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Magh 22, 1420 Rabius Saani 3, 1435 Regd. No.

DA 6238 Vol 1 No 311

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2014

www.dhakatribune.com

SECOND EDITION

20 pages plus 16-page T Mag tabloid | Price: Tk10

TMAG | TMAGS YOUNG VOTER SURVEY

7 | DEATH ON THE ROAD

9 | NORTH, SOUTH KOREA FOR TALKS

13 | MUSHFIQ HOPES FOR TURNAROUND

AL, BNP fail to field single candidates


Political ambitions of grassroots leaders scupper upazila poll plans of both parties in 15 upazilas. However, the inn Mohammad Al-Masum Molla and Party formation could not be confirmed from
Mohammad Zakaria
Both the ruling Awami League and the BNP-led 19-party alliance have failed to pick single candidate in the upazila polls because of defiance of the grassroots leaders who either want to make their political fortune or save their political future. The AL could choose single candidate in 21 upazilas for chairman posts out of 52, according information available from different districts until last night. The Dhaka Tribune could confirm information on the 52 upazilas out independent sources. Yesterday was the last day for withdrawing nomination papers. The leadership of the 19-party alliance has instructed its grassroots leaders to come to a consensus on picking up single candidate for the chairman post in each of the upazilas so that they could recoup the political loss they had conceded after boycotting the January 5 parliamentary election. AL President Sheikh Hasina recently wrote to the district unit presidents and secretaries in this regard and also warned of disciplinary action in case of violation of the directive, sources said. Irrespective of political identities, grassroots leaders have always complained that their voices are rarely heard in the party forum and the central leaders usually try to push their own decisions. The party leaders also said it would not be possible always to choose single candidate during the local-level elections since the grassroots leaders are the key deciders. Belayet Hossain Bhuiyan, a BNP leader of Ramgar upazila in Khagrachhari who is also a rebel candidate, said: I filed the nomination paper to contest the polls. In local level elections, there is no scope of party nomination matter. So I will not withdraw my candidature. Nizamuddin Ahmed, the chairman of Santhia upazila in Pabna, refused to obey the party order. He is hopeful about winning the polls. It is not a partisan election. So I am
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A PROMISE TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY

HC declines to hear bank-loan case after ministers phone call n Nazmus Sakib
The High Court yesterday declined to hear a bank loan-related suit after receiving a phone call from a minister and sent the case to the chief justice for appropriate order. The High Court bench of Justice Sharif Uddin Chaklader and Justice AKM Shahidul Huq said: During the hearing of this matter, a minister called one of us. Therefore we are not inclined to hear this matter. Let this matter be placed before the chief justice for appropriate order. Md Asaduzzaman, the lawyer of the defendant, told the reporters that for the first time the High Court had declined to hear a case and sent it to the chief justice after receiving phone call from a minister. When the suit came for hearing, the High Court bench said they would not hear the matter because of a ministers lobbying through phone call, said the lawyer. However, in the order, the court did not disclose the name of the minister and for whom they had lobbied, Asaduzzaman said. According to the case details, one SMA Muhith, owner of Barendra International, took a Tk70 lakh loan from the Jamuna Bank in 2002 by mortgaging property worth more than Tk4 crore. The bank said Barendra International owed Tk2.17 crore including interests. But the borrower claims he owes the bank only Tk84 lakh. Jamuna Bank then sold off the mortgaged property for Tk1.20 crore through an auction, Md Asaduzzaman said. Barendra came to the High Court with a writ plea alleging fraud in the auction. But the court said the petition was not maintainable in the High Court as allegation of fraud was subject to proof. Then they went to the lower court and obtained order for themselves. But Md Hossain Khan, who had purchased the property, challenged the lower courts order by filing a civil
SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
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As our party chief has written to the grassroots, those who will violate the directive will face action
of 98 where the first phase of elections would be held on February 19. The BNP managed to keep single candidate in 25 upazilas while its ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is set to vie in 20. The BNP left two seats for Jamaat. But in the 18 other seats, Jamaat will fight for the chairman posts alongside the BNP-supported contenders. According to another source, the AL has chosen single candidates in 44 upazilas while there will be more than one aspirant in 52 upazilas. The BNP has got single candidate in 45 upazilas and more than one in 45 others, while Jamaat-backed candidates filed nomination in 28 and HM Ershad-led Jatiya

Parents crowd with their children in front of a vaccination centre in Mirpurs Kalshi Balughat area yesterday

AL shuts door for independent MPs n Kamran Reza Chowdhury


The Awami League leadership has declined to take independent MPs in its fold as most of the 16 such lawmakers showed interest in joining the treasury bench in the 10th Jatiya Sangsad. Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the House and prime minister, wants the independent MPs having Awami League background to play the role of the opposition and criticise the government in parliament, said the whips. Whip Shahiduzzaman Sarker yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that former Awami League MP Haji Selim and businessman Yussuf Abdullah Harun, among others, had expressed desire to join the ruling party. Political observers say the major
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6 cases filed against 525 RU students Dhaka seeks uplift of Chhatra League expels two gun-wielding leaders Rakhine state for n Rohingya repatriation
Tribune Report
Rajshahi University authority, police and Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday filed six cases against 525 students over Sundays incident on the campus that left scores of agitating students injured. However, no legal action was taken against the two gun-trotting activists of the Chhatra League who fired on students who were demonstrating against the university authoritys decision on increasing fees and introducing evening courses. Only, Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling Awami League, expelled the two activists from the organisation. Universitys acting registrar Prof Saad Ahmed had filed two cases one for explosion and another for vandalism against 250 students, naming 50 of them, said Abdul Momen Sarkar, investigation officer of the cases. Motihar police station OC Shamsun Nur told the Dhaka Tribune that police had lodged two cases against 195 students over the incident. Chhatra League filed two other cases against 80 students, naming 10 including RU unit Shibir President Ashraful Alam Emon. No cases were filed in connection with the assault on demonstrating students. The law enforcement agencies could not also arrest as of yesterday any of activists who had swooped on the agitating students and fired at will on Sunday. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said actions would be taken after investigation against those who had been involved in the Rajshahi University incident. He said he was sorry, worried and angry with what had happened in Rajshahi University and that the ministry had asked the VC to take measures so that the university could be reopened. Nahid, however, claimed that activists of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, had joined the students movement and tried to incite violence. Asked about Chhatra League activists seen with arms, Nahid told reporters that whoever was involved would
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kar Ali Manik and n Jul Sheikh Shahariar Zaman


Dhaka has expressed its desire in contributing to the socio-economic development of the Rakhine state in Myanmar, for creating an environment for the voluntary return of Myanmar nationals residing in Bangladesh. During a meeting with US Senior Advisor on Myanmar Judith Cefkin yesterday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam reaffirmed that the government would continue to pursue dialogue with Myanmar in order to have early repatriation of refugees and undocumented people from Myanmar bilaterally, said a press release issued by the foreign ministry. Before leaving for Myanmar yesterday, Cefkin met with journalists at the American Centre in the capital, where she said the repatriation of Rohingya refugees should take place only when it was voluntary and when conditions permitted people to return without having to fear for their lives. The US is actively engaged in helping to identify, support and encourage the changes that are needed to create a hospitable environment for return, she said. We are encouraging them [Myanmar] to find ways to bring the communities together. We know that throughout history, the communities have coexisted the Buddhist and the Muslim communities and that it is clearly possible; and we want to encourage them to find ways to reintegrate communities so that can go back to peaceful coexistence, Cefkin added. She said, We hope that soon the condition will be different that will per-

mit to consider whether it is possible for some of those people to start going home. But the time hasnt come yet; so until that time comes, it is important to continue to provide the humanitarian support, not to push back those that are fleeing for violence and persecution. Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Md Shahdiul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune that the Rohingya problem was created by Myanmar and it must be solved by them.

INSIDE
Business
B1 The government is contemplating to change the corporate tax structure as well as bringing out of the box the high rate of interest on bank loans

Child victims of blast still in shock


n Tazlina Zamila Khan
They bore a blank expression on their faces, and most were flabbergasted and speechless. These are the child victims of hatals and blockades enforced by the BNP Jamaat alliance. Uncertainty looms large over the fates of kids who fell victim to political violence. The kids lost their limbs and became physically impaired. The impairment cost them not only their education as they cannot do writing since most of them lost their right hand fingers blew off after they picked up cocktails mistaking them for toys but also cornered them to fight for survival. The political violence took away their opportunity for education, compelling them to drop out of schools. Some lost fingers of their both hands.

Bangladesh is overburdened with problems as it has very limited capacity and the US understands that
Myanmar needs to address the citizenship of the Rohingyas to solve the problem, he said. Another diplomat, seeking anonymity, said Bangladesh has been providing humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees for over 30 years and it is committed to do so. But Bangladesh is overburdened with problems as it has very limited capacity and the US understands that, he said. Dhaka wants to have more engagement with Naypyidaw and an arrangement is expected between the countries for holding security dialogue to address non-traditional security threats, the diplomat added. Our prime minister [Sheikh Hasina] visited Myanmar in 2011 and we expect to have its president [Thein Sein] in
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Op-Ed

11 No government can be long secure without formidable opposition, said Benjamin Disraeli. The 19th century British prime minister is incorrect as far as Bangladesh is concerned.

Now it is a challenge for them to eat and do their other daily activities. A visit to the victims houses re-

vealed that the victims were battling for survival, let alone going to school.
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DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Major changes in top civil administration


n Mohosinul Karim
The civil administration yesterday experienced a massive reshuffle including that in the offices of five secretaries. The offices of 14 additional secretaries and six joint secretaries were also reshuffled on the same day. The Public Administration Ministry yesterday issued separate gazette notifications in this regard. Senior Secretary to the Water Resources Ministry Shaikh Altaf Ali was transferred to the presidents office as senior secretary while Secretary to the presidents office Monjur Hossain was made Local Government secretary. Expatriate Welfare Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan became water resources secretary while Housing and Public Works Secretary Dr Khondker Showkat Expatriate Welfare secretary. Acting Secretary to the Local Government Division Golam Rabbani was posted to the Housing and Public Works Ministry as acting secretary. Among the additional secretaries, the Primary and Mass Education Ministrys SM Ashraful Islam was made director general of the Directorate of Social Welfare while officers on special duty Rois Ul Alam Mondol and Imtiaz Hossain Chowdhury became director general of the Department of Environment and member of Civil Aviation Authority respectively. Parliament Secretariats Syed Ahmed was made chief inspector of the Inspectorate of Factories and Institutes while member of the Rural Electrification Board Golam Mostafa additional secretary to the Parliament Secretariat on deputation. On the other hand, prime ministers Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, who was enjoying the status of a secretary, was appointed as managing director and chief editor of the state-owned news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. He received a contractual appointment for the next three years which would be effective from the date of his joining. Earlier, the prime minister approved the proposal of the Public Administration Ministry to reshuffle the offices of the secretaries. Seeking anonymity, an official of the ministry told the Dhaka Tribune the post retirement leave of prime ministers Principal Secretary Shaikh Md Wahid Uz Zaman had been cancelled. He is going to get a contractual appointment for the same post. The order would be issued any day. Earlier, the Public Administration Ministry approved his leave from February 11 after completion of his service age of 59. l

Members of Doctor for Health and Environment form a human chain in front of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, demanding safe roads in the capital yesterday

RAJIB DHAR

BNP threatens with unstoppable movement


n UNB
The BNP has threatened to wage an unstoppable movement soon to oust the government for its "growing repressive act." This government wants to hang on to power using terror. We will soon launch a rigorous movement to put an end to this autocratic regime, said Joint Sectary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press briefing at the partys Nayapaltan office in the capital yesterday. He also alleged that the government intended to annihilate the opposition so that there would be no one to speak against its misdeeds. Slamming the government for, as he termed it, the recent spate of extra-judicial killings, Rizvi alleged that the government was killing opposition leaders and activists across the country using its subservient law enforcers. Referring to a recent report of local rights body Odhikar, the BNP leader added that 39 opposition leaders and activists had become victim to extra-judicial killings after the January 5 general election. He further said the government was now barring the opposition from holding their democratic programmes to isolate it from the people. The BNP leader also condemned the recent attack on general students at Rajshahi University by Chhatra League activists. Although the activists of Chhatra League and police attacked general students at Rajshahi University, the prime minister, the information minister and home minister have remained silent. It seems that they are proud of the heinous activities of Chhatra League, Rizvi added. l

AL shuts door for independent MPs


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HC declines to hear bank-loan case after ministers phone call


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Child victims of blast still in shock


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A seven-year-old victim, Fahim, was seriously injured in a cocktail explosion on January 6 in the capitals Moddho Badda area around 8:30am. The second grader from Badda Government Primary School was recently released from the National Institute of Traumatology & Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) on January 29. The kid was spotted at his home sitting idle and looking vacant. Whilst he was supposed to be in class, he was instead continuously fighting against his physical challenges. Violent politics forced the child to accept the challenge, rather than a smooth future. Fahims mother, Nasima Begum, 35 a garment worker in Manson Garments Ltd in the area, broke down in tears. She said: My son became crippled for life. Nothing can be done now. He cannot go to school although he has new books. My son cant eat with his hands. I feed him. How can he write when he cant move his fingers? she asked. The cocktail blew off three fingers of his left hand, and two of his right. He also received injuries to his belly. The mother said she hadnt got

any support from the government or anyone else. We had to spend over Tk30,000 on his treatment. The doctors took flesh from his leg for surgery. They advised Nasima to visit them once in a week. The entire family depends on her income, Nasima said, adding that she drew a salary of Tk7,000 of which Tk2,800 was used for rent. Innocent looking Fahim told the Dhaka Tribune he wanted to be a doctor. He said: I love to study and my teachers. I want to go to school again. Another victim a third grader Tofazzal Hossain, 11, from the capitals Tejgaon area, lost his index, middle and ring fingers of his right hand in the blast on November 20, 2013. His left hand was badly hurt too. His father, Jamal Hossain, 50, a rickshaw puller, said Tofazzal had gone to his village home in Kishoreganj. Schoolteachers said they would promote my son to Class IV as he was a brilliant student, said Jamal. The 11-year-old boy vowed that he would practise writing with his left hand. My son wanted to become a police officer, but no one will recruit a crippled person, Jamal said while tears

welled up in his eyes. Lokman, the 10-year-old boy, received splinter injuries to his left hand. He was sent back to his village in Sherpur although he had been studying in Class II in a local Brac School. His cousin Md Alam said: My father is taking care of him in the village. On the night of April 22 last year, a cocktail explosion ripped through the right wrist of Tania, a madrassa student in Hazaribagh. The girl stopped going to school. Currently, she had been staying at home. Tania said: I cant write, and I eat rice with my left hand. Her father Md Rashid, 47, a rickshaw puller, said his dream was to educate his daughter, but now he was worried about her marriage. He added that his daughter was a brilliant student, but the accident shattered her dream. Rashid said: The government only supports Rana Plaza victims, we do not get anything. A bereaved mother Anwara Begum, 35, said: My son died only 40 days before my daughter lost her middle finger in an explosion. We are born to suffer. The accident happened during April 23-24, when the BNP Jamaat called a hartal last year. l

challenge of the 10th parliament, which has 154 MPs elected uncontested, is to make the legislature effective as the Jatiya Party, the second largest party in parliament, has sent its representatives to the cabinet. The BNP-led 19-party alliance boycotted the January 5 national poll. Most of the independent MPs have shown interest in joining the Awami League, but Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has not given consent, Shahiduzzaman said. Sheikh Hasina wants strong criticism of government decisions. She really wants parliament to be effective. So, we want to promote them as the opposition, he said. Chief Whip ASM Feroz told the Dhaka Tribune that his party would give maximum encouragement to the independent MPs to play the oppositions role. We want a strong opposition. If they and the Jatiya Party play an active role, parliament will be truly effective, Feroz said. Leader of the Opposition Rawshan Ersahd on the opening day of the 10th parliament told the House that her partys dual role as the opposition and part of the government was a new thought in parliamentary practice. She, however, admitted that she did not know if the two-in-one role of her party would work. Rawshan said the Jatiya Party would extend full support to the treasury bench. The Election Commission declared 297 MPs winners in the January 5 parliamentary polls, with the Awami League bagging 231 seats, JaPa 34 seats, the Workers Party six and the Jatiya Samajtantril Dal five seats. The Tariqat Federation and the Jatiya Party (Manju) got two seats each and the Bangladesh Nationalist Front got one seat. l

revision case with the High Court and secured a stay over the lower courts order. The High Court bench led by Justice Chaklader had earlier heard the matter partially, but it refused to hear the petition after receiving the phone call from

a minister yesterday. Though present at the court during the order, Deputy Attorney General Sashanka Shekhar Sarkar declined to give any information saying the suit was private in nature and the government was not involved in the case. l

Dhaka seeks uplift


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Bangladesh in a return visit, the diplomat said. Officially, around 30,000 Rohingya refugees reside in two camps in Coxs Bazar, while about half a million undocumented Myanmar nationals are estimated to reside in Bangladesh. Rohingyas, who are Myanmar nationals, started to come to Bangladesh since there was a first influx in late 1970s following sectarian violence and

ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine state close to Bangladesh border. Last year in December, in a testimony given to the US Senate, Judith Cefkin said nearly 200 people were killed and approximately 140,000 people, mainly Muslims, were displaced after tensions spiraled into violence in June and October 2012; while up to 60,000 Rohingyas fled Rakhine state by boat, the highest number in over 20 years. l

AL, BNP fail to field


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6 cases filed against 525 RU students


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face actions. The home ministry had been asked to take effective measures. Sheikh Rasel, office secretary of Chhatra Leagues central committee, told the Dhaka Tribune that Nasim Ahmed Setu, joint secretary, and Shamsuzzaman Emon, organising secretary of RU unit, had been expelled for anti-organisation activities. It was learnt from Ganabhaban sources that the decision had been made after the Chhatra League president and secretary met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Our Rajshahi University correspondent reports: Universitys acting registrar Prof Saad Ahmed filed an explosives case, naming 60 students, and a case over vandalism, naming 50 students, said investigation officer Abdul Momen Sarkar. Sarker refused to disclose the names of the accused for the sake of investigation. The Chhatra League activists swooped on Rajshahi University students who were protesting against a hike in fees and a move to introduce evening courses at Rajshahi Universi-

ty on Sunday. The ruling party-backed activists and police locked into a clash with the agitating students that left over 100 students injured 20 of them with bullet injuries. The agitating students expressed their frustration as no shooters were arrested after the incident. Police and the university authority did not raid the halls to recover the guns used by the Chhatra League activists. Proctor Tariqul Hasan avoided answering why no raid was conducted, saying: To control the situation students were asked to leave the halls. All steps will be taken as per the decision of the syndicate. OC Shamsur Nur told reporters that police could not raid halls unless the university authority asked them. We are looking for those who were seen brandishing guns during the incident. A protester said the Chhatra League activists had attacked and fired on the students under the very nose of law enforcers. Another alleged that the university authorities had filed cases against ordinary students to foil their movement. General students vacated their halls yesterday by 8am as the university

Syndicate on Sunday night had declared the campus closed for an indefinite period. A number of Chhatra League activists, however, were seen in Bangabandhu Hall until 1pm. The Syndicate formed a five-member probe body led by Prof Khalekuzzaman of geology department to investigate the incident, public relations administrator Prof Eliyas Hossain said. Police on Sunday arrested a protester named Sajeeb Ahmed, a fourth year student of finance and banking; he was sent to jail after being produced before court. Meanwhile, the agitating students declared that they would continue their strike and abstention of classes and examinations from the day the university is reopened. Rajshahi University students had started agitating on January 16 to push their three-point demand withdrawal of the recent decision to introduce evening masters courses under the Social Sciences Faculty, stopping the ongoing evening masters courses at BBA and law faculties, and withdrawal of the recent decision to increase fees. After the attack, the students yester-

day added four more points to their demands resignation of VC Prof Mizanuddin and Pro-VC Prof Chowdhury Sarowar Jahan and the proctorial body, trying the attackers and expelling them from the university, bearing the expenses of the injured students treatment, and ensuring safety of students in the halls. At a meeting with the journalists at his office yesterday, VC Prof Mizanuddin said the violent situation had not been expected on the campus. The law enforcers acted on their own to take the situation under control as the students went on a rampage, he said. University Chhatra League unit President Mizanur Rahman Rana alleged that Shibir was manipulating the students movement. We prevented the Shibir activists, he said. In Dhaka, the Progotishil Chhatra Jote, an alliance of left students organisations, protested the attacks on Rajshahi University students by police and Chhatra League activists and demanded immediate resignation of the university VC, proctor and the law enforcement members on duty at that time, and exemplary punishment to the attackers. l

not bound to obey the party order here. People elected me in the past and they will do the same now so that I can serve them. I will be with the people and the people will also be with me. Political parties cannot interfere in the local level elections, Nizamuddin told the Dhaka Tribune. As there are more than one candidate in more than half of the upazilas, election experts said the local government elections would be a tough fight when festive mood would prevail centring the polls which are taking place after five years. As our party chief has written to the grassroots, those who will violate the directive will face action. There will certainly be some impact in the polls if there is more than one candidate from a party for one post. The leaders and activists will work for the party-backed candidate. So other aspirants will be discouraged and quit the race, Matia Chowdhury, an AL Presidium member, told the Dhaka Tribune. Mohammad Shahjahan, joint secretary general of the BNP, said it was tough to choose single candidate in every seat as the aspirants could not contest the polls under the party banner. When the election campaign will begin, the other candidates of the party may quit the race through announcement and extend support to the party-backed candidate. I hope that the local-level leaders will continue their efforts to pick single candidate in every upazila, he told the Dhaka Tribune. Shahjahan also said the voters never did any wrong, but in some cases the political leaders did mistake. So, I think the national issues will influence the elections which will help the BNP to win more seats. As there is no scope of contesting the polls under a party banner, the political parties have got involved with the electoral process directly and played crucial roles. In many cases, the national issues have overshadowed local issues and drew attention of the voters. During the city corporation polls held

last year, it was seen that the national issues had played a key role to determine the fate of the contenders. Meanwhile, Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (SHUJAN) issuing a press release yesterday said more than one candidate from different political parties submitted nomination papers to contest the polls. But the political parties have been pressing the candidates to withdraw their candidature only to field one candidate. This is a clear violation of the electoral code of conductwe request the political parties to be respectful to the laws, the statement said.

405 candidates withdraw nomination

As many as 1,274 candidates are contesting in the post of chairman, vice-chairman and reserved vice-chairman for women in first phase of polls in 98 upazila parishads. Meanwhile, for the second phase of polls in 117 upazila parishads on February 27, at least 1,852 aspirants of different political parties filed nomination papers yesterday. Deputy Secretary of the Election Commission Mihir Sarwar Morshed said 405 aspirants withdrew their candidature yesterday. There are no uncontested candidates in the chairman post. In Belabo upazila of Narsingdi, highest 19 candidates are contesting for the chairman post, the EC official said. However, one vice-chairman aspirant of Kazipur upazila in Sirajganj and two women vice-chairman candidates of Jajira upazila in Shariatpur and Dupchachia upazila in Bogra are set to be elected unopposed as the other candidates have withdrawn their nomination papers. The candidates will be able to start formal election campaigning after the EC allocates the election symbols. In the first phase of polls, as many as 1,732 candidates filed nomination papers but the returning officers cancelled 112 nominations. After appeals hearing, a total of 49 candidates of the three posts got back their candidature. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

15 injured in clash between BCL factions


n Mohammad Jamil Khan
At least 15 people were injured in a clash between two groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League on the Bangladesh University of Textiles premises in the capital yesterday. The hour-long clash broke between two groups of the university unit of Chhatra League, the student wing of ruling Awami League, around 1.30pm. Witnesses said the two groups, namely the university unit president-secretary group and vice president-join secretary group, were engaged in a clash over declaring committees for AGM Osmani hall and Aziz hall and establishing supremacy on the campus. According to students, the conflict had been rolling on for last three months between the two factions. Supporters of Juwel Rana, president of the university unit of Chhtra League, beat up supporters of the Senior Vice-President of the unit Abdullah Al-Kafi. In retaliation Kafi supporters came out from the Aziz hall and the two groups kept attacking each other with sticks, iron rods, and bricks for an hour leaving 15 injured from both sides. Police went to the spot and charged baton to tame the situation. The injured were admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Among them Secretary of the university unit of Chhtra League Nahid Patowari is in a critical state. Mohammad Salahuddin, officerin-charge of Tejgaon industrial police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that some junior students of the university locked into the clash over petty issues and some people were injured from the incident. The situation was now under control and additional forces had been deployed in the area to avert any unwanted situation onwards, he added. Abdullah Al-Kafi said: The central committee of Bangladesh Chhatra League has appointed two irresponsible people in the posts of president and secretary in the university unit. They are now trying to establish supremacy in the halls and attacking us by using juniors. However, Juwel Rana said they would run an internal investigation into the incident and action would be taken against those found guilty. l

Two workers of Dhaka Medical College Hospital dump clinical waste into a city corporation dustbin yesterday. Though there are specific directives from hospital authorities on waste disposal, this dustbin near the hospital has been long used for the purpose, posing both health and environmental risks RAJIB DHAR

Third witness in PM: Complete river dredging, set up Ganges barrage Paresh in China n Tribune Report Mir Kashem case n Mohosinul Karim cross examined
n Udisa Islam
The defence in the case against war crimes suspect Mir Kashem Ali yesterday ended questioning the prosecutions third witness who on Sunday said the accused and his cohorts had tortured pro-liberation people at Daleem Hotel in Chittagong City to collect information about freedom fighters. Nasir Uddin Chowdhury in his deposition said the accused had ordered his followers in al-Badr force to abduct, torture and subsequently kill innocent civilians for supporting the Liberation War. Defence counsel Mizanul Islam questioned the witness suggesting that Mir Kashem had no control over al-Badr and razakar forces which had collaborated with the Pakistani occupation forces to commit genocide, murder, rape, arson, looting and religious persecution. After the end of grilling, the prosecution sought time to place further witness. The International Crimes Tribunal 2 adjourned the proceeding until February 17. The three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Shahinur Islam recorded the cross-examination of the witness. Nasir, a freedom fighter, said he had been captured by the al-Badr men one night in the month of November 1971 and taken to the Daleem Hotel where many more pro-liberation people were tortured. He heard that everyone was captured and tortured upon the order of Mir Kashem, the alleged al-Badr commander of Chittagong during the war. Jamaat-e-Islami Executive Council member Mir Kashem is facing 14 charges of crimes against humanity he had committed in Chittagong in 1971. l Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the shipping minister to restore the navigability of rivers and canals soon by completing the dredging projects that were started during the previous governments tenure. The instructions came at yesterdays cabinet meeting, chaired by the premier, at the secretariats cabinet conference room. Seeking anonymity, a minister told the Dhaka Tribune that the prime minister also asked the shipping minister about the progress of the capital dredging project, which was initiated under the premiers directive during her previous tenure. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan termed fund shortage as an impediment in doing the work on time; but Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government has already provided adequate funds for completing the dredging work. Muhith also suggested the shipping minister to complete the work during the dry season of the November-April period, with funds available for the work after budgetary allocation in July. Senior ministers Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury, Mohammed Nasim and other ministers who had constituencies in the river erosion areas took part in the discussion. The ministers called for the dredging work to be started during the dry summer season as more silt might be removed at that period, while also urging Shajahan Khan to protect the riverbanks. The prime minister also suggested the shipping minister to use the Tk20bn fund of Chittagong port authority, if there was any delay of fund releasing from the finance ministry; and directed him to protect the shoals for peoples use. Meanwhile, the water resources minister was also asked to speed up the project for setting up the proposed Ganges barrage in Rajbari, aiming to protect water resources and increase food production by utilising irrigation. Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud briefed the premier about the progress of the project, which was also initiated during the tenure of the past government. Saying the preparation and paperwork for the Ganges barrage project was nearing completion; Anisul expressed hopes that the construction would start shortly if the funds could be arranged. Hasina, however, assured the minister of funding, saying some international donors and countries including China were interested in financing the project. On a separate note, the prime minister directed cabinet members and senior Awami League leaders to assist the seven teams of the party that were formed to select sole candidates for respective seats in the upazila poll. Hasina also said sole candidates had been ensured in 80% areas, while further checks need to be completed in the rest of the upazilas. l

Paresh Barua, chief of Indian separatist group United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) and a death condemned in a 10-truck arms smuggling case in Bangladesh, is now living in China, reports The Times of India. Baruas phone call and other recent developments have cemented inputs that he is living in Chinas Rui Li town, said the report published yesterday. According to sources, Barua has been living in the Chinese town for the past two years. His wife and two sons live in Bangladesh, it added. The matter was revealed when Barua made a frantic call from his China hideout last week to one of his key deputies, Jyotirmoy Barali, who looks after an Ulfa camp in Myanmar, sources said. l

High Court grants bails to seven BNP leaders


n Nazmus Sakib
The High Court yesterday granted bail for various durations to seven BNP leaders in cases of violence and corruption. The HC bench of justices M Enayetur Rahim and Mohammad Ullah gave six weeks anticipatory bail to BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam in each of the three cases of vandalism against him. Meanwhile, the bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed granted six months ad-interim bail to BNP vice-chairmen Hafizuddin Ahmed and Sadeque Hossain Khoka, party standing committee member Moudud Ahmed, Joint Secreatary Barkat Ullah Bulu and Organising Secretary Fazlul Haq Milon. On the other hand, the same bench issued a rule seeking explanation as to why chairpersons adviser Khandker Mahbub Hossain should not be granted permanent bail in a case filed by Ramna police on charges of vandalism, blasting crude bombs, attempted murder and obstructing police. The court also granted bail to Mahbub until disposal of the rule. Moudud was given bail for six months in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission for allegedly grabbing a piece of government property worth Tk300 crore in Gulshan, Deputy Attorney General Khandaker Diliruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune. Moududs lawyer Anowarul Islam Shaheen said his client had received bail in all five cases against him. In a separate ruling, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, chamber judge of the Appellate Division, did not stay an earlier HC order granting bail to BNP standing committee members MK Anwar and Rafiqul Islam Miah in two cases filed with Motijeel police station, said defence lawyer Ehsanur Rahman. l

Jamaat leader killed in traffic accident n Kailash Sarkar


The chief of capitals Darussalam thana unit of Jamaat-e-Islami was killed after being hit by a vehicle during a clash with police in Pallabi yesterday morning, At least 10 people, including a policeman, were also injured in the clash. Yesterday, Jamaat-Shibir members brought out a procession around 8:30am near the Journalists Colony in Kalshi, Pallabi. During the procession, Jamaat-Shibir men went into a rampage, vandalising several vehicles and exploding bombs indiscriminately, eyewitnesses said. In the clash that ensued, police fired around 20 rounds of gunshots and arrested a Jamaat activist while Jamaat men hurled crude bombs, brick chips and vandalised several vehicles. Police and witnesses said the deceased Jamaat leader Billal Hossain, 50, who was also the Imam of Ibne Sina Hospital Mosque at Kalyanpur, was hit by a speeding pick-up van while he was trying to run away from police during the clash. The pick-up van was detained, but its driver managed to run away, police said. Billal was rushed to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) where doctors declared him dead. Billal sustained injuries to his head, said sources at the DMCH and the morgue. Constable Abdus Salam, 20, of Pallabi police station, was admitted to the Rajarbagh Police Lines Hospital. The identities of the other injured could not be ascertained. Police said the clash erupted when the police constable sustained injuries in an explosion, prompting police to fire rubber bullets, leaving several other Jammat men injured. Imtiyaz Ahmed, deputy commissioner of Mirpur Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said: While being chased by police, the Jamaat-Shibir men, who had been vandalising vehicles and charging bombs, started running away, but one of them was hit by a running pickup van. l

HC stops extraction from Sari River


n Nazmus Sakib
The High Court yesterday gave injunction on extraction of mineral resources including sand from the Sari River in Sylhets Jaintapur. The bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the order after hearing a writ petition lodged by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA). It ordered the deputy commissioner and police super of Sylhet as well as upazila nirbahi officer of Jaintapur to stop extraction of mineral resources and to give a compliance report in this regard. The court also issued a rule asking the authorities concerned as to why the river should not be declared as ecologically critical area under the Environment Protection Act, 1995. It further wanted to know as to why the authorities concerned should not be directed to continue the crystal flow of water in the Sari River. Ikbal Kabir argued for the BELA, while Deputy Attorney General Al-Amin Sarker represented the government. l

HC questions Pabna 1 poll


n Nazmus Sakib
The High Court yesterday issued a ruling, asking why the recently held parliamentary election in Pabna 1 (Sathia-Bera) constituency should not be declared void following allegations of vote rigging. The single bench of Justice Soumendra Sarker made the ruling after hearing a petition filed by Abu Sayeed, an independent candidate in the January 5 poll. The elected MP from the seat, Shamsul Haque Tuku,along with two other candidates, Yasir Arafat (JP Monju) and Nazrul Islam, the chief election commissioner, the returning officer and the deputy commissioner of Pabna were given three weeks to respond to the rule, Idrisur Rahman, the lawyer for the petitioner, told the Dhaka Tribune. Abu Sayeed also attached a copy of a news item published in the Dhaka Tribune, headlined Polls-rigging allegation against Tukus son, with his plea filed on Wednesday. Sayeed claimed that Tuku had rigged a significant amount of the votes in the Pabna poll by abusing his power as the then state minister for home. Tuku won the seat with 65,929 votes, while Sayeed bagged 45,379 votes. l

Rajshahi University students leave dormitories and wait for transports yesterday in front of Kajla Gate after the university was declared closed on Sunday night, following the attack on demonstrating students DHAKA TRIBUNE

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

EC plans to deploy own officers as observers


n Mohammad Zakaria
The Election Commission is planning to deploy its own officials as election observers in the upcoming upazila parishad elections to detect violations of the electoral code of conduct during the polls. The commission will present a plan about deploying its own officials at the meeting with returning officers, police superintendents and the heads of law enforcement agencies, a senior EC official said yesterday. The commission will deploy its own observers from the beginning of election campaigning till the elections, as a large number of candidates from the ruling party and other political parties are contesting in the polls, he said. The commission will also form special monitoring cells for informing the commission immediately about any type of violation of electoral laws by the candidates, the official said. The EC has taken the plan to deploy its own officials as observers in the polls as ruling party or other political party candidates might influence the local body polls. The ECs own observers will observe the polls secretly. If any irregularities or violation of electoral laws by the candidates are noticed, they will inform the special monitoring cells to provide information to the commission, the senior official said. The commission announced the polls schedule of upazila parishad polls in two phases. Election to 98 upazilas will be held on February 19 in the first phase and polls to 117 upazila parishads will be held on February 27. A record number of candidates are contesting in the three posts of the upazila parishads. Candidates of all political parties including Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Jamaat-e-Islami are contesting. An election commissioner yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that the commission would deploy its own observers in the upazila parishad polls. But the commission is yet to take final decision in this regard, he also said. l

UPAZILA POLLS

Tailbacks on both sides of Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue yesterday. Though an everyday scenario on this road, authorities are yet to take any measures to put an end to the commuters' sufferings from this sort of congestion SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

ACC arrests one for Tk46 lakh embezzlement n Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday arrested Mostafa Kamal, an accused in two cases filed by the antigraft body in connection with embezzling of around Tk46lakh government money through cheque forgery. ACC Deputy Assistant Director Rafi Nazmus Sadat, also probe official of the case, arrested Mostafa from the capitals Motijheel area. Earlier on August 7, 2012, the ACC filed two cases against four people for embezzlement of Tk46lakh through cheque forgery. The case statement reads the arrestee named Al Amin Ratan as M Mosaddek Ali Sajib in the reference while opening a bank account with One Bank Limited principal branch at Dilkusha in Motijheel. Al Amin Ratan was the main accused who embezzled the amount of money in the name of land acquisition through cheque forgery. The arrestee was brought to the ACC headquarters following the arrest and he was primarily interrogated by the probe official. l

High Court orders police to transfer bank robbery case to RAB


n Nazmus Sakib
The High Court yesterday directed police authorities to hand over charge of investigating the Tk16 crore Sonali Bank robbery in Kishoreganj to the Rapid Action Battalion within 48 hours. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain passed the order in response to a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, a legal aid organisation. The court also asked why it should not issue orders to punish the masterminds of the robbery and probe any involvement of militants in the crime. The home secretary, the inspector general of police, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner, the director general of RAB, Kishoreganj police superintendent and officer in charge of Kishoreganj model police station were given two weeks to reply to the rule. The court also sought a report of compliance of the order within two weeks, Manzil Murshid, lawyer for the petitioner, told the Dhaka Tribune. The writ was filled with attached media reports suggesting possible militant connection to the looting of Tk16.40 crore through a tunnel bored into the vault of the state-owned banks main branch in Kishoreganj on January 26. RAB arrested two suspects and recovered part of the looted money on January 28. l

Non-formal education act draft sent back


n Mohosinul Karim
The cabinet on Monday has sent back the proposal of enacting a new law titled Non-Formal Education Act, 2014 for further improvement of the proposed law consulting with the stakeholder ministries. The proposal was placed to the cabinet for passing the law for bringing the dropped out children and the persons who have crossed their age 14 under education. But, the cabinet meeting held at secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, asked the primary education minister to improve the draft as it may not conflict with other laws. The draft of the law would be placed to the next cabinet meeting after improving it consulting with the other ministries and as per the directives of the cabinet, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters after the meeting. He added: It will be passed in the cabinet shortly as it was already got the in principle approval of the cabinet earlier. He said the non-formal primary education is a running issue in the country to ensure minimum literacy for the elderly and dropped out children. The department of non-formal education looks after its activities. But, there was no law in this regard. It is necessary to enact a new law to continue the activities of non-formal education, he added. He also said the provision of establishing a non-formal education board was kept in the proposed law. It will act along with the department of nonformal education such other formal education system. Not only minimum literacy, the provision of creating literate manpower with technical education was kept in the law as they would be able to accommodate for any kind of employment. If there is anything conflicting with other laws, it will be removed from the draft, he added. The meeting of the cabinet was also informed about the achievements of World Trade Organisations December 3-6 conference held at Bali in Indonesia. Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed led the Bangladeshi delegation for the conference as the minister could not afford to join there. Primary Education Minister Mustafizur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune that the draft law would be placed before the meeting shortly after amending it consulting with the other ministries. It would be passed in the next cabinet as it was already approved by the cabinet earlier, he added. l

Noman: AL trying to appease India n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong


Awami League is trying to take BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her family members into 10-truck arms haul cases to make India happy. The BNP Vice President Abdullah Al Noman yesterday comment it at a press briefing in the party office of the Chittagong city unit, at Nasiman Bhaban. Awami League gave false information about Khaleda and his son Tareque Rahman in the sensational arms seizure to destroy the nationalist ideology from the country, he said. The arms were seized by the BNP government and they started the trial during their tenure, Noman also said. Shahadat Hossain, general secretary, and Abu Sufian, senior vice president of the city unit of BNP, were present at the conference among other local leaders. The BNP leaders claimed that the arms consignment was brought by international smuggling gang and BNP has no connection with it. l

25 Jamaat-Shibir men held in Ctg n Tribune Report


Police in separate drives arrested 25 Jamaat-Shibir men from Chittagongs Sitakunda and Lohagara upazilas on charges of conducting sabotage on highways and attacking an Awami League lawmaker. Iftekhar Hasan, officer-in-charge of Sitakunda police station, said they nabbed 15 Jamaat-Shibir activists from different areas of the upazila in an overnight drive. The detainees were accused in several cases lodged with the police station for their involvement with the subversive activities on the DhakaChittagong highway, he said. Meanwhile, 10 more Jamaat-Shibir activists were held in connection with the attack on Awami League lawmaker on Friday night, said OC Mohammad Shahjahan of Lohagara police station. On Friday night, Jamaat-Shibir activists carried out an attack on Nadvi, at a religious programme in Lohagara. l

WEATHER

Weather likely to remain dry n UNB


Weather may remain dry with partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog might occur over the river basins and light to moderate fog might occur elsewhere over the country during midnight until morning, Met Office said. Mild cold wave is sweeping over the regions of Jessore, Kustia, Sayedpur, Dinajpur and Srimangal and it may continue. Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:47pm today and rises at 6:38am tomorrow. Countrys highest temperature 29.3 degree Celsius was recorded in Coxs Bazar and lowest 08.4 degrees in Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Coxs Bazar High 25.0 26.1 21.0 19.2 25.5 26.2 25.7 29.3 Low 12.0 16.6 10.5 10.5 11.5 10.2 12.6 17.7

Relatives and co-workers of Dr Murad, who was murdered in Potuakhali on December 3, 2013, form a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday, demanding arrest and exemplary punishment of the killers MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

3 killed in separate incidents


n Tribune Report
At least three people were killed in separate incidents in Mymensingh, Kishoreganj and Habiganj yesterday. An alleged drug-addict chopped his younger sister to death at Dubaliapara village in Bhaluka upazila of Mymensingh yesterday. Police said Rubel Mia, 17, chopped his younger sister Amena Khatun, 14, who was a worker at Arif Textile Mills in Bhaluka, as she denied to provide Rubel money for buying drugs. Rubel also chopped his father Badshah Mia when he tried to save his daughter. Locals rescued the duo and sent them to Bhaluka Upazila Health Complex where on duty doctors pronounced Amena dead. Abdul Motalab Miah, officer-incharge of Bhaluka police station, said a case was filed in this connection. In Kishoreganj, one Deen Islam, 28, who hailed from Mazlishpur village of Nikli upazila, was allegedly strangled by unidentified miscreants in yesterday. Police said locals found the body in a boat on the Narsunda River around 1pm and informed the police. Mahbub Alam, officer-in-charge of Nikli police station, said the victim might have been killed at night but reason behind the murder could not be known immediately. Elsewhere in Habiganj, Rizu Mia, 25, who was injured in a clash over land dispute on Sunday, succumbed to his injuries early yesterday. Police said supporters of Poilarkandi Union Parishad Chairman Khoaz Ali and Member Saraj Mia under Habiganjs Baniyachong upazila had a fierce clash over land dispute on Sunday, leaving at least 20 people injured. Rizu was admitted to Sylhet Medical College Hospital in a critical condition, where he succumbed to his injuries around 2am. l

55 illegal Malaysiagoers rescued n Our Correspondent, Coxs Bazar


The Rapid Action Battalion rescued 55 people in Ukhia upazila in the wee hours yesterday as they were being trafficked to Malaysia. The elite force members also held two traffickers Rustam Ali and Kaiser from the spot. RAB 7 Commander Rashedul Alam said: Acting on a tip-off, a team of RAB conducted the drive and held Rustam and his son Kaiser along with some 55 illegal Malaysia goers. They were trying to traffic some 100 people but more than 40 people fled the scene upon sensing the presence of RAB, he added. Rustam Ali is known to have been trafficking people to Malaysia in fishing boats for a long time. It is believed that he had trafficked about 1,000 men to Malaysia last month. l

Taslima blames HasinaKhaleda-Mamata


n Tribune Report
Writer Taslima Nasrin has blamed Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda Zia and Mamata Banerjee for making her life difficult, reports PTI. There is no hope for Bangladesh. And I miss Kolkata because culturally I connect with the city. But I have now given up all hopes of returning to the city. Taslima finds no difference between West Bengal and Bangladesh as there is no freedom in writing here as a year after the launch of her book Nirbasan was cancelled at the Kolkata Book Fair. She said: Situation in West Bengal is exactly like Bangladesh. The West Bengal government has also made me a persona non grata as they are not allowing me to enter, banning my books besides the TV drama series scripted by me. They are not allowing me to participate in the ongoing Kolkata Book Fair. It happened during the CPI(M) regime and I thought the situation would change when Mamata Banerjee came to power but that did not happen, she told PTI. l

'WB government has also made me a persona non grata'


The exiled Bangladeshi yesterday claimed that despite her feminist writings, women leaders had not been sympathetic to her. She told the Indian state-run news agency: It is strange that I have been writing on women issues for the last three decades but three women (Sheikh) Hasina, Khaleda (Zia) and Mamata (Banerjee) have made my life difficult.

PRAYER TIMES
Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 5:21am 6:37am 12:12am 4:11pm 5:47pm 7:04pm

Source: IslamicFinder.org

DHAKA TRIBUNE

News

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Encroachment on Turag continues unabated


Grabbers cashing in on faulty demarcation of river, stacking sand and raising illegal buildings
n Abu Hayat Mahmud
A group of sand traders and land grabbers are, in an effort to grab the river Turag, ignoring the High Court order and capitalising on the faulty demarcation of the water body. The encroachers are stacking sand and raising illegal establishments in the river area. Markets, permanent and makeshift shops, rickshaw garages, restaurants, mosque and crematorium are being constructed inside the river demarcation pillars while the local residents are dumping solid waste, all contributing to the contraction of the water body. Dr Md Samsuddoha Khandaker, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) told the Dhaka Tribune: We have been informed about the continuous encroachment upon the river Turag. A meeting on Sunday was held in the Ministry of Shipping to save the river from grabbers, he added. The grabbing of the river goes on unabated on its both sides at different parts between Mirpur and Aminbazar. The demarcation pillars were installed in the heart of the water body, applying wrong process, he regretted, adding that a further demarcation would be done as per the decision of the meeting. A joint committee of the Dhaka deputy commissioner office and BIWTA demarcated the river area and set up pillars, leaving a large area on both sides of the Turag. The river was originally 1,500 feet wide which had now taken the shape of a canal because of continuous encroachment. Samsuddoha Khandaker maintained that the ministry recommended demarcation of the river based on two types of map known as CS and RS. The BIWTA chairman vowed that action would be taken against those grabBesides, sand-loaded trucks remain parked on both sides of the embankment-cum road built on the river bank, causing disruption to smooth traffic movement from Mirpur to Ashulia. More than 20 sand traders run their business in the area, with blessings from the lawmen and local political leaders. In November 2012, the HC directed the government to stop sand trading on the banks of the citys rivers. The court ordered the authorities to shut down the sand markets on the bank of Turag and submit a compliance report within four weeks. Apart from the order, the HC, on June 25, 2009, also directed the BIWTA to protect four rivers Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakhya from encroachment and pollution. Alamgir Hossain, a resident of Jahanabad, said: Several influential land grabbers, including the ruling party leaders, are in an effort to grab the river by building settlements and shops and by dumping sand. Several government authorities, including the former caretaker government, failed to free the river bank, he said, adding that when a mobile team goes into action to demolish the illegal establishments, the grabbers use political backing to resist the drive. Sand traders Jahirul, Ripon, Afzalur and some others are said to have been running sand business occupying the river bed. Contacted, Ripon said: We are running business in our own land, not in the river area. So none can take action against us. Other traders refused to talk to the media. Apart from the grabbing of Turag, domestic and Industrial waste from drain and sewerage contribute to the river water pollution and emitting a foul smell, thus putting an impact on the environment. l

A syndicate of land grabbers have filled a portion of the Turag river by sand bing the river and polluting the water body by dumping waste. The area pillars will be re-installed, and we will take strong measures to reclaim the river immediately, he added. A visit to the different areas of Gabtoli, Borobazar, Kotbari, Harirampur, Jahanabad, Golartek, Lalpara, Diabari, Sinnirtek, Jagannatbad, Nobaberbagh, Nagarbari eastern part of the river adjacent to the citys Mirpur and Eskabed, Golbari, Knundia, Beg-

SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

satra western side of the river under Harirampur union, revealed that the grabbers built different establishments according to their own sweet will.

Five indicted in Himu murder case


n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
A Chittagong court yesterday finally framed charges, after deferring four times, against five accused in a case filed in connection with the killing of A-level student Himadri Majumdar Himu in Chittagong citys Panchlaish area in 2012. Chittagong Metropolitan Session Judge SM Mojibur Rahman passed the indictment order. The accused are Shah Selim Tipu, his son Junaid Ahmed Riad, Riads friends Shahadat Hossain Shaju, Mahbub Ali Khan Danny and Zahidul Islam Shaon. Among them Tipu and Shaju are on bail while the others were on the run, court sources said. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, public prosecutor of Chittagong Metropolitan, said February 18 was fixed for the next hearing. Himu, 18, an A-level student of Summerfield School and College, was allegedly pushed off the roof of a four-storied building in Panchlaish Residential Area on April 27, 2012 by his friends. He succumbed to his injuries 26 days later in Dhaka. Over the incident, Asit Das, maternal uncle of the deceased, lodged a case with Panchlaish police station, accusing the five. The charge-sheet of the case was submitted before the court on September 30, 2012. l

3 held for killing 2 children in Nganj


n Kailash Sarkar
Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested three youths for killing two children after abducting them from Narayanganj on January 21. The arrestees are Parvez Hossain, 21, Md Jahangir Hossain, 30 and Shah Ali, 22. All the three detainees hail from Sonargaon upazila in Narayanganj. During the primary interrogation, we have come to know that Parvez was the mastermind behind the abduction and killing of the two children following his personal enmity with former employer Shamsul Alam and step-father Rahmat Ali, said RAB Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rahman during a press briefing at RAB headquarters in the capital on Monday evening. On January 21, the criminals kidnapped Zahidul Islam, 13, a Class-VII student of Omar Ali High School, and Saqin Alam, 9, a Class III student of the same school, from Kanchpur area and demanded Tk20 lakh as ransom from their guardians. However, just a day later, police recovered the beheaded body of Zahid, son of Rahmat Ali and step brother of Parvez, from a sack at Bargaon Beribadh near Kanchpur, and the body of Saqin, son of Shamsul Alam, from a sack near a wetland the next day. Although the kidnappers had killed both the boys shortly after the abduction, they continued their demand of Tk20 lakh as ransom from the two families, added the Habibur Rahman. The RAB director said Parvej was a former employee of a motor garage owned by Shamsul Alam in Gazipur, which he had left following a disagreement with the owner over salary and other benefits. Besides, Parvez and his family also had been a tenant of a house owned by Shamsul. After quitting his job at the garage, Parvez sent a proposal to Shamsuls eldest daughter and was later rebuked by Shamsul and his step-father Rahmat over his approach. Following the incident, Parvez became furious and drafted the brutal plan to abduct and kill Zahidul and Sakin, to get back at Shamsul and his step-father. Parvez also sought help of two of his friends, Shah Ali and Jahangir, for his evil plans and promised them a share of the ransom once the job was done. Rab officials said they first arrested Shah Ali and Jahangir from Meghnaghat at Narayanganj on Monday morning and later Parvej was arrested at Senpara in Kanchpur in the afternoon. He claimed all the three detainees admitted their involvement in the abduction of the children and brutal killings. l

Five killed in road accidents n Tribune Report


A total of five people were killed and six injured in separate road accidents in the capital, Brahmanbaria and Gopalganj yesterday. In the capital, an unidentified 70-year-old man wearing a shirt, a lungi and a blanket was found lying on the road in front of Korea-Bangladesh Technical Training Centre in Darussalam, Mirpur around 7am. Md Sumon, sub-inspector of Darussalam police station, said some pedestrians had informed the police about the old man after they found him on the road. The man was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where the doctors declared him dead, suspecting that he might have been hit by a vehicle. In another incident, a 24-year-old man, Billal Hossain, was found lying on the road in critical condition in front of Engineers Institution around 12:30am. The young man was taken to DMCH where he was declared dead. He was from Beparikanda village of Shariatpurs Jajira upazila and was an employee of a shoe shop named Suruj Mansion at Siddiqbazar. In Brahmanbaria, two people were killed in separate roads accidents. Sufian Bhuiyan, 22, relief and disaster management secretary of Kasba upazila Chhatra league, died in a motor cycle accident at 4pm, reports our correspondent. Witnesses said Sufian had lost control of his motorbike and struck a pillar at Bishara Bari area. He was dead on the spot. Kasba police station Officer-in-Charge Mizanur Rahman confirmed his death. In the districts Sarail, a tempo driver Shahjahan Mia, 32, was killed in an accident in Sarail-Nasirnagar road near the Uchaliapara Madrasha in the afternoon. Police and local source said Shahjahans vehicle fell to a roadside ditch as the soil on the road was loose. The driver drowned in the water and died on the spot. In Gopalganj, Governor of APEX Club of Bangladesh and United Commercial Bank (UCB) Vice-President Ehsanul Kabir, 65, was killed in a road crash around dawn. Six people including Ehsanuls family members sustained injuries. The accident took place around 5:30am at Gerakhola of Muksudpur upazila in the Dhaka-Khulna highway. Muksudpur police station OC Ferdaus Hossain said Ehsanuls private car was hit from the back when it attempted to overtake a bus of Hamim Paribahan. The car also collided at the same time with a truck coming from the opposite direction. Ehsanul Kabir died on the spot and his family members sustained injuries, he added. l

18 gold bars seized in Chittagong airport


n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Customs officials at Chittagongs Shah Amanat International Airport yesterday seized 18 gold bars, worth around Tk 87 lakh, in separate drives. Moshiur Rahman Mondol, assistant commissioner of Chittagong Customs House in the airport, said three gold bars, weighing 291.60 grams, were seized from a Dubai expatriate Abul Kalam, hailing from Rangunia upazila of Chittagong. Kalam arrived at the airport from Dubai through an Air Arabia flight at around 11:00am, he added. Earlier on Sunday night, customs officials seized 15 gold bars, weighing 1.725 kilograms, from four persons who arrived at the airport from Dubai and Oman. According to existing laws, a person can bring in up to 200 grams of goldfrom abroad. In 2013, customs officials seized 686 gold bars, worth Tk 35.30crore, from the airport from the expatriates, mostly from the Middle East countries. l

Members of Jatiya Sharthe Blogger-Online Activist Forum bring out a torch procession in the capitals Shahbagh yesterday, protesting the combined attacks of Chhatra League and police on demonstrating Rajshahi University students RAJIB DHAR

Woman dies in hill slide n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong


A woman was killed in a hill slide in Chittagongs Bayezid area yesterday. The dead, Nurunnahar, 30, resided at the foothills in Shantinagar area under Bayezid police station. A chunk of earth fell on Nurunnahar as she along with her father-in-law Jodu Miah were cutting the hill adjacent to her house around 2pm, said Sub-Inspector Jahirul Islam, in-charge of Chittagong Medical College Hospital Police Camp. l

KEPZ boiler explosion injures three workers


n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
At least three workers of a factory in Korean Export Processing Zone (KoreanEPZ) were injured in a boiler explosion under Anwara upazila in Chittagong district yesterday. The injured are Lakhi Akhter, Moniruzzaman and Aiyub. Sayedee Anwarul Azim, public relations officer (PRO) of KoreanEPZ, told Dhaka Tribune a boiler of a lamination machine at the shoe factory of Karnaphuli Sportswear Industry (KSI) had blasted around 10:10am, leaving the three injured. The injured were sent to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH). Police said that the injured had been admitted to different wards in the hospital while Lakhi was released after giving primary treatment. l

Shibir leader injured in BCL attack at CU


n FM Mizanur Rahaman, CU
Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of ruling party yesterday, beat up a leader of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) at Chittagong University (CU). Witnesses said a group of BCL activists led by Nazim Uddin, deputy mass-education affair secretary of the BCL, attacked Mahmudul Hasan, fourth year student of Sociology department, former ICS secretary of Social Science Facultys committee and also Shathi of Shibir at the campus. The BCL men beat him up with wooden sticks leaving him injured. On information, Anwar Hossain Chowdhury, an assistant proctor of CU rescued the ICS leader and sent him to the university medical centre. After receiving primary treatment, Hasan reached his dormitory, said Ismail Hossain, officer-in-charge (OC) of Hathazari police Station. Ariful Islam, organising secretary CU unit of BCL said the BCL men resisted the Shibir men while they were distributing leaflets among the junior students. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Feature

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Grace under fire

never thought it would happen to me. And then it did, Rumana Monzur, iconic survivor of severe domestic abuse, told the Dhaka Tribune in an exclusive interview earlier this week. To survive is to have a story to tell, to have the chance to show others what

An interview with Rumana Monzur, as part of our weekly series on One Billion Rising Bangladesh, in support of justice for violence against women Rumana was attacked by her hus- and UNFPA suggests a staggering n Syeda Samira Sadeque band in June 2011, when he gouged out 90% of women face abuse by their
her eyes and bit off parts of her nose. Rumana, a former University of Dhaka Assistant Professor of International Relations, was visiting Dhaka on break from Vancouver, where she was a graduate student at that time. The brutal act triggered protests both at home and in Canada. Rumana survived to tell her story, and to completely turn her fate around. After extensive medical treatment, she enrolled as a law student at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where she lives with her parents and eight year old daughter Anusheh. I am studying law because it makes me legally empowered. I wonder now if I had had this education, if it would have been easier for me to fight my legal battles. Despite the obvious nature of the crime, her husbands family has been trying to claim custody of her daughter, accusing her of faking her blindness, or saying that she will not be able to take care of Anusheh. She has to submit documents to prove that she is visually impaired.

Rumana Monzur with daughter Anusheh in 2013 they didnt see. Or ignored. Rumana, having enrolled in law school after completing her Masters degree, is doing just that: surviving gracefully, and telling her story.

husbands. Those being abused need to understand that showing patience to monsters and demons is wrong. They mistake our commitment to be our weakness. No one needs to go through this to save their marriage. Even after being married to her abusive husband Hasan Sayeed for ten years, Rumana used to be reluctant to reveal her secret. I used to think talking about it would be a matter of shame, so I kept quiet instead. But we must realize it is not us who ought to be ashamed but them, those who inflict abuse on us who should be held accountable, who should be shamed. Rumana says society also has a role to play to create a safe haven for those living in a system of abuse. Instead of facing the judgement and stigma of society, Rumana braved the challenges inside her abusive home, as many still do. The societys attitude must change. If they were supportive of those trying to leave abusive systems, it would be a lot easier for girls to do so.

Vicious cycle of abuse

Domestic abuse in Bangladesh is nothing new. A recent survey by BBS

Saving grace

After it happened in June 2011, the international media was quick to pick up

the story, largely due to the fact that Rumana had an international support system from her friends and colleagues in Canada. In Bangladesh, what stood out about Rumanas case was the fact that she was an educated, financially independent woman in the society. This incident broke the previously held assumption that domestic abuse takes place primarily in lower income homes, to women who are illiterate and unaware of their rights. I never thought despite having a Masters degree, despite my financial independence, I would face this, Rumana says. After the incident, her husband justified his attack by accusing her of having an affair with an Iranian man. Some local media agencies also capitalised on the controversy, falsely reporting or validating rumours - mostly triggered by her husbands family - that soon after the attack she had remarried or that she was faking her blindness. But she was lucky that this time, society took the side of the woman. The support that poured out after my attack was overwhelming. It showed me that for the 10% of people who believe in these false rumours and thought [the incident] was justified, there is the other 90% who supported me.

Regaining equilibrium

Three years since the attack, Rumana is still trying to come to terms with what happened. I really dont know why this happens. But I know that a relationship must be about mutual respect. I used to hear news of acid attacks, wives being burnt. But we never realize just how traumatising it is until it happens to us, Rumana says. But today she is coping. Ive igured out alternative ways to communicate with my daughter, she laughs adding that she plays with her, cooks for her among other things. She is the reason I am trying to go back to a normal life. I always try to stay positive because I know I have to bring her up. I know I have to live a meaningful life. A meaningful life indeed, for a victim who turned herself into a survivor. A survivor who, now that she has come out of the abuse system, says we must be careful about our society, and not overlook any derailments in the system. We mustnt look at domestic abuse as news anymore: its not news, its a situation that any one of us can be in any day.l

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN BANGLADESH

98%

ABUSED BY CURRENT OR PAST HUSBANDS

33%

RAPED BY HUSBANDS

50%

NEEDED MEDICAL HELP


UBC student Rumana Monzur speaks to the media upon her return from India

8 OUT OF EVERY 10 WOMEN IN BANGLADESH SUFFER FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE, ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY

A survey conducted in 2011, which was published on the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics website in 2013, has revealed that 9 out of 10 Bangladeshi women are subject to domestic violence. The survey, titled Report on Violence Against Women (VAW) Survey 2011, was designed by BBS, the Institute for Statistical Research and Training at Dhaka University, and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Making time for the Dhaka Art Summit

The countdown begins for the worlds largest South Asian art event, February 7 9 Meanwhile Elsewhere is part of temporary art and through Raqs Media all the billboards are seen collectively, n Tasnuva Amin Nova it is meant to reveal a combination of the Untimely series, one of Raqs Me- Collective. They have participated in
ystified about the clocks that have suddenly sprung up on billboards all over the capital? They are part of a public art project titled Meanwhile Elsewhere by the Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, commissioned by the Samdani Art Foundation for the 2014 Dhaka Art Summit. This is their largest public art project to date, said Nadia Samdani, the Founder and Director of Dhaka Art Summit. Competed yesterday, the project covered ten billboards and 150 roadside signs with the image of a clock but contrary to traditional clocks, these show Bangla words instead of numbers, representing a subjective interpretation of time. The billboards feature clocks whose minute-hands show one word and the hour-hand another. These words or phrases complement each other, hinting towards a deeper meaning. When different states of mind and being during different times of the day, crafted into a poem. The final piece is the Crazy Clock video installation, to be unveiled at the Dhaka Art Summit. The hands will spin around pause on a crazy message. The Summit will be taking over the four floors of the Shilpakala Academy from February 7-9. Billed as the worlds largest South Asian art event, the Dhaka Art Summit will highlight the regions contemporary art scene. The concept behind the clocks is to examine the way we look at billboards, and subjective experience of time and duration, the artists said. Research suggests that reading words on walls or commercial signposts can create a strong effect on the subconscious. It captures the readers moments between awareness and unawareness after reading certain words. Despite being present in the situation, our minds can wander off somewhere else. Hence, the project title. dia Collectives experiments with time and the metaphorical possibilities of time. Other installations of the series have been exhibited around the world. In Birmingham, UK, in 2012, Raqs Media Collective did a similar installation of clocks billboards with English words, called: Whenever the Heart Skips a Beat, as part of the 48 Sheets project. The first of such clocks by the Raqs were seen in Emoo Art.ficial Exhibition, Ita Cultural Centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2002. The theme there has remained the same for this installation in Dhaka: to nudge our mental state of being or feeling with words, representing emotions we contemporaneously feel within: epiphany, panic, remorse, nostalgia, fear, ecstasy, awe, fatigue, guilt, indifference, anxiety. Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, who designed the project, are practitioners of con-

many major international shows, including The European Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2008. Diana Campbell Betancourt, artistic director of Samdani Art Foundation, is curator of the initiative. l

One of the Meanwhile Elsewhere billboards reading: fuzzy/logic, sharp/intense outside Shilpakala Academy, the venue for Dhaka Art Summit MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, designers of the project

Dhaka Art Summit Shilpakala Academy February 7 9


Featuring South Asian artwork from 33 galleries, 14 installation art projects, 13 experimental films, 9 artist performances, and 5 talks and speakers panels. To register for a VIP pass to Dhaka Art Summit, visit: dhakaartsummit.com/register

Raqs Media Collective, commissioned for 48Sheet in partnership with the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

Raqs Media Collectives installation Now Elsewhere (2009) at the Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen

DHAKA TRIBUNE

International

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Report: Syria air raids kill scores in Aleppo


Barrel bombs pound the countrys second city for a third day, killing at least 30

Al-Qaeda disowns ISIL rebels in Syria n Agencies


Al-Qaedas general command has disavowed all links with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to a statement posted online. The statement, published late on Sunday, reiterated a previous peremptory statement in which the groups chief Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered ISIL to disband and return to Iraq, and adding that Jabhat al-Nusra was al-Qaedas official branch in Syria. Al-Qaeda announces it is not linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as it was not informed of its creation [and] did not accept it, read Sundays statement, which criticised ISILs mode of operations. ISIL is not a branch of al-Qaeda, has no links to it, and the [al-Qaeda] group is not responsible for its acts, it added. We affirm our disavowal from the sedition that is occurring in Syria between factions of jihadists, and from the blood that was shed by any party, it said. In recent weeks, ISIL consolidated its grip on the northern city of Raqa, the only provincial capital to fall out of regime control since the outbreak of Syrias uprising in March 2011, imposing their strict version of Sharia law on residents. ISIL also issued four statements ordering women to wear the niqab in public, forbidding the sale of cigarettes and narghile (water pipe) products, banning music and making attendance of Friday prayers compulsory. It has also killed the leaders of two rival rebel groups on Saturday. l

n Agencies
Syrian government forces have attacked a number of Aleppos districts with barrel bombs for a third day, with scores of people killed over the 72-hour period, according to monitor groups and sources. The latest attack across the countrys second city on Monday killed at least 30, sources told Al Jazeera. Unverified activist footage show children were among those wounded in the attack. The attacks took place on Hanano, Sakour, Shaar and al-Hedariya districts in Aleppo. The bombing adds to a toll of at least 150 people killed in similar attacks over the previous two days, as reported by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Barrel bombs have killed more than 700 people in Syria in the past six weeks. Their use has been denounced as indiscriminate, not least by Western powers at last weeks peace talks in Switzerland. Sundays attacks included a wave of barrel bombs in the residential district of Tareq al-Bab. A reported 21 people were killed, including 13 children, according to the observatory. Another 15 died in air raids and barrel-bomb attacks in other areas. The observatory reported 85 deaths to similar attacks on the city on Saturday. Western powers proposed a UN Se-

curity Council resolution in December to condemn the use of barrel bombs, which they say indiscriminately target civilians. But Russia, a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly blocked such plans in the Security Council. Once Syrias economic hub, large parts of Aleppo have been devastated by the fighting that began there in mid2012. The city is split into areas held by regime and rebel forces. The reports of fresh attacks come as a UN-organised meeting began in Rome to secure more donations for humanitarian aid for victims of the Syrian war. The meeting, which is being attended by international organisations and state representatives, comes weeks after a summit in Kuwait, where nations pledged more than $2bn to aid. The UN has set a target of more than $6bn. Jacky Rowland, reporting from Rome, said that the UN was looking at a grim future for Syria. We are going to have more violence, and more people displaced, she said. There are already two million refugees, most in neighbouring countries, and they expect that number to double by the end of the year. There is also a big question about who is giving these people protection. There have been repeated calls for wealthy nations to open their borders to refugees. l

A Syrian man carries the body of a victim out of the rubble of a destroyed building after an alleged air strike by Syrian government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo AFP

Abbas says Israeli pullout over 5 years if NATO deploys: NYT


n AFP, Ramallah
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas would support a five-year Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank provided a NATO force is deployed to ensure security, the New York Times has reported. Abbas, in an interview published by the paper on Sunday, shifted from his insistence on a three-year time frame for Israels withdrawal from occupied territories under any future peace deal. At the end of five years my country will be clean of occupation, Abbas said, insisting however that NATO forces should be deployed during this period to undertake cross-border security and anti-terrorism duties. For a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere, NATO could be stationed, he said. The third party can stay. They can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us. Abbass comments came as the United States tries to coax Israel and the Palestinians into ending a decades-old conflict and bringing about a two-state solution. But US-backed peace talks are faltering over a number of seemingly irreconcilable issues, including that of security arrangements in a future Palestinian state. Israel insists it be allowed to maintain a long-term military presence, notably in the Jordan Valley, where the West Bank borders Jordan. But the Palestinians demand that Israel withdraw entirely to make way for an international force. The Palestinians would only have a police force and no army under a final status agreement, Abbas said, so a NATO force would undertake anti-terrorism and cross-border security tasks. We will be demilitarised, Abbas told the Times. Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security? Hardline Israeli officials slammed Abbass proposal, opposing the notion of evicting Jewish settlers from their homes in the occupied West Bank. Abbass programme cannot be implemented, because he still wants to expel 400,000 settlers from their homes, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, himself a settler, said in remarks broadcast by public radio. Deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin told the radio Abbas does not want peace, since he refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. We cannot talk of progress while he says he doesnt want to throw us into the sea just now, but later instead, Elkin said. Israel demands Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. But the Palestinians refuse this, fearing it will preclude the right of return for refugees who fled or were driven from their homes when Israel was created in 1948. l

Yemen capital rocked by three blasts


n Agencies
Three large explosions have been heard in Yemens capital Sanaa, close to the defence ministry, the central bank and the former presidents home, a report by Reuters news agency has said. The explosions were followed by heavy gunfire, said a resident quoted by Reuters. The third explosion occurred near the house of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the news agency said. Security vehicles immediately raced to the third site of the blasts and blocked all access to the area, while an ambulance transported four people injured on site, eyewitnesses told Reuters. The witnesses told Reuters that the blast near Salehs home appears to have been caused by an implanted explosive device in the area. There was no immediate word on the total number of casualties or the cause of the blasts, the news agency said. Yemen has been in turmoil since mass protests in 2011 forced long-serving Saleh to step down. In December last year, a suicide bomb and gun attack near the defence ministry killed 52 people. In another indication of the growing unrest in the country, a mortar shell was fired overnight in the direction of the French embassy while a car bomb exploded metres away in Sanaas diplomatic quarter, a police source said early on Monday. The two attacks happened after midnight. There were no victims, the source said. The shell fell by a concrete block, installed for security reasons on a road leading to the embassy, he added. That blast came shortly after a car exploded on the nearby main road. Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a British national on Monday, witnesses and a police source told Reuters news agency - the second abduction of a westerner in recent days. Witnesses told Reuters that four armed men forced the man out of his car and into a waiting vehicle in the Hadda district of the capital city of Sanaa. Yemeni tribesmen said on Sunday they had kidnapped a German man on Friday to press their government to free jailed relatives. l

Heaviest snowstorm in 50 years blankets northern Iran n AFP, Tehran


The heaviest snowstorm in five decades has blanketed provinces in northern Iran, cutting power supplies and trapping villagers, Iranian media reported Monday. The storm is unprecedented for the past 50 years, with two metres (almost seven feet) of snow falling since Friday, a Mazandaran provincial official said, quoted by the media. Our main problems are (the provision of) power and water, which have been cut off due to the heavy snow, he said. According to officials, around 500,000 people in northern Iran have been left without electricity and gas since Saturday. Irans Red Crescent head, Pir Hossein Kolivand, said teams have in the past four days rescued around 11,000 people caught in the heavy snow. Seven-nine people have been hospitalised, official IRNA news agency reported. Some 3800 people have also been settled in emergency shelters, he added. In Tehran, temperatures plunged to -7 C (19 Fahrenheit) on Saturday, making it the capitals coldest night of the year, while other provinces experienced temperatures as low as -18 C. Some schools in northern Tehran were closed Monday because of the weather. New snow storms are expected from Monday night in the southwest of the country. l

Baghdad attacks kill 16 as Iraq presses Anbar assault


n AFP, Baghdad
A series of attacks in and around Baghdad, including a spate of car bombings, killed 16 people Monday as Iraqi forces pressed an assault against militant-held areas of Anbar province. The latest bloodshed comes amid a surge in violence that left more than 1,000 people dead last month, the worst such figure in nearly six years, as security forces grapple with near-daily attacks and protracted battles with anti-government fighters. Foreign leaders have urged the Shiite-led government to do more to reach out to the disaffected Sunni Arab minority in a bid to undercut support for militants. But with parliamentary polls looming in less than three months, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has taken a hard line. Despite officials insisting operations against militants, including those affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group, are having an impact, the bloodshed has continued unabated. In and around the capital on Monday, four car bombs killed 12 people while authorities said they found the dumped bodies of three men and a woman. All were shot in the head and they appear to have been tortured. Seven people were killed in two separate car bombs one of which was detonated by a suicide attacker in the town of Mahmudiyah, just south of the capital. Five others were killed by vehicles rigged with explosives in the Baghdad neighbourhoods of Baladiyat and Hurriyah. The assassinations in particular harken back to Iraqs brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian war which raged from 2006 to 2007, when corpses were often found abandoned on the streets, with the victims bodies bearing signs of torture. l

Student detained after killing two in Moscow school shooting


n Reuters, Moscow
A Moscow high-school student shot a teacher and a police officer dead and held more than 20 other students hostage in a classroom on Monday before he was disarmed and detained, police said, just days before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics. In a rare school shooting in Russia, the attacker entered his school in northern Moscow carrying a rifle and held students and a teacher hostage in a biology classroom, police in the capital said. Police later said the attacker had been detained and had been led out of the school and into a waiting car. According to the Lifenews website, he initially shot one officer and then opened fire at others who arrived at the scene. The person who took 20 people and a teacher hostage is a student in the upper classes at the same school. He has been neutralized and all the students have been freed, Interior Ministry spokesman Andrei Pilipchuk said on state TV.

Corruption scandal tests Turkeys cowed media


n Reuters, Istanbul
Dozens of their colleagues are in prison or on trial, thousands of faceless opponents hound them on Twitter, and phone calls from government officials warn them over their coverage - all hazards of the trade for Turkeys journalists. Government critics who refuse to be muzzled can find themselves sacked. Others avoid trouble, such as the broadcaster which screened a documentary on penguins last June while police sprayed thousands of demonstrators in Istanbul with tear gas. What has erupted in the past few weeks - a probe into alleged corruption at the heart of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogans government - might seem like a gift to Turkeys cowed and long-suffering press. But, with a few exceptions, much of the press is in no position to capitalize on the scandal by taking a more robust line with the government. The scandal has blown open a feud between Erdogan and the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a powerful former ally whose Hizmet (Service) movement has influence in the police and judiciary, as well as parts of the media, and whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating the graft probe to unseat him. Gulenist newspapers such as Zaman and Bugun, previously loosely allied to Erdogans AK Party, have reported details of the allegations, from pictures of cash stuffed in shoe boxes to damaging phone recordings between businessmen and Erdogans associates, something almost unthinkable just a few months ago. Pro-government newspapers like Sabah, Star and Yeni Safak have largely portrayed the corruption investigations as a plot against Erdogan. In the middle is a mainstream media, largely owned by sprawling conglomerates with business ties to the state, which has been cautiously trying to find a more assertive new voice, although its ownership structures cast doubt over whether there can be real change. l

Tight security for Turkish police murder trial n AFP, Kayseri


Four policemen went on trial in Turkey amid heavy security on Monday, accused of beating to death a 19-year-old student in huge anti-government protests that rocked the country last June. The high-profile court case comes as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan battles his biggest crisis in 11 years in power, which has hit the economy and is threatening the strongmans presidential ambitions. Some 2,000 riot police were deployed in the central city of Kayseri for the start of the trial, roads around the courthouse were blocked and demonstrations banned for security reasons. Activists said buses carrying demonstrators were prevented from entering the city. Several hundred people made it through, however, marching, waving flags, carrying banners and chanting for justice. Ali Ismail Korkmaz died after being pummelled with baseball bats and truncheons in the western city of Eskisehir on June 2. l

Children walk out of the premises of a high school, where a shooting incident has occurred, on the outskirts of Moscow REUTERS One policeman was fatally wounded during the operation and died in hospital, and a teacher at School No. 263 was also killed, he said. The shooting sent dozens of students scurrying out the school while a police helicopter landed in a snow-covered field outside. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

International

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Deadly blasts hit Pakistan cinema


n Agencies
A cinema in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has been struck by two blasts, killing at least five people and injuring at least 20 others. The explosions took place on Sunday in the Picture House, as it is known locally, in Qissa Khawani Bazaar. Faisal Mukhtar, a senior police official, told AFP news agency that a stampede following the explosions was responsible for many of the injuries. Mukhtar also said that a China-made hand grenade was used in the blast, Reuters news agency said. Jamil Shah, a spokesman for Peshawars Lady Reading Hospital, said three dead bodies and 31 injured people had so far been taken to the hospital. Two of the injured later died in the hospital. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Peshawar is the main city of Pakistans Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is no stranger to violence. The death toll is expected to rise because there were up to 150 people inside at the time of the blasts. Bomb-disposal staff confirmed that two grenades were thrown by people sitting at the back of the cinema. The neighbourhood was the target of a bombing last September that left at least 40 people dead.

Pakistans Imran Khan declines Taliban talks role


n AFP, Islamabad
The party of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said Monday they appreciated a Taliban request for him to represent them in peace talks with the government, but declined the offer. Two teams, nominated by the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), will hold a preliminary meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon to chart a roadmap for talks. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif caused surprise last week by naming a team to begin dialogue with the militants, who have been waging a violent insurgency since 2007. Following a bloody start to the year, with more than 110 people killed in militant attacks in January, many had been anticipating a military offensive against TTP strongholds in Pakistans tribal areas. The TTP named Khan as one of its negotiators on Saturday, along with several hardline religious figures including Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, known as the Father of the Taliban. Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, has been a vocal supporter of negotiating with the insurgents. But PTI spokeswoman Shireen Mazari told AFP on Monday that because a senior party figure, Rustam Shah Mohmand, was already on the government team, Khans presence was not needed. The core committee of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf appreciated Tehreek-e-TalibanPakistanoffer to our chairman Imran Khan to become part of their committee, Mazari said. Haq said his team would meet its government counterparts on Tuesday and afterwards discuss with the TTP leadership how to proceed. We expect a ceasefire from both the government and the Taliban -- its mandatory for the peace process, said Haq. He told AFP that the TTP, which has repeatedly said it wants Islamic sharia law to be imposed throughout Pakistan, had not yet put forward any formal demands for the talks. We will try to complete the negotiations in weeks instead of months, he said. A grenade attack on Sunday in a cinema in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which killed four people, has raised fresh doubts about the viability of any peace deal with the TTP, a fractious coalition of militant groups. l

Pakistani investigators inspect the site of a grenade attack in a cinema in Peshawar Sundays attack happened at a time when the government of Pakistan has announced the formation of a committee to hold talks with the Pakistani Taliban, Al Jazeeras Kamal Hyder reported from Islamabad.

AFP

There are fears in Pakistan that as the prospect for talks improve, there would be attacks to sabotage the peace talks. l

Malaysian court jails man who raped, then married minor n AFP, Kuala Lumpur
A Malaysian court on Monday sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for raping a 12-year-old whom he later married, as an activist urged the Muslim-majority nation to ban all child marriages. The district court in Sabah state on Borneo island found former restaurant manager Riduan Masmud, 41, guilty of raping the girl in February last year, his lawyer Ram Singh said. The father-of-four was charged with rape shortly after the act, but in May last year told the court that he had married the girl. The case caused an outcry and prosecutors continued to pursue the rape charge. The court says even though the marriage is still valid, he is guilty of rape, Ram told AFP, adding he would appeal the verdict. Riduan was also sentenced to a fine and two strokes of the cane. The court deferred the sentence pending appeal. Ram said Riduan was also facing bribery charges in a separate court for paying the girls father 5,000 ringgit ($1,500) to give his consent to the marriage. Child marriages are not uncommon in the conservative Southeast Asian country. Some 60% of Malaysias 28 million people are Muslim. Girls below the age of 16 must obtain the permission of Islamic courts, which regulate civil matters for Muslims. But activists say such permission is too readily granted. l

Thai protesters head for Thousands of Indias disabled downtown Bangkok protest to demand equal rights
n Reuters, Bangkok
Thai anti-government protesters who have been camped out in north Bangkok packed their tents and marched downtown on Monday as they consolidated efforts to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a day after a disrupted general election. Some joined protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on foot and others followed in cars and six-wheel trucks as Thailands long-running political conflict showed no sign of ending. Others surrounded a government office in north Bangkok where Yingluck and two senior ministers had been holding a meeting and cut through a barbed-wire fence. They did not enter the building and it was unclear if Yingluck was still inside. The protesters closed camps at two of the seven big intersections that they have blockaded since mid-January, at Victory Monument and Lat Phrao, and were heading for the fringes of the central oasis of Lumpini Park. A third camp run by an allied group at a big government administrative complex may also be closed. Suthep said on Sunday this was being done out of safety concerns, but it could also be because their numbers are dwindling. Reuters put the number of marchers at about 3,000, with hundreds surrounding the government office. Sutheps movement is now crumbling, but it still has powerful unseen backers, said Chris Baker, a historian and prominent Thailand scholar. Backdoor negotiations are needed because both sides will avoid any direct confrontation in public view. The business lobby should revive its efforts to play the intermediary role. Sutheps supporters on the route showed no sign of crumbling, waving flags and handing over money. The demonstrators blocked balloting in a fifth of the countrys constituencies on Sunday, saying Yingluck must resign and make way for an appointed peoples council to overhaul a political system they say has been taken hostage by her billionaire brother and former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra. The election, boycotted by the main opposition party, is almost certain to return Yingluck to power and, with voting passing off peacefully across the north and northeast, Yinglucks supporters will no doubt claim a legitimate mandate. But the vote is unlikely to change the dysfunctional status quo in a country popular with tourists and investors yet blighted by eight years of polarization and turmoil, pitting the Bangkok-based middle class and royalist establishment against the mostly poor, rural supporters of the Shinawatras. The election was peaceful, apart from a few scuffles, with no repeat of the chaos seen the previous day, when supporters and opponents of Yingluck clashed in north Bangkok. Seven people were wounded by gunshots or explosions. l

n AFP, New Delhi


Thousands of disabled people protested in the Indian capital on Monday, demanding parliament pass long-awaited legislation that gives them equal rights including to education and employment. Thousands with intellectual or physical impairments gathered to support the bill drafted for the countrys 40-90 million disabled people, who have long been among the most excluded and stigmatised in society. We have been waiting since independence for this, some of us even longer, National Association of the Deaf president Zorin Singha said of the countrys estimated 18 million deaf people. This bill will change everything for us, he told AFP, sitting in front of India Gate among a crowd of supporters waving placards that read, We want our rights, not your charity. Indian political boss Sonia Gandhi has pledged to push for the bills passing when the national parliament sits this week for the final session before her ruling Congress party faces general elections due by May. But its introduction and passage through the chaotic and often dysfunctional parliament is uncertain, with 126 other bills already pending in the parliament which is set for a 16-day session. Singha singled out the right to education as a highlight of the bill, which will guarantee that disabled students are entitled to teachers trained to meet their needs.

Indian disabled people hold placards as they assemble at India Gate during a protest in New Delhi AFP Basically my school taught me nothing at all. The school had no teachers for deaf students and there were no alternatives. They just kept trying to force me to speak even though they knew I was deaf, Singha said. Some disabled groups have opposed the bill, which would replace one from 1995. They say the latest draft has been watered down, and for example does not define people with psychosocial problems as disabled. But Mohammed Umar, who contracted polio when he was three and walks with crutches, said the bill would increase the chances of disabled people finding jobs. We are pushed into the margins of society. People wont give us jobs, even our own families consider us a burden and this is especially so in rural areas, said Umar from Jais city in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state. The bill, modelled on the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, raises the quota of government jobs reserved for people with disabilities from 3 to 5%. It also makes private companies accountable for creating a disabled-friendly environment for employees and visitors. l

Australia probes detention of asylum-seeker children n AFP, Sydney


Australias human rights watchdog launched an inquiry Monday into the detention of more than 1,000 children under punitive government policies that banish asylum-seekers arriving by boat to remote Pacific camps. Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, said the probe would examine the impact of mandatory detention on more than 1,000 asylum-seeker children being held in immigration facilities in Australia and more than 100 on farflung Nauru. These are children that, among other things, have been denied freedom of movement, many of whom are spending important developmental years of their lives living behind wire in highly stressful environments, said Triggs. The inquiry will examine whether Australia is in breach of international child protection obligations and measure progress on the issue over the past decade. A similar investigation was held in 2004 into the then-governments Pacific Solution of detaining asylum-seekers arriving by boat on Nauru and Papua New Guineas Manus Island a policy aimed at deterring dangerous people-smuggling journeys from Indonesia. l

North, South Korea to hold talks on family reunions


n AFP, Seoul
The two Koreas moved a step closer Monday to resuming reunions for families separated by the Korean War, although final agreement could be derailed by a row over South Korean-US military exercises. After weeks of back-and-forth, and a period of silence from North Korea, the two rivals finally settled on a date for preparatory talks to set up a reunion event at the Norths Mount Kumgang resort. Pyongyang on Monday offered talks on Wednesday, February 5 or Thursday, February 6. Seoul chose Wednesday and the North accepted the proposal. The working-level meeting will be held at the border truce village of Panmunjom where the armistice ending the 1950-53 conflict was signed. We welcome that the North has finally come forward to discuss the reunion, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-Do told reporters. Given the urgency of the matter, we will make preparations to hold the reunion as soon as possible, Kim said. The urgency refers to the fact that, 60 years after the war ended, many of those who suffered the division of their families have died. Most of those still living are in advanced old age.

Japan asks Netherlands to act against anti-whalers


n AFP, Tokyo
Japan on Monday said it was asking the Netherlands to take practical measures against a Dutch-registered vessel that collided with a Japanese whaling ship in the Southern Ocean. The Bob Barker, belonging to militant anti-whaling campaigners Sea Shepherd, came into contact with a Japanese harpoon vessel on Sunday as it tried to interrupt the hunt. Each sides has blamed the other for the collision. In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga condemned the group, saying it was responsible for the accident. The sabotage activity was extremely dangerous, Suga told reporters. It is unforgivable, the top government spokesman said without elaborating. As a government, we are asking the Netherlands, where the ship is registered, to take practical measures. Australias Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the alleged collision occurred in New Zealand waters and sounded a warning to the warring groups. This must be a message to both parties whalers and protesters these are dangerous waters, nobody can play any games with safety, nobody can play any games with international law, Hunt said. Everyone must abide by the law and of course if there is evidence that either party has breached international maritime law we will raise it. Sea Shepherd has insisted that the Japanese ship rammed the Bob Barker during a coordinated attack as the Japanese fleets three harpoon ships tried to drive the campaigners away from the factory ship Nisshin Maru. The group said the Japanese had attempted to damage the Sea Shepherd ships propellers with steel cables, had thrown projectiles including grappling hooks at a second Sea Shepherd ship, the Steve Irwin, and fired water cannon at the Bob Barkers crew as they tried to cut the cables from a small boat. Bob Barker captain Peter Hammarstedt said the Sea Shepherd vessels were unprovokedly attacked by the Japanese harpooners in a ruthless fashion. A Japanese fisheries agency official said no crew aboard the whalers had been hurt and all its vessels were able to continue sailing normally. High-seas confrontations are common between Sea Shepherd and the Japanese, who hunt whales in Antarctica under a scientific research loophole in the international moratorium on whaling. In 2010 a collision resulted in the sinking of Sea Shepherds speedboat Ady Gil. l

Millions were separated from family by the 1950 53 war In a surprise move that coincided with a series of other apparently conciliatory gestures, North Korea offered last month to host a reunion and asked South Korea to pick the dates. Seoul quickly proposed February 17-21, but given the time that has since elapsed that schedule now looks optimistic. The reunion programme began in earnest in 2000 following an historic inter-Korean summit. Sporadic events since then have seen around 17,000

AFP

relatives briefly reunited. If the Mount Kumgang gathering goes ahead, it would be the first reunion since 2010 when the programme was suspended following the Norths shelling of a South Korean border island. A reunion with around 100 people from each side had been planned last September but Pyongyang cancelled at the last minute, citing unspecified South Korean hostility. l

10
www.dhakatribune.com

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Editorial
LETTER OF THE DAY

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Letters to

the Editor

Rein in BCL thugs

t is disgraceful that Bangladesh Chhatra League activists have been assaulting fellow students during demonstrations at Rajshahi University. Over 100 people, including a Dhaka Tribune reporter were injured after Bangladesh Chhatra League cadres attacked demonstrating students at Rajshahi University on Sunday. Policing of demonstrations is a matter for the police to act on within the confines of the law. There is little doubt that the violence which erupted, would not have occurred during a demonstration involving so many ordinary students, had not BCL supporters behaved so thuggishly. Around 5,000 ordinary students had been holding protests against an increase in tuition fees at the Rajshai campus, when BCL members began wielding firearms and shooting at random into the crowds. It is not acceptable for the police to have stood by while BCL thugs openly used illegal firearms.We expect the police to arrest anyone who brandishes illegal firearms.Police ended up firing rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse everyone and the university has had to be closed to ensure safety. The violence at Rajshai follows recent incidents of lawbreaking by BCL members at other institutions, notably Tangails Maulana Bhashani Science and Technology University where Chhatra League members vandalised academic buildings, reportedly because they objected to a teacher criticising students and outsiders who collected extortions from the campus, on his facebook page. Action needs to be taken by law enforcers to arrest the Chhatra League activists who were seen and photographed brandishing firearms at Rajshahi on Sunday. Student groups must not be allowed to terrorise other students and break the law with impunity.

To set an example

February 1 A story was published on January 28 showing an example of a minister on a dais smoking in public. This was an insult to all teachers, parents and guardians of young students who were present at the function. His example is shameful beyond any norms of public behavior. If he has not already done so, he should immediately be made to bid farewell from his position, and then punished as per the law, for violating the law of not smoking in public. A guardian

The Dhaka that was


January 27 Farid Wakeel Very enjoyable read. H Iqbal It really struck a chord in my heart, as if by travelling through HG Wells time machine, I had a glimpse of the lost city I can never go back to. Nodee Ahmed Call me pedantic but mentioning Chinese food and then referring to sushi and wasabi is inappropriate; sushi hails from Japanese cuisine which arrived in Bangladesh only recently. Lunik I would rather go back to 1947 and build the country bottom up. Ronnie Lunik: Just make sure we start off as Bangladesh, and not as the eastern wing of an alien country. :) disgusted Reminiscing about what Dhaka used to be. Thats a joke, as people like you have made Dhaka as it is today. You all embraced Western hip-hop culture and Dhaka has become a dump like Bangkok, along with the social evils which have become a permanent fixture of a city that used to be clean and people were happy and carefree. WaliulHaqueKhondker That the author is a 71 generation lad is obvious from the discussion! He could not conceptualise the beauty and necessity of a city river bank. Something my generation enjoyed. All civilised cities of the world including Kolkata have protected and developed their river banks as a special hangout area for all classes of the society, especially the middle class. Unfortunately, Bangladeshis have systematically destroyed the banks of our rivers, like the Buriganga, by allowing it to be grabbed by all and sundry. Why so? Because the VCR generation never felt any urge to be on a river bank in the afternoons and evenings! The politico-bureaucracy of the era was too busy flattering dictators to upgrade their own lives, rather than improving and developing the bank of the Buriganga! :( Ronnie Towheed Feroze is guaranteed to inform and entertain. I know, from having occasionally read his illuminating and humourous pieces elsewhere. I was raised (from the age of 4) entirely abroad, and spent the entire 80s in school. However, spending a few weeks in Dhaka and Barisal every year, over my summer holidays, means that I recognise all too well what Towheed is talking about here. The 80s definitely was another era and, for better or worse, almost completely unrecognisable from the Dhaka and the lives we live in this city today. Shaon Wow!

We expect the police to arrest anyone who brandishes illegal firearms. Student groups must not be allowed to break the law with impunity

Smoking minister apologises publicly


January 29 Muhammad Siddiqul Islam This proves that not everyone deserves to have the responsibility to serve the country. Zia Uddin Not enough. We are unhappy with a mere apology. He should have resigned. We will be happy to no longer see him as a minister. Manam Ahmed Come on people! How many of you dont smoke publicly? A person has admitted his fault and publicly apologised and promised it will never happen again. We should have consideration for him for this time. Wali I like this culture of accepting responsibility for ones own folly. A culture hitherto unknown to Bangladesh politics! Bravo, honorable minister! Akhtar Shah Well done, minister. Youve done the right thing. He should be excused for his indiscretion. To err is human, as we all know.

Stop sexual harassment


exual harassment is unfortunately far too common an experience for young women in Bangladesh. Awareness and education need to be improved to root it out. Discouraging sexual harassment and encouraging dignity and respect for all, is essential to reduce discrimination and to help society tackle sexually related criminal offences including rape and stalking. The lack of progress on this issue is particularly concerning in the education sector where attempts to address this problem have been grossly inadequate thus far. Even though the High Court has issued directives stipulating that all public and private institutions should form complaint committees to deal with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, recent reports indicate that this has been almost entirely ignored. More dishearteningly, examples can be found where school authorities have sided with offending teachers against the student complainant in the name of preserving their reputation. The government has also failed to enact a specific law to deal with sexual harassment, as was required by the High Court directive. Sexual harassment is an insidious tool used to keep young women out of the public space and limit their access to education and economic opportunities. In the long run it has a devastating effect not only on the rights of women but also on the welfare of the country as a whole. The government and school authorities must take decisive action to prevent the harm that it causes.

Write to us at: Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: letters@dhakatribune.com Send us your Op-Ed articles: opinion@dhakatribune.com Visit our website: www.dhakatribune.com Come join our Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/DhakaTribune

Be Heard

Blogger Rajeeb murder: Charge sheet against 8

January 28 His death is a tragedy. So many rumours about him that we cant be sure what is true and what is false, but he was a victim. That much is clear. Nazmul Khair

Special tribunal to speed up prosecution of minority attackers?

January 28 Not just a faster one but a fair and neutral one. Ahnaf Saber

CALVIN AND HOBBES

Awareness and education need to be improved to root it out

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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Op-Ed

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

11
offer to play Test matches against the three at home and away. The question is, whether this promissory note is a bait to secure the vote or not. They spoke about guarantees too. All three (ECB, CA, and BCCI) have extremely busy schedules that are set up years ahead. Matches against Bangladesh will only happen if they have slots available for us, and hence my suspicion.

A feeling of emptiness

n Yousuf Rahman

At least the 10th parliament cannot be accused of hypocrisy

AFP

Limits of acceptability

he empty stands at the Mirpur Cricket Stadium during the first Test against Sri Lanka are extremely disappointing, not only for those who follow Bangladesh cricket, but also for those who are engaged in the middle. This was not the case when we played our last Test series against the Kiwis not too long ago. It is a clear sign of their frustration with Bangladesh cricket, which I hope does not convert into rejection. With all the controversies circling in the global cricketing arena, now is the time for the fans to show their strength in full force by turning up for the matches. At the same time, the blokes in cricketing flannels need to gather themselves, harness their energy, and focus on the job at hand, which is to play competitive cricket. Unfortunately, the result is going to give the critics of Bangladesh cricket added ammo to fuel the fire against our cricket. The BCB administrators need to understand the value and power of its vote, but first of all, they need to understand the value and strength of the fanbase that ranges from a fiveyear-old to an 80-year-old, regardless of religion, gender, or occupation. This is a huge bonus, which the BCB has failed to take advantage of. Bangladesh carries a powerful vote that may be a pivotal one in the ICC, and not to use this wisely would be a sin. Both India and Pakistan understood the power of this vote a long time ago, and hence the strategic move to upgrade Bangladeshs status in international cricket.

Play for the logo on the front of your shirt, not the name on the back

N
n Ikhtisad Ahmed

o government can be long secure without a formidable opposition, said Benjamin Disraeli. The notable 19th century British prime minister is incorrect and irrelevant as far as Bangladesh is concerned. An argument can be made that there is no need for an opposition. Parliamentary practices, especially in the 21st century, have developed by working tirelessly to first lessen, then altogether remove, the effectiveness of the opposition. At least the 10th parliament cannot be accused of hypocrisy or lies: It has rid the country of the pretence of an opposition. The current one was part of the ruling alliance. Its members are ministers, its chairman is the prime ministers special envoy. The party was going to boycott what it called a farcical election, then joined it under the leadership of the new opposition leader while its head was nowhere to be seen or heard from. It would not be a stretch to say that it has been colonised by the ruling party. The other big collective of opposition comes in the shape of rebel Awami League leaders who ran as independent candidates. None of these will boycott parliament and gleefully take to the streets to make a violent point as the members of AL, BNP, and

Jamaat have done when in opposition. The country should unite to thank the current government for preserving the sanctity of the constitution and bestowing this kindness unto its long-suffering people. However, every hero, real or imaginary, needs a villain, or the perception of one. With the BNP Jamaat alliance no longer a legitimate opposition after the controversial 10th general election, the new AL government is an absolute force sans any antagonist.

cause them to collapse, to the issuance of permits for these buildings, from the persecution of minorities to the prevalence of anti-liberation sentiments, being the work of members of the previous nefarious regime. Earthquakes, floods, and other acts of God, and all acts of men, were their fault. There was good reason to be convinced that corrupt, inept, and criminal organisations were so wholly responsible. Such convenient excuses to deflect

Calling a hat a chair works for only so long. By ordinary standards, this time limit has expired

The former and their undesirable activities have mercifully been expelled from the sphere of governance. The cost of achieving this, regardless of its permanence, is that the demigods of the latter have been elevated to the status of gods, making them wholly impervious to the law. They should, however, expect stricter scrutiny of every single one of their actions hereafter. The AL has been in power for five years, during which time it pointed fingers at the evil that was, from foundations of buildings being shaken to

attention from its own failings of which there were many, as there were during the BNPs preceding rule have been negated by the BNP Jamaat problem having been left out of the latest election equation. Past failings causing present ills too are now the doings of the AL, owing to the last half a decade of its governance. Even though the media and the educated and elite classes are not shouting it from the rooftops yet, all fingers are firmly pointed at a government that is under the microscope. Its strong rhetoric only masks its

many weaknesses. It can be hoped that this will prompt extra vigilance on its part to ensure good governance, but past experience informs that this will certainly not be the case. Calling a hat a chair works for only so long. By ordinary standards, this time limit has expired. If Bangladesh is thought to be an extraordinary case, then that limit is fast approaching. For a start, the AL needs to control its own people, whether it is the actions of its rabid student-wings less a part of the political process and more a personal militia force of the party or the behaviour of its members during lavish campaigns and public events. The other parties need to do so as well, but they are of little consequence as they are, effectively, no longer part of the system of governance. Therefore, if the AL leaders are unable or unwilling to assert themselves on members of their party and rid themselves of the plethora of negative elements that abound, they cannot be expected to give leadership to the people of Bangladesh, the less than half of the less than half of the registered voters that elected them and the others alike. The citizens, whose tolerance, it has to be hoped if not believed, has been stretched to its extreme limits, will be watching. l Ikhtisad Ahmed is a writer and an erstwhile lawyer. He can be contacted on Twitter via @ Ikhtisad.

The BCB administrators need to understand the value and strength of the fanbase
Mr Najmul Hassan has been applauded by his board on getting verbal assurances from the self-styled Big Three on the abandonment of the two-tier Test system followed by a proposed

If the ICC decides to abandon the proposal of the two-tier Test plan, then as it is, our Test match playing status remains unchanged. The proposed promise made by the Big Three to Bangladesh then becomes somewhat redundant. BCB should try to beef up the cricketing relationship with the countries outside of the Big Three, and immediately start working on establishing Test match tours against them. I think it will benefit our cricket a great deal more if we rely on the other members to give us confirmed Test series on a more frequent basis. We dont have to play the Big Three to improve our cricket. Meanwhile, my message to the players is quite simple. No administrator can do as much for the game as you can do through your performance. If you want the fans to fill the stands, then you need to play with mental strength, and prove to them that you are worth cheering for. Play for the logo on the front of your shirt, and not the name on the back. As I have mentioned many times, our fans are some of the most passionate one can imagine. They remind me of the football fans of Europe and Latin America. Only you can bring them back. l Yousuf Rahman is a former cricketer of the Bangladesh National Cricket Team.

All offenders must stand trial

n Mohammad Ali Sattar

t long last, the ten-truck arms case has wound up after the court in Chittagong handed death sentences to the accused. Lutfozzaman Babar and Maulana Nizami are the big ones netted in the case. If higher courts uphold the verdict, these two along with the other 12 will have to walk the gallows. As usual, we have reactions coming in from all quarters. Whatever the outbursts are for, it is true that there have been attempts of ferrying the sophisticated arms and ammunitions to a destination through Bangladesh.

Bangladesh. The outlawed groups are vigorously carrying out their activities in the hills of our country. Long stretches of land in the eastern and south-eastern frontiers are still not safe for many. We have our Shanti Bahini cadres and ULFA activists on the other side of the border. These groups will cause the government worry and trouble for as long as they exist. With war-loving and deprived groups actively working to disrupt the mainland peace, we cannot expect to have our boundaries clean and safe. They never will be. The infiltration of mercenaries and

With war-loving and deprived groups actively working to disrupt the mainland peace, we cannot expect to have our boundaries clean and safe

As in all cases of smuggling or cross-border trading, there has to be two or more parties involved in both sides of the border with a strong set of connections. The entire episode of this high voltage arms consignment is dangerous for

the regular exchange of stealthy visits by unlawful personnel of these underground parties are hard to prevent. We can ill afford to drop our guard and invite threats to our sovereignty. Bangladesh should take up the issue with its neighbouring countries, and

take initiative for joint action against the clandestine groups that operate in the fringes. Against such a backdrop, the ten trucks that were caught with weapons of various descriptions emanate an ominous signal for the nation. It took 10 years for the verdict to be delivered. Proceedings were holed up all this time. Whether persons found guilty were actually guilty shall remain a debate. But trial has taken place, and the verdict has been given. We need to have the wheel of justice moving. Rule of law is not sufficient, as it is the rule of justice that should be made visible. While meting out punishments to the guilty, we must be vigilant not to harm any who are innocent. Past killings, be it gunning down of political leaders, or inconsequential murders, have not received the kind of attention they deserved. From the lowest to the uppermost tier, the suspects were either let off the hook or kept unfastened as long as possible. There are reports of hardcore criminals set free from jails as per directions of powerful quarters of the government. Even the much talked about killings in crossfires should not go unaccounted for. An innocent does not deserve

an accidental death. The culture of impunity should go, plain and simple. The guilty ought to get the treatment they deserve. We must try and establish the rule of justice to heal the wounds of those who are victims of the mindless savagery of the perpetrators. All crimes committed need to come to light, especially if these are state-backed acts. Killings or abductions over the last 42 years ought to be brought to light in the right perspective. And those who did not receive any trial, or a fair trial, should be given attention by the authorities concerned. Killings, abductions, and the maiming of political opposition or social rivals that started during the liberation war went on, even after the liberation of the country. Instead of practicing tolerance and patience, we slipped into the politics of hatred and envy. Today, we are living with a system dangerously out of control. Siraj Sikder, Bangabandhu Shekih Mujib and his family, four Awami League leaders, Khaled Mosharaf, Ziaur Rahman, General Manzur, SMS Kibria, Ahsanullah Master, the bomb blasts at Udichi and Ramna, the grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina, and innumerable political and social murders need to be dealt with in earnest. Maybe it is time we take up the trial

issue of the 195 Pakistani army officers who committed mass murder and other war crimes in 1971. Again, trials ought to be kept as unsoiled as possible and not motivated by political vengeance, even though most of the cases taken up and dealt with have political odours.

While meting out punishments to the guilty, we must be vigilant not to harm any who are innocent

We can shape our justice system into a reliable institution which the people will happily look up to each time the judge strikes the gavel and pronounces the verdict against the culprit. People would like to see trials of those cases that are still pending for years get underway. Let these be less political and more evenhanded. This government has the opportunity to start the practice of fair trials, and set an example for posterity. Does it have the will? l Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist and DT columnist.

12
n Afrose Jahan Chaity
Emon made his debut as an actor in the film Daruchini Dwip, an adaptation of the popular Humayun Ahmed novel. Since then, the talented actor has occupied a strong position in the film industry. Currently, Emon is working on two

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Entertainment
Which one is your favourite?
All the movies have unique stories to tell and Ill play diverse characters. I have tried to give my best effort and used my talent to try and reach out to the audience. Among them, I want to talk about the science fiction, Porobashini, my character in the film is very different from the usual roles you see in the movies, I really enjoyed the film.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Practice makes a man perfect: Emon


hon Poyshawala by Nargis Akter, Jonakir Alo by Khalid Mahmud Mithu and Emono To Prem Hoy by Mostafizur Rahman Manik.

What about your movies in the pipeline?

A dozen of films are in pipeline now, such as, Mostafizur Rahman Babus

What factors do you consider before signing a film?

Director, story and character, these three are equally important for me before selecting a film. I am always keen towards characters that the mass people can relate to. That particular element in a role brings me closer to the audience and I really appreciate it.

What is your current goal?

I have only one dream, objective and aim, that is to be a successful actor and I hope I will be able to act till the day I take my last breath.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Sumaiya Shimu represents the struggle of women in Naari


n Entertainment Desk
A new drama series titled Naari will start airing tonight at 8pm on Maasranga TV which will feature Sumaiya Shimu in the lead role. Here the talented actress will be seen as a rebellious character where she fights back the oppressors in the male dominated society. Written and directed by Mostafa Monon, the drama also features Shotabdi Wadud, Shamima Tusty and Pori Moni in the important roles. The drama will air every Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The story is about the struggle of women in a patriarchal society. In the capital city, Ronti and his husband Azad live in an apartment. Suddenly, Azad gets arrested by the police and Ronti has no clue as to why it happened. The police do not allow her to talk to her husband and a helpless Ronti seeks legal help from her neighbour who happens to be an advocate. However, the neighbour plays a dirty game with Ronti and she understands that he will be of no help. She becomes alone in the apartment and the male characters of her surroundings make her uncomfortable through different approaches. Hence, Ronti begins a new journey where she struggles to protect herself from the stalkers. l

new films by Chashi Nazrul Islam: Bhul Jodi Hoy and Ontorongo. In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune Emon talked about his recent ventures:

What are you up to nowadays?

I am working on Chashi Nazrul Islams Ontorongo. On the other hand, three of my films will release soon: Putro Ek-

Mayer Momota, Kokhono Bhule Jeo Na and Obujh Bhalobasha, Tonmoy Tansens Poddo Patar Jol, Ahmed Azim Titus Payra, Mithu Khans Nishhobdo Artonad, Swapan Ahmeds Porobashini, Chashi Nazrul Islams Ontorongo and Bhul Jodi Hoy, Mohammad Aslams Bhalobashar Nesha, Jane Na E Mon and another film by Mohammad Sohel.

Ten years from now, I want to see my film releasing worldwide. I would be happy if our film industry could release films worldwide. Emons most popular release so far has been Lal Tip. Gohine Shobdo is another hit movie featuring Emon and the actor terms it as a major turning point in his career. According to Emon, hardwork and determination never goes unrewarded and he believe that practice makes a man perfect. l

Street Theatre Festival in full swing


n Hasan Mansoor Chatak
National Street Theatre Festival continues with their week long fiesta with more and more audience gathering to watch the array of street plays. It is very likely to draw in more audience, as each play address the pressing social issues that needs to be acknowledged. Organised by Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BFTF), the festival will have five staging today named Mrittika Kathon, Dabee, Baddhyabhumite Shes Drishya, Adom Test and Trank Rahasya, at the Shaheed Minar premises. On February 2, the second day of the festival, four plays were staged that portrayed contemporary socio-political issues like the trial of war criminals, religious bigotry, violence on civilian and despoiled political norms. The show began with a play named Chourasta, staged by troupe Brahmanbaria Shahitya Academy. Written by Malay Bhoumik and directed by Mizanur Rahman Shisir, the story of the play portrayed how a civilians political opinion is being robbed by a counterfeit religious leader, a power politician, a profit making politician and even by a disguised member of civil society. The event was followed by Shaper Khela, a play written and directed by Mohammad Shahnewaz and Mahakal Natya Sampraday brought the play to the stage. The symbolic use of snakes in the play was to depict the war criminals and the snake charmers as the group who protected these reptiles who later posed as a threat to the countrymen who believe in liberalism and the independence of Bangladesh. Theatre troupe Aranyak Nattyadal staged eminent playwright Mamunur Rashids work, Aaguner Daal Paala. The play is directed by Shah Alam Dulal. It enabled the audience a look into the current judicial procedure of the trial of war criminals. It shows how the war criminals are trying to escape from the gallows using fake evidence and statement. Bachar Lorai is a play written and directed by A K Kabir and was staged by Kheyali Nattyagosthee. The story of the play represents how few people become powerful using religion and politics after the war of independence. These individuals worked as local collaborators during the war. Meanwhile, believers in liberalism and independence of Bangladesh failed to survive in a struggle against them, but later the believers took vengeance in different ways from their afterlife. Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation has organised the National Street-theatre Festival 2014, to mark the International Mother Language Day and Martyrs Day. The programme began on February 1 and will continue until February 7. The slogan of the festival is Culture against violence. Around 35 theatre troupes from all over the country including Udichi, Dhaka Sanskritic Dol, Mahakal Natya Sampraday, Opera, Muktangan Natyalay, Brahmanbaria Shahitya Academy, Drishtipat, Bonolota and others are taking part at the seven-day long festival. l

Fuad-al-Muktadir joins Raja Handsome team


n Entertainment Desk
Celebrated music director Fuad-alMuktadir signed in to undertake the job of directing the music of Shakib Khan starring film Raja Handsome produced by Bioscopewala Productions Limited. The ceremony was held February 1 at Fuads studio in Banani between the veteran artist and Ahad Mohammad Bhai of Bioscopewala Productions Limited. This is the first time people will find Fuad working out his mind maneuvering magic in a full-length feature film at home. I am in no doubt Raja Handsome is going to set its new standard before the film industry of Bangladesh through its ambitious venture, he explained. Raja Handsome features seven songs in total. The playback has not yet been finalised. Jahid Ahmed is penning most of the songs including the title track of the movie. When asked why he has chosen Fuad to handle music direction of the movie, Ahad Mohammad Bhai of Bioscopewala Productions Limited said, we are in reality trying to bring together the best from every diverse sect the industry and through a collective effort bring out an original best for the movie lovers of the country and at abroad. Fuad has always been on a continuous hunch to create something new and that is why we have chosen to sign up him to work as a member of team Raja Handsome. Badiul Alam Khokon, director of the movie, will kick off shooting Raja Handsome from the second week of March in Bangladesh. Later, a vital portion of the shooting will take place at different locations in Europe. l

Suchitra Shoroney out in the market n Entertainment Desk


Parvin Sultanas ninth solo album is titled Suchitra Shoroney as an homage to Suchitra Sen which was released yesterday. The album is comprised of popular songs of the late fiesty diva Suchitra Sens films. About the album, singer Parvin says: Suchitra is one of my favourite actors. Since I am a singer, I felt that this is the proper way to pay tribute to her. The thirteen tracks includes Tumi Je Amar O Go Tumi Je Amar, E Shudhu Gaaner Din, Ei Shundor Shornali, Ghum Ghum Chaad, Ei Toh Amar Prothom, Jaanina Phurobe Kobe, Kicchukhon Na Hoi, Phuler Kaane Bromor, Ami Shopney Tomai, Ei Modhur Raat and Ganer Mor Indrodhonu. The music arrangement was done by Khayem Ahmed. l

JK Rowling says she got Harry Potter romance wrong

Juhi Chawla was never my competitor but an inspiration: Madhuri Dixit


n Entertainment Desk
The two divas Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla have been Bollywood contemporaries since the 1990s but Madhuri and Juhi have only come together now for Gulaab Gang . Where Juhi avoided Madhuri, thinking of her as a competition, the latter never thought of Juhi as a competitor but an inspiring spirit. Madhuri disclosed in an interview: I never thought of her as my competitor. I never had any qualms about working with anyone. This is my thinking that we are actors not horses running towards one finish line. It is a creative field and we like certain roles and work with people we like. It is not that I have not worked in two-heroine projects earlier. I worked with Preity Zinta( Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke), Aishwarya Rai ( Devdas)s and Karisma Kapoor (Dil To Pagal Hai). She further continued that it was wonderful to work with Juhi: She is a good actor. It is inspiring to see another good actor work with you. I think our scenes are very tight and I would definitely love to work with her again.

n Entertainment Desk
Harry Potter would have been a better match for Hermione Granger than Ron Weasley, author JK Rowling appears to suggest in a new magazine interview. Speaking to Wonderland magazine, the writer said she made Ron and Hermione a couple for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. If Im absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that, she told guest editor Emma Watson. The actress played Hermione in the film versions of Rowlings fantasy novels. In the interview, published in full in the latest edition of the Wonderland quarterly, Rowling admits she made a mistake in having Hermione marry Ron at the end of her seven-novel cycle. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy, Watson responds in excerpts from the interview printed in the Sunday Times. l

Shaper Khela by Mahakal Natya Sampraday was staged at the festival

SADIA MARIUM

TODAY IN DHAKA
Film
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim in 3D, The Conjuring, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Escape Plan Time: 10am 10pm Star Cineplex, Level 8 Bashundhara City Panthapath

Exhibition

Life and Struggle of Padma By Sumon Yusuf Time: 3pm 9pm La Galerie, Alliance Francaise de Dhaka Ways of Seeing Time: 12pm 8pm Bengal Art Lounge, 60 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan 1

In her interviews, Juhi has said that there was a lot of competition between actors at that time. She adds: I would say that earlier there were a few chances me and Madhuri could have worked together, but at that time I didnt do the film because Madhuri was there in the films. I thought if she is there, then what would I do? Comparisons were bound to happen, so to avoid all that tension, I didnt do those films. I am so glad that I am playing a

villain in the film. So you cant compare the two of us. I neither had to dance nor sing. All that has been done by Madhuri, said Juhi, who essays a politician in the film. Gulaab Gang emphasises on women empowerment and have women only in lead characters. The film stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Divya Jagdale and Priyanka Bos in other important roles. The director Soumik Sen has himself given music to the film, releasing on March 7. l

Did you know?


Arsenal have won seven Premier League games 2 0 this season; no other team has more than three

Sport
at number three in the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) recently it is likely that he will do so again in the Test match. The other spot on offer will be contested for by Mahmudullah and Abdur Razzak. Mahmudullah is likely to get the nod as he has been in good form recently - he took 10 wickets in a BCL match against Central Zone and his useful batting down the order is also an asset. The focus for Bangladesh will be on improving batting. Having been bowled out for 232 and 250 in Dhaka, the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim as well as Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain and Shamsur Rahman will be looking to prove their mettle in the longer form of the game. Another area the Tigers will be looking to improve on is catching, which was exceptionally poor in the first Test. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be without two of their standout performers. Shaminda Eranga and Rangana Herath will miss the game due to injury and are likely to return home today. However, not having won an away series 2008, Sri Lanka will be hungry to seal the rubber. Mahela Jayawardene, who scored a double hundred in the last match, and Kumar Sangakkara both boast stunning records against Bangladesh, and they will be supported by youngsters Kaushal Silva and Kithuruwan Vithanage, who both made centuries in Dhaka. l

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DHAKA TRIBUNE

13

0 4 0
DAYS TO GO

14 Ronaldo sees red,

Atletico go top

15 Mathews calm

but cautious

Round two begins


n Mazhar Uddin, from Chittagong
It will be a Test of character for the Bangladesh team, particularly the batsmen as the second Test against Sri Lanka begins today at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong today. The Bangladesh team that will at a ground where they have performed reasonably well is almost the same side with the notable exception of Mohammad Ashraful that drew against Sri Lanka in Galle last year by making their highest ever total in Test cricket, featuring Bangladeshs first ever double hundred by Mushfiqur Rahim. However, the side is also coming off a thrashing in the first Test of this series in Dhaka. There will be at least two changes to the playing 11. The selectors announced that top order batsmen Marshal Ayub will miss the match with a wrist injury while paceman Robiul Islam was omitted from the squad of 12 that was released. Imrul Kayes will return to the national side after two years to replace Marshal. Imrul, who usually opens the batting, joins a line-up that also includes two other openers Tamim Iqbal and Shamsur Rahman and the selectors will have to choose which two face up to the new ball. As Imrul batted

PROBABLE SQUADS

Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal, Shamsur Rahman, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), Shakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Al Amin, Abdur Razzak/Mahmudullah. Sri Lanka Kaushal Silva,Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Angelo Mathews (capt), Kithuruwan Vithanage, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal.

Usha top Abahani


n Raihan Mahmood
A composed Usha beat a misfiring Abahani 2-0 in the last match of the first phase of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday. The win saw Usha, the old Dhaka outfit, consolidate their position at the top of the table with 18 points while Abahani finished second with 15. The win put Usha in a comfortable position ahead of the Super Four phase. If they win two matches and draw with Abahani, Usha will emerge champions. Abahani meanwhile, will need to win all three matches to force a play-off for the title. Shadharan Bima and Ajax are the other teams in the Super Fours. Abahani failed to score from 14 penalty corners nine in the first half and five in the second. Nonetheless, Ushas Pakistani goalie Imran Butt put on a brilliant performance. Showing superb anticipation and positioning sense, the brother of former Pakistani international Rehan Butt was a wall that defied the aspirations of the Abahani attackers. The Pakistani trio of Hashim Khan, Amir Shahzad and Kashif Ali could not hit the birds eye with their PC combinations. Usha were impressive as they demonstrated strong, teamwork based game and were efficient in defence. With Abahani lacking bite in midfield, Usha capitalized to stamp their authority in that area, with Sarwar Hossain effectively linking the defence and offence in fine style, while the Pakistani trio of Shafqat Rasool, Syed Kashif Shah and Niaz Ashfaq combining to knit the team together. Usha earned three penalty corners in the match and went ahead from the very first one in the 31st minute. Shafqats push was neatly stopped by Sarwar and drag and flick ace Chayan hit the top of the net in customary fashion. The second one was scored in the 40th minute when Sarwars through pass was collected by forward Mainul Islam Koushik and after his hit rebounded off the pads of Abahani goalie Ashim Gope, Jahid bin Talib Shuvo easily pushed the ball into the net. Abahani compiled considerable pressure in their pursuit of a goal but their forwards Puskor Khisha, Hasan Jubaer Niloy and others continued to squander chances as the side tasted defeat for the first time in six matches. l

Mushfiq hopes for turnaround


n Mazhar Uddin, from Chittagong
One the eve of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Chittagong, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said he was looking to his batsmen to play with more responsibly at the port city venue where the Tigers have a reasonable record, at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday. There isnt much difference, but the way we played in the last Test, there seems to be a difference. To be honest, we havent played this bad in the last 18 months. We have a good record in Chittagong, so we are confident. It is a big opportunity. If we can play good cricket over five days, thatll be great. We will try to grab the chances with both hands. If our batsmen can play with a little more responsibility, then maybe it will be a better game for us. This is how one can turn around. It is a new game, so an opportunity, said Mushfiq. Bangladesh achieved their first draw against Sri Lanka on a tour last year, but a crushing loss by an innings and 248 runs in the first Test of this series has put them firmly on the back foot. Mushfiq expressed the opinion that returning to basics could help Bangladesh change their fortunes. It is not that easy to turn around, but any team could have had such a bad Test. We dont have much to change, other

Bangladesh players at a training session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday in Chittagong yesterday ahead of todays second Test against Sri Lanka MUMIT M

than the mental attitude. We have to focus on our basic work, and not fall into their traps. We know what theyll do against us, he said. In recent times, Bangladeshs batsmen have shown a new maturity in their approach but in the first Test, they were undone by short pitched bowling and poor shot selection. However, Mushfiq thought that the Chittagong wicket would be more batting friendly. Wickets that dont have sideways movement, bowlers will try to bowl at a shorter length. Our batsmen made some silly mistakes by having a little gutsier attitude. Maybe this wicket wont have that much bounce like Dhaka. It might be more difficult to duck.

They can play their pull shots, but make sure they play with control. This is our message to the batsmen. If we can avoid giving them a breakthrough, then later on we can create pressure on their spinners, said Mushfiq. The captain went on to reiterate the need for better fielding and noted that the spinners might play a big role. At the last Test played in Chittagong, Sohag Gazi was highly successfully, taking a hat-trick and eight wickets in the match. I know we are still capable of taking 20 wickets but first we have to take the catches. They have some great players and I hope we will take advantage of the opportunities we come across. Wickets are spin-friendly so Shakib

and Gazi will have some help. We have Razzak and Riyad in our squad, so we will have a decision on them. I hope they deliver in these conditions. I dont feel the ground makes much of a difference. But an X-factor does work. Gazi would now think that I took a hat-trick and six wickets here, so it might play in mind. We have to play, and its not that easy. They might plan something different, but we are ready. The batsman have to take control of the Test match, and I hope they get to do it. It is a lucky ground for me, I average 45+ here. So I want to perform at that level. It is important for me, among senior batsmen to lead from the front, said Mushfiq. l

Fixing verdict out at end of month


n Minhaz Uddin Khan
Three-member tribunal formed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board to conduct the hearing of the fixing allegation brought by the ICC (International Cricket Council) from the second edition of Bangladesh Premier League is likely to reach its verdict by February 26 or 27, a reliable source from the ongoing trial informed the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. This will bring an end to the fixing saga which has lasted about 10 months. It was also learnt that the final hearing of the tribunal will be held on February 6. Later the accused individuals will be given at least two weeks to prepare their defence and appear before the tribunal along with witnesses. In May 2013, the Dhaka Tribune and a national Bangla daily revealed the ICC Anti-Corruption Security Units (Acsu) visit to Dhaka in order to investigate dubious on-field incidents from a couple of games in the BPL 2 in February 2013. At that time, Mohammad Ashraful confessed to wrong doing and named several others who he claimed were involved in fixing both in the BPL and in the international arena. On August 14, 2013 the ICC charged nine individuals with fixing activity and related offences. The charges related to spot and match fixing by players and officials of two time BPL champions Dhaka Gladiators and failure to report corrupt approaches. Three months later, the BCB formed a three-member tribunal headed by Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury, a former judge of the Supreme Court, to look through all the objections, allegations and applications made by Acsu and the accused. The tribunal held its first full hearing on January 19, where only one of the nine accused were present. It is not clear if the accused faced the tribunal on that day. Afterwards, the tribunal took steps to ensure that all of the accused were present at the hearings and now at long last, the first ever fixing scandal in Bangladesh cricket is set to come to an end. l

The new logo of the Bangladesh Premier League, recently sponsored by Nitol-Tata, was unveiled at the BFF House yesterday COURTESY

Nitol-Tata steps up again


n Raihan Mahmood
Bangladesh Football Federation welcomed back Nitol-Tata to the football arena officially after declaring them as the sponsors of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League yesterday. Nitol-Tata returned to sponsor football after a gap of nine years as the renowned conglomerate of the country had earlier sponsored the National Football League from 2001 to 2005. Their arrival was like a breath of fresh air for the struggling football federation who started the showcase league of the country without any sponsors. However the deal is not lucrative as the previous sponsorships of Citycell and Grameenphone but was quite satisfactory said Abdus Salam Murshedy, the senior vice-president of BFF. Due to the political unrest, the last year was a hard year for the federation, when we were struggling Nitol-Tata stepped again to be with us. We welcome them and hope it will be a sustainable relationship, saidSalam. The amount was not disclosed, but it was learnt that the deal was inked on Tk6m. It would also be mentionable that among the three phases of the league the first phase is almost completed. Abdul Matlub Ahmed, the chairman of the Nitol-Niloy Group, said that his organisation was always behind football and they have stepped up again to stay. I find some positive changes in football after Kazi Salahuddin was elected as the president. It has improved but at the same time I have to say that football is yet to fulfill the expectations of the people, said Matlub. Despite the sponsorship Nitol-Tata will also provide a Tata Ace pickup for the champions of the league and three motorcycles for the top three players. It would also provide 12 televisions for lottery in the last 12 matches of the league and 10 televisions for various prizes subject to be finalised by BFF. BFF vice-president Tabith Awal, general secretary Abu Naeem Shohag, representatives from the co-sponsors, AFM Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn of Walton, Ziaul Karim of Pragat Insurance, Akteruzzaman of Amber Group were also present on the occasion. l

Players of Usha Krira Chakra rejoice after scoring against Abahani Limited at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday

14
Neymar blasts 'false friends'
Brazil starlet Neymar blasted false friends as he alluded Sunday to the strain of a tax probe into last years money-spinning move to Barcelona. Neymar senior last week denied signing a pre-contract with Barcelona until Neymar said the storm over his transfer had seen a lot of people come out and talk a load of rubbish calling our character into doubt. I also understood we have masses of false friends, said the Brazil star, urging his father to join him back in Spain as Ill be back playing in a few days and I need you here. AFP

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Sport

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Arsenal new boy out for a month


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed on Sunday that new loan signing Kim Kallstrom will be out for around a month with a back injury sustained before he joined the club. Wenger reacted to a glut of injuries in central midfield by signing the 31-year-old Sweden international from Spartak Moscow on the final day of the January transfer window on Friday. However, reports soon emerged that Kallstrom had hurt his back playing beach volleyball and might not be able to feature for Arsenal for around six weeks. AFP

Zaccheroni praises Hondas effort


Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni praised his protege Keisuke Honda yesterday for stretching himself to fit into AC Milans mould, a month after moving from CSKA Moscow. The 27-year-old midfielder joined the Serie-A giants in early January on a free transfer after three years with the Russian champions. Italian media has minced no words in reviewing his performances, lambasting his low-key performance in a 1 1 draw with Torino on Saturday. He has been doing all right by following my advice, added the Italian tactician. AFP

Ancellotti unhappy at Ronaldo red card


n AFP, Madrid
POINTS TABLE
Team 1 At Madrid 2 Barcelona 4 Athletic 5 Villarreal 6 Sociedad 7 Sevilla 8 Valencia 9 Levante 10 Espanyol 11 Celta Vigo 12 Getafe CF 13 Mlaga 14 Granada 15 Elche 16 Osasuna 17 Almera 18 Valladolid 19 Rayo 20 Real Betis P 22 17 22 13 21 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 21 22 22 22 22 11 8 8 7 7 7 7 6 7 6 6 6 4 5 3

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) laughs as he receives a red card during their Spanish La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames stadium in Bilbao on Sunday

Ronaldo sees red, Atletico go top


n AFP, Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo was sent-off as Real Madrid lost ground in the La Liga title race with a 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Atletico Madrid became outright leaders for the first time since their double winning season in 1996 earlier in the day with a 4-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday. The draw moves Real level with Barcelona, who suffered a shock defeat at home to Valencia on Saturday, three points behind Atletico.

REUTERS

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti accused Athletic Bilbaos Carlos Gurpegi of exaggerated theatrics in the action that led to Cristiano Ronaldos sending off in a 1-1 draw on Sunday. The recently crowned Ballon dOr winner was given his marching orders 15 minutes from time, with the score already at 1-1, for appearing to hit out at Gurpegi after having a penalty appeal turned down. The away draw leaves Real three points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, who moved to the top of the table with a 4-0 win over Real Sociedad earlier on Sunday. Ronaldo is now likely to be banned for another crucial league encounter against Villarreal next weekend and Ancelotti wasnt convinced his star man deserved to see red. I think it is difficult for me to judge because I wasnt there, but the images show that it was an exaggerated reaction, said the Italian. Brazilian defender Marcelo was stronger in his criticism of the decision. It is hard when you lose a player in an unjust manner. It is obvious that the decision wasnt fair and that made it very difficult, although our intention is to win every game, he told Spanish TV station Canal Plus. Athletic are a very good team, but we had bad luck today. The game was dif-

W D 3 3 4 4 7 4 7 5 4 4 6 3 6 4 4 8 2 5

L GD PTS 1 2 2 5 6 6 7 8 11 42 43 39 14 17 8 4 -8 -6 57 54 54 43 37 36 31 28 28 26 25 25 24 24 24 22 22 20 17 14

22 18 3

3 Real Madrid 22 17

22 10 6

10 -4 10 -4 11 -12 10 -7 12 -9 10 -12 11 -16 12 -19 10 -13 15 -30 14 -27

ficult for both teams, added Ancelotti. In the first-half Athletic pressed a lot and that made it difficult to play the ball on the ground so we played more on the counter-attack. In the second-half, the intensity of their pressure dropped a bit and we played better in possession, we scored and had good control of the game. Bilbao scored a fantastic goal, but in general I personally am satisfied with how Real Madrid played. l

Bayern stay 13-points clear


n AFP, Berlin
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich maintained their 13-point lead with a 5-0 home romp against Eintracht Frankfurt to extend their record 44-match unbeaten run on Sunday. Bayern ran riot against strugglers Frankfurt with Mario Goetze, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and centre-back Dante all getting on the scoresheet at Munichs Allianz Arena. Spains Thiago Alcantara set a new Bundesliga record with 185 ball contacts as Bayerns midfield dominated. Germany star Goetze put the hosts ahead when he chested down Mario Mandzukics cross and slammed his shot inside the far post with only 12 minutes gone. France star Ribery then proved he has recovered from a leg injury when he added Bayerns second just before the break. Likewise, Robben came off the bench and fired home Goetzes final pass to put his leg injury behind him on 67 minutes before Dante headed Bayerns fourth two minutes later. Fittingly, Mandzukic, who was dropped ten days ago for poor training performances, netted their fifth on 89 minutes and was mobbed by his teammates. l

RESULTS
Elche
Herrera 58

10 20 40 11

Almeria Espanyol Real Sociedad

Real Betis

Ruben Castro 71, 88

Atletico Madrid

Villa 38, Diego Costa 72, Miranda 74, Diego 87

Athletic Bilbao
Ibai Gomez 73

Real Madrid

Jese 64

It could have been so much better for Madrid as after a difficult opening 45 minutes, Jese Rodriguez looked to have them on the road to a 11th consecutive victory when he prodded home

Ronaldos cross 25 minutes from time. However, after Ibai Gomez had spectacularly equalised, Ronaldo was shown a soft red card for lashing out at Carlos Gurpegi. Ancelottis men could have been in front after just 20 seconds as Ronaldo took advantage of a poor clearance by Gorka Iraizoz, but his effort flew inches wide. Thereafter, it was Athletic who had the upper hand in the first-half and should have been in front when Aduriz shot wide when clean through on Diego Lopez. Reals lead lasted just nine minutes as Gomez made a stunning introduction as a substitute as with his second

touch he fired an effort from 20 yards in off the inside of the post. Earlier, Atletico moved top on an emotional evening at the Vicente Calderon, as former players and fans paid their tributes to former Spain and Atletico player and coach Luis Aragones, who died on Saturday, before the match. The Atletico fans remained silent for the first eight minutes before beginning to chant Aragones name in a tribute to the number he wore as a player with Los Rojiblancos. And Atletico boss Diego Simeone was pleased with how his side dealt with the emotion of the evening. l

Clinical Juve outclass spineless Inter


n AFP, Milan
Champions Juventus tightened their grip on Italys Serie A on Sunday after outclassing Inter Milan 3-1 to claim deserved bragging rights from the Derby dItalia. Inter travelled to Turin hoping to at least replicate their 1-1 draw with Antonio Contes men in Milan during the opening half of the season. But Juve, who had scored 16 goals in their five previous league games, flew out the blocks and had created several early goalscoring chances before Stephan Lichsteiners diving header from Andrea Pirlos chipped ball gave the hosts a 15th minute lead. Juve piled on the pressure and only the safe hands of Samir Handanovic kept Inter from conceding more before the break. Juve doubled their lead only two minutes after the restart thanks to defender Giorgio Chiellini, with an alert Arturo Vidal giving Juve a 3-0 lead on 55 minutes after pouncing on Paul Pogbas rebound. Inters efforts in a late but faint fightback were rewarded in the 71st minute when Rolando beat Marco Storari in the Juve goal although it was scant consolation for what was a decidedly mediocre performance from Walter Mazzarris side. Mazzarri lamented to Sky Sport Italia: Overall I cant criticise too much. We knew Juve would come out hard and press us from the start. Juves 19th win of the campaign took their lead on Roma to nine points although the Giallorossis earlier encounter at home to Parma was rained off and has yet to be rescheduled. In comments to Mediaset Premium, Vidal said: At the end we suffered a little because Inter lifted their game but we showed how strong we are as a team. Napoli are a distant third, 15 points adrift after a stunning 3-0 collapse at Atalanta, with Fiorentina a further three points off the pace. Inter have now taken only eight points from their last 10 games and are sixth in the table, 26 points behind Juve and two behind Verona, who occupy the first Europa League qualifying place. Inter had dominated the weekend transfer headlines with the capture of Hernanes from Lazio. But neither the Brazilian international midfielder nor Colombian Fredy Guarin the subject of a recently botched swap deal involving Juve striker Mirko Vucinic - were in Mazzarris starting line-up. l

Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini shoots to score against Inter Milan during their Italian Serie A match at Juventus Stadium in Turin on Sunday
REUTERS

Beckham homing in on Miami MLS deal

n AFP, Miami
David Beckham is homing in on a deal to bring a Major League Soccer club to Miami, local media reported Sunday. The former England star midfielder had exercised his option to buy an MLS club and wants to bring it to Miami, with the plan contingent on a deal for a privately funded stadium, The Miami Herald reported. Beckham, his investment group and MLS commissioner Don Garber will be in Miami today and Wednesday seeking support for the venture. Garber said a possible MLS expansion team owned by Beckham could come in February. l

Southampton trio impress England manager Hodgson


n Reuters
The free-scoring ways of Southamptons Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert continue to push their claims for swapping the south coast for Brazils Copacabana beach come World Cup time. With England manager Roy Hodgson watching on, the trio produced another sparkling attacking display, scoring a goal each in a devastating 11-minute spell to help beat Premier League strugglers Fulham 3-0 on Saturday. Lallana got the Saints up-and-running on 64 minutes with his seventh league goal of the season as he combined with Lambert, breaking free of the Fulham defence before firing a shot past Maarten Stekelenburg. The emergence of the talented trio, who have scored 24 league goals for Southampton this season, will delight England manager Hodgson, who continues to watch the fledgling internationals with interest as he decides who deserves a place on the flight to Brazil. Lambert, 31, has been capped four times, scoring twice including a goal on his debut against Scotland which helped secure a 3-2 win, while Lallana and Rodriguez made their debuts in the 2-0 defeat by Chile at Wembley in November. l

Lille suffer Nice defeat


n AFP, Paris
RESULTS
Lille were left hanging on to a Champions League place by a single point following their 1-0 defeat at Nice on Sunday. Later, former multiple champions Lyon fell 2-0 at Rennes and Marseille were held 2-2 by Toulouse at the Velodrome. Saint-Etiennes 3-0 success over struggling Valenciennes on Saturday had put the pressure on Lille but the 2011 champions failed to respond. Former Paris Saint-Germain forward Mathieu Bodmer scored the only goal with a cute back-heel in first half stoppage time, although there was a Nice
Bodmer 45+1

10 20 22

Lille Lyon

Rennes

Hountondji 22, Toivonen 66

Marseille

Payet 7, Valbuena 40

Ben Yedder 11, Aurier 60

Toulouse

suspicion of offside. The defeat could have been worse for Lille but for Rio Mavuba clearing a Dario Cvitanich header off the line and Idrissa Gueye getting away with what appeared a blatant handball inside the Lille box. Marseille remained in fifth, on 36 points, after their stalemate at home. Twice Marseille went ahead,

through goals by Dimitri Payet and Mathieu Valbuena, and twice they were pegged back. Toulouse striker Wissam Ben Yadder levelled on 11 minutes with Serge Aurier ensuring they went home with a point on the hour. Lyon, who pitched up seeking a fourth straight league win, had a torrid time of it at Rennes. They went down a man when Samuel Umtiti was red carded for an illjudged tackle on Romain Alessandrini three minutes from the interval. Rennes were already leading at that stage thanks to Cedric Hountondjis 22nd minute header and new signing, Swedish forward Ola Toivonen, doubled up with less than half an hour left. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Sport

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

15

QUICK BYTES

Liverpool boss Rodgers backs Toure


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers refused to criticise defender Kolo Toure after his glaring error gifted West Bromwich Albion striker Victor Anichebe an equalising goal in their 1 1 Premier League draw on Sunday. Liverpool, who stayed fourth in the table on 47 points, took the lead on 24 minutes when Uruguays Luis Suarez set up strike partner Daniel Sturridge to score his 14th goal of the season. Yet Pepe Mels side equalised when Ivorian defender Toure played a stray pass across his own penalty area, allowing substitute Anichebe to drive the ball expertly past Simon Mignolet after 67 minutes. Ill never criticise players for trying to play football but Kolo probably shouldnt have received the ball under pressure and his pass was misplaced, Rodgers told reporters after the match. Reuters

Mathews calm but cautious


n
The huge win in the first Test in Dhaka strengthened the chances of Sri Lanka to achieve something that they havent tasted since 2008 an away Test series win. However, despite the easy win the visiting captain Angelo Mathews is well aware of the challenge they have to face in the last of the two-match Test series starting today. Theyve got nothing to lose and theyll come back hard at us, so weve got to accept the challenge. Its their own conditions and they play well at home, so well expect a good challenge from them and well play our brand of cricket to try and win the game, said Mathews at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday. Mathews said the win by an innings and 248 runs is a great inspiration for them and everyone is very focus on their job out in the middle. He also added, Well approach it in the same way as we did in the first Test match and try and win this game. The Sri Lankan skipper emphasised on the mental approach and hoped to cope with the wicket as early as possible. The mental approach is going to be very important in this game. If we play the same way we played in the first Test, we will probably win. But its a fresh wicket, fresh start, fresh conditions and well probably try to adapt as quickly as possible and perform as well as wed like to, he said. However, Sri Lankas charge in the final Test will be weakened by the absence of injury struck Shaminda Eranga and their spin wizard Rangana Herath. Paceman Eranga sustained a thigh strain while left-arm spinner Heraths knee injury might see him fly back home today. In that case Ajantha Mendis, who has been in and out of the Sri Lankan squad for some time, will be needed to control their spin attack while fast bowler NuwanPradeep will also come in to complete the third seamer slot. Mathews was confident of Mendis capability and said, All players have a bit of a rough patch as their career goes on. Mendis had a bit of a rough patch in the past, but hes bowling brilliantly and hes back in form. l

Britain bans French comic Dieudonne from Anelka visit


French comedian Dieudonne Mbala Mbala was on Monday banned from entering Britain after he reportedly planned to visit to support Nicolas Anelka over the footballers use of the quenelle gesture. Britains interior ministry said it had slapped an exclusion order on Dieudonne, who has a string of convictions for antiSemitic speech in his homeland, on the grounds of public security. We can confirm that Mr Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order, a Home Office spokeswoman said in a statement. The home secretary (Theresa May) will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so. AFP Sri Lanka star cricketers Mahela Jayawardene (L) and Kumar Sangakkara attend a practice session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday MUMIT M

Rubel ahead of Robiul?


n
A side known for its strength in spin bowling Bangladesh s e l e c t e d three fast bowlers in their first Test playing eleven against Sri Lanka which surprised many, and if that wasnt enough than their selection of the 12-member side for todays match definitely is. Robiul Islam was not among the 12 names the selectors chose for the final Test starting today, but the right-arm fast bowlers exclusion can be debated heavily. Though Robiul did not pick any wicket, but he was the only seamer who looked to create any sort of discomfort to the Lankan batsmen compared his other two partners Al Amin and Rubel Hossain. Al Amin, the only wicket taker off the three pacers in the first Test, claimed one wicket but had the fielders not squandered catches he could have ended up with more victims. Rubel was the only off-beat attacker and bowled a line that hardly made any impact. It can be argued that Robiul should have been the pick ahead of Rubel based on their track record too. Robiul played eight Tests and picked up 23 wickets at an average of 38.56 with the best bowling figure of 6/71 and more importantly the fast bowler has the ability to bowl longer spells with the old ball with good effect. On the other hand, Rubel played 11 matches more than Robiul and took 26 wickets at a very high average of 81.23. The hosts suffered badly for their poor decision of playing three quickies in the first Test and heading in to the second and last Test of the series today, the Bangladesh selectors did change their strategy but once again their selection leaves a big question mark. l

Abahani enjoy goalless draw


n
Table toppers Abahani Limited continued their unbeaten streak in the Bangladesh Premier League as they shared points in a goalless draw against defending champions Sheikh Russell KC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Haitian International Pascal Millien finally made his debut in the league for Sheikh Russell after joining from Irish premier division club Sligo Rovers while Abahani coach Ali Akbar Pourmoslemi also handed his Moroccan striker Ekele Patrick a debut in the absence of their Ghanaian Osei Morrison. The draw didnt change Abahanis position at the top of the points table as they moved four points clear of secondplaced Sheikh Jamal, who played two games lesser, with 17 points. Russell remained at third with 12 points from eight matches, one more than Abahani. Abahani are enjoying a glorious run as they havent conceded in six matches off their seven outings and Ali Akbar termed it as Normal. It was a difficult game for us. Our todays finishing was not good enough in the absence of Morrison. The opponents also played good and I think the draw is normal, said the Iranian coach after the game. Ali Akbar also added that they need a playmaker to create more chances. On the other hand, Russell coach Maruful was not happy with draw saying that they missed the easiest chance of the game which could have earned them full three points. In the 59th minute just when Pascal started to cope up, a square pass of Robin put him in a oneon-one situation with Abahani keeper Sohel, but his powerful strike from inside the box went wide. We missed todays easiest chance. But Im happy with the progress of my team. Pascal is back, Mithun, Mamun, Roux will be fit from next game which changed the shape of my team. Im confident we will win rest of the matches of 1st phase, said Maruful who also content with Pascals performance on his debut. Pascal was also ruing his miss and said, I would have scored it any time any day. Now my main focus is on training and I have to prove myself in the next match so that I can rectify my mistakes. Meanwhile, Ekele Patrick showed glimpse of his brilliance with his touches, passing and shooting. The Cameroonian striker had his first shot on target in the 27th minute when, receiving a lobbed pass of Meshu, he dribbled past a defender and fired an angular shot that was fisted away for a corner by Russell goalkeeper Biplob. Abahani had two more chances in the opening half but Towhidul Alams strike and Awudu Ibrahims header was off target. Russell enjoyed greater possession in the midfield after the breather and their best opportunity came around the hour mark when Pascal missed the sitter. l

Indias NZ Test warm-up ends in draw


Indias under-fire batting line-up gained valuable match practice on Monday as the tourists two-day Test warm-up against a New Zealand XI ended in a draw. India declared at 313 for seven on day two in response to the hosts 262 for nine declared, with wicketkeeperbatsman Ambati Rayudu unbeaten on 49 after Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane retired on 59 and 60 respectively. All-rounder Ravi Ashwin also made a good start before Shawn Hicks bowled him for 46 in encouraging signs for an Indian line up that failed to shine with the bat in a 4 0 one-day international series loss to the Black Caps. The first of two Tests between New Zealand and India starts in Auckland on Thursday. AFP

Police probe Walcott coin attack


n
Police said Monday they were looking for three men accused of pelting Arsenals Theo Walcott with coins during last months north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. The 24-year-old England winger came under attack as he was carried off on a stretcher after injuring his knee during the FA Cup tie at Arsenals Emirates Stadium on January 4. Stewards and ambulance staff were also hit by the coins, in a confrontation that saw Walcott make a 2-0 gesture with his hands in retaliation, referring to the scoreline. Monday saw Londons Metropolitan Police Force release indistinct pictures of the three men suspected of throwing the coins. During the match, an Arsenal player on a stretcher, medical staff carrying him and stewards were struck by coins and other missiles thrown at them from a section of the crowd occupied by Tottenham fans, a force spokesman said. The player and stewards received minor injuries as a result. Officers from the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation and have now identified three men they would like to contact. l

Czechs, Japan, Britain into last eight


n
The Czech Republic kept their Davis Cup three-peat bid on track while Japan reached the World Group quarter-finals for the first time on Sunday as first round ties concluded. Great Britain notched their first World Group win since 1986 as Andy Murray beat Sam Querrey in San Diego to give the Brits a 3-1 victory over the United States. Britain next face Italy, who downed Argentina in Mar del Plata thanks to Fabio Fogninis third victory in as many days. In Ostrava, the Czech Republic held the upper hand 2-1 going into the reverse singles against the Netherlands and Tomas Berdych bagged the all-important third point with a three-set win over lowly-ranked Thiemo de Bakker. The Dutch claimed the final dead rubber when Igor Sijsling saw off Lukas Rosol giving the Czechs a 3-2 victory and a last eight date with Japan, who beat Canada in Tokyo. In California, where the United States hosted Britain on a clay court set up at Major League Baseball ground Petco Park, world number six Murray gained the crucial point with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-3 win over Querrey -- the top US player in action after the late injury withdrawal of John Isner.

Australias Test warm-up in South Africa cancelled


n
Australias only warm-up fixture ahead of the three-match test series against South Africa has been cancelled after torrential rain in Potchefstroom left little chance of play. The four-day match against a South African Invitational XI was due to be played between Wednesday to Saturday, but with conditions unlikely to improve in the coming days, Australia have opted instead for more nets. Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) have reached a collaborative decision to cancel Australias four-day warm-up match against a South Africa Invitational XI scheduled from 5-8 February in Potchefstroom, CSA said in a statement on Monday. There has been torrential rain in the area over the last few days which has hampered the squads training, with the forecast for the coming days also looking gloomy. Australia will travel to Johannesburg today, and are scheduled to have practice at SuperSport Park in Centurion tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Centurion, near Pretoria, will host the first test of the series starting on Feb. 12. l

West Ham hope Carroll avoids ban to lift survival hopes


West Ham United are hoping Andy Carrolls productive double-act with Kevin Nolan will not be derailed by a three-match ban as the Premier League strugglers look to ease their way out of relegation trouble. Carroll, who has barely featured for the club due to injury since making a permanent move from Liverpool this season, helped set up both of Nolans goals in the 2 0 win over Swansea City on Saturday, a partnership which combined to great effect last term while the striker was on loan. However, the tall forward was sent off shortly after setting up Nolans second early in the second half, following an innocuous looking clash with Chico Flores which left the Spaniard rolling theatrically on the Upton Park turf. The 25-year-old faces a three-match ban if his appeal is not overturned, a loss which would hit West Hams hopes of moving up to safety from 18th place. Hopefully we get justice in Andys decision being overturned, midfielder Mark Noble told the clubs official website. Reuters

Great Britain's Davis Cup team (L R) Colin Fleming,Dominic Inglot, James Ward,Andy Murray and captain Leon Smith celebrate their 3 1 victory against of the United States during day three of the Davis Cup World Group first round at PETCO Park on Sunday AFP Querrey had been stunned on Friday by Britains James Ward, who won 10 of the last 11 games in a remarkable five-set fight-back that helped the visitors take a 2-0 lead on the opening day on which Murray also crushed Davis Cup newcomer Donald Young. The final score stood at 3-1 after the fifth scheduled match was cancelled. At Mar del Plata, Fognini beat Carlos Berlocq 7-76 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to give Italy a 3-1 advantage that stood up after the dead rubber was scrapped. Serbia, trailing Switzerland 3-0, had only honour at stake in Novi Sad. With the Swiss resting their top two players - Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer - last years beaten finalists duly clinched the closing two academic rubbers courtesy of Filip Krajinovic and Dusan Lajovic. The Swiss host Kazakhstan, who saw off Belgium 3-2 in Almaty, in the quarter-finals. Germany, who held an unassailable 3-0 lead over five-time former winners Spain in Frankfurt, soured their win by claiming that three of their players were unfit to play. That left the crowd and the Spanish short-changed, with the hosts unable to play the opening rubber of the day. Germanys last man standing, Daniel Brands, beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the fifth rubber to complete a 4-1 win. The quarter-finals of the 114-year-old competition are scheduled for April 4-6. l

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ULAB to meet Manarat in final


n
University of Liberal Arts and Manarat International University reached the final of the ULAB Fair Play Cup Cricket by winning their respective semi-finals at the ULAB playground, Ramchandrapur, Mohammadpur yesterday. In the first semi-final, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh had an easy time beating Independent University Bangladesh by 10 wickets, before Manart overpowered North South University Bangladesh by 6 wickets in the second semi. ULAB, who opted to field first bundled, IUB for 85, with Tanvir Ahmed taking 2/11. In reply, ULAB raced to victory in 11.3 overs with man-of-the-match Hasan Zaman blasting 75 off 35 balls. NSU won the toss and scored 92/9 from the stipulated 20 overs, with Kajol and Omar Faruks taking two wickets each for the bowling side. In reply, Manarat reached 94/4 in 17.3 overs. Omar Faruk added to his wickets by scoring 19 and was named man-of-thematch. North South University will face Independent University Bangladesh in the third place decider at 9:30am tomorrow, while the final will be held at 1:00pm. l

Warne to think about England coaching job


n
Australian bowling great Shane Warne, so often the cause of Englands demise, offered Monday to think about reviving the old enemy as the countrys next coach. As England players flew home in the early hours following a final defeat in Sydney, Warne took to Twitter in answer to calls for him to apply for the role. To my English followers, Im flattered that you would like me to consider the England job, Warne tweeted. All I can say is I will think about it!!! The comment could of course be a wind-up from the 44-year-old who named as spin consultant ahead of Australias World Twenty20 campaign starting in Bangladesh in March. Cricket Australia said Warne would support head coach Darren Lehmann, providing specialist training for the squads spinners. And Warne later made it clear Australia remained his number one concern. Re Eng job, I know its created a bit of interest hahaha, he wrote. Im flattered to be considered, but my priorities, as always, are with the Aussies. l

ULAB player Hasan Zaman takes the man-of-the-match award yesterday

16

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tazreen fire: New Readers, fans keep Humayun alive compensation scheme proposed
Petitioners submit proposal, accusing owners for industrial disasters lies of 20 more Tazreen fire victims, who n Udisa Islam have later been identified through DNA
The High Court will take an alternative method of compensation for those who die and sustain injuries at industries based on a report submitted by petitioners who demand proper compensation for the victims. Lawyer Asaduzzaman submitted the report to the court yesterday proposing a compensation scheme which considers the fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd on November 24, 2012 as the tortuous liability of the owner. test, Tk7 lakh each as compensation. But yesterday, the attorney generals office sought more time saying that they had formed a committee headed by the police superintendent, but it was yet to give a report on the compensation. The court gave them seven more days to pay the compensation. The court had earlier ordered that each of the 20 families be given Tk7 lakh as compensation, as per recommendations made by the government and the BGMEA the apex body of garments owners. On April 28 last year, three anthropologists Naznin Akter Banu, Saydia Gulrukh Kamal and Mahmudul Hasan Sumon filed the writ petition and submitted a list of 25 names of the fire victims who were not compensated as they could not be identified or went missing. Five of the victims are yet to be identified. The devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions, a garment factory at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital, killed at least 111 people and injured many others. The death toll was so high since the authorities had barred the workers from coming out of the factory building after the fire broke out. One of the petitioners, Saydia Gulrukh said the current compensation scheme under the ILO C121 was the most reasonable provision. But it does not take into account the criminal liability of local owners or global buyers. These provisions are meant for industrial accident. She added that the existing provisions did not cover the injuries/death caused by negligence of the employer and/or for the inactions or supervisory lapses of the government authorities. After yesterdays proceedings, Naznin told the Dhaka Tribune: We think it is of the utmost importance to compensate the victims or the families of Tazreen factory fire considering it as a tortuous liability, not merely an accident or industrial accident. l

More Rana Plaza victims to be identified soon n Moniruzzaman Uzzal


The second phase of DNA test results of the unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza disaster are set to be submitted to the labour ministry soon, although the exact number of verified identities could not be known. Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman, head of the National DNA Profiling Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College (DMC), told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that the second phase of DNA test results would be submitted to the ministry soon. When asked how many victims had been identified, he said the results were yet to be finalised and the exact number would not be disclosed before the report was submitted to the ministry. On November 4 last year, the first phase of DNA test results was announced. Out of 322 unidentified victims, the tests were able to identify 157 victims, including 116 women and 41 men. Sources said the rest of the 165 unidentified bodies have undergone DNA tests in the second phase, with the laboratory being able to match several DNA samples collected from victims relatives. The findings of the tests would be submitted to the labour ministry within a week, the sources added. Reliable sources at the women and children affairs ministry and the labour ministry told the Dhaka Tribune that the number of identified body was likely to be around 30-40. A third round of tests would be carried out for further identification, although over 100 victims are likely to remain unidentified indefinitely. The laboratory used the Codis software provided by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to sort and match samples collected from the victims and their relatives. Meanwhile, the families of the 157 victims who were identified during the first phase of DNA tests are yet to receive financial assistance from the government, despite the Prime Ministers Office having prepared their inheritance cheques. The families were initially promised compensations in the range Tk2-5 lakh. On April 24 last year, at least 1,134 people were killed when the nine-storey Rana Plaza in Savar, that housed five garment factories, collapsed. l

Victims aged below 40 years will have to be given compensation of the sum of all wages and facilities s/he would have got until the age of 60
The court on November 24 last year asked the petitioners to help it finding out the international standard of compensation for victims of industrial disaster. The lawyer told the Dhaka Tribune: We submitted an alternative scheme to the court where we demand that all compensation should be given by the government. Later, the government can realise the money from the liable companies. According to the proposal, victims aged below 40 years will have to be given compensation of the sum of all wages and facilities s/he would have got until the age of 60. For those aged between 40 and 50 years, the compensation would be one and a half times of his/her income until the age of 60; while for the victims aged 50-60 years, it would be double. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain on November 24 last year also directed the authorities concerned to pay the fami-

Anyaprokash Publications decorates its stall with a cut-out of late writer Humayun Ahmed at the Ekushey Book Fair 2014. The photo was taken yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

n Ahmed Zayeef
After more than a year into the death of celebrated writer Humayun Ahmed, the love of his fans AMAR EKUSHEY and readers B O O K FA I R 2 0 1 4 has kept him alive at this years Ekushey Book Fair. The obsession for his works, even long after his death, was evident on the third day of this years fair, the second book fair without the presence of the legend. Please take my picture with Humayun Ahmed sir on my right side, Md Nurunnobi, a young visitor was found shouting in front of the stalls of Anyaprokash Publications. The publishing house which had brought in most of the books of Humayun had put up a picture of the writer in front of its stall. Although the fair saw a fewer number of visitors yesterday, the stall of Anyaprokash, Humayuns most favourite

publishing house, attracted many visitors. Adorned in yellow, the colour of Humayuns popular character Himu, the stall holds a large portrait of Humayun with picture of an open window in the background, depicting Humayuns departure from the world of the living. Designer of the stall, architect Shakur Mojid said: Humayun is no more among us. However, we still feel his presence. In some way, I think we still think he is here with us. The picture that we put up of him was previously unpublished; it was taken while he was on a tour in the Sundarbans. Anya Prokash publisher Mazharul Islam said apart from the decorations, the stall also had different compilations of Humayuns books. The fair is yet to assume its usual festive look as many publishers have not finished decorating their stalls. The kids corner drew lots of attention; however, the little magazine corner remained almost deserted. A total of 31 stalls out of 45 have opened in the little magazine corner.

Mirja Faiaj Ahmed, a class two student who came to the fair with his mother, bought a lot of colouful books, mostly on ghost stories and comics. His mother said she had brought her son not only to buy books, but also to infuse a love for reading. Although the presence of the visitors was not up to the expectation of the publishers, they hoped that the fair would gain momentum in a day or two. Some vendors were found setting up illegal makeshift shops outside the fair premises. Murshid Uddin Ahmed, deputy director of department of co-ordination and public relation of Bangla Academy, told Dhaka Tribune: Some illegal shops are making the entrance unattractive. Soon we will inform the matter to law enforcement agencies, and take actions against them. Sixty new books were published at the fair yesterday. A discussion on Maulana Mohammad Akram Khan, founder of first Bengali newspaper The Azad, was held presided over by Professor Abul Kashem Fozlul Haque. l

New policy to restrict shrimp farming


n Abu Bakar Siddique
The government has finalised the draft of the revised National Environment Policy with a provision to stop shrimp cultivation on agricultural land, a proposition which contradicts with the existing fisheries policy that promotes farming of shrimp. We have already finalised the draft policy. It will soon be placed in the cabinet for approval, said Dr Sultan Ahmed, director (natural resource management) of the Department of Environment (DoE). He said the DoE had taken the initiative considering the rising trend of shrimp cultivation and the negative consequences on environment, ecology and agricultural land. Syeda Rizwana Hasan, executive director of Bangladesh Environmentalist Lawyers Association (BELA), praised the government initiative but expressed concern over the future of the provision as it would clash with the existing fisheries policy. Shrimp is widely cultivated in coastal districts where saline water is available. Bangladesh exports shrimp and other frozen foods to Europe and the US. The proposed policy, which will replace the existing one formulated in 1992, has brought eight new sectors under its jurisdiction as the form of degradation of environment and ecology has changed while climate change requires a larger focus. Sustainable conservation and development are needed besides ensuring better disaster management, states the proposed policy drafted by the environment and forest ministry. The eight sectors are air pollution, hilly ecosystems, biodiversity and bio-safety, ecotourism, climate change, disaster management, different types of pollution and economic development; the policy already has 15 areas of preference. However, it does not mention the common issues of concerns, including coal use, ship-breaking industry, polythene use or proper waste management. Rizwana told the Dhaka Tribune that the proposed policy was almost same as the existing one as it describes the previously mentioned sectors elaborately to some extent, except for some new issues like restricting the shrimp cultivation. The DoE in July last year put the draft policy on its website seeking public opinion. It also held meetings with line ministries and environmental groups. The officials say they have incorporated in the draft the issues of concern raised by the stakeholders. The government in 1992 formulated the first National Environment Policy on 15 areas of concentration, including agriculture, energy, land, wildlife and forest. wana said the proposed policy did not incorporate the issue of environment tribunal which will state the way of activating the trial process for environmental offences. Moreover, like the existing one, the draft policy also remains reluctant about the forest departments not protecting the buffer zone of the forests, rather allowing the government and private investors to set up eco-parks and tourist spots. Currently, the forest department works only to protect the core And if it is not included in the draft policy, further revision of the act would not have the issue covered. Rizwana, a Magsaysay Award winner, said because of the absence of such a provision, the government was able to undertake projects like coal-based Rampal power plant near the Sundarbans defying public resistance. The proposal states that it will reflect the issues of conservation of environment and biodiversity in line with the basic principles of the countrys consti-

Jamaat leader cuts fathers trees on government land


n Our Correspondent, Natore
Jamaat-e-Islamis Natore municipality unit Vice-President Rowshan Arefin, also brother-in-law of a state minister, allegedly cut trees worth Tk1 lakh from government land yesterday. Rawshan is a cloth trader by profession. His wife Fahmida Akter is the elder sister of State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Junayed Ahmed Palak, many local people and the local administration sources confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune. Witnesses said some workers in presence of the Jamaat-e-Islami leader felled the trees from a government land under ward ive in Singra municipality. Locals informed the AC (assistant commissioner) Land office which later directed not to remove the trees from the spot. However, the administrator neither seized the trees already felled nor served the accused any notice. Local timber trader Arman Ali said the price of the tree would be around Tk1 lakh. When contacted, Rowshan Ali said: Although it is government land, the trees were planted by my father. I stopped cutting the trees being instructed by the AC Land office. I have applied to the office to get two-thirds of the trees. Salma Khatun, UNO of Singra upazila, told the Dhaka Tribune: Upon getting information, I directed AC Land Rafiqul Islam to visit the spot and investigate the allegation. She said they would make a decision in this regard at a meeting today. l

EC to send info to tribunal agency on ex-MP Sakhawat


n Mohammad Zakaria
The Election Commission is sending information of alleged war criminal Md Sakhawat Hossain to the International Crimes Tribunals investigation agency following its request. Sakhawat was allegedly a commander of razakar and al-Badr force during the Liberation War in 1971. Seeking anonymity, a senior assistant secretary of the EC yesterday said the investigation agency had sent a letter to the commission seeking information about Sakhawat. The information being sent to the agency includes facts on the elections Sakhawat contested and the information provided by him to the EC for running in the polls, the senior of icial said, adding that the secretariat will present the letter in this regard at the commissions meeting for formality. An EC official said the commission did not have any detailed personal report on Sakhawat, as he did not contest in the 2008 parliamentary poll, when submitting affidavits prior to the poll became mandatory. Sakhawat, however, contested parliament elections as a Jamaat-e-Islami candidate in 1991, a BNP candidate in 1996 and as a rebel candidate in 2001 in the Jessore 6 constituency; winning only in the 1991 election. The official also said Sakhawat was at first a Jamaat member before joining the BNP. After that, he joined the Liberal Democratic Party and the Progressive Democratic Party before going on to join the Jatiya Party. Earlier, the commission had also sent information on ATM Azharul Islam and Syed Md Qaisar to the tribunal agency. According to the EC, Sakhawat Hossain is the son of Late Omar Ali and a resident of Hijaldanga village under Keshobpur thana in Jessore. l

Aerial view of shrimp farms in Bagerhat. The photo was taken recently On the basis of the policy, it formulated the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act 1995 and revised it in 2010. Sultan Ahmed said they had plans to amend the 2010 Act and make it time-befitting once the environment policy was finalised. The first draft of the policy was prepared by an 11-member technical committee. Later an experts committee revised it and put it on the website for public opinion. On the loopholes in the policy, Rizzone of forests diminishing day by day. The government also failed to incorporate any obligation to protect the countrys natural forests. It rather emphasise on afforestation initiatives to expand forest areas which is absurd, she said. Rizwana criticised the government for not incorporating the issue of receiving public opinion while preparing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports for initiating any development project. The matter is also absent in the current Environment Conservation Act.

SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

tution. Moreover, it will be treated as a comprehensive policy for conservation and development, and will coordinate all the environment-related issues mentioned in other national policies. It also specifies how the plans would be implemented in association with different ministries and government agencies. Bangladesh is pledge-bound to ensure follow 30 environment-related conventions and agreements it had accepted, adopted or accessed over the years. l

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

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2014 www.dhakatribune.com/business

Muhith hints at bringing interest rate out of the box

Government mulls restructuring corporate tax to provide business with some space to do better, he says Afghanistan and 28% in Sri Lanka. In n Tribune Report the Maldives, corporate tax is 25% for
The government is contemplating to change the corporate tax structure as well as bringing out of the box the high rate of interest on bank loans to provide the countrys real business units with some space to do better. Finance Minister AMA Muhith dropped the broader hints about restructuring the fiscal and financial system following a meeting with the newly elected board members of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at his secretariat office. As our corporate tax structure is not appropriate, it should be changed after having consultation with the businessmen, he told reporters. The lowest corporate tax in Bangladesh is now 27.5% and the highest 45%. There are, however, tax rebates for listed companies that would declare dividends at rates more than 20%. The average rate of corporate tax is 42.5% in Bangladesh as compared to 30% in India, 35% cent in Pakistan, 25% in Nepal, 30% in Bhutan, 20% in

only commercial banks. The minister expressed concern over the high interest rates that ranges between 12% and 18%, but said: We are habituated to take credit from commercial banks with higher interest rates. We have to find out something out of the box to reduce the high bank interest rate that is better for the local businesses, he said as the DCCI delegation raised the concerns over the issues. They requested the minister to take measures to bring down the interest rate spread to 3% so the credit flow to the private sector gets a momentum. Regarding Public-Private Partnership initiative, Muhith said a separate guideline has already been formulated for infrastructure projects to be implemented under the initiative, but complete freedom is yet to be given to the new entrepreneurs under this guideline. The government would soon finalise an infrastructure expressway project from the capitals zero point up to Mawoa at a cost of $1.5bn. l

Solaiman, 16, operates a machine by his feet to mould aluminium pots at a factory in Kamrangir Char, Dhaka being ignorant of the related hazards. He has been engaged in the work despite repeated calls and regulatory safeguards against child labour Mahmud Hossain Opu

Remittance hits one year high in January


n Tribune Report
The country received foreign exchange remittance of US$1.25bn in January, which is highest in last one year when it witnessed a slow growth. The figure stood second after $1.32bn bagged in January last year. The remittance inflow hit one-year high in the first month of this year due to efforts to boost manpower exports, upgrading skills of migrants and enhanced incentives to use formal channels to remit and invest funds, said a senior central bank executive. It registered a slow growth throughout the year due to falling manpower export and political unrest, he said. The central bank has identified the slow growth of remittance as a risk factor for the near future thanks to its projection that the demand for foreign exchange would increase this year with the apparently stable political situation. In its latest monetary policy for the second half of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh Bank pointed out that the imports particularly of industrial machinery and raw materials would create increased demand for the greenback, putting pressure on the balance of payment (BoP). The Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) also proposed the government to take measures in increasing manpower export to offset the possible setback in the countrys foreign exchange bal-

Tofail urges buyers to raise apparel price


n Tribune Report
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has urged the buyers to increase prices of readymade garment products in line with the recent wage hike for the workers to help survive the industry. As the government has set the wage 77% higher, it would be really difficult for this sector to survive unless the buyers increase the prices of the apparel products, he said, emerging from a meeting in Dhaka yesterday. Representatives from more than 40 buyers attended the meeting titled Strengthening Business Environment in the RMG sector of Bangladesh, organised by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The meeting was attended, among others, by Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, and representatives from Accord, Alliance and ILO. Tofail assured the buyers representatives of a congenial atmosphere in the country, saying Stability has now been totally restored in the country as the political situation improved further after the polls and there will be no political unrest anymore as the opposition political parties have realised their faults for doing politics of violence. BGMEA President Atiqul Islam requested the Accord and Alliance to take realistic and pragmatic measures in the process of inspection of the garment factories as a good number of garment

REMITTANCE INFLOW TREND

ance. Of the remittance received in January, $387.64m received through state-owned commercial banks, $16m through specialised banks, $832m through private commercial banks and $14.27m through foreign commercial banks, according to Bangladesh Bank data released yesterday. After many years of bullish inflow, the country experienced a slowdown in remittance receipt last year as overseas employment dropped compared to previous years, according to a report by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) released recently. Only four lakh workers migrated to different countries in 2013 compared to over six lakh in 2012.

It said the country received $13.47bn until December 24 in 2013 as against $14.17bn in the year before. Since 1976, the remittance growth had been sustainable. To boost remittance inflow, Bangladesh Bank has created separate savings instruments for non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs). The instruments include, among others, non-resident foreign currency deposits, US dollar premium bonds and wage-earners development bonds, according to Bangladesh Bank. Smart cards or mobile phone banking services were also introduced to facilitate sending home the remittance. Bangladeshs foreign currency reserves have exceeded $18bn last year though slow remittance inflow. l

units are still located at the shared and rental buildings. I dont know what would exactly happen after the inspection, but I can cast my doubts whether the sector will survive or not if they inspect all the factories as per their plan, he said, expressing concern. He urged the buyers not to make public any report of their inspection before ensuring the remedial measures and to refrain from withdrawing orders from those factories. Srinivas Reddy, Country Director of International Labour Organisation (ILO) opined that the concerns of the apparel makers on the standards and inspection process should be listen carefully as they are valid ones. There will be no compromise on safety and workers rights issues and the steps should be pragmatic, he added, urging quick disbursement of the compensation as proposed by the retailers for the victims of Rana Plaza incident. The spirit of the Accord and Alliance initiatives is very positive as these are the long term project aiming at developing the RMG sector with check and balance, not for creating any panic, said Roger Hubert, country director of H & M. These initiatives are going forwards, he said stressing on actions rather talking. The buyers are here in Dhaka to do business and they have assured us that they will raise the price hike issue to their respective headquarters, BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim told the Dhaka Tribune quoting the buyers. l

Some mobile operators defy BTRC directive on post-call details n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Some mobile phone operators in Bangladesh are not following a directive of telecom regulator to provide post-call details including duration, cost and balance to the users. In September last year, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission issued the directive making it mandatory for all six operators. The directive is intended to benefit particularly the prepaid users who constitute 95% of then total 11.38 crore. Operators like Grameenphone, Teletalk and Airtel are giving the post-call details however, say the subscribers. But users of other operators say they are not getting it.

'We are often being cheated by the operators, but have no remedy yet'
Its a right of a subscriber to learn about key info of call he has just made, like duration, cost and balance. But all operators are not giving it, a BTRC high official told the Dhaka Tribune requesting anonymity. When contacted, the senior executives of the mobile operators concerned refused to make any comment on the matter officially. As implementation of the directive would require investment to introduce the related technology, they said the companies do not have sufficient fund for it after paying billions of Taka for 2G licence renewal and 3G spectrum. There have been allegations from the users of some operators that balance is sometimes cut by a large amount though they do not use call time that much. We are often being cheated by the operators, but have no remedy yet, said Jamal Uddin, a student of private Stamford University in Dhaka. He said BTRC directive should also be for data service like SMS etc. According to him, the use of mobile data service has become more popular now than voice and the subscribers are being cheated every day in this service. Kamrul, a Fine Arts student in the city, said he could never enjoy the speed and tariff what his operator has offered. As of December 2013, the total active mobile subscribers of the country stood at 11.38 crore, said BTRC data, and more than 95% subscribe on prepaid basis. l

BTRC issues show-cause to Citycell for dues


n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
The telecom regulator has served show-cause notice to mobile phone operator CityCell stating why its licence should not be cancelled after the failure to pay Tk255.3 crore dues. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) issued the notice under the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act asking the operator to reply in 30 days. We sent the showcase letter to Citycell as it has failed to pay its dues to BTRC, said Md Abdus Samad, the regulators legal commissioner. But CityCell said they had not received the notice yet. We got the news from journalists, but are yet to receive the notice, Mehbub Chowdhury, chief executive officer of Citycell, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. BTRC said it had issued five letters from December last year to Citycell for the payment of outstanding fees but got no response. Of total Tk255.3 crore dues, 2G licence renewal fee amounts to Tk229 crore and social obligation fee Tk4.78 crore. The remaining part has arisen from revenue sharing payment from March last year. CItycell sources said they had already discussed the matter and the operator was ready to pay the outstanding fees without 2G spectrum fee. According to them, Citycell never received full of the spectrum BTRC had allocated to them. Thats why they will not pay full money for it. Though we were allocated 10 Megahertz (of spectrum, we got 6.5 Megahertz in two years, said a senior official. l

BPC to borrow $300m from ITFC for fuel oil import


n Asif Showkat Kallol
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is set to seek a credit worth US$300m from Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) for importing fuel oil to meet increased demands in the country. The lone state-run oil trading company sought permission as well as legal opinions of the finance ministry to sign an agreement with the international financial institution, an autonomous entity of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). In a letter wrote last week, BPC requested the ministry to provide a state guarantee along with Currency Repatriation Undertaking (CRU) for getting the loan. This credit will be a part of a syndicated murabaha operation loans worth $2,200m loan of ITFC for the year 2013, a senior finance division official told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday The BPC has sent the letter to the debt and credit management wing under the finance division through its supervising ministry, which is the Ministry of Power and Mineral Resources. Till now, BPC already received $50m loan from ITFC with an interest of 4.45% for nine months. The IDB has reduced the mark-up rate from 5% last year. The corporation had imported over 7 million tonnes of fuel oil in the last year to run 49 mostly fuel-run power plants to generate an additional 5,319 megawatt of electricity by the end of 2013. The BPC buys petroleum oil at higher prices from the international market than the sales price at domestic market. As a result, the state-run company has to incur huge amount of financial losses every year. BPC had earlier signed a credit deal worth $855m with ITFC in April 2012 for importing the fuel oil to meet the local demands. The BPC had received $1.48bn loans from the ITFC in 2011 and the lender had also increased the loan amount by $0.52bn this year. In December 2011, the ITFC assured Bangladesh of providing $2bn credit with 5% interest rate this year, which was 0.30% lower than that of the last calendar year. l

B2

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Stock
DSE GAINERS Company

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DSEX crosses 4,800 points for first time


n Tribune Report
Stocks earned modest gains as total trade crossed Tk800 crore mark yesterday with the help of heavyweight sectors like banks and fuel and power. It continued to gain for a fourth consecutive session. The benchmark DSEX index rose 38.9 points or 0.81% to close at 4,826, highest since the launching of the index in January last year. Shariah-based DSES index edged 2.2 points or 0.23% higher to 981 while the blue chip comprising DS30 index rose by 11.2 points to 1,671. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, gained 86 points to close at 9,493. The total turnover at the DSE was Tk804 crore, which was 14.3% higher than the previous session. Out of 289 issues traded, 175 closed higher, 90 declined and 24 remained unchanged at the DSE. LankaBangla Securities in its market analysis said market maintained strong momentum for the fourth consecutive trading session with DSEX consistently supporting above 4,800-level. It added: Investors are showing a trading appetite on the long side for stocks of financial and service sector. Banking and insurance sector gained 2.2% and 1.5% in market capitalisation as buyers were queuing to financial stocks. While, engineering and textile got the biggest hit losing 0.8% and 0.7% of market capitalisation respectively.

DSE key features February 3, 2014


Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract Traded Issues Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis) Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis) Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis) Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)
8,042.00 199,836,615 164,410 289 182 99 8 2,298.74 27.86

Closing (% change) 8.31 7.61 6.19 5.93 5.91 5.85 5.74 5.44 5.35 5.26

Islami Ins.BD A Bangas -A BDCOM Online-A aamra technologies-A Rupali Bank - A AB Bank - A Pharma Aids A Libra Infusions-A Agni Systems -A ISN Ltd. -A CSE GAINERS Company Progressive Life-A EXIM Bank 1 MF A Midas Financing-Z Islami Ins.BD A Bangas -A Apex Foods -A Peoples Insur -A BGIC -A BDCOM Online-A AB Bank - A

Average (% change) 7.16 3.81 5.16 2.46 3.30 4.34 3.39 5.41 3.99 3.91 Average (% change) 25.00 7.04 8.55 8.28 4.22 7.55 6.14 5.98 6.94 4.05

Closing average 37.25 513.31 33.61 42.06 79.27 33.64 181.04 542.86 25.30 21.78

Closing 37.80 530.50 34.30 42.90 80.60 34.40 184.30 542.90 25.60 22.00

Daily high 38.10 530.50 34.80 43.20 81.20 34.70 185.50 553.50 26.00 22.50

Daily low 33.00 480.00 30.00 37.00 70.00 29.30 174.30 520.00 22.30 19.50

Turnover in million 38.196 25.552 101.302 179.524 8.780 108.307 18.955 2.280 50.860 4.296

Latest EPS 1.60 5.70 1.70 1.88 5.89 1.65 4.26 3.04 1.10 -0.36

Latest PE 23.3 90.1 19.8 22.4 13.5 20.4 42.5 178.6 23.0 -ve

Closing (% change) 25.00 9.86 8.71 8.31 7.62 7.55 6.32 5.61 5.59 5.52

Closing average 150.00 7.60 33.65 37.79 518.14 114.00 36.98 33.85 33.59 33.64

Closing 150.00 7.80 33.70 37.80 529.50 114.00 37.00 33.90 34.00 34.40

Daily high 150.00 7.80 34.10 38.30 529.50 114.00 37.30 34.80 34.30 34.60

Daily low 150.00 7.20 32.30 37.00 500.00 114.00 36.70 32.30 32.10 32.80

Turnover in million 0.075 0.011 0.067 1.074 0.661 0.011 1.860 2.120 2.252 13.422

Latest EPS 2.30 0.70 -5.96 1.60 5.70 3.56 2.20 2.33 1.70 1.65

Latest PE 65.2 10.9 -ve 23.6 90.9 32.0 16.8 14.5 19.8 20.4

'Market maintained strong momentum for the fourth consecutive trading session with DSEX consistently supporting above 4,800-level'
Backed by continued upbeat sentiment, key index DSEX surfaced over 4,800 points level for the first time yesterday, said IDLC Investment. Meghna Petroleum was the most traded stock with a turnover of Tk45.9 crore, followed by Mercantile Bank, LankaBangla Finance, Aamra Technologies and Padma Oil. l

Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)

SUN

02-Feb

MON 03-Feb

Capital Market Highlights:


TUE 28-Jan

THU

30-Jan

MON 27-Jan

WED 29-Jan

CSE key features February 3, 2014


Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract Traded Issues
708.10 21,813,051 25,863 232 143 85 4 2,90.45 26.55

News from trade server


METROSPIN: The Company has informed that it has credited the bonus shares for the year ended on June 30, 2013 to the respective shareholders' BO Accounts. EASTRNLUB: The Company has informed that it has already taken necessary steps to deposit the Cash Dividends for the year ended 30 June, 2013 to the BO/Folio Account Shareholders' Bank Account under Bangladesh Electronic Fund Transfer Network (BEFTN). Besides, shareholders whose cash dividends have not yet been deposited in their respective bank accounts, they are requested to contact with company's Share Section. Contact No. 031 614235 7, Ext. 214. Right share: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. BRACBANK: Subscription 20.04.2014 to 15.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 10.02.2014. IPO Subscription: Matin Spinning Mills Limited subscription date 26 30 January 2014, NRB upto 08 Feburay 2014. @ Tk. 37/-, face value taka 10 and market lot 200. Hwa Well Textiles (BD) Limited subscription date 17 23 February 2014, NRB upto 04 March 2014. At per, face value taka 10 and market lot 500.

Dividend/AGM

SALAMCRST: 13% cash, AGM: 29.03.2014, Record date: 11.02.2014. 1STPRIMFMF: 10% cash, Record date: 11.02.2014. HRTEX: 15% cash, AGM: 09.06.2014, Record date: 20.02.2014. MAKSONSPIN: 5% stock, AGM: 13.03.2014, RD: 16.02.2014. GSPFINANCE: 12% stock, AGM: 20.02.2014, RD: 03.02.2014. ECABLES: 10% cash, AGM: 01.03.2014 SAVAREFR: No dividend, AGM: 30.01.2014

Daily capital market highlights


DSE Broad Index : DSE Shariah Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :
DSE LOSERS Company Rahima Food -Z Bengal Windsor-A GPH Ispat Ltd-A Apex Tannery -A Hakkani P& Paper -B Kay & Que (BD) -Z Miracle Industries -B BD. Autocars -Z BD Building Systems -A RAK Ceramics-A CSE LOSERS Company Phoenix Insur -A Marico BD Ltd-A Apex Footwear-A Rahima Food -Z Bengal Windsor-A GPH Ispat Ltd-A RAK Ceramics-A BD Building Systems -A Mozaffar H.Spinning-N LankaBangla Fin. -A Closing (% change) -6.92 -6.54 -5.83 -4.02 -3.93 -3.16 -2.95 -2.95 -2.68 -2.66 Closing (% change) -4.26 -3.94 -3.86 -3.50 -3.42 -3.27 -3.20 -3.14 -3.11 -2.95

4826.51482 981.52367 1671.44037 14982.3734 12538.1246 9493.3523

(+) 0.81% (+) 0.23% (+) 0.67% (+) 0.87% (+) 1.18% (+) 0.92%

Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis) Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis) Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis) Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.) Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
Turnover in million 3.319 55.389 37.441 31.585 1.950 0.155 9.931 0.251 48.045 14.321 Latest EPS -1.00 2.50 2.42 4.86 0.28 -0.89 0.22 0.04 2.92 2.10

Average (% change) -2.90 -4.28 -2.26 0.42 -1.56 -3.86 -3.10 -2.72 -3.79 -2.91 Average (% change) -1.45 -5.34 -5.83 -2.38 -3.75 -2.44 -2.28 -4.47 -1.88 -1.93

Closing average 65.72 59.29 56.10 162.22 31.45 20.67 24.69 27.89 69.22 56.35

Closing 65.10 58.50 54.80 159.90 31.10 20.70 24.20 27.80 68.50 55.90

Daily high 67.50 61.30 57.70 167.40 33.20 21.50 25.50 28.90 75.50 58.40

Daily low 64.40 55.00 51.30 157.30 31.00 20.50 22.80 27.70 64.00 52.00

Latest PE -ve 23.7 23.2 33.4 112.3 -ve 112.2 697.3 23.7 26.8

Change of DSE Broad Index vs Sectoral Index


6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0%

BankIndex

DSE BroadIndex

Closing average 55.01 813.10 530.00 65.12 59.31 55.95 56.62 69.44 40.25 77.73

Closing 53.80 813.10 530.00 64.50 58.60 55.10 56.00 69.20 40.00 76.80

Daily high 58.00 813.10 530.00 66.50 61.20 57.00 58.50 71.00 41.70 79.30

Daily low 53.10 813.10 530.00 64.10 58.30 54.00 53.00 68.60 39.90 76.00

Turnover in million 0.084 0.041 0.424 0.163 8.581 1.007 2.202 9.321 5.374 12.479

Latest EPS 3.81 46.53 28.27 -1.00 2.50 2.42 2.10 2.92 2.16 2.75

Latest PE 14.4 17.5 18.7 -ve 23.7 23.1 27.0 23.8 18.6 28.3

03

10

17

24

31

07

14

21

-1%

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Meghna Petroleum -A Mercantile Bank -A LankaBangla Fin. -A aamra technologies-A Padma Oil Co. -A S Purbanchol Power-N
UCBL - A

ANALYST

Investors are showing a trading appetite on the long side for stocks of financial and service sector

SECTORAL TURNOVER SUMMARY


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

DSE Million Taka 1406.05 721.50 179.38 582.24 347.24 1149.61 4.15 719.76 665.49 1.95 50.96 106.66 52.22 264.64 344.65 562.40 419.82 153.42 184.83 123.41 1.63

% change 17.48 8.97 2.23 7.24 4.32 14.30 0.05 8.95 8.28 0.02 0.63 1.33 0.65 3.29 4.29 6.99 5.22 1.91 2.30 1.53 0.02

Million Taka 151.16 82.14 9.59 90.02 23.06 59.37 60.96 55.91 0.08 5.37 5.00 6.09 13.44 31.90 27.77 20.56 13.24 29.80 22.65 0.00

CSE

% change 21.35 11.60 1.35 12.71 3.26 8.38 0.00 8.61 7.90 0.01 0.76 0.71 0.86 1.90 4.50 3.92 2.90 1.87 4.21 3.20 0.00

Million Taka 1557.21 803.64 188.97 672.25 370.30 1208.98 4.15 780.72 721.41 2.03 56.33 111.66 58.31 278.08 376.55 590.17 440.38 166.66 214.63 146.06 1.63

Total

% change 17.80 9.18 2.16 7.68 4.23 13.82 0.05 8.92 8.24 0.02 0.64 1.28 0.67 3.18 4.30 6.74 5.03 1.90 2.45 1.67 0.02

Delta Life Insu. -A Active Fine Chem.-A Grameenphone-A AB Bank - A One Bank -A Appollo Ispat CL -N ConfidenceCement A BDCOM Online-A Orion Pharma-N People`s Leasing-A
CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Appollo Ispat CL -N

Olympic Ind. -A Square Pharma -A UNITED AIR A

411,400 1,126,834 516,051 3,219,294 5,730,819 3,066,800 699,083 3,014,002 1,415,700 3,069,621

Volume shares 1,689,188 9,644,446 2,476,132 4,268,290 453,864 2,011,710 4,705,858 685,119 503,175 6,858,297

Value in million 460.29 192.92 192.37 179.52 152.86 148.74 147.08 124.58 119.21 112.77

110.09 110.07 109.28 108.31 106.66 105.07 104.81 101.30 92.29 90.32

% of total turnover 5.72 2.40 2.39 2.23 1.90 1.85 1.83 1.55 1.48 1.40

1.37 1.37 1.36 1.35 1.33 1.31 1.30 1.26 1.15 1.12

Daily closing 273.10 20.20 76.70 42.90 339.30 74.30 31.30 182.10 236.70 16.40

270.20 96.60 212.20 34.40 18.80 34.70 151.50 34.30 65.00 29.40

Price change 4.20 2.02 -2.54 5.93 4.69 -0.13 1.29 0.22 -0.21 -1.20

3.33 -2.03 0.38 5.85 3.30 0.29 3.20 6.19 -0.61 3.52

Daily opening 262.10 19.80 78.70 40.50 324.10 74.40 30.90 181.70 237.20 16.60

261.50 98.60 211.40 32.50 18.20 34.60 146.80 32.30 65.40 28.40

Daily high 280.00 21.50 79.40 43.20 344.00 75.50 32.00 183.00 239.00 18.00

271.00 99.90 213.20 34.70 19.00 34.90 152.90 34.80 65.90 29.80

262.70 89.00 205.00 29.30 16.50 34.00 145.00 30.00 59.00 25.70

Daily low 250.00 17.90 72.00 37.00 310.00 67.00 28.00 168.00 225.10 15.00

28
Daily average 272.49 20.00 77.69 42.06 336.80 73.94 31.25 181.83 236.92 16.44

267.60 97.68 211.76 33.64 18.61 34.26 149.93 33.61 65.19 29.42

Volume shares

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

UNITED AIR A aamra technologies-A Eastern Cables-Z Meghna Petroleum -A Mercantile Bank -A UCBL - A AB Bank - A Shahjalal Islami -A National Bank - B LankaBangla Fin. -A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Salvo Chemicals-B Delta Life Insu. -A Fareast Finance-N People`s Leasing-A Paramount Textile Ltd.-A Padma Oil Co. -A Southeast Bank-A BD Building Systems -A

870,600 1,424,707 507,725 200,900 69,175 840,572 490,677 399,036 658,968 896,018 160,550 339,321 441,249 41,550 642,500 374,289 207,490 31,324 438,621 134,225

Value in million

29.84 23.50 21.36 19.89 18.85 16.88 15.34 13.42 12.76 12.66 12.48 12.28 11.87 11.14 11.01 11.01 10.79 10.60 10.02 9.32

% of total turnover

4.21 3.32 3.02 2.81 2.66 2.38 2.17 1.90 1.80 1.79 1.76 1.73 1.68 1.57 1.56 1.56 1.52 1.50 1.42 1.32

Daily closing

34.70 16.50 42.80 99.00 273.50 20.20 31.30 34.40 19.70 14.10 76.80 35.90 27.10 270.40 17.30 29.30 51.80 339.50 23.00 69.20

Price change

0.00 -1.20 5.16 4.21 4.47 2.02 1.29 5.52 4.79 0.71 -2.66 -1.10 4.23 2.70 4.85 2.81 0.19 4.37 0.88 -2.95

Daily opening

34.70 16.70 40.70 95.00 261.80 19.80 30.90 32.60 18.80 14.00 78.90 36.30 26.00 263.30 16.50 28.50 51.70 325.30 22.80 71.30

34.90 16.80 43.10 99.00 278.40 20.30 31.40 34.60 19.70 14.30 79.30 36.60 27.30 271.30 17.40 30.00 52.80 343.70 23.10 71.00

Daily high

34.00 15.10 40.80 95.20 262.60 19.80 30.90 32.80 18.80 14.00 76.00 35.70 26.30 263.20 16.50 28.70 51.50 331.50 22.40 68.60

Daily low

Daily average

34.27 16.50 42.06 99.00 272.43 20.08 31.27 33.64 19.36 14.13 77.73 36.19 26.89 268.19 17.14 29.42 52.01 338.26 22.85 69.44

DHAKA TRIBUNE

Business
DSE ticker 1JANATAMF 1STICB 2NDICB 3RDICB 4THICB 5THICB 6THICB 7THICB 8THICB ABB1STMF DBH1STMF EBL1STMF EBLNRBMF EXIM1STMF FBFIF GRAMEEN1 GRAMEENS2 GREENDELMF ICB1STNRB ICB2NDNRB ICB3RDNRB ICBAMCL2ND ICBEPMF1S1 ICBISLAMIC ICBSONALI1 IFIC1STMF IFILISLMF1 NLI1STMF PF1STMF PHPMF1 POPULAR1MF PRIME1ICBA RELIANCE1 SEBL1STMF TRUSTB1MF Fund manager RACE ICB ICB ICB ICB ICB ICB ICB ICB RACE LR Global RACE RACE RACE RACE AIMS AIMS LR Global ICB AMCL ICB AMCL ICB AMCL ICB AMCL ICB AMCL ICB AMCL ICB AMCL RACE ICB AMCL VIPB ICB AMCL RACE RACE ICB AMCL AIMS VIPB RACE % increaseof H2 profits in 2013 against 2012 58% 38% 13% 9% 18% 0% 7% 5% 24% -7% 129% -38% -8% -27% 65% 65% -23% 41% 18% 91% 175% 111% 86% -26% 633% -4% 157% 5% 28% 182% 167% 22% -6%

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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Euro rises in Asia after inflation data tumble
n AFP, Tokyo
The euro bounced back against the yen yesterday after suffering a sell-off last week in response to weak eurozone data that fuelled speculation of an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank (ECB). In afternoon Tokyo trade, the euro rose to 137.96 yen from 137.61 yen in New York Friday, its lowest level since early December, while it held steady at $1.3484 against $1.3487. The dollar strengthened to 102.31 yen from 102.03 yen. Official data Friday showed eurozone inflation eased to 0.7% in January, from 0.8% in December, as the bloc struggles to recover from its debts crisis. The banks target is for 2% inflation. The figures come as the ECBs policy-setting governing council prepares to hold its monthly policy meeting on Thursday, with some analysts tipping a rate cut to head off deflation. This result has some now anticipating further easing action from the ECB this Thursday, National Australia Bank said. We rather think they would wait until March when new staff economic projections are available, but (ECB chief Mario) Draghis press conference is going to be interesting ... either way. The dollar won support after the US Commerce Department last week said the worlds number-one economy expanded 3.2% in October-December, well above the 3% projected by analysts. There was also some cheer from figures showing a 3.3% rise in consumer spending, which is a crucial driver of growth in the United States. That came a day after the Federal Reserve reduced its stimulus programme by another $10bn a month to $65bn, following a similar cut in December. While the US central bank cited a firming economy for the wind-down, the announcement rattled emerging markets such as India, South Africa and Russia on fears of a capital flight, which in turn sent their currencies diving. Sentiment took a knock after China released data at the weekend pointing to a slowdown in manufacturing activity in the worlds number two economy and key driver of global growth. That came days after HSBC said its own survey of activity in China had shown a contraction. The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It strengthened to Sg$1.2778 from Sg$1.2763 on Friday, to 1,083.32 South Korean won from 1,080.69 won, to 45.39 Philippine pesos from 45.32 pesos and to 12,249 Indonesian rupiah from 12,213 rupiah. The greenback also rose to 62.58 Indian rupees from 62.41 rupees while it weakened to Tw$30.34 from Tw$30.35 and to 32.91 Thai baht from 33.02 baht. The Australian dollar lost ground at 87.50 US cents from 87.66 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.88 yen against 16.90 yen. l

Mutual funds show higher half-yearly profits


n Tribune Business Desk
Thirty five mutual funds listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange recently disclosed their half yearly profits for the second half of 2013. The funds representing 79% of the sector reported earnings of Tk134.5 crore during July to December period of 2013 against Tk102.3 crore during the same period of 2012. Tk102.3 crore of profits were from 33 funds as two funds were launched last year. The two funds, Exim Bank 1st and ICB AMCL Sonali Bank Limited 1st have reported profits of Tk11.5 crore during H2 of 2013. Among the funds, ICB AMCL managed IFIL Islamic Mutual Fund-1 registered the highest increase of 633% from a profit of Tk0.6 crore in H2 of 2012 to Tk4.4 crore in the second half of 2013. RACE managed EBL First Mutual Fund reported a declinein earnings by 38% while NLI First, Trust Bank 1st, AB Bank 1st, EBL NRB, Green Delta, IFIC Bank 1st and FBFIFreported lower profitability too. None of the funds having lower profitability declared any cash dividend in 2013. Brokers believe the better performing market have pushed up the revenues of the funds in the recent times. The mutual fund industrys asset ranges between Tk40bn to Tk50bn, said an analyst. l

MOST MUTUAL FUNDS HALF YEARLY (2013) PROFIT DISCLOSURE


Name of Mutual Fund First Janata Bank Mutual Fund 1st ICB M.F. 2nd ICB M.F. 3rd ICB M.F. 4th ICB M.F. 5th ICB M.F. 6th ICB M.F. 7th ICB M.F. 8th ICB M.F. AB Bank 1st Mutual Fund DBH First Mutual Fund EBL First Mutual Fund EBL NRB Mutual Fund EXIM Bank 1st Mutual Fund First Bangladesh Fixed Income Fund Mutual Fund One Mutual Fund Grameen One : Scheme Two Grameen Green Delta Mutual Fund ICB AMCL 1st NRB Mutual Fund ICB AMCL 2nd NRB Mutual Fund ICB AMCL Third NRB Mutual Fund ICB AMCL Second Mutual Fund ICB Employees Provident MF 1: Scheme 1 ICB AMCL Islamic ICB AMCL Sonali Bank Limited 1st Mutual Fund IFIC Bank 1st Mutual Fund IFIL Islamic Mututal Fund-1 NLI First Mutual Fund Phoenix Finance 1st Mutual Fund PHP First Mutual Fund Popular Life First Mutual Fund Prime Bank 1st ICB AMCL Mutual Fund Reliance Insurance Mutual Fund Southeast Bank 1st Mutual Fund Trust Bank 1st Mutual Fund Cash dividends per unit in 2013 (in Taka) 70 37.5 24 24 20 10.5 12 11 NAV/unit (Feb 2, 2014) in Taka 10.67 1,221.88 277.97 287.06 273.27 226.18 64.83 114.18 74.87 11.67 10.51 10.61 11.06 11.2 10.98 33.76 18.34 10.06 27.72 12.05 8.1 9.05 8.26 18.64 10.80 11.01 9.92 11.87 7.9 10.48 10.96 8.26 12.64 11.45 11.26 Redemption year 2020 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2022 2019 2019 2021 2023 2022 2015 2023 2020 2017 2018 2019 2019 2019 2014 2023 2019 2019 2022 2019 2020 2020 2019 2021 2021 2019

2 1 2.5 1 0 0 2

Pakistans privatisation tsar embarks on quest to revive economy


n Reuters
Mohammad Zubair was on a cruise dinner with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Thailand when he was offered the hardest job of his life: privatising a huge chunk of the economy while fighting resistance from the opposition and trade unions. When the prime minister left the table, a colleague of former IBM executive Zubair rushed to his side. But Pakistans new privatisation tsar is determined to find buyers for 68 public companies, most of them loss-making, including two gas companies, an oil company, about 10 banks, the national airline and power distribution companies - all within the next two years. The government sees the sell-offs as a life saver for Pakistans $225bn economy crippled by power shortages, corruption and militant violence. Successful privatisation is Sharifs top political a bureaucrats desk and he has to take a decision he isnt qualified to. This cant go on, no matter what. Pakistan can raise up to $5bn in privatisation revenue in the next two years to ease pressure on strained public finance, Zubair said. Last September, the International Monetary Fund saved Pakistan from a possible default by agreeing to lend it $6.7bn over three years. In return, Pakistan must make good on a longstandvestors, including the World Banks private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, and the U.S. mutual fund Fidelity Investments have shown interest in the companies. But for Zubair, a former IBM chief financial officer for the Middle East and Africa, the real challenge is overcoming resistance from thousands of workers who will have to be laid off and opposition parties who are against the plan. Once a source of pride, Pakistan International Airlines is struggling to stay aloft, having accumulated losses of more than 250bn rupees. A quarter of its 40 aircraft are grounded. Flights are regularly cancelled and engineers say they have to cannibalise some planes to keep others flying. Unions strongly oppose the privatisation. The IMF wants the airline partially privatised by December. Another asset is Pakistan Steel Mills, which has accumulated losses of more than 100 billion rupees. Overstaffed by at least three times, employees havent been paid since October. I should not use this word but what has happened is the complete rape of this institution, said Zubair. An attempt to privatise the mill in 2006 was blocked by the then chief justice. Foreign investment dwindled as deals got caught up in court. Now, under a new Supreme Court chief, officials say the prospects of reform have improved. ers must be hired to evaluate the assets and examine accounts by June. Zubairs daily work includes visits to opposition lawmakers, parliamentary committees and unions to convince them of his plan. But he has few takers. The answer to our current economic malaise lies not in hawking of stateowned institutions but in restructuring these industries, Bilawal Bhutto, chief of the former ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, wrote in a commentary. Asad Umar, an opposition lawmaker and former chief executive of one of Pakistans largest conglomerates, said privatisation was being pursued on an unrealistic time frame and the criteria for identifying entities was inconsistent. For Umar, it makes no sense that on the list with a bleeding airline are Oil and Gas Development Co. Ltd and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, which made profits of 91bn and 42bn rupees respectively in 2013, and have zero debt. Not all sell-offs are expected to go smoothly. A nine-year dispute between the government and Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates largest telecoms firm, over payments from the privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd, is seen as a discouragement for investors. But Zubair says no plan is without risk. There is no magic wand to ensure that all these ventures will be successful, he said. But the bottom line is that Im not going to hold off privatisation for anyone. l

Chairman of Pakistans Privatisation Commission Mohammad Zubair speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Islamabad Are you mad? Three privatisation ministers have gone to jail and most have corruption cases hanging over their heads, he said. Dont take this job. and economic goal. We lose 500bn rupees annually because of failing enterprises, Zubair told Reuters. Every day a file lands on ing promise to privatise loss-making state companies. Privatisation officials, requesting anonymity, said several foreign in-

'No magic wand'

Under IMF conditions, financial advis-

Mamun-Ur-Rashid, deputy managing director of Standard Bank Ltd has been elected general secretary of the Global Economist Forum (GEF), Bangladesh chapter. He was elected at the biannual general meeting of the forum held recently. GEF is accredited by the United Nations ECOSCO as a special consultative status organisation

Oil prices down in Asia on weak Chinese data


n AFP, Singapore
Oil prices eased in Asian trade yesterday as data showing weak Chinese manufacturing activity fuelled concerns over energy demand in the worlds second largest economy, analysts said. New Yorks main contract, West Texas Intermediate for March delivery, eased 22 cents to $97.27 in afternoon trade while Brent North Sea crude for March was down two cents at $106.38. ing activity slipped to a five-month low in January, confirming a slowdown in factory activity in the worlds top energy consumer. The monthly purchasing managers index (PMI) declined to 50.5 in January after recording 51 in December and 51.4 in November, according to the governments National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. Any figure above the 50 mark indicates expansion of manufacturing activity while anything below that signals contraction. The news came days after banking giant HSBC said it PMI hit a six-month low of 49.5 last month. Chua said investors will be keeping a close watch on US non-farm payrolls and unemployment data due out on Friday. Investors will be focused on the jobs data to see if the disappointing December numbers are a one-off as the US Federal Reserve has said, or if it is the start of something larger, Chua said. The US Labour Department last month said the US economy added just 74,000 jobs in December, well below the 197,000 expected by analysts. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 6.7%, the lowest since October 2008, mainly due to people dropping out of the labour force. l

Jim McCabe, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Standard Chartered Bank, recently handed over rare photographs of ancient Bangladeshi coins to Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman for BBs Currency Museum

Basic Bank Limited on Sunday distributed blankets for the cold stricken people at Lalbagh area in the capital

Commodity prices are currently under pressure due to weaker-than-expected data on Chinese manufacturing activity

Square Toiletries Limiteds annual distributors and sales conference for the year 2014 took place during the first two days of February at Hotel Sea-Palace in Coxs Bazaar. The event was inaugurated by the companys managing director, Anjan Chowdhury

Meghna Bank Limited chair, HN Ashequr Rahman yesterday greeted Kaiser Chowdhury with flowers on winning Bangla Academy Sahitya Award 2013 for his extraordinary writing in Child Literature category. Abdul Alim Khan Selim, the banks vice chair were also present in the inauguration ceremony

Commodity prices are currently under pressure due to weaker-than-expected data on Chinese manufacturing activity, Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP. China on Saturday said manufactur-

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DHAKA TRIBUNE

Business

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A long way to go for mutual funds


Shahidul Islam, chief executive officer of VIPB Asset Management Company Limited, in an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune tells having a regulatory framework is a must for development of the business in Bangladesh What are the problems you faced that n Tahmidur Rahman prevented you from creating value for
The sector is still at a nascent stage as it is very small compared to the capital market. Though there are about 15 asset management companies licensed by BSEC (the securities regulator), only seven have money under management. The asset management companies manage roughly Tk5,000 crore which is less than 3% of the total market capitalisation. In many countries mutual fund assets are close to 50% of market capitalisation.

At which stage Bangladeshs mutual fund industry is today?

the unit-holders?

If market needs more funds, then why isnt VIPB launching another?

Well, coming up with new funds is not easy as currently most closed-ended funds are trading at 30-40% discounts to net asset value (NAV). So clearly there is a lack of demand for such funds. Investors would invest in existing funds that are trading at deep discounts instead of investing in new funds that would be offered at prices close to the NAVs. Also, the existing funds have shorter time to maturity compared to new funds. Shorter time to maturity generally means less uncertainty for the investors. As a result we have witnessed under-subscriptions of the IPOs (initial public offerings) of closed-ended funds, which arent common for the IPOs of companies. Under such circumstances, launching new closed-ended funds will not be wise. However, some asset management companies have come up with open-ended mutual funds. But it has not been a huge success either. We are also in the process of launching an open-ended fund. With our exceptional track record in the last couple of years we hope to make it a success.

First of all, let me clarify that VIPB Asset Management Company has been able to generate exceptional returns for its investors since launching its first fund. We have generated double digit returns even in the years when the stock market return was negative. In 2013, our funds generate 13% return compared to about 5% return of the capital market. However, in the long-run, mutual funds performance will be closely related to the performance of the economy in general and the capital market in particular. If the listed companies do not perform well, the funds will not be able to create value for the investors because the funds invest mostly in the listed companies. I think proper corporate governance and financial disclosures of the listed companies are critical for the overall development of the capital market. The accountability of the auditors and accountants is paramount for an effective capital market. Also the professionalism and credibility of the fund managers are extremely important. Some funds have recently reported abnormal and absurd net asset values, which was also published at Dhaka Tribune but you would see that no explanations were made.

Summing up - what are the major challenges before mutual funds to excel?
Shahidul Islam, CEO of VIPB Asset Management Company speaks to Dhaka Tribune at deep discounts fail to attract them. Also lack of disclosures by the mutual fund managers discourage investors from investing in mutual funds. In most countries mutual fund portfolios are made public but all the asset management companies in Bangladesh do not do so. documents. Secondly, funds should make the information of their portfolio holdings public. Lastly, BSEC (Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission) should be sending teams of inspectors to have a look into the funds' portfolio, operation and investment decision process. Mutual funds books should be inspected by BSEC inspectors in the same way bank books are inspected by Bangladesh Bank inspectors. Banks take deposits from the public and invest it in loan products whereas the asset management companies raise money from the public for investing mainly in the capital market. As investing in capital market is riskier than investing in loans, monitoring of the mutual fund industry is at least as important as monitoring banks.
DHAKA TRIBUNE

So, why do you think the funds are traded at a discount whereas we have some institutional and foreign investors who, at least, should understand that they are huge bargains?

What might be stopping the regulators in improving the industry?

Other than the institutions you mentioned market players in general do not understand mutual funds. And those who understand mutual funds have a general lack of trust for managers in the country. Also most of our active investors are inclined towards short term, speculative trades. Mutual funds

How investors trust on the funds can be built?

Firstly, immediate redemptions of the funds that have already missed their original deadlines will help gain investors trust. I personally think all close-ended mutual funds should be redeemed on the date of its maturity mentioned on the prospectus and trust

The BSEC lacks human resources to oversee the funds. Perhaps, they dont understand the importance of inspecting or monitoring the funds.

Internationally where do we stand?

In respect of mutual fund management, Bangladesh stands nowhere close to the rest of the world. Its not all about the relative smallness of the industry in Bangladesh. Its about the

regulatory environment, professionalism of the asset management companies and awareness of the investors. Only a few years ago we saw an insane phenomenon in Bangladesh - mutual funds trading at 200-300% premium to their NAVs. Now things have somewhat reversed. Many closed-ended funds are trading now at 30-40% discounts to NAVs. To explain this I had previously told to the Dhaka Tribune that either the investors do not understand the funds or they dont trust fund managers. Now I think that investors lack of trust in the fund manager perhaps is the main reason behind the current predicament of the industry.

Lack of the capacity of BSEC as I mentioned before is a big challenge. Also the lacks of transparency, good corporate governance in the listed companies, accountability of the accounting and audit profession and professionalism and integrity of fund managers are major challenges.

A simple question for the last do you think mutual funds create value for its investors?

Mutual funds definitely create value for investors and, therefore, they manage trillions of dollars globally. Unfortunately, due to the challenges I mentioned, you can always argue that the mutual fund industry in Bangladesh is not creating value for investors. But the solution is to address the issues, not to shut down the industry. l

Global automakers look for dream market in rural India


n Reuters
As economic torpor suffocates demand for new cars in Indias megacities, incomes are growing faster in small towns and country areas. Thats pushing the likes of General Motors and Honda Motor Co to fan out in search of buyers in places where fewer than 20 people in every thousand own a car for now. Standing firmly in the way are strong home-grown brands. With local services plentiful and repairs cheap, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, and Tata Motors Ltd dominate the rural vehicle market where foreign automakers are seen as expensive and distant. Foreign companies showing cars at the Delhi auto show, starting on Wednesday, have already poured billions of dollars into factories, product development and marketing in Indias once-booming car market. Still, no foreign car maker has a share of more than 6% in Indias passenger vehicle market aside from South Koreas Hyundai Motor Co with 15%. Car makers see success in rural areas as vital, as slow economic growth, high interest rates and rising fuel prices mean overall sales are headed for their second straight year of decline. Though the need for rural sales has been recognised, success could yet prove illusory. Japans Honda entered India nearly two decades ago but will still have only 170 dealerships by end-March, compared with market-leading Marutis current 1,300. Of the 60 sales outlets Honda plans to open in India in the fiscal year that starts in April, 43 will be in small towns. Its very easy to travel once in three-four years to a place 100 kilometres away to buy, said Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Honda India. It becomes a bit of a hassle for the customer to travel 100 or 150 kilometres every few months to get the car serviced. Like most foreign carmakers in India, however, Honda is seen as a premium brand, beyond the reach of 280,000 rupees. Areas with populations of less than 10,000 people account for 31% of Marutis sales so far in the fiscal year that ends in March, said Mayank Pareek, Marutis chief operating officer for marketing and sales, adding the company began a heavy push to target rural buyers five years ago. Unlike urban markets, in the rural markets customers are very loyal. So you get a big first-mover advantage, he said. General Motors has been selling cars in India since 1996. It has a market share of just 3.5% and 273 dealerships, increasing to 300 by the end of the next fiscal year. Most of the new outlets will be in smaller towns and rural areas, said P Balendran, vice president at GM India. With higher growth expected in rural areas as compared with the metros, we expect the share of rural markets in our overall sales increasing in the future, he said. One thing that is certain in the push by global car makers beyond Indias big cities is more choice for the growing number of rural buyers. Until a few years ago, many rural buyers essentially had just one choice to make - the colour of their Maruti 800, the hatchback predecessor to the Alto. Krishnakant Shinde, a farmer in Gove, a village about 250 kilometers from Mumbai, says he was the first in his village to buy a Volkswagen AG when he upgraded last October to a Vento sedan from a Maruti Swift Dzire entry-level sedan. Volkswagen, which has market share of just 2.25% in India, said it doesnt plan new outlets in the country this year. But it opened a dealership in Satara, a regional hub about 15 kilometres from Shindes home, about two years ago. Volkswagen the company wasnt new to me, but I didnt buy earlier as I was worried about spare parts and servicing, said Shinde, a sugar cane and dairy farmer. Now, since they have opened a showroom and service centre in Satara, I decided to buy. l

NEWS IN BRIEF Tata Motors shows off 1st new cars in four years
Indias largest carmaker Tata Motors unveiled its first new models in four years on Monday, banking on two small cars to reverse the companys sliding passenger car sales in the face of growing foreign competition. Sales of Tata passenger vehicles in India fell an annual 37% in the first nine months of the fiscal year that ends in March, according to data from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the steepest drop in an ailing industry headed for a second straight year of declining sales. Rising interest rates and high fuel costs in Asias third-largest economy, growing at its slowest pace in a decade, have pushed consumers to delay the purchase of big ticket items. Reuters

Indias manufacturing PMI rises to highest since March 2013


Indian factories started 2014 on a high note, with activity growing at its fastest pace in nearly a year as domestic and overseas orders increased, according to a survey that also showed inflation accelerated. The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, bounced to 51.4 in January, its highest since March, from 50.7 in the previous month. Reuters

A villager cleans his Renault Duster car as buffaloes look on nearby, outside his house in Kishangarh village on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Chandigarh REUTERS price-sensitive rural buyers. To expand its potential market, Honda last year launched the entry-level Amaze sedan, which starts at about 520,000 rupees and has helped it nearly double its market share to 4.7%. Smaller towns and cities account for nearly two-thirds of Amaze sales, the company said. Smaller towns and rural areas are a gold mine that foreign automakers are yet to tap efficiently, IHS Automotive analyst Anil Sharma said. One of the prerequisites for any automaker to be successful in rural areas would be availability of after-market services. Since the population is more dispersed in rural areas, what we probably need is services like mobile workshops. Selling foreign cars to rural India remains tough. Deepanshu Rai, who lives in Raigad, a small town about 100 kilometres from Mumbai, said he never considered buying a foreign model when he bought his first car about 10 months ago, an Alto 800 hatchback made by Maruti. If you buy a foreign brand, it wont have a service centre everywhere. You may have to travel far even for a small issue, said the 22-year-old Rai, who works for a mapping company. 1980s, the word Maruti was used generically to mean any car. On narrow rural roads, its cheap small cars jostle for space with Mahindras sturdy utility vehicles, tractors, motorbikes and bullock carts, with foreign models scarce. Spare parts, including fakes, are cheap and ubiquitous, and mechanics everywhere can fix a Maruti, keeping maintenance costs down. Marutis deep rural penetration has helped it defend its market share amid the industrys two-year downturn. Thats despite the onslaught of new models launched by foreign rivals. Next in line will be Nissan Motor Cos relaunched low-end Datsun brand. At the Delhi auto show Datsun will showcase a hatchback to compete with Marutis Alto 800, which starts at

China, France drag on global manufacturing revival


Manufacturers around the world enjoyed a solid start to the year as order books swelled, surveys showed on Monday, though a struggle for growth in China and a downturn in France took the shine off the overall picture. Euro zone factories had their best month since mid-2011 and, with unemployment near record highs, increased headcount for the first time in two years. Reuters

Mighty Maruti

For Maruti, the opposite is true. Founded in Gurgaon, outside New Delhi in 1982, Maruti accounts for nearly one in two new cars sold in India. Though it has drawn on the smallcar knowhow of Japans Suzuki Motor Corp, its majority shareholder, Maruti is seen as so home-grown that in the