Joishthya 3, 1421 Rajab 17, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 47
SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
7 | DEADLY GAS IN TURKISH MINE
16 pages | Price: Tk10
12 | MOSHARRAF, SHAYNA PLAN DIVORCE
9 | PALATIAL PAST
14 | BARCELONA, ATLETICO SET FOR FINALE
Meghna death toll rises to 28
Survivors blame negligence of captains, master
The ill-fated launch was carrying more passengers than its capacity
Samiul Basher Anik and n Syed Mohammad Jamil Khan, back
Jamil Khan and n Mohammad Syed Samiul Basher Anik, back
from Munshiganj The death toll from the MV Miraj 4 launch capsize in the Meghna River rose to 28 as of last night. Rescue workers were facing difficulties pulling out bodies from the double-decker launch, which sank near Daulatpur in Gajaria upazila of Munshiganj on Thursday. Acting superintendent of police of Munshiganj M Jakir Hossain Majumder told the Dhaka Tribune: “A total of 28 bodies have been recovered so far and families of the deceased have received Tk20,000 each as compensation.” However, District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer M Abdur Rahman, who was providing information from the control room, said 27 dead bodies were recovered from the spot including nine females and seven children. “All the bodies were identified and were handed over to the family members immediately,” he said. The MV Miraj 4, which was heading towards Shariatpur from Dhaka, sank in the Meghna with over 200 people on board around 3:30pm on Thursday. Divers from the Coast Guard and the Fire Service and Civil Defence are running the rescue operations with rescue vessel Prottoy, which started operating on Thursday evening. The rescue workers said the launch had a capacity of 122 passengers but it was carrying a higher number of people. They also said they failed to recover the launch as it had sunk deeper into PAGE 2 COLUMN 2
Poll drubbing leaves Gandhi dynasty fighting for future n Reuters India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the towering force of Indian politics for the best part of a century, faces a fight for its very survival after an election drubbing at the hands of opposition leader Narendra Modi. Often described as the country’s answer to a royal family, with the added tragic glamour of the Kennedys, the dynasty gave India its first prime minister, the empire-beating barrister Jawaharlal Nehru. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, and grandson, Rajiv, both held the post subsequently, and both were assassinated. Friday’s electoral humiliation risks consigning the family that has ruled PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
Drowned passengers of MV Miraj 4 are being recovered from the Meghna River yesterday in Munshiganj’s Gajaria as a rescue vehicle salvages the launch
Landslide win for Modi, BJP Ruling Congress wins only 44 seats in India’s Lok Sabha n Agencies Narendra Modi thundered to victory yesterday in India’s election, with partial results showing that the pro-business Hindu nationalist and his party trounced the ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in a seismic political shift. Modi’s landslide, the most resounding election victory India has seen in 30 years, was welcomed with a blistering rally on India’s stock markets and raucous celebrations at offices across the country of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP looked certain of a parliamentary majority, giving the 63-yearold former tea-seller ample room to advance economic reforms which were started 23 years ago by current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but stalled in recent years. Singh, whose party looked set to win less than 50 of the 543 parliamentary seats at stake, congratulated Modi
with a telephone call. The Indian National Congress and its allies have won 59 seats in total; Congress, individually has won 44.
NARAYANGANJ SEVEN MURDERS
Permission given to arrest two, not three n Kailash Sarkar The Defence Ministry is yet to respond to the letter of police that asked for permission to arrest one of the three former officials of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB-11). Earlier, the Defence Ministry on Thursday gave police the go-ahead to arrest two other ex-RAB officials for their alleged involvement in the much-talked-about seven murders in Narayanganj. Police are still in the dark as to why the Defence Ministry did not mention anything about the arrest of the rest one former RAB-11 official. The investigation officer of the seven-murder case in a letter sought cooperation of the Armed Force Division (AFD) in arresting three officials of the Bangladesh Army and the Navy. The Defence Ministry on Thursday replied to police through Home Ministry that they could arrest only the two
among the three former RAB 11 officials. “The AFD as well as the Defence Ministry in their responses mentioned the two ex-army officials but nothing about the ex-official of the Bangladesh Navy,” said Khandaker Mahid Uddin, superintendent of police in Narayanganj. The SP also said he was not aware of why the AFD did not mention anything about former Lt Commander MM Rana of the Bangladesh Navy and whether there would be any further move. Asked, SP Mahid Uddin also declined to make any comment on the expected time of the arrest of those two ex-RAB -11 officials – former Commanding Officer of the RAB 11 Lt Col Tareq Sayeed Mohammad and Major Arif Hossain of the Bangladesh Army. Meanwhile, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday claimed that the government was not idling away time rather it was trying to unwrap the mystery over the seven murders PAGE 2 COLUMN 2
6 There is a festive atmosphere in the Mongalbaria village under the Pakundia upazila in Kishoreganj as villagers are busy collecting and selling their special variety of litchis which is popularly known as the Mongalbaria litchi.
8 Few creations of the builders’ and architects’ art, anywhere in the world, speak louder of the immense wealth of the history of a nation than the mansions and palaces left behind by that past.
The Jayalalithaa-led All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has emerged as the third largest PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
Survivors of MV Miraj 4 have alleged that the launch capsized in the Meghna River because of the negligence and irresponsibility on part of its captains and master. “Right after gusty winds began to blow, many passengers repeatedly requested the captains to sail to a safe place but they paid no heed. They said it was nothing and also advised us to be patient,” said Rahima Begum, 50, who was on board with her son Monowar Hossain and husband Abdul Jalil. A tearful Rahima, who was being treated at Gajaria Health Complex, told the Dhaka Tribune that she and her son had been able to swim ashore following the accident but her husband could not make it. Jalil’s body was rescued around 11:30am yesterday. “We were returning to village after visiting my elder son Akter Mahmud Khan in Dhaka. He is a businessman by profession and bode us farewell at Sadarghat around 1pm,” she recalled. Before getting on board, Jalil asked her to stay in Dhaka for one more day but she refused. All those are now just memories for the 50-year-old woman. Another survivor Mohammad Ali was seen wailing sitting on the bank of Meghna. “Do you know when the vessel will be lifted up? Is it possible for anyone to stay alive inside it even after a day?” he seemed to be questioning himself. Garment worker Ali was destined MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
PAGE 2 COLUMN 2
Modi’s ‘dream’ pledge n Agencies
Narendra Modi promised to work to “fulfil the dreams of 1.2 billion people” as he addressed cheering supporters for the first time yesterday after a landslide Indian election victory for his Hindu nationalist party. A sea of well-wishers from across his constituency of Vadodara in Gujarat turned out to hear the former tea boy who is poised to become prime minister of the world’s second-most populous nation. “The heat of the election is over and the people have given their verdict which says we need to take India forward to fulfil the dreams of India’s 1.2 billion people,” he said. “There are no enemies in democracy, there is only opposition. I will take your love and convert it into progress before I return. “I want to take all of you with me to take this country forward... It is my responsibility to take all of you with me to run this country,” he added. “Everyone’s support and everyone’s
development is our mantra, and these are not hollow words, this is our spirit. That is why the people have given us a clear majority.” Modi’s opponents and critics have warned that the 63-year-old, who has a reputation as a religious hardliner, will stoke tensions in the Hindu-majority country, which is home to 150 million Muslims. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned in January that he would be “disastrous” for the country. Preliminary results at the end of the marathon six-week election showed the BJP on track for the first parliamentary majority by a single party since 1984. Election Commission figures showed the party likely to win more than the 272 seats required for a majority on its own in the 543-seat parliament, with victories by its allies taking it easily in excess of 330.
Modi wins even in Muslim heartlands
Modi has been pilloried for horrific PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
Agonising wait at accident site Jamil Khan and n Mohammad Syed Samiul Basher Anik, back from Munshiganj Several hundred relatives of missing passengers of MV Miraj-4 that sank on Thursday with over 200 passengers are still waiting on Doulatpur bank of the Meghna River at Gazaria Upazila in Munshiganj for news about their loved ones. The double-decker launch capsized on Thursday afternoon after it was caught in a nor’wester while heading towards Shariatpur from Dhaka. According to the estimate from the district administration, some 100 people managed to swim ashore while many more are still missing. The deputy commissioner’s office is yet to prepare any list of the missing people. Many relatives of the missing passengers came from Shariatpur to find the bodies of their family members. Whenever a body was brought to the river bank, victims’ relatives rushed to have a closer look before the control room ensures its identity. Almost all of them have already lost hope of finding their relatives alive as
PM greets Modi n Tribune Report Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has congratulated Indian prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance has secured an absolute majority in Lok Sabha elections. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has congratulated BJP leader Narendra Modi on the victory of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in Lok Sabha elections,” Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Mahbubul Haque Shakil told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. l
JaPa, Jamaat congratulate Modi
n Manik Miazee
Several political parties in Bangladesh have congratulated BJP leader Narendra Modi, who is set to become the next premier of India, and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance on their landslide historic win in the Indian Lok Shabha election. In a statement, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and Secretary General Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu congratulated the people of India, Bharatiya Janata Party, its chief Rajnath Singh and the party's primeministrial candidate Narendra Modi. They expressed hope that the new government would strengthen the relationship between Bangladesh and India. Similarly, Jamaat-e-Islami in a statement congratulated Modi and expressed hopes that India will uphold its tradition of keeping religious harmony among the people under his leadership. The written statement was issued by Jamaat acting ameer Mokbul Ahmad. The party also expressed high hopes that Modi would consider the bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India seriously and solve them through fruitful discussions. Meanwhile, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, in a party statement, congratulated Modi on his victory and hoped that his government would be able to solve long-standing issues between the two Asian neighbours, which were left unattended by previous governments of his nations. l
Khaleda greets Modi
n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has greeted BJP leader Narendra Modi, who is set to become the next premier of India, as his party and its allies are on the way to form the next government with an absolute majority in the parliament. Vice-Chairman of the party Shamser Mobin Chowdhury, on behalf of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, conveyed the greetings to Narendra Modi through the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. He told the Dhaka Tribune: “I, on behalf of the BNP chairperson, have sent the congratulatory message to Modi.” In her written message, the BNP chairperson said: “On behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and on my behalf, I extend to you our heartiest felicitations on the victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections in India.” “The strong mandate given to the BJP and National Democratic Alliance under your leadership is a clear testimony to trust and confidence the Indian people have on you to lead them in the future,” she added. l
30 have passed since the launch went down. Relatives of the victims were seen bringing out processions and chanting slogans against the administration as the rescue operation was delayed due to a strong current. Solaiman Dhali who came to find out his brother Anwar Dhali said: “I came from Rahapara of Shariatpur to find out my brother but his body is yet to be found.” “My nephew Sajib went to Dhaka for his passport as he was scheduled to go abroad. He called me during the storm and said the launch was in danger,” Ripon Mia from Sureshwar at Shariatpur said with tears welling up in his eyes. After a little pause he added: “I just want the body as the money given by the government cannot bring back my nephew.” While contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj Saiful Hasan Badal, said they were yet to take any initiative to prepare a list of the missing people. “We have to wait. The list of the missing people can only be prepared after the capsized launch is salvaged,” he said. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Sheikh Hasina’s homecoming day today n Emran Hossain Shaikh The Awami League and its associates will observe daylong programmes today in celebration of the 33rd homecoming day of party chief Sheikh Hasina. On this day in 1981, Hasina returned to Bangladesh after spending nearly six years abroad following the killings of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of the family members on August 15, 1975. Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana survived the attack as they were in Germany at that time. As part of the celebration, wreaths will be laid at the portrait of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the capital’s Dhanmondi, a doa mahfil will be held praying for good health and longevity of the premier and a rally will be held by the Dhaka City unit of Awami League. Chhatra League yesterday arranged a seminar on the occasion of the day of Hasina’s return, also president of the Awami League. Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam urged party leaders and associate to celebrate the day with due respect. l
Members of Green Mind Society form a human chain in front the National Press Club yesterday, demanding a ban on the use of formalin in all food products including fruits NASHIRUL ISLAM
9 Jamaat men arrested in Bakerganj n Our Correspondent, Barisal Police arrested nine members of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh in Bakerganj municipal area in Barisal yesterday. The arrested men are: Nuruzzaman, municipal secretary, and Abul Bashar, Nesaruddin, Shamim Ahmed, Hafez
Md Shahidullah, Jahangir Hossain, Mozammel Huq, Abul Kalam and Abu Hanif, leaders and activists of the party in Bakerganj. Inspector Masum Talukdar, OC of Bakerganj police station, said the Jamaat activists were arrested while they were in a meeting to “conspire and plan
a sabotage” at Hanif’s house at Runsi area in Bakerganj. Books and items used to spread propaganda were also recovered from the scene. The detained men will be sent to court in several cases of political violence, according to the police. l
AL expresses hopes of friendly relations BNP rally denial demo today n with BJP-led government Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Emran Hossain Shaikh
Ruling Awami League has congratulated the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance for securing a landslide win in the Indian national election, as well as expressing hopes that their friendly relationship will continue with the new Indian government. “As a political party, we believe in the people’s mandate. We have come to power by the mandate of the people.
We congratulate those who obtained the people’s mandate,” Awami League Presidium Member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury said yesterday. Talking to reporters after a meeting at the party president’s Dhanmondi office, Sajeda also said there is no alternative to public opinion in a democracy. Earlier, at a separate programme in Dhaka University’s TSC Auditorium, another party presidium member, Obaidul Quader, said the friendly
Survivors blame negligence of captains, masters PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
for Shariatpur with his wife Shirin and only son Al Amin. Describing the accident, he said the launch tilted to the left minutes after heavy winds began blowing. “I grabbed my wife’s hands but we were on the left side. When the vessel began sinking, I immediately started swimming to come out of it. Suddenly, my wife let go of my hand and I saw her going down under water with our son.
Everything seemed to be happening so fast that I could not understand what to do,” he went on. When the winds began to blow, many passengers, sensing danger, yelled at the captain and the master to take the launch to a safe place sensing imminent danger but they did not listen, said Ali, adding: “I would not have lost my wife and son if they paid any heed to the passengers’ concern and changed course.” l
Permission given to arrest two PAGE 1 COLUMN 2
by unveiling the masks of the killers. Talking to journalists in separate two functions at Segunbagicha and Mohakhali, the state minister said: “It has been a bit late but the government is pressing ahead legally.” Narayanganj City Corporation panel mayor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Sarkar along with five others were killed and their bodies were dumped into River Shitalakkhya after they were abducted on April 27. The family members of Nazrul alleged that RAB 11 Commanding Officer Lt Col Tareq Sayeed Mohammad and two other RAB 11 officials – Major Arif Hossain and Lt Commander SM Masud
Rana – killed all the seven persons for Tk6 crore. Earlier on April 28 the authorities concerned had withdrawn all the three RAB-11 officials along with the Narayanganj superintendent of police and the deputy commissioner. Following the allegations, the AFD sent Lt Col Tareq Sayeed Mohammad and Major Rana on premature retirement from the Army and Lt Commander SM Masud Rana on forced retirement from the Navy. Meanwhile, the High Court on May 11 directed the government to arrest those RAB officials asking the RAB not to interfere in the arrest or investigation. l
Meghna death toll rises to 28 PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
the sand under the water because of overloading of people and goods. Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, however, said: “I have yet to receive any such allegations. The inquiry committee will look into the matter.” Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority Chairman Md Shamsuddoha Khondaker told the Dhaka Tribune that they were facing difficulties in salvaging the launch due to the presence of strong current and gusty winds. “We had expected to complete the rescue operations by evening, but we could not do that as the launch had sunk sideways into the sand. Now it has been set in the right position and the rescuers are trying to unload it to pull it out of the water easily,” he told the Dhaka Tribune at 7:30pm. Meanwhile, relatives of the missing passengers alleged that the rescue operation was going slow. They brought out a procession and chanted slogans against the administration, alleging intentional delay in the rescue operations.
Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj Saiful Hasan Badal claimed that nearly 100 passengers had been able to swim ashore while locals claimed that the number was fewer. According to the control room set up by the district administration, 70 people were rescued. When contacted, Gajaria Upazila Health Complex Residential Medical Officer Mojibul Haque Molla said they had received one dead body, admitted seven victims while giving 14 first aid and referring the rest to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Meanwhile, a three-member probe committee headed by Engineer and Ship Surveyor of the Mercantile and Marine Department Sirajul Islam, was formed following the accident. The committee was asked to submit its report within seven working days. The BIWTA had previously suspended the operation of the MV Miraj 4 as it had had two more accidents previously. BIWTA sources said the launch had been operating in violation of the suspension order in collusion with the port officials. l
relationship between Bangladesh and the new Indian government will continue to exist. “There is no reason for us to be elated or to be concerned about the Indian election. It is the victory of the Indian people and of democracy. The election has been held in a democratic way and the people of India have expressed their preference for changing their ruler,” said Obaidul, who is also the communication minister. l
The BNP will stage demonstrations today at each ward in Dhaka city, protesting the refusal to hold a rally at Jatrabari. “The government did not permit us [to hold the rally] because it fears opposition. To protest it and to express hatred for the government, we will stage demonstration at each ward in the city,” senior BNP leader Tariqul Islam told reporters yesterday at the party’s Nayapaltan office. The BNP had first planned to hold a rally in Narayanganj to protest the recent abduction and killing of seven
Modi’s ‘dream’ pledge PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
riots in which hundreds of Muslims were killed on his watch in western India 12 years ago. He is vilified by many as a fearsome Hindu supremacist. And yet, a Reuters analysis of Friday’s sweeping election victory for Narendra Modi showed that many of India’s Muslim voters appear to have put aside their fears and backed his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has promised to bring jobs and a revival of the economy. Alongside the sheer scale of Modi’s triumph, the change in attitude among
a sizeable proportion of the Muslim community is one of the most surprising outcomes of a vote where social and economic aspirations appear to have overridden other concerns. With counting of votes cast for parliamentary seats still underway, data provided by the Election Commission showed that in constituencies where the population of Muslims was more than 20%, a BJP candidate looked set to win in nearly half. Muslims account for about 15% of India’s 1.2 billion people, which means that – although a minority – they num-
Landslide win for Modi, BJP PAGE 1 COLUMN 4
political party in India. The AIADMK has won 37 of the total 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) has swept parliamentary elections in West Bengal by winning 34 of the 42 constituencies, routing the Left Front in its citadel. The Congress won in five and the BJP three seats. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the major partner in the Left Front which ruled the state for 34 consecutive years until 2011, has just won nine seats, despite the Left Front receiving about 30% of the polled votes. The TMC’s vote share is around 39%, while the BJP has managed to raise its vote share to an impressive 17%. In the 2009 parliamentary elections,
the then TMC and Congress-Socialist Unity Centre of India-Communist (SUCI-C) alliance had won 26 seats. The Trinamool had bagged 19 and the Congress six seats, while the SUCI-C won in one constituency. The Left Front had got 15 seats, with the CPI-M securing nine. The other Left Front partners triumphed in half a dozen constituencies. It is likely that the Left will end up with its worst showing since its formation in 1977.
Kejriwal fails in national poll debut
India’s anti-corruption champion Arvind Kejriwal failed yesterday to win a seat in the country’s general election, at which his upstart party made its national debut. Kejriwal, who rose to national prominence on a wave of voter anger
people there. The party then decided to hold the rally in front of a stadium, but the Narayanganj deputy commissioner refused them the permission. Finally, the BNP chose Jatrabari for the rally, but the authority concerned again did not allow the programme. “We repeatedly contacted the state minister for home, the IGP and high officials of police but they did not give us the permission. We condemn this,” said Tariqul, who is a BNP Standing Committee member. “People will one day give a fitting reply to this government for forcibly grabbing power,” he said. l
ber some 175 million, making them the world’s third-largest Muslim population. Of the 102 constituencies where, according to polling group CSDS at least one in five voters are Muslims, Election Commission data showed that a BJP candidate had won or was leading the count in 47. In the 2009 election, the BJP won only 24 of these seats. Modi’s party was even heading for victory on Friday in two seats where more than half of the population is Muslim, and in 18 where more than a third of the voters are Muslims. l
against endemic corruption, lost his fight against Modi in the seat of Varanasi. The former tax official-turned-politician trailed by a massive 300,000 votes in the Hindu holy city, where he had been locked in a high-profile battle against Modi during the mammoth election. Kejriwal said he was disappointed with results for his fledgling Aam Admi (Common Man) Party, which only managed to win four seats nationwide. “It was a good start for us for a first election ... but we are disappointed with the results in Delhi,” a visibly disappointed. Expressing disappointment, Kejriwal told reporters in Varanasi: “This is not our election; this is an election of the people. We respect the verdict of the people.” l
Poll drubbing leaves Gandhi dynasty fighting PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
India for most of its 67 years since independence to political oblivion, as Modi, who cast the Gandhis as elitist throughout his campaign, looks to sideline them for good. By some measures, the family was in decline long before the parliamentary election; it has not won a majority in decades. But the sheer scale of Modi’s victory this time around, dealing the Gandhis’ Congress party its worst election defeat ever, underlines how deeply that decay had spread. “The Congress has done pretty badly, there is a lot for us to think about. As vice-president of the party, I hold myself responsible,” said Nehru’s great-grandson Rahul Gandhi, who was consistently been outshone by Modi on the campaign trail. Gandhi was flanked by his mother, Rajiv’s widow Sonia, who also deliv-
ered a brief concession speech, taking a swipe at Modi’s Hindu nationalist policies that she said were divisive. “We hope the government that will be formed in the centre will not compromise the unity of Indian society and the interests of the country,” she said, while also shouldering blame for the debacle. Shy scion Rahul’s bid to keep Congress in power for a third consecutive term was called lacklustre even by allies, and his speeches at rallies up and down the country in recent months were a far cry from Nehru’s legendary rhetoric. Compare that with Modi’s electrifying campaign, during which he repeatedly derided Rahul, 43, and Sonia for keeping India poor, and the house of Gandhi looked vulnerable. Few would write off the clan completely. Sonia, the power behind the prime ministerial throne occupied by
Manmohan Singh, delivered Congress its worst result to date in 1999. She then led the party to victory in the next two elections, and a year ago Forbes ranked her as the world’s ninth-most-powerful woman. The party faithful, while reeling as partial results yesterday showed Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led in more than six times as many seats as Congress, were quick to rally around the wounded Gandhis. “Giving up on the Gandhis at this juncture would be the most stupid thing the Congress could do,” Mani Shankar Aiyar, a former minister and family loyalist, told Reuters. For those in the party looking for fresh blood, the search ends with Rahul’s charismatic sister, Priyanka, who had an important backroom role in the campaign. “Party men would embrace her with both arms the moment she wants to join,” Aiyar said. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
MP asks for legalising gas connections in Narayanganj n Aminur Rahman Rasel With the illegal siphoning of gas continuing to inflict massive losses to the government, a Narayanganj lawmaker has urged the Energy Ministry to legalise unauthorised gas connections in the district in a bid to increase revenues. “People who got illegal connections were not aware of its illegitimacy as they were convinced otherwise by a group of beneficiaries,” said Liaqat Hossain Khoka, the Jatiya Party MP for Narayanganj 3 constituency. He submitted his recommendation to State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid on May 6 for legalising the area’s connections, which he said might bring in additional revenues of around Tk45 lakh monthly. “It must be done because disconnecting the illegal connections will weigh on the lives of the people who were cheated,” said Liaqat, who is also a member of the standing committee on Power Ministry. Liaqat added that the authority needed to focus on the maintenance of
ILLEGAL GAS CONNECTIONS IN NARAYANGANJ Households with illegal gas connections Connections stretch over Government loses revenue each month Consumers in sonargaon upazila have paid for each connection
They are not paying any monthly bill
50 Km Tk 45 lakh Tk 40,000 50,000
NATIONWIDE GAS LINES SCENERIO OF TITAS Illegal gas pipeline Illegal connections detected Daily consumption
2,00,000 200m cubic feet
NATIONWIDE GAS DEMANDSUPPLY SCENERIO DEMAND
2,750 mcf SUPPLY 2,250 mcf SHORTFALL 500 mcf
According to Bangladesh Gas Act 2010, an illegal gas user can be given three months to one year’s jail term, and fines ranging from Tk10,000 to Tk5 lakh. S LATIF HOSSAIN/DT INFOGRAPHIC
the faulty gas pipelines. When contacted on Wednesday, State Minister Nasrul Hamid said: “The issue has to be taken under consideration and will be scrutinised further. However, no decision has been made yet.” After a three-year break, the government decided to allow new gas connections on May 7 last year, but later said the gas distribution companies would not provide new connections in areas where the companies did not have networks. However, the government had then allowed illegal gas users to apply for legalising their connections. Previously the state-owned Petrobangla had also made similar initiatives for legalising illegal connections. Around 10,000 households are consuming gas illegally in Sonargaon and Rupganj upazilas of Narayanganj, courtesy of local Awami League leaders and contractors who joined hands to siphon from pipelines of Titas Gas and supply through an illegal network stretching over 50 kilometres. An official of Titas Gas said the total potential monthly revenue from these
connections was around Tk45 lakh, as each consumer had to pay Tk450 each month. Household consumers of Sonargaon and Rupganj upazilas obtained the connections for Tk40,000-Tk50,000 each. Asked why they had paid such a large amount of money for illegal connections, locals said ruling party leaders and contractors had promised them that the lines would be legalised soon. Meanwhile, a senior Energy Ministry official, seeking anonymity, said the ministry was not taking action against the illegal connections, as the consumers belonged to different political parties, while ruling party leaders had helped them get the connections. To tackle the crisis, the government was now planning to legalise all connections, the official said. Setting up illegal connections resulted because syndicates were formed consisting of Titas officials and contractors along with influential politicians from different parties, Titas Gas Manag-
ing Director Md Nowshad Islam told the Dhaka Tribune. Earlier this year, after carrying out only a single drive against illegal gas connections, Titas Gas authorities stopped the initiative, reportedly because of the unavailability of police personnel and magistrates. Late last year, the government legalised nearly 1 lakh illegal gas lines that had been obtained after the government stopped giving new connections in mid-2010. According to Bangladesh Gas Act 2010, an illegal gas user can be given three months to one year’s jail time, and fined from Tk10,000 to Tk5 lakh. According to Titas Gas officials, around 250km of illegal gas pipeline and two lakh illegal connections have been detected in its franchise area, with the connections consuming 200million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas per day and causing losses of several hundred crore taka for the government. At present, the daily gas supply in the country is 2,250mmcf, with a daily shortfall of around 500mmcf. l
INDIA LOK SABHA ELECTION
Drilling of new gas well starts in Bhola n Aminur Rahman Rasel
n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Russian state-owned company Gazprom has started drilling a 3,900-metre deep third development well at the Shahbazpur Gas Field in Bhola’s Char Borhanuddin. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed inaugurated the drilling work yesterday. “The drilling work is scheduled to be completed by August,” Abdul Halim, director of the well-drilling project of the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) told the Dhaka Tribune. Gazprom will drill another well on the gas field, Halim said, adding that the two wells are expected to produce 50 million cubic feet of gas following the successful completion of the work. The Shahbazpur gas field was discovered in 1994 and started supplying gas to Bhola’s 33MW rental power plant in 2010. Bapex initiated the drilling of the wells through Gazprom. In April 2012, the government signed a deal with Gazprom for drilling 10 gas wells, spending $193.55m across the country, without any tender under the Power and Energy Quick Supply (special provision) Act. Under the signed agreements, the Russian party was supposed to complete the drilling of those wells by the end of last year. The company has so far drilled nine wells. Petrobangla is expected to supply around 250–300 million cubic feet of natural gas a day to the national grid from the 10 gas wells. On April 9 last year, the Power Development Board signed an agreement with China Chengda Engineering Company Ltd for the installation of a 225MW power plant at Bhola’s Borhanuddin upazila, which would supply power to the national grid by 2015. Petrobangla has consented to supply gas to this plant from its Shahbazpur gas field. l
‘Big change unlikely’ India needs to maintain good relation with its neighbours to ensure its internal security while Bangladesh should closely follow the development in Assam and West Bengal where BJP and Trinamool Congress consolidate their position respectively. “New Delhi must follow generous and tolerant foreign policy towards its neighbours,” Mashiur Rahman, economic adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told the Dhaka Tribune. He was giving his reaction on the power transfer in India as BJP swept a landslide victory in the 2014 Indian election where Narendra Modi played a key role. Mashiur said it is less likely there would be any big change in the foreign policy of India. The Awami League government enjoyed the support from the Congress-led government throughout its tenure and this was the first time after 1975 that both the Awami League and the Congress were in power. However, tension is apparently mounting as influential cabinet members of the government and the civil society members are on record saying about the things which had not been heard in the last five years. “If India does not maintain good relationship with its neighbours, it might affect its internal security and international image, and it will never earn respect as a regional power,” Mashiur said, adding: “It will not be a responsible behaviour if India creates intentional conflict with its neighbours.” When asked about the communal face of the BJP, he said during their last tenure led by moderate Atal Bihari Bajpayee, it was not visible. “We had enjoyed good relationship with India when the BJP was in power
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last time,” said Mashiur, who was the Economic Relations Division secretary at that time. “If they support any communal force in Bangladesh, it will create tension in the country and it has a spillover effect on India,” he added. About the alleged illegal immigrant issue raised by prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, he said it does not match with the vision of the BJP. “On the one hand Modi is talking about growth and development and on the other creating tension in the society in the name of illegal immigrants and it simply does not match,” he said. If Modi wants growth, development and prosperity, he needs to ensure stable environment not only in India but also in the whole region and pursuing illegal immigration issue would jeopardise stability, he said. Muslims in West Bengal are very unlikely to come to Bangladesh and pursuing the policy would create tension between the two countries, he said. “Communal politicians in Bangladesh may also take the advantage of the situation by creating problems inside the country and India will not be immune to it,” he added. Former diplomat Humayun Kabir said Bangladesh should closely monitor the development in Assam and West Bengal, which have borders with Bangladesh. “The BJP did very well in Assam and it might be an issue of concern as it is a very problematic area... If the BJP wants to pursue any negative policy towards Bangladesh, tension may erupt in Assam, where 40% of population are Muslims,” he said. About Trinamool’s position in West Bengal, Kabir said: “We need to have mid and long-term strategy for West Bengal, as it is very likely Mamata will lead the state for the next five to seven years, if not more.” l
People of all ages crowd at a stall during a Laptop Fair in Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday, taking advantage of the weekend DHAKA TRIBUNE
Foreign minister to visit India after formation of new government n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will go to India after the formation of a new government there. “Of course I hope to go,” he told the Dhaka Tribune when asked if he would go to India shortly after attending a programme of Bangladesh-India Friendship Society at Dhaka University yesterday. The foreign minister, however, did not say when he would go to New Delhi or make comment if there was any change in relationship between the two countries as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha elections. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka
Pankaj Saran told the Dhaka Tribune that India would have a new government sworn in next few days. “Certainly, we are expecting a new government to be formed in next few days,” he said. Asked if there is any deviation in the foreign policy as there would be a power change in India, he declined to make comment. “We will talk later,” he said. The foreign minister at the programme informed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had already sent a congratulatory message to prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the people of India for holding a successful election. He said interaction and exchange of progressive ideas would eventually usher in a secular, prosperous, and in-
clusive South Asia. “Our two countries are becoming interlinked through engagement of all considerable sectors.” Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury said Bangladesh and India have many common challenges like poverty eradication, inclusive growth, climate change, good governance and women empowerment. She hoped if a joint working committee or group of parliament members of both the countries could be formed, then it might have positive impact on the bilateral relationship. The speaker hoped the two friendly countries would have win-win outcome in water sharing, land boundary agreement and all other aspects. l
WORLD TELECOM DAY Awami League plans grassroots level councils Users continue to experience subpar broadband connections n Emran Hossain Shaikh
The ruling Awami League will start reorganising the party at grassroots level by holding councils. Several party leaders say they will start holding the councils from next month to revamp the party at grassroots level. However, the ruling party is gearing up for all the local councils after the month of Ramadan and August 15, the death anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. At a meeting on Wednesday, the Awami League Working Committee assigned General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam to finalise a roadmap for the district councils after discussing with the party’s divisional organising secretary and joint secretary. Earlier, Awami League Presidium Member Obaidul Quader was assigned to reorganise the party at its grassroots level. But no visible outcome was seen in last five months. AL Presidium Member Nuh-Ul-Alam Lenin told the Dhaka Tribune that the party had assigned the general secretary and divisional organising secretary to reorganise the party by holding local councils. Citing the organisational situation at grassroots level, Lenin said they had completed councils in many districts,
but the committees had not yet been formed in all these districts. They had formed committees in some districts. “To resolve all problems, we will sit to hold the district councils,” the leader said. The Awami League has 73 organising districts across the country. Councils of only 12 out of 73 districts and 150 out of 500 upazilas had been held after the central conference on July 24, 2009. Meanwhile, the ruling party also held its central conference on December 29 in 2012, but not a single district council was held in last one and a half years. According to the charter of Awami League, new committees are supposed to be formed within every three years. But councils are not being held for 16 years in eight districts, including Kishoreganj, home district of Syed Ashraful Islam. The council of Dhaka city was held one and a half years ago, but the committee has not been formed yet. Awami League Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said party chief Sheikh Hasina had instructed them to hold district councils as early as possible. “Within a day or two, we will meet with the party’s general secretary to set the timeframe for grassroots councils,” said Khalid Mahmud, the organising secretary of Rangpur division. l
n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Bangladesh will be observing World Telecom Day today with the theme “Broadband for Sustainable Development,” although the country’s broadband internet users continue to experience subpar connections. The theme of the day, officially known as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2014, focuses on commitment by stakeholders in achieving universal access to broadband connectivity and content, and foster political will on achieving this objective. However, the exact number of people with broadband internet access in the country could not be known, with industry sources claiming the number of users to be between five to ten lakh. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the country now has around 3.72 crore internet users, including 3.57 crore who use internet on their mobile phones. However, the mobile operators reportedly fail to offer superior services, as market leader Grameenphone uses around 5Gbps bandwidth, while Banglalink and Robi use around 1Gbps from the IIGs to provide service to more than three crore subscribers. M Rokonuzzaman, professor of electrical and computer engineering
at North South University, said: “The number of broadband users may be roughly more or less than 1 million, which means less than 1% penetration with 0.3 Kbps per capita internet bandwidth consumption in Bangladesh.” He also said the per capita internet bandwidth consumption in Singapore was 258 Kbps, while it was 1 Kbps in India in 2012. “It is more important to increase the number of internet users than ensuring quality broadband connections,” said Suman Ahmed Sabbir, chief technology officer at International Internet Gateway (IIG) operator Fiber@Home. The number of wireless broadband
(WiMAX) users have also seen a steep decline, with the current number standing at 2.99 lakh compared to more than 5 lakh users a year ago. “We have lots of challenges in providing better quality broadband, failure in meeting those challenges is prompting subscribers to leave us,” Mezanur Rahaman, chief technology officer of WiMAX providers Ollo, told the Dhaka Tribune. To mark the day, the Telecom Ministry and its affiliated organisations including the BTRC and the BTCL, as well as mobile phone operators have chalked out various programmes across the country. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
CELEBRATING THE NATIONAL DAY OF
Greetings from the Ambassador Merete Lundemo When Norway celebrates its National Day on 17 May, we pay tribute to our Constitution, which was signed on that very day in 1814. 200 years ago, the construction of our modern, democratic society started with the adoption of the 1814 Constitution. The 400-year long union with Denmark ended, and Norway entered into a union with Sweden - but not before receiving from Denmark the most handsome divorce gift in history. At the time of changing union partners, there were many questions and views about Norway’s future status. Those in favour of self-determination and people’s sovereignty prevailed. Norway was given a unique opportunity to write its own Constitution, and to take the first steps towards independence. The Norwegian Constitution is the oldest in Europe, and the second oldest in the world, that is still in use. It was a radical constitution in its day, inspired as it was by new political and social currents in Europe and America. Key principles include the sovereignty of people; division of powers; and citizen’s rights that are inalienable and innate. These basic ideas were new and controversial: freedom and equality for all were far from household values in early 19th century Europe. The Constitution proved to be a true game changer for Norway. It established rule of law, freedom of speech, and free enterprise; and the first Parliament convened shortly after its adoption. The Constitution contained modern ideas, and secured the rights and freedoms that inspired the process towards national independence, which followed a small century later, in 1905. People realized that the Constitution was their best vehicle to achieve independence and democracy. It thus had to stay modern, and reflect its time and the current reality. Ideas about equality and freedom led to changes that were necessary for constructing a modern society. Over time, restrictions on freedom of religion were abolished; and voting rights were extended to all men, regardless of their position in society, and finally in 1913 to all women. This brief look at history will explain why we point at our Constitution as the source of freedom, independence, and a modern society. It guided Norway’s democratic development, from absolute to constitutional monarchy, and to parliamentarism. The Constitution is a unifying symbol and it is part of what defines our
nation and our culture. This year, as we celebrate the Constitution’s bicentenary, it is timely to reflect on what its relevance is today – what the principles and values described so long ago mean to us in our time. The basic ideas contained in the Constitution are as important to promote today as 200 years ago, in our own society and in our international relations. We consider people’s true sovereignty; real division of power; and consistent respect for human rights keys to safeguarding justice, development and prosperity. In practical terms, our traditional emphasis on rights leads Norway both to take clear policy positions and initiatives that will strengthen human rights and fight discrimination and injustice. One example is Norway’s efforts over decades, both in the multilateral context and within bilateral cooperation, to protect those who speak up for and promote human rights, often at their own peril. “No one shall be judged but by law, nor be punished but by sentence”. One phrase from the Constitution neatly encapsulates the rule of law. This also rings true for international relations. We believe in rule of international law, to ensure justice, predictability and peaceful solutions in all relations between states. Today, equality and non-discrimination are fundamental principles for Norwegian society, and permeates our international cooperation. Human rights are at the centre of the partnership between Bangladesh and Norway. Over four decades, we have assisted Bangladesh in its efforts to strengthen governance, combat corruption and improve the rights of women. On 17 May our open and inclusive, multicultural society celebrates its origin, and confirms again that we stand by the universal values, and believe in freedom, equality and rights for everybody. We also enjoy our traditions, and will be donning national costumes and listen to traditional music as the bicentenary is celebrated in Norway and many other countries. Also in Bangladesh. The small Norwegian community will again this year enjoy the renowned Bangladeshi hospitality and parade the streets of Dhaka, in recognition of the universal and timeless values that we share with our Bangladeshi hosts. My best greetings to all friends of Norway in Bangladesh.
Children’s parade on 17th of May
lready in 1815, the year following the signing of the Constitution, enthusiasts and independence advocates would get together on Constitution Day to celebrate. That was controversial, as Norway was part of a union with Sweden at the time. People, and in particular students, gradually took the celebration out of private homes and to the public space. Citizen’s parades were organized in more places each year, and when Parliament joined in and celebrated Constitution Day in 1836, 17 May had de facto become National Day. From 1870 onwards, children’s parades were organized. This focus and special space for the young generation remains the most remarkable feature of our celebration, and reflects our modern, forward-looking Constitution. During the Second World War, National Day celebrations were outlawed by the occupying power. This led to an even stronger emphasis on our National Day as a celebration of freedom and liberty. l
CREDIT: HEGE MARGRETHE KOLSHUS HANSEN. COPYRIGHT: © ROYAL NORWEGIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
1814 – The birth of Norwegian democracy
st January 1814. Norway was firmly under the rule of Denmark. All the important decisions that affected Norway were made in Copenhagen, and the state was an absolute monarchy. Just one year later, the picture was quite different. Norway was an independent nation. Though it formed part of a union with Sweden, Norway now had a huge degree of autonomy, its own capital city, and a completely new political system. How was this possible? Historic circumstances opened up for this radical change. After the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15), Denmark found itself on the losing side and their grip on Norway weakened. In this power vacuum Norway was able to gather the people and write its first draft of the Constitution. After 400 years under Danish rule, the hasty drafting of a Norwegian Constitution must be viewed as a strategic move to liberate the country, perhaps more than a wish to embrace democratic principles. Nevertheless, the 112 men in the Constituent Assembly produced one of the most liberal constitutions in the world at the time. The first draft of the Norwegian Constitution, written by Johan Gunder Adler and Christian Magnus Falsen, began along these lines: “All people are born free and equal: they have certain natural, essential and imprescriptible
PAINTING BY OSCAR WERGELAND SHOWING THE FIRST CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY TOGETHER IN 1814
rights. These are liberty, security and property.” Inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and the French Constitution, the Norwegian
Constitution was crafted around three principles: separation of powers, the safeguarding of civil rights and sovereignty of the people. These are still key
values, and form the backbone of our democracy. Today Norway promotes these values through various UN bodies, including the Human Rights Council, and other global forums. We celebrate our Constitution every year on 17 May. The Constitution is a national icon – a unifying symbol of freedom, independence and democracy. Our celebration of 17 May is one of the world’s oldest continuous traditions of marking a country’s national day, and it is one of the traditions we are most proud of. Instead of military parades, the streets are full of children dressed in national costumes and waving flags. The celebration is an all-day event with special traditions and songs typical for this day. People gather in the streets and in their local communities to celebrate with parades, games and good food, much like Bangladeshis celebrate Pohela Boishakh. This year’s celebration is special because the Constitution is 200 years old. The bicentenary will be celebrated throughout the year with various events, shows, concerts and presentations all over Norway and wherever Norway is represented abroad. In addition to being a year of festivities, the Bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution raises awareness of what the Constitution means today and what role it will play in our future democracy. l
Norway and Bangladesh cooperation on climate change issues
limate change is a major challenge of our common future. It poses a grave threat to our efforts to eradicate poverty and ensure sustainable development. The new sustainable development goals (SDGs) should therefore boost efforts to reduce emissions, build climate change resilience and promote adaptation to the effects of climate change. We should make the SDGs climate smart and promote solutions that benefit the global climate. The COP 21 in Paris next year will be the main arena for tackling climate change. Norway will work towards an ambitious global climate agreement. As a leading member of the LDC group Bangladesh is playing a constructive and important role in the climate change negotiations under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries for natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. Natural disasters like floods, cyclones, droughts and riverbank erosion are common, and a rise in the sealevel would have serious consequences for the livelihood of many people.
Norway is working closely with Bangladesh in tackling these issues. Disaster management is one of the pillars of the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, and Norway is proud to support the Comprehensive
Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen is collaborating on capacity building for studying, mitigation, and adaptation Disaster Management Program under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. Norway is also supporting the project “Climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation - Sustaining rice production in Bangladesh”, which is a cooperation between the Norwegian
Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research and the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute and the Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services in Dhaka. In addition the following climate related projects can be mentioned: Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen is collaborating on capacity building for studying, mitigation, and adaptation to climate change and linkage to natural disaster risk reduction. “Reducing vulnerability of women affected by climate change through livelihood options” by UN Women in collaboration with BRAC and BCAS The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute is cooperating with the Geological Survey of Bangladesh in joint investigations and exchanges of experiences in the field of mitigation of geo-hazards such as tsunami, earthquakes, rainfall induced landslides, coastal erosion and subsidence. Regional initiatives such as the South Asia Water Initiative and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Bangkok. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Festivity in Mongalbaria over plucking, selling litchis n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj There is a festive atmosphere in the Mongalbaria village under the Pakundia upazila in Kishoreganj as villagers are busy collecting and selling their special variety of litchis which is popularly known as the Mongalbaria litchi. The litchi is popular for its mouthwatering taste, special red colour, big size, and thick pulp with small seed inside it. Mongalbaria litchis attract traders from different places, including Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Sylhet. People also send litchis to relatives who live abroad so that they do not miss out on the opportunity to have the juicy fruit. The profitable fruit has brought a change in the densely populated village which is 20 km away from Kishoreganj town. There are around 20,000 litchi trees in the village, said locals, Samsudduha and Abdul Hakim. Ruhul Amin, a resident of the village, said there are some 1,500 small
litchi gardens in the village and most of them are in courtyards, on the banks of ponds and on roadsides. Towhid Mia introduced litchi cultivation to the locality some 30 years back when he planted litchi trees in his orchard and earned a huge profit from it. Inspired by his success, many people became interested in planting litchi trees. Mukhlesur Rahman, a farmer, earns about Tk1.50 lakh a year from his 25 small trees. Abdul Malek Bepari earned about Tk25,000 from one big tree this year while Nasir Uddin earned about Tk6 lakh from his 105 small trees and Ruhul Amin earned Tk3 lakh from his 45 trees. This year, they are selling at Tk350450 per hundred litchis to traders. “We deserve a higher price, but we cannot sell the fruit on our own because of poor transportation facilities,” said Nurul Islam. The litchi growers of Mongalbaria have sought help from the authorities for building easy transport and marketing systems so that they can get fair prices.
Tanvir Haider, who buys litchis amounting Tk20,000-25,000 every year to distribute among his relatives, said hundreds of people have achieved self-subsistence because of the litchi cultivation in the village. Rajan Sarker, a social worker in the upazila, said litchi farming has been expanding on a commercial basis and is earning fortunes for hundreds of enthusiastic farmers of this area and the commercial scale of litchi has brought about a silent economic revolution in the locality. Growers have been collecting litchis and selling them for the last four days and it will continue for 20 more days, said Md Ashrafuzzaman, a litchi grower. He also expressed hope that he will be able to earn Tk5 lakh from selling his litchi. “We usually advise litchi growers on how to protect trees from pests and how to use fertiliser,” said Md Liakat Hossain Khan, agriculture officer of the Pakundia upazila. l
The photo taken yesterday shows that officials of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute inspect a paddy field of BIRI 28 variety in Jiolmari area of Rajshahi AZAHAR UDDIN
Move to cut down 312 trees frustrates locals n Our Correspondent, Pirojpur Even though planting trees is being encouraged in the country in order to protect the environment, a Union Parishad chairman has illegally planned the felling of 312 Mahogany and Champal trees along the Srirakathi-Chouthaimohol Road in the Pirojpur Sadar upazila. Sriramkathi Union Parishad Chairman Abdul Malek Bepari has already marked the trees to be cut down by peeling off their barks, but did not bother to take the permission of the forest department before doing so. A forest department official said the chairman’s actions are contrary to the law and so he can be subjected to punishment for this. Locals have criticised Bepari for attempting to fell trees, saying it is his bad motives and his greed for making money that is prompting his actions. The chairman says it is just for the sake of developing the
Union Parishad. Anik Sikder, a lawyer, said, “This tree felling is just for money. I have talked to traders and they have put the value of the trees at around Tk2 crore. We would not object to it if the chairman had decided to cut down these trees for the sake of expanding the road.” A van driver, Abdul Hamid, 50, said, “We are upset at hearing about such a move being made by the chairman because these trees give us shadow when we are tired of pulling our vans in the intense heat.” Former Sriramkathi Union Parishad chairman Motahar Hossain Molla said, “Some of the trees were planted in the 1980s and the remainder was planted by the Pragati Sangha.” “Pedestrians and labourers take rest under the trees when they are tired. On hearing of the chairman’s plan to cut down the trees, they have become upset, but do not dare say anything, fearing the chairman’s retaliation,” he added.
Pragati Sangha General Secretary Arun Siker, 45, said, “On behalf of our organisations, we planted an innumerable number of trees along the Najirpur-SriramkathiChouthaimohol-Pirojpur road.” “We planted the trees not for making profit, but to protect the environment and provide relief from this terrible heat to the passers-by and the labourers,” he explained. “Now I have heard that the chairman will cut down these trees,” he said, disconsolately. Bepari said, “I have planned the felling of the trees for the sake of developing the Union Parishad. Proper rules will be followed in order to have the trees felled.” When asked whether he has taken the permission of the forest department before marking the trees for felling, he did not give any answer. Najirpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mrinal Kanti Dey said, “Chairman Abdul Malek Bepari has applied to me about cutting down 312 trees along both sides of around
three-kilometres of road. The upazila development committee will make a decision about it.” “The chairman has been trying to sell the trees for the last two years. He failed to implement his move due to my opposition when I was the Upazila Chairman,” said Najirpur Upazila Awami League Convener Amulya Ranjan Howlader. Najirpur Upazila Parishad Chairman Nazrul Islam Khan could not be contacted as he is in jail. Assistant Forest Conserver at the Forest Department Md Harun Or Rashid said, “Everybody must take the permission of the forest department to cut down trees on government land.” “Without taking permission, the Sriramkathi chairman has marked the trees by peeling off their bark. By doing so, he has misused his power. It runs counter to the law and according to the forest law, he is liable to receive punishment,” he added. l
Two killed in Gopalganj, Sylhet
n Tribune report A housewife was allegedly strangled by her husband in the Gopinathpur village under the Gopalganj Sadar upazila, yesterday. Local people said Miraj Sheikh, the husband of Jui Akter, 20, had recently returned from Saudi Arabia. Since his return, the couple frequently quarreled with each other over family matters. As on previous days, they engaged in an altercation over a family feud yesterday morning and at one stage, Miraj strangled Jui to death. But police could not arrest anyone in connection with the killing as Jui’s in-laws went into hiding soon after her death. Police recovered the body and sent it to the Gopalganj Sadar Hospital morgue for a post-mortem examination. Shafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of the Sadar police station, said they had found some injury marks on her throat which has led them to suspect that she might have been strangled. Our Sylhet correspondent reports: Police recovered the body of an autorickshaw driver from the Shahporan bypass area, yesterday morning. Shakhwat Hossain, officer-in-charge of the Shahporan police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that Abdul Kader, 27, a resident of the Shahi Eidgah area in Sylhet city, might have killed him and taken away his auto-rickshaw. The body has been sent to the Sylhet MAG Osmani Medial College Hospital for an autopsy. l
JU summer vacation begins today
n JU Correspondent
Jahangirnagar University will go on a month long vacation from today because of the start of the summer season and Buddha Purnima, a religious festival of the Buddhist community, says university officials. Academic activities will not be held starting May 17 until June 15 and all administrative offices will remain closed till May 24, said JU Registrar Abu Bakr Siddique. Meanwhile, the resident students of both male and female dormitories have started leaving the campus in order to spend this month long summer vacation with their families, sources said. l
Charukola Barisal brings out a procession in Barisal city as a part of cultural daylong festival yesterday
Clashes leave 44 injured n Tribune Report At least 44 people were injured in two clashes yesterday in Shailkupa upazila of Jhenaidah district and in Sitakunda upazila in Chittagong district. A clash between two local groups left at least 35 persons including five women injured at village Anipur under Shailkupa upazila in Jhenaidah yesterday. The injured were admitted into Shailkupa Upazila Health Complex in Jhenaidah and Kushtia Sadar hospital respectively. Locals and police said there has been a longstanding conflict between Mantu Khan and Uzzal Hossain over local supremacy. Following the enmity, both the groups locked into a clash around 7am in the morning that continued till 12pm yesterday, reports our correspondent in Jhenaidah. Dhal, Fala, Raamda, Ballam and
other leathal and sharp weapons were used during the clash. Additional police men were deployed to conyrol the law and order in the area. No case was filed till yesterday afternoon, the police said. Meanwhile at least nine persons including two women were injured in a clash between two local groups at village Hasnabad under Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong yesterday morning over land dispute. Iftekhar Hasan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sitakunda police station, said supporters of Omar Gani and Nurul Islam locked into a clash around 11am over a dispute on land ownership, leaving the nine injured from both the sides. Later, the injured were rushed to CMCH and local clinics, he said. A case was lodged with Sitakunda police station in this connection. l
Woman, child killed in Chittagong n CU Correspondent A woman and a child were killed in separate accidents in the city’s Chawkbazar and Bakalia areas, yesterday. Pankaj Barua, assistant sub-inspector stationed at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) police outpost, said Lata Dash, 44, a cleaner of Chittagong City Corporation, sustained critical injuries after being electrocuted in front of an under-construction building at SS Khaled Road, under the Kotwali police station, in the morning. She was admitted to the CMCH’s burn unit and succumbed to her injuries at around 8:30pm, said the ASI. Md Sakil, 6, drowned in a pond near his residence on the Syed Shah Road in Bakalia. Sources at the CMCH police outpost said the boy was playing beside the pond when he accidentally fell into it and drowned. He was rushed to the CMCH, where the on-duty doctors announced him dead, the sources added. l
JU suspends 7 over clash n JU Correspondent The authorities of Jahangirnagar University suspended seven students on Thursday over a clash between students of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall and the Shaheed RafiqJabbar Hall that took place on May 11. University sources said acting on the recommendation of the disciplinary committee, the JU syndicate suspended the seven after an emergency meeting. All seven are Chhatra League activists. A JU syndicate member said the students were suspended, some for three months and others for six months, as the authorities found them guilty of participating in the May 11 clash and also of harassing freshmen. The suspended students are Shamim Ahmed (International Relations department), Rashed Khan Menon (Law and Justice department) and Imran Hossain (Anthropology department). All three are resident students of Rafiq-Jabbar hall and were suspended for six months. Istiak Ahmed (Zoology department), Deepbendu Biswas
(Mathematics department), Koushik Rahman (Public Administration department) and Shahrukh Shahriar Shoumik (Public Administration department) were suspended for three months. They are resident students of Mujibur Rahman hall. In addition to suspending the seven, the authorities gave a warning to Nazmul Islam Shojol, a second-year student of the Anthropology department, for his connection with the clash. Sources said on May 11, second-year students of Mujibur Rahman hall and RafiqJabbar hall got into a clash over the harassment of firstyear students by the students of Rafiq-Jabbar hall. Four students and JU unit Chhatra League men were hurt in the fight. However, students and Chhatra League activists of the Rafiq-Jabbar hall put forth a demonstration protesting the suspension of the seven and blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway at around 1am on Friday. The demonstration resulted in massive traffic congestion on both sides of the road as the Chhatra League men forcefully stopped all vehicles. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Iran pursues ballistic missiles Move complicates ongoing nuclear talks
n Reuters, Vienna
People mourn near graves during a funeral ceremony in the western town of Soma in the Manisa province, on May 15
‘Deadly gas filled Turkish mine in minutes after blaze’ n Reuters, Soma, Turkey Fire sent carbon monoxide coursing through a coal mine in western Turkey within minutes, killing close to 300 workers, but the exact cause of the country’s worst industrial disaster remains unclear, the mine operator said on Friday. An unexplained build-up of heat was thought to have led part of the mine to collapse on Tuesday, fanning a blaze which spread rapidly more than two kilometres below the surface, the mine’s general manager Ramazan Dogru told a news conference. Most of the 787 workers inside had oxygen masks but smoke and gas spread so quickly that many were unable to escape, with 284 confirmed dead and 18 believed still to be trapped and unlikely to be brought |out alive. “It was an unbelievable accident in a place where there have been very few accidents in 30 years,” Soma Holding Chairman Alp Gurkan told the tense news conference. “A
mine with top level miners, accepted as being the most trustworthy and organised.” Anger has swept Turkey as the extent of the disaster became clear, with protests partly directed at mine owners accused of prioritising profit over safety, and partly at Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government, seen as too cosy with industry tycoons and too lax in enforcing regulations. Footage of Erdogan apparently slapping a man as residents jeered and jostled his entourage when he visited Soma, the scene of the disaster, did little to calm nerves. The man, Taner Kuruca, confirmed Erdogan had slapped him and told Kanal D television he was then beaten by his bodyguards. AK Party spokesman Huseyin Celik said there was no visual evidence of Erdogan striking anyone, while his adviser Yalcin Akdogan, writing in the Star newspaper, accused “gang members” of provoking the prime minister’s team as he went to meet mourning families. Questioned on the relationship be-
tween Soma Holding executives and Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, Dogru confirmed his wife was a local AK Party politician but Gurkan said he had never met the prime minister before this week. “I shook hands with him for the first time in my life here ... I don’t know him at all and have never talked to him. There’s not the slightest relationship between us,” he said. AK Party spokesman Huseyin Celik said the formerly state-run mine at Soma, 480 km (300 miles) southwest of Istanbul, had been inspected 11 times over the past five years and denied any suggestion of loopholes in mining safety regulations. Some mine workers took a different view. “The inspections were carried out with a week’s notice from Ankara and we were instructed to get ready,” said one miner in Soma who gave his name as Ramazan, reluctant to identify himself further for fear of retribution by his employer. “It was like putting make-up on the mine.” l
Despite apparently reducing illicit purchases that breach UN sanctions, Iran is pursuing development of ballistic missiles, a confidential UN report says, posing an acute challenge to six powers negotiating with Tehran to rein in its nuclear programme. On Sunday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described as “stupid and idiotic” Western expectations for his country to curb its missile programme. He decreed mass production of ballistic weapons, striking a defiant tone just before nuclear talks resumed on Wednesday in Vienna. The high-stakes negotiations aim for a deal by a July 20 deadline to end a long stand-off that has raised the risk of a wider Middle East war. Tehran’s often repeated view that missiles should not be part of the nuclear talks appears to enjoy the support of Russia, one of the six global powers. But a senior US official made clear this week that Tehran’s ballistic capabilities must be addressed in the negotiations since UN Security Council resolutions on Iran “among many other things, do say that any missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon must be dealt with.” A ban on developing missiles suit-
ed to carrying a nuclear warhead is included in a 2010 Security Council resolution, its fourth - and toughest - imposed on the Islamic Republic for defying council demands that it suspend uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities of potential use in bomb-making. The new report by the UN Panel of Experts, seen by Reuters, said Iran’s overall attempts to procure materials for its nuclear and missile programmes appeared to have slowed down as it pursues negotiations with world powers that it hopes will bring an end to international sanctions. But the same report makes clear that, apart from holding off on test-firing one type of rocket, Iran shows no sign of putting the brakes on the expansion of its missile programme. “Iran is continuing development of its ballistic missile and space programmes,” the experts said, citing the August 2013 identification of a new missile launch site near Shahrud and a larger missile and satellite launch complex at the Imam Khomeini Space Center at Semnan believed to be near completion. The report also noted what it described as the June 2013 opening of the Imam Sadeq Observation and Monitoring Center for monitoring space objects, including satellites. l
Vietnam’s de facto ambassador to Taiwan on Friday gave a “personal” apology after anti-China protesters ravaged hundreds of Taiwanese factories in his country this week, and said some 1,000 people have been arrested over the violence. Two Chinese workers were killed and more than 100 injured in Vietnam’s worst anti-China unrest in decades. The violence was sparked by Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in the resource-rich South China Sea, the
centre of a territorial row between Vietnam and China. “A small number of law-breakers damaged and set fire to Taiwanese businessmen’s factories and caused panic... I personally expressed regrets and apologies,” Bui Trong Van said, speaking in Mandarin. “Riot police cracked down on (the protesters) and the riots were eased. So far the Vietnamese government has arrested more than 1,000 people and quickly indicted them,” he said in a televised press conference in Taipei.
The Vietnamese envoy added that a local official has promised to “discuss appropriate measures to help resolve Taiwanese businessmen’s losses,” and urged Taiwanese media not to sensationalise the unrest. “I hope Taiwanese media will not overly exaggerate as this would cause panic and is bad for the ties between Taiwan and Vietnam.” Vietnam, like most countries, officially recognises China over Taiwan, a self-governing island which Beijing regards as part of its territory awaiting reunification. l
A picture taken on May 13, shows Russian Proton M rocket with the Express-AM4P communication satellite, which crashed yesterday AFP
Five challenges for Modi's new Indian government n Reuters, New Delhi
A landslide election victory for Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has created euphoria in India's financial markets, driving shares to life-time highs and the rupee to its strongest level against the dollar in 11 months. After a decade in opposition, the BJP has promised to repair an economy growing at its weakest rate since the 1980s and tackle stubbornly high inflation. However, the most urgent challenges facing the government, from a large budget deficit to concerns that the El Nino could devastate agricultural output, have no easy solutions. Below are five of the biggest tasks:
1. Delivering a budget that limits the deficit
Modi's government will face its first credibility test with markets when it delivers a budget by July that will need to convince investors that India can realistically contain its fiscal deficit. To meet a deficit target of 4.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) for the year that ended in March, the outgoing government cut spending by $13 billion and pushed about $16 billion in subsidy costs into the new year. That austerity could prove hard to sustain. Spending accounts for 11% of GDP, offering a critical growth lever. Continuing to defer payments to state-
port duties within three months of coming to power. That may please gold buyers, but not investors, as concerns about the current account deficit sent the rupee to a record low last August. Fixing the structural challenges that keep the current account deficit wide, such as the weakness of manufacturing exports, could take years to reverse.
3. Dealing with RBI and El Nino
run companies that would compensate them for selling fuel, fertiliser and food below market prices can create havoc with their finances and make them rely on borrowing to fund operations. Meanwhile, tax revenues are unlikely to recover immediately in a weak economy. The government's tax-to-GDP ratio has slipped to 10.2% from a peak of 12.5% in 2007/08. The interim budget of the outgoing government in February was greeted with widespread scepticism. It sought, for example, to contain the fiscal deficit at 4.1% of GDP in 2014/15, the lowest in seven years, while keeping spending growth at just 10.9% compared to a recent average of about 15%.
Standard & Poor's has a negative outlook on its "BBB-minus" rating for India, and has said the new government's policy agenda will determine whether India can avert a downgrade to "junk" status.
2. Narrowing the current account deficit
A sharp narrowing of the current account deficit, to under 2% of GDP in 2013/14 from a record high of 4.8% the previous year, was helped by steps to curb gold imports. Higher duties and other restrictions almost halved gold imports, but the moves have been deeply unpopular. Gold smuggling surged after the measures, casting doubt on reported data. The BJP promised to review gold im-
Thailand’s Senate suggests interim PM, risks ‘red’ rage n Reuters, Bangkok Thailand’s Senate said on Friday it was ready to choose an interim prime minister to end a political deadlock but stopped short of throwing out a beleaguered caretaker government and risking a violent backlash by its supporters. The caretaker administration loyal to Yingluck Shinawatra, who was ousted as prime minister by a court last week, wants to organise a fresh election it would likely win. But anti-government protesters backed by the royalist establishment want to see a new “neutral” interim premier to oversee electoral changes to end the influence of Yingluck’s brother, ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The Senate is the only legislative assembly still functioning after six months of anti-government protests and a disrupted February election that was later declared void. A Senate working group has been consulting public and private sector representatives on a way out of the impasse and presented its suggestions on Friday. “The Senate wants to solve the country’s problems by having a prime minister with full powers,” newly elected Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai told reporters. l
Russia loses $275m satellite in latest rocket failure n Reuters, Moscow/Almaty
Vietnam envoy to Taiwan ‘personally’ apologises for riots n AFP, Taipei
The new government may face a factor beyond its control: the El Nino weather pattern, typically associated with weak rains. Analysts say El Nino could batter India's farm output. Citigroup estimates that below-average rainfall in the June-September monsoon could shave 0.50-0.90 percentage points off its economic growth forecast and lead to a spike in inflation. Surging prices could spark tension with the central bank, whose governor, Raghuram Rajan, has made containing inflation a priority. The Reserve Bank of India wants to bring down consumer price inflation to around 6% from the current 8.6% by January 2016, which would probably mean more interest rate increases. It has raised rates three times since September.
4. Reviving private investment
Market expectations of Modi are based largely on perceptions of his track record as chief minister in Gujarat, where
he is widely credited with attracting investment. However, analysts say replicating that nationwide will be difficult, given that states wield much of the power in approving projects. Credit Suisse estimates that only a quarter of pending projects depend on central government approval. Capital investment contributes nearly 35% to India's economy, but it barely grew in the fiscal year that ended in March as delays in clearances and funding issues grounded many infrastructure projects. That is particularly the case with state electricity boards, which remain hobbled by losses caused in part by the high cost of fuel and their inability to raise prices correspondingly. Short of recapitalising state utilities, the central government has few choices in pushing for a restructuring.
5. Recapitalising state-run banks
India needs to address a $100bn pile of bad loans at its state-run lenders - about 10% of all loans. Fitch Ratings expects stressed assets to reach 14% of loans by March 2015. The bulk of these bad loans are related to infrastructure projects, which have made banks circumspect in lending. The interim budget set aside 112 billion Indian rupees ($1.89bn) to help the sector meet the minimal capital ratios mandated by Basel III norms, but more will be needed. l
A Russian rocket carrying a $275m telecommunications satellite failed and burned up shortly after launch on Friday, the latest in a series of setbacks for Russia’s once-pioneering space industry. It was the second failure for Russia’s workhorse Proton-M rocket in less than a year, and the second time that it had failed to deliver a European satellite intended to provide advanced telecoms and Internet access to remote parts of Russia, after the last one crashed shortly after launch in 2011. Friday’s unmanned mission went awry when the engine on the third stage of the Proton-M booster rocket failed, Oleg Ostapenko, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, told Russian news agencies. He said the precise cause was unknown. The failure occurred at an altitude of 160 km (100 miles), about nine minutes after the early-morning lift-off from the Russian-leased Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan. The state-run RIA quoted Ostapenko as saying that the rocket and all debris had burned up in the atmosphere: “We can say with certainty that nothing reached Earth.” However, Russian media said some debris may have fallen into the Pacific or been scattered over Siberia and Russia’s Far East. No casualties or damage were reported on the ground. The lost Express AM4R satellite is worth more than 200m euros ($275m). l
Gandhis accept ‘responsibility’ for Congress defeat n AFP, New Delhi The leaders of India’s defeated Congress party, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, admitted personal responsibility on Friday for the disastrous election results which came after 10 years in power. “We understand that victory and loss is part of democracy,” party president Sonia told reporters in New Delhi as preliminary figures showed the Congress heading for its worst ever performance. “We respect this decision. I take responsibility for this defeat,” she added, in remarks echoed by her 43-year-old son, who led national campaigning for the first time. The leftist Congress has dominated Indian politics since independence, mostly with a member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty at its head. The famous bloodline has provided three prime ministers. But Friday’s figures have already triggered speculation about their future after a lacklustre campaign by Rahul, a former management consultant whose political skills are widely doubted. “I would like to start by congratulating the new government. They have been given a mandate by the people of this country. We have done pretty badly. As vice-president of the party I hold myself responsible,” Rahul said. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Snoring should be taken seriously Snoring is a common problem experienced by many. Most people think that snoring is an episode of comfortable sleep, but it is quite the opposite. Snoring causes frequent disruptions in sleep increasing risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke and memory disturbance
n Dr Mohammad Azizur Rahman
Weight loss: as little as 10 pounds may be enough to make a difference. Change of sleeping position: Because you tend to snore more when sleeping on your back, sleeping on your side may be helpful. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals: Especially within two hours of bedtime. Avoid sedatives: Which can relax your throat muscles and increase the tendency for airway obstruction related to snoring.
Many people usually do not take snoring seriously and are not aware that it has the potential to cause health complications. HEALTH Incidence of snoring FLASH is 20% is estimated in our country. 45% of adults snore at least occasionally and 25% are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight people and usually worsens with age. Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing and should not be taken lightly.
There are other treatment options, including the following:
The sound is generated by throat
Snoring may be caused by
Obesity: Fat in the throat may narrow the airway.
Enlarged tonsils are a frequent cause of snoring in children. A blocked nasal passage can be caused by an upper respiratory infection (such as cold), an allergy, or nasal polyps and deviated nasal septum. Loss of muscle tone in the throat makes easier to soft palate and uvula to collapse. This can be due to aging or lack of fitness. Drinking alcohol depresses the part of the brain that regulates breathing.
Video games for attention deficit hyperactive disorder A new kind of video game, one with EEG (brain wave) biofeedback, is being used by psychologists to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), a condition characterised by hyperactivity and poor concentration. Patients have an electrode attached to their scalp, which is then connected with the computer; they play the game by using their brain waves only, not their hands. The longer they can stay focused, the more points they earn, which teaches them to control their own brain waves. Although this work is only at a very early stage, the results have been promising. In one study at Canada’s ADD Centre in Toronto, over 80% of patients were able to discontinue their medications just after five months.
Protect your lungs with vitamin E More than 8,000 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. The good news is that increasing your intake of vitamin E may cut your risk of lung cancer by a remarkable 50%. According to research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, published in the International Journal of Cancer, intakes of vitamin E in the alpha-tocopherol form were linked to consistent reductions in lung-cancer risk. Alpha-tocopherol, or natural vitamin E, is the form used in most supplements. It is also found naturally
According to a recent study, reported in the American Journal of Physiology, if you want to tip the scales in your
People who snore loudly are often the target of bad jokes and middle-of-thenight elbow thrusts, but snoring is no laughing matter. While loud disruptive snoring is at best a social problem that may strain relationships, for many men, women and even children, loud habitual snoring may signal a potentially life threatening disorder: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstruction of the airway causes the heart rate to fall below normal with decreases in blood oxygen levels. The obstruction will not clear until blood oxy-
gen levels fall low enough to trigger the brain to send a signal for a release of adrenaline to prevent suffocation. The airway obstruction is usually (but tragically not always) broken with a gasp for air and, due to the adrenaline release, an increased heart rate. Reduced blood oxygen levels during the night also cause the brain to send signals through the nervous system to protect vital organs; the heart and the brain.
Steps to be taken
Some non-medical treatments that may alleviate snoring includes-
The writer is an assistant professor of Department of Respiratory Medicine at M H Samorita Medical College & Hospital, Dhaka. email: mohammadrahmandr@Gmail.com
Toothpaste, soap and plastic toys can cause male infertility n Prescription Desk Male fertility is a complex process. It has always been attributed to a person’s lifestyle, alcohol, smoking, daily stress and some DID YOU medical conditions. KNOW? Apart from these factors we never thought, everyday products could also have a direct impact on the male fertility. One in three “nontoxic” chemicals used in the manufacture of everyday items significantly affected the potency of sperm cells, which may account for the high incidence of unexplained infertility in the human population, the researchers said. Chemicals in common household
products such as toothpaste, soap and plastic toys have a direct impact on human sperm which could help explain rising levels of male infertility, researchers warn. The study was part of wider research into so-called “endocrine-disrupting” chemicals that for several years have been linked with declining sperm counts and widespread male infertility. However, the scientists found that one in three common household chemicals found in products such as sun screens, detergents and plastics directly sabotaged the human sperm’s swimming behaviour and caused them to prematurely release the critical enzymes needed to penetrate and fertilise the egg cell – which would render the sperm infertile.
In addition, they showed for the first time that there was a “cocktail effect,” when a number of chemicals worked together to amplify their individual effects. The researchers have also shown a direct link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals from industrial products and adverse effects on human sperm function. People ingest these chemicals every day either by consuming food and drink contaminated with them or by absorbing them through skin in personal-care products such as sunscreens and soaps. This study appears to open up a new dimension of potential effects of common lifestyle or environmental chemicals on male fertility. But what is the solution to get rid of this situation? l
How to ease teething Q&A
in foods like nuts (almonds are one of the best sources), seeds, liver and leafy green vegetables.
favour, you should opt for an aerobic activity like a run or a walk that gets you huffing and puffing, rather than resistance training. Researchers monitored the levels of two key appetite hormones, peptide YY and ghrelin, in men who either spent 60 minutes on a treadmill or the same time working out with weights. They found that those undertaking the aerobic activity (treadmill) experienced an increase in peptide YY and a drop in ghrelin, a combination which suppresses appetite. However, men in the weight-training group demonstrated the drop in ghrelin, but no change in peptide YY. So, If you do regular exercise then you can lose your weight by two ways, one by exercise itself and second by taking less food due to less appetite.
| Dr Ishrat Shormy
Moushumi, Gulshan, Dhaka.
Answer: When a baby cuts a new tooth, both baby and parents suffer. Pharmacies have plenty of infantstrength painkillers and teething gels. However, these time-honoured natural remedies are also very effective and definitely worth a try. Gentle pressure with something cool is often the best way to relieve the pain of teething. You could simply rub your toddler’s gums gently with your clean finger. But be careful, as he may object to this and inform you with a painful bite.
Few steps that can be taken during teething:
Give your toddler something to chew on: a peeled, raw carrot, banana straight from the fridge, or a frozen stick of cucumber or bagel, or a piece of bread or a banana, may help. Stay with him when he is eating it, however, to make sure he does not choke on any pieces he bites off. A cool spoon, or a partly-frozen wet, clean flannel to chew on offer interesting textures to distract him from his discomfort. A cool, but not frozen teething ring or dummy is ideal. Give your baby a chilled waterfilled plastic teething ring and let
Take folic acid during pregnancy
The B vitamin folic acid helps prevent certain birth defects. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and while she is pregnant, her baby is less likely to have a major birth defect of the brain or spine. All women expecting to get pregnant should take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day in a vitamin supplement or in foods that have been enriched with it.
Washing hands are important
You carry millions of microbes on your hands. Most are harmless, but you may pick up some that cause illnesses, such as colds, flu and diarrhoea. When we forget to wash our hands, or don’t wash them properly, we can spread these germs to other people, or give them to ourselves by touching our eyes, mouths, noses or cuts on our bodies. Wash hands to lower the risk of spreading germs and getting sick. It is best to wash hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds.
Protect your skin
Skin can be affected many ways. Most common ways are sunburn and insect bites. Wear sunscreen, seek shade, and cover up to help lower the risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito and tick bites. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to help prevent burns.
Preserve your hearing
Hearing loss can result from damage to structures and/or nerve fibres in the inner ears that respond to sound. This type of hearing loss, termed “noise-induced hearing loss,” is usually caused by exposure to excessively loud sounds and cannot be medically or surgically corrected. Use hearing protectors such as ear plugs and ear muffs when you cannot lower noise to a safe level.
Question: My son is having a terrible time with teething. How can I help him?
To eat less, move more
Snoring affects heart, lung and brain
Potassium for lowering blood pressure
As we breathe, air flows past tissues in the nose and throat, causing them to vibrate. The sound of this vibration is what we refer to as snoring. In its earliest stage, snoring may only cause minimal disruption to sleep. Chronic snoring can interrupt and reduce the quality of sleep for someone, as well as those around them. People who sleep next to a chronic snorer can lose one hour of sleep on average each night. Losing sleep can cause irritability, high blood pressure, difficulty in concentration and fatigue, which can be extremely dangerous while driving or operating machinery. Many couples cope with snoring by sleeping in separate rooms. This often puts strain on a relationship and contributes to a loss of intimacy.
CPAP-Continuous positive Airway Pressure. A special machine is made to give this effort. Patients use this device at night during sleep. Radio Frequency (RF) of the Soft Palate uses radio waves to shrink the tissue in the throat or tongue, thereby increasing the space in the throat and making airway obstruction less likely. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgical procedure that removes the uvula and surrounding tissue to open the airway behind the palate. This procedure is generally used to relieve snoring and can be performed by ENT surgeon. If you or someone you know is living with a snoring problem, speak with an ENT specialist can help you to determine where the anatomical source of your snoring may be, and offer solutions for this noisy and often embarrassing behaviour. l
him chew on it. An old remedy for teething is to soak a clean flannel in chilled witch hazel and rub this gently on baby’s gums. Witch hazel has styptic and astringent effects, meaning it helps to reduce inflammation and numb the gums. Massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger for a few minutes. The pressure is comforting. You could also try cleaning the gums very softly. This helps to control bacteria in the mouth, which reduces teething
irritation as well. Teething gels for toddlers usually contain a local anaesthetic and a mild antiseptic, which work together to ease the pain and prevent infection. A little rubbed on the sore gum with a clean finger has a brief numbing effect, but it fades quickly. The gel quickly wears off and is easily washed away by your toddler’s saliva or tongue. l This answer is provided by Prof Samsul Alam, dental specialist, BSMMU, Dhaka
Consuming more potassium helps lower your blood pressure if you have hypertension, and it is also associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. Potassium helps relax the walls of the blood vessels that lead to your heart and helps your body get rid of sodium — all of which helps regulate blood pressure. Beans and peas, nuts, vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and parsley and fruits like bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, and dates are all loaded with potassium.
| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat
Saturday, May 17, 2013
No visitor to Manikganj can afford to fail to visit the neo-classical masterpiece, the Balliati Palace
PHOTOS: NASHIRUL ISLAM
Bangladesh has a considerable collection of stately residences, a clear indication of the great wealth generated, and retained, within the lands
n Tim Steel
ew creations of the builders’ and architects’ art, anywhere in the world, speak louder of the immense wealth of the history of a nation than the mansions and palaces left behind by that past. Better than any other, they represent, visibly, the conspicuous wealth of the people. Around the world, experience has shown that from the very poorest to the very richest of peoples, their first priority in the acquisition of wealth is the house. And the houses of the richest are invariably more durable. For such a comparatively compact country, Bangladesh has a considerable collection of the stately residences of masters and merchants. A clear indication of the great wealth generated, and retained, at least in large measure, within the lands. In 1947, the local administration of the lands that are now Bangladesh was undertaken by about 150 jaminders. A role originally established, about 400 years earlier, under Mughal rule; the word derives, unsurprisingly, from the Persian language that was the Mughal’s native tongue, and means, literally, land holder. The principal holders of territory, under, first the Mughal rulers and then the British (somehow, many Bangladeshis, in resenting the rule of the interloper British seem to forget that in the 16th century, the Mughal’s too were just as much interlopers and conquerors) collected rents and taxes due, for the national administration. From the 1793 Act of Permanent Settlement, under British rule, the income remitted to government by these “land holders,” was fixed. They were entitled to retain a percentage of what they collected, and to benefit from surpluses.
The result, very rapidly, was that the expectation of the financial world of the security of wealth of the land holders were funds made readily available as loans perceived to be very secure, by bankers to those who obtained at auction the jamindari rights, to construct their homes. Specialists have located, and recorded, some 120 such palatial homes within Bangladesh. In fact, the first recorded palace, that of the Ilyas Shahi Dynasty of rulers, in Sonargoan, vividly described in the early 15th century report of the vis-
and magnificence of noble residences of the pre-British period. Without doubt, however, it is the palaces built in the British period (seldom, in fact, occupied by the British rulers) that bear the clearest testimony to the enormous wealth that continued to be farmed within the lands of Bangladesh throughout the British period of rule. The United Kingdom, itself, may well be rich in such lavish homes, constructed by investments in “sugar, slavery and speculation,” but it is worth recalling that there was also
The palaces may well be viewed as the evidence of extorted wealth, but they may also be reasonably viewed as enduring evidence of the wealth created by the common man, no matter how much misused
it by the Chinese Admiral, Zheng He, to the Sultan, in glowing terms, has now vanished. But other four- or five-hundred-year-old palaces remain, such as that at the Natore home of the family of Rani Bhabani. It, although ruined, gives some idea of the magnificence of Mughal period aristocratic residences. The palace of the same family, the ruins of which stand at Bhabanipur, near Bogra, offer a similar impression. However, what is left of the Bara Katra Palace in Old Dhaka, and, even more impressively, today, both the residence of the Governor of Lalbagh Fort in Dhaka, and, even more so, Shah Suja’s guesthouse at Chapai Nawabganj, give us some idea of the beauty
much sugar produced in Bangladesh. About a third of the slaves bought from the Arab traders who, for the most part actually captured or bought the slaves within Africa, were paid for in cotton from India, and especially from Bangladesh; and that such as the gaining of Diwani rights in the lands in and around Bangladesh was one of the earliest forms of speculation, with all its attendant risks. The wealth generated by the growing of opium was nowhere more successfully harvested than in Bangladesh, but the potential of Indigo and cotton was shared with the developing colonies and states of America. But that sufficient wealth remained in these lands of Bangladesh throughout the period of British rule, and afterwards, is evidenced, first and foremost, perhaps, by these palatial residences. That it continued after 1947 as well, is evidenced by the lavish spending of the wealth of “East Bengal” by the governments of Pakistan on projects such as the development of nuclear weaponry, and American designed capital cities and other prestige projects. Because it lies in the heart of Old Dhaka, and its conservation was a project undertaken by Sheik Mujibur Rahman, following independence, the so-called Pink Palace, the Ahsan Manjal, on the banks of the Buriganga, is perhaps the best known of these jaminder palaces. But, in fact, although the number seems to be rapidly diminishing, Dhaka itself might well once be called the City of Palaces. Ruplal Palace may well be amongst the semi ruinous best of these homes of wealthy merchants and rulers. And Rose Garden, built as recently as the 1920s, may well be the best conserved of such buildings of a great tradition. However, across the nation are littered the impressive remains of an almost unparalleled past, concentrated in such a relatively small geographical area it is questionable if even the great imperial nations like Britain and France could match that concentration. Without doubt, the early twentieth century, post 1897 earthquake rebuilt,
Tajhat palace in Rangpur is also amongst the best, with its elegant, oriental classical design. The neo-classical Puthia palace, near Rajshahi, is also in a reasonably impressive state of presentation. There are many styles visible in these many masterpieces, the neo-classical, often with an oriental twist, amongst the most popular. But such as the wonderful complex of buildings in Tangail’s Brindaban Chandra Bigroho, at Nagarpur, clearly owe much to a more conventional Indian tradition. The wonderful, early nineteenth century masterpiece of Teota palace, close to the confluence of Jamuna and Padma rivers in Manikganj, associated with Lalon Shah, is a great melange of styles, with the added attraction of a more or less intact barn of considerable proportions, not to mention the “art deco” Navaratna temple. And no visitor to Manikganj can afford to fail to visit another neo-classical masterpiece, the Balliati Palace. Conspicuous affluence, that, in many cases, combined with considerable real estate investment close to the heart of Government in Calcutta, represents but a small proportion, albeit an enduring representation, of the enormous wealth engendered in Bangladesh, over the centuries. Dubalhati Palace, near Noagaon is amongst the most magnificent ruins imaginable, with a facade that looks rather like a colonnaded and brickwork version of London’s Buckingham Palace; it even appears to have a royal crest surmounted upon it! In Pabna, Sitlai Palace, on the banks of the Padma river, is more reminiscent of a William and Mary period British style, whilst nearby Tarish Palace, like none too distant Puthia, is unapologetically, clearly, neo-classical. The style adopted for Sitlai, is, of course, reminiscent of that early twentieth century masterpiece, Dhaka’s Curzon Hall. It is sometimes speculated that it was – like the nearby, very palatial, oriental neo-classical masterpiece, the Supreme Court – originally intended to be an official residence, rather than the more utilitarian use to which both are now put. Heminagar Palace, close to the banks of the great Jamuna, north of Tangail, is, perhaps, amongst my own favourites, not least because it has, perhaps, one of the most fabulous of mosaic porticos, a positive gem box that studs this late 19th century beauty, and, to me, is probably the most conspicuously evocative statement of wealth and power. Such palaces may well be viewed as the evidence of wealth extorted from craftsmen, farmers and, in the end, common labourers, but may also be reasonably viewed as enduring evidence of the wealth created by their labour, no matter how much misused. They are also, of course, enduring evidence of the real craft skills of such working men and women. Above all, perhaps, their conservation, if not restoration, and effective presentation, represent one of the best opportunities to turn such evidence of the affluent past into both jobs and income for today’s, and future generations, of ordinary, working, Bangladeshis. l Tim Steel is a communications, marketing and tourism consultant.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Passenger safety must come first
ess than two weeks after the fatal capsize of the Patuakhali-bound MV Shathil 1 in the river Kalagachhiya, a passenger launch has capsized on the Meghna river near Munshiganj with more than 200 passengers on board. With operations to recover bodies continuing on Friday afternoon, over 27 people were confirmed drowned and there are varying estimates of the number of passengers known to have swum to safety. As rescue teams and local authorities continue their work to help survivors and victims, a three-member probe committee has been asked to submit a report within seven working days. Even if adverse weather conditions are found to have been the cause of this tragic incident, there is no excuse for not taking more effective action to prevent accidents on the country’s waterways. The lack of accountability for lax implementation of safety rules is a worrying fact of life for passengers throughout our transport systems. Vessel operators must be held to account where they are found to breach weight limits or operate with negligent disregard to passenger safety. Over 4,420 people have died in 550 passenger launch accidents in the last 38 years. Past probe committees have found endemic breaches of basic safety measures, with numerous vessels that are outdated or have structural flaws, operating with impunity. It is absolutely essential for the government not to accept business as usual, but to take effective measures to ensure long term safety. It must appoint an adequate number of inspectors to enable authorities to properly implement safety rules.
Do not accept business as usual, take effective measures
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The evil that men do
WaliulHaqueKhondker As usual perception moves faster than reality! In the most unfortunate case of Narayangonj where seven people were abducted and murdered in cold blood, the prime suspects are three individuals of RAB11. According to allegations by the relatives of the victims, it was done through a hefty bribe (Tk6 crore) paid by Nur Hossain, a rival of slain panel Mayor
Nazrul Islam. Further investigation may reveal new facts hitherto unknown. The criminals, whosoever they may be, must be brought to justice, sooner the better. Good to see that the process is on and, hopefully, results will also be seen. But my point is elsewhere. Is it fair to put the whole institution of RAB on the dock for crimes committed by three of its individuals? There are black sheep in all organisations/institutions; RAB may not always be an exception. We should rather encourage RAB to carry out a purification drive within its ranks and file. Further black sheep, if detected, must be weeded out forthwith. RAB has performed extremely well since its inception in 2004, albeit with some stray incidences from time to time, which were duly taken care of through departmental proceedings. But this time in Narayanganj, it has surpassed all limits. The “Dirty three,” if proven guilty, must get exemplary punishment to serve as a severe warning for the other peers. Bribe-takers and bribe-payers are equally guilty in the eyes of the law. This point may be given due attention to by the investigators. Politics surrounding RAB must stop forthwith, lest it hamper due process of law and dampen the morale of the “elite” force, which is essential to the security of common people.
Now Khaleda wants dissolution of RAB
Given the immense demand, it is feasible to find new reputable investors
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.
nds Why dither about pronouncing in clear terms who those devils wearing plain clothes are and keep hoodwinking society with their pseudo halos and fake expressions, who are doing a roaring business capitalising on the “spirit of the liberation war”? Who led the team that masterminded the gold crest scam in the name of honouring friends of the liberation war? Who gives us marathon lectures on democracy, people’s rights, rule of law, and do not bother to grab state power by way of a deceitful election that had little to no participation of the people? They are definitely not people in uniform. Who made the public statement that some extrajudicial killings are essential for the well-being of society? Doesn’t the author know or understand their identity? Then why this beating about the bush? If there is honesty of purpose, then mention their identities in clear terms, or get lost.
Dhaka needs satellite towns eports of fraudulent actions by an investor in one of four proposed satellite cities around the capital, has prompted the government to postpone plans to progress three of these developments. The government is now only considering allowing Malaysia to construct the Kamrangir Char residential area under a public private partnership. Given the immense demand for new and better planned urban development, it is both feasible and urgent for the government to find new reputable investors to allow all the four plans to go ahead. Plans to build satellite towns in areas surrounding Dhaka are the kind of project that we should be investing in for the nation’s future. Dhaka needs to build new developments in a way that takes pressure off its centre, while mitigating against endless urban sprawl. Despite one primary investor being found to be engaging in fraudulent actions, this should not deter the government from pursuing plans to build three of the four residential areas in Bongshi-Dhamrai, Ichhamati-Sirajdikhan and Dhaleshwari-Singair. New partners and investors for the remaining satellite cities should be sought and found. We hope the pause in plans will allow more consideration to be given to ensuring these developments are planned in a sustainable manner. It is vital that satellite cities are both built with ready access to local employment opportunities and have good public transport links for people who want to commute. Satellite cities are an important component in the urban planning mix and should be encouraged as a move in the right direction.
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.
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Fruit of the oak (5) 4 Billiard rod (3) 6 Wicked (4) 8 Vegetables (5) 9 Labyrinth (4) 11 Soon (4) 12 Long lock (5) 15 Heavenly body (5) 18 Outbuilding (4) 20 Operatic air (4) 21 Stringed instrument (5) 22 Gratis (4) 23 Fate (3) 24 Requires (5)
DOWN 1 Parcel out (5) 2 Abnormally fat (5) 3 Cosy retreats (5) 4 Tribe (4) 5 Biblical garden (4) 7 Adult insect (5) 10 Region (4) 13 Bring up (4) 14 Echo sounder (5) 15 Gathering of witches (5) 16 American elk (5) 17 Sporting sides (5) 18 Social event (4) 19 Fissure (4)
VK That woman is so predictable.
Halim Miah Bangladesh faces acute land crisis but an initiative like sandbar cropping is an innovative technology which turns abandoned riverbed into cultivable land. The Pathways from Poverty project gives hope that thousands of the extreme poor will be given chances to turn their lives around.
Ronnie Begum Zia has spoken strongly and unequivocally about her stance toward RAB today. I commend her seemingly sincere statements. It’s an assertion of leadership that I’m sure many people would at least grudgingly welcome. Now that her attitude on this issue is plainly and publicly known, the common people of this country should exert determined pressure on the government to seriously reevaluate the issue and decide on the fate of RAB in Bangladesh, that places the public interests and security above and beyond anything else.
Seven murders and many questions
Raihan Al-Beruni Khaleda fiddles with the political tune, but she has little to gain from the RAB issue.
Sandbar pumpkins smile on landless families May 12
adil The report above says: “The government cannot shrug its responsibility.” True, but hardly a realisable proposition. When your mentor becomes your tormentor, you are truly doomed. Bangladesh is led by and run by a bunch of thugs; they are not your solution, rather they are the sources of your trouble. The solution lies with the people who need to unite and kick out the predators in power, completely rehaul the administration, and most importantly rewrite the constitution so that it serves the interests of the people and protects their lives and not, as is the case now, that of the ruling clique.
CALVIN AND HOBBES
Girl dies after drinking soft drink May 12
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.
Vikram Khan I do not wish to minimise the drama, but a oneyear-old girl drinking a soft drink??
‘Another Joj Miah drama in action!’ May 12
Faceless Man Great report. It should have been made as DT lead news. Reminds me of the movie, “The Paper.”
Schengen visa applicants suffer at VFS Global Centre
May 12 Vihan When the Bangladeshi wife of my Belgian friend visited the Swedish embassy to apply for her Schengen visa, a female security guard, posted at the gate of the embassy, demanded “money” to let her in. My Belgian friend, accompanying his wife, was flatly rejected entry, in spite of the fact that the Swedish embassy represents Belgian nationals (Belgium has no embassy in Bangladesh). He was told by another security guard that he only could enter the embassy “to apply for a visa.” But he does not need a visa, because he’s European. The female security guard “checked” the papers of the wife of my friend (does a guard have the authorisation and training to do so??) and turned her down, because “the size of the photocopies was not correct.” My friend’s wife rushed to a nearby shop, copied all documents again on a smaller format, and was finally granted entry at the embassy to apply for her visa. Finally, she did not pay bribes, because her husband threatened to disclose the matter to the ambassador.
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS CODE-CRACKER
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Open letter to Narendra Modi n Nadine Murshid
What do secular people expect from Modi’s rule?
Secularists, please speak up
n Khawaza Main Uddin t last, after an electrifying campaign and widespread media coverage, Narendra Damodardas Modi has secured the result, leading his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to an election victory. Someone who upholds Hindutva as his political ideology is about to be sworn in as the next prime minister of India, which, constitutionally, pledges to remain “free” from religious considerations. Incidentally, this is the man who held the position of chief minister when over 1,000 Muslims were killed in the Gujarat riots of 2002. Consequently, he was on America’s list of those banned from getting a visa, and shunned by Europe. Modi is the product of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a paramilitary Hindu group which was banned thrice – after the killing of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, during the Indira Gandhi-imposed emergency in the 1970s, and after the destruction of the Babri mosque in 1993. In the forecasts of a Modi victory, we noticed both euphoria and cynicism topped by confusion, or a certain amount of hypocrisy, on the part of the pundits concerned. One camp tried to justify the rise of Modi on the road to the throne of Delhi while the other side has shuffled and reshuffled arguments helplessly, failing to stop his march to the top. For any layperson not interested in the convoluted layers of politics, the question is simple – how can a man with a past blighted with spots turn into a messiah all of a sudden?
Frustration with the Congress-led government’s corruption and failure in service delivery, plus Modi’s Gujarat model of development supported by a corporate India, have been decisive factors behind his ascent. Curiously, protagonists of the socalled Modi-fication in and outside of India don’t want to acknowledge the indoctrination of the Indian middle class into the Hindutva ideology. Moreover, they ignored a “parallel and not-so-subtle campaign aimed at developing communal polarisation” as observed by India’s Frontline magazine.
mosque was demolished not during the tenure of Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government of BJP. Narasimha Rao, the then prime minister from the Congress Party, was aware of the plot to destroy the 16th century mosque by Hindu zealots, as subsequent investigations revealed. The use of religion in politics is also not uncommon in the West either. US presidents take oath placing their hands on the Bible and the enthusiasm of churches about “crusader” George W Bush’s re-election is not unknown any longer. British Prime Minister David Cameron has recently claimed:
Modi will be leading a multi-religious country which has never been able to get rid of sectarian violence
His antagonists have generally failed to grasp the simple facts. They shifted from one point to another – his humble background, questionable role in the Gujarat riot, ethical stand, and relentless tirade over issues related to Bangladesh. While detractors squabbled over Modi’s not so redeeming aspects, the man in question went about weaving a web using religion with superb skill. What Modi has used for political gains is nothing new or unique. So, should Narendra Modi be blamed for his political philosophy? He is at least not a political hypocrite. Just to refresh our minds – Babri
“Christianity compels me to make a difference,” referring to Britain as a Christian country. Many people lack the courage to listen to the truth, let alone speak it, because double standards are so dominant in modern politics. Secularism and fundamentalism are two such words that have varying connotations in the West and in Asia. In fact, both are wrongly defined and widely misused. In early 2013, Western diplomats patched up with Modi as soon as the BJP moved to field him as the prime ministerial candidate. Hinduvta, like Zionism, is not a problem to them,
unlike their treatment of politics of Islamic ideology. In India, Modi’s rivals could not halt his electoral wave by using the hiding of his marital status over the years and his alleged manipulation of his caste status. Still, the Gujarat chief minister will never be able to come out of the stigma of the 2002 killing of Muslims, no matter how firmly the halo is placed over him now. The most obvious question at the moment is: What do secularist pundits expect from him as the ruler of India? Modi will be leading a multi-religious country which has never been able to get rid of sectarian violence, riots, and insurgencies ever since its independence in 1947. Suffice to say, he is just going to add a new dimension of Hindutva to Indian politics, historically dominated by Brahminical hegemony despite the space for democratic pluralism. Now, with Hindu nationalism dictating terms, “secular fundamentalists” should try to explain if the constitutional pillar of India – secularism – still stands unbroken. Where are those who more often than not see the rise of fundamentalism in Bangladesh where no communal party like BJP has ever been in power? Secularism does not denote religious pluralism. It rather rejects religion, if we go by the dictionary. Practically, it is hard to become neutral about religion when someone is a true believer. Secularists fall short of understanding communal harmony, which should be upheld by any civilised nation. l Khawaza Main Uddin is Executive Editor at ICE Business Times.
ear Mr Modi, It has come to our attention that you are about to head the next government in India. Many congratulations. It has also come to our attention that you have been saying un-neighbourly things about us – Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. We are deeply hurt by your comments, but we are open to forgiveness. We are not the forgiving type, really, but we do make exceptions. And we will for you if you carefully consider the following. Intervene in “regional politics” in West Bengal, as you promised, but not to deport who you claim to be illegal Bangladeshis, but to restore the Teesta deal. Just have a chat with Didi, or oppose Didi’s no-Teesta plan in parliament. Do something. The thing is this: We need water. If we don’t have water we might want to move to India for water. We don’t really want to [move to India]. And you don’t really want us. What will you do with a disgruntled group of Bangladeshi illegal immigrants straining your resources? No, you don’t want us. No hard feelings. It’s mutual. Just give us that water. And all will be well. Well, almost. Stop pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other. Why? Because we don’t want illegal immigrants from India in Bangladesh either. Listen, you are a world player now. You will be shamed by the international community if there is a rise in communal violence because of you. You want a permanent seat at the UN? It won’t happen. They don’t give up those seats for communal leaders. No, no. They’re not saints. No one said that. But there is such a thing as lip service. That’s the least they have to do. And you also don’t want international organisations or western governments to come “save” your Muslims, do you? Look at Afghanistan and all the saving that happened there. No, thank you. We don’t want that either. Let’s all behave so that they don’t come for us. Deal?
Stop pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other. Why? Because we don’t want illegal immigrants from India in Bangladesh either
You should agree to free up the borders a bit. Don’t worry. We don’t want to live in India. But we like going there. It’s all around us, we are primed to like going to India. But you have made it increasingly difficult for us to do so. Let down your guard. We are a tiny country. We won’t bother you. We just want to be tourists. You see, more people have money now. We want to be able to go away for the weekend to a nice place somewhere. Why not
India? Serves us all. And it makes us good neighbours. This may sound trivial, but it is not (to us at least) – we want a thank you note. For negotiating a transit deal with you that allows you to connect to the Northeast. Speaking of the Northeast, you could tone down the anti-Bangladesh rhetoric there, you know? Just friendly advice on behalf of fellow Bengalis in that region who are tired of being called Bangladeshis. They must not like being used as pawns. Becharas.
Please don’t feel the need to intervene in our politics. We are no longer a part of India
And, you know, it would have the added benefit of mitigating border tensions. As we already said, that is a must. Would make everyone so happy. But I digress. Thank you note. We also want one for taking care of your businessmen; from what we see they are getting rich (though, not very famous), and they’re making you rich with the for-ex you get from them (Bangladesh is now the fifth largest remittance earning source for India. World Bank data shows that expatriate Indians working in Bangladesh have successfully drained away US$ 4,082 million alone last year as half a million Indians are now working in Bangladesh). We let it happen because we really do like you. You have culture. You know, Bharatnatyam and all that. Maybe we are impressed easily. And lastly, please don’t feel the need to intervene in our politics. We are no longer a part of India. You are happy about that, yes. So are we. No need for big brother’s attention. We have grown up, even if we don’t always act it. So, no need to watch what we’re doing. No need to scare us with your army personnel. No need to kill people at the border to send us a message. Let us co-exist in peace. It’s good for the soul. You probably know that; sorry to state the obvious. Well, that’s all for now. If we think of anything else, we will surely let you know. Till then, enjoy the attention and love that will only be surpassed by the amount of money that some of your closest big business allies will be making in the near future. Oh one more thing: Think of criticism as love because you will learn more from that than you will from those who claim to love you for who you are. But you probably know that too. l Nadine Murshid is a researcher of social problems. This article was first published in AlalODulal.org.
Unreal city n Ekram Kabir
grew up inside an educational campus surrounded by dense villages throughout the 70s till the mid-80s. In that era, the seasons arrived in our country on time and our lives were steered by the strength of nature’s various expressions. In summer, we never lamented the heat, and in winter, we never cursed the cold. Our parents never worried about our whereabouts since there wasn’t any fear of getting struck by any motorised vehicle. Their only worry was that we might catch colds while getting wet in the rain, or roaming around in dense fog. By the time we completed our teenage chores, the thought, as well as the need, for living in a town emerged in our minds. There was no way we could live in that setting. It was time to move on. The first thought that popped up in our minds, in the early 80s was to get ourselves admitted to either BUET, Dhaka Medical College, or Dhaka University. Going to educational institutions in Chittagong, Rajshahi, or Khulna was a remote option for us.
So, most of us made our way to Dhaka. Some, of course, left the country. At that time, Dhaka was still a small tranquil town with huge greenery, empty space, undeveloped plots, clean rivers, and massive wetlands.
Dhaka is the fourth most polluted city of the world
Apart from its historical importance as well as being the capital of the country, Dhaka was picking up some outwardly glamourous aspects that many cities of the world have. Dhaka aspired to become a city much like the ones that we admire. We began to light our streets with
sodium bulbs, we constructed a few roads, we started developing residential and commercial buildings. We also aspired to build skyscrapers. The city development authority had a lot on its plate to accomplish. What we see now is the work of three decades. In three decades of constant development, we got a city that we never dreamt of. Our city was recently ranked the world’s second-least liveable city. We are only after Syria’s Damascus. According to a recent study, nearly one-third of our open spaces, which is much lower compared to the population density, has been illegally occupied by vested quarters, including influential individuals in their localities and owners of various modes of transportation. We have again been listed among one of the most polluted cities of the world. According to the latest air pollution monitoring report of World Health Organisation (WHO), now, Dhaka is the fourth most polluted city of the world among 90 cities. Another study said four major rivers near Dhaka – the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag, and
Balu – receive 1.5 million cubic metres of waste water every day from 7,000 industrial units in surrounding areas and another 0.5 million cubic metres from other sources. Unabated encroachment that prevents the free flow of water, dumping of medicinal waste, and waste of river passengers have compounded the problem, making the water unusable for humans and livestock. After all these years, I wonder about what actually prompted us to commit the wrongs that ultimately destroyed our capital city. There’s only one conclusion that I can draw which is that our collective greed has led to this state of the affairs. Greed is a normal human phenomenon, but we’ve displayed the ugliest sides of human greed in the name of development. We haven’t followed the basics for building a city, and that too for the capital city. As far as I know (I may be wrong), we had at least six master plans since the colonial times: In 1917, 1956, 1960, 1991, 1997, and finally in 2005. So, it’s been almost a century that we’ve been trying to build Dhaka.
Sometimes, I see some Dhaka-lovers celebrate 400 years of Dhaka’s existence. I wonder what’s there to celebrate. The city that had all the (real) possibilities to become an echelon of beauty is now choking for life.
isn’t what humans should breathe. Still, we continue to develop our city in the same manner that we’ve been doing in order to be ranked one of the worst. With a great deal of escapism, we still take an “unreal” pride in
I don’t understand why our eyes are wide shut. I wish we would wake from our unreal slumber
All its roads and lanes look out of order with a huge amount of garbage on the sides. Sometimes gooey substances are seen flowing on the streets due to our inadequate sewage system. Our overdrive for industrialising (the city) has assassinated all rivers, canals, and ponds around us. The air we inhale
developing an unreal city! I don’t understand why our eyes are wide shut. I wish we would wake from our unreal slumber so that our other cities don’t become as unreal as Dhaka. l Ekram Kabir is Executive Editor of Natunbarta.com.
Ferdous Ara performs at IGCC today
‘My album is a reflection of my nine years’ journey’
n Entertainment Desk
Eminent Nazrul Geeti singer Ferdous Ara will perform this evening at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in Gulshan-1 in the capital. The Nazrul exponent has been a regular artiste of Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television since 1973 and 1974 respectively and has earned desirable reputation in the field of music on account of her imaginative excellence. In 1985, Sargam released her first cassette comprising of 12 Nazrul songs while in 1986 Nazrul Institute brought out her long play and cassette. Besides, 10 more cassettes on Modern Bangla songs were subsequently released that gained instant popularity among the music lovers across the world. In 1999, HMV released her CD comprising of 13 Nazrul songs. After the legendary Bangladeshi Nazrul exponent, Feroza Begum, this was the first CD released of any Bangladeshi Nazrul Geeti artist by HMV. She has also lent her voice in many films, plays and documentaries. Her latest solo album is entitled “Amar Shera” which was launched last year during Eid-ul-Azha. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
n Shadma Malik
Do you have a formal training in music?
Starting with playing jazz drums in high school, Pantha Kanai became a singer after playing drums with prominent bands like Souls and Nagar Baul. His debut album was launched in 2001 with a band named Tandob. His fourth and latest album is about to come out. In a conversation with the Dhaka Tribune, Pantha speaks about his musical experience.
You are complimented for having a raw voice. How do you feel about that?
To be honest, I do not. I grew up listening to songs and jamming with others. Playing music with others helped me educate myself.
That was great! Yes, I’ve been given that compliment several times. I do not do this on purpose. My voice
Tell us about your upcoming album.
After nine years, my album is about to be released. I am hoping to release it in Ramadan this year. The music has been directed by musician Buno. As it is an experimental album, songs are different from what I used to play before. I have explored blues and jazz in this album, so the songs are different this time.
Mosharraf and Shayna plan for divorce on honeymoon n Entertainment Desk Mosharraf Karim and Shayna play as a newly wed couple in the single episodes drama titled “Tita Mitha Modhuchandrima” where they will plan for divorce right after the marriage. The romantic comedy will be aired today on NTV at 9pm. The drama is written by Matia Banu Shuku and directed by Zubayer Ibn Bakr. The story is about a newly wed couple Rimi (Shayna) and Rashed (Mosharraf Karim) who tie the knot through family arrangement. They had no introduction with each other before marriage and Rimi was forced by her family to accept their decision. However, from the very first day of the
wedding, Rimi’s approach was fierce to her husband. A very gentleman, Rashed at one point promises Rimi that they will be officially split soon. They decide to go to a distant place for settling the divorce so that the family members cannot interfere. Thus, they head towards Cox’s Bazaar and place the trip as honeymoon before their families. But a problem appears before the execution of their plan as they meet an uncle of Rashed at the holiday spot. They begin to act as a happily married couple in front of the uncle. While doing so, the ice begins to melt between Rimi and Rashed. Again, the drama gets a new turn when Aariyan (Niloy), the ex-boyfriend of Rimi, makes an entry at that point. l
Why the nine-year hiatus?
Playing music and performing in gigs, life became monotonous for me. I wanted to take a break. But, I was never away from music. I learnt and grew more in my skills as a musician during this period. I observed the changes in the music arena, which helped me utilise my potential. My album is a reflection of my nine years’ journey.
You are popular for playing Baul music. What is your take on that?
I enjoy playing Baul music. I spend a lot of time with Bauls who have great influence on my musical journey. Aside from that, Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti are always close to my heart.
Tell us about your lyrics.
My lyrics are mostly metaphoric, with the insight of the inner soul.
Tell us about your first experience of music. Why did you decide to play drums?
I grew up in the port city. I grew up seeing my mother sing. There was always music playing in our household, prominent musicians would keep visiting our home. When I was six years old, my mother used to sing and I used to play classical tabla. When I was in Class X, I formed a band named Ocean. That is when I got hooked on playing drums. And then, after gathering the nerve, I tried my hand in singing as well.
Pantha Kanai comes from inside. It is truly an authentic feeling which is enhanced by my emotions.
What other musical activities are you currently involved with?
Recently, I performed on a radio station. Also, I have been performing at many different gigs, most of them with Arnob and Friends. I am also waiting to get confirmation of a concert abroad, which is still being discussed. l
The second season of Nijey Nijey Shekha begins today n Entertainment Desk
Amid the presence of TV actors, singers, models and showbiz personalities, beauty parlour Red launched its Mohammadpur branch on Taj Mahal Road on May 15 DHAKA TRIBUNE
Farrukh Dhondy to conduct workshop on screenplay adaptation
The second season of “Nijey Nijey Shekha,” an educational reality show that helps learning English in an entertaining way, will start airing today on BTV. Like the first season, the show will explore the English learning journeys of people from all walks of life across the country. The eight-episode reality show will be on air every Saturday at 7:20pm, repeated on Monday at 8:35am. The BBC Media Action show follows real people as they work to overcome their fears of learning. The participants have just three days to learn enough English to face a real-life challenge. People featured in this second series include a migrant worker from Barishal, a metal crafts entrepreneur from Dhamrai, a flower cultivator
from Jessore, a woman making and selling handicrafts in Dhaka, a dry fish seller in Cox’s Bazar, a Jamdani weaver in Songargaon and an IT professional from Bogra. New elements are added to the show as the first episode will revisit the eight participants from the previous season, to see whether they have managed to continue learning and practising English; and whether their lives have changed. Richard Lace, Head of Project, English in Action, BBC Media Action, said: “I strongly believe that the show will continue to inspire viewers all over the country to take up their own English learning challenge to help them do better in their jobs and wider lives.” “Nijey Nijey Shekha” is a part of an array of learning materials available from BBC Janala. l
n Entertainment Desk
n Entertainment Desk Indian-born British writer, playwright and screenwriter Farrukh Dhondy will conduct a workshop on screenplay adaptation at the Dhaka Art Centre. The workshop has been jointly organised by the Dhaka Film Society and DAC. The fee for the six-day course is Tk 2,000, but students will get a Tk 500 discount. The course will be held from 4pm to 8pm for six consecutive days. Farrukh Dhondy is a writer and producer, known for his screenplay for Bollywood films such as “The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005).” As a writer, Farrukh’s literary works include books for children, textbooks and biographies, as well as plays for theatre and scripts for film and television. l
Rekha signs for Fitoor There’s one film the audience should look out for next year, then it is “Fitoor”, will see legendary actress Rekha alongside the empress of Bollywood Katrina Kaif who are working together for the first time directed by Abhishek Kapoor. Famed for his critical hit “Kai Po Che (2013)”, Kapoor is teaming up again with UTV Motion Pictures for this romantic saga, which is reportedly based on Charles Dickens’ novella “Great Expectations.” Also starring the amazing Aditya Roy Kapur, the film will be based on the relationship between a Kashmiri boy named Noor played by Aditya Roy Kapur, his muse Firdaus played by Katrina Kaif and the Begum played by Rekha. Apparently the movie will be largely shot in North India, Delhi and in some international destinations. The beautiful Rekha will play the desi version of the famous character of Miss Havisham from the novel. She will be seen portraying grey shades in the film. Rekha‘s character will be of catalyst which spins the love tale forward. While Katrina is said to be playing the role of a heart breaker. l
Ben Affleck’s Batman look exposed n Entertainment Desk There may be two more years to go before fans get to see the face-off between Batman and Superman but director Zack Snyder gave them an early glimpse of the new Batman along with his Batmobile. Zack Snyder, the director for the “Man of Steel” sequel featuring Ben Affleck as Batman, just tweeted out a first look at the new Batman. The new Batman looks powerful and revengeful.
In his tweet recently Snyder gave a hint of what Ben Affleck’s Batman will get to ride in the sequel to “Man of Steel.” Snyder had posted a picture of the tarp-covered car with the caption “Could be time to pull the tarp... Tomorrow?” The photo showed just the back of the wheels but Snyder had hinted that fans may get to see the vehicle recently. Henry Cavill is returning as the Superman in the movie, which is slated to release on May 16, 2016. l
TODAY IN DHAKA Film
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D & 2D) I, Frankenstein, Divergent Time: 10am – 10pm Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City
Photography Exhibition Innate Identities Time: 12pm – 8pm Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Road No 16 (Old 27), Dhanmondi
National Sculpture Exhibition Group art show Time: 11am - 7pm National Art Gallery Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Mukh O Mukhosh 5 Time: 11am – 8pm
Galleri Kaya, House no. 20, Road no. 16, Sector no. 4, Uttara
Acoustic Guitar Night featuring classical guitarist Ananda Ahsan, flutist Anindo Mahadi, Page 31, The Talentless Hats and more
Time: 5pm to 8pm Blue Horizon Bistro, Level 5a Jamuna Future Park
Shuchona Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm Natmondol, Dhaka University
Did you know? Arsenal have reached their 18th FA Cup final, a feat that only Manchester United can match
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Atletico set for thrilling finale
Gazi TV attains media rights Gazi Television acquired the worldwide media and broadcasting rights of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the next six years after the open bidding at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel yesterday. Bidding $25,000 more than the base price which was set at $20m, local channel Gazi TV topped the bidding process as no other companies were able to meet the requirements of the BCB TV rights from the period of 2014May 2020. A total of seven companies had purchased the tender of the TV rights but four of them had actually taken part in the technical bidding. Channel Nine was later suspended bringing the number of companies eligible for the TV rights open bidding process to three. Indian company Sporty Solutionz declined to participate just before the open bidding got underway leaving just Gazi TV and another local channel Maasranga TV to fight it out for the media rights. Maasranga TV then had to concede defeat as they were unable to meet the base price of the bidding. “On Thursday, we fixed the floor price of the open bidding at $20m. But Media Com (Maasranga TV) offered less than the floor price. And ahead of the start of the bidding process, Sporty Solutionz informed that they would not participate,” said BCB marketing and commercial committee chief Kazi Inam Ahmed. Inam went on to say that the whole process of the media and broadcasting rights could be considered a great success for the board as there was no long-
Siddikur loses lead Bangladesh star golfer Siddikur Rahman lost the joint lead at the ICTSI Philippine Open totaling 5-under-par 139 after the second round while Marcus Both of Australia charged to top with a flawless six-under-par 66 at the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club yesterday. Siddikur was in third position following a 73 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event. EurAsia Cup star struggled with a cold putter after returning with one birdie against two bogeys, a contrasting round compared to his opening 66. “I’m not disappointed because we have two days more to go. Every day is a different day and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can get back into the same rhythm so that explains why I shot a 66 yesterday and a 73 today!” said Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour. Meanwhile, Zamal Hossain, the other Bangladeshi carded a similar second-round score as Siddikur with two birdies and three bogeys to qualify for the weekend rounds along with other 65 players as the cut was set at 5-over-par 149.l
giants clash in cup final
15 Milon clinches
gold in Archery Championship
Tigers head coach to be named on Monday Hathurusingha favourite to take over
Bangladesh Cricket Board directors (L-R) Kazi Inam Ahmed, Mahbub Anam and Afzalur Rahman Sinha speak after the media rights open bidding session at a city hotel yesterday MUMIT M term TV rights contract in place. “We did not have any long-term TV rights contract for quite a while and due to that we had to sell the rights for a particular series for a very low price. But after the new board took over, our main aim was to sell the rights for a longterm basis which we have been able to do,” he said. The BCB had earlier sold the previous TV rights to Nimbus for six years at $55.86 million although the board is yet to receive the full payment.
Even though the amount of the current deal is much less than the earlier contract with Nimbus, BCB president Nazmul Hasan notified that he was quite happy with the deal. “I think we are satisfied with what we have got. I think this is a great achievement for us as we do not have to pay a single penny for the production,” said Nazmul. Meanwhile, questions have been raised after the BCB boss earlier informed that no directors will be engaged with the dealing of the media
rights although one of the directors of cricket’s governing body, Gazi Golam Mortuza Pappa, is also the owner of Gazi Group. However, Inam said the whole process has been carried out with transparency. “Gazi Golam Mortuza was not involved with the process and he sent a letter to us saying he will not attend any meeting related to the issue of the TV rights and there was no influence from his part on the bidding process,” concluded Inam. l
The talk of the town recently has centered around the topic of the next head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team and the name which has been discussed the most is that of former Sri Lanka cricketer and current New South Wales coach Chandika Hathurusingha. BCB president Nazmul Hasan accepted that the Sri Lankan has been short-listed in a presser at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel yesterday but said the official confirmation will be announced on Monday. “We have short-listed Hathurusingha along with one other coach but did not confirm any of them yet but both are interested to come here. But as I said we have some terms and conditions that are yet to be finalised. Before that we cannot say anything and we will only disclose the name on Monday,” said Nazmul. There has been some controversy doing the rounds that Hathurusingha has already been declared the head coach of the national team but BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus denied it informing that the name will not be confirmed before Monday. “No members of this committee will disclose the name to the media [before Monday]. We did not confirm the coach yet,” said Jalal. Meanwhile, it was learned that former Zimbabwean fast bowler Heath Streak might be appointed as the bowling coach of Bangladesh while former Australian batsman Michel Bevan
might be named the batting coach. However, the BCB will not disclose any names officially till Monday. According to a local Bengali newspaper, it was revealed yesterday by a director wishing not to be named that Hathurusingha has been declared the head coach. However the BCB chief blasted the media for not disclosing the director’s name. “We are going to send letters to the media requesting not to publish any news by a source who requests anonymity as every board director felt guilty about it. And if any director said anything then please give the director’s name with the news,” said Nazmul. l
The forgotten men of 2014 Fifa World Cup While the Fifa World Cup might be the ultimate stage for a footballer to exhibit his skills, the greatest show on earth is also quite often the reason behind a heartbreak or two. The days leading upto a World Cup is the most traumatic for a footballer awaiting his fate before the preliminary squad is named. More often than not reputation counts for little as coaches search for that perfect balance in their squads that are sometimes drafted at the expense of a star player’s exclusion. Disciplinary reasons are also cited in the instance of a superstar being dropped or overlooked. Similarly, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is no exception as it has already thrown up major surprises. Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has started the trend by excluding stalwarts Kaka, Robinho and Ronaldinho from his 23-man squad. AC Milan duo Kaka (32) and Robinho (30) are surprise omissions as they are in the right side of 30s. Veteran Ronaldinho might be past his prime but the absence
of Kaka and Robinho, who have appeared in three and two World Cups respectively, raised a few eyebrows. ‘Big Phil’ though was unperturbed, quite reminiscent of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan when he had omitted decorated striker Romario on way to Brazil’s fifth world title. In addition to Kaka, Robinho and Ronaldinho, Scolari has also turned a blind eye to Paris Saint Germain midfielder Lucas Moura and young Liverpool starlet Phillipe Coutinho. Powerhouses Argentina, bidding for their third crown, have also courted a lot of headlines. Juventus forward Carlitos Tevez, despite his 19 goals in the recently-concluded Serie A season, continued to be out of favour with Alejandro Sabella while the prodigiously talented yet injury-prone Roma forward Erik Lamela found no place for himself in the squad along with PSG midfielder Javier Pastore. Tevez though might have seen it coming as he had already revealed his plans of visiting Disney World with his wife and three daughters during the World Cup. The 2011 Copa
America at home still remains the mercurial striker’s last involvement with the Albiceleste. One of the most striking disclosures was perhaps dished out by France coach Didier Deschamps. Just two days after Manchester City had reclaimed their English Premier League title, midfielder Samir Nasri was gobsmacked upon finding out that he was left out of the squad alongside club teammate and left-back Gael Clichy. Discipline might have been an issue as Nasri was also overlooked for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by the then manager Raymond Domenech while the aftermath of Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine saw the temperamental midfielder being banned for three games following a scathing attack on French journalists after the quarterfinal defeat to Spain. Others who will also rue their luck include Spanish trio Roberto Soldado, Isco and Asier Illaramendi, experienced English footballers Ashley Cole and Michael Carrick and Russia’s once maverick midfielder Andrey Arshavin and striker Roman Pavlyuchenko. l
Russel’s league slump continues
Team BJMC players celebrate a goal against Sheikh Russel during their Bangladesh Premier League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday MUMIT M
Creating history by qualifying for the final round of the AFC President’s Cup refused to change Sheikh Russel’s fortune in the Bangladesh Premier League as the defending champions suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Team BJMC at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Russel forward Md Robin’s opener in the 23rd minute was cancelled out by Guinean striker Ismael Bangoura five minutes before the first half before Samson Illiasu shocked Russel by putting BJMC ahead in the second half and thus sealed three points. Russel, treble winners in the last season, are passing their worst time in recent years as they have claimed only one victory in their last eight league matches. They have slipped to seventh in the points table with only 16 points from 13 matches. BJMC on the other hand have fared no better as they have shipped 11 goals in their last three matches.
Following the win though, BJMC leapfrogged Russel to sixth position. Russel’s Montenegrin tactician Dragan Djukanovic named only one foreigner in his starting eleven keeping out new Haitian signing Pascal Millien and Jamaican midfielder Ricardo Cousins. Serbian midfielder Mirislav Savanovic was the only foreigner in the first eleven. BJMC’s attacking duo of Ismael Bangoura and Samson Illiasu were in a marauding mood since the early stages of the game and were it not for Biplob Bhattacharjee who pulled off some brilliant saves, Russel could have conceded more goals. Biplob made two consecutive saves within two minutes into the game to deny BJMC from opening the scoring. Uche Felix launched a powerful strike from 25 yards out which was fisted away by Biplob before the veteran keeper punched away Ismael Bangoura’s effort from the edge of the box. However, it was Robin who broke the deadlock and put Russel ahead in the 23rd minute. Mithun Chowdhury took a shot on target, Robin was inside the box and changed the direction of
the ball with a flick which went over BJMC keeper Arifuzzaman Hemel and into the back of the net. Ismael Bangoura though restored parity for BJMC in the 40th minute. Saiful Islam fed a defencesplitting through pass as Bangoura drifted into the penalty area, received the pass and slotted home past Biplob into the far post. Mithun squandered a golden chance to give Russel the lead again in the 57th minute when the national forward headed over the bar from the sixyard box following a cross from Pascal Millien from the left flank. A minute later, Nigerian midfielder Samson Illiasu took the lead for BJMC heading in a cross from Ismael Bangoura from the right flank. Biplob saved Russel from further embarrassment as the veteran goalkeeper produced a decent save palming away a powerful attempt from Samson. The former national captain made another superb save in the 67th minute denying Ismael Bangoura, who ran towards the goal, entered the penalty area before taking a shot at the far post.l
Berbatov extends Monaco stay Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov has signed a one-year contract extension to keep him at Monaco until the end of next season, the French club said on Friday. The 33-year-old former Bayern Leverkusen, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United forward joined the Ligue 1 club from Fulham in January and scored nine goals in 14 appearances. “With AS Monaco, Dimitar showed all of his talent,” Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev said in a statement. “He is a great player and we are very proud to have him for the next season.” Big-spending Monaco finished second in Ligue 1 behind Paris St Germain. –Reuters
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Thunder rally past Clippers to advance Kevin Durant scored 39 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder advanced to the Western Conference final with a 104-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in game six of their NBA playoff series. The Thunder rallied from a 16-point first half deficit to tie the contest on the last play of the third quarter then stepped it up in the fourth to win the second-round series four games to two. “Tonight’s game is something we’ve done all year,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks of Thursday’s game in front of a crowd of 19,565 at Staples Center arena. “We stuck together and found ways to win.” –AFP
Luis Enrique to leave Celta Vigo Luis Enrique has stepped down as Celta Vigo coach midway through his two-year contract amid speculation he is poised to replace Gerardo Martino at Barcelona. “The time has come to announce that I am not staying in Vigo next season,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Friday. A former Barca and Spain midfielder, Luis Enrique took over from Pep Guardiola as coach of Barca’s B team in 2008 before a brief and troubled stint at Serie A club AS Roma. Celta hired him to replace Abel Resino in June and the Galician club have had a fine season under the 44-year-old, playing some of the most attractive football in Spain. –Reuters
Barcelona, Atletico set for thrilling finale La Liga is set for one of its most thrilling finishes when Barcelona host leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all showdown at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign on Saturday. Only twice in the history of Spain’s top flight has the title been decided with a direct head-to-head clash on the last day and when the calendar was set last year few would have expected Atletico to be competing with vastly
tasting relegation at the start of this century, but are now in with a chance of claiming an historic La Liga and European double. Whatever the outcome of Saturday’s game, thoughts will immediately turn to the following week’s Champions League final against Real in Lisbon, when Atletico will be looking to win their first continental crown and deny their glamorous neighbours a record-extending 10th. “We have an historic chance to win two titles and we are proud because we have won over a lot of people with our passion and excitement,” Atletico cap-
tain Gabi said at a promotional event on Wednesday. “A lot of people want us to win and this team has shown an identity that we haven’t seen for a very long time,” added the midfielder, who has flourished under coach Diego Simeone and whose consistency has been key to Atletico’s recent success. “We have to keep doing the same we have been doing all season, intensity and confidence.” After 37 matches in La Liga, Atletico are top on 89 points, with Barca on 86 and Real on 84. If Barca, chasing a fifth title in six
years, beat Atletico on Saturday they will be champions as they would have a better head-to-head record after the title rivals drew 0-0 at the Calderon in Madrid in January. A draw would be enough for Atletico to become the first side other than Real and Barca to win La Liga since Valencia in 2004. The last time the title was decided with a head-to-head clash was in 195051, when Atletico pipped Sevilla. The only other occasion was five years earlier when Sevilla edged Barca. Atletico and Barca have already played each other five times this season
in a series of closely-fought encounters where the Catalan club had the lion’s share of possession but were mostly thwarted by a mean defence. Barca edged Atletico to clinch the season-opening Spanish Super Cup, when Neymar’s goal in a 1-1 draw at the Calderon in the first leg was enough to secure victory after the pair played out a 0-0 stalemate the Nou Camp in the return. After holding Barca at the Calderon in January in La Liga, Atletico clung on for a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp in last month’s Champions League quarter-final, first leg and then won 1-0 in the re-
POINTS TABLE Team 1 Atlético Madrid 2 Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 4 Athletic 5 Sevilla
GP W 37 28 37 27 37 26 37 20 37 17
turn in Madrid. Barca captain Xavi believes the key to Saturday’s game will be to score first and force Atletico to push forward. “They are the best in defence, they pressure you, support each other and have different options up front,” Xavi told a news conference on Wednesday. “We thought we’d lost the League and these things happen in football, and now it’s in our hands,” added the Spain playmaker. “It’s a unique game and I don’t know if it will happen again. We are still hungry and the fans should be encouraged.”
D 5 5 6 9 9
L 4 5 5 8 11
Real Madrid v Espanyol Barcelona v Atletico Madrid Valencia v Celta Vigo
GD PTS 51 89 67 86 64 84 27 69 15 60
wealthier rivals Barca for the championship at this stage. Real Madrid, the world’s richest club by income ahead of Barca, were in contention until last weekend when they were beaten at Celta Vigo but it is the capital’s second club, who have about a quarter of the resources of the big two, who are close to pulling off a remarkable achievement. Atletico have not been in contention in La Liga since they last won in 1996,
Barcelona’s Argentinian coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino looks on during a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi yesterday AFP
Can Gunners end trophy drought? Arsenal have a gilt-edged opportunity to end their increasingly burdensome nine-year trophy drought on Saturday when the underachieving English giants meet Hull City in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Not since 2005, and an FA Cup final success on penalties against Manchester United in Cardiff, have Arsenal won a piece of silverware, and the frustration has become more pronounced with each passing season. Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Swansea City and Wigan Athletic are
among the teams to have tasted cup glory since Arsenal last won something, while United and Chelsea have amassed 25 trophies between them in that period. Consistent qualification for the Champions League has kept Arsenal among the European elite, but the achievements of manager Arsene Wenger’s 17-year tenure risk being undermined if the rot does not stop soon. Another disappointment against Hull would also leave the 64-year-old Frenchman in a delicate position ahead of negotiations to extend his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the season. Wenger admitted that his players succumbed to “nerves” against sec-
ond-tier Wigan, who were the defending champions, but believes that they should take heart from the manner of their victory. “We played against a good team,” said the Arsenal manager, whose side have not played outside London once during the competition. “Let’s not forget Wigan went to Man City and beat Man City at Man City (in the quarter-finals). So we knew we were super favourites, not at our best and that we played against a team who has made some great results. “I don’t believe we need any warning. We know that a final is a final, that Hull is a Premier League team. They can pass the ball, they can create chances.l
Atletico de Madrid’s Argentinian coach Diego Simeone looks on during a press conference at El Cerro del Espino stadium in Majadahonda yesterday AFP
Messi agrees new Barcelona deal Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has agreed terms on a new contract with Spanish giants Barcelona, the club confirmed on Friday, likely making him the best paid player in the world. “FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to adjust the terms in the contract binding Leo Messi to the club as a professional first team player. The revised and updated contract will be signed over the next few days,” the club said in a statement on their website. The deal is expected to see Messi overtake Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the biggest earner in world football. l
Mistake to award World Cup to Qatar: Blatter Awarding the 2022 soccer World Cup to Qatar was a ‘mistake’ and the tournament will probably have to be held in the winter because of the heat, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said. “Of course, it was a mistake. You know, one comes across a lot of mistakes in life,” he told Swiss television station RTS in an interview. “The Qatar technical report indicated clearly that it is too hot in summer, but the executive committee with quite a big majority decided all the same that the tournament would be in
German giants clash in cup final
(L-R) Borussia Dortmund’s team captain Sebastian Kehl, coach Juergen Klopp and Bayern Munich’s coach Pep Guardiola and team captain Phillip Lahm pose next to the German soccer cup (DFB Pokal) trophy during a news conference in Berlin yesterday REUTERS
European absence to cost Man United $50 million Missing out on European soccer over the coming year will cost Manchester United more than 30 million pounds ($50 million), the club said on Thursday, while reassuring fans it still had the money to rejuvenate its squad after a poor showing last season. There was no word from the club, owned by the American Glazer family, on the hotly discussed identity of a new manager after the departure of David Moyes last month following a failed first season in charge. United, English champions a record 20 times, are expected to confirm Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal as their new manager, according to media reports, after Moyes was ousted. l
Thomas Mueller admits Bayern Munich are aiming to maintain their status as Germany’s top side when the Bavarian giants clash with main rivals Borussia Dortmund in Saturday’s German Cup final. “This is also about supremacy in Germany, it’s about showing our rivals,” said Germany star Mueller as Bayern prepare to play Dortmund for the fourth and final time this season with Borussia leading the current ‘Der Klassiker’ series two wins to Munich’s one. Mueller insists Bayern start as favourites at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but after Borussia have won eight of their final 10 matches this season, “the
current trend (of results) has brought Dortmund a step closer to us”. Bayern are bidding to win the domestic double for the tenth time, having already secured the Bundesliga title in March with a record seven games to spare. In contrast, Dortmund are chasing their fourth cup final victory having finished their league campaign second to their Bavarian rivals in the table. There are plenty of sub-plots to the final, not least Bayern’s Germany star Mario Goetze up against his former club having been raised in Dortmund. “It is definitely something special and emotional,” admitted the 21-yearold, who scored the opening goal in
Coach Gerardo Martino, an Argentine compatriot of Simeone’s, and the Barca players all-but wrote off their chances after a 2-2 draw at home to Getafe this month but Atletico and Real also stumbled, allowing Barca to stay in the hunt. However, even victory on Saturday may not be enough to save Martino, who has had a disappointing first season in charge, and many expect former Barca and Spain midfielder Luis Enrique, now at Celta, to take over for next season. l
Bayern’s 3-0 win in Dortmund on his first return to Borussia’s Westfalenstadion in November. “My first game against Dortmund was the icing on the cake, but I have now been at Bayern for a year and we want to win the title, that’s all that counts.” Poland striker Robert Lewandowski will play his final match in the famous yellow-and-black jersey before joining Bayern and the 25-year-old has vowed to sign off his four years playing for Dortmund by lifting the title. Bayern suffered at the hands of Lewandowski in the 2012 cup final when he netted a hat-trick in a 5-2 drubbing of the Bavarian giants. l
Qatar,” he added. Asked whether the World Cup was likely to be held in the European winter, the 78-year-old replied: “It’s probable, yes. In fact, it’s more than probable.” FIFA launched an investigation last year into alleged corruption surrounding the voting procedure for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively. The choice of Qatar was particularly controversial given that the small Arab nation has little footballing culture and summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius). l
Hamburg’s topflight status on line Hamburg remain in serious danger of being relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time after being held 0-0 at home by Greuther Fuerth in the first leg of their relegation play-off on Thursday. The only club to have played in the Bundesliga top flight in every season since its inception in 1963, Hamburg’s dreadful season saw them finish third from bottom and condemned them to a two-legged play-off against Fuerth, who were third in the second tier. The second leg will be played at Fuerth’s Trolli Arena on Sunday afternoon. l
Quest for Europe, to avoid drop climaxes The curtain falls on the Ligue 1 season this Saturday but the stage is set for a thrilling final weekend in France with European places and the fight against relegation still to
be settled. Lille have stuttered down the stretch allowing Saint-Etienne, unbeaten in eight matches, to claw to within just two points of the third and final Champions League spot. Rene Girard’s side need a victory at Lorient to assure themselves of a place in next season’s third qualifying round, but anything less would open the door for Saint-Etienne, who host rock-bottom Ajaccio, to pip them at the post. Saint-Etienne must beat Ajaccio and hope Lille slip up if they’re to clinch their highest finish since ending the
1981/92 season as runners-up. Meanwhile, successive defeats for Lyon has paved the way for Marseille to potentially snatch fifth place and a berth in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
FIXTURES Bastia Lorient Marseille Monaco Nice PSG Reims Saint-Etienne Sochaux Toulouse
v v v v v v v v v v
Nantes Lille Guingamp Bordeaux Lyon Montpellier Rennes Ajaccio Evian TG Valenciennes
Remi Garde will take charge of Lyon for the final time in Nice having opted not to renew his expiring contract due to
“family and personal reasons”, while Marseille host Guingamp needing to better Lyon’s result to leapfrog OL. Jose Anigo is also on his way out at the Stade Velodrome with Marcelo Bielsa to take over at Marseille next season, and the outgoing OM boss wants to bow out on a high note. Sochaux and Evian meet at the Stade Bonal in a straight shootout to avoid relegation. 17th-placed Evian are one point above their rivals but Sochaux are unbeaten in seven matches and have turned their home ground into a fortress of late, taking 20 points from a possible 24. Despite the tricky trip awaiting his players Evian boss Pascal Dupraz sounded confident of survival. Elsewhere, champions Paris Saint-Germain can establish a new record for most wins in a season should they beat Montpellier. l
Sevilla’s coach Unai Emery (C) and his players celebrate their Europa League trophy upon their arrival at Sevilla’s airport one day after winning the final over Benfica on Thursday AFP
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Milon clinches gold in Archery Championship
Sprinter Blake eyes Yorkshire switch Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake revealed on Friday that he would like to play for English county cricket team Yorkshire when he ends his athletics career. “I’m OK, you know. I can make the England team,” the 24-year-old double Olympic silver medallist joked on BBC Radio 5 Live. “I’m good in the outfield, so they would probably pick me for that as well.” Asked if he was serious about swapping the track for the crease, he added: “Yes, definitely. I’ve been wanting to play for Yorkshire or in England so, after running, definitely I’ll put my mind to that.” He went on to claim that talks had already taken place, saying: “We have some talks with some of the people (at Yorkshire) and we are looking forward for it.” –AFP
Imdadul Haque Milon of Tirondaz Sangsad clinched the gold medal in the men’s recurve division of the Cute 1st Archery Club Championship held at the Army Stadium yesterday. Sheikh Sajib from the same club and Abdullah Al Mamun of Gazi Tank won silver and bronze respectively in the same event. Shyamoli Ray of Dhaka Army Archery Club bagged the gold in the women’s recurve event while Mathui Pru Marma and Hira Moni won silver and bronze respectively. Tirondaz Sangsad won gold in both the men’s, women’s and mixed recurve team event. Meanwhile in the bamboo division, Md Omor Faruk of Dhaka Army Archery Club grabbed the gold medal in the men’s section while Kamrul Islam of Quantum Foundation won bronze. Israt Jahan from the same team won gold in the women’s section. Dhaka Army Archery Club won gold in the men’s, women’s and mixed team event. l
Capello drops Pogrebnyak from Russia’s WC squad
Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been cut from Russia’s World Cup squad after coach Fabio Capello on Friday trimmed his provisional 30-man lineup. Pogrebnyak, 30, who has yet to appear for his country under Capello, had been a surprise inclusion on Monday. “I am a bit shocked and didn’t believe that I had been excluded from the squad,” Pogrebnyak, whose last appearance for Russia came against Greece in June 2012, said in an interview with Sovetsky Sport. “I hoped that I would be part of the squad, I kept myself fit and was grateful for the faith that was showed in me. “However in just a couple of days they took away that hope from me.” –Reuters
Deschamps sues Nasri’s girlfriend France coach Didier Deschamps sued the girlfriend of Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri on Friday for insulting him on Twitter. Deschamps’ lawyer told Reuters that his client had filed a legal complaint for “public insult” against Anara Atanes for messages she posted after Nasri was left out the French provisional World Cup squad. Deschamps cited as reasons for not choosing Nasri that he was not performing well enough and that his behaviour could weaken team spirit during six weeks together at the tournament in Brazil. “As he says himself, when he is not one of the starters he is not happy and I can assure you that it shows, that others in the group feel it,” Deschamps told TF1 television. –Reuters
Pakistan to play 2 Tests, 3 ODIs in SL Pakistan will play Tests in Galle and Colombo on their tour of Sri Lanka in August, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Friday. The teams will also play three one-day internationals during the short tour, originally not included in Future Tours Programme but was agreed on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai last month. This will be the fifth series between the two Asian neighbours since Sri Lanka had to cut short a tour of Pakistan after the visitors were attacked by terrorists in Lahore in March 2009. Pakistan also toured Sri Lanka in 2010 and 2012, while they hosted the Islanders in United Arab Emirates in 2011 and earlier this year. The PCB said the team will reach Sri Lanka on August 2 and play the first Test in Galle from August 6. –AFP
DAY’S WATCH Star Sports 1 4:30PM Moto GP, France Qualifying Star Sports 2 5:00PM Natwest T20 Blast 2014 Middlesex v Essex Star Sports 4 6:00PM Rome Masters Semifinals 10:00PM FA Cup, Final Arsenal v Hull City Star Sports 1, HD1 La Liga 8:00PM Real Madrid v Espanyol 10:00PM Barcelona v Atletico Madrid 2:00AM Valencia v Celta Vigo Ten Action 11:30PM Dfb Pokal, Final Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich
Bangladesh Army archers compete during their bamboo bow team event in the Cute 1st Archery Club Championship at the Army Stadium yesterday MUMIT M
India’s Supreme Court adds Pakistan fine players for playing with Kaneria teeth to IPL probe panel The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a tough new investigation into spot-fixing allegations in the Indian Premier League, giving the probe panel additional powers and police assistance. The top court set up a group of investigators, headed by senior police official B.B. Mishra, to assist its own three-member panel appointed last year to probe wrongdoing in the popular Twenty20 competition. The panel, led by former judge Mukul Mudgal, has been asked to complete the investigations and submit its report to the court by the end of August, the Press Trust of India reported. The panel “will have all the powers to probe, search and seize relevant documents and record evidence, except
the power to arrest”, the news agency quoted the order from the judge as saying. The Mudgal panel, which produced a damning preliminary report in February, had previously handed the court a sealed envelope that contained the names of 13 individuals who it felt needed further investigation. The court revealed last month that Indian cricket boss N. Srinivasan was on the list, but declined to name the others pending a full probe, which the panel will now conduct. The preliminary report concluded that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan -- who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings -- could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games. The Super Kings are owned by India Cements, whose managing director is
Srinivasan. The team is captained by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The court stood Srinivasan aside as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in March, and handed the responsibility to batting great Sunil Gavaskar and vice-president Shivlal Yadav. Gavaskar, who is looking after the ongoing seventh edition of the IPL, and Yadav, in charge of the BCCI’s other matters, were on Friday asked by the court to continue until further notice. The court also wanted an ex-player, to be chosen by the panel, to join the investigations. Srinivasan, regarded as one of the most powerful figures in the sport, is due to hold the newly-created post of chairman of the International Cricket Council in July. l
Five Pakistani players have been fined for appearing in exhibition matches in the United States alongside banned spinner Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday. The five, Fawad Alam, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, Nasir Jamshed and Shazaib Hasan were each fined 500,000 rupees ($5,000 dollars), a PCB statement confirmed. “After thorough investigations and after players admitting that they had participated in an event that under the ICC Regulations is considered Disapproved Cricket, their contention of not being aware of the NOC requirement was not accepted by the Committee, which recommended that each of them should be fined Rs.500, 000,” the PCB release said. The five offenders featured in an un-
authorised series of Twenty20 matches in Houston, Texas, last month without the permission of PCB. Kaneria was banned for life in 2012 for spot-fixing in a county game in England, which under International Cricket Council (ICC) rules effectively bars him from playing anywhere in the world. Kaneria played for Houston Eagles while the Pakistani players were playing for rival team Boom Boom Blasters. The committee, however, cleared PCB marketting director Badar Rafae of any wrongdoing but with a reprimand. Rafae was pictured with Kaneria during these matches. Alam appeared for Pakistan in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in February-March while Razzaq, Jamshed and Riaz lost their places last year. Hasan played for Pakistan in the 2009 World Twenty20 which they won in England.l
‘Drained’ Warner pulls out of Zimbabwe series Australian opener David Warner on Friday pulled out of the limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe in August, citing a draining playing schedule and the upcoming birth of his first child. The adventurous left-hander, who is playing in the Indian Premier League, said on his website that he would not take part in the tri-series with South Africa and Zimbabwe. Warner, 27, said his schedule, including last southern summer’s Ashes series against England and the tour of South Africa, had taken its toll and he wanted to be at home ahead of the expected arrival of his first child in September. Australia are set to play four one-dayers in the tournament in Harare, two against each African nation, as
well as a potential final. “With the World Cup coming up next year and the fact that it’s a ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe, I would normally immediately put my hand up for selection,” Warner wrote. “That’s because playing for Australia is what I’ve always wanted to do since I was a youngster and you never want to miss an opportunity. But that’s what happens in life, you settle down, you get married and you have children. After a long few months of non-stop cricket and, with a baby on the way, I need some time off.” Australian coach Darren Lehmann said family coming first was an important part of his team philosophy and he had approved of Warner’s decision. Warner will return to the national set-up for October’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. l
Gaal, Giggs would be ‘fantastic’ at United: Schmeichel Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes a combination of the experienced Louis van Gaal and Old Trafford hero Ryan Giggs would be “fantastic” for the club, he said on Friday. Netherlands manager Van Gaal again refused to confirm his intentions to reporters at the Dutch training headquarters on Friday but he is widely expected to take over at United after the World Cup. Giggs, who finished the season as acting manager after David Moyes was sacked, could stay on as his assistant. “Van Gaal, everywhere he’s been, has always had a clear direction. “Some of the places he’s been it’s led to outright war. I don’t think that’s going to happen here.”
The former Danish European Championship winner said Van Gaal had the required experience for a job that proved too much for Moyes but that Giggs’s knowledge of the club would be invaluable to him. “I think we have a certain way we want to be, Van Gaal has a certain way of playing and I think it’s not far from each other,” Schmeichel added. “It’s very important that we have someone who’s extremely experienced with the best players in the world. If it’s him and it looks like it, it’s a good fit. “Ryan Giggs has been mentioned as his number two and I think that would be a fantastic pairing. “You’ve got the young prospect, who’s been here all of his life, and the manager who’s coming in with his own ideas and if you can combine those two things it’s great. l
Rafael Nadal of Spain takes shelter from the sand blown by the wind during his men’s singles match against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia at the Rome Masters tennis tournament on Thursday REUTERS
Raonic cruises to Rome semis Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic moved into the semi-finals of the Rome Masters with a commanding 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 quarter-final win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Friday. Chardy had eliminated Swiss fourth seed Roger Federer on Wednesday 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6). But after seeing the unseeded Frenchman fighting back to level by winning a close second set, Raonic regained control of the match in a largely one-sided third set to advance. The Canadian, considered an outside bet for the French Open later this month, will now meet the winner of the quarter-final clash between second seed Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer, seeded fifth. Raonic admits his claycourt game is improving, but said his next challenge would prove difficult whichever player he met. He added:
“Both guys, difficult matches. I played David twice and Novak once. Earlier, Italy’s number 10 seed Sara Errani benefited from huge crowd support as she stunned China’s number two seed Li Na 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Errani has now made the semis for the second consecutive year, keeping her on course to become the first Italian woman since Raffaella Reggi 29 years ago to win the tournament when it was held in Taranto. The Italian will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, seeded six, and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who is the third seed. Errani was joined in the last four by Ana Ivanovic, although the Serbian 11th seed had to dig deep throughout a thrilling encounter with Carla Suarez Navarro before finally beating the Spaniard, seeded 13, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Ivanovic will now meet either defending champion and top seed Serena
Williams of the United States or China’s Zhang Shuai. Rafael Nadal continued to search for his best clay form, surviving a shaky start on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP-WTA Rome Masters and a date with Andy Murray. The top seed beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny, winning 12 of the last 13 games in a 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-3 win which took almost three hours. Murray and Nadal have not played each other for more than two and a half years, when Murray beat the Spaniard in a 2011 Tokyo final. Less than 24 hours after being severely tested by Gilles Simon, Nadal found himself in trouble against Youzhny, who last won a set against the world number one back in 2008. After spending 73 minutes in losing the opener, Nadal finally found enough form to take the victory at a tournament where he is looking to win for the eighth time. l
Saturday, May 17, 2014
900 Bangladeshis languishing in Australian shelters n Rabiul Islam
Some 900 Bangladeshis detained in Australia are now staying at different shelter centres there, said Australian High Commissioner in Dhaka Greg Wilcock. He made the disclosure at a meeting with State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan at the latter’s office on Thursday. During the meeting, Wilcock requested the state minister to bring back the detainees who have no legal documents. He informed that over 50,000 people illegally go to Australia every year from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and different countries of Africa. Of them, 1%-1.5% are Bangladeshis, he claimed. “If they are Bangladeshi citizens, we must bring them back,” Asaduzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. “I have asked the Australian high commissioner to send a list of the detainees and their addresses. Later, we will verify them,” he added.
Teacher beaten to death in Sirajganj n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj
A former headmaster of a primary school in Sirajganj was allegedly beaten to death by a moneylender when he refused to pay the interest, on Thursday night. Witnesses and locals said there has been a longstanding dispute between the victim, Abdul Harej Sarker, 60, and the moneylender, Iyahiya Mollah, a resident of the Jotpara village in Sirajganj, over the borrowed money. On Thursday night, Mollah went to Harej’s house to get the money back from him. But instead of paying the money, Harej engaged in an altercation with Mollah. At one point, Mollah started beating Harej, leaving him critically injured. Harej later died on the way to the hospital at around 11pm. Police could not recover the body as Harej’s family did not file any complaint with the police. Sub-Inspector of the Chauhali police station Shamsul Haque said: “Manjur Rashid, the son of the victim, and a group of villagers came to the police station but did not file any complaint. Manjur and his relatives said that his father had died due to heart-failure.” l
SSC results today n Mushfique Wadud The results of this year’s Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations are scheduled to be published today. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid is expected to formally hand over the results to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at 10am. Later, Nahid will formally announce the results at 1pm at the secretariat. After the announcement, students will be able to collect their results from their respected schools. Results will also be available through mobile operators’ short messaging service (SMS) and at the www.educationboardresults.gov.bd website. This year, a total of 1,432,727 students, 733,202 male and 699,525 female, appeared in the SSC examinations at 2,942 centres across the country. l
Minor girl raped in Savar n Our Correspondent, Savar A five-year-old girl was raped yesterday in Savar when she was lured to watch television at his home by the rapist. The rapist, Nur Nabi, 40, son of Hanif hailing from Lalmohan upazila in Bhola district, was handed over to the police by the locals. Local sources said the incident took place at the house of Kaisar Mia in Genda area of Savar yesterday. Family members said the victim lived at Kaisar Mia’s house along with her parents. Nur Nabi, another tenant of the house, took the girl to his room telling her that they would watch television together. Later Nur forcefully violated her. Locals rushed to the scene at the shouting of the victim and rescued the girl. They then lynched the rapist and admitted the victim to a local hospital. The OC of Savar Model police station said the rapist had been arrested. l
“If you issue travel permit, we will bear airfare for their return,” the state minister quoted the high commissioner as saying. Officials concerned said Rohingyas living in Australia claim themselves to be Bangladeshis. If the detainees are Rohingyas, there is no question of repatriation, they added. “If the Australian authorities send the list of the detained people and their addresses, it would be checked by the intelligence agencies,” a senior official of the Home Ministry told this correspondent, seeking anonymity. He said more than one agencies would check whether they are really Bangladeshi citizens. A senior official of the Foreign Ministry said many Rohingyas have gone to Australia via Indonesia and they claim themselves to be Bangladeshi citizens. Most of them were migrant workers in Malaysia. They went to Australia from Indonesia. The Australian government is providing them with food and shelter. l
Sheaves of paddy lie on the riverbed beside the bank of the Padma while many boats are stuck as the water level fell in the river this summer, leaving hundreds of boatmen jobless. The photo was taken at Rajshahi yesterday AZAHAR UDDIN
Ichamati dam collapse maroons farmlands, fish farms n Our Correspondent, Pabna Vast tracts of arabale land and some 20 fish farms were inundated when the I3 cross dam of the Water Development Board on Ichamati river collapsed at Jagannathpur Telkupi area of Bhulbaria union in Pabna’s Sathia upazila on Thursday night. Upazila administration and Water Development Board officials visited the scene yesterday morning. Affected farmers said some influential and pro-Awami League locals, including Moyen Uddin, Mostafa Mollah, Tofaz Uddin, Makbul Hossain, Abdus Samad and Ranju Mridha, leased a river that had run dry near the dam, turned it
into a pond and had been farming fish. They would supply water to the pond illegally using pipe placed under the dam. The excessive flow of water caused the dam to collapse when water was being supplied on Thursday night. Several hundred bighas of cultivable land of nearby villages, including Sreepur, Shibpur, Dapunia, Madhabpur and Gurubashi, and at least 20 fish farms were completely submerged by the water. Bhulbaria union Chairman Abdul Aziz Master said several hundred farmers were affected in the incident. Sathia Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shafiqul Islam said he had visited the place and action would be taken against those responsible for collapse
of the dam. Local Water Development Board office Executive Engineer Kabibur Rahman said some people cut the dam to supply water to the pond but the gush of water caused a large part of the dam to break. We had informed the higher authorities and had lodged general diary against the perpetrators, he said. The executive engineer said the dam could not be repaired immediately as it was the end of the irrigation season and there was not enough harvest in the fields. A new dam would be built after receiving allocation in the new budget, he said. Kabibur, however, claimed collapse of the dam did not affect farmers heavily. l
Police attack, arrest freedom fighter’s daughter in Satkhira n UNB Policemen assaulted three female day-labourers working under a test relief programme in Kalaroa upazila on Thursday, claiming that they had helped a criminal escape a police raid. The law enforcers arrested one of them from a hospital yesterday after filing a case against 10 people. The arrested, Fatema Khatun, 35, is the daughter of freedom fighter Harun Gazi of the Keragachhi village. Locals said police engaged in a clash with the female workers in the Rathkhola Bazar area after failing to arrest Abdul Alim, who was accused in several cases, from his house in the Keragachhi village. At one stage, the policemen started
beating the women, alleging that they had helped Alim escape. The injured were taken to the Kalaroa Upazila Health Complex. Of them, Fatema sustained serious fractures in her legs and hands. Munshi Mofazzel Hossain, OC of the Kolaroa police station, said they had filed the case because they attacked the police and obstructed them from discharging their duties during a drive. Meanwhile, local freedom fighters and women’s leaders strongly condemned the attack on the female labourers and demanded the withdrawal of the case filed against them. They also demanded punishment of the police members involved in the incident. l
Language barrier spoils opportunities for nurses in Oman n Rabiul Islam
New family of recyclable plastics created ‘by accident’ n BBC
Researchers have developed a collection of new plastics that are recyclable and adaptable - and the discovery began with a laboratory mistake. They include strong, stiff plastics and flexible gels that can mend themselves if torn. The findings, reported in the journal Science, could lead to cheaper and greener cars, planes and electronics. It is the first time that durable “thermoset” plastic has been produced in a recyclable form. Dr Jeanette Garcia, from IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, stumbled upon the first new class of thermosets in many years when she accidentally left one of three components out of a reaction. “I had this chunk of plastic, and I had to figure out what it was,” Dr Garcia told the BBC. “I had to smash my round-bottomed flask with a hammer.” That chunk of plastic, produced from unexpectedly simple ingredients, proved to be tremendously hard and stable. Crucially, it could be digested in acid, reverting to its original components. This digestion reaction allows the chemical building blocks, or monomers, to be reused. “It was definitely fortuitous,” Dr Garcia said. “The first thing I did, of course, was to hit the literature, to try and see if it’d been done before. I just assumed that it had been - it’s such a simple reaction.” But her search turned up nothing. This was new. Once she understood what she had created, Dr Garcia set about repeating her finding. “We wasted a lot of flasks,” she said.
Because they are strong and lightweight, thermosets are used throughout modern cars and aircraft, often mixed with carbon fibres to form composites. Some 50% of the new Airbus A350 jet, for example, will be made from composites. Yet until now, none of this thermoset plastic could be recycled. “The potential impact here is phenomenal,” said Dr Charl Faul, a materials chemist at the University of Bristol. He says the study offers a “very simple, elegant answer to a very old problem”. Dr James Hedrick, who was in charge of the research at IBM, is excited by the possiblities. When a large or expensive component is damaged or reaches the end of its useful life, he explained, it could be repaired or recycled instead of thrown away. “The ability to rework saves a tremendous amount of money and mitigates waste.” Beyond replacing thermoset-based composites in current technology, Dr Hedrick sees the potential for many more innovative applications. “We’re at the discovery phase,” he said. “Every time you discover a new polymer-forming reaction it leads to all sorts of new materials.” As well as very hard and durable plastics, the researchers adapted their procedure to a different monomer and produced flexible, self-healing gels. These could be useful in anything from cosmetics, to paint, to the design of drug capsules, because of their particular solubility properties. “Applications are running like water,” Dr Hedrick said. “We don’t even know where to go with this yet.” l
Although Oman had placed a demand for 50 nurses from Bangladesh, only 12 out of 250 aspiring migrants were considered eligible for the job as most of them failed to communicate in English. “The required number of nurses could not be selected as the applicants could not communicate in English,” Zahirul Islam, general manager of Boesl, the state-sponsored recruiting agency which had been handling the recruitment process, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Oman placed a demand of 35 doctors and 50 nurses for a health centre located at an industrial area near the
capital, Muscat. Following a Boesl advertisement, 250 nurses appeared for the examination. He also added that an Omani delegation recently interviewed the candidates and noted that most of them cannot speak in English. “However, the required number of doctors has been selected,” he added. The skilled healthcare workers will be employed by the Rusayl Health Centre, a hospital at Rusayl Industrial Estate, 45km from Muscat. “Each of the selected candidate would only have to pay Tk60,000 as a service charge and no other fees will be applicable,” Zahirul said. A total 25 male nurses and 25 female nurses would also be recruited
for monthly salaries of US$760 and US$730 respectively. Oman is one of the destinations for migrant workers from Bangladesh. In the first four months of this year, the Gulf nation recruited 35,798 Bangladeshi workers, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. “The institutes that provide nursing education do not have English language courses, which is necessary,” Refugee Migratory Movements and Research Unit (RMMRU) of Dhaka University founding chair Tasneem Siddique told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. She suggested introduction of English language course in all nursing training institutions. l
Government wants hybrid cars to dominate streets n UNB In a bid to reduce the import of reconditioned cars and encourage the import of new environment-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles, the government proposed harsh measures on the import of used cars in the upcoming budget. National Board of Revenue (NBR) sources said the government might revise the depreciation rates on the reconditioned cars, which will also help the government garner more revenue. Currently, more than six months but less than one year’s old vehicles get 15 percent depreciation, 30 percent to the vehicles above one year but less than two years old, 35 percent to the above two years but less than three years old, 40 percent to the above three years but less than four years old vehicles, and 45 percent to the vehicles above four years but up to five years old. Initially, there was no depreciation for one year old cars in the budget for 2013-14 fiscal year.
But through a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), dated March 9, the NBR reduced the depreciation facility by five percent for used cars, aged between one to two years of age. According to the importers, now the maximum import duty is 841 percent while minimum is 131 percent on the reconditioned motor vehicles. Finance Minister AMA Muhith in a recent pre-budget meeting with Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida) said the government wants to discourage the import of reconditioned cars into the country. In the 35th Consultative Meeting of NBR that was jointly organised by NBR and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on May 8, the finance minister said he had sent 18 notes to the NBR regarding the import of reconditioned and brand new cars for including in the next budget. When contacted, the NBR officials told the UNB that the minister has already mentioned that he is not in fa-
vour of the import of old cars in different forums. They said importing old cars means allowing the developed nations to use Bangladesh as the dumping ground of their old vehicles. Usually in Japan, from where the reconditioned cars come, its government charges a hefty amount of levy for dumping cars in the dumping grounds. Meanwhile, the NBR has decided to raise the tax benefit ceiling on import of hybrid cars to 2500cc from the existing 1800cc, aiming to attract the import of hybrid cars for encouraging the use of environment-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles. Under the facility, the importers will get a waiver of 250 percent Supplementary Duty (SD) on import of hybrid cars up to 2500CC. In the budget for the current fiscal year (FY) 2013-14, the NBR kept the hybrid cars up to 1800cc out of the SD purview. Earlier, in the FY 2012-13, the importers of hybrid cars up to 2500cc enjoyed the waiver of the SD. l
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Published on May 16, 2014