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Falgun 15, 1420 Rabius Saani 25, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 334



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JMB on mission destruction Beware! Swindlers Freeing incarcerated leaders part of plan to launch more violence

active under ACC name n Syed Samiul Basher Anik

n Kailash Sarkar Police are publicising photos of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh leaders Salehin and “Boma” Mizan, as the law enforcement and intelligence agencies failed to recapture them three days after their daring escape from police custody. Police think the freed JMB leaders are part of a bigger plan to reorganise the banned militant outfit and launch more violence nationwide. Jalal Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, assistant inspector general of police (AIG-Media), yesterday said computer-generated mug-shots of the JMB leaders had been created for publicity so that anybody spotting them could inform the authorities. The police headquarters had announced a bounty of Tk5 lakh for the capture of any of the two JMB leaders. Three top JMB leaders – death-row

New ministers to take oath n Mohosinul Karim

Computer-generated mugshots of JMB operatives Salauddin Salehin, top left, and Zahidul Islam, bottom left, that police released yesterday so people could identify and inform the authorities convicts Salauddin Salehin and Rakib Hasan alias Hafez Mahmud alias Rasel, and Saidul Islam alias “Boma”Mizan, who was serving a life sentence– were hijacked from a prison van by fellow JMB men on February 23 while the three were being transferred to a Mymensingh jail from Gazipur. A police-

man was killed in the incident. Rakib was recaptured within six hours of the incident and killed in a “gunfight” with the law enforcers early Monday. Police arrested three more JMB operatives, including the driver of one of the microbuses used in the hijack-

ing, and the driver’s wife. The police claimed to have seized nine firearms, around 50 bullets, eight magazines and two microbuses. They also claimed to have retrieved a list of JMB members detained in different jails and details of their families  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1



BNP-Jamaat rifts surface AL could convince a few rebels ahead of 2nd phase polls n Emran Hossain Shaikh

Several new ministers are likely to be included in the cabinet. The new ministers are expected to take oath at 12 noon today at Bangabhaban, the official residence of President Abdul Hamid. Highly placed sources confirmed Abu Hassan Mahmud Ali is to be swearing in as foreign minister and Awami League lawmaker from Narsingdi Sadar constituency Nazrul Islam Hiru is going to take oath as state minister. There are speculations about a few others to be included in the cabinet, but official sources could not confirm it. The officials of Bangabhaban and Cabinet Division are ready to hold the oath-taking ceremony this afternoon. The expansion of the cabinet comes around one and a half months after Sheikh Hasina formed a 49-member cabinet on January 12 following the January 5 national election. Sheikh Altaf Ali, senior secretary to the president’s office, confirmed the Dhaka Tribune that the premier would visit Bangabhaban at 12 noon today. The president’s office has already confirmed the schedule according to the desire of the prime minister. When asked about the oath-taking ceremony he said: “I am not sure yet as the military secretary to the president will organise the programme. I may know about it only after I go to the office on Wednesday [today].” When contacted Cabinet Division’s Additional Secretary Md Moyeen Uddin said:“We have also heard about the inclusion of several new ministers in the cabinet. The oath-taking programme of the new ministers will be held by afternoon on Wednesday [today].” The sources at the cabinet division and Bangabhaban said former foreign minister Abu Hassan Mahmud Ali is going to take oath as a minister. He will be given the charge of the same ministry

Different groups of swindlers are extorting money from people across the country impersonating officials of the Anti-Corruption Commission, according to complaints received by the anti-graft body. Some people under the guise of ACC officials are threatening ordinary people over phone saying that there was an inquiry into their wealth going on. These swindlers then extort money from them promising to acquit them of the charges. Over the last few months, the anti-graft body has received many such allegations through letters and over phone, officials said. This sort of cheating came into light in 2010-2011 when frauds using the names of commission director, director general or deputy directors extorted money from innocent people but in the last week the ACC found a new form of deception. On Wednesday, four people came to the ACC’s Segunbagicha headquarters with four fake appointment letters with fake monogram and seals of the commission. They informed the commission officials that they paid Tk3.30 lakh under the freedom fighter quota and Tk4 lakh under other quotas. After that the ACC in two separate drives on Thursday arrested two

fraudsters – Mohammad Noman and M Enamul Kazi – from the capital by tracking their mobile phone numbers. The two arrestees confessed to the officials of the ACC that there were two more people in their group with one Mithu being the mastermind. ACC Deputy Director Lutfor Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune that they had seized fake appointment letters with monogram and seals of the ACC, two passports, Tk46, 032, three mobile seam cards, two debit cards and some other stuff from the two. ACC officials also said some groups across the country are active in swindling money from people by using the names and reputation of the anti-graft body. Earlier, in July last year the commission received reports that a group of people using name of its former chairman Ghulam Rahman was extorting money from people by threatening them with graft charges. The group also opened bank accounts to commit the crime, officials said. The commission has found that swindlers are extorting money from innocent people through fake SIM cards, bank accounts and now through bKash account. ACC Deputy Director Pranab Kumer Bhattacharjee said whenever they receive such allegations they conduct

Al-Masum Molla n Mohammad and Manik Miazee The ties between Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP see to be dwindling in recent times, the after the right wing Islamist party blamed the leaders of its alliance partner for obstructing campaigns before today’s second phase of the upazila elections. Jamaat has also been reportedly reluctant to comprise with BNP

P2 AND 6 MORE STORIES regarding finalising candidates in many of the upazilas. The compromise was particularly important because the BNP-Jamaat-led 19-party combine is backing candidates for the upazila polls as an alliance, unlike the Awami League. Candidates backed by Jamaat, whose registration as a party with the Election Commission was cancelled last year, bagged the chairman seats in 12 out of the 97 upazilas in 40 districts that went into polls on February 19.

In many of those 12 upazilas, the Jamaat-backed contenders challenged and defeated BNP leaders. Although the central leaders of both the parties have claimed that such local differences will not hamper mutual relations, rifts have been gradually surfacing in many areas, especially after the first phase of the polls. Reportedly, for tomorrow’s second phase of the polls in which a total of 117 upazilas around the country are voting, understanding between the parties has been only on papers. Around 28 Jamaat-backed candidates are vying for the chairman posts in the 117 upazilas. In the first phase, Jamaat candidates ran for 28 upazila parishads, out of which they came out winners in 12. In the second phase, BNP ranks are supporting local Jamaat-backed chairman contenders in only five upazilas. Jamaat insiders said considering the results in the first phase, the party believed that it would clinch more seats in this phase.  PAGE 2 COLUMN 3

Hefazat eyes Patiya after successful collaboration with BNP-Jamaat n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong Radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam has reportedly been gearing up preparations to win the vice-chairman seat in the upcoming Patiya upazila parishad poll, inspired by the group’s similar success at the recent election in Hathazari upazila with the support of the BNP and its political ally Jamaat-e-Islami. Newly elected Hathazari upazila parishad Chairman Mahabubul Alam Chowdhury, who is also the BNP upazila unit general secretary, admitted that the Hefazat and the 19-party alliance had jointly taken part in the election. “I was elected chairman from the BNP, while the Hefazat candidate was elected vice-chairman and the Jamaat candidate in the vice chairman post reserved for women,” Mahabubul said, adding that BNP leaders including par-

ty Vice-Chairman Abdullah-Al-Noman had campaigned for all of the three candidates. Rabiul Hossain, assistant secretary of the Jamaat district (north) unit, said a landslide victory by the 19-party candidates in all the three posts of Hathazari upazila parishad had been achieved because there was no division among the parties concerned. Nasir Uddin Munir, general secretary of the Hefazat’s Hathazari municipality unit, was elected vice-chairman of Hathazari upazila parishad in the election held on February 19. Saying he was the single candidate of the 19-party alliance for the vice-chairman post, Munir told the Dhaka Tribune that BNP leaders had taken part in his electoral campaign. “I could be elected with huge margin because of the support from  PAGE 2 COLUMN 3

The Awami League has achieved a little success in choosing one candidate for each upazila in tomorrow’s elections as in many places it is still facing difficulty handling rebel candidates “backed” by local lawmakers and some party men. A number of Awami League leaders said they had been successful in convincing a few rebel candidates in several upazilas for tomorrow’s elections to step down from the race as it was not possible for them to withdraw candidature now.


3 A senior minister and an AL Presidium member allege that some Dhaka-based diplomats are backing Islamist militants though in public they speak against militancy. 5 Every year in Bangladesh, over 93,000 babies die during childbirth or within 24 hours of being born, as nearly 20 lakh women have to give birth without a trained birth attendant.


6 The BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists reportedly campaigned for an Awami League-backed chairman candidate in Kotalipara upazila.


11 The crisis in Ukraine is apparently coming to a closure with the Ukraine parliament dismissing its president and the president reportedly gone to hiding.


12 A photography exhibition documenting the Rohingyas titled The Disowned and the Denied by acclaimed photographer Saiful Huq Omi is being showcased at the Dhaka Art Center from February 24 to 26.

They said organisational action had been taken against the rebel candidates who had not agreed to withdraw from the polls. A number of Awami League leaders were expelled from the party for not abiding by party decision. A meeting of Awami League leaders last night decided to expel the rebel candidates and their followers and issue show-cause notices to lawmakers and district-level leaders concerned if they extended support to any such candidates. The meeting held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban was attended by party

Presidium member and coordinator for conducting upazila parishad elections Obaidul Quader, Joint Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanok and seven divisional organising secretaries. Sources said the meeting had discussed probable causes behind the party-backed candidates’ defeat in the first phase upazila polls and fixed the strategy for the next phases. An organising secretary told the Dhaka Tribune that the meeting had decided to issue show-cause notices to a few party MPs, including  PAGE 2 COLUMN 1




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Second phase upazila polls tomorrow


Non-graduates, multi-millionaires to vie for chairman post n Tazlina Zamila Khan Around 51 percent of the individuals contesting for the post of chairman in the second phase of the upazila parishad polls do not have a university degree, while many others have been accused in murder cases. None have a clear police record. Even with such a poor educational background, most of these candidates have a very strong financial condition, where only 38.96 percent have been paying taxes regularly. Information on 521 aspiring chairman candidates were disclosed at a press briefing, titled ‘Revealing information about the candidates for chairman post of 2nd phase of upazila polls,’ organized by Shujan (ShushanarJanniya Nagorik), at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday. The press conference also noted around 70 candidates do not even have a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) degree. Of the rest, 91 candidates have studied up to SSC, 97 candidates have studied up to HSC, while 151 candidates said they have an undergraduate degree and 97 have a postgraduate degree. Apart from that, 124 candidates were accused in different cases, while 16 were accused in murder cases. Around 74 candidates are multi-millionaires, while 14 of them are the owners of assets worth more than Tk5 crore. Around 373 candidates earn around Tk5 lakh or less per year, while six aspirants earn around Tk1 crore per year. As far as professions are concerned,

289 aspirants have mentioned “business” as profession, while 106 said they were involved with agriculture. However, 61 candidates did not mentioned their education, profession, or their annual income status. “It has been alleged that opposition party backed candidates were being harassed by police, and also threatened and ousted from the area in some upazilas. We hope election commission will investigate the matter to hold a free, fair and acceptable election,” ShujanSecretary Professor Badiul Alam Majumder said. “Many candidates, who have significant achievements in the past, were rejected from the list due to biased nominations. This is a violation of electoral code of conduct,” ShujanCentral Coordinator Dilip Kumar Sarker said. “According to the electoral law, the local election should be a non-partisan election. But, political party supporters are forcing candidates to cancel their nomination and rival candidates were supressed in many cases.” Speakers at the press conference also requested the election commission to take initiatives to present the candidates information through leaflets, so that the voters can cast their votes after knowing the candidates better. The second phase of the upazila polls is set to begin on February 27 in 116 upazilas and election in Moheshkhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar district will be held in March 01. Around 532 aspirants would be contesting for chairman posts. l

JMB on mission destruction  PAGE 1 COLUMN 4

from a laptop of driver Zakaria Himel after the arrest of his wife Swapna Begum from their Gazipur house. Another detained JMB man was identified as Anwar Hossain Rasel. Police are interrogating Zakaria and Anwar in Tangail in remand. Gazipur police and Detective Branch of police are interrogating Swapna. Hasibul Alam, acting superintendent of police of Tangail district, told the Dhaka Tribune: “The JMB operatives have disclosed that they were assigned to reorganise their banned organisation at any cost. Those found obstructing their ways would be killed.” Quoting Zakaria, the acting SP said: “The mission of the JMB is to reorganise the banned outfit through massive destructive activities, and

freeing of the three JMB leaders was part of that mission.” Asked about the sources of the money used to purchase several microbuses and huge firearms, he said they were trying to extract information on the sources of their money, as well as their patronisers. Officials of two committees formed to probe the incident of snatching the JMB men yesterday visited the spot and talked to a number of witnesses. They also interrogated officials of jails in Gazipur where the JMB leaders had been detained. JMB leaders had allegedly used their own mobile phones inside jails to communicate with others in the outfit and masterminded the escape plan, while a section of Gazipur police is suspected to be involved in the escape. l

New ministers to take oath  PAGE 1 COLUMN 1

he served during the poll-time government. Mahmud Ali was not available for his comment. His Assistant Personal Secretary Gopal Chandra said he heard about Mahmud Ali’s inclusion in the cabinet. “He may take oath on Wednesday [today].” A source close to lawmaker from Narshingdi Sadar constituency Nazrul Islam Hiru said the MP received a phone call from the cabinet division confirming his appointment as minister. Meanwhile, the cabinet division sources said former home minister

and Awami League law maker Rafiqul Islam, Jatiya Party presidium member GM Kader, also brother of HM Ershadand Secretary General of Jatiya Party ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader may also take oath as new ministers. Of them, GM Kader may get his ministry on technocrat quota as per the desire of JP Chairman HM Ershad. When contacted, none of them confirmed that they had received any call or message from the cabinet division. Hawlader told the Dhaka Tribune that he would take decision after consulting with the party chairman if he receives any message in this regard. l

AL could convince a few rebels  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

Rezaul Karim Hira and Nurul Islam Sijon, for backing rebel candidates in the first phase polls. The Awami League issued a press release yesterday, declaring the expulsion of Naogaon Badalgachhi upazila unit’s organisational secretary Eskander Mirza Bachchu and treasurer Shamsul Alam Khan; Manikganj Sadar upazila unit’s president Jalal Uddin Ahmed and women secretary Saleha Islam; Mymensingh Sadar upazila unit’s Afaz Sarker and Foysur Rahman Fakir; and Noakhali Sonaimuri upazila unit’s Ruhul Amin. “We have taken several strategies to ensure one candidate in each upazila and in some cases we have got success,” Khalid Mahmud, organisation secretary of the party’s central committee and coordinator for upazila polls in Rangpur division, said. Issuing a note of warning, he said if anyone did not follow party instruction, they would face organisational action. The ruling party has 57 such rebel candidates in 42 of 116 upazilas in the second phase of elections to be held tomorrow. The party has been able to convince several of them, but it did not reveal the names of those candidates

until yesterday. HazraDelwar Hossain had withdrawn from the race in Kochua upazila of Bagerhat, declaring his support for the party-backed candidate, SM Mahfuzur Rahman, said Sheikh KamruzzamanTuku, general secretary of Bagerhat district unit Awami League. Earlier, the party had convinced Sheikh Ahmad Ali to step down from the race in Fakirhat upazila in the district, he told the Dhaka Tribune. The Awami League had also been able to “manage” Saidur Rahman in Manikganj Sadar upazila through discussions in favour of Yusuf Ali, said district committee Secretary GaziKamrul Huda. He said they had also expelled two party men inthe upazila for not stepping down from the election. Naogaon district Awami League Secretary Abdul Malek said they had expelled all rebel candidates and their supporters in Atrai and Badalgachhi upazilas as per party instructions. Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, organisation secretary of the party’s central committee, said they were taking all possible measures to ensure victory of candidates chosen by the party although the party had many limitations to interfere in the local body election. l

n Mohammad Zakaria

Indigenous people demand security of their lives from lawmaker Kujendralal Tripura in Khagrachhari yesterday

Focus Bangla

‘12,183 foreigners working in Bangladesh’ n Tribune Report State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque yesterday told parliament that according to investment board data a total of 12,183 foreigners were working in the industrial and commercial sectors of Bangladesh. In answer to the question of Awami League Lawmaker Abdul Latif the minister said this during the question–answer session. According to minister’s information the foreign workers are Indian, Chi-

nese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Turkish, South Korean, Japanese, Australian, Thai, Singapore, Malaysian, UK, USA, France, Indonesian, Danish and Spanish. While answering to the question of lawmaker M Abdulla of Laxmipur 4 constituency the minister said the government would take legal action against if garment owners did not implement the new wage structure. “Most of the industries have implemented the new wage structure on December 1, 2013, the minister said.

In answer to the question of Jatiya Party lawmaker AKM Maidul Islam, Mujibul Haque said that 35 private organisations of the 42 under labour law2006 have rearranged minimum wage structure for their workers. In reply to another query ruling party lawmaker Israfil Alam, also the state minister, said that a total of 18 companies had contributed Tk34, 51, 73,136 to the labour welfare foundation from 2008 to till date while Tk10, 667,800 was handed over to victim workers as compensation. l

Govt encourages national anthem record participation n Mohosinul Karim

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs has issued letters to secretaries, divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners across the country to ensure maximum participation at the national anthem record,aimed to take place on March 26 – the Bangladesh Independence Day - this year. The letter signed by the cabinet di-

vision’s Senior Assistant Secretary Altaf Hossain Sheikh asked the officials to ensure maximum participation of locals at the performance of national anthem in their respective areas. The government has taken an initiative to break a world record by singing the national anthem with the largest number of people performing together. The target is to assemble more than

3 lakh people both inside and outside the capital to sing the national anthem at 11am on the Independence Day. The main programme would be held at the National Parade Squad in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. The letter said:“The cultural ministry has targeted to incorporate the name of Bangladesh in the Guinness Book of World Records by singing the national anthem together.” l

Elections to 116 upazila parishads in the second phase would be held tomorrow and a total of 1,376 candidates from the ruling Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jamaat-e-Islami are contesting in the polls. A total of 515 candidates will contest for the chairman post, 521 for vice-chairman and 340 for reserved woman vice-chairman. EC officials said the EC had appointed 8,136 presiding officers and 108,872 polling officers to hold the polls. The voting will continue from 8am4pm without any break. Sources said Maheshkhali upazila polls would be held in March instead of tomorrow. Army, RAB, police, BGB and Ansar has been deployed in the election areas and stern security measures are taken to prevent any untoward incident. The commission appointed 464 executive and 116 judicial magistrates, EC officials said. Meanwhile, 83 upazila polls in the third phase will be held on March 15, 92 upazilas in fourth phase on March 23 and 74 upazilas in the fifth phase on March 31. l

Shibir condemns IHS Jane’s report n Tribune Report Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir has strongly protested against a report by US-based defence think-tank IHS Jane’s that termed the Jamaat-e-Islami‘s student wing as a “top non-state armed group”. “We strongly condemn and protest the report of IHS Jane’s. We were astonished when we heard Chhatra Shibir is a ‘top-non-state armed group’,” Chhatra Shibir president Abdul Jabbar and secretary general Atiqur Rahman said in a statement yesterday. They said Chhatra Shibir was doing its work following legal and democratic process, and the student organisation did not believe in any undemocratic activities. The Shibir leaders added that the organisation had no relation with any terrorist groups in or outside the country. They also said that without any documents, IHS Jane’s could not call Shibir an armed group. l

Beware! Swindlers active under ACC name  PAGE 1 COLUMN 6

drives and try to bring the frauds under law. “Earlier, we have received such allegations and we were able to trace the group and filed cases against them and the legal process is underway,” he said. Since these people use unregistered SIM cards, it is quite tough to bring them under law, but the ACC is doing its best to bring them book, the official added. If anyone receives such phone calls or threats he/she should immediately bring the matter to the notice of the anti-graft body or inform the nearest

police station, he suggested. The commission on September 23 last year detained a fraud named Papia Akhter Poppy who demanded huge money from a businessman with the promise of acquitting him of charges of acquiring illegal wealth if the bribe is given. On information when the fraud came before the ACC head office the commission officials detained her and handed over her to the Ramna Police Station. On July 7, 2012, the Rapid Action Battalion arrested Ziaur Rahman and Md Israfil from capital’s Rampura fol-

lowing an allegation that he took money promising people to acquit them of graft charges identifying themselves as ACC chairman Golam Rahman and his assistant private secretary. ACC Chairman M Bodiuzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that people should not believe in such threats or phone calls since there is no provision of contacting with the accused over phone. “We have asked our officials not to communicate with any of the accused or with those against whom allegations are under inquiry,” the chairman said that there is no provision in the anti-graft body’s act to communicate

with the accused over phone. If any official needs to contact with the accused he/she has to serve a written notice to the permanent address of the person against whom allegations are under inquiry, he added. “Since ordinary people are unaware of the legal provision, they believe in the statements made by cheats and easily fall victim to fraudulence,” the chairman added. He, however, said whenever the commission receives such allegation it takes the matters seriously and immediately take effective measures.

Hefazat eyes Patiya after successful collaboration with BNP-Jamaat  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

Hefazat, Islamic scholars and the 19-party alliance,” he said. Sources at Hathazari said the Hefazat leaders initially submitted nominations for both chairman and vice chairman posts, but withdrew candidacy for the chairman post following an understanding with the 19-party alliance. Hefazat leader Munir bagged 54,018 votes, while his nearest contender Akhter Hossain of ruling Awami League got only 18,601 votes for the vice-chairman post. Following the win at Hathazari, activists of Hefazat have now engaged in all-out efforts to secure the vice-chairman post in Patiya in the poll sched-

uled for tomorrow. Local sources said Hefazat central leaders, including its Secretary General Junaid Babunagari, have been working hard to pave the way for the victory of Anwar Hossain Rabbani in Patiya upazila. Sources also said Babunagari visited Patiya more than once in recent times, but chose to keep his activities limited to only briefing the local leaders on their course of action instead of taking part in public campaigning. According to local sources, the Patiya Madrasa - which has nearly five thousand students - has a strong influence in the area as a Hefazat stronghold, similar to the influence that Al-jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Muinul

Islam (Hathazari madrasa) has at Hathazari. Hefazat leaders and activists as well as Islamic scholars have been working around the clock to secure a win in Patiya, Rabbani told the Dhaka Tribune, adding that he was confident of his victory, as voter response has been positive. “The local BNP has also extended support to me,” he claimed, but added that there were two rebel candidates of the party. Azizul Hoque Islamabadi, organising secretary of Hefazat, said they had not backed any candidate officially. However, a leader of the organisation won the vice-chairman post in Hathazari with a huge margin, which was a

victory for country’s Islamic scholars, he added. “It is also a message to the government,” Azizul said, adding that the leaders and activists of the organisation were highly inspired by the victory. Another leader of Hefazat said those who thought that Hefazat had been crippled after the crackdown in Dhaka’s Shapla Chattar would realise their mistake with the victory of the vice-chairman post in Hathazari. “We are confident about winning the vice-chairman post of Patiya upazila too,” he added. However, Hefazat Chief Ahmad Shafi claimed that the platform has not set any candidate for the upazila polls in a statement on Sunday. l

BNP-Jamaat rifts surface ahead of 2nd phase polls  PAGE 1 COLUMN 3

In two out of the three upazilas in Lalmonirhat that are voting in this phase, Jamaat contenders are challenging BNP-backed candidates. Shamsul Haque, nayeeb-e-ameer of Pathgram upazila unit Jamaat, said the BNP had refused to entertain their demands for leaving two seats for them in the district. “That is why we are backing our candidates to contest the polls [in those two upazilas],” Shamsul said. “BNP used Jamaat only for movement but do not want to share power. So why should we compromise with them?” he said. However, Hafizur Rahman Babla, general secretary of district unit BNP,

snubbed out the allegations saying Jamaat had not placed any demand. “BNP and Jamaat are contesting the polls independently.” In Natore, district unit Jamat leaders held a press conference yesterday claiming that their leaders and activists were barred from campaigning. According to a press release, on February 22, a meeting of the 19-party alliance leaders was held at the residence of Rajshahi Mayor Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul. In that meeting, local BNP leader Mizanur Rhaman Minu, also the regional election coordinator, assured Jamaat of backing Jamaat leader Yunus Ali as the candidate for Natore sadar upazila.

However, Natore district unit BNP President Ruhul Quddus Dulu did not follow the assurance given by the coordinator and instead asked Jamaat to support the BNP candidate in the upazila, the release said. When contacted, Dulu claimed that BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had said Dulu’s decision would be final in the upazila. In Kustia, elections will be held in three upazilas. Jamaat-backed contender Abdu Gafur will be contesting in the Mirpur upazila. Gafur said: “I was the upazila chairman. So I am the fittest contender. I have repeatedly urged the BNP for compromise but they did not respond. We are very unhappy with BNP’s un-

compromising attitude.” However, BNP-backed candidate Abdul Haque said: “We are organisationally sronger than Jamaat here. Jamaat’s popularity has slumped over the war crime issue. We have already won two chairmanship in the first phase of elections and will win here too. So why should we compromise?” Nurul Islam Bulbul, a central leader of Jamaat, told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are contesting the upazila parishad elections in alliance with the BNP. But there are rebel BNP candidates in some of the upazila who are creating problems for voters.” He also accused some of the BNP candidates of following the 19-party central command’s instructions. l




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Awami League: Some diplomats backing militants Matia Chowdhury says BNP-Jamaat has connection with the JMB and al-Qaeda n Tribune Report A senior minister and a presidium member yesterday in parliament alleged that some Dhaka-based diplomats were backing the Islamic militants though in public they speak against militancy. While issuing a statement under rule 300 of the Rules of procedure Begum Matia Chowdhury, the agriculture minister and presidium member of the ruling Awami League, said the BNP-Jamaat had connection with the JMB and al-Qaeda. The western diplomats provided supports to the BNP-Jamaat government that fuelled militancy in the country, she said. Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim made the similar allegation. On February 16, he warned the diplomats not to meet the BNP chairperson or face action from the government. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the Pakistan’s intelligence agency

the ISI had link with the February 25-26 massacre at the Pilkhana. He said the BNP chairperson knew about the massacre in the BDR headquarters. “One day it will be proved that Khaleda Zia was involved in the massacre of the BDR headquarters,” he said. According to the parliamentary rule, the statement issued under rule 300 is considered as an official position of the government. No discussion or debate takes place for a statement issued under rule 300. Matia Chowdhury took the floor to counter the BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir who trashed her previous statement in which she said al-Qaeda’s Ayman Al Zawahiri visited Bangladesh in 2002 when the BNP-Jammat was in power. Matia mentioned the Time magazine as her source of information. The minister said: “It is nothing new or nothing secret that the BNP main-

tains link with terrorists, militants, Taliban and al-Qaeda.” Matia said she had questions in mind about the role of the diplomats on their position on militancy and terrorism as they had meetings with terrorists and the militants at some places and Madrasas. “Diplomats frequently preach us against the militants but they provide support to these terrorists and hold series of meetings with militants and terrorists. We also see good relations with those who had in power and had connections with militants,” said the minister. She said the diplomats nourish the militants. “Some foreign forces maintain good relationship with militants…they provide all types of supports to militants and those parties in Bangladesh maintaining good relations. We see no lapse in their friendly relations with militants,” she said.

Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, an Awami League presidium member, took the floor in an unscheduled discussion “What is the purpose of such meetings (of the diplomats) with them (Hefazat)?” he asked. Sheikh Selim said the diplomats had had meetings with the forces that opposed Bangladesh’s independence. “What signal does it convey?” he said. He said the BNP and Jamaat were militant organisations, which could in no way be political organisations. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed criticised the BNP-Jamaat for their links with the militant organisations. Tajul Islam Chowdhury, the chief whip of the opposition, took floor and demanded stern action against the militants. He said the people across the country were scared about the snatching of the militants from Tangail. Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari of Tariquat Federation alleged that BNP

Chairperson Khaleda Zia had become the leader of the militant forces. He said the government should confiscate and nationalise the money making institutions of Jamaat-Shibir such as Islami Bank, Ibn Sina and others. The Tariquat chief said Khaleda Zia had been involved in all the incidents of terrorism. “Arrest her (Khaleda Zia) if necessary,” said Nazibul commenting that the whole nation had turned to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a prosperous Bangladesh. He said the Jamaat has link with terrorist organisations. “So, why the Jamaat is not being banned,” he asked. Workers’ Party MP Fazle Hossain Badsha said: “It is possible to prove the BNP’s link with the JMB. The government should not allow the BNP enjoy the democratic facilities and help the militant for long”. “This is very dangerous for our independence and sovereignty,” he said. l


Defence seeks acquittal for Sayedee n Nazmus Sakib

The defense yesterday sought acquittal of death row war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee claiming that he was not present at Pirozpur during the Liberation War in 1971. Defense counsel SM Shahjahan claimed that Sayedee was in Jessore before the start of the war. But the plea of alibi was not considered in the verdict of the International Crimes Tribunal, he said. After the defense’s argument, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam started arguing on behalf of the state relating to the charge of looting at Parerhat in Pirozpur. The defense earlier raised question about the tribunal decision to accept as depositions 15 witness statements given to the investigating officer. AG said the witnesses could not come to the tribunal as they were intimidated. The five-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain, will resume hearing today on the war crimes appeal case. Shahjahan told the Dhaka Tribune that they had completed the arguments on the facts yesterday and would rebut the state’s arguments if necessary. Chief defense counsel Abdur Razzaq, now out of the country, is expected to argue on legal points, he said. The International Crimes Tribunal handed down death penalty to Sayedee on February 28 last year. On March 28, the Jamaat leader lodged an appeal with the apex court seeking acquittal. The government also registered an appeal to specify the punishment in all the six charges that were proved at the tribunal.

Alim’s Appeal

The same court yesterday ordered war criminal Abdul Alim to lodge concise statement by March 11. A concise statement includes the arguments relied upon for a case. On November 7, Alim lodged an appeal with the Appellate Division challenging the tribunal verdict that had sentenced him to imprisonment until death. l

As this is the time of cultivating Aman paddy a farmer is busy with irrigating his field. The photo was taken yesterday from Godagari of Rajshahi


Witness: Dalim Hotel a torture cell n Udisa Islam Two new prosecution witnesses against Jamaat leader Mir Kashem Ali have said Chittagong’s Dalim Hotel was a torture cell during the Liberation War, where al-Badr forces tortured many pro-liberation people. During their testimonies, the witnesses also accused Kashem as the leader of the cell where he inhumanly tortured people to force them to disclose information about the plans and locations of freedom fighters. Fifty-seven-year-old Nazim Uddin from Chandgaon, submitted his deposition at the ICT 2 yesterday, saying he, along with his uncles and cousins, was picked up by al-Badr members on November 30, 1971, and taken to the Dalim Hotel where he saw tortured people. “There I came to know that Mir Kashem was the leader of that camp; and luckily I was set free by him as my

father requested him with the help of a man,” the witness said. Another witness, Md Hasan, said he, along with his father and some other neighbours, was picked up by al-Badr men on November 29, 1971, and were taken in front of the NMC High School in Chandgaon like other prosecution witnesses. Although two trucks had been waiting to take away the detainees, Hasan was set free, as he was a child. “The others, who were taken to the al-Badr camp in Dalim Hotel, told me later that it was a torture cell and situated in Chittagong city’s Andarkilla area,” the witness said. After their deposition, defence counsel Mizanul Islam cross-examined them and the tribunal adjourned the hearing until March 3. Meanwhile, the ICT 2 yesterday expelled one junior defence counsel for Mir Kashem Ali from the courtroom, as he was found to be trying to dictate his

senior repeatedly which was hampering the proceedings. The tribunal had also cautioned him in the last couple of days. During the cross-examination of Nazim Uddin, junior counsel Hasanul Banna was seen repeatedly trying to dictate Mizanul, who is his senior. Following several attempts by the senior counsel to stop his junior from passing comments, Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah ordered Banna to go out of the courtroom. However, Mizanul promptly sought mercy on behalf of his junior. Later, the tribunal also ordered another defence counsel Mir Ahmed Bin Kashem, also the son of the accused, to move to the second row of seats from the first, after he broke into laughter at an answer of a witness, violating the norms of court. Kashem, who is facing 14 charges for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971, was produced at the tribunal during the deposition. l

Bhadralok Warriors

to be allowed to participate. “The British by then were very firmly entrenched in the ‘martial races theory,’ which believed that only certain classes of people were warlike and competent to become soldiers.” Rana explains. “The one class they were very sure they didn’t want as soldiers were Bengalis, because they had a very high level of political consciousness, and of course because of the 1857 uprising.” About presenting this topic to a Dhaka audience, Rana commented: “Bangladesh itself is living proof, if proof was required, that the entire British myth of the non-martial Bengali was rubbish.” Bengali volunteers served in the 49th Bengali Regiment, and with distinction in other arenas, which are explored in the subsequent panel discussions. The second talk is “Captain Kalyan Kumar Mukhopadhyay, A Bengali Officer in Mesopotamia.” Dr Kaushik Roy from Jadavpur University in Kolkata will present a translation and commen-

The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has allegedly violated the law by fixing the date of a public hearing on retail electricity tariff proposal, without holding an open meeting. The hearing is supposed to be held during March 4-6 as per proposals submitted by five state-owned electricity distribution companies to raise retail power tariff rates, ranging between 8.59% and 23.50% per unit (each kilowatt-hour). However, BERC Chairman AR Khan had recently said: “The final decision on their proposals would be made after holding an open meeting and a public hearing,” They received fresh proposals from the distribution companies last week. When asked about the issue yesterday, the BERC chairman said the open meeting has been skipped to save time. Professor Samsul Alam, adviser to the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that skipping the open meeting would be a breach of the law. “It is a serious violation of law. According to the BERC act, they are bound to hold the open meeting,” he said. After receiving proposals, the BERC normally holds an open meeting with the stakeholders to decide if they would approve the proposal or not. After that, they hold a public hearing to decide whether to bring changes on tariff. The Rural Electrification Board (REB) proposed a 12.58% hike; the West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited 8.59%; the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) 15.90%; the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) 23.50%; and the Power Development Board (PDB) proposed a 15.50% raise. They urged the BERC to make the proposed rate effective from March 1. The hearing for the PDB and West Zone Company would be held on March 4, for DPDC and DESCO on March 5, while hearing for REB would be held on March 6. Officials of the companies said they were seeking the increase in power tariff in order to prevent the companies from suffering huge losses. The BERC last increased the retail price of electricity by 15% – from Tk5 to Tk5.75 – per unit on September 20, 2012. l

40 gold bars seized at Dhaka airport n Kailash Sarkar Customs officials recovered 40 gold bars, weighting around 4.7kgs, from a toilet at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka yesterday. “Acting on a tip-off, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) recovered the gold bars by searching a washroom at the Customs Hall of the airport at 10:30am”, said Moinul Khan, director general of the CIID. “The smugglers might have smuggled the gold at Dhaka by any flight from Dubai any time”, he said. Airport sources said some officials of the Civil Aviation Authorities of Bangladesh (CAAB) and Biman Bangladesh Airlines were suspected to be linked to the smuggling. In the wake of extensive smuggling of gold through the airport, seizure of

gold bars or ornaments has become almost a regular incident. According to the sources, over 750 kgs of smuggled gold were seized in last one year although the quantity of the seized gold was very little compared to the quantity of gold, which could not be seized. The sources said around 60 rings are active in the smuggling of gold, currencies, various precious metals, stones and other valuables while a section of unscrupulous officials and employees at the airport act as the aids to the smugglers. Meanwhile, the CIID and Customs department officials in a separate drive seized a huge quantity of smuggled cigarettes worth over Tk 1 crore from a flight of Etihad Airways at the airport in the afternoon. According to the CIID officials, the cigarettes were seized immediate after the haul of gold. l


Conference to present scholarship on Bengal’s colonial heritage the war by the Bengali elite, who had n Rumana Habib applied political pressure on the British “Bengal in the Great War”is the final panel of Alliance Française’s two-day conference titled War & Colonies, taking place at Senate Hall, University of Dhaka, today from 2:20-5:30pm. Four scholars from Bangladesh and India will present their papers, followed by a debate chaired by Professor Imtiaz Ahmed of the University of Dhaka. “In effect these are lost histories,” panelist Sqn Ldr (retd) Rana Chhina of USI Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research in New Delhi told the Dhaka Tribune. “Because it is part of colonial history, after we became independent, we did not want to talk about it.” India played a significant role in both world wars. “In WWII, the Indian army, of 2.5 million men, was the largest volunteer army in history of human conflict. In WWI we sent 1.4 million men.” Rana’s panel “Bhadralok Warriors: The Bengali Military Experience in the First World War,” is the first talk of the panel, and looks at the role played in


BERC skips open meeting on power tariff to ‘save time’ n Aminur Rahman Rasel

Indian soldiers working on the construction site of a British airfield in Nancy, France, February 1918 ECPAD tary on the only available biographyof an officer in the specialized Bengali Indian Medical Service unit on a floating riverboat hospital, compiled from letters he sent home from the front.

Probe report likely in three days “Bengali Volunteers of Chandannagar in the French Army” by Lt Col Muhammad Lutful Haq, advisor of research and archives at “Prothom Alo,” details the history of Bengalis living in the French colonial enclave of Chandannagar who were recruited into the French army, and served with distinction. The final talk is “From War-front to the Front of National Liberation: The Impact of WWI on Kazi Nazrul Islam.”Mofidul Hoque of the Liberation War Museum will examine the formative impact military life had on Nazrul, who joined the British Indian Army in 1917 and served for 2.5 years and a half years, exposing him to the multiculturalism and anti-colonialism that inspired his dreams of national liberation. The event is organised by Olivier Litvine, director of Alliance Française de Dhaka, to commemorate the centennial of WWI 1914-1918. The preceding panel “The Uses of the Colonies: From Propaganda to Memory” begins today at 10am. l

Correspondent, n Our Mymensingh A probe body formed to investigate the snatching of three JMB convicts, including two on death row, from a prison van and attack on police that left a constable dead on Sunday visited the scene of the daring crime at Trishal yesterday. A group of armed assailants intercepted a prison van, opened fire on po-

lice guards and whisked away the three convicted activists of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh at Signboard Amirabari area on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway while they were being taken to Mymensingh from Kashimpur Jail in Gazipur on Sunday morning. The three-member committee formed by the home ministry visited the place yesterday around noon, said Muklesur Rahman, sub-inspector of Trishal police station. l



Anniversary of BDR carnage Families pay tribute but resent not knowing real reason n Tribune Report Blooming flowers were laid on the small mound of earth covering Moazzem Hossain’s grave by his grieving family. His aged mother and two sons stood close by, weeping. The colonel was one of the 57 army officers killed during a bloody mutiny at the BDR (now BGB) headquarters in Pilkhana five years ago. Like Moazzem’s family, relatives of the other slain army officers thronged the Banani army graveyard to pay tribute and offer prayers yesterday on the fifth anniversary of the brutal killings. They placed fresh blooms on the graves and stood silently, remembering their loved ones.The rows of graves were soon covered in layers of flowers and wreaths. To commemorate the day that witnessed the massacre of some 74 people, including then BDR chief Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed, by a group of disgruntled BDR personnel, the chiefs of the Bangladesh armed forces and BGB placed wreaths at a memorial inside the army graveyard. The president and the prime minister were represented by their respective military secretaries. They stood in silence for a minute after soldiers honoured the martyrs with salutes. A prayer was also held for the departed souls. After paying tribute, BGB Director

General Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed told reporters that through the completed trial of the killers, the souls of the martyrs were now in peace. “BGB will go forward keeping the officers’ memories in heart,” he said. The family members of the slain officers, however, expressed resentment over some unanswered questions. Some relatives said they were yet to know the actual reason behind the massacre, and asked the government and intelligence agenciesto keep them informed about any new findings. Some also felt that the opening of the 12h Asia Cup cricket at Fatullah near the capital on the day disrespected the martyrs and the authorities should have been more considerate. Most of the murdered officers were buried at the army graveyard, while a number of them were laid to rest in their villages. Their names are engraved in three rows on a black ceramic monument at the graveyard in Banani. Many government ministers and political leaders also visited the graveyard yesterdayto pay tribute to the martyrs. State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan, former president HM Ershad, Awami League leader Faruque Khan and BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir were among those who placed wreaths at the monument. l


Fakhrul: Proper justice is not done n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said proper justice to the BDR mutiny case was not done. Talking to reporters after placing wreaths at former president Ziaur Rahman’s grave yesterday, the veteran BNP leader made the comment. He also termed the trial “farcical” and said: “We demand proper trial and fair investigation into BDR mutiny. “Neither the masterminds behind the BDR killing were tried, nor they were implicated in the case,” Fakhrul alleged. Meanwhile, at a press briefing in the afternoon at party’s Naya Paltan central office, Fakhrul claimed that the government disrespected the BDR carnage martyrs by inaugurating the opening ceremony of the Asia Cup yesterday. He said: “Our leader [Khaleda Zia] urged the government not to inaugurate the programme on February 25.”

Earlier in the morning, party’s Standing Committee Member Mahbubur Rahman alleged that the government had done partial trial of the BDR mutiny case. “This day is the black day in the history of the country. Partial trial has been done in the case. The masterminds of the incident are yet out of reach. It seems that the government has compromised with them,” he alleged. Mahbub, also the former army chief, said the BNP would try the real culprits whenever they assume power. A BNP delegation led by Fakhrul paid tribute to the martyred army officers at Banani graveyard yesterday. A total of 74 people, including 57 army officials, were killed during the BDR mutiny on February 25-26, 2009 at the Pilkhana headquarters. Later, the court awarded death penalty to 152 including a deputy assistant director of the then BDR and life term to 161 others for their role in the carnage. l


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

High Court rejects writ petition on Hasina-Khaleda dialogue n Nazmus Sakib The High Court yesterday rejected a writ petition lodged last year seeking directives for dialogue between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the then opposition leader Khaleda Zia as the plea has now become ineffective. The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed delivered the verdict saying that no confrontational situation for such exists in the coun-

try at present and Khaleda Zia was not more the opposition leader. “The court has said the situation has calmed in respect to the time when the rule was issued. In addition, Khaleda is no more the opposition leader of the parliament. So, as the rule is of no value now, it has been discharge which means that the petition is refused,” Supreme Court lawyer Eunus Ali Akond, who is also the petitioner of the writ petition, told reporters.

Female immigrants to Hong Kong hold a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday

n Rabiul Islam Around 15 female returned migrants alleged that their employment was terminated and they sent back home by their employers in Hong Kong. “We will look into the cases individually. If there are no faults with the migrants, we will seek compensation from the agency,” Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said. The minister made the remark at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday after the women made the allegations. Shikha Shastha Unnayan Karzakram (SHISUK), a rights-based migrants’ organisation, held the press conference. If the migrants were sent home due to their own faults, the ministry would do nothing, he added. After taking intensive training for approximately months on the food, language, and culture of HK, the female migrants went there to work as housemaids. Although they were promised a good working environment, suitable

food and accommodation, and eight working hours daily, the promises were not fulfilled, they alleged. Each of the women took bank loans for Tk140,000 from Probashi Kallyan Bank, and the amount was to be paid back in installments from their monthly wages, they said. Two months after arriving in HK, many of them were dismissed and sent back home. They are now unable to pay back the loans. They women demanded compensation from the recruiting agencies and the waiving of their bank loans. “I spent Tk 200,000, including training for Tk 20,000, a bank loan of Tk140,000 and other costs, to go to HK,” said Jesmin Aktar ,one of the returnees. Jesmin, hailing from Bhola, said she came from a poor family. Two of her brothers drive trolleys while another one studies. She said she had to face various kinds of harassment, including physical torture. “I was not given food when I was hungry,” she said.




29.0 30.4 28.6 27.7 30.0 29.6 30.7 31.0

19.4 19.4 14.8 15.0 18.0 17.0 13.7 20.8

PRAYER TIMES Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

5:08am 6:23am 12:12am 4:22pm 5:59pm 7:15pm


Like her, Sohela Yeasmin Runa, Beauty Aktar, Faria Aktar Panna, ShaheenYeasmin, Shamsun Nahar, Sumi Aktar, Rupali Aktar, Sultana Pervin, Beauty Begum, Shumi Biswas, Baby Naznin, and Monowara Begum had to face similar incidents in Hong Kong. Monowara Begum said: “We have made complaints to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), but they have done nothing for us.” Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, proprietor of Sadia International, told the Dhaka Tribune that there were some flaws in the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). “We are trying to rectify the flaws and we are also working with the ministry on how to solve the problems,” he said. Jabed Ahmed, additional director general of BMET, said: “A total of 350 female migrants have gone to HK. Of them, only nine workers returned.” “The female workers have failed to survive there and it is their own fault,” he added. l

Helicopters have been used since Tuesday to deliver necessary polls equipment to vulnerable centres ahead of four upazila polls in Bandarban. District election officer sources said they have been using choppers for the delivery of empty ballot boxes, ballot papers and other election equipment to polling centres situated in remote areas of seven upazilas of the hilly district ahead of the upazila polls scheduled for February 27. Presiding officers, polling officers and assistant presiding officers are also using helicopters to access these areas. The polling centres are: Doliyanpararegi Non-government Primary School in Remakri union of Thanchi upazila: Remakri Government Primary School; Shakayong Para Nongovernment School; Boromodhu Bazar Non-government School; Tinduguping Para Government School under Tingu union; Jinna Para Non-government School; Noninpara Government Primary School under Reangcharai union of Rteangchari upazila; Chai Thoaihla Non-government School; Paknia Para government school in Ruma upazila; Nuntia Headman Para government Primary School; and Chilong Para Nongovernment School. Since these centres are situated in remote areas, making them prone to violence, helicopters have been used to distribute polling equipment, according to election commission sources. District Election Officer Abdul Latif Sheikh said, “We are using helicopters in the upazila election which is scheduled to be held on February 27 in order to deliver election equipment on time and for sending election officials.” l

Six remanded for killing Jubo League man n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong A Chittagong court yesterday granted a two-day remand for six Jubo League men accused in the murder case of Humayun Kabir Murad, also a member of Jubo League’s Chittagong unit. Metropolitan Magistrate Judge Syed Mashfiqul Islam passed the order yesterday after the investigation officer of the case sought a five-day remand, said court sources. The six accused are Jubo League Central Committee member Ali Hossain, and activists Khokon Chandra Tati, Ziaul (alias Sohag), Md Masum, Md Suman and Saiful. Murad, 35, son of SM Shahnewaz, resident of Railway Colony in the Tiger Pass area of the port city, was hacked to death by rival group members in the city’s Ambagan area on October 28 last year. A case was lodged against 11 individuals with Khulshi police station in this connection on October 29. Through primary investigations, police found that Murad was killed over previous enmity regarding a bill board business and extortion in the area. l

BCL leader beaten up

Dry weather likely n UNB

Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar


Female migrants allege wrongful termination of jobs in Hong Kong


Weather may remain mainly dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country and chances of light rain or thundershowers at one or two places over Rangpur and Rajshhai divisions until 6pm today. Night and day temperatures might remain nearly unchanged over the country, Met Office said. The sun sets in the capital at 5:59pm today and rises at 6:23am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 31.6 degree Celsius was recorded in Rangamati and lowest 13.0 degrees in Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were:

On March 27 last year, the High Court sought explanations as to why the ruling Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and the then Opposition BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia should not be ordered to begin a dialogue to ensure a free and fair national election. The High Court also wanted to know why the home secretary should not be directed to take steps to cease ‘illegal activities’ like bombs attacks, arson and vandalism in the name of political activities. l

Choppers used to deliver polls equipment n Our Correspondent, Bandarban

n JU Correspondent

Officials of a mobile court raid a sweet shop in the capital yesterday


Two factions of the Chhatra League Jahangirnagar University (JU) unit locked into a clash over lighting up of a cigarette yesterday that left the three members of the unit injured. Sources said Ahsanullah Sharif, deputy secretary of international affairs of Chhatra League JU unit and a final year student of history, locked into a quarrel with Humayun Kabir, former Chhatra League activist and masters student of geography department on Monday. The quarrel started as Sharif lit up his cigarette with Humayun’s lighter without seeking his permission. Yesterday around 11:30am, senior

leaders from two factions of Chhatra League belonging to two student dormitories - Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall and Moulana Bhasani Hall, gathered at the Bot Tola inside the campus to resolve the dispute. While the leaders were busy in negotiating, some junior Chhatra League activists of Bhashani Hall suddenly started beating up Sharif with pieces of wood, witnesses said. Sharif was admitted to the Enam Medical Collage Hospital with serious injuries on head. Chhatra League JU Unit Vice-President Kaykobad and Organising Secretary Morshedur Rahman also sustained minor injuries while they tried to prevent the attackers, said witnesses. l

‘Extremists convert indigenous children to Islam’ n Muktasree Chakma Sathi

The new trend of converting indigenous children to Islam was alarming and such conversions were taking place with the help of Islamic groups- such as Jamaat - to change the demographic and destroy diversity across the country, said speakers at an event yesterday. Speaking at the publication ceremony for the “Human Rights Report 2013 on Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh,” academics, researchers and rights activists pointed out two separate rescue missions which took place on January 2 and February 4 last year. The missions,

carried out by police and indigenous leaders, managed to rescue five girls from the Tripura community as well as 11 other indigenous children from madrasas in Dhaka. Former adviser to the caretaker government Zillur Rahman Siddiqui unveiled the report, which was prepared by the Kapaeeng Foundation, at the city’s Cirdap auditorium. According to Kapaeeng’s findings, these rescued children were from Rangamatiand Bandarban in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. “Religious fundamentalists are working secretly with the view to ‘Is-

lamise’ the whole country. In this regard, they are using education to lure the indigenous families… Since most of the indigenous communities live in far-flung areas, their children do not have access to good schools…In such circumstances, religious [Islamist] fundamentalists attract such indigenous families by alluring them that they would provide education in good schools… but rather [they] take them to Madrassas,” the report said. Speaking at the event, academic Mesbah Kamal said the new trend was related to the plans of Islamist extremists such as Islami Chhatra Shibir and

Jamaat-e-Islami. “They want a communal country. That is why they are trying to destroy every kind of diversity here,” he said. Indigenous rights activist Sanjeeb Drong said religious conversion was a new trend and a new form of oppression that indigenous people are facing recently. “These children’s ages range from seven to 12. The state needs to take effective steps regarding this,” he said. MB Akhter, programme manager of development organisation Oxfam, said such oppression with a view to change the demographics of the indigenous peoples has been going on for a long time.

“The issue is a political issue. The solution must come politically, not from the civil society,” he said. European Union’sprogramme manager for governance and human rights,FabrizioSenesi,said: “Indigenous people are being victimised with the intention of destroying their identity. Diversity should be treated as a resource, not as a threat.” Expressing frustration over the situation, BijoyKetanChakma, the convener of the MN Larma Foundation, said such oppression was contradictory to the history and spirit of the liberation war. l




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Report: 93,000 babies die each year Cross-examination because of absence of trained midwives of plaintiff Prakash HIMU MURDER CASE

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal

Every year in Bangladesh, over 93,000 babies die during childbirth or within 24 hours of being born, only because nearly 20 lakh women have to give birth without the presence of a trained birth attendant. The findings were revealed yesterday in a report titled “Ending Newborn Deaths,” prepared by children’s aid agency Save the Children. According to the report, half of the first-day deaths and stillbirths around the world including Bangladesh could be prevented if the mother and baby had free healthcare and a skilled midwife. Globally, 2.2 million children die each year during childbirth or within the first day of life; and 40 million women around the world receive no healthcare support to deliver their babies.

Dr Arefin Amal Islam, deputy director (newborn health) of Save the children, told the Dhaka Tribune that thousands of babies especially newborns died each year in the country, despite Bangladesh being able to reduce maternal mortality by 40% in the last decade. He said according to Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey 2011, the death rate of under-five children (per 1,000 live birth) in Bangladesh was 53. Among the total number of child death, 75% children died within one week, including 50% who died within 24 hours of their birth. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Save the Children and other organisations have taken necessary initiatives to stop newborn deaths (day 1 to 28 days), in a bid to reduce the under-five children death rate. Bangladesh has set a target to reduce child death from 53 (per 1,000 live

birth) to 20 within 2035. To achieve the target, four necessary interventions have been introduced, which include applying “chlorhexidine” antiseptic after cutting the umbilical cord, providing corticosteroids to women who would give preterm birth, ensuring kangaroo mother care (to keep underweight baby at mother’s lap like kangaroo) and making antibiotics more easily available at union-level. The health ministry has reportedly been preparing four separate guidelines in this regard. In a press release yesterday, Michael McGrath, country director for Save the Children in Bangladesh, said: “The first moments of a child’s life are the most dangerous, yet too many mothers give birth without any skilled help. “It is criminal that many of these 93,000 deaths annually in Bangladesh could be averted simply by having

someone around to make sure the birth took place safely and knew what to do in a crisis,” he added. Bangladesh has made impressive progress on child mortality in recent years and was on track to achieve its United Nations Millennium Development Goal target of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015. “Despite impressive progress in child health, one in 35 children are still dying during childbirth or in its first day of life. Ending all preventable newborn deaths will require concerted effort in strengthening the overall health system to ensure that the poor do not have to pay for high quality health services that they need,” said McGrath. Asked about the new research Dr Arefin said the findings of the research have come out through various studies that were done in Bangladesh on child death. l

continues n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

The first prosecution witness in the Himu murder case, Prakash Das Asit, was cross-examined by the defence counsel before a Chittagong court yesterday. Khorshed Alam Chowdhury, counsel for the accused, Zahidul Islam Shaon, cross-examined the plaintiff before Chittagong Metropolitan Sessions Judge SM Mojibur Rahman in the presence of three of the five indicted in the case. Later, the case proceedings were adjourned until today. Among the accused, Shah Selim Tipu, Shahadat Hossain Shaju and Zahidul Islam Shaon appeared before court, while Junaid Ahmed Riad and

Mahbub Ali Khan Danny are on the run. Himdri Majumder Himu, 18, an A level student of Summerfield School and College, was allegedly pushed off the roof of a four-story building in Panchlaish Residential Area on April 27, 2012. His friends who are accused of his murder allegedly set ferocious German Doberman dogs upon him. Himu succumbed to his injuries 26 days later in Dhaka. A case was lodged with Panchlaish police station accusing the five in this regard. The court, after four times deferring the case, framed charges against the five accused on February 3, while the charge sheet of the case was submitted before the court on September 30, 2012. l

Cultural programme on tenth day of JnU movement n Mohammad Jamil Khan The agitated students of Jagannath University (JnU) held a cultural programme on the campus yesterday as part of their ongoing movement to retrieve halls that have been grabbed by certain influential quarters. On the tenth day of their ongoing protest, the students, teachers and staff of the university started the demonstration soon after the university gate opened at 9am. The students brought out protest processions from almost all the departments, while the teachers formed a human chain in front of JnU Liberation War sculpture, expressing solidarity with the students’ demonstration. The teachers demanded that Deputy Commissioner of police (Lalbagh) Harun-or-Rashid and Kotowali police station Officer-in-Charge Moniruzzaman be withdrawn. They also demanded that steps be taken against the police attack on students that left at least 200 students injured. The teachers’ demonstration ended around 11:30am following a protest gathering. While addressing the gathering, the speakers vowed to go for tougher movement if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, a group of students held a cultural programme on the campus around 12pm to inspire the agitated students. Some teachers were also present at the programme. A separate section of agitated students blocked the Chittaranjan Avenue and Bahadur Shah Park intersection as part of their movement. Kotwali police station Officer-inCharge Moniruzzaman said huge traffic congestion was created in the area, adding that vehicular movement resumed after the students withdrew their blockade around 2pm. The daylong demonstration ended following the declaration of today’s programme: a mass signature campaign on the campus. Meanwhile, lawmaker Kazi Firoz Rashid and Bangladesh Chhatra League President Badiuzzaman Sohagh visited the JnU campus yesterday. Sohagh expressed solidarity with the students’ demonstration and asked them to continue their demonstration until the demands were met. He also advised the students to remain alert about their academic activities. Kazi Firoz assured the students of discussing the JnU problem in the parliament. l

Students of the JU hold a cultural programme on the campus yesterday as a part of their on-going movement to recover halls grabbed by influential quarters

Left leaders protest privatisation of education, demand reopening of RU n Our Correspondent, Rajshahi

Leaders and activists of the left-leaning parties staged demonstration in Rajshahi city yesterday afternoon to press their four-point demands, including reopening of Rajshahi University immediately. Their other demands include, ensuring punishment of police and Chhatra League men, who attacked on a rally of students on 2 February on Rajshahi University campus, withdrawal of the all “false” cases filed against the students and cancelation of the move to introduce evening shift at the RU. Rajshahi University unit Progressives Students’ Alliance organised the rally at Shaheb Bazar Zero point in the city. Leaders of left-leaning parties from Dhaka, former leaders of Rucsu, former students of the RU also joined the rally and expressed solidarity with the demands of students. Communist party central leader Ruhin Ahmed Prince said: “The ongo-

ing protests at Rajshahi University are a symbolic challenge against the wholesale privatisation of education. It will systemically exclude the students, who come from lower- income families.” Public university education must be funded and subsidised by the state, he said, adding hike in tuition fees means closing the door of higher education for a large proportion of the population. Former vice-president of Rucsu, also a central leader of Workers Party, condemned the police-backed attack of armed Bangladesh Chhatra League men on RU students that left over 100 students injured. Language hero Abdur Razzak, Rucsu former leader Abdus Salam, Bangladesher Somajtantrik Dal central leader Bazlur Rashid, Central General Secretary of Bangladesh Student Federation Saikot Mollik, its Organising Secretary Zilani Shuvo and Biblobi Chhatra Maitree Central Convener Faisal Ovik, among others, spoke on the occasion.

The students of the RU had been observing agitation programmes on the campus since January 16, protesting hike in tuition fees and initiative to introducing evening course. Following the protest, the university administration postponed the decision to hike fees, but espoused the decision to introduce evening course. University sources said the process to enroll students in the evening master’s programme was going on. The sources, quoting a highly-placed official of the university, told the Dhaka Tribune 368 teachers had been appointed against 204 advertised posts from February 26, 2009 to February 26, 2013 during the tenure of former vicechancellor Professor Abdus Sobhan, which is 81% more than the number of posts advertised for. As the university was facing fund crisis, it had taken a decision to increase tuition fees of students, said the sources. l

Students of Eden Girls’ College hold a protest rally in the city yesterday, demanding measures to upgrade the college as a university SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Upazila polls campaign ends amid festivity in Barisal n Our Correspondent, Barisal The campaign for Barisal Sadar upazila parishad (UzP) elections ended Tuesday night amidst allegations of violations of the representation of the people’s order (RPO), two days before the polls slated for February 27.

Opposition party candidates criticised the government, making allegations of corruption, lawlessness, and a politicised administration According to sources, there are a total seven candidates- two for chairperson, two for male vice chairman and 3 for female vice chairperson. The candidates are vying for votes from 131,383 voters who will cast their ballots at 66 voting centres with 376 polling booths. The fight will be between BNP and Awami League (AL) backed candidates. On Monday, the candidates were very busy campaigning for votes from the voters. In the campaign, both local and national issues were given priority. When they talked on local issues, candidates gave priority to development of the upazila, including the expansion of communication, education, health, and sanitation facilities. The ruling party candidates also stressed the importance of the role of pro-liberation forces, as well as highlighting development activities carried out under the present government and

promising that a free and fair poll will take place. Opposition party candidates criticised the government, making allegations of corruption, lawlessness, and a politicised administration. They urged voters to reject AL candidates. Enayet Hossain Bachchu, Sadar upazila BNP president and BNP backed chairman candidate, alleged the Sadar upazila AL candidate was violating election conduct rules by using money and muscle power. Bachchu said AL plan to win in Sadar UzP through vote-rigging and conducting a voter-less election with the help of the Election Commission and administration, like in the first round of the UzP elections in the Barisal region. Saidur Rahman Rintu, Barisal Chamber of Commerce and Industries president and AL backed chairman candidate, denied the allegations. Zannatul Ferdousi, joint secretary of Kotwali Mohila Dal, is contesting with Rehana Begum, joint secretary of Sadar upazila AL. As BNP and AL backed candidates for male vice-chairman, MD Anowar Hossain, secretary of Kotwali BNP, and Shahid Md Shah Newaz, convener of Kotwali Jubo League, have no rival candidates. AL rebel female vice-chairperson candidate Atiya Begum said she would not be considered as a rebel AL candidate as local government elections are non-partisan. The candidates were campaigning first for the personal win and then for the party panel, said Abdur Rahman, a voter in the area. Dulal Talikdar, district election officer and returning officer, said: “The situation is normal and no allegations were formally filed before me.” l


Youth on the run gets death sentence for killing aunt and cousin n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced a youth to death and fined him Tk10,000 for the murder of his aunt and cousin. The same court also sentenced him to a life term on charges of hacking another girl during the incident, court sources said. Judge of the Speedy Trial Tribunal in Chittagong, Reza Tareque Ahmed, passed the verdict against convict Amir Hossain, 25, in absentia. He is on the run after taking bail from the High Court. According to the case documents, Amir hacked Nilufar Begum and her daughter Smriti at their residence in Gaosia union in Swandip on July 7, 2011 after Nilufar refused to lend him Tk3,000. l

Chhatra League men jailed for attempting to snatch tender box n Our Correspondent, Satkhira A mobile court sentenced two Chhatra League leaders imprisonment yesterday in connection with an attempt of snatching away tender box. The leaders were identified as Munnaf Hossain Shimpu, nephew of former MP Engineer Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Fazlur Rahman, son of Abul Hossain of Kholishkhali village. Police said they tried to snatch away a tender box of Bazar (local market) lease at 11am yesterday from the Patkelghata land office. Then, officials and staffs of the land office captured Shimpu and Fazlur and handed over to police. Afterwards, a mobile court gave them six months’ jail. l




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BNP-Jamaat campaign for AL candidate in Kotalipara

Minor girl rescued from marriage n Our Correspondent, Barisal

Some Awami League local leaders said it could be disastrous for Awami League image as Kotalipara was a vital upazila for the ruling party

n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj The BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists reportedly campaigned for an Awami League-backed chairman candidate in Kotalipara upazila. Bimol Krishno Biswas, a chairman candidate and former central Awami League, said: “BNP-Jamaat activists have worked for Mujibur Rahman Hawlader, joint general secretary of upazila unit Awami League.” No candidate from the BNP-Jamaat is contesting for chairman post in Kotalipara upazila parishad polls while seven candidates from Awami League are vying for chairman post. Seeking anonymity, some local leaders expressed anxiety and said it could be disastrous for Awami League image as Kotalipara was a vital upazila for the ruling party.

Local sources said Kotalipara municipal BNP leader Oliar Rahman, elder brother of district Chhatra Shibir President Rubel Howlader, had remained absconding for long as he was accused in several cases. Recently, he was found campaigning for AL candidate Howlader, which local people are considering as harmful for local politics. Moreover, people of Hindu community expressed their anxiety as Jamaat men were still remain in politics in the name of campaign. Besides, Kotalipara upazila BNP General Secretary Abul Bashar Howlader and other BNP leaders and activists were also campaigning for ALbacked Hawlader. Mujibur Rahman Hawlader refuted the allegation saying his opponent candidate brought false allegations against him.

“The BNP-Jamaat is not working for me. Oliar Howalder is not working for me either”, he said. Hemayet Uddin Bir Bikram, who is an influential leader at the upazila, apprehended that although Hawladerwas a good person but he could be defeated in the election as his image had been tarnished by Jamaat men at his campaign rally. There is also an allegation that some candidates are violating electoral code of conduct, but the authorities concerned keep mum for mysterious reason. Some candidates are using digital signboards and banners for poll campaigning, which is directly prohibited by the Election Commission. Asked about it, Hawlader acknowledged the violation of electoral code of conduct.

“Other candidates are campaigning by using vehicles. But I have not personally violated electoral code of conduct. My supporters might have violated it,” said Hawlader. Kotalipara Upazila Executive Officer and Assistant Returning Officer Md Mikail said, no one has made complaints against it. “We will take action if we get allegations.” Meanwhile, vice chairman candidate in Gopalganj Tasvirul Huda Babu was attacked during his poll campaigning. Police and local sources said perpetrators had attacked Babu’s activist Hurmut Biswas on Monday night at Char Suktail village of Sadar upazila. The attackers vandalised two vehicles in which five people sustained injuries. Later, police took the situation under control. l

Awami League expels five ‘rebels’

Sultan Mela begins n Our Correspondent, Narail The eight-day Sultan Mela, commemorating the 89th birth anniversary of the world-renowned artist SM Sultan, began in front of Sultan Mancha at the Narail Government Victoria College premises yesterday. Different cultural groups, in association with the Sultan Foundation and district administration, organised the fair to mark the birth anniversary of the renowned artist. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor MP was present at the inauguration of the programme as the chief guest. Also in attendance were Narail-2 constituency’s MP Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, Superintendent of Police (SP) Monir Hossen, acting president of district Awami League Fazlur Rahman Zinnah, Government Victoria College principal Sheikh Anwar Hossen, Sultan Foundation member secretary Ashiqur Rahman Miku, Professor Munshi Hafizur Rahman, and District Lawyer Association President Shorab Hossen Biswas. The Deputy Commissioner A Gaffar Khan, also the president of the Sultan Foundation, presided over the function. A series of colourful events took place, including the placing of floral wreaths at Sultan’s portrait, an art competition and exhibition, kabaddi, wrestling, a volleyball competition, Ha-dudu, Jarigan and Kabigan. A seminar on Sultan’s life and works was also held, and various cultural programmes will take place as part of the mela at Sultan Mancha and other areas of the town. A total of 100 stalls with traditional textile and cottage industry products were set up at the mela venue. l


Kids lampoon child marriage, domestic violence in Barisal n Our Correspondent, Barisal Local children at Tungibaria union of Barisal Sadar upazila yesterday performed a cultural programme addressing various social issues. The programme was organised on the Singherkathi Primary School grounds on the occasion of a field trip made by visitors from the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) as part of the Rural Urban Child Migration Project (RUCMP), with technical and financial assistance from the European Union and Save the Children International. The children staged a drama which showcased the negative aspects of social issues such as child marriage and domestic violence. The performance ended with a call to people to ensure safe rural to urban migration of children and to ensure that their rights are upheld. Advocate Salma Ali, executive director of BNWLA, presided over the function while Julia Jacoby, project manager for the Human Rights and Good Governance programme of the European Union, Shamsul Alam and Idris Ali Khan, deputy director and senior manager of Save the Children Banglasdesh respectively, were present at the function. Children, representatives from various government, non-government and socio-cultural organisations, as well as members of the mass media also attended the function. The visitors said these types of advocacy and awareness-building activities are one of the core tools of the project. The project hopes to improve

the situation of children at the risk of unsafe migration or those who have already migrated to urban settings due to socio-economic factors, domestic violence, negligence to children (particularly girls), project officials said. Organisers of the programme said they were introducing a unique webbased registration system for  “children at risk of migration” and “migrated” children, as well as providing Identity Cards to children through local government units to reduce unsafe child migration and promote the rights of vulnerable child migrants. Computerised child registration cells are functioning at local government units to issue numbered registration cards containing the photo and full description of the child-employee with his family, education and health information. Project sources said 2,183 children aged between 5 and 17 years of age were at risk of migration from the unions of Chandramohon, Tungibaria, Charkawa and Charbaria in Barisal Sadar upazila, whereas 777 children from wards 9 and 10 of Barisal City Corporation have already been registered in the database. A total of 2,250 children will be given identity cards through this project by the end of this month. A copy each card will be checked and kept by employers and collected data will be preserved in the computer database to be provided for monitoring purposes. At the end of the event, EU representatives, Save the Children officials and other guests visited the field areas of the project and exchanged views with the stakeholders, service providers and employers. l

Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Office of the Executive Engineer, RHD Road Division, Kushtia. email:

Reference No: e-GP/12/EE/KURD/2013-2014

Date: 23-02-2014

e-Tender Notice: e-GP/12/EE/KURD/2013-2014 This is to notify for all concern that e-Tender is invited in the National e-GP System Portal ( for the procurement of works tender Ref. No. e-GP/12/EE/KURD/2013-2014, date: 23-02-2014 and e-Tender ID No.: 6503 has been published in Bangladesh e-GP portal. Interested persons/firms can see details by visiting the web site Last date of e-Tender closing is on 10 March, 2014 at 13:00 PM.

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(Mohammad Mahade Iqbal) Executive Engineer, RHD Road Division, Kushtia.

Arm-ammo recovered in Benapole

Correspondent, n Our Jessore Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), in a drive, have seized arms and ammunition from Baropota village under Benapole port police station. The BGB sources said they had conducted a drive at Baropota village and recover the arms and ammunitions from a farmhouse owned by one Nizan around 12:30. l

Pregnant woman stabbed to death in Gazipur n Our Correspondent, Gazipur

n Our correspondent, Mymensingh

A protest rally was held in Rangpur city yesterday, demanding fair prices of potatoes

A 10-year-old girl was rescued while she was being married off married to a 44-year old man in Rasulpur area in Barisal city yesterday. Masuk Kamal, area coordinator the BNWLA Barisal unit, said Lina Begum, a volunteer of the information centre at the ward 9 of the city corporation, informed them that guardians of Sonia Akhtar Rimi, 10, were arranging her marriage with a middle-aged person. Sonia is a daughter of Sobhan Payada, a day labour, and a student of class IV at a local primary school. Hearing the information, the BNWLA team led by Advocate Salma Ali, executive director, Bangladesh Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA), rushed to the spot. Then the BNWLA, informing local police station and talking with the guardians, took the girl under their custody. Sobhan Peyada acknowledged the

Awami League Mymensingh unit yesterday expelled five of its “rebel” candidates for the upazila parishad polls to be held in the district on February 27. The expellees are two chairman candidates – Fayzur Rahman Fakir and Afaz Uddin Sarker and three vicechairman candidates - Anwarul Islam Ripon, Abu Sayeed Din Islam Fakrul and Rafiqul Islam Siddha. The decision came at a meeting held at the party office in the town. Abdul Matin Sarker, secretary of the district Awami League, said the candidates had been expelled for having gone against the party’s decision. l

facts of arranging marriage of the girl with one Jamal Mia, 44, who is working as a causal worker at postmortem section of Barisal Sher-e- Bangla Medical College Hospital. “We were forced to marry Sonia off, as we thought she would get a better future,” he said. Sonia told the Dhaka Tribune that she did not want to marry now and wanted to continue her education. Jamal Mia, the bridegroom, said his wife had died few days ago and he wanted to marry the poor girl to take care of his son. Salma Ali, the BNWLA executive director, said socio-economical conditions, including poverty of the family, lack of awareness and society about the severe negative affects of child marriage, domestic violence, and negligence of rearing girl-child by the parents, usually cause child marriage The girl will be taken to the BNWLA safe home as she was traumatised, she added. l

A pregnant woman was stabbed to death in Kapasia upazila in Gazipur district on Monday night. The deceased was identified as Minara Khatun, 25. She was six-month pregnant. The incident took place at her husband’s house at Haola Banar village around 8pm. Kapasia police station Sub-Inspector (SI) Moniruzzaman said: “She was stabbed centring a family feud.” He said: “Minara’s husband Abu Hanif, his second wife Rohima Akhter and neighbour Shamim have been detained in connection to the murder.” The SI said police recovered the body around 11pm and took it to Kapasia police station.

Later, it was sent to Gazipur Sadar Hospital morgue for post mortem examination around 11am on Tuesday. Our Jessore correspondent adds: A transport worker was stabbed to death and two others have been injured in an attack by miscreants at Pagladah village under Jessore sadar upazila yesterday. The deceased was identified as Muktar Hossain, 35, son of Montaz Ali of the village. Officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station Emdadul Haque Sheikh said: “They were injured when some armed men attacked them at Pagladah village around 11pm.” “They were rushed to Jessore Medical College Hospital where the duty doctor declared Muktar dead,” he said. They injured are Bashir, 28 and Sabbir, 20. l

Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Local Government Engineering Department Office of the Executive Engineer District : Laxmipur.

Memo No. LGED/XEN/LAXMI/Tender(13-14)/2014/1269

Date: 24-02-2014.

Invitation for Tender (Works)

Tender Notice Number : 20/2013-14

Sealed tenders are hereby invited from enlisted contractors of LGED as defined in the tender documents for the under mentioned works as per terms and conditions stated below: List of Work Sl. Package Name of Works Tender Time for Price of No No. Security Completion tender (Tk) (month) document (Tk.) 1 PD/PRP(Infra)/ Imp. Of Char Ubuti Munshi Nur Moham- 1,37,000/9 month 2,000/Laxmipur/W-01 mad Road & Hazi Abdul Hoque Road (Ch. 00-1200m), ID No-451434004 under 17 No Bhabanigonj UP under Sadar Upazila, Dist. Laxmipur. 2 PD/PRP(Infra)/ Imp. Of Yousufpur Govt. Pry. School to 1,06,000/9 month 1,000/Laxmipur/W-02 Hazirpul Road (Ch. 00-1000m), ID No451435028 under Sadar Upazila, Dist. Laxmipur. 1 Name of Project PRP (Infra) 2 Source of Fund GOB 3 Procurement Method Open Tender Method (OTM) 4 Date, Time and place of Date: 09-03-2014 Time 11.00 AM. pre-tender Meeting Place: Office of the undersigned 5 Last date, time and places Date: 23-03-2014 Time 5.00 PM. of Selling tender documents Place: (1) Office of the Project Director, PRP(Infa), LGED, 62 west Agargaon, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka-1207. (2) Office of the undersigned (3) Office of the Deputy Commissioner, District: Laxmipur. (4) Office of the Superintendent of Police, District: Laxmipur. (5) Office of the Executive Engineer, LGED, Noakhali. (6) Office of the Upazila Engineer, LGED, Sadar, District: Laxmipur. 6 Last date, time and places Date: 24-03-2014 Time 12.00 AM. of receiving tender Place: (1) Office of the undersigned (2) Office of the Deputy Commissioner, District : Laxmipur. (3) Office of the Superintendent of Police, District: Laxmipur. (4) Office of the Upazila Engineer, LGED, Sadar, District: Laxmipur. 7 Date, time and place of Date: 24-03-2014 Time 3.00 PM. opening of tender Place: Office of the undersigned 8 Tender shall be valid for a period of ninety (90) days after tender opening and must be accompanied by the Tender Security specified above. Interested Tenderer may obtain further information from the office of the undersigned and purchase the Tender Documents in cash/treasury chalan/bank draft from the places mentioned above. The Tenderer or their authorized representatives are allowed to attend the opening of Tenders. The authority reserves the right to accept or reject any or all the tenders without assigning any reasons whatsoever. This invitation for tender is available at the website

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(Forkan Ahmed Khan) Executive Engineer LGED, Laxmipur.


Long Form


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No room for innocence The horrific practice of child marriage and pedophilic rape


n Shazia Omar s a woman and a mother, nothing seems more ghastly and utterly avoidable to me than child marriage. I read the statistics, same as all of you, but the words didn’t quite hit home till I met Reena*. She came to me to ask for help. I work at a livelihoods programme that builds human capacity to help people climb out of extreme poverty. As such, it isn’t unusual for someone to approach me for support. What was unusual was her age. She was a sprightly sixteen-year-old; a bright-eyed, beauty from Mymensingh. With a pleading smile, she asked if I could find her a job. I scolded her and said she should be in school. It’s the lack of skills that lead to low

husbands passed away, abandoned or divorced them. School stipends for girls have helped improve the statistics, but in reality, most of these girls are still without any marketable skills. I asked her why she dropped out so young, was it an illness of a bread-earning parent, or a flood perhaps that pushed them into poverty? She said, she was married off at 10. Why, I asked, appalled. She explained that she had two brothers at the time, one who was eight and one who was one. Rakib, her eight-year-old brother, was a key earning member of the family. He sold cigarettes and tea on the roadside while their father worked at a nearby rice mill and their mother took care of the baby and the home. Shortly after Eid one year, Rakib and two of his friends decided to take a bus to a Desperation of parents is one major reason behind child marriages

The lack of security for young girls in villages is another reason parents cite for marrying their daughters off young

wage employment for our women, I explained. She said she had dropped out of school when she was ten. This is not uncommon. Among our beneficiaries, only 5.8% of women have studied beyond grade 5 according to our baseline survey (shiree CMS 1 Phase 1), while 88% of female household heads received no schooling and are now sole breadwinners after their

nearby movie hall to celebrate, with the little bit of cash they had stashed away. The two boys, who were older than Rakib, returned that night, without him. They said they had lost him at the movie hall, which was crowded due to the holidays, and they assumed he would make his way back home alone.

Only 12% of female household heads received schooling

65% of girls are married off before 18

35% of girls are married off before 15

He never returned. They put an ad in the papers, informed the local police station and searched for months, with no luck. Reena’s grief-stricken mother collapsed emotionally and psychologically, and is still not “normal.” At this point in the story, my eyes started watering. The fear of losing a child is one I’m sure all parents can relate to. The horrible reality of losing a child is one I wish upon no one! Unable to afford to feed the family on only his income, Reena’s father decided she would be safer and better looked after with someone else. A village friend had frequently expressed her interest in Reena for her son, Harun, so an agreement was made. With a dowry of 10,000 taka, Reena would marry the son, who was already 22, and her mother-in-law (Amma) would raise her as if she were her own daughter. The first year was alright. Reena missed her parents, her baby brother and her lost brother, but she got along well with Amma and with her sisterin-law (Bhabi) who was several years older. Harun, and Harun’s older brother (Bhabi’s husband) were daily labourers and they hardly interacted with the girls. When I asked Reena to describe Harun to me, she said he was hairy and frightening and he never smiled. She called him Chacha, (uncle), and tried to stay clear of him. Over the years, Amma’s affection became sterner and more demanding. Reena ate more food than Amma had expected and so Reena’s father was asked to contribute to the family costs. The dowry, Amma reasoned, had been too small. Reena was made to wash clothes, fetch water, cook and help with other household chores. Only 11, she would watch other children playing and walking to school, but that was not her life. Still, she says, Bhabi had a little boy (Babu) whom she loved very much and the two of them would play together when she had completed her chores, so life was tolerable. Then one day, a year later, Reena was chopping vegetables, when she noticed a pool of blood by her foot. She screamed and cried and yanked off her shalwar, thinking perhaps a leech had attached itself to her thigh. Amma realised what had happened and asked Bhabi to show her how to prepare a cotton pad for herself using an old sari. Reena didn’t have any old saris and neither did Bhabi, so her grumbling mother-in-law tore off a piece from one of her tattered discards. Bhabi explained to Reena that bleeding happened to girls when they hit womanhood and she must prepare her own pads henceforth because no one had time to prepare them for her. Reena’s parents had never spoken to her about menstruation or puberty and so the bleeding, the cramps, the angry mother-in-law and impatient bhabi were all a bit much to bear.

Reena went to bed early, feeling distraught. Reena used to sleep between Amma and Babu in one room of their mud hut, while bhabi and her husband slept in the other. Harun used to sleep on the floor in front of the door. As Reena waited for her motherin-law to come to bed, she wondered what her little lost brother was up to, somewhere else in the world, under the same sky… That night, Amma and Babu never came to bed. Instead, shortly after dinner, Harun crawled into bed. Reena was confused and scared. When Harun began pulling off her clothes and touching her, she started screaming to Amma to save her. To her, Harun was a hairy monster who was now hurting her. Harun slapped her a few times and told her to shut up, but she kept crying. She was loud, so Harun then pushed a pillow over her face to muffle her cries. She could hardly breathe. He then raped her. With the pillow on her face. And once it was done, he turned his back to her, and snored. Reena bled and cried and bled and cried all night long and as she told me her story, I too wept and wept and wept. But what good are our tears? With the early rays of dawn, Reena snuck out of her home and got on the next bus out of town. She took the bus straight to Dhaka, where her aunt lived in a slum. Luckily, she had her aunt’s number. She made it to her aunt’s house in a bleeding mess and swore to never return to Harun again. Her parents came to know of the situation and tried to calm her down. Her mother-in-law told Harun off for being impatient. He could have been a little more “gentle” she explained. But the damage was done. Reena was psychologically traumatised and had no interest in returning to her husband. Instead, she found work in Dhaka, as a maid, for a few months, till her belly started to balloon. As it turned out, Reena had a daughter, whom she named Akhi. Akhi is now five years old (and looked after by Reena’s half-mad mother). Reena, 16, is still a maid. What can we do for Reena? And for her vulnerable daughter? And for the millions of other precious darling girls who are going to be married off this year alone? 65% of our girls are married off before the age of 18. 35% before the age of 15. These statistics are horrific. The law is clear. 1929 Child Marriage Restraint Act says no marriage before 18 (girls) or 21 (boys). However, it is an ancient law that has not been updated, nor is it enforced. If the law is broken, or the fine (Tk1000) is paid, then nothing is done. Once married, even if to an underaged girl, sexual intercourse without consent is not considered a punishable offense. Let us explore why child marriage is still a predominant practice in Bangladesh despite the numerous efforts to fight it. Firstly, sheer poverty disables families from providing for


their daughters. In desperation, parents may marry off their girls. The lack of security for young girls in villages is another reason parents cite for marrying their daughters off young. Mothers of sons also seem to think younger girls are more “malleable” i.e. easier to oppress. As such, younger girls are easier to marry off, and cheaper, to boot. Dowries for younger girls need not be as high as for older girls, especially if the man she is marrying is disabled! Furthermore, women’s lack of ability to demand rights in any legal framework also points to the failures of the state to protect its poorest, most marginalised citizens. None of the religions have done much to protect girls from this travesty either. PLAN and ICDDRB’s survey last year points to a lack of education as a strong factor associated with Bangladesh’s high levels of child marriage. Furthermore, marriage under the age of 18 also deprives girls of their right to education.

The saving grace is that social norms can be changed. Already, our statistics are better than what they were ten years ago

Many girls drop out of school after entering wedlock. Another adverse effect of child marriage is early pregnancy and childbirth. These can have detrimental and long-term health effects on girls whose bodies are not developed enough to give birth, and also increase health risks to the newborn. Bleak as this sounds, the saving grace is that social norms can be changed. Already, our statistics are better than what they were ten years ago. Several villages have managed to abolish the practice of child marriage altogether and youth groups such as the Wedding Busters have taken charge of the fate of their girls, giving them more agency. With further efforts on this front, larger budget allocations for the empowerment and education of girls, better law enforcement for women’s safety in villages, and greater outreach of birth and marriage registrations, we can hope for improvements. In the mean time, we must hang our heads in shame, as innocent girls are married off and raped every day. Shazia Omar is Head of Advocacy at shiree. She can be reached at *All names have been changed for this article.




Egypt’s new pm says to fight militancy, rebuild economy n

Reuters, Cairo

Egypt’s new prime minister said on Tuesday he would seek to eradicate militant violence that has increased since the overthrow of IslamistPresident Mohamed Mursi, hoping improved security will lead to economic recovery. Speaking after his appointment by  Adly Mansour, the  army-appointed president who has been in office since Mursi’s removal in July, Ibrahim Mahlab said he hoped to form his government within three or four days, “We will work together to restore security and safety to Egypt and crush terrorism in all corners of the country,” said Mahlab, formerly the housing minister, expressing hope for a recovery in the crucial tourism sector. “Security and stability in the entire country and crushing terrorism will pave the way for investment.” Mahlab’s appointment followed the surprise resignation of  Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi’s government  on Monday. Bombings and shootings by militant Islamist groups have become commonplace since the army deposed Mursi after mass protests against his rule. While most of the attacks have targeted the security forces, two South Korean tourists were killed in a Feb. 16

bomb attack on a tourist bus in the Sinai Peninsula. Mahlab is a civil engineer who was formerly head of one of Egypt’s biggest construction firms. He was also an official in deposed President  Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party. He said his government would work to provide a secure climate for a presidential election that  army  chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - defence minister is the last cabinet - is widely expected to win, though he has yet to formally declare his candidacy. The choice of defence minister in the new government may hold clues as to when Sisi will announce his decision to run: he must vacate the post in order to contest the vote that could be held as soon as April. But Mahlab offered no clues as to the choice of defence minister, saying the decision was up to President Mansour.

‘A promising future’

During former prime minister Beblawi’s tenure, the state cracked down hard on Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood  and rights groups criticised other moves to curb dissent, including a law imposing tough penalties on people who protest illegally. Beblawi’s government  received billions of dollars in aid from Gulf states

hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood but was criticised for failing to take quick steps towards reforming an economy burdened by a massive state subsidy bill. Besides serving as chairman and CEO of Arab Contractors Company, Mahlab, who is married and speaks English and French, has also worked in  Saudi Arabia, according to a curriculum vitae distributed by the housing ministry. “I think he will be a very practical prime minister, but of course it is a very difficult position given the economic problems and the very high expectations of the public,” said  Angus Blair, chairman of business and economic forecasting think-tank Signet, who heard Mahlab speak at a recent seminar. “He was very frank about the problems  Egypt  faces and very clear that you have to bring the population with you on what needs to done in policies that would have to be undertaken to improve the economy,” he said. In an apparent reference to recent industrial action, Mahlab promised “dialogue” with workers. But he also urged patience from a population desperate for economic improvement. “There are limited resources but there is a promising future awaiting Egypt,” he said. l

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jordan signs $771m Israeli gas deal n AFP, Amman Two Jordanian firms have signed a $771-million deal with US-based Noble Energy to supply them with natural gas from an Israeli offshore field, local media reported on Thursday. The Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine companies singed the agreement on Wednesday to obtain from Noble Energy and its Israeli partners 2 billion cubic metres (around 70bn cubic feet) of gas from Israel’s Tamar field for 15 years. “The supply will start in the coming two years. The project will reduce the total production cost for Arab Potash by $357m and for Jordan Bromine by $7.5m in the first stage of the project,” Al-Ghad newspaper quoted Arab Potash chairman Jamal Sarairah as saying. Noble Energy owns 36% of the Tamar field in the eastern Mediterranean. “The shift from heavy fuel to the less expensive and more eco-friendly natural gas is projected to produce total cost savings of $331m,” Arab Potash General Manager Brent Heimann was quoted as saying in the Jordan Times. Energy-poor Jordan relied heavy on Egyptian gas supplies but a spate of attacks on the export pipeline through the restive Sinai Peninsula has repeatedly cut supplies to both the kingdom and Israel. Egyptian gas covers 80% of electricity generation in Jordan, which imports 95% of its energy needs. Officials have said the disruptions in gas supplies cost Jordan at least $1m a day. l

Syria aid still stalled after UN resolution n Reuters, Beirut World powers have passed a landmark Security Council resolution demanding an end to restrictions on humanitarian operations in Syria, but aid workers doubt it has the punch to make Damascus grant access and let stuck convoys deliver vital supplies. President Bashar al-Assad’s administration and to a lesser extent rebels fighting to overthrow him have been accused of preventing food and medical care from reaching a quarter of a million people in besieged areas. Russia, Assad’s ally on the Security Council, and China have vetoed three resolutions that would have condemned him or threatened sanctions since Syrian forces cracked down on a pro-democracy uprising in 2011 that has since turned into a civil war. More than 140,000 have been killed in the fighting, which has forced half the population to flee from their homes. Saturday’s resolution threatened unspecified “further steps” if Damascus does not comply. Though several Western envoys have expressed strong intent to push for Security Council action if the resolution is ignored, UN diplomats say Russia and China are unlikely to agree to any action if Syria’s government does not comply. An aid worker in the region said: “There are views that this resolution finally has some teeth. I don’t see it that way.”

“We are watching and waiting,” he added. He did not want to be identified while negotiations between humanitarian organisations and authorities in Damascus are ongoing. Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said there was no immediate breakthrough in delivering assistance since the Security Council adopted the resolution. “Our requests are out, but there is no movement on the ground,” Laerke told Reuters, referring to proposals to send aid convoys to parts of Syria. The resolution called for the immediate lifting of sieges in specific towns and cities around the country, including Yarmouk, a Palestinian neighbourhood in Damascus that took in refugees after the creation of Israel, where people have been trapped for eight months by an army siege. The government says “terrorists” hold people hostage in besieged areas. Filippo Grandi, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which cares for Palestinian refugees, visited Yarmouk on Sunday, where partial humanitarian access was granted this year but up to 20,000 are besieged. Grandi told journalists in Beirut on Tuesday that the resolution is “stronger than any other tool we’ve ever had before in Syria” and that the government had given him verbal promises that aid access to the camp would continue. l

Iran a threat not just to Israel, says Merkel UN rights envoy points to apartheid

in Palestinian areas

n Reuters

Germany views Iran as a potential threat not just to Israel, but also to European countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But she stopped short of endorsing her host’s demand that Tehran give up all sensitive nuclear projects under any negotiated deal with world powers, and reiterated Berlin’s opposition to Israeli settlements on occupied land where the Palestinians seek statehood. Germany is Israel’s most important ally in Europe, where the Netanyahu government frets it is losing support given troubled peace talks with the Palestinians. That makes Merkel’s views a bellwether of European sentiment on Middle East issues. The German chancellor visited Jerusalem with her cabinet to mark almost 50 years of bilateral ties with Israel, which was founded in part as a haven for survivors of the Holocaust. “We see the threat not just as a

n Reuters, Geneva

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction in Jerusalem February 25 REUTERS threat for the state of Israel but as a general threat for Europe as well,” she said of a potential Iranian bomb, adding that Germany would pursue international talks with Tehran on its nuclear activities. The diplomacy was kick-started

with an interim deal in November, which Netanyahu blasted as an “historic mistake” for easing sanctions on Iran while leaving its infrastructure for enriching uranium and potentially producing plutonium. Iran says its nuclear projects are for peaceful needs. l

Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to amount to apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land, a United Nations investigator said in a report. Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said that Palestinian rights are being violated by Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory and “ethnic cleansing” of East Jerusalem. Gaza, despite the disengagement of  Israel  in 2005, remains “occupied” under an unlawful Israeli blockade that controls borders, airspace and coastal waters, and especially hurts farmers and fishermen, he said. The humanitarian situation in the Hamasruled enclave is dire amid fuel shortages, he added. UN member states should consider

imposing a ban on imports of produce from Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Falk said in his final report to the UN Human Rights Council after serving six years in the independent post. In a section entitled “acts potentially amounting to segregation and apartheid,” he analysed Israeli policies, including “continuing excessive use of force by Israeli security forces” and unlawful killings that he said are “part of acts carried out in order to maintain dominance over Palestinians.” Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to military laws, while Jewish settlers face a civil law system, he said. Israel  also violates their rights to work and education, freedoms of movement and residence, and of expression and assembly, he said. Ten years ago the UN’s International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s separation wall inside the West Bank is illegal, he noted. Israel says it is a secu-

rity barrier. “It seems incontestable that Israeli measures do divide the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory along racial lines, create separate reserves for Palestinians and expropriate their land,” Falk wrote in his 22-page report. “The combined effect of the measures designed to ensure security for Israeli citizens, to facilitate and expand settlements, and, it would appear, to annex land is hafrada (the Hebrew word for separation), discrimination and systematic oppression of, and domination over, the Palestinian people.” There was no immediate reaction from Israel, which boycotted the council it accuses of bias for 19 months, returning in October 2013. The Jewish state left after accusing the forum of bias when it set up a fact-finding mission on the settlements. l

US presses Iraq on reports of Iran arms deal n Agencies The US has said it is “seeking clarification” over a report that Iraq has signed a deal with Iran to buy arms in violation of a UN embargo, BBC reported. State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that if the $195m (£117m) deal for weapons and ammunition was confirmed, it “would raise serious concerns.” Meanwhile, The Reuters news agency said on Monday that it had seen contracts signed by the neighbouring states in November. A spokesman for Iraq’s prime minister neither confirmed nor denied the deal. However, he said it would be understandable given Iraq’s security troubles,

which have seen al-Qaeda-aligned militants step up sectarian attacks and take control of parts of the cities of Ramadi and Falluja. “We are launching a war against terrorism and we want to win this war. Nothing prevents us from buying arms and ammunition from any party and it’s only ammunition helping us to fight terrorists,” Ali Moussawi added. Reuters reported that Iraq signed eight arms contracts with Iranian stateowned companies at the end of November, just weeks after Prime Minister Nouri Maliki travelled to Washington to ask President Barack Obama for more military aid to help combat al-Qaeda. Six of the contracts were signed with

Iran’s state-owned Defence Industries Organisation (DIO), which agreed to supply light and medium weapons, mortar launchers, ammunition for tanks as well as artillery and mortars, according to Reuters. The other two contracts were with the state-owned Iran Electronic Industries (IEI) for night-vision goggles, communications equipment and mortar-guiding devices, it added. “If true, this would raise serious concerns,” Ms Psaki told a news conference in Washington. “We are seeking clarification on the matter from the government of Iraq and to ensure that Iraqi officials understand the limits that international law places on arms trade with Iran,” she added. l

Algerian opposition Turkish PM says tapes of parties urge election boycott talk with son a fabrication applause from the public gallery. n Reuters, Algiers n Reuters, Ankara Growing political uncertainty around Three Algerian opposition parties have called for a boycott of elections in April after the government announced President Abdelaziz Bouteflika  would run for a fourth term to extend his 15 years in power. Bouteflika, the independence veteran and Washington ally, has rarely appeared in public since a stroke sent him to a Paris hospital last year, but the government said the 76-year-old will run again in the April 17 vote. Almost assured of re-election, Bouteflika has support of the powerful ruling  National Liberation Front (FLN)  party and is seen by loyalists as the man who delivered them peace and stability after a civil war with Islamists in the 1990s. The opposition RCD movement, Islamist MSP party and Ennahda party say polls will not be fair with Bouteflika running. l

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused political rivals of shameless fabrication of a telephone tap of him telling his son to dispose of large sums of money on the day police raided houses in a graft inquiry into his government. In a dramatic session of parliament after posting of the 11-minute audio tape on YouTube, Erdogan said his political enemies had penetrated encrypted state communications. He did not name the opponents but made it clear he was talking of a network run by former ally, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. Supporters of Erdogan, locked in a power struggle with Gulen whom he accuses of contriving a graft scandal to topple him, shouted “Tayyip, we came here to die with you,” “stand tall, don’t bow” and “time is on our side.” “The people don’t believe these lies,” Erdogan called back to loud cheers and

the government and its reaction to the tapes, which Reuters could not authenticate, hit Turkish assets amid broader weakness in emerging markets. Opinion polls taken before Monday’s posting show Erdogan’s popularity little affected by the corruption scandal which broke on Dec. 17 with the detention of businessmen close to him and three ministers’ sons. Monday’s tape will prove a further test of that resilience ahead of March local elections. Erdogan took over a country in 2002 riven by political factionalism and mired in economic crisis. In 11 years, presenting the generally welcome face of a strong leader, he united a large spectrum of political forces, fired the economy, drove economic reforms and tamed a military that had toppled four governments in the second half of the 20th century. l

A woman lights a candle to pay her respects to fallen anti-Yanukovich protesters in central Lviv February 24


Runaway Ukraine president may face international justice n Reuters, KIEV Ukraine’s parliament voted on Tuesday to send fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich to be tried by the International Criminal Court for “serious crimes” committed during violent anti-government protests in which scores were killed. A resolution, overwhelmingly supported by the assembly, linked Yanukovich, who was ousted on Saturday and is now on the run, to police violence against protesters which it said

had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens from Ukraine and other states. The Hague-based court said it would need a request from the government of Ukraine giving it jurisdiction over the deaths. With early elections set for May 25, one of Ukraine’s most prominent opposition figures, retired world boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, confirmed he would run for president. Yanukovich was indicted for “mass murder” on Monday over the shooting of demonstrators and is now on the

wanted list, having last been seen at Balaclava in Crimea, near Russia’s Sevastopol naval base. An aide said be on the run with Yanukovich was shot in the leg, his spokesman said. It was not clear where the aide, Andriy Klyuev, was, or whether he with the fugitive leader. The assembly resolution said former interior minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and former prosecutor-general Viktor Pshonka, who are also being sought by the authorities, should also be sent for trial at the ICC. l



India’s regional parties seal alliance ahead of elections n Reuters, New Delhi India regional parties met on Tuesday to declare a political alternative to the two main national parties, the ruling Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata (BJP), ahead of national elections due by May. Congress has led coalition governments in the world’s largest democracy for the past decade but may struggle to win re-election this year due to a string of corruption scandals and sagging economic growth. The BJP is forecast to emerge as the single largest party but still fall short of a majority. Eleven regional parties have established an alliance to fight corruption, deliver more economic development and strengthen federalism in the runup to the elections. “It is time for a change and to throw

Pak PM says govt writ to be affirmed as cabinet okays security policy n Tribune Desk After the cabinet endorsed the country’s internal national security policy on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the session said that in order to ensure the safety and security of citizens, the government would establish its writ across the country under all circumstances, DawnNews reported. He said the government had initiated the dialogue process with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with sincerity and made arrangements for the outlawed group’s negotiators to travel to Waziristan for holding consultations with militant leaders but by targeting innocent civilians, the TTP had rendered the process meaningless. Establishing peace in the country is the ultimate goal, the prime minister said, adding that the state’s writ would be established at all costs. Earlier during the session, the federal cabinet ratified the internal security policy and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is expected to announce its details in Parliament tomorrow. Under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Sharif, the ministers consulted on the policy as well as on peace talks with the TTP. The cabinet agreed that the TTP would have to announce an unconditional ceasefire, adding that the banned group now stood alone and the nation had united against terrorism. Sources told DawnNews that in accordance with the policy, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) would be the focal organisation for national security, adding that the heads of the armed forces would be among members of Nacta. The cabinet agreed that all decisions pertaining to anti-terror measures would be taken at the highest levels of authority. The cabinet gave its nod on the policy following a briefing on it by Chaudhry Nisar who also took the ministers into confidence over the situation in relation to peace talks and targeted operations. The policy also entails the formation of a joint intelligence directorate to make the exchange of information more effective on federal and provincial levels. Moreover, the policy document notes that the total strength of 33 national security organisations, including the police and other civil armed forces, both at the federal as well as the provincial level, exceeded 600,000, which is more than the sixth largest standing army of the world i.e. Pakistan. Snippets from the 86-page document also say Pakistan is the country most affected by terrorism in the world after Iraq, but if the severity of the incidents is considered, it even surpasses the Middle Eastern nation. The draft of National Internal Security Policy (NISP) 2013-2018 describes the scenario as dangerous, posing an existential threat to the integrity and sovereignty of the state. The document, which is being billed as the country’s first internal security policy, also says that from 2001 to November 2013, 48,994 people were killed in the country including 5,272 personnel of the law-enforcement agencies, a large number of them – 17,642 – having been killed in just three years from 2011 to 2013 including 2,114 personnel of the law-enforcement agencies. l

out the Congress from power. The BJP, which claims to be the alternative, has no policies different from that of the Congress,” the regional party group said in a joint declaration. It described BJP ideology as divisive and communal, and offered up their grouping as a “secular” alternative. Regional parties and their often charismatic leaders have become more powerful national players in recent years. Parties other than Congress and the BJP are set to bag around half of the seats in the elections, according to a poll conducted by pollsters CVoter for the India Today media group. Nitish Kumar, Bihar state chief minister, and Mulayam Singh Yadav, a powerful political leader from the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh, both attended the meeting. Together, the two states account for 120 seats of the 543 at stake in parliament.

A representative of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and Left leaders also joined hands in the alternative alliance, often dubbed the “Third Front.” A government made up of several regional groups with diverse agendas could prove unwieldy, a potential problem for Asia’s third-largest economy, whose growth has slowed for a decade due to the slow pace of reform under Congress’ watch. Any third front would need to work hard to counter the rising popularity of Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, analysts say. Modi, who has presided over rapid economic growth during more than 12 years as chief minister of Gujarat, has been wooing voters by pointing to his track record as a leader who cuts red tape and attracts investment. l


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BJP ready to Lalu denies split, walks to apologise for assembly with 9 ‘rebel’ MLAs ‘mistakes:’ Rajnath fold even though a visibly shaken RJD n Tribune Desk chief claimed there was no crack withto Muslims Lalu Prasad Yadav, a former Indian in his party. “We are all united. We are trying to federal minister and chief of Rashtrin Tribune Desk ya Janata Dal, on Tuesday marched bring others who did not turn up on Reaching out to Muslims ahead of Lok Sabha elections, BJP on Tuesday asked the community to give it a chance and not go by the “propaganda” spread by Congress while promising to stand for equality and apologise for any “mistake” or “shortcoming” in the past, Times of India reports.  “Please note that whenever, wherever if there has been any mistake and shortcoming on our part, I assure you that we will apologise to you by bowing our heads,” said BJP Chief  Rajnath Singh  while addressing a gathering of Muslims here.  Singh said BJP was not against Muslims and the community should not go by the propaganda against it. He asked them to vote for BJP this time for the sake of the nation.  l

with nine of the 13 rebel MLAs to the state assembly and later to Raj Bhawan in a bid to show his party was still ‘intact’. The RJD chief paraded the rebel MLAs before the secretary of the state assembly, Phool Jha, and submitted two letters signed by the nine MLAs, who said they were with the RJD. Later, Prasad along with his party MLAs marched to the governor’s house to submit a memorandum seeking recall of the notification issued by the assembly secretariat giving recognition to 13 MLAs as a separate group. Earlier in the day, four of the dissident MLAs led by former party chief whip Samrat Choudhary did not turn up at the legislature party meeting, indicating they were still out of the RJD

board,” Prasad said, trying to put up a brave front. In total, 16 MLAs including nine rebels attended the RJDLP meeting, which started almost one- and- a -half hour from the scheduled time of the meeting at 12noon . There is, however, an element of uncertainty as whether the MLAs having returned to party fold would be treated as RJD MLAs or considered a part of a separate group, as per the notification issued by the assembly secretariat. Admittedly, the RJD chief was all fire and brimstone against the speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary accusing him of acting in a partisan manner by giving recognition to the separate group of MLAs in violation of the anti-defection law. l

Sri Lanka rejects call for war crimes probe n Agencies Sri Lanka has rejected a United Nations call for an international investigation into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during Sri Lanka’s civil war that ended in 2009. The United Nations’ human rights chief on Monday called for an international inquiry into war crimes committed by both sides during Sri Lanka’s civil war, saying the government had failed to do its own credible investigation. In a much-anticipated report ahead of a UN Human Rights Council debate next month that could order action on the issue, Navi Pillay recommended an “independent, international inquiry mechanism, which would contribute to establishing the truth where domestic inquiry mechanisms have failed.” The United States plans to propose a resolution against Sri Lanka at the meeting and Pillay’s report, based on her visit to the country last August, adds to pressure on the government. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration, in 18 pages of comments as long as Pillay’s report, rejected the rec-

ommendations as “arbitrary, intrusive and of a political nature.” Many thousands of civilians were killed, injured or remain missing after the 25-year conflict between government forces and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in May 2009, Pillay said in her report to the Geneva forum. She said there had been little progress in establishing accountability for “emblematic” wartime crimes, including the January 2006 killing of five students on a beach and the execution of 17 aid workers later that August. Conclusions of a national Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission have been rejected or ignored, such as its finding that the army was responsible for shelling civilian areas, Pillay said. “The High Commissioner (Pillay) is also concerned that legal proceedings have not begun against any LTTE suspect for alleged war crimes or other human rights abuses,” the report said. Pillay also voiced concern at rising attacks by Buddhist monks on minority Muslims and Christians and at ongoing harassment of activists, lawyers and journalists. l

Sri Lankan air force personnel work on a new runway in northern region of Kilinochchi on January 30, 2013, the former stronghold of Tamil Tiger rebels who were defeated by security forces in May 2009 AFP

Drought-hit Malaysian state rations water Divided Thailand faces n AFP Kuala Lumpur

Authorities began rationing water to thousands of households in Malaysia’s most populous state Tuesday, as a dry spell depletes reservoirs across a country normally known for its steady tropical downpours. Much of Malaysia has been under bone-dry conditions for a month and high temperatures have left some reservoirs at “critical” levels, sparking an increase in bushfires and leading to protests in at least one hard-hit community near the capital Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia does tend to experience dry weather early in the year, but the current dry spell has been unusually long. The lack of significant rainfall has caused increasing alarm, particularly in the state of Selangor, which surrounds Kuala Lumpur, and adjacent areas, as meteorologists have warned the dry patch could last another month. Selangor is Malaysia’s most popu-

lous state and its economic and industrial hub. Water rationing in the state will affect an estimated 60,000 households, according to the Selangor’s private water company. A Selangor local government spokeswoman said the state was reducing the flow to four water treatment plants “until the weather improves.” “The reduction of water will start today,” she told AFP. “What we need now is the rain.” Authorities have said planes are on standby to conduct cloud-seeding, but the spokeswoman said the effort has been hampered by inadequate cloud formation. Residents in the Selangor town of Balakong have complained for weeks about taps running dry and last week about 200 residents staged a protest calling on authorities to provide water, according to reports. “We spend over 20 ringgit ($6) a week at the dhobi now,” said housewife

Norizan Nasim, using the local name for someone who washes people’s clothes. “But what can we do, we can’t afford to shift from here,” added Nasim, who is currently travelling an hour each day to fetch water from a river. The state of Negeri Sembilan, adjacent to Selangor, last week declared a water crisis, mobilising to supply treated water to thousands of households. The hot spell has also contributed to more cases of dengue fever as it speeds up the life cycle of the aedes mosquito that carries the virus and enhances replication of the pathogen, experts say. Deaths from the flu-like illness have risen to 25 this year, compared with just eight in the same period last year, according to the latest Health Ministry figures. The number of cases has also quadrupled to some 14,000 so far this year. The World Health Organisation calls dengue one of the fastest-growing viral threats globally, especially in the tropics. l

Norlizan, 40, (R), walks as she carries water containers in Balakong, outside Kuala Lumpur on February 25


prospect of civil war n AFP, Bangkok Thailand risks sliding into civil war after a wave of political violence in which 22 people have been killed, officials warned Tuesday, as the unrest claimed the life of a fourth child. Near-daily gun and grenade attacks in protest-hit Bangkok have raised concerns that a nearly four-month-old political crisis is entering a dangerous new phase with both sides refusing to back down. More than 700 people have been wounded since demonstrators took to the streets for rolling rallies aimed at ousting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and ending the political dominance of her billionaire family. A five-year-old girl died of her wounds Tuesday after gunmen sprayed bullets at an opposition rally in eastern Thailand over the weekend -- the second child killed in the attack. On Sunday a four-year-old boy and his sister, 6, were among three victims killed by a grenade blast at a protest site in an upscale Bangkok shopping district. The head of Thailand’s equivalent of the FBI warned Tuesday that the situation may “escalate into civil war.” Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith urged “restraint and patience” on both sides of the political divide, during a televised address by officials handling the security response to the crisis. His comments echoed a similar warning from the head of the coupprone army. “Absolutely, there will be civil war if all sides do not respect rules,” General Prayut Chan-O-Cha wrote in an SMS to AFP. “The military will do everything for the country and the people... not for a particular side,” he added. Protest and government leaders bear “responsibility for the losses,” Prayut wrote, a day after warning in a rare televised speech that the country risks “collapse” unless it pulls back from the brink. Government supporters have ac-

cused opposition demonstrators of trying to incite the military to seize power, in a country which has seen 18 successful or attempted coups since 1932, but so far the army has remained largely above the fray. Thailand has been bitterly divided since a bloodless coup by the military in 2006 ousted Yingluck’s elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, as prime minister, unleashing years of political instability. The latest unrest is the deadliest since more than 90 people died during protests by pro-Thaksin “Red Shirts” in 2010 that sparked street clashes and a bloody military crackdown. Concerns are mounting that the Red Shirts could return to the streets of Bangkok to defend the government, bringing the risk of clashes between rival protesters. Gunfire rang out early Tuesday near a rally camp in a Bangkok park occupied by demonstrators. Two people were slightly wounded, officials said. A rally spokesman said that gunmen had attacked the camp but it was not possible to verify his account. The Red Shirts, mainly drawn from the rural north and northeastern provinces, have held back from demonstrations in the capital since November when several people died after clashes broke out near one of their rallies at a stadium in Bangkok. They have stepped up their rhetoric in recent days as Yingluck comes under growing pressure. The Reds will stage rallies over the coming weekends in the northeast as a show of strength, he added. Yingluck has been summoned by an anti-corruption panel to hear neglect of duty charges on Thursday that could lead to her removal from office, although it is unclear if she will personally attend the hearing. The opposition says the Shinawatra family and its allies, who have won every election for more than a decade, have fostered widespread corruption and used taxpayers’ money to buy the loyalty of rural voters. l




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Letters to

the Editor


Follow the law to enforce the law

Problems due to CNG auto rickshaws February 23

Travelling by CNG auto rickshaw is a major problem here. Drivers always demand higher fares then what the average person can afford. Not to mention, where a rickshaw driver charges Tk40-50 for a certain distance, an auto-rickshaw driver charges at least Tk170-Tk180 for the same distance; the fare would not exceed Tk100 if the driver charged the fare based on the meter box. For female passengers, the driver unfairly, automatically doubles the fare. There are many roads that cannot be travelled by rickshaws or buses, by either auto-rickshaws or cars, which can get expensive. Sometimes, police officers will ask passengers whether the auto rickshaw drivers are charging high fares or going by the meter box. But due to shortage of time, and the difficulty in procuring transport, the passengers have to lie about their fare. Moreover, security is an issue as robberies have seen a rise. Some police officers also participate in unethical activities by taking bribes from CNG auto rickshaw drivers if the latter are caught. There is no scope of security or justice for passengers, and drivers are never held responsible for their actions. We would like to request the government to take legal action to solve this matter. Md Wahidul Alam, Nabila Marjan Hasan East West University


tudents and teachers of Jagannath University had been waging a movement for the past several weeks demanding the recovery of Tibbet Hall. The hall had been grabbed illegally and was being turned into a shopping centre. Violent clashes in and around the Jagannath University campus resulted in 100 people, including 25 police officers, and many teachers and students injured. The clashes saw students removing police barricades, hurling brick chips at police, engaging in chases and counter chases, while police retaliated by firing rubber bullets and releasing teargas, as well as charging at students with batons. While it is regrettable that the students took their protests to such a degree that the safety of the public was endangered, we condemn the overblown response by the police. Students and teachers have the right to protest the illegal grabbing of the residence hall. The police should not have resorted to the usage of bullets of any sort, or teargas, to deal with the situation. It was their insensitive retaliatory measures that resulted in such a high number of casualties in the incident. If the students indeed have legitimate grievances, which would be the case if their hall was unethically taken away from them, then the government should address the problem in a constructive manner to satisfy the students. A brutal and violent police response to dampen student concerns will not bring about desirable results.

BGMEA wants factory inspection by foreigners on set guidelines

Insensitive measures resulted in such a high number of casualties

February 19

Osmania Why does the BGMEA complain about foreign engineers inspecting factories at the expense of foreign companies? Aren’t the engineers paid for by the very people the BGMEA sell clothes to? It also seems rather rude to make out that foreign inspectors will be too dim to talk to locals about local standards. I hope the foreigner engineers do apply higher standards. That way the companies may pay more for clothes so better factories can be built, no? Ehsan Abdullah Osmania: This is absurd. Do you know why they are doing this?? You really think they care so much about us?? All the hullabaloo about our working standard, but did they increase a dime in prices? No. But, we have lost our bargaining and negotiating power. The latest set of standards which Alliance and Accord placed on us is just not possible. That’s the reality. They’re even higher than our city building codes. And I agree that workers were exploited, and they deserve better pay and a voice, but do you think this can happen over night?? Establishing trade unions??

Last October onwards, for two months straight, RMG factories in Ashulia lost Tk400 million in exports due to worker unrest, let alone vandalism, finally ending with Standard Group being burned down. We really need to be on the same page with this one. I am afraid that by experimenting with better standards and the so-called love and concerns of our western buyers, we might destroy this whole industry. In one shot the salary went up by 45%, and now trade unions!! Next thing we know there will be a Union League and Union Dal inside every factory, then what?? With the existing requirement, over 60% of factories would be shut down, then what? You can forget about raising standards if there’s no work. imohammad They are asking for EU/US building codes, but while negotiating prices of garments, they consider us at the Rwanda/Haiti standard. That’s the fallacy in it. All big talk after the Rana Plaza collapse, but the reality on the ground is they will not spare a cent from their pockets. They talk ethical sourcing, not ethical pricing.

BNP-Jamaat comes out on top

Duty free promise for safety equipment

February 20

That the AL took these elections very seriously is borne out by the ruling party hoodlums swiftly engaging in voter intimidation, violence, ballot rigging and other fraudulent activities in several upazilas, as reported across the media. The EC is a despicable travesty, No kidding. Still, I’m glad the BNP notched


e welcome the Commerce Minister’s announcement that the government will make the import of fire and building safety materials duty-free for the RMG sector. The change will help factory owners to improve safety by reducing the cost of installing properly certified fire and building safety equipment. This is particularly important for new factories or those which are undergoing major refurbishment. In the longer term, it will also help owners of factories which already have such equipment, when they come to update or renew equipment. The minister passed on this message to delegates at the twoday International Trade Expo on Building and Fire Safety in Dhaka. BGMEA, BKMEA and the IFC are among the stakeholders organising this exhibition, together with Accord and Alliance, the two leading industry brand and union-led safety initiatives. The safety fair, which is the first of its type, is raising awareness and discussion of the practicalities of improving safety standards, as well as displaying the latest fire, building and electrical safety equipment. In the aftermath of Rana Plaza and Tazreen, measures to improve factories on fire and electrical safety are more important than ever and vital for the future of the whole sector. The government’s decision to help by allowing duty-free import of equipment for fire and building safety for the RMG sector is a helpful step forward.

handy victories despite the many random cases of rigging at the centres. Jamaat’s higher-than-expected number of wins must rid many people – not least the current regime – of their complacent attitudes toward that party’s pockets of staunch support in the country. Ronnie

‘It is possible to introduce usage of Bangla language in every sector’ February 21

Md Irfanul Hasan No. We have to establish an English-speaking Bangladesh for this day and age. Aritro Chowdhury Hahahahaha an English-speaking Bangladesh? It will only take the country backward.

Hawker sets up shop on Lalbagh footpath February 19

We should expect the city to plan spaces for the informal sector to sell services and goods. Is there a study on the informal sector in Bangladesh? I would bet, and say, that the productivity of the informal sector is greater than even the garments industry, yet the informal sector has very little infrastructural support. Shireen Pasha

The cool factor February 21

My excuse for not speaking Bangla: I was adopted and raised by a European family, with no contact with the Bengali language for almost 40 years. That is why I cannot speak it, read it, or understand very much of it. Mia Dodson

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Duty change will help factory owners improve safety



SUDOKU ACROSS 1 Be cautious (6) 6 Offer (3) 9 Vestment (5) 10 Fruit (4) 11 Governs (5) 12 Monkey (3) 13 Tantalised (6) 15 Direction (4) 18 English river (4) 21 Plan (6) 24 Garden tool (3) 25 Get up (5) 28 Above (4) 29 Glossy fabric (5) 30 Marry (3) 31 Feel sorry for (6)

DOWN 1 Freight boat (5) 2 Flightless bird (3) 3 Cajolery (5) 4 Top card (3) 5 Remainder (4) 6 Prejudice (4) 7 Obstruct (6) 8 Achievement (4) 14 Liable (3) 16 Recess (6) 17 Neckwear (3) 19 Select group (5) 20 Perfume (5) 21 Exhibit (4) 22 Pay attention (4) 23 Comfort (4) 26 Sharp blow (3)

27 Wrongdoing (3)


How to solve Sudoku: Fill in the blank spaces with the numbers 1 – 9. Every row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain all nine digits with no number repeating.





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ukraine, here we go again


n Ziauddin Choudhury he crisis in Ukraine is apparently coming to a closure with the Ukraine parliament dismissing its president and the president reportedly gone to hiding. In a dramatic turn of events, the man who was holding his country under an iron grip and refused to yield to popular demands turning guns against his people instead is now being sought for trial. For weeks, Ukraine – a former component of the mighty Soviet Union was on the verge of a meltdown. Street protests that started in November over a trade pact that was to be agreed with the European Union have swelled into something much bigger. The agreement would have brought Ukraine closer to other European countries, opened up trade and employment opportunities for the Ukrainians. Majority of the Ukrainians favoured this pact. Initially the country’s president had insisted that he was intent on signing the agreement, but then he dithered. He dithered because Ukraine’s great neighbour Russia opposed such agreement. It threatened its much smaller neighbour with sanctions and other dire consequences such as steep prices for gas that Ukraine imports from Russia.

As a result, the eastern European country fell in the midst of a wave of anti-government protests, the likes of which it hasn’t seen in 10 years. Ironically, the protests that rocked this country called the Orange Revolution were targeted against the same president from November 2004 to January 2005 immediately after the presidential election. The elections were claimed to be fraudulent, and marred by massive corruption and voter intimidation. Nationwide, the democratic revolution was highlighted by a series of acts of civil disobedience, sit-ins, and general strikes organised by the opposition movement. The protests ended after the Supreme Court intervened and ordered a revote and the president’s opponent was declared the real winner. In a dramatic turnaround some six years later in 2010, Yanukovych would be reelected president. History is repeating itself, but this time the protests are for something bigger. There is something eerily familiar between what is happening now in Ukraine and the events that occurred last year in Bangladesh. The riots and mayhems happening in Kiev now and those in Dhaka last year may differ in scale—there have been over 100 deaths in Kiev already, but deaths in Dhaka were fewer—but in terms of political objectives , protest tactics, and general

Ukraine is no Bangladesh, neither Bangladesh is Ukraine. But people in both countries have similar aspirations, hopes, and rights to choose

Russia would instead like Ukraine and its other neighbours to join an alternative common economic zone. Under pressure, the Ukrainian president made a volte face, and stopped further talks with the EU, but people who favored a closer tie with EU came out on the streets and protests took the form of riots. The protests took a wider turn days later to a demand that the president loosen his grip on power and the constitution be changed. In the years that the current President Yanokovych came to power he had made the president’s office more powerful and more authoritarian.

unrest they have close similarities. In Ukraine the opposition is relentless and it is pursuing every which way it can to bring down the government, particularly the current president. They have occupied the main square of the city called Maidan, and are carrying out attacks on law enforcing agencies, buildings, and other property public or private. Molotov cocktails are flying like Frisbees in a park, stones are hurled at Police, and Police are retaliating sometimes with fire and other times with riot repelling equipment. For those in Bangladesh it is kind of a déjà vu. We can argue that a riotous crowd

The street protests in Kiev are déjà vu for Bangladeshis behaves the same way in other countries. Clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies in many countries have drawn similar violent results. But there is another odd similarity among the actors in the two countries that are thousands of miles apart. The political opposition in Bangladesh was agitating for elections under a neutral care taker government the way the previous elections were held. The government changed that provision after the ruling party came in power. The opposition protested as it was afraid elections under the government in power would be massively manipulated. The Ukrainian opposition protest also started on a single demand that the country make a pact with European Union. The Ukrainian president had assured his country that the pact would be made, but he reneged on it later. Things get complicated thereon. This is where foreign interests make intrusion in both countries. A major

reason why the Ukrainian president postponed signing the pact with EU was Russian threat to increase gas prices and other sanctions. But as the protesters took to the streets and the fights between them and law enforcing agencies grew on a horrendous scale the European Union started giving stern messages to Ukrainian government to stop the repression or face sanctions from the Union. While the Ukrainian government is caught between a rock and hard place, the masses in Ukraine face an uncertain future from the deadlock. A flash back to our own political crisis last year. While the opposition staged protest after protest and brought the urban areas to a standstill pursuing their demands, the government dug its heel and turned a deaf ear to the protests. Day after day the masses suffered from shutdown of markets, transports, and closure of business and industry. Foreign negotiators arrived in the scene to make the parties seek a solu-


tion to the crisis, but to no avail as the negotiators themselves showed their biases to one party or another. Our big neighbor wanted a solution that would please the ruling party, while others proffered a solution that would please the other side. The result was what we witnessed in January. Ukraine is no Bangladesh, neither Bangladesh is Ukraine. But people in both countries have similar aspirations, hopes, and rights to choose. The Ukrainians fought for their rights to choose some ten years ago without intimidation and vote fraud, and they won. This time they are fighting their government to join in a trade pact with a group of countries that they think will bring better future for their country. However, later they extended their fight to bring about changes in a system that stifles democratic rights and freedom. They would like changes that would create some distance between their country and Mother Russia. For now it seems people of Ukraine have succeeded.

How to treat bad movies

It’s only fiction

n Abak Hussain

n Sujan E Bin Wadud


recent Indian film from the production company Yash Raj Films is causing quite a storm. It is hurting sentiments and offending Bangladeshis far and wide. Some of those deeply offended are even respected artistes and professionals of the entertainment industry themselves. There is no reason anyone should have to sit through Gunday – the Hindi film in question. Those put off by the synopsis can make the informed decision of staying away, unless they really just want to watch it out of some perverse curiosity. That decision is for the grown-up viewer to make. Unless you have a job like, say, reviewing Bollywood films for a living, or for some odd reason have been physically coerced into viewing the film, the power is in your hands to stay away from bad movies. Summaries suggest some lines of revisionist history that might indeed cause serious ire to patriotic Bangladeshis: the movie begins with a narration that describes the creation of Bangladesh as a result of a war between India and Pakistan. It shows Bangladesh being formed after a 13day war. Following the uproar, the makers of the film apologised, saying the movie was and is meant to be a work of fiction. Nonetheless, activists and politically conscious coteries are infuriated. Using social media, they have called for a ban. No less a cultural authority than Asaduzzaman Noor has said his ministry would send a letter to India in protest. Many Bangladeshis remain dissatisfied – they think the apology is not enough. They think that feelings have been hurt, so surely banning is the only way to go about it, right? But banning works of fiction, printed or celluloid, has never been the

hall-mark of a progressive and developed society. Artists should be free to produce bad art, it is up to the rest of us to have the taste and the judgment to either embrace those works, or put them at the centre of our culture and let them define us, to laugh at them, or to relegate them to the rubbish bin. It helps no one if we are out for blood at the slightest provocation. The number of movies India produces annually is mind-boggling, and the quality of a vast chunk of those films is indeed brain numbing. Bollywood, in particular, reeks of exploitation and plagiarism. The very name “Bollywood” is testament to the inauthentic nature of the industry.

Should our history and culture not be strong enough to withstand a fourth rate work?

This industry has rarely been interested in depicting the social realities of even India. In Bollywood’s products, in movie after movie ad infinitum, people spontaneously break out into song and dance in luxurious houses and in backdrops that switch from Europe to North America to the idyllic hills of New Zealand. So, if it has so little interest in getting present-day India right, why should we expect Bollywood to give a damn about the history of Bangladesh? Bangladeshis have, for a very long time, made these unrealistic and god-awful movies the staples of our culture. Our collective consciousness is flooded with the tacky fantasies

perpetuated by movies that get made by half-literate Bombay moguls to satisfy an uncritical audience that is thirsty for titillating images and little else. So, when they come up with a movie that begins in 1971 – surprise, surprise – they get the history wrong. To my mind, messing with history in and of itself is not a major crime for a work that openly declares itself to be a construction of imagination. Stanley Kubrick placed a monolithic object near our ape-like ancestors as a meditation on how mankind’s technological progress may have been spurred in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Luckily, there, it was not a particular nationality or ethnicity was mocked, but all of human civilisation. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds fantasises about blowing up the Nazis before they can rise too far in an alternative history of the Second World War. Offensive to the Jewish people? Possibly. Offensive to Hitler? Sure. You may have a distaste for that sort cartoonish revisionism, but argue for getting it banned, and you are likely to get laughed at. We have been engaged in a love affair with Bollywood’s ridiculous dream world for decades now. We have been okay with its inaccuracies so far. Now that the industry has dared to include our history in one of their stupid wish-fulfillment movies, all of a sudden all hell must break loose. The movies that Bollywood churns out are the artistic equivalent of gummy bears, and even less nutritious. Should our history and culture not be strong enough to withstand a fourth rate work from third rate artists? If historical integrity in film really is so important to us, maybe it is time for us to make something of our own, instead of expecting foreign countries to do justice to our past. l   Abak Hussain is Senior Staff Sub-Editor at the Dhaka Tribune.


n the recent Yash-Raj Films’ movie Gunday, the opening narration by the much respected Irrfan Khan and written by Ali Abbas Zafar (who is also the director) said that the birth of Bangladesh was a result of an “India-Pakistan War” - a surprisingly inaccurate telling of history that has resulted in a storm of protests from Bangladeshis from around the world via Facebook, Twitter and other media.

cludes real events in history, concerning real nations, amidst real wars and during real time period, then it is no longer a work of pure fiction.  And therefore, it becomes incumbent upon the writer to be absolutely accurate; except in cases of controversy - and this isn’t one of them. If I had the same loose understanding of the word fiction, then I may also claim that the following plot for an animated film is merely fictional.   A long time ago, there was an English Governor General in a fabled land,

What was the reason behind pulling the Bangladeshi war of independence into the whole love triangle smash-up?

The brouhaha has prompted YRF to offer a statement on their blog - an effort to appease their “Bangladeshi brethren.” While the statement reads like an apology – “we would like to apologise if any disrespect or hurt has been caused” - the rest of it clearly shows that YRF just doesn’t get it. The basic nature of the YRF response can be summarised in this way: the whole story of the film is a work of fiction, so we don’t see what the problem is - why this kolaveri?  As with most YRF productions, of course the storyline about two idiot goons in love with the same cabaret dancer, with trains and bombs and guns is fictional.   Why, you still ask? Well, in a fit of rage, one goon shoots the other, only misses, and the bullet hits the said cabaret dancer; oh the tragedy, but wait - she survives!  Don't get me wrong - I’m as big of a sucker for YRF’s melodramatics as the next person.   But when a narration in-

India. His name was Mountbatten, but his friends called him Lou.  One day, in 1947, he got tired of trying to impress the regal English ways upon the Indians, and left.  You have to sympathise with him, because the Indians had begun to vandalise the English language to such an extent that the plural of the

In Bangladesh the changes did not happen the way the opposition wanted it. In part because the people in whose name the opposition fought the battles were largely missing from these fights. In most cases they became victims and not participants. The cause perhaps did not create much vibration among people. But the danger is that failure of the opposition to stir up the people may create a false sense of confidence in the ruling party. It may lead to further authoritarian activism in the government, and greater leaning toward one great power. This may cause again a popular unrest of the Ukrainian scale. Our leaders should take heed from the Ukraine example, and not be lulled to sleep with complacency because the opposition was unable to stir up the masses last time. The next time the masses may rise on their own. l Ziauddin Choudhury worked in the higher civil service of Bangladesh early in his career, and later for the World Bank in the USA.

word Entry has become Entriyaan. Anyway, a few years later, in the jungles of India, a couple of monkeys named Hunku and Bunku fell in love with a fowl, Tootimer ... To YRF: was there even a need to anchor the fantastically fictional story to any realistic historical event? Did it help the arc of the characters?  If so, why not invest a few minutes on Wikipedia to understand that history, rather than going public with a falsehood, a notion, a vaguely remembered history chapter?  What was the reason behind pulling the Bangladeshi war of independence into the whole love triangle smash-up?  Doesn't the story stand on its own fictional ground without this history dragged into it? Two refugee boys in Kolkata - there, done! Perhaps it would have been better if YRF had not issued the so-called apology.  It reveals a level of disingenuousness and emotional detachment on their part. To my Indian brethren, if my totally fictional story of Hunku-Bunku-Tootimer has caused any disrespect or hurt, then I would like to apologise.  Please send grievances to (they started it). l Sujan E Bin Wadud is a music composer.




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saiful displays the struggle for survival of the Rohingyas

Cricketer Nasir Hossain and model Mehjabin in TV commercial

n Hasan Mansoor Chatak

n Entertainment Desk

A photography exhibition documenting the Rohingyas titled The Disowned and the Denied by acclaimed photographer Saiful Huq Omi is being showcased at the Dhaka Art Center from February 24 to 26. A panel discussion on The Human Rights of Stateless Rohingya in Bangladesh was held on the opening day of the exhibition in the presence of distinguished speakers including Saiful Huq Omi, academic Shapnan Adnan, and Stina Ljungdell, UNHCR Representative, Bangladesh. In the discussion, the speakers spoke about the challenges regarding the statelessness, equality, non-discrimination and human rights protection of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and beyond. The stateless Rohingyas are one of the most vulnerable minorities in the world. For decades, the Burmese military junta has refused to recognise them as a distinct

Muslim ethnic minority living in western Burma. Internationally, their story is underreported and they have travelled far and wide, seeking refuge and security. Bangladesh is a key destination for this displaced group. Saiful Huq Omi photographed the lives of these refugees in Bangladeshi camps, where conditions are often squalid and medical care is inadequate. Omi also followed the lives of Rohingyas who had settled in the UK, Malaysia and beyond to capture how they had adapted to their new lives. Omi started documenting the Rohingyas in Bangladesh in early 2009 with the goal of showing the world that the minority Rohingyas are struggling for existence. Omi shares his experience of the photographic project with Dhaka Tribune: “The situation deteriorated after I started my project. When large-scale state sponsored violence broke out in Myanmar in 2012 and 2013, it resulted in an increasing num-

ber of new arrivals of refugees in Bangladesh, where they also faced human rights challenges. I faced several risks and obstacles, including the state’s threat and at some point, risking my life in critical situations.” The photographer turned human rights activist said: “I am trying to demonstrate to the world that the Rohingya problem is not only confined to a handful of societies. It is the duty of the rest of the world as responsible global citizens to find a place for these unfortunate displaced individuals.” At present, thirty thousand Rohingyas are living in the refugee camps. It is reported that another half a million of them are living in unbearable conditions outside the camps, mainly in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. The Rohingyas are now a displaced minority and are spread across India, Pakistan, Australia, Malaysia, the UK and EU, and in many other countries of the Middle East. l

Bangladesh national cricket team’s all rounder Nasir Hossain and popular TV commercial model Mehjabin will be soon seen in a TV commercial of energy drink Glaxose. The product commercial was directed by Adnan Al Rajeev. Nasir talks about getting an opportunity to represent Glaxose: “I believe my presence in the script has been required.” Model Mehjabin said: “It was my first time to work with a cricketer. Initially it was hard for me, but I am satisfied at getting a good outcome.” The cricketer is already a brand ambassador of GlaxoSmithKline. Model Mehjabin’s outstanding performances have been seen in advertisements for Lux, Pepsi, 7UP, Pond’s cream, Maggi, and Aarong, among others. l

Bhuiyan Safiqul Islam’s four new albums hit the market n Entertainment Desk

Many children are born and bought up in the camps. But they are born as citizens of nowhere! They are neither Bangladeshi nor Burmese SAIFUL HUQ OMI

Sultan Mela begins in Narail


47 Ronin (3D), Aakash Koto Dure, Thor: The Dark World 3D, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 3D, Frozen in 3D, Shunte Ki Pao, Agnee Time: 10am - 10pm Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City

Jibondhuli Bangladesh Film Institute, Kalabagan


Duet Art Exhibition By Hashem Khan and Mohammad Iqbal Time: 12pm – 8pm Gallery Twenty One, 751 Satmasjid Road


Pejgi By Shattik Natya SampradayWhen Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm National Theatre Hall Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Shegunbagicha

Jolie and Pitt among Academy Award’s presenters n

Entertainment Desk Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are just two of the many famous faces who will be hitting the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles for the 2014 Academy Awards. Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced on Monday the complete list of stars who will be presenting during Hollywood’s biggest night. In addition to Brangelina, the roster includes last year’s big w inners—Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Lawrence. Day-Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar last year for his leading role in Lincoln, Hathaway took home the Best Supportng Actress prize for her work in Les Misérables and Waltz nabbed the Best Supporting Actor statuette for his performance in Django Unchained. Lawrence, who won last year for her leading performance in Silver Linings Playbook, has been nominated this year in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in American Hustle. l

Poet and lyricist Bhuiyan Safiqul Islam released four new albums as a part of an initiative of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on February 24 at 6pm. The programme commenced at the auditorium of the National Art Gallery. After unveiling the albums, a discussion session was held following the second part of the programme where well-known and promising singers performed songs written by the poet and lyricist. The musical session started with renditions of Somoy Eshechhe Sotyo Bolar and Ora Dhormer Kotha Bole, the lyrics and music of which are both compositions of Bhuiya Safiqul Islam. They were performed by Arif. Then, singer Sumona Barman performed Ottol Chalok Chalao and Namo Sondya

Dhire, composed by Basu. After Sumona entertained the audience with her melodious voice, popular singer Timir Nandi presented Sekh Sadi Khan’s composition Balmiki Tumi Jante and Hye Moha Manob. Other singers performing at the ceremony included Anima Mukti, Sanjay Roy, Ferdous Ara and Abu Bokor Siddique. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor was present at the ceremony as chief guest. Secretary, Cultural Affairs Ministry Ranjit Kumar Biswas, Minister of Planning AHM Mustafa Kamal, Cabinet Secretary MP Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Director General of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan were present as special guests, while Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Liakat Ali Lucky presided over the programme. l

Protagonist of the film, Shakib Khan

British production companies join Raja Handsome team n Entertainment Desk

Shakib Khan, starring Raja Handsome, is set to be the widest Dhallywood release ever as three leading British Production Companies- KB Pictures, London Life Production and Samba Salsa Production- have announced their affiliation with the film’s production house Bioscopwala Productions. The Production Company Bioscopwala Films Already Confirmed that the Film will be released in four continents simultaneously. It will be released in the UK, North America, Asia and Australia, according to the producer Ahad Mohammad. The film will be shot in Bangladesh and UK. The film is about Raja (a master thief), who is the most wanted in England. A skilled spy from Scotland Yard gets assigned to catch him. The Music has been composed by Fuad Al Muktadir. The producers are hopeful about releasing the film in this October. l

n Our Correspondent. Narail

An eight-day Sultan Mela honouring world famous artist SM Sultan was inaugurated at the Sultan Mancha on the premises of Narail Government Victoria College yesterday. Local cultural groups, in association with the Sultan Foundation and district administration, have organised the fair. The Mela will continue until March 4. Sultan Padak will be awarded on the concluding day. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor attended the inauguration ceremony as chief guest while Narail-2 constituency’s MP Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, Superintendent of

Police Monir Hossen, Government Victoria College’s Principal Professor Sheikh Anwar Hossen, Sultan Foundation Member Secretary Ashiqur Rahman Miku and District Lawyer Association President Sohrab Hossain Biswas were present as special guests. Sultan Foundation President A Gaffar Khan chaired the inauguration session. A series of colourful events will be featured. These include an art exhibition and competition, a volleyball competition, ox fighting, and traditional games kabadi, lathikhela, kusti, Ha du du, cock fight, dariabandha, ekka dokka, bouchi, and danguli. A seminar on Sultan’s life and works and various cultural programmes will

Deepika’s movies dominate Zee Cine Awards 2014 n Entertainment Desk Deepika Padukone is definitely the most loved actress of the year with big hits like Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. All these movies won awards in different categories at the ceremony, with Shah Rukh and Deepika winning the Best Actor and Actress awards in the popular segment for their mega hit Chennai Express. Farhan and Sonakshi bagged the Jury awards for Best Actor and Actress. The trend continued with Chennai Express winning Best Popular Film while Bhaag Milkha Bhaag won the jury award. The Zee Cine Awards 2014, which were held on February 8 in Mumbai, were telecast to primetime audiences on February 23. The star studded event was hosted by Abhishek Bachchan and Ritesh Deshmukh with Shah Rukh Khan handling a few segments. Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Akshay Kumar enthralled the audiences with their performances while the hosts had a fun time exploring the backstage areas and interacting with various celebrities through the show. Some of the highlights were Ram-Leela co-stars Ranveer and Deepika performing Ang laga le re together, Akshay Kumar raising a placard thanking Zee for the chance to perform (he was also shown attacking Abhishek and Ritesh backstage in a segment) and Ranveer’s tribute performance, which celebrated every major Bollywood hero from the era of Dharmendra and Rajesh Khanna to Shah Rukh Khan. l

also be held during the fair. A total of 100 stalls offering traditional textile and cottage industry products are set up at the venue. Legendary artist Sultan won Ekushey Padak in 1982, Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad Award in 1986 and Swadhinata Padak in 1993. He was declared the Man of Asia in 1982 by Cambridge University. Sultan died on 10 October, 1994 and was buried in the yard of his own house at Masumdia village in Narail. His very simple but highly philosophic artworks mostly about nature and the people of Bangladesh later became one of the prime sources of inspiration for the new generation of painters. l

Did you know? Luis Suarez now has the joint-most goal assists in the Premier League as well as being top scorer


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

0 1 8

14 Bale aims rare

Real win in Germany




15 Wolff aims

for Grand Prix spot

Tigers look to pounce on ‘new’ India

Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga celebrates after taking the final wicket of Pakistan during their first ODI in Asia Cup at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah yesterday MUMIT M

Apart from their one-day international rankings there is not much at the moment that differentiates Bangladesh and India performance wise as the neighbouring countries face each other for their opening match in the 12th Asia Cup today. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that after a terrible month Bangladesh should look forward to the match against India with victory in their sights. They will be playing an Indian team that will be led by a young captain along with a host of new faces. India are coming in to the match having lost six of their last eight matches while the hosts suffered defeats, one after another, against Sri Lankans recently and the morale of the team has also not been helped by off-field distractions. However the home side will miss the service of two of their most important players, Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, and it will prove their strength in depth if they can beat India today. The wicket in Fatullah on most occasions has proved to be a batting paradise and though there are big names in the Indian side, Bangladesh should not be too worried about chasing a big total. The last match Bangladesh played at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium was against New Zealand which they won to complete a series sweep by chasing over 300 runs and given India’s zero experience at the ground, the home side should feel

Malinga swings SL to win over Pakistan The fast bowler took 5 for 52, Thirimanne struck 102 for the winners Lasith Malinga’s fivewicket haul and Lahiru Thirimanne’s brilliant century helped Sri Lanka to beat the defending champions Pakistan by 12 runs in the opening match of the Asia Cup yesterday. Sri Lanka batted first and posted 296 at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium. However, it was rather Pakistan who looked comfortable during their chase despite losing four wickets for 121.Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal added 121 runs in the fifth wicket playing sensibly. Misbah was giving support to the

23-year-old, who was dispatching the Lankan bowlers whenever he got the opportunity. However the required runrate was slowly climbing and it needed some more aggression from the batting side which eventually broke the rhythm after Umar Akmal (74) was caught behind off Suranga Lakmal after smashing seven fours and three sixes. Malinga, wicket-less in his first spell, was brought back to the attack and the game which was almost at Pakistan’s grip suddenly changed its course. The right-arm quickie dismissed the unpredictable Shahid Afridi before removing the more important Pakistani captain just two balls later. With 39 needed from the last four overs, Umar Gul lasted six balls before

We will go all guns blazing: Karthik India will not be taking hosts Bangladesh lightly when the sides meet for their Asia Cup match at the Fatullah today, informed their wicketkeeperbatsman Dinesh Karthik yesterday. Karthik also rated Bangladesh as a fantastic ODI side and thought despite missing key players Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, the home side will be tough to beat. “Bangladesh is a fantastic oneday team. They had a couple of close games against Sri Lanka. Everybody knows that they are a very good oneday unit. We will try our best and come out on top and win the tournament,” said Karthik. “Tamim and Shakib are major players for Bangladesh. They are going to be replaced by two peoples who we may not know much. Definitely we all know they are a good one-day side and we will give them a lot of respect. Having said that, we will go all guns blazing and do our best,” he added. India will be playing for the first time at the ground and Karthik said, “Except Bangladesh I don’t think many teams would have played there. That’s part of international cricket that you

don’t get to play in all the venues. It’s one of those occasions for us it’s going into a new venue and starting fresh.” It has been a roller coaster ride for Karthik in the Indian team. The presence of MS Dhoni made it difficult for him to get in the side and as a result, despite making his ODI debut in 2004, the right-hander has played only 67 matches till date. His doors for the Asia Cup opened once Dhoni was ruled out of the tournament with a fractured thumb. “I guess I’m used to it now, being called so many times. It doesn’t play on my mind too much.  I got to know three four days before this. For me it’s about coming out here and as I said, it’s important to get into the zone just before the game. Obviously as a player I’m very excited to be part of this Indian cricket team. It’s one of the best teams available. For me, it’s an honour to represent India and do the best that I can,” he said. India will be getting on the field with a record of losing six out of their last eight matches and when asked about it, Karthik was clever to answer, “Actually, you should have asked this question to somebody who’s part of this eight ODIs.” l

Saeed Ajmal, who fancied some of his own shots to hit two fours off four balls, was also dismissed by Malinga. Malinga yorked Bilawal Bhatti in the penultimate over, with Pakistan at 284, to complete his five-for and secure Sri Lanka’s winning start to the tournament.

P15 SCORECARD, SL v PAK Earlier, the decision of batting first paid dividend for the winners as despite losing Kusal Perera on 28 on the scorecard, Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara dominated with a 157-run partnership. Sangakkara on 67 became Gul’s second victim, but that hardly changed the scenario as Thirimanne maintained the rhythm and reached his second ODI hun-

Empty stands in Fatullah Empty seats in either side of the stands at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah portrayed a “something wrong” scenario about the ticket distribution of the ongoing Arise Asia Cup yesterday. With Pakistan playing Sri Lanka in the opening match of the five-team tournament about 50 percent of the galleries were seen empty during the match. It’s not a usual sight as the venue had been filled with spectators in the previous international fixtures. United Commercial Bank earlier declared all the tickets of the opening match had been sold out but the stands did not reflect their fact. However when people were left stranded outside the stadium, tickets were still available in the black market for a higher price than usual. More surprisingly tickets were seen available in a number of online buying and selling sites and was the most prominent among the online sellers. The ticket buying procedure through U-Cash may also have a bad impact. Most of the people don’t have U-Cash accounts and many people who went to the bank to buy tickets heard they have to open a U-Cash account to avail it. Moreover, the 15 percent vat and other charges on a Tk200 ticket had made it a more complex procedure. l

dred with 11 fours and a six. The 24-yearold made 102 off 110 balls before being cleaned up by the top ranked off-spinner Ajmal with the scorecard reading 204/3. Sri Lanka were well in way to post more than 300, but Thirimanne’s dismissal triggered a mini collapse which saw Mahela Jayawardene (13) and the hard-hitting Thisara Perera (6) removed by Afridi before debutant Chaturanga de Silva was brilliantly run-out by Ahmed Shehzad for two. The Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews however took the score close to 300 with some lusty blows. With five fours and a six the right-handed batsman remained unbeaten on 55 from 50 balls while his deputy Dinesh Chandimal was not out on run-a-ball 19. l

upbeat which they haven’t been feeling lately. Moreover, the last time both sides met was two years ago in Asia Cup in Mirpur which the Tigers won by chasing 290 runs to dump India out of the tournament.

PROBABLE XI Bangladesh Shamsur Rahman, Imrul Kayes/Anamul Haque (wk), Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Ziaur Rahman/Arafat Sunny, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain

India Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (capt), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane/ Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron

Form guide (last five matches, most recent first) Bangladesh LLLWW India LLTLL Shamsur Rahman, who made 96 against New Zealand at the same ground last time, will carry the baton at the top while the return of Imrul Kayes, who has been in excellent form off-late, is also a big boost to the side as Anamul Haque had a quiet time with the bat against Sri Lanka. However, until yesterday it was not sure whether Mushfiqur Rahim will be keeping wickets, which also keeps Anamul in the hunt of a place in the playing XI. With Mominul Haque and Mushfiq at three and four, Naeem Islam will

come in at five followed by Nasir Hossain. Though Abdur Razzak is back from injury, left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny, who enjoyed an impressive debut series against Sri Lanka, might still be playing in Shakib’s absence. All-rounder Ziaur Rahman who replaced Mahmudullah has a very slim chance of making it in the XI as the Tigers should opt for off-spinner Sohag Gazi given his track record in Fatullah while Mashrafe bin Mortaza and Rubel Hossain will be sharing the new ball up front. Mashrafe has now played in 50 Bangladesh wins in which he has averaged 18.84 with the ball, but in the three previous wins against India, his performance has been better, averaging 14.75 per wicket. Meanwhile, the Indian camp will be led by Virat Kohli and this is the first time the stand out batsman will be captain in a major tournament. Often called as India’s future captain, it will be a big test for Kohli in the absence of their captain cool Dhoni, as the team also contains many new faces. The batting of the visitors will rely heavily on Shekhar Dhawan, Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma. Hard-hitting batsman Stuart Binny will be the one to watch if he gets a nod in the game today while fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed, the future of Indian bowling, will also be out to prove their capability in these conditions. Both sides will be hoping to mark their appearance with a win while new challenges in front of both captains only guarantees a cracking game for cricket lovers. l

Angelo happy while Misbah seeks more responsibility Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said staying in Bangladesh for the past one month helped him, but he was happier to see his side go off to a winning start in the Asia Cup as they beat defending champions Pakistan yesterday. Mathews, who wanted to continue the winning streak in Bangladesh, said he almost lost the way when Misbahul-Haq and Umar Akmal were hammering his bowlers and “I am happy that Malinga rose on the occasion, he has been our best bowler in the past few years and I was always confident he will deliver, he did that.”

Meanwhile, losing captain Misbah wanted his team to show more responsibility in finishing the game. “Maybe a little more responsibility and the right finishing touch would have won us the match, we were in a good after the fifth wicket partnership fetched us 121 runs and 45 runs with five wickets in hand was achievable, however I have to say that Sri Lanka played well with both bat and ball,” said Misbah. The captain thought his bowlers did well to bring them back in the game and the wicket did not change much in the evening. Misbah also said he enjoyed the sporting attitude of the crowd and urged his team to be on toes for remaining matches. l

Air cleared between Mushfiq and Faruk Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was called for a hearing by the Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday for making contradictory comments on the selection process of the Asia Cup squad. Chairman of the BCB cricket operations, Akram Khan, however believes that the hearing has aided to clear the “difference” between Mushfiqur and chief of the national selection panel Faruk Ahmed. Akram informed the media that the BCB acting chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury was also present at the hearing along with him and that they have reminded Mushfiqur of the “code of conduct” of the board. Mushfiqur at a press conference on Sunday told the media of his dissatisfaction with the national selectors for selecting the squad without speaking with him. “I think they could have had talked to me before confirming the squad. I am unhappy and shocked about that. I didn’t know who is in the team or who was sent out,” Mushfiqur told the media on Sunday. The comment from the national skipper drew a line of the difference

between him and the chief selector Faruk Ahmed which Akram Khan tried to erase. After talking to Mushfiq, both Akram and Nizamuddin spoke to national head-coach Shane Jurgensen and Faruk. “We talked to the coach [Shane], captain [Mushfiqur] and the chief selector [Faruk]. I think there was a communication gap between them and I believe the discussion has cleared the air,” said Akram.

It is not clearly mentioned in our job description that we are bound to consult someone while making a 15-man squad Akram thinks Mushfiqur is might have been “upset” due to Bangladesh’s recent poor run on the field, after having been reasonably good over the previous 18 months. “This might also be a reason for the misunderstandings to happen. During my time as a chief selector, there was no provision for the selectors to select the team along with the captain. Similarly, the captain doesn’t have to take the

selectors’ suggestion when he picks up the playing XI. It is a matter of understanding, that the selectors and captain take each other’s opinion when picking a squad and a playing XI,” he said. While Faruk cleared his stance, saying that head-coach Shane had attended a discussion with the selectors regarding the Asia Cup squad, and it was understood at the time that the team management had been already represented. “When we made this team, we had a long discussion with the coach,” Faruk said. “We understood that since the coach attended, he was representing the captain too. When we do discussion on playing XI, it is not necessary that all three selectors attend the meetings. If I attend, then I am representing the selection committee. I think it is good that such a thing has come up, so that now the BCB can make discussion mandatory. This will be my strong recommendation. “It is not clearly mentioned in our job description that we are bound to consult someone while making a 15man squad. It is the same with the captain when he is making a playing XI. He can talk to us about a specific issue but they are not bound to do so,” he added. l



Zidane’s son to try out for Under-19s Zinedine Zidane’s son Enzo has won the chance to be selected for the French Under-19 squad, a potential first step along the path of his father, who rose to international fame winning the World Cup with his country in 1998. The Real Madrid youth midfielder, who will be 19 on March 24, will take part in trials and medical tests early next month, a list of players on the French Football Federation website showed on Monday. The elder Zidane, 41, is widely seen as one of the world’s footballing greats. –Reuters


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Larrazabal, Olesen get EurAsia callup European team captain Miguel Angel Jiménez has chosen Pablo Larrazábal and Thorbjørn Olesen as his two wildcard picks for the side to take on Asia in next month’s EurAsia Cup. The Spaniard and the Dane will join the eight automatic qualifiers as the Europeans take on an Asian Team led by Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from March 27-29. Larrazábal impressed Jimenez with his big win at the start of the 2014 season in Abu Dhabi, topping a field that also included Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. –AFP

Puncheon charged over Warnock blast Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon was charged on Monday by the Football Association after his Twitter rant at Neil Warnock. Puncheon, who played under Warnock at QPR, blasted a penalty horribly wide during a Premier League match at Tottenham in January and Palace went onto lose 2-0. The 27-year-old came in for criticism from many commentators for his poor spot-kick, but he took exception to comments from former Palace manager Warnock, who was speaking in his role as a pundit on talkSPORT. –AFP

Chelsea braced for Drogba reunion in Istanbul Chelsea renew acquaintances with former hero Didier Drogba and an old rival in Roberto Mancini when they go to Istanbul to take on Galatasaray for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday. Drogba was the hero of Chelsea’s 2012 final victory against Bayern Munich, scoring a late equaliser to force extra-time and then netting the decisive penalty in the shoot-out that followed. But the powerful Ivorian centre-forward was also one of the cornerstones of Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge, with the pair arriving at the same time in 2004. For Mourinho, coming up against Drogba is nothing new - his Real Madrid side beat Galatasaray 5-3 on aggregate in last season’s quarter-finals despite Drogba scoring for the Turks. The tie will also see the Chelsea manager come up against Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder, who was the driving force of his Inter side that won the

Champions League in 2010 and moved to Istanbul last year. There is also the enticing prospect of seeing Mourinho in direct confrontation with Mancini, the man he replaced as coach of Inter in 2008, and the man who locked horns with the London club during his tenure at Manchester City. Beyond the sub-plots, though, Sneijder believes Galatasaray’s inside knowledge on Mourinho’s methods gives them a good chance of springing a surprise. Chelsea did not exactly convince en route to winning their Champions League group ahead of Schalke 04 and Basel, losing both meetings with the Swiss side. However, without the distraction of European football over the winter, they have emerged as serious contenders to win the Premier League title, a 12-match unbeaten run putting them top of the table, a point ahead of Arsenal. Over two legs, they are the clear favourites to get the better of Galatasaray, even if the Turkish side progressed from their group at the expense of Juventus and can count on a hostile home support at the 52,000-capacity cauldron of the Turk Telekom Arena. l

Benfica's Rodrigo Lima (R) shoots near Vitoria Guimaraes' goalkeeper Douglas Jesus during their Portuguese Premier League match at Luz stadium in Lisbon on Monday


10 times better Bale aims rare Real win in Germany 'Chelsea than Galatasaray’ Real Madrid are targeting a rare win in Germany when they take on Schalke 04 in Wednesday’s Champions League last 16, first-leg clash, the Spanish giants’ Gareth Bale says. Having scored 20 goals in the group stages, Madrid are looking to improve on their dreadful away record in Germany as they take on Schalke for the first time. “We know the Champions League is a big competition with all the best teams in it, so we know it is going to be difficult,” said the 24-year-old Wales winger. “I think we are ready, we believe we can win every game so we’ll go over there and hopefully come back with the win.” The Spanish league leaders are unbeaten in 26 games in all competitions,

dating back to last October, and are clear favourites against the Royal Blues of Gelsenkirchen, who are fourth in the Bundesliga. But Madrid have prevailed just once in 24 previous away matches against German opposition, losing 17 times, including a 4-1 drubbing at Borussia Dortmund in last season’s semi-final first leg when Robert Lewandowski hit all four goals. That said, Schalke’s form this season has been erratic and they have won only five of their last 11 home encounters against Spanish opponents, suffering four defeats. Madrid will be able to call on the firepower of Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who returns from a three-game ban. The injury doubts are left-backs Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao as neither played in the 3-0 win against Elche on Saturday, so Alvaro Arbeloa could deputise if neither are fit. Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos are

also expected to return after being suspended and rested respectively at the weekend. Schalke were denied a fifth straight league win when they were held to a goalless draw at home to Mainz on Friday. There was good news, though, for Schalke as Arsenal-target Julian Draxler came off the bench to make his return after two months out with a foot injury. “As a young boy you dream about facing teams like Real Madrid so we’re all really up for it,” said the 20-year-old. “I’m happy to be back out on the pitch, but I think I’m still some way off my best form. “That was the first lengthy lay-off of my career, so I’m a bit impatient, but I know I need more time.” Teenager Leon Goretzka has said the hosts are looking for an upset at the Veltins Arena. “We’re looking forward to the highlight in the Champions League,” said the 19-year-old.

Didier Drogba has said former club Chelsea are “10 times better” than his current side, Galatasaray, ahead of the teams’ Champions League meeting in Istanbul on Wednesday. “Are Chelsea better than Galatasaray? Yes, they are 10 times better,” the Galatasaray striker, now 35, told the BBC on the eve of the last 16 clash. “If I play it is to win. It will be tough but Juve were better than us, so anything can happen. If there’s a one percent chance of us winning. I’ll believe it.” Drogba spent eight years at Chelsea, scoring 157 goals in 342 games and won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and also scored the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final -- his final kick in a Blues shirt. “You don’t stay eight years in a place you don’t like, especially in football -it is very emotional. I love Chelsea but I

play for Galatasaray now and I will give everything for them. “When you’re happy at a club, you want to stay forever,” said Drogba who joined Chelsea from Marseille for £24 million ($40m, 29m euros) in July 2004. “But sometimes you can’t do everything you want to do. I am proud of what I achieved.” Asked about the possibility of working again with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, the Ivory Coast forward said: “They say in French ‘avec des si. Rome ne s’est pas construite en un jour’ (there are lots of ifs. Rome wasn’t built in a day). It is only if and if and if. We are not there yet.” And he insisted he was happy working under current boss Roberto Mancini, the former Manchester City manager. “They’re very different, two different personalities but with the same mentality. They want to win, they want to win trophies. They are winners.” l

Napoli drop points against Genoa

England boss Hodgson ponders penalty help Roy Hodgson is thinking of using a sports psychologist in order to help England overcome their perennial penalty shoot-out problems. England’s spot-kick loss to Italy at the 2012 European Championships -- with Hodgson then their manager -was their sixth in seven shoot-outs at major tournaments. And the thought of going out the same way at this year’s World Cup in Brazil is something England boss Hodgson is keen to do all he can to prevent. And that could mean turning to the services of a sports psychologist although Hodgson, who later this week names his squad to play Denmark in a Wembley friendly, made clear this would be under certain conditions only. “We are considering the possibility of inviting someone with us but it would have to be someone accepted by the group,” Hodgson told Sky Sports’ Footballers’ Football Show on Monday. “I’m not sure shipping someone in to give the players a lecture will work. It will have to be somebody who gets to know them. “I think there’s a possibility that we should just be encouraging players to know their penalty, to practise their penalty. “We might have one or two very confident penalty-takers, but there are others who are a bit less confident and it’s a matter of how we get to them. l

“We’ll do everything in our power to cause an upset.” Goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann has said Schalke are relishing the role of underdogs. “Sometimes we find it easier when we don’t really have to take the game to our opponents,” he said. “We need to stay compact and wait for our chances. “You always get a chance in a match and when we do we need to take it. “We aren’t favourites, of course, but we hope to take advantage of our underdog role to spring a surprise.” Coach Jens Keller, who hopes to have captain and centre-back Benedikt Hoewedes fit, has said Schalke will not be intimidated by star-studded Real. “We want to pull off a small miracle. We’re not just going out there to swap shirts with Real’s stars,” said Keller defiantly, referring to Bayer Leverkusen’s drubbing by Real’s Spanish rivals Barcelona at the same stage in the competition two years ago. l

Hull City midfielder Robert Koren (R) vies for the ball against Brighton and Hove Albion's Irish defender Stephen Ward during their English FA Cup fifth round replay match at the KC Stadium, north-east England, on Monday AFP

A late Emanuele Calaio freekick earned battling Genoa a shock 1-1 draw away to Napoli on Monday, when Fiorentina also snatched a late share of the points in a 2-2 draw away to Parma. Napoli looked to have done enough to claim all three points at the San Paolo after Gonzalo Higuain ran on to Marek Hamsik’s through ball to beat Mattia Perin in the 18th minute. But Rafael Benitez’s men failed to build on their lead and paid the price less than 10 minutes from the end

when Genoa won a freekick after a foul by Dries Mertens which earned the Belgian a yellow card. Calaio was handed the honours and from nearly 30 metres out stepped up to curl the ball over the wall and in off Pepe Reina’s post as the Spanish ‘keeper looked on in shock. Instead of reducing the gap to second-placed Roma to four points, Napoli are now six behind Rudi Garcia’s men, who themselves are nine behind leaders Juventus albeit with a game in hand. Fiorentina remain fourth, six points behind Napoli, although La Viola had to thank Mati Fernandez for helping grab a share of the spoils five minutes from the final whistle.

The hosts broke the deadlock through striker Antonio Cassano six minutes from the interval although only two minutes later Juan Cuadrado got on the end of Alessandro Matri’s delivery to beat goalkeeper Antonio Mirante to level. Former Fiorentina flop Amauri restored Parma’s lead, in the 51st minute, from the penalty spot after Nenad Tomovic fouled Jonathan Biabiany just as the Frenchman was getting his head to a cross. The visitors suffered another blow two minutes later when Modibo Diakite, who had been booked just before the half hour for a foul from behind on Cassano, saw red after another foul on the former Inter and AC Milan striker. l

Hull, Charlton advance into quarters Barca pay 13.5m euros Hull City booked an FA Cup quarter-final with Premier League rivals Sunderland after seeing off second-tier Brighton 2-1 in a fifth round replay on Monday. Also through to the last eight were Charlton, who spoilt fellow Championship side Sheffield Wednesday’s dream of a derby with Sheffield United after a 2-1 win at Hillsborough in their fifth round clash. Curtis Davies’s header and Robert Koren’s deflected free-kick put Hull 2-0 up at the KC Stadium inside 35 minutes but south coast club Brighton, losing FA Cup finalists in 1983, were given hope when Leonardo Ulloa, who

scored in the first meeting between the clubs, headed home from close range in the 69th minute. Hull then survived some nervous moments to set up a meeting with manager Steve Bruce’s former club and prevent Brighton coming face to face with their old boss Gus Poyet, who is now in charge of Sunderland and left his job at the second tier side under acrimonious circumstances last year. “Particularly playing Sunderland with this gaffer (Bruce), it’s going to be a big game,” Davies told ITV4. “Obviously Sunderland are going into the (League) Cup final next week (March 2 against Manchester City) as well so they’ll be trying to do well in both cups and stay in the league so it will be an interesting game but hope-

fully we will come out on top.” In Sheffield, Callum Harriott opened the scoring for visitors Charlton before Leon Best’s second-half goal drew Wednesday level. But Wales international Simon Church swung the tie back the way of the south London club by heading in Charlton captain Johnnie Jackson’s second-half free-kick. However, it took a stunning stoppage-time save from Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who hurled himself at Chris Maguire’s deflected shot, to prevent Wednesday securing a replay. It all meant Championship relegation candidates Charlton denied Sheffield football fans a first ‘Steel City’ derby in the FA Cup since Wednesday beat United in a Wembley semi-final in 1993. l

in Neymar tax case Barcelona have paid 13.5 million euros ($18.53 million) to the Spanish treasury after they were charged last week with tax fraud in the signing of Brazil forward Neymar. The Spanish champions reiterated that they did not consider they had committed any offence and said they had made the payment due to a “possible difference of interpretation” about how much they owed after signing Neymar in the close season. Club president Josep Bartomeu said Barca would fight to defend themselves “because we are in the right”

and expressed surprise that the case had blown up so quickly. Barca members, or “socios”, who own the Catalan club, had no reason to be concerned, he told a news conference after a board meeting on Monday. “It is very strange,” he said. “Everything is going very fast and we do not know why. The Barca members should be satisfied with what we have explained, it is the truth.” The exact amount transferred to the public coffers was 13,550,830.56 euros, Barca said on their website (www., meaning the club have now paid just short of 100 million euros to secure the player’s services. l




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

U-19 reach Plate finals


Sri Lanka K. Perera c Akmal b Gul L. Thirimanne b Ajmal K. Sangakkara c Shehzad b Gul M. Jayawardene b Afridi A. Mathews not out T. Perera c Shehzad b Afridi C. de Silva run out D. Chandimal not out Extras: (b4, lb6, w8) Total (for six wickets, 50 overs)

14 102 67 13 55 6 2 19 18 296

Bangladesh rode on fifties from Mosaddek Hossain and Joyraz Sheikh to beat Zimbabwe by 72 runs in the semi-final and reach the Plate Championship final in the ICC Under-19 World Cup yesterday. They will face New Zealand, who beat UAE by five wickets, in the final at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Mossadek scored a 66-ball 83 with six fours and a six while Joyraz hit five fours in an 89-ball 58 as Bangladesh scored 265 for six in 50 overs. Zimbabwe, in its run-chase, was restricted to 193 for nine with Luke Jongwe scoring 50. Bangladesh has previously won the Plate title in 1998, 2004 and 2010. l 

Fall of wickets 1-28, 2-189, 3-204, 4-224, 5-245, 6-251 Bowling Hafeez 9-0-54-0, Gul 8-0-38-2 (w3), Junaid 9-0-61-0 (w2), Bhatti 4-0-27-0, Ajmal 10-0-50-1, Afridi 10-0-56-2 (w3) Pakistan Sharjeel Khan c Mathews b Lakmal 26 Ahmed Shehzad b de Silva 28 Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Mathews 18 Maqsood c de Silva b Senanayake 17 Misbah c Senanayake b Malinga 73 Umar Akmal c Sangakkara b Lakmal 74 Shahid Afridi c Chandimal b Malinga 4 Bilawal Bhatti b Malinga 18 Umar Gul c de Silva b Malinga 2 Saeed Ajmal lbw b Malinga 10 Junaid Khan not out 1 Extras: (lb3, w10) 13 Total (all out, 48.5 overs) 284 Fall of wickets 1-28, 2-77, 3-83, 4-121, 5-242, 6-252, 7-254, 8-262, 9-281, 10-284 Bowling Malinga 9.5-0-52-5 (w1), Lakmal 9-165-2, Senanayake 9-0-47-1, de Silva 10-1-56-1 (w8), T. Perera 6-0-36-0, Mathews 5-1-25-1 (w1) Sri Lanka won by 12 runs


Federer serves up hot starter Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer began the second phase of what he hopes will be a revival of his fortunes by racing into the second round of the Dubai Open. In the process, he displayed some care-free hitting, lively footwork, and an air of authority which evoked his greatest days. Beating Benjamin Becker, the German once ranked in the a top 40, 6-1, 6-4, was some way from suggesting these might return, but Federer did look pleasingly upbeat and confident as he dispatched a competent middle-range opponent in only 62 minutes. The 32-year-old Swiss legend, now ranked only eight, wants to do well in Dubai to show his Australian open semi-final last month represented a step forward and not backwards, and that his game still has the potential to reach its former levels. –AFP

Judge rules most of Pistorius trial can be televised

A South African judge ruled Tuesday that most of Oscar Pistorius’s trial for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend can be broadcast live, but not the Paralympian’s own testimony. Judge Dunstan Mlambo said cameras would be allowed “to obtain a video and audio recording” of opening arguments, the evidence of state witnesses, closing arguments and the verdict and sentencing. But cameras will not be allowed to film Pistorius, witnesses for the defence, or anyone else who objects to appearing on camera, he added. A live audio broadcast will be allowed throughout the trial, which is due to open on Monday. With the full glare of the world’s media bearing down upon him, the 27-year-old South African sprinter will appear in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to hear one charge of murder and three firearms charges. –AFP

DAY’S WATCH Channel 9 & Star Sports 1 2:00PM Arise Asia Cup Bangladesh v India Sony Six NBA 2013-14 6:30AM Atlanta v Chicago 9:00AM Sacramento v Houston


Sri Lanka opener Lahiru Thirimanne attempts a scoop during his century against Pakistan in the first Asia Cup ODI at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah yesterday

'I don’t count a win against India as an upset' The series of defeats against Sri Lanka ahead of the Asia Cup had Bangladesh under pressure and put their chances of success in the tournament in doubt. However the side’s veteran seamer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza believes that Bangladesh, the runners-up from the last edition of the tournament, will bounce back hard in the five-side competition. And to start of their campaign the side will face India today at Fatullah’s Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, an opponent that Bangladesh is always excited about. “Everyone is excited, especially the younger players. They want to show their talent. It is the same in all international matches though. It is a major event for us, and I know that everyone is trying their best. If most of us are going to perform, we have a good chance,” said Mashrafe in the pre-match press conference at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. The premier pacer also said that beating a heavyweight Indian cricket team is no longer considered as an “up-

set” as the they [Bangladesh]have defeated them on a few occasions in the recent past, including the last edition of Asia Cup. “I don’t count a win against India as an upset. We have done it before. They are a good team in sub-continent. We have that in our mind,” said the 30-year-old. Mortaza feels that playing in front of the home crowd would be a boost and the Indian team will also have to make some adjustment having played their last couple of series in South Africa and also because the game will be their first at KSOS. “They have been playing on different wickets in South Africa and New Zealand. We are playing in front of a home support. If we can come up with our best cricket I think we can fight it out. God willing, we will,” said Mashrafe. However the Norail Express also believes that a win against India will not come easy. “They [India] have a world-class batting line-up and their recent performance in the sub-continent has been great. It won’t be an easy task, and

Dhanmondi rivals share points in BPL Leaders Abahani Limited are enjoying their finest defensive form in recent years as they handed Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club their third consecutive draw in the Bangladesh Premier League in the form of a goalless encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. The Sky Blues are still unbeaten in the league and remained at the top of the points table with four points clear of second-placed Sheikh Jamal, who, however, have two more games to play. The Abahani defenders were successful in most part of the game by not allowing space to the Jamal’s attacking trio - Sony Norde, Wedson Anselme and Emeka Darlington. It was Abahani’s seventh clean-sheet in nine games as they finished the first phase with 19 points. Iranian coach Ali Akbar Parmoslemi was satisfied with their effort and said, “It’s not bad for title race but the next two phases will be tough with the players I have got in my team. “We played very well today. Our only problem was finishing touch. They (Jamal) attacked but couldn’t build up well,” he added. Meanwhile Jamal’s Nigerian coach Joseph Afusi was also satisfied with one

point from the game as he said, “Abahani are four-time champions so one point is not that bad. Players are just getting used to the pitch (after 17-day break in league due to IFA Shield) and they played better than last game. “The draw is past now. We should look forward and our target is to finish the first phase at the top of the points table,” said Afusi. Sheikh Jamal staged a dominating performance yesterday and initiated most of the attacks that began with their skipper Mamunul Islam slamming against the woodwork from a free-kick just outside the box in the 18th minute. Jamal was unlucky once again in the 33rd minute when Emeka Darlington broke into the penalty area, collecting a through pass from Wedson, only to see his chipped shot hit the crossbar after deflecting off the keeper. Abahani goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel made a diving save to his right in the 67th minute to deny Wedson snatch the lead with an angular shot from inside the box. However, Abahani could have snatched the win against their Dhanmondi rivals in the 76th minute, but Osei Morrison squandered the one-onone situation against Jamal keeper Zia. l

Tribunal verdict on Friday Wolff aims for Grand Prix spot The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) tribunal’s investigation is being expected to reach a dramatic end on February 28, the day when the verdicts will be read out to the media. According to a close source to the tribunal, a short judgment to the individuals involved with the scandal of fixing from the second edition of the BPL will be held today at the tribunal office situated in Gulshan. This will be followed by the tribunal placing reasons and sanctions for the judgments tomorrow and day after, the verdict based on the findings is likely to made public thorough a media briefing. Sanctions will be announced according to article 6 of the BCB’s anticorruption code.

The investigation into the allegations of spot-fixing and match-fixing was revealed in May 2013 after the BCB president Nazmul Hassan confirmed that a Bangladesh player was questioned by the ICC. National cricketer Mohammed Ashraful was the first to admit of his involvement with the wrong doings back in June last year. This was followed by formal charges placed by the ICC against nine individuals in August, which included six Dhaka Gladiators’ players. Darren Stevens, Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubul Alam confirmed that they had been charged by the ICC, which is coordinating with the BCB to conduct the tribunal. In spite of a confession, the ICC did not charge Ashraful and the player had said he expected leniency for his admission. l

Susie Wolff has set her sights on driving in a Grand Prix after it was announced on Monday she would become the first woman in 22 years to take part in a Formula One event of any kind. Already a development driver with British team Williams, Wolff ’s expanded role will see the 31-year-old Scot take part in the first practice sessions ahead of both the British and German Grands Prix in July. Not since Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify in the 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos for Brabham, has a woman driven a Formula One car over the course of a race weekend. Now Wolff hopes her knowledge of the tracks at Silverstone and Hocken-

heim will help in the quest to join the likes of world champion Sebastien Vettel and Fernando Alonso on a race-day grid. “I’ve driven the car at Silverstone (in a test) last year so I have a bit of experience with the track, and Hockenheim I know well from my time in German touring cars,” said Wolff.

“If you can take part in the Friday practice sessions, then of course you have to be looking at doing an actual race. “I said the minute I joined Williams I didn’t want to run before I could walk. “For me it’s about doing a good job each step of the way and if I do that in the practice sessions then the next natural progression will be taking part in a race.” Wolff, who joined Williams in 2012, added: “I’ve been made aware of the history of it, but more importantly for me is that we’ve done it in a chronological way. “For me, it’s more important to be doing a good job and contributing to the team and to be given the chance, not because of the history, but because of merit and the job I do for the team.”l

Bridge championship to start The Ispahani 30th National Team Bridge Championship 2013 organised by Bangladesh Bridge Federation will get underway at the Engineers Recreation Centre, Ramna at 6pm tomorrow.

A total of 16 teams including three or four from outside Dhaka will be taking part in the meet which will end on March 7. After five sessions of qualifying rounds, six teams will get the ticket for the round robin league. The top four finishers will reach the

Star Sports 4 4:00PM AFC Champions League Jeonbuk Hyundai v Yokohama Marinos Ten Action 1:00AM UEFA Champions League, R16-Leg1 Galatasaray v Chelsea Ten Sports 1:00AM UEFA Champions League, R16-Leg1 FC Schalke 04 v Real Madrid

we have to play our best cricket [for a win],” he said. Bangladesh’s win against India in the last Asia Cup dumped the latter out of the tournament. The win for Bangladesh followed by the victory against Sri Lanka allowed the side to reach the final for the first time but Mashrafe thinks that the good happened two years ago and that the situation is different now. India being without their regular captain MS Dhoni will not make a difference, thinks Mashrafe. “To be honest I don’t see them weak in anyway and don’t have the option to,” he said. Bangladesh will be without the services of two key players, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. Tamim was ruled out of the tournament due to a neck injury while Shakib will miss the game as part of a three match suspension. “They [Tamim and Shakib] are important for us but everyone is positive, and will try to support the team. We will miss them. But we have good players, from whom we can expect a good result,” said Mashrafe. l


Bangladesh 265-6, 50 overs Mosaddek Hossain 83 not out, Joyraz Sheik 58, Litton Das 47, Shadman Islam 34; Patrick Mambo 2-55 Zimbabwe 193-9, 50 overs Luke Jongwe 50, Malcolm Lake 38, Deven Bell 30 not out; Mehedy Hasan 3-43, Mustafizur Rahman 2-19, Nihaduzzaman 2-23

Bangladesh Bridge Federation officials speak during a press conference yesterday


semi-final after five sessions of round robin league. The semi-finals and the final will be played in four and six sessions respectively. A press conference regarding the tournament was held yesterday where the details were revealed. The budget of the meet is Tk250,000. The champions will receive Tk30,000 while the runnersup will get Tk18,000 as prize money. Mesbahur Rahman Khan, the general secretary of the federation, explained why they are organizing 2013’s event in 2014, “We could not hold the tournament last year due to political unrest in the country. Hopefully we will organise this year’s event in time.” Chairman of Ispahani Group of Companies Mirza Ali Behrouze Ispahani was also present on the occasion. He said, “Some of the people have misconceptions about bridge. It’s not gambling, it’s world known sports that reflects intelligence.” l

Rumi lifts women’s singles title Rumi of Bangladesh Ansar lifted the women’s singles title of the South East Bank 34th National Table Tennis Championship at the Rajshahi Divisional Sports Complex yesterday. Rumi beat Rahima of Comilla 4-1 to emerge as the champion. Earlier in the semi-finals, Rumi

ousted Akhi of Comilla by 4-2 games while Rahima overpowered Saleha of Ansar by 4-0 games. Ripon and Sharmin of Bagerhat lifted the title of the mixed doubles beating Munna and Sinthy 3-1 in the final held in the morning session. State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam distributed the prizes as the chief guest. l



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Escaped accused leave police clueless n Mohammad Jamil Khan Police have very little clue regarding the whereabouts of the four accused of the Zubair murder case who fled a Dhaka courtroom on Sunday after being rejected bail. Those who fled the courtroom were Khandaker Ashikul Islam, Khan Mohammad Rais, Mahabub Akram and Ishtiaq Mehbub Arup – all former Chhatra League activists of Jahangirnagar University. Ayesha Siddiqa, assistant commissioner Kotowali Police, told the Dhaka

Tribune: “We yet to trace anything; but police and the intelligence officials are trying their best to arrest them as soon as possible.” A two-member probe committee, led by DC of DB Police Krishna Pada Roy, formed soon after the incident, had been asked to submit a report within seven working days. Krishna Pada Roy told the Dhaka Tribune that the committee had already interrogated everyone related and involved with the case. When asked how it happened, Anisur

Pahari-Bangalee clash leaves 10 injured n Our Correspondent,

Rahman, ADC of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the four accused managed to flee mainly because there was no police in the courtroom. Zubair, an honours final year student of English and a Chhatra League activist of Jahangirnagar University, was allegedly tortured and stabbed by the accused on January 8, 2012. He died from wounds at a hospital in the capital the following day. Hamidur Rahman, former deputy registrar of the JU, filed the murder case with Ashulia Police Station the same day. l

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BJP bashes Bangladesh n Sheikh ShahariarZaman The Bharatiya Janata Party continues to bash Bangladesh over its claim of illegal immigrants from the country to Northeast India. BJP national spokesperson and a lawmaker Shri Prakash Javadekar issued a press statement yesterday before Rahul Gandhi’s visit to northeast India. The BJP resolution taken at the national council meeting of the party last month blamed that massive Bangladeshi infiltration was the main reason behind recurring violence in Assam. “The BJP firmly believes that Congress collusion in massive Bangladeshi infiltration is the root cause of recurring violence in Assam.” l



At least 10 people were injured in clashes yesterday between the indigenous villagers of Kamalchhari and the leaders and activists of the Parbattya Bangali Chhatra Parishad over the murder of Sabita Chakma. Among the injured, six were from the PBCP and four from the Chakma indigenous community. They were admitted to the Khagrachhari Adhunik Sadar Hospital and some other private clinics in the hill town, police confirmed. Khagrachhari district unit PBCP Secretary Mohammad Masum alleged that the villagers of Kamalchhari attacked their men first when they were chanting slogans from a procession while crossing the village protesting the blaming of Bangalees for Sabita’s murder. “You [journalist] know that the Paharis brought a false accusation that a Bangalee raped and killed housewife Sabita Chakma. But the post mortem report proved that she had been hacked to death,” Masum said. “The pahari people intentionally attacked us,” Masum alleged. But he did not explain why they had been chanting slogans against the indigenous people. On the other hand, Kamalchhari village Headman Kirtimoy Chakma said the villagers blockaded the Khagrachhari-Bhuyachhari road yesterday morning protesting the murder of Sabita Chakma. He alleged that the PBCP men attacked them first when they were returning home after staging a human chain at Shapla Chattar. “The Bangalees have the right to protest; but they have no right to attack us,” Kirtimoy said. l


new books published AMAR EKUSHEY BOOK FAIR 2014

n Ahmed Zayeef To get a taste of world literature in our mother language, a good number of buyers are opting for translated books this year at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. To cater to their demands, a few publications have brought in translations of world famous literary pieces. Like in previous years, Ongkur Prokashoni, Oitijjho Prokashoni, Ittadi Prokashoni, University Press Limited, and Ador Publishers are leading in this field. However, the publishers said although the demand for translated books was high among people of different ages, they could not publish many books because of a lack of good translators. According to the coordination and public relation department of the Bangla Academy, 20 new translated books have hit the fair this year, among which 38 were published for the first time. However, while strolling through different stalls, a greater number of newly published translated pieces were seen. “I like well-translated books, the translator must be someone I have heard about before, as in, a well-known one. Otherwise, the translation of a good book will be ambiguous and the tone of the actual piece would be tarnished,” said Farhana Shishir, a visitor. “Most of the translations are up to the

mark but a few are below the standard,” she said. Nabil Ahmed, a student of Bangla department of Dhaka University, said: “As a student of literature I have always loved foreign literature. Translated books give me the chance to enjoy literary works of foreign languages.” Besides English, the publishers should also try bring in translations of books written in other languages, like, French, German, Mandarin and Persian, he said Ongkur Prokashoni has published a total of 14 translated biographies of legends including Nelson Mandela, Mahathir bin Mohamad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, Samuel Phillips Huntington, and Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore. Md Koli, a sales executive at the stall, said: “People are mostly buying translated novels and autobiographies.” Oitijjho Prokashoni has published six translated books of Samuel Barkle Baket, Perl S Bak and Michel Morpergo. Osman Goni, publisher of Agami Prokashoni, said: “If anyone wants to publish translated books he must take permission from the author. Many times that is not possible. That is why a lot of translated pieces do not pour in every year.” “Most of the translated books that are published are pirated,” he said. A total of 134 new books were published on the 25th day of the fair yesterday including Ramendu Majumdar’s “Theatre Borsho-4” from Nalonda, Alfred Khokon’s “Attogitir Goddovongi” and Parvez Alim’s “Shahbager Rashtroprokolpo” from Shuddhoshhor, and Korobi Mujib’s “Duronto Ronju” from Ador Prokasoni. A total of 25 new books were unveiled at Nazrul Mancha on the Bangla Academy premises. l

Waste-based power plant project falls into uncertainty n Mohosinul Karim

8 to die in ward commissioner murder case n Tribune Report A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced eight people, including three siblings, to death for killing AL activist and former Lalbagh ward 62 commissioner Haji Mohammad Alim in 1996. Dhaka third additional metropolitan sessions Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman convicted siblings Syed Ahmed, Basir Ahmed and Farid Ahmed, and Md Harun, Siraj Ali, Shawkat Ali, Md Shiblu and Kamal Hossain and handed down the verdict.The court also fined each convict Tk50,000. Five of the convicts, who have been on bail, were present in the court. Shawkat, Shiblu and Kamal were tried in absentia as they have been absconding since the murder. All of the accused are inhabitants of Lalbagh area. On February 8, 1996, the killers attacked Haji Mohammad Alim and his brother Haji Nazim Uddin in front of Wasiullah Hotel at Azimpur. They fired at Alim and his brother with locally-made arms for not paying extortion. They were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared Alim dead. On February 9, 1996, Haji Md Badir Uddin Ahmed Babla, younger brother of Alim, filed a murder case with Lalbagh police station against the accused. The then sub-inspector of the Lalbagh police station Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal submitted the charge sheet on April 30, 1997, and the court framed the charges on May 21, 2000. The court examined 18 of 34 prosecution witnesses. Alim’s family members expressed satisfaction at the judgement. Defence counsels said they would go to the High Court against the verdict. l

Translated literary works on high demand

Family members of the victims who had died in the 2009 BDR mutiny hold a human chain in front of the National Press Club on Tuesday morning MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Mark Zuckerberg: Internet access for 5bn people on the cards n

Muhammad Zahidul Islam, from Barcelona, Spain

Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook, on Monday said he aimed in principle to deliver internet access to five billion people across the world within a short time. Addressing a session on the opening day of World Mobile Congress, one of the biggest global telecom events being held in Barcelona, Zuckerberg said there were three key aspects to reducing the cost of internet access: decreasing cost of internet infrastructure, increasing data efficiency and increasing the efficiency of the up-sell to subscriptions. After reaching the mark of one billion users, Zuckerberg and his team reportedly decided on connecting the people who remained unconnected to the internet. Currently Facebook has 1.2 billion subscribers. He requested the businesspeople and the operators concerned to offer

proper data packs for the unconnected people. “If you did not grow up with access to the internet, you may not know why you would want a data plan; here, operators have duty to offer proper data pack,” he added. The 29-year old entrepreneur also said Facebook was discussing possibilities of working with different countries on the issue “For the next year, we are really just looking to work with maybe three or five countries that are really serious about connecting everyone in their country to services,” he said. Zuckerberg said his vision for Facebook and its associated companies such as Whatsapp, was to connect everybody in the world. At the session, most of the questions directed at Zuckerberg – one of the co-founders of Facebook – were related to his company’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp for $19bn. “WhatsApp is a great fit for us. Al-

ready half a billion people use it for messaging. It is the most engaging app we have ever seen exist on mobile by far. About 70% people, who are using WhatsApp, use it every day, which kind of blows away everything else that is out there.” Zuckerberg – who was worth £11.5bn as of September last year – said one of the big important pillars of the deal with WhatsApp was that it would operate autonomously. “The vision is to keep the service the same,” he added. Zuckerberg said he believed that Facebook needed to form partnerships, because no single company could control everything by itself. “We are really not on a path to connect everyone unless something pretty dramatic changes,” he added. Journalist and tech experts had to wait around three hours for the chance to attend the session by Zuckerberg, which began at 6pm Barcelona local time. l

Installation of waste-based power plants in Dhaka have fallen into uncertainty as the project has seen no progress even after ten months had passed since the government inked an agreement with Management Environment Finance, an Italian company, for establishing the power stations. The government is now planning to cancel the agreement with the MEFSrl Ltd if it fails to assure the financial arrangement for the project within next March. The foreign firm has already spent 10 months of the project as it could not arrange its financial support. Admitting that the company had failed to sum up finances to start the construction work of the power plants, Additional Secretary to the Local Government Division KM Mozammel Haque told the Dhaka Tribune last week: “We have warned them that they must start the construction work within next March 31.” “The management of the company has assured us that they would be able to arrange finances within next March as a United Arab Emirates company and another company showed interests to invest in the project.Being satisfied with their commitment and recommendation from high officials of the government, we have extended the time. But we will be compelled to cancel the agreement if they fail again to arrange the finance by the deadline,” he added. Mozammel Haque, key person of the project, also added: “We can cancel the agreement anytime and we have other interested parties in this regard. But it would require more time as we had already delayed the start of the construction work. Thus, we are now waiting for them. The deadline would not be extended anymore, if they fail again.” When contacted, none of the representativesof Management Environment Financein Bangladesh agreed to make any official comment in this regard. An official of the company, on condition of anonymity, alleged that they failed arrange the finance as they were not provided with a sovereign guarantee from the concerned office of the government. The company officer reported that Bangladesh Bank officials did not cooperate with them in this regard. In case of loans to multinational institutions, a loan qualified as a sover-

eign guaranteed one if it is backed by a member country, or by member countries in whose territory the borrower shall execute the project. According to the agreement signed on April 18, 2013, between the local government division and MEF, the company will install two waste-based power stations at Aminbazar and Matuail waste dumping areas in Dhaka city. The local government division officials said, it was scheduled to start the construction work of two power stations by September last year. But the company failed to do so as they could not arrange the financial support for the project within the time frame. Later, the MEF authorities applied for an extension of starting the installation works of the stations.The deadline was extended up to December first, and later up to March, though the company wanted it extended further to June this year.

Lack of political will, frequent changes in management, and poor funding strategy have slowed down any progress on the project According to the agreement, the investor company will loan $300million for the project. The government will provide around 43.4 acres of land on lease. The company will pay the government Tk6.944million as lease money, which would be increased by 20 percent in every five years. The power stations will produce 10MW power in the first 18 months. The production will then be raised to 30MW by the second year, 50MW by the third year and finally produce 100MW the next year. The Dhaka Power Distribution Company and Dhaka Electric Supply Company will purchase the produced electricity atTk8.75 per unit. The power stations would also produce around nine million tonnes of organic fertilisers annually as supplementary product. The investment of the company will be transferred based on “Build, Own, Operate and Transfer”method within 20 years of the beginning of the project’s operation. l

Editor: Zafar Sobhan, Published and Printed by Kazi Anis Ahmed on behalf of 2A Media Limited at Dainik Shakaler Khabar Publications Limited, 153/7, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208. Editorial, News & Commercial Office: FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath, Shukrabad, Dhaka 1207. Phone: 9132093-94, Advertising: 9132155, Circulation: 9132282, Fax: News-9132192, e-mail:,, Website:

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Bank subsidiaries come under capital market exposure limit n Tribune Report Subsidiaries of banks have been brought under the capital market exposure limit through a circular Bangladesh Bank issued yesterday. The restriction was imposed in a manner their investment will now be calculated with their parent banking companies. Earlier, the banking companies individually could invest 25% of their equity capital. But, the investment by their subsidiaries will, with immediate effect, now be calculated as the total investment in the capital market. Bangladesh Bank in a circular issued yesterday clarified that the total investment limit will be up to 50% of a sum of consolidated paid up capital, balance in share premium account, statutory reserve and retained earnings. The amounts should be based on the latest audited financial statements as the central bank clarified issues related to individual and aggregate limits of investment in shares by banks. There was no investment restriction until yesterday on the subsidiaries of the banks that had allegedly contributed to destabilise the capital market, said a senior Bangladesh Bank official. The components now be considered in computing the investment would exclude the inter-company transactions, but include subscription by subsidiaries of the bank to any fund intended to invest in capital market; market value of all types of shares, debentures, corporate bonds, mutual funds; margin loan (outstanding) provided to the customers by the subsidiaries of the bank; and bridge loans provided to companies by subsidiaries of the bank against expected equity flows. The central bank said the banks having investment above the limit shall have to bring it down gradually within July 21, 2016. It also directed the banks to submit their stock investment statements to the central bank within 10 days from the last working day of every month. l

10 David Koch

Koch Industries, United States

Koch Industries, United States



Countries with most billionaires By citizenship

9 Charles Koch


1,867 billionaires in 68 countries $6.9 trillion

Total wealth:

US 481

Taiwan 37

China 358

Canada 35

Russia 103

Turkey 32

Britain 77

Australia 29

India 70

Singapore 28

Germany 66

S. Korea 27

Switzerland 56

Indonesia 27

Brazil 48

Italy 22

Japan 43

Spain 20

France 37

UAE 17

B4 Billionaire boom

Source: Hurun Global Rich List

for Asia: Chinese survey


Most banks still maintain stock exposure beyond limit n Jebun Nesa Alo The capital market exposure of the country’s 31 commercial banks, including listed ones, still remains above their respective limit in accordance with the bank company law. Of them, four are state-owned, one specialised, 22 conventional and four Islamic Sharia-based banks, according to Bangladesh Bank data till December last. Currently, 58% of equity of the banking sector remained invested in the capital market. Out of capital and reserve worth Tk40,000 crore, the 31 banks investment in the market stood at Tk23,000 crore. On September 16, last year, the central bank had asked all the commercial banks to reduce their capital market exposure to 25% of their equity by July, 2016 to comply with the new bank company law (amended up to 2013). Banks that have still maintained higher exposure to the stock market will have to reduce it to 25% of the sum of their paid-up capital, reserve, retained earnings and share premium as per the new act. The central bank asked the banks to reduce their investment gradually within three years, but without any phasing out plan. As a result, capital market exposure of maximum banks still remained almost unchanged. Rather, some banks have further increased their investments within 6 months since the circular was issued, said a senior executive of Bangladesh Bank. Governor Atiur Rahman on February 23 presented a report on capital market exposure scenario at the bankers meeting and warned them strongly of reducing the excess investment gradually. According to that report, Bangla-

Dhaka and Moscow may soon sign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement as the two countries have decided to expedite the process of negotiation. A five-member delegation led by a joint secretary of Industries Ministry, Afroza Khan, is scheduled to leave Dhaka on March 2 to conclude negotiation for striking the deal. Bangladesh’s foreign ministry sources said Russia wanted to speed up the process as its business interests in Bangladesh had increased. “We have been negotiating with Russia to sign the agreement since 1999. In middle of last year, Moscow showed interest to conclude it as soon as possible,” said a foreign ministry official in Dhaka. “This is the first time we are going to have face-to-face negotiation, and

we want to conclude it this time,” the official said. Russia sent its first draft of IPP agreement in 1999 and then the two countries exchanged several drafts over the last 15 years.

Russia wants softening of the law. But we told them it is not possible and Bangladesh will follow its laws in all international deals Besides, Dhaka and Moscow signed an agreement last year to set up a nuclear power plant while Russian energy company Gazprom has been working with Bangladesh’s state-owned oil company Petrobangla for the last couple of years. “The countries have some differ-

n Tribune Report

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be apprised of stock market situation and achievements of securities regulator over the last five years today. Bank and Financial Institutions Division, and Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission will present an overview of the market performance and regulator’s achievements, including recent demutualisation of stock exchanges, said a senior official at the banking division.

The government is also reluctant to offload shares of state owned enterprises in the stock market in excuse of unstable stock market

desh Bank issued show cause notice to 15 banks as they had increased their investment during September to December period of 2013. Capital market investment of 11 banks still remained above 91% of their equity, eight of them went even beyond 100%. The central bank has found that some banks have adjusted credit to the subsidiary companies through extending the limit or providing new loans being failed to recover interest from them on given loans, which is too outrageous and contrary of banking rules, according to the report. “Though we did not segment the time duration of three years for reducing the investment, the banks have been asked to cut their exposure gradually,” said Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury.

If they cut their investment at a time after three years, then capital market might face a freefall, he said. So, banks should be careful in share market investment to avoid the repetition of the debacle occurred in late 2010, he added. As soon as the then Awami Leagueled government assumed power in 2009, the stock market showed a bullish trend and many banks invested beyond their limits. But after a price debacle in 2011, the banks’ huge exposure came under criticism from various quarters. Maximum banks are waiting for opportunity to come out from share market through taking profit, said a senior executive of a private bank. “They have still three years in hand as Bangladesh Bank did not segment the time duration for limiting the ex-

posure. So, banks are not bound to cut their investment at a time or gradually,” he said. The share market witnessed a boom in 2009-10 period due to over exposure of the banks. Maximum bank had investment above their 10% limit of liabilities. But when the central bank tightened their supervision on share market exposure of banks in 2010, the share market fell into a complete disaster. To revive the share market authorities including Dhaka Stock Exchange, Chittagong Stock Exchange, Securities Exchange Commission and Finance Ministry called upon the banks to re-invest. But Bangladesh Bank so far remained strict about the reinvestment and rather directed the banks to comply with the investment limit. l

IPP deal with Russia likely to be inked soon HC: 8 Pubali Bank n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman

PM to be apprised of stock market situation today

ences over the environmental issue, compensation to victims of related accidents and civil disturbance etc. Both the nations will now try to reduce the gap,” said the official. Bangladeshi laws do not allow any project which could pollute environment to a level hazardous to public health. “Russia wants softening of the law. But we told them it is not possible and Bangladesh will follow its laws in all international deals,” said the official. Bangladesh wants to include a compensation provision in the IPP agreement under which the Russian authorities will have to pay compensations to the victims of any accidents and hazards to be in the Russian plants. Bangladesh also wants to drop a compensation provision under which the Russian companies can claim demurrage for civil disturbances like in hartals or shutdowns. l

Tofail: Bangladesh studies on FTA with Myanmar

directorship illegal n Nazmus Sakib The High Court yesterday annulled the posts of eight Pubali Bank directors including its chairman as they failed to hold 2% shares of the bank during their election on August 21 last year. They are Hafiz Ahmed Majumder (chairman), Muhammad Faizur Rahman, Ahmed Shafi Choudhury, Fahim Ahmed Faruk Chowdhury, Muhammed Kabiruzzaman Yaqub, Rumana Sharif, Suraiya Rahman and Azizur Rahman. The bench of Justice Md Rezaul Hasan delivered the ruling after rejecting the directors’ petition which had challenged the decision of bank’s election commission. The election commission declared them disqualified as contestants for directorship as they didn’t hold 2%

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, banking secretary M Aslam Alam, BSEC chairman professor M Khairul Hossain and other officials is expected to attend the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office. Since stock market debacle in late 2010, the government is making efforts to bring back investor confidence from the brink. Since then, the market is going through volatility as it still bears nightmare of stock crash. The government is also reluctant to offload shares of state owned enterprises in the stock market in excuse of unstable stock market. The benchmark index of Dhaka Stock Exchange rose 11% from January 5 to February 25 this year. Earlier, the government decided to extend by one more year term the appointment of the present chairman and four BSEC commissioners, as their three-year term will end between May and July this year. Finance minister AMA Muhith said performance of BSEC chairman Prof M Khairul Hossain and four members has so far been good as we saw the country’s two bourses more or less stable during their time. l

shares. Mohammad Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury, the lawyer of the eight directors who were nominated from the general shareholders, told the Dhaka Tribune that the HC observed in the verdict that only the independent director and nominee director would be kept immune from the minimum share-holding requirement. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), by issuing two notifications on November 22 and December 7 of 2011, made it obligatory that every director must have 2% shares. It said the shares should be acquired within six months of the directive. Later on February 12, 2012, the BSEC clarified that the director nominated  B3 COLUMN 4

n Tribune Report

Bangladesh is studying on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Myanmar to enhance bilateral trade and commerce between the two countries, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed told the parliament yesterday. The decision about the prospect of signing PTA between the countries was taken in the Joint Trade Commission meeting in the Myanmar capital on January 14-15, he said replying to a question from treasury bench member Moazzem Hossain Ratan. “Bangladesh Tariff Commission is working on the issue,” he said, adding that there is a bright prospect to boost bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  B3 COLUMN 4

WhatsApp voice service a threat for Telcos, fears Telenor Efforts initiated to lift Russian Zahidul Islam n Muhammad from Barcelona, Spain

Telenor President Jon Fredrick Baksaas has termed the mobile phone application WhatsApp’s move to launch a free voice service through cellular network as an ‘enormous threat’ for the telecom companies’ especially for mobile operators. Addressing a press conference organised by the Telenor Group, Baksaas, however, yesterday, said, “I welcome WhatsApp move but it would be an enormous threat for us. There should be a way to figure this out but time will say how that will be happened,” He was replying to a quarry raised by a Bangladeshi reporter at the press conference. Baksas is also the president of Telenor group, which has lions share in Bangladesh’s largest mobile phone operator Grameenphone. Recently, Facebook has bought WhatsApp with a cost of US$19bn, which became the talk of the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2014, being held in the capital city of Spain. The WhatsApp, a massaging

application free for the cell phone users, which is already being used by 450m users across the globe, is also going to provide this free voice call service through the mobile network within the second quarter of the current year. The WhatsApp chief executive officer Jan Koum on Monday declared that his company would launch the free voice service by the second quarter of the current year at a Mobile World Congress seminar. Regarding the introduction of the application (WhatsApp) with huge money, Baksaas said, “The people would crush us if we bought the WhatsApp but you have already heard more about it from Mark Zukarbarg who tried to explain his ground the other day, although it had raised more questions in the people’s mind.” The father of the Facebook Zukarbarg on Monday at the GSMA Congress declared that his company had just bought WhatsApp in line with a vision to make basic internet services free for all. On the other hand, the Telenor boss said, “My company has been working to establish a global network through

the internet to empower the society.” “We are moving ahead with a good pace and what we are saying about empowering societies through mobile network is happening in Bangladesh right now,” categorically said Baksaas.

I welcome WhatsApp move but it would be an enormous threat for us. There should be a way to figure this out but time will say how that will be happened In this regard, he also clarified that the Telenor through its Bangladeshi outfit Grameenphone is helping to build the digital Bangladesh. “We are not concern on how the Bangladeshi government is shaping up its entry point for the mobile operators as long as we share the same vision of empowering people with the internet,” he added. Replying to a question asked by the Dhaka Tribune correspondent on the

higher dividend than the profit, he said, “Bangladesh is a great example of how mobile operators are creating, transforming and building telecom connectivity and Grameenphone is the major part of that.” “Being a listed company, Grameenphone and its sister concern GPIT directly engage in lots of government activities, so there has been no fear about the market of Bangladesh,” he also added. Earlier, Grameenphone has recommended distributing 28.6% higher dividend than the net profit the company earned in 2013. It was reported that an after tax profit of over Tk14.70bn in the year, about 16% down from the previous year, but recommended dividend of Tk18.91bn, according to financial disclosure. In 2012, Grameenphone made Tk17.50bn profit and distributed cash dividend of Tk18.9bn while the figure was Tk18.89bn profit and cash dividend Tk27.68bn in 2011. In the year 2010, Grameenphone made a profit worth TK10.71bn and distributed Tk16.20bn as cash dividend among the shareholders. l

ban on Bangladeshi shrimp n Mohosinul Karim

Dhaka will write to Moscow by this week to remove a restriction on the Bangladeshi shrimp import, which was imposed last year after a bacterial issue. Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul Haque told the media yesterday after a meeting with the Russia ambassador Alexander A Nikolaev in Dhaka. Bangladesh’s ambassador to Moscow Dr S M Saiful Haque and director general of the Directorate of Fisheries Syed Arif Azad were also present. Russia imposed the ban in October last year as it found more than one lakh colony-forming units (CFU) bacteria per 20 gram in the Bangladeshi shrimps. The country allows up to one lakh CFU per 20 gram while most of other countries including the European Union and the United States approve 1m CFU for the same amount of shrimp. Bangladesh argues that being tropical country it is difficult to comply with the Russian standard as bacteria in Bangladesh a faster rate here. Bangladesh exports around 80,000 metric ton of fish and fish items to dif-

ferent countries annually, among which shrimp is around 50,000 metric ton, he said.

Bangladesh will write to Russia by this week requesting to reconsider its standard regarding the amount of bacteria The country exported a total of 7,651MT shrimps to the Russian Federation in nearly four years since a deal was signed between Dhaka and Moscow in December, 2009. “Bangladesh will write to Russia by this week requesting to reconsider its standard regarding the amount of bacteria,” said fisheries minister. A technical team of the Bangladeshi government will also go to Moscow to convince Russia, he said, adding that a Russian team would also be invited for inspection of the standards of Bangladeshi shrimps. The minister informed that Russia however resumed importing shrimps from Bagerhat Sea Foods (a company in Bangladesh) from 6th of this month. l



Stocks end flat amid late profit taking

Traded Issues


n Tribune Report

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)



Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)



Rupali InsurA

-7.53 -6.45 -5.26 -4.69 -4.62 -4.12 -3.58 -3.55 -3.29




Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)



8.60 30.20 7.32 62.32 79.87 18.61 140.01 30.47 32.26

Bank NBFI Investment Engineering Food & Allied Fuel & Power Jute Textile Pharma & Chemical Paper & Packaging Service Leather Ceramic Cement Information Technology General Insurance Life Insurance Telecom Travel & Leisure Miscellaneous Debenture

DSE Million Taka 463.40 355.76 119.61 593.65 499.74 597.47 6.28 357.72 583.81 0.58 28.17 355.25 19.78 267.73 44.37 79.12 322.55 387.14 62.31 280.11 0.49

9.70 27.90 132.20 60.00 18.80 21.80 19.00 110.00 305.00



8.60 29.00 7.20 61.00 78.50 18.60 140.00 29.90 32.30


0.015 42.075 6.104 12.141 0.171 3.960 3.735 27.432 5.710


Turnover in million

Daily low

8.70 31.30 7.50 65.00 81.40 19.20 140.10 31.60 32.60


Latest EPS 1.03 0.75 0.88 -1.00 -0.89 0.22 0.46 2.26 11.56


Latest EPS

Latest PE 9.4 39.8 153.8 -ve -ve 101.1 44.3 50.8 27.3


Latest PE


8.50 28.90 7.20 60.90 77.00 18.50 140.00 29.90 32.20


0.017 11.659 0.051 0.343 6.492 0.164 0.049 0.091 0.305

-2.58 0.75 0.88 -1.00 4.16 0.88 -0.77 2.35 1.70



-ve 40.3 8.3 -ve 19.2 21.1 -ve 13.0 19.0


Market ended flat over cautious mood of investors in last hour of the trading session. Pressure on the index came from cashing in large cap stocks


Turnover in million

Daily low

9.70 31.30 142.00 65.90 19.50 22.80 20.90 118.80 327.20

Daily high

% change 8.54 6.56 2.20 10.94 9.21 11.01 0.12 6.59 10.76 0.01 0.52 6.55 0.36 4.94 0.82 1.46 5.95 7.14 1.15 5.16 0.01

Million Taka 47.09 40.31 6.74 51.59 34.46 31.52 27.95 52.22 0.26 1.55 18.95 3.25 14.53 8.72 2.36 11.76 70.98 7.33 56.57 0.04



From BIASL Desk: NCCBL 1st MF : Post record day price correction against 10% cash sdividend was 9.14%. Earning per unit was taka 1.0251, NAV per share as on 20 February was taka Tk. 11.92 per unit on the basis of current market price and Tk. 11.55 per unit on the basis of cost price. Yesterday’s closing price was taka 9.70 with PE of 9.56 whereas it’s

Dividend/AGM RELIANCINS: 15% cash and 15% stock, AGM: 30.03.2014, RD: 05.03.2014. IDLC: 5% cash and 25% stock, AGM: 30.03.2014, RD: 06.03.2014. GLAXOSMITH: 300% cash, AGM: 24.04.2014, RD: 12.03.2014. PRIMEINSUR: 15% Stock, AGM: 23.03.2014, Record Date: 26.02.2014.

Change of DSE Broad Index vs Sectoral Index 4%

% change 9.65 8.26 1.38 10.57 7.06 6.46 0.00 5.73 10.70 0.05 0.32 3.88 0.67 2.98 1.79 0.48 2.41 14.54 1.50 11.59 0.01

Million Taka 510.49 396.07 126.35 645.23 534.20 628.99 6.28 385.67 636.04 0.84 29.72 374.21 23.03 282.25 53.09 81.48 334.31 458.12 69.64 336.68 0.53


% change 8.63 6.70 2.14 10.91 9.03 10.64 0.11 6.52 10.76 0.01 0.50 6.33 0.39 4.77 0.90 1.38 5.65 7.75 1.18 5.69 0.01

Prepared exclusively for Dhaka Tribune by Business Information Automation Service Line (BIASL), on the basis of information collected from daily stock quotations and audited reports of the listed companies. High level of caution has been taken to collect and present the above information and data. The publisher will not take any responsibility if any body uses this information and data for his/her investment decision. For any query please email to or call 01552153562 or go to


DSE BroadIndex

3% 2% 1% 0%

Value in million 317.88 219.44 212.29 208.36 195.54 167.70 158.28 132.29 131.52 130.56

% of total turnover 5.86 4.05 3.91 3.84 3.60 3.09 2.92 2.44 2.42 2.41

Price change 1.78 2.21 7.48 -0.08 1.59 -0.96 0.38 -0.76 -1.67 6.88

Daily opening 213.70 207.90 517.70 627.50 282.20 219.70 266.30 263.10 239.60 171.50

Price change

Daily opening


Closing average


Average (% change) -7.33 -1.85 -2.79 -5.86 -2.82 -3.97 -3.53 -1.71 -3.27

45.2 -ve 36.3 29.6 19.7 33.7 37.3 19.9 45.4 13.4


Imam Button -Z Prime Finance-A AMCL 2nd MF-A Rahima Food -Z IDLC Finance -A Metro Spinning -A Bangladesh Lamps -A Continental Insur. -A BDCOM Online-A

Closing (% change)

(+) 0.08%


1.85 -0.04 3.03 12.46 28.27 28.52 4.86 46.53 0.56 5.35

Latest PE




Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)





(+) 0.10%




Latest EPS

44.7 -ve 64.0 19.5 19.7 36.1 37.1 -ve -ve 45.0



IPO Subscription: Matin Spinning Mills Limited subscription date 26-30 January 2014, NRB upto 08 Feburay 2014. @ Tk. 37/-, face value taka 10 and market lot 200. Hwa Well Textiles (BD) Limited subscription date 17-23 February 2014, NRB upto 04 March 2014. At per, face value taka 10 and market lot 500.


CSE - 30 Index :


(+) 0.01%

AB Bank - A

0.251 0.051 0.935 0.240 1.556 0.048 15.342 0.463 0.242 6.842

1.85 -50.84 6.02 28.27 46.53 3.03 4.86 -4.58 -4.02 0.56

Latest PE

LANKABAFIN: 15% cash and 5% stock, AGM: 31.03.2014, Record Date: 02.03.2014. NCCBLMF1: 10% cash dividend. RD: 24.02.2014. GP: 50% final cash dividend (i.e. total 140% cash dividend for the year 2013 inclusive of 90% Interim cash dividend which has already been paid) AGM: 09.04.2014, RD: 20.02.2014. GREENDELT: 15% cash and 15% stock, AGM: 15.03.2014, RD: 17.02.2014. RAKCERAMIC: 15% cash and 10% stock, AGM: 02.04.2014, RD: 13.02.2014. SALAMCRST: 13% cash, AGM: 29.03.2014, RD: 11.02.2014. 1STPRIMFMF: 10% cash, RD: 11.02.2014. HRTEX: 15% cash, AGM: 21.04.2014, Record date: 20.02.2014. MAKSONSPIN: 5% stock, AGM: 13.03.2014, RD: 16.02.2014. GSPFINANCE: 12% stock, AGM: 20.02.2014, RD: 03.02.2014. ECABLES: 10% cash, AGM: 01.03.2014, RD: 29.12.2013. USMANIAGL: 11% Cash & 10% Stock, AGM: 07-03-2014, RD: 07.11.2013. SAVAREFR: No dividend, AGM: 30.01.2014, RD: 19.12.2013. PADMAOIL: 90% Cash, 10% Stock, AGM: 15.02.2014, RD: 23.12.2013.




9.70 29.00 134.30 61.10 19.00 21.90 20.10 113.10 310.70

Turnover in million

83.10 25.30 109.00 368.50 555.60 960.00 175.00 900.00 24.30 68.00


CSE All Share Index:

Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)



(+) 0.20%

9.70 29.85 135.34 61.63 19.00 22.24 20.38 114.85 315.47

7.333 0.001 1.811 212.285 15.826 32.900 130.556 0.812 0.017 20.406

Latest EPS

MON 24-Feb



-9.35 -6.15 -5.56 -5.42 -4.04 -3.95 -3.83 -3.66 -3.60

Daily low

83.60 25.30 110.70 369.90 555.70 960.00 185.30 93 7.50 26.40 72.50



DSE - 30 Index :






Traded Issues

Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)

NCCBL Mutual Fund-1-A Prime Finance-A Sonali Ansh -A Rahima Food -Z Kay & Que (BD) -Z Miracle Industries -B Deshbandhu Polymer-A National Tubes -A Rahim Textile -A

83.60 25.30 109.70 369.00 555.70 960.00 183.00 926.00 25.70 71.90

Turnover in million

78.60 7.90 380.00 500.00 880.00 104.30 173.50 10.80 8.60 22.50

Daily high

face value is taka 10. RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. BRACBANK: Subscription 20.04.2014 to 15.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 10.02.2014. GENNEXT: Subscription 18.03.2014 to 09.04.2014, Record date: 25.02.2014.



Daily high


SONALIANSH: (H/Y): As per un-audited half yearly accounts as on 31.12.2013 (July'13 to Dec'13), the Company has reported net profit after tax of Tk. 1.19 million with EPS of Tk. 0.44 as against Tk. 4.71 million and Tk. 1.74 respectively for the same period of the previous year. Whereas net profit after tax was Tk. 0.51 million with EPS of Tk. 0.19 for the period of 3 months (Oct'13 to Dec'13) ended on 31.12.2013 as against Tk. 2.06 million and Tk. 0.76 respectively for the same period of the previous year. ABBANK: AB Bank Ltd. has informed that the Board Meeting of the Bank will be held on 26 February 2014 at 3:00 pm to transact the following business among others: 1) Approval of Audited Financial Statements of the Bank for the year 31 December 2013 and 2) Fixation of Date of 32nd AGM, Venue, Time & other issues.



(+) 0.18%


84.40 7.90 385.90 556.50 933.40 112.00 185.50 11.40 8.60 26.70



Turnover (Volume)


Closing average

83.57 25.30 109.99 368.99 555.69 960.00 181.34 926.00 25.45 71.60

84.40 7.90 385.60 556.40 933.40 109.70 183.30 11.10 8.60 26.10

Daily low

News from trade server




Turnover (Million Taka) Number of Contract

Average (% change) -8.66 -2.71 -3.91 -7.63 -4.04 -1.11 -1.02 -2.76 -2.05



CSE key features February 25, 2014


Closing (% change)

10.00 10.00 8.94 8.21 7.49 6.67 6.15 5.83 5.76 5.58

Closing average

Daily high

WED 19-Feb

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Apex SpinningA Samata LeatheR -Z Rangpur Foundry -A National Life I -A Apex Footwear-A Reckitt Benckiser -A Apex Tannery -A Marico BD Ltd-A Prime Bank-A Summit Purbanchol Power-N

Average (% change) 9.96 10.00 9.23 4.07 7.48 6.67 5.52 5.83 4.39 4.62

82.77 7.90 385.32 550.39 917.45 109.48 180.35 11.20 8.60 25.20




Closing (% change)


Closing average


(+) 0.11%

CSE Selected Index :


Capital Market Highlights:


DSE Shariah Index :

9.90 9.72 8.65 7.48 7.18 7.02 6.88 6.73 6.17 6.10

Average (% change) 8.68 9.72 11.04 5.69 5.69 6.29 5.31 6.67 7.50 2.86


Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index :


Apex SpinningA Shampur Sugar -Z Eastern Lubricants -A Apex Footwear-A Marico BD Ltd-A Rangpur Foundry -A Apex Tannery -A Meghna Con. Milk -B Dulamia CottonZ Prime Bank-A


Stocks closed flat yesterday, as late profit booking cut early gains. The market was in upbeat mood in the opening session and gave some breathing space to reposition the benchmark index with a rise of 35 points. At the end of the day, the benchmark DSEX index edged 5 points or 0.2% to 4,756, pulling up mainly by rally in power, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. Shariah DSES index inched up 2 points to 993.The blue-chip comprising DS30 index ended at 1,689 with a slight gain of 3 points or 0.2%. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, was marginally up 8 points to close at 9,341. Participation in trading improved as the DSE total market turnover stood at Tk542 crore, which was 3% higher over the previous session. Engineering sector posted the highest turnover, making up 11% of the total turnover. “Market ended flat over cautious mood of investors in last hour of the trading session,” said Lanka Bangla Securities. “Pressure on the index came from cashing in large cap stocks.” All the major sectors ended in


Number of Contract

green except non-banking financial institutions which was down more than 1%. Grameenphone, lone listed company in telecommunications sector, rose the most 1.9%, extending its gaining streak for the second consecutive session. Other sectors, pharmaceuticals, power, banks and allied edged higher. IDLC Investment said while market was struggling to remain positive, waves of sell pressure beat it down, in frequent intervals, causing it to close flat. It said upcoming corporate declarations in the near term created some stimulus among investors, causing DSEX to stay afloat. Concentrated activities to a few scrips kept trading vibrant. Consequently, top five scrips captured more than 20% of total turnover amid the increased participation, it said. Olympic Industries topped the turnover chart for the second consecutive session with shares worth Tk31 crore changing hands. It is followed by Grameenphone, Apex Footwear, Bangladesh Shipping Corporation, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd, Meghna Petroleum, Delta Life Insurance and Square Pharmaceuticals. l

Closing (% change)


Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


DSE key features February 25, 2014



Daily high 220.40 214.20 556.50 663.25 300.00 224.80 273.00 266.80 241.50 185.50

236.00 150.00 74.10 29.10 87.00 446.80 72.20 73.20 75.00 46.50

Daily low 196.00 207.80 500.00 622.00 270.00 200.50 266.60 250.00 225.00 173.50

211.00 139.00 67.00 26.00 73.00 430.00 61.20 66.00 64.00 44.20

Daily average 217.73 211.10 550.39 642.37 285.13 220.61 269.32 263.12 236.31 180.35

Daily high

Daily low

Daily average

-1% -2% -3%

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Olympic Ind. -A Grameenphone-A Apex Footwear-A BSC-A Meghna Petroleum -A BD Submarine Cable-A Delta Life Insu. -A

Square Pharma -A Singer BD -A Apex Tannery -A

Jamuna Oil -A ConfidenceCement A LankaBangla Fin. -A UCBL - A IDLC Finance -A HeidelbergCement -A Summit Purbanchol Power-N BD Building Systems -A Navana CNG-A Orion Infusions -A CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BSC-A

BD Submarine Cable-A Grameenphone-A Square Pharma -A Apex Tannery -A Olympic Ind. -A Beach Hatchery -A Prime Finance-A UCBL - A LankaBangla Fin. -A Delta Life Insu. -A Appollo Ispat CL -N AFC AgroBiotech-N Singer BD -A aamra technologies-A JMI Syringes MDL-A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Summit Purbanchol Power-N Aftab Auto.-A National Bank - B

Volume shares 1,459,942 1,039,500 385,700 324,360 685,788 760,189 587,700 502,783 556,566 723,900

468,520 641,555 1,180,058 2,949,909 1,047,696 183,320 1,058,740 843,450 803,384 1,174,300

Volume shares

72,635 186,500 140,400 59,825 84,600 58,000 416,500 386,050 392,796 142,000 35,950 288,800 123,000 33,275 189,410 34,000 225,379 95,560 73,693 511,045

108.55 95.25 85.68 85.10 84.08 81.12 75.51 60.90 56.90 54.01

Value in million

46.33 41.31 29.66 15.73 15.34 12.67 12.49 11.66 11.31 10.28 9.72 9.00 8.27 7.87 7.71 7.59 7.47 6.84 6.84 6.69

2.00 1.76 1.58 1.57 1.55 1.50 1.39 1.12 1.05 1.00

% of total turnover

9.51 8.48 6.09 3.23 3.15 2.60 2.56 2.39 2.32 2.11 2.00 1.85 1.70 1.61 1.58 1.56 1.53 1.40 1.40 1.37

Daily closing 217.50 212.50 556.40 627.00 286.70 217.60 267.30 261.10 235.60 183.30

231.20 149.10 71.90 28.80 79.00 439.80 71.80 71.60 71.10 44.80

Daily closing

624.30 217.90 210.80 261.70 183.00 217.80 29.60 29.00 28.90 71.70 268.50 31.00 66.50 236.00 40.20 220.50 33.00 71.90 92.40 13.00

0.04 3.25 -2.71 1.05 -2.23 1.50 5.59 -0.69 2.75 1.36

-0.67 -0.82 1.69 -0.61 6.15 2.06 -1.66 -6.45 1.76 -2.58 0.52 -0.64 -0.75 -1.58 0.50 0.78 -0.90 5.58 1.09 -1.52

231.10 144.40 73.90 28.50 80.80 433.30 68.00 72.10 69.20 44.20

628.50 219.70 207.30 263.30 172.40 213.40 30.10 31.00 28.40 73.60 267.10 31.20 67.00 239.80 40.00 218.80 33.30 68.10 91.40 13.20

659.00 225.80 214.00 266.00 185.30 221.00 30.80 31.30 29.00 73.20 274.50 31.60 69.30 243.00 41.20 228.00 33.60 72.50 93.70 13.40

616.00 217.00 207.50 260.20 175.00 215.00 29.30 28.90 28.60 71.50 267.00 30.80 66.30 232.90 40.10 220.00 32.90 68.00 92.00 13.00

231.68 148.46 72.61 28.85 80.25 442.50 71.32 72.21 70.82 45.99

637.89 221.52 211.27 262.91 181.34 218.45 29.99 30.20 28.80 72.38 270.43 31.15 67.25 236.49 40.69 223.37 33.15 71.60 92.79 13.09



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Buffett: Don’t bet the farm; keep Dollar static ahead investments simple, diversified of US data n



Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, known for his folksy straightforward communication style, turned to farming to recommend his winning strategy for investors to follow. In an excerpt of his annual letter to shareholders published online by Fortune on Monday, Buffett used a 1986 purchase of a farm located 50 miles north of Omaha to support his case about simple, diversified and low-cost investing. He had bought the farm because he could weigh how much the property would yield in corn and soybeans against its operating costs - and not to speculate on the value of the land or to sell it as soon as prices rose. “Now, 28 years later, the farm has tripled its earnings and is worth five times or more what I paid,” Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders, adding that he has visited the property only twice. “So ignore the chatter, keep your costs minimal, and invest in stocks as you would in a farm.” Buffett’s advice reflected, as well, his bias toward holding assets for the long term. Rather than a constant flux of buying and selling, Buffett said investors should treat daily price changes as background noise, to be ignored in pursuit of a greater objective. “The goal of the nonprofessional should not be to pick winners - neither

he nor his ‘helpers’ can do that - but should rather be to own a cross section of businesses that in aggregate are bound to do well,” he wrote. For nonprofessionals, such as momand-pop investors saving for retirement, Buffett recommended a lowcost S&P 500 index fund, particularly highlighting Vanguard’s. That mutual fund has a net expense ratio of 0.17%. Buffett - ranked the world’s fourthrichest person by Forbes magazine, with a fortune of $53.5bn - also dismissed much of the market- and economy-watching that informs daily price fluctuations and, often, future price speculation.

“Forming macro opinions or listening to the macro or market predictions of others is a waste of time,” wrote the man dubbed “the Oracle of Omaha” because of his performance in the markets. Investors should instead focus on the future productivity of assets, rather than speculating on price movements, which Buffett said that he was unable to do successfully. “Games are won by players who focus on the playing field - not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.” Berkshire Hathaway is expected to report its 2013 earnings on Saturday. l

AFP, Tokyo

The dollar was flat in Asia on yesterday as investors waited on fresh US data for clues on how the world’s biggest economy is faring. The greenback was at 102.54 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, compared with 102.48 yen in New York Monday afternoon. The euro bought $1.3732 and 140.85 yen against $1.3734 and 140.76 yen, supported by a solid business sentiment survey in Germany and stable eurozone inflation figures. The dollar will likely be stuck in a tight range of 102.00-103.00 yen during Asian trading on Tuesday, said a senior dealer at a major Japanese trust bank. Some dollar buying is expected from Japanese importers, but “I don’t feel any momentum going on,” he told Dow Jones Newswires. Investors were waiting for further cues on the US economic recovery, following sub-zero winter temperatures in many parts of the country that skewed data at the start of the year. February consumer confidence figures are due out later in the global day, followed by durable goods orders on Thursday and an updated estimate for fourth-quarter economic growth on Friday. “We’ve seen some weak data recently. Any good figures would be taken positively,” giving the dollar a tail-

wind, the Japanese bank dealer said. The upheaval in Ukraine did not appear to have much impact on the major currencies. The dollar was slightly lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies. The greenback slipped to 11,627 Indonesian rupiah from 11,706 rupiah the previous day, to 62.02 Indian rupees from 62.10 rupees, and to Sg$1.2622 from Sg$1.2672. It also sank to 32.50 Thai baht from 32.58 baht and to 1,070.77 South Korean won from 1,076.25 won. It bought 44.60 Philippine pesos against 44.63 pesos. The Australian dollar rose to 90.29 US cents from 89.64 cents, while the Chinese yuan fetched 16.75 yen against 16.77 yen. l

Tofail: Bangladesh studies on FTA with Myanmar

n Reuters

plansto attend the third Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) summit scheduled for March 4 in Myanmar. During the Prime Minister’s visit, various bilateral issues, including expansion of trade and commerce, will be discussed with the Myanmar authorities, he said. Responding to a supplementary question, the commerce minister replied that the first meeting between Bangladesh and the United States under Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) is scheduled to be held in Dhaka on April 7 this year. A US delegation is expected to arrive in Dhaka on April 6 to join this meeting, he said, adding that a number of tradeinvestment related issues, including duty and quota free market access to

China’s corporate debt has hit record levels and is likely to accelerate a wave of domestic restructuring and trigger more defaults, as credit repayment problems rise. Chinese non-financial companies held total outstanding bank borrowing and bond debt of about $12tn at the end of last year - equal to over 120% of GDP - according to Standard & Poor’s estimates. Growth in Chinese company debt has been unprecedented. A Thomson Reuters analysis of 945 listed medium and large non-financial firms showed total debt soared by more than 260%, from 1.82tn yuan ($298.4bn) to 4.74tn yuan ($777.3bn), between December 2008 and September 2013. While a credit crisis isn’t expected anytime soon, analysts say companies in China’s most leveraged sectors, such as machinery, shipping, construction and steel, are selling assets and undertaking mergers to avoid defaulting on their borrowings. More defaults are expected, said Christopher Lee, managing director for Greater China corporates at Standard and Poor’s Rating Services in Hong Kong. “Borrowing costs already are going up due to tightened liquidity,” he said. “There will be a greater differentiation and discrimination of risk and lending going forward.” China rarely allows corporate failures, particularly of state-backed companies, partly out of fear that widespread layoffs could lead to social unrest. In cases where firms have effectively gone bankrupt, domestic bondholders tend to be paid off ahead of other debtors.

China Erzhong Group (Deyang) Heavy Industries Co, a loss-making manufacturer of equipment for the steel and power industries, faces higher borrowing costs after a wholesale restructuring, said Huang Guozhan, an executive at the company’s board secretary’s office. The Sichuan-based firm, which expects to report a 2013 loss of 3.15bn yuan ($516.5m) and may see its shares suspended, held debt of 11.4bn yuan in September, according to stock market filings. In July, China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission ordered China Erzhong, together with its parent company, to merge with China National Machinery Industry Corp, another Beijing-controlled enterprise group. A management reshuffle followed, while a proposed 1.9bn yuan asset sale was cancelled. Accumulated losses may drive up the cost of the company’s loans, Huang said, should banks cut the company’s ratings. “Tight credit growth and higher borrowing costs will make it a tough year,” said Stephen Green, head of China research at Standard Chartered Bank.

Asset sales

China’s massive holding companies, power producers and construction materials firms are among the most highly levered in the world’s second-largest economy, with each sector reporting twice as much debt as equity at end-September, Thomson Reuters data show. Leverage in freight and logistics services reached 85% in September, forcing a wave of asset sales. Changjiang Shipping Group Phoenix Co, one of

five listed companies under Sinotrans & CSC Holdings Ltd, another central government company, has been selling ships and borrowing money from its parent after its 4.9bn yuan investment in new vessels turned sour. The dry bulk goods shipper, which is in bankruptcy restructuring, has been sued for loan repayment by five banks, including China Merchants Bank Co and China Minsheng Banking Corp. It also faces lawsuits by the leasing arm of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp for unpaid bills. Other state-backed firms, including China Cosco Holdings and Angang Steel, have returned to nominal profitability by turning to their corporate parents to sell assets.


Exacerbating China’s corporate troubles has been the questionable use of 4tn yuan in stimulus that Beijing pumped into the economy following the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, explained Lee of Standard & Poor’s. “Many companies invested heavily into competitive and low-return projects because funding was readily available,” he said. “These investments aren’t doing well and are making little contribution to profitability.” Although leverage at China’s midsized and large companies started to decline in the second half of last year, building down debt positions will be difficult, said Merrill Lynch analyst David Cui. “The beast grew so fast you can’t control it easily now. A sense of urgency will develop only if there is significant disturbance to the financial system.” l


the USA, are expected to be discussed in the meeting. He said the process of setting up Bangladesh-China-IndiaMyanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor is at the final stage. “Once it’s set up, trade volume will increase significantly.” On Ticfa issue, Tofail said the government will discuss with the US about the duty-free-quota-free (DFQF) access in the US market during the first meeting of Ticfa to be held here in April. He said many countries including the USA are yet to implement their pledges regarding DFQF market access for the least developed countries (LDCs). On the restoration of GSP, the Commerce Minister reiterated that Bangladesh will get back the trade facilities in the US market if politics is not mixed up with the process. l

HC: 8 Pubali Bank directorship illegal  PAGE B1 COLUMN 4

from the general shareholders, independent director and nominee director need not to have that minimum shares. Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Pubali Bank was scheduled to be held on August 21 of last year for election of the directors. But the election commission of the bank on August 14 of the previous year held the eight ineligible persons for directorship as they lacked the required 2% shares. Later on August 20, they filed the petition under the Companies Act, 1994 questioning the decision of the election commission. The High Court on the same day stayed the election commission’s deci-

LRGB open-end fund approved n Tribune Report An open-end mutual fund has got green signal from securities regulator to begin its operation. The commission approved the prospectus of LRGB Unit Fund, an openend fund, said Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission in a statement yesterday. The fund size is of Tk10 crore and its offer value Tk10 each unit. Of the amount, Tk9 crore has been kept for investors and Tk1 crore for sponsor. An open-end mutual fund is a fund that continuously sells new shares (units) and buys already issued shares at the market price. It is called “open” because its size fluctuates as shares are bought and sold every business day. LR Global Bangladesh is acting as fund manger of the mutual fund. l

HSBC and ICC jointly launch ICC Knowledge Centre n Tribune Business Desk

China’s $12tn corporate debt pushes up refunding costs, drives mergers Higher borrowing costs


sion and wanted to know why the decision should not be declared illegal. The eight were elected directors on August 21 last year. After holding hearing on the rule, the HC yesterday gave the judgment. Reshad Imam, lawyer of the Pubali Bank, told the Dhaka Tribune: “All the eight directors now have the 2% shares. They can be elected again through another AGM.” “The High Court made the post of eight directors vacant as they had not attained the required share.” He said an appeal would be lodged against the HC verdict since the vacancy might create complexities in the activities of the bank. l

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) in Bangladesh and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh have jointly launched a trade knowledge and network building platform titled “ICC Knowledge Centre”. The launching was complemented by a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signing ceremony between HSBC and ICC, said a press release. The ‘Knowledge Centre’ will provide the trade professionals of Bangladesh with an access to online resources, insights and trade related articles, researches and up to date trade information. Commenting on the launch of the knowledge centre, James Emmett, HSBC’s global head of trade and receivables finance said: “Bangladesh’s trade outlook is very positive and it is therefore crucial to provide exporters with the means to develop their knowledge of global trade practices.” l

Aarong chief receives women’s leadership award n Tribune Business Desk Tamara Hasan Abed, senior director of BRAC Enterprises and Aarong chief received the “Outstanding Women Leadership Award” by the World Women Leadership Congress on Feb 14 in Mumbai, India. Women leaders from across the world attended the two-day conference. Tamara Hasan, who is the daughter of BRAC’s founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, spoke on a panel discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing women leaders. l

BAB gets new chair n Tribune Report Professor of chemistry at Dhaka University Altaf Hussain has been appointed as chairman of Bangladesh Accreditation Board for a three-year term, says a press release yesterday. He was born in Sylhet on July 1, 1948. He obtained MSC degree from DU in 1969 and PHD from Sweden Stockholm University in 1978. Hussain worked as a visiting professor in some countries, including Sweden, German and New Zealand. l

Merchant bank changes name to AAA Finance & Investment Limited

BASIC Bank Limited and Bangladesh Rating Agency Ltd (BDRAL) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Kazi Faqurul Islam, the bank’s managing director and Saikat Poddar, managing director of BDRAL seen exchanging MoU documents

Bank Asia has donated Tk4.8 lakh financial assistance to the family of Major (late) Md Humayun Kabir Sarker who was killed in BDR carnage at Pilkhana in 2009. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in presence of A Rouf Chowdhury, the bank’s chairperson handed over the cheque to the widowed at a function held at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday

AAA Consultants & Financial Advisers Limited, a merchant bank, has changed its company name to “AAA Finance & Investment Limited” with same registered address with effect from January 23 this year. All communication henceforth should be in new name of the company

AAA Finance & Investment Limited and as per the Companies Act 1994, the change of name will not affect or change any rights or obligations by or against the company, including those under any contract between the company and any other party or parties and any legal proceedings by or against the company. l

Standard Chartered Bank recently signed an agreement with Sonali Bank Ltd to facilitate online tax collection. Pradip Kumar Dutta, managing director and CEO of Sonali Bank, Hussain Shirazie, director amd head of transaction banking of Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh along with other senior officials from both the banks were present at the agreement signing ceremony

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Training and Research Academy arranged a week-long training course on “Banking Laws and Practices” last Sunday. The bank’s managing director Md Habibur Rahman inaugurated the course as chief guest

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over cheques to five army officer families held at a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in the city yesterday. National Bank Limited shared responsibilities of financial support for five families affected by BDR carnage of 2009 amounting Tk40,000 per month for each family totaling two crore and forty lakh taka in ten years

Warren Buffett


Back Page


Berkshire Hathaway, United States


Source Citizenship

Microsoft, United States



Amancio Ortega


DHAKA Inditex, TRIBUNE Spain

Carlos Slim Helu & family


America Movil, Mexico


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Billionaire boom for Asia: Chinese survey n50AFP, Beijing

Asia experienced a billionaire boom last year, with more than 200 people from the continent seeing their net worth pass into 10 figures, a Chinese publisher said yesterday. A total of 824 Asians were included among 40 the 1,867 people named as dollar billionaires on Jeff the Bezos Hurun Report’s global rich list. $37 That was an Amazon, increase of 216 on the previous year, accounting for just over United States half the overall rise of 414. Among individual countries, the United 30 States led with 481 billionaires,


the most in the world, followed by Chi- past year to $25bn. He ranked 72nd last year, according to the report. na’s 358, it added. Hoogewerf told reporters that 90 At the top of the table, US technology Chinese billionaires held “senior pogiant Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates Larry Ellison Arnault advisory positions”, including overtook Mexican telecom tycoon Car- liticalBernard $48 $46 los Slim as the world’s richest person, 31 delegates to the National People’s Oracle, LVMH, China’s rubber-stamp parliaCongress, the luxury magazine publisher said. United States France and three representatives to the “The US economic recovery and an ment, IT boom have driven the world’s billion- last Communist Party Congress. “I think it’s a co-option ... it’s part aires to record levels,” Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said in a of the whole package of being successSheldon Adelson he said. statement $36.5 accompanying the survey.Charlesful,” Koch David Koch “They would like access to the politrichest person in mainland LasThe Vegas Sands, $36 $36 ical elite, plus the political elite wants China United- property States magnate Wang Jianlin Koch Industries, Koch Industries, - shot up to 26th spot on the global list to hear their opinions, because they United States United States with his net worth doubling over the are big taxpayers and they are big em-



Countries with most billionaires By citizenship




1,867 billionaires in 68 countries $6.9 trillion

Total wealth:

US 481

Taiwan 37

China 358

Canada 35

Russia 103

Turkey 32

Britain 77

Australia 29

India 70

Singapore 28

Germany 66

S. Korea 27

Switzerland 56

Indonesia 27

Brazil 48

Italy 22

Japan 43

Spain 20

France 37

UAE 17

Source: Hurun Global Rich List

Google sets roadblocks to stop distracted driver legislation n Reuters, San Francisco Google is lobbying officials in at least three US states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the nascent wearable technology. Some eight U.S. states are considering regulation of Google Glass, a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame. Law enforcement and other groups are concerned that drivers wearing the devices will pay more attention to their email than the road, causing serious accidents. So-called wearables such as Google Glass, smart watches and sophisticated health devices may represent the next big shift in technology, just as smartphones evolved from personal computers, and enthusiasts predict billiondollar markets. Google, which is still testing Glass, charges $1,500 per pair. Google Inc has deployed lobbyists to persuade elected officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri that it is not necessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel, according to state lobbying disclosure records and interviews conducted by Reuters. Legislators who introduced similar bills this year in three other states, New York, Maryland and West Virginia, say they have not yet been contacted by Google. Officials in New Jersey and Wyoming did not respond to inquiries from Reuters. Courts are just beginning to consider the matter. Last month in San Diego, for instance, a woman’s traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass behind the wheel was dismissed because there was no proof the device was operating at the time. Google’s main point to legislators is that regulation would be premature because Google Glass is not yet widely available, the state elected officials say. Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein, a Chicago Democrat who introduced a Google Glass restriction bill in December, responded that it was clear the merchandise was heading for the broader public. “Who are they fooling?” Silverstein said he recently met with Google lobbyists trying to “kill” the bill, a position Silverstein suggested is driven by market considerations for the company. State records show the month after Silverstein introduced his bill, Google retained John Borovicka, a former political director for President Obama’s former chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Borovicka visited Silverstein to lobby against the

legislation, the state senator said. Borovicka did not respond to a request for comment. Asked about its lobbying efforts, Google said tech issues are a big part of current policy discussions in the states. “We think it is important to be part of those discussions,” the company said in a statement. Google has been scheduling Glass demonstrations across the country in an effort to educate the public on how the technology works. “While Glass is currently in the hands of a small group of Explorers,” the company said, “we find that when people try it for themselves they better understand the underlying principle that it’s not meant to distract but rather connect people more with the world around them.”

Persuading the powerful

Campaigns against distracted driving have gained significant traction in the United States. In 2012, over 3,000 people died due to crashes where texting or other activities were in play, according to, a US government web site devoted to the issue. Delaware state Rep. Joseph Miro was one of the primary sponsors of a bill that banned texting while driving, and he also introduced legislation targeting Google Glass. So far, no states have passed Google Glass restrictions. “I’m not against Google or Google Glass. It may have a place in society,” said Miro, a Republican. “My issue is that while you are driving, you should have nothing that is going to impede the concentration of the driver.” According to Miro, a Google representative lobbied against the bill by forwarding a news article about the San Diego court case, as an attempt to show that the courts are taking a dim view towards prosecutions. His bill passed committee and could receive a floor vote this spring, Miro said. Google’s position is at odds with groups like the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, which in a letter last year said it supported restrictions on drivers’ use of headsets such as Google Glass, believing it will lead to more accidents, causing more spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Google advises people engaged in Glass field tests to abide by state laws that limit use of mobile devices while driving. “Above all, even when you’re following the law, don’t hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road,” the company said in guidance posted online. l

LinkedIn launches China version despite censorship fears

n AFP, Beijing

Business networking site LinkedIn has launched a Chinese version, attempting to tap the huge market while navigating a strict censorship regime that has seen other foreign social media giants banned. China has the world’s largest online community with more than 618 million users. But its so-called Great Firewall blocks any online forums or content deemed sensitive, and it has barred access to Facebook and Twitter for several years. Foreign tech giants must abide by strict rules to operate in the country. While the Chinese version of LinkedIn allows users to post public comments, unlike its English-language counterpart it does not currently allow group discussions. LinkedIn pledged to be limited and open about its compliance. “As a condition for operating in the country, the government of China imposes censorship requirements on Internet platforms,” CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement on its website on Sunday. Weiner promised that “government restrictions on content will be implemented only when and to the extent required” and that it “will be transparent about how it conducts business in China”. “LinkedIn strongly supports freedom of expression and fundamentally disagrees with government censorship. At the same time, we also believe that LinkedIn’s absence in China would deny Chinese professionals a means to connect with others on our global platform,” he said. l

ployers.” But inclusion on a Hurun rich list can be a mixed blessing for wealthy Chinese, intensifying public and government scrutiny of them and their companies. Some have subsequently been investigated or imprisoned, among them Huang Guangyu, who was proclaimed China’s highest net worth individual three times, most recently in 2008. Huang was jailed for 14 years in 2010 for illegal business operations, insider trading and corporate bribery. Businessmen “don’t really want to be on the list”, Hoogewerf admitted, but said they were becoming more willing to talk about their wealth as they expand their activities overseas. The world’s dollar billionaires had a total wealth of $6.9tn, more than Japan’s entire GDP, the report said. Gates replaced Slim, chairman of mobile phone carrier America Movil, as the globe’s wealthiest individual with his net worth rising 26% to $68bn as of January 17, it said. US investment guru Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega, founder of Spanish textile giant Inditex, which owns global fashion brand Zara, ranked second and third on the Hurun Global Rich List 2014, with assets of $64bn and $62bn respectively, it showed. Slim and his family took fourth spot, after their wealth fell nine percent year-on-year to $60bn due to currency and share price movements, the report said. Slim remained the world’s richest person with assets of $73bn on the 2013 ranking by US-based Forbes magazine, followed by Gates on $67bn. It listed a total of 1,342 billionaires. l

A mobile device coupled to a toothbrush is presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Mobile World Congress runs from the 24 to 27 February where participants and visitors alike can attend conferences, network, discover cutting-edge products and technologies at among the 1,700 exhibitors as well as seek industry opportunities and make deals AFP

LinkedIn launches China version despite censorship fears n AFP, Beijing

Business networking site LinkedIn has launched a Chinese version, attempting to tap the huge market while navigating a strict censorship regime that has seen other foreign social media giants banned. China has the world’s largest online community with more than 618 million users. But its so-called Great Firewall blocks any online forums or content deemed sensitive, and it has barred access to Facebook and Twitter for several years. Foreign tech giants must abide by strict rules to operate in the country. While the Chinese version of LinkedIn allows users to post public comments, unlike its English-language counterpart it does not currently allow group discussions. LinkedIn pledged to be limited and open about its compliance. “As a condition for operating in the country, the government of China imposes censorship requirements on Internet platforms,” CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement on its website on Sunday. Weiner promised that “government restrictions on content will be implemented only when and to the extent required” and that it “will be transparent about how it conducts business in China”. “LinkedIn strongly supports freedom of expression and fundamentally disagrees with government censorship. At the same time, we also believe that LinkedIn’s absence in China would deny Chinese professionals a means to connect with others on our global plat-

form,” he said. The company, which targets working professionals on the job market, said it was targeting more than 140 million Chinese users - nearly half its existing 277 million global members.

As a condition for operating in the country, the government of China imposes censorship requirements on Internet platforms, Its English-language version has been available in China for more than a decade, where it has attracted four million users, the statement said. British-based technology site was dismissive, saying: “In a nutshell, Weiner and co. decided a censored LinkedIn would still be more beneficial for China’s business professional than no LinkedIn at all. “Or rather, that the prospect of 100m+ extra users was too good an opportunity to turn down because of trifling matter like freedom of expression online.” Foreign tech giants have faced challenges in navigating China’s strict Internet controls, which are used to block expressions of discontent or other content that might undermine the control of the ruling Communist Party. Yahoo elicited criticism in 2005 for allegedly giving the government de-

tails leading to the email account of a journalist who was later sentenced to 10 years’ jail. Google halted its mainland China search engine service in 2010 after deciding it would no longer censor results. Facebook and Twitter were banned after they were used by protesters in the Middle East and North Africa to organise uprisings starting in late 2010 that overthrew longstanding regimes, in what became known as the Arab Spring. Microsoft’s Bing search engine came under scrutiny earlier this month following reports that Chinese-language searches for topics deemed politically sensitive by Beijing returned drastically different results to English-language searches - both inside and outside China. Bing has denied censoring its Chinese-language search results outside China. Domestic social media networks thrive in the country but face strict controls. Searches for sensitive terms are routinely blocked and offending posts are deleted. China’s Supreme Court ruled that month that Internet users could face three years in jail if “slanderous” information spread online was viewed more than 5,000 times or forwarded more than 500 times. China’s online population - defined as those who have used the Internet at least once in the past six months - is the largest in the world, having risen by 53 million in 2013 alone, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre. l

Samsung debuts wearables and Galaxy S5 n Reuters, Barcelona

Samsung Electronics unveiled a new smartwatch and fitness band along with the latest version of its Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist. The world’s biggest smartphone maker set a trend less than six months ago for wearable devices that link to mobile handsets with its Galaxy Gear watch, which has seen rivals like Sony and Huawei follow in its wake. The switch in focus also underlines the challenges the South Korean firm is facing. Low-price Chinese rivals are churning out products that look increasingly similar at a time when smartphone sales have started to ease, taking a toll on Samsung’s earnings. To fight back, Samsung is taking a less glitzy marketing approach to control costs. It has also performed a Uturn, abandoning its previous heavy focus on sweeping hardware improve-

ments to highlight more subtle features in its devices and accessories in a bid to appeal to a wider audience. “With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is going back to basics,” JK Shin, co-chief executive and president of Samsung’s mobile business, told an audience of Samsung employees, partners and media at the annual Mobile World Congress technology trade show in Barcelona. Samsung will roll out the S5 globally on April 11, with pricing details yet to be disclosed. “Our consumers do not want eyepopping technology or the most complex technology,” he said. Instead, the want beautiful design, a better camera, faster connectivity and technology that would help them keep fit, Shin said. Market expectations for the new S5, one of Samsung’s marquee product launches this year, remain subdued given its comparative lack of innovation. “The Galaxy S5 has great features and will probably sell well due to mas-

sive marketing support,” Forrester Research analyst Thomas Husson said. “But is the total product experience it offers differentiated enough to continue the sales success story? Is it enough to bet on fitness and fingerprint sensors to beat Apple - rooting the experience in people’s daily lives? I don’t think so.” The Galaxy S5, which will be available in April, has a slightly bigger screen than its predecessor, at 5.1 inches compared with 5 inches, improved camera technology and better protection against water and dust, Samsung said. It also has a fingerprint scanner on the home button, which rival Apple introduced in the iPhone 5S last year. The function can be used to protect data and provide security credentials in a swipe. “It’s very unlikely for the S5 sales to top its predecessor S4’s performance during the key initial sales period,” said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities in Seoul. “I think sales would

come in fewer than 20 million units in the first three months of the launch.” At a relatively low-key launch event in Barcelona, Samsung also unveiled the Gear 2 smartwatch, which runs on the Tizen operating system rather than Google’s (GOOG.O) Android software, and a stripped-down version called Gear 2 Neo, which doesn’t have a camera. The devices can monitor the wearer’s heart rate, a function used in increasingly popular health and fitness apps, or individual programmes. The Samsung Gear Fit, also targeting the fitness sector, has a heart rate monitor, too, as does the Samsung Galaxy S5 itself, a first for a smartphone, Samsung said. The Gear Fit has a curved touchsensitive screen and its features include a pedometer, Samsung said. Shares in Samsung, Asia’s most valuable technology company with a market value of $204bn, rose 0.6%, versus a 0.7% gain in the wider market. l

February 26, 2014