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Chaitra 8, 1420 Jamadiul Awal 20, 1435 Regd. No.

DA 6238 Vol 1 No 358


16 pages plus 24-page Avenue-T & 16-page BBF Leadership Summit supplement | Price: Tk10





26m Bangladeshis deprived of improved water

Arsenic, industrial pollution, salinity, decrease in groundwater level major reasons
n Tribune Report
Around 26 million people in Bangladesh do not have access to improved drinking water, say Unicef and the World Health Organisation. Bangladesh is among the 10 countries that are home to almost twothirds of the global population but do not have access to improved drinking water sources, according to estimates of the two global bodies. They disclosed the data up to 2013 yesterday on the occasion of the World Water Day today. desh is to bring 89% of the countrys population under the coverage of safe drinking water. In Bangladesh, arsenic contamination, industrial pollution, saline intrusion in ground water in the coastal belt, contamination of river water and decrease in ground water level in many parts were major reasons for the shortage of safe water, Professor M Feroze Ahmed, a water expert, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The former teacher of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, now vice-chancellor of Stamford University, said the situation was worst in hilly and char areas. According to the joint monitoring programme of the WHO and Unicef, water supply coverage in Bangladesh increased from 78% in 1990 to 98% in 2006. However, arsenic contamination of 22% of the tube wells in the country proportionately lowered the service coverage to 78%. The latest multiple indicator survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in 2009 revealed that access to improved source of water adjusted for arsenic contamination had increased 86%. There is still more than 20 million people drinking water that contains arsenic above the Bangladesh standard for drinking water 50 parts per billion. Close to 90% of these people live in rural areas and 5 million of them live in areas where 80% sources are contaminated with arsenic. Increasing saline intrusion in

Indian batsmen Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are ecstatic after their win against arch-rival Pakistan in the first group stage match of World Cup T20, 2014 at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday MUMIT M

Unicef says women and girls are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to safe water. An estimated 71% of the burden of drinking water collection is being shouldered by women and girls. We have had to consume malodorous water from tube wells for the last five years. We also found algae in tube wells, Nazrul Islam of Gonergaon village under Shilmandi union of Narsingdi district told the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday. People in at least six unions in Narsingdi had been suffering from this problem, the shopkeeper said, adding that local people believed that discharge of industrial waste from nearby factories had led to the situation. We have to drink this water as there is no other alternative sources, he said. One of the MDG targets for Bangla-

BNPs movement plan in tatters

n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
The BNP is still reeling from the negative impact of its recent violent protests that the country saw in its recent hartal and blockade programmes. When the party is in a total disarray it finds it difficult to reorganise its committees of different tiers with the upazila parishad elections adding woe to its misery. Moreover, arrest of its top level leaders also rubbed salt into its wound. The party insiders said they were now pressing ahead very cautiously as a single mistake might ruin their entire plan and which is why they had remained silent even after charges were framed against party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman. We know the party rank-and-file members have become demoralised as we failed to announce any programmes protesting framing charge against the party chairperson and her son, they said. The leaders think as people never accept destructive programmes they are now abstaining from announcing any such programmes. They, however, are scared of mounting government oppression on the opposition leaders and activists if they remain off the streets. A number of senior leaders were reported to have advised Khaleda Zia to go for a comprehensive preparation to launch a vigorous campaign along with grassroots leaders putting pressure on her for the same. Standing committee meeting will be called soon and the next course of action programmes will be finalised there, a standing committee member seeking anonymity told the Dhaka Tribune. He also said: We have a plan to wage a movement after reorganising the party and completion of upazila parishad elections, but the detention of the senior leaders and charges framed against the madam (Khaleda) and Tarique Rahman really put us in trouble. Now it has become very important for us to prioritise the agenda first, he said. A joint secretary general of the party wishing not to be named said many district and upazila level leaders were on the run and could not secure bail even from the High Court rather new cases were filed against them over upazila elections. The government is filling cases one

India outplay Pakistan in cool Super 10 opener n Raihan Mahmood

India opened their ICC World T20 campaign with a cool seven wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the first match of the Super Ten phase at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

3 The Old Brahmaputra River flowing through the district was once a lifeline for thousands of local people. But, those days are gone by as its water has now turned pitch black. 4 Two mobile phone operators have asked the countrys telecom regulator to give them another year to shift their Blackberry subscribers to another platform. 5 A gang of criminals are active in the city who get children involve in stealing mobile phones after they were provided training.

AL eyes more chairman posts

n Emran Hossain Shaikh
The ruling Awami League looks to a violence-free fourth phase upazila poll scheduled to be held tomorrow and hopes that it would bag more chairman posts in this turn. Several leaders of the party hope that in the fourth phase they would fare better than any other phases. They alleged that the BNP Jamaat alliance would resort to violence to make the polls questionable. The leaders said that was why they instructed their grass roots activists to



11 Thanks to a misguided burst of emotionalism born of sincere nationalism, Bangladesh failed an entire generation of youth who could nary put together a coherent sentence in proper English.

It was not a big target to chase for the Indian batting lineup that contained Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and they cruised to victory with 131 in 18.3 overs with seven wickets to spare. The 25,000+ capacity crowd, however, did not see the flair and fire of a typical T20 of the traditional sub-continental rivals; it was rather a controlled and calculative India who made a winning start. Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put on 54 before Dhawan fell on 30. Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina ensured no further damage in the 66



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Accepting Islami Bank donations contradictory to PMs statements

n Tribune Report
An anti-war criminal forum yesterday claimed that the governments acceptance of a Tk3 crore donation from Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, a pro Jamaat-e-Islami banking institution, during fundraiser for a new Guinness world record on March 26 is contradictory with the prime ministers statements against Jamaat and its allied institutions. In a statement released yesterday, Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 condemned the governments move to collect donations from the Islami Bank. The donation was accepted during a fundraiser of the government for Sonar Bangla in Million Voices, an attempt to set a new world record on the most number of people sing the national anthem together on the countrys Independence Day. Appreciating governments initiative for organising Sonar Bangla in Million Voices programme, the statement also added: We understands that the government needs financial support from both the public and private organisations for hosting the programme, but the move to collect money from the commercial organisation by the anti-liberation force Jamaat-e-Islami has surprised and shocked us. The statement was signed by the forums President Mohammad Golam Rabbani, Executive President Shahriar Kabir, Vice President Muntasir Mamun, general secretary Kazi Mukul, and Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, Ferdousi Priyobhashini, filmmaker Shamim Akhter. We has been demanding government to seize of all commercial organisation belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami and its assets for a long time, which the government has not implemented. Rather, it has accepted donations from its allied institution Islami Bank, which we condemn. With the statement, the platform has demanded a ban on Jamaat-e-Islamis politics, seize of all of its commercial organisation and assets. It also urged the government to return the money to Islami Bank and not to collect any donation from the anti liberation force or its allies in future. l

A mobile court destroys jars containing unsafe water and seals off a factory at the capitals Karwan Bazar area yesterday. The factory has been bottling and distributing unsafe drinking water for quite some time MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Tofail, Nasim criticise NHRC chiefs 'pro-BNP Jamaat' role

n Arif Ahmed
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Health Minister Mohammed Nasim yesterday hinted at National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Mizanur Rahman for being a pro-BNPJamaat intellectual. They made the comments in the presence of Mizanur, at a conference organised by Jatiya Puja Udjapon Parishad at Dhaka Universitys TSC. Earlier at the same program, Mizanur had criticised the governments failure in preventing communal violence surrounding the 10th parliamentary election. The NHRC chief said in many of the violence-hit areas, cases had mostly been filed without naming anyone as accused, adding that these cases against the unnamed had been lodged only for business purposes. He also expressed disappointment as the accused were yet to be brought to justice. Later, Health Minister Nasim referred to the NHRC chiefs speech and said: The real attackers are known faces, but the speaker [Mizanur] did not mention anything against those who were involved with such heinous attacks. He added that some intellectuals never point blame at the real culprits, as they were patronised by the evil forces. Further referring to Mizanurs speech, Nasim said such speech was attractive to the public, but not fruitful. The minister also vowed to work with the premier to make Bangladesh a non-communal country. Speaking as chief guest, Commerce Minister Tofail also criticised Mizanurs remark, saying: One [Mizanur] gave speech aiming at the ministers, but did not specify the main culprits. Here is the difference between our intellectuals and pro-BNP Jamaat intellectuals. Tofail assured of ensuring proper punishment for the miscreants who committed the heinous attacks during the national election. President of Jatiya Puja Udjapon Parishad Kanutosh Majumdar presided over the programme, which was conducted by the parishads Secretary General Monindra Kumar Nath. Among others, DU Vice-Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, Federal Union of Journalists President Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council President Rana Dasgupta were present. l

180 Jamaat leaders resign en mass in Pabna

n Tribune Report
More than 180 leaders of Jamaat-e-Islamis Bera upazila unit in Pabna resigned en mass yesterday, protesting the withdrawal of the Jamaat-backed candidate from the upazila poll and directives to support the BNP-backed candidate. The decision to resign en mass was made at an emergency meeting of the partys local leaders, including the chairman candidate, said Ataur Rahman, secretary of Jamaats Bera upazila unit. He also said Bera upazila Jamaat Ameer Abdul Baten was chosen as Jamaats candidate to contest the upazila poll to be held on March 31 as there was a possibility of win in the partys stronghold. However, on Friday morning, Jamaat-e Islami Pabna district Ameer Abdur Rahim asked Baten to withdraw his candidacy and directed him to work for the BNP-backed candidate in the area, he added. Following the decision, Jamaat leaders called an emergency meeting and decided to resign en mass, Ataur said. Pabna district Jamaat Nayeb-eAmeer Jahurul Islam, however, said no instructions had been given for the withdrawal of Batens candidacy. The withdrawal might have been a result of an intra-party feud among local leaders, he said, adding that he was not aware of the resignation. l

Six murdered in separate incidents

n Tribune Report
At least six people, including a child, were killed in separate incidents in Rajbari, Bandarban, Mymensingh, Narail and Pirojpur yesterday. Miscreants shot dead Salmi, 35, and Chan Mia, 42, near Doulatdia railway station in Rajbari yesterday evening. Abul Bashar, officer-in-charge of Goalanda police station confirmed. At least 10-12 miscreants shot dead Ka Hla Thowi Marma, 48, in Bandarban yesterday, Lama police station Officer-in-Charge Shahjahan Khan confirmed. In Mymensingh, a farmer was murdered and two others, including the farmers son, sustained critical injuries in a clash over watering of Boro field at Nagua village in Tarakanda. The deceased was Rokon Uddin, 70, of Nagua village. Critically injured Nazim Uddin, 35, and his wife Jubeda Khatun, 30, were admitted to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH). Nazim was later referred to Dhaka as his condition deteriorated, police said. Nazim Uddin locked in a quarrel with his neighbour Abu Taher over watering of Boro field. At one stage, Taher and his men attacked Nazim with sharp weapons around 5am. When Nazims wife Jubeda reached the spot hearing the shouting, the gang also attacked her, said police. The gang also hacked Nazims father Rokon when he came out from a local mosque after saying his Fazr prayers, they also hacked him indiscriminately, leaving him critically injured, said Ali Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Tarakanda police station. Three injured were rushed to the MMCH where on duty doctors pronounced Rokon dead. Police visited the spot but no one was arrested till filing the report. Meanwhile, a mother killed her two-year-old son, drowning in a pond at Paikmari village in sadar upazila of Narail early yesterday. Narail sadar police station Officer-in-Charge Amir Toymur Eli said being informed police visited to the spot and recovered the body. A case was filed in this connection. In Pirojpur, a 13-year-old boy Sujit Kaora was beaten to death in Buchhaikathi area under Nazirpur upazila. Sujit who hailed from Satkhira was with a pig rearing team. Mintu Kaora, one of the team members, told reporters that they went to that area with 150 pigs a few days back. Around 4am our team member Uttam started beating him up when we were asleep. We took Sujit to a hospital but he died around 11am, he said, adding that they had no idea why Sujit was killed. Abdul Khaleque Hawlader, officer-in-charge of Nazirpur police station said Uttam had confessed about the killing and Sujits family members had been informed. A case would be filed, the OC added. l

Another victim of Tazreen factory fire dies

n Tribune Report
Sumaya Khatun, 16, another victim of Tazreen Fashions fire, died yesterday evening. The death toll in the deadly incident now stands at 113. Sumaya died at her home in Nischintapur of Ashulia. She died from an aggressive and rapidly growing tumour behind her right eye possibly triggered by the chemical fumes she had inhaled being trapped in the Tazreen Fashions factory, according to a press release. The girl had neither received the salary for the month of November 2012 when the fire incident happened nor did she receive any compensation as an injured worker. The fire broke out on November 24, 2012 at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital. At least 200 were injured in the deadliest factory fire in the countrys history. Sumaya will be buried at Melandaho of her home district Jamalpur after Zohr prayers today. Eminent economist Professor Anu Muhammad, Moshrefa Mishu, a leader of Bangladesh garment workers forum, photographer Taslima Akhter, columnist Rahnuma Ahmed, and Activist Anthropologists members Saydia Gulrukh, Nazneen Shifa and Mahmudul Shumon expressed deep condolences at the death of Sumaya. They demanded that all injured and missing workers of Tazreen Fashions fire get their rightful compensation immediately. l

India outplay

runs unbeaten third wicket partnership where Kohli contributed 36 off 32 balls, including four fours and one six, and Raina adding 35 off 28 balls. Earlier Pakistan failed to crawl out of the web cast by the Indian bowlers, the spark was never there with the last over producing 15 runs as the most productive over for Pakistan. With Kamran Akmal returning to the dressing room in the second over off a run out, Pakistan failed to attain an ideal start. Kamran, strong in playing lofted shots, scored just eight off 10 balls. The miscommunication between the Pakistani

batsmen was visible again between Ahmed Shehzad and Md Hafeez, but fortunately they survived. However, runs were not coming off the bats. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni continuously switched his bowlers. The fourth over bowled by Md Shami conceded only two runs, the 10th over by Rabindra Jadeja cost three runs, the ninth over bowled by Amit Misra was a wicket maiden and the 16th, 17th and 18th overs produced eight runs only. The first Pakistan six was hit by Shoaib Malik in the 12th over. Pakistan was never in the spree of runs and Indian bowlers apart from the 11th and 20th

overs were never disturbed. Dhoni inserted Yuvraj Singh in the 11th over and it cost him 13 runs, the second highest in an over for Pakistan. The cocktail of pace and spin was perfectly mixed for a bitter taste to the Pakistani batting. Ahmed Shehzads 22 off 17 balls, Umar Akmals 33 off 30 balls, Shoaib Maliks 18 off 20 balls and Sohaib Maqsuds 21 off 11 balls in the dying stage provided some respectability to the Pakistan innings. Shahid Afridi failed to fire as well. Leg spinner Amit Misra was the pick of the bowlers scalping Ahmed Shehzad and Shoaib Malik for 22 runs in his four over. l

AL eyes more chairman posts


remain alert to prevent any untoward incident. They urged the government and the Election Commission to tough out the violence centring the upazila polls. In the fourth phase, the ruling party faces 43 rebel candidates in 91 upazila parishads. As a move to put down rebellion, the party high-ups have strengthened their support to the Awami League-backed candidates. Sohel Sarwar Kajol, brother of local lawmaker Saimum Sarwar Komol, stood for the election as a chairman

candidate of Ramu upazila under the Coxs Bazar district backed by the local Awami League leaders, but the central committee gave another candidate Abdul Mabud the nod to vie for the poll. Salauddin Ahmed, secretary to the Coxs Bazar district unit Awami League, said: Sohel was more popular than others, but we do not know why the party high command withdrew support from Sohel. Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Awami League organising secretary entrusted with coordination of upazila polls in Rangpur division, told the Dhaka Tribune their leaders and activ-

ists at grass roots level were kept alert to thwart any sort of violence committed by the BNP Jamaat alliance. He said they hoped to do better than the previous phases. Awami League presidium member Kazi Zafarullah echoed the same. He said Awami League-backed candidates were defeated in many upazila parishad polls because of the rebel candidates. Though we are more careful about the matter, but in the local body election, we have some limitations to get tough with the rebels, Kazi Zafarullah maintained. l

BNPs movement plan in tatters


after another to mount pressure on the BNP and to defuse the movement but it will not work, Abdullah Al-Noman, vice-chairman of the party, said. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said she would wage movement after reorganising the party as it had been due for a long time. But by the time detention of the senior leaders including partys acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir forced the party to shelve its organisational plan. However, another senior leader seeking anonymity, said they launched

the movement after Khaledas eviction from her residence but it went in vain and the legal battle went down badly too. There is no alternative to putting pressure on the government because legal battle will not work as the court will act on the instruction of the government, he said. Over the last one month the party has announced programmes like demonstration and submission of memorandum but they reportedly received lukewarm responses from leaders and activists from across the country. l

26m Bangladeshis deprived of improved water


ground water in the coastal belt, lowering of the ground water level, which is more serious in hilly areas including the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the southeast and some parts of Sylhet in the northeast, make access to potable water a big challenge. The nine other countries and their population without sufficient access to safe drinking water in the Unicef-WHO finding are: China (108 million), India (99 million), Nigeria (63 million), Ethiopia (43 million), Indonesia (39 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo (37 million), United Republic of Tanzania

(22 million), Kenya (16 million) and Pakistan (16 million). According to the Unicef-WHO estimates up to 2013, a staggering 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water across the globe, causing hundreds of thousands of children to fall ill and die each year. Most of the people without access to pure drinking water are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums. Unicef says 1,400 children aged under five die every day from diarrhoeal diseases linked to lack of safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. Every child, rich or poor, has the

right to survive, the right to health, the right to a future, Sanjay Wijesekera, head of Unicefs global water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, said in a statement yesterday. The world should not rest until every single man, woman and child has the water and sanitation that is theirs as a human right. Almost four years after the world met the global target set in the MDGs for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water was a human right, over three-quarters of a billion people, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity,

Unicef said in a press release on the occasion of the World Water Day. The MDG target for drinking water was met and passed in 2010 when 89% of the global population had access to improved sources of drinking water such as piped supplies, boreholes fitted with pumps, and protected wells. Also in 2010, the UN General Assembly recognised safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right meaning. We must target the marginalised and often forgotten groups: those who are the most difficult to reach, the poorest and the most disadvantaged, Wijesekera said. l



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brahmaputra no more beckons people Behind the scenes of

Pollution causes immense sufferings to them
Islam Shaon back n Ashif from Narsingdi
The Old Brahmaputra River flowing through the district was once a lifeline for thousands of local people. But, those days are gone by as its water has now turned pitch black. Now water has become extremely toxic and pollutants are threatening the aquatic life, crops and greenery. People in seven unions under Sadar upazila dont use its water. But, the inhabitants once blessed with the river now face the hazards. Highly toxic industrial waste and untreated water are being released into the vast area mainly from dyeing factories since the last 15 years, destroying the farmland and water bodies. Farmers and residents say their livelihoods have been shattered by serious water pollution caused by the 72 factories which are making its fortune at cost of their lives. Once they cultivated two crops a year, but now they are compelled to grow one. During the rainy season, pitchblack water enters the field and destroys crops. So, we have stopped cultivating Aman. IRRI only grows during the summer season, said 58-year-old Haji Sayed Uddin, a resident of Baniadi village under Shilmandi union. Now, he runs a shop. We used to produce around 30 maunds of crop per acre just 20 years back and now we can produce maximum 10 maunds. The land seems uncultivable, he said. According to locals, there was a few number of knitting factories 20 years back. At that time, boats would carry goods in the river and people would bathe there and even would drink its water. Now the knee-deep river has nothing but stinky water. It flows through the unions such as Shilmandi, Meherpara, Madhbi, Nuralapur, Pachdona and Mohishashur, polluting the riverbanks. Finally, the water of this narrow river falls into the Meghna River through Mohishashur Chanderpara sluice gate, polluting also a part of the Meghna. There are 72 dyeing factories on a stretch of 12km area from Pachdona to Madhbi, releasing industrial waste into the river and polluting its water seriously. Once we cultivated crops on the banks. Now we forbid our children from going near the banks as they may have itch, said Farid Munshi who lives in Nagar Baniandi village. We experienced drought last year. We saw a dog swimming across the river and it died within 20 minutes before reaching this end, he said citing an example of the extent of the pollution. The water quality suffers due to severe pollution. Even deep tubewell water has also become stinky, he added. Water pumped from 250 feet deep is also stinky and muddy. If we pump water from the tube-well every day, we do not get muddy water, said Nazmunnahar Nargis, the headmistress of Gonergaon Government Primary School. The school has more than 350 students. Children drink this water and sometimes fall sick. When I joined the school four years back, I used to carry boiled water from home. Now we fetch water from a distance village, she said. We installed a pump to get water from more beneath, but the result is same, she said. Nazmunnahar thinks there will be no drinkable water left in these villages after a few years. Villagers alleged that most of the 72 factories do not have effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and others do not run those. They just dump chemical waste into the dying river. We have met the officials concerned several times and urged them to take action against the factories responsible for polluting the environment, one of the villagers said. They have nexus with the officials. Some factories were fined, but they did not stop operation. Most of the factories do not have environmental clearance certificates, said Abdul Bakir, chairman of Shilmandi Union Parishad. We have also requested state minister for water resources Col (retd) Mohammad Najrul Islam a few days back. He is yet to take any step, he said. Mohammad Ataur Rahman, senior chemist of Department of Environment district office, said 12 factories had ETPs just three months back, now more than 65 factories have ETPs. Its true that they do not want to use ETPs for extra cost. We conducted raids and realised more than Tk1 crore fine from eight factories in the last two months and the amount was Tk5 crore in the last one year, he claimed. He also said that the factories usually stop operating the ETPs at night. Some influential owners also do it that during daytime. We do not have logistics and manpower to carry out drives during night time, he said. He said that the authority is planning to install closed-circuit cameras at the factories to monitor the untreated water released by them. And, we will seal the pipes if we find that they keep the ETPs off, Ataur said. Ataur said only 20 of the total 72 factories have environmental clearance certificates. They only sealed off 3-4 factories for running without certificates since 2010 when the office had started functioning in the district. Actually, factory owners started doing business many years back. So, we cant do what we want, he added. l

bottled water trade

n Ashif Islam Shaon
Filtered water stored in blue jars and sold to thirsty people is now commonplace in the capital. From restaurants to tea stalls to cafeterias, a glass of filtered water costs only Tk1 and people drink this water believing it is pure and germ-free. But there is a horrible story behind this purified water as it is almost similar to the Wasa water and the jars are mostly supplied by miscreants or influential politicians. This lucrative business has several times been a matter of feud among many criminal groups since the time the business was started. There are more than 700 firms in Dhaka that sell filtered water in jars. Of those, Wasa has identified 47 in Badda, Maniknagar, Jurain, Postagola, Khilkhet, Rampura and Uttara which just pour Wasa water directly into jars. In the past few years, law enforcement agencies have fined these factories a large sum of money and factory officials have been jailed but the business could not be stopped. Ironically, those who had water purification equipment and started the business with honesty now sell substandard water. These companies have no registration and sell each jar to rickshaw or van pullers or middlemen at Tk25, though a jar of water costs them Tk5-10. Those middlemen transport the jars to restaurants and roadside tea stalls and sell

each at Tk45. The shopkeepers then earn Tk75 by selling a jar. Visiting a number of factories at Badda, Eskaton, Uttara and Shahbagh, illegal factories were found in kitchen markets, congested rooms and even beside public toilets. Jars are cleaned with bare hands. A team of RAB yesterday raided several factories in Tejgaon and Karwan Bazar and caught an owner along with 14 workers from three factories red-handed for filling jars with Wasa water. The workers were fined Tk7,000 while owner Khandaker AK Azad was jailed for two years and fined Tk1 lakh. These factories were sealed off several times but they resumed operation without permission, said Anwar Pasha, Executive Magistrate of RAB. He said Azad had been jailed for the same offence two years back. They use blue jars so that dirty water cannot be detected from outside, Anwar said. We even found jars lying in toilets. He said: An ideal plant should have filling machines and filter machines with ultraviolet ray facility. A bulb of the ultraviolet ray machine costs Tk15,000 and those can only be used for once. That is why traders do not buy that machine. A number of factories once set up laboratories to examine the water but most of them do not use those now. They dont have any chemist for the purpose l

Myanmar builds checkpoints along its border

n Rabiul Islam
Myanmar is reportedly building new checkpoints along its border with Bangladesh in volatile Rakhine state. The home ministry of the country said the Myanmar government was resuming the construction of a fence along the border, reported the Voice of America. Border Guard Bangladesh officials said they were still unaware that Myanmar was setting up the checkpoints. Myanmar can set up checkpoints outside of 5km from zero line and it is their internal matter, BGB Director General Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. We take the matter into our consideration when it is within five kilometres, he added. Commanding Officer of 31 battalion of Naikhangchari Lt Col Md Shafiqur Rahman said Myanmar had constructed fence as part of their security measure. We also gave proposal to construct fence inside our territory. If the fence was constructed the Rohingyas would not be able enter into Bangladesh, the commander said. Khin Saw Wai, a member of Myanmar parliament from Rakhine state who pushed for the new security measures, told the Voice of Americas Burmese service that people from Bangladesh were entering into Myanmar because there was not enough security along the border. He said: Although we have a fence at Myanmars western door between Bangladesh and our Maung Daw region [Rakhine State], this cannot stop illegal entry into the country.We have seen illegal entering and no effective system to stop it.That is why we want the government to control this situation. I submitted the proposal to increase security for the Rakhine region. Now I read in the news that there will be 15 more security gates at the border, but I do not know where exactly they will be built.Nonetheless, as a person who proposed this at the parliament, I hope this will be a more effective way of controlling the border situation. Spokesperson of the Myanmar government Ye Htut confirmed that new security measures were being planned. He said: I only know that there have been some preparations for security in Rakhine state. Since this measure is being undertaken by the Rakhine government, it is best to ask the information department of the local government. Buddhist-Muslim violence erupted in Rakhine state in 2012 and has since spread to other parts of the country.The sectarian fighting has killed at least 240 people and displaced 140,000 others, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who are called Bengalee by the Myanmar government. Myanmar government refuses to officially recognise the Rohingya, saying members of any officially recognised minority must be able to prove their ancestors lived in Myanmar before the British invaded Rakhine in 1823. Talks between Myanmar President Thein Sein and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of a regional meeting last month produced no tangible agreement on the Rohingya issue. l

A couple pulls a bucket of water from a ventilation pipe of a deep tube well at Kakon of Godagari upazila in Rajshahi yesterday. Although the globe observes the World Water Day today, around 768 million people in the world 26 million in Bangladesh still lack access to an improved source of water DHAKA TRIBUNE

91 upazilas to go to polls tomorrow

The fourth phase of the ongoing upazila polls will be held tomorrow in 91 upazila parishads, amid widespread allegations of manipulating and threatening voters and opposition candidates by ruling party-backed aspirants. Voters, candidates and their agent, mainly the BNP-backed candidates, have expressed concerns over violence and polls manipulation after receiving threats from ruling party-backed candidates. Although the Election Commission has received complaints from many candidates on being harassed from the administration officials and police, the commission has not yet moved to address the allegations. Meanwhile, election campaigning in 91 upazila parishads yesterday ended and all vehicular movement had been halted from midnight. A total of 1,186 candidates, which includes 389 candidates for chairman, 485 for vice chairman and 312 for women vice chairman were contesting in the 91 upazila parishads. It was observed that in both the Awami League and BNP, several rebel candidates have also joined the electoral race in this phase as like the previous three Vice-chairman Women vice-chair Total voters 485 312 13,859,278

n UNB Violence may flare, hint intelligence agencies The BNP yesterday alleged that the Elecn Rabiul Islam The commission had setup 5,882 tion Commission has been working in CANDIDATES AND VOTERS n Mohammad Zakaria polling stations in 91 upazila polls, favour of Awami League-backed candi- Environment and Forest Minister AnChairman 389
phases held earlier. Meanwhile, the commission has postponed the polls in Sherpur Sadar, Jagannathpur upazila in Sunamganj as per a High Court order. The Election Commission has already deployed the army as striking forces while other law enforcing agencies, including Border Guard Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police and Ansar, had also been positioned in the respective upazilas for maintaining the law and order situation during the polls. An EC official yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that intelligence reports received by the commission indicated that chances of incidents of violence and disorder are higher than the compared the last three phases of the polls. Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz said the local administration would decide about increasing the deployment of law enforcing personnel considering the vulnerable polling centres. where 37,338 polling booths has been setup. Of total 13,859,278 voters while 6,907,956 are male and 69,51,322 are female will cast their votes on the election day. In fourth phase, 43 of AL and 44 of BNP rebel candidates are contesting in the polls. Earlier, allegations were made that a ruling-party candidate in Kolaroa upazila in Satkhira had threatened both voters and opponents and their agents to stay away from polling centres or face dire consequences. In a written allegation sent to the EC, BNP-backed candidate Shahidul Islam alleged that Awami League-backed candidate Firoz Ahmad Shopan issued an open threat against voters and opponents during a meeting with his supporters on March 19. He also submitted a video footage of the respective meeting to the commission. If you find ink in any voters finger, cut it off. If any voter dies after being beaten of my activists for going to cast their vote on election day, I will not responsible for that, the written allegation quoted the Awami League backed candidate as instructing his activists. l dates in the ongoing upazila elections. The Election Commission is working to make ruling party-supported candidates winners in the upazila elections. We, along with the people of the country, will give a befitting reply to the misdeeds, BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told a press conference at the partys Nayapaltan central office. Inspired by the violence in the third phase elections, Awami League activists were flexing muscle for staging showdowns in the fourth phase polls, creating panic among the voters, he alleged. Besides, the law enforcement agencies are being used against democracy and the voting rights of people, he said, adding that the EC has turned into a puppet organisation of the administration. Criticising the prime ministers speech in parliament that drive was on against armed activists to hold peaceful elections, Rizvi said the premier conducted drives at the houses of innocent people, not the armed hooligans. BNP Joint Secretary General Salah Uddin Ahmed, Mass Education Affairs Secretary Sanaullah Miah and Deputy Office Secretary Abdul Latif Jony were present among others. l

BNP: EC helping ALbacked candidates

Manju: Corruption rife in environment sector

war Hossain Manju said corruption and irregularities had engulfed the sector, tarnishing the image of the ministry. He warned officials concerned of dire consequences if anybody was found indulging in irregularities and corruption in the forest department. Manju issued the warning while speaking at a discussion organised by the Forest Department in the capital yesterday on the occasion of International Day of Forest 2014. Citing an example of alleged irregularities in a tender process, he said the tender would be cancelled and called afresh and the responsible officer would be suspended if found guilty. I have asked the chief conservator to investigate the matter, Manju told the Dhaka Tribune over phone yesterday. Manju stressed the need for improving the image of the environment and forest sector. Monitoring of different projects under the ministry has to be strengthened. According to the Forest Department, 17.62% area of the country is forest while the population is 16 crore. Forest Conservator Tapan Kumar Dey presented a paper at the discussion. l



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Operators want one year for shifting Blackberry platform

n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Two mobile phone operators have asked the countrys telecom regulator to give them another year to shift their Blackberry subscribers to another platform. Grameenphone and Airtel the two operators currently offering the Blackberry services applied for time extensions through letters sent to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) recently. Earlier, the BTRC decided to shutdown the services in Bangladesh after the companies failed to comply with the telecom watchdogs directives concerning national security. The BTRC, in a letter last December, asked the two mobile operators to take necessary measures to provide alternative solutions to its existing Blackberry subscribers. The decision came after Blackberry failed to take measures in providing the government with access to lawful interception of Blackberry network. As per licensing terms and conditions, the government reserves the right to access telecoms service providers networks as and when it deems necessary, but such lawful interception was impossible in Blackberry handsets, which are highly encrypted to protect privacy. Meanwhile, sources said the high commissioner of Canada the country where Blackberry manufacturers Research In Motion (RIM) are located also discussed the issue with BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose on Wednesday; but no decision was made at the meeting. Canadas High Commissioner to Bangladesh Heather Cruden requested BTRC authorities to be soft while making a decision on the Blackberry issue, the sources added. Giashuddin Ahmed, vice chairman of the BTRC, admitted that the meeting had taken place, but said no decision was reached. He also acknowledged that the two letters from Grameenphone and Airtel were under consideration. If the BTRC did not accept Grameenphone and Airtels requests, the operators might need to swap all BlackBerry handsets purchased from them to other devices, which will be a hassle for the users, an official from Grameenphone said. The regulator and the two operators met several times to hold talks on the issue, but were unable to reach a common ground. Blackberry launched its services in Bangladesh in 2008 and until 2013, it had around 6,166 subscribers including high officials in the Prime Ministers Office, CEOs of leading local and foreign business conglomerates and top diplomats, industry insiders said. A senior official of the BTRC said the regulators were against the closure of any services but in this case they had nothing to do as the RIM had failed to comply with regulations. The problem could have been solved had the RIM set up a server in the country, enabling the government to access the network, the official explained. Without a local server, it was not possible to have access to the highly encrypted data of Blackberry. Top officials of both Grameenphone and Airtel said the RIM headquarters failed to take necessary measures despite repeated requests from the companies. One reason for the RIMs reluctance in setting up a server was that it would not be financially viable in such a small market like Bangladesh, a Grameenphone official said. Grameenphone has 4,664 Blackberry users, while Airtel has 1,500 active Blackberry subscribers. Blackberry reportedly faced similar problems in different countries including India, Saudi Arabia and China. In 2010, the company was prompted to set up a server in Saudi Arabia after the countrys government said Blackberry services would be closed unless it provided the government with access to its network. l

Article 19 launches principles regarding water and sanitation

n Tribune Report
Public bodies and private entities must ensure the peoples access to reliable and accurate information regarding water and sanitation, The Free Flow Principles: Freedom of Expression and Rights to Water and Sanitation launched yesterday by Article 19 said in a recommendation. The Bangla version of the Principles entitled Muktochintar Neetimala: Mot Prokasher Shwadhinota Ebong Paani O Sanitationer Odhikar was simultaneously launched at the National Press Club in Dhaka. The Principles, developed in cooperation with experts and activists from around the world, provide guidance to policy makers and activists on how freedom of expression and information can help secure the rights to water and sanitation. Other recommendations made in the principles include; all decisionmaking process related to the rights to water and sanitation must be democratic and transparent and represent the needs of those affected. Launching the publication, Tahmina Rahman, director to Bangladesh and South Asia of Article 19 said: The principles highlight the interconnected aspects of the right to freedom of expression and the right to water and sanitation. The right to know obliges government and other duty bearers to proactively inform people about issues related to water and sanitation and water related resources and management. A panel discussion followed the launch where Tahmina Rahman, Iqbal Kabir, environmental activist and lawyer, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, chief moderator of Equity BD, Bahreen Khan, a lawyer at Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Zahid Hossain, environmental protection expert, spoke as resource persons. l

Man kills niece over extramarital affairs

n Our Correspondent, Narayanganj

Identity of a woman skeleton was confirmed yesterday that was recovered earlier on Tuesday from under a construction site in Godail Santinagar area under Siddhirganj police station of Narayanganj. The victim is Shahnaj, 28. Her lover Rashed, 36, strangulated her to death and buried in the area eight months ago, said Rashed in a confessional statement given yesterday after being held. He gave the statement before the Senior Judicial Magistrate court of Narayanganj under section 164. Hailing from Sharishabari area of Jamalpur, Rashed is son of Badsha Mia. He used to work as a supervisor at Suborno Textile. Earlier on March 18, police recovered the skeleton while construction work of a storehouse of one Hazi Abdul Manan was going on in the area. Rashed said Shahnaj was daughter of his wifes maternal cousin. He and Shahnaj lived in the same house for over a year and grew an affair that eventually came to his wifes knowledge. Since then, he had been passing days in agony because of the quarrels frequently breaking among the family members. Therefore, he planned to kill Shahnaj and as per his plan, he called up Shahnaj at night during the Eid-ul-Fitr vacation last year and strangulated her to death, said Rashed. l

Unilever Community Health Camp inaugurated n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong

To take healthcare facilities at the doorsteps of the mass, Unilever Bangladesh Limited inaugurated a two-day community health camp at the Hamidia Ideal Government Primary School premises in Chittagong yesterday. In collaboration with Chittagong Diabetic Hospital, Chittagong Ma O Sishu General Hospital, and Lions Eye Hospital, the camp titled Unilever Community Health Camp, is being held for the 8th time in the Chandgaon area of the port city. A total of 2,500 patients had registered for the camp to avail different healthcare facilities like routine checkups, mother and child health, eye care etc. The patients would be provided with free drugs at the camp, said Unilever officials. Speaking as the chief guest, lawmaker Mainuddin Khan Badal said the current government had set a goal to take healthcare facilities at the doorsteps of the people of the country and physicians had been appointed at each of the union health centres in that regard. He inaugurated the health camp with Shapan Bhatcharjee, general factory manager of Unilever. A collaborative approach is necessary alongside government initiative to take health care facilities at the doorsteps of the people of the country and Unilever is playing a key role in this regard, he said. Kazi Saiful Islam, factory human resource manager at Unilever, said they were not keeping themselves confined within the commercial activities only, rather they were engaged in different kinds of activities for the welfare of the society. We have been working in various sectors including healthcare, education, nurturing talents and women empowerment, he said. Unilever had been running community health camps for the past seven years where 17,983 patients had been benefitted with healthcare facilities, he added. SM Morshed Hossain, vice president of the Chittagong Ma O Sishu General Hospital addressed the inauguration among others. l

Volunteers from Jaago Foundation remove garbage from the Banani Lake in the capital yesterday


BNP, LDP vye with alliance partner Jamaat in Satkania

n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong
Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Liberal Democratic Party have jointly been fighting with Jamaat-e-Islami a partner of the 19-party alliance in the upazila parishad election of Satkania known for Jamaat stronghold. The election is scheduled to be held tomorrow. Jamaat candidates have also been contesting polls in two other upazilas under the district where there are BNP candidates with relatively strong position. Oli Ahmed, president of the Liberal Democratic Party, in a recent visit to Satkania, introduced the BNP-backed chairman candidate Sheikh Mohammed Mohiuddin and vice-chairman candidate Jasim Uddin as his candidates. Local sources said Olis electioneering could sway voters to cast vote for his candidates who might win over Jamaats. The ruling Awami League-backed candidate might cash in on such situation, added the locals. Oli was elected as lawmaker from Satkania constituency in 1996, but was defeated by Jamaat candidate Shahjahan Chowdhury in the general election of 2001. Oli, the then standing committee member of BNP, contested the poll against Jamaat candidate, defying the request of the party high-up to sacrifice the constituency to their alliance partner. The defying cost Oli his association with the BNP, said sources. A district (south) unit leader of Jamaat, preferring anonymity, said the local BNP was engaged in an effort to push Jamaat into inconvenience at Satkania as many of its leaders and activists were on the run and in jail. Mohammed Ishaque, acting president of district (south) unit Jamaat, however, said Jamaat men as well as common people at Satkania had been oppressed by the government in recent period. He added that the voters would think twice prior to casting their votes for the candidates. We have always supported a candidate who can guide the oppressed people of Satkania, he said. Mujibur Rahman, president of the upazila unit BNP, said Satkania was not a stronghold of Jamaat, rather it was the stronghold of BNP. He added that they had been fighting with the Jamaat in the upazila election as it was the right time to prove the might of BNP at the locality. The common people are annoyed with the recent destructive activities of Jamaat and they would not vote for the Jamaat candidate, he said, adding that they were confident over the victory of their party candidate. Awami League-backed Nurul Absar Chowdhury also expressed confidence in winning the poll. He said his party candidate won the chairman post in the upazila earlier and this time it would be much easier. Meanwhile, Jamaat candidates have been contesting the posts of chairman in Banshkhali and Fatikchari upazilas where there are BNP-backed candidates with relatively strong position. We did not contest the post of chairman in any upazila, except Sitakund, where BNP has a strong base, Rabiul Hossain, assistant general secretary of district (north) unit Jamaat said, adding that the BNP candidate lost in Sitund upazila for not negotiating with Jamaat. He also said it would have been better for both BNP and Jamaat if the two parties could reach an understanding and take part in the election of seven upazilas in Chittagong scheduled for tomorrow. l


Thundershowers likely n UNB

Rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at one or two places over Khulna, Barisal, Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions and the regions of Rajshahi and Pabna until 6pm today. Weather might remain mainly dry with partly cloudy sky elsewhere over the country, Met Office said. Day and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 6:10pm today and rises at 6:00am tomorrow. Countrys highest temperature 34.6 degree Celsius was recorded in Jessore and lowest 14.5 degrees in Dinajpur yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Coxs Bazar High 32.7 30.2 33.2 30.2 34.0 33.2 33.6 31.0 Low 20.1 23.0 16.3 15.5 21.8 23.7 19.0 22.8

Environmentalists demand cancellation of Rampal plant

n Tribune Report
Members of civil society yesterday strongly demanded the cancellation of setting up of two coal fired thermal power plants in Rampal near the Sundarbans. Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa), Save the Sundarban Foundation, Green Voice, Bagerhat Development Society and Centre for Human Rights Movement formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka. The human chain titled "Immediately cancel the Rampal Power Plant project! Save the Sundarbans, the world heritage site." They said the government should immediately scrap the project to protect the mangrove forest from its adverse impact. These power plants were scheduled to be located in a area that would be in the immediate vicinity of the Sundarbans' territory and would damage its wide range of biodiversity. Apart from these harmful aftereffects, the power plants would also release huge hot water that would ultimately destroy the freshwater and various species of fish in the surrounding water of the Sunderbans, the civil society members commented. The thermal power plants would destroy the ecological balance and biodiversity of the Sunderbans for extreme spewing of effluents like sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon mono oxide, carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas, said Bapa Joint General Secretary Iqbal Habib. He also expressed his concern over the plying of oil tankers and other vessels in the water channels of the Sunderbans, saying that it would damage the flora and fauna of the forest. Habib presided over the programme while Sheikh Faridul Islam, chairman of Save the Sundarbans, Sheiks Mohammad Zakir Hossain, chairman of Bagerhat Development Society, Md Mujahedul Islam, secretary general of Centre for Human Rights Movemet also spoke among others. l

Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 4:45am 6:00am 12:05pm 4:28pm 6:10pm 7:26pm


Children take part in a painting competition commemorating the countrys Independence Day, at Department of Fine Arts in Dhaka University yesterday NASHIRUL ISLAM



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Street kids get training on mobile phone stealing

A syndicate tortures children if they refuse to get involved in theft the police on the first day of their real n Mohammad Jamil Khan work. Their boss Ibrahim was standIt was around 10am yesterday when three minor street children had been staging a small play inside the Suhrawardi Udyan: a girl having an old vanity bag was walking on a street; another boy suddenly came in front of the girl and fell down; and the third one, another boy who was passing by, simply took away a mobile phone from the vanity bag. However, a young man who was standing beside the spot slapped the first boy, and asked him to be more natural while acting. In an investigation, it was learned that it was not a play but a trained effort on how to steal mobile phones from people. The man, who was giving training to these street children, was identified as Sahidul, a notorious mobile thief. There are several groups that had been training the street children to steal mobile phones, and they allegedly torture the children if anyone refuses to do such work. Such sensational information was first flashed after the arrest of three children from Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) last Tuesday. The detained kids told the Dhaka Tribune that they had been learning pick pocketing from one Ibrahim, 18, a resident of Chankharpool, for the last couple of months. They got caught by ing nearby to instruct them, but he left soon after the hospital police caught them. One of the detained boys said he used to sell chocolate and sleep at Sohrawardi Uddyan. Once, Ibrahim came to him and forced him to do such work. When he refused to do so, Ibrahim beat him up. When asked, he said he had taken training with 25 other kids and all of them were of similar ages. The masterminds only gave them Tk100 if they could snatch any cell phone, he added. The detained kids were sent to Oporajeyo Bangladesh, a non-government organisation working for the distressed children to take care of them. Contacted, Shahima Akhter, a staff of Oporajeyo Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had taken them to their safe home at Lalbagh. We will find out their family members and hand them over, she said, adding that if the law enforcers gave some attention to such crime, this kind of crime could be stopped. Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of Detective Branch of Police, said sometimes under-age children were arrested, but they could not take action considering their ages. However, our members are active to take stern actions, he added. l

Dhaka Medical College authority recently detained three minor boys namely Rasel, Shohag and Riaz allegedly for cell phone theft, the photo is taken from the administrative building of DMC MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Call to protect rivers from encroachment

n Mohammad Zakaria
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said the rivers around the capital were almost dead because of unabated encroachment and establishment of illegal construction on the river bank. They also demanded that the government take immediate steps to protect all rivers including the Buriganga around Dhaka as it was important for the countrys economy. The speakers made the demand at a roundtable organised by Poribesh Bachao Andolan (Poba) marking the World Water Day at the National Press Club in the capital. They said it was high time the government demarcated the rivers in the country as per the Cadastral Survey record to protect the water bodies from pollution. The discussants also called upon the government to dredge the rivers regularly and remove all illegal establishments from the river banks. They also demanded that the government relocate tanneries and take measures to stop dumping waste into the rivers. Poba examined the pollution of Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakkha rivers over the past one year. In August-September, the level of oxygen in these rivers water was zero because of dumping of waste from industries, houses and launches. The pro-environment group observed that the rivers around Dhaka were almost dead for illegal establishments and encroachment. It also underscored the need for immediate steps by the government to protect the rivers across the country. Poba Joint General Secretary Md Abdus Sobhan said if the government did not take initiative to protect rivers, the water bodies around the capital and other places would die down. Rajuk Executive Magistrate RokonUd-Dowla said the city development authority removed all illegal establishments from the Buriganga river bank regularly. Nagorik Oikko Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna urged the government to take immediate steps to protect all rivers in the country. l

Quota system in competitive examinations should go

n Ashif Islam Shaon
Quota system in every competitive examination should be annulled as it deprives meritorious students but only the freedom fighter quota in government jobs should exist considering their contribution to the birth of the country, Social Welfare Minister Syed Mohsin Ali has said. Those who have merit will get the job. The country needs the right person in the right position but quota system is an obstacle to that, observed the minister while addressing a discussion on special priority for the Dalit and the Harijan communities in development policy and activities in a city auditorium yesterday. The discussion was arranged by Bangladesh Harijans Oikya Parishad to mark the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination while Manusher Jonno Foundation and Fair were the co-organisers. Sharing his personal experience at the discussion, Mohsin said: Im a member of the governing body of three colleges. We recruited several teachers a few months back but lately, we saw a minister recommending a candidate for the post of professor. Mohsin went on: When the candidate arrived to face the viva voce, we asked him to recite a few lines from any of Rabindranath Tagores poems. Surprisingly, the candidate who had a Masters in Bangla Literature failed to do so. I then told his referee that the aspirant had stood seventh among eight candidates. Quota system and lobbying like this allow incompetent men to come forward. The Harijans arent less meritorious. We will help if you demand anything to increase your efficiency but dont request for quota, the minister said as the Harijan community demanded special quota in admission tests and jobs. The Harijans can cook delicious food and curry that the Bengalis cant. They should utilise that skill to find out alternative ways of making money if theyre not educated enough, he said. Speaking at the discussion, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Professor Mizanur Rahman said the Dalit should be provided with equal rights and facilities first and the quota system would be of use then. In educational institutions and the job market, the Dalits must be provided with special facilities. They sacrificed their lives during our War of Liberation but still we are depriving them. We have to repay the debt, he said. The Dalits demanded forming a Dalit commission, bringing them under the safety net programme, conducting separate census for them, and reserving 80% of the jobs in services like sweeping and cleaning and also in permanent jobs in city corporations and municipalities. Bangladesh Harijans Oikya Parishad statistics say some 5.5 million Harijans are living in the country. Also known as Jaat (professional) sweepers, they are originally the descendants of immigrants from Indias Kanpur, Nagpur and Andhra Pradesh. Their jobs include sweeping streets and offices, clearing sewerage lines, and cleaning up manholes and hospital waste. Many of them are employed in crematoria as well. l

Fire burns Chittagong building n CU Correspondent

A fire broke out at a three-storeyed residential building in Chittagong citys Baizid Bostami area yesterday afternoon. Fire Service and Civil Defense, Agrabad Station sources said the fire broke out on the third floor of an under construction building of Green Residential area at Kacha Bazar under Baizid Bostami police station at 5pm. However, none was injured in this incident Jasim Uddin, deputy assistant director (DAD) of Fire Service and Civil Defense, Agrabad Station told the Dhaka Tribune that the third floor and second floor of the building were used as a warehouse of garment refuses while ground floor was being used for residential purpose. On information, fire fighters from four units rushed to the spot and put out the blaze after two hours of frantic efforts, he said. However, he could not ascertain the cause of the fire and extent of damages. l

100 students awarded for innovative projects REHAB Fair sees huge
n Mushque Wadud
A total of 100 students were awarded for their innovative projects at the closing ceremony of annual science fair organised by St Joseph Higher Secondary School yesterday. Khandaker Shabbir Ahmed, professor and architect of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) handed over the prizes to winners. Among others, brother Robi Purification, principal of the school and other teachers were present at the closing ceremony. Students of different classes were awarded prizes in different categories in terms of innovative approach and presentation of their science projects. The theme of this years fair was Role of Science in Human Resource Development and Economic Prosperity. The three day annual science fair was inaugurated on Wednesday. Around 460 projects were presented in the fair, along with a total of 750 scrapbooks. Students of 50 schools across the country took part in the fair. The school premises was crowded with students and their guardians at the closing day. Students waited long to hear their name as the winner and when someones name was declared as winner, s/ he expressed his/her joy by shouting. Speaking at the programme, Khandaker Shabbir Ahmed, who is also an alumni of this school, said science fair is an important way of learning science. He said students learned to use their imagination power and the ability to ask questions through this science fair. He also said asking proper questions and using imagination power is not only important for science but also for

crowd on 2nd day

n Abu Hayat Mahmud
Real estate and housing companies have expressed satisfaction over the presence of a large number of visitors yesterday, the second day of REHAB Fair 2014. Leaders of Real Estate and Housing Association (REHAB) said they were satisfied after observing that customers were interested to purchase flats and plots from the fair. Besides, customers said they were interested to purchase flats and plots as many companies were offering discounts on the occasion of fair. Customer relations manager of a renowned real estate company said, Customers presence and their interests to purchase and book flat and plot were satisfactory. He hoped that the number of customers might be more than their expectations during the fair. Today (Friday) is the second day, so most of the customers wanted to know prices of plots and flats. We hope that many of the customers will con-

St Joseph Higher Secondary School awards winners of its annual Science Fair in the city yesterday all other fields of knowledge. Three students of Bir Shreshtha Noor Mohammad Public School and College stood first in the inter-school science project competition for their project titled Mobile controlled Rescue Robot. The students are Shakti Banik, Imran Bin Yousuf, and Fazle Shawon Younus. St Francis Xavier Girls School came second for their project titled New treatment using Modified HIV to kill Lymphoma Cancer Cell. The students are Eshita Agnes Purification, Barsha Christina Palma, and Joyes Cicilia Sral. Three students of Viqarunnisa Noon School placed third for their project titled Noise proof class room. In inter-college science project competition, three students of Holy Cross College stood first for their project on Biodegradable Plastic and uses. The three students are Ishmal Sifat, Fariha Mehnaz, and Redwana Noor. Another team of Holy Cross College secured the second position as well for a project. Three students of Holy Cross College namely Faria Farzana, Maliha Anjum, and Smeeta Mahanta came as

tact with our main office to purchase flats and land, he added Another official of a land developer company expressed hope that sale of plots and land would get momentum in the last two days. Some REHAB leaders, who visited the fair yesterday evening, said this year, visitors presence was comparatively more than last year. Meanwhile, visitors were also seen happy with different discount offers. Masud Ahmed, an official of a private company, said he was satisfied with discount offers and loan facilities offered by different realtor companies. The five-day housing fair began on March 20 at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre at Agargaon in the capital aiming to promote housing sector. This year, a total of 155 companies are taking part in the fair. Of them, 141 are housing and 14 construction materials companies. Apart from the companies, a total of 11 sponsor companies have taken part in the fair. l


third for their project. Moreover, the first, second and third position winners of each groups were also awarded. Safwan Uddin of class three was awarded for his project of a windmill. In class three, Hanjala and Steve Probal Shanjal got second prize for their project on modern city. Ahnaf Farhan Khan and Jawad Muntasir Riddha got first prize for their project on Save the Environment. Students were also awarded for scrapbooks, quiz competitions, art competitions and science Olympiad. l

CERN DG due on April 7

n Tribune Report
Dr Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research will arrive in Dhaka on April 7, an education ministry press release said yesterday. The press release said a preparation meeting was held regarding his arrival at the education ministry yesterday. It said the CERN DG had been invited as the convocation speaker at the 48th convocation of Dhaka University scheduled to be held on April 7. It said Dhaka University would confer the Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) upon Dr Rolf-Dieter Heuer. He would meet with eminent scientists, researchers, engineers, teachers and students on April 8 at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of the university. l



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Corrupt municipality officials put Brahmaputra at stake

n Our Correspondent, Mymensingh
Piles of garbage dumped by the Mymensingh municipality in the Brahmaputra River through the Kalibari old ferry ghat are posing serious threats to the health of locals. Around 150 metric tons of wastes are produced every day in the district which is a habitat of 10 lakh people. Some officials of the municipality have been alleged for carrying the wastes by 10 trucks and 25 hand trolleys and dumping them to Brahmaputra River through the Kalibari ferry ghat which they are supposed to dump at a place called Moylakanda in Shomvuganj, on the other bank of the river. They were doing so just to save a mere amount of fuel expense, claimed a number of locals. They said the river was becoming polluted to a great extent which they regularly had to use for bathing and other purposes. Locals living on both banks of the river said such immoral act of the authorities might seriously jeopardise the aquatic ecosystem of the river. A number of people were dependent on the river to earn their living through fishing from it, they said. Forhad Hossain, president of Prerona, a local environment organisation, said because of the lack of monitoring by the local administration, wastes and the highly dirty and contaminated water from drains were finding ways to the Brahmaputra River which was already in a dire state. He also alleged that an influential sector had operated some illegal dredging in the river and that the river might get filled up in near future. Fearing that the river might die soon, Assistant Director of Department of Environment, Mymensingh Yusuf Ali said steps would be taken as soon as possible to stop the dumping of garbages. Mayor of Mymensingh Municipality Ikramul Haque admitted that waste were being dumped by some employees and assured that stern actions would be taken against them. l

Officials of Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department under Rajshahi Forest Division rescued a rare species of peacock from a house in Lalmonirhat. Later, the wounded bird was brought to Rajshahi on Thursday DHAKA TRIBUNE

Shailakupa residents yet to get an embankment

n Our Correspondent, Jhenaidah
People of Baruria and Krisnanagar villages under Sailkupa upazila in Jhenaidah are passing days in anxiety apprehending that woes are waiting for them in the coming days. Residents of the villages are afraid that like previous years, many homesteads might go under the Gorai River this year, as the Water Development Board is yet to build a permanent embankment to save them from erosion. Local sources said a good portion of Baruria and Krisnanagar villages had been eroded in the mighty river, leaving around 300 families homeless over the last five decades. Most of the erosion-affected people have taken shelter on the river bank, but they fear if the river bank is eroded they would not have any place to take shelter. They said an embankment might stop the erosion of the river. A member of Sarutia union parishad under Sailkupa upazila said they were told that the Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB) would put concrete blocks to stop erosion. But the work is yet to be started. The ward member said if dredging would be done in the river, erosion could be stopped permanently. Executive Engineer of the WDB in Jhenaidah Abdul Latif said a team of the Asian Development Board had visited the affected area in Sarutia union under Sailkupa upazila a few months back. The WDB had suggested to put concrete blocks to stop the erosion permanently. Then, the ADB assured the WDB that they would provide fund for the work. But we have not received any allocation from the ADB yet, he said. Moreover, the locals said a shoal had emerged on the northern bank of the river, but some local influential people have illegally occupied the shoal, depriving the actual homeless people. Salamat Sheikh, 43, a resident of village Baruria, said at least 11 bighas of their ancestral land were eroded by the river in the last 40 years. A number of people of Baruria village had tried to settle in the shoal which has now become a part of Mukshidpur area under Khoksha upazila in Kushtia. But Ekdil Bahini chief Ekdil Hossain along with his supporters had forced the erosion-affected people to leave the area. Being instigated by Ekdil Hossain, residents of Mukshidpur, Bhabanipur and Bamanpara villages also swooped on them. Finding no alternative, inhabitants of Baruria and Krisnanagar villages left the area, fearing life risks. Ayub Ali, 45, a resident of Krisnanagar said, deputy commissioners of Jhenaidah and Kushtia, along with the superintendent of police of the districts had sat to resolve the crisis. They came to a decision that the persons whose land, according to land office map, would emerge on the northern bank of the river in Khoksha upazila would get their land. But, the people of Khoksha upazila could not be satisfied with the decision. l

Two villagers abducted n Our correspondent, Khagrachhari

Two villagers were allegedly abducted by the cadres of United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF) at Barmachhari village under Lakshmichhari upazila in Khagrachhari district yesterday. The two abducted men were identified as Ripon Chakma, 22, son of Shukya Chakma and Gorolya Chakma, 21, son of Budda Jyoti Chakma while both of them hailed from Barmachhari village in the district. A group of around 20 armed activists of UPDF raided the houses of both Ripon and Gorolya and abducted them at gun point, said Mohammad Bahar Mia, sub-inspector of Lakshmichhari police station, quoting locals. Security personnel were trying to rescue them, SI Bahar added. However when contacted, Niron Chakma, district unit UPDF press secretary denied any involvement regarding the abduction. l

Najirganj ferry ghat shaky for sand lifting

n Tribune Desk
Najirganj ferry ghat (jetty) is now in a vulnerable state as a section of influential people have continued sand lifting illegally from near the Padma River in Sujanagar upazila, intensifying threat of erosion in the area. The riverbank beside the ferry ghat has kept breaking apart due to the illegal sand extraction from the river. If the situation continues, the road communications of Rajbari, Faridpur and Barisal districts with Pabna, Sirajganj and Bogra might be stopped in near future, locals apprehend. During a recent visit, this correspondent saw some 8-10 dredgers lifting sand from the riverbed every day. They stock the extracted sand on the nearby croplands. People involved in the sand lifting are mostly influential. More than 100-150 truckloads of sand are sold every day from here and no one dares to complain against those involved in the illegal sand business as they are powerful. Earlier, a mobile court realised a fine of Tk50,000 from one Madhu of Habashpur village in Pangsha upazila in Rajbari district for illegal sand lifting. But executive magistrate M Sakhawat Hossain, also upazila nirbahi officer of Sujanagar upazila, while talking to the news agency expressed his inability to take any steps to stop sand lifting in Sujanagar portion of the river. He showed the reason that the influential people were continuing illegal sand lifting without any lease from Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation. Besides, pontoons of the ferry ghat have also become frail due to the sand lifting work. Sometimes, buses, trucks and other goods-laden vehicles meet accident for the reason. l

Brother-in-law beats man to death

n Tribune Report
A man was beaten to death allegedly by his brother-in-law in Palsha area under sadar upazila in Chapainawabganj on Thursday. The deceased was identified as Jashim, 36, son of Amir Master of Bildanga area. Officer-in-Charge of Sadar police station Jashim Uddin said: There was a longstanding conflict between Jashim and his brother-in-law Khairul over land properties. Over the same matter, they locked into a quarrel with each other around 12:30 pm, he said. At one stage of the quarrel, Khairul beat Jashim mercilessly that left him critically injured. Later, he died on the way to a local hospital. Meanwhile, police arrested Khairul and his wife Lal Banu after the incident. A case was also filed in connection matter. l



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tips for Professional voice users

Anyone whose voice is essential to his or her job is considered an occupational or professional voice user. Occupational voice usEXPERT ers include teachers, OPINION clergy, salespeople, courtroom attorneys, telemarketers, receptionists and others. Professional voice users as a group have their own special needs, the foremost being that their voices are crucial to their careers. Categories of professional Voice: The singing performing voice The speaking performing voice Voice demanding professions irritant and drying effect on the voice. Many require amplification in the form of a microphone. The microphone should never be placed directly in front of the lips and indeed, should be 20 cm to the side of the mouth. During performance, being able to hear the voice is desirable for control of pitch and loudness. Auditory feedback is frequently carried out with an earpiece or from side speakers. Singers performing in large halls or outdoor concerts with no auditory feedback tend to over-sing and strain their voices, especially early in their careers. Performers rarely go on stage with a full stomach and tend to eat late at night. As a result, gastro-oesophageal reflux (burning in throat) is common. It is known that there is a slight amount of vocal fold oedema immediately before menstruation and female performers were often given grace days because of this. The condition is known as laryngopathia premenstrualis and is now well recognised. Standing on the podium with a dry mouth, sweaty hands and heavy legs is a normal reaction of the body to stress and adrenaline production. If this performance anxiety becomes a greater problem then there are three recognised management strategies; deep breathing exercises, an emotional support (the magic feather), or cognitive psychotherapy. Beta blockers have been used by musicians and athletes to prevent tremor but they have had no benefit for the voice.

Professional voice users include singers, actors and broadcast personalities. For all of these individuals, the voice and spoken communication is an essential part of what they do, and there are countless other professions that rely heavily on the voice. So preservation of voice is very important Artificial smoke and fog used for speemergency, the performance should n Prof Kamrul Hasan Tarafder cial effects are also known to have an be cancelled. Aspirin is associated with

QUICK TIPS Foreign body in nose

vocal fold haemorrhage by its action on the platelets and is something that should be avoided at all times by the professional voice user. Sometimes surgery is needed for vocal cord nodule and polyp. Vocal tract surgery can be more catastrophic than surgery on the vocal folds themselves. The patient should know the expected result and complications of the surgery.

Key steps for keeping your voice healthy

Performance, environment, tension and hormone are factors

Performers have to take on the personality and character of their performing role which involves not only voice abuse, such as screaming and shouting, but also altering the configuration of their vocal tract for different accents and to disguise their age and personality. These activities can affect their voice. Performers are now required to be more versatile and not only singers but actors and, specifically, dancers as well. The constricting costumes and physical activity can affect their breathing technique. Singers are also asked to sing in different styles, for example, in opera the larynx needs to be lower or vertical and the main emphasis is on vowels. Numerous old theatres are dusty, especially in the wings, off stage and in the curtains during change of scenes.


Acute illness

Performers live in dread of developing

an upper respiratory tract infection at anytime, but especially during a performance. It is important to differentiate between an upper respiratory tract infection with or without laryngeal involvement. An upper respiratory tract infection can be managed conservatively with adequate

hydration and steam inhalations. If there is laryngeal involvement and the performance is a career make or break situation then steroids may have a role. If there is evidence of a laryngeal infection, however, it is recommended that the concert is postponed and antibiotics also used. In the acute

Drink plenty of water. Drink plenty (up to eight 8-ounce glasses is a good minimum target) of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day Try not to scream or yell Warm up your voice before heavy use. Warm-ups can be simple, such as gently gliding from low to high tones on different vowel sounds, doing lip trills (like the motorboat sound that kids make), or tongue trills Dont smoke Use good breath support. Breath flow is the power for voice. Take time to fill your lungs before starting to talk Use a microphone Listen to your voice. When your voice is complaining to you, listen to it. If your voice is hoarse frequently, or for an extended period of time, you should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) l

If a foreign object becomes lodged in your nose: Dont probe at the object with a cotton swab or other tool. Dont try to inhale the object by forcefully breathing in. Instead, breathe through your mouth until the object is removed. Blow out of your nose gently to try to free the object, but dont blow hard or repeatedly. If only one nostril is affected, close the opposite nostril by applying gentle pressure and then blow out gently through the affected nostril. Gently remove the object if its visible and you can easily grasp it with tweezers. Dont try to remove an object that isnt visible or easily grasped. Go to your local ear nose throat emergency room if these methods fail.

Foreign body in ear

The writer is Professor of Otolaryngology and HNS department in BSMMU, Dhaka.


Grapefruit, a new hope in polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease is a debilitating condition characterised by formation of multiple cysts in the kidney with gradual loss of kidney function that can be fatal. Symptoms include high blood pressure and loss of kidney function, leading to the need for dialysis. Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London, have discovered that a natural product, Naringenin, found in grapefruit can prevent these cysts formation in the kidney. This product also present in other citrus fruits has been found to successfully block the formation of kidney cysts, by regulating the PKD2 protein responsible for the condition. The discovery of the benefits of naringenin could prove to be a vital step

The Facts about fat

n Dr Sajol Ashfaq
Most foods contain several different kinds of fat, and some are better for your health than others. You dont need to completely DID YOU eliminate all fat from KNOW? your diet. In fact, some fats actually help promote good health. But its wise to choose the healthier types of dietary fat and then enjoy them in moderation. When choosing fats, pick unsaturated fat over saturated or trans fat. Heres how to know the difference. Fats play an important role in our diets. Nutritionists recommend eating a diet low in fat, particularly low in saturated fat. Fats are categorised as saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.



forward in the future treatment and prevention of kidney disease.

Polyunsaturated fats

Sodium nitrate in processed meat may increase the risk of heart disease

Saturated fats

Saturated fats tend to increase bad cholesterol levels in the blood as well as total cholesterol levels. They are found mostly in animal products (eg: meat and full-cream dairy products). Two non-animal exceptions are palm and coconut oils which also contain saturated fat and are often found in commercial biscuits and cakes.

Polyunsaturated fats tend to lower the total and bad cholesterol levels while maintaining the level of good cholesterol. Found in margarines, nuts, soymilks, seeds, and vegetable oils.


Trans fat

Monounsaturated fats

Sodium nitrate, a preservative thats used in some processed meats, such as bacon, jerky and luncheon meats, could increase heart disease risk. Its thought that sodium nitrate may make arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease. Nitrates may also affect the way of bodys sugar utilization, making one more likely to develop diabetes. So its best to limit processed meat in diet and focus on lean, fresh meats and poultry.

These fats can benefit the body by reducing the level of total and bad cholesterol and increasing the level of good cholesterol in the blood. Found in foods such as olives, peanuts, avocados, and canola oil.

This is a type of fat that occurs naturally in some foods in small amounts. But most trans fats are made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. By partially hydrogenating oils, they become easier to cook with and less likely to spoil than naturally occurring oils. Research studies show that these partially hydrogenated trans fats can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. This can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

A type of polyunsaturated fat, which research suggests may help maintain healthy blood pressure and blood fat levels. Found in oily fish, linseed, canola oil, soybeans, walnuts and dark green vegetables (eg: spinach and green peas). All fats have the same number of kilojoules and need to be eaten in moderation especially if you are trying to control your weight. Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil and corn oil. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed (ground), oils (canola, flaxseed, soybean), and nuts and other seeds (walnuts, butternuts and sunflower). l

A foreign object in the ear can cause pain and hearing loss. Usually you know if an object is stuck in your ear, but small children may not be aware of it. If an object becomes lodged in the ear, follow these steps: Dont probe the ear with a tool. Dont attempt to remove the foreign object by probing with a cotton swab, matchstick or any other tool. To do so is to risk pushing the object farther into the ear and damaging the fragile structures of the middle ear. Remove the object if possible. If the object is clearly visible, pliable and can be grasped easily with tweezers, gently remove it. Try using gravity. Tilt the head to the affected side to try to dislodge the object. Try using oil for an insect. If the foreign object is an insect, tilt the persons head so that the ear with the offending insect is upward. Try to float the insect out by pouring mineral oil, olive oil or baby oil into the ear. The oil should be warm but not hot. As you pour the oil, you can ease the entry of the oil by straightening the ear canal. Pull the earlobe gently backward and upward for an adult, backward and downward for a child. The insect should suffocate and may float out in the oil bath. Dont use oil to remove any object other than an insect. Do not use this method if the child has ear tubes in place or if there is any suspicion of a perforation in the eardrum pain, bleeding or discharge from the ear. If these methods fail or the person continues to experience pain in the ear, reduced hearing or a sensation of something lodged in the ear, go to your local Ear Nose Throat emergency room.

| Compiled by: Shirsho Saaeadat

Fermented dairy products may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

According to new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) higher consumption of yoghurt (an average of four and a half standard 125g pots of yoghurt per week), compared with no consumption, can reduce the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes by 28%. Scientists at the University of Cambridge found that in fact higher consumption of lowfat fermented dairy products, which include all yoghurt varieties and some low-fat cheeses, also reduced the relative risk of diabetes by 24% overall. Fermented dairy products may exert beneficial effects against diabetes through probiotic bacteria and a special form of vitamin K (part of the

Try to avoid nasty nickel

n Prescription desk
When you wear earrings, your earlobes get dry and red and the skin peels off. It sounds as though you are sensitive to nickel, which is a common ingredient in inexpensive earrings. Nickel exposure from earrings is a common cause of dermatitis SELF CARE on the earlobes. Youre not alone: nickel sensitisation is quite common, with close 6 percent of people testing positive to it in a standard skin test. A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology warns that up to a third of cheap earrings will contain nickel, especially if they are made in Asia, the USA or in Australia. It is less of a problem in Europe, where the use of nickel is more strictly regulated. The solution is to stop wearing the offending earrings, repeated exposure only worsens the problem Look for earrings labelled nickel-free or hypoallergenic; other safe choices include stainless steel, platinum or gold. l


menaquinone family) associated with fermentation. Dairy products are an important source of high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. However, they are also a source of saturated fat that should be replaced with lower fat options like yoghurt.

| Dr Kazi Mahbuba Akhtar



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Putin signs laws annexing Crimea while US sanctions Putin personnel

EU signs landmark Ukraine political deal

n Reuters, Brussels
The European Union and Ukraine signed a landmark political cooperation accord on Friday, committing to the same deal former president Viktor Yanukovich rejected last November, a decision that led to his overthrow. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, EU presidents Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, and the leaders of the blocs 28 nations signed the core chapters of the Association Agreement during an EU summit in Brussels. Soon afterwards, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation completing the process of absorbing Crimea into Russia, defying Western leaders who say the Black Sea peninsula remains part of Ukraine. The deal commits Ukraine and the EU to closer political and economic cooperation, although its more substantial parts concerning free trade will be signed only after Ukraine has held a presidential election on May 25. Van Rompuy, the European Council president, said the agreement would bring Ukraine and its 46m people closer to the heart of Europe and a European way of life. (This) recognises the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to live in a country governed by values, by democracy and the rule of law, where all citizens have a stake in national prosperity, he said. Two sets of the documents were passed around the table for the EUs leaders and Yatseniuk to sign in a solemn atmosphere. Van Rompuy and Yatseniuk then shook hands and exchanged the documents to applause, witnesses said. Yanukovich turned his back on signing the EU agreement last November in favour of closer ties with Moscow, triggering months of street protests that eventually led to his flight from the country. l

Russia vows retaliatory sanctions against the US, askes for Ukraine debt repayment
lines and the Sochi Olympics, as well as Putins chief of staff and his deputy, the head of military intelligence and a railways chief. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said he expected no big immediate impact from the sanctions. A consortium led by Stroitransgaz, owned by Timchenko, is set to win a 3.5bn euro ($4.8bn) deal to build a section of the South Stream natural gas pipeline across EU member Bulgaria, industry sources said. But, underlining how Washington can apply pressure via the international financial system, US credit card companies Visa and MasterCard stopped providing services for payment transactions with Russias SMP bank, owned by the Rotenberg brothers, the bank said. Obama said Washington was also considering sanctions against economic sectors including financial services, oil and gas, metals and mining and the defence industry, if Russia made military moves into eastern and southern Ukraine. Diplomats said the mere mention of such a possibility would chill investment in Russia, charging an immediate price for Moscows action in Crimea and serving as a potential deterrent to going further. The EU also extended its personal sanctions to another 12 middle-ranking Russian and Crimean officials. On the other hand, Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made clear that Russia would step up financial pressure on Ukraine. He said the former Soviet republic should repay Moscow $11bn under a gas supply contract that should be scrapped because it no longer applied. Medvedev said the agreements under which Russia was to provide cheap gas in return for the lease of the Sevastopol naval base in Crimea were subject to denunciation, giving Russia a legal right to sue for money back from Ukraine. Altogether, Kiev owed Moscow $16bn, he added. l

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) prepares to sign documents yesterday as Sergei Naryshkin (R), speaker of the State Duma, Russias lower parliament house, and Valentina Matviyenko, head of the Federation Council, look on REUTERS

n Reuters, Moscow/Brussels
President Vladimir Putin signed laws completing Russias annexation of Crimea on Friday, as investors took fright at a US decision to slap sanctions on his inner circle of money men and security officials. Putin promised to protect a bank partly owned by an old ally, which Washington has blacklisted, and his spokesman said Russia would respond in kind to the financial and visa curbs. Russian shares fell sharply after President Barack Obama also threatened on Thursday to target major sectors of the economy if Moscow tried to move on other areas of Ukraine beyond the Black Sea peninsula. Europe also tightened the screws by widening its sanctions list, and

Germany suspended approval of all defence-related exports to Russia, ordering defence contractor Rheinmetall to halt delivery of combat simulation gear. In a Kremlin ceremony shown live on state television, Putin signed a law on ratification of a treaty making Crimea part of Russia as well as legislation creating two new Russian administrative districts: Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol, where Moscow keeps part of its Black Sea fleet. Officials and lawmakers in Moscow have largely laughed off Western sanctions imposed after Russian troops seized control of Crimea. A referendum in the majority Russsian-speaking region - which overwhelmingly backed union with Russia but was denounced by Washington and the European

Union as a sham - then opened the way for the annexation. Obamas decision to go for the financial jugular of the people who accompanied Putins rise from the mayors office in St Petersburg in the 1990s to the Russian presidency has deepened the diplomatic confrontation. Putin said Bank Rossiya, singled out by Washington as the personal bank for senior Russian officials, had nothing to do with the events in Crimea and promised to keep his salary there. The St Petersburg-based bank is chaired and partly owned by Yuri Kovalchuk, an old associate of Putins. Other names on the US blacklist includes oil and commodities trader Gennady Timchenko and the brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who are linked to big contracts on gas pipe-

France to suspend most Russia military cooperations

n AFP, Tallinn
France has suspended most of its military cooperation with Russia, including joint exercises and personnel exchanges, the French defence minister said Friday in Tallinn. Paris has suspended the majority of its military cooperation with Russia in the wake of Moscows takeover of Crimea, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in the Estonian capital before heading to fellow NATO members Lithuania and Poland later in the day. He said the suspension would concern joint military exercices but said nothing about the fate of contracts to supply Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. On Thursday Le Drian had said such a decision would not be taken until October. Le Drian was on a visit to the Baltic states of Lithuania and Estonia and then Poland on Friday, with the aim of offering them reassurances on security, as European Union leaders sought to broaden sanctions against Moscow officials. His announcement came at the same time as a German economy ministry spokesman said Berlin had decided to suspend approval of all defence-related exports to Russia Le Drian also said France could send four planes to Lithuania on protection duty if NATO decides to boost air defences over the Baltic states, which are now also members of the Western military alliance. l

Turkeys Gul at odds with UN monitor accuses Israel of ethnic Erdogan over twitter ban cleansing, apartheid
n Reuters, Istanbul
Turkish President Abdullah Gul set himself publicly at odds with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, saying that it was unacceptable to impose complete bans on social media platforms such as Twitter. Turkeys courts blocked access to Twitter following Erdogans vow, on the campaign trail ahead of key March 30 local elections, to wipe out the service. In a defiant stand, Erdogan said he did not care what the international community had to say about it. The prime minister, who has been in power for 11 years, is battling a corruption scandal that has been fed by social media awash with alleged evidence of government wrongdoing. Gul, however, took to Twitter himself to say complete bans on social media platforms were unacceptable and to voice his hope that the block would be short-lived. Turkeys main opposition party said it would challenge the ban and file a criminal complaint against Erdogan on the grounds of violating personal freedoms. The countrys bar association filed a separate court challenge. One cannot approve of the complete closure of social media platforms, Gul tweeted. He said only individual Internet pages should be blocked if there is a court order on the grounds that a persons privacy is being violated. Gul co-founded the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party with Erdogan and has remained a close ally. But he is viewed as a more conciliatory figure than the combative prime minister and their relations have at times appeared strained. In the run up to the elections, the president has been hesitant to openly criticise Erdogan, despite the brewing scandal. Erdogans ruling AK Party has already tightened Internet controls, handed government more influence over the courts, and reassigned thousands of police and hundreds of prosecutors and judges as it fights a corruption scandal he has cast as a plot by political enemies to oust him. l

Islamist rebels fight to take Syria crossing with Turkey

n AFP, Beirut

n AFP, Geneva
A UN rights expert who probes Israels conduct towards Palestinians on Friday accused the Jewish state of a campaign of ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies. The realities on the ground are worsening from the point of view of both international law and from the point of view of the Palestinian people, Richard Falk, an 82-year-old American who is an emeritus law professor at Princeton University, told reporters. Falk is due to step down this month as the UN Human Rights Councils monitor for the Palestinian territories taken over by Israel in 1967 the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Since he was appointed in 2008, he said, Israel has built more settlements in Palestinian territories, imposed collective punishment on Gaza, demolished homes and repeatedly deployed excessive force.

He also accused Israel of a systematic and continued effort to change the ethnic composition of East Jerusalem by voiding Palestinians residence permits, con iscating property and allowing unlawful Israeli settlements there. This is systematic discrimination on the basis of ethnic identity, with the objective of creating a different demographic in Jerusalem, he said, calling it a form of ethnic cleansing. All of these features that are objectionable from the point of view of international law have continued and intensified during my six years, he said. What is called occupation is now more widely understood to be a form of annexation, the embodiment of apartheid in the sense that theres a discriminatory dual system of law, giving legal protection to the Israeli settlers and subjecting the Palestinian population under occupation to a continuing existence without rights, he added.

Falk has repeatedly locked horns with Israel, the United States, Canada and some human rights groups for positions including labelling Israels 2008 offensive against Gaza a war crime, and urging a boycott of companies helping Israels settlement drive in the Palestinian territories. Washington has said he should quit his UN role, which like other rights monitors at the world body he holds on an unpaid, voluntary basis. Falk has brushed off the criticism. Anyone who is 10% objective would come to similar conclusions about international law and international morality to the conclusions Ive reached on the main issues that are in contention, he said. He also rejects claims of anti-Semitism, saying they are defamatory and hurtful given that he is Jewish himself. He said that personal attacks were an attempt to shift the conversation from the message to the messenger and part of the politics of deflection. l

Three Syrian Islamist opposition groups, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, were battling for control of a regime-held border crossing with Turkey on Friday, a monitoring group said. Al-Nusra Front, Sham al-Islam and Ansar al-Sham are engaged in fierce clashes around the Kasab crossing with Turkey in Latakia province, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. They have seized guard posts around the crossing but are not yet in control of it, he said. Syrian state television made reference to the fighting in a breaking news alert, saying the army was tackling attempts by terrorist gangs to infiltrate from Turkish territory and attack border crossings in northern Latakia province. The alert, citing a military source, said 17 opposition fighters had been killed and many others wounded in the fighting. l

27 killed across Iraq as militants seize village

n AFP, Kirkuk
Militants seized a village in north Iraq on Friday as attacks nationwide killed 27 people, including at least 10 policemen, amid a surge in bloodshed ahead of parliamentary elections. The latest unrest comes barely a week before campaigning begins for the April 30 election due to take place as Iraq grapples with its worst protracted bloodletting since a brutal 2006-07 Sunni-Shiite sectarian war in which tens of thousands of people were killed. The unrest has been primarily driven by anger among the minority Sunni Arab community, which alleges discrimination at the hands of the Shiite-led government and security forces, as well as by the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Shootings and bombings on Friday mostly took place in Sunni-majority parts of northern and western Iraq, killing 27 people and wounding more than 50, security and medical officials said. In Sarha, militants mounted a coordinated pre-dawn assault on the village involving gunmen and a suicide truck bomb, and were in control of it as of noon (0900 GMT) on Friday, according to Lieutenant General Abdulamir al-Zaidi, head of a northern Iraq security command, and Shallal Abdul, mayor of the nearby town of Tuz Khurmatu. Sarha is near the town of Sulaiman Bek, which has been repeatedly targeted over the past year by militants who have sought to take control of the area. The latest move is a small-scale version of the ongoing, months-long crisis being played out in Iraqs western Anbar province, where militants hold major territory. Clashes irst erupted early Friday in the Sarha region of Salaheddin province, between anti-government ighters and police manning checkpoints. l


Kenya legalises polygamy without wifes consent n AFP, Nairobi

Kenyas parliament has passed a bill allowing men to marry as many women as they want, prompting a furious backlash from female lawmakers who stormed out, reports said Friday. The bill, which amended existing marriage legislation, was passed late on Thursday to formalise customary law about marrying more than one person. The proposed bill had initially given a wife the right to veto the husbands choice, but male members of parliament overcame party divisions to push through a text that dropped this clause. When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way, and a third wife... this is Africa, MP Junet Mohammed told the house, according to Nairobis Capital FM. As in many parts of Africa, polygamy is common among traditional communities in Kenya, as well as among the countrys Muslim community, which accounts for up to a fifth of the population. l

Israeli security forces stand guard as a Palestinian boy performs Friday prayers outside Jerusalems Old City yesterday after Israeli police restricted access to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the day of the annual Jerusalem marathon AFP



Saturday, March 22, 2014

will be removed from office before another vote is held. She has been charged with negligence by the National Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with a rice subsidy scheme, and could face an impeachment vote in the upper house of parliament within weeks. Yingluck has faced more than four months of street demonstrations seeking to force her from office and install an unelected peoples council to oversee political reforms. Their aim is to put pressure in every possible way to appoint a neutral prime minister, said the chairman of the pro-government Red Shirts movement, Jatuporn Prompan. The backdrop is a years-old struggle between a royalist establishment supported by the judiciary and the military and Yinglucks family, which has traditionally enjoyed strong support in the northern half of Thailand. Yinglucks Puea Thai party strongly criticised the election ruling, accusing the court of trying to write its own constitution and expropriate sovereignty from the people. Puea Thai urges all people to unite and fight all kinds of external forces in order to achieve true democracy through peaceful mean, it said. l

Malaysia on MH370 search: Thai court voids protest-hit election this is going to be a long haul
n Agencies
Spotter planes spent a second fruitless day scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean for wreckage from a Malaysian jet on Friday, as Chinese relatives of the missing passengers clashed with Malaysian officials. Australian and US military aircraft usually used for anti-submarine operations criss-crossed the isolated search area 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth, looking for two floating objects that had shown up on grainy satellite photos taken several days before. Although the images were too indistinct to confirm as debris from Flight MH370, Australian and Malaysian officials said they represented the most credible leads to date in the hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers and crew. Fridays search concluded without any sightings, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. in a statement. The planes flew low under the cloud cover rather than rely on radar, after poor weather the day before hampered the search. We replanned the search to be visual, so aircraft flying relatively low, with very highly skilled observers looking out of the windows, said AMSA official John Young. This means aircraft operating more closely together and we will need more aircraft for this task. Fridays aerial contingent comprised three Australian air force P-3 Orions, a US Navy P-8 Poseidon and a civil Bombardier Global Express jet. The distance from the west coast of Australia allows the planes only about two hours of actual search time before they must turn around with enough fuel to get back to Perth. Two merchant ships were helping with the search, but Australias HMAS Success, which is capable of retrieving any wreckage, was still days away. This is going to be a long haul, Malaysian transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a daily press briefing in Kuala Lumpur. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who first revealed the satellite images in parliament, defended himself on Friday against suggestions he may have jumped the gun. We owe it to the families and the friends and the loved ones ... to give them information as soon as its to hand, he said. Abbott said he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping who he described as devastated by the disappearance of MH370 and the 153 Chinese nationals on board. Malaysia has been criticised for its handling of the crisis, especially by Chinese relatives who have accused authorities and the flag-carrier airline of providing insufficient or misleading information. A delegation of Malaysian government and military officials flew to Beijing for what turned out to be a bad-tempered meeting with relatives. The event began with family members yelling at delegates to stand up when they were being introduced. You have wasted so much time, shouted one. The nature of the events that diverted MH370 from its intended flight path on March 8 remain shrouded in mystery, although Malaysian investigators have stuck to their assumption that it was the result of a deliberate action by someone on board.l

A Buddhist monk who joined Thai anti-government protesters reads a newspaper at Lumpini park in downtown in Bangkok on March 21 AFP

n AFP, Bangkok
Thailands general election held last month was declared invalid Friday after disruption by opposition protesters, setting the scene for possible talks between warring political parties about new polls to end the deadlock. While the ruling from the Constitutional Court further delays the

formation of a new government, it also offers a possible exit from the political stalemate if the opposition agrees to end its boycott of the ballot box. The countrys Election Commission said it planned to propose talks between political party leaders about a new election date. But Yinglucks supporters fear she

Jaswant Singh to go rebel Taliban kill nine including foreigners in Kabul hotel attack as BJP denies Barmer ticket
n Agencies
The Bharatiya Janata Partys (BJP) ticket troubles continued to haunt it on Friday after senior leader Jaswant Singh expressed his annoyance over not being considered from Rajasthans Barmer constituency and has indicated he may even consider contesting the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent. The BJPs refusal to give in to Singhs demand comes a day after party patriarch LK Advani accepted the partys diktat on where he will contest the national election from after a 24hour sulk. Singh, according to reports, has registered his protest to the party after it fielded Colonel Sonaram Chaudhary, who recently switched to the BJP from the Congress, from Barmer. The MP from Darjeeling in West Bengal had expressed his desire to contest, what may be his last election, from the Barmer seat. He may even consider contesting the election as an Independent, a senior state leader told IANS. BJP leaders in Barmer have warned that they would resign if Sonaram is fielded. They say that someone who has for long been with the Congress should not be fielded from Barmer as this will send a wrong message to the voters. The Rajasthan BJP is facing dissidence from some senior leaders and workers after the partys candidates for the Lok Sabha polls were announced. For instance, Sumedhanand, the BJP candidate from Sikar, being opposed by some sections who wanted the ticket for local leaders like Subhash Maharia or Hariram Ranwa. Some workers pelted stones at the cavalcade of Sumedhanand when he was on his way to his Piprali ashram from Bajore in Sikar yesterday (Thursday), said a BJP leader in Sikar. Supporters of Ranwa and Maharia held separate meetings with local leaders to register their protest. A delegation of party workers will soon meet chief minister Vashundhara Raje to convey their opposition to the manner in which tickets have been distributed. l curity early on Thursday evening and hid inside the building for three hours before opening fire on diners inside the hotels restaurant, according to interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. They then battled Afghan special forces as terrified guests hid in rooms or fled to hotel bunkers. All the Talibangunmen were shot dead. During the attack guests crouched in bathrooms with the lights turned off as they listened to gunfire and people running up and down the hallways. I never heard an explosion or anything. Only firearms and possible rocket-propelled grenades, one senior UN official said in a text message from his darkened room. One of the hotels main saferooms, which was packed with guests and Afghan members of parliament, filled with smoke from a fire in the kitchen. It was hard to breathe. People started putting wet napkins on their faces, one witness said. French news agency Agence France Presse said its Afghan reporter Sardar Ahmad, his wife and two young children were killed in the attack. The foreigners killed were from Canada, India, New Zealand and Pakistan, the

interior ministry said. All the 18 UN staff members known to be inside had been accounted for, according to a UN official.

Serena hotelwas safe haven

Afghan security officials display weapons and other items used by the teenage attackers in the overnight Serena Hotel attack during a press conference in Kabul on March 21 AFP

n Reuters, Kabul
Taliban gunmen killed nine people, including four foreigners, in an attack on a luxury hotel used by UN staff and prominent Afghan politicians in Kabul on Thursday night, before being shot dead by security forces, witnesses and police said on Friday.

The assault on the heavily fortified Serena Hotel, which lasted some three hours, was the latest in a string of attacks by the insurgents seeking to spoil a presidential election on April 5, which would mark the first time inAfghanistans history that one elected government hands power to another. FourTalibanfighters snuck past se-

Police are investigating how the gunmen got into the Serena. The hotel has dozens of armed guards patrolling its perimeter, and anyone entering is checked with metal detectors and body searched for weapons. Our first conclusion is that unfortunately that was a failure by that security and measures that were in place, Sediqqi said, showing reporters photos of pistols roughly the size of a packet of cigarettes and piles of ammunition. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahidclaimed responsibility for the attack and said the gunmen had targeted guests celebrating the eve of the Afghan new year on Friday. Suicide bombers have entered the Serena Hotel, heavy battle is underway, enemies suffered heavy casualties, the Taliban spokesman said in a text message. The Serena hotel has been attacked several times during theTalibaninsurgency, but Thursdays assault was the deadliest so far. l

Comission gives Maldives polls go ahead

n AFP, Mal, Maldives
The Maldivian elections commission said Friday it planned to go ahead with this weekends parliamentary polls despite the islands new president expressing doubts over whether the vote can be conducted. President Abdulla Yameen told a public rally in the capital island Male on Thursday night that a depleted Elections Commission may not be able to conduct the vote which is due to take place on Saturday. The head of the commission and his deputy were both sacked last week for disobeying a Supreme Court order to adjourn part of last years presidential election which was eventually won in November by Yameen. In a rally on Thursday night, Yameen questioned whether the commission now had the ability to conduct a free and fair poll for the 85-seat parliament given that two of its five positions were now vacant. The commission barely meets the quorum (of three) to hold an election of such importance, Yameen said on Thursday night. An ally of the ruling party has also petitioned the Supreme Court seeking a postponement of Saturdays vote, but the court has yet to announce its decision. l

Israel spy agency says eight Iranian Jews murdered in 1990s

n AFP Jerusalem
Israels spy agency Mossad has concluded eight Iranian Jews who had tried to emigrate to Israel in the 1990s were murdered en route, the prime ministers office said on Friday. The announcement came as Iran marked the Persian New Year, and as Israel chided Western powers for negotiating with the Jewish states arch-foe Tehran. Mossad has brought to a conclusion the affair regarding the Iranian Jews who have been missing since the 1990s, Benjamin Netanyahus office said in a statement. Eight of the 11 families of Iranian Jews who went missing in the 1990s received notification from the Intelligence and Heritage Commemoration Center that their loved ones were murdered while en route to immigrating to Israel, it said. Netanyahus office gave no details of where the suspected murders were to have taken place, and did not directly point the finger at the Iranian government. The statement came as Israel continued to criticise Western powers for negotiating with Iran over its nuclear programme, which the West alleges is aimed at building an atomic bomb a charge Tehran denies. Israels Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday charged that while the world powers know Iran cheats, Westerners prefer to put off confrontation, if possible to next year, or the next president. Israel has refused to rule out a unilateral military strike against Iran. And Israel last week intercepted a ship it said was carrying Iranian weapons to the Gaza Strip, in a highly-publicised media campaign. l

Irans Khamenei reiterates doubts about Holocaust n AFP, Tehran

Irans supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday voiced doubts about the existence and scale of the Holocaust, questioning the Wests red lines on freedom of expression. In Europe, no one dares to speak of the Holocaust, the crux of which is not clear if it is true, or if it were, how it was, Khamenei said in remarks broadcast live from the northeastern city of Mashhad. Khamenei, Irans top decision-maker, has repeatedly called Nazi Germanys killing of sixm Jews a myth and said the historical record has been distorted. President Hassan Rouhani, a self-declared moderate, has adopted a softer line, going so far as to condemn the massacre of the Jews by the Nazis. In February, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif irked hardliners in Tehran by describing the Holocaust as a cruel tragedy which should never happen again. On Friday, Khamenei appeared to draw parallels between red lines in the West over discussion of the Holocaust and Irans own policies regarding freedom of expression. In his speech marking the Persian New Year, Khamenei called for resistance in the face of a cultural invasion targeting the Islamic states religious beliefs. Expressing opinion about the Holocaust, or casting doubt on it, is one of the greatest sins in the West. They prevent this, arrest the doubters, try them while claiming to be a free country, he said. They passionately defend their red lines ... how do they expect us to overlook our red lines that are based on our revolutionary and religious beliefs, he asked without elaborating. Irans human rights record and its limits on free expression are routinely criticised by international organisations and Western powers. l


South Korea, Japan to hold summit with US

n AFP, Seoul
South Korea and Japan said Friday that their leaders will hold a summit with US President Barack Obama next week, in a breakthrough after Washington urged the pair to mend badly strained ties. The meeting on the sidelines of an international nuclear conference taking place in The Hague Monday and Tuesday will mark the first formal talks between President Park GeunHye and Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since they took office more than a year ago. The government has decided to take part in a three-way summit with the United States and Japan to be hosted by the United States on the occasion of The Hague nuclear security summit, Seouls foreign ministry said in a statement. At the three-way summit, North Koreas nuclear programmes and the issue of nuclear non-proliferation will be discussed. The Japanese foreign ministry confirmed the plans, while Seoul said the pair were also consulting over possible talks between senior officials on Japans use of Korean women in military brothels during World War II. Although not a one-on-one encounter, the talks are a significant step forward as Park had repeatedly ruled out a summit with Abe until Tokyo demonstrates sincere repentance for past wrongdoings. Relations between Seoul and Tokyo are at their lowest ebb for years, mired in emotive issues linked to Japans 1910-45 colonial rule and an island territorial dispute as well as its wartime use of so-called comfort women. Recent surveys have shown that the Japanese leader is even more unpopular with South Koreans than North Korean supremo Kim Jong-Un. Park has welcomed Abes pledge, saying she hopes it will pave the way for better bilateral ties. l

A South Korean worker sets lotus lanterns at Jogye Temple in Seoul yesterday ahead of celebrations marking Buddhas birthday on May 6. Buddhism is one of South Koreas largest and most active religions withms of followers. Although the exact date is unknown, Buddhas official birthday is celebrated on April 8th of the lunar calendar in South Korea AFP




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Letters to

the Editor

No place in the market for adulterated food

The poorest PM in the world

March 17 The PM of Nepal is the poorest PM in the world. He was living in a simple home, rented and paid for by his party, before he came to power, and even in a leadership capacity, he continued to lead a simple life. He has no property, like land, house, investments, ornaments etc. He has only two cell phones. On the other hand, what about our present party leaders? Seems to be a far different situation. The public wants to know just how much property the present cabinet members, lawmakers and upazila chairmen have. Israr Istiaque Ist

new report by Transparency International notes that some government officials are taking bribes in exchange for giving approvals to adulterated food products. It is shameful that this practice is allowed to take place and that public officials are involved. Health and consumer concerns about adulterated food have had a high profile in recent years, so it is scandalous that not more is being done to crack down on officials who collude with corrupt producers and dealers to facilitate improper practices. This is in marked contrast to the prompt call issued by poultry industry association leaders this week, to urge the shutdown of factories that have been found to be producing toxic feed using tannery waste. Yet, individuals ranging from Health Department sanitary inspectors to food retailers are reported to be party to a corrupt nexus permitting adulterated food to be produced and sold. Field officers from BSTI responsible for inspecting food factories were among those reported to be taking bribes. This shameful practice cannot be allowed to continue with such impunity. Not only does it risk public health and shortchange the consumer, but public trust and confidence is undermined by officials whose job it is to uphold basic standards. Citizens expect the government to show zero tolerance for any practices that allow the market to be contaminated with adulterated food. These practices must be stopped and corrupt officials weeded out. There is no place in the market for impure food.

Not a cultural hijack

March 16 MrBangladesh I will give you a cricketing reason why it was wrong. India hasnt invited Bangladesh to play cricket in India, despite being our neighbouring country. And if we were going to showcase Hindi songs, we should have showcased some songs in other languages as well. Nothing to do with bigotry or hatred. matthewislam MrBangladesh: Thank you for reading my op-ed. What you mention is wrong and we all should be raising our voice against such blatant exclusionism but I can see the issue of entertainment and sport separately and as such wont tag both with each other. I also believe that if India doesnt allow us to broadcast our channels in their country, regardless of demand, then we should do the same. They do, however, let our performers perform in their nation and accord them respect, appreciation and space and we should perhaps accord the same to them. The problem is deeper than what it leads onto generally. We have a general love and acceptance for and comfort with Hindi and to automatically seek the same level of understanding from their nation without a concerted effort to take our language to them all over India, in a form thats easy to swallow just like they did with Hindi worldwide, is illogical. To exclude fully on that basis is also quite drastic at least to me and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. MrBangladesh matthewislam: When have you seen them allow our performers at the international stage? Locally, maybe yes. I have no problem with Shahrukh Khan, AR Rahman performing in Radisson and all the other hotspots in Dhaka. We have a far general acceptance of the English language. Yes the problem is deeper and the politics of AL and BNP/Jamaat ties into Indo/Pak favouritism and all that. Long story short, we are Bangladeshi, lets have some pride in our culture and celebrate our culture when we can. How long are we going to be just happy to live in someone elses shadow? This comment has nothing to do with hatred towards India or anybody. I would have said the same thing had it been Atif Aslam performing in Urdu rather than AR Rahman in Hindi. Taki I strongly disagree. I think they are stealing our show and, most importantly, in such an occasion when you have the opportunity to showcase your culture to the rest of the world, why be the loser!?! nds I am in agreement with the authors views. Taste of culture can never be an imposition. If the people like and enjoy the performances of artists from India or any other country, then they cant be either criticised or deterred from enjoying that by force or by insinuation, particularly in a globalised world culture . I am more than sure those who are criticising the Indian artists performances are doing that not because they did not enjoy it but because they have an inbuilt dislike for India on political grounds. What matters is the standard of performances for which our artists, like Bannaya and Runa Laila, are equally popular in India. Dhaka Feraoon People are angry because of cultural aggression by India, which help enable its hegemony. Sure, these people make mountains out of molehills; thats true too. The logic put forward against having Indian artists are almost always faulty. But the resentment is not. And that is why this article also fails to identify the issue. matthewislam Dhaka Feraoon: I actually agree that I failed to include that there is true resentment amongst our people against India and the dislike for this ceremony has a lot to do with that. I also find that we dont hold the ability to reconcile our ill-feelings and an entertainment program.

Govts billboard hogging frustrates advertisers

March 18 It also frustrates the public, believe it or not! Sumi

Citizens expect zero tolerance for any practices that allow the market to be contaminated

Mahathir: Wait until next polls

March 16 This is hilarious. And too surreal to make sense of. Mr Mahathir Mohammad, of all people, a ruthless unreconstructed autocrat in his time, dishing out his gems of wisdom on democracy, of all things. Easy to preach such platitudes when one is no longer held to account. Mr Mahathir will be glad to know that his self-serving counterfeit democracy in Malaysia for 22 years is an approach that has been avidly adopted by the incumbent regime and his hosts, today I suspect he has no scheduled meeting with the BNP Chairperson. Oh well, she can do without such condescending counsel. Ronnie

Be Heard
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Stop the attacks against CHT women

n the first three months of this year alone, there were 10 rapes and attempted rapes and two murders of women from indigenous minority groups in the CHT region. Shockingly, a few of these cases involved children, and in some instances where perpetrators were identified and apprehended, there are reports of perpetrators being released by informal or illegal means, via the payment of bribes or cursory fines. We are concerned that the number of incidents of sexual violence against minority women in Bangladesh is growing and in many cases, going unpunished. This represents a massive failure of law and order which must be addressed immediately. Home ministry statistics indicate that out of 57 such cases filed by indigenous women in the year from 2010-2011, not a single verdict was pronounced punishing the offenders. That such heinous crimes can be neglected by our state is extremely distressing. Women from indigenous minority groups already endure discrimination. If there are patterns found of them being targeted for physical or sexual violence, then law enforcers have a duty to properly investigate this and to act to prevent it taking place. The government needs to play a greater role in putting a stop to violence against women in CHT. Every citizen is part of our community, and must have their rights protected equally by the state. If the police and judicial system are not adequately protecting vulnerable groups, the government must act to ensure law enforcers do their duty.


Every citizen must have their rights protected equally by the state


ACROSS 1 Coastal vessel (4) 6 Forefront (3) 7 Untidy state (4) 9 Bearing (4) 10 Nettle rash (5) 11 Allude (5) 12 Also (3) 14 Stair handrail post (5) 17 Corners (5) 20 Land measure (3) 21 Famous (5) 23 Conductors wand (5) 25 Border (4) 26 Mine entrance (4) 27 Sick (3) 28 Transmit (4) DOWN 1 Chinese boat (6) 2 Carry to excess (6) 3 Decline in power (4) 4 Speed an engine (3) 5 Donkey (3) 7 Deep mud (4) 8 Cut off (5) 10 Female bird (3) 13 Wanderer (5) 15 Walk like a duck (6) 16 Traditional story (6) 18 Marine unit of speed (4) 19 Male offspring (3) 22 Slippery catches (4) 23 Sporting item (3) 24 Gratuity (3)



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




Saturday, March 22, 2014


Much ado about a single

n Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
midst the euphoria of Bangladeshs comprehensive triumphs over Afghanistan and Nepal in the T20 World Cup, two small incidents run the risk of being completely overlooked. The more galling of them took place during the second ball of the 16th over on Tuesday. With one run needed for victory, Shakib Al Hasan plonked the Nepalese Sagar Pun down to long-on for what should have been an easy single. But even as non-striker Sabbir Rahman shuffled down the track to complete a routine win over Nepal, Shakib turned him back. Sabbir was surprised, so was the whole Nepal contingent and also the commentators. Shakib, they concluded, wanted to end this with a big one. Rameez Raza called it extreme self-confidence and Shakib duly showcased such by hoisting the next delivery over the long-on boundary. In the immediate aftermath, people reveled in his cheek and flair but Shakibs overt taunt at the considerably weaker opponents made me uncomfortable and seemed unprofessional, arrogant, and obnoxious. For metaphors sake, Shakib refusing the single to win the match when the opportunity presented itself is the footballing equivalent of a team intentionally spurning a goal-scoring opportunity because the opponent is already well-beaten. It showcases neither flair, nor cheek, but a lack of professional ethics when playing the game. As professionals you are required to take every single opportunity that comes your way and do so to the best of your ability; imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo passed up the chance to score tap-ins against Granada because he wanted to score belters instead. An act as brazen as this shows a distinct lack of respect towards your opponents. Taken in isolation, Shakibs incident could even be overlooked as a oneoff (in a lengthy series of one-offs), but coming on the heels of Anamul Haques three ball defensive act before finishing with a flurry against Afghanistan, it seems that the Tigers are out to put their lowly opponents in their place. And please no half-hearted net run rate excuses.

Someone should tell the increasingly conceited Bangladeshi players that there is nothing particularly wrong with humility

In a digital world, can we afford to underestimate the importance of English?


The war on English

n Esam Sohail
hanks to a misguided burst of emotionalism born of sincere nationalism, Bangladesh failed an entire generation of youth who could nary put together a coherent sentence in proper English in the spoken or written formats. In the quarter century between independence and the mid-90s, the war on English was raged with zeal by popularity-seeking demagogues and self-congratulatory intellectuals whose own children, for the record, remained comfortably ensconced in elite English medium schools at home or the boarding schools across the verdant North Indian hill regions. By the time the then government allowed the tepid re-introduction of English as a medium of instruction in a limited number of public schools in the early 1990s, the damage had been done unlike any other generation before, Bangladeshi students going abroad were more likely than not to spend semesters in remedial English classes, call centres were coming to India, Pakistan, and the Philippines where the medium of instruction is mostly English, and only one fledgling English-language publishing house was left standing. Far from the times of the 1960s when Bengalis were often found in prestigious global journalism positions, most of Dhakas own English dailies were reflections of the utterly poor state of the language in our society.

Fortunately, things have slowly changed for the better, thanks to globalisation, an occasionally commonsensical government decision, and bold initiatives by the private sector which has picked up thelions share of the burden of English-medium education at every level from primary instruction to graduate school.

bring back the erstwhile state of things when only the super-rich and the well-connected could afford to provide their children with a modern education worthy of the world of today. If you dont believe me, take a closer look at the current cabinet itself: Chances are that at least half the members have children who were sent abroad to get the first class education that these min-

Bangladesh does the motherland or mother tongue no favours by imposing a false notion of linguistic purity on her people

Yet, the demons of cheap emotionalism are hardly quiet. Not content with leading bizarrely comical crusades against English lettering on commercial signboards and English words in literary journals, these denizens of cultural chauvinism are making even greater rumblings to push back the clock. Not a month goes by without some minister or his bureaucratic sidekick wanting to impose state controls on private sector education; few seminars attended by the cultural types are free from the obligatory bemoaning of the loss of native heritage in the evolving private higher education sector. Left to their own devices, these self-selected guardians of culture and heritage would like nothing more to

isters would deny to others. The truth is, that for developing countries unlike the developed ones like Korea or Japan a mastery of the English language is one of the few readily available tools for mass advancement in the economy of tomorrow. India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Singapore know it all too well. In fact, in Pakistans most backward tribal heartlands, a conservative government just decreed that English was to become the parallel language of instruction starting next year. Whether we like it or not, English as a mere subject is simply not going to cut it anymore. And regardless of the pride we feel at the United Nations celebrating a Mother Language Day, the

only language that matters in terms of commerce and prosperity is that of Shakespeare and Milton. Even in Bangladeshs domestic economy, it is quite common today to see job opportunity advertisements openly seeking applicants with a foreign degree and an English-medium tertiary education. Those lucrative jobs in the private sector should not be the preserves only of the well-off and well-connected. At the very least, the sniping against private sector education has got to stop. If anything, a sitting government of the day can do much better by the people by slowly instituting a parallel track of English-medium instruction alongside the existing vernacular one at all the public schools greater than a certain enrollment size. If a government wants to go the extra mile in harnessing Bangladesh into the 21st century information paradigm, then the wise thing to do would be to get rid of all the restrictions tariff and otherwise on the import of books and periodicals from abroad. Bangladesh does the motherland or mother tongue no favours by imposing a false notion of linguistic purity on her people who, as a result, get cut off from a modern world where business is done, information is exchanged, and decisions are made overwhelmingly in English. l Esam Sohail is an educational research analyst and college lecturer of social sciences. He writes from Kansas, USA.

In truth, there is nothing to celebrate in this. Imagine if an Australian or an Indian had done the same to us during one of their many comprehensive victories over us how would our avid fan following have reacted then? Imagine if Sri Lanka had decided to forget about winning the Test match with the series already secured and piled on to score a thousand runs against us, in one of the many Tests that we have struggled in. Or answer this, would someone like Shakib or Anamul have the gall to do this same against a Pakistan or a South Africa? In a sporting world where toeing the line is increasingly seen as a down-market trend, someone should tell the increasingly conceited Bangladeshi players that there is nothing particularly wrong with understanding or practicing humility. In fact, sometimes, it might even be professional to do so. l Quazi Zulquarnain Islam is a freelance sports writer.


A precious gift from nature

Manzoor Rashid and n AZM Niaz Ahmed Khan
wamp forests around the world play a pivotal role in maintaining biodiversity, sustaining livelihood, and nourishing the ecosystem of wetlands. The Asia-Pacific region particularly Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, and countries of Africa are still endowed with swamp forests to a varying degree. These precious resources act as a harbor (spawning ground) of rich fresh water species of fish, and a repository of a number of non-timber forest products. Bangladesh too is blessed with both saltwater and freshwater swamp forests. Although the state of most of these forests is somewhat dismal, they still continue to remain a vital source of floral and faunal diversity and livelihood for local communities. Bangladeshs freshwater swamp forests demand special attention and significance due to their unique characteristics in maintaining wetland biodiversity. The Ratargul Swamp Forest popularly dubbed as the Sundarban of the East has, of late, received heightened public and media attention on the countrys paramount freshwater swamp forest. Notwithstanding the controversy amongst concerned scientists regarding whether Ratargul is a natural swamp forest or an artificially created one, the forest has moved to centre stage of our interest and attention in the recent months. Located some 45 kilometer away from the Sylhet city centre, towards the north-west, the Ratargul Forest falls within the administrative jurisdiction of the Goainghat Upazila in Sylhet. The management of the forest is under purview of the North Sylhet Range of the Sylhet Forest Division. Inundated and nourished by the freshwater streams of the Goain River (locally called Chenger Khal) and its tributaries, Ratargul has created a unique wetland ecosystem. Ratarguls ecosystem is enriched with wetland plants, mammals, avifauna, and reptiles. A recent study enumerated 74 plants species, 9 amphibians, 20 reptiles, 26 mammals, and 175 birds (including migratory ones) in the locality. The forest ecosystem is also supporting the habitat of numerous freshwater fish species. The proposed plan of the Forest Department for declaring Ratargul as a wildlife sanctuary has prompted some debate amongst environmental activists. One major concern is that the launch of such a governmental facility may pave the way for bringing in a host of actors and interventions (notably physical infrastructure construction, unregulated flow of tourists, a variety of commercial operators) into the locality, which may seriously jeopardise the biodiversity and ecosystem values of this forest. Based on a recent study tour arranged by the Forestry and Environmental Science Department, Shahjalal Science and Technology University (SUST), and selected consultation with key stakeholders, we have attempted to contemplate on some remedial measures towards conservation and sustenance of the countrys only fresh water swamp forest. To protect the biodiversity, and to give adequate room for sustaining the current status of Ratargul Swamp Forest, a combination of short, medium, and long-term ameliorative measures may be considered. ate policy for the media to report on Ratargul. Mass awareness programs should be undertaken among the locals living in and around the forest to inform them about the current fragile status of the forest and the importance of conserving swamp forest biodiversity for their existence. process since the amount of revenue generating through this leasing system is very nominal. Tending operations (cleaning, de-branching assist regeneration) should be carried out on a regular basis to create room for natural regeneration particularly in monsoon. Selection of species in planting that are suitable for the existing ecosystem be at its minimum in order to maintain the original and pristine characteristics of the forest. The Forest Department should concentrate in improving the existing status of floral and faunal diversity through adopting biodiversity enrichment program. Taking lessons on best practices from neighbouring countries could be helpful while devising our own management plan. Sustainability of Ratargul forest will largely depend on appropriate policy, an inclusive decision-making process, and the effective mode of community engagement in the governance of the forest. We have to be judicious and selective in undertaking any development efforts in order to give top priority on biodiversity protection that, in the long run, may open up many vistas of opportunities for the local communities including eco-tourism. Ratargul represents a part of our solemn heritage, and we must do our best to conserve this precious gift of nature. l AZM Manzoor Rashid is Associate Professor, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Shahjalal University of Scienceand Technology. Niaz Ahmed Khan is Chairman and Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka.

Freshwater swamp forests demand special attention due to their unique characteristics in maintaining wetland biodiversity



Immediate rationalisation and restrictions on tourist access to the forest until further notice; the recent uncontrolled flux of tourists seems to be seriously affecting the health of the forest. More care, sensitivity and thoughts need to go in devising an appropri-

A comprehensive biodiversity status assessment survey should be carried out, which may help practitioners, managers and policy makers in developing management plans for Ratargul forest. The Forest Department should stop leasing out patipata and cane to expedite the regeneration and conservation

and can also be a source of food for the animal, particularly monkeys.


There should be the development of a comprehensive management plan, which involves the Forest Department, academia, researchers, local community and other stakeholders. Infrastructural development should



n Punny Kabir
Today is the 91st birthday of mime legend Marcel Marceau, who referred to mime as the art of silence, and performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years. Partha Pratim Majumder, the forerunner of mime art in Bangladesh, recalls his time with the greatest mime maestro who was his friend, philosopher, and guide all the way from the time they first met in 1982 until Marceaus death in 2007. Marceau is considered as the father of French mime, with whom Majumder worked for over 18 hours a day from 1982 to 1985. After spending three years with his idol Marceau, he staged solo performances all over Europe and the USA. In close conversation with Dhaka Tribune, Partha, one of the few acclaimed artistes who make the Bangladeshis proud in the international arena, reveals an interesting story about how he met Marceau: I went to France with a scholarship on mime, and with the dream to work with the greatest artiste of mime. It took me eight months to get glance of him. I first saw him live in a solo performance. The two and half hours performance left me mesmerised as I felt I saw a 3D film. After the performance he was giving autographs to his fans at his caravan. I ran to him with a brochure of one my earlier performances at Shilpakala Academy. I dont know why, but he expressed curiosity about me, and asked whether I was from India. I told him I was hailing from Bangladesh, but he had no idea about the existence of our country. But he admired me as a

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mahadeb Ghose to perform today

n Entertainment Desk
A musical evening by Mahadeb Ghose will take place at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centres Gulshan premises today at 6:30pm. Born in 1960, Mahadev Ghose is an accomplished singer of Rabindra Sangeet. He has learned music from renowned gurus such as late Abdul Ahad, late Ustad Fazlul Haque, and Omar Faruque. Ghose has completed a certificate course on Rabindra Sangeet from Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), where he presently works as a senior teacher in the Rabindra Sangeet department. Ghose is enlisted as a special grade singer in Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar. He has also performed for several private TV channels in Bangladesh and India such as Channel i, NTV, ATN Bangla and Tara Music. He has released two music albums titled Amar Hiyar Majhe and Amar Praner Manush Ache Prane and was honoured with the award Podokkhep Bangladesh in 2011 during the celebrations marking the 40th Anniversary of Bangladeshs independence. Mahadev Ghose has performed at several prestigious events in Bangladesh and has held important posts in different organisations such as Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Samonnay Parisad and Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Songstha. He has performed in several concerts in Indian states such as Assam, Paschimbanga, Bihar and Tripura. He has also performed in Kuwait and Australia. He established Rabirashmi a Rabindra Sangeet organisation in 1998. l

Remembering mime maestro Marcel Marceau

Enders Game Avatar 3D Aakash Koto Dure Thor: The Dark World 3D The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 3D , Frozen in 3D Agnee Time: 10am - 10pm Star Cineplex, Bashundhara City Robocop, Gravity Captain Phillips, Elysium Time: 12:30pm 9:30pm Blockbuster Cinemas Jamuna Future Park


Partha Pratim Majumder cherishes memories with the legend on his 91st birthday


Sculpture Exhibition By Hamiduzzaman Khan Time: 10am 8pm Athena Gallery of Fine Arts, Progoti Shoroni, Uttar Badda Collected Artwork Time: 11am 8pm National Art Gallery Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Shegun Bagicha Neel Megher Kabbo By Mahbubul Haque Time: 8am 11:59pm Bronia Cafe & Gallery Richamond Concord (2nd Floor) 68, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-1 I Bow My Head to You in Deep Obeisance By Shahid Kabir Time: 12pm 8pm Bengal Shilpalaya, House 42 Road 16 (New) / 27 (old) Dhanmondi

Partha with Marceau mime artist and asked me to meet him at his office. On the brochure he wrote something in French and gave his autograph. I felt like all my dreams have already become true. But, a lot more was waiting for me. One fine day, all dressed up with exhilaration like never before, I managed to reach his place. First day he asked me to show some basic movements of mime, and with extreme nervousness I could manage to show those. He appreciated it, and gradually he started to give me special attention as I had shown my ultimate respect and dedication to him, he added. A nostalgic Partha said: He trusted me so much that several times, he asked me to take care of his money bag. I was always welcome at his home. I cannot count how many nights I stayed there. Even when he was seriously ill and was admitted in a hospital, I was the only person Marceau wanted to have as company. Marcel Marceau is my idol, my mentor and my guru who made me what I am today. I got many awards and recognition in my life but the best thing I got in life is that I could mingle with such a great artist who called me his son. These days, the Bangladeshi born Master of Mime is reigning in Europe, however, his heart seems to have never left his beloved country. The mime artist hopes to develop an institute in Dhaka to train up professional mime artistes. l

Samar Majumders canvas of the soil and people

with lines and vibrant colours which can be seen in artworks by a native artist blending the local art genre. In vibrant colours and out of the ordinary lines, natural beauty and figures are imaginatively illustrated by artist Samar Majumder in the solo art exhibition titled Soil and Spirit that started from March 19 at the Dhaka Art Center, Dhanmondi. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist who garnered fame around the country for book cover designs and illustrations. He is a designer at the design-centre of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industry Corporation. Alongside his designing job, he continues painting, which is his true passion. The exhibition comprises different acrylic and mixed mediums of 70 artworks which will continue till March 25. Samar Majumder emphasised his works through the traditional, millennium the surviving beauty of Bengal and lifestyle of the inhabitants. Framers working in the field, fishermen fishing in the river, wandering of the bird- seller, the processing of paddy and crops, painting designs in the yards of rural households, and embroidered quilt by the rural women are depicted by Samars brush. A series of artworks titled 1971 comprising three artworks are also installed in the exhibition which depicts the killing and execution by the Pakistani army and local collaborators during the liberation war. Immerse Thyself is another series of artworks and the most exclusive in a way that the artists imagination with the countrys land, beauty, people and folklore are illustrated in an enhanced manner. Samars latent artist mind magnificently portrays the artist perspective and people. Samar started painting in his early childhood, completed his fine arts studies from the Fine Arts Institute of Dhaka University. For the past three decades he has been working on book cover designs and illustrations. He garnered the best cover designer award from National Book Center six times. l

n Hasan Mansoor Chatak

A generalised aphorism exists in the world of arts that eastern arts are generally based on lines comparing to the wests vibrant colours and colour based forms. The half-true clich is eradicated to some extent by the modern artists of the region. The contemporary eastern artworks are combined

The Legend of Hercules in 3D at Star Cineplex

n Entertainment Desk
Star Cineplex brings the action and adventure hollywood movie titled The Legend of Hercules in 3D. It is one of the two Hollywood-studio Hercules films scheduled for 2014, with Paramount Pictures and MGMs Hercules: The Thracian Wars. The film received negative reviews from critics ; yet has become a box office bomb. Directed by Renny Harlin and co-written by Harlin with Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve, and Sean Hood. The film stars Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, and Liam Garrigan. The movie potrays origin of Hercules, mythical Greek hero, son of Zeus, a half-god, half-man blessed with extraordinary strength. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom. Through harrowing battles and gladiator-arena death matches, Hercules embarks on a legendary odyssey to overthrow the king and restore peace to the land.l

US government urges Disney to delay release of Muppets Most Wanted

n Entertainment Desk
The United States government called on Walt Disney Pictures to delay or cancel the release of Muppets Most Wanted on national security grounds. Or at least, it should have. Not only might this movie annoy Russia, with whom the American government is already noseto-nose over Crimea, but it could also cause any European allies being courted b y President Obama to unfriend him and the rest of the country. The film, a music-filled follow-up to the 2011 hit The Muppets, lands poor Kermit in a gulag in Siberia, which is depicted just as unflatteringly as gulags in Siberia always are. Vladimir V Putin is unlikely to be amused. But the real concern, in terms of Americas international relations, is its sly skewering of its European allies, whose work habits, vacation-taking and such are mocked relentlessly. In the story, the gang, drunk on the success of the 2011 movie, signs on for a world tour with a shifty promoter named Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). Dominic is in cahoots with Constantine, a criminal frog who bears a striking resemblance to Kermit. The two work a mistaken-identity trick that lands Kermit in the gulag and allows Constantine to take his place on the Muppet world tour. The Muppet stage shows in various European cities become a tool in a complex scheme by Dominic and Constantine to steal the crown jewels in Britain. l

Game of Thrones may end with a movie

n Entertainment Desk
George RR Martin, author of the popular fantasy story Game of Thrones, has hinted that the book may head to the big screen in the future. Currently, the book has been adapted by HBO for its popular hit series of the same name. Game of Thrones fourth season of the HBO series is set to debut soon. The story revolves around a number of noble families fighting for the legendary throne. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Martin has said that the prospect of adapting the Game of Thrones into movie franchise is being actively discussed. Martin added that adaptation of the books into movies will depend on how long the main series runs on HBO. According to him, the books get bigger and bigger in scope and hence, it may require a feature to tie things up with a feature budget. The author also added that there is also another possibility that a movie could be made on Tales of Dunk and Egg, which is a series of three prequel novels. Martin has already written these three stories which could be the basis for the movie. He has a dozen more in his kitty as of now. l

9:30pm HBO
Step Up Revolution

9:30pm Star Plus 8:30pm Colors
Balika Vadhu Diya Aur Bati Hum

11:30pm Star Movies

Jurassic Park 2

2:30pm Comedy Central
King of Queens

10:30am TLC 6:30pm AXN
The Voice Obsession: Dark Desires

11:30pm Star World

The Crazy Ones

Did you know?

Netherlands 19 sixes against Ireland are most in T20I innings, passing Australias 18 v England in August 2013. The 27 sixes in this game are the most in a T20I, passing the 24 between NZ & India in Feb 2009


Saturday, March 22, 2014



14 Pirlo puts Juventus

in last eight with Benfica, Porto

14 Serena,

Sharapova tested but triumphant

15 Du Plessis

counting on momentum

The India and Pakistan cricket teams line up before the start of their ICC World Twenty20 tournament Group 2 cricket match at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday

Old enough for T20?

Twenty20 cricket is all about excitement and entertainment. A game that takes rapid twists and turns, a game that sometimes takes more out of you than a five-day Test would. Who are the entertainers? Well one would assume its the job of the young bloods hitting fours and sixes and diving around, but is it really? In this fifth edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, there are 70 players aged 30 or above and that includes four players above 40 years. Though it is a format of great intensity, the teams that have more players of the above age range are actually the favourites to lift the trophy. Australia, one of the leading contenders of the glory, has nine, the most, players aged 30 or above starting with the three Brads Hogg (43), Hodge (39) and Haddin (36). South Africa and UAE stand second in the list with eight old players each, while Khurram Khan, the latters captain, is 42. Champions of 2009 Pakistan, the current holders West Indies and Sri Lanka have six players each while the latter has four key men over 36 (TM Dilshan, Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Herath). New Zealand has five, Ireland and Netherlands have four, while India, England and Hong Kong have three each. It should be mentioned Hong Kongs 40-year-old Munir Dar played a crucial hand of 36 for their historic win over Bangladesh a couple days back. Like the first and second alphabet of the table, Afghanistan and Bangladesh has one and two players over 30. The unique feat however goes to Nepal who are the only team not to have a player over 30. l

A contest to savour
The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry has always been something cricket fans, regardless of nationality, can enjoy. Even the match between these two sides played at a neutral venue like Bangladesh has fans going crazy and sometimes, it goes past the madness of the Indian and Pakistani fans. One can ask why the craze of an Indo-Pak match in a country like Bangladesh, who are now one of the Test playing nations, is so intense. The answer would be the heritage and history between these two countries, which is somehow connected to Bangladesh, and the madness about the two nations rivalry was one of the most interesting battles even before Bangladesh started playing international cricket. Yesterdays curtain raiser of the World T20 Championship was something a cricket fan would dream of because an India- Pakistan match as the opening game of a tournament in a cricket loving country is something special. Around 25,000 were at the Sher-eBangla National Stadium to witness the epic battle while millions all over the world watched it on TV and cheered for their favorite side. Abdul Hamid, who is a middle aged service holder, planned to witness the match between India-Pakistan almost two months earlier as he is a big fan of MS Dhoni and the Indian team. He said that he wants to be a part of history, witnessing the match of these two side from the stadium. You never get the opportunity to witness a cricket match between India and Pakistan in Bangladesh and more importantly in the World Cup. I have planned to watch the match almost two months back and luckily I managed the ticket and here I am watching my hero Dhoni right in front of my eyes, he said. However, to witness a cricket battle between India and Pakistan one really does not need to be a fan of either side. It is the intensity and the competitiveness of the contest that for almost two decades enthralls cricket fans. Afzal Ahmed, a businessman who is naturally a big fan of the Bangladesh


cricket team, went to witness the IndiaPakistan match yesterday. He informed that an Indo-Pak cricket match is like a Brazil- Argentina football match and if it is a World Cup match, it just adds the cherry on the top for a sports fan. From my heart, I will always support Bangladesh whoever we play against but as a sports lover I also want to watch an India- Pakistan match and if it is on a platform like World Cup which we are hosting then why should I miss the battle? Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I am a huge fan of Shahid Afridi, he said. There is no doubt that an IndiaPakistan match will always get the centre of attraction even if it is played at a neutral venue. The intensity and the crowd will always remain the same. l

Forthe first time in the ICC World T20, proper Ledwickets were in used in the India-Pakistan match yesterday. Created by South Australian manufacturer Zing International, the wickets will be called Zing Wicket System. The Zing wickets will come fitted with LED. The bails will also have an in-built sensor than can determine if a wicket is broken, in just 1/1000 of a second. The wickets illuminated on a number of occasions yesterday.

Chittagong curtain raisers today

The Super 10 games of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Chittagong will begin with two Group 1 matches today. In the afternoon fixture, worlds number one Twenty20 side Sri Lanka will lock horns with worlds number one Test playing nation South Africa. While in the evening, the ICC World Twenty20 2009 champions England will take on New Zealand. Both the games will be held at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) nestled in the port-city. the side will need to assess the wickets which are not typical for Chittagong. South Africa came into the tournament with a 2-0 defeat to Australia but gained some momentum by winning both of the warm-up games. However the side will look more into getting the injury issues solved before they head into the very important fixture. The side will conduct fitness tests on Dale Steyn and the captain, Faf du Plessis. Both players are attempting to recover from hamstring injuries. Du Plessis informed that the side is working hard on fitness and that they currently seemed to be doing fine but a final call will be made just before the game. Du Plessis has been batting in the nets but still had some discomfort while running. Steyn bowled on Friday but at a little off top pace, ahead of a full-tilt session in the morning. and South Africa to come, they really need to turn things around soon. Good news for the side is that skipper Stuart Broad was able to bowl two overs which went for 14 runs in the final pre-tournament game. Broad had a painkilling injection in his knee last week and could start in the opening game tomorrow. However, if Broad fails a fitness test, Eoin Morgan will continue to deputise as skipper. The former champions are in for a tough assessment against New Zealand, although the Kiwis have also lost the two warm-ups by very close margins. The Black Caps lost the game to Pakistan off the second last ball of the match and against Australia they lost by just three runs. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has been in good touch, scoring 59* and 37 respectively. There will be little room for error in the newly created Super 10 stage, which means that England cant really afford to drop points in their opening game if they harbour ambitions of becoming the first repeat winners of the World T20. Both the side will be mindful of dew being a major factor in the game. The first round matches in Chittagong had taken many by surprise by how heavy the dew was to trouble the bowlers. England looked to have noted the dew issue in and made the bowlers practice with wet balls yesterday. l

The spider cam roamed all over the field and in all angles as per the control of the producer but once it came down so low that it was thought that it might have been hit by the ball. Pulled by strings attached in the four corners of the field, the spider cam caught the views all over the pitch.

Sri Lanka v South Africa


The DJ zone situated over the Grandstand was decorated with the two tiger heads and the colours of its eyes sometimes turned red and green. Moreover, after the fall of a wicket or after a big hit, it exhaled smoke, adding a different taste of entertainment for the spectators.


Adding a new dimension in the World T20 at Dhaka, fireworks exploded after the fall of any wicket and after the batsmen had hit a four or six. The sound of explosion had some added entertainment. Raihan Mahmood

The afternoon game at ZACS will see two top teams of different formats of cricket battle for a good start to the multi-nation event. South Asian giants Sri Lanka are the likely favorites in the game against an injury-hit South Africa side for the reason that it had spent a little more than a month in Bangladesh and that the host country has a good fan base to support their back. The Lankans according to their captain Dinesh Chandimal will eye to trap South Africa with the spin attack led by Ajantha Mendis, Sachithra Sennanayeka and Rangana Herath, who is said to have good plans in the game against the Proteas batting. However

England v New Zealand

Taking the recent results in the Twenty20 format, England will be going into the game against New Zealand without much to boost. The side lost both the warm-up game after the bowling department failed to restrict India with a below par score and then in the second game, failed to defend the score against West Indies. And today, the English bowling will be challenged. England have only won one off the last eight Twenty20 Internationals and with group games against Sri Lanka

Chelseas Torres hints at Atletico return
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has potentially opened the door on a return to Atletico Madrid after expressing an interest in working under former teammate Diego Simeone. In football, you never know, he told the Friday editions of several British newspapers. You dont know where you are going to be tomorrow, in a weeks time, or in 10 years time. Ive had a lot of admiration for Cholo (Simeone), ever since we were team-mates. He taught me a lot in the seasons we played together at Atleti. AFP



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tomic trounced in record fashion

Australian standout Bernard Tomic suffered the fastest defeat in ATP history Thursday, crashing out of the ATP Miami Masters hardcourt event in his first match following January hip surgery. The world number 74 lost 6 0, 6 1 to Finlands Jarkko Nieminen in a record 28 minutes, 20 seconds the shortest ATP Tour match ever recorded, beating the old mark by a mere minute. Tomic was unruffled by the defeat, in which he lost the first nine games. This was the first match back after the operation. Its all part of the rehabilitation process, he said. AFP

Tiger suffering from bulging back disc

World number one Tiger Woods is suffering from a bulging disc in his back that will not require surgery, Golfweek magazine reported Thursday on its website. Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, withdrew Tuesday due to back spasms from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his typical fine warm-up event for next months Masters and one that he has won eight times. According to the report the news was actually better for Woods than if he had suffered a ruptured disc, which likely would have required an operation. AFP

Pirlo puts Juventus in last eight with Benfica, Porto

Andrea Pirlo kept Juventus on course for a home Europa League final after his superb free kick settled their battle with Italian rivals Fiorentina to send the Serie A leaders into the quarter-finals on Thursday. Pirlos dead-ball accuracy after 71 minutes, which saw him caress the ball high into the far right corner of the net, handed Juve a 1-0 win in Florence and a 2-1 aggregate success over a Fiore side who finished with 10 men. Juve were joined in the last eight by last seasons beaten finalists Benfica, Porto, Valencia, Sevilla, Olympique Lyon, FC Basel and AZ Alkmaar. Benfica survived a spirited fightback by Tottenham Hotspur to earn a 2-2 second-leg draw in Lisbon and go through 5-3 on aggregate while 2011 winners Porto, who sacked coach Paulo Fonseca this month, drew 2-2 at Napoli to win 3-2 on aggregate. Sevilla overcame city rivals Real Betis 4-3 on penalties, after a 2-2 aggregate draw, while 10-man Basel ended the impressive campaign of Austrias Salzburg although their 2-1 away win, after a goalless first leg, was marred by a first-half interruption when Swiss fans threw objects on to the pitch. Needing to score after Fiore grabbed an away goal in a 1-1 first-leg draw, Juve were struggling for inspiration at the Stadio Artemio Franchi until Gonzalo Rodriguez was sent off for tripping Fernando Llorente to leave Pirlo with a sight of goal. The Italy playmaker did not let runaway Serie A leaders Juve down, stroking a superb strike past Netos outstretched hand. l

Anzhi (RUS) Benfica (POR)

AZ Alkmaar win 1 0 on aggregate

0 0 AZ Alkmaar (NED) 2 2
Tottenham (ENG)

Garay 34, Chadli 78, 79 Lima 90+5-pen Benfica win 5 3 on aggregate

Valencia (ESP)

Alcacer 59 Valencia win 4 0 on aggregate

1 0

Razgrad (BUL)

Pilsen (CZE)

Kolar 60, Tecl 62 Gomis 45+3 Lyon win 5 3 on aggregate

2 1

Lyon (FRA)

Fiorentina (ITA)

0 1 2 2 1 2

Juventus (ITA)
Pirlo 71

Juventus win 2 1 on aggregate

Napoli (ITA)

FC Porto (POR)

Pandev 21, Ghilas 69, Zapata 90+2 Quaresma 76 FC Porto win 3 2 on aggregate

Salzburg (AUT)

FC Basel (SUI)

Jonathan 22 Streller 50, Sauro 60 FC Basel win 2 1 on aggregate

Real Betis (ESP)

Reyes 20, Bacca 75 After extra-time; 2 2 on aggregate Sevilla win 4 3 on penalties

0 2


Juventus' Andrea Pirlo (R) celebrates after scoring against Fiorentina during their Europa League round of 16 second leg match at Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence on Thursday


Bayern-United clash in UCL draw

The Champions League quarter final draw on Friday threw title holders Bayern Munich against arch-rivals Manchester United in one of the most high tension rounds the competition has seen. Nine-time champions Real Madrid earned a revenge meeting with Borussia Dortmund who dumped them out in last years semi-finals. Four-time winners Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid in an all-Spanish blockbuster while Chelsea tackle Paris Saint-Germain in the battle of Europes nouveaux riche. Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl called the draw crazy. These are the toughest quarter finals in history, said Barcelonas sporting director and former player Andoni Zubizarreta. These will all be big confrontations. Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern will relish the chance of again taking on a United side that snatched a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat in the 1999 final. The two teams have played each other nine times all in European competition and Bayern will definitely start this one as favourites. Bayern defender Philipp Lahm warned against complacency despite Uniteds struggles. We cant allow Man Utds current position in the Premier League table to affect our mindset for this game, the veteran German international said. Well need all our strength but we have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Barcelona Real Madrid PSG Man United v v v v Atletico Madrid Dortmund Chelsea Bayern Munich

Matches to be played April 1/2 and April 8/9

Jose Mourinhos Chelsea, bankrolled by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, take on Paris St Germain who have become a force with Qatari finance. The Portuguese two-time European

champion has never lost at the quarterfinal stages. And his first Champions League game with Chelsea was in a 3-0 win over Paris St Germain in 2004. The two teams drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in the return. Paris again host the first leg. Getting the return leg is a small advantage for Chelsea so we will have to make the difference at home, said Paris coach Laurent Blanc. Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes said the first leg could be decisive. We need to not concede at home to be able to have a better chance in the second leg, he told a press conference. They are a team that presses with an intensity in the same style as their coach and I compliment everything that they are doing. added Valdes. l

Juve draw Lyon in Europa League quarters

Runaway Serie A table-toppers Juventus will play French club Lyon in the quarter-finals of the Europa League,

Alkmaar (NED) Lyon (FRA) Basel (SUI) Porto (POR) v v v v Benfica (POR) Juventus (ITA) Valencia (ESP) Sevilla (ESP)

the continents second-tier tournament, following the draw at Nyon, Switzerland on Friday. With the final to be played at Juves Turin stadium, the Italian club will be

confident of seeing off Lyon, one of three sides in the quarter-finals yet to win a major UEFA club trophy along with AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands and Swiss club Basel. Were proud to be the only Italian team, said Pavel Nedved, the former Czech playmaker who is now on Juves board. Its a tough draw and theres a long way to go to reach the final in Turin. AZ were drawn against Benfica, last seasons finalists who saw off Tottenham in the round-of-16. Basel will play Valencia, with another La Liga club Sevilla up against Porto, with first leg matches slated for April 3 and the return legs a week later. l

Barca need almost perfect game to beat Real: Iniesta

Barcelona will need an almost perfect performance to win at La Liga leaders Real Madrid in Sundays Clasico and reignite their title bid, playmaker Andres Iniesta said on Thursday. Real are undefeated in La Liga since Barca beat them 2-1 at the Nou Camp in October and they are four points ahead of their arch rivals, who are one adrift of surprise packages Atletico Madrid in second, with 10 games left. A victory for the champions at the Bernabeu (2000 GMT) would boost their chances of a fifth title in six years but defeat would almost certainly end their challenge. We will have to play an almost perfect match because thats what our opponent will demand of us, Iniesta told a news conference. We are in the right shape to do it, added the Spain international. Its a very important match for what it means for the standings, for the opponent and for everything around these kinds of games. Barca have suffered some sharp criticism in recent weeks after surprise away defeats at Real Valladolid and Real Sociedad but Iniesta said they had no intention of tinkering with their trademark possession-based playing style. We have to be Barca, be courageous, if we are not we will suffer, he said. We have to go out to play for the win as when we have done that things have gone well for us. We must have the same confidence we have always had before tackling these games. We have had bad days like anyone but nobody can believe Madrid will beat us easily. l

Serena, Sharapova tested but triumphant

Six-time winner Serena Williams survived a first-set scare before overcoming Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 Thursday to power into the third round of the ATP and WTA Miami Masters. The top-seeded defending champion will next face Frances Caroline Garcia after dispatching her Kazak rival in one hour, 45 minutes. Fourth seed Maria Sharapova, the 2013 runner-up to Williams, outlasted Japans Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-4 in another opening test. Williams lost a 3-1 lead and trailed 3-5 as Shvedova shifted her game up a gear. Williams got back on track in the nick of time with a break for 5-all. A love game then ended with an ace for Williams before the set went to a tiebreaker. In the decider, the 32-year-old Williams saved three set points as a nervous Shvedova missed her big upset chance in front of a screaming house full of her rivals supporters. Sharapova was down 1-3 in the 64-minute second set before rallying to beat Nara, who won her first WTA title in Rio de Janeiro last month. l

Colombian singer Shakira and Barcelona's football player Gerard Pique (L) pose during a photocall presenting her new album "Shakira" in Barcelona on Thursday REUTERS

Serena Williams celebrates winning the first set against Shvedova during their match on day 4 of the Sony Open in Key Biscayne, Florida on Thursday AFP

Wenger eyes title boost in 1,000th game March madness as Bayern

Arsene Wenger will hope to mark his 1,000th match as Arsenal manager by eating into Chelseas fourpoint lead at the Premier League summit when the London rivals collide on Saturday. It is nine years since Wenger last lifted a trophy, but Arsenals 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend took them to within four points of Chelsea, who had slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa a day earlier. Arsenal also have a game in hand on Jose Mourinhos side, meaning that victory at Stamford Bridge would give them the upper hand on their crosstown foes as the title race enters the finishing straight. Chelsea manager Mourinho faces a Football Association misconduct charge after being sent to the stands during the loss at Villa, but he enjoyed a more memorable outing on Tuesday when his side beat Galatasaray 2-0 to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. Like Arsenal, Liverpool are four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand, while City are potentially in an even stronger position, two points further back but with three matches in hand. After a three-week hiatus due to various cup commitments, City returned to league action with a 2-0 victory at Hull City last weekend. They, too, face a struggling team this weekend, with rock-bottom Fulham the visitors to the Etihad Stadium, and midfielder Fernandinho knows that his side cannot afford to be distracted by thoughts of next weeks derby at United. United stormed into the Champions League quarter-finals by overturning a 2-0 deficit with a 3-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday, but they remain at risk of getting cut adrift in the battle for a top-four place. l Bayern Munich could be crowned German league champions in record time on Saturday if they win at Mainz 05. Pep Guardiolas Bayern hold an enormous 23-point lead and victory would given them the title providing rivals Borussia Dortmund fail to win at Hanover and Schalke do not beat bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig at home. Should Bayern wrap up a 24th German league title at Mainz, they will do so with eight games to spare, breaking their own record of six, set last season. No side has ever been crowned German champions in March and Bayern

on verge of record triumph

are bidding to become the first team to go through an entire Bundesliga campaign unbeaten. Mainz, who are on their own fivematch unbeaten run, have risen to fifth in the table and are challenging for a Champions League place next season. But the Rhineland club are all too aware of the enormous task facing them against the European champions. l

Cardiff City Chelsea Everton Hull City Man City Newcastle Norwich City West Ham v v v v v v v v Liverpool Arsenal Swansea City West Brom Fulham Crystal Palace Sunderland Man United

Schalke 04 VfB Stuttgart Hanover 96 VfL Wolfsburg Mainz 05 M'gladbach v v v v v v Braunschweig Hamburg Dortmund Augsburg Bayern Munich Hertha Berlin



Saturday, March 22, 2014


Dutch stun Ireland to qualify

The Netherlands smashed the record for most sixes in an innings on their way to upsetting Ireland in Sylhet on Friday, romping into the Super-10 stages in the World Twenty20. Wesley Barresi hit Tim Murtagh over mid-wicket for the 19th six of the innings to seal an emphatic six wicket win as the Netherlands chased down a daunting 190-run target in just 13.5 overs. Their rampaging victory means the Netherlands qualify for the Super-10 from Group B at the expense of more fancied Zimbabwe and Ireland. They join Group One in the next round. In all 30 sixes were hit in the match beating the previous record of 24 set by New Zealand and India at Christchurch in 2009. Australia previously held the record for most sixes in a Twenty20 innings with 18, smashed against England at Southampton last year. The Netherlands needed to notch the target in 14.2 overs and they owed their exhilarating chase to a fiery 23-ball 63 by opener Stephan Myburgh, 15-ball 45 by Tom Cooper and an unbeaten 22-ball 40 by Barresi. The defeat was a heartbreak for Ireland who beat Zimbabwe in their opening match but they failed to stop the rampaging Dutch led by Myburgh. Myburgh was in a punishing mood as he smashed three sixes in off-spinner Andy McBrines second over of the innings and then as many sixes and one boundary in one Alex Cusacks over. He then brought up his second Twenty20 fifty in the event with a sweetly timed boundary off Tim Murtagh, off just 17 deliveries. Cooper carried on from where Myburgh left off, hitting four sixes off Dockrells 11th over. Coopers innings had six sixes and a boundary. Winning captain Peter Borren felt for his rivals. I am sad for Ireland, said Borren. They played very well for 2.5 games. It was Myburgh who set the scene. I am not really sure if I have seen cleaner hitting. We beat England in 2009 and that was a pretty special night. I will go back and sing the team song with the rest. Ireland captain William Porterfield admitted his team fell short. We were pretty confident after scoring 189 but it was pretty clean striking and we couldnt do anything. Ireland had raced to their second highest Twenty20 total of 189-4 with stocky Andrew Poynter hitting a 38ball 57 while Kevin OBrien knocked a whirlwind 16-ball 42 to punish a hapless Dutch attack. In the first match of the day, Allrounder Elton Chigumbura struck a fiery half-century to help Zimbabwe achieve a five-wicket win over United Arab Emirates. Chigumbura smashed three sixes and six boundaries in his 21ball 53 not out to lift Zimbabwe from a struggling 34-4 and surpass a modest 117-run target in 13.4 overs. The win also lifted Zimbabwes net run-rate over Ireland who face the Netherlands in the crucial match to decide which team qualifies for the Super-10 stage from Group B. l

Ireland v Netherlands


Ireland 189 4 in 20 overs A. Poynter 57, W. Porterfield 47, K. OBrien 42 not out; Ahsan Malik 2 26 Netherlands 193 4 in 13.5 overs S. Myburgh 63, T. Cooper 45, A. Barresi 40 not out The Netherlands win by six wickets UAE v Zimbabwe UAE 116 9 Swapnil Patil 30, Khurran Khan 26; S. Williams 3 15 Zimbabwe 118 5 in 13.4 overs E. Chigumbura 56 not out; M. Guruge 2 18 Zimbabwe win by five wickets


Netherlands' players celebrate their win against Ireland during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match in Sylhet International Stadium yesterday AP

Du Plessis counting on momentum

South Africa will be banking on momentum gained from the two wins in the warm-up games of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 when they lock horns with Sri Lanka at Chittagongs Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium today. South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis also believes the T20 series win, their last encounter in the format, against the same opponents in Sri Lanka will also boost the side in the World Twenty20 match. Yeah definitely I think it is really important that you use those games [warm-up] to your advantage. World cup tournament like this is all about momentum and you need to carry as much momentum as you can. So we are taking lot of confidence from that. Sri Lanka are taking a lot of confidence from winning the Asia Cup but they lost the warm up game I think it is really important what you bring into the tournament, the sort of form that you have, said du Plessis to the media yesterday. Sri Lanka is a fantastic team, having saying that we beat them and played really good cricket against them. So we are taking a huge amount of confidence from that. But they are still a really good team filled with match winners, said the 29-year-old all-rounder. As per the format of the tournament this time, most of the exciting teams will be forced out of competition before the semi-final, thus adding heat to the tournament. There has been a lot of talk about six or seven teams that can win this tournament so everything is going to count on how you play as a team. Hopefully we can start of tomorrow, said the South African skipper. The World Twenty20 2014 is South Africas first major tournament since the retirements of two key members of the side Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith. However, du Plessis believes this not to make an impact on the team. I think the only positive thing is that Kallis and Graeme havent been so much part of this T20 side for the last cricket, said du Plessis. Meanwhile, the worlds number one Twenty20 side Sri Lanka will put their heart and soul in the Super 10 round starting with the South Africa game. The sides skipper Dinesh Chandimal ruled-out any pressure on the side for being at the top of the ranking and also because they lost to West Indies in the warm-up game. We dont have any pressure as a number one team. We played two months ago here and are familiar with the conditions like how the wicket behaves and when the dew factor is going to come into play. We also played in the Asia Cup not long ago which was held here. We will try to make the most of our recent experience here, said Chandimal. We gave away 10-15 more runs than we should have in the last warmup against West Indies. We have got our lessons from that match. We will put our heart and soul in this round, said the wicket-keeper batsman. l

McCullum, Broad look for winnings start

New Zealand will look forward to bank on experience gained on local conditions during their visit to Bangladesh last October-November, when they lock horns with England at Chittagongs Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. The Kiwis losing the ODI series 3-0 to Bangladesh didnt have the best of times during the stay, the sides skipper Brendon McCullum hopes the defeats do not play a role. I hope the defeat is not in the back of the mind. We have to acknowledge that we didnt perform well when we came here. What we did was fine tune our performance. Knowledge of learning everything here. We came against a series that was red hot, hope we learn a few lessons from that and we will find out in two weeks, said McCullum to the media at ZACS yesterday. The Kiwis are often considered as the dark horse of any tournament. Even yesterday, South Africa captain Faf du Plesis used the term against New Zealand when asked for the probable teams that should make into the semi-finals of the tournament. But McCullum disagreed to the term because the conditions are against them. I think our biggest chance of victory will be in 2015, thats when we will be playing in familiar conditions. It will give us an immense amount of confidence. This one, yeah we are playing well and have played some good cricket recently. But, it wasnt that long ago that we came over here and got beaten against Bangladesh as well. There is a little bit of hesitation. We have got the personal, if we can get it right early, we can get the momentum then we will be dangerous. It will be quite challenging, the nature of the game as well, you need a bit of luck as well in this format. Hopefully it will favour us. The wicket-keeper batsman is taking the clash against the English side as a huge challenge. This competition is so wide open; it is hard to say who is going to be the most dangerous team. We were just fine tuning our plans today morning as part of our plans and its a matter of trying to execute them against a very god England team. It is really important that we adjust to the conditions here really quick. If we can start well we can get some confident through that, said McCullum. While on the other hand, England are trying anything and everything to get a winning start to their campaign. The side came into the tournament with four defeats in five games, includes the two warm-up games. But the sides skipper Stuart Broad believes a win can change the scenario for the team and that they are preparing hard for that. Dew has been a major factor in the previous games played at ZACS and taking that into account Broad informed his side practicing with wet balls. It looks quite obvious dew is going to play a part. We are getting the spinners bowling with wet balls, fielding with wet balls. Its not something you do very often - I cant think of ever doing it. Its something we have to take into consideration because if you go in with three spinners and they cant bowl youve stuffed yourself a bit, informed Broad. We lost but what we have talked about the game as a team, and our coach has been focused. I thought India had one of the best death bowling performances weve seen so far. The way we played the first six overs with the bat was really good again. There are positives coming out. The fielding was a highlight too. There are little things to carry into the game. I know there was disappointment of losing but there was a lot of excitement from that game and belief it will turn for us, he said. l

year or so. So we have got used to playing without them. Where as in the Test arena it is pretty new for that team and it might take some time to get used to the fact of them not being there. They have got a big role in South African

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Bangladesh ready to face Sri Lanka

Bangladesh takes on Sri Lanka in the 1st position pre-qualifier match of the Islami Bank Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium at 3:15pm today. With the top six of the eight participating teams ensured a slot in the Asian Games scheduled to take place in Incheon Korea in September, Bangladesh is already assured of a ticket there. A win in todays match will see Bangladesh play the winner of the Oman-Singapore match in the 1st place decider tomorrow. In the recent past, Sri Lanka has emerged as a tough challenger to Bangladesh as the track record of the last three matches show Bangladesh winning 5-3 in the AHF Cup, Singapore in 2012, drawinw 3-3 in the last Asian Games Qualifiers at Dhaka on 2010 and Bangladesh won the bronze medal decider of the 2010 SA Games 2-1 in Dhaka. Bangladesh coach Naveed Alam looked forward to continue the scoring spree of the last match. Our forwards scored two field goals in the second half against Iran and I think the forward line has regained the rhythm and the confidence with that, I hope the attackers do the same against Sri Lanka and I want early goals which will settle the nerves, said Naveed. Bangladeshs drag and flick specialist Mamunur Rahman Chayan is expected to hit form in the match. Sri Lanka will rely upon their young forward Lahiru Gihan Weerasooriya, who has demonstrated very good stick work while leading the attacks of his team. Jayratnam, the assistant coach of Sri Lanka however opted to keep cool. We are not taking any pressure, we are not thinking about playing the hosts or something g like that, all we are thinking is to play our normal game, we have a young team and we will put our best for a win, said the Sri Lankan assistant coach. Chinese Taipei will play against Hong Kong China at 9:00am and Iran will face Qatar at 11:15am in the first two matches of the day. Winners moves to 5th-6th position decider and the losers play in the 7th-8th position decider. l


Rakib loses, Zia draws

Bangladesh Grandmaster Abdullah Al Rakib lost to GM Abhijit Kunte of India and GM Ziaur Rahman drew with Indian IM Diptayan Ghosh, but the duo still remained at the top of the 19th International Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament along with 10 players. They have three points each after the end of the 4th round. GM Enamul Hossain Razib earned two points. FM Sk Nasir Ahmed and FM Kh. Aminul Islam have half point each. l

Bangladesh 85 for 8 in 20 overs Fargana 21, Shaila 21; M Kapp 1 14 V Neikerk 1 6) South Africa 88 for 2 in 15.3 overs L Lee 50; Rumana 1 22, Khadija 1 16 South Africa Women won by 8 wickets

South African women thrash Bangladesh

After being beaten by Pakistan women a day before, Bangladesh women were thrashed by South Africa by eight wickets in a Womens World Twenty20 warm-up match at the BKSP 4 ground yesterday. The home side posted 85/8 after being sent in to bat. In reply, the visitors strolled to victory in 15.3 overs with eight wickets in hand. Opener Lizelle Lee was unbeaten on 50 off 45 balls, featuring five fours and two sixes and Dane van Niekerk added 15. Fargana Hoque and Shaila Sharmin scored 21 each for the hosts. l

Laser Skating dominate

Laser Skating Club dominated the first day of the two-day Walton Smartphone National Roller Speed Skating, winning 10 gold medals out of 13, at the Bangabandhu National Stadium premises yesterday. Royal Skating Club and Saarc Skating Club claimed two and one gold respectively. Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy inaugurated the meet as the chief guest. A total of 350 skaters from 29 teams across the country are taking part in the tournament. l

New Zealand cricketers play a warm up game during a training session of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday AFP



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Saturday, March 22, 2014

UN: Fresh water sources to suffer from energy need

Lack of coordination and management to mainly blame
Bakar Siddique from n Abu Tokyo, Japan
The United Nations has said the worlds fresh water resources will suffer from efforts to meet the growing global demand for energy, mainly due to the lack of coordination and better management at all levels including policy making. access to an improved source of water, 2.5 billion people do not access to improved sanitation while 1.3 billion people were not connected to an electric power grid and around 2.6 billion use solid fuel, mainly biomass, for cooking. It further highlighted that places where people do not have adequate access to water largely coincide with those where people have no electric power and how closely the two sectors were inter-connected. Currently, the energy production accounts for around 15% of water withdrawal globally though the figure was rising and estimates that it will be reached by 20% by 2035 due to population growth, urbanization and changing consumption pattern, the report added. In addition, agriculture was noted as the largest user of water at the global level, accounting for 70% of total withdrawal as irrigation. The food production and supply chain accounts for about 30% of total global energy consumption, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2012. Citing the examples of Fujairah power plant in UAE and Shoaiba power plant in Saudi Arabia, the report indicated good practices of water and energy as both of projects were working on for desalination of sea water and producing electricity. In addition to report launching, the International Water management Institute (IWMI)-TATA water policy programme in India and NEWater programme in Singapore received the Water for Life Best Practices Award 2014. l

Japanese FM arrives in city

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Dhaka yesterday evening on a two-day visit to hold talks for promoting bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Kishida, who is leading a 20-member official delegation, arrived at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 8:15pm, said an official at the foreign ministry. The Japanese foreign minister will hold bilateral talks with his Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali at 11am on Saturday at the foreign ministry to discuss ways to comprehensively strengthen the bilateral relations with Bangladesh. During his stay in Dhaka, he will also meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, according to Japanese Embassy in Dhaka. The Japanese foreign minister is also expected to hold a meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam. Kishida is scheduled to leave Dhaka today. l

Agriculture was noted as the largest user of water at the global level, accounting for 70% of total withdrawal as irrigation
The observations were made at the United Nations World Water Development Report 2014, which was unveiled yesterday at United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan, marking the World Water Day 2014. The 2014 World Water Development Report highlighted the interdependence between the management of water and energy, which calls for vastly improved cooperation between these sectors as there will be no sustainable development without better access to water and energy for all, said Irina Bokova, director general of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). The report also cited that around 768 million people in the world had no

A group of children with Down syndrome take part in a dance performance at a programme marking the World Down Syndrome Day in front of the Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital at Jigatola in the capital yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

Drive against illegal gas connections stalled

n Aminur Rahman Rasel
After carrying out only a single drive against illegal gas connections, the Titas Gas authorities have reportedly stopped the initiative, although a large amount of money had been spent to publicise the drive. Authorities concerned at Titas Gas the countrys largest gas distributor claimed that unavailability of police personnel and magistrates forced them to stop the drives. However, a senior energy ministry official, seeking anonymity, said the ministry was not taking action against illegal connections, as illegal consumers belonged to different political parties, while ruling party leaders had helped them get the connections. To tackle the crisis, the government was now planning to legalise all illegal connections, he said. Earlier, the energy ministry published advertisements to announce its drive to remove all illegal gas connections and distribution lines. Titas Gas Managing Director Md Nowshad Islam said Titas officials had been assaulted during previous attempts at removing illegal gas distribution networks, adding that adequate assistance from the police and magistrates could not be secured for the latest drive. He added that it was hard to conduct the latest drive as the illegal lines were greater in number than before. In a recent comment to the Dhaka Tribune, Energy and Mineral Resources Division Secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan had said the latest drive would be carried out in a strict manner. However, yesterday he told the Dhaka Tribune to contact Titas Gas authorities for queries on the issue. Sources inside Titas Gas said an influential quarter of politicians from different parties, along with syndicates of Titas officials and contractors were involved in the business of setting up illegal distribution networks in Dhaka. According to Titas Gas officials, around 250km of illegal gas pipeline and two lakh illegal connections have been detected in its franchise area, with the connections consuming 200m cubic feet of gas per day and causing losses of several hundred crore taka for the government. l

Search on for missing schoolgirl n Our Correspondent, Barguna

Police is yet to find the class eight student of Barguna Government Girls School who went missing five days ago. The missing girl is Ria Akhter, daughter of Khokon Mia, hailing from Fultola village of Badarkhali union under Barguna. She went missing on Monday after she went out from home around 10am to attend a tuition class at the College Branch road. Her friends said they did not know her whereabouts. Ward Councilor of Barguna Municipality Faruk Sikdar said: A general diary had been filed in this regard on Tuesday. Anyone who finds her is requested to contact at 01716682721. Azam Khan, officer-in-charge of Barguna police station, said they were trying hard to find Ria. l

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