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Boishakh 21, 1421 Rajab 4, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 34




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Police blamed for reacting late 10 held over Nazrul abduction, murder; hartal tomorrow in Narayanganj Islam Shaon with our n Ashif Narayanganj correspondent Six days after the abduction of Narayanganj city panel mayor Nazrul Islam, 10 people were arrested yesterday, but main accused Nur Hossain remained untraced, amid allegations that he could be arrested and Nazrul rescued alive if the raid was conducted immediately after the incident. In a four-hour long drive, law enforcers raided in Narayanganj the Shiddhirganj home of Nur Hossain, vice-president of a local unit of the ruling Awami League, and also seized a microbus and some wooden sticks. Nazrul’s wife Selina Islam slammed the raid saying it was nothing but an “eyewash.” She told the Dhaka Tribune over phone: “If law enforcers had conducted the raid immediately after the abduction, he [Nazrul] could have been rescued alive... We informed police

right after the abduction. But they did not arrest Nur Hossain. Even on Tuesday [two days after the abduction], local people saw him [Nur] roaming around in the city.” However, Nur Mohammad, a nephew of Nur Hossain, claimed that the accused’s family members had gone into hiding right after the abduction case was filed. The raid began at Nur Hossain’s Tekpara house around 11am yesterday. Before that, police kept the house cordoned off for around half an hour. Journalists were not allowed in the area until 2pm. Refusing to disclose the names of the detainees, Md Zakaria, additional superintendent of Narayanganj police, said they would be interrogated. Additional DIG Khondokar Golam Faruque said they had also recovered a shirt with some spots. “After forensic test we will be able to confirm whether they are bloodstained,” he said.

10 dead, over 30 missing in launch capsize n Tribune Report At least ten people died and over 30 went missing as a passenger launch capsized in Ramnabad river in Golachipa of Patuakhali yesterday afternoon after being caught in storm. Only 13 passengers of the Potuakhali-bound MV Sathil managed to swim ashore while the rest remained missing, the Dhaka Tribune Barisal correspondent reports. Deputy Commissioner of Patuakhali Amitav Sarkar told the Dhaka Tribune over phone seven bodies were

recovered till 8:30pm. The Dhaka Tribune Correspondent, however, said the death toll was eight till 7pm. Of the ten, six have been identified as Rishat, 5, Lutfa, 50, Runia, 20, Monwara, 50, Esahaq, 6, and Nebu Begum, 35. The identities of the rest two could not be known immediately Amitav Sarkar said at 8:30pm rescue vessel and firemen started from Barisal and they would start rescue operation soon. He, however, failed to  PAGE 2 COLUMN 6


4 The government has suddenly got a move on with the proposed Bureau of Counter Terrorism, which was supposed to be formed five years ago. 5 Grameenphone, the leading mobile phone operator in the country, has started a process to recycle or resell the unused numbers which do not have any activity since last one year from the expiration of last recharge.


6 Boro paddy output has gone up by 12.69% compared to its target across the

country this season, which agriculture officials attribute to increased use of agriculture technology and congenial weather.


9 As club sandwiches go, this undoubtedly is the biggest one in the solar system.


11 As the Rana plaza tragedy completed one year on April 24, Md Atiqul Islam, President of BGMEA and his colleagues are still seen on television talk shows explaining what measures they have taken so far to ensure workplace safety in the apparel sector.

Later at a press briefing, police officials said they had called up forensic experts from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to inspect the microbus.

‘We did not conduct the raid before because we were not sure if the accused was there or not’ However, seeking anonymity, a source in the police told the Dhaka Triune last night that Nur Hossain’s body guard, house security and some domestic helps were among the detainees. On April 28, a day after the abduction of Nazrul, his wife Selina filed a case against Nur Hossain, another local ruling party leader Hazi Yasin and four others. The bodies of Nazrul, lawyer Chan-

dan Sarkar and five others were found floating in the Shitalakkhya River on Wednesday and Thursday. They were abducted in broad daylight in Narayanganj on Sunday. When asked why the raid was not conducted before, Narayanganj police chief (SP) Khandokar Muhid Uddin said: “We did not conduct the raid before because we were not sure if the accused was there or not.” He also snubbed out suspicions that the perpetrators might have fled the country. Earlier yesterday, Narayanganj District Lawyers’ Association formed a human chain and held a rally in front of the local Press Club in support of their tomorrow’s hartal called to protest the murder of Chandan and Nazrul. Meanwhile, 22 councillors of the Narayanganj City Corporation have announced 48 hours of work abstention demanding the arrest of Nazrul’s murderers. l

Wife: Nazrul sensed danger 2 months back Islam Shaon with our n Ashif Narayanganj correspondent Narayanganj City Corporation panel mayor Nazrul Islam had been in fear for his life over the last two months. He shared his feelings with his family members and relatives, saying that local Awami League leader Nur Hossain, the prime suspect for abduction of seven people and killing them, could be a threat. Followers of local AL leader Nazrul had informed him that Nur Hossain had been hatching a plot to kill him. As both Nazrul and Nur Hossain belong to the same party, Nazrul wanted the party men to mediate between them, but his attempt failed. Fearing that he could be attacked or killed by his rivals, Nazrul had started living in the capital instead of Siddhirganj in Narayanganj, said his wife Selina Islam. After the abduction, she on Monday filed an abduction case against Nur Hossain, councillor of ward-4

and also vice-president of Siddhirganj thana AL. The bodies of Nazrul Islam, senior lawyer Chandan Sarkar and five others were found floating in the Shitalakkhya River on Wednesday and Thursday after they were kidnapped in broad daylight in Narayanganj on April 27. Selina yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that she had filed case against six named and six unnamed persons considering death threat they issued to Nazrul. She claimed that a feud between Nazrul and Nur Hossain had recently intensified centring the construction of a road. The accused named in the case are Nur Hossain and his close aides Haji Yasin Miah, general secretary of Siddhirganj thana AL, Nazrul’s relative Hasmat Ali Hasu, also a BNP activist, Aminul Islam Raju, Swechchhasebak League leader, Anwar Hossain, general secretary of Sramik Dal and Iqbal Hossain, a realtor.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Body to protect fundamental rights likely n Rabiul Islam Members of the Committee for Protection of Fundamental Rights likely to be floated soon failed to hold a human chain in front of the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday in the face of police protest. The programme aimed at protesting abduction, forced disappearance and killing that were on the rise. The members alleged that police of Sher-e-Bangla police station opposed them to hold the human chain and took away mike. Contacted, Officer-in-Charge of Abdul Momen of the police station did not talk and disconnected the call. “We wanted to hold a human chain to protest abduction, forced disappearance and killing, but police opposed us and our mike and banners were taken away,” said one of the organisers Prof CR Abrar of Dhaka University. “Despite the opposition of police, we stood up to hold our programme,” he added. Abrar said, “We have been working for about two months to float the com-

One RMG worker dies, 300 fall sick n UNB At least one garment worker died and some 300 others fell sick yesterday after drinking contaminated water at Supreme Knitwear factory in Adamjee EPZ area in Narayanganj. The deceased, Dalia, 20, was a knitting operator at the factory. Sources said Dalia fell sick after drinking water in the factory around 9am. She was rushed to Khanpur 300bed Hospital where doctors declared her dead. Around 300 garment workers also fell sick as they allegedly drank water from the same supply in the factory. The sick workers were hospitalised. Masud Khan, acting police superintendent of Narayanganj Industrial Police 4, said the workers fell sick because of panic after they had heard the news of Dalia’s death. An official at the EPZ said they collected samples from the water tank of the factory building for laboratory tests. l

mittee to work for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly as these two fundamental rights are being violated.” Eminent lawyer Shadeen Malik and lawyer ZI Khan Panna, among others, are also working for the committee which would be formed soon, he added. “We have now focused on the incident of abduction as it is on the rise, he said, adding that we write to DMP for permission, but we do not get any answer.” “While we were holding the programme, police said the DMP order would be violated, but they did not show which law does not allow such programme,” Abrar said. “We would write to the DMP to allow us to hold the Human Chain on the same venue and if we are not answered within 24 hours, we would hold the programme at any cost,” he added. Executive Director of Ain O Shalish Kendra Sultana Kamal, former adviser to the caretaker government Rasheda K Chowdhury and Shadeen Malik, among others, attended the human chain programme. l

With the scorching heat sweeping over the country acute water crisis has added to the woes of people, especially living in cities. The photo was taken yesterday from the Old Dhaka

DMP launched ‘AntiKidnapping Squad’ n Kailash Sarkar Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has launched a 40-member specialised new unit named ‘Anti Kidnapping Squad’ to fight against the increasing number of abductions. Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam, also the spokesperson to the DMP, made the disclosure at a press briefing on Saturday afternoon at DMP Media Centre in the capital. Monirul said: “The newly launched Anti-Kidnapping Squad is tasked with the prevention of abduction, to arrest the criminals involved in the abduction and also to keep eyes on the movement of the accused after their bails.” The DMP spokesman also said that hotline with four separate phone numbers will remain on service for 24 hours in a day for contacts.

The numbers are—01713398327, 01713398619, 01713373214 and 01713373216. “Anyone able to provide information regarding abduction and abductors, their secrecy will be maintained,” he said. The additional deputy commissioner will lead the squad comprising of 40 personnel, he informed. At the briefing, Monirul Islam said since the recent incidents of abduction in Narayanganj and elsewhere have created concern to people. “The squad has been formed to stop the repetition of such incidents.” Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanwar Hossain has been made the chief of the newly launched unit and two assistant commissioners—Jahangir Hossain and Nazmul—would assist him. l

FM: BD, India must invest for each other’s futures n UNB Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali yesterday said Bangladesh and India must invest for each other’s futures and work together to make the best use of India’s northeast’s potential ensuring a win-win situation. “The destinies of our two people are inextricably linked. This is even more relevant for the northeast. We must invest for each other’s futures,” he told a function in the city. Bangladesh Itihash Sammilani arranged the two-day conference titled “1971 and North-Eastern Indian States: Historicising and Contemporising Relationship” at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad auditorium of Bangla Academy. Prof Mesbah Kamal and Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Pankaj Saran, also spoke at the inaugural session of the conference, with noted educationist and prominent writer Prof MuntasirMamun in the chair. Speaking as the chief guest, the foreign minister said Bangladesh needs to complement India’s endeavour to develop its northeastern states for its own interest. “Development of the northeast has an important security dimension which we should not lose the sight of. It will ultimately be a win-win situation,” said Mahmood. Given the abundance of natural resources in India’s northeast, he said its huge economic potentials remains untapped. “Due to our geographical contiguity, we are in the best position to do so.”

The foreign minister said natural resources and raw materials of India’s northeast could be imported to Bangladesh for value addition and re-exported to India or elsewhere. “This is taking place but needs to be done on a much larger scale. The business communities of both the countries could think about more investment in the region in different potential sectors,” he said. On connectivity, the foreign minister said India’s northeast comes as an important link of connectivity as part of Bangladesh’s plan to establish it as a bridge between South Asia and SouthEast Asia and beyond. “We are working on establishing links with the northeast through reviving old rail links, opening up new land customs stations, land ports, immigration points, or reviving old ones, revamping trade infrastructures, looking at new road connectivity or reviving old ones,” he said. Mahmood Ali hoped that there would be direct air link between Dhaka and Guwahati soon. “We have requested the government of India to allow us to open a Deputy High Commission in Guwahati and upgrade our Agartala visa office to an Assistant High Commission to increase our diplomatic and commercial presence in the northeast.” The foreign minister also said work was on by both sides to preserve the graves of the valiant freedom fighters of Bangladesh sparsed along the border of Bangladesh and northeast India or to bring back their mortal remains to Bangladesh. l

47 RU Shibir men sued n UNB

Workers of Supreme Smart Knit Wear in Adamjee EPZ of Narayanganj fell sick after they drank poisonous water


Two cases have been filed against 47 leaders and activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir of Rajshahi University unit in connection with Tuesday’s attack on two leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on the campus. RU unit Shibir president Ashraful Alam Imon is among the accused. RU unit BCL vice-president Atiqur Rahman filed the two cases, one for attempting murder and another under the Explosive Substance Act, against 32 identified and 15 unidentified Shibir men with Motihar police station yes-

terday evening, said Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of the police station. On April 29, the left leg of Togor M Salehi, student affairs secretary of RU unit of BCL, was chopped off by miscreants on the university campus. The attackers also cut off the tendons of the hands and legs of RU BCL activist Abdullah Al Masud during the attack. Witnesses said miscreants attacked Togor and Masud came under when they were on their way to classes in a rickshaw from their dormitory in that morning and fled the scene exploding two crude bombs. l

Wife: Nazrul sensed danger 2 months back  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Of them, Yasin went into hiding soon after five of the abductees were found dead. Locals set fire to his petrol pump later. Selina said the killers’ main target was Nazrul. The rest were killed as they witnessed the abduction, she said, adding that the lawyer and his driver had no connection with the incident at all. “Professional people masterminded the plan and executed it. I strongly suspect that Nur Hossain Hossain hired them,” she claimed.

Feud between Nazrul and Nur Hossain

Nur Hossain was elected chairman of Siddhirganj union parishad in 1992 with BNP ticket. He was controlling the crim-

inal world here during the BNP regime. In the 1997 UP election, he defeated Nazrul, acting general secretary of Narayanganj district BCL, backed by influential AL leader Shamim Osman. But, Nazrul took control over crime and extortion world during the AL regime from 1996-2001. He became a member of central Jubo League. The feud between them started during the election in 1997. Nazrul wanted to kill Nur Hossain several times. Nur Hossain was once shot in 1998, but escaped death. After the election, Nur Hossain joined the AL and became vice-president of Siddhirganj Thana AL. Nazrul was elected councillor of ward-2 in the 2011 city cor-

poration election. The latest feud over the construction of a road resulted in the murder.

Feud with five other accused

Nazrul was trying to capture the post of general secretary of Siddhirganj thana AL. Yasin, the incumbent secretary, did not want him to be the secretary which triggered a feud. Iqbal was an opponent of Nazrul in the city corporation polls. Selina said Iqbal submitted papers of cases, where Nazrul was accused, to the election commission before the polls to cancel his candidature. The commission scrapped Nazrul’s candidature over the documents. Hasu, Raju and Anwar helped Iqbal collect the case

documents which accelerated the feud. As per an appeal made by Nazrul, the commission allowed him to contest the polls and finally, he won the election.

Latest feud over road construction

Nazrul was supervising the construction work of a road from Mouchak to Mijmiji area. To make the road wider, the contractor needed to remove a rice go-down, owned by one Mobarak Hossain, at Chowdhurypara. Nazrul talked with Mobarak to remove a portion of the go-down to make way for the road. But Mobarak contacted Nur Hossain, also brother-in-law of Mobarak, to look after the issue. On February 19, Nur Hossain and

Nazrul arranged an arbitration to resolve the problem where both of them locked in heated debate. Over the issue, Nur Hossain’s men vandalised at least 20 shops at Chowdhurypara. Nazrul and his associates left the area. Mobarak filed a false case accusing 16 men, including Nazrul. On April 27, he went to appear before a court from where he was abducted. Nazrul had sought help of local political leaders two months back to solve the case, but he failed. He sensed that something wrong was going to happen. “So, he along with more than 50 followers went to the court. But, he could not escape abduction,” said Selina over phone. l



AL to select party candidate May 8 n Tribune Report The ruling Awami League will finalise its party candidate on May 8 for the Barisal 5 by-election through interview of the aspirants. The party will sell nomination papers from today until Tuesday, said a press release adding that the forms would cost Tk25,000. The decisions were made yesterday at parliamentary body meeting at Ganabhaban with party President Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Senior leaders of the party Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Obaidul Quader and Dr Alauddin Ahmed were present among others. The by-poll is set to be held on June 12. The seat was vacated after the death of Awami League lawmaker Shawkat Hossain Hiron. According the Election Commission schedule, the last dated of filing nomination paper is May 11. l

Marine Safety Week begins n UNB Marine Safety Week 2014 began yesterday aiming at raising awareness about people’s security in water vessels and on water routes. The week will be observed through various programmes across the country, including rallies and awareness activities on safe shipping. The president and the prime minister issued separate messages wishing success of the event this year. In his message, President Abdul Hamid said it was of higher importance for the country as most of the internal and the international trades rely on river and sea routes. He also called upon all concerned to abide by the laws to ensure marine safety. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government had taken various measures to reduce accidents in water routes that include increasing the security of river ports, modernising trainings of marine officers and navigators, and building mass awareness about marine safety. The premier hoped that all relevant institutions and agencies would be more active in ensuring environment-friendly and safe travel in river routes. l

8 dead, over 30 missing in launch capsize  PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

confirm how many passengers were on board, but said it might be over 40. Over 50 people went missing after the launch MV Sathil caught in storm capsized in Ramnabad river in the middle of Sikdarbari point 3 between Eshadi and Kalagachhia launch stations while it was heading to Patuakhali from Golachipa. Till filing the report, the masses and local administration were trying to rescue passengers. l



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Police arrest 12 abductors, rescue 2 in Dhaka At least six abductors’ gangs active in city with female members who trap people He was abducted around 10pm on kidnappers had demanded Tk3 lakh as as it stopped, some youths on a micron Ashif Islam Shaon ransom from the family members, the bus intercepted him and forcefully took Thursday from Sanarpar of NarayanLaw enforcers yesterday rescued a businessman from Jurain of the capital, two days into his abduction from Bangshal of Old Dhaka, and arrested five alleged kidnappers. In another incident, detectives arrested three persons from Jatrabari for their alleged involvement in the abduction of Narayanganj businessman Saiful Islam who was rescued on Friday night. Moreover, Jatrabari police rescued a schoolboy, 13 hours after he had been abducted from Narayanganj. Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of the DMP, at a press briefing said police conducted a raid in Jurain area around 5am and rescued Abdul Hakim, 50, a spare parts trader, from a house. After his abduction on Thursday, the

police official added. The police team arrested Mohammad Rana, 25, Shamsuddin Ahmed, 24, and Mohammad Hridoy, 20, from the place on charges of abducting Hakim. Based on their information, the law enforcers later nabbed Nishi Begum, 26, and Bhagya Rani, 23, from Bangshal and Shyampur, he added. “We recently found that at least six abductors’ gangs are active in the capital. They have female members who trap people by developing fake love affair or working as house helps,” said Monirul. At the briefing, Hakim said on Thursday afternoon he had gone out from his Mokimbazar house and reached Bangshal intersection on a rickshaw. As soon

him inside the vehicle. “They blindfolded me and took me to a house. From my phone they forced me to call my younger brother Matin and ask to send them Tk10,000 via bKash. Later they demanded Tk3 lakh. My brother initially gave them Tk10,000,” he said. The victim said the abductors had tortured him with hammers. He also showed the reporters several injury marks on his body. Meanwhile, the DB police yesterday arrested three persons including a couple in connection with the abduction of Saiful from Narayanganj. The arrestees are – Nurjahan Begum, her husband Yunus Ali and a bKash agent of Jatrabari Md Akash.

ganj. Abductors left him on a road at Savar’s Nabinagar on Friday night with his eyes blindfolded and hands tied with ropes. Later, RAB members brought him before the media. After his appearance, the DB conducted raids at Jatrabari and made the arrests. Monirul said: “Akash made the arrangement of money transaction which was demanded from the victim’s family. All the arrestees were involved in the abduction,” he claimed. Police said they would interrogate the arrestees to know about the abduction plan, execution and the cause. Schoolboy rescued Ten-year-old schoolboy Abir Alam, who was reportedly abducted from Fat-

ulla in Narayanganj, was rescued from the city’s Jatrabari area on Friday night. Police arrested Ismat Ali, 25, Jabbar Ali, 35, Monir Hossain, 25, and Meher Ali, 28, in this connection. Abir was rescued from a house at Mominbagh of Konabari. On Friday morning, Ismat, who is a relative of Abir, abducted him alluring a trip to Dhaka. Abir is a fifth grader of Pagla High School in Fatulla. Sub-Inspector of Fatulla model police station Mizanur Rahman said the abductors had demanded Tk5 lakh from his mother Ayesha Begum following the abduction. Police with technological assistance tracked the phone and arrested Ismat. The three others were arrested around 11pm upon primary information extracted from Ismat. l

Evidence of abduction in Narayanganj found Asaduzzaman: Abductors to be arrested within few days Saying the abductors were profesn Rabiul Islam sional criminals, Asaduzzaman also State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday said evidences against the perpetrators of the recent abduction of seven people in Narayanganj has been found and would enable law enforcers to arrest them within a few days. “We have found evidences and hope that the abductors would be arrested within a few days,” he told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. On April 27, seven people, including city councilor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarker, were abducted and two days later, their bodies were recovered from the Sitalakhya River. On April 28, Nazrul’s wife Selina Islam filed a case with the Shiddirganj police station accusing Shiddirganj Awami League Vice President Nur Hossain over the abduction. Asked about the home ministry activities regarding abduction in Narayanganj and other parts in the country, Asaduzzaman said: “We have taken a lot of steps after the incident”. “Airports and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been asked to remain alert so that the criminals cannot slip out of the country,” the state minister said, adding that check posts have been set up and BGB has been deployed and are patrolling the areas.

said that it takes time to nab these criminals as they go into hiding after the incident. “We have already arrested the suspects and now we would be able to arrest the criminals,” the state minister said. Meanwhile, law enforcers have detained 10 persons, seized a bloodstained vehicle and a mobile phone in connection to the abductions and killings in Narayanganj, our Narayanganj Correspondent reported. A police team, led by the Narayanganj Police Superintendent Khandakar Mahid Uddin, raided the house of Nur Hossain, an Awami League-backed ward councilor, around 11am. “The mobile phone belonged to lawyer Chandan Sarkar. A stained shirt has been found. We will see if the stains are of human blood,” Police Additional Deputy Inspector General Khandakar Golam Faruq told a press conference yesterday regarding the raid. “We also seized a bloodstained microbus from the house of Nur Hossain. We will also probe Nur Hossain’s passport,” he added. He urged all to give him some time to restore a proper environment in Narayanganj. l

Police escort rescued businessman Saiful Islam to the court of Narayanganj Senior Judicial Magistrate KM Mohiuddin for recording his statement, in the city yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

BNP holds mass fasting today n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla The BNP will hold a mass fasting programme today protesting what it said were rampant killing, abduction and forced disappearance. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will join the programme to be centrally held at the National Press Club in the capital. Local units of the party at the grassroots levels will also observe the programme.

It will start at 9am and continue till 5pm across the country, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, joint secretary general of the party, told journalists at a press briefing at the Nayapaltan office yesterday. The BNP claims that at least 310 of its leaders and activists have been either killed or abducted in the country in the last one year. “Various [security] forces of the illegitimate government have been

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Zia Orphanage Trust trial court shifted

n Mohosinul Karim

The cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her two sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko would be tried in the place where the cases of BDR carnage were tried. The decision was made to shift the tribunal to the ground beside the Government Alia Madrasah and Dhaka Central Jail at Bakshibazar in the capital, declaring the places as temporary tribunals. The ministry of law and justice issued a gazette notification on Thursday in this regard. The gazette said the decision was made considering the security measures of the present Special Judge Court 3 as the place remained crowded during the trial. l

Two friends allegedly abducted in Chittagong n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong The families of two teenage boys, who went missing on their way to work in Chittagong city on Thursday, have claimed that the two friends were abducted for ransom. The missing teenagers, Rabbi, 17, and Hossain, 18, left their homes at Bayezid area on Thursday morning to join their new jobs at a juice factory in Agrabad, family members said. Rabbi’s father, Mohammad Babul, a resident of Rasel Colony, told the Dhaka Tribune that his son left the house after getting a call from Hossain around 11:30am on Thursday, which was a public holiday. Neither boy returned home that night. The next day, around 1pm, Rabbi’s mother got a call on her mobile phone from Hossain’s number. Rabbi spoke to her, claiming that he was abducted by some people who wanted Tk32,000 to free him. During the conversation, Rabbi said he would be trafficked abroad if the ransom was not paid. “I grabbed the phone from my wife and a person on the other side told me to send the money through BKash, but I refused to do it,” the father said. On Friday afternoon, Babul informed the Bayezid police, while Hossain’s elder brother, Hasan, lodged a general dairy in this connection. But they could not give any specific reason or name any suspects behind the abductions. The police confirmed that they had received complaints from the families and were looking into the matter. The alleged kidnappers, meanwhile, phoned Rabbi’s father again yesterday afternoon demanding ransom. Later, the detective branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police was informed about the matter. Sairul Islam, officer-in-charge of Bayezid police station, said they were investigating the incident. However, he had some suspicious whether the alleged kidnappings were staged by the teenagers. Babul Akhter, additional deputy commissioner of DB, said they were taking the matter seriously, considering the recent spree of abductions across the country. An investigator, on condition of anonymity, said the location of Hossain’s mobile phone was traced to Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar district. Both Rabbi and Hossain used to work at Sadmusa Garments Factory in the port city’s Oxygen area. But Hossain lost his job recently and worked as a rickshaw puller. l

Government move for saving sea fish resources

Khoka terms home state minister ‘stupid’ BNP Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday alleged that the government people had been trying to divert the Narayanganj killing incidents into a different direction without investigation. At a joint meeting with the party’s front and associate bodies at Bhasani auditorium, Khoka said people from all sections in Narayanganj knew about the masterminds of such killings and abductions. “The elected mayor of Narayanganj directly blamed Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman for the killings.” The former Dhaka mayor said: “It seemed that the home state minister has a good soul with a gentle mind. But now it seems that he is a stupid.” Urging the government to give him assignment of the Social Welfare Ministry or ministries like this, Khoka said: “There are many expert people in the Awami League to run the administration. Those people should get the responsibility of the Home Ministry.” l

involved in the killing, abduction and force disappearance,” Rizvi said. In July 2011, the BNP held a similar mass fasting in the capital protesting against “police attack” on the then opposition chief whip; arrest and torture of party members and annulment of the caretaker government system. In June 2009, BNP observed a sixhour mass hunger strike in the capital. Khaleda Zia led that protest. l


n Mohosinul Karim

Lawyers bring out a procession in front of Narayanganj Press Club yesterday, protesting the abduction and killing of Advocate Chandan Sarkar DHAKA TRIBUNE

Draft of sawmill workers’ minimum wages unveiled n Mohosinul Karim The Minimum Wages Board under the Labour Ministry yesterday unveiled the draft of the minimum wage structure for sawmill workers fixing the basic salary of an expert worker at Tk7,500, employee at Tk6,000 and apprentice at Tk4,500. The draft was unveiled publicly to receive opinions and recommendations from stakeholders and experts by May 10. The board will examine the suggestions after the deadline and will then submit those to the government. It will be finalised after the government publishes it as gazette notification, Chairman of the board Shahidullah Bokaul said. According to the draft, an expert worker working in grade I post will get Tk7,500 as basic salary. He will get Tk2,250, 30% of the basic, as house

rent while both medical allowance and conveyance allowance will be Tk600. Grade I workers will receive Tk10,950 in total as monthly payment. On a daily basis, it would be Tk420.

The board will examine the suggestions after the deadline and will then submit those to the government Expert workers working in grade II posts will get Tk6,000 as basic salary. They will get Tk1,800 as house rent, Tk600 as medical allowance, and Tk600 as conveyance allowance. The monthly salary for grade II workers has been fixed at Tk9,000 which on a daily basis is Tk345. As for semi-expert workers, they will be considered grade III workers.

Their basic salary will be Tk5,000 while Tk1,500 will be given as house rent. They will receive Tk7,770 in total as monthly wage including medical allowance and conveyance allowance. Tk295 will be their payment on a daily basis. On the other hand, non-expert grade IV workers will get Tk4,000 as monthly salary and Tk1,200 as house rent. Tk6,400 will be their total monthly. For one day’s work, they will get Tk245. Tk4,500 will be the gross pay of apprentice workers. The three-month apprenticeship could be extended for another three months following completion of the first three months. Meanwhile, the board recommended sawmill employees be paid Tk9,000 for grade I, Tk7,700 for grade II and Tk6,400 for grade III posts while basic salaries will be Tk6,000, Tk5,000 and Tk4,000 respectively. l

The government will reduce the number of long-permitted trawlers as well as moving against illegal ones fishing in the Bay of Bengal- a move to protect the sea fish resources. Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul Haque said yesterday they have decided about this in a meeting with Law Minister Anisul Hque and Attorney General Mahbube Alam last week. Secretary of the ministry Selina Afroza, high officials of the ministry and Department of Fisheries also attended the meeting, he said. “Everything will be done to protect the marine fishes and resources of the country. The measures to dispose writ petitions of the illegal trawler owners have been taken,” said Sayedul. There needs only 75 trawlers for fishing in the bay while around 223 trawlers out of 323 now fish there destroying the marine resources, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The remainder -100 trawlers have not been in operation for so long. Besides this, Of the 223 trawlers, 89 are fishing in the Bay with the directions of the High Court but without any per-

mission from the government, it says. Moreover, the licenses of the trawlers that are not in operation will be cancelled. The licenses of 20/25-yearold trawlers will not be allowed any renewal or replacement, said Minister Sayedul. A total of 148 writ petitions are pending in different courts. Of those, 32 petitions are awaiting hearing. At the same time, the government is expected to take the initiative soon for implementing nine court orders. The appeals against 59 writ petitions are about to be heard. The officials are preparing for filing appeals against 17 orders of the courts while 31 new files have been sent to the solicitor’s office for filing appeals. Relevant officials at the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock say they have been asked for filing appeals by June to resolve the cases. They have also been instructed to keep in touch with the solicitors’ office frequently. Fishermen from Myanmar and Thailand also fish in the waters of Bangladesh illegally. About this, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul said, “We have asked the authorities concerned to resist illegal entrance of the foreign trawlers in the waters of country.” l




Sunday, May 4, 2014

14 Jamaat-Shibir men held


Five years late, the government gets a move on n Asif Showkat Kallol The government has suddenly got a move on with the proposed Bureau of Counter Terrorism, which was supposed to be formed five years ago. A high-ranked government official said the formation of the bureau from within the police force which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had ordered for half a decade ago, remained tangled in red tapes over the years.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the summary proposal for setting up the Bureau of Counter Terrorism on December 25 last year However, in the wake of the February whisking off of three JMB men from a prison van in Mymensingh and what is said to be “opposition sabotage” in the coming months, the government has revived the effort to form the bureau. The Finance Ministry official said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Budget Wing of Finance Division to allocate fund in coming budget for setting up the bureau. The matter came up in a recent inter-ministerial meeting at the PMO in which PM’s Adviser HT Imam slammed

officials for not being able to realise the premier’s pledge in so many years. According to the official, three ministries would have to take the necessary steps within a short time. They are the ministers for home, finance, and public administration. The proposed bureau would have information technology, modern banking and cybercrime experts, who would work to know in advance about any possible threat to the PM’s life and other high profile political figures, source said. The proposed activities of the unit include counter intelligence, stopping terror financing, antimilitancy campaign, terrorist tracking and maintaining a central database; simultaneously ensuring minimum violation of human and other basic rights enshrined in the constitution. There will be 30-member district attaché offices headed by an additional superintendent of police in all the districts. No fresh recruitments will be made for the bureau; instead, staffs from different government agencies will work for it by rotation. The inspector general of police will be the chief of the proposed police unit. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the summary proposal for setting up the Bureau of Counter Terrorism on December 25 last year. The announcement about forming the bureau first came in 2009, soon after the Awami League government assumed power. l

n Our Correspondent, Chittagong Police in overnight special drives nabbed 14 activists of Jamaat-e-Islam and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir in different areas of Satkania and Lohagara upazilas of the port city early yesterday. AKM Emran Bhuiyan, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) of Satkania circle, told the Dhaka Tribune that Satkania police made the arrest during over night drives in the upazila’s Chhadaha, Dhemsha, Kanchana and other areas Meanwhile, Lohagara police also conducted drives at the upazila’s Kolujan and Charomba areas and picked up four Jamaat-Shibir activists, he added. The arrestees were allegedly involved in the violence during pre and post-national election period in the upazilas, while they were also planning for further sabotage in the area ahead of the sentence of Delwar Hossain Sayedee, he also said. Most of the arrestees are accused in several cases lodged with the respective police stations in connection with the recent political violence, the ASP added. The arrestees were produced before court yesterday afternoon. l

Fire at CMCH n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

A day labourer walks past a high-voltage transformer placed just seven feet above the ground on a narrow lane in the capital’s Islambagh yesterday. Many plastic manufacturing factories in the vicinity, along with narrow lanes that are inaccessible to firefighters, make the area vulnerable to blazes MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU


Health directorate to issue fresh circular for over 900 jobs n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The Health Ministry has instructed the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to cancel the ongoing process of recruiting 911 third and fourth-grade employees in nine districts, although over one crore taka had already been spent on the written and viva tests for the job seekers. A letter, issued by the ministry on Thursday, also directed the DGHS to serve a fresh circular regarding the recruitment process within three working days, claiming that incidents of bribery, rules violation, and nepotism

had taken place during the recent recruitment attempt. The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the health directorate had spent around Tk1.37 crore to conduct the written and viva-voce exams that were held last year. When asked about the issue, Dr Md Shah Newaz, director (administration) of DGHS and also a member secretary of the central recruitment committee, admitted to receiving the ministry directive and said the recruitment committee would sit today to discuss the matter. The five-member central recruit-

ment committee is headed by Dr Subash Kumer Basu, additional director general of the DGHS, while other members include one representative each from the Public Service Commission, Health Ministry and Public Administration Ministry. Many of the applicants, meanwhile, expressed their discontent at the latest decision, telling the Dhaka Tribune that they were planning to lodge cases if a new circular were to be issued. More than 90,000 candidates sat for the written exam on April 26 last year, followed by the viva-voce on July 27. Although the results had almost been

prepared, it could not be published because of an ongoing writ petition at the High Court, DGHS officials said. Seeking anonymity, they added that although the case was resolved a couple of months ago, the recruitment committee sought the ministry’s advice after Health Minister Mohammed Nasim raised objection to the recruitment. There are allegations that several current and former ministers, state ministers, lawmakers, top bureaucrats and leaders of doctors’ organisations had been pocketing millions of taka from the job seekers by promising

them appointments. Sources said some lobbyists even recommended over 250 candidates, while collecting sums of around Tk2 lakh to Tk6 lakh from each job seeker. A senior health official, preferring to stay unnamed, told the Dhaka Tribune that the directive to issue a fresh circular would create new opportunity for the unscrupulous quarter to exploit the candidates. The districts where the recruitment tests were held are Narayanganj, Mymensingh, Faridpur, Naogaon, Narail, Jessore, Satkhira, Barisal and Noakhali. l

A fire broke out at the angiogram room of Chittagong Medical College Hospital Cardiology Ward yesterday, resulting in a panic among the patients of the ward. A total 164 patients were receiving treatment at the ward during the incident, however, no casualty was reported, CMCH sources. Witnesses said a fire suddenly broke out at an Air Conditioner unit at the angiogram room of Ward 12 around 10am. Fire service sources said the fire originated from an electric short-circuit. Police and hospital staffs doused the fire within half an hour, cutting off the main power connection of the ward. A fire fighting unit from Chandanpura Fire Station also went to the hospital and extinguished the fire completely, said Newton Das, senior station officer of Chandanpura Fire Station. l

Case filed against DU students n DU Correspondent Police on Friday night filed a case against 70-80 anonymous students of Dhaka University, following a clash between students and police on Friday afternoon centring a trivial issue. “ASI Saifullah filed a case with the police station against 70-80 anonymous students on Friday night,” New market police station Officer-in-Charge Yasir Arafath confirmed the Dhaka Tribune. Meanwhile, DU Proctor Amzad Ali said the university authority has formed a probe committee over the incident and stern action will be taken against the guilty. l

Bangladeshi workers allege mistreatment against Maldivian employer

Master’s classes at Home Economics begin May 15 n DU Correspondent

n Rabiul Islam

Principal of Home Economics College in the capital yesterday announced that classes for the master’s course would commence on May 15 in the face of demand raised by students who had asked for action to end the delay in beginning classes following Honours final exams. Students of the college staged a sitin outside the principal’s office in the morning. “Unlike public universities, it takes almost an additional year to begin classes for the master’s course,” one of the students participating in the sit-in told the Dhaka Tribune. In the past, the students had raised the same demand on several occasions. Farzana Yasmin Nipa, a fourth-year student at the college, said: “Because of session jam, it has already taken us six years to complete our Honours courses. We do not want to lose more time. That is why we urged the principal to start classes for the master’s course shortly.” Principal of the college Iffat Ara Nargis said she also supported the demand and announced that classes would start on May 15. She said she would approach Vice-chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique in this regard as students said they could not rely on her words. “The Vice-chancellor is now abroad and is expected to return home on May 6. I will take the students to him for a solution then,” she said. l

Some Bangladeshis working for a company in the Maldives have made allegations of mistreatment against their employer to a rights organisation in the South Asian nation. “They were ill-treated, stripped of their basic rights and forced to work for 13 hours a day,” according to a report by Transparency Maldives. The report, published on Thursday, said the Bangladeshi workers alleged that they had not been paid for six months. They repeatedly requested their employer to pay their wages, as they needed money to support themselves and their families back home. But the employer refused to pay, claiming that the company was struggling financially. Under the circumstances, the workers filed a complaint against the company at the Labour Relations Authority of the Maldives, the report said. But instead of getting any redress, they were punished by the employer, who cut off electricity from their living quarters. The report did not name the employer or the company. Later, the desperate workers approached the advocacy and legal aid centre of Transparency Maldives, an affiliation of the global corruption watchdog, Transparency International. “We wrote to the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives explaining the situation and asking if a solu-

A student climbs over the main gate of the Home Economics College after it was locked by demonstrating students demanding resumption of Master’s classes RAJIB DHAR

JU senate for extending retirement age n JU Correspondent The senate members of Jahangirnagar University, at a special senate meeting yesterday, made a decision to extend the retirement age of the teachers, officers and the employees of the university by two years. Earlier, JU syndicate body approved this proposal at a syndicate meeting on March 22, while JU senate approved the proposal yesterday. The senate convention was held at the senate hall room at the administrative office of the university around 4pm, while JU Vice-Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam was on the chair.

After the senate meeting, JU Registrar Abu Bakr Siddique told reporters that JU senate had approved the proposal of extending the retirement age of the teachers, officers and employees by two years. University sources said university teachers were supposed to retire at 65, while officers and employees were supposed to retire at 60. If the University Grant Commission and the government finally approved the proposal, the retirement age of university teachers would be 67, while the officers and employees would retire at 62. JU Teachers’ Association (JUTA) President Dr Farid Ahmed said: “Following the manifestos of last VC panel poll and

JUTA elections, current authorities have done this and we welcome the initiative.” The government and politics department teacher and a member of “Shikkhok Shomaj” said: “The incumbent senate body has no validity and they cannot make decisions on such important issues.” However, the JU VC said: “We have discussed with our legal adviser and learned that the incumbent senate body had no legal impede in arranging any special senate meeting.” Anthropology Department teacher Prof Farzana Islam was appointed as the JU VC from the panel elected in February 19 VC panel poll. l

tion could be found,” the rights group said. The group’s intervention helped to solve the immediate crisis _ electricity was restored within 24 hours to the workers’ quarters.

According to BMET, around 30,000 Bangladeshi migrants are working in the Maldive islands The HR commission is investigating the case now, and Transparency Maldives is monitoring the situation to ensure that the Bangladeshis get their dues. However, the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) in Dhaka said it had not received any such complaints from Bangladeshi workers. “Such incidents may happen when migrants are undocumented,” BMET director Abdul Latif told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. He also said the Maldives police were serious about such allegations, and if any get any complaint, they would compel the employer to pay. Meanwhile, Khondaker Shawkat Hossain, secretary to the expatriates’ welfare ministry, said, “Let me get the information, I cannot tell you anything right now.” According to BMET, around 30,000 Bangladeshi migrants are working in the Maldive islands. l



GP to resell unused SIM n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Grameenphone, the leading mobile phone operator in the country, has started a process to recycle or resell the unused numbers which do not have any activity since last one year from the expiration of last recharge. Sources of the operator informed that through the process some long term unused SIMs’ ownership might change. The operator had already written about it to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), and was preparing for the recycling. “We sent an intimation letter to the regulatory board two months ago. As the BTRC did not inform us anything about it yet, we are just going to start our recycling process,” Mahmud Hossain, chief

corporate affair officer of Grameenphone, told the Dhaka Tribune. He also said they were working on it in full swing and would go public within a short time. In the letter, Grameenphone mentioned about the National Numbering Plan 2005, and said with the 11 digit mobile number plan an operator had the capacity of 10 crore mobile numbers, whereas Grameenphone had already used around 8.13 crore numbers. As per the current status, introduction of 3G had fostered the increasing number of GP customers, and around 1.39 crore SIMs were sold only in 2013, the letter mentioned, and added that Grameenphone would reach its highest capacity within a few months. The letter also expressed concerns that if Grameenphone did not start

the recycling process soon, they would have to stop selling. Currently, the total number of disconnected GP SIMs were occupying almost 20% of number plan capacity of Grameenphone, the letter outlined, and said the company wished to implement the recycling or reuse concept to utilise the huge number of disconnected numbers as recycling was a common practice in global telecommunication industry as well. Sources at the operator company claimed that if they could delete these disconnected numbers from their database, it would reduce their maintenance costs. The letter, regarding the change in ownership of numbers, says: “As per the clause of our 3G license, it has been made clear that allocation of a num-


Sunday, May 4, 2014

ber does not confer ownership of the number by the customer and Grameenphone, as operator, can withdraw or change the number by giving a three months’ notice period.” On the other hand, another mobile phone operator Robi also requested the BTRC and the NBR to allow them to reuse disconnected SIM’s. “We have informally requested the regulatory bodies to allow us to use unused SIM’s,” Mahtabuddin Ahmed, chief operating officer of Robi, told the Dhaka Tribune recently. Meanwhile, officials at the mobile operator companies claimed that if the BTRC directed them to add one more digit, which would increase their cost and the users would have to take the hassle of adding one digit to every number in their phonebooks. l

SSJ worried over recent abductions n Du Correspondent Leaders and activists of the Sammilita Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) yesterday expressed their concerns over the recent multiple abductions and killings across the country and demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators of such crimes. The platform raised their concerns while holding a demonstration on the Dhaka University campus and brought out a black flag procession from the university’s TSC area in the afternoon. Speaking at the demonstration, SSJ President Nasir-Uddin Yousuf Bacchu said: “Frequent killings and abductions creates doubt on government’s responsibility towards its people. People are

now losing trust on government and gradually peace has been disappearing from our society.” Saying that the recent abductions and killings have caused a panic and insecurity in the society, he also urged home ministry to investigate every issue fairly and bring the perpetrators to justice, without considering their political or social status. Meanwhile, SSJ Secretary General Hasan Arif said: “We have to raise our voice and create a strong social barrier against such misdoings.” SSJ Vice President Golam Kuddus held the government responsible for the untoward situation in the country and demanded immediate steps to put an end to the menace. l

Chhatra League beats up JU JCD leader n JU Correspondent Activists of Jahangirnagar University (JU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday beat up a leader of the university’s Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) unit over a trivial issue at Dairy Gate area of the university. Chhatra League JU unit Literature Secretary Sanwar Hossain of Mir Mosharraf Hossain dorm assaulted Benzir Ahmed, JCD joint convener of Maulana Bhashani dorm, around 1:30pm. Benzir studies finance at the university. Witnesses said Sanwar and some junior Chhatra League activists were at the Dairy Gate area when Benzir went to a bKash shop there to draw money. Sanwar then asked Benzir to leave the place because he was a JCD leader. Chhatra League activists who were with Sanwar, however, beat Benzir up with iron rod and iron pipe as the JCD leader refused to leave before finishing his task, sources said. The attackers promptly left the

Road crash kills one in Chittagong n CU Correspondent A CNG-run auto rickshaw driver was killed when a covered van rammed into his vehicle on Customs Bridge area in Chittagong yesterday. The deceased was identified as Md Delwar Hossain, 25, hailing from Kachuya of Chandpur district, said police sources. Bandar police station Sub-Inspector Mosarraf Hosain said a covered van rammed the CNG-run auto rickshaw at the area around 6am, leaving the driver injured critically. “Locals rushed him to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) where on duty doctors declared him dead,” the SI said.l



scene while Benzir was rushed to the JU Medical Centre. On-duty doctor Touhid Hasan Shah Chowdhury told the Dhaka Tribune the victim had received injuries in his chest, arms, waist and legs. “He has been referred to the Enam Medical College and Hospital in Savar for better treatment,” he said. Speaking about the attack, Sanwar told the Dhaka Tribune that Benzir did not pay any heed to his words and was therefore beaten up. JCD JU unit General Secretary Abu Sayeed Bhuiyan told the Dhaka Tribune that Chhatra League leaders were intentionally attacking our activists with naked support from the university authorities. “We want immediate punishment of all attackers who have been torturing our leaders and activists over the past few years with regard to political issues,” he said. JU Proctor Prof Dr Tapan Kumar Saha said they would probe into the issue and take action if a written complaint was lodged. l

Rickshaw vans are seen parked at an empty space in Karwan Bazar which used to be a children’s playground. The space has been kept occupied by the Hawkers’ Welfare Association for a long time SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Confiscation of Authorities asleep at the wheel as environment destroyers’ many buildings ignore fire safety properties demanded n UNB

n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong Speakers at a human chain in Chittagong yesterday called for confiscation of properties of people involved in activities like cutting hills and trees and filling up water bodies which destroy the environment. They also demanded introduction of a separate and strict law to stop destruction of the environment. Fight for Women’s Rights, a social organisation, formed a human chain and placed the demands before Chittagong Press Club in the morning. Advocate Rehana Banu, president of the organisation, presided over the programme. Some influential and notorious people are wreaking havoc on the environment rampantly as there is no strict

implementation of the existing laws, observed the speakers. “Hills in the port city are being cut and tall buildings are being erected filling up the water bodies in violation of the law. This is happening before the eyes of the administration,” they said. “The age-old trees cannot be saved either as those are also being chopped down,” they added. Speakers urged the countrymen to stand beyond political, ideological and religious contradictions in order to save the environment. Poet and journalist Kamrul Hasan Badal, Chittagong University Professor Dr Gazi Salauddin, playwright Jahangir Kabir and several environment activists spoke at the human chain among others. l

Although many high-rise commercial buildings have been occupied without fulfilling the fire safety standards, they are yet to be identified because 99% of the owners are least bothered about having occupancy certificates following the approval of the building plans, claimed fire service officials. The officials also raised concern over the increase in unplanned factory buildings in the city and stressed the need for having firmer rules to regulate the fire safety measures of all kinds of buildings – residential, commercial and industrial – big or small. Fire Service and Civil Defence Directorate’s instructor M Akram said only 1 in 100 owners of high-rise buildings cares about collecting the occupancy certificate, leaving the authorities in the absolute dark about their fire safety standards.





















Cox’s Bazar





37.0ºC Rangamati

19.0ºC Srimangal

Source: Accuweather/UNB

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

4:01am 5:22am 11:56am 4:31pm 6:28pm 7:50pm Source:

fence Directorate, said they were operating mobile-court drives to make sure owners build buildings complying with the building code. Ali Ahmed observed that besides lack of information about the occupancy status of the buildings, another major concern over fire safety is the unplanned expansion of industries in the city area. Roads in many areas in the capital, especially in its old part, were narrow for which fire fighters in vehicles could not reach in time if a fire broke out, he said, adding that there was no adequate water source in different spots of the city. According to fire service rules, the DG can declare any structure unfit for accommodation if it lacks the fire safety measures. As per the existing laws, errant owners can be given maximum punishment of 10 years’ imprisonment, including fine. l

TCB to stock essentials to keep Ramadan market stable


Akram said buildings higher than six-storey were multi-storey ones and occupancy (suitable for accommodation) certificates were to be collected for setting up such high-rise buildings. He also noted that buildings having less than six-storey ones do not require the non-objection certificates (NOC), but have to be built complying with the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC). However, Akram said, chemical industry owners require to take the NOCs regardless of any height. Sources at fire service said they have decided to issue notices on the owners who took the NOCs for their building plans, but did not receive occupancy certificates after completing their building construction. They also said legal action would be taken against the errant owners. Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of the Fire Service and Civil De-

Relatives of abduction victims burst into tears while participating at a demonstration in front of the National Parliament in the capital yesterday FOCUS BANGLA

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is set stock five Ramadan essentials in an effort to help ensure smooth supply of those items during the upcoming fasting month beginning in July, said officials yesterday. The five items, demand for which generally peaks during Ramadan, are edible oil, sugar and lentil, gram/chickpeas and dates. Although TCB officials did not mention anything over the quantity of the stock to be accumulated, they said the dealers will get the uninterrupted supply of the essentials as per their requirement during the holy month. “There had been no problem over the last two years. There’ll be no problem this year, too,” said TCB Chairman Brig Gen Sarwar Jahan Talukdar. Saying TCB was preparing to keep up the success of the last two years, he also added: “Stocks are being built up… products are coming gradually. There’ll be no crisis.”

Asked about the prices of the essentials to be provided by the TCB, the chairman said they would fix the prices in consultation with the Commerce Ministry. “We’ll fix the prices 15-20 days ahead of Ramadan.” TCB spokesperson M Humayun Kabir said there is already an adequate stock of edible oil, sugar and lentil in the market right now. “Gram/chickpea and date (imported) will arrive here by May 10-12 and the first week of next month respectively,” he said. Responding to a question, he said the TCB will release the five Ramadan essentials to the market in three phases. “The first instalment will be released 15 days before the Ramadan starts, the second instalment in the first week of Ramadan while the third instalment will be released in the middle of Ramadan,” Kabir added. He said some 174 open trucks will remain engaged in selling the TCB essentials across the country. l




Sunday, May 4, 2014


Output goes up by 12.69% in Bogra n Our Correspondent, Bogra Boro paddy output has gone up by 12.69% compared to its target across the country this season, which agriculture officials attribute to increased use of agriculture technology and congenial weather. ”The government had a target of achieving 28.3 million metric tonnes, but got 31.9 million tonnes, up by 3.6 million tonnes,” says Deputy Director at Bogra Department of Agriculture Extension AH Bazlur Rashid. “Boro paddy yield was estimated at 3.86 metric tonnes per hectare, but in the beginning of the season, it has been learnt that 4.38 metric tonnes was produced per hectare,” he says. Prices are also satisfactory for which farmers say they are happier this season. A farmer, Enamul Haq, 45, of Nandigram upazila’s Ronbagha says they have got 8.10 metric tonnes of paddy per hectre this year, up by 0.8 metric tonnes from the last year. Every 40 kilograms of paddy was sold for Tk 620 last year while it is being sold for Tk 830 this year, he said.

Per 40 kilograms of paddy was sold for Tk 800 to 830 depending on quality last year while it has been sold for for Tk 850 at the very beginning of this season, says another farmer Abdur Razzak, 55, of Datmaniza village. “Every 40 kilograms of paddy could be sold for Tk 1000 if there were no bigger calamity within 20 days next,” he predicts. Another farmer Md Emran Al Sarcar of Kalinjira village at Dinapur’s Ghoraghat upazila says he sold 40 kilograms of BR-28 and 29 varieties of paddy for up to Tk 580 while it is being sold for Tk 680 now. “Irrigation crisis has dented the output but it is not affecting farmers because prices are better this year,” he says. Deputy Director at Bogra Department of Agriculture Extension AH Bazlur Rashid, says, “Boro paddy has been grown on around 4.7 million hectares of land across the country.” “Less prevalence of insects and congenial weather and use of modern agriculture technology like seed dealers and paddy planters have played a role in the bumper yield,” he says. l

Tribal women are busy harvesting Boro paddy at Bogra’s Nandigram upazila. The district has witnessed a bumper output this season. The snap is taken recently


508 pry schools without headmaster Lightening kills five in three districts

Police looking for 2 rapists in Jessore n UNB, Jessore n Our Correspondent, Jessore A total of 508 government primary The law enforcers are yet to arrest two rapists for separate incidents of rape and attempted rape in Abhaynagar upazila of the district last week. Two cases were filed with Abhaynagar police station on Friday afternoon. Tawhid Sheikh of Gopinathpur village under the upazila violated an eightyear-old girl who is a class II student by taking her inside a house nearby her residence around 1am on April 28, OC Mollah Khabir Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune referring to the case statements. In another incident, Torab Sheikh of Bagdah village attempted to rape an 11-year-old girl at her residence around noon on April 30. The victim is a labourer at Super Jute Mills Limited in Phultala upazila of Khulna. l

schools in Jessore district are running without any headmaster. Besides, a total of 693 posts of assistant teacher are lying vacant in the district’s government primary schools for long. Consequently, academic activities in these institutions are being seriously hampered as recruitment to these vacant posts has remained stalled for different complications. District Primary Education Office sources said the eight upazilas of the district have a total of 1,274 government primary schools, including the 600 which have recently been nationalised. There is a sanctioned post of headmaster in each of the schools but only

766 of them have appointed headmasters. In Manirampur upazila, there are 262 primary schools and 65 of them are running with headmasters while there is no headmaster in 41 schools in Keshabpur upazila, 22 schools in Sadar upazila, 27 in Bagharpara upazila, 25 in Chougaccha upazila, 23 in Jhikorgachha upazila, 22 in Abhaynagar upazila and seven in Sharsha upazila. Apart from this, a total of 693 posts of assistant teacher are lying vacant in the government primary schools of the district, of which 155 are in Sadar upazila, 55 in Manirampur upazila, 127 in Keshabpur upaizla, 86 in Chougachha upazila, 78 in Sharsha upazila, 65 in Abhaynagar upazila, 58 in Jhikargachha upazila and 38 in Bagharpara upazila. Subrata Kumar Banik, an official of

the district primary education office, said 65 percent posts of the government primary schools are filled up through promotion while the rest 35 percent through recruitment. He linked such a large number of posts of headmaster lying vacant for long to the stoppage of the assistant teachers’ promotion to the post of headmaster because of a case filed by the teachers appointed under a project. Besides, the government has created five posts instead of four in the recently nationalised primary schools. As a result, the number of vacant posts of assistant teacher has risen further. “The authorities are well aware of the fact and we’re hopeful that the government will take immediate step to fill up these vacant posts,” added Subrata Kumar. l

Amar Desh bureau chief commits suicide n Our Correspondent, Barisal

Comilla Photojournalists Forum takes out a rally in the city yesterday, marking the World Press Freedom Day


25 shops torched n Our Correspondent,

Jatra pandel vandalised

At least 25 shops were torched by a group of criminals at remote Naraichhari Bazar under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari district yesterday morning. Quoting locals, Officer-in-Charge of Dighinala police station Shahdat Hossain said a group of United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) set fire on some 25 shops. Assistant Press Secretary of Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghity Samity (PCJSS) Sajib Chakma blamed UPDF for the incident. But the UPDF Press and Publication Secretary Niron Chakma blamed their rival Santu Larma led PCJSS for the arson attack. The shop owners claimed that the loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk 30 lakh. l

At least 20 people were injured as locals vandalised a jatra (open air drama) stage at Sadhuhati village in Sadar upazila on Friday. Locals alleged that some local influential people have arranged jatra in the open space in Athangiri, Sherpur, Sadhuhati, Aloha, Dighirpar areas recently. Obscene dances and gambling were going on at the venue under the nose of law enforcers. Under the banner of ‘Socheton Nagorik Somaj’ earlier on April 24 local people submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner demanding immediate stop of gambling and obscene dances. But the administration


n Our Correspondent, Moulvibazar

JL men murder accused held n Our Correspondent, Jessore Police yesterday arrested an accused in two Jubo League activists murder cases, after a gun-battle between the law enforcers and his accomplices in the district. The arrestee was identified as Rafiqul Islam. Apurba Hasan, officer-in-charge of Benapole port police station said: “The gunfight took place at night while the law enforcers were conducting a drive in Shikri-Shibpur area."

"Sensing the presence of the police, the terrorists opened fire that triggered the gunfight, leaving Rafiq injured,” he added. The OC further said the police recovered a one-shooter gun, one round of bullet and two crude bombs from the spot. SI Ashraful and Constable Tazul Islam also received injuries in the gunfight. On April 26, two JL activists-Iman Ali, 35, and Lalon Mia, 26, were killed in a clash between two groups of JL over sharing of money earned from smuggling. l

did not take steps. Later, the agitated people went to the venue at Sadhuhati village to talk to the organizers. At one stage, they got lock in a clash with the organisers and their men. 20 people were critically injured during the clash. On information, police went to the spot and brought the situation under control. The injured were admitted to Moulvibazar Sadar Hospital. Of the injured Shahed Ahmed and Mujibur Rahman had been shifted to MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital as their condition deteriorated. Md Abdus Saleh, officer-in-charge of Moulvibazar Sadar model station confirmed the incident. l

Hanging dead body of GM Babar Ali, 57, Barisal bureau chief of the daily Amar Desh was recovered from the rented residence of his second wife in Sabujbug area of Patuakhali early yesterday. Family members said Babar recently became mentally upset and often expressed his frustrations and extreme financial crisis in maintaining his family as he had been remaining unpaid since long following the government enforced closure of the daily Amar Desh. Sub-Inspector Shamsul Alam of Patuakhali sadar police station said Babar Ali came to the house of his second wife Jharna Khanam, a staff of Marie Stopes clinic of Patuakhali on Friday around 5:30pm. He and his wife engaged in an altercation over family issues and Jharna and Babar later stayed in separate rooms. Around 12:30am, Jharna found the hanging body of Babar and informed police. l

n Tribune Report At least five people, including two teenage boys, were killed and nine others were injured in lightening strike in Tangail, Satkhira and Meherpur yesterday. In Tangail, two teenage boys were killed and two others were injured in lightening at Gopalpur upaizla. The deceased were identified as Md Alam Mia, 15, of Golpacha village and Md Shelim, 15, of Baliadanga village of the upazila, our correspondent reported. Dr Hasib Ahsan, residential medical officer of Gopalpur Upazila Health Complex, said a team of youth were playing football in Golpacha Govt Pri-

mary School playground. Suddenly lightening struck them around 3pm, leaving four critically injured. Alam and Shelim succumbed on the way to hospital. In Satkhira, a farmer was killed being struck by lightning at Umrapara village in Sadar upazila, UNB reports. The deceased was identified as Abdus Sattar, 43, of the same village. Officer-in-Charge of Sadar police station Inamul Hoque said a thunderbolt hit Sattar while he was harvesting paddy in field, leaving him dead on the spot. In Meherpur, two people were killed and seven others injured by lightning in Sadar upazila, UNB reports. l




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dynamic meets dashing The growing role of public relations in Bangladesh n Ahamed Naveed Hasan “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” Oscar Wilde’s words point towards the infinitely important aspect of publicity, both for organisations and individuals. In today’s social and business arena, organisations and individuals often need to engage in public relations (PR), the process of gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and content that do not necessarily ensure direct payment. The goal of PR for a company is to persuade the public, current and future investors, vendors, staff, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about the company - its leadership, goods and services, or tactical decisions. Public relations can be thought of as a communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and the public. Ideally, a typical PR executive has to undertake reputation management and stakeholder management, for a client, firm or person. Public relations is considered an integral part of business in the developed markets particularly North America and Europe. The popularity and reach of public relations has been growing steadily in South Asia as well, and the PR industry in India is quite large. However, in the case of Bangladesh the PR industry is still quite small in terms of number and volume of clients. Bangladeshi firms often confuse public relations with media buying, and overlook the enormous scope for reputation-building and stakeholder confidence that it offers. The nature of public relations is such that it can be tailored, and in Bangladesh, this type of service is sought

Right word, right time

n Career Desk The return of the final season of Mad Men has seen a marked rise in howto’s the likes of “How to dress like Don Draper” and “How to get that perfect tie dimple.” But being a creative powerhouse like Draper is a lot more than looking dapper. This week’s Biz Vocab looks at how to speak the language of advertising like a professional. AIDA Broadsheet Circulation Classified ads Coupon Direct mail Double-page spread Eyecatcher Features Generic advertising Hoarding Hype Mailshot Mass media Plug Prime time Slot Soundbite Spam Spot Tabloid USP

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - the aim of all advertising Newspaper printed in a large format Average number of copies of newspapers or magazines sold over a period of time Small advertisements in newspapers or magazines, divided into categories Part of a printed advertisement to be used to order goods or samples Advertisement sent by post to prospective customers Advertisement printed across two pages in a newspaper or magazine Something that particularly attracts one’s attention Special characteristics of a product Advertising for a whole sector, such as tourism, rather than a specific product Wooden structure or signboard, used to carry advertisements Excessive or intensive publicity; exaggerated claims made in advertising Piece of advertising material sent to potential customers by post The main means of mass communication (newspapers, TV and radio) Favourable publicity in the media for a commercial product Hours on radio and TV with the largest audience, usually the evening Specific time in a broadcasting schedule allotted for a commercial Short extract from a recorded interview or speech Unsolicited advertising sent through the internet as an email message Position of a commercial in a radio programme or TV schedule Newspaper printed in small format, usually with a lot of photographs Unique Selling Proposition; a declaration of what makes a product different


by a niche market. In recent times, with the influx of a good number of global firms and internationally-educated business managers, more and more companies are starting to comprehend the importance of investing consistently in public relations. It is undertaken by companies either by contracting specialised agencies or by establishing an in-house service. Bangladesh’s public relations industry consists of a number of PR and marketing agencies. The prominent firms include ForethoughtPR, Concito PR,

Impact PR and Masthead PR. In addition to these specialised PR agencies, the full service marketing firms, including Ogilvy, AdComm and Grey also provide public relations services, often as a part of their brand service packages. Currently, the total number of professionals in Bangladesh’s PR industry is around 100, but the number is rising steadily. Most of the corporate firms operating in Bangladesh don’t have specialised PR wings, so they have to outsource their entire public relations management tasks to the PR agencies. However, sever-

al companies, including Grameenphone, Unilever and Pran, undertake a large portion of PR functions in-house, with specialised PR personnel. These large companies spend exorbitant amounts of money for publicity, so it is more useful for them to manage PR in-house rather than depend on agencies. The world of public relations is extremely dynamic and challenging, more so in the emerging corporate sector of Bangladesh. “The PR industry in Bangladesh is thriving; the agencies require a good

the staff, traditionally in Bangladesh they have been known for doing things that often spoil the employee morale. And as far as appraisals are concerned, how can HR have a hand in it when they hardly understand the roles of the employees in other departments and what exactly is expected of each employee?

that has put the biggest ax on the HR department is the recent trend of outsourcing. Almost every HR function can easily be outsourced and managed even more effectively and professionally than it is done in-house. If you have watched the movie “Up in the Air” you have no difficulty believing that there can be very specialised firms only for employee terminations. Even in Bangladesh, many organisations have grown that specialise in the functional areas of HR including recruitment, training, and talent management. Now that many international and multinational organisations are closing the HR departments, local organisations might soon follow suit. Given this, what should the HR professionals do? Well, they can look into their own talent development and explore closely related and emerging areas like organisational development, training and development, and the like. Many may prefer to stick to their field and join the outsourcing organisations where they can specialise in specific areas of HR. Nevertheless, changes are inevitable in the corporate world and adaptation is the key to success. l

number of young graduates every year, and we recruit people from all types of academic backgrounds - business, computer science, sociology, communications - all of these,” says Adel Ahmed, the head of strategic planning at Concito PR. He adds: “The art of public relations is not taught at Bangladeshi universities, and you have to learn on the job.” The people who excel in the public relations jobs are usually extroverts, tactful, diplomatic and are able to find solutions to complex problems under pressure. The brand reputation and

market position of clients depend on their ability to think quickly and communicate with the public effectively. The day-to-day work of a PR professional typically includes client service, client acquisition, crisis management and maintaining relationships with stakeholders - which can be both longterm and short-term depending on the needs of the client. As part of PR management, they often have to arrange press conferences and disseminate information to the press through briefs. “Although public relations management can include press releases and conferences, many people in Bangladesh often consider these to be the main parts of PR, which is unfortunate,” explains Adel Ahmed. The public relations services are also regularly sought by various local and international NGOs working in Bangladesh’s development sector. Bangladesh’s corporate sector is growing at a rapid pace, and the need for reputation and stakeholder management is rising. This is the perfect time for smart graduates to explore the field of public relations, especially the young people who enjoy constant challenge and immense opportunities for personal growth. Adel Ahmed points out: “Our PR industry is still very young, so it takes only a few years of hard work to reach the leadership positions in the public relations firms.” While academic record is important, the skills that recruiters value most in any prospective candidates are excellent communication skills, the ability to make an impression through social media, and the ability to present information flawlessly. l This research article was developed by Ahamed Naveed Hasan, lead manager of marketing at GradConnect, an international career information and advisory firm. For any questions, send an email to hello@, and learn more about GradConnect on

End of HR? n Javeed Ahsan

Are organisations getting rid of HR departments? If you think the answer is “yes,” I have quite a number of factors to blame. Let us look at what is happening in the corporate world that may question the need for a HR department. When you plan to recruit staff, it is usually the respective department that knows best what the incumbents are expected to do and what criteria will determine their best fit with the roles. Hence, the responsibility of writing the terms of reference usually falls on the team rather than on HR. Furthermore, thanks to the boom in online job portals, placing an ad is now so easy that even your average front desk executive can do it. If the criteria are spelled out, anyone can do the sorting and shortlist the CVs received in response to the job ads. Of course, the team management is in the best position to make the selection decision. So, where does one really get so stuck that HR has to step in? HR for motivation? Well, in theory, maybe this is true. But in practice, the scenario is usually otherwise. “We have six HR staff in our organisation and all they notice is when I am absent or late, but never do they notice when I do overtime and work on the day off,” says Fatima Zohra, a reporter at a national daily. Though HR is supposed to motivate

Changes are inevitable in the corporate world and adaptation is the key to success

It is again the managers who assess the team members, and often the co-workers and the subordinates, if the organisation follows 360 degree appraisal system. More importantly, employees usually look up to their manager for a break, be it positive appraisal, salary hike, promotion, or training and development, leaving no room for HR to intervene. Hence, each employee is constantly busy trying to please the manager, and hardly has time for HR. On top of that, the phenomenon

Javeed Ahsan is a communication and social awareness consultant at the Central Procurement Technical Unit of IMED at the Ministry of Planning


Interviews closed right n Career Desk

While the way employees are recruited, selection criteria for individual positions and the role of HR in the hiring process has all changed over the years, the majority of employers still continue to use common practices to select their number one candidate. Whether the job is as a research assistant, lab technician or public relations content developer, doing an interview right and sealing the deal requires about the same tactics for all jobs – foreseeing the interviewer's expectations and playing to it. Arguably, the most important part of the interview is the closing. It is what the interviewer will remember most when recalling all the interviewees later, and yet it is the one step that is often overlooked. The following steps will make for an interview closing that will put you at the top of your interviewer's mind. You may use all of them, or a few using your best judgment regarding the situation.

Exchange cards


This is the most basic step, and you will probably receive one without having to ask for it at the very beginning of the interview. If it is your first job, the interviewer will not be expecting you to present one, but if you are a seasoned employee you should have a few cards ready prior to an interview. In case you are not presented a card at the beginning of the interview, wait till the interview is over and then ask for it before saying thank you and making your way out.

Plant the follow up seed

Before leaving, make sure you plant a seed, that is, make an excuse for a follow up. You may do this by simply telling your interviewer how exciting you find the work that the company does and how you can see yourself working for a company such as this, adding that you’ll be in touch with them. This way when you do a follow up call or email, it will not be an out of the blue cold call, but one that is expected.

Thank in person, and online

The faster you do a follow up after the interview, the higher the chances of your interviewer remembering you. However, doing a follow up on the same day as the interview makes you seem not only desperate but obstinate. Instead of doing a full-fledged follow up, it is better to email them a simple thank you note right after the interview. It might not make a big difference but it is one more way to inserting yourself in the employer's mind.

Follow up bright and early

On your way out of the office following your interview, find out from the front desk what the company’s hours of operations are and how early the person who interviewed you comes to work. While the front desk executive may be reluctant to divulge such information about individual employees, if you are tactful and friendly and explain why you need to know what you need to know, it should not be a problem. Using this information, when you make a follow up call, make sure it is right after your interviewer gets to work. Generally people make more positive decisions in the morning before the day begins to settle in, and it also proves that you are an early bird and will be a punctual employee. l




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dozens killed in Ukraine riot and fire

Merkel: give Iran talks a chance, but be ready to act if needed n Reuters, Washington

OSCE monitors freed

n Reuters, Odessa/Slaviansk At least 42 people were killed in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukrainethat ended with dozens of pro-Russian protesters incinerated in a burning building, bringing the country closer to war. Pro-Russian rebels in the east freed seven European military observers yesterday after holding them hostage for eight days, while Kiev pressed on with its biggest military operation so far to reclaim rebel-held territory in the area. The riot in the Black Sea port of Odessa, ending in a deadly blaze in a besieged trade union building, was by far the worst incident in Ukraine since a February uprising that ended with a pro-Russian president fleeing the country. It also spread the violence from the eastern separatist heartland to an area far from the Russian frontier, raising the prospect of unrest sweeping more broadly across a country of around 45 million people the size of France. The Kremlin, which has massed tens of thousands of soldiers on the Ukraine’s eastern border and proclaims the right to invade to protect Russian speakers, said the government in Kiev and its Western backers were responsible for the deaths. Kiev said the violence was provoked by foreign demonstrators sent in from Transdniestria, a nearby breakaway pro-Russian region of Moldova where Moscow has a military garrison. It said most of the dead who had been identified so far were from there. On yesterday morning, people placed flowers near the burnt-out doors of the trade union building, lighting candles and putting up the yellow, white and red flag of the city. The burnt remains of a tented camp of pro-Russian demonstrators nearby had been swept away. People spoke of their horror at what happened.

About 2,000 pro-Russian protesters gathered outside the burnt-out building, chanting: “Odessa is a Russian city.” At the nearby hospital, residents queued up to offer blood and others tried to find out what medicine was needed so they could go out to buy it. Oleg Konstantinov, a journalist covering the events for a local Internet site, said bullets had flown in the melee before the blaze: “I was hit in the arm, then I started crawling, and then got hit in the back and leg.” The Odessa bloodshed came on the same day that Kiev launched its biggest push yet to reassert its control over separatist areas in the east, hundreds of kilometres away, where armed pro-Russian rebels have proclaimed a “People›s Republic of Donetsk.” The rebels there aim to hold a referendum on May 11 on secession from Ukraine, similar to one staged in March in Ukraine’s Crimea region, which was seized and annexed by Russia in a move that overturned the post-Cold War diplomatic order. A group of military observers who were seized last week by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk has been released, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed yesterday. “We can now confirm the release of the military observers,” said a spokeswoman for the OSCE, under whose auspices the military verification officers led by German defence ministry staff were in Ukraine, at Ukraine’s request. “Staff of the special monitoring mission are now waiting to receive them,” she said, referring to a larger OSCE mission gathering information and trying to reduce tensions on the ground. Earlier, Slaviansk’s pro-Russian separatist leader said he had released the observers, and said the move was voluntary and made to coincide with his birthday. l

Cuba calls terrorism designation by US absurd, manipulative n

Reuters, Havana

Cuba labeled as absurd and manipulative an annual US State Department report that once again designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, a setback for advocates hoping for a change in Washington›s Cuba policy this year. The annual Country Reports on Terrorism issued on Wednesday continued to list Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as countries that have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” Cuba has been on the list since 1982. The designation carries with it economic sanctions beyond those already imposed in the US trade embargo of Cuba. Cuba’s Foreign Ministry “energetically rejects the manipulation of a matter as sensitive as international terrorism by turning it into an instrument of policy against Cuba and it demands that our country be definitively excluded from this spurious, unilateral and arbitrary list,” the Cuban government said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Opponents of Washington’s Cold War-era policy on Cuba had hoped it would drop Cuba from the list this year in a sign US President Barack Obama might want to normalize relations with the communist-ruled island 90 miles (145 km) from Florida. “Many of the reasons for keeping Cuba on the list are no longer valid,” said Alana Tummino, director of policy at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York, which is critical of US policy towards Cuba. “Sadly, unless the State Department has more evidence than it’s providing, it appears that political motivations have once again driven this determination.” Cuba remains on the list “because it fails to meet the statutory criteria for being removed,” said Mauricio ClaverCarone, director of the US-Cuba Democracy PAC, the most powerful Cuban exile lobby group in Washington, who said Cuba continued to support terrorist groups and harbor fugitives from US courts. l

A protester walks past a burning pro-Russian tent camp near the trade union building in Odessa May 2. At least 38 people were killed in a fire on Friday in the trade union building in the centre of Ukraine’s southern port city of Odessa, regional police said REUTERS

West struggles for winning formula on Russian sanctions London/Washington/ n Reuters, Brussels Western states used targeted sanctions to isolate Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and push Iran into nuclear negotiations. Using similar tactics against President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a challenge on an entirely different scale. Not only is the volume of Russian money in the international system much greater than anything tied to Gaddafi or Tehran but the sophistication with which it is moved, held and sometimes hidden is also much greater. Some of the Western bankers, money managers and oil traders who help keep that money moving are unconvinced sanctions will have a truly significant effect. There is also a question about political will in the European Union, which relies on Russia for a third of its energy needs, to go further.

of the 28 EU member states would be more vulnerable to such sanctions than others. “Not every country is going to be in exactly the same place,” he told a White House news conference with Merkel. In turn, Merkel said that if required “we will move to a third stage of sanctions. I will underline this is not necessarily what we want.” Existing sanctions have largely targeted individuals and, while there has been an outflow of capital from Russia, there is little evidence that the measures are forcing Putin to rethink. Russian buyers have pulled back on new New York real estate deals while Russian banks and firms are turning to Asia to borrow money as Western lenders shy away. But there are no signs of any effect on London’s superheated property market, where oligarchs like to park their money. l

Assad set to extend his power amid Syrian war and theatre n Reuters, Beirut In the ornate, wood-panelled theatre that is Syria’s parliament, an unusual ritual has played out this week. It is part of an electoral process designed to portray all the drama of a presidential race, while ensuring nobody seriously challenges the one name on the ballot paper that counts: Candidate Assad. Every day at around noon, sheaves of documents in super-sized envelopes have been delivered to Speaker Mohammad al-Lahham, who has solemnly unsealed them and read out the names of nominees for Syria’s presidential election next month. When the deadline for nominations closed on Thursday, 24 names had been announced to deputies. Twenty-three are largely unknown and, despite official efforts to portray the vote as a genuine race, are destined to remain so. The name in the 24th envelope was “Dr Bashar Hafez al-Assad,” the man who inherited power from his father 14 years ago. On Monday Assad declared that he will seek another term in the midst

of a civil war which grew from protests against four decades of rule by his family. Assad’s defiance of opposition demands to step aside and pave the way for a peaceful political transition reflects his growing confidence that he has turned the tide of a conflict which has killed 150,000 people. It has also provoked an angry response from his foes who say the June 3 vote will be a charade, designed to lend him a legitimacy they say he lost when he responded with force to the first wave of protests in March 2011. Pointing to the upheaval caused by the conflict, they say it would be impossible to hold a credible vote in a country split between government and rebel-held areas, where 6 million people have been displaced and 2.5 million have fled abroad. Authorities say people who left Syria illegally are barred from voting, meaning the majority of refugees will have no say. A new law approved before the election also ensures that no dissenting voice will be offered to the voters. Syrians who spent time outside the coun-

try in the last 10 years are ineligible to stand, ruling out any of the opposition in exile. In addition, the field of presidential hopefuls is likely to be trimmed to a maximum of three by another constitutional clause which requires each candidate to get the support of 35 members of the overwhelmingly pro-Assad parliament. All week deputies have been casting secret ballots inside the speaker’s parliamentary office, a ceremony which has been dutifully aired live on state television to highlight that due process is being seen to be followed. But any suspense which that performance may have created was punctured this week by a parliamentarian from Assad’s Baath Party, who said all 161 Baath deputies in the 250-seat parliament were backing the president. Without exception. The MP, Jamal Qadiri, told Al-Watan newspaper that the remaining 89 deputies might throw their weight behind one or two other candidates whose names would go forward onto the ballot paper to challenge Assad. l

MERS death toll in Saudi climbs to 107

First US case of deadly mers virus confirmed n Reuters A healthcare worker who had traveled to Saudi Arabia was confirmed as the first US case of Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS), an often fatal illness, raising new concerns about the rapid spread of such diseases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. The male patient traveled via a British Airways flight on April 24 from Riyadh to London, where he changed flights at Heathrow airport to fly to the United States. He landed in Chicago and took a bus to an undisclosed city in Indiana. On April 27, he experienced respiratory symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the man visited the emergency department at Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, on April 28 and was admitted that same day. l

US experts travelled to Brussels this week and held what one US official called “exceptionally tense” meetings with representatives from EU and some non-EU nations. The Americans expressed concern that the Europeans would not be able to agree tougher trade, energy and financial sanctions, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The sanctions “are having an impact economically but they are not changing behaviour, that’s the paradox and that’s why we need to tighten the squeeze,” the official said. As pro-Russia militants seize more public buildings in Ukraine’s turbulent east and violence escalates, President Barack Obama and Germany’s Angela Merkel met in Washington and agreed that further measures would be taken if Moscow continued to destabilise its neighbour ahead of elections on May 25. But Obama acknowledged that some

n AFP, Riyadh

Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus that emerged in 2012 are seen in an undated colorized transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) REUTERS

Saudi health authorities announced yesterday two new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, raising to 109 the number of fatalities since the disease appeared in the kingdom in September 2012. A 25-year-old man has died in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and a woman of 69, who suffered from tuberculosis and anaemia, died in Mecca, also western Saudi Arabia, the health ministry said. At the same time, 35 new cases of the severe respiratory disease have been recorded, raising the number of sufferers in the Gulf state over the past two years to 396, the world’s highest tally. On Friday, US health officials said the first case of MERS has been confirmed in the United States. The person infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavi-

rus (MERS-CoV) is a health care provider who had travelled to Riyadh for work, they said. And last week, Egypt recorded its first infection after a person who arrived from Saudi Arabia tested positive. Public concern in Saudi Arabia over the spread of MERS has mounted after the resignation of at least four doctors at Jeddah’s King Fahd Hospital who refused to treat patients for fear of infection. Some research has suggested that camels are a likely source of the virus. MERS is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for MERS, a disease with a mortality rate of more than 40 percent that experts are still struggling to understand. l

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have to be given a chance, but sanctions could still be reinstated if needed. Merkel said Iran had to comply with an agreement under which Tehran agreed to limit parts of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some sanctions. “If Iran does not meet its obligations, or does not meet them adequately, we remain ready to take back the current limited suspension of sanctions,” she said at a US Chamber of Commerce event. “But first of all, we have to give the negotiations a chance.” l

Kerry vows all possible help for Nigeria girls rescue n AFP, Addis Ababa US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday vowed that Washington will do “everything possible” to help Nigeria deal with Boko Haram militants, following the kidnapping of scores of schoolgirls. “Let me be clear. The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime,” Kerry said in a policy speech in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. “We will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and hold the perpetrators to justice. That is our responsibility and the world’s responsibility,” he said. The US, he added, was “working to strengthen Nigeria’s institutions and its military to combat Boko Haram’s campaign of terror and violence.” Gunmen believed to be Islamist fighters stormed the girls’ boarding school in the country’s northeast nearly three weeks ago, forcing them from their dormitories onto trucks and driving them into the bush after a gun battle with soldiers. Nigerian police on Friday said Boko Haram militants were holding 223 girls of the 276 seized from the school, revising upwards the number of youngsters abducted. The girls’ abduction has triggered global outrage and prompted protests in a number of Nigerian cities, as desperate parents call on the government to secure their release. Nigerian mothers yesterday vowed to hold more protests to push a greater rescue effort from authorities. “We need to sustain the message and the pressure on political and military authorities to do everything in their power to ensure these girls are freed,” protest organiser Hadiza Bala Usman told AFP. She said that women and mothers will on Tuesday march to the offices of the defence minister and chief of defence staff “to ask them what they are doing to rescue our daughters.” “We believe there is little or no effort for now on the part of the military and government to rescue these abducted girls, who are languishing in some dingy forest,” she said. l

Talks continue over rebel withdrawal from Syria’s Homs n AFP, Damascus Talks for rebels to withdraw from a handful of besieged neighbourhoods in Syria’s Homs city have entered their final phase, regime and rebel representatives told AFP yesterday, a day after a ceasefire began. Homs was dubbed the “capital of the revolution” at the start of the 2011 uprising against President Assad. A pull-out would mean the regime has regained complete control of it after a two-year siege. A ceasefire began on Friday, as a first step toward implementing a deal between the two sides. Talks, which began two months ago, are near completion, according to Governor Talal al-Barazi and rebel representative and negotiator Abul Harith al-Khalidi. “The ceasefire is still in place, and I hope we will reach the end of the negotiations. Talks to rid the city of arms and of armed men ... are ongoing and we are near the end,” said Barazi. l




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Nine more Muslims killed in sectarian attack in India’s Assam n Reuters, BARAMA, India

Villagers carry their belongings as they leave their locality after attacks at Baksa district in the northeastern Indian state of Assam May 3. Security forces in northeast India found the bodies of nine Muslims yesterday, raising the death toll to 31 in a spate of attacks by suspected tribal militants as a weeks-long general election re-opens ethnic divisions REUTERS

Security forces in northeast India found the bodies of nine Muslims yesterday, raising the death toll to 31 in a spate of attacks by suspected tribal militants as a weeks-long general election re-opens ethnic divisions. The election has rekindled the question of religious animosity across India with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looking set to win, but the violence in the tea-growing state of Assam stems from friction over migration. Police said six of the nine Muslims found shot dead were women and children. Security forces rescued three children found nearby hiding in forests close to the border with Bhutan. “Shoot-on-sight orders are issued to troops deployed in troubled areas,” L. R. Bishnoi, inspector general of Assam’s police, told Reuters. Assam has a history of sectarian violence and armed groups fighting for greater autonomy or secession from India.

Police suspect militants from the Bodo tribe were behind the latest attacks in a region where tension between ethnic Bodo people and Muslim settlers has simmered for years. In 2012, clashes erupted in which dozens of people were killed and 400,000 fled their homes. Bodo representatives say many of the Muslims in Assam are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh who encroach on ancestral Bodo lands. Soldiers in convoys of trucks mounted with rifles were patrolling yesterday in Baksa district where some of the attacks took place. Polling in the Bodo region ended on April 24. Residents say it is a tight race between a Bodo and a non-tribal candidate. A policeman was killed on polling day. “There’s heightened tension because of the election,” said Ajai Sahni, the executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, although he said it was too early to be

certain about exactly what provoked the attacks.

‘Bags packed’

Modi said last week that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in the nearby state of West Bengal should have their “bags packed” in case he came to power, accusing the state government of being too soft. Arun Jaitley, the BJP’s leader in the upper house of parliament and a strong contender for finance minister should the party come to power, denied that Modi’s comments risked stirring communal tension. “It just shows a determination that we want to stop infiltration. Any government should try to stop that,” Jaitley said. The communal clashes in Assam two years ago triggered violent protests by Muslims in cities elsewhere in India. About 30,000 migrants from the northeast temporarily returned home after threats of reprisals by Muslims circulated by text message. l

Former warlord joins Thai opposition leader wants election delayed to allow reforms, rules himself out of reform committee Abdullah in Afghan election n Reuters, Bangkok Thai opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday urged that a general election planned for July be delayed by up to six months to allow time for reforms aimed at ending a protracted political crisis that threatens to explode. Protesters have been trying to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra since November, part of a long-running crisis that broadly pits Bangkok’s middle class and royalist establishment against the mainly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was ousted by the military in 2006 and now lives in exile to avoid a jail term handed down in 2008 for abuse of power. His opponents accuse him of corruption and nepotism. Thailand’s Election Commission and Yingluck agreed on Wednesday to hold

a general election on July 20, but anti-government protesters who disrupted a vote in February said they still wanted electoral reforms before a new poll. Former Prime Minister Abhisit, who launched a mediation effort on April 24, told a news conference the vote should be delayed by five or six months while a committee thrashed out reforms that would be put to a referendum. While that was being done, he wanted the country to be run by a neutral interim government with limited powers. The panel should include representatives of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the protest group led by Suthep Thaugsuban, who was a deputy prime minister under Abhisit until 2011. “I have said from the start that no side will get what they want 100 percent from what I am proposing. But ... the government will see an election,

people will get to vote in the next five to six months. The PDRC protesters will get their neutral government,” Abhisit said.

Anti-government protesters who disrupted a vote in February said they still wanted electoral reforms before a new poll He said he would not be part of the reform committee and that no politician should sit on it, but he gave few details on its likely composition. He also said he would not take up a political posi-

tion in future if his plan was accepted, although his medium-term intentions are unclear. “I would like to ask Yingluck: is there any part of my proposal that damages the country?” he said. There was no immediate comment from Yingluck on his plan. But Jarupong Ruangsuwan, leader of the ruling Puea Thai Party, told Reuters that the government could not accept Abhisit’s proposal and that the cabinet will deliberate a draft royal decree for the July 20 election date on Tuesday. “The government cannot accept Abhisit’s plan because it is outside the framework of the constitution. Abhisit’s plan will only increase divisions in Thai society,” Jarupong said. “Asking the government to resign is tantamount to ripping up the constitution. We will push ahead with preparing the draft (election) decree.” l

n AFP, Kabul A former Afghan warlord nicknamed “the bulldozer” joined front-runner Abdullah Abdullah’s presidential campaign yesterday, as deal-making hots up before the decisive run-off vote next month. Gul Agha Sherzai, from Kandahar, won less than two percent of the vote in the April 5 election, but is seen as able to deliver some support from Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group. Abdullah, whose support is strongest in Tajik ethnic areas, came first by a large margin in the election, though he fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed for outright victory, according to preliminary results. “I, as a representative of my team, join Dr. Abdullah’s team to bring security and welfare to the people of Afghanistan,” Sherzai told a press confer-

ence with Abdullah. “We have joined together for the country and the people.” Sherzai, a former governor of Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces, earned his nickname “the bulldozer” for pushing though major road and infrastructure projects – as well as for his forceful personality. Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani will compete in a headto-head election scheduled for June 7. The eventual winner will lead Afghanistan into a new era as US-led Nato combat troops end their 13-year war against the Islamist insurgency that erupted after President Hamid Karzai took power in 2001. “We are proud of joining together, we were in touch from the very beginning,” Abdullah said. “We have a long way ahead of us, we will use every opportunity for any alliances.” l

Indian politician hugged by ‘human torch’ dies of burns n AFP, Lucknow An Indian politician hugged during a television election debate by a “human torch” has died of burn injuries, the family said yesterday. The politician died late Friday in hospital, his family told AFP, after suffering burns to 75 percent of his body when a member of the audience doused himself in petrol and grabbed him. The local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Kamruzzama Fauji, and his attacker were engulfed in flames in front of the horrified audience as the television debate was being recorded for broadcast later. India’s media had described the attacker as looking like a “human torch.” The attack occurred as India’s stateowned national TV channel Doordarshan was recording the debate for broadcast later. The programme was being recorded in a park in Sultanpur, a town 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Uttar Pradesh state capital Lucknow. Fauji’s attacker, who suffered 95 percent burns, died shortly after the incident, police said. Police have not come up with any

motive for the attack on the politician who was a father of nine children. But Khalikurzama, the elder brother of Kamruzzama, called the attack “politically motivated” and demanded “a proper probe.” India’s numerous television channels are holding nightly debate shows during the nation’s marathon parliamentary election. The debates are often staged in villages and towns with politicians taking questions in front of local voters. The election, the world’s biggest, will end May 16 with results expected to show the Hindu nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming to power after 10 years of rule by the leftist Congress party. The show Monday which featured five local politicians was just ending when the attack took place. Two other local politicians on the show suffered minor burn injuries while trying to douse the flames engulfing the two other men. “This man suddenly came on the stage, poured petrol on himself and set himself on fire before tightly hugging one of the political guests,” photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told AFP after the incident. l

Afghan villagers look on at the scene in Argo district of Badakhshan province on May 3, 2014 after a massive landslide May 2 buried the whole village. Rescuers searched in vain for survivors May 3 after a landslide buried an Afghan village, killing 350 people and leaving thousands of others feared dead amid warnings that more earth could sweep down the hillside AFP

Jupiter’s moon Ganymede may have ‘club sandwich’ layers of ocean n Reuters, Washington

As club sandwiches go, this undoubtedly is the biggest one in the solar system. Scientists said on Friday that Jupiter’s moon Ganymede may possess ice and liquid oceans stacked up in several layers much like the popular multilayered sandwich. They added that this arrangement may raise the chances that this distant icy world harbors life. NASA’s Galileo spacecraft flew by Ganymede in the 1990s and confirmed the presence of an interior ocean, also finding evidence for salty water perhaps from the salt known as magnesium sulfate. Ganymede, which with its diameter of about 3,300 miles (5,300 km), is the largest moon in the solar system and is bigger than the planet Mercury. A team of scientists performed com-

puter modeling of Ganymede’s ocean, taking into account for the first time how salt increases the density of liquids under the type of extreme conditions present inside Ganymede. Their work followed experiments in the laboratory that simulated such salty seas. While earlier research suggested a routine “sandwich” arrangement in which there is ice at the surface, then a layer of liquid water and another layer of ice on the bottom, this new study indicated there might be more layers than that. Steve Vance, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said the arrangement might be like this: at the top, a layer of ice on the moon’s surface, with a layer of water below that, then a second layer of ice, another layer of water underneath that, then a third layer of ice, with a fi-

nal layer of water at the bottom above the rocky seafloor. “That would make it the largest club sandwich in the solar system,” Vance said in a telephone interview. “I suppose I’m also a fan of club sandwiches. My fiancée points out that I order them every time we go out to eat.” Ganymede boasts a lot of water, perhaps 25 times the volume of Earth’s oceans. Its oceans are estimated to be about 500 miles (800 km) deep. With enough salt, liquid water on Ganymede could become so dense that it sinks to the very bottom, the researchers said. That means water may be sloshing on top of rock, a situation that may foster conditions suitable for the development of microbial life. Some scientists suspect that life first formed on Earth in bubbling thermal

This artist’s concept of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, illustrates the ‘club sandwich’ model of its interior oceans REUTERS

vents on the ocean floor. “Our understanding of how life came about on Earth involves the interaction between water and rock. This (research) provides a stronger possibility for those kinds of interactions to take place on Ganymede,” added Vance, whose study was published in the journal Planetary and Space Science. Ganymede is one of five moons in the solar system thought to have oceans hidden below icy surfaces. Two other moons, Europa and Callisto, orbit the big gas planet Jupiter. The moons Titan and Enceladus circle the ringed gas planet Saturn. “We’re providing a more realistic view into ocean structure in Ganymede’s interior. We’re showing that the salinity has a tangible effect on the ocean,” Vance said. l




Sunday, May 4, 2014


Zero tolerance for abductions


n the last week, 24 people have been abducted across the country. Eight of these people have been found dead, 11 have been rescued alive and five remain missing. These are highly disturbing figures. While progress is being made in some cases, with police managing to rescue a businessman on Saturday who had been kidnapped in old Dhaka, and a number of people have been apprehended, much more needs to be done to restore public confidence. The recent abductions and murders in Narayanganj in particular make it more urgent than ever for authorities to tackle the spate of abductions. The numbers paint a grim picture of our present law and order situation. It is vital that all support be given to law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in incidents of forced disappearance and abduction, and arrest them immediately. The problem of abductions which was highlighted by the high-profile kidnapping of Abu Bakar Siddique, is far from over, even though in that case the victim was returned home safely. This is a serious national problem that must be addressed in order to ensure the basic security of all citizens. The formation of special squads by the police and RAB to prevent abductions are a step in the right direction. Catching the culprits and rescuing victims is the highest priority.

More needs to be done to ensure the basic security of all citizens

Don’t play blame games


he public is ill served when politicians blame opponents for law and order problems. Families of people who have been abducted want to see their loved ones safely found. They and the public at large want to see culprits caught and future abductions prevented. These goals are not helped when senior figures indulge in politically motivated allegations and speculation. Regrettably, both the prime minister and BNP leader have been among figures alleging that their opponent’s party members and activists have been involved in these incidents. When peoples’ overriding concern is to see an end to abductions, it does not serve the public interest for politicians to indulge in name calling and to make allegations without evidence. It is for law enforcers to find out and arrest the perpetrators. Political parties should limit their involvement to reflecting public concern by supporting the police and the machinery of law and order in bringing criminals, regardless of political affiliation, to justice. They should recognise the public expects the government and opposition parties to work together in guaranteeing public safety as law and order is a pre-eminent concern for all citizens. This includes expecting that all political parties will support credible, independent investigations into recent forced disappearances across the country. It is absolutely essential that all appropriate action is taken to help law encroachers apprehend the perpetrators and for the government to hold an independent inquiry to help it take steps to bring down the highly concerning rate of abductions.

Parties should support justice regardless of political affiliation

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.

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For lack of a credible alternative April 26

kabdullah AL and BNP are two sides of the same coin. I feel there will never be a “we are not them” party in Bangladesh. Both these parties behave like mercenaries. Ekram Kabir Khaleda Zia needs to reorganise the party with some people who’d love the party, who’d never utilise it to make money and gain influence; right at the moment, BNP is full of opportunists who, I believe, haven’t joined it for the love of the party. Good one, Esam. Best regards. Ronnie Ekram Kabir: Yes. That’s not a half-bad point, Ekram. Gosh, I wish we could rid the party of some of those infesting the ranks, and carefully induct some true new believers in the party. It’s got to be done! WaliulHaqueKhondker To prove “we are not them” is easier said than done. Both have had their tenures in power, and people have closely watched them and found no difference in terms of either governance or policies. So people have voted for both, turn by turn, with a hope to see better days. Alas! It never happened! Besides the interchange of chants from Joy Bangla to Zindabad and switching of August 15th and November 7th from holidays to working days, and vice versa, people saw no tangible change or difference during either party’s watch. Nor are these two parties capable of displaying any qualitative change with the existing mettle of leadership that they both possess. To tell you the truth, there are only two “we are not them” parties in Bangladesh and neither has the capacity to poll enough votes to be in power. Must I name them? Okay, its Jamat-e-Islami and CPB. :) Ronnie Esam Sohail intelligently invokes the very point that I

‘Pohela’ is okay April 27

Tazia Language is part of the culture and culture is part of the language. They are intermingled to a great extent. The culture is “Pohela.” Changing the culture for the sake of the purity of language, which really is a potpourri of a number of foreign languages, is a step towards separating the cultural aspect from the language. NS Tazia: Right you are.

Menendez no friend to RMG workers April 27

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Flow back (3) 3 Tentacle (6) 8 Summit (4) 9 United (3) 10 Long, angry speech (6) 11 Force (6) 14 Comforts (5) 17 Shy (5) 20 Whole (6) 24 Esculent (6) 26 Heavenly body (3) 27 Power of rejecting (4) 28 Appeared to be (6) 29 Fastener (3) DOWN 1 Poem of heroism (4)

2 Fragrant ointment (4) 3 Festivity (4) 4 Banishment (5) 5 Burdens (5) 6 Conclude (3) 7 Scottish dances (5) 12 Kimono sash (3) 13 Hawaiian dish (3) 15 Insect (3) 16 Corn spike (3) 17 Long lock (5) 18 American state (5) 19 Research thoroughly (5) 21 Require (4) 22 Metal (4) 23 Direction (4) 25 Owing (3)

What Rooppur is costing us April 26

DispassionateObserver Russians have a great deal of affection for Bangladesh. This is more so for the Soviet-generation of Russians, many of whom hold positions of power in today’s Russia. Bangladesh government will do well to leverage this advantage in getting a better deal on Rooppur. Russia recognises Bangladesh as an emerging economy and would be keen to re-engage with renewed vigour after a hiatus of many decades. I see a win-win deal for both parties.

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.

Married at twelve April 27

Jill I wish more young women like yourself cared about the child brides. Without having programs that offer education, health care and mentoring, there are no other venues to delay early marriages for the rural girls.


WaliulHaqueKhondker Someone should have asked this guy, if his threat is implemented (God forbid), hundreds of thousands of poor garment workers would be out of a job and many of them may even die of starvation! Wouldn’t that stain his hand with the blood of the Bangladeshi poor?

had already briefly cited, twice, in two long, separate posts on this site pertaining to BNP. I truly despair at the party’s strange inability and/or unwillingness to recognise the political urgency today of skillfully articulating to the public, nationwide, of BNP’s credible, worthier alternate future vision for Bangladesh. And I’m sure it must have one. So why the inexplicable reticence? They don’t even have to be highly specific (who does?) right now, on every single policy idea they have in mind. But it’s imperative that Begum Zia and her ablest colleagues at least begin to think about and broadly spell out BNP’s vision and agenda, going forward – assuming as millions do, that BNP will return to power in the near future. BNP is not the flip side of the same political coin (with AL its alleged alter ego on the other side) as too many people glibly suggest to be the case. BNP has, at least notionally, and often visibly espoused and effected radically different approaches, in the past, to sundry areas of policy and governance. So, it’s frustrating to see this current diffidence, lack of focus, and lethargy. I’m not alone in urging the party to revamp, remobilise and robustly represent itself as the party of renewed innovation and ingenuity – in multiple sectors that continue to determine the fate of development and prosperity of the country. BNP is the natural home of genuine progressives and optimists, and in my view, the natural party of government in an essentially “centre-right” Bangladesh. It’s high time BNP stepped up to the plate and responsibly showed it means business. It’s the least the majority of people in this country – not necessarily all of them BNP supporters – expect and deserve from this great party that fought to defeat an abominable autocracy to establish democracy, and inarguably, first paved the road to real development in Bangladesh. Today calls for an urgent encore, with an effort and determination just like before.








Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ukraine’s way out n Sushovan Dhar


What kind of economy is Modi picturing?










Modinomics 101


n Mamun Rashid

had applied for a business visa from the local Indian High Commission. My application was supported by large business bodies from India and Bangladesh. While the application was being processed, the political and information office here took the intelligent opportunity to let me know that a few of my newspaper writings aggrieved them. Maybe for this reason, they could not ultimately consider a long term visa issuance for me. This – who they let into their country – is, of course, the host country’s prerogative, despite the fact that I studied and worked there. However, soon the situation at their political office became quite interesting. The political counsellor asked me: “Are you pro-growth or pro-distributive justice?” This is how all of India, and possibly for the first time the Indian civil bureaucracy, is divided now. Narendra Modi has been identified as pro-growth, and Congress as pro-distributive justice, or what some call “inclusive growth.” The gentleman went on: “Are you watching NDTV these days, or reading The Times of India?” He continued: “I don’t think our governments have done a good job with regards to narrowing the regional gaps or income inequality.” I was at the receiving end, and therefore, had to be very cool and calm. I told him that as a humble student of economics, I was pro-growth and firmly believed that national wealth creation would ultimately ensure distributive justice through better

institution-building. Our economics professors in the West termed it “trickle-down theory.” He was loud about equitable distribution, maybe without knowing that this was exactly what Rahul Gandhi had been advocating for all these days. NDTV these days seems to be keen on bringing back the growth fever in India and facilitating the creation of more investment, and thereby more employment, and reducing poverty. The Times of India, for many years, has been focusing on communal harmony and inclusive politics.

stashed in Swiss banks. My Indian banker friend told me the other day that Modi’s vision approximated to the higher growth model of China and what Dr Manmohan Singh unsuccessfully tried to accomplish during a tenure hampered by corruption, administrative bottlenecks, and SOPs enforced by Ms Sonia Gandhi’s national advisory council. My friend said Modi was a “muscular” version of Mr Singh. He said that while Modi was almost “on your mark, get set, go,” Mr Rahul Gandhi was still stuck with the plans of secularism and inclusive growth.

Though Congress is trying to establish Modi as the messiah of the large corporate houses, their economic policies are the same

Though Congress is trying to establish Modi as the messiah of the large corporate houses, I have heard some Indian analysts saying that the economic policies of Congress and now Modi are the same. The only difference is that Modi is quite loud while Dr Singh was quite feeble and did not have adequate energy to fight corruption or administrative glitches. Modi was quite focused with his economic agenda: Establish 100 new cities and satellite towns, establish IIMs and IITs in every state, start the bullet train and ensure quality education in every state. He was also vocal about bringing back the money

Modi focused on rapid urbanisation, reviving shuttered plants, modernising railways, setting up gas grids, connecting India through fiber optics networks, building infrastructure, setting up mechanisms to monitor real-time plantation and harvest of crops, and setting up courts to try hoarders and black marketeers. What I liked most in his economic agenda was the plan to brand India through the 5 Ts – talent, tradition, trade, tourism, and technology – and his quoting from the Gujarat model: The government should behave like a responsible promoter. My readers may say these are all

pep talks. They may see Sonia Gandhi constantly praying to God to “save India from the Gujarat model.” Who knows, India’s youth, entrepreneurs, and farmers may be thinking otherwise. They need jobs, they need more investment, and they need India’s wealth to fly beyond and create synergy in the global platform. If he can fix his parliamentary party or group, Modi may be quite lucky with a new and focused governor at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), with a much more stabilised rupee. India’s growth is on “rebound mode.” Inflation also has to come down. Analysts are expecting inflation to come down from 10% plus levels to below 7%. RBI has already signaled a consumer inflation target of 8% by December. The procurement prices of food grains, the major cause of administered food inflation in India, which rise with a one-year lag, rose at an average rate of 13.5% between 2007 and 2012 and rose at less than half that rate in 2013, meaning food inflation is highly unlikely to go beyond 7% this year. Interest rates are also likely to go down further with an expectation of 6.5% to 7% annual GDP growth. Many think whatever happens, the new order is likely to be significantly to the right of the heavily populist incumbents. Given the economic policy matter for growth, strong reformist policies need to add a further 1% to 2% to the economy. India’s GDP growth is set to be around 8% after a gap of three years. Good for Modi, better for India, best for the Indians. l Mamun Rashid is a business professor and financial sector entrepreneur.

n 1856, Russia lost the Crimean War to an alliance of the British, the French, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia (predecessors to the modern Italian nation-state). However, that did not subdue the flames of Greater Russian nationalism. 158 years later, as if to herald the centennial “celebrations” of the WWI, with its annexation of Crimea, Russia has won the first round of the Second Crimean War. However, its opponents, the Western powers, are stupefied over their concrete role in this conflict. It would not be naïve to presume that the US and the EU are confounded. Of course, we hear about certain sanctions against oligarchs linked to Putin like the Rossiya Bank and others, or the European Union’s visa bans and asset freezes of 30 odd top honchos of the Russian political order including the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. However, any serious retaliation looks unlikely. In essence, Russia’s “zone of influence” over the peninsula is taken as a fait accompli by all major powers. And, besides, Russia has ensured the tacit support of China and India ad libitum. The Western media, cacophonous about this annexation, barely fails to conceal the fact that the Western powers have managed to turn Ukraine into a protectorate. The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) established in 1997, through a charter to allow western military presence on the Ukrainian soil, was one of the first attempts to carve out Ukraine from Russian control. The infamous troika – International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, and the European Commission – which had earlier devastated several countries of Europe has set its sights on Ukraine for quite some time. Even though Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, is controlled by supporters of the exiled president Viktor Yanukovich, the provisional government is nothing but a mere puppet at the hands of the imperialist powers.

A few question about the referendum

The referendum of March 6 overwhelmingly voted (96.7%) for Crimea’s accession to Russia. Considering such irresistible will of the Crimean population, what deters us from accepting this as a legitimate expression of the peninsula’s population? Western critics term it as illegal, citing the inviolability of the Ukrainian constitution which clearly specifies that any change to the country’s territory can only be made through a national referendum. This takes us back to a century-old debate about territorial integrity and the aspirations for self-determination. The concepts around the latter argue that if a section of the population struggles to secede and hold a referendum with that goal, they have the right to do so in toto. There can’t be an iota of incertitude about the majority of the Crimean population’s volition for uniting with Russia. Nevertheless, we need to look into its actual dynamics. What was instrumental for this referendum? Did the outcome of a mass movement from below that arose as an answer to the success of the Maidan movement in Kiev help this referendum? No. It came about in precisely the other way.

In marched the Russian soldiers, then a movement demanding this referendum was constructed and thus, executed. Therefore, even if the right of self-determination of the masses was formally realised, the masses who were stimulated to determine themselves were not the ones in control of the situation. Hence, they didn’t determine their destiny themselves – as much as it happened in the past, Crimea was made a part of Ukraine without their consent from outside.

Both the Russian aggression and the US-EU imperialism must be defeated

Putin’s hypocrisy

Putin’s harangues about the rights of ethnic minorities in Ukraine are loaded with hypocrisy, considering the violence he has unleashed within Russia. These duplicities and selective concern are also evident even inside Crimea. The Tatars, the oldest inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula, treat this Russian annexation with the deepest suspicion and hostility. After all, during the Stalin-era, it was the Soviet state dominated by Russians which ethnically cleansed the Tatars during WWII. The total Crimean Tatar population was deported to Central Asia and parts of Russia, resulting in lakhs of deaths and the painful disintegration of this national community. No Crimean Tatars were permitted to return to their homeland until 1967, then a part of Soviet Ukraine. The existence of such painful historical memories motivated the Crimean Tatars to vocally oppose the Russian maneuver. They even boycotted the referendum. Only time will tell us about the fate of Crimean Tatars inside the Russian Federation. The post-Soviet Russian state has a savage practice of violently inflicting its will on any defiant people in its periphery – like it did with the Chechen people, for instance. Even so, loyalties of the Tatars could be bought through clientelism.

The way forward

It would be unprincipled and politically abhorrent to endorse either Moscow or Washington as the lesser oppressor. It only compounds the trouble. The nationalists at Kiev make full use of the Russian military takeover of Crimea to perpetrate their vicious politics under the pretext of resisting Russification or foreign domination. In a similar way, Kiev’s reactionary maneuvers to affirm its dominance provides Putin all the pretence he needs to predicate Russian military and economic might to salvage the Ukrainians of the fascists. Both the Russian aggression and the US-EU imperialism must be defeated. Therein lies the way out for the people of Ukraine. l Sushovan Dhar is an activist. He is based in Kolkata.

A concrete vision for garments n Syed Ishtiaque Reza


s the Rana plaza tragedy completed one year on April 24, Md Atiqul Islam, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and his colleagues are still seen on television talk shows explaining what measures they have taken so far to ensure workplace safety in the apparel sector. BGMEA leaders as well as the government policymakers, in loud voices, promised a new journey for the country’s garment industry towards a safer and more sustainable future. The industrial tragedy in 2013, that shook and shocked not only the garment industry but also the entire economy, was also seen by the policymakers as well as the owners as an opportunity to rectify all its weaknesses. Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) praised the industry owners and the government for the initiatives taken and implemented so far to ensure workplace safety. It however said that the industry still has to go a long way to win the confidence of the interna-

tional community. In the TV talk shows, newspaper interviews, and interactions with the buyers, civil society members, media people, and others concerned, BGMEA leaders promised maximum efforts to ensure workplace safety to clean up their image globally. In one such meeting with newspaper editors and television news chiefs, BGMEA leaders, in detail, clarified the measures and arrangements taken to prevent such industrial accidents in the future. BGMEA President Atiqul Islam hoped that the apparel industry of Bangladesh would have a totally different picture after the five years time given by the buyers for the factory remediation. He was also hopeful of reaching the $50bn export mark soon. Newspaper editors and senior journalists reminded the BGMEA leadership that the process to bring back a good image for the industry is not an easy task as it involves bridging daunting cultural and economic challenges in the way business has been done in the past. The RMG industry that accounts for nearly 79% of the country’s total export earnings, the industry that created direct employment of nearly

five million people, of whom most are women, with another four million people in the associated sectors, needs to go beyond the traditional markets at the earliest. Why are the new markets required? Experts, economists, exporters, and civil society people were of the opinion that market diversification will not only help Bangladesh manufacturers reduce dependency on selected markets, but it will also raise our bargaining power in setting the prices of products. Rich nations like EU countries, the USA, and Canada may not remain rich markets forever. Alternative markets are lucrative in another sense too, as these buyers will not set tough conditions at the initial stage. The new market exploration will also force the industry towards quick product diversification. And for all those initiatives, Bangladesh has to ensure that it will not do the kind of business that kills people because of negligence. All the discussions during the past year focused on workplace safety. Promises for it have been made by the owners and the government. But after one year of such a big disaster, the RMG industry is yet to set a real goal

for itself. It appears that the industry lacks philosophy or concept. In television talk shows, in media interviews, in seminars and roundtables, the BGMEA leaders and ministers are all talking about workplace safety and diversification of markets and products, but no one is talking about a concrete vision towards the future.

favourably for the sector. The issue is not only of getting the right workplace for the workers, but also being a real and efficient player in the international market. As the exporters fight each other over the buyers, there should be more consistency among the players. Since the Rana Plaza tragedy, the

It is now time to think about productivity enhancement. It is also time to think about knowledge sharing What actually is the destination of our RMG sector? What are the areas where Bangladesh’s RMG has comparative advantages? Is it the high-end market, the low-end section, or the mid-segment? These questions so far remained unanswered. Considering Bangladesh’s infrastructure and ability, it is perceived that Bangladesh can become the leader in the mid-segment very soon, provided other factors work

Bangladesh garment sector is facing serious negative publicity around the world. BGMEA held so many press meets in Dhaka. Even foreign journalists were called in to brief them about the initiatives. But it did not think of opening an office in Europe or America to face the criticisms there or going for direct management of the pressing issues. Many exporters go to the buying houses as they do not go directly to the

foreign buyers. As the BGMEA or other organisations and companies are hardly representing Bangladesh in Europe or USA, there is a lack of contact there. For new concepts and new ideas, the BGMEA must have direct contact with buyers associations in Europe and North America. The 30 years experience ensured the right skills for the Bangladesh RMG industry to be able to take a fair amount of orders in the days to come. But it needs a comprehensive foresight so that the industry owners, the workers, the policy makers, and the media too can talk along the same lines. The Rana Plaza collapse and the Tazreen fire threw the RMG industry under monstrous pressure. Already, the rise in wages and necessary safety precautions have raised the costs of this business. It is now time to think about productivity enhancement. It is also time to think about knowledge sharing and capability enhancement through collaboration. The vision for the RMG industry is to observe new possibilities and developing a strategy to grab opportunities. l Syed Ishtiaque Reza is Director of News, Ekattor Television.




Sunday, May 4, 2014

‘I don’t know if my audience can accept me as a serial killer’ n Afrose Jahan Chaity Jaya Ahsan, who is already famed for her versatility has accepted the role of a serial killer in the upcoming psychological thriller Zero Degree. Directed by Animesh Aich and produced by Playhouse Productions, the film will hit the theatres this September. Jaya stars opposite Mahfuz Ahmed. Other members of the cast include model and actor Dilruba Yeasmin Ruhee, Iftekhar Zaib, Mir Rabbi, Tarique Anam Khan, Teli Samad, and Iresh Zaker, to name a few. Jaya Ahsan, who has previously experimented and skillfully portrayed a wide range of characters, said that she is unsure about how the audience would react to her role of a serial killer. “The character does not portray a straightforward protagonist or antagonist, but is morally grey and the audience will have a hard time identifying it as a positive or negative role. It was a challenging character to say the least, I will be seen as a deranged serial killer and that, took some work,” said Jaya in an interview with the Dhaka Tribune. Jaya Ahsan’s previous release, Purno Doirgho Prem Kahini made waves among the audience of the country. It was her debut in a mainstream commercial film. This new role is completely different. “My role in this film is not conventional and that is why I grabbed the opportunity as soon as it came my way. This is a multi-dimensional character. The story and script of the film are also mind blowing.” It is also evident that the role is demanding on a physical as well as emotional dimension. Jaya sustained injuries during the course of filming Zero Degree. She is still recuperating from the accident. While asked about her next venture in the mainstream filmdom, the glamourous actor said: “A sequel to Purno Doirgho Prem Kahini’s is in talks. I have been approached to work in this film. In addition to this, there

A scene from Siraj Jokhon Nawab Sirajuddaula

From Siraj to the Nawab of Bengal n Hasan Mansoor Chatak

are a few more projects on the table, but I’ve not signed any of those yet.” Jaya won the National Award twice for her brilliant performances in Guerrilla and Chorabali. l

Theatre production Siraj Jokhon Nawab Sirajuddaula, an adaptation from playwright Sachindranath Sengupta’s historical play Sirajuddaula (written in 1938), brings to light a dark chapter in the history of Bengal – the fall of Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah and the fate of the people of Bengal. The fifth staging of the play was showcased at the Main Hall of National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on May 2 in the capital. The play has been adapted and directed by Abdul Aziz who retained the original story of Sachindranth’s play but abridged and added first and final acts to the new play. The first act of the play shows a theatre activist named Siraj who is deeply inspired

by Anwar Hossain’s performance as the Nawab and desperately wants to play the role in a production. The entirety of the original play is depicted as a dream sequence, where Siraj envisions the Darbar hall in the days of Nawab Sirajuddaula and relives the conspiracies, the battle of Polashi and the fall and demise of the Nawab. When the dream of Siraj ends, the final act shows a theatre director choosing him to play the coveted role of the tragic Nawab. As the play has been showcased repeatedly for the last five to six decades in the region and the dialogues and scenes from the play have become familiar to the audience, the director wanted to keep the dialogues and scenes as they were the Sachindranath’s play.

Khandokar Shah Alam who played the role of Siraj ud-Daulah received much applause in his delivery of the famous dialogues of Sirajuddaula. The production is also enriched by Abdul Aziz’s costume design, Firoz Khan’s music and Thandu Raihan’s light. Bangladesh Theatre staged the production as tribute to Anwar Hossain after the demise of the veteran actor who was the title role in the landmark film Nawab Sirajudduladirected by noted actor-director Khan Ataur Rahman. After the release of the film in 1967, people started addressing Hossain as “Nawab.” Apart from acting in the film Anwar also played the role of Sirajudaula in various stage performances that reinforced his image as Nawab. l

Actors of Tin Goyenda announced

After Chorabali, Rony comes up with Morichika n Entertainment Desk

n Entertainment Desk

After the success of his directorial debut Chorabali, director Redoan Rony is going to shoot his second film in August. Recently, the director, who also wrote the story and script of the film, registered the name of the film Morichika. About his second feature film, Redoan Rony said: “The story of this film is based on a true love story. It will add some new features and expressions to the conventional way of portraying a love story.” He further added: “I want to depict the sorrow and happiness of a couple in a practical way. Right now I am working on the script and I have plans to release Morichika at the end of this year.” The cast of the film has not yet been finalised. l

Famed actor Tisha arranged a surprise birthday party for her husband, eminent director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki on May 2 at the Cox’s Bazaar sea beach. Farooki was busy filming a shoot while Tisha made a sudden entrance via helicopter. Later the cast and the crew of the production had a fun party

Based on teen thriller story book Tin Goyenda, a TV drama serial is all set with cast and crew for production. According to a recent announcement by Maasranga Television, producers of the serial, Ayan, Kabya, and Badhon will play the roles of Kishore, Musa, and Robin respectively. More than three thousand teenagers lined up to audition for the coveted roles. Going through a tough selection round, the top ten shortlisted actors were shortlisted for the grooming session. Finally Ayan, Kabya, and Badhon were chosen. Scripted by Mazaharul haque Pintu and directed by abul Hossain Khokon, the shoot of the series will start from May 14 in various locations in Cox’z Bazaar

and Bandarban. The plot of the drama series revolves around the three young friends, Kishore Pasha, Musa Aman and Robin Milford who form a teenage detective team. They thrive on the thrill, suspense and challenges thrown their way. Tin Goyenda is very popular and one of the most famous series of juvenile detective novels published in Bangladesh by Sheba Prokashoni, and as the name explains, is the tale of three teenage detective. It is actually the Bengali translation of the famous English series The Three Investigators by Robert Arthur. Rakib Hassan started this famous series and later Shamsuddin Nawab took over from him. The Tin Goyenda series is a sub-series of Juvenile Thriller series of Sheba Prokashoni. l


Germany – A Sporting Nation Time: 11am – 6pm Goethe Institut Bangladesh Road 9(new), House 10 Dhanmondi ‘Water Rhymes-2’ Time: 11am – 8pm Galleri Kaya, House 20 Road 16, Sector 04, Uttara

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


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 newly announced actors of Tin Goyenda

Katy Perry’s entire pop persona inspired by Katy Keene

n Entertainment Desk The Dark Horse singer Katy Perry has been miles ahead on the fashion scene for quite some time now. Katy Perry fans have long lusted after the star’s style but some striking similarities suggest that her entire pop persona is based on comic book character Katy Keene. Katy Perry’s outfits that she uses in all of her music videos come from the comic book character. From Roar to Last Friday Night, and even all the way back to California Gurls, Katy Keene has been giving Miss Perry fashion tips and ways to style her music videos for years! l

Arrest warrant issued against Ram Leela team n Entertainment Desk

A local court in Muzaffarpur (Bihar) on Friday issued arrest warrants against Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela actors Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh, and director-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali in connection with a case alleging that a few scenes in the movie hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus. Warrants were also issued against another producer Kishore Lulla, as well as the musicians and lyricists of the movie. Issuing the arrest warrants, Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) SP Singh directed Mumbai Police Commissioner to arrest the persons concerned and produce them at his court on June 4. The warrants were issued based on a complaint case under various sections of the IPC filed by advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha in November last year which alleged Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela was offensive to the religious values of Hindus. The CJM took cognisance of the case on February 14 this year and summoned the actors and the director, who did not turn up following which yesterday the warrants were issued. l

Did you know? There have now been eight Premier League goals scored inside the first minute this season; no single campaign has ever seen more


Sunday, May 4, 2014

14 Barcelona title

hopes ended by Getafe draw


14 Bayern crush


15 US sprinter Tyson

struggling Hamburg

Gay banned one year for doping

Decision on Jurgensen tomorrow The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will take decision on the issue of national head coach Shane Jurgensen’s ‘surprising’ resignation tomorrow. The BCB president Nazmul Hasan informed that he would talk to Jurgensen in person before heading into tomorrow afternoon’s meeting with the board directors. The BCB boss told so to the media yesterday in the Apollo Hospital after meeting Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim. Mushfiqur was admitted to hospital on Friday and later diagnosed with contracted viral hepatitis. It was understood that apart from visiting the ill Mushfiqur, Nazmul also talked about the Jurgensen issue. Prior to visiting Mushfiq at the hospital, Nazmul also sat in person with BCB chief of cricket operations Akram Khan and though it was learned from close sources that the agenda discussed with Akram was the Jurgensen one, Nazmul said, “The meeting (with Akram) was for some other issue. We have a board meeting on Monday (tomorrow) and a decision on Jurgensen will be made there. We are still to decipher why he (Jurgensen) actually resigned.” “Everyone is sad for the poor run in

the last three months. This might be a reason for his (Jurgensen) resignation,” Nazmul added. A change of coach after poor performance in a World Cup is a norm in the cricketing arena but Nazmul thought the situation for Bangladesh wasn’t that bad to have a change. “We never took any decision of keeping him or not. So we will have to know the reason for his stance. We have a series against India at home and an away series in West Indies followed by the 2015 World Cup. So we are greatly in need of a coach at the moment. What we can do at best is give him (Jurgensen) assurance of his post if he is suffering from insecurity. We won’t stop him if he wants to leave even after tha,” said Nazmul. Jurgensen was skeptical of the current environment in the BCB regarding his position in the team. Thus the 38-year-old decided to move on which he considered the best thing to do for the team and his coaching career. The rumor of a change in Bangladesh team’s head coach began last month when BCB president Nazmul Hassan said he foresaw “many changes” in the national team although he was not specific. l

Brothers Union’s Haitian forward Augustine Walson goes ecstatic after scoring the winner against Chittagng Abahani at BNS yesterday

Archrivals set for another derby It will be the fifth time that traditional rivals Abahani and Mohammedan will lock horns with each other this season as the country’s two most crowd-puller clubs meet in the second phase of the Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabondhu National Stadium today at 6 pm. Apart from the previous meeting, the Sky Blues have enjoyed success against their arch rival in recent times which includes two victories and a draw this season. The Black and Whites, however, had the last laugh in

the Independence Cup semifinal when they edged past Abahani before lifting the trophy eventually. The victory arrived after not winning six games since May 22, 2012. Mohammedan will try to carry the momentum and reduce the gap with Abahani in the points table where they are now five points behind their rivals as they sit in the third place. While for Abahani, anything but a win today will be a blow to their title hopes as they are six points behind leaders Sheikh Jamal with a game to spare. In the very next game after losing to Mohammedan in the Independence Cup, Abahani kicked off the second phase in the league with their maiden defeat this season. However, they managed to return

to winnings ways in their next two games while Mohammedan saw their 11-match unbeaten streak come to an end against Team BJMC in their last match. Ali Akbar’s major worry would be to find the key that can unlock Mohammedan defense led by their Cameroonian defender Baybeck. The good thing for the Iranian coach is that his Portuguese signing Leonildo Suares has started to find rhythm in his debut season in Bangladesh. “This is a very important match for both teams and we want to win the game to keep our hopes alive for title. We lost to them in the Independence Cup for our defensive mistakes and we want to rectify them. If we can win tomorrow (Sunday), it will make

our next step easier,” said Ali Akbar yesterday. The Iranian coach said that Waly Faisal and Saikat might miss the game due to injury but Md Sujon is fit to start. On the other hand, Mohammedan would miss the services of winger Jahid Hossain and Damien Chigozie, confirmed their Portuguese coach Rui Capella Batista. However, in-form national striker Zahid Hossain Emily, who missed the previous game against BJMC due to injury, has returned to the squad. “The pressure will be on Abahani. We have no alternative than winning the game to keep us in the title race. Hopefully we will overcome our defensive problems,” said the Portuguese coach. l

Walson late strike seals Brothers win Haitian forward Augustine Walson’s late strike saw Brothers Union grab full points against Chittagong Abahani with a 2-1 win in the second phase of the Nitol-Tata Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Chittagong Abahani drew first blood in the 13th minute through a combined move. Guinean forward Ousmane Cherrif made his way through the left flank and cut a neat cross for midfielder Ismael Jahed who headed the ball into

Forhad sparkles for North Zone in BCL Bangladesh Cricket Board North Zone batsman Forhad Hossain blasted a century that enabled his side to a good start against Walton Central Zone while Islami Bank East Zone continued to stutter as the opening day’s play of the third and final round of the Bangladesh Cricket League 2013-2014 resumed at BKSP, Savar yesterday. Forhad struck 109 to lead BCB North Zone to 287-4 by the end of the first day’s play in the four-day first-class franchise-based competition. Islami

Bank East Zone on the other hand were dismissed for 135 in 69.4 overs, courtesy of national spinners Abdur Razzak and Sohag Gazi who shared seven wickets between themselves for Prime Bank South Zone. Replying to Islami Bank East Zone’s modest 135, Prime Bank South Zone, by stumps, had posted 108 for the loss of Imrul Kayes’ wicket in 34 overs.

BCB North Zone v Walton Central Zone

Electing to bat first, BCB North Zone made a good start to their innings as openers Hamidul Islam (60) and Junaid

Siddique (65) added 88 runs for the opening stand. After the departure of Siddique, centurion Forhad arrived to the crease and put on a further 85 runs alongside Hamidul for the second-wicket partnership. Forhad smashed 14 boundaries and a six in his knock and despite Hamidul’s dismissal, BCB North Zone maintained their momentum with Forhad and Naeem Islam (38) posting 102 runs for the third wicket. Following Forhad’s dismissal, Nasir Hossain was not out on 11 while Tanvir

Haider was unbeaten on one. Walton Central Zone’s Elias Sunny picked up two wickets while Marshal Ayub and Mosharraf Rubel, playing his first game after being cleared of wrongdoing in the match-fixing scandal of the Bangladesh Premier League’s second edition, scalped a wicket apiece.

Islami Bank East Zone v Prime Bank South Zone

Prime Bank South Zone left-arm spinner Razzak snared four wickets conceding 34 runs while right-arm off-spinner


the near post. However, an own goal from Chittagong Abahani saw Brothers Union restore parity in the 15th minute. Nigerian midfielder Simon Ezeodka shot towards the Abahani net and the ball deflected off the foot of defender Nazrul Islam before landing into the far post netting. With the match destined to end in a draw, Haiti’s Walson sealed the fate of the match in the 86th minute with a side-footed placing shot from close range. Brothers Union took their tally to 19 points from 13 matches while Chittagong Abahani still had their previous collection of seven points from the same number of matches. l


Gazi picked up three wickets giving away 41 runs to bundle out Islami Bank East Zone for a paltry 135. Islami Bank East Zone skipper Alok Kapali chipped in with 56 but none of the other batsmen crossed 33 in the face of some disciplined bowling by Razzak and Gazi. In reply, Prime Bank South Zone were 108-1, needing 28 more runs to overhaul Islami Bank East Zone’s first innings tally. Kayes (38) and Anamul Haque (59 not out) registered 81 runs for the opening wicket stand before Kayes was

At BKSP – 3, Savar BCB North Zone 287-4 in 90 overs (Forhad Hossain 109, Junaid Siddique 65, Hamidul Islam 60, Elias Sunny 2-57) v Walton Central Zone At BKSP – 4, Savar Islami Bank East Zone 135 all out in 69.4 overs (Alok Kapali 56, Abdur Razzak 4-34, Sohag Gazi 3-41) v Prime Bank South Zone 108-1 in 34 overs (Anamul Haque 59 not out, Soumya Sarker six not out) sent back to the dressing room off the bowling of Enamul Haque Jr. Soumya Sarker was undefeated at the other end on six. l

Upbeat Russel leave for Colombo today

Fide Master Fahad Rahman receives his prize after emerging as the champion of Open Group in the Mohammedan International School Chess yesterday COURTESY

Sheikh Russel KC, the reigning champion of Bangladesh Premier League will eye a final round berth in the AFC President’s Cup from group A which kicks off in Colombo from next Wednesday. Russell flies to Colombo today to take part in the competition. The eleven teams of the tournament have been drawn into two groups of four teams and one group of three teams. Each group is played on a single round-robin basis and winners and runners-up from each group will advance to the final stage. However, the treble winners of

last season will be hoping dearly for a change of luck to achieve their target as their poor domestic form has seen them fail to defend their Federation Cup and Independence Cup titles and are struggling in the fifth position in the point table of Bangladesh Premier League with only 16 points. The club management sacked their last season’s treble winning coach Maruful Haque halfway through the league and handed over the responsibility to Montenegrin coach Dragan Dukanovic whose two matches in charge so far have earned Sheikh Russel a draw and a loss. After his arrival, the Montenegrin coach hoped his motivational job will lift the team

spirit and sounded even more upbeat in yesterday’s press conference held at the BFF House. ‘I had little time to settle the things in the league. But now things are different and our target is to win the group,’ said Djukanovic. “I believe in my players. They are capable of winning the group. We must make the optimum use of the available players and we hope to attain success with them,” said Dukanovic. Russell included Haitian midfielder Pascal Millien and Serbian holding midfielder Ivan Kurtusic to complete the foreign quota in the 20-member squad. Russell will start their Group A

campaign against Khan Research Laboratories of Pakistan on May 7. They will then meet Sri Lanka Air Force SC and Bhutan’s Ugyen Academy on May 9 and May 11 respectively to complete the group campaign. The President’s Cup, which will be scrapped after this year, has always turned out to be an elusive one for the clubs from Bangladesh as no club has reached the final round till date. Abahani Limited have played in the meet on five occasions but have failed on every occasion while 2010-11 league champion Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club didn’t take part in the 2012 edition in Pakistan due to security reason. l




Pirlo extends at Juventus Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has signed a new two-year deal that will see him remain with the Italian champions until 2016, reports said Friday. Gazzetta dello Sport said Juventus, who crashed out of the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday after a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Benfica, have tied the Italy midfielder to a new deal that will expire in June 2016. Pirlo joined Juventus in 2011 on a free transfer from AC Milan, with whom he won two Serie A titles and two Champions League crowns, in 2003 and 2007. In his three-year spell in Turin Pirlo has won two league championships. –AFP

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hales makes county loan move Worcestershire have signed England Twenty20 opening batsman Alex Hales on loan from Nottinghamshire as cover for Moeen Ali ahead of his upcoming absence on England duty. Ali, a top-order batsman and off-spinner, has retained his place in England’s squad for next week’s one-day international against Scotland in Aberdeen and Worcestershire have responded by bringing in Hales from Midlands rivals Nottinghamshire where he is currently surplus to requirements in four-day County Championship cricket. The 25-year-old averaged just 13.94 in 10 Championship appearances last season, with only two half-centuries. –AFP

‘Gerrard to get new deal until 2016’ Liverpool will offer captain Steven Gerrard a new contract at the end of the season to keep him at Anfield until at least 2016, according to manager Brendan Rodgers. The 33-year-old midfielder, whose current contract expires at the end of next season, has played a major role in the club’s drive towards a first English League title since 1990. “Steven will be one we look to get a contract to in the summer,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “With a year to go, it’s something we will address. I believe Steven will play beyond 2015. He is a player who has really shown his qualities this season. –Reuters

Barcelona title hopes ended Barcelona’s slim hopes of retaining their La Liga title were all but ended after they were held 2-2 at home by struggling Getafe on Saturday. The Catalans now trail leaders Atletico Madrid by three points with just two games remaining and having played a game more, whilst Real Madrid are just three points further back but with two games in hand over Barca. Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a fine finish, but Barca were pegged pack when Angel Lafita levelled just before half-time.

RESULTS Barcelona Messi 23, Sanchez 67

Rayo Vallecano

2 2 0 3

Getafe Lafita 37, 90+1

Athletic Bilbao

San Jose 20, Marcos 30, Herrera 74

The Spanish champions improved going forward after the break and deservedly went back in front when Alexis Sanchez drilled the ball home 23 minutes from time, but they were stunned in injury time as Lafita rose to head home Jaime Gavilan’s cross to secure a vital point for Getafe. A video tribute was played along with a minute’s silence to mark the death of former Barca coach Tito

Vilanova before kick-off in the Catalans’ first home game since he passed away at the age of 45 on April 25. Possibly affected by that emotional start to the game, the hosts began slowly but went in front with their first clear opening on 23 minutes when Messi swept home Dani Alves’ low cross to register his 41st goal of the season. Instead, Getafe were level in controversial circumstances eight minutes before half-time when Lafita controlled Pablo Sarabia’s looping free-kick before firing low into the far corner. The goal was initially ruled out by the assistant referee for an infringement by Lafita, but referee Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes overruled his colleague and allowed the goal to stand. However, Gerardo Martino’s men upped the tempo of their game at the start of the second period and Cesar did well to parry a thunderous volley from Messi three minutes after the restart. Barca did finally go back in front midway through the second-half as substitute Cesc Fabregas had an instant impact when his low cross fell perfectly for Sanchez to rifle home his 20th goal of the season. However, there was nothing the keeper could do to prevent Lafita powering home his second of the afternoon in stoppage time to move Getafe three points clear of the relegation zone. l

Bayern crush struggling Hamburg

Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng and Hamburg’s Kerem Demirbay (R) argue during their Bundesliga match in Hamburg yesterday


Juve eye on Scudetto, Milan dream of derby win Juventus turn their focus back on securing a third consecutive Serie A title this weekend only days after a painful exit from the Europa League semis at the hands of Benfica. Elsewhere, AC Milan host Inter in the city derby with Europa League places, and plenty of pride, at stake while Catania, Livorno, Bologna and Sassuolo continue their quest to beat the drop. With a home final on the horizon, Juventus were on route for a dream double -- until a scoreless draw at home to 10-man Benfica on Thursday handed the Portuguese side, 2-1 winners in the first leg, their ticket to a second con-

secutive Europa League final, against Sevilla. Juve’s disappointment was palpable, with coach Antonio Conte lashing out: “The team that least deserves it is going to the final.” Juventus host Atalanta in Turin on Monday, when Verona are away at Lazio in one of several matches this weekend that could help determine the league’s Europa League representatives next season. But Juve, who have an eight-point cushion on Roma, can clinch the title as early as Sunday if Rudi Garcia’s side slip up at Catania. Given Catania are propping up the table with five wins in 35 games so far, that scenario appears unlikely. And Garcia seems intent on pushing

Juve all the way -- especially after a recent war of words between the Frenchman and his Italian counterpart. AC Milan sit a whopping 42 points

FIXTURES Catania Chievo Genoa Parma Udinese Milan

v v v v v v

Roma Torino Bologna Sampdoria Livorno Inter

off Juve’s pace ahead of a league derby they have not won since April 2011, when current coach Clarence Seedorf was still wearing the red and black. The seven-time European champions have been reduced to fighting for

FIXTURES Saint-Etienne Lorient Reims Sochaux Toulouse Valenciennes Marseille

v v v v v v v

Montpellier AC Ajaccio Evian TG Nice Nantes Bordeaux Lyon

the line a top-five finish and qualification for next season’s Europa League. Once upon a time these sides might have turned their noses up at the prospect of playing in Europe’s second-tier club competition, but they can no longer afford to as they look to cling onto a modicum of prestige. For Lyon, this will be their 59th match of a long season which has already seen them lose in the final of the League Cup and the quarter-finals of the Europa League. l

Walter Mazzarri’s side closer to a fifthplace finish and confirm their return to Europe, albeit in the continent’s second-tier competition. Fiorentina and Napoli are not in action until Tuesday when they respectively host Sassuolo and Cagliari. A Napoli win, irrespective of Fiorentina’s result in Florence, would secure third place and the final Champions League spot for Rafael Benitez’s side. With a nine-point lead on sixth-placed Torino, Fiorentina have virtually secured their Europa League spot. Only five points separate Catania from Livorno, Bologna and fourthfrom-bottom Sassuolo meaning defeats for either side in their respective games against Roma, Udinese, Genoa and Juventus could prove costly. l

RESULTS Dortmund

3 2


Grosskreutz 29, Mkhitaryan 31, Piszczek 34

M’gladbach Stranzl 22, Kruse 54, Kramer 77

VfB Stuttgart Gentner 62

Werder Bremen Hunt 49, 90+1


Roberto Firmino 5, Suele 66

3 1

Mainz 05 Choup-Moting 66

1 2

VfL Wolfsburg Bruyne 13, Olic 90+1

2 0

Hertha Berlin

0 2

Hanover 96

0 2

Schalke 04

1 4

Bayern Munich

Huszti 5, Schmiedebach 51


Ayhan 13, Huntelaar 65

Hamburg Calhanoglu 70

Braunschweig Frankfurt

Goetze 32, 70, Mueller 55, Pizarro 75

0 1 0 2

Augsburg Bobadilla 90+4

Leverkusen Castro 28, Can 36

Chelsea downcast, but summit in sight

Marseille, Lyon focus on more modest aims Unable to compete with the financial might of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco in Ligue 1, old rivals Lyon and Marseille have more modest ambitions as they prepare to meet at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday. Nearing the end of what has been a draining campaign for both clubs for different reasons, OM and OL clash in the ‘Olympico’ with the only prize on

a Europa League place and desperately need to beat Inter on Sunday if they are to fight Torino, Lazio, Verona and Parma for a crucial sixth-place finish which, exceptionally, has offered an extra Europa League spot via the Italian Cup, the final of which is being played by Napoli and Fiorentina on Saturday. Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo told Corriere della Sera: “Firstly, we have win this to restore some pride and try to make up for this season. If we do, it will boost our Europa League bid and give us some revenge for the derby earlier in the season. “It’s not just one game, this can help us get over an entire season which has been negative.” A fifth consecutive derby win in the league, meanwhile, would push

Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Goetze scored twice to help the champions beat struggling Hamburg SV 4-1 on Saturday and bounce back in style from their 4-0 demolition by Real Madrid in midweek. It took a long time for the Bundesliga champions to get started with Bayern needing more than half an hour to carve out their first chance against the battling hosts. That was, however, all Goetze needed to score after he played a quick onetwo with Arjen Robben, charged into the box and slotted in for the lead in the 32nd minute. Former European champions Hamburg, who are the only team never to have played in the second division since the creation of the Bundesliga in 1963, have 27 points in 16th place with Nuremberg, who lost 2-0 to Hanover 96, on 26. Eintracht Braunschweig lost 1-0 at Augsburg thanks to a stoppage time chip by Raul Bobadilla to remain in last place with 25 points. Schalke 04 took a big step towards securing automatic qualification to the Champions League, easing past Freiburg 2-0 with goals from defender Kaan Ayhan and forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to move up to 61 points, three ahead of Bayer Leverkusen in fourth. Borussia Dortmund edged past Hoffenheim 3-2 but with Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski, moving to rivals Bayern next season, failing to score in his last home game despite the crowd urnging him on. l

Bayern Munich’s new President Karl Hopfner speaks during a general meeting of the Bundesliga club in Munich on Friday REUTERS

Despite manager Jose Mourinho’s insistence that Chelsea cannot win the Premier League this season, beating Norwich City on Sunday would leave them top of the table with a week remaining. Title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool will each have a game in hand by then, but although Chelsea need both teams to slip up if they are to finish above them, Mourinho’s men remain in contention. The last home game of the season

also gives Chelsea an opportunity to leave their fans with a positive memory of the campaign. Chelsea need only a point to make sure that they finish above fourth-place

FIXTURES Arsenal v West Brom Chelsea v Norwich City Arsenal and qualify automatically for next season’s Champions League. Arsene Wenger claims he will look back on the season as a missed opportunity even if Arsenal clinch a place in

the Champions League this weekend. Wenger’s side can guarantee their participation in Europe’s elite club competition for the 17th successive year with a victory over West Brom on Sunday. With silverware proving elusive to Arsenal for most of the last decade, maintaining a Champions League presence has become a cause for celebration for Wenger. Wenger is determined to finish with two more wins in case either City or Chelsea slip-up, which would give the Gunners a chance to secure third place, thus avoiding a play-off to qualify for the Champions League group stages next season. l

Atletico, Real out to seal perfect week Unhappy Mourinho issues Hazard warning

Fresh from reaching a first Champions League final in 40 years on Wednesday, Atletico Madrid insist they are already focussed on their La Liga title run-in, starting with a trip to Levante on Sunday. Atletico will face bitter neighbours Real Madrid in a historic Champions League final in Lisbon next month but in the meantime they are in the driving seat as they need just two wins from their last three games to seal their first La Liga title for 18 years. Diego Simeone’s men are on a run of nine straight league wins and another victory away to mid-table Levante will give Los Rojiblancos the chance to

wrap up the championship at home to Malaga next weekend and avoid needing to get something from their daunting visit to Barcelona on the final day of the campaign.

FIXTURES Almeria Levante Sevilla Real Madrid

v v v v

Real Betis Atletico Madrid Villarreal Valencia

Even in the wake of his side’s famous 3-1 win over Chelsea, Simeone insisted he was immediately “preparing and focusing on the objective of beating Levante.” Real Madrid could be nine points adrift of Atletico, albeit with two games

in hand, by the time they kick-off later on Sunday at home to Valencia. Los Blancos enjoyed a fantastic win in midweek themselves as they hammered European champions Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Allianz Arena to qualify for their first European final for 12 years. Having already lifted the Copa del Rey, Real could still win an historic treble this season should Atletico stumble in their final few league games. And coach Carlo Ancelotti is savouring the success of his first season in charge. “Obviously I am very happy, you have to enjoy the good moments because, sooner or later, the bad moments will come,” he told Sky Italia. “It gives me great satisfaction to take Real Madrid to the final 12 years later.”l

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho accused his midfielder Eden Hazard on Friday of “not sacrificing himself 100 per cent” for his team mates, two days after their Champions League semi-final exit. Hazard, 23, criticised Mourinho’s tactics and told French TV station beIN SPORTS that Chelsea “were not made to play football.” “Chelsea are not made to play football, we are good on the counter-attack, a bit like Real Madrid against Bayern Munich,” Hazard said after the match. “Often, I am asked to do it all by myself and it’s not easy.”

Mourinho, speaking to reporters before Chelsea meet Norwich City in their penultimate Premier League match of the season on Sunday, responded by seemingly questioning Hazard’s commitment. “The media was reporting that he was being critical, but there was nothing critical in what he says,” Mourinho said. “But Eden is a player who is not mentally ready to look back to his left back and leave his life for him. “When the comments come from a player like Eden it’s normal because he is not a player ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and his team mates. l



Fahad unbeaten champion in MSC School Chess


Cash boost for Beck’s Miami dream David Beckham’s dream stadium project for his new Major League Soccer team in Miami took another step Friday toward becoming reality. The Florida state legislature approved a bill that allows professional sports teams to receive up to $2 million in annual subsidies to build or renovate stadiums or infrastructure. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, must now enact the law. Former England and Manchester United star Beckham reportedly traveled to the state capital Tallahassee to push the measure. “We appreciate the work done by our government officials and their recognition of the enormous popularity of soccer,” he said. “Today is not only good for Orlando and Miami, it’s great for all of Florida. I look forward to continuing the work with our fans and the community.” Beckham wants to build a stadium for 25,000 fans at a cost of $250 million in the port of Miami, but has faced resistance from a coalition of business groups. –AFP

Marseille officially announce Bielsa arrival French giants Marseille on Friday announced the signing of Argentine coach Marcelo “El Loco” Bielsa for the next two seasons. The 58-year-old former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach will officially sign his contract “the next time he comes to Marseille after the season is over,” said the club on their website. Marseille are currently coached by the unpopular Jose Anigo, who replaced Elie Baup on a temporary basis in December. Bielsa had long been rumoured to be the former European champions’ first choice to take over from Anigo at the end of this season. Those rumours went into overdrive when he watched Marseille’s 3-1 victory over Ajaccio on April 4 and the 3-2 success at Montpellier a week later, with the club then admitting they were in negotiations. –AFP

Birmingham stage great escape, Brighton in play-offs

Birmingham City staged an astonishing great escape as they fought back to preserve their Championship status at Doncaster’s expense, while Brighton also left it late to snatch the last play-off spot. On a dramatic final day in the second tier, there were incredible scenes at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, where Birmingham looked dead and buried after falling 2-0 behind, only to snatch a stoppage-time equaliser to earn the 2-2 draw which lifted them out of the relegation zone on goal difference. With 14 minutes remaining, second-half strikes from Bolton’s Lee Chung-yong and Lukas Jutkiewicz had left Lee Clark’s men on the verge of falling into the third tier for the first time in 20 years. But the Blues were given a lifeline when Nikola Zigic headed home in the 78th minute and Paul Caddis then nodded in from close-range in the final moments to spark scenes of wild celebration from Clark and his players. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Sony Six 08:30PM Indian Premier League Bangalore v Hyderabad NBA Play-Off 2013-14 6:00AM Oklahoma City v Memphis 8:30AM La Clippers v Golden State Star Sports 2

(L-R) Manchester United’s English defender Rio Ferdinand, striker Robin van Persie and defender Nemanja Vidic leave the field at the end of their English Premier League match against Sunderland at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England yesterday. Sunderland won 1-0 AFP

Cardiff, Fulham relegated from EPL Sunderland stun Giggs’ United and move closer to safety The trap door closed on Cardiff City and Fulham as crushing away defeats condemned both to relegation from the Premier League on Saturday with Sunderland moving to the brink of survival. Sunderland’s surprise 1-0 win at Manchester United meant that Cardiff ’s 3-0 loss at Newcastle United ensured a return to the Championship for the Welsh club a year after returning to the top flight for the first time since 1962. Fulham, members of the Premier League since 2001, were thumped 4-1

at Stoke City. Sebastian Larsson’s 30th minute winner for Sunderland at Old Trafford, where Ryan Giggs was in charge of United for the second time, meant Sunderland moved to 35 points, five more than Cardiff and four ahead of Fulham who both have one game left. Peter Odemwingie, Marko Arnautovic, Oussama Assaidi and Jonathan Walters scored for Stoke while Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy and Steven Taylor were on target for Newcastle who snapped a bad run of form that prompted a fans’ protest against manager Alan Pardew and owner Mike Ashley during the game.

Italian Serie A Catania v AS Roma Star Sports 4 6:30PM English Premier League Arsenal v West Brom 9:00PM Chelsea v Norwich City 12:45AM Italian Serie A AC Milan v Inter Milan Ten Action Ligue 1 9:00PM FC 56 Lorient v AC Ajaccio

Defeat for Norwich City (32) at Chelsea on Sunday would essentially relegate them too. In an early kickoff West Ham United guaranteed their safety, reaching 40 points with a 2-0 win over 10-man Tottenham Hotspur - their third victory over their London rivals this season. An own goal by Spurs striker Harry Kane and Stewart Downing’s free kick put West Ham in control before halftime after Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul was red-carded for bundling over Downing who was racing towards goal. Southampton won 1-0 at Swansea City with Rickie Lambert’s stoppage

time winner while Aston Villa, who began the day not mathematically safe, beat FA Cup finalists Hull City 3-1. Earlier, West Ham United secured their Premier League status after stemming a run of four straight defeats with a 2-0 win at home to 10-man Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Victory took West Ham to 40 points ahead of their trip to Manchester City on the season’s final day and will relieve some of the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce, who has fallen out of favour with some of the club’s fans. Spurs, meanwhile, are now in danger of being pipped to sixth place, which brings with it a berth in next sea-

FM Mohammad Fahad Rahman of Gulshan Model School emerged as the unbeaten champion in the open group of the Mohammedan International School Chess Championship at the club auditorium yesterday. Fahad earned 5.5 points to clinch the title. Three players were locked on 4.5 points each in the open group but through the tie-breaking system, Rafshan Bin Omar of Government Science College School became runners-up, Arka Sengupta of Kolkata International School sealed 3rd position while Anata Choudhury of Nalanda School clinched 4th. WFM Arpita Mukharjee of Shahid Rameswar Girls School, Kolkata was the unbeaten champion in the girls’ class 6-10 category. Asmita Das Dolna of Day School, Kolkata became runners-up with four points and Nushrat Jahan Nafisa of Bibi Marium School finished 3rd with three points. Sayantan Mukharjee of Kolkata Boys School was the unbeaten champion in the boys’ class 5-7 group with maximum six points. Jamim Al-Hamid of Lily Children Academy became runners-up while Nova Tasha of DPS-STS School finished 3rd with five points each. Jannatul Ferdous of Ideal Primary School became champion with 5.5 points in the girls’ class 3-5 group, Rumaysa Hasnat of DPS-STS School was the runners-up with five points while Maliath Chowdhury of DPS-STS School became 3rd with four points. Abdullah Al Shahran Saikot of Khulshi Child Grammar School became unbeaten champion with 5.5 points in the boys’ class 3-4 group. l

RESULTS Aston Villa Westwood 1, Weimann 41, 45

3 1

Hull Bowery 28-og

Man United

0 1



3 0


Ameobi 18, Remy 87, Taylor 90+1


4 1

Odemwingie 39, Arnautovic 54, Assaidi 73, Walters 82

Swansea West Ham

Larsson 30

Fulham Richardson 80

0 1


2 0


Lambert 90+3

Kane 27-og, Downing 44

son’s Europa League. The defeat left Tim Sherwood’s men six points above Manchester United, who have two games in hand and a vastly superior goal difference. l

Berdych battles through as US sprinter Gay banned one year for Raonic exits in Portugal doping, returns Olympic medal Top seed Tomas Berdych toughed out a battling 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over qualifier Leonardo Mayer while second seed Milos Raonic was eliminated from his quarter-final at the ATP-WTA Portugal Open on Friday. Berdych, who only took a wild card to get more clay matches with the French Open just three weeks away,

almost found himself on the sidelines as he dropped the first set to his 88thranked Argentine opponent. The sixth-ranked Czech survived a roller-coaster final set and will Saturday face Romania’s Victor Hanescu who beat home hope Gastao Elias 6-1, 7-5. “I have to be ready for tough battles like this,” said Berdych. “He hit the ball hard and played well at times, but he was also up and down. l

3:00PM MotoGP: Spain Main Race Star Sports HD 1 La Liga 4:00PM Almeria v Real Betis 9:00PM Levante v Atletico Madrid 11:00PM Sevilla v Villareal 1:00AM Real Madrid v Valencia 7:00PM


Sunday, May 4, 2014

A.F.M Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn, the additional secretary of Walton hands over the sponsorship money to Solaiman Sikder the GS of floorball federation yesterday COURTESY

Floorball makes its debut in the country The first National Floorball Championship sponsored by Walton starts at the Shahid Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium today. Floorball resembles ice hockey but is played on a hard surface and each team comprises of six players each. The participant teams are Dhaka Warriors, Dhaka Commerce College, Lalbagh Heroes and Rajshahi Young Tigers in the male section while the women’s section will see Dhaka Warriors and Dhaka

Commerce College vie for the title. State minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder will inaugurate the meet as the chief guest. In a press conference held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday, Floorball association general secretary Solaiman Sikder presented the meet to the press. A.F.M.Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn - the additional director of Walton, Kamal Hossain - the director of marketing of Walton and ATN Bangla news presenter Shamim Ara Munni were also present on the occasion. l

Former world double sprint champion Tyson Gay has been suspended for one year after testing positive in 2013 for a banned anabolic steroid, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Friday. Gay has also returned the silver medal he won with the U.S. 4x100 metres relay team at the 2012 London Olympics but will be eligible to return to competition as early as next month after admitting his offence and co-operating with investigators. “We are thankful he decided to come in and be truthful in his cooperation with us,” USADA chief executive Travis Tygart told Reuters. “With the loss of results since 2012, including an Olympic medal, he has suffered serious consequences, but by cooperating he has tried to help the sport move forward for the good of clean athletes.” As part of the suspension he accepted, Gay, the joint second fastest man in

Haas reaches into Munich semi-finals Title-holder Tommy Haas was made to work before defeating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 on Friday to qualify for the Munich ATP tournament semi-finals. The 36-year-old second seed spent almost two hours on court before finally seeing off the world number 33 in their quarter-final tie on the German clay. The world number 16 will next face Slovakia’s Martin Klizan, who despatched Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-1. Haas produced a brilliant sequence of backhand, forehand and then winning volley to earn the decisive break in the first set. l

history, was disqualified from all competitive results since July 15, 2012, the date he first used a product that contained a prohibited steroid. The start of his ban was backdated to June 23, 2013, the day his doping sample was collected at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and when he voluntarily stopped competing after

being notified of his positive test. His first race back is planned for July, Reuters has learned. The American 100 metres record holder had tearfully admitted last July he had failed an out-of-competition doping test, saying “I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.” The 31-year-old could have been suspended for two years for his first doping offence but received a reduction because of his substantial assistance, USADA said. The circumstances of his case is still under investigation and could produce additional suspensions, track and field sources said. The ban is also subject to appeal by the International Association of Athletics Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) confirmed it had received the medal Gay won at the London Olympics and would be forwarding it to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). l

‘Banana’ racism is storm in teacup, Pele says Brazil legend Pele said Friday that outrage at the throwing of a banana toward compatriot and Barcelona defender Dani Alves was a social media storm in a tea cup. Alves ate the fruit thrown on the pitch near him during a match at Villarreal and the host club banned the culprit who lobbed it for life, while the twittersphere buzzed with acclaim for the player’s cool reaction. But for Pele the incident has been blown out of proportion.

“It’s not just in football where there’s racism. It’s been around in all sectors of society for a long time,” Pele said. “Such banality. A guy threw a banana. It’s a storm in a teacup.” Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar was one of those who praised Alves after launching an anti-racist campaign on social media. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff likewise hailed Alves’s reaction. But Pele insisted: “I do not agree there is a wave of racism. “In my day, people threw guanabana fruit and mangoes” at players, he added. l



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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hakaluki Haor has largest peat coal deposit n Aminur Rahman Rasel A huge deposit of peat coal, commonly used to generate electricity, has been found at Chatal Beel in Hakaluki Haor of greater Sylhet division, says the Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB). The state-run agency claims that it is the country’s largest peat coal reserve having around 200m tonnes coal of low sulphur content. The GSB has detected the coal at a depth between one and five meters below the surface during a survey under the second phase of a geo-scientific project for mineral resources. The lion’s share of the reserve, stretching over Moulvibazar and Sylhet districts, is dry. The average thickness of this peat is two meters.

‘We found layers of dry and wet peat coal at a depth between 1 and 5 metres below surface’ “Of the discovered reserve of 200m tonnes, the recoverable amount is 150m tonnes,” GSB Director General Sirajur Rahman Khan told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The estimated cost of 200m tonnes peat coal would be around Tk1,000 crore. Earlier, the highest amount was found at Baghia-Chanda Beel in Madaripur, around 100m tonnes. Peat, an unconsolidated deposit of semi-carbonised plant, remains in a water-saturated environment, such as a bog or fen and of persistently high moisture content. It is an early stage or rank in the development of coal having 60% carbon content and 30% oxygen. A team from the department found the coal after conducting the survey in two phases – one survey was conducted from January to March last year and another from January to April this year. The GSB has so far discovered considerable quantities of peat deposits in various localities of the coun-

try. Amongst them, the deposits of Baghia-Chanda Beel in Madaripur, Kola Mauza in Khulna, and Pagla and Salla of Sunamganj are notable. “Chatal Beel is the country’s largest reserve of the dry peat calculated to be 150m tonnes. It can be used to produce 40-50 megawatt electricity for 100 years, and also in brick kilns. The peat coal will be economically viable if we use it for electricity production,” said GSB Director (geology) Md Nehal Uddin, who heads the survey. Nehal, also the project director, told the Dhaka Tribune that the geo-scientific survey was part of a three-yearprogramme for the development of mineral resources at a cost of Tk59.6m. The project started in July 2011 and is expected to end in June this year. Around Tk12 lakh has been spent to conduct the peat coal survey. “We found layers of dry and wet peat coal at a depth between one and five metres below the surface,” GSB’s Assistant Director Mohammod Masum, who headed the five-member survey team, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The GSB conducted surveys in six upazilas – Kulaura, Juri and Baralekha under Moulvibazar district, and Beanibazar, Fenchuganj and Gopalganj under Sylhet. He said the geological team dug 2,000 boreholes at Chatal Beel having distance of 100-400 meters. “The amount of sulphur is low in this coal which is useable for producing electricity,” he said. “The peat coal is about 7,500 years’ old, and its samples are being examined in laboratory to determine its chemical composition.” He estimated that the coal deposit stretched over an area of around 70-80 sq-km. Prof Ijaz Hossain of Buet said: “Peat coal is not used normally for power plant as the calorific value is lower. Besides this, these power plants become dirty. But in Ireland they produce electricity of 5,000MW with peat coal. “We have a shortage primary fuel to generate electricity. So we can use it,” he observed. l

CID officials inspect a microbus, reportedly used in the abduction of Narayanganj City Corporation panel mayor Nazrul Islam, at the residence of a local Awami League leader in Siddhirganj yesterday. Story on Front Page and Page 3 FOCUS BANGLA

‘Dhaka, Delhi working to establish links with northeast’ n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali yesterday said Bangladesh and India are working on establishing links with the northeast by reviving old rail links and looking at new road connectivity or reviving old ones. “We are working on establishing links with the northeast by reviving old rail links, opening up new land customs stations/land ports/immigration points or reviving old ones; revamping trade infrastructures and looking at new road connectivity or reviving old ones etc,” he said while speaking at an international conference. Bangladesh Itihash Sammilani has organised the two-day international conference on ‘1971 and North-eastern Indian States: Historicising and Contemporising Relationship’ at Bangla Academy. The foreign minister said bridge over the Feni River, rail connectivity between Akhaura and Agartala and development of Ramgarh-Subroom are

the small links in the bigger picture of an interconnected region that both the countries strive for. “We have proposed direct bus services between Dhaka-Shillong and Dhaka-Guwahati. I understand that there will be direct air link between Dhaka and Guwahati soon.” He said Bangladesh had requested the Indian government to allow it to open a deputy high commission in Guwahati and upgrade Bangladesh visa office to an assistant high commission in Agartala to increase the diplomatic and commercial presence in the northeast. The minister said Bangladesh can import natural resources and raw materials from north-eastern states for value addition and re-export them to India or elsewhere. “This is taking place, but needs to be done on a massive scale. Business communities of both the countries could think about more investment in different potential sectors in the region.” Mahmood said Dhaka had contrib-

Afghan landslide rescue operation called off Casualty figures vary from 300 to 2,100 or more The impoverished area, dotted with resumed their search when daylight n Agencies broke but it soon became clear there villages of mud-brick homes nestled in Afghan officials gave up hope on Saturday of finding any survivors from a landslide in the remote northeast, putting the possible death toll at more than 2,100, as rescuers turned their attention to helping the over 4,000 people displaced. Officials expressed concern the unstable hillside above the site of the disaster may cave in again, threatening the homeless as well as the UN and local rescue teams that have arrived in Badakhshan province, which borders Tajikistan. “More than 2,100 people from 300 families are all dead,” Naweed Forotan, a spokesman for the Badakhshan provincial governor, told Reuters. On the other hand, officials later said that a maximum of about 500 people died in the landslide that engulfed a village. “The first figure that we announced was obtained from local people, not from our technical team,” Gul Mohammad Bedar, the deputy governor of Badakhshan province, told AFP. “We think the dead toll will not rise beyond 500.” Many villagers were at Friday prayers in two mosques when they were entombed by a tide of debris, and a second landslide hit people who had rushed to assist those in need. Rescuers abandoned the search for survivors on Saturday, with officials saying 300 people were now confirmed dead. “Based on our reports, 300 houses are under the debris,” Badakhshan governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb told reporters at the scene. “We have a list of around 300 people confirmed dead. “We cannot continue the search and rescue operation anymore, as the houses are under metres of mud. We will offer prayers for the victims and make the area a mass grave.” However, the BBC estimates the death count at 2,500 and the Guardian says 2,700 and more people have been affected by the disaster. Villagers and a few dozen police, equipped with only basic digging tools,

was no hope of finding survivors buried in up to 100metres of mud. “Seven members of my family were here, four or five of them were killed ... I am also half alive, what can I do?” said an elderly woman, her hair covered in a pink shawl. The UN mission in Afghanistan said the focus was now on the more than 4,000 people displaced, either directly as a result of Friday’s landslide or as a precautionary measure from villages assessed to be at risk. Their main needs are water, medicine, food and emergency shelter, said Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

valleys beside bare slopes, has been hit by several landslides in recent years. Humanitarian catastrophe The side of the mountain above Ab Barak collapsed at around 11am on Friday as people were trying to recover belongings and livestock after a smaller landslip hit a few hours earlier. Hundreds of homes were destroyed in the landslides that were triggered by torrential rain. Officials worry another section of the mountainside could collapse at any time. The Afghan military flew rescue teams to the area on Saturday, as the remote mountain region is served by only narrow, poor roads which have

themselves been damaged by more than a week of heavy rain. “We have managed to get one excavator into the area, but digging looks hopeless,” Colonel Abdul Qadeer Sayad, a deputy police chief of Badakhshan, told Reuters. He said the sheer size of the area affected, and the depth of the mud, meant that only modern machinery could help. Nato-led coalition troops are on standby to assist but on Saturday said the Afghan government had not asked for help. “I call on the government to come and help our people, to take the bodies out,” said a middle-aged man, standing on a hill overlooking the river of mud where his village once stood. l

uted to development of northeast’s power sector by allowing transportation of over dimensional cargo for Tripura’s Palatana Power Plant through Bangladesh territory. “In exchange, the Indian government is agreeable to supplying 100mw power from that plant. Once grid connectivity between the two countries is established for this purpose, it will open up more opportunities for power exchange.” The minister said work is on to utilise northeast’s hydropower potential which would be economically viable if that surplus power could be transmitted through Bangladesh territory. “We are also exploring joint venture investment in hydropower projects and the possibility of power import/exchange through interconnection with the northeast,” he said. Under the aegis of sub-regional cooperation, discussions are taking place with joint working groups for cooperation in sectors of ‘water resources management

& power’ and ‘connectivity’ involving Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. “India is keen to provide us with its surplus petroleum products through pipelines,” the minister said. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran said when Bangladesh and India discussed the issue of northeast, they talked about connectivity. “I don’t believe that countries which are so close geographically cannot live without connectivity,” he said. Asian Highway, Bimstec, and recent initiative BCIM can help connect northeast with Bangladesh, he said. The high commissioner acknowledged that in the past, there was a tendency to exploit each other. “It is time for India and Bangladesh …to find a new development cooperation where we can help each other and not exploit each other’s weaknesses.” He added: “We should not allow a small group of inimical forces to distort normal flow of neighbourly relations between our two countries.” l

National DNA database centre put on hold n Moniruzzaman Uzzal Efforts to set up a national DNA database centre is forced to be put on hold as the country is yet to see the enactment of a DNA act, although over six months had passed since the draft of the act was approved by the then interim cabinet. Sources said President Abdul Hamid has already given his nod to the draft of the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Act, and it was likely to be placed in the next parliament session. Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman, head of the National DNA Profiling Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, told the Dhaka Tribune that the DNA database centre would be set up in the lab to make it easier to solve crimes by identifying criminals. He said the indexing system at the centre – the first of its kind in the country – would preserve DNA data of convicted criminals and missing persons along with crime scene evidence, which could later be used to solve cases. The database would not only save time and money for the law enforcement agencies, but would also be crucial in ensuring justice for the victims, he added. Dr Sharif said all convicts would need to submit their DNA samples through the jail authority, while those

samples would be preserved at the DNA database centre to be later crosschecked with biological evidence (bloodstain, semen etc) from crime scenes to see if any convict had committed any crime after being released. He added that a DNA database centre could save up to 90% of investigation costs for law enforcers. Different medical college and district hospital morgues reportedly receive around 2,000-3,000 unidentified bodies each year. A large number of those bodies could later be identified, if DNA samples are preserved properly at the DNA database centre. On the other hand, the courts are reportedly unable to pass judgements based on DNA evidence as the country was still using a century-old evidence act. The work of the DNA lab is also hampered regularly, as scientific officers of the lab have to appear before the court to present the reports prepared by them. The passage of the act would waive them from having to appear before the court. Meanwhile, in the absence of a DNA act, the law enforcement agencies are unable to collect DNA sample from a suspect without getting their consent. The passage of the act would allow law enforcers to force offenders to provide DNA samples. l

Govt to form ‘Coal Club’ n UNB

Afghan villagers gather at the site of a landslide at the Argo district in Badakhshan province, May 2, 2014. More than 2,000 people are trapped after a landslide smashed into a village in a remote mountainous area of northeastern Afghanistan REUTERS

The government is considering forming a “coal club” aimed at sharing knowledge and experience among the public and private sector operators of the coal-fired power plants. The Power Division has invited officials of coal-fired plant projects to a meeting today at the Bidyut Bhaban to discuss the concept. “The idea of the proposed coal club is to share and exchange the knowledge and experience among the sponsors and operators of coal-fired power plants in the public and private sec-

tors,” said Anwar Hossain, a joint secretary of the Power Division. The government has drawn up a Power System Master Plan (PSMP) to increase power generation by setting up a large number of coal-based power plants. As per the PSMP, 50% of the country’s the power will come from the coal-fired power plants by 2030 when the country’s power generation is expected to cross over 40,000MW to serve a demand of 38,000MW. To achieve the target, the government has signed some contracts with local and foreign companies to set up a number of base-load coal-fired power plants. l

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B3 Japan considers tax

breaks to promote investment, help companies

B4 The market opportunity with the next 3 billion

New banks see profits in first year n Jebun Nesa Alo All the new nine banks, which had launched their commercial operations just a year back, are lucky enough to see profits in their very first year despite the sluggish investment climate, political unrest and slower credit growths. All those new banks made profits within a year in 2013 at a time when the overall banking business faced a serious setback due to the political unrest over the January 5 national polls.

'The new banks are also facing difficulties in getting business as per expectation mainly due to the higher interest on loans' The banks are South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank, Meghna Bank, Midland Bank, Union Bank, The Farmar’s Bank, NRB Commercial Bank, NRB Bank, Modhumoti Bank and NRB Global Bank. Although the overall banking sector could not perform well due to the prevailing sluggish investment climate, the new banks made initial profits as they were not burdened with the default loans like other commercial banks, and consequently they did not require maintaining necessary provision, a senior executive of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the Dhaka Tribune. According to BB data, provisional net profit of Meghna Bank stood at Tk3.5 crore, Midland Bank Tk3.03 crore, Modhumoti Bank Tk6.3 crore, NRB Bank Tk1.2 crore, NRB Commercial Bank Tk2.3 crore, South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank Tk4.6 crore, Farmar’s Bank Tk5.4 crore while Union

Bank made a profit worth Tk8.7 crore. New banks have made the profits mainly by lending their paid up capital worth Tk400 crore to different banks and financial institutions as term loan, said A K M Shahidul Haque, managing director of Midland Bank. He said: “The real investments of all the commercial banks were not notably enough in the last year as the overall economic activities had come to an almost halt amid political unrest. Moreover, maximum banks continued to keep their operating cost lower till now to survive in the competitive market.” The new banks made profits despite the obstacles just because of the key role played by the experienced bankers, said Rafiqul Islam, managing director of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank. “The new banks are also facing difficulties in getting business as per expectation mainly due to the higher interest on loans. As a result, we are not getting any foreign fund,’’ he added. As of February 20, 2014, the average advance-deposit ratio (ADR) of the nine new banks stood 54%, meaning the banks lent only Tk54 against a deposit of Tk100, which is much lower than the industries’ average of 70.35% against the Bangladesh Bank’s ceiling of 85%. Of the new banks, ADR of NRB Commercial was 73.96%, South Bangla 65.36%, Meghna 65.65%, Midland 64.02%, The Farmar’s 23.46%, Union 72.83%, NRB 24.10%, NRB Global 83.72% while the ADR of Modhumoti Bank was 15%. The central bank approved nine new banks in two phases in 2013 to take the country’s total number of scheduled banks to 56, of which, 39 are private, nine foreign and eight are state-owned. The nine new banks were established with the paid up capital of Tk400 crore each. l

SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2014

BB warns new banks of malpractices to woo clients n Tribune Report The new banks are doing aggressive banking even violating rules and ethics to get clients and business for survival in the competitive market as Bangladesh Bank detected the malpractices. In this backdrop, the central bank had a meeting with chairmen and managing directors of the nine banks at its headquarters in Dhaka late last week, asking them to abide by the rules and regulations properly. “We considered the loopholes for the first year of operation as a new comer. But from now on you will be punished if any violations are found,” an executive, who was present at the meeting, quoted Governor Dr Atiur Rahman as saying. The governor asked the banks to strictly comply with the prudential guideline in case of loan disbursement, and advised them to avoid big loans. He said some banks were found disbursed loans exceeding single borrower limits and extended loan limit violating rules. “The central bank will no more consider such violations in the future.” The new banks are following mainly three ways to get business including lower interest rate, extending loan limit and allowing clients to pay loans of other banks, said a senior executive of Bangladesh Bank. The central bank found such business tendency by analyzing their financial report of the year 2013 and minutes of board meetings, he said. According to the Bangladesh Bank findings, Midland bank provided loan facilities to 11 clients who have existing loans in other banks and financial institutions in order to pay those loans and to make the clients its own. The banks followed the curved way instead of making new clients, which could be termed as aggressive banking and the tendency is a threat for the banking sector, according to the report. Bangladesh Bank is further examining the loans to see whether abnormal facilities have been provided.  B3 COLUMN 5

Bangladesh Tea Association (BTA) leaders have requested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for withdrawing 15% Value Added Tax (VATs) and 5% income tax on the lease-value of the tea estates. The government’s order for paying VAT and tax on the lease-value of tea estates is not applicable in case of getting lease of tea estates or renewal of the leased lands, said BTA vice-president Shah Alam on Wednesday last. The leaders of BTA came up with the demand while attending a pre-budget meeting with the NBR officials held at its headquarters in the capital with NBR

Chairman Md Ghulam Hossain in the chair. The BTA leaders also urged the NBR to re-introduce 20% supplementary duty on the import of tea as saying, “Local tea businesses are being severely suffered due to the rampant import of the low quality tea, just taking the benefits of less taxes on imported tea.” There was 20% supplementary duty on the import of tea till 2012-13, which was withdrawn in the current budget. Urging the NBR officials to protect the local tea producers, BTA leaders said, “Local tea producers are now facing stiff competition because of the whole-sale import of the sub-standard tea, taking the duty advantage.”


Shut-down RMG factories may take Softex course n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi The apparel factories so far faced shut down or production suspension for non-compliance have not decided yet whether they would take legal measures like Softex Cotton Limited (Unit2) to get rid of such actions by Alliance or Accord, which are working for improving factory condition. Softex served a legal notice to Accord on Wednesday demanding compensation worth US$100 million against the damage the factory would have incurred since shutting down the factory on March 6. The legal notice claimed the factory inspection has not been done through following due process. Owners of many of the ill-fated factories were also considering whether they would follow Softex in their efforts for a remedy, suggested telephone conversations with the entrepreneurs yesterday. Few of them are, however, thinking twice amid fears it might risk future

n Asif Showkat Kallol

Withdrawal of supplementary duty on baby food demanded

Attending the same meeting, Bangladesh Milk and Milk Food Products Manufacturers Association (BMMFPMA) also demanded withdrawal of 25% supplementary duty imposed on the import of baby food. Bangladesh imports a good number of alternative food items of breast feeding for babies, which are very helpful for the growth of the babies and children, said the leaders of the association. “A total of 56% taxes, including 25% supplementary duty have been imposed on these types of foods. If the supplementary duty is withdrawn, the prices of the imported baby foods will be affordable to most of the parents,” said Rebeka Yasmin, coordinator of the association. l

The Science and Technology Ministry has sought raising of allocation in next fiscal budget for Rooppur nuclear power plant to pay contract advances to Russian firm and staff salaries. In a letter to Finance Secretary Fazle Kabir, the ministry proposed an allocation of Tk2,040 crore as the mid-term budgetary framework fixed amount at Tk1,284.93 crore. Ninety percent advance of the second contract and 10% advance of third contract of first phase will have to be paid to Russian firm Atomstroyexport, said the letter sent in second week this month. The ministry also wants current fiscal allocation of Tk246 crore be increased to Tk390 crore. It called for finance secretary’s special initiative to raise the allocations. “We need your personal influence in this regard,” said the letter signed

orders. What prevents them from taking legal course against one shut-down unit is to save orders for other units supplying to the same buyers. “We don’t want to take risk on other units to save one unit,” said an entrepreneur of a shut-down factory. He said the brands are the members of either Accord or Alliance and they would follow the orders of the two platforms. Softex served the notice to Accord, Alliance, the labour department of the government, the inspection team of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) and BGMEA. “The inspection did not go through due process. They are responsible for the closure of the factory,” Rezwan Selim, managing director of Softex Cotton Limited, told the Dhaka tribune yesterday. “Only the labour department can ask for the factory closure after having inspection done by the Buet engineers. But Buet engineers did not inspect the factory.”

According to the labour laws, there is no provision of forming review panel to suggest closure of factories, he added. “I’m arguing with the inspection agency over the building code and hope, I’ll win,” said Shahabuddin Ahmed, managing director of Kent Garments, which faced closure on April 19. “If the argument on Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) fails to succeed, I will go for legal action.” Another factory owner, who preferred not to be named, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I will take the decision for legal action after the negotiation, which is going on for fund to pay workers’ wages and for remediation as the Accord still did not provide any fund to the closed factories.” According to BGMEA, 19 factories have so far faced production suspension as recommended by the Accord and Alliance. The factory closure left jobs of 14,325 workers at stake. l


by Science and Technology Secretary Khandoker Assaduzzam. It feared as there is no allocation finalised yet, advances cannot be paid. At present, the science and technology ministry is in negotiation with the Russian Firm to sign the third contract. According to the third contract, the government will have to pay 10% advance in 60 days of contract signing. In this regard, increased allocation will be required. Of the amount sought for next fiscal, a total of Tk1,284 crore will come as project assistance and the remaining part will be collected from local resources, according to the technology ministry letter. The midterm budgetary framework mentioned Tk254 crore of total Tk1,284.93 crore will be collected from local resources, showed finance division documents. According to the the technology ministry, Tk1.48 crore of the money demanded for next fiscal will be

spent to pay salaries, allowances and pensions of employees of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) under the project. The Executive Committee of National Economic Council on April 2, 2013 approved the country’s first nuclear power plant project (first phase) involving Tk5,242 crore ($655m). Under the first phase, the government will design the Rooppur Nuclear Power Station and complete other preparatory works before installing the reactors. After completion of the first phase of the project by June, 2017, the BAEC will undertake the work on second phase where two nuclear reactors each of 1000-megawattcapacity will be set up. The state-run BAEC is executing the first phase of the nuclear power plant project, where the Russian government will provide Tk4,000 crore as loan and the rest Tk1,242 crore will be borne by Bangladesh government. l

10,000 women entrepreneurs benefited from BB’s refinance scheme n Tribune Report

Tea garden workers pluck tea leaves at a tea garden estate


Science ministry seeks increased budget fund for Rooppur nuke plant

BTA for withdrawal of VAT and income tax on tea estates n Tribune Report

Women seen working at a garment factory in Gazipur

Bangladesh Bank has provided a total of Tk778 crore to 10,000 women entrepreneurs under its refinance scheme, said Governor Atiur Rahman. During the last one year, the banking sector has financed Tk395 crore to 3,317 new women entrepreneurs which is 5% of the total new SME borrowers, he added. The central bank chief was addressing the inaugural session of a seminar on “Credit Access for Women Entrepreneurs - Challenges, Obstacles and the Way

Forward” held at the Bangladesh Bank Training Academy Auditorium in the capital yesterday. He said if women are given

necessary supports including financial access, they can themselves ensure economic emancipation.  B3 COLUMN 4

B2 Lower than expected earnings hit stocks n Tribune Report

It said the bearishness in the local companies was on the backdrop of textile companies’ bad performance in January to March quarter and seven companies’ declaration of earnings recommending no dividend, which is a record in recent times. Some of the overexposed banks trying to lower their capital market exposure after Bangladesh Bank’s warning might also have impacted the market negatively, it said. IDLC Investment said swift corporate declarations and quarterly earnings announcement prompted investors to move cautious during the week. “Depressed earnings announcement started beating the market sentiment from the very beginning of the week, putting investors in a cautious mood,” it said. It said having called for larger correction, panic started and fuelled increased level of sale pressure. In the meantime, activity shrank a lot, putting average daily turnover at around Tk423 crore. Losers took a strong lead over the gainers as out of 301 issues traded during the week, 248 declined, 45 advanced and 8 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor. Among the major sectors, top gaining sectors of the past week were miscellaneous with a rise of 4.9%, tannery 2.5% and cement 1.3% respectively. Conversely, top losing sectors were IT sector that declined 13%, ceramic 8% and textile 7%. Fuel and power, and pharmaceuticals remained in the centre of investors’ attention last week, making up 15% and 13% of the total turnover respectively. l

Lower than expected earnings took a jolt on stocks in the past week as benchmark index DSEX almost hit 4500-mark after more than seven weeks. During the week that ended Thursday, the DSEX lost 136 points or 2.9% to close at 4,567. The blue chips comprising DS30 was down 48 points or 2.9% to 1,672. The DSE Shariah Index DSES fell 22 points or 2% to 1,018. The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) Selective Categories Index, CSCX, was down 314 points or 3.5% to close the week at 8,771. The average daily turnover in the past week stood at Tk423 crore, registering a drop of 14% over the previous week’s average of Tk494 crore. The stock exchanges shortened trading session to four instead of usual five to mark “May Day”. Maiden session of the week faced steep decline, dragging DSEX below 4,700 points as the investors observed apparent lack of market direction. Having a vacuum on demand side, depressed earnings kept investors in a watchful mood. Panic started rebounding amid investment community and took a toll of 58 points in the second day of the week. Later part of the week was not different, keeping market scenario totally negative. The market managed to stay flat at the last session of the week amid revived turnover. “The market tumbled heavily last week as the investors showed lack of confidence in local companies by selling off massive positions and becoming bullish in multinational corporations,” said Lanka Bangla Securities in its weekly market analysis.

Weekly capital market highlights DSE Broad Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS Company Delta SpinnersA Shinepukur Ceramics-A Sonargaon Tex -A Bangladesh Welding -A Beximco Syn.-A Legacy Footwear -A Kay & Que (BD) -Z BD. Thai Alum -B Fine Foods A aamra technologies-A

Closing (% change) -41.59 -35.85 -34.87 -34.62 -33.79 -24.44 -21.47 -20.24 -16.48 -16.29

CSE LOSERS Company Delta SpinnersA Sonargaon Tex -A Shinepukur Ceramics-A Bangladesh Welding -A Beximco Syn.-A Legacy Footwear -A BD. Thai Alum -B Takaful Islami Insu-A aamra technologies-A City G Insu.-A

Closing (% change) -42.17 -38.82 -37.04 -36.76 -35.62 -25.39 -19.44 -17.61 -16.25 -16.00


(-) 2.88%


(-) 2.81%


(-) 3.19%


(-) 3.36%


(-) 3.45%

Average (% change) -41.65 -36.29 -37.82 -35.97 -33.17 -25.97 -21.62 -20.50 -16.59 -16.70 Average (% change) -41.47 -38.63 -36.53 -36.19 -33.56 -26.09 -19.40 -17.41 -16.31 -14.70


Closing average 18.42 10.20 9.57 11.75 9.75 23.57 12.80 20.21 15.38 29.73

Closing average 18.36 9.34 10.27 11.83 9.78 23.65 20.44 27.60 29.97 21.29

Weekly closing

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

DSE Million Taka 2635.33 559.87 494.61 1082.24 933.89 2461.31 9.44 1203.93 2602.46 3.16 190.47 402.17 75.25 1722.05 168.89 182.53 431.99 1217.51 215.45 342.17 1.86

▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ Weekly high

18.40 10.20 9.90 11.90 9.60 23.80 12.80 20.10 15.20 29.80

Weekly closing

32.00 16.50 15.30 18.40 15.00 34.60 16.30 25.50 18.20 36.70

Weekly high

18.10 9.30 10.20 11.70 9.40 23.80 20.30 27.60 29.90 21.00

31.70 15.40 16.50 18.30 15.00 32.40 25.20 33.50 36.60 25.00


DSE key features April 27-30, 2014


Turnover (Million Taka)


Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract


Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)

257 1

Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


CSE key features April 27-30, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)


Turnover (Volume)


Number of Contract


Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


Turnover in million

18.10 9.50 8.60 11.40 9.00 23.30 12.80 20.10 15.20 29.00

Weekly low

81.948 26.138 6.043 25.861 19.136 9.258 0.301 18.558 5.952 110.669

Turnover in million

18.00 10.00 10.00 11.50 10.00 23.50 20.30 27.00 29.10 20.80

8.015 0.512 4.597 4.959 6.935 6.458 1.535 0.171 16.531 0.121

Northern Jute -Z ACI Limited- A Berger Paints-A AFC AgroBiotech-N LafargeS Cement-Z Reckitt Benckiser -A Orion Infusions -A Linde (BD) Ltd. -A Premier Bank -A Renata Ltd. -A

Closing (% change) 20.52 15.41 13.84 9.31 7.63 6.44 6.35 6.05 5.83 5.48


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)

Weekly low

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Latest EPS 0.55 -0.08 -0.81 0.24 -0.40 0.36 -3.55 0.77 -1.01 1.39

Latest EPS 0.55 -0.81 -0.08 0.24 -0.40 0.36 0.77 1.98 1.39 1.73

Latest PE 33.5 -ve -ve 49.0 -ve 65.5 -ve 26.2 -ve 21.4

Latest PE 33.4 -ve -ve 49.3 -ve 65.7 26.5 13.9 21.6 12.3

Company Berger Paints-A ACI Limited- A AFC AgroBiotech-N Central Insur -A LafargeS Cement-Z Orion Infusions -A Premier Bank -A Prime Insur -A Grameen M F One-A Beach Hatchery -A

Closing (% change) 16.56 14.77 9.91 9.50 7.17 6.44 4.76 4.49 4.42 4.35

Average (% change) 20.76 14.98 13.79 10.35 4.79 3.40 5.31 7.89 4.08 3.62 Average (% change) 16.55 16.38 9.06 9.47 3.79 6.52 3.97 4.49 4.36 1.76

Closing average 147.50 234.20 1,235.50 57.23 66.08 1,285.99 44.99 1,148.05 10.96 1,197.87

Closing average 1242.40 236.26 57.30 26.48 65.68 44.63 11.00 25.60 47.13 23.67

Weekly closing 147.40 241.20 1,241.00 58.70 67.70 1,306.30 45.20 1,133.70 10.90 1,240.00

Weekly closing 1242.40 240.10 58.80 26.50 67.30 44.60 11.00 25.60 47.20 24.00

Weekly high 147.90 250.00 1,257.00 59.40 69.90 1,312.00 45.20 1,164.90 11.70 1,399.00

Weekly high 1250.00 247.00 59.10 26.50 69.90 45.10 11.90 25.60 48.00 25.00

Weekly low

Turnover in million

134.50 175.90 1,080.00 51.60 62.80 1,182.50 40.60 999.90 9.00 1,080.00

0.086 234.745 190.547 113.651 860.448 21.122 69.181 190.685 85.699 622.196

Weekly low

Turnover in million

1071.00 195.00 52.00 26.40 63.00 40.60 10.30 24.00 44.00 22.60

Latest EPS -10.24 5.28 57.68 1.54 2.16 41.12 4.81 48.55 1.53 39.57

Latest EPS

3.800 13.531 12.154 0.064 67.986 1.120 17.621 0.012 2.928 3.980

57.68 5.28 1.54 1.98 2.16 4.81 1.53 2.23 3.40 0.99

Latest PE -ve 44.4 21.4 37.2 30.6 31.3 9.4 23.6 7.2 30.3

Latest PE 21.5 44.7 37.2 13.4 30.4 9.3 7.2 11.5 13.9 23.9

Weekly news from trade server BATASHOE: 105% final cash dividend in addition to the 195% interim cash dividend declared and paid in December 2013; thus making a total 300% cash dividend, AGM: 19.06.2014, Record Date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 59.44, NAV per share of Tk. 164.96. ASIAPACINS: 12% cash, AGM: 14.08.2014, Record Date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.55, NAV per share of Tk. 16.50. GHCL: 10% cash dividend for the shareholders except Directors (directors holding 4,90,65,000 shares which is 68.15% of total shares), AGM: 09.07.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.94, NAV per share of Tk. 50.39. ARAMIT: 50% cash, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 07.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 11.68, NAV per share of Tk. 106.60. NTC: 30% cash, AGM: 21.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 24.46, NAV per share of Tk. 125.50. GQBALLPEN: 15% stock, AGM: 25.05.2014, Record Date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 3.23, NAV per share of Tk. 253.68. CONFIDCEM: 27.50% cash, AGM: 25.06.2014, Record Date: 14.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 8.09, NAV per share of Tk. 65.11 and NOCFPS of Tk. 10.42.** PEOPLESINS: 12.50% cash, AGM: 08.06.2014, Record Date: 12.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.27, NAV per share of Tk. 21.49 and NOCFPS of Tk. 3.74.** PLFSL: 10% stock, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.95, NAV per share of Tk. 18.44 and NOCFPS of Tk. 1.98.**

DHAKAINS: 20% cash, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 14.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.24, NAV per share of Tk. 18.26 and NOCFPS of Tk. 2.26.** FEDERALINS: 11% stock, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 19.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.21, NAV per share of Tk. 12.18 and NOCFPS of Tk. 1.46.** SQUARETEXT: 20% cash & 10% stock, AGM: 16.06.2014, Record Date: 20.05.2014. NAV of Tk. 4,864.12 million, EPS of Tk. 4.37 and NOCFPS of Tk. 4.86.** The Board of Directors has also approved Tk. 30.00 crore for BMRE, Capital Machineries and purchase of land for further expansion. NBL: 10% stock, AGM: 15.06.2014, Record date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.49, NAV per share of Tk. 16.86 and NOCFPS of Tk. 10.97.** BDWELDING: No dividend, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 19.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.24, NAV per share of Tk. 16.98 and NOCFPS of Tk. (0.11).** **for the year ended on December 31, 2013. MARICO: 50% final cash, AGM: 19.08.2014, Record Date: 02.07.2014. EPS of Tk. 43.99, NAV per share of Tk. 54.16 and NOCFPS of Tk. 85.84 for the year ended on March 31, 2014. RDFOOD: 10% stock, AGM: 29.05.2014, Record Date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.89, NAV per share of Tk. 17.72. BGIC: 12% cash, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record date: 12.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.36, NAV per share of Tk. 19.61. EASTERNINS: 20% cash, AGM:

24.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.46, NAV per share of Tk. 36.60. PREMIERBAN: 10% stock, AGM: 28.05.2014, Record Date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.53, consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 15.59. JANATAINS: 12.50% stock, AGM: 22.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.59, NAV per share of Tk. 16.10. KARNAPHULI: 7.5% cash & 5% stock, AGM: 19.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.70, NAV per share of Tk. 19.87 PHENIXINS: 20% cash, AGM: 18.06.2014, Record date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.71, NAV per share of Tk. 35.89. RANFOUNDRY: 22% cash, AGM: 25.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.84, NAV per share of Tk. 19.00. SONARBAINS: 12% stock, AGM: 19.06.2014, Record Date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.77, NAV per share of Tk. 15.46. PARAMOUNT: 10% stock, AGM: 25.06.2014, Record Date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.45, NAV per share of Tk. 13.92. ISLAMIINS: 15% stock, AGM: 09.07.2014, Record Date: 12.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.93, NAV per share of Tk. 13.83. BXPHARMA: 10% cash & 5% stock, AGM: 21.06.2014, Record Date: 18.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 4.01, NAV per share of Tk. 56.45. STANDARINS: 15% stock, AGM: 18.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 3.05, NAV per share of Tk. 16.85. SONARGAON: No dividend, AGM: 07.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. (0.81), NAV per share of Tk. 33.69.

The market tumbled heavily last week as the investors showed lack of confidence in local companies by selling off massive positions and becoming bullish in multinational corporations




% change 15.56 3.31 2.92 6.39 5.51 14.53 0.06 7.11 15.37 0.02 1.12 2.37 0.44 10.17 1.00 1.08 2.55 7.19 1.27 2.02 0.01

Million Taka 223.75 41.28 24.01 94.86 64.72 152.27 0.00 144.97 102.75 55.35 10.13 81.00 10.48 111.11 22.77 6.01 26.43 123.27 42.74 48.87 1.34


% change 16.12 2.97 1.73 6.83 4.66 10.97 0.00 10.44 7.40 3.99 0.73 5.84 0.76 8.00 1.64 0.43 1.90 8.88 3.08 3.52 0.10

Million Taka 2859.08 601.15 518.62 1177.10 998.62 2613.59 9.44 1348.91 2705.21 58.51 200.60 483.17 85.73 1833.17 191.66 188.54 458.41 1340.77 258.20 391.04 3.20


% change 15.60 3.28 2.83 6.42 5.45 14.26 0.05 7.36 14.76 0.32 1.09 2.64 0.47 10.00 1.05 1.03 2.50 7.32 1.41 2.13 0.02

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

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Meghna Petroleum -A Grameenphone-A LafargeS Cement-Z Renata Ltd. -A Square Pharma -A Olympic Ind. -A HeidelbergCement -A Padma Oil Co. -A Southeast Bank-A BD Submarine Cable-A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BD Submarine Cable-A LafargeS Cement-Z National Bank - B Grameenphone-A UNITED AIR-A Meghna Petroleum -A Matin Spinning-N Square Pharma -A Padma Oil Co. -A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A

Volume shares 2,957,737 3,312,814 13,116,550 527,226 2,168,882 2,353,786 867,260 1,466,684 17,718,902 1,794,119

Volume shares 437,994 1,041,000 3,244,502 158,400 3,123,171 125,071 829,600 116,866 91,209 1,035,622

Value in million 901.72 882.58 860.45 622.20 600.06 562.48 514.51 504.23 391.21 334.93

Value in million 81.10 67.99 43.69 42.17 39.12 38.05 33.47 32.41 31.35 28.67

% of total turnover 5.32 5.21 5.08 3.67 3.54 3.32 3.04 2.98 2.31 1.98

% of total turnover 6.77 5.67 3.65 3.52 3.26 3.18 2.79 2.70 2.62 2.39

Weekly closing 300.50 268.90 67.70 1240.00 281.70 240.30 590.10 346.40 21.70 182.10

Weekly closing 180.70 67.30 13.20 268.90 12.00 299.60 42.10 281.40 346.00 26.80

Price change -2.59 -0.52 7.63 5.48 1.08 -1.80 -3.69 0.43 -1.81 -9.04

Weekly opening 308.50 270.30 62.90 1175.60 278.70 244.70 612.70 344.90 22.10 200.20

Weekly high 315.00 271.70 69.90 1399.00 283.30 247.00 619.50 350.90 23.00 207.20

Weekly low 279.00 249.80 62.80 1080.00 255.00 221.00 571.10 315.10 19.70 170.00

Weekly average 299.84 269.68 66.08 1197.87 281.19 237.83 589.33 345.09 21.54 175.44

Price change -9.88 7.17 -2.94 -0.37 -9.09 -3.07 0.24 0.82 0.35 -4.96

Weekly opening 200.50 62.80 13.60 269.90 13.20 309.10 42.00 279.10 344.80 28.20

Weekly high 207.00 69.90 14.10 272.00 13.30 310.90 42.40 283.70 350.00 29.00

Weekly low 168.50 63.00 12.30 260.40 11.90 295.00 38.40 271.00 315.00 26.10

Weekly average 175.63 65.68 13.06 269.43 12.04 299.40 41.13 281.09 344.64 26.84


Hwa Well gets nod to be listed n Tribune Report The Dhaka Stock Exchange has approved the listing of Hwa Well Textiles (BD) that raised Tk20 crore from public through initial public offering. The approval came at a board meeting of the premier bourse on Wednesday, DSE officials said. It is the 34th textile company that was listed with the Dhaka Stock Exchange. “Share trading of the company will be announced this week after completion of some listing formalities,” said a DSE official. The IPO (Initial public offering) of Hwa Well Ltd has been oversubscribed by more than 44 times on offer. Investors had ordered shares worth over Tk881 crore against the offer of Tk20 crore, according to the Chittagong Stock Exchange. Of the total subscribed amount, resident Bangladeshis deposited Tk870 crore and non-resident Bangladeshis Tk11 crore against offer. The company offered two crore ordinary shares of Tk10 each. In December last year, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission approved the company’s IPO for purchasing and developing land, construction of factory building, changing existing machines and meeting the IPO expenses. The company’s earnings per share stood at Tk3.66 each and net asset value of Tk28.25, according to its financial statement at the end of June 30 this year. l


Japan considers tax breaks to promote investment, help companies n

Online retail kicks off

n Reuters, Tokyo Japan is considering expanding tax breaks and loosening some rules to promote investment in start-ups as part of the second installment of the government’s economic growth strategy, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Saturday. Japan is also likely to say next month that it will lower the effective corporate tax rate to 20% from around 35% currently, the Yomiuri newspaper said citing several government sources, which could encourage firms to boost muchneeded capital expenditure in Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is set to announce the second part of its growth strategy next month. Investor disappointment with the first installment of the strategy last year contributed to a decline in Japanese shares. One proposal is to expand the value of an investment that a so-called angel investor can deduct from his or her taxable income from the current limit of 10m yen ($97,800) to several times as much, the Nikkei reported without citing the source of its information. An angel investor is a wealthy individual who invests in promising start-ups that sometimes struggle to get funding from large venture capital firms. The government may also expand the scheme to companies started within the past five years from the current limit of companies that have been

founded in the past three years, the Nikkei said. In fiscal 2013, angel investors used Japan’s current tax breaks to invest in only 48 firms, which is only a tenth or even hundredth of the number of investments in other countries such as

Bill Gates on track to own no Microsoft stock in four years

Bill Gates takes part in an interview with Reuters in Singapore Advisors and BlackRock have slightly bigger stakes, according to Thomson Reuters data. Spokesmen for Gates and Microsoft declined comment. Gates owned 49% of Microsoft at its initial public offering in 1986, which made him an instant multi-millionaire. With Microsoft’s explosive growth, he soon became the world’s richest person, and retains that title with a fortune of about $77bn today, according to

Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited inaugurated its 43rd branch at Merajnagar Super Market in Shampur, Kadamtoli, Dhaka on April 30. The bank’s chair, Md Yousuf Ali Howlader launched the branch as chief guest

Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury, managing director and CEO of Trust Bank Limited seen attending an international seminar on sustainable SME development on April 30 at CIRDAP CICC Auditorium in Dhaka. Dr Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank was chief guest at the seminar organised by a joint effort of Bangladesh Bank, CIRDAP, BIBM, MIDAS (UK)

Britain, the Nikkei said. In addition to a lack of start-up activity, established Japanese firms have sometimes complained that Japan’s tax structure discourages investment because corporate taxes in other countries are much lower.

Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party want to lower the corporate tax rate gradually starting from fiscal 2015, but they need to discuss the details with their coalition partner, the New Komeito party, the Yomiuri reported. l

10,000 women entrepreneurs  B1 COLUMN 6

n Reuters, Seattle Bill Gates, the former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft Corp, will have no direct ownership in the company he co-founded by mid-2018 if he keeps up his recent share sales. Gates, who started the company that revolutionized personal computing with school-friend Paul Allen in 1975, has sold 20 million shares each quarter for most of the last dozen years under a pre-set trading plan. Assuming no change to that pattern, Gates will have no direct ownership of Microsoft shares at all four years from now. With his latest sales this week, Gates was finally eclipsed as Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder by the company’s other former CEO, Steve Ballmer, who retired in February, but has held on to his stock. According to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Gates now owns just over 330 million Microsoft shares after the sales this week. Ballmer owns just over 333 million, according to Thomson Reuters data. That gives both men around 4% each of the total outstanding shares, making them by far the biggest individual shareholders. Fund firms The Vanguard Group, State Street Global


Sunday, May 4, 2014


Forbes magazine. Gates handed the CEO role to Ballmer in 2000, and stood down as chairman in February. He remains on the board and spends about a third of his time as technology adviser to new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. For the past six years, his focus has been on philanthropy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is largely funded by his Microsoft fortune. l

Atiur Rahman said many women have entrepreneurial skills and should be provided with supports they require to bring about changes in the male-dominant economic system. “Since half the population are women, we will lose national output by under utilising their skills and innovative ideas,” said Governor. He stressed the need to promote self-employment in the face of relative decline of public sector jobs. According to him, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can be regarded as a potential lifeline to generate jobs and promote inclusive economic development. “SMEs are the best option we are left with. In this backdrop promoting women entrepreneurship has become one of the key policy interventions of Bangladesh Bank,” Atiur Rahman said. He said women entrepreneurship development is one of the important dimensions of that inclusive policy of the central bank. “Engaging women in economic activity by providing enhanced access to financial services is the key target of (the central bank.” “Due to our policy support and refinance scheme, financing to women entrepreneurs have increased substantially over the last four years.” Governor said Bangladesh Bank would take initiative to motivate the Ministry of Industries to ensure that the SME strategy under consideration

NRB Commercial Bank Limited launched its 13th branch at Gorai in Mirzapur, Tangail on April 30. The bank’s additional managing director, ASM Bulbul inaugurated the branc

Jamuna Bank Foundation recently organised eye, gynae, diabates and general treatment services free of cost at Barura Haje Nowab Ali Pilot High School in Comilla. Engr Md Atiqur Rahman, director of Jamuna Bank Limited was chief guest on the occasion

should address specific issues in access to finance for women entrepreneurs. “We believe that the strategy should promote the gender perspective of enterprise development by focusing on women entrepreneurship support.” The seminar was organised jointly by Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM), Ministry of Industries, the European Union, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), SME Foundation, Federation Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), INSPIRED, WEAB and Chittagong Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. l

BB warns new banks  B1 COLUMN 3

It also found some new banks provided loan exceeding the single borrower exposure limit of 15% and some banks’ tendency to provide big loans where they were supposed to disburse small loan as new banks, said a senior executive of the central bank. The new banks are also collecting deposits at higher interest rate and disbursing loan at lower interest rate comparing the market rate. The interest rates on deposit of new banks are above 11% as compared to banks’ 9% to 10%. Of the new banks, NRB Bank charged lowest lending rate at 12.81%. The governor also asked the managing directors of the banks not to allow intervention by the bank owners in the management and recruitment. l

Tribune Business Desk

Inpace Management Services Ltd launched its e-commerce site at a city convention centre on April 30. The new venture named inpacebazar. com aims at developing e-commerce sector in the country to create a convenient online marketplace by reducing pressure on other outlets along with saving electricity and fuel consumption. The site currently offers wide-range of products from ICT, digital lifestyle, home appliances, consumer, electrical & electronics to boutique, according to a press release. Managing Director of the company Md Kamrul Ahsan, who is also the chief executive of the venture, chaired the launching ceremony of the Addressing the ceremony, he noted that the company was poised to add value to the lives of its customers by its timely services. The sector is far from reaching its mature stage as the currently lucrative online retailing has just begun its era in the country. According to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the annual online sales amount to more than Tk200m in the country, said Kamrul Ahsan. “Looking at the increasing demand of online retailing by consumers, we have come up with the new service to reach our customers’ products at their door step.” The ceremony was attended, among others, by Abu Hanif Md Mahfuzul Arif, president of Bangladesh Computer Samity. l

Oil prices turn lower in Asian trade n AFP, Singapore Oil prices turned lower in volatile Asian trade on Friday after US crude stockpiles surged, with investors keeping an eye out for further clues on the health of the US economy. New York’s West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was down three cents to $99.39 a barrel in afternoon trade, and Brent North Sea crude for June dipped six cents to $107.70. Both contracts had been up in mid-morning trade. Prices eased on Thursday after the US Department of Energy’s weekly estimate of crude oil stockpiles showed a gain of 1.7 million barrels to 339.4 million - the highest weekly level since 1982 - indicating weaker demand in the world’s largest economy. That came a day after official data showed the US economy grew just 0.1% year-on-year in the first three months of 2014, much slower than the 2.6% in the previous quarter and well short of forecasts. However, research house Capital Economics noted that the US Federal Reserve’s statement on the economy “takes a more upbeat tone than the one issued after the last meeting in midMarch”. Wednesday’s statement said the economy had “picked up” after a bout of fierce winter weather. Traders were awaiting fresh jobs figures due out in Washington later on Friday for further signs of a US recovery. l

IDCOL has recently received the “Asia Power & Electricity Award 2014” in the category of “Solar project of the year” for its efforts, accomplishments, and positive contributions under the solar home system (SHS) programme. Nazmul Haque, director (investment) and head of advisory at IDCOL received the award at the Resorts World Convention Centre in Singapore on April 23

Social Islami Bank Limited held its 310th board meeting at its corporate office on May 3. The bank’s chair, major (retd) Dr Md Rezaul Haque presided over the meeting



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Sunday, May 4, 2014

The market opportunity with the next 3 billion n Bijon Islam What is the status quo of the world right now? The question can have multiple answers ranging from total population, consumption or production, to broader aspects like economic development or technological advancement. However how far have we really progressed as a civilisation over the last few centuries? We have rapidly advanced in terms of population growth for sure (more than 6.5 billion now), have moved on to the information age, but in terms of quality of living of the greater mass, maybe we were better off in the past. There are around 2.7 billion people who live below  $2 a day. That is two out of every five. The total wealth distribution of the world has become extremely skewed. The  richest 0.5% control over 35% of the total wealth. The US and Europe collectively own 60%+ of the world’s wealth. The rise of capitalism propelled by the industrial revolutions, world trade, technology, and consumerism means that total resources of the world get controlled by those with economic might. The story, however, is not totally bleak or that of only profit driven institutions, the advanced economies have actually invested $2.5tn over the past 60 years  into the developing nations. Multilateral agencies, international NGOs, donor firms, and local NGOs have done a fantastic job in transitioning many developing countries into emerging economies. Yet poverty is still rampant and un-

less traditional intervention models are altered, the status quo cannot be rapidly improved. Additionally, the recent financial meltdown followed by the Eurozone crisis means that the funding sources may dry up over the coming years resulting in downward pressure on financial aid or grants. Conversely, we can look at this as an opportunity. Instead of focusing on aid based interventions can we focus on building sustainable models where we work not in isolation but hand in

hand with entrepreneurs, investors and business to explore new markets, discover more customers and in the process transform lives of this 2.7 billion people? The solution lies in making them an integral part of the market economy, creating employment, and converting them into consumers and not keeping them in the fringes of the informal economy. This is where the Zero-Based Design discussed by Paul Polak and Mal Warwick in their book The Business

Facebook lets users limit data shared with apps n

Reuters, San Francisco

Facebook introduced new features on Wednesday that let users limit how much personal information they share with third-party mobile apps, a move meant to quell privacy concerns as the social network seeks to become a top entry port to the Internet. In recent years, Facebook Inc has successfully encouraged a growing number of third-party app makers to allow users to log in with their Facebook identity rather than, say, by entering an email address or creating a dedicated account. The result has been an influx of valuable data for the world’s No. 1 social network, but concerns have also mounted about third-party developers gaining access to private information. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at Facebook’s developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday that a new version of Facebook’s login tool, called “log in anonymously,” would let users control what information they allow third-party apps to see. He told developers the tool would let users feel more comfortable about logging into apps using Facebook. “By giving people more power and control, they’re going to trust all the

apps that we build more, and over time use them more. And that’s positive for everyone,” said Zuckerberg. The revamped log-in screen will let users select which personal information stored on the social network, such as an email address, birthday or items that they have “liked” on Facebook, can be accessed by any particular app. The user’s names and gender will remain visible to the app. On Wednesday, the social network also rolled out a new service to distribute ads across a network of mobile applications, opening the door to a new source of revenue. The service, which has been in the works on for some time, allows mobileapp makers to insert various ads within their software, with Facebook sharing advertising dollars with the developers. “This is really the first time that we’re going to help you monetize in a serious way on mobile,” Zuckerberg said. Facebook faces tough competition in the active mobile ad network market. Google Inc’s AdMob service already allows advertisers to distribute ads to mobile apps, while Twitter Inc said on Tuesday that its MoPub ad network can reach 1 billion mobile users. Twitter’s MoPub, which serves as an

advertising management tool for app publishers, will allow mobile apps to feature ads for the Facebook audience as well as other networks, the two companies said. Facebook began testing a mobile ad network with a limited number of advertisers and mobile app publishers in January. It plans to expand the number of app makers that can use the service, although it did not provide a time frame for when the system will become broadly available. The new mobile ad system, dubbed the Facebook Audience Network, will leverage Facebook’s more than 1 million advertisers and its own ability to target users based on their traits. Facebook generates the bulk of its revenue from ads that appear on its own Web pages and within its own mobile app. By distributing ads across a constellation of independent mobile apps, Facebook effectively expands its advertising space, opening the door to more revenue. To get access to the extra ad space, ad networks typically share the revenue with their partners. Facebook will share most of the ad revenue with apps makers, as is standard in the industry, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. l

Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers can make a difference. The core idea is to look at the BOP market as a fortune (as often emphasised by the late Dr CK Prahalad). With infusion of private capital into mission driven businesses, affordable essential goods and services need to be designed for the next market of approximately 3 billion, while generating income and employment for them. The opportunity space for busi-

nesses focusing on frugal solution is immense, starting from providing safe drinking water, electricity, low cost nutritious foods to affordable education, housing and healthcare. To bring this approach to reality, development partners, private enterprise, and the government has to act in synergy. Grameen-Danone launched “ShoktiDoi” in 2006, which provides essential nutrients to rural children at subsidised cost whilst cross-fertilising the rural business from premium sales in the urban market. This means that the business is sustainable, generates income for future expansion, creates employment and markets at the rural level. Unilever employs a business model where they employ a female intensive rural Salesforce who does door-to-door sales of hygiene and personal care products to the rural market (mainly in the form mini-pack shampoos, soaps), another example of tapping into the BOP market. The sheer volume of 3 billion means that if businesses can tap into this market via frugal market solutions, the economies of scale would provide the requisite sustainability. At the same time, employment would be generated for the BOP, and they come in as active consumers thereby enhancing the overall economic size. This seems to be the way forward for us to end poverty and develop. l Bijon Islam is the director of strategy at LightCastle Partners, an emerging market-specialised business-planning and intelligence firm. This article was originally published in the LCP blog

China underwhelmed by ‘world’s No 1 economy’ data n AFP, Beijing China may be poised to overtake the United States as the world’s top economy sooner than expected, according to one measure, but some underwhelmed Chinese would rather have clean air and political freedoms. The World Bank on Wednesday published a vast study on the rankings of national wealth creation on the basis of 2011 figures. It was carried out with several international organisations to compare national production figures in nominal terms, and also to reflect differences in buying power - or purchasing power parity (PPP). Gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States in 2011 amounted to $15.533tn, more than twice China’s $7.321tn. But after adjusting for PPP, the figure for China rose to $13.495tn which means that the rapidly growing Asian giant could overtake the United States as soon as this year. Thursday was a public holiday in China so official reaction was not immediately available. Communist authorities have in the past played down such talk, keen instead to stress that in per capita

terms, their people remain a long way behind the world’s richest nations. But there was scepticism, and cynicism, among Chinese social media users. “They are talking about PPP, not GDP,” wrote one of them on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. “As long as GDP, China is still far behind US,” continued the post, which was written in English and was echoed by several others. Some weibo users suggested they were more interested in tangible indicators directly related to their quality of life. “Low income, cannot breath freely, no freedom, why should I care even if it’s No 1 in the Universe? Not to mention No 1 on Earth,” wrote a user. “Is this more important than blue sky and clear water?” posted another. China’s decades-long economic boom has brought rising environmental problems, with large parts of the country repeatedly blanketed in thick smog and both waterways and land polluted. One user suggested that such rankings were more closely watched overseas than in China. “No domestic reports about this, only foreign media always talk about it,” the post said. l

Global tablet sales freeze up, survey shows n AFP, New York The global market for tablet computers went into hibernation in early 2014, ending a long run of sizzling growth, a survey showed Thursday. The IDC report said sales of tablets including newly introduced convertible PCs totaled 50.4 million units in the first quarter of 2014. That was just 3.9% higher than the same period a year earlier, and down 35.7% from the busy holiday season that included the fourth quarter of 2013. IDC said that the market is suffering from saturation, and that many people are using large-screen smartphones or “phablets” instead of tablets. The introduction of new “2-in-1” devices such as the Microsoft surface, which aims to serve as a PC and a tablet, failed to gain traction. “The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s,” said Tom Mainelli, an IDC analyst. “In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments.” Tablet sales have been surging and grew roughly 50% in 2013, but that pace appears to be slowing. IDC said Apple remained the largest tablet vendor with 16.4 million iPads sold in the first quarter. But its market share slid to 32.5% from 40.2% in early 2013. l

India threatens WTO action over EU mango ban n AFP, New Delhi India on Friday threatened to drag the European Union to the World Trade Organisation over its ban on mango imports. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma warned the EU’s decision to slap the ban on import of the highly prized Alphonso mangoes, known as the “king of fruits”, could have “very negative fallout” on trade ties. Sharma said he had written to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht urging him to overturn the “arbitrary” import ban on mangoes as well as four vegetables from India including bitter gourd and eggplant. “We do hope that the EU will see sense,” Sharma told reporters in New Delhi. He urged the 28-nation EU not to “precipitate the situation any further, which would lead us to go to the WTO”. The Geneva-based WTO deals with trade disputes. In March, the EU plant health care committee said it would impose the ban after finding pests in 207 Indian consignments of fruits and vegetables. The EU said it was acting to tackle what it called “significant shortcomings” in India’s certification system. It noted that a high number of Indian consignments contained “pests, mainly insects, like non-European fruit flies”. India, the world’s largest mango exporter, sells up to 70,000 tonnes of the fruit globally. l

World Bank approves $1 bn loan to Pakistan n AFP, Islamabad The World Bank said Friday it had approved a $1bn loan for Pakistan and “envisages” another $11bn package spanning five years. The loans are meant to support Pakistan’s struggling energy sector and bolster its efforts to increase growth and investment and arrest poverty. “The World Bank Group approved a package of assistance worth US$1bn to support Pakistan’s economic reforms on Thursday,” the bank said in a statement. “The assistance package consists of two development policy credits (DPCs) to support the government of Pakistan’s efforts to improve the power sector, and reinvigorate growth and investment for reducing poverty and building shared prosperity,” it said. The bank also said it was “envisaging” $11bn worth of loans under a new country partnership strategy for Pakistan over the next five years, covering fiscal years 2015 to 2019.


A menu displays a non-tipping policy in front of Japanese restaurant Riki, in New York on May thursday. A number of restaurants across the US have decided to discourage patrons from tipping and to include the service charge in the bill. In a country where waiters rely largely on the 15 to 20 percent expected tip for their earnings, some owners see doing away with tips as a way of paying their staff a decent salary AFP

The government, however, said the World Bank had approved the $11bn partnership strategy to tackle its four main challenges of energy, economy, education and fighting extremism. “The other landmark achievement of the day was the approval of country partnership strategy under which Pakistan will get US$11bn in the shape of project loans and budgetary support,” it said. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has “congratulated the whole nation on this success and observed that the country partnership strategy is aligned fully with the vision of Pakistan’s development challenges around the four Es ‘Energy, Economy, Extremism and Education’, based on the manifesto of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and its commitment to the nation,” it said. Philippe Le Houerou, vice president for the Bank’s South Asia region, praised Pakistan for stabilising its economy and starting reforms in the power sector. l

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