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Boishakh 16, 1421 Jamadius Sani 28, 1435 Regd. No.

DA 6238 Vol 2, No 30



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Duty, quota-free access under WTO framework

First Ticfa meeting held between Washington and Dhaka
n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Washington has clarified that Dhaka might get duty-free and quota-free access for the US market under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework, but not bilaterally. The duty-free and quota-free discussions have been in the context of WTO; more specifically they are in the context of Doha Round [the latest round of trade negotiations among the WTO membership] and the commitment on DFQF [duty-free and quota-free] was made as part of the Doha Round and as a part of the overall efit has never been provided to Bangladesh. In the meeting, Bangladesh reminded the US delegation that Washington had a responsibility to help the LDCs become developing countries. Dhaka pays around 16% duty on an average for its exportable items to the US market. Bangladesh deserves duty-free quota-free access [to the US market] as it is a least developed country, the commerce secretary said. Mahbub added that after they had referred to the DFQF facility provided to some LDCs, the US delegation said those LDCs were vulnerable countries. We told them that Bangladesh is also a climate vulnerable country and they should consider that, Mahbub said. We also told them that for our growth, we need industrialisation and export market, where we can sell our manufactured products, he added. The meeting reviewed bilateral relationship and GSP Action Plan, market access for goods and service, US investment in Bangladesh, transfer of technology, Bali Package and Istanbul Plan of Action. The secretary also said the US side spoke on some specific issues including tariffs of fire, electrical and structural safety equipment; public tender specification; double fumigation (cotton); diabetic drugs; currency issue; delayed payment; intellectual property rights; and regional economic development.

Modi seething at Bangladeshi immigrants

Mamata lashes out at him

n Tribune Report
In yet another vitriolic remark, Narendra Modi, a leader of the BJP and prime ministerial candidate for the ongoing Indian election, has said Bangladeshis will be thrown out of India as soon as he comes to power. Modi was speaking on Sunday at an election rally in Serampore, West Bengal, which shares a porous border with Bangladesh. You can write it down. After May 16, these Bangladeshis better be prepared with their bags packed, he said. Modi targeted Mamata Banerjees Trinamool Congress government, and said: You are spreading the red carpet for vote bank politics. If people come from Bihar, they are outsiders to you. If people come from Odisha, they are outsiders to you. However, if some Bangladeshi comes, your face seems to shine. This country cannot run like this. We wont allow you to destroy the country for the sake of your vote bank politics.

Delaney: More work was needed in implementing labour law reform, safety and inspection
package. Doha Round is yet to be completed. It [DFQF] is tied to the Doha Round, said Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia Michael Delaney, in reply to a question at a joint press conference with Bangladeshi Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed. They were speaking after the first Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) meeting held at a city hotel yesterday. The US has provided duty-free and quota free access to some least developed countries (LDCs) in Sub-Saharan and Caribbean countries, but the ben-

Power Ministry officials condemned for meaningless overseas tours

n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
Officials of the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and different organisations under it, faced the wrath of the parliamentary watchdog yesterday for their meaningless and excessive overseas tours that hamper the governments execution of its commitment to the people in terms of power and energy. First-time Awami League lawmaker Shibli Sadique from Dinajpur 6 took the lead in questioning the justification of the tours taken by officials of the ministry, the Power Development Board, Petrobangla and other organisations. Quoting some newspaper reports, he said one official had 30 overseas tours in a year while a maximum of four was permitted by the government manual. Tajul Islam, chairman of the 10-member parliamentary standing committee of the ministry, supported Shiblis stance and warned that the officials must stop taking such useless overseas tours in the future. Our recommendation is that the trips must be result-oriented. In the future, we will examine the justification of all overseas tours, if necessary, Tajul told the Dhaka Tribune following the meeting at the parliament building. The ministry officials did not contest the watchdogs assertion.

BNP now says 272 activists killed in one year n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
The BNP has come up with yet another figure of party leaders and activists who, it claims, have been killed and abducted across the country in the past one year, bringing down the numbers from its previous claims. The party now says a total of 272 leaders and activists have been killed and 25 abducted between January last year and this February. At a press conference on February 5, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia first claimed that 300 party men had been either killed or abducted in one month from December 26 last year to January 27 this year. In a statement a few days later, the BNP chief cited media statistics, saying 276 opposition leaders and activists had been killed, 34 had been victims to extrajudicial killings following detention, and 29,262 others had been arrested since the then BNP-led opposition started its movement against the January 5 national election. BNP spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday came up with

Number of fugitive war crime suspects on the rise

n Udisa Islam
Before investigations into the war crimes allegations against Hassan Ali began, police knew his whereabouts. But after the probe was completed and the tribunal issued an arrest warrant against him, they were no longer able to locate him. On April 18, thirteen days after the warrant had been issued, Brahmanbaria police chief Md Maniruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that they were not sure about the suspects position. Although they knew that Hassan was physically paralysed and could not move without the help of others, the police official could give no explanation as to how the suspect managed to dodge their radar. If he cannot be found and charges are framed against him, the International Crimes Tribunal will have to begin the trial in absentia a practice that activists campaigning for war crimes trials do not endorse. The tribunal has so far finished the trials in absentia of three war criminals Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar, Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan and ordereddeath sentences forall of them. Of them, Azad allegedly fled the country after the probe into his 1971 crimes began. Campaigners have always said a little more vigilance from security forces could have stopped him. The investigators now have very little idea about the death row war criminals current position. Both Mueen and Ashrafuzzaman have been living abroad for many years the former in England and the latter in the USA. The tribunal, before beginning trial, issued warrants against the two which they never heeded. The trial of another fugitive, Jahid Hossain alias Khokon Razakar, is almost complete and the case is currently awaiting verdict. Reportedly, the former BNP leader Khokon fled to Sweden in 2012 after the probe began. Yesterday, investigators have submitted a probe report against the former Jatiya Party lawmaker Abdul Jabbar. Investigation officer Helal Uddin said they had not managed to reach Jabbar since the probe began in May, last year.

B1 The governments subsidy spending may go down by 21% in next fiscal year compared to the revised budget of current fiscal, making a room for the authorities to raise energy and fertiliser prices. for curing the tobacco. The local administration says they know about it, but cannot do anything as there is no tobacco barn control act.



5 The most dangerous industries in the country on the basis of workplace safety are agriculture, ship breaking and tannery as the workers are vulnerable to exposure to toxic and hazardous chemicals and contamination.

9 The aerial search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was called off yesterday, and the underwater hunt will be expanded to include a vast swath of ocean floor that may take at least eight months to thoroughly search, Australian officials said.



6 Tobacco farming is harming the forest in Khagrachharhi since farmers rely on firewood

12 Movie lovers of the country will be delighted to know that the much anticipated superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will hit the Star Cineplex on May 2.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Voter list update from May 15

EC asks national ID card wing to prepare budget for the task new voters would be included in the n Mohammad Zakaria new list. At present, the country has
The Election Commission will begin updating the voter list from May 15 across the country. However, the commission is yet to finalise budget for the task. It had asked the National Identity Card wing to prepare it. The budget will be placed at the ECs next meeting. Sources said the NID wing presented a budget of around Tk59 crore at the commission meeting yesterday, but it was rejected. It has been asked to revise the proposal. Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad at a press conference yesterday said the task of updating the voter list would continue throughout the year in three phases. The EC would publish the draft list on January 2 next year. The information collectors will go door to door to collect information on the new voters. The existing voters, however, must go to their respective registration office, the CEC said. The EC officials said around 40 lakh around 9.2 crore registered voters. According to the existing law, it is mandatory to update the voter list between January 2 and 31 every year. We could not begin the task this time due to unavoidable circumstances. Rakibuddin said: In the first phase, we will update the list in around 200 upazilas. Then it will continue in other areas. On including the Rohingyas in the list, the CEC said the commission would form special committee in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to prevent their inclusion. He also said it would need more time to provide smart cards for new voters since the IDEA project, funded by the World Bank, had been put on hold for two years. The previous EC led by ATM Shamsul Huda updated the voter list in 2009. Before the 10th parliamentary poll, the incumbent commission began updating the voter list from March 10, 2012 which ended in January last year. l

Hefazats Izhar faces arrest in ACC case n Tushar Hayat, Chittagong

A special tribunal in Chittagong issued an arrest warrant yesterday against Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, the nayeb-e-ameer of radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam, in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission. Judge SM Majibur Rahman of the Special Tribunal 1 issued the arrested warrant after looking over the cases charge sheet, ACC lawyer Mahmudul Haq said. The court also set May 12 for the hearing on the framing of charges against the accused, who is also the principal of the Jamiatul Uloom Al-Islamia, better known as the Lalkhan Bazar Madrasa an alleged den of the banned Islamist outfit Huji. The ACC submitted the charge sheet to the Chittagong Metropolitan Magistrates Court on April 21. The case was filed with the Khulshi police station on July 17 last year as the Hefazat leader had failed to respond to an ACC notice sent on July 4 seeking his wealth information. l

A man climbs the fence built over the central reservation to cross the road near the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover. Though the fences were placed to stop such occurrences, people still risk their lives and opt for a shortcut since there is no foot over-bridge to cross over. The photo was taken yesterday at Shanir Akhra in the capital MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Court grants extension of petition submission

n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
A Dhaka court yesterday granted an extension in response to a petition filed seeking time to submit a no-confidence petition against the charge sheet in sensational Jubo League leader Riazul Haque Khan Milky murder case. Complainant in the case and Milkys brother Maj Rashedul Haque Khan submitted the petition through his counsel Abdullah Al Mansur to the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Shahriar Mahmud Adnan. Following a hearing, the court granted the petition and approved extension to submit the no-confidence petition. On April 15, RAB submitted the charge sheet against 12 people, with majority being Jubo League men, in the case. The elite force also dropped nine names from the charge sheet. Milky was gunned down on the night of July 30 last year in front of a shopping mall in the capitals Gulshan. Milkys brother filed the case on the same night against 11 named and four-five unnamed men. Milky was the organising secretary of Dhaka City (south) unit Jubo League. Five of the accused gave confessional statements before court. l


Banglalink prints first-ever offshore bonds from Bangladesh

n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Banglalink Digital Communications has become the first-ever issuer from the country to tap the international bond market with its inaugural $300m senior note offering. The second largest mobile phone operator in the country which has a subscriber base of more than 2.9 crore made this historic transaction on April 25, a press release said yesterday. The deal involved engagement with various regulators in Bangladesh to help setting up a framework for corporate bond issuance in the international bond markets, according to sources close to the matter. The company plans to use the proceeds to repay existing debts and to finance capital expenditures. Citi acted as the sole bookrunner and ratings adviser to Banglalink. This transaction is a major milestone for Banglalink and further diversifies our sources of funding into international capital markets. We are very pleased with the support of so many high quality global investors for this inaugural offering, said Ziad Shatara, chief executive officer of Banglalink. The Reg S/144A bonds were priced at 99.008% with a coupon of 8.625% for a yield of 8.875%. The five-year non-call three bonds have standard high yield covenants with limitation on indebtedness. In executing the transaction, Banglalink conducted a global roadshow in April covering Asia, Europe and the US when the management met with over 75 investors globally through 37 investor meetings, two group luncheons and multiple investors conference calls, according to global media reports. The investor meetings resulted in early indication of interests in excess of $600m towards the end of the roadshow with the initial pricing thoughts announced at 9% area on April 16. The final price guidance was released during the London morning session on April 24 at 8.875% area, with the order book growing to $900m from over 90 accounts globally through the 24 hours until pricing. In terms of geographic distribution, 64% of the bonds were sold in Asia, 29% in Europe and 7% in the US. By investor type, asset managers accounted for 72%, private banks 17% and banks 11%. Banglalink, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cairo-based Global Telecom Holding (GTH) a sister concern of Vimpelcom Limited, is the sixth largest mobile telecommunication group in the world. l

Missing car of Narayanganj lawyer found n Kailash Sarkar

The car of Narayanganj court lawyer Chandan Sarkar was found in the capitals Niketan area last night. Inspector Rafiqul Islam, OC of Gulshan police station, said: We have recovered the car at an abandoned state on Road 13 in Niketan of Gulshan area. We are now trying to know who left the car and how. Chandan Sarkar along with driver Ibrahim went missing after he had started for home at Jalkuri in Shiddhirganj around 2pm on Sunday from the court in Narayanganj town on his Toyota G Corolla car (Dhaka Metro-Ga-27-3337). A general diary was filed with Fatulla police station. Meanwhile, Narayanganj City Corporation Panel Mayor Nazrul Islam went missing along with his driver Jahangir and three others on Sunday. Their car was recovered in Joydevpur in the night. The three other missing persons are Tajul Islam, Moniruzzaman and Liton. l

Probe ordered against Mir Kashems son Salman

n Tribune Report
The High Court yesterday ordered action after the investigation of accused war criminal Mir Kashem Alis two sons, who had filed a petition seeking discharge from a fraud case by concealing information. Rejecting the petition, the bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed asked the Supreme Court registrar to investigate the matter and take action against Mohammad Bin Kashem alias Salman and Ahmed Bin Kashem. Salman is facing an arrest warrant in the fraud case. But the petition said he had been granted bail. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam brought the issue before the court during yesterdays hearing. The fraud case was filed by Ashraful Huq, managing director of Heritage Export Ltd, on November 11 last year against seven persons including Salman for the misappropriation of Tk1.5 crore. The case says the accused offered Ashraful the position of director of Eden Line Ltd after buying shares for Tk1.5 crore. But he was not made a director of the firm after he procured the shares. When he asked for the money, the accused paid him Tk5 lakh through Islami Bank. On April 23, the Chief Judicial Magistrates Court issued an arrest warrant against Salman and the six other accused. Concealing information about the warrant, lawyer Ahmed Bin Kashem filed a discharge petition with the High Court in favour of his brother. He mentioned that Salman had been granted bail in the case. During the hearing, AJ Mohammad Ali argued for the petitioner while Mahbubey Alam stood for the state. l

Power Ministry

Shibli told the Dhaka Tribune that he raised the issue as the frequent foreign visits of the officials hampered the execution of the governments plan to implement development projects as promised in its election pledges. An officer goes on tour 30 times a year. Is it fair? This must stop, he said. He said the Power Development Board had been running a 60-MW power plant in Bheramara, spending Tk32 on electricity (per unit cost) against the Tk16-18 in other power stations. It expired much earlier. Why should it still be operational? the lawmaker asked. Shibli said the Tongi power station fails at least 70 times a year. What else can we expect from this plant? he said. Tajul said his committee had expressed concerns that officials and employees of PDB and Titas gas awarded illegal connections in exchange for extra sums of money while the genuine customers were deprived of their rights. l

Duty, quota-free

BNP now says 272 activists


the latest figures at a programme in the capital. The acting secretary general of the party alleged that the government was committing crimes against humanity through the killings, abductions and repression of BNP-led alliances leaders and activists throughout the country. The killings, abductions and repression will not stop unless they [the government] are ousted from power, Fakhrul said at the programme protesting cases filed against Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman and the killings and repression on BNP men across the country. A total of 272 opposition leaders have been killed and 25 abducted throughout the country since January last year until February this year. As if this was the medieval age.

They want to destroy nationalism, independence and sovereignty of the country, Fakhrul said. He alleged that the government was filing cases against BNP chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman exploiting the Anti-Corruption Commission. Some foreign friends donated money to the BNP and our chairperson decided to utilise it for orphanages. The money is still in the account. The case is completely false, he said. Fakhrul criticised the government for implicating Tarique in the August 21 grenade attack case and alleged that the investigation officer of the case had been changed to implicate Tarique. He called upon party activists and supporters to unite and wage a movement against the government. l

Number of fugitive war crime suspects on the rise


Jabbar was elected Member of Parliament twice with tickets from Ershads JaPa from Mathbaria, Pirojpur, in 1986 and 1988.Helal said Jabbar had not been active in politics for many years. Pirojpur police chief Asaduzzaman told that Dhaka Tribune that he could not say anything about the matter because they had notreceived any instructions from the tribunal as of yet. The investigation agency of the tribunal is currently probing war crimes charges against another suspect, Mohammad Nasir, who allegedly killed around 30 people in Kishoreganj in 1971. Local police, who have not managed to trace Nasir despite continuous drives, suspect that he might not be in

the area at all. Nasir, a former army personnel, used to live in Karimganj, Kishoreganj. Investigation officer Ataur Rahman claimed that he had found evidence that the suspect had committed atrocities in the Ayla village during the Liberation War. When asked what steps were taken to ensure that the suspect could not flee, Ataur said: It is the duty of the local law enforcers. We alerted them about the suspect long ago. Investigation is also ongoing against another suspect named Shakhawat Hossain, a JaPa presidium member. He was arrested in 2009 and a probe began against him in 2013. He, however, secured bail and had been absconding since.

In this situation, the investigation agency filed a petition, asking for direct arrest of suspects. It submitted a proposal to the Law Ministry on April 24 for amending the ICT Act 1973, said an insider. The chief of the investigation agency said as the process of seeking warrant for arrest is lengthy, suspects get sufficient time to flee which is alarming for the trial. Noted writer and war crimes trial campaigner Shahriar Kabir told the Dhaka Tribune that: There must be an investigation to find out whether any monetary transaction is facilitating the fleeing of the suspects. In this case, the investigation agency of the tribunal should remain careful and the media must play the role of a watchdog. l

Modi seething at Bangladeshi immigrants


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday retorted that the people of Bengal will throw him [Modi] out. On a day marked by a war of words between her Trinamool Congress party and the BJP leader, a furious Mamata lashed out at Modi for accusing her of welcoming Bangladeshi immigrants for votes. Mr Modi wants to pack off Bengalis from India. Who is he to decide? Mamata said, adding that Bangladeshis came to India under a pact signed in 1971 by then prime minister Indira Gandhi and the first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Mr Modi does not know history. He does not know that speaking in Bangla does not make one a Bangladeshi. Modi wants to divide Bengalis and non-Bengalis. Anyone who speaks in Bangla across India is branded a Bangladeshi. This is discrimination. If on Bengals

soil he says Bangladeshis will have to pack their bags and go, people of Bengal will throw him out, she said. Deporting illegal Bangladeshi immigrants has always been a part of the BJPs agenda; however, Modis sharp comments indicate it could move beyond rhetoric if the party comes to power after the national election. If the BJP came to power, it would investigate how so many people of a particular community could enter the country illegally, and settle down, said BJP President Rajnath Singh recently in a statement. Some reports suggest that there are about 20 million Bangladeshi immigrants in India at present, however there are no reliable figures. The BJP calls them a drain on the nations income and resources. Bangladeshi immigration to India results mainly due to the communal tension that periodically rocks

the country, mainly right after election-time. Even though many who cross the border in search of greener grass, ultimately fail and return while the cash and assets they had get lost in transition. Trade with Bangladesh remains a major stimulus for the Indian economy. The growing bilateral trade deficit with India rose from $774m in 2000 to $1.9bn in 2005, and $2.9bn in 2010. Bilateral trade also takes place through informal trade between the two countries. As a consequence, the actual deficit (formal plus informal) would be significantly higher. A survey conducted by the Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) almost a decade ago, revealed that, on average, commodities worth Tk832.2m were smuggled every month into Bangladesh from India. Thus, for the states that neighbour Bangladesh as well as Bihar and Odisha, relationship with Bangladesh remains

important, and mostly welcomed. Modis remarks come days after Subramanyan Swamy, another veteran BJP leader and former cabinet minister, said one-third of Bangladeshs land should be compensated to India for the influx of its citizens there. If Bangladesh does not agree to take back its people, then the country should compensate by giving land to India, Swamy said on Friday. In February, Modis comments appearing to draw a distinction between Hindu and Muslim migrants had triggered a row. He said: We have a responsibility towards Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries. Where will they go? India is the only place for them. Our government cannot continue to harass them. We will have to accommodate them here. Modis party manifesto also controversially mentions that India is a nat-

ural home for persecuted Hindus, and in its vaguely defined foreign policy, it pursues Nation first, global brotherhood. However, the BJP last week had restricted Pakistani access to its website, and almost 10 days ago, Giriraj Singh, a BJP leader from Bihar, told an election rally in Jharkhand: Those who want to stop Narendra Modi from becoming prime minister will have no place in India in the coming days. They will only have place in Pakistan. Despite a spirited intervention by the Election Commission when it recently banned election speeches in UP by Narendra Modi aide Amit Shah and SP strongman Azam Khan for divisive statements hateful, intimidating and threatening poll rhetoric is showing no signs of ebbing. The BJP, and Modi, a former RSS leader, however, have been advocating communal tolerance as the way forward for the new India. l

Delaney said he was extremely grateful by the government decision to reduce tariff on fire and safety equipment. It enables me to go to United States and tell my government that the Bangladesh government is really facilitating improvement in these factories, they are taking these very seriously and doing everything they can to address the fire and safety issues, he said. However, a trade specialist had earlier told the Dhaka Tribune that Washington demanded a reduction of the duty on fire and safety equipment, as it wanted to export the products to Bangladesh market. About the GSP issue, Delaney said there was more work to be done in the implementation of labour law reform, safety and inspection. These are the things that have been launched but they are very much work in progress and they are not completed, he said. Washington suspended GSP facility for Bangladesh in June last year blaming poor working conditions in the country. When asked about the comment of Finance Minister AMA Muhith that Bangladesh-US political relationship was not comfortable, Delaney said: I did note the finance ministers remark, I read them in the local media and I have seen the record. I would leave it to the finance minister to explain. However, speaking after yesterdays Ticfa meeting, US Ambasador Dan Mozena said Bangladesh-US relationship was never stronger, deeper and broader than now. I would offer the development of the last two weeks. We had last week, security dialogue, and just concluded the very first meeting of Ticfa. I could not be more pleased with this meeting today, he said. About the high duty paid by Bangladesh compared to other countries including China, Delaney said the claim was not correct. Bangladesh and China enjoy most favoured nation status in the US and both of them pay same tariff rate for their exportable items, he said. l



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mahmudur indicted in corruption case n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
A Dhaka court framed charges against the daily Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman yesterday, in connection with a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2010. The case says Mahmudur, former energy adviser to the then prime minister Khaleda Zia in 2001-06, failed to submit his wealth statement despite several legal notices served to him. He also concealed his source of income.

Inclusion of migration in post-MDG agenda proposed

n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Experts from all over the world put their heads together to sort out a set of recommendations so that migration can become an integral part of development in the post-2015 agenda. To look into a future sustainable development agenda without considering migration would be short-sighted, incomplete and counterproductive, said Nikhil Seth, director of the Division for Sustainable Development at the United Nations. He made the comment while delivering his keynote speech at the first session of a two-day Global Expert Meeting on Migration in the Post-2015 Development Agenda at a city hotel yesterday. The meeting is taking place in a critical phase of shaping the post-2015 development agenda as Millennium Development Goals will expire next year. The world population would be 9 billion by 2050 and out of that 6 billion in Asia and one each in Europe, Africa and America with age distribution would significantly vary between ageing rich and middle-income countries and younger poor countries, Seth said. These demographic contrasts together with persistent inequalities will drive migration, he added. Over half a trillion dollar of remittance will be sent in 2015 while through trade, direct investment and knowledge and skill transfer, the diaspora and migrants generate more economic activity and create jobs far beyond remittance, Seth said. Bangladesh is a case in point where remittances contribute over 10 percent of GDP, far outpacing both official development aid and foreign direct investment, he added. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said mobility of people is inevitable and a migrant person should be viewed as an agent of development. She suggested identifying ways that migration can contribute to poverty reduction, augment growth, reduce inequality and empower people, especially women. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said over the past 13 months, the global discourse on post-2015 agenda has evolved significantly, with a number of twists and turns. A wide ranging of countries recognises the relevance and primacy of migration and migrant workers, he said. He expressed the hope that the outcomes of the expert meeting would be placed at the UN open working group deliberations in New York next week. William Lacy Swing, director general of International Organisation for Migration, in a message said diaspora engagement in the development process should be promoted and cost of remittance should be reduced. Create incentives to investment in origin and destinations countries, he said. UN Resident Coordinator for Bangladesh Neil Walker said it must be ensured that migration is an integral part of the framework of the post-2015 development agenda. We must advocate for the inclusion of migration in the sustainable development goals, he said. A Bangladeshi migrant - skilled, educated and competitive will be in demand, will command the highest possible wage and send back more consistently than unskilled, uneducated workers, he added. Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on International Migration and Development Peter Sutherland said two years ago when the post2015 agenda talks began, migration was barely figured in the conversation. But, in the intervening period, one small group has worked tirelessly to develop the evidence and arguments for why migration contributes powerfully to the countries of origin and destination, and above all to the families of migrants, he said. Citing example of Bangladesh, he said: Just 13% of households that receive remittances from abroad are below the poverty line, compared to 34% of non-remittance-receiving households. He suggested that middlemen should be eliminated and out of business so that workers can take home what they are earning. A participant from OECD, David Khoudour, said migrants help country of destinations and origins. He emphasised on regular flow of migration which would ultimately restrict irregular flow. At least 100 participants from 58 countries and 17 international organisations are taking part in the international conference. l

Mahmudur was served legal notices by the ACC repeatedly to disclose his wealth status, but he did not respond
Garment workers of Tunic Fashion hold a demonstration in front of the National Press Club, demanding compensation and payment of dues before the closure of their factory MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU Dhakas Third Special Court Judge Basudev Roy passed the indictment order in the presence of the accused and set May 28 for the beginning of the trial with the prosecution witness testimony. During the proceedings, Mahmudur claimed that he was a victim of political vendetta as the newspaper had published articles against Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of the prime minister. The government filed 70 cases against me to implement its master plan. This is a purely political agenda, he alleged. Before passing the order the court also rejected a time petition and a discharge petition, filed by the defence, after a hearing. Defence lawyer Sanaullah Miah filed the petitions yesterday mentioning that a hearing with the High Court was pending for a leave to appeal. He said the accused had been shown arrested in nine cases. However, ACC lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajal said Mahmudur had been served legal notices repeatedly for disclosing his wealth status, adding, But he did not respond to the notices. He should be indicted in this case. ACC Deputy Director Nur Ahammad filed the case with the Gulshan police on April 13, 2010. The charge sheet was submitted to the court on July 15 the same year. Following this, Mahmudur filed a stay petition with the High Court. After it was rejected last year, he had lodged a leave to appeal. Mahmudur was produced before the court from the Kashimpur Jail. Also blamed for instigating violence and spreading religious propaganda, Mahmudur has been in jail since April 11 last year. The arrest was made almost four months after he had been sued for publishing reports on Skype conversations between a judge of the International Crimes Tribunal and an expatriate Bangladeshi legal expert. l

Death penalty sought for Kashem

n Udisa Islam
The prosecution yesterday completed its part of closing arguments against war crimes accused Mir Kashem Ali and sought capital punishment for the Bangalee Khan of Chittagong during the 1971 Liberation War. Five prosecutors including Tureen Afroz submitted their argument separately against the accused, an Executive Council member of Jamaat-e-Islami and also its treasurer. They claimed that the evidence established Mir Kashem constituted an indispensable cog in the murdering machinery implanted at Daleem Hotel torture camp in the port city. In the morning session, prosecutor Sultan Mahmud concluded his part of arguments on the charges. Then Tapas Kanti Baul argued on whether Kashem had been the commander of notorious group al-Badr in Chittagong and that Daleem Hotel was a torture camp led by him. Prosecutor Rezia Sultana argued on the defence witnesses and said they had no credibility. She pointed out that the name of the mother of the first defence witness, Mamtaz Nuruddin, who claimed herself to be a sibling of Kashem, did not match with the name of the mother of the accused. She is actually a step sister of Kashem. The prosecutor added that the other two defence witnesses who claimed themselves to be freedom fighters could not even tell any renowned co-fighters name. They also failed to mention whether collaborators groups including razakar, al-Badr or al-Shams existed in Chittagong town during the war. Prosecutor Tureen took the floor and precisely pointed out how Kashem had acted on his will as the commander of al-Badr to kill innocent Bangalees at the Daleem Hotel. Referring to the depositions of the prosecution witnesses who mentioned Kashem as the Bangalee Khan, she said: The word Khan referred to any military ruler or commander of the Pakistani occupation forces. She argued to prove the authority of the accused as an al-Badr commander. Kashem faces three types of liabilities including Individual Criminal Responsibility and Joint Criminal Responsibility (JCE) under Section 3(2), 4(1) 4 (2) A and B of International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973. The accused is also responsible for his superior responsibility as the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha then student wing of Jamaat of Chittagong town unit and as a leader of al-Badr, according to the prosecution. Tureen said every person of the concentration camp should take responsibility if they were part of murdering machinery and when it is done systematically, Kashem is responsible for all the crimes that took place at Daleem Hotel. The prosecution also said Kashem had been present at the place of occurrence during relevant times. However, he was not an innocent-bystander. Evidence demonstrates enough connection between the accused and the alleged crimes. Tureen claimed in her submission that Kashem had been responsible for genocide as he took initiatives to kill persons from same age group that satisfied the elements of genocide. If charges are proved beyond reasonable doubt upon the same alleged facts, it will amount to be a classic example of genocide. At the end of submission, she said the torture and horror circumstances of Daleem Hotel might hit the world humanity hard. After that, the tribunal 2 adjourned the hearing until today when the defence will place its part of arguments. The prosecution did not place any witness against charges one and five while there were some contradictions between charge 14 and deposition of the witness against it. Apart from these, the prosecution claimed that they had proved all the other 11 charges beyond reasonable doubt. Kashem, a key financier of the Jamaat, was indicted on September 5 last year. The tribunal 1 framed 14 charges against him. Later the case was shifted to tribunal 2 for quick disposal. According to the government, Kashem paid a US lobbyist firm $25m to make the tribunal controversial. The accused owns a number of businesses including Diganta Media Corporation that runs Diganta TV and the daily Naya Diganta. According to the defence, he is the founding trustee and also a member responsible for administration of the Ibn Sina Trust and director (marketing) of Ibn Sina Pharmaceutical Industries. He was also the member secretary of Islami Bank Foundation, a sister concern of Islami Bank. He is the chairman and director of Keari Limited, which is involved in real estate and tourism business. l

Probe report against Peace Committee leader Jabbar unveiled

n Udisa Islam
Former Jatiya Party lawmaker Mohammad Abdul Jabbar was involved in the killing of 36 people, setting fire and looting of around 560 houses and forcefully converted about 200 people in Mothbaria of Pirojpur during the 1971 Liberation War. According to the five charges levelled against him, the war crimes suspect along with his accomplices forcefully converted 200 Hindus to Muslim in Phuljhuri on a day of end-May in 1971. On October 6, the suspect picked up 37 people of Angulkata and Mothbaria and brutally tortured them. In the incident, 22 persons died. The probe report prepared by the investigation agency of the International Crimes Tribunal states that Jabbar was involved in the killing two freedom fighters in Phuljhuri and setting fire to hundreds of houses in Nathpara and Kulupara areas. Senior Investigator Sanaul Huq read out the five charges at a press conference in the capital yesterday. The probe report will be handed over to the prosecution today. Then the prosecution may appear before the tribunal seeking arrest warrant for the suspect who has been absconding since 2009. Helal Uddin, who was the investigation officer in the cases against war crimes convict Delawar Hossain Sayedee and AKM Yusuf, conducted the probe. Chief Coordinator Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan said: Jabbar, a former Jatiya Party lawmaker, was the chairman of Peace Committee in Mothbaria. We have brought five allegations against him in our 99-page report. We will submit documents of total 1,900 pages to the prosecution. The agency also named 46 people as possible prosecution witnesses against Jabbar. His father-in-law was a local leader of the Muslim League in Pirojpur, Hannan said. The suspect may face trial for genocide, mass killing, murder, arson and religious conversion, said Helal Uddin, investigation officer of the case. The charges include killing of 22 Hindus in Mothbaria. The IO claimed that he had enough evidence to prove the involvement of Jabbar in atrocities. l

Eyewitness testifies against Qaisar

n Udisa Islam
A prosecution witness said yesterday that he had witnessed the killing of his father and six others by the accused war criminal Syed Mohammad Qaisar and his men in 1971. After giving a deposition at the International Crimes Tribunal 2, the ninth witness, Mostafa Ali, 66, sought justice for the atrocities committed against the pro-liberation people in Habiganj. His father was a security guard at a food warehouse at Shayestaganj where the witness used to go to serve him lunch. On April 29, when freedom fighter Mostafa Shaheed left the place with some food for his fellow fighters, Qaisar came to the place and left without saying anything. After some time, he came to the place chanting Pakistan Zindabad and questioned seven employees [including the witness father] for helping the freedom fighters, Mostafa said.

The witness said his father and six others of a food storehouse had been killed for providing the freedom fighters with food
At that time the witness and his younger brother had been inside the go-down. The six others were the then sub-divisional food controller Abdul Aziz, circle inspector Abdul Khaleque, acting of icer Rezaul Karim, handing controller Tara Mia and two guards. Qaisar threatened my father and

his colleagues not to send food outside, continued Ali. The witness said he had seen Qaisar and members of the Qaisar Bahini taking the seven staff, on foot, to a nearby rest house, which was used as a Pakistani occupation forces camp. Around 2pm, the collaborators and the troops had taken the confined persons to the bank of the Khowai River. The witness said he had seen this while hiding in a sugarcane field. Qaisar then asked the Pakistan Army to shoot my father and others to death. The bodies were thrown into the river. As I was helpless, I could not do anything, he said. Witness Mostafa identified the accused in the dock. After his deposition, defence counsel SM Shajahan asked him one question and the tribunal has set today for further cross-examination. l

Bangabandhu killers property seized

n Our correspondent, Chandpur

The administration confiscated the property of AM Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted fugitive killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, yesterday. UNO Hosna Afroza who led the drive said: Signboards and red flags have been erected on the property owned by Rashed Chowdhury in the presence of his relatives. The administration seized around 115 decimals of land owned by Rashed. On April 3, the seizure order was issued by Abdul Kahar Akhand, special police superintendent of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (south). Rashed, one of the 12 convicted killers of Bangabandhu, is reportedly residing in the US now. l

Administration officials confiscate a property of AM Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted fugitive killer of Bangabandhu, at Chandpur yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Substandard medical devices in market, health centres

Government monitoring yet to be in sight; traders cashing in
n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
The medical device market has been flooded with a large number of substandard medical instruments while the traders are capitalising on the absence of market monitoring. An investigation by the Dhaka Tribune revealed that there is no government organisation actively keeping a close watch on the import and sale of medical equipment. Medical device traders import their products from China, India and other countries and fix high prices at their own will without facing any legal binding, monitoring and supervision. Doctors in both public and private hospitals shut their eyes to the use of substandard devices in diagnosing patients. While medical science is advancing through research and development and the use of modern medical technologies, health centres across the country are still subject to conventional methods and technologies. Seeking anonymity, several high officials of different public hospitals under the Directorate General of Health Services told the Dhaka Tribune the Health Ministry has been spending millions on buying medical devices every year, but most of them were substandard. A large number of medical instruments go out of order before their warranties expire. The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) has recently taken an initiative to draw up medical device registration guidelines. The DGDA has formed a 15-member committee headed by Major General Jahangir Hossain Mollick, director general of the DGDA, as convener and Nayar Sultana, deputy director, as member secretary. A source in the DGDA said the committee will meet soon to formulate guidelines to facilitate checking of all imported medical devices sold in the market. When asked about the registration for import and sale of medical equipment, Major General Jahangir Hossain Mollick admitted that it is true that there is no registration system. We got complaints that the medical device market has been flooded by a large number of low quality instruments, and a section of dishonest businessmen are cashing in on the situation, he said. It is high time we act, he continued. The substandard devices include Electrocardiographs, Magnetic Resonance Imaging devices, Scintigraphic devices, Ultrasonic Scanners, Electro-diagnostic devices, medical and surgical sterilisers, needles for sutures and Tubular Metal needle syringes, ultraviolet and infrared ray devices, breathing devices, gas masks for Mechanotherapy, Psychological Aptitude Test devices, Therapeutic Respiration devices, Ophthalmic devices, Dental drill engines, dental devices and instruments like artificial teeth, dental fittings, artificial joints, orthopedic and fracture devices, Computed Tomography, hearing aids, pacemakers, Dental X-ray devices, Medical X-ray devices, and other medical paraphernalia like Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation devices. This correspondent observed that heart specialists usually suggest wearing rings for the treatment of bloacked arteries, and the prices of that ring vary, much to the surprise of patients. When asked about the varying prices of medical devices, Director General Jahangir Hossain Mollick of the Drug Administration told the Dhaka Tribune: We are preparing guidelines and this will help categorise all medical devices and fix their prices. l

German delegation wants AL to initiate dialogue with BNP

n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
The visiting German parliamentary delegation yesterday said the 10th parliament elected without the BNPs participation may not have peoples support for completing its five-year term. The delegation, led by Dagmar G Woehrl, met Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury at her office and expressed their concern. During the meeting, they also stressed that the ruling party should initiate substantial dialogue with the BNP-led alliance for strengthening democracy. Shirin Sharmin assured that the political parties were open to have talks among themselves to sort out political differences. But the political parties would decide on it, she added. After the December 29, 2008 parliamentary elections, a German parliamentary delegation praised Bangladesh for holding the ninth general elections in a free and fair manner, observing that Bangladesh has proved that democracy and Islam could move together. Speaking about the January 5 general election, Mrs Woehrl appraised the Speaker of the Bundestags concerns that the current parliament might not enjoy sufficient acceptance by the people for going the full 5 years distance, said a press statement of the German embassy in Dhaka. The members of the visiting delegation hoped that signals would soon come out of Bangladesh for the beginning of substantial dialogue between major political forces, it said. Shirin Sharmin told the Dhaka Tribune: From that concern (BNPs boycott of the polls), they have suggested a dialogue among the political parties. I have told them that in a democracy, the political parties are open to dialogue. But the decision will be taken by the political parties. The speaker said the BNPs boycott of the January 5 polls was their political decision and the 10th parliamentary polls were a must for the continuation of the constitutionality. She also informed them of the activities of the 10th parliament that had Jatiya Party (JaPa) as the main opposition. Dagmar G Woehrl, also the chair of the German parliamentary committee on economic cooperation and development, led the nine-member delegation that arrived in Dhaka on Saturday. l

BUP observes its 34th anniversary n DU Correspondent

Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) observed its 34th anniversary yesterday, marked by a colourful programme at the Dhaka University Nawab Nabab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building. Finance Minister AMA Muhith was present in the programme as the chief guest. In his speech, the minister praised BUPs activities which have been continuing since its inception in 1980. He said: The BUP has played a pivotal role in various sectors, especially the socio-economic sector, through its enlightening research on various public uprising issues and through its discussions and dialogues. He urged the BUP members to continue their activities for the interest of the country and the general people as well. BUP Chairman MA Jalil presided over the ceremony and Dr Nilufar Banu, managing director of the BUP, delivered the welcome speech. The BUP is a private organisation and its main aim is to implement social research, dialogues and discussions regarding socio-economic conditions to further human development. It has launched several programmes, including documentaries and research on natural calamities such as climate change and the greenhouse effect. l

AC (land) suspended for misconduct

n Mohosinul Karim
State Minister for Land Saifuzzaman Chowdhury suspended Ashraf Hossain Sheikh, assistant commissioner (Land) of the Kotwali area under Dhaka Metropolitan area, yesterday, for misconduct, irregularities in the performance of duty, violation of service rules and creating public suffering. The state minister suspended Ashraf during a sudden visit to his office in the Kotwali area. Ashraf was not in his office when the state minister paid the visit around 11am. Tipped off by other officials, the assistant commissioner rushed to his office then. Md Rejuan Khan, public relations officer of the Land Ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune: Ashraf told the state minister that he had gone to the ministry to see a joint secretary for an official task. The state minister contacted said joint secretary and learned that Ashraf had not gone to the ministry for any official purpose. The state minister also learned from other officials in Ashrafs office that people were not receiving services properly from him, as per the law and rules. The state minister also acquired several proofs of the assistant commissioner violating service rules and breaking the law such as hanging a torn portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Saifuzzaman asked the senior secretary of the ministry to suspend Ashraf, effective immediately. l

Buses often abruptly queue up in the middle of the road to board passengers causing a clog of vehicles behind them. The photo was taken from the capitals Shahbagh area yesterday

Derailment on Dhaka-Dinajpur route disrupts communication for 18 hours

n Our Correspondent, Tangail
Train communications on the Dhaka-Dinajpur rail route was suspended for about 18 hours as some bogies of Dinajpur-bound Drutojan Express derailed on the Bangabandhu Bridge on Sunday night. However, none was reported injured in the mishap. Bangabandhu east police station OC Akhiruzzaman said nine bogies out of 13 of the intercity train veered off the track around 11pm as a norwester hit it. Owing to the accident, communications came to a halt between Dhaka and northern and southern districts. Akbar Hossen, 40, a passenger of the train, said the train was moving slowly on the bridge and a gusty wind hit it all in a sudden, leaving the bogies derailed and leaning against the southern wall. Md Abdul Mannan, station master of Bangabandhu Bridge East Zone, said two salvage trains from Dhaka and Pakshey Junction of Pabna started operation around 7am to remove the bogies yesterday. However, train communications returned to a normalcy around 5pm, said Transportation Officer of Pakshi Division of BR Mdshafiqur Rahman. Meanwhile, a four-member probe committee, led by Amjad Hossain, additional director general of (Infrastructure) Bangladesh Railway, was formed in the incident. The committee was also asked to submit its report within three days. l

Railway engineer suspended for absence in Chittagong

n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Bangladesh Railway (BR) East Zone authorities yesterday suspended its Senior Sub Assistant Engineer 2 (SSAE 2) Amirul Islam as he was absent during the visit of a railway probe body from Tigerpass to Pahartali in the city on Saturday. The team visited places where railway trees were cut down. Mohammad Moqbul Ahmed, General Manager of BR (East), confirmed the suspension to the Dhaka Tribune. A group of local Awami League and BNP men, with connivance of railway officials, in the citys Ambagan-Pahartali area has been making quick bucks for long by selling age-old trees owned by Bangladesh Railway (East). As the issue was brought to the attention of the railway authorities, they formed a three-member committee headed by Divisional Engineer 2 Tarun Kanti Bala on Sunday to conduct probe. The committee visited the spot and found Amirul absent. Later on, he was suspended, Moqbul said. The group chopped down plenty of age-old trees standing in rows on both sides of a road on the railway land stretching from Tigerpass Intersection to Pahartali Police Bit area. Those century-old trees were sold in between last Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. Woodcutters said they cut down the trees as per the instruction of local Awami League leader and former Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Councillor Mohammad Hossain Hiron, two Jubo Dal activists Sohel, Arman and several others. BR (East) sources said felling trees could not have been possible without it being in the knowledge of Tarun Bala as the area where trees were chopped down is under his jurisdiction. l

BYLC leadership summit in June n Tribune Report

Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) is going to hold the Youth Leadership Summit 2014 in June at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital. With the theme Strengthening the Spirit of Public Leadership: A Journey from I to We, the summit will take place on June 11-13 and will host 50 speakers and 500 delegates from Bangladesh as well as around the wold, providing a platform to share knowledge, explore ideas and build networks. BYLC launched its first admission process for the summit at NSU. Admission is still going on and the deadline for application is Wednesday. More information can be found at BYLCs website: l

High Court declines to hear plea

n Tribune Report
Declining a plea hearing, a High Court bench yesterday passed a writ petition from its cause list which sought its directives to remove the structures built on the Dhanmondi playground in the capital. The bench of Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Md Habibul Gani passed the order following a contention of the petitioners lawyer Fida M Kamal. During the hearing, Justice Gani questioned the lawyer on the implementation of an earlier ruling of the High Court that had directed the authorities concerned to keep all the playgrounds in the capital open for the public. Fida then said the bench should not hear the plea if it has already decided not to issue any rule in this regard. The judge then asked him how he had known the decision of the court, adding that it had queries. When Fida repeated himself in the same manner, Justice Gani expressed an unwillingness to hear the petition and the bench dropped the matter from the cause list, Deputy Attorney General Mokleshur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune. However, Sara Hossain, another counsel for the petitioners, told reporters that Justice Gani felt embarrassed to hear the plea without mentioning any reason. She also said they would place the plea before another bench later. The petition, lodged on April 22 by six persons including architects Mobassher Hossain and Iqbal Habib, also sought the courts directive to ensure access of all people to the playground. In the face of protests and criticisms, the playground was reopened to public on April 24. l


Authorities concerned inspect the derailed compartments of a Dinajpur-bound train on the Bangabandhu Bridge on Sunday night. The picture was taken yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tannery among most dangerous industries

n Tribune Report
The most dangerous industries in the country on the basis of workplace safety are agriculture, ship breaking and tannery as the workers are vulnerable to exposure to toxic and hazardous chemicals and contamination. Following the three, most toxic chemicals, based on category of workplace, are used in textile and garment industry, food processing, pharmaceuticals, ceramic industries, plastic factories, health care and dental care sector. This was revealed at a discussion on safety and health issues in the use of chemicals at work in the National Press Club in the capital yesterday. It was arranged by Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2014. While presenting the keynote paper, Shahriar Hossain, a national expert on chemical safety, said tannery workers suffer the worst when it comes to exposure to chemicals. They do not use any safety gear and directly deal with toxic substances. We found that a tannery worker becomes unemployed after working for 9-12 months. They develop severe illness because of prolonged exposure to chemical but the owners refuse to take responsibilities then. They just fire the worker, Shahriar noted. He said according to study conducted by the International Labour Organisation and the Asian Development Bank, more than 70% of the Bangladeshi farmers are exposed to chemicals and more than 30% of them fall seriously ill.

Workers in tannery, ship breaking and agro industries are vulnerable to hazardous contamination
The lives of more than 20,000 tannery workers are still at risk, the expert added. Speakers emphasised that workers in the vulnerable sectors should be provided with adequate training so that they can avoid exposure to detrimental substances. State Minster for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu, executive director of OSHE AR Chowdhury Repon, Member Secretary of the National Coordination Committee for Workers' Education Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam addressed the discussion. l

Local people block the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Siddhirganj in Narayanganj yesterday, protesting abduction of a ward councillor


Yaba trader shot in gunfight with police n Ashif Islam Shaon US-made automated .22 AK rifle, n Our Correspondent, Coxs Bazar An two magazines and eight bullets were
An alleged yaba trader was shot in a socalled shootout with police at Coxs Bazars Chakaria upazila, yesterday. Three policemen also received bullet injuries in the gunfight at the upazilas Uttaran Residential Area, police claim. Police recovered a shotgun, two cartridges and a bullet shell from the scene. Chakaria police station Officer-in-Charge Md Nasir Uddin says they arrested Mostak Ahmed, the son of Mohammad Fazlul Haq of the residential area, at the Nalbila Forest Station on Sunday morning. When he was interrogated, he confessed that he had a haul of yaba tablets and firearms at some place in the residential area, he said. With that lead, we raided the area and faced an attack from his (Mostak) cohorts in the early hours of today (yesterday), said Nasir. The yaba traders fired at least 15 rounds of bullets while the police fired at least 10, he said. Three police men, Mohammad Hossain, Mohammad Selim and Jane Alam and the yaba trader Mostak were injured in the gunfight. All the four have been admitted to the Coxs Bazar General Hospital. Police filed two cases. Six yaba traders have been killed a in gunfights with law enforcers in Coxs Bazar recently. l recovered and two individuals arrested by police from an intercity train Subarna Express at Airport Railway Station in the capital yesterday afternoon. The lawmen also found three switchgear knives, 10 small packets of power gel, 10 detonators and some electric wire in their possession. The arrestees are Nurul Islam, 35, and Shamim, alias Abdullah, 35, said Railway Range DIG of police Sohrab Hossain. Police suspect that the duo might be JMB operatives. A team of Government Railway Police (GRP) made the arrest and seized the arms and ammunition from the trains compartment before it reached the station around 1:15pm.

AK rifle, explosives seized from intercity train

After primary interrogation police claimed that the arrestees told them the arms and ammo were brought to the city for big scale subversive activities. More consignments were also planned to bring in the capital. After the seizure police intensified security measures surrounding the citys railway stations, said Abdul Majid, officer-in-charge of Dhaka Railway police station. Abdul Majid said Abdullah hailed from Chapainawabganj district. They were suspecting that Abdullah might be connected with the militant organisation. On the other hand Nurul hailed from Panchagarh district. About the arms, Deputy Inspector General Sohrab Hossain of Railway Range of Police said with the highly sophisticated automated rifle it was possible to combat with law enforcers. Police have this type of heavy arms in a limited scale. Besides, the explosives can cause massive destruction. A case will be filed in this connection. We will place them before the court, seeking remand, he said. We assume that the explosives are highly destructive. This can be used to blow up a train compartment. Besides, if these are used in a crowded place, it can be disastrous, said Ashraful Islam, Inspector of DMPs Bomb Disposal unit. This is a grave concern. We are trying to know who masterminded the import of these arms and ammo to the capital. Beside, connections of militants and their purposes are also being investigated, the DIG of Railway Range Police said. Police received secret information that arms were carried on the Subarna Express two hours after the train left Chittagong. ASI of GRP Babul Islam, constables Momin and Shahjahan were on duty on the train. They started searching bags of every passenger. When the train reached Tongi, we were searching baggage of compartment Tha. We opened a black bag kept in the luggage rack of the train compartment. We saw the rifles butt protruding, said Babul. We closed the bag and looked for the bags owner. Shamim, who did not notice that we came across the rifle, admitted that the bag belonged to him. But when we asked him to open the bag, he denied its ownership, he said. Police arrested Shamim and Nurul sitting on seat number 31 and 32. We were scared that the bag could contain explosives. Later with the help of passengers we searched the bag and found the arms and ammo, he added. l

Garment workers stage demo n Our Correspondent, Savar

Hundreds of workers from two garment factories in the Savar upazila of the capital formed a human chain yesterday, protesting the recent attacks on the two factories. Managing Director of Dress-Up Limited Golam Mostafa said the miscreants attacked his factory and the Marhaba Spinning Mills on April 24 and looted and vandalised the factories while the workers and owners were attending a prayer on the factory premises to commemorate the Rana Plaza tragedy. He urged the government, BGMEA and the media to carry out a probe into the incidents and demanded that proper steps be taken in this regard. He also said a written complaint was filed with the Savar Model police station in this regard. l

DU students protest assault on a female student

n DU Correspondent
Students of Dhaka University formed a human chain on the campus yesterday, protesting a recent assault on a female student of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA). They demanded that immediate punitive actions be taken against the miscreant responsible. Moreover, the agitators also demanded security of the general students on the campus so that no outsider can make such attack in the future. Earlier, on April 15, Tamhid, a first year student of the Bangladesh University of Professionals, assaulted a first year IBA student in front of TSC on the DU campus. The victim has been receiving treatment at Square Hospital for the serious injuries on her nose and eyes. Following the incident, her elder brother Munal filed a case with the Shahbagh police station, the station's Officer-in-Charge Serajul Islam confirmed. On April 20, at a press conference on the campus, Ayesha Akthar Munni, mother of the victim, alleged that Tamhid had been trying to besmirch her daughters image through a fake facebook account, and claimed that he had also threatened her to withdraw the case. She also expressed discontent, saying that no steps had been taken against the accused, despite a case being filed against him. Meanwhile, Dhaka University Proctor Amzad Ali said a notice was sent to the authorities of the Bangladesh University of Professionals in this regard. We hope actions will be taken soon, he said. The indifference of the authorities concerned prompted the DU students to form a human chain yesterday. l


Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Coxs Bazar 38 34 41 36 40 38 36 34 27 25 27 24 26 26 22 25 College students hold a rally on the premises of the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital yesterday, demanding upholding of carry on system in professional examinations DHAKA TRIBUNE

39.0C Rajshahi


Hearing of revision petition against RAB for laming Limon deferred again
n Our Correspondent, Barisal
The hearing of the revision petition lodged by Henoara Begum, mother of Limon Hossain, challenging the dismissal of the case against six RAB personnel accused of maiming her son, was deferred for the eighth time yesterday. Kiran Shangkar Haldar, acting district and sessions judge, fixed June 26 as the next date for the hearing, said Advocate Akkas Hossain, lawyer of Henoara. According to Jhalakathi district Public Prosecutor Advocate Golam Rasul Mannan, the date was deferred as Shahidullah Baqaul, district and session judge, was transferred from Jhalakathi to Dhaka on January 16, 2014 and his replacement is yet to join duty. Henoara Begum, however, protested the delay of the prosecution and said she would continue her fight for justice. Limon was shot in the leg and maimed in an alleged RAB shooting adjacent to his house at Jamaddarhat in Rajapur upazila of Jhalakathi on March 23, 2011, just about a fortnight before his HSC examination. Limons left leg was amputated from the thigh on March 27 at Dhaka National Institute for Traumatolgy and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Hospital. Henoara then tried to lodge a case against six RAB personnel, but Rajapur police refused to file one. Later, the police filed a case against the RAB members on April 10, 2011 following a court directive. However, the police on August 14, 2012 secretly filed the final report claiming that they had found no evidence against the RAB men. Limons mother filed a no confidence (Naraji) against the report on August 30, 2012. Jhalakathi senior judicial magistrate on February 13, 2013 rejected the no confidence (naraji) plea and acquitted the six RAB personnel. A plea of revision against the rejection of the no confidence motion was lodged with Jhalakathi District and Sessions Judge Court on March 13, 2013. l

Source: Accuweather/UNB

18.9C Sylhet

Police nabs 5 directors of Dhaka Regency Hotel

n Kailash Sarkar
Police yesterday arrested five directors of Dhaka Regency Hotel and Resort in a case filed accusing them of extortion and assault. The detainees were identified as Badruddoza Sagar, Shah Mohammad Ashraf, Mohammad Nuruzzaman, Manjur Hossain and Mujib Khan. Paltan police station Officer-In-Charge Inspector Golam Morshed said the arrests were made after a case filed by one Kabir Reza with a Dhaka court accusing the five individuals of demanding extortion money and assaulting him inside Ananda Bhaban Community Centre in Naya Paltan. In the case, the plaintiff accused several people and mentioned the names of the five directors of Dhaka Regency and three others. Later, the court ordered police to arrest the accused persons. As per the court order, we conducted a raid at the hotel and arrested 5 of the accused persons, the OC said. Sources at Dhaka Regency and police said there was a dispute over the ownership of the hotel between the accused persons and three others, including plaintiff Kabir Reza. l

Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 4:07am 5:26am 11:56am 4:22pm 6:26pm 7:47pm



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tobacco farming ruins forest

Correspondent, n Our Khagrachharhi
Tobacco farming is harming the forest in Khagrachharhi since farmers rely on firewood for curing the tobacco. The local administration says they know about it, but cannot do anything as there is no tobacco barn control act. According to an estimate, there are at least 400 tobacco barns at nine upazilas, Sadar, Matiranga, Dighinala, Panchharhi, Manikchharhi, Mohalchharhi, Lakkhichharhi, Ramgarh and Guimarha, of the hill district. The Dhaka Tribune correspondent recently visited these tobacco barns at the upazilas and found the labourers curing tobacco with firewood. While visiting the Bangali Parha at the Sadar upazila, he found at least 27 trees and 300 Mulibansh, a type of bamboo, being used to make a 20-foot long tobacco barn. Each barn requires five to 60 maunds of wood for curing tobacco each time, say farmers. Four tobacco barns have been set up beside homesteads at the Gomti Gorhgorhia village of the upazila. There are at least 10 tobacco barns in this village. A tobacco farmer, Sayeed Anwar, says they cure tobacco from two to two and a half hectares of land at each barn. All tobacco barn owners use firewood which they collect from local forests. According to the district office of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), tobacco has been grown on 1030 hectares of land at nine upazilas of the district this year. A barn is needed for curing the tobacco of every two and a half hectares of land used to grow tobacco, and as such, there at least 412 barns have been set up in the district, they say. At least 1100 different kinds of trees have been used to make each barn and over 10,0000 maunds of firewood will be used for tobacco-curing this year, says the DAE office. The Jabarang Kalyan Samity works in the district to create awareness about protecting the environment. Its Project Director Amal Tripurha says, Tobacco farming and tobacco curing are injurious to public health. Public awareness has to be created about it. Besides this, there needs to be a strict law against setting up tobacco barns next to residential areas and using firewood for tobacco-curing. Additional District Magistrate Anarkali says, There is no tobacco barn control act but steps can be taken about it under the environment act. Unfortunately, there is no office of the Department of Environment here. l

A house lies in damaged condition as norwester hit Sunamganj in the early hours of yesterday


Call to stop pollution n Our Correspondent,

Speakers in a workshop held in Khagrachhari urged people to stop environment pollution. Jointly organised by the district health administration and Pasha, an NGO, the workshop was held at the conference hall of the district civil surgeons office on Sunday morning. Dr Shahid Talukder, family planning officer in the Khagrachhari Sadar upazila, presided over the event while the District Civil Surgeon Dr Narayan Chandra Das was present as the chief guest. Speaking at the workshop, Dr Das said most of the diseases and natural calamities are a result of environment pollution. You must stop torturing the environment, otherwise you have to pay more than you can imagine, he said to the workshops participants. Mamong Marma, senior health education officer, Moniruzzaman, coordinator of Pasha, and Khaleda Begum, municipality counsellor in Khagrachhari, also spoke at the event. l

Heat spell zapping efficacy of medicines Protest to save canal

n Our Correspondent, Barisal
Both physicians and drug traders in Barisal expressed their anxieties over preservation and effectiveness of medicine under the present heat wave which has been blowing over the southern region for the last couple of days. Local sources said most drugstores do not have sufficient arrangements to keep medicine at cool places while pharmaceutical manufacturers recommend most of their products should be kept under 15-30 degree Celsius temperature. As physicians and medicine traders cannot preserve medicine properly, in most cases, drug sometimes change physically, lose effectiveness and even threaten our health, said Dr Mizanur Rahman, a renowned community medicine expert in the city. But under the socio-economic condition of our country, we cannot expect undisrupted power supply, sufficient refrigerated space, air-conditioned shops and houses to preserve medicine under prescribed temperature, he added. Extreme temperatures can have an adverse impact on liquid medicines mostly prescribed for children and oldaged people, said Kazi Kamal, president of Barisal Chemist and Druggist Association. As less than one percent of the 1,500 licensed medicine shops and very few houses in the region has refrigeration or air-conditioning facilities and space for preservation of the medicines amid prescribed temperatures, so the anxiety over sustainable quality control of the medicine should be taken seriously, said Md Mamun, a medicine shop owner. For patients with chronic illnesses as diabetes or heart disease, a damaged dose of a crucial medicine, like insulin or nitroglycerin, can be lifethreatening. But even common medicines become useless in the heat. It can break down with potentially harmful effects, and one cannot always tell just by looking at the pill or liquid that a problem has occurred, said Dr Zakir Hossain, a heart specialist of the town. Medicine for thyroid andbirth control are especially vulnerable to temperature changes. Any type of diagnostic test strip, like those used to test for blood sugar-levels, pregnancy or ovulation, is extremely sensitive to humidity. If moisture sticks to the strips, it will dilute the test liquid and possible give a false reading, acknowledged Dr ATM Mizanur Rahman, district civil surgeon. My son was a patient of Asthma. I gave him a dose of over-the-counter medicine that usually brings quick relief. But in recent times the drug had no effect. I became afraid whether my son is becoming immune to this particular medicine or were his allergies getting worse and asked the pharmacist about it, said Rabeya Khatun, guardian of a minor aged patient. The pharmacist asked me whether I had stored medicine under the temperatures directed by the producer on the packet of the medicine. I replied it was not possible as I have no air-conditioned room or refrigerator to preserve the medicine within 25 degree Celsius temperature, she added. l

in Rajbari

n Our Correspondent, Rajbari

Rajbari Stadium authorities, football players and locals formed a human chain in front of the Rajbari Press Club and staged a procession yesterday to save the land and the canal beside the stadium from local land grabbers. A few influential people in the area have illegally occupied the land that is actually owned by the stadium and are encroaching on the canal, the protesters said. Calling the land grabbers evil, the protesters held them responsible for destroying the canal by dumping waste in it and blocking the water flow. They claimed that the construction of roads and culverts across the canal is blocking it up and the people living on its banks are suffering because of this. We have been organising various programmes to raise awareness among the grabbers to prevent their encroachment on the water bodies and to save

nature from the environment pollution they are causing, they said. They condemned the municipality authorities participation in the canals encroachment. The authorities have allowed these destructive activities in the name of different types of public and private development work, they said. We demand the immediate recovery of the canal from the grabbers, they added. Among others, Ahmed Nizam from the Stadium Land Protecting Committee, Mohammad Ali Chowdhury, former municipal mayor, Khan Mohammad Jahurul Haque, president of Rajbari Press Club, Comrade Abul Kalam, Dr Sunil Kumar Biswas, Mohsin Uddin Batu and Awami League leader Ali Hossen Poni addressed the participants of the human chain. Later, the protesters gave separate memorandums in this regard to the deputy commissioner and the police super of Rajbari. l

CPB leader found slaughtered

n Our correspondent, Noakhali
A local leader of the Communist Party of Bangladesh was found dead near Alaminbazar under the Subarnachar upazila in Noakhali on Sunday night. The deceased, Mohammad Mofizur Rahaman, 60, was the CPB secretary of the Sadar upazila unit and also a member of the District Secretariat body of the CPBs Noakhali unit. AKM Enamul Kabir, officer-incharge of Char Jabbar police station, said police recovered the body after being informed by the locals. Miscreants first slaughtered him and then cut the tendons of his hands and legs, the OC said, adding that his wife Monowara Begum identified the body. The body was sent to the Noakhali Medical College Hospital morgue for an autopsy. Monwara Begum said her husband left the house around 7pm after receiving a phone call. On hearing the news that a body was recovered by the Char Jabbar police, she rushed to the police station and found her husbands slaughtered body. She filed a case with the police station, accusing unknown persons. Mollah Habibur Rasul Mamun, member of the CPBs Noakhali unit, said Mofizur was a good and polite person, and claimed that it was a political killing. l

BNP-backed lawyers call to boycott court in Sherpur

n Our Correspondent, Sherpur
BNP-backed lawyers in Sherpur had called for a boycott of a court for an indefinite period of time, protesting the arrest of a lawyer. Court sources said Alamgir Kabir Kamrul, a pro-BNP lawyer, was arrested on Saturday night from the court premises on charges of pasting posters defaming Mohammad Selim Mia, the outgoing chief judicial magistrate of Sherpur. Protesting the arrest, BNPbacked lawyers brought black flags to the court premises on Sunday. Following an emergency meeting of the former and existing leaders of the District Lawyers Association, the agitators declared a boycott of the court for an indefinite period of time, demanding the release of the arrested lawyer. Confirming the incident, General Secretary of the Association Rafikul Islam Adhar expressed hopes that the issue would be resolved through discussions. When contacted, Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Selim Mia refused to comment on this issue, saying he was busy. l


Long Form

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wheres my money?
Bangladeshs foreign exchange policy regime needs to be more Asia-oriented

Bangladeshs international trade is mostly financed or invoiced in US dollars. Theres no rational basis for that, certainly not if you go by trade figures


n Nofel Wahid
he US only accounted for approximately 19% of Bangladeshs total exports in 2013. The rest went to other countries, mostly European Union economies that use the Euro. And when it comes to imports, Bangladeshs major import sources are China and India, as shown in the table. Given those facts, it is hard to justify why Bangladeshs international trade is mostly financed in USdollars. The use of the USdollar for international transactions rose with US preeminence after the Second World War, and changed little for decades. In that respect it is not too unlike English, which has remained the most widely-used international language, despite British global influence having long since waned. When it comes to international benchmarks, inertia matters. However, the times are changing. With Chinas economic re-emergence the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) is fast becoming an alternative trade currency. Last year, the RMB surpassed

Bangladeshs major trading partners Exports

Country name Market share (%)

Country name Market share (%)

1 2 3 4 5

US Germany UK France Spain

Source: CIA World Factbook

18.7 15.8 10.2 6.2 4.6

China India Malaysia South Korea Japan

21.7 16.3 5.2 4.5 4.1

the Euro to become the second most widely-used currency for international trade. Although the Chinese Government is currently promoting RMB invoicing with its key trading partners such as the US, the EU, Australia and a few others, we are not too far away from a future when the Chinese Governments attention will turn to South Asia, primarily India, but also Pakistan and Bangladesh. Dont be surprised if five years down the road the Chinese Government gives the Bangladeshi Government a quiet nudge to encourage local banks and businessmen to start invoicing trade with China in RMB, and not US dollars. If that happens, it will be to our benefit for two reasons. First of all, it will lower the cost of trade. Currently, a Bangladeshi importer pays a transaction fee to a local bank to buy US dollars, which is then used to pay the Chinese exporter. The Chinese exporter then pays another transaction fee to a Chinese bank to convert the USdollars into RMB for

everyday use. These transaction fees at both ends are a cost barrier to more trade between Bangladesh and China. Now imagine if the Bangladeshi importer could buy RMB from a local bank to pay the Chinese exporter. The Chinese exporter would no longer have to pay an extra transaction cost, which creates an incentive to trade more with Bangladesh compared to some other country where RMB invoicing does not happen. The same advantage would work for our exporters too. If Bangladeshi RMG exporters were paid in Taka by the Chinese importer, it would save costs, boost profits and would create an incentive to export more to China. Direct financing of international trade in other currencies would reduce the need for using the US dollar as an intermediary currency. It would reduce the emphasis that is currently placed on the US dollar-Taka exchange rate by BB, and make macroeconomic management less prone to policy coordination and timing errors. The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has an explicit policy of managing the US dollar exchange rate. Whether the focus is on landing the exchange rate at a certain level (say Tk70per US dollar) or managing the volatility of the Taka against the US dollar is a moot point. BBs key priority is essentially to ensure that the US dollar exchange rate doesnt cause headaches, either by appreciating too much and annoying exporters or by becoming too volatile and annoying everybody, exporters and importers alike. That has been the primary motivation behind BBs policy of buying USdollars over the past year or so, which has boosted our foreign exchange reserves to more than $18bn. It is not the only reason why foreign exchange reserves have spiked, but it is the primary policy driver behind that development. However, BBs US dollar-centric foreign exchange policy regime is not without its tradeoffs. Generally speaking, buying foreign exchange from the market (i.e. banks) boosts the monetary base and can lead to higher inflation. In our case, this may not have happened because demand fell due to the political turmoil we witnessed last year. However, the political turmoil also led to supply-side disruptions, which can also lead to higher inflation. How does that make sense! How can political turmoil lead to higher inflation on the one hand and dampen inflation on the other? Well, thats the economy for you. Its complex to say the least. One shock or event can lead to a chain reaction, and untangling each causeand-effect is not easy. It is not easy for any policymaking institution, and much less so for under-skilled developing economy institutions such as the BB. Timing and coordination errors in policymaking are common. BBs mismanagement of its bank loan provisioning policy is a case in point.

Over the past couple of years, BB had moved towards raising bad loan provisioning standards within local banks to international best practice. BB was slowly chipping away at it until a sudden reversal of policy late last year. In fact, BB had tightened loan provisioning standards as late as September last year, before reversing the course a couple of months later. The justification provided was that political turmoil had taken a toll on the economy and businessmen were finding it difficult to service their

ical economy balancing act that now requires them to ensure both exporters and importers are happy with the US dollar exchange rate level. The other significant benefit from having international trade financed in other currencies is that it makes capital account liberalisation easier. BB has slowly come around to undertaking reforms that will liberalise the financial sector and open up the capital account. However, one of the biggest impediments to timely reforms is

If Bangladeshi RMG exporters were paid in taka by the Chinese importer, it would save costs, boost profits and would create an incentive to export more to China
loans. Therefore, loan provisioning standards applied by banks had to be weakened. BB only realised that in December last year? Seriously! It demonstrates the kind of policy timing and coordination errors government institutions make. BB would probably respond to such criticism by saying that hindsight is 20-20 and they had to act, so better late than never. Fair enough. But what is even better is if you are able to create conditions that dont require policy interventions to begin with, and therefore, minimise the risk of policy mistakes. The simple fact is that the BB would not need to closely manage or target the US dollar exchange rate if most of Bangladeshs international trade was not financed in US dollars. It would enable them to avoid a complex politthe strongly-held fear within BB that opening up the capital account will lead to large flights of foreign capital (i.e. US dollars) from Bangladesh. This in turn would lead to higher US dollar exchange rate volatility and cause macroeconomic headaches. Net capital outflows from liberalisation may or may not be large, but US dollars outflows will not matter as much if import payments from China and India are financed in RMB and Rupees. Those two economies alone account for nearly 40% of total imports, and direct financing of trade in those currencies reduces the need to hold vast amounts of USdollars to cushion against balance of payment shocks. The currency mix of foreign exchange reserves may need to be diversified if more trade is financed in other currencies, but that has little to do

with the US dollar volatility argument for adopting a painfully slow approach to liberalising the capital account. Furthermore, initially allowing capital outflows in RMB to Hong Kong or Shanghai is another solution to liberalising the capital account without having any impact on the USdollar exchange rate. This would increase financial flows between Bangladesh and China and increase the liquidity of each currency in the respective economies. Ensuring greater market liquidity is an important hedge against volatility and reduces the need for holding large foreign currency reserves. It is somewhat bemusing to often hear the Bangladesh Bank cite the risk of making policy error when talking about capital account liberalisation. And yet, that does not appear to be a constraint when it comes to its foreign exchange rate policies, where defending a nearly-fixed US dollar exchange rate has led BB to pile up massive foreign exchange reserves and stoke inflationary risks. Overly restrictive capital controls have hampered the development of the Bangladeshi financial system, and is one of the main reasons behind double-digit interest rates. The private sector does not invest as much as it should; and why should they when the money needed to invest attracts a penalty rate of 15%. Not surprisingly, Bangladeshs GDP growth has stagnated at 6% per annum. Changing that story will require a whole raft of reforms. Not all of it falls on the shoulders of the Bangladesh Bank. But taking measures such as promoting the use of other currencies to finance international trade, allowing the US dollar to float more freely and liberalising the capital account lies squarely in the Bangladesh Banks court. l Nofel Wahid is an economist.

If international trade was financed by RMB or rupees, it would incentivise the neighbouring countries to trade among each other more and more SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Egypt Brotherhood chief among 683 sentenced to death

n AFP, Minya
An Egyptian court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 682 other alleged Islamists to death yesterday, a lawyer and prosecutor said, after two brief sessions the defence partly boycotted. The same court in the southern province of Minya also reversed 492 of 529 death sentences it passed in March, commuting most of those to life in prison. The court, presided over by judge Said Youssef Sabry, had sparked an international outcry with its initial sentencing last month amid an extensive crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The crackdown has reached secular leaning dissidents who supported Morsis overthrow but have since turned on the army-installed regime. In Cairo, a court banned the April 6 youth movement that spearheaded the 2011 revolt against strongman Hosni Mubarak, following a complaint accusing it of defaming Egypt and colluding with foreign parties. In Minya, the judge is to confirm the death sentences on June 21. Under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred to the top Islamic scholar for an advisory opinion before being ratified. A court may choose to commute the sentences, which can later be challenged at an appeals court. Of the 683 sentenced on Monday, only about 50 are in custody. The others have a right to a retrial if they hand themselves in. Mondays hearing lasted just 10 minutes, said Khaled Elkomy, a defence lawyer who was in court. The verdict was the first against Badie, spiritual head of Morsis Muslim Brotherhood, in the several trials he faces on various charges along with Morsi himself and other Brotherhood leaders. Several female relatives waiting outside the courtroom fainted on hearing news of the verdict. Where is the justice? others chanted. Some said family members had been unjustly convicted or put on trial. My son does not even pray, he does not even know where the mosque is, said one woman, whose son was among the 529 sentenced to death in March. Karima Fadl, the mother of a man whose death sentence was commuted, said: My son Khaled received a life sentence. It is not better than a death sentence. It is still an injustice. He did nothing wrong.

Egypt outlaws antiMubarak April 6 movement n Agencies

An Egyptian court has banned the activities of the April 6 youth movement, which played a key role in mobilising support for the revolution against Hosni Mubaraks rule, Aljazeera reported. The verdict, which included the freezing of the movements activities and confiscation of its headquarters, was issued by the Court for Urgent Matters on Monday which accused April 6 of espionage and tainting the states image, the state-run newspaper Al Ahram reported. Lawyer Ashraf Saeed filed the lawsuit, which he said was prompted by recordings aired on a private-run television channel, of members of the group allegedly plotting against Egypt. The movement had joined calls for the unseating of elected president Mohamed Morsi last year, given his reluctance to heed calls for political reforms. The April 6 movement supported the army-led overthrow of Morsi. However, it quickly turned against the military-installed regime amid an intensified crackdown against dissent, which led to the ruling against its founders Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel, who are accused of staging protests without securing the Interior Ministrys approval as stipulated by a law the government has issued. The two leaders now face jail sentences. The group has often faced accusations of receiving funds from abroad and plotting against the country. Members of the group have denied all these allegations. All of the groups activities are peaceful expression of opinion... The key goal of the movements activities is to object to any move made by the regime that could lead to sabotaging of the state, April 6 said on its Facebooks official account in response to the court ruling. April 6 is a vital part of this generations dream and voice. We will go on, and our activities, opinions and voices will be expressed as we please, the statement said. l

Breach of international law

An Egyptian woman mourns as policemen stand guard after a judge sentenced to death 683 alleged supporters of the countrys ousted Islamist president over acts of violence and the murder of policemen in the latest mass trial in the southern city of Minya, Egypt AP

Those sentenced on Monday were accused of involvement in the murder and attempted murder of policemen in Minya province on August 14, the day police killed hundreds of Morsi supporters in clashes in Cairo. Defence lawyers boycotted the last session, branding it farcical after the mass death sentencing which the United Nations denounced as a breach of international human rights law. Lawyer Elkomy claims 60 percent of the 529 defendants, including teachers and some doctors, have evidence that proves they were not present the day they were accused of attacking the Matay police station in Minya, said the Avaaz human rights group. The government has defended the courts handling of the first mass death sentences, insisting the sentences were passed only after careful study and were subject to appeal. Prosecutor Abdel Rahim Abdel Malek defended the charges against the 529. l

Badie: From shadows to centre stage

n AFP, Cairo
Mohammed Badie, supreme guide of Egypts Muslim Brotherhood who was sentenced to death yesterday, once advocated a low profile for the group but eventually embraced its move to mainstream politics. A court in the central city of Minya sentenced Badie and 682 other alleged Islamists to death for the murder and attempted murder of policemen after police broke up a sit-in on August 14 in Cairo of supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi. Badie was not brought to the court in the southern province of Minya for Mondays sentencing from the Cairo prison where he is being held. A slight, grey-bearded and bespectacled veterinary professor born in 1943, Badie was for years responsible for ideological education faces several trials amid a brutal government crackdown on the Islamist organisation and its supporters since the military overthrew Morsi in July. Badie has several times railed from the caged dock at the military-installed authorities, accusing the government of staging a coup detat by removing Morsi. For years, he had argued that the Brotherhood should focus on social issues and ideological outreach more than politics, but the 2011 uprising that ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak appeared to change his mind. Badie had been elected to head the movement in January 2010 after a bitter dispute between conservatives, who favoured an ideological focus, and reformists advocating a more active public role. Appointed for a six-year term, he became the groups eighth leader since its foundation in 1928. l

within the Brotherhood. The death verdict was the first against Badie, who along with Morsi

Pro-Russian rebels hold more than a dozen towns

n AFP, Kiev
Pro-Kremlin rebels who much of the West believe are backed by Moscow are holding more than a dozen towns and cities in east Ukraine. Here is a list of the locations where they are occupying public buildings. The places where the insurgents are most active are: Slavyansk: The epicentre of rebel activity and the scene of much of the reported violence and abductions. On April 12, pro-Russian gunmen seized the police building in this town of an estimated 120,000140,000 people, raiding its arsenal. Donetsk: This city of one million people is the regional centre for the Donetsk region, which includes Slavyansk, and is the heart of what rebels call their Donetsk Republic. Lugansk: This city of 465,000 inhabitants, which is also the regional heart of the Lugansk region, is proclaiming itself the core of a self-styled Lugansk Republic. Its SBU building was grabbed on April 6 by some 1,000 pro-Russian protesters. Kramatorsk: Just next to Slavyansk and 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Donetsk, this town of 160,000 inhabitants saw its town hall taken over April 12 during a rally by more than 1,000 pro-Russian demonstrators. On April 15, a bomb alert that turned out to be false cleared the building, but militants took over the nearby SBU building. On April 21, pro-Russian militants forcibly grabbed back the town hall. Other towns: l Gorlivka, with a population of 260,000, saw its police building seized on April 14. l Makiivka, close to Donetsk and with 360,000 inhabitants, had its town hall taken over April 13. l Artemivsk, population 78,000, had its town hall occupied by pro-Russian activists on April 12. l Yenakieve, population 85,000, saw the police and prosecutors offices taken over on April 13. l Khartsyzk, 60,000 inhabitants: Town hall seized on April 14. l Zhdanivka, 14,000 inhabitants: Town hall seized on April 14. l Kirovske, 28,000 inhabitants: Town hall seized on April 14. l Torez, 80,000 inhabitants: Town hall taken on April 15. l Kostyantynivka, 80,000 inhabitants: Town hall taken on April 28. l

East Ukraine mayor shot in the back n AFP, Kharkiv

The pro-Russian mayor of the town of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine was in critical condition yesterday after he was shot while riding his bicycle, local officials said. Gennady Kernes was hit by a bullet in the back during an attack by an unidentified gunman, a town hall official said. He is being operated on. Doctors are fighting for his life. Kernes was on his bicycle when the attack occurred, according to his entourage. The mayor is a colourful character, who has a criminal record for theft and fraud and is not known for tolerating dissent. He is under investigation on accusations of kidnapping and torture but has clung onto his post in Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million not far from the border with Russia. Kernes was known for a particularly robust crackdown on pro-Western demonstrations, banning any protests to avoid the spread of infectious diseases. Pro-Western activists were regularly assaulted. Some had their cars burnt while others were sprayed with a green liquid that is difficult to remove from the skin and impossible to remove from clothes. l

Syria bars refugees who fled via unofficial posts from voting
n AFP, Damascus
Syrians who fled their war-torn country via unofficial crossings will be barred from voting in next months presidential elections, the countrys electoral commission chief said yesterday. Syrians who left Syria illegally do not have the right to vote in host countries, Hisham Shaar was quoted as saying by pro-regime newspaper AlWatan on Monday. Some 88 percent of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon now home to more than a million people who fled Syrias brutal war entered the tiny Mediterranean country via official crossings, according to the UN. However, most of those who fled to Turkey and Iraq did not go through government-controlled crossings. Shaar said: Electoral law authorises Syrians who reside abroad legally to vote. Syrian territory is open to all Syrian citizens who wish to exercise their right to vote, especially those living in neighbouring countries. Syrias opposition and the West have slammed the June 3 vote as a farce and a parody. l

Assad to stand again for president

n AFP, Damascus
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has registered to run in next months presidential vote, which is expected to return him to power despite the grinding conflict, the parliament speaker announced yesterday. The election will be Syrias first multi-candidate presidential vote, after changes to the constitution, but it has already been criticised by the opposition and much of the international community as a farce. The government has not explained how it will hold the vote in a country gripped by a brutal war that has killed more than 150,000 people and left large swathes of territory beyond regime control. Speaking at a session of parliament, speaker Mohamed al-Lahham read a letter from Assad announcing his candidacy. I, citizen Bashar Hafez al-Assad, wish to present my candidacy for the post of president of the republic, the document said. A posting on the presidencys official Facebook page quoted Assad as calling on supporters of different candidates to express themselves through the ballot box. Those who wish to express their joy and support for any candidate for the presidency should do so in a responsible, patriotic way, first, and secondly, through the ballot box in a timely fashion, he said. I call on all Syrian citizens to refrain from firing in the air in joy, whatever the occasion might be, especially as Syria will be having its first election in modern history. l

S Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy Iraq attacks kill 27 as

n AP, Johannesburg
South Africas president urged voters to head to the polls next week in the spirit of democracy and freedom as he unveiled a large bronze bust of the countrys most famous anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in front of Parliament on Monday. May the spirit of Madiba also inspire all South Africans as they vote yet again on the 7th of May, President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town, referring to Mandela by his clan name and revealing a bronze sculpture on a granite plinth standing more than 2 meters (yards) high. South Africans are celebrating 20 years of democracy. Mandelas election in 1994 ended decades of white-racist rule and his example of forgiveness after 27 years in prison inspired millions around the world. Mandela died in December at the age of 95. The unveiling of this bust confirms that our Parliament, which was once a symbol of white domination, has now been transformed into a progressive institution that upholds the values of unity, equality, freedom and the digni-

security forces vote

n AFP, Baghdad
Attacks including a spate of suicide bombings killed 27 soldiers and policemen yesterday as they voted in Iraqs first election since US troops withdrew. The bombings in Baghdad and the north and west raise serious concerns about the security forces ability to protect people during Wednesdays general election, when more than 20 million Iraqis are eligible to vote. They come amid a protracted surge in violence and fears the country is edging towards all-out conflict. Seven attackers wearing suicide belts hit polling stations in Baghdad and cities north of the capital, while roadside bombs struck military convoys and targeted journalists covering the polling. At one voting centre in western Baghdad where a suicide bomber killed seven policemen, ambulances ferried off the wounded as soldiers cordoned off the street and ushered passers-by away, an AFP journalist said.

A bust of former South African President Nelson Mandela after its unveiling by dignitaries at the South African Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa AP ty of all South Africans, Zuma said. The celebration comes just over a week before South Africans head to the polls. The May 7 election is likely to see the ruling African National Congress return to power with a smaller majority than in past elections, reflecting discontent with the movement that led the fight against apartheid. South Africa boasts a widely admired constitution and an active civil society and the government has delivered housing, water and electricity to millions since 1994, but a wide gap between rich and poor overshadows the many achievements of the rainbow nation. l

Five members of the security forces were killed by another suicide bomber at a polling station in the citys north. Attacks elsewhere killed 15 members of the security forces, officials said. In the main northern city of Mosul, six Iraqi journalists were wounded as a bomb exploded while they were in a military vehicle to cover the vote. The blasts shattered an early morning calm as soldiers and policemen queued outside polling stations amid tight security, before leaving with the traditional purple ink-stained finger indicating they had voted. No group claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, but Sunni militant groups are typically blamed for suicide bombings and for trying to derail the political process. Government officials did not publicly comment on the attacks. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is seeking a third term with Iraqis frustrated over poor basic services, rampant corruption and high unemployment. l

At least 17 killed as tornadoes rip through Arkansas, Oklahoma n Reuters, Little Rock, Arkansas
Tornadoes ripped through the south-central United States on Sunday, killing at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma and wiping out entire neighborhoods, authorities said as rescue workers searched in darkness for survivors. Winds ripped houses off their foundations and flipped cars on top of the rubble in the small town of Vilonia in central Arkansas Faulkner county, one of the worst-hit communities, television pictures showed. Arkansas authorities said at least 10 people had died in Faulkner and six more across the state - the first reported fatalities of this years tornado season. Another person was killed in neighboring Oklahoma, said the sheriff s department. Searchers were continuing to dig through rubble in Vilonia and a spokesman for the County Sheriff s office said there was a mass casualty situation. l



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Video shows S Korea ferry captain escape sinking ship n AFP, Hong Kong
South Koreas coastguard yesterday released a video showing the trouserless captain of a sinking ferry scrambling to safety as hundreds remained trapped inside a move expected to intensify criticism of the crew over the disaster. The 10-minute video taken by rescue officials and aired on the YTN news channel shows 69-year-old captain Lee Joon-seok, wearing a sweater and underpants, hastily escaping from the bridge of the tilting ship before it sank on April 16. All 15 of the surviving crew responsible for sailing the huge ferry are in custody, facing charges including negligence and abandoning passengers. Victims families have bitterly criticised the official response to the disaster, saying delays in accessing the submerged ship may have robbed any survivors of their last chance to make it out alive. The video attracted caustic online comment. Look at the captain running out of the ship without his pants on. How pathetic. Cant believe he didnt think about all the children trapped there while he rushed so quickly to save his own life, said one user. l

Mystery of MH370: the main developments

3 Approximate
last position tracked by military radar at 02:15

How the hunt has led to the depth of the Indian Ocean

Malaysia Airlines MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew vanished after veering off course on March 8

Air search for MH370 called off

Not a single piece of confirmed debris from the Malaysian plane has been recovered since its disappearance on March 8 now looking to bring in new equipment it in eight months, Houston said, addn AP, Canberra, Australia that can search a larger patch of seabed ing that weather and technical issues
The aerial search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was called off yesterday, and the underwater hunt will be expanded to include a vast swath of ocean floor that may take at least eight months to thoroughly search, Australian officials said. Not a single piece of confirmed debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been recovered by a massive multinational hunt that began after it disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board. It is highly unlikely at this stage that we will find any aircraft debris on the ocean surface. By this stage, 52 days into the search, most material would have become waterlogged and sunk, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. Therefore, we are moving from the current phase to a phase which is focused on searching the ocean floor over a much larger area, he said. The US Navys Bluefin 21 robotic submarine has spent weeks scouring the initial search area for the plane in the remote Indian Ocean far off Australias west coast, but has found no trace of the missing aircraft. Officials are for the plane, Abbott said. The aerial search officially ended Monday, the search coordination center confirmed. Radar and satellite data show the jet veered far off course for unknown reasons during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Analyses indicate it would have run out of fuel in the remote section of ocean where the search has been focused. The unmanned sub has been creating a three-dimensional sonar map of the ocean floor for more than two weeks near where signals consistent with airplane black boxes were heard on April 8. The sub has searched a nearly 400-square kilometer (150-square mile) area. Crews will now begin searching the planes entire probable impact zone, an area 700 kilometers (430 miles) long and 80 kilometers (50 miles) wide, Abbott said. That will be a monumental task and one that will take time, warned Angus Houston, head of the search effort. If everything goes perfectly, I would say well be doing well if we do could prolong the search well beyond that estimate. Australian officials will be contacting private companies to bring in additional sonar mapping equipment that can be towed behind boats to search the expanded area at an estimated cost of $60 million, Abbott said. It could take officials several weeks to organize contracts for the new equipment and the Bluefin will continue to scour the seabed in the meantime, Abbott said. So far, each country involved in the search has been bearing its own costs. But Abbott said Australia would now seek contributions from other countries to help pay for the new equipment. Two weeks ago, Abbott said officials were very confident that a series of underwater signals picked up by sound-detecting equipment came from Flight 370s black boxes. On Monday, he maintained that he still had a considerable degree of confidence but opened up the possibility that the signals were yet another dead end in a search that has been peppered by them. l

Malaysian 2 with civilian radar at 01:30

Lost contact


4 The Malaysian PM on March 15 announced that the plane appears to have been flown deliberately for hours Satellite data suggested the last known possible position was somewhere along two radar arcs at 8:11 am 5 The Australia-led

1 Departed
Actual path of MH370 after 01:30 am March 8 is unknown The dotted line represents the best estimate based on various reports

Kuala Lumpur 00:41 am

Southern arc of the radar band that MH370 is calculated to have crossed

The northern arc stretched from Thailand to Kazakhstan

search in the Indian Ocean started on March 18


6 On March 24 the

Areas searched Signal detected by Ocean Shield (Australia) April 6 Possible black box signal detected by Hai Xun (China) April 5


Malaysian PM announced that MH370 was presumed crashed in the Indian Ocean Further analysis of satellite data had confirmed that the plane must have flown south


7 Australia shifted the

main search area north on March 28 after a new analysis of the speed of the plane in Malaysian air space

8 April 5 and 6
Detection of possible black box signals

9 April 14

Bluefin-21 robotic submarine begins sonar searches 4,500 m undersea

10 April 28

1000 km


Australia announces an intensified undersea search, says highly unlikely to find surface wreckage

Source: Malaysia Government/Australia Govt/Malaysia Airlines/JACC

Obama seeks to soothe China while boosting ties with Philippines n Reuters, Bangkok n AFP, Manila Thai opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva
President Barack Obama said yesterday he had no desire to contain or counter China despite clinching a defence pact with the Philippines which will inject US forces close to the volatileSouthChina Sea. In the Philippines on the final leg of an Asian tour, Obama directly addressed leaders in Beijing, telling them that maritime territorial disputes needed to be addressed peacefully, not with intimidation or coercion. Chinas claims to various islands, reefs and atolls in the South and East China Sea have been a constant theme of Obamas tour of countries which fear being squeezed by the giant nations emergence as a regional superpower. Obama faced a delicate task in Manila as he sought to reassure an ally concerned about an increasingly assertive China, but to avoid worsening tense Sino-US ties by antagonising leaders in Beijing. We welcome Chinas peaceful rise. We have a constructive relationship with China, Obama said at a press conference with Philippine President Benigno Aquino. Our goal is not to counter China. Our goal is not to contain China, Obama said, taking on suspicions in Beijing that his policy of rebalancing power towards the Asia-Pacific was tantamount to encirclement. The US leader said that Washington did not take a position on the sovereignty of disputed territories variously claimed by China, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam. l

Thai opposition leader meets military head

met the head of the armed forces yesterday to discuss ways to avert a showdown between rival political factions next month that threatens more bloodshed and economic damage. Former Prime Minister Abhisit, who met Armed Forces Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, has asked for two weeks to try to resolve the crisis peacefully. He supports what I want, which is to bring all sides together to find a way out for the country, Abhisit told reporters after a two-hour meeting with Thanasak. The commander underscored that political problems must be solved through political means. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced months of anti-government protests aimed at removing her and ridding the country of the influence of her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The protests are the latest phase of nearly a decade of confrontation between Thaksin and the Bangkok-based royalist establishment who see Thaksin, a populist former telecoms tycoon, as a threat to their interests. The protesters want an unelected peoples council to oversee reforms to tackle graft and end what they see as Thaksins money politics. l

Modis hands dripping with blood, says Trinamool Congress

n Agencies
A day after it declared Narendra Modi the butcher of Gujarat, Mamata Banerjee's party said that it is Mr Modi who owes an apology, NDTV reported. He has said that a painting by Mamata Banerjee sold for 1.86 crore. He has to apologise for that, said Mukul Roy, a top leader of the Trinamool Congress. He (Modi) violated all decency while speaking at a rally, Mr Roy added. Mr Modi, the BJPs prime ministerial candidate, was addressing an election meeting in Bengal on Sunday when he professed that Ms Banerjee has damaged Bengal more in 35 months than the Left did in 34 years. He also asked why a painting by Ms Banerjee, who was elected chief minister in 2011, had commanded an alleged price of 1.86 crores. Her paintings did not even sell for five lakhs, said Derek OBrien of the Trinamool, adding that the money raised from Ms Banerjees art was used to fund the partys electoral campaign. Each time he (Modi) puts up his hand, you know metaphorically, theres blood actually rolling down his hand, the blood of innocent children, he said in an unmitigated new attack on Mr Modi. Mr Modi did not name the businessman who bought that painting, but he was alluding to a controversial entrepreneur, Sudipta Sen, whose money marketing scheme collapsed, devastating lakhs of people. (Read: BJP hits back after Trinamool calls Modi 'butcher of Gujarat') Ms Banerjees party reacted to Mr Modis comment with a strong statement that labelled Mr Modi the butcher of Gujarat, referring to the riots in 2002 in which more than a thousand people were killed in communal violence in Mr Modis home state. A Supreme Court inquiry has said there is no evidence that Mr Modi, as chief minister, fuelled the riots. A court in Gujarat has upheld that report. l


Rachel Sussman, a Brooklyn photographer and conceptual artist, has spent a decade finding and documenting the oldest living things in the world. Here are some photos from the project with the Business Insider. The rest could be checked in her new book The Oldest Living Things In The World.

Pakistani serial killer wanted to teach gays a lesson n AFP, Lahore

Short in stature and softly spoken, Pakistani paramedic Muhammed Ejaz was probably destined for a life of relative anonymity until he began killing gay men he met online. The 28-year-old father-of-two was arrested last week and confessed to three brutal murders, saying he wanted to send a message about the evils of homosexuality, though police insist he had sex with his victims first. The killings have sent shockwaves through the underground gay community in the eastern city of Lahore, which fears Ejaz could be lionised as a hero in a conservative Islamic society where homosexuality is stigmatised and sodomy is punishable by up to 10 years in jail. In an interview with AFP from his prison cell Sunday night, Ejaz, who sported a neat trimmed beard and was kept shackled, expressed remorse over the killings but said he was acting to stop wrongdoing. My way was wrong. It is tragic that the families have lost their relatives but they were spreading evil in society and I had to stop it, said Ejaz, who is due to appear in court on Monday. I wanted to warn them to stay away from this evil. l 13,000-year-old underground baobab forest in Pretoria, South Africa 5,500-year-old Moss in Elephant Island, Antarctica

9,550-year-old Spruce tree is the worlds oldest single tree, in Sweden

100,000-year-old sea grass meadow is located in a UNESCO-protected waterway between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, near Spain.

2,000+ year-old llareta in the Atacama Desert, Chile




Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Letters to

the Editor

Modernise currency regulations

Shutting power plants daily for an hour

he finance minister has asked MPs for solutions to what he labels as the problem of money being siphoned out of the country. He is missing the bigger issue. Our basic laws on flows of capital are simply not fit for purpose. Currency regulations need to be modernised so that transactions which are perfectly legal in other countries are not considered money laundering in the first place. The law should differentiate between illegally earned money being sent abroad, and the freedom of citizens to spend their own money as they see fit. Our current currency controls are an affront to freedom and based on an outdated mindset, which believes that policy goals can be willed by bureaucratic fiat. It is the very rigidity of such current controls which actively encourages foreign exchange payments via informal channels, contrary to the very aims of anti-money laundering laws in the first place. It also unnecessarily increases scope for corruption. The government should not see it as its job to restrict people sending legitimately earned money abroad for legitimate reasons. Even countries such as India, which have shared the same outdated restrictive mindset as Bangladesh, now have more liberal exceptions that allow people to transfer money overseas for the purposes of education, health and investment. We should be bolder and have a free currency exchange regime so there is no incentive for people to hide their capital and income. Deregulating controls can help the economy by eliminating incentives for bypassing the law and attracting more capital for investment.

April 26 This decision, taken by the government and effective from April 20, seems utterly meaningless, ineffective, uneconomic and technically unjustified. Shutting any generating unit, even a small one (say 250KW), at the coolest time of night, will not cool it down to any appreciable level. If so desperately needed, why not shut down one unit at a time, say from 11pm to 6am, when power demand is lowest? This is a more realistic solution. Or take out one unit at a time, get its cooling system cleaned out, and put back overnight. That could be far more effective and rational. I have over 30 years of hands-on expertise in the operation and maintenance of industrial plants and their power supply units, but I have never seen or heard of such a crude and ineffective practice. Is something wrong with the ventilation system? If there is insufficient air flow in the generation room, housing may be a number of units, then it may be better to break the outer room walls (from outside) to increase cross ventilation, or fix air supply fans to the outside to increase air flow. Engr SA Mansoor

HC rule on English medium school fee

April 23 Nuzhat Zaman Great! :D But I wonder if it will actually be implemented. Sheikh Jinat Mahmid Right. The High Court issues thousands of rules, but the question is indeed about implementation.

The government should not restrict the freedom of citizens to spend their own money as they see fit

Completely fair
April 22 Ronnie Yet another polemic where the author seems to be breathlessly venting on an issue with a somewhat exaggerated frustration and fury. :) Darn, Ill reluctantly grant him that because I admit Im almost totally on the same page with him on this specific issue. Id only have liked to see a lot less of the many padded sentences, self-indulgent sarcasm and irritating repetitions, throughout. Everybody would have gotten the authors main message loud and clear in a piece no more than half as long. But yes, the ban brigade behave too much like a bunch of preachy hypocrites and economic Luddites. I dock the author many points for an awful choice of product placement, calling baloney like a Pran mango bar awesome is cringe-inducing. Lol. However, the allusion to allowing the invisible hand be a guide to consumer behaviour and the fate of products earns the author bonus points. The nod to the great Adam Smith is much appreciated. good bro Nice write-up, but dear please dont use such vocabulary again ... as it not easy to digest. :) Mahmudul Islam Why would anyone NOT buy a Pran mango bar, they are awesome - well, but are they hygienic? (an emo expressing sadness should be inserted here) Faruq Hasan Mahmudul Islam: My stomach is made of steel, so I can digest anything. :) Mahmudul Islam Faruq Hasan: I need to develop such a stomach, searching on Google if I can find any tips or guideline. How crazy is this? This article has become the most read piece today on the DT!!

Hundreds gather at Rana Plaza tragedy site

April 24 Elizabeth Ortiz When I read about what happened last year, it made me feel very sad. Over a thousand people lost their lives and thousands were injured. Their families and friends devastated. It hurts to read about this terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones, and those who were injured and are recovering. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. SM We pray to not to have such a day again, anywhere.

Large number of Liberation War-time ammo unearthed

Rinse and repeat

April 22

April 23 These should be moved to the Liberation War Museum. Rumi Ahmed

Cheering up the misery index

Fugstar Would be interesting if you related this to the crack down last year and the colonial donor matrix Madiha From my previous readings of this writers work, he does tend to focus on specific cases while leaving the door open for readers to draw parallels. This is both due to the sheer number of similar cases available worldwide and the pragmatic consideration of his and

his publications safety. Nonetheless, the comparison drawn by Fugstar is really interesting and one that shows that this piece is not just an indictment of the first world but a warning to our country too. Shabnaz An insightful look at an event that did not get much coverage in Bangladesh. Both interesting and terrifying to read, the possibilities it opens up for the rest of the world are disturbing.

he countrys ranking on the Cato Institutes Misery Index does not reveal any new facts. Being based solely on economic indicators, it misses factors such as literacy and inequalities, so reveals less than the human development and social indices on which Bangladesh scores relatively well for its economys size. The misery index is more useful when comparing economic management by different governments within the same country. However, it is too narrow to meaningfully compare different countries. Bangladeshs score of 20.8 is within a point of major economies such as Italy and Russia and is better than India and Pakistan. Its ranking of 31 is in the lower reaches of the 51 countries found with scores of 15 or above, out of the total 90 countries compared. Scores were calculated under a variant of the traditional misery index (sum of inflation plus unemployment) by subtracting the real percentage change in GDP per capita from the sum total of unemployment rate, bank lending rate, and inflation rates. Were it not for a GDP growth rate above the world average, the countrys ranking would be worse, due to the large number of people not in formal employment. In common with other SAARC nations in the report, high interest rates were the biggest contributor to the countrys score. The underlying figures are still important to note however. Bangladeshs score on this index still needs to be lowered. Finding a sustainable way to reduce borrowing rates will be key as this would create jobs and boost growth.

Write to us at: Dhaka Tribune FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath Sukrabad, Dhaka-1207 Email us at: Send us your Op-Ed articles: Visit our website: Come join our Facebook community:

Be Heard


Finding a sustainable way to reduce borrowing rates will be key to improve our score


ACROSS 1 Ooze (4) 4 Wanderer (5) 8 Incentive (6) 9 Consumer (4) 11 Supple (5) 12 Woody plant (4) 14 Droop (3) 15 Reluctant (6) 19 Quickly (mus) (6) 21 Help (3) 22 Legal document (4) 24 Perfect (5) 27 Notion (4) 29 Country (6) 30 Phantom (5) 31 Does wrong (4) DOWN 1 Former French coin (3) 2 Come forth (6) 3 Skin opening (4) 4 Nothing (3) 5 Sheeplike (5) 6 Encountered (3) 7 Judged (6) 10 Main actor (4) 13 Consume (3) 14 Season (6) 16 Solemn promise (3) 17 Attacker (6) 18 Location (4) 20 Flies upwards (5) 23 Starchy food (4) 25 Self (3) 26 Permit (3) 28 Donkey (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.




Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Killing without kindness

n Tim Steel
round five years ago, I experienced what is probably the closest to death I have ever come, when a PWV (Personal Water Vehicle) missed me by a hairs breadth off Laboni Beach at Coxs Bazar. I also committed the first, and only, assault I have ever done, punching the face of the idiot who was too busy showing off to his friends on the shore to notice me in the water ahead of him. When I confronted him as he landed, he grinned, and I could not resist punching his face to wipe that grin off. I dare say, it was my white skin that resulted in him being temporarily arrested, though never charged, rather than me for my assault. The killing of a swimmer in the water a couple of weeks ago, off the same beach at Coxs Bazar, together with the tragic loss of life off St Martins Island, like all such events since, brought the unpleasant memory of my near mortal danger and my own irrational reaction. Although now I am a resident of Coxs Bazar, where I am managing as a consultant for the development of a boutique, a beachfront resort committed to the highest levels of Western service and safety, including beach lifeguards who are trained and certified by Britains Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), I have now given up my 17-year-long enjoyment of both the beach and the water at Coxs Bazar. Coxs Bazar is still visibly in decline, attracting fewer visitors. Fortunately for those businesses, a few of those who do visit take no notice of the risks they run in the waters. But when Padma Bridge will finally be built, bringing Kuakata closer to Dhaka than the tedious journey to Coxs Bazar, the hotels and motels will certainly suffer. Fortunately, for those who have access to loans and other forms of black money, the damage to their pockets may not affect them much; but to the many denizens of the area who are dependent on tourism, the hit is likely to be substantial. Having played my own part over the past two years in persuading the RNLI to make the training of lifeguards in Coxs Bazar one of their special development works, I am glad that 30 or 40 such qualified lifeguards are now certified. However, the expectations of earnings by the certified youths of the area are certainly beyond the pockets of most hoteliers and moteliers, and it seems unlikely that, without local administration intervention, such an initiative will be sustainable. edge, and between the sun loungers and the water. Their noisy engines and smelly exhaust fumes are unpleasant, but since I have witnessed so many near misses of legs of holiday makers, I take leave to doubt that no accidents have been attributed to them.

Many innocent visitors stand at risk also from the weight of their own unsuitable clothing

Migrants deserve humane provisions in all countries


Dont let migrants down

n Nikhil Seth
he quest for a life of dignity for all present and future generations, is not easy. Ending grinding poverty is undoubtedly the highest priority. But ending poverty irreversibly and reducing risks of future setbacks, implies actions which are both people and planet-centred. Shared prosperity, reduced risk of environmental catastrophe and social cohesion cannot be pursued in silos. Integrated responses hold the key to success. At the international level, largely through the UN family, the discourse on development has matured. The adjective sustainable is now routinely added before the word development. Adding this little adjective brings in the complexities I mention the longer time horizon, people, our planet earth, and the search for integrated solutions. It is this search for an intelligent comprehensive framework that is pre-occupying the UN and its member states, civil society and the private sector, scientists, and academia. Recent experience has shown the fragility of progress in moving people out of extreme poverty as well as the fragility of our planet. Gains can easily be reversed and many recent examples illustrate this vulnerability: Political, ethnic, and social strife, financial / economic crises, volatility in the prices of food and energy, serious health events at the level of the family and the community, increased intensity of disasters especially extreme water events, slow onset events like climate change, drought, and desertification. A meaningful development agenda has to reduce risks, mitigate impacts of shocks, whether natural or man-made, and focus equally on prevention and

on resilience of economies, societies, and ecosystems in order to help people move out and remain out of poverty. How will the new approaches to sustainable development define our actions? Let me quote Gandhiji: Recall the face of the poorest and weakest person you may have seen is the step you contemplate going to be of any use to him will it restore him control over his own life and destiny?

The negative forces are political, economic, social, and environmental. They are crucially linked to what President Roosevelt had called the four freedoms including freedom from want and from fear. It is the integrated vision of development that we are striving to achieve, with a comprehensive vision which looks at priorities in a cohesive way rather than in silos. It is the hope that

While migration presents many opportunities, it also remains a considerable governance challenge at all levels

Think of the poorest person you have ever met and the forces operating to prevent this persons escaping the clutches of poverty. No job, no education, no skills, ill health, hunger and malnutrition, social exclusion, inequality, and discrimination are all self-evident. These were targeted by the MDGs. But there are numerous other forces including the physical and social environment around this individual pollution, lack of hygiene, threat to life and limb, civil strife and threat of violence, violation of human rights, lack of recourse to justice, lack of mobility, lack of opportunity in a stagnant economy. In sometimes imperceptible ways, the natural environment, through climate change, increased risk and intensity of disasters, bio-diversity loss, pollution oceans in crisis, is also acting on this individual.

the adoption of an ambitious post-2015 development agenda will catalyse actions for our people and our planet. This comprehensive vision needs to be informed by trends shaping our world. Looking into the next 15-30 years, four mega trends are clear: Our plant will continue to warm with the risks dependent on the magnitude of our response, which will pose severe impacts on economies, our societies, and the environment. Our population will continue to grow to 9 billion with the bulk of the increase in the developing world and contraction elsewhere. Urbanisation will be a defining trend with 60% to 70% of our world living in cities. The number of international migrants is expected to rise from 232 million today to 405 million migrants in 2050. Migration will also continue to rise from the desire of human beings to

find economic opportunity, escape human insecurity, and in response to changing environmental conditions. To look into a future sustainable development agenda without considering migration would be short-sighted, incomplete, and counterproductive. The broad vision for the sustainable future we want has the following core elements: Universal applicability, with actions differentiated by the capacities, means, and national priorities, promotes integrated vision of the deeply intertwined economic, social, and environmental challenges we face, people-centred, inclusive, and just with respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all. While migration presents many opportunities, it also remains a considerable governance challenge at all levels. We are now entering into a critical phase in the shaping of the post-2015 agenda. Our challenge is now to discuss and find out how migration can become an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals with giving emphasis on migrants rights for safe and legal migration and reducing costs of transferring remittances. The challenge is to make these targets more specific and weave them subsequently into national, regional, and global actions. We must make sure that the contribution of migration to global prosperity is recognised and the rights of migrants are respected. Humane provisions for managing migration flows must be ensured in all countries and through international cooperation. The migrants and their families deserve this. We should not let them down. l Nikhil Seth is Director of the Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.

The myths Modi weaves

n Faruque Hasan
few days after the Gujarat Communal Riots in 2002 had taken place, I, along with a friend of mine, visited Ahmadebad the textile city of that state, and one of the worst affected places in that pogrom. Our host was a Gujarati Jain. The principle of non-violenceis the most distinctive and well-known aspect ofJainism practice. Theunderstanding of non-violence in this religionis more radical and comprehensive than even in Buddhism. When I asked our Gujarati Jain host about the communal riots in which more than 2,000 human beings, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists, lost their lives, and more than 2,500 were injured, he said: We have not seen anything. In the morning we heard something had happened here or there last night, but no trace was there in the morning. His answer got me so dumbfounded that I could not ask him another question about the pogrom. Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2002, and he still is. The special investigation team, whose mandate was approved by Indias Supreme Court, has absolved Modi on charges of conspiracy in the riots in his state. Whether or not Modi failed to follow the Raj Dharma when the riots took place, the allegation of his involvement in the riots, though not proven, has made him a great hero among Hindu nationalists across India. According to the Raj Dharma, a ruler must not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, or culture. Did Modi discriminate when the riots took place? Not proven officially. Till now, being a constitutionally secular India, the number of Hindu nationalists has been increasing day by day and very fast. In Muslim majority Pakistan, Muslim nationalism is the foundation stone of that country. Indias Muslim minority wants the country to remain a secular one, but very soon, the Hindu nationalism in India will grow, nudging secularism behind, as strong as the Muslim nationalism is in Pakistan, eliminating the difference between the two countries in terms of bigotry. Nadu. This state is also better placed in terms of infant mortality rate, at 21 per 1,000 against Gujarats 38 per 1,000. maternal mortality rate in Gujarat accounts for 122 against Tamil Nadus 90. Jayalalithas state ranks third in terms of gross state domestic product, two places ahead of Gujarat. The number of industries in Tamil Nadu outweighs that of Gujarat. In Tamil Nadu, the food grains production touched 10.15 million tonnes in 2011-12, while Gujarat produced only 8.87 million tonnes that year. This comparison between the economic and social performances of the two Indian states clearly shows that Gujarats (development) model, which is dubbed the Modi Model by his supporters, is a myth successfully created by the well-orchestrated propaganda machine, which belongs to Modi. At the end of the day, does everything go Modis way? After the Gujarat riots, the media relentlessly maligned Modi and that ultimately made him a household name in the country, and now a section of the same media has created the Modi wave. Modi abandoned his wife a few days after their marriage. In the last 45 years, he has neither recognised her nor divorced her. In Hinduism, a marriage is eternal; being a devout Hindu, how could he divorce her? But he ruined the life of a human being, his wife. His walking away from his wife has also turned into a plus point for him. His supporters are now comparing him to Gautama Buddha, who also left his wife and son for the sake of society. Modis supporters not only compare him with Buddha, they have elevated him to the stature of Shiva to exploit religious sentiment of the common people to win the elections. The slogan Har Har Modi used by BJP workers means Modi is Mahadeva (Shiva). According to Hinduism, har is the root word for destruction while Shiva is hara, because he carries away or destroys the samsara, or the sins of man. It is encouraging that Modi is now trying to distance himself from his religious extremist supporters. The supporters who are making provocative suggestions like those who do not support Modi must go to Pakistan. He has called them irresponsible and told them to stop through Twitter messages. It may be a part of his election strategy, or it is from his own realisation that the prime minister of India, the largest democracy in the world and a multicreed country, cannot afford to be an overtly biased individual. The founding father of India, Mahatma Gandhi, was a devout Hindu in his personal life but a secular man in his political life. Intolerant Muslim nationalists have gripped Pakistan for a while. In the present, Hindu nationalists are gradually but firmly gaining ground in India like Muslim nationalists in Bangladesh. This is of great concern for the liberal minds, not only of this subcontinent. The whole world is turning into a hotbed for bigots. l Faruque Hasan is a freelance contributor.

Many lifeguards represent more of an obstruction to pleasure than a safety precaution

At the very least, the wearing of suitable bathing clothing should be made acceptable. Many innocent visitors stand at risk, not only from the motor vehicles in the water, but also from the weight of their own unsuitable clothing when losing footing in an underwater trench or pothole, or when overwhelmed by a wave. My own long-term enjoyment of the beach, especially at sunset, has also been diminished by another threat: ATVs. They are permitted to ply the length of the beach and mingle, freely, with what they regard as their primary potential market, close to the waters

Many, if not most, of the mobile phone-sponsored lifeguards on the beach, low paid and poorly supervised, represent more of an obstruction to pleasure than a safety precaution. They seem to be unaware of what actually represents a hazard to swimmers in terms of current and sea bed, noisily using their whistles to little effect; the effect being diminished by the habitual use of the vendors of death drawing attention to their speedboats and PWVs with whistles, enhancing a general air of confusion. In most countries with a tourism industry, areas for swimmers are protected, often by well-anchored, buoyed rope enclosures well beyond the low tide mark. Surfing areas also need protection from motor vehicles as much as swimmers need protection from them. Often, corridors are outlined for watercraft with engines, forcing them further away from both swimmers and surfers. Such informed attention can, of course, only help in major resort beaches. Ad hoc swimming, which the tragedy at St Martins Island apparently involved, requires more education in general. Bangladesh already has one of the highest rates of juvenile death by drowning in the world. Organisations such as CIPRB, so limited in resources and mainly focused on younger children in village communities, can only scratch the surface of the problem. There needs to be a concerted effort in schools, universities, and madrassas, promoting education on water safety, addressing subjects such as seabed layouts and tidal flows and currents. Rather than debating over this issue, when disasters occur, the media too could promote awareness about water safety in a nation that is nothing if not water-orientated. I, now a denizen of Coxs Bazar myself, take leave, in the wake of the South Korean ferry horror, to warn that the habitual overloading of ferries to St Martins Island is, like the continuing mixing of bathers and moored craft in the sea and the beach, with holiday makers on an uncontrolled basis, another accident waiting to happen. The commercial aims of tourism businesses around the country need, for their own sake, to begin to pay attention to the comfort and safety of the services they sell. Otherwise, there must come a time when travellers will seek safer places to relax and enjoy the benefits of the time out they save and pay for, returning home safe and sound rather than in coffins or from hospital beds. Such businesses offer pleasure, but all too often provide pain. They are kind neither to their customers nor, in the long term, to themselves. They are in danger of killing their own businesses. l Tim Steel is a communications, marketing, and tourism consultant.

Hindu nationalists are gradually but firmly gaining ground in India

The Indian big business houses are supporting Modi overtly for his economic success in Gujarat. In terms of economic success, is he really the most successful chief minister in India? The stark statistics do not say so. The Indian state of Tamil Nadu, under its chief minister Jayalalithas leadership, is ahead of Gujarat in various indicators including social indices and industry. The percentage of people below the poverty rate is 16.9% in Gujarat while it is 11.3% in Tamil




Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits Dhaka on US release day

Riaz and Kusum grace judge panel of Handsome: The Ultimate Man
n Entertainment Desk
The second season of Handsome: The Ultimate Man will air on Channel i from June. The audience will enjoy the expertise of the superstars of Bangladesh film industry Riaz and Kusum Sikder as they will join the judging panel of the show. A press conference was held at The Westin yesterday announcing the details of the programme where the show claimed to be the first of its kind in the history of Bangladesh. Men aged between 18 and 30 can register through the website or Facebook page www.facebook. com/theultimatemen. The registration will end on May 25. After conducting audition in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna, 20 finalists will be selected to compete for the championship and win the title of the ultimate man. Participants will have to prove themselves by going through a grueling elimination process where they have to go through taxing physical challenges and other activities including acting and modeling. l

A scene from Jononi

Jononi, tragic story of a Birangana

n Shadma Malik
Promising TV actor Joyeeta will be seen as a Birangana in a film titled Jononi that portrays the story of a brave woman who was brutally raped and tortured by the Pakistani Army in the 1971 Liberation War. Written and directed by Rowshan Ara Nipa, the cast of the 42 minute short film also includes Pritom Ahmed, Shah Jahan Shomrat, Mostagisur Rahman Babu and many others. Nipa, who earlier made a few documentaries and a travel show for a satellite channel is experimenting with a fiction in the plot of Jononi. The film is about Monira, a teacher of Dhaka University, and her friend Shahed. Moniras father is a retired teacher and a follower of Sheikh Mujibur Rahmans ideology. On the historic night of March 25, 1971, when the Pakistani army launched a crackdown, her parents get killed. Led by army officer Khurshid, a troupe turns Moniras house into their camp and constantly tortures her. She becomes a source of the troupes unholy pleasure. At one point, Khurshid makes Monira pregnant. But, she decides that her baby would not see the light of the world and stops eating in the hope that she would miscarry. On the other hand, Khurshid wants the baby to be born since it holds the inheritance of Pakistan. Dealing with Monira spirited nature, Khurshid falls in love with her. He starts to protect her from being exploited by rest of the troupe. But alas, he fails to impress her and Monira continues showing reluctance and hatred towards him. Again the beast inside him wakes up and Khurshid begins to torture her more brutally. For Monira, her room becomes a dark battle ground. Despite being exploited everyday, she makes sure that her dignity and pride of being a Bangladeshi woman remains intact. Nipa, who is also the writer of the film claims the character to be a reflection of the sacrifice of the Biranganas. We are almost done with the post production and is all set to premiere the film on May 23 at the National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. We are preparing to screen the film in numerous public universities and college as well. About the plot of the film, Nipa said: In any war, women are the most vulnerable ones as their dignity is compromised. It was same in the case of our Liberation War when the women were exploited the most and considered less of a human being. Rather portraying them as victims, the film showcases Biranganas as the spirit of the country which was the target of the Pakistani army to destroy. I went through a lot of studies about Biranganas and then wrote the fiction. I believe people wouldnt raise question about the authenticity of the plot and the story after watching my film, she added. Talking about the protagonist Joyeeta, the director said: My script demanded a brilliant actor. It did not require any glamour, but a good understanding about the significance of her character and sensitivity of the subject. I would say, Joyeeta did justice to the role of Monira and I am overwhelmed with her acting skills. l

n Enteratinment Desk
Movie lovers of the country will be delighted to know that the much anticipated superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will hit the Star Cineplex on May 2. This is the first time an international film is releasing in Bangladesh on the same day of its US release. The latest Marvel superhero film features Andrew Garefield as Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen while Marc Webb directed the film. The sequel of The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) portrays the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But this time around, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. For him, theres no feeling like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen. But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only he can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro played by Jamie Foxx, Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he expected. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn played by Dane DeHaan, returns, Peter comes to realise that all of his enemies have one thing in common. The superhero flick is already sticking with moviegoers overseas. Since launching in a handful of international markets this month, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had collected an impressive $132m, according to an estimate from distributor Sony Pictures. The movie is currently playing in roughly 40 foreign markets, performing best in the Britain, Mexico and South Korea. l

Germany A Sporting Nation Time: 11am 6pm Goethe Institut Bangladesh Road 9(new), House 10 Dhanmondi Bonded Stitches & Struggle Time: 3pm 8pm Drik Gallery House 58 Road 15A (New) Dhanmondi


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D & 2D) Jonakir Alo Boishommo The Legend of Hercules 3D Avatar in 3D

Frozen in 3D Enders Game Time: 10am 10pm Star Cineplex, Level 8 Bashundhara City 13/3 Ka Panthopath

Colourful dance recitals mark International Dance Day

n Entertainment Desk
With the theme Chitto Momo Bikoshito Houk Nrityer Taal-e Taal-e, Bangladesh Nritya Shilpi Sangstha (BNSS) and BSA have jointly arranged various programmes to mark the International Dance Day on April 29. The celebration will commence with a welcoming dance recital Mangal Nritya at 9am at the Central Shaheed Minar premises of the capital. Afterwards, a colourful rally will march through several streets and end at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Following the rally, a seminar titled Nritye Tomar Muktir Roop will be held at the Music and Dance Centre auditorium of BSA at 11am and a keynote paper will be presented by Benzir Salam and Warda Rihab. A grand celebration programme featuring dance recitals by noted artistes like Shamim Ara Nipa and Shibli Ahmed will take place at the National Theatre Hall of BSA at 6:30pm. Sharmin Hossain, the president of Nritya Shilpi Sangstha, Chittagong will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award for her contribution towards the dispersion of dance in the region. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor will attend the event as chief guest. Earlier, a weeklong programme marking the International Dance Day set off on April 23. The Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) Liaquat Ali Lucky inaugurated the event at the Music and Dance Centre premises of BSA where the organisers also felicitated Dr Enamul Haque. l

George Clooney gets engaged to glamorous British barrister

Beyonce leads Time's 100 most influential people

n Entertainment Desk
Singer Beyonce has been selected as the cover star for Time magazines special 100 most influential people issue. She was profiled by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, who said the 32-year-old doesnt just sit at the table. She builds a better one. Beyonce was credited with having shattered music-industry rules and sales records when she released her surprise album in December last year. Sandberg, who shared her own perspective on women in the workplace in her book Lean In last year, championed Beyonce as The Boss. She raises her voice both on and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead, she wrote. Beyonces career has gone from strength to strength since her days in Destinys Child. It has taken in film roles and a fashion line, alongside sold out world tours such as last years Mrs Carter Show. l

Konkona and Indraneil pair up

n Entertainment Desk
Two popular actors of Indian Bangla cinema, Konkona Sen Sharma and Indraneil Sengupta, are preparing to star in a brand new Byomkesh Bakshi film titled Sajarur Kanta directed by Saibal Mitra. In the thriller, Dhritiman Chatterjee will be seen donning the gloves of the sleuth, who tries to solve a murder mystery. Indraneil, portraying the role of a fastidious businessman who falls prey to the murder plot, said: A film is all about a script and Saibal has a very classical way of film making. More stylised with string camera and long shots. In addition, the actor said that he read the whole Byomkesh series and from that he can claim it is more of an adaptation of contemporary times. The actor says he decided to do Sajarur Kanta as he wanted to be part of a good project. On sharing screen space with Konkona, Indraneil said, Being a wonderful actor, she doesnt need any certificate from me. The director of the film, Saibal Mitra, said Konkonas Deepa in the film is a vital cog in the crime thriller with a romantic angle. Actor Dhritiman Chatterjee of Satyajit Rays Pratidwandi fame, enacts the 60-plus Byomkesh Bakshi in the film, which is set in present day Kolkata. l

n Entertainment Desk
George Clooney is engaged to an utterly wonderful human-rights lawyer who brings a bright light to everything she is involved in, according to colleagues at her chambers. The praise came as it was confirmed that the actor dubbed the worlds most eligible bachelor is to marry 36-year-old barrister Amal Alamuddin, recently voted Londons hottest female lawyer. Alamuddin was spotted last week sporting a huge ring on her engagement finger during a meal with model Cindy Crawford and actor Ed Norton at Malibus Nobu restaurant. A source close to the couple described reports of the engagement as not nonsense. Alamuddin made her first public appearance with the star only in February, and has kept a low profile throughout their brief relationship,

which is believed to have begun last summer. As recently as December, Clooney, 52, a divorcee who was married to actor Talia Balsam for four years 20 years ago, claimed he had no aspirations to wed again. But now Miss Alamuddin, who is from a wealthy Lebanese family and is described by colleagues as beautiful and fiercely intelligent, has apparently engendered a change of heart. Alamuddin was said to be showing the ring off to Miss Crawford, whose husband, Rande Gerber, is Clooneys business partner. A day earlier, diners at Craigs, another restaurant in Los Angeles, claimed the couple seemed to be celebrating their engagement with other friends. Numerous, although unnamed, sources told media in the United States that the pair were engaged and, while they had not yet set a wedding date, they plan to be together forever. l

Did you know?

Newcastle United have scored just 10 Premier League goals in 2014, fewer than any other side


Tuesday, April 29, 2014



14 Emotional Barca

battle back against Villarreal

15 Three-in-a-row

for Sharapova in Stuttgart

15 Nishikori eases

to Barcelona Open title

Jurgensen quits and fumes at cricket board

Bangladesh national Cricket teams head coach Shane Jurgensen resigned via email yesterday. In the email he stated that he would quit following the ODI series against India in June. Jurgensen also clarified the reasons behind his resignation and said that some statements made by a few board directors regarding changing the coach upset him. The chairman of the BCB Cricket Operations Akram Khan confirmed the news after Dhaka Tribune broke the story of Jurgensens resignation before the emergency meeting of the BCB yesterday. I got the letter just before the start of the meeting where I received his resignation letter but our board president was not present at the meeting. So we could not take any decision, said Akram When Akram was asked the reasons behind Jurgensens resignation, the former captain said some of the board directors gave statements to the media Its normal to raise these questions after a team performs badly. We faced the same difficulties when we used to play. But so far no decision has been made officially. We never expected to receive such thing, he said. However, Akram added that being in responsible positions, the directors should not have made such statement where only the board president can discuss the issues and take decisions. Meanwhile, the current coaching staff may also feel insecure after the chairman of the Cricket Operations had meetings with Wasim Akram and Shane Warne apparently with a view to hiring them. In the email, Jurgensen was critical of the current environment in the BCB with regard to his position in the team. Thus the 38-year-old decided to move on as he considered this the best thing to do for the team and his coaching career. Jurgensens resignation came two days after he had showed concern in the media with some BCB directors seeking a new man with international experience to take charge of the team ahead of the World Cup 2015 as the repercussions after Bangladeshs woeful World T20 campaign still linger on. Rumors of a change in the position of Bangladesh teams head coach began last month when BCB president Nazmul Hassan said he foresaw many changes in the national team. However, he was not specific. The BCB boss made this statement the day after Bangladesh lost to the West Indies in the Super 10s of the World Twenty20. There were three further losses which fueled the notion that it would be the coaches who would have their contracts cut short. The situation is not ideal and I am considering my own position at the moment, Jurgensen said to the media two days ago. However, I feel I have been subject to this situation ever since I have been given the honor of being the head coach. Having not played Test cricket, I knew I

regarding a change in the head coachs post which may have hurt the 38-yearold as he made an emotional decision. He might have seen in the media

that some of the board directors are not in favor of the Australian to remain the head coach. This can be the reason of his decision but we never talked officially.

had to prove myself as a team coach and success along with that was important, he added. I have had to work extremely hard and adapt to the conditions and circumstances given to us at times. I would like to think that this has been a huge positivity for all players, support staffs and myself involved that we have had success despite the circumstances. Jurgensen became full-time coach in February 2013 after doing the interim job quite successfully for one series against West Indies in 2012. He was given a twoyear contract, till the 2015 World Cup alongside batting and fielding coach Corey Richards, trainer David Dwyer and physio Vibhav Singh. His resignation is the second in the Bangladesh national dressing room following that of trainer David Dwyer. Dwyer stepped down from his position after 14 months on the job and asked for immediate release while Richard McInnes, the head coach of BCB National Academy, also resigned recently. l

Narrow but a big win for Abahani

Abahani Limited closed the gap with leader Sheikh Jamal to three points after they earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Muktijoddha SKC in a Nitol Tata Bangladesh Premier League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. A 28th minute strike by Portuguese forward Leonildo Soares was enough for the Sky Blues to register their seventh victory in the league this season, thanks also to Muktijoddhas misfiring forwards who squandered four chances in the opening half alone. The result, however, gives the title race a new twist as Abahani are now just three points behind the leaders with 25 points after 12 matches. Interestingly, Muktijoddha could have moved to third place if they had won but the loss now puts them behind Mohammedan with 18 points. Abahanis second-phase signing Soares has looked out of sorts since his bright debut in the Independence Cup where the Portuguese forward scored a brace against Sheikh Jamal. But his spirited performance yesterday proved that it wasnt a fluke. The All Reds, on the other hand, were unlucky not to score a single goal in the first half because of their top striker Nkwocha Kingsleys uncharacteristically wasteful performance on the pitch although Nkwocha is still leading the top scorers chart in the league with 8 goals. With seven minutes into the game, Imtiaz Sultan Jitu curled in an inviting cross from the left flank that found the unmarked Nkwocha Kingsley in the middle of the box. But the Nigerian strikers header flew over the bar. Nkwocha squandered another opportunity three minutes later and again the tall Nigerian headed over the bar following a headed-pass from his compatriot, Sunday Chizuba. In the 17th minute, Sunday entered into the box to receive a long ball from Md Ibrahim but failed to control at the last moment. However, it was the Sky Blues who broke the deadlock in the 28th minute after a brilliant work by Leonildo Soares and Shahedul Alam Shahed. Shahed provided a lovely through pass from almost the halfway line for Soares who had already made a cut inside the right of the penalty area before slotting home past keeper Rasel Mahmud Liton at the far post. For Jamal, Nkwocha had his third chance in the 42nd minute but this time Abahani keeper Sohel was there to deny him from equalizing. After receiving a through pass from Jitu, Nkwocha entered the box and saw his right-footed shot blocked by Sohel. Osei Morrison wasted a golden opportunity to double the lead for Abahani in the 70th minute. After being fed by Soares, the Ghanaian striker outpaced his marker with an overlapping run and rounded off Muktis keeper Liton but then shot wide inexplicably with an empty net at his mercy. The All Reds had one final chance when Sundays shot from the middle of the box was not blocked by a defender in the injury time. Moments later, Liton made a diving save to deny Soares scoring his second. l

Abahanis Portuguese forward Leonildo Suares shoots to score the winner against Muktijoddha at the BNS yesterday


Coaches blame each other

Abahanis Irani coach Ali Akabar Pourmoslemi slammed Muktijoddha for being too much physical and termed the match against Muktijoddha dangerous after his sides 1-0 win in the Nitol-Tata Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. His counterpart Shafikul Islam Manik, however, admitted that his forwards let him down. Manik also added that Abahanis negative approach aided by the referee cost Muktijoddha the match. Ali Akbar said that he had no alternative apart from being defensive. I had three players injured in the field. As Muktijoddha played a physical game, it was a dangerous game. I was amazed that the referee did not punish the players. This is not good for football, said Ali Akbar. Abahanis Portuguese forward Leonildo Suares also echoed the same. It felt like we were in a fight. They were always pushing and charging and it hampered the normal game, said Suares. Manik, however, did not approve of his counterparts allegation. I feel ashamed to see that a team like Abahani plays defensive. Moreover, the referee assisted them as he allowed all the players to get treated inside the field when Abahani players were intentionally wasting the time. According to my stopwatch, only 30 minutes of the stipulated 45 minutes of the first half was played. However, I admit that my two best scorers wasted two easy chances and I dont have any answer about them, said Manik. l

BCB forms committee for media rights

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), in an emergency meeting held yesterday, formed a five-member committee to deal with the tender of the worldwide media broadcast rights. The committee will be led by its convener, BCB director Kazi Inam Ahmed. BCB directors Afzalur Rahman Sinha, Mahbub Anam, I.H. Mollick and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud are the other members of the committee. In a bid to find a good deal, BCB floated the international tender for new worldwide media broadcast rights on April 24 for the next six years till May 2020. The interested parties can drop tenders from April 28 to May 5. This will be followed by an open auction on May 12 after the scrutinization of documents of the tenders received which is scheduled to be held on May 8. Earlier, the BCB signed a US$ 56.88 million deal with Nimbus Sports International in 2006 but this was followed by blunders from the inexperienced board. The unpleasant Nimbus-BCB relationship ended in 2012 with the latter filing a case to realize US$ 20 million. However, BCB has relaxed the rules this time around in order to allow the local TV channels to participate in the bidding. A local broadcaster with a years experience in the business can take part in the bidding to win the rights. We expect a good deal by selling the worldwide media rights this time. Well look at other documents before finalizing the deal. Well look into the bidders financial guarantee which is important for the deal, said Kazi Inam Ahmed, also the chairman of the BCB marketing and commercial committee. Team Bangladesh will play a total of around 90 matches including 31 Tests, 43 to 47 ODIs and 14 T20s till May 2020. l

National School Hockey final today

Al Hikmah Muslim Academy, Rajshahi and Municipal Preparatory School, Jessore will lock horns in the final of the First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium at 4:00 pm today. It promises to be a battle of experience against sheer raw talents as Al Hikmah has won a title in a regional hockey tournament before while their opponent, Municipal Preparatory School, will be playing in their first ever final. Al Hikmah manager Azeruddin Sarker hoped his team would continue the successful run through their unbending team effort. We have won a title earlier and we want to win the national title now. The boy are in good spirit and will put their best to be the national champion said Azer. Jashimuddin, who is a premier division hockey player and also the Municipal Preparatory coach, thought his players were charged up and relishing the challenge. They have been practicing hard and did not stop the practice even during the unexpected break. Whole of Jessore is behind us and we want to burnish the face of Jessore with the title, said Jashim. both the teams. The champions will receive a prize money of Tk. 100000.00 and the runner-up will get Tk. 50000.00. The highest scorer will receive Tk. 100000.00 while the second highest goal scorer and the third highest scorer will get Tk. 50000.00 and Tk. 25000.00 respectively. The tournament committee has selected 80 players for training and hopes to groom them to become future stars. First Security Islami Bank has declared that all the 80 players would be getting a scholarship for one year to continue their education. The training and the educational assistance will be enhanced in the future. The 101 school tournament started at ten venues across the country from March 2nd and the 29 team final round started from 29th march. The finalists were decided on April 5 but the final was deferred due to unavoidable circumstances. l

We have won a title earlier and we want to win the national title now. The boy are in good spirit and will put their best to be the national champion
Both the teams are unbeaten so far and such an irresistible form yielded four wins in qualifying matches and five wins in the final round matches for

PDB and BGB win national Vball titles n

Power Development Board and BJMC won the titles of the mens and womens section of the Walton National Volleyball Championship winning their respective finals at the volleyball stadium yesterday. PDBs prowess at last was proved superior and Titas Gas, their opponents in the final, fought hard in the 16-15, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21 and 15-12 in the 3-2 game win. The womens final however was not that competitive as BJMC beat Ansar and VDP 25-20, 20-25, 25-13 and 25-20 in the 3-1 triumph. BGMEA president Atikul Islam distributed the prizes as the chief guest. l

BPL clubs agree to play in Gopalgonj and Chittagong

The Bangladesh Premier League clubs have agreed to play away matches at Muktijoddha SKCs home ground Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Stadium in Gopalgonj and Chittagong Abahanis MA Aziz Stadium in the 13th round. The professional football league committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) confirmed this after a meeting held at the BFF House yesterday. However, it was yet to be decided whether the matches will be played at Feni Soccer Clubs home venue Bhasha Shaheed Salam Stadium. A decision reagarding this will be taken after BFF officials revisit the venue on May 3. The fixtures of the 13th round have not been finalized yet although the 12th rounds of the league ends today. Mohammedan SC will take on Team BJMC in the first match today while Chittagong Abahani face Uttar Baridhara in the days second match. Meanwhile, the committee also confirmed that the premier league champions Sheikh Russell KC would leave Dhaka for Sri Lanka on May 4 to take part in the AFC President Club and will return home on May 13. l

Team BJMC celebrate their Walton National Volleyball title at the volleyball stadium yesterday COURTESY

Injured Azarenka out of Madrid, Rome
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the Madrid and Rome WTA events on Saturday with a left foot injury which could put her French Open hopes in doubt. The Belarus star has not played since a second round loss to Lauren Davis at Indian Wells in the first week of March. The 24-year-old announced on Facebook that she would be forced to miss the Madrid and Rome events in May, both crucial warm-up tournaments ahead of the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, which gets under way on May 25. AFP



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Portland past Rockets in overtime

Nicolas Batum scored five of his 25 points in overtime to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 123 120 overtime win over Houston in game four of their NBA playoff series. Batums overtime points came during a 7 0 surge that gave the Trail Blazers the lead for good in front of a crowd of 20,246 Sunday at the Moda Center arena. We talked about coming out strong and trying to be more physical, said Trail Blazer forward LaMarcus Aldridge. It is getting fun now. Portland seized a solid 3 1 lead over the Rockets in the best-of-seven series heading into game five in Texas on Wednesday. AFP

Ton for Bell, duck for Root

Two England batsmen enjoyed contrasting fortunes on the opening day of the latest round of County Championship matches on Sunday. Ian Bell made 122 out of a Warwickshire total of 263 all out against Nottinghamshire in a First Division match at Trent Bridge and the worth of those runs was soon apparent as the hosts declined to 43 for six at the close. Bell scored his runs in front of a crowd including new England coach Peter Moores, national selector James Whitaker and Mick Newell, the Nottinghamshire coach who recently joined the selection panel. AFP

Bayern counting on home advantage for Real clash

n AFP, Munich
Bayern Munich plan on making home advantage count in Tuesdays Champions League semi-final, second-leg, against Real Madrid having never lost at home to the Spanish giants. Madrid arrive in the Bavarian capital holding a 1-0 lead thanks to Karim Benzemas 19th-minute goal in last Wednesdays first leg in Madrid and are looking to avenge their defeat at the same stage to Bayern two years ago. Bayern have never lost to Real in Munich, with eight victories and one draw, to lead the overall series with 11 victories to Madrids eight from 21 encounters. Real maintained their positive momentum since beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final before their first-leg victory over Bayern by romping to a 4-0 win over Osasuna in the Spanish league on Saturday. Ballon dOr winner Cristiano Ronaldo proved he is fit for the Munich clash after a hamstring injury by scoring twice to leave him on 47 goals for the season. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti rested stars Benzema, who picked up a knee knock in the first leg, and Gareth Bale, who was recovering from flu, at Osasuna. The Italian has insisted both men should be fit to start at the Allianz Arena. Ancelotti has never lost to a German team in six encounters from his time as AC Milan manager, but the key to Tuesdays game will be who scores first. Real will be chasing the first goal in Munich which would leave Bayern needing to score at least three times to progress to their fourth Champions League final in five years. Worryingly for coach Pep Guardiola, Bayern have conceded the first goal in seven of their last nine matches since winning the Bundesliga title with a record seven matches to spare last month. Bayern are bidding to become the first side to retain the Champions League trophy and will be the first team since Juventus (1996-98) to reach three consecutive finals if they get past Madrid to reach the final in Lisbon on May 24. l

Team Atletico Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Athletic Bilbao Sevilla Real Sociedad Villarreal Valencia Rayo Vallecano Levante P 35 35 34 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 W 28 27 26 19 17 16 15 12 13 10 D 4 3 4 8 8 9 7 9 4 12 L 3 5 4 8 10 10 13 14 18 13 Pts 88 84 82 65 59 57 52 45 43 42

Barcelonas players celebrate after scoring during the Spanish league football match against Villarreal CF at El Madrigal stadium in Villarreal on Sunday. Barcelona won the match 3 2 AFP

Hamburg deep in relegation mire n AFP, Berlin

Former European champions Hamburg remain in danger of being relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in their history after losing 3-1 to Augsburg on Sunday. Hamburg won the European Cup in 1983 but have not won any major honours since 1987, and now their status as the only club in Germanys top flight never to have been relegated is under serious threat with only two games of the season remaining. Third-placed Schalke lost 1-0 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday. l

Suarez wins PFA Player of the Year award

AFP, London

Emotional Barca battle back

n AFP, Madrid
with a game in hand. Despite another difficult week off the field, Barca had started positively as Sergio Asenjo made a low save from Messi before Gabriel blocked Xavis goalbound effort. Earlier, Raul Garcia starred for Atletico as he got the only goal of the game just before half-time to secure a ninth straight league win and move his team within two more victories of sealing the championship. We have two incredibly powerful teams behind us that will give every-


PFA Premier League team of the year: Petr Cech (Chelsea); Luke Shaw (Southampton), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Seamus Coleman (Everton); Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton); Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) our when these players recognise your work on the pitch, said Suarez. Chelseas Eden Hazard, who didnt play at Anfield due to injury, was named the PFA Young Player of the Year. Title-chasers Manchester City were represented by Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure while the Southampton duo of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana were also included, with Everton rightback Seamus Coleman in the XI. l

Augsburg Schalke

Halil Altintop 6, 32, Hahn 42

3 1

Westermann 44

0 1

Herrmann 35

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez won Englands Professional Footballers Associations Player of the Year award on Sunday. This time last year the Uruguay international was starting a 10-match ban for biting Chelseas Branislav Ivanovic. But now Suarez has been chosen by his fellow top-flight professionals in England as the outstanding player in the Premier League after spearheading Liverpools title bid. Suarez received the award during a ceremony at Londons Grosvenor House hotel after flying down from Liverpoolon Sunday. The 27-year-old Suarez has scored 30 league goals in 31 appearances, despite his ban for biting Ivanovic carrying over into the start of this season. The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great hon-

Barcelona maintained their slight La Liga title hopes as they came from 2-0 down to beat Villarreal 3-2 on an emotionally-charged night at El Madrigal when players and fans remembered Tito Vilanova. However, Atletico Madrid remain in the driving seat for their first title in 18 years as they ground out a 1-0 win away to Valencia. The Catalans paid their respects to former coach Vilanova with a minutes silence before the game, but a miserable week looked set to end with a sixth league defeat of the season as Cani and Manu Trigueros gave Villarreal a commanding lead. However, own goals from Gabriel and Mateo Musacchio brought Barca level before Lionel Messi grabbed the winner eight minutes from time. Atletico continue to lead Barca by four points with just three games remaining, whilst Real Madrid fall to third, a further two points back, but

Stuani 42

1 2 0 1 3 1

Almeria Atletico Madrid

Raul Garcia 43

Fran Velez 70, Suso 72

Valencia Athletic Bilbao

Gameiro 79

Susaeta 4, Muniain 53, Herrera 73

Cani 45, Trigueros 55

2 3


Gabriel 65-og, Musachio 78-og, Messi 82

thing and wont allow us to relax, insisted Atletico boss Diego Simeone. We have to continue being calm and take every game as it comes. Despite the second leg of his sides Champions League semi-final against Chelsea being just three days away, Simeone named a strong side with David Villa and Tiago coming into the side that started the first leg against the English club in midweek. However, Simeone claimed important victories for both Atletico, and Chelsea over Liverpool on Sunday, wont make any difference at Stamford Bridge come Wednesday. Atletico made the vital breakthrough two minutes before half-time when Gabis lofted ball into the area picked out the run of Garcia and he cushioned a header in off the inside of the post to register his 17th goal of the season. Diego Costa should have put the game to bed six minutes into the second half when he was played clean through on goal, but he delayed his shot and allowed Vicente Guaita to save with an outstretched leg. l

Alves eats banana in response to racist taunt

n AP, Villarreal
Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a racist taunt when a banana landed at his feet during Sundays game at Villarreal by picking up the fruit, peeling and then eating it before proceeding to take a corner kick. Alves said after the match that humor is the best way to combat racism in sports. I dont know who it was, but thanks to whoever threw the banana, the potassium gave me the energy for the two crosses which led to a goal, he told reporters after the match. We have suffered this in Spain for some time, Alves said. You have to take it with a dose of humor. We arent going to change things easily. If you dont give it importance, they dont achieve their objective. Napolis Dries Merthens also backed the Brazilian defender, tweeting a picture of himself eating one along with the message Great reaction by Dani Alves. Respect! And Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero posted a picture on his Twitter account of himself alongside his colleague Marta of the pair also eating a banana. Former England striker turned Match off the Day presenter Gary Lineker said that Alves response was Utterley brilliant, while Piers Morgan also had his say, claiming it was the Greatest response to racism you will ever see. And finally, the Evening Standards Patrick Barclay took a more reserved approach on Alves potassium boost, saying: Ten out of ten for Dani Alves with the banana. But its something you can only do once. l

Neymar, Aguero and Merthens post these photos on Twitter yesterday Alves has often been subjected to racist taunts and called fighting racism a lost war in January 2013, after segments of Real Madrids fans abused him with monkey chants during a match. Team-mate Neymar immediately gave his support to Alves as well as had his own joke at the racists expense, posting on his Facebook profile the caption #weareallmonkeys along with a picture of himself and his son with a banana.

A Villarreal fan threw a banana at Dani Alves, so he ate it before taking his corner kick

Fenerbahce clinch Del Piero leaves Sydney FC Ibrahimovic likely to return next week Turkish title had wonderful time here, I have comReuters n municated my decision to the club. n AFP, Istanbul n Reuters, Paris Im really grateful for the last two Former Italy and Juventus great AlesFenerbahce won the Turkish league title with three games to spare on Sunday after a 0-0 draw at home to Caykur Rizespor, in front of a crowd made up exclusively of women and children. The Istanbul giants have 68 points and cannot be caught by nearest challengers, and bitter rivals, Galatasaray, who won 1-0 at Elazigspor but trail by 12 points. No adult males were allowed to attend the match after a one-game ban was handed down by the Turkish Football Federation earlier this month. l sandro Del Piero has played his last match for Sydney FC and will not renew his contract, the A League club said on Monday. The 39-year-old strikers two-year contract expired with the clubs 2-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory in the A League elimination play-offs earlier this month. Australia, the moment has arrived to say arrivederci, Del Piero said in a statement on his website. My adventure with Sydney FC is about to be concluded, and, even if it makes me rather sad, because I have years and for the clubs request for me to remain and with whom, I am happy to explore new opportunities to continue our relationship. It hasnt been an easy choice, also because my life on and off the pitch has been fantastic, my family and I have really enjoyed these two wonderful years: Australia will remain in our hearts forever. The Italians arrival in Australia on a A$4 million ($3.78 million) deal in 2012 was hailed as a coup of sorts for the league. l

Fenerbahces players celebrate their 2013 2014 title after the Turkish Super league match against Caykur Rizespor at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on Sunday AFP

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is likely to return from injury for Paris St Germains next Ligue 1 game against Stade Rennes, club doctor Eric Rolland said on Monday. He has resumed running and there is a 90 per cent chance that he will be at the coachs disposal in 10 days, Rolland told French sports daily LEquipe. Ibrahimovic, has scored 25 goals from 30 league appearances this season, has been out of action for almost four weeks since he sustained a thigh injury in PSGs Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes. l



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Three-in-a-row for Sharapova in Stuttgart
Maria Sharapova claimed a hat-trick of Stuttgart titles on Sunday after coming from behind to win a three-set battle royal with Ana Ivanovic in Sundays final. Having won the 2012 and 2013 titles here, the 27-year-old Sharapova was made to work hard for her 13th consecutive win on Stuttgarts clay-courts for the 30th final win of her career before over-powering Ivanovic to claim a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory in just over two hours. That was a tough bit of work, said Sharapova, who has won all four Grand Slam titles. I have always believed in my chances and the fighting spirit is something that comes from within me. This was the first time Sharapova has claimed a third title at an individual tournament and comes on the back of last years shoulder injury. This time around its been extremely tough, thats why this win is so special, admitted Sharapova. The Russian collects the winners cheque of 96,774 euros (US$133,896) and a brand-new sports car. I will need to build a new garage to get all the cars in, she joked as she collected her third Porsche sports car in as many years from the tournament director. It is the Russians first clay-court tournament in her build-up to the French Open, having lost to Serena Williams in last years final. We have seen what a great player Maria is, admitted Ivanovic. l


MSC Intl School Chess starts today

Mohammedan International School Chess Championship organised by Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club Ltd and supported by Bangladesh Chess Federation starts at 3:00 PM at the club pavilion today. There are 6 groups. Class KG to II for boys and girls, Class III to IV, Class V to VII and Class VIII to X for boys and Class III to V and Class VI to X for girls. Indian players: Arka Sengupta, Sayantan Mukherjee, Arpita Mukherjee and Asmita Das, Nepalese players: Katwal Sandesh, Neupane Anisha and Gautam Sushan and one player from Sri Lanka are participating in the event. Around 150 players across the country have enrolled their name for the meet. The event will be held Swiss-League system. Laptop, Desktop Computers, Chess Clocks, Chess Board and Pieces and Crests will be given to the winners. RM

Australian swim star on cocaine charge

Former Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill has been charged with cocaine possession, reports said Monday, becoming the latest Australian swimming star to suffer controversy outside the pool. The two-time Olympic medallist and his wife were reportedly found with the illegal drug during a police raid on a horseracing event in Sydney on Saturday. New South Wales state police said a 35-yearold man and his wife were charged after being found allegedly in possession of a small quantity of a white powder believed to be cocaine, without naming them. The Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph newspapers cited witnesses who said the couple were escorted from the races by police. Huegill looked nervous and refused to be searched and kept asking for a lawyer, a racecourse employee told the Sydney Morning Herald. The 35-year-old is the latest high-profile former swimmer facing unwanted time in the spotlight, after fellow Olympians Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett both recently entered rehab. AFP

Sharapova holds her trophy while posing with the winners price, a Porsche 911 Targa sportscar, after defeating Ivanovic in the final of the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Saturday


Gerrards slip could end Liverpools title hopes

While Luis Suarezs 30 goals have provided much of the impetus behind Liverpools remarkable rise to Premier League title contenders this season, captain Steven Gerrard has been the beating heart at the centre of the Merseyside revival. Unfortunately for the 33-year-old midfielder, who has spent his entire professional career at the club, his slip in Sundays 2-0 defeat by Chelsea may prove costly if Liverpools 24-year wait for a title continues beyond the season. Just before halftime at Anfield, Gerrard slipped while receiving a routine pass from Mamadou Sakho, allowing Chelsea striker Demba Ba to race in on goal to put the visitors one up. Willian doubled the advantage late on as Liverpool failed to break down Chelseas dogged defensive line, a dea superior goal difference, meaning the 2011-12 champions can secure a second crown in three seasons if they win their last three matches. Chelsea are second with 78 points. Having won the Champions League, a UEFA Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cups, a league title is the one thing missing from Gerrards list of club honours, and it would be a cruel twist if his error went some way to denying him what many would see as a fitting reward for a career of graft and loyalty. Manager Brendan Rodgers refused to criticise his captain, saying his form was the reason they were fighting for the title. Steven is a boy who has picked up this club so many times, Rodgers told reporters. And it was just really unfortunate because he slipped at a crucial moment and it was right on half-time. He was doing everything he possibly could today and we hoped there would be one or two who would step up to the plate instead of him, but we couldnt quite do that today. Theres certainly no blame because we are in the position we are in now because of him; hes been instrumental for us this season. Its just unfortunate that hes slipped over. It could have happened to anyone. This is a guy that is so strong mentally. Liverpool have matches away to Crystal Palace and against Newcastle United at Anfield, and will hoping City, who beat Palace 2-0 on Sunday, will drop points to Everton, Aston Villa or West Ham. Despite the denials of manager Jose Mourinho, Chelsea are also still in with a slim chance of winning, but Rodgers said it was important his side picked themselves up for their last two outings. l

Team 1 Liverpool 2 Chelsea 3 Man City 4 Arsenal 5 Everton 6 Tottenham 7 Man United 8 Southampton 9 Newcastle 10 Stoke City 11 Crystal Palace 12 Swansea City 13 Hull City 14 West Ham 15 West Brom 16 Aston Villa 17 Sunderland 18 Norwich City 19 Fulham 20 Cardiff City GP 36 36 35 35 36 36 35 36 35 36 36 36 35 36 35 35 35 36 36 36 W 25 24 24 21 20 20 18 14 14 11 13 10 10 10 7 9 8 8 9 7 D 5 6 5 7 9 6 6 10 4 11 4 9 7 7 15 8 8 8 4 9 L 6 6 6 7 7 10 11 12 17 14 19 17 18 19 13 18 19 20 23 20 GD PTS 50 80 43 78 58 77 21 70 21 69 3 66 20 60 7 52 -15 46 -11 44 -15 43 -1 39 -9 37 -11 37 -12 36 -17 35 -20 32 -32 32 -42 31 -38 30

Protests could disrupt Brazils WC quest

People protesting against the World Cup or in favour of more social spending could harm the countrys chances of winning the tournament, Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets during last years Confederations Cup to protest World Cup spending and a lack of infrastructure investment. Smaller scale protests are still occurring in the country, which will host the June 12 July 13 tournament for the first time since 1950. Scolari said he was not against demonstrations but the World Cup was not the best time for his players to be confronted with any outside issues. I think protests can happen, Scolari said in an interview on Fantastico, a popular television show. If they are normal, without smashing things up, then that is democracy. But I dont know if its the right time. They are Brazil players and they have one mission. They can think, they can express themselves, they can say I want a better Brazil, too, but I dont want it to be something that causes problems in our environment. Reuters

feat that ended their 11-match winning streak and took their Premier League title aspirations out of their hand. Liverpool still lead with 80 points, but third-placed City sit three points behind with a match in hand and with

Nishikori eases to Barcelona Open title

Japans Kei Nishikori sealed his fifth career ATP title and first on clay on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Colombian Santiago Giraldo to claim the Barcelona Open. Nishikori, who was playing for the first time on clay this week under new coach and former French Open champion Michael Chang, becomes the first non-Spaniard to win the event since 2002. I always love to come to Barcelona and it is a pleasure and honour to be here, said the world number 17. Thank you to my team, Dante (Bottini) and Michael, and I hope I come back next year and defend this title. It is not easy to win this title with all the Spanish players that play here. It is one of the most difficult ATP 500 tournaments and I am very happy to win. Giraldo was playing in just his second career final on the tour and his inexperience showed as Nishikori dictated from the off and broke three times on his way to taking the first set. More of the same was to come in the second set as Nishikori raced out to a 5-1 lead before serving out for the championship. However, Giraldo is hopeful that his run in the Catalan capital can spur him on for the rest of the season. I hope that this week can be a new stage in my tennis at the highest level. I want to thank my team and with them keep on improving. Top seed and eight-time champion Rafael Nadal was knocked out by Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals. l


McIlroy set for BMW PGA Championship bid

Rory McIlroy has confirmed his participation in next months BMW PG Championship at Wentworth, outside London, seeking to win the European Tours flagship event for the first time. The Northern Irishman, a two-time major winner, has bounced back to near top form this year following a disappointing 2013 and has three top 10 finishes in five European Tour appearances in 2014. But he is aware that to date he has struggled at Wentworth in a tournament won last year by another young gun, Italys Matteo Manassero. The BMW PGA Championship is always one of the highlights of the year and it is a title we are all keen to win, said McIlroy, who won the US Open in 2011 and US PGA Championship in 2012. AFP

Airtel Bangladesh flew twelve young footballers to Old Trafford, home of Manchester UTD, the Premier League Champion, to witness English Premier League Football match between Man United v Norwich City on Saturday. The twelve young footballers were chosen after screening sixty thousand participants from various part of the Country. During their stay in the United Kingdom the twelve young footballers will receive special training sponsored by Airtel. After the match the young footballers poses for photo session in front of the stadium entrance with Showkat Aziz Russell, Chairman Sports Academy, Sk. Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited, Mamun or Rashid -Airtel Executive, Muntasir Alam CEO Interspeed, Salik and Sohel with others. During the gathering Showkat Aziz Russell promised the young footballers all the best in the Sk. Jamal academy. He also invited them to spend a day-long session with the coaches and players of Sk Jamal Dhanmondi Club COURTESY

Ten Action, Ten Sports 12:45AM Uefa Champions League, SF Leg 2 Bayern Munich v Real Madrid Sony Six 8:30PM Indian Premier League Kolkata v Rajasthan NBA Play-off 2013 14 5:00AM Miami v Charlotte 7:30AM San Antonio v Dallas

Marquez makes it three out of three

World champion Marc Marquez clinched his third win in three races this season with victory in the Argentina MotoGP on Sunday. The 21-year-old Spaniard also became the first rider in 43 years to win the the first three rounds from pole position. His Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was second with Yamaha duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in third and fourth spot respectively. Marquez, who had won in Doha and Austin, slipped back to fifth place after a poor start which saw 2010 and 2012 world champion Lorenzo storm to the front. Nine-time world champion Rossi moved into third, but it was Lorenzo who stayed in front. However, with nine of the 25 laps remaining, Marquez pounced to take the lead which he would not relinquish. Lorenzo tried desperately to cling on to second spot, but Pedrosas Honda had too much power and his compatriot passed him on the last lap. Marquez won by 1.837sec from Pedrosa with Lorenzo 3.201sec off the pace and Rossi finishing almost five seconds behind. Marquez has a perfect 75 points in the championship standings with Pedrosa on 56 and Rossi in third on 41 points. The beginning was difficult. My tyres were not good and I span as I was on the dirty side of the track, said the world champion. But it was fun. Jorge opened the gap and I just kept pushing to catch him at the end. l

Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori celebrates his victory with a replica trophy after beating Columbias Santiago Giraldo during the ATP Final Barcelona Open Conde de Godo tennis tournament in Barcelona on Saturday AFP



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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Precautionary measures help reduce loss of lives in natural disasters

n Mohosinul Karim
Damage caused by natural disasters has sharply been reduced since April 29, 1991 when a cyclonic storm ripped through the coastal region, killing nearly 138,882 people and 1,061,029 livestock. The ability to tackle disasters like cyclone, tsunami, earthquake and fire in Bangladesh has improved gradually due to precautionary measures taken by the government and its preparedness for dealing with disasters. As a result, damage caused to lives, livestock and infrastructures by such disasters has also been reduced amazingly, data shows. According to data of the Disaster Management Ministry, around 138,882 people and 1,061,029 livestock died and 13,798,275 other people rendered homeless in the cyclone that hit the coastal districts on April 29, 1991 with a wind speed of nearly 225km per hour and 15-20 feet high tidal surge. We are taking more preparations to save all and infrastructures from disasters. The Disaster Management Ministry has already prepared disaster preparedness guideline and policies. A law has also been enacted mentioning the responsibilities of stakeholders and punishment for ignoring those, he added. He also said the government had already procured several rescue equipment, vessels, mobile water treatment machines and introduced rainwater harvesting system in coastal areas. Procurement of some equipment is under process. Around 4,600 houses for individual families were constructed along with a good number of cyclone shelters and cyclone resistance schools which could also be used as cyclone shelters. The government gave them adequate money to build houses also. The dams in coastal areas are being repaired and reconstructed to save the people from tidal surge, Bhattacharya said. Some 63,000 volunteers are being imparted training to operate the rescue operation during any sort of disasters. Most of them were chosen from the coastal belt while a good number of volunteers were selected from the city areas as they can carry out rescue drive immediately after disasters, he added. At the same time, the government had taken up some programmes to rehabilitate the cyclone victims by building cyclone resistance houses, alternative employment, providing food and financial assistance by social safety net programmes, he said. Mohammad Yusuf, a disaster management expert working with Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme, said: Though the government has achieved some success in tackling disasters, it needs long way to go. Some necessary equipment must be procured in the next phase to operate the rescue operation smoothly. The fire service and civil defence authorities must be more well-equipped and well-trained. The volunteers must respond promptly during the disasters to reduce the loss of lives. Despite several initiatives taken by the government to rehabilitate the cyclone victims, a good number of Aila victims are still under the open sky. l

In a bid to take a shortcut to their destinations, a truck and a covered van drive on the wrong side and head towards a rickshaw on the Dhaka-Aricha highway yesterday. Such reckless driving is one of the major reasons behind accidents on busy highways SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

A law has been enacted mentioning the responsibilities of stakeholders and punishment for ignoring those
But the death toll from November 15, 2007 cyclone Sidr was reduced sharply as the government had taken precautionary measures. Around 3,406 people and 1,873,694 livestock died and 8,923,259 people became homeless in the Sidr. Besides, only 190 people and 150,131 livestock died while 3,928,259 people became homeless when the cyclone Aila lashed parts of the country. According to the database of the government and different non-governmental organisations working with disaster management, the loss of lives and properties was reduced gradually. Gautam Kumar Bhattacharya, joint secretary of the Disaster Management Ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune that though the government had taken several initiatives to tackle disasters, it was not fully satisfied with the measures and achievements.

EC to sue 12 candidates for not submitting expenditure return

n Mohammad Zakaria
The Election Commission is set to file cases against 12 candidates of the 10th Parliamentary Elections, including Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and Awami League lawmaker Hasibur Rahman, for not submitting their election expenditure returns in due time. Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday said the commission had already asked concerned returning officer to file cases against those who did not submit their election expenditure return to the commission. The returning officer will file cases against those who failed to submit their election expenditure return within 30 days of the gazette notification was published. The rest of the candidates in the list include Jatiya Party candidates Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman Mahmud (Lakshmipur 1), Belal Hossain (Lakshmipur 4) and Safikur Rahman (Comilla 5), Jatiya Party-Manju candidates Joynal Abedin (Barisal 4) and Abul Hasnat Gofran (Sirajganj 5), JSD candidate SM Abdur Razzak (Sherpur 3) and BNF candidate Mohammad Ashraf Hossain (Sunamganj 1) and three independent candidates Syed Rafiqul Haque (Sunamganj 1), Hedayatul Islam (Sherpur 3) and AKM Sharifuddin (Lakshmipur 4). According to the Representation of the People Order (RPO), contesting candidates or their agents must submit the polls expenditure returns to their respective returning officers within the stipulated time. The law also states that any violation of the order was subjected to a punishment of 2-7 years in imprisonment, fine or both. Ershad, who is also the special envoy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, did not submit the election expenditure return to the retuning officer in due time after contesting in the parliamentary elections from Lalmonirhat-1 constituency. Awami League lawmaker Hasibur Rahman elected from Sirajganj-6 but did not submit the polls expenditure return to the returning officer. EC Deputy Secretary Mihir Sarwar Morshed said the commission asked the concerned returning officer to inform the commission for taking action against them by April 30. When contacted, Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner Habibur Rahman confirmed that Ershads election expenditure return had not reached his office. Sirajganj Returning officer Billal Hossain said Awami League lawmaker Hasibur Rahman and Jatiya Party candidate Abul Hasnat Gofran did not submit their election expenditure return. A total of 543 candidates contested the 10th Parliamentary Polls held on January 5 where 152 candidates were elected uncontested. l

Timber worth Tk3cr seized in Ctg n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

A team of Bangladesh Coast Guard (East Zone) arrested 18 alleged wood smugglers with eight trucks loaded with tree logs worth Tk3.06 crore from the Third Shah Amanat Bridge Toll Plaza area in Chittagong city early yesterday. They nabbed the smugglers in a drive at the area around 2am, said a press release by the coast guard. According to the press release, the seized trucks were carrying 3,985cft of tree logs 1,138cft of Gorjon, 536cft of Segun, 1,039cft of Gamari, 230cft of Lali and 1,042 cft of Karai. The seized timber, which were cut down illegally from different points in Bandarbans Lama upazila and were being smuggled to Dhaka, were handed over to Chittagong (North) Forest Division, said Lt Commander M Rajibul Islam of Bangladesh Coast Guard (East Zone). He also said the smugglers and the trucks had been handed over to Karnaphuli police station and a case was filed in this regard. l

Prisoner commits suicide n Our Correspondent, Kishoreganj

A prisoner of Kishoreganj District Jail, who was accused in a police official murder case, committed suicide yesterday. The deceased Mamun Mia, 29, was one of the prime accused of the case. Kishoreganj Jail Super Anwarul Haque said Mamun jumped from the rooftop of the four-storied building around 10am. He was whisked off to Kishoreganj Adhunik Sadar Hospital where he died around 12pm. Mamun was accused in a case filed for killing Mustafizur Rahman, an SI of Bhairab police station, on February 18, 2009 while verdict in the case was supposed to announce within some days. Kishoreganj DC SM Alam said a probe committee would be formed in the incident. l

Cabinet approves metro rail draft

n Mohosinul Karim
The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of Metro Rail Act, 2014 in principle to ensure a legal entity of operators and regulators for the project. A provision to appoint private operators and give licence for building the new metro-rail network and operating it on the public-private-partnership (PPP) basis was inserted in the proposed law. The decisions were taken at the cabinet meeting held at the secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Later, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed reporters on the decisions. He said the draft will now be sent to the Law Ministry for vetting. If the ministry okays, then the cabinet will give its final approval to the bill before its passage in the parliament. The meeting instructed the Communications Ministry and Law Ministry to make concise the draft of the law. As a result, some of the provisions might be excluded, he added. The metro rail will have 16 stations connecting Uttara and Bangladesh Bank at Motijheel through Pallabi, Mirpur 10, Taltola, Farmgate, Shahbagh, TSC of Dhaka University, Doyel Chattar and Topkhana Road, the cabinet secretary said. According to the law, the newly formed state-owned company Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd will operate the metro rail while the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) will be its regulator. A committee led by DTCAs executive director will process the applications for building and operating new metro rail project. Another committee led by the same official will fix the fares for metro rail, taking its operation and maintenance costs into account. The land for the project would be acquired as per the provision followed in Bangabandhu Bridge project and Padma Bridge project. But, there would not be any special law for land acquisition. The provision of the land acquisition would be inserted in the metro rail act, Bhuiyan said. According to the law, Gazipur, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Narayanganj and Narsingdi districts will be included in the project area after implementing the project for Dhaka city. The law will be amended, if necessary, he added. The names of stations are Uttara north, central and south, Pallabi, IMT at Mirpur, Mirpur 10, Kazipara, Taltola, Agargaon, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Hotel Sonargaon, National Museum at Shahbagh, Doyel Chattar at Dhaka University, National Stadium at Paltan and Bangladesh Bank at Motijheel. The cabinet also approved two other laws titled Official Vehicles (Usage Control) Act for public servants and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh. These two laws had been in force as military ordinances, but annulled immediately after the High Court declared the military regime illegal. There are no major changes in the official vehicles act. It remains as earlier, it was prepared in Bangla as per the law of the government, the secretary said. He said several changes were made in the ICB act. The authorised capital of the agency was increased from Tk500 crore to Tk1,000 crore. The paid-up capital of the agency was also increased from Tk337 crore to Tk421.37 crore. In addition, the cabinet approved the draft of an agreement to be signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Egypt to enhance economic and technical cooperation. The deal would be struck soon, the secretary added. l

Mothers feud with school stops students education n Our Correspondent, Jessore
In a shocking move, a class VIII girl in Jessores Abhayanagar upazila has been barred from attending school by the school authorities because of its feud with her mother. I have been asked not to go to school, Afreen Jahan Nisha of Nawapara Shankarpasha High School told reporters yesterday. Her mother Shikha Islam alleged that her daughter had also been threatened with a transfer certificate. On January 11, Nishas mother was assaulted by Shammi Akhter, a member of the schools managing committee. Later, Shikha filed a general diary about it. Nawapara Shankarpasha High Schools Headmaster Mahbubur Rahman admitted the incidents. l

A rickshaw-van puller defies the scorching sun and carries load of goods on his vehicle on the capitals English Road yesterday SHAKIB HASAN

15 die as norwester sweeps over Netrakona, Sunamganj, Naogaon

n Tribune Report
At least 15 people were killed, hundreds of trees uprooted, and crops on a vast tract of land damaged as norwester swept over Sunamganj, Netrakona, Naogaon and Sylhet. Eight people, including four of a family, died in the storm over four upazilas of Netrakona on Sunday night. Afroza Akter, 28, Sagar Ahmed 10, Rana, 7 and Jony, 4 all of a family of Kalmakanda area were killed when a wall of the house collapsed as norwester lashed over the village. The other dead are Mamun, 11, of Kalmakanda upazila, Emdad of Barhatta upazila, Habibur Rahman alias Fazar Ali, 90, of Sadar upazila and Suma Akter, 9, of Mohonganj upazila. When contacted, Netrakona Police Superintendent Md Zakir Hossain said: A storm swept over Sadar, Barhatta, Mohonganj and Kalmakanda upazilas of the district between 10pm and midnight. Over 500 houses, a good number of trees and electricity poles were damaged for the norwester, he added. In Sunamganj, four people were killed when a storm swept over Dharmapasha upazila in the early hours of yesterday, said Sunamganj Police Superintendent Mohammad Harun-Or-Rashid. The deceased were Kasu Mia, 40, son of late Lalu Mia, of Rajapur village, Bithi Akter, 10, daughter of Shafiqul Mia, of the same village, Shamsu Mia, 60, son of late Santu Mia, of Madhupur village, Dud Mia, 65, son of late Zamir Ali, of Jagannathpur village of Madyanagar. Locals said the violent storm had hit the district at about 12:30am and lasted for about half an hour. The storm uprooted hundreds of trees and flattened many mud-built houses in the district. Farzana Begum, a resident of Goniganj village under Sadar upazila, said he had not witnessed such violent storm in the last couple of years. According to UNB, an old woman was killed when a norwester lashed Kanaighat upazila of Sylhet on Sunday night. The deceased was identified as Alfatunnesa, 60, wife of late Yakub Ali of Gurutpur village in the upazila. In Naogaon, Abu Isa, 14 of Baludanga area in the district town was killed when a storm swept over the district on Sunday night. Besides, a minor boy was killed when a branch of tree collapsed on him while he was sleeping during the norwester that swept over the district on Sunday night. l

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Subsidy to see 21% cut in next fiscal

n Asif Showkat Kallol
The governments subsidy spending may go down by 21% in next fiscal year compared to the revised budget of current fiscal, making a room for the authorities to raise energy and fertiliser prices. According to official sources, although the governments plan to slash subsidy for some reforms and price adjustments, it will result in creating financial burden on people and industries. The government, however, plans to raise Tk1,500 crore subsidy on electricity to ease its possible price hike so the people would not face any sudden shock. Officials of finance division fear the government may face difficulty in managing subsidy as ongoing heat across the country will increase power consumption. Besides, there is also a fear within the government that if the incumbent Congress fails in India elections, getting cheap supply of electricity from the neighbouring country may become uncertain. According to the officials, there were IMF advice or conditions to reduce subsidy. IMF only talked about big budget plan and Annual Development Programme, which the global lender thinks not completely implementable. According to primary estimates of last budget management meeting, the total outlay for subsidy in fiscal year 2014-15 will be Tk26,053 crore, which 20.70% less than the current fiscal year and 1.9% of next fiscals estimated gross domestic product (GDP). The overall subsidy target for the current fiscal was Tk32,854 crore.

SAP seeks probe into contract awarding process

n Tribune Report
German Multinational Software Corporation SAP AGs local partner has urged the government to launch an official investigation into a procurement process of software for the National Board of Revenue (NBR). S.S. Solutions Pvt. Ltd, SAPs Gold Partner, claimed the process to procure an Integrated VAT Administration System (IVAS) Commercial-Off-TheShelf (COTS) Software Package went through irregularities and lack of transparency as they submitted the a formal allegation on Sunday. They filed the complain with the NBR as also apprised the Ministry of Finance and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of the alleged irregularities in the process to award the contract of the World Bank funded project to a French company BULL SAS. The NBR has sent the proposal to the Cabinet Division for necessary approval to appoint the French company as consultant to introduce the online system for value added tax payment, which is scheduled to begin from July next year. S.S. Solutions had quoted a price US$1.4 million lower than what BULL offered, according to the written letter of request signed by the firms Chairman Kazi Salahuddin, who is also the president of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). The system will be introduced under the VAT and Supplementary Duty project worth Tk551.59 crore where World Bank will finance Tk449.78 crore and the remaining cost will be collected from local sources. According to the letter, the NBR selection committee has disqualified SAP to clear the passage for BULL SS to get the work. Im surprised and amazed with the decision, Kazi Salahuddin told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. How a renowned company and global market leader like SAP has been disqualified, he questioned. NBR sources said the French company BULL scored high in technical and financial offers analysed by the eight-member tender evaluation committee. SAP AG also raised question why they have not been informed about the ground based on which the selection committee disqualified them. They also pointed out observation about a report by American information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner Inc, titled critical capabilities for integrated tax system COTS products that reads 63% of the worlds transaction revenue touches an SAP solution and SAP has approximately 280 customers globally who are using the core PSCD (public sector collection and disbursement). Bangladesh Bank, the World Banks Dhaka office and multinational companies like central bank of Bangladesh, is a client of SAP while major multinational companies like Unilever Bangladesh, BAT, Nestle, Axiata, NOKIA, Siemens, Youngone Aventis and Novartis, and local corporate giants like Bashundhara Group, Rahimafrooz Globaat Ltd, Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and most of the pharmaceutical companies were among their major clients in Bangladesh. On the other hand, the same report says BULL team is of relatively small size and allows BULL to manage no more than two implementations at a time. Reportedly, they have no client in Bangladesh so far. l


Meanwhile, State Minister for Power and Energy, Nasrul Hamid Bipu in a seminar last week said the price of electricity will be increased in phases in next five years as implementation of the coal-based power projects lingers. On March 12, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission raised retail power tariff by 6.96% The regulator said the power tariff hike, effective from March 1, was to help distributor companies cut their losses. But for the lifeline users consuming up to 50 units and for irrigation pumps, the tariff has been kept unchanged. The consumers criticised the hike as standard of service has not been improved in last one decade. Dulal Miah, an electrician in Dhaka, said they still suffer power outage four

times a day. Repeated load-shedding (power outage) making us sick in this unbearable hot weather, he said. We want good service at affordable price from the government. It is possible if corruption and irregularities are controlled. Meanwhile, the government raised subsidy allocation for power by Tk500 crore last week in the revised budget of current fiscal to address probable increase in power purchase from the costly private sector plants. The increased subsidy in power sector stands at Tk6,000 crore. As per the latest estimations, the subsidy on fertiliser will be increased to Tk7,000 crore in the next fiscal year. Export subsidy may be raised to Tk2,850 crore from Tk2,750 crore while

the fuel subsidy is estimated to be increased to Tk2,700 crore and food subsidy will be Tk1,803 crore in next fiscal. The remaining Tk3,000 crore will be used as subsidy in other sectors. The total subsidy was Tk37,399 crore in FY2012-13, Tk30,163 crore in 2011-12, Tk17,141 crore in 2010-11, Tk9,334 crore in 2009-10 and Tk10,546 crore in 2008-09. The government will keep subsidy at a reasonable level in the next fiscal, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the Dhaka Tribune. He said subsidy amount will not be more than 2% of GDP in next fiscal year, but the donors always insist we are giving huge subsidies. They (donors) want to reduce the subsidy to zero, finance minister said. l

Ceramic makers want duty cut on raw materials import

n Tribune Report
The countrys ceramics manufacturers have urged the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to reduce the customs duties on imported raw materials to make up losses due to 30-40% wastage in the import process. Leaders of Bangladesh Ceramic Wares Manufacturers Association (BCWMA) said the imported mineral materials contain moisture, iron, water and other unnecessary elements cause huge wastage, which cannot be used for any other purpose, incurring around 40% loss. But we have to pay duties also on the wastage contents. The leaders of the association came up with the demand at a pre-budget discussion with the NBR officials held on Sunday at its headquarters in Dhaka. As a result, it would be difficult for them to maintain the global competitiveness, as there is no subsidy for the industry, said Rizvi-Ul-Kabir, general secretary of BCWMA. He said, in the import of raw materials including Bone Ash, Quartz, China Clay, Fire Clay, Ball Clay, and Feldspar, the manufacturers have to pay 5% customs duties, which needs to be reduced to 2% to cover up the loss. The countrys ceramic industry, which has employed around 5lakh workers, has so far invested Tk5000 crore and witnessed 200% growth in the last five years. The industry, which was started in 1994 with Madhumati ceramics, has now 8-19 companies that meet 70% of the domestic demands and export in many other countries. Highlighting the performances of the industry, the association leaders demanded for the withdrawal of 15% supplementary duty on the import of ceramic tiles, which is no more considered as luxurious products. Tiles has been reached to the rural level and it is no more considered as luxury one, so the duty needs withdrawal, said Kabir. In response, NBR chairman Md. Ghulam Hussain said: The NBR will allow the duty cut if the businesses

Grameen Banks female directors slam new rules

n Tribune Report
The women directors of Grameen Bank have expressed their concern over the new rules for election of board, saying it will create the chance of political interference in the banks operation. In a statement yesterday, they feared discipline would be broken in the Nobel Prize winner bank, leading to cast negative impact on loan recovery and distribution. New rules will bring political directors to the bank board, which may lead to corruption and misuse of power, said the statement signed by Tahsina Khatun, a female director. The female directors warned that 86 lakh members of the bank will together resist the evil move to destroy the bank. 16 crore people of Bangladesh is with us. Finance minister is trying to bring politics to the Grameen Bank. But we know how to protect our bank, the statement said. On April 6, the government issued a rule empowering Bangladesh Bank to elect board of directors for Grameen Bank. Earlier, Grameen Bank has the authority to appoint directors for its board. The board election will be conducted by the officials of Bangladesh Bank and the scheduled banks under the new rules. All the Grameen Bank branches have been divided into nine constituencies and direct elections will be held in those constituencies under the central bank supervision. Its not difficult for anyone to understand that the hasty move to elect

representatives through a new system before the tenure of existing elected representatives expires is ill-motivated, the statement reads. If the government wants to conduct election, they should do it among 86 lakh member voters in 2,567 branches. The statement said it was no room for Dr Mohammad Yunus to make any influence over the board. It said Grameen Bank directors do not gain any wealth from the bank and there was no loan scam in last four decades of its operation.

Banglalink Digital issues $300m bond n Reuters, Cairo

Egypts Global Telecom Holding said yesterday its Bangladeshi subsidiary Banglalink Digital Communications Limited issued Bangladeshs first international bond. Banglalink, wholly owned by Global Telecom, has priced a 5-year $300m bond with the coupon at 8.625%, Global Telecom said in a statement. The transaction is expected to close on May 6, 2014. The notes will be due on May 2019 and are expected to be rated B1 by Moodys and B+ by S&P, the statement said. Banglalink intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay existing indebtedness and to finance capital expenditures, it added. l

'Pro-Yunus board dismissed'

A man uses a potter's wheel to make a traditional vase in a ceramic factory are ready to pay revenue with 20% growth in the coming fiscal year 2014-15. You have to maintain 15% revenue growth in the coming FY. We have been instructed to manage 22% revenue growth in the coming budget comparing to the FY-13-14. You will witness a development in the sector if we withdraw 15% duty. We will withdraw the duty, but give us 20% revenue growth from your sector, he said. The association leaders also demanded a proper literature of the Harmonized System (HS) codes to avoid any sort of misleading tax imposition. Due to the misleading H.S codes, we need to pay 10% tax on import of Aluminum Liner although we are supposed to pay 2% tax. For importing Zirconium Silicate, we are supposed to pay 5% tax, but now we are paying 10% tax as the taxmen consider the products as others category, he added. Replying to this demand, NBR chairman said, We will modify the literatures by amending it with proper definition of the products. The other demands include reduction of customs duty from 10% to 5% at auxiliary materials and import tax on machineries from 25% to 2% etc. The businesses also proposed NBR


to increase the supplementary duty on imported tiles, sanitary-ware, and tableware products from existing 60% to 80% and on opal glass tableware and pyrex products from existing 45% to 80% to protect local industry, collect increased revenue, prevent under-voicing etc. In response, Ghulam Hussain said: We cannot provide over 50%-60% protection for the local industries. Except some products mentioned under 147 H.S. codes, which are harmful for health and environment, the NBR will cut down supplementary duty and regulatory duties on all other products to zero level from July 1, 2015. NBR member Barrister Jahangir Hossain said: We are going through a discriminatory rate of protection as the difference between standard rate of protection between the domestic manufacturers and the importers are witnessing a difference of 140%150%, which is ideally set at 40%50% difference. He also said the NBR has already started working on to come out from this discriminatory system. The meeting was attended, among others, by the association secretary M Sirajul Islam Molla, representatives from RAK ceramics and Madhumoti ceramics. l

Meanwhile, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the nine pro-Yunus board members have been dismissed as the new election rule to constitute Grameen Bank board has already been circulated. Nobel laureate prof Yunus had picked the directors through a socalled election process for the last 30 years, which is an utterly undemocratic practice, he told the Dhaka Tribune, following a press conference at his secretariat office on Saturday. Asked about taking opinion from pro-Yunus board of directors for the new election rule, Muhith said those are pro- Yunus people. So, why we would take opinion from them. The government issued the new Grameen Bank (Election of Directors) Rules 2014 early this month, giving the central bank authority to hold elections to elect nine independent directors. The election should be held within six months of issuing the circular. l

MIGA to invest $250m in power plants

n Tribune Report

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has expressed interest to invest $250m in private power plants of Bangladesh. Its executive vice president Keiko Honda disclosed this to journalists after a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in Dhaka yesterday. Honda, who is on a four-day visit, said they have already invested $330m in private power plants in Ashuganj, Siddhiraganj and Shahjibazar, as well as in the countrys telecom sector. The interest to invest in the Ghorashal power plant has also been discussed with the minister, Honda said. l

Muhith happy with scam-hit financial sector

n Tribune Report
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has expressed his satisfaction over the performance by the countrys financial sector despite it is hit hard by the financial scams. I believe our financial sector is performing quite well but there are some cases of mishaps, he told a function in Dhaka on Sunday night. Nationally were performing well, not too badly, he said. Muhith came up with the remarks while attending an award giving ceremony titled The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB), Best Corporate Award-2013. He, however, admitted that the progress in the financial sector was sort of a barometer for uplifting the economic progress of the country.




Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stocks fall for second day

n Tribune Report
Stocks fell for second consecutive session yesterday, triggered by profit booking combined with apprehension that the market would go down further. After marginal rise briefly in the morning, the market started declining till close of the trading. Some losses were offset by mainly heavyweight banking shares that closed marginally higher. IDLC Investments said selling stimulus triggered by the fear of further fall put a drag on the bourse. It said micro cap scrips shrank significantly, contributing most to the losses of DSEX. Investors continued centralising their positions on the basis of quarterly earnings announcement and expectation, it said. Portfolio re-balancing was prominent as investors were seemed pursuing meticulous strategy in their trading activities, it said. All the major sectors ended in red except heavyweight banks and food and allied which edged higher after declining in the previous session. The four banks emerged top ten gainers list, making banking sector the best performer of the session. It also accounted for 18.5% of total market turnover with two banks featuring in the turnover list. Conversely, power sector shed 1.4%, telecommunication 2% and non-banking financial institutions 1.2%. Lafarge Surma Cement topped the turnovers chart following its earnings declaration for the first quarter, 2014. Its shares worth almost Tk38 crore have changed hands. Lafarge was followed by Meghna petroleum, Padma Oil, Grameenphone, Southeast Bank, Heidelberg Cement and National Bank Ltd. l

DSE key features April 28, 2014

Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract Traded Issues Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis) Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis) Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis) Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.) Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)
4,358.64 101,035,851 89,173 287 64 211 12 2,360.00 28.61

Closing (% change) 6.23 6.19 5.18 4.62 4.35 4.15 3.81 3.81 3.23 3.02

Dhaka Ins. Ltd.-A Berger Paints-A Bata Shoe Ltd. -A National Bank - B IFIL Islamic M.F.1 A Eastern Bank - A United Insur -A Premier Bank -A City Bank - A AIMS First -A CSE GAINERS Company Prime Insur -A Dhaka Ins. Ltd.-A Berger Paints-A National Bank - B Bata Shoe Ltd. -A Premier Bank -A Grameen M F One-A R. N. Spinning-Z City Bank - A Padma Oil Co. -A

Average (% change) 5.14 5.69 2.34 4.39 3.43 2.12 3.68 4.08 3.44 1.88 Average (% change) 6.67 6.55 4.00 5.27 2.31 4.64 3.36 3.85 3.42 1.29

Closing average 35.62 1,159.31 1,083.36 13.78 7.24 27.43 35.25 10.98 19.27 43.93

Closing 35.80 1,167.40 1,088.90 13.60 7.20 27.60 35.40 10.90 19.20 44.30

Daily high 36.40 1,168.10 1,099.70 14.00 7.40 28.00 35.90 11.30 20.00 44.70

Daily low 34.40 1,100.00 999.00 11.00 6.90 24.00 33.80 9.50 17.00 42.50

Turnover in million 10.669 78.891 55.624 114.928 3.107 4.135 0.685 29.224 79.261 23.963

Latest EPS 2.24 57.68 59.44 1.49 0.88 4.15 2.77 -2.95 1.09 5.00

Latest PE 15.9 20.1 18.2 9.2 8.2 6.6 12.7 -ve 17.7 8.8

Closing (% change) 6.67 6.65 5.03 4.62 4.08 3.77 3.30 2.84 2.67 2.40

Closing average 25.60 35.31 1140.14 13.79 1089.97 11.04 47.08 29.69 19.34 344.17

Closing 25.60 35.30 1150.50 13.60 1090.00 11.00 47.00 29.00 19.20 346.10

Daily high 25.60 35.90 1160.00 14.10 1110.00 11.30 47.40 31.00 20.00 350.00

Daily low 25.60 34.70 1071.00 13.30 1079.90 10.80 46.60 28.20 18.60 339.50

Turnover in million 0.006 0.388 0.627 22.196 0.654 4.938 0.612 4.253 8.548 13.919

Latest EPS 2.23 2.24 57.68 1.49 59.44 -2.95 3.40 6.11 1.09 21.40

Latest PE 11.5 15.8 19.8 9.3 18.3 -ve 13.8 4.9 17.7 16.1

'Investors continued centralising their positions on the basis of quarterly earnings announcement and expectation'
The benchmark index DSEX was down 42 points or 0.9% to 4,625. The blue chips index DS30 fell 16 points or 1% to 1,689. The Shariah index DSES shed 17 points or 1.7% to close at 1,017. Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) Selective Categories Index, CSCX, dropped 95 points to 8,902. With marginal improvement in participation, turnover recorded at Tk435 crore from previous sessions Tk433 crore.

CSE key features April 28, 2014

Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract
312.38 9,658,489 12,161 215 49 161 4 2,255.74 27.34

News from trade server

CONFIDCEM: 27.50% cash, AGM: 25.06.2014, Record Date: 14.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 8.09, NAV per share of Tk. 65.11 and NOCFPS of Tk. 10.42.** PEOPLESINS: 12.50% cash, AGM: 08.06.2014, Record Date: 12.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.27, NAV per share of Tk. 21.49 and NOCFPS of Tk. 3.74.** PLFSL: 10% stock, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.95, NAV per share of Tk. 18.44 and NOCFPS of Tk. 1.98.** DHAKAINS: 20% cash, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 14.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.24, NAV per share of Tk. 18.26 and NOCFPS of Tk. 2.26.** FEDERALINS: 11% stock, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 19.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.21, NAV per share of Tk. 12.18 and NOCFPS of Tk. 1.46.** SQUARETEXT: 20% cash & 10% stock, AGM: 16.06.2014, Record Date: 20.05.2014. NAV of Tk. 4,864.12 million, EPS of Tk. 4.37 and NOCFPS of Tk. 4.86.** The Board of Directors has also approved Tk. 30.00 crore for BMRE, Capital Machineries and purchase of land for further expansion. NBL: 10% stock, AGM: 15.06.2014, Record date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.49, NAV per share of Tk. 16.86 and NOCFPS of Tk. 10.97.** BDWELDING: No dividend, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record Date: 19.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.24, NAV per share of Tk. 16.98 and NOCFPS of Tk. (0.11).** **for the year ended on December 31, 2013. MARICO: 50% final cash, AGM: 19.08.2014, Record Date: 02.07.2014. EPS of Tk. 43.99, NAV per share of Tk. 54.16 and NOCFPS of Tk. 85.84 for the year ended on March 31, 2014. Unaudited Financials: IFIC: (Q1): NPAT= Tk. 437.53 million with consolidated basic EPS of Tk. 1.15 (restated 1.00) as against Tk. 50.66 million and Tk. 0.13 (restated 0.12) respectively.* FASFIN: (Q1): NPAT= Tk. 13.69 million with consolidated EPS of Tk. 0.12 as against Tk. 11.43 million and Tk. 0.10 respectively.* UNIQUEHRL: (Q1): NPAT= Tk. 208.06 million with EPS of Tk. 0.71 as against Tk. 254.46 million and Tk. 0.86 respectively.* LAFSURCEML: (Q1): NPAT= Tk. 627.92 million with consolidated EPS of Tk. 0.54 as against Tk. 700.35 million and Tk. 0.60 respectively.*. Consolidated accumulated profit/(loss) of the Company was Tk. (316.21) million as on 31.03.2014. MAKSONSPIN: (H/Y): NPAT= Tk. 109.25 million with EPS of Tk. 0.51 as against Tk. 39.22 million and Tk. 0.18 (restated) respectively.* DESCO: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 244.39 million with EPS of Tk. 0.71 as against Tk. 809.57 million and Tk. 2.35 respectively.* EASTRNLUB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 5.18 million with EPS of Tk. 5.21 as against Tk. 3.86 million and Tk. 3.87 respectively.* PADMAOIL: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 1,576.19 million with EPS of Tk. 16.05 as against Tk. 1,184.80 million and Tk. 12.06 respectively.* SAIHAMTEX: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 173.98 million with EPS of Tk. 2.32 as against Tk. 154.97 million and Tk. 2.07 respectively.* MPETROLEUM: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 1,673.97 million with EPS of Tk. 17.02 as against Tk. 1,232.44 million and Tk. 12.53 (restated) respectively.*

Daily capital market highlights

DSE Broad Index : DSE Shariah Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :
DSE LOSERS Company Bangladesh Welding -A Nitol Insurance -A EXIM Bank-A Legacy Footwear -A Usmania Glass -A DESCO Ltd. -A Peoples Insur -A Libra Infusions-A Closing (% change) -25.41 -10.03 -9.77 -8.92 -7.70 -7.49 -7.42 -7.30

4624.75991 1017.05306 1688.65053 14235.1366 11848.7168 8902.3683

(-) 0.89% (-) 1.68% (-) 0.97% (-) 1.20% (-) 1.09% (-) 1.05%

Traded Issues Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis) Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis) Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis) Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.) Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)

Average (% change) -23.79 -10.07 -9.58 -7.49 -5.55 -6.51 -6.50 -7.25

Closing average 13.74 31.35 12.08 29.26 162.76 62.65 26.47 463.75

Closing 13.50 31.40 12.00 28.60 158.30 61.80 26.20 463.50

Daily high 14.80 31.60 12.50 31.30 172.00 64.50 28.00 464.00

Daily low 13.20 30.00 10.80 28.40 155.80 60.50 26.00 463.00

Turnover in million 15.449 1.198 35.374 3.248 17.049 26.347 4.294 0.371

Latest EPS 0.24 3.19 1.47 0.36 4.07 0.95 2.27 3.04

Latest PE 57.3 9.8 8.2 81.3 40.0 65.9 11.7 152.5

Rahima Food -Z Renwick Jajneswar-A

CSE LOSERS Company Bangladesh Welding -A Rupali Life Insur.-A EXIM Bank-A Legacy Footwear -A Paramount Insur-A Sinobangla Indu.-A Usmania Glass -A Agni Systems -A

-7.30 -6.76

-4.62 -2.72

42.49 367.00

41.90 357.20

44.10 390.00

41.50 349.80

1.827 8.918

-1.00 3.92

-ve 93.6

Closing (% change) -25.41 -9.97 -9.02 -8.54 -8.26 -6.97 -6.65 -6.64

Average (% change) -23.92 -9.93 -9.02 -7.40 -9.36 -2.46 -6.18 -6.92

Closing average 13.74 92.10 12.11 29.42 21.10 23.79 161.87 22.46

Closing 13.50 92.10 12.10 28.90 21.10 22.70 159.90 22.50

Daily high 14.10 92.10 12.40 31.20 21.10 24.40 170.20 23.60

Daily low 13.40 92.10 11.40 28.50 21.10 22.60 158.00 22.20

Turnover in million 3.222 0.184 2.489 2.001 0.011 0.416 0.397 0.629

Latest EPS 0.24 5.33 1.47 0.36 1.51 0.80 4.07 1.10

Latest PE 57.3 17.3 8.2 81.7 14.0 29.7 39.8 20.4

LafargeS Cement-Z H.R. Textile -A

-6.12 -6.05

-1.96 -5.10

65.01 29.75

64.40 29.50

69.00 30.00

63.50 29.50

29.842 0.030

2.16 1.56

30.1 19.1

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

Selling stimulus triggered by the fear of further fall put a drag on the bourse
CSE Total

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company LafargeS Cement-Z Meghna Petroleum -A Padma Oil Co. -A Olympic Ind. -A Grameenphone-A Southeast Bank-A
HeidelbergCement -A

DSE Million Taka 816.20 130.78 132.63 251.43 255.47 739.37 1.98 293.10 471.95 0.63 32.98 83.74 14.28 617.28 39.66 65.10 119.58 195.91 47.37 48.95 0.25

% change 18.73 3.00 3.04 5.77 5.86 16.96 0.05 6.72 10.83 0.01 0.76 1.92 0.33 14.16 0.91 1.49 2.74 4.49 1.09 1.12 0.01

Million Taka 77.97 7.10 6.65 18.13 12.25 46.89 35.77 20.46 9.84 1.70 13.95 1.78 44.71 3.11 0.85 7.68 18.92 8.30 5.27 0.03

% change 22.84 2.08 1.95 5.31 3.59 13.74 0.00 10.48 5.99 2.88 0.50 4.09 0.52 13.10 0.91 0.25 2.25 5.54 2.43 1.54 0.01

Million Taka 894.17 137.88 139.29 269.56 267.72 786.26 1.98 328.88 492.41 10.47 34.68 97.69 16.07 661.98 42.77 65.94 127.26 214.83 55.67 54.22 0.29

% change 19.02 2.93 2.96 5.74 5.70 16.73 0.04 7.00 10.48 0.22 0.74 2.08 0.34 14.08 0.91 1.40 2.71 4.57 1.18 1.15 0.01

City Bank - A Berger Paints-A UCBL - A Delta Life Insu. -A Renata Ltd. -A

National Bank - B Square Pharma -A ConfidenceCement A

Volume shares 5,770,550 1,038,879 511,625 736,963 583,797 5,480,308 207,450 8,339,893 341,989 649,455

4,113,471 68,050 2,823,295 333,700 59,861

Value in million 377.79 319.41 176.64 176.02 153.74 122.97 121.29 114.93 93.70 89.30

79.26 78.89 78.85 73.06 68.34

% of total turnover 8.67 7.33 4.05 4.04 3.53 2.82 2.78 2.64 2.15 2.05

1.82 1.81 1.81 1.68 1.57

Daily closing 64.90 306.30 344.30 237.20 262.80 22.40 580.30 13.60 272.50 134.80

19.20 1167.40 27.90 214.60 1136.30

Price change -5.39 0.43 1.89 -1.78 -1.13 0.90 -2.59 4.62 -1.23 -6.00

3.23 6.19 1.82 -5.59 0.47

Daily opening 68.60 305.00 337.90 241.50 265.80 22.20 595.70 13.00 275.90 143.40

18.60 1099.40 27.40 227.30 1131.00

20.00 1168.10 28.50 229.90 1164.00

Daily high

Daily high 69.90 315.00 350.90 241.50 266.90 23.00 600.00 14.00 278.70 143.40

17.00 1100.00 24.80 213.80 1080.0

Daily low

Daily low 63.60 279.00 330.00 221.00 249.80 20.00 571.10 11.00 260.00 134.00

Daily average 65.47 307.46 345.24 238.84 263.35 22.44 584.69 13.78 273.98 137.50

19.27 1159.31 27.93 218.94 1141.63

CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company LafargeS Cement-Z

Volume shares

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

National Bank - B Padma Oil Co. -A Meghna Petroleum -A BD Submarine Cable-A Square Pharma -A Southeast Bank-A City Bank - A Grameenphone-A Square Textile -A UCBL - A UNITED AIR A Delta Life Insu. -A HeidelbergCement -A Matin Spinning-N

459,000 1,609,565 40,442 41,904 52,605 34,207 417,136 441,902 31,600 69,920 266,712 539,960 29,300 10,800 147,800

Value in million

29.84 22.20 13.92 12.88 10.60 9.37 9.34 8.55 8.32 7.55 7.42 7.04 6.46 6.31 5.85

% of total turnover

9.70 7.22 4.53 4.19 3.45 3.05 3.04 2.78 2.70 2.46 2.41 2.29 2.10 2.05 1.90

Daily closing

64.40 13.60 346.10 305.70 200.00 272.60 22.40 19.20 262.10 103.60 27.70 13.00 214.80 580.80 39.20

Price change

-6.12 4.62 2.40 0.26 -2.01 -1.48 0.90 2.67 -1.39 -5.82 0.73 -1.52 -6.04 -2.63 -3.21

Daily opening

68.60 13.00 338.00 304.90 204.10 276.70 22.20 18.70 265.80 110.00 27.50 13.20 228.60 596.50 40.50

69.00 14.10 350.00 310.90 205.00 279.00 22.70 20.00 266.50 12.50 28.20 13.20 228.00 598.00 40.80

63.50 13.30 339.50 304.00 199.00 271.00 22.10 18.60 261.00 102.00 27.40 12.90 213.00 573.00 39.00

Daily average

65.01 13.79 344.17 307.43 201.59 273.94 22.40 19.34 263.19 107.99 27.80 13.03 220.41 584.25 39.58



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

not careful, said Wahyu Widodo, director of wages and workers social security at Indonesias Manpower and Transmigration Ministry. It will be dangerous for Indonesias agriculture.

Labour crunch hurts Malaysian palm oil growers

n Reuters, Kuala Lumper
A slump in the number of Indonesian workers applying for jobs in Malaysias palm oil sector is worsening a labour crunch that industry players say is taking a heavy toll on the export earnings of the worlds second-largest grower of the edible oil. The two countries account for about 85% of the global output of palm oil used in foods ranging from margarines and biscuits to instant noodles - and Indonesias booming economy also poses a longer-term threat to its own palm oil output as urbanisation drains rural workers. Malaysia has long relied on plantation workers from neighbouring Indonesia to harvest fresh fruit bunches from oil palm trees that can grow up to 20 metres (66 feet) tall - jobs that are proving hard to replace with mechanisation. But the number of Indonesians willing to leave their homes and families for the gruelling work is dwindling due to higher wages at home and rapid urbanisation in Southeast Asias biggest economy. Indonesian applicants for jobs in Malaysias palm oil sector plunged to 38,000 in 2013 from more than 120,000 in each of the previous two years, according to data from the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Some are not interested (in working on plantations) anymore, said Abdul Rahim, a 32-year-old Indonesian working on a 2,000-hectare oil palm estate in Malaysias Selangor state neighbouring the capital Kuala Lumpur. If I have the means, I will go home and open up my own business there. Industry officials and analysts estimate that planters lose up to 5-10% of their fruit each year due to labour shortages, cutting Malaysias total export revenues by about 2.5bn ringgit ($766m) annually. In 2013, Malaysias palm oil exports dipped to 45.27bn ringgit ($13.85bn), its lowest since 2010, from 52.99bn ringgit a year before. Palm oil accounts for about six percent of the countrys total exports. Faced with a labour shortage, Malaysian planters face an unpalatable choice between paying more to hire and keep workers - hurting their already thin profit margins - or cutting harvesting rounds and leaving fruits to rot. The Malaysian palm industry is losing billions (of ringgit) in net export earnings in the form of missedout bunches due to the chronic labour shortage, said Carl Bek-Nielson, the CEO of Danish-Malaysian United Plantations. We just cant get enough employees to come. If one can get sufficient labor, it will make everything more effective, from harvesting rounds to reducing losses.

Technology lags

Narrowing wage gap

Of the 550,000 Indonesian plantation workers currently in Malaysia, about 95% are in the oil palm industry, embassy data showed. About 80% of Malaysias palm oil workforce are Indonesians, with Indians accounting for most of the rest. Planters prefer Indonesians because they are seen as harder working, may have had prior experience in palm oil estates, and share a somewhat similar language. A plantation worker can earn an average of about 900 ringgit ($280) per month in Malaysia, up to about 2,000 ringgit, compared to an average of about 700 ringgit in Indonesia. But a foreign worker in Malaysia may also have to pay more in taxes and for utilities.

Indonesian worker Abdul Rahim Gani, carries oil palm fruits at Felda Bukit Cerakah in district of Klang outside Kuala Lumpur But salary was not the only factor for workers, said Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, chief executive of the worlds third-largest palm plantation operator Felda Global Ventures Holdings. Theyre looking at social benefits, wellbeing and so on, he said. Robust economic growth in Indonesia, averaging an annual 6% in recent years, has boosted consumer confidence and opened up more jobs outside the agriculture industry and narrowed the salary gap between the two countries. The capital Jakarta, one of 505 administrative districts and with a population of about 10 million, raised its minimum wage level by 11% late last year and 44% in 2012. Agriculture contributes about 15% to the GDP of Indonesia, with around 35% of the 240 million population dependent on agriculture for their main source of income. McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that the share of the


population living in cities could reach 71% in 2030, from 53% now as people seek greater opportunities and higher paid jobs. Urbanisation could result in about eight million fewer farmers by 2030, said MGI, the research arm of consultancy McKinsey & Co. That could eventually strain the labour force in Indonesias palm oil sector as well as Malaysias. It will be a problem for the next five years if the government is

Major palm oil firms operating in Southeast Asia include Malaysias Sime Darby, PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, and Wilmar International. Malaysia is expected to produce between 19.5 and 19.7 million tonnes of palm oil this year, only slightly higher than 19.2 million tonnes in 2013, while Indonesia is forecast to churn out 28-30 million tonnes. Malaysias average yield of crude palm oil per hectare was 3.85 tonnes in 2013. Growers said a lack of labour would limit programmes such as planting superior seeds that can boost yields up to 7.0 tonnes a hectare. Harvesting palm fruit bunches that weigh up to 25 kilograms (55 pounds) each is labour intensive, especially as trees mature and grow taller each year. While mechanized tools are widely used in manuring and to cut fruit from shorter trees between 3 and 8 years old, robotic technology to harvest from mature trees does not exist. A Malaysia-based inventor whose company specializes in labour-saving devices in the palm industry told Reuters his team is working on a mechanical cutter for trees above 8 meters tall that may be ready in the next three years. If this works, it can increase productivity by about 100-200%. So far we have had some drawbacks, but we are still doing a lot of research and development, said the inventor who did not want to be identified. The cutter would still have to be operated by a worker. l

Muhith happy with scam-hit financial sector


As the private, power, and even the corporate sector could be the engine of growth, these sectors are crucial for the economic development, said the minister. Companies and corporate are the driving forces for the overall development of a country, said Muhammed Aziz Khan, chairman of Summit Power and Khulna Power Ltd, after winning an award. Like the previous year, the ICMAB had selected best corporate houses in seven sectors banking, non-banking financial institutions, insurance, pharmaceuticals, power, multinational and other sectors. The award recipients are Rupali Bank Limited in nationalised bank/ state-owned bank category, Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited, Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd in private commercial bank (islamic operation) category, Prime Bank Limited, Eastern Bank Limited, Standard Bank Limited in private commercial bank (traditional operation) category, HSBC Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd in foreign bank category, IDLC Finance Limited, Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd, Uttara Finance & Investment Limited in non-banking financial institution category, Square

Yen firm in Asia on Ukraine tensions

n AFP, Tokyo
The yen held firm in Asia yesterday as jittery investors watched the latest developments in the Ukraine crisis, while awaiting meetings of the US and Japanese central banks this week. In afternoon Tokyo trading, the dollar was changing hands at 102.17 yen against 102.19 yen in New York late Friday, while the euro inched down to 141.23 yen from 141.36 yen. Traders tend to move into the safe-haven yen during times of turmoil or uncertainty. The European single currency slipped to $1.3824 from $1.3832. In Ukraine pro-Russian militants in the country presented a captured team of international observers as prisoners of war Sunday, raising the stakes in the crisis as US president Barack Obama warned Moscow against provocation. He said Russia had not lifted a finger to implement a peace deal struck in Geneva on April 17 to ease the crisis, adding that Moscow faced consequences, and those consequences will continue to grow. Obama and his Western allies are planning a new round of sanctions against Moscow that could be introduced as early as Monday. The escalating crisis saw Moscow last week order new military exercises on the border of Ukraine and warn of consequences after Kiev launched a deadly assault against pro-Kremlin rebels occupying a flashpoint town. There are fears Moscow is planning to take over more Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine in a similar way to that which saw it absorb Crimea last month. It is certainly causing a bit of defensive trading, OMF Senior Client Advisor Stuart Ive said. The Federal Reserve holds a two-day meeting this week, with markets looking for hints from the US central bank about the state of the worlds biggest economy and any change to its stimulus tapering. The Bank of Japans meeting will also be pored over for any new clues about the Asian giants economy and its plans for its own stimulus scheme. The dollar was lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies. The dollar slipped to 44.57 Philippine pesos from 44.68 pesos on Friday, to Sg$1.2563 from Sg$1.2580, and to 1,036.15 South Korean won from 1,040.75 won. l

Smile-Brighter programme ends n Tribune Business Desk

Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) recently organised a two-day long plastic surgery operation campaign under its Smile-Brighter programme at Yamagata Dhaka Friendship Hospital in the capital for the poor cleft-lipped boys and girls to bring back the endearing smile on their faces. A total of 34 boys and girls were operated upon by an eminent plastic surgeon Dr Shareef Hasan, said a press release. The banks deputy managing director, Md Sayedul Hasan visited the operation camp. l

Finance Minister AMA Muhith seen giving an award to Muhammed Aziz Khan, chairperson of Summit Power and Khulna Power Ltd at the ICMAB Best Corporate Award 2013 in a city hotel on Sunday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Renata Limited in pharmaceuticals category, Summit Power Limited, Khulna Power Company Ltd, Barakatullah Electro Dynamics Limited in power sector category, Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd, Singer Bangladesh Limited in multinational category while Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh received the award in others category. On behalf of the awardees, chief financial officer of HSBC Steve Ball, Islami Bank managing director and CEO Abdul Mannan and chairman of Summit Power and Khulna Power Ltd Muhammed Aziz Khan shared their feelings after receiving the awards in their respective sectors. ICMAB President Mohammad Salim and chairman of the selection committee Muzaffar Ahmed spoke on the occasion while ICMAB Secretary Jamal Ahmed Chowdhur also attended the function. The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) introduced ICMAB Best Corporate Award in 2007 to encourage the corporate world to act more responsibly and publish more informative and transparent annual reports. l

Kaspersky Lab tops AV Test for Android devices n Tribune Business Desk
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android recently earned top marks in an independent testing of mobile security products conducted by AV Test in March 2014. Kaspersky Labs solution successfully blocked all threats and its performance received the highest rating from the test lab, said a press release. l

Transcom Beverages Limited recently handed over Aquafina drinking water bottles to the traffic police officers of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and will contribute providing for the next 10 days. Khurshid Irfan Chowdhury, the companys executive director and joint commissioner of DMP, Mir Rezaul Alam was present on the occasion

The Duke of Edinburghs Award Foundation, Bangladesh and the National Award Authority recently arranged a two-day long award leader training programme to ensure standard of the different award units at BACE Training Centre in Sonargoan, Narayangonj. A total of 34 participants from 17 prominent educational institutions of Dhaka, Rangpur, Tangail and Sylhet received certificates from the director of National Award Authority, professor Dr KM Shariful Huda

Singer Bangladesh Limited yesterday held its 34th annual general meeting at the Spectra Convention Centre at Gulshan in Dhaka. The companys shareholders approved 125% dividend including 100% cash and 25% stock for the year 2013. Mahbub Jamil, chairman of Singer Bangladesh Limited chaired the meeting

CSR Centre, Bangladesh recently held the 25th board meeting of the trustee at City Banks head office. Farooq Sobhan, chairperson at the board of trustee, chaired the meeting

Pubali Bank Limited recently held its first conference for the managers of Chittagong region at BGMEA building. The banks managing director and CEO, Helal Ahmed Chowdhury attended the conference as chief guest

First Security Islami Bank on Saturday held Children Science Congress 2014 at a hotel in Dhaka. Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, author and president of the Society for Popularisation of Science, Bangladesh (SPSB) was present at the event



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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Industrial internet: A step towards artificial cognitive society?

n Bijon Islam
Human civilisation has increasingly become connected through technology and social media platforms that have forever changed the way we interact with each other. A significant part of our lives are being spent in digital space, and with each generation, the time within digital network increases. Movements like the Arab Spring have exhibited that this has significant impact even at geo-political level. However, as we go along analysing merits and drawbacks of such societal change, have you thought about the possibility of a similar network where artificial beings, especially machines (which now have substantial computing power), communicate with each other? Sounds like a movie script out of Matrix or the Terminator franchise? The year 2013 has seen an explosion of interest in Big Data. Mckinsey estimates the market at approximately $300bn. Top universities like Northwestern and NYU have opened up MSc programs in Predictive and Business Analytics respectively. Data Science has become a hot topic in business discussions as well. Advent of technology has made data capture and storage cheaper and with increased efficiency in data structuring algorithms, the co-relation between real time analytics and business action has become stronger. Amazon automatically generates reading recommendation to their clients. Now, if the analysis is automated, is it possible the execution is too? Dont look too far, High Volume Trades or HVTs in capital markets may just be the starting point. Now if we combine Big Data computational power with machine learning, the Internet of Things (virtual representations of objects in digital space)and machine-tomachine communication, we are actually at the door step of the Industrial Internet a digitised space for artificial cognitive beings. The concept has been put forward by General Electric (GE) and is demonstrated in the state-of-the-art factory they opened

IMF: Adjustments of Hong Kong property prices 'necessary'

n AFP, Hong Kong
The International Monetary Fund said yesterday Hong Kong property prices are set to see adjustments following years of boom. The citys housing market has become one of the most expensive in the world - prices have more than doubled since 2008 - due to an influx of capital from the mainland and record low interest rates thanks to US quantitative easing. Housing affordability has become a thorny issue for the Hong Kong government, with officials forced to introduce a series of measures to curb rising prices. But an expected US tapering and an interest rate hike are set to bring down prices, the IMF said. Some adjustments are necessary, Rhee Chang-Yong, IMFs director of Asia and Pacific Department, told a press conference in Hong Kong on Monday as the international lender released its latest regional economic outlook. As interest rates go up because of tapering, it is one issue Hong Kong government needs to focus on, he said. Borrowing costs will increase. It definitely will have an impact on real estate, he said. Since 2010, authorities have implemented several measures to curb rising property prices, including an unprecedented bid to restrict the number of non-local homebuyers with a 15% property tax on foreign investors. Rhee said Hong Kong government can consider weakening some of the measures when prices start to fall in a more significant manner in order to achieve a soft landing. The recommendations came as the IMF expected the citys GDP to grow by 3.7% this year, before edging up to 3.8% next year. In general, the IMF projects Asias growth to remain steady at 5.4% this year, compared to 5.2% last year. It can further improve to 5.5% in the next year, driven by demand, the IMF said. External demand is set to pick up alongside the recovery in advanced economies, and domestic demand should remain solid across most of the region, its outlook report published on its website said.

'There is a possibility that Abenomicsrelated measures could prove less effective in boosting growth than envisaged unless strongly supported by structural reforms'
Asia remains the most dynamic region despite tapering, Rhee said in the press conference. But a faster-than-thought slowdown in China and a sluggish Japan are two big risks to the regions economic outlook. China is expected to grow by 7.5% this year before slowing to 7.3% next year, IMF said. Japan could grow by 1.4% this year before lowering to 1% next year, it said. There is a possibility that Abenomics-related measures could prove less effective in boosting growth than envisaged unless strongly supported by structural reforms, the lender said in the report. l

in New York in 2012, which manufactures advanced sodium-nickel batteries for powering cell-phone towers. The factory hosts 10,000+ sensors spread across 180K square feet of manufacturing space, all connected via high-speed intranet. And these monitor intricate component quality, power usage, temperature to even specific air pressure or humidity in the plant. Whenever, any parameter needs adjustment, the different machines are able to communicate with each other and execute the requisite action. However, according to GE this is just the beginning. Right now the communication

network is just intra-factory but it is possible to encompass all the products that ever went out of this factory within the network. In that way all shipped products would be constantly monitored and whenever there is mal-function, remedial action can be dispatched within the shortest possible time. The whole structure in itself has immense possibilities. Different machines are able to communicate with each other, make decisions and take actions. Just think whatever machines and equipment we have at our home today may one day be connected so that when we go to sleep, the app on our phone will start sleep monitoring, the alarm

clock will adjust itself, the TV will shut down and a soft music will start playing whilst the light slowly dims. And before we wake up, the shower water heater and coffee machine will starthumming. Seems like sci-fi dream now, but just wait out three years and we would possibly get to see things even more amazing. l Bijon Islam is the director of strategy at LightCastle Partners, an emerging market specialized business planning and intelligence firm. The write-up was originally published in the LCP blog (

Obama praises business deals, touts US enterprise

n Reuters, Kuala Lumpur
President Barack Obama watched over the signing of three business deals in Malaysia yesterday, using the opportunity to promote US commercial expertise during a four-country swing through Asia. The president has sought during stops in Japan, Korea and Malaysia to bolster the US security commitment to Asia, where a rising China has made many US allies nervous. But he has also used the trip as an effort to advance economic exchanges, with mixed results. A hoped for trade pact failed to come to fruition despite round-theclock negotiations in Japan. Officials said they had made progress that would bring Japan into the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which commits countries to lower import tariffs and to dropping other impediments to imports. Obama presided over a ceremony in which three deals worth nearly $2bn were inked. The agreements paved the way for aviation, pharmaceutical, and insurance business between US And Malaysia-based companies. These deals reflect our commitment to stepping up our game, he said. The president said the conclusion of the TPP would produce jobs and higher living standards in the United States, and he pledged to work toward concluding the accord. Malaysia is participating in negotiations to create the TPP. South Korea, which is implementing a bilateral trade accord with the United States, has expressed interest in joining as well. Domestic constituencies have raised objections to the trade accord in many countries negotiating the deal. Obama, whose own Democratic Party has balked at supporting efforts to move forward on TPP, was reminded of that when anti-TPP demonstrators caused a distraction at a town hall meeting he held on Sunday with young people at the University of Malaya. The deals were between General Electric Co. and AirAsia X, Verdezyne and Sime Darby, and MetLife and AmBank Group. GE will supply engines and maintenance for 25 new Airbus A330 aircraft for AirAsia; plantations-to-motoring conglomerate Sime Darby will take a stake in San Diego biotechnology startup Verdezyne to work on a project to convert palm oil waste into industrial chemicals; and Metlife will cooperate with Malaysias fifth largest banking group AmBank on insurance and savings products. l

Wal-Mart paid $334m to end India partnership n Reuters, Mumbai

Wal-Mart Stores Inc paid about $234m in debt related to the purchase of a stake in its Indian joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, which the US retailer ended in October last year, according to its 2014 annual report. Wal-Mart, the worlds largest retailer, had earlier paid $100m to take over its Indian partners 50% stake in Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt Ltd, which runs 20 wholesale stores under the Best Price Modern Wholesale brand. The transaction resulted in a net loss of about $151m, according to the companys consolidated statement of income. l

A picture taken on April 25 in Tirana shows different cheeses displayed during the opening ceremony of the first French Agriculture Fair in Albania AFP

Japan PM set for European trade and security trip

n AFP, Tokyo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves today for a six-nation European tour, hoping to move ahead on trade talks and possible security deals at a time when China is flexing its muscles. The premiers nine-day visit, which will take him to Germany, Britain, Portugal, Spain, France and Belgium, comes less than a week after Japan hosted US President Barack Obama on a state visit. Despite high hopes, Tokyo and Washington failed to find common ground on a Pacific-wide free trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A year ago, the European Union and Japan launched their own trade talks aimed at boosting business between the continent and the worlds number three economy, a tie-up that would account for about 40% of global trade. Officials on both sides say negotiations are moving forward and a deal could be struck before the TPP, with Abes visit seen as an important diplomatic boost to winning an agreement. The premiers itinerary includes a Japan-EU summit and lunch with business leaders in Paris. He also has meetings with NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Angel Gurria, head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Earlier this month Japan lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports, introducing new rules covering the arms trade in a move which supporters say will boost Tokyos global role. The change comes as Japan is locked in a bitter territorial dispute with an increasingly assertive China, while regional tensions are high over a possible North Korean nuclear test. The killing of 10 Japanese workers during a hostage crisis at a remote Algerian gas plant last year has also prompted new security concerns in Tokyo. Japan recognises the importance of Europe, particularly in terms of security as we are global partners, a senior Japanese foreign ministry official told AFP Monday. Abe, whose trip runs until May 7, will be joined for part of it by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. While Obamas visit underlined Washingtons pledge to protect ally Japan in case of military conflict, Abes trip to Europe is aimed at broadening Tokyos security ties. Clearly, Japan is attaching more importance than before to these issues in its dialogue with European countries - theyre much more visible on his agenda, a European diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity. France has already announced a deal to cooperate with Japan in robotics and cyber-defence as well as joint work on advanced helicopters and submarines. Loosening Tokyos self-imposed ban on arms exports could meanwhile open up commercial opportunities with Europe. Abes cabinet approved the plan to replace a 1967 blanket ban, which prohibited arms sales to conflict-plagued countries or nations that could undermine international peace and security. Japans post-World War II constitution, imposed by US-led occupiers, banned the country from waging war. Tokyo is also eyeing a possible security logistics tie-up known as an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement with European nations. It already has such pacts with the United States and Australia. l


U.S. President Barack Obama (standing right) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (standing left) witness the signing of a major business agreement between GE and AirAsia X in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday REUTERS