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Baitul Mukarram roadside shops get back to business

Jyoishtha 10, 1420 Razab 13, 1434 Vol 1 No 64


Fears of backlash against Muslims in the UK

friday, may 24, 2013 |

Health ministry rushes to spend health budget




Bangladesh crash out

16 pages with 8-page business tabloid plus 32-page weekend supplement | Price: Tk10

Dhaka’s early warning of the monsoon to come

Dash to spend 58% of budget by June 30 tempt to deplete the remaining 58% of n Moniruzzaman Uzzal the total allocation. The health sector is experiencing an upsurge in the spending of money ahead of “June Final” when the current fiscal year ends. An unprecedented amount of money is being spent hastily at public hospitals across the country to purchase medical instruments, furniture and medicines supposedly due to the need of developing the sector. The practice of rashly spending the remaining amount of allocation has become customary with institutions fearing that they will lose whatever funds

Fact sheet

Total allocation Tk36.23bn Released until March Tk20.84bn Spent until March Tk15.33bn 42% allocation spent in 9 months till March Remaining 58% to be spent by June 30 they have not spent by the end of the fiscal year. “A vicious circle has been formed to steal money targeting June Final, when organisations opt to purchase aggressively,” President of Health Rights Movement National Committee Dr Rashid-e-Mahbub told the Dhaka Tribune. In the 2012-13 fiscal year, around Tk36.23bn was allocated for the implementation of 32 operation plans (OPs) and 23 investment projects. The sector spent 42.32% of the year’s budget, amounting to Tk15.33bn during the first nine months of the fiscal period. Now in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, the spending spree is an at-

Inside News

4 Shops around Baitul Mukarram Shopping Complex, which were gutted during Hefazat-e-Islam’s May 5 ‘Dhaka siege,’ are reverting to normal as vendors slowly return to their usual business activities


The rush of orders leaves room for corruption, which some officials exploit, sources at the health ministry and health department said. Allegations were made that some identified contractors linked with the crooked officers have been awarded contracts to supply items at above market prices. Many powerful individuals, from ministers to doctors, are alleged to have exerted their influence on the members of the public purchase committee, tasked with the buying and selling process of the health sector, to give contracts to their candidates. The members have even been threatened if their nominees were not chosen. A few officials working at the health ministry and health department acknowledged the June Final spending binge. A number of organisations in the sector scramble to spend the full budget ahead of June as bureaucratic redtape usually delays the release of available funds, they said. The total amount of allocated money is released in four instalments, at the start of each quarter. Spending 43% of the money committed may seem inadequate, but in terms of the money released in first three quarters, which is Tk2.84bn, this should be seen as significant progress, the officials claimed. Insiders alleged that many organisations under the health ministry continue to purchase items that cost two to three times the price of the equivalent store-bought products. The rules that detail various  Page 2 column 1


6 A 70-year-old pond of Bidhyaganj

Rani Rajbala Bahumukhi High School in sadar upazila of Mymensingh is being filled up for a market construction to meet up the ‘maintenance cost of the school’


Saudi job offers pour in at Bangladesh mission n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman More than 100,000 job offers have poured in at the Bangladesh mission offices in Jeddah and Riyadh since the Saudi government’s declaration of the general amnesty on May 10. “Following the declaration, we contacted different Saudi chambers and companies, and they have sent over 100,000 job offers as of today,” Bangladesh Ambassador in Riyadh Md Sha-

BGMEA evades paying wages of dead victims ra na pla z a d i sa ster

5 Dhaka residents are being exposed

to a nightmare on its water logged streets that is claiming innocent off late – electrical cables at large on the submerged streets of Dhaka on a day of incessant rain and water logging

The capital was inundated with 64mm of rain early yesterday morning – the city’s heaviest rain of the year so far. The pre-monsoon flooding that ensued claimed the lives of two street vendors who were electrocuted by a submerged live cable. The photo was taken from Rajarbagh. Read full report on page 5 Nashirul Islam/Dhaka Tribune

n Ashif Islam Shaon The readymade garment factory owners have said they would not pay the wages of the dead victims of the Savar Rana Plaza collapse. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has claimed that the money that the prime minister has started distributing among the families of the dead victims included the wages. “We think that [prime minister’s

compensation] is enough. If the family members of a dead garment worker get the money, it is a huge relief for them,” said Md Abdul Ahad Ansary, chairman of the BGMEA standing committee on labour education and welfare. He also claimed that disbursing the package was a government decision. However, Mikail Shipar, secretary of the labour and employment ministry, yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that the money disbursed from the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund did not include the wages. “This is a grant from the premier, not a compensation. The BGMEA has no connection with this,” he said, adding that the fund comprised of contributions from different organisations  Page 2 column 1

9 Global inaction on human rights

EU warns of duty free preference withdrawal


n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

legendary “Bidrohi Kobi” (rebel poet) will be celebrated wholeheartedly by this nation with festivity today. This year, Chhayyanat will also celebrate the 91st anniversary of the famous publication of the poet’s extraordinary creation “Bidrohi” (the rebel)

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) yesterday threatened withdrawal of duty-free and quota-free access for Bangladesh if there are serious violations of human rights convention. “Parliament recalls in the resolution adopted on Thursday that Bangladesh benefits from duty and quota-free access to the EU market and that these preferences can be withdrawn in the event of serious and systematic violations of the principles set out in different human rights conventions,” a statement from the European Union Parliament read. The warning came following recent fires and building collapse at factories in Bangladesh, where the MEPs urged

is making the world an increasingly dangerous place for refugees and migrants, Amnesty International said yesterday as it launched its annual assessment of the world’s human rights

12 The 114th birth anniversary of the


15 If momentum counts for everything in tennis, nothing will stop Serena Williams from winning the French Open for just the second time in her career in Paris on June 8. She is on an

unprecedented winning run going in to the consecration of the claycourt season at Roland Garros

for justice for victims and EU action to prevent similar events in future. Six motions for resolution on labour conditions and health and safety standards following the recent factory fires and building collapse in Bangladesh were put forward by PPE Group, S&D Group, ALDE Group, ECR Group, GUE/ NGL Group and Verts/ALE Group earlier this week. One of the motions: “Encourages the VP/HR and Commissioner De Gucht to include the ratification of core ILO standards on health and safety inspection and freedom of association in discussions with Bangladesh on continued access to the EU’s generalised scheme of preferences.” The Tazreen Fashions fire last year  Page 2 column 5

hidul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday. The number was 72,000 on Monday, he said. “The Saudi employers told us that they were interested in recruiting anyone with valid papers,” the ambassador said. Those granted amnesty would be sent to those companies, he added. “Whenever we are contacted by the Saudi companies, we inform the local community in Saudi Arabia and issue

notices about the new job openings,” he said. On May 10, the Saudi government declared a general amnesty for all expatriates who had violated residency and labour regulations, to enable them to amend their status and continue to stay and work in the kingdom without penalties or fines. “Some 5,000-10,000 people are visiting the embassy and consulate offices in Jeddah every day to get new

passports,” Ambassador Shahidul Islam said. He said the foreign ministry had sent 18 officials from the headquarters and 24 from Bangladesh embassies in other Gulf countries to assist the mission in Saudi Arabia in providing consular services. “We have been working day and night so all Bangladeshi expatriates can avail the opportunity and get work  Page 2 column 5




Friday, May 24, 2013

Uninterrupted democracy must for development: PM n UNB Underlining the importance of uninterrupted democracy for the continuation of ongoing development projects, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the present government has adopted the policy of ‘justice for peace’ to establish the ideals of secularism, democracy and progressivism. She made the remark while addressing a programme marking the 40th anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman receiving the Juliot-Curie Peace Medal. World Peace Council organised the programme at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital. At the programme, chaired by Bangladesh Peace Council President Mozaffar Hossain Paltu, Executive Secretary of the World Peace Council, Iraklis Savdaridis, former minister and Vice President of All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, Pramud Chandra Sinha and Member of Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council, Gyanendra Bahadur Sreshtha, also addressed the gathering. Secretary of Bangladesh Peace Council, Engineer MA Kashem delivered the welcome address. The prime minister said the government was committed to establishing peace and a strong base for democracy by ensuring the trial of crimes and offences. Hasina also said her government had initiated the trial of war criminals and the International War Crimes Tribunals had started pronouncing verdicts to ensure justice, which is one of

Maritime ports to hoist signal 3 n BSS Deep convection is taking place over North Bay and adjoining area of Bangladesh. Under its influence, squally weather may affect North Bay, adjoining coastal area of Bangladesh and the maritime ports, a met office weather bulletin said yesterday. Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Mongla have been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal number three. l

the main prerequisites for peace. She mentioned that her government was taking the country towards development despite the same time facing various obstacles, including natural calamities and the destructive politics of the opposition parties. In this connection, the prime minister said the vandalism, including the burning of the Holy Quran, looting and arson in the capital by Hefazat-e-Islam were in connivance with the main opposition party. Towards global and regional peace, the present government had adopted the policy of “justice for peace” to establish ideals of secularism, democracy and progressivism in keeping with Bangabandhu’s ‘Friendship towards all, malice towards none’ and ‘peaceful settlement of disputes,’ Hasina said. She also said her government was committed to the rule of law which helped reach peaceful settlement of disputes with neighbouring countries. She mentioned the winning of the maritime boundary case against Myanmar and hoped that Bangladesh would find solutions to the problems with India, upholding the dignity of the country. The prime minister also referred to the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord and the long-term Ganges Water Sharing Treaty with India during her previous tenure. Paying rich tributes to Bangabandhu, the prime minister said he was the indomitable leader of world’s freedom-lovers, oppressed people and workers and had struggled throughout his life for establishing peace, friendship, freedom, and democracy. l

Shootout at Khaleda Zia’s office still a mystery n Mohammad Jamil Khan

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handing a medal to a winner of a painting competition, organised by the Bangladesh Peace Council, at the Osmani Memorial auditorium  BSS

DCs meet July 23-25 n Mohosinul Karim The government has decided to hold the next Deputy Commissioners (DC) conference on July 23 to 25. The fifth and probably the last conference under the present grand alliance government, the conference will discuss implementation progress of governments’ decisions and set further planning towards theend of its tenure. The cabinet division will host the three days conference at it s conference room at the secretariat. It has already started sending letters to the deputy commissioners to inform the division the latest status of implementation of the government’s decisions and problems to solve within the next few months. According to cabinet division of-

ficials, they have already started to prepare the working papers under the leadership of its Joint Secretary Maksudur Rahman Patwary and are receiving data’s from the DC’s of different districts. It has also sent letters to all the ministries and divisions to send information in this regard. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the conference. The opening session will be held at the prime minister’s office (PMO). Later, the prime minister will brief the DC’s and discuss openly on the government’s policies. On the second day, the DC’s will meet the President. Other ministry and division-based sessions will be held at the cabinet division’s conference room. The ministers, advisors to the prime minister and state ministers will brief the DC’s. l

Majority people demand caretaker government – Khaleda n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP chairperson and leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia yesterday said, restoration of caretaker government system to oversee the next general polls is the demand of the majority of the people of the country. “Election under a non-partisan interim government is not just BNP and its 18-party alliances’ demand, but the plea of [90% people of the country]. We will compel the government to realise our demand of restoring of caretaker government system. We believe

in democracy and that’s why we want the next elections under a non-partisan government,” she said. She alleged that the country’s communal harmony has been destroyed during the Awami League-led grand alliance government. “Awami League men launched attacks on the Buddhists at Ramu and Ukhia. The government is committing crimes and is trying to hide with another misdeed,” she said. The government’s behaviour is autocratic, as they have majority in the parliament.

“The government has been imposing sensor in the media. Media were barred to publish misdeeds of the government,” she said. Khaleda Zia made this allegations while Buddhist leaders came to her Gulshan office in the capital to exchange greetings on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. She added, “In the country, there are only examples of Awami League’s misrules and terrorism. People are waiting for them to step down. The government’s repression is increasing as it’s time is expiring in the office,” she said. l

Health ministry rushes to spend health budget  from page 1 column 2

criteria to ensure quality of the purchased products are cleverly skirted. The labels of cheap Indian and Chinese products are being replaced with those of expensive European and American ones. Directorate General of Health Services Dr Khandaker Md Shafayet Ullah told the Dhaka Tribune that things happen this way every year during June Final. After every three months of a financial year, the calculation of instalments begins and in total, it takes four months to pay. He said due to the procedural complexities of finance department and draconian terms and conditions for procurements provided by organisations, implementation of many of health services are delayed. When asked about the bump in spending every May-June, Health Secretary M M Niazuddin on Sunday told the Dhaka Tribune: “The condition is not like that.” He added that the financial year starts from July 1 and many operation plan and projects, after cutting expenses, start from September. A big share of budget is fixed for purchasing

Progress made as of March 2013 (in crore taka)

equipment. It takes a long time to purchase by obeying rules and regulations. During first nine months it appears minor according to total budget but more than 90 % of cost expenditure can be met before June 30, the secretary said. However, Rashid-e-Mahbub said the practice should be stopped if corruption and money embezzlement were to be halted. The amount allocated to provide health care services for millions of people “is simply not enough,” he said. “Flushing a large proportion of this meagre amount down the drain on careless spending is very upsetting”. Implementation of Projects and Activities under RADP for the Fiscal 201213 until March 2013 A total of 24 projects have been included in the Revised Annual Development Programme (RADP) of 2012-13 fiscal year. Of them, 22 were investment projects slated for the health and family planning ministry. Around Tk8.2bn has been provided in this year’s RADP for the projects, some of which would be financed by Japan Debt Cancellation Fund (JDCF). Of the total budgets, Tk7.55bn will

come from GoB and Tk250m as project assistance. Under the RADP, Tk26.26bn has been set aside for Health Population and Nutrition Sector Development Programme (HPNSDP) of the ministry. GoB would provide Tk8.8bn and Tk19.21bn would come as project assistance. In total, the allocation for the ministry including HPNSDP stands at Tk36.22bn.

Some Tk28.48bn (57.53% of total allocation) has been released as of March 2013. Of them, Tk11.31bn (67.50%) would come from GoB and Tk9.53bn (48.95%) from project assistance. Nearly Tk15.33bn has been spent as of March 2013, which accounts for 42.32% of the total allocation. Of the money spent, Tk8.49bn has been from GoB fund while Tk6.83bn from project assistance. l

standing wages. It said it would hand over the payment to the few remaining survivors very soon. Meanwhile, the fate of the workers reported missing since the tragic collapse, hangs in the balance. Authorities have so far buried a total of 291 unidentified bodies at the capital’s Jurain Graveyard and samples of all of their DNA have been preserved, even though relatives had reported that 304 workers were still missing. Relatives of the missing ones have so far filed a total of 134 general diaries

(GD) with Savar police station. The GDs are to serve as documentation for their compensation claims. Whether their families would get the prime minister’s grant would totally depend on finding out their identities by matching the DNA samples with those of the relatives. BGMEA officials said after the DNA test reports are finalised, they would prepare a final list of the missing ones which would then be verified by district administrations and police. They, however, assumed that most of the missing victims were not gar-

ment workers; rather staff who worked at the building. According to sources from Dhaka Medical College Hospital, conducting all the DNA tests would take at least two more months. “It will take more time. We do not know when the families of the missing victims will finally receive the wages,” said Md Rafiqul Islam, joint secretary (labour) of BGMEA. Kamrul Hasan, upazila executive officer of Savar, said: “We will match the DNA collection list with the missing victims’ list to prepare a final list.” l







and individuals. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is supposed to pay financial grants worth Tk200,000 to each of the families of the 1,127 dead victims of the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza that housed five factories. The PMO has so far handed over grants to the families of 221 dead victims. The BGMEA has already paid each of the 2,614 workers, who survived the deadly collapse, minimal compensation packages that included their out-

66 Bangladeshis return from Indian jails n UNB Sixty-six Bangladeshis, including five children, returned home on yesterday night, after serving two years in Indian jails. Of them, 61 are young girls and five children. They all hailed from different areas of Khulna and Barisal. Officer-in-charge of Benapole check post police (immigration) Kamruzzaman said Indian police handed them over to Benapole immigration police

through Benapole check post. Later, they will be handed over to their relatives, said police. Kamruzzaman said they went to Mumbai and Delhi illegally through middlemen two years back in order to get jobs there. Indian courts sentenced them to two years’ imprisonment after Indian police arrested them from the areas. Frequent contacts between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries facilitated their release, said police. l

No ‘evil force’ can foil Hefazat movement ­– Shafi n UNB Hefazat-e-Islam Ameer Allama Shafi yesterday said that no ‘evil force’ will be able to foil Hefazat movement. He came up with the remark when Hefazat leaders from Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, led by Sylhet city Hefazat President Maulana Sahinur Pasha Chowdhury, called on him at Hathazari Madrasah in Chittagong in the morning, according to a Hefazat press release. “Many are now thinking that Hefazat’s activities have come to a standstill…it’s not right. Our movement will continue until our 13-point demand is

met,” the release said quoting Shafi. During the half-an-hour meeting, the Hefazat chief called on the party activists to strengthen the party’s movement against atheists and anti-Islamic elements at the grassroots level. Hefazat demands include restoring the phrase ‘Complete faith and trust in the Almighty Allah’ in the constitution, repealing all the laws contrary to the Holy Quran and Sunnah and enacting a harsher anti-blasphemy law. Sunamganj district Hefazat Ameer Maulana Abdul Basir, joint convener Mohibur Rahman and Sylhet Hefazat leader Maulana Ali Noor were among the delegation members. l




Project assistance















Saudi job offers pour in at





 from page 1 column 6

Gob+project assistance total

Progress by OP/Projects as of March 2013 (in crore taka) No



Progress (%) against Allocation

OP (32)




Project (23)








BGMEA evades paying wages of ‘dead’ victims  from page 1 column 3

Law enforcement agencies have failed to unearth the mystery behind a shootout at the office of BNP chief Khaleda Zia in Gulshan even after six weeks of analysing the CCTV footage. However, members of the intelligence department claim they are about to reveal what happened. So far, they not only failed to arrest anyone in this regard but also failed to explain how the criminals arrived at and fled the scene after firing the shots. According to reports, unidentified youths on motorcycles rode past Khaleda Zia’s office firing guns at 11:12pm on March 31. No one was injured. She was inside the office at the time, having held a meeting with the 18-party opposition alliance from 9pm to 10:15pm. A general diary was filed in this connection. The BNP alleged that three shots were fired and blamed people from the ruling party for the attack. Police, however, said they had information of only one gunshot. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday, an official of the probe team said a team led by a sub-inspector of public order management was on duty during the incident. A Central Security Forces

team, which is responsible for the opposition leader’s security, was also on duty. Both teams were present at the time of the incident. The officer said they interrogated both the teams but they failed to give any accurate answer or any clue of how the criminals either arrived or fled after the shooting. The security personnel said they only saw criminals going away on a motorcycle. The investigating officer, Motlubur Rahman, sub-inspector of Gulshan police station, told the Dhaka Tribune they were trying to trace the criminals from different angles, including analysing witnesses accounts and scrutinising other evidence. The deputy commissioner of the Gulshan division of the DMP, Lutfar Kabir, said they had failed to trace anyone from the CCTV footage that was collected from the BNP chairperson’s office since the video quality was poor. “However, we are investigating the incident earnestly,” he added. The investigation unit of police said members of Crime Scene of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) cordoned off part of the road in front of the office and collected evidence. The CID is now analysing the data, sources at the unit said. l

in Saudi Arabia.” The staff of the Bangladesh mission in Riyadh consists of 12 officers and more than 30 others of different ranks and categories while in the mission office in Jeddah there are about 40 staff members, 10 of them officers. The amnesty will remain in effect until July 3. If any illegal worker gets a valid job offer by that time, they can

change their work status. Workers will also be allowed to leave Saudi Arabia without paying fines or punishment. Officials in Dhaka said around two million Bangladeshis are now working in Saudi Arabia. Data of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training indicates that kingdom has been recruiting workers from Bangladesh in a limited number since 2008. l

EU warns of duty free  from page 1 column 3

killed 112 people while the collapse of Rana Plaza killed over 1,100 people. The EU is the largest market for Bangladeshi exports making up for more than $10bn of export earnings, nearly half of the total amount. “They want the Commission to promote responsible business conduct among EU companies operating abroad and ensure strict compliance with all legal obligations in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment,” the EU Parliament statement read. The members also called on the European Commission to investigate Bangladesh’s compliance with these conventions and they expect an investigation to be considered if Bangladesh is found to be in serious and systematic violation of the principles laid down in these conventions. “The resolution insists that those responsible for the collapse of the Rana Plaza, the Tazreen factory fire or any other fire should be brought to justice, that

the victims should have full access to the justice system, and that a financial compensation plan should be established.” The MEPs recognise the importance of the recently finalised Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh between the trade unions, NGOs and some 40 multinational textile retailers and call on all other relevant textile brands to support this effort. Over 30 major European retailers endorsed the accord for protection of workers safety in Bangladesh. However, major US buyers like Wal-Mart and GAP have shied away from agreeing to the action plan. The action plan adopted in early May with a view to reforming the labour laws is also a welcome measure, say MEPs. However, they want the government and the relevant judicial authorities to investigate allegations that the national building regulations were not implemented due to collusion between corrupt officials and landlords seeking to reduce their costs.l




Friday, May 24, 2013

BNP renews call for dialogue n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Leaders and activists are being arrested from the jail gate soon after their release, said the press release. “We urged the government again to create a congenial atmosphere and to protect people’s voting rights so that the transfer of power takes place in a democratic way,” they said renewing their call for dialogue.” The standing committee members alleged that the government had closed all the doors on dialogue. Terming the government mass killer the statement said the government, on the one hand, is urging the opposition to sit for dialogue, but on the other hand it is saying the next elections will be held under Sheikh Hasina. Dudu said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on May 4 urged the government to discuss the poll-time interim government within 48 hours and also invited the prime minister to a tea.

“The standing committee thinks the government has missed a great opportunity by not responding to the call for a negotiation,” the press released said. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia held a meeting for two and a half hours with the standing committee members on Wednesday night to analyse the current political scenario and to devise the next course of action at her Gulshan office in the capital. The meeting condemned the shutting down of transmission of Islamic and Diganta TVs, threat to 15 national daily editors for protesting the arrest of the acting editor of the Amar Desh. The government has shackled the media and gaged freedom of expression. News of corruption and misdeeds of prime minister and her families were published in the international media, the statement noted. l

USCG transfers cutter Jarvis to Bangladesh Navy

I’ve never seen Babunagari: Khoka n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

n Tribune Report

BNP Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka, who appeared at the Hefazat-e-Islam podium on its April 6 Motijheel rally following a long-march, has denied outright his or the party’s link with the Islamist organisation, as referred to by a senior Hefazat leader in his confessional statement on Tuesday. Khoka said he and his party had no ideological or organisational contact with Hefazat. “I have no personal connection with [Hefazat Secretary General Junaid] Babunagari and do not know him. I see him in the media. Neither I or any other leader of the BNP was assigned or even needed to be assigned to coordinate with the Hefazat because we do not have that much organisational or ideological contact with them,” he said in a signed press release. Like other political parties, Khoka said, the BNP publicly extended support to the Hefazat’s protests against those hurting sentiment of the majority Muslims. “We also publicly protested against the ruling party and the government’s interference in Hefazat’s peaceful programmes.” During Hefazat’s long-march, the BNP served the group’s “guests” who came to Dhaka with food and water on “humanitarian grounds.” Leaders and activists of the governing alliance also supported the Hefazat activists, he said. Babunagari told a Dhaka court that the activists of Jamaat, its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, and the BNP’s front bodies, Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal, intruded on the May 5 Hefazat programme to unleash violence in their bid to oust the government. He said the city unit of the BNP-led 18-party opposition provided all sorts of financial support for the successful blockade. Khoka alleged that the administrative failure of the home ministry caused the daylong violence in Paltan and around Motijheel that day. Also the convener of Dhaka city unit BNP, Khoka questioned how the “fictional stories” on the confession came to media when there was supposed to be no one other than the magistrate present during the deposition. The former Dhaka mayor said no one would believe that he and the BNP had financed and conspired to put Hefazat chief Ahmad Shafi and Babunagari in power. Rather he thinks the home minister, through the police, is trying to harass him by spreading fabricated information. Different media reports on Babunagari’s confessional statement at the court implicating the BNP, the 18-party alliance and him were completely untrue, baseless and ill-motivated, he claimed. The BNP leader claimed Hefazat was a non-political group comprising alems and madrasa teachers and students. They did not have any political ambition and they were not demonstrating to oust a government or help others to take power. However, senior Hefazat leaders ahead of and on the day of the May 5 programme threatened that it would not allow the government stay in power if its 13-point demands were not met. l

The BNP on Thursday alleged that the government was making “practically impossible” the day-to-day political activities of the opposition. The party reiterated its call for a dialogue to reach a consensus on polltime interim government to hold a neutral and impartial election participated by all political parties. “The ruling party assigned police, Rab, BGB and armed party men to resist the opposition’s programmes. Even the police is barring them from printing and distributing leaflets,” the standing committee members said in a press release. The press release signed by Shamsuzzaman Dudu, adviser to the BNP chairperson, said whenever an opposition leader talks to the media on behalf of the party is arrested.

The US Coast Guard yesterday officially decommissioned Jarvis, a Hamilton-class high endurance cutter and transferred the vessel to the Bangladesh Navy to be renamed as BNS Somudro Joy. The transfer ceremony took place at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California where Vice Admiral Paul F Zukunft, USCG Pacific area commander and Vice Admiral Muhammad Farid Habib, chief of naval staff for the Bangladesh Navy, were present, said a release of the US embassy. It will set off for Bangladesh later this year. The vessel was put under the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) programme and the transfer was initiated through the Foreign Military Sales

programme of the US Department of Defence. On March 12, a 20-member team from the Bangladesh Navy reached Alameda to familiarise themselves with the cutter before accepting the vessel officially. These members of the Bangladesh crew were led by Captain Mohammad Nazmul Karim Kislu, the prospective commanding officer. The team worked and trained with the current Jarvis crew to prepare themselves for the vessel. Later, an additional 70-member team joined them on May 20. Since the transfer is now completed, 26 former Jarvis crew members will serve as advisors and assist the Bangladesh crew members until the cutter’s departure from California, as per decided earlier. l

The Coast Guard cutter Jarvis moored at Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California on May 18. The coast guard stripes and emblems were removed from the Jarvis in preparation for the transfer to the Bangladesh Navy which was scheduled for yesterday  Pamela J Boehland

12 RMG units closed amid labour unrest in Ashulia n UNB The authorities suspended production in 12 readymade garment (RMG) factories in Ashulia industrial belt yesterday as labour unrest flared up over wage hike. Sources said about 50,000 workers of 12 garment factories in Berun, Narasinghapur and Nischintapur areas staged demonstration sporadically in

front of their factories abstaining from work since 9:30am demanding wage hike and congenial environment at workplaces. To avoid possible trouble, the authorities immediately declared the factories shut for the day. On being informed, the law enforcers rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. l

BGMEA appeals against HC order on HQ demolition n UNB The Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against a High Court order asking authorities to demolish its headquarters at Hatirjheel-Begunbari area in Dhaka. The appeal was filed with the Appellate Division on Wednesday, Barrister Rafique-ul Haque, representing BGMEA, said yesterday. On April 3, 2011, an HC bench comprising justices AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Sheikh M Jakir Hossain, declared the BGMEA building as illegal and asked the government to pull it down within 90 days. On October 3, 2010, the HC issued a suo moto rule asking the government to explain as to why a direction should not be given to dismantle the unauthorised multi-storey building. The bench had also asked the government, Rajuk and the BGMEA to explain why punitive action would not be taken against the officials responsible for the building’s construction without Rajuk approval. The suo moto rule was issued following a report published in the daily newspaper, New Age, headlined “No plan to demolish unauthorised BG-

MEA building soon”. The report said the 15-storey BGMEA building stands on government land, defying laws such as the Environment and Wetland Protection Act, and hinders the city beautification works around the Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal. Immediately after the verdict, on April 5, the Appellate Division stayed the HC verdict for six months upon a petition filed by the BGMEA. Later, the Appellate Division extended the stay order several times, which remained in force in the absence of a full verdict, which was finally released on March 19 this year. As per the law, the appeal was filed within 60 days from the date of receiving the certified copy of the judgment. Sheikh Hasina, during her first term as prime minister, laid the foundation stone of the building at Hatirjheel-Begunbari near Karwanbazar on November 28, 1998. On October 8, 2006, then Prime Minsiter Khaleda Zia inaugurated the BGMEA building. Since then, it has been housing the association’s headquarters. In its full verdict, the HC said if this undesired building is not dismantled immediately, it would not only blemish the beauty of the Hatirjheel project but also the entire city. l

With diminishing playgrounds in the city, children in Tejgaon play in the timber-yard of a saw mill 

Syed Latif Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Japan wants caregivers from Bangladesh Rising average age evokes the demand n Rabiul Islam Japan wants to recruit caregivers and nurses from Bangladesh, said an official of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). Bangladesh embassy in Japan sent letters to the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry and BMET informing them of the opportunities created for Bangladeshis in Japan’s job market, the official said. Japan reportedly has the highest life expectancy in the world, with a baby girl expected to live up to 86 years of age and a boy up to nearly 80, accord-

ing to a 2011 study. Its level of expectancy has risen in recent times thanks to general diet awareness and public health measures. In this regard, the official said more old people in Japan are in need of paid caregivers than before, with the average age of the Japanese rising. Bangladesh can take this opportunity and send trained helpers there. Currently, Japan recruits caregivers and nurses from Philippines and Indonesia under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). BMET Director Nurul Islam said there is a good potential for Bangladeshis in Japan’s booming care giv-

ing industry. “We sent a letter to our embassy in Japan two weeks ago in this regard. We requested our officials to hold meetings with the respective departments of Japan and inform us about what steps we should take to send caregivers,” he told the Dhaka Tribune over phone on Thursday. Those who are interested to work as caregivers have to have training and fluency in Japanese. If Bangladeshis perform better, opportunities will likely increase, he said. A caregiver would get a monthly salary of over Tk100,000, he added. l

‘Bring Tarique back, take action’ n Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee Leaders of the ruling Awami Leagueled 14-party alliance yesterday raised demands to the government to bring back and try BNP senior vice president and Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman, who has been outside the country and in London since September 11, 2008 after getting bail in various graft cases on medical ground. “There are specific corruption charges against Tarique Rahman and he is a fugitive in the eyes of the law. The government should bring him back and try him,” AL presidium member and 14-party spokesperson, Mohammad Nasim, said. He was briefing journalists after a meeting of the alliance at AL President Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office which was presided over by AL advisory council member and minister without portfolio, Suranjit Sengupta. Nasim claimed Tarique went abroad after “signing a declaration” promising to refrain from politics in the parole duration and despite that “was continuously spreading propaganda against the government.” The 14-party also alleged that the BNP senior vice chairperson had violated the clause by doing politics abroad and by conspiring to destroy democracy and oust the elected government. Tarique, who apparently stayed away from the political arena since his release on bail in 2008 from 14 corruption charges, recently attended a political programme in London and alleged that the government killed scores of people during its action on the Hefazat-e-Islam’s Dhaka siege attempt on May 6. He questioned the country’s democracy and reiterated BNP’s long-standing demand for restoration of the caretaker government system.

The two major parties have been at a standoff on the issue since the provision was dropped from the constitution in 2011 leading to a political stalemate in the country. With the approach of the next general elections and hike in political violence, intellectuals, political observers, foreign

The ruling 14-party alliance also questions conflicting stances of AL members over interim government chief dignitaries, businessmen and other stakeholders have urged the two parties to sit in a dialogue and resolve their differences.


About the dialogue, Nasim said the upcoming national election would be held in line with the constitutional provisions and that the elected prime minister will head the interim government. Meeting sources said the leftist allies of Awami League raised queries about why Nasim’s claims differed from those of AL spokesperson Syed Ashraful Islam. Ashraf claimed in an AL briefing on May 19, “We never said Sheikh Hasina would head the interim government. Anyone can lead and it will be set through discussions.” He also hinted to the opposition that if necessary, the constitution could be further amended. “If what is in the constitution remains unchanged, then why would we need a dialogue? We proposed the talks aiming to reach a consensus.” Nasim reportedly responded to the alliance partners and said, “What Ashraf said was Awami League’s stand. My statement is the stance of the 14-party alliance. We will accept what would come from

the discussions.” While briefing journalists, the 14-party spokesperson stressed on the need for talks between AL and BNP and said only dialogue could bring a good solution. ‘Come to the budget session to talk, not to secure membership. Come and place your proposals,’ he urged the main opposition BNP.


Sources in the 14-party meeting told the Dhaka Tribune that the home minister’s statement about imposing a month-long ban on political activities was harshly criticised in the meet. Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, allegedly, picked up the issue and commented that MK Alamgir’s remark was “awful”. He also vented frustration claiming that his party was not permitted to hold a programme they had planned for Wednesday. He also said a democratic government cannot take such decision. He also urged the AL leadership to create congenial atmosphere for dialogues. Ganatantri Party General Secretary Nurur Rahman Selim asked the representatives of ruling Awami League to clarify whether the ban has actually been imposed. Nasim replied that there is no such ban or restriction on political activities, but the organisers will have to take permission from the administration. Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal General Secretary Sharif Nurul Ambia demanded action against BNP leaders and Hefazat, as they “tried to oust an elected government unlawfully.” Afterwards, in the journalists briefing, Nasim demanded legal action from the government against BNP and Jamaat leaders on basis of the confessional statement made by Hefazat-e-Islam secretary general, Junaid Babunagari. l




Friday, May 24, 2013

Baitul Mukarram roadside shops get back to business n Mohammad Jamil Khan Shops around Baitul Mukarram, which were gutted during Hefazat-e-Islam’s May 5 “Dhaka siege,” are reverting to normal as vendors slowly return to their usual business activities. Many of the vendors, determined to get back to business, have renovated their establishments and brought in goods to attract customers using the government aid. During a visit yesterday, this correspondent found wayside sellers displaying clothes, books, stationery and other items – with smiling faces. The drizzle meant there were fewer customers than normal. But the sellers, most of whom come from outside Dhaka and have families to take care of, are hoping that business will pick up soon. Din Mohammad, who sells clothes, said: “After that day, I felt extremely helpless as I have loans to repay, a family to provide for and other expenses that I cannot take care of without this

A shop owner affected in the violence at Baitul Mukarram after the May 5 Hefazat-e-Islam rally . The picture was taken on the next day  Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune business. But now I have opened the store again, with the Tk50,000 compensation given by the government and money from other sources.” According to a Dhaka Tribune re-

port, during the Hefazat rally, at least 200 wayside shops were burned down between the General Post Office and Baitul Mukarram Shopping Complex. Several shops around the Bangladesh

Shangbad Shanstha office were also gutted. Last week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over cheques of Tk50,000 to 333 roadside vendors to help them start their businesses again and recoup their losses. Mohammad Abul Mobarrak, who used to sell cosmetics, said: “The fire cost me over Tk300,000. The cheque will be very useful and now I am trying to collect some more money and restart the business.” The president of Baitul Mukarram South Gate Small Business Association, Mohammad Jahangir Mia, said the compensatory cheques were a great help. “Thanks to the prime minister, we have now at least something to start with. We need more money that will have to be collected from other sources. Some have already managed to amass enough to start while others are still trying. By Allah’s will, everything will be normal soon,” he said. l

2 vessels join BIWTA rescue fleet on May 28 n Mohosinul Karim Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) is going to commission two new salvage vessels – Nirveek and Protyoy imported recently from South Korea – on May 28. The high-capacity rescue vessels built by Daewoo International Corporation have been anchored at Narayanganj for commissioning since they arrived on March 31. The BIWTA has finished preparations for the inaugural ceremony at Maowa point on the river Padma, said Deputy Secretary AKM Ariful Islam, who is also the public relations officer of the BIWTA. The salvaging capacity of the two new vessels is four times that of the Hamza and Rustam, the two carrying out rescue operations now. The new rescue boats have a capacity of lifting 250 tonnes each. Hamza and Rustam have a capacity of lifting only 50 tonnes each. AKM Arif said the authority brought the salvage vessels to enhance its vintage fleet at a cost of Tk3.57bn provid-

ed by South Korea as a soft loan. The government will have to pay an interest of only 0.5%.

The salvaging capacity of the two new vessels is four times that of the Hamza and Rustam, the two carrying out rescue operations now. The new rescue boats have a capacity of lifting 250 tonnes each. Hamza and Rustam have a capacity of lifting only 50 tonnes each The shipping ministry took the initiative to procure two modern rescue vessels in 2005 as the two existing ones became handicapped by their limited capacity. Rescue vessel Hamza was imported in 1964 to salvage sunken big boats and single-engine ships. In 1984, the government procured Rustam. The total lifting capacity of Hamza and Rustam became insufficient for rescuing much heavier vessels now operating in the country’s river routes. l

Bringing back Sajal’s body will take time: Official n UNB

Bangladesh, Brazil share UN Sasakawa Award n UNB

The initial process to bring back home the body of Bangladeshi filmmaker and mountaineer Sajal Khaled from the Everest summit has started and but it will take time since the entire process is unusual, said an official at the foreign ministry yesterday. “The body is at a certain level. There is a challenge. There is also a big financial involvement. So far as I know the cost will be around $60,000,” he told the UNB preferring anonymity. Responding to a question, the official said the decision on providing the required fund is yet to be made. He, however, expressed hope that it will be decided soon. He said the government is in touch with the Bangladesh Embassy in Kathmandu and the Nepalese government. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said steps have been taken to bring back the body from Nepal. Sajal, a young filmmaker and climber, died on the Mount Everest as hundreds flock to the world’s highest peak during good weather. The official said the Bangladeshi climber died in his tent a few hours after successfully climbing the summit. l

Two of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, Bangladesh and Brazil, have shared the biennial UN-Sasakawa Award for their commendable success in reducing disaster risk at community level and championing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) advocacy at global level. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) head Margareta Wahlstrom in the presence of sponsor and Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa handed over the prize to the two laureates at the annual summit of Global Platform on Disaster Reduction in Geneva on Wednesday, according to a UNISDR web post. ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir and Shanewaz Ali received the Sasakawa award on behalf of NARRI Consortium at the ceremony. The National Alliance for Risk Reduction and Response Initiative (NARRI) is an alliance of 10 international NGOs, including ActionAid, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB and Oxfam Bangladesh. The Tehran Disaster Management and Mitigation Organisation received a Letter of Distinction. The two laureates – Belo Horizonte and NARRI – received $20,000 each and the TDMMO received $10,000. l

Devotees light candles at a Buddhist temple at Bashabo on the occasion of Buddha Purnima yesterday


Thundershowers or rain likely n UNB Rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at many places over Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions and at a few places over Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions until 6pm today. Moderately heavy to very heavy falls are also likely at places, Met Office said. Day and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 6:38pm today and rises at 5:12am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 33.2 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday at Sayedpur and lowest 22.2 degrees at Chittagong. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City
























Cox’s Bazar
















Youth’s death in police custody

Probe body formed n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj Police formed a three-member probe body yesterday to investigate the alleged death of a youth following torture for seven days, while in custody. The panel headed by Additional Superintendent of Police (crime) Ashrafuzzaman would submit its report within three days. The other members are court Inspector Asaduzzaman and Assistant Superintendent of Police (B circle) Uttam Kumar Pathak. Syed Nurul Islam, the Narayanganj superintendent of police, said they would take steps in line with the probe body report. Shamim Reza, 26, a suspected accused in the sensational four- murders case under Sonargaon police station, died early Wednesday at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). He hailed from Protapnagar of Jhauchar under Sonargaon in Narayanganj. On Wednesday night, locals protested the death of Reza, by taking out a procession with the body and demanding punishment of the police officer who had tortured him. They also blocked Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Mograpara bazaar area. Sources at the DMCH morgue said the victim’s hands bore deep injury marks of handcuffs and also from beating. His body also had several marks of deep injury. According to the police’s inquest report, signed by an executive magistrate, Khadija Tahira Bobi, the body had many injury marks including on his hand, waist and legs. Police claimed that they arrested Reza on May 19 and produced him before the court the next day where he confessed the crime. Refuting the police’s claims, Reza’s father Hazi Alauddin and brother Iqbal

Ahmed said the police arrested his son from their residence on May 14, confined him at a building of the police station and tortured him brutally to extract the confessional statement. Officer-in-Charge of Sonargaon police station Md Atikur Rahman Khan and investigator of the murder case Inspector Arup Tarafder branded Reza as the killer as he gave confessional statement before the court. Iqbal told the Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday that they paid Inspector Arup Tk250,000 as ransom on the evening of May 20. The rest of the money was supposed to be paid the next day when, the officer said, Reza would be produced in the court under Section 54. However, without notifying Reza’s family members, police sent Reza to the Judicial Magistrate Court of Narayanganj at noon,as his physical condition deteriorated. “We got a chance to talk to him early in the morning [yesterday] at the DMCH. He told us that the inspector, cuffing his hands, beat him up mercilessly for four days. Under unbearable physical torture, he decided to give the confessional statement,” Iqbal said. On April 19, Jhauchar union parishad Chairman Rafiqul Islam’s second wife, her brother and two house-helps were slaughtered. Police arrested Shahadat, the son of Rafiqul’s first wife, the chairman’s younger brother Habibur Rahman, brother-in-law Rajib, bodyguard Badshah Miah and three others in this connection. Police suspected Reza as he was a friend and neighbour of Shahadat, who is now in jail. He passed BBA from Tolaram College of Munshiganj and secured a place in the MBA course there. He was a small trader of sand and stones at Meghnaghat of Narayanganj. l

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Amnesty International deplores law enforcer’s ‘impunity’ n Tribune Report The London-based global rights group Amnesty International has alleged that Bangladesh’s security agencies enjoying “impunity” were involved in human rights violations that include torture, extrajudicial executions and disappearances as the country heads mired in political turmoil. In its annual global report, Amnesty incorporated a chapter on Bangladesh observing “widespread torture and ill-treatment committed with virtual impunity by the police, Rab, the army and intelligence agencies.” Amnesty said: “Methods included beating, kicking, suspension from the ceiling, food and sleep deprivation, and electric shocks. Most detainees were allegedly tortured until they ‘confessed’ to having committed a crime.” However, two junior ministers – Quamrul Islam and Shamsul Hoque Tuku – turned down the assessment terming it error-ridden and lopsided one. The report published on Wednesday said trade union leaders supporting the garment factory workers’ rallies against low pay and poor working conditions were harassed and intimidated. “One man was killed.” Trade union leader Aminul Islam went missing on April 4. He was found dead a day later in Tangail’s Ghatail. His family saw evidence of torture on his body and believed he had been abducted by security forces. He had previously been arrested and beaten by members of the National Security Intelligence for his trade union activities. It said the police and the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) allegedly distorted records to cover up the torture, including misrepresenting arrest dates.

According to the Bangladesh criminal justice system, the law enforcers must present the arrested persons rounded with a specific charges before the court within 24 hours of their arrests. The report referred that some 30 extrajudicial executions and 10 forced disappearances were reported, further saying: “State security forces were implicated in torture and other ill-treatment and at least 10 enforced disappearances. Political violence resulted in the death of at least four men. Women continued to be subjected to various forms of violence.” On violence against women, the rights body said: “Women continued to be subjected to various forms of violence. These included acid attacks, murder for failing to pay the requested dowry, flogging for religious offences by illegal arbitration committees, domestic violence, and sexual violence.” Aleya Begum and her daughter were arrested without a warrant on September 9 and were allegedly tortured at Khoksa police station in Kushtia. After two days, they were transferred to Kushtia Kotwali police station and kept in a dark room. The daughter, a college student, was separated from her mother at night and sexually abused by the police officers. The two women were released on September 18, after appearing in court. Aleya and her daughter shared their story with the media, and were arrested and jailed again on September 26. Amnesty also said the government failed to control the attacks on the minority communities such as the Hindus and the Buddhists. It further reported that the “indigenous” and the Bangalee settlers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts locked in fights, too.

UNB adds: While talking to reporters at Comilla Circuit House yesterday noon, law State Minister Quamrul Islam termed the report “one-sided, confusing and unacceptable.” On the other hand, State Minister for home affairs Shamsul Hoque Tuku said what the Amnesty International stated in its annual report about the extrajudicial killings, secret killings and torture on minorities in Bangladesh was not based on proper information. Quamrul claimed that the Amnesty had intentionally been depicting the country’s human rights situation as worse for the last few years, especially since the present government assumed power, to destablise the government and create confusion. He said the extrajudicial killings were perpetrated much lesser during the current regime than the past. The state minister said the human rights body did not say specifically as to who carried out attacks on the worship places of the minorities. Tuku said there were errors in the information provided by the rights body. “The law enforcers work for ensuring the security of public life and property. They use arms only when they come under attack by terrorists. “If any death occurs by the members of law enforcement agencies, it is investigated and action is taken accordingly after investigation,” he said. Regarding torture on the minority people, he said no incident of torture occurred under the present government’s patronage. “But, there had been many incidents of torture on the minorities under state patronage during the BNP regime.” About the violence in Ramu upazila of Cox’s Bazar, Tuku said the government took legal action against the culprits. l


EC, ministry at odds over DCC polls



Friday, May 24, 2013

Bamboos bridge the gap

The future of the election became uncertain again after the LGRD ministry sent a letter to the EC cess could face another round of legal n Mohammad Zakaria battles, it feared. The Election Commission and the local government ministry are at odds over holding the long overdue elections to Dhaka north and south city corporations. A day after an election commissioner hinted that it was not going to hold the DCC polls now, the chief election commissioner said it would avoid further legal complications. Earlier, a writ petition challenging the move to hold DCC polls invited a High Court order that stayed the process for about a year. The EC took the move after another court verdict vacated the stay order earlier this month. The EC was thinking about announcing the election schedules. But the move looks set to be stalled again after a request from the local government ministry to keep a union parishad aside for the next polls. In a letter last week, the ministry said the newly included locality should be excluded since it was not yet split into wards, an argument not accepted by the EC. Election officials said once incorporated into the territory, any rules and privileges of the city corporation would apply to that locality. If any citizen challenges this, the election pro-

Five sustain burn injuries in city n Tribune Report Five people including three children received severe burn injuries as a rechargeable fan exploded in Mugda Maniknagar area of the city yesterday. The victims were identified as Anowaruzzaman Shipon, 35, his wife Faria Zaman, 22, their three-year old son Anisuzzaman Apurbo, and neighbor’s son Arman, 5, and Arman’s cousin Sadia. Anowaruzzaman is a tenant of 35/2 no house of Mugda. Witnesses said the fan exploded around 12pm and caught fire. The neighbors rushed the injured to the burn and plastic surgery department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in critical condition. Gauranda Podo Sikder, duty doctor of DMCH said among the injured, Anower received 75% burns and Faria sustained 47% burns. Both Anis and Arman were hospitalized with 80% burns. When contacted, Masud Karim, officer-in-charge of Mugda police station said they have learned about the incident and are analyzing it to ascertain the correct details of the accident. l

The chief election commissioner made their position clear. “We do not want to create further legal troubles. We are considering the case of the newly added 13 areas in Sultanganj under the Dhaka South City Corporation and are in discussion with the Local Government Division,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said on Wednesday. Hesaid the EC was ready to hold the DCC elections, which had already been delayed by a year,as soon as possible. The future of the election became uncertain again after the LGRD ministry sent a letter to the EC for holding the DCC polls, excluding the newly added 13 areas of Sultanganj under Dhaka South City Corporation on Sunday. In reply, Election Commissioner Md Shah Newaz on Tuesday said the EC would not hold the split DCC polls until demarcation of DCC wards are complete. CEC’s statement has cleared the EC’s stance over the issue. Ahmad saidlocal government division’s letter is proof of the government’s clear intentions of holding the election. l

The schoolboy has to cross the canal over a floating bundle of bamboos as work on the culvert at Golambazar in Keraniganj in Dhaka city could not be completed even in three yearsFocus Bangla

City life disrupted as incessant rain floods most streets and roads

Body of young man with injury marks found in Rajshahi pond

n Mohammad Jamil Khan

n Our Correspondent, Rajshahi

Live underwater cable electrocutes two Dhaka residents are being exposed to a life threatening nightmare on the city’s water logged streets – live electrical cables. Yesterday, the authorities recorded 64 millimeters of rainfall in the capital, this year’s highest, while also recording the deaths of two pedestrians – Awlad Hossain, 35, and Mohammad Shahin, 32 – in the capital’s Bangshal area. The two were electrocuted as they unwittingly touched the loose ends of the live cables which were submerged in the accumulated water. Abdul Kuddus Fakir, the officer in charge of Bangshal police station,

told the Dhaka Tribune that Awlad, a resident of Bangshal, and Shahin, a resident of nearby Malitola, were both street vendors. Their bodies were being held at Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital for post mortem. Just as in the case of large-scale loss of lives in the Rana Plaza collapse and the Tazreen factory fire, in the case of these two vendors too, the authorities are to be blamed. Locals and witnesses held that the negligence of the authorities led to the deaths. They said the government does not maintain the drainage system, so just a few minutes of heavy rain results in

News in Brief Two bodies recovered in Chittagong Police recovered the bodies of two men from Toll Road area under Halisahar thana of Chittagong city Thursday morning. Of the deceased, one, aged around 40, was wearing pants and shirt while another was in shirt along with lungi. Arefin Jewel, additional deputy commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (west zone), said locals saw the bodies, with hands and legs tied up, lying beside the road in the morning and informed police. The bodies would be of driver and helper of some covered van and highway robbers might have killed them to snatch their vehicle, suspected Arefin. The bodies were sent to district hospital morgue for autopsy. – UNB

Kid’s death triggers road blockade in Sylhet Incensed locals put up barricade on the Sylhet-Tamabeel road following death of a child in a road accident in Boteshwar area of Sylhet city Wednesday night, disrupting traffic for four hours. Police said a truck knocked down a CNG-run auto-rickshaw on the Sylhet-Tamabeel road in Boteshwar adjacent to Shylhet Cantonment at about 8.30pm, leaving the child dead and three other people injured. Identify of the deceased could not be known immediately. As the news of the child’s death spread, local people bursting into anger blocked the rood, halting traffic for about four hours from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Later following intervention of some high officials of the local administration and police who visited the spot, the protesters withdrew the barricade. – UNB

People wade through waist-deep water at Old Dhaka’s Aga Sadek Road  Dhaka Tribune

As the rainy season approaches, the various utility supplying authorities get proactive and start digging the roads and streets flooding. They also slammed the electricity authorities for not taking care of the loose cables. As the rainy season approaches, the various utility supplying authorities get proactive and start digging the roads and streets, leaving big holes and ditches uncovered and turning the roads into death traps for the residents, locals said. Professor Nazrul Islam, chairman of City Research Centre, said although rainwater is a natural resource, the capital, unfortunately, did not have enough space to hold water even from just a few minutes of rainfall. The water logging was not only disrupting the lives of city dwellers; reports of death from electrocution by underwater live cables had also been on the rise in recent times, he added. Prof Nazrul feared that situation in the city would only worsen if the authorities did not take the necessary steps immediately. Not just Bangshal, almost the entire downtown area of Dhaka went under water during the incessant rains of yesterday morning. Among the uptown areas of the capital, many parts of Green Road, Dhanmondi, Asad Gate, Shyamoli, Iqbal Road, Indira Road, Razabazar, Shah-

jahanpur, Fakirerpool, Shantinagar, Malibagh, Nayapaltan and Motijheel remained under almost waist-high water for hours. Due to the public holiday on the occasion of the Buddha Purnima, regular office goers were spared the trouble of traversing waterlogged streets to make it to work. Most businesses and shops, especially the temporary ones on the roadsides, were kept closed due to the rain that started with daybreak. A Met office bulletin said a trough of low pressure triggered the heavy rainfall over North Bay of Bengal. Nurul Huda, chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), told the Dhaka Tribune that the fact that the rainwater did not have anywhere to run into because the water bodies in the capital were already overflowing, resulted in water logging. More spaces must be created for rainwater to run into in order to solve this problem, the Rajuk boss said. Rahmatullah, chairman of Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa), said proper coordination among all government organisations, annual planning and joint implementation is needed to get rid of the capital’s water logging problem. Chief City Planner of Dhaka South City Corporation Shirajul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that the corporation would welcome all kinds of cooperation from its associates and invited their participation in the planning activities. l

Rajpara police recovered the body of a young man with various injury marks from a pond at Mohisbathan Uttarpara area of the city yesterday. The deceased was identified as Dedi Gomez, 30, of Talipara area in the city. Police sent the body to the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy. Dedi recently completed a diploma from Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute, and was known to be a Chhatra League activist. However, the victim’s father, Yead Gomez, claimed his son was not actively involved in politics. He demanded arrest of the killers immediately. Family sources, meanwhile, said two unidentified youths called Dedi from his house on Tuesday night, and he had been missing since. Yesterday morning, residents of Mohisbathan saw a dead body floating on the pond and informed police. ABM Rejaul Islam, officer-in-charge of Rajpara police station, said injury marks on various parts of the dead body suggest that Dedi was killed first, and then dumped in the pond. He might have been killed over previous enmity, said the OC. “We are trying to find out motive of the killing,” he added. A murder case was filed with Rajpara police in this connection. But no one was arrested till yesterday night. l

BCC mayor candidate accuses police of bias

Claims the top brass of metropolitan police were appointed on the outgoing mayor’s recommendation BNP-backed candidate Ahsan Habib Elections. n Our Correspondent, Barisal Kamal, district (south) BNP president The EC on Tuesday served show

One of the Barisal City Corporation (BCC) mayor candidates has demanded that the Election Commission change six of the metropolitan police officials in Barisal. Mahmudur Rahman Khan Mamun, mayoral candidate and joint secretary of district Jubo League, submitted a written application on Wednesday before the returning officer claiming that a few months earlier the Barisal Metropolitan Police commissioner, deputy commissioner and officers-in-charge of four police stations were appointed by Shawkat Hossain Hiron, the outgoing mayor. Hiron is the metropolitan Awami League secretary and the mayor candidate officially backed by the ruling party. Mamun urged the EC to change these officials and replace them with neutral persons to make the BCC election free and fair.

and former BCC mayor, backed this claim. “Everybody knows how the police administration is always loyal to the ruling party candidate,” he said. “I shall also submit an application in this matter after EC finalises the candidate list on May 26,” Kamal added. Mujibur Rahman, the returning officer for BCC polls, said he had received Mamun’s complaint but the EC was yet to spot any biasedness in the law enforcers.

cause notices to three mayoral candidates and 14 councillor candidates for violations of the code of conduct. Returning Officer Rahman said the EC had formed a six-member vigilance and observation committee to monitor allegations of violation. Yesterday, the committee visited different areas of the city and asked some candidates to remove banners, festoons and posters immediately.

Violating the code of conduct

The Election Commission has decided to use electronic voting machines in two centres at one of the 30 wards in the BCC election on June 15. The Returning Officer said EVM would be used in two polling centres of ward number 16 where there were 4,181 voters. The centres were chosen on basis of the number of voters, easy accessibility to the polling centre and educational qualification and professional status of the voters, he added. l

Accusations were made from opposing quarters that mayoral candidate Hiron had already opened campaign booths. The Dhaka Tribune found booths erected on the roadsides in Hiron’s area, - wards 1, 18, 24 and 29 - yesterday when visiting, but there were no activities in the booths. Campaigning earlier than 21 days before the polls day is a violation of the Code of Conduct for City Corporation

EVMs in two centres

Jatiyatabadi Nagarik Parishad Mayoral nominee Ahsan Habeeb Kamal campaigns for upcoming Barisal City Corporation Election  Dhaka Tribune

6 Ethnic people face threat to existence



Friday, May 24, 2013

Back to work

n BSS Ethnic minorities in the plain lands, including the vast Barind tract have been facing threats to their existence due to the adverse situation and they need social and state protection urgently, the leaders belonging to the ethnic community said yesterday. They expressed their deep concern over continuous threats to ethnic communities’ life, property, burial and cremation grounds, temples and socio-cultural establishments by opportunists and influential groups including fundamentalists and communal forces. The leaders portrayed the grim picture at a press conference held at General Public Library in Rajshahi City. Jatiya Adibashi Parishad (JAP) organized the press conference to draw attention of the policymakers to the plight of the region’s approximately 18 lakh ethnic minorities. Rabindra Nath Saren, president of JAP, readout the written statement saying several ethnic families left the country due to the adverse situation. “We have many questions about the role of civil administration and law enforcers in this regard,” Saren said. He told journalists that many ethnic people couldn’t lead normal lives or even go out of their dwellings and villages in the Rajshahi and Chapainawabgaj districts. Ethnic community leaders Bomol Chandra Rajoad, Raj Kumar Shawn, Sabin Chandra Munda, Sushen Munda, Ganesh Majhi, Naren Pahan, Nepal Oraon and Subhash Chandra Hembrom also spoke, among others. They also put forward a set of demands at the press conference. l

Tea labourers re-joined work on Wednesday after Bangladesh Tea Workers’ Sangram Parishad called off their indefinite strike that started on Tuesday. The labour leaders decided to resume work following an emergency meeting, chaired by the Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju. Earlier, the organisation had declared that they would strike for an indefinite period from May 21 until their 20-point demands, including raising wages to Tk120 per day, are met Focus Bangla

Market to replace school pond Locals say market will serve individual interest n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh A 70-year-old pond of Bidhyaganj Rani Rajbala Bahumukhi High School in sadar upazila of Mymensingh is being filled up for a market construction to meet up the “maintenance cost of the school.” During a visit this correspondent found the construction work was on under the supervision of Ansar Ali, president of Swechhasebak League local Kustia Union unit and also a member of the school managing committee. We have several extra teachers to pay and moreover to supplement our income, the market is being constructed, said Manjurul Haque, headmaster of the school. The school was established by Jibendra Kishore Acharya Chowdhury, one of the zaminders of Muktagacha dynasty, in 1946 on 3.78 acres of land with a huge pond.

The school having classes from six to ten has now a total of 839 students. The pond is being filled up for the purpose of business and a section of people will reap benefit from it, said lo-

Md Shafiullah, district education officer said: ‘I was not informed about it earlier and the school authorities cannot fill up the school pond. I do not know who permitted them to do so’ cal people requesting not to be named. The pond is only the water source for big Bidhyaganj Bazar and if it is filled up the area will lose a free water reservoir, they said. The school managing committee constructed 24 shops in 2010 and 2011 and rent those out. Each shop owner had to pay an advance of Tk130,000

to the school authorities, informed the headmaster. When asked about the development work, the headmaster said the total advance money amounting to Tk3,100,000 was spent on the constructions of the 24 shops. Now the school gets Tk9000 a month from those shops as rent and the money is spent on repair of the school, the headmaster added. Constructions of another 14 shops are going on and those have already been leased out for TK200,000 each, school sources said. The headmaster, however, said they were not filling the pond, they are digging it deeper so that water is available round the year. The construction of the market will save the pond’s bank from erosion in the rainy season and the adjacent union parishad road, the headmaster argued. Ansar Ali said what they were do-

n Our Correspondent, Gaibandha ing was all for the improvement of the school and nothing for the interest of any individual. Nazrul Islam, chairman of Kushtia Union Parishad, also a former student of the school, said he did not want the pond to be filled up. Assistant Director of the Department of Environment, Abdul Azim said the school authorities cannot fill up the pond, as it will ruin the environment. Rafiqul Islam Bhuiyan, sadar upazila secondary education officer said: “We will investigate the matter shortly.” Md Shafiullah, district education officer said: “I was not informed about it earlier and the school authorities cannot fill up the school pond. I do not know who permitted them to do so.” Talking to this correspondent, Kamaruzzaman Miah, sadar upazila nirbahi officer said, he knew nothing about the matter before. He said he would take the necessary steps regarding this. l

Harvest of boro begins in Panchagarh n BSS, Panchagarh

Community health care providers form a human chain in Gaibandha, demanding

Harvest of boro paddy in the district is going on in full swing amid much enthusiasm among farmers. DAE sources said this season the cultivation target of boro was fixed for producing 372, 000 tonnes of rice on 46, 500 hectares of land. Out of which, hybrid variety was cultivated on 15,100 hectares of land and Upshi on 31, 400 hectares.

Sources said the production of Boro paddy is expected to increase 20 percent this year due to favourable climatic condition and distribution of high yielding variety seeds, fertilisers, insecticides and other inputs on time. The farmers of the district are happy to see bumper production of paddy and fair prices. They said per mound paddy are being sold at Tk600 in different markets of the district.l

Four killed in road accidents across country n Tribune report Four people were killed and 5 others, including a minor, were injured in four separate road clashes across the country yesterday, our distrcit correspondents report. In Barisal, one was killed and 4 others were injured in a road accident on Barisal-Banaripara Road at Narayanpur under Uzirpara. Local people of the area blocked the road for two hours after the incident. Anwar Hossain, Uzirpur police station officer-in-charge, said a Banaripara bound 3-wheeler collided with a Barisal bound Seba Paribahan bus at around 10:30am. The accident left Mukta Begum, 26, dead and 4 others, including her 4-year old son Abdullah, critically injured. Local people rushed to the spot and rescued them. Among the injured, Abdullah, son

of the deceased Mukta Begum, was admitted to the Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in critical condition and other injured were taken to a nearby clinic and hospital. Agitated people blocked the road for two hours. After the resumption of traffic, some local leaders controlled the situation. The body of Mukta was sent to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital morgue for post mortem examination after lodging an unnatural death case, said the police. In Jhenaidah, an employee of Mobarakganj Sugar Mills Limited in Kaliganj upazila was crushed to death under a truck. The deceased was Shawkat Hossain, 55, of village Chapali in Kaliganj. Shawkat had been serving as a cane development assistant in the sugar mill. Kaliganj police station officerin-charge Liakat Ali said, at around

9:30am a Kotchandpur-bound goods-laden truck ran over Shawkat’s motorbike and left him dead on the spot. Kaliganj police recovered the body and sent it to Jhenaidah Sadar hospital morgue for post mortem examination. A case was filed, but the driver managed to flee immediately after the incident, the police said. In Mymensingh, a passer-by was killed in a road accident at Kanarampur on Mymensingh-Kishoreganj road in the Iswarganj upazila. The deceased was identified as Borhan Uddin, 35, hailing from the Nandail upazila of the district. The accident took place when a Mymensingh bound truck from Kishoreganj ran over Borhan around 7am and left him dead on the spot, said Md. Kamrul Islam, officer-in-charge of Iswarganj Police Station. Police recovered the body and sent

Child marriage on the rise in Gaibandha

it to the morgue at the Mymensingh Medical College Hospital for post mortem examination. A case has been lodged. In Lalmonirhat, a person was killed and another was critically injured as their motorcycle was hit by a truck at Dowani intersection of BarokhataPaglapir road of the Hatibandha upazila. The deceased was identified as Mohadev Chandro Roy, 40, of Pathorkura Schoolpara village of Dimla upazila in Nilphamari district. The injured person Uttam Kumar Roy, 35, was admitted to the Hatibandha upazila health complex. The truck was coming from Burimari land of Patgram upazila in the district. The highway police were successful in catching up with the truck and apprehending its driver Rayhan Miah, the police said. l

The trend of child marriages is on the rise in the chars (shoals) of Gaibandha, which is home to more than 380,000 inhabitants, posing a threat to the health of the adolescent girls being married off early. Locals, administrative officials and the area’s health sector chief have blamed poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and lack of awareness and dearth of educational institutions as the key factors responsible for under-age marriages. Only 20% of the population that inhabits the 165 char villages in 26 unions under Gaibandha’s Sundarganj, Sadar, Fulchhari and Saghata upazilas is literate. Most of them can only write their names and are ignorant about the negative aspects of marriages under the age of 18. Mansur Ali, an inhabitant of Uzan Bochagari char under Belka union of Sundarganj upazila, said: “Although

there are a few primary schools in the chars, there are no high schools or colleges and guardians are having to marry off their children by the age of 12-13.” “If there were more schools, our children could continue their studies and child marriages would have reduced to a great extent.” Chairman of Sadar upazila’s Mollar Char union, M Saiduzzaman, admitted that underage marriages have become the trend in the shoals and are hampering the government’s family planning activities. One, Nurjahan Begum, said: “I wanted to study at least until SSC but my dreams were crushed when my parents married me off.” Gaibandha’s civil surgeon, Dr Ahad Ali, said: “Most of the adolescent mothers become pregnant immediately after marriage and face severe complications like uncontrollable bleeding, infections, miscarriages and malnutrition.” l

news in brief One held with heroin worth Tk6m in Faridpur Police arrested a drug dealer along with heroin worth Tk6m from Gangabodi area in Faridpur yesterday. The arrested was identified as Sifat. Senior assistant superintendent of police of Faridpur, Kamruzzaman said, on secret information, a team of police conducted a drive in the area and arrested Sifat along with the drug. – UNB

2 bodies recovered in Ctg Police recovered the bodies of two men from Toll Road area at Halisahar of Chittagong city yesterday. Of the deceased, one, aged around 40, was wearing pants and shirt while another was in shirt along with lungi. Arefin Jewel, additional deputy commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (west zone), said locals saw the bodies, with hands and legs tied up, lying beside the road in the morning and informed the police. The bodies would be of the driver and the helper of some covered van and highway robbers might have killed them to snatch their vehicle, suspected Arefin. – UNB

15 injured in Sirajganj clash

At least 15 people were injured as two groups of villagers locked into a clash in Ullapara upazila in Sirajganj on Wednesday over. Seven of the injured were admitted to different hospitals and clinics. Police said there was a scuffling between two youths of Ramkantapur village and Bakua village on Tuesday afternoon over a trifling matter. As a sequel to it, their supporters, equipped with weapons, got involved in a clash on Wednesday morning. The clash left 15 people injured from both sides.On information, police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control after firing 13 rounds of

blank shots. UNB

Robbers loot jewellery shop in Thakurgaon Robbers looted a jewellery shop after creating panic by exploding bombs in Bazar Para area in Thakurgaon town on Wednesday night. Witnesses said a gang of robbers, around 6-7 in number, on a microbus, came in front of the jewellery shop named ‘Khaja Gini House’ at about 10:00pm and threw four crude bombs in front of the shop. The robbers entered the jewellery shop, took its employees hostage at gunpoint and looted gold ornaments and fled blasting more bombs in the spot. The shop owner Chanchal alleged that police were late to come to the spot although he informed them (police) of the matter over phone at the right time. One was held in this connection. UNB

Mob catches 3 alleged muggers in Sirajganj A mob captured three alleged muggers foiling a bid to rob a couple of their belongings and handed them over to police in Bhuyangati Bazar area of Raiganj upazila on Wednesday. The three muggers were identified as Mohammad Mintu, 30, Babul Hossain, 35, and Abdul Hannan, 28, all hailing from Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur district. Police and witnesses said a gang of muggers picked up Farhad Ali Talukdar and his wife Pinki in a microbus from Hatikamrul Goalchhattar area of Sirajganj where the couple was waiting for a bus to Bogra in the evening. After passing a little way, the muggers made an attempt to snatch all the belongings from them.

Dhaka Tribune

Long Form

Friday, May 24, 2013


Overcoming the low-cost labour paradox Why and how Bangladesh must re-invest its ‘demographic dividend’

n Edward Bearnot The main roads through Dhaka’s industrial belt are flooded with colour. Vibrant mandarin scarves flutter in the dusty breeze, billowing against green and fuchsia salwar kameez. A sea of people shuffle along on plastic flip-flops, the crowd thick with young faces packed ten across and hundreds deep. Some are smiling, some are sullen and most are women. They walk briskly past rows of tea stalls and scrap metal hawkers on their way home, into the sprawling slums that grow like the ubiquitous purple hyacinth around the factories. The crowd flows like a swollen river along the side of the road, the sheer number of bodies bringing traffic to a halt.

A natural advantage

This mass of human vitality is just a fraction of Bangladesh’s garment workforce; a few of the more than 3m who knitted, dyed, washed, sewed, ironed, and packaged close to $20bn worth of clothes last year. Bangladesh is well on its way towards industrial development. Like many of its Asian counterparts, the first stage of this transition has taken the form of explosive growth in light manufacturing industries. Bangladeshi industry has a substantial competitive advantage over most countries in the world: The proportion of people at or below working age is extremely high, with close to 70% of the population under 35 years old. This means that a large portion of the population can or will soon be able to participate productively in the economy. This characteristic is often referred to

Running in circles

In order to secure an economic future in the face of falling birth rates and a diminishing “demographic dividend,” the Bangladeshi economy — and the garment sector in particular — must make a transition to manufacturing more complex and higher value goods. This will require a more skilled and reliable labour force in addition to improved physical infrastructure like electricity, roads, and, as was made tragically clear in a massive factory fire in November 2012 and the collapse in April 2013, the factory facilities themselves. These changes will require reinvestment of the profits from the “demographic dividend,” a necessary step that will also likely increase the cost of labour incrementally over time. It is important to realise that the cost of labour will increase even if no investments are made, as annual inflation is close to 10%. If factory owners, the central government, and international stakeholders fail to invest in the garment industry, it will continue to grow and be profitable for perhaps another decade. After that, the cost of labour will be too high to justify manufacturing simple and low quality goods. Without investing in workers’ skills and the basic infrastructure needed to move up the value chain, the youth bulge will become an economic liability — an old, skill-less, savings-less, work force whose earnings and standard of living won’t rise with inflation. Their children, who could be part of the most equitable and wealthy generation in the history of the country, will be much less likely to join the ranks of the mid-

10% turnover in an average month to more than 50% during two month-long religious festivals. Human resource officers at most factories recruit and hire enough workers each year to fill their roles more than twice over. Of course, there are several reasons that workers migrate — if their family moves or is displaced, if they get married, or if they have a conflict with coworkers or management, to name a few. However, an offer of a higher salary is the most cited reason by workers and employers alike for migration. Some workers will leave the factory where they work for as little as $2 more per month, resulting in a poaching war between neighbouring factories in the industrial zone. This in turn lowers efficiencies by forcing factories to constantly hire and train new workers, making it less likely that factories will invest and risk “losing” their investment to a competing firm. This view is obviously shortsighted, as a trained worker benefits the industry as a whole if not directly the factory that trained her or him. It is, however, an understandable position. By forcing factories to be transparent in their efforts to lure away employees by offering higher salaries, the workers’ current employers will have the opportunity to match or beat the offer of the poaching factory. Of course, workers themselves can choose whether to leave or not, but under a “no poach” policy they will be able to actively negotiate their compensation. A factory that has a worker poached without first having the opportunity to match or beat the new offer could file a complaint with the industry body, who would issue stiff cash or tax penalties.

Encouraging loyalty

It is important to realise that the cost of labour will increase even if no investments are made, as annual inflation is close to 10%. If factory owners, the central government, and international stakeholders fail to invest in the garment industry, it will continue to grow and be profitable for perhaps another decade as the “demographic dividend,” which, when combined with low costs of living and a high population density, yields very low labour costs. This youth bulge has been the most significant driver of business to Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector, which is the largest and fastest growing manufacturing industry in Bangladesh and the second largest exporter of garments in the world. One of the major effects of the “demographic dividend” has been a 6% annual GDP growth over the last decade, which has coincided with plummeting birth and mortality rates, ballooning school enrollment, rising life expectancy and per capita income. However, most of this new found wealth has been accumulated by a small group of people. These “masters of industry,” as well as the central government, have made few investments in the physical and human capital needed to sustain such a high level of growth, allowing millions of labourers to continue to toil inefficiently and unsafely for $0.22 an hour.

dle class and more likely to toil in the same industries, producing the same low-quality goods as their parents. That is, of course, only if international buyers and manufacturers of low quality garments have not already made their inevitable transition to new lowwage frontiers in Africa.

Taking the leap

How, then, to most quickly, effectively, and realistically go about investing in a safer, more efficient garment sector? First, members of the various industry groups, including the Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Associate (BGMEA) and Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), must insist on the establishment and enforcement of a “no poaching” or “first right of refusal” policy for employees seeking to migrate factories. According to industry experts, a major determinant of low efficiency and subsequent unwillingness of factories to upgrade facilities and train workers are extraordinarily high rates of worker migration — ranging from a low of

Another concrete modification that could be made to current labour-factory relations is the introduction of additional non-salary compensation. These funds would be held in escrow and released as needed for healthcare and emergencies or upon completion of certain tenure or productivity targets. The use of direct deposits into mobile banking accounts will facilitate this process as well as incentivise workers to save a portion of their monthly salary. Factories could give workers the option to use these additional conditional payments towards improving their home, schooling their children, or saving for retirement, for example. While some factories have experimented with productivity- and attendance-based bonuses, none have introduced a formal benefits package that incentivises long-term skills accumulation and factory loyalty. As long as a worker complies with the terms of his or her contract, they would receive in full the money or assets set aside for them each month at the end of their contract. However, if a worker violated his or her contract by leaving the factory early, performing poorly, or providing cause for dismissal, only a portion of those additional funds would be released. There would be, of course, a variety of exceptions for health, family emergencies, and extenuating circumstances. The imple-

Youth is king: Nearly 70% of Bangladeshis are below the age of 35  mentation of these reforms, as well as fixed pay raises linked to targets for tenure, attendance, and productivity can help change factory culture from one based on short-term gains by management and workers alike to one focused on building the physical and human capital necessary for the long term success of the firm, industry, and country as a whole. If not implemented universally, the two aforementioned solutions actually risk plunging those workers at non-participating factories into “dark pools” of labour where wages, benefits, and working conditions are similar or much worse than they are currently. There are more than 5,500 garment factories in Bangladesh, with little plausible state oversight over business and labour practices. Much of the regulato-

ry responsibility has been taken on by international manufacturers who, in many cases, do an admirable job evaluating factories from which they source and insisting on the improvement of conditions when they are found to be lacking. Indeed, firms are far more likely to listen to their buyers than to international NGOs or government auditors.

Essential oversight

It is widely understood that most of the human and labour rights violations take place in factories that do not have direct relationships with international brands, but instead work on “sub-contracts” from firms manufacturing goods for all of the worlds’ largest


working conditions in subcontracting firms is rather counterintuitive: International brands must acknowledge the economic necessity of sub-contracting and allow firms to do so when necessary. Then, and only then, could it be possible to establish the “transferability” of social compliance responsibilities from firms who take orders directly from international buyers to firms do “sub-contracting” work. Manufacturers that sub-contract would have to report the location and nature of this activity on a regular basis and be held responsible for the working conditions in those factories. It is only by bringing the backwards and dangerous practices of sub-contracting factories into the view of international buyers (and con-

As Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC, the world’s largest and arguably most successful NGO, argued in his op-ed in the New York Times and the Dhaka Tribune, there is much left to be done by all parties. Labour must organize itself and begin to collectively bargain, the government must greatly fortify its monitoring of work conditions and mercilessly root out the widespread corruption

brands. In some cases, contracting and sub-contracting firms build their businesses on this relationship. A direct contracting firm might invest in a safe, clean, and well-organised factory and pay good wages to its workers in order to secure large orders from an international buyer—only to increase their profit margin by farming out work to much cheaper firms who don’t have to comply with international standards. In other cases, direct contracting firms have no interest in producing garments anywhere but their own socially complaint factory as they do not want to jeopardise the quality of their garments or their relationship with the buyer. Unfortunately, with an increase in general strikes that prevent the movement of workers, raw materials, and finished goods, firms face a tremendous amount of pressure to fulfill their orders on time. The only way to do so is to sub-contract, despite violating the “no sub-contracting” clause often stipulated by buyers. It is worth noting that many of the garments produced in the Tazreen factory that burned down and the Rana Plaza factories that collapsed were on sub-contract from other firms. The first step to eliminating poor

sumers) that the industry can hope to begin to regulate it. The solutions presented here are by no means comprehensive, a panacea, or easy to implement. As Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC, the world’s largest and arguably most successful NGO, argued in his op-ed in the New York Times and the Dhaka Tribune, there is much left to be done by all parties. Labour must organize itself and begin to collectively bargain, the government must greatly fortify its monitoring of work conditions and mercilessly root out the widespread corruption between businessmen and politicians, and manufacturers and international buyers must be willing to sacrifice short-term profits to make investments in safety, training, and infrastructure that will secure a future for manufacturing in Bangladesh. The policies I propose are just the tip of the iceberg—what is crucial is that that concrete steps are taken immediately to ensure that the benefits of Bangladesh’s “demographic dividend” are felt by future generations. l Edward Bearnot is a project associate at Innovations for Poverty Action.




Friday, May 24, 2013

Tweets on #Woolwich Jonathan Freedland @i_freedland After Woolwich, I find myself more interested in the people who tried to help and did not run away than in the killers


Followed by rifat islam esha and 2 others Expand

Telegraph News @TelegraphNews The mother who confronted the #Woolwich terrorists thought ‘better me than a child’ View summary


Retweet F



*** More

norman smith @BBCNormanS 2h Boris Johnson says wrong to blame #woolwich killing on religion of Islam Followed by rifat islam esha and 2 others Expand

Kenam Malik @kenanmalik 3h I abandoned Twitter yesterday. It’s good for instant news after outage like Woolwich but unberable for the instant comment that follows. Favorited by Shafiur Rahman Expand

Wajahat Ali @WajahatAli 13h Islam didn’t murder the man in Woolwich. It was preverse criminals using religion to rationalize their indefensible barbarism Expand

Tributes are seen near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, southeast London 


Woolwich ‘terrorist’ attack

Fears of backlash against Muslims in the UK

Two mosques are attacked as English Defence League clash with police at rally Scores of supporters of the English been treating the incident as a terrorist on the religion of Islam and it is also n Guardian News Service equally wrong to link this murder to Defence League threw bottles at po- attack in which a man was assaulted by The murder of a soldier in south London on Wednesday has prompted fears of a backlash against British Muslims after the English Defence League staged an impromptu rally in the capital and two mosques were attacked. The British National Party (BNP) leader, Nick Griffin, has also reacted to the killing with provocative tweets calling for a protest in Woolwich and claiming the crime is the result of “mass immigration”. Farooq Murad of the Muslim Council of Britain said the EDL’s rally in London on Wednesday night was cause for concern. “When attacks like these happen there’s always the danger of far-right extremism also raising its head,” he told the BBC. “I think any form of extremism, any form of encouragement or incitement to violence, is something we stand firmly against.” The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, stressed that the murder should not be viewed as a religiously motivated crime, saying: “I want to make one obvious point that is that it is completely wrong to blame this killing

the actions of British foreign policy.” The blame, the mayor added, lay “wholly and exclusively in the deluded mindset of the people who did it”. Julie Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Britain pointed out that the British Muslim community had been quick to condemn the atrocity and warned against letting the far right exploit the situation. “We can’t allow the voices of Nick Griffin and the far right to become louder than ours in the coming days,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “They will say what we have to say and it gives us even more incentive to speak out and come together and not allow people like that to divide us as a country,” she said. “The people who did this act yesterday do not speak in my name, do not speak for my community or the rest of the country. We have to come out with the strongest condemnation, which is what I’m seeing this morning. “All of the Muslim organisations have come out with the strongest possible terms to say there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever, no justification for anything like this.

US admits its citizens killed by drone strikes n Agencies The White House has launched a new effort to draw a line under its controversial drone strike policy by admitting for the first time that four American citizens were among those killed by its covert attacks in Yemen and Pakistan since 2009, The Guardian reported. In a letter to congressional leaders sent on Wednesday, attorney general Eric Holder acknowledged previously classified details of the drone attacks and promised to brief them on a new US doctrine for sanctioning such targeted killings in future. Holder claimed one of the US citizens killed, Anwar al-Awlaki, was chief of external operations for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap) and had been involved in plots to blow up airplanes over US soil. However, Holder said three others killed by drones – Samir Khan, Abdul Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki and Jude Kenan – were not “specifically targeted”. The second of these victims, Anwar al-Awlaki’s son, is said by campaigners to have been 16 when he died in Yemen in 2011. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that between 240 and 347 people have been killed in total by confirmed US drone strikes in Yemen since 2002, with a further 2,541 to 3,533 killed by CIA drones in Pakistan. Amid mounting concern that the policy has harmed US interests overseas, President Obama was expected to give a major speech on his counter-terrorism strategy at the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday,

marking the start of a concerted effort to better justify and explain the killings. “The president will soon be speaking publicly in greater detail about our counterterrorism operations and the legal and policy framework,” Holder told 22 senior members of Congress in Wednesday’s letter. “This week the president approved a document that institutionalises the administration’s exacting standards and processes for reviewing and approving operations to capture or use lethal force against terrorist targets outside the United States and areas of active hostilities.” The attorney general said this document would remain classified, but relevant congressional committees would be briefed on its contents. No further details were given of other killings in the five-page letter, according to The Guardian. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported Pakistani authorities once arrested one of the American citizens now known to have been killed in a US drone strike in the country, but he escaped after being released on bail. Jude Kenan was indicted by federal authorities in 2009 as part of an alleged plot to attack the US Marine Corps base in Quantico, VA. Before he could be arrested, authorities said, Kenan fled the country to join Islamic militants in Pakistan’s tribal region. Pakistani intelligence officials arrested Kenan on October 15, 2008, after he tried to enter Mohmand, a tribal area considered a sanctuary for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, without the permission required for foreigners to travel to the tribal region. l

lice and chanted anti-Muslim slogans in Woolwich hours after the murder of the soldier on Wednesday afternoon. About 100 men, including some wearing balaclavas printed with “EDL”, engaged in running battles with police for less than an hour. A police commander said officers cited section 60 of the Public Order Act, which allowed them to stop and search individuals within a specific area without evidence of a crime being committed. The EDL leader Tommy Robinson said: “They’re chopping our soldiers’ heads off. This is Islam. That’s what we’ve seen today. They’ve cut off one of our army’s heads off on the streets of London”. The men congregated near Woolwich Arsenal station with flags bearing the cross of St George after plans for a protest were circulated on social media. Hundreds of police including riot police were stationed around Woolwich. A man died and two others shot in a machete-attack in south-east London on Wednesday. The British government has since

Car bomb kills 12 in Pakistan n AP, Quetta, Pakistan

A car bomb  targeting a  police vehicle killed 11 policemen and one civilian Thursday in an area of southwest Pakistan wracked by a separatist insurgency and Islamic militancy, police said. The bombing on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, came the same day as fighting in the restive northwest left four soldiers dead. Police claimed 20 militants also died in those clashes. The Quetta blast wounded 23 people, said senior  police officer  Fayaz Sumbal. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Separatist insurgents have been waging a bloody fight against the government in  Baluchistan  for decades. They want greater autonomy and a larger share of the province’s natural resources. The province is also home to many  Islamic militants, who have targeted police, minority Shiite Muslims, and others. The car was packed with around 100kgs of explosives and was parked alongside a road in the city. It was detonated by remote control when a vehicle carrying members of the police’s special forces team passed by, said Sumbal. Eyewitness Irshad Ali said the blast “was so loud, we thought something had fallen from the sky.” Local TV footage showed that the bomb completely destroyed the police vehicle. The special forces unit that was targeted was put together months ago to deal with increasing incidents of kidnappings and shootings in Baluchistan, said Sumbal. l

two individuals who were later shot by officials. The victim, who was possibly in his 20s, has been identified as a soldier at Woolwich barracks. According to witnesses, the attackers were heard saying “Allahu Akbar” and stood around after the attack, waving knives and a gun, demanding to be photographed by those around.

A hero emerges n Tribune Desk Amid the chaos of what the UK government is treating as a ‘terrorist attack’ in Woolwich, emerged a hero who has taken the media over by storm. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who was passing through Woolwich in south east London on Wednesday evening after the attack took place, tried to reason with the attackers in order to avoid further casualty, she said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph. The mother of two said after the attacker told her not to touch the victim because the latter had “killed people... killed Muslims in Muslim countries,” she tried to get him to talk about how he felt and have him concentrate on her only so that he “would not have a funny idea”. The brave 48-year-old who is being hailed as a hero by both the media and

many in the UK said she was not afraid talking to him. She said she did not feel that she was a target for the attackers and instead feared that they may attack the police. She also felt it was necessary to start talking to the attacker before he started attacking somebody else. According to Loyau-Kennett’s interview with The Telegraph, the attacker repeatedly spoke of his victim’s identity as a British soldier, blaming him for the deaths of many Muslims in Afghanistan. Loyau-Kennett said she believes “these people” usually have a message behind their acts and hence kept asking him what he wanted, trying to make him explain his feelings to her. Loyau-Kennett is among many other members of the public who Woolwich and Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford have praised for their “extraordinary bravery” as they dealt with the situation. l

Reactions elsewhere

Soon after the incident in Woolwich, two men were arrested after separate attacks on mosques. A 43-year-old man is in custody on suspicion of attempted arson after reportedly walking into a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Essex. The secretary of the mosque, Sikander Saleemy, told Channel 4 News he felt it was a “revenge attack”. He added: “The police said it’s too early to try and link it to what happened in Woolwich, but those of us who were here feel that it was some sort of revenge attack. We absolutely condemn what happened in Woolwich, but it had nothing to do with us. It was an appalling act of terror – but it wasn’t Islamic in any way.”l

File photo: Ingrid Loyau-Kennett

United States and Israel raise hopes for Mideast peace restart n AP, Jeruselam The United States and Israel raised hopes Thursday for a restart of the Middle East peace process, despite little tangible progress so far from USSecretary of State  John Kerry’s twomonth-old effort to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. As they met in Jerusalem, Kerry praised  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  for the “seriousness” with which he is looking at ways to revitalize peace hopes. Kerry expressed optimism without outlining any con-

crete strategy for ending a stalemate between the two sides that has seen them hardly negotiate one-on-one at all over the last 4½ years. “I know this region well enough to know there is skepticism, in some quarters there is cynicism and there are reasons for it,” Kerry told reporters. “There have been bitter years of disappointment. It is our hope that by being methodical, careful, patient — but detailed and tenacious — that we can lay on a path ahead that can conceivably surprise people and certainly exhaust the possibilities of peace.”

US Secretary  of  State  John  Kerry,  left,  meets  with  Israeli  Prime  Minster Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday AP

“That’s what we’re working towards,” said Kerry, who met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later Thursday in Ramallah. Netanyahu said his conversation with the top American diplomat would touch on mutual concerns about Iran and Syria. “But above all,” he said, “what we want to do is restart the peace talks with the Palestinians.” “It’s something I want, it’s something you want,” Netanyahu told Kerry. “It’s something I hope the Palestinians want as well and we ought to be successful for a simple reason: When there’s a will, we’ll find a way.” The visit, Kerry’s fourth trip to the Jewish state since taking office as secretary of state in February, coincides with deepening pessimism from Palestinian officials about the new peace push. They are planning to resume their campaign of seeking membership in key international organisations as early as next month in a bid to put pressure on Israel into offering some concessions. Without major U.S. pressure on Israel, the outlook seems bleak. The most immediate divide concerns the issue of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem — lands that Israel conquered in the 1967 Mideast war and which the Palestinians hope to include in their state. While Palestinians praised Kerry’s efforts, they said there has been little progress ahead of what they believe to be a June 7 deadline for action. They are already beginning work on a “day-after” strategy. l



World increasingly dangerous for refugees, migrants: Amnesty The UK-based human rights watchdog launches its annual assessment Another year has been lost in Syria, ments of weapons that may be used to in the name of immigration control – n Tribune Report going well beyond legitimate border where little has changed apart from the commit atrocities may at last be halted. Global inaction on human rights is making the world an increasingly dangerous place for refugees and migrants, Amnesty International said on Thursday as it launched its annual assessment of the world’s human rights. The organisation said that the rights of millions of people who have escaped conflict and persecution, or migrated to seek work and a better life for themselves and their families, have been abused. Governments around the world are accused of showing more interest in protecting their national borders than the rights of their citizens or the rights of those seeking refugee or opportunities within those borders. “The failure to address conflict situations effectively is creating a global underclass. The rights of those fleeing conflict are unprotected. Too many governments are abusing human rights

control measures,” said Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International. “These measures not only affect people fleeing conflict. Millions of migrants are being driven into abusive situations, including forced labour and sexual abuse, because of anti-immigration policies which means they can be exploited with impunity. Much of this is fuelled by populist rhetoric that targets refugees and migrants for governments’ domestic difficulties,” said Shetty. In 2012 the global community witnessed a range of human rights emergencies that forced large numbers of people to seek safety, within states or across borders. From North Korea to Mali, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo people fled their homes in the hope of finding safe haven.

ever-increasing numbers of lives lost or ruined. The world stood by while Syrian military and security forces continued to carry out indiscriminate and targeted attacks on civilians, and to subject to enforced disappearance, arbitrarily detain, torture and extra judicially execute those deemed to oppose the government, while armed groups continue to hold hostages and to carry out summary killings and torture on a smaller scale. People attempting to flee conflict and persecution regularly encountered formidable obstacles trying to cross international borders. It was often harder for refugees to cross borders than it was for the guns and weapons that facilitated the violence that forced such people from their homes. However, the UN’s adoption of an Arms Trade Treaty in April 2013 offers hope that ship-

The European Union implements border control measures that put the lives of migrants and asylum-seekers at risk and fails to guarantee the safety of those fleeing conflict and persecution. Around the world, migrants and asylum-seekers are regularly locked up in detention centres and in worst case scenarios are held in metal crates or even shipping containers. “Those who live outside their countries, without wealth or status, are the world’s most vulnerable people but are often condemned to desperate lives in the shadows,” said Shetty. “A more just future is possible if governments respect the human rights of all people, regardless of nationality. The world cannot afford no-go zones in the global demand for human rights. Human rights protection must be applied to all human beings -wherever they are.” l


Friday, May 24, 2013

Malaysia police arrest opposition figures n Reuters, Kuala Lumpur Malaysian police arrested several opposition politicians and activists on Thursday, launching a crackdown on dissent three weeks after an election exposed deep divisions in the country and sparked a series of opposition protest rallies. Police also raided the offices of opposition newspapers and seized thousands of copies of their publications, according to online media reports. The arrests of at least one member of parliament and the charging of a student activist under the country’s tough Sedition Act signal a hardening stance by the government after the disputed May 5 election. The long-ruling Barisan Nasional lost the popular vote for the first time in 44 years in its worst electoral performance, but still won 60 percent of parliamentary seats. Conservatives in the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) have urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to take a firm line against “dissent” as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim

staged a series of big rallies to protest the result. Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohamed Salleh confirmed to Reuters that opposition member of parliament Tian Chua, who is vice president of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance), and pro-opposition activists Haris Ibrahim and Tamrin Ghafar, had been arrested for offences under the Sedition Act. He would not say if there would be further arrests. Tian Chua said on his Twitter page that he had been picked up by police as he was about to board a flight at Kuala Lumpur’s budget air terminal. Earlier, 24-year-old activist Adam Adli was charged under the Sedition Act, which human rights group Amnesty International said this week should be abolished as it posed a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression. Adli was charged for a speech he made at a forum on May 13, saying people should not wait another five years to “overthrow” the government. Other people who had attended that forum were also arrested on Thursday, online media sites reported. l

Swedish riots rage for fourth night n Guardian News Service Hundreds of youth have burned down a restaurant, set fire to more than 340 cars and attacked police during a fourth night of rioting in the suburbs of the Swedish capital, shocking a country that dodged the worst of the financial crisis but failed to solve youth unemployment and resentment among asylum seekers. Violence spread across Stockholm on Wednesday, as large numbers of young people rampaged through the suburbs, throwing stones, breaking windows and destroying cars. Police in the southern city of Malmo said two cars had been set ablaze. Media reports said a police station office was set on fire in Stockholm’s southern suburb of Rågsved, where several people were also detained. No one was hurt and the fire was quickly put out. Rioters defied a call for calm from the country’s prime minister, going on the rampage after nightfall damaging stores, schools, a police station and an arts and crafts centre in the four days of violence. “I think there is a feeling that we need to be in more places tonight,” said Towe Hagg, spokeswoman for Stockholm police. One police officer was injured in the latest attacks and five people were arrested for attempted arson. Selcuk Ceken, who works at a youth

centre in the district of Hagsatra, said 40-50 youths threw stones at police and smashed windows before running away. He said the rioters were in their 20s and appeared to be well-organised. “It’s difficult to say why they’re doing this,” he said. “Maybe it’s anger at the law and order forces, maybe it’s anger at their own personal situation, such as unemployment or having nowhere to live.” The disturbances appear to have been sparked by the police killing a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in the suburb of Husby earlier this month, which prompted accusations of police brutality. The riots then spread to other poor Stockholm suburbs. “We see a society that is becoming increasingly divided and where the gaps, both socially and economically, are becoming larger,” said Rami Al-khamisi, co-founder of Megafonen, a group that works for social change in the suburbs. “And the people out here are being hit the hardest … We have institutional racism.” “The reason is very simple. Unemployment, the housing situation, disrespect from police,” said Rouzbeh Djalaie, editor of Norra Sidan newspaper. “It just takes something to start a riot, and that was the shooting.” Djalaie said youths were often stopped by police in the streets for identity checks. During riots, he said some police called local youths “apes”. l

Firemen extinguish a burning car in the Stockholm suburb of Kista after youths rioted in several different suburbs around Stockholm for a third executive night on Monday

Iran seeks to speed up nuclear activities – IAEA n Reuters, Vienna Iran is trying to accelerate its uranium enrichment program, a UN nuclear report showed, but experts said it was unclear when Tehran’s new machines could start operating and how efficiently they would work. The Islamic state’s progress in intro-

ducing next-generation centrifuges is closely watched in the West and Israel as it would enable Tehran to speed up accumulation of material that could be used to build atomic bombs. Iran denies any such claim. Iran has tried for years to develop centrifuges more advanced than the erratic 1970s-vintage IR-1 machines it

now runs, but deploying new models has been dogged by technical hurdles and difficulty in obtaining parts abroad. It is now pressing ahead with installing a more efficient version known as the IR-2m at its main enrichment plant near the central town of Natanz, according to the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It has also put in place another centrifuge type, the IR-5, for the first time at a research and development facility at Natanz, joining five others being tested there, the report issued to member states late on Wednesday said. The rapid installation of one of them, the IR-2m, at a Natanz production unit since it started earlier this year indicates that Iran can make such equipment, at least to some extent, despite tightening sanctions on the country. Critics say Iran is trying to achieve the capability to make atomic arms. Iran denies this, saying it needs nuclear power for energy generation and medical purposes and that it is Israel’s reputed nuclear arsenal that threatens regional peace. Iran’s expansion of sensitive nuclear activity breaks UN resolutions and increases concerns about whether its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, the European Union said on Thursday, reacting to the IAEA’s findings. Pointing to the installation of advanced centrifuges and other developments in the Iranian nuclear program, an EU spokesman said it “further aggravates existing concerns”. The IAEA report said 509 IR-2m centrifuges and empty centrifuge casings had been installed since February, bringing the total to nearly 700, none of which were yet operating. l

Manila angered by ‘Da Vinci Code’ author


AFP, Manila

Philippine authorities Thursday reacted angrily over ‘Da Vinci Code’ author Dan Brown’s portrayal of Manila as “the gates of hell” in his latest novel. The book “Inferno” includes a character who describes the capital as a city of horrible traffic jams, suffocating pollution, massive poverty and a thriving child sex trade. The chairman of the government agency managing Manila, Francis Tolentino, sent a letter to Brown and his publishers criticising the “inaccurate portrayal of our beloved metropolis”. While the book is fictional, an excerpt on the American author’s website stresses that “all artwork, literature, science, and historical references in this novel are real”. “I’ve run through the gates of hell,” the character says after her experiences in Manila. In his letter, copies of which were made public, Tolentino said he was “displeased” by the depiction of the capital, home to more than 1.65 million people. He did not deny its huge slums and grinding poverty but said Brown had disregarded the strong Catholic faith of many residents as well as their “good character and compassion towards each other”. “Truly our place is an entry to heaven,” the letter added. Tolentino conceded this was not the first conflict between Brown and Manila. In 2006, the Manila city council banned screenings of the film adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code”, saying it was offensive to the Catholic church. Brown’s works have also previously come under fire in the largely Roman Catholic Philippines, with bishops calling them “sacrilegious” for undermining church teachings. l


World Watch German company hires autistic people

SAP, a German software company in its global drive, will be appointing hundreds of people with autism as software testers and programmers for the next seven years, reports Al Jazeera. The move aims to find innovative ideas and advances with the help of workers with different thinking style. However, a spokesperson said the workforce of the Sap, which is currently 65, 000 will be affected by autism by 2020. Meanwhile, SAP has launched pilot projects in India and Ireland and claimed the productivity had increased after six autistic people were employed as software testers in India.

China halts online publications for spreading porn

Chinese authorities in its Internet clean-up campaign had halted some 180,000 online publications for spreading pornographic content, India Times reports. Meanwhile, National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications on Wednesday said more than 10,000 websites have been punished for violating law and regulations in the campaign that started in March against online pornography, illegal online game advertisements, mobile systems applications and online media players. Sources said around 5.6m illegal publications were uncovered in the Internet clean-up campaign.

Japanese climber, 80, becomes oldest atop Everest

An 80-year-old Japanese man became the oldest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest on Thursday — although his record may last only a few days. An 81-year-old Nepalese man, who held the previous record, plans his own ascent next week. Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 8,850-meter peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 am local time, according to a Nep-

alese mountaineering official and Miura’s Tokyo-based support team.

American finds comic book worth $100,000

An American man found a comic book from 1938 at his newly purchased home in Elbow Lake, Minnesota which is worth $100,000. reports the first copy of Action Comics No. 1 that featured Superman was being used as the wall insulation for 70 years. Sources said the highest bid for the comic book is $113,000 with merely three weeks left on the auction block. However, the auction will be ending on June 11.

Simultaneous car bomb attacks in Niger

Attackers in Niger detonated two car bombs at dawn on Thursday, one in the city of Agadez where a military barracks was targeted and one in Arlit where a French company operates a uranium mine, injuring more than a dozen people. Paris-based nuclear giant Areva said in a statement that 13 employees were hurt in the attack in Arlit, in the northern part of Niger where in 2010, al-Qaida’s branch in Africa kidnapped five French citizens working for the mining company. Residents in the two towns said that both attacks occurred at around 5:30am.

Afghan cricket captain’s father abducted

Gunmen kidnapped the father of Afghanistan’s national cricket team captain near his home in an eastern city, officials said Thursday. There has been no ransom demand since Mohammad Nabi’s 60-yearold father Khobi Khan was abducted from his car in the city of Jalalabad, cricket board president Shazada Masoud said. Police are searching for Khan, but there have been no leads or any contact since he was taken Tuesday morning, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the province of Nangarhar, where Jalalabad is the capital.

10 Dhaka Tribune


Friday, May 24, 2013

Letters to

the Editor

Letter of the day

Mobile banking gets momentum May 20

A license to kill


ndian border forces (BSF) have shot and killed two more unarmed Bangladeshis on the border with India. It’s absolutely unacceptable that incidents like these, between countries officially at peace, are tolerated even once, but for it to happen repeatedly without denting diplomatic relations, is a criminal violation of international norms. Indian security forces have killed nearly 1,000 Bangladeshis over the last decade - for crimes as minor as not being able to prevent their cattle from grazing on the wrong side of the fence. The government The dead include children can and must use as young as 13, a completestronger language ly innocent 15-year-old girl as well as any whose body was left hanging other means at its on the barbed wire fence for hours; cattle traders, smugdisposal to prevent glers, farmers and fishermen. further incidents Many are shot while still in like these. It must Bangladeshi territory. make it clear to Section 46 of India’s Code India that it will of Criminal Procedure forbids not be ‘business security forces from killing as usual’ until people not accused of an these matters offence punishable by death, are addressed especially if they are not satisfactorily threatened, but offenders on the border are rarely taken to task; on the contrary, an official directive was issued over a decade ago, allowing them to shoot to kill. When the issue is brought up at diplomatic meetings, a great deal of lip service ensues, such as promises to use non-lethal weapons, but the killings continue. As nationals of a sovereign country, we do not accept our rights being so wantonly violated by the security forces of another country, without it leading to significant diplomatic fallout. The government can and must use stronger language as well as any other means at its disposal to prevent further incidents like these. It must make it clear to India that it will not be “business as usual” until these matters are addressed satisfactorily.

Getting fleeced on oil purchases


s a nation we are often faced with poor public sector management that is hugely detrimental to the general public. The recent report on BPC and the staggering losses that the country has experienced due to poor procurement practices and allegations of widespread corruption, is more of the same. As a nation, we State level negotiations may must ensure seem strong on paper and may that those who offer some advantages, but allegedly filled ultimately the price paid is far their personal too high. As a nation that is on the verge of an economic coffers at the “take-off,” we need to make expense of the sure that we are cutting unnational exchequer necessary losses and streamare meted out the lining all of our public sector justice that they practices. deserve The fact that we had a more efficient system in place, and that we chose to scrap that system in favour of one that causes systemic losses and promotes rampant corruption is absolutely unacceptable. Any allegations against BPC officials must be investigated thoroughly. {As a nation, we must ensure that those who allegedly filled their personal coffers at the expense of the national exchequer are meted out the justice that they deserve}. The fact that officials from BPC are making excuses and tossing around mediocre explanations does not provide us with any measure of confidence that they can, or want to, reform the procurement policies of this important agency. The government would do well to put a stop to all of this immediately. The people of the nation must be reassured that we will not continue to suffer from unnecessary, crippling losses and that the procurement processes and negotiations from here on in are carried out fairly and transparently.


It is great to know that many banks are coming up with mobile banking services. I believe those banks should be more aware of the security issues involved in it. Also, as far as I know, right now there is no bridge between two mobile banking service providers. For example, a mobile banking service user of BRAC Bank (bkash) cannot send money to a mobile banking service user of Dutch Bangla Bank. I think there should be a platform so that users of one bank can send money to users of another bank. Moreover, there should be integration between a normal (current/ savings) bank account and a mobile banking account. Best of luck to all the banks. Thank you. S M Tahidul Islam

Fundamentalist Islam’s Bengali adventure May 21

Lubna Chowdhury Yes it’s true. Zameer At Ids Those who think the Islamists arrived in Bangladesh out of the blue should know that they have been present in society as long as Bengal has existed. Naveed I am gladly surprised to see the author making a genuine attempt at researching, and understanding the issue. A much better approach than some of the earlier random potshots aimed at the Islamists that I have read on DT. One may or may not agree with the puritan views, but to perfunctorily write it all off as an upstart thing is a fallacy. Special kudos for having the courage and objectivity of calling the spade in the last four paragraphs of the write up. Well done.

Benetton to continue with Bangladesh RMG factories May 11

A well judged reaction from one the big retailer! I would like to thank Biagio Chiarolanza, CEO Benetton has honestly shown their interest to our nations development. as a company they didn’t disagree their responsibility and promised to look into the code of conduct and add some more clauses which will ensure the safety of the RMG ftys in long run. they have shown their concern on the minimum wages of our RMG workers also. Thanks to Biagio Chiarolanza again from bottom of my heart! Nayem Siddiky

Time to stop playing the poverty card

DOWN 1 Bricks carrier (3) 2 Plunder (3) 3 Made suitable (7) 4 Stiff hair (4) 5 Shellfish (6) 6 Rest (6) 9 Wicked (4) 10 Large deer (3) 13 Rubeola (7) 14 Church services (6) 15 Reddish brown (6) 17 Sport (4) 19 Pen point (3) 22 Narrate (4) 25 Fate (3) 26 Armed conflict (3)

samar almont If people like this author don’t try to revive Islam, it will gradually disappear. Beautifully written. Thank you. Sheikh Jinat Mahmid I knew about this history, but in separate segments. I never thought they could be linked together [as the author has done] through this Hefazat connection. Muhid Babu Informative and well written.

Never too late for a revolution May 20

A great piece on same sex marriage. Saif Kamal “Many in this region consider homosexuality (often thought of as a sexually deviant practice) a “western import.” But we forget that sexual preferences are not a bottle of wine or a matter of ideology – it is simply a state of being. Just the way a person’s romantic interest could depend on their partner’s personality, or their degree, or their ability to cook, some people’s preference lies in their partner’s gender or sexuality.” A very short analysis. Nothing to do with the research I started on Bangladesh’s gay community a couple of weeks back. That’s an entirely different story. Samira S Sadeque

Thank you for such a great piece. dipu Very truly justified by Mr Farhad. It seems like we are going to have a catastrophic effect if the trend continues. Murshidul Hasan The other side of the coin, and I completely agree with the author. The government has to be more active (assuming that it plays some active role in the sector) in securing basic human rights for all citizens, and those include the RMG workers, and the rights do include fair wages. Sumaiya Shams

Bangladeshi climber, Mohammed Hossain, dies on Everest May 21

Two young souls who had far to go and much to do, but taken too soon! RIP Mohammed Hossain and Sung Ho-Seo. :-( Sayeeda Ahmad via Dhaka Tribune RIP. Saief Manzoor :( Fingers crossed. Farhana Alam Tragic :-( Zeeshan Khan Mrittunjoy.

May 22

Be Heard Write to us at: Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: Send us your Op-Ed articles: Visit our website: Come join our Facebook community:

Mehrab Moho What a sad news. My most sincere condolences. Just reminds us that climbing mountains is very difficult and as I write this my heart goes out to Wasfia now in the midst of climbing North America’s highest peak in Alaska, her sixth summit. May she come down safely. We can now realise what difficulties Nishat Majumdar and Wasfia Nazreen had to overcome. Was Shajal Hossain the fifth Bangladeshi to reach the top or were there more? We share the grief of his family, friends, people who knew him as a nation Khushi Kabir

Jamaat tried to use Hefazat rally to oust govt May 22

How hateful are the politics going on in our country to come into power! Some groups are trying to create massive anarchy only for empowering someone. On the other hand, ruling parties always try to find how to hold power for a long time. There is no patriotism in the parties to make the country go forward. They should change their mentality to put the country forward. Faisal Ahmed What to say now, cowards!?! Tayef Al Hasan

Get rid of the waste May 21

“Now is the time to make reparations for past mistakes and turn things around”- Well Said! Mazid Ahmed


CODE-CRACKER ACROSS 1 Pester (6) 5 Spoil (3) 7 Lyric poem (3) 8 Discussion (6) 11 Plant juice (3) 12 Trees (5) 14 Thin fog (4) 16 Retains (5) 18 Foreign (5) 20 Drug-yielding plant (4) 21 Prepares for publication (5) 23 Heavenly body (3) 24 Roar (6) 27 Zodiac sign (3) 28 Briny (3) 29 Northern Ireland (6)

Anonymous Naveed: I don’t know if you read Bengali but you should try and have a go at Dr Ali Riaz’s article on the same topic.



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Friday, May 24, 2013

The potential of northeastern power n Kamran Reza Chowdhury


midst the political instability coupled with the worst industrial disaster, the Rana Plaza collapse, the common people received some short-lived good news. The media broke a story suggesting that Bangladesh, India, Bhutan and Nepal have formed two separate sub-regional groups to harness the hydro-power potential of the waters of the common rivers, the Jamuna and the Ganges. Nepal, India and Bangladesh (NIB) comprise one Joint Working Group

Bangladesh over the Indian territory. The Bhutan government’s study shows the kingdom’s hydro-power potential is 30,000MW, of which 23,760MW is technically feasible. In addition, India’s seven northeastern states (the Seven-Sisters) can be another source of electricity. Different studies suggest that the potential of hydro-power in the Seven-Sister states is at least 40,000 megawatts. Dhaka has been negotiating with Delhi, Kathmandu and Thimphu to take up joint hydro-power projects. Of the three options, the power procure-

Construction of a distribution network over Bangladesh will benefit us in two ways: we can meet our power requirement easily, and we can develop our strategic position in Indian foreign policy consideration

The fractured Bangladeshi nation The national rhetoric must evolve and learn from history


n Rubaiyat Hossain oday we stand fractured as a nation. The umbrella of homogenous national identity is ruptured. We are divided in the way we recall our history, recollect our dreams, and reconstruct the birth moment of our country. There is only one Bangladesh, but its citizens comprise diverse political and ideological camps. To make the matter more complex, each political-ideological camp whether it is the centre, the extreme left or the extreme right, all believe in polarised binaries. It is no wonder that the counter force to the Shahbagh movement, Hefazat-e-Islam, is demanding the same exact punishment that Shahbagh demanded — a noose. Today you are either an Awami League or Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporter, today you are either “secular-athiest-pro liberation force conscious of its ethnicity as Bengalis” or “Islamic-fundamentalist-religious-anti liberation force conscious of its identity as Muslims first and Bengalis afterward.” What if you don’t want to belong to either of these camps? Well, tough luck! Looking at the declining number of Bangladesh’s Hindu population and the atrocities carried out in the CHT, it is evident that the secular badge of honour of our cultural elites is more a sham than the real thing. This observation would surely earn one the title of a “neo-razakar.” The weakest part of the Shahbagh movement has been its intolerance, its obsession with capital punishment, its tendency to witch hunt anyone who evokes any ifs or buts. What Shahbagh demanded was to take time back, but it is not possible once the clock has

clicked away for 42 years. Bitter as bile, we must be able to admit and comprehend what we have become. Bangladesh is not a plain slate like in 1971. Our political past is mired with military coups, military government morphing into democratically elected political parties, not once but twice: under Ziaur Rahman and Hussain Muhammed Ershad, leaving Awami League as the only party with a legitimate political history. The political ideologies upheld by the democratic parties formed by these two military personnel gave space for those who had drifted away from Awami League or differed from Awami League’s position. The defeated forces of 1971

through the cracks of an inadequate nation-building process. For this disillusioned generation, 1971 appears as a moment of utopia, a moment of possibility, a moment when a new beginning was possible. Thus, they create an illusion of returning back to the moment, imagining that it is possible to wipe the slate clean of the betrayals, blood and utter stupid politics that followed in the years after independence. Shahbagh is no 1971 and murdered blogger Rajib Haider no Asad. The tooquick emotional fireworks of the youth has been championed by politicians. Soon after Shahbagh became a hub of public support, the government infiltrated the movement by putting Awa-

When there are multiple positions and political currents emerging, then it is perhaps best to keep a keen eye open, to examine and understand who we are as Bangladeshis after being restored to Bangladeshi politics followed by the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had also grown as a prominent political force under the banner of Jamaat-e-Islam. When Awami League initiated the process to bring war criminals to justice, the majority of the country seemed to have applauded the trial. We all agreed: it has been a long overdue verdict, justice should have been served a long time ago, now is the time to amend past mistakes, we will exterminate the war criminals, we will wipe the slate clean, and we will go back in some imaginary time machine to 1972, and restore our original constitution. The generation that roared at Shahbagh, for the most part, had been born after 1971. They are not the dreamers of a “Shonar Bangla,” but rather the citizens of a harsh Bangladesh where every dream seems to have fallen

mi League’s cultural wing and Awami League’s student leaders at the forefront with Shahbagh blogger leaders. Jamaat-Shibir took a very calculative and measured step in allegedly murdering a person who was at the fringes of the Shahbagh movement, a person who wrote disturbing posts about Islam and the Prophet in the private confine of his computer and personal blogs. After Rajib’s murder while leaders shed tears and named him “Asad,” termed him a martyr, Jamaat played its biggest ploy of publishing the private blogs in public space, in newspapers for the entire country to read. Simultaneously they ran campaigns about the infidelity of the bearers of the Shahbagh movement. The duality of Bengali Muslim identity came in play. We started questioning our priorities, are we to protect our nation’s pride or the

Prophet’s? It was indeed a tough call to make. So we fractured into many. Shahbagh had shown us the spirit of the youth, their frustration and their urge to change, but it has also shown us how the spirit of the youth had been neatly championed by political parities; each manipulating the youth for their own, regardless of if it was madrasa kids or the secular kids of Dhaka University. In this chaos, the voice of the youth demanding a Bangladesh where they can grow, has been lost. Now we only hear roars demanding the noose from all sides. It has been the unwillingness of the Shahbagh youth to comprehend the nuances surrounding the history of 1971 that led them to overlook the complicated question of identity. By calling ourselves “Bangalee we excluded the ethnic minorities, we called for rigid positions, we made little children chant “Faashi,” and finally we ignored the complicated fractured past of Bengali Muslims. It is absurd to demand a hardline, black and white truth because our political past is anything but. If we are not able to measure up to our conflicting political past then we can’t hope to solve the problems at hand today. When there are multiple positions and political currents emerging, then it is perhaps best to keep a keen eye open, to examine and understand who we are as Bangladeshis, who we have become over the past decades and who we want to be in the future without holding stubborn blindfolded positions. l Rubaiyat Hossain is a freelance contributor.

(JWG) on sub-regional cooperation. It is aimed at managing water resources regionally and producing hydro-power with the bulk waters of the Ganges, originating in China, that crisscrosses the three countries. Bangladesh, India and Bhutan (BIB) form the other JWG tasked to tap the potentials of the waters of the Brahmaputra, which accounts for more than 60% of the water flow into our river system. The BIB will be examining the possibilities of hydro-power projects with joint efforts and funding. On April 18 the BIB had its first meeting in Dhaka and agreed to go ahead with the discussion on sub-regional cooperation on water resources management. Production of hydro-power is associated with water management. This is obviously encouraging news, given our water-dependent eco-system that shapes our economy and livelihood. However, the next meeting will take place in New Delhi at a “convenient time.” This follows a frustrating development: the unelected interim government in Nepal has declined to hold any meeting of the JWG as the caretaker administration has no legitimacy in making such a vital decision. The Nepalese premier Khil Raj Regmi’s administration is mainly focused on holding the next general elections that may take place in November to hand over power to an elected government. Kathmandu is hesitant as this decision will mean construction of huge reservoirs in the upstream in Nepal. This move will increase the flow of waters in the Ganges in the downstream India and Bangladesh causing flood in Nepal. On the other hand, the hydro-electricity generated in these reservoirs can meet huge portion of electricity demand of the three countries. The reservoirs in Nepal have the potential to generate up to 83,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, of which at least 42,000MW are technically and economically exploitable, according to a study by Nepalese water expert Hari Man Shrestha. The hydro-power produced in the reservoirs can easily be transmitted to Bangladesh using the Indian power distribution network already connected with Nepal, which is about 12 kilometres off our border in the northern fringe. Similarly, reservoirs will be constructed in the upstream of the Brahmaputra in Bhutan to produce hydro-power, which can also be transmitted to

ment from the northeastern states is brighter than the other two. This is because, the demand of electricity in the northeastern states cannot make use of the full potential. Delhi has to transmit the excessive electricity to its other power-deficient areas in mainland India through the mountainous Shiliguri corridor, bypassing Bangladesh. Commonly known as the “chicken neck,” the Shiliguri corridor is not enough to transmit the whole produced amount. Energy experts say Dhaka can help Delhi transfer the hydro-power from the Seven-Sisters by creating a distribution network over Bangladeshi territory at significantly lower cost. At the same time, we can procure electricity from India at an affordable price. The energy ministry officials have already made the proposal to India. However, the Indian counterpart was hesitant given the anti-Indian politics in Bangladesh. Bangladesh-India relations have become warm in the tenure of the Awami League government since 2009. Friendly ties with Delhi is a must for our efforts to buy electricity from Bhutan and Nepal – the two countries separated from Bangladesh by India. A change in government in Dhaka may put India in dilemma in the regional power trade. Construction of a distribution network over Bangladesh will benefit us in two ways: we can meet our power requirement easily, and we can develop our strategic position in Indian foreign policy consideration. We have a history of ruining opportunities offered by our neighbours. In 2005, India sought Dhaka’s support for construction of gas pipeline from Myanmar to India over Bangladesh territory. The Indian government offered that Bangladesh could get the gas, if necessary, in addition to the royalty for the pipeline. The then government turned down the proposal. This rejection prompted Myanmar to sell its gas from Sitwe field to China. Over 80 percent of our electricity production units are gas-fed. According to the government estimates, the current reserve of gas will end by 2019 if no new fields are discovered. It would be prudent for the government to start afresh on negotiations with India to be associated with hydro-power projects in northeastern states in order to secure our national interests. l

Investors are hopeful of an economic revival under Sharif, whose privatisation policies earned him a strong reputation among traders and industrialists during his two previous tenures in the 1990s. The other good thing which is talked about is the size of the cabinet, before its birth, people are talking about keeping it small. The election and the mandate has opened avenues for Nawaz Sharif to face and challenge issues including addressing the incessant cycle of violence, terrorism and suicide attacks across the country; improving the lackluster economy, combatting the energy crisis, promising to seek 6% growth by creating an enabling environment for foreign investment; improving Pakistan’s relations with the US, and addressing the broad context of the war on terror, the issue of drone attacks and the transition in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of NATO and its implications; and addressing Baloch grievances. Both of our top leaders seem to be ill advised on the current scenario and politicking. On the one hand, the ruling party has resisted suggestions for the

formation of an interim government that is acceptable to all, and has not put forth an acceptable solution themselves. On the other hand, the calling of incessant hartals by the opposition may make the party an object of irritation and acrimony to the masses. It is to be hoped that they use their own sense to understand these simple things and not be driven by sycophants any more. Both leaders should not forget the treachery of their closest of protégés during the turmoil of 1/11. In summation, the caretaker system seems to be good and acceptable. Some countries are bent upon following it, for it has yielded good results, notwithstanding any constitutional handicaps, hassles or hazards. Why should we then fight amongst ourselves and not follow those who are at least trying to steer their nationhood to the path of peace and prosperity. There is already a national consensus on the issue. Let us now act quickly to end our present situation regarding the “caretakers” in our country. l

Kamran Reza Chowdhury is a Special Correspondent, Dhaka Tribune.

The caretaker system and Pakistani success n Sharif Aziz


espite reservations from many quarters in Bangladesh on anything to do with Pakistan – we may ask the question whether we have anything to learn from the recently held election in that country. The first thing we should feel happy about is the adoption of the “Caretaker System” by Pakistan, uniquely invented by the political geniuses of Bangladesh. Unfortunately, we now stand with daggers drawn and remain deeply divided as whether to keep it or to banish it. The whole world has more or less praised the election in Pakistan. President Obama congratulated Pakistan saying it was a “historic, peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power.” EU observers reported that despite preceding violence, 60% of voters turned up. The Indian prime minister hoped for a “new course” in relations between India and Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif reciprocated by saying the mistrust that has long dogged relations with India must be addressed. Sharif had a productive telephone chat

with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said he would be happy to extend an invitation to Singh for his swearing in as the prime minister. After some initial grumbling, the mindset of the whole Pakistani nation is changing. The results of the election have been widely accepted. The PPP has pledged to remain in the opposition despite being reduced to a mere minority. Nawaz Sharif has already extended hands of friendship towards Imran Khan. He went to see the ailing leader in the hospital with a bouquet of flowers. The others are talking things up with Nawaz Sharif, seeking chance to be a part of the would-be government. The most spectacular phenomenon has been the surge of the index of Karachi Stock Market to record highs, crossing the 20,000 level for the first time in history, adding nearly PRs100bn in a day to investor wealth. Aren’t these the boons and blessings of a successful completion of an election? Nearly 86m people cast their votes to elect the National Assembly of Pakistan on May 11. Everyone was focused on Pakistan to see whether the

elections could be held peacefully or not. The caretaker government led by Mir Hazar Khan Khoso seems to have passed the acid test. It’s conduct of a credible election and peaceful transfer of power is a significant achievement for nuclear-armed Pakistan. Indeed, high turnout in Pakistan’s landmark election was a positive step for democracy despite the fact that the campaign was marred by violence and irregularities. The turnout in defiance of the threats against the process was an extraordinary vote of confidence in democracy itself. Saturday’s vote was the first time a civilian government has handed over power to another in a country that has been ruled by the military for half its life. The Election Commission was also congratulated for making improvements to its election law and improving the nation’s voter roll. Observers said voting procedures were mostly followed and that in a vast majority of the stations all essential material was present. Ultimately, the vote attested that voters exercised their mandate and voted out a government that was labeled as corrupt, inefficient and had

a dismal economic performance. One important point on the success of Nawaz Sharif in the election: It is widely said and believed that his strategy of shunning the politics of violence and agitation in the last five years, made a good impression on the electorate and thereby he was able to

There is already a national consensus on the issue. Let us now act quickly to end our present situation regarding ‘caretakers’ in our country

make a comfortable comeback. Our opposition may take a cue from this grand change in the strategy of politics and public perception. Nawaz Sharif came off as being very serious by picking a veteran ex-finance minister to serve in his cabinet. Ishaq Dar, who served as finance minister in Sharif’s second administration and again briefly in 2008, is set to return to the job.

Brigadier General Sharif Aziz, psc (Retd) is managing director, Elite Security Services


Dhaka Tribune


Friday, May 24, 2013

Chhayanut’s ‘Nazrul Utsob Nashid Kamal performs at IGCC tonight 1420’ starts today n Afrose Jahan Chaity

n Afrose Jahan Chaity The 114th birth anniversary of the legendary “Bidrohi Kobi” (rebel poet) will be celebrated wholeheartedly by this nation with festivity today. This year, Chhayyanat will also celebrate the 91st anniversary of the famous publication of the poet’s extraordinary creation “Bidrohi” (the rebel). Chhayanut, a leading cultural organisation will celebrate a two-day festival beginning from today at its auditorium. Through a melodious and harmonious performance of music and dance, “Nazrul Utsob 1420” will be inaugurated at 6:30pm. A total of 200 artistes will take part in the festival.

An array of inspirational songs of Nazrul will be presented in the celebrations. “Nazrul Utsob 1420” will be opened with the speech of Professor Sanatkumar Shaha and the cultural programmes will start with a dance performance on “Karar Oi Louho Kopat,” the renowned song of Nazrul. The cultural aspect of the programme is a massive arrangement comprising of group, single renditions, contests, all of which is based on Nazrul. Prominent singers Shahin Samad, Nasima Shaheen, Khairul Anam Shakil and many more will perform in the celebrations. Besides, celebrated dancer Warda Rihab and her troupe will present a dazzling

Khairul Anam Shakil and Shahin Samad will perform at Nazrul Utsob among others

recital on the occasion. President of Chhayanut, Sanjida Khatun said: “Kazi Nazrul Islam became a critic of the Khilafat struggle, condemning it as hollow, religious fundamentalism.

‘Nazrul Utsob 1420’ will be opened with the speech of Professor Sanatkumar Shaha and the cultural programmes will start with a dance performance on ‘Karar Oi Louho Kopat’ Nazrul’s rebellious expression extended to rigid orthodoxy in the name of religion and politics and he inspired the spirit of protest to conquer independence among the mass. For his praiseworthy attribute, we celebrate the creations of this prodigy, as a part of our heritage.” On a talk with Dhaka Tribune, Shahin Samad said: “We want the next generation to know about our culture, pride and legacy. It is important for us to celebrate the legends of our nation in that regard. Our next generation will learn to be patriotic like the prodigies we celebrate, only if we cherish our heritage and let them know about the significance of these noteworthy people. We want every family to discuss and practice on our culture and music.” The festival is joint collaboration by Grameenphone, Masrangaa and Squre Group of Industries. This is the fifth time Chhayanut will celebrate Nazrul’s Birth anniversary. l

As part of the ongoing celebrations of the 114th Birth Anniversary of the National Poet of Bangladesh, Kazi Nazrul Islam, a melodious evening of “Nazrul Geeti” will be presented by the most popular and elegant Dr Nashid Kamal tonight at 6:30pm at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre. In association with the state bank of India, IGCC is organising this event with Channel i as media partner. In a one-to-one with the artist, she shares her future aspirations and current situation with Dhaka Tribune:

Do you have any special plans for “Nazrul Joyonti”?

On “Nazrul Joyonti,” I will be appearing on SATV, Mohona, GTV and many other channels, also I am scheduled for several stage performances.

When can we expect your next music album?

It takes a lot of time and generous effort to come up with an album that is worth releasing to the public and I am a perfectionist to say the least. I will be releasing a solo-album next year. Dr Nashid Kamal, granddaughter of

To mark the 114th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Channel i and Diamond World will hold “Nazrul Mela 2013” on the office premises of Channel i at Tejgaon tomorrow. The “Lifetime Achivement Award” for the year 2013 will be conferred on prominent Nazrul exponent and singer Mustafa Zaman Abbasi. This year’s festival is dedicated to Nazrul Sangeet diva Firoza Begum, who is seriously sick and admitted to the Apollo Hospital. The festival will feature musical performance, dance, dance drama and others. Leading Nazrul artistes of the country will take part in the festival. Famous artists will draw paintings on different aspects of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s philosophy. Twenty stalls will be there at the festival ground, which will display books, paintings, CDs and more.

Speakers at the press conference The fair will be open from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The details of the fair have been disclosed by Channel-i Managing Director Faridur Reza Sagar at a press conference held yesterday.

Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, Asma Abbasi and Managing Director of Diamond World Limited Dilip Kumar Agarwala were also present at the conference. This is for the ninth time Channel-i is organising the fair. l


5:00 pm Zee Studio Scary Movie 4

5:15 pm Fox Movies Premium Conan The Barbarian (2011)

5:50 pm HBO I Am Legend

7:30 pm Star Movies Toy Story 2

9:30 pm HBO

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

11:00 pm Zee Studio Nashid Kamal

Mystery, Alaska

legendary musician Abbasuddin Ahmed, trained under music legends like Ustad P.C Gomes, Ustad Akther Shadmani, Ustad Quader Zameeree and Pandit Jasraj of India. She has been an outstanding exponent of Nazrul Geeti, semi-classical and folk music and Urdu ghazals in Bangladesh for over four decades. The beautiful and gifted artist presents a versatile repertoire of musical presentations and has ten CDs to her credit comprising of Nazrul, folk and Urdu ghazals. She has also sung in several foreign languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Rumanian, Turkish etc. She is a regular performer in the Tara music channel of Kolkata and has won “Nazrul Award” from the Nazrul Academy in 2009. l

Minority Report

Today In Dhaka Exhibition

Solo Painting Exhibition Emotion Recollected In Tranquility Azmeer Hossain Time: 12pm-8pm Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts Road 27, Dhanmondi Solo Art Exhibition Abohoman Bangla Nikhil Chandra Das Time: 11am – 8pm Gallery Jolrong House – 134, Road – 3 Block – A, Niketan Gulshan Solo Art Exhibition ‘Elemental Antiquity’ Nazmul Haque Time: 3pm-8pm Dhaka Art Centre House 60, Road 7/A, Dhanmondi

Solo Art Exhibition ‘Fata Morgana’ Rokeya Sultana Time: 12pm-8pm Bengal Art Lounge, Gulshan-1 Solo Art Exhibition ‘Grief of Time’ Biplob Goswami Time: 3pm-8pm Dhaka Art Centre House 60, Road 7/A, Dhanmondi


Dehorkkhi Balaka Cineworld Life of Pi 3D, Finding Nemo 3D, Chorabali, Television, Immortals Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City

11:30 pm Star Movies Real Steel

talkshow 12:00 am Channel I

Ajker Shongbaad Potro

1:00 am ATN Bangla Onno Drishti

5:30 am Talk of the Week Channel: Bangla Vision

7:30 am SATV This Morning

10:30 am NTV

Apnar Gigasha

11:30 am Desh Tv Desh Amar

3:30 pm CNN 8:30pm BBC World News HARDtalk

comedy 8:30 am Star World Modern Family

Festival’ begins today

11:30 am Comedy Central

n Punny Kabir

1:30 pm Big CBS Prime

A eight-day theatre festival organised by Northern Theatre, the theatre wing of Northern University Bangladesh, begins from today at the Studio Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. A colourful opening session will be held at 5pm and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy’s theatre production “Putro” will be staged at 7pm as the curtain raiser of the festival. With the slogan “Theatre for Change,” the festival features a total of eight plays by six theatre troupes. Additionally, the organising troupe will present various musical and dance performances at the “Chilekotha” of the academy everyday at 5pm during the festival. Tomorrow, Bangla Theatre will stage its acclaimed play “Che-er Cycle,” writ-

ten by Mamunur Rashid and directed by Faiz Zahir. The third day will feature Northern Theatre’s “Waiting for Godot,” written by Samuel Beckett and directed by Md Shawkat Hossain Sajib. Tagore’s “Chitrangada,” directed by Zahid Repon and a production of Swapnadal will be staged on May 27. May 28 will see Prachyanat’s “Kinu Kaharer Theatre,” written by Manoj Mitro Kazi and directed by Toufiqul Islam Emon. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy’s “Mukti Mukti,” written by Zia Hyder and directed by Ali Ahmned Mukul, and Buet Drama Society’s “Dur Ghotona,” written and directed by Baqar Bokul will be showed on May 29 and 30 respectively. The organising troupe’s “Krishna Shakun” will be the concluding show of the festival and will be staged on May 31. l


12:20 pm NTV Ha-Show

It Only Hurts When I Laugh

2:00 pm Sony SAB Chidiya Ghar

4:30 pm Zee Cafe Just for Laughs

6:30 pm FX

8 Simple Rules

7:30 pm AXN Bloopers

10: pm Sony SAB Jeanie Aur Juju

drama 10:30 am Zee Café Greys Anatomy

11:00 am Colors Uttaran

1:00 pm Zee Tv Pavitra Rishta

3:30 pm Baishakhi TV Ognipath

6:20 pm Baishakhi TV

Twilight and Vampire Diaries are tops n Entertainment Desk

The famous vampire couples

11:27 pm WB

Talk Asia

2013 Teen Choice Award Nominations

The first wave of Teen Choice Award nominations was announced and though The Twilight Saga has ended, its immortal beloveds will live on thanks to fan-based voting. The final installment of the franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 2, racked up seven nods. Leading the way heading into this year’s show—and close behind, albeit on a smaller screen, is The Vampire Diaries, with five nominations. l

3:15 pm Fox Movies Premium 4:47 pm WB

‘Nazrul Mela’ to be held tomorrow ‘Northern Studio Theatre n Entertainment Desk

movies I, Robot

Which songs will you perform today?

I will start today’s show with a song named “Ashe Phul Boshonto Bone.” Then my next solo number of the show will be a folk by Nazrul, “Rum Jhum,” and another song from the movie, “Sapure (1939)” named “Akashe Helan Diye Pahar Ghumay Oii.” Moreover, I will sing various songs from Nazrul’s drama and movies, such as, songs from “Aleya (Mirage) (1931),” “Putuler Biye (Doll’s Marriage),” and from drama “Atanudesh,” “Arjun-Bijoy,” and many more.


Bhorosha Coaching Centre

6:30 pm Star World One Tree Hill

8:00 pm ATN Bangla Nirbijar Manush

8:30 pm SA TV

Bishesh Drostobbo

9:00 pm Sony

Amita Ka Amit

9:45 pm Bangla Vision Korta Kahini

news 9:00 am CNN Salman Khan broke many hearts when news of his tying the knot with Romanian TV actress Iulia Vantur surfaced. It is rumoured that Salman met her two years ago during one of his trips abroad. He has always been in touch with her and now they have become extremely fond of each other. Well, it seems Salman fans who are eagerly waiting to see their idol tie the knot, may have to wait a little bit more!

The Situation

11:00 am CNN World Report

1:30 pm Al Jazeera Inside Story

‘My 2nd Honeymoon’ airs tonight

2:00 pm BBC

n Entertainment Desk

7:00 pm Al Jazeera

The third season of the TV reality show “Pond’s Age Miracle My 2nd Honeymoon” will begin today at 9:45pm on Desh TV. After two very successful years of “Pond’s Age Miracle My 2nd Honeymoon” campaigns, this year Pond’s decided to make this an even bigger and more romantic venture for couples all over the country. For the very first time on television in Bangladesh, a reality show will not be about creating next generation of celebrities in the cultural arena. Rather, it is going to be an interesting and appealing presentation of real life couples, depicting their original flare and chemistry. This program will showcase the married couples participating in wonderful romantic events, which is sure to make anyone recall the good old days of first falling in love.

BBC World News

6:45 pm CNN Sports News News Hour

Misc 1:30 am Bangla Vision Shondorjer Kotha

7:30 am 9XM

Morning Alarm

9:30 am Channel 24

Shopping and Cooking

10:00 am FTV Top Brands

12:30 pm VH1 Dance 101

2:30 pm TLC

Fabulous Cakes-Las Vegas A scene from the TV reality show This year on Valentine’s Day, Pond’s launched its signature campaign – “Pond’s My 2nd Honeymoon.” Thousands of applications rushed through emails and digital entry, from which

3:30 pm Big CBS Love 52 couples who wrote the best stories were invited to participate in a selection round with the four esteemed judges: Hassan Abidur Reja Jewel, Tania Ahmed, Tauquir Ahmed and Bipasha Hayat. l

American Idol

6:30 pm Travel XP Foodicted

7:00 pm Zee Khana Khazana Chef’s Special

Did you know? Billiards great, Henry Lewis once sank 46 balls in a row


Friday, May 24, 2013

14 Bayern thrill, Dortmund worry for Euro final



15 ‘Local’ Super Cup from June 14

15 Iron woman Zheng stuns Wozniacki

Bangladesh under ‘fixing’ radar n Mazhar Uddin

The Indian cricket arena plunged into controversy of spot fixing after three cricketers were arrested by Mumbai police last week. Since then many other names came up and arrests were made and after few days of investigation, Bangladesh cricket also came under the storm as the Indian media on Wednesday mentioned of a prominent Bangladesh national cricketer’s involvement in the dirty side. CNN-IBN, an India based news agency, revealed that the name of a prominent Bangladeshi player, who never played in the Indian Premier League, emerged in the spot-fixing scandal. This came in as the latest development of the investigation, though the Indian police informed questioning the player is not possible because of jurisdiction. Such came in as a shock for those who came across the news. The name and the evidences are yet to be informed for which the Bangladesh Cricket Board is yet to make any concrete measure on the issue. The government holiday yesterday is also another reason for no movement, informed BCB ad-hoc committee member Sajjadul Alam Bobby. “But to be honest we should be much worried until we have any solid evidence. Many names come up during an investigation process, but before getting any solid evidence we should not make the negative the obvious,” he added. The investigation in India had revealed names. Let it be team officials, owners, cricketers and an umpire as the latest. This was the after affect of the explosion thousand miles away. Whereas Bangladesh cricket itself might indulge into situation alike to India. Until yesterday the presence of Anti-Corruption Security Unit (ACSU) in Dhaka was unknown. It was learnt that a two-member team had set their foot four days ago. Few matches in the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League had raised eyebrows in February this year which attracted the attention of ACSU. Before setting foot in Dhaka, the investigators went to other countries around the world to meet players involved in the last edition of BPL. Sources informed that the unit has met officials and cricketers of few of the teams to find the answers of all the doubts. Back in February, BCB ruled out all doubts as baseless and said the International Cricket Council (ICC) was not concerned. But after four months it is upon the orders of the ICC itself that the ACSU members are investigating in Dhaka now. It was also learnt that BCB is helping the visitors in every manner possible and the Board president has also promised to do all the necessaries to fight against the parasites of the game. l

Iranian forward Zahra Ghanbari (left) pulls her Bangladeshi counterpart Aungmraching Marma (2nd left) as the latter attampts to shoot during their AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday  Mumit M./Dhaka Tribune

Thais edge Malditas n Raihan Mahmood Top ranked Thailand edged past their ASEAN rivals Philippines 1-0 in an evenly contested match of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup group ‘B’ at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Star Thai forward Nisa Romyen’s 37th minute strike steered Thailand to the second consecutive victory and a strong position for the qualification to the final round. Philippines, who beat Iran 6-0 in their opener, fought hard but lack of quality finishing saw the on the losing side. However, they were also fortunate as the woodwork denied Thailand twice in either half of the match. Thailand again proved their technical and tactical superiority with mixing their moves in the flanks and midfield. They kept Philippines guessing and stamped their authority in the opening minutes. The Thai efficiency was visible in the 10th minute when midfielder Thongsombut danced down the left flank and cut the ball back to midfielder Wilaiporn Boothduang who hit the crosspiece from the middle of the box.

In the very next minute Nisa was totally dejected to see her upward placing whisker past the crosspiece. Philippines had their first chance in the 20th minute when forward Anne Shugg sped past her marker at the right edge of the box, but blasted the ball wide. However, Nisa’s superb effort in the 37th minute made all the difference. Rightly anticipating the path of a through pass of Antoosara Maijareen, Nisa kept her cool to place the ball past onrushing Philippines goalie Maria De La Cruz in the far post. Boothduang was cursing her luck again in the 48th minute when she curved a free-kick from 20 yards out, but saw the ball kiss the inside edge of the crosspiece off the gloves of De La Cruz. The hunger of saving the match inspired the Philippines in the last half hour. In the 65th minute midfielder Heather Cook ran down the left flank and cut a low cross to Anne Shugg who missed the line of the ball in her effort to unleash a volley. Anne Shugg came tantalisingly close to the equaliser in the 84th minute. l

Ernie in search of ‘Super Candy’ n Raihan Mahmood Thailand coach Piyakul Kawnamkang exhaled a sigh of relief while his Philippines counterpart Ernie Nierras wondered about some ‘Super Candy’ that would transform Iran to a superpower at the post-match conference of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup group ‘B’ qualifiers at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

We want to look forward and continue the winning streak. Winning is important, margin is not a factor. We are focused to win our last match and qualify for the final round Piyakul praised his players for the efficient effort. “It was a difficult match and my players had to give more than hundred percent. Philippines initiated strong attacks and we had to fight it out till the end. They have a number of players who are based in US and they are strong. They made the time difficult, however we played well to win the match,” he said. The Thai coach wants to remain

focused though he had registered two consecutive wins. “We want to look forward and continue the winning streak. Winning is important, margin is not a factor. We are focused to win our last match and qualify for the final round,” said the Thai coach. Meanwhile, Philippines’ Ernie was rued the wasted chances. “Hats off to Thailand. They played well, but also took some non-sporting steps as the goalkeeper wasted too much time in the dying minutes faking an injury. My attackers were a bit low today and we wasted the chances and lost in the end,” said Ernie. Ernie also admitted that his star forward Anne Shugg should have scored a goal from the chances that fell in her way. “However, we dominated the second-half and I think that’s the real picture of Philippines. We committed a number of mistakes like the goalkeeper should not have rushed forward. I wonder if there is any Super Candy that I would present to Iran so they can beat Thailand in the next match by a good margin and we win our last match to qualify,” said the Philippines coach.l

Match Highlights Thailand 1-0 Philippines Nisa Romyen 37’ 10’ Hardworking midfielder Wilaiporn Boothduang hits the crosspiece from the middle of the box 20’ Philippines star Jesse Anne Shugg fires wide of the side post from an advantageous position 37’ Goal! Nisa Romyen placed the ball past onrushing Philippines goalie Maria De La Cruz 48’ Wilaiporn saw her free-kick punched by Philippines goalie La Cruz to hit the inside edge of the crosspiece 65’ Anne Shugg missed the line of a Heather Cook cross at the top of the six-yard box 85’ Thai goalie Waraporn Boonsing dives onto the feet of Anne Shugg and saves her team from conceding

Bangladesh crash out Home side went down fighting against Iran Sabina Akhter at the top of the box. n Raihan Mahmood Sabina Khatun, the Bangladesh forBangladesh went down fighting in a 2-0 defeat against Iran in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup group ‘B’ qualifiers at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. The loss saw the home side crash out of the meet after two consecutive defeats while Iran registered their first win after a 6-0 drubbing against Philippines. Maryam Rahimi and Zahra Ghanbari were part of the Iran AFC U-19 team that played in Dhaka and the two were also among the scorers in that match that ended 6-0. The combination, this time troubled the Bangladesh national team. Wily Iranian forward Maryam Rahimi dented the Bangladesh confidence in the 26th minute with a cool headed finish. Midfielder Zahra Ghanbari initiated a quick counter attack and released a nice through pass to Maryam who beat onrushing Bangladesh goalie

ward had a glorious opportunity to level the score in the 32nd minute, but she reacted late on a through from Aungmra Ching Marma allowing Iran goalie MaryanYektaei to clear the ball. Bangladesh defender Baly Khatun brought Maryam Rahimi down inside the box in the next minute, but Zahra failed to convert the penalty as her shot missed the side post by a long way. Sabina squandered another scoring chance in the 35th minute as her curved effort flew past the side post with goalie Maryam Yektaie stranded in the near post. In the second-half the familiar scenario of Iran pushing hard and Bangladesh’s dogged defending continued till Maryam struck the second to seal the deal. It was almost a repeat act of the first goal as Zahra side heeled a through before Maryam controlled grounder went in from the far post. l

Match Highlights Bangladesh 

0-2 Iran

Maryam 26, 51

26’ Goal! Maryam Rahimi scores with a placing shot from a Zahra Ghanbari through pass 32’ Bangladesh forward Sabina Khatun was late to react on a through pass by Aungmra Ching 33’ Bangladesh concedes a penalty but Zahra Ghanbari sends the spot kick wide 35’ Sabina misses the side post form the middle of the box. 51’ Goal! Maryam Rahimi scores the second by placing the ball in the far post, Zahra provider again. 80’ Baly Khatun makes a goal line save. Clears a header of Mina Hashemi standing by the side post

Clubs alter BCB proposed grading list of Dhaka Premier League n Minhaz Uddin Khan

Reshuffled payment chart

The Dhaka Premier League clubs have altered the players grading list provided by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and they will submit the new list to the Board today. In a joint effort, the respective officials of each club sat together on Wednesday and reshuffled the list. Earlier, BCB set a list of 184 players across four grades, but the clubs increased another grade while they also lessened the number of players in the chart. The clubs brought 108 cricketers under the grading list while they set 64 players under a ‘free list’. These 64 players, mostly lower ranked cricketers, will directly negotiate with clubs for the league. Meanwhile, 12 other cricketers were listed as unavailable. According to their proposed list, A+ category cricketers will get Tk2m each and it only features four players - Mushfiqur Rahim, Sakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain and Tamim Iqbal.

Grade Players

Salary (Tk)


Mushfiqur Rahim Sakib Al Hasan Tamim Iqbal Nasir Hossain



20 cricketers



24 cricketers



12 cricketers



24 cricketers



24 cricketers


*64 cricketers are listed under ‘Free category’. These players can negotiate with the clubs directly.

20 cricketers, almost all the current national team members and few other around the team, were named under grade A who are proposed to get Tk1.5m. B+ category consists 24 cricketers with a salary of Tk1m each while

12 players in grade B are proposed to receive Tk800,000. 48 cricketers were equally divided across two grades C and D who will receive Tk500,000 and Tk250,000 respectively. One of the club officials who was present in that meeting and prefered to be anonymous said, “We have made some corrections on the grading list on Wednesday and we think those are some minor changes.” “We are going to submit this new copy to the BCB tomorrow (today) and the rest will be on the hands of the Board,” he said. Though BCB is yet to receive this correction copy, it is highly likely that the Board will accept the new list from the clubs. On the other hand, the clubs also plan to ask for Tk10m each as they are facing some financial problems and with the league matches stretching outside Dhaka, the anonymous official revealed that they are hopeful that BCB will consider their demand. l




Bayern thrill, Dortmund worry for Euro final

n AFP, Berlin Borussia Dortmund must wait on Mats Hummels' ankle injury for tomorrow's Champions League final, while Wembley opponents Bayern Munich finished the Bundesliga season with a seven-goal thriller.

C e n tre-back Hummels is an injury doubt for the London final after damaging ankle ligaments in Dortmund's shock 2-1 Bundesliga defeat at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday. The centre-back picked up the injury in the process of fouling Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland in the area, which led to the first of Sejad Salihovic's two penalties in the last 13 minutes. Hummels limped off on 77 minutes, was taken to hospital and Dortmund are waiting to discover the extent of the damage. "He went over on it, which rarely means there is good news," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. "The ankle looks thick, but with a view for the final, there is definitely a chance he can play, according to the team doctor." There was some good news for Dortmund on Saturday as midfielder Mario Goetze told German daily Bild his hamstring injury is healing well and he is positive of his chances of playing at Wembley. But Klopp was far from happy as the side likely to start at Wembley failed to take their chances against Hoffenheim.

"We played great football for the first hour, but we didn't take our chances," he said after his team were denied a late equaliser by Marcel Schmelzer which the referee ruled offside. "The penalties were no problem, but I can't say anything about the goal for 2-2 which wasn't given. "We can draw a thick line under the Bundesliga season and we just want to see who we have fit now for Wembley." Both Dortmund and Bayern fielded teams likely to start at Wembley, with differing results. Having lifted the German league shield last weekend, Bayern came from two-goals down to secure a 4-3 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach with France wing Franck Ribery scoring twice and creating the other goals. The champions dug deep for their 29th league victory in 34 matches as Dutch wing Arjen Robben hit the second-half winner after Gladbach had scored three goals in the opening 10 minutes. "We have seen from the result in Dortmund, that you can not rule it out that minds are already thinking about the final," admitted Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. l

Friday, May 24, 2013

Lewandowski : Dortmund's wantaway hot-shot n AFP, Germany Borussia Dortmund's biggest weapon in tomorrow's Champions League final against Bayern Munich is Robert Lewandowski, who will be hoping to gun down the Bavarians at Wembley before sealing a transfer to the Allianz Arena in the summer. Having refused to sign an extension to a contract that is due to expire in June 2014, Lewandowski was already in the shop window before becoming the first player to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final in April. His quartet of goals in the first leg against Real Madrid at the Signal Iduna Park helped Dortmund win the tie 4-3 on aggregate to set up Saturday's all-German final, after which the Poland striker is expected to reveal his next destination. Previously prolific in Poland with Lech Poznan, Lewandowski is now one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe, having scored a total of 35 goals for Borussia this season. He also netted in 12 consecutive Bundesliga games -- a new club record. Manchester United, Chelsea and

Real have all since been linked to the Poland hot-shot, but the strongest rumours always point back to Bayern. After his four-goal haul against Madrid, Lewandowski's agent Maik Barthel insisted his client will leave in June. "We are in agreement with another club and have the right to change in the summer," he said. Reports say Lewandowski has agreed either to join Bayern next month or when his Dortmund deal expires in June 2014, although these have been denied in Bavaria, while Dortmund have said he is going nowhere. "He has a contract with us until 2014 and no exit clause," said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, who added he would rather get 20 goals from Lewandowski next season than 20 million euros in a transfer. "Our explicit desire is that he stays and plays for us until 2014 at the least." As the spearhead of Dortmund's so-called 'gegenpressing' system, Lewandowski has benefited from the service supplied by the fleet-footed duo of Mario Goetze, who is out of Saturday's final, and Marco Reus. But his tally of 13 assists this season

proves that he is not simply a poacher. With Goetze having agreed to join Bayern in the summer after activating a release clause in his contract — something which Lewandowski does not possess — Dortmund are desperate to stop Bayern poaching another of their star players. l

Good defending is simple answer to Robben riddle Dortmund's Goetze ruled n Reuters, London An internet search for "Arjen Robben cuts inside" produces more than two million items, one of them a recent tweet declaring: "That was the 10,000th time Robben has cut inside and shot with his left foot - so predictable". Yet, when the Bayern Munich winger bears down the right in Saturday's Champions League final, Borussia Dortmund's defenders, if they follow in the misdirected footsteps of so many before them, will still, inexplicably, allow the Dutchman to switch the ball on to his favoured left foot and turn a usually benign situation into a potentially critical one. Robben's right foot was once de-

scribed as being "made of chocolate" by compatriot Johan Cruyff and is still so ineffective that any Sunday league full back, let alone the cream of the world's defenders, would know to focus their entire strategy on forcing him to use it. The number of times he hits the byline and successfully crosses with his right foot is roughly comparable to the 29-year-old's total active hair follicles not many - while statistics produced by Prozone show that almost 80 percent of his shots are with his left. Yet, time and time again, having feinted to go outside, Robben is somehow given the space to cut in. Too often the end result is that the ball sails into the top tier behind the goal but, as he

has matured, the manoeuvre now more often leads to a dangerous pass or a fierce, left-footed, attempt on goal.

"Quick And Clever"

The process leaves many experienced observers shaking their heads in frustration every time his all-too-familiar "trick" comes off. "If the defender is doing his job properly of course you can stop him cutting inside but they have to really concentrate because he is so quick and clever," former England manager Terry Venables told Reuters. "Once he goes inside, the opposition are in danger - the secret is staying close. It's as simple as that, the defender must

stay tight, then you can stop him - just as Inter Milan did in the Champions League final three years ago." Paolo Maldini, one of the best left backs to grace the game, said the problem was part of a general falling away in the quality of defending. "I believe that great defenders are so rare now. Every great team in Europe is good attacking but very bad defensively, including the great teams in the Champions League," the former Italy and AC Milan stalwart told Reuters. "The mentality is attack, attack and so that is why maybe the fullbacks are so focused on attacking. The knowledge of the people who teach you how to defend is not so high and you are now seeing the results." l

out of Wembley final n AFP, Berlin A hamstring injury has ruled Borussia Dortmund's Germany midfield star Mario Goetze out of tomorrow's Champions League final at Wembley against Bayern Munich -- the club he will join next month after actioning a release clause in his contract. Goezte, 20, tore his right hamstring in Dortmund's semi-final return leg at Real Madrid on April 30 and the attacking midfielder only managed an hour of training with the Borussia team on Tuesday before suffering a reaction, which has ruled him out.

Borussia Dortmund penpix Weidenfeller 

(Goalkeeper )

The goalkeeper,

M Langerak 

(Goalkeeper )

The Australian

Bayern Munich penpix Neven Subotic

Mats Hummels



Tall, athletic and

The Germany

Manuel Neuer  (Goalkeeper) Enjoyed a

who has never won a Germany call-up, has been outstanding, and almost single-handedly kept Real Madrid at bay in the last four. Renowned for his stunning reflex saves at point-blank range.

has been playing second fiddle to Weidenfeller for several seasons. Very solid whenever called up to action.

passionate, the Serbian looks far more experienced and confident than his years suggest. He is the defensive backbone along with Mats Hummels but is sometimes prone to mistakes, especially against quicker opponents. Dangerous from corners.

international has matured into a defensive leader who also enjoys going forward and scoring, as he did against Shakhtar Donetsk in the knockout stage. Supplies deep passes to his forwards and is equally effective with his head at set pieces.

record-breaking season and his first Bundesliga title after conceding just 18 goals en route to the league win. The Germany number one, however, did not avoid some of his trademark blunders. Has not missed a game in the CL this season.

Lukasz Piszczek


Felipe Santana

Sebastian Kehl

Jerome Boateng


The Poland





international is among the most sought-after full backs in Europe at the moment. Aggressive and quick, he often transforms into a winger, combining with teammate Blaszczykowski down the right. Part of a Polish trio that also includes Lewandowski.

become a full Germany international while at Dortmund, with his darting runs and smooth crosses a danger for rival defences.

will for ever be remembered in Dortmund for his stoppage-time winner against Malaga in their quarter-final, which sent them through to the last four. He will play if Hummels's ankle does not heal until Saturday.

longest serving of all current Dortmund players adds a sense of calm in the defensive midfield. The former Germany international has enjoyed a prolonged Indian summer over the past few seasons.

Has created a formidable partnership in central defence with Dante, and the tall Germany international quickly became a favourite of coach Jupp Heynckes. He will also be looking to keep Dortmund defender Mats Hummels occupied at set pieces.

Sven Bender

Ilkay Gundogan


Marco Reus

Franck Ribery


A more

The left back has


A marvellous

The Brazilian


The captain and


A dazzling player


attack-minded holding midfielder, Germany international Bender is a workhorse and his pace could be crucial.

orchestrator of Dortmund's game, he can deliver defence-splitting passes or long-range shots with his right foot. Partnered by either Kehl or Bender.

and bred, the fan favourite has lost an automatic starting spot due to a crowded midfield, but the winger's passion and powerful shot are still useful.

who looks as if he has been part of the team for years. Often unstoppable down the wing due to his pace, Germany international Reus can also play as a centre forward and likes to shoot from long range.

The Frenchman has sparkled in his sixth season at Bayern but is still missing his first Champions League trophy after reaching the final in 2010 and 2012. His pace and creativity will be crucial in Bayern's attempt to unlock the Dortmund defence.


Nuri Sahin



Strong and hard

working, the Poland captain is having his best season at Dortmund, a threat on the right, especially when launching quick breaks.


Returned in the

winter after spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool. The Turkey international had to settle initially for a substitute's spot but has gradually found his way back to top form.

"It was my big aim to play in the final and I have been working hard to reach that in the last few weeks," said a disappointed Goetze on Wednesday. "I am incredibly sorry that I can't help the team in this really important game. "I have full confidence in the team and will of course be going to London to support the boys from the sidelines." His withdrawal means Goetze has now played his last game in a Dortmund shirt after it was announced in April that he will join German champions Bayern for 37 million euros. Meanwhile, Dortmund are waiting on the fitness of centre-back Mats Hummels. l


Tom Starke  (Goalkeeper)

Philipp Lahm (Defender)

The Bayern captain, arguably among the best full backs in the world, has had another stellar season. A tireless worker with a dangerous curled shot from outside the box, Lahm is always ready for quick counter-attacks.

The Brazil international joined from Borussia Moenchengladbach in the close season and instantly cemented their central defence with his physical and skilled game as well as his perfect timing.

van Buyten


David Alaba



A second choice as full back, the speedy Brazilian, expected to be on his way out at the end of the season, has been little used as he has Lahm to compete with on the right side.

From attacking midfielder to left back, the Austria international has enjoyed his best season at Bayern, with his surging runs down the wing and his powerful shot. He has netted twice in the competition.

Javi Martinez

Arjen Robben

Xherdan Shaqiri




The Spanish international has been another golden transfer, despite his $40 million price tag last summer. Elegant and strong, Martinez took some time to adapt to the Bundesliga but has connected perfectly with Schweinsteiger.

The Dutch winger, whose future at Bayern is unclear, is also eager to get his hands on his first big trophy after also losing the 2010 World Cup final to Spain. He has endured a rollercoaster season with Heynckes benching him early in the year.

A lightning-quick and powerful replacement to Ribery on the left. With good dribbling skills and a powerful shot, the diminutive Swiss international has a future at Bayern.

Mario Gomez


Thomas Mueller

Mario Mandzukic





forward, the Pole has yet to reveal whether he will see out his contract at Dortmund or move on, with the latter the more likely option. With a record of 10 goals in 12 Champions League games this season, he has enhanced his reputation.

attack and has scored three goals in the league and the winner against Manchester City in the group stage, but plays second fiddle to Lewandowski. (Editing by Stephen Wood)

Named by his coach as the "best midfielder in the world at the moment", the versatile is desperate to prove it with a major title. Part of a German generation of players that has reached at least the last four in the World Cup,


The Belgian has seen his playing time drop but still proved to be a solid option for the central defence, making 13 Bundesliga starts. He has also played in every knockout round this season after making only one group stage appearance.

Julian Schieber An option in


Joined as second choice but it is already by far the most successful season for the 32-year-old veteran, who has made some appearances when Neuer has been rested.


Europe's hottest


This will be his third Champions League final at the age of just 23, and Bayern's Champions League top scorer this season shows no signing of stopping here. Outstanding throughout the campaign with eight goals to his name.

Another jackpot transfer en route to the Bundesliga title, with the Croatian pushing his way into the starting team with a fine scoring run. He has been less effective in Europe, notching only two goals in nine matches.


He may have lost his starting spot to Mandzukic and could be leaving the Bavarians at the end of the season but the former Bundesliga top scorer is still a top-class striker, having scored as many goals as the Croatian in the Champions League in six matches.



Serena out to tame French Open demons

Quick Bytes

Abahani enter hockey election trail Dhaka Abahani officially entered the election path of Bangladesh Hockey Federation declaring all out support to Khwaja Rahmatullah as the general secretary on Wednesday. Renowned sports organisers Harunur Rashid, Tanvir Mazhar Tanna, Afzalur Rahman Sinha, Kazi Nabil Ahmed, D.S.A. Tutul, Abdus Sadeque, Shahriar Alam MP were present in the meeting that affirmed support to Rahmatullah and discussed the required steps. – Raihan Mahmood

n AFP, Paris

Carlos Alberto acquitted of doping Vasco Da Gama midfielder Carlos Alberto was acquitted of doping on Wednesday and saw his ban from playing overturned. The 28-yearold was reprimanded after testing positive for use of the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide - which can be used to mask the use of doping - on March 2. The Court of Justice for Rio Sport (TJD-RJ) ruled in favor of the Brazilian attacking midfielder, though an appeal from the prosecution remains a real possibility. Alternatively, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland could choose to get involved, which could see his most recent acquittal overruled and he could be suspended for up to two years. –

Malaga confirms Pellegrini departure

Malaga has confirmed that Manuel Pellegrini will leave his position as head coach at the end of the season, opening the door to a move to Manchester City. The Chilean has been linked with a switch to the Etihad Stadium since earlier in 2013 and Roberto Mancini's sacking earlier in May added fuel to the fire that Pellegrini would be leaving La Rosaleda for the Blues in the summer. The coach told his outgoing club's website that "sporting reasons" are behind his departure from the Liga side but believes the Andalusians have a good future ahead of them regardless of the split between coach and squad. –

Falcao insists he is not thinking about transfer Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao insisted he had not been thinking about a blockbuster summer transfer as he hogged the limelight in a friendly win in Singapore on Wednesday. The 27-year-old Colombian, reportedly courted by some of Europe's biggest clubs, came on to wild cheers in the second half of Atletico's 2-0 win over Singapore Selection. Falcao was unable to find the net in his half-hour cameo, although he gave a sign of his sought-after goal-scoring prowess when he forced a fine save from Singapore's Hassan Sunny. Earlier, Falcao told Britain's Sky Sports News that despite speculation linking him to Monaco and Chelsea, among others, his mind was not on changing clubs. – AFP, Singapore

Ibrahimovic not ruling out PSG departure Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitted Wednesday that a departure from the Ligue 1 champions could not be ruled out if the club continues to lack stability behind the scenes. The celebrations of PSG's first French title in 19

Day’s Watch ESPN 5:00am MLB Regular Season LIVE – Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Star Cricket 4:00pm New Zealand tour of England LIVE 2nd Test, Day 1 Ten Sports 6:00pm WTA tour LIVE – Semi Final: Brussels Open Sat Max and Channel 9 8:30pm IPL LIVE - Qualifier 2: Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals at Kolkata Star Sports 9:30pm Super Fight League LIVE


Friday, May 24, 2013

Switzerland's tennis player Roger Federer sits during a training session before the French Tennis Open Roland Garros 2013 at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris yesterday AFP

If momentum counts for everything in tennis, nothing will stop Serena Williams from winning the French Open for just the second time in her career in Paris on June 8. At 31, the superstar of the women's game is on an unprecedented winning run going in to the consecration of the claycourt season at Roland Garros. Four straight tournament wins at Miami, Charleston, Madrid and Rome (the last three coming on clay) and 22 matches in all for the loss of just four sets represents the best unbeaten streak of her career. Nothing suggests that that is about to end in Paris. And yet there are demons to be confronted for the American diva in the city she says is her favourite place in the world. Namely 11 previous campaigns and just the one championship win -- in 2002 when she defeated sister Venus in the final -- as the first step on the road to her famous "Serena Slam" of all four Grand Slam titles. Since then a combination of injuries, lack of focus and claycourt calamities have brought losses to the likes of Katarina Srebotnik and, most surprisingly, in last year's first round, to France's Virginie Razzano, which saw a frustrated Williams stomp off the Philippe Chatrier Centre Court in a decided huff. Since her 2002 triumph, amazingly she has only once managed to get past the quarter-final stage. But, on the face of it, all that is about to change. All but down and out after missing 11 months in 2010 and 2011 with a right foot injury followed by a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, Williams has re-dedicated herself to her sport and the results have been hugely impressive. A repeat of last year's debacle, she says is out of the question -- the lesson has been learned. "I was feeling excellent last year and I didn't do great," Williams said of her loss to Razzano. "This year I feel good, too, but I'm definitely more cautious. I feel I just want to win every point and do every shot the best I can at the French Open. And I'm going to work really hard and

not slack at all and do the best I can. "I don't feel any pressure now. Maybe in the past I have. Like I've always said, I've won every Grand Slam there is to win. Maybe I've only won it (French Open) once, but I know a lot of people who can't say that. So for me, I don't feel any pressure anymore." With no Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters around, and with sister Venus a non-factor on the red dirt, the main threat to Williams would normally come from defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia or the best of the new wave, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. But against Sharapova, Williams is 13-2 head-to-head and against Azarenka she is 12-2. She has never lost to either on clay, although all three would

Recent women's champions 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

: Maria Sharapova (RUS) : Li Na (CHN) : Francesca Schiavone (ITA) : Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) : Ana Ivanovic (SRB) : Justine Henin (BEL) : Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL) : Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL) : Anastasia Myskina (RUS) : Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL)

say that the surface is their least preferred. So what could get in the way of a 16th Grand Slam title for Serena? John McEnroe says that his own experiences of failing to win in Paris when being hot favourite gives him an insight. On any given day, things can go wrong. "I mean it's been done before. I've done it myself, but you sort of have to beat yourself. The level she's at when she's playing well, I don't think anybody can beat her. Anybody, no matter how great they are though, everybody has bad days. "On clay, it's her worst surface. The odds would increase. The pressure is greater obviously at the French because she's only won it once. I would say at some stage in the event, it would be likely that she won't have one of her best days. Depending on her opponent that day, someone might have a shot at her." l

Vettori out of second Test against England n AFP, Leeds Daniel Vettori was ruled out yesterday of playing in the second and final Test against England starting in Leeds today after doubts over his ability to last a five-day match. Former captain Vettori hasn't played a Test for nearly a year, mainly because of Achilles trouble, and was only originally selected for the one-day leg of this tour. But a calf injury suffered by his fellow left-arm spinner Bruce Martin during New Zealand's thumping 170-run first Test defeat at Lord's saw Vettori make an earlier than expected arrival in England. He trained Wednesday but New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum told reporters at Headingley on Thursday: "Dan's out of tomorrow's game unfortunately. "We obviously gave it our best shot

with Dan but it he didn't scrub up that well today and just the confidence to go into a five-day game, with the workload he's had, it was just a bridge too far unfortunately." Vettori, New Zealand's jointly mostcapped Test player of all-time with 111

NZ second Test teams

land and the ICC Champions Trophy in the UK on the horizon, McCullum said there was no point risking Vettori at Headingley. "He's got a biggish month and a a bit coming up for us as well. That's one of the things we looked at as well. Would

England second Test teams

Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Doug Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (capt/ wkt), Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell

Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan

appearances, a mark he shares with Stephen Fleming, has taken 359 Test wickets for his country -- a record only bettered for the Black Caps by Richard Hadlee. But he hasn't played a Test since facing the West Indies in Antigua in July last year. And with a one-day series with Eng-

we sacrifice the coming few weeks as well? That wasn't the right thing for Dan, it wasn't the right thing for us." As for the 34-year-old Vettori's longterm Test prospects, McCullum said a cloud now hung over the bowler's future in the five-day game. "It's going to be a rolling conversa-

tion we need to have with Dan about what he needs to prioritise with where he's at in his career and how many overs he has got under his belt as well," McCullum said. "It would be nice to think he would be able to play every game in all three forms but it's also not realistic as well but we need to continue to have those conversations as we go along. "I certainly see a place for him in the team. It would be silly for us to sweep away 112 (Vettori also played for an ICC XI) Test matches, close to 400 wickets and six Test centuries." McCullum, asked if Vettori wanted to play Test cricket, replied: "Yes, which is why he jumped on a plane as soon as he got the phone call. "He's a great guy to have around, a tremendous player and very keen to help out the New Zealand cricket team. It was just disappointing he wasn't able to get across the line on this one as well. l

Ex-Man U defender Greenhoff dies

‘Local’ Super Cup from June 14

n AFP, London

n Raihan Mahmood

Former Manchester United and England defender Brian Greenhoff has died at the age of 60, his family announced on Wednesday. In a statement sent to regional newspaper the Manchester Evening News, his family said he had passed away on Wednesday morning, without specifying the cause of death. "We regret to inform of Brian's passing this morning, Wednesday 22nd May at the age of 60," the statement said. "Brian was a proud and much loved brother, husband of Maureen, father of Paul, Brian and Peter, grandfather to Jack, James and Harry and will be sorely missed by his family, who he made very proud in his distinguished life and career." l

The much talked Bangladesh Football Federation’s cash-rich tournament of the season Super Cup will kick-off at the Bangabandhu National Stadium from June 14. The Tk16m competition will, however, not feature any overseas player as the tournament will be eligible for locals only. The 11-day meet will end with the final on June 25. BFF president Kazi Salahuddin cleared all the confusions over the tournament taking place when he declared the kickoff date following a thorough discussion with all the eight Bangladesh Premier League clubs yesterday. Relegated Arambagh will not be participating in the competition. Representatives of Sheikh Russell,

Sheikh Jamal, Dhaka Abahani, Team BJMC, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Brothers Union, Muktijoddha KC and Feni Soccer Club were present in the meeting. Mohammedan, however, asked for a day’s time to give their final decision as they earlier said they are not willing to play in the tourney. “MSC will finalise their decision on Friday,” said Salahuddin. Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, the director-in-charge of Mohammedan, on his way out of the BFF House yesterday, however, said they will not play in the tournament. Meanwhile, BFF decided to alter the prize money of the meet and as per the new decision the champions will receive a purse of the Tk5m instead of Tk10m while the runners-up will receive Tk2m. Both the earlier editions of the Super Cup saw the respective champions take away Tk10m, but the other participating clubs this time raised their voice as they do not

receive any fund. BFF in its latest step decided to provide Tk1.5m to the other six participating clubs as their appearance money. “We will split the money for all the participating clubs and they will be benefitted by playing the Super Cup, we hope,” said Kazi Nabil Ahmed, the vice president of BFF. He also added that the clubs can enroll new players and bring players on mutual loan from other clubs. The players are not in touch with team practice as the clubs closed their camps after the Bangladesh Premier League concluded on May 8, but Nurul Alam Chowdhury, the president of the unprecedented treble winner of the season Sheikh Russell KC thinks “it won’t be a problem, all the players are registered with the club till August 31st and they are professionals. I think with a few days camp the players will be ready for the tournament.” l

Iron woman Zheng stuns Wozniacki in Brussels

n AFP, Brussels

China's Zheng Jie knocked top seed Caroline Wozniacki out of the Brussels Open on Wednesday, just hours after prevailing in a three-set opener held over because of Tuesday's heavy rain. Zheng, the world number 51, eased past the Dane 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. After Tuesday's washout, 10 first round matches were yet to finish, with all eight second round matches also on the schedule. But Zheng thrived in the tough conditions, defeating American qualifier Mallory Burdette, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in her first round. Four hours later, she was back on court to beat former world number one Wozniacki. "She's a very tough player and fought until the last point," said Zheng, who hit 34 winners to the Dane's 17. Third seed Dominika Cibulkova was also knocked out, falling to Kaia Kanepi, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in the first round. The Estonian later beat Jana Cepelova in her second round match, 6-3, 6-3.l


Dhaka Tribune

Overburdened primary teachers compromise education quality n Mushfique Wadud

Back Page Discovering history in coins

my interest and simply don’t know what I teach,” Faizur Rahman, a government primary school teacher in the capital’s Dhanmondi area, told the Dhaka Tribune. Apart from the classes that they need to take, the government often assigns them additional tasks like collecting information for updating the voter lists, conducting surveys on the children and other tasks. Rajshahi University graduate Fauzia Akhter, a government primary school teacher in the capital’s Mirpur area, said she was looking for a better job because the pressure was unduly high. “You can’t imagine how hard it is to work as a primary teacher. I am looking for a good job and hopefully will get it soon. No one who has other opportunities will want to continue in the teaching profession in the government primary schools,” Fauzia said. Officials in the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) said the number of teachers was not adequate compared to the number of government primary schools. According to DPE, there is a total of 37,672 government primary schools in

the country. As compared to a student count of 10,687,349, the number of teachers is only 201,900 – one teacher for every 53 students. The government-set standard for an ideal teacher-student ratio is 46:1. The fact that many schools around the country run on two shifts to accommodate all the students, makes it even tougher for the teachers. DPE figures also show that a total of 6,300 primary schools around the country do not have any headmaster right now. According to DPE’s Annual Sector Performance Report 2011, only 45% government primary schools around the country met the standard teacher-student ratio. In the Nobaberbagh Government Primary School in the capital’s Mirpur area, eight teachers are responsible for 800 students – an overwhelming student-teacher ratio of 100:1. Head teacher of the school Tofail Ahmed said they were facing severe problems in conducting classes due to an acute shortage of teachers. Manzoor Ahmed, senior advisor of Brac University Institute of Education Development, said Bangladesh needed to increase the number of primary school teachers by at least 50% as also increase the teaching hours. “The minimum standard is one teacher per 30 students. The annual learning time also needs to be raised to the internationally recommended 1,000 hours per calendar year,” he said. He added that extra-curricular work burden of the teachers also needed to be curtailed. “Primary school teachers are often pressed into all kinds of government activities.” Professor Nazmul Haque, from the Institute of Education and Research (IER) of Dhaka University, observed: “Teaching children is hard work. If teachers do not get enough rest between classes, they cannot do quality teaching. Students therefore are the biggest sufferers.” DPE Director General Shyamal Kanti Ghosh said reaching the ideal teacher-student ratio in Bangladesh was very difficult. “There used to be one or two teachers in government primary schools around the country. But things have changed now. The process of recruiting more teachers is underway. We hope the situation will be improved after the recruitment,” he said. l

Rafsanjani barred from election n Reuters, Dubai

Joanne Chesimard - 1st woman on FBI’s most wanted terrorist list

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani sharply criticised the country’s leadership, opposition website Kaleme said on Thursday, two days after he was disqualified from running in next month’s presidential election. “I don’t think the country could have been run worse, even if it had been planned in advance,” Rafsanjani reportedly told members of his campaign team on Wednesday, the website reported. “I don’t want to get stoop to their propaganda and attacks but ignorance is troubling. Don’t they understand what they’re doing.” The comments seem certain to fan divisions between Iran’s clerical rulers and opposition groups. Iran’s best known political grandee, Rafsanjani entered the June 14 vote as a reformist candidate at the last minute, igniting interest in a ballot many had viewed as a race between conservatives hardliners. l

n Tribune Report

If the record-breaking result in this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examinations is the illuminating flame, then the wretched condition in the country’s primary education sector could easily qualify as the darkness under the flame. The adverse teacher to student ratio in the primary schools around the country means that the school teachers are overburdened with class duties and hence fail to come up with innovative teaching ideas. Most teachers in the government primary schools around the country have to take six to seven classes every day. “I can concentrate only on the first two or three classes and then I just lose

One teacher has to take 6-7 classes a day Teachers have to work for updating voter lists and govt survey 6,300 out 37,000 primary schools without headmasters Current teacher-student ratio 53:1 [ideal - 30:1]

For the first time, a woman has been added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorist list: Joanne Chesimard. The FBI and the state of New Jersey are now offering $2m for information leading to her capture, reports Yahoo! News. Chesimard was already wanted for several felonies, including bank robbery, when she was accused of killing New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster execution-style 40 years ago this month. She was convicted in 1977 and served prison time but escaped in 1979 by using a prison van in a dramatic jailbreak. By 1984, she surfaced in Cuba and was granted asylum by Fidel Castro. She remains there to this day. To her supporters, Joanne

Friday, May 24, 2013

Long gone are the days when people used horses as bills and lambskin for small changes. Before losing it all to credit cards and monetary transaction in virtual instruments, coins and paper bills still exist with coins being less and less visible in Bangladesh where we have already started using candies for one taka coins

pushing them in to become a thing of history soon. At such a time, Bangladesh Numismatic Collectors Society (BNCS) holds their second exhibition of coins, from all over the world and spanning centuries, on 23rd May at GPO in Dhaka. The exhibition displays 24 exhibitors’ collection of an extensive variety

ranging from ancient and medieval coins, commemorative coins on games and tokens to coins and notes made using state-of-the-art technology and materials like holography on polymer substrates. Exhibits like ‘coins of dead countries’ and ‘error banknotes’ ad more attraction to the exhibition.

Mr. Hasanul Haque, Minister, Ministry of Information inaugurated the exhibition which will continue up to 25 May. Mr. Nayeb Delwar Hossain, Director General of Bangladesh Postal Department was the Chief Guest. Mr. Amalendra Saha, Chairman, BNCS chaired the inaugural session Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Children cry for mothers who are abroad for work n Rabiul Islam A number of Bangladeshi women who have recently gone abroad for work, mostly as housemaids in Jordan, have left behind children pining for their mothers and families anxious for their wellbeing. “’Ma’, ‘ma’ – no other word comes out of the child’s mouth,” Saira Banu said of her five-year-old grandchild. The child’s mother, Alefa Khatun, went to Jordan on April 9 to work as a housemaid. “The child will only be pacified when my daughter is brought back from Jordan,” Banu, who is from Kushtia, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone on Wednesday. Banu last talked to Alefa over phone on Tuesday. Banu alleged that her daughter is being kept confined in an office, beaten up and given only a glass of water in three days.

Chesimard is Assata Shakur, unfairly targeted and convicted by the United States government. She has also become something of a cultural hero. Not only is she the step-aunt and godmother of rapper Tupac Shakur, but she has written an autobiography and was featured in a documentary while in Cuba. Hip-hop and rap artists have sung about her cause, including “A Song for Assata” by the rapper Common. “It’s unfortunate that someone involved in the murder of an officer, kidnappings, hostage takings and robberies in a 14-year span is revered by a segment of society,” said Aaron Ford, the special agent in charge at the FBI’s Newark division, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour. “For us, justice never sleeps, justice never rests,” Ford continued. “We’re looking to bring her to

“Alefa can be brought back if Tk60,000 is deposited at the Sonali Bank,” Banu said, quoting her daughter. The families of many such female migrant workers have applied to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), requesting help to bring them back home. “We have written to the first secretary of the Bangladesh embassy in Jordan to help repatriate Alefa,” a BMET official told the Dhaka Tribune, on condition of anonymity. The official also claimed that Alefa Khatun was being tortured every night. In the letter addressed to the first secretary, a Bangladeshi citizen, Ibrahim (mobile no-00962799536408) said Alefa could be sent back home if Tk1,20,000 was sent to one Khamiz Fahim Ahmed Abu Jaid (mobile no-00962799536408) through Western Union. Alefa went to Jordan through Razia

Trade International, a recruiting agency. The agency owner, Kobi Abdus Sattar, claimed Alefa was doing fine. However, she has not been working for the last fifteen days, he said, without elaborating. “The matter regarding Alefa is in the knowledge of the first secretary,” Sattar said over phone. The BMET official said employers there do not agree to send them back, as they paid over $2,000 to hire a worker. Some 9,548 women have gone to Jordan for work since January this year, according to BMET Director (immigration) Mizanur Rahman. Fulsara Khatun, from Comilla, has also applied to BMET to get her daughter back from Jordan as her child has fallen seriously ill. In her application, Fulsara Khatun said: “My daughter, Johora Khatun, went to Jordan to work as a housemaid

on January 8, and now she wants to return home as her four-year-old son is suffering from cancer.” “I am very poor and cannot work due to old age. I was compelled to send my daughter to Jordan to work as a housemaid,” Fulsara said. BMET Director General Begum Shamsun Nahar said they discourage those with small children to go abroad, but there are some cases where their suggestion is not followed. Sumaiya Islam, director of Bangladesh Ovibashi Mohila Sramik Association, said poverty force these women to seek work overseas. “We discourage those who have children, but they are determined to go,” Sumaiya told the Dhaka Tribune. “We also tell them during training: ‘You will not be able to listen to the voice of your children for the next three years’, but they don’t listen.” l

justice because she committed a heinous act. She is a member of an organization which espoused hate against the US government.” The FBI describes Chesimard as a revolutionary extremist and a member of the Black Liberation Army, a left-wing militant group. Though Cuba has sometimes cooperated with the US in criminal matters and agreed to extradition, Chesimard’s residence there for the last three decades has apparently been protected. “We absolutely still consider her a threat,” said Ford. “She is a menace to society still. She has connections and associations from members of that party she belonged to years ago. They are still espousing anti-government views.” Though the FBI has named her a terrorist, that designation is not without controversy. l

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