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Poush 3, 1420 Safar 13, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 263


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AL turns back the clock ‘to compromise’
Ershad’s U-turn made the ruling party change the game plan
Hossain Shaikh and n Emran Syed Samiul Basher Anik
As part of a “compromise” deal with its once ally Jatiya Party, the Awami League has allegedly pressured many of its candidates to withdraw nominations so that JaPa candidates could be elected uncontested. In many such constituencies, letters were sent to the returning officers instructing them to accept withdrawal candidate did not wish to contest the polls anymore. Reportedly, in many of these constituencies, where JaPa leaders were wanted, the Awami League candidates refused to withdraw nominations. There are allegations that some of these candidates were forced to withdraw their nominations and the returning officers were instructed to accept their withdrawal applications even if it was after December 13. Some of these nomination withdrawal papers, submitted after that date, were reportedly accepted with retrospective effect. For example, an application – dated December 12 and submitted on December 14 – was accepted. The Awami League “compromised” these seats to ensure JaPa’s participation and a credible look for the upcoming polls. Sources said the Election Commission took more than usual in finalising the list of “elected uncontested” candidates because of those “compromised” constituencies.

Bangladesh rewrites record books with largest human flag n Emran Hossain
What could be the greatest strength of a country not larger than a tiny dot on the globe? Its people, obviously! It was in an emotional display of patriotism that over 27,000 people proved their collective strength yesterday as Bangladesh set the world record for the largest human-flag ever made. And it could not be done at a more opportune moment or against a more desired opponent. Just days ago, the country saw long-denied justice finally delivered when Abdul Quader Molla – who earned notoriety for his crimes against humanity as a collaborator of the Pa-

A staggering 27,117 people stand united, holding green and red boards above their heads, to put up the world’s biggest ever human flag at the National Parade Ground on Victory day yesterday SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Blockade again n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Main opposition BNP-led 18-party alliance yesterday called for another 72hour spell of nationwide rail, road and waterway blockade starting 6am today. The fresh blockade came at a time when country was celebrating Victory Day with renewed enthusiasm following the execution of war criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla. The opposition combine – of which Jamaat is a key component – came up with the programme after a four-day recess. Source said this spell might continue till December 25 – the Christmas

Five killed in shootout
n Ashif Islam Shaon
Five activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir died while engaging in a shootout with law enforcers during a police raid in two upazilas of Satkhira yesterday. The joint force, formed with police, Rapid Action Battelion (Rab), Border Guard Bangladesh and Ansar, arrested nine from the spots. Being tipped off, police went to the spots to arrest Jamaat-Shibir men accused in different cases filed in connection with the recent incidents of violence in the district. Later, locals vandalised and torched 14 houses of some Jamaat-Shibir activists in the upazilas out of fury. Three Jamaat-Shibir activists died in separate incidents of clashes in the sadar upazila while two other died in Debhata upazila, said Chowdhury Manjurul Kabir, superintendent of the district police. Police identified one of the deceased as Jahangir Hossain, 25, a shibir activist. Abdur Rauf, 32, and Reyazul Islam, 35, the two bullet-hit Jamaat men and a local Ainul Islam, 38, were admitted to Satkhira sadar hospital.

kistanis in the 1971 War of Liberation – was finally executed. Yesterday, Victory Day created an ideal occasion to celebrate that justice. The fact that the previous human flag record was held by none other than Pakistan, having recreated its flag using 24,000 people, was the icing on the cake. Pakistan broke the earlier record of 21,726 people set by Hong Kong about five years ago. The National Parade Ground, where history was rewritten yesterday, was buzzing with enthusiasm from the early morning, with as many as 27,117 participants – students, members of Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force and

Rawshan settled on a deal of 60 uncontested seats, including one for herself, to be elected uncontested
applications from Awami League candidates. Some of these letters were reportedly signed by HT Imam, adviser to the prime minister and co-chairman of the Awami League’s Election Steering Committee. The last date for withdrawing nomination was Friday, December 13. The process is to file an application telling the respective returning officer that the

n Abu Bakar Siddique
The nation yesterday observed its 43rd Victory Day commemorating the unsung heroes who sacrificed their lives during the Liberation War and brought the victory for the country on the same day in 1971. The celebration began with a 31-gun salute at dawn to pay respect to the heroic struggle that brought the independence for the country. The National Flag was hoisted atop all government, semi-government and other important establishments. Marking the 43rd Victory Day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday morning paid their tributes to the heroic sons of the soil who had laid down their lives to be independent from Pakistan through a nine-month-long war. The president and the prime minister paid tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar at about 6:40am. After placing the wreaths, President Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stood there in solemn silence for some time to show their respect to the memories of the martyrs of the great Liberation War in 1971. The Chief Justice, Ministers, lawmakers, the chiefs of the three forces, freedom fighters, diplomats and high civil and military officials, wounded freedom fighters and family members of the heroic award-winning Birshrestha were present on the occasion.  Later, along with her party leaders, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also president of the Bangladesh Awami League, placed another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party. Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia along with her party’s prominent leaders placed wreath to honour the heroes at the National Memorial. The day was a public holiday. People of different political, social,



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nation observes Victory Day

Jamaat-Shibir holds secret programme on Victory Day n Manik Miazee
Jamaat-e-Islami in a statement yesterday claimed that it had held a discussion on the occasion of the Victory Day. But the opposition 18-party ally did not mention the venue of the event. Earlier also, when Jamaat had announced a series of programmes, including the Victory Day discussion, it did not mention the venue and did not even invite media to cover it. Its statement said at the discussion "held at an auditorium in the city" party leaders had criticised the ongoing war crimes trial, execution of Abdul Quader Molla, and holding the January 5 polls without the opposition alliance. When the Dhaka Tribune contacted several senior leaders they declined to disclose the venue. Jamaat, which has lost its registration as a political party, along with the 18-party allies has been enforcing series of blockades that has seen mindless violence since the election date was announced on November 25. According to the statement, Central Executive Committee member and city unit Ameer Abdul Halim said the Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists would play a leading role to resist the activities of the “Awami League fascist group.” He said: “Even after 42 years of independence, it has not turned meaningful. Unity of a nation is needed for its development, but mal-politics of the Awami League is dividing the country.” The press release said Halim presided over the programme while other senior leaders also spoke. In a separate press release, Jamaat’s student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir claimed that it had carried out a colourful procession at Khilgaon and held discussions in Dhaka, Bogra, Moulvibazar, Chapainawabganj, Dinajpur, Comilla and Noakhali to mark the day. l

President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia pay their respects at the National Memorial Monument at Savar yesterday

cultural and professional backgrounds gathered at the monument with flowers and banners to show respect to the sons and daughters who sacrificed everything possible for the independence of Bangladesh. In addition to the capital, same types of programmes were organised to honor the martyrs across the country. Following the high officials, thousands of people full with the spirit of independence gathered at the National Mausoleum to pay homage to the freedom fighters and commemorate the sacrifices of those who are living with the memories of 1971. Asked about how he felt on the day, a Jahagirnagar University student Ahsan who went there to place wreath at the National Mausoleum with his friends told the Dhaka Tribune it gave him inspiration to do something for the country. “I have been coming each morning of the Victory Day since I got enrolment in the University in 2010, he also said, adding that I am happier this year as we have made it possible to hang Ab-

dul Quader Molla, one of the war crime convicts.” Like every year, parts of the city wore a festive look since early morning. A number of buildings, vehicles and road islands were decorated with national flags of different sizes. In many streets and shops, popular patriotic songs played through loudspeakers throughout the day. Men, women and children in green and red flocked into various monuments and parks including the National Mausoleum and the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban area and many other public places to participate in the many cultural programmes across the city. “I had been taking my children to the National Mausoleum at Savar to pay tributes to the war heroes for the last few years to make them understand the significance of the day,” said Mahjabin Islam, a mother of two children. Bangladesh missions, deputy missions and consulates abroad also observed the day. Similarly, foreign missions in Dhaka gave separate messages on the occa-

sion of the Victory Day. In his message, Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh H.E. Alexander A. Nikolaev congratulated all citizens of the country on this great occasion. He said: “Today on behalf of mine as well as the Russian Embassy in Dhaka I would like to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and freedom fighters of Bangladesh.” The ambassador observed that the diplomatic relations between Russia and Bangladesh had always been comprehensive from the moment of its establishment in the early 70-s, from the very first days of Bangladesh as an independent state. Russia and Bangladesh share a common approach to ideas of peace and democracy i.e. multi-polar global architecture and a fair international economic system, said Alexander A. Nikolaev. “Taking this opportunity on this auspicious day I would like to wish all our Bangladeshi friends happiness and prosperity, health and new achievements in their further move to the na-

tional progressive development,” read the message. The ambassadors of European Union member states did not attend the Victory Day programme yesterday morning. An official of the EU Embassy in Dhaka said: “They could not attend the programme as they had an internal coordination meeting.” He, however, said ambassadors went to Bangabhaban and greeted President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani occupation forces, Gen AAK Niazi along with his 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered at Ramna Racecourse, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka following a miserable defeat to the joint forces of Mukti Bahini and Mitra Bahini. In one of the heinous acts of genocide in human history, the Pakistan army and their local collaborators had launched a barbarous crackdown on March 25, 1971 in the erstwhile East Pakistan at midnight past, killing innocent and unarmed people. l

Ban terrorist Jamaat, Shibir, urge activists
n Muktasree Chakma Sathi
Terming the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir “terrorist organisations,” noted citizens, freedom fighters and socio-cultural leaders of Ganajagaran Mancha yesterday urged the government to ban the party immediately. At the Bijoy Utsab 2013 held at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on the occasion of the Victory Day, they said the Jamaat-Shibir could not be labelled as a democratic political party. The speakers also called upon people to resist every sort of attack carried out by the Jamaat-Shibir men. Sector Commanders’ Forum chief AK Khandker said the recent spate of violence during the so-called political activities of the Jamaat- Shibir could only be termed "new version of atrocities in 1971." Professor Emeritus Dr Anisuzzaman said: “Those who were against the humanity [in 1971] will have to face the trial. Human life is valuable, but for the sake of justice, we demand the highest punishment for the perpetrators as soon as possible.” Prof Muhammad Zafar Iqbal said the Jamaat had not been a party that follows Islam, “rather they are very much into terrorism.” Later, different platforms performed at a cultural programme. At 4:31 pm, the moment when the Pakistani occupation army had surrendered in 1971, thousands of people sang the national anthem in chorus. The Ganajagaran Mancha organisers said people in different districts and also abroad observed the historic moment. l

Bangladesh Blockade again rewrites record and a national holiday – with only onepause on Friday. books with largest day“We urge the people of the country to observe blockade programmes human flag peacefully from 6am on December to

AL turns back the clock

Remarkably, the names of three JaPa candidates – M Shawkat Chowdhury from Nilphamari 4, Moshiur Rahman Ranga from Rangpur 1 and Fakhrul Imam from Mymensingh 8 – were sent to the EC on Sunday, two days after the deadline for nomination withdrawal. After having joined the “all party” interim government, JaPa chief HM Ershad, in a sudden U-turn, announced on December 4 that he and his party could not join the polls unless participation of all parties was ensured. The unexpected announcement reportedly forced the Awami League to change its game plan and contact Ershad’s wife Rawshan, a presidium member of Japa. Rawshan was one from a group of JaPa leaders who did not want to pull out of the polls. However, frightened by the attacks on some of the Awami League candidates during the ongoing political unrest, Rawshan did not want to risk the lives of the JaPa leaders, who were with her. Sources said she settled on a deal of 60 uncontested seats, including one for herself, to be elected uncontested so that they needed not to run campaigns on the field. Up until December 13, a total of “only” 11 JaPa candidates were elected uncontested, which outraged Rawshan. Sources from the two parties said senior Awami League leaders Tofail Ahmed and Gowher Rizvi went to Rawshan’s house and managed to convince her. Later, the Awami League instructed many of its candidates to withdraw their nomination papers. As of yesterday, a total of 21 JaPa

candidates have been elected uncontested. Zafar Alam, a former Awami League candidate from Cox’s Bazar 1 constituency, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had no option but to withdraw. “The leader [Sheikh Hasina] gave us nomination. It was she again who instructed her to withdraw.” When asked what date his nomination withdrawal application was marked with, Zafar smiled and said: “My nomination withdrawal application was dated December 13.” He also said: “This is not the last election. We may have another one within a year or two. Bless me so that I can get nomination for that election.” Former Awami League nominee Ragebul Ahsan Ripu from Bogra 6 said: “Central command’s instruction for me was to withdraw nomination if JaPa candidate did not. Since the JaPa candidate did not withdraw nomination, I withdrew.” The Awami League leader claimed that he filed withdrawal application at 8pm Friday, although the deadline was 5pm. Awami League Presidium Member Begum Motia Chowdhury, also agriculture minister of the polls-time government, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had not been hiding anything; the prime minister had sacrificed for the sake of democracy. “We left some seats to them [JaPa]. Moreover, if Khaleda Zia joined the polls, we would not have nominated anyone in her constituency,” Motia said. She claimed that the delay in placing withdrawal papers was systemic, rather than anything else. l

Ansar Bahini – ready to be a part of the big moment. They stood shoulder to shoulder, holding placards of a rectangular shape overhead, froming an exact replica of the national flag. As they raised their hands high into the air, the whole ground became a triumph of green and red. They stood there for six minutes and 16 seconds in that order. It was a moment of pride and satisfaction for both the participants and millions of viewers watching the event on the ground or live on television. Saiful Islam Rabiul, a student volunteer from the Agargaon-Taltola Government Colony High School, who led the front section made up of his schoolmates, described what it was like to be a constituent part of the flag. “I woke up at seven in the morning and came here. It felt really wonderful to be here,” said Rabiul, now in his sixth grade. However, it was not an easy task for the organisers to manage such a large group of people, formed mostly by young girls and boys from different schools and madrasas. The hardest part was making sure they synced up with their older, and more organised, counterparts from the armed forces. There were several thousand viewers, most of them relatives of the participants, present on the ground who watched in awe as the flag slowly took shape. They cheered when it was finally done, after over three hours of effort. Their inspiration and elation, as well as that of the organisers, was clearly rooted in the fact that it was Pakistan which had lost its claim to the Guinness World Record for the largest human flag. “We defeated Pakistan on this day in 1971 and we did the same thing today,” said Faridur Reza Sagar, managing director of Channel i, one of the media partners for the event organised by private mobile phone operator Robi – with the help of the Bangladesh Armed Forces Division. The Dhaka Tribune, Bangladesh Pratidin, Kaler Kontho, and Radio Foorti were the other media partners. Noted actor Afzal Hossain, who moderated the event, said documents relating to the record would be sent to the Guinness authorities for their official recognition. l

6am Friday for realising the demand for suspending polls schedule and holding the elections under a non-partisan government,” said BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan while announcing the fresh programmes at a press briefing at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office yesterday. On Sunday, the Awami League leaders asked party men to resist and launch counter attack on “those who are inciting anarchy across the country.” Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif siad: “Enough is enough. Stop terrorist acts. After the Victory Day, every attack will be dealt with befitting replies.” The opposition-combine has so far observed similar nationwide blockade programmes on three spells, which saw widespread violence and deaths and injuries in clashes, arson attacks and bomb blasts.

Among the three modes of communication, railway was the biggest victim of sabotage and arson attacks. “The government is adamant to hold the polls on January 5. A total of 154 have already been elected uncontested. There is no hope that the polls schedule will be deferred. That is why we have to continue the movement. There are chances that a non-cooperation movement may be announced for January 1-voting day,” a BNP leader, seeking anonymity, said. In the press briefing, Nazrul alleged that the country was being pushed towards a civil war as the government had asked the Awami League leaders and activists to assist the law enforcers to oppress the opposition. He asked the government to withdraw such an “illegal order.” The BNP leader alleged that the government was heading for a “farcical poll” ignoring the people’s demand. More than 150 candidates getting elected uncontested was rare in world history. “What sort of democracy is this? 154 are elected uncontested. People will

not forgive those who are playing to destroy democracy wearing the musk of democracy. It would be marked as a stigmatised chapter of history,” he added. Earlier, in a Victory Day discussion organised by Dhaka city unit BNP, opposition leaders alleged that the government was killing people indiscriminately in the month of victory. “There is no rule of law in the country. The country has been turned into a prison because of the government’s repressive policy,” said Jamiruddin Sircar, another standing committee member of BNP. Vice-chairman of the party Hafizuddin Ahmed termed the government “terrorist.” Criticising the leaders of the country’s business community, Shahjahan Omar, adviser to BNP chairperson, said: “You are not creating any pressure upon her [Sheikh Hasina]. Ask her to quit and then all the problems will be solved.” Oli Ahmed, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party, said this victory day has been a “mourning day” for many. l

Five killed in shootout

They started the drives from 2am, said Manjurul Kabir. On the other hand, a union-level BNP leader and a worker died in a gunfight with Rab personnel during a raid in Laxmipur Sadar upazila during the early hours yesterday. A driver of a CNG-run Auto-rickshaw succumbed to burn injuries yesterday at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Blockade supporters set fire to his vehicle in Hathazari upazila of Chittagong 15 days back. The SP said around 4am, one team had reached Satani village of the sadar upazila where the local Jamaat-Shibir men cordoned them off prompting to open fire. Jahangir was left dead on the spot in the incident. Around 5am, another team reached Shatkhira and Shakhipur areas in Debhata upazila where the Jamaat-Shibir men enclosed them and pelted bricks towards them. The armed cadres opened fire at one stage. “When we retaliated four of their men died on the spot,” the SP said. However, they could not ascertain names of the deceased as the Jamaat-Shibir activists took the body away, he added. Jamaat district unit’s Publicity Secretary Azizul Islm claimed that one of their activists had died being hit by a bullet and another named Sayeb Babu, 32, of Sadar Upazila died in a heart attack during the raid. He told Dhaka Tribune that the number and names of the deceased

would be disclosed today. He also alleged that the joint forces have ransacked, looted and torched residences of a number of their leaders and activists during the drive. Shatkhira has turned into a “place of terror” during the last three spates of blockades called by the opposition combine. Satkhira, known to be a stronghold for the Jamaat, has been beset with violence and anarchy after the execution of war criminal Quader Molla on December 12. Around hundreds of residences of Awami League leaders, activists and supporters, and business establishments were torched in last four days. The Jamaat-Shibir men looted and vandalised 30 houses and establishments of people of the Hindu community there. To contain the situation, local administration decided to conduct drives by forming the joint forces. Meanwhile, a union-level BNP leader and a worker died in a gunfight with Rab in Laxmipur sadar upazila early yesterday. The deceased are Asaduzzaman Babul, 50, BNP joint secretary general of Dighulia union unit, and his close associate Khorshed Alam Sumon, 48. Listed criminal Babul, accused in a number of cases including murder with Sadar police station. Babul’s wife claimed that Rab-11 members stormed into the house and opened fire when Babul and Sumon were having dinner . A team of Rab personnel went to the

house in Uttar Jamiltoli area around 12am to arrest them, said a Rab official He claimed that sensing presence of the force, Babul’s cohorts opened fire, prompting them to retaliate. Meanwhile, another driver of CNGrun Auto-rickshaw, Mohammad Abdul Aziz, 50, succumbed to burn injuries at DMCH’s burn unit around 4:30am yesterday. Blockaders set fire to his vehicle in Hathazari upazila of Chittagong 15 days back during the opposition combine blockade of roads, rail and waterways. The pickets hurled petrol bombs while he was on his way home in Hathazari upazila of the port city. Miscreants torched valuables and documents inside Sirajpur Union Parishad office in Companyganj upazila yesterday. Locals said a group of miscreants stormed into the office breaking its lock around 1:15am.They brought out some furniture, two computers and some necessary documents outside the office and burned them.

Six idlols vandalised

Some Jamaat-Shibir activists allegedly vandalised six idols of Hindu deities in a 200-year old temple in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat during the early hours yesterday. They entered the temple by breaking its gate and vandalised the idols at night, said Harendra Nath Roy, caretaker of the temple. “We, the Hindu people, cannot go out of our houses around midnight fearing subversion of the activists,” he said. l



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Teenage boy beaten to death in capital
n Mohammad Jamil Khan
A teenage street urchin succumbed to his injuries yesterday, a couple of days after being beaten severely by a group of people in Mirpur suspecting him to be a thief. Mohammad Imran Hossain, 15, was declared dead at Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 11am, said Mozammel Haque, inspector at the hospital police outpost. The body was sent to DMC morgue for an autopsy, he told the Dhaka Tribune. Hailing from Alinagar village of Bhola, Imran used to reside at a slum named Chhoy Number Bosti near Kalyanpur Natun Bazar.

Documents left mostly unprotected
n Udisa Islam
Officials at the International Crimes Tribunal are busy preparing a room in the tribunal building for preserving documents and certified copies of the war crimes cases already completed. Three labourers have been working relentlessly for the last couple of days to prepare a room on the ground floor of the tribunal building on old High Court premises. The temporary room, a 100 sq-ft one, would have security measures installed. All the documents of Abdul Quader Molla case were set to be sent back from the Supreme Court yesterday. The war criminal was executed on Thursday. But archive specialists have expressed concern over the measures saying that it is not the appropriate place to store documents as the building is too old. They also said the government should take initiative to create a permanent archive maintaining preservation standards with a view to protect the documents for long. It would be a great loss for the nation if the documents are damaged, they said. From the very beginning, the tribunal officers were facing problems to accommodate the parties since all the rooms of the building were not usable because of the presence of many wild rats. Most of the rooms are damp too. Shahriar Kabir of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee said the organisation had written to the law ministry in February 2009 about archiving the documents, but they did not bother. “They have courage but are not aware of the challenges of this trial.” As an achieve specialist, he said for preserving the records, “We need a certain humidified room, round-theyear air conditioning system and also a self-generator system. Every archive has its own necessity and for this, we need a group to do this.” He spontaneously mentioned about the presence of wild rats at the tribunal building and lack of damp-proof system. “To prevent these documents, we need to take indigenous and technical steps too,” he added. If the ministry would not do this, then they may urge the national archives authorities to take up the task. But Kabir suggested that the government patronise the archival system. History teacher Prof Muntasir Mamun said: “We offered the government to establish a genocide museum and for this, we have to preserve all the documents. In future, many national and international researches will be conducted on this trial.” He expressed frustration as many documents on the freedom fighters had been lost. “First, we need to appoint a catalyst who will keep the register.” Following his comments, Kabir said: “We need a man or group of men who know how to preserve documents for archives. If not, then we will be liable to our future generations who will want to know about their history.” Arunav Chakravarty, deputy registrar of the tribunal, said they were trying to accommodate the documents within the existing capacity. “It is the responsibility of the government to establish an archive.” Asked why they were yet to prepare a room for achieving, he blamed the public works department for the delay. l


USAID chief urges PM to find an agreement over polls
n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
USAID chief Rajiv Shah has urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to find an agreement to hold free and fair elections that are deemed credible by the people of Bangladesh. “Your considerable leadership skills can help the Bangladeshi major political parties find an agreed way to hold free and fair elections that are deemed credible by the people of BD,” said Shah in a letter sent to the premier in the first week of December.

The security guard of the building along with some other people beat up Imran badly for the alleged burglary
Salma Begum, elder sister of the victim, was found crying in front of the Dhaka Medical College morgue. She claimed that Imran had been innocent. A couple of days ago, corrugated iron sheets of an under-construction building beside their slum were stolen. Following the incident, the security guard of the building along with some other people beat up Imran badly, she said. “Later, they dumped the body of injured Imran at a local school ground.” Salma said Imran had been taken to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital on Sunday. But as his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the DMCH where duty doctors declared him dead. Anwar Hossain, sub-inspector of Mirpur police station and investigation officer of the case, told the Dhaka Tribune that police had arrested Abul Kashem, 42, security in-charge (north area) of Kalyanpur Samajkalyan Parishad for interrogation as he was the responsible for maintaining the building’s security. The accused security guard, however, is on the run since the incident. The incidents of extrajudicial mass beating have become a common phenomenon, especially in the rural areas of the country, these days. l

The US believes constructive dialogue between the major political parties is crucial to resolving any impasse over holding free, fair, and credible elections
Rajiv Shah’s letter is another one from Washington, last week six US Congressmen wrote a letter to Hasina and BNP chief Khaleda Zia, urging them to engage in dialogue. The USAID chief referred to the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Desai Biswal, who discussed the issue with the prime minister during her visit to Dhaka. “The US believes constructive dialogue between the major political parties is crucial to resolving any impasse over holding free, fair, and credible elections,” he said. The political parties need to have political space to express their views freely and peacefully, he added. “The people of Bangladesh want free, fair and credible elections. I urge you to find an agreed path to hold the elections that the Bangladeshi people so deeply want.” l

A freedom fighter breaks into tears as the Ganajagaran Mancha takes oath on the occasion of the Victory Day at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city yesterday


AL brings out procession to mark Victory Day
n Emran Hossain Shaikh
Awami League brought out a colourful procession in the capital yesterday to celebrate the 42th anniversary of the Victory Day. Dhaka City Awami League arranged the procession, which started from Suhrawardy Udyan in the afternoon and ended at the Bangabandhu Bhaban in Dhanmondi 32. The procession marched through the main streets of the capital such as Shabagh, Elephant road, the Science Laboratory and Kalabagan. Thousands of activists of the party from different age groups; carrying national flags, colourful placards and banners in their hands; joined the procession and chanted slogans thanking the government for executing the verdict of the International Crimes Tribunal against the butcher of Mirpur, Abdul Quader Molla. Before starting the procession, the crowd held a rally where the speakers warned against Jamaat-e-Islami, and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir, saying Awami League will create resistance against the mayhem of Jamaat-Shibir. The leaders who spoke at the rally said the government would act very soon to defy the violence, killing and mayhem of Jamaat-Shibir. Along with other leaders; the party’s Presidium Member Shahara Khatun, Agricultural Minister of polls time interim government Begum Motia Chowdhury, the party’s Joint Secretary Mahbub-Ul-Alam, Forest Minister Hasan Mahmud, State Minister of Law Quamrul Islam; also spoke at the programme while the City Awami League’s acting president MA Aziz presided over the rally. l

Chittagong tasted freedom on this day New drug testing lab n likely to open without proper preparation
Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Chittagong witnessed the hoisting of the national flag of a newborn country on this very day in 1971, following the surrender of the Pakistani army. A number of former freedom fighters recalled that the formal surrender was delayed here as the Joint Force of Bangladesh and India arrived on December 17, a day after the country formally achieved victory over Pakistan. “Victory was our absolute pride. Unfortunately as the events unfolded, the port city was liberated on December 17, a day later than Dhaka,” they recounted. Nonetheless, the belated victory was distinct. The occupation army lined up at the Chittagong Circuit House to surrender and witness the freedom fighters’ triumph, said Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, a commander of freedom fighters. “Two divisions of freedom fighters, one led by Deputy Commander Major Rafiqul Islam, was obstructed by the occupation army at Kumira of Shitakunda on December 16. The Joint Commands, however, defeated them and entered the city on December 17,” he said. Engineer Afsar Uddin, who was the joint commander of the Bengal Liberation Front and Freedom Fighters sent a group of fighters to Kalurghat Radio Station to broadcast news of victory. “To maintain law and order in the city from December 17, we were deployed at the strategic points. I was responsible for Bandar, Pahartali and Double Mooring. “It was our duty to contain the situation and make sure that the excited Bengalis did not harm the Biharis,” he said. Terming the day the most memorable of his life, he said thousands of people took to the streets with national flags, rejoicing and chanting “Joy Bangla.” People from all walks of life embraced the freedom, except for the Razakars, al-Badrs and the notorious gang of Fazlul Quadir Choudhry. Raisul Huq Bahar said although the country was officially free on December 16, the formal surrender in Chittagong took place held around 9am on December 17. Pakistani Army Officer Shamshad Ali Khan recalls his experience with his Indian counterparts in a Pakistani daily, The Express Tribune, on December 16, 2011. In his writing, he termed the surrender ceremony as, “My painful journey to surrender.” He said he witnessed the citizens of Chittagong celebrating “India’s victory.” Young girls and boys clad in colourful clothes, carried Indian and Bangladeshi flags. Vehicles ran on roads playing loud music. People shouted anti-Pakistan and pro-India slogans and “Joy Bangla.” Within 20 to 30 minutes of surrender, people and vehicles thronged in the streets. “I am the only unfortunate officer who witnessed that painful sight. The tormenting thought and feelings that crossed my mind cannot be expressed through words,” he wrote. Dr Mahfuzur said the spirit of the Liberation War could be resurrected by implementing good governance and ensuring accountability in every sector of the state. l

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
The newly-installed high-tech drug testing National Control Laboratory (NCL) is likely to start operations on January 1, after a few months of test service. With a Tk25 crore cost, the NCL has been set up with the financial support of World Bank and the World Health Organization on the premises of the Institute of Public Health in Mohakhali. Selim Barami, director at the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) and also the director (in-charge) of the NCL, confirmed the date and told the Dhaka Tribune: “The NCL is fully ready to start its activities. We will start our operation from January 1, 2014, whether it is formally opened or not.” Saying the installation of the laboratory had been completed a year ago, he added that the NCL faced a delay in going into operation because of a fire accident which destroyed some equipment and cables, while additional fund was not available at the time from the government for repair and replacement. However, seeking anonymity, a senior official said the NCL was still not ready to run its activities smoothly. Although the laboratory was fully-equipped with modern machines and other testing facilities, there was still a shortage of well-trained expert manpower behind the machines, the official added.

Moreover, the NCL did not have its own financial budget to administer the laboratory activities as per demand, the official informed. Currently, the NCL has been running under the Institute of Public Health, which is providing the cost of day-today expenses and also supplying chemicals and other materials. It has been learnt that the newly installed lab is likely to test up to 10,000 medicine samples a year, compared to the existing laboratory’s capacity of testing only 3,000 medicine samples – an amount which was inadequate given the current size of the pharmaceuticals market. The testing fees for existing and new medicines have been increased to Tk5,000 and Tk15,000 respectively, compared to previous fees of Tk1,500 and Tk7,500. The NCL would also be able to test vaccines, a feature which was not previously offered in the country. The DGDA and top pharmaceuticals had to send vaccine samples to Singapore or Thailand for testing earlier, but the NCL would now offer the same services at one fifth of the expense. Although the current state-owned lab lacked international standard, the newly-installed one is aiming to get WHO accreditation within a year, as inspection teams will visit and assess the NCL’s performance in different phases. l

The Awami League brings out a victory procession in the capital yesterday. The procession that started from the Engineers’ Institute ended at the Bangabandhu Museum at Dhanmondi Road number 32 RAJIB DHAR




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

City people enjoy a peaceful day after a long time
n Abu Hayat Mahmud
The People of Dhaka city enjoyed a different and peaceful day yesterday, celebrating the 43rd Victory Day of Bangladesh. City residents of different ages and professions came out of their homes to celebrate the memorable day. People visited the national parade ground at the old airport, attended cultural events, and went to different parks and shopping malls; leading to huge crowds across the city. City dwellers had been panicked because of the political unrest. They were fearful of coming out due to the oppositions’ violence which included setting fire to vehicles, hurling petrol bombs – and cocktail bombs – at public transport, vandalising public property, and blockading roads whilst demanding a caretaker government. However, the scenario in the capital was totally different yesterday. The opposition parties did not wage any political movements. Moreover, security was strengthened in the city. Different cultural organisations performed music, dance, literature recitals and street theatre. The festivities were spread across several venues including the Central Shaheed Minar, Rabindra Sorobor, Shaheed Buddhijibi Smriti Soudha Mancha, Mirpur, TSC, Dhaka University and Shishu Academy. Although government and private offices were closed for the public holiday, most of city’s shopping hubs and footpath shops were open without any fear of attack by pickets. Vehicles were available, so there were tailbacks on a few roads in the capital. Umme Habiba, a class four student of Shahid Anowar Girls School, came to the old airport parade ground to watch the Victory day parade. Habiba said: “My final exams finished in the last month, but I did not visit anywhere afterwards because of the political unrest. So I am very happy to have the chance to come here freely today.” Kamal Uddin, a vendor at Purana Paltan said: “I have not been able to run my business since the blockade started. During hartals and blockades we are scared to open our shops, but today has been a satisfactory day. I hope the situation continues in future.” Meanwhile, vehicle drivers and street vendors expressed delight at the violence-free day. The people who run business at the entrance and exit points of the capital have been facing hard times during the blockades, as the number of customers, mainly inter-district passengers, dropped significantly. l

Ganajagaran Mancha reconstructed the December 16, 1971 ceremony of the Pakistan army’s surrender at the Suhrawardy Udyan as part of the Victory Day observation yesterday. The picture shows restaging of Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora of the Allied Force escorting Pakistan Army’s Lt Gen AAK Niazi to the venue of signing the surrender intrument SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Chhatra League assaults teachers in CU
n FM Mizanur Rahaman
Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League allegedly made an attack on BNP Jamaat backed teachers when they’d formed a human chain at Chittagong University campus, yesterday morning. Two activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal— Abdul Quayum, former financial secretary of the party’s CU unit, and Mohammed Yasin, a second year student of the History department, were injured in the attack. Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of CU’s police outpost, said, protesting the attack, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activists blockaded the road and vandalised a Satkaniya College microbus. Rafiq added that the police finally did manage to remove the barricade from the road after assuring the agitators of taking the necessary steps towards catching the individuals connected to the incident. Witness said around 15 teachers of the BNP Jamaat backed White Panel, accompanied by Chhatra Dal men, formed a human chain at Buddijibi Chattar demanding the release of Mir Nasir Uddin, adviser to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, and Golam Akbar Khandokar, organizing secretary of the party’s CU unit. At one point during the programme, a group of Chhatra League people, loyal to ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, president of the city’s Awami League unit, rushed in and burnt the programme banner after snatching it away from the teachers.  During the attack Chhatra League activists harassed a number of teachers and beat up Chhatra Dal men when they tried to resist. l

JU VC driven away from campus on Victory Day
n JU Correspondent
A group of teachers of the Jahangirnagar University yesterday forcibly seized the Vice Chancellor’s car and drove him away from the campus. On December 9, under the banner “JU Teachers-Students and Officers-Employees United Forum,” they announced that VC Prof Anwar Hossain was unwanted on campus and sealed his house. Sources said Prof Anwar, who is currently on medical leave until December 20, came to the campus around 8am after paying homage at the National Memorial in Savar. He went to the residence of Pro-VC Prof Afsar Ahmed and found his residence sealed. Upon hearing the news of his arrival, the forum members gathered at the Pro-VC’s residence. They punctured the tyres of the car that the university had given to him, removed the university flag from it and forced the VC to leave immediately, sources said. Prof Anwar Hossain left the campus in the treasurer’s car sometime around 10am when the teachers chanted abusive words against him calling him a “rajakar” and killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Prof Kamrul Ahsan, member secretary of the forum told: “Prof Anwar Hossain is prohibited in the university and he is not our VC anymore. Therefore we have seized the car from him.” Prof Anwar Hossain told: “I’m still the VC of the university since I have not resigned, still, the teachers forced me to leave the campus and seized my car under duress.” He added that this was not the end and his turn would come soon. Pro-VC Prof Afsar Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune: “As Prof Anwar is currently the VC of the university, he can use the VC’s car according to the rules of the university.” A section of pro-Awami League teachers backed by ousted former VC Prof Shariff Enamul Kabir and pro-BNP teachers have been jointly agitating against the VC demanding his dismissal or resignation for the last ninth months. l

Khaled Khan new ULAB treasurer n Tribune Desk
The authorities of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh appointed Khaled Mahmood Khan as its new treasurer yesterday. Khan was appointed to the post for a four-year term, said a press release. He was previously the finance director of the institution and had earlier served as the registrar and deputy director of administration. Khan achieved his MCom degree from the University of Dhaka, and later worked as a theatre artist. He has received many awards including the IT Theatre Award 2013. l

Crashes kill five in three districts
n Tribune Report
Five people were killed in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Natore and Jhinaidah yesterday. Seven other people were injured in those accidents. In Chittagong, one person was killed as a human haulier overturned in Patiya upazila in the early hours of yesterday. The deceased was Md Alauddin, 20, of Jaldi under Banshkahli upazila. In Natore, three passengers of a human haulier were killed and six others were injured in a head-on collision with a goods-laden truck in the Dakmara graveyard area of sadar upazila. Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Tariqul Islam said the collision happened around 9:15pm, with two passengers dying on the spot. One more passenger died on the way to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. The driver and helper of the truck fled after the incident. In Jhinaidah, an elderly woman was killed and another injured as two human hauliers collided head-on at the main bus stand in Kotchandur town. The deceased was Banu Bibi, 60. Kotchandpur OC Shahjahan Ali said the accident happened around 2pm. Both the drivers managed to flee. A case was filed in connection. l


Dry weather likely to continue n UNB
Weather is likely to remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Light to moderate fog may occur over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions during late night till morning, Met Office said. Night temperature may fall slightly and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:15pm today and rises at 6:35am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 29.0 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday at Khepupara and lowest 08.4 degrees at Srimangal. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar High 27.0 26.6 25.3 24.8 27.6 27.5 27.2 28.5 Low 13.0 15.2 10.2 12.2 12.6 11.4 12.8 15.8

JaPa to stage demos for Ershad’s release
n Manik Miazee
Jatiya Party yesterday announced a two-day programme starting today demanding release of its chairman HM Ershad, who, the party claims, was being detained. At a Victory Day event at the party’s Banani office yesterday, JaPa Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader said programmes would also include submission of memorandums to deputy commissioners in all districts tomorrow. “If the government does not release party chief Ershad within two days, we will take tougher stance and announce further programmes.” Law enforcers “picked up” Ershad from his home on Thursday and admitted him to the Combined Military Hospital saying he was “ill.” “Since 1991, the country’s development has been impeded because of undemocratic activities by the two major parties” said JP presidium member GM Quader, who is a minister in the polls-time cabinet. His resignation was never accepted. “We took part in the interim government to hold peaceful and credible elections, expecting that all parties would be with us. But since not all the parties are taking part in the polls, we resigned as our chief announced that JP would not participate in the elections.” Meanwhile, Party Office Secretary Tajul Islam Chowdhury said on Sunday that candidates who were yet to withdraw their nomination papers would participate in the elections. l

Rizvi admitted to BSMMU
n Kailash Sarkar
BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi who has been unwell since yesterday afternoon, was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) from Dhaka Central Jail Hospital in the evening, after his health started deteriorating. Dr Mohammad Shamsuddin, incharge of Dhaka Central Jail Hospital, told the Dhaka Tribune that Rizvi had been referred to the BSMMU since he had been suffering from an ‘acute abdomen’ problem. “He had been vomiting and suffering from severe abdomen pains since 2pm,” Shamsuddin said adding that the BNP leader was shifted to the BSMMU around 5:30pm. “Though we had given him medicines, there was no improvement in his health so he was referred to BSMMU for some tests and better treatment,” the doctor added. Forman Ali, senior superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail said Rizvi had been suffering from stomach complexities for the last few days. The BNP leader was arrested in the early hours of November 30, from BNP’s central office in Nayapaltan, in connection with the arson attack on a bus near Motsya Bhaban on November 28. l

Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 5:14am 6:34am 11:55am 3:38pm 5:14pm 6:35pm



Photo Feature
Celebrating Victory Day 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Exuberance in red and green
Forty-two years have passed since we won our victory as an independent nation. It has not been easy and it is not either. Every year was full of events that dragged our souls to the trough and made it soar high as well. However, through thick and thin the people showed an unfettered love towards this land. Each time they dealt with challenges with the same resilience as was seen during our Liberation War. That spirit is starkly evident among the people, for whom every day is a struggle for victory. As the years go by, an increasing determination to do better is evident. This is manifested even more clearly in celebration of colours, especially within the young generation where it matters.

Flags abound at the National Memorial Monument at Savar


People rejoice after making the Guinness world record for the largest human flag at the National Parade Ground


People taking an oath, uniting against the anti-liberation forces at Suhrawardy Udyan


A wave of red and green floods the roads as a cheerful bunch of cyclists roll along in a massive column of almost 5,000 riders. Many cyclist groups from Dhaka as well as all over the country joined the event organised by BDCyclists to mark the Victory Day



A friend giving a hand to another wearing the colours


Suhrawardy Udyan


n AFP, Beijing
Sixteen people were killed in a clash in China’s restive Xinjiang region, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority, reports and activists said Monday, less than two months after a fiery attack in Tiananmen Square. Police attempting to detain criminal suspects in Shufu county near the Silk Road city of Kashgar, deep in far western China, were attacked by several “thugs” armed with explosive devices and knives, reported the tianshannet news portal, which is run by the Xinjiang government. Two police officers were killed and 14 of the “thugs” shot dead on Sunday, it said, adding that two criminal suspects were detained. But an overseas Uighur rights group said police had broken into a house where members of the ethnic minority were “gathering” and opened fire first. All 14 people killed by police were Uighurs and two of them were minors, Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, told AFP. “The abusive use of force by authorities in the area has deprived the Uighurs of their right to live,” he said. The incident comes less than two months after an attack in Tiananmen Square, the symbolic heart of the Chinese state, when according to police, three Xinjiang Uighurs ploughed into crowds of tourists, killing two people and injuring 40, before crashing outside the Forbidden City and setting their vehicle ablaze. All three attackers – named by authorities as Usmen Hasan, his wife


In the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in recent years, around 200 people died and more than 1,600 were injured and hundreds arrested in riots in the regional capital Urumqi in 2009. A total of 11 people – nine attackers and two auxiliary police officers – were killed in an attack on a police station in Serikbuya township near Kashgar last month, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Another incident in June in the Turpan area left 35 people dead, and 139 people have been arrested in recent months for spreading jihadist ideology. Information in the area is tightly controlled and difficult to independently verify. In August, a Chinese policeman was killed in an incident in Yilkiqi described by state media as an “anti-terrorism” operation, but overseas media said 22 Uighurs were shot dead in the confrontation. More than 190 “terrorist” attacks were logged in Xinjiang last year, rising “by a significant margin” from 2011, state media reported last month. Most of the attackers were in their early 30s or younger and increasingly act in small groups or individually as “a lone wolf,” they added. At a meeting last week, top Turpan officials said violent “terrorists” remained active in the area despite the authorities’ “strike hard with high pressure” campaign, according to a statement posted on a government site. They ordered local officials to chart a “relationship tree” of links between students in Turpan and those overseas, it said. l

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clash in China’s Xinjiang kills 16
and his mother – died. Beijing described the assault, the first blamed on Uighurs outside Xinjiang, as “terrorism” and said separatists backed by the militant East Turkestan Islamic Movement were responsible. But outside experts pointed to the unsophisticated nature of the attack and the lack of an established Islamist extremist foothold in China. Xinjiang, a vast area bordering Pakistan and Central Asia beyond the furthest reaches of the Great Wall, has followed Islam for centuries.

AAP buys time for Delhi government formation

n Agencies

An Indian kitemaker arranges kites bearing the portrait of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad AFP

‘The abusive use of force by authorities in the area has deprived the Uighurs of their right to live’

BJP backs India gay sex ban
n Agencies
India’s opposition nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has declared its support for a top court verdict which ruled that gay sex is illegal, and liable for life in jail. Puncturing the bubble of protests that have rocked India since the Supreme Court gave its order last week, the BJP after initially hesitating to make known its stand came out strongly against gay sex. BJP president Rajnath Singh made it clear that his party was of the view that gay sex “is an unnatural act that cannot be supported.” Singh’s colleague and vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi backed him saying that Indian culture and tradition did not allow gay sex, and that they would oppose what he called “western influence” on this issue. The court, in its ruling, had stated that it was the prerogative of the parliament to amend the existing law if it so felt. The ruling Congress party has taken a firm stance in support of gay rights. The chief of the party Sonia Gandhi regretted that the Supreme Court had reversed an earlier verdict of a lower court which had “wisely removed an archaic, repressive and unjust law that infringed on the basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution.” Gandhi’s son and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had said “matters of personal freedom should be left to individuals... I think I would agree more with the high court… The country is known for its freedom of expression.” The BJP leadership appears to have taken the stand against gay rights and in support of the apex court verdict in a calculated move not to ruffle its conservative vote base. l

For years it has seen sporadic unrest by Uighurs which rights groups say is driven by cultural oppression, intrusive security measures and immigration by China’s Han majority, but Beijing attributes to religious extremists, terrorism and separatism. China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the latest incident “shows once again the anti-human and anti-society nature of the terrorist groups.” “This kind of attempt will not win public support and is doomed to failure,” she told reporters at a regular briefing. Authorities in Kashgar were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP.

The newly-elected Delhi assembly, which hangs in balance, has received a wee bit of hope with the debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) agreeing to form government if the opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) agree to 18 conditions. The assembly, with no clear winner, is all set for federal rule.  But, following procedure, Delhi state governor invited the AAP, after the BJP refused to form government citing lack of support. Following elections to the 70-seat assembly, the BJP and allies won 33,  the AAP 28 and the Congress eight.  Since no party crossed the half-way mark,  government formation has come to a halt.  The AAP has not accepted the unconditional support offered by the BJP and the Congress as it had fought the elections on an anti-corruption platform.  The debutant party, which performed spectacularly, has hesitated to ally with the two bigger parties as it views both as having compromised with corruption. But, pressure is building on the AAP  as some analysts have said it can be viewed as a party that is not responsible enough if it throws away the opportunity to form government.  At the same time, led by its mercurial chief Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP is not willing to form government as it cannot take any decision being in a minority. Under pressure from colleagues and supporters,  Kejriwal sent a list of 18 demands to the Congress and the BJP saying the AAP would form government if the opposition agreed to his party’s demands. l

India judge ordered to release daughter held over lover n AFP, New Delhi
India’s top court Monday ordered a judge release his 30-year-old daughter who was being detained because he disapproved of her marrying her boyfriend from a different caste. The Supreme Court ordered Supriya Rathore be reunited with her boyfriend who was forced to take legal action to have her released from her father, a high court judge in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. “She is a major and has the liberty to make her choice in marriage,” judges H.L. Dattu and C. Nagappan told the couple, who were in the court in New Delhi for the ruling. The boyfriend, Siddharath Mukherjee, had petitioned the court, saying the father, who belongs to the Hindu Rajput warrior caste, opposed his daughter marrying a man from the Bengali-speaking Brahmin caste. Rathore herself had also emailed police and the courts during her monthlong detention at the family home in Jaipur city, seeking their help to get her released and reunited. Acting on the boyfriend’s petition, the court ordered police on December 12 to transport Supriya to New Delhi for Monday’s hearing. “I have no complaints against anyone including my parents,” Supriya told the court during the hearing. “I love them all but I want to go with Siddharath Mukherjee as I want to marry him,” she said, as the court offered her protection if she felt threatened in any way. l

Last Australian combat troops leave Afghanistan
n AFP, Sydney
Australian combat troops have completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday, marking the end of the nation’s longest war which left 40 of its soldiers dead. Abbott announced that more than 1,000 troops would pull out from the restive southern province of Uruzgan before the end of the year during a surprise visit to their base at Tarin Kot in October. The drawdown was completed Sunday and most soldiers were expected to be home for Christmas. “This war is ending, not with victory, not with defeat, but with hope that Afghanistan is a better place and Uruzgan in particular is a better place for our presence,” Abbott said. “I firmly believe that to be the case.” Canberra first committed troops to Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, but they have been in Uruzgan since late 2005. l

Flowers and candles are placed near a placard reading: ‘Damini,’ a symbolic name given to a gang-raped victim, in New Delhi


Gunmen kill Shia scholar in Pakistan: police
n AFP, Lahore
Gunmen killed a Shia Muslim scholar and wounded two other people in the latest sectarian attack to hit Pakistan, police said on Monday. Allama Nasir Abbas from Islam’s minority branch was killed late Sunday in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, after addressing a religious gathering, police said, adding that the attackers managed to flee. “Two attackers on motorcycle opened fire on his vehicle. Primarily it was an incident of targeted killing,” senior police official Rana Abdul Jabbar told reporters. Local media said the cleric’s driver and a security guard were wounded in the attack. Groups of Shias protested over the killing at the hospital late Sunday and in front of the Punjab governor’s house early Monday, police said. There has been a rise in in sectarian violence in Pakistan after several deadly clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslim groups near the capital Islamabad in November. On November 19 gunmen killed a senior Shia university director along with his driver in Lahore, while another Shia leader and his guard were killed in Karachi in early December. l

Protests, prayers mark one year since Delhi rape
n AP, New Delhi
Students, Bollywood actresses and women’s groups held rallies and candlelight vigils across  India  on Monday in memory of a young woman whose fatal gang rape on a moving bus one year ago shook the nation’s conscience. The victim, a 23-year-old student, was heading home with a male friend after watching the movie “Life of Pi” when six men lured them onto a private bus. They beat the man with a metal bar, raped the woman and used the bar to inflict massive internal injuries. The two were dumped naked on the roadside, and the woman died two weeks later. Protesters and politicians at a public meeting in New Delhi spoke of changes in social attitudes, tough new laws and police reform adopted after the massive street protests that followed the gang rape. In New Delhi, Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar led a group of musicians on a bus that performed street plays at several places along the same route taken by the rape victim’s bus. In central Delhi, a candlelight vigil was held by dozens of students in memory of Nirbhaya, or “fearless,” the name given by the Indian media to the woman because rape victims cannot be identified under Indian law. Prayers were held in a temple in a southern suburb. l

22 dead as bus N Korean soldiers swear plunges off Philippine highway loyalty to young leader Kim Il-Sung and of his son Kim Jong-Il, n AFP, Manila n AFP, Seoul who died on December 17 two years
Twenty-two people were killed when a commuter bus plunged from an elevated highway onto a van in Philippine capital Manila on Monday, police said, warning the death toll could rise. Twenty of those who died in the accident in the sprawling city were on board the bus, with the other two fatalities from the van, traffic investigator Jose Abuyog said. “It (the death toll) could go even higher,” as some of the injured are in serious condition, he told AFP, adding that the cause of the accident was still being determined. A further 20 people were injured when the bus fell six metres (20 feet) from the highway onto the road below. The bus driver, who survived, will undergo tests and questioning, said land transportation regulatory board chairman Winston Ginez. Don Mariano Transit, the bus company involved in the accident, has been suspended for 30 days as its other vehicles are examined, Ginez told ABS CBN television. In 2011, three people were killed and four injured when a bus fell from the same elevated highway. l Thousands of North Korean soldiers vowed Monday to protect leader Kim Jong-Un with their lives at a memorial rally for his late father, days after the stunning execution of the leader’s uncle. State TV showed soldiers marching in a square outside the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, which houses the embalmed bodies of the country’s founder ago. Kim Jong-Un, who took power after his father’s death in the country’s second dynastic succession, apparently missed the event. Soldiers clad in winter hats and coats gathered outside the Pyongyang landmark in freezing weather and reaffirmed loyalty to the young leader. l


N Korea threatens attack on frontline island: report
n AFP, Seoul
Thousands of North Korean propaganda leaflets fell Monday on a frontline South Korean island, warning of an attack on soldiers stationed there, a report said. A South Korean marine unit based on Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea had collected the leaflets which were carried across the border, Yonhap news agency said. The South’s military declined to confirm the report. The leaflets carried threats of bombings, describing the marines as the first target to be wiped out. The North also warned in the leaflets that its troops were always ready to strike the island with their “unprecedented” ire power and turn it into “a large graveyard,” Yonhap said. l

A plane flies into the sunset and LaGuardia Airport December 4, in New York



n AFP, Bangui
Since the Central African Republic descended into crisis a year ago, Chad has been front and centre, described in turn – and sometimes all at once – as coup instigator, victim and peacekeeper. “Ubiquitous but unclear,” was how one seasoned observer in Bangui described Chad’s presence in the impoverished country where sectarian violence has left 600 dead in a week. Officially, the troubled country is home to a diaspora of some 15,000 Chadians, but Muslim northerners are often referred to also as Chadians. The broader “Chadian” community has been the main target of reprisal attacks by majority Christians. Many Central Africans accuse Chad of masterminding the Seleka rebellion, which disintegrated after its coup in March, releasing rogue fighters who have carried out killings, rapes and looting ever since. Former colonial power France is leading the ongoing military effort to restore order but Chad’s influence over The role of the church in the genocide, in particular the Catholic church, remains controversial. In the anti-Tutsi pogroms of 1959 and 1962, Tutsis who sought refuge in churches were spared.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Rwandan ex-mayor handed 25 years for genocide
n AFP, Arusha
The UN tribunal for Rwanda on Monday handed a 25-year jail term to a former mayor found guilty of genocide for the 1994 bulldozing of a church with 2,000 people inside. Gregoire Ndahimana, now in his early sixties and mayor of Kivumu district in western Rwanda at the time of the 1994 genocide, had initially been sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2011. The UN court had found him guilty of failing to take measures against police involved in an April 1994 attack on Tutsis who had taken refuge in the church in Nyange, a parish in Kivumu, and of having “tacitly approved” the destruction of the church the following day. The appeal judges confirmed that Ndahimana was guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. They also ruled he had acted “as part of a joint criminal enterprise aimed at exterminating the Tutsi in Kivumu district.” The judges said Ndahimana had celebrated the bulldozing of the church by drinking beer with other local officials. “The appeals chamber overturns the jail term of 15 years and imposes 25 years in prison,” judge Theodor Meron told the court. When the sentence was read out, the former mayor collapsed into a chair and his wife wept in the public gallery. Ndahimana was arrested in August 2009 in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to where many Hutu extremists fled after the genocide. He is the third person to be tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) over the destruction of the Nyange church, after the parish priest Athanase Seromba and businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga.

Chad looms large over Central Africa crisis

‘The appeals chamber overturns the jail term of 15 years and imposes 25 years in prison'
Three decades later, during the genocide, they flocked by tens of thousands into churches to escape their executioners. This time round however, they died there massively, hacked to death, burned alive or blown up with grenades. Formed in late 1994, the UN-backed ICTR is responsible for judging primary suspects in the Rwanda genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, lost their lives. l

Soldiers of the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC) monitor a United Nations (UNICEF) cargo plane carrying medical and food supplies AFP its southern neighbour has been unchallenged for years. A Western diplomat described Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno as the perennial kingmaker of Central African politics. The presidency has numerous Chadian advisers, leading to a common perception that the Central African Republic is a Chadian province and its president little more than “Deby’s administrator.” Francois Bozize seized power with Deby’s support in 2003, but a decade later Chad backed the Seleka rebel coalition that toppled him. l

Attacks on Lebanon army posts leave five dead

n Agencies

Israel fire on Lebanon in retaliation for soldier killing
n AFP, Jerusalem
The Israeli army said Monday it fired across the Lebanese border in retaliation after accusing Lebanese troops of gunning down one of its soldiers as he drove near the frontier. The shooting was the first time an Israeli soldier had been killed along the border with Lebanon in more than three years, although commentators said it was unlikely to spark a confrontation. The army said the soldier was shot by Lebanese troops as he was driving a civilian vehicle along a section of the border near Rosh HaNikra on the Mediterranean coast. “After the incident, we reached the area to conduct searches as part of the investigation, and saw two suspects on the other side of the border,” army spokesman Major Arye Shalicar told AFP. Troops opened fire and hit at least one of them. “We shot at them, and saw we hit at least one. We think they were Lebanese soldiers... involved in the shooting of the soldier,” said Shalicar. The army filed a protest with the UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL over the incident which it described as an “outrageous breach of Israel’s sovereignty.” The military said it had “heightened its state of preparedness” and would maintain its “right to exercise self-defence.” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said the shooter was understood to be “a Lebanese soldier.” “We hold the Lebanese government and Lebanese army responsible for what happens on their side,” he said. Yaalon confirmed Israeli and Lebanese liaison officers would meet with UNIFIL to investigate the incident later on Monday. “We will demand of the Lebanese army to explain exactly what happened and if this is a case of a soldier acting on his own initiative, what was done with him and how the Lebanese army plans to prevent a recurrence of such events,” he said. “We will not tolerate a breach of our sovereignty on any border, especially not the Lebanese one.” The army named the soldier as 31-year-old Master Sergeant Shlomi Cohen, and said “six to seven rounds” were fired at him. It was not immediately clear whether it was the work of a sniper. There was no immediate reaction from the Lebanese army but it issued a statement Monday to the incident, but a statement saying an Israeli drone had violated Lebanese airspace in the same area. “At 10:15 pm (2015 GMT) yesterday, a drone belonging to the Israeli enemy violated Lebanese airspace over Naqoura, and performed a fly-over of the southern area, then left at 12:40 am,” it said. Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported that troops had opened fire at “an Israeli army unit” near the Naqoura border post. But a security official denied soldiers had opened fire. “The sound of gunfire was heard near the area of Ras al-Naqoura, and the army is trying to find out what happened,” he told AFP. l

Minister: South Sudan repulses coup attempt
n AP, Juba
Disgruntled soldiers and politicians led by a former vice president attempted to overthrow the South Sudanese government, a top government official said Monday, as sporadic fighting continued between factions of the military in the latest violence to hit the world’s youngest nation. Some troops within the main army base raided the weapons store in the capital but were repulsed, South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told The Associated Press Monday. The military insisted the situation in Juba was tense but unlikely to get worse. Some politicians had been arrested, he said, but could not confirm if former Vice President Riek Machar —who he said led the attempted coup —was among those in detention. President Salva Kiir had ordered a dawn-to-dusk curfew, he said. Explosions and sporadic gunfire rang out early Monday in Juba amid repeated clashes between factions of the military, according to Col. Philip Aguer, the South Sudan military spokesman, who insisted later on Monday that the army was now “in full control of Juba.” An Associated Press reporter saw heavily armed soldiers patrolling the streets of Juba Monday amid the gunfire emerging from Juba’s main army barracks. The streets were largely empty of civilians, with most Juba residents staying indoors. EgyptAir reported that it had cancelled its flight to Juba on Monday, saying the airport there was closed. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan on Monday reported the sound of mortar and heavy machinegun fire, saying hundreds of civilians had sought refuge inside UN facilities. Tension had been mounting in the world’s youngest nation since Kiir fired Machar as his deputy in July. Machar, who has expressed a willingness to contest the presidency in 2015, said after he was fired that if the country is to be united it cannot tolerate a “one man’s rule or it cannot tolerate dictatorship.” His ouster, part of a wider dismissal of the entire Cabinet by Kiir, had followed reports of a power struggle within the ruling party. l

A Lebanese soldier and four attackers were killed in two separate assaults on army checkpoints in the southern city of Sidon, the military said in a statement. The attacks in the Mediterranean city, around 40km south of Beirut, were likely co-ordinated, said a security source. “At 9:15pm (1915GMT) today [Sunday] an armed man approached an army checkpoint in the north of Sidon, and launched a hand grenade towards it, injuring two soldiers,” the army statement said. “Troops manning the checkpoint fired back at the attacker, leading to his death.” Then at 10:20pm (2020GMT), three armed men in an off-road vehicle approached a second army checkpoint at another location in the southern city. One of them “blew himself up with a hand grenade he was holding, killing him and a soldier,” said the army, adding that another soldier was wounded in the attack. “Then troops at the checkpoint opened fire at the other armed men and killed them,” the military added. l

Ukraine ruling party demands government reshuffle
n AFP, Kiev
Ukraine’s ruling party on Monday demanded a sweeping cabinet reshuffle, as political leaders seek to defuse the country’s biggest political crisis in a decade. President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scrap key agreements with the EU last month and then use police force against protesters sparked the largest demonstrations in the ex-Soviet country since the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution. Yanukovych has offered a number of concessions, sacking senior officials over police violence and announcing an amnesty for arrested protesters, in a bid to defuse the tension. But the pro-EU opposition has dismissed these moves as half-measures. It is demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and early presidential and parliamentary elections. “We have put forward a demand before Azarov to reformat the government by 90 percent,” Anna German, a lawmaker with Yanukovych’s Regions Party, told reporters after talks with Azarov. “Azarov said that he will today let the position of the faction be known to the president and conclusions will certainly be made,” she told reporters after the closed-door meeting attended by the entire cabinet. German, a former Yanukovych aide, said the resignation of Azarov was not discussed. The president’s parliamentary representative, Yuriy Miroshnychenko, told reporters “decisive steps” were needed. “An emotional conversation based on principals was held. We have to take the decisive steps necessary to solve the problems,” he said. Azarov proposed creating a working group, but the details and timing of any reshuffle had yet to be hammered out, Miroshnychenko added. The announcement comes after the first direct talks between Yanukovych and the opposition collapsed on Friday. On Sunday nearly 300,000 protesters flooded central Kiev despite freezing temperatures to demand the government sign the EU pact. The authorities staged a counter rally bussing in thousands from the provinces. The protest movement, now in its fourth week, is planning another major rally on Tuesday when Yanukovych is due to discuss a strategic partnership treaty with Russian President Vladimir Putin. l

Militants attack city council as Iraq unrest kills 42 n AFP, Tikrit
Militants attacked and temporarily occupied a city council headquarters and assaulted a police station in Iraq on Monday, as violence across the country killed 42 people, officials said. The attacks on the city council and the police station, both in Salaheddin province north of Baghdad, illustrate the impunity with which militants in Iraq can strike even targets that should be highly secure. Violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was emerging from a period of brutal sectarian killings, and has raised fears it is slipping back into all-out conflict. The attack on the city council headquarters in Tikrit began when militants detonated a car bomb near the building and then occupied it, with employees still inside. Iraqi security forces surrounded the building, and then carried out an assault that Counter-Terrorism Service spokesman Sabah Noori said freed 40 people who were held inside. “We freed all the hostages... and our forces killed one suicide (bomber), but two others blew themselves up,” Noori told AFP. l

A man walks in front of a barricade in central Kiev, December 16, 2013. The European Union said on Sunday it was halting work on a landmark trade and political pact with Ukraine, hardening their rift even as tens of thousands took to the streets of Kiev urging President Viktor Yanukovich to mend ties with Brussels REUTERS

Russia moves nuclear-capable missiles closer to EU: Ministry
n AFP, Moscow
Russia’s defence ministry revealed on Monday that it has moved nuclear-capable Iskander missiles closer to Europe’s borders in response to the US-led deployment of a disputed air defence shield. Germany’s Bild newspaper first reported over the weekend that Russia had placed the ballistic missiles in its Kaliningrad exclave near Poland over the past 12 months. A top Russian defence official said in response to the report that several Iskander batteries had been stationed in Russia’s Western Military District – a region that includes the exclave and also borders the three Baltic states, members of the European Union. He did not confirm that the missiles had been placed in Kaliningrad. “Iskander operational-tactical missile systems have indeed been commissioned by the Western Military District’s missile and artillery forces,” Russian news agencies quoted defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying. He added that Russia’s deployment “does not violate any international treaties or agreements” and should therefore not be subject to protests from the West. The Kremlin warned in 2011 that it may deploy short- and medium-range missiles along the EU’s eastern frontier in response to NATO’s deployment of a missile defence system. Both the United States and NATO have long argued that the shield is not aimed against Russia but is designed to protect the West from potential threats from so-called “rogue states.” But Moscow fears the system – whose components include both groundbased radar and missile-positioning satellites – may one day be turned into an offensive weapon that targets Russia’s soil. The Kremlin also believes that the system may one day be expanded to a point that makes Russia’s own vast nuclear arsenal ineffective. l

US offers new support for Vietnam maritime security
n AFP, Hanoi
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the United States would help Vietnam and other countries police their seas better amid territorial disputes with China, as he met top leaders in Hanoi. Kerry, who arrived on Saturday on a trip aimed at shoring up ties with Southeast Asia, said the US would provide $32.5 million to help regional nations including Vietnam patrol “territorial waters.” “Peace and stability in the South China Sea is a top priority for us,” Kerry said, adding that “no region can be secure in the absence of effective law enforcement in territorial waters.” Speaking to reporters in Hanoi alongside Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, the one-time presidential hopeful said his government’s support would include training and new fast patrol vessels for coastguards. But he also carried warnings over Vietnam’s human rights record. Washington is eager to underscore its commitment to Asia. Its eastwards “pivot” policy was shaken earlier this year when the US government shutdown forced President Barack Obama to cancel a trip to the region, allowing China to occupy centre stage at regional summits. l

‘Barrel bomb’ raids in Syria’s Aleppo kill 76

n AFP, Damascus

The Syrian air force was on Monday accused of killing 76 people by unleashing barrels packed with explosives on Aleppo, a focal point for ighting between regime and rebel forces. The bombardment, which activists described as “unprecedented,” came as the United Nations said the number of Syrian war refugees in the Middle East was likely to double to 4.1 million by the end of 2014. The number of people slain in Sunday’s bombing of Aleppo “with explosive-packed barrels... rose to 76,” including “28 children and four women,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, updating its previous toll of 36 dead. l




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Letters to

the Editor


End the crisis to save economy

Can our politicians learn from Mandela?
December 14 I must congratulate a local English daily for having published a section titled “Wise Words From Mandela.” This must be read by all leaders, of all educational institutions and all political parties in Bangladesh. Hopefully they will understand and appreciate Mandela’s noble ideas and follow his sage advice. Let the PM, for the sake of national interest, set a noble example by introducing the caretaker government, headed by a recognised and respected judicial mind like Dr Kamal Hossain, or even the last Chief Justice. Let there be five advisers nominated by AL, and from BNP, and two from Jatiyo Party to form the ad-interim government till the election. This will be a great move on her part, and will, I am sure, ensure her victory in the next election. This government should ensure that till the next elected government is formed; they will only carry out routine work, ensure law and order, and that the election is held peacefully. Let us, for God’s sake, shun violence and have peace. Frustrated Bangali

vidence is mounting of the damage being done to the economy by strikes and violent blockades. The IMF projects that growth in GDP will fall to 5.5% in the current fiscal year, from an average of over 6% in the last four years and the government’s current target of 7.2%. The National Board of Revenue is reporting a growing shortfall in revenue collection, as businesses of all sizes are being hit hard by the political crisis. All sectors, including vital RMG exports, are being hit by shortages in raw materials and delays in being able to ship prodAll sectors, are being ucts to market. The opportunity hit by shortages in raw cost of investment and long-term materials and delays planning being delayed due in being able to ship to fears of political violence is incalculable. products to market. By disrupting transport and Politicians must act supply chains, the blockades urgently to end the have triggered a rise in food crisis inflation which is hurting all household budgets hard. Milk production has dried up as millions of litres of milk have been wasted by interruptions in distribution and supply. The six major national poultry associations report losses of more than Tk4,000 crore in the last three months as farmers and poultry breeders have been forced into selling stock below production cost. Farmers and food processors are incurring mounting debts and around 30% of farms are reported closed in the poultry sector. The knock on effect on suppliers of feed and all those who depend on producing and selling food is impacting on millions of workers and businesses, both large and small. The country cannot afford to continue suffering these levels of losses. Politicians must stop being complacent about the economy and act urgently to end the crisis.

Bangladesh to attempt largest human flag
December 12 Ridha Rahman Our spirit of liberation is limited here. Sanzida Rahman I believe it’s a good way to keep the spirit of our country up, even through all the despair. Mizanur Rahman This is a call for Bangalis to go with the flow. Disgusting! Laila Hasan What’s the point? We dishonor the flag by all the political violence. The country has become a slaughterhouse. Will the party with the highest kills take home the seats this yr? Pity. Sanzida Rahman Laila Hasan: At least, apu, during the bad times this would keep some people engaged in good things. Shopno Lok Wow!! Great idea. Shaba Shams I feel proud.

A spineless conversation
December 8 Naffy Sah Agree with the sentiments of the article, except the criticism of the civil society, as I feel it drowns the actions and reasoning. Unfortunately, when they are only ones on the street and there is barely anyone there, talk shows are the only attempt left to wake up the inactive mindset of the “janogan.” Just like the attempt to nudge people through this article. I personally watch some of these members of civil society, certain members who work themselves to the ground but have to face such critiques. People have to look at the role of civil society and the role of the citizen. Civil society will protect the rights of the common public, until people don’t empower themselves to take action. Politicians will provide the entertainment, writers will write, intellectuals will theorise, and the weak and vulnerable will suffer until the privileged are able to realise (if they ever wake up) it is up to them. Finger-pointing needs to evolve; it’s time for people to propose solutions. People who are prepared to die for their values. In times like these, I have to say I respect those who stick their neck out to speak the truth. Think they’re trying to pass the flame they have been carrying for years to the next generation. Robert Imam It’s a tragedy, it’s a comedy. Deep down there’s lethargy if I think about it. I just don’t have the time, to stand up for justice, to stand in that line. I could just live my life, with my head hanging down and praying to the sublime. You can be opposed to a government and the opposition, and then you don’t know who to stand behind any more.

Wake up to the economic costs of political unrest
December 12 Regarding this editorial about the economical costs during these political disturbances, you should have added the very real possibility of the international garment buyers scaling back orders or even pulling out of Bangladesh altogether. These politicians could end up shooting themselves in the foot! Haydn Pritchard

How to behave in someone else’s country
December 15 I liked the article by Mamun Rashid, “How to behave in someone else’s country,” in your paper on December 12. It is full of passion and emotion. I also agree with the author that we have to shed our colonial mentality. However, emotions seem to have gotten the better of him. We protest against Sujatha Singh, but have no difficulty in giving better treatment to visitors much junior to her from the West and other countries. We listen to them wide-eyed and invite them to get involved in our affairs. Please, let us not have double standards. Selim Hossain


Battery exports an engine for growth
apan’s Ambassador visited the GLOBATT factory at Ishwardi to inaugurate its first export order this month. Automotive battery producer Rahimafrooz Globatt currently exports batteries to 57 markets around the world and is recognised as one of the leading brands in this area. It has successfully secured export orders to the exclusive Japanese market which requires the highest quality standards. This is a good illustration of the growing ability of manufacturers from Bangladesh to produce market-leading products in high value areas. We hope that this will inspire a much-needed diversification and maturation It is possible for process for our manufacturing Bangladeshi sector. manufacturers to The Japanese market is parbe competitive in ticularly significant since Japan is products that require a a highly competitive and quality high level of technical conscious market for automotive know-how and products. proficiency Manufacturing and export sectors in Bangladesh have thus far been dominated by utilising the availability of cheap labour as the main competitive advantage. The success of Rahimafrooz Globatt shows that it is also possible for Bangladeshi manufacturers to be competitive in products that require a high level of technical know-how and proficiency. Diversification of our manufacturing output will allow us reach a broader range of markets. We hope others can be inspired by this example to work towards improving skills and resources to generate higher-value exports. By following this example, entrepreneurs can help develop and realise the potential of the manufacturing sector in Bangladesh.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


At the margins of homogeneity


n Garga Chatterjee

Who cast my ballot, damn it!



n Mohammad Ali Sattar

can’t find the words appropriate to articulate the dire circumstances we are in. It is election time. People, or for that matter, the whole nation, should have been awash with the colourful banners, head-gears, party flags, festoons, and engaging slogans. Groups of animated young and old party or non-party activists were supposed to keep the cold winter mornings or the dark foggy evenings warm with their piercing slogans. Local heavyweights were to tramp their way through the paths and by-lanes of the prospective voters of the areas. Courtyards of the hamlets should have been swarmed with exhilarated souls, both men and women. And you have that 24/7 gossiping in the smallest tea stand of the tiniest community. In sum, the whole nation now ought to have been in the grip of the craze for the polls day – the much awaited day their leader would find his or her way into the stratum of power for the next five years. Whatever the outcome of the polls, our history stands witness that we are a poll-crazy nation. Each time the polls are held we receive things as they arrive. The results, most of the time not initially accepted by the losing side, are however accepted eventually, and the days pass by, the country keeps going. And we wait for the next polls. Don’t you forget we want fair polls. So why do we constantly opt for the

third umpire? We are not prepared for a full-blown democracy. Mutual trust is absent. We are not in a position to consider fair polls under a partisan government. We feel comfortable with the neutral care-taker system that ensures, though not entirely, fair and open exercise of voting rights. Amidst this violence, we do have something to feel good about. We are all fighting to have an election. The ruling party has a different agenda while the opposition has diverse plans. But all want elections. If only we could find a suitable way to hold those!

BNP-led government did resort to all kinds of maneuvering to hold on to power. There were allegations of fake voters list, the attempt to put their man of choice as head of the caretaker government, and so on. Everything went wrong for BNP and its partners. The country went volatile and many lives were lost, until the army-backed caretaker government took over. While not supporting such acts of the BNP, one should admit that BNP and allies were at least trying to hold an election. They never hinted at “arranging” and “compromise” with

Instead of giving people the voting rights, the ruling party has snatched these away in broad daylight. More than half of the parliamentary seats have been decided long before the voting day

Nothing happened. The entire dream scene turned into horrendous account of mindless acts of bloodletting. The country is in the grip of evil. Instead of the polls preparation, it has become the reverse. The feuding groups are not seeking votes; they are busy killing each other. Instead of holding a serene voting exercise, they are busy preventing each other from even wishing to exercise their constitutional right. Prior to coming to power, the AL declared that it was waging a war against the BNP and its allies to restore people’s right to vote, which to them, was robbed by the BNP. The previous

their allies and loyalists. The present government of Sheikh Hasina has lost all trust and confidence that it initially enjoyed. The party has been doing, in the name of constitution, such things that are clearly in total disregard to the will and wish of the people. Instead of giving people the voting rights, the ruling party has snatched these away in broad daylight. More than half of the parliamentary seats have been decided long before the voting day! More than fifty per cent of the 9.19 crore voters were straight off robbed of their right to vote.

HM Ershad was picked up from his home on “medical grounds.” He was trapped inside the military hospital until Jatiya Party was finally forced to be part of the election or seat distribution process. Ershad has been declared a member of parliament even without his knowledge and consent! The prime minister was bold to declare at a meeting that the grounds of being elected unchallenged are the compromise and understanding between the ruling and other parties. This, she said, could have been done with the BNP as well, if they took part in the polls. She made no secret of her intentions! The dialogue continues amidst increasing violence around the country. Death and devastation is rising. I am a great proponent of dialogues, but I cannot comfort myself with the hope of a fruitful outcome. The main opposition is already out of the race and it has nothing to lose in the so-called polls. Therefore, in all likelihood it will now press for the caretaker government and Sheikh Hasina’s exit as the head of the interim cabinet. It is evident that pressure from within and without is mounting on the government to play right. How far the present regime can hold on to its resolute stance remain to be seen. After all you cannot have elected representatives in the parliament without being elected by the people. l Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist, political analyst and DT columnist.

he Union of India is not a homogenous union. It never was. What I mean by this is that its constituent parts are not created equal nor does the law of the land treat them equally. There are a host of special provisions that apply to specific constituents only. There is indeed a great deal of homogeneity of law – but that is in “mainstream India.” “Mainstream India” has typically been those parts of the Union where the Indian army is not actively deployed at present. Naturally, the contour of this “mainstream” has been changing.” Places where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is in action, there are sweeping powers that the armed forces have over the life and liberty of people. The AFSPA has been applied at different times to most of what constitutes the Union of India’s north-east. No points for guessing in which other zone, apart from the north-east, does the AFSPA remain in force. But let’s not go there. The non-homogeneity of the law typically remains buried from the mainstream (for definition of mainstream, see above) because most people from the mainstream simply do not have much reason to venture “out there.” The converse is not true. In an over-centralised system, largesse in the form of opportunities, public facilities, institutions, universities, infrastructure, etc are inordinately showered around a zone around New Delhi called the National Capital Region (NCR). Hence, those from “out there” have to trudge to the centre of the “mainstream,” whether they like it or not. It is very rare that this non-homogeneity comes into public scrutiny in the mainstream. Auspicious days have a special value in our lives. So much so that the “bad guys” specially choose such occasions to mar the jubilation. They must be having a particularly twisted mind. December 1 this year marked the 50th anniversary of the Indian Union declaring the state (in the constituent province sense) of Nagaland. As late as 1936, the British authorities were not entirely sure where to put most of the “north-east” - in the Empire of India or in the soon-tobe-created crown colony of Burma. Indeed, after 1937, some Naga areas “fell” in Burma. Funny, isn’t it, that the land, that inalienable heritage of ancestors on which a people live and their identity thrives are not the most important truths – but lines drawn without consent and “falling” on people are. Nagas have witnessed the longest struggle (someone’s terrorism, someone’s insurgency, someone’s freedom struggle – we all know the routine disclaimer) against both the post-British Burmese and Indian states. Whether they are post-colonial states (and this doubtful list includes Pakistan too) depends on whom you ask. More than 50 years ago, the then prime minister of the Union of India, Jawaharlal Nehru said in the Lok

Sabha: “We have had for many years Nagas in the Indian army and they have proved to be excellent soldiers. Our policy has always been to give the fullest autonomy and opportunity to self-development to the Naga people, without interfering in any way in their internal affairs or way of life.” The last sentence is critical, as it goes against the usual thrust of policies from New Delhi – typically aimed at creating a homogenised, Hindustan (Hindi-heartland) centric identity. However, the context is important. When the Brahmin from Allahabad was speaking those words, he knew the stakes.

Funny, isn’t it, that the land, that inalienable heritage of ancestors on which a people live and their identity thrives are not the most important truths – but lines drawn without consent and ‘falling’ on people are

A few years before that, certain Naga groups had conducted a plebiscite. The Union of India did not consider any such plebiscite legal and of course there was no question of respecting the verdict of something it considered illegal in the first place. Legality is something. Reality is typically something else. The army was brought in. These pronouncements by Nehru came shortly after his discussions with a group called the Naga People’s Convention (NPC). They negotiated the subsequent statehood status for Nagaland. Given the prevailing conditions, special provisions for the state of Nagaland were incorporated as Article 371A of the constitution of the Union of India. Now after 50 glorious years of Nagaland’s life as a state of the Union of India, the ruling party of Nagaland called the Naga People’s Front has decided to take Article 371A of the constitution and certain pronouncements by the Petroleum Ministry in the parliament of the Indian Union at face value. The Nagaland state government wants to use all its natural resources on their own and has cited the constitution to say it is constitutional. This is the kind of problem you get into when you have non-pliant provincial governments. New Delhi is not amused at the constitution being thrown at them. This is a crisis, not so much of law breaking, but of law-following. We probably know how this ends. There will be “high-level” “meetings” and “consultations.” The otherwise passive position of the governor of a state (a New Delhi agent) will become active. The state government will probably back down. The courts will go the “right” way if it comes to that. It will again be “all quiet” on the north-eastern front. l Garga Chatterjee is a freelance contributor.

Towards post-2020 climate agreement


n Vikas Nath
egotiators from over 190 countries gathered recently in Warsaw to lay the framework for a global climate agreement that is expected to be signed in 2015 in Paris. Warsaw was an opportunity for negotiators to narrow their differences, and increase their ambition for long-term action on climate change.

A commitment to interim financing would be a good trust-building gesture and it will also give momentum to get the accord ready by 2015

rooted nationally. Countries have consistently refused to look beyond their boundaries and interests to deal with an issue that cuts across borders. Rich countries have to lead the way in cutting emissions and providing support. But developing countries also need to contribute if the warming limit of 2 degrees centigrade is to be maintained. Unfortunately the UN multilateral climate forum is capable of keeping the negotiations alive without yielding progressive outcomes. It is likely we may end up at the 2015 summit in Paris without any bold ambitions and actions to bring down global emissions.  

Unfortunately they failed to reach a common understanding on the shape of the new agreement, the level of cuts needed, how they should be divided up, long-term financing needs of developing countries, and provides assistance to those suffering loses and damages from climate change.  

Lowering commitments, not emissions

Global negotiations, national interests
While the climate issue has moved high up on the political agenda, and the platform on which negotiations take place is multilateral, the interests pursued by negotiators remain firmly

Climate talks so far have distinguished between richer and poorer countries. Richer countries are those who have polluted their way to economic growth and development and are responsible for the bulk of historical emissions. While poorer countries are latecomers to industrialization, their emissions are increasing as they need to grow and lift their population out of poverty. The Warsaw talks saw a major push by developed countries to remove the firewall between rich and poor countries so that all countries take on

binding commitments to reduce emissions.  But developing countries came out strongly against this move.   Developed countries argued that the deal struck in Durban in 2011 required all major economies, including emerging economies, to commit to bringing down emissions, and this was not being adhered to. Developing countries challenged that these commitments were contingent on developed countries playing their role and providing climate funds and clean technology at concessional rates, and that this was not happening. Most developing countries maintain that since the Durban decision was under the UN Climate Convention, the responsibilities to reduce emissions remain differentiated. For developing countries, historical emissions and the principle of common but differentiated responsibility CBDR) are non-negotiable to ensure that climate justice and equity is respected. They seek that any new agreement has to come under the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on common but differentiated responsibilities rather than ignoring it. Developed countries were against keeping any such reference and this almost led to a breakdown of the talks until a compromise was worked out to replace “commitments” with the more

flexible term “contributions.” The negotiating parties ultimately agreed to go back home and initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended “nationally determined” contributions to reduce emissions without being legally obliged to do so. Countries ready to do so will submit clear and transparent plans by the first quarter of 2015. The plans will be assessed by other countries to determine if they are ambitious and fair, and whether they will be collectively effective in preventing climate catastrophe. As the emissions reduction goals that will come into force in 2020 will not be decided centrally, but set at the national level, it remains to be seen how these contributions will evolve. They may end up as binding targets in the 2020 framework and take the shape of a new protocol, or simply an agreed outcome to reduce emissions with legal force.  

countries have resisted demands to put firm commitments on how they plan to fulfill this pledge.  Developing countries also want richer countries to provide interim financing between now and 2020 to keep up the momentum until 2020. But this demand was rejected. Ultimately, no new financing was committed during the talks except replenishment of funds for the Adaptation Fund and adoption of the work programme for results-based financing for reducing emissions from forest-related activities.  

Moving ahead from Warsaw

No interim or long-term financing

In the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, developed nations committed to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate change. So far there has only been a trickle of funds. Developing countries want a roadmap on how the funds will be raised. But developed

Political and economic realities of bringing down carbon emissions are a complex process and the Warsaw talks failed to overcome them. There is still an opportunity to salvage the trust and ambitions lost at Warsaw. A commitment to interim financing would be a good trust-building gesture and it will also give momentum to get the accord ready by 2015. This has to be followed by concrete efforts to close the pre-2020 ambition gap before an agreement can be hammered out for post-2020. l   Vikas Nath is the Associate Director, Future UN Development System (FUNDS).


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Did you know?
Luis Suarez has scored (17) more goals than 10 of the 20 Premier League teams this season



0 8 9
11 Spurs sack AVB after Liverpool rout 11 Murray takes BBC award

Fifa World Cup arrives today
n Shishir Hoque
The wait for the Fifa World Cup trophy is finally over as the 36.5 centimeters golden trophy, coming from UAE by a chartered flight, is expected to land at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 2pm today. After visiting Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid at the Banga Bhaban at 3pm, the trophy is scheduled for Gana Bhabhan at 4pm where the Prime Minister will grace a reception. The trophy will be on display for public on Wednesday and Thursday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. The organisers have planned to accommodate 15,000 spectators during its two-day stay at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. There will be an interaction zone, hologram zone, trophy room, photo collection and perfect serve zones for each of the spectators. Coca Cola has already offered the tickets through a promotion process and, however, no ticket is on sale. The most attractive feature of the program will be a photograph of the spectator with the coveted trophy when they leave the exclusive zone. The spectators will not be allowed to take any picture with the cellular phone they might carry. According to the organisers and Bangladesh Football Federation, this is the first time the original World Cup trophy will be touring the country. Eleven years ago a replica of the 2002 Fifa World Cup trophy landed in Bangladesh. This is the third time that the Fifa World Cup trophy is taking a world tour. The 2013/2014 Trophy Tour started from Rio de Janeiro on September 12 and will visit 88 countries in 267 days and cover 149,576.78 km (92,942.702 miles) before returning to Brazil ahead of the World Cup next year. l

Raqibul shines on Victory Day
n Mazhar Uddin
Shaheed Jewel XI rode on a superb century from Raqibul Hasan to win the traditional Victory Day cricket match against Shaheed Mushtaque XI by 149 runs at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday. Batting at number six Raqibul came in at a time when they were reeling at 96-4, but the right-hander’s perfect execution of shots made the opponent bowlers look helpless. Raqibul struck 12 fours and three sixes to make 111 off just 87 deliveries. Earlier, led by Naeem Islam Shaheed Jewel XI opted to bat first and were given a perfect start by Rony Talukder (29) and Junaed Siddique (33) as the pair added 68 in just seven overs. Anamul Haque and Naeem Islam also returned with identical 22s before Raqibul took Mehrab Hossain Jr (29) and added 88 runs for the sixth wicket as they eventually posted 285 for nine in the stipulated 40 overs. Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jr claimed four wickets while a bit expensive Shahadat Hossain took 3-43 off his six overs. Wickets in regular intervals saw the Shaheed Mushtaque XI drift away from the big run chase before they were eventually bundled out for 136 runs in just 27 overs. Number nine batsman Sanjamul Islam’s unbeaten 25 was the highest score. Left-arm spinner Elias Sunny took three wickets for just seven runs while Naeem and Mohammad Sharif bagged two wickets each. A century in any form is a delight for

Players of Shaheed Jewel XI and Shaheed Mushtaque XI along with match officials and BCB members pose for a photograph before the start of the traditional Victory Day cricket match at DCS yesterday


Brief Score
Shaheed Jewel XI 285/9 in 40 overs Raqibul Hasan 111, Junaed Siddique 33 Enamul Haque 38/4, Shahadat Hossain 43/3 Shaheed Mushtaque XI 136/10 in 27 over Sanjamul Islam 25*, Marshal Ayub 20 Elias Sunny 7/3, Naeem Islam 13/2, Md Sharif 17/2 Result: Shaheed Jewel XI won by 149 runs

Zia finishes 18th n Tribune Sport Desk
Bangladeshi Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman finished 18th in the 5th London Chess Classic FIDE Open in Olympia Conference Center, London yesterday. Zia earned six points out of nine games. He drew with International Master Alexey Slavin of Russia in his last round game. Grandmaster Hammer Jon Ludviq became the champion with 7.5 points. l

any batsman and Raqibul, who played a crucial role with the bat for Dhaka Premier League champions Gazi Tank recently, said, “I always try to give my hundred percent wherever I get the chance and I am working hard as you know I have scored over five hundred runs in the Dhaka league and looking forward to make a comeback in the national side.” Few hundreds of fans gathered at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium,

commonly known as the Abahani ground, to witness their favourite cricketers play while the presence of many other former national cricketers set the perfect tune for the friendly match. Every year the Victory Day match takes the face of a get-together among the cricketers and it was nothing less yesterday too. Bangladesh Cricket Board chief selector Faruk Ahmed, Habibul Bashar and Minhajul Abedin were amongst the many other board members present during the match while suspended cricketer Mohammad Ashraful also did not miss the chance to meet his fellow friends. The first ever Victory Day cricket match was played in 1972 in memory of Liberation War martyrs Shaheed Abdul Halim Chowdhury Jewel and Shaheed

Raqibul Hasan Mushtaque Ahmed and since then Bangladesh Cricket Board has been arranging the friendly affair every year. l

Barca to face Man City in knockouts
n AFP, Paris
Spanish giants Barcelona were handed the toughest possible draw Monday when they were paired with Manchester City in the plum tie of the last 16 of the Champions League. Champions Bayern Munich were also given a hard draw as they plucked Arsenal for the second year in a row at this stage. For the English pair, who both finished second in their groups, it was yet again a harsh lesson in the importance of winning the group. Manchester United and Chelsea, both group winners, were given far more favourable draws against Olympiakos and Galatasaray respectively. In fairness to Arsenal and City, they did have the toughest possible groups facing one each of last season’s finalists. City came within a single goal of pipping Bayern to top spot in their group when a 3-2 win in Munich was one goal short of what they needed to overhaul the Bavarians. Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said neither side would be delighted with the draw. “City will not have wanted to play against Barceona either,” he said. “What we need to concentrate on is being in good shape when February comes around. We need to have a high level and sustain it. “They are scoring goals with ease so we are not going to discover them now. We want to play well in the tie and obviously win it.” Despite drawing the 2009 and 2011 champions, City director of football Txiki Begiristain said he was delighted. “It’s very tough, but we are happy because we are here and we will fight for the trophy,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s a wonderful draw and these are two big teams so it’s going to be great, great matches. “The last game we played in Munich, winning against the champions of Europe has given us a lot of confidence. We have shown we can score in all matches.” Arsenal were within a couple of minutes of winning their group despite losing 2-0 at Napoli on the final matchday but Borussia Dortmund’s late winner in Marseille allowed them to snatch top spot there. Last season Arsenal drew Bayern in the last 16 and seemed to be as good as out when they lost the first leg 3-1 at the Emirates. But they came within a whisker of making the quarter-finals when taking the second leg 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, going out only on away goals. Arsenal have rarely had much luck in the knockout stage draws in recent years having been paired with AC Milan in 2012 and Barcelona in 2011. In 2010, having beaten Porto in the last 16, they drew Barcelona in the quarter-finals. Olympiakos coach Michel did not sound confident of causing an upset against United. “We like the idea of going to play at Old Trafford; it is a nice destination for our fans,” he said. l

BHF to receive fund for new turf
n Shishir Hoque
The Ministry of Finance has given the green signal in providing the financial assistance to establish a new artificial turf at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium. Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) earlier demanded Tk61m from the finance ministry which the ministry rejected. The federation officials tried to convince the ministry and sent a letter again asking for the financial support. “The first reply from the finance ministry was ‘No’ then we managed to convince them. However, they will not give all the money at a time. They will first provide Tk11m then the rest Tk5om will be provided later,” said wing commander Rafiul Haque, representative of BHF president Air Marshal Enamul Bari. Earlier, president of the FIH Leandro Negre promised to assist Bangladesh hockey with a fund of $250,000 for the artificial turf after visiting Dhaka in February this year. l

Usha start with a win

n Shishir Hoque

Usha Krira Chakra started their Walton Victory Day Hockey campaign with a comfortable 3 1 victory over Azad Sporting Club in the Walton Smartphone Victory Day Hockey at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday. Maksud Alam Habul, Ajit Kumar Ghosh and Rubel scored for the

victors in the sixth, 15th and 20th minute of the game while Shohanur Rahman netted the consolation for Azad in the 52nd minute. In the day’s other game, Bangladesh Air Force were held to a 2 2 draw by Bangladesh Police. Mukitul Islam scored twice for Air Force in the fifth and 44th minute while Rana and John scored one each for Police in the 20th and 48th minute. l

Army retain volleyball title
Bangladesh Army lifted the title of the Walton LED TV Victory Day Volleyball for the fifth consecutive time after beating Power Development Board by 3 2 set in a dramatic final at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday. This is the ninth time out of 33 that Army has won the Victory Day Volleyball title. After winning the first set 25 21 Army lost the next two sets by 17 25, 16 25, but staged a brilliant comeback with victory in the last two sets by 25 16, 25 12. Masud Milon of Army and Ajay Sarkar of PDB shared the best player of the tournament award. Meanwhile in the thirdplace decider match, Bangladesh Arm Force outplayed Titas Gas by 25 15, 25 12 and 2520 points. Bangladesh Olympic Association secretary general Syed Shahed Reza distributed the prizes among the winners as the chief guest. l

BGB lift Kabaddi title
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) emerged as the champions of the Walton Victory Day Kabaddi despite being beaten by Bangladesh Army at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.  Army beat BGB by 10 9 points, but according to scoring point, BGB became the champions and Army finished as runners-up. In the day’s other game, Bangladesh Police beat Fire Service 37 14 with two Lonas to clinch the third place. Shibnath Roy, the secretary of National Sports Council, distributed the prizes among the winners as the chief guest. l

Man City (ENG) Olympiakos (GRE) AC Milan (ITA) Leverkusen (GER) Galatasaray (TUR) Schalke 04 (GER) Zenit (RUS) Arsenal (ENG)

v v v v v v v v

Barcelona (ESP) Man United (ENG) At Madrid (ESP) PSG (FRA) Chelsea (ENG) Real Madrid (ESP) ortmund (GER) Bayern Munich (GER)

Fahad leaves for UAE today n Tribune Sport Desk
Youngest Fide Master of the country Mohammad Fahad Rahman will leave Dhaka today to take part in the World Youth Chess Championship which is getting underway at Al-Ain in United Arab Emirates tomorrow. Fahad will participate in the Under-10 group. The chess prodigy will be accompanied by his father and International Arbiter Md Haroon Or-Rashid, who will also be there as an Arbiter of the event. l

Army clinch V-day rugby
Bangladesh Army emerged as the champions of the Victory Day Rugby Championship beating Flame Boys by 31 7 points in the final match at the Paltan ground yesterday. A total of four teams took part in the day long meet where Army and Flame Boys defeated Victoria Club and Khilgaon Pragati Sangha respectively to set up the final clash. National Sports Council (NSC) guard commander and freedom fighter Shamsul Haque inaugurated the tournament as the chief guest. l

First legs on February 18 19 or February 25 26; returns legs on March 11 12 or March 18 19

Uefa Champions League Final Ambassador, former Portuguese international footballer Luis Figo holds up the name of Barcelona during the draw for the last 16 of the Uefa Champions league in Nyon yesterday AFP



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sunderland, followed by Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace and Martin Jol at Fulham, while West Bromwich Albion parted company with Steve Clarke on Saturday. Russia manager Fabio Capello, the former England head coach, was swiftly installed as the British bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Villas-Boas, who first came to prominence at Porto. Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup is also reported to be in contention, but the agent of Guus Hiddink ruled the experienced Dutchman out of the running as he is due to become coach of the Netherlands for a second time after next year’s World Cup. l

QUICK BYTES Rapid Chess underway
Ten players topped the points table in the Victory Day Rapid Chess Tournament which began at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room yesterday. International Master Abu SufianShakil, IM Abu Sufian Shakil, CM Sohel Chowdhury, Pratul Chandra Bose, Delwar Hossain, Masum Hossain, Md Hasan Emam, Mohammed Hafizul Islam Chapal, Aminul Islam Ridoy and Ibrahim Parvej shared the top spot with 3 points each after the end of the 3rd round. The event is held in Swiss-League system. A total of 98 players are participating the event. –SH

Spurs sack AVB after Liverpool rout
n AFP, London
Andre Villas-Boas has been sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur after 17 months in the role, the English Premier League club announced on Monday. The news arrived a day after Spurs were thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool at White Hart Lane, which left the north London club five points below the Champions League places in seventh in the Premier League table. “The club can announce that agreement has been reached with head coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services,” read a statement on the Tottenham website. “The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties. We wish Andre well for the future. We shall make a further announcement in due course.” Villas-Boas, 36, had also seen his side demolished 6-0 at Manchester City last month, despite Spurs having invested around £105 million ($171 million, 124 million euros) on new players during the close season. That expenditure was, however, offset by the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, but Spurs have scored just 15 goals in their 16 league games this season since the Welshman left the club. Villas-Boas’s dismissal represents

Managerial departures in EPL
Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland)

Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace)

Martin Jol (Fulham), Steve Clarke (West Brom), Andre Villas-Boas (Tottenham)

Blazers’ Leonard, 76ers Orton suspended
Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard and Philadelphia 76ers center Daniel Orton were both suspended for one game by the NBA for a scuffle during a game on Saturday. The altercation occurred during the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 139 105 victory, when Leonard slammed Orton to the court as they jockeyed for position. Orton retaliated with an elbow to Leonard’s mouth. Leonard served his penalty Sunday, sitting out Portland’s 111 109 overtime win at Detroit. Damian Lillard was the hero for Portland in that one. The secondyear point guard hit the game-winning jump shot with less than a second left in overtime. With the score knotted at 109 109, Lillard drove the lane, spun right and drained the shot. Philadelphia were idle on Sunday, so Orton will miss the 76ers’ game at Brooklyn on Monday. –AFP


Suarez 18, 84, Henderson 40, Flanagan 75, Sterling 89



his second consecutive failure at a London side as he was sacked by Chelsea in March 2012 after only nine months at the Stamford Bridge helm. He joined Spurs the following July but despite leading the club to their highest points tally of the Premier League era last season (72), they missed out on a Champions League place to arch-rivals Arsenal. Speaking after the drubbing by Liverpool, Villas-Boas had vowed that he would not walk away from the club. “The call to make that decision is not mine because obviously I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter,” he said. “The only thing I can do is work hard with the players to get them back on track. This is a top-four squad but in our Premier League form we are not there.” While Spurs have misfired in the league, they qualified for the last 32 in the Europa League after winning all six of their group games and were paired with Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Friday’s draw. They are also due to play West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Wednesday. Villas-Boas becomes the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job this season. Paolo Di Canio was the first to go at
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Team GP Arsenal 16 Liverpool 16 Chelsea 16 Man City 16 Everton 16 Newcastle 16 Tottenham 16 Man United 16 Southampton 16 Swansea 16 W 11 10 10 10 8 8 8 7 6 5 D 2 3 3 2 7 3 3 4 6 5 L 3 3 3 4 1 5 5 5 4 6 GD PTS 16 35 21 33 14 33 29 32 12 31 -1 27 -6 27 6 25 5 24 1 20

Nadal shines, Federer fades as big four becomes three

Murray takes BBC award
n AFP, London
Andy Murray, the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon, claimed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday and then apologised if he sounded bored. Murray, 26, had defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in July’s Wimbledon championship match for his second career Grand Slam title. The Scot had won the US Open in 2012 as well as the Olympic title. In Sunday’s awards, he beat British and Irish Lions rugby union player Leigh Halfpenny who finished second and horse-racing jockey AP McCoy who was third. Murray received the trophy from tennis legend Martina Navratilova at his training base in Miami. “No matter how excited I try to sound my voice always sounds boring -- that’s just my voice, I’m sorry! I’m very excited right now! Thank you very much everyone,” said an emotional Murray. “Thanks to Martina Navratilova for giving this to me. She’s possibly the greatest tennis player of all time.

Juve move six points clear
n AFP, Milan
Juventus and Napoli responded to respective exits from the Champions League with convincing wins over Sassuolo and Inter Milan in Italy’s Serie A on Sunday. Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick, with Federico Peluso claiming his maiden Juve goal, as the Bianconeri bounced back from a 1-0 defeat at Galatasaray which left Antonio Conte’s men third in Group B and in the Europa League. Conte wanted his side to win both pre-Christmas games, at home to Sassuolo and away to Atalanta, and Juve completed the first task with consummate ease. It was Juve’s eighth consecutive win without conceding a goal and goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon told Sky Sport Italia: “It was a good way to make amends for Wednesday. “The elimination hurt us, but now there’s another trophy we now have to try and win.” He added: “That’s eight straight wins without conceding. Credit all round, also to our strikers, who are our first defenders.” Juve remain top on 43 points with a six-point lead on Roma, who on Monday travel to AC Milan -- Italy’s sole representative in the Champions League. Roma now have even more incentive to win after Napoli closed the gap on them to two points after a thrilling 4-2 win over Inter, who were left in fifth place following Fiorentina’s 3-0 defeat of Bologna earlier in the day.

Rafael Nadal defied the career obituary writers with his stunning renaissance in 2013 as he and fellow major winners Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray cut struggling Roger Federer adrift. Nadal was sport’s comeback man of the year, collecting 10 titles from 14 finals, including a landmark eighth French Open, a second US Open which took his career majors tally to 13, and a record 26th Masters. He ended the season with 75 wins against just seven losses and another $14.5 million banked to take his career earnings past the $60 million mark. It was a rebirth that got off to a faltering start when the Spaniard, who had been out of action for seven months, reappeared at the modest Chilean venue of Vina del Mar in February. –AFP

Tevez 15, 45, 68, Peluso 28

PCB seeks PM’s help
Pakistan’s cricket chief has sought the help of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as he tries to revive international cricket in the troubled country after a hiatus of nearly four years. Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket since a deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009 in Lahore, which prompted foreign teams to boycott tours to the troubled country. Pakistan twice tried to arrange limited-overs series against Bangladesh last year, but on both occasions the tour did not come off because of security fears. –AFP

“I’ve got a few people to thank - my family first. They’ve supported me since I was a kid, making a lot of sacrifices for me. I couldn’t have done it without you. My team have been with me for a long time and I also couldn’t have done it without them. “And finally I’d like to thank all the public who voted, for giving me so much support over the last couple of years. It has made a huge difference. I know sometimes I’m not the easiest person to support but I’ve had a lot of pressure on me for a long time. I’m glad I managed to do it.” Murray took a 56 percent share of the public vote with a total of 401,470. l

40 42



Higuain 9, Mertens 39, Dzemaili 41, Callejon 81

Cambiasso 35, Nagatomo 45+2


Napoli had lost out on second place in their Champions League Group F to Borussia Dortmund, despite amassing 12 points, and like Juventus wanted their return to domestic duty to be positive. Coach Rafael Benitez, who had a brief spell at the Nerazzurri in 2010, told Sky Sport Italia: “We left the Champions League with our heads held high, and today I expected a response. l

Carlos Tevez scores a hat-trick against Sassuolo on Sunday REUTERS

Ronaldo opens his own museum
n AFP, Madrid
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo officially opened a museum dedicated to his own achievements in his birthplace of Madeira, Portgual on Sunday. The museum contains a number of trophies, medals and memorabilia from throughout the 28-year-old’s career, including the Ballon d’Or he won for being the world’s best player in 2009. And after being named alongside Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi as the three finalists for this year’s award, Ronaldo said that the museum contained plenty of space for another Ballon d’Or. “We have left space to put more trophies,” he told Madrid sports daily AS. “It is a very special and beautiful day for me. I hope that it is for Madeira as well. l

Swansea to play Napoli in last-32
n Agencies
Swansea have been drawn yesterday against Napoli in what appears a cracking tie as reward for their advancement from the group stages. Tottenham, the only other Premier League side remaining in the competition, will play Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. With the club managerless following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas this morning, it will be seen as an irony that they will come up against a team managed by Juande Ramos, who was dismissed from White Hart Lane in 2008. While Swansea’s tie will be seen as the more glamourous, it will be much tougher to negotiate. Napoli, managed by former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez, may have dropped out of the Champions League, but only on goal difference in a particularly tough group that included Borussia DortLiberec / Alkmaar v Anzhi / Genk Lazio / Ludogorets v Kiev / Valencia Porto / Frankfurt v Swansea / Napoli Odessa / Lyon v Plzen / Shakhtar Maribor / Sevilla v Betis / Kazan Dnipro / Tottenham v PAOK / Benfica Maccabi / Basel v Ajax / Salzburg Juventus / Trabzonspor v Esbjerg / Fiorentina mund and Arsenal. Should Spurs come through the two-legged tie against Dnipro, they face a last 16 encounter against the winner of PAOK v Benfica, with the latter finishing as last season’s runnersup after they lost the final to Chelsea. For Swansea, should they record what would be a historic and shock win over Napoli, they would face another extremely testing two-legged affair against the winner of Porto v Frankfurt. l

Marseille fight back at Lyon


Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou snapped his eight match scoring drought in style as he struck twice to help Lille to a 2 1 win over Bastia and back into the Ligue 1 title race. The 2012 Champions League winner, who was Lille’s top scorer last season with 16 goals, took his tally this season to five with a brace of first-half strikes that ultimately downed the Corsican visitors. Also on Sunday, seven-time champions Lyon were driven by first-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette, his ninth of the season, and French international Bafetimbi Gomis to put them 2 0 up before Marseille launched a stirring comeback to snatch a 2 2 draw. –AFP

Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his statue during the inauguration of his museum in Funchal on Sunday REUTERS

Star Sports HD1 8:30AM Australia v England Third Test, Day 5 Sony Six NBA 2013 14 7:00AM Chicago v Orlando 9:30AM La Clippers v San Antonio 01:00 AM Fifa Club World Cup SF: Guangzhou v Bayern Munich Capital One Cup 2013/14 Ten Sports 1:45AM QF: Leicester v Man City Ten Action 1:45AM QF: Sunderland v Chelsea

England fight as Aussies close in on Ashes
n AFP, Perth
Rookie Ben Stokes kept England’s faint hopes alive with his maiden Test halfcentury as the visitors fought to save the Ashes series against a rampant Australia Monday. Set an improbable 504 to win, England were 251 for five at stumps on day four, still 252 runs behind with just five wickets in hand on a heavily cracked Perth pitch. Stokes, playing in just his second Test, was providing resistance on 72, with wicketkeeper Matt Prior on seven and all of England’s top order back in the pavilion. Australia will be heavily favoured to mop up England’s tail on the final day and regain the famous Ashes urn for the first time since 2007 after their big wins in Brisbane and Adelaide. But senior England batsman Ian Bell said all hope was not yet lost. “We are still hanging in there, that is the important thing,” Bell said. “We need to take tomorrow as deep as we can and keep playing some shots. “The two guys that are out there now need to bat until lunch and we need to keep fighting.” Bell conceded Australia had outplayed England in all facets on the game so far in the series. “We are hugely disappointed and we haven’t shown anyone the kind of cricket that we can potentially play,” he said. “Hats off to Australia, they have batted better than us, they’ve caught better than us and they have bowled better than us.” l

Atletico keep pace with Barca thanks to Costa double n Reuters, Barcelona
Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 3-0 to maintain their winning home run this season and keep pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga. The in-form forward broke the deadlock just before the hour mark and with Valencia’s resistance broken Raul Garcia added a second moments later. Costa then missed a penalty but made amends from the spot with nine minutes to go, allowing him to draw level with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo with 17 goals this season. “You need to show personality and fight for your achievements so after missing the first penalty I wanted to take the second,” Costa told reporters. l

Leon footballers celebrate after defeating America in the final of the Mexican Apertura tournament at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City on Sunday AFP



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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Freedom fighters’ digital certificate in limbo
No proper list of freedom fighters in 42 years

n Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Liberation War Affairs Ministry is yet to issue machine-readable digital certificates to the registered freedom fighters of the country under the “Freedom Fighters Database Project” scheduled to end by June 2013. The Tk18.3lakh project aimed to distribute “secured certificate containing digital signatures,” among the freedom fighters of the country to ensure their rights and help end the long-standing debate over the freedom fighters’ list.  Although, 187,308 freedom fighters had been registered on the government database under the project, the Prime Minister was yet to approve them seeking further verification of the list. Therefore, the enlisted freedom fighters were still waiting for the digital certificates, said M Nurul Amin Khan, director of the database project. In 2011, the government took the initiative to make a database with the names and family details of the freedom fighters by June 2013 to avoid tampering of the certificates. Amin Khan said the ministry received around 3 lakh applications seeking the certificates, however, after scrutinising, the ministry registered 1,87,308 freedom fighters as valid following government gazette and Mukti Barta, a list considered to be the most accurate list of freedom fighters pre-

pared by the Awami League in its previous term. The Mukti Barta (Lal Boi) contains names of around 154,000 freedom fighters. However, the list prepared during the tenure of BNP-led four-party alliance in 2002-2005, the number stood at 2.10 lakh. Even after 42 years of the country’s independence, the ministry is yet to prepare a final and authentic list of the freedom fighters. Although successive governments have prepared several lists of freedom fighters so far, they cited different numbers of freedom fighters with different lists, according sources in the Liberation War Affairs Ministry. A statistics prepared by the ministry before December 2011, had enlisted 206,000 names of freedom fighters through a government gazette. Another list, popularly known as ‘voter index list’, was prepared in 1994 that enlisted 86,000 names of freedom fighters and was actually a voter list prepared for the election of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad. A national list prepared in 1986 mentions that there are 102,458 authentic freedom fighters in the country; however, another list prepared in the same year by Muktijoddha Welfare Trust indicated that there were around 69,833 freedom fighters in the country. l

Thousands yesterday enjoy a spectacular fireworks show at the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan, where Pakistan army surrendered on this day in 1971


Another arson victim dies after 15 days Dhaka jail opened on n Dec 17, 1971 as jailers fled
Mohammad Jamil Khan
Another victim of arson attack during the opposition imposed blockade, died yesterday after battling for life for 15 days at the burn and plastic surgery unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). “Abdul Aziz, 50, a CNG auto-rickshaw driver had 35% of his body burnt died around 4.30am today, as his respiratory system was badly damaged by the fire,” Dr Partha Shankar Pal, Residential Surgeon at the DMCH burn unit told the Dhaka Tribune. Aziz, from Nangalmura of Hathazari, Chittagong, received burn injuries after pickets hurled a petrol bomb at his vehicle at Muhrihath area while he was on his way home on December 1. Immediately after, he had jumped into a nearby pond to save himself but the fire had already burnt several parts of his body. He was first taken to Chittagong Medical College Hospital, but as his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the DMCH on December 4. He was undergoing treatment at the Intensive Care Unit and responding to treatment as well. However, severe damage to Aziz’s respiratory system led to his death. Following Aziz’s death, his brother Kamal Uddin, was seen running here and there to take the body home without autopsy. While trying to contact, Kamal in an angered voice said: “You people have killed my brother, you are responsible for this.” “You have no right to ask anything as you cannot bring my brother back, then why you are disturbing me?” asked Kamal. Meanwhile, Aziz’s wife Munni Akter, left shell-shocked by the death, was standing in a corner of the morgue gate at the hospital without saying anything or crying out. She was too upset to even respond to her three-year-old boy, Hassan Ferdous, who was crying for water. Munni said two of her daughters – Rinsi Akter, 8, and Rimsha Akter, 5, were home and waiting for their father. “Rinsi studies in class three at Nangalmura Primary School, but her education might has to be stopped as no one is left to support us,” she said. “He had just paid off a loan taken for buying the CNG auto-rickshaw and has no deposit. He used to tell me that he would take care of his children but he would not say how. Now, without him, how will I be able to do so without his support,” Munni said. Aziz had stopped talking since Sunday morning and spent his last couple of hours at the ICU staring at his son, she said. Liakat Ali, officer-in-charge at Hathazari police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that a case have been filed with them in this regard and they were searching for the criminals. With Aziz’s death, the death toll from arson attacks reached 15 while another 16 patients were undergoing treatment at the burn unit with two of them still in the ICU. l

n Kailash Sarkar
The Dhaka Central Jail remained open for all on December 17, 1971, the day after Victory Day, as almost all prison officers and guards abandoned their posts and ran away, leaving the prisoners on their own, an official said. But many prisoners did not leave the jail, despite getting the change to gain their freedom, said Forman Ali, senior superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail. “Although no documented evidence is available, it has been found – by talking to many officials who were working there then – that a major portion of the prisoners had left the jail, but many others had stayed behind willingly,” Ali told the Dhaka Tribune. Zahir Uddin Babar, assistant inspector general of prisons, said although the jail administration was not very powerful at the time, there was a section of officials who tried to perform their duties and manage the prisoners who had stayed behind. According to a witness, all prison officers and warders had fled the jail on December 17, fearing retaliation for collaborating with the Pakistani army during Bangladesh’s Liberation War. The witness, a writer named “Jatismara” who was incarcerated at the central jail from July 20, 1970 until December 17, 1971, recalled that one of the prisoners, Shah Jahan, had snatched a bunch of keys from a trembling warder, who had dared to show up for work inside the jail that morning. Shah Jahan then got the warder to

The baby boy has no idea that his father, who was burnt 35% in an arson attack on Decmeber 2, has finally died at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

unlock all the cells to let the prisoners out, but he asked them to stay in their respective places. “In the afternoon, a freedom fighter with a gun on his shoulder appeared before us and screamed: ‘Why are you still here? The jail is empty!’” the writer, who was a student activist, said. The witness also mentioned that only three men in his cell block had refused to leave, saying the jail was there home and they had nowhere else to go. Forman Ali agreed with the witness’s description. He added that during the war, Nirmal Roy was the jailer and late Shamsur Rahman was his deputy. “I have tried to talk to Nirmal Roy, but due to his old age, he is too sick and not in a state to discuss things,” said Forman Ali. He also said besides the Dhaka jail, almost all other prisons across the country were opened up and prisoners freed as most jailers and guards had fled during the nine-month war. “The Comilla Jail was opened to prisoners on April 16. Like Comilla, prisoners in most other jails were also freed,” he said. The historic Dhaka Central Jail was an old Afghan fort, also known as the Old Fort of Dhaka, built during the rule of Sher Shah Suri. In 1788, Islam Khan, a Mughal subidar, established the army headquarters in a portion of the fort and his office in another part. The fort was later turned into a jail by setting up a criminal ward inside. The Old Fort was converted to the Dhaka Central Jail in 1820 during British colonial rule. l

Bullet riddled boy in a fever, bullets to stay in body
n Mohammad Jamil Khan
Eleven-year-old Shanto Islam, who took around 79 rubber bullets to his head and back during a clash between police and Jamaat-Shibir activists on Friday, was reported to be in fever but doctors said it was nothing serious. “There is nothing to be worried about. It’s completely normal to catch a fever at this stage,” said Dr Pijush Kanti Mitro, an assistant surgeon at the neurosurgery department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. “He is responding well to our treatment and likely to recover soon. A medical board is supervising his treatment.” However, Mitro said, Shanto would have to grow up with dozens of bullets inside his body since “if we want to remove those, it cannot be done without surgery which may cause further bleeding and worsen his condition.” “Only bullets safe to remove will be removed, once he becomes stronger. Those staying back won’t be much of a problem.” On Friday, Shanto was caught in the firing line of police as he was going back to his aunt’s house at Fakirapool. He came to Dhaka from Munshiganj after his father had purchased a grocery store at the Kamalapur Railway Station. l

HRW: Compensate RMG workers
n Tribune Report
The survivors of Tazreen Fashions fire, which killed at least 112 garment workers last year, are still suffering from their injuries and loss of income and have not received adequate compensation, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. The brands that were sourcing garments from the factory should immediately join an International Labour Organisation effort to fund full and fair compensation to all the injured and the families of the dead, the New Yorkbased rights body said in a statement. Meaningful compensation has so far only been provided by the BGMEA, the Bangladesh government, and the European retailer C&A, and Li & Fung of Hong Kong. But injured workers who received Tk100,000 ($1,267) each told the HRW that the money was insufficient and ran out after the first few months. The Amsterdam-based Clean Clothes campaign has calculated that the amount of long-term compensation for the injured and deceased should be at least $5.7m, and could be shared between the factory owner, retailers, the BGMEA, and the government. This is based on a formula previously used by Bangladeshi trade unions and foreign retailers, including Gap, to set the amount of compensation following a factory fire in 2010 in which 29 people died. Some workers and relatives of two missing workers told the HRW that a year after the November 24, 2012 fire, they had received no compensation. Survivors said they had been forced to sell off their possessions to pay for treatment. One said her husband was now begging for money. Others said they could not afford medical care. In the months leading up to the fire, Tazreen’s workers made clothes for prominent international retailers including Walmart, Sears, Karl Reiker, and Teddy Smith. Each company later said the garments had been produced at the Tazreen factory without their knowledge. The HRW wrote letters to these and 16 other companies seeking clarification of their connection with Tazreen, but none have responded. In the wake of the Tazreen fire and the subsequent collapse of Rana Plaza in April when over 1,100 workers died, Walmart and other foreign retailers pledged to improve the fire and building safety of Bangladeshi factories. They recently announced a joint programme for inspecting factories, and for the first time published some details of the factories that supply them. The companies have not, however, pledged to help other factories in the supply chain. The retailers have also not agreed to a compensation package for the Rana Plaza victims. l

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