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Feature

Finding desh in Danforth

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Sweet winter sun is not sweet for skin

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International

Thai government seeks military assistance to protect poll

Poush 14, 1420 Safar 24, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 274

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2013

www.dhakatribune.com

SECOND EDITION

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Khaleda video triggers mixed emotions
‘Dedicated BNP men sense trouble; opportunists get frustrated’
n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Opposition Chief Khaleda Zia’s video message that was made public yesterday, has induced two different streams of thought among the party leaders and activists. Insiders said while it made a section frustrated at the possibility of her video message yesterday evening. “I will be with you and will be with you always. Even if I cannot stand beside you, you will continue your movement until the government steps down,” Khaleda said in the message. Khaleda, who promised to hold the march and rally peacefully and warned of stern programmes is obstructed, also said: “I am requesting the people of the country to gather in front of our central party office in Paltan in this month of victory waiving our national flag. I hope you will converge to Dhaka defying all barriers on December 29.” The former premier also said: “I am calling upon you to say no to the farcical elections and to say yes to democracy by attending the March for Democracy on December 29.
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400 ARRESTED

not coming out for tomorrow’s Dhaka March, another section got charged up sensing that the government might keep her confined at home. Hours after Dhaka Metropolitan Police denied permission to the opposition alliance for holding a rally at Nayapaltan in the capital tomorrow, the opposition chief released a one and a half minute

An army van patrols in front of the Baitul Mukarram Mosque in the city during Jum’a prayers yesterday

MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Dhaka cut off from rest of the nation
n Tribune Report
Transport owners and workers in different districts yesterday suspended the Dhaka-bound transports fearing sabotage ahead of opposition’s “March for Democracy” programme slated for December 29. Some of the transport owners claimed they took the decision for the sake of safety of the passengers while some said they were instructed from the higher authority to do so. The opposition leaders highly condemned the move calling it a conspiracy of the government to foil their Dhaka March programme.

Barisal

the transport owners and workers had declared to halt operations of the Dhaka-bound buses until further notice.

Bus communication between Dhaka and Barisal have been suspended since yesterday. Aftab Hossain, president of city Sramik League and Barisal Bus Owners Association, said operation of Dhaka-bound passenger buses from Barisal and other parts of the region has been stopped from 11:30am yesterday. Fearing loss of properties and lives,

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RAILWAY SABOTAGE

Shady role of police comes into question
Jamil Khan, from n Mohammad Patgram
Around 7:30am on December 15 cell phone of Patgram Police Station Officer-in-Charge Sohrab Hossain rang; as he picked up the phone a frightened voice from the other side told him to save them as Jamaat-Shibir men unleashed a reign of terror in Bawra and Sharewar Bazar area. “We are feeling insecure; try to do something for us,” said the trembled voice. However, by the time Lalmonirhat Police Super Habibur Rahman, on information, along with an additional force left for Patgram to bring the situation under control. Locals thought Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members would come to their rescue as the BGB camps surrounds the area. But as BGB personnel did not come forward Jamaat-Shibir vandals wreaked havoc on the area for hours. Before the additional forces of police reached the spot the Jamaat-Shibir was reinforced with its cadres from Dimla and Joldhaka area leading to a fierce clash that left four people dead and hundreds other injured. The rowdy Jamaat-Shibir men also vandalised houses and shops of minority Hindu people. They also looted valuables. Soon after the incident OC Sohrab was transferred and Tangail Police Station Officer-in-Charge Amiruzzaman joined the Patgram Police Station. Locals alleged Sohrab was a supporter of the BNP. Everything was in his knowledge. If he took steps nothing could have happened there, they said.

PATGRAM: A JAMAAT SHIBIR DEN

Tribunal to investigate 195 Pakistani soldiers
n Zulfiqer Russell
A judicial investigation against 195 Pakistani soldiers accused of war crimes during 1971 will begin soon, sources say. A meeting has already been held between the investigation agency and the tribunal prosecutors. Tribunal prosecutor Tureen Afroz has confirmed the meeting. She said: “There were some preliminary meetings. Discussion has been carried out with the investigation agency. We reviewed whether there are any legal obstacles and all reached a consensus that, preliminarily, we will submit case files against as many accused as possible.” Crimes committed by the soldiers, such as murder, mass-murder, arson, looting and torture, will be probed. Tureen said: “First, we will formally place a demand to the Pakistan High Commission to Bangladesh to learn the status of the accused 195 Pakistani war criminal soldiers; that is, whether they are alive or not. Alongside this, an independent investigation will also be carried out. After making a primary list, an investigation process will be initiated against five to 10 of the accused who are alive, and who were previously charged.” When asked if there are any legal barriers to bringing the Pakistani soldiers to trial in Bangladesh, Tureen said there were no such obstacles. According to her, the tribunal has repeatedly clarified this issue in earlier verdicts,
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Saidur Rahman Rintu, AL leader and vice president of the Launch Owners’ Association said: “After getting the view of the central committee of the association in Dhaka, we would decide whether to suspend the operation of the Dhaka-bound launches or not.”
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Wealth statements of AL candidates
Minister’s wife rises AL MP Bodi now from rags to riches earns 512 times n Muktasree Chakma Sathi n Tribune Report
Fortune does not smile upon everybody but sometimes it does on a few and Nuran Fatema, wife of Environment Minister M Hasan Mahmud, is one of those luckiest people on earth. According to the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission for the 10th general elections, Nuran Fatema, wife of Environment Minister M Hasan Mahmud, owns movable and immovable property worth Tk13 crore and 53 lakh.
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Real estate tycoon has no apartment! n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
Awami League MP, Engineer Enamul Hauqe claimed that he did not own either an apartment or a house, despite being the de facto owner of the Ena Group, which has 10 sister concerns including a real estate company that has finished at least 31 multi-storeyed housing projects and is implementing another 17 projects in Dhaka and overseas. Enamul’s wife Tahura Haque, the only second shareholder-director of
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Locals thought BGB would come to their rescue as BGB camps surrounds the area. But as BGB personnel did not come forward Jamaat-Shibir vandals wreaked havoc
Sumon Gazi, a tea stall owner of Patgram Upazila, said some people were arrested only for eyewash. “Main culprits got away scot-free doing their regular business.” Contacted Habibur Rahman, police super of Lalmonirhat, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had taken all necessary steps to maintain calm. About Jamaat-Shibir men he said following police raids they went into hiding in corn fields. However, this correspondent did not find any corn field in the area that could possibly be used as a hiding place. Locals said they had just planted seeds that would grow five to six feet high after a couple of months later. It is impossible to hide in those fields now as they are now only five to six inches long.
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Awami League lawmaker from Cox’s Bazar 4 constituency Abdur Rahman Bodi’s annual income has witnessed a significant rise during the last five years, increasing by 512 times compared to his income in 2008. According to the affidavit he had submitted to the Election Commission, his annual income stands at Tk15.46 crore which was only Tk3.01 lakh in 2008. His income from house rent has
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INSIDE
News

Comming Soon

2013

3 BNP Jamaat activists intending to join the March for Democracy programme in Dhaka on December 29 are now desperately in need of a smooth train service on which they themselves wreaked havoc in a recent spate of violence.

2013

News

5 With the arrival of a cold wave, sale of winter clothes, including second-hand ones, has reached at its peak at different markets in the port city over the last couple of days. of customers.

Op-Ed

11 The High Court, in a verdict in May 2005, ordered the disclosure of eight-point particulars including the wealth of each candidate contesting in the parliamentary election. The HC also directed the Election Commission to make these points public.

Entertainment

12 James, a living legend of Bangladeshi rock music, will perform today evening at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in Gulshan along with his band Nagar Baul.

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400 arrested in capital, nine districts
n Kailash Sarkar
Police and Rab have launched a crackdown on opposition leaders and activists ahead of the December 29 Dhaka march programme. At least 400 individuals were arrested on charges of arson, vandalism, subversion, killing and possession of illegal arms, during separate drives carried out by the joint-forces of Rab and police in the capital Dhaka and nine other districts in the early hours on Friday. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a press conference on December 24 announced the march, asking people and party members to march towards Dhaka for the sake of “democracy.” Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has denied permission for a rally on that date in front of the BNP’s Nayapaltan headquarters. In their second drive in the capital, the joint forces – comprising of police, Rab and BGB – picked up 152 people from various parts of Mirpur. Meer Nasir Ali, younger brother of detained war crimes accused Meer Quashem Ali, was among those arrested, sources said. Arrests were also made across the country. Of them, 52 people were arrested in Jessore, 55 in Bogra, 25 in Sirajganj, 14 in Joypurhat, 11 in Chandpur, 12 in Jhenidah, 15 in Feni, 3 in Satkhira and 13 in Chittagong while 32 were arrested in a separate drive by the Rapid Action Battalion in Rajshahi, 14 in Joypurhat, two in Feni,

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, December 28, 2013

four each in Sitakunda, and Jhenidah. DMP has wrapped the capital in a multi-tier security blanket, setting up check-posts at all bus, train and launch terminals and all entry-points of the capital. “We have intelligence that the criminals, who have been carrying out subversive activities around the country, are trying to come to the capital,” said Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam, a DMP spokesperson. Almost all passengers of Dhaka-bound buses, lunches and trains were frisked yesterday at the check-posts set up at various terminals. A huge number of personnel from law enforcement agencies have been keeping a close watch on the entry-points to the city for a number of days. On Wednesday night, the joint forces, in their first drive in the capital, picked up 32 people from Jatrabari, Demra and Kadamtali. In addition to those picked up in the joint forces’ drives, police and Rab in a crackdown raided the houses of a number of leaders and activists of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami around the country including the capital. In Dhaka, houses of city unit BNP Joint Convener Bazlul Basit Anju, city unit Jubo Dal President Hasan Mamun, former ward councilor Shamim Parvej, and many others were raided Thursday night. On Thursday night, Rab arrested 32 leaders and activists of BNP and Jamaat from Rajshahi, Joypurhat, Sitakunda, Feni and Jhenidah. l

Chinese foreign secretary’s Dhaka visit postponed n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
The Chinese Foreign Secretary Liu Zhenmin’s visit to Bangladesh has been postponed because of flight cancellation. “Liu Zhenmin was supposed to arrive at Dhaka by MU2035, which would stop by Kunming. However, the Kunming Airport was closed down because of heavy fog and cannot provide service till tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon,” said Ye Wei, Political Attaché at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka by email. “Since cancellation was made in short notice, we could not arrange another flight.” The email did not give any information on when the visit would take place. Zhenmin was scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on a 24-hour visit today to discuss the current political situation. The visit comes three weeks after of the Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh’s visit, who had come to Dhaka on December 4 with the same purpose. The Chinese secretary was supposed to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leader of the Opposition Khaldea Zia and hold a bilateral meeting with Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, his Bangladeshi counterpart. China on December 18, sent a letter expressing its desire to have diplomatic consultation and learn about the current political situation from Bangladeshi leaders. l

Bombs hurled at CEC’s home n UNB, Chuadanga
Miscreants hurled several petrol bombs at the village home of Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad at Andulbaria in Jibannagar upazila early Friday. Quoting witnesses, Officer-in-Charge of Jibannagar Police Station Shikder Mashiur Rahman said the miscreants tossed the petrol bombs at the abandoned house of the CEC before dawn. However, no one was hurt in the incident. On information, a police team visited the spot and recovered an unexploded petrol bomb in front of the house about 11:30am. l

Police checking a pedestrian’s bag as the outlawed political organisation Hizb-ut Tahrir declared to hold a rally at Paltan’s Muktangon yesterday RAJIB DHAR

Minister’s wife rises from rags to riches
 PAGE 1 COLUMN 1

AL MP Bodi now earns 512 times
 PAGE 1 COLUMN 2

However, she owned property worth Tk60, 000 in 2008 as was shown in the affidavit prepared five years ago. Apparently, the minister’s wife now possesses 2255 times more wealth since her husband got elected from Chittagong-6 constituency in 2008. Comparing the affidavits submitted in 2008 and 2013, it was found that alongside the cash, Nuran possesses 50 tolas of gold which she claimed to have received at the time of her wedding. However, in the affidavit submitted by Hasan in 2008, there was no mention of the gold in her possession. Before the ninth parliamentary polls, the couple had movable and immovable property worth Tk38 lakh and 17 thousand and 2katha (approximate-

risen to Tk2.08 crore from Tk1.76 lakh – registering 118 times rise. The document states that he earns Tk53 lakh from businesses but in 2008, he was not engaged in any sort of investments. From shares and bank interests, the lawmaker earned less than Tk1 lakh in 2008 which has shot up to over Tk8 crore now, a 883 times rise. The affidavit reveals that he has Tk50 lakh as cash-in-hand, which was only around Tk2 lakh in 2008 while his wife’s cash-in-hand almost doubled to

around Tk16 lakh from Tk8.26 lakh in 2008. Previously, the couple had Tk1.32 lakh in deposits with banks and other financial institutions. However, it has shot up to Tk8.35 lakh, according to the affidavit. The lawmaker currently owns an SUV worth Tk66.73 lakh and his wife uses a Toyota car worth Tk26.90 lakh. The AL leader earlier said he had an “unserviceable Land Rover” having a value of Tk2.30 lakh. But after five years, he mentioned its value to be Tk3.30 lakh. In 2008, Bodi had a Tk58,590-shot-

gun in possession. Currently, apart from the shotgun, he has a revolver worth Tk25,000. As immovable property, the couple currently has agricultural lands valued Tk91.53 lakh. It was Tk11.52 lakh in 2008, according to the affidavit. Bodi and his wife now own non-agricultural land of Tk34.68 lakh, which was Tk5.68lakh in 2008. Now they jointly own an apartment worth Tk26.83 lakh whereas the lawmaker previously had a semi-pakka house worth Tk6.83 lakh. l

Shady role of police comes into question
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ly 0.0134 hectare) of non-agricultural land, 25% of which Hasan claimed to have possessed through inheritance. Nuran had no property by inheritance, according to the 2008 affidavit. In 2008, Hasan declared in the affidavit that he had movable property worth Tk20.68lakh while his wife had a bank deposit of Tk60,000. According to the latest affidavit, the couple owns cash and property worth over Tk15crore alongside 55 tolas of gold, three katha (approximately 0.0201 hectare) land, building on 5.06 katha (approximately 0.0338 hactare) land and 31,032 decimal (approximately 125 hectare) agricultural lands. Although in 2008, the minister and his wife had no share in any listed or

Real estate tycoon has no apartment!
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unlisted companies, the present wealth statement says Hasan has bonds and shares worth Tk9.60lakh while his wife Nuran owns shares of companies worth Tk92.65crore. Hasan was appointed the state minister for foreign affairs after winning from Chittagong-6 constituency in 2008 and later he was made the forest and environment minister. In the upcoming election he is contesting from Chittagong-7 constituency. In the section under “fulfilling in electoral promises in the last election,” Hasan claimed that he had fulfilled “almost 100 percent” of the promises made before the last election. The section, however, did not elaborate on his achievements. l

Tribunal to investigate 195 Pakistani soldiers
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stating that the law of 1973 permits a trial against the soldiers. Asked whether diplomatic relations with Pakistan would be affected, she said: “We are bringing criminals to trial, not diplomats. If Pakistan wanted, they themselves could bring them to trial on the basis of the Geneva Conventions. Perhaps they were unwilling or unable to do so. But, after committing such heinous crimes, such as mass-murder, rape and looting, they walk free and do not feel any remorse. This is totally unacceptable. This trial is important to counter the notion that they have no accountability.” Regarding evidence against the soldiers, Tureen said: “This case also has specific event eyewitnesses, policy witnesses and documentary witnesses. Already, there have been some autobi-

ographies by Pakistani soldiers describing the issues relating to the crimes and how the operations were carried out, from those who gave the orders. Primarily, we will submit case file against those for whom there is strong evidence. Even the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report [a commission on Pakistani military involvement in East Pakistan set up by the government of Pakistan in 1972] documented crimes committed by the Pakistani soldiers. Although the committee said that appalling crimes had been committed, they also said there might not have been as many rapes or killings. But we are not playing with numbers here. We are saying, if there was a single rape, a single murder of a civilian due to an operation, and if there was a single woman or an elder or a child who was victimised by a military operation: that

is a war crime. And it must be brought to trial.” She said although the research had already started, the investigation process would be documented soon. After completing the investigation, a report would be submitted to the tribunal, after which the state would formally submit the charges to the tribunal. According to sources, the aim is to submit the report by March or April next year. The chief of the investigation agency of the International Crimes Tribunal, M Sanaul Haq, said: “All along, while working on the [Bangladeshi] cases, we gathered evidence against the 195 soldiers, and shared it with the prosecutors. This evidence has been kept specifically in case of a situation like this. This trial should be done, because there are no legal obstacles to it.” l

Asked about BGB role, van driver Farid, said the paramilitary force personnel played the role of onlookers when Jamaat-Shibir goons resorted to vandalism at Bawra Bazar. Farid said he was present at the time of incident. “As two BGB members tried to move forward to stop the violence, a BGB official shouted at them: Why do you have so much interest?” Mohammad Junad Ali, camp incharge of Patgram BGB, told the Dhaka Tribune that they only take action after the local administration or their headquarters ask them to do so. Rab and police handled the situation on the day, he added. Many in the area alleged that police would not arrest the Jamaat-Shibir vandals as there had been an underhand dealing of a huge amount of money. Mrinal Ghosh, a resident of Mastarbari area, said: “As it is a profitable business for police officials they would not take action against the perpetrators.” SP Habibur Rahman, however, said police had arrested a number of people involved in the violence. The situation was now under their control and they were trying to arrest the other culprits, he asserted. l

the group, too has no house or apartment, the couple declared in the affidavit placed at the Election Commission for the 10th parliamentary polls. The Haque family’s annual income was Tk50 lakh, coming from agriculture, real estate business, house rent and service, according to the affidavit. According to the wealth statement in the affidavit, the MP and his wife have movable and immovable wealth worth around Tk16 crore 30 lakh. The group’s official website, however, lists Enamul Haque and his wife Tahura Haque as the two share-holder directors of Ena Group that has four members in the board, including the couple. Meanwhile, the Ena Property has housing projects in Dhaka’s posh areas, where even the medium-sized apartments are reportedly worth taka one crore a piece. The company also advertised of having fascinating projects for the rich buyers in Dhaka. The officials of the National Board of Revenue, however, said submitting false or partial wealth information was a punishable offence. Enamul Haque came under media spotlight as the city development authority awarded him the contract for the construction of apartments in Uttara for the middle income people, vio-

lating the rule that an existing MP cannot do business with the government for conflict of interests. According to the affidavit, Enamul Haque has agricultural land worth Tk1 crore 54 lakh while his wife owns similar type of land valued at only Tk1.5 lakh. The value of the couple’s non-agricultural land stands at Tk5.5 lakh. They own buildings worth Tk67 lakh. They have Tk 15 lakh cash in hand while their bank deposit stands at over Tk 10 lakh. Tahura Haque has almost double shares of the companies listed or unlisted with the capital market. She has shares worth over Tk8 crore and 2 lakh while her husband owns shares of over Tk4 crore 86 lakh. The Ena Group concerns other than the Ena Properties are, Ena Global, a company dedicated to building houses overseas, Northern Power, Ena Building Products Limited, Ena Tex (a company to make wooden products), Saleha Emarat Cold Storage Limited, Saleha Emarat Agricultural Industries Limited, Saleha Emarat Foundation and Ena Dongah. Amader Rajshahi, another sister concern, is a Bangla newspaper based in northern divisional city of Rashahi. Enamul Haque has been re-elected MP of the Rajshahi-5 constituency unopposed. l

Khaleda video triggers
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“We have restored democracy in the country in the past and will bring it back again. Inshallah, those days are not very far. Victory is imminent,” she said. Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of DMP, said they had decided not to allow the rally on security grounds. In an emergency press conference at the National Press Club later in the evening, BNP Standing Committee Member Abdul Moyeen Khan said: “The march for democracy is aimed at protecting not only the process of multi-party democracy, but also to uphold the spirit of 1971 Liberation War. A major inspiration behind our struggle for freedom was cementing democracy in Bangladesh. “We are still hopeful that the government will extend its all-out support to make the programme successful,” the former minister said. Mohammad Shahjahan, joint secretary general of BNP, told the Dhaka Tribune: “[After seeing Khaleda Zia’s video message] the dedicated leaders and activists of the party will think that their leader is in trouble and so they should come to Dhaka at any cost. On the other hand, the opportunist ones may lose interest fearing that our leader may not be allowed to come out.” Senior BNP leaders believe that making the programme a grand success should not be a problem because only about 30 leaders are now in jail. The remaining members of the 486-strong central committee are all free although almost all of them are facing cases. On December 24, hours after Khaleda Zia had announced tomorrow’s March

for Democracy at a press conference, two policemen were killed in an arson attack on a police vehicle in the capital. The next day, the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance sent a letter to the DMP seeking permission to stage a rally at Nayapaltan following the March for Democracy. On that day, many leaders and activists were barred from entering Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office and some leaders, including an incumbent lawmaker, were arrested. In March 2012, a similar situation arose when the opposition men were allegedly barred from entering the capital to attend a rally. Opposition leaders then said the government had restricted all kinds of Dhaka-bound vehicular movement to prevent them from converging. Fearing such predicaments again, opposition activists reportedly started coming to Dhaka soon after their leader announced the march. Media reports suggest that a significant number of opposition leaders and activists made their way to the capital days before the programme. This time as well, opposition leaders have alleged that the government had been barring their men from coming to the capital by ordering transport companies to not bring their vehicles on the roads. However, when asked about the shortage of bus on the highways, a leader of transport workers union told the Dhaka Tribune there had been no such instruction from the government. “No bus has been coming to Dhaka because the law enforcers have requisitioned most of our vehicles for election duty,” said Osman Ali, general secretary of Bangladesh Bus Paribahan Sramik Federation. l

Dhaka cut off from rest of the nation
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The decision would be taken considering the safety of the passengers and vessels, he added. Dhaka-bound water transports had pre-reservation system for cabin passengers therefore the passengers were well-informed about the situation, said Rintu, owner of Dhaka-bound triple-decker launch MV Sundarban. However, Barisal district administration and port authorities said they were not directed for restricting movement of Dhaka-bound transports. The respective transport owners associations might decide on the movement of their vehicles, said Md Shahidullah, Barisal port officer. Condemning the move of transport owners, Kamrul Ahsan Shahin, city BNP secretary, said the government had been opposing BNP’s blockade programmes so far. “Now they are trying to foil our programme to prevent the ’mass upsurge.’ However, such moves would not save them from toppling,” said the BNP leader. Aminur Rahman and Selina Begum, two Dhaka-bound passengers expressed anxiety over the suspension of Dhaka-bound buses from Barisal. They said thousands of passengers had preparations according to their preplanned schedule. Many had urgent official works on December 29 as it was a Sunday. Now they have to suffer and go through losses.

uled for Dhaka from Jhenaidah returned money to their passengers who arrived at the counters to make the journey. Staffs at the ticket counters said a sub-inspector from the Jhenaidah police station, following order of the higher authority, had advised them to refrain from setting off buses for Dhaka. Jhenaidah Bus-Minibus Owners’ Association sources said they had been operating coaches.

Thousands of passengers had preparations according to their preplanned schedule. Many had urgent official works on December 29 as it was a Sunday. Now they have to suffer and go through losses

Jhenaidah

Dhaka-bound passenger buses remained on halt for an indefinite period since yesterday afternoon following the Jumma prayer . Twenty-seven buses sched-

Some coach owners said Sub-Inspector Milon had suggested them to shut the counters in the afternoon considering the Dhaka march of the opposition alliance. However, Sub-Inspector Milon denied the acclaim and said he did not make any such order to the coach owners. Superintendent of Police Altaf Hossain said the owners of the buses might stop their operations as per order from the government, however, police was not involved with any such direction, he claimed. Contacted, Jhenaidah Bus-Minibus Owners’ Association authorities denied talking to this correspondent.

Meherpur

Ahead of the opposition’s programme “March for Democracy,” the transport

owners, particularly Dhaka-bound passenger couches in Meherpur went on a strike in support to the government since yesterday. Usually 40 passenger couches leave for Dhaka from Meherpur every day, however, no couches left for Dhaka from the district since yesterday late afternoon without any prior notice. As a result, hundreds of passengers remained stranded on the stations. They alleged that they had fallen victims of such unethical and irresponsible decision taken by the authorities. Abdur Rashid of Monoharpur village under sadar upazila purchased four tickets from Meherpur JR counter on Thursday for going to Dhaka yesterday. After reaching the counter with family members including woman and children amid the chilling cold, he got to know that departure of all the Dhaka-bound coaches had been cancelled. Azizul Islam, counter manager of Meherpur Delux said during the early hours yesterday Dhaka Motor Sramik Okya Porishad instructed them to halt Dhaka-bound couches until further instruction. Golam Rasul, president of upazila AL unit and general secretary of Meherpur Bus-Minibus Owners’ Association, said for the sake of security of the passengers they decided not to run the vehicles. AKM Nahidul Islam said police did not intervene in their decision regarding suspension of the vehicles and it was completely an internal affair. Masud Arun, former BNP law maker blamed the government for hatching a conspiracy for foiling the “March for Democracy” programme.

Sylhet

All kinds of long-route Dhaka-bound buses from Sylhet remained at a halt since yesterday. Sources said local leaders of Proshashon O Bangladesh Sorok Poribohon Malik Sromik Union had imposed the temporary suspension fearing vandalism on the occasion of opposition enforced Dhaka March programme. City BNP President MA Haque said leaders of the 18-party alliance willing to participate in the March, were facing trouble. “Leaders could not reserve any bus. But they would participate in the programme overcoming all hurdles,” he added. Additional Deputy Police Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police Mohammad Aiyub said: “Police has not given any such orders. No written or unwritten orders were issued to suspend the long-route buses.” However, Secretary of Dhaka-Sylhet Luxury Coach Road Sromik Union Md Tera Mia said: “We received an oral instruction in this regard.” Police had been deployed in the central bus terminal in Dakshin Surma upazila since yesterday morning. The ticket sellers were instructed for not selling eight to 10 tickets at a time, he added. He alleged that different petrol pumps were closed down since yesterday afternoon. General Secretary of Sylhet-Moulovibazar Bus Minibus Sromik Union Md Abdur Rahim said: “The in-charge of Dakshin Surma police outpost ordered us not to run buses on long-route without approval.” l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, December 28, 2013

3

Table is turned on opposition
At least 23 locomotives and 99 coaches were damaged in more than 200 incidents of sabotage across the country
n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
BNP Jamaat activists intending to join the March for Democracy programme in Dhaka on December 29 are now desperately in need of a smooth train service on which they themselves wreaked havoc in a recent spate of violence. Since the BNP-sponsored blockade started on November 26 protesting the announcement of the schedules for the 10th parliamentary polls the railway tracks, trains and other installations including railway staffers have become the target of their attacks. At least 23 locomotives and 99 coaches were damaged in more than 200 incidents of sabotage across the country. The railway authorities are running trains with abnormal delays. As transport owners in many parts have declined to run buses on security ground it forced the desperate opposition activists to turn to the trains to reach Dhaka. “We came to the station but they (railway staffers) are not sure when the train would come,” Abdur Rahman Bulu, a Jubo Dal activist waiting at the Dinajpur Railway Station, told the Dhaka Tribune Friday over telephone. He said they opted for trains as the ruling party would put up obstacles to their way to Dhaka. Md Nazmul, another BNP activist from Jamalpur, said over telephone that many dedicated leaders would not be able to take part in the Dhaka March unless the trains operated smoothly. “Railway is everybody’s property; it should run properly,” he, replying to a question whether the recent violent attacks on the railway were justified, he said: “Ask the big leader.” Mahbubur Rahman, the divisional commercial officer (Dhaka), said Dhaka-bound trains such as Drutojan Express, Ekota Express, Lalmoni Express, Rangpur Express, Nil Sagor Express were running with a delay of about 11 hours. He said at least 61 train schedules had been cancelled in the last two weeks for train derailments and attacks on the tracks. The railway officials say they cannot run trains in time as the railway tracks were damaged in recent political violence during the blockade programmes. One derailment halts movement of other trains for hours ultimately disrupting the schedules of all trains running along the routes. director general of the railway, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were trying to repair and put the damaged coaches and locomotives in operation. “This is everyone’s property; it serves everyone,” he said. Since November 25, the alleged BNP Jammat activists have carried out arson attacks on the trains and the tracks, removed fishplates and railway bridges and uprooted tracks across the country. At least five passengers were killed in the deadliest train derailment in Gaibandha. Meanwhile railway police have allegedly forced many passengers to get off the Dhaka-bound trains in Jamalpur, Dewanganj, Myemnsingh and other stations apparently to block the opposition workers to join Khaleda Zia’s Dhaka March on Sunday. “I was going to Dhaka to see my ailing sister. But the police forced us to leave the train at Dewanjganj Station without any reason,” Md Sattar, a passenger of the Dewanganj commuter train, told this correspondent. l

RAILWAY SABOTAGE

Jamaat-Shibir plan to isolate Dhaka from country
n Manik Miazee
Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir have prepared themselves to support the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance’s March for Democracy programme on Sunday and take a stand against government. Some leaders of Jamaat’s Dhaka City unit told the Dhaka Tribune seeking anonymity that if they did not get permission from the concerned authorities for the programme, they would separate Dhaka from other districts and the party was preparing several of its groups for vandalism. Jamaat-e-Islami acting secretary general Shafiqur Rahman said March for Democracy would be a peaceful programme. “However, if the government creates any obstacles, people will react,” he warned. “Awami League should keep in mind that a government cannot stay in power by killing people using law enforcement agencies,” he said. Shibir Secretary General Abdul Jabbar said if joint forces attack Shibir activists, they will respond to it. “The country’s student and mass people are ready to respond with attacks,” he said. Party sources said for the last few days, Jamaat had been holding meetings with its city unit committees to make the march successful by any means. According to the sources, leaders of the party’s metropolitan unit have held several meetings to make Sunday’s programme successful. At the meetings, central leaders gave instruction to properly direct the leaders from outside Dhaka and take care of them. The sources said the party would bring two lakh national flags to be used at the programme and bamboo sticks and iron rods would be used as flag stands. Groups of Jamaat activists are taking position in several areas of city to prevent law enforcement and the ruling party’s actions if the situation demands. In Dhaka’s surrounding districts, including Narayanganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj and Gazipur, Jamaat-Shibir activists are taking position on highways and they would soon cut trees to block highways as per their plan, said party insiders. l

As transport owners in many parts have declined to run buses on security ground it forced the desperate opposition activists to turn to the trains to reach Dhaka
“People are looking for trains; there will be a mad rush tomorr ow (Saturday). But I am not sure when the train (Lalmoni Express that runs between Dhaka and northern town Lalmonirhat) will start from here,” Mostafizur Rahman, the divisional traffic superintendent in Lalmonirhat, said on Friday. The Lalmoni Express is supposed to start for Dhaka at 10:40am. Md Khalilur Rahman, an additional

PM tells BNP it was their decision not to join polls
‘People will vote and you have no right to cause obstruction to that election’ at the rally. Emily is the Awami League n UNB candidate for Munshiganj 2 constituMentioning that it was the BNP’s decision not to contest the next parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the “opposition has no right to obstruct” the upcoming 10th national elections billed for January 5 next year. “I will tell the BNP that you have not come to election and it was your decision alone. The countrymen will cast their votes and participate in it. So, you (BNP) have no right to cause any obstruction to that election,” she said. Hasina, also the Awami League president, was addressing a public rally at the Louhajang University College premises in favour of the ruling party candidate Shagufta Yasmin Emily for the next election as part of the first leg of her two-day electioneering in three districts. Shagufta Yasmian Emily also spoke ency. The prime minister called upon the countrymen to put up a strong resistance so that no one could cause any obstruction to the next national election. She alleged that the opposition’s recent movement meant killing innocent people, burning people to death, and even killing members of police, BGB and the Army. “It is not the act of any civilised society to burn people to death…the opposition is kicking the belly of the poor people through calling blockades,” Hasina said. Highlighting various development activities of the present government in various fields including power, education, health and ICT, Hasina sought vote for “Boat”, the election symbol of Awami League, to re-elect her party and give it another opportunity to serve the nation. l

Wife of former Rajshahi ward 19 councillor and BNP leader Moniruzzaman Sharif breaks down at the sight of the vandalised condition of her residence yesterday. Police raided the house, along with several others, at the dead of night on Tuesday following the death of a police official in a petrol bomb attack in the city that day DHAKA TRIBUNE

Calls for protection of minorities
n Tribune Report
The government should be stricter against communal and extremist groups to prevent them from attacking the minorities, speakers at a dialogue said yesterday. Rights activists, educationists, and civil society members spoke at the national dialogue at the capital’s Cirdap auditorium, organised by nine organizations including ADAB and Sammilito Samajik Andolon, where they said recent times have seen repression being carried out against religious minorities, indigenous groups and the poor people – just like it was done before and after every election. Terming the situation as alarming, they also said it required immediate government attention. Similar to the level playing field needed for the two major political parties, a level playing field was also required for the women, indigenous groups, minorities and the poor, speakers at the program added. They also called for a judicial inquiry group to probe all the recent communal violence and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Sadeka Halim, a sociology professor at Dhaka University, shared her experience from a recent visit to Satkhira, a district known as a Jamaat stronghold, saying that the situation was alarming there. She mentioned the law enforcers’ inability to conduct operation at a Jamaat- controlled madrasa, because of the stronghold the extremist group had there. “Satkhira was not created in one day. We all have responsibilities and we are letting this happen. It has to be stopped,” she said. There was a slow migration among minority groups, as they were leaving their houses to stay at a safe place, Sadeka added. Abu Sayeed Khan, managing director of the daily Samakal, said there should be a strong social movement against communal attacks on the minority groups. l

Ballot papers sent in
n Mohammad Zakaria
The Election Commission yesterday sent ballot papers to returning officers under tight security of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Rab and police. Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz said the commission has already sent electoral equipment to field levels. A letter issued on Thursday signed by EC Deputy Secretary Mohammad Shahjahan Khan asked the concerned authorities to provide ballot papers. In the letter the commission asked returning officers and district election officers to receive the ballot papers, laptops and software in 146 parliamentary constituencies. The commission also asked returning officers to take police security to transport the ballot papers. The EC has sent letters to home ministry, police, BGB and Rab to give security when transporting the ballot papers, EC officials said. EC officials said 386 candidates were contesting in 146 parliamentary constituencies and 154 lone candidates were set to be elected unopposed. The commission has printed 43,686,041 ballot papers for 146 constituencies and additional 1,000 for each constituency. The commission also issued a circular signed by EC Deputy Secretary Mihir Sarwar Morshed about collecting ballot papers. The EC also sent a letter to the Armed Forces Division to keep helicopters for the transportation of the chief election commissioner, election commissioners and high officials of EC on January 1. l

EC cuts down budget as voting seats fall
n Mohammad Zakaria
The commission has proposed a Tk216 crore budget for holding elections in 146 seats in the upcoming parliamentary polls. In 2008, the then commission spent Tk165 crore for holding the ninth parliamentary polls in all the seats. Initially, the commission sought Tk500 crore for holding polls in all the 300 constituencies in the January 5 elections. But with 154 candidates already elected uncontested because main opposition BNP and its allies are boycotting the polls, the commission cut down the budgetary proposition that it had sent to the finance ministry. According to a senior EC official, the breakdown of the proposed expenditure is: Tk66 crore for voting-related work and Tk150 crore for paying as allowance to law enforcers. In 2008, a total Tk98 crore was paid to the members of the law enforcement agencies. Tk66 crore will be spent in 29 sectors including paying the returning officers, assistant returning officers, installing polling centres and training up the election officials, sources said. The commission has also reduced its budget for the law enforcement agencies: Tk41 crore instead of Tk147 crore for police; Tk66.13 lakh instead of Tk8.12 crore for the coast guard; Tk4.5 crore instead of Tk13 crore for BGB; and Tk71.87 lakh for Anser instead of Tk44.34 crore. However, the commission’s proposed budget of Tk54.26 crore for the armed forces remains the same even though the number of constituencies where voting will take place has come down to less than half. The armed forces began vigilance for 15 days on December 26 to maintain law and order during the 10th parliamentary polls. BGB and Coast Guard will be deployed alongside the armed forces personnel from January 3-7 and RAB and Armed Police Battalion from January 1-7. The finance ministry is likely to pass the budget soon. l

A passenger jumps off a bus as activists of Hizb-ut Tahrir vandalise it during a procession at the capital’s Paltan yesterday

NASHIRUL ISLAM

4

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New companies yet to show interest in 3 deep sea blocks
n Aminur Rahman Rasel
No new companies have shown interests in exploring oil and gas in three deep sea blocks out in the Bay of Bengal even though two months have passed since the state-run Petrobangla re-invited tendersfrom the international oil company (IOCs). During the first tender invitation, however, 16 international companies had bought tender documents. The bids would have to be submitted by January 12 next year. Petrobangla Chairman Hossain Monsur, confirming that no new company has bought the tender papers, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Normally IOCs hold pre-bid meetings before submitting tenders, but this time it is not happening as the first sixteen companies, which bought tenders sat with us and asked to revise the production sharing contract (PSC). The revise has been done. So, pre-bid meeting is not necessary.” he said. “We hope a number of companies will take part in the bidding for three blocks,” he said. The 16 companies that had bought the tender documents were Statoil of Norway, Premier Oil of the UK, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Anadarko Petroleum and ExxonMobil of the US, Australia-based Santos and Carnarvon, Singapore-based Kris Energy, Chinabased CNOOC and CNPC, India’s stateowned ONGC, Cairn India, TOTAL of France, and BAPCO of Bahrain. Petrobangla earlier suspended the deep sea blocks’ bidding process, allegedly upon “requests” from interested IOCs. The state-owned gas monopoly had first put 12 blocks out for international tender for exploration on December 17 last year, under “Bangladesh Offshore Bidding Round 2012.” Out of the 12, nine blocks were in shallow sea while the rest were in deep sea, covering 51,589 and 10,041 square kilometres respectively. In July, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also in charge of the energy ministry, consented to an Energy and Mineral Resources Division proposal to amend the PSC for deep sea hydrocarbon blocks. On September 3, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the energy ministry’s proposal to amend the PSC, after its failure to attract bidders for deep-sea oil and gas exploration. The amendments would allow IOCs to sell around 50% of the gas produced to Petrobangla at $6.50 per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet). Global oil giants will also be allowed to sell 50% of its share of gas to a third party inside Bangladesh. They could even sell off Petrobangla’s share, if the latter did not purchase it. At present, there is no scope for exporting gas. The prices of gas produced by IOCs from deep sea fields will increase by 2% annually while the IOCs have also been exempted from paying the transportation tariff of 4% for using Petrobangla’s transmission lines under the amended PSC, 2012. Meanwhile, recovery limit has been raised to 70% from 55% of the produced oil and gas, while Petrobangla will have to pay 37.5% in corporate tax on behalf of IOCs. l

Police personnel pass lazy time in front of the office of BNP chairperson in Gulshan yesterday

NASHIRUL ISLAM

Thick fog disrupts ferry services, delays domestic flights n Tribune Report
Ferry services on Mawa-Kawrakandi and Paturia-Daulatdia river routes and some domestic flights across the country were disrupted by thick fog, officials said yesterday. They said the services were disrupted for hours because of poor visibility caused by dense fog. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation’s Dhaka Control Room officials said ferry services on Mawa-Kawrakandi route was halted from 2:30am to 9am am and Paturia-Daulatdia were stopped for three hours from 6am to 9am that resulted in a long traffic tailback at the ferry and launch terminals. The disruption to ferry services led to a four-five kilometre tailback in Paturia ghat area in Manikganj. Five ferries namely Kopoti, Shah Ali, Barkat, Amanat Shah and Hamidur Rahman remained stranded in the middle of the river Padma. Mohiuddin Rasel, manager, BIWTC Aricha Terminal, said they kept ferry services and water vessels suspended from about 6am because of poor visibility. “Three flights of Novo, Regent and United Airways were scheduled to reach Chittagong airport from Dhaka by 8:30am, but due to fog none could fly,” said the Airport Manager Noor-EAlam. l

CMP strengthens patrolling Ministers violated constitution: Sujan n ahead of Dhaka rally
Abu Bakar Siddique

n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) has increased its patrol in trains and inter-district buses leaving the port city ahead of the BNP-called “March for Democracy” on December 29 to evade any untoward incidents. Government Railway Police (GRP) members are patrolling in the trains while additional police forces searching every bus leaving the city for Dhaka, said police sources. Banaz Kumar Majumder, additional commissioner (crime and operation) of the CMP, told Dhaka Tribune that they instructed bus owners to inform police if they found anything suspicious about passengers. No restriction was imposed on opposition men leaving the city, he said. Masudur Rahman, manager of the Hanif Enterprise, said they were asked

to inform police in case of suspicious movement of passengers. Meanwhile, police detained two persons from Chittagong Railway Station in the morning when they were going to the capital city to participate the December 29 rally in Dhaka, said Syed Yiasin Faruk, officer-in-charge of the GRP Outpost in Chittagong Railway Station. Banaz, however, said the duo was detained as police had information that they had a plan to carry out sabotage. The sources in the city unit of the BNP in Chittagong said about 20 thousand BNP leaders and activists would go to the capital to join the programme. Abu Sufian, senior vice–president of the city unit of the BNP, claimed that the government with the assistance of administration is trying to bar opposition activists from joining the Dhaka rally. “But we will join the rally at any cost,” he vowed. l

Most of the ministers of the last cabinet “violated the constitution”by holding profitable positions in addition to their jobs, which increased their income and wealth “irrationally” during the period of the 9th parliament, constitution expert and lawyer Shahdeen Malik said yesterday. Sedition charges would be filed against them, he said, while addressing a press briefing on the analysis of the wealth statements of the 10th national elections candidates. Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan) organised the programme at the city’s Dhaka Reporter’s Unity hall. According to Sujan, the income of 48 persons involved in the different important positions in the government and contesting in the upcoming parliament election has increased by 582% on average. Whip Noor-E Alam Chowdhury tops this list. On an average, ministers’ incomes

increased by 243% while state ministers’ incomes increased by 464%. Sujan’s analysis also showed that the income of Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali had increased by 4,435% while former Deputy Leader of the parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and Chief Whip Abdus Shahidhad saw their income increased by 3,071%. Although Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s income had increased by 136% in five years, her net wealth fell by 90%. Sujan made the statement by comparing wealth statements submitted by these people in 2008 and 2013 to the Election Commission, said Badiul Alam Majumder, the secretary of Sujan. “We analysed their provided information on income, expenditure, wealth, debt and income tax,” he said. “The information of many of these persons surprised us as they made this wealth while in government positions, although it is prohibited,” he added. In contrast, the incomes of Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Golam Muham-

mad Kader, Mujibur Rahman Fakir and ASM Firoz have declined in the same period. Ministers whose wealth increased by more than one crore are: Matia Chowdhury, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Raziuddin Ahmed, Abul Kalam Azad, Nurul Islam Nahid, Shahjahan Khan, Md Mujibul Haq, Meher Afroz, Dipankar Talukdar, Shamsul Haque Tuku, Kamrul Islam, Promod Mankin and Shawkat Ali. The constitution prohibits persons appointed to or acting in certain public offices to “hold any office, post or position of profit or emolument or take any part whatsoever in the management or conduct of any company, association or body having profit or gain as its object.” Such positions include the president, the prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker, ministers, state ministers or deputy ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, comptroller and auditor general, election commissioners and members of the Public Service Commission. l

‘March for Democracy is for saving war criminals’
n Arif Ahmed
Shahariar Kabir, acting president of the Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee yesterday said the BNP-led 18-party alliances’ “March for Democracy” programme on December 29 was organised to foil the war crimes’ trial and to destroy the country’s constitution. He urged the Ganagajaran Mancha as well as the general people of the country, who believe in and support the war of liberation, to protest Sunday’s programme. Terming it a means to save the war criminals, Shahariar Kabie, said: “The BNP-led 18-party alliance has called the program to foil the war criminals’ trials and to save the war criminals.” Shahariar was addressing a rally at the Shahabag Projonmo Chattar organised by the Ganagajaran Mancha yesterday. Regarding BNP’s programme on December 29, he said: “On the same day in 2008, people who are inspired by the liberation war and believed in it, elected the Al-led 14 party alliance. On the other hand, war criminal Ghulam Azam was elected as Bangladesh Jamat-e-Islami amir on the same day, so the opposition has selected this day as part of a show of revenge.” He also condemned the Pakistani government for allegedly interfering with Bangladesh’s internal affairs. Ganagajaran Mancha convener Imran H Sarkar presided over the rally while blogger and online activist Badhon conducted it. l

WEATHER

Dry weather likely n UNB
Weather is likely to remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country until morning, Met Office said. A mild cold wave is sweeping over the regions of Pabna, Jessore, Kusthia and Srimangal and it may continue. Night temperature may fall slightly and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital today at 5:20pm and rises tomorrow at 6:40am. Country’s highest temperature 25.7 degrees Celsius was recorded yesterday at Teknaf and lowest 9.0 degrees at Chuadanga. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities and towns yesterday were: City Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar High 20.6 23.9 19.6 16.2 24.0 23.2 19.1 25.2 Low 12.8 13.3 10.3 11.8 12.0 10.9 12.8 14.8

Members of Jege Otho Bangladesh bring out a procession in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday. They stand for democracy and development and protest violence and terrorism MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Public exams results top this year’s Google searches in BD
n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Two public examinations secured their spots as the top Google searches in Bangladesh, as the internet search giant revealed a list of top trending searches this year, both global and local. The “SSC examination result 2013” grabbed the pole position followed by “HSC examination result 2013” and social networking site “Facebook” respectively. The Google search trend also revealed that Bangladeshi consumers were getting ever closer to online marketplaces, as “Bikroy.com,” one of the leaders in this sector in the country came out on fourth in 2013. “People are buying and selling their second-hand goods through online markets more than ever before and they are choosing Bikoy.com as their most preferred online marketplace. The latest statistics of Google search engine is the formal recognition of its resounding success. We are delighted that consumers in Bangladesh are keeping their trust on Bikroy.com,” Eshita Sharminmarketing manager of Bikroy.com told the Dhaka Tribune, yesterday.

54 rescued in Chittagong before being trafficked to Malaysia by sea
n
Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Police rescued 54 persons from a cyclone centre at Anwara upazila in Chittagong early yesterday before they were trafficked to Malaysia through sea route illegally. No human trafficker, however, was nabbed in this connection, said the police. Receiving information from locals, a team of Anwara police conducted a drive around 1:30am at the cyclone centre where the aspiring immigrants were assembled and rescued the 54, said Sub-Inspector Imran Hossain of the Anwara police station. Sensing police presence, the traffickers managed to flee, leaving the victims behind, he said. The 54 were brought together from across the northern districts, giving an assurance that they would be sent to Malaysia at a low expense, said Humayun Kabir, officer-in-charge of Anwara police station. He added that they had already collected the traffickers’ identities, but declined to disclose information for the sake of investigation. The OC said they were conducting drives to nab the traffickers. A case was lodged with the police station in this regard, he said. Earlier, the police nabbed three alleged human traffickers and rescued 31 people from the city’s Bahaddarhat on December 8 while another six members of a human-trafficking gang were arrested and 23 victims rescued from the city’s Khatiberhat on November 23. According to  the arrestees (human  traffickers), a four-layered syndicate was operating to traffic humans. The group of people working with the first layer of management target illiterate but well-off individuals interested to go abroad while those with second layer are entrusted with the task to assemble them. The traffickers working with the third layer of management send the interested group to foreign ships through fishing vessels from the shore while those with the fourth layer accompany the aspiring immigrants abroad. The gangs usually use Teknaf sea route for trafficking people abroad. They, however, prefer the Chittagong sea route in winter as the sea remains calm during the season. Sources said coastal areas of Banshkhali, Maheshkhali, Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar of Chittagong were mainly used as embarkation points for trafficking. l

Top Trending Google searches in Bangladesh in 2013
1. SSC examination result 2. HSC examination result 3. Facebook 4. Bikroy.com 5. Chennai Express 6. Ashiqui Two 7. bdnews24.com 8. Agrani Bank 9. Rupali Bank 10. Education Board Result The Dhaka Tribune found that Bollywood films, “Chennai Express” and “Ashiqui Two” were positioned fifth and sixth in the chart respectively, while online news agency, “BDnews24. com,” “Agrani Bank” and “Rupali Bank” and “Education Board Result” made up the top ten. According to sources, some recent issues with the Agrani and Rupali banks’ job examination saw them secure a place top trending Google searches in Bangladesh. l

PRAYER TIMES
Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 5:19am 6:39am 12:00am 3:44pm 5:20pm 6:41pm

Source: IslamicFinder.org

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Saturday, December 28, 2013

5

Sale of winter clothes on the rise in Chittagong
n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
With the arrival of a cold wave, sale of winter clothes, including second-hand ones, has reached at its peak at different markets in the port city over the last couple of days. Shopkeepers said sales of winter clothes were increased from mid-November to mid-January every year, but this year, they had to incur huge loss initially as they could not sell warm clothes for lack of customers. They said warm clothes at most of the shops and wholesale depots had remained stockpiled till December 24 as they could not even open their shops for more than once in a week because of the ongoing political turmoil. Visiting different city markets yesterday, this correspondent found that most of the warm clothes outlets are crowed with customers. “I have come here to buy sweaters and blankets for my family members as winter has already appeared in full gear,” said Omar Faruk, chairman of a private company, who was shopping at the city’s Sanmar Ocean City Shopping Mall yesterday. Fatema Tuz Zohora, a resident of Baluchhara area in the city, found it difficult to choose warm clothes for her daughter as Zahur Hawkers’ Market was jam packed with buyers. Warm clothes buyers are pouring into the market for the chilling weather, said Jahangir Hossain, owner of Famous Tailors in the market. He sells blazers at his shop. “A blazer costs around Tk 2,500 to Tk5,000” he said. With the increasing number of buyers, shopkeepers are charging extra for warm clothes, said Nurul Alam Jewel, adding: “I am a regular customer of this market. The prices were much lower a month ago when I last visited the market.” Abdul Majid, a trader, said they raised the prices to cover up the losses they had incurred during hartals and blockades. Hawkers mainly choose footpaths in the New Market area, Kazir Dewry, Station Road and Agrabad area for selling warm clothes when some makeshift shops have also mushroomed on the footpaths in Chawk Bazar, GEC intersection, Dewanhat, CEPZ intersection and Jamal Khan area. People from low-income groups crowd roadside shops to buy warm clothes for them. Azizur Rahman, a hawker in GEC intersection area, said he had invested Tk5 lakh for this winter season. “I usually make a profit of Tk one lakh during the winter season, however, this year I may not meet my target because of the political unrest,” he added. Well-off buyers rush to New Market, Sanmar Ocean City, Mimi Super Market, Afmi Plaza, Aktaruzzaman Centre, Amin Centre, Chittagong Shopping Complex, Reaz Uddin Bazar and Tamakumundi Lane. Buyers are found in plenty at the showrooms of some branded fashion houses in these markets. l

Labourers cut a eucalyptus tree in front of the administrative building of Rajshahi University yesterday

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Plying of ‘Nosimon’, Karimon goes unabated in Jessore
n Tribune Desk
In an apparent gesture of defiance towards the government ban, shallow engine-run human haulers- ‘Karimon’ and ‘Nosimon’-are plying the streets of Chougachha upazila under Jessore district posing a serious risk of accidents. Reckless movement of the unauthorised vehicle resulted in a large number of fatal accidents in the upazila during last one year that claimed lives of around 50 people and injured unnumbered, according to available sources. Some 30 people got maimed in the accidents. During a recent visit, unskilled drivers having no driving licenses were found running the rickety vehicles on different roads in Chougachha with no care for the existing law, according to UNB. Alongside passengers, these vehicles without any fitness certificate and route permit, were also found carrying other goods like paddy, rice, bamboo, woods and cattle, reports UNB. A number of commuters and passengers said the movement of ‘Karimon’ and ‘Nasimon’ on the roads had become a nuisance for them. They said the unregistered vehicles lacked a controlling system for emergency, as a result, number of road accidents were soaring with time. Accidents with ‘Karimon’ and ‘Nasimon’ had now become a common phenomemnon in the area as the engine-run vehicles skid off the road. A number of people died or sustained severe injuries in these accidents, claimed many of the commuters. They also claimed that the vehicles produce loud noise and discharge black smoke creating sound and air pollution. They alleged that the local administration was apathetic towards taking any effective step to stop movement of the illegal vehicles despite orders given to do so. The commuters said the drivers had legalised movement of their vehicles by managing the officials concerned. Aminul Islam, a ‘Nosimon’ driver, said in order to get permission to ply on the road they pay Tk20 to the authorities in Chougachha municipality while Tk15 to police per day. Therefore, the total amount of money realised from the drivers of ‘Nosimon’ and ‘Korimon’ stands monthly at Tk50,000-60,000, said Aminul. However, Matiar Rahman, officer-in-charge of Chougachha police station, denied the allegation of taking money from the drivers of the human haulers. He said local people demanded plying of these unauthorised vehicles in the upazila to be stopped. l

Political violence protested through poetry
n Our Correspondent, Barisal
Cultural activists in Barisal formed a human chain yesterday protesting the ongoing political violence in the country. Pro-Awami League cultural activists called for upholding the spirit of the liberation war through poem recitation. Convened by eminent poet Syed Shamsul Haque, Kobi bandhan O protibadee kobita-path organised the programme in front of the Ashwini Kumar Hall in the city. The speakers said: “We fought for nationalism, democracy, socialism and secularism in 1971 and now we are in a state of another war. Today we are compelled to take to the streets after 42 years of independence to regain the spirit.” Poets, recitation artists and writers of Barisal vowed to uphold the spirit of the liberation war and defeat all anti-liberation evil forces of anarchism, terrorism and reactionary fundamentalism. They pledged to thwart the emergence of fundamentalists and defeat the enemies of independence. They called upon the people to rise with the slogan “Amra Chai Ekattorer Bijoyee Bangladesh” and expressed conviction to keep the national flag high up for the progress against reactionaries. The flag was a beacon against the evil forces of darkness and those of Rajakar, Al-Badar and their collaborators, the speakers said. Henry Swapan, Asma Chowdhury, Kazi Selina, Nazmus Shams, and Syed Mahdi, members of the Barisal unit of the Kobita Parishad recited poems in the programme. Syed Dulal, Mizanur Rahman, Manabendra Batobayal, of Barisal Sangskritik Sangathan Samannya Parishad, Akkas Hossain of Shujan, addressed the rally. l

Tree felling protested n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Several social and environmental organisations held a rally and a human chain in Chittagong city yesterday protesting tree cutting in present political unrest. Activists of Bangladesh Youth Environment Safeguard (B YES), EcoFriends, Songsoptok, ISE Bangladesh and Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) arranged the programme in front of Chittagong Press Club around 3pm. They expressed agitation against the silence of the forest department and law enforcing agencies over the issue as thousands of roadside trees were cut down in the name of political movements in the recent times. With the slogan – Prokriti Pran Songrokkhone Jege Uthuk Manob Pran, the social and environmental organisations hold the protest programme to pay attention of the government and the opposition parties to stop the attack on the nature. l

House of pro-BNP cultural activist vandalised
n Our Correspondent, Satkhira
A gang of miscreants vandalised and looted the house of a pro-BNP cultural activist in Satkhira for what his family members claimed he is demanding punishment to culprits of Aman murder case. Local sources said Moniruzzaman Mony, a leader of Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha, had been demanding punishment of the killers of Amamullah Aman, general secretary of Satkhira District ‘MothshojibiDol’, since his murder. Main accused in Aman killing case Anwar Hossain Chandu ransacked the house of Mony while he was conducting a press conference at Satkhira Press Club, family members said, adding the criminals also beat Taskira Khatun, wife of Mony, indiscriminately. The attackers also took away Tk25,000 in cash and a gold chain from her possession, they added. Later, they entered room of Mony and looted Tk150,000 cash from there. A case was iled and police arrested a man namely Rana in this connection. Ahmed Ali said, father of Mony, said Chandu had been giving death threats to his son over phone. His family has been passing days amid fear of further attack. He urged Satkhira superintendent of police and authorities concerned to take legal actions against Chandu and his cohorts for their involvement in the vandalism. l

Missing minor returns to mother n Our Correspondent, Barisal
With the assistance of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association, police recovered an abducted minor and returned him to his mother in Chittagong yesterday. Sobhan, 5, was rescued in December but has been barred from returning home because of the recent blockades. The boy was handed over to his mother Rabeya around 11am in presence of the police officials and journalists, informed Kazi Mohiuddin Ahmed, BNWLA documentation officer. Masuk Kamal, area coordinator of BNWLA in Barisal, said the boy was rescued by Alfazur Rahman, field facilitator BNWLA, from a garbage-item selling shop at Bhatar Khal area of Barisal on November 10. Sobhan told the names of his family members as well as his address to the saviours. Two people took him to Dhaka by train and then to Barisal by launch and left him at Barisal port. He worked at the garbage shop of Liton near dock area, he also said.   Officials of BNWLA gave him shelter at social service department of the organisation at Agoiljhara, Barisal after rescuing him and then sent him to the shelter home at Dhaka on December 5. Rabeya, mother of Sobhan, thanking BNWLA for the safe return of her son, said Sobhan used to collect waste papers from different compartments of the railway station area. Some children who collected waste paper with Sobhan recognised his photo on newspaper and informed to the family. l

Garment workers bring out a procession in the city yesterday, demanding arrest and punishment of the owner of Tazreen Fashions
RAJIB DHAR

15 shops gutted in Kishoreganj
n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj
At least 15 shops were gutted in a fire that broke out at Boro Bazaar in Kishoreganj on Thursday night. Local sources said the fire had originated from electric short circuit at a confectionary shop around 10pm and soon the blaze engulfed adjoining shops. On receiving information, fire fighters from sadar upazila rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after an hour’s effort, Deputy Assistant Director of Kishoreganj Fire Service Station Prannath Saha told the Dhaka Tribune. President of Boro Bazaar Babasayi Samity Kamrul Hasan said goods worth about one crore were gutted in the fire. Deputy Commissioner SM Alam and Police Super Anwar Hossain visited the spot. l

Separate road accidents kill five
n Tribue Report
Five people were killed in four separate road accidents in Chittagon, Munshiganj and Jessore yesterday. Around twelve people were injured in the accidents, report our correspondents. One person was killed in a road accident at Bashbaria, Sitakunda upazila, Chittagong. The deceased was Mohammed Allauddin, 25, of Bowalitul area of the upazila. Nayek Abdul Basar of Chittagong Medical College Hospital police outpost, said a microbus hit a rickshaw carrying Allauddin from behind in Badamtal area around 4pm leaving him critically injured. He was taken to the CMCH where the on duty doctors declared him dead. In Munshiganj, a person was killed in a road crash in Sadar upazila, Munshiganj. The deceased person was Mujid Mridha, 55, of Kulu Char village of Barguna. Sahjahan Khan, ASI of Sadar police station, said a stone laden truck lost its control and fell into a ditch beside the road. One was killed on the spot other two persons sustained injury. Three people were killed in two separate road mishaps in Jessore town. The identities of the dead could not be known immediately. The first accident took place on Air Port Road in the morning in which a pedestrian died on the spot as a truck ran over him. Besides, two people were killed and 10 others were hurt as a goods-laden truck hit the vehicle at 12noon at Bahadurpur on Jessore-Magura Highway. l

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LITTLE BANGLADESH: TORONTO

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Feature

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finding desh in Danforth
The neighbourhood in Canada has become a fast growing cultural hub for Bangali immigrants

D

n Sharif Rakib Hasan
anforth, lovingly called Little Bangladesh by many, is a blessing for Bangladeshi immigrants living in Toronto. The area has become the centre of all social activities for them. “It feels so much like home in Danforth. We can’t help but come here,” said Syed Farhan, a networking consultant working for an IT solutions firm in Downtown Toronto. “We can watch Bangla TV channels, talk about our people, community and country here.” When I arrived in Toronto in the winter of 2010, I was sure I would never be able to live here in this faraway ice world. That first morning, when I peeped through the window of my friend’s sister’s house where I was staying, the whole world outside looked empty. I felt an intense pain in my heart. I started missing everyone and everything in Bangladesh: my family, my friends, my home, the tea-stall in front of my apartment. My friend’s brother-in-law, who could sense my state of mind, said he would take me someplace where I would feel better. That afternoon, I went to Danforth Avenue for the first time. I was surprised to find many shops, stores and offices that had signboards

written in Bangla. While walking along the street, I felt a kind of comfort that cannot be explained. On both sides of Danforth Avenue, there are several community newspapers, bookshops and audio-video stores, as well as cultural and social organisation offices. You can hear loud Bangla music while walking along the street, and see Bangla posters taped to the glass doors. We went to a Bangladeshi grocery store, where most of the products were directly imported from Bangladesh. It was a weekend, so there were many Bangladeshis coming from all parts of Toronto and nearby towns. They were there to buy halal meat and deshi fish and vegetables. On their way out, almost all of them were taking a copy of a free Bangla newspaper from the stand kept at the exit of the store. We went to a restaurant named Ghoroa and had some chola muri and tea. Many people there were talking about what was happening in Bangladesh. It felt so good. Restaurants are extremely busy in the evenings, serving traditional Bangladeshi snacks and meals. In summertime, the parking lot of Ghoroa restaurant looks just like a typical Dhaka tea-stall, with people gathered for a cup of tea, and raising a storm over political issues. Syed Alam, the owner of Ghoroa,

lets the parking lot be used as a venue for different Bangladeshi national and cultural events. Every year, historically important days like February 21, March 26 and December 16, are celebrated with solemnity at this small premises. Members of various social and cultural organizations gather here and pay tribute to their national heroes at the makeshift memorial. The Bangla New Year rally has been organized from there for the past three years. The newspaper offices are another favourite destination for the senior members and cultural activists of the community. This is where they talk about poetry, music, movie, sports and politics. Mak Azad, a realtor and poet, has been living in Toronto for nine years. It’s a must for him to come to the Weekly Aajkal office after work everyday. “We gather here almost every evening. We read newspapers, watch news and cultural programmes and live cricket on Bangla TV channels and chat about what is happening back home.” The community is growing fast. Over the last five years, the number of Bangladeshis has increased dramatically, and most live on Danforth Avenue between Main and Victoria Park intersections. With it, the number Bangladeshi community businesses and other organizations have also increased.

Now there are as many as nine grocery stores, five restaurants, eight money exchange offices, eleven tax and mortgage consultation offices, seven real estate business offices, five afterschool tutorial homes, three salons, two furniture stores and many other businesses owned by Bangladeshis. The Bangladesh Centre and Community Services near the Main intersection is home to most cultural events. Almost every weekend, some event or another takes place at the centre, drawing a sizeable audience. Ahmed Hossain, a popular recitation artist and founder of a theatre group called Onno Theatre, said: “We

are very busy during the summer. Our group has been holding shows on a regular basis. The most important thing is that our kids are learning Bangla music and theatre now.” When asked why Danforth is so special to Bangladeshis, Hossain replied: “Danforth is not just commercially important to the community, but it bears something more for us. Look around. You see Bangla signboards. You smell Bangali cuisine. That’s what we want deep down in our hearts. We all find our home here.” l Sharif Rakib Hasan is the editor of social and cultural Affairs of the Weekly Aajkal, a community newspaper based in Toronto.

The author at Bangla Town Grocer on Danforth Avenue

COURTESY

At Ghoroa Restaurant, local Bangadeshis hold a rally against 1971 war criminals

COURTESY

The author (2nd right) at a photography exhibition at the Bangladesh Centre and Community Services COURTESY

The biriyani ambassador
Fakruddin goes global with its quintessential Bangladeshi kacchi biriyani

In London, a Fukruddin stall at the Pohela Boishakh fair in 2012

COURTESY

n Ishrat Jahan
We Bangalis take our gastronomic affairs very seriously. And one local food shop is showing the world what it means to eat like a Bangladeshi. For nearly five decades, Fakruddin has been one of Dhaka’s favourite purveyors of kacchi biriyani, synonymous with weddings and grand celebrations. Their chefs were even flown to Jordan to cater the royal wedding of the daughter of Prince Hassan bin Talal and his Bangali wife Princess Sarvath al-Hassan.

FOOD OF THE NAWABS
The word biryani comes from the Farsi word birian, which means “fried before cooking.” Historically, the rice was stir-fried in ghee before it was boiled in water. Kacchi “raw” biryani is a Bangladeshi speciality, so-called because the raw meat and rice are cooked together in the same pot. Kolkata biryani is characterised by potatoes, reportedly added the chefs of the nawabs of Lucknow, because meat was scarce were exiled to Kolkata in 1857. On the BBC travel programme Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey, Stein travelled to Bangladesh and headed straight to Fakruddin’s biriyani kitchen in Moghbazar, Dhaka, making the shop a beloved tourist destination. And now, Fakruddin has become a global franchise spanning 3 continents.

and spices will transport you right back to Dhaka. “Everything about the place can make you feel like it’s a [piece] of home away from home. The waiters here, mostly [fellow] Bangalis, come up and talk to you, giving you a special treatment,” said Madiha Mohsen, a Bangladeshi university student in Bloomsbury, London. In 2009, Fakruddin opened its first franchise in Stratford, London, followed by the opening of three more outlets in Australia, Singapore and UAE. They plan to open two more stores in the US and Malaysia. But launching a Bangladeshi company on the global platform has been full of challenges for the company. A major drawback, the owners said, is the lack of assistance from the government. “In a country such as ours, entrepreneurs fit into the definition of self-made men and women. While companies in other countries receive government assistance, most Bangladeshi businesses that are not in the RMG sector are left to fend for themselves,” said Abdul Khaleque, the current managing director, and grandson of founder Md Fakruddin Munshi.

Md Fakruddon Munshi, the founder and original chef Fakruddin exhibited a natural flair for the culinary arts, and quickly learned the techniques of dum cooking and other nawabi delicacies. After he left, Fakruddin took this knowledge to the canteen of Viqurannesa Noon School and College, and the kacchi biriyani became Fakruddin’s signature dish. In 1966, amid the blur of the crowds of Moghbazar, Fakruddin laid the foundations of his very first shop. “Our method of promotion was simple. We gave our customers the best. We believe in unconditional hard work and quality. In order to give the best you need three things: quality, commitment and honesty,” Abdul Khaleque said.

COURTESY

Fakruddin chef with Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, when they catered his daughter’s wedding COURTESY ward to: a Fakruddin restaurant in New York, and frozen biriyani. “We plan to launch our frozen biriyani in the US market, since the potential in that particular region remains the highest. Then we’ll introduce it elsewhere,” said Abdul Khaleque. “We also have plans to give our cuisine an international spin by introducing different Arabian biriyani. Our future goal is to keep on growing, within Bangladesh, and all over the world.” l

Going the distance

Royal ingredients

When you step into one of Fakruddin’s international outposts – be it in London, Sydney, Singapore or Dubai – the heady aromatic blend of basmati, meat

The late Md Fakruddin Munshi learned his craft directly from the source. Muslim Miah, a chef for of the Nawab of Murshidabad, chose him for apprenticeship in the nawab’s kitchen.

Kacchi on ice

Homesick Bangladeshis living in the US have two exciting prospects to look for-

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Prescription

Saturday, December 28, 2013

7

Sweet winter sun is not sweet for skin
Winter is here, with the weather now chilly and a cool breeze blowing, you will see that no one is avoiding the rays of the sun, rather DID YOU in winter mornings KNOW? most people bathe in it. Even later in the day, people are walking under sunlight or doing their activities comfortably. In our country people enjoy being under the sun almost in every part of the day for the pleasant warmth in this chilly weather.

People are likely to stay under sunlight to get pleasant warmth in winter. But are the people aware of the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun? Sweet sunrays are not sweet to your skin And don’t forget the ears, neck, and n Dr Sajol Ashfaq the skin around the eyes.

QUICK TIPS

Damaging capacity of ultraviolet rays

The sun produces two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays – UVA and UVB. UVA rays, which account for up to 95% of UV rays that reach the Earth’s surface, penetrate deeper into skin, causing wrinkles and have been associated with melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. In winter the damaging effect of UV rays is more and susceptibility to UV damage is high, particularly for those exposed more times under sunrays.

UV rays in winter have more intensity

Due to cloudless sky in winter,UV rays can directly touch our skin without facing any filtering effect. Usually clouds and humidity act as filters, weakens the UV rays when they come down to the ground. Cloudless sky and less humid environment lets the UV rays with stronger level reach the ground. UV

rays always damage the skin, darken its tone and makes the skin aged earlier. UVA rays are almost equally intense during all daylight hours throughout the year; they can penetrate clouds and glass. In fact, in some winter conditions people have to be aware of the potential UV damage from participating in outdoor winter sports. Cooler temperatures don’t mean that it’s time to put

away your UV protection. Shielding the eyes from the sun in winter is just as important as doing it at any other time of year. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the leading causes of vision loss among older people.

UV protection

Anytime an individual is outdoors

they should limit winter UV exposure by wearing appropriate UV protection. More than 90% of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30+ or higher. Apply 20 to 30 minutes before going outside. Apply sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin. Use at least a teaspoon on the face.

If you’re participating in winter sport or picnic, it’s a good idea to use a sunscreen with moisturiser. Winter weather can be tough on the skin. Use a lip balm with a 15+ SPF. Additionally, sun damage is clearly associated with facial aging. Without sun protection, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, and actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin) can all be traced to sun exposure. Also known as photo aging, this aging caused by repeated sun exposure makes the skin lose its ability to repair itself by breaking down the skin’s collagen and impairing the synthesis of new collagen. The sun also attacks the skin’s elastin, weakening the skin from springing back, and causing loose, wrinkled and leathery skin due to the unprotected exposure to sunlight. Winter is a great time to repair the skin after a long summer of sun damage.  It is recommended that you get a great cleansing and exfoliating facial at the start of the season to get rid of the flaky skin that builds up. It is also the perfect time to address pigment damage that has occurred due to sun exposure.  l

Winter warmers for older people

FOOD THERAPY

Broccoli’s sparkle
The popular vegetable broccoli is now grown in our country. It is available in superstores and even street vendors. Due to its high vitamin C, antioxidant and dietary fiber with potent anti-cancer properties, broccoli has created its position as a miracle food.

Do plastic containers turn toxic in the microwave?
n Gazi Kashif Yousuf
Placing  plastic food containers  in the microwave may be harmful to your health. Some containers are okay and others are HEALTH not. It’s important to ALERT understand why plastic food containers are a problem and how to avoid the dangers. When you place some plastic food containers in the microwave, depending on the amount of time you are heating your food and at what temperature, chemicals used to produce the plastic may leak into your food. The US Food and Drug Authority is aware of this problem and mandates that manufacturers of plastic food containers test their products to be sure that this danger does not exist. If you follow some basic rules, microwaving is quite safe. Always check for the “microwave safe” label on containers and wrappers. When you see plastic food containers with a “microwave safe” label, this is an indication that the required testing has been carried out and that the risk for chemicals leaking into your food is low.  Although the FDA reports that low levels of chemicals may move from the plastic to the food during microwaving, especially when it’s a fatty food such as meat and cheese. Never microwave food covered with

Due to less metabolic rate of the body, older people feel colder in winter. So, an older person needs supplements to warm up the body. To keep your hands and feet warm during winter, you need to improve your circulation. An herbal product like ginko biloba stimulates the flow of blood more efficiently to the extremities, i.e. fingers and toes. Look for a product containing a standardised extract of the herb ginko biloba and take according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Essential fatty acids (found in fish oil and flaxseed) also support the health of blood vessels. Omega 3 fish oil and cod liver oil products have already been used for this purpose. These products are available in pharmacies. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Children’s earache in winter

Broccoli prevents wrinkles
Eating more vitamin C-rich foods, such as broccoli, may help ward off wrinkles and age-related dryness, suggests a research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin C’s skin-smoothing effects may be due to its ability to mop up free radicals produced from ultraviolet rays and also its role in synthesising collagen, a fibrous protein that keeps skin firm. l

BIGSTOCK

Helps to prevent cancer
Broccoli is also a source of many substances called phytochemicals, or plant chemicals, that may have anticancer properties. For example, broccoli contains several compounds called isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which have been touted as possible anti-cancer agents in recent years. Early studies have shown these substances may act as anti-oxidants and may boost detoxifying enzymes in the body. Some studies have also suggested they may alter the levels of estrogen in the body, which might affect breast cancer risk. In an article published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a research team found that eating broccoli daily may help stave off gastric problems. Eating half cup of baby broccoli daily for two months may protect against a common stomach bug helicobacter pylori that are linked to gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer. The way you prepare broccoli and related vegetables can alter their potentially cancer-fighting powers, new research shows. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are a good source of sulforaphane, a phytochemical (naturally occurring plant compound) that has shown strong anti-cancer properties in lab studies. However, the enzyme myrosinase in broccoli is needed for sulforaphane to form. If the myrosinase is destroyed, sulforaphane cannot

When you place some plastic food containers in the microwave, depending on the amount of time you are heating your food and at what temperature, chemicals used to produce the plastic may leak into your food
newspaper, as the print may contaminate food and never put foil in the microwave as it will spark, making it a fire hazard. The damage caused by plastic food containers has been studied in animals. In these studies, high doses of toxic chemicals from plastics have led to reproductive illnesses, cancer and other health issues. It is believed, however, that the leaking of the chemicals in plastic in very small amounts is not a health hazard in humans. l

An earache from a cold is common in children. Sometimes it can be a sharp, dull, or burning  pain  that can range from mild to very painful. Winter causes runny nose which sometimes trap fluid in the middle ear, causing pressure on the eardrum. With an earache from cold, you or your child may have difficulty in sleeping, run a fever, mild deafness and have mucus in the nose. An ear infection is usually treatable, and permanent damage to the ear or to the hearing is much less common today with proper treatment. Before seeing a doctor, you can give your kids acetaminophen or ibuprofen, anti histamine and oxymetazoline nasal drop which can help relieve an earache and nasal congestion. l

| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat

BIGSTOCK

Riper bananas prevent tumour
n Dr Abdullah Shahriar
Banana is one of the favourite fruits to all of us all according to Japanese Scientific Research, full ripe banana with dark HEALTH patches on yellow NEWS skin are better for health because dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor). TNF is the substance which has the ability to combat abnormal cells like tumour in the body.

form. Researchers compared boiled, microwaved and steamed broccoli, and found that steaming broccoli for up to five minutes was the best way to retain its myrosinase. Boiling and microwaving broccoli for one minute or less destroyed the majority of the enzyme, according to a researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. l

Protects heart, lessens allergy
BIGSTOCK

Broccoli can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with

bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Thus broccoli is becoming the topic of increasing interest with respect to heart disease. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. l

Ripe bananas protect your body against cancer and heart diseases. When banana is ripe with dark spots on skin, the starch content changes to simple sugars that are easier to digest and that raise your blood glucose levels
The darker the patches are, the higher will be its capacity to prevent the tumour. Hence, the riper the bananas

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Compiled by | Dr Mohammad Sayem

are, the better the anti-cancer quality. Dark spots on yellow skinned banana are 8 times more potent to prevent tumour. It is a fact that nutrient content of fruits change slightly as they ripen.

As a banana ripens and turns yellow, its levels of antioxidants increase. These antioxidants in ripe bananas protect your body against cancer and heart diseases. When  banana is ripe with dark spots on skin, the starch

content changes to simple sugars that are easier to digest and that raise your blood glucose levels. Make sure you are eating them in the final stage of this picture above - sweet, spotty and ripe. l

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DHAKA TRIBUNE

International
n Agencies
A Turkish public prosecutor has said that he was prevented from doing his job hours after he was removed from an extensive corruption investigation targeting business and government circles. Muammer Akkas was removed from the investigation by Oktay Erdogan, Istanbul deputy chief public prosecutor, on the grounds that Akkas violated the confidentiality of the investigation, Turkish media reports said. In a statement he made right after he was removed on Thursday, the prosecutor alleged that the probe has been blocked by Turkish police forces and Istanbul’s chief prosecutor through “not implementing court verdicts” and “putting pressure on the judiciary.” According to Akkas, these actions have stymied further arrests in the investigation, which has already netted several high-profile political and business figures suspected of bribery and corruption.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Turkish prosecutor removed from probe
He said that Turkey’s public “should be aware that I, as public prosecutor, have been prevented from implementing an investigation.” On Wednesday he was reported to have ordered the detention of 30 more suspects in the case, including ruling high circles in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Akkas said that police commissioners were acting illegally by disobeying court orders furthering the probe. His charge came the day after Erdogan reshuffled nearly half his cabinet following the resignation of his interior, economy and environment ministers, all of whose sons have been implicated in the scandal. The government started reshuffling the Turkish police force hours after the investigation was revealed last week, moving dozens of senior police officers, including the Istanbul police chief, to passive positions over Ankara’s claims of “abuse of office.” l

UN condemns attack on Iranian dissident group n AP, Baghdad
The UN has condemned a rocket attack on a camp housing an Iranian exile group near Baghdad. On Thursday, rockets were fired on Camp Liberty, home to members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, the militant wing of a Paris-based Iranian opposition. The group said three residents were killed and more than 50 wounded. Iraqi officials said the only casualties were two people wounded. In a statement Friday, the UN envoy to Iraq Nickolay Mladenov says a number of residents were killed and injured, but gave no number. Mladenov called on the Iraqi government to protect the camp and investigate the incident. The group, which opposes Iran’s clerical regime, fought in the 1980s alongside Saddam Hussein’s forces in the Iran-Iraq war, and several thousand of its members were given sanctuary in Iraq. l

Firemen douse a burning vehicle following a car bomb explosion that rocked central Beirut

Lebanese ex-Minister killed in Beirut bomb
n Reuters, Beirut
Former Lebanese Minister Mohamad Chatah, who opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and four other people were killed in a massive bomb blast that targeted his car in Beirut on Friday, security sources said. Chatah, 62, a Sunni Muslim, was also a critic of Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah movement and an adviser to former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. His killing occurred three weeks before the long-delayed opening of a trial of five Hezbollah suspects indicted for the Feb. 2005 bombing which killed former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, Saad’s father, and 21 other people. Hezbollah has denied involvement in the 2005 attack. Preliminary UN investigations implicated Syrian officials. A tweet posted on his Twitter account less than an hour before the blast accused the Shi’ite movement of trying to take control of the country. “Hezbollah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security and foreign policy matters that Syriaexercised in Lebanon for 15 years,” the tweet read. The explosion sent shock waves among residents and emptied the streets in downtown where people, seeking a respite from recent turmoil, had ventured out to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holiday period. The conflict in neighbouring Syria has polarised Lebanon and ratcheted up sectarian tensions. Hezbollah has sent fighters to Syria to fight alongside Assad, who comes from the Alawite sect, a heterodox offshoot of Shi’iteIslam. Some of the Sunni Syrian rebel groups are linked to al Qaeda, which is also seeking to topple Assad. Former minister Marwan Hamadeh, who survived a car bombing in 2004, told Al Arabiya television: “Hezbollah will not be able to rule Lebanon, no matter how much destruction it causes or blood it spills.”

AFP

There was glass everywhere and the acrid smell of explosives filled the air
Sources at the explosion site said Chatah was on his way to attend a meeting at Hariri’s headquarters when the explosion tore through his car. Hariri himself has stayed away from Lebanon for more than two years, fearing for his safety. A Reuters witness at the scene said his car was “totally destroyed, it is a wreck.” Chatah’s identity card, torn and charred, was found inside his car. Iran, which backs Hezbollah, came under attack in Beirut last month. On Nov. 19, two suicide bombings rocked the embassy compound in Lebanon, killing at least 25 people including an Iranian cultural attache and hurling bodies and burning wreckage across a

debris-strewn street. A Lebanon-based al Qaeda-linked group, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility and threatened further attacks unless Iran withdraws forces from Syria, where they have backed Assad’s 2-1/2-year-old war against rebels. The sound of Friday’s blast was heard across the city at around 9:40 a.m. (0740 GMT) and a plume of black smoke was seen rising in the downtown business and hotel district. It shattered glass in nearby apartment blocks and damaged restaurants, coffee shops and offices in the chic district of downtown Beirut. “I heard a huge explosion and saw a ball of fire and palls of black smoke. We run out of our offices to the streets,” said Hassan Akkawi, who works in a finance company nearby. “The explosion caught motorists driving in the morning rush hour here. There was terror and panic among residents. There was a big ball of fire and panic everywhere and then we learned that Chatah was the target,” saidAdel-Raouf Kneio. Minutes after the blast ambulances were seen taking victims from the area. A restaurant and a coffee shop were destroyed in the blast, and several cars were on fire, the witness said. There was glass everywhere and the acrid smell of explosives filled the air. Much of Beirut went into lockdown following the explosion, with police blocking off roads across the city. l

Egypt widens crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood
n Agencies
Egyptian authorities have arrested 23 Muslim Brotherhood supporters on accusations of belonging to a terrorist organisation, a day after the country’s interim government blacklisted the group. The people arrested on Thursday were accused of passing out leaflets in support of the Brotherhood, promoting the group’s ideology, and inciting violence against the Egyptian security services, according to Egypt’s state media agency, MENA. Later on Thursday, one person was killed as student supporters of the Brotherhood clashed with residents of a Cairo district where they were protesting. “Egypt will stand firmly in confronting terrorism and the people will never be afraid as long as the army is present,” said Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, during an army graduation ceremony on Thursday in Cairo. The arrests come only a day after Egypt’s interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood, to which deposed former President Mohamed Morsi belongs, a terrorist group. The designation means anyone ac-

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi cused of taking part in pro-Muslim Brotherhood rallies, possession of the group’s literature, or supporting the group “verbally or in writing” could be sentenced to five years in prison, the Interior Ministry said. US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed concern on Thursday over Egypt’s intensi ied pursuit of the Muslim Brotherhood in a phone call with his counterpart in Cairo Nabil Fahmy. Kerry condemned a suicide bombing in Mansoura on Tuesday and

AFP

Thursday’s bus bombing in Cairo, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. The top American diplomat also “expressed concern about the interim Egyptian government’s December 25 terrorist designation of the Muslim Brotherhood, and recent detentions and arrests,” Psaki said. The Brotherhood still organises almost daily protests demanding Morsi’s return, nearly six months after he was overthrown following widespread popular protests. l

Attack on reporter reignites Ukraine demonstrations
n Reuters, Kiev
Protesters demanded Ukraine’s interior minister resign on Thursday after an opposition journalist known for documenting the extravagance of the country’s political elite was chased down in her car and savagely beaten in a midnight attack. Clutching pictures of Tetyana Chornovil’s badly bruised face, hundreds marched on the Interior Ministry in the capital, Kiev. The attack on the 34-year-old restored passion to protests that have been losing steam more than a month after the government spurned a pact on closer ties with the European Union, turning instead to former Soviet master Moscow. Pro-EU demonstrators have been occupying central Kiev, but their numbers have been falling since Russia offered Ukraine a $15 billion bailout this month. The United States said the journalist’s beating was “particularly disturbing” and that Washington was concerned and watching the situation. Psaki called on Ukraine’s government to ensure respect for human rights and to send an “unequivocal message” that violence against government critics “will not be tolerated.” Ukraine’s interior minister, Vitaly Zakharchenko, had already become a target of opposition anger following a violent crackdown on protesters by police late last month that helped swell the demonstrations. The attack on Chornovil, shortly after midnight on Wednesday, came hours after she posted pictures online of what she said was Zakharchenko’s home, part of a campaign to expose the opulence of the political elite under President Viktor Yanukovich. Chornovil, who has played an active role in the protests, shot to prominence last year when she infiltrated the grounds of Yanukovich’s opulent residence in a park near the Dnieper River. l

120,000 people displaced by S Sudan violence n AP, Juba
More than 120,000 people have been displaced by continuing violence in South Sudan, the United Nations said, as African leaders met Friday to find a political solution to a crisis that has exposed ethnic rifts within the country. Regional leaders under a bloc called IGAD are meeting Friday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to discuss South Sudan. That summit is expected to produce a roadmap for peace talks between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, Kiir’s political rival who is accused of orchestrating a failed coup that the government says sparked unrest across the oil-producing East African country. “We in Kenya and the region are concerned with the loss of lives and resultant humanitarian crisis and would like to see the government taking the initiative to end hostilities,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said late Thursday. The number of internally displaced people has been rising since fighting started on Dec. 15 in the capital, Juba, before spreading across the country. Now there are sporadic military clashes in the oil-rich states of Unity and Upper Nile, potentially endangering the oil revenues that South Sudan depends on to keep the government running. The UN said aid agencies need at least $166 million to save lives. The top UN humanitarian official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, said earlier this week that he believes the death toll has surpassed 1,000. The UN also is investigating alleged mass killings in the latest violence. “We have heard reports of extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detentions of civilians, ill-treatment, abuse and also mass graves,” said Hilde Johnson, head of the UN mission in South Sudan. l

Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, yesterday

AP

Icebound ship in Antarctica edges closer to rescue
n AP, Sydney
A ship that has been trapped in thick Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve was nearing rescue on Friday, after a Chinese icebreaker named the Snow Dragon drew close to the icebound vessel. The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard’s whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. The ship wasn’t in danger of sinking, and there were ample supplies for the 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel couldn’t move. Maritime authorities received the ship’s distress signal on Wednesday and sent three icebreakers to assist. By Friday afternoon, China’s Snow Dragon had made it as far as the edge of the sea ice surrounding the ship, 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, but still faced the tough task of getting through the dense pack ice to the paralyzed vessel. The Snow Dragon was hoping to reach the ship by Friday evening, but changing weather conditions and the thickness of the ice could slow its progress, said Andrea Hayward-Maher, spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue. Expedition leader Chris Turney said it may take the Snow Dragon until Saturday to break through. “We’re all just on tenterhooks at the moment, waiting to find out” how long it will take, Turney said by satellite phone. “Morale is really good.” The scientific team on board the vessel — which left New Zealand on Nov. 28 — had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s century-old voyage to Antarctica when it became trapped. They plan to continue their expedition after they are freed, Turney said. Passengers and crew have had to contend with blizzard conditions, including winds up to 70 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour), but the weather had calmed considerably by Friday, Turney said. “The blizzard we had yesterday was quite extraordinary — it’s not nice when you can feel the ship shaking,” he said. l

Obama tells congress to do more on Guantanamo
n Reuters, Honolulu
President Barack Obama on Thursday gave credit to Congress for relaxing restrictions on transferring detainees from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the custody of foreign governments but said lawmakers need to go further. After signing the National Defence Authorization Act for fiscal 2014, Obama noted that Congress retained regulations that prevent the transfer of prisoners to American soil, where they could be tried in federal court. Prosecuting alleged terrorists in US federal court is “a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the nation,” Obama said. The regulations could remain an obstacle to the administration’s years-long bid to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, where 158 detainees from various countries remain after years of detention without trial at the US Naval Base in Cuba. The prison has been condemned internationally. Even before the legislation was enacted, the administration had become more active in making transfers, sending two detainees each to Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

International

Saturday, December 28, 2013

9

Thai government seeks military assistance to protect poll
n Reuters, Bangkok
The Thai government said on Friday it will ask the military to help protect candidates and voters in a February election after clashes between police and anti-government protesters in which two people were killed and scores wounded. The call for help from the powerful but heavily politicized military demonstrates Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s determination to ensure the election goes ahead. The vote is almost certain to return her Puea Thai Party to power. Any delay to the polls could leave her embattled government and party exposed to an escalation of street protests and legal challenges that could leave the country in limbo. Her government on Thursday rebuffed a request by the Election Commission to delay the February 2 vote until there was “mutual consent” from all sides - an increasingly unlikely outcome after Thursday’s deadly clashes at an election registration venue. Ranged against each other are Yingluck and her supporters among the rural poor in the populous north and northeast and protesters from Bangkok’s middle class and elite who see her as a puppet of her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Friday said he would ask military chiefs for help securing candidate registrations on Saturday. “We will also discuss together how to take care of safety for the people who will come to vote on February 2,” Surapong said in a televised announcement. The military has remained neutral in the latest turmoil, apart from offering to act as a mediator, even though protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a fiery former deputy premier, has sought

Okinawa approval for US marine base move
n Reuters, Tokyo
The governor of Japan’s Okinawa on Friday approved a controversial plan to relocate a US air base to a less populous part of the southern island, but said he would keep pressing to move the base off the island altogether. The nod from Okinawa, long a reluctant host to the bulk of US military forces in Japan, is an achievement for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has promised a more robust military and tighter security ties with the United States amid escalating tension with China. Sceptics, however, said it remained far from clear whether the relocation stalled since the move was first agreed upon by Washington and Tokyo in 1996 - would actually take place given persistent opposition from Okinawa residents, many of whom associate the US bases with crime, pollution and noise. The approval came a day after Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, seen in parts of Asia as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism, infuriating China and South Korea, and prompting concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the Asian neighbours. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima told a news conference he had approved a central government request for a landfill project at the new site, on the Henoko coast near the town of Nago. His approval for that project, required by law and a first step to building the replacement facility, was the last procedural barrier to eventually replacing the US Marines Futenma air base in the crowded town of Ginowan. “The government has recently met our requests in compiling a plan to reinvigorate Okinawa. We felt that the Abe government’s regard for Okinawa is higher than any previous governments’,” Nakaima told a news conference. The governor, however, added that he still believed that the quickest way to relocate the Futenma air base would be to move it to an existing facility with runways outside Okinawa. About 2,000 people gathered in front of the Okinawa government building to protest against Nakaima’s decision, with a few hundred of them staging a sit-in at the lobby of the office building, Jiji news agency said. The United States and Japan agreed in 1996 to close the Futenma base but plans for a replacement stalled in the face of opposition in Okinawa, which hosts more than half of the US forces in Japan. Okinawa was occupied by the United States after Japan’s defeat in World War Two until 1972. Japan’s ties with the United States were strained when then-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who took office in 2009, sought to keep a campaign promise to move the US base off Okinawa.

Thailand’s army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, right, speaks during a news conference at army headquarters in Bangkok to drag the military into the conflict, onto the anti-government side. The military has staged or attempted 18 coups over the past 80 years - including the ousting of Thaksin in 2006 - and it is again likely to play a crucial role in the latest round of a crisis that has dragged on for eight years. Surapong also reiterated that the government had no intention of delaying the vote despite the Election Commission’s request. Yingluck, who has spent most of the past week outside Bangkok shoring up support in the north, has tried to avoid confrontation, fearing her opponents would stir chaos deliberately to trigger an intervention, either by the military or the judiciary. The weeks of protests had been largely peaceful, even though as many as 200,000 people have been on the streets. A hardcore of about 500 protesters, some carrying knives and slingshots, were behind Thursday’s violence. On Friday, the Public Health Ministry said one protester had died from injuries suffered the previous say. A policeman was killed by an unidentified gunman on Thursday. The ministry said 153 people were wounded, 39 of them police. The crisis is starting to drag on the economy. The Thai baht plumbed close to four-year lows this week and Thai

AP

The Futenma base has been a lightning rod for criticism because of its location in a densely populated area
The Futenma base has been a lightning rod for criticism because of its location in a densely populated area. Activists living in tents have been staging a protest near the site of the proposed Henoko base for almost 10 years and have promised demonstrations if Nakaima approves construction. An election for the mayor of Nago next month could prove problematic if incumbent Susumu Inamine - who opposes the plan - is re-elected, while the central government could face a dilemma if demonstrators try to block construction. l

stocks fell two percent after Thursday’s violence. The Finance Ministry cut its growth forecast for 2013 on Thursday, due in part to the political unrest, and 2014 forecasts are also in jeopardy. The first two years of Yingluck’s government had been relatively smooth until her party miscalculated in November and tried to push through an amnesty bill. The bill would have allowed Thaksin to return a free man and the miscalculation sparked the latest round of protests. Thaksin fled into exile in 2008 shortly before he was sentenced to jail on graft charges he says were politically motivated. l

Thai army chief China media condemns Japan American abducted in Pakistan calls for US help urges calm, doesn’t n AP, Islamabad PM for honouring ‘devils’ rule out coup A 72-year-old American development dermined the stability of the region.” worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan n AP, Bangkok n Reuters, Beijing Chinese Foreign Ministry spokes- by al-Qaida more than two years ago
Thailand’s army chief on Friday urged both sides in the country’s bitter political dispute to show restraint, but did not explicitly rule out the possibility of a coup. Thailand has been wracked by two months of political tensions and occasionally violent street protests pitting the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra against protesters seeking to oust her. The army has staged 11 successful coups in the country’s history, so its intentions are being watched carefully. “That door is neither open nor closed,” the army chief, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, said in response to questions from reporters as to whether a military intervention was likely. He also reiterated a request that people stop asking the army to take sides in the dispute. “Please don’t bring the army into the center of this conflict,” Prayuth said. On Thursday, protesters seeking to disrupt elections scheduled for Feb. 2 battled with police in clashes that left two people dead. At the same time, Thailand’s election commission called for a delay in the polls, a blow to Yingluck, who expects to win them handily thanks to her overwhelming support in the country’s north and northeast. Prayuth said the army had shown “red traffic lights to both sides, so things will calm down,” and called for an end to street violence. “You ask, ‘Who wins?’ Who wins?’ No one,” he said. Police have made no move to arrest the protest movement’s ringleader, Suthep Thaugsuban, who is demanding the country be led by an unelected council until reforms can be implemented. He’s vowed that the protesters will thwart the polls through civil disobedience. Authorities have to tread carefully, as a crackdown would likely provoke greater violence and chaos. The current tensions date back to 2006, when Yingluck’s brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was toppled in a military coup. The protesters accuse Yingluck of being a proxy for Thaksin, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid jail time for a corruption conviction but still wields influence in the country. Thaksin or his allies have won every election since 2001. His supporters say he is disliked by Bangkok’s elite because he has shifted power away from the traditional ruling class, which is represented in the current protest movement. l Chinese newspapers denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, describing his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine for Japan’s war dead as paying homage to “devils” and warning that China could crush “provocative militarism.” On Thursday, Abe visited the shrine in Tokyo where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle. The visit infuriated China and South Korea, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces until the end of the war, and prompted concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the North Asian neighbors. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement Abe’s visit to the shrine was “not conducive to lowering tensions in the region or to improving relations with Japan’s neighbours.” In an editorial headlined “Abe’s paying homage to the devils makes people outraged,” the Chinese military’s People’s Liberation Army Daily said Abe’s action had “seriously unwoman Hua Chunying said Abe’s visit to the shrine “has already attracted the Chinese people’s ire and denunciation.” In a separate commentary published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng,” or “Voice of China,” the Communist Party’s People’s Daily said: “History tells us that if people do not correctly understand the evils of the fascist war, cannot reflect on war crimes, a country can never (achieve) true rejuvenation.” The Global Times, an influential nationalistic tabloid owned by the People’s Daily, urged China to shut its door to Abe and other Japanese officials who have visited the shrine this year. “In the eyes of China, Abe, behaving like a political villain, is much like the terrorists and fascists on the commonly seen blacklists.” A survey on China’s Sina Weibo micro blogging site on Thursday showed that almost 70% of respondents would support a boycott of Japanese goods, with many users expressing outrage at the shrine visit. The survey was later removed. l appealed to President Obama in a video to negotiate his release, saying he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten.” The video of Warren Weinstein was the first since two videos released in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a US-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011. In the video, sent Thursday to reporters in Pakistan including The Associated Press, Weinstein asked the US government to negotiate his release. “Nine years ago I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here, and now when I need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten,” Weinstein said during the 13-minute video. It was impossible to tell how much of Weinstein’s statement, made under the duress of captivity, was scripted by his captors. A phone message left with

Warren Weinstein, a 72-year-old American who was kidnapped in Pakistan Weinstein’s family Thursday was not returned. The video and an accompanying letter purported to be from Weinstein was emailed anonymously to reporters in Pakistan. The video was labelled “As-Sahab,” which is al-Qaida’s media wing, but its authenticity could not be independently verified. The letter was dated Oct. 3, 2013 and in the video Weinstein said he had been in captivity for two years. In the video, Weinstein wore a grey track suit jacket and what appeared to

AP

be a black knit hat on his head. His face was partially covered with a beard. Al-Qaida has said Weinstein would be released if the US halted airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world. The White House has called for Weinstein’s immediate release but has said it won’t negotiate with al-Qaida. The videos last year showed Weinstein appealing for help from the Jewish community and Israel’s prime minister. l

Police fire warning shots at Cambodia protest
n
Agencies
Cambodian police have fired warning shots at a brief clash with striking garment workers demanding higher wages, a state official and a local rights group have said. Thousands of Cambodian factory workers, led by opposition leader Sam Rainsy, have been demonstrating in the capital of Phnom Penh for weeks now, calling for a higher minimum wage and for resignation of Hun Sen, the prime minister. The violence broke out when military police tried to move the workers off a road on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh. The workers then threw rocks at the authorities who fired “many warning shots” into the air and hit protesters with their batons. Several people on both sides were reportedly injured. With tens of thousands of garment workers on strike on Friday across the country, activists voiced fears of further violence. The security forces said they were

Foreign convoy attacked in Afghanistan, three dead
n Reuters, Kabul
A suspected suicide bomber attacked a foreign military convoy on the eastern outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday, killing at least three foreign soldiers, police and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which comes as President Hamid Karzai deliberates over an agreement allowing US forces to stay in the country beyond 2014. ISAF put the death toll at three service members. It gave no more details. “A number of foreign forces were killed and wounded and many vehicles were also destroyed,” the militant spokesman said. Many Afghans, including a gathering of 3,000 tribal leaders and other prominent people, have urged Karzai to sign the US pact quickly as they worry about security after 2014 when most foreign forces are leaving. Karzai says he does not want to sign until after a presidential election which is scheduled for April next year. l

Bus plunge kills 29 in Thailand
Garment workers demand a higher minimum wage and resignation of the PM forced to act after workers damaged factory property. Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, blamed authorities for the latest clash. Disputes over wages and safety conditions are common in Cambodia’s huge garment industry which supAFP

n Agencies
At least 29 people have died and four were badly injured after a bus plunged into a deep ravine in northeastern Thailand, police say. The accident occurred around midnight on Friday in the Lom Sak district of Phetchabun province, with the bus en route to the northern province of Chiang Rai.

plies famous brands like Gap, Nike and H&M. The government announced earlier this week that the monthly minimum wage for garment workers would be increased from $80 to $95 starting from April next year. The workers are demanding a minimum wage of $160 per month in 2014. l

“We suspect the bus driver fell asleep,” Major General Sukit Samana, police commander of Phetchabun province, told the AFP news agency. “We found 28 bodies in the ravine, which is about 30 metres deep. And one died at the hospital.” Four others were in critical condition. Samana said an eyewitness reported seeing the bus driving “very fast” before it plunged into the ravine. l

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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Editorial
LETTER OF THE DAY

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Letters to

the Editor

W

No surprise does not mean stop scrutiny
ith an election underway, the Election Commission has an obligation to investigate the wealth statements made by candidates and to take action where appropriate. Finance Minister AMA Muhith has remarked that the reportedly unusual or very rapid growth in the wealth of some MPs and their families is normal and should be expected in light of the country’s economic boom. While he may be right to state that it is usual for parliamentarians’ wealth to grow while they are in power, the question he should be asking on behalf of the public is why this is the case. Muhith should be encouraging the EC to actively investigate any appearance of financial impropriety or untoward influence that is revealed by MP wealth statements. MPs are public servants and the public is entitled to have appropriate enquires made into any discrepancies that are brought to light. The EC’s duty to ensure transparency to enable media scrutiny also includes making sure that wealth statements of the candidates of all parties are equally accessible to citizens. However, the EC website has lately been found not to be allowing the download of all candidates’ affidavits, so there is concern that the EC may have responded to government calls to stop publishing its party’s affidavits. This problem should be rectified as a priority.

Save cultivable land

December 25 One-third of our cultivable land is gone every year due to massive urbanisation, new roads, and industrialisation. Also ancestral land is distributed among members of the concerned families who then build new homes in an unplanned way. We have 9.2 million hectares of farmland according to the agriculture census conducted in 1983 84 and 8.2 million hectares in 1996. I ask government organisations as well as non-government organisations (NGOs) to take on the initiative to build multi-storied buildings in remote areas across the country and save cultivable land. Md Tofazzel Hossain Kushtia

PM’s mobile phone numbers unreachable
December 22 Ashraful Islam Siam Why hasn’t she called in all this time? Ahmed Azwad Imtiaz Again another drama with the phone? Sheikh Jinat Mahmid Not unusual!

The Election Commission should actively investigate any appearance of financial impropriety or untoward influence that is revealed by MP wealth statements

Justice for all, lobbying for some
December 21 muzaffaralisyed Brother, it’s not justice which everyone is against. It’s selective justice by Awami League which is trying to push the opposition against the wall. I am a Pakistani and my brother’s mother-in-law (Bihari speaking) migrated from Chittagong after ‘71. Many of her relatives were killed by Bengalis. Why won’t the war crimes tribunal provide justice to them? Hate crime, not criminals. Justice for all. Zeeshan muzaffaralisyed: Thank you for your comment brother, and yes I agree with you. Non-Bengalis who were killed during the war deserve as much justice as anyone else.

‘Jamaat-Shibir activists fell 40,000 trees’
December 23 Tandua ketra BNP and AL felled the country. We are bleeding. Justin B This is terrible. How is Bangladesh supposed to fight climate change when it’s losing its last remaining big trees? I hope the people responsible realise they are destroying the future of their own country.

Khwaja Anas Nasarullah These public numbers don’t work anyway.

It’s time to talk peace

December 24 Tell me something I don’t know. This continual reiteration of the same thing is quite annoying. Nonsensical Nonsenso

The memories left behind by Khaled Khan

December 22 He will stay alive in our soul. His body has gone for good but his memory will remain in us forever. EAS

Pakistan should apologise for 1971
December 22 Usman Khan How about this? Pakistan will apologise to Bangladesh if the Bangladesh government apologises to Pakistan for the treatment meted out to the Biharis (the so called stranded Pakistanis) during and after the war. Deal?? Asif We apologise. Sumit Kumar Shaw Pakistan must apologise to Bangladeshis. Bangladeshi people have suffered a lot. We Indians respect them.

LETTER OF THE WEEK

Be Heard
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F

Good news on Rana Plaza, finally
our leading international retailers have signed a compensation framework to be chaired by the ILO to provide compensation for victims of the Rana Plaza disaster. The framework was also signed by the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, BGMEA, Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies (BILS), and global trade unions and NGOs. The Rana Plaza tragedy left 1,135 people dead and many more workers injured, causing tremendous suffering and hardship. While the families of deceased workers received some compensation from the government, many of those injured, some of whom have permanently lost the ability to work, have received little or no help so far. Under the Rana Plaza Compensation Arrangement, a Coordination Committee established by the signatories plans to distribute funds estimated to eventually total $40m, from early next year. This is a welcome move and should help ensure delivery of much-needed funds to injured workers and families of the deceased. It should be noted that among the 29 retailers believed to have had their clothes made in Rana Plaza, only four have agreed to contribute to this fund, because of legal caution and disputes over liability. The four brands who have agreed to contribute have set a good example by taking a pro-active approach to alleviating hardship, which others should be encouraged to follow. We hope that this framework is built upon to ensure a comprehensive process to provide compensation and justice to the Rana Plaza victims.

Pakistan recalls Molla’s loyalty in 1971

December 22 We haven’t learnt anything from history, have we? If a non-Muslim like Nelson Mandela can forgive his fiercest rivals and try and attain peace in his country, then why can’t we Muslims do the same?? It’s Sunna of our beloved prophet (SM) to forgive. Have we forgotten everything Islam taught us? Shame, shame, and shame. Ashfak

CALVIN AND HOBBES

The four brands who have agreed to contribute have taken a proactive approach to alleviate hardship, which others should be encouraged to follow

PEANUTS

CROSSWORD
ACROSS 1 Faucets (4) 4 Jewelled head ornament (5) 8 Predominating (6) 9 Thunder god (4) 11 Fruit (5) 12 Monkeys (4) 14 First woman (3) 15 Customer (6) 19 Story in parts (6) 21 Liable (3) 22 Molten rock (4) 24 Sacrificial table (5) 27 Flower (4) 29 Complete agreement (6) 30 Flowed back (5) 31 Incites (4) DOWN 1 Small child (3) 2 Suitable (6) 3 Certain (4) 4 Helpful hint (3) 5 Unsuitable (5) 6 Turkish commander (3) 7 Away (6) 10 Possess (4) 13 Mineral spring (3) 14 Landed property (6) 16 Everyone (3) 17 Uttering wildly (6) 18 Gem (4) 20 Silly (5) 23 Drug yielding plant (4) 25 Bath (3) 26 Disencumber (3) 28 Word of acceptance (3)

SUDOKU

YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS
Crossword

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

Code-Cracker

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Op-Ed

Saturday, December 28, 2013

11
il war began. This introduced violence in the political culture of independent Bangladesh just as it did in the remaining Pakistan. However, the fact remains that the civil war was triggered when the military was sent in to crush the demands for political autonomy and preventing the victorious Awami League from forming a government as was its right under the constitution. Apart from the protests of a few, the majority remained silent in the face of this outrage: A silence eerily similar to the present one as the Taliban reject the constitution as well as the values which underlie it. The collective apprehension of these core values constitute nationhood and at the same define the relationship between state and society as argued by Jacques Rousseau in discussing the concept of the “social contract” in his Geneva Manuscripts. Failure to abide by the values and norms that underpin the formal rules of an institutional structure induces instability in the state, and undermines the fabric of society. The complicity contained in silence amidst acts of inhumanity scars the very soul of a nation. Some of the ghosts of the terrible events of the 1970-73 period are returning to haunt us today. When the Supreme Court of Bangladesh upheld the conviction of Abdul Quader Molla (one of the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami), for war crimes during 1971, the response of some of Pakistan’s political parties again manifested indifference to the terrible human toll of the events of 1971. The Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami moved a resolution in the National Assembly against the hanging of Quader Molla. This resolution was supported by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. It may be pertinent to give the gist of the statement of Momena Begum, before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh on February 5, 2013. According to Momena Begum, on March 26, 1971, Abdul Quader Molla and his companions forced their way into her family home. Molla first shot Momena’s pregnant mother then slaughtered her with a machete. Momena and her sister Amena hid under a cot. She saw Molla and his companions kill her two-year-old brother Babu by repeatedly smashing him against the floor. When Momena could not resist crying out, she was discovered by the attackers, pulled out from under the cot and then violated till she was senseless. The moral depravity of Abdul Quader Molla is apparent just as it is in the case of the Taliban groups who stalk this land.

Healing a nation

T

n Akmal Hussain

he monstrous brutality of the militant extremists is apparent as they indoctrinate teenaged suicide bombers to hate and make shrapnel of their own bodies and thereby kill and maim other human beings, as they massacre innocents in their places of worship, as they behead soldiers, as they shoot girls going to school, as they kill health workers who try to administer polio drops to infants and kidnap young men for ransom.

Some of the ghosts of the terrible events of the 1970 73 period are returning to haunt us today
Wealth statements say it all

BIGSTOCK

The money-making machine

T
n MH Bari

he High Court, in a verdict in May 2005, ordered the disclosure of eight-point particulars including the wealth of each candidate contesting in the parliamentary election. The HC also directed the Election Commission to make these points public. These points were: A copy of their educational record, whether they were accused or not in any criminal offence, past criminal records (if any), description of their profession, probable sources of income, statement of property or debt (own or dependant’s), promises made during past polls and their status, and loan amount received jointly or solely or by dependants. According to the apex court’s verdict, the Representation of the People Order (RPO) was amended before the 2008 polls, incorporating a provision making it mandatory for every individual willing to contest the parliamentary election to submit their particulars in affidavits along with applications seeking candidacies. As such all the candidates in the 10th parliamentary election have submitted their wealth statements, including their family members’, to the Election Commission. Some of our print media collected these statements of some ruling party contestants from the EC website and found that all of them have become richer over the last five years, some rather incredibly. These statements

were published in some dailies, and sparked a discussion amongst the general public as well as civil society members and the opposition. Even many grassroots leaders of the ruling Awami League were embarrassed by this sharp rise in the wealth of some party lawmakers and ministers. Sensing public wrath, a delegation of the ruling party met the EC last Sunday and asked the it to stop the publication of wealth statements submitted

investigation into the amassed wealth of ruling party stalwarts, and shall make the report public. The AL in its election manifesto promised before the 2008 polls, they would make public every year the wealth statements and sources of income of the prime minister, ministers, MPs, and their family members. But the AL in the last five years did not keep its promise. Citizens could not know about their wealth and assets.

The EC should not, under any circumstances, entertain the ruling party’s plea to withhold candidates’ wealth information from the public
by their party for the upcoming election. This request is tantamount to the landmark verdict of the highest court. Empowering voters’ right to know cannot be slowed down by political whims. The EC should not, under any circumstances, entertain the ruling party’s plea to withhold candidates’ wealth information from the public, as it is their legal obligation. According to a published report, some ministers and lawmakers increased their wealth hundredfold. There is information published from their wealth statements, and we can easily imagine that these are part of their wealth as shown in their income tax return. Our Anti Corruption Commission will immediately launch an Now, people are being informed about the candidates. Our prime minister almost every day castigates past regimes for corruption. Now what will she say about her own party colleagues? The people of Bangladesh have fought for independence, and sacrificed a lot. It was their general expectation that they would be able to lead a better political and economic life in an independent country. The movement for Bangladesh was carried forward in the name of establishing “Shonar Bangla.” But the successive political and civil military bureaucratic leaderships that ruled Bangladesh in the last four decades have measurably failed to demonstrate their commitment to

this vision through their policies and performances. Politicians as well as political parties, particularly in advanced democratic countries, generally try to outwit their opponents in political campaigns through rational argument. The situation in Bangladesh, needless to say, is totally different. Here we see political vendetta. The meaning of politics to many of them has devolved to the grabbing of political power through strength of muscle. During the last 40 years, we hardly ever witnessed any real peaceful political environment. The negatives of our political leadership are well reflected in politicising the bureaucracy and engaging what the media call thugs and gangsters as party cadres. They are also involved in trade unions, patronising of loan defaulters, and other dubious deals. So, politics and money-making are inseparable these days. Once, politics was a selfless vocation, entirely dedicated to the cause of the land and its people. There was a time when individuals from well to do families came to politics for protecting the public interest. Today, there is a little scope for honest people to do politics. Perhaps, no honest business can match the rate of accumulation of material possession by politicians. It seems that politics has become a lucrative money-making machine now. l MH Bari works in the global marketing of seafood from Bangladesh.

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New evidence suggests men are people too

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n Mohammad N Miraly
ou can’t be a humanist if you’re a feminist. You can’t take sides. All humans are equal. Even

men. But Bombay’s new public service video “Dekh Le” tries to perpetuate the myth that men are perverts. Leaving aside the video’s serious context of the December 16 rape, as well as its clever message that public shaming is a good punishment, the premise here is that men who look at women as sexual beings should be

a carnival prize? She’s doing what she’s told: Showing skin to make people think about sex. That’s the message we’re being sold. It’s tough to admit to ourselves that we’ve been hoodwinked into thinking that the only way to be attractive is if you look or dress a certain way. No one wants to admit that they’re the victim of a consumerist machine. But pop culture’s all about consumerism, and, to quote the motto of our times: Sex sells. Sure – “sex sells” women. It commodifies half the human population.

Why do we just wanna look pretty? Why can’t we just feel good about ourselves because we’re thoughtful?
And in a capitalist society, where the bottom dollar means more than the bottom percent of humankind, we’re taught that women only have worth as sexual objects.So, how can you blame men for looking at women? Especially the women in the video. They’ve clearly gone through a lot of effort to attract attention. It’s obviously really important to their self-esteem. It would be inhumane to ignore them. They bear the classic markers of contemporary female sexuality – the highcut-offs, the low top, the tramp-stamp,

ashamed of themselves. But, why should anyone be ashamed of looking at pretty girls? Aren’t we all taught that sex is life’s paramount prize? Recall our guru Cher’s timeless advice in “Clueless”: “Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex.” What is Beyonce – that paragon of modern female empowerment – doing when she’s dancing like a stripper telling men she doesn’t need them but they should put a ring on her like she’s

the heavy makeup. To be fair, these aren’t the markers of elegant sexuality. This isn’t the understated beauty where you wonder admiringly about what’s beyond the majestic facade. No, these are the sorts of things fathers fume about. These are the universally accepted markers of the sexually invitational. Sure, we can expect the classic open-mouthed “I’m offended” refrain here. But they choose to dress in a way that gives a certain impression. That’s their choice. And God bless ’em for showing what God gave ’em. So we gotta celebrate them, baby. We gotta praise them like we should. And, anyway, sometimes girls just wanna look pretty, right? But, here’s where it gets deep – why do we just wanna look pretty? Why can’t we just feel good about ourselves because we’re good at riding a motorbike, or because we’re having fun with our friends, or because we’re thoughtful or intelligent? Because we gave ourselves up to a world that sold out. We created a society that diminished the value of individual thought so we could be manipulated more easily into buying things. Our society’s a bastard. It’s caught between a traditional sense of communitarian morality, and a modern obsession with individualism fostered by a morally unfettered capitalism. So, we allow it to tell us empowerment comes from outside ourselves. We allow it to tell us that feeling good

on the inside is all about looking good on the outside. And, the insidious part is – we allow ourselves to be “1984”-ed into liking it. We allow it to tell us that that’s okay. But it’s not okay to aspire to get attention because of the way you look. It’s not okay to want attention for the way you look, then get annoyed for not getting attention for the way you think. It’s not okay to say I have the freedom to dress however I want, but you don’t have the freedom to look. It’s not okay to perpetuate that double standard. But it’s so easy, isn’t it, to get attention for the way we look. Remember good ol’ Mary Wollstonecraft’s admonition that men will never respect women for their minds if women spend more time in front of mirrors than books? Female empowerment can’t be about doing your own little thing in the club dancing dirty with lots of guys. No matter what the single ladies say. Power comes from the mind. That’s what makes us human. That’s human empowerment. We should all aspire to be looked upon with lust for our human parts – our minds, rather than our animal parts – our hind legs. Let’s stop hiding behind low tops and high bottoms. Let’s take sexy back from the male gaze. l Mohammad N Miraly holds a PhD from McGill University in Religion, Ethics, and Public Policy.

Such inhumanity usually elicits outrage from a nation that is conscious of the values that define it, for outrage occurs, as Barrington Moore Jr argues, when the values that a community holds dear have been violated. Yet in our case, there are strata in the political community who sympathise with the militant extremists, indeed wish to bring them into their fold. When Hakimullah Mehsud, a leader of the organisation that is waging war on the state and people of Pakistan was killed, he was declared a martyr by one of the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a mainstream right wing political party. The overwhelming majority of the people may be opposed to such tendencies, but they are silenced by fear and ideological confusion. Reason and compassion are being marginalised from Pakistan’s political discourse and public action. It is a nation that is in danger of losing its moral bearings. These moral bearings are drawn from the great intellectual tradition of the Sufis who showed that Islam is rooted in the universal values of love, truth, justice, and nurturing the sense of beauty. It is through loving care of the “Other” that the Self is enhanced. “Tain milliaan maindey taazgi wo” – “In meeting you I am rejuvenated,” says Shah Hussain, the 18th century Punjabi Sufi poet. The “Other” in this tradition is not simply to be tolerated but constitutes an essential fertilising force in the growth of the Self. Thus meeting the “Other”, whether an individual, another identity or another religion, initiates the dynamics of love through which the Self is experienced afresh within a broader frame of reference, and is thereby enhanced. The provinces that constituted Pakistan in 1947 had different languages and cultures, and hence provided the possibility of an enriching interplay. A unity that is woven from diversity is vibrant. When multiple identities are balanced within the whole, it becomes dynamic and powerful, just as a river flows stronger when it is fed by many tributaries. Pakistan’s national integrity would have been strengthened if its identity had been nurtured by the thoughts of the great Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore, of the Pakhtun Sufi poet Rehman Baba, of the Sindhi Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, of the Baloch Sufi poet Mast Taukali. The national identity could have been sustained by the flowering of diverse cultures of the communities in various provinces. Instead, the institutional structures of education, politics, and governance began to induce a deadly narrowing of identity and associated tendencies of hatred and violence towards the Other. The centralised form of governance under the “one unit” framework in the Ayub regime led to a denial of regional identities and culture. Thus the forms of governance and political culture began to deny diversity instead of nurturing it. One of the turning points of this process of going astray was the launching of Operation Searchlight in 1971 by a military dictator, instead of implementing the 1970 electoral verdict under the Constitution. This military operation involved the systematic and large scale killing of our own citizens in East Pakistan in 1971, which later emerged as the independent state of Bangladesh. There is no doubt that there were atrocities from both sides once the civ-

The National Assembly ought to have offered an apology on behalf of Pakistan to the people of Bangladesh

The National Assembly ought to have offered an apology on behalf of the people of Pakistan to the people of Bangladesh for the military action of 1971. Instead, a resolution was passed in support of Abdul Quader Molla. This once again indicates that our political representatives in their choices sometimes fail to bring to bear the norms of compassion, justice, and truth. Fortunately, the government through the foreign of ice took an appropriate position: Pakistan considered the judgment by a Bangladeshi court against a Bangladeshi citizen an internal matter of a sovereign state. This commendable rectitude by our foreign office ought to be followed by a process of healing the scars of 1971. Let us form a Pakistan-Bangladesh bilateral commission that can be called the Mandela Commission. Let us seek the truth about those terrible events and forgive each other. Let not our common future be marred by the wounds of the past. Let truth and compassion be a balm for the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh. l Akmal Hussain is Distinguished Professor of Economics, Forman Christian College University, and a member of the governing board, South Asia Centre for Policy Studies.

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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Entertainment
He has also released musical albums such as Tufan, Kaal Jomuna, Station Road, Jail Theke Bolchhi, Nagar Baul, Lais Fita Lais, Dushtu Chheler Dol, Palabe Kothai, Dukkhini Dukkho Korona, Thik Achhe Bondhu, Ami Tomader E Lok, Jonota Express and few more. James has also made his mark in Bollywood with the song Bheegi Bheegi inspired from the song Prithibi by Moheener Ghoraguli in the movie Gangster released in 2005. The song was a raging hit and remained at the top of Bollywood Hit List for more than a month. He then sang few more Hindi songs for Bollywood such as Chal Chalein, Rishtey, Alvida and Bebasi. At present Nagar Baul performs with the line-up of Sabbir on bass guitar, Rana on lead guitar, Khayam on keyboard, Zimi on drums and James on lead guitar and vocal. l

Saturday, December 28, 2013

James to perform today at IGCC
n
Entertainment Desk
James, a living legend of Bangladeshi rock music, will perform today evening at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in Gulshan along with his band Nagar Baul. Followed by millions of fans, James is the pioneer of psychedelic rock in Bangladesh and possesses musical diversity that includes various genres of rock and blues music. His songs deal with society, nature, love, rage, discontent, frustration and happiness. He is also affectionately called “Guru” by his innumerable fans. James and his band Nagar Baul have extensively toured across the world including in North America and Europe for performances.

10 OF THE BEST MUSIC ALBUMS OF 2013 Jadur Shahar
Chirkutt, who is famous for rock, alternative rock and folk, has released its second album Jadur Shahar and it became very successful. With a powerful line-up of some talented musicians, Chirkutt has been entertaining their fans throughout the year with various live performances and TV shows.

Shironamhin

Shironamhin’s self-titled album Shironamhin released on this year was a big gift to the rock music lovers. The fifth album of the alternative-rock band was launched by a series of programmes titled “Meet and Greet” through which the fans got opportunity to interact with the band in person.

Agnee trailer goes viral in the web n Entertainment Desk
It is rare for any Dhallywood movie to catch attention of the web browsers who are usually busy with viewing stunning videos from Hollywood, Bollyood and so on. Interestingly, the recently released trailer of Bangladeshi film Agnee has gone viral on web. The 3-minute trailer on Facebook and Youtube has crossed 1 million hits on Facebook. Directed by Iftekhar Chowdhury, the full packed action film features Mahia Mahi and Arefin Shuvo in the lead roles. The big-budget film produced by Jaaz Multimedia is releasing on the Valentine’s Day next year. The film has been mostly shot in Thailand and presents some furious action scenes and romantic songs at some beautiful locations. l

ON TV
DRAMA
7:30pm Zee Cinema
Nayak

Atol Joler Gaan

8:00pm Sony
Aadalat

Atol Joler Gaan is the first album of folk-fusion band Joler Gaan. In composition they have used a lot of folk tunes from various countries and blended it with our local style of folk music. With the use of some innovative and unique instruments and great number of live performances, Joler Gaan has been one of the most-talked bands in the town.

COMEDY
1:30pm Star World
Last Man Standing Outsourced

10:30pm Comedy Central

Ichchhe Hoy

MIXED
1:30pm Discovery
Gold Rush Arefin Shuvo and Mahia Mahi in a scene of Agnee

Fahmida Nabi’s 12th solo album Ichchhe Hoy is composed by two great musician brothers Naquib Khan and Shahbaz Khan Pilu. The album has released under the banner of Laser Vision and has pleased the fans of Adhunik Gaan.

10:00pm NDTV Good Times
Highway On MyPlate

Final episode of Bhalobashi Bangladesh tonight
n Entertainment Desk
Maasranga TV’s reality show Bhalobashi Bangladesh featuring patriotic songs presented by promising young singers will have its final round tonight at 9pm. A total of 13 contestants will compete in this episode which will finally honour 10 best singers among them. Noted music composer and director Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul and popular singer Samina Chowdhury are the judges of this contest. The programme is hosted by Close up 1 celebrity Putul and is directed by Kabir Bakul. l

Montobyo Nishproyojon

Arbovirus’ second album Montobyo Nishproyojon, made a huge wave for the rock music fans in the country. Arbovirus is one of the most acclaimed Bangladeshi rock bands with its vivid and flamboyant lyrics and powerful music. The album has been released under the banner of LiveSquare Music.

Rangmistree

Drama series Sangrila airs on SA TV
n Entertainment Desk
Drama series Sangrila will air on SA TV tonight at 8:30pm. Written by Toukir Ahmed and directed by Shahiduzzaman Selim, the drama series features a bunch of popular TV actors, such as, Zahid Hasan, Mahfuz Ahmed, Shahiduzzaman Selim, Toukir Ahmed, Azizul Hakim, Jaya Ahsan, Tarin, Nowshin, Prosun Azad, Shanu and many more. The plot of the story revolves around seven individuals who come under the roof of a single bus while going for a tour to Nepal under the banner of a tour agency. While going through the hilly roads of Nepal, the bus runs over a cat. According to Nepali myth, cat represents bad omen. The travelers become shocked by the accident and they face one after another trouble. The series unfolds how they get over from the difficulties with many interesting turns. The full production has been shot in Nepal. l

Shohojia band’s debut album Rangmistree was released on November 25. The album Rangmistree consists of nine tracks and has been recorded under the banner of studio Sound Machine, and Tapos worked on the musical arrangement of the album.

Chhutir Banshi

Salman turns 48
n Entertainment Desk
Superstar Salman Khan, who turned 48 today, threw a birthday bash for family and friends at his Panvel farmhouse, where a host of Bollywood A-listers joined the party.

TODAY IN DHAKA
Exhibition
Shilpacharya and his Outer World of Art Time: 5pm (inauguration) Bengal Shilpalaya, House 42, Road 16 (New) / 27 (old), City of Rhythm Second phase of Kazi Salahuddin Ahmed Time: 12 8pm Shilpangan, House 7 Road 13 (New), Dhanmondi

Eminent Rabindra Sangeet singer Rezwana Chowdhury Bonna released her solo album titled Chhutir Banshi, under the banner of Impress Audio Vision. She is undoubtedly one of the most loved Tagore singers to the listeners of Bangladesh as well as West Bengal.

Film

Music

Bangladesher Gaan By BRAC University Cultural Club BUCuC Time: 5pm to 8pm EMK Center, House: 5, Road- 27(old), Dhanmondi

Pacific Rim in 3D Escape Plan The Conjuring The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Star Cineplex, Level 8 Bashundhara City 13/3 Ka, Panthopath Ki Prem Dekhaile Udhao Balaka Cineworld

Dao Shourjo, Dao Dhoirjo

Nazrul singer Ferdous Ara releases solo album Dao Shourjo, Dao Dhoirjo . The album has been produced by Impress Audio Vision Ferdous Ara has earned reputation in the field of music on account of her imaginative excellence.

Beyonce’s new album spends second week on top slot
The celebration began in the midnight and went on till the wee hours. Besides family members including father Salim Khan, mother Sushila Charak, sister Arpita and Alvira, brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri, brother Arbaaz and Sohail, actors Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Sonakshi Sinha, and Varun Dhawan were present. The actor has a huge fan following and is still on the top of the game among the three Khans in Bollywood. He is riding high on the blockbuster success of his films like Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg 2. Although, this year saw no Salman release, his chart for 2014 would begin with Jai Ho in January, which would hit screens on Eid. l

Shunyo Dia

n Entertainment Desk
Beyonce Knowles’ latest album, Beyonce, is spending its second week on the top slot of Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the singer’s fifth record has sold an additional 374,000 copies. With its release on December 13, the 14-song and 17-music video set sold 617,000 copies in its first three days. It subsequently opened at No. 1 on the chart and gave the former Destiny’s Child member her best sales week. After selling a total of 991,000 copies in only 10 days, Beyonce is currently at No. 12 on the list of biggest-selling albums of 2013. With one more tracking week left, the follow-up to 2011’s 4 will likely join the list’s top 10.

Also retaining its position is Garth Brooks’ Blame It All on My Roots. The country superstar’s newest box set stays at No. 2 with 199,000. One Direction’s Midnight Memories, meanwhile, ascends to No. 3 with 166,000. The Robertson’s Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas rises to No. 4 with 132,000 while Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red falls to No. 5 with 124,000. Going up from last week’s No. 8, Eminem’s MMLP2 rounds out the top 5 with 115,000. Also jumping two rungs, Katy Perry’s Prism and the sound track of Disney animated movie Frozen (2013) sit at No. 7 and No.8 with 99,000 and 81,000, respectively. l

Porobashi band’s debut album Shunyo Dia has been released under the banner of Bengal Foundation and was appreciated by the folk-fusion music lovers. Porobashi’s line-up consists of singer-songwriter Sumel Chowdhury and guitarist-composer Victor Das, who have been performing together since 2001.

360

ME Label has released 360 by Various Artists which is a collaboration album comprising of songs from Bengali (Bangladeshi and Indian) musicians all over the world. It includes singers from Bangladesh, USA, Kolkata, Australia and Canada.

Did you know?
Manchester City have equalled the Premier League record of 53 goals from the opening 18 games (set by City themselves in 2011 12)

Sport

Saturday, December 28, 2013

DHAKA TRIBUNE

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DAYS TO GO
14 Liverpool toppled at Man City’s citadel 15 England bowlers choke Aussies after drawing blood

Mithun delighted with third hat-trick n Raihan Mahmood
Scoring a hat-trick in the very first match of the Bangladesh Premier League is a rare feat and Sheikh Russell forward Mithun Chowdhury was looking forward to score more for the benefit of his team after achieving the feat against Uttar Baridhara yesterday. Mithun was elated after scoring his third hat-trick in the professional league. He scored his first for Chittagong Abahani in 2010, his second for Muktijoddha in 2011 and registered the third one yesterday. “Scoring a hattrick in the first match of the league boosts your confidence and provides inspiration not only for the player, but also the team. I am happy to provide the team with a winning start,” said Mithun. MIthun said being the highest scorer was not on his mind. “I want to score goals and if I continue to do that, the number will increase and my team will also continue to win. I want to score more goals and if it makes me the highest scorer, it would a good reward,” he said. Coach Maruful Haque said he always believed in Mithun’s ability. “My system is to play a lone forward upfront and I was worried a little, but I kept my faith in Mithun and he repaid it fully. He is a good player,” said Maruf. Mithun also added that Maruf has rectified his errors and always motivates him to be at his best.l

Sheikh Russell forward Mithun Chowdhury scores his second goal against Uttar Baridhara at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday

Mithun stars as Russell start in style
n Shishir Hoque
National forward Mithun Chowdhury slammed a sensational hat-trick as defending champions Sheikh Russell KC kicked off their Bangladesh Premier League campaign in style with a 4-0 victory over Uttar Baridhara Club at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Mithun netted two goals in the opening half and added another after the change of ends to complete his third hat-trick in the league. Jamaican midfielder Ricardo Cousins scored the other goal in the second half, in which Mithun contributed with a neat through pass. Last time Mithun scored a hattrick was in 2011-12 against Farashganj when he played for Muktijoddha. Russell started their league campaign from where they left off last season, with solid defence, a compact midfield and swift attacks. After failing to perform at their best in the Federation Cup, Russell’s new foreign recruits- Uruguayan midfielder Francisco Usucar and Jamaican Ricardo Cousins- started to shine for the side. It was Usucar’s free kick that led to the first goal in the 33rd minute. Usucar

MUMIT M

Victory Day Body Building finishes n Raihan Mahmood
Khalid bin Taimur of the Baidyanath Dutta Gymnasium, Kushita lifted the crown of the 55kg category of the Victory Day Body Building at the Zahir Raihan Cultural Center yesterday. Saiful Islam Saif grabbed the silver while the bronze went to Shariful Islam in the same event. In the 60kg category, Ranjit Chandra Sarker clinched the top position while the second and third position were taken by Md. Rony and Md. Imran respectively. The title of the 65kg section went to Md. Ahsanullah, the second and the third places were grabbed by Rubaiyat Tarik and Al-Amin. The top position in the 70kg category was claimed by Md. Joy, with Mitu Chokdar and Md. Russell coming in second and third. In the 70+ kg category, Asif Jihan, Atik and Raihan finished first, second and third respectively. ASM Ali Kabir, the president of Bangladesh Athletic Federation, distributed the prizes as the chief guest. National Sports Council secretary Shibntah Roy and general secretary of Bangladesh Body Building Federation Nazrul Islam Babu were also present on the occasion. l

Dhaka leg begins today
n Mazhar Uddin
Bottom placed Abahani Limited will take on Mohammedan Sporting Club in the first Amber Victory Day Twenty20 Cup game of the day, while in the evening, Prime Bank clash with UCB BCB XI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka today. The first game, which is scheduled to start at 1:00pm, is a must win match for Abahani, as a loss would all but end their hopes of reaching the final. Abahani is certainly on the back foot after the loss of in-form skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, who was ruled out for two weeks after sustaining a back injury while making a second successive half-century in the tournament against Prime Bank on Wednesday. Prime Bank currently tops the table with six points, with Mohammedan and UCB BCB XI tied on four each. Abahani have two points. The tournament began at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium and featured some exciting cricket in the presence of packed houses. The recently renovated venue will be used during the ICC World Twenty20. The most eye catching performance from the Sylhet leg of the tournament was pace bowler Al-Amin grabbing five wickets in an over against Abahani on Thursday. Al Amin, who is strengthening his claim for a regular place in the national team, became the first bowler to take five wickets in an over in Twenty20 cricket. Anamul Haque hammered a century against Mohammedan on Thursday to gain some confidence as he struggles to keep his place in the national side while all-rounder Shakib al Hasan and opener Tamim Iqbal both came into some good form on their respective returns. Shakib had been out with dengue fever and Tamim from an abdomen injury. Tamim has scored runs regularly, though he has yet to convert his starts into the big scores that he would have wished for. Shakib hit a half century for Prime Bank and took 6-18 with the ball to destroy Mohammedan 45 all-out – the third lowest total in this format. It was Shakib’s second six-wicket haul in T20s, having taken 6 for 6 in the Caribbean Premier League earlier this year. Sabbir Rahman and Mohammad Mithun Ali have also been amongst the runs to give the national selectors more options before the World Twenty20. The selectors say they will be putting a lot of emphasis on performances in this tournament, as there are still a number of places in the national side up for grabs. l

Mithun netted two goals in the opening half and added another after the change of ends to complete his third hat-trick in the league
dead ball piece found Mithun inside the penalty area, who tapped the ball home from a goal mouth melee. Baridhara had their first chance in the 40th minute when Khalekur’s left footer from the top of the box went just wide. Mithun scored his second of the evening on the stroke of half-time. Mithun broke into the penalty area after

receiving a square pass from winger Sobuj Kumar Biswas, rounded off the onrushing goalkeeper Osman Goni and placed the ball in the far post. Russell extended their lead to 3-0 through Jamaican midfielder Ricardo Cousins six minutes into the second half. Mithun’s through pass found Cousines at the top of the box and the Jamaican sent the ball into the near post with a low shot. Mithun completed the rout in the 63rd minute after snatching the ball from Nigerian midfielder Kosoko, skipping by his marker and sending the ball into the net for a third time. Uttar Baridhara tried to pull one back in the remaining times but their maneuvers lacked a finishing touch. Nigerian forward Akindele unleashed a powerful strike in the 75th minute from outside the box but Russell goalie Biplob fisted the ball away for a corner. Sheikh Jamal DC will take on Chittagong Abahani at the same venue at 5pm today. l

BKSP best in V-day Gymnastics n Raihan Mahmood
BKSP emerged as the champions of the Victory Day Gymnastics organised by Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation at the NSC gymnasium yesterday. Ten teams participated in the meet and BKSP were convincing winners with 11 gold medals, 14 silver medals and eight bronze medals. Links and Builds finished second with two golds and two bronzes. Syed Shahed Reza, the secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association, distributed the prizes as the chief guest. Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, the president of the gymnastics federation, was also present on the occasion. l

ICC trials officiating replay system in cricket
n AFP, Abu Dhabi
Cricket’s governing body yesterday furthered its process of improving the much-debated decision review system by providing direct replays to a nonmatch umpire, a trial also experimented earlier this year. To improve umpiring decision in international matches, the ICC introduced the Decision Review System (DRS) in 2008 on a trial basis. The system allows both teams to challenge decisions made by on-field umpires, and have them referred to the TV official. Initially each team was allowed three unsuccessful challenges per innings in a Test which was later reduced to two. One appeal is allowed in oneday internationals. Friday’s independent trial, conducted during the fifth and final one-day between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, takes various camera inputs from the broadcaster which are viewed by a non-match umpire on a system that is completely independent of the TV coverage, and independent of the game. l

Fahad draws n Tribune Desk
Fahad Rahman drew with Khushagra mohan of India in the 9th round of the World Youth Chess Championship in Al-Ain, UAE on Thursday. Fahad has 6.5 points at the end of the ninth round and is in 17th position. Fahad was scheduled to play Dobrikov Marco of Germany in the 10th round on Friday. l

Participants flex their muscles in the Victory Day Body Building at the Zahir Raihan Cultural Center yesterday

COURTESY

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Sport

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rodgers faces rap over ‘Manchester’ ref
n AFP, Manchester
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers faces FA action, and a possible disrepute charge, after complaining about referee Lee Mason in the wake of his team’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City. Mason, who did appear to make errors on a number of key decisions against Liverpool, is based in Bolton which is technically in the county of “Greater Manchester.” Bolton is never considered to be part of the city of Manchester but that did not prevent Rodgers from implying that Mason is from “Manchester”. “We had no help whatsoever from the officials,” said Rodgers. “I thought they were horrendous. We had nothing go our way at all. I was surprised we’re playing in Manchester with a referee from Greater Manchester. I didn’t think we got any decision go for us. “Hopefully we don’t get a Greater Manchester referee again in a Liverpool-Man City game. I will ask the question (of the FA). “I don’t think we would get someone from the Wirral (which stands on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Liverpool) refereeing a LiverpoolMan City game.” Rodgers was specifically angered by an incorrect offside flag that brought back Raheem Sterling when he was clean through on goal, by a trip on Luis Suarez on the edge of the area and by a failed Suarez penalty appeal. “I thought on the offside, the linesman wasn’t even on the same cut of grass,” said Rodgers. “If you are working at this level, you’ve got to get it right. “There was another incident in the second half when Luis didn’t get a free-kick on the edge of the box when Joleon Lescott came right through him and you can argue there was a penalty at the end. Luis can’t jump because he is tugging at his shirt.” Despite their problems, Liverpool took a deserved lead through Coutinho before City ended the half with a flourish and goals from Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo to move above their opponents and into second in the Premier League table. City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has previously set his side the target of being in top place at the turn of the year, may now see that instruction come to fruition although he also found grounds for complaint. His side now face a fixture against Crystal Palace on Saturday -- only 48 hours after the Liverpool contest -while key title rivals such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool themselves have an extra 24 hours recovery time. “I’m not talking about having to play so many games because it is the same for all the teams,” he said. “But I think we should have at least 72 hours (rest) from one game to another. I’m not talking about Manchester United but all the other teams at the top of the table play 72 hours after. At this stage, we play so close (together), the rest of the teams must be the same.” l

Manchester City's Belgian defender Vincent Kompany (2R) celebrates scoring during their English Premier League match against Liverpool at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England on Thursday AFP

Liverpool toppled at City’s citadel
n AFP, Manchester
Alvaro Negredo’s ninth goal in nine home games saw Manchester City continue their peerless home form as they beat Liverpool 2-1 in a gripping Premier League encounter on Thursday. Vincent Kompany and Negredo were City’s goalscorers as they responded to Philippe Coutinho’s opener to maintain the division’s only perfect home record and move their team, ominously, into second place in the table. Liverpool, meanwhile, fell from first place to fourth, but they trail new leaders Arsenal by only three points. Having weathered a characteristically strong start to the game from the hosts, Liverpool stunned Manuel Pellegrini’s men by taking the lead after 24 minutes. Moments earlier, Luis Suarez had played Raheem Sterling clean through on goal, only for the winger to be judged offside – incorrectly, as replays would show. But eventually the opening goal arrived, thanks to a clever touch from Suarez, who steered Jordan Henderson’s pass forward for Sterling. The young winger rounded goalkeeper Joe Hart before Coutinho took over and calmly planted the ball into the open goal. This was a true test of City’s title pretentions and their invincibility at home, where they had collected every available league point to date this season and, sure enough, within seven minutes, they were level. Kompany was the source, the big defender rising powerfully to meet a David Silva corner with a precise headed finish that covering Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen could only help into his own net. Liverpool continued to impress – far more than fellow title hopefuls Arsenal or Manchester United, who had been brutally swept aside by City at the Etihad Stadium – but on the stroke of halftime, City went in front. Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was at fault, badly misjudging Negredo’s mis-timed shot after the City forward got on the end of a slick counter-attack involving Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas. It was the culmination of a thrilling first half, which opened with Navas almost heading City into the lead after just five minutes, meeting Aleksandar Kolarov’s left-wing cross with a superb effort that scraped the upright. But Liverpool, and Suarez in particular, are playing with the confidence and verve of a team that even their cautious manager Brendan Rodgers now admits may have a chance of winning the title in 2014. In the 13th minute, Suarez came close to adding to his recent avalanche of goals when he headed down and just wide from Coutinho’s corner. Before the interval, Liverpool strung together the move of the match involving Sterling and Suarez, who set up Coutinho for a shot that drew a brilliant stop from Hart. Liverpool opened the second half in similarly ambitious mode as Suarez laid the ball off for Henderson to poke a shot just over from the edge of the penalty area. And the Uruguay international then showed superb close control to collect Aly Cissokho’s lofted through ball and elude his marker before testing Hart at his near post. Liverpool came close to levelling in a 50th-minute scramble when Hart repelled Sterling’s lofted pass with his leg as Henderson almost connected. Kolarov gifted the rebound to Suarez, who appeared to have turned it into the open net, only for the ball to hit Henderson, who was offside. Thereafter, an entertaining game did not disappoint. Negredo, with a chip and a header, tested Mignolet, while Henderson worked Hart at the other end with an audacious back-heel. Suarez sped down the left after 72 minutes and delivered a perfect centre for Sterling, but his team mate’s shot from inside the six-yard box cleared the bar by some distance. l

POINTS TABLE
Team Arsenal Man City Chelsea Liverpool Everton Newcastle Man Utd Tottenham Southampton Stoke Swansea Hull City Aston Villa Norwich West Brom Cardiff Crystal Palace Fulham West Ham Sunderland P 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 W 12 12 11 4 11 9 10 9 9 7 5 5 5 5 5 3 4 5 5 3 3 D 3 2 3 7 3 4 4 6 6 5 5 4 4 8 5 1 1 5 4 L 3 4 3 4 2 5 5 5 5 7 8 8 9 9 7 9 12 12 10 11 Pts 39 38 37 36 34 33 31 31 27 21 20 20 19 19 17 17 16 16 14 13

Ramsey injury mars Arsenal win
n AFP, London
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will miss the rest of the Christmas schedule after suffering a thigh injury in his side’s 3-1 win at West Ham on Thursday. Ramsey has been a key figure in Arsenal’s surprise challenge for the Premier League title and the Wales international’s injury is a major blow to the Gunners’ hopes. He limped off in the 65th minute at Upton Park to ruin his 23rd birthday. Arsenal now face league matches against Newcastle and Cardiff and then an FA Cup tie with north London rivals Tottenham.

United belief gives Moyes title hope
n AFP, Kingston Upon Hull
Manchester United manager David Moyes believes that his side’s traditionally strong spirit means that they cannot be discounted from the Premier League title race. United battled back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Hull City on Thursday and record their third consecutive league victory. After an inconsistent start to the season, in which they suffered five league defeats, United have started to close in on the upper reaches of the table. “I don’t think there was anyone in the ground, when we went 2-0 down, who thought the game was over,” Moyes said. “I think most people were rubbing their hands thinking, ‘We’re in for some game here.’ “That tells you what Manchester United have got and, hopefully, tells you something about David Moyes. My teams have always been committed and trying to win the games. All the games at this time of year are tight games, difficult to call. All we can do is keep knocking away and hopefully we’ll be in there come the end of the season.” Striker Wayne Rooney scored his 150th Premier League goal for the club in the victory at Hull and also played a key role in United’s other two goals. He provided the cross for Chris Smalling’s 19th-minute header and put Hull defender James Chester under pressure before he headed into his own net to make it 3-2. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed his team’s character after they came from behind to beat fellow title challengers Liverpool 2-1 on Thursday to climb to second in the Premier League. City fell behind to Philippe Coutinho’s early goal but Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo struck before halftime to ensure their side maintained a perfect home record this season. City host lowly Crystal Palace on Saturday and Liverpool travel to thirdplaced Chelsea on Sunday. l

“It looks like a thigh strain,” Gunners manager Arsene Wenger said. “For me, I don’t know how serious the thigh strain is but the Christmas period is certainly over for him. It was his birthday today. “I don’t know how long it will be. We will have to see tomorrow morning. He knew straight away, but we have to see.” Theo Walcott’s brace and a strike from the returning Lukas Podolski saw Arsenal recover from Carlton Cole’s goal against the run of play to take the points in east London. The result meant Arsenal went top of the Premier League ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City.l

FIXTURES
West Ham Aston Villa Hull City Man City Norwich City Cardiff City v v v v v v West Brom Swansea City Fulham Crystal Palace Man United Sunderland

Sherwood admits Spurs have taken gamble n AFP, London
Tim Sherwood admits his surprise appointment at Tottenham will be seen as a gamble after his reign as permanent boss began with a disappointing 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion. Sherwood spoke in depth after Thursday’s clash at White Hart Lane for the first time since taking over fulltime from Andre Villas-Boas on an 18-month deal. The show of faith from the Tottenham board surprised many and former Spurs and Blackburn midfielder Sherwood, who has never previously held a managerial role, conceded his north London employers had rolled the dice by giving him such a high-profile job. l

Brazil fines Fifa for Confed Cup ticket snafus
n AFP, Rio De Janeiro
World football’s governing body Fifa has been fined over ticketing problems which arose at a Confederations Cup match in Brazil last June, media and consumer organizations said Thursday. Consumer body Procon indicated a civil ruling had been made against FIFA in the northeastern city of Recife, following a case brought on behalf of eight fans who said they were unable to access their seats for the June 16 Confederations Cup match between Spain and Uruguay. Procon said FIFA and its operational services provider Match had both been fined 500,000 reais ($210,000). A lawyer for the fans said that some had been forced to sit on the steps, while others simply left the stadium. One fan received compensation of 2,000 reais ($800), with others receiving smaller sums after a magistrate ruled that their consumer rights had been breached. The fans said they had tickets to be seated near the action, but that they were reassigned to seats further up in the stands, some with a poor view of the pitch. FIFA and Match had indicated when the case started earlier this month that if fans were not directed to their nominal seats then it was a matter for the local organizers and main venue constructor Odebrecht.l

Bastia lining up Cisse deal
n AFP, Bastia
Much-travelled French striker Djibril Cisse looks set to return to France after having transfer talks with Corsican side Bastia. The 32-year-old international forward has been playing at Kuban Krasnodar in the Russian Premier League since July, but is keen to return to France to better his chances of making the French World Cup squad. “Our talks are at an advanced stage, but nothing has yet been finalised,” said Bastia chairman Pierre-Marie Geronimi. Cisse’s previous clubs include Auxerre, Liverpool, Marseille, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers followed by spells in Qatar and Russia. l

Cardiff sack manager Malky Mackay
n AFP, Cardiff
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay was sacked yesterday, the Scot relieved of his duties the day after the Premier League side were defeated 3-0 at home by Southampton. Mackay’s acrimonious departure comes despite the club granting him a reprieve last weekend after controversial Malaysian owner Vincent Tan’s e-mail demanding he either resign or be sacked. That ultimatum was briefly lifted when chairman Mehmet Dalman stated Mackay would be in charge for the “forseeable future”, but the 3-0 Boxing Day defeat against Southampton proved to be the ex-Watford boss’ last in charge.

A statement on the Cardiff website read: “The Board of Directors at Cardiff City Football Club have today relieved Malky Mackay of his duties. Tan’s email had included a list of grievances with the former Watford manager, and Mackay said he had been left “deeply upset” by its content. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Sport

Saturday, December 28, 2013

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SCORECARD, DAY 2
ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS (226 for 6 overnight) Kevin Pietersen b Johnson Tim Bresnan c Bailey b Johnson Stuart Broad lbw Johnson James Anderson not out Monty Panesar b Lyon Extras (b10, lb7, w1, nb1) Total (all out; 100 overs) 71 1 11 11 2 19 255

England bowlers choke Australia
n Reuters, Melbourne
A resurgent England attack tore through Australia’s batting lineup with six wickets in the final session to leave the hosts reeling at 164 for nine at the close of an attritional second day of the fourth Ashes test on Friday. Bowled out for what seemed a paltry 255 in the morning, the tourists hit back through their seamers in the afternoon with Stuart Broad and James Anderson’s parsimony and discipline capturing three wickets apiece before a crowd of more than 78,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, fighting another desperate rearguard action, was 43 not out at stumps, with number 11 batsman Nathan Lyon yet to face a ball and Australia trailing by 91 runs. Australia may have recovered the Ashes and wrapped up the five-test series 3-0, but the frailty of their batsmen has been repeatedly exposed throughout the series before being hastily concealed by the dourness of Haddin. Unlike the first three tests in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, however, none of the keeper’s team mates lingered for long enough to mount a rescue of any sort and an England that, for many, seemed destined to be swept 5-0, suddenly appeared rejuvenated and chirpy. Having restricted Australia to 96-3 at tea, their bowlers turned the screws under bright sunshine, and Steve Smith was the first domino to fall. The number five batsman had hung around for 95 minutes and 77 balls for his 19 runs, but flashed a frustrated cut shot that sent an edge flying to Ian Bell at second slip. The wicket broke a 48-run partnership and sparked a collapse as Rogers promptly threw away his wicket after nearly four hours of painstaking graft. One-day specialist George Bailey never appeared comfortable in the role of rescuer and followed soon after, caught behind by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow off Anderson for a 19-ball duck. That left Australia teetering on 1226, but Haddin ignored the scoreboard, blasting a six off Ben Stokes over long-on and two fours in an over off Anderson. Anderson let his captain and Bresnan down twice with two dropped catches, a tough chance reprieving Smith on seven before tea and a much simpler one saving Johnson an hour before stumps. He made amends shortly after by taking a sharp chance to remove Johnson at midwicket for two and hand Bresnan his second wicket. Ryan Harris lasted 27 balls for his six runs before fending off a rising delivery from Broad to Joe Root at short leg and play was brought to a close when Peter Siddle spooned to Bresnan at cover to be out for a duck off Broad.l

Bowling Harris 24 8 47 2, Johnson 24 4 63 5 (1w), Siddle 23 7 50 1 (1nb), Lyon 22.23 67 1, Watson 6.4 2 11 1 AUSTRALIA 1ST INNINGS Chris Rogers c Pietersen b Bresnan 61 David Warner c Bairstow b Anderson 9 Shane Watson c Bairstow b Stokes 10 Michael Clarke b Anderson 10 Steve Smith c Bell b Broad 19 George Bailey c Bairstow b Anderson 0 Brad Haddin not out 43 Johnson c Anderson b Bresnan 2 Ryan Harris c Root b Broad 6 Peter Siddle c Bresnan b Broad 0 Nathan Lyon not out 0 Extras (lb4) 4 Total (9 wickets; 73.3 overs) 164 Bowling Anderson 16 4 50 3, Broad 16.3 5 303, Stokes 14 4 38 1, Bresnan 18 6 24 2, Panesar 9 2 18 0

England's James Anderson appeals for a successful wicket of Australia's George Bailey during the second day of their fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne cricket ground yesterday REUTERS

QUICK BYTES

Kallis takes 200th Test catch
Jacques Kallis became the second fielder to take 200 catches in Test cricket when he held a sharp chance to dismiss Ravindra Jadeja on the second day of the second and final Test between South Africa and India at Kingsmead on Friday. Kallis, playing in his 166th and final Test match, joined India’s Rahul Dravid, who held 210 catches in 164 matches. Jadeja edged a ball from off-spinner JP Duminy and Kallis dived low and to his left at slip to hold the chance. In addition to being second on the all-time list of catches by fielders, Kallis is fourth on the Test runscoring list with 13,174 runs at an average of 55.12 and 29th among wicket-takers with 292 at an average of 32.65. –AFP

Steyn’s six puts Proteas on top in series decider
n Reuters, Durban
Fast bowler Dale Steyn ripped through the India batting line-up on a rainreduced day two of the second Test at Kingsmead to claim six wickets and hand the momentum to South Africa in the series decider yesterday. India lost their last nine wickets for 136 runs as they crashed from a commanding 198 for one to 334 all out, with Steyn the catalyst for their collapse as he ended a barren run of 414 deliveries between wickets in the series with a fiery spell of bowling after lunch. South Africa raced to 82 without loss in their reply during a marathon threehour final session with openers Graeme Smith (35 not out) and Alviro Petersen (46 not out) to resume on Saturday as the Proteas aim to build a big lead. Nine of the 10 Indian wickets were caught behind the wicket as the South African pace barrage that had looked so meek on day one came to life with Steyn’s inspired spell in the afternoon session in which he took three wickets in 10 balls. After the morning was completely lost to rain, Cheteshwar Pujara (70) was Steyn’s first victim as India added 17 runs to their overnight 181 for one, caught by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers pushing forward to a pitched-up ball. It brought to an end a fine secondwicket stand of 157 between Pujara and Murali Vijay that had so frustrated South Africa on the opening day. Jacques Kallis, playing his 166th and last test, reached perhaps one final milestone when he pouched Ravindra Jadeja (zero) at slip off spinner JP Duminy - his 200th catch in five-day cricket. l

SCORECARD, DAY 2
INDIA, FIRST INNINGS (overnight 181 1) M. Vijay c De Villiers b Steyn 97 C. Pujara c De Villiers b Steyn 70 V. Kohli c De Villiers b Morkel 46 R. Sharma b Steyn 0 A. Rahane not out 51 M. Dhoni c Smith b Steyn 24 R. Jadeja c Kallis b Duminy 0 Zaheer Khan c De Villiers b Steyn 0 I. Sharma c De Villiers b Steyn 4 Mohammed Shami c Smith b Morkel 1 Extras (lb7, nb1, w4) 12 Total (111.3 overs) 334 Bowling Steyn 30 9 100 6 (2w), Philander 216 56 0 (1nb, 1w), Morkel 23.3 6 50 3 (1w), Kallis 11 1 36 0, Peterson 22 2 750, Duminy 4 0 10 1 SOUTH AFRICA, FIRST INNINGS G. Smith not out 35 A. Petersen not out 46 Extras (lb1) 1 Total (0 wkts, 20 overs) 82

Harrison, once world’s most expensive teenager, dies, 46

Wayne Harrison, who once signed for Liverpool for £250,000 (299,000 euros), making him the world’s most expensive teenage footballer before his career spiralled into decline, has died at the age of 46. Harrison, who retired in 1991, had suffered from pancreatic problems and died in hospital. Harrison was tipped for stardom when he moved to Liverpool from Oldham in 1985 at just 17 having made only five first-team appearances. He was on the verge of appearing for the Anfield giants for the first time when he fell through a greenhouse. At the time the local ambulance service was on strike and he came close to death through loss of blood before army medics managed to get him to hospital. He went on to fall through his loft before, at the age of just 22, he suffered a career-ending cruciate knee ligament in the last minute of a reserve game. –AFP

Tennis world number 2 Victoria Azarenka (L) gives a food offering to Buddhist monks at Hua Hin beach, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Thailand yesterday AFP

Murray back to winning Withdrawals leave Hopman Cup open n ways in Abu Dhabi
AFP, Perth

n

AFP, Abu Dhabi

DAY’S WATCH
Sony Six NBA 2013 14 6:30AM New York v Toronto 9:00AM Sacramento v Miami 12:00PM Boston v Cleveland Ten Cricket 2:00PM South Africa v India 2nd Test, Day 3 Star Sports 1 5:30AM (Sunday) Australia v England 4th Test, Day 4 Star Sports 2 2:00PM Big Bash T20 Brisbane v Hobart Star Sports 4 Barclays Premier League 6:45PM West Ham v West Brom 9:00PM Norwich City v Man United 11:30PM Cardiff City v Sunderland

Andy Murray chalked up his first win since returning to action after a threemonth injury lay-off by defeating Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in Abu Dhabi on Friday. The 26-year-old Wimbledon champion had back surgery in September and did not play again until he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals of the Mudabala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament on Thursday. Wawrinka lost to David Ferrer aon the same day and the match between him and Murray was to decide who would finish fifth in the unofficial

three-day tournament that sees the world’s top two players - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic joining in at the semi-final stage. Murray looked much sharper against Ferrer than he had looked in the second set against Tsonga and had little difficulty in seeing off the challenge of world number eight Wawrinka. The world number four got the better of three successive breaks to take the first set and then forged ahead again with a break for 4-3 in the second. Wawrinka saved a match point on his own serve with a forehand winner, but Murray confidently served out the victory. l

The late withdrawals of Poland’s rising star Jerzy Janowicz and Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo have thrown wide open Perth’s Hopman Cup which starts Saturday. The Polish pairing of Janowicz and Agnieszka Radwanska were the top seeds for the Aus$1 million (US$890,000) mixed teams tournament, but the world number 21 withdrew with a foot injury. He has been replaced by little known countryman Grzegorz Panfil, ranked 288th in the world, in the opening event of the Australian summer. The Hopman Cup has rarely been predictable in its 25-year history and the absence of Janowicz is a major blow to Radwanska’s hopes of getting her

hands on one of the unique diamondencrusted tennis balls presented to the winners as Poland make their debut in the tournament. The world number five is likely to need to win all her singles matches in the group ties, which will not be easy against the likes of Italian Flavia Pennetta, Australia’s Samantha Stosur and promising Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. The towering Isner, best remembered for playing the longest ever Grand Slam match against Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, is ranked 14th in the world and is also a past winner at the Hopman, having teamed with Bethanie MattekSands to take the title in 2011. Isner teamed with Venus Williams in Perth earlier this year, but was forced out of the tournament by a knee injury. Third seeds are the French pair-

ing of Alize Cornet and world number 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, both of whom boast Hopman Cup experience. Tsonga is the highest-ranked man in the event, but will still be playing in Abu Dhabi when the tournament kicks off, with France’s first tie against the Czech Republic on Monday. Big-serving Milos Raonic, ranked one place below the Frenchman at 11, teams with Bouchard for Canada, while the host nation is represented by Stosur and the enigmatic Bernard Tomic, who beat Novak Djokovic in this event at the start of the year. Group A features Poland, Canada, Italy and Australia, while Group B is the United States, France, Czech Republic and Spain, with the top two teams after the group matches meeting in the final on January 4. l

Kallis not part of World T20
n AFP, Durban
Retiring Test all-rounder Jacques Kallis was not included in South Africa’s preliminary 30-man squad for the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 tournament to be played in Bangladesh in March and April next year. Kallis announced on Wednesday that he would retire from Test cricket at the end of the current Test against India but said he was available to play for South Africa in limited overs cricket. In particular he stated his ambition to be part of his country’s 50-overs World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. Andrew Hudson, the convener of selectors, was not immediately available for comment but a Cricket South Africa spokesman said there was nothing to be read into Kallis’ nonselection for the squad announced on Friday. “Jacques has not been part of the Twenty20 squad for some time and he has made it clear he wants to earn selection for the 50-overs World Cup.” Kallis, 38, has not played for South Africa in a Twenty20 international since the 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, where he scored only 24 runs in three innings, although he took seven wickets in five matches, including four for 15 against Zimbabwe. l

SQUAD
Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Dane Vilas, Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese.

Winners of the Victory Day Gymnastics pose for a photo along with BOA secretary general Syed Shahed Reza at the NSC gymnasium yesterday COURTESY

16

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Back Page

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Political turbulence causes Tk180 crore losses to frozen food exporters n
n Tribune Report
The country’s frozen foods exporters have incurred losses of over Tk180 crore during October-December, as they failed to ship products because of political turbulence. “We had to bear losses of Tk180 crore as the exporters failed to ship shrimps in due time because of political deadlock, while bank interest escalated the amount of losses,” said Amin Ullah, president of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) at a press conferee in the city yesterday. Over 10,000 tonnes of frozen shrimps and fishes worth Tk1,000 crore had been stored in warehouses, as the exporters could not ship their processed frozen foods because of political unrest, said Amin. Being unable to ship to buyers before Christmas Day, exporters were now being forced to sell shrimps at lower prices, with prices decreasing by at least one dollar, he added. The political turbulence was also preventing shrimp farmers from reaching the processors, during the peak season of farming, Amin also said. Golam Mostafa, former president of the BFFEA, expressed concerns about facing bigger problems in the future, as continuation of the political deadlock might prompt buyers to lower prices. The association demanded interest waiver of loans from October 2013 to March next year, provided to exporters by state owned and private commercial banks. It urged the government to reinstate 10% cash incentive for white fish exporters and to increase cash incentive to 15% from the existing 10% for the exporters of frozen shrimps and demanded reduction of source tax to 0.25% from 0.80%. The exporters demanded to set repayment date of term loan to January 2017 and to keep them free from being termed defaulters. Urging the government to lift ban on exporting hilsa fish, the association said it would not cast impact on local market supply as only 6,000 tonnes of hilsa was exported out of 3.5 lakh tonnes of production. Replying to a query, Amin said the export value increased as the prices of shrimps increased by 70% to 75%, but the volume did not enhance. According the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh fetched exports of $325m in July-November period, while it earned $544m in last fiscal year. Earlier, the BFFEA placed its demands to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, seeking financial support to minimise their losses. Kazi Belayet, senior vice president of BFFEA, and Vice President M Khalillullah were present among others. l

Another arson victim succumbs to injury
Ashif Islam Shaon
After a six-day battle for life, Mohammad Shahjahan, a cook from Mymensingh who reportedly fell victim to an arson attack by pickets, succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday. Shahjahan, 30, who was undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the DMCH burn unit with 31% critical burn, died at around 1:45pm. He suffered his injuries on the evening of December 21, when blockade supporters allegedly hurled a petrol bomb at the auto-rickshaw he was on near Ahmedpur, while he was returning home at Noyahati in Mymensingh. He was brought to the DMCH later that night. Shahjahan, a father of two and the sole breadwinner of his six-member family, worked at a restaurant in Mymensingh and lived away from family in the town, said his mother Bulbul Begum. “He usually comes to visit us once a week. He was going to make one of those visits that night.” Bulbul cried: “My younger son died of cancer four years ago.... Who would look after the family if he dies?” However, local Gouripur police have claimed that Shahjahan’s death was mysterious. “We have conducted an investigation after the incident and found unusual things. There was no incident of picketing or petrol bomb hurling in that area that night,” said Hamidul Islam, officer-in-charge of Gouripur police station. “There were two more passengers on the backseat of the vehicle and Shahjahan sat on the middle. Other two passengers were unhurt,” he said. “We have also interrogated the auto-rickshaw driver. He said, in the looking glass he saw a flame on Shahjahan’s lap all of a sudden. Panicked, the driver lost control over the steering and after hitting a roadside structure the vehicle turned upside down,” the OC said. “The driver did not see any picket fleeing from the spot”, he claimed. A case has been filed with the police station in this connection without naming anybody. l

10 injured in clash between Hizb-ut and police, 21 held n Kailash Sarkar
At least 10 individuals including police were injured in fierce clashes between the banned Islamist outfit Hizb utTahrir and law enforcers in the capital. The clashes broke out immediately after the Friday Jum’a prayer around 1:30pm when the banned outfit brought out processions as part of their previously announced programme of holding a rally at Muktangon. The banned organisation pasted posters to different walls and places of the capital and distributed leaflets to drum up support in favour of its rally at 2:30pm yesterday. Witnesses said Hizb ut-Tahrir men took out two separate processions from the High Court mosque and Segunbagicha mosque premises and were heading towards the Muktangon through the National Press Club. As police intercepted the processionists, they launched attacks on the law enforcers leading to a clash. Being chased by the lawmen, Hizb ut-Tahrir activists got dispersed and launched further attacks taking positions in different lanes, roads and behind the buildings in Segunbagicha, Paltan, Bijoynagar, Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and adjacent areas that turned into battlefields. Apart from chases and counter chases between police and the banned organisation’s cadres, the lawmen fired teargas canisters and rubber bullets while the latter hurled bombs and brick chips indiscriminately at the law enforcers. Police detained 21 members of the banned outfit. Of them, 12 Hizb ut-Tahrir men were detained from a building near the Dhaka Reporters Unity where they took shelter. Asad, Hafiz, Salman, Rezowan, Shahabuddin, Mirajul Islam Mridha, Raqib, Monirul, Kabir, Sagar, Azad, Johni, Rubbel, Mahin, Khaled, Khorshed and Mukto were among the detainees. Inspector Shahidul Islam of Shahbagh police station confirmed the detention of the 12. He said they also seized banners, posters and leaflets of the banned outfit. Md Ashrafuzzaman, deputy commissioner of Motijheel division, said as they remained alert and were prepared over the earlier announcement of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the outfit could not hold its programme. Meanwhile, a huge contingent of police and Rab had been deployed surrounding the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, National Press Club and Paltan areas. Hizb ut-Tahrir was banned on October 22 in 2009. The Islamist outfit has long been campaigning for the founding of a “Khilafat State”. l

Police arrest some activists of banned Islamist outfit Hizb-ut Tahrir from the city’s Paltan area after Jum’ a prayers yesterday

NASHIRUL ISLAM

GSMA concerned over unfair spectrum allocation
n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
The GSM Association, the global body of GSM mobile operators, has expressed concerns over the allocation of 2600 band spectrum for Ollo at a “discriminatory price” through a “non-transparent process.” “The GSMA is greatly concerned that the new BWA [Wi-Max] spectrum fees did not come from an open and competitive market-driven process, which means that they are unlikely to reflect the true market value of the spectrum,” it said in a letter to the government and the regulator. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) recently allocated 20MHz spectrum from 2600 band tothe Bangladesh Internet Exchange Ltd (BIEL)for its brand Ollo, for only Tk246 crore, ignoring and denying a High Court ruling. The GSMA letter signed by its spectrum division head John Giusti, said: “Direct allocation of key spectrum bands such as 2600MHz may have resulted in a loss of value for the Bangladeshi State that otherwise would have been possible through a competitive process open to all interested parties.” Just before allocating spectrum to Ollo, the BTRCon September 8had sold the same type of spectrum to four mobile operators at Tk155 crore per megahertz. Industry experts say selling the WiMax licence to Ollo has incurred a loss of around Tk3,000crore public money. the government had changed the BWA (Wi-Max) licensing guideline and allocation of 2600MHz frequency band to BWA licences “without an extensive and transparent public consultation process.” It said: “This decision is discriminatory treatment between competitive players in adjacent national data services, giving BWA licensees unfair advantages in deploying LTE network.” The BTRC had given Ollo permission to deploy the LTE, a fourth generation network, before even awarding the licence. The GSMA urged the government to reconsider the amendment to the BWA guideline and consult with the industry stakeholders for the best way towards generating socio-economic benefits. Five of the six mobile operators in the countryhave the GSMA membership. Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO of Grameenphone’s parent company Telenor Group, isnow the GSMA chairman. The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (Amtob) had also expressed concern over giving WiMax licence and spectrum to Ollo, a brand of the BIEL and the New Generation Graphics Limited– both now owned by the Russian company Multinet. l

Drug smuggling rampant through Lalmonirhat border
Jamil Khan, n Mohammad from Lalmonirhat
The Moghalhat upazila of the district has become a sanctuary of contrabandists with hundreds of drug smugglers dealing in under the very nose of administration. The drug dealers earn a profit of over Tk5 lakh through sale of different types of drugs worth over Tk 1.2crore smuggled into the country every day from the neighbouring India. A smuggling racket of more than 100 people is involved in drug peddling. Makeshift tents along the No Man’s Land on the Indian frontier are the provenance of a variety of drugs including phensidyl, wine, hemp and cannabis sold out there at a cheaper rate. The temporary drug houses have mushroomed in Jaridharla, Daribash and Nagartari village under Dinhata police station in Cooch Behar district of Pashchimbanga. The drugs ring active in the upazila cashes in on the lax surveillance of Border Guard Bangladesh and handy contraband items. Sources said BGB men and police were bribed while smuggling drugs into Bangladesh. It was around 1pm yesterday on Bangladesh Border Line in Moghalhat upazila of Lalmonirhat district when a young man was spotted on a bicycle with three large sacks strapped to the two wheeler. He was paddling his way with smuggled goods from India at a great speed. Getting closer, this correspondent called the man to enquire after the smuggled supplies while the latter said go quickly over to the makeshift house on the frontier. The sale was going on there at Tk130 for a 100ml wine bottle, he said. The man could not finish his words as he was in a hurry. He had 1,000 bottles in the three sacks, also containing berries, tied to his bicycle. Approaching the Border Guard Bangladesh camp, he gave Tk500 to a BGB men and the soldier let him go. Like him, over 100 smugglers cross to Bangladesh border from India every day and bring different types of drugs. The ruling party leaders and the law enforcers are involved with the racket b. The Dhaka Tribune correspondent came to know that Samrat, Bangladesh Chhatra League president of Moghalhat upazila unit, was one of the leaders of the smuggling ring. Identifying himself as a petty drug peddler, this correspondent visited the house of Aftab Hossain, a ringleader in Aditmari area. Asked if he could supply drugs to the capital, Aftab said he could do that wherever he (correspondent) wanted. The ringleader added that there were around 15 druglords in the area and they are smuggling some 10,000 bottles of phensydl per day. Asked about BGB surveillance, he said they had to give a regular installment to the personnel in charge and when the BGB team was on patrol, they alerted us through a phone call. “Besides, we give Tk1,00,000 to Aditmari and Lalmonirhat police stations per month to facilitate drug sale,” said Aftab. Contacted, Jamir Uddin, officer-in-charge of Lalmonirhat police station, refused the allegation. He claimed that they arrested several drug peddlers in recent times. Aslam Iqbal, officer-in-charge of Aditmari police station, also refused the allegation of taking bribe. This correspondent found that people used to offer wine or phensidyl to their new guests, as taking drug had been very common among them. A farmer Rafiqul Islam alleged that they had to settle down and could not talk about drugs. “If we talk about drugs, we will be at the receiving end of abuses.” The BGB company commander at Mogholhat told the Dhaka Tribune they took action against all kinds of supplies imported illegally. “If we get information about drugs being smuggled in the sacks of foods, strict action will be taken,” he added. l

The BTRC had given Ollo permission to deploy the LTE, a fourth generation network, before even awarding the licence
The GSMA sent the letter to Post and Telecommunications Secretary Md Abubakar Siddique last week and sent copies to Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Telecommunications Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment Dr Syed Abdus Samad and BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose. The Dhaka Tribune obtained a copy of the letter. When contacted, Secretary Abubakar Siddique declined to reply any questions and said: “It is an issue of spectrum allocation, so please ask the BTRC about it.” The GSMA also expressed concerns as

‘Mandela never thought of vengeance’
n Rabiul Islam
South African apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was a true practitioner of democracy who never compromised on ethics nor contemplated vengeance, speakers at a programme said yesterday. Human Rights Forum Bangladesh organised the programme, titled “Human Rights, Democracy and Leadership: Mandela and Present Bangladesh,” in the capital. Speaking there, former chief justice and chief advisor to the caretaker government Habibur Rahman said Mandela, who died recently at the age of 94, never thought of vengeance. “Observing the prevailing situation, I do not believe Bangladesh will learn any lesson from him,” he said. “Although Mandela did not come off an ordinary family, all bad habits were absent in him. Having born in a royal family, he possessed all the best qualities,” the former chief justice added. Justice Habibur said the former South African president had not hankered after a BMW car or stayed at the presidential palace; instead he had stayed on the outskirts of the city. Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, something he first dreamt of at the age of 32, but handed over leadership to others by not staying more than one term, the former chief adviser said. Justice Habibur said unlike Mandela, leaders in our country wanted to dream and achieve everything by themselves instead of passing the torch to the next generation. Like South Africa’s formation of a truth and reconciliation commission, Bangladesh also formed a truth commission – under which top corrupt persons got released; this was a serious insult, he said. “Mandela talked about pardon, love and affection. But here in Bangladesh we see a child chanting for death sentence of war criminals. How will we learn from him?” he said. Convener of the forum and Ain O Salish Kendra Executive Director Sultana Kamal said Nelson Mandela had made compromises and pardoned his enemies but had not compromised on ethics. Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said: “We talk about democracy but we do not practice it; but Nelson Mandala followed democracy in its true sense. “In our country when a party goes to power, the ruling party considers all democratic institutions as its own,” he said, adding that Nelson Mandela never hesitated to hand over power to the next generation. Manusher Jonno Foundation Executive Director Shaheen Anam said Mandela with his ideal had been able to remain at the hearts of people. “At his death, I felt a sense of loss,” she added. l

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