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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2015 | Agrahayan 6, 1422, Safar 6, 1437 |


Regd No DA 6238, Vol 3, No 214 | | 32 pages plus 24-page Weekend | Price: Tk10



Final verdict read out to Mujahid, SQ Chy Islam Shaon, Arifur Rahman n Ashif Rabbi and Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Officials of the International Crimes Tribunal take copies of the review petition verdict to the Dhaka Central Jail yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid looked normal when 12 members of his family met him at the jail 1:45pm for an hour. “My father was mentally strong and nor-

Paris attacks mastermind killed in Wednesday raid The Islamic State jihadist suspected of masterminding the Paris attacks was killed during a major police raid, prosecutors confirmed Thursday. Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in Wednesday’s assault by elite police units on an apartment in northern Paris, which left at least two people dead. Handprint analysis was used to identify the Belgian’s body, which was found among the rubble of the shattered building after officers rained fire and grenades on the jihadists in a seven-hour siege, reports AFP. “Abdelhamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified... as having been killed during the raid” the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Prosecutor Francois Molins said Wednesday that the raid in Saint-Denis had stopped a “new team of terrorists” who were ready to launch another attack in a city still

mourning 129 dead. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls broke the news in Parliament to applause from lawmakers who were voting on Thursday to extend the country’s state of emergency for another three months. Early on Wednesday morning, investigations led police to the house where Abaaoud was holed up in the Paris suburb of St Denis. Heavily armed officers stormed the building before dawn, triggering a massive firefight and multiple explosions which killed two people. Two police sources and a source close to the investigation confirmed that the St Denis cell had been planning a fresh attack on Paris’s La Défense business district, reports Reuters. Abaaoud was previously thought to be in Syria after fleeing raids in his native Belgium earlier this year. l AFP

n Agencies

mal,” Mujahid’s son Ali Ahmed Mabrur told reporters after the meeting. “I am innocent, I am innocent, I am innocent,” Mabrur quoted Mujahid as saying during the family meet.


WORLD ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS WEEK 16-22 November, 2015 Declared by

World Health Organization

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The full verdicts of the apex court against Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were read out to them at jail yesterday. But, as of last night, none of them decided whether they would seek presidential clemency, their last lifeline. The Appellate Division bench, which on Wednesday had dismissed the two review petitions filed against their death sentences, released the full text yesterday evening. Former BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who is unpopular for his arrogance, looked calm as he came to know about the top court’s order from his family members. Salauddin, 66, was upset when his family met him at the Dhaka Central Jail in the afternoon. He listened to them and talked very little, a senior jail official told the Dhaka Tribune seeking anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media. Fifteen members of Salauddin’s family met him at the jail around 12:30pm and left after an hour. But they did not speak to reporters waiting outside the jail. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali

Mujahid, now 69, reportedly said that it would be a cold-blooded murder if the government executed him. Asked if Mujahid would seek presidential mercy, Mabrur said that the decision would be made once his father met his lawyers. Mujahid’s lawyer Gazi MH Tamim said a five-member team of lawyers had requested the jail authorities seeking permission to meet the Jamaat leader this morning to decide the next course of action. The jail authorities did not respond to the request as of 11:55pm yesterday. None of the two Jamaat leaders hanged so far in war crimes cases – Abdul Quader Molla in 2013 and Muhammad Kamaruzzaman in 2014 – sought presidential mercy admitting the crimes. Mujahid, who had been a commander of notorious alBadr in 1971, is the secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Tight security measures were taken in and around the jail with members of Rapid Action Battalion and police patrolling to avert any untoward situation. Moreover, Border Guard Bangladesh members were deployed across the country since Jamaat enforced a daylong shutdown yesterday.





Family members of convicted war criminals Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, left, and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, right, visit Dhaka Central Jail to see them yesterday. Salauddin and Mujahid have been sentenced to death for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

PM cancels trips to Commonwealth Summit and COP21

SITE: IS claims responsibility for attack on Italian priest

Jafran remanded in blogger Ananta murder case

n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

n Tribune Report


In light of the recent situations in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has cancelled her trip to the upcoming Commonwealth Summit in Malta and the COP21 Summit in France. The Commonwealth Summit will be held in Malta from November 27 to 29, while the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP21 will take place in Paris from November 30 to December 5. The cancellations come within a week after the prime minister decided to cancel her France trip on security grounds. The premier met with Foreign Ministry officials and other government agencies before making the decision. Under new arrangements, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will lead the Bangladesh delegation to Malta and Environment Minister Anwar Hossain Monju to Paris. l

The Islamic State (IS) has claimed the responsibility for the attack on Italian priest Piero Parolari, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. Rita Katz, director of SITE, tweeted about the IS claim yesterday, a day after the priest was shot by unidentified gunmen in Dinajpur, which is the latest in a series of attacks made on foreign nationals in the country recently. “Piero Parolari is 3rd foreigner to be claimed by #ISIS in #Bangladesh since Sep. 29, making the country hot spot for such attacks,” Rita tweeted. The 50-year-old Parolari victim has lived and worked as a missionary in the country for 25 years – 12 years in Dinajpur alone – and is also a physician at Suihari Catholic Mission Church in the district. Parolari was riding a bicycle to St Vincent

Hospital, which is run by the church, after his morning prayers on Wednesday when he was attacked. Three persons on a motorbike followed him and shot him after he reached the BRTC bus depot at Mirzapur around 8:30am. Parolari was whisked off to Dinajpur Medical College Hospital but was later flown to Dhaka by a helicopter of Bangladesh Air Force for better treatment. Earlier, Rita had posted in her official twitter account and SITE’s web page that the IS claimed responsibility for the September 28 murder of Italian citizen Cesare Tavella. Her twitter posts also stated that the IS has claimed the responsibilities for the October 3 killing of Japanese citizen Kunio Hoshi and the bomb attack at a Shia gathering on October 24. But the SITE group never mentioned exactly where and how the IS made the claims. l

write that on their own,” he added. Earlier, judges of the four-member Appellate Division bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha singed the verdicts. Registrar of the Appellate Division received the copy of Salauddin’s judgement around 6pm and Mujahid’s at 6:30pm. In the full text of Wednesday’s verdict, the bench said that they had not found any deviation of law or clerical mistakes in the Appellate Division judgement. So there is no reason for commuting the sentences of the death-row convicts. During the arguments, Mujahid’s counsel claimed that he could not be hanged for the crimes committed by al-Badr force. On the other hand, the state argued that Mujahid must shoulder superior command responsibility as the then chief of the paramilitary force, responsible for the abduction and killings of intellectuals in December 1971. In Salauddin’s case, the lawyers claimed that he had been in Pakistan from March

29, 1971-April 20, 1974, and so the charges brought against him were baseless. But the bench found most of the documents claiming that Salauddin had studied at Punjab University in Lahore were forged. The six-time lawmaker was awarded death penalty on October 1, 2013 for committing crimes against humanity including genocide and torture of freedom fighters and Hindus in Chittagong’s Raozan area. The Appellate Division upheld his sentence on July 29 this year. On July 17, 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal 2 ordered to hang Mujahid by the neck for the massacre of intellectuals including scientists, academics and journalists, and his involvement in the murder and torture of Hindus in Faridpur during the war. Mujahid appealed against the tribunal verdict on August 11, 2013 and the hearing began on April 29 this year. On June 16, 2015, the Appellate Division delivered its judgement, upholding death for the Jamaat secretary general. l

A Sylhet court yesterday placed Jafran Hasan, one of the accused in science writer Avijit Roy murder case, on a seven-day remand in connection with the murder of blogger Ananta Bijoy Das. Judge of the Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate 2 Anwarul Haque passed the order after CID Inspector Arman Ali produced him before his court seeking 15-day remand. Jafran was already accused in the murder case of Bangladesh-origin US citizen Avijit Roy. With Jafran, 13 people have been shown arrested in Ananta murder case. Ananta was the editor of science based magazine Jukti and he regularly contributed to Mukto-Mona Blog whose founder Avijit was slain in February 26. He was hacked to death by a group of masked assailants at Subidbazar Bankalapara of Sylhet city on May 12. l


Final verdict read out to Mujahid, SQ Chy BNP claims SQ Chy deprived of justice

Breaking its long silence over war crimes verdicts, the BNP yesterday alleged that Salauddin had been deprived of justice. The party claimed that he could get justice if the documents submitted for his defence had been taken into cognisance. “Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was elected a lawmaker six times. He has contributed in the country’s independence and sovereignty. He is a clean and honest politician; he is committed and uncompromising in the question of democracy,” said Asaduzzaman Ripon, acting spokesperson of the party. Addressing a press conference at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, Ripon said: “We hoped that he would get justice, but the lawyers said that he did not.” Ripon also claimed that Salauddin had not committed the crimes as he was abroad during the Liberation War. Salauddin was also denied fundamental rights and human rights, said Ripon.

During the arguments in Salauddin’s case, the chief justice on Wednesday lambasted the defence for submitting fake documents, and that too at the last stage of the legal battle. In October 2013, Salauddin’s lawyer Khandaker Mahbub Hossain threatened to try every person involved with the war crimes trials once the BNP came to power. Also an adviser to the BNP chief, Mahbub later apologised to the tribunal for his comment.

Next steps before execution

A five-member team of the International Crimes Tribunal led by its Deputy Registrar Md Aftabuzzaman took the copies of the verdicts to the Dhaka Central Jail at 8:42pm. “The matter of fixing time to execute the death-row convicts now entirely depends on the government,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said last night. “However, the convicts will get a chance to seek presidential mercy admitting their crimes. The convicts themselves have to

Khaleda returns home Saturday n Tribune Report The BNP has announced that its Chairperson Khaleda Zia will return home from London tomorrow. This announcement came yesterday, a day after the country’s apex court cleared way for the execution of BNP Standing Committee Member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury for his 1971 war crimes. There has been speculations as to whether

Biswa Ijtema to begin on January 8 n UNB Home Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday said Biswa Ijtema, one of the largest congregations of Muslims, would begin on January 8 and it will be held in two phases as in previous years. “The first phase of the Ijtema will be held on January 8-10 while the second phase on January 15-17 on the bank of the Turag River in Tongi,” the minister said at a press briefing on security measures ahead of the Ijtema. He said necessary security measures would be taken for successful holding of the Ijtema. “We will also take necessary measures for the devotees who will come to Bangladesh from abroad so that they can attend the Ijtema safely,” the minister added. “Bangladesh embassies in different countries will be asked to give the foreign devotees special visas.” Watchtowers, check posts and security cameras will be installed at the venue, he added. l

the three-time former prime minister, who went to London on September 15 for medical treatment, will return at all. Several rescheduling of the BNP chief’s return date in recent weeks added fuel to the speculations. Although her treatment is not complete, Khaleda is coming back considering that the country is going through a critical phase, BNP spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon said. In a press briefing at Khaleda’s Gulshan office yesterday, Ripon said that an Emirates flight would bring her to Dhaka around 5pm tomorrow. He also told reporters that the party’s Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, who has been living in London since 2007, had asked the leaders and activists to not cut cakes as they usually do on his birthday on

South Korea commits $350m EDCF loan n Tribune Report Bangladesh and South Korea have signed the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Framework Arrangement which will enable Dhaka to obtain EDCF loans up to $350 million for 2015-2017 to finance infrastructure development projects. EDCF loan, operated by Korea Eximbank on behalf of the government of Korea, is a kind of concessional loan (ODA loan), with terms and conditions such as 0.01% interest rate per annum, 40 years of reimbursement period and 15 years of grace period. The EDCF loans of $350 million will be extended to build the socio-economic foundations which will be essential to the economic and industrial development of Bangladesh and enhancement of living standard of the

DBBL officer testifies in Khaleda’s graft case n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu Three more prosecution witnesses testified before a Dhaka court yesterday in the Zia Charitable Trust case, filed against four people including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Judge Abu Ahmad Jamadar of the Dhaka’s Special Judge’s Court 3 recorded the depositions and adjourned the trial proceedings until November 26. The witnesses are Dutch Bangla Bank Senior Officer Kamruzzaman, and two constables – Sirajul Haque and Manjurul Haque. During the hearing, Khaleda’s lawyer Md Sanaullah Miah filed two separate peti-

November 20. Tarique made the request considering the overall political situation in the country when many leaders and activists were behind the bars, Ripon said. During her current visit to London, Khaleda had a family reunion with her elder and only living son Tarique for the first time since 2008. Her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko died of cardiac arrest in January this year. Koko’s wife and two daughters accompanied Khaleda to London. Tarique faces arrest in a number of cases in Bangladesh, while Khaleda herself is accused in a number of violence-related and corruption cases. Ruling Awami League leaders have been accusing Khaleda of masterminding the recent killing and attacks on foreigners and law enforcers in Bangladesh. l

tions for her non-appearance mentioning that the BNP chief could not appear before court as she was abroad for treatment. The court granted the petitions. With the three, the court has so far recorded depositions of 25 out of 36 prosecution witnesses, including the complainant of the case, in the Zia Charitable Trust Case. ACC Deputy Director Harun-ur-Rashid filed the two cases against Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and seven others. Both the cases are being tried at the makeshift court set up at the Central Jail Parade Ground of Bakshibazar in the capital amid tight security. l

people, such as construction of general hospital of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University project ($131 million), purchase of locomotives project ($101 million), purchase of passenger carriage ($91 million), and so on. Korea has had accumulated experiences to achieve its socio-economic growth successfully through human resources development, industrial development, and infrastructure investment. The Korean government supports development activities and efforts of developing countries by utilising development experiences and mobilising a variety of ODA instruments like KOICA, EDCF and KSP. It is expected that the EDCF Framework Arrangement will contribute to further strengthening the already close and friendly relationship between the two countries. l





Oishee’s death penalty document reaches HC n Ashif Islam Shaon The documents of the death sentence of Oishee Rahman, who was awarded capital punishment by a Dhaka court for killing her parents, has reached the High Cour for death reference hearing. Additional Registrar Md Sabbir Foyez said the court’s Death Reference Section received the verdict's copy and case dockets yesterday. A trial court’s verdict of capital sentence needs the approval of the High Court before it is executed, which is known as death reference. A Dhaka court sentenced Oishee to death on November 12 for killing her parents, Special Branch Inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Swapna Rahman. Besides, the court sentenced her friend Mizanur Rahman Rony to two years’ rigorous jail and fined him Tk5,000 for helping Oishee commit the double murder. The court acquitted another accused, Oishee’s friend Jony, of the charges. Meanwhile, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha has ordered the Registrar’s Office to prepare paper books on a priority basis of the death references awarded in the Rajon and Rakib murder cases. The verdicts in the cases, issued by trial courts in Sylhet and Khulna, was received by the Death Reference Section on November 10. After the paper books are ready, the chief justice will assign a High Court bench to hear the death reference. On November 8, a Sylhet court sentenced four people to death and one person to life in prison for killing 13-year-old Samiul Alam Rajon by brutally torturing him in the city’s Kumargaon area on July 8. The death row convicts are Kamrul Islam, Sadiq Ahmad Moyna, Taj Uddin Badal and Zakir Hossain Pavel. On the same day, a Khulna court sentenced two people to death for torturing and killing 12-year-old Md Rakibul Islam Rakib in Khulna city’s Tutpara area on August 3. The death row convicts are Md Sharif and Mintu Miah, Sharif’s distant uncle. Sharif was Rakib’s former employer. l





Bangladesh seeking $4.32bn wartime equitable share from Pakistan n Tribune Report Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has told the parliament that the incumbent government has been continuing its diplomatic efforts to realise Bangladesh’s equitable share from Pakistan. “Bangladesh has been repeatedly pressing its demand for equitable share in properties worth about $4.32 billion of the undivided Pakistan,” the minister said while replying to a question yesterday. Besides, Bangladesh is also demanding that Pakistan returns $200 million in foreign aid which was transferred from the Dhaka branch to the Lahore branch of State Bank of Pakistan during the Liberation War in 1971. The amount was supposed to be used for rehabilitating a cyclone-hit Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, in 1970, the minister said. He said that Bangladesh raised the issue at different bilateral meetings held between

1977 and 2012. Responding to another query, the minister said since 1972 Bangladesh and India have signed 87 treaties or memorandums of understandings. Mahmood said among the 87 treaties, MoU and exchange of instruments, 22 were signed during the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit on June 6-7 this year. “Implementation process of treaties has already started. It is a continuous process.”

Bangladeshis held abroad

Responding to another query, the minister said as of now, Bangladesh has signed extradition treaties with Thailand and India. The foreign minister also said an agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP) with was signed with United Arab Emirates during the prime minister’s UAE visit on August 27 last year. “The agreement will come

into effect after ratification by both countries.” Replying to another query, the foreign minister said 3,386 Bangladeshi citizens were detained or under trial in different countries at the moment. There might be more Bangladeshi nationals detained unreported in different countries, he said. “Our embassies are working to update the list soon.” According to a report placed in the parliament, Oman had 912 Bangladeshi nationals in detainment, the highest among the listed countries. Elsewhere, 409 Bangladeshi citizens are being detained in United Kingdom, and 391 in Saudi Arabia. Replying to another query, the foreign minister said 82 Bangladeshi nationals are held at Texas Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s El Paso county detention centre. “Directives were sent to Bangladesh embassy officials in USA to release them from jail after discussing with the US government. Embassy is active in this regard,” he said. l

Eight hurt as Chhatra League, Jubo League men clash in capital

The much-hyped local government amendment bill was finally passed in parliament yesterday, paving way for arranging partisan polls to municipality mayoral posts. LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain piloted the Local Government (Municipality) (Amendment) Bill 2015, which was passed by voice vote. Now that the bill is passed, independent or those nominated by Election-Commission-registered political parties will be able to contest for mayors to the 324 municipalities. However, elections for councilor posts (both general and reserved for women) of the municipalities will be non-partisan, meaning nobody will be able to run with symbols of political parties. Only the mayoral candidates will be able to use the symbol of the nominating parties. Until now, only the parliamentary elections were partisan; there was no scope for holding polls to local government bodies – such as municipalities – on partisan basis. Last week, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry placed its reports regarding the bill along with three other local government body bills in the Jatiya Sangshad. The Election Commission has a plan to arrange elections in some 240 municipalities by December 30. l

HC: Provision making ACC commissioners accountable to chairman illegal n UNB

n Kamrul Hasan

At least eight people were injured yesterday in a clash between Chhatra League and Jubo League members in the capital’s Rampura. Of them, three are Chhatra League members - Selim, Saimon and Bablu - and the rest are Jubo League activists - Nipun, 22, Arif, 23, Zahiruddin, 35, Jahangir, 28, and Soyeb Ahmed, 28. Two of the eight also sustained bullet injuries as shots were fired during the clash. The two groups gave conflicting statements on why the clash broke out, blaming each other for it. Locals in Rampura’s Palashbagh area said the clash took place when several Jubo League members, who were holding a procession against the Jamaat-e-Islami’s daylong general strike around 11am, were attacked by Chhatra League men. After they were attacked, the Jubo League men made a counterattack on the Chhatra League members that led to the clash. Moazzem Hossain Topu told the Dhaka Tribune that Selim, who is the general secretary of Chhatra League’s Ward 22 unit, received bullet injuries when Jubo League men attacked. He also said that his supporters made a counterattack on the Jubo League men and that is when the clash broke out. Jubo League member Arif, who is one of the injured, said Topu attacked their procession and opened fire on the participants. Officer-in-Charge of Rampura police station Rafiqul Islam said the clash was the result of a turf war between the members of the two groups. “Five Jubo League members were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment after the clash,” he added. l

Partisan municipality polls passes in JS n Tribune Report

This woman named Akhi yesterday gave birth to her child on the roadside near the Dhalpur Nagar Matrishadan, a childbirth care centre at Dhalpur in Dhaka’s Jatrabari area. After feeling labour pain, Akhi first went to the centre for help but the authorities drove her out of their facility because the specialist doctor was out of town. Later a local resident named Ayesha Begum took the mother and the newborn under her care DHAKA TRIBUNE

Declaring the section 12(2) of the ACC Act 2004 as invalid and illegal, the High Court yesterday abolished the provision of making the Anti Corruption Commission commissioners accountable to its chairman. An HC bench comprising Justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal passed the order after the final hearing on a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Md Kamal Hossain challenging the section. Kamal Hossain stood for his own while Khurshid Alam Khan argued for the ACC during the hearing. Emerging from the courtroom, Khurshid Alam Khan said, “I stood for the ACC chairman. The court has abolished the provision that makes the commissioners accountable to the chairman. We’ll file an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday seeking a stay on the HC order.” The section 12(2) of the ACC Act 2004 says, “… commissioners shall carry out the duties entrusted to them under the overall supervision and control of the chairman and the commissioners shall be accountable to the chairman”. Earlier on June 14, the same HC bench issued a rule seeking explanation as to why the provision of making the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) commissioners accountable to the ACC chair should not be abolished. In its rule, the HC observed that the section is conflicting with the principles of the ACC and asked the authorities to explain in four weeks why it should not be abolished. l



WEF report: Bangladesh fares well in reducing gender gap

Antibiotic resistantbacteria threatens global epidemic n AFP, Paris





No. of countries




































































































































▲ 0.077

n Kayes Sohel Bangladesh has fared well in removing gender-based disparities, moving up four places to 64 in the latest 145-country gender gap index of World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Report 2015, released yesterday, assesses the countries across four pillars: health, education, economic opportunities and political empowerment. Bangladesh scored above average on educational attainment, health and survival parameters except economic participation and opportunity. Bangladesh is also the region’s second-most improved country on the overall Index. The report said after a steady increase in score from 2006 to 2010, the country has regressed on sub-index of economic participation and opportunity since 2013. But its educational attainment score continues to rise due to higher literacy rates and enrollment in tertiary education. On the health and survival sub-index, the country ranked first in the region and, since 2006, is the sec-

▲ 0.039

▲ 0.080

Medicine’s final line of defence against deadly disease has been breached, raising the spectre of a global epidemic, scientists say, after finding bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics. The discovery could herald a virtual return to the Dark Ages, with doctors unable to control common germs like E Coli, rolling back centuries of medical progress. “These are extremely worryingly results,” said Liu Jian-Hua, a professor at China’s Southern Agricultural University and co-author of a new study. Liu and his colleagues found a gene, called MCR-1, that allows bacteria to become resistant to a class of antibiotics known as polymyxins, which are used to fight superbugs. The gene, which was detected in common but deadly bacteria such as E Coli and K Pneumoniae -- the cause of pneumonia and blood diseases -- effectively makes bacteria invincible. Most worryingly of all, the gene is easily spread from one strain to another, said the study, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, prompting warnings they could have “epidemic potential.” Until now, rare cases of resistance occurred only through mutation in individual organisms, severely limiting transmission. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already warned antimicrobial resistance may result in “a return to the pre-antibiotic era,” where even small infections - or cuts - could prove fatal.



2006–2015 CHANGE

▲ 0.022

▲ 0.166

Source: World Economic Forum

pines, Switzerland, Slovenia and New Zealand round out the top 10. Globally, women are not likely to reach economic equality until 2133 and the gap between the economic opportunities available to men and women has narrowed by 3% in the last decade. At that rate, women will not achieve financial parity for another 118 years. “The current inequalities risk being exacerbated in the future,” warned Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Increased levels of automation ushered in by the Fourth Industrial Revolution are likely to affect not only the economy but also humanity,” he said, explaining that technological disruption to business models and labour markets could kill jobs traditionally held by women. “In this context, we need to create a world where women’s contributions and ideals are as valued as those of men. Gender parity in our thinking and actions will be critical in helping to ensure that the future is served by humanity and not threatened by it.” l

ond most-improved country in the world. Improvements have also been made on political empowerment with more years with a female head of state. Since 2006, it has been the second-most improved country of the region on this sub-index. The countries that improved the most in health are Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Botswana. Among South Asian countries, Sri Lanka was ranked at 84, India 108, Nepal 110, Maldives 113, Bhutan 118 and Pakistan 144. The index was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. While no country has entirely eliminated the gender gap, Iceland tops the index for the seventh consecutive year, boosted by high level of female political representation (41%), generous paternity leave policies and worldclass opportunities for women to become business leaders. Scandinavia dominates the top of the list, with Norway, Finland, Sweden and Ireland making the top five. Rwanda, the Philip-



Animal to human The superbugs were detected during routine testing of pigs and chickens in southern China, where animals were found to be carrying bacteria resistant to colistin, a drug widely used in livestock farming. More than 20% of bacteria in the animal samples, and 15% of the raw meat samples, had the telltale mcr-1 gene. It was also found in 16 of the 1,322 specimens taken from hospitals. It said that while mcr-1 was “currently confined to China” it was like to spread globally. l

Speakers say MDG successes will help with SDGs n Tribune Report Commending Bangladesh’s success in reducing poverty and the child mortality rate over the last 10 years, speakers laid emphasis on applying the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to effectively implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They were speaking at a round table titled “MDGs to SDGs” organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at a city hotel yesterday.





19 Chittagong
















“The SDGs are emerging at a time when the world is witnessing lots of challenges. The world is divided today. Who is killing whom, we do not know. However, the good news is SDGs are really glimmers of hope,” said Mahfuz Anam, the editor of the Daily Star. Ahsan Mansur of Policy Research Institute (PRI) said the government is fully committed to implementing the SDGs but public financing management should be improved significantly. Much more can be done to improve the quality of public spending, he said. l

countries but also for developed countries.” “So we all need to work together to achieve them. No single entity can achieve these goals alone,” said Xu, who chaired the discussion. He said Bangladesh has done extremely well in the last 10 years in reducing poverty, child mortality and has seen improvement in other sectors. “So there is a lot to be commended.” Xu said it was highly commendable that Bangladesh had already taken positive steps in integrating the SDGs into its formulation on the 7th Five Year Plan.

Speakers also emphasised partnership, monitoring, the quality use of public money and the value of a free media and civil society to successfully implement the SDGs. Emphasising good governance, transparency and accountability, speakers said the effective use of resources and strong monitoring can make things easier for Bangladesh to be successful. UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Haoliang Xu said: “The SDGs are universal. These goals are not only for developing

31.7ºC Teknaf

16.8ºC Srimangal

Source: Accuweather/UNB







Cox’s Bazar



Fajr: 4:58am | Jumma: 11:44am Asr: 3:51pm | Magrib: 5:12pm Esha: 6:31pm Source:





Bail hearing of cricketer Shahadat’s wife Dec 1

Khaleda to appeal against HC order in Niko case

Gonojagoron’s rally today

n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

n Ashif Islam Shaon

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed December 1 for another hearing on the bail petition of Jesmin Jahan Nitto Shahadat, wife of national cricket player Kazi Shahadat Hossain, with her present at the court. Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Md Kamrul Hossain Molla issued the order after hearing the bail petition filed by Nitto’s counsel Kazi Md Najib Ullah Hiru on October 27 in a case filed against Nitto and Shahadat for torturing their under-age domestic help. “Nitto has a nine-month-old baby who need to be breastfed. Nitto has been in prison since October 5. She is seeking the bail for the welfare of her infant child,” the defence counsel said. Police arrested Nitto in the capital’s Malibagh area on October 4. Later, a Dhaka court sent her to jail rejecting her bail petition as well as a remand petition placed by police. The case was filed on September 7 against the couple under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 2000 for torturing their 10-year-old domestic help. l

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will move to the Supreme Court against a High Court order that rejected her petition challenging the legality of trial in the Niko graft case. The BNP chief’s lawyer AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon told reporters yesterday that Khaleda was out on bail in the case and has been asked by the High Court to surrender before the trial court. After Khaleda returns from London, she will appeal against the High Court order as soon as possible, the lawyer added. On June 18 this year, the High Court cleared the way for trying Khaleda Zia in the Niko graft case, by lifting an earlier stay order and rejecting her petition challenging the legality of the case. The bench of of Justice MD Nuruzzaman and Justice Zafar Ahmed also directed Khaleda to surrender before a lower court within two months of releasing the full text of the High Court order. The High Court also asked the lower court concerned to consider granting bail to the BNP chief if she surrenders and

Gonojagoron Moncho is to hold a rally today demanding immediate execution of the verdicts of war criminals Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. Its spokesperson Dr Imran H Sarker announced the rally yesterday during a sit-in in the capital’s Shahbagh. The sit-in was held protesting the countywide general strike of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Gonojagoron Moncho activists gathered at Shahbagh intersection early in the morning to foil Jamaat’s attempt for making the strike successful. They chanted slogans against the strike, recited poems, sang songs, and held a procession. Addressing the sit-in, Imran H Sarker said protests against Jamaat would continue and urged the government to execute the verdicts of Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury within the shortest time possible. He urged the government to ban Jamaat and its students wing Islami Chhatra Shibir from politics, and also called on people to join today’s rally. l

HC rejects petition challenging Maya’s JS membership n Ashif Islam Shaon The High Court yesterday rejected a writ petition that challenged Awami League lawmaker and Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya’s legal right to retain his offices as the Supreme Court had scrapped his acquittal in a corruption case. The bench of Justice Rifat Ahmed gave the order after hearing the petition. The judge said the petition was rejected as Maya’s appeal against a lower court conviction was pending for a fresh hearing at the High Court. Deputy Attorney General Motaher Hossain Sazu said the High Court bench thinks that whether Maya can retain his membership of the parliament can be decided by the House and the Election Commission. Supreme Court lawyer Yunus Ali Akond filed the writ petition on July 7, pleading with the court to issue a ruling asking explanations for how Maya was legally allowed to continue holding offices as the lawmaker

and the minister after the Supreme Court had scrapped his acquittal in the case. On August 17, a two-judge High Court bench gave a split order on the July 7 petition. Senior judge of the bench Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury issued a ruling asking Maya to explain in two weeks under what authority he was holding the offices after his acquittal was scrapped by the Supreme Court. Junior judge Justice Md Ashraful Kamal on the other hand summarily rejected the petition on the ground that the House Speaker and the Election Commission can decide on any dispute as per the constitution. The petition along with the split order was then sent to Chief Justice SK Sinha for a decision. The chief justice assigned the bench of Justice Rifat Ahmed as a third bench to dispose of the writ petition. On June 14, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court scrapped the High Court verdict that acquitted Maya of corruption charges and also ordered a fresh hearing on the minister’s appeal against the 13-year jail sentence given by the lower court. l

Govt, ADB sign deal on use of surface water in Dhaka n Tribune Report The government has signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for $1 million in grant for technical assistance in promoting sustainable use of surface water in the capital. The government of Japan is financing the technical assistance through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, reported UNB. The

ADB will administer the fund and provide technical support for project implementation. Mitsutake Numahata, counsellor at the Embassy of Japan in Dhaka, was present on the occasion. “Securing adequate amount and good quality surface water is vital for Dhaka’s development, as the groundwater table is falling rapidly,” said ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi. l

does not misuse her bail. Following the order, Khaleda’s lawyer had told reporters they would appeal with the Supreme Court. On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case with Tejgaon police station, accusing Khaleda and several others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko during her time in office as the prime minister. The charge sheet in the case was submitted by the ACC in May 2008 against Khaleda and 10 others. Later in July, the High Court stayed the case and directed the ACC and the government to explain why the initiation and proceedings of the case should not be declared illegal. Recently this year, the ACC again moved to revive the Niko corruption case and a new High Court bench was assigned to dispose of it. On April 2, a petition was filed seeking the High Court’s decision on whether the proceedings would continue in the Niko graft case. l

n DU Correspondent


World 7



IS shows international reach with Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Paris attacks n AFP, Paris Asia-Pacific nations close ranks against terrorism

Pacific-rim nations closed ranks against terrorism on Thursday at the end of a summit that was darkened by last week’s attacks in Paris, but still Washington and Moscow sparred over how to deal with Syria and the Islamic State fighters sheltering there. PAGE 8

EU to tighten external border checks The European Union will tighten checks at external borders of the passport-free Schengen area, including for its own citizens who enjoy free movement within the bloc, to boost security after the attacks in Paris by armed militants. PAGE 9

By bombing a Russian passenger plane over Egypt and carrying out deadly attacks in Paris, the Islamic State group has demonstrated both its resilience and its growing international reach, experts say. Unlike its forerunner and now rival al-Qaeda, which has focused largely on spectacular foreign attacks, IS has promoted a strategy of “remaining and expanding” in territory in Syria and Iraq. But with the Paris and Egypt attacks, it has shown it can also rely on affiliates and sympathisers to strike abroad, even as its “caliphate” is attacked by a US-led coalition, Russian air strikes, Iraqi and Syrian government troops and Kurdish forces. “I think it’s a logical step in the progression of Islamic State strategy,” said IS expert and researcher Charlie Winter of the international attacks. “For a long time people have been... wondering whether, in trying to take the global jihadist initiative, Islamic State would carry out a high-profile attack like this,” he said of the Paris attacks. In the 18 months since its leader declared a “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, IS has attracted pledges of allegiance from a series of international affiliates, including the Egyptian group that claimed responsibility for downing a Russian plane over Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.

‘Well-prepared, coordinated’

Winter said the French attacks in particular, which involved multiple simultaneous as-





Population in millions





Involved in jihadist networks





555 30 2012

141 Jan Dec March May Oct. 2014 2015


* Includes those who have expressed a willingness to travel to the combat zones

saults and killed at least 129 people, demonstrated careful planning. “The sophistication of the attack shows that it was well-prepared and coordinated and it follows training,” he said. Experts are more sceptical that foreign sympathisers and affiliates rely on direct orders from the group’s top leadership.

In Syria and Iraq Thought to be dead Returned to their countries

75 134

They point to numerous disrupted IS plots as evidence of the group’s policy to hit foreign targets and say it is unlikely that affiliates or sympathisers wait for direct orders. Western intelligence agencies have long warned of the risk that well-trained returnees from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq could conduct attacks at home. l

How the Islamic State group operates The group is headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who rules over a self-declared Islamic “caliphate”, but military and administrative responsibilities are diffused to lower-level officials as well. IS has various departments responsible for issues such as education and services, and there are also security commanders for specific geographic regions.

Saudi Arabia’s tough religious tradition is seen by many outsiders - and some Saudi liberals - as a root cause of the international jihadist threat that has inflamed the Middle East for years and struck in Paris last week.

French nationals involved in the jihadist networks*


Q1. Who’s in charge?

Saudi Wahhabi dilemma in spotlight after Paris attacks

The jihadists from France, Belgium

Q2. Who orders attacks?

There is not yet any hard evidence that top leaders directly ordered the Paris attacks, and it is likely that Baghdadi dictates strategies while less senior commanders and operatives see to the execution. IS-linked “operatives have attempted to attack Europe repeatedly this year.

Q3. How are fighters recruited?

IS employs a sophisticated propaganda machine to produce videos, photos and

statements about its activities, including brutal public executions, helping it attract recruits. A large number of supporters disseminate this material online. But for an operation like Paris, having operatives with connections in Europe is key.

Q4. How is IS financed?

In territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, IS finances itself through means including oil smuggling, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and selling looted antiquities. But external operations would largely be financed independently, though they may still receive some funding from the central IS organisation. IS “is a different can of worms than al-Qaeda traditionally has been,” said Matthew Levitt, a former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the US Treasury Department who is now at the Washington Institute. This is because it “controls a large swathe of territory, and is therefore able to do everything from tax

people, both literal taxes and other taxes that we might think of more properly as forms of extortion, and all kinds of criminal activity,” Levitt said. But “the type of operations we just saw in Paris are mostly going to be independently financed, largely through criminal activity,” he said.

Q5. How much do attacks cost?

Not much, especially compared with the vast amounts of money spent on responding to and trying to prevent them. The exact figure depends on the number of people involved in the attack itself and in supporting it. “We’re not talking about a lot of money -- these things are cheap,” said Levitt. The Paris operation might have been pulled off for less than $50,000, he said, though that depends on exactly how many people took part, and it could have cost more. l

Source: AFP






Pakistan rejects mercy bid by school massacre militants Pakistan’s prime minister rejected appeals by four militants sentenced to death in the Peshawar school massacre took place in December 14, 2014, saying Thursday that those behind the country’s deadliest-ever terror attack deserved “no mercy”. The massacre -- in which Taliban gunmen coldly slaughtered more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in the northwestern city -- shocked and outraged a country already scarred by nearly a decade of attacks. In August, after an in-camera trial, the army announced that six militants linked to the assault would be executed, while a seventh was handed a life sentence. -AFP


Delhi govt clears Citizen’s Ombudsman bill The Delhi government on Wednesday cleared the Citizen’s Ombudsman bill, commonly referred as Jan Lokpal bill, saying it was akin to the one that failed to become law during the AAP’s first stint in power. The draft bill, among other provisions, also brings the office of the chief minister under its purview and is in the lines of the Uttarakhand Lokpal Bill which stipulates time-bound probe. Following the decision, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the bill will be tabled in the assembly soon. -HT


Beijing vows justice after IS kills Chinese captive China vowed on Thursday to bring to justice those responsible for killing one of its citizens after Islamic State said it had executed a Chinese captive, the only known Chinese hostage to have been held by the group. Islamic State said it had killed a Chinese and Norwegian captives, showing pictures of what appeared to be the dead men under a banner reading “Executed” in the latest edition of its English-language online magazine. China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the man’s identify for the first time, naming him as Fan Jinghui, saying he had been “cruelly murdered”. -REUTERS


Japan, Philippines agree on defence equipment transfer Japan “agreed in principle” on Thursday to transfer defence equipment to the Philippines, as the two countries expressed concern over China’s island-building in disputed waters. The defence equipment transfer was first discussed during Aquino’s state visit to Japan in June. Thursday’s meeting at the end of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit was the seventh between the two leaders. -AFP


Germany criticises Israel’s East Jerusalem settlement plans Germany on Thursday strongly criticised Israel’s plans to push ahead with the building of hundreds of new settlements in East Jerusalem, saying it would undermine efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The United States has also harshly criticised the decision. In unusually strong language, Germany, which has forged especially close relations with Israel in the decades since the Holocaust, said Netanyahu’s plans ran counter to peace efforts. -REUTERS

Asia-Pacific nations close ranks against terrorism n Reuters, Manila Pacific-rim nations closed ranks against terrorism on Thursday at the end of a summit that was darkened by last week’s attacks in Paris, but still Washington and Moscow sparred over how to deal with Syria and the Islamic State fighters sheltering there. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group’s 21 leaders vowed to prevent terrorism from undermining values that underpin their economies, and said there was a need for greater international cooperation to fight the scourge. “Under the shadow cast by the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and against Russian aircraft over the Sinai, and elsewhere, we strongly condemn all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations,” they said in a declaration after their summit in Manila. The mood was sombre at the APEC summit after last Friday’s killing spree by Islamic State fighters in Paris, where at least 129 people died, and this overshadowed the annual meeting’s usual focus on growth, trade and development issues. US President Barack Obama said many nations have already been working together to defeat Islamic State, but it will be a multi-year task and only a political settlement in civil war-torn Syria will eliminate the group’s safe havens there. He said that a solution to Syria’s turmoil could not include President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power “because the overwhelming majority of people in Syria consider him to be a brutal, murderous dictator”, and he again took Russia to task for propping up the country’s leader. Russia began air strikes in Syria at the end of September. It has always said its main target is Islamic State militants, but most of its

bombs in the past hit territory held by other groups opposed to its ally Assad. However, Russia has unleashed intensified air strikes against Islamic State positions in Syria after investigators concluded that a terrorist bomb brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt last month. Islamic State has claimed the attack.

South China Sea tension

Summit host, the Philippines, deliberately sought to keep at bay tensions between Beijing and Washington over the South China Sea even though it is one of the claimants to a strategic waterway where China has been building artificial islands. But Obama kept the dispute in focus by pointedly visiting the Philippines’ main warship in Manila, and one of his advisers said the United States and others would bring the issue up at an East Asia summit

that will follow this weekend in Malaysia. The summit discussed efforts to promote trade across their countries, spurred by a sag in economic growth across much of their region, which is home to 3bn people and accounts for almost 50% of global output. It was an opportunity for leaders of the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to meet for the first time since they sealed a deal to eliminate trade barriers and enable free trade. However, the main concern among these 12 was whether the US Congress would ratify the pact before Obama leaves office in just over a year from now. China, which is not part of TPP, is pushing to begin talks on another trade pact, called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and wants to speed up talks on free trade agreements with Japan and South Korea. l

Republicans clash with Obama over Syria refugee programme n AFP, Washington, DC US lawmakers forged ahead Wednesday with efforts to freeze White House plans to resettle Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks, despite President Barack Obama’s veto threat. Seizing upon fears one of the attackers may have entered Europe posing as a Syrian migrant, Republican leaders introduced legislation requiring assurances of more robust background checks and vetting before the White House can go ahead with its plan to welcome 10,000 refugees from the conflict in the coming year. A vote on the measure, unveiled by House Homeland Security chairman Michael McCaul, could come Thursday. “Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President were presented with HR 4038, he would veto the bill,” the White House said.

The measure is aimed at strengthening vetting procedures for Syrian as well as Iraqi refugees in the wake of Friday’s attacks that killed 129 people in Paris. “I don’t think we can afford to play Russian roulette with our national security,” McCaul said. But the White House countered that the legislation would “introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis.” Amid intensifying concern over extremists from the Islamic State group infiltrating the West, and as US lawmakers digest reports that several Paris attackers were French nationals, McCaul said lawmakers were also drafting legislation that would tighten the existing visa waiver programme.

The program allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the US without a visa. Congress is under extraordinary pressure to act after at least 27 US state governors voiced opposition to taking in further Syrian refugees. McCaul’s plan would require the director of the FBI, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence to certify that each refugee is not a security threat. House Speaker Paul Ryan backs the bill, telling colleagues that it would pause the refugee programme until it was certain “beyond any doubt” that the new Syrian and Iraqi settlers do not pose a threat. The president has insisted the screening in place was enough to weed out jihadists and keep Americans safe, accusing Republicans of demonising “widows and orphans.” Keeping it operating would promote American values, argued Obama, who has also accused Republicans of “hysteria.” l



EU to tighten external border checks n Reuters, Brussels/Amsterdam The European Union will tighten checks at external borders of the passport-free Schengen area, including for its own citizens who enjoy free movement within the bloc, to boost security after the attacks in Paris by armed militants. The bloc’s interior and justice ministers, at an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday, will discuss beefing up security and new counter-terrorism measures in the wake of the November 13 attacks that killed 129 people in the French capital. Paris requested more controls at external borders of the 26-nation Schengen area, of which most EU countries are members, after law enforcement bodies blamed the attacks on French and Belgian nationals, including an Islamic State fighter returned from Syria. The ministers will agree to “implement immediately the necessary systematic and coordinated checks at external borders, including on individuals enjoying the right of free movement”, according to draft conclusions of the meeting seen by Reuters. The deadly attacks in Paris, seen as the work of the Islamic State militant group, and the impact of thousands of migrants into Europe fleeing conflict and hardship in the Middle East, have triggered an internal debate on the merits and disadvantages of the Schengen area. Most EU officials defend it as the most ambitious achievement of European integration, in spite of criticism from some members that recent events show it is failing. Germany said it was not enthusiastic about the idea and the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said it received no formal proposals to that end, adding that any such discussions could be held on Friday. Citizens of Schengen zone, which does not include Britain, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria, have their doc-

August 19: IS posts a video of the decapitation of US freelance photojournalist James Foley, 40, who was seized in northern Syria in November 2012. The video of Foley’s killing, which provokes worldwide revulsion, also shows a second US reporter, Steven Sotloff, being paraded by a black-clad IS militant who warns that he too will be killed unless President Barack Obama halts air strikes on IS in Iraq. September 2: IS says in another propaganda video it has beheaded Sotloff. The 31-year-old was kidnapped August 2013 in Aleppo. September 13: IS claims to have beheaded British aid worker David Haines. The 44-year-old was seized in March 2013 while working for a Paris-based non-governmental organisation. September 24: IS-linked Jund al-Khilifa, or “Sol-

Bush to keep Gitmo prison open if elected


Brazil mining firm behind spill fined another $30m The owner of a mining waste reservoir that burst in Brazil last month in a huge and deadly environmental disaster has been fined an additional $30m, the company said Thursday. This comes on top of roughly $400m that the mining company Samarco has either agreed to paid out in damages, been fined or seen frozen in its bank accounts. The new punishment was imposed by the government of southeastern Minas Gerais state, where the reservoir gave way on November 5, killing 10 people and leaving 15 missing. -AFP


Junior doctors vote to strike in UK

uments visually checked already when they leave or enter the area. The new proposal would upgrade the controls to check the documents against criminal and security databases. Friday’s draft conclusions show the EU plans to crack down on virtual currencies and anonymous payments made online and

via pre-paid cards in a bid to tackle terrorism financing. The six-page document also urges stepping up of intelligence sharing, stricter rules on firearms as well as tackling the phenomenon of foreign fighters, EU citizens who venture out to join radical groups and then come back to Europe. l

Junior doctors in Britain voted Thursday to stage their first “all-out” strikes in the history of the National Health Service (NHS) in a fierce pay row with the government. Almost 28,000 junior doctors cast their vote, with 98% in favour of strikes and 2% against, the British Medical Association (BMA) said. They will conduct a 24-hour strike on December 1, providing only emergency care. But there will be full walkouts between 8am and 5pm on December 8 and December 16, threatening mass disruption to the NHS and the cancellation of outpatient clinics and non-urgent operations. -AFP


Netherlands floats ‘miniSchengen’ idea to EU partners

Foreigners executed by IS militants 2014


Republican Jeb Bush pledged on Wednesday that if elected president next year he will keep open the disputed US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as long as the fight against Islamic militants lasts. The Bush campaign provided details of his plan in advance of the speech at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston. He will vow to restore $1tn in cuts to the US military that President Barack Obama agreed to as part of a budget-cutting deal with Congress. -REUTERS


The Islamic State group said Wednesday it has “executed” a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage, in its latest killing of foreigners. Previous executions of foreigners by the jihadist group and affiliated organisations:



diers of the Caliphate”, claims to have beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel, 55, in Algeria, in a video posted online after Paris rejected their demand to halt air strikes in Iraq. October 3: IS claims to have beheaded British aid volunteer Alan Henning, 47, in Syria in response to British air strikes in Iraq. He was abducted in December 2013 while helping deliver aid to a Syrian refugee camp. November 16: IS says it executed Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old US aid worker kidnapped in Syria in October 2013, as a warning to Washington. The same video showed the simultaneous beheadings of around 15 men described as Syrian military personnel.


January 8: Libya’s IS branch claims to have executed two Tunisian journalists missing since September, Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari. January 24 and 31: IS claims to have beheaded Japanese security contractor Haruna Yukawa, 42, and a week later respected war correspondent Kenji Goto, 47, who had been searching for him

in Syria. August 12: IS says it has beheaded Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek, 31, abducted on July 22 in Egypt while working for a French firm. November 18: IS’s English-language Dabiq magazine features graphic photos of the bloodied bodies of China’s Fan Jinghui, 50, and Norway’s Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, two months after the organisation had demanded a ransom for the pair’s release. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the jihadists have executed more than 3,000 people, including 1,800 civilians, in a year in Syria, while they are suspected of executing thousands in Iraq. It provoked outrage in February when it released a video showing captured Jordanian fighter pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, 26, being burned alive inside a metal cage. In February, jihadists in Libya linked to IS claimed the execution of 21 Coptic Christians, all but one of them Egyptians, and in April the execution of 28 Christians, all Ethiopians. l

Source: AFP

The Dutch government has debated internally and with its allies a plan to introduce passport checks at the borders of several Western European countries in a bid to control an influx of migrants and refugees. The “mini-Schengen area” would include Austria, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and would involve setting up transit camps for migrants outside those borders, a report in newspaper De Telegraaf said. However, the European Commission has received no formal proposals regarding the creation of a “mini-Schengen” zone. -REUTERS


Russia signs deal to build Egypt’s first nuclear plant Russia signed two agreements Thursday to finance and build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, in a ceremony attended by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sergei Kirienko, director general of Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom, said the agreement is for the construction and operation of four 1,200 MW reactors, making the country “a regional leader in technology.” -AFP






Fears of ‘Patriot Act a la francaise’ after Paris attacks n AFP, Paris With emotions running high in France after the attacks in Paris, President Francois Hollande has called for sweeping new security powers, raising fears of a French-style Patriot Act. The tough new security measures outlined by Hollande in an extraordinary meeting of parliament this week suggested some of France’s “liberte” would be another casualty of Friday’s horrific attacks, and could lead the country towards the sort of controversial snooping powers introduced by the US after the attacks of September 2001. Hollande called for the state of emergency declared immediately after the attacks -- a measure dating back to the Algerian war of the 1950s and early 1960s -- to be extended to three months and for changes to the French constitution to make it easier for an emergen-

cy to be declared. He also said it should be easier to expel foreigners deemed a security threat and to close down radical mosques. The speech raised immediate concerns among legal experts and magistrates. “When faced with a permanent threat, we take decisions that make exceptional measures into permanent ones, which is never good for democracy,” said legal expert Serge Slama.

‘A surveillance state’

Part of the problem for Hollande is that France has already gone a long way towards toughening its counter-terrorism laws, and has limited options for extending them further. A raft of measures passed in June gave the state broad powers to snoop on citizens, and were seen as a vital update to ageing regula-


Saudi Wahhabi dilemma in spotlight after Paris attacks n Reuters, Riyadh Saudi Arabia’s tough religious tradition is seen by many outsiders - and some Saudi liberals - as a root cause of the international jihadist threat that has inflamed the Middle East for years and struck in Paris last week. However, while Riyadh has cracked down hard on jihadists at home, jailing thousands, stopping hundreds from travelling to fight abroad and cutting militant finance streams, its approach to religion has raised a dilemma. It assails the ideology of militants who proclaim jihad against those they regard as heretics or infidels, while allying with a clerical establishment that preaches intolerance, although not violence, against exactly those same groups. Wahhabism, the kingdom’s official ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim school, regards ‘Shiaism’ as heretical, lauds the concept of jihad and urges hatred of infidels. Its clerics run the Saudi justice system and have funds to spread their influence abroad. “Muslims should be fair to non-Muslims. They can do business with them and should not attack them. But that does not mean they should not hate them and avoid them,” a senior Saudi cleric, seeking anonymity, said last year. For the government, focusing on that distinction, between accepting hatred and inciting violence, has let it retain the support of Wahhabi clergy and ultra-conservative Saudis while also carrying out a massive security operation against militants. Modern jihadist organisations, including Islamic State and al-Qaeda, follow an extreme interpretation of the Salafi branch of Islam, of which Wahhabism was the original strain, and whose clergy still enjoy great influence in wider Salafist circles. The government defends its record on combating radicalism, pointing to its detention of thousands of suspected militants, its intelligence sharing with allies and its barring of clergy who praised militant attacks. Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj

Gen Mansour Turki in an interview this summer said the clerics and firebrands now exhorting Muslims - including Saudis - to go and fight in Syria or Iraq, or to launch attacks elsewhere, were themselves living in territory controlled by Islamic State rather than in the kingdom itself.

Militant backlash

The Grand Mufti and the council of senior scholars, the top Wahhabi cleric and institution, openly defame Shias as “rejectionists”, a term in common currency among Sunni militants in the sectarian bloodbath afflicting many Middle East nations, and often refuse to accept that Shias are Muslim. Their teaching on jihad - that it is a blessed activity in defence of Islam against infidels and heretics, and will win rewards in heaven - differs from that of militant groups only in requiring the approval of the king and Saudi official clergy. To outsiders and to liberal Saudi critics of the ruling al-Saud, such intellectual gymnastics, reinforced in frequent clerical messages and a centrepiece of the kingdom’s militant rehabilitation programme, sometimes look like hairsplitting. However, they fall squarely in the context of Saudi Arabia’s idiosyncratic internal politics, in which the unelected dynasty depends on the Wahhabi clergy to support its legitimacy.

Global influence

Although Saudi Arabia finances preachers, mosques and madrassas around the world, and although Salafism has become common among Muslims globally, Saudi Arabia’s own influence in the movement has become diluted. Among militants, Saudi religious influence is even less pronounced. Jihadists often turn to texts written by long-dead Wahhabi scholars and they often adopt a Saudi style of oratory in their religious speeches, but they mock the kingdom’s modern clergy as puppets of a corrupt, pro-Western regime. l

tions dating back to pre-internet days. The law was overwhelmingly waved through by lawmakers even though it coincided with uproar over news that the United States had spied on Hollande and his predecessors, and disquiet over revelations about snooping from American intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. Rights groups were up in arms, with Amnesty International saying the new law took France “a step closer to a surveillance state”. Others slammed it as a “Patriot Act a la francaise”. They fear that -- as occurred with the Patriot Act -- the new measures will end up being used primarily for investigations that have nothing to do with terrorism. Analysis by the Electronic Frontier Foundation showed that the Patriot Act’s “sneakand-peek” powers, allowing investigators

to conduct a search without informing the suspect, were requested 11,129 times in 2013, but only 51 were for terrorism cases. The vast majority – 84% -- were used against suspected drug dealers.

‘Unimaginable in France’

Legal experts said it was unlikely France could go as far. Didier Maus, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Aix-Marseille in southern France said anything on that scale would be struck down by France’s Constitutional Court or clash with European human rights law. In any case, experts say the challenge of tackling terrorism lies not in the limits of the law, but the lack of human resources to sift through the mountains of intelligence being generated. l


Editorial 11



The axis of exclusion They hear the language and its content. They speak it, make love in it, swear in it, cry in it. That’s a world beyond Lalu Prasad’s funny speeches going viral. There is a caste difference between those who make love in Lalu’s language and those who love his funny videos


To be a woman travelling alone to a country that has, for all intents and purposes, seemingly descended into sectarian madness seems slightly more ludicrous. Why attempt any such homecoming, especially if one wishes to emerge on the other side alive?


Access to medicine for all Patent protection significantly contributes to high costs, making critical treatments unaffordable to patients in poor nations. Civil society organisations have highlighted the critical importance of this exemption from pharmaceutical patents


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Bangladeshi-born confused American

We can all help book publishers to develop new writers


he popularity of bookstalls at the Dhaka Lit Fest and annual Ekushey Boi Mela show there is no shortage of appetite for books in Bangladesh. In providing a platform for learning and debate, the cultural exchange fostered by these events plays a special role in helping to disseminate Bangladeshi culture and literature and culture, and in inspiring more people to get involved in our creative industries. Unfortunately as a nation, we are failing to properly satisfy public demand or nurture enough new writers and publishers because of barriers holding back our publishing and book-selling industries. In part, the lack of a truly vibrant publishing industry reflects the high rates of adult illiteracy which our nation has historically tolerated. With rising enrollment in schools and a growing economy, there can no longer be any excuse for the government not to do more to bring about a fully literate population. For Bangladesh to advance in the global knowledge economy, we need to do much more to remove constraints on publishers and to increase readership and book sales. The curse of piracy is the biggest challenge we need to overcome to help publishers. While superficially attractive to students who obtain cheaply photocopied textbooks, creativity and research is stifled as piracy deprives writers and publishers of the royalties and funds needed to support the development of new work. As a result, students across the land still suffer from scarcity in the availability of good quality and original books. As well as clamping down on piracy and improving protection of intellectual property, the government should also move towards coming in line with countries which impose no taxes on books at all. Investment in building and developing public lending libraries should also be ramped up to help nurture interest in reading and writing among children. Space to set them up is readily available at or alongside schools and public offices. There is no reason, also, why more philanthropists should not also be encouraged to create new libraries and give support to endeavours to advance education, Books and literature are the basis of knowledge and culture. Every possible effort must be made to enhance access to their benefits.

For Bangladesh to advance in the global knowledge economy, we need to do much more to remove constraints on publishers and to increase readership and book sales





The axis of exclusion The Hindi-isation of the public sphere, led by the elite, excludes speakers of Bihar’s own languages

n Garga Chatterjee


n the recently concluded elections of Bihar, many propaganda jingles were produced and played by political parties. Many of them were in Bhojpuri, Magahi, and other languages of Bihar. These were played in areas where nearly every voter is counted in the Indian Union’s official census numbers as “Hindi” speakers. But strangely, in this officially Hindi-land, Hindi was not enough as the medium of political communication. A gigantic fraud is committed on the people of Bihar every 10 years by counting almost all of them as Hindi speakers as per census, even when they mention their own non-Hindi languages as their mother tongue. This is something that is exposed when political propaganda is done using people’s own non-Hindi mother tongues. Frauds are good for census purposes, but in elections, mostly real people with real non-Hindi mother tongues vote. Thus, in areas where there are no Bhojpuri-medium schools but plenty of Hindi medium schools and almost every citizen is registered as a Hindi speaker, Bhojpuri was widely used for political purposes. So politicians know what this “Hindi” is, just like the priests at the temple of Delphi must have known that there was no real oracle. Languages are not intrinsically funny -promoting them as such is an old conspiracy by dominant groups and their languages of hegemony. Hegemonic languages are never funny. They are neutral. When Lalu Prasad’s language is made fun of and his “funny” videos go viral, what is at display is nothing short of linguistic racism. Millions of mostly lower caste people don’t think it’s funny.

people whether people with such pathetic condition were brahmins, thakurs or bhumihars, or from the lower castes? His audience knew the answer. Everyone knows. Like caste and class, language, in the Indian Union, unfortunately, is another axis of exclusion -- intimately tied to caste and class. Hence, like Lalu Prasad Yadav, one can ask, who are the people who know only Bhojpuri or Angika or Magahi and no Hindi. Are they brahmins? Are they thakurs? Or are they overwhelmingly from the lower castes? The forced uniform Hindu-ness is not unrelated to forced uniform Hindi-ness. Bihar voted against uniformity forced by erstwhile dominant groups. Bihar voted for itself. Hindi-isation of the public sphere and political idiom excludes the majority. This Hindi-isation in the context of Bihar is led by upper-castes (except with the marginal exception of Maithili speakers, where uppercastes, along with others, are trying hard to fight for their language). The dominant group, due to their links to the West and especially to the Hindi circles to the West (including, most crucially, Hindi literature and media circles) have also made Hindi an aspirational language. This works to the advantage of these already dominant groups, as the other castes lose the less unequal playing field they might have had, when it comes to Bhojpuri or Angika. The ultimate aim of this design is to rob the majority of their Angika, Bhojpuri, or Maithili agency and being converted into mere appendages of a Savarna-Hindi leadership. Everyone knows what kind of political forces benefit from this trend. This forced

They hear the language and its content. They speak it, make love in it, swear in it, cry in it. That’s a world beyond Lalu Prasad’s funny speeches going viral. There is a caste difference between those who make love in Lalu’s language and those who love his funny videos India or Hindi-land? They hear the language and its content. They speak it, make love in it, swear in it, cry in it. That’s a world beyond Lalu Prasad’s funny speeches going viral. There is a caste difference between those who make love in Lalu’s language and those who love his funny videos. The Union government at New Delhi refuses to publish the socio-economic caste census (SECC) data. What truth in those numbers does it fear? Lalu Prasad Yadav drove that point home, by quoting some shocking data (that 51% people are manual casual labourers, 14% families living in one-room kuchcha house, 14% are landless households, etc) and rhetorically asked the

minoritisation of the majority was only partially broken in 1990 with the ascendency of Lalu Prasad Yadav to Bihar’s Chief Ministership. The displaced elites, especially those hegemonic caste-groups whose stranglehold on politics was partially broken in the 19901995 period, have been trying to claw back to power ever since. Hence, when Nitish Kumar was making the case for the Bihari vis-a-vis the Bahari, that statement can be read in multiple ways. Every text has a sub-text. Every speech, even when made in Hindi, may have a non-Hindi sub-speech within it. Not everything can be heard clearly from the

Anglo-Hindi perches of Delhi. Certain readings require compassion, humility and taking-off Delhi-mark imperial blinders. One such reading (or one may call it a spin) is that RJD-JD(U) called for unity among the Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili speaking peoples against the forces of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan. The result is clear. Looking into the future, if people-centric empowerment is part of the RJD-JD(U) agenda, then that process cannot happen using Hindi as the uniform medium of communication from the government to the people and vice-versa. Bihar’s own languages desperately need


basic infrastructure and recognition that can come from funds that were historically looted and monopolised by upper-caste Hindi-wallahs to extend their sphere of hegemony. People should be able to study at least in primary school, speak in the Bihar assembly, have forms and signs in Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, and Maithili. This much dignity they deserve, and has to be a part of any future social justice agenda. l Garga Chatterjee is a political and cultural commentator. He can be followed on twitter @gargac





Bangladeshi-born confused American Bad things can happen to anyone while travelling, but the worries are more real for women travelling alone

n Shehtaz Huq


uffingon Post: “Yes, I’m Pretty, and I’m Travelling alone,” “6 Solid Ways to Ward off Creepers While Traveling,” “Why Every Woman Should Travel Alone At Least Once.” Time: “Why Every Woman Should Travel Alone.” Escape Here: “The 10 Safest (And Coolest) Cities for Women to Travel Alone.” These are the articles I read as I prepare to travel alone, for the first time, back to my desh, without being flanked by a parent/ sibling/distant relative/friend. While the plane ticket was finagled by my father, and the lodging provided by my aunt, the rest, they say, is up to me. The prospect of a woman travelling alone is enough to incite cardiac arrest in a legion of bhabis on both sides of the Atlantic. “Ish, what do you think you’re doing?” “Travelling alone -- without a chaperone? Chi, chi.” “What would your parents say?” Truly, a Bangladeshi woman -- unmarried, with a big mouth -- ought not to go anywhere alone, especially not back to the desh, not when the situation “is what it is.” News out of Dhaka reaches the community across the Atlantic in bitesized morsels of unadulterated terror. The inflation rate is high. Traffic is a nightmare. People are being butchered on the streets for being political dissentients, petty criminals, women. Nothing is sacred. No one is safe. Travelling alone would entail encountering all of these things, even if one is ensconced in the privilege of an air-conditioned air, residing in an airconditioned flat, drinking bootleg whiskey in an air-conditioned bar somewhere in glittering late-night Dhaka. A woman travelling alone may as well resign herself to battling not merely the congestion, potholes, and dismal headlines, but the additional delight of mild-toaggressive physical harassment, a lack of privacy, probing questions into one’s personal lives, and a myriad of general safety risks.

Going home isn’t what it used to be

To be a woman travelling alone to a country that has, for all intents and purposes, seemingly descended into sectarian madness seems slightly more ludicrous. Why attempt any such homecoming, especially if one wishes to emerge on the other side alive? Would it perhaps make sense to carry mace, the old-fashioned American solution to warding off sexual predators? Would it suffice to wear around one’s neck a rape whistle, in the off-chance that a law enforcement official would be summoned by that shrill call to aid of a woman travelling alone? The prospects of a safe, hassle-free journey seem slim. Americans in small-town

America see the suitcases being aired out on the balconies and the shopping carts full of discounted bargain buys and say: “Are you sure you’ll be all right?” A concerned family friend wants to put me in touch with the American embassy in Dhaka. “They can’t touch you if you’re American,” she assures me, while coaching me on my “safe word” lest I get kidnapped.


These concerns seem ludicrous, but also not. It is bad enough to be a woman travelling alone. However, to be a woman travelling alone to a country that has, for all intents and purposes, seemingly descended into sectarian madness seems slightly more ludicrous. Why attempt any such homecoming, especially if one wishes to emerge on the other side alive? Nowadays, homecoming carries not the same prospects for the non-resident Bangladeshis, the Bangladeshi-born confused deshis, their spouses, and their offspring. There is the notion of coming someplace, although perhaps not quite home, maybe not even to come back anytime soon. There is duty and there is self-preservation, and when compelled to choose, the choices suddenly become more obvious. l Shehtaz Huq is a teacher based in Rochester, NY.





Access to medicine for all The waiver exempting LDCs from IP rights in pharma products is expiring. But there is a strong case to ask for an extension

The price of pharmaceuticals in Bangladesh is among the lowest in the world

n Shawkat Haider


n November 6, the WTO’s Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreed to extend a waiver, allowing the 48 least developed countries (LDCs) not to enforce intellectual property (IP) rights on pharmaceutical products until 2033. The original deadline expires on January 1, 2016. In June 2013, a general waiver exempting LDCs from the obligation to enforce IP rights was extended to 2021. However, as TRIPS constitutes a separate agreement on public health, LDCs are required to apply for the pharma extension separately. That’s why Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC member countries, submitted a request to the WTO in February for extending the 2016 deadline for as long as they remain an LDC. The latest extension, the second specifically applied to pharmaceutical products for LDCs, is in line with directions set by WTO ministers in the 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. It also follows the adoption of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which affirm the right of developing countries to utilise TRIPS Agreement flexibilities to ensure access to medicines for all. LDCs are the poorest and most vulnerable segment of the international community, characterised by very low per capita income, weak human resources, and economic vulnerability, in addition to inherent geographical and environmental constraints. Not surprisingly, their productive capacity is highly limited by severe infrastructure deficits. For nearly a billion people living in the LDCs, access to health care and modern medicine remains a major challenge. According to the UN, more than 70% of the LDC population lives on less than $2 per day, and an estimated 252 million people live with hunger. It is critically important to exempt

these poor countries from IP obligation in order to provide access to affordable treatment for scores of diseases. Thus LDCs’ request for a pharmaceutical transition period for as long as they remain LDCs was not only relevant and valid, it was based on strong humanitarian grounds. The 2001 Doha Declaration exempted LDCs from pharmaceutical product patenting until January 1, 2016, which has significantly improved access to affordable treatments in the poorest nations. This flexibility largely enabled LDC governments, donors, and the international community to treat more patients with HIV/AIDs and many other diseases which would not be possible in presence of strict patent enforcement. Besides scores of infectious and communicable diseases, LDCs now have increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc. In the absence of health insurance in these poor countries, most of the health care related expenses are out-of-pocket and no way affordable to the patients. Patent protection significantly contributes to high costs, making critical treatments unaffordable to patients in poor nations. In numerous communications, civil society organisations have highlighted the critical importance of this exemption from pharmaceutical patents and test data protection and this was unequivocally supported by European Union, UN, and other international agencies, NGOs, and suppliers of generic medicines from across the world. Medicine price in Bangladesh is among the lowest in the world and that has been possible because the country has much competitive generic drug skills, and it doesn’t have to pay royalty to innovators for producing patented medicines. For example, cholesterol lowering drug Crestor 10mg (rosuvastatin) tablet costs around $7.25 in the US versus a comparable Bangladeshi generic price of $0.25 while diabetes drug Januvia 50mg (sitagliptin) is priced at $11.25 against


have already secured accreditations from major drug regulatory authorities, and today, Bangladeshi medicine are also being exported to many countries in the world. However, the industry is still faced with many long-standing challenges. Lack of sufficient backward integration into active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, remains a major challenge for us. The industry is still heavily dependent on import for raw material to produce medicines. The competitiveness in the generic drug industry largely depends on API backward linkage. The industry also needs to have important infrastructures such as a central bioequivalence centre, state of the art drug testing labs, advanced pharmaceutical research centre, FDA-like strong regulatory authority, etc. In addition, we too focus on capacity-building in IP and legal affairs and strengthen our patent office as they are increasingly becoming important for operating in the generic drug space.

Patent protection significantly contributes to high costs, making critical treatments unaffordable to patients in poor nations. Civil society organisations have highlighted the critical importance of this exemption from pharmaceutical patents

the local generic price of $0.25. Bangladesh has recently introduced the generic version of revolutionary hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (sofosbuvir+ledipasvir) which are available locally at $6.5 and $13 per tablet compared to the originator brands at $1,000 and $1,125 respectively. For a poor country like Bangladesh, with one of the lowest per capita health care expenditures in the world, it would be impossible to afford such expensive medicines, had they not been manufactured in the country. Like these revolutionary drugs, there are a number of patented biological drugs for chronic diseases and cancer, which may be produced in the country and made accessible to the people. Pharma is largely a knowledge-driven and technology-intensive industry, and this requires significant investment in R&D as well as infrastructure compared to other industries. Pharma’s success mostly depends on its intellectual capital where special skillsets are required to deal with every stage of its operations. Bangladesh has a more organised pharma industry compared to any other LDC members. Since the promulgation of the National Drug Policy in 1982 the country has made considerable progress in terms of generic drug skills and infrastructure. Currently, 97% of country’s demand is met by domestic manufacturers. Leading pharma companies

As of now, there is no special economic zone for pharma to provide an internationally competitive and hasslefree environment. The industry also needs to find new opportunities of growth in contract manufacturing and research, clinical research, and custom synthesis. Thus, only competitive labour cost is not enough for this industry, and much needs to be done for the country to operate across the pharma value chain and to establish a strong technological base. This additional 17-year IP waiver would definitely help the industry address many of these challenges, and equip itself to be more competitive in the future in order to provide affordable medicine for this large disadvantaged population. It’s quite regrettable that, although the 2001 Doha declaration allowed us pharma patent waiver till 2015, we could not utilise the flexibility to develop our infrastructure such as API technology park etc, which would give the industry a tremendous boost in gaining further competitiveness. This time, we must make no mistake in getting our act together. Even though Bangladesh is likely to graduate to middle income status well ahead of 2033, we must make the best use of the time period available, and actively use the created policy space it provides. l Shawkat Haider is Industry Expert and General Manager, Beximco Pharma.

Don’t miss out on 1:45AM – 12:45PM

2:15PM – 3:15PM

A range of women from different professions tell their stories through a gender lens. Featuring businesswoman Rubana Huq, the first Bangladeshi woman to climb Mount Everest, Nishat Majumdar and journalist Munni Saha. In conversation with Jude Kelly. A WOW – Women of the World festival talk.

This session marks the launch of Dhaka Translation Center’s landmark Library of Bangladesh, a first-ever series of the best of Bangladeshi writing produced for a world audience. The inaugural batch will release works by Hasan Azizul Huq and Syed Shamsul Haq. Series editor and awardwinning translator Arunava Sinha will be in conversation with translator Bhaskar Chattopadhyay. The unveiling will also feature a few of the authors, DTC founder, K Anis Ahmed and director Kaiser Haq on stage.

WOW BITES | Main Stage


Launch of Kaiser Haq’s book published by Harvard University Press, a composite of 14th-19th century texts from the Manasa Mangal (Padma Puran), of the legend of Manasa, the Serpent Goddess—the female power looking over Bengal and beyond. Haq will be in conversation with cultural activist Lubna Marium, who has done extensive work with folk traditions venerating Manasa, folk expert and academic Syed Jamil Ahmed and academic Rosinka Chaudhuri.


Celebrated Cuban science fiction writer and rock star Yoss, broadcaster and novelist Marcel Theroux and novelist Ranbir Sidhu discuss alternate worlds and thoughts with Bangladeshi novelist Saad Z Hossain. MYSTICAL DIMENSIONS | Lawn Poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, writer Farrukh Dhondy and scholar Patrick Laude, discuss the philosophy and essence of the mystical poetry of the greats—Rumi, Kabir, Hafez and others.

Lit Fest in photos


into the freedom struggle, and eventually the Liberation War. As an influential teacher at Dhaka University, close adviser and confidante to Bangabandhu, and executive editor of Forum magazine, Rehman Sobhan will share his bird’s eye view of those seminal years, with renowned lawyer Kamal Hossain, noted Pakistani lawyer Asma Jahangir and Daily Star publisher and editor Mahfuz Anam. 5:00PM – 6:00PM

NEVER A DULL DE | Main Stage

Legendary opinion maker Shobhaa De talks to Antara Ganguli about a lifetime as one of India’s most outspoken independent voices.

A lively discussion between global feminist campaigner Ruchira Gupta, and member of Bangladeshi women’s activist group Naripokkho, Firdous Azim, exploring issues surrounding the sex trade.

What is it about South Asia that still holds back both more feisty growth and further integration? Can this region ever shake off its sluggishness and become a real world-beating regional bloc? Three top journalists, based out of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, take a hard look at the region’s realities. Featuring 3:00PM – 4:00PM Victor Mallet, Fasih Ahmed and Zafar Sobhan. UNPLUGGED | Bardhaman House Presented by singer-songwriter Armeen Musa. Moderated by Ashiqur Rahman.


This session will mark the launch of Rehman Sobhan’s memoir Untranquil Recollections: The Years of Fulfilment by Sage Publications, which covers the birth of the nationalist movement, how it developed


Featured workshops


3:30PM – 4:45PM



Dhaka Lit Fest


Four women carving out new cultural spaces with a global vision discuss the challenges and the thrilling compulsion of such undertakings with Jude Kelly of UK’s Southbank Centre, Muthoni Garland, founder of Kenya’s Storymoja festival, Meike

Day 2 1:30PM – 2:10PM – CHILDREN’S STORYBOOK WRITING WORKSHOP Zehra Ispahani will walk kids through a lesson in great storytelling and strong sentence construction. 3:00PM – 3:40PM – ART WORKSHOP The Art Workshop led by Ayreen Khan and facilitated by Cartoonist Rashad Imam Tanmoy, will provide an opportunity to explore basic and intermediate drawing and sketching techniques. Ziervogel, founder and publisher of Peirene Press, and Sadaf Saaz, director and producer of Dhaka Lit Fest. Moderated by Kelly Falconer, founder of Asia Literary Agency. * Program is subject to changes


DLF Director Sadaf Saaz making a welcome address at the inaugural session

Avid readers flock to the bookstalls to grab some minty fresh reads

Novelist and DLF director K Anis Ahmed on stage with journalist Jon Snow and founder of WOW – Women of the World Festival Movement, Jude Kelly.

Panel discussion and launch of Himal Southasian’s special issue on Bangladesh with contributors Afsan Chowdhury, Prashanta Tripura, Kasia Paprocki and Garga Chaterjee.

Kenyan writer, travel blogger and consultant on international development issues at Dalberg Global Development, Ciku Kimeria (left) with the founder of Storymoja, author Muthoni Garland.



Dhaka Lit Fest


Zero dark comedy 19 questions with Saad Z Hossain


N Anita Amreen

Defining himself as an author who explores the niche genre of fantasy, science fiction and black comedy, Saad Z Hossain’s Escape from Baghdad! has been defined as a book that “ranks way above crazy, and makes for one fabulously engaging read that thrives on allegories,” by Ambarish Ganesh’s book review for the Indian Nerve. His novel Escape from Baghdad! was published by Aleph Book Company in India, Unnamed Press in the US, and by Bengal Lights under the title Baghdad Immortals in Bangladesh. His work has also been included in the Apex Book of World Science Fiction 4, as well as the Six Seasons Review. Set to discuss alternate worlds with celebrated Cuban science fiction writer and rock star Yoss, broadcaster and novelist Marcel Theroux and novelist Ranbir Sindhu at Dhaka Lit Fest today, Hossain is looking forward to his session, especially since he is a true blue sci-fi fan. Dhaka Tribune caught up with the Bangladeshi novelist to talk about his love for good characters with ambiguous morals, his distaste for anything “overly preachy” and how he would love to have the superpower to skip freely through time without any penalties. What sessions are you looking forward to at DLF? I’m a sci fi fan, so I’m looking forward to meeting Yoss. But normally I just turn up and wander around the place. I love the atmosphere, the fact that you can walk into any session on a whim and enjoy it. You can’t find hidden gems if you only stick to the headliners. Your novel Escape from Baghdad! is defined as a “madcap black comedy” - what exactly does that mean? I think it means that it kind of reads like a thriller, but large parts of it are devoted to comic relief. There’s a lot of gallows humour, plus some fantasy elements like alchemists and djinns, which makes the plot non linear. You’ve gotten a lot of positive reviews from authors and bloggers such as NPR, Financial Times, Kirkus Reviews and Book Riot - has there been any bad reviews? You know I think most people don’t really give bad reviews. If they don’t like the piece, they just decline to review it. That’s the courteous thing to do I guess, because with the internet, every word you put out there lingers forever. I’ve been lucky because both my publishers abroad: Unnamed Press in California, and Aleph Book Company in Delhi, have convinced a lot of people to read and review the book. In your book you use humour to portray grim realities the people of Baghdad faced during the US invasion. In the face of crisis in your personal life, do you also employ humour to help you cope? Humour is good for every situation, I find. And black humour is basically just being able

to laugh at appalling situations. Every life will have its share of tragedy, but I find that a thick skin and a good sense of humour can get you through most things. “There’s a little bit of truth in every joke” do you agree? Certainly, the funnier jokes tend to have kernel of truth. Often humour is just exaggerating a point of view until it’s ridiculous. The other thing is that you can use humour to poke at the truth, which is less confrontational than straight forward dissent. It’s also an interesting phenomena that many people now rely on ‘comedians’ like Jon Stewart, or John Oliver or Stephen Colbert, for their actual news. What’s the worst part of being a writer? Well writers don’t get paid very well. I think we’re right down there with mimes and oboe players. It’s kind of unfair. I’ve seen plenty of very successful writers with contracts at major publishing houses who can’t make ends meet without doing a bunch of other jobs. The currency for writers appears to be respect within the literary community, whereas I’m sure we’d prefer, well, actual currency. If you were a friend of Saad Z Hossain, instead of Saad Z Hossain, what would you say is the most annoying thing about him? Well most of my friends are extremely unimpressed with anything literary and often complain that I’m boring them to death. Name one thing you did as a kid that you’d be furious to find your child doing? Getting drunk and making bonfires out of books. To be honest though, my boys are aged six and two. I can’t really imagine being furious at them. As a firm believer of writing that entertains readers - what is one depressing book that you have thoroughly enjoyed? King Rat, by James Clavell. It was about Changi concentration camp in Singapore, during WW2. That was depressing as hell, but I couldn’t put it down. Any pet peeves? Anything overtly preachy. I don’t like being forced into opinions by a book. For example, a book might portray Vladimir Putin as a buffoonish villain. Now I can appreciate that you don’t like his policies, but he’s also obviously a very intelligent and capable man, evinced simply by his ability to rule a country like Russia for so long. To infantilise him is demeaning the reader. What do you like most while reading? Good characters with ambiguous morals. Anti-heroes are all the rage in a lot of genre fiction, and it’s refreshing because it’s closer to reality, and also it’s just boring to have everything black and white. It’s all very well demonising the enemy during an actual conflict, but for readers it’s better to have nuanced characters. I also love a good villain in a book.

Name three dead people you didn’t know in real life that you’d like to have dinner with. Well first I’d pick Plato, because I want to know if he was serious about Atlantis. Our entire basis of this mythology hinges on his work. Second, the architect of the Sphinx, who could tell me how old it really is, plus he’d probably know all the secrets of the pyramids. Third would be the last king/chief/ president of Harappa, so he could tell me what happened to their civilisation. If you could have one superpower what would it be? To skip freely through time without any penalties. I’d dearly love to see what happens to us five hundred years from now, and then five thousand, ten thousand, basically I want to see whether we get wiped out at some point or we transcend the physical world somehow. Mass extinctions are common for life on this planet, and we have to deal with that problem at one stage, when we are socially and technologically advanced enough to get over our obsession with short term gain. Name one book you always have to defend liking. Well I read a lot of fantasy and Sci fi, so those are entire genres that I have to defend against serious readers. Many people dismiss these genres out of hand, as something for children, or geeks. All I can say is that if someone enjoys reading, that’s good enough for me, I don’t really care if its Dan Brown or Proust. One book you always have to defend not liking? I didn’t like Jane Eyre much. I thought it

was boring and dreary, and vastly overrated when compared to the best of Jane Austen. If there was one movie you would never like to watch, what would it be? The graphic novel Sandman. It’s massive in scope, widely considered one of the best ever written. It’s probably too complex to convert into a TV show. I’d hate for people to get their first taste of it as a low budget serial. What skill don’t you have that you wish you did? A better understanding of mathematics would be great. I’d love to write science fiction with a more solid grounding in physics. What would be the last sentence in your autobiography? It’s not over yet. Finally, what’s one question you wish people would stop asking you? ‘Have you ever been to Iraq?’ Actually, not too many people have asked me that, but I live in dread. l

11:45am – 12:45pm | A MULTIVERSE OF IDEAS | KK Tea stage Celebrated Cuban science fiction writer and rock star Yoss, broadcaster and novelist Marcel Theroux and novelist Ranbir Sidhu discuss alternate worlds and thoughts with Bangladeshi novelist Saad Z Hossain.

Mapping paradoxes of Bangladesh n Features Desk


imal Southasia, a quarterly published from Kathmandu, yesterday launched a special issue focused on Bangladesh: “The Bangladesh Paradox”, with a panel talk between Afsan Chowdhury, Prashanta Tripura, Kasia Paprocki, and Garga Chatterjee. The talk was moderated by Himal Southasian’s editor Aunohita Mojimdar. The panelists discussed various politics of Bangladesh in the south Asian context: including its geopolitical issues, language, and race. A part of the conversation also focused on why, often, Bangladesh is sidelined in the international media despite having volumes of stories to tell.

Afsan Chowdhury, a journalist for the BBC, talked about his experiences of writing Bangladesh-focused stories for the international media, sharing anecdotes of how and when a Bangladeshi story is considered “important” for the world. “What terrorism is to the western world is something we will never understand because terror has been so normalized for us,” he said. “That’s why we make it to the news when we have a big incident of ‘terrorism,’ and not other incidents that may also have a lot of deaths but different causes.” The panelists further discussed issues of climate change in the Bangladeshi context, and how that plays into stories of international media (or doesn’t). The session was held at the lawn in the afternoon. l

from some of her own experiences. The story is about two friends - one Hindu and one Muslim, and begins all the way in 1965, culminating in Bangladesh’s war of independence.

“In our country, when we have problems we believe in magic. When things are fine, we become realistic,” Dilruba Z Ara “During the war of 1971, there were all kinds of people - not just soldiers and physically-abled people; there were people with disabilities and illnesses and I wanted to tell that story.” - Dilruba Z Ara, during the launch of her book “Bhaasha” by UPL. Dilruba is a Swedish-Bangladeshi author and wrote the novel drawing

Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN “I have a lot of faith in today’s youth - I think they’re incredible. They listen to rock music and attend the classical music festival. From cricket fields to the lit fest, they’re everywhere” Asaduzzaman Noor

Aly Zaker: I wasn’t just involved in theatre, I was involved in a lot of other activities. For example, I was really good at cricket. Noor was absolutely terrible. Asaduzzaman Noor : I was already a young political leader while you were still playing games. Aly Zaker: That’s why you’re playing for the national team now and I’m not!



The party girl’s guide to Dhaka Lit Fest How to blend in like a pro

n Amreen Rahman




Dhaka Lit Fest


e’ve all pretended to sway to Folk Fest performances, we’ve grooved to some jazz and we’ve allowed the world to watch us nae nae as we make it through these music fests #likeaboss. Music, we can pretend to enjoy, no matter how basic (ikr?), but DLF, girlfriends, is an entirely different ball game. We’ve been to many clubs, but ain’t none of that been a book club. It’s finally time for us to climb that last cultural rung to ace our game at Dhaka Lit Fest - the biggest and most fab party of geeks you will ever come across. The marquees are up, the intellectuals are in, the sessions are in full swing and the pressure, ladies, is so real, I just can’t even... After a thorough stalk session through Facebook and some tips from my girlfriends from the dark side, I’ve come up with the ultimate guide to getting your litfest game on. Bust out that cotton saree If you want to look like a part of this club, rule number one is to bust out that cotton saree. You want to leave your New Year party gear at home for this one. Yes, even those sky-high heels. If you wanna look naughty, you gotta be a shawty. Complete the look with a jute bag stuffed with notes, pens and if you’re feeling particularly brave - a hand fan. Just remember, you gotta constantly #represent local tradition. Follow the nude trend This one’s so easy, you’ll be surprised you haven’t thought of this before. If anyone knows how to ace the “barefaced bae” game, that’s DLF-ers. Minimalistic make-up and barely-there eyeshadow. If you really wanna splurge, go big on the kajal game. Nothing screams character as well as a fierce pair of kohl-lined wings.

Accesorise - with big words or big teeps Thas right, girlies. As far as accessories are concerned - teeps and bangles are your best friend. Your other best friend? A bangin’ collection of highbrow words. My personal faves are “scintillating” and “illuminating”. Talk the talk You’ve got your outfit on point, makeup’s on fleek, jute bags dangling by your side - what next? It’s time to go beyond the surface ladies. This is Lit fest, after all, you can’t just slide over the surface - dig deeper because conversation will always go to dangerous territories (books, writers, discussions and debates!). Word to the wise: pick up a copy of the DLF supplement at the entrance. This, my friends, is your cheat sheet. Try to memorise two or three of the big names in case someone asks you who you’re here to see. If things start to go pear-shaped just remember the ultimate rule - discuss food. If that doesn’t work, wave wildly at a random space behind the person you’re talking to, excuse yourself and run away. This is where those flat shoes will come in handy. Snap your way to literary glory With Facebook down, Whatsapp acting like she’s suffering from that time of the month, the only way to make sure you document this right is to use Snapchat. Stash the selfies for later. Begin with scenic photos of the place itself - get that bot gaach in one shot, the celeb in another and obviously make sure you get the bookstores too. Slyly sneak in a few random shots of yourself. Once Facebook is back we can mupload that ish, don’t worry. You’re welcome. Can I get an amen? #TTYL #stayblessed l




Dhaka Lit Fest

Purpose, Potential and Politics of Science n Shuprova Tasneem One of the head-liners of the Dhaka Literary Festival, Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus was present today to speak at the much anticipated session titled ‘The Purpose, Potential and Politics of Science’ at the Main Stage of Bengal Academy. In this session, Harold Varmus spoke to the audience about basic science research, government and science policy and the future of global healthcare. He started off his session with a discussion on the role and involvement of the political sphere in the field of science in the USA. According to Varmus, it was the scientific inventions of WWII (such as penicillin, radar and the atomic bombs) that really made politicians and world leaders aware of the power of scientific advancements. It was during this time that President Roosevelt first called for federal investment in science. This started a trend of national investment in the sciences, with the latest being President Obama’s initiative in precision medicine. Varmus then went on to tell the audience about his personal research in science, specifically in molecular biology. He talked about DNA and its function of making proteins that are required for different kinds of cells, as well the mutations of genes that cause cancer. At this point, he stressed the importance of the need to decipher the genetic make-up of DNA for cancer treatment and even

prevention. Varmus also discussed traditional cancer therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as more unconventional therapies that advances in science have made available to us, such as drugs that specifically target mutated genes and proteins. He also gave some very interesting insight into latest research on antibodies, gene therapy and gene editing in order to boost immune response to proteins in cancer cells. Varmus ended his session with stressing the importance of spreading information on cancer, including sharing latest research on molecular biology. This is already being done through public libraries, open access publishing and pre-print servers and open data, but he said there should be greater focus on a global approach to sharing this information, as well as on coming up with better therapies and strategies for cancer prevention. Harold Varmus will also be participating at a session with writer Sadaf Saaz on Saturday at 1pm at the Dhaka Lit Fest. Saturday 1:00pm – 2:00pm A LIFE IN ARTS AND SCIENCE / Bhasha Stage Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prizewinning cancer researcher, talks to writer Sadaf Saaz about his lifetime of passion for literature and science. l

On the shelf What are you reading?

Armeen Musa Ghost Alley by Javed Jahangir Zohad Chowdhury (Nemesis) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

it was the scientific inventions of WWII (such as penicillin, radar and the atomic bombs) that really made politicians and world leaders aware of the power of scientific advancements

Aly Zaker I am catching up on all my Kolkata magazines! Right now I am reading Desh Kunal Basu I’m busy revising my own novel!

It will be released next year - my first work in Bangla. Asaduzzaman Noor Ibtisam al Habsi and Her Zanzibar Court by David Greenslade Sameeha Suraiya, development professional (BRAC) Book Thief by Markus Zusak Shaiq Ahmed, businessman Foundation by Isaac Asimov


Business 19


INSIDE Bangladesh seeks dutyfree access to KSA market Bangladesh has proposed duty-free market access for its number of items like apparel, leather and leather goods, pharmaceuticals and agro-products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) market. PAGE 20

Indian miller sees big sugar export opportunities in Asia China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh offer big potential for Indian sugar exports, a senior Indian miller said on Wednesday, with his country on track to become a net exporter of the sweetener in coming years. PAGE 21 WORLD INFLATION 8




Euro zone



Year-on-year percent change

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15 Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream

With such similar inflation, how far behind the Fed can the BoE be? Not long ago, the big debate was over who would raise rates first, the US Federal Reserve or the Bank of England. Now with the Fed giving clear signals it’s on the brink of hiking and the BoE appearing to be pushing that day further off into the future, one could naturally conclude that the inflation outlook in both economies is vastly different. PAGE 22

Capital market snapshot: Thursday DSE Broad Index


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FB-based business badly hurt E-commerce sales also suffer a 25% decline in daily trading n Ishtiaq Husain Though the decision to temporarily close Facebook was just due to security concerns, it comes as a blow to a rapidly growing business based on the popular social media site in Bangladesh. An estimate shows that the Facebook-based business in the country is counting a loss of Tk2 crore daily after the closure which began following Wednesday’s war crimes verdicts by the Supreme Court. The e-commerce sales also suffered a 25% decline because of Facebook halt and Internet service disruptions, according to the market insiders. After the appeal review decisions on Wednesday against the war criminals, the telecom regularor BTRC asked mobile phone operators and Internet service providers to stop the Internet service immediately. However, the Internet service was later restored, though with slow speed, but the Facebook has remained closed. It’s not clear when the site will be made operational again. After the government order, International Internet Gateway (IIGs) also shut down online messaging, WhatsApp and Viber. They will be out of service until further or-

ONLINE BUSINESS SUFFERS E-commerce sales drop 25% Facebook-based business faces Tk2 crore loss daily Total monthly e-com sales over TK200 crore Facebook-based sales 30% or TK60 crore 2,500 involved with Facebook-commerce Over 10m active Facebook users in Bangladesh der, officials said. In e-commerce terminology, Facebook commerce or F-commerce, is a strategy that focuses on developing or designing e-commerce contents and storefront sites within the social networking site. According to a study, e-commerce and F-commerce business amount to over TK200 crore per month. Thirty percent of e-commerce business is based on Facebook, it says. In Bangladesh, more than 10m people are active Facebook users and the number is on the rise. Enterpreneurs and investors think Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is one of the best platforms to expand the reaches of any start-up business in Bangladesh.

They criticised the government’s decision and said it was not necessary to tackle security issues. “It’s a huge loss for e-commerce business, especially the Facebook commerce,” said Rezwanul Haque Jami, acting general secretary of E-commerce Association of Bangladesh (ECAB). He said over 2,500 people are involved with Facebook-based business while the e-commerce also use the site to conduct products campaign. Uttam Kumar Paul, general secretary of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), however, symphatised with the government in the decision. “The government is ICT-friendly, but there was no alternative and the government had to shut down the social media site, even though the Facebook commerce is in trouble.” He hoped the crisis would end soon. Saimum Hossain, co-founder of the Geeky Social Advantage, said the concept of Facebook commerce is real and it’s the gateway to a larger platform which is e-commerce. “For a country like Bangladesh, which has an increasing number of ‘neitzen’ (people present in the Internet), the sky is the limit for Facebook commerce.” l

Pharmaceuticals, non-traditional items to get cash incentives n Tribune Report Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday said the government has decided to provide cash incentives for boosting the export of pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding and some other non-traditional products. The non-traditional products include military uniform, travel bags, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor jackets, jute slippers and other jute goods. The minister said this after a preparatory meeting on the upcoming Ticfa meeting on November 23-24 in Washington and LDC 10th ministerial meeting in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on December 15-18. Commerce Secretary Hedayetullah AlMamoon will attend the meetings along with foreign and labour secretaries. Cash incentives will be provided for the non-conventional products and the Commerce Ministry has already issued a DO letter to the Finance Ministry in this regard, said Tofail. “We will ask for implementation of a set of three facilities provided earlier by the developed countries in the 10th ministerial meeting, which will be organised by the World Trade Organisation,” said the minister. “Besides, we also place our demand for

new facilities at the LDC conference.” Tofail said in accordance with the earlier decision, some developed countries provided duty-free and quota-free facilities for Least Development Countries (LDCs), but some are yet to provide such access of exportable Bangladeshi products. “We want that the developed countries relax conditions of LDCs workforce entry into their territories and ease the rules of origin conditions for export-oriented products in the upcoming WTO meeting.” On November 6, the commerce minister said WTO allowed Bangladesh along with other LDCs facilities of the extension of patent waiver for pharmaceutical products under the Intellectual Property Rights till 2033. Prices of medicine would increase in LDCs including Bangladesh if WTO did not extend the time frame, he added. Bangladesh is now exporting pharmaceutical products to 107 countries across the world. In 2014-15 fiscal year, the country earned $72.64 from exporting pharmaceutical products.

A number of countries showed jealousy for Bangladesh’s success, the minister said, adding that some thought political and social conditions of Bangladesh would not be good after the liberation, but they were wrong. “Now economic and political conditions in our country are now better than those in Pakistan.” The average life expectancy of people in Bangladesh has increased while the child mortality rate has decreased more than Pakistan, he said. Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves now stand at $25 billion while Pakistan at only $15 billion, he added. l





Bangladesh seeks duty-free access to KSA market n Tribune Report

and Saudi Arabia. Both the parties discussed various issues of mutual interest in a congenial and friendly atmosphere and expressed their commitment to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations. In the meeting, the Saudi side acknowledged the contributions of Bangladeshi professionals and workers towards the development activities of Saudi Arabia and expressed its interest for recruiting Bangladeshi doctors, nurses and teachers. The Saudi Food and Drug Authority also expressed its consent for importing Halal meat and meat products, fresh fish and shrimp to Saudi Arabia from Bangladesh according to the technical regulations, certified specifications standard and relevant resolutions. The two sides welcomed the proposal to enhance cooperation between their civil aviation authorities, including training, repair and maintenance of aircraft, equipment of ground handling and equal treatment for Saudi Arabian Airlines and the Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation between Saudi News Agency (SPA) and the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). The Meet also discussed issues like cooperation in economics, investment, religious affairs, security affairs, civil aviation, agriculture, education, health, IT, sports, cultural affairs and tourism. The 12th session of the Joint Economic Commission is likely to be held in Riyadh in 2016. l

Stocks finish week higher n Tribune Report

Stocks finished the week higher yesterday, led by ceramics, power and engineering. The benchmark index DSEX rose 35 points or 0.8% to 4,531. The Shariah index DSES was up around 10 points or 1% to 1,091. The blue chip comprising index DS30 closed at 1,721, soaring about 15 points. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index CSCX settled at 8,416 with a rise of over 66 points. Trading activities improved as the DSE turnover stood at Tk403 crore, up more than 16% over the previous session. The market breadth remained positive as out of 303 issues traded, 200 advanced, 60 declined and 43 remained unchanged. IDLC Investments said investors started showing their resilience in front of recent uncertainties. It said despite adverse developments, market maintained in positive arena, which beaconed the participants that market found substantial support. “With possibility of reversal in mind, investors rebalanced portfolio to benefit from uptrend with an intention to showcase handsome gain in their portfolio.” All the major sectors closed in positive terrain except for non-life insurance and cement that dropped marginally. Lanka Bangla Securities said stocks ended firmly in the positive terrain with improved participation as investor regained some buying interest following to digestion of earnings reports. On the banking sector, the amount of non-performing loans rose by more than 4% during July-September quarter of this year. l

Bangladesh has proposed duty-free market access for its number of items like apparel, leather and leather goods, pharmaceuticals and agro-products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) market. The proposal was made during a two-day 11th session of Joint Economic Commission Meet between Bangladesh and KSA, which ended yesterday in the capital. Welcoming the proposal, the KSA expressed its keen interest for enhancing bilateral trade and commerce between the two countries. Both sides also agreed to take necessary steps for technical cooperation between BSTI and Saudi Arabia Standards Organisation (SASO). Economic Relations Division (ERD) Senior Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin led Bangladesh side while Deputy Minister of International Affairs, Ministry of Labour of Saudi Arabia Dr Ahmad Bin Fahad Al-Fuhaid led the Saudi side at the meeting organised by the ERD. At a briefing after the closing session, the deputy minister of Saudi Arabia said that his country wants to forge a strong partnership with Bangladesh particularity in the areas of economic activity, trade, investment, labour affairs, agriculture, financial services, scientific and educational fields. Asked whether the KSA assistance to Bangladesh would be affected due to the continuous fall of oil price, Al-Fuhaid said: “I

do not see any possible impact.” The Saudi economy is moving forward and has the highest national budget this year as well as very good foreign currency reserves, he added. Mohammad Mejbahuddin said Bangladesh is ready to accept any offer from KSA for making investments in Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh. Noting that Bangladesh received annually around $3bn as remittance from the Bangladeshi expatriates working in Saudi Arabia, he said there is no denying the fact that this amount could go up substantially. He said there were discussions on holding trade fairs and boosting manpower export. During the Meet, both sides also agreed on expansion of trade between the two countries by reducing obstacles and difficulties and utilising industrial and investment opportunities available in the two countries. According to the statement of KSA, Bangladesh side was requested to provide investment opportunities within the framework of King Abdullah’s initiative for agricultural investment abroad. Bangladesh side expressed its desire to establish joint ventures between the two countries in the fields of Agro-based industrialisation in which Bangladesh has advanced experience. During the meeting, both the delegations exchanged information on latest social and economic progress and reviewed the outcome of cooperation between Bangladesh

Two RMG factories face actions for safety flaws

ADB to finance surface water, cross-border power transmission projects

n Tribune Report

n Tribune Report

A review panel of factory inspections yesterday asked ARA/Apparel Exports Limited to suspend production partially. The panel advised the factory to go for detailed engineering assessment (DEA) as it found safety faults. Besides, the panel asked the Finery Limited in Dhaka to conduct DEA in next 10 days. If the factory fails to do it, closure will be the option, the panel warned. Both the garment factories are located in the city’s Darussalam area. Earlier, Accord and Alliance found structural flaws in the building and asked for partial evacuation and DEA. But the authorities didn’t comply. Then Accord and Alliance sought help from the the government review panel. “The review panel members visited two factories and asked one to suspend production in top two floors while another has been asked for doing DEA within 10 days,” Syed Ahmed, chief inspector of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment, told the Dhaka Tribune. The ARA/ Apparel Export Ltd produces RMG products for EU retailers, while Finery Ltd supplies to the North American buyers, he said. l

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $1m in grant technical assistance (TA) to promote sustainable use of surface water for Dhaka city. The government of Japan is financing the TA through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. ADB will administer the fund, and provide technical support for project implementation, said ADB in a statement yesterday. “Securing adequate amount and good quality surface water is vital for Dhaka’s development, as the groundwater table is falling rapidly,” says Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi. “The assistance will strengthen the government’s capacity to monitor and maintain the water quality of Meghna River, which is identified as one of the major surface water sources for Dhaka.” The TA will help strengthen the monitoring and reporting system in the relevant section of Meghna River where the water intake sites are proposed. It will also introduce pilot incentive or reward system for pollution control, and assist the government in identifying areas to be designated as ecologically critical area to restrict development activities. The government officials and other stakeholders will be equipped with knowledge and

skills to operationalise the monitoring and reporting system. Public awareness programmes under the TA are expected to raise appreciation of the need to maintain water quality of Meghna River, and encourage pollution-prevention activities by the public as well as industries. The TA will be implemented from November 2015 to October 2017. The Department of Environment will be the executing agency, and DWASA will be the partner agency. In another statement, ADB said it will provide $120m loan to help finance increased transmission capacity of a cross-border electricity link between India and Bangladesh. To this end, Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Kazuhiko Higuchi, Country Director, Bangladesh Resident Mission of ADB, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at a ceremony at ERD. “This assistance will support Bangladesh to better meet rapidly rising power demand,” says Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi. “The interconnection project is part of efforts under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Programme to promote regional prosperity and improve economic opportunities through strengthened cross-border links in trade, power, road and rail networks.”

The SASEC Second Bangladesh-India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project will double the capacity of the existing 500 megawatts interconnection system which links the power grid of western Bangladesh at Bheramara and the grid of eastern India at Bahrampur. The two networks were first interconnected in 2013 under a previous project financed by ADB. Bangladesh’s fast-growing economy has soaring energy needs, and demand is exceeding domestic natural gas supplies, resulting in an increasing dependence on oil and diesel-based plants. To meet its goal of providing electricity for all by 2021, the government is working to increase generating capacity and to source additional supply. The initial linking of the two national grids helped India deliver over 2,000 gigawatt hours of electricity across the border in 2014. The interconnection project is part of efforts under the SASEC Programme to promote regional prosperity and improve economic opportunities through strengthened cross-border links in trade, power, road and rail networks. Its members are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Along with ADB’s loan assistance, Bangladesh will provide financing of $63.2m for the project, which is expected to be completed in June 2018. l


Muhith wants a fixed day for income tax payment n Tribune Report Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday instructed the National Board of Revenue to work on introduction of a “fixed day” as the deadline to file income tax returns by the taxpayers. All the taxpayers across the country will submit their tax returns on the specific day, which will have no extension, the minister said at the inauguration of Winter Income Tax Fair yesterday. National Board of Revenue has organised the three-day event at the city’s Officers Club. “Many countries have this system in which people have to pay income tax on the designated day and this never changes,” Muhith said and asked the tax authorities to work on it and introduce the system in Bangladesh by 2018. In the United States, the tax day is usually on or around April 15. However, the deadline is extended sometimes to accommodate holidays. “I think we should think like this. Let’s fix a day which will not be extended. The day will be a government holiday so that people can pay their income tax by filing income tax returns in festive mood,” finance minister said. For the first time, the winter edition of tax fair has been organised in the country. It’s being held at seven divisional headquarters, aimed at encouraging people to pay income tax. Finance minister underscored the need to simplify the income tax return form as many people still find it a hassle and face difficulties paying taxes. “We have introduced a one-page income tax return form. It should be made easier so that taxpayers are able to file their form by themselves,” he said asking the NBR to look

into how much easier can it be made. Addressing the function, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan said the tax fair has been gaining popularity as it ensures taxpayers-friendly and service-oriented atmosphere providing onestop services to then taxpayers. “Internal revenues have to be the major source of government income if we want to ensure an economy necessary for sustainable development,” he said. Nazmul said in Bangladesh income tax is a little more than 3% of the GDP, which needs to be increased. Quoting from a research report, he said: “Seven percent of the total population in the country earn more than $400 a month. In that calculation, the number of taxpayers should be at 12m. But only some 2m people have TIN and 1.4m of them file returns. We have to increase the numbers through organising this type of programmes and through launching awareness campaigns.” NBR Chairman Nojibur Rahman said the board is trying not to impose more tax on existing taxpayers, rather to increase the tax base. Usually, the NBR holds a week-long national income tax fair across the country on September 16-22 every year, but the winter edition of income tax fair had been introduced as the NBR saw a huge interest among taxpayers in such events. Along with two venues in Dhaka, the tax fair began yesterday in divisional headquarters of Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal and Rangpur. In Chittagong, the fair is being taken place at the Agrabad Government Office 2. Chittagong City Corporation Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin inaugurated the fair. The inaugural function was attended,




among others, by National Board of Revenue Member Farid Uddin, Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner Abdul Jalil Mondal, Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Mesbah Uddin, Tax Commissioner (Appeal) and Convener of the fair Kazi Emdadul Haque and Tax Commissioner Apurba Kanti Das. People can receive different one-stop services including registration with electronic taxpayers identification number (eTIN), re-registration with eTIN, submission of income tax returns and online payment facilities from the fair venues. The fair will be open from 10am to 5pm everyday.

Four NRBs awarded with CIP card

The government at the function awarded four non-resident Bangladeshis, including three from a same family, with Commercially Important Person (CIP) cards recogniding their contributions to the country’s economy. The government delivered the CIP cards to the expatriates for their contribution in 2015 through making highest investments in development bonds under “US Dollar Premium Bond” and “US Dollar Investment Bond” schemes. The investors are Zainul Haque Sikder, Monowara Sikder, Rick Haque Sikder and Md Aftab Hossain. Zainul Haque is the chairman of National Bank Limited while Monowara Sikder and Rick Haque Sikder are directors. The CIP card holders enjoys a number of government facilities for one year since the card issued. The government in 2002 introduced US dollar premium and investment bonds to encourage the NRBs to invest in the country’s economy. Any NRB can avail the CIP status if he or she invests $1m or more in the US dollar premium and investment bond schemes, as per the rules. l

BB limits expense of luxurious transport, office decoration for FIs n Tribune Report

Bangladesh Bank has set limit on expenses of luxurious transport and office decoration for financial institutions in order to reduce their operating expenditure. The decision was taken against the backdrop of high spending tendency by Non-banking Financial Institutions (FIs), said a circular Bangladesh Bank issued yesterday. FIs cannot buy motor car above Tk50 lakh and jeep above Tk1 crore, according to the circular. The number of motor cars will be increased in accordance with the expansion of branch offices. The vehicles used by chairman and managing directors will be replaceable at least five years after use, added the circular. The statement on expenditure of using motor cars will be submitted to yearly and half-yearly board meetings of respective non-banking financial institutions. Financial institutions are not restricted to use floor space above 5,000 square feet in case of new branch. The existing branches which have floor space above 5,000 square feet cannot use more space in case of branch transfer, said the circular. FIs will not be allowed to spend more than Tk1,500 on per square feet in case of establishing new branch or shifting existing branch. The central bank asked the FIs to emphasise basic needs and quality instead of luxury in case of furniture and other equipment. The circular explained that higher expenditure and operating expense are affecting FIs profit negatively. As a result shareholders and clients are also being affected. In this perspective, Bangladesh Bank set the bar to expenditure in the interest of shareholders and clients. l

Indian miller sees big sugar export opportunities in Asia n Reuters, London China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh offer big potential for Indian sugar exports, a senior Indian miller said on Wednesday, with his country on track to become a net exporter of the sweetener in coming years. Abinash Verma, director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), said Indian sugar exports to those four markets are still modest, but could rise. He gave no figures. India’s sugar industry, which has a big impact on global prices because it swings between net importer and net exporter, has been hit by low sugar prices and a global glut. In September, the government announced new rules making it compulsory for sugar producers to increase exports to at least 4 million tonnes in the current crushing season to cut stockpiles as the country faces a sixth year of surplus. “India produces high quality raw sugar that can compete with Brazilian supplies,” Verma told Reuters on the sidelines of the International Sugar Organization seminar. In a speech at the seminar on Tuesday,

A woman gathers dried stalks of sugarcane to fuel a fire to prepare jaggery on the outskirts of Bengaluru REUTERS

Verma said India, the world’s biggest sugar producer after Brazil, would become a net exporter in coming years, barring an extreme

weather event. “A surplus is expected in the next few years at least,” Verma said, adding that he ex-

pects surpluses to average about 10 percent of annual domestic production. India mainly exports white sugar, and mills will need to meet sugar export targets set by the government for 2015/16. For many producers in India, the world’s biggest consumer of sugar, exports are not viable because global prices are lower than local prices. Verma said Indian mills would have to achieve 80% of their export quotas in order to comply with government targets. Earlier on Wednesday, government sources said India would, for the first time, pay sugarcane farmers in part for produce they sell to money-losing mills. The government would directly pay farmers 45 rupees ($0.68) for every tonne of cane produced, leaving mills to bear the rest of nearly 98 percent of the cost, one of the sources said, aimed at wooing politically influential growers and helping sugar companies recover from the global glut. Verma said Indian mills faced a disadvantage in terms of potential raw sugar exports to Indonesia. l





With such similar inflation, how far behind the Fed can the BoE be? n Sumanta Dey

Not long ago, the big debate was over who would raise rates first, the US Federal Reserve or the Bank of England. Now with the Fed giving clear signals it’s on the brink of hiking and the BoE appearing to be pushing that day further off into the future, one could naturally conclude that the inflation outlook in both economies is vastly different. Except it’s not. If anything it looks like the UK is only a little bit behind. Prices fell 0.1% in October compared with a year ago in Britain while in the US, they rose just 0.2%. Even in China, where growth is reported at just under seven percent, inflation has fallen well below 2%. But while expectations for the first Fed hike in almost a decade have now clearly converged around December, the BoE is not likely to raise rates until six months later, according to Reuters polls — and even longer if interest rate futures are to be believed. A big reason for the varying expectations no doubt is rhetoric from policymakers at the Fed and the BoE, because economic reports have pointed to roughly similar performance. Economic growth is almost on par in both countries, employment has picked up and wages have begun showing signs of rising. The unemployment rate, at 5% in the US and 5.3% in Britain, is almost identical. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s signal that a December rate rise is a “live possibility” has been supported by comments from other policymakers who have hinted the world’s largest economy is ready for higher interest rates. That latest strong hint comes after the Fed passed on an opportunity to raise in June, and then again in September. BoE Governor Mark Carney, on the other hand, sounded dovish earlier this month when the Bank’s latest forecasts showed it didn’t expect inflation to pick up pace anytime soon. Both central banks target inflation around 2% in the medium-term. The Fed, which has





Euro zone



Year-on-year percent change

6 4 2 0 -2





15 Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream

a dual mandate that includes full employment, looks more closely at Core PCE prices which rose 1.9% between April-June on a year ago. But it still keeps an eye on headline inflation and the long-term outlook for price rises isn’t all that different either. Consumer prices are expected to rise 2.1% by the end of 2016 in the US not far off from the 1.6% consensus for the UK for the same period, according to Reuters polls. Citi economists wrote in a note: Policy divergence is back on the table as the main story – the likelihood of a Fed rate hike in December seems to be rising… (and) the ECB seems set to ease further. Historically, UK rate cycles have tended to move a little more closely with the euro area than US, but have not been very closely linked to either.

At present, we believe the UK’s rate cycle is likely to be roughly midway between the US and the euro area. The next UK rate move is probably up (like the US) rather than down (like the ECB), but (unlike the US) probably is distant. The ECB is widely expected to add to its massive stimulus programme next month, or cut the deposit rate, or do both, in yet another attempt to boost inflation in the currency bloc. Those measures will take euro zone monetary policy further out of line with the US and Britain, its key trading partners. If the Fed does move six months before the BoE, the pound would likely weaken further on a renewed dollar rally and drive inflationary pressures up in the UK by making imports costlier. That might give Carney room to justify

a rate hike. British house prices, too, have accelerated recently and waiting too long to end the easy monetary policy of the past half-decade could stoke a property market bubble and put the economy at risk. Markets are pricing in a 25 basis point hike by the BoE only in early 2017. But BoE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent on Wednesday suggested the interpretation of the Bank’s latest inflation forecast as a pledge that rates would not rise for another year was a misinterpretation. If that is true, the Reuters consensus for a rate hike by the middle of next year may be closer to the truth. l Sumanta Dey is a senior correspondent on the Reuters Polls team. The article was initially published at Reuters.

As emerging markets grow, Android CORPORATE NEWS extends smartphone lead n AFP Android-powered smartphones extended their lead in the global marketplace in the third quarter, helped by growth in emerging markets, a survey showed Wednesday. The Google-powered operating system was used in 84.7% of smartphones sold worldwide in the quarter, up from 83.3% a year earlier, the Gartner survey showed. Apple and its iOS operating system meanwhile lifted its market share to 13.1% from 12.5% a year ago. The two dominant systems left little for Windows Phone, which saw its market share slip to 1.7% from three%, and Blackberry, down to 0.3% from 0.8%. Smartphone sales grew 15.5% in the July-September period to 353 million units, with Android accounting for more than 298

million and Apple 46 million, Gartner noted. But most of the growth was in emerging markets, where sales were up 18.4% compared with 8.2% for “mature markets,” according to the survey. “The availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets saw consumers upgrade their ‘feature phones’ to smartphones more quickly because of the small price gap,” said Anshul Gupta, Gartner research director. Samsung kept its spot as the number one vendor with a 23.7% market share to 13.1% for number two Apple. China’s Huawei leapt into third place with a share of 7.7%, on the back of a 71% year-onyear sales jump, Gartner found. Rival Chinese handset markets Lenovo and Xiaomi were in a virtual tie for fourth place with a 4.9% market share, Gartner said. l

The Westin Dhaka has recently earned Luxury Hotel Award 2015 in the category of ‘The Best Luxury Business Hotel in Bangladesh’ consecutively fifth time in a row. General manager of The Westin Dhaka, Daniel Muhor received the award at 9th annual World Luxury Hotel Awards that was hosted at Harbour Grand in Hong Kong





Schools blamed for worsening traffic jam n Anwar Hussain, Chittagong

Some educational institutions in Chittagong that have a large number of students compared to other schools and are located beside major roads have frequently been blamed for aggravating traffic congestion in the city. The city roads, especially those near big schools, usually witness serious traffic congestion before and after school hours when hordes of students enter or leave schools at the same time. Most of these roads are also very narrow. Last year, the traffic department of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) urged the schools to introduce their own bus services in a bid to ease traffic jam in the city but the schools have not yet acted accordingly. Wahidul Hoque Chowdhury, CMP additional deputy commissioner (traffic), told the Dhaka Tribune that notices were sent to the schools on May 27, 2014.

“We are struggling to manage traffic in the city as the number of transports has risen dramatically. The worst traffic situation is seen during school drop-off and pick-up hours. It is the passengers other than students who bear the brunt of traffic jams,” he said. “We have deployed additional traffic police officials but the situation has not improved much. We also suggested that the schools hire private transports to transport students if they cannot introduce their own bus services but they did not comply.” AKM Shahidur Rahman, CMP additional commissioner (finance, administration and traffic), told the Dhaka Tribune private cars parked in front of the major thoroughfares in the city cause gridlock. “In a survey, we found that as many as 1,200 private cars are parked on both sides of Dampara Road for dropping off and picking up students of Bangladesh Women Associa-

tion Girls’ High School. “A bus can easily accommodate passengers of more than 10 cars. This is why schools having a large number of students should introduce their own bus services soon,” he said. Engineer Subhash Barua, whose work as the vice-president of Forum for Planned Chittagong involves figuring out ways to resolve traffic problems, said the schools notified by the CMP should launch their own bus services in no time. “Also, we should reduce the number of private transports to ease traffic congestion.” Dr Khastagir Government Girls’ High School in the city’s Jamalkhan area has around 2,000 students but does not provide any transport service. Hasmat Jahan, headmistress of the school, said the school had received two notices, one from Chittagong City Corporation and the other from the CMP, for introducing bus services for pupils.

“We have notified the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education of this and are still awaiting a reply,” she said. Around 6,000 students study at Bangladesh Women Association Girls’ High School in two shifts but the institution provides no transport services for its pupils. “Even though we have no transport facility, students themselves have arranged six to seven microbuses for this purpose,” said the school’s Principal Anwara Begum. Principal of Ispahani Public School and College Mosleh Uddin said he fully agrees with the idea of introducing bus services for students. “We will discuss this in the upcoming parent-teacher meeting.” Kazi Mohammad Shafiul Alam, chief executive officer of Chittagong City Corporation, said private cars are to be largely blamed for tailbacks on the major city roads. “We will raise the issue during our next general meeting of the corporation,” he said. l

Paturia-Daulatdia ferry services resume after 7 hrs n Tribune Report

Dhaka Reporters Unity’s Best Reporting Award winners pose for a photo with Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu at a function in the city’s Shilpakala Academy yesterday MEHEDI HASAN

Information minister: Government blocks social networking sites for public security n Tribune Report Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday said the government had blocked Facebook, Messengers, Vibar and Whatsapp to check militant activities and to ensure security for people in the country. The minister said: “There is no reason to be worried over the suspension of Facebook, Messengers, Vibar and Whatsapp since it is for short period. The government is compelled to suspend these networking platform following militants’ attacks in Paris, France and others parts of the world. The minister made the remark while addressing the DRU Best Reporting Award giving ceremony at Shilpakala Academy in the city. Mentioning that media in Bangladesh are very active, he said the Prime Minister and her government was very tolerant of criticisms. “But, we will take action against those who try to create anarchic situation here.” The government has suspended operation of these social networking sites to stop militancy as some bloggers, writers and publishers have been killed in the recent days by extremists. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regu-

latory Authority (BTRC) suspended the operation of Facebook, Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp in Bangladesh on Wednesday following a Supreme Court verdict that upheld the death sentences of war criminals Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. At the function, the DRU announced the names of winners of its annual awards for best reporting. Reporters from print, television, online and radio received the award for their reports on 26 different categories. The minister handed over crests, certificates and cheques among the award recipients. Award receptionists in print media are — staff correspondent of Dhaka Tribune Zebun Nesa Alo received the award in economic category, Pinaki Roy received the award for energy and mineral resources, Helemul Alam of the Daily Star got award for his report on city’s problem and potentials, Porimol Palma of Daily Star received the report in diplomatic, Sohel Parvez received the award for his report on agriculture, special correspondent of Prothom Alo Sharifuzzaman Pintu in politics category, special correspondent of New Age Khademul Islam in health category, sen-

ior staff correspondent of New Age Md Moniruzzaman in law parliament, judiciary and election commission, staff correspondent of Daily Samakal Abu Saleh Rony received the award in Liberation War category, senior reporter of Daily Observer Pulak Ghatok for his report on crime and law and order, special correspondent of The Daily Inqilab Samim Chowdhury in sports, senior reporter of daily Naya Diganta in education. In electronics media, senior staff correspondent of Chennel i Zannatul Bakeya Keka, deputy chief reporter of Machranga Badruddoza Babu, business editor of Independent TV Shahed Siddiqui, senior reporter of channel 24 Abdul Kaiyum Tuhin, senior correspondent NTV Mahmudul Hasan Guru, staff reporter of RTV Al Amin Khan, special correspondent of Jamuna TV Mahfuzur Rahman Mishu and senior correspondent of ntv Rokon Uddin received the awards. In online, special correspondent of Moniruzzaman Uzzal, staff reporter of Dipon Nondi, special correspondent of Rahman Masud and special correspondent of Rofiqul Islam Montu got the award. l

Ferry services on the Paturia-Daulatdia route in the Padma river resumed after seven hours of disruption caused by dense fog yesterday morning. Mahiuddin Rasel, manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Aricha, said they kept suspended ferry services and plying of the water vessels from 2:30am to 9:30am due to blurred visibility for dense fog. Seven ferries-‘Khan Jahan Ali’, ‘Shah Makhdum’, ‘Kumari’, ‘Madhabilata’, ‘Hasnahena’, ‘Rajanigandha’ and ‘Shapla Shaluk’ --lay motionless in the middle of the Padma River. Eight ferries with a large number of vehicles and passengers on board lay anchored at Paturia and one ferry at Daulatdia. Passengers suffered as a good number of vehicles had to be kept waiting on both sides of the river for crossing. Ferry services on the important route resumed around 9:30am as fog started disappearing with the sunrise. l

10,000 yaba pills seized, one held in Ctg n Tribune Report The police yesterday morning seized as many as 10,000 yaba tablets from a covered van in city’s Moizzertek toll plaza area under Karnaphuli police station. The police also arrested the driver of the Chittagong-bound covered-van carrying fish. The arrestee identified as Runu Barua, 45, resident of Kutupalong village under Ukhiya upazila in Cox’s Bazaar. The contraband pills were concealed behind the driver’s seat of the covered-van. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Karnaphuli police station conducted the drive and seized the tablets. l





Woman killed during clash Charge pressed n COCAINE EXISTENCE AT SUNFLOWER OIL

against eight Mizanur Rahaman, n FM Chittagong Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday pressed charge sheet against eight people in connection with cocaine-haul case. Assistant Commissioner (AC) of DB Mohammed Kamruzzaman (nnorth) also investigation officer of the case submitted the charge sheet with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court at noon. AC Kamruzzaman said: “Police submitted charge sheet accusing eight people with the CMM court while police has dropped the name of an accused Nur Mohammed, chairman of Khan Jahan Ali Group, from the charge sheet as his involvement was not found during the investigation”. “After conducting chemical tests of evidences and recording deposition of 58 witnesses, police submitted the charge sheet,” the AC added. The accused are Cosco Shipping Agency’s Manager AKM Azad, Mondol Group’s Commercial Executive Atikur Rahman, Real Estate Company official’s Mostafa Kamal, Prime Hatchery Limited’s Manager Golam Mostafa Shohel, Security Company Official Mehedi and C&F Company Of-

ficial Saiful Islam. Two other accused – Fazlur Rahman and Bokul Mia – were shown fugitive in the case. Earlier, the DB’s Chief Kusum Dewan had told the media that they would write letter to Interpol and British specialised police organisation New Scotland Yard to find out details about the duo. Acting on a tip-off, Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (CIID) sealed a container carrying 2,140 kilogrammes of liquid cocaine in 107 drums in Chittagong Port On June 6. The Chittagong Port sources said the container was loaded from Uruguay on March 30 and it arrived at Chittagong Port on May 13 via Singapore Port. Since then, it had remained in the port’s yard and none has claimed the consignment growing suspicion among the port scrutiny team. The Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation authorities, with the information of police, on June 7 sealed the container in Chittagong Port’s Container Terminal Number 3 Yard. During interrogation, the owner of importer Khan Jahan Ali Ltd said one of his employees identified as Sohel had brought the consignment using the company’s address. l

Robbers kill woman in Gazipur Correspondent, n Our Gazipur A woman has been killed and two others injured as robbers attacked them in Kapasia area of Gazipur yesterday. The deceased is Rozena Akhter, 40, wife of Aman Ullah. Locals said a gang of 10 masked robbers broke into their house 2:30am on Thursday and beat Aman up severely with an iron rod. They beat Rozena up and hacked her with sharp weapon when she came to the rescue of her husband, leaving the couple injured. Their son Shumon, 23, was also injured in the attack. Later, the locals went to their

rescue hearing them scream. Locals claimed that the robbers flee the scene with gold jeweleries and other valuable items. Kapasia OC Ahsan Ullah said: “The injured were taken to Kapasia Upazila Health Complex where the duty doctor declared Rozena death. Later, the other two injured were shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in a critical condition.” He said the incident might have taken place because of family conflict. “Nothing was looted in the incident,” he added. Meanwhile, police detained five people in this connection. l

Our Correspondent, Gaibandha

A woman who sustained injuries during a clash between two groups of villagers in David Company area, Gaibandha district town yesterday morning. Police arrested two people – Parul

Begum and her son Faruk Mia – in this connection. Officer-in-Charge of Gaibandha Sadar police station AKM Mehedi said an altercation took place between Roshana and her younger brother’s wife Parul over a trivial matter. At one stage

of the argument Parul and her son beat indiscriminately. Roshana was sent to Sadar Hospital in critical condition. She died at the hospital in the early hours of yesterday. A case was filed in this connection. l


Sport 25



Excited Jurgensen eager to start Former Tigers head coach Shane Jurgensen is back in Dhaka to take charge of Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 franchise Rangpur Riders. The Australian coach left the Bangladesh head coach post in April last year, less than a month after the ICC World Twenty20. PAGE 26

Clarke slams team-mates, Buchanan in new book Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke yesterday broke his silence on the criticism he received after announcing his retirement during the recent Ashes series loss in England. Both former team-mates Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden publicly questioned Clarke’s leadership in August. PAGE 27

English cricketer Darren Stevens bats at the nets during Comilla Victorians’ training at the BCB Academy ground yesterday. Stevens represented champions Dhaka Gladiators in the first two editions of the Bangladesh Premier League. On August 14, 2013, Stevens was charged by the ICC for failing to report a corrupt approach during Gladiators’ game against Chittagong Kings. However, in February 2014, the 39-year-old was found not guilty MAINOOR ISLAM MANIK

Glitzy night to raise BPL curtains n Minhaz Uddin Khan

End of an era as McCaw retires Richie McCaw always knew the perfect moment to attack the breakdown, to make a tackle or complete a pass and the All Blacks skipper demonstrated his perfect sense of timing once again yesterday in announcing his retirement from rugby as the most capped player. PAGE 28

Neymar breaks out of Messi’s shadow During Brazilian star Neymar’s two-and-ahalf year spell at Barcelona, there has been one continuous soundbite from the softly-spoken 23-year-old: “I’m here to learn from the best”. The “best” he consistently cites is teammate and four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi. The two share a telepathic relationship. PAGE 29

Bollywood superstars Hrithik Roshan and Jacqueline Fernandez are set to arrive today morning and dazzle the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the third Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20. The curtain-raiser of the much-hyped T20 tournament will also see popular Bangladeshi singers Ayub Bachchu and Momtaz perform alongside the foreign artists. In a press conference yesterday, Bangladesh Cricket Board announced DBL Group (Dulal Brothers Limited) as the title sponsor of the glittering opening ceremony. The entertaining evening is scheduled to start from 6pm. The tournament however, will kick off from Sunday afternoon through the match between Chittagong Vikings and Rangpur Riders while Dhaka Dynamites and Comilla Victorians will face off in the evening game on the opening day. Earlier in 2013, the BPL came to a standstill after its second edition following match- and spot-fixing allegations surrounding players and team owners while both foreign and local players complained of not getting their contracted payment from the franchises. In a bid to start from scratch and keep the irregularities at bay, the BCB and the BPL governing council terminated all six franchise contracts from the first two years and

took on board, after a background check, the new owners for a four-year deal. The restructured formation has so far worked with the franchises already paying its cricketers 50 percent of their contracted fee in advance.

Dhaka Gladiators won the first two editions of the money-spinning show, but match-fixing allegations, which was later proved right, marred their title celebrations. l

This picture taken on Wednesday shows the opening ceremony stage being built at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium MAINOOR ISLAM MANIK






Excited Jurgensen eager to start n Minhaz Uddin Khan



Wesley Sneijder, 31, Holland Daryl Janmaat, 26, Holland Memphis Depay, 21, Holland Dusan Tadic, 26, Serbia Aleksandar Mitrovic, 21, Serbia

Kasper Schmeichel, 29, Denmark Miralem Pjanic, 25, Bosnia Martin Odegaard, 16, Norway Kyriakos Papadopoulos, 23, Greece Daniel Agger, 30, Denmark

GOALKEEPER Has been one of a small few at Chelsea to perform to ability this season and looked capable of a late surge to France with his country. Bosnia started disastrously in Group B, but Begovic kept a clean sheet in the win over Wales and then aided victory in Cyprus to reach the play-offs.

Former Tigers head coach Shane Jurgensen is back in Dhaka to take charge of Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 franchise Rangpur Riders. The Australian coach left the Bangladesh head coach post in April last year, less than a month after the ICC World Twenty20. And ahead of the much-awaited third edition of the cash-rich T20 competition, the 39-year old yesterday talked with the media at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Here are the excerpts:


BLIND (25)






It is going to be the same for all the teams [in terms of training ahead of the tournament]. But all these boys have been playing some form of cricket recently. Some [of the Bangladeshi players] have been in South Africa while some have been in Zimbabwe. The Sri Lankan and West Indian players have been playing too. They are all cricket-fit and they are experienced players now. It is an opportunity for the guys, who are training here, to put their best foot forward. We have four overseas players and seven local players so everyone will be pushing for spots. It is important at the moment that these guys have the best preparation possible while the other guys are playing.




His personal struggles are echoed by his nation, who finished fourth in Group I despite boasting a squad full of quality. He failed to perform to his high standards in qualifying.

Has forged a good partnership with Smalling at United and possesses technique in defensive areas. Suffered a horrible qualifying campaign that his father Danny was unable to alter.

Enjoying arguably his finest season for Man City, the defender was another Serbian who endured sub-par displays. Scored in the away win to Albania but suffered home and away defeats.


MATIC (27)







Showed his enduring class with two goals against Wales to suggest his fitness. Most recently, he played 31 minutes of the 1-0 defeat by Iceland before going off injured and failed to return for the losses to Turkey and Czech Republic.

A fearsome midfield presence for Chelsea last term, has suffered double ignominy in the latter part of 2015. He did score in the away defeat by Portugal but Serbia never recovered from forfeiting the home match to Albania 3-0.

West Bromwich Albion’s best player this term looked set for a first major tournament with Scotland after a promising opening to qualification including the 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland. But defeat in Georgia saw the wheels come off.

Sparkling in Tottenham’s resurgence this season, the playmaker failed to ignite for his country. Eriksen did not manage to score throughout qualifying and Denmark’s three consecutive blanks at the end of Group I allowed Albania to jump second.





Difference between Bangladesh and Rangpur coaching jobs

Slightly less pressure [laughs]. It is a good opportunity to get into T20 cricket. I am pretty excited. I have never really done something like this in a franchise set-up. It is a new thing for me. It is a good test for my coaching ability to get along with the players, to have a good time in a team environment. I like what I am seeing. Everything is well-organised off the field, so everything has gone well so far.

Knowing local players better than all the other coaches.....

I think it will be a slight advantage but every team will be well-prepared. We will have to make sure that we don’t take foot off the pedal. We have to make all the balls count.

VAN PERSIE (32) Holland

DZEKO (29) Bosnia

JOVETIC (26) Montenegro

Memories from the Bangladesh coaching job

I look back at a fantastic experience overall for me. We had some very good success in the ODIs. It is also great to see how well the team have done recently. The players have all stepped up, as they hit the peak of their careers. They have worked extremely hard. I have taken up a role where I do a lot of stuff off the field, apart from coaching. It has been good for me personally, to tap into other areas like budget, planning and lots more of other stuff. In Fiji, it is me and me only so I am coaching in a lot of different areas of the game. I am coaching a lot more fielding, batting and bowling. It has helped my coaching. I have to be more hands-on. l




Is it really just a year and a half since Van Persie lit up Brazil 2014 with his swan dive header to start the demolition of Spain? The man who brought SAF his final EPL title has endured a torrid time recently, planting the ball into his own net in the defeat by Czech Republic to seal Holland’s fate.

Scorer of most goals in qualifying (eight) without reaching the finals, Dzeko might have more to rue personally than any other player. Found the net home and away against Belgium but crucially not in the home defeat by Cyprus that undermined Bosnia hugely. Missed the 3-0 loss to Israel.

Like Dzeko at Roma, has been loaned to Serie A by Manchester City. Now at Inter, the forward can be a beguiling presence at his best – just ask Liverpool – but could not impose his talent during Euro qualifying. He found the net twice but not in the 0-0 draw to Liechtenstein or 1-0 defeat by Austria.





QUICK BYTES Bangladesh women sweep Zimbabwe in T20Is Bangladesh women clinched the two-match Twenty20 international series against Zimbabwe following their comprehensive eight-wicket win in the second game at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar yesterday. Invited to take first guard, the visitors posted a meagre 69/6 from their stipulated 20 overs. Jahanara Alam (3/11) weaved her magic upon the opposition as none of the Zimbabwe top-order batters reached double figures. In reply, the home side coasted to victory in just 11.5 overs for the loss of two wickets. Opening batter Ayesha Rahman top-scored with 28 while Shaila Sharmin and Rumana Ahmed were unbeaten on 23 and 12 respectively. The hosts had earlier won the first T20I by 35 runs last Tuesday at the same venue. –TRIBUNE DESK

Chile FA head turns witness in Fifa probe Chile’s top football official, Sergio Jadue, resigned Wednesday after abruptly leaving the country, reportedly to go into witness protection in the United States to cooperate with a probe into alleged bribery within FIFA. Jadue, head of the Chilean National Football Association (ANFP) and a vice-president of South American regional body Conmebol, flew to the United States on Tuesday night with his family. –AFP

Fit-again Pattinson ready to seize Test chance Australian paceman James Pattinson said yesterday he was ready to seize his unexpected chance in next week’s historic New Zealand third Test following the retirement of Mitchell Johnson. The 25-year-old played the last of his 13 Tests against South Africa in March 2014 with his career stalled by chronic back and hamstring issues. –AFP

Galatasaray part company with coach Hamzaoglu Istanbul club Galatasaray announced on Wednesday that coach Hamza Hamzaoglu was leaving the Turkish Super Lig side by mutual agreement, after a lacklustre start to the season. “Mr Hamzaoglu’s contract was terminated by mutual agreement. We thank him for his services and wish him success in the future,” the club said in a statement. Galatasaray are lagging in third place in the Turkish top flight behind perennial capital rivals Besiktas and Fenerbahce while the club have also made a slow start to its Champions League campaign in Group C. –AFP

Nasri out for three months Manchester City’s French midfielder Samir Nasri will be out for a further three months due to a hamstring injury, he revealed yesterday. “What doesn’t kill you make you stronger. I will be back better than ever see you in 3 months,” Nasri wrote in an Instagram post alongside a picture of him looking pensive as he rested on a pair of crutches. –AFP

The day a legend was born Buffon’s first coach recalls his incredible debut 20 years on positive swagger. He was fully aware of what drills with the forwards and nobody mann Agencies I was asking and yet conveyed all of this conaged to score a goal against him. Twenty years ago, Nevio Scala made the biggest call of his coaching career - and the greatest. On November 19, 1995, he handed a 17-year-old goalkeeper his Serie A debut against Fabio Capello’s AC Milan - a legendary side who 18 months earlier had thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League final. The youngster’s name was Gianluigi Buffon. “Luca Bucci, our first-choice goalkeeper, was injured,” Scala, now president of Parma Calcio 1913, explains to Goal. “Because of this, I decided to add our Primavera goalkeeper, Buffon, to the senior squad. “He started training with us on the Tuesday. He stood in goal and did extraordinary things - yet things that for him seemed perfectly normal. Then, we started doing some

“I turned to my goalkeeper coach, Vincezo Di Palma, and I asked him if he could see what I was seeing. ‘This guy is a phenomenon,’ he replied. Both of us were speechless.” Scala spent the remainder of the week in awe of the teenager’s talent but still unsure as to whether to hand Buffon a start against the mighty Milan. A visit to the player’s room on the eve of the game at the Ennio Tardini proved decisive. “We were in retreat and, on the Saturday, I decided to go to speak with Gigi,” he continues. “I didn’t give him any time to think about why I was there and I said this exact sentence to him: ‘And if I make you play tomorrow?’ His response? ‘No problem, coach.’ “He said it without hesitation and with a

fidence to me. The game was against Milan, after all! And I knew that to have him debut against such a team would be a huge decision. But he didn’t seem to feel the weight of such a great responsibility. And this convinced me 100 per cent to pick him. “Then, the most difficult moment arrived when I had to speak to our reserve goalkeeper Alessandro Nista, who had thought he was going to play in place of Bucci. I explained that it was not an emotional choice, but a necessary decision to make. He was hurt but even he had seen the quality of this young kid during the week! “The potential of the boy had surprised everyone but obviously the decision was taken only after much thought.” l

Clarke slams team-mates, Buchanan in new book n AFP, Australia Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke yesterday broke his silence on the criticism he received after announcing his retirement during the recent Ashes series loss in England. Both former team-mates Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden publicly questioned Clarke’s leadership in August and Clarke has used his “Ashes Diary 2015” to hit back. Clarke also slammed former Australia coach John Buchanan, taunting him for never playing for his country and saying “even my dog Jerry” could have had similar success. “Andrew Symonds went on TV to criticise my leadership. I’m sorry but he is not a person to judge anyone on leadership,” Clarke wrote of his former team-mate. “This is a guy who turned up drunk to play for his country. It’s pretty rich for him to be throwing rocks.”

The pair were close friends at the beginning of the former Australian captain’s career, however, as Symonds’ behaviour deteriorated and Clarke entered the leadership ranks, they quickly fell out. Clarke, 34, also hit back at Hayden’s assertions he refused to field at bat-pad early in his career. Hayden claimed he heard Clarke tell Ricky Ponting he would “hand back (his) baggy green” if he was forced to put on the helmet and field in close. However, Clarke says his record speaks for itself. “I think I’ve shown over the past 12 years how much I’ve valued representing my country and how much my 389 baggy green means to me,” Clarke wrote. “If Ricky (Ponting) had asked me to jump off the Harbour Bridge, I would have jumped. I loved playing for Australia that much.” But Clarke saved his biggest criticism for former coach Buchanan.

“I don’t think John knows a thing about the baggy green (cap), having never worn one,” Clarke said. “He’s still living off the fact that he coached a team that anyone, even my dog Jerry, could have coached to world domination.” l





End of an era as McCaw retires Plans to become commercial helicopter pilot

n Reuters, Wellington Richie McCaw always knew the perfect moment to attack the breakdown, to make a tackle or complete a pass and the All Blacks skipper demonstrated his perfect sense of timing once again yesterday in announcing his retirement from rugby. McCaw, who walks away as one of the game’s all-time greats, ended his 14-year


The most number of Tests by any player in rugby union history. His 131 wins are also a record


A world record number of matches as captain


The number of players to make their All Blacks debut since McCaw’s first Test in 2001


McCaw lost just two Tests on home soil of the 61 he played in New Zealand

89 3

McCaw’s win percentage as captain A hat-trick of World Player of the Year awards

England drop Bell for South Africa tour

n AFP, United Arab Emirates England have dropped under-performing batsman Ian Bell from their Test squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced yesterday. With 7,727 runs, Bell is the eighth-highest Test scorer in England’s history, but the 33-year-old has struggled for form of late and has scored only one Test century since July 2014. Batsmen Nick Compton and Gary Ballance both earn recalls, but Adil Rashid drops out. “Ian Bell has been an outstanding player for many years and undoubtedly still has plenty to offer England in the future,” national selector James Whitaker said in a statement on the ECB website. “It was clearly a difficult decision, but he has struggled for runs in recent series and we felt that it was the right time for him to take a break and spend time working on his game out of the spotlight.”

England Test squad

Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Nick Compton, Mark Footitt, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Chris Woakes. l

test career as the most capped player (148) and captain (110) in world rugby. The 34-year-old flanker won three World Rugby Player of the Year awards and led the All Blacks to successive World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015. McCaw’s announcement came a day after Jonah Lomu’s unexpected death at the age of 40 had rocked the rugby-mad country. McCaw paid tribute to the former All Blacks winger before confirming his widely expected decision. “I’ve been hugely privileged to do what I’ve done for so long, been in some great teams with some great men and what happened in the World Cup just been, everything falling into place was hugely rewarding,” McCaw told a news conference. “To finish on that note I think is pretty good. The last thing I ever wanted to do was limp to the end, both in form and as your body holding together. “Sitting here today, the body would say, ‘you could still play,’ so that means that I think I’ve got the timing right.” l

“In my opinion, he will go down not only as the greatest All Black of all time, but the greatest captain we have ever had and possibly the greatest player to have ever played the game in the modern era. To play 148 tests is something to be marvelled at on its own, particularly with the physical demands of the position he plays. But the more impressive thing about those 148 games is the quality of the performances he produced ... I can’t recall him ever playing a bad game.”

STEVE HANSEN (New Zealand coach) “Richie’s record speaks for itself, he is one of the all-time greats of our game and the greatest ever All Blacks captain. For 15 years he has been a highly-respected adversary for Australian teams and is a class individual and a tremendous competitor who is deeply admired by fans and his peers.”

BILL PULVER (Australian Rugby Union CEO) “You can just see the bruises, the scars that he wears. He came onto the scene a pretty fresh-faced young New Zealander and he finishes with such an outstanding record. I do think he’s the best rugby player of all time. He’s won more trophies and medals than any other player.”

PHIL WAUGH (Former Wallabies flanker) “Richie McCaw. One of the best ever rugby players. Hats off to an extraordinary career.”

CORNE KRIGE (Former Springboks flanker)





Neymar breaks out of Messi’s shadow ahead of El Clasico n AFP, Spain During Brazilian star Neymar’s two-and-ahalf year spell at Barcelona, there has been one continuous soundbite from the softly-spoken 23-year-old: “I’m here to learn from the best”. The “best” he consistently cites is teammate and four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi. The two share a telepathic relationship on the field and, along with Uruguayan Luis Suarez, form one of the most lethal strike forces world football has ever seen. “To play beside the best is very easy,” Neymar said during Barca’s treble-winning campaign last season. Yet, whilst Messi has been sidelined for the past two months by knee ligament damage, it is Neymar that has carried the European champions to an unexpected three-point

lead in La Liga heading into tomorrow’s huge clash away at Real Madrid. Given his form in recent months, is there much for Neymar the apprentice to learn from his master Messi? And, with the latter set to return this weekend, will Neymar be happy to hand over the reigns once more to the Argentine? Initial impressions are that he will. Primarily because Neymar, Messi and Suarez share an equally strong relationship off the field as they do in tearing opponents to shreds on it. Their social media pages spill over with mutual admiration, whilst Suarez and Neymar have been quick to shout down any suggestions their form has meant Messi’s absence has been forgotten. “People remember him just as well because he is the best player in the world,” said Suarez. l

Channel 9 4:00PM 2015 BPL Twenty20 Opening Ceremony

Ten Sports 7:30PM ATP: Men’s Tour Finals Round Robin, Day 6

Ten Cricket 5:00PM England Tour of Pakistan 4th ODI

Ten Action 3:00PM A-League 2015/16 Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City 1:30AM French Ligue 1 2015/16

Sony Six 10:00PM RAM Slam T20 Challenge 2015 6:30AM NBA season 2015/16

Star Sports 2 7:30PM Indian Super League North East v Mumbai

Star Sports 3 1:15AM German Bundesliga Hamburger v Borussia Dortmund

Star Sports 4 4:30PM BWF World Super Series Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open

Neo Sports 11:00PM PGA Tour 2015 The McGladrey Classic

Hamburg host second-placed Borussia Dortmund today in the first of the weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures with security under scrutiny after the Paris terror attacks and bomb scare in Hanover. Bundesliga chiefs insist it will be business as usual in Germany’s top two tiers with the weekend’s blue riband game seeing Schalke host Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in Gelsenkirchen, which will be at 79,000 capacity. But whether the weekend’s Bundesliga programme should take place at all has been debated after Tuesday’s Germany-Netherlands friendly in Hanover was called off due to a bomb scare, further shaking German football. It came just four days after the Germany team experienced first-hand last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.l

I won’t run away from Milan, insists Japan’s Honda n AFP, Japan


Nice Cote D Azur v Olympique Lyonnais

Bundesliga security under scrutiny after bomb scare n AFP, Germany

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns to Andy Murray of Britain during their singles match in the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday AP

Nadal too hot at Tour Finals as Murray melts n AFP, United Kingdom Rafael Nadal showed he was getting back to his best as he crushed Andy Murray at the World Tour Finals on Wednesday with an impressive 6-4, 6-1 victory. The Spanish fifth seed was in dominant form as the British world number two’s game collapsed in front of a home crowd at the 17,800-capacity O2 Arena in London. The resurgent Nadal is now through to the semi-finals of the season-ending tournament, disputed on a hard court between the year’s top eight players. In tomorrow’s final round-robin matches in their four-man group, Murray will face Swiss fourth seed Stan Wawrinka, with the winner joining Nadal in the last four.

The Spaniard’s spot in the semis was confirmed after seventh-seeded compatriot David Ferrer’s hopes of making it out of the group evaporated with a straight sets defeat to Wawrinka - 7-5, 6-2. The first set of the match between Nadal and Murray was a high-level contest featuring impressive rallies and smart drop shots, but in the second, Murray’s game fell away as Nadal turned up the power. Nadal, beset by problems during the worst year of his career, at one stage slumped to 10th in the world - his lowest position since 2005. But the 14-time Grand Slam champion showed how dangerous he could be in 2016 if he continues his resurgence. “This is an important victory. I have a big day against a great player on a tough surface.” l

Japan superstar Keisuke Honda has promised to fight for his place at AC Milan as speculation grows of an imminent move to England, local media reported yesterday. Apparently surplus to requirements at the San Siro, Honda has been buried deep on Milan’s bench after falling out with Serbian coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, but the 29-year-old yesterday denied he had handed in a transfer request. “I will tell you one thing clearly: I won’t leave Milan of my own accord,” Honda told Japan’s Nikkan Sports daily. “I came to Milan with unshakeable determination and unless they tell me they don’t want me, I’m going nowhere. I won’t run away.” “Of course I have to accept my disappointing performances,” said Honda, who joined Milan from CSKA Moscow in 2013. “But I have confidence of fighting back. I know it will be difficult to win back my place but I haven’t given up. “It’s more difficult than I imagined it would be at Milan,” added the bleachedblond attacking midfielder. “But of course I won’t give up.”l




CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Great quantity (4) 4 Jewish spiritual leader (5) 8 Revolve (6) 9 Drinks (4) 11 Mannequin (5) 12 Notion (4) 14 Hawaiian dish (3) 15 Like better (6) 19 Meal course (6) 21 Donkey (3) 22 Becomes obscure (4) 24 Reddening agent (5) 27 Prescribed meals (4) 29 Silently ill-humoured (6) 30 Glossy (5) 31 Cult (4)

DOWN 1 Extinct bird (3) 2 Believe (6) 3 Firefighting gear (4) 4 Male sheep (3) 5 Make up for (5) 6 Resting place (3) 7 Lazy persons (6) 10 Fierce animal (4) 13 Monkey (3) 14 Nacre concentrations (6) 16 Colour (3) 17 Extreme food shortage (6) 18 Essential being (4) 20 Scoundrel (5) 23 Roman days (4) 25 Employ (3) 26 Large deer (3) 28 Small child (3)

Downtime CODE-CRACKER How to solve: Each number in our CODECRACKER grid represents a different letter of the alphabet. For example, today 1 represents B so fill B every time the figure 1 appears. You have one letter in the control grid to start you off. Enter it 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 the 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. A B C D E FG H I J K L M N O P Q RST UVWXYZ


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.






Aly Zaker and Asaduzzaman Noor: A Life In Theatre


n Hasan Mansoor Chatak On the opening day of Dhaka Lit Fest, Aly Zaker and Asaduzzaman Noor took part in a panel discussion in which the two veteran actors discuss a life in cultural space. Bonya Mirza, a TV actor who comes from a theatre background as well, moderated the panel, gathering the theatre enthusiasts with full of life. At the very beginning, Asaduzzaman Noor located Harold Varmus in the audience and requested someone to interpret for him. From the audience, singer Armeen Musa stepped up to brief the Nobel laureate on the panel. Mirza started the discussion, raising a question to both panellists, “Why does the contemporary generation seem to lack a moral obligation compared to the older generation?” Noor replied, “For this large population, I don’t reckon that the greater portion is

suffering from lack of moral obligation that we frequently mention. People concentrate more on personal development rather collective, while they consider economic advancement is more imperative than to become a complete human being.” In an elaborate way, Noor spelled out that elders of the society have failed to perform as a parental body, which he experienced in his childhood, could have been a reason behind the lack of moral obligation of the present generation. Aly Zaker sheds a different light on the matter. He feels that society has failed to ensure the values which was prime motivation to carry out the Liberation War in 1971 through a bloody war. Restoring values of the Liberation War would be the only remedy, as per this freedom fighter’s advice. At this stage, Mirza asked the actors to elaborate how this great collaborative journey between them spanning more than

40 years, took place. In response, Zaker said that recently they’ve taken initiative to re-stage Dewan Gazir Kissa, directed by Noor, often visiting rehearsals, instructs the troupe and even sorts out mistakes in acting of Aly Zaker, the role he first played in 1977. This is how their collaboration works. They always make time for theatre, no matter which important position they have to fill in. Noor narrate an event from his life when he went from prompter to actor. Due to an accident in rehearsal, actor Abul Hayat became unavailable for a show and eventually Noor filled Hayat’s shoe for the show, and turned regular stage actor from then on. He “blames” Aly Zaker for the incident, as Noor went to take an interview of Aly Zaker and ended up being the prompter for his play. Noor added, “Recently, an audience member told me that he couldn’t find a better play after Aly Zaker’s Galileo. Theatre in the country no doubt has developed in many aspects including context, presentation and technical qualities, but what I really miss in the arena is absolute acting.” Talking about differences in literature and theatre Zaker said, “While reading Shakespeare, every character and interactions seem significant to me but when I told to portray a specific character, I do my utmost to look through the character, and try to portray only the truth I’ve found in it.” Both veterans, from their experiences in life, indicate that the scope of cultural practices have increased over time; now it’s the duty of individuals to put more effort in the arena by seriously taking part in it. They both agreed upon the view that government and people should do work hand-in-hand to restore cultural values in the society which seem have been faded away. l





WHAT TO WATCH Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets Warner Bros 9:00PM Harry Potter can’t wait to go back to Hogwarts and start school in the summer. Meeting his friends and getting away from the life he was living with his guardians was something he was looking forward to. Dobbe, a loyal friendly elf visits him at his home. But the little friend brought him bad news. He warns Harry not to go back but Harry goes anyways. After his arrival Harry encounters strange occurrences. Watch the movie to find out what happens. Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliff, Rupert Grint Taken Star Movies Action 6:10 PM Bryan played by Liam Nesson is a retired cop, working freelance as a body guard. His daughter Kim who is merely seventeen goes to Paris with her best friend and gets kidnapped. Bryan, who loves his daughter more than his own life runs to Paris to look for his daughter and rescue her from the clutches of evil. The obstacles he faces are life threatening, but his love for his daughter drives him to do crazy things, whatever he needs to do to get his daughter back. Cast: Liam Nesson, Maggie Grace, Famke Jensen



Back Page


‘Literature needs to stand for reason against unreason’ Day 1 n Nure Alam Durjoy The first day of Dhaka Lit Fest saw a colorful congregation of literary figures and enthusiasts at the historic Bangla Academy compound yesterday. As the event kicked off on a lovely late autumn morning, defying fears amid attacks on free-thinkers, participants expressed a strong determination and commitment to be united for a firm resistance. The day was marked by vibrant speeches and discussions that ranged from politics to media to science in relation with literature. The festival was officially inaugurated by Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the morning. Before the opening, the audience enjoyed a choir by Ghashphoring in the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium. Terming the festival a pleasant occasion, Muhith said: “In the current world perspective, such a literary festival is a resistance against the attacks on thoughts.” Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said: “It is exciting to think that so many creative minds all gathered here to share their knowledge and ideas.” Referring to all the militant attacks across the globe in recent times, he said: “We are facing a time of great conflict.” Indian writer Nayantara Saghal said as imagination is under attack, literature needs to stand for reason against unreason. Festival directors Kazi Anis Ahmed, Ahsan Akbar and Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi thanked all the writers, the audience and the hosting partners. “The vision we have is to build a great literary and cultural heritage of the last two thousand years,” said Sadaf Saaz in her speech. K Anis Ahmed said: “On the

From left, DLF Director Kazi Anis Ahmed, UK-based journalist Jon Snow, Women of the World Festival movement founder Jude Kelly, and academic Ramachandra Guha participate in a discussion yesterday at Dhaka Lit Fest in Bangla Academy SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

‘In the current world perspective, such a literary festival is a resistance against the attacks on thoughts’ whole, we have a lot of achievements. Now we need to take our Bangladesh to the lap of the world.” Ahsan Akbar praised the courage of the writers and participants who had braved their countries’ travel advisories and security to attend the festival and show solidarity with Bangladesh and strike a blow for freedom of speech. Writer Sayed Manzurul Islam said: “This is a festival of minds and books.” Writer Kaiser Huq also spoke on the occasion. In the afternoon, Nobel laureate Harold Varmus illustrated the scientific developments with a focus on time and its link to the global politics. In the evening, the audience enjoyed a vibrant conversation between veteran journalist Jon Snow and WOW founder Jude Kelly. Besides the discussions, the Bhasha Stage hosted the launching of a special issue on Bangladeshi writing of Wasafiri, the magazine of international contemporary writing. l

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Profile for DhakaTribune

20 Nov, 2015  

20 Nov, 2015