it, one wonders, be fair to say of him, if not “made in Bangladesh,” certainly tempered into the metal that has since always described him, in Bangladesh?

from Bangladeshi migrants, and exemplify the newer ruling class in Britain. It is probably equally fair to record that migrants from these lands of Bangladesh have been arriving in Britain from at least the same period

Portrait of Sir_Arthur_Wellesley, the ‘Iron Duke,’ painted in 1814

WIKIMEDIA

that Britons have been arriving in Bangladesh. It is even possible to speculate that men from these lands may well have arrived in Britain as Roman mercenaries, representatives of the power of the contemporary masters of Britain in the first century of the Common Era, whilst slaves of British origin arrived in the lands of the Ganges delta as oarsmen aboard the Roman merchants ships referred to by the great Roman geographer, Strabo. His book, Geographia, published about year one of the Common Era, contains what may well be one of the first pieces of academic snobbery in history, when he writes: “concerning the merchants who sail from Egypt, even to the Ganges, they are but private citizens and know nothing of the history of the places they visit.” An academic view of “mere” traders that has echoed down the ages, even till today! From the time, in the late 15th century, of the Portuguese mariner Vasco da Gama’s opening of the southern route to Asia at least, it is not unreasonable to speculate that with sailors lost on outward voyages, the crew numbers were made up aboard European vessels by local recruitment in these lands of Bangladesh and Bengal. Today, “Indian” cuisine is the most popular eating out experience for Britons. In most cases the “Indians” who operate these restaurants are, in fact, from Bangladesh. The first such restaurant was opened in London as early as 1810, by Sake Dean Mohomet, an East India Company ship’s Captain hailing from Patna, but no doubt very familiar with the waters of the delta lands. As early as 1660, an Act of Parliament in England attempted to limit the number of crew members from India aboard English vessels trading there, and there is little doubt that, even so early, some of those “Lascar” crew members who were comprising and ever increasing proportion of the ships that plied the “India” trade, originated from the lands of the Ganges delta and hinterland. In 1786, The Committee For Relief of Black Poor was set up in London, primarily because of concern for indigent seamen from India; and by then, of course, the majority of British ships with Lascar crew sailed to the East India Company lands in Bengal/ Bangladesh. But we also know very well that this was far from being a one way traffic. Numerous figures from Britain – through their activities in the lands of Bangladesh – figure in both halls of fame, and infame, in the history of Britain, their time in Bangladesh contributing to their fame, or their notoriety. Amongst those figures, the “Iron Duke” stands out, not merely for his military activities in India on behalf of the East India Company, but also for the benign tenor of his despatches and

his references to Bengal. By his time in India, from about 1799 to 1804, of course, the East India Company had embarked upon its sweep across India, to consolidate its foundations of the great Empire; what we may refer to as the second Empire, or Raj, which replaced the one recently lost in America. Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG GCB GCH PC FRS was, in every sense, a towering figure of Britain in the 19th century. Not only did he lead Britain to its final victory over Napoleon Bonaparte and the French armies in Europe, following his defeat of Tipu Sultan in India, but he also went on to become prime minister of Britain twice, in the 1820s and 30s. His references to Bengal in his despatches during his time in India make fascinating reading. Reminding ourselves that in his time Calcutta had become firmly established as the capital of Bengal, and the political and commercial centre of the area now dominated territorially by the lands that are Bangladesh, we may reflect upon his comments. Whilst it is not easy to trace the origin of the quotation widely attributed to Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal Emperor of Bengal as, “the Paradise of Nations” for its wealth and trade, although it is clear that if, indeed, he did say it, well he might have done so, as in his time Calcutta was a mere fishing village and the East India Company had not yet made much impact, it is interesting to find that Wellington, who later became enobled as The Duke of Wellington, and was nicknamed, “the Iron Duke,” used exactly the same phrase in one of his early despatches. In 1804, he wrote of Bengal as “the paradise of nations,” referring to “its advantages over barbarous establishments in possessing a civil government.” Also in 1804, he writes of the, “necessity of sending money to Bombay from Bengal,” and, “causes of the disadvantageous exchange on bills drawn by Bombay on Bengal.” In 1803, he wrote of the expediency of collecting six battalions of sepoys (native troops) from Midnapore, and in 1804 goes on to remark on, “Bengal troops, comparative advantages of employing, over Coast and Bombay troops,” citing “reasons for a preference of Bengal troops to those of Madras establishment.” As early as 1799, when Wellesley took part in the Seringapatam campaign, he writes of the “march of the Bengal columns” and of “no complaints.” It is, in fact, clear from his despatches that the governance from Bengal impressed him ... as well it might, since his elder brother, the Earl of Mornington, was Governor General at the time. But so did the men of Bengal that were his to command and lead.

No doubt, when, having been made a Knight of the Bath for his successes in India, he and his brother returned together to Britain, the fortune of £42, 000 he had amassed in India, like most of his successful contemporaries, set him up nicely on a career that led to the building of the fabulous Apsley House he built, where it still stands, on Hyde Park Corner in London. And also the magnificent Strathfield Saye estate in Berkshire, which remains the seat of the continuing line of the Wellingtons. Voted, in a BBC poll of 2002, 15th in the list of the Greatest Britons of all time, there is little doubt that the soldier who defeated Napoleon cut his military teeth, and made his first fortune, from a base, and with troops drawn from across Bengal of which Bangladesh was certainly the original land of the majority, in these lands that are now Bangladesh. Would it, one wonders, be fair to say of him, if not “made in Bangladesh,” certainly tempered into the metal that has since always described him, in Bangladesh?l Tim Steel is a communications, marketing and tourism consultant.


DHAKA TRIBUNE

Prescription

9

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tacking nose allergy during pregnancy

Rule of medications

As a general rule, medication should be avoided or used at the lowest dose

that controls symptoms during pregnancy. A woman should always review any medication (over-the-counter or prescription) before taking it during pregnancy. However, if medication for rhinitis is needed during pregnancy, the following are considered to be safe choices:  Saline sprays and nasal irrigation — Women with mild rhinitis may be able to control symptoms using only saline nasal sprays or irrigation, which do not contain any effective ingredients.

Beans, lentils can lower cholesterol effectively

Recently a new research showed that one daily serving (3/4 cup) of legumes -- foods such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas – can reduce bad cholesterol low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

cholesterol by 5%. The 5% reduction in LDL cholesterol also suggests a potential 5% lower risk of heart disease. The research also found the hearthealthy effect of legumes was greater in men than women. That may be because men tend to have worse eating habits and higher cholesterol levels to begin with than women, so they might gain more from switching to a healthier diet. In this the study, some of the participants reported stomach problems such as  bloating, flatulence,  constipation,  or  diarrhea  as a result of eating legumes. Nevertheless, nutrition experts were quick to sing praises of the lowly bean, pea, and lentil. l Source : the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Apples can keep you young We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but new research suggests the humble fruit might also keep wrinkles at bay. A study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, has shown that polyphenols found in apples extended the average lifespan of fruit flies and helped to maintain their ability to walk and move. Apple polyphenols also lowered levels of various bio-markers seen in older fruit flies which are associated with reduced activity and death. In addition to their anti-ageing benefits, apples are a nutritional powerhouse, containing dozens of phytochemicals, including the anti-allergy flavonoid quercetin, and more potassium than fresh oranges. They also supply a booster shot of natural vitamin C, antioxidants and flavonoids, and rank as one of the top 15 fruits and vegetables

Allergic rhinitis can begin at any age, although most people first develop symptoms in childhood 

Nasal sprays — Certain nasal sprays are a sensible option for pregnant women, because much less drug is required to control symptoms when

it is sprayed directly into the nose, compared with taking that same medication orally. Cromolyn nasal sprays are safe for use during pregnancy. Only a very small amount of drug is absorbed into the blood stream with this medication and no serious side effects are known to occur. Nasal glucocorticoids are considered safe for use in pregnancy, and women who are already taking these can simply continue. Although no safety differences have

If untreated, nasal allergy may cause recurrent sinusitis because of the obstruction to the sinus ostia. It may lead to the formation of nasal polyp (sac-like growths of inflamed tissue lining the nose ie nasal mucosa or sinuses). Nasal allergy can result in serious otitis media (inflammation of middle ear). Patients of nasal allergy have four times more risk of developing asthma. To avoid these complications, always better to consult with an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) specialist. The writer is an Assistant Professor of Department of ENT-Head & Neck Surgery at M H Samorita Medical College & Hospital, Dhaka. E-mail: dr.neyamat@gmail.com

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for fibre to help prevent constipation and encourage a healthy bowel environment, including the fibre pectin, which helps the body’s hormonal disposal system work better, stabilising blood pressure. The only downside of an apple is that apple is the most insecticide laden fruit, so buy organic apples whenever possible. l

n Prescription Desk

Get your daily calcium by popping a tablet, chugging milk or eating yoghurt. It’ll keep your bones strong. Remember that your bone density declines after the age of 30. You need at least 200 milligrams daily, which you should combine with magnesium, or it simply won’t be absorbed.

Brush up on hygiene

Juggling might seem like something best left to professional clowns, but a new study has found it can increase your DID YOU brain power. Research KNOW? conducted by the Department of Clinical Neurology at Oxford University, found activities that test the mind and body at the same time seem to increase the power of brain’s “white matter”- the brain’s neural connections, by as much as 5%. As a bonus, these types of tasks improve hand-eye coordination and agility. The research’s result is confirmed by brain scans, which clearly showed an increase in white matter in those people who had practiced juggling daily. While previous studies have suggested that different mental activities and practices can change and grow “grey matter” — which is the part of the brain involved in processing, comprehending and retrieving information. This is one of the first studies to show an effect on the brain’s white matter, which controls our ability to see and react to things. Therefore, this study has potential significance for the treatment of diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, where neural pathways and brain ‘cabling’

Many people don’t know how to brush their teeth properly. Improper brushing can cause as much damage to the teeth and gums as not brushing at all. Lots of people don’t brush for long enough, don’t floss and don’t see a dentist regularly. Hold your toothbrush in the same way that would hold a pencil, and brush for at least two minutes. This includes brushing the teeth, the junction of the teeth and gums, the tongue and the roof of the mouth. And you don’t need a fancy, angled toothbrush – just a sturdy, soft-bristled one that you replace each month.

Curry favour

are damaged. If juggling doesn’t appeal, try any sport that requires your complete attention — table tennis, skipping, and hula hooping are three more good (and fun) ones. Even if you can’t keep those balls

| Dr Kazi Mahbuba Akhtar

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post-exercise muscle recovery, improvements in erectile dysfunction, and even visibly reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Now, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it appears that this multitasking pomegranate may also protect against prostate cancer. The researchers, from the University of Mississippi, suggest that ellagitannin, a compound in pomegranate, inhibits the activity and expression of the enzyme CYP1B1, which is implicated in the development of prostate cancer. l

in the air, or that hoop around your waist, remember that the important outcome of this study was that it was the amount of time spent practicing, not the level of skill achieved, that had the brain-boosting benefit. l

Hot, spicy foods containing chillies or cayenne pepper trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Endorphins have a powerful, almost narcotic, effect and make you feel good after exercising. But go easy on the lamb, beef and mutton and the high-fat, creamy dishes served in many deshi restaurants.

| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat

Relief from indigestion and heartburn

Pomegranate power

The fruits usually we have seen on the hospital side table of a patient, pomegranate is one of them. Pomegranate is a known super fruit, Because it has got antioxidants, which is very much inked it to preventing heart disease, better

Bone up daily

Juggling can increase brain capacity by 5%

FOOD THERAPY

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Okay, if you didn’t know it, foods like beef and chicken contain E coli which can cause urinary tract infections. You can reduce the risk up to 90% just by adding 2 tablespoons of garlic powder for every pound of meat, then you should bake or grill until all the juices run clear.

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Most women notice some nasal congestion in the later stages of pregnancy, even if they did not have rhinitis before. This is called rhinitis of pregnancy and is related to hormone levels. Rhinitis of pregnancy does not respond to medication and goes away after delivery.

Use Garlic in cooking meat

Don’t ignore rhinitis

BIGSTOCK

Rhinitis of pregnancy

has been approved for use in pregnancy for a longer time than the others.  Antihistamines — chlorpheniramine maleate, Loratadine, or cetirizine are the antihistamines of choice during pregnancy.  Decongestants — Pseudoephedrine should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy if possible, because its safety has not yet been confirmed. After the first trimester (roughly first three months), it should be used only when needed and only as directed. However, it should not be used at all by women with high blood pressure or preeclampsia. Phenylephrine should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

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Rhinitis refers to inflammation of the nasal passages. This inflammation can cause a variety of annoying symptoms, including sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip (the sensation that mucus is draining from the sinuses down the back of the throat). Chronic rhinitis is usually caused by allergies. Fortunately, the symptoms of rhinitis can usually be controlled with a combination of environmental measures and medications. Allergic rhinitis can begin at any age, although most people first develop symptoms in childhood or young adulthood. The symptoms are often at their worst in children and in people in their 30s and 40s. If the woman has had allergic rhinitis prior to pregnancy, this could worsen or stay the same. Although you and your developing baby (fetus) are not in danger, allergic rhinitis can lead to asthma and sinusitis getting worse. It is important to discuss this with your doctor, as some medicines might be better for you and your baby. If possible, do not use medicines during the first 3 months of your pregnancy.

QUICK TIPS

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Allergic rhinitis affects approximately one-third of women of childbearing age. As a result, symptoms ranging from sneezing and itching to severe nasal obstruction may require medications. Pregnant women with rhinitis may be concerned about the safety of medications during pregnancy been identified among the different n Dr Neyamat Ullah Khan nasal glucocorticoids, budesonide

Question: I get dreadful indigestion, no matter what I eat. What can you suggest? Ajnobi, Dhaka Answer: If indigestion lasts more than two weeks despite your best Q&A efforts, talk to your doctor. Other warning signs include nausea, chest pain, bloody stools, or vomiting. Assuming that you do have the medical all-clear, you will need to take a careful look at the foods you eat, as well as how often and how much. Fruit juice is a common culprit, thanks to its fructose, a sugar that can cause bloating and wind when it is broken down in the digestive tract. If dairy foods make you feel gassy, you could be unable to digest lactose, which is a sugar found in milk. Experiment with avoiding both of these and see

if this eliminates the indigestion. If that doesn’t help, here are some other top tips to beat your indigestion:  Eat slowly and deliberately: Wolfing down your food overloads your digestive system and also causes you to swallow air, which contributes to indigestion.  Don’t eat close to bedtime: Your last meal for the day should be at least three hours before you go to sleep.  Avoid tight clothing: Clothes that are tight around your tummy put pressure on your stomach, forcing its contents upwards.  Take a drink: Add a teaspoon of herbal bitters to warm water and sip before eating. Alternatively, add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to warm water and drink after eating. This answer is provided by Dr Shamsul Kabir Gastroenterologist


10

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Editorial

Saturday, May 3, 2014

CODE-CRACKER

Improve railways for a stronger economy

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ailway services in Bangladesh are seriously underused due to the lack of modern tracks and trains. This is a wasted opportunity for a nation of our size, in which all regions could, in principle, be reached very efficiently and quickly with an upgraded network. It is vital to reverse the chronic underinvestment, which the railways have suffered, by improving services and increasing average speeds, through modern tracks and electrification. The recent recommendations for building broad gauge-based tracks instead of meter-gauge are a hopeful sign of renewed government interest and can help Bangladesh to join the Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) network. However, economic development can benefit even more by increasing average speeds and services within the country. This would facilitate decentralisation and reduce pressure on Dhaka’s land area, by allowing more commuters to live outside of the capital. The ability to get around the nation quickly would maximise the advantages offered by our small land area and high population density. Efficient railways offer an environmentally and economically sustainable way to move large numbers of people and goods around the nation. Their advantage over new highways, which are also needed, is that railways already cover much of the country, so improvements are more a matter of tracks and trains, rather than finding new land. Long-term vision and strategic leadership are needed so that we build on our existing railways effectively to bring them up to modern standards. Partnership with nations which have built efficient integrated transport systems, such as Germany, France, or China, should be a priority.

Modern tracks and electrification would maximise the advantages offered by our high population density

Use ICT to help women entrepreneurs

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nnovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) can unlock the potential of female entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas, and play a large role in not only boosting the economy but also empowering women. Women in Bangladesh have made steady gains in levels of education in recent years. However, their economic opportunities still remain limited. The problem is particularly acute for rural women, many of whom have little choice but to relocate to the cities to work in the garment sector. Creating more opportunities for entrepreneurship among rural women would provide them with a much-needed alternative to earning an income without having to move to major cities. ICT tools can also nicely complement and help boost the success rate of the existing system of microfinance for poor women in rural areas. They can give women access to markets, business tools, and services and help connect them with supportive networks of entrepreneurs. However, initiatives to develop the ICT infrastructure alone will not be sufficient. They need to be combined with better training on use of modern technology and increased women’s access to mobile phones. Reducing costs, in particular smart phones, can help facilitate this. Strategic partnerships with the private sector, especially telecom companies, will be invaluable to effectively implement these efforts. Creating economic opportunities for women at the district and village level is essential to the equitable growth of the country. Investing in ICT infrastructure to spur entrepreneurship is an excellent way to achieve that goal.

ICT tools can give poor women in rural areas better access to markets

How to solve: Each number in our CODE-CRACKER grid represents a different letter of the alphabet. For example, today 10 represents A so fill in A every time the figure 10 appears.

Be heard Write to Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath, Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email letters.dt@dhakatribune.com Send us your Op-Ed articles: opinion.dt@dhakatribune.com

You them in the appropriate squares in the main grid, then use your knowledge of words to work out which letters go in the missing squares. Some letters of the alphabet may not be used. As you get the letters, fill in other squares with the same number in the main grid, and the control grid. Check off the list of alphabetical letters as you identify them.

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The open society and religion April 25 DispassionateObserver Good question to ponder. However, it’s unlikely Bangladesh will veer towards theocracy. If the country can get out of the clutches of poverty, illiteracy and other social ills – and I am optimistic it would – we will be a liberal, secular, and perhaps even an egalitarian society. Most people are not keen on mixing religion and state, and can’t see this change anytime soon, the small number of religious zealots at the fringe notwithstanding. nds The silent majority of this country definitely subscribes to the beliefs of liberal Islam and is non-communal. But the vocal as well as affluent influential class of people dominating society is to a great extent strongly in favour of theocratic Islam. During the liberation movement, this group was pushed to the backseat and their influence over society declined substantially, and the leadership went to the liberals. But the advancement and progress of liberal Islam got a serious jolt in the 1975 massacre and the situation took a 180 degree turn when General Zia usurped power. In one sense, Zia caused the irreparable damage to the cause of liberal ideas and beliefs and the

endeavour to separate religion from state suffered an irreversible setback. The ideology that turned Pakistan into a failed state got the upper hand in this society under the direct patronage of Zia and his supporters. SM nds: Ah. So the one-party regime of Baksal, which closed down all newspapers and destroyed the independence of the judiciary, was “liberal” according to you? Wow ... quite a catchy new spin on the definition of the word. This is truly new knowledge and a brand new discovery. nds SM: It is a great tragedy that BNP, packed with such a vast number of world-renowned liberals and PhD holders, can’t even surpass a political party comprising of members with an insufficient level of education and knowledge. WaliulHaqueKhondker The IPL TV anchor girls that we get to see these days in UAE, if that is what represents “conservative theology of the Middle East,” we want all of it! :)

Bangladesh ranks 31st in Hopkins professor’s index

Tajuddin erased from history, says daughter

Debacle Good to have this ranking. At least we are ahead of our neighbours.

Ronnie There’s little doubt or denying that Tajuddin – the man, his philosophy, and his contributions to Bangladesh – have for long been criminally overlooked, deliberately downplayed, and almost effaced from public memory. Today, this sad disservice to Tajuddin needs to be amended, without equivocation.

April 26

Bangladesh-US relation ‘uncomfortable’ April 26

Osmania And yet, he is intransigent over the Grameen Bank and expresses no regret over the non-inclusive election. We all know whose fault it is if relations “slide” with the world’s largest economy. It appears he knows too. As a senior minister, he can do something to stop them sliding, so why doesn’t he?

Muhith: ‘GB’s microcredit contribution small now’ April 26

Akhtar Shah But the question is: Was it planned or circumstantial?

Ershad’s radar graft case at last stage April 25

ACROSS 1 Self-satisfied (4) 6 Today (3) 7 Cathedral (4) 9 Principal (4) 10 Musical note (5) 11 Cut off (5) 12 Fuss (3) 14 Singer (5) 17 Children’s nurse (5) 20 Wrath (3) 21 Weird (5) 23 Replenish (5) 25 Colour (4) 26 Second-hand (4) 27 Lubricant (3) 28 Malleable (4)

DOWN 1 Chinese boat (6) 2 Complete agreement (6) 3 Departed (4) 4 Spanish title (3) 5 Precious stone (3) 7 Dreadful (4) 10 Encountered (3) 13 Ventures (5) 15 Black metallic composition (6) 16 Cast out (6) 18 Require (4) 19 Tree (3) 22 Wading bird (4) 23 Spirit (3) 24 Beak (3)

April 25

123 Ronnie: But it was under Zia’s BNP government that Tajuddin was shot in jail. What do you say about that? If Zia was such a good man, then why did he instruct his supporters to kill him in jail? Sam 123: Zia’s government didn’t come to power till almost a couple of years after the jail killing. And by the way, Ronnie said nothing about Zia to begin with. Ronnie 123: I bet you know that Ziaur Rahman was not remotely in the political frame during 1972-1975, leading up to Tajuddin’s unjust incarceration and killing. So why this rant here? As for the ungrateful, unconscionable attitudes toward Tajuddin’s legacy (and his family), you ought to demand answers from Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League.

SUDOKU How to solve: 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.

deep purple blue This book, that says Mujib refused to sign the declaration of independence and refused to audio record the declaration, will likely be banned. Tajuddin indeed had great contribution to the liberation war.

CALVIN AND HOBBES

Breadbitten The man is starting to resemble Sander Cohen every passing day. Can’t tell if that’s simply awesome, or a genuine reason for concern.

CROSSWORD

YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS CODE-CRACKER

CROSSWORD

PEANUTS

SUDOKU


Op-Ed

DHAKA TRIBUNE

11

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Understanding Rooppur better n Abdul Matin

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How safe does our law enforcement make us feel?

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A

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SYED LATIF HOSSAIN

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The right to human security

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n Ekram Kabir n eerie sense of panic and insecurity is prevailing in the public mind, but we’re not sure whether our leaders can see this. Media reports say nearly 4,000 people were abducted across the country between 2010 and 2013. The number includes politicians, businessmen, and local leaders. Our Human Rights Commission chief Mizanur Rahman has pointed fingers at law enforcers, as he told a TV channel: “It’s truly astonishing that the abduction rate has gone up alarmingly since the creation of RAB in 2002, and in most cases, the victims’ families say that RAB personnel wearing their trademark black picked up their sons or husbands.” Many have indicated that security personnel were involved in this, but so far, nothing has been said on behalf of the law-enforcing high command. This unusual silence has also raised suspicion about them among the people. This has expedited the people’s sense of insecurity. But on the top of everything, this sense has deepened, as we have seen our two leaders engaged in a blame game over recent gruesome abductions and consequent killings. Our prime minister has blamed the BNP, and the BNP chief has blamed the government for these crimes. Whoever is doing these, surely our track record in ensuring our human

or physical security has never seemed straight. It was evident during our political turmoil – the recent spate of general strikes has taken about 40 lives. The strikes become death traps for the common people, as children also become scapegoats in the altar of our power-mongering.

several plans in order to prevent these deaths were also hatched. However, somehow these deaths still continue amid gross inaction on the strategies formulated regarding them. The vehicle drivers still break laws, and the law enforcers still watch them break laws. It is very unfortunate that most of

We have an unusual way of surviving these dreadful odds in our lives, but we continue to be haunted by the lack of security

Our physical safety suffers blows from various sources. The enforcement of general strikes is one such source which our political parties think is their “democratic right.” But in the process, the people, whom the parties try to uphold, die gruesomely. We now know that the causes the strikers are fighting for are not ours. The political parties have already proven that all “their” demands are not going to benefit us. These are “their” demands, and not ours. We also get killed in traffic accidents. An estimate says about 15,000 Bangladeshis die across the country on the roads. There have been hundreds of media reports and discussions regarding deaths from road accidents,

these are preventable, and that’s why the government needs to take the issue of our physical security seriously. But there’s hardly any campaign in place regarding this issue. Our fire incidents are also another cause for many deaths in our beloved land. These incidents, especially in the factories, take an unimaginable toll on human lives. Previously, the incidents of fire were not considered as a security threat across the world, but nowadays, they are one of the prime threats. Look at a simple example: The WHO estimates that 195,000 people across the world die each year from fires, while according to the Global Terrorism Database, an average of 7,258 people die annually from

terrorism, and that includes deaths in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In many places of the world, fire is being used as a weapon. An estimate says factory fires have killed about 500 workers (we hope the number is enough to worry our leaders) since 2006. Every time a fire incident took place, the authorities asked the factory owners to introduce proper compliance in the factories, and the family members of the deceased were given some financial compensation. And then, all was again forgotten in no time. Now, if we start talking about arsenic contamination and applying poisonous chemicals in food items, the state of human security and safety would look much direr. But one thing should be clear to everyone: The government is the government because the people chose it to be at helm of the management of the state and its citizens. Ensuring this safety is the responsibility of the government. However, we have an unusual way of surviving these dreadful odds in our lives, but our leaders don’t see that day in and day out, we continue to be haunted by thought of the lack of human security. Don’t we have a right to know what the government is doing about these security threats? Perhaps a press briefing would satisfy us much better than the ongoing blame-mongering! l Ekram Kabir is Executive Editor of Natunbarta.com.

ustria built a 700 MWe nuclear power reactor at Zwentendorf in 1978, but it was never operated after completion. Following anti-nuclear demonstrations, the Austrian parliament imposed a ban on using nuclear reactors. Had the government sought the opinion of the people before starting construction of the nuclear reactor, it could have saved nearly 1 billion euros (at current prices) and avoided the embarrassment of not operating the reactor after completion. Of the 253 nuclear power reactors ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, only 104 units are now in operation. Some of the orders were cancelled during planning or construction stages, and some plants were closed down for decommissioning at the end of their economic plant lives. The cancellations were partly due to a fall in power demand, and partly to significant cost overruns for delays attributed to complex regulatory requirements and public opposition. Only five reactors are now reported to be under construction in the US, but all the projects have announced delays and budget overruns. Sweden initiated a nuclear phaseout program in 1980 after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, and was followed by Italy after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Belgium followed suit in 1999. Spain enacted laws not to build new nuclear power plants. Japan closed all of its nuclear power plants after the Fukushima incident in 2011. Germany and Switzerland decided to phase out nuclear power after 2011. These examples show how public opinion determines national policies on nuclear power in democratic countries. Bangladesh is going ahead with its plan to construct two 1000 MWe nuclear reactors at Rooppur with Russian technical and financial assistance without having any public hearing or debate whether people want nuclear power or not. The people have been told that the nuclear plant will create job opportunities for them and the economy of the region will get a boost due to the huge investment in the project. This is fair enough but have they been told the other side of the story? Are they aware about nuclear radiation and safety, and the environmental issues of the plant? Have they heard about the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents and the evacuation of a large number of people from around the two nuclear plants? Do they know that if a similar situation arises, they too will have to evacuate? Will it not be wise if we tell them the whole story now and not wait till the last moment like the Austrians did, paying a significant penalty?

Who wants water? n Khawaza Main Uddin

W

ant of water in a land of water! Our forefathers, if they had consciousness in their graveyards, would possibly curse this generation for creating a water crisis. It was unthinkable in their time, particularly in a riverine country blessed with robust monsoon. But the life of any generation is full of challenges of its own. The current state of rivers in Bangladesh tells us the sorry tale of overlooking such a challenge facing a lower-riparian country by those who are just going with the tide of watered-down diplomacy. My image of the Teesta as one of the major trans-boundary rivers for example, is of two opposite realities. It’s a beautiful river when you have a glimpse of it on the way to Gangtok, Sikkim. On the contrary, it’s a barren land of sand in Bangladesh during the lean season – a sad scene which has been reflected in the media recently. We all know why the Teesta has dried up at the point of entry into Bangladesh. Some of us, if not all, may ask how the crisis reached its current level. As a citizen of an independent country, it is also difficult to accept how we are living without agreement on all (54) common rivers, with the exception of the Ganges (Padma). A pessimist may argue as to what Dhaka can do if New Delhi continues to deprive us of our due share of water. True, it’s been a culture of Indian authorities to deny Bangladesh’s rights to one of our common and essential natural resources of mankind. Have we made our case at the national level or lodged our claim prop-

erly at bilateral or multilateral forums? We haven’t even formulated arguments on how a country, which has ambitions of global leadership, has been unjust to its next-door neighbour. Probably, the party which holds the responsibility of running the state has reacted rather sharply to the demonstration by others demanding Teesta waters. We haven’t heard the ruling Awami League – hugely indebted to Delhi for extending rare support to the farcical January 5 elections — making an outcry for the water of international rivers as an issue of a right of Bangladesh.

It’s been a culture of Indian authorities to deny our rights to one of our essential natural resources

Instead, AL leaders Suranjit Sengupta, Dr Hassan Mahmud, and Minister Quamrul Islam bitterly criticised the BNP for the recent long march towards the Teesta barrage in the North. As the AL government suffers from a legitimacy crisis, they are scared of the popular support for the demand for water. The AL claimed all credit for the 1996 Ganges Water Treaty, oblivious of the fact that it dropped the guarantee clause contained in the agreement signed during President Zia’s tenure

in 1977. Sengupta further advised the BNP to lend its support to the AL government’s approach of what he emphasised as “long diplomacy.” That understanding of “diplomacy” reminds us of the old debate whether the tail is wagging the dog, if sedate diplomatic pursuit dominates issues involving national interests. Though I earnestly do not want to believe, our instincts, supported by visible acts, suggest there is more appeasement in the stance, ignoring the matter of sovereign self-esteem. While the BNP’s demonstration could have increased the government’s bargaining capacity in dealing with the Indian authorities, AL leaders attacked the opposition instead, unceremoniously relegating the national issue of water. After the signing of the Israeli-Palestine Peace Accord 1993, President Yasser Arafat was asked by a Western TV channel about the opposition to the treaty from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Arafat, a guerrilla leader, observed that using the dissent as a pressure on Israel, he would uphold all valid concerns of the Palestinian people. New Delhi is showing its recalcitrant “boys and girls” in national and provincial politics as reasons for not signing a water-sharing agreement on the Teesta, despite the AL’s massive investments in the Congress-led government. Moreover, elections have banished the water issue to Siberia, from where its revival is hardly likely, given the overt anti-Bangladesh sentiment in India’s premier-in-waiting, Narendra Modi. It’s a mystery how national aspirations are pursued internationally. There is no visible and functional

mechanism to translate political and parliamentary directives into foreign policy goals. To add to the dismal canvas, our diplomats are not briefed by their political bosses and a clear vision of the political parties on dealing with external issues is absent. On various occasions, we heard India’s minister, or top-level diplomats, attributing a feeble flow of water to lack of water in the upstream. They further stated that Bangladesh has adequate water during the monsoon and since it’s a problem of water management, Delhi could provide a hand of help. The Indians have often managed to divert the issues to obscurity, simply because of our failure to place unequivocal and irrefutable arguments. We hardly possess credible data on how much water Indians withdraw unilaterally from the common rivers. The tough rule of the world is: No one will give you something unless you ask for it. It is widely, though not formally, said, that successive governments have been advised to appoint a pro-Indian politician as the water resources minister. The eventual result of such choice is well-known. The present water resources minister recently made a remark on television that Dhaka might have to “internationalise” the Teesta issue, if bilateral talks fail. Lest we forget, Bangladesh had no water-sharing agreement with India when he was the foreign minister of the country during the Ershad regime. l Khawaza Main Uddin is Executive Editor at ICE Business Times.

Public opinion determines national policies on nuclear power in democratic countries

The government opened a Nuclear Information Centre at Bangabandhu Novo Theatre last year in Dhaka. The centre is supposed to disseminate information on the proposed nuclear power plant at Rooppur. The objective of a nuclear information centre is to provide full information to the public about nuclear power, including its safety and environmental issues, to remove their apprehensions and thus pave the way for smooth implementation of the projects.

Have we learnt nothing from Chernobyl?

I visited such an information centre in early 1976. It was built by American Electric Power (AEP) near the Cook Nuclear Plant built along Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline. The information centre, now known as the Cook Energy Centre, is situated in a beautiful natural setting with parks, recreational facilities, and several high-tech theatres. Theatre 1 shows a video that explains how a reactor produces electricity, what makes nuclear energy safe, and how radioactive waste is managed. Theatre 2 displays a 26ft three dimensional rotating model of a nuclear power reactor and its components. Theatre 3 shows alternative methods of electricity production.

The people of Rooppur should be told the whole truth, not just part of it

I also visited another nuclear information centre near Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in Canada. All information centres in the US are situated close to the nuclear power plants because the purpose of building an information centre is to provide information to local residents so that they may not raise objections and thus delay the construction of the plant. First of all, the Nuclear Information Centre in Dhaka is a mere toy compared to those I saw in North America. One may wonder what purpose it will serve in disseminating information to the people around Rooppur. I hope the policymakers will be realistic and construct a nuclear information centre like the Cook Energy Centre, close to Rooppur. The people around Rooppur should know what they will be living with for a few generations. Besides information centres, there are other ways for dissemination information, like holding seminars, public debates, talk shows on TV, and publishing articles and special supplements in newspapers. Has the government taken any step in this direction? The Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia (ROSATOM) organised a two-day seminar in Dhaka in May, 2013. Only invited papers, mostly from among the proponents of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP), were presented. Most of the newspapers in the seminar were of general nature and hardly addressed any issue relating to the proposed Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. It is apparent from the questions asked from the floor, and also from the opinions expressed in the media that there are some real concerns regarding the RNPP, particularly regarding the shortage of trained manpower, safety, the environmental impact of the plant, the management of the project, and its total cost. These issues need to be discussed openly and thoroughly before we proceed with the construction of Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant. There should be more seminars and public debates, not just in Dhaka, but also at Rooppur. The people of Rooppur should be told the whole truth, not just part of it. The views of the locals must be known before construction of the plant begins. Nuclear power cannot be sustained without the support of the people. Let us be transparent and face the truth now. l Abdul Matin is a former chief engineer of the Atomic Energy Commission.

BIGSTOCK


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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Entertainment

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Partha Pratim Majumder works in a DreamWorks production n Entertainment Desk

Shunte Ki Pao! to be screened at the prestigious Louxor Theatre n Entertainment Desk Kamar Ahmed’s internationally acclaimed creative documentary, Shunte Ki Pao! (Are You Listening!) is scheduled to screen at the prestigious Louxor Theatre in Paris on May 13. Kamar has also been invited to take part in a question/answer session with the audience after the screening. The event is organised by a group of Parisian activists and filmmakers, lead by renowned Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh under the doctrine of “a country, a film, a director, a meeting.” Built in 1921 and revived last year after 25 years of curtailment, Louxor Theatre is now considered as one of the most popular centre for practicing in-

The world has been a stage for maestro Partha Pratim Majumder when it comes to performing the art of showing a story instead of telling – be it on-stage mime performances or acting in classic movies. With a trail of successes in his venture to apply mime in films and theatres, the silent artist has recently worked in The Hundred-Foot Journey, an adventure drama film directed by Lasse Hallström. The film is based on a novel by Richard C Morais and produced by DreamWorks Pictures, a film production house co-founded by Steven Spielberg and his fellows. In the movie, Partha had to recreate al-

dependent thinking, counter-culture and progressive politics amongst the youngsters. It currently screens world classics and critically acclaimed world cinemas only. The talented director will also present the script of Shonkhodhoni (Silence of the Seashell), an on-going project of his, at the La Fabrique Les Cinemas du Monde organised by Institut Francais in partnership with Marché du Film at the Festival de Cannes. Last year in Paris, Shunte Ki Pao! won the Grand Prix award at the “35th Cinema du Reel” and this year it was awarded with the Golden Conch at the “Mumbai International Film Festival” (MIFF) as the best feature film. l

A new drama series titled Jol Phoring Er Gaan will air on SATV today at 8pm. Directed by Anjan Aich, the series features popular soap actors Suborna Mostafa, Tisha, Nisho, Farzana Chhobi, Faruque Ahmed and many others

Promising Rabindra Sangeet artiste Shwapnil Shojib will perform at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (Gulshan) today at 6:30pm. The show is organised by IGCC in association with Asian Paints, IRCON and Marico Bangladesh. From an early age, Shojib trained in Rabindra Sangeet under eminent exponents of the genre such as Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, Wahedul Hoque, Lily Islam, Sraboni Sen and Poroma Banerjee. He also learnt Hindustani Classical Vocal Music and Loghu Shangeet from celebrated singers like Ustad Ali Imam Chowdhury. A prolific singer, Shojib has released a cassette Amar Gaan in 2002, three solo CDs from Bangladesh and another from Kolkata - The Tagore Treasury. He has also rendered voice for Shruti Geetobitan and Notun Tara-2 in 2011. His talent has won him several awards such as the Prothom Maan award in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Shojib is a regular artiste in Bangladesh Television and Betar. He performs in different TV channels of Bangladesh and India. He has participated in prestigious stage concerts in Bangladesh, India, UK and Australia. The artiste is also associated with several cultural organisations in Bangladesh including the Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Shangstha, Surer Dhara and Shadhona Shangskritik Mondal. The show is open for all. l

Shironamhin to launch app

TODAY IN DHAKA Exhibition

n Hasan Mansoor Chatak

Germany – A Sporting Nation Time: 11am – 6pm Goethe Institut Bangladesh Road 9(new), House 10 Dhanmondi

Country’s popular Indie rock band Shironamhin will launch a smart phone application containing the band’s trivia, members bio, images of various performances and the songs from the band’s latest self-titled album - Shironamhin (Untitled as Always). The app is expected to hit the market during the first week of May. In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune, the band’s major songwriter, bassist and founding member Ziaur Rahman Zia confirmed that the smart phone app will reach the audience very quickly comprising of the lyrics/chord of all the songs of Shironamhin’s latest album and many other distinctive features. At first, the songs of the recent album will only be available in the app and later, when the copyright issues of their other songs are resolved, they will be added to the tracklist.

‘Water Rhymes-2’ Time: 11am – 8pm Galleri Kaya, House 20 Road 16, Sector 04, Uttara Grand Group Exhibition Time: 10am – 8pm Saju Art Gallery DCC Market Gulshan Bonded Stitches & Struggle Time: 3pm – 8pm Drik Gallery House 58, Road 15A (New), Dhanmondi ‘Nature ‘n Craft’ Time: 12pm – 8pm Zainul Gallery-1, Charukala Dhaka University, Shahbag

Film

most all the body movements of Om Puri, who plays the head of the Kadam family. “I have been working in the film since November last year. The shooting was done mainly in Albi and Paris, France. My job was recreating body movements of Om Puri – starting from his steps to moving his fingers. It was a nice experience to work in Steven Spielberg’s production house,” said Partha, who won the Moliere Award in 2009. The mime legend bagged the highest French award, Chevalier De L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (French Knight), in 2011. He has worked with popular actors including Oscar winner (for The Artist) Jean Dujardin in Infidel and Valeria Golino. l

Shwapnil Shojib to perform at IGCC n Entertainment Desk

On April 30, Dhaka Electronica Scene performed at the Goethe Institut

SADIA MARIUM

Justin Timberlake and Jackson's new duet n Entertainment Desk

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

The hugely anticipated Michael Jackson-Justin Timberlake duet Love Never Felt So Good has hit the web. The first single off MJ’s posthumous album got its debut Thursday night during the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards. However, it was Usher, not Timberlake, who appeared on stage. Love Never Felt So Good is one of eight tracks to appear on Jackson’s poshumous Xscape album that will see release May 13. The song was written in 1983 in a session with Paul Anka and Kathy Wakefield. In 1984 Johnny Mathis released a version. l

Jennifer crowned the Sexiest Woman in the World n Entertainment Desk Jennifer Lawrence has been crowned the “Sexiest Woman in the World” by FHM magazine. The Oscar-winning actress has topped the British men's magazine's annual 100 “Sexiest Women in the World” poll taking the crown from 2013 winner Mila Kunis, who drops to sixth place. Lawrence, 23, narrowly beat Michelle Keegan, with the stunning Coronation Street star finishing in second place once the thousands of readers' votes counted. Although she just missed out on the top spot, Keegan was still thrilled to finish as runner-up. Speaking in the new issue of FHM magazine on sale now, the

26-year-old actress said: "I'm totally taken back by this. It really does mean a lot. Thank you so much to the readers of FHM and everyone who took the time and voted for me, I'm so flattered. I believe that being 'sexy' isn't wearing lots of heavy makeup or having the perfect hair or figure, it's about self-confidence, being comfortable with yourself, smiling and being happy!" Rounding off the top five are Rihanna in third spot, fourth placed British/American model Emily Ratajkowski — who received worldwide attention after appearing naked in Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines video — and Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco in fifth. Notable entries in the list of a hundred women include TV chef Nigella Lawson at number 21, Kate

Moss at 42, Jennifer Aniston at 36 and supermodel Cara Delevingne at 54. l

Deepika Padukone's fight scene with Rajinikanth is the highlight of Kochadaiiyaan

n Entertainment Desk Deepika Padukone has always been athletic and sporting. Not one to shun any kind of physical challenge, she took on a fight sequence in Kochadaiiyaan with the invincible Rajinikanth in the spirit of a challenge. Deepika is said to have been so agile on her feet that it became difficult to make her defeat in the sequence look convincing. Said "The fight sequence where Deepika will be seen doing various forms of martial arts while challenging the mighty Rajinikanth's invincibility, has turned out to be one of the highlights of the film," said a source. "Everyone in the team felt the fight between Rajiniji and Deepika was the film's highlight. So, it's being spotlighted as one of the film's USPs," added the source. The film's director, Soundarya R Ashwin, daughter of Rajinikanth, says the experience of shooting the sequence was exciting. "It was great fun. We're sure it will be a highlight in the film," she said. l

Android and iOS users will get the opportunity to download the app in their devices and listen to the songs even if they go offline. Another feature of the app includes the opportunity of Shironamhin fans to interact with the band directly and get prompt reply to their queries and messages. Zia said: “We were always looking for straightforward ways to get to our fans and this app is just the tool which will make it possible. Very soon, all our songs will be available in the app.” Shironamhin has made a good impression on the music enthusiasts of the country through their unique musical and lyrical compositions. In many of their numbers, they have infused traditional classical instruments such as sarod, esaraj, mandira and dotara along with rock music. The band is now busy producing a song for the film Padmo Patar Jol, directed by Tonmoy Tansen. l


Did you know? The 2014 Champions League final will be the first derby between two teams from the same city in a European competition final

Sport

Saturday, May 3, 2014

14 Simeone

‘excited’ by all-Madrid final

14 Benfica, Sevilla

hold nerve to reach Europa final

DHAKA TRIBUNE

13

15 Formula One

mourns Senna’s death in Italy

Plenty of reasons behind resignation, says Jurgensen The sudden resignation was not an emotional decision from the Bangladesh national team coach Shane Jurgensen and it was rather an outcome of an uncertainty he has been in for a long time. The Australian returned to Dhaka on Thursday and is expected to meet the Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan today. “I really don’t have much to comment about now. I have got to talk with the BCB in the couple of days. I won’t say that it was an emotional decision. A serious decision like that cannot come in this emotional way. It’s a buildup of a number of different things on a long period of time. I am not going to make a decision like that straightaway,” said Jurgensen to the media on Thursday. The 38-year-old hinted to stick to his decision of leaving as he said, “I can’t talk about it right now because I need to talk to peoples in charge but at the moment I have taken my decision. We can have a bit of a chat about it but there are number of different reasons behind this decision. So everything needs to be taken into account. “I have looked at my life in general, with my wife and kids. I took a step back, and have a think about a lot of different things and for the next couple of

Men’s team reach second phase of World TT Bangladesh men’s team finished runners-up in Group 5 in the World Table Tennis Championship by winning three of the four group matches at Tokyo, Japan yesterday. Bangladesh beat Congo and lost to group champions Jamaica yesterday. Earlier they beat Madagascar and Botswana. As the group runners-up Bangladesh will now feature in the knock-out stage and fight for a ranking of 97 to 105. Meanwhile the women’s team failed to reach the knockout stage losing two of their five matches in Group 4. The women paddlers won against Syria, Botswana and Costa Rica but lost to group winners Laos and Seychelles. l

days I will be meeting some important people talking over the issues,” he said. Jurgensen informed he has got quite a few options around the world but now his priority is the India series for the Tigers. He also said Mushfiqur Rahim and the other national cricketers will be his good friends for long time. On the other hand, BCB chief Nazmul, who also returned on the same day after a medical checkup in Singapore, informed they are looking for a specialist coach and they never said anything to Jurgensen officially regarding the post of head coach. “We did not take any decision about him and what I have said earlier that we are looking for a specialist batting and bowling coach but we never said anything about the head coach. He (Shane) will be with us till the India series so in the meantime we will sit on a board meeting and then we will decide either he will continue or to look for alternative,” said Nazmul. The BCB president, however, did not seem too worried about the fact that Jurgensen wants to leave and said, “After a disappointing series by a team we often see the coach gets replaced or quits his job, but we never said anything to Jurgensen. He thought the board will change the coach so he resigned by his own before that. But we are looking for a specialist coach and if needed the board will look for head coach also.” l

BCL last round finally resume today The third and final round matches of the Bangladesh Cricket League 20132014 will get underway today following a few months of unscheduled breaks. The tournament was scheduled to resume on April 28 but was later postponed for four days following requests from franchises who asked for more time for preparation. The second delay, as the resumption was dated yesterday, was caused by security reasons which eventually made the cricket board shift venues from the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah to BKSP. The four-day first-class franchise-based competition was halted after the second round in January due to the national team’s commitments

Former national cricket captain Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu speaks at the press conference demanding the withdrawal of case filed against four eminent personalities by Sheikh Jamal Club yesterday COURTESY

Former national players urge Jamal to withdraw case Former national players from different sport urged Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club to withdraw the case filed against four eminent personalities in a press conference held at the WVA auditorium yesterday. The programme conducted by former national cricket captain Gazi Ashraf Lipu saw the presence of national award winners Golam Sarwar Tipu, Hasanuzzman Khan Bablu, former national cricketers ASM Faruque, Shafiqul Haque Heera, former national football stars Imtiaz Sultyan Johnny, Rumman bil Wali Sabbir, former national cricket coach Jalal

Sheikh Jamal scorers Wedson (left) and Emeka celebrate their second strike against Muktijoddha at the BNS yesterday

Ahmed Chowdhury, swimmer Laila Nur, judoka Quamrunnahjar Hiru and others. The speakers said Dhaka South City Corporation has opened the ground for all and it proves the case against the four eminent people is erroneous. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club general secretary Arifur Rahman filed a case against four eminent environmentalists and sports organisers on April 21 for entering the playground that day.    The accused included former IAB president Mubasshar Hussein, BAPA joint secretary Iqbal Habib, architect Salma A Shafi and national sports award winner Kamrunnahar Dana – all of whom are Dhanmondi residents. l

Wedson, Emeka keep Jamal on top Emeka Darlington was joined by Alamgir Kabir Rana, who started his first match in the season, in the midfield to sting like a thorn on the Muktijoddha defence. Muktijoddha’s defensive strategy marred the opening minutes as Jamal’s attacking aspirations was curbed by the heavy midfield and defence. There was hardly any notable movement till the half hour mark. Jamal showed their tactical superiority by using the flanks to sneak in the Muktis backline. In the 40th minute Rana went close to take the lead when he took control of a Wedson square pass at the top of the sixyard box but shoot straight at Muktijoddha goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton. Wedson pulled a low cross from the right flank in the first-half added time but Emeka’s volley was stopped by Liton once again, this time by his feet. The deadlock was broken six minutes after resumption as Wedson scored his 11th league goal to put Jamal

that included the bilateral home series against Sri Lanka, the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20. Table toppers Walton Central Zone will clash with Bangladesh Cricket Board North Zone while Islami Bank East Zone will take on Prime Bank South Zone with both matches to be held at BKSP in Savar. After two matches each, Walton Central Zone lead the league table with 31 points including a win and a draw. BCB North Zone trail them only by a point while Prime Bank South Zone occupy third position with 17 points. Islami Bank East Zone are at the bottom with two points. The top two teams after the conclusion of this round will battle it out in a five-day final slated for May 9 at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. l

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club consolidated their place at the top of the Nitol-Tata Bangladesh Premier League with a comfortable 2-0 win over Muktijoddha KC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. With their top two attacking players Sunday Chizoba and Nkwocha Kingsley missing from the line up for unknown reason, Muktijoddha naturally opted for a defensive game. The Muktis waited for openings and loopholes in the opponent defence, but their only forward Eleta Kinsley looked out of place and lost among the Jamal defenders as most of their efforts were halted at the edge of the box. Meanwhile, Jamal’s three pronged foreign attack comprising Haitian duo Sony Norde and Wedson and Nigerian

Mushfiq contracts viral hepatitis

Fahad leads open group in MSC School Chess

Bangladesh cricket team captain Mushfiqur Rahim is suffering from viral hepatitis, it was revealed yesterday although Bangladesh Cricket Board physician Debashish Chowdhury informed there is nothing to be worried about. Mushfiq, who has been suffering from fever, was admitted to Apollo Hospital on Thursday and further medical tests showed that he has contracted viral hepatitis. “We have received his medical reports and it was found that Mushfiq is suffering from viral hepatitis. He is feeling much better today (yesterday) and the temperature has decreased,” said Debashish. Debashish went on to say that during this period Mushfiq will feel weak and take some time to recover but the BCB physician was refusing to put any timeframe on a comeback date. “We will receive more medical reports by the next one or two days and then we will be able to confirm it,” he said. As a result the 25-year-old Bangladesh skipper will not be able to take part in the third and final round of the Bangladesh Cricket League which starts today. l

COURTESY

FM Mohammad Fahad Rahman of Gulshan Model School was at the top of the table with maximum 5 points at the end of the 5th round of the open group of the Mohammedan International School Chess Championship held at the MSC auditorium yesterday. Arka Sengupta of Kolkata and Rabbi Mridha of BCSIR School were sharing 2nd position with 4 points each. In the girls’ class six-ten group, WFM Arpita Mukharjee of India was leading the table with maximum 4 points at the end of the 4thround. Asmita Das of India, Nusrat Jahan Nafisa and MST Zhorna Begum of Bibi Morium School all occupied 2ndposition with 3 points each.

Sayantan Mukharjee of India was the solo leader in the boyss class 5-7 group with maximum 5 points at the end of the 5thround. Nova Tasha of DPS-STS School and Jamim Al Hamid of Moulovibazar were in 2ndposition with 4 points each. Jannatul Ferdous of Ideal Primary School earned maximum 5 points after the 5thround and solely led the points table in the girls’ class 3-5 group. Rumaysa Hasnat of DPS-STS School was in 2nd position with 4 points. Mahmud Sharif of Ideal School & College and Abdullah Al Shahran Saikot of Khulshi Child Grammar School were the joint-leaders in the boys’ class 3-4 group with 4.5 points each following the conclusion of the 5th round. l

Fide Master Fahad Rahman (R) ponders his next move against his opponent at the MSC International School Chess yesterday COURTESY

ahead. Totally unmarked in the middle of the box, the tall Haitian headed on Rana’s cross from the near post. Wedson this time assisted Emeka to double the lead in the 77th minute and go past him in the top goal scorers list. Wedson’s cross from the right flank was headed in by Emeka for his 12th league goal. Jamal custodian Ziaur Rahman pulled out a superb save off Maruf’s free kick in the 81st minute to maintain the clean sheet. The match was disrupted for poor lights due to low voltage in the stadium and as a result 10 minutes of stoppage time was added after the stipulated time. Maruf was once caused threat from a 25-yard free kick and this time the cross piece saved Jamal from conceding after their keeper Zia was completely beaten. After 13 games Jamal accumulated 31 points while Muktijoddha has 18. l

Latif backs Malik in bid to lift life ban Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif Thursday backed former team-mate Salim Malik in his bid to overturn a life ban imposed 14 years ago for match-fixing. Latif, known for his fight against corruption in cricket, said Malik had already suffered enough and should be allowed to coach or do similar work. “I think Malik should be given relief now,” Latif told AFP. “He is not playing or coaching cricket and has served 14 years of his ban.” Latif was the first to blow the whistle on match-fixing on Pakistan’s tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1995, accusing Malik and other team-mates of wrongdoing. Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh revealed the same year that Malik had offered them bribes to under-perform in matches on Australia’s tour to Pakistan in 1994. The allegations prompted the then-Pakistan government to conduct a judicial inquiry in 1998 through Lahore high court judge Malik Mohammad Qayyum who after a two-years investigation banned Malik and paceman Ataur Rehman for life. The commission also fined six leading players: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul Haq and Akram Raza. l


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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Pogba accuses United of disrespect

Sport

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Thunder, Warriors stay alive in West

French midfielder Paul Pogba has accused former club Manchester United of showing “disrespect” by sidelining him and making him train alone during a contract dispute before he moved to Juventus. “They left me out because they said I wanted to leave. That is disrespect,” Pogba, who left United in July 2012, told the BBC on Thursday. “Maybe they didn’t think they were making a mistake.” When Pogba left United, then-manager Alex Ferguson had said he was “quite happy” to offload the player who the Scot accused of not “showing us any respect at all.” –Reuters

Kevin Durant shook off criticism to score 36 points on Thursday as the Oklahoma City Thunder extended their NBA season with an emphatic 104-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder, facing elimination in the bestof-seven Western Conference first-round series, thumped the Grizzlies to level the set at three games apiece. The decisive game seven will be in Oklahoma City on Saturday, when the Los Angeles Clippers will host the Golden State Warriors in a winner-take-all game seven after the Warriors staved off elimination in their first-round series with a 100-99 triumph in Oakland. –AFP

Rogers hits double ton in record chase Australia Test opener Chris Rogers hit an unbeaten 241 as English county Middlesex chased down their highest fourth-innings total to clinch a seven-wicket win over Yorkshire at Lord’s on Wednesday. Set a huge 472 to win, 36-year-old Rogers stormed to the third-highest fourth-innings score ever recorded by a batsman in the county championship. Middlesex’s target of 472 for three is the third-highest chase. Rogers has hit 10 double-hundreds in his career, and has four centuries at Test level, but the Australian insisted that Wednesday’s innings was his best ever. –AFP

Simeone ‘excited’ by all-Madrid final Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is relishing the prospect of leading his side against city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final after eliminating Chelsea in the last four. The two Madrid clubs will become the first teams from the same city to contest a European Cup final when they meet in Lisbon on May 24 after Atletico won 3-1 at Chelsea in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

RESULT Chelsea Torres 36

1 3

Atletico Madrid

Adrian Lopez 44, D Costa 60-P, Arda Turan 72 Atletico Madrid win 3-1 on aggregate

Atletico have taken four points from Real in the league this season, having beaten them for the first time in 14 years in last year’s Copa del Rey final. Simeone, however, does not believe that Atletico’s intimate knowledge of their rivals will necessarily work in their favour. “I don’t see it as an advantage or a disadvantage,” he said. “The reality is that we know each

other very well and have been playing each other for a really long time. We will be playing a powerful club who are used to the big European nights. “It’s been many years since we’ve been there, so it will be a new experience for us, but we’ll be very eager and excited to play well in the final.” “I don’t think it’s the right time to think about that or talk about that,” said the 44-year-old, who had two spells at Atletico as a player. “Right now I’m just focusing on our next game against Levante. I just want to congratulate the players and the staff at the club, because without their hard work we wouldn’t be here.” Asked if it had been the best moment of his managerial career, Simeone replied: “Considering we were playing against such a big opponent at their own stadium, that always enhances the game. “I’m very happy with the second-half reaction. We played very well in the second half and controlled the game against world-class opponents. “That will be the lasting memory of this game, that we controlled the game against a great side and were able to reach the final.” Costa had to go off in the 76th minute after sustaining a knock, but Simeone played down concerns about his fitness. l

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa (C) celebrates with Koke after scoring from the spot against Chelsea during their Champion’s League semi-final second leg match at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday REUTERS

Benfica, Sevilla hold nerve to reach Europa final Mourinho rues crucial Benfica kept alive their dream of a first European trophy in 52 years after a goalless draw with Juventus in Turin on Thursday helped the newly-crowned Portuguese champions win their Europa League semi-final 2-1 on aggregate. Jorge Jesus’s side will return to Turin on May 14 to take on Sevilla in the final after restricting the Serie A leaders to a handful of chances, despite having to play for 23 minutes of the second leg clash with 10 men after Enzo Perez was sent off. “We managed the advantage we had from the first leg really well and we deserve to be in the final because we were better than Juventus,” said Benfica coach Jesus. The Portuguese side will be hoping to win their first continental title since

1962’s European Cup triumph, since when they have lost seven finals, including last season’s Europa League showpiece to Chelsea. Juventus failed to take advantage of their territorial superiority in the first half or the extra man after the sending-off and their exit is a blow for Italy, whose teams have struggled on the continent in recent years. Juventus coach Antonio Conte was annoyed with the away side’s defensive mindset and English referee Mark Clattenburg, who he felt should have given a penalty against Luisao for appearing to block Fernando Llorente’s 65th-minute header with his hand. “They’re going through to the final, but I don’t think they deserved it,” said an irritated Conte. “The only thing we missed was a goal. Over the course of the two legs we conceded two shots on target. We tried

but tonight but we didn’t have the run of the ball.” Meanwhile, Stephane Mbia headed home in the fifth minute of stoppage time to take Sevilla into the Europa League final on away goals despite losing 3-1 on the night away to Valencia.

RESULTS Valencia

3 1

Sevilla

0 0

Benfica

Feghouli 14, Mbia 90+4 Beto 26-o.g., Mathieu 70 3-3 on aggregate; Sevilla win on away goals

Juventus

Benfica win 2-1 on aggregate

An early strike from Sofiane Feghouli and Beto’s own goal had wiped out Sevilla’s 2-0 first leg advantage inside 25 minutes. Jeremy Mathieu’s goal midway through the second-half then seemed to have Valencia on route to the final, but

Mbia powered home Federico Fazio’s flick-on from a long throw to deny Los Che with the last attack of the game. “I think it is the happiest moment of my life,” said Mbia, who is on-loan at the Andalusian club from Queens Park Rangers. Inspired by overcoming a 3-0 first leg defeat to beat Basel 5-0 at home in the return in the quarter-finals, Valencia went ahead on 14 minutes when Feghouli cut inside onto his left foot and his shot deflected off Fazio and flew into the roof of the net. The hosts looked to have sealed their place in the final 21 minutes from time when Mathieu thrashed home after the ball fell perfectly for the French defender from Fede’s corner. However, Mbia’s dramatic intervention means it will instead be two-time winners Sevilla who will face Benfica in the final in Turin on May 16. l

minute after defeat Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid hinged on a pivotal second-half minute and the expertise of a young goalkeeper on loan from the Premier League club to the Spanish side, Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday. Atletico beat Chelsea 3-1 to set up a final against city rivals real Madrid after coming back from a goal down at Stamford Bridge. “The difference was one minute in the second half where a goalkeeper makes an impossible save and instead of 2-1 for Chelsea there was a penalty...and after that it was 2-1 for Atletico. And that completely changed the game,” Mourinho told reporters.

“These matches are normally decided by details and that minute had two details - the save was amazing - and the penalty. I think that minute was crucial - after that Atletico had complete control. We had the feeling that the game was lost, they had for sure the feeling of much more confidence. They played very well - a very mature performance and I congratulate them,” he added. Mourinho felt the difference between his side and Atletico was that Diego Simeone had been building the Spanish league leaders for three years and he had been back at Chelsea only one season. “It’s the difference between one year and three and it’s a big difference...they are a very good side, very adapted to the ideas of this manager every player fits his idea of how to play,” he said. l

Man City lead charge as title race nears climax

Sevilla’s Daniel Carrico and his teammates celebrate scoring against Valencia during their Europa League semi-final second leg match at Mestalla stadium on Thursday REUTERS

The closest English topflight title race in 33 years speeds towards its conclusion this weekend, with Manchester City carrying the advantage ahead of a thorny trip to Everton on Saturday. Leaders Liverpool’s 2-0 loss at home to second-place Chelsea last weekend means that City will probably be assured of a second title in three seasons if they win their three remaining matches. City trail Liverpool by three points but have a game in hand and a superior goal difference (+58 to +50), and yet with the teams so tightly bunched, the

Napoli eye Cup win to save season Napoli coach Rafael Benitez is hoping the club’s second Italian Cup final triumph in three years will help make up for the disappointment of failing to challenge for league and Champions League honours this season. Napoli, sitting third in Serie A, head to Rome’s Olympic Stadium as slight favourites against Fiorentina. But after a painful exit from the Champions League group stages and having failed to launch a scudetto challenge to league leaders Juventus, Benitez has warned that failure to overcome La Viola could leave their season in tatters. Napoli last triumphed in the final two years ago when Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik scored in a 2-0 win

against Juventus. But on Saturday Benitez could be forced to reshuffle his front line depending on whether Gonzalo Higuain -- who has scored 17 league goals this season -- is fully fit to start. Higuain suffered a calf injury in last week’s scoreless draw away to Inter and although named in Benitez’s matchday squad on Thursday press reports suggest he may not be fit enough for 90 minutes. On paper, it would suit Fiorentina although forward Gonzalo Rodriguez said his team won’t be focusing on Higuain’s condition. Fiorentina have played some of the most attractive football in Italy this season and, sitting fourth in Serie A with three games remaining, have vir-

tually secured their place in next season’s Europa League. But with doubts over goalkeeper Neto (finger), Rodriguez (tonsilitis), Mario Gomez (knee) and Borja Valero (knee), Montella could be forced into some major reshuffling. The only good news Fiorentina received this week was team doctors giving striker Giuseppe Rossi, who has been sidelined with a fresh knee injury since January, the medical all-clear to play. But with Alessandro Matri, Josip Ilicic and Joaquin all fit to play, Rossi is expected to make a substitute’s appearance in Rome, where an estimated army of 28,000 Fiorentina fans will travel hoping to see the club’s eighth Cup win, and first since 2001. l

race is far from run. Not since 1981 have the top three been so close together at this stage of the season and only twice in the Pre-

FIXTURES Aston Villa Everton Man United Newcastle Stoke City Swansea City West Ham

v v v v v v v

Hull City Man City Sunderland Cardiff City Fulham Southampton Tottenham

mier League era (1999 and 2008) have three teams been in mathematical title contention at this point. With Chelsea not hosting Norwich

City until Sunday and Liverpool visiting Crystal Palace on Monday, City can take over at the top by prevailing at Goodison Park. However, while Everton now trail Arsenal by four points in the race for the fourth and final Champions League place, they have lost at home only twice this season. Manchester United’s Champions League ambitions have long faded, but they will look to build on last weekend’s 4-0 win over Norwich in interim manager Ryan Giggs’s first game in charge when they host Sunderland. Sunderland, however, are on a run of back-to-back victories that have lifted them out of the bottom three, and having already beaten both City and

Chelsea this season, they have pedigree against the top sides. While Sunderland also have a game in hand to fulfil, at home to West Brom on Wednesday, time is running out for bottom club Cardiff City, who are two points from safety ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could be relegated this weekend if results go against them, while Fulham are also in a perilous position, just a point better off and facing a trip to Stoke City. With an away game at Palace awaiting on the season’s final day, Fulham manager Felix Magath has urged his players to take responsibility for their destiny by winning their last two matches. l

Libertadores holders Mineiro knocked out Colombia’s Nacional dumped holders Atletico Mineiro out of the Libertadores Cup on Thursday after substitute Jefferson Duque’s goal two minutes from time earned his side a 1-1 draw in Brazil and a 2-1 win on aggregate. Nacional, won the first leg of their last-16 tie 1-0 in Medellin last week. Atletico went ahead in the 20th minute but he Colombian side equalised in the 88th minute when Atletico goalkeeper Victor failed to intercept a low cross from the left and Duque slid in at the far post to steer the ball home. l

Ronaldinho (L) of Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro challenges Oscar Murillo of Colombia’s Atletico Nacional during their Copa Libertadores match in Belo Horizonte on Thursday REUTERS


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Sport

Few surprises in first England squad of second Moores era

QUICK BYTES

Formula One mourns Senna’s death in Italy Thousands of Formula One fans on Thursday commemorated the 20th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death at the scene of the sport’s darkest day in Imola in Italy as tributes poured in for the late Brazilian master driver. Brazilian flags were hung on a fence at the Tamburello corner where the triple world champion’s Williams careered off into a concrete barrier on lap seven at 190mph (307km/h) in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Much-loved by enthusiasts for his passion and ambition, Senna is considered one of the greatest racing drivers of all time and his death at the age of 34 prompted extensive changes to make Formula One less risky. “I was here at the Variante Bassa chicane and we watched Ayrton veer off on the giant screen. Our hearts sank when they told us the news,” said one fan, 31-year-old Marco, who wore a crash helmet like Senna’s. Brazilians also came for the emotional Imola gathering, with 39-year-old Daniela from Belo Horizonte saying: “What moves me about Senna was his humility, his enormous charisma. He is in our hearts like family.” –AFP

Marsh named as chief Australia selector Test great Rod Marsh will head up a restructured Australian selection panel featuring newcomer Mark Waugh and former chief selector Trevor Hohns, Cricket Australia said on Friday. Marsh was endorsed by CA’s board of directors as a replacement for John Inverarity, 70, who has stood down after two-and-ahalf years in charge. CA said Marsh will move to a full-time role leading a panel that includes national coach Darren Lehmann, former Test and one day international star Waugh and Hohns, with Andy Bichel departing. CA chief executive James Sutherland said Marsh, who has been offered a three-year contract, has the experience and knowledge to carry out the challenging responsibilities of leading the panel. “Rod Marsh is the right man to take on this important role having been a key member of the panel since 2011,” he said. –AFP

Marquez braced for Yamaha Spanish surge Marc Marquez eyes a fourth win in four races this season in Spain on Sunday but faces a Yamaha challenge from Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo who have eight elite class MotoGP wins between them at Jerez. World champion Marquez, lining up for his 100th race in all categories, has swept all three grands prix so far at Qatar, the United States and Argentina. Last weekend in Argentina, Marquez finished just ahead of Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa with Lorenzo, who led the race in the early stages, eventually finishing almost four seconds off the pace in third. Rossi was close to five seconds behind the world champion. But despite Honda’s domination of the 2014 campaign, Marquez isn’t getting carried away by his chances of a fourth successive season triumph at a circuit where he has yet to win. Nine-time world champion Rossi, in contrast, has six wins in the MotoGP class at Jerez with Yamaha teammate Lorenzo, two. Furthermore, Pedrosa won in 2013 as well as 2008. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Sony Six 4:30PM Indian Premier League Mumbai v Punjab 8:30PM Delhi v Rajasthan Nba Play Off 2013-14 4:30AM Star Sports 1 8:00 PM Spanish La liga Barcelona v Getafe Star Sports 2 MotoGP World Championship 04:30PM Qualifying, Spain Grand Prix 9:55PM Spanish La liga Malaga v Elche 11: 55PM Osasuna v Celta Vigo Star Sports 4 5:35PM Barclays Premier League West Ham v Tottenham 7:50PM Manchester United v Sunderland 10:20PM Everton v Manchester City Ten Sports, Ten Action 12:45AM Coppa Italia 2013-14 Fiorentina v Napoli

15

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Players from the Corinthians football club wear replicas of the helmet worn by late Brazilian Formula One legendary driver Ayrton Senna before the start of their Copa do Brasil match against rival club Nacional AM at the Arena Amazonas stadium in Manaus REUTERS

Australia reclaim top Test rank Australia have reclaimed the number one Test ranking for the first time in five years, with captain Michael Clarke calling it the most satisfying day of his career. They also remain the top-rated one day international side in the latest official rankings from the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is the first time since December 2008 that the country has been ranked number one in Tests and ODIs at the same time. They last held the top Test ranking in August 2009, when they were displaced after losing the Ashes 2-1 to England. Darren Lehmann’s Australians nudged out South Africa, who had held the top Test spot since August 2012 following their Ashes whitewash of England and a series defeat of the Proteas. Australia gained eight ratings points

to move up from 115 to 123 points to be equal with South Africa, who dropped from 127, but Australia moved ahead by a fraction of a point. England are currently third, ahead of Pakistan and India. Australia skipper Clarke said Australia’s ascension was the highlight of his decorated career. “I don’t think I have had a more satisfying day or feeling in my career,” he said. For me, as captain, No.1 was my goal. I said from day one -- I think we were third or fourth when I took over from Ricky (Ponting) -- and then I know we got to fifth after losing in India. “My goal never changed, I wanted to help this team get back to being the No.1 team in the world and I know the players were exactly the same.” Clarke said achieving the top Test spot was more satisfying than the oneday mantle because they had got there from such a low ebb, including being

labelled the worst Australian team ever to tour India after plummeting to a 4-0 defeat there early last year. “We are incredibly proud to be the

ICC TEST RANKING Team Matches Points Rating Australia 32 3950 123 South Africa 23 2831 123 England 30 3131 104 Pakistan 20 2064 103 India 23 2343 102 New Zealand 26 2383 92 Sri Lanka 22 1986 90 West Indies 19 1442 76 Zimbabwe 8 322 40 Bangladesh 14 287 21 number-one ranked team in the world in both Test and ODI cricket, which are two of the team’s most important goals,” he said.

Cook still keen to work with Gooch despite England axe Alastair Cook said Thursday he wanted to continue working with Graham Gooch despite playing a key role in axing his mentor from the post of England batting coach. Earlier on Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed Gooch had become a backroom casualty of the new England era under returning head coach Peter Moores. In an ECB statement Gooch said England captain Cook, whom he has known since the left-hander was making his way at Essex, “had informed me he was in favour of change”. However, Cook – like Gooch an opening batsman – said he still intended to work with the 60-year-old former England captain.

“Firstly we need to thank Goochy, he’s been an absolute legend not only for my game but all of our games over the last five years,” Cook told Sky Sports News. “We all hold him in such high regard, I have a huge amount of respect for him and what he’s done for English cricket over a huge amount of time, not only as a player but as a coach. “For me, to still have him in my corner, go back to him, talk cricket, work on my game like I’ve always done. To be part of that decision made it a little bit tougher but we decided we needed to freshen things up. A lot of the players have a great relationship with him, on a one-to-one basis as well, not just me.” “I hope those guys will feel free to go and work with Goochy because we all know the work he does is outstanding.” Moores echoed those sentiments

Hamburg seek salvation against wounded Bayern Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer believes relegation-threatened Hamburg SV could not have wished for a better time to be facing the Bavarians than after this week’s 4-0 Champions League humiliation at home to Real Madrid. “If Hamburg do not use this chance to beat a team like Bayern, that is so hurt at the moment, then they truly belong in the second division,” Beckenbauer said ahead of Saturday’s encounter. After claiming the domestic crown in late March, Bayern have won just two games out of five in the league and struggled to edge out a poor Manchester United side in the Champions League quarter-finals before losing both legs to Real Madrid. But with only two matches remaining, Hamburg are running out of chances to maintain their proud Bundesliga record as the only team never to have

been relegated. A win against visitors Bayern would ensure they remain in the relegation playoff berth ahead of 17th-placed Nuremberg, a point behind, and bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, who are a further point adrift.

FIXTURES Dortmund v M’gladbach v VfB Stuttgart v Werder Bremen v Nuremberg v Freiburg v Hamburg v Braunschweig v Frankfurt v

Hoffenheim Mainz 05 VfL Wolfsburg Hertha Berlin Hanover 96 Schalke 04 Bayern Munich Augsburg Leverkusen

A Hamburg victory combined with defeats for the teams below them on Saturday would secure a playoff spot no matter what happens on the last matchday. Two wins could also see them overhaul 15th-placed Stuttgart, who are five points ahead. l

later Thursday by telling the ECB’s website: “Top-flight batters, it’s a bit like golfers, you have people that you like to work with who know your swing. “Graham knows that and there is no reason why that work can’t still carry on. “We can still get his support and knowledge but that changes a little bit as we move forward and I think that’s the right time.” Gooch’s departure came with England having failed to make the benchmark total of 400 in a Test innings since March 2013 -- a central factor in their recent 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia. The scorer of an England record 8,900 runs in 118 Tests, including 20 hundreds, at an average of 42.58, Essex great Gooch began working as a part-time batting consultant in November 2009 before taking on a full-time role in 2012. l

Berdych, Raonic into Portugal last-eight Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic both posted 6-3, 6-2 scorelines to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP-WTA Portugal Open on Thursday. Top seed Berdych won in 75 minutes over Indian Somdev Devverman while Raonic took eight minutes fewer as the Canadian second seed stepped up his claycourt game ahead of the French Open to beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. Berdych finished with six aces and three breaks of serve as the world number seven played for the first time since a third-round Monte Carlo loss last month. The Czech will face Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer for a place in the semi-finals. Berdych is playing as a wild card, and said that the chance to get matches on clay is welcome after his early Monte Carlo exit. In front of a sold-out May 1 holiday crowd, Raonic managed what compatriot Eugenie Bouchard could not as the second seed lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in a quarter-final in the women’s draw 6-4, 6-1. l

“There has been an enormous amount of hard work and effort on and off the field that has led to this result. “However, the true test of a great side is sustained success and now our goal is to maintain these rankings and continue to play great cricket as we lead into challenging Test series against Pakistan and India, and the ICC Cricket World Cup at home.” Lehmann has turned around the fortunes of the Australian Test and one-day sides following a tumultuous period in which coach Mickey Arthur was sacked. After losing the 2013 Ashes series 3-0 in England, Australia swept their return home series against England 5-0 during the last southern summer. They then scored an impressive 2-1 away series win over South Africa. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said they planned to remain on top for years to come. l

England’s first squad since Peter Moores was re-appointed as head coach saw a new-look selection panel opt for several familiar faces when they unveiled a 13-man party Thursday for next week’s one-day international away to Scotland. Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer Harry Gurney was the only uncapped player selected for the match in Aberdeen on May 9, although he did tour the West Indies with England earlier this year. Meanwhile two relative international novices in batsmen Moeen Ali and Gary Ballance retained their places in a squad again captained by opener Alastair Cook. This was the first squad chosen by the new England selection panel headed up by former Test batsman James Whitaker that also includes Moores, Middlesex coach Angus Fraser and Nottinghamshire boss Mick Newell. However, that didn’t do a number of players at both counties any favour with Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn, back in the wickets in County Championship cricket after a wretched

SQUAD

Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Harry Gurney (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire) tour of Australia, left out of this squad. So too were Nottinghamshire batsmen Alex Hales and Michael Lumb, even though the former made England’s first Twenty20 hundred during the recent World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and the latter a hundred on his ODI debut in February. Stuart Broad continues to be sidelined with a knee injury while Tim Bresnan has yet to play first-team cricket for Yorkshire this season. All-rounder Ben Stokes is still out with the broken wrist he suffered punching a dressing-room locker in the Caribbean and his absence has paved the way for a recall of Chris Woakes.l

Thorpe out of hospital after battling infections Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has left a Sydney hospital after battling serious infections for more than three weeks following shoulder surgery, his manager said Wednesday. At one point there were reports that the 31-year-old five-time Olympic gold medallist would lose the use of his left arm, although they proved unfounded. “It looks as though the infections have cleared up. It can always re-infect as it’s done twice before but we are hopeful,” his manager James Erskine told . Thorpe had broken his shoulder in a fall in Australia some months ago and Erskine said previously the swimmer known as “Thorpedo” would not be resuming his career in the pool.

He retired in 2006 after a glittering career in which he ruled the pool from 1998 to 2004, taking nine Olympic medals and 11 world titles and setting 13 long course world records. He returned to racing in 2011 in Singapore but had a string of disappointing results leading up to his ultimately unsuccessful London Olympic bid the following year. Since calling it quits for a second time in 2013, Thorpe has endured several health setbacks. After using antidepressants and medication for a shoulder injury, the dazed swimmer was found by police early one morning in February near his parents’ Sydney house disoriented and attempting to enter a parked van. His father revealed Thorpe suffered from depression and he received treatment in a rehabilitation facility. l

Kuznetsova beats Vesnina to end final absence

Kuznetsova returns the ball to Vesnina during their Portugal Open semifinal at Jamor stadium in Oeiras yesterday AFP

Svetlana Kuznetsova reached her first final in more than three years on Friday with a 6-3, 6-1 semi-final win over fellow Russian Elena Vesnina at the ATPWTA Portugal Open. The seventh-seed who owns grand slam titles from 2004 in Paris and 2009 in New York, will Saturday play the winner from Spanish top seed Carla Suarez Navarro and Romanian qualifier Irina Begu The 28-year-old Kuznetsova last played a final in February, 2011 in Dubai, where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. The Russian’s last trophy was earned at 2010 San Diego. Kuznetsova struck 27 winners, breaking her good friend on five of 16 opportunities. The Russian winner began showing progress last week in Stuttgart after a slow start in 2014. Kuznetsova, who began last year ranked 71 and has now fought back to 29th on the WTA list, had lost the only other match she had played against Vesnina, in Dubai five years ago. She was playing her first semi-final since Moscow last autumn. l


16 BD Navy launches fresh search in Bay for missing Malaysian aircraft n UNB Bangladesh Navy has launched a fresh search operation for the missing Malaysian passenger aircraft, MH Flight 370, in the Bay of Bengal, following the suggestion by an Australian survey company that the wreckage of a plane might be found in the bay. According to a news published in international media, the Aussie sea-survey firm, Geo Resonance, claimed that electromagnetic fields captured by airborne multispectral images some 190km off the coast of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal showed the evidence of aluminium, titanium, copper and other elements that could have been part of the missing aircraft. The MH 370 has been missing with 239 people on board since March 8. The director of BN Intelligence, Commodore Rashed Ali, said two naval ships – a frigate and a survey vessel – had been conducting a search operation in the Bay of Bengal to verify the international media reports. “The two ships have been conducting search operation from April 29, but are yet to identify the presence of anything in the connection till Friday [yesterday] evening,” he added. Earlier, on March 15, two frigates and two maritime patrol aircraft of Bangladesh Navy were deployed in the Bay and its adjoining areas as part of a search operation for the missing Malaysian aircraft. The Bangladesh navy wrapped up the operation several days later as it did not find any elements to prove that the aircraft was crushed in Bangladesh water territories. The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 people on board, dropped off the air traffic control screens on March 8, less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It is one of the most baffling mysteries in the history of modern aviation as there has been no trace of the plane or any sign of wreckage despite a search by navies and military aircraft of over a dozen countries across the Southeast Asia. l

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

SEIZURE OF GOLD HAUL

29 held, 18 cases filed in 4 months n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport authorities have arrested at least 29 suspected gold smugglers and lodged 18 cases with the local police station against them over the last four months. Among the arrested are Nazrul Islam, Judge Miah, Didar Hossain, Abdul Mannan, Morshadul Alam, Zaynal, Shahiduzzaman, Nurul Islam, Saiful Islam Dewan, Monir Hossain, Hasim Sikder, Sayeem, Hazera Khatun Rani, Sarwar Hossain, Mozammal Sarker, Md Dulal, Shahidur Rahman, Moniruzzaman, Idris Miah, Masum Sheikh, Shahabuddin, Jamaluddin, Shahnaj Hossain, Anjila Hossain, Aga Nabil Ibne Ekram, Mobarak Hossain and Anisuddin Bhuiyan, according to police and Customs sources. Court sources say most of the suspected smugglers went into hiding or got involved in smuggling again after securing bail from the High Court. The trial proceeding is sluggish in gold smuggling cases which is why such crimes are on the rise. On April 26, Customs intelligence officials seized 904 gold bars, weighing around 105 kilograms, from a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight at Dhaka airport. Anisuddin Bhuiyan, an employee of Biman, was arrested. He was placed on remand for three days when police produced him before court and petitioned for a 10-day remand order. It was billed as the “third biggest gold haul” in the country and followed a seizure of 1,064 gold bars weighing around 124 kilograms at Dhaka airport in July last year. The biggest haul was seized at the Chittagong airport on March 25, with officials recovering 905 gold bars, weighing 200 grams each. Law enforces, however, have yet to identify the masterminds behind the

gold smuggling. Customs sources and gold trade insiders say the Indian authorities have recently hiked import duties on gold. Following the hike, it became quite impossible for Bangladeshi traders to fulfil demands by importing gold in legal ways. This is why they resorted to smuggled gold. Gold smuggling via Bangladesh has reached an alarming level as India has raised duties on gold by 3-10% since January 2013. According to Customs officials and local gold traders, India raised the duty on gold from 2% to 4% in April 2012. The duty reached 6% in January last year, 8% in June and 10% in August in order

to stop the outflow of foreign currency and reduce the current account deficit. Sources say Dhaka airport authorities arrested Shahnaj Begum, her daughter Anjila Hossain, Agha Nabil Ibne Ekram and Mobarak Hossain on April 22 in connection with gold smuggling. A case was also filed against them and a Dhaka court put them on a three-day remand. The accused made confessional statements before two magistrates following the remand period. They said they had been involved in gold smuggling for a long time. The smuggled gold, after arriving at the Dhaka airport from abroad, is taken to India through land ports, they stated.

Jubo Dal activist shot dead n Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur Unidentified miscreants shot and killed an activist of the Jubo Dal, the youth front of the BNP, in Lakshmipur, early yesterday. The deceased, Ripon, 22, was from the Baintola village of the Lakshmipur sadar upazila and an activist of the Jubo Dal, Mandari union Jubo Dal President Ismail Hossain said. Family members of the deceased alleged that members of the “Shahjahan Group,” a terrorist group from the area, had called Ripon over the phone at around 11pm on Thursday night. They lured him out and then shot him in a paddy field in the Datta Para union’s Koroitola area, they claimed. Locals said, hearing a commotion in the area they rushed to the spot and found Ripon in a critically injured condition. Ripon succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital and the body was taken to his house that night, they added. On receiving this information, police recovered the body from his house and sent it to the Lakshmipur Sadar Hospital morgue. Acting Police Super of Lakshmipur Sheikh Shariful Islam said Rashed, Ripon’s friend, was being interrogated. l

The May Day was observed across the country along with the rest of the world on Thursday, with a fresh vow to establish the rights of workers. Also known as International Workers’ Solidarity Day, the May Day commemorates the historic uprising of working people in the US city of Chicago at the height of a prolonged fight for an eight-hour workday. Trade unions and professional groups observed the day by holding various programmes to press for better working conditions, better wages and job security for the workers. To mark the day, the Labour Ministry brought out a rally from Shram Bhaban on Thursday morning, as well as arranging a discussion at the capital’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium, where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the chief guest. Meanwhile, the premier also addressed a rally in Gazipur on the occasion of the historic day. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also issued separate messages ahead of the day. Meanwhile, Chittagong also saw May Day programmes being held, with political and labour leaders demanding a separate residential colony for workers and labour sheds at different strategic points of the port city. To mark the day, three registered labour organisations of the Chittagong City Corporation organised elaborate programmes, where Chittagong Mayor M Manjur Alam said May Day was an occasion to realise the rights of the labourers. The district (north) unit of Mohila Awami League in Chittagong, Chittagong District Construction Workers Union, Chittagong unit of Ganatantrik Sramik Dal, Trade Union Federation, the district unit of Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha in Chittagong also held rallies and brought out processions in the city among other organisations. l

Two police constables arrested over ‘extortion charges’ in Kurigram

Nat’l Committee to march towards Rampal again n UNB Convener of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port (Oil-Gas Committee) Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah yesterday announced to hold a long march again to Rampal to stop the implementation of coal power plant adjacent to the Sundarbans, a world heritage site. Addressing a conference of activists of the Oil-Gas Committee at Bagerhat upazila, its convener said they are taking all the necessary preparations for the fresh long march to save the Sundarbans as well as the local people from adverse impacts of the coal power project. The central leaders of the Oil-Gas Committee are now touring every district to prepare for the long march. Shahidullah said the 1320MW coal power project was initiated against the people’s desire and the government was still pursuing it to serve foreigners. l

They also said a number of people working at the airport were involved in the gold smuggling. General Recording Officer of Dhaka’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Aminur Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that arrests were made in connection with gold smuggling and they were also produced before the court. “When they failed to get bail from the lower court, they went to the High Court and got it,” he said. “We have already got charge sheets of several gold smuggling cases over the last four months and those have been sent to the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court for trial proceedings,” he added. l

May Day observed n Tribune Report

n Our Correspondent, Kurigram

A Sri Lankan dancer participates at a pro-government May Day rally in Colombo on Thursday

AFP

The district Sadar police arrested three persons including two police constables on Thursday on charges of alleged extortion from a biker. The arrestees are district police constables Atikuzzaman and Mamunur Rashid and Monu Miah, an associate of Mamunur. Locals said the two police constables allegedly demanded Tk50,000 from a biker, Maidul Islam, when the latter was on his way home after meeting his younger brother, Liton, at Kurigram College hostel on Wednesday evening. Maidul hails from Porarchar village under Roumari upazila in the district. Maidul’s brother, however, transferred one-fifth of the demand to the bKash (Mobile phone cash transfer) account given by the two constables.

Liton also informed Kurigram Sadar police of the matter. Policemen in plain clothes kept a close watch on the bKash shop in the Kurigram Municipality market since evening when the two constables and their associate Monu Miah appeared there to withdraw the money. The plain-clothes police then arrested the alleged extortionists from the spot. Another constable Shah Alam who had been serving the Kurigram court managed to escape. Police are trying to nab him. Later, Liton Miah, younger brother of Maidul, filed a case with the Sadar police station on Thursday. The arrestees were sent to jail. Kurigram Sadar police station Officer-in-Charge Abdul Baten Miah said the two policemen were arrested for violation of discipline. A case has been filed against the constables, he added. l

Biswal: US concerned about disappearances and abductions

Eleven Muslims killed in sectarian attacks in Assam

n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

Suspected tribal rebels have shot dead 11 Muslims in attacks in India's northeasterly tea-growing state of  Assam, where tension has run high during a drawn-out general election, officials said yesterday. Police said they suspected militants from the Bodo tribe were behind the attack in a region where tension between ethnic Bodo people and Muslim settlers spilled over two years ago into clashes in which dozens were killed and 400,000 fled their homes. Bodo representatives argue that many of the Muslims are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh encroaching on their ancestral lands, and election candidates including front-runner  Narendra Modi  have called for tighter migration controls. In one of the incidents, eight people were killed by a group

Despite all concerns and disagreements, Washington will maintain good relationship with Dhaka to help Bangladesh realise its potentials as a prosperous rising regional partner that restores its democratic values and protects labour rights, Nisha Desai Biswal said. “Bangladesh is an important partner for the United States on a broad range of issues from security to economic growth,” US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Desai Biswal said at a testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on Wednesday. Bangladesh is the largest recipient of foreign assistance in South Asia, with a total request of approximately $169 million in FY 2015 as it is a strong development partner and a focus country for all three of the President Barack Obama’s key development initiatives: Global Health, Global Climate Change, and Feed the Future, she added. Biswal said growing at about six percent a year for two decades, and strategically situated between growing India and a newly opening Myanmar,

Bangladesh will play a key role in the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor linking South and Southeast Asia. She, however, said Washington was disappointed by the parliamentary elections on January 5 which were followed by harassment of opposition, independent media and civil society. “In addition to this harassment, we are concerned about reports on continuing extrajudicial killings as well as disappearances and abductions.” Washington is pressing the government for political inclusion as it believes that all the gains Bangladesh has made in its economy and development trajectory will become fragile and unsustainable in the long term if it does not have political stability. “I can’t say that we have made tremendous progress in the short-term, but I think we are committed to staying engaged in the long-term to try to move this forward,” she added. She said political stability is not possible without some greater degree of political inclusion. “This, I think, is both short-term and long-term undertakings for our engagement with the Bangladeshi

government and with the Bangladeshi people.” In the short-term, there had not been a tremendous amount of movement, but the US continued to engage with its counterparts in the international community as well as the United Nations. “[We] try to press for support to the election commission, support to political parties at grass roots level, and process that can help create more inclusive environment,” she said. Subcommittee Chairman Steve Chabot, who visited Bangladesh before the January 5 election, in his opening statement said the rivalry between its major political parties left the country in complete turmoil. “Rival factions held Bangladesh’s democratic process hostage,” he said. Later during the hearing, he said he met both Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia and their point of view was very different. “Leaders are unfortunately don’t care for each other’s point of view.” Chabot said if the political problem is not resolved, violence would escalate. “We don’t want to see that happen.” l

n Reuters, Guwahati

of suspected Bodo guerrillas. In the other, three members of one family including two women were shot dead, and a baby was wounded, said a senior police officer in the state's main city, Guwahati. Voting was held over several days in Assam to help security forces handle violence from any of the separatist or tribal militant groups active in the state. Polling in the Bodo region ended on April 24, in what residents say was a tight race between a Bodo and a non-tribal candidate, although results from the five-week national election are not due for another two weeks. l

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

03 May, 2014  
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