Joishthya 6, 1421 Rajab 20, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 2, No 50
TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014 | www.dhakatribune.com | SECOND EDITION
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9 | SONIA, RAHUL’S RESIGNATION REJECTED
13 | VAN GAAL NAMED UNITED COACH
Dr Kamal’s 1975 NARAYANGANJ role and two rejoinders MURDERS PMO says Kamal was inactive; the senior lawyer says he did his best n Rajib Bhowmick Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain’s law firm yesterday sent a rejoinder to the Dhaka Tribune protesting a remark by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that he had not helped her after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. After the Dhaka Tribune published the rejoinder on its website, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sent a counter-statement saying what Dr Kamal’s firm said was an “ill attempt at forging truth and distorting history.” With reference to a May 18 UNB news report published in some newspapers, Dr Kamal Hossain & Associate’s rejoinder quoted the PM as saying in a programme: “When the father of the nation was assassinated, his foreign minister [Dr Kamal] was also in West Germany, but he neither helped me nor my sister Sheikh Rehana after August 15, 1975...Even he did not respond to Sheikh Rehana’s repeated requests to arrange a press conference.” Dr Kamal’s rejoinder said the PM’s comment could lead to a “misreading, and indeed attempted rewriting of history.” On August 15, 1975, Dr Kamal Hossain, foreign minister of the Bangabandhu cabinet, was wrapping up a state tour in the erstwhile Yugoslavia when he got the news of the murder. Kamal’s
firm claimed that he had discussed the issue of political asylum for Hasina and Rehana with the then Yugoslav government. It also said instead of returning to Dhaka, Kamal, after getting the news of the assassination, flew to Bonn in Germany “precisely in order to meet Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana who were at that time visiting the city and had been given shelter to Ambassador Humayun Rashid Chowdhury.” However, the PMO rejoinder alleged that Dr Kamal had not told them anything about his discussion with the Yugoslav government. It also doubted Kamal’s claim saying: “Bangabandhu was killed on August 15. He [Kamal] came to Germany on August 16. Then when did he hold talks with the Yugoslav government?” It further said organising a press conference right there in Germany protesting the killing was Dr Kamal’s duty as the then foreign minister. “Instead, he avoided his duty and looked for safety; he preferred his own interests to the country’s,” the PMO said. The PMO also praised late Humayun Rashid Chowdhury, who was also a speaker of parliament, for showing “immense courage by arranging a press conference with Bangabandhu’s daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana.” PAGE 2 COLUMN 2
Ex-RAB men deny involvement in seven murders Islam Shaon and n Ashif Ahmed Zayeef
The three former RAB officials who are remanded in police custody have denied their involvement in the gruesome murder of Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam, senior lawyer Chandan Sarkar and five others. Lt Col (retd) Tarek Sayeed Mohammad, Maj (retd) Arif Hossain and Lt Commander (retd) SM Masud Rana have refused to admit having taken Tk6 crore to kill the seven people. A highly placed source yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that the three, who were sent on forced retirement following the allegation of their involvement in the incident, had claimed to have been victims of a “media trial.”
HOW MANY WERE INVOLVED
P3 18 RAB MEN WITHDRAWN
kar Ali Manik and Ahmed n Julfi Zayeef, back from Narayanganj Anyone taking a stroll in the streets of Narayanganj is bound to get confused if he or she is looking for the answer to the question: how many people were involved with the sensational seven murders? Six people have been accused in the cases filed in connection with the abduction and murder of city panel mayor and ward councillor Nazrul Islam. But one might get the impression
that as many as 22 people were involved with the gruesome murder if their eyes land on some of the posters stuck on the walls in the city. All these posters demand punishment to the killers, but each accuses a different number of people. One set of posters, publicised by a group of people who call themselves the “residents of Siddhirganj,” demands death sentence for 18 people and another poster demands the sentence for 22. Another set, publicised by the Sid-
Division within the prosecution team of the International Crimes Tribunal has now aggravated further regarding the trial of Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party for committing war crimes. At a meeting on May 11, the seven-member team – dealing with the case to press formal charges against the party –was asked to hand over all docu-
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Now Oli accuses Ershad of killing Zia, Manzoor n Zulfiqer Russell
Labourers carry out facelift on an old ship at a Kaliganj dockyard in Dhaka with an aim to operate it again
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
Prosecutors move further apart over Jamaat trial n Udisa Islam
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6 or 18? Or is it 22?
Additional Attorney General MK Rahman relieved n Tribune Report Additional Attorney General M Khalilur Rahman has been relieved of his post. The Law and Justice Division of the Law Ministry issued a notification in this regard yesterday afternoon. The notification signed by acting secretary Syed Aminul Islam stated that the government had relived MK Rahman from his post by cancelling his appointment. However, it did not mention any reason behind the move. He was appointed to the post in March, 2009. MK Rahman is also the coordinator of the International Crimes Tribunal’s prosecution team. The notification, however, did not state whether he would be performing his duty at the tribunal. l
dhirganj unit of the ruling Awami League’s youth front Jubo League, demands execution of six people accused in a case. Nazrul’s father-in-law Shahidul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune: “Initially, we wanted to accuse 13 people in the first information report including four RAB officials and three local residents...But the then OC [of Fatulla police station] and the SP erased those names.” The final list of accused comprises
Tarek Sayeed and Arif Hossain were placed on a five-day remand on Saturday, 10 hours after their arrest; Masud Rana was placed on a seven-day remand on Sunday by a Narayanganj court. The three were shown arrested under section 54 on suspicion of their involvement with the abductions and murders because their names were not mentioned in the two murder cases filed by the relatives of Nazrul Islam and Chandan Sarkar. On April 27, Narayanganj ward councillor Nazrul Islam, his four aides and senior lawyer Chandan Sarkar and his driver were kidnapped near Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatulla around the same. Six bodies, including that of Nazrul and Chandan, were found floating in the Shitalakkhya River on April 30; another body was found the next day. The five other victims were Swapan, Tajul Islam, Liton, Jahangir and Ibrahim.
ments and advance reports of the case to acting chief prosecutor Syed Haider Ali for scrutiny. Yesterday, prosecutor Tureen Afroz, coordinator of the team dealing with the case, wrote to the chief prosecutor, not the acting chief prosecutor, and replied that the team could not hand over the materials. In the letter, Tureen said they would wait for a decision and instructions on
the matter. All these documents are kept at the office of the Chief Prosecutor, Golam Arif Tipoo, who is now out of office. He joined office on April 30 but has not attended it since. Some members of the team are confused over the meeting’s resolution. They think the decision was made to shift the case to other prosecutors. Some prosecutors have also questioned
the legitimacy of such a resolution. The confusion arose as a quarter of the prosecution team had been opposing the commencement of the trial, after considering its necessity and the political situation of the country. They also doubted whether it would be possible to punish Jamaat under the existing laws. In a gazette notification on April 13, the Law Ministry made senior PAGE 2 COLUMN 1
Liberal Democratic Party chief Col (retd) Oli Ahmed said former military dictator HM Ershad was directly involved in the killings of BNP founder and former president Ziaur Rahman and Maj Gen Manzoor. “I have no doubt. He killed the then president Ziaur Rahman and hanged around 15 freedom fighter army officers to pave way for him to assume power,” Oli told the Dhaka Tribune. Admitting failure to try Ershad during the BNP rule, the former minister said it was not possible because of the party’s inaction and weakness. “It was improvident,” he said. “Every murder and misdeed should be tried. The country is going through a dismal situation since corrupt people, extortionists and killers are not being brought to justice during the tenures of different governments,” he added. Khaleda Zia, the BNP chairperson and wife of Ziaur Rahman, recently condemned Ershad for killing her husband and Maj Gen Manzoor. Refuting the allegation, Ershad said the real killers have been doing politics with her and berated her for not trying the culprits. “I do not have any information regarding Dr Badruddoza Chowdhury’s involvement in the killing of Zia. I will write about all these in my new book ‘Ershad: The Killer,’” Oli said regarding Ershad’s indication of Badruddoza as the culprit.
4 Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said yesterday that commercial farming will not be able to flourish unless the government introduces reforms in the land management.
B1 World Trade Organisation Director General Roberto Azevedo will visit Dhaka next month to discuss implementation of the Bali Package with the government of Bangladesh.
5 Uttara area are suffering as dilapidated conditions of the main thorough fares disrupt the area’s traffic movement. Potholes in the middle of the streets are adding to passengers’ woes and pedestrians sometimes stumble and fall into puddles of water during the rainy season.
6 Voting in 13 upazilas across the country in the sixth phase of upazila polls ended yesterday. Polling, which began at 8am, was mostly peaceful except for a boycott by a BNP candidate and a number of sporadic incidents.
8 A dramatic spike in lawlessness in Libya’s two largest cities has edged the country closer to civil war between heavily-armed rival militias, stirring concern abroad and on oil markets.
11 My mind fills with premonition when I hear BJP leader Uma Bharti pronounce that Indian Muslims have nothing to worry about, and will prosper further under the rule of Modi.
12 Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s new flick “Piprabidya” has been selected for three international film festivals including Shanghai International Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival’s competition section and Melbourne International Film Festival.
Zia was assassinated on May 29, 1981 at the Chittagong Circuit House. Maj Gen Abul Manzoor was killed within the next few days. Ershad is the chief of the Jatiya Party and a special envoy to the prime minister. He is also the main accused in the Manzoor murder case. To elaborate on Ershad’s involvement, Oli said: “Ershad was the chief of army at that time. Ziaur Rahman went to Chittagong on May 29, 1981 and stayed at the Circuit House. On May 28, Ershad visited the Chittagong Military Academy for no reason. He later met with Lt Col Matiur Rahman, the main killer of Ziaur Rahman, at the Officers’ Mess. “The next day, Ziaur Rahman was assassinated brutally. The killing was led by Lt Col Matiur. His [Ershad] main aim was to seize power. He succeeded in materialising many of his dreams in this single incident. “Ershad later gathered many army officers in Chittagong who fought many battles during the  war. Later a so-called investigation report found all those officers responsible for Zia’s killing. They were subsequently hanged. Lt Col Matiur and two other officers were killed in between the Hathazari and Fatikchhari areas when attempting to flee.” Oli, a former army officer who also fought in the Liberation War, said: “Ershad did all this to conceal his involvement in the killing.” l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Closure of cable operator-run channels recommended n Muhammad Zahidul Islam The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Information Ministry has recommended the immediate closure of unauthorised channels, run by local cable operators in different areas, and also taking of legal action against the operators. The recommendation was made at the committee’s first meeting held yesterday at the parliament building. Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Simin Hos-
'There are channels on which cable operators run films and other programmes from CDs' sain Rimi, Mrinal Kanti Das, Saimum Sarwar Kamal and Salahuddin Ahmed Mukti were present. Addressing a press conference after the meeting, AKM Rahmatullah, chairman of the committee, said the government has no control over the unauthorised channels and they must be shut down. “There are channels on which cable operators run films and other programmes from CDs. Those must not be allowed to be aired anymore. The government has been recommended to shut down the
channels as well as to take action against the operators,” Rahmatullah said. The committee also finalised the bill titled “Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust Bill2014.” Rahmatullah said the bill would hopefully be passed in the next parliamentary session. Earlier, on April 2, Inu introduced the bill in the House and it was later sent to the committee for scrutiny. The bill aims to ensure the welfare of poor, sick and wounded journalists as well as the family members of deceased journalists. According to the draft of the bill, a 13-member board of trustees will be formed with the information minister as its chairman and the information secretary as the vice-chairman. It will be a statutory body and the managing director, who will be appointed by the government, will act as the member secretary. The board will also have a principal information officer, a DG-level official to be nominated by the Prime Minister’s Office, a Finance Division officer with rank and status not below that of a joint secretary, the director general of Bangladesh Press Institute, the joint secretary (press) from the Ministry of Information, two BFUJ (Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists) representatives and three journalists to be selected by the government. l
Ex-army man held for abduction attempt on businessman n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
The bronze-made tops of a 200-year-old temple at Dharmahata of Paba in Rajshahi have been stolen due to negligence of the authorities concerned to preserve the site properly. The site has become a den of drug addicts and criminals AZHAR UDDIN
Humayun Azad case deferred till June 12 n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu The trial proceedings of much-talkedabout Prof Dr Humayun Azad murder case have been advancing at snail’s pace despite the High Court’s directives for its quick disposal. Yesterday was set for recording of witness deposition. But Judge AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan of Dhaka’s Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court deferred the trial until June 12 as the prosecution failed to produce the witness. On February 20, the High Court directed the lower court to dispose of the case within six months. While passing the order, the HC also expressed dissatisfaction over the lengthy proceedings. Although three months have passed
since the order, the trial is yet to get momentum. Court sources say since the case is now at witness deposition stage, it may not be completed by the stipulated time. Two witnesses testified at the court on April 21. With these, 28 out of 58 prosecution witnesses have so far given depositions in the case. Public prosecutor ABM Basir Uddin told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are trying our best to complete the trial within the time set by the High Court.” According to the case details, miscreants hacked and injured Prof Humayun Azad, teacher of Bangla department at Dhaka University on February 27, 2004 when he was trying to catch a rickshaw for home from Ekushey Boi Mela on the Bangla Academy premises.
Ex-RAB men deny involvement in seven murders
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prosecutor Haider Ali the acting chief prosecutor. But the gazette was not withdrawn after Tipoo had joined office following treatment abroad. Tipoo formed the team last March with Tureen as the coordinator. Five of the team members are of the additional attorney general level. Confirming receipt of Tureen’s letter, junior prosecutor Tapas Kanti Baul said: “From now on, for everything you want to know about the case, please contact the chief prosecutor.” Rhishikesh Saha, who issued the previous notice, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I am not sure about their final step. There was no decision on the handover of all the documents. The acting chief prosecutor wanted to check the documents to know about the status of the case.” Tureen told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are not interested in evaluating their intention. But it is unexpected since we are already contemplating the finalisation of the formal charges very soon. “The case against Jamaat is very sensitive and it has importance not only nationally but also globally.” The team stopped working on the case from yesterday. When contacted, acting chief prosecutor Haider said: “As long as I am in this position, I will try to administer everything in my way.” He also questioned the credibility of writing to the chief prosecutor in response to the meeting resolution. l
Nazrul’s father-in-law Shahidul Islam came up with the allegation that councillor Nur Hossain and his associates had hired RAB11 members in exchange for Tk6 crore to kill Nazrul. Following the allegation the RAB officials were withdrawn and removed from their parent forces. Police insiders said the investigators asked Rana about his luxurious house in Narsingdi and its source of money. Ranatold them that he had got the money as remuneration when he was on a UN mission.
Nur Hossain, Yasin Mia, Hasmat Ali Hashu, Anwar Ashique, Aminul Islam Raju and Iqbal Hossain, all of whom are now on the run. There are allegations that police have been too slow to move, allowed Nur to flee the country, and now, as a window dressing, are confiscating his movable properties. Shahidul said some of the names that they had “dropped” appeared in the posters. However, the posters do not say anything about the RAB officers, whom Nazrul’s family wanted to mention in the FIR and who were later arrested for their alleged involvement with the abductions and murders. Interestingly, the other 16 – all residents of Siddhirganj whose names appear on the posters – have “disappeared” as well.
Yasin in Singapore?
Yasin Mia, 55, general secretary of Siddhirganj unit Awami League, used to live in a luxurious house, which is now locked. Even the houses of his two brothers, who are contractors like him, are also locked. An angry local mob vandalised Yasin’s house and his party office after Nazrul and six others had been abducted and killed.
On the first night, Tarek was asked about the ropes used to tie up the seven bodies and the ration sacks in which the bodies had been stuffed. Tarek said many defence personnel got involved in crimes after retirement and they had those sacks in their houses. He said the sacks did not prove that RAB was involved with the abduction and murder. He also claimed that rations for RAB11 members did not come in such sacks. The two also denied having taken Tk6 crore as reported by several media. They urged the investigators to arrest Shahidul and ask him where he had got
Dr Kamal’s 1975 role and two rejoinders PAGE 1 COLUMN #
Dr Kamal’s rejoinder explained his 1975-81 role saying: “...Dr Hossain refused repeatedly to join the new government that had seized power in Dhaka. He stayed back in the UK for the next six years during which time he attended numerous public meetings in the UK to protest Bangabandhu’s assassination including arranging a meeting in the House of Commons in the British Parliament which was attended by Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana.” The rejoinder mentioned the formation of a three-member enquiry committee at that meeting in November 1975 comprising British lawmakers Tom Williams and Shawn McBride. On the other hand, the PMO statement said Sheikh Hasina went to Lon-
6 or 18? Or is it 22? PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
Rana also claimed that he had not done any unusual transactions through his bank accounts. He urged the interrogators to check his accounts. The joint interrogation cell comprises members from the Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Police Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation Department and Narayanganj district police. A Narayanganj police source said the team had interrogated the trio on Saturday and Sunday nights at the Narayanganj Police Lines where they have been kept.
They said he and his family had fled the area right after the abduction on April 27. Wishing not to be named, Yasin’s relatives said he and his wife had gone to Singapore because they had already been planning to go there for his wife’s treatment and his brothers had gone for a vacation with their families. Although Yasin was known to be very close to Nur, they said they had never seen Nur visit Yasin’s house. However, his neighbours said ruling party MP Shamim Osman and Nur Hossain came to Yasin’s house a few months ago to attend the Qulkhwani of one of Yasin’s uncles. “Nur Hossain came with a motorcade of some 15 microbuses and a contingent of 70-80 people,” a neighbour of Yasin said. Many said although Yasin used to call himself a contractor, he was actually a broker for land and solved disputes for grabbers. Yasin and Nur flexed their political muscles to scare people to give up their land to grabbers for cheap prices, they alleged. On February 1, Nur’s men vandalised shops in Mijmiji Chowdhurypara following a scuffle between Nazrul and Nur’s cousin Mobarak. According to witnesses, the gang went to the area to “teach Nazrul a lesson.” The next day Nur visited the area,
Following the incident, an attempted murder case was filed with Ramna police station against several unknown people. After the attack, Azad was treated at Combined Military Hospital and in Bangkok. On August 8 the same year, he went to Germany to join a conference and died after three days. The CID submitted charge sheet in the case on November 14, 2007 accusing five JMB leaders including Shaekh Abdur Rahman and Ataur Rahman Sunny who were executed in another murder case. Another Dhaka court on October 20, 2009 ordered further investigation in the case following an application filed by Prof Azad’s brother. The CID pressed charges against the five JMB leaders on April 30, 2012 and appealed to the court to turn the case into a murder case. l
the information. The investigators took the numbers of their bank accountsfor checking for any unusual transaction, the Narayanganj police official said. When contacted, Superintendent of Police in the district Khandakar Mahid Uddin told the Dhaka Tribune that they had made substantial progress in interrogation, but refused to make any further comments. Answering a question, he said the investigators would question the former RAB officials about every allegation police had received so far. l
don in 1980 and started working for forming a probe commission. The rejoinder praised some leaders for helping in finally being able to form the commission comprising of the two same British lawmakers that Dr Kamal had mentioned in his rejoinder. The PMO also blamed Kamal for not being active in protesting the brutal killing despite being repeatedly requested by senior Awami League leaders. “Although it was easy for him to protest the brutal murder and building world opinion because he was safe outside the country” after Bangabandhu’s murder. It also slammed Kamal for not publishing any statement in newspapers or delivering any speech protesting the killing in the following five years.
Kamal’s statement said from 197581, he was in “regular touch with Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana and knew their families well.” After his return to Bangladesh in 1981, Kamal said he “visited New Delhi along with other Awami League leaders to encourage Sheikh Hasina to return to Bangladesh and was at the airport to welcome her and on stage with her at her homecoming ceremony.” The PMO statement termed Kamal’s visit to New Delhi as a display of “fake loyalty” and questioned his “controversial” role when Sheikh Hasina was elected chief of the Awami League. It also said that it was due to Sheikh Hasina’s kindness that Dr Kamal was nominated as the Awami League candidate in the 1981 presidential election.
“During election campaign, Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina risked her life to hold rallies at the remotest corners of the country in favour of Dr Kamal Hossain. In reply, Dr Kamal Hossain broke away from Bangabandhu’s Awami League and attacked his daughter and his party with indecent words.” The rejoinder from Kamal’s law firm quoted extensive sections of a book written by Kamal to explain his role after 1975. The PMO said “although it may be possible to cover up truth for a period, truth will eventually triumph.” Rahman Ali Sikder, Dr Kamal’s partner in the law firm, signed their rejoinder while the PMO statement was signed by the PM’s Special Assistant Mahbubul Haque Shakil. l
gave Yasin money as compensation and asked him to distribute the money among the affected shop-owners. Local residents said that was how much Nur trusted Yasin. Nazrul’s father-in-law Shahidul alleged that Yasin was once the partner to many criminal activities in the area. “He even got commission from the earnings of various criminal groups. He owns a share of a CNG filling station at Mouchak. That was how he made a fortune.”
ey by manipulating tenders during the BNP’s rule when Giasuddin was a member of parliament from the party. He later became Nur’s treasurer. “I was a contractor, but he never gave me any work. Instead, he gave all the work to Nur’s nexus,” Shahidul said.
Iqbal challenged Nazrul in polls
Is fugitive Hashu captured?
Hasmat Ali Hashu, 50, is one of the four brothers of Shahidul. Interestingly, all of Shahidul’s brothers live in one building in Siddhirganj. Only Shahidul lives in a separate house. The four brothers also own an apparel factory of which Shahidul is not a part. These correspondents found the apartment that Hashu lived in with his wife and three children locked. His relatives in the other apartments in the building were unwilling to talk. The only thing they disclosed was that Hashu, along with his family, left the place after learning that his name had been included in the abduction case. Among the six accused in the case, only Hashu was not involved with politics. Shahidul said Hashu made mon-
Compared to the other accused, Ashique is a young man of 42. These correspondents found his modest tinshed house in Siddhirganj locked. Ashique and his three brothers are all men of little words. Two of them own separate tea stalls in the locality while the other owns a rickshaw garage. Neighbours said they had not seen Ashique in the area since April 27, the day Nazrul and the six others had been abducted. A local resident said Ashique was one of Nur’s gunmen and was seen in Mijmiji with Nur on February 1 carrying firearms in both hands. According to his sister-in-law Roksana, Ashique was involved with the politics of BNP. “Taimur [top local BNP leader Taimur Alam Khandaker] is his leader,” she said. Before joining the Awami League in 2000, Nur was also involved with BNP’s politics in Narayanganj.
Iqbal Hossain, 36, who once used to work in his father’s grocery shop, now lives in a big luxurious house in Siddhirganj with his wife, mother and the family of one his brothers. “He was not good with his studies,” said his 60-year-old mother Hazera Kahtun. Neighbours said Iqbal was a poor man but somehow he got rich overnight. His wife Shefali Akhter said Iqbal had been working as a broker of land. Three years ago he joined the BNP and contested for the local ward councillor post in 2011 city corporation poll and lost to Nazrul. She said that was the reason why he was made one of the accused. They think this was the reason of making Iqbal accused in the case. They also claimed that Iqbal did not even know Nur Hossain. Shefali claimed: “He did not want to flee even after knowing that he had been made an accused. But our family members forced him to leave. Now we do not know where he is. We do not have contact with him.” However, Shahidul said Iqbal was close to the circle of Nur, Yasin and Hashu. They backed him to stand against Nazrul in the election.
Law enforces arrested a former army official at Chowmohani in Chittagong city on the charges of an attempted abduction on a local businessman on Sunday night. Police claim that detainee Arif Ahmed, 44, was posing as a “RAB official.” Businessman Golam Rabbani Moon, 32, alleged that Arif had tried to abduct him, posing as a major-ranked official of the National Security Intelligence. He claimed that the police had tried to save the accused by taking him to a hospital, instead of placing him before a court. The police said Arif was ill and apparently mentally challenged. Matiul Islam, OC of Double Mooring police station, said they had arrested Arif, who was a Major with the Bangladesh Army’s Educations Corps. He was forced to retire in 2009 because of his illness. Posing as RAB men, Arif along with four-five cohorts had intercepted Rabbani, an authorised chemical supplier, in front of Hotel Eastern View around 8:30pm on Sunday, the OC said. “They then tried to bundle him into a SUV while Rabbani was resisting and crying for help. Locals caught Arif while his cohorts ran away,” said Matiul. A police team went to the spot on information. Rabbani, however, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Arif’s cohorts introduced him to me as a Major serving with the National Security Intelligence. “They intercepted me when I was returning home with Tk2.76 lakh collected from my buyers. They also attempted to forcibly keep two packs of Yaba pills in my pockets. “They later tried to bundle me into a microbus with three more people on aboard, but I managed to run to a local shop and asked for help. The local people rushed in and caught Arif while his cohorts managed to flee.” Rabbani lodged a case with Double Mooring police station against Arif, one Nowshad, 40, and four to five other unknown men yesterday afternoon, alleging that the police were trying to save the former army personnel. Sub-Inspector Shibu Chanda of Double Mooring police station, who is investigating the case, said: “Arif was taken to Chittagong Medical College Hospital because he is ill.” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (west zone) Tanvir Arafat said: “We are looking into the attempted abduction. Arif seems to be a mentally-challenged person.” l
Mother, son killed in city accident n Mohammad Jamil Khan In a tragic road accident in the capital’s Mohammadpur yesterday, a mother and her 10-year-old son were killed while the father critically injured. The incident took place in Glass Factory area around dawn when a truck collided with a rickshaw carrying the trio who were going to see a doctor. Rebeka Begum, 30, died on the spot while her son Abdur Rahim, 10, and husband, Khorshed Alam, were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Later on-duty doctors announced Rahim dead around 5:15pm. Khorshed would never be able to walk, if he was lucky enough to survive the accident. l
Raju in India
Nobody was around in the house of Aminul Islam Raju, 45, on Friday. He was the president of the local unit of Swechchhasebak League, volunteers’ wing of the ruling Awami League. One of his uncles said he left school as an eighth or ninth grader. His neighbours said he did not have a good reputation in the locality. He used his political connections and earned a lot of money through extortion and other illegal business. He was also a land broker. Raju’s uncle Ohid Bhuiyan said Raju went to Singapore in 1991 and stayed there for about 12 years. After he came back, he started working as a contractor. Ohid claimed that he met his nephew on the night of April 24 and the following night he left for India. After Raju was made an accused in the abduction case, his parents, wife and brother locked the house and left. Ohid also claimed that Raju had called him from India and said he had been doing some health check up there. He stopped contacting his uncle after he had learnt that he was made accused. According to Shahidul, Raju used to do business as a contractor with Nur Hossain. Together, they had been known for doing a lot of tender manipulation. l
18 RAB men withdrawn for alleged embezzlement of seized money n Kailash Sarkar At least 18 members of the Rapid Action Battalion were recalled to its headquarters yesterday following allegations of misappropriating money seized from four detained suspects last week, sources said. They were withdrawn from their posts after an initial enquiry found proof of their involvement in embezzling Tk90,000 which they had seized from four people who were arrested in Comilla on Friday. However, senior RAB officials denied the embezzlement allegations and claimed that the 18 RAB personnel were transferred to headquarters as part of a reshuffling in the department. The 18 RAB members stand accused of a crime at a time when three top officials of RAB 11 have been arrested as
suspects in connection with the sensational seven murders in Narayanganj. According to sources in the elite anti-crime force and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), Maj Ali Ahsan, commander of crime prevention company (CPC) 3, was among the 18 RAB personnel allegedly censured. The sources said a team of RAB 3 arrested four people and seized Tk1.5 lakh from them, but only Tk60,000 was recorded in the seizure list. The sources added that RAB’s high officials took action against the 18 men after they were informed of the missing money by the family members of the detained persons. Another source in RAB said several other allegations have been made against members of CPC3 in the past. Speaking with the Dhaka Tribune, Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rah-
man, director of RAB’s legal and media wing, claimed that the RAB officials were not removed, but“attached” to headquarters for a “special reason.” He also denied the allegations of embezzlement. When asked whether the RAB 3 members were being replaced, the director said: “No one has been replaced yet as the 18 RAB 3 officials have been attached [to headquarters] on a temporary basis.” Members of RAB are usually transferred to headquarters from a battalion due to internal necessity or for controversial activities. Meanwhile, the DMP’s news portal, www.dmpnews.org, mentioned in a report yesterday that the crime prevention company of RAB 3 in Comilla arrested four suspects with Tk1.5 lakh, but the RAB officials recorded only Tk60,000 in
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
the seizure list, and misappropriated the rest of the money. The DMP website also mentioned that 18 members of RAB 3 were withdrawn after a primary investigation found them guilty. However, in a mysterious move, the DMP authorities later took down the report on the RAB officials from its website. The DMP also posted an explanation, saying the report had been removed as it did not comply with its “policy.” However, the DMP did not clarify whether the contents of the report were wrong or false. DMP officials could not be reached yesterday for comments on exactly what policy the report allegedly violated. In a rejoinder yesterday evening, RAB blasted the DMP report as “shameless and false” and “intentionally done by one law enforcement agency against another to undermine morale.” l
‘UP member Kalam killed by police’ n Our Correspondent, Jessore Hasina Begum, the wife of assassinated Alangi UP member Abul Kalam Azad, claimed at a press conference yesterday that her husband killed by police after they had abducted him. The press conference was held at the Jessore Press Club. Hasina said Sub-Inspector Mizan of Kotchandpur police station abducted her husband and carried him away from their residence with the help of local Awami League leaders, in a blue private car bearing the license plate “Dhaka Metro- Ka-03-2339.” “Being informed, locals went to the police station in search of my husband. But Officer-In-Charge Fazlur Rahman refused to listen to them,” she added. Hasina said the locals later rushed to Gurpara police camp on information that her husband was kept there. The police used batons to disperse the mob. “Meanwhile, a white microbus bear-
PM orders eviction of grabbers from river banks n Mohosinul Karim Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities concerned to evict illegal occupiers from the banks of the rivers around the capital and take measures to prevent river pollution. She also ordered the authorities to take steps towards establishing wastebased power and fertiliser plants. Hasina gave the instructions to the ministers after a regular cabinet meeting at the Secretariat yesterday, Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman said. The minister said Hasina had raised the issue of illegal land grabbing along river banks and contamination of river water by industrial and household wastes across the country. The relevant ministers assured the PM that they would take immediate steps to deal with the issues. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan informed the meeting that a taskforce to protect the rivers had been working on removing illegal occupiers from river banks. However, the authorities often face obstacles in evicting the land grabbers as most of them were influential people. Hasina asked the minister and others concerned to take immediate steps to evict the illegal occupiers regardless of their status to save the rivers, including the Buriganga and the Turag. She asked the authorities to ensure that central effluent treatment plants were set up in all the industrial areas of the city to prevent contamination of the rivers by chemical waste. She suggested using the climate change fund for protecting the country’s rivers. The prime minister asked the local government minister and other officials to stop the dumping of household waste into the Buriganga and other rivers, another minister who attended the meeting said. Hasina said proposals from interested companies should be considered immediately to start the process of establishing waste-based power and fertiliser plants. “The local government ministry officials informed the prime minister that the Dhaka city corporation authorities were not interested in supplying household wastes to any private companies. They want to deal with the garbage themselves to continue to misuse funds, fuel and vehicles,” the minister said. l
ing the plate number ‘Dhaka Metro- Ga2231,’ took my husband away to an unknown place, in presence of the mob,” she said. “Later, my husband’s body was recovered from a field in Mamunshia under the Jhenidah sadar upazila, three days later. At that time, the police claimed that my husband was killed by unknown miscreants,” she added. “Having confirmed the information, I went to the police to lodge a case. But the police did not take it,” she said. Hasina lodged a petition case on April 28, accusing eight people including OC Fazlur Rahman, SI Mizan and ASI Shibupada Dutta with the Jhenidah Judicial Magistrate’s Court. A senior judicial magistrate then ordered the Kotchandpur station OC to take the case as an FIR within seven working days. OC Fazlur Rahman submitted an investigation report to the court on May 6, terming the complaint false. l
PM criticises BNP’s joy over Modi’s win n Mohosinul Karim
Two craftsmen build a new boat on the bank of Buriganga River yesterday, sensing better business in the upcoming rainy season
Maxim Group chair, MD among 22 sued on fraud charges n Tribune Report The Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case against 20 high officials of Maxim Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, a concern of Maxim Group, as well as its chairman and managing director for a Tk304 crore fraud, yesterday. ACC Deputy Director Nur Hossain Khan lodged the case with the Ramna police station, said Public Relations Officer Pranab Kumer Bhattacharya. The accused are Chairman M Mofi-
zul Haque, MD Mohammad Habibur Rahman, and directors Mostafizur Rahman, Khairul Basher Sajal, Abdul Hannan Sarker, Syed Shariful Islam, and HM Amirul Islam. According to the case statement, the ACC in July last year started inquiries into the allegations of a Tk1,500 crore fraud by Maxim Multi-purpose Cooperative Society against their depositors by offering high interest rates. Later, the anti-graft watchdog found the fraud amount to be Tk304 crore. l
Workers renovate the official residence of the Opposition Leader in Parliament, in the capital yesterday
Informer testifies on Qaisar’s war crimes n Udisa Islam
A new witness in the trial of former Jatiya Party lawmaker Syed Mohammad Qaisar yesterday said the accused and his force along with the Pakistani occupation forces had committed atrocities in different areas of Habiganj and looted at least 300 houses and shops. Nayeb Ali, 60, also claimed that he was an eyewitness of four killings and saw at least 15 bodies after the attacks. After his deposition, defence counsel SM Shahjahan questioned him. At the end of the proceedings, the International Crimes Tribunal 2 adjourned the trial until today. The witness said he had been an informer of freedom fighters in Noapara and Madhabpur areas under sector three. He said on April 24, 1971, the accused his accomplices in “Qaisar Bahini” had gone to WAPDA camp to meet the Pakistani Army and assured them of assisting the troops at their level best. Three days later, the witness said the accused, his cohorts and the troops had gone to Islampur and killed Shahjahan Chairman. The same day they burnt houses in Katiadi village of Madhabpur. Nayeb said he had witnessed the incidents from Madhabpur bazaar. The witness also described the killings of Ohid Hossain Pathan and three others in Krishnanagar on April 27. He said while collecting information, “I saw at least 15 bodies scattered at Madhabpur bazaar and identified Liakat Ali, Labu Mia and Sattar.” Nayeb said he later went to India and reached the camp of Captain Nasim, and told them about the crimes commited by Qaisar. The tribunal 2 indicted Qaisar on February 2 on 16 charges of crimes against humanity the accused had committed in and around Habiganj. l
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina criticised the BNP leaders yesterday for their “special interest” in Narendra Modi-led BJP’s landslide victory. She made the remarks at an informal discussion between the prime minister and the panel of ministers after the cabinet’s regular meeting at the Secretariat. “The premier wanted to know the reason for their happiness from the cabinet members. She said the BNP has never found anything good in India, terming the Awami League its agent. Finally, they have found something good in the country,” a senior minister told the Dhaka Tribune after the meeting. The minister quoted Hasina as saying: “Has the party changed its anti-Indian stance in politics? It is better to know that they have finally changed their stance. Not only the Awami League, but also the BNP has become an agent of India.” He said: “The premier said the BNP should know that there is nothing to be so happy about in Modi’s win. We have a good relationship with the country, not with any political party. She said the relationship will continue in the future.” The prime minister and the cabinet members also criticised the discussants of talk shows on several electronic media for their comments, regarding the relationship between India and the Awami League, made after BJP’s win. l
Prosecution seeks capital punishment for Mobarak n Udisa Islam The prosecution of the trial of alleged razakar commander Mobarak Hossain alias Mobarak Ali ended their part of the closing arguments yesterday, seeking death for the accused for the crimes against humanity he committed in Brahmanbaria during the 1971 Liberation War. At the end of argument session, prosecutor Md Shahidur Rahman said: “We think we have been able to prove all the five charges brought against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and we are pleading for maximum punishment for him.” He made arguments for documentary evidence and for legal arguments. The International Crimes Tribunal 1 appreciated the way he placed the new charge of genocide for the first time against Mobarak. He said charges number two and five might fulfil the gravity of genocide “if we can prove that the accused committed the crime against a particular group.” The prosecution mentioned the group should be “pro-liberation.” Shahidur argued for the first three charges on Sunday and the remaining two yesterday. Later, senior prosecutor Syed Haider Ali took part in the arguments. He charged the accused
for being in command, based on some depositions of witnesses where they claimed that the accused had been the leader of a concentration camp. On charge three – occupying Anandamoye Kali Bari, vandalising two idols and renaming it as “Razakar Manjil,” – the senior prosecutor said: “The accused did these things intentionally and in a planned way. His intention was to create an extreme situation.” Defence counsel Mizanul Islam took the floor for a minute just before the end of proceedings and said he will provide some evidence proving that the prosecution submitted many false documents in the case. The tribunal adjourned the hearing until today when the defence will take part in closing arguments for the accused. The charges against Mobarak include killing of 33 people in Akhaura, the torture and murder of Ashuranjan Deb at a razakar camp, and the abductions and killings in Shyampur committed between August and December 1971. The same tribunal, in the morning session, recorded the cross-examination of the 13th prosecuting witness in the case against alleged al-Badr commander of Rangpur ATM Azharul Islam. The tribunal later adjourned the hearing until May 26. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
‘Commercial farming cannot expand without reforms in land management’
Maya skips cabinet meeting for third time
n Tribune Report
Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya skipped a regular cabinet meeting for the third time yesterday, citing a foreign visit. Cabinet Secretary M Mushharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told the Dhaka Tribune that the minister was absent from the meeting as he was visiting Thailand. “Maya did not join today’s meeting. He informed the cabinet that he was going abroad and therefore, would not be able to attend the meeting,” Mushharraf said. The relief ministry’s Public Relation Officer, Omar Faruque Dewan, said the minister left for Thailand yesterday afternoon to attend an international con-
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said yesterday that commercial farming will not be able to flourish unless the government introduces reforms in the land management. Speaking at a pre-budget meeting in the finance ministry auditorium, Muhith also said the government plans to increase the functions of the Department of Agricultural Extension in order to reduce production costs and introduce newer technologies and quality seeds for farmers. The discussion meeting, “Agriculture budget, budget for the farmers,”
was organised by private television channel, Channel I. The minister also noted that after the budget for the next fiscal year is announced, he will work to introduce a “holding certification” for land owners and land-less farmers so that they can avail government financial facilities and local private sector business facilities. He also hopes that commercial farming activities will expand further if the government succeeds in covering the whole country under the holding certificate programme. Founding director and Head of News of Channel I Shykh Seraj told the dis-
cussion that the country needs more funds for agricultural research since only Tk500 crore endowment funds have been allocated for the cause in the current fiscal year budget. “Agricultural diversification relies on agricultural research,” he noted. He also said letter of credit restrictions and import restrictions need to be imposed to protect agricultural products like potato and onion. “Farmers have urged the government to bring down prices of the agriculture inputs to their purchasing capacity and to reduce the costs of production and ensure fair selling prices,” he added.
Shykh Seraj also said: “Farmers say the total cost of farming, including prices of the agriculture inputs, have gone up. “But, the market prices for their products have remained inconsistent with their cost of production.” Admitting the fact, the finance minister assured that measures will be taken in this regard. According to a survey conducted by Channel I, only 5.6% of 22,000 farmers in five regions, Bhola, Sylhet, Pabna, Bhramanbaria and Jamalpur, received government loan facilities while 78% of them received loans from different non-governmental organisations. l
n Mohosinul Karim
ference on disaster management and is expected to return home on Thursday. Maya avoided two previous cabinet meetings after allegations were made against his family members, including son-in-law Sayeed Tareque Mohammad, former commanding officer of RAB11, for involvement in the sensational abduction and murder of seven people in Narayanganj. The minister, however, has shrugged off all such allegations. Meanwhile, the cabinet secretary said there is no rule about ministers losing their posts for not attending consecutive cabinet meetings. “As far as I know, there is no such provision for cabinet members,” Mushharraf said. l
WHO annual assembly begins in Geneva n Moniruzzaman Uzzal The 67th annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) opened in Geneva yesterday, with delegates from around the globe participating on discussions on key global health issues. The week-long event will be attended by over 3,000 delegates from 194 member states. The issues that are on the assembly agenda include efforts to prevent and control non-communicable diseases, a new global strategy and target to prevent and control tuberculosis, proposals to improve the health of patients with viral hepatitis, and a draft action plan for newborn health. Discussions will also be held on progress of the WHO’s global strategy for maternal and young child nutrition, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and the role of health on the post-2015 development agenda, ways to tackle antimicrobial drug resistance, management of autism, and protecting more people from vaccine-preventable diseases. Bangladesh is also participating at the assembly; however, this year’s delegation is only six persons strong, smaller than last year’s 34-member team. Since 2009, the team of delegates
CEC: Last phase upazila polls held free and fair n Mohammad Zakaria Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said yesterday that the last phase upazila parishad polls had been held in a free and fair manner. Talking to the reporters at the Election Commission Media Centre yesterday, the CEC said the commission suspended three polling centres out 746 in 13 upazila parishad polls. The commission also cancelled the votes of a polling centre for casting fake votes. He said the commission did not get any news of violence in this phase. Voters were able to cast their votes in a peaceful environment, he said. A contrast to the violence, vote rigging and snatching of ballot boxes which marred the last five phases of the upazila parishad polls. l
has not numbered below 20. The Bangladeshi delegation includes Health Minister Mohammed Nasim, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Pran Gopal Datta, Community Clinic Project Director Makduma Nargis, Chairperson of Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation Dr SK Roy, health minister’s APS Mir Mosharrof Hossain, and Directorate of Family Planning Director General Nur Hossain Talukder. Three officials from the Bangladeshi Embassy in Switzerland have also got the nod from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to attend the assembly. The initial proposed delegation had more than 20 names, but the PMO curtailed the recommendations following claims that most participants in the previous assembly had skipped the entire programme except for attending the inaugural photo session, sources claimed. The Bangladeshi delegation will be participating in a number of events arranged on the sidelines of the assembly, including acting as an organiser of an event on autism and taking part in a discussion on community health care. Health Minister Mohammed Nasim will also deliver a speech on the post2015 development agenda at a special event. l
Two boats are being loaded with seasonal fruits, mainly bananas, pineapples and jackfruits, to be taken to Rangamati bazar yesterday
Death of patient sparks clash at Hizla health complex n Our Correspondent, Barisal Following the death of a patient at Hizla Upazila Health Complex in the district yesterday, the family members raised allegations of delayed treatment and severely injured one doctor by physically assaulting him. The victim Dr Shuvangkar Baroi, Hizla upazila is a health and family planning officer, who was severely injuried on his eyes and face. He was sent to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in critical condition, said Dr. Herambo Ray, another doctor from the hospital. OC of Hizla police station Shawkat Anwar said Isharul Shikdar Druba, 13, son of Dulal Shikdar from Guabaria
village, was brought to the hospital with high fever around 9:15am and the on-duty doctors advised the family to buy some medicine. However, Druba died within few minutes of being brought to the hospital before any treatment could be provided, the OC said quoting the injured doctor. Afterwards, Druba’s elder brother Yunus Shikdar and cousin Alamin Mridha physically assaulted Shuvangkar mercilessly, alleging delayed treatment. On being informed, police rushed to the scene and arrested the attackers. Contacted, Dr Shuvankar said the patient died before starting any treatment as died from a cardiac arrest as a
USTC staff work abstention enters day two n CU Correspondent
Debate championship ends at Scholastica n Tribune Report The Annual Debate Championship 2014 organised by the Mirpur branch of Scholastica School ended on Sunday. The championship, which had started on May 7, was held at the school’s Mirpur campus. A total of eight teams comprising 32 students from classes VII to IX participated in the championship. The topics for the semifinal rounds were “English medium students have very little knowledge on Bangladeshi culture”
and “T20 cricket has distorted the true essence of the game.” The winning teams from the semifinal rounds debated on the topic “Grades do not totally indicate true intelligence or effort” in the final round, presenting splendid arguments and counter arguments. Itrat Rahman, head of Training and Development at Scholastica, was present at the occasion as the chief guest and judge. Shafkat Wahid Pritom of Class VII was awarded “best speaker” in the final round. l
Teachers, doctors, officials and employees of the University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC) continued their strike for the second day, yesterday, demanding the implementation of service rules and more service facilities. Campus sources said they went on strike at 9:30am and held a rally on the university premises. Although the demonstration ended at 1pm, all the academic and official activities remained suspended for another four hours. Addressing the rally, speakers said the USTC is plagued by mismanagement and irregularities and the employees are deprived of their basic job privileges. They said there is no vice-chancellor, pro vice-chancellor and treasurer at the university and the Board of Trustees run the institution at their own will, violating all rules. Speakers at rally said they will continue the strike from 9am to 1pm every day until their demands are met. l
result of his acute heat stroke. Denying the doctor’s claim, the patient’s family alleged that “After bringing Druba to the hospital, the doctors asked to collect medicine available outside the hospital premises without providing him with immediate medical care. This delay in medical attention cost him precious time.” “Around 10:20am, the doctors declared him dead which infuriated us. If he was given treatment on time, his death could have been avoided,” Druba’s family members continued. Later, Dr Shuvankar filed a case against the attackers. The police were deployed on the hospital premises because of this tense situation. l
Hili port deadlock continues n Our Correspondent, Dinajpur Local Sarbadaliya Sangram Committee’s hartal completed its sixth day yesterday, and they have announced that they will continue the hartal for the seventh day, today. The committee, comprising the Hili Land Port Custom C&F Association, Kuli Sramik Samanway Committee, Truck Labour Coordination Committee and Truck Owners’ Group, has been observing their hartal for the last six days, putting forth their three-point demands and requesting the withdrawal of BGB 3 Battalion Commander Lt Col Abdur Razzak Tarafdar. Hartal supporters brought out protest procession and marched through different city roads to press home their demands. Additional law enforcers were deployed in the area to avert any untoward situation.
A meeting was also held among officials concerned at the deputy commissioner’s conference room to mitigate the situation. However, the meeting could not outline any steps to stop the strike, according to Harun-ur-Rashid, the convener of a local import organisation. Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, Police Super Ruhul Amin, Sector Commander Col Mahbub, Lt Col Abdur Razzak Tarafdar, C&F Association President Abul Kashem Azad and General Secretary Abdur Rahman Liton were present at the meeting, among others. Sources said hundreds of trucks laden with goods got stuck on both sides of the Hili border because of the strike. Officials concerned said the demand to have Lt Col Abdur Razzak withdraw from his post was made after the BGB commander earlier alleged that the importers were involved in smuggling. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Woes of Uttara dwellers fall on deaf ears Poor road conditions, slow repair work cost them time and money tage of the situation by raising their fares. n Tazlina Zamila Khan A passenger Sabrina Rahman said: The residents of the capital’s Uttara area are suffering as dilapidated conditions of the main thoroughfares disrupt the area’s traffic movement. Potholes in the middle of the streets are adding to passengers’ woes and pedestrians sometimes stumble and fall into puddles of water during the rainy season. Even if the rain lasts only an hour, it creates huge water logging in some areas. Sectors 8, 6, 10, Rajlakshmi are particularly affected. The Dhaka North City Corporation had planned a two-phase repair project several months ago with the first scheduled to begin in October and the second in December last year. However, the work was halted because of political unrest and election. Passengers have blamed lack of seriousness of the corporation officials for the delay in implementing the project. Monir Uddin, a resident of sector 11, said: “It is really hard to travel on those roads. Some of the roads of Uttara are in a very poor condition and it will worsen during rainy season.” Some of the roads remain vulnerable and did not have any repair work for years, he added. CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers and rickshaw, however, have taken advan-
“Usually rickshaw pullers charge higher fares for travelling on bumpy roads. Usually it takes Tk15 for travelling from sector 9 to 11, but the rickshaw pullers charge Tk25-Tk30.” She added: “It becomes hard to negotiate a fair fare when it rains. Sometimes, it is tough to manage any vehicle if it rains as water fills the potholes, disrupting commuter movements.” Patients, pregnant women and elderly people are the worst victims. Although the DNCC authorities had undertaken a repair project, but the work was going on at snail’s pace as major roads remained unrepaired. However, Brig Gen Md Abul Khair, DNCC chief engineer, said: “All of the works have been started on time. I never pass a single bill without visiting the place. We have to break some of the encroachments in some areas which were delaying the works.” He added: “We feel afraid of talking to journalist. You do not understand anything and write whatever you want. You have to understand the system.” He also said: “The Sonargaon Janapath was a four-lane road and now we have widened the road. The project will be completed soon. Our workers are working day and night to finish the work as soon as possible.” l
Chittagong City Corporation, CDA evict illegal establishments n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Woman slaughtered in Chittagong, alleged killer held
Barisal residents agitate for power
n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Residents cried out for uninterrupted power supply at Ward No 28, 29 and 30 of Barisal City Corporation yesterday morning. At a human chain rally, residents claimed the power supply in the total area was disrupted on Thursday afternoon, when a nor’wester lashed the region. The three wards had since then remained totally out of electricity supply for four days in a row. On Sunday evening, power supply was restored, but frequent disruptions had been continuing, they said. On May 10, a memorandum was handed over to the executive engineer
The Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) evicted several illegal establishments in the port city in separate drives yesterday. A CCC mobile court, led by Executive Magistrate Nazia Shirin, with the assistance of the police demolished 50 illegal establishments on the bank of Tekhbazar canal in the city’s Chandgaon area. “A section of people had occupied the land on the bank of the canal by setting up shops and houses. The drive against the illegal establishment began at around noon and ended by 3:00pm,” Nazia Shirin told the Dhaka Tribune. Meanwhile, CDA demolished more than 50 illegal establishments from Chawkbazar to Bahaddarhat area in the city at the same time. As part of a project to widen the Chawkbazar-Bahadderhat road, the CDA authorities demolished illegal establishments set up on both sides of the road. CDA Deputy Chief City Planner Sarwar Uddin Ahmed said the authority had given a week to those who agreed to demolish their illegal establishments. l
A 20-year-old woman was slaughtered allegedly by her friend in a residential hotel room at Reazuddin Bazar in Chittagong city early yesterday. Police nabbed the alleged killer, Zakir Hossain, 20, from the same room around 4:30am, said police sources. The body of Josna Begum was sent to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for post-mortem, they added. Shah Mohammad Abdur Rouf, assistant commissioner of Kotwali circle in Chittagong Metropolitan Police, told the Dhaka Tribune that Zakir slaughtered Josna and slashed her body.
The road in front of the capital’s Mascot Plaza in Uttara has been in dilapidated condition since long. The photo was taken yesterday
Hearing the screams, the hotel authorities rushed to room and, discovering the blood, notified the Kotwali police around 4am. Later, police went to the scene and found Josna’s body and Zakir in the room, with a bloody knife in his possession, Rouf said. Zakir was taken to Kotwali police station, he added. According to police, Zakir and Josna had rented the hotel room around 3:30am posing as a couple, which they were not, said the assistant commissioner. The murder might be the result of a lovers’ feud, he said. A murder case was filed with Kotwali police station in this regard. l
n Our Correspondent, Barisal
n Kailash Sarkar Customs Department personnel at Shahjalal International Airport seized gold weighing 2.1kg worth around Tk1 crore and arrested a youth in this connection early yesterday. The officials said they arrested Mohammad Sujon, 22, immediately after he had arrived in Dhaka around 11pm from Singapore. Assistant Commissioner Ishrat Jahan of Airport Customs said the man was detained acting on a tip-off. The Customs official sources said there were three gold bars in his possession, with two weighing 1kg each and another weighing 100gm. Besides, five cell phones and a television were also seized from his possession. Hailing from Deviddar upazila in Comilla, Sujon used to travel to Singa-
PARTLY CLOUDY TUESDAY, MAY 20 DHAKA TODAY TOMORROW SUN SETS 6:36PM SUN RISES 5:13AM 39
YESTERDAY’S HIGH AND LOW
n Du Correspondent Villagers in Sunamganj’s Dirai area capture a fishing cat yesterday, which they claim had been stealing their chickens everyday. Fishing Cats are on the verge of extinction and people often kill them if people can catch them FOCUS BANGLA
Miscreants shoot businessman in capital, Tk7 lakh looted n Kailash Sarkar
PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha
3:51am 5:14am 11:55am 3:18pm 6:36pm 8:00pm Source: IslamicFinder.org
pore frequently and he had travelled to Singapore four times in last month, officials concerned informed. Meanwhile, the detainee has been placed on a four-day remand by a Dhaka court after airport police produced him before the court, seeking a seven-day remand. Earlier, the Customs authorities filed a case against him and handed him over to the police last night. Smuggling of gold through the airports in Bangladesh has turned rampant nowadays and several hundred kilograms of gold were recovered in recent times. Earlier on May 16, the Customs Department officials had seized 101 bars of gold weighing around 12kg and arrested three passengers from a Dubai flight. In another haul on May 13, around 10kg gold was recovered and another passenger was arrested. l
Left student bodies demand end of night courses
FORECAST FOR TODAY Chittagong
saying those locally-assembled vehicles eat into huge power every day. The residents, however, warned the authority of launching a tougher movement if the demand was not met by the authority immediately. They also handed over the divisional commissioner a memorandum yesterday with the demand for uninterrupted power supply in the three wards. The human chain was formed by the residents under the banner of ‘Kashipur Elakar Bidyut Sarbaraho Samosya Nirosan Committee’ (committee for solving the electricity supply problem of Kashipur area). Local ward councilors, elite people, among others, spoke at the human chain. l
2.1kg gold seized, one held at Dhaka airport
of the West Zone Power Distribution Company but that did not work out, they pointed out. Even during regular times, power is not supplied here consitently. Power outage or low voltage is a regular sight, said Aftab Hossain, president of Motor Workers Union and City Sramik League. Power outage usually continues here for hours every day and many times for a day, added Aftab, also a former Union Parishad chairman. Executive Engineer (division-2) AKM Tariqul Islam of the company admitting the power outage said, “We are trying our best to improve the situation.” He also blamed the battery-operated three wheelers for the power outage,
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
Armed miscreants had looted Tk7 lakh from a businessman after shooting him in the capital’s Khilgaon area under Shahjahanpur police station yesterday. The bullet hit businessman was identified as Zahir Ahmmed, 32, who was rushed to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. Sources at the DMCH said the victim had sustained three bullet injuries – one in his left chest, one left leg and
one in left hand. The injured businessman told the Dhaka Tribune that three armed miscreants, riding on a motorcycle, intercepted him on the Shahjahanpur Bazar road near the Khilgaon Flyover. He was on his way home at Basabo under Sabujbagh police station by a rickshaw around 7pm, he added. He also said: “The criminals fired several gun shots at me as I tried to resist the criminals. At one stage, they snatched away the bag containing the
money and fled away. “I earlier had withdrawn the money from a bank at Motijheel in the afternoon and I was on my way home after taking a break at my office at Purana Paltan.” Family members of Zahir said he owns “MS Al-Sumit Trading” located on the 1st floor of the Baitul View Tower in Purana Paltan. Inspector Mozammel Huq of the DMCH police outpost said they had informed the police at Shahjahanpur police station regarding the incident. l
Left student bodies of the Dhaka University demanded the cancellation of night course programs from all public universities yesterday, calling those courses “a commercial process in the name of education.” They alleged that night courses have taken over the universities like cancer. The left students made these remarks while addressing a rally on the DU campus. The programme was arranged in protest of the newly launched
night course by the Political Science Department of the university. Later, the activists brought out a procession that marched through the campus. Secretary General of the DU unit of the Chhatra Federation Monowar Hossain Masud, Chhatra Front President Rashed Shahariar, Chhatra Union Secretary General Liton Nondi were present at the program, among others. Meanwhile, the student bodies called a strike at the DU’s Arts and Social Science faculty to be held on May 22, demanding cancellation of the night course. l
Schoolgirl attempts suicide n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong A female student of class IX tried to kill herself by jumping from the rooftop of her school in Jorarganj of Chittagong, following repeated sexual harassment by senior boys in the school. Police arrested two alleged perpetrators, Abdul Khalek and Salman Farsi,
who are business students of class X in Jorarganj Ideal High School. Quoting the school authorities, Jorarganj police station OC Liakat Ali said Khalek had been harassing the girl for the past two months. She attempted to commit suicide around 9am by jumping off the two-storeyed school building. A case has been lodged, he added. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Curtain falls on 6th phase of upazila polls Although no violence was perpetrated, there were allegations of vote fraud in some centres n Tribune Report
mary School (south) when allegation of fake votes was raised. Polling was suspended at the two centres but resumed in 20 minutes. Jamtail Model Government Primary School (south) centre presiding officer Moazzem Hossain said fake votes were cast because of negligence of duty by Najmul Mostafa Tutul, sub-inspector of Shahjadpur, who was in charge of the station’s security. We were threatened as we tried to resist, he said. Meanwhile, Upazila Awami League General Secretary Anwar Hossain denied allegations of vote fraud and occupation of polling centres against him and said there was no anomaly in the two centres. District Returning Officer Shafiqul Islam said magistrates, police, RAB and BGB personnel discharged their duties and immediate action was taken against fake vote casting at the two centres.
Voting in 13 upazilas across the country in the sixth phase of upazila polls ended at 4pm yesterday. Polling, which began at 8am, was mostly peaceful except for a boycott by a BNP candidate and a number of sporadic incidents.
Brahmanbaria BNP candidate boycotts polls
Advocate Shariful Islam Liton, the BNPbacked chairman candidate in Bijoynagar of Brahmanbaria, announced he would boycott elections alleging vote fraud, occupation of polling centres and ejection of agents from polling centres. At 1:30pm, he made the announcement before reporters at Paharpur Government Primacy School centre. Apart from electoral fraud, Liton said nearly 20-30 of his agents were beat up at most of the 58 centres in the upazila. He alleged he had tried to submit a written complaint to the deputy commissioner but the latter did not accept it. Low voter turnout prevailed at the polling centres throughout the time since 8am but no violence was reported.
Voting postponed in 2 Comilla centres, ballot snatched
In Adarsha Sadar upazila of Comilla, the Election Commission postponed voting at two centres, Afzol Khan Technical Commerce College and Chayabitan Government Primary School. District Polling Officer Md Rashedul Islam said miscreants snatched ballot papers of the two centres after voting had begun and the commission suspended polling. Ballot papers were also
Man killed by falling debris n Our Correspondent, Savar A security guard was crushed to death as parts of the main gate of an RMG factory broke apart and fell on him yesterday morning. The accident took place at Burirbazar in the capital’s Ashulia area. According to witnesses, the victim, Motahar Hossain, 40, was opening the gates of Birds Garments Ltd for the workers to enter the premises when the railing above the gate broke apart and fell on him, crushing him to death. Several workers at the factory claimed that the accident was a result of the factory authority’s negligence. They said the railing had been unsteady for a while, and the authority had been notified about it several times, but no one paid heed. l
15 injured in Natore clash n Our Correspondent, Natore At least 15 people were injured over a clash between two rival groups at Chokbaraigram of Baraigram upazila in the district yesterday. The injured were admitted to Baraigram Upazila Health Complex. Ibrahim Hossain, Officer-in-Charge of Baraigram police station said, “Two groups led by former UP member Islam Uddin and Makbul Hossen locked into clashes over a land dispute. l
Peaceful voting in Rangpur
Voters cast votes at Palichda Haat Khan Chowdhury Dakhil Madrasa centre in Rangpur Sadar in the sixth phase of upazila polls yesterday snatched from Ratnabati Ali Amena High School centre around 11am. There were allegations that pro-government men occupied some centres, including Majhigacha Aktaruzzaman High School, Bamil School and College and Bhubanghar Abul Hossain Abbasi High School, and forced opposition men out. 600 ballot papers were snatched
from Subarnapur High School centre. Fazlul Haque Fazlu, chairman candidate of the 19-party alliance, said government supporters forcefully made his agents leave at least 10 centres.
Sirajganj BNP candidate calls for re-polling
Alleging vote fraud and scuffle, BNP-
Most of the primary schools of the district have been struggling to provide pure drinking water to their students for a long time because they have not been provided tube-wells as required. Consequently, the students are forced to consume contaminated water from various local sources, and have fallen victims to different sorts of diseases, especially fatal ones. The tube-wells that are available are situated in dirty locations. While visiting the Shakarikath Government Primary School situated in the Matbaria upazila, this correspondent found that the school’s lone tube-well had been broken since Sidre occurred in 2007, and they have to travel a distance of one kilometre in order to collect drinking water. Headmistress of the No 1 Baroibunia Government Primary School, located in the Nazirpur upazila, Hasina Begum, said they have no tube-well to supply water to their 284 students. “We are go-
A written complaint would be submitted to the Election Commission today, he said. Casting of fake votes turned into a frenzy at the centres in the afternoon. Upazila Returning Officer Israt Jahan seized seven ballots from Jamtail Model Government Primary School (north) and Jamtail Model Government Pri-
Pvt clinics, diagnostic centres running illegally BCL leader, Jubo Dal man n Tribune Desk A good number of private clinics and diagnostic centres in the district are operating illegally taking advantage of lax monitoring by the authorities concerned. Sources at the Khulna Divisional Health Director’s office said among 155 private clinics and diagnostic centres in Khulna city, only 36 have renewed their licenses while 29 are operating without licenses and 20 with un-renewed licenses. Besides, some 65 clinics and diagnostic centres are awaiting licenses from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The information about the private hospitals and pathological centres were found in an investigation carried out recently, reports UNB. The sources said though the health director’s office has the records of 155 (licensed and unlicensed) private medical centres in the metropolitan city, there is more such centres. Set up without taking approval from the Directorate of Health, a number of private hospitals and diagnostic centres have been doing illegal business for long. If any accident occurs in those illegally-run health centres, the liability does not fall on anybody. Besides, allegations are rife that the private hospitals with approval from
DGHS are not following the rules set by the authorities concerned. During the investigation, it was found that the private clinics were running business even without following necessary rules like having expert doctors round the clock and nurses with diploma degrees. Similarly, the pathological centres lack trained health technologists and necessary equipment. Wishing anonymity, an X-ray technician of a diagnostic centre at 53, Babukhana Road in the city told UNB that he has been working at the diagnostic centre for about six months despite the fact that he did not receive any training related to his job. l
killed as two groups clash n Our Correspondent, Lakshmipur A leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League and an activist of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal were killed in a gunfight between two groups in Sadar upazila yesterday. Abu Noman, vice-president of Chandraganj union unit of Chhatra League and son of Abu Sufian of Bhairabnagar village, died from firearm shot during a clash between his group and a group of Jubo Dal. Six men, including Jahangir Alam, an activist of Jubo Dal and son of Chowdhury Mia of Panchpara village of the upazila, received bullets during the
clash. Jahangir succumbed to his injuries on the way to a Noakhali hospital. Police said an altercation took place between the two groups over establishing supremacy in the area and the clash ensued around 8pm. Gunshots were fired during the clash. The injured were taken to different hospitals in Lakshmipur and Noakhali. Iqbal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Lakshmipur Sadar police station, confirmed the incident and said the body of Noman was recovered from the spot and was sent to Sadar hospital morgue for post-mortem examinations. l
Jessore honours six Ratnagarbha mothers n Tribune Report Six mothers have been honoured with Ratnagarbha (mother of talents) awards in Jessore, marking the International Mothers’ Day on May 11. According to a press release, Usha Rani Bhattacharya (posthumous), Rebeka Sultana, Fauzia Begum Kabita, Ameenah Ahmed, Ameena Begum, and Alhajj Fatema Jalal were each honoured with a certificate and a sash (Uttoriyo) during the award-giving ceremony which was held under the management of the Jessore Municipality and arranged by “Shekor,” a cultural organisation. Notable Nazrul singer Fatema Tuz Zohra attended the ceremony, which
held at the Town Hall Field, as the chief guest, and Mayor Maruful Islam Maruf chaired the event. Principal Sheikh Rabiul Alam of the Jessore Education Board Model School and College, former MP Pijush Kanti Bhattachariya and Mobinul Islam Mobin, editor of the Dainik Gramer Kagoj, a local daily, attended as special guests. After the award-giving ceremony there was a cultural function where Ratnagarbha award winner Ameenah Ahmed sang two songs –“Ekbaar Gaal Bhora Maa Daake,” and a song by Dwijendra Lal Roy. Papia Ghosh, Doly Rahman, Sajib Pal, Tauhidul Islam, and Selim Hossain were among those who performed at the cultural function. l
Pirojpur primary schools struggling to provide potable water n Our Correspondent, Pirojpur
backed candidate Gazi Abdul Aziz Sarker yesterday demanded re-polling in Kamarkhand upazila of Sirajganj. Addressing a press briefing at Kamarkhand BNP office at 5pm after the end of voting, Sarker said fake votes were cast with direct assistance from Sirajganj Sadar lawmaker Dr Habibe Millat Munna since morning to ensure BNP’s defeat.
Voting was peaceful in four upazilas of Rangpur amid tight security, said official and local sources. Police arrested rebel Sadar upazila BNP chairman candidate Masud Rana and his associate Shamsul Alam on Sunday night for violating electoral code of conduct. According to district election office sources, a total of 656,924 voters, including 324,114 male and 332,810 female, cast votes at 287 polling centres under 29 unions of the four upazilas. A total of 67 candidates, including 25 chairman candidates, 24 vice-chairman candidates, and 18 women vice-chairman candidates, contested the polls. l
ing through terrible difficulties in order to get pure water,” she said. No 107 Government Primary School teacher Nirmal Kumar said they collect water from distant areas because they do not have any tube-well to provide for the 150 students at their school. “The situation worsens during the rainy season,” said Nirmal. Headmistress of the Namajpur Goverment Primary School, which is situated in the Pirojpur Municipality, Nargis Khanom, said they have a tubewell at their school, but it is near a toilet. Pirojpur Sadar upazila primary education official Sikder Atikur Rahman said there are 131 primary schools in the district and most of them have no tube-wells. Zianagar upazila assistant primary education official Maniruzzaman said most of the primary schools there have no tube-wells as well. Officials from the Bhandaria upazila ABM Rafiqul Islam, Swarupkati Saleha Khatun, Nazirpur Firoja Sultana and Kawkhali M Asaduzzaman echoed
these concerns. All of the officers said that the students have been passing a tough time due to the scarcity of tube-wells in these areas. According to Matbaria upazila assistant primary education officer SM Ali Akbar, 90% of the 200 primary schools there have no tube-wells. “I raised the problem in the monthly meeting of primary teachers,” he stated. Pirojpur Sadar Hospital Residential Medical Officer (RMO) Shankar Kumar Gosh said the water collected from the tube-wells installed in dirty locations may cause various types of diseases, stating, “The authorities concerned should install tube-wells in clean places to prevent possible breakouts of such diseases.” Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju who was elected from the Pirojpur-2 constituency said: “I will try my best to urgently get tubewell allotment from the government for the struggling primary schools, for the sake of the students.” l
Guests and Ratnagarbha (mother of talents) award recipients pose together for a photo at Town Hall Field in Jessore
5 killed in road accidents in two districts n Tribune Desk
At least five persons were killed and 26 others were injured in two separate road accidents in the Munshiganj and Mymensingh districts, yesterday. In Munshiganj, three people were killed and 20 others injured in a head-on collision between two buses on the Dhaka-Mawa highway. The identities of the deceased could not be known immediately. Sirajdikhan police station Officer-in-Charge Md Abul Basar said a Mawa-bound Gungun Paribahan passenger bus and a Dhaka-bound Ilish Paribahan passenger bus collided head-on in the Chalti Para area at around 12:30pm. At one stage, the Gungun Paribahan bus caught on fire, leaving three, including its driver, burnt to death on the spot, while 20 others were injured. The injured were rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Mitford Hospital. Due to this incident, vehicular movement was suspend for two hours. In Mymensingh, two people, Sajeeb, 27, and Rezaul Karim, 35, were killed and six others were injured when a bus collided with a three-wheeler in the Kathgola area of the Mymensingh-Tangail highway. Kotwali Model police station Officer-in-Charge Rezaul Karim said: “A Tangail-bound bus hit the vehicle which was coming from the opposite direction, in the Kathgola area at around 7am, injuring all eight passengers.” “The injured were sent to the Mymensigh Medical College Hospital where two of them succumbed to their injuries,” he said. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Will Monroe Doctrine get space in BJP’s ‘Interlocking Relationships?’ n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman In 1988 former Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was fighting off a coup and sought help from the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Within the next 24 hours, 1,600 Indian soldiers landed in Male, the capital of the Maldives, to restore
‘Equations will be mended through pragmatism and a doctrine of mutually beneficial and interlocking relationships, based on enlightened national interest’ order. In 1987, he also asked Sri Lanka not to allow the formation of a military base from any other country. These are examples of New Delhi’s determination to respond to any intervention of foreign nature in South Asia, which it considers as their domain of influence.
Last year, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh visited three South Asian countries – Nepal, the Maldives and Bangladesh – just before their elections and had meetings with a series of political leaders in those countries. In all those cases, Sujatha was very vocal on the election’s issues, which showed that they did not change their policy in meddling with internal affairs of other countries. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid in December last year said India’s understanding of Bangladesh should be helpful to the US. The Congress-led government has adopted interference in regional countries as a part of their foreign policy and consequently we have seen the Indian Foreign Secretary moving from one country to another to deal with elections, which is in every respect an internal affair of any country. Sujatha Singh came to Dhaka in December, one month before the January 5 polls, which was boycotted by the major political party, and advocated for holding the election in due time. She had one-on-one meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and interacted with members of press, where she asserted that the election must be held. This attitude and practice, in foreign relations, resemble the Monroe Doctrine which was the US foreign policy regarding Latin American countries in the early 19th century.
‘The government will have to play a very active role to uphold national interests with foreign countries in general and India in particular’
Bangladesh and India have been maintaining relatively stable relations for several years when Congress-led government was in power. Now BJP is at the helm of power. Will this affect relations between the two countries? Bangladesh and India have maintained stable relations for a long time. There were ups and downs. But the direction of relations was right. I often face this question. The reasons behind this, according to my opinion, is that the BJP’s election manifesto in the past had emphasised on the need for, in their language, expulsion of “illegal immigrants” from India. This time, the party also mentioned this in its election manifesto. But what’s more prominent is the statement by Narendra Modi made during the campaign, saying that the “illegal immigrants” of Bangladesh will be driven out of India. Later on, he made another statement where he mentioned that the Hindu immigrants of Bangladesh will receive a cordial
and a doctrine of mutually beneficial and interlocking relationships, based on enlightened national interest.” During the last term of the BJP government, it showed pragmatism in dealing with neighbours and we could witness that after working with the Awami League government for over three years, it did not interfere in the 2001 parliamentary elections in which BNP won two-third majority. The then Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee sent a congratulatory message to the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and sent his special envoy Brajesh Mishra to discuss
today is getting more inter-dependent, and no state, big or small, can achieve prosperity ignoring cooperation with neighbours.
were to import these items from other countries, our global trade balance might deteriorate further. A country that suffers from global trade deficit, need not be unnecessarily worried about the deficit with its next door neighbours. If we need to import items from far off countries, it may aggravate the global trade deficit. However, we need total removal of non-tariff barriers, elimination of the negative list and other hurdles to increase export to India.
How do you assess India’s decision for keeping the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement and signing on sharing Teesta waters, two major thorny issues, on the backburner?
“We have to remain cautious as there is no scope for complacence, and there is no room for inaction,” CM Shafi Sami, an adviser to the former caretaker government, said in an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune on May 17. He was Bangladesh High Commissioner to India from 1995 to 1999. He played an important part in signing the Ganges Water Distribution Agreement and Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. After that he served as the foreign secretary till 2001. Born in Sylhet in 1942, Sami was also High Commissioner to Islamabad from 1987 to 1991. Shahidul Islam Chowdhury conducted this interview.
US President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The apparent objective of the doctrine was undisturbed exertion of its own influence on the newly independent colonies in Latin America. Will this policy practised by the Congress be continued by the would-be BJPled government, which swept the Indian national election a few days back? In its election manifesto 2014, BJP said it would pursue a foreign policy following the idea that, “Equations will be mended through pragmatism
welcome in India, but non-Hindus will be driven out. I prefer to describe these statements as “unfortunate” and the statements were [made to create] “sort of religious divide.” This particular aspect of Modi’s statement is not in conformity with the vast majority of the Indian people who, by and large, believe in communal harmony and secular society. It is also not in conformity with our own philosophy – non-communality. The second aspect that creates doubt in the minds of many here is the friendly relations between the families of the Congress leadership, mainly the Gandhis, and the family of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. As a result of that, there is also greater understanding between the two parties the families lead in the creation of the right ambiance for strengthening friendly bilateral relations. Such friendly relations at family and party levels are only supportive in foreign relations. But, they are not determinants in the formulation of relations between the countries. In realising the national interests of Bangladesh, I think, the significant achievements relate to the signing of the Ganges water sharing treaty. It was signed [in December, 1996] when the Awami League was in power in Bangladesh and a non-congress government in India. This also illustrates, the relations between the two parties are not the determinants of bilateral relations. However, it helps. The determining factors are: historic, cultural, economic and trade ties and geo-political considerations. Any future government in India will have to proceed keeping these factors under consideration. Another aspect is, the world of
The Land Boundary Agreement has already been signed, but lacks implementation because of failure of ratification by India. The Teesta Agreements was almost signed [in 2011], but did not happen [due to last minute back step by India]. In addition to LBA and Teesta, the horizon that the two prime ministers [Sheikh Hasina and Manmohan Singh] have opened during their official visits was hardly made useful. I believe, no relations between any two countries, friendly or unfriendly, can be sustained unless the countries try together. We have to remain cautious as there is no scope for complacence, and there is no room for inaction. The government of Bangladesh, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will have to remain alert, and will have to take a very active role.
Congress was not a majority in the last parliament, but the BJP and its allies enjoy huge majority in the new parliament. Do you expect the BJP will have courage to ratify the LBA? It cuts both ways. It will depend on various factors.
Do you hope that Narendra Modi will take initiative to maintain and improve bilateral relations with Bangladesh? The PM of the former BJP-led government, Atal Behari Vajpayee, had made a lot of contribution in improving relations with Bangladesh. Back then there were no inter-party relations between the parties led by respective prime ministers. So, I believe there is no reason to be afraid of the BJP.
How do you anticipate the scopes to improve trade relations? Bangladesh’s trade deficit increases due to enormous import from India. It will be impractical to assume the deficit to decrease overnight. It is because of less export from our side as we do not have enough goods in our basket. We also need to keep in mind that many of the imports from India add up to increase capacity here to export to other countries. Many of our essential items are imported from India. If we
Some people link BJP’s victory with the possible rise of extremist political forces in Bangladesh. Do you see any correlation between the two? Some people here believe Modi’s taking over of power will provide a resurgence of Hindutva. I hope it does not happen. I hope he will act like a national leader rather than a provincial leader to dispel speculations about him and the party. I do not see any immediate cause-and-effect relationship between the rise of militants in India and the risk of rise of extremist forces in Bangladesh. l
future course of cooperation. The prime minister-elect Narendra Modi announced that his focus would be growth, revival of the economy, creation of jobs and overall development of India. Washington has already showed an olive branch to work with Modi, who was denied a US visa earlier. If the Modi government plans on working closely with the Obama administration, it will provide Washington with more space to shape up its foreign policy for South Asia. It also said in its manifesto that BJP would work towards strengthen-
What the past says on AL-BJP chemistry? n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman The engagement between the governments of Awami League and BJP during the late 90s and early 2000 was business as usual without pursuing a forward looking strategic direction to improve the ties to a new height, what was done during AL-Congress era. There was not much development on the issue of water sharing, land boundary agreement and border killings, excluding signing of the Ganges water treaty in 1996 and Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty in 1997. As a matter of fact, tension erupted in 2001 between the two governments when there was a heavy exchange of fire between the then BDR and BSF, and 16 BSF personnel died within Bangladesh territory. According to the annual report 2001-2002 of Indian foreign ministry,
Bangladesh and India has a multi-dimensional relationship ranging from political, economical, trade, to people to people contact. In this complex relationship, some remain as thorny issues which are yet to be removed Water sharing: Water sharing of common rivers is considered the biggest thorny issue between the two countries. On many occasions, Bangladesh faced acute water crisis during the lean season, as India did not allow the 54 common rivers to flow free round the year. The downstream Bangladesh has little voice in managing the water flown in from India. The two countries have agreement on water sharing of only one river – Ganges. For over four decades, Bangladesh and India have been negotiating to hammer out a deal on water sharing of Teesta but it is yet to be materialised. Land Boundary Agreement: The agreement was signed between the two countries in 1974 and Bangladesh ratified the agreement in the same year, but India is yet to ratify it. During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2011, both the countries signed a protocol to implement the agreement. Last year, amid huge resistance, India placed a bill in Rajya Sabha – the upper house of India - to amend the constitution to pave the way for ratification of the LBA and the protocol. The fate of the bill remained uncertain as BJP had strongly opposed any move
ing regional forums like SAARC and ASEAN, which indicated that it would like to have a good relationship with Pakistan. The Indian Foreign Policy of the new government would be clear after the declaration of a few statements made by the top leadership regarding who would be appointed as foreign minister and what his or her global view is. Being a “responsible” regional power, it is not expected that India will continue to maintain control over the countries in the region as it will fuel anti-India sentiment. l
to hurriedly settle border dispute with Bangladesh. Border Killings: According to Human Rights Watch, Border Security Force of India killed over 1,000 Bangladeshis over the past 15 years. Both the countries share about 4,100km porous border and killings by BSF is very common in the border area as the force enjoys immunity. Time and again, the highest political level of India expressed their commitment to bring down the number of border killing to zero but it is yet to be transformed into reality. Trade: The trade deficit between the two countries has been consistently growing. The deficit with India was $774 million in fiscal year 2000, $1,933 million in fiscal 2005, and $2,910 million in fiscal 2010. India unilaterally provided duty-free market access to all Bangladeshi products except 25 items in 2011, but still Bangladeshi exporters face para-tariff and non-tariff barriers. Visa: About half a million Bangladeshis visit India every year but the process of issuance of Indian visa is cumbersome. It takes at least a month and even in some cases two months to get the visa, putting the visitors in trouble.
it said: “The relationship between Bangladesh and India is complex and multidimensional, based on intricate tapestry of geographical, historical, cultural and social linkages. The regrettable border incidents [in the third week] of April 2001 were an aberration which the relationship survived due to common will of the two governments.” The incident erupted on April 16, 2001 and continued for at least three days. In a pre-dawn attack on April 18, nearly 300 BSF troops intruded approximately 600 metres into Bangladesh territory by cutting the barbed wire fence erected by their government in an attempt to capture BDR’s Boraibari Border Outpost (BOP) in Roumari Upazila in Kurigram. Bangladeshi villagers were surprised to see advancing BSF troops, firing indiscriminately from mortar and machine guns. The volleys of gunfire and continuous shelling panicked the villagers as Indian troops were pushing through agricultural lands and dusty roads. BDR personnel who manned the Boraibari BOP 600 metres inside Bangladesh territory immediately opened fire from light machine guns and automatic weapons. The Indian soldiers beat a hasty retreat under the barrage of gunfire from mounted positions in the fortified BDR outpost, which received reinforcements from three nearby BOPs to repulse the unprovoked attack. A Reuter report quoting Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said India’s the then Home Secretary Kamal Pandey confirmed death of 16 BSF personnel. The then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Dhaka in 1999 to inaugurate the bus service between Dhaka and Kolkata. During the visit, Indian side provided Rs200 crore line of credit and agreed in principle on giving duty-free market access for selected Bangladeshi products. The Bangladeshi government actively considered the proposal of transshipment to carry Indian goods through Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also visited New Delhi in 1998 and Kolkata in 1999 under official visits. Exchanges of high level visits were a regular affair but not much progress has been made during that period. Both the governments also signed an agreement to facilitate bus service between Dhaka and Agartala in 2001 and Indian visa regime was made relatively flexible to facilitate more “people-to-people” to contact in the same year. l
Libya risks civil war with spike in anarchy n AFP, Tripoli A dramatic spike in lawlessness in Libya’s two largest cities has edged the country closer to civil war between heavily-armed rival militias, stirring concern abroad and on oil markets. Gunmen stormed parliament in southern Tripoli on Sunday, hot on the heels of an anti-Islamist offensive launched by a rogue general in the eastern city of Benghazi. With interim authorities failing to build a regular army and police force, militias have ruled the roost since their fighters ousted longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 revolution. After the attack on parliament, a colonel claiming to speak on behalf of the army declared that the General National Congress (GNC) had been suspended. Authorities did not comment but issued instead a call for national dialogue. Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said two people were killed and 55 wounded in clashes between rival militia groups in southern Tripoli. But he said the violence had “no real link” to the offensive launched by ex-general Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi. Witnesses said the Tripoli assailants were members of the powerful Zintan brigades who have attacked the GNC in the past. MPs were evacuated from the building as heavy gunfire erupted after a convoy of armoured vehicles headed to the GNC.
Militia attack Libyan parliament MEDITERRANEAN SEA
Old Town Deputies evacuated as gunmen attack State Television Kadhafi’s former residence
Islamists attack air base TRIPOLI
gh i Hi
L I B YA
TRIPOLI 2 km
The Zintan brigades, ex-rebels who fought Kadhafi, control areas in southern Tripoli around the airport. Gunmen set fire to an annex of the parliament building and several cars parked nearby were damaged in the attack, before the gunmen withdrew towards the airport. Militias have launched several attacks on the GNC, including on March 2 when two lawmakers were shot and wounded. The Tripoli violence came two days after fierce fighting killed 79 people in Benghazi, where Haftar unleashed his so-called National Army on Islamist
militiamen, backed by warplanes. Also on Sunday, armed Islamists attacked Benina air base in Benghazi but no one was hurt, base commander Colonel Saad al-Werfalli said. Accused by Tripoli of staging a coup, Haftar has said he is readying a new assault on Islamists in Benghazi, vowing to eradicate “terrorism.” “Each battle is followed by a regrouping of units. And we will return in force,” he said. Haftar, who led ground forces in the 2011 revolution, said: “Our operation is not a coup and we do not plan to seize power.” l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Saudi closes Libya embassy, evacuates diplomats n AFP, Riyadh Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Tripoli yesterday and evacuated all its diplomats over “security” concerns in Libya, the SPA state news agency reported. The Saudi ambassador to Libya Mohammed Mahmud al-Ali told SPA the kingdom also closed its consulate in the North African country «due to the current circumstances and the security situation.» He said all diplomats in Libya were flown out of Libya in a decision made «in coordination with the Libyan side.» The mission will reopen and the diplomats will return “when the situation stabilises in the Libyan capital,” he added. “We are in contact with the Libyan side on all developments.” Libya has suffered a series of attacks on its leaders and foreign diplomats in the increasingly lawless North African country, three years after Nato-backed rebels ended Moamer Kadhafi’s four-decade dictatorship. The situation has descended into chaos since Friday when a rogue general launched an offensive against Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising. On Sunday armed groups attacked the parliament in Tripoli as well as an air base in the east of the country. Algeria announced on Friday that it has closed its embassy and consulate in Tripoli citing a “real and imminent threat” to its diplomats. l
Monitoring group: At least 162,000 killed in Syria conflict n Reuters, Beirut
diator Lakhdar Brahimi will step down at the end of the month. Assad, who has steadily clawed back control over the center of the country, is widely expected to win a third seven-year term in a June 3 election which his enemies have condemned as a charade.
At least 162,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year-old conflict, a monitoring group said yesterday, and thousands more are missing after being captured by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebels trying to overthrow him. The pro-opposition, British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said losses among fighters on the government side were higher than those among pro-rebel groups, and estimated that at least 54,000 civilians had been killed since the conflict began. It estimated 62,800 deaths among the army, pro-Assad Syrian militia, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and other foreign Shi’ite gunmen. That compared with 42,700 people who had died on the rebel side, including fighters from al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, other Islamist brigades, and soldiers who defected from Assad’s army. Nearly 3,000 people of unknown identity or affiliation had been killed, it said. The Observatory said all sides in the conflict played down their losses, making an accurate count almost impossible, and the overall death toll was probably around 70,000 higher at 230,000. Efforts to find a political solution to the conflict collapsed in Geneva three months ago and the international me-
It estimated 62,800 deaths among the army, pro-Assad Syrian militia, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and other foreign Shi’ite gunmen
The Observatory said its figures did not include 18,000 people who had been detained by authorities and whose fate was unknown, as well as thousands more who were missing after raids by security forces. Another 8,000 soldiers and pro-Assad militia were also missing after being held by rebels, and hundreds of people had been kidnapped, it said. A further 1,500 fighters were abducted during inter-rebel conflict. l
Russia orders troops back to bases ahead of Ukraine vote n AFP, Moscow
ate end to the offensive by Ukrainian troops in the east – describing it as a “punitive operation” against the separatists – and their withdrawal.
‘No evidence of pullback’
The presence of the Russian troops near the border raised deep concerns after Putin’s annexation of Crimea in
Maliki wins most seats, Balkan braces for fresh floods as short of majority thousands left homeless n AFP, Baghdad
Srbac Prijedor Una
Laktasi Banja Luka
Modrica Doboj Zavidovici
Bijeljina Sabac Tuzla Drina
An Egyptian court yesterday acquitted 169 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi over protest violence last year, judicial sources said. The army-installed government has rounded up thousands of Morsi’s supporters and put them on trial in mass hearings since his ouster by the military in July last year. The often speedy mass trials have
jailed hundreds for lengthy terms and even handed down death sentences, triggering international outrage. The 169 defendants were accused of taking part in “riots” during a violent protest in Cairo on August 14, when police killed hundreds of Morsi supporters at two sit-ins in the capital. A relentless crackdown on Morsi’s mostly Islamist backers since his ouster has killed more than 1,400 people, and seen 15,000 others jailed. l
The worst-hit Towns as of May 18
n AFP, Cairo
The Balkans braced for more misery as the death toll from the worst floods in a century rose to 47 and rising waters forced thousands more to flee their homes. Muddy waters from the Sava River have submerged houses, churches, mosques and roads in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia after record rainfall wreaked havoc across the central European region. More than 60,000 people have been evacuated as dozens of towns and villages have been completely cut off by the torrents, and water levels are expected to rise further in the coming days. Bosnian officials say about a million people – more than a quarter of the country’s population – have been affected after the heaviest rainfalls on record began last week. Villages have been hit by landslides caused by the torrential rainfall while officials fear unexploded landmines and infectuous diseases could pose fresh dangers. Rescuers told of wrenching scenes as they finally reached cut-off villages, with dozens of people huddling on top of the tallest houses with no water or food. “This is Armageddon, I can’t describe it otherwise,” Nedeljko Brankovic told AFP from Krupanj, a town in the
Deadly flooding across Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia
Egypt court frees 169 Morsi backers
n AFP, Belgrade
s ba Vr
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s electoral bloc won the most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary election, results released yesterday showed, but he fell short of an overall majority. Maliki’s State of Law alliance won 92 out of 328 parliamentary seats, in the results released by the Independent High Electoral Commission, far ahead of the second highest figure. Maliki’s main rivals all garnered be-
tween 19 and 29 seats, according to an AFP tally of election commission results. The incumbent premier himself garnered upwards of 721,000 personal votes, by far the highest such figure nationwide, helping his case for a third term in power. Maliki’s opponents have voiced strong opposition to his bid for re-election, blaming him for a marked deterioration of security and accusing him of consolidating power and sidelining partners.
Thirty-one children were burned to death when a bus they were traveling in caught fire in northern Colombia on Sunday, the Red Cross said. Another 25 people - including one adult - were injured and seriously burned in the accident near the town of Fundacion, Cesar Uruena with the Colombian Red Cross told AFP. “The injured have second and third-degree burns, and many are still in a critical condition” in hospitals in the area and in the city of Santa Marta, Urena said. The children aboard the bus were between the ages of one and eight and were returning home after a religious service, Fundacion Mayor Luz Stella Duran told reporters. Department of Magdalena police told AFP that the bus exploded around noon, and that the fire was so severe they had problems determining the number of casualties. Stella Duran said that - according to survivors - the bus driver had been handling a container with gasoline aboard the vehicle. Police initially blamed the fire on a mechanical problem. The driver has vanished, and angry locals went to his home and threw rocks at his windows, the mayor said. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos traveled to Fundacion after a final re-election campaign rally Sunday in Bogota ahead of the May 25 presidential vote. l
manent bases,” the Kremlin said in a statement after a meeting of the country’s Security Council. Putin also called for an immedi-
Zvornik Vlasenica Bratunac Milici
BELGRADE Obrenovac Lazarevac
31 children burned to death in Colombia
Ukrainian troops guard on the road from Izyum to Slavyansk. Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday he had seen no proof of Russian troops withdrawing from the border with Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin announced an end to exercises AFP
Russia said yesterday it had ordered troops near the border with Ukraine to return to their bases, just days ahead of a crucial presidential vote aimed at bringing the country out of deep crisis. In a move that could ease tensions, President Vladimir Putin’s office said he had ordered thousands of troops deployed in border regions to return to barracks after the end of spring exercises. However, Nato said it saw no proof Russia had begun withdrawing, and noted this was the third time Putin had made such a claim. The Kremlin said Putin had also demanded that Ukraine’s pro-Western government halt its military operation against insurgents in the east and pull out its troops. His remarks came amid continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, with at least one soldier reported killed in a pre-dawn attack near the flashpoint rebel town of Slavyansk. “Due to the end of the planned spring training of troops that included their movement to Rostov, Belgorod, and Bryansk regions, the Russian president ordered... troops participating in the drills to return to their per-
pro-EU protests in Kiev but spiralled into a wider confrontation. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk acknowledged it could be difficult to organise the election in some districts in the east. But he added: “It affects very few areas and will not have any influence on voting. The election will take place and we will have a legitimate president.” Still, it remains unclear how much credibility the vote will have as fighting continues between Ukrainian troops and rebels who have grabbed over a dozen towns and declared sovereignty in the industrial hubs of Donetsk and Lugansk. The Ukrainian defence ministry said one soldier was killed and three others injured when rebels staked out in a kindergarten shelled a military checkpoint near Slavyansk on Monday. “The terrorists, acting in their usual cynical and insidious manner, launched the attack from a kindergarten near the railway station,” it said in a statement. “They wanted to provoke the servicemen into trying to destroy the kindergarten.” Ukraine’s military launched its offensive against the rebels in mid-April but has failed to oust them from their strongholds and suffered a number of humiliating setbacks. l
March and the uprising by well-armed pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine’s eastern coal and steel heartland. Nato, which has repeatedly expressed worries about the estimated 40,000 troops, said it had not seen “any evidence at all” indication they were returning to their bases. Putin said earlier this month that the troops had been moved away from the border to regional bases to continue planned training exercises. Nato at the time also said it had seen no evidence of a withdrawal. Ukraine also Monday called on Moscow to cancel air force exercises planned for May 21-25 near the border, saying they will “fuel tensions” during Sunday’s election. Under pressure from US and European Union sanctions, Moscow has moved to reduce tensions with Ukraine after months of crisis that sent relations with the West to their lowest point since the Cold War. After initially dismissing Sunday’s presidential vote – called after February’s ouster of Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych – Putin recently said it was a step in the right direction. Preparations were continuing Monday for the vote, seen in the West as the only way to end a crisis that began with
KOSOVO ADRIATIC SEA 50 km
southwestern town of Serbia. “Houses are literally washed down and landslides are everywhere.” The death toll from the floods was raised to 47 Monday after two new victims were found overnight in a village near the western Serbian town of Sabac. Neighbouring Croatia has also evac-
uated hundreds of people from along the river Sava. In Obrenovac, some 40 kilometres (24 miles) from Belgrade, more than 8,000 people have been evacuated, one third of its population. Authorities sealed off the town amid fears the flood waters, filled with debris and dead animals, could become a breeding ground for disease. l
Thai PM rules out resigning as protesters move to oust him n Reuters, Bangkok Thailand’s acting prime minister yesterday ruled out resigning as a way out of a protracted political crisis that is stunting economic growth, as anti-government protesters stepped up pressure to remove him and install a new administration. Thailand is stuck in political limbo following the dismissal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her ministers on May 7 after a court found them guilty of abuse of power. Six months of turmoil that has included violent protests and a disrupted general election is dragging down Southeast Asia’s second biggest economy, which shrank 2.1 percent in the first quarter of the year. Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan has replaced Yingluck as caretaker prime minister, but the anti-government protesters say he has no legal standing and they want a “neutral” government to push through reforms. Niwatthamrong met members of the Senate, which is trying to come up with a way out of the deadlock, but he told them he would not resign. “The current cabinet is legal in every way ... it must stay until a new cabinet of ministers is elected in. We cannot install another prime minister while
we have an acting one in place,” Niwatthamrong said in statement following the meeting. Thailand has not had a functioning lower house of parliament since Yingluck dissolved parliament in December. Bangkok is the scene of a tense stand-off between government supporters loyal to Yingluck and her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and opposition demonstrators drawn from Bangkok’s middle class and royalist establishment. The upper house Senate, the country’s only remaining legislative body, says it could select an interim prime minister but it wants the caretaker government to step down first. That has incensed protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who wants the caretaker government removed right away. “We will take democratic power and hand it back to the people,” Suthep, a former deputy prime minister in a government run by the pro-establishment Democrat Party, told supporters late on Sunday. “From Monday, we will chase the remnants of the Thaksin regime out. Ministers, resign! You are stunting Thailand’s progress,” said Suthep, who has promised to surrender to the authorities on May 27 if this final push does not succeed. l
Nitish’s resignation accepted, Manjhi new Bihar CM n Agencies Ending days of suspense, Nitish Kumar yesterday stepped down officially as the chief minister of Bihar after a successful eight and a half year stint. Jitan Ram Manjhi, the SC/ST minister in the Bihar government, was chosen as the new chief minister. Manjhi is a member of the mahadalit community. The JD(U) legislature party, which met in Patna at 2pm, agreed to accept Nitish’s resignation and empower him to name his successor but with the express rider that he would continue to act as the facilitator between the government and the party, and the party would contest the next polls under his leadership. The party also insisted via a threepoint resolution that after winning the mandate to rule after 2015 elections, Nitish himself would be the chief minister. The resolution moved by Vaisistha Narain Singh and seconded by Narendra Singh, agriculture minister in the outgoing ministry, was carried unanimously by the house, which also mandated that the cabinet would be reconstituted and overhauled under the new chief minister. Singh said, with the decision, the critics of Nitish’s decision to step down in the opposition has been silenced. “Kumar has by sticking to a moral decision showed them up for what they are, while establishing a unique precedent,” he said. Niitsh would involve himself nationally and work with leaders of other states and secular parties, even as he strengthens grassroots support for JD(U) in preparation for the 2015 assembly elections, in which he said the party would look for an absolute majority. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Sonia and Rahul offer to resign, rejected by party colleagues n AFP, New Delhi Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, leaders of India’s defeated Congress party, offered to resign yesterday after last week’s election debacle, but colleagues rebuffed their offer, a senior party figure said. “They both offered to resign but the party rejected it unanimously,” member of parliament Amarinder Singh told reporters after a meeting of the Congress’s top committee in New Delhi. The Press Trust of India reported that the Congress Working Committee passed a unanimous resolution “expressing full faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi” after the meeting broke up. The mother and son, members of South Asia’s most famous political dynasty, are facing unprecedented pressure from grassroots party workers and defeated ex-MPs over their failed campaign tactics. Congress slumped to its worst poll result ever last Friday, winning just 44 seats in the 543-member parliament – less than a quarter of its tally in 2009 – as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power with a landslide win. Sonia, the 67-year-old Congress president, entrusted campaigning to vice president Rahul, whose lacklustre performance failed to convince voters that the party deserved a third term in power. The defeat has raised questions over whether the dynasty can retain its grip over the left-leaning party which has produced three prime ministers and has run India for most of its post-independence history. l
Congress President Sonia Gandhi (2R) and Vice President Rahul Gandhi (L) arrive for the Congress Working Committee on May 19. Sonia and Rahul yesterday offered to resign after last week’s election debacle but colleagues rebuffed their offer AFP
Castles in the air: Afghans pay a heavy price for uncertainty n Reuters, Kabul A bored security guard, a Kalashnikov rifle over his shoulder, stands guard alone outside an idle construction site for a 10-storey building in downtown Kabul, one of more than a dozen concrete shells with not a single construction worker in sight. It was meant to be boom-time after decades of war and privation. Over the past few years, shiny new shopping malls started to spring up around the Afghan capital and construction cranes dotted Kabul’s spectacular, snowcapped horizon.
Political uncertainty abounds before another presidential vote and security fears are growing as the last foreign combat troops prepare to leave Afghan youth play on swings on the outskirts of Mazar-i-sharif on May 13. Afghanistan remains at war, with civilians among the hardest hit, as the Taliban wage an increasingly bloody insurgency against the government AFP
Media: US charges Chinese military with cyber-spying n AFP, Washington The United States has filed charges against several members of China’s military for allegedly stealing American trade secrets, media reports said yesterday. The Washington Post and other news outlets said that the Justice Department is charging members of China’s People’s Liberation Army in the first US prosecution of foreign state actors over economic espionage. The move marks an escalation in an intense dispute between the world’s two largest economies over hacking, with the United States moving beyond rhetoric in pressuring China. The Justice Department said only that Attorney General Eric Holder would announce an indictment “in a national security case” at 10:00 am (1400 GMT). Hacking has emerged as a major irritant in the already complicated relationship between China and the United States, with President Barack Obama raising concerns directly with his counterpart Xi Jinping. In a report in February last year,
the security firm Mandiant said that China has made a major investment in cyber-espionage and set up a military-linked unit with thousands of workers who pilfer intellectual property and government secrets overseas. The workers operate from a non-descript, 12-story building on the outskirts of Shanghai and had stolen data from at least 141 organizations spanning 20 industries, the 2013 study said. The report said that the hacking group known as APT1 – which stands for “Advanced Persistent Threat” – was believed to be a branch of what is known as Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army. A separate report led by former US officials estimated last year that hacking was costing the US economy more than $300 billion each year – equivalent to what the United States sells each year to Asia. China was by far the biggest culprit, although other countries including Russia also have hacked US intellectual property, it said. Beijing has hit back that Washington is hypocritical as it conducts wide-
spread surveillance around the world, as revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden’s leaks have indicated that the United States has hacked into Chinese telecom giant Huawei – whose own attempts to penetrate the US market have been blocked by lawmakers’ concerns on national security. The United States has invested heavily in cyber-warfare, with the Pentagon setting up a dedicated unit, and is widely suspected to have worked with Israel to infect Iran’s nuclear program. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, on a visit to Beijing last month, asked China to be more open about its cyber capabilities in hopes of reducing the chances of an inadvertent conflict. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, in its annual report released in November, had urged US action to change the “cost-benefit calculus” for Beijing on hacking. The commission called for Washington to consider a ban on import of certain products from China if they are determined to use technology stolen from the United States. l
Park weeps as she apologises for ferry disaster n Reuters, Seoul South Korean President Park Geunhye, tears rolling down her cheeks, formally apologised yesterday for a ferry disaster that killed about 300 people, mostly school children, and said she would dismantle the coast guard for failing in its duties. Park has been hit hard by an angry nationwide outcry over the government’s response to South Korea’s worst civilian maritime disaster in 20 years and the seemingly slow and ineffective rescue operation. Polls show support for Park has dropped by more than 20 points since the April 16 disaster. “I apologise to the nation for the pain and suffering that everyone felt, as the president who should have been responsible for the safety and lives of the people,” Park said in a televised national address, her first since the Sewol capsized and sank with 476 passengers and crew on board. At least 286 people on board the Sewol were killed and 18 remain missing. Only 172 people were rescued, with the rest presumed to have drowned. l
But the cranes have since disappeared and many buildings are empty and unfinished, having failed to reach completion before the money began to dry up. Business has ground to a halt across much of Afghanistan. Political uncertainty abounds before another presidential vote and security fears are growing as the last foreign combat troops prepare to leave. “To invest in such an environment would be craziness,” acknowledges Hameedullah Omar,marketing manager of a deserted nine-storey office complex in Kabul’s main shopping district that was completed only last year. Foreign donors worried about deteriorating security are leaving as Western forces wind down operations, leaving aid-dependent Kabul to manage its threadbare finances on its own. The United States and Britain, two of the biggest donors, have already cut aid by up to half. International aid groups, which provide a lifeline for marginalized Afghans, say funds are drying up fast. One US non-profit group that runs 13 schools for 3,000 girls says it hasn’t paid its teachers for more than a year. Property prices have slumped as much 50 percent, rents are down 75 percent by some counts and investors have pulled funding from construction projects. The afghani currency has also fallen and is now at around 57 to the dollar, from 52 at the start of 2013. “Investment is mostly on hold in
Afghanistan,” the deputy chief of the central bank, Khan Afzal Hadawal, told Reuters. International institutions expect Afghanistan’s GDP growth to fall from a high of about 14 percent in 2012 to about 3.5 percent this year. The World Bank has said more uncertainty could dampen growth further this year. The International Crisis Group think tank said in a report released last week that the number of attacks by Islamist insurgents had risen since the drawdown of foreign troops began, and forecast a bloody future unless there was more foreign assistance.
Investors and foreign donors have hit the ‘pause’ button, anxious about what lies ahead as Afghanistan strives to go it alone after nearly 13 years during which hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign capital kept it afloat. Their main concern stems from a year-end deadline for foreign combat troops to leave, and stalled negotiations between Kabul and Washington on a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to allow a small force of US troops to stay after December 31. “The uncertain fate of the BSA and election runoff has damaged all businesses,” said Omar. “It is not only ours but all around the country people live in such an uncertain future.” After years of bitter wrangling over a range of issues, President Hamid Karzai has refused to put his name to the security pact, saying he would leave it to his successor. But a presidential vote last month failed to produce an outright winner, setting the stage for a second round run-off - and yet more uncertainty. The process has been delayed further by investigations into unprecedented levels of fraud. That means it could be months before a new president is inaugurated, leaving little time to sign the BSA. The two men poised to contest the second round run-off next month, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, have vowed to complete the deal that will allow some US troops to stay for counterinsurgency and training purposes. “If the run-off takes a long time and the security pact is not signed soon, the impact would be even more severe,” said Mohammad Ismail Afzal, manager of the Zia Shuja construction firm. “Many businessmen have already taken their money out, and the rest will take it out, too.” Afzal says his company alone has experienced an 80 percent fall in business since the start of last year. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Stop border killings for better relations
40-year-old Bangladeshi man was beaten to death by members of the Indian BSF, near the Bangladesh-India border in Jessore on Monday. This latest border killing was no accident. It follows just one month after the government expressed deep concern to India over the killings of four Bangladesh nationals, including a teenager, within the space of three days in border areas of Sylhet and Tripura. The impunity with which such deaths occur has to be ended. Despite the putting of a BSF member on trial in the Felani case last year, successive Indian governments have failed to adequately address Bangladeshi concerns. At least 38 Bangladeshis were killed in border incidents by Indian forces last year. There is no acceptable reason why cross border movements are not free from the fear of such violence. Bangladesh-India relations would benefit hugely from a resolution to the phenomenon of border killings. Their lack of resolution and one-sided nature makes them of huge symbolic importance. The new Indian government has an opportunity to dramatically build confidence and improve relations between our countries, by taking firmer action to end border killings. It is well established that such killings have nothing to do with security issues but largely arise out of disputes over extortion. We hope the new Indian government will take the opportunity to act on this appalling incident and put a stop to BSF killings. As neighbours with many mutual trade interests and a long shared border, Bangladesh and India will both benefit from a resolution to this problem.
The new Indian government has an opportunity to build confidence by taking action to end border killings
Sustain leather exports with proper compliance
xports by the leather industry of finished goods and footwear earned the country $1.07 billion in the last year. With the global leather market being worth $110bn, there is clearly much potential for future growth, especially as more industries seek to outsource production away from China. However, for Bangladesh to maximise benefits from this opportunity, we need to take a much more long term attitude to growing the industry. The government has taken a lead on addressing the atrocious environmental impacts of tanneries, by seeking to shift tanneries from the capital’s Hazaribagh area to a purpose built location in Savar. Unfortunately the much delayed and slow pace of this move has not provided much confidence about the willingness of industry owners to invest in better water treatment standards and working conditions. We therefore welcome signs at a recent industry seminar that owners are now seeking to address this issue. Putting a stop to the notorious river pollution at Hazibargh will not just benefit the local environment and residents, but will also make the leather producers goods more attractive to buyers. European buyers who have stopped buying leather products from Bangladesh due to lack of environmental compliance, may be expected to resume sourcing after the central effluent treatment plant at Savar becomes operational, because of the competitive prices the industry can offer. Adoption of environment-friendly technologies and improving the productivity and skills of the workforce are vital to enabling leather industries to grow in Bangladesh. Without proper compliance, it cannot compete effectively and both workers and the environment will lose out.
Make goods more attractive to buyers by improving environmental compliance
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AICC and ICT-based agriculture in Bangladesh
May 16 Identification Devices (RFID), imaging and The Agriculture Information and Communication acoustic technologies, websites and Wblogs, and Centre (AICC) has brought in a new era. It brings email-based information services to solve issues to farmers’ doors much-needed information on agriculture, thus playing a vital role in the success of quickly and efficiently with the help of experts. Also, since October 2008, “e-Krishok” has been crop production. using ICT to deliver information and advisory In this vein, e-agriculture was introduced to our services to farmers in rural and remote locations country a few years back. Its usefulness, imporat a cost they can afford. tance, uses, and demand for it are increasing day by To run this service effectively and day. Various methods and systems were also introcontinuously, it is important that agricultural duced using e-agriculture with a view to increasing institutions, like universities, research institutions, the productivity as well as development of the rural training institutions etc, update their coursework community. regularly to meet global challenges. Also, 145 AICC centres are active. Their goal is to help more digital technology should be introduced farmers with any problems or to answer questions to agricultural universities, as Sher-e-Bangla within the shortest possible time. Say, a farmer Agricultural University (SAU) has been doing, to wants to know how to grow a particular crop or update and upgrade this institution. A few other has other farming-related queries. Information agricultural institutions too have been upgrading and advice on general agricultural matters are also their campus under the UGC-backed HEQEP subavailable. project and other support, including self-support. AICC may also be considered as a centre for The UGC as well as the government deserve the rural community, where people exchange appreciation for taking this initiative to upgrade information, ideas, and resources on the use of the universities, as well as improving the process information and communication technologies of knowledge acquisition to meet the national (ICT) for sustainable agriculture and rural demand. development. Besides, other digital media are Sheikh Mohammed Mamur Rashid (Mahin) being used in the agriculture sector, such as Department of Agricultural Extension and mobile phones, digital personal assistants (PDAs), Information System smart cards, CD-ROM, Geographic Information Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Systems (GIS), radio, Radio-Frequency
Raising the tobacco tax
May 16 The government can, and should raise the tobacco tax to 70%, if not more. Since we are not banning tobacco totally, at least we should make this undesired habit expensive, while increasing our revenues. The government should welcome and implement this suggestion, and utilise the extra revenue made available, to increase the expenditure on health care or education. On this issue, the fines levied for violating the law of smoking in public places should also be increased, and could well, be doubled and strictly imposed all over the country. How about introducing a “smoking permit”? Like the wine permit, this should be held by all smokers, and anyone found smoking without a permit, should be heavily fined. To enforce these regulations, surprise raids could be carried out, from time to time, in offices, workplaces, lobbies of hotels, cinema halls, theatres and other such places, where people tend to light up cigarettes. For such an offence, the fine should be the heaviest, as the smokers are here, usually standing side by side with many nonsmokers. SA Mansoor
Dhaka Tribune celebrates first anniversary, Bangla Tribune launched May 14
Congrats. But can you please tell me why your excellent daily is not available in Cox’s Bazar? I’ve informed your paper about the matter on several occasions, but still no Dhaka Tribune in the southern part of the country. VK
Frequent strikes of doctors
May 16 The recent frequent strikes by doctors make us think about how to solve this problem. I went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on May 6 for my cousin’s treatment. At DMCH, we watched the badly injured patients crying outside the hospital emergence gate, but the doctors on strike continued to ignore them. As a renowned medical college, DMCH has a great responsibility to the nation. But the recent strikes reflect otherwise by this narrow-minded incident carried out by DU students and doctors. Doctors take an oath to serve at any cost, then why do they stop their services in the emergency unit, for such a long time? One needs to keep in mind that the DMCH is run by government costs, and this cost indirectly includes public earnings through various taxes. Nevertheless, it is the sole duty of doctors to serve their patients as best as they can. The respective DMCH administration is also responsible. It’s their responsibility to take proper measure and enforce the rules. If the respective DMCH authorities fail to take immediate action to prevent the fallout from such strikes, then patients will continue to suffer. Md Imamul Islam
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. 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.
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Agreement (4) 4 Bring together (5) 8 Much ornamented (6) 9 Land measure (4) 11 Mannequin (5) 12 Region (4) 14 Period of time (3) 15 Quickly (mus) (6) 19 Tell (6) 21 In what way (3) 22 Scheme (4) 24 Echo sounder (5) 27 At all times (4) 29 At leisure (6) 30 Ventured (5) 31 Slender in girth (4)
DOWN 1 Vegetable (3) 2 Animals’ enclosure (6) 3 Woody plant (4) 4 Male sheep (3) 5 Make up for (5) 6 Was ahead (3) 7 Colour (6) 10 Be concerned (4) 13 Liable (3) 14 Effaced (6) 16 Corded fabric (3) 17 Tool (6) 18 Carry (4) 20 Grow less (5) 23 Fewer (4) 25 And not (3) 26 Disencumber (3) 28 Spirit (3)
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.
Assault on journo: Dr Azam suspended
May 14 Did the journalist hit a nerve? And what was the doctor’s “prescription” for the journalists? A severe beating, followed by obscenities? And a stint of hospital food for a few days, perhaps? Very professional indeed! Akhtar Shah
CALVIN AND HOBBES
Bengal was once a kingdom of its own, but then the occupying force of Great Britain partitioned the territory. In 1947, the Border Commission drew a random line across the landscape; even villages were cut in two. The Hindu-majority west remained a part of India. The Muslim populated east became part of Pakistan and later Bangladesh. Millions of people fled from wars, unrest, and poverty to the other half of Bengal. Calcutta was shaped like no other city by this stream of migration, which has lasted to this day. Almost 30% of its inhabitants come from Bangladesh. People living in Calcutta, whose roots belong to the present territory of Bangladesh. The individual’s talk of what Calcutta ,means to them, their old and new homes, the possible trauma of being rendered homeless and making their way in a new environment. In doing so, they form a patchwork quilt of the modern experience of surviving refugees at some urban landscapes in Calcutta. Shahid Iqbal
Many left out of slum census May 14
What’s the point of doing a census (using/ losing time, money and energy) when it’s done in such a mediocre way?! Vikram Khan
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS CODE-CRACKER
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
New York the Great #ThrillingCities n MN Miraly
Brutality in the name of law
n Ikhtisad Ahmed week ago, an explosion and fire at a mine in Soma, Turkey, claimed 301 lives. Search and rescue operations were abandoned on Saturday, supposedly after all 787 miners trapped had been accounted for. The country’s dismal work safety record manifested itself in its worst industrial accident. The prevailing sentiment is that it, and the lives it has cost, could have been prevented. The grief and feelings of injustice took the shape of protests due to this and the flippant, irresponsible, and disrespectful attitude of the government in response to the incident. The latest example of the government ignoring the warnings of safety concerns came less than a fortnight before the tragedy, when the government rejected a proposal to discuss and take action about workers’ safety, specifically in coal mines. The populace did not forget this when the prime minister visited the disaster site the day after it occurred. One of his advisers, the Western-educated and polished Yusuf Yerkel, took issue with the demonstrators. He expressed his displeasure by attacking and repeatedly beating one of them. Naturally, he did not resign in the aftermath. Instead, amidst murmurs of the prime minister himself having punched a protester, the photographer who caught his adviser on camera was arrested. Unsurprisingly, with the responsibility of members of
the government including physically assaulting citizens, the police brought out tear gas and water cannons to deal with the nuisance. The latter is being deployed everywhere in the world, with little regard for the health and safety of those at the receiving end of the forceful jets of water. The authorities have acknowledged that water cannons are capable of causing serious injury (including, but not limited to, blindness, broken bones, ruptured ligaments and spleen) or even death. This has not kept them from using them.
forget, they need to be put there by force. They are to be dominated and controlled. This principle is being applied in the West as well, from where the aforesaid warning about water cannons comes. The mayor of London announced at the beginning of the year that he was in favour of arming his police force with them. He was even prepared to foot the bill. The argument was that the 2010 tuition fee protests, the 2011 riots, and the Occupy protests were precursors of more of the same to come, and the authorities needed to be prepared.
The people need to know their place, and if they forget, they need to be put there by force. They are to be dominated and controlled
Such acknowledgments do not come from law enforcers in Turkey, of course, nor do they come from those in Egypt, Indonesia, or China. Regimes brutalising citizens is on the rise, in quantity of instances of brutality as well as the number of such regimes. Armoured vehicles equipped with this weapon is a regular part of their armouries. India used them during the Delhi rape protests, Bangladesh during the pre-election violence. The people need to know their place, and if they
The blithe ignorance of the underlying causes of the dissent – oppressive policies, financial ruin, and government failures – was in keeping with the worldwide trend of citizens being treated as pawns of governments. The Thatcher years give the Conservatives a decorated history of using force to put a leash on the populace rather than reason and serve their interests. The mayor is simply seeking to live up to that legacy. Video footage of water cannons
extinguishing people in Turkey was accompanied by condemning commentary. Similar newsreels lit up televisions when they were used in Egypt, India and Bangladesh. The incidents were always far enough away to be derided whilst remaining unaffected and indifferent. The problem with allowing brutality in the name of law and order in far corners is that the door is left open for it to come to one’s own shores. Governments the world over seem to live in fear of citizens exercising their rights of freedom of speech and expression. Perhaps it is time they take notice of those they rule and their concerns instead of employing heavy-handed tactics to suppress them forcefully. The discontent of civilisation is a sign of the times. Governments cannot be trusted because they abuse power, and they know that this belief is justified. Heeding the malcontent voices is the only way out of this otherwise irreversible quagmire. The trust will return with good governance, but those in power are not interested in such insignificant matters. They believe it is much easier to assert their authority than to listen to the people. They are revelling in their success in convincing the populace of its victimhood. The people should remember that no one is ever a victim. l Ikhtisad Ahmed is a writer and an erstwhile lawyer. He can be contacted on Twitter via @Ikhtisad.
t is a tale of two cities. It’s a place where gangs of casually-clad joggers commandeer public space outside Central Park to bend their legs into abnormal positions, while fashion-forward celebrities lounge over restrictively-priced delicacies in the Trump Tower restaurant across the street. The prohibitiveness to living well in New York is overlooked by its residents, who pay an exorbitant cost to live in an average manner. This is perhaps why the city’s authorities go to great lengths to ensure that there are an endless variety of free distractions of the highest quality. The result being that the people complain less about the dirt and the danger, and extol in ecstatic tones the unparalleled greatness of the city’s offerings and opportunities. There is no doubt that the city is dangerous and dirty. To this day, there are large parts of Manhattan – what many consider the greatest island on Earth – in which one cannot walk with surety of one’s safety. In even the tourist-heavy areas, garbage is strewn on the streets, upon which are placed at regular intervals human beings of exemplary degradation, left to rot both physically and mentally. To say that it is better now than it was before is a denial of the great city’s responsibility to its disenfranchised. To say that the griminess of the subway is charming is to ignore the heady stench of crime that remains a hallmark of the city, which seems to spend a great deal of effort enticing people to look up at its pretty marvels rather than down at its dirty truths. To live in New York is to pay for the privilege of being trodden upon. There are very few cities you can pay as much to live as poorly. There is, however, nowhere else that you will be as happy to do so. That is because New York is a crucible for passion. Everyone you are likely to meet is continually on-the-go, excited about life and its prospects. They are all engaged in atypical endeavours that could only exist in a place like New York, where all things imagined come to life. New York is the fertile soil that births dreams. It has never lost its New World character, whose two essential aphorisms are: “Everything is possible,” and “only the strong survive.” Born a mishmash, a place without culture or cultivation, New York was a place where enterprising farmers came to seek their fortunes, escaping an aristocratic Europe where they could never fulfil their upwardly mobile aspirations. In this democratising New World, where everyone was worth only as much as their merit proved, those farmers became industrial magnates within
Day against homophobia
BJP or RSS?
n Robert Gibson
n SM Shahrukh
aturday, May 17, was the international day against homophobia, which British missions around the world have been supporting. The UK’s global policy is that human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Few in the world would argue with that principle. When we accept that, we must also accept what it means in practice. This is not something where it is possible to pick and choose.
should have lesser freedom than another? Universality means just that – for everyone, whether man or woman, heterosexual or homosexual, European or Asian. Many in Bangladesh have spoken out about the importance of empowering women and girls. It is widely accepted that this is something to be encouraged, that equal rights and employment for women is not just good for them but good for Bangladesh, though there is much work to be done before this can be taken for granted. To then draw a line and say that some Bangladeshi men and women
How can we accept that any person should have lesser freedom than another? Universality means just that – for everyone
Great steps have been taken worldwide towards empowering women, promoting freedom of religion, and banning discrimination based on the colour of skin. The economic and social benefits have been huge. Yet some people are uncomfortable applying this to same-sex relations, and treat this issue as an irrelevant diversion. To do so undermines the principle of the universality of human rights, including equality for all. This is not just of concern to people in the LGBT community. It is a fundamental issue affecting us all. How can we accept that any person
do not deserve equal rights makes no sense. To render consenting same-sex relations illegal is incompatible with international human rights obligations, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). 168 countries are party to the ICCPR, including 41 of the 53 Commonwealth members. As such they are obliged under Article 17 to ensure their laws do not render same-sex relations illegal just as they are obliged under the treaty to uphold other fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of movement, religion, expression and
assembly, and freedom from torture, slavery, arbitrary arrest, and forced marriage. The UK has long since abolished laws against same-sex relations and other discriminatory legislation, and society as a whole has benefited, realising the skills and talents of all its citizens. This has helped its economy and culture to flourish, as many people from Bangladesh see and appreciate when they visit. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 76 countries still retain laws that discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In at least five countries, the death penalty may be applied to those found guilty of offences relating to consensual same-sex relations. In many countries, the LGBT community continues to experience violence, hate crimes, intolerance, violation, and abuse of their human rights including torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, restrictions on their freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, discrimination in employment, and restricted access to health services and education. The UK government will continue to make the case for both acceptance and integration of the LGBT community, and press all Commonwealth states, including Bangladesh, to recognise that the LGBT community deserve the same protection as all others and to ensure all its citizens can stand together as equals, protected by the law, not criminalised by it. l Robert Gibson is the British High Commissioner to Dhaka.
y mind fills with premonition when I hear prominent BJP leader Uma Bharti make the pronouncement that Muslims of India have nothing to worry about, and will prosper even further under the rule of Modi. Why should the Muslims (and I guess liberals too) need such assurances even before the BJP government comes to power and Narendra Modi ascends the “throne of Delhi”? This is the same Uma Bharti who declared a day earlier that India is primarily a nation of Hindus, and Hindutva is natural to them. Modi’s allegiance is first and foremost to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). As a Sangh man, is it possible for him to keep the stalwarts of RSS under check? Does he want to?
Singh and Amit Shah, are staunch RSS members. Their rhetoric during the campaign was very vitriolic indeed. They declared in October 2013 that Pakistan better not think they will get away with their shenanigans once Modi becomes PM. That is a clear red flag for regional peace (the Pakistan government never had any control over ISI either). Modi, on the other hand, has created a very warm relationship with China, making sure that India will not have to deal with any border skirmishes in Arunachal Pradesh. However, his rhetoric directed at Bangladesh is known to one and all. Bangladesh will have to tread very lightly and rather cleverly in the changed political leadership of India. Whether the politicians and the foreign policy advisers have
a generation, proving that this was a place where it was the strength of your will that made you, not your name. That idyllic history retains its grasp on the minds of people today, formulating for them the propelling thought: I can make something of myself here. And perhaps they can. But, the great promise of New York is a fleck of light – something you can’t grasp. The city is the living metaphor of the consumerist dream, populated by too many people who believe that simply being in the orbit of the great city will make their dreams come true.
It is a place for people who, for one reason or another, cannot stomach being normal
But, that first aphorism – “everything is possible” – is only valid in conjunction with the second: “Only the strong survive.” It is true that New York offers the opportunity to be anything, but the price is high, and most do not survive the fire of the forge. Even so, New York can be that smouldering forge in which every man hammers out his own future, fashioned by his own hands, without the restrictions of tradition or establishment. New York’s staunchest foes, London and Moscow, represented to the freedom-loving city the vestiges of old shackles. The ideology of Moscow, a city with a whiff of decrepitude in the air, was a place where the restrictions of established political structures would forbid a man from gaining the resources needed to forge his own destiny. The social strictures of aristocratic London, a city that is fascinated with the perpetual relevance of its own majesty, would never allow a man to gain more respect than his name allowed, no matter how much wealth he accrued. A place unburdened by history or culture, New York remains, in the popular imagination, a place where one can be what one chooses. For those who are consumed with the need to disrupt norms that restrict their destinies, there is no other place to actualise their visions. It is a place for people who are not willing to do what they’re told. It is a place for people who, for one reason or another, cannot stomach being normal. l MN Miraly is an educator and film producer. He holds a PhD from McGill University in religion, ethics, and public policy, and is the author of themiralyblog.wordpress.com.
enough acumen to come up with the goods remains a big question. I found the language of the PM’s letter of felicitation too placating. India surrounds us on all sides, but we can stand with our heads held high. India needs Bangladesh for expansion of trade in the so-called seven sister provinces and as a country of over 160 million people, Bangladesh is a huge market for India’s consumer goods. One last point. Sushma Swaraj, a BJP stalwart, has been very much overlooked by Modi and his bandwagon. She was not very cozy with the RSS and maintained a distance from the Sangh till now. She was seen yesterday visiting the headquarters of the RSS and it is rumoured that she has had fruitful talks with the “gurus.” l SM Shahrukh is a freelance contributor.
Bangladesh is a huge market for India’s consumer goods
Modi has settled his differences with LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi with one to one meets; Advani is likely to become the next speaker. Is he already paying homage to the gurus of the Sangh? Two of Modi’s lieutenants, Rajnath
Je Kotha Jayna Bola highlights female sexuality n Shadma Malik A bold theatre production “Je Kotha Jayna Bola” portraying monologues of women was premiered at EMK Center on May 18.. The performance was based on the real life experiences of women in rural and suburban areas, and features women actors speaking about aspects of their womanhood such as romance, sexual abuse, sexual pleasure, female genital mutilation and more. Directed by Naila Azad Nupur, the play is a production by Naripokkho and supported by EMK Center. The play opens with six women whose mouths are sealed with tape. One by one, they remove the tape and talk about their sexual experiences from emotional, physical and societal perspectives. Writer Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi’s monologues are excerpts of fifty case studies of women from different corners
of Bangladesh. With non-professional actors who came from outside Dhaka, the monologues read authentically, expressing the gamut of sexual desire, excitement, anxiety, disappointment and reactions to sexual abuse and harassment. Konika’s story begins when she was twelve and got married to an unknown man. She explains her physical contact with her husband and narrates how much she hated the experience which was full of violence and abuse. The situation worsens after the birth of her two children, ultimately leading to separation. Eventually, Konika starts working in an NGO and there she meets colleague Manik and love blossoms. The actor narrates how Konika’s sexual life became complete as Manik treated her with respect. A heart-rending story presents a girl of fourteen year old who got married to her cousin and her husband forced her to have sex with another man.
On the other hand, Mohua’s father-in-law sexually assaulted her, driving her to suicide. Another anonymous girl was supported by her impotent husband to have sex with his friend. She cherishes the support she got from her husband, and also enjoys the physical intimacy with the other man. The play ends with a story of same-sex relations which challenge social taboos. The monologues break the silence imposed on abusive relationships by our society. Forced to cope with the terrible situation alone, oppressed by their men until their self-esteem and confidence are shattered, they begin to believe they deserve the torture. Each monologue describes the deprivation of intimacy and end on a note of fulfillment. The performance will also be staged on the other parts of Bangladesh. l
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Riaz-Nipun share small-screen n Entertainment Desk Viewers can expect to Riaz and Nipun pair up for a drama titled “Superstar” to be aired on NTV along with the Eid specials. Written by Mezbaur Rahman Sumon and directed by Ahnaf, actor Shorna will also share the screen with both the actors. Nipun said: “This is the first time, I am working with Riaz on the small screen. The story is good. He plays a film director and I, as an actor.” Riaz has certainly been busy recently. His latest venture featured him with Tisha , and now, the drama “Superstar.” His upcoming ventures include “Bhalobasha Ek Phota Jol” and “Gangchiler Thikaana” alongside Rumana. In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, Riaz said “I want to return to the small screen and close to my fans by getting back to my roots.” l
Piprabidya goes to 3 int’l film festivals n Entertainment Desk
Mega serial Mamar Hater Moya starts today n Entertainment Desk A new mega serial titled “Mamar Hater Moya” will start airing from today on ETV. The mega serial is directed by Shimul Sarkar and written by Fazlul Haque Akash. Several renowned actors including ATM Shamsuzzaman, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Kochi Khondokar, Marjuk Rassel, Dr. Ezaz, Monira Mithu, Mukti, Simana and Ohona form the cast of the comedy serial. The director is hopeful about the serial’s attainment saying: “The audience will find amusement sources in every act of the drama.” Till date 40 episodes of the serial are all set to air while the filming continues for the rest of the episodes. l
Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s new flick “Piprabidya” has been selected for three international film festivals including Shanghai International Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival’s competition section and Melbourne International Film Festival. The film debuted at the Melbourne International Film Festival on May 11. The Shanghai International Film Festi-
val will run from June 14 to 22 while the Dallas International Film Festival will open on the forthcoming September. The film “Piprabidya,” an Impress Telefilm Limited production, is about unemployed young people who live in Dhaka, which they think of as a “big pie” and become desperate to have their share. Farooki’s fifth feature film starring Noor Imran Mithu, Sabbir Ahmed and Indian actress Shina Chouhan in the leading roles is set to release in August/September in home. l
Dog, Woman, Man- an urban love story n Punny Kabir
Adapted and Directed by Reetu Sattar, “Dog, Woman, Man” by German playwright Sibylle Berg premiere this evening at the Goethe-Institut. “While Goethe´s ‘Faust’ or plays by Bertolt Brecht are regularly staged in Bangladesh, contemporary German theatre remains relatively unknown. On the invitation of Goethe-Institut, I was bestowed with the responsibility to adapt and direct the play,” said Reetu Sattar. “Dog, Woman, Man” captures an unorthodox view of a relationship between two people through a dog’s perspective. It describes the strange behaviour of the woman and the man who literally cling together even though they can scarcely stand one another. When they meet for the first time the dog runs up to them and from then on stays because it has nothing to lose and it seeks shelter in a warm apartment. After a brief period of devoting loving attention to one another, love becomes a claim to possession, closeness is replaced by suspicion and alienation. The dog stays with them till they split up. The three characters are played by Samina Lutfa Mitra, Shahadat Hussain and Shahriar Ferdous.
TODAY IN DHAKA Theatre
Dog, Woman, Man Time: 7pm – 9pm Goethe Institut Bangladesh, Road 9(new), House 10, Dhanmondi Ja Nei Bharote Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm Experimental Theatre, Shilpakala Academy, Shegun Bagicha
National Sculpture Exhibition Time: 11am-7pm National Art Gallery, Shilpakala Academy, Shegun Bagicha Exhibition featuring Rabindranath Tagore Time: 11am-7pm National Art Gallery, BSA
Explaining the dynamics of the play, Reetu said: “The most interesting feature I found in this play is its authenticity in portraying a pure urban story. I grew up in a city and I could relate to all the aspects of
the story. In our local productions, we hardly find true urban stories. And it is the most challenging part.” This is the third directorial venture from Reetu, also a renowned theatre actor. l
Mukh O Mukhosh 5 Time: 11am – 8pm Galleri Kaya, House no. 20, Road no. 16, Sector no. 4, Uttara Trailing the Root: One Step Ahead Dhaka Art Center Dhanmondi
MJ’s hologram performs at Billboard Music Awards
Aishwarya and Freida Pinto bond in Cannes
n Entertainment Desk
n Entertainment Desk
The late Michael Jackson has made a stunning but not-so-surprising "appearance" at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Monday as a hologram, while two Australian acts also performed at the event, one of music's big showcases. Fans were stunned at how realistically the King of Pop's legacy lives on at the event. The cat was let out of the bag last week about Jackson's holographic im-
age, after two companies which own patents to the technology – used to digitally resurrect the image of late rapper Tupac Shakur in 2012 at the Coachella music festival – attempted to take out an injunction in the United States to stop the awards. They failed after lawyers for Jackson's estate and the producers of the awards argued doing so would cause them irreparable harm. Jackson's hologram was used as the centerpiece to a spectacular but rather creepy performance of the single
“Slave to the Rhythm” which included the late singer's trademark “moonwalking” dance moves. The song was released by Sony Music recently as part of the posthumous Jackson album “Xscape,” which was based on music made by Jackson but not released during his lifetime. The Billboard Music Awards had been teasing a Michael Jackson tribute when news of the lawsuit broke; the case wasn't enough to nix the hologram, apparently. l
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who was supposed to grace Cannes' red carpet on 16th May, has turned up the suspense level further by arriving on 20th May. But the most gorgeous diva of Bollywood showed a glimpse of herself; courtesy for her brand L'Oreal. The international cosmetic brand had held a photocall for its ambassadors; including Freida Pinto, Eva Longoria and Natasha Poly, aside from Aishwarya. Aishwarya, along with other ladies, looked stunning in white. While Freida, Eva and Natasha looked feminine in flowing dress, Aishwarya looked elegantly sophisticated in formal suit. Aishwarya and Freida were both overheard discussing the unexpected delay in Aishwarya’s arrival at Cannes which resulted in her missing her first red carpet. Freida mentioned she was really happy to have gotten a chance to finally do a shoot with Aishwarya and couldn’t wait to see her L’Or Lumière inspired red carpet look. Both the ladies had quite the afternoon bonding over L'Oréal Paris and the Festival de Cannes. Freida Pinto will be seen attending the event on 17 and 18May, while Aishwarya will walk the red carpet on 20 and 21 May. It is said that the “Guzaarish” beauty had good girly bonding time with the three divas; especially with the “Slumdog Millionaire” actress. l
Did you know? Of managers to have taken charge of 50+ Champions League games, Louis van Gaal has the highest win percentage (62%)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
14 Van Gaal named
Manchester United coach
14 Giggs retires,
joins as United assistant
15 Dhaka Tribune
holds ICC World T20 draw
BCB finally selects Hathurusingha n Mazhar Uddin Speculations and rumours surrounding the name of the Bangladesh national cricket head coach finally came to rest as Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan confirmed former Sri Lankan cricketer Chandika Hathurusingha of the position for the next two years. A local Bengali newspaper, before the BCB and the coach came to an agreement, had earlier broke the news of Hathurusingha joining the Tigers which saw both the Sri Lankan and the board react furiously. However, the matter was relaxed once the Sydney Thunder issued a press release yesterday afternoon saying Hathurusingha has been released from his duties with the club as he will be joining as the head coach of Bangladesh cricket team. The 45-year old, who has been working as Sydney Thunder’s head coach in Australia, is expected to take charge of the Tigers before the India series in early June. Meanwhile, the BCB chief also announced the name of another Sri Lankan Mario Villarayan who will replace David Dwyer as the team trainer for the same period. “The two-year agreement has been finalised with Chandika Hathurusingha. The agreement is from July 1 this year,
Sadi’s 3rd death anniversary today n Raihan Mahmood
Today is the third death anniversary of former Bangladesh Football Federation General Secretary Al Musabbir Sadi. A senior member of Bangladesh Sports Journalists’ Association, Sadi passed away three years ago at Square Hospital in Dhaka after losing the battle against stomach cancer for months. He was 44. Al Musabbir, popularly known as Pamel, worked with different newspapers including The Daily Star and The Independent. He was the first appointed general secretary of Bangladesh Football Federation. He also authored books on Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. BFF has arranged a prayer program at its premises at 5:30 pm today to mark Sadi’s death anniversary. l
but since we are playing against India next month, we are hoping of his arrival by June 10,” said Nazmul at his Beximco office in Dhanmondi yesterday. BCB had few options to choose from, but Nazmul pointed the extra edge that they expect from the ‘High Profile’ coach. “We had a few alternatives apart from Hathurusingha. First reason to choose him is due to his knowledge of sub-continental conditions. Plus, he has worked in Australia and with the World Cup coming up, this is a good combination for us. Hathurusingha is among high-profile coaches, as far as I am concerned,” he said before adding that the national camp will begin from May 25 under the guidance of a local coach. Apart from securing the head coach, Nazmul informed they are also looking for specialist bowling and fielding coaches though he did not name anyone regarding the positions. “We are trying to (get the specialist coaches), but I don’t think we will get everyone before the India series. We are communicating with them, because not all of them are full-time coaches, so we are trying to work out a time slot. We haven’t gone too far in this regard, so we don’t want to talk much about it,” said Nazmul. l
A man prepares to kick the ball during a football game held in the Tavares Bastos slum in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday
Selectors, players positive on new coach n
Minhaz Uddin Khan
National team chief selector Faruk Ahmed believes Bangladesh national cricket team will achieve new heights under the guidance of the newly appointed coach Chndika Hathurusingha. Hathurusingha, being a Sri Lankan, will also work as an added advantage deems Faruk as the cultural difference between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka isn’t vast. “Firstly, I would like to thank the board for appointing a head coach within such a short notice. As far as I know, he (Hathurusingha) is a high profile coach. I will not comment on his coaching right away but I believe he has done a pretty good job in the past. He, with his skills, has worked in Australia. So there is no question about his ability,” said Faruk to the media yesterday. Faruk said that the cultural difference of other coaches had, on occa-
sions, been an issue but believes it won’t be the same with Hathurusingha.
It is not possible for him to teach us from the basics. So we (players) will have to act responsibly and learn the most from him “He belongs to the subcontinent and has played a lot of cricket here. So there should not be much trouble with him adapting to the eating habit and other things in Bangladesh. I believe he will be able to understand our cricketers really quick. The board has appointed him for next two years and I hope he will prove himself with his work,” said Faruk.
Jahurul Islam City Cricket Club players pose for a photograph after completing their registration formalities of the 6th Women’s Club Cup cricket tournament at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. The tournament begins from May 25 COURTESY
Meanwhile, member of the national selection panel Minhajul Abedin, who played with Hathurusingha for Mohammedan Sporting Club in Dhaka, also echoed Faruk’s sentiment. Minhajul said that he hadn’t witnessed Hathurusingha as a coach but expressed no doubt about his ability as a cricketer. “He was the coach of Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League and also an assistant coach of New South Wales. So this should help Bangladesh team in the World Cup in Australia in 2015,” said the former national cricketer. On the other hand, national team opener Shamsur Rahman thinks it will be the players’ job to learn as many techniques as possible and not wait for the new coach to teach. “It is not possible for him to teach us from the basics. So we (players) will have to act responsibly and learn the most from him,” said Shamsur. l
Feni held by Baridhara n Raihan Mahmood
A spirited Uttar Baridhara Club held Soccer Club Feni 1-1 in their Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier Football League 2nd phase encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Uttar Baridhara, who trounced Sheikh Russel 2-1 in their previous match, showed their character to force the draw after trailing 1-0 in the opening half. Soccer Club kicked off in an attacking mood and almost took the lead in the 2nd minute as Nigerian forward Chuka Charles’ header on Gambian forward Landing Darboe’s a free-kick just went over the crosspiece. However, Akbar Hossain Ridon put Soccer Club ahead in the 6th minute after the unmarked forward placed home from close range receiving a square pass from the right by Gambian forward Kabba Jobe. Baridhara came close in the 13th
minute but defender Khalekur Jamen’s strike hit the side post to deny the equaliser. The side post came to Baridhara’s rescue too as it helped them to hang on to the score line after Landing Darboe’s fierce grounder was kept away in the 42nd minute. The Feni side resumed with same rhythm in the second-half, and poor finishing from Charles, who shot over the crosspiece in a one-on-one situation with Baridhara goalkeeper Osman Goni in the 47th minute, once again denied them of doubling the lead. The squandered chances proved costly in the last quarter of the game for Feni, for they conceded in the 76th minute. The equaliser came from Baridhara’s Kenyan forward Collins Tiego who slammed home a powerful grounder after the initial strike from forward Sujon Biswas was deflected to him. Feni Soccer Club now has 10 points from 15 matches while Uttar Baridhara has a point more having also played a match more. l
Brazil fights sex tourism, child prostitution ahead of WC
BFF condemns DSCC act
n AFP, Natal
Bangladesh Football Federation condemned the act of demolition at Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by Dhaka South City Corporation yesterday. Signed by vice president Badal Roy, the statement said Sheikh Jamal DC in the recent times has achieved notable successes in football that included the BPL title, the title of the Federation Cup and finishing runners-up in the IFA Shield Kolkata. The club field has been declared open to the public by the city corporation, but destroying parts of the club tent is not acceptable and harmful for football and BFF strongly condemns the act. l
As night falls, Adriana de Morais patrols the clubs and bars of Natal, one of Brazil’s World Cup host cities, looking for underage prostitutes and trying to get them off the streets. As she and her team weave between revellers in this tropical city known for its nightlife, their black polo shirts, emblazoned with the emblem of the local child protection unit, stand out amid the tight mini-skirts and colorful clothing of the crowds. An estimated 600,000 foreigners are about to descend on Bra-
zil for the World Cup, which opens June 12, and the authorities worry the influx will bring an increase in sex tourism and child prostitution. Leftist President Dilma Rousseff ’s government has launched a campaign over the past few years against domestic violence, the sexual exploitation of minors and human trafficking -- recently the main theme of a popular TV soap opera, “Salve Jorge.” The country has a code of conduct for taxi drivers and hotel receptionists, a bid to crack down on child prostitution in the places where it is most visible. l
n Raihan Mahmood
Battles take shine off the beautiful game n AFP, Los Angeles Football may be the beautiful game but the dark side of the sport has reared its head all too often at the World Cup. Four years ago in South Africa, Spain earned legions of admirers as their attractive passing style helped them to a maiden World Cup triumph. But the Spanish victory was so nearly derailed by a bitterly contested final which saw the Netherlands try to disrupt their opponents with an overtly physical approach. Nigel De Jong was lucky to stay on the pitch after planting his studs in Xabi Alonso’s
chest with a wild tackle, while Johnny Heitinga joined the elite band of players to have been sent off in a World Cup final for two yellow cards. In all, the final produced some 47 fouls and 14 yellow cards, more than any other game in the 2010 tournament. Yet in many ways, the 2010 final was tame compared to some of the more notorious episodes in the World Cup’s wilder early history. Since Placido Galindo was sent off for Peru at the 1930 World Cup -- the first player in tournament history to be dismissed -- a total of 159 players have been given their marching orders. It was not until 1938 how-
ever that a World Cup match earned the dubious distinction of being branded a “battle”, when Brazil and Czechoslovakia collided in a stormy quarter-final in Bordeaux. A bruising encounter ended with three players sent off, while Czechoslovakia’s forward Oldrich Nejedly suffered a broken leg and goalkeeper Frantisek Planicka was left with a broken arm. Brazil were at the center of another notorious brawl in Switzerland in 1954, when their quarter-final against Hungary became immortalized as the “Battle of Berne.” The result, a 4-2 victory for Hungary, has become a footnote of a match which is
a strong contender for the dirtiest game in World Cup history. The match was marred by three sendings off and several mass brawls, and was interrupted by several invasions from Brazilian officials and media. “This was a battle; a brutal, savage match,” recalled Hungary’s coach Gustav Sebes, who himself ended up with four stitches in a facial wound after being struck by a broken bottle in a post-match brawl. The violence was taken to a new level at the Battle of Santiago eight years later in Chile, when Italy and the host nation met in a foul-tempered group match. The first foul occurred within 12 seconds,
and Italy’s Giorgio Ferrini was dismissed after only 12 minutes, needing to be dragged from the field by police after protesting vainly to English referee Ken Aston. Another Italian, Mario David, was sent off for kicking Chile’s Leonel Sanchez in the head. Sanchez was lucky to escape censure after breaking Humberto Maschio’s nose with a punch. Police intervened repeatedly as the two teams continuously clashed. While isolated incidents of violence have pepppered World Cups since -- most notably German goalkeeper Toni Schumacher’s flying challenge on France’s Patrick Battiston in 1982, and Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt on
Marco Materazzi in 2006 -- there have been few games to rival the wildness of the matches in Berne and Santiago. One exception is 2006’s “Battle of Nuremberg” between Portugal and the Netherlands. Russian referee Valentine Ivanov issued four red cards and 16 yellows, a World Cup record, and Portugal were fortunate not to lose captain Luis Figo too. Figo should have been sent off for a retaliatory headbutt after being elbowed by Khalid Boulahrouz. “Jesus Christ may be able to turn the other cheek but Luis Figo isn’t Jesus Christ,” Portugal’s then coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. l
Injured Falcao still unsure of WC bid Star Colombian striker Radamel Falcao admitted Sunday that he still doesn’t know if he will recover from his long-standing knee injury in time to play at the World Cup. The Monaco player suffered serious knee ligament damage in a French Cup tie on January 22 and has not played since. Despite his four-month absence, he was named in Colombia’s 30-man squad for the June 12-July 13 World Cup in Brazil with June 2 set as the deadline day for the final list of 23 players to be decided. “I don’t know yet if I will be ready,” Falcao told Canal+. “A decision will be taken in a few days, depending on my physical condition. I am doing a lot better. –AFP
Van Gaal named United coach n
Dutchman Louis van Gaal was named as Manchester United’s new manager, with Ryan Giggs as his assistant, as the Premier League club issued a statement confirming the worst-kept secret in the game on Monday. Former Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Van Gaal, who will lead Netherlands at the World Cup next month, has agreed a threeyear contract, United said. Giggs, the club’s record appearance maker, took charge of United’s final four Premier League of the season following the sacking of David Moyes. Van Gaal, 62 has won domestic titles and domestic cups in three countries, as well as the Champions League with Ajax and the UEFA Cup. “In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in the statement. “He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story. Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club’s history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us. “I’m delighted that Louis has cho-
sen Ryan as his assistant. Ryan’s association with the club spans over two decades and his knowledge and stature will be of great use to Louis. “In addition, this is a fantastic opportunity for Ryan to learn his trade alongside a world class manager whose attacking instincts and belief in youth are tailor-made for Manchester United.” Van Gaal, a disciplinarian who has won domestic titles and cups with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich as well as the Champions League, will become the first manager from outside the British Isles to take charge of United. In a statement he said he was looking forward to taking charge of the “biggest club in the world”. “It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League,” van Gaal explained. “To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud. l
Pele pens song for Brazil World Cup Football legend Pele has written a song to cheer on his native Brazil in the World Cup as it prepares to host the June 12-July 13 tournament. “It’s given me so much happiness, it’s made me cry, football is in our nation’s veins,” goes the opening verse, which Pele sang to journalists from newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. The three-time World Cup winner said “there needed to be a Brazilian song” after the release of the official tournament song by Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez and another Cup theme song by Ricky Martin. “I heard the one by Ricky Martin but I didn’t like it,” he said. –AFP
Ryan Giggs announced Monday he was retiring from his career as a player following his appointment as assistant manager to newly-installed Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal. The 40-year-old one-club man revealed his decision in an open letter to supporters published on United’s website. His statement signalled the end of the career of English football’s most decorated player with Giggs, the winner of 34 major trophies, bringing down the curtain on a 23-year career featuring a United record 963 appearances. “Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United,” Giggs, caretaker manager for the final four games of the season after the club sacked David Moyes, wrote. “Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how
delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.” Giggs, who thanked United’s backroom staff and his family for all their support since he made his United debut as a 17-year-old in 1990, said his prevailing mood was one of optimism. “For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions -- immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future,” the former Wales international explained. “United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way. “To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every min-
Goalline technology moved back into the spotlight in Germany after a controversial decision in the German Cup final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, less than two months after its introduction was rejected by the league. Dortmund were confident they had scored against champions Bayern when Mats Hummels headed onto goal in the 64th minute and defender Dante cleared the ball near the line with the score at 0-0. Television replays showed both Dante’s leg and the ball, even further behind in goal, were clearly over the line. Instead it was Bayern who struck twice in extra-time to lift the trophy and complete the domestic double. The incident was the second major argument in favour of goalline technology this season with Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling being awarded a goal against Hoffenheim earlier in the season despite the ball landing in goal through a hole in the sidenetting. Yet it was only as recently as March 24 that the 36 clubs from the first and second division rejected the introduction of the technology with half of the top-flight clubs voting in favour and only three of 18 second division teams backing the idea. A two-thirds majority was necessary with many clubs against it because of the technology’s cost. Rauball himself had said in March the issue was “now off the table”. l
QUALITY SIGNINGS Luring top names to a club missing out on Champions League football is not an easy task but Van Gaal will quickly have to identify his transfer targets and splash out a considerable amount of money to sign them. With United set to lose 30 million pounds ($50.4 million) in revenues after failing to qualify for the Champions League or even the second-tier Europa League, there is no room for flops such as Marouane Fellaini, who joined last year from Moyes’s former club Everton.
Second-choice goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has been ruled out of the World Cup after cracking a vertebra in his neck playing for Olympique Marseille on Saturday. Mandanda was hit in the face by Mustapha Yatabare’s knee during OM’s 1-0 win against En Avant Guingamp in their final Ligue 1 fixture. OM doctor Christophe Baudot told the club’s website (www.om.net) on Sunday: “Steve Mandanda is suffering from a crack in his first cervical vertebra and from a cervical sprain. “It will require wearing a neck brace for three weeks and the same amount of time in physiotherapy.” –Reuters
ute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.” Giggs was one of the most celebrated players to emerge from the Old Trafford ‘Class of 92’ that won the FA Youth Cup. United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was in no doubt about the winger’s place in football history, saying: “Ryan Giggs has been one of the greatest players ever to wear the red shirt of Manchester United. “What he has achieved will never be equalled in the English game. “In the way he played, he was the embodiment of a Manchester United player – fast, skilful, entertaining and determined to win by playing exciting football. “He is at the start of an exciting new chapter in his and the club’s life but now is the right moment to reflect on the achievements of the finest British player of the last 25 years.” l
Atletico Madrid’s Gabi celebrates winning the Spanish first division title by putting a scarf around the neck of a sculpture representing Neptuno, in Madrid on Sunday. A 1-1 draw against Barcelona on the last match gave Atletico its first La Liga title in 18 years AP
Hamburg avoid relegation n AFP, Berlin Hamburg avoided being relegated from the top flight of the German Bundesliga for the first time in their history after winning a play-off against Greuther Fuerth on away goals on Sunday. The first leg on Thursday between Hamburg – who finished third bottom in the top flight – and the second tier’s third-placed side Fuerth was a goalless draw, and Sunday’s return at the Trolli Arena ended 1-1. Pierre-Michel Lasogga crucially gave Mirko Slomka’s side a 14th-minute lead in Bavaria, before Stephan Fuerstner equalised for Fuerth just before the hour. However, the home side could not find a winner and Hamburg hung on to survive as a top-flight side.l
10 THINGS ON VAN GAAL’S ‘TO-DO’ LIST
WIN THE DRESSING ROOM Unreserved faith and support from United’s senior players will be imperative for Van Gaal to work in the right kind of atmosphere at Old Trafford, something his predecessor David Moyes apparently lacked. It will also help if he sees things eye-to-eye with his assistant Ryan Giggs, who should play a crucial role in bonding the dressing room with the iron-fisted Dutchman.
Mandanda ruled out with injury
Goalline technology back in focus after German Cup final n Reuters, Berlin
Giggs retires, joins as United assistant n AFP, London
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
DECIDE WHERE TO USE WAYNE ROONEY Having secured Rooney’s long-term future at the club, United will hope that the 27-year old will fire on all cylinders next season as the club aims to climb back into the Premier League’s top four. Van Gaal will need to decide whether to use him as a “number 10” or an out and out striker, as Rooney can operate effectively in both positions. But if he is used consistently in a single position instead of being moved across the front line, Rooney could deliver under Van Gaal. MOVE OUT OF FERGUSON’S SHADOW United’s most decorated manager made it no secret he wanted Ryan Giggs to succeed Moyes after his temporary four-match stint as interim manager but the board went for Van Gaal and his impressive track record. While Moyes was always going to be in Ferguson’s shadow, not only for the fact that the fellow Glaswegian watched his plight from the directors box, a man of Van Gaal’s ego and principles will accept nothing less than being his own man in every way possible.
SORT OUT THE DEFENCE United’s back four looked very fragile under Moyes, with ageing stalwarts Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic struggling to perform to their former capability. With the latter off to Inter Milan and the former also on his way out of Old Trafford, Van Gaal may be forced to turn to Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans, none of whom has convinced at the heart of the backline. In all probability, the coach’s first priority in the transfer market will be to find a top central defender.
HANDLE THE MEDIA Being a United manager can be one of the most unforgiving jobs in football as Moyes found out and his plight was partly rooted in a seemingly uncomfortable relationship with the media. Much like Ferguson, Van Gaal has the uncanny ability to dominate the press room and when the going gets tough for him at Old Trafford, he will need this acquired skill to stand firm in the line of fire.
MIDFIELD Juan Mata will certainly add bite up front in an attacking midfield role but United are still craving for a playmaker who acts as a link between defence and the forwards. While Michael Carrick has done a decent job as a holding midfielder protecting the back four, his limited mobility and lack of thrust was always a glaring chink in United’s engine room after Paul Scholes stopped pulling the strings. Signing a top name in this department will be another challenge for Van Gaal, who will also have to make the best use of Mata and Shinji Kagawa.
BE HONEST WITH THE SUPPORTERS The United faithful were determined to back Moyes and answer Ferguson’s appeal in his farewell speech to “do your job and support the new manager”. However, they became increasingly disillusioned not just by the poor performances and results but also Moyes’s refusal to admit the shortcomings of his team. He frequently said in post-match interviews after defeats that he thought his side had played well and had simply been unlucky. But the fans were not fooled and Van Gaal must be more honest in assessing the team’s failings and convince the supporters quickly that he knows how to rectify them.
REVERT TO ATTACKING FOOTBALL Van Gaal’s philosophy is a perfect match with United’s long-standing strategy of always taking the game to the opposition, even if it sometimes meant risky attacking. This trait was lost in big games under Moyes, notably in the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich and clashes with top Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. United looked completely at sea in a cagey formation and reports that the players never came to terms with it fuelled Moyes’s abrupt departure after only 10 months in charge.
BE YOUR OWN MAN Moyes seemed constantly torn between respecting the attacking traditions of United as a club and his own more conservative and pragmatic style which had served him well at Everton. He admitted he was reluctant to take off a clearly struggling Robin van Persie as United tried to overturn a 1-0 deficit at Old Trafford against Newcastle because off what the supporters would think. Ferguson made many unpopular decisions during his reign and was usually proved right in the long-term. Van Gaal must do the same.
Osasuna, Valladolid relegated in disrupted finale n Reuters, Madrid
Osasuna and Real Valladolid will join already-relegated Real Betis in the Spanish second division next season after a nail-biting final day of action in La Liga on Sunday was disrupted when a barrier collapsed at Osasuna.
RESULTS Real Sociedad Vela 90+3
Valladolid Rayo Vallecano Trashorras 67
Osasuna Riera 12, Acuna 15
Dos Santos 26, Uche 69
0 1 1 2 2 1
Granada Mitrovic 43-og
Getafe Marica 42, 90+2
Real Betis Chica 70
The match in Pamplona was halted for around 30 minutes when the barrier tumbled to the ground following Osasuna’s 12th-minute opening goal against Betis and fans spilled on to the pitch. Around 60 fans were treated on site for minor complaints and 10 were taken to hospital but none suffered serious injury, according to the local Red Cross. The Spanish professional league (LFP) decided there would be extended halftime breaks in the other three games involving relegation-threatened sides to allow the Osasuna-Betis match to catch up. The game ended 2-1 to Osasuna but they were condemned by results elsewhere and relegated after 14 seasons in the top flight. l
Parma beat Torino, Milan to last Europa spot n AFP, Milan A double from Amauri helped Parma to a 2-0 win over relegated Livorno which ended Milan’s hopes of sealing a sixth place finish in Italy’s Serie A and a place in next season’s Europa League. Parma’s 15th win of the campaign mean they finish one point ahead of Torino, in seventh, with Milan in eighth also on 57 points despite a 2-1 win at home to Sassuolo. It means Milan, after 16 successive campaigns in Europe, will have to do with domestic competition only next season. Torino, Parma, AC Milan and Verona had been battling for sixth spot and a place in the Europa League. Sixth place was good enough to qualify for Europe because Italian Cup winners Napoli had qualified for the Champions League and Fiorentina, the beaten finalists, were already guaranteed a Europa League place themselves. Torino and Verona arguably had the toughest tasks away to Fiorentina and Napoli respectively. Torino, however, took the game to Fiorentina and only narrowly missed out on the win that would have secured their return to European competition when Alessio Cerci missed a spot-kick in injury time. Verona suffered a 5-1 rout at Napoli, for whom Duvan Zapata and Dries Mertens scored a brace.
To qualify for Europe, Milan needed to beat Sassuolo, Torino to lose at Fiorentina and for Parma to draw or lose away to Napoli. But despite a 2-1 win at the San Siro, a late double from Amauri for Parma sealed the Rossoneri’s fate. Milan’s failure to reach Europe, meanwhile, could spell the end for coach Clarence Seedorf, who was parachuted in to save the ailing giants in January following the sacking of Massimiliano Allegri. l
RESULTS Catania Lodi 65, Bergessio 90+1-pen
Genoa Fetfatzidis 83
Silvestri 8-og, Llorente 15, Marchisio 40
Chievo Obinna 73, 90
2 1 2 2
Rossi 57-pen, Rebic 79
Lazio Rodrigo 90+4-pen
Larrondo 67, Kurtic 84
Muntari 2, De Jong 27
Napoli Callejon 5, Zapata 13, 25, Mertens 62, 77
Parma Amauri 62, 80
Inter Andreolli 41
5 1 2 0
Sassuolo Zaza 90-pen
Verona Iturbe 66
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The distinguished guests - Faruque Ahmed and Habibul Basahr inspect a coupon, Jalal Yunus draws a coupon, Shamsur Rahman Shuvo and Marshall Ayub follow the suit in the WaltonDhaka Tribune ICC World T20 quiz draw ceremony yesterday MUMIT M
River Plate clinch 35th title Buenos Aires giants River Plate returned to their glory days on Sunday as they won their 35th Argentine title, just two years after being relegated to the second division in 2011-12. The historical capital club clinched their first top flight title since 2008, as coach Ramon Diaz masterminded a final day 5-0 win over Quilmes, which kept them above bitter rivals Boca Juniors and Estudiantes La Plata at the top of the table. Former Bordeaux striker Fernando Cavenaghi struck twice in the win at their Monumental Stadium as the club from the north of the city sent their fans into raptures. “The supporters as much as us needed this,” said an escatic Diaz who remains the club’s most successful coach and is also a former championship winning player. –AFP
Injured Azarenka out of French Open Former world number one Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the French Open on Monday as she struggles to recover from a foot injury. “Unfortunately I will not be able to compete in Roland Garros this year,” the two-time Australian Open champion, 24, wrote on her Twitter page. “Working hard on my recovery and getting back on court,” the world number five added. The 24-year-old Belarus star, who normally would be a main rival to favourite Serena Williams, has not played since a second round loss to Lauren Davis at Indian Wells in the first week of March. She missed the Madrid and Rome claycourt events in May, both crucial warm-up tournaments ahead of the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, which starts on May 25 and runs until June 8. –AFP
Tribune holds ICC World T20 draw Skipper McCullum Dhaka n not corrupt: NZ n New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said Monday that Blacks Caps captain Brendon McCullum was not under investigation for corruption after reports surfaced that he was approached to fix matches in 2008. NZC said it was “dismayed” that McCullum’s testimony to the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit had been leaked to the British media, saying the big-hitting Kiwi skipper was committed to cleaning up the game. “We can confirm that Brendon is NOT under investigation by the ICC and his testimony has actually been applauded by them,” it said in a statement. “NZC has 100 percent confidence in our captain and his role in tackling corruption.” Britain’s Daily Mail reported online Monday that McCullum told investigators he was approached by a “world renowned former cricketer” twice in 2008, first in Kolkata ahead of the inaugural Indian Premier League, then during New Zealand’s tour of England later that year. McCullum reportedly said the former star, player X, whom he described as “a hero who became a friend”, offered him up to 107,000 pounds ($180,000) to un-
DAY’S WATCH Sony Six 4:30PM Hyderabad v Bangalore 8:30PM Kolkata v Chennai 7:00AM NBA Play Off 2013-14, Conf Final San Antonio v Oklahoma City Star Sports 2 11:00PM Natwest Int’l T20 England v Sri Lanka
mark and I hope it continues to grow as a responsible newspaper,” said Humayun Kabir. The winners of the draw will be contacted from Dhaka Tribune duly. The prizes will be handed over to them in another program at the Dhaka Tribune office. The date of the program will also be conveyed to the winners from Tribune office. However, the winners can also contact the Dhaka Tribune office during the office hours on the working days. l
PRIZE WINNERS First Round First Prize Refrigerator 2nd Prize Color TV-21” 3rd PrizeMicro Oven 4th Prize DVD Player 4th Prize DVD Player 5th Prize Rice Cooker 5th PrizeRice Cooker 5th PrizeRice Cooker 5th PrizeRice Cooker 5th PrizeRice Cooker
Tabassum Md Sagor Md Monirul Hasan Moon Md Iqbal Hossain Md Tariqul Islam Hahab Roma Farhana Borna Asif
Demra,Dhaka Banani Chairmanbari, Dhaka Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka. Pallabi,Mirpur,Dhaka. Sibchor,Madaripur. Farmgate, Dhaka. Pagla Nayamati Hatirpul, Dhaka Dhaka
2nd Round First Prize 32” LED TV 2nd Prize Refrigerator 3rd Prize Color TV-21” 4th Prize DVD Player 4th Prize DVD Player 5th Prize Rice Cooker 5th Prize Rice Cooker 5th Prize Rice Cooker 5th Prize Rice Cooker 5th Prize Rice Cooker
Md Jasim Uddin Md Faysal Hossain Abdul Jabbar Akhter Agradeb Ruhit Anamul Huque Kamal Keya Salim Yesmin Rahman
Mymenshing Purbachol, Dhaka Kolabagan, Dhaka Rampura, Dhaka Moulvibazar Mirpur-12 Karanigonj Bazar Pagla Nayamati Colonel Hat, CTG
‘Little Witch’ Veron hangs up broomstick again n
Scott topples Tiger Woods as world No 1 Adam Scott officially replaced Tiger Woods as world number one golfer Monday, ending the American’s 60 week reign on the top of the rankings. Scott, 33, is the first Australian to be world number one since his boyhood hero Greg Norman, who spent 331 weeks in the position in the 1980s and ‘90s. The 2013 Masters champion was inactive last week, but was already assured of taking top spot with Woods sidelined with a long-standing back problem. Playing in the Byron Nelson Championship, American Matt Kuchar could also have moved ahead of Woods, but tied for seventh and had to settle for fourth spot in the rankings. –AFP
derperform in matches. The New Zealander, who gained the national captaincy in late 2012 and this year became the first Kiwi to hit a Test triple century, said he was “shell shocked” at the approach and told investigators he had never fixed a match. “(X) said that the ‘Big Boys’ in international cricket were doing it and he didn’t want me to miss out,” the Mail reported. “I am sure that he mentioned names to me but I cannot remember, although I seem to think that X mainly mentioned Asian cricketers.” Player X is believed to be the same person who former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent admitted to the corruption probe that he fixed matches for, it said. Vincent is believed to have agreed a plea bargain in the hope of avoiding a criminal prosecution for his involvement in and knowledge of spot-fixing in five or more countries between 20082012. Vincent was revealed last December to have been under investigation along with fellow New Zealanders Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey over allegations of match-fixing. He later confirmed he had been approached by bookmakers. l
Cricket stars and organisers had an opportunity to have a dip into the ICC World T20 memories as the draw ceremony of the Walton-Dhaka Tribune quiz regarding the cricket extravaganza was held at the Dhaka Tribune office yesterday. Former national captains Faruque Ahmed and Habibul Bashar, both also the national selectors graced the occasion with their valuable presence and they were also joined by national cricketer Shammsur Rahman Shuvo and Marshal Ayub along with Bangladesh Cricket Board directors Jalal Yunus and Kazi Inam Ahmed. The executive director of Walton Hi-Tec Industries Humayun Kabir was also present during the ceremony and all the distinguished guests drew the coupons to determine the lucky winners. Editor of Dhaka Tribune Zafar Sobhan, executive editor Shahriar Karim and managing editor Jahangir Hyder were also present on the occasion. The distinguished guests took a walk down the memory lane and reminisced how the slam-bang form of cricket kept the whole nation enchanted with joy. From their part. the cricket organizers thanked the media for the support which enabled BCB to host such a big event successfully. “The T20 World Cup was a big event and hosting 26 national teams simultaneously was quite a tough ask. But Bangladesh hosted it
in a superb manner,” said Jalal Yunus. Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan pledged to promote the country’s sport to the highest level. “Bangladesh is making its mark in the international sports arena gradually and it’s both on and off the field. Dhaka Tribune will always be there to promote the country’s sports,” Zafar promised. Humayun Kabir thanked Dhaka Tribune for its commitment towards factual journalism. “Within a short span of one year, Dhaka Tribune has made its
Veron of Estudiantes de La Plata leaves the pitch after his final match against Tigre in Buenos Aires on Sunday REUTERS
Former Argentina midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron retired for the second time on Sunday at the age of 39, bowing out with a 2-1 loss for boyhood club Estudiantes but with “no regrets” from a career that yielded silverware across the globe. Veron came out of retirement last year to play another season in Argentina’s top flight, having already taken a role as a sporting director at the club where his father Juan Ramon was known as ‘La Bruja’ - ‘The Witch’ - for his spellbinding runs on the left wing in the 1960s. Nicknamed ‘Brujita’ (Little Witch), captain Veron played every minute of his final game in Buenos Aires, battling in vain in defence as home side Tigre
overhauled an undermanned Estudiantes, who were reduced to nine players after two were sent off with red cards. With away fans banned all season in an effort to curb crowd violence, Veron was given a standing ovation by Tigre supporters as he came off the pitch. “I was lucky to start at this club when I was five and I’m leaving at 39,” the shaven-headed, goatee-wearing Veron told reporters. “There’s no reason to cry. If you gave everything, you don’t have anything to recriminate yourself for.” A Serie A champion with Lazio in 2000, Veron’s big-money move to Manchester United the following year was later judged an expensive flop for the Premier League giants as he struggled to make an impact while battling injury. l
MI stay afloat with win against Royals n Mumbai Indians kept their play-off hopes alive with a comfortable 25-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in a one-sided Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Monday. Batting first, Mumbai scored a stiff 178 for three riding on half-centuries from Lendl Simons (62) and Mike Hussey (56). In reply, Royals were never in the chase as they were restricted for 153 for eight. Karun Nair with 48 off 24 balls was the lone ranger for the Royals. Brad Hodge (40) and James Faulkner (31) tried their best at the end but it was too late by then.
It was a collective effort by the Indians bowlers led by senior pro Harbhajan Singh, who shone with brilliant figures of two for 13 from four overs. Pragyan Ojha also did his bit with two for 30.
BRIEF SCORE Mumbai 178/3 (20 ov) Simmons 62, Hussey 56, Ankit 2/23 Rajasthan 153/8 (20 ov) Nair 48, Hodge 40, Gopal 2/25 Mumbai won by 25 runs The Royals team management’s baffling decision to rest the performing trio of Ajinkya Rahane, Pravin Tambe
and Steven Smith backfired as the team lost the necessary momentum going into the match. Royals, with 14 points from 12 games, remain third in the table and firmly in the hunt. But back-to-back losses will certainly affect their chances of finishing in the top two, which would have given them an additional game to make the final. Mumbai now have eight points from 11 matches. Unmukt Chand (2) finally got a game but it could well be the last one in the tournament. He was given a rank bad delivery from Ojha but Unmukt failed in his bid to play a proper pull-shot and Hussey made no mistake on the deep mid-wicket boundary. l
Singer Shakira (R) and soccer player Gerard Pique attend the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday AFP
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Block allocations for next pay structure Atanu-Yadav of government servants conversation leaked ICC WC T20 MATCH FIXING SCANDAL
n Asif Showkat Kallol
The government has decided not to allocate any specific funds for a new pay structure for 13 lakh civil servants, instead they will go for block allocations under the eighth pay and service commission, official sources have said. In a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday, Finance Minister AMA Muhith informed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on their plans to not set aside fund allocations for the next fiscal since the commission plans to announce a new pay structure within December this year, said a Finance Ministry official who was present at the meeting, requesting anonymity. The official added that a proposal has
also been sent to the premier to extend the duration of the current pay commission until December. During Saturday’s meeting, Muhith also presented a broad outline of the next year’s macro-economic target and budget outlay to the premier, the cabinet members and the secretaries who were present. Sources in the pay commission of the government wanted to please the people and not irk the public servants. The Finance Division allocated Tk4,000 crore for the 20% dearness allowance in the outgoing fiscal; as a result, allocation of the salaries of civil servants amounted to Tk28,867 crore. For the next fiscal, the budget will have an allocation of Tk25,000 crore for the salary and allowance of
the government employees. The government will increase the block allocation from the outgoing fiscal’s Tk4,299 crore to Tk5,000 crore in the next 2014-15 fiscal. The amount of the block allocation will be used in the pay structure hike, if the government announces the next pay commission in December this year, according to the Finance Division. In the pay commission’s first meeting in February however, former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammad Farashuddin, who is leading the 17-member commission, said the announcement of the next pay structure is likely to take at least 12 months. He said no previous commission could submit the report in 15 months. The government formed the pay com-
mission on November 24 last year and issued an order and made it effective from December 17, just before the national elections. In fixing the new pay scale, the commission will consider the living costs of a six-member family, not a four-member family like the previous commissions, Farashuddin said. Issues like inflation, the government’s financial position and the salary structure of government employees in other countries will also be considered. The economy has made much progress after the last pay raise, he said, adding: “The government employees should also be beneficiaries of the economic prosperity achieved by the country.” l
Startled pedestrians move aside after noticing a monkey, unlike many humans, that probably had the common sense to use the footbridge at the city’s Banglamotor yesterday RAJIB DHAR
n Tribune Report Atanu Dutta, an Indian gambler who was arrested last April for his alleged involvement in match-fixing during the T20 world cup, had close ties with a top anti-graft official of the ICC, an audio recording of their conversation has revealed. The Dhaka Tribune has acquired a copy of the audio recording of the conversation between Atanu and Dharamveer Singh Yadav, the regional security manager of the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU). Based on the audio surveillance records, Atanu was arrested in April, following which he provided key information surrounding cricket match-fixing. Below is the transcript of their conversation. Dharamveer Singh Yadav: Hello, speak. Atanu Dutta: Sir, please make me …[inaudible] this tournament. Yadav: Listen, I had told you earlier that you need to be careful this time because I told them that you were gone. Atanu: You could have informed me earlier; then I would have gone away. Yadav: No, I did tell you earlier. It will not be safe for you to stay here. Atanu: No, nothing happened today. That person sat behind me. I had spotted him early on. After that, I did nothing suspicious. Yadav: Where are you now? Atanu: I am still where I was. Yadav: There is only one way to save yourself from them. Stay in the crowd and they will not notice you. They have not captured you yet? Atanu: No, no. Yadav: Nothing like that had happened? Atanu: No, no. I am still sitting here. Now I am going out. Yadav: Yes, get out now; and do not sit in the corner. If you sit in the corner, you will be spotted. You have to sit among the public, near the top. Atanu: I was sitting at the top. Yadav: Yes, Atanu. There is always
trouble if you do not do that. Last time I faced some problems because of this. And now you have been spotted. So I am saying you should go away. Atanu: Yes, I have to do this. Yadav: There is big trouble when you are spotted. Atanu: Listen, sir. I am going away from here, only after tomorrow’s one. Since there is trouble here, I better return to India. I will go by bus. Yadav: That will be best for you. It is a huge problem now that you have been spotted.
On March 21, Atanu was arrested by RAB during the India-Pakistan match. He was freed after Yadav vouched for the arrestee, claiming that Atanu was his informer Atanu: I am exiting the ground right now [inaudible]… Nothing happened today. I am stopping the work. Please sir, only help me get out. Nothing has happened to me. I can exit with you. Yadav: Are you not being allowed to leave? Atanu: No, no. I was speaking for safety. If I manage to get out of here, I would return to India within a day or two. Nothing happened today. Yadav: Then get out. Who is going to challenge you? Or is someone from them sitting behind you? Atanu: No, no. There is no one there. Yadav: Then leave. Keep calm and exit the place. [conversation ends] Earlier on March 21, Atanu was arrested by RAB detectives during the India-Pakistan match. However, he was freed after Yadav vouched for the arrestee, claiming that Atanu was his informer. ACSU chief Yogendra Pal Singh was also present at the time. l
Countrywide food safety Antarctic ice losses doubled in 3 years n analysis on the cards BBC
n Moniruzzaman Uzzal Following a recent survey that found alarming levels of adulteration in different food products in Dhaka city, the Institute of Public Health (IPH) is set to conduct a fresh nationwide survey to analyse the country’s overall food safety situation. The IPH will collect samples of different fruits, vegetables, milk, milk products, fish, dry fish and turmeric powder from the district-level kitchen markets to be tested at the National Food Safety Laboratory. Initially, samples would be collected from 17 districts by the respective district and upazila sanitary inspectors through the district civil surgeon’s offices. IPH Director Dr Subimal Sinha Choudhury confirmed about the institute’s plan to conduct an analysis, but added that the plan had not yet been finalised. A list of food products would need to be prepared for checking different chemicals like pesticide, insecticide, preservatives and colouring agents at the food safety lab, he added. Claiming that the lab did not have any individual budget for carrying out its activities, Dr Subimal said the IPH has placed a budget of Tk2.6 crore for medical and surgical requisites at the lab. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reportedly been providing technical assistance to run the food safety lab. Earlier last month, the IPH carried out tests in different markets in the
capital and found that around 50% vegetables and 35% fruits were contaminated with unsafe level of pesticides. The amount of pesticides was three to 20 times greater than the limits set by the European Union. The findings of that survey were handed over to Health Minister Mohammed Nasim, who reportedly directed the IPH to carry out the countrywide analysis of the food safety situation. A senior IPH official, seeking anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune that the authorities concerned did not have a clear picture of the country’s food adulteration situation. Expressing hopes that the upcoming survey would shed light on the crisis, the official also claimed that the findings would also help prepare future plans. The district and upazila sanitary inspectors usually send samples of 107 different food products to the IPH’s public health laboratory, which reportedly lacks the specialised instruments required to detect chemical and pesticides such as formalin, carbide, DTT and others. Sources said during February and March this year, the public health laboratory received 327 and 311 food samples respectively sent by sanitary inspectors. The lab found that 145 of the 327 samples in February were adulterated, while 129 of the 311 samples in March were also adulterated. However, the sources could not disclose the list of products that were found to be adulterated. l
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Antarctica is now losing about 160 billion tonnes of ice a year to the ocean - twice as much as when the continent was last surveyed. The new assessment comes from Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft, which has a radar instrument specifically designed to measure the shape of the ice sheet. The melt loss from the White Continent is sufficient to push up global sea levels by around 0.43mm per year. Scientists report the data in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The new study incorporates three years of measurements from 2010 to 2013, and updates a synthesis of observations made by other satellites over the period 2005 to 2010. Cryosat has been using its altimeter to trace changes in the height of the ice sheet - as it gains mass through snowfall, and loses mass through melting.
The study authors divide the continent into three sectors - the West Antarctic, the East Antarctic, and the Antarctic Peninsula, which is the long finger of land reaching up to South America. Overall, Cryosat finds all three regions to be losing ice, with the average elevation of the full ice sheet falling annually by almost 2cm. In the three sectors, this equates to losses of 134 billion tonnes, 3 billion tonnes, and 23 billion tonnes of ice per year, respectively. The East had been gaining ice in the previous study period, boosted by some exceptional snowfall, but it is now seen as broadly static in the new survey. As expected, it is the western ice sheet that dominates the reductions. Scientists have long considered it to be the most vulnerable to melting. It has an area, called the Amundsen Sea Embayment, where six huge glaciers are currently undergoing a rapid retreat - all of them being eroded by the influx of warm ocean waters that scientists say are being drawn towards the continent by stronger winds whipped up by a changing climate. About 90% of the mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is going from just these few ice streams. At one of them - Smith Glacier - Crysosat sees the surface lowering by 9m per year.
“CryoSat has given us a new understanding of how Antarctica has changed over the last three years and allowed us to survey almost the entire continent,” explained lead author Dr Malcolm McMillan from the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at Leeds University, UK. “We find that ice losses continue to be most pronounced in West Antarctica, along the fast-flowing ice streams that drain into the Amundsen Sea. In East Antarctica, the ice sheet remained roughly in balance, with no net loss or gain over the three-year period,” he said. Cryosat was launched by the European Space Agency in 2010 on a dedicated quest to measure changes at the poles, and was given a novel radar system for the purpose. It has two antennas slightly offset from each other. This enables the instrument to detect not just the height of the ice sheet but the shape of its slopes and ridges. This makes Cryosat much more sensitive to details at the steep edges of the ice sheet - the locations where thinning is most pronounced. It also allows the satellite to better detect what is going on in the peninsula region of the continent where the cli-
mate has warmed rapidly over the past 50 years. “The peninsula is extremely rugged and previous satellite altimeters have always struggled to see its narrow glaciers. With Cryosat, we get remarkable coverage - better than anything that’s been achieved before,” said Prof Andy Shepherd, also of Leeds University.
The GRL paper follows hard on the heels of two studies that have made a specific assessment of the future prospects for the Amundsen Sea Embayment. One of these reports concluded that the area’s glaciers were now in an irreversible retreat. The other paper, considering one of the glaciers in detail, suggested the reversal process could take several hundred years to be completed. A loss of all the ice in the six glaciers would add about 1.2m to global sea level. This is still a small fraction of the total sea-level potential of Antarctica, which holds something like 26.5 million cubic km ice (or 58m of sea-level rise equivalent). But the continent has been largely insulated from some of the warming influences taking place
elsewhere in the world and it is important, say scientists, to keep a check on any changes that are occurring, and the speed with which they are happening. Prof Duncan Wingham proposed the Cryosat mission and is its principal investigator. He said: “We lack the capability to predict accurately how the Amundsen ice streams will behave in future. “Equally, a continuation or acceleration of their behaviour has serious implications for sea level rise. This makes essential their continued observation, by Cryosat and its successors.” Prof David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey, who was not involved in the Cryosat survey, commented: “The increasing contribution of Antarctica to sea-level rise is a global issue, and we need to use every technique available to understand where and how much ice is being lost. “Through some very clever technical improvements, McMillan and his colleagues have produced the best maps of Antarctic ice loss we have ever had. Prediction of the rate of future global sea-level rise must be begin with a thorough understanding of current changes in the ice sheets - this study puts us exactly where we need to be.” l
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NEC considers Tk79,000cr ADP for FY15 today n Asif Showkat Kallol The government today considers an annual development expenditure of Tk79,031 crore for the next fiscal year. The National Economic Council (NEC) would consider the ADP at its meeting which is scheduled to be chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a senior official of the planning ministry said yesterday. The ADP for the fiscal 2014-15 would be about 32% higher than the revised ADP of Tk60,000 crore for the outgoing fiscal year, officials said. Earlier the planning ministry revised the FY14 ADP down from the original allocation Tk65,870 crore. According to the planning ministry proposal to be placed at today’s NEC meeting, a total of Tk51,331 crore is estimated to come from the local resources and Tk27,700 crore from foreign assistance and loan. In new the ADP, highest allocation is going to the transportation sector, which would be Tk18,098 crore or about 23% of the total ADP, while Tk8,100 crore would go for construction of the much talked about Padma Bridge.
TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014 www.dhakatribune.com/business
Cabinet okays draft RAKUB Act n Mohosinul Karim
Planning Commission Member Shamsul Alam told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the ADP implementation in the outgoing fiscal year is good despite the political turmoil ahead of the January 5 election. He said about 65% of the ADP outlay for the next fiscal would come from the local resources, which is not bad for an economy like Bangladesh. He said the real outlay of the next fiscal year will be Tk84,000 crore as allocations for different corporations will be included in the outlay. However, the ADP would mention only Tk79,000 crore. According to the IMED report, the ADP implementation rate in the outgoing fiscal year was 65% in the first ten months (July to April). The rate was only 43% at end of the March, which increased abnormally by 13% in only 30 days. As per the planning ministry proposal, the second highest allocation of Tk9,403 crore will go to education and religious affairs sector, followed by power sector Tk9,277 crore, water supply and housing sector Tk7,876 crore,
The cabinet has approved the draft of the Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB) Act, 2014, keeping the provision for empowering the bank to give loans in the breeding livestock and fisheries sectors. The draft of the act got the cabinet nod in its regular meeting held yesterday at the secretariat in the capital with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The bank will also have the authority to operate agent banking, mobile and online banking as per the proposed draft of the ‘Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank Act, 2014’ which was prepared to legitimise the RAKUB ordinance promulgated during the military period. The new draft act was prepared following the High Court directive, which had earlier declared the military periods illegal. All the ordinances promulgated under the military rulers also became illegal as per the HC directives. After the meeting, cabinet secretary M. Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told the reporters that the draft was given final approval on a condition of vetting from the law ministry. It will be sent to the parliament for enacting an act soon after vetting by the law ministry.
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WTO DG to visit Dhaka to discuss Bali Package implementation n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman World Trade Organisation Director General Roberto Azevedo will visit Dhaka next month to discuss implementation of the Bali Package with the government of Bangladesh. He is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on June 3, Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. It will be the second visit by any WTO director general in two years as former DG Pascal Lamy visited Dhaka in 2012. The visit is important as Bangladesh will raise the issues of implementation of the package adopted after hectic negotiation at the ninth ministerial conference of WTO in Bali, Indonesia in December last year, Ahmed said. The agreement allows the least developed countries like Bangladesh to get duty-free quota-free market access in an expanded manner. “There are some countries which have not yet provided duty-free market access completely to the LDCs and the Bali Package urged them to expand the coverage before the next WTO ministerial meeting,” said the commerce secretary, who led Bangladesh delegation to the last ministerial meeting. “It is one of the main reasons to invite Azevêdo so the government can
World Trade Organisation Director General Roberto Azevedo discuss the issues.” Bangladesh enjoys duty-free market access to European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan and some other countries. The US being single biggest export destination provides the trade concession to 97% of the products from Bangladesh, but the country’s main export earner readymade garments is not entitled to enjoy the facility till now. A roadmap has been declared to implement the expansion of the greater market access and the WTO is working on the issue, Ahmed said.
In accordance with the Bali Package, members of the developed and developing countries that do not yet provide full duty-free and quota-free market access for products originating in LDCs shall seek to improve their existing duty-free and quota-free coverage for such products, so as to provide increasingly greater market access to LDCs, prior to the next ministerial conference. Azevêdo is the sixth Director-General of the WTO and his appointment took effect on September 1 last year for a four-year term. l
ADB to lend $350m for skills development n Tribune Report Asian Development Bank (ADB) will lend US$350m to Bangladesh to help public and private institutions scale up skills training for 1.25m young workers. It is aimed at making the workers well-equipped to find jobs and meet the changing needs of today’s labour market, says an ADB press release yesterday. “Bringing together the public sector with the private sector to provide the vocational and technical skills that employers’ need will mean more and better-paid jobs and ultimately help Bangladesh shift its economy to a higher level,” said Sungsup Ra, Director in ADB’s South Asia Department. Two thirds of the Bangladesh workforce had only minimal education and only 4% has received any kind of training. The skills development system can only meet about 20% of training needs, meaning many youth cannot find good jobs, underemployment is rife, and wages remain low. Women, in particular, suffer from a lack of skills training. The file photo shows a stall at International Trade Expo on Building and Fire Safety held at Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka in February this year. In line with the owners’ demand, analysts say the duty-free import of fire safety equipment will help the country’s textiles sector better workplace safety DHAKA TRIBUNE
Duty-free import of safety equipment logical, say economists n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi
While the factory owners have recently demanded duty-free import of fire safety equipment and pre-fabricated building materials, policy analysts think the demand is logical given the current safety situation. When contacted, former caretaker government adviser and economist Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said the facility could be given for a certain period like 1-2 years only to those factories closed or to be closed under safety concerns. The materials will be used to reconstruct or relocate factory buildings. The duty-free import is believed to largely facilitate the safety improvement works in the country’s apparel sector. “Some flawed factories have already been closed. Some may face closures. In these circumstances, the duty-free import of necessary safety materials could be allowed, but for a certain period like 1-2 years,” said Dr Aziz. He, however, suggested ensuring an effective monitoring so that the facility cannot be used for other purposes such as importing the materials for other sector or selling them in the market. Dr Aziz said if locally made mate-
rials maintain required standards, the firms should also be given tax rebate so that they can supply quality products at less prices. Prof Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), also spoke the same about the issue. According to him, as the country’s readymade garment sector is passing a difficult time over compliance issues, the government should exempt the safety materials import from duty. After a period, the facility can be withdrawn. About the locally made materials and fire safety equipment, the economist said they are not internationally certified and accepted by the global buyers. “Demand for duty-free import of fire equipment is logical, as the sector is dependent on imported materials,” said executive director of CPD, a think-tank. “To make the RMG sector compliant, relocation is a must for many factories. For immediate relocation, pre-fabricated building materials are mostly needed. So the government can help the entrepreneurs improve safety allowing duty-free import of materials,” Dr Mustafiz. “To avert job cuts, it is necessary,” he stressed. When the local producers are able
to produce globally recognised materials, no import will be required, said Dr Mustafiz. Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General Brig Gen Ali Ahmed also thinks, in this current situation, about the need for suspending duty over import of safety equipment. He said as the entrepreneurs have showed their interest to make the sector compliant and safe, the facility can help them maintain the standards. “From fire department, we have recommended it to the government to include in the next budget,” he said. According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), a good number of factories need to be relocated as the Accord and Alliance found those faulty. Besides, there are still more factories, doing business in shared buildings also have to relocated within a stipulated time frame. A total of 174 factories closed since the Rana Plaza building collapse due to safety, order shortage and political unrest. An rough estimate of BGMEA said, around 1,200 RMG factories need to install sprinklers, while 3,000 other factories have to install fire doors as per the requirement of the Accord and Alliance, which would cost over Tk2,500 crore. l
By 2025, Bangladesh is expected to have 78m workers, up from 56.7m in 2010. However, Bangladesh will only be able to take advantage of this demographic shift if it makes urgent investments in higher-quality schooling and at least a four-fold increase in skills training. The government’s National Skills Development Council has been working to promote skills since 2011 as part of its vision of achieving middle-income status by 2021. The total cost of the government’s skills for employment investment programme is estimated at $1.07bn. ADB loans for the programme will be made in three tranches as part of a seven-year financing facility. It is expected to be complemented by $200m in co-financing from the Government of Bangladesh, $30m from the Government of Switzerland, $400m from other development partners and $90m from the private sector. The investment programme will support skills training in 15 priority sectors, starting with six sectors - gar-
ments and textiles, leather, construction, light engineering, information technology, and shipbuilding. A major target of the programme is to boost job placement to around 70% from about 40% now. The first $100m tranche of the facility is expected to be signed in the coming weeks with the second expected in mid-2016 and the third in mid-2018. The first tranche will target 40,000 women and disadvantaged people, including those with disabilities. It will also support 32 public training institutions under three ministries, nine industry associations, microcredit organisation Palli-Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Bangladesh Bank’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Department. By 2015, the programme aims to help set up a National Human Resource Development Fund to scale up skills training. The programme will also support the government’s plan to establish a new ministry or authority for skills development. l
HC asks Annisul Huq to buy back Desh Energy shares
Biman calls fresh bid for CMI n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
n Nazmus Sakib
Biman Bangladesh Airlines has invited a fresh tender to appoint a CMI (Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) Partner to operate two of its Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts to New York. A tender notice will be published in newspapers in a day or two, said a senior executive of Biman yesterday. The interested parties will be asked to submit proposals by 15 June. According to the national airlines, the previous tender failed to receive satisfactory proposals under the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. CMI with category 1 air operator’s certificate (AOC) is mandatory for operation of flights in the route as per FAA rules. After having failed to hire such a CMI partner, Biman already deferred the date for resuming flights in the route to mid-August.
The High Court yesterday directed Annisul Huq, chairman of the board of directors at Desh Energy Ltd, and his son Navidul Huq to buy back the rest 20% shares from its two founders. A High Court bench of Justice Md Rezaul Hasan delivered the ruling after hearing both sides on a petition jointly lodged under the Companies Act, 1994 to protect the interest of two minority shareholders—Nuher Latif Khan and Saba Khan, who owned the 20% shares evenly divided. Supreme Court lawyers Akhtar Imam, Rashna Imam and Reshad Imam represented the petitioners while Sheikh Fazle Nur Tapash and Mehedi Hossain Chowdhury pleaded for Annisul Huq and his son. The majority of the shareholders—Annisul Huq and his son were directed to buy the shares when an independent audit firm after inspection set the values of the shares. The court, in its full text of the verdict, would specify the firm’s name and set the period to submit a report before it specifying the values of shares, Reshad Imam told the Dhaka Tribune. The petition, filed on April 15 last year, claimed that Annisul had removed Nuher from the post of Managing Director as well as co-signatory of the company by adopting a resolution, which was a violation of their mutual understanding.
During the company’s incorporation in 2005, Nuher and Saba owned 50% shares which slid to 20% now. Annisul Huq, former president of both FBCCI and BGMEA, and his son became partners of the company by purchasing 50% shares from another two founders—Zahangir Alam and Tasnin Sultana in 2006, which has now risen to 80%. Desh Energy owns a gas-run power plant at Sylhet’s Kumargaon and another oil-run plant at Narayanganj’s Siddhirganj. The two plants have a combined output of 110MW power. The petition alleged that Annisul had withdrawn cash alarmingly from the company’s bank account without having any justification. Annisul’s counsel Mehedi, however, said they would file a petition with the chamber judge of the Appellate Division seeking a stay over the High Court verdict. l
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Stock DSE GAINERS
Stocks extend losses for 7th day
DSE key features May 19, 2014
n Tribune Report
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
'Dragged by profit booking on selected sectors like banks, NBFIs and power sectors' The total turnover volume went for a sharp decline along with all three indices, as not a single sector was able to generate enough strength or enthusiasm to change the direction of the market, it said. Grameenphone was the most traded stocks with shares worth Tk10 crore changing hands, followed by Hwa Well Textile, Lafarge Surma Cement, Square Pharmaceuticals, Matin Spinning and Heidelberg Cement. l
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
CSE key features May 19, 2014 Turnover (Million Taka)
Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index :
Number of Contract
The benchmark index extended further losses with breaking the psychological 4,400 level weighed down by concerns over reducing exposure of banks in capital market, following central bank’s pressure, it said. Zenith Investments said after slipping into negative territory for the past consecutive day, the Dhaka bourse once again ended the day on a weak note.
Stocks extended losses for the seventh consecutive session yesterday with DSE turnover slipping to seven-month low. The benchmark DSEX lost 38 points or 0.9% to close at 4,364. The Shariah index DSES closed at 971 with a drop of 10 points or 1%. The blue chip comprising index DS30 shed 15 points or 1% to 1,583. The Chittagong Stock Exchange’s Selective Category Index, CSCX, dropped 57 points to 8,412. Liquidity remained dry at DSE with a total turnover of Tk217 crore, which is 5.3% lower over the previous session and lowest since October last year. Almost all the sectors suffered. Pharmaceuticals and power lost the most with more than 1% each. Telecommunication, food and allied, banks and non-banking financial institution ended slightly down. The market breadth remained negative as out of 293 issues traded, 84 advanced, 178 declined and 31 remained unchanged. Lanka Bangla Securities said dragged by profit booking on selected sectors like banks, NBFIs and power sectors over consistent slowed-down market activities.
Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)
Number of Contract
Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)
Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)
CSE All Share Index:
Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)
CSE - 30 Index :
Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
DSE Shariah Index : DSE - 30 Index :
CSE Selected Index : DSE LOSERS
Summit Power -A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A S Purbanchol Power-N Beximco Pharma -A BD Fixed Income MF-A Modern Dyeing -Z Northern G Insur-A 2nd ICB M F -A
-14.81 -13.79 -12.10 -9.90 -9.68 -9.65 -5.71 -5.63
Average (% change) -14.70 -12.73 -11.81 -9.12 -9.68 -9.65 -4.91 -5.49
Progressive Life-A Hwa Well Textiles-N
Closing (% change)
Summit Power -A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Standard Insurance-A S Purbanchol Power-N Beximco Pharma -A Meghna Life Ins. -A Asia Pasific Insu. -A Imam Button -Z
-15.63 -12.69 -12.53 -11.33 -9.83 -8.10 -8.00 -6.90
Average (% change) -15.00 -12.15 -12.53 -11.06 -9.13 -8.12 -8.00 -6.68
Phoenix Finance-A The Ibn SinaA
Closing (% change)
Bank NBFI Investment Engineering Food & Allied Fuel & Power Jute Textile Pharma & Chemical Paper & Packaging Service Leather Ceramic Cement Information Technology General Insurance Life Insurance Telecom Travel & Leisure Miscellaneous Debenture
DSE Million Taka 228.18 73.72 64.25 190.53 136.68 210.35 3.49 367.11 347.45 0.78 48.83 39.92 7.70 139.22 13.53 37.85 50.82 134.10 15.98 59.83 0.42
Turnover in million
29.94 22.77 44.59 37.97 8.40 74.90 38.77 260.00
29.90 22.50 44.30 37.30 8.40 74.90 38.00 259.60
31.00 23.20 45.90 41.40 8.50 74.90 40.20 262.00
27.50 20.50 41.30 35.50 8.40 74.90 36.30 253.50
14.127 19.367 14.725 20.754 0.021 0.004 3.751 0.052
3.00 0.59 4.24 3.60 0.56 1.61 6.40 33.24
10.0 38.6 10.5 10.5 15.0 46.5 6.1 7.8
Turnover in million
Kohinoor Chem -A Standard Ceramic -A MBL 1st M. F.-A Libra Infusions-A Renwick Jajneswar-A Mercantile Bank -A Reliance Insur -A In Tech Online -A Ambee Pharma -A Pharma Aids A
29.70 22.70 32.10 44.60 37.60 113.50 23.00 8.10
30.00 23.20 32.10 45.50 38.90 122.00 23.00 8.10
29.50 22.60 32.10 44.10 37.20 111.50 23.00 8.10
1.710 5.115 0.048 0.301 1.196 0.136 0.127 0.004
3.00 0.59 2.88 4.24 3.60 6.45 2.48 -1.85
10.0 38.6 11.1 10.5 10.6 17.6 9.3 -ve
After slipping into negative territory for the past consecutive day, the Dhaka bourse once again ended the day on a weak note
% change 10.51 3.40 2.96 8.78 6.30 9.69 0.16 16.91 16.01 0.04 2.25 1.84 0.35 6.41 0.62 1.74 2.34 6.18 0.74 2.76 0.02
Million Taka 19.28 7.68 3.42 12.40 9.18 28.49 41.52 22.66 10.35 1.38 11.74 0.73 14.37 2.31 1.33 3.09 14.21 2.79 10.52 0.04
% change 8.87 3.53 1.57 5.70 4.22 13.10 0.00 19.09 10.42 4.76 0.63 5.40 0.33 6.61 1.06 0.61 1.42 6.53 1.28 4.84 0.02
Million Taka 247.46 81.41 67.67 202.93 145.87 238.85 3.49 408.63 370.10 11.13 50.21 51.66 8.43 153.59 15.85 39.18 53.90 148.31 18.77 70.35 0.46
7.90 5.62 4.92 4.48 4.31 3.77 3.55 3.13 2.53 2.51
CSE GAINERS Company Rangpur Foundry -A Standard Ceramic -A Eastland Insur -A MeghnaCement -A Bangladesh Lamps -A Mercantile Bank -A In Tech Online -A Apex SpinningA Ambee Pharma -A Berger Paints-A
Closing (% change) 7.66 5.95 5.82 5.63 4.07 3.80 3.13 2.96 2.83 2.83
Average (% change) 6.65 4.96 0.63 4.54 5.30 3.34 3.31 2.57 8.10 2.43 Average (% change) 7.66 3.09 5.71 5.63 4.05 2.03 1.24 2.93 8.88 2.83
Closing average 375.40 44.90 6.37 426.88 323.19 16.38 67.01 13.15 354.41 206.07
Closing average 97.00 43.32 40.00 122.00 115.00 16.06 13.06 80.00 355.77 1090.00
Closing 379.80 45.10 6.40 426.80 319.70 16.50 67.00 13.20 349.10 204.10
Closing 97.00 44.50 40.00 122.00 115.00 16.40 13.20 80.00 351.90 1090.00
Daily high 379.80 45.90 6.60 430.90 330.90 16.90 69.00 13.30 366.00 210.00
Daily high 97.00 44.50 40.00 122.00 115.00 16.40 13.20 80.00 365.00 1090.00
Daily low 352.00 42.70 6.10 423.00 311.00 14.50 63.00 11.60 344.90 200.00
Daily low 97.00 42.00 40.00 122.00 115.00 15.40 12.90 80.00 350.00 1090.00
Turnover in million 0.223 0.651 9.897 0.683 9.518 24.473 0.583 1.472 13.308 25.450
Turnover in million 0.049 0.217 0.008 0.195 0.012 1.509 0.228 0.032 4.090 0.055
Latest EPS 9.37 1.32 1.44 4.20 3.92 1.16 5.84 -0.80 3.20 4.63
Latest EPS 3.08 1.32 4.24 7.00 0.92 1.16 -0.80 1.85 3.20 57.68
Latest PE 40.1 34.0 4.4 101.6 82.4 14.1 11.5 -ve 110.8 44.5
Latest PE 31.5 32.8 9.4 17.4 125.0 13.8 -ve 43.2 111.2 18.9
News from trade server JAMUNABANK: Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Limited (CRAB) has announced the surveillance rating of the Company as "A1" in the long term and "ST-2" in the short term based on audited financial statements of the Company up to 31 December 2013 and other relevant quantitative as well as qualitative information up to the date of rating declaration. BANKASIA: The Company has informed that the Board of Directors has taken the following decision: "Resolved that the proposal to issue Bank Asia 7 Year Floating Rate (11.50% to 14.50%) Non-Convertible Subordinated Bond with an issue price of Tk. 300.00 crore to raise capital of the Bank, subject to the approval of Bangladesh Bank, BSEC and the general shareholders of the Bank in the EGM be and is hereby approved, provided that any changes in the feature of the Bond, tenor, issue size or whatever as deemed necessary by any regulatory advice or otherwise may be decided by the Board of Directors of the Company." Date of EGM: 26.06.2014, Time: 10:30 AM, Venue: Institute of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh,
DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Grameenphone-A Hwa Well Textiles-N LafargeS Cement-Z Square Pharma -A Matin Spinning-N HeidelbergCement -A AFC AgroBiotech-N
Closing (% change)
Council Hall (2nd Floor), 160/A Kakrail, Dhaka-1000. Record Date for EGM: 29.05.2014. SUMITPOWER: The Company has further informed that due to unavoidable circumstances, the 17th AGM of the Company will now be held on June 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM at Police Convention Hall, Eskaton Gardern Road, Ramna, Dhaka-1000 instead of June 30, 2014 at Bashundhara Convention Center-2, Block-C, Umme Kulsum Road, Bashundhara R/A, Baridhara, Dhaka-1229. Other information of the AGM will remain unchanged. SPPCL: The Company has further informed that due to unavoidable circumstances, the 7th AGM of the Company will now be held on June 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Police Convention Hall, Eskaton Gardern Road, Ramna, Dhaka-1000 instead of June 30, 2014 at Bashundhara Convention Center-2, Block-C, Umme Kulsum Road, Bashundhara R/A, Baridhara, Dhaka-1229. Other information of the AGM will remain unchanged. NCCBANK: The Company has informed that as approved by Bangladesh Bank, Mr.
Golam Hafiz Ahmed has assumed the office of the Managing Director & CEO of the Company with effect from May 08, 2014. HRTEX: The Company has informed that the Share Office of the Company will be shifted to "Mirandale" Apartment Complex (2nd Floor), House # 3, Road # 5, Block # j, Baridhara Model Town, Dhaka-1212 with effect from 1st June 2014. RIGHT SHARE: DELTASPINN: Subscription 05.08.2014 to 31.08.2014. RD for entitlement of rights share: 28.04.2014. IPO Subscription: Tung Hai Knitting & Dyeing Limited subscription date 18-22 May 2014, NRB upto 31 May 2014. @ taka 10, face value taka 10 and market lot 500. Far East Knitting & Dyeing Industries Limited subscription date 15-19 June 2014, NRB upto 28 June 2014. @ taka 22, face value taka 10 and market lot 200. Shurwid Industries Limited subscription date 08-12 June 2014, NRB upto 21 June 2014. @ taka 10, face value taka 10 and market lot 500. Saif Powertec Limited subscription date 06-10 July 2014, NRB upto 19 July 2014. @ taka 10, face value taka 30 and market lot 200.
29.86 22.78 32.10 44.70 38.01 113.48 23.00 8.10
SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY Sector
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
% change 10.36 3.41 2.83 8.50 6.11 10.00 0.15 17.11 15.50 0.47 2.10 2.16 0.35 6.43 0.66 1.64 2.26 6.21 0.79 2.95 0.02
Prepared exclusively for Dhaka Tribune by Business Information Automation Service Line (BIASL), on the basis of information collected from daily stock quotations and audited reports of the listed companies. High level of caution has been taken to collect and present the above information and data. The publisher will not take any responsibility if any body uses this information and data for his/her investment decision. For any query please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01552153562 or go to www.biasl.net
Eastern Housing -A Padma Oil Co. -A Emerald Oil Ind. -N
Orion Pharma-N BD Submarine Cable-A Meghna Petroleum -A Active Fine Chem.-A Southeast Bank-A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Hwa Well Textiles-N
LafargeS Cement-Z Grameenphone-A Matin Spinning-N BD Submarine Cable-A MJL BD Ltd.-A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A LankaBangla Fin. -A Khulna Power-A BSC-A Meghna Petroleum -A Ambee Pharma -A Square Pharma -A Appollo Ispat CL -N Jamuna Oil -A
Volume shares 377,868 2,259,000 949,500 212,997 1,211,200 108,100 827,500 721,859 135,779 851,000
793,140 191,805 121,948 499,917 1,660,551
362,500 140,500 29,400 167,400 35,632 62,829 224,582 98,539 95,085 7,980 14,900 11,496 15,181 148,000 17,140
Value in million 99.00 93.96 63.35 56.69 55.55 52.59 47.45 45.15 44.40 41.65
41.10 35.10 34.09 33.26 33.20
Value in million
14.96 9.33 7.70 7.66 6.51 5.15 5.11 4.48 4.35 4.34 4.19 4.09 4.05 3.90 3.69
% of total turnover 4.56 4.33 2.92 2.61 2.56 2.42 2.19 2.08 2.05 1.92
1.89 1.62 1.57 1.53 1.53
% of total turnover
8.24 5.14 4.24 4.22 3.58 2.84 2.82 2.47 2.40 2.39 2.31 2.25 2.23 2.15 2.03
Daily closing 261.40 41.10 66.30 265.90 45.30 480.90 57.60 61.70 324.80 48.00
51.20 181.40 278.80 66.90 20.00
40.90 66.20 262.00 45.10 181.40 82.30 22.70 45.30 49.60 541.30 278.60 351.90 265.30 26.20 214.90
Price change -0.31 -4.86 -0.90 -0.67 -2.58 -3.72 1.41 -2.83 0.03 -3.61
Daily opening 262.20 43.20 66.90 267.70 46.50 499.50 56.80 63.50 324.70 49.80
-2.85 -1.89 0.04 2.14 1.52
-4.66 -0.90 0.11 -3.01 -1.63 0.73 -12.69 0.67 0.61 -0.45 -0.07 2.83 -0.52 -1.87 -0.42
52.70 184.90 278.70 65.50 19.70
42.90 66.80 261.70 46.50 184.40 81.70 26.00 45.00 49.30 543.75 278.80 342.20 266.70 26.70 215.80
Daily high 265.40 43.60 67.10 269.70 46.90 502.90 58.00 65.00 332.50 50.30
Daily low 250.00 39.90 66.20 252.00 44.70 479.20 56.30 58.00 300.00 47.80
Daily average 261.99 41.59 66.72 266.16 45.86 486.52 57.34 62.55 326.98 48.94
53.50 186.00 283.00 67.20 21.30
43.50 67.00 263.60 46.70 185.00 83.00 23.20 45.90 51.90 549.50 282.90 365.00 272.90 26.90 216.00
47.50 167.50 271.00 61.00 17.80
39.90 66.00 260.50 45.00 180.70 79.60 22.60 45.10 45.50 538.30 278.00 350.00 265.00 26.00 213.70
51.82 183.00 279.57 66.53 19.99
41.26 66.38 261.98 45.74 182.57 81.94 22.78 45.51 45.76 543.94 281.12 355.77 266.45 26.38 215.18
Berlin start-up pioneers fish-farm veggie garden n AFP, Berlin The ancient Aztecs and Chinese did it millenia ago, and now a Berlin startup hopes it will feed 21st-century city dwellers using aquaponics, a combination of rearing fish and growing vegetables. Set up inside the brick walls of an old brewery, the company ECF, short for Efficient City Farming, is using an age-old technique to grow tomatoes, peppers and greens in a miniature container farm, fertilised with fish excretions. “Our vision is to give city dwellers access to agricultural goods produced in a sustainable way,” said Nicolas Leschke, who founded ECF two years ago with a business partner. Aquaponics, as the method is known, combines the techniques of hydroponics, or cultivating plants in water, with aquaculture - or the rearing of fish in tanks. Because it allows food to be produced directly in cities, not the distant countryside, “the environmental and financial costs of conserving and transporting the goods are greatly reduced”, Leschke told AFP. “And last but not least, it guarantees access to fresh products,” he added, snacking on a home-grown swiss chard, a leafy green vegetable popular in Mediterranean cuisine. The business has set up a prototype container farm on two levels, with a fish tank at the bottom and a small greenhouse at the top where vegetables are grown. Separate to the aquarium is a tank with a special filter which uses bacteria
Nicolas Leschke, CEO and founder of ECF Farm systems checks his crops at a green house built on a shipping container by the ECF Containerfarming company at an industrial estate in Berlin. The ECF Containerfarming project consists of a shipping container housing aquaculture with attached greenhouse, containing the hydroponics. The resource-saving aquaponic system offers simultaneous fish farming and vegetable growing AFP to transform the ammonium of the fish excretions into nitrates. The nitrate-enriched water is then pumped to irrigate a greenhouse where the plants grow, not in soil but in a hydroponic bath of flowing water enriched with mineral nutrients. It is ideal for farming in crowded population centres - an important point
Facebook developing video chat app to rival Snapchat n Reuters, New York Facebook Inc is developing its own video-chat app, known internally as Slingshot, after its failed attempt to acquire mobile messaging startup Snapchat, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Facebook has been working for several months on the planned video-chat app, which would allow users to send short video messages using a touchscreen, the FT said, citing people familiar with its plans. Slingshot could be launched this
Asoke Das Gupta
month, the paper cited one source as saying, while noting that Facebook might ultimately decide not to proceed with the launch of the app. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has been overseeing the “top-secret” project after the social network company was unable to win Snapchat’s creators, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, with its $3bn takeover offer late last year, the FT said. Snapchat, popular among teenagers, allows users to send smartphone photos that automatically disappear after a few seconds. l
Sayeed H Chowdhury
One Bank re-elects its chair n Tribune Business Desk ONE Bank Limited has recently reelected Sayeed H Chowdhury as the board chair for another one-year term from May 15 onwards while Asoke Das Gupta as its vice chair and and Zahur Ullah as its executive committee chair. British educated Sayeed H Chowd-
hury is the founder, chair and CEO of the conglomerate HRC. Vice chair, Asoke Das Gupta is the chief executive of IMTREX and the managing director of Uniroyal Trade Limited. Zahur Ullah is also the chair of LL Group and managing director of GTEX Ltd. l
at times of growing urbanisation, with half of the world’s population now living in cities. Because the water is used for both the fish and the plants, the method is less water-hungry than traditional farming, while carbon dioxide in the fish waste is recycled as a plant nutrient.
Barramundi, greens to go
The roots of aquaponics have been traced back to the Aztecs, who raised plants on islands in lake shallows, and to Far Eastern cultures who farmed rice in paddy in combination with fish. ECF, which last year won a start-up award in California for its innovative take on the ancient technique, has al-
Dollar under pressure in Asia after mixed data n AFP, Tokyo The dollar slipped in Asia yesterday following mixed US data and simmering geopolitical concerns, while the Indian rupee sat close to one-year highs after the pro-business opposition won the country’s general election. In afternoon Tokyo trading, the greenback fetched 101.43 yen, against 101.54 yen in New York Friday afternoon. The euro rose to $1.3700 from $1.3695 while changing hands at 138.98 yen against 139.08 yen. The greenback was also worth 58.40 rupees - levels not seen since June - after falling more than one percent on Friday as Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stormed to power at the end of a marathon election. The prime minister-elect summoned senior figures from the Hindu nationalist party on Sunday for talks on forming a new government, which won a strong mandate on promises to introduce reforms to turn around the economy. Investors were skittish over the simmering Ukraine crisis and growing antiChinese unrest in Vietnam, while data out of the United States gave a mixed picture on the world’s number one economy. That boosted buying of the yen, seen as a safe haven during times of uncertainty or turmoil. “The yen has been in demand,
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
mainly due to unstable risk sentiment and falling expectations of the Bank of Japan considering a more aggressive monetary policy stance anytime soon,” Credit Agricole said. On Friday, data showed US housing starts jumped a stronger-than-expected 13.2% in April, although the jump was driven by construction in the often-volatile multi-unit sector, while consumer confidence weakened. Traders are now looking to tomorrow’s release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April 29-30 policy meeting, with Credit Agricole saying they “will be closely scrutinised for potential evolution of forward guidance as well as for clues on the monetary policy path going forward”. Also Wednesday the Bank of Japan will complete its own two-day policy meeting, which will be watched for an idea of its plans for its own monetary policy. The dollar was mostly lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It fell to 11,358.80 Indonesian rupiah from 11,401.80 rupiah on Friday, to Tw$30.13 from Tw$30.15, and to 1,022.53 South Korean won from 1,025.16 won. The US unit also dropped to Sg$1.2510 from Sg$1.2520, to 43.62 Philippine pesos from 43.75 pesos and to 32.47 Thai baht from 32.48 baht. The Australian dollar was unchanged at 93.53 US cents while the Chinese yuan slipped to 16.23 yen from 16.26 yen. l
ready sold several of its mini farms, but stressed that “our business is not farming as a lifestyle hobby”. The company’s goal is to sell bigger farms, to companies, real estate developers or even farmers themselves, said the chief who added, “we have requests from all over the world”. For now, ECF has bought a plot of land just outside its offices where it plans to set up its first large-sized aquaponics farm next year, on a 1,800-square-metre (0.4-acre) area. Berlin’s state investment bank has agreed to help finance the venture, which the firm hopes will spin a yearly revenue of 550,000 euros ($760,000). The farm will sell fruit and vegetables in a dedicated store on the premises, as well as deliver to Berliners who subscribe to a weekly basket of fresh produce. It will also sell barramundi, its chosen breed of fish which is popular in Australia and Asia, “to restaurants, or if someone calls up and says ‘I am having a big barbecue at the weekend, I need 10 of them’”. With its products grown next door, ECF is embracing a powerful social trend. For more and more consumers, knowing something has been grown or reared locally is now more important than it being organic, a study by consulting firm ATKearney in Germany, Switzerland and Austria found last year. Quality, freshness and supporting the local economy are the main reasons behind the enthusiasm for local and regional products, ATKearney said, calling the trend “the new organic”. l
Oil prices rise on Libyan violence n AFP, Singapore Oil prices edged higher in Asia yesterday on escalating violence in crude producer Libya following a coup attempt by a rogue general that has raised concerns about potential supply disruptions, analysts said. The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in June, rose 17 cents to $102.19 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for July rose 24 cents to $109.99. l
NEC considers B1 COLUMN 6
development of rural development sector Tk6,871 crore. Besides, agriculture sector will get Tk5,575 crore and health sector Tk4,943 crore. Planning Commission sources said nearly 1,800 development projects would be incorporated in the new ADP while the autonomous bodies would implement 135 projects with own financing and those are also incorporated in the ADP. Of the total projects, 1,034 will be carried over from the previous year. In addition, 681 unapproved projects without allocation have been incorporated in the green page of the upcoming ADP. In the current ADP, some 662 unapproved projects without allocation were incorporated in the ADP, of which 246 projects will be eliminated from the list due to successful conclusion. l
Cabinet okays draft RAKUB Act B1 COLUMN 3
RAKUB was established in 1986 under an ordinance promulgated by the thenmilitary ruler. The ordinance was enacted in English. However, the law was drafted in Bengali. “The provision of breeding livestock and cultivating fisheries was included in the definition of agriculture of the RAKUB Act. The processing of livestock and fisheries goods will also be considered as agriculture products under the new act,” he added. The number of the board member of the bank will be increased to 11 from the existing 7. Rajshahi Divisional Commissioner, Deputy Directors of Department of Agriculture Extension, Department of Fisheries and Department of Livestock
of Rangpur division will be included as new member of the board. “A new post of Deputy Managing Director would be created for the bank,” he added. Bhuiyan noted that the RAKUB has already been running its operation in the districts of newly formed Rangpur division. After starting the operation of RAKUB, the districts of Rangpur division separated from Rajshahi division. The financial statements and reports of the bank will be published in newspapers and on the website of the bank. The cabinet meeting also finally approved the draft of Khulna Agriculture University, which was earlier decided in principle on October 28, 2013. The university is being established as per the pledge made by the prime minister. l
Biman calls fresh bid for CMI B1 COLUMN 6
Earlier, the date was set for first week of June. Biman sources however said resuming is not possible this year. Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon held a meeting with Biman Board at his office in Dhaka yesterday. He said resuming Dhaka-New York flights is a top priority of his ministry, and they are working to make it happen soon. A senior Biman executive said as response to the previous tender was not satisfactory enough, another call is needed. “We are sincere to reopen DhakaNew York flights, and that’s why initiatives have been taken to hire category 1 CMI,” he said. In the previous tender, Biman re-
ceived offers from the Breaking International Air of Finland, China Southern Airlines, Omni Air International and Omni Apico White Airways from Portugal, Air Atlanta of Iceland, Atlas Air from the USA, Eagle Express and Egypt Airlines. Biman’s New York flights were grounded in 2006.
Biman plans to suspend Delhi and Hong Kong flights during Hajj
The meeting also discussed the issues of Hajj flights management. For Hajj flights, Biman will suspend flights to Delhi and Hong Kong for around four months, said the minister. Biman also plans to reduce flights from Dubai, Doha and Kuala Lampur to carry Hajj pilgrims, Menon said. l
Union Capital Limited recently signed an agreement with Bangladesh Bank for participating in refinance scheme for agro-based product processing industries in rural areas and for small enterprises at the central bank’s office. Bangladesh Bank’s deputy governor Md Abul Quasem presided over the meeting that was attended by Md Akter Hossain Sannamat, managing director and CEO of Union Capital Limited
NRB Commercial Bank Limited launched its 15th branch at Zirabo in Ashulia, Dhaka yesterday. The bank’s vice chair Toufique Rahman Chowdhury inaugurated the branch Pacific Motors Ltd and Hyundai Motors Bangladesh Ltd have donated two police patrol vans to the Gulshan Police Station yesterday. The photo shows Shareq Fahim Haque, managing director of Millennium Group handing over the keys of the vehicles to Khandaker Lutful Kabir, deputy police commissioner, Gulshan division at Gulshan Police Station Complex
Prime Bank Limited was recently given the first runner-up position at SAFA (South Asian Federation of Accountants) Best Presented Annual Report Awards 2012 in the category of private sector commercial banks. The bank’s head of financial administration division Shahjahan Majumder received the award on behalf of the bank from the SAFA president at a hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan
Standard Bank Ltd on Sunday held its 15th annual general meeting at a convention centre in Ramna, Dhaka. The bank’s chair Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed presided over the meeting where 10% cash dividend for the last operating year was approved
City Bank recently extended its support towards Institute of Bankers, Bangladesh (IBB) by donating Tk44.6 lakh to purchase IBB’s own office space. Sohail R K Hussain, the bank’s MD and CEO handed over the cheque to Dr Md Shaik Romijul Karim, additional director of IBB at the bank’s head office
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Alibaba – the new face of finance in China n Reuters, Beijing For Yuan Yue, a Chinese graduate student in international trade, moving all of her spare cash to an online investment fund called Yu’e Bao was a no brainer. “The yield is even higher than a bank time deposit, but a time deposit ties up your money ... so it’s better to just keep it in Yu’e Bao, because you can use the money anytime. So why keep it at the bank?” said Yuan, who studies in Shanghai. Yu’e Bao, available on smartphones, is conveniently linked to China’s biggest online payments platform Alipay, similar to PayPal and owned by an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Users can dip directly into Yu’e Bao to pay for goods bought online. As Alibaba gears up for what could be the world’s biggest tech IPO, online finance has become another focus of the sprawling firm - and while that business will be largely kept separate from the offering, it could play a major role in the entire company’s future growth. China’s banking industry is behind those of developed markets but its number of Internet users, now more than 618 million, is sparking a boom in online and mobile payments. The total transaction value of China’s third-party online payments is expected to reach 18.5tn yuan ($2.97tn)
by 2017, up from 5.4tn yuan last year, according to Shanghai-based data firm iResearch. Yu’e Bao’s high interest rates are an incentive to deposit money into the platform, money which can easily be used to buy products on Alibaba’s huge online shopping websites and anywhere else that takes Alipay. Money market fund Yu’e Bao has been such a success that the fund management company that helped launch it, Tianhong Asset Management Co, has gone from near obscurity to China’s biggest in terms of assets under management (AUM) in just months. The firm had 554bn yuan ($88.88bn) in AUM in the first quarter of 2014, from just 10.5bn yuan a year earlier, according to Z-Ben Advisors, a Shanghaibased investment management consultancy. And now the company that owns Alipay, Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Co, is waiting for regulatory approval to buy 51% of Tianhong. Tianhong’s massive assets under management are in low risk, highly liquid money market funds, said Wang Dengfeng, Tianhong’s fund manager. “We knew it was a break-through product and would succeed but we were surprised that it could reach today’s levels,” Wang said. “We didn’t expect it to move the money market industry and also the country’s money management policies.”
A man walks out of a building at Alibaba's headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
Tianhong may have grown fast, but like most money market funds it has razor thin profit margins, said Chris Powers, a consultant at Z-Ben Advisors.
“The key will be whether Tianhong can take their now new name recognition and their long list of investors and use them to get them to invest in normal equity funds or fixed income funds
which will really help grow their AUM but also grow their revenue,” he said. Yu’e Bao and Tianhong may also come under regulatory pressure. Their rise has angered China’s big
state-owned banks, which can’t compete on deposit interest rates as they’re controlled by the central bank. The banking regulator has been talking about possible restrictions on fund flows to e-payment platforms or even subjecting them to the same requirements as standard banks. Alibaba founder Jack Ma is fighting back. “It’s not the monopolies and powers that determine success in the market, it’s the consumer,” Ma said on Alibaba’s mobile chat app, after banks imposed limits on how much their customers could transfer to Alipay in March. But it’s not just regulatory challenges looming. Competitors such as China’s dominant online search company Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd, a social networking and online gaming giant with the hugely popular WeChat mobile messaging app, have their own investment platforms for customers. And those customers are fickle. Yuan Yue has been watching the yields on Yu’e Bao carefully as they’ve dropped below 5% for the first time. A one-year time deposit at a local bank pays at most 3.3%. “If it falls below 4% I won’t keep it in Yu’e Bao,” she said. “Others like WeChat and Baidu are offering similar products. “I can split it up - 2,000 yuan in Baidu’s fund, 2,000 yuan in a WeChat fund. They all make me money and the risk is diversified.” l
Internal documents show GM asks engineers not to use word ‘defect’ n Reuters, Washington Moody’s: Decisive Indian election outcome ‘credit positive’ n Reuters, Mumbai The Bharatiya Janata Party’s resounding election win is credit positive for India as it boosts the prospect that a stable government will address the country’s economic challenges, Moody’s Investor Service said yesterday. Moody’s rates India “Baa3”, the lowest investment-grade rating with a “stable” outlook. “The completion of the election will allow stalled policies relating to the corporate and infrastructure sectors to resume, a credit positive for the country’s corporates,” said Vikas Halan, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody’s, said in a statement. Rival rating agency Standard & Poor’s also rates India at the lowest investment grade, but with a “negative” outlook. Investors are increasingly betting on a turnaround in the Indian economy after the Narendra Modiled BJP and its allies won a more decisive-than-expected 334 seats in India’s 543-member lower house in vote counting on Friday. “Closer co-ordination between the central and state governments on clearances for mega projects and land use, two proposals outlined in the BJP’s manifesto, would address investment delays,” Halan wrote. India’s economy is growing at less than 5%, its slowest in a decade. l
General Motors Co warned its engineers against using the words “safety” and “defect” when identifying product risks, and explicitly told them not to use inflammatory terms including “widow-maker” and “Hindenburg,” according to company documents released by the US government on Friday. US officials, in announcing a $35m fine against GM for its delayed response to a deadly ignition switch flaw in certain vehicles, say the documents show a dangerous company culture. The confidential GM training documents, which were used during a 2008 technical learning symposium, give engineers replacement words. The company advised them to use “does not perform to design” instead of “defect,” and “condition” instead of “problem.” David Friedman, the acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, said the materials robbed the company of essential terms needed for engineers and investigators to clearly flag problems to higher-ups. “GM must rethink the corporate philosophy reflected in the documents we reviewed,” Friedman said. The Detroit automaker is facing multiple investigations into why it took more than a decade to respond to evidence of a deadly ignition switch flaw that has been linked to at least 13 deaths. It has recalled 2.6 million vehicles due to the risk that the cars can unexpectedly stall, disabling air bags, power steering and power brakes. A spokesman for GM, Greg Martin, said the company’s culture has changed since the 2008 training session and cited a program the company has put in place to encourage candid conversation about safety issues among GM engineers. “Today’s GM encourages employees to discuss safety issues, which is
reinforced through GM’s recently announced Speak Up for Safety Program,” Martin said in a statement. The 2008 documents released on Friday show a GM highly sensitive to how engineers’ testing reports could make their way outside the company. One slide referenced “the brutal facts” that recalls and NHTSA investigations were grabbing headlines each week. “For anything you say or do, ask yourself how you would react if it was reported in a major newspaper or on television,” the documents said. In a particularly colourful section, the slides sternly warned engineers against embellishment and “judgment words.” One slide includes dozens of words or phrases that should be avoided, including: “asphyxiating,” “deathtrap,” “disemboweling,” “genocide,” “grenadelike,” “Hindenburg,” “powder keg,” “rolling sarcophagus,” “Titanic,” and “you’re toast.” l
Cisco chief executive John Chambers has complained to US President Barack Obama about the National Security Agency’s spying practices, saying they were harming overseas business for US tech firms. “This issue affects an entire industry,” the head of the telecom equipment maker said in a letter dated Friday obtained by AFP. Chambers referred in particular to recent media reports that the NSA had intercepted and modified IT and telecom equipment on its way from manufacturers to customers. One of the manufacturers was Cisco, which is a top supplier of networking equipment.
n AFP, Brussels European Union member states are only slowly increasing overseas aid and need to nearly double their efforts if they are to hit their 2015 target, a report said yesterday. A report on 2013 Official Development Assistance (ODA) prepared for the 28 member nations showed they provided 56.5bn euros in aid that year, up from 55.3bn euros in 2012. Collectively for 2013, they spent 0.43% of gross national income (GNI), a measure of total annual economic output, the report said. At the current rate of increase, ODA will likely amount to only 0.45% of GNI by 2015, needing another 41.3bn euros to hit the target of 0.7%. The European Council, which groups the EU political leadership, said it “remains seriously concerned about
ODA levels” and reaffirmed the commitment to aid targets. Member states falling short of their individual targets “are invited to take realistic, verifiable actions” so as to make up lost ground, a statement said. “The EU and its member states call on all other international development partners ... to raise their level of ambition, thus contributing their fair share to global development efforts,” it added. The 0.7% GNI target was agreed in 2005 as part of a wider EU commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals. Newer member states have a 0.33% target. The Council statement showed that only four EU member states had met or exceeded the 0.7% target - Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and Britain while none of the others had met their 0.33% commitment in 2013. l
US auto parts maker to outsource interiors to China n AFP, New York Smart watches are seen in Gizmodo's 'Home of the Future,' a pop-up apartment that displays the latest in innovation, design and technology in New York City. The apartment will be viewable to the general public from May 17 to 21 at 268 Mulberry Street AFP
Cisco chief writes to Obama to decry NSA activities n AFP, New York
EU well short of 2015 aid target, needs another 41bn euros
“If these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally,” Chambers warned. “We understand the real and significant threats that exist in this world, but we must also respect the industry’s relationship of trust with our customers.” Chambers urged Obama to create new rules of conduct “to ensure that appropriate safeguards and limits exist that serve national security objectives, while at the same time meet the needs of global commerce.” Without such rules, “we are concerned that our country’s global technological leadership will be impaired,” Chambers said. A Cisco spokesman
confirmed that Chambers had written to Obama but declined to comment on the content of the letter.
'We understand the real and significant threats that exist in this world, but we must also respect the industry’s relationship of trust with our customers' Mark Chandler, Cisco senior vice president in charge of legal issues, had said earlier in the week on the
company’s blog that some actions by the US government had “overreached.” “We comply with US laws, like those of many other countries, which limit exports to certain customers and destinations,” Chandler said. “We ought to be able to count on the government to then not interfere with the lawful delivery of our products.” Several players in the US tech sector have already registered complaints following revelations of the NSA’s vast online surveillance program. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he spoke to Obama by telephone in mid-March to express “frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future.” l
US auto parts supplier Johnson Controls will outsource its manufacturing of interior car parts in a merger with a subsidiary of Chinese automaker SAIC, according to a statement Sunday. Johnson Controls said it will have a 30% stake in the shared enterprise, which it claimed would be “the largest automotive interiors company in the world with revenues of approximately $7.5bn.” The remaining 70-percent ownership in the company will be held by a subsidiary of SAIC, Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems. The new company will be based in Shanghai and will have development centres and clients in the United States,
Europe and Asia. It will produce instrument panels and cockpit systems, door panels and floor consoles. For several months, Johnson Controls had been examining options for its interior car parts production, which are worth around $4.2bn a year, a spokesman said. Johnson Controls chairman and chief executive Alex Molinaroli said in the statement the new venture “is a natural extension of our already very successful existing partnership with Yanfeng in automotive seating.” “It creates a strong combined company with a market leading position and a foundation for sustained global growth, he added. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015. l