Boishakh 25, 1421 Rajab 8, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 38
THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
B1 | AGGRESSIVE TAX DRIVE ON CARDS
7 | AUTOPSIES FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
20 pages | Price: Tk10
8 | MONICA LEWINSKY BREAKS SILENCE
13 | ‘DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER’
Who hired RAB: Shamim or Nur? Now BNP questions Nazrul was once picked up by RAB in 2011 when he was contesting city polls kar Ali Manik, Ashif Islam n Julfi Tarek told “I do not Shaon and Ahmed Zayeef, Shaihidul if he ever mentioned RAB was involved, he would put him in crossfire
fear anyone except RAB. If anything happens to Nazrul, it will be done by RAB”
ganj city panel mayor and ward councillor Nazrul Islam, senior lawyer Chandan Sarker and their associates were abducted in broad daylight from a busy road and later murdered. Not only the commoners and the conscious citizens, but also the justice seekers and those close to the victims are divided on the matter of the identity of the mastermind. One section believes that Nazrul’s
political rival Nur Hossain, another Awami League leader and also a councillor of the same city corporation, plotted the abduction. Another section believes that the mastermind was influential Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman, who used his close associate Nur Hossain and RAB 11 to serve his personal vendetta against Nazrul. Shamim Osman is not only a local
back from Narayanganj It is hard to find a person in Narayanganj who believes that RAB was not involved in the recent sensational abduction and murder of seven people in the port city. Their belief has been reinforced by the recent removal of three defence officers from RAB 11, the unit of the elite force stationed the city. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), formed in 2004, is an elite strike force comprising both commissioned and non-commissioned members from the army, air force, navy and police. However, there are conflicting views surrounding the identity of the plotter of the chilling crime, in which Narayan-
Nur Hossain in February threatened to kill Nazrul Islam in 15 days
MP and an Awami League stalwart, but he has also been often branded as a godfather and linked to most big crimes in Narayanganj – a major commercial hub near capital Dhaka. Although Shamim is not officially accused in any of the cases filed with the local police stations in connection with the seven murders, but prime suspect Nur Hossain was known as PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
necessity of RAB n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla The BNP which had formed the Rapid Action Battalion raised the question of the necessity of the force because of its alleged involvement with different sorts of crimes in recent times. “The force has been assigned to maintain law and order in the country and protect public life, but now they snatch people. In such a situation, time has come to think as to whether the force in the name of the elite force should continue or not,” BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a press briefing yesterday at the party’s central office. Allegations of extrajudicial killings were raised against RAB soon after it was formed during the tenure of the
‘Seven abductees strangled’
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‘News against RAB may help real culprits escape’
n Tribune Report The seven people including Ward Councillor Nazrul Islam, lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar and five others abducted and killed in Narayanganj were strangled by professional killers, the autopsy report said. “The autopsy report of 7 bodies was prepared between the night of April 30 and the next morning .They were killed about 48-72 hours before the time of autopsy,” Narayanganj Civil Surgeon Dulal Chandra Chowdhury said yesterday after receiving the autopsy report. Dr Md Asauzaman Miah, resident medical officer of Narayanganj General Hospital and chief of the post-mortem board, submitted the report to the civil surgeon at the latter’s office around 11am. Dulal Chandra Chowdhury said: “The abducted seven people were choked to death before they were hit in the backs of their heads. The killers dug holes under the navel of each of the bodies to prevent the corpses from floating.” “All the victims were killed in the same way which proved that the killers are trained and professionals,” he added. The seven bodies, including that of the missing ward councillor and the lawyer, surfaced in the Shitalakhya river on April 30. However, no one could be arrested over the incident until now. The prime accused in the abduction and murder of the seven is Awami Leauge leader and a Ward Councillor
BNP-led four-party alliance government. But the then BNP government supported the activities of the newly formed force. In recent times, many allegations had been raised against the elite force especially after the abduction and killing of seven people in Narayanganj. However, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday said they had no plan to dissolve the elite force. Fakhrul said three RAB officials were dismissed and investigation was going on against them. “It means that the government has acknowledged the incident.” The spokesperson for the party demanded immediate resignation of the
n Tribune Report The Rapid Action Battalion headquarters yesterday said publishing news reports implicating the elite force in seven murders in Narayanganj might influence the investigation process. A number of probe bodies have been working on the abduction and murders.
As the investigation is underway, such kind of news will only influence the investigation process
The demarcation pillar seen on the left of the photo marks the boundary for Shitalakkhya River. Although the space on the right falls under the river, unscrupulous sand traders are using the land – stretching up to 300 feet – to carry out their illegal business. The photo was taken yesterday near Kanchpur in Narayanganj SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
Kamal: Lists of accused and suspects being prepared n Mohosinul Karim State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday said the law enforcers and intelligence agencies were preparing the lists of the accused and suspects for the killing of seven people in Narayanganj. “After investigation, the names of the accused and suspects will be included in the case whether their names
are mentioned in the first information report, filed with the local police stations, or not,” he told reporters at his office. He said his ministry had already instructed the border guard and airport authorities to stay alert so that the suspected perpetrators and accused in the case cannot leave the country. They had taken necessary measures in this regard, he added.
In reply to a query whether the government thinks the killers are still in the country, Khan said, “We are not sure about their whereabouts. The law enforcers will arrest them if they can know their whereabouts. But we are trying to arrest them. We hope they will be arrested soon.” “The investigation into the incident continues. We will take stern action against those to be found guilty,”
the state minister said. He added: “No one involved with the incident would be spared. They would be brought to book.” Admitting that the incidents of abductions spread across the country, he said, “The law enforcers are striving to immediately rescue the victims. Almost all the victims were rescued alive except for the seven victims in PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
About the involvement of RAB, several investigation committees including one formed by the force are analysing evidence to unearth the mystery. “Some media have been publishing news about RAB’s involvement in the incidents since April 27. As the investigation to confirm the involvement of RAB is underway, such kind of news will only influence the investigation process,” RAB said in a rejoinder issued yesterday on a news item of a Bangla newspaper. RAB said such activities would bury the real mystery behind the incidents and the main accused would escape. It would also create negative impact among the force’s personnel. As a result, the law and order of the country would deteriorate, and militancy and terrorism rise. l
Arms seized at rail Government to carry forward Tk3,000 Court forces out Thai PM, stations meant crore for PPP in next budget part of her cabinet for Jamaat Currently a number of projects most private sector investors often “Therefore her prime minister stan Mohammad Jamil Khan n Asif Showkat Kallol n AP, Bangkok failed to submit strong proposals, – small and big – are waiting to be tus has ended... Yingluck can no longer The supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami are allegedly funding import of arms and ammunition in the capital ahead of verdicts in war crimes cases against its top leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami and Delawar Hossain Sayedee. The recent seizure of modern arms and explosives from the Airport and the Kamalapur railway stations on April 28 and 29 gives an impression that those were being brought in to use in violent attacks centring the verdicts which are set to be pronounced any day, according to investigators and intelligence officials. The Dhaka Tribune on April 27 PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
The government has carried forward the previous allocation of Tk3,000 crore for public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives in the next fiscal year as there has been no significant disbursement this fiscal year for the sector. An official of the Finance Division told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that they were happy that PPP initiatives would not need any extra fund in the next budget. The official, however, regretted the fact that the private sector has failed to utilise the allocated amount. “Only Tk100 crore of the allocation for the current fiscal year has been utilised.” A number of officials alleged that
which did not get approved and the funds remained unutilised.
Of 29 PPP projects, the government has signed contract of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway project worth over $1.4bn There were strict rules and regulations regarding the disbursement of the PPP fund, but investors do not comply with those, sources of the Finance Division said.
launched shortly. A year ago, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the first PPP project would be setting up of dialysis machines in Dhaka and Chittagong. Two projects – two hemdialysis centres at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital and the National Institute of Kidney Diseases and Urology – are now in the procurement stage. Of a total of 29 PPP projects, the government has signed contract of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway project worth over $1.4bn to connect Dhaka city with the Shahjalal International Airport. The Italian-Thai Development PAGE 2 COLUMN 6
Thailand’s Constitutional Court yesterday dismissed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine ministers for abuse of power, leaving the government clinging to power but the nation is still locked in a political crisis. The cabinet swiftly appointed a deputy premier – Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan – to be Yingluck’s replacement as the ruling party struggled to regain its footing after the judicial blow. The court, which has played a key role in deposing two other Shinawatra-linked governments in recent turbulent years, ruled unanimously that Yingluck acted illegally by transferring a top security official in 2011.
B1 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to hold a meeting with civil aviation ministry today, where a decision may come if the Ruposhi Bangla hotel will be fully or partially closed during renovation.
5 The interns at RMCH are now refusing to treat any journalist after a few newsmen filed a case against the doctors for assaulting them on the night of April 21.
6 A link road to Jamuna bridge, is at risk as a vested interested group, in the name of a cooperative society, has been lifting sand without taking permission from authorities concerned, from three ponds adjacent to the road which will ultimately take a toll on the bridge.
09 Three weeks after South Korea’s ferry tragedy, the government yesterday said it miscounted the number of survivors, the latest of many missteps that have eroded the nation’s confidence in its leaders. 09 Thailand’s 28th prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, served two years and nine months in office before being forced out yesterday by a court that found her guilty of abuse of power.
12 Celebrating 153rd birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
11 The ICT 2 has started contempt of court proceedings against David Bergman for posting some comments in his personal blog. The tribunal, in its order, stated that those blog posts have the potential effect of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice.
14 Ryan Giggs is still to decide about his Manchester United future despite making what appeared to be a farewell appearance in a 3-1 win over Hull City. Giggs, the club’s current interim manager, sent himself on as a 70th-minute substitute in Tuesday’s Premier League game at Old Trafford.
stay in her position acting as caretaker prime minister,” presiding Judge Charoon Intachan said in a televised ruling. Nine cabinet ministers who endorsed the decision to transfer Thawil Pliensri were also stripped of their status. But fears that the court would dismiss the entire cabinet proved unfounded. Niwattumrong, a Thaksin-loyalist who is also commerce minister, was quickly promoted to the role of caretaker premier. He vowed to press ahead with a planned July 20 election to establish a PAGE 2 COLUMN 5
HC reproaches official for lethargy n Nazmus Sakib The High Court reprimanded a Supreme Court official yesterday and asked the Supreme Court registrar office to take departmental action against him for not sending copies of its order to respondents on Tuesday which directed that RAB could not take part in the investigation of the case regarding the killing of seven people in Narayanganj. Mohammad Hossain Miah, superintendent of the section that sends orders to respondents, was the official who was rebuked. The order said the RAB Director-General should carry out a departmental probe into whether any member of the force was involved in the incident or practiced wilful negligence in taking action after receiving information about the abductions. However, about one hour before the admonition was issued by the bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore, copies of the order were sent to the public administration secretary, the home secretary, the law secretary, the IGP, the Director General of RAB and the Chief of CID via a special messenger, Supreme Court’s additional registrar Sharif Uddin Ahmad told the Dhaka Tribune. Meanwhile, after receiving the copy of the High Court order, the Public Administration Ministry immediately formed a seven-member probe body yesterday, led by its Additional Secretary Shahjahan Ali Mollah, Public Ad-
ministration Ministry Senior Secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury said to the Dhaka Tribune. The committee comprised three officials from the Public Administration Ministry, two from the Home Ministry and another two from the Law Ministry, he said. However, he could not say the names of the other committee members over the phone last night. Kamal said the committee will begin its investigation immediately to submit its report to the court within the specified time. The court directed the public administration secretary, home secretary, law secretary, IGP, RAB DG, CID chief and the head of the seven-member probe committee to submit their respective reports containing their respective actions taken in compliance with the order within seven days after receiving the copies of the order. The bench also fixed May 15 for passing any further order. On Monday, the bench, on its own motion, directed the seven-member committee to probe into whether there was any linkage or wilful negligence on the part of any person of the administration or any member of the law enforcement agencies in the abduction of seven people. The committee will be inspecting whether anyone from the administration or from the law enforcement agencies had any involvement in the killings after the abductions. The committee could seek assistance from anybody and they would have to assist them, the court said. l
Demonstrating Narayanganj lawyers split into 3 n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj The Narayanganj lawyers split into three groups to attain their demand for the immediate arrest of the murderers of senior lawyer Chandan Sarkar and six others. The lawyers observed their programs separately in Narayanganj, yesterday. The lawyers wore black badges in protest of the murders and brought out a procession which marched the court premises and past the offices of the deputy commissioner and the police super. Later they held a rally in front of the library auditorium. The rally was addressed by Zakir Hossain, general secretary of the Narayanganj Bar Association, and was chaired by Sakhawat Hossain, president of the organisation. They urged the lawyers to make the mass hunger strike, set to happen today, a success. Simultaneously, similar programs were observed by the Awami-league backed Lawyer’s Coordination Forum and the Jatiyatabadi Lawyer’s Forum. Humayun Kabir and Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, leaders of the Jatiyatabadi Lawyer’s Forum told the Dhaka Tribune that the president of the bar is declaring programs on his own without consulting with other lawyers and he is not allowing the other leaders to make speeches on this occasion. Anisur Rahman Dipu, leader of the Lawyer’s Coordination Forum and ex president of the district bar said: “We are united in our demand of justice. But we don’t endorse the bar president’s decision to besiege the RAB 11 office as he took the decision without unanimous allegiance from the bar association.” l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Arms seized PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
published a special story about the Jamaat-Shibir terror plans. On April 28, based on information, members of Government Railway Police (GRP) arrested Shamim and Nur Islam from the Dhaka-bound “Subarna Express” at the Airport Railway Station along with an AK-22 rifle, two magazines, eight bullets, three knives, 10 power-gel explosive rolls and 10 detonators stuffed inside a travel bag. A day after the recovery, the law enforcers seized another AK 22 rifle, two magazines, eight bullets and three sharp knives hidden in a bag in an abandoned condition on a pile of sleepers at the Kamalapur Railway Station. Later, a case was filed with the railway police and the arrestees placed on a 10-day remand. According to investigators, even law enforcers hardly use such sophisticated weapons. The US-made automated rifles have an effective range of around 500 metres and are mostly used in battles. In both cases of the arms haul, the railway police have found involvement of Jamaat after investigating and inter-
rogating the two arrestees. “During interrogation, the two arrestees Shamim and Nurul Islam disclosed to police about Jamaat funding for the consignment,” Rafiqul Islam, sub-inspector at Kamalapur railway police station and also the investigation officer of the case, told the Dhaka Tribune. “The arrestees are very smart. Initially, they misguided us by providing false information. However, we have cross checked their information and finally confirmed their connection with Jamaat-Shibir.” The official said the duo told police about how Jamaat-Shibir men helped their need families with money. When contacted, Nazrul Islam, the railway east police superintendent, told the Dhaka Tribune that the arrestees confessed that it had been their first consignment and they were supposed to get Tk40,000. The police are yet to be confirmed about the financiers, Nazrul said. But the arrestees confessed to police that they had been given a mobile number to keep contact with an unknown person. “Now, we are analysing the others details,” the official added. l
Lists of accused PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
Narayanganj. The government has taken strong stance against the killers as it is unexpected.” About forced retirement of three army and naval officers, the state minister said, “We are trying to find out the hidden criminals of the elite force. We have already punished several officials of the force for their offence. The rests will also be punished as they have tarnished the image of the force.”
He, however, said the government had no plan to disband the RAB even after an allegation raised against it for the abduction and killing in Narayanganj. He said, “The RAB was formed with an aim to take quick action against the criminals and the force is doing its duty as per the laws and expectations. How will we take quick action if the force is disbanded? So, there is no reason to disband the force.” l
Now BNP questions necessity of RAB PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
government for, what he said, failure to stop killings, abductions and forced disappearances. “The news on killings and abductions does not seem new to us. Everyone is in fear for his life, but abduction has not stopped yet. In the newspapers, it was seen that three RAB officials were closed for their alleged involvement with Narayanganj murders. Through this, the government has acknowledged that the RAB was involved with the killings,” he said. The BNP leader said people from all walks of life protested the killings and abductions. Even civil society
members and common people also expressed their solidarity with the protesters, but no result had yet been seen. “People and civil society members say the force was supposed to ensure the security of people and if that force endangers public life, then what is the necessity of that organisation,” he questioned. When asked about whether his party wants the dissolution of the RAB, Fakhrul dodged the question and said, “BNP is the party of people. People’s voice is our voice.” Responding to another query he said, “BNP will announce programme soon protesting the killings and abduc-
tions which will ease tension over such incidents. And the programme on the visit of Khaleda Zia along with the central leaders to Narayanganj will also be announced.” About the RAB’s probe body on Narayanganj incident, he said, “People never get any good result from such investigation committee.” He claimed that 287 people were killed and 25 abducted during the period between January 2013 and February 2014. “We have collected the information through our party sources and then it was crosschecked. Even after that there might be some errors,” he said, urging the media to highlight the grav-
ity of the killings and abductions, not the errors. Later at a city hotel, the party briefed the diplomats of different countries, stationed in Dhaka, about the current political situation of the country. Meeting sources said the party briefed the diplomats especially on the killings, abductions and forced disappearances. A senior leader seeking anonymity told the Dhaka Tribune that they tried to send a message that though there is no political unrest in the country, but social unrest reached its peak. He also said the government could not control the law enforcement agencies and the
Who hired RAB: Shamim or Nur? PAGE 1 COLUMN 4
Shamim’s right-hand man. Nazrul’s wife Selina Islam and father-in-law Shahidul Islam believe it was Nur Hossain’s plot. “Everything will be unearthed once Nur Hussain is arrested,” Selina told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday at her Siddhirganj residence. She said after some incidents on February 2, her husband had been getting some phone calls. “He [Nazrul] told me several times that a conspiracy was being hatched to kill him...He even told me that they might kill him using RAB or hiring professional killers,” she said. Nazrul, however, never told her from whom he had got the information about the conspiracy. Selina believes that the administration is “definitely” involved with the killing of her husband. Removal of three RAB 11 officers was no consolation for Shahidul Islam, Nazrul’s father-in-law. “I did not want their transfer from Narayanganj; neither did I want them removed from their services. The mystery behind the killing would have been unearthed if they were arrested and interrogated. That is what I want,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. The three withdrawn officers were RAB 11 commanding officer Lt Col Tarek Sayeed Mohammad and Major Arif Hossain from the army, and Lt Commander SM Rana from the navy. News came to public domain yesterday that they had been removed from their mother organisations – effective from the afternoon of Monday May 5. During a conversation with the Dhaka Tribune, Shahidul was frequently getting angry. “These three RAB officers know everything [about the seven murders],” he said. After learning about his son-in-law’s abduction, Shahidul rushed to Shamim Osman on April 27 to get help. “Shamim Osman told me that RAB 11 picked him up. I went to the RAB 11 headquarters and grabbed the legs of commanding officer Tarek, begging for the life of my son-in-law. I even told him that I would give him twice the money that he had got from Nur Hos-
sain for killing him,” he said. “He [Tarek] pushed me away and my knees got hurt,” Shahidul said, adding: “Shamim Osman killed Nazrul.” Shahidul said Tarek had threatened him as well. “He told me that if I ever mentioned that RAB was involved [with the abduction], he would put me in crossfire.” Tarek is the son-in-law of Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya’s brother. “Only a fair investigation can reveal the truth,” said Nazrul’s father-in-law, who sometimes broke into tears and sometimes got angry. Interestingly, Shahidul’s brother Hasmat Ali Hashu is one of the accused in the cases filed in connection with the seven murders. Shahidul said he had got some important information about the abduction and murder from Hashu’s friend Jasimuddin. “I could not hide the information when I came to know that Nazrul’s murder was a Tk6 crore deal. The seven were taken to the RAB camp office in the old court building after abduction,” he said. Lt Commander SM Rana was the chief of the camp, which is also called the Crime Prevention Company 1 of RAB 11. Major Arif used to attend office at this camp and at the RAB 11 office as well. According to Shahidul, members of Nur Hossain’s gang went to the RAB camp on the night of April 27 by microbuses, killed the abductees and later dumped the bodies in Shitalakkhya River. “I do not know how much of Tk6 crore was paid to each of the RAB officials. This deal could even be more than Tk6 crore,” he said. Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rahman, director of the Legal and Media Wing of RAB, told the Dhaka Tribune that the committee formed to look into the allegations had already started verifying the bank accounts of the three ex-RAB officials, their family members and close relatives. Nazrul’s younger brother Md Abdus Salam has no doubt that RAB acted as
a mercenary group in the gruesome murder. Nazrul was supposed to meet Salam over lunch at his Jatrabari house after attending the courtroom session on April 27. Nazrul went to the court on that day for appearing in a case filed by Nur Hossain after the February 2 skirmishes between the two. Salam said after his brother got bail, he talked to him over phone. Nazrul told his brother that he had left the court and was heading for Jatrabari. However, a little later Salam found Nazrul’s phone switched off. When he found the phones of all those who were with his brother switched off, Salam sensed something was wrong. Immediately, Salam contacted several people including Shamim Osman and RAB CO Tarek. He said Tarek had asked him about whether Nazrul had any conflict with Shamim Osman. “When I replied in the negative, the RAB CO told me to go to Shamim Osman,” said Salam. Many of Nazrul’s family members also went through the same experience – when they went to RAB, they told them to talk to Shamim Osman; when they went to Shamim Osman, he told them to go to RAB. Salam affirmed: “Nur Hossain planned to kill my brother; either Shamim Osman was aware of it or he was involved with the planning.” Earlier in February, Nazrul threatened to kill Nazrul in 15 days, he said. Nazrul was once picked up by RAB in 2011 when he was contesting as a ward councillor in the city corporation election. A team of RAB 10 picked up Nazrul from Naryanganj and took him to their office at Dhalpur in Jatrabari. Salam said he had followed them but later RAB denied bringing Nazrul at their office. After strong persuasion from a number of influential ruling party leaders, RAB released Nazrul after one night, said Salam. “That one too was a plan to kill him.” Salam claimed that his brother had told him two-three months ago that RAB officers Tarek, Arif and Rana – the three withdrawn officers – might kill
administration. Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, vice-chairman of the party, told the Dhaka Tribune: “It is a regular meeting. We sat with the diplomats in different times. We discussed many things.” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP chairperson’s advisers Reaz Rahman, Sabihuddin Ahmed and Osman Farruk, journalist Shafique Rehman and party’s international affairs secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon attended the meeting. Representatives from the United States, the European Union, Russia, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway and some other countries were present at the meeting.l
Government to carry forward Tk3,000 crore for PPP in next budget PAGE 1 COLUMN 4
Corporation Limited will construct the expressway and has sought Tk800 crore for the project, said Md Atiquzzaman, executive director and CEO of Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Limited, the funding authority for PPP projects. The metro rail project will also be implemented under the PPP initiative. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the project three years back. “We have disbursed Tk160 crore for the three infrastructure projects,” Atiquzzaman said. The government has allocated a total of Tk8,500 crore funds for different PPP projects over the past five years since FY2009-2010. But a small amount of fund has been spent so far. The FY2009-2010 budget first included PPP projects allocation. In FY 2009-10, an amount of Tk2,500crore was allocated for PPP projects. The next year the allocation rose to Tk3,000 crore for 15 projects as planned. The PPP projects got Tk3,000crore during FY2011-12 in the development budget. A total of 16 projects were included under the PPP initiative. In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated Tk2,500crore to implement 13 PPP projects and last year the government disbursed Tk30 crore for a Tk1,000 crore revolving fund under the PPP initiative. Meanwhile, the government in the last five years has undertaken separate PPP projects in the annual development programmes. But the projects remain unimplemented. l
‘Seven abductees strangled’ PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
Nur Hossain who has been on the run after the abductions. On the other hand, the father-in-law of Councillor Nazrul Islam raised allegations that elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) carried out the murders in exchange for Tk6 crore. A probe committee has been formed to investigate his claim. Three RAB officials – Lt Col Tarek Sayeed Mohammad, Major Arif Hossain and naval officer Lt Commander MM Rana – accused of taking bribes for the multiple murders in Narayanganj have been discharged of duty. l
Court forces out Thai PM him. He claimed that Nur Hossain had tried to kill Nazrul with the help of RAB in the past but did not succeed. About two weeks before the abduction, Shamim Osman told him: “I do not fear anyone except RAB. If anything happens to Nazrul, it will be done only by RAB. I do not count anyone else.” Salam, therefore, has strong conviction that either Shamim was closely involved with the planning or aware of the plot. Then again, there are many people in Narayanganj who believe that Shamim Osman had many notorious pets such as Nur Hossain. Slain Nazrul was also known as his man. None of them wanted to be quoted out of fear that they might have to face the music from the political clouts. They have been observing for many years that Shamim created people like Nur Hossain and gave them shelter; but never even blinked before throwing them away once their utilities were lost. Nazrul was known as Shamim’s man; but after winning the 2011 election as ward councillor and panel mayor, he gradually got close to Narayanganj city Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy. Shamim did not like that because Ivy was his political rival to whom he lost the city elections. There are many families in Narayanganj who have been victims of abduction and murder in the past. Seeking anonymity, a member of one such family who had to deal with RAB in the past, told the Dhaka Tribune that these three officials had been involved with similar crimes in the port city before. They grew in confidence because they had managed to cover up those incidents in the past. But this time around, they failed to manage the consequences and things went out of their control, he said. Salam alleged that neither the home ministry nor RAB did anything to save Nazrul, despite being informed officially at least 15-20 days before the abduction, that a plan had been on to kill him. Even Shamim Osman did not do anything to save his life, said Nazrul’s family. l
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new government. That poll date has yet to be endorsed by a royal decree. Observers said the court ruling does nothing to ease Thailand’s prolonged political malaise. Anti-government protesters are still on Bangkok’s streets and the promotion of a Thaksin supporter may make Yingluck’s dismissal a hollow victory. “Red Shirt” supporters of the government meanwhile threaten to rally to defend it and to press for elections, raising fears of clashes. They will mass on Saturday in a Bangkok suburb.
“This is a war of legal attrition,” said Paul Chambers of the Institute of South East Asian Affairs at Chiang Mai University. “And the arch-royalists (anti-government forces) are winning it. They are cutting away at the Puea Thai government slice by slice, hoping to exhaust it into submission,” he said predicting fresh legal cases against the new premier. The kingdom has been bitterly split since 2006 when an army coup deposed former telecoms magnate Thaksin as prime minister. He now lives overseas to avoid jail for corruption convictions, but is accused of running the country by proxy through his sister. Thaksin is reviled by the Bangkok elite, middle class and royalist southerners who say he has sponsored nepotism and widespread corruption and who see him as a threat to the monarchy. But he is loved in the poorer north and northeastern regions and among the urban working class for recognising their burgeoning political and economic aspirations. They have returned Shinawatra-led or linked governments to power in every election since 2001. In a defiant press conference Yingluck reiterated her innocence of the abuse of power accusation.
Fighting back tears
“I am proud of every minute I have worked as prime minister because I came from a democratic election,” she said, at times fighting back tears. In the six months since the latest
street protests erupted, 25 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in gun and grenade attacks, kindling fears of wider clashes. A general election called by Yingluck in February to shore up her besieged government was disrupted by protesters and boycotted by the main opposition party. It was later annulled by the Constitutional Court, enraging Red Shirts who said the judges effectively stole their vote. Anti-government demonstrators are likely to reject the latest poll date. They want an appointed premier to enact loosely-defined “reforms” to curb the influence of the Shinawatras before any new election. The ruling party has accused the constitutional court of railroading Yingluck’s case through because it is biased against the Shinawatras. The court oversees cases of violations of Thailand’s charter, which was rewritten after Thaksin’s removal. In 2008, it forced two Thaksin-allied prime ministers from office. Yingluck will also find out over the coming days if she will be indicted by anti-graft officials for neglect of duty in connection with a costly rice subsidy scheme. An unfavourable ruling could see her banned from politics for five years. With both sides convinced they can prevail, the ongoing battle for “Thailand’s soul” looks set to drag on, said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. l
Correction The Dhaka Tribune yesterday in a report under the headline “RAB kept eye on Nazrul at court” said that Army Chief Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganabhaban where the decision on three officers’ forced retirement was taken. In fact, the army chief is now abroad and no meeting between them took place. The Dhaka Tribune regrets the inadvertent mistake. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
BDR MUTINY CASE
State appeals against acquittal of 69 n Nazmus Sakib The state yesterday registered an appeal with the High Court seeking sentences for 69 out of 277 accused who got acquittal from the lower court in BDR carnage case. Deputy Attorney General Farhad Ahmed, who filed the appeal on behalf of the state, told the Dhaka Tribune that they would move a High Court bench for admission of the appeal for hearing. The state found substantial evidence against the 69, who were low-profile members of the paramilitary force, after analysing depositions of 600 witnesses and relevant documents. The highest punishment for the offences they were involved is life imprisonment, but the state has sought reasonable punishment for the accused, he said. The state did not appeal against the
Primary education directorate staff remanded n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu A Dhaka court yesterday placed Tanvir Ahmed, an employee of the Directorate of Primary Education, on one-day remand in a case filed for allegedly taking question papers of a recruitment test out of the Bangladesh Government (BG) Press in the capital. Metropolitan Magistrate Emdadul Haque passed the order after hearing a remand prayer submitted by Tejgaon industrial police. Tanvir was held on Tuesday while trying to take away question papers and answer sheets of the recruitment tests for class IV employees of the directorate. Employees of BG Press said they first held him on suspicion as he was leaving the distribution room. They searched him and found the question papers and answer sheets. l
208 others who were also acquitted as there was lack of substantial evidence against them. Dhaka’s Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge Dr Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman on November 5 last year imposed death sentence on 152 while handed down life imprisonment to 161 accused. The trial court also gave different terms of imprisonment ranging from one year to 20 years to 256 accused and cleared 277 from the charges. DAG Farhad said the lower court had already sent the death references to the High Court to confirm the death sentences while the convicts had filed appeals against the verdict. Hearing would begin simultaneously on the death references, appeals of convicts and appeal of the state, he added. There is no chance to start hearing on the case this year as preparing paper books would take much time, he added. l
Witness: Subhan was like Azrael to us HC stays KPPL’s IPO n Udisa Islam A new prosecution witness in the trial against Maulana Abdus Subhan showed wounded spots on his body before the war crimes tribunal yesterday and alleged that it was the Jamaat-e-Islami leader who had shot him twice during the 1971 Liberation War. Testifying as the fourth prosecution witness, Rustam Ali, 65, from Pakshi of Ishwardi in Pabna, described at the International Crimes Tribunal 2 the killings of at least five pro-liberation people. He said Subhan, then acting chief of Pabna Jamaat and chairman of Peace Committee, had been in the position to plan and execute atrocities. “Subhan was like an Azrael [angel of death in Muslim theology] and robber to us. I have been passing an uncomfortable life physically only because of him,” the witness said. Rustam said he had been a labourer
at a shop owned by Jayan Uddin. “On April 13 of 1971, I along with my owner and his son-in-law went to Sharaghata to collect some debts. That was the most horrifying day of my life.” He said they had been captured by Subhan and his cohorts. “From the central mosque they took us to the field of Juktitola High School where we saw several confined people including Tulu, Israil and his uncle. “Subhan made the three of us along with some other people including Hares Uddin and Ismail to stand in a queue. When Hares and Ismail tried to flee the scene, Subhan shot them and Ismail died on the spot. Later Subhan’s men killed Hares Uddin.” Showing his left hand and chest, the witness alleged that the accused had shot him twice and three of his ribs were broken. “Subhan also asked the Pakistani troops to charge bayonet on me.” The witness added that he had be-
come unconscious following torture. “Korban Ali, who rescued me from the place, later told me that though I survived, some other people were not so lucky.” After some day, Rustom said, he had been attacked by infection and went to India for treatment. He returned three months before liberation and stayed at Rooppur with the family of his master’s brother. After his deposition, the tribunal adjourned the hearing until Monday accepting a defence plea. The defence will cross examine the prosecution’s third and fourth witnesses that day. The 77-year-old Jamaat leader was indicted on December 31 last year on nine counts of crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, the tribunal 1 yesterday set May 18 for placing further witness in the case against Jamaat leader ATM Azharul Islam. The defence questioned two prosecution witnesses who gave deposition on Tuesday. l
subscription collection n Nazmus Sakib The High Court yesterday stayed collecting Initial Public Offering subscription by Khulna Printing and Packaging Limited for three months. The bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the order in response to a writ petition lodged by Raihanul Mustafa, a Supreme Court lawyer. The court also wanted to know as to why inaction of BSEC (Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission) regarding the collection should not be held illegal. The finance secretary, the BSEC chairman and the KPPL managing director have been asked to explain their stance in two weeks, Ziaur Rahman, lawyer for the petitioner, told the Dhaka Tribune.
Raihanul told the Dhaka Tribune that he had filed the plea for serving the interest of general investors as the KPPL had reportedly aimed at collecting Tk40 crore showing prospectus which is full of fake information. But the BSEC did not take any action in this regard. The regulator even did not probe the matter, he said. The KPPL started collecting the IPO subscription from May 4 which was scheduled to end today.
AL leader assaulted at CU Angered BCL men block train and bus services to CU, abduct shuttle train driver The blockades caused immense sufThen they took me to an unknown n CU Correspondent fering for the students who had exams place by a CNG-run auto rickshaw.” A faction of Bangladesh Chharta League in Chittagong University abducted a shuttle train driver and halted the train services on the university route for eight hours yesterday, following an attack on an Awami League leader. However, the abducted locomotive master, Md Yusuf Chowdhury, was freed after three hours. According to witnesses, Chhatra League activists led by Sumon Mamun, joint secretary of Chhatra League in CU, abducted Yusuf around 7am from Forest Gate area near Sholoshahar Railway Station. When asked about what happened, Yusuf said: “A group of four-five men picked me up and blindfolded me.
‘Greater budget allocation needed for better health services’ n Tazlina Zamila Khan The share of budgetary allocation for the health sector has been on a continuous decline for the past three fiscal years even though the size of the national budget has been growing, said budget and health specialists at a programme, yesterday. “The size of the national budget is increasing but there is a downward trend in the share of the health budget under the national budget. To attain the other MDGs [millennium development goals] and sustain the achieved MDGs, steps should be taken to tackle health risks, health shocks [trauma], and vulnerability to health shocks,” said Dr Mohammed Abu Eusuf, professor of the Dhaka University Development Studies Department and director of the Centre on Budget and Policy under the university. Speaking at a programme titled “Global Week of Action-2014, Health Budget Analysis Report Sharing,” organised by World Vision Bangladesh (WVB) in the capital’s Gulshan yesterday, Eusuf
Share of health sector’s budget allocation (figures in percentage) Sector
added that ensuring better health services requires a larger allocation for the sector and an effective and efficient allocation method. While the national budget for the 2013-14 fiscal was around 18.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the allocation for the health sector was only 4.3% of the national budget and around 0.8% of the GDP, he said. Claiming that the budget utilisation capacity of the Health Ministry was not up to the mark, Eusuf said the overall utilisation capacity over the last seven years was only 87% (development 76% and non-development 96%). The professor added that there were also problems in resource distribution and community members or organisations did not have the option to make
suggestions for the health budget. On a separate note, he said the four major causes of death for children under the age of five – acute respiratory infections, birth asphyxia, premature birth or low birth weight, and diarrhoea – are still affecting the child mortality rate. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the malnutrition rate in Bangladesh for children under-five is the highest in the world, while more than 50% of women suffer from chronic energy deficiencies, Eusuf added. Dr Rabiya Khatoon, national professional officer of the Child Health Programme under the World Health Organisation (WHO), said: “The government has taken some initiatives to address the health issue. Led by the WHO and
Unicef, a newborn action plan has been developed already to reduce the newborn mortality rate.” Adviser to the Prime Minister, HT Imam said: “We have to ensure good food, health and accommodation for people. Good environment and education is needed in a family to improve the ultimate living standard. When a woman is pregnant, she needs special care. But unfortunately many families, especially poor families, do not do that. If the mother is healthy then the child will be healthy too.” The organisers called upon the government to increase state funding for the health, population and nutrition sector to at least 2% of the GDP and give priority to maternal and child health programmes; enhance equity and ensure universal access to quality child-friendly healthcare services to all; ensure the provision of skilled health workers with a focus on rural locations; develop a coherent national nutrition policy; and promote appropriate breastfeeding practices. l
Police rescued the train driver from Muradpur intersection at 11am, said Yasin Faruk, OC of Government Railway Police. The train service resumed at 4pm, with the train schedules on the CU route collapsed for the day, said Md Shahbuddin, station master at Sholoshahar Railway Station. Protesting the attack on Nasir Haider Babul, assistant secretary of Awami League’s central sub-committee, the agitated Chhatra League activists also blocked university-bound buses, mini-buses and other transports at different points in Chittagong city to press home their eight-point demand, which included expulsion of those responsible for the attack.
and classes scheduled yesterday. Several departments had to postpone their respective exams as many students failed to appear at the exams, according to campus sources. Mohammad Niaj Morshed Ripon, member of exam committee at the International Relations Department, said a special exam for the first-year students had to be postponed due to the siuation. When contacted, Mamun told Dhaka Tribune: “We gave enough time to the authority to take stern action against those who attacked Babul. “We also demand immediate removal of CU Proctor Professor Siraj Ud Dowla as he failed to take necessary steps in due time,” he said, adding that
Jamaat leader shot dead n Our Correspondent, Satkhira The body of a Jamaat leader was recovered yesterday from Bhadrakhali in the district. The victim was identified as Ashraful Islam, son of Adam Ali Moral. Locals, however, said Ashraful was killed in a clash between police and Jamaat activists in the early hours of yesterday. Officer-in-Charge of Kaliganj police station Golam Rahman said Ashraful was holed up in India for quite a long time. There are several cases against him with Kaliganj police station for in-
citing violence. Ashraful was holding a clandestine meeting on Tuesday night soon after his return from India, he said adding: “As a police team raided the meeting venue Ashraful and his men exploded several bombs in which five policemen received injuries.” Family members, however, claimed that police called Ashraful out of the house and shot him death. Meanwhile, the district unit of the Jamaat in a press release condemned the killing of Jamaat leader and Sadpur Dhakil Madrasa Super Ashraful. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Digital attendance to be introduced for doctors n Moniruzzaman Uzzal As doctors continue to ignore repeated directives from the prime minister and choosing to stay absent at their workplaces, the health directorate has been asked to introduce a digital attendance system to ensure the presence of doctors. A letter was recently sent from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), asking authorities concerned to introduce the measure. The letter, signed by PMO Director Dr Md Zulfiqur Ali on April 20, also asked the DGHS to send a report regarding the measures it had taken. The letter also read that PMO Director General Paban Chowdhury found only one doctor present during a visit to the Rangunia upazila health complex on April 12; even though the attendance sheet contained the signatures of all the doctors. Zulfiqur, in the letter, also said the government was being criticised as doctors remained absent at their workplaces, despite efforts to ensure health services to the grassroots level. There are reportedly over a 100 different committees, including 62 within the Health Ministry, to monitor and su-
pervise the present of the doctors and reach healthcare services to people’s doorsteps. However, seeking anonymity, several senior officials of the health sector said only a handful of those committees were functional. As soon as someone was assigned to a workplace, influential people start sending in recommendations and create pressure to cancel the transfer orders, they added. Although a small number of doctors join their assigned workplaces, they are soon transferred in the name of deputation or attachment to other suitable locations. After the new government came into office, Health Minister Mohammed Nasim expressed his determination to show zero tolerance regarding the absence of doctors at health facilities. However, little progress has been made in this regard. When asked about the letter from the PMO, DGHS Director (administration) Dr Md Shah Newaz said necessary measures would be taken to carry out the directive, adding that the divisional directors had shown no interest in monitoring and supervising healthcare services under their respective areas, despite repeated directives from the DGHS. l
School children take oath forming a hand as part of a health awareness programme in Sherpur’s Sribardi yesterday
Minister: Bangladesh to take regional water issue to international forum
Two Bangladeshi workers die in UAE
95 workers set to fly to Malaysia today
a Ganges barrage had already been completed, which would help resolve the water crisis in the country’s southern region. About the project’s economic return, he said the country would be able to recover the project cost of Tk4 billion within five years after its implementation. The Water Resources minister stressed the need for restructuring of the coastal polders to make them eco-friendly and to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change. The water, irrigation and prosperity are interlinked, he said, asking the Indian government to provide equitable share of the common rivers’ water to Bangladesh under the international laws. In his address, State Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Nazrul Islam said the trans-boundary water problem was severe in the South Asia region. “The government is trying its best to resolve the water issue.” l
n Rabiul Islam
Some 95 Bangladeshi workers are set to fly to Malaysia today to work in plantations. The workers were scheduled to leave for Malaysia aboard an early morning flight, Jabed Ahmed, additional director general of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Another batch of 89 workers will fly to Malaysia tomorrow, while a larger group of 103 men is scheduled to leave on May 16. l
Experts: Make quake risk reduction plan mandatory
DU BCL men beat up JCD supporter n DU Correspondent
Interns, DU students scuffle at DMCH
n Mushfique Wadud
Activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League allegedly assaulted a student, suspecting to be an activist of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, on the Dhaka University campus yesterday. Hassan Mahmud, a third-year student of Anthropology Department, was assaulted near the Arts Faculty building around 12pm by Sadi, Nazmul, Shimul and Abdur Rahman, Chhatra League activists of Jahurul Haque Hall. Eyewitnesses said the Chhatra League men dragged Hassan to the front of the Arts Faculty main gate after he got out of class, started to beat him up, and left him injured. Mahmud was rushed to the Dhaka University Medical Centre and was given primary treatment there. He is a follower of the JCD DU President Mohidul Islam Hiru. However, Rifat Jaman, the Chhatra League leader, refuted the allegations and denied any involvement in this. l
n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
Water Resources Minister Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud has said the government will place the regional water issue at the international forum if it fails to realise an equitable share of water of trans-boundary rivers through negotiations with India. “We want to resolve the water problems through negotiations with India. Definitely, we’ll go to the international forum, if we fail to realise the equitable share of water of the common rivers,” he told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a workshop here. Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) in association with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, jointly organised the workshop on a research titled “Bangladesh Integrated Water Resources Assessment” at Brac Centre Inn. Anisul Islam Mahmud said the parliamentary elections were being held in India and the Bangladesh government
An earthquake disaster reduction programme is necessary to cover the entire country, not just the metropolitan areas, to reduce the possible loss of lives and resources in earthquakes, said experts at the inauguration of a World Bank project yesterday. Organised by World Bank, the event took place in a hotel in the capital where earthquake experts gathered to launch the project titled Bangladesh Urban Earthquake Resilience Project Phase II. The experts agreed that, while much focus was given to the metropolitan areas in the earthquake risk reduction plans, the rest of the country was left out and therefore more vulnerable to possible earthquake disasters, as infrastructure in those areas were unplanned. While addressing the event, noted earthquake expert Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury shared his experience on his recent visit to Sirajganj. “Many buildings recently built in the villages have been built without proper plan. In some cases, even the roads are not built in a planned way. This is a cause for major concern,” he said. He said while buildings’ designs were reviewed by proper authority in the metropolitan cities, in the villages union parisads were responsible for the job and were not properly equipped for it. He said all development work should be monitored, including those in the rural areas. Monzur Hossain, senior secretary of Local Government Division, said many stakeholders were involved in emer-
would launch a fresh move after the polls to talk to the new Indian government to pave way for solution to the longstanding Teesta water problem. About the rampant pollution of Dhaka’s surrounding rivers, he said the government had plans to take an integrated project to restore Buriganga river, the lifeline of capital Dhaka, by bringing water from Jamuna. State Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Nazrul Islam, Water Resources Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan, High Commissioner of Australia to Bangladesh Greg Wilcock, Buet Professor Dr UK Nevera, vice-president of Bangladesh Water Partnership Dr K Azharul Haq and IWM Executive Director Prof Dr Monowar Hossain, among others, spoke at the workshop. CSIRO water expert Mac Kirby made a power-point presentation highlighting the findings of a study conducted on Bangladesh’s water problem. Addressing the workshop as the chief guest, Anisul Islam Mahmud said the feasibility study to set up
gency response and disaster risk reduction programmes, and sometimes it was difficult to coordinate the overall work among all parties involved. He urged all agencies to work in a coordinated way to minimise people’s sufferings during any disaster response. Professor Chowdhury stressed on capacity building of rescue teams and availability of required equipments as well. Christine Kimes, operations adviser at World Bank’s Bangladesh Office, said the World Bank currently had about $800m invested in the on-going projects in disaster risk reduction and disaster management. She said this was projected to increase to about $1.2bn in the coming fiscal year. Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque said most of the buildings in Sylhet were old and around 70% of the buildings were not built following proper design requirement. He said a good amount of money was spent after any disaster, but loss of lives and assets could be avoided if money was invested to make a city disaster-resilient. Brig Gen Ahmed Khan, director-general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, said the country’s main challenge was essentially to improve the emergency response and preparedness, develop strong capacity to manage risks and build the country resilient to natural disasters. With the project, World Bank aims to enhance the capacity of municipal bodies in Dhaka and Sylhet to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from small and large disaster events. l
Goyeshwar gets bail
Two Bangladeshi migrant workers died on Tuesday in the United Arab Emirates, an official at the Bangladesh consulate in Dubai said. The deceased workers, identified as Yousuf, 25, from Anwara of Chittagong, and Rabiul Hasan Bhuiyan 28, from Khagrachhari, used to work in a car polishing shop at Abu Shagara in Sharjah.
Initial investigations revealed that the men were working without any safety measure or precaution The cause of their deaths could not be known immediately, AKM Mizanur Rahman, first secretary at the Bangladesh consulate general in Dubai told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday.
The authorities of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital formed a four-member probe body yesterday to investigate the scuffle between the Dhaka University students and the hospital interns which occurred on Tuesday. Professor Dr Feroz Khan of the Nephrology Department will head the probe team which is comprised of DMCH Assistant Director Md Shahidullah and two other physicians. The committee has been asked to submit their report within five working days. DMCH Deputy Director Dr Mushfiqur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune that the committee will try to find the reason behind the fight. He said Dr Mustafizur Rahman, director of the hospital, will meet the press today. Although all the print and electronic media have reported that the incident occurred between the interns and Dha-
However, Gulf News, a Dubai-based daily,yesterday reported that the two Bangladeshis, along with an Egyptian coworker, had died after inhaling toxic fumes at the workshop. Quoting a police official in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah, the newspaper said: “The police operations room received a call about the incident on Tuesday, police and paramedics were dispatched immediately to the scene of the incident.” “We found three people in very critical condition and in distress and we helped them out of the shop, and transferred them to Al Kuwaiti Hospital, where they were pronounced dead,” the police official told the Gulf News. Initial investigations revealed that the men were working without any safety measure or precaution, he added. Their bodies were taken to a police forensic laboratory. Mizanur Rahman, meanwhile, said it would take about a week to send the bodies home after completing formalities. l
ka University students, this is wrong according to Dr Musfiqur, who said the scuffle took place between an honorary doctor and DU students. Security has been heightened after the incident. Extra police have been deployed in the hospital and its emergency services have been restored. The interns at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital engaged in a clash with some Dhaka University students on Tuesday regarding trivialities and thereby brought the medical care at the DMCH emergency ward to a halt for more than three hours. They also assaulted ATN News reporter Imran Hossain Sumon and cameraman Ataur Rahman Himel while they were attempting to record the occurrence. The interns also broke the reporter’s camera when he entered the infirmary to cover the situation. Dhaka University authority has also formed a four-member probe body to investigate the incident. l
n Nazmus Sakib The High Court yesterday granted six months’ bail to BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy in a murder case. With the bail order there is now no bar to freeing the BNP leader, who has been in jail since April 20, said his lawyer Nitai Roy Chowdhury. Goyeshwar is accused of killing an activist of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, on December 29 last year. On April 29, another HC bench gave bail to BNP Joint Secretary Amanullah Aman, but denied bail to Goyeshwar in the same case. l
Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury addresses the Phase 2 launching programme of Bangladesh Urban Earthquake Resilience Project at a city hotel yesterday RAJIB DHAR
n Tribune Report
Khoka barred from leaving the country n Kailash Sarkar Immigration Police at Dhaka airport yesterday barred BNP Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka from leaving the country to get medical treatment in the US. BNP chairperson’s press wing official Shayrul Kabir Khan told the Dhaka Tribune that on-duty immigration police personnel at Shahjalal International Airport barred Khoka from flying to America without showing any specific reason. “He [Khoka] was supposed to go to the USA on an Emirates Airlines flight at 9pm to get better [health] treatment,” he said. However, Ashique Shahid, special superintendent of Immigration Police, claimed that the BNP leader was not barred from leaving the country; instead the Immigration Police chief had requested him to postpone his travel. “We have requested him [Khoka] not to leave the country right now, but he can travel after some days,” he added. When asked if the move was a result of any directive from government highups, the official refused to comment. l
Appeal for helping RMG worker Miraj n Tribune Report A garment worker, Md Miraj, has two damaged valves in his heart, the treatment of which is costly. The 34-year-old is now under treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University under their cardiac surgeon Professor Md Aftabuddin. The physician has advised his family to replace the valves, but the treatment might cost around Tk3 lakh, a sum that Miraj’s poor family is unable to pay. His family has requested affluent and generous people to come forward and help them in their time of need. Contributions can be sent to Md Jasim Uddin, Account No 1041053896, Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd, Nayabazar Branch, Dhaka. Interested people can also call at 01755520269. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Journalists refused treatment by RMCH interns Tension lingers following last month’s attack the supervising physician who in n Our Correspondent, Rajshahi turn advised him to get admitted to
Journalists were even facing restriction on admittance to the hospital, said a number of them. In protest against the incident, journalists in Rajshahi will hold a demonstration and a rally at Saheb Bazar Zero Point today. Sources say Gulbar Ali Jewel, a photojournalist of the local daily Natun Provat, was injured during the police-Chhatra League attack on Rajshahi University students’ rally on February 2. Jewel’s leg broke during the attack. He had been receiving treatment under the supervision of Prof Debashis Ray, Orthopaedic Department of RMCH. On Sunday, Jewel went to the hospital for a check-up on his leg by
the hospital. Dr Debashis also said he might need surgery for his injury. Jewel got admitted to ward 31 at the hospital having completed all formalities on the very same day. However, the interns and nurses of the RMCH refused him all care and no physicians and nurses visited him between Sunday and Tuesday. Even Professor BK Dam of Orthopaedic Department did not attend Jewel while visiting the ward on Tuesday. Later that day, Jewel along with his wife approached the doctors to discuss why he was being denied all medical care when the interns told him outright that they would not provide any treatment to journalists. “My wife requested them to check on my leg, but they told her to take me to Dhaka for treatment,” said Jewel. He also said the interns forced him out of the hospital. Earlier on April 21, 10 journalists were injured in an attack by RMCH interns when the newsmen went to cover a scuffle between doctors and a patient’s relatives. Following the incident, two injured journalists – Asaduzzaman Asad of Amar Desh and Mahfuzur Rahman Rubel of ATN News – filed two cases with Rajpara police station. In the case statement, the journalists accused 157 interns, naming seven of them, for the attack and for vandalising their laptops and cameras. RMCH Director AKM Nasir Uddin, however, said this was an awful matter. He said if the journalist were to be admitted to the hospital again, he would see to their treatment. l
Youth jailed for stalking n Our Correspondent,
University student ‘Ahsanullah murder verdict succumbs to bullet injuries to be executed’
The interns at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital are now refusing to treat any journalist after a few newsmen filed a case against the doctors for assaulting them on the night of April 21. Interns allegedly forced a local photojournalist out of the hospital last Tuesday and said there would be no treatment for the newsmen at the hospital.
On April 21, 10 journalists were injured in an attack by RMCH interns when the newsmen went to cover a scuffle between doctors and a patient’s relatives
A mobile court sentenced a youth to one year of imprisonment, yesterday, for stalking a school girl in Shibganj, Chapainawabganj. The executive magistrate of the mobile court, Afaz Uddin, gave the verdict against Rahmat Ali, 20, the son of Zahidul Islam, of Chhoto Hadinagar Chamatol village under Shibganj upazila of the district. Police sources said Ali was stalking the girl on her way to school and at one stage, forcibly embraced her. The girl shouted for help and locals rushed to the spot and rescued her from the stalker. Later, Ali was taken under the custody of Sabbir Uddin, the Headmaster of Binodpur High School and the magistrate passed the verdict based upon the headmaster’s complaint. The trial took place in the presence of local dignitaries. l
THURSDAY, MAY 8 DHAKA TODAY TOMORROW SUN SETS 6:31 PM SUN RISES 5:19AM FORECAST FOR TODAY 35
n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong The student of Chittagong’s Premier University who was shot by miscreants on Sunday succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital in Dhaka, yesterday afternoon. The student was shot after he protested a mugging by the miscreants in the port city. Police sources said the deceased, Yasir Arafat Emon, 22, was a first year BBA student of the university. He was the son of an expatriate, Mohammad Eilias, and a resident of the Bhorapukur Par area under the Bakalia police station in the port city. Yasir died at around 4pm in Dhaka’s United Hospital, the sources added. According to sources, Emon and his friend Saddam Hossain protest-
Traffic congestion is created at Gulistan intersection as buses stop haphazardly on the road. The photo was taken yesterday
35 artefacts go to National Museum n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj
A total of 35 archeological artefacts have been handed over to the National Museum officials from the public treasury of the Sirajganj Deputy Commissioner’s office. The artefacts were handed over to Dr Shariful Islam, assistant keeper of the National Museum, yesterday morning in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Md Billal Hossain and Additional District Magistrate Md Shafiqul Islam. The artefacts were sent to Dhaka via
ed against some muggers in the city’s Dewanbazar area when the latter had attempted to snatch a mobile phone set from a pedestrian. The muggers went away after the duo protested. Later that day, however, they attacked the two and shot Emon and lacerated Saddam. Police said Emon was admitted to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital but was later shifted to Dhaka and Saddam is still hospitalised and in critical condition. Emon’s uncle, Abu Musa, claimed that his nephew’s killers are marked miscreants of the area. His uncle said they will lodge a case with police station in this regard. Mohammad Mohsin, officer-incharge of the Bakalia police station, said they are conducting drives to apprehend the culprits. l
truck and will now be stored and displayed at the National Museum. Treasury officer and Executive Magistrate SM Golam Kibria said the artefacts, recovered by law enforcers as well as district and upazila administration on different occasions, were stored in the treasury. “As legal proceedings attached to these came to an end, an application was submitted to store them at the National Museum. 35 artefacts, both big and small, have now been handed over,” he said. Deputy Commissioner Md Billal Hossain said people around the country can
n Our Correspondent, Gazipur Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said steps would be taken to execute the verdict in the killing case of former chairman of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies Ahsanullah Master. “Although the verdict has been pronounced, we feel sorry that it is yet to be implemented,” said Hanif at a programme arranged yesterday marking the 10th death anniversary of Ahsanullah, also a former lawmaker. “We were in office for the past five years but could not move the case from the High Court. Steps will be taken to execute the verdict following discussion with the Law Minister,” he said. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s husband Ziaur Rahman set off the politics of murder and his party, after forming
n DU Correspondent
Members of left student bodies besieged the office of the Political Science Department at Dhaka University and staged a demonstration demanding the cancellation of the newly launched night course, “Masters in Political Governance Studies.” The students staged a demonstration procession yesterday afternoon
at DU, marching through the different streets of the campus, starting at the Social Science building. The protestors titled their march “Students Against Evening Course and Commercialisation of Education.” The speakers at the protest program said it is privatisation of the education system of public universities that is making the students pay Tk90,000 for the course, and illustrates the commer-
cial motives of the university authorities. The protestors demanded immediate cancellation of the evening course and announced that the Dean’s Office will be besieged on May 13 and they will submit a memorandum to the Vice Chancellor on the same day. They also declared that they will hold a mass signature campaign on
n Our Correspondent, Chittagong
PRAYER TIMES 3:57am 5:19am 11:55am 4:33pm 6:30pm 7:53pm Source: IslamicFinder.org
May 11 and May 12 to supplement their demand. Shomajtantrik Chhatra Front DU President Rashed Shahariar, Convener of the faction of Shomajtantrik Chhatra Front Pritilota and other activists were present at the demonstration. When contacted, Narul Amin Bapary, the chairman of the department said they will review the request after the VC returns from abroad. l
Dhaka Gram’s daylong photo exhibition at JU n JU Correspondent A daylong photograph exhibition arranged by “Dhaka Gram,” a photographic journal on everyday life, was held at the Jahangirnagar University yesterday. The exhibition began at 7am yesterday morning at the transport yard on campus and continued till 7pm. About one hundred photographs by 33 individual photographers were showcased at the program, the organisers said. JU Archaeology Department Associate Professor Swadhin Sen and Philosophy Department Assistant Professor Syed Moinul Nizar Alam jointly inaugurated the exhibition at 5pm. Naimul Hasan, an organiser and a JU student, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had taken the photographs and had uploaded them through Instagram, an application of the social networking site Facebook. The usual scenery of people’s day-to-day life in Dhaka city was represented in the exhibition, he added. Photographer Amirul Rajiv was the curator and Andrew Biraj, Naimul Islam, Monjur Real and Akil Ashraf comprised the rest of the organisers of the exhibition. The programme concluded with a cultural programme in which popular musician Arnob performed alongside university students Ahmed Hasan Sunny and Akil Ashraf, observers said. On April 26, ‘Dhaka Gram’ arranged its first exhibition in Dhanmondi in the capital where the same photographs were put on display. l
20 houses gutted n Our Correspondent, Chittagong At least 20 thatched houses were gutted in a fire at Natunpara of Rangunia upazila in Chittagong early yesterday. Fire service sources said a fire originated from an electric short-circuit at a thatched house around 3am engulfed adjoining 19 thatched houses. On information, two fire fighting units from Rangunia and Rangamati rushed to the spot and brought the fire under control around 5:30am, they added. Fire service officials estimated that valuables worth Tk12 lakh were gutted in the fire. l
Burnt couple fight for life at CMCH
Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha
RAB back in 2004, oppressed Awami League men, Hanif claimed. “The recent Narayanganj killings are a part of that. Your [Khaleda] terrorist force has killed Ahsanullah but you did not apologise for that. You are at the centre of all the killings and incidents of forced disappearance. I will keep asserting that,” he added. At the programme, Ahsanullah’s son Zahid Ahsan Rasel called for execution of the verdict handed down to the convicted criminals. Earlier in the day, different individuals and organisations laid wreath at Ahsanullah’s grave. Former Jubo League president Jahangir Kabir Nanak, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroiz Chumki and Gazipur Deputy Commissioner Nurul Islam attended the programme among others. l
Left student bodies protest DU evening course
YESTERDAY’S HIGH AND LOW
take a look at the artefacts once they are displayed at the National Museum. The artefacts include a Vasudeva statue made of black stone, a 1.15-inch long Shiva Linga statue, a Narayan statue made of brass and a Buddha statue weighing nearly 14-15 kilograms. Dr Shariful Islam said nearly 21,000 artefacts, recovered from different parts of the country, have been stored and only 7,000 of those are displayed at the National Museum. He said some of the artefacts handed over yesterday will be put up in the museum. l
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
Ganasanghati Andolon hold a rally in front of the National Press Club yesterday, protesting the recent abductions and killings in the country SADIA MARIUM
A recently married couple, had been fighting for their lives at Chittagong Medical College Hospital, from incurring severe burns from a fire at their house yesterday Mohammad Nadim, an Islami Bank official, and Aklima Akter, a school teacher, got married just five months back and a rented an apartment in the port city’s Masjid Colony at Masterpool Khejurtala. A fire at their residence yesterday not only burnt both of them, but also destroyed their beautiful dreams for their future. At around 8am yesterday, Aklima
caught a fire while preparing breakfast. Hearing her cries for help, Nadim rushed to save her, but also got burnt himself while trying to save her life. With 98% burns on her body, Aklima was found panting at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of the CMCH. While Nadim also admitted at the same unit, but his condition are not as critical las Aklima’s, said the on-duty doctors. The husband said he was in bed and rushed to the kitchen when he heard Aklima screaming. Dr Mishma Islam of the burn unit told the Dhaka Tribune that Aklima’s condition was very critical, and added that the husband incurred 20% burns in his body. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Ex-army official arrested for rape, torture n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj
Link road to Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge, is at risk as a vested interests group has been lifting sand without taking permission from authorities concerned from three ponds adjacent to the road
Link road to Jamuna bridge in peril
A cooperative society has been indiscriminately lifting sand from a pond adjacent to road for last one month
n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj A link road to Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge, commonly known as Jamuna bridge, is at risk as a vested interested group, in the name of a cooperative society, has been lifting sand without taking permission from authorities concerned, from three ponds adjacent to the road which will ultimately take a toll on the bridge. Local sources said a cooperative society belonging to landless people took lease of the ponds owned by Bangladesh Bridge Authority for fish farming
a month back. Sources at the cooperative society claimed that they had been lifting sand from the ponds to increase depth. Although the cooperative society when took lease of these ponds promised to increase only three feet depth of the ponds, they are now trying to increase the depth by 12 feet. The society was selling sand after randomly extracting those from the ponds, locals said, adding that if the situation is continued, a portion of the road will collapse in the coming rainy season. But unfortunately, the local police
Demonstrations including rallies and human chains were held in Mymensingh and Chuadanga yesterday in protest of the recent abductions and killings in the country. In Mymensingh, the district wing of Communist Party Bangladesh (CPB) staged a demonstration and human chain at the Shahid Firoz Jahangir Square near Mymensingh Press Club at 11:30am, our Mymensingh correspondent reported. Among others, Advocate Emdadul Haque, general secretary of CPB in the district, Abdur Rob Mosharraf, secretary of district Jubo Union – youth front of CPB, and Ferdous Ara Mahmuda Helen, CPB leader, addressed the human chain. The speakers demanded immediate action to bring the culprits, including the accused RAB officials, to justice. Common people also took part in the demonstration along with the CPB activists, our correspondent reported. Meanwhile in Chuadanga, the district’s lawyers’ association organised a
Chairman of Saidabad union parishad Saptik Ahmed Mithu said the UP office did have jurisdiction on the property of bridge authority. It was the matter of land office or upazila nirbahi office. Assistant Revenue Administrative Officer of land office Anwar Hossain said no one had submitted complaint against the sand lifting to them. “If we receive complaint, we will look into the matter,” he said. Aminul Islam, officer-in-charge of bridge (western) out post, said no body from bridge authority complained against the sand lifting.
human chain in protest of the recent abduction and murder of Chandan Sarkar, senior lawyer of Narayanganj District Lawyers’ Association, our Chuadanga correspondent reported.
Speakers demanded immediate action to bring the culprits including the accused RAB officials to justice Presided over by Advocate M M Shahjahan Mukul, chairperson of the association, the programme started at 9:30am in front of the Chuadanga District Lawyers’ Association building. Among others, Advocate Moniruzzaman, senior lawyer of the association, Advocate Rafiur Rahman, Advocate Selim Uddin Khan, and Advocate Shamim Reza Dalim, general secretary of the association, spoke at the event, demanding arrest and exemplary punishment of Chandan’s murderers. l
n Tribune Report At least Six people were murdered in Chuadanga, Moulvibazar , Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachhari, Dhaka and Barisal districts yesterday. In Chuadanga, a man to is brutally murdered by a group of men in Joyrampur village of Damurhuda upazila. The deceased was identified as Montu Mandal, 40, a night guard of a water body and the son of Samir Mandal. Montu was sleeping in veranda of his house; when at night, some 4 to 5 people attacked him and proceeded to hack his body and slit his throat, which rendered him spot dead. Confirming the matter, Officer-inCharge of Damurhuda model police station Shikdar Moshiur Rahman said: “The motive behind the killing is yet to be determined.” “The man might have been killed over leasing the water body or some previous enmity,” he added. In Moulvibazar, a housewife is killed by her husband over family feud in Kamalgong upazila.
The deceased was identified as Swapna Munda, 26, wife of Swapon Munda, of Padmachhora Tea Garden area of Madhobpur union of the upazila. According to locals and police sources, Swapon beat his wife to death in the morning. Police recovered the body and sent it to Moulvibazar 250-bed Hospital morgue for autopsy. The police arrested Swapon in this connection to her murder. Md Enamul Haque, officer-in-charge of Kamalgong police station said a case had been filed. In Cox’s Bazar, a worker was murdered in Pokkhali union under Sadar upazila. The deceased was identified as Sayed Hossain ,son of Ali Akbar in Naikhangdia area. Police said Sayed was killed when robbers attacked him at night while he along with other workers was staying in a small boat. The police arrested a young man in this connection his murder. In Dhaka, a woman was killed in
Six killed in road accidents in 4 districts n Tribune Desk
At least six people were killed in several road accidents in the Tangail, Rajbari, Gaibandha and Noakhali districts, yesterday. In Tangail, Najmul, 20, the son of Bablu Miah from Norkona village under the Madhupur upazila in the district, Monirul Islam, 30, the son of the late Lal Miah and truck driver Abbas Ali, 38, the son of Habibur Rahman from Masud Alipur village under the Bagarpara upazila, Jessore, were killed in a road accident on the Bangabandhu Bridge approach road
in the Kalihati upazila. Akheruzzaman, officer-in-charge of the Bangabandhu Bridge east police station said the accident took place when a Dhaka bound goodsladen truck hit another truck, which was waiting beside the highway at Shalla of the upazila, from behind at about 5:30am, leaving the three dead on the spot. On receiving this information, the police recovered the bodies and sent them to the hospital. In Rajbari, a minor boy was killed in a road accident near the Chandana Bridge in Baliakandi upazila. The deceased was Tasif, 7, the son
of Johurul Islam, a resident of the Alamdanga upazila of the Chuadanga district, and a student of Class I in a local kindergarten school. Sources said a sand-laden truck had run over Tasif while he was riding his bicycle home, leaving him dead on the spot. A case was filed in this regard. In Gaibandha, a policeman from the Sadar Court Police, Saki Pradhan, 55, was killed in a road accident on the Gaibandha-Nakaihat road in the Sadar uapzila. Local sources said a covered van knocked the man down while he was heading to work in the morning on
his motorcycle, leaving him injured. Later, passers-by rushed Saki to the Gaibandha Sadar Hospital where the on-duty doctor declared him dead. In Noakhali, a child, Tipu, 8, the son of Abdul Wadud of Anantapur village of the Eklashpur union, was killed in a road accident in Gabua in the Begumgonj upazila. Quoting locals, SI Rabiul Alam of the Begumgonj model police station said Tipu was going to his house with his uncle at around 10:30pm. While they were crossing the SonapurChaumuhani road, a bus hit Tipu and he died on the spot. l
Teachers form Tagore’s birthday celebration begins today human chain against of the poet, has been deco- of Kumarkhali municipality, and n Our Correspondent, Kushtia memories discrimination rated and small repair works have Golam Mohsin, chairperson of JatiCorrespondent, n Our Chapainawabnganj
The headmasters of non-government high schools in Chapainawabnganj formed a human chain and held a rally to protest salary based discrimination, yesterday. The members of the Chapainawabnganj chapter of the Bangladesh Teachers Association held the protest in front of the press club of the district yesterday morning. The program was addressed by Shah Alam, acting president of the district chapter of the Bangladesh Teachers Association, Aslam Kabir, general secretary of the organisation, Hasinur Rahman, Rafiqul Islam and others. The speakers said: “The headmasters of the government high schools are currently drawing salaries amounting Tk18,500 as per the national pay scale. l
A three-day programme celebrating Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s 153rd birth anniversary will begin today in Shilaidaha, Kushtia. The programme, which includes discussions, workshops, singing, poetry recitation and “Rabindra Fair,” will take place in Shilaidaha Kuthibari, Tagore’s ancestral home. The Kuthibari, which houses countless
been done ahead of the festivity. Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu will inaugurate the event at 10am as chief guest, while Professor Dr Abdul Hakim Sarkar, vicechancellor of Islamic University, Bangladesh, Anowar Ali, mayor of Kushtia municipality, KM Rahatul Islam, CEO of Kushtia District Council, Shamsuzzaman Aronno, mayor
ya Samajtantrik Dal’s Kushtia wing, will be present as special guests. Syed Belal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Kushtia, will preside over the event. Dr Abul Ahsan Chowdhury, will address the inaugural ceremony. Dr Muhammad Jamir Uddin, Advocate Lalim Haque, researcher, and Sahela Akhter, will take part in discussions. l
DG level BGB-BSF meeting held n Our Correspondent, Sherpur A director general meeting between the Border Guard Bangladesh and Indian Border Security Force was held at Killapara BSF camp of India near Sherpur border yesterday.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Salauddin said they would look into the matter. Engineer of Chinese contract firm Meteorological constriction Company entrusted with look after the bridge they would inform the bridge authority about the matter. Executive Engineer of bridge authority Abul Kalam Azad said the cooperative society lifting sand from the pond without consulting with them. He said, “We would look into the matter and take action against the cooperative society.” l
Six murdered in districts in a day
Protest against abduction, killing in two districts Tribune Report
station, authority to look after Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge, office of upazila nirbahi officer, and the Saidabad land office all keep mum over the issue. During a visit to the spot yesterday this correspondent found that three dredger machines have been set up in the pond to lift sand. When contacted, General Secretary of the Society Abdur Razzak told the Dhaka Tribune that they had taken lease of the ponds for three years from bridge authority. “According to a deal we have permission to lift sand,” he said.
Police have arrested a retired army corporal in a case filed in connection with the rape and torture of a housewife in Gopalganj. Delwar Munshi was arrested from Kamalapur village on Tuesday. The raped woman said Delwar entered her house in the later hours of April 30 and raped her. She was admitted to Gopalganj General Hospital and is being treated there at present. A judge of Gopalganj Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal ordered officer-in-charge of Muksudpur police station Md Salahuddin on Monday to file a case in this connection and take necessary steps after the woman had filed a petition following the incident. The case was filed on that night which led to Delwar’s arrest the following morning. In her complaint, the housewife said Delwar had raped her forcefully two months back and also beat her out of anger when she went to police to lodge complaint. The locals later settled the issue in exchange for a large sum of money. Describing Delwar as a lecherous man, the housewife alleged the former army personnel had violated many other local women. She said she was being threatened by influential people linked to the accused to withdraw the case. OC Salahuddin said Delwar was arrested in a rape and torture case. Locals, however, said there were allegations of scandal involving women against the former army official, the OC added. l
The meeting was to commemorate the martyred BSF members during the 1971 Liberation War. The Bangladeshi delegation was led by Director General of the BGB Maj Gen Md Aziz Ahmed, while
the BSF delegation was led by BSF Director General DK Pathan. At the meeting, former Bangladesh Betar director KM Hamid presented a speech commemorating the Liberation War. l
Ashulia, Savar. The deceased was identified as Shumi Akter,18, daughter of Gafur in Madhukhali area of Faridpur district. Police said they were informed when her body was found in her room. Later, police recovered the body and sent it to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. A case was filed in this connection. In Khagrachhari, robbers snatched a motorcycle by stabbing its owner to death in Bhoirab area of Dighinala upazila. The deceased was identified as Shah Alam, 30, a resident of Kobakhali area of the upazila. Police arrested two young men in connection to the incident. The arrestees are Nurnobi, 19, and Rimon, 18. Quoting locals, police said the two young men got on Shah Alam’s motorcycle, which was rented, to go to Dighinala around 7:30pm. When the motorcycle was crossing Bhoirab, the young men stopped it and stabbed Shah Alam indiscriminately, leaving him dead on the spot, and es-
caped with the vehicle. Later locals caught Nurnobi and Rimon out of suspicion in Noymile area of the upazila after seeing their blood stained bodies. Shahdat Hossain Tito, officer-incharge of Dighinala Police Station confirmed the incident by saying; both the arrestees confessed that they rode on the motorcycle in order to snatch it. Police recovered the body and sent it to Khagrachhari Hospital morgue for an autopsy. In Barisal, a female dancer of a jatra company was killed at the Barisal International Trade Fair compound in BIWTA Workshop field in the city. The victim was identified as Sathi Biswas, 22, daughter of Pious Biswas of Chalna, Bagerhut and dancer of Natya Manjury Opera Company of Gopalganj. SI Monowara Begum, investigation officer of the case lodged a case in this connection with the Kotwali police station. The police detained owner of the jatra company for interrogation. l
26 shops burn down Correspondent, n Our Brahmanbaria
At least 26 shops has burned down yesterday in a devastating fire in Nasirnagar upazila of the district. Local sources say that the fire had originated from a short circuit at a shop and soon engulfed the adjacent area. A firefighting unit arrived at the scene from Habiganj and rushed to extinguish the blaze which took four hours. l
Ofﬁce of the Executive Engineer Rajshahi O&M Division BWDB, Rajshahi
Invitation for e-Tender Invitation Reference No. Tender ID (from e-GP portal) Name of the Work
T-6/1417 dt. 30-04-2014 8097 Repair and maintenance of Sub-Divisional Engineers Ofﬁce building at Bagmara WDB Colony under Rajshahi O&M Division, BWDB, Rajshahi during the year 2013-14, Package. No.: EGP-RAJ-BAG-COL-01. This is an online tender where only e-tenders will be accepted in e-GP portal and no ofﬂine and hard copy will be accepted. To submit e-tender please register on e-GP system (http://www.eporcure.bd/). For more details please contact Support Desk contact number (01762625528-31).
Pani-725/13-14 DG-88/14 (4×3)
Md. Harun-Ar-Rashid Executive Engineer Rajshahi O&M Division BWDB, Rajshahi.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Autopsies for criminal investigation Capacity building necessary to bridge the language gap between medicine and law
Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
n Md Ayub Ali riminal Investigation is a science that involves study of facts, identification of offenders, location of the incident, proof of the guilt, collection and examination of physical evidences to ensure justice. Of the various scientific techniques employed by the modern-day criminal investigations, autopsy plays the most decisive role in resolving a case. Also known as the post-mortem examination, autopsy means to “see for yourself.” It is a special surgical operation, performed by specially trained physicians, on a dead body with a view to discovering the cause of the death. A post-mortem is required in cases of an unnatural or untimely death which falls under homicide or accident, suicide or suspicious death. Autopsy surgeons must follow procedures designed to carry out the autopsy. In an autopsy report, there must be a serial number with date, details of the findings, and the opinion of the medical officer as to the cause of death with remarks by a civil surgeon whose signature must be placed under the official seal. The legal provisions on post-mortem examinations are enshrined in section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and sections 303 to 308 of the Police Regulations of Bengal (PRB). According to the law, the procedure of postmortem is preceded by an inquest investigation conducted by the officer in charge of the concerned police station. The police officer shall send the dead body for post-mortem examination to the nearest civil surgeon where there is any doubt regarding the cause of death, or when for any other reason the police officer considers it expedient so to do. The dead body must be accompanied by a copy of surat hal report and a challan in triplicate in BP Form Number 49. On completing the post-mortem examination, the medical officer shall prepare a report in the BP Form Number 50 and a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the superintendent of police who shall cause the same to be laid before the court concerned. A post-mortem report is the best evidence of an unnatural death that is admissible as evidence before the court as an expert opinion. Every criminal case has two major parts, ie: the presentation of evidence and the presentation of witnesses. When the expert is summoned by the court as a witness, the submission of his findings is an expert opinion and when he corroborates these findings with the autopsy report, this becomes the most reliable evidence in the eye of law. In Hadiuzzaman v State, (BLD, 1986), it was held that the deposition made by the medical officer on oath is a substantive piece of evidence, whereas his medical certificate is a corroboration of his evidence on oath. In our country, medico-legal investigations lag behind the normal standard followed. In the cities where a government medical college is available, any academic staff of forensic medicine department of such college is empowered to perform an autopsy. In all other cases
Robert A. Heinlein
(1907 - 1988) American novelist and science fiction writer
autopsy is done by the civil surgeon of the district hospitals. However, in practice, reality is very different. It is seen in most of the district hospitals that doctors who do not have any expertise in autopsy are involved in the procedures of post-mortem. They are chosen from other branches of medial science to perform autopsies. Therefore, they just sign the reports, and the entire activities are performed by the morgue attendants. A post-mortem report helps the police officer come up with a reasonable conclusion about the actual cause of the death. Hence he will have to go through the report very carefully as each and every word of the report is significant for the investigation into the cause and manner of the death concerned. Unfortunately, most of the investigation officers hardly understand the post-mortem report as it is written in the language of medical science. As per section 306(b) of the PRB, police officers shall refer to the civil surgeon if they have any doubt in regard to any part of the medical report, but the real scenario is totally different. The situation gets worse when the post-mortem report does not contain the actual cause of a death. As a result,
thousands of death incidents are resolved without proper investigation. The law provides the judge with absolute discretion to decide the admissibility and reliability of the autopsy report through the process of examination of the concerned expert. But it is seen that most of the lawyers, even judges, do not have sufficient training and expertise as to how the post-mortem reports are to be utilised for the purpose of justice. So the experts, during deposition in courts, may have to face some questions from the judges and lawyers that are not only irrelevant but also embarrassing. There should be coordination among the police, judges, magistrates, lawyers and forensic experts to ensure a high standard of medico-legal investigation. To this end, there should be a provision of six months intensive training for newly recruited police officers, judges and lawyers enrolled in Bangladesh Bar Council. l
Md Ayub Ali is a lecturer, Department of Law and Justice, Southeast University.
Chasing the abductors Poor implementation of the law is worsening the matter n Juris Desk
the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.”
n recent times we are witnessing a series of abduction cases. People from all walks of life, child or adult, rich or poor, persons having political clout or not, are being abducted by unidentified perpetrators. Though this is a serious offence under the existing national laws, we hardly see that the abductors are caught and brought before the court for trial. There are a couple of United Nations General Assembly resolutions and an international convention that provides a framework to deal with the crime of abduction. “International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance” is the convention that calls for the states to provide protection against enforced disappearance for all citizens. In our national laws, the offence is termed as “kidnapping” or “abduction.” Here is a brief account of national and international laws related to abduction and the penalties provided for the offence under the existing laws.
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
The convention is the first universally binding treaty that defines enforced disappearance as a human rights violation and prohibits it. The convention was adopted on June 29, 2006 as the first resolution of the new Human Rights Council. On December 20, 2006 the text of the convention was adopted by the plenary of the General Assembly. On February 6, 2007 the convention was opened for signatures and signed by 57 States. It will enter into force on the 30th day after the deposit with the United Nations of the 20th ratification of accession. Bangladesh has not yet signed or ratified the convention.
National law against abduction Sections 359 through 369 of the Penal Code, 1860 provides definition and punishment of abduction and kidnapping.
According to the law, kidnapping is of two kinds: kidnapping from Bangladesh, and kidnapping from lawful guardianship. If a person sends out any person beyond the borders of Bangladesh without the consent of that person, or of some persons legally authorised to consent on behalf of that person, commits kidnapping. And, if a person takes or entices any boy under fourteen years of age, or a girl under sixteen years of age, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the their lawful guardian, without the consent of such guardian, commits kidnapping.
Punishment for kidnapping
If a person kidnaps any person from Bangladesh or from lawful guardianship, that person shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Whoever by force compels, or by any deceitful means induces any person to go from any place, commits abduction.
Punishment for kidnapping or abducting in order to murder
A person who kidnaps or abducts any person in order that
the abductee may be murdered or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being murdered, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Punishment for kidnapping or abducting of a person under the age of ten
A person who kidnaps or abducts any person under the age of ten, in order that such person may be murdered or subjected to grievous hurt, or slavery, or to the lust of any person, shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years, and shall not be less than seven years.
Punishment for kidnapping or abducting woman to compel her to marry
A person who kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
International legal framework United Nations General Assembly Resolution on enforced disappearance
In December 1978 the General Assembly first refered to the issue of enforced disappearance. In resolution 33/173, the UNGA said that it is deeply concerned by reports from various parts of the world relating to enforced or involuntary disappearances” and asked the Commission on Human Rights to consider the issue of enforced disappearances with a view to making appropriate recommendations.
Definition of enforced disappearance
According to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of December 18, 1992 as a body of principles for all States, an enforced disappearance occurs when: “persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organised groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with
The convention puts an obligation on states to bring enforced disappearance offenders to justice. They must do so not only with regard to persons who commit enforced disappearances on their own territory, but also in cases of alleged offences in other jurisdictions. In those cases states have to either prosecute or extradite the alleged offender, so that no one can escape justice.
Rights of victims
This is the first convention that recognises that the victims of enforced disappearances are not only the disappeared themselves, but also their relatives. It acknowledges the right of the families to know the fate of their relatives, and also recognises that victims of enforced disappearance have a right to reparation for the wrong that was done to them.
Enforcement of the law
The convention establishes an international committee of ten independent experts to monitor compliance. These experts will review reports by states and can also receive individual complaints. The convention also foresees a “habeas corpus” procedure by which relatives and other interested persons who fear that a person has been subjected to enforced disappearance can seize the international committee directly and if the complaint is substantiated the committee will ask the state to search for and locate the missing person. However, an international convention can only help enforce human rights if and when it becomes implemented into national law and practice. So, the convention will only take effect in our country if Bangladesh ratifies it. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
S Africa votes in first born-free election
Residents of Qunu, the resting place of Nelson Mandela, wait in line to cast their ballot on May 7
n AP, Johannesburg South Africans voted in the first “Born Free” election yesterday, with polls suggesting the allure of the ruling African National Congress as the conqueror of apartheid will prevail even among those with no memory of white-minority rule. Voters young and old wrapped up against the early morning chill to stand in long lines across the country, evok-
ing memories of the huge queues that snaked through streets and fields for South Africa’s historic all-race elections in 1994. “It is great voting for the first time. Now I have a say in the country’s election and what is happening. It is something new in my life,” said 18-yearold Mawande Nkoyi - a so-called post-apartheid “Born Free” - in the Cape Town township of Langa. Voting ended at 1900 GMT and a firm
Hamas ‘forced’ into Palestinian unity deal! n AFP, Gaza City Unprecedented pressure on Hamas, from both Israel’s blockade of Gaza and a hostile Egypt, forced the Islamist movement to accept reconciliation terms dictated by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, analysts say. But Hamas’s subservience to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the context of the unity deal could work to its advantage, allowing it to return to its militant roots, freed from the responsibilities of governance. Hamas and the Western-backed PLO, which is dominated by Abbas’s secular Fatah party, signed a surprise reconciliation agreement on April 23 in a bid to end years of bitter and sometime bloody rivalry. Under terms of the deal, the two sides would work together to form an “independent government” of technocrats, to be headed by Abbas, that would pave the way for long-delayed elections. Abbas has insisted the government will follow his policy of recognising Israel, rejecting violence and abiding by past peace agreements. Hamas has insisted however that as a movement it remains committed to Israel’s destruction, and it’s unclear how it would reconcile that stance with support for such a government.
Easing the pressure
Pressure on Hamas has been growing steadily since last July, when the Egyptian army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is the Palestinian offshoot of the Brotherhood and had warm relations with Morsi. After Morsi’s ouster, Egypt began destroying hundreds of tunnels along the Gaza border used to import construction materials, fuel, arms and money, plunging the besieged Strip into its worst-ever energy crisis and exacerbating an already-dire humanitarian situation. “The fall of the Brotherhood in Egypt and its effect on Gaza with the closure of tunnels and the border crossing, as well as resultant financial difficulties, forced Hamas to seek a solution,” said Naji Sharab, politics professor at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University. The unity deal could give the Islamist movement a new lease on life by handing over the challenging task of governing Gaza to an administration headquartered in the West Bank. An alliance with the PLO would help Hamas gain international recognition and acceptance without having to make political concessions on its own, such as recognising the state of Israel. l
idea of the outcome should emerge by midday on May 8 although there is little doubt about the result. Polls put ANC support at around 65 percent, only a shade lower than the 65.9 percent it won in the 2009 election that brought President Jacob Zuma to power. The ANC’s enduring popularity has surprised analysts who said the party could suffer as its glorious past recedes into history and voters focus instead
on the sluggish economic growth and slew of scandals that have typified Zuma’s first term. Africa’s most sophisticated economy has struggled to recover from a 2009 recession - its first since 1994 - and the ANC’s efforts to stimulate growth and tackle 25 percent unemployment have been hampered by powerful unions. South Africa’s top anti-graft agency accused Zuma this year of “benefiting unduly” from a $23 million state-funded security upgrade to his private home at Nkandla in rural KwaZulu-Natal province that included a swimming pool and chicken run. Zuma has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing, defended the upgrades to his home and said the accusations against him were unfair given the importance of protecting any head of state. He confidently told reporters on Monday the Nkandla controversy was “not an issue with the voters.” His personal approval ratings have dipped, but Zuma appeared relaxed and assured as he voted at a school near Nkandla, ending what he described as a “very challenging” campaign. Besides being easy fodder for the cartoonists who have reveled in the freedom of speech enshrined in the post-apartheid constitution, Nkandla has exposed the gulf between current and former ANC leaders, in particular Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, who died in December. It has also become the rallying cry for those who feel the ANC’s dominance as it enters its third decade in power has damaged the soul of the 102-year-old former liberation movement. l
Monica Lewinsky breaks silence on Clinton affair
n AFP, Washington Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky finally broke her silence about her illicit 1990s affair with president Bill Clinton, saying she wants to reclaim the narrative of events that brought her global humiliation. Lewinsky, now 40, was in her early twenties when she became the infamous beret-wearing muse who engaged in sexual relations with the president and then endured a colossal backlash that nearly drove her to suicide. After years of being turned away by potential employers, ridiculed online, and confronted by accusers as “that woman” who performed oral sex in the Oval Office, she decided to write her version of events in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine. “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” Lewinsky wrote in a lengthy essay in the magazine. “I am determined
to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past.” She said her radio silence was so complete for nearly a decade that rumors swirled that the Clintons must have paid her off to keep her quiet. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” she insisted. It is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past – and other people’s futures,” she said, in a likely reference to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s expected White House run in 2016. News of the Lewinsky affair broke in 1998 and became an all-consuming scandal that nearly crashed the Clinton presidency. He was impeached by the House of Representatives that December but was acquitted by the Senate. While the Clintons moved on, Lewinsky became an American outcast, even as she came to regret one of the most famous political affairs in US history. “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship,” she wrote. “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position,” she added. In the scandal’s wake, Lewinsky said, she “turned down offers that would have earned me more than $10 million, because they didn’t feel like the right thing to do.” The anxiety made her suicidal at times, she admitted, noting that the shame and scorn thrown at her caused her mother to “fear that I would be literally humiliated to death.” l
Israeli spying on US at alarming level
Israel mulls internment for hate crimes against Arabs n AFP, Jerusalem
n AFP, Washington
Israel plans to use detention without trial against Jewish extremists suspected of anti-Arab hate crimes, a minister said yesterday, as its failure to secure prosecutions drew mounting criticism. As police confirmed yet another incident of nationalist-inspired vandalism, in which “Death to Arabs” and other racist graffiti was found in northern Israel, senior law enforcement officials were to discuss with ministers how to halt the wave of so-called “price tag” attacks. “Price tag” is a euphemism for hate attacks by Jewish extremists predominantly targeting Palestinian and Arab-Israeli property. “It is the government’s intention to use administrative detention against those carrying out so-called ‘price tag’ attacks,” Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told army radio. Administrative detention allows for suspects to be held without trial for up to six months. Such orders, which can be renewed indefinitely by a court decision, are almost exclusively used against Palestinians suspected of security-related offences. Although police have made scores of arrests, there have been no successful prosecutions for price tag attacks. l
Israel spies on the United States more than any other ally does and these activities have reached an alarming level, Newsweek magazine reported on Tuesday. The main targets are US industrial and technical secrets, the weekly said, quoting classified briefings on legislation that would make it easier for Israeli citizens to get visas to enter America. Newsweek said a congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony “very sobering ... alarming ... even terrifying,” and quoted another as saying
the behavior was “damaging.” “No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do,” said a former congressional staffer who attended another classified briefing in late 2013, according to Newsweek. It said that briefing was one of several in recent months given by the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the FBI and the National Counterintelligence Directorate. The former congressional staffer said the intelligence agencies did not give specifics, but cited “industrial espionage-folks coming over here on
trade missions or with Israeli companies working in collaboration with American companies, [or] intelligence operatives being run directly by the government, which I assume meant out of the [Israeli] Embassy.” Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and go far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, Britain and Japan, counter-intelligence agents told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, Newsweek said. “I don’t think anyone was surprised by these revelations,” the former aide was quoted as saying. l
Israel denies allegations of US spying n AFP, Jerusalem
Israel’s foreign minister yesterday denied allegations that his country was engaged in spying activities on US soil, following a report published in Newsweek. In the article, anonymous US officials said Israel had gone too far in its attempts to secure industrial and technical intelligence from its number-one ally, and had “crossed red lines.” “No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do,” said a former congressional staffer who attended a classified briefing in late 2013,
according to Newsweek. But Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied the charges. “We categorically reject such an accusation,” he told army radio. “We’re talking about lies and falsehood, simply libel which is baseless and unfounded,” Lieberman said, describing the remarks as “malicious.” “I am sorry that there are apparently anonymous elements in the United States who are simply trying to maliciously spread false accusations,” he said. The minister said Israel had “learned its lesson” from the case of Jonathan Pollard, a US naval analyst who was arrested in Washington in 1985 and sen-
tenced to life in jail for spying on the United States for Israel. Lieberman said Israel was not involved in any form of espionage against the United States, direct or indirect. He also denied allegations in the Newsweek story that the alleged spying was connected to Israel’s so-far futile attempts to join the US visa waiver programme. Born into a Jewish family from Texas, Pollard passed to Israel thousands of secret documents about US spy activities in the Arab world over a period of 18 months. He won Israeli citizenship in 1995 and was officially recognised as an Israeli spy three years later. l
Archaeologists find 5,600-year-old tomb in Egypt n AFP, Cairo
Rebels evacuated from Homs, cradle of Syrian uprising
Ukraine’s rebel east readies secession vote
Archaeologists in southern Egypt have discovered a 5,600-year-old preserved tomb and mummy predating the First Dynasty of the pharaohs, the antiquities ministry said yesterday. The tomb was built before the rule of king Narmer, the founder of the First Dynasty who unified Upper and Lower Egypt in the 31th century BC, the ministry said in a statement. The tomb was discovered in the Kom al-Ahmar region, between Luxor and Aswan, on the site of Hierakonpolis, the city of the falcon, which was the dominant pre-dynastic urban centre and the capital of the Kingdom of Upper Egypt. The archaeologists found an ivory statue of a bearded man and the mummy of the tomb’s owner, who appeared to have died in his late teenage years, the ministry said. The tomb’s preserved state will provide new information on pre-dynastic rituals, said Renee Friedman, the head of the multinational archeological team. The tombs of king Narmer and king Ra, a pre-dynastic pharaoh who paved the way to Egypt’s unification, were previously discovered in Hierakonpolis. l
n Reuters, Beirut
n Reuters, Donetsk, Ukraine
Aleppo Hama LE B.
Syrian rebels started withdrawing from the heart of Homs city yesterday, leaving an early centre of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad and handing him a symbolic victory less than a month before his likely re-election. Two buses carrying the first of many hundreds of fighters left the besieged city centre in an evacuation agreed between insurgents and forces loyal to Assad. The deal also includes the release of captives held by rebels in Aleppo and Latakia provinces, and the easing of a rebel siege of two Shi’ite towns in northernSyria. The overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim fighters had held out in the Old City of Homs and neighboring districts despite being undersupplied, outgunned and subjected to more than a year of siege and bombardment by Assad’s forces. Video footage showed a group of men climbing aboard a green bus, watched by around a dozen men in khaki uniform and black flak jackets marked “police.” In front of the bus was a white car with the markings of the United Nations, which helped oversee the operation. Activists said a total of 1,900 people, mainly rebel fighters, were being evacu-
Al-Waer Old City 2 km
ated, starting with 600 wounded fighters and civilian relatives. But most of the people boarding the bus in central Homs appeared to be fit men of fighting age. Later video showed them arriving in a rebel-held area north of the city. Unlike an evacuation of civilians from Homs in February, activists said they were not detained for checks by security forces and were allowed to keep their light weapons. The evacuation comes after months
of gains by the army, backed by its Lebanese militant ally Hezbollah, along a strategic corridor of territory linking the capital Damascus with Homs and Assad’s Alawite heartland on the Mediterranean. The final rebel withdrawal from the centre of the city, known as the “capital of the revolution” when protests first erupted against Assad in 2011, would consolidate his military control ahead of a June 3 presidential election. l
Behind the barricades of tires and car bumpers, past the masked militants who hold Donetsk’s filthy administration building, there is a man in a suit in a spotless office, working from an Apple iMac on a vote to dismember Ukraine. Roman Lyagin, 33, head of this self-proclaimed republic’s electoral commission, does not hide his distaste for the gunmen who seized control here a month ago, but he shares their aims. “Every revolution accumulates its fair share of loons,” he told Reuters. But, he said, “we simply cannot live any more within Ukraine. Ukraine has already de facto said goodbye to us.” If Kiev has not already lost its industrial east, it risks doing so on Sunday, when people in thissteel and coal belt - many of them ethnic Russians or native Russian-speakers - vote in a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ referendum on secession. What comes next will decide whether this country of some 45 million people slides into civil war, or settles into a frozen conflict that could scupper any plans for integration into Western-led multinational institutions for years to come. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic faces joining Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Azerbai-
jan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and Moldova’s Transdniestria as would-be statelets, unrecognized and ignored almost the entire world over since being spawned by the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. Kiev will reject the referendum result, but Russia’s response is uncertain. It annexed Crimea after a similar plebiscite in March, held under the watch of a Russian invasion force, but has been careful not to show its hand ahead of Sunday’s vote. Despite recent opinion polls suggesting only a minority supports secession, Lyagin says the result is in no doubt. The red-blue-black tricolor flag of the rebel republic already flies at the regional administration building in Donetsk, a well-tended city traversed by a long park dotted with open-air cafes andrestaurants. There are nods to the old Soviet order such as a statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. Beyond the city, large factories and mines loom over a rolling green landscape. Western observers won’t be attending the poll, their absence fueling accusations that it will be fixed. Nor will there be a minimum turnout for the result to stand. Neighboring Luhansk region, on the Russian border, will also vote. Gunmen hold sway there too, stoking fears that not everyone’s voice will be heard. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
S Korea lowers survivor count in ferry disaster n AP, Seoul Three weeks after South Korea’s ferry tragedy, the government yesterday said it miscounted the number of survivors, the latest of many missteps that have eroded the nation’s confidence in its leaders. Coast guard chief Kim Suk-kyoon said only 172 people survived the April 16 sinking of the ferry Sewol — not 174, as the government had been saying since April 18. Kim said one of the survivors was accidentally listed twice, and he blamed the other mistake on an inaccurate report by a passenger. Another coast guard officer said the passenger falsely told authorities he had been traveling with someone who had sneaked on board and therefore was not on the ship’s list of passengers. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn’t authorized to speak to media on the matter. She said the passenger later told officials he gave wrong information because he had “lost track of things.” Kim also said there are two more missing passengers than authorities
previously knew about. Both are Chinese nationals. That change raises the number of people feared dead to 304. So far 269 bodies have been recovered, and divers are searching for 35 more people. More than 80 percent of the dead are students from a single high school near Seoul who were on a trip to southern Jeju island. Families of the victims and many other South Koreans have been highly critical of the government’s handling of the rescue effort, and the regulatory failures that may have allowed the disaster to happen. Shortly after the sinking, officials announced that 368 people were saved, giving scores of families false hope. There is evidence not only that the ship was overloaded with cargo, but that the agency responsible for ensuring passenger safety has incorrect information about how much the ship could safely carry. The lengthy, difficult underwater search for bodies off South Korea’s southern coast has deepened the anguish of families of missing people, who have been camping out at a nearby port waiting for the news of their loved ones. l
A girl with a man puts a paper ship she made to pay tribute to the victims and missing passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol at a group memorial altar in Seoul, South Korea, May 7. The ferry disaster left more than 200 people dead, with others still missing. Government and civilian divers are fighting rapid currents as they try to retrieve the remaining bodies AP
Thai political crisis: Key moments n AP, Thailand Thailand’s 28th prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, served two years and nine months in office before being forced out yesterday by a court that found her guilty of abuse of power. The decision follows nearly eight years of political conflict between supporters and opponents of her brother, a prime minister forced out of office by the military. Some key dates in the crisis: n Sept. 19, 2006: The army topples Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup following months of protests alleging corruption, abuse of power and disrespect for the monarchy. n December 2007: A pro-Thaksin political party easily wins elections and later names Samak Sundaravej as prime minister. n August 2008: Thousands of Thaksin opponents, known as the Yellow Shirts, take over the prime minister’s office compound and stay for three months. They later take over Bangkok’s two airports for a week, halting air travel. n September: Samak is removed from office after a court rules payment for an appearance on a TV cooking show constituted conflict of interest. Parliament selects Somchai Wongsawat — Thaksin’s brother-in-law — as his successor. n October: The Supreme Court sentences the self-exiled Thaksin to two years in prison for corruption. n December: Protests end after a court finds Somchai’s party guilty of electoral fraud and dissolves it. With the backing of the military, opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is chosen prime minister. n March 2010: Pro-Thaksin Red Shirts aiming to drive out Abhisit start street
protests that clog central Bangkok. The military storms their camp two months later, raising the toll to more than 90 dead and 1,800 wounded during the crackdown and earlier clashes. n July 3, 2011: The Thaksin-backed Pheu Thai party wins election by a landslide. Yingluck Shinawatra later becomes Thailand’s first female prime minister. n Nov. 1: The lower house of Parliament passes an amnesty bill that could allow Thaksin to return from exile. Public anger builds and the anti-Thaksin movement gains strength, even after the Senate kills the bill and the government decides not to revive it. n Nov. 24: Anti-government rallies in Bangkok draw well over 100,000 people. The next day, hardcore protesters besiege several government ministries and offices.
n Nov. 26: Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban demands that the government be dissolved and an unelected “people’s council” be established to make reforms to eliminate all vestiges of Thaksin’s political power. n Dec. 9: Yingluck announces she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament, calling early elections in an attempt to calm the crisis. n Feb. 2, 2014: National elections are disrupted as protesters force some polling stations to close. It’s later ruled invalid because the constitution requires voting take place on the same day nationwide. n May 7: The Constitutional Court finds Yingluck’s transfer of her National Security Council chief was illegal, and ousts her from her job. Nine other Cabinet members are removed for complicity. l
Ousted Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (R) receives roses from supporters in a suburb of Bangkok on May 7. Thailand’s Constitutional Court yesterday dismissed Yingluck from office for abuse of power AFP
Clashes on Kashmir’s final election day n AP, Baramulla Protesters and police clashed but streets were otherwise largely deserted yesterday in the final day of voting in Kashmir for the national election, as boycott calls and fears of violence kept many voters away. Turnout in the Kashmir Valley constituency voting was about 30 percent two hours before polls closed. Police fired tear gas at a crowd calling for a boycott of the election in the town of Baramulla where resentment against Indian rule of the region runs deep, an AFP correspondent said. “These elections give these (Indian) forces the right to humiliate us, kill us and work against us. That is why I protest,” said Nazir Ahmed, who works on an orchard, in Baramulla. A grenade exploded at a polling station outside the town but no one was injured, a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Turnout across the entire Kashmir Valley in the 2009 election was 30 percent and many fear this year could be worse after separatist rebels shot dead several local officials in a warning to residents against voting. Turnout in the previous two days of balloting elsewhere in the valley was 25.6 percent and 28 percent. Thousands of extra soldiers and police, along with sniffer dogs to detect explosives, were on patrol yesterday in Kashmir, while officials have said some 600 “miscreants” were rounded up ahead of voting to
Death toll hits 43 in Rahul’s bid to win over sceptical voters Assam attacks on produced three prime ministers. pressing their love for me.” n AP, Amethi Gandhi’s presence in Amethi yesterMore than 95 million voters were Muslims Beleaguered Rahul Gandhi, battling to eligible to vote in the penultimate leg day was interpreted in the local media save India’s ruling Congress party in of the election, which ends with results as a sign of concern due to competition n AP, Narayanguri from the BJP candidate, former actress national elections, sought to win over on May 16. Indian police discovered five more bodies of women and children yesterday after a “barbaric” rampage by tribal separatists targeting Muslims in northeast Assam, taking the total number killed to 43, officials said. The bodies were found as authorities continued their search of two districts in the remote tea-growing state where masked gunmen last week shot dead Muslim villagers including babies as they slept. Police have accused tribal Bodo rebels of killing the Muslims whose migrant community has been locked for years in land disputes with the indigenous group in the state that borders Bhutan and Bangladesh. Local media have reported that Bodos attacked the Muslims as punishment for failing to vote for their candidate last month in the country’s mammoth, staggered election that is drawing to a close. “So far the death toll is put at 43. The killings were indeed barbaric with even five-month-old baby not spared,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters from the worst-hit Narayanguri village. In 2012, ethnic clashes in the same area claimed about 100 lives and displaced more than 400,000 people. l
sceptical voters in his constituency as the penultimate round of the world’s biggest election ended yesterday. Gandhi, the scion of India’s most famous political dynasty whose lacklustre leadership of the Congress election campaign has drawn criticism, travelled to his northern parliamentary seat to witness voting first-hand. He toured polling booths in Amethi – his family’s bastion for more than 30 years, which sent both his mother and late father to parliament – and told reporters that local people were “ex-
“Change is in the air for all to see. I too voted for change,” voter Shyam Charan Gupta told AFP from Amethi, a poor rural area in the crucial battleground state of Uttar Pradesh. The challenge facing Gandhi was underscored this week when opposition frontrunner Narendra Modi held a rally in Amethi and declared that nothing could save the dynasty. Modi, a Hindu nationalist hardliner who has campaigned on reviving the flagging economy, urged voters to “break ties with the family” that has
n Agencies The Election Commission of India yesterday ordered Preeti Sahay — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s secretary — to leave Amethi following complaints filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that she was trying to influence the voters in the parliamentary constituency. Speaking to TOI, district magistrate of Amethi, Jagat Raj Tripathi, said, “On the complaint of BJP candidate
leave the constituency.” The district magistrate of Amethi also informed that Sahay has agreed to leave the constituency. Irani and Priyanka’s secretary had entered in a verbal duel, as the former objected to her presence at one of the booths in Jagdishpur area. Following the incident, BJP filed a complaint with the Election Commission on the presence of Sahay at a polling booth at Thori village in Jagdishpur. l
Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, has been refused permission for three events today within the city limits of Varanasi, from where he is contesting his first parliamentary election, NDTV reported. His party has reacted sharply, saying that Mr Modi has effectively been “banned from the city” and warning that it will hold large protests today fronted by senior leader Arun Jaitley. The three events - a rally, a puja on the banks of the Ganga, and a meeting with citizens in a five-star hotel - were planned well in advance, says the BJP. In two different letters to the Election Commission, the BJP has asked that the official who denied the permission must be recalled immediately for demonstrating blatant “bias.” The BJP says that no clear reason has been given for refusing permission for the “Ganga aarti” that Mr Modi was to perform. For the rally, the party says it has been given different reasons - first it was told that the same venue had been booked by a “Mr Khan” who wanted to put up the national flag there. Then it was told that there were intelligence alerts that made the venue unsuitable for Mr Modi’s address to a large crowd. The UP administration claims it had asked the BJP to pick a different venue for the rally as the public park that has been selected can hold 40,000 people but a much larger audience is expected for the BJP’s star campaigner. l
97-year-old Indian votes in every election since 1947
Smriti Irani, and a popular anti-corruption campaigner and poet, Kumar Vishwas. In March, Gandhi’s campaign manager told AFP that the 43-year-old, who spends on average only one night a month in his constituency, had no plans for special campaigning in Amethi. Most voters told AFP they still expected Gandhi to win, but said they would vote for him out of loyalty to the family rather than conviction in his abilities. Turnout in the district was 43 percent by mid-afternoon, PTI news agency reported. l
Priyanka’s secretary to leave Amethi Smriti Irani, Sahay was asked to leave the constituency as her presence was against. Barring the candidates, election agents and expenditure agents, all outsiders have been asked to leave the constituency.” The DEO also said, “We have received a complaint from Irani. Prima facie, we found that both the persons were wrong in their own places. While Sahay should not have been inside the booth, Irani also misbehaved inside the booth. Sahay has been asked to
prevent violent protests. Although streets were deserted in the towns, voters turned out in villages elsewhere in Baramulla constituency, where some hold out hope that a new government could bring much-needed development. “I know about the boycott called by separatists, but they are not the ones who can help us get roads and good water supply,” said 70-year-old Abdul Ahad, a resident of Panzinara village, after casting his vote. “We need people to talk about us where it matters.” A resident of Dangerpora village said as he waited to vote: “We will not achieve anything by fighting. All issues can be solved if we have peace.” India has long struggled to bring Muslim-majority Kashmir into the mainstream election process, and past polls have also been marred by violence and low turnout. About a dozen rebel groups have since 1989 been fighting Indian forces, either for independence or for merger of the territory with neighbouring Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands dead, most of them civilians. Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan soon after the two countries, who both claim the Himalayan region in full, gained independence from Britain in 1947. Some 64 seats throughout the country were up for grabs in the penultimate stage of the election, which wraps up on May 12 with results announced four days later. l
Modi denied permission for Varanasi events n Varanasi
n AP, Shimla As India held the latest round of its election yesterday, 97-year-old Shyam Saran Negi once again trudged several kilometres to vote – a tradition he has kept up since independence in 1947. The retired teacher, from a remote village high in the Himalayas, has voted in 16 general elections, often walking through heavy snow to reach his local polling station. A cheering crowd of wellwishers, some blowing trumpets, greeted Negi
yesterday as he arrived to cast his ballot in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh near the border with China. “I am happy to get yet another chance to vote. I appeal to all to vote to elect honest leaders,” Negi told AFP from Kalpa village. Despite his longevity, Negi has retained his enthusiasm for elections and a sense of pride at being able to take part in the world’s biggest democratic process. “I want India to be led by an honest leader, a leader who is not corrupt in any way,” Negi said before voting. Asked if he remembers voting in 1951 in India’s first general election after independence from Britain, he said: “Absolutely, I remember so well that cold day when I set out to vote for the very first time. “It was so new to all of us.” Himachal Pradesh was among seven states voting yesterday in the latest leg of the mammoth election which is drawing to a close after five weeks. May 12 is the final leg with results announced four days later. A video posted online featuring Negi, which was produced by Google India, has been viewed more than 2.8 million times since it was posted in late March. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Narayanganj killers must be punished
uthorities, including parliamentarians and senior law enforcers, have begun noting the gravity of public concern about the grisly kidnappings and murders at Narayanganj. The Jatiya Sangsad standing committee on Home Ministry affairs has recommended exemplary punishment to anyone found responsible for the abductions and killings of seven people in Narayanganj this week. Committee members have rightly indicated that there must be a full investigation into allegations of involvement by RAB members and local political factions, and that all those found to be involved must be tried, regardless of whether they are members of the ruling party or any law enforcement agency. Public outrage over the gruesome murders, which autopsies indicate were conducted in a professional, clinical manner, is understandably high. News of disputes between and allegations against members of political parties are rife. The prime accused in the abduction and murder of the seven people killed this weekend is a ruling party ward councillor, who is alleged to have fled with the help of rogue law enforcers. The probe committees, which have been formed, must act urgently and ensure a fair and transparent investigation into the varying allegations which have been made, against politicians and law enforcers. RAB and police leaders must follow up on their promises to investigate and apprehend any rogue elements in their forces. The government and all political parties must likewise show no tolerance for any members found to be implicated in these crimes. Only by ensuring no impunity for the killers can authorities earn public confidence and restore trust.
Ensure no impunity for the killers to earn public confidence and restore trust
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Pollution-free automobile fuel for the future mand, say, between midnight to six in the morning. They are also advantageous for power plants, as the electric power demand falls considerably at night, and many plants are therefore forced to run at uneconomic loads. Hydrogen fuel-celled cars will use only pure water, with no possibility of any environment pollution, if and when they come to be in use. To recharge fuel-cells with hydrogen, however, specialised filling facilities will be needed. Water (the fuel) will need to be electrolysed to produce the needed hydrogen. Although the running hours for fuel-celled vehicles will be around five times that of electric battery-driven cars, they will need to be charged nightly, but cannot be charged off the household main overnight. Hence, further infrastructure investment will need to be made in the automobile vehicle fuel-supply business. However, a side benefit, while making hydrogen from water for the fuel-celled vehicle, is the supply of oxygen that can be put to use in many ways. The prospects for hydrogen-powered fuel cells, though, could well be a few decades away as the next alternative fuel for all automobiles, by which time, may be, we will forget about natural gas and petroleum?
50% power generation to come from coal by 2030
Cuts will both reduce foreign exchange spent on imports and improve competiveness of exports
You them in the appropriate squares in the main grid, then use your knowledge of words to work out which letters go in the missing squares. Some letters of the alphabet may not be used. As you get the letters, fill in other squares with the same number in the main grid, and the control grid. Check off the list of alphabetical letters as you identify them.
Engr SA Mansoor A small but fascinating AFP news report seems to have been overlooked by many vehicle owners and importers, but it could bring forth a revolutionary development to the automobile industry. The article stated: “While the Europeans were heralding the all-electric vehicle at Guangzhou (China) auto shows, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor were unveiling hydrogen fuel-celled cars at automobile shows in Tokyo and Los Angeles.” For auto-manufacturers, Tokyo and Los Angeles have a large demand for passenger and commercial vehicles. They are important hubs for new automobiles being introduced and developed for display to the world market. It was also reported that Volkswagen plans to launch more than 15 models of electric plug-in cars by 2018, most of which, will initially be developed and produced in Germany! Meanwhile BMW and their Chinese partner also unveiled a jointly developed all-electric car. All these developments hopefully will lead to a gradual drop in automobile fuel sales, and the related reduction of environment pollution. Electric cars are slowly but surely coming into the mainstream and their batteries can be charged at night, taking advantage of the low power de-
Cut duties to help exporters he call for VAT exemption and cuts on import duties for raw materials by the Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners Association (BEIOA) merits consideration on several grounds. Diversification of export items is an important economic goal. Anything that can encourage export growth by non-traditional sectors should be encouraged. Cutting duties on raw materials, in a growing sector such as light engineering, can do much to stimulate growth and create jobs. The cuts in duty will both reduce the amount of foreign exchange spent on imports and improve the competiveness of the sector’s exports. BEIOA’s associated proposals for tax benefits targeted at incentivising investment in plants and machinery also deserve attention. There are at least 4,000 small and medium enterprises, involved in the production and marketing of light engineering products, which are members of the association. These employ a growing number of workers whose output can be boosted significantly by modernisation. While significant large investments are being made in export-targeted sectors such as car batteries and bicycles, there is a lot of untapped potential for growth in manufacturing light engineering products, both to meet domestic demand and to grow exports. This potential can be released by incentives to encourage smaller enterprises in the sector to develop expertise and use more modern technology. Developing clusters of expertise and competitive businesses operating in a sector is a tried and trusted route to helping a sector flourish. Targeting incentives to make it easier to upgrade technology and improve competitiveness is a good idea.
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.
Shiuli blooming in summer! May 1
Halima Qader I remember I used to collect the flowers from my garden and made a necklace. Miss those days.
PM envisages another nuclear plant May 1
Tom Felix Joehnk And the first one at Rooppur, on the Ganges, which will be dry by the time it is ready. Tefal head Why are you exposing your country’s primary energy to foreign abuse? What if the Russians decide one day not to have any association with Bangladesh? Is it probable? No. Is it possible? Yes. concerned investor Why is the AL focused on domestic funds exiting the country for base load power generation? Surely, indigenous high quality coal will ensure more domestic employment and revenue to stay in the country, expediting overall development and smart fiscal management.
CALVIN AND HOBBES
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Affects with a drug (5) 6 Day before (3) 7 Whole sum (5) 10 Ridiculous sham (5) 12 Dwarf buffalo (4) 13 Grinding tooth (5) 15 Not working (4) 16 Vegetable (3) 18 Small drink (3) 20 Seeds covering (4) 22 Vestige (5) 23 Skirting board (4) 25 Tantalise (5) 27 Cavalry weapon (5) 28 Solar system’s central body (3) 29 Rate of progress (5)
DOWN 1 Fault (6) 2 Eggs (3) 3 Let (6) 4 Starry (7) 5 Pale (3) 8 Sailor (3) 9 Unaccompanied (4) 11 Fish (3) 14 Charges with gas (7) 16 Delight (6) 17 Wait on (6) 19 Spoken (4) 21 Frozen treat (3) 22 Weight (3) 24 Water storage (3) 26 Prosecute (3)
Mr Anu S Clegnut There is no doubt in my mind that using the best scientific engineers and new technology to extract and utilise domestic coal is the answer to medium-term and long-term energy security. It is the simplest and easiest solution and, moreover, regional opinion demands it. Just ask around. AL4everandever Fools. We don’t need to open-pit mine domestic coal and extortionate high-cost quick rentals forever. LNG is just as costly so that is the next obvious choice. We are accustomed to increasing electricity rates, and all look forward to paying higher taxes. Our government loves us so much we must give back. Besides, we have plenty of cows which naturally produce methane, and poultry droppings also produce a plentiful supply of bio-fuel. There is no use for poultry droppings in the industry, so we may as well use it as fuel for cooking. I am thankful for science.
US: Bangladesh influenced by India
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.
Forhad Bappy Throughout history, we have seen that smaller countries surrounding the larger country are economically, politically, and culturally dominated by the bigger one. This practice should be stopped. In every country, whatever its size, political power should be maintained independently for the sake of its own people.
The right to human security May 3
nds The recent abductions have become visible only because they have generated much noise and concern, but the more serious abduction that has been going on unnoticed since long is the theft of people’s dignity as human beings. If you are ever made a victim of any injustice, or are in need of some administrative help or redress, and approach the legal authorities who are constitutionally obligated to help you, just see what waits for you. Not only will help be denied but you will find your respect and dignity as a citizen of this country abducted by none other than the so-called government servants whose survival is paid for with your taxes. The treatment that will be meted out to you will make you realise that your human identity has been abducted.
End of HR? May 4
Ghalib Imtiyaz Being flexible enough to adapt is the key to your survival. Success is too far-sighted a notion that is often blown out of proportions.
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS CODE-CRACKER
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Contempt versus freedom of expression
n Syeed Ahamed
ecently, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 has started contempt of court proceedings against David Bergman for posting some comments in his personal blog. The tribunal, in its order, stated that those blog posts have the potential effect of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice. Hence he was directed to show cause as to why he should not be “punished” for posting criticism in his personal blog.
to prove that particular number. The convicts were accused of taking part in “genocide” – a targeted killing that was proven even by Pakistan’s Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report. No genocide trial ever had to prove a particular number since genocide is genocide, irrespective of the number of people killed. Hence I find his argument too trivial to even merit the tribunal’s attention. But more importantly, I think prosecuting someone for a couple of personal blog posts will not only jeopardise the tribunal’s righteous intentions,
If we now expect the tribunal to prosecute every time someone makes a comment on the internet, it will fail to undertake its primary task
David Bergman and I have had a longstanding disagreement on issues related to the war crimes trials and the Shahbagh movement. I have argued against him in social and mass media, including in the very newspaper he works. I also find Bergman’s argument in those particular blog posts, for which has been charged, unfounded. Having an academic debate over the “3 million” number of the 1971 genocide is one thing, but it was ridiculous to expect that the tribunal will have
it will have irreversible negative consequences for people’s freedom of expression. Our constitutional safeguard for freedom of expression is not as explicit as the First Amendment of the US Constitution that prohibits the making of any law abridging such freedom. Hence, we could not stop the AL and BNP from turning the Information Communications and Technology Act into a draconian law that considers online writing more of a punishable of-
fence than many heinous crimes under Bangladesh’s Penal Code. Writing online now can become a non-bailable and “cognisable” offense under Section 57 of this law. So a police officer can arrest anyone without a court’s permission for writing anything online that the officer or some other person “may” find offensive. People are also constantly facing beheading-threats from fundamentalists just for being “bloggers.” While those who publicly make these threats remain free, arrests are being made for merely “liking” a post or commenting on the internet. At a time such as this, punishing someone for online writing will further restrict our freedom of expression. Nevertheless, the tribunal’s intention to protect “public confidence in the administration of justice” is commendable. The Latin maxim nemo iudex in suacausa – no man should be a judge in his own case – is regularly invoked in court cases to uphold such public confidence. But this does not happen in contempt of court cases, and the tribunal can be the judge, jury, and executioner on its own cause. It is thus essential for the tribunal to ensure that the contempt power is exercised with appropriate protections. This war crimes trial is associated with four decades of emotions, grief, and political struggles. So criticisms aiming the limitations and verdicts of the tribunal come from various sides, which include both the supporters and opponents of the war criminals’ trials. Criticisms also took various
Freedom of expression includes the right to make personal blog posts manifestations—from constructive criticisms to widespread criminal acts of vandalism. The Shahbagh movement itself was seen as a grand display of public criticism against the limitations of the tribunal. How did our jurisprudence react to that criticism? Not with contempt of court cases, that’s for sure. Rather, it took into account the criticism and amended the law to equalise the tribunal’s appeal process. When we saw it as our right to join thousands of people at Shahbagh to criticise the limitations of the tribunal,
Taxing facts n Mamun Rashid
he average corporate tax in Bangladesh is little over 38.5%. Tax authorities realise 27.5% of taxes from around 200 listed companies with local bourses. For hundreds of non-listed local and foreign companies, the tax rate is 37.5%. For non-listed mobile phone companies, it is 45%, and 40% for the listed ones. For banks, insurance, and finance companies, the tax rate is 42.5%.
ship is covered under personal income tax, hence are taxed only once. On the contrary, income from the corporate sector gets taxed twice – once as corporate tax income on the income tax of the company, and again on the same income when distributed as dividend income to the shareholders. Taxes could be much higher if one company owns stakes in another company. Each time each company is charged a 37.5% tax on their incomes. For the higher tax burden, companies always wanted
This high tax regime discourages investors from both home and abroad. This, at the same time, has encouraged a large underground economy to grow
The companies have to pay another 10% tax on dividend payable to the shareholders instead of a 15% tax payable by the shareholders on dividend receipts in the past. However, listed companies paying dividends of 20% or above do enjoy a 10% moratorium on the tax amounts. This was 25% or above a few years ago. Income from corporate proprietor-
to be debt-dependent rather than being adequately equity financed. Though seldom has there been predictability on tax intervention rates for the corporate sector, the corporate tax was 40% for publicly traded companies, 45% for non- publicly traded companies, and 55% for banks and FIs in the early 90s. It came down to 30% for publicly traded ones, 35% for the
non-traded ones, and 40% for banks and FIs in 2002. During the period of 2003-2004, it was kept at 30% for the traded ones but raised to 37.5% for the non-traded ones. For banks it was made 45%. The interim government in 2007-2008 kept it at 30% for the traded ones, but made it 40% for the non-traded ones. For banks and FIs it was kept at 45%. For mobile phone operators, it was fixed at 45%. In 2008-2009 it was brought down to 27.5% for the publicly traded companies, and 37.5% for the non-listed ones. For banks, FIs, and non-listed mobile operators, it was kept at 45%, while for the listed mobile operator it was made 35%. During 20122013, tax was reduced by 2.5% to 42.5% for the banks and FIs, however tax for non-listed mobile operators was raised to 40%, bringing down the gap between listed and non-listed ones from 10% to 5%. The budget for 2013-2014 also maintained the same arrangement. Whether the corporate tax rate should be brought down further is a different debate. However, the corporate tax rate in Bangladesh is quite high in comparison to other similar countries in this region. According to NBR sources, it is 30% in India, 35% in Pakistan, 25% in Nepal, 28% in Sri Lanka, and 30% in Bhutan. On the other hand, the individual tax rate is higher than corporate tax in many coun-
tries. This high tax regime no doubt discourages investors from both home and abroad. This, at the same time, has encouraged a large underground economy to grow. This is reported to be almost 62.75% of our $137bn formal economy. Bangladesh has seen almost $1.6bn illegal money transfer from the country each year between the 2002-2011 periods. Many individuals have purchased luxury cars in the name of the companies to show lower rate of profits, and thereby pay lesser taxes. Bangladesh tax folk were always nervous in reducing the corporate tax in light of large taxes coming in from only a few sectors – mobile companies, tobacco companies, banks, and FIs. They always considered widening the tax net a fluid effort. Bangladesh happily kept itself in the high tax bracket countries without much reform. Seldom do policy planners realise that a lower tax regime with better revenue administration could create wonders. Nobody dared to do any serious research vis-à-vis other, similar countries and thereby put up a tax – friendly business community. Populist and fluid approaches may not help Bangladesh to do much in the future. l Mamun Rashid is a business professor and financial sector entrepreneur.
we cannot deny others’ the right to write in their personal blogs about the same tribunal. Despite four decades of injustice and triumph of war criminals, Bangladesh chose to have a proper trial, not victor’s justice. Now the tribunal can achieve its righteous intention of protecting public confidence in it by ensuring that justice is not delayed any further. As English Chief Justice Lord Hewart once said, it is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.
The tribunal is already suffering from scarce time and resources. People are already getting impatient at it slow pace. If we now expect the tribunal to prosecute every time someone makes a comment on the internet, it will fail to undertake its primary task. Instead, we will end up jeopardising the very freedom of expression that this nation so eagerly fought for. That’s the biggest contempt we all should avoid. l Syeed Ahamed is a blogger and a public policy analyst.
Islamists and Bangladesh n Nur-al-Deen Zia
et us define the Islamist voter as someone who would blindly vote for any party or candidate basing their platform on Islam. The vast majority of such voters in Bangladesh do not have more than a few years of formal schooling. The small minority that is educated is not capable of leading the rest, because these two groups of Islamist voters have quite different visions of Islam. This difference in how Islam is to be envisaged goes back to the 11th century, when a schism emerged among Muslims on education and knowledge. Specifically, Imam Ghazali called for madrasa education to focus only on religious study, ignoring science, statecraft, philosophy, and mathematics. When Muslims conquered Syria, they came across hundreds of books by Greek philosophers and mathematicians. During the Abbasid Caliphate starting from 750 AD, Muslims actively searched, translated, and disseminated such books of knowledge under royal patronage. Although many of the ideas in those books contradicted Muslim cultural and religious beliefs at that time, they still went ahead with studying and distributing them in the interest of acquiring knowledge. Meanwhile, Europe was in the dark ages where all scholarship was confined into monastery-based theological studies. But things turned upside down from the effects of the Crusade, and then the Mongol invasion. From the interactions of European Christians and Arab Muslims, the Europeans acquired the secular study of knowledge in the Arab lands and the Muslims took up the Church-based education of Europe. The hope continuing the tradition of Ibne Rushd, Ibne Sina, al-Beruni, al-Khwarizmi, al-Farabi, al-Kindi, Jabir al-Haiyan etc, withered into nothing. Imam Ghazali was chiefly responsible for this. He forbade all heretical ideas and thoughts to preserve Islam. He fiercely attacked Ibne Sina in his book Tahafut al Falasifa. Because of the vehemence of his attacks, even bold thinkers like Omar Khayyam withdrew from broadcasting their ideas vigourously. Because of Ghazali, madrasa education, which was the only mass education system for the youth apart from the universities for higher education, confined itself only to religious studies. But there was opposition to this restriction in mass education in different parts of the Muslim world. Eventually, this schism led to three regional schools: A science-oriented one based on Egypt’s al Azhar, a syncretistic one in Turkey, and a religion-focused one based in Samarkent. Bangladesh’s madrasas are the heir
to the Islamic discourse written in Farsi a millennium ago in Samarkent. The Samarkent school was abolished by the Soviets, but its literature survived in the madrasas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (Deoband), and Bangladesh’s Qawmi madrasas. The textbooks used in Bangladeshi madrasas are all based on the Samarkent school literature, and are written in Farsi or archaic Urdu. Indeed, there are instances of Hadiths of questionable authenticity taught in our madrasas based on this literature. For example, only recently such a dubious Hadith was circulated in social media, claiming that the Prophet (pbuh) ordered us to attack India. Being the heir of the Samarkent school, madrasa students of Bangladesh tend to read archaic Urdu and Farsi more than modern Arabic-Farsi-Urdu. After September 11, 2001, modernisation of Bangladesh’s madrasas became a priority. The then BNP government, with the assistance of Jamaat and large foreign funding, attempted a modernisation drive. This led to an intense conflict between Qawmi Madrasas and Aliya Madrasas and those trained from Medina University – with the latter denounced as Jew-trained-heretics by some eminent leaders of the Qawmi madrasas. The imams of nine out of every ten mosques in Bangladesh are from these Qawmi madrasas. They are the role models of Bangladeshi Islamists. Scholars from different schools are viewed with suspicion by those trained in the Samarkent tradition. To expect modernising Islamists like Fetullah Gulen or Tariq Ramadan is thus unrealistic in the Bangladeshi context. And how big is the Islamist vote in Bangladesh anyway? Let’s think about it through attendance at mosques. The same mosque that can’t fit the jamaat on a Friday, causing a traffic jam outside, can’t find a single line of Muslims for the Fajr prayer. That is the blunt reality of Islamism in Bangladesh. The apparent rise of Islamism in today’s Bangladesh is a socio-cultural reaction against AL misrule and Shahbaghi cultural hubris. It is similar to the socio-cultural reaction against the upper caste Hindu chauvinism a century ago. Just like the Muslim League politics ended after partition, sympathy for Islamists will also wane once the political scene changes. Before an Islamic revolution is even plausible in Bangladesh, Islam has to be actually practiced alongside science and technology. The vast majority of us practice neither. Those who practice both, however, don’t represent the Samarkent traditionalists, who are the actual Islamists. And that’s why Islamist politics is a non-starter in Bangladesh. l Nur-al-Deen Zia is a nationalist blogger, and this piece first appeared in nuraldeen.com.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
‘I wish I could interview Tagore!’ In conversation with Kabir Suman What was the first Tagore song you sang in public? Badoldhara Holo Shara Bajey Biday Shur
What is Tagore’s impact on your musical journey?
Rabindranather gaan was not something that was “out there.” I grew up with the songs. My father, a great trainer, started giving me music lessons, mostly Rabindranather gaan, when I was six. I heard lots of his songs on the radio in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Gradually, I started to learn those songs also from the great teacher Niharbindu Sen and his wife Geeta Sen who was a popular Rabindra Sangeet artiste too. And my father was always there to teach me more and more. I started broadcasting the songs from the All India Radio, Kolkata, in the general programme when I was seventeen. My first gramophone record was Rabindranather gaan which was published in 1972. The great Subinoy Ray was my trainer. In 1973, my second Rabindra-gaan record was out. I made the First Basic for Helephela Sharabela and Nach Shyama Taletale. – I am saying all this to make it clear that Rabindranather gaan was very much in me all along. But when I started to make songs in 1975 I did not find any urge to follow him. However, unknowingly I imbibed the idea of a song (a form in which the melody goes hand in hand with the lyric) from Rabindranath. Probably, I am the most Rabindra-influenced song maker after Rabindranath, in the sense that lyric has been of great importance to me…and the song structure.
Do you find Tagore the same as you found him in your childhood?
Kabir Suman, who helped redefine modern Bangla music with a large number of stunningly fresh compositions, is credited to make a whole new generation to bump into Tagore songs, too. The musical consciousness of Bangalees – on both sides of the border as well as elsewhere – discovered a brand new style in his rendition of Rabindra Sangeet, mostly accompanied by piano and guitar. Suman rejuvenated Tagore’s songs Tumi Shondyar Meghomala, Bhalobeshe Shokhi Nibhrito Jotone, Tumi Ki Keboli Chhobi and Je Chhilo Amar Swaponocharini, to name just a few, through his style of singing.
What was your first orientation to Tagore music?
I heard Rabindranather gaan [songs of Tagore] as soon as I could register what I heard at all. I heard them from my parents, both of whom were trained singers in their time. My father had done several First Basic recordings solo and with my mother four First Basic recordings (duet) in the 1940s. First Basic means a song recorded for the first time for gramophone. For example, Amar Shonar Bangla was recorded by my father for a film. That was probably the First Basic. Tumi Shondhyar Meghomala too. There are quite a few. His trainer was the famous Shoilojaranjon. He was my parents’ trainer too for their duet recording. I absorbed music of all genres right from my childhood. I found songs of Himangshu Dutta equally nice and as a two-and-a-half years old I was particularly fond of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s “Rimjhim rimjhimjhim ghono deya boroshe” because of its rhythm. My mother told me about that later. I used to play the drums on any book that someone had to hold for me. Rabindranather gaan was not very special in that time.
How could that be? The older I grow the more I discover his nuances. I love about 50 of his songs which, I think, equal the compositional mastery of the greatest Western composers. I don’t like whatever he made. There are some Rabindra-songs that I find musically boring, like Shesh Nahi Je Shesh Kotha Ke Bolbe and some of his “Brohmo-sangeet.” I am critical about him just as I am critical about everyone else. But at 65, I find him closer to me, much closer than he was before. I live with those of his songs that make me wonder how a man, born in 1861, could compose such melodies and structures. How could he create that simple solution to a self-created musical problem in making the song She Ki Elo. The simplicity yet absolute mastery is unbelievable, unfathomable. That shonchari is like Chinese and Japanese line drawings. I live with him. I, alone, hold debates and conversations with him. He is impossible. I know I shall die with him.
What would be your question if you met Tagore and were allowed to ask only one question?
Why did you not make piano the instrument for your songs and not the esraj which does not do justice to the structure of many of your songs?
What in your opinion is the biggest mystery in Tagore?
How on earth did he make songs like Tomar Holo Shuru, Aji Je Rojoni Jay, Tumi Robe Nirobe, Ke Jabi Pare Ogo Tora Ke, Na Go Na Koro Na Bhabna, Birosh Din Birol Kaj, Momo Dukkher Shadhon, Amar Ei Poth Chawatei Anondo and so many others in such an era? How could he create the miracle? There was nothing before him and in the 19th century which could have been an example for him. I wish I could interview him! l
A group of singers perform on the inaugural day of the five-day long National Rabindra Sangeet Festival arranged by Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha (BRSSS) to celebrate the 153rd birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). The event is taking place at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh
TAGORE SPECIALS ON TV Charu Ebong Onyanyo
Charu Ebong Onyanyo, a single episode drama adapted from Tagore’s novella Nastanirh will air on NTV at 9pm. The cast of the drama includes Anisur Rahman Milon, Bidya Sinha Saha Mim, Azizul Hakim, Majnun Mijan and others. The drama is adapted and directed by Tuhin Abonto. The story is of a lonely housewife Charu. Since her husband is a wealthy lawyer who runs a press, she leads a comfortable and idle life. Her husband Bhupati is a workaholic who spends more time at work than at home. He notices her melancholic state and requests his cousin Amal to keep her company. As time passes, their relationship move beyond the platonic state. Unwilling to betray his cousin any further, Amal leaves only to have Charu pick up the broken pieces of her relationship with Bhupati.
Single episode drama Rabindranather Khoje will be aired at 9:05pm on Banglavision today. Directed and written by Kawnain Sourav, the drama features Sohana Saba, Anisur Rahman Milon, Rahmat Ali, Mita Chowdhury and many others. The story is about a young woman named Nabila who wants to marry Rabindranath. Her family fails to find Rabindranath for her and puts an ad in the newspaper in the hope of finding a man like Rabindranath. They get a host of reply to their advertisement but Nabila keeps on rejecting the candidates. Frustrated at the turnout, Nabila brings some orphans to live with her. Her family disapproves of her decision and their peaceful life is disrupted. Suddenly, a young man named Robi shows up at their doorstep. As time passes, they discover that Robi leads his life based on Rabindranath’s philosophy.
Shodor Ondor, a special telefilm based on Tagore’s story will be aired on ATN Bangla today at 11pm. Scripted by Adnan Adib Khan and directed by Golam Shorab Dodul, the telefilm features Aupee Karim, Rawnak Hassan, Shaymol Mawla and many others. The story is adapted to the present time and revolves around the last descendant of a Zamindar (landlords) family. Arko is an orphan who takes life lightly and is unemployed. For his lack of interest, he loses his ancestral home along with all his other belongings. He then decides to become a musician as he is a music lover. He meets Romel, who is the managing director of an advertisement firm. They become friends and Romel lets Arko live in his house, promising him that he would promote Arko’s music. The two men becomes close and spends a lot of time together and Ethena, Romel’s wife feels neglected. The relationship between husband and wife suffers but finally they resolve their differences and Ethena become friends with Arko. Refusing to see their friendship as it is, a jealous Romel throws Arko out of his house. l
Did you know? This is the first season Man Utd have failed to win at least 11 of their home Premier League games
Thursday, May 8, 2014
14 Atletico boss
unveils Atletico Kolkata
14 Napoli secure
third spot in Serie A
15 Shakib shines
as KKR finally wins
Don’t judge a book by its cover: Jurgensen The outgoing Shane Jurgensen’s twoyear tenure as the head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team officially ended with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) accepting his resignation. The 38-year-old Australian refused to term his decision as an ‘outburst’ or an ‘emotional one’, contrary to some comments made by a few BCB directors against him following Bangladesh’s poor showing at home over the last three months. The former Western Australian cricketer will remain in Dhaka for the next couple of days before heading back home. Jurgensen spoke to the media yesterday about his feelings on resigning, some regrets on certain things that did not quite go to plan and his lowest point as a coach among other discussions.
Do you feel a bit relaxed after the resignation was accepted?
I announced it on April 28 so it has been over a week. So there is a feeling of relief with the formalities being done. Also, it is a bit weird to get on a plane to go back.
Can you tell us when did you first started becoming disillusioned as a head coach?
I have spoken about a cricket decision. Sometimes I felt that the cricket side of the things, like I wanted to happen, didn’t quite happen. Without going into too many details, I would have
need to be looked at. I know there’s an FTP and people are working on that. Over the next five years, this will be an important factor for this young team. They will go into a period of their cricketing lives when they will reach a physical peak and experience and mental strength will come together.
liked a bit more control with what was happening around the team. I tried my best to get to that stage. There are certain limitations and restrictions that we have in Bangladesh. It has been building up for a little while, and I thought it was time to let it go and give the team a fresh look.
Did you ask the BCB for any sort of control?
Some board directors think that you don’t have enough control over the team. The players don’t give enough respect to you as you are never rude to them. What is your comment on this?
I have mentioned that I would like this or that to happen. I think there were outside things that were out of my or the board’s control. It happened in late 2013. That’s why I say that there is no one to really blame. It is a series of unfortunate events that have happened. I didn’t have the say or control as much as I would have liked.
It is a never-ending question mark because I have a smile on my face. All I can say is that don’t judge a book by its cover. I am a very competitive man. There were two series wins, drawn ODI series for the first time outside home and more drawn Tests. Of course there is a need for improvement in T20s, but I think everything else speaks for itself. I will just leave it at that.
You are leaving the team in a good shape. What type of a coach does Bangladesh require at the moment?
As a coach, one needs to have the ability to adapt to any situation, whether it is Bangladesh, India or Australia. That team will have a culture, and you have to be able to adapt quickly. It is also important that someone is able to relate to a young team. Yes, have control and the right discipline but ensure to adapt. I was here for three years but the players will be here for 10-15 years. That team will have a foundation of a culture and environment. There’s an opportunity here to take the team to the next level. It started under Stuart [Law] in the  Asia Cup and then 2013 had
some significant results. The next five years could be exciting. Give opportunities to the team and the coach.
The BCB president informed that among the few things that you have told him, one request that you put forth was the hosting of a Twenty20 tournament in place of some firstclass matches. Bangladesh played very few T20s leading up to the World T20. Do you think that there was a gap in communication or were they not
listening to you?
It could have been a gap in communication, whether between departments or board-level. I would have liked to have more T20s with the World T20 coming up. It is important to have really intense cricket for these boys. In terms of standards that are being talked about, this is very important. Last year, Bangladesh played 19 international matches and then teams like Sri Lanka and India each played 30 ODIs roughly, plus Tests and T20s. I think these things
There were a number of off-field incidents – Tamim’s captaincy issue, Shakib’s gesture in the dressing room, Mushfiqur talking about the chief selector – did these affect you as a coach?
It was very tiring. I think there was a period of time there, whenever we were starting to get into a roll, small or big things started to become bigger than it needed to be. I think it was just the way things escalated. There were a gap of communications in a few areas. The manage-
ment of it was very tiring. Coach is all about yourself, and there are so many other things to manage. All of a sudden something happens off the field, you have to manage that. And there is the cricket. They are young men, they will make the odd mistake. I know that they want the best. I can’t fault how hard they have worked in the last four months. It is a shame it didn’t quite happen in the field.
What was your lowest point as a coach?
I thought our performance against Pakistan was great but we couldn’t defend the total. I would probably say it was the loss to Sri Lanka in the first game. After two close T20 games, that one, to have them 67/8, and then drop the two catches, and then the big partnership, that was really disappointing.
Do you think the BCB is on the right track in their running of the cricketing affairs and their expectations from the team?
Do I have to answer that? It is really important to continue to strive and work together. There has to be continued development from the academy, domestic cricket all the way to the national team. There has to be a goal of everyone working hard and pushing. It is a potentially important period in the next few years. I think priority has to be cricket, get whatever is needed and get everything in place. That is going to be important. l
Scolari ignores veterans Kaka, Robinho for WC Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari on Wednesday unveiled the 23 men he trusts can deliver a sixth World Cup ahead of this year’s event starting June 12 on home soil. Having already led the most successful nation in the tournament’s history to their fifth title in Japan in 2002, Scolari is now out to lay the ghosts of 1950, when the Selecao lost the trophy match to Uruguay in Rio. His list contained no major surprises, although Milan forward Robinho (92 caps) missed the cut along with former world players of the year Ronaldinho (97 caps) and Kaka (87 caps), an echo of his decision to dump Romario more than a decade ago. Robinho missed the cut despite facing Chile in a recent friendly. With Scolari having said for months he knew in his own mind who he wanted to pick, save for one or two exceptions, the focus was on who would provide back-up for a first eleven who saw off world champions Spain in last year’s Confederations Cup warm-up. For the defensive second string, Paris St Germain’s Maxwell edged out Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis, while veteran defender Maicon won out at the expense of Bayern Munich’s Rafinha, even though the latter had played in a March friendly romp against South Africa. Henrique of Napoli, fresh from lifting the Coppa Italia, also claimed a berth while in the middle, Scolari com-
pleted his contingent with Manchester City’s Fernandinho and also Inter Milan’s Hernanes. Scolari had already named as his four captains defensive linchpins Tiago Silva and David Luiz, veteran striker Fred of Fluminense and goalkeeper Julio Cesar, despite Cesar now playing in Major League Soccer with Toronto FC. In 2002, Scolari preferred a 3-4-3 line up with Ronaldo at its apex. But now he and technical coordinator Carlos Alberto Parreira will likely base their hopes on a 4-2-3-1 permutation with the idea that star man Neymar of Barcelona can enjoy a free role. Just four of the players are with Brazilian clubs – reserve keepers Jefferson and Victor and strikers Fred and Jo, the latter who had brief spells in England with Manchester City and Everton. Scolari could have named 30 players before later trimming them back by June 2. But the Brazilian Football Confederation had indicated ahead of Wednesday he was happy to name his final squad now in readiness for group games against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon. Scolari will now welcome his selection at the end of May to the refurbished Granja Comary training complex outside the rural town of Teresopolis around an hour north of Rio. He will then oversee a June 3 friendly against Panama at Goiana and a final warm-up against Serbia three days later at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo before the Cup starts at the Corinthians Arena on July 12. l
Sheikh Jamal captain Mamunul Islam (L) shares a light moment with his teammates during their practice session at their club ground in Dhanmondi yesterday COURTESY
Mohammedan SC players warm up during their practice session at their club ground in Motijheel yesterday COURTESY
Sheikh Jamal face MSC in the clash of the titans It will be like a tiger invading a lion’s den when Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club takes on table toppers Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in a crucial second phase match of the Nitol-Tata Bangladesh Premier Football League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 5:30pm today. Jamal top the points table with 31 points from 13 matches while Mohammedan have 23 points from the same number of matches. Abahani lie second with 25 points as today’s result will undoubtedly have a significant
implication in the title race. A win for Mohammedan will bring the gap between them and Jamal to only 5 points while a win for Jamal will stamp their authority even further at the zenith of the points table. The match promises a fascinating duel between Jamal’s three-pronged attack comprising the Haitian duo - Sony Norde, Wedson Anselme plus Emeka Darlington, the Nigerian forward and Mohammedan’s tall defensive duo of Baybeck and Obum Henry, from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively. As far as resources are concerned, Sheikh Jamal surely possess a cutting edge courtesy of national skipper Mamunul Islam, their midfield general
who is capable of dictating terms with his left-footed crosses and through passes. Mohammedan, on the other hand, will be hoping for something special from Vincent Hemanta Biswas who works relentlessly in the midfield and personifies a perfect foil for Mamunul Islam in the heart of midfield. However, Mohammedan is pegged back due to injuries to winger Zahid Hossain and Nigerian midfielder Damien Chigozie with both nursing foot injuries. Sohel Rana, the Jamal midfielder will be out of action also. Jose Rui Capella Batista, the Portuguese coach of Mohammedan warned Jamal to expect a tough time. “The spirit is high after beating Abahani and
Sk Russell share points with KRL in Presidents Cup opener Bangladesh Premier League champions Sheikh Russell KC kicked off their AFC Presidents Cup Group A campaign with a goalless draw against KRL Football Club of Pakistan at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday. Coach Dragan Dukanovic opted for a 4-4-2 combination as Russell started in an attacking mode before gradually losing control in the midfield which created opportunities for their opponents to enter and invade their territory. The Russell forwards failed to pile any pressure on the KRL defense and in return the Bangladeshi side was lucky not to concede goals twice. In the 5th minute Rizwan Asif’s
header rocked the Russell crosspiece while in the 20th minute KRL midfielder Daud saw his effort bounce back from the side post. Hasan al Mamun received the only yellow card for Russell after a hard tackle on Daud. In the second-half Sobuj Kumar Biswas replaced Mithun Chowdhury to boost Russell’s attacking group. The change almost paid dividend as Sobuj came close to opening the score in the 72nd. Despite beating the KRL goalkeeper Sobuj’s powerful grounder flew past the side post by a whisker to deny him the celebration. Russell’s pressure in the dying minutes saw them get four corners but they could not capitalise in the aerial zone as the match remained goal less.
State minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder, on a government visit to Sri Lanka, watched the match and exchanged greetings at the end of the match. Dragan Dukanovic vowed that his charges will put up a better show in the coming matches. He said, “We did not play good football in the first-half but in the second-half the tempo was better. One point is not bad and we will play better football in the next two matches.” Meanwhile, the KRL head coach Tarik Lutfi reflected on the two first-half chances and said, “We would have won the match by two goals if luck favoured us. Now we will have to look forward to play better in the upcoming matches.”l
the players will be showcasing their best to secure a win. There is no other option apart from a victory although I admit Jamal is the best team and it will not be an easy task. However, I also want to say that Jamal will not find us as an easy opponent. We have done our homework for the match,” said Batista. His counterpart Josef Afusi, the Nigerian coach of Jamal has asked his players to keep cool. “There is nothing to take added pressure. It’s a tough match but there is nothing to panic. Mohammedan have won the Independence Cup and they are a strong team. I hope my players remain focused on their duties and we are confident of winning it,” said Afusi. l
Fahad share the lead with four others FM Mohammad Fahad Rahman, Akib Jawad, Rabbi Mridha, Swarnavo Choudhury and Tahsin Mahmud continued their winning spree in the Azimuddin Bhuiyan 33rd National Sub-Junior (Under-16 Years) Chess Championship by winning their all three matches at the end of the third round yesterday. With all the winners sharing the lead with full three points, Oyon Nur Newaz, Nova Tasha, Anata Choudhury, Subrata Biswas, Mir Ahanab Kabya were sharing the 2nd position with 2.5 points each. In the 3rdround Fahad beat Md. Raphael Kabir, Akib beat Surat Alam, Swarnavo beat Abdullah Al Sharhan Saikat, Tahsin Azmain Inqiad Adeeb, Rabbi beat Fardina Hossain Arena, Nova drew with Oyon, Anata beat Rafshan Bin Omer, Subrata beat Al-Amin and Kabya beat Ahanaf Jamil. l
Chile’s Vidal set for knee op
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Parker leads Spurs rout
Chilean international midfielder Arturo Vidal is set to undergo keyhole knee surgery on Wednesday, his club Juventus confirmed. Vidal, considered one of his country’s key players for the World Cup, travelled to Barcelona to consult with Professor Ramon Cugat on Tuesday. The Chilean is expected to recover in time for the World Cup in Brazil, where Chile are in Group B with Spain, Holland and Australia. Vidal’s recent trouble with his right knee meant he missed the 2-1 defeat to Benfica in the first leg of Juve’s Europa League semi-final two weeks ago. He returned to action for the second leg in Turin. –AFP
Australia axe captain Neill from WC
Tony Parker poured in 33 points and the San Antonio Spurs romped to a 11692 victory over Portland on Tuesday in game one of their NBA second-round playoff series. French point guard Parker also had nine assists, and six Spurs players scored in double figures as the Western Conference top seeds took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Kawhi Leonard scored 16 points and Tim Duncan scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the 152nd post-season double-double of his career, a tally that trails only the 157 playoff double-doubles of Magic Johnson. –AFP
Captain Lucas Neill has been dumped from Australia’s World Cup squad with coach Ange Postecoglou saying he does not have the form or fitness to justify going to Brazil. The decision appears to spell the end of the 36-year-old’s international career after 96 games for his country, although Neill has previously said he was determined to play in January’s Asian Cup tournament in Australia. Postecoglou said the decision not to select him in his provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup was not easy, adding he wasn’t convinced the defender could cope with the rigours of football’s showpiece event. –AFP
Giggs ‘undecided’ on United future Ryan Giggs says he is still to decide about his Manchester United future despite making what appeared to be a farewell appearance in a 3-1 win over Hull City. Giggs, the club’s current interim manager, sent himself on as a 70th-minute substitute in Tuesday’s Premier League game at Old Trafford, which was United’s last home fixture of the campaign. The 40-year-old midfielder’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, but he made no mention of his future in a post-match address to the crowd. Speaking to journalists afterwards, he explained that he had not reached a decision about whether to hang up his boots after a 23-year United career in which he has made a record 963 appearances for the club. “I’ve not decided yet,” he said. “Nothing has changed. I’ll wait until the season has finished and then get a holiday and think about it in the next couple of weeks.”
On Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, whose contracts are also due to expire but who did not feature against Hull, Giggs added: “It is not as if they are young players and they are up in the air. “If they carry on, they carry on; if they leave, they leave. New players are going to come in anyway, whether they stay or go. “It is up in the air, but in the next couple of weeks, I think it will get sorted for the three of us.”
RESULT Man United Wilson 31, 61, van Persie 86
Hull Fryatt 63
Giggs was also cautious when asked to provide an update on the club’s search for a permanent successor to David Moyes, who was sacked last month after only 10 months as manager. Current Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is widely expected to be appointed shortly, but Giggs said that vice-chairman Ed Woodward had given him no indication that an announcement was imminent. l
Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic, who played his final home match for the team, addresses the fans following their English Premier League match against Hull City at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England on Tuesday REUTERS
Atletico boss unveils Atletico Kolkata Fifa ‘been through hell’ over World Cup: Valcke The owner of Spanish giants Atletico Madrid predicted exciting times for football in cricket-mad India Wednesday as he revealed one of the teams lining up in a controversial new league would be called Atletico Kolkata. The Spanish club, who are in the final of this year’s Champions League and top of La Liga, are co-owners of the Kolkata franchise in the newly-created Indian Super League (ISL) that kicks off in September. “This is an exciting time to be in India,” owner Miguel Marin told reporters as the franchise’s name was announced at a press conference. “We are very excited at the prospect of creating connection with one of
the largest demographics for football globally,” Marin added. “Our joint ownership of the club is testimony to our commitment to the Kolkata franchise. Through this franchise, the club will work to improve the game in India.” Atletico are the only prominent international club linked to the ISL, which will see eight city-based teams compete against each from midSeptember until the end of November. Organised by the All India Football Federation, the league is being backed by India’s Reliance Industries, which is controlled by the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, and by sports management giant IMG. Players’ lists have not been revealed but among those who have been mentioned are ageing stars like former
France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, Argentina’s retired marksman Hernan Crespo and ex-Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke. Atletico Madrid will share the ownership of the Kolkata franchise with former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and three city-based businessmen. Other team owners in the league, to be broadcast by the Rupert Murdochowned Star TV network, include cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham. India, ranked a lowly 145th in the world and 25th in Asia, has seen a surge in football’s popularity due to live television coverage of matches played around the globe, especially from the English Premier League. l
FIFA have “been through hell” over this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, according to general secretary Jerome Valcke. “In Brazil there are certain politicians who are against the World Cup, and the fact is that we’ve been through hell, essentially because in Brazil you have three political levels and there has been a change -- there was an election and we’re not necessarily talking with the same people (as before) -- it was difficult to keep repeating the same message,” Valcke said on Tuesday evening at a forum in Lausanne. “It’s not FIFA that is organising the World Cup in Brazil but Brazil which is
United’s Jones taken to hospital
Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly (2R) and Indian co-owners of the team receive jerseys of Atletico Madrid from owner and CEO, Miguel Angel Marin during a press conference to announce the name of Kolkata franchise “Atletico De Kolkata” of the Indian Super League (ISL) in Kolkata yesterday AFP
Manchester United defender Phil Jones was taken to hospital after injuring his shoulder during his side’s 3-1 win over Hull City on Tuesday, interim manager Ryan Giggs revealed. “He’s gone to the hospital, so we’ll just have to assess it,” Giggs said. Jones, 22, hurt himself in an aerial collision with Maynor Figueroa mid-way through the first half of the Premier League game at Old Trafford and had to be helped off the pitch by a member of United’s medical staff. The news will be of particular concern to England manager Roy Hodgson, who is due to name his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil on Monday. The versatile Jones has won nine caps for England and was expected to be included in Hodgson’s squad.l
organising the World Cup in 12 towns. “We’re supporting Brazil to ensure that it’s a success because the whole of FIFA is based around the success of the World Cup. If the World Cup is a failure then we, FIFA, are in trouble.” FIFA had set a December deadline but this has been forced to be extended as several of the stadiums simply hadn’t been completed. “We should have received the stadiums in December, we’ll receive them on May 15 (less than a month before the World Cup kicks off ),” added the Frenchman, second in command at FIFA behind president Sepp Blatter. “It’s a little bit later than expected but we know how to adapt.” l
Brazil no Iraq or Afghanistan: sports minister Brazilian sports minister Aldo Rebelo admitted Tuesday the World Cup faced “serious” security problems – but said the country was not a war zone like Iraq or Afghanistan. “We all have our tragedies and challenges, serious problems relating to security,” said Rebelo as he embarked on a spirited defense of Brazil, which is racing to be ready to host the World Cup from June 12. But calling for perspective, he said: “I don’t think the English will confront greater threats in Manaus than in the Iraqi provinces or Afghanistan, where they recently lost hundreds of young soldiers.” l
Zidane set for Bordeaux France legend Zinedine Zidane is poised to become head coach of Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, according to reports in the French media on Tuesday. Zidane, 41, played for Cannes, Bordeaux and Juventus before joining Real Madrid in 2001 and retiring at the age of 34 in 2006. He is currently working as an assistant to Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, and in January graduated with a diploma in sports management at the Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport in Limoges. Reports linking him to the job at Bordeaux have gathered strength this week with some papers suggesting his arrival at the Girondins was imminent. The Sud Ouest daily wrote Tuesday that Bordeaux had made Zidane “top of their list” to replace existing manager
Francis Gillot. Gillot is under contract until 2015 with a release clause built into his deal. Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud said on Tuesday: “It’s a rumour and the time is coming, when it’s the moment to discuss the set up for next season we’ll talk about it then.” He added: “It’s not the news for today,” he added. French news channel I-Tele suggested the 1998 Ballon d’Or’s appointment as Bordeaux boss was “90 percent” assured. I-Tele reported that “Zidane had met Jean-Louis Triaud” and that the two men “were almost in agreement on everything”. Zidane and Triaud are set to meet up again “by the end of the week” to wrap up the arrangement. “It’s almost done,” the same source reported. l
French club names woman Napoli secure third spot in Serie A coach in landmark move French second division club Clermont on Wednesday named Helena Costa as coach, making the Portuguese the highest-level woman in charge of a men’s team in the major European championships. Costa, 36, has been the coach of the women’s national sides in Qatar and Iran. She learned the managerial trade with Benfica in Portugal. But Costa has also worked as a scout for Scottish champions Celtic and top clubs in Spain and Portugal. “This nomination will allow Clermont Foot 63 to enter a new era,” said a club statement announcing the appointment.
Clermont Foot are 14th in the French second division with two matches to play. Current coach Regis Brouard will leave at the end of this season and Costa will take over straight after, Clermond said. l
Napoli celebrated cementing a third-place finish in Italy’s Serie A, and a place in the qualifying stages of next season’s Champions League, with a 3-0 rout of ten-man Cagliari on Tuesday. Fresh from victory over Fiorentina in a violence-marred Cup final, Rafael Benitez’s men were assured of third spot earlier in the evening when Fiorentina, in fourth, were stunned 4-3 by Sassuolo in Florence. Celebrations at the San Paolo, however, were comparatively subdued as fans sung and waved banners in honour of 30-year-old Napoli fan Ciro Esposito, who is in hospital in a critical state after being shot on the fringes of
the Cup final on Saturday. Benitez joined the many calls from Italy to find a solution to football-related violence. Napoli went on to outclass their visitors from Sardinia, who played much of the second half with 10 men after
Rodriguez 57-P, Rossi 72, Cuadrado 75
Sassuolo Berardi 23-P, 33, 42, Sansone 64
Mertens 33-P, Pandev 43, Dzemaili 57
‘keeper Marco Silvestri saw red for a foul on Goran Pandev on 54 minutes. By then, Napoli had already raced to a 2-0 lead thanks to Dries Mertens’ 33rd minute spot-kick after Daniele Conti had hauled Pandev down in the box as
the striker prepared to strike. Pandev doubled Napoli’s lead three minutes before the interval when he turned Jose Callejon’s unselfish square ball into a virtually empty net after the Spaniard had intercepted defender Davide Astori. Earlier, Domenico Berardi scored his second hat-trick of the season, one of his goals coming from the penalty spot, as Sassuolo stunned hosts Fiorentina 4-3 to move two points clear of the drop zone. Sassuolo’s eighth win of the campaign moved them up to 16th, two points clear of Bologna. Fiorentina remain fourth but with two games remaining Vincenzo Montella’s side are only six points ahead of sixth-placed Torino. “Apart from final score, I mostly liked what I saw,” said Montella. l
Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain kisses the Italian Cup trophy won on May 3 against Fiorentina, prior to the Italian Serie A match against Cagliari Calcio in San Paolo Stadium on Tuesday AFP
Swapan new VP of rugby union Abdullah al Zahir Swapan was nominated as the vice president of Bangladesh Rugby Union by the National Sports Council yesterday. Swapan filled the vacuum of Tarafdar Ruhul Amin who resigned from the post of vice president earlier. Bangladesh Rugby Union officials congratulated Swapan for his involvement with the federation. –Tribune Desk
Monk appointed as full-time Swansea boss Garry Monk has been appointed permanent manager of Swansea City on a three-year contract following a successful spell as interim boss, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. Monk, who made 260 appearances for the club as a player, replaced former head coach Michael Laudrup who was sacked in February with the Welsh club hovering above the relegation zone. But the 35-year-old Monk steadied the ship at the Liberty Stadium, winning four, drawing three and losing six of his 13 league games in charge, guiding the club to safety with two games remaining. “As a Board of Directors we carefully considered our next step because it was a very important decision for our football club,” Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said on the club’s website. –Reuters
Lahm defends Guardiola system Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has leapt to the defence of coach Pep Guardiola’s system, which has come in for much criticism since the holders’ elimination from the Champions League by Real Madrid last week. Bayern won the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup last year under the now-retired Jupp Heynckes. Guardiola came in at the start of this season and implemented a new formation and more patient, possession-based passing style, but while Bayern dominated the ball against Real, they were cut to shreds on the counter-attack in a humiliating 5-0 aggregate defeat. –AFP
Pakistan to host New Zealand in UAE
Led by skipper Gautam Gambhir (69) and his opening partner, Robin Uthappa (47), the Kolkata Knight Riders registered a massive eight-wicket away win against the Delhi Daredevils. Chasing 161, the KKR openers put up yet another century stand, which, this time, helped their side bag the two points on offer. Earlier, DD won the toss – their first of the tournament – and chose to bat first. Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay opened the batting for the hosts. But before he could make a telling impact, de Kock (10) was dismissed by Umesh Yadav in the third over. Then, with the DD score on 26 in 5.3 overs, Kevin Pietersen (6) was run out. Dinesh Karthik then came in to bat and added 35 runs during a 3.3 over stretch for the third wicket with Vijay (24). However, Kallis got rid of the latter in the ninth over. But Karthik (36) continued to steady the DD innings, until falling prey to Shakib Al Hasan in the 12th over. With their team on 105 for five, Kedar Jadhav paired up with Duminy, who had got his eye in by that point. However, it was Jadhav (26*) who led the charge as he went after the KKR bowlers – but Duminy (40*) did follow suit by striking a few big hits himself. The duo ended up adding a staggering 55 runs
in just 25 balls during their unbroken partnership. Thanks to the efforts of the sixth-wicket pair, DD notched up 160 for five in their 20 overs. In response, Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir opened the KKR innings. They gave their team a solid start and scored a total of 52 runs in the powerplay. Both batsmen unleashed a wide array of strokes for which the DD bowlers had no answers. They took the score past the three-figure mark in
Delhi Daredevils 160 for 5 20 overs (Duminy 40, Karthik 34; Shakib 1-13, Yadav 1-26) Kolkata Knight Riders 161 for 2 (Gambhir 69, Uthappa 47; Parnell 2-21) KKR won by 8 wickets the 11th over itself; this was the duo’s second straight century stand. But just when it seemed like both batsmen’s defense was impenetrable, Wayne Parnell trapped Uthappa (47) leg-before in the 12th over; the first-wicket stand was worth 106. However, with Manish Pandey for company, Gambhir continued to rally on. The KKR skipper soon brought up his half-century. The KKR 150 then came up in the 17th over. But finally DD got a second breakthrough as Parnell had Gambhir (69) caught behind. l
Sony Six 8:30PM Indian Premier League Rajasthan v Hyderabad NBA Play Off 2013-14, Conf Sf 5:00AM Washington v Indiana 7:30AM LA Clippers v Oklahoma City
Shakib Al Hasan of the Kolkata Knight Riders is congratulated by team mate Manish Pandey after getting the wicket of Delhi Daredevils batsman Dinesh Karthik during their Pepsi Indian Premier League match at the Feroze Shah Kotla cricket stadium, Delhi yesterday
Modi vows comeback despite life ban Pakistan bans first-class player for doping Lalit Modi, the disgraced founder of the Indian Premier League, vowed on Wednesday to fight to return to cricket administration despite being banned for life from holding any position in the sport. Modi, who is exiled in London after his passport was revoked by the Indian government over corruption allegations, was finally on Tuesday named president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association following elections last year. But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which banned Modi for life last September, refused to recognise the results shortly after the Supreme Court allowed them to be announced. The BCCI, which had been trying to block the announcement, suspended the Rajasthan state association until further notice.
Modi lashed out at the BCCI over Tuesday’s decision, saying it was unfairly punishing the Rajasthan association because of a long-running personal grudge against him. “If they have a problem with Modi, we can deal with that separately,” Modi told the Cricinfo website from London. “But they just can’t suspend the association. I have won a democratic election. They just can’t say we don’t like his face, so ban him. “I have been in a war with the BCCI for four years. I have won the first battle, but there are many more battles to be won.” Modi said he would likely return to India after the country’s general election ends next week when the ruling Congress party are expected to be thrown from power following a decade in charge. “I will be back soon,” Modi said.
“I am sure under a new government there will be no witch hunt like... under the existing one. There is not a single chargesheet filed against me in the last four years.” The BCCI had imposed a life ban on Modi from holding any cricket post after finding him guilty of “serious” acts of indiscipline and misconduct over allegations that he had siphoned off funds. The life ban came a little over three years after Modi was removed as Indian Premier League chairman and BCCI vice-president following the end in 2010 of the third edition of the popular Twenty20 league. The 50-year-old scion of a business family, who is also being investigated by the current government on corruption and money-laundering charges, has in the past denied all allegations against him. l
Pakistan banned a first-class cricketer for two years Wednesday after he tested positive for a banned substance, the first ever doping ban in the country’s domestic cricket. All-rounder Kashif Siddiq Khan captained the State Bank team in Pakistan’s domestic competition and is the son of a respected first-class umpire. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the 32-year-old violated the anti-doping code, but did not give details of what substance he had tested positive for. “Khan was found guilty of violating the PCB’s anti-doping code and is hence banned for two years,” a statement said.
Former Pakistan pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif also failed dope tests in 2006, but the tests were conducted out of competition. Akhtar was banned for two years and Asif for one but the bans were overturned on appeals, a decision criticised worldwide. The PCB said Khan’s dope test was conducted in November 2013 during the domestic Twenty20 cup competition. “An adverse analytical finding was reported by the National Dope Testing Laboratory in New Delhi, India, against the sample collected from Khan,” the PCB said. Khan was provisionally suspended from participating in any form of cricket in January pending the proceedings of the Anti-Doping Tribunal. l
Wawrinka ousted by young pretender Thiem
Villarreal fined over banana-incident
Shakib shines as KKR finally win
Pakistan and New Zealand will play a three-test series in the United Arab Emirates in November and December, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Wednesday. The tour also includes a T20 match and five one-day internationals in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi ahead of the World Cup in 2015. Since 2009, Pakistan has had to play all its home series at neutral venues abroad due to security concerns. Itinerary: Nov 11-15: 1st Test at Abu Dhabi Nov 19-23: 2nd Test at Dubai Nov 27-Dec 1: 3rd Test at Sharjah Dec 5: T20 international at Dubai Dec 8: 1st ODI at Dubai Dec 12: 2nd ODI at Sharjah Dec 14: 3rd ODI at Sharjah Dec 17: 4th ODI at Abu Dhabi Dec 19: 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi –Reuters
Villarreal have been fined 12,000 euros ($16,700) by the Spanish soccer federation after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona’s Dani Alves during last month’s La Liga match at El Madrigal, the club said on Wednesday. The penalty comes after widespread support from celebrities and public figures for the Brazil defender, who picked up the banana and took a bite as he prepared to take a corner during the match on April 27. Alves later told Brazil’s Radio Globo that Spain was “very backward” in its approach to racism. Villarreal responded quickly by banning the supporter for life but the club have now been fined by the federation as Spanish football tries to clean up the game’s image. –Reuters
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Mia Hamm attends the Soccer Star Mia Hamm Named Residence Inn’s 2014 Resident Mom on Tuesday in New York City AFP
Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka crashed to a shock second-round defeat at the Madrid Open on Tuesday when he was upset 1-6 6-2 6-4 by qualifier Dominic Thiem. Third-seeded Swiss Wawrinka, who followed up his title in Melbourne with victory at last month’s Monte Carlo Masters, started strongly against the 70th-ranked Austrian, who at 20 years and eight months is the youngest player in the top 100. However, he lost his way in the second set and was unable to recover in the third as Thiem pulled off his first ever win over a top 10 player to secure passage to the third round and a meeting with 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia or unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Wawrinka told a news conference he had found trouble adjusting to the con-
ditions in the Spanish capital, where the thinner air at altitude helps the balls fly faster than a clay court at sea level. Thiem was joined in the last 16 by fifth seed David Ferrer, who had to dig deep to see off Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos 7-6(6) 5-7 6-3. Top seed and defending champion Rafa Nadal, the world number one, begins his title defence with a second-round match against unseeded Argentine Juan Monaco on Wednesday before seventh seed Andy Murray of Britain takes on Nadal’s Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro. Nadal’s chances of success have been boosted by the withdrawal of both second-ranked Serb Novak Djokovic, who has an arm injury, and Roger Federer. The Swiss world number four opted to miss the tournament so he could be present at the birth of his twin sons Leo and Lenny earlier on Tuesday. l
Yahia wins Best Administrator award Md. Yahia, administrator of the Bangabandhu National Stadium, was rewarded with the Best Administrator award during the 6th Kagoj-Kolom Business Awards yesterday. Yahia has been working as the administrator of the Bangabandhu National Stadium since 1993 and has been committed to the development of sports since then. Information Advisor to the Prime Minister, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, distributed the awards to the recipients. l
Phelps dives back in the Mathews buoyed by Ireland opener pool next week Michael Phelps, who already owns a record 22 Olympic medals that include 18 golds, will continue his comeback next week at a meet in North Carolina, USA Swimming announced Tuesday. Phelps and fellow Olympic champions Ryan Lochte and Allison Schmitt are among those slated to compete in the May 15-18 US Grand Prix event in Charlotte. After taking four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps took 20 months away from swimming, but announced three weeks ago that he would be making a comeback. Phelps was a runner-up to Lochte in
the 100m butterfly at a US Grand Prix meet in Mesa, Arizona, last month and excited fans with the idea that he might take the plunge in quest of a fifth Olympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro. Phelps and his coach, Bob Bowman, have been coy about whether or not Rio is in their plans, but the Charlotte meet and another June 19-22 in Santa Clara, California, are the best chances Phelps will have to post qualifying times for the US championships in August in Irvine, California. That event serves as the American qualifying meet for next year’s world championships in Russia, the last major full global showdown in the pool before Rio. l
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews expects his side to improve quickly once they get used to conditions in the British Isles. Speaking after what proved to be a comfortable 79-run victory over Ireland in Dublin on Tuesday, in the first of two one-day internationals before they arrive in England for a Test match and full ODI series, Mathews admitted it was a sluggish start but was encouraged by the performance. “The guys were a bit scrappy today but to get over the line was a good effort,” he said. “It’s only the start of the tour and when we adapt to the conditions we will perform better and better.”
As expected, spin bowlers proved the Sri Lankan match-winners and Mathews always thought their total of 219 for eight would be enough. “I was not really bothered at halfway. I knew I had the bowlers to defend the total. The pitch played pretty slow in the first half and our batters had to work hard to get to 220 and it was a
very pleasing effort. It played better in the second, but the spinners were key. “(Ajantha) Mendis bowled some really good balls as did (Sachithra) Senanayake. The two fast bowlers also came to the party. “We didn’t know what kind of total was a good one as we haven’t played here before, and that’s why we wanted to bowl first,” Mathews added. The helpful early conditions for the bowlers left Sri Lanka at 95 for five after 30 overs, with Middlesex’s Tim Murtagh the pick of the Ireland attack. But Nuwan Kulasekara finished strongly, scoring 42 not out from 34 balls with three fours and the only two sixes of the innings and, crucially, shared an unbroken stand of 43 in just 22 balls with Mendis. l
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Climate change to affect agricultural yield n Abu Bakar Siddique
Steady increase in the number of drought-affected areas in the country over the last few decades due to changing pattern of global climate will lead to a decline in agro-production in near future affecting badly the people living on agricultural land, says a study. The study has identified a total of 213 vulnerable upazilas that depend on agricultural land for production of Rabi, Kharif-1 and Kharif-2. Many of them were not in the list of extreme drought-prone areas historically. However, the production trend in the country’s agricultural sector is still high due to increasing trend of using high-yielding varieties though it cannot eventually cope with the rate the drought-affected areas are going up, said Malik Fida A Khan, the team leader of the study. The study titled Vulnerability to Climate Induced Drought Scenario and Impacts was published in 2013 also said that seasonal crops like Boro are the most affected agro-based production in the country in terms of drought. The study predicted farmers of Bagerhat, Dinajpur, Maulvibazar, Panchagarh, Rangpur, Sirajganj and Thakurgaon would face a 30% loss in the production of Brri Dhan -11 (Aman) by 2030.
Similarly farmers of Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal divisions will have to count a big loss in the production of Boro. The study conducted by Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme found that the country had experienced comparatively warmer winters and hotter summers in last few decades by analysing the 35 years data of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). It shows that a rise in the minimum temperature by 0.45 degree Celsius and 0.52 degree Celsius is observed during the winter (December-January-February) and monsoon (June-July-August) seasons respectively. Maximum temperature is also observed to have increased during the pre-monsoon (March-April-May) and post-monsoon (September-October-November) month by 0.87 degree Celsius and 0.42 degree Celsius respectively, it said. Like the temperature, the study also found that pattern of rainfall has been changing as annual rainfall and dry-season rainfall have decreased. A fall in the pre-monsoon rainfall has found from the data of 30 BMD stations out of the 32, the study also said adding that post-monsoon rainfall has increased. Bangladesh experienced severe droughts in the years 1951, 1957, 1961, 1972, 1976, 1979, 1986, 1989 and 1997.
Most of them primarily occurred in pre-monsoon and post-monsoon though in some extreme cases the pre-monsoon droughts had extended into the monsoon season due to delayed onset of the monsoon rains.
Meanwhile, meteorologists from BMD and AccuWeather expressed concern on April 27 that monsoon may remain different this year as the impact of expected upcoming El Niño would create extreme and prolonged drought
Rehana likely to get a house in Gulshan n Mohosinul Karim
this year across the region. The report of AccuWeather.com said the persisting heat is a bit early but not unheard of during this time of year. The hottest weather in the subcontinent often occurs before the onset of frequent rains during monsoon. Like AccuWeather, an USA based weather forecasting services worldwide, Bangladesh Meteorological Department also expressed the same probability of prolonged drought this year in Bangladesh as an impact of El Niño. “We assumed that the rainfall will be comparatively less in the upcoming monsoon,” said Shah Alam, director of the Met office yesterday on April 27. The study suggested that the government should develop more drought tolerant rice and other varieties which could resist more heat, shock and drought to tackle the future threat as the areas prone to drought are increasing day by day. In addition to drought resilient varieties, the country should develop climate resilient cropping pattern suited to different regions, said Dr Asaduzzaman, professional fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) adding that the varieties which would take less time and less water to cultivate also should be introduced to maintain the current trend of agricultural production in the country. l
The government has decided to allocate a plot with a house in the capital’s posh Gulshan area to Sheikh Rehana, the only sister of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a minister said. Housing and Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain said the government has designated a house for Rehana following a High Court directive under “The Father of the Nation’s Family Members Safety Act, 2009.” Rehana is the younger daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Rehana was given a house in Dhanmondi during Awami League’s 19962001 tenure. But the BNP-led government that took over in 2001 cancelled the allotment and moved the Dhanmondi police station there. Rehana challenged the cancellation in court. In a ruling in 2009, after AL returned to power, the court directed the government to give her a house again. However, Rehana decided not to keep the Dhanmondi house. “She is being rewarded for her sacrifice by not taking back the house in Dhanmondi, which is being used as the police station now,” the minister said. The new house will be given to Rehana for a token price after completing all procedures, Mosharraf said, adding that Hasina had already approved the proposal. A ministry official told the Dhaka Tribune that House NIL(2)-10 on Road 84 in Gulshan2 has been chosen for Rehana. The house comes with 54.5 decimals of land. “Although Rehana did not agree to take the house, the government decided to give it to her considering her security and the future of her family members,” Mosharraf said. “The house is too old for Rehana’s use. It would need to be demolished and rebuilt. Her family would build the new house after the allotment,” he added. l
Policeman’s acumen leads to abductors’ arrest n Our Correspondent, Kushtia A policeman’s intelligence and bravery led to the arrest of three abductors and the rescue of the abducted in Kushtia on Tuesday. The police official, sub-inspector Habibur Rahman, in-charge of Najirpur police camp in Kushtia Sadar upazila, rescued Abdul Matin, 17, a rice mill worker and the son of Abdur Rahim of the Bara Ailchara area of the sadar upazila. The kidnappers are Matin, 25, Didar, 22, and Sumon, 24. Habibur first informed senior officials of a white microbus and then began chasing it on his motorcycle on the Kushtia-Alamdanga road after receiving a call from a local journalist at around 09:30pm who told him that a gang of kidnappers and the abducted were inside the vehicle. He thought of a trick and promptly called some locals, asking them to block the road. Senior policemen also applied the trick. The locals succeeded in preventing the microbus from driving past the Kaburhat area at around 10pm. They made the abductors get out of the vehicle, set it on fire, beat up the three kidnappers and rescued the teen. Police later arrested the criminals. Kushtia Additional Police Super Abu Bakkar Siddiqi said SI Habibur drove after the criminals, risking his life. “His courage and astuteness not only helped us collar the abductors but also led to the rescue of the abducted,” added Abu Bakkar. All three abductors are residents of Chuadanga. l
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
Indo-Bangla rail body accepts shortest subregional connectivity n
Kamran Reza Chowdhury
Railway officials of Bangladesh and India have agreed to reconstruct the missing tracks between two bordering stations, in their respective territories, with an aim to implement one of the easiest sub-regional connectivity plans that will link Bangladesh with Bhutan and Nepal via the Indian network. The missing tracks belong to a rail link which was snapped during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, severing Bangladesh from the India network. At the last Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting (IGRM) in Dhaka held from April 21-23, high officials gave the goahead to rebuilding 11km of the missing tracks between Chilahati station in Nilphamari and Haldibari in India. “Reopening the route will have a far reaching impact on people-to-people contact, trade and commerce,”said the IGRM minutes obtained by the Dhaka Tribune. The meeting discussed operations and other issues between the two railways for every six months. “The IGRM has approved, but this forum is not the final authority. The governments will decide on this,” Amzad Hossain, an additional director general of the Bangladesh Railway, told the Dhaka Tribune. He said the revival of the Chilahati-Haldibari route will also be placed in the upcoming May 28 meeting in Dhaka of the transport officials from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
(Bimstec) countries, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan and India. “This is the easiest route to connect Bangladesh with India, Bhutan and Nepal. We should execute the project for sub-regional connectivity,” TA Chowdhury, a former director general of Bangladesh Railway, told the Dhaka Tribune. The estimate says Bangladesh needs to construct 7.5km of new broad gauge tracks on the abandoned land, while the Indian railway will have to lay 3.5km. Haldibari station is connected with the rest of the Indian railway network that stretches till the Hashimara station along the India-Bhutan border. Hashimara is around 173km from Chilahati, Bangladesh. Besides, India has railway links up to Birgunj – the bordering station along the Nepalese border. The transport ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries have not included the Chilahati-Haldibari route in their plan for enhanced regional connectivity. The revival of this route will require a maximum of $250,000, according to an estimate of the Bangladesh Railway. “The Saarc-endorsed routes will connect Bangladesh with India and Nepal; but Chilahati-Haldibari will connect us with Bhutan as well,” TA Chowdhury said. Located at the extreme north of Bangladesh, the Chilahati-Haldibari link will enable landlocked Nepal and Bhutan to use the Southwestern Mongla port for trade and commerce. The government has already chalked out a project to construct a 53km new
Fuel oil in imported sea fish Commerce Ministry asks agencies to conduct hydrocarbon test The BMFA is an association of Bang- to conduct the specialised test. n Asif Showkat Kallol The ministry has asked the MBFA to ladeshi traders, who catch fish from the The Commerce Ministry has directed the government agencies concerned to conduct a hydrocarbon test on imported sea fish, especially those from the Middle East, following quality concerns raised by a local fisheries body. According to Monoj Kumar Roy, secretary of the ministry, the Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Association (BMFA) has alleged that these imported fish have unwanted substances in them. The matter was discussed in a meeting at the ministry, yesterday. BMFA representatives said at the meeting that some private traders have been importing low quality fish, containing fuel oil leakages, from the Middle Eastern countries.
Bay of Bengal and sell them in the local market. They alleged that the private traders have been selling these contaminated imported fish at low prices in the local market. As a result, their fish are losing in competition. According to a representative of the government’s Department of Fisheries (DoF), at present 25 kinds of tests are conducted on imported fish; the hydrocarbon test that can detect fuel oil presence, is not one of them. He said in Bangladesh, only the Dhaka University and the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) – better known as the science laboratory – have the facilities
collect samples of the “contaminated” fish and give them to the Dhaka University or the BCSIR for hydrocarbon testing in order to find out if these fish are really of low quality and have fuel oil impurity. The owner of a private sea-fishing company said the local catchers cannot collect enough fish from the Bay of Bengal to meet the entire domestic demand because India and Myanmar have never allowed Bangladesh more than 130 nautical miles of the sea. Bangladesh has always been claiming an Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles. The owner said if Bangladesh was able to fish in the extended area, then
Shot in 1971, bullet removed in 2014! She mistook it for tumour for years, doctors hopeful about full recovery The bullet was removed yesterday as out of my body. I carried it for 43 long longest time, she has mistaken it for a n Our Correspondent, Rangpur the Momena underwent a surgery. She is now years,” she said. tumour. For the past 43 years, a woman has bearing a bullet in her body fired during the 1971 War of Liberation. Yesterday she said she was relieved as she finally got it removed after undergoing a surgery at Rangpur Medical College Hospital. The 58-year-old Momena Bewa, a resident of Hatibandha upazila in Lalmonirhat, became talk of the town when doctors removed the bullet from her body after 43 years. A lot of people came to the hospital to meet her after her surgery. For
Recalling the horrors of 1971, the woman said she was 15 when war broke out. A bullet fired by the Pakistani forces at Taleb intersection area in Hatibandha hit her as she was escaping with her father. She was given first aid by a village doctor, Abdul Gafur following the shooting and recovered temporarily. The bullet, however, remained in her body. “At one stage, the war ended and the Pakistani forces left. We got an independent country but the bullet was not taken
Momena, the widow of Babar Ali from Maddha Gaddimari village of Hatibandha upazila, said she would often feel pain because of the bullet but could not afford better treatment because of financial constraints. As she developed complications brought on by old age locals took her to Dr Bimal Chandra at Niramoy Clinic in Rangpur on April 7 who, after examination, discovered the bullet inside a wound on the left of her throat.
being treated at bed number 36 of ward number 16 on the third floor of the hospital. Momena’s younger sister Monwara said her sister, would regularly take pain killers which were prescribed by village doctors whenever she would feel pain or soreness. We had to borrow money for the surgery, she added. Dr Bimal Chandra expressed optimism, saying the patient would recover completely as the bullet has been removed. l
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Aggressive tax drive on cards n Syed Samiul Basher Anik National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Md. Ghulam Hussain has underscored the need for aggressive income tax collection drive to meet a revenue target of Tk149,000 crore to be set for the next fiscal year. As the sector has the potentiality to be the largest sector in revenue collection in the coming days, the NBR finds
In response to a query, the chairman said the board was working on it to introduce filing of income tax returns and e-payment from July 1, 2015. “We will start piloting of e-return filing in January next and the project along with e-payment method will come into operation from July 1, 2015.” Terming the existing e-payment systems insufficient, the NBR chief said: “The existing e-payment meth-
with a focus on automation like e-TIN. NBR is working on with the integrated automation system, which will come into operation from July 1 this year and this is likely to be the first fully integrated automated office in the country.” The NBR chief clarified that the NBR was not focusing in the installation of Electronic Cash Registrar system as the case has been pending with a Sylhet court on the use of ECR.
Since its introduction on July 1, 2013, the electronic tax-payers identification number (eTIN) has so far registered 12 lakh taxpayers, including about 3 lakh new ones, he added. “NBR finds at least 6 lakh existing taxpayers to be registered with the new system.” He said the newly established eTIN centre at BCS Academy would be able to serve at least 500 to 600 visitors a day. l
NBR confident of achieving FY14 revised target n Tribune Report that it will have to manage 22% growth in revenue (despite a huge jump) in FY2014-15 to support the GDP growth target of 7.3%, he said. The NBR chief came up with the observation while inaugurating an eTIN service center at the BCS Tax Academy at New Eskaton road in the capital yesterday. “We have found huge potential in revenue earnings, mostly in income tax, as most of the areas are still remained untapped due to our failure to focus properly,” he said. “As per our estimate, income tax would be the largest sector of revenue earnings in the coming days while local Value Added Tax (VAT) will be the second one and the customs duties the third.” Disclosing the estimated breakup of the revenue target for FY14-15, Hussain said: “If we disclose a figure, which is very close to the reality that would be 38% revenue from income tax, 35% from VAT and 27% from customs duties.”
ods in different banks are not good enough. We are working on it to build a linkage among all the banks and to introduce the electronic signature. Some work in this process is still remains pending, which will be completed within the remaining timeframe.” He said the NBR is now passing through a hesitating moment as it has to ensure increased revenue along with giving protection to the local industries. “In one hand, we have received around 5,000 proposals from different sectors while around 4,050 of them wants duty cut, and on the other hand, we have to ensure increased revenue collection in the coming fiscal year.” The chairman also admitted most of those duty-cut proposals were logical to him as those were very much supportive for the local industries, investments and trades. “We will ensure increased revenue collection in several steps. We have already started expanding our tax offices
FBCCI to place huge number of duty-cut demands n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is set to place a total of 287 demands, including duty-free import of fire safety equipments for the apparel sector, reduction of customs duty on import of capital machineries and raw materials, for considering in the upcoming budget for the fiscal 2014-15. The apex trade body will formally place their demands at a meeting of the National Consultative Committee of the NBR to be held today at a city hotel in presence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith. During the meeting, FBCCI will urge the government to impose 1% duty on capital machineries and raw materials import, 3% for mid-level raw materials (not produced in the local market), 10% for mid-level raw materials produced in the local market and essential commodities and 25% for luxury products for the expansion of local industry, employment generation, for the protection of consumers rights and to increase productivity. The apex trade body will also seek for withdrawing 2% import duty on gas generators and generator parts as it is much-needed for their uninterrupted production against the backdrop of the load shedding. The FBCCI proposal, which was obtained by the Dhaka Tribune, noted that transformers should also be considered as capital machineries and thus should be covered under the Statuary Regulatory Order (SRO) for capital machineries for which
payable custom duty is currently 2%. The platform of the country’s businesses will request the government to ease the duty process and remove the complexities in colleting duties from the businessmen. The FBCCI, in its proposal, also demands duty drawback for deemed export and easing the process of duty-draw back facilities as it would help local industries to beat the foreign competitors while supplying in national or government projects aided with foreign funds. According to the proposal, the apex trade body will seek duty waivers from all kinds of materials including pre-fabricated building materials, machinery and energy efficient electric and compliant equipments to be used in establishing Garment Palli at Bausia in Munshigonj to make the sector eco-friendly, safe and compliance. It will propose to reduce import duty to 10% from 25% on industrial raw materials as high import duty increases the production cost. The FBBCCI will urge the government to lower duty to 3% from 10% for importing of trucks, pick-ups and truck chassis and to increase the import duty to 25% from 10% for tyre and tubes used for the bus and lorry. To protect the spinning, weaving and dying, printing, finishing mills from any fire incident in the future, the FBCCI will ask for duty-free and tax free import of fire rated steel frame and steel doors. For boosting the real estate and housing sector, the trade body will request the B3 COLUMN 4
The chairman of the National Board of Revenue has expressed his confidence on achieving the Tk125,000 crore revenue target set for the outgoing financial year, despite witnessing a deficit of Tk8,000 crore in the first nine months of the fiscal. The government had reduced the revenue goal for the 2013-14 fiscal from Tk136,090 crore to Tk125,000 crore in the revised budget, following a huge shortfall in collection, mostly due to political unrest and an ambitious target. Between July and March, the tax authorities faced a shortage of Tk7,968 crore in earnings as it managed to collect only Tk78,733 crore through its three wings against the target of Tk86,700 crore for the period, according to provisional data prepared by the NBR. However, NBR Chairman Md Ghulam Hussain believes the revenue board would be able to achieve the target as the last two months of the fiscal (May and June) are the prime time for collection. “The NBR will fulfill the target for sure as it collects an increased amount of
revenue in May and June of any fiscal,” the NBR chief told reporters at a programme in the capital yesterday. Ghulam Hussain said the NBR had already strengthened its monitoring and taken steps to achieve the revenue goal. “I, along with other NBR officials, have been running across the country to ensure revenue earnings, and we will surely be able to achieve the target,” he said. The provisional figures show that all three NBR wings – income tax, customs duties and VAT (value added tax) – have witnessed shortfalls this fiscal. The income tax wing experienced a deficit of Tk5,579 crore over nine months as it earned Tk25,051 crore, against its target of Tk30,630 crore for the period. The VAT wing lagged behind by Tk2,148 crore, collecting Tk30,092 crore against a target of Tk32,243 crore, while the customs wing fell Tk238 croreshort as it nettedTk23,590 crore out of Tk23,828 crore. To offset the shortfall, the NBR has been eyeing unexplored avenues, such as expanding the tax net and automating the revenue collection system to make it user friendly, officials said. l
Inflation dropped slightly to 7.46% in April as compared to the previous month, but it still remained above the government’s comfort zone. In March, inflation was 7.48% as Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) released figures at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday. The April reading was higher than the government’s fiscal target of 7% with only two months remaining to
end the current fiscal year. However, the authorities remained optimistic to achieve the target, saying increase of inflation rate started to come down as there was no shock in demand and supply sides. In contrast, analysts apprehended it would be difficult to remain within the target in the back drop of the recent inflation trend that witnessed movements either sides. The national wage rate rose 9.85% in April from 9.41% in March,
n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to hold a meeting with civil aviation ministry today, where a decision may come if the Ruposhi Bangla hotel will be fully or partially closed during renovation. The hotel workers and employees union sent a statement to the government with a demand for partial closure during the work as they fear full closure may lead to permanent shutdown of the hotel. Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon will also attend the meeting to be held at the ministry, official sources said. A 30-year deal was signed between Bangladesh Services Limited and InterContinental Hotels Chain in February 2012. Under the deal, InterContinental will take over the management of the five-star hotel after renovation works. According to Ruposhi Bangla management’s decision, the operation will remain suspended from September 2014 to December 2015 for a massive renovation work. “The union’s demand will be placed in the meeting (today) with Prime Minister,” Rashed Khan Menon told the
FBCCI wants big cut in corporate tax n Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is going to submit 175-point recommendations to National Board of Revenue today at the National Consultative Committee meeting. The recommendations will be on income tax, corporate duty cut, continuation of tax holiday for some sectors and tax rebate on industries established in the underdeveloped areas, according to the apex trade body. NBR and FBCCI are jointly organising the meeting at a hotel in Dhaka where Finance Minister AMA Muhith will attend as chief guest with NBR chairman Md Ghulam Hussain in the chair. The apex trade body, representing all the country’s trade chambers and associations, would urged the government to increase tax-free ceiling for individual taxpayers to Tk250,000 from Tk220,000, considering the prevailing inflation rate and increase in living cost of the marginal taxpayers. “There was over 7% inflation rate in the current fiscal year. The tax-free income limit is not consistent with the inflation rate and living cost of marginal taxpayers. It needs to be re-fixed,” according to a document to be placed at the meeting. The trade body would also recommend increasing the ceiling for female and senior citizens aged over 65 years from existing Tk250,000 to Tk350,000 and for physically challenged taxpayers from Tk300,000 to Tk325,000. To encourage industries in the backward and underdeveloped areas, FBCCI would recommend providing 50% special rebate to the investors. The apex trade body would urge the government to reduce corporate tax rate for both the publicly listed and non-listed companies. For all the banks and financial insti-
tutions, it would propose to set 40% corporate tax from 42.5%, for publicly traded companies to 35% from 37.5%, for non-publicly traded companies (manufacturing) 32.5% and for non-manufacturing and trading companies at 35%. For publicly traded mobile companies it should be 40% and 42.5% for the non-publicly traded operators. The advance income tax imposed on import of raw materials should be brought down to 3% from 5%.
the report said. “The underlying reason for dropping inflation is no mismatch between supply and demand sides during the period,” said BBS Director General Golam Mostafa Kamal. “The accelerated rate of inflation slowed down in the recent months, indicating inflation to remain around the fiscal target,” he said. Replying to a question on the government’s influence on preparing data, he said there is no scope of
of source tax on delivery of computer and computer accessories products from 5% to 3%, continuation of income tax exemption for software and ITES services till 2025 and extension of tax holiday on software products from June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2021. It seeks tax holiday facilities in easy conditions for five years to encourage entrepreneurs and extend the tax holiday for newly established industrial undertakings till 2020. FBCCI would urge the government
'There was over 7% inflation rate in the current fiscal year. The tax-free income limit is not consistent with the inflation rate and living cost of marginal taxpayers. It needs to be re-fixed' It would also demand making changes in the rate of surcharge by imposing it at a progressive rate. Taxpayers having assets valued between Tk2.5 crore to Tk5 crore could pay 5% surcharge, while it should be 10% for properties valued between Tk5 crore to Tk15 crore, 15% for assets valued Tk15 crore to Tk25 crore, 20% for assets valued Tk25 crore to Tk40 crore and 25% for having net properties valued over Tk40 crore. Currently, the minimum slab for imposing surcharge is 10% on properties worth over Tk2 crore. For the security of readymade garments workers, the FBCCI wants giving incentives for building accommodation in the City Corporation, municipality and cantonment board areas of Gazipur, Tongi and Savar and Narayanganj. In regards to the information and communication Technology, the FBCCI seeks exemption of 0.5% turnover tax on electronic products, reduction
Inflation falls to 7.46% in April n Kayes Sohel
Ruposhi Bangla decision likely today
manipulation as distorted statistics can never be implemented in economic point of view. According to BBS, the food inflation inched down to 8.95% from 8.96% in the previous month while non-food inflation, including house rent and transportation expenses, slightly fell to 5.23% from 5.26%. However, the prices of rice, lentil, flour, vegetables, fruits, spices, milk and other essentials increased B3 COLUMN 1
to continue special income tax exemption till June 30, 2019 and 100% tax holiday for next five years to encourage investment in agro-processing and SME sectors. It would also propose to set 5% of disputed tax rate from 10% on appeal tribunal as the law says: “no appeal shall lie against an order of the Appellate Joint Commissioner of Taxes or the Commissioner (Appeals), as the case may be, unless the assesse has paid 10% of disputed tax.” The demands would also include ensuring a neutral appeal tribunal system, bringing commercial activities of non-government organisations under tax net and continuation of tax holiday facilities for investment in backward areas. The demands included allowing tax rebate on power, infrastructure development, quality management, environment protection and human resource development. l
Dhaka Tribune. He said: “We need to consider employees’ demand and at the same time we should also think about the agreement.” But the statement signed by Md Shafiuddin, president of the union, urged the Prime Minister and Civil Aviation Minister to take steps for changing the agreement if there is any provision included for complete closure. Earlier, James McDonald, general manager of Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, however said if renovation work is done in phases, the cost will be higher. As per the deal, Bangladesh Services Ltd will bear the renovation cost of $47m (around Tk366 core). Part of the cost will be provided from its own fund and the rest from bank loans. As per the new design, the number of guest rooms will be reduced from 272 to 231 but the size of the rooms will be enlarged from 26 square metres to 40 square metres. InterContinental ran the iconic Dhaka Hotel from 1966 to 1983 before Sheraton took over operation and management. Sheraton was under the management of the hotel for 25 years till December 2008. l
155-point FBCCI recommendation on VAT n Kayes Sohel The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will put forward a 155-point Value Added Tax (VAT) related budget proposals today. The apex trade body, in its proposal, will urge the government to include the proposals for amending the VAT Act 2012, with effect from July 1, 2015. “It is very important to add VAT-related proposals by amending the law for further flourishing large, small and medium industry of the country,” according to a pre-budget document FBCCI prepared for discussion at the consultative committee meeting in Dhaka today. FBCCI will recommend to define VAT law fundamentally and principally in the light of experiences of countries like China, Japan and EU to avoid confusion and complexity. The government should keep micro and cottage industries out of VAT net taking definition given in the industrial policy 2010 and also energy, power, banking, transport and health sectors out of VAT net. It will propose to cut VAT in the import level to 2% from existing 4% as there is no scope of selling imported goods with VAT in whole sale prices. It will also recommend some specific conditions on entry in the industry and checking and seizing transports by the VAT officials for smooth operation of business. It also proposed to allow loan payment against delivery with cash along with banking system as 80% of the country’s small, medium and large industry or commercial organization has to pay with cash. B3 COLUMN 3
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
CSE key features May 7, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)
Daily capital market highlights
Number of Contract
DSE Broad Index :
DSE Shariah Index :
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
DSE - 30 Index :
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
CSE All Share Index:
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
CSE - 30 Index :
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS Company
Closing (% change)
N C C Bank -A Kohinoor Chem -A Jute SpinnersA Orion Infusions -A Beach Hatchery -A Emerald Oil Ind. -N Metro Spinning -A ACI Limited- A
-8.00 -5.29 -4.20 -3.90 -3.60 -3.54 -3.43 -3.23
Average (% change) -7.30 -5.31 -2.98 0.11 0.81 -0.26 -2.01 0.52
Phoenix Insur -A Marico BD Ltd-A
CSE LOSERS Company Phoenix Insur -A Pioneer Insur -A Argon Denims Limited-A Nitol Insurance -A N C C Bank -A JMI Syringes MDL-A Mithun Knitting -A Central Pharm-A
Prime Bank-A Saiham Tex.A
-10.00 -9.48 -9.45 -8.82 -7.20 -6.07 -4.48 -3.90
Average (% change) -10.00 -9.48 -0.82 -8.82 -7.06 -6.19 -3.14 -1.00
Closing (% change)
Turnover in million
11.56 365.00 63.75 53.16 27.50 50.13 17.07 249.44
11.50 365.00 63.80 51.70 26.80 49.00 16.90 246.00
11.90 365.00 66.70 54.60 28.50 51.70 18.00 276.40
10.90 365.00 63.10 50.70 26.00 48.80 16.80 232.00
18.096 0.183 0.102 60.454 39.702 65.243 7.592 48.623
1.42 9.37 -43.81 4.81 2.04 2.92 0.92 5.28
8.1 39.0 -ve 11.1 13.5 17.2 18.6 47.2
Turnover in million
39.60 52.50 59.16 31.00 11.58 152.94 88.62 42.45
39.60 52.50 54.60 31.00 11.60 153.10 87.40 41.90
39.60 52.50 60.00 31.00 11.70 153.10 91.20 43.40
39.60 52.50 54.60 31.00 11.50 152.60 87.30 41.40
0.024 0.053 0.118 0.031 2.982 0.382 0.337 2.781
2.71 5.16 2.74 3.19 1.42 2.08 2.69 2.09
14.6 10.2 21.6 9.7 8.2 73.5 32.9 20.3
Closing (% change)
Company Rupali Life Insur.-A Premier Leasing-Z Northern G Insur-A BD. Thai Alum -B Apex Footwear-A Salvo Chemicals-B National Life I -A Islami Ins.BD-A Hakkani P& Paper -B Standard Ceramic -A
9.92 9.59 9.43 9.17 8.72 8.49 6.27 5.54 5.32 5.13
Average (% change) 7.85 10.88 9.33 11.07 8.72 8.11 6.28 7.08 5.32 5.13
98.90 7.95 44.06 23.78 467.50 22.66 353.95 29.02 29.70 41.00
100.80 8.00 44.10 23.80 467.50 23.00 354.00 28.60 29.70 41.00
100.80 8.00 44.30 23.90 467.50 23.30 358.00 29.80 29.70 41.00
0.192 8.425 1.102 1.984 49.510 14.964 4.159 0.071 0.353 0.004
Turnover in million
97.00 7.50 43.50 22.20 467.50 21.10 349.90 28.50 29.70 41.00
0.198 0.405 0.573 1.496 0.094 6.386 0.035 0.087 0.015 0.082
0.68 -0.13 0.04 1.29 0.93 3.00 1.02 -11.90 5.84 -4.85
24.3 -ve 194.8 17.4 24.1 8.7 14.8 -ve 11.5 -ve
5.33 0.04 1.82 -0.13 23.61 0.93 12.46 1.93 0.28 1.32
18.6 198.8 24.2 -ve 19.8 24.4 28.4 15.0 106.1 31.1
News, analysis and recent disclosers RUPALIBANK: (Q1): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 1st quarter ended on 31st March 2014 (Jan'14 to March'14), the Company has reported consolidated net profit after tax of Tk. 206.18 million with consolidated basic EPS of Tk. 1.14 as against Tk. 156.82 million and Tk. 0.86 respectively for the same period of the previous year. However, considering proposed bonus share @ 15% for the year 2013, consolidated restated basic EPS will be Tk. 0.99 as on 31.03.2014 and Tk. 0.75 as on 31.03.2013. GREENDELT: (Q1): As per un-audited quarterly accounts for the 1st quarter ended on 31st March 2014 (Jan'14 to March'14), the Company has reported consolidated net profit after tax of Tk. 55.31 million with consolidated EPS of Tk. 0.75 as against Tk. 120.41 million and Tk. 1.64 respectively for the same period of the previous year. MERCANBANK: Credit Rating Information and Services Limited (CRISL) has rated the Company as "AA-" in the long term and "ST-2" in the short term in consideration of financials of the Company up to December 31, 2013 (audited) and other relevant quantitative as well as qualitative information up to
the date of rating declaration. SINGERBD: The Company has informed that it has credited the bonus shares for the year ended on December 31, 2013 to the respective shareholders' BO Accounts on May 06, 2014. Sale proceeds of fraction shares will be distributed shortly along with cash dividend. CITYBANK: BSEC has given consent under the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Commission (Private Placement of Debt Securities) Rules, 2012, for raising of capital by The City Bank Limited amounting to Tk. 300.00 crore only through issuance of Non-Convertible Coupon Bearing Subordinated Bond. The consent has been accorded subject to the condition that the Company shall comply with the relevant laws and Regulatory Requirements, and also shall adhere to the conditions imposed by BSEC under Section-2CC of the Securities and Exchange Ordinance, 1969. ASIAPACINS: The Record date of the Company will now be on May 08, 2014 instead of June 12, 2014, as BSEC has not given consent to the Company's request for changing the Record date for AGM.
Dividend/AGM ISNLTD: No dividend, AGM: 17.06.2014, RD May 20, 2014. GOLDENSON: 25% stock, EGM and AGM: 21.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. CMCKAMAL: 12.50% stock, AGM: 30.06.2014. Record Date: 29.05.2014. RUPALIBANK: 15% stock, AGM: 31.05.2014, Record date: 14.05.2014. LEGACYFOOT: 5% stock, AGM: 21.06.2014, Record Date: 12.05.2014. BDTHAI: 5% stock, AGM: 21.06.2014, Record Date: 25.05.2014. MEGHNACEM: 15% cash, AGM: 29.05.2014, Record Date: 14.05.2014. MONNOSTAF: 10% cash, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 19.05.2014. INTECH: 10% stock, AGM: 23.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. ISLAMIINS: 15% stock, AGM: 09.07.2014, RD: 12.05.2014. BXPHARMA: 10% cash & 5% stock, AGM: 21.06.2014, RD: 18.05.2014. STANDARINS: 15% stock, AGM: 18.06.2014, RD: 15.05.2014. SONARGAON: No dividend, AGM: 07.06.2014, RD: 15.05.2014.
CHANGE OF DSE BROAD INDEX VS SECTORAL INDEX 3%
Pharma & Chemical Index
15.80 21.00 7.00 20.00 19.10 23.00 13.00 137.20 62.50 8.50
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
17.20 23.80 8.00 22.90 23.10 26.40 15.50 145.00 68.90 8.50
Turnover in million
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
17.10 23.50 7.90 22.70 22.80 25.80 15.30 141.40 67.20 8.50
16.55 23.48 7.79 22.50 22.39 26.14 15.13 142.00 66.92 8.50
Number of Contract
8.92 8.29 8.22 8.10 7.55 7.50 6.99 6.88 6.84 6.25
Average (% change) 4.88 9.57 6.28 5.39 7.64 9.92 5.80 6.88 6.41 6.25
Aziz PipesZ BD. Thai Alum -B Premier Leasing-Z Mercantile Insur -A Salvo Chemicals-B Continental Insur. -A In Tech Online -A GeminiSeaFood-Z Reliance Insur -A Meghna Con. Milk -B
Stocks edged higher with volatility yesterday, as investors booked some profits on banks and textiles after sharp rise in the previous session. The benchmark index DSEX gained slightly 13 points or 0.3% to close at 4,575, hitting highest 4,609 in mid-session and lowest 4,563 in the final session. Shariah Index DSES was slightly up 4 points or 0.5% to 1,015.The blue-chip comprising DS30 gained 8 points or 0.6% to 1,678. Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, closed at 8,807 with a rise of over 26 points. Trading activities decreased with DSE turnover standing at Tk419 crore, a drop of 6.4% over the previous session. Among the major sectors, telecommunication posted the highest gain of 2.5%, led by heavyweight Grameenphone that gained 2.3% following its earnings declarations. Non-banking financial institutions, engineering, power and general insurance closed positive while banks, pharmaceuticals, food and allied landed in the red zone. Lanka Bangla Securities, in its daily market analysis, said bull continued to hog limelight in the session with day’s high hovering above 4,600-mark. “Trading session started with a strong move, however, profit book-
ing on banking and textile stocks in late hours weighed on the day’s hype with benchmark index creeping up some points. Most of the mutual funds speeded up with sectoral turnover value up by 0.5%, as investors are lured by the attractive valuation level of mutual fund units. IDLC Investments said market positivity approached to third consecutive session. “Previous session’s enthusiasm prevailed at the beginning but turned into infrequent profit booking at later part, resulting in closing flat.” Zenith Investments said market exhibited positive momentum plodding through an inspiring moment with a moderate turnover volume. “Movement of three leading sectors pharmaceuticals, engineering and telecommunication grabbed most of the turnover share and contributed heavily along with other sectors to pull up the market.” Grameenphone, the country’s top mobile phone operator, rose nearly 1% and remained the most traded stock for the second consecutive session, contributing 11% of the total market turnover. Grameenphone continued to become top turnover leader with shares worth Tk45.6 crore changing hands, followed by Apollo Ispat, Active Fine Chemical, Meghna Petroleum, Golden Son, Square Pharmaceuticals and Olympic Industries. l
Closing (% change)
Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)
Thursday, May 8, 2014
DSE key features May 7, 2014
Stocks edge higher with volatility n Tribune Report
Previous session’s enthusiasm prevailed at the beginning but turned into infrequent profit booking at later part, resulting in closing flat
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 417.53 193.96 89.09 503.89 367.17 370.67 1.20 379.16 650.52 0.49 65.59 49.15 18.83 217.62 27.18 90.55 84.53 533.52 26.36 104.18 0.13
Company Grameenphone-A Olympic Ind. -A Appollo Ispat CL -N Active Fine Chem.-A Meghna Petroleum -A Golden Son -A Square Pharma -A
SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY Sector
DSE TURNOVER LEADERS
% change 9.96 4.63 2.13 12.02 8.76 8.84 0.03 9.05 15.52 0.01 1.56 1.17 0.45 5.19 0.65 2.16 2.02 12.73 0.63 2.49 0.00
Million Taka 34.77 11.38 3.26 46.73 19.17 28.41 43.50 39.08 15.91 2.71 17.79 3.11 16.36 3.85 2.44 4.43 43.16 5.81 11.13 0.01
% change 9.85 3.22 0.92 13.24 5.43 8.05 0.00 12.32 11.07 4.51 0.77 5.04 0.88 4.63 1.09 0.69 1.25 12.23 1.64 3.15 0.00
Million Taka 452.29 205.34 92.34 550.61 386.34 399.07 1.20 422.66 689.60 16.39 68.29 66.94 21.94 233.98 31.03 92.99 88.96 576.68 32.17 115.32 0.14
% change 9.95 4.52 2.03 12.12 8.50 8.78 0.03 9.30 15.17 0.36 1.50 1.47 0.48 5.15 0.68 2.05 1.96 12.69 0.71 2.54 0.00
Prepared exclusively for Dhaka Tribune by Business Information Automation Service Line (BIASL), on the basis of information collected from daily stock quotations and audited reports of the listed companies. High level of caution has been taken to collect and present the above information and data. The publisher will not take any responsibility if any body uses this information and data for his/her investment decision. For any query please email to email@example.com or call 01552153562 or go to www.biasl.net
Matin Spinning-N LafargeS Cement-Z HeidelbergCement -A
LankaBangla Fin. -A BD Submarine Cable-A Padma Oil Co. -A Emerald Oil Ind. -N Orion Infusions -A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Appollo Ispat CL -N
BD Submarine Cable-A Grameenphone-A Matin Spinning-N LafargeS Cement-Z UCBL - A Salvo Chemicals-B Meghna Petroleum -A National Bank - B UNITED AIR-A Square Pharma -A Golden Son -A BSC-A Orion Infusions -A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A
Volume shares 1,654,875 842,093 5,241,600 1,779,699 395,652 1,813,595 370,547 1,944,400 1,300,000 156,450
1,579,269 432,362 220,155 1,301,500 1,137,200
883,800 123,900 75,800 226,800 114,000 247,877 281,838 20,752 457,558 453,657 18,521 84,500 8,580 88,900 161,750
Value in million 455.42 205.68 149.38 125.68 116.38 105.41 103.87 90.60 87.05 86.74
84.79 78.11 75.35 65.24 60.45
Value in million
25.22 22.30 20.86 10.48 7.66 6.85 6.39 6.10 6.03 5.58 5.19 4.91 4.88 4.73 4.43
% of total turnover 10.87 4.91 3.56 3.00 2.78 2.52 2.48 2.16 2.08 2.07
2.02 1.86 1.80 1.56 1.44
% of total turnover
8.48 7.50 7.01 3.53 2.58 2.30 2.15 2.05 2.03 1.88 1.74 1.65 1.64 1.59 1.49
Daily closing 276.40 242.60 28.30 70.40 294.20 57.40 279.80 45.70 67.00 549.60
53.70 183.80 341.80 49.00 51.70
28.20 183.10 276.20 45.80 67.10 27.20 23.00 294.60 13.10 12.30 279.50 57.90 569.30 52.20 27.10
Price change 2.26 -0.57 3.66 1.88 0.65 0.35 -0.14 -1.30 0.15 0.31
Daily opening 270.30 244.00 27.30 69.10 292.30 57.20 280.20 46.30 66.90 547.90
3.27 4.73 0.12 -3.54 -3.90
3.30 4.57 2.49 -0.65 0.00 -1.45 8.49 0.51 -1.50 -1.60 -0.25 0.17 0.53 -3.15 0.74
52.00 175.50 341.40 50.80 53.80
27.30 175.10 269.50 46.10 67.10 27.60 21.20 293.10 13.30 12.50 280.20 57.80 566.30 53.90 26.90
Daily high 277.20 246.00 29.50 72.50 297.50 59.00 281.50 47.40 67.70 559.90
57.00 185.80 345.00 51.70 54.60
Daily low 268.00 225.00 27.40 66.00 279.00 56.50 260.20 45.30 66.30 548.00
46.80 158.10 330.00 48.80 50.70
Daily average 275.20 244.25 28.50 70.62 294.16 58.12 280.33 46.59 66.96 554.43
29.40 185.00 277.00 47.20 68.60 28.10 23.30 298.50 14.00 12.50 280.80 59.00 575.00 54.50 27.70
27.50 176.00 272.00 45.50 66.60 27.00 21.10 291.00 12.00 12.20 278.70 55.60 562.50 51.30 27.00
53.69 180.65 342.26 50.13 53.16
28.54 179.98 275.18 46.22 67.17 27.64 22.66 293.97 13.17 12.31 279.96 58.15 568.20 53.18 27.37
Google Chromebooks get boost from chipcomputer giants n AFP, San Francisco
Yellen cites housing, geopolitical risk to economy n Reuters, Washington Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said yesterday the US economy was still in need of lots of support from the central bank given the “considerable slack” in the labour market, and she cited weakness in the housing sector as a fresh risk. Even as she took note of “appreciable” improvements in the labour market, Yellen told a congressional committee a high rate of long-term unemployment and a slow rise in measures of labor compensation suggested more room for further gains. In her testimony, she said she expected the economy to expand at a
“somewhat” faster pace than last year, but cited geopolitical tensions and flattening out of housing activity as risks bearing close observation. US stocks, which had opened higher, slipped after her prepared remarks were released, while prices for US government debt were little changed. The dollar rose against the euro. Yellen, speaking to the Joint Economic Committee, also indicated concerns over investors exerting risky behaviour given the extended period of low interest rates. “Some reach-for-yield behaviour may be evident,” Yellen said, pointing to the lower-rated corporate debt markets as an example.
Inflation falls to 7.46% in April B1 COLUMN 4
in April, BBS said, adding that the prices of non-food items like garments, house rents, medical, transports, education material and other services costs have increased during the month as compared to the previous month. The food items which recorded an increase are fine rice 1%, eggs 2%, lentil 1%, onion 25% and ginger 7.5%, according to the data of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. In rural area, inflation also marginally declined 7.19% in April from 7.21%
in March and in urban area, it stood at 7.96% from 7.98%. Economists Mustafa K Mujeri said economic indicators that control inflation remained stagnant over the past few months, leaving insignificant impact on the inflation. “Whether the inflation would go upward or downward is not yet clear and depend on how things could move either direction,” he said. “But we can say fiscal inflationary target might not be achieved if the present trend remains at a specific level.” l
Yellen added that issuance of syndicated leverage loans and high-yield bonds has expanded, while underwriting standards loosened, though she said that these increases appear modest - particularly at large banks and life insurers. The Fed chief repeated the view of the Federal Open Market Committee that despite the expected US economic growth, considerable slack in the labour markets and low inflation warrants a “high degree of monetary accommodation.” Last month the Fed reduced its monthly bond purchases to $45bn from $55bn. l
Google’s drive to put the future of personal computing firmly in the Internet “cloud” got a boost on Tuesday from chip titan Intel and hardware giants including Lenovo. The leading computer maker joined Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Asus, and LG Electronics to introduce an array of new Chromebooks, many powered by newer-generation Intel chips that promise improved performance and battery life. “Intel has been a strong partner since the inception of Chromebooks,” Intel mobile client platforms group vice president Navin Shenoy said at a press event showcasing new models. The array of Chromebooks coming to market included the first one from Lenovo aimed directly at the consumer market. China-based Lenovo is the world’s leading personal computer company.
Popularity of a Lenovo Chromebook tailored for students in schools prompted the company to create a model for use outside of class, according to Lenovo “ambassador” Ashley Rodrigue. “We have seen significant momentum and traction on the Chrome side of the house,” Rodrigue told AFP. “Because of that, we have taken a look elsewhere at the growth of Chrome.” Chrome challenges the traditional model of installing and maintaining programs on machines, instead letting devices serve as doorways to applications or services hosted at data centers connected to the Internet. Chromebooks are also known for bargain prices. For example, Lenovo models will start at $279. Shifting operating software to banks of servers online means that Google updates programs and fends off hackers and malicious software. l
FBCCI to place duty-cut demands B1 COLUMN 2
government to lower registration expense to 6.5% from 11.5% by resetting gain tax and stamp duty at 2% instead of 3%, registration fee at 2% instead of 4%. To discourage imports, the trade body will request the government to hike import duty to 25% from 10% and to impose 40% supplementary tax on
optical fire import as the country are now able to produce it. The apex trade body in its proposal also urges the government to allow jewelers to import two kg gold and silver paying duty under the baggage rules, which allow a traveler to carry 200 gram gold paying TK150 for 11.664 gram each and Tk6 for same amount of silver. l
155-point FBCCI recommendation on VAT B1 COLUMN 6
To encourage investment and make competitive of the domestic produces in the international market, the FBBCI leaders will propose to withdraw supplementary duty on manufacturing sector in the production level. According to the FBCCI budget proposal, amenmendt should be brought to ADR ( alternative dispute resolution) for making it more effective, parctical and expanded. Considering the use and production in the country, the apex trade body will propose to exempt dry rubber contents from VAT from existing 15%. FBCCI will also propose to lift 15%
Thursday, May 8, 2014
VAT and 1% landing charge on unrefined soybean and palm oil but to continue 15% VAT on refined soybean and palm oil. The association will propose to fix specific turnover over joint venture of cottage industry and chamber registration. The chamber will seek subsidies on the internet bandwidth in all districts and upazilas except Dhaka and to keep it VAT-free from service charge package value. It will, however, propose to fix VAT on biscuits like other processed foods, like milk and fried pulse considering its higher tariff rate.
The FBCCI in its proposal proposes for the cancellation of supplementary duty on import of poultry feed. Presently, 5% supplementary duty was imposed on importer but not on genuine user. The FBCCI budget proposals said some RMG related services, including laboratory test charge, consultancy charges, compliant audit, security, transport and others should be VAT free to make it more competitive in the global market. Currently, the government keeps RMG industry involved with import and export business enjoys VAT free from many other services. l
Padma Cement delisted n Tribune Report The Dhaka Stock Exchange has delisted shares of Padma Cement with effect from yesterday following its liquidation. In mid-March, the company had announced that it, a junk company, decided to wrap up its business after incurring losses over the years. The DSE board has decided to de-list the shares of Padma Cement Limited from the exchange with effect from May 7, 2014 in accordance with the court order dated March 13, 2014, said the bourse in a statement yesterday. The company was the first listed company in Bangladesh to wind up. Around nine years into its commercial operation since April 2001, the company located at Baghabari in Sirajganj has suspended its production. The winding up of a company requires the termination of legal existence through stopping its current business. For this reason the assets of the company needs to be distributed among the shareholders as well as creditors as laid down in the company act. The DSE had sent the stock to the OTC (over the counter market) in 2010 after its production suspension. Since 2003, the company gave no dividend to its shareholders, but in listing year 2002 it announced dividend payout. l
GP brings Internetenabled handset at Tk1,490 n Tribune Report Grameenphone, largest mobile phone operator has recently introduced an Internet-enabled mobile handset priced Tk1,490. The handset, Symphony D51i comes with attractive free data package from Grameenphone. Symphony D51i was unveiled yesterday at GP House in the presence of the officials from Grameenphone Ltd and Symphony Mobile, a sister concern of Edison Group, said a press release. The handset is a JAVA supported and EDGE-enabled handset with a 2.4inch QGVA screen, 1.3 mega pixel cameras along with other basic multimedia features. Rezwanul Haque, director of Edison Group and GP’s head of strategy, Erlend Prestgard were present at the session among officials from both the companies. l
Dollar edges down in Asia extending losses n AFP, Tokyo The dollar eased against the yen in Asia yesterday, extending losses seen in New York, as investors await the Congressional testimony of US central bank chief Janet Yellen. The greenback fetched 101.57 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, down from 101.73 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon. The euro was flat at 141.46 yen from 141.67 yen while it bought $1.3921 against $1.3926. Concerns about the Ukraine crisis helped push up the Japanese unit,
which is seen as a safe bet in times of economic and political uncertainty. “Events in Ukraine...continue to affect sentiment, with the region still the brink of civil war,” National Australia Bank said. Russia rejected a new peace initiative for Ukraine on Tuesday as fears of a full-scale war mounted in the ex-Soviet republic, whose troops are waging a deadly offensive against pro-Moscow rebels. The euro held steady thanks to improved confidence in the eurozone after Italy’s long-term borrowing costs fell below the three percent level for
Pragati Life Insurance Limited recently held its annual conference for the year 2013 at a local hotel in Cox’s Bazar. The company’s chair Khalilur Rahman was present among others at the conference
the first time since the creation of the single currency. That followed a similar fall in Spanish 10-year bonds last week. The US Labor Department reported Friday solid job growth in April and a sharp drop in the unemployment rate, but investors were unconvinced the figures were enough to prompt the Fed to hike interest rates in the short term. Eyes are now on Yellen’s comments at a Senate hearing of the Joint Economic Committee later in the day, as investors look for clues on the US economic outlook and the bank’s plans for its stimulus programme.
The greenback was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. The dollar weakened to Sg$1.2481 from Sg$1.2507 on Tuesday, to 1,025.45 South Korean won from 1,025.50 won, and to 44.31 Philippine pesos from 44.37 pesos. The dollar firmed to 32.39 Thai baht from 32.37 baht while it was unchanged at 11,522 Indonesian rupiah and Tw$30.13. The Australian dollar rose to 93.38 US cents from 93.12 cents while the Chinese yuan slipped to 16.30 yen from 16.37 yen. l
Grameenphone Ltd recently reported its first quarterly revenue of Tk24.9bn of 2014, up 6.1% from the same period last year. The announcement was made by the company’s CEO Vivek Sood
Impress-Newtex Composite Textiles Limited has recently signed an agreement with IDLC Investments Limited for acting as its manager to raise capital through initial public offering. Meer Sajed-ul-Basher, CFO of Impress-Newtex Composite Textiles Limited and Md Moniruzzaman, managing director of IDLC Investments Limited signed the contract Banglalink, mobile telecom operator commercially launched 3G services in Barisal yesterday. Ahsan Habib Kamal, mayor of the City Corporation in Barisal was present at the programme as chief guest along with high officials of the company
Crown Cement has recently awarded its top performing dealers with a ten-day trip to three European countries after successful completion of the sales campaign named Lucky 13. The company’s DMD of marketing and sales, Shaibal Saha accompanied the trip
QAFM Serajul Islam, managing director of Pioneer Insurance Company Limited seen handing over a cheque worth Tk18,556,800 for marine cargo claim of Color City Limited to Abdul Wahed, chair of DBL Group
Reckitt Benckiser (Bangladesh) Ltd on May 6 held its 53th annual general meeting at the Trust Milonayoton in Dhaka. The company’s stakeholders approved a 400% cash dividend for the year ended on December 31. Managing director of the company Reazul Haque Chowdhury was present among other board directors
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Report: Asia is most vulnerable to Asia banks turn to ‘diplomats’ as Mideast oil supply shock
regulatory burden bites
n Reuters Asia’s growing dependence on Middle Eastern oil has amplified the risks it faces if the Strait of Hormuz is suddenly shut, making it more vulnerable to such a disruption than other regions, UK think-tank Chatham House said on Wednesday. Asia is more at risk than Europe and the United States to a cut in Middle Eastern supplies as it buys 75% of the region’s oil exports, said Chatham House energy security expert John Mitchell in a report - Asia’s Oil Supply: Risks and Pragmatic Remedies. Despite Iran’s threat to shut the key Strait of Hormuz shipping route for Middle East oil in 2012, Mitchell said most Asian countries have not built up sufficient reserves to cushion the impact of a disruption. A strong reliance on oil product imports in Asia has also heightened their risk, he said. Asian countries import nearly 30% of their consumption needs, mostly from refineries in South Korea, Singapore and India, which are in turn dependent on the Middle East for more than half of their crude supplies. “How product-exporting companies and countries chose to allocate reduced supplies would affect Australia and Thailand in particular,” said Mitchell, who started his career in with UK oil major BP Plc in 1966. Australia has seen a series of refinery closures, and by 2015, it is expected to become the largest net importer of diesel and second-largest net importer of gasoline in Asia, importing more than half of its fuel needs. Product-importing countries, particularly Australia and Thailand, could face shortfalls of 5-10% of consumption in the event of a significant disruption to Middle Eastern supplies, Mitchell said in the report. If Middle East oil producers choose to look after their own, by supplying to joint venture refineries in Asia and the United States first, however, this could lessen the impact of a disruption at the expense of European countries, he said. China will not have a shortfall under this scenario. China is more secure than other Asian countries “mainly because it is also a large producer of oil and has a greater diversity of oil supply,” the London-based Mitchell said later in remarks in Thomson Reuters Global Oil Forum on Wednesday.
n Reuters, Singapore
Oil rig pumpjacks, also known as thirsty birds, extract crude from the Wilmington Field oil deposits area where Tidelands Oil Production Company, which is owned by Occidental Petroleum Corporation operates near Long Beach, California REUTERS
'In theory China could cover a 50% increase in the price of oil imports by drawing down foreign reserves at about 3% annually for 30 years' China “already has oil pipelines from central Asia, which is expanding (output), and (it) can look forward to increasing supplies from Russia,” he said. Yet, Western sanctions on Russia due to the Ukraine crisis may affect other investments from Asian companies, such as in new Russian gas supplies, Mitchell said. Gazprom, with more than 15% of global gas production and reserves, is
expected to sign a deal next month to begin exporting gas to China from 2018. The push to secure long-term oil supplies in Asia has seen tensions flare up between some states over the oil and gas-rich South China Sea, which is claimed wholly or in part by six countries. Vietnam this week condemned the movement of a giant Chinese oil rig into what it said was its territorial waters.
Worry over india
Low levels of oil stocks, especially in India, remained a worry, Mitchell said in the report, adding that there needs to be greater coordination on emergency oil stocks release among the International Energy Agency (IEA), China and India. “The Indian government is building storage for oil stocks, but this is not yet being filled. And the cost of doing so is
a deterrent,” he said in the forum’s chatroom. “At the other extreme, the Chinese government is not only building storage but is also filling it, and aims to achieve IEA levels of storage of 90 days’ worth of imports within a few years,” he said. The burden of a spike in oil import costs will be greater on South Asian countries - Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India - as more than 30% of their revenues from non-oil exports were used to pay for oil imports in 2012, the Chatham House study showed. “In theory China could cover a 50% increase in the price of oil imports by drawing down foreign reserves at about 3% annually for 30 years,” Mitchell said in the report. “Pakistan’s reserves would be exhausted within one year and those of India, Australia and Sri Lanka within about five years,” he said. l
HP to invest over $1bn in open-source cloud computing n Reuters Hewlett-Packard Co said it plans to invest more than $1bn over the next two years to develop and offer cloud-computing products and services. The company said it will make its OpenStack-based public cloud services available in 20 data centres over the next 18 months. OpenStack, a cloud computing project
that HP co-founded, provides a free and open-source cloud computing platform for public and private cloud services. “Customer challenges today extend beyond cloud. They include how to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid environment that spans multiple technology approaches,” Martin Fink, executive vice president and chief technology officer, HP, said in a statement.
HP last week inked a deal with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group to make servers aimed at companies that provide cloud computing services. Cloud services have become increasingly popular among both cashstrapped tech startups and larger companies, which rely on computers owned and operated by the likes of Amazon and Google, instead of buying
the equipment themselves. Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc recently slashed prices of most of their cloud computing services as other companies join the fray. Cisco Systems Inc laid out plans in March to offer cloud computing services, pledging to spend $1bn over the next two years, while Microsoft Corp said it will increase its cloud storage offering for business users 40-fold. l
Banks have a new buzzword to describe their strategy in Asia: diplomacy. Stung by regulatory probes into allegations ranging from the hiring of the offspring of senior state officials in China to rate manipulation in Singapore, and grappling with reams of new rules brought in after the global financial crisis, firms are going on a charm offensive with the region’s regulators and governments. Executives brought in to head banks’ businesses in major Asian financial centers are now expected - by management and regulators themselves - to devote more time to building their relationships with financial watchdogs. “Regulators have become major stakeholders - as important as big corporate clients - so firms are recognizing how key they are for business,” said Judy Vas, regulatory leader for Ernst & Young’s financial services business in Asia. Barclays recently promoted its Asia head of tax, Li Li Kuan, to become country head for Singapore, stressing one of her primary duties was to manage “regulatory relationships” in the city-state. Her appointment was relatively unusual, given country head roles are more often filled by “rainmakers” - corporate or investment bankers there to close deals and look after major clients. But priorities are starting to shift. JPMorgan brought in former DBS Vickers boss Edmund Lee as its Singapore head last year, replacing Philip Lee, who had been more focused on investment banking clients, noting one of his key duties would be to manage relationships with the government and regulators. Thomson Reuters Cost of Compliance survey found compliance teams at finance firms in Asia saw the biggest rise in 2013, compared with other regions, in the amount of time they spend preparing reports for their management boards. More than a third of teams in Asia spent at least one day a week on this work, compared with around 20% in 2012. Banks are also building up their regulatory or government affairs’ offices, an area they’ve previously put less focus on in Asia. “Although many firms have established regulatory policy and strategy functions in the US and Europe, most firms have a very nascent function or none at all in the Asia Pacific region,” said Chris Cook, a head-hunter for Executive Access in Hong Kong.
That presents a tall order for headhunters such as Cook, who says his firm is currently trying to fill several such positions, since there’s not an established pool of talent in the region to tap from. JPMorgan in January turned to for-
mer Asia IMF head Anoop Singh to become its Asia head of regulatory affairs, while Goldman Sachs brought in former US ambassador to Singapore David Adelman as head of government relations. UBS in January 2012 hired former Wall Street Journal journalist Peter Stein as its head of group governmental affairs for Asia Pacific. “You will see front office staff made redundant in order to ramp up these areas,” said Marc Baloch, the Asia Pacific head of Harvey Nash Executive Search. He notes how HSBC, which increased its number of compliance staff by 54% between 2012 and 2013, is looking to hire people into this function with a “diplomatic” skill set.
Regulators have become major stakeholders - as important as big corporate clients - so firms are recognizing how key they are for business The challenge for these roles in Asia is the sheer number of regulators that banks in the fragmented and diverse region must handle. JPMorgan interacts almost daily with more than 30 Asian banking regulators, a spokeswoman for the firm in Hong Kong said. The bank, in common with its global peers in Asia, reports to more than 100 regulators in the region across the full range of its businesses including banking, insurance and commodities. However the payback for banks from investing in this area is becoming clearer. Many Asian regulators took a back seat when the United States and European governments drew up a slew of new regulations on bank capital and derivatives trading in the wake of the 2008-09 financial crisis. That left the region facing a set of rules that regulators and firms felt did not work for them, such as regulations on derivatives trading that were tailored towards more liquid markets like the United States rather than Asian ones. That has prompted regulators from financial centers such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia to become more vocal in international forums such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions and the Financial Stability Board. “The Asian voices are asking for more workable solutions while following the global principles,” said Ernst & Young’s Vas. “So it makes it a more worthwhile investment for the Asian business heads to have a dialogue with the regulators locally so they can help drive the shaping of solutions globally.” l
Japan’s Abe sees free-trade deal with EU agreed next year n Reuters, Brussels The European Union and Japan have agreed to try to wrap-up free-trade negotiations next year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday, follow-
ing an EU-Japan summit in Brussels. “We confirmed the importance of an early conclusion and 2015 is the target date for a basic agreement,” Abe told a news conference with European Union leaders. l
Robots from the University of Miami, College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Computer Science play a game of soccer at the eMerge Americas Techweek held in the Miami Beach Convention Center on Tuesday in Miami Beach, Florida. The eMerge conference brought together more than 100 speakers from large technology companies and emerging ventures throughout South Florida and Latin America as well as gave people hands on experience with robots, video games and other high tech ventures AFP