Jyoishtha 11, 1420 Razab 14, 1434 Vol 1 No 65
Fish spawning in Halda River again
Obama seeks end to perpetual United States ‘war on terror’
Thais ready for Iranian challenge
saturday, may 25, 2013 | www.dhakatribune.com
Illegal arms make their way to Dhaka ahead of city polls
16 pages | Price: Tk10
Chittagong’s wasted precautions
Seven members of an arms-dealing ring held in city, placed on remand and Indian citizen Rabeya is the wife n Mohammad Jamil Khan and of Imran. The police also recovered six Sanaul Islam Tipu
The trade and supply of illegal arms is on the rise in the wake of ongoing pre-election activities in the capital and higher demand from local criminals, claims a member of an intelligence agency. Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of the Detective Branch (DB) of police, yesterday said a group of arms smugglers was importing the illegal arms ahead of the city corporation elections due this year. The DB has already prepared a list of political leaders and criminal groups who are buying and renting these arms from smugglers, he said while addressing a press briefing at the DMP media centre, arranged to provide information over the arrest of seven people working for a smuggling ring in raids on Thursday and early yesterday. Mohammad Sanowar Hossain, DB additional deputy commissioner, coordinated the raid which was conducted by Officer-in-Charge of the DB’s bomb disposal unit, Rahmatullah Chowdhury, and OC of its illegal arms recovery and protection team (south) Jahangir Alam. The arrestees are: arms traders Mobarak Hossain Masud, 30, Shahidul Islam Khokan, 32, Fakhrul Islam Apu, 31, Sumon Hossain, 24, Kamruzzaman Imran, 26, and drug traders Halima Akter alias Liza, 22, and Suchandra Manna Rabeya, 19. Of them, Apu is a leader of BNP’s Comilla district unit while Imran is an associate of noted criminal Shahadat
foreign pistols, 70 rounds of bullet and 200 illegal Yaba tablets from them. Based on information that this group was bringing 22 firearms to the capital by truck, the DB police performed raids in the city’s Mirpur area and arrested Masud and Khokan with two guns at around 8pm on Thursday, said Monirul. Upon receiving information from them, the DB officials went to the Geneva Page 2 column 5
18-party hartal tomorrow n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
DB police recovered arms and drugs and arrested seven people from different areas in the capital yesterday
One month of Savar Tragedy
Poverty forces under-age children into work n Muktasree Chakma Sathi Poverty forced 16-year-old Anna to apply for work at Ether Textile, housed on the sixth floor of Rana Plaza, which collapsed on April 24 leaving her right arm amputated. Anna is now undergoing treatment at Enam Medical College and Hospital and has little idea what the future holds for her once she is released. Hajiran, Anna’s mother, told the Dhaka Tribune: “When we submitted her resume, she was described as being 18 years old to prove that she was of working age.” Just like Anna, Rabeya Akhter, age 15, Hamida Akhter, age 14, and many other children, not of age, were named on the list of victims killed, injured or missing in the Rana Plaza collapse. Rabeya and Hamida worked at a garment factory on the seventh floor of Rana Plaza. Rabeya, who has a fractured backbone, is undergoing treatment at the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, Savar.
Chittagong city authorities have kept tents ready in Pahartoli School playground for residents living in risky hillside homes in Batali Hill and Lalkhan Bazar areas. Since Mahasen hit the Bangladesh coast, the authorities have been telling the hillside residents, who are exposed to monsoon landslides, to shelter in tents, with little response from people.
The lists were prepared by several organisations, including the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA). Children aged between 15 and 17 were listed as victims by Social Welfare Club of Jahangirnagar University. BGMEA Second Vice-president SM Mannan Kochi, however, said BGMEA members are told to strictly follow the country’s labour law, as stipulated in the agreement with the ILO and Unicef. “BGMEA members only appoint workers after checking their birth certificates.” Yesterday, during a visit to the control room at Upazila Nirabahi Office, Savar, this correspondent saw a list prepared by a BGMEA official, where the names of 12 missing children came up as workers of garment factories housed in Rana Plaza. These names include Bitu Baroy, age 16, Runa and Raja Miah, whose ages range between 16 and 17. Five garment factories were housed in Rana Plaza – New Wave Bottom, New Page 2 column 1
The BNP-led 18-party alliance has called a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal tomorrow demanding the unconditional release of its leaders and protesting the ban on meetings and rallies. BNP called the shutdown at a press briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters in the capital yesterday. Reiterating its demand for a non-partisan, neutral government, BNP also threatened to settle the issue through street agitation if the government does not engage in dialogue on poll-time interim government. At the briefing Shamsuzzaman Dudu, adviser to the BNP chairperson, asked the government to step down. “The prime minister is playing games with the opposition movement, as we are asking her to sit across the table to settle the issue of caretaker government administration,” he said. Referring to Sheikh Hasina’s comment on Akabar Ali Khan, a former adviser to Page 2 column 5
Five city polls acid test for AL, BNP n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla The upcoming elections to the five city corporations ahead of the national elections are thought to be an acid test both for the Awami League and BNP. The rivals will assess their support at least in the not-so-big cities that mould public opinion in the grassroots as local leaders of the two major parties will be the leading contenders. Local government experts say the city corporation polls will reflect the popularity of the parties, though not on a broad canvas. The favourite candidates hold top posts either in the Awami League or the BNP, though the city corporation polls are viewed as non-partisan elections. The former mayor of Sylhet City Corporation, Badaruddin Ahmed Kamran, is the city AL president, the former mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation, AHM Page 2 column 1
4 BNP standing committee member
Moudud Ahmed yesterday welcomed Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s statement that the next parliamentary elections “will not be held under a partisan government.”
5 Despite its name, the Institute of Education and Research of Dhaka
University has not conducted any major research in the education sector in the past six years
6 Just when Bangladesh’s southern region was picking itself up from the devastation of cyclones Sidr and Aila, the agriculturebased economy of the Barisal division again sustained damages worth almost Tk2.7476bn during the recent cyclone Mahasen on May 16
9 Five climbers including two Hungarians and a South Korean are missing on the world’s third-highest mountain and feared dead
12 Eminent singer Ferdous Ara will be
releasing a solo-album from Impress Audio Vision titled “Bhalobashai Nazrul” marking the birthday of the celebrated rebel poet
One more year’s wait for MNP n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Mobile phone users will have to wait at least another year before they can enjoy the benefits of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). MNP gives the users freedom to frequently switch between operators without changing a digit of the phone number for a transfer fee, which BTRC recommends should be Tk50. “Considering the upcoming 3G services and all the other relevant arrangements, it is almost impossible to complete the process of establishing MNP within 12 months,” Mahmud Hossain, chief corporate officer (CCO) of Grameenphone told the Dhaka Tribune. Grameenphone, the leading mobile phone operator of the country, was very much interested about MNP but it should be done properly to reduce the subscribers’ hassle, he said. On May 6, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) approved the MNP service with an aim to foster competition by lowering the barrier for customers who wish to change operators. The country’s telecom regulator believes that it will play a significant role in breaking the “monopoly” of some operators, improve the quality of service in general and narrow the gap in the tariff rates. BTRC on Wednesday sent a draft of the MNP Guideline to the operators
and directed them to finalise it within a month through consultation with each other. The guideline allocates two months for process specification and another three months for the operators to set up the relevant equipment after BTRC vets the process. The operators get six more months to test and run the system. “We have already directed the operators about MNP as it is now a public demand,” BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose recently told the Dhaka Tribune.
Mobile phone users will have the freedom to change operators without changing number “It is an operator’s responsibility to establish all supporting infrastructure and create user-friendly market conditions,” he added. According to world standards, after the introduction of MNP, the number signatures of the operators, Grameenphone’s 017 for example, will not be valid. With a mobile number starting with 017, one will be able to use the services of other operators as well. Some operators in Bangladesh currently have a relatively similar service where a subscriber can switch networks but at least one digit of the number has
to be changed for availing the service. According to the MNP Guideline, users can enjoy the comfort of choosing any operator only at a cost of TK50 within 3 days. It also says operators will handle the issue by forming a consortium with a BTRC commissioner as its member. The MNP system will be operated with a new software under a central system, in which all the operators will participate, and will be managed by a third-party company, the guideline continues. Grameenphone CCO Mahmud Hossain said governance would be the main challenge of introducing the mobile number portability system. “It would take time to establish a body and form its regulations. Operators need to deposit money, float international tender and import equipment. Still a long way to go.” Other operators said they would reply BTRC about the draft guideline within a short time. A high official from mobile phone operator Robi said: “The process is very complicated. By this time 3G auction will be held and another new operator will join. Besides, lots of technical processes should be followed. So it will take time.” Sources said security was the main concern as Pakistan had to stop the service just after a few months of launching MNP.
Page 2 column 5
Satuday, May 25, 2013
Government to take Interpol help to bring back Tarique: Quamrul
National Poet’s 114th birth anniversary today n BSS The nation will celebrate the 114th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and the 90th anniversary of the publication of the poet’s extraordinary creation of “Bidrohi” today. The Nazrul Institute, Bangla Academy, Dhaka University, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote and other social and cultural organisations have planned elaborate programmes to observe Nazrul’s birth anniversary. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate a twoday celebration at Osmani Memorial Hall in the city at 10am. On the occasion of Nazrul’s birth anniversary, President M Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition in parliament Khaleda Zia gave separate messages. The government has drawn out elaborate programmes in Dhaka, Chittagong, Mymensingh and Comilla to celebrate the 114th birth anniversary. l
n Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee
DB police recovered arms and drugs and arrested seven people from different areas in the capital on 24 May, 2013 Nashirul Islam/Dhaka Tribune
Hefazat to cut ties with 18-party alliance n Manik Miazee On the back foot since its May 6 demonstration, Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh is set to drop the 18-party opposition alliance leaders and increase pressure on the government for its 13-point demands. As part of this process, it will reconstitute its central and district-level committees. Chief of the Chittagong-based organisation, Shah Ahmed Shafi made the announcement on Thursday at the Hathazari Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa, its central leader Alamgir Hossain confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune by phone. The group has been on the run since May 6 when law-enforcers forced its chief out of Dhaka and took his deputy Junaid Babunagari into custody. Thousands of Hefazat leaders and activists were implicated in 26 cases filed in connections with the mayhem in Dhaka and violence in Dhaka suburbs next day. Two policemen and a border guard were among the dead as Hefazat men ran riot at at Kanchpur in Narayanganj. Alamgir said majlis-e-shura would be formed at district levels, comprising
representation of leaders of the upazilaand union parishad-level units. In the Islamist parties, majlis-e-shura is the highest policymaking body. He said the committees of lawyers, doctors, teachers, businesses and other professional bodies would also be formed. Currently, Hefazat has only district-level committees of lawyers. “The organisation chief has assigned the task of reconstituting the district majlis-e-shura committees to me,” Alamgir told this reporter. “After the ‘Dhaka siege,’ the organisational activities have apparently been suspended. The central and district committees including that of Dhaka will be restructured to expedite the movement,” he added. Another senior leader, however, said all the committees of the group would be suspended and reformed. One of Hefazat’s Dhaka unit members told this reporter that the reshuffle of the committees was being influenced by the government. Another Dhaka committee leader, Mufti Altaf Hossain, however, told the Dhaka Tribune that they are reconstituting the district committees to strength-
en the movement. “It is not motivated or prescribed by the government. It is the decision of our chief,” he said. Hefazat chief Shafi in a statement on Thursday said the movement had not come to a standstill and would continue until the demands were met. The group currently runs its activities through the central committee based in the Hathazari madrasa. Its activities in Dhaka were controlled from the Jamia Arabia Madrasa (Lalbagh Madrasa), headquarters of its opposition ally Islami Oikya Jote, led by Abdul Latif Nezami. Hefazat, formed on January 19, 2010, has been demonstrating over the “anti-Islamic” policies on education and women development. Its central committee has two members from Hefazat – chief Shafi and Secretary General Junaid Babunagari – while the others are from the opposition alliance and other pro-opposition Islamist groups. It came up with its 13- point demand at the end of February that includes as its principal demand, a death sentence to “atheist bloggers” who led the Shahbagh movement against the war criminals.
With support from the opposition allies including the BNP-Jamaat, Jatiya Party and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, The group organised a “long march” to Dhaka on April 6 and held a rally at Motijheel, where it announced the Dhaka siege for May 5, if its demands were not met. At rallies before the May 5 blockade, the Hefazat leaders said the government would not be able to stay in power without meeting its demands and that the next government would have to meet them. It also threatened to take over Bangabhaban and enforce the holy Qur’an instead of the constitution. The Hefazat leaders enforced the blockade that morning, but violence erupted as supporters of the blockade clashed with police in the capital’s Paltan and adjoining areas. Without planning to hold a rally beforehand, the group asked the police for permission at noon to organise one at the Motijheel intersection and promised to leave the site at 6pm. But as violence and arson escalated, the Hefazat leader did not end the rally, and supporters continued their sit-in, saying they would not leave until their demands were met. l
Five city polls acid test for AL, BNP from page 1 column 2
Khayruzzaman Liton, is general secretary of Rajshahi unit of the AL, former mayor of Khulna City Corporation Talukder Abdul Khaleque is the president of Khulna city AL and former mayor of Barishal City Corporation Shawkat Hossain Hrion is president of city unit AL. The big four cities are bracing for elections just before the next general elections scheduled to be held on January 2014. Elections to four city corporations – Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet – will be held on June 15 while the Gazipur City Corporation polls on July 6. Tofayel Ahmed, local government expert, said the local government election is a sort of barometer of judging the popularity of the political parties.
With the city corporation elections nearing the country will be clearly polarized into two major political camps: he said. “We noticed it in the Narayanganj, Comilla and Rangpur city corporation elections.” Suranjit Sengupta, member of advisory councils of the Awami league, said city corporation elections is very important to the political parties as the popularity of political parties can be assessed in the elections. Though it is a local level election, the fact is that elections are mainly held between the major political parties, he noted. “City corporation elections will give an indication of behind who people are throwing their weight,” Suranjit, also a minister without portfolio, told the Dhaka Tribune on Friday.
MK Anwar, a standing committee member of the BNP, said this election will give a certain message to the masses of the country as candidates contest the elections under different political parties’ banner,” he said dodging a question on whether the election is an acid test for the party. Badiul Alam Majumder, secretary of Sujan, said local government election is not the true indicator of the political parties’ popularity but it exerts an impact on the national elections. “In local government polls context and purpose are different than in national polls as the latter determines who to run the country for the next five years while the first one choose people to run the city,” he said. But then again, the city corporation elections have an effect on the national
polls, he observed. Fazlul Haque Milon, organising secretary of the BNP, said the city corporation election is an acid test for the Awami League not ‘that much’ for the BNP. “If elections are held in a free and fair manner it will be a disaster for the Awami League. We demanded deployment of army in the city corporation polls. We are suspecting that the government is planning administrative coup to snatch away the polls result,” Milon, a former MP, said. Ahmed Hossain, organising secretary of the Awami League, said the government decided to hold the local government election to uphold the constitution and it is not possible to judge the popularity of the party through local elections. l
Poverty forces under-age children into work
age of 18, in particularly hazardous areas, such as garments, electrical and tanneries, is prohibited. The Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 defines an adolescent as an individual aged between 14 and 18. The law stipulates that an adolescent can work in a factory if a certificate of fitness is granted to him or her, if he or she carries a token while at work which gives reference to the certificate. Child rights activist Sharfuddin Khan told the Dhaka Tribune: “The garment owners need to develop a scrutiny system when appointing employees. Due to poverty, I might claim that my child is 18. But why would the garment owner solely rely on my submission of the document?” Sharfuddin, presently working for Save the Children, said that most poor garment workers enter into this work with the thought that it holds more dignity than so-called odd jobs such as being a domestic help or rick-
Bangladeshis return from Greece n BSS A group of Bangladeshis returned home from Greece yesterday following a nightmare abroad. The 18 Bangladeshi youths landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on an Emirates flight with the help from the International Organisation for Migration and the Bangladesh Embassy in Greece, officials said. “Unidentified international bro-
kers misappropriated huge amount of money from these youths before their return,” they said. Immigration and Armed Police Battalion officials at the airport said the youths went to Dubai, Pakistan and Iran a few months ago with valid passports and visas, and later flew to Greece through international brokers. The brokers realised Tk400,000 to Tk500,000 from each of them and went into hiding. l
Illegal arms make their way from page 1 column 2
camp at Humayun Road in the city’s Mohammadpur area to nab Apu and Sumon, he said. At that time, they fired four shots at DB members while fleeing. They were arrested with two more firearms. DB officials also raided house no. 13/3 of Hazi Chinumia Road in Mohammadpur and arrested Imran, Halima and Rabeya, recovered two more firearms and 200 Yaba tablets, the official said. During primary interrogation, Monirul said, the arrestees admitted their involvement in illegal arms trading and drug peddling, working out of several rented houses in the capital. The arms are mainly imported by Rabeya from India and sold in local market by ring members. They also have several arms traders across the country. They also rent illegal arms for Tk5,000-10,000, police said. According to the arrestees, they brought these firearms to the capital
for use in the upcoming elections. A list of such arms trader has also been recovered from their possessions, Monirul claimed. The DB is now verifying the statements, especially regarding the political leaders who take arms from this group. A total of four cases were filed against the seven with Shah Ali and Mohammadpur police stations. Among them, Fakhrul, Sumon and Imran were shown as arrested in two cases filed under the Arms Act with Mohammadpur police station while Rabeya and Halima are involved in a case filed under the Drugs Act with the same police station. Masud and Khokan were shown arrested in an arms case filed with Shah Ali police station. Metropolitan magistrate granted DB five days to grill Fakhrul, Sumon and Imran. In the drugs case, Rabeya and Halima were placed on a two-day remand, while Masud and Khokan were remanded for three days. l
One more year’s wait for MNP from page 1 column 2
BTRC however said there was a clause in the guideline that bounded the “Donour” operator to preserve the records of the migrating number for at least 12 months. India implemented the third-party-handled MNP in 2011. A customer pays Rs19 for availing the service. In Thailand, using MNP costs THB99, while it is fully free in Malaysia. Other Asian MNP countries and territories are Hong Kong and Singapore. A total of 61 countries around the
from page 1 column 2
Wave Style, Ether Textile, Phantom Apparels, and Phantom Tac. They were all BGMEA members, but lost their memberships after the collapse. In 1995, the BGMEA was welcomed for their step to ban child labour in the garment sector. In that year, an agreement between the BGMEA, Unicef and the ILO was signed and the stakeholders agreed to stop hiring under-age workers, along with several other clauses. The BGMEA initiated a ban on child labour since the United States, one of the biggest importers of Bangladesh garments, in 1992 introduced legislation banning importation of goods of those who employ child labourers. When contacted, most child workers’ guardians admitted their children had joined the garment factories hiding their real age, which ranged from 14 to 17. Child labour, though termed a crime by law, is persistent in the country’s different business and industrial sectors as well as households. The children often work in hazardous conditions. Efforts to change the situation, through tough measures and effective enforcement of the laws have always been lacking by subsequent governments. According to the country’s Labour Law, employing children, under the
State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam yesterday categorically said the government would take action against BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman after bringing him back from abroad with the help of Interpol. “Tarique is a criminal in the eyes of law as there are specific allegations of corruption against him and he has been absconding. The government will take initiatives to bring him back,” Quamrul said at a discussion meeting at the Public Library auditorium at Shahbagh. Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote organised the discussion titled “Election under interim government and BNP-Jamaat’s anarchic activities.” Quamrul had made the same statement at another discussion meeting organised in the morning by Bangabandhu Academy at the Diploma Engineers’ Institute. Quamrul’s remarks came after a day of a demand for bringing Tarique back and trying him was made by the Awami League-led 14-party alliance. Tarique Rahman, the elder son of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, has been staying in London for treatment since he left the country in September 2008 after he was released on bail. He faces 14 corruption charges. At a political programme in London on May 20, Tarique accused the
government of killing scores of people from the rally of Hefazat-e-Islam in the dark of night. He questioned the country’s democracy and demanded restoration of the caretaker government system. Ruling party leaders and ministers criticised the BNP senior vice-chairman for his comments on the government and accused him of violating the conditions of his parole. Quamrul yesterday alleged that Tarique is conspiring to oust an elected government. “A fugitive criminal cannot do this. So, legal action will be taken against him,” he said, adding that law would take its own course irrespective of the identity of an offender. He said: “Police arrested Tarique Rahman in cases related to corruption and August 21 grenade attack. But he is now staying abroad on parole and telling lies about politics of the country. He cannot talk like this. “This is high time action was taken against Tarique,” Quamrul said. “We will take action against him no matter where he lives. If necessary the government will take help from Interpol to bring Tarique back.” Quamrul urged all to remain alert about conspirators. Addressing the programme, AL Presidium member Mohammad Nasim bitterly criticised the main opposition BNP for enforcing hartal for Sunday. l
globe have the MNP system in place with the United Kingdom pioneering the practice in 1999. Other sources however puts Hong Kong as its first exponent. Nigeria became the last county in April to set up NMP. BTRC initiated to launch MNP once before in 2008 and also made a guideline but the operators did not agree then. The process regained momentum in 2012 after the Parliamentary standing committee on the telecommunication ministry recommended setting up MNP within that year. l
18-party hartal tomorrow from page 1 column 2
shaw-puller, or more hazardous but low-pay work. “They believe garment work is riskfree, that they can enjoy more freedom there, compared to other jobs, which is untrue. Many accidents happen every year due to the owners’ negligence, and it is hazardous to their health,” he added. 1774 persons were injured and 1,127 died in the deadly collapse, according to the Directorate of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Doctors have said, since the Rana Plaza collapse, they have treated many
minors and there are still such minors under treatment in the hospitals. Rights activist Khushi Kabir also pointed to the series of disasters in the RMG sector from the Spectrum garment factory collapse to the Tazreen fire, all due to negligence, leaving workers in the industry at the mercy of factory management. In 2005, a building in Ashulia, where the Spectrum garment factory was housed, had collapsed, killing 64 people, while the devastating fire at Tazreen Fashion in November last year killed at least 110 workers. l
a caretaker government, Dudu said: “I think prime minister is intelligent. Hasina praised Akbar Ali when he resigned but now she is critical of him.” “Did you [Sheikh Hasina] forget how many hartals you called for a caretaker government system?” he said. On May 19 at a programme in Chittagong, the home minister, MK Alamgir, said the government would not allow political parties to hold rallies or demonstrations for a month in order to maintain law and order. But Awami league General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam said the same day: “At this time of natural calamities, we should ensure that everything operates normally and that affected peo-
ple can be properly helped. The ban is not only for the opposition, but also for us.” Leaders close to Syed Ashraf told the Dhaka Tribune that before making the remarks, he did not know about the home minister’s comment on the ban on political activities. Syed Ashraf, also the LGRD minister, made the comments responding to reporters’ questions and reaffirmed that his comment was not the government’s decision. However, later in the day, an additional secretary to the home ministry, Kamal Uddin Ahmed, told reporters that his minister’s comment was a “political announcement.” The ministry cannot issue any order in this regard, he said. l
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Moudud welcomes Ashraf’s statement on poll-time administration n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday welcomed Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s statement that the next parliamentary elections “will not be held under a partisan government.” Thanking Syed Ashraf, he said: “If you move forward further, the prevailing crisis will be resolved.” “Syed Ashraful Islam earlier said the next elections would be held under the prime minister. Now he has shifted from his earlier stance, saying the head of the interim government would be finalised through discussion,” Moudud told a discussion organised by Jatiyatabadi Muktijuddher Projanma. Democracy in Bangladesh could not be stabilised in the past 42 years “since a one-party system was introduced in 1975,” Moudud said at the discussion meeting at the National Press Club. “The present Awami League government is doing the same…It cannot also tolerate differences of opinions,” he said. The BNP leader alleged that the government had destroyed the whole administration, including the Election Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission.
DCs conference on 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 officials, 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 on their ministry and divisional issues. l
“We [the BNP] will give them independence – when we assume office – to strengthen democracy,” he said. Moudud alleged that losing its popularity the government had started “to control everything through repression
Now Syed Ashraful Islam has shifted from his earlier stance; he says the head of the interim government would be finalised through discussion and oppression.” The former minister said: “The government imposed ban on meetings and rallies. It shut down two private television channels and the daily Amar Desh. It is killing people at night. People will give it a bitter reply one day for such misdeeds. “The government is trying to stay in office forcefully. We want to protect the country’s democracy and strengthen it. That is why we are far away from violence.” Moudud warned that the government would be compelled to realise the demand of holding the next elections under a non-partisan neutral government if it did not accept the demand right now. l
A road in Swamibagh connecting Wari to Jatrabari is underwater where a hidden man-hole is a reason for many accidents
Govt explores all avenues to mend image abroad Dipu Moni is scheduled to go to Brussels on May 27 to discuss the labour issue with EU issued a statement urging US retailers to agement of supply chains involving The collapse of Rana Plaza, which The EU is the biggest destination for n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman commit to fully enforceable agreement killed over 1,100 people, Bangladesh developing countries,” the statement Bangladesh madegarment products Bangladesh, following the Savar Tragedy, is frantically exploring all avenues of diplomacy to illustrate the current labour situation in the country. “Foreign Minister Dipu Moni is scheduled to go to Brussels on May 27 to discuss the labour issue with the European Union (EU),” said a senior official of the foreign ministry yesterday. She is scheduled to meet EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and other senior officials of the European Union, he said.
withan estimated export worth $10bn. “We are trying to engage with all the foreign stakeholders explaining them what the government has done, is doing and will do in the future to ensure better working conditions and workers’ safety at their work place,” the official said. The foreign minister and the foreign secretary visited Washington last week with the same mission. “Bangladeshi diplomats held meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry and Congressmen Joseph Crowley, Sander Levin and George Miller.”
has come under fireof the international community over labour safety and security issues. On April 30, a week of the collapse, the EU issued a statement expressing their grave concern over the labour conditions in Bangladesh. “The EU is presently considering appropriate actions, including the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) – through which Bangladesh currently receives duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market under the [Everything But Arms] scheme – in order to incentivise responsible man-
n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Shamsuzzaman Dudu at a press briefing Dhaka Tribune
The BNP yesterday called Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim’s remark about BNP senior vice-chairman Tarqiue Rahman “irresponsible and propaganda.” “If the election is held tomorrow, Tarique Rahman will become the prime minister the next day. So think well before you [Nasim] make any comment on him,” Shamsuzzaman Dudu, adviser to the BNP chairperson, told journalists at a press briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan office in the capital. The government is yet to prove a single allegation brought against Tarique during the army-backed care-
taker government, Dudu said. Tarqiue Rahman’s spinal cord was broken by torture after 1/11, he said. Even Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, AK Fazlul Huq, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani did not have to suffer such torture, he went on. AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim on Thursday demanded the government bring back and try Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman, who has been in London since September 11, 2008 on medical grounds after getting bail in various graft cases. “There are specific corruption charges against Tarique Rahman and he is a fugitive in the eyes of the law. The government should bring him
Exporters, economists count EU threat n
Bangladesh needs to consider seriously the European Union (EU) threat to withdraw its duty-free, quota-free (DFQT) access to its market and act promptly as a serious decision like this may put a big blow to the RMG sector in particular and the economy in general, experts say. They think Bangladesh needs to send out a positive message and a good impression to the EU by taking serious and sincere steps instead of giving lip service. If Bangladesh loses its biggest market of the 27-nation bloc, accounting for about 60% of the country’s RMG exports, it will be very difficult to recover as the economy does not have the strength to absorb any big shock like this. “We will have to take the warning seriously. We need to show them that steps are being taken sincerely and seriously regarding compliance,” Director General of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr Mustafa K Mujeri told UNB yesterday. “Their ultimate decision will depend on what steps we have taken and how sincere and serious we are in addressing their concerns.” If Bangladesh loses the market once, the entire RMG sector will hugely be affected. “It will invite a big jolt what will be difficult to overcome.” He said the competitors of Bangladesh in the global RMG market would take control
said. Meanwhile,senior US Congressman George Miller, one of the 25 congressmen, who wrote letter to the prime minister to improve working conditions,is scheduled to arrive on Dhaka on May 25. He will hold meetings with garment sector leaders and the government officials. “His visit is focused on readymade garment sector,” said another foreign ministry official. The Senior Democrat congressman, who was elected in 1975, and his other colleagues in the US Congress on May 17
on Bangladeshi workers’ rights. “Circumstances are at a tipping point in Bangladesh, much as they were in the wake of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York over a century ago. We urge you to seize this moment, and to help ensure that workers in Bangladesh do not needlessly lose their lives to produce the clothes we wear,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to the retailers. The letter was sent to The Gap, JC Penney, The Children’s Place, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, VF Corporation, Macy’s and Sears/Kmart. l
BNP slams Nasim for his comment on Tarique
Withdrawal of duty-free access to market
Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
over the EU market, and it would be very difficult to recover it. “The government, owners and other stakeholders will have to act seriously and promptly so that a positive message and impression is sent out to them,” he said. The exports to the EU made a leap since January 2011 when it allowed special benefit for Bangladeshi garments made from imported fabrics. There is a 46% rise in apparel exports between a year without and with the benefit. Last year, the EU member states imported about €9.2bn of goods from Bangladesh. The EU is considering trade action against Bangladesh to pressure Dhaka to improve safety standards following the collapse last month of Rana Plaza that housed five garment factories. Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have also expressed concern over the warning and laid emphasis on concerted efforts to address the challenge. “It is a warning. Any kind of warning is certainly negative. We need to take collective efforts,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam told the UNB. Islam, also managing director of the Islam Garments Ltd, said there was an urgent need for coordination and all stakeholders needed to act instead of talking too much. “We want to move
forward following a roadmap…stakeholders, buyers and agents will have to take the responsibility equally and identify the problems and address those timely,” he said. The BGMEA president mentioned that many steps were being taken in terms of safety, working environment and workers’ rights. “We have to boost confidence and come out from this negativity.” Contacted, the president of Bangladesh Exporters Association (BEA), Abdus Salam Murshedy said: “The EU is concerned and they have given some conditions regarding improvement of workers’ living standards, fire and building safety. If these are addressed rightly, things will turn positive.” He said there were already some positive signals like labour law amendment process and others. “When they will come across these improvements, they will consider us positively, they will be convinced.” Murshedy, also a former BGMEA president, also stressed on combined efforts for addressing all the concerns, and “there is no scope for hide and seek.” The BGMEA’s former first vice-president M Nasiruddin Chowdhury termed the EU warning a tough one as the exports would fall drastically if any negative notion came from the EU market. “They want to see visible actions and steps to address their concerns,”
FM to hold talks
Amid the threats, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will be visiting Brussels from May 28 to 30 to have talks with the EU leaders in an effort to keep Bangladesh’s market there unhurt. She will also attend a seminar there on Bangladesh, titled “The Current Situation in Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges” to be held in Brussels on May 29 where the minister will deliver the keynote speech.
Following the recent fires at Tazreen Fashions and Smart Garments and the Savar building collapse, members of the European Parliament have called for justice for the victims and the EU action to prevent recurrence of similar events. They want the EU to promote responsible business conduct among the EU companies operating abroad and ensure strict compliance with all legal obligations in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment. They recalled 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. l
back and try him,” he told journalists after a meeting of the alliance at AL President Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office. Nasim claimed Tarique went abroad after signing a declaration promising to keep out of politics while his parole lasted and despite that “was continuously spreading propaganda against the government.” He said Tarique was hatching a conspiracy to destroy democracy and oust the elected government. Tarqiue seems to have stayed away from the political scene since his release on bail in 2008. A total of 14 corruption charges were brought against him. He recently attended a political programme in London for the first
time since going abroad. In the programme, Tarqiue alleged that the government killed scores of people in its action against Hefazat-e-Islam’s “Dhaka siege” on May 6. He urged his party leaders and activists abroad to draw the attention of foreign politicians to the situation in Bangladesh and also advised them to remain active in pressing the government to heed the BNP’s demand for a caretaker government. “We want to say clearly, the government is whipping up propaganda against Tarique Rahman. He is our crown and will lead the movement very soon,” Dudu warned. l
Jubo Dal men burn Moudud’s effigy for linking Zia to Taher’s hanging n Tribune Report Activists of Jubo Dal yesterday set fire to an effigy of BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed near the Nayapaltan party office in protest against Moudud’s hint that Ziaur Rahman had decided Col Taher’s fate before the court martial. Moudud gave the hint in one of his recent books titled “Democracy and the Challenge of Development: A study of Political and Military Interventions in Bangladesh.” A few activists of Jubo Dal burned the BNP leader’s effigy – a placard reading “We want punishment of collaborator Moudud” attached to it – in front of the Scout Market adjacent to the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters
yesterday noon. According to the latest verdict in Col Taher killing case, on pages 29-30 in his book Moudud – then a close associate of Zia – writes: “Why did Zia allow Taher to be hanged, the person who freed him from captivity?...The officers, who had not taken part in the Liberation War, had found a new ally in Zia after the killing of Mujib and removal of Mushtaque. They needed each other to survive both as a class and a force in the civil-military structure of the country. When it came to sentencing Taher, the repatriated officers wanted him hanged. Out of the 46 senior army officers summoned by Zia to discuss the issue, all were in favour of this ultimate and final form of punishment.” l
DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY
Probe begins, family terms it bias n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj The probe body formed to investigate the torture and death of an MBA student in police custody is trying to prove innocent the police officer who allegedly confined him and realised Tk250,000 as bribe from the family for his release. Chief of the three-member probe body Additional Police Super (crime) Ashrafuzzaman said they were in safe position as the court did not mention presence of any injury marks on the victim’s body when he had given confessional statement on May 20. However, Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) morgue sources said the victim’s hands were bearing deep injury marks of cuffing and beating. According to the police’s inquest report, signed by an executive magistrate, Khadija Tahira Bobi, the body had many injury marks including in his hand, waist and legs. Shamim Reza, 26, was picked up by police on May 14 from his house at Protapnagar of Jhauchar union in Sonargaon, his family members say. Police claim that they arrested Reza on May 19. A source of Sonargaon police station said the name of Shamim found at the station’s register on May 14. But it was immediately erased. The same name was also found in the record on May 19. Ashrafuzzaman and Assistant Superintendent of Police (B circle) Uttam
Kumar Pathak visited the local hospitals yesterday and said they were looking into the matter seriously. The other member of probe body, court Inspector Asaduzzaman could not be reached over phone. After recording his statement, the court sent the victim to the jail hospital as he fell sick. The jail authorities sent him to Narayanganj general hospital where the victim was admitted at 10pm and on duty doctor Mainul Islam referred him to the DMCH as the patient was critically ill. He died in the early hours of May 22. Reza’s father Hazi Alauddin desired that he would file a murder case against the police and said he had no confidence on the probe. The family members alleged that Sonargaon police station Inspector Arup Tarafder, also investigation officer of a four-murder case allegedly confined Reza in a room of a building on the station premises and continued torture till May 20. Reza’s family allegedly gave the officer Tk250,000 on May 20 evening for his release and the same amount was supposed to be given the next day. But without notifying the family, the officer had produced Reza to court in the noon. He passed BBA from Tolaram College of Munshiganj this year and took admission in the MBA class there. He was a small trader of sand and stones at Meghnaghat of Narayanganj.l
BTRC making policy on mobile phone telemarketing n Muhammad Zahidul Islam Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is formulating a guideline to ensure quality services to mobile users and protect them from unwanted calls and SMSs. “We are preparing a policy named ‘Do-not-disturb [DND] Guideline’ to protect customers from unwanted hassles,” Md Giashuddin Ahmed, vice-chairman of the telecom regulator, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Mobile users often receive unwanted and annoying advertising or promotional calls and SMSs from companies in the banking, insurance, housing, education, health, automobile and other sectors. After the DND policy is enacted, mo-
Thundershowers or rain likely n UNB Rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at many places of Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong, and Sylhet divisions and at a few places of Rajshahi, Rangpur and Khulna divisions in 24 hours until 6pm today. Moderately heavy to very heavy falls are also likely at places in Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, Met Office said. Day and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital today at 6:39pm and rises at 5:12am tomorrow. The country’s highest temperature 35.2 degrees Celsius yesterday was recorded in Jessore and the lowest 21.0 degrees at Cox’s Bazar. The highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities and towns yesterday were: High
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Cityscape of Dhanmondi and adjacent areas shrouded in monsoon cloud
Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
Biman aircraft fire delays female workers’ journey The Hong Kong-bound plane left after nine hours
n Rabiul Islam The left wing of a Hong Kong-bound Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight caught on fire yesterday afternoon during take-off at Shahjalal International Airport. However, no one was injured as firefighters doused the blaze immediately, according to the state news agency BSS. The second batch of 11 female migrant workers, scheduled to fly for Hong Kong, were on board the flight. An official with the welfare desk at Shahjalal airport said the flight, which was scheduled to take off at 12:55pm, had been delayed due to technical problems. The rescheduled flight later left Shahjalal airport’s tarmac at 10:20pm. They had received three months’
training at Keraniganj Technical Training Centre in Cantonese and English, Chinese cooking, operating washing machines and ironing. Every worker will get a monthly wage of Tk40,400, with accommodation and food costs paid for. They are being sent following an agreement between the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and the Technic Employment Services, a Hong Kong-based recruiting agency, under a public-private partnership. According to the agreement, workers are initially recruited for two years, with the contract renewable for three more years. BMET officials said each female worker had to pay Tk20,000 to the recruiting agency in service charge, including manpower clearance and government tax, while the agency in
Hong Kong is taking Tk104,000 from each one. Officials added that this amount includes airfare and training in Bangladesh and Hong Kong. The workers were paying the Hong Kong agency from loans taken from the Probashi Kallyan Bank, the instalments for which will be deducted from their wages over a period of nine months, they said. On May 10, the first batch of 11 female migrant workers flew to Hong Kong on a Dragon Airlines flight. Doli, the sister of Shefali, a migrant of the first batch, said: “I talked to my sister on Wednesday and she said she was doing well in Hong Kong. “Everything is all right, according to what the recruiting agency pledged,” Doli told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. l
45 hurt in clashes in Brahmanbaria and Magura n UNB At least 45 people were injured in two clashes in Brahmanbaria and Magura yesterday. In Brahmanbaria, some 25 people were injured as activists of the Awami League and the BNP clashed in Paikpara village of Bijoynagar upazila at noon. Locals said the clash ensued between the supporters of AL leader Nurul Amin and BNP leader Harun Munshi over playing carrom in front of a local mosque. In Magura, a clash between two rival groups in Mohammadpur upazila over a land dispute left at least 20 people hurt. At least 20 houses were also looted during the clash. Locals said the followers of union parishad member Shahidul Islam and Saheb Mollah engaged in the clash as a sequel to the dispute over a piece of land. Police arrested five people in this connection. The injured were admitted to Magura Sadar Hospital. l
Proposed agri-marketing and business law caught in red tape
bile phone users will be able to choose easily which telemarketing communications they want to receive by registering through an SMS. “A customer would get the opportunity to receive sector-wise telemarketing calls or SMSs by selecting the particular service through a short code,” a high official of the BTRC said. He said a customer would also be able to unsubscribe from a service by using that short code. A source said a cell would be opened at the BTRC within 90 days after issuing a directive regarding this policy for customers’ complaints if they were not satisfied with the services provided by the mobile phone operators. The BTRC will take action on the basis of those complaints. l
n UNB The Ministry of Agriculture took a move two years ago to put in place an agri-marketing and business law to ensure fair prices of agri-produce, and a draft is also ready in this regard, but things are not moving because of red tape. The draft Agri Marketing and Business Bill, which proposes the formation of an Agricultural Price Cell to facilitate farmers with the government declaration of prices of crops prior to sowing, was made public by the agriculture ministry on its website on November 15, 2011, with a deadline of December 20 for the submission of vetting by citizens. Sources in the ministry said it also
formed a committee, headed by Additional Secretary M Abdul Hamid, to finalise the draft law in consideration of the vetting. It has held several meetings in this regard but with no outcome hitherto. Seventeen months have passed since the deadline, and rice farmers across the country have counted losses with the rice price in four seasons – thanks to the rise in prices of inputs and the government’s ineffective procurement policy – but no further progress has been achieved for the enactment of the law that could save farmers from losses. Over the last four rice seasons, the growers had to suffer losses of Tk100200 per maund in the sale. Bangladesh Krishak Samity
President Morshed Ali said there are many reasons for the sorry state of the paddy farmers. “The public procurement is always late and it benefits the millers and the middlemen rather than the growers. Besides, the volume of procurement is no match to the total production in the country,” he said. According to the Ministry of Food, the government has a storage capacity of only 1.6m tonnes of food grains, while the total cereal production in the country is about 40m tonnes. In the last Aman season, most of the small and marginal farmers who are unable to store the produce had to sell out paddy at a price between Tk500 and Tk560 per maund, much below the production cost of Tk600
n Tribune Report
PRAYER TIMES Fajr
cultural Produce Markets Regulation Act 1964, further amended through an ordinance in 1984, limiting it to the task of price monitoring, except for a very few projects to support growers’ of high value crops. DAM Deputy Director Abdullah Al Mohsin, who is also a member of the committee for finalising the draft law, said the committee is working hard to finalise the draft as early as possible. Once enacted, the law could come to a great use to curb the price-manipulating power of the middlemen in the multi-layered market of major farm produces, including rice and jute. It will also help scale up the capacity of the DAM in ensuring the farmers right to fair prices, he added. l
Hamid’s son to seek nomination in Kishorganj-4 by-polls
per maund calculated by the Department of Agricultural Extension. The prices rose by Tk100 only one and a half months later and the little benefit was pocketed by large farmers and millers, observed Morshed. He said the food ministry intervention has been failing to protect the farmers’ right to fair prices. The proposals under the draft law for creating the Agricultural Price Cell under the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) as well as for assisting small and marginal farmers to build crop warehouses and cold storages could prove to be effective, if implemented and enacted, he pointed out. At present, the DAM is being governed under the purview of the Agri-
The road in Badamtoli is a crucial one for transporting fruits and vegetables arriving in the city through the river port at Sadarghat. A dilapidated condition has long been hindering smooth transport of the essential supplies Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune
Rezwan Ahmed Tawfiq, eldest son of President Abdul Hamid, is likely to seek nomination from ruling Awami League to contest in the Kishorganj-4 by-elections. District Awami League leaders confirmed that Tawfiq has already expressed his intent to seek party nomination for the constituency vacated by his father. The by-election will be held on July 3. Meanwhile, Fazlur Rahman, president of district unit of opposition BNP, who contested for the seat against Hamid, reportedly said the party will not set candidate for the by-election. Some senior leaders of the party’s district unit were planning to seek nomination for the poll.
President Hamid’s younger brother Abdul Haque, Kamrul Hasan, chairman of Mithamoin Upazila Parishad and vice president of Kishorganj district Awami League, his son Mahmudul Hasan are aspirants for party nominations. A good number of leaders in the rank and file of the party’s district unit also believe that Tawfiq should get the nomination, the party’s district general secretary MA Afzal told local journalists. On the other hand, some of the AL leaders are likely to raise the issue in a meeting with the party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today. She will exchange views with grassroots-level leaders and workers of Kishoreganj district unit of her party at Ganobhaban at 10 am today, according to BSS. l
Research faculty: No major research since 2006
Saturday, May 25, 2013
IER blames funding crisis for inactivity n Mushfique Wadud Fact sheet Despite its name, the Institute of Education and Research (IER), Dhaka University has not conducted any major research in the education sector in the last six years. It has carried out a few major pieces of research in the field of education since its inception in 1960, teachers said. The last large-scale research was conducted in 2006-2007, limiting the possibilities of development in the sector. Director of the institute, Professor Abul Ehsan admitted the fact and blamed absence of funds. “We do not get any funds either from the university authority nor the government for research purposes,” he said. He added that teachers of the institute are individually involved in research, but there is no major research activity under the supervision of the institute. When IER started its journey back in the 60s, one of its objectives was to promote and to provide facilities for advanced study and research in education. It is the only institute of its kind under the public universities of Bangladesh, which offers teaching programmes leading to higher professional degrees. But, at present it is far from its original objective. At present, under DFID funded English in Action programme, 10 MPhil students
IER conducted its last major research work almost six years ago, in 200607 Director blames lack of funding 12 public and 11 private universities did not spend any money on research in 2011: UGC latest report
get Tk10,000 each to conduct research, which are more academic in nature. Educationists think the overall research activities in Bangladesh are in very poor condition, as universities overlook one of its major tasks. Lack of research has kept Bangladeshi universities out of the international ranking for varsities. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has long been expressing its concerns over the situation. Former UGC chairman, Nazrul Islam thinks that the purposes of universities are not served due to poor research activities in the universities. “The institutes were created to conduct researches. There should be adequate researches in the universities,” he said. According to UGC’s latest report, in 2011, 12 public and 11 private universities did not spend any money on research activities. l
Authorities are putting water buses back on Dhaka’s circular river route. But no step is in sight to make landing stations usable again. One of these stations between Gabtoli and Sadarghat is being used by sand and stone traders Nashirul Islam/Dhaka Tribune
Run for nomination on ahead of GCC polls n Our Correspondent, Gazipur Mayoral aspirants from both the ruling and opposition parties started campaigning both inside and outside their parties in the build up to the upcoming Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) polls. A number of nomination seekers from the ruling Awami League have already started lobbying with the party high command. Azmat Ullah Khan, former mayor of Tongi Municipality and general secretary of Gazipur Awami Leuage, Md Jahangir Alam, vice chairman of Gazipur Sadar Upazila and former Chhatra League leader, Ataullah Mandal, general secretary of Gazipur Sadar Upazila Awami League and Waz Uddin Miah, president of Gazipur city Awami League are some of them. All of them have reportedly assured their supporters of getting the party
Train services on Dhaka-Ctg, Dhaka-Sylhet routes resume n Tribune Desk Train communications on Dhaka-Chittagong and Chittagong-Sylhet routes resumed yesterday afternoon, after three hours of disruption following the derailment of a train in Kasba upazila. “The railway communication disrupted following two compartments of Dhaka bound ‘Mahanagar Provati’ were derailed at Kosba area of Dhaka-Chittagong railway at 11.35 am, “said an assistant of the Chief Train Controller (Chittagong) Mohammad Sujan, according to BSS. The railway department has rushed their technical experts to the spot and they are working there till the report was filed at 1.30 pm. But the official could not certainly mention about the timetable when the railway communication would resume on the route. The Dhaka bound Mahanagar Provati left Chittagong station today at 7.20 am. Later, the train services on the routes resumed at about 2:30pm. l
ticket in the upcoming polls, scheduled to be held on July 6. The Awami League, however, has not yet confirmed its nomination. While talking to Dhaka tribune, a number of these leaders, seeking anonymity, said they might contest the polls as independent candidates if they fail to secure nomination from the party. Although main opposition party BNP too has not yet made its nominations public, some of the aspirants have already begun campaigning. Advisor to the BNP chairperson and former state minister Professor MA Mannan in a recent meeting held at the Gazipur party office told his supporters that he was ready to run for the mayor if he got the nomination. “Everybody wants me to take part in the election on behalf of the party.” The former lawmaker also said: “We will announce one candidate for the
post by coordinating with the leaders. We will not let our opposition [the ruling party] to put a goal into an empty bar.” Another former lawmaker Hasan Uddin Sarkar has also told his supporters that if the party decided to take part in the polls, he was sure he would get the ticket. Among others, Kashimpur Union Parishad Chairman Shawkat Hossain and former chairman of Basan Union Parishad Alauddin Chowdhury are also reportedly trying to secure nomination. Although, BNP’s political ally Jamaat-e-Islami is still to make any public announcement regarding taking part in the polls independently, some posters, banners and festoons were seen in the area containing names and photographs of some of its local leaders. Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Earshad on the other hand, has already confirmed the nomination for Brig-
n Our Correspondent, Sylhet The opposition BNP has finally settled on a single candidate for the mayoral election to Sylhet City Corporation. Ariful Haque Chowdhury, a member of the party’s central body, got the nomination among four candidates on Thursday night. Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia reportedly finalised the nomination after an hour-long meeting with the mayoral aspirants at her Gulshan office. A party source said declaring Ariful Haque as the party-nominated candidate Khaleda asked the other candidates to withdraw their nomination papers from the Election Commission immediately.
Although the BNP is determined not to participate in the national election under the present government, Khaleda desires to see victory of party candidates in local body elections. That is why she asked party leaders and activists to work hard – putting aside all differences – to ensure Arif’s victory in Sylhet, the source said. “We are all united and committed now for the victory of the candidate nominated by the party,” Ali Ahmed, the organising secretary of Sylhet district unit of the BNP, told the Dhaka Tribune. Earlier, the Awami League and 14-party alliance declared Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, who recently resigned as the Sylhet mayor, as their candidate for the polls. l
Queue for MRP passports getting longer in city n Tribune Desk People seeking machine readable passports (MRPs) in the capital have to undergo great sufferings due to the lack of adequate offices as well as manpower at the Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP). According to official sources, currently three offices in Dhaka city have to deal with the task of issuance of over 2,500 MRPs every day which they feel “excessive load” on them. The passport seekers who gather in the passport offices in the city are often subjected to harassment or cheating either by the DIP staff members or by the brokers, says a UNB report. As part of the government’s move to ease the issuance of passports, the DIP had allowed one private bank and some post offices in the city to receive applications and money from the pass-
port seekers. “But after the introduction of the MRP in 2010, this service was suspended as the new digital MRP system obliges the passport seekers to be physically present before the DIP offi-
Officials suggest setting up of at least two more MRP outlets in Dhaka cials for taking photograph and giving fingerprints,” said a senior official. The official also said following the introduction of the MRP, the frequency of taking passports marked a rapid rise because, in addition to the new applicants, many regular passport holders move to replace their manual ones with the MRPs. “Now, we have set up two more offices in Dhaka -- one in Jatrabari and another in Uttara-- in addition to our main regional office in Agargoan to
facilitate the smooth issuance of passports,” Nazrul Islam, deputy director of the DIP, told UNB. “But despite that we have to face a lot of pressure to issue the MRPs,” he said, adding that the army and staff from the Malaysian vendor responsible for operating MRP system are helping the DIP deal with the job. Sources said the Agargaon office on average issues 1,500 MRPs per working day while offices in Jatrabari and Uttara each issues 500 MRPs a day. They said with the limited manpower these three offices cannot smoothly do their job which results in some sort of harassment for the passport seekers. In most of the cases, passport seekers have to wait in queue for hours to take their digital photographs or to get timely delivery of their passports. Even, they have to come to the passport office two or three occasions to re-
ceive their passports as the DIP could not maintain the delivery schedule. Apart from this, the extra rush of the passport seekers in the three offices in Dhaka provides scope for cheating the passport seekers. Many outsiders work around the passport offices as brokers offering services to people. Allegations are rife that many innocent people are cheated by the brokers when they come to the passport offices. Admitting the allegations, DIP officials suggested opening some more outlets in the city to ease the issuance of MRPs. “We need at least two more offices in the capital-- one might be in Savar and the other somewhere in Mirpur -- ease the present load and smoother the MRP issuance,” said a top DIP official preferring anonymity. He also supports the idea to find out a mechanism to involve private sector
firms in the MRP delivery to help DIP to smoothly do the job. “Private firms can be chosen through tender process to hire their service,” said another official. As per a government decision, Malaysian firm IRIS Corporation Berhad and its JV partners Polish Security Printing Works and Data Edge Limited were appointed to operate the MRP and machine readable visa (MRV) at a contract value of Tk 526.14 crore. The contract with the Malaysian firm was extended for another two years in January this year with increasing the project cost by about Tk 133.29 crore. Currently, the MRP is being produced from seven different divisional headquarters, 34 regional offices and 30 foreign missions across the globe while the company produced and distributed 4.2 million MRPs, averaging 8,000 passports every day. l
Reintroducing computer education at HSC level is necessary: DIU seminar n Tribune Report
Police arrests arms trader in city n Our Correspondent, Gazipur A suspected arms trader was arrested from Gabtoli area of Dhaka yesterday. Police recovered an American made pistol with two magazines and four bullets from him. The person was identified as Amin Ullah, 22, of Rahamatpur Colony in Chandpur. Amin lived in a rented house at Dighir Chala area under Sadar Upazila of Gazipur. l
adier General (retd) Kazi Mahmud Hasan PSC. As per the GCC election schedule, the deadline for submitting nomination papers expires on June 6. Scrutiny will be held on June 9 and 10. The last date for withdrawal of candidacy is June 17. As many as 1,026,964 voters – 499,181 male and 527,783 female — will be voting to elect their mayor, 57 councillors and 19 reserved (women) councillors. On January 16, The Local Government Division published a gazette, announcing the Gazipur City Corporation comprising Gazipur and Tongi Municipalities in line with Clause 34 (1) (A) of Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the 25th general ward where 10,393 voters will be able to cast their votes in 23 booths of three polling centres. l
BNP finally settles on Sylhet mayoral candidate
Guests at a seminar on computer education at HSC level in the city on Thursday Dhaka Tribune
It is not possible to improve ICT in a broader aspect without implementing computer education in Higher Secondary level, speakers said at a seminar. The seminar on ‘Role of ICT & Computer Education in national development and Expected Syllabus in Higher Secondary level’ was organised by Daffodil International University in the city on Thursday, according to a press release. Reintroduction of computer education in higher secondary level is essential, speakers said. They appreciated the government’s initiative of introducing ICT course containing 100 marks at HSC level, but they differed about the contents as it is not being effective
enough. There were criticisms about courses like web page design, HTML or C Programming as compulsory at HSC level without prior introduction or proper orientation at SSC level. In the seminar, specialists from different sectors recommended to include basic courses like: introduction of ICT, Information System, Internet, e- Commerce, e- payment, e-marketing, Outsourcing, Introduction of government’s e- services, security of ICT and safe use of ICT. They also focused on the necessity of the courses like: number system, digital logic and c programming included in the syllabus for Business and humanities students. The speakers urged the government to create positions for ICT teachers in government colleges and appoint suit-
able candidates for those posts. They also recommended for issuing official memorandum ensuring confirmation to teach ICT courses for the teachers who have already been appointed to teach computer courses in different colleges of the country. SME Foundation’s acting managing director Majibur Rahman presented the key note paper at the seminar. Md. Sabur Khan, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the university’s board of trustees, was present as the chief guest in the seminar presided over by the university’s VC M. Lutfar Rahman. Shafquat Haider, FBCCI standing committee director and Prof. Md. Mahfuzul Islam of BUET were present as the special guests. l
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Fish spawning in Halda River again
The river wore a festive looks as fishermen on several thousand boats started collecting eggs collected eggs inside water body on n Tribune report the bank of the river for four days as Brood fishes (mother fishes) of some indigenous fish species such as Ruhi, Katal, Mrigel and Kaliboush have released some quantity of eggs at some places of the Halda River in Chittagong for the second time yesterday, fishing department sources said. There was some delay in spawning by fishes this year due to late rainfall, though usually the mother fishes release eggs at Halda during March-June period each year, officials and local fishermen said. The Halda River in Chittagong has been considered as the only natural breeding ground in the world where these species of fish release their eggs at a certain period of the monsoon and fry-collectors catch those eggs through a unique method to sale it among the fish farmers across the country. Fishermen and experts apprehended that more brood fishes would migrate here soon and release eggs in coming rainy season. At least 1,200 fishermen with 600 boats who have been waiting for the event for last two months in Halda River were seen collecting eggs, the source added. Normally, the fishermen kept the
part of their process to have fish-fries and after the process is completed, the fish-fries are sold at about Tk20,000 to Tk 24,000 per kilogram. The Halda River wore a festive look when the egg collectors and local fishermen on-boarding several hundreds boats started collecting eggs from different points of the river including Kagtia, Kashemnagor, Mobarakkhal, Ajimer Ghat, Onkurighona, Dakkhin and Paschim Gahira, Abur Khil, Khalifarghona, Paschim Binajuri, Urkir Char and Napiter Ghat of Raojan upazila and Garduara, Amtoa and Madrasa area of Hathajari upazila. During the month of March and April, different brood carp fishes like Ruhi, Katala, Mrigel and Kaliboush from Karnaphuli, Sangu and Chankhali rivers of Chittagong start migrating to river Halda in a bid to release eggs. The major carp fishes of River Halda also keep them ready for spawning. At a suitable juncture of ‘Joe’ (fullmoon night and dark fortnight) and in congenial weather condition accompanied by rainfall during the brood fishes start releasing fertilised eggs (locally known as Swarna Renu - gold sperm) in the river Halda. l
20 villages inundated due to tidal surge in Cox’s Bazar n Our Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar At least 20 villages of the coastal upazila Teknaf were inundated by abnormal tidal surges under the influence of the full moon, leading the waters to enter through the broken embankment. Sources said the height of the seawater increased about two metres leaving at least 200 dwelling houses, 50 shrimp farms and about 81 hectares of croplands and salt beds under 2-3 feet of tidal waters. Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Mujahid Uddin said the tidal surge hit the locality before the completion of the broken dam. He said the problem has been conveyed to the higher authority for necessary actions to be taken immediately.
On the other hand, seawaters also increased in Dhalghata, Matarbari and Ghativanga area of Moheshkhali upazila, locals said. Union council chairman of Dhalghata union of Moheshkhali, Ahsan Ullah Bassu, regarding the issue said most of the areas under the union was flooded with tidal water since the Cyclone Mahasen crossed the coasts. According to the Cox’s Bazar Met Office, an 80mm rainfall was recorded on Thursday as heavy downpours started from Wednesday midnight in Cox’s Bazar, Moheshkhali and its adjoining areas. The meteorological department said the sea would remain rough and advised to hoist local cautionary signal number three to maritime ports Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Mongla. l
Southern districts’ economy hit hard by Mahasen n Our Correspondent, Barisal Just when Bangladesh’s southern region was picking itself up from the devastation of cyclones Sidr and Aila, the agriculture-based economy of Barisal division again sustained damages worth almost Tk2.7476bn during the recent cyclone Mahasen on May 16. Though loss of life was limited due to mass awareness, the backbone of the agro-economy in the region broke as flash flood caused by the cyclone and broken embankments swamped crop fields, affecting almost 400,000 families. A primary assessment by the Barisal Department of Agricultural Extension Office said, a total of 72,143.65 tonnes of different crops cultivated on 153,444 hectares (22.13% of 6,93,076 hectares cultivated lands) sustained damages worth Tk274,76,65,050 affecting 401,015
farmer families. The flash flood, saline water infiltration, water logging, heavy downpour not only damaged the crops but also poses serious threats to future cultivations, as the lands may turn to barren due to salinity, feared farmers. The final estimate of damages will take some more time. The damages
Barisal divisional commissioner’s office estimated that approximately 20,138 households were completely destroyed and 107,147 houses were damaged partially, affecting almost 1,228,470 families during Mahasen
might increase if monsoon creates downpour but situation will improve if sunny weather continued for some days letting the water to recede, said Nazmul Huq, additional director of Barisal DAE.
The DAE office and control room of the divisional commissioner’s office said, several types of paddy , seasonal crops and vegetables, fruits, pulses, betel leaf, chili, jute, sesame, papaya, banana, ground nut, sunflower, sweet potato and others types of crops were mostly damaged by the cyclone.
Loss by Mahasen Crops worth Tk2.7476bn washed away 400,000 families affected Saline water infiltration poses further risk to cultivation Shafiqul Huq, a NGO worker in Charfession upazila under Bhola district informed, cracks in the flood control dam and heavy downpour has left different areas of Charfes-
sion, Monpura, Lalmohon, Sadar upazilas waterlogged. Rashid Ali, a farmer from severely affected Kalapara and Chan Mia of Galachipa upazila of Patuakhali district said, not only the crops cultivated in the field, but also the crops recently harvested from the fields and preserved in the courtyards or houses were washed away by the flash flood caused by Mahasen and the post-cyclone downpour and cloudy weather. Himangshu, a farmer of Hatempur under Patharghata upazila in Barguna, said, seedbeds prepared for Aush paddy cultivation in the region were totally damaged after they were submerged by saline water. On other hand Barisal divisional commissioner’s office estimated that approximately 20,138 households were completely destroyed, 107,147 houses were damaged partially, affecting almost 1,228,470 families during Mahasen. l
Five cops injured in Mymensingh n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh
Road accidents kill four across country
A youth and five police including the officer-in-charge of Phulpur police station were injured in a gunfight at village Shahpur under Phulpur upazila in Mymensingh yesterday. Police said two alleged terrorists Rupnath Cooch, 22, an indigenous youth hailed from Nalitabari in Sherpur and Abdul Malek, 21, from Haluaghat in Mymensingh, came to Shahpur riding on a motor bike around 1pm. As their movement was suspicious, locals informed police. On information, a police team led by S Alam, officer-in-charge of Phulpur police station, went to the spot. The criminals started firing on them with a pistol to flee the scene. Hearing the shots, locals rushed to the spot and joined police to capture the criminals, police said. At one stage, Ujjal Miah, 20, of Shahpur received bullet injury in his leg from the criminals’ side. He was rushed to Phulpur Upazila Health Complex but later he was shifted to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital for better treatment. l
Four people were killed in separate road accidents that took place in Sirajganj, Gazipur and Jhenaidah in between Thursday and yesterday. Our Sirajganj correspondent reports: A man was killed at Salanga undar Ullapara upazila in Sirajganj. The deceased was identified as Jony, 35, son of Rahmat Ali of Halsha village in Jessore. Police said a truck collided head-on with a covert van in the morning, killing Jony on the spot. Police recovered the body and sent it to Sirajganj Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Our Gazipur correspondent said a police driver was killed in Bypass area
Alleged burglar lynched in Narail n Our Correspondent, Narail
An alleged cow thief was beaten to death by a mob at Auria village under Narail Sadar upazila early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Kamal Hossen, 35, son of Abdur Razzak of Nurpur village in Jessore sadar upazila. Narail Sadar police station Officerin-Charge Rafiqul Islam said at around 3am, a group of five to six thieves had stormed into the residence of one Mazed Sikder for stealing cow. Hearing screaming, locals rushed to the spot and beat Kamal to death. l
n Tribune report
on the Dhaka-Tangail highway under Kaliakoir upazila of the district on Thursday night. The dead was identified as Aslam Uddin, 50, a driver of Madhupur police station under Tangil. He was the son of late Tarab Ali of Gabtoli village under Kaliakoir upazila of the district. Md Omor Farukh, officer-in-charge of Kaliakoir police station told Dhaka Tribune that when Aslam was waiting in the area for bus to go to his workplace at Madhupur police station, a Dhaka-bound bus of Hanif Paribahan knocked down him and later crushed him under its wheels and flew away. Local people rescued Aslam and took him to a nearby Enam Medical College Hospital at Savar of Dhaka
Dilapidated school buildings
Children taking part in a painting competition at Ashwini Kumar Hall in Barisal yesterday, marking the 26th founding anniversary of Charukala BarisalDhaka Tribune
Painting competition begins in Barisal n Our Correspondent. Barisal Charukala Barisal, the only fine arts training institution of the city, organised a two-day-long children painting competition along with painting, pottery and sculpture exhibition yesterday. Uttam Das Udas, a renowned painter of the city, inaugurated the programme held at Barisal Ashwini Kumar Hall marking the 26th founding anniversary of the organisation. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Altaf Hossain, president of Charukala Barisal, and ad-
dressed by Salahuddin Howladar, secretary of the organisation, Jiban Krishna Dey, Mintu Bose, child organisation activists, Akkas Hossain and Nazrul Islam Chuunu, cultural activists. The speakers stressed on spreading movement and study of fine arts from regional and grass root levels for strengthening the national culture and traditions of the soil to resist intervention of foreign culture. On the closing day a discussion meeting and prize-giving ceremony along with exhibition from 9am to 9 pm will be held. l
1,500 kids at risk in Sunamganj n UNB, Sunamganj Over 1,500 students of five government primary schools have been attending classes amid great risk in Derai upazila of the district due to dilapidated school buildings. Theses schools are, Sujanagar Government Primary School, Shukurnagar government primary School, Alinagar Primary School, Jahanpur Primary School and Charnarchar Primary School. Visiting Sujanagar Primary School the UNB correspondent found that plasters of two rooms of one building were falling and rainwater was entering through the cracks of the roof in another building. Students and teachers fear that the building which was built in 1995-96 may collapse at any time.
Headmaster of the school Abdus Sadik said he informed the matter to upazila primary education office on April 30. Tofail Ahmed, a guardian, said the incident of Rana plaza collapse in Savar has created panic among the students and guardians. Students of Shukurnagar government primary school have been attending classes despite its sorry state. Headmaster of the school Biswajit Chowdhury said he informed the authorities concerned about the condition of the school several times but yet to get any result. Derai upazila assistant primary education officer Rathindranath Ray said the five school buildings have become vulnerable and the authorities concerned were informed about the risky buildings. l
where he died at 8pm. According to a UNB report, two people were killed in separate accidents in Kotchandpur and Moheshpur upazilas of Jhenaidah on Thursday. An unidentified woman, aged about 40, was killed when Rajshahi-bound ‘Sagardari Express’ train from Khulna hit her at Kotchandpur rail station at about 12:30pm. Later, railway police recovered the body. In another incident, Rupa Khatun, 12, a class VI student of Kanchanpur High School and daughter of Sohrab Uddin of Kanchanpur village, was killed when a tractor hit her while going to Haldipara at about 12:30pm. Police arrested tractor driver Kawsar from the spot. l
70 houses gutted in Cox’s Bazar n Our Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar At least 70 dwelling houses were gutted in a fire at Nuniachata near Cox’s Bazar airport on Thursday night. According to local sources, the fire originated from burner of a house of the ‘Shafiq colony’ on Thursday night. The fire soon engulfed nearby dwelling houses within few minutes. Cash money, essential goods and furniture were burnt to ashes within two hours, said affected people. At first local people try to douse the fire and later they informed the matter to the Cox’s Bazar fire service station. On information, fire brigade team rushed to the spot and controlled the fire. When contacted, station manager of fire service station Abdul Majid said at least 70 houses were burnt in the fire and property worth about Tk about 10m were damaged. l
Stay safe in the summer sun
Just a handful of peanuts per day Delicious and crunchy, peanuts are one of the most popular oil seeds known to humankind. Peanuts are rich in energy and contain a large portion of beneficial nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Peanuts are available in markets year-round. In the store, different forms: shelled, unshelled, salted, sweetened etc are available. l
Peanuts for heart and brain Peanuts are composed of sufficient levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid. It helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases the HDL or “good cholesterol” level in the blood. Thus it helps to prevent Ischemic heart disease and brain strokes by maintaining a healthy blood lipid profile. Furthermore, studies suggest that polyphenolic antioxidant resveratrol reduces stroke risk by restoring elasticity of arteries. The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to the brain. l
Peanuts protect stomach bigstock.com
Research studies have shown that peanuts contain high concentrations of polyphenolic antioxidants, p-coumaric acid and resveratrol. This compound has been thought to reduce the risk of stomach cancer. l
Prevent skin damage These nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol); containing about 8g per 100g. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the integrity of cell membranes, of mucus membranes and of the skin, by protecting against harmful oxygen free radicals. l Compiled by Dr Sajol Ashfaq
Although everyone is aware of skin cancer and the role of sunscreen in helping prevent it, the details that health will save lives are often flash surprising even to savvy consumers. Did you know that some sunscreens protect against only the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and not its ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which also contribute to skin cancer? That no sunscreen completely blocks UV radiation, and that other protections are needed too? That no sunscreens are waterproof? As summer approaches, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken steps on multiple fronts to protect consumers from the skin damage that can be caused by too much exposure to the sun.
New sunscreen labels
This is the first summer in which FDA’s new rules governing sunscreen labeling are in effect. Using the latest available science, in 2011, the agency established testing and labeling requirements, which were finalised in December 2012. One of the most important requirements: Testing and labeling that identifies sunscreens that are “broad spectrum,” meaning they offer protection against both UVB and UVA rays. All sunscreen products offer protection against UVB rays, which are the primary cause of sunburn. But both UVB and UVA rays contribute to sun-induced skin cancer and premature skin ageing. “Based on scientific studies, we have determined that broad spectrum sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 can help reduce the risk of sun-induced skin cancer and premature skin ageing when used with sun protective measures, as directed. Consumers will use the information to make better choices. Under final FDA regulations, products that pass a broad spectrum test can be labeled “broad spectrum” on the front of the product. Sunscreens that are not broad spectrum or that lack an SPF of at least 15 must now carry a warning: “Skin Cancer/Skin Ageing Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early
Other sun-safety tips Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure Although people with pale skin and light hair are most vulnerable, people of every shade are susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer Keep infants under six months out of the sun No sunscreen stops all UV rays. Limit sun exposure, particularly between 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest Maintain caution on overcast days because UV rays can penetrate cloud cover skin ageing. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin ageing.” And the FDA’s regulations now require that if a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant,
it must designate whether it’s protective for 40 or for 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. Additionally, manufacturers may no longer make claims that their sunscreens are “waterproof” or “sweatproof.” Products may no longer be identified as “sunblocks” or claim instant protection or protection for more than two hours without reapplying.
Don’t Fry Day
FDA is supporting “Don’t Fry Day.” A variety of factors cause different amounts of UV radiation to reach dif-
The messages are: Slip on a shirt Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher Slap on a wide-brimmed hat Put on sunglasses
to eat a day. Multiply that number by the recommended percentages to get the range of fat calories you can eat each day. Here’s an example based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Multiply 2,000 by 0.20 (20 percent) to get 400 calories Multiply 2,000 by 0.35 (35 percent) to get 700 calories
n Dr Abdullah Shahriar Analysis of six different studies found drinking tea helped the brain to stay sharper. Scientists DID YOU believe some comKNOW? pounds such as theanine can protect against Alzheimer’s. Benefits of drinking tea, as little as one to three cups a day, in staving off mental decline are especially pronounced among women. In one study, of almost 1,500 men and women in Singapore, drinking more than four cups a day cut the odds of memory failing by three-quarters. Even just one to three cups of tea a day had an effect, cutting the odds of cognitive decline by 43%. It is thought compounds in tea may protect against the poisons that ravage the brain in Alzheimer’s. Possibilities include theanine, a plant chemical found only in tea. Experts in the US analysed several studies on the effect of caffeinated drinks on memory and mental alertness. In a ten year study researchers observed, the brain stayed sharper in those who drank tea in all the studies. Another eight year study suggested tea to be of
particular benefit to women. Though the University of California researchers who reviewed the studies said the
weaker results for coffee mean caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the cognitive benefits. l
FDA is considering whether additional changes are needed to sunscreen regulations, including requiring that sunscreens with an SPF value of more than 50 to be labeled simply “SPF 50+.” FDA has no data demonstrating that sunscreens with an SPF of more than 50 provide additional benefits compared to those with SPF 50. FDA has also requested additional data from manufacturers of sunscreen spray products to ensure their effectiveness and to determine whether they present a safety concern if inhaled unintentionally. In both cases, FDA is currently evaluating information received in response to public opportunities for comment. l Source: US FDA
QUICK TIPS Hair transplant can be a solution
How many fat grams is that? There are 9 calories in a gram of fat, so you divide the number of calories by 9. Divide 400 calories by 9 (calories a gram) to get about 44 grams of fat Divide 700 calories by 9 (calories a gram) to get about 78 grams of fat So if you’re on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, 400 to 700 calories can come from dietary fat, which translates to between 44 and 78 fat grams a day. To monitor the fat in your diet, simply add up the fat grams from all the food you ate during the day and compare the total to your target range. Knowing how much fat is in the foods you eat can help you control the fat in your diet, which can help you meet
Three cups of tea a day can keep you mentally alert
two hours; more often if you are swimming or sweating.
ferent parts of the Earth at any given time. Reapply sunscreen at least every
How to track your dietary fat To monitor how much fat you eat each day, which should you focus on: fat grams, fat calories or fat percentexpert ages? opinion All three are useful for determining the amount of fat you’re eating, but if you want to use just one method then tracking fat grams is probably the easiest. Dietary guidelines suggest that healthy adults generally limit dietary fat to no more than 20 to 35 percent of total daily calories. To figure out how many fat grams or calories that means for you, start with the number of calories you normally eat or want
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Thinning or balding hair can be a source of embarrassment for men and women alike. There are more permanent alternatives to wigs, hair weaves, and extensions available today. Hair transplantations and new drug therapies are now available to help
Watermelon may have Viagra-effect A cold slice of watermelon has long been a great relief from thirst in summer. But according to recent studHEALTH ies, the juicy fruit may NEWS be better suited for a man in bed for better performance. That’s because scientists say watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido. We’ve always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list of its very important healthful benefits grows longer with each study. Beneficial ingredients in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables are known as phyto-nutrients, naturally occurring compounds that are bioactive, or able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. In watermelons, these include lycopene, beta carotene and the rising star among its phyto-nutrients – citrulline – whose beneficial functions are now being unraveled. Among them is the ability to relax blood vessels, much like Viagra does. Scientists know that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that works wonders on the heart and circulation system and maintains a good immune system.
The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it. While there are many psychological and physiological problems that can cause impotence, extra nitric oxide could help those who need increased blood flow, which would also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects. Citrulline, the precursor to arginine, is found in higher concentrations in the rind of watermelons than the flesh. Studies have also shown that deep red varieties of watermelon have displaced the tomato as the lycopene king. Almost 92 percent of watermelon is water, but the remaining 8 percent is loaded with lycopene, an anti-oxidant that protects the human heart, prostate and skin health. Lycopene, which is also found in red grapefruit, was historically thought to exist only in tomatoes. But now it’s found in higher concentrations in red watermelon varieties. l Source: sciencedaily
Tartar can be removed
Coffee, tea, and cigarettes are just a few things responsible for staining your teeth. If your teeth look tinted or yellow, your cosmetic dentist can give you back a bright white smile.
Eat more fruit and vegetables that have high water content such as tomatoes, watermelons, kiwi and grapes. These foods contain about 90 to 95% water, so you can eat a lot of these and they will fill you up without adding on the pounds. Increase your fiber intake as much as you can. You can get more fiber from eating more fruits and veggies, or try adding a sprinkling of oat bran to your cereal in the morning. Fill up on vegetables. Try different ones that you haven’t had for a while to avoid getting bored. Compiled by Prescription Desk
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Obama seeks end to perpetual United States ‘war on terror’ Suggests a suitable site to hold military tribunals for Guantanamo prisoners could be found on the US mainland campaign to reshape the global im- not in Pakistan, where the CIA is like- shows there have been 355 drone n Reuters, Washington strikes in Pakistan since 2004 and age of the United States – particularly ly to continue to run the program. Twelve years after the “war on terror” began, President Barack Obama wants to pull the United States back from some of the most controversial aspects of its global fight against Islamist militants. In a major policy speech on Thursday, Obama narrowed the scope of the targeted-killing drone campaign against al-Qaeda and its allies and took steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba. He acknowledged the past use of “torture” in US interrogations; expressed remorse over civilian casualties from drone strikes; and said that the Guantanamo detention facility “has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.” After launching costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is tiring of conflict. While combating terrorism is still a high priority for the White House, polls show by large margins that Americans’ main concerns are the economy and domestic concerns such as healthcare. “We have now been at war for well over a decade,” Obama said near the start of his address. Toward the end, he added: “But this war, like all wars, must end.” Though aimed first at a domestic audience, Obama’s speech at Washington’s National Defence University was also the latest milestone in his
in the Islamic world. But he faces obstacles from opponents in Congress who will try to block the closure of Guantanamo prison and reject his call to repeal the Authorisation for Use of Military Force passed right after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The law is the legal basis for much of the “war on terror.”
The new US drone rules are likely to reduce “signature” drone strikes, in which the United States targets what appear to be suspiciouslooking groups of people. Those attacks are blamed for many civilian casualties in Pakistan’s tribal areas near Afghanistan and in Yemen Faced with criticism about civilian casualties in attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles, Obama said the United States would only use those drone strikes when a threat was “continuing and imminent,” a nuanced change from the previous policy of launching strikes against a significant threat. That would subject drone attacks to more scrutiny from Congress and might lead to the Pentagon taking over drone operations in Yemen, but
With al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed in a US raid in 2011, a number of the group’s top members taken out in drone strikes, and the US military role in Afghanistan winding down, Obama made clear it was time for a policy shift. “Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ - but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” Obama said. Human rights groups mostly welcomed Obama’s assertion that America could not remain on “a perpetual war-time footing,” but some activists said he was not going far enough. Republican opponents, however, warned against being too quick to declare al Qaeda a spent force. The new US drone rules are likely to reduce “signature” drone strikes, in which the United States targets what appear to be suspicious-looking groups of people. Those attacks are blamed for many civilian casualties in Pakistan’s tribal areas near Afghanistan and in Yemen. The number of drone strikes has dropped in the past year after peaking in the middle of Obama’s first term. The New America Foundation’s widely cited drone attack database
more than 60 in Yemen since 2009. While Obama largely has a free hand as commander in chief to set US drone policy, Congress has used its power of the purse to block him from closing Guantanamo. Obama has been frustrated by his inability to make good on his 2008 campaign pledge to shut the prison, which was opened by his predecessor, President George W Bush. A hunger strike by 103 of the 166 detainees – 32 of whom have lost so much weight that they are being force-fed – has put pressure on Obama to take action. Obama suggested a suitable site could be found on the US mainland to hold military tribunals. While he cannot shut Guantanamo on his own, Obama has announced steps aimed at getting some prisoners out. He lifted a moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen out of respect for that country’s reforming government. Yemenis make up the largest group of prisoners. Of the 86 detainees who have been cleared for transfer or release, 56 are from Yemen. But al Qaeda has a presence in the country and Washington will likely want guarantees that the prisoners will not take up arms against the United States after they are sent home. l
A Code Pink demonstrator holds her anti-drone protest sign at gates of Fort McNair where President Barack Obama spoke at the National Defense University in Washington REUTERS
Repatriating detainees to Yemen key to closing Guantanamo n Reuters, Washington/Miami President Barack Obama’s pledge on Thursday to lift a ban on transfers of detainees to Yemen from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, addresses one of the core obstacles to clearing out the detention camp. Of the 86 detainees who have been cleared for transfer or release, 56 are from Yemen, where al Qaeda has a dangerous presence. There are 80 more prisoners who are not cleared and an unknown number of those are Yemeni as well. Most of the Yemeni prisoners were captured more than a decade ago. Previously, they were a smaller percentage of the detainees, which included higher numbers of Afghans and Saudis. But as the United States worked out agreements with other countries to transfer detainees to their homelands, it remained reluctant to do so with Yemen because of security concerns. Repatriation of Yemeni prisoners
Earthquake hits Russia’s Far East n AP, Moscow
A powerful earthquake on Friday hit Russia’s Far East with tremors felt as far away as Moscow, about 7,000 kilometres west of the epicentre. Marina Kolomiyets, spokeswoman for Obninsk’s seismic station of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told The Associated Press the epicentre was in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan. She said the quake registered 8.0 on the Richter scale. The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 8.2. The epicentre was in the Kuril-Kamchatka arc, one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Emergency agencies in the Far East issued a tsunami warning for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, but lifted it soon afterwards. Kolomiyets said the earthquake originated 600 kilometres under the sea bed and with the tremors so far down they have the potential to spread quite far. Russian news agencies reported that residents of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Okhotsk Sea felt the tremors for about five minutes. Residents ran out of the buildings. School children were evacuated. Tremors were felt in Moscow, prompting some people to evacuate from buildings across the city. Tremors are extremely rare in Moscow, the last recorded instance was in the 1977. The Russian Meteorological Service confirmed these reports but said they did not have immediate information about the magnitude of the tremors of Moscow. l
was halted in 2010 after a man trained by militants in Yemen attempted to blow up a US-bound plane in 2009 with a bomb concealed in his underwear. The Obama administration so far has been skeptical that Yemen is stable enough to receive the transfers. Officials fear the consequences of a repatriated Yemeni eventually attacking the United States or its interests. Yemen is home to an al Qaeda wing that was once described by Washington as the movement’s most dangerous branch. Impoverished and turbulent, Yemen is located next door to the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and major crude shipment routes. Militants allied to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took advantage of Arab Spring chaos in Yemen in 2011 to seize control of some towns in the country’s south. They were pushed from those towns last year but continue to fight government forces.
Recent developments, however, appear to have triggered reconsideration in Washington. Yemen’s new president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has made tackling militants a top priority.
Supporters of shutting down Guantanamo said they were encouraged by Obama’s pledge on transfers to Yemen but noted that he included heavy caveats during his wide-ranging speech on Thursday on how the
The interior of an unoccupied communal cellblock is seen at Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay REUTERS
Tibetan activists launch boycott of InterContinental over hotel plans n Guardian News Service Tibetan campaign groups are launching a boycott of the InterContinental Hotels Group – the owner of Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and others – because of plans to open a vast 2000-room resort in Lhasa. The campaign, led by Free Tibet and backed by Students for a Free Tibet, wants IHG to withdraw from the project in the Tibetan capital, arguing the hotel is a “PR coup for the Chinese government” given concerns about human rights in the region and will exacerbate Tibetans’ marginalisation. Opposition to the InterContinental Resort Lhasa Paradise – which is due to open in 2014 and is currently under con-
struction – comes amid growing concern about the impact of rapid development in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Officials believe tourism is essential to Tibet’s future and have set a target of 15m visitors a year by 2015. China’s state news agency Xinhua reported that the number of tourists increased by more than 20% to 10.6m in 2012, compared with the previous year, while revenue rose by 30% to 12.65bn yuan ($2.06bn). But campaigners say the rapid growth is eroding the region’s heritage and culture and has benefited Han Chinese more than Tibetans. In July, the authorities announced plans to build a $3m theme park in Lhasa, saying it would reduce pressure on heritage sites.
The Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Intercontinental Hotel Groups is involved in a 2,000room resort due to open there next year The Guardian
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, Free Tibet’s director, said: “The presence of an upscale multinational brand such as InterContinental gifts priceless PR to the Chinese regime responsible for gross human rights abuses throughout Tibet. “InterContinental’s marketing portrays Lhasa as a paradise and trades on images of an ancient Tibetan culture which in reality is being systematically destroyed by China. IHG held a meeting with Tibetan support groups after the plans were first announced in 2010. Free Tibet declined an offer of a second meeting, saying it did not believe it would be productive unless IHG answered a detailed list of questions – such as how the economic benefits to Tibetans would be maximised. An IHG spokesperson said: “We take our commitments to human rights and creating local economic opportunity very seriously. All IHG employees have signed on to our code of ethics and business conduct and our human rights policy. “As a managed hotel, the InterContinental Lhasa will be held to our high operational standards and policies, which include recruiting, training and developing hotel staff. IHG’s hotels create jobs and drive tourism income in the communities where they operate, thereby helping to increase living standards in Lhasa and wider Tibet.” There is already a 250-room St Regis resort in the Tibetan capital, but the new project is on a far larger scale. l
United States will narrow its global war on terror. Wells Dixon, a senior attorney at the Centre for Constitutional Rights, a New York organisation that has rep-
The Obama administration so far has been skeptical that Yemen is stable enough to receive the transfers. Officials fear the consequences of a repatriated Yemeni eventually attacking the United States or its interests resented a number of Guantanamo prisoners, said, “While I welcome his lifting the ban on transfers to Yemen, and his renewed commitment to closing the prison, I am deeply troubled by his comment that cleared detainees will be released only ‘to the extent possible. What does that mean? Are men going to be released and reunited with their families or not? Mohammed Albasha, a spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in
Washington, said in a statement that the Yemeni government will work with the United States to ensure the safe return of detainees and work toward their rehabilitation. Lifting the ban does not mean transfers to Yemen will immediately take place. Current law requires the Defence Department to certify for each transferred prisoner that the destination country is not a state sponsor of terrorism and would take action to make sure the individual would not threaten the United States. Unless those provisions are removed or expire, they would have to be followed. No prisoners have been certified yet so it is not known how long the process takes. Obama called on Congress to lift those and other restrictions that it placed on prisoner transfers starting in 2011. If it were so inclined, Congress could do this in the coming months as it works on defence legislation. The restrictions have had bipartisan support in the past. l
World Watch Woolwich attack video prompts 800 complaints
Dramatic footage showing a suspect carrying bloodied knives in the aftermath of the murder of a soldier in Woolwich on Wednesday has so far prompted relatively few complaints to broadcasters. The chilling video, which was first broadcast by ITN-produced ITV News on its 6.30pm bulletin on Wednesday, had prompted about 800 complaints to the BBC, ITV and media regulator Ofcom by lunchtime on Thursday. The bulk of the complaints – 500 – were directly to ITV, with Ofcom receiving about 100 separate complaints about the channel’s decision to air the film.
2nd jewellery theft hits French Riviera during Cannes festival
An expensive necklace was stolen overnight in the luxurious resort town of Cap d’Antibes, police said, the second jewellery theft on the French Riviera during the Cannes film festival. A police official said on Thursday that the necklace was of ‘high value’ but could not put a price on it. She would only speak on condition of anonymity because an investigation was under way. Last week, thieves stole about $1m worth of jewels after ripping a safe from the wall of a hotel room in Cannes.
Magnitude 5.7 quake strikes Northern California
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck Northern California on Thursday, according to the US Geological Survey. The epicentre of the quake was 6 miles northwest of the town of Greenville, and near the smaller community of Canyondam, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of inju-
ries. Allen Shephard, a hunting and fishing guide at Quail Lodge at Lake Almanor in Canyondam, said the quake knocked him ‘right off the couch and onto the floor.’ A 5.7 magnitude quake is considered moderate, but has the potential to cause considerable damage.
84-year-old woman indicted for drug trafficking
An 84-year-old Albuquerque woman who uses an oxygen tank has been indicted for drug trafficking. KRQE-TV reports that Lillie Smith was recently indicted by a Bernalillo County grand jury for trafficking, conspiracy to commit trafficking, tampering with evidence and possession. Court documents show the charges stem from a warrant served at her apartment in 2011. Deputies suspected that her son, Nathan Jones, was running a small drug operation out of her home. But the sheriff’s office said deputies found cocaine and marijuana on Smith, and she tried to stash the drugs during the investigation.
Boy Scouts approve plan to accept gay boys
After lengthy and wrenching debate, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to open their ranks to openly gay boys for the first time, but heated reactions from the left and right made clear that the BSA’s controversies are far from over. The vote was conducted by secret ballot Thursday during the National Council’s annual meeting at conference centre not far from Boy Scout headquarters in suburban Dallas. Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by Executive Committee.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
prosecutor N Korea agrees to nuclear talks Venezuela to open probe over under pressure from China leaked recording Pyongyang’s special envoy makes concession on nuclear disarmament to ease n Reuters, Caracas tensions between communist allies Venezuela’s prosecutor’s office said on Thursday it would open an investigaand need China to be their intermediary.” tion into in a recording the opposition n AP, Beijing CCTV said Liu, the Communist par- says features a top government ally Reports in the Chinese media suggest that North Korea has offered to renew nuclear disarmament talks. At a meeting on Thursday between Vice-Marshal Choe Ryong Hae and Liu Yunshan, a senior figure in the Chinese Communist party, North Korea heeded China’s wishes after months of rising friction between the allies, reports say. Pynongyang’s special envoy praised China’s work on behalf of peace and stability and its “great efforts to return (Korean) peninsular issues to the channel of dialogue and negotiation,” A Chinese television report quoted Choe as saying North Korea “is willing to accept the suggestion of the Chinese side and launch dialogue with all relevant parties”. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency made no mention of the concession and instead quoted Choe as saying Pyongyang was committed to maintaining friendly ties with Beijing. Choe’s fence-mending visit to China is the first high-level, face-to-face contact between the two governments in six months, an unusual gap during which Pyongyang conducted rocket
Liu Yunshan (right), a senior Communist party official, poses for the cameras with North Korean envoy Choe Ryong-hae on Thursday Reuters launches and nuclear tests and other sabre-rattling. The moves angered Beijing, which felt its interests in regional stability were not being taken account of. It showed its displeasure by joining with the US to back UN sanctions and cut off dealings with North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank. China’s North Korea watchers said
the leadership in Beijing would not have accepted Choe’s visit without a promise from Pyongyang that it was prepared to return to diplomacy. “The relationship is rocky so they will try to mend the relationship,” said Cui Yingjiu, a retired professor of Korean at Peking University. “Second, they also want to improve relations with the US
ty’s fifth-ranked leader, called at the meeting for “practical steps to alleviate the tense situation” and an early return to six-nation Korean de-nuclearisation talks involving the US, South Korea, Japan and Russia as well as North Korea and China. Pyongyang sent Choe to Beijing as a special envoy for the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. As such, North Korea watchers said he was expected to hold talks with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. His comments on Thursday will most likely be seen by Beijing as setting the correct tone of deference for such a meeting. Xi was in south-west China’s Sichuan province inspecting recovery efforts from last month’s earthquake. Awaiting Xi’s return, Choe spent part of Thursday touring an industrial park in southern Beijing, accompanied by a Communist party functionary. The Chinese government has in the past used such tours to try to persuade North Korea to adopt China’s model of economic reform accompanied by rigid one-party rule. l
accusing the deputy head of the ruling Socialist Party of corruption and conspiring against the new president. Opposition deputies on Monday broadcast the recording of a conversation they said was between powerful state television commentator Mario Silva and a Cuban intelligence agent and later requested an investigation of it. The man identified as Silva in the recording accused Diosdado Cabello, Congress chief and vice president of the ruling Socialist Party, of conspiring against President Nicolas Maduro and of illegally appropriating dollars through the country’s currency control system. “I have requested that an investigation be opened over the alleged recording of Mario Silva,” chief state prosecutor Luisa Ortega said via her Twitter account. Ortega could not immediately be reached for comment to confirm her remarks or to explain the extent of the planned investigation. Her announcement came hours after opposition deputies asked state prosecutors to investigate the accusations made in the recording.
Silva - whose close relationship with late President Hugo Chavez led many to see him as more powerful than some cabinet ministers - denies having made the accusations, saying US and Israeli intelligence agencies manipulated recordings of his voice.
The man identified as Silva in the recording accused Diosdado Cabello of conspiring against President Maduro and of illegally appropriating dollars through the country’s currency control system In the recording, the man identified as Silva says he received rifles from the ministry of defense for his own protection. He also questioned the results of last April’s election, suggesting hackers had infiltrated the voting system to lower Maduro’s margin of victory. The person in the recording leveled accusations against a range of top officials, including First Lady Cilia Flores, Defense Minister Diego Molero, and Vice President Jorge Arreaza. Opposition leaders called the recording evidence both of corruption and of a fierce power struggle at the top echelons of the ruling party following the death of Chavez in March. l
US bridge collapses into river, injuring 3 n AP, Mount Vernon, Washington An Interstate 5 bridge over a river collapsed north of Seattle Thursday evening, dumping two vehicles into the water and sparking a rescue effort by boats and divers as three injured people were pulled from the chilly waterway. Authorities said it appeared nobody was killed in the bridge failure that raised the question about the safety of aging spans and cut off the main route between Seattle and Canada. “We don’t think anyone else went into the water,” said Marcus Deyerin, a spokesman for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team. “At this point we’re optimistic.” A man and a woman were reported in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries in the emergency room at Skagit Valley Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Kari Ranten said. Another man was reported in stable condition at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, hospital CEO Greg Reed said. He said he didn’t know whether the man would be admitted. Traffic along the heavily-travelled route could be impacted for some time. “The I-5 corridor is totally disrupted,” said Governor Jay Inslee, who went to the scene Thursday night. He said work has already started to
design detour, but state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson asked people to avoid I-5 in the area for the next several days.
Authorities said it appeared nobody was killed in the bridge failure that raised the question about the safety of aging spans and cut off the main route between Seattle and Canada Washington State Trooper Mark Francis said a portion of the four-lane bridge over the Skagit River collapsed about 7 pm. It was not known what caused the collapse of the bridge about 60 miles north of Seattle in Skagit County, but State Patrol detectives and the patrol’s commercial vehicle enforcement bureau troopers were talking late Thursday night to a commercial truck driver whose rig was believed to have struck the bridge. The four-lane bridge was about 50 feet above the water. Deyerin said it appeared that two vehicles – a car and a pickup with the travel trailer attached - fell into the river. He said the water depth was about 15 feet, and that the vehicles were half-visible in the water likely are resting on portions of the collapsed bridge. l
View looking west at a portion of the Interstate-5 bridge submerged after collapsing into the Skagit river dumping vehicles and people into the water in Mount Vernon
Five climbers feared dead on world’s 3rd highest peak
Syrian opposition launches cartoon campaign to tackle human rights abuse
n AP, Katmandu, Nepal
The Syrian opposition has defended its attempt to stamp out rebel atrocities through the use of cartoons outlining the dos and don’ts of modern warfare. The “Fighter, not Killer” campaign, which involves TV and YouTube ads, and a comic strip booklet, covers the main human rights violations currently causing most concern in Syria: the use of human shields, child soldiers, chemical weapons and sexual violence. One commentator described the initiative as “war for dummies”, another
Five climbers including two Hungarians and a South Korean are missing on the world’s third-highest mountain and feared dead, a mountaineering official said Friday. The five disappeared Monday on Mount Kanchenjunga, and bad weather was preventing a rescue helicopter from reaching their base camp. Mountaineering Department official Dipendra Poudel said Friday that the climbers were descending from the summit when they were believed to have slipped or fallen at an altitude of about 7,900 metres. The Hungarians have been identified as Zsolt Eross, 45, and Peter Kiss, 27, while the South Korean climber is Namsoo Park, 47. The Nepalese guides have been identified as Phu Dorjee, 24, and Bibash Gurung, 25. Eross has scaled 10 of the 14 highest peaks in the world and was the first from his country to scale Mount Everest. Kanchenjunga is 8,586 metres high. It is located on the boundary between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim, and is the highest peak in India. l
n Guardian News Service
mocked it at a “patronising” PR exercise. But Oussam Abo-Zayd from the opposition Syrian National Coalition said the messages were deliberately basic. Abo-Zayd, who is running a series of workshops for rebels based on the campaign, said: “The booklet and video take into account the education level of the participants – some of them don’t know how to read. It’s simple because we want everyone to understand.” So far workshops have taken place in Turkey, but Abo-Zayd is also planning to organise them in rebel-controlled areas inside Syria.
“Our priority is to stop revenge operations, no matter what the regime does,” he said. “Whatever atrocities the regime stoops to, rebel fighters should not do the same. The second goal is to stop children becoming involved in the fighting.” One of the cartoons urges combatants in the conflict not to commit revenge attacks. “Atrocities by the enemy never justify violation of the law,” it says. The campaign comes after horrific video emerged earlier this month showing rebel commander Abu Sakkar eating the heart, or liver, of a government soldier. Abo-Zayd noted that
Sakkar attempted to explain his actions by claiming that he was repeating what he had seen government soldiers doing in mobile phone footage. “We don’t want rebels to repeat the crimes of the Assad regime, or act out of vengeance,” Abo-Zayd said. He added: “We condemn all the atrocities that have been committed. The acts of Abu Sakkar should not be treated as typical.” The “Fighter, not Killer” campaign, which is aimed at both sides in the conflict, was developed by the Swiss based charity Geneva Call. l
Image from a booklet advising combatants in the Syrian civil war how to react during armed conflict. The image of a human shield is marked with the Arabic word for no (L). Image from the ‘Fighter, not Killer’ campaign urging combatants in the Syrian civil war not to carry out revenge attacks The Guardian
BA plane makes emergency landing after engine fire n Reuters, London A British Airways plane travelling from London to Oslo was forced to make an emergency landing at Heathrow on Friday after a technical fault in an engine. “The BA762, Heathrow to Oslo service, returned back to Heathrow shortly after take-off due to a technical fault,” BA parent company IAG said. The Airbus A319 aircraft was carrying 75 passengers. “The aircraft landed safely and emergency slides were deployed and we are currently caring for our customers. Emergency services attended the aircraft,” IAG added. Video footage on Sky News showed the plane with smoke billowing out of one engine. “The right engine was on fire,” witness Clive Cook told Sky News. “This plane was coming over and suddenly the tone of the engine changed dramatically. I’d almost say it was like a blowout or an explosion.” The airport, Europe’s busiest, closed both its runways to deal with the incident, but one has since re-opened. A spokesman for the London fire brigade, which attended the incident, said they believed the fire was now out. BA’s A319s are powered by two IAE V2500 engines made by the International Aero Engines consortium, part-owned by Pratt & Whitney parent UTC. l
10 Dhaka Tribune
Saturday, May 25, 2013
the Editor Sajal’s family requests his body to be brought back May 23
To serve and extort?
Really cost effective. Only the government can take such a step. Sharmin Shimi Who will pay for this? And who will go back to the mountain to collect it? Rawshan Iajdani
he torture and murder of 26-year-old MBA student Shamim Reza, by law enforcers in Sonargaon, brings the issue of police criminality back into focus. Most of us know well that the Bangladeshi police force is easily corruptible and especially fond of using their uniforms as a means to extortion. Numerous instances of police misconduct and brutality are covered up. Officers are rarely incriminated and families of the victims are threatened Shamim’s death when they demand justice. But Shamim Reza’s murdidn’t occur in der is particularly distressthe pursuit of ing. He was picked up from justice, utterly his home for interrogation, unacceptable as was not taken to a police stathat is to begin tion, was not charged or rewith, but as a result manded, but was barbaricalof a mafia-style, ly beaten for four days. extortion racket, A Tk500,000 ransom was involving police demanded to send Shamofficers im to court to face charges of murder. After half the amount was paid, Shamim was sent to court where he confessed, but died of his injuries two days later. Shamim’s family say he confessed under extreme duress, which is highly likely since almost all confessions in Bangladesh are elicited this way, but whether Shamim was innocent or not isn’t the question at all. His death didn’t occur in the pursuit of justice, utterly unacceptable as that is to begin with, but as a result of a mafia-style, extortion racket, involving police officers. The officer who runs this racket and the station from where it is run is now well known. Swift and exemplary punishment must be meted out to prevent other officers from even considering extortion as an optional use of their often-unchecked powers.
Is that really the game plan?
t seems that we have found the root cause behind the fact that millions of taka worth of medical equipment is lying idle in hospitals around the nation – an incompetent health ministry. While we would be hard-pressed to say that any Bangladeshi public sector entity is well-managed, it seems that the health ministry is going out of its way to beat out all others in inefficiency and poor planning. Now, it seems that the ministry has taken upon itThe ball is in the self, the task of spending the ministry’s court. remaining 58% of its budget It is up to them to by June 30. efficiently plan The fact that this essenprocurement and tial ministry has such a cavutilise the budget alier attitude in its spending is downright frightening. It they are given, and makes it seem as if they want improve our health to hold on to their current services as is their budgetary allotment, even mandate if it means taking away from other necessary sectors. The health ministry may try to argue that the nation lacks necessary medical equipment, that the full budget is necessary to improve the nation’s healthcare system, and that the ministry has the competent personnel required to effectively plan and implement procurement activities related to the budget. If that is, in fact, the case, then why does this kind of a situation arise at all? The ball is in the ministry’s court. It is up to them to efficiently plan procurement and utilise the budget they are given, and improve our health services as is their mandate; or to give up this portion of the budget to those who could actually bring about some positive developments.
ACROSS 1 Rodents (4) 6 Spirit (3) 7 Neck hair (4) 9 Cicatrix (4) 10 Seizes with the teeth (5) 11 Tree (5) 12 Monkey (3) 14 Frighten from (5) 17 Endures (5) 20 Period of time (3) 21 Bird (5) 23 Not precise (5) 25 Book of the Bible (4) 26 Responsibility (4) 27 Sailor (3) 28 Camera part (4)
Latif’s letter ‘violation of diplomatic norm’ May 22
Humayun Kabir told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: “It is clearly written in the rules of business what ministry will do what, and it is the responsibility of the foreign ministry to communicate with the foreign missions and countries. It [the letter] should not have been written.” Absolutely agreed! Mahmud
Letter of the day
Man of many talents: Sajal’s untimely exit “Man of many talents” - Really very sad news for us! RIP!
I think the government should provide training related to public speaking, basic communication, diplomatic norms etc in a general sense to these ministers. As we are unable to elect qualified MPs, the government should take necessary steps to train them after they have been elected. S M Islam
18-party calls nationwide hartal for Sunday May 24
“About 30 million retail and small scale businessmen in the country have been pushed to the margins. Reports by the International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh said that hartals cost the country an estimated $200 million a day, with $3 billion lost since last December — a sum that could finance the construction of the Padma Bridge.” “The estimated annual average cost of hartals is between 3 percent and 4 percent of the country’s $110 billion gross domestic product (GDP), according to a study. These costs include foregone earnings and lost employment and output, as well as long-term impacts due to reduced savings, indebtedness, capital losses and reduced profitability for businesses.” “The alarming news for Bangladesh is that the
Lifeline: The joys of inventing May 21 A peaceful article. Read it and :-).
exports of garment items from Vietnam and Cambodia rose recently by 22 percent and 15 percent. It means we are losing business to our competitors.” “The politico-economic loss is worth noting. In a recent statement, the International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh estimated that the country loses around $200 million every hartal day. A 2005 study, Beyond Hartals, of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows the adverse impact of hartal on Bangladesh economy. During 1947-58 the average number of hartals per year was 1.5 days, which reached a whopping 173 days during 2001-2006. It is obvious that number of hartals shows an increasing trend, and the numbers are higher post-liberation than the numbers before.”
Law should be passed that no person can hold the post of prime minister for more than two terms and no Members of Parliament can abstain from the Parliament for more than 21 working days without approval of the speaker. By the way, it would end dynastic rule. Promote democracy, and also end the bloody hartals which are ruining and dividing the country. All these years, what has been achieved since December 16, 1971 by these self-seeking outdated stale politicians? Syed Ziad Rahman
How herding behaviour deters capital market price efficiency in Bangladesh
Rana Plaza collapse: Probe body finds it a ‘culpable homicide’
I doubt they can get that in the courts. Negligent homicide at the most. Then again this is Bangladesh. Anything is possible Mehran H Chowdhury
Be Heard Write to us at: Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: email@example.com Send us your Op-Ed articles: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website: www.dhakatribune.com Come join our Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/DhakaTribune
The static losses of hartal per year are likely to be in the range of 0.5% to 1% of the GDP. Banglar Bagh
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Grading system regarding public exam results May 18
This year SSC result has been published on May 9. The number of passing students is numerous. But there is no good scale to judge the students perfectly. This is because one can have A+ in a subject by getting [a grade of] 80, another who gets 100 also has an A+. Evidently, there is much difference between [those] two students, [but] no one can see this difference. If [the] education board publishes numbers besides giving grades, this problem can be solved . Moutushi Islam
CALVIN AND HOBBES
DOWN 1 Scoundrel (6) 2 Vestiges (6) 3 Certain (4) 4 Sporting item (3) 5 Acceptance (3) 7 Deep mud (4) 8 At no time (5) 10 Wicked (3) 13 Heathen (5) 15 Time of holding (6) 16 Skin eruptions (6) 18 Accordingly (4) 19 Bishop’s territory (3) 22 Spoken (4) 23 Solemn promise (3) 24 Weapon (3)
Rabiul R Magura
2 4 8 3 6 9 8 1 2 3 9 1 2 3 6 4 8 6 5 4 3 2 5 8 6 9 5 1
YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS Crossword
Saturday, May 25, 2013
God save the Queen! n Mohd Fahad Ifaz “r u comin to cls tomrw?” “Clse de dor b4 u lve”
These are the relationships that we must seek to strengthen
Time to sign TICFA We need to recognise the current geo-political situation and open our doors
n Mamun Rashid
n Bangladesh, we have mostly seen our policy-planners or decision-makers downplaying issues like SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement), HANA (Humanitarian Assistance Need Assessment), TIFA (Trade and Investment Frame Work Agreement) or the latest “TICFA” (Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement) when discussions about signing them, were or have been taking place. We have always seen our political seniors pretending to be “not sure” or “not prepared” or saying in public: “We need to explore or study more.” While we understand and appreciate why a SOFA – which is basically a security intervention allowing US security people to visit our country all of a sudden, with clearance to the leader of the contingent without anything being asked about the accompanying troops or weapons and vice versa – could not be entertained by a weakly governed but democratically elected government; we could not figure out why we could not close out on HANA, even during the 1998 floods. Thanks to the then Finance Minister SAMS Kibria, who considered that without a HANA visit by a three-member team, Bangladesh could not have received 500,000 tonnes of food grain during that critical time. In the same way, there have been talks about the signing of the “Trade
and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)” between Bangladesh and the US. The two countries have been discussing signing of the TIFA agreement since 2001. Draft agreements were exchanged a number of times during the last BNP government and again, during the tenure of the caretaker government. It gained momentum during the end of the caretaker government’s rule and the draft was finalised. But in order to avoid any controver-
nation to the US market is RMG and there is no guarantee in the TIFA regarding duty-free access of our RMG products to the US. On the other hand, the US felt that in the absence of proper implementation of IPR, the US companies were suffering in business. Under the WTO, Bangladesh is insulated from the Patent Act until 2016 (likely to be extended further) and using this advantage, the pharmaceutical industries of Bangladesh manufacture and export medicinal items to almost
We must do what we can in order to ensure more US investment in Bangladesh and most importantly iron out any differences and move towards increased trade and investment between the countries, including possible duty-free access of Bangladeshi apparels to the US sy, the caretaker government refrained from signing the agreement and left it for the next elected government to decide. The debate was revolving around TIFA’s emphasis on intellectual property rights (IPR) and reduction of non-tariff barriers. But in practice there are few non-tariff barriers to the export of Bangladeshi goods to the US market. As a least-developed country (LDC), Bangladesh is entitled to certain benefits from the World Trade Organization (WTO), which the TIFA reportedly did not take into consideration. The main export item from the
75 countries around the world. And now if we have to follow the IPR, Bangladesh has to incur huge expenses, as big US companies license out most patents. IT expenditure will also be increased to license software. By signing the TIFA, Bangladesh wanted to incorporate the advantages it is entitled to enjoy as an LDC under the WTO framework. There were also heightened discussions on labour standards in Bangladesh and allowing trade unions to function normally in its export processing zones (EPZs), as desired by the free labour unions/federations in the
US. Bangladesh was very wary of this, as it was committed to EPZ investors, mostly coming from southeast and northeast Asian countries, for not allowing labour union activities. Now the new baby, named TICFA has come on to the agenda. The US is telling us to focus on TICFA, in order to promote and deepen bilateral relations in an orderly and structured manner between two important trade and development partners. This is being identified as a “bilateral platform” or discussion channel, to help quicken the process, instead of a long drawn-out process in dealing with bilateral matters. Ironically again, we find ourselves unprepared or shy even after the elected government has been in power for four years. The government is rumoured to be taking cognisance of the possible political impact of this, or trying to tag the GSP along with the signing of TICFA, as it has run out of justifying arguments on GSP retention after the Rana Plaza collapse, which took away more than 1,100 lives in five garment factories. This is both good and bad, leaning more towards bad. It is good because a country like Bangladesh with its sub-optimal literacy rate and “excess of nationalism” should go slow and do their homework first before signing anything major with a country like the US. It is bad, because most south Asian countries including India have signed this to create a platform for furthering
trade and investment between them. In fact 42 countries including the ones mentioned and six regional trade bodies have already signed on. We should not forget that a country with a strong potential market named Myanmar is rising next to us, getting prepared to attract all possible help and support from the US. We do not want Bangladesh to fall out from any possible support from a large and influential partner like the US. We must do what we can in order to ensure more US investment in Bangladesh and most importantly iron out any differences and move towards increased trade and investment between the countries, including possible duty-free access of Bangladeshi apparels to the US. We may need the US on our side in tackling many global issues, and certainly more than they need us to ensure regional peace and security. Signing the TICFA may make us move in that direction. We should not close our doors. Vietnam has revisited its relationship with US even after a long and devastating war; and many other countries are doing the same. l Mamun Rashid is a banker and economic analyst.
The immutable Islamists n M Rezaur Rahman
undreds of thousands of Muslims on the streets of Dhaka city, seeking to adopt Quranic law. The people of Bangladesh were surprised to see such a huge gathering as this kind of uprising has not appeared last few decades. That they were surprised is also surprising if one was to look into world history. Decade to decade, Muslims have been involved in these kinds of movements beginning with the emergence of Islam. I will use the term “Islamist” to mention Muslims who strictly follow the Quran, the words of Allah. From history, we cannot point out one single example where Islamic motivational movements were “totally” absent since the emergence of the religion. In the Indian subcontinent, Islam entered in the 7th century and really took root around the 12th century. In the first few centuries, expansion of the Islamic region took place; later on the subcontinent was taken over by British colonists. That was when true Islamic movements in this subcontinent were noticed for the first time. In discussing
these movements, the rebellion of Titumir comes first. Titumir is a national hero of our country, and his story of rebellion is even taught in our elementary schools. History says that his movement was based on Islamic enthusiasm, and the main goal was to free Bengal from British colonialism, establishing an Islamic Caliphate. Though the movement gained popular support from other religious groups, the main objective was the es-
Perhaps what is most ‘surprising’ is that we know Shariat-Ullah as another national hero, and his movement is also taught in our schools as an initial step of our liberation
tablishment of an Islamic state according to Quranic law. After Titumir, the “Faraizi” movement features significantly. Faraizi is a name coming from the word “Farz”
– an Arabic word, which means the “duties that must be done.” At the time the movement was initialised, the zamindars (landlords) and the British colonists were in a ruling position. Muslim society was full of non-Islamic cultures and customs, which created an unstable condition among Muslims who were subject to oppression from those in power. Haji Shariat-Ullah, the leader of Faraizi movement trained a group of people as activists to accelerate the movement. His goal was similar to Titumir’s, and the movement sought to abolish all non-Islamic culture and innovations (in terms of rituals) from that society by achieving freedom from British colonialism and finally leading to the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate. Perhaps what is most “surprising” is that we know Shariat-Ullah as another national hero, and his movement is also taught in our schools as an initial step of our liberation. I personally believe that their movement worked as a catalyst to our final liberation. But it seems impossible for me to shake the word “surprise,” because their followers, the current activists
with the same agenda – to eliminate non-Islamic culture from society, following the footsteps of these great heroes are now called terrorists. This
If we truly analyse, we will find that Islamic movements are unstoppable, throughout the Muslim world. Islamists are always in field but in different masks, sometimes they hibernate, but they always persist double standard is really quite surprising to me. Overall, there is no point in isolating today’s uprising from socio-Islamic movements based on an absolutely Islamic point of view that have happened in the past. The major driving force is the religion itself. When the Quran inspires or asks us to struggle to establish Islamic values societally, how we can deny it? Yes, many times with strict law enforcement, Islamic movements became weak in the past, but the struggle has never ended. And the struggle will exist as long
as civilisation itself, because Quranic verses will endure. There is also no way to end these movements, because to activists, the worldly life is nothing more than a test, and when the matter of foremost importance is the afterlife, how can such motivation be stopped by weapons? At this point, one thing should be clear, Islamic movements time to time, and country to country are connected spritually, because the main motivation comes from the Quran in each case. And if we truly analyse, we will find that Islamic movements are unstoppable, throughout the Muslim world. Islamists are always in field but in different masks, sometimes they hibernate, but they always persist. So we can conclude that the traits of Islamists are unchangeable and they will remain, they will not be completely muted, so long as the Quran exists. l M Rezaur Rahman is a freelance contributor.
s your head spinning because you’re trying to decipher this? Keep it to yourself. Don’t voice your confusion and make a public display of your ignorance of a new dialect of English. No, you are not allowed to scream that this is bloody murder of the Queen’s English. It’s the new cool and hip thing. A4 no longer refers to the dimensions of a sheet of paper but is an abbreviation for “anytime, anyplace, anyone, anywhere,” and ATM now means “at the moment.” With SMS and instant messaging catching on fast, text jargon has become present-day English, horrifying traditionalists and educators. While some fear it may lead to a communication breakdown, others just find it plain annoying when they try to understand what other people are trying to say. Yet many others see it as the language evolving in a new way – if “thou art” has paved the way for “you are,” why not “u r?” – they question. What happens to “proper” English? In proper English, gay means happy – points out an anonymous British blogger, who caused quite a stir by gathering a wide readership, despite his complete massacre of the English language, stripping it down to the lowest level. He believes, at the end of the day, all that matters is if your thoughts have
I think the language has undergone changes, adapting to requirements of the times. Also, it has only been embellished and might actually grow as a result of this new form
been communicated and understood in the right sense, not the language and not the grammar. English teachers are worried over this affecting the writing skills, with students resorting to text-speak in assignments as well. On a poll conducted regarding the issue of text messaging versus grammar, almost 300 people voted, and the results were in favour of “Yes, I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into school assignments.” Nearly half of the votes were “yes” while only about 30% were “no.” Personally, I think the language has undergone changes, adapting to requirements of the times. Also, it has only been embellished and might actually grow as a result of this new form. But yes, it is possible text language may render English a bunch of meaningless alphabets or sounds because there’s no structure to text-speak as such. And hence to understand what an individual wants to say is quite a task. This was told to me by a friend who also happens to be an English teacher. Being a teacher, she feels that it has impacted the way students write to a great extent. “Students write as they text. And the spelling errors – just terrible!” she exclaims. Also, she believes that the beauty of the written word is lost. The results when text-speak is misunderstood or when T9 thinks it knows better and “auto-corrects” spellings is downright hilarious. There are websites too, to help you get abbreviations and words you have never seen/heard of before. You can consider them the new generation of thesaurus. These are for the benefit of those from the last decade, the “not so cool” trying to fit in. “Imlvin 2moro. TGTB” shocked? Don’t sweat! There are web “dictionaries” which can translate it for you as “I’m leaving tomorrow. Too good to be true.” Looks like the Queen’s English might become obsolete in the next century and be made a subject of study, as is the case with Old English today! May God Save the Queen[‘s English]. l Mohd. Fahad Ifaz is a business consutant, Katalyst.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
“Bidrohi Kobi” Kazi Nazrul Islam, known popularly as Nazrul, was a Bengali poet, musician and revolutionary who initiated poetic works advocating intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Nazrul fought against the communalism, imperialism, fundamentalism and exploitation of the British colonial government. Every year his birth anniversary is celebrated by the proud nation through various programmes that include recitation of his poetry, singing his songs and performing stage shows of his famous works. This year, the 114th “Jonmo Joyonti” (birth anniversary) of the progressive personality is made more colourful by the performances of numerous celebrated artistes. Dhaka Tribune had the opportunity to interview a handful of these artistes, who give great effort to celebrate the occasion.
Nazrul evokes the rebellious spirit of an individual: Ferdous Ara n Afrose Jahan Chaity Eminent singer Ferdous Ara will be releasing a solo-album from Impress Audio Vision titled “Bhalobashai Nazrul” marking the birth anniversary of the celebrated rebel poet. Furthermore, she performed in a programme named “Dao Shorjo Dao Dhorjo” yesterday at the main auditorium of the National Museum, Bangladesh along with students from her music school “Shur Shaptak.” On the show, she presented different genres of Nazrul Geeti.
As a person, how does Nazrul Islam motivate you?
Nazrul Islam seems to be one of those rare creators who stimulated their moments in every possible way. He wrote the desired lines that portrayed the essence of the life he lived, along with suggestions of rectifying or purifying our life-pattern in a desired manner. His progressive thinking and ideologies
encouraged me to make difficult decisions with bold determination.
How are you inspired by Nazrul’s philosophy?
His non-communal spirit and dynamic personality is a source of great inspiration for me. Nazrul evokes the rebellious spirit of an individual with the use of simple words arranged to shake the most timid of personalities. His poem “Bidrohi,” where he proclaimed the independence of his own self, finally analogous with individual liberty and collective freedom of the nation called Bangali. His ultimate destination was an inflection of love, justice and liberty of humanity. I think we should be more concerned and follow his philosophy to overcome the religious bigotry currently prevailing in the society.
What you are performing on Nazrul Joyonti?
“I love performing onstage and cur-
rently I am well occupied with numerous stage shows. I will be appearing on Channel i, ATN, NTV, BTV, Channel 4, Desh TV and many other channels, along with several stage performances on the auspicious occasion.” Ferdous Ara has been a regular artiste of Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television since 1973 and 1974 respectively and has earned desirable reputation in the field of music on account of her imaginative excellence. Many cassettes and CDs of her music have been released during her long musical career. In 1985, Sargam released her first cassette comprising of 12 Nazrul songs while in 1986 Nazrul Institute brought out her long play and cassette. Besides, 10 more cassettes on Modern Bangla songs were subsequently released that gained instant popularity among the music lovers across the world. l
Nazrul gives a singer everything to pass a lifetime with: Yeakub Ali Khan n Punny Kabir One of Bangladesh’s most prominent and popular Nazrul exponents Md Yeakub Ali Khan will present a solo musical performance today at 6:30pm at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Gulshan.
What aspect of Nazrul Geeti attracts you the most?
Yeakub Ali Khan
Nazrul has written more than four thousand songs. From devotional to classical, romantic to ghazals—he has given everything for a singer to pass his or her whole lifetime with. Nazrul developed 19 distinct ragas; composed Khayal, Thumri and Tappa styled Bangla songs; Kabyageeti, Bhajan, Kirtan, Ghazal, Shyama Sangeet, Islamic songs and many more. Nazrul is, in a word, an institution.
How does Nazrul inspire you in your personal life?
Nazrul’s revolutionary spirit attracts me the most. He was a man always in conflict against all kinds of oppression. His ideology was one of the most driving points which led the country to revolt against the tyranny of Pakistanis. Moreover, he is my idol for his secularist practice and philosophy.
What songs are you going to perform today at IGCC?
I will sing songs like “Oi Chonchol Leela” “Tumi Kon Pothe Hey Ele,” “Bondhu Tomar Amar Ei Je Biroho” and more encompassing different genres of Nazrul Geeti.
What else are you performing on this occasion?
I’m occupied with many other performances. Yesterday I presented songs at Chhayanaut and today I will also perform
ON TV movies 5:30 pm Fox Movies Premium Tresspass
6:10 pm Zee Studio The Proposal
7:20 pm HBO
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
8:35 pm Fox Movies Premium Men In Black 2
Warda presents dance recitals on Nazrul Joyonti n Afrose Jahan Chaity
9:30 pm Star Movies
Warda Rihab is going to perform today on “Nazrul Utsob 1420” organised by Chhayanaut and Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre. Her performance is based on an inspiring song of Nazrul named “Mora Jhonjhar Moto Uddam.” Shivasistuti is an invocation of Lord Shiva. Composed by Bimbavati Devi, this item is based on the tandava aspect of Manipuri dance. While talking about performing in Nazrul Jayanti, Warda informs the Dhaka Tribune: “Today I will present segmented dance pieces on “Nazrul Utsob” at Chhayanaut auditorium, and a monipuri classical called “Shivastuty” at IGCC. In the birth anniversary of Nazrul our National Poet, we are not celebrating his contributions to our culture enough. There is really very small space to work on his stories and poems. Every one oragnises different musical shows with only a few dance items. But dance also have the capability to present Nazrul’s work, as it is full of life and energy. Our new generation needs to know more about his philosophy as it can be a great source of inspiration to map out their life. Nazrul and his works are an idol in itself. Since we claim the prodigy as our National Poet, his birth anniversary should be celebrated on a much larger scale.” l
11:30 pm Star Movies
9:30 pm HBO
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
9:30 pm WB
The Golden Compass
11:00 pm Zee Studio The Break-Up
talkshow 12:00 am Bangla Vision News and Views
2:10 am Channel Ekattor Ekattor Moncho
5:15 am ATN News
7:30 am SATV This Morning
8:25 am NTV
5:00 pm CNN Talk Asia
10:30 am Independent TV
Rajdhanir Bairey Rajnitir Bhitorey
12:30 pm ATN Bangla Proshongo
comedy 8:30 am Sony Entertainment TV Kahani Comedy Circus Ki
9:30 am Big CBS Love The Game
12:30 pm Colors
Nautanki Ki Super Overs
2:00 pm Comedy Central The Wonder Years
at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Besides, I will perform at some TV shows.
3:30 pm FX
Yeakub Ali Khan was trained under Prabir Chatterjee, Pandit Barin Mazumdar, Narayan Chandra Basak, Sheikh Lutfor Rahman, Khalid Hossain and Pandit Mithun Dey. In 1979, Khan won the “Ashraf Smriti Shornopodok” in a countrywide Nazrul Sangeet Contest. In 1980, Mr. Ali stood 1st in the Higher Classical Music Training Course of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. He is a “Special Grade” artist of classical and Nazrul Sangeet of the Bangladesh Betar and Television. He is a regular trainer at the Bulbul Lalitkala Academy, the Nazrul Academy and at some public and private Universities of Bangladesh. l
8 Simple Rules
6:30 pm Comedy Central 8:30 pm Sony SAB FIR
9:00 pm Star World Modern Family
drama 7:00 am Longorkhana Bangla Vision
12:30 pm Student of the Year Sony
1:30 pm Devils Double Zee Studio
2:30 pm Red Window Zee Café Warda Rihab
Special TV programmes on National Poet’s birthday
6:20 pm Kajla Union Baishakhi TV
7:30 pm Greys Anatomy Star World
7:30 pm Baukurani Channel Nine
7:50 pm Nurjahan Channel i
8:30 pm Aadalat
Get well soon, Feroza Begum n
The “Nazrul Geeti” diva, whose massive contribution in popularising this musical genre is notable to say the least. This year on the birth anniversary of the National Poet, she is taken ill and at present, admitted in Apollo Hospital in serious condition. It can be a sure assumption that if the singer was in a fit state, she would have graced the celebration with her enthusiastic performances. This year’s “Nazrul Mela” oragnised by Channel i dedicated their daylong festival to Feroza Begum and is praying wholeheartedly for her wellbeing. Legendary singer Feroza Begum, whose name is as popular as Nazrul Sangeet itself, believes that the recognition that Nazrul’s songs deserve, is absent in the current music scenario. She had the rare opportunity to learn music from Nazrul himself in Kolkata, at
a very young age. As a “Nazrul Geeti” singer, Feroza Begum has many rare achievements. She was equally popular in India and Pakistan between 1950s and 1960s. She was the first singer to release an LP on Nazrul Sangeet in Pakistan and was one of the two singers to render songs during the inauguration of Pakistan radio’s regional office in Dhaka, in early 1969. For her bountiful dedication to Nazrul Sangeet and Adhunik Gaan, Feroza Begum has been recently awarded the “Maha Sangeet Samman” award by Paschimbanga government, at the Bangla Sangeet Mela celebrating the rich musical variety in the state and Bangladesh. Moreover Feroza Begum is credited with awards like “Shahdhinata Puroshkar.” She has been awarded the “D Lit” title from Bardhaman University of India, as recognition of her special contribution in the musical arena. l
n Entertainment Desk ‘Chand Banu’ airs on Channel9
Channel9 presents “Chand Banu” a drama adapted from Kazi Nazrul Islam’s “Jiner Badshah” at 9pm tonight. The interesting drama is directed by Ferdous Hassan and has popular soap actors Ahana, Afzal Kabir, K S Firoz, Dolly Johur, Mahmud Sajjad, Ahsanul Haq Minu and many more. Allarakha was a dominating character of the village and the people were quite unhinged by him. His parents were also fed-up with their rebellious son, but all his misdeeds comes to halt before a mesmerising beauty, her name Chand Banu. He falls head-over-heels in love with her, but her parents worrying about their precious daughter’s future plans to marry her off elsewhere. The puzzled lovelorn girl ponders on her predicament, should she leave her family or her love? Faced with the impossible challenge in making such a difficult decision, they both suffer.
Banglavision to air ‘Badhon Hara Palok’ “Badhon Hara Palok,” a special single episode drama to celebrate the birth anniversary of National Poet will air
tonight at 9:05pm on Banglavision. The drama is a Banglavision in-house production and the story is taken from the “rebel poets” poem “Pujarini.” It is written by Shuvashil Sinha and diected by Jahed Nabi. The story revolves around a young man, one day he was dreaming about his ex-lover and in his dream, all her betrayals come to life. At that time he is awakened by a woman named Adhora and as the story proceeds, they get involved in a relationship. After a while however, he breaks up the relationship and gets busy with writing poetry. For
his entertainment, he visits musical court houses and there one day he hears a song of Adhora and goes to her house to pay her a visit with a girl from the court. He is shoked by the present Adhora and misses his lost love, whom he rejected to heartlessly. He takes several sleeping piils on his hand and wonders whether he should take them and release himself from all the misery.
‘Gahi Shammer Gaan’ live on SATV
SATV will broadcast special programme “Gahi Shammer Gaan” live from Gulshan Club at 7:30 to 10pm. The programme is a special production to celebrate the birth anniversary of Kazi
Nazrul Islam. Renowned singers such as Nashid Kamal, Lina Taposhi Khan, Shaheen Samad, Fatima Tuz Zahra and many more will present Nazrul’s song and many others will recite his poetry. A unique fashion show is arranged that will present models attired as the characters from the “rebel poet’s” literature.
‘Shilpi’ airs on Boishakhi TV
Watch out for “Shilpi,” on Boishakhi TV tonight at 8pm, the romantic-tragedy is an adaptation of the famous poet’s story. The account depicts an artist Siraj who is only considerate and emotive towards his art but careless and cold towards his wife. Laily respects and like him as an artist but the reality remains that she has no romantic ties with her husband. Finally in sad retreat, Laily draws curtain on their relationship and goes back to her father’s house. After the departure of his wife, Siraj starts to feel attracted towards her and realises his mistake but his pride and ego does not let him return to her.
9:30 pm Chup Kotha SA TV
news 7:30 am CNN
11:00 am CNN World Report
12:00 pm BBC
BBC World News
3:00 pm Al Jazeera News Bulletin
4:30 pm BBC Newsnight
6:00 pm Al Jazeera
The Frost Interview
Misc 12:05 am Ekushey TV
Phono Live Studio Concert
7:10 am Boishakhi TV
Good Morning Bangladesh
10:30 am Big CBS Love The X Factor
1:30 pm MTV Roadies
2:30 pm Discovery
Man Woman Wild: Dominica
3:30 pm FTV
Focus on Models
4:30 pm Star World Master Chef
6:30 pm AXN The Voice
7:30 pm TLC
Jamie’s American Road Trip
9:30 pm Vh1
Billboard Music Awards: Events/Festivals
Did you know? Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich are the only teams to have won 3 major UEFA official Cups, namely UEFA Champions League/ European Cup, the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and UEFA Cup
Saturday, May 25, 2013
14 Bayern, Dort14 Final showcases mund take rivalry Bundesliga’s to new level rise
15 Four-goal comeback lifts Man City over Chelsea
Thais ready for Irani challenge n Raihan Mahmood High-flying Thailand will be looking forward to continue their winning streak while Iran will look out to restore some pride in the concluding day of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup group ‘B’ qualifiers at the Bangabandnu National Stadium at 4pm today. The top ranked Thai’s, who drubbed hosts Bangladesh 9-0 and edged past their ASEAN rival Philippines 1-0, just need a draw to emerge as group champions and get hold of the final round ticket. Iran, on the other hand, lost 6-0 to Philippines and beat Bangladesh 2-0 in their last encounter. Piyakul Kawmankang the Thai coach, however, wants to go slow but steady. “We are focused to accomplish our job and we are not thinking anything apart from a win. Iran is not an opponent who are to be taken lightly, we will fight it out,” said Piyakul. His counterpart, Helena Margarida, the Portuguese coach of Iran, emphasised upon the total teamwork. “My team has been gelling slowly and I want to put the best show against Thailand. They are the top ranked team and we will put our best to finish on a winning note. I admit that qualifying for the final is very tough for us,” said Helena. Nisa Romyen and Maryam Rahimi will be the flag bearers of the Thai and Iranian attacking aspirations. Nisa has already cracked five goals in two matches and will be looking forward to add more in her basket. Thailand ranked 29th in Fifa women’s ranking are also ahead of Iran who are ranked 52nd. l
Bangladesh women’s national football team react during a practice session ahead of their last match of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers against Philippines at BNS yesterday
BPL champions under ACSU watch n Minhaz Uddin Khan ICC Anti-Corruption Security Unit’s presence in Dhaka for the last few days has shaken Bangladesh’s cricket. The eruption of spot-fixing in India had earlier raised fear that the storm might hit Dhaka as well and it did strike. The two-member ACSU team, who left the capital yesterday, revealed that they were here to investigate a couple of matches of Bangladesh Premier League’s second edition. Officials and players of two-time champions Dhaka Gladiators, Chittagong Kings and Barisal Burners were called for questioning and ACSU will submit the their reports to ICC very soon. It was learnt that Gladiators willingly lost a match each to the Kings and the Burners after they had confirmed the semi-final spot in the tournament last year. Mohammad Ashraful was the stand-in captain in both the matches as regular skipper Masharfe bin Mortaza was benched for unknown reason. Losing was not the matter that raised concerns, but it was the manner in which they approached in those matches. The Bangladesh Cricket Board was well aware of ACSU’s presence and also helped them with adequate information where needed. Acting CEO of the
Board Nizamuddin Chowdhury was in continuous support of the process. The investigation was kept silent until BCB ad-hoc committee member Gazi Ashraf Lipu revealed it to the media. The former national cricketer thinks that the investigation should be known to all and that the information from the media could also come to the help of the investigation. ACSU members questioned most of the cricketers of the champion team, but could not get hold of Gladiators’ owner Salim Chowdhury, who was out of the country and returned only on Thursday. However, Salim denied anything related to the ACSU and said he was not asked to meet them. “This came in as a surprise to us. The issue is very serious and we are ready to help the investigation in every way possible. Our franchise has zero-tolerance to activities which is making the game dirty,” said Salim to Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He further informed that if necessary the franchise will have separate investigation to find the truth. A private security firm will be hired if needed. Meanwhile it was learnt that the two times BPL champions have called up the local players, who met the ACSU, of the team to learn better of the issue. l
Nothing to lose for Bangladeshi girls
Hosts meet Philippines in their last match today Bangladeshi defence is expected to “We had a lot of positives against n Raihan Mahmood Iran and such a performance can boost be under immense pressure as fast atDespite losing both the matches in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers, Bangladesh will be eager to maintain the fighting spirit against Philippines in their last match of group ‘B’ today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 7pm. Participating for the first time in the competition, Bangladesh were drubbed 9-0 by favourites Thailand in the opening match. But on Thursday, the same side fought hard in front of the home crowd and even thought they went down by 2-0 against Iran, there were signs of improvement. The confidence among the booters was evident in the second match while the running and passing were also quite up to the mark. The Bangladesh women’s would definitely want to start their last outing from where they finished and coach Syed Golam Jilani believes his girls have learnt a lot in these matches.
In time of silver rain
the team towards continuing the improvement. We have to keep it in mind that Philippines are a mighty opponent to our standards and we will look forward to concede lesser goals and continue our counter attacking strategy,” said Jilani. Philippines may wear a dejected look because they won’t have any chance of going to the final round no matter how big they win against Bangladesh, given that Thailand win or even draw against Iran in the first match of the day. If Iran beat Thailand by an impossible margin of 10 goals then Philippines can think of moving forward with a win against Bangladesh. Jilani, however, stated Philippines’ offence as more accomplished than Thailand’s. “They have got power and also some good individual players with good attacking flairs. We have to make our defence compact and have to be careful about not providing free spaces to the Philippines attackers,” said Jilani.
tackers like Jesse Anne Shugg, Heather Cook, Joana Houplin and Monika Lee will always try to sneak through them. The overlapping Sarah Cook’s neat crosses from the right flank will also create trouble for the Bangladesh defence as Philippines will enjoy the aerial superiority with their height. Meanwhile, the two hardworking Bangladeshi midfielders Mirona and Aungmra Ching Marma would like to continue their efforts and pave the way for striker Sabina Khatun in the opposition D-box. The home side attackers lacked the confidence of roaming in their opponents defence, but against Iran they raised their game in the dying stage to almost score a goal. At the back, Sabina Akhter, the Bangladesh goalie had gone through a hectic time and it would be another testing time for her. Bangladesh are yet to score a goal in the meet while they conceded 11 goals in two matches. l
U-14 booters off to Myanmar n Shishir Hoque A 21-member Bangladesh Under-14 football squad will fly to Myanmar today to take part in the AFC U-14 Championship qualifiers scheduled to begin in Nay Pyi Taw on May 28. This is the first time Bangladesh skipper Minhazur Abedin Rakib is travelling abroad and he was very excited about the trip. Team coach Uzzal Chakraborti Shibu pledged to try to qualify for the final round. Bangladesh placed in the group ‘F’ will face Cambodia on May 28 at 4pm at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium before playing Indonesia, Laos, Singapore and Thailand at the same venue. The team will return to Dhaka on June 4. This is the first time AFC is organising U-14 football championship and the matches will be 30 minutes in length. l
Sports journalist Lenin no more n Tribune Sport Desk
Philippines women’s national football team practice under rain at Sk Jamal Dhamondi Club ground yesterday Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune
Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune
Prominent sports journalist Lenin Gani, who was working as the head of sport department at the English version of bdnews24.com breathed his last in London on Thursday. He was suffering from respiratory complicacies. He was 46. Lenin’s family members said that the veteran journalist was suffering from Pulmonary Hyper Tension and lung problems for a long time and was undergoing treatment in London where his family resides for two generations. His condition deteriorated from the afternoon on Thursday and he was immediately taken to a hospital in North Hyde Park only to be declared dead by the on duty doctors. Lenin left behind his parents, three brothers, including his twin, his wife and only daughter Aafreen Alzena Gani apart
from hosts of friends and well wishers. A pall of gloom descended on the Bangladesh sports arena at the death of Lenin who was close to the heart, not only of the country’s sports journalists but also of the many football lovers for his vast knowledge of the game. He will be buried in London today after his wife Sinthia Parvez, who was in Dhaka during the untimely death of her
husband, reaches UK. Lenin started his journalism career with an English national daily named Morning Sun in 1990 before joining The Daily Star in 1992 as a sub-editor. Lenin then moved on to New Age as sports editor in 2006 but was forced to leave in August 2008 having a poor health situation. He later joined Daily Sun as a sports editor after facilitating his treatment in London and was finally involved with online newspaper bdnews24.com as a contributing editor. Lenin was awarded by the Dhaka Reporters Unity for the best sports reporter in 2001. Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association, Bangladesh Sports Press Association, Bangladesh Sports Journalists Community, Bangladesh Football Federation and many more sports organisations condoled the death of Lenin. l
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Bayern, Dortmund take rivalry to new level
One-nation finals n AFP, London 1980 UEFA Cup
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 3 Borussia Moenchengladbach (GER) 3 (Frankfurt won on away goals rule) Such was West Germany's dominance of the 1979-80 UEFA Cup that they supplied all four semi-finalists, with Moenchengladbach overcoming Stuttgart and Frankfurt seeing off Bayern Munich.
Bayern lock horns with their arch-rivals and touted underdogs Dortmund in Champions League final at Wembley today na confirmed their status as Europe's said. "But everything shouldn't rest n AFP, London pre-eminent side by outclassing Man- on him. In the DFB-Pokal final in 2012, The home of English football will reverberate to the roar of German voices today when Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund collide at Wembley Stadium in the first all-Bundesliga final in Champions League history. It is only two years since Barcelo-
Fact Box This final will be the first all-German clash in a European Cup final. 2000 (Spain), 2003 (Italy) and 2008 (England) are the three previous occasions of teams from the country meeting in the Champions League final. Bayern Munich have lost three of the four finals they have played in. Borussia Dortmund were victorious in the only final they have played. Dortmund are undefeated against Bayern in their last six league games (four wins, two draws). The last duel on neutral ground between Bayern and Dortmund was the 2012 DFB-Pokal final. Dortmund won 5-2. Bayern won all four games in the Quarter Final and Semi Finals without conceding a goal (11-0 on aggregate). They are only the fifth team in Champions League history to not concede a goal in any of their four matches in these two rounds. This is Jupp Heynckes’ third Champions League campaign as a coach. In all three seasons he has reached the final. In 1998 he won the trophy with Real Madrid and last year, he lost the final with Bayern Munich. Bayern could become the first German team to win the Treble. Six clubs have managed it previously; with the last being Inter Milan in 2010. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (12) has scored more goals in the Champions League this season than Robert Lewandowski (10). Bayern’s top scorer is Thomas Müller with eight. Neven Subotic (133) and Mats Hummels (106) have been forced into making more clearances than any other players in the Champions League this season.
chester United in the same arena to win the 2011 tournament, but the way that Bayern and Dortmund have torn through this season's competition suggests a new continental order is asserting itself. Bayern left Barca in ruins with an incredible 7-0 aggregate win in the semi, while Dortmund's 4-1 defeat of Real Madrid in the same round left the football world open-mouthed in amazement. Irrespective of the result, it is certain to be a monumental evening for German football, but the two sides approach the game driven by very different motivations. For Bayern, the game represents an opportunity to make amends for painful final defeats in 2010 and, in particular, 2012, when a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out loss to Chelsea was played out before a crowd of horrified and disbelieving fans at their own Allianz Arena. Dortmund, the 1997 champions, yearn to inflict further misery upon Bayern, who have gravely undermined their opponents' attempts to establish themselves as creditable longterm rivals by snatching away star playmaker Mario Goetze in a sensational 37 million euros (£31.7 million, $47.8 million) transfer. A hamstring injury to Goetze has reduced the risk of diplomatic embarrassment on Saturday, but Bayern are also believed to lead the race for Dortmund's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who put Madrid to the sword with an extraordinary four-goal haul in the first leg of their semi-final. Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has tried to downplay the significance of Goetze's injury by pointing to the 2012 German Cup final, when Dortmund thrashed Bayern 5-2 in his absence. "It goes without saying that with him we have a different quality," he
Wolfsburg celebrate with the trophy after beating Olympique Lyon in their women's UEFA Champions League final match at Stamford Bridge in London on Thursday REUTERS
'Neymar would help Messi' n AFP, Madrid Barcelona full-back Dani Alves has claimed the signing of his Brazilian international colleague Neymar would help ease the burden that has been placed on Lionel Messi this season. The four-time World Player of the Year has scored 60 times this season despite an injury-hit last couple of months to the campaign, whilst the second-highest scorer in the squad, David Villa, has only registered 14 goals. And Alves doesn't believe pairing Neymar and Messi together would be a problem should Barca finally complete their pursuit of the 21-year-old before the start of next season. "Two phenomenons are better than one," he told Barcelona sports daily El Mundo Deportivo. "They are two good players and play in different positions. They would understand each other. "It doesn't bother Neymar to be the protagonist or not, although his way of playing will always attract attention. Neymar would be a relief, he would help Leo a lot." Barca's dependence on Messi was most cruelly exposed on the European
stage this season as the Argentine was forced into action when clearly carrying a hamstring injury against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and missed the semi-final second-leg against Bayern Munich as the Germans went on to inflict a 7-0 aggregate defeat on the Catalans. "In some games they have marked Messi a lot and Neymar would help unbalance defences more. We have lacked a little continuity up front and the objective looking forward to next season is to continue competing for everything." However, Alves refused to quash rumours that he could be one of those on his way out as the club tries to raise funds for a splurge in the transfer market in the close season. The 30-year-old has been linked with a move to PSG among others and he is keeping his options open. "I said that I wouldn't close the door to PSG because the more doors you have open, the better." "I intend to stay here until they don't want me and I have advised Neymar to play at Barca because for me it is the best club and to be able to play with him. But it would be stupid to close doors for myself." l
Mario also didn't play." After losing five times in a row to Dortmund during the Ruhr club's backto-back Bundesliga title successes in 2011 and 2012, Bayern have redressed the balance this season, avoiding defeat in all four of their most recent contests en route to a nigh-on flawless triumph in the German title race. Saturday's game will be the 101st competitive meeting between the sides and after seven encounters over the last two seasons, Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes believes there is little scope for sleight of hand. "Both teams know each other very well, both trainers are fully informed about the opponent, so there are no secrets," he said. Heynckes can become only the fourth coach to win the competition with two different clubs, having previously led Madrid to their eighth Champions League title in 1998. It will, however, be the 68-year-old's final match in the dug-out. He has announced his retirement after former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was appointed to succeed him, despite a phenomenal campaign that could end with Bayern claiming their first ever treble of league, German Cup and Champions League honours. "We've taken a massive stride towards perfection, and we're aiming for a perfect performance in the final," said midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, whose side will tackle Stuttgart in the German Cup final on June 1. "If we play to our potential, it's very hard for anyone to win against us." Nine years after almost going bust, Dortmund hope to repeat their shock 1997 success, when a young Lars Ricken, now the club's youth team co-ordinator, came off the bench to seal a 3-1 win over Juventus at Munich's Olympiastadion with an audacious 25-yard chip. l
1998 UEFA Cup
Inter Milan (ITA) 3 Lazio (ITA) 0 There were four all-Italian UEFA Cup finals in the 1990s, culminating in this clash between Luigi Simoni's Inter and Sven Goran Eriksson's Lazio in Paris. Ivan Zamorano put Inter ahead in the fifth minute, with Javier Zanetti adding a second goal on the hour before Brazilian superstar Ronaldo rounded Lazio goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani and rolled in Inter's third to crown.
2000 Champions League
Real Madrid (ESP) 3 Valencia (ESP) 0 Two years on from Ronaldo's masterclass at the Parc des Princes, Raul capped an emphatic performance by Madrid with a similar goal as his side overwhelmed La Liga counterparts Valencia up the road at the Stade de France. Following a first-half header by Fernando Morientes and a spectacular Steve McManaman volley, Raul struck in the 75th minute to settle the first one-country final in the historyt.
2003 Champions League
AC Milan (ITA) 0 Juventus (ITA) 0 (AC Milan won 3-2 on penalties) The first all-Italian Champions League final was a tense, tactical affair in which Juventus substitute and future coach Antonio Conte come closest to breaking the deadlock with a second-half header that hit the crossbar. After 120 goalless minutes at Old Trafford in Manchester, Milan claimed a sixth European Cup.
2008 Champions League
Man United (ENG) 1 Chelsea (ENG) 1 (Man United won 6-5 on penalties) The 2008 decider in Moscow was the highpoint of a period that saw English sides reach the final in five successive seasons. After Cristiano Ronaldo's 26th-minute header was cancelled out by Chelsea midfielder Lampard, John Terry spurned an opportunity to give the London club victory in the penalty shoot-out when he slipped on the slick turf and sent the ball against the post. l
Europa winners to get UCL place n Uefa
Final showcases Bundesliga's rise
The Europa League winners in 2015 will qualify for the Champions League the following season, Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino said yesterday. Sixteen teams rather than the current six will also qualify directly for the group stages of Uefa's secondary competition in a bid to boost its prestige and attraction to sponsors. The decision was taken after detailed discussions between the European Club Association comprising Europe's top clubs and Uefa and the change will come into affect after the current TV contract for the Champions League expires in 2015. The change announced by Uefa means clubs taking part in the Europa League may treat it more seriously and field stronger teams because it offers a path into the elite competition the following season. l
Germany's Bundesliga will be on show to the world in today's Champions League final when Bayern Munich take on Borussia Dortmund in the first all-German European cup finale. Wembley is set to be bathed in black, red and gold for the day and football fans will have a chance to see why the crowds are turning to the German league in their droves. With an average of 44,293, the Bundesliga has the highest attendance figures in the world with the cheapest season ticket for an adult standing on the terraces costing 120 euros (155 dollars, 102 pounds) at Bayern's Allianz Arena, while Dortmund charge 187 euros at the Westfalenstadion. In contrast, last season's prices in the English Premier League (EPL) saw the
n AFP, London
cheapest season ticket at Arsenal set fans back 985 pounds (1,151 euros, 1,488 dollars), while it cost 255 pounds (298 euros, 385 dollars) to watch relegated Wigan Athletic. The Bundesliga is now broadcast in 150 countries, but still falls behind the EPL in terms of global popularity, although in terms of value-for-money in the stadiums, the German league goes from strength to strength. Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has said the attitude of clubs towards their fans is the key difference between the leagues in England and Germany. Another key factor is the Bundesliga's "50+1 ownership" rule, wich protects German clubs from interference by big-spending overseas backers. English clubs receive huge funds from foreign investors, with wealthy figures from Russia, the Middle East and Asia filling various clubs' coffers,
leading to three Champions League winners (Liverpool in 2005, Manchester United in 2008 and Chelsea in 2012), plus five runners-up from the EPL. With huge wage bills, the success comes at a price with most clubs saddled with heavy debts and foreign sugar daddies who can withdraw their financial support at any moment. In contrast, German teams abide by the principle of "50+1 ownership", which means members must retain a majority stake in the club, while investors can own no more than 49 percent. The rule is designed to allow investment opportunities while preventing an individual from having overall control. "The biggest difference for the development of German football is the 50+1 rule, it means clubs can make their own decisions," said Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watkze. "We can decide our own politics with good-value tickets. l
UEFA approves 10-game racism ban, blood tests n AFP, London European football's governing body UEFA on Thursday formally ratified plans to impose 10-game European suspensions on players and officials found guilty of racism. Racist behaviour by supporters will initially be punished with a partial stadium closure, with a full stadium closure for a second offence. The new measures were approved at the organisation's executive committee meeting in London, but UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said individual member associations could still opt to introduce their own anti-racism sanctions, after England's Football Association announced plans for minimum five-game bans. "An association should adopt the same or similar measures. UEFA has always acted in a way to try to convince people rather than impose," he told. l
Bayern Munich's midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger gestures at the airport in Munich, southern Germany yesterday
Djokovic, Nadal on semi-final collision course
Wins for Rahmatganj, Ctg Abahani Rahmatganj MFS and Chittagong Abahani posted victories in their respective Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League matches yesterday. A second-half goal by Sentu in the 50th minute was enough for Rahmatganj to beat Dhaka United SC 1-0 at the Kamalapur stadium. Sohel's 73rd minute strike allowed hosts Chittagong Abahani edge past Victoria SC 1-0 at the M A Aziz stadium. Despite the victory, the port city Sky Blues remained second in the points table with 20 points while Rahmatganj moved up to third place with 16 points. Both played 10 games each. Dhaka United remained at the bottom of the table while Victoria are just a place above. – Shishir Hoque
n AFP, Paris
BHF, clubs sit today to solve ongoing crisis In a bid to control the current disorder in hockey, triggered by the players’ protest in demand of a transfer window, the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) will sit in a meeting with the club representatives to find a solution today. "The BHF president will sit with the club tomorrow (Saturday). Hopefully, a confirmed date for the players transfer will be set through this meeting," said the BHF general secretary Khwaja Rahmatullah yesterday. Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, the director in-charge of Mohammedan Sporting Club, who will also attend the meeting, said that they are ready to accept any date for the transfers. Another powerhouse Abahani also echoed their rivals saying they are also ready to play at any time. – Shafiur Rahman
Rangpur down Dhaka in women’s nat’l league The 6th Women’s National Cricket League returned to the field with Rangpur beating Dhaka by three wickets at the Sylhet Divisional stadium yesterday. The tournament resumed after a month as it was stopped due to political unrest in the country. Dhaka were bundled out for only 100 runs as Rangpur reached the target to claim their fourth win of the competition. Dhaka’s decision to bat first backfired as they lost wickets in regular intervals to get bowled out in the 34th over. Skipper Ayesha Akter top scored with 26 runs. Dolly Rani and Morsheda took three wickets each for Rangpur. Chasing the small target, Rangpur also lost quick wickets, but too many extras bowled by Dhaka helped the eventual winners. Other than 23 extras Rangpur opener Jesy scored 22 runs while middle-order Sanjida Islam was not out on 16. With the win Rangpur moved to second place with nine points. – Mazhar Uddin
Spain's Rafael Nadal (L), seven-time champion of the French tennis Open, and Russia's Maria Sharapova, two-time winner and the world number two, pose with French Jean Gachassin (C), Head of the FFT behind the trophies as they take part in the draw of the women's single of the Roland-Garros tennis tournament at the Roland-Garros stadium in Paris yesterday AFP
Day’s Watch Ten Action & Ten Sports 12:45am UEFA Champions League final LIVE – Dortmund v Bayern Munich ESPN 5:00am MLB Regular Season LIVE – New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Star Sports 2:55pm FIA F1 World Championship LIVE – Practice Session 3 Star Sports 5:50pm FIA F1 World Championship LIVE – Qualifying Ten Sports 7:30pm WTA Tour LIVE - Brussels Open Final
Top seed Novak Djokovic and seven-time champion Rafael Nadal were set on a French Open semi-final collision course Friday, condemning one of the sport's superstars to certain defeat before the final. The world number one Serb and the third-ranked Spaniard were placed in the same half of the draw, leaving Roger Federer, the second seed, to remain untroubled by either of his two great rivals until the final. Djokovic, the runner-up to Nadal last year and who still needs a French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, starts against Belgium's David Goffin, who made the last 16 in 2012 after coming through qualifying. The 22-year-old Belgian took a set off Federer before losing in four sets. Federer, the 2009 champion who is chasing an 18th major, starts his campaign against a qualifier while Nadal begins against Germany's Daniel Brands. Nadal, going after an unprecedented eighth French Open title, was seeded three after missing seven months through injury. But he has been in great form since his return, winning six titles from eight finals. One of those final losses was to Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters. Friday's proceedings were always going to place Nadal in the path of Djokovic or Federer with the draw given added spice by the withdrawal through injury of world number two Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, the world number seven. "I am happy to be here at Roland Garros, it's one of the tournaments that I did not want to miss," said Nadal on Friday.
"I love this place. I am healthy to play here another time." Djokovic could face fast-rising Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova, in the third round with compatriot Janko Tipsarevic a likely quarter-final opponent. Nadal could meet Lukas Rosol in the third round, 11 months after the unheralded Czech dumped the Spaniard out of Wimbledon in a second-round shock which also sent the Roland Garros champion into his seven-month rehabilitation. In the women's event, top seed Serena Williams, the champion in 2002 and
Recent Men's Champions 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Rafael Nadal (ESP) Rafael Nadal (ESP) Rafael Nadal (ESP) Roger Federer (SUI) Rafael Nadal (ESP) Rafael Nadal (ESP) Rafael Nadal (ESP) Rafael Nadal (ESP) Gastón Gaudio (ARG) Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)
the overwhelming favourite for the title, starts against Ana Tatishvili of Belarus. Defending champion Sharapova, the second seed, tackles Taiwan's Heish SuWei while third seeded Victoria Azarenka, who is scheduled to face Sharapova in the semi-finals, starts against Russia's Elena Vesnina. Williams, 31, has won her last four tournaments at Miami, Charleston, Madrid and Rome — the last three coming on clay — and has won 24 matches in a row, her best ever run of form. l
Alain Prost rejects calls for F1 overhaul
Flintoff set for 'big bash'
n AFP, Monaco
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff may no longer be a member of the England side but that won't stop him from returning to cricket duty for Twenty20 action with an Australian twist. With the Ashes underway, Flintoff — victorious in his one-bout boxing career — will be back on more familiar territory with two Twenty20 matches involving English and Australian cricket stars of yesteryear. Also taking part in the Betfred Big Bash Challenge at the Grappenhall ground in Lancashire, north-west England, on July 30, will be players from the nearby Warrington Wolves rugby
Formula One legend Alain Prost went some way on Friday to calming the storm that threatens to rock the sport by rejecting the idea that an overhaul is needed. As the Formula One teams enjoyed some intermittent sunshine in the famous Mediterranean harbour on the traditional rest day at the Monaco Grand Prix, the four-time champion Frenchman provided a sense of balance and perspective. After weeks of in-fighting over the fast-wearing tyres supplied by Pirel-
li this year and a seemingly insatiable desire for more and more pit-stops and contrived spectacle, Prost suggested a moderate approach to fine-tuning 'the show' was needed. Indeed, he suggested that F1 should celebrate the fact that there is so much incident and that there is more uncertainty now than there was in the past. "At the end of the day, you must remember that people criticised a lot when one driver made the pole position," he said. "You want it somewhere in the middle and I think the compromise today is not bad - because at least we have a show. l
Police refuse to confirm they are investigating Rauf Police said Friday they were "investigating all the angles" in the Indian spot-fixing scandal but refused to confirm if they were targeting top Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf. Rauf was withdrawn from next month's Champions Trophy in England amid media reports that he is under police investigation for spot-fixing, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday. Police in the Indian city of Mumbai would not confirm whether the umpire was be-
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Groundstaffs wait for the rain to stop before play can start during the first day of the 2nd Test between England and New Zealand at the Headingley in Leeds yesterday AFP
n AFP, London
league club. Grappenhall's most famous member is former Lancashire and England batsman Neil Fairbrother, Flintoff's agent, who said Thursday: "Fred will be up for this all right. He was forced to retire through injury at 30. He is 34 now and will be determined to show he's still got it." Wolves star Ben Westwood added: "All the lads are up for it, especially the Aussie players. Picking 11 players will be the hardest part. "My best effort at the wicket may have been back at school in Normanton (Yorkshire) when I went six, four and out. I can't wait to have a slog at Fred." A capacity crowd of 2,000 is expected at Grappenhall to see the likes
of Mark Ramprakash, Devon Malcolm, Dominic Cork, Gladstone Small and Phil de Freitas featuring in Flintoff's England legends side. Former Test fast bowler Jason Gillespie, now the coach of Yorkshire, will captain the Aussie legends with the rest of his side to be announced soon. Flintoff's pace bowling and aggressive batting made him the star performer when England regained the Ashes in 2005. And four years ago, in his final Test series before his his body could no longer stand the strain, he took five for 92 in England's first Ashes win at Lord's since 1934. l
Rain interrupts Eng-NZ Test n AFP, Leeds
City target five trophies in next five years
Rain meant there was no play before lunch on the first day of the second and final Test between England and New Zealand at Headingley on Friday. Heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the square was still fully covered when the captains should have been tossing up at 10.30am. With rain still falling, the umpires decided to take lunch half an hour early at 12.30pm. England lead the series 1-0 after a 170-run first Test win, achieved with more than a day to spare, at Lord's last week. l
n Reuters, London Manchester City have set their next manager the daunting task of winning five trophies in the next five years. City sacked manager Roberto Mancini earlier this month, saying the club had failed to achieve any of its stated targets for the season except qualification for the Champions League and are expected to appoint Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini. "If we look at the next five years, I would say I want to win five trophies," City chief executive Soriano said.
"That may mean we win no trophies one year and two in another, but on average I want one trophy or title a year. "If next year we don't win, but progress our football and get to the semi-finals of the Champions League, finish second in the Premier League and lose the FA Cup final again, that will be fine," the Spaniard added. In his three-and-a-half years with the club, Mancini dragged City out of the shadow of their more successful neighbours Manchester United and broke a 35-year-trophy drought, winning the FA Cup in 2011. l
Four-goal comeback lifts Man City over Chelsea n AFP, St Louis Micah Richards scored in the 90th minute to complete a stunning comeback from a three-goal deficit and give Manchester City a 4-3 victory over Chelsea in an exhibition thriller Thursday. The English Premier League sides, both bound for next year's European Champions League after top-three finishes behind league winner Manchester United, attracted 48,263 to the home of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. Demba Ba's header in the 15th minute gave Chelsea the lead and Cesar Azpilicueta netted his first goal for the Blues on a penalty kick in the 44th minute. Oscar made the lead 3-0 nine minutes into the second half and Rafael Benitez's side appeared on the way to victory.
But Javier Garcia put City on the scoreboard in the 61st minute and Edin Dzeko followed in the 64th to breathe a spark into City. Dzeko then netted the equalizer in the 85th minute, setting the stage for Richards to convert the winner off a Garcia cross in the dying seconds. Both teams wore black armbands as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in the tornado tragedy earlier in the week in nearby Oklahoma. Players unfurled a banner that expressed support for the Oklahoma victims and the teams donated some of the ticket sales revenue to funding the recovery effort. The clubs play again Saturday at New York's Yankee Stadium in the second and final match of their American tour. l
Fernando Torres (L) of Chelsea shakes hands with Carlos Tevez of Manchester City after finishing their friendly match at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri on Thursday AFP
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Families of Savar victims bemoan money crisis n Ashif Islam Shaon One month into the Rana Plaza tragedy in Savar, many families of the victims are still passing through difficult days as they haven’t yet got the pledged grants from government or outstanding salaries from the garments authorities. Many of those who died or are still missing were sole breadwinners of their families. Their relatives, left to suffer the repercussions after they were gone, are now facing acute shortages of money. Josna, a housewife whose husband Shahjahan’s body was recovered from the wreckage after 13 days of the collapse, is one of them. So far, she has received only Tk20,000 – that too for burial of his husband given by the local administration. “After the burial, there was no money left. We thought the government would give us the wage my husband used to get from the factory. But it didn’t,” she said. As a result, the late quality supervisor’s wife along with their six-year-old
New bird flu may be capable of human to human spread – study n Reuters, Hong Kong The new H7N9 bird flu virus can be transmitted between mammals not only via direct contact but also in airborne droplets, and may be capable of spreading from person to person, Chinese and American researchers have found. A study published in the journal Science and presented at a briefing in Hong Kong yesterday found that three ferrets – an animal often used for research on flu – that were in the same cage as ferrets infected with H7N9 had contracted the disease. One of three ferrets kept in separate cages nearby also became infected, through airborne exposure. The virus can also infect pigs, but could not be transmitted from pig to pig or from pigs to other animals, the study showed. The research team is led by bird flu expert and microbiologist Yi Guan. The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously said it had no evidence of “sustained human to human transmission” of the virus, which killed 36 people in China. The WHO said the findings were useful but warned that people “have to be very careful about what’s going on the ground.” The findings come just days after the WHO said the H7N9 virus appeared to have been brought under control in China thanks to restrictions at bird markets. The H7N9 has relatively mild clinical signs in ferrets, according to the study. All the animals infected with the virus in the experiments presented symptoms for no more than seven days and all recovered from the disease. l
son started going from one place to another for money. “Yesterday (May 22), I heard that a bank was giving money to the victims’ family members at Savar Bazar. But that was a rumour,” she said. Someone
gave the family 20 kilograms of rice five days ago, which had finished already. “My husband used to get Tk20,000 a month in his factory. We lived in a rented flat for Tk4,000. After he died, our landlord told us that he would shift
us to a small room with lower rent. But he did not.” So, Josna, with her son Jihad, who is a class two student of a local school, borrowed money from a neighbour to stay in the flat one month more. “I hope we will get the compensation within a month, with which I can try to do something that will provide for the two of us,” she added. Josna’s mother-in-law used to stay with them when her husband was alive. But after his death, Josna sent her back home for crisis of money. Every day, with Jihad, she visits the collapsed building site. She knows she cannot reverse the reality, but her son wants to see the place where his father died. Apart from Josna, this correspondent met several other families of the victims who were all in more or less similar conditions. Md. Bishu Sheikh, who lost his daughter Lovely, the only earning member of the family, and Mahmud Hasan, who lost his father Raja Hasan, have also fallen victim to acute crisis of money. l
Trade unions link Qatar’s WC vote to migrant workers rights n Tribune Report International Trade Union Confederation and the Trades Union Congress were set to lobby among delegates attending the Uefa Congress in London as part of their campaign to secure better treatment for migrant workers employed in the construction of stadiums for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar and for foreign footballers currently playing in the Gulf state. They called on Uefa to address the appalling treatment of workers and players in Qatar and backed calls for Fifa to re-run the vote for the 2022 tournament, should the Qatari government fail to take any action. Harsh treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and its government’s failure to improve employment rights “are the unions’ main concerns,” ITUC said in a press release yesterday. Low rates of pay, excessive working hours, a ban on joining unions, poor safety standards and numerous abuses under the country’s strict visa sponsorship system have led to accusations that Qatar “is acting like a 21st century slave state.”
ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “Calls on Fifa to re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup come after years of broken promises from Fifa and Qatar to reform.” This is not a decision that unions have taken lightly. “There is still time to re-run the vote, as the 2022 World Cup was awarded seven years ahead of schedule. More workers will die building World Cup infrastructure than players will take to the football pitch unless steps are taken to reform working conditions in Qatar.” Trade unions’ campaign comes after serious allegations on abusing workers’ rights, increasing fatalities amongst construction workers and failure of Fifa to put any serious pressure on Qatar to reform its labour laws. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The number of workers killed in the construction industry in Qatar each year is up to eight times higher than in the UK and other developed countries. With the Uefa Congress here in London, we cannot let delegates ignore workers’ deaths and injuries.” l
Drive to recover mountaineer Sajal’s body starts today
Harbinger of monsoon
n Tribune Report
A 10-member sherpa team starts a drive today to recover the body of Bangladeshi mountaineer Sajal Khaled’s body. Sajal died at a height 28,750 feet while descending after conquering Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain on May 20.
The exact cause of death is unknown, but altitude played a part
A blossoming hijal tree (Barringtonia acutangula) at Ramna Park in the city ushers in the season. Hijal is generally found in rural areas of Bangladesh. The sight of the tree is quite rare in cities. The photograph was taken yesterday Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
Two of his friends – Riaz Ahmed and Babu – reached Kathmundu on Thursday to help the team in the drive, banglanews24.com reports. On Thursday, the government decided to bring back the body of Sajal Khaled. Sajal along with a South Korean mountaineer died on Everest as hundreds from across the world flock the peak during good weather, Nepalese tourism officials said on May 21. The two died in their tent a few hours after successfully climbing to the summit. They ran short of supplementary oxygen, officials said. “Both men died while descending from the summit on Monday,” an official with the tourism ministry told AFP from Everest Base Camp. “The exact cause of death is unknown, but altitude played a part,” said the official, Gyanendra Shrestha, adding that the bodies would not be recovered until after the summit season ended so as not to interrupt other climbers. Both men perished in the “death zone” – above 8,000 metres, notorious for its difficult terrain and thin air. l
Talibans attack Kabul UN compound
Specialised Probashi Kallyan Bank not allowed to process migrant workers’ remittance
n Reuters, Kabul
Central bank says PKB cannot operate commercially unless enlisted under Bank Company Act
Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on a UN compound in the centre of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday setting off explosions and battling the security forces. A plume of smoke hung over the city centre after the attack was launched, eight days after six Americans, soldiers and civilians, and nine Afghans were killed in a suicide car bombing in Kabul. The Taliban, fighting to expel Western forces and establish Islamist rule, claimed responsibility, saying a compound used by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), had been attacked. Concern is mounting about how the 352,000 members of the Afghan security forces will cope with the militants after most foreign Nato-led combat troops leave by the end of next year. Kabul police chief Ayoub Salangi said four attackers had entered a UN compound. “Our security forces have already killed two of them and two are still on
the second floor and fighting with Afghan security forces,” Salangi said. There was no information about anyone who had been inside the compound at the time of the attack. There were at least four large blasts and exchanges of fire were going on between the attackers and Afghan forces, supported by Norwegian special forces, at 6:20pm (1350 GMT), witness said. The first blast was a suicide carbomb blast at about 4pm (1130 GMT) near a main intersection, said Kabul police chief spokesman Hashmatullah Stanikzai. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, speaking to Reuters by telephone, claimed responsibility. He said the fighters were targeting a compound used “mostly by members of the CIA”, adding that they had gained access to the compound after the first bomb. The Taliban routinely overstate the results of their attacks. Shooting erupted after the first bomb, with more blasts beginning about 30 minutes later. l
n Rabiul Islam Nearly two years into existence, the Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB), formed to ease the lives of the expatriate Bangladeshis working abroad, has not yet started receiving remittances. The specialised bank started its journey in 2011 to facilitate the expatriate workers to send remittance back home, provide loan to aspirant migrant workers, lend money to the returnees for their rehabilitation and to facilitate the expatriate Bangladeshis to invest in the country. “We have not got permission from the Bangladesh Bank and we cannot assist the migrant workers to remit through our bank,” a senior official of the bank told the Dhaka Tribune recently. He also said Bangladesh Bank had not given it the permission to operate commercially although the law of the
Probashi Kallyan Bank said it could operate commercially if needed. The central bank argued that for PKB to operate commercially and receive remittances, it needed to be included in the Bank Company Act.
‘We have not got permission from Bangladesh Bank and we cannot assist the migrant workers to remit through our bank’ Like all other specialised banks, PKB too is run under the finance ministry. Officials said many migrant workers were constantly contacting them for sending money back home through the bank. In order to find a solution to the problem, the government has formed a seven-member committee to examine the inconsistency. Led by the secretary of the banking
division of the finance ministry, the committee consists of an additional secretary of the finance ministry, a joint secretary of the law ministry, the director general of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, a deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, the managing director of Probashi Kallyan Bank. A joint secretary of the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry is the member secretary of the committee. A senior PKB official said the committee had already submitted a report in this regard at a recent meeting of parliamentary standing committee on expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry. The official said the parliamentary body made a recommendation to the central bank for permitting PKB to jointly operate with private banks to collect remittance and partially oper-
ate as a commercial entity. “We have requested the central bank to allow us to jointly operate with private banks to facilitate the migrant workers to remit money back home through this bank,” a senior official of the bank told the Dhaka Tribune. Koyes Shami, Managing Director of PKB, told the Dhaka Tribune that a number of officials of the bank recently visited Saudi Arabia and Malaysia with an aim to open exchange houses in those countries but failed to do so because the central bank did not give them the permission. Officials said a total of 10,000 Malaysia-bound workers have opened accounts with the Probashi Kallyan Bank for a minimal fee of Tk100. They said the bank had given loans to about 1,200 migrant workers to go to different countries for jobs. Besides, the bank gave rehabilitation loan to about 200 returnees. l
Acting Editor: Zafar Sobhan, Published and Printed by Kazi Anis Ahmed at Romask Limited, 184, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1215. Editorial, News & Commercial Office: FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath, Shukrabad, Dhaka 1207. Phone: 9132093-94, Advertising: 9132155, Circulation: 9132282, Fax: News-9132192, e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.dhakatribune.com