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Boishakh 17, 1421 Jamadius Sani 29, 1435 Regd. No.

DA 6238 Vol 2, No 31



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Abductions still wrapped in mysteries

Observers believe most of the recent incidents are political
Jamil Khan n Mohammad and Ashif Islam Shaon
Recent incidents of abduction and disappearance have numbed the nation, especially because almost all these incidents are shrouded in mysteries: why these people were abducted, who abducted them, or why those who have come back alive were released these questions have remained alive in discussions but unresolved. In the past, families of victims would get phone calls from the kidnappers and come to settlements to get back their near ones. In one of the latest incidents of abduction, seven people, including a Narayanganj City Corporation ward councillor, were picked up in the district in the same way BELA chiefs husband Abu Bakar Siddique had been abducted two weeks ago. ASM Shahjahan, former inspector general of police, yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that incidents of such kind of criminal activities had increased as the rule of law had not been ensured properly. The rule of law must be established and action must be taken against the culprits after proper identification, and only then such incidents will stop occurring. Professor Dr Zia Rahman, chairperson of the criminology department at Dhaka University, identifies three types of abduction: at the instruction of top underworld criminals; abduction caused a result of personal conflicts; and political abduction, in which case the kidnapping is conducted using the guise of law enforcers. He pointed out that the recent abductions did not go with the first two types. It mainly points to the third type where the abductions took place using the name of the law enforcers and no one claimed any ransom from the victims families. Dr Zia said the country had been apparently without any violence lately and there was no reason for abduction to take place. In this situation, it cannot be overlooked whether any third party is involved in such incidents, whether international politics is working, to portray the government as weak, thus leaving it confronted by the people, he said. The state must investigate any

A wrecker removes the smashed bus, hit by a running train, from rail track at TT para level crossing near Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital yesterday

Mahmudul Hossain Opu

State minister for home and the IGP said abduction had happened in the past and it was happening now and there was no need to be scared
But the scenario has been completely different lately, as abductors have not called the family members of their victims, demanding any ransom or any other settlements; law enforcers have also failed to trace the victims or the abductors. The victims have often returned alive only after the kidnappers released them. According to Ain O Salish Kendra, in recent times, 16 people fell victim to forced disappearance, and seven of them were found dead. Around 53 people have been abducted so far this year while 68 in 2013, 56 in 2012, 59 in 2011 and 46 in 2010.

Three people killed as commuter train hits bus in capital

Islam Shaon and n Ashif Mohammad Jamil Khan
At least three people, including a journalists wife, were killed and eight others critically injured as a commuter train hit a bus on TT Para level crossing near Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital last night. One of the deceased was Nazmus Sadat Naju, 25, wife of Daily Janakantha subeditor AKM Obaidur Rahman while the identity of the two other victims, aged between 30 and 35, could not be known immediately. Naju died from her injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital while the two bodies were kept at Kamalapur railway police station. Officer-in-charge of Kamalapur railway police station Abdul Mazid said the accident took place around 10:30pm. The injured were rushed to the DMCH. Police said the bus of Balaka Paribahan was heading towards Gazipur from Sayedabad Bus Terminal. Shahinur Rahman, an eyewitness to the incident, told the Dhaka Tribune that as the train coming from Narayanganj was about to enter the Kamalapur Railway Station, the gateman pulled down the iron bar to stop the movement of vehicles on the level crossing. But the driver was in a hurry and he tried to cross the line before the train reaches, but in vain. Finally, the driver tried to avoid the collision, but the train hit the bus at that time, he said. Obaidur Rahman, who was also injured in the mishap, claimed that a portion of the iron bar was open and the bus driver used the space to reach the line. However, the driver managed to flee the scene soon after the accident. Railways Director General Tafazzel Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that a four-member committee would be formed to investigate the accident. Turning down the claims of the journalist, he said, It was the bus drivers fault. After an hour of the incident, the wreckage of the bus was removed from the spot. Traffic on the road was suspended for more than one and a half hours due to the accident. l

Parliamentary body for abandoning metre gauge tracks n Kamran Reza Chowdhury
A parliamentary watchdog has asked the government to switch focus to building a broad gauge-based railway network instead of investing money for the existing metre guage tracks. The Awami League government has invested over Tk8,407crore in the last five years for promoting metre gauge tracks. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Railway Ministry at its maiden meeting yesterday said the government could not turn Bangladesh Railway (BR) into a safe and reliable entity and reap the benefits of globalisation if it promoted metre gauge tracks, abandoned by most countries including India.

Top officials withdrawn for negligence n Tribune Report


Food adulteration reaches new height

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
Unsafe levels of pesticides are present in around half of the vegetables and more than a quarter of fruits sold in the capitals markets, a recent survey has found. A 15-member team of the National Food Safety Laboratory, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), came up with the findings after collecting and testing food samples from the capitals Gulshan, Karwanbazar and Mohakhali markets. The survey report, a copy of which was acquired by the Dhaka Tribune, read that nearly 40% of 82 samples of milk, milk products, fish, fruits and vegetables contained banned pesticides such as DDT, Aldrin, Chlordane and Heptachlor. The amounts of pesticide in these samples were found to be three to 20 times greater than the limits set by the European Union. Around 50% vegetables and 35% fruits were found to be contaminated with unsafe level of pesticides. Analysing more than 30 samples of turmeric powder (branded, packaged and open), the team also found that




The government has decided to withdraw senior government officials and top-level law enforcers, in connection with recent incidents of abductions. State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal last night confirmed the withdrawal of Rab 11 Commander Lt Col Tarek Sayeed, Narayanganj Police Superintendent Syed Nurul Islam, and the Officers-in-Charge of Fatullah and Shiddhirgangj police stations, Akter Hossain and Abdul Motin. The deputy commissioner of Narayanganj, Monojkanti Boral, was also withdrawn, a source in the Home Ministry said. On the other hand, sources at the Police Headquarters confirmed that two other personnel from Rab 11, Maj Arif and Lt Rana, were also among the officials who were withdrawn. However, when contacted, the DC and SP of Narayanganj told the Dhaka Tribune that they were yet to get any ministry order in this regard.

30% turmeric powder

Safety compliance a make-or-break for many garment factories

n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi
Official data shows that many garment factories have lost business in the past one year since the Rana Plaza collapse, but stakeholders say cancellations have not affected the compliant units. In fact, compliant factories are more optimistic about rising from the slump that followed the collapse, because the industry overall has been making progress in terms of ensuring fire safety and workers security. According to a BGMEA survey covering over 400 factories, foreign buyers have cancelled orders worth $110m from 37 factories over the last year. Industry insiders said most of these factories had not done much to become fire and safety compliant. Since the collapse that claimed the lives of more than 1,100 workers, compliance has become the single most important issue for foreign buyers to consider while placing orders. Many factories that faced cancellation were small units. Becoming fire and security compliant takes a lot of investment, which many of these factories cannot afford. Over the last year, foreign buyers have also strengthened monitoring. Accord an inspection group sponsored by European buyers and Alliance a US-backed inspection team have been constantly surveying RMG factories in Bangladesh. These two groups have inspected more than 800 factories in recent months. Following recommendations from Accord and Alliance, the authorities concerned have even shut down many factories because they lacked compliance. However, the government has also taken a number of major steps to


* DDT, Aldrin, Chlordane, Heptachlor: 3 to 20 times the limits set by European Union * 20 to 50 times above the safe limit of 2.5 parts per million set by BSTI * Street foods showed widespread contamination in water supply
High microbial populations found in milk Arsenic and chromium above safe limits detected in rice

Adulteration of formalin

Feed contamination and antibiotics detected

nearly 30% of the samples contained traces of lead chromate, which can be fatal if swallowed or inhaled. These samples also contained lead at

20 to 50 times above the safety limit of 2.5 parts per million set by the Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute (BSTI).

B1 Three mobile phone operators - Grameenphone, Robi and Teletalk made a total net profit of Tk1,883.4 crore in 2013.

Long Form


7 Bangladesh is facing an interesting future. Its largest and most important neighbour by far, India, may have a new government in a few months time.

4 The drug administration authority has issued show-cause notices to 15 pharmaceuticals companies, which have previously been identified as manufacturers of substandard drugs, asking them to explain within 15 days why their licences should not be cancelled.



6 Farmers are worried about expected mango output as young mango fruits are hugely falling off due to sweltering weather in Chapainawabganj this year.

11 You might be taken by surprise by the title of the piece or take the scribe as a lunatic. Why am I demanding the gallows, and for whom? No, I am not renewing the demand for hanging the war criminals.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Defence starts argument in Mir Kashem case

n Udisa Islam
The defence of war crimes accused Mir Kashem Ali began placing closing arguments yesterday and denied all the charges pressed against the Jamaat-e-Islami Executive member. Mizanul Islam argued for half of the session claiming that during the 1971 Liberation War, the accused had not played any role as commander of alBadr as claimed by the prosecution. He also claimed that the prosecution witnesses including the investigation officer had given false statements at the tribunal and that the accused had not been present at the scene of crimes. At the end of days proceedings, the International Crimes Tribunal 2 adjourned the hearing until today for the defence to place further argument. Mir Kashem, also the Jamaat treasurer and key fancier, was indicted on September 5 last year on 14 charges of crimes against humanity he had committed in Chittagong as an al-Badr commander. 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. The defence yesterday argued on five charges mostly related to Daleem Hotel. Refuting the claim of the prosecution that it was an al-Badr torture cell, the defence said Daleem Hotel had not been a torture cell of the al-Badr as it was under the control of Motiur Rahman alias Moitya Gunda. The defence also claimed that description of the charges and deposition of the witnesses had been different while the prosecution never filed any review petition to change the language of charges framed by the tribunal. The prosecution completed its part of closing arguments on Monday and sought highest punishment for the Bangalee Khan of 1971. According to the prosecution, Mir Kashem was the chief of Chittagong city unit of Islami Chhatra Sangha, then Jamaats student wing. Mir Kashem had led the armed alBadr group in the port city and used Daleem Hotel as their torture camp where freedom fighters and the pro-liberation people had been brought and killed following torture. l

Jamaat man killed in gunfight n Our Correspondent, Satkhira

An activist of Jamaat-e-Islami killed in a so-called gunfight with police in Debhata upazila early Tuesday. The deceased, Sirajul Islam, from Chiledanga village of the upazila was a suspected criminal in different cases including the murder of Parulia Awami League leader Raihan and cutting of trees. Debhata police station OC Md Jalal Uddin confirmed the incident to the Dhaka Tribune. He said when they had conducted a raid in the village early yesterday, armed activists of Jamaat hurled cocktails at the police. In retaliation, police fired 10 rounds of bullets that triggered the gunfight. Sirajul received bullet injuries while his associates fled the spot. Later, he was taken to Shokhipur Hospital where the duty doctors declared him dead. The OC said: Two police members were also injured in the incident. We have recovered two arms from the spot. l

Locals barricade the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Siddhirganj, Narayanganj protesting the abduction of municipality councillor and panel mayor Nazrul Islam and four others and demand their immediate rescue Mahmudul Hossain Opu

Parliamentary body

Top officials
Tk2,800crore for procuring 70 metre gauge locomotives and 864 coaches, wagons and carriages. Official figures show that the length of BRs tracks is 2,877km,of which 1,808km is metre gauge, 660km broad gauge and 409km dual gauge. Welcoming the recommendation, TA Chowdhury, a former BR director general, told the Dhaka Tribune that: One of the major problems for the BR is the mixed nature of its tracks. We should have a uniform network for ensuring seamless journey from one corner of the country to another. We are a signatory to the TAR. Accordingly, we have to turn the tracks into broad gauge to get connected to India, he said. The former DG explained that often the BR could not run broad gauge trains because there were not enough compatible locomotives and engines. If the tracks are made uniform, all locomotives could be used for all types of carriages, he said. The UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacificis sponsoringthe TARnetwork that connects Singapore with Turkey through South Asia. l

Abduction fear grabs nation


such possibility and take action accordingly. Advocate Elina Khan, chief executive of Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation, however, does not think that any third party has been behind the recent incidents. She holds responsible the failure of the law enforcers and the state behind these abductions. She told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that there had been no chain of command among the field level police officers. General people are now used to thinking that the law enforcers cannot help them while criminals think that the law enforcers cannot do anything to them, she said.

Narayanganj abduction

Supporters of Narayanganj ward 2 Councillor Nazrul Islam, who was abducted around 1:45pm on Sunday along with his four aides Tajul, Swapan, Liton and Jahangir from Adalatpara area of the city, yesterday blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway for nearly two hours, demanding immediate rescue of the five men. Transport movement remained suspended on the highway until the demonstrators withdrew the blockade around 12:30pm, reports our Narayanganj correspondent. The demonstrators took to the street and blocked the highway at Mouchak point around 10:45am, said Abdul Matin, officer-in-charge of Siddhirganj police station. Nazrul, also the former general secretary of Narayanganj Chhatra League, and his men were leaving the court premises after securing bail in a case, said Nazruls wife Selina Islam. They were in Nazruls private car when they were abducted. Police found the car at Rajendrapur in Gazipur around 9pm on Sunday but have yet to trace the victims. Meanwhile, lawyers of Narayanganj Ainjibi Samiti boycotted the court, demanding information on the whereabouts of abducted lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar and his driver, who had been kidnapped hours after the abduction of Nazrul and his men. Around the time the five were kidnapped, senior lawyer Chandan Sarkar and his driver Ibrahim were abducted from the court area, family members said. Police recovered Chandans car from the capitals Gulshan around 10pm yesterday. When contacted, Nurul Islam, police super of Narayanganj, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were trying to trace the abductors and the victims.

Two abducted Gazipur brothers rescued

Gazipur Superintendent of Police Abdul Baten has claimed that they have identified the abductors and they will be arrested soon. Dil Mohan Mondal, 45, and Kedari Mohon Mondol, 41, were rescued on April 28 from Nandan Park area around 9pm. They had been kidnapped three days before, reports our correspondent in the district.

Dil Mohan said six to seven men identifying themselves as police abducted them at gunpoint on April 25. He said their hands had been tied and they had been blindfolded and taken to an unknown place by a microbus after roaming around for an hour. He said they had been confined to a room in a house near Nabinagar. The abductors did not torture them, nor did they demand any ransom. On Monday evening, they took the two brothers in a car and left on a road from where police rescued them. Meanwhile, 10 people, including teachers and students, have been abducted in the past two months in Mymensingh. Our correspondent there reports: The last incident of abduction took place in the early hours of Monday when unknown people kidnapped three people, including two teachers at gunpoint, cuffing them after breaking into their houses in Bhaluka upazilas Pachgaon village. Quoting locals, police said eight to 10 people broke into the house of Shamsuddin Munshi. They held the family members hostages at gunpoint and handcuffed Kamal Hossain Sabuj, 35, son of Shamsuddin and a teacher at a local coaching centre. They also picked up Abu Bakar Siddique Swapon, a cousin of Sabuj, who is also a teacher at the same coaching centre. When family members inquired where they were taking the two, the armed men said they were taking them to the police station. In another incident, introducing as police seven to eight armed men abducted Yusuf Ali Sohag, 18, a second year student of Mymensingh Homeopathic College and son of Kolimullah of Panibhanda village, on the night of April 19. The same group of armed men also picked up Bashir Ahmed, Morshed Ali, and Sohel from an adjacent village the same night. There has been no trace of the two teachers and the four youths yet. On March 5, posing as RAB personnel, some armed people broke into the house of Asadullah of Purbapara village and took away his sons Abu Hanif, Nazmul and Sanwar in a microbus. Officer-in-Charge of Bhaluka Model police station Rafiqul Azad said two general diaries had been lodged in connection with the incident. The three boys were found blindfolded and lying beside a road after three days of the abduction. In reply to a question, IGP Hassan Mahmood Khandker yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: Who says cases are not investigated? Investigations are underway, but yes, some are pending. The law enforcers have been trying hard and we have already brought back a few victims. Asked separately why abduction has been on the rise recently, both the IGP and State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan said abduction had happened in the past and it was happening now. They said there was no need to be scared as the law enforcers had been looking into the cases. l

Being a signatory to the 14,080km Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) network that stretchedfrom Singapore to Turkey, Bangladesh must convert its track into broad gauge to get connected with the global railway link through Indias board gauge network. The TAR connectivity will enter Bangladesh from India and cross through the neighbours northeastern states. The broad gaugetrack can carry twice the number of passengers at one and a half times cheaper cost than metre gauge lines. Almost all countries in the world have abandoned the unsafe and unreliable metre gauge long ago, but our network is still metre gauge-based. We have to keep pace with the world and turn the network into broad gauge, ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary body, told the Dhaka Tribune after the meeting at the parliament building yesterday. He said: We cannot reap the benefits of TAR unless the tracks are converted into broad gauge. Md Ali Asghar, Mizanur Rahman, Sirajul Islam Mollah, Mohammad No-

man, Yeasin Ali and FatemaJohra the other members of the committee who attended the meeting also gave consents to the recommendations. Railway Minister MazibulHoque, who also agreed, said conversion would need huge investment although he did not specify any figure. The issue of converting the tracks came up when the committee had been discussing the recent derailment of the metre-gauge Drutojan Express on the Jamunabridge. Officialstold the meeting that the train, which unexpectedly accelerated because of strong wind, would not have derailed if the track was broad gauge. One-metre wide metre gauge tracks can be turned into dual gauge, on which both metre gauge and 1.76-metre broad gauge trains can run, by setting up an additional rail beside the existing track. BR has been setting up a new 64km metre gauge track on the Tongi-Bhairab route at a cost of over Tk2,037crorefor smootheningtraffic on the Dhaka-Sylhet and Dhaka-Chittagong routes. According to a paper presented at the meeting, BR has been also implementing seven projects costing over

The state minister said: The government has zero tolerance about abductions and enforced disappearances. The decision has been taken to bring back relief among the Narayanganj dwellers. Earlier on Sunday, Nazrul Islam, councillor of ward 2, his four aides Tajul, Swapan, Liton and Jahangir and his driver, were kidnapped from Adalatpara area of the city. Hours after the incident, lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar and his driver were also kidnapped in a separate incident of abduction from Narayanganj. l

MoU signed for 3rd 1,320MW coal plant


Food adulteration reaches new height


Arsenic and chromium above safety limits were detected in a total of five out of 13 rice samples. Using a sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method developed by the food safety lab, 66 samples were analysed for the presence of formaldehyde, while adulteration was detected in samples of coriander, mango and fresh shrimps. The tests indicated that poultry feed in the country had also been contaminated, as samples of chicken and fish contained traces of antibiotics. High microbial populations were found in several samples of pasteurised milk, indicating poor processing procedures by the manufacturers. Samples of cucumber and street foods also showed high microbial populations, suggesting widespread contamination in the water supply. At least four samples of package juice were mislabelled as containing no preservative, although they contained benzoic acid within safety limits. Dr Subimal Sinha Choudhury, director of Institute of Public Health (IPH), told the Dhaka Tribune that the survey report has been submitted to

the Health Ministry. Further tests of different products were being carried out at the food safety lab, Subimal said, adding that the reports would be made public soon. The latest survey report was handed over to Health Minister Mohammed Nasim and other senior officials of the health directorate on April 15. Prof Dr Shah Monir Hossain, former director general of the health services and senior national adviser of the FAO, said the findings were shocking information for the whole nation. He added that instead of focusing only on the end products, the issue should be addressed at the root level. Pointing out that there were four steps in the production process farmer, transport, wholesale, and retail trader, Dr Monir said better monitoring and supervision were mandatory for stopping food adulteration. Adulterated food products are reportedly the cause behind thousands of people suffering from fatal diseases like cancer, kidney failure and heart problems. Health specialists told the Dhaka Tribune that the Food Ministry had enacted a Food Safety Act, but was yet to prepare the necessary rules. As the

issue of food safety was also linked to 14 other ministries, a coordinated agency should take responsibility of ensuring safety in food products, they added. HC issues order on food adulteration The High Court yesterday ordered the government to inform it within two weeks on what steps they had taken to halt the poisoning of food and also against its perpetrators. The bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the order following a writ petition lodged by Supreme Court lawyer Kazi Mynul Hasan. The court also issued a rule seeking explanation from the government as to why they should not be directed to ensure production and sale of safe food and to take proper legal action against the people who are responsible for adulteration of food and its selling, Deputy Attorney General Al-Amin Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune. The bench fixed May 18 for hearing the petition, our court correspondent reported. The petition told the court about the recent study which found that 40% food in the capitals market contained high levels of pesticide. l

a capacity of 250MW was built by the Chinese firm CMC. In October last year, the construction of the Rampal power plant began amid massive resistance from the conservationists who fear that the proposed plant situated beside Pashur River a sweet-water dolphin sanctuary, and the Sundarbans a Unesco World Heritage Site would be a threat to the biodiversity of the mangrove forest. After the signing of the MoU, the energy adviser yesterday said though the countrys power generation capacity was 10,000MW, only 7,000MW could be generated. Power plants having the capacity of around 2,000MW were under maintenance while another 1,000MW could not be produced due to gas crisis. Admitting the persistent loadshedding, Tawfiq urged all to have patience. He also reminded that there had been progress achieved in the power sector. The PDB chairman said: We have taken initiative to acquire 5,000 acre land in Moheshkhali where around 9,000MW capacity power plants will be installed. It will be the countrys future power hub for coal power plants. He said now the government would begin the feasibility study, finalise the joint venture agreement, prepare project documents and carry out other project development activities in full swing. We have to mobilise 30% of the funds as equity while the rest will come as soft loan from China, Ruhulullah added. l

Safety compliance a make-or-break for many garment factories


enhance the overall safety compliance in the industry. Some of these steps are: raising the wage structure; amending the Labour Law; training 13,000 mid-level RMG employees with fire safety; appointing 67 inspector; and so on. The entrepreneurs have also stepped out. According to the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), many factories now have fire doors and exits. The number of trade unions has also risen significantly. It is unfortunate that although we are working hard to make the sector safe and fully compliant, the buyers are cancelling orders from the factories, especially those that share buildings, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune. In fact, some apparel makers have told the Dhaka Tribune that they are having to chase the buyers for getting orders. In my 17 years in the RMG sector, I never did marketing. But, after the Rana Plaza collapse, as the buyers are not placing orders, I am doing it, said Abdul Kashem, deputy managing director of AKH Group.

Orders used to pour into Bangladesh because we ensured high quality at reasonable prices, Kashem reminded. The termination of orders has badly hurt the factories that operate on sub-contracts. According to unofficial data, out of the 3,600 active RMG units in the country, at least 1,200 or around one-third operate on sub-contracts. Around 10 lakh workers are employed in these factories. Seeking anonymity, the owner of one such factory located in Gazipur said: It is impossible for owners like me to implement the new wage structure. Bills have remained the same but the wages have increased by 77%. I am trying hard to ensure safety of the workers, but it is very tough for me because the costs are very high. After the Rana Plaza and Tazreen disasters, Apex Holdings installed 700 sprinklers at a cost of TK6.5 crore in its Gazipur warehouse in line with buyers recommendation. The company also removed all water tanks from the rooftop and spent Tk1.5 crore to build an underground reservoir that can store up to 10 lakh litres of water to be used only for fire incidents. Fire doors

and special lights that can see through smokes, were also installed. We have sufficient work order now and the buyers have expressed satisfaction with the work that we have done in terms of improving safety, said MD Abul Kalam, a deputy general manager of Apex Holdings. Another ex-BGMEA chief AnwarUl-Alam Chowdhury, also the MD of Evince Group, said: If the factory is compliant orders will come. My orders have increased because we are working on compliance. Recently, Envoy Group, owned by former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy, imported and installed 130 fire doors in its factories. Despite the initiative, he said he had lost 10% orders. Bangladeshi exporters have lost competitiveness as production cost has increased. Now they are having to spend more for compliance issues and the new wage structure, he said. He however said if the industry got compliant, orders would start coming back. The Rana Plaza collapse tarnished our global image. We need to rebuild it by ensuring workers safety. Rokeya Begum, a sewing machine

operator at the factory of the IDS Group in the capital, told the Dhaka Tribune that: As a worker, I feel safer than before. Fire exits now remain open during working hours. Earlier, the doors used to be locked. Sumon, who works at the factory of Brothers Fashion in the capitals Karwan Bazaar, said: We are enjoying a new wage structure, but at what cost. We lost so many brothers and sisters in the worst ever factory disaster. Srinivas B Reddy, country director of the International Labour Organisation, recently said: Freedom of association in the RMG sector in Bangladesh is getting a shape. During the last 15 months, a total of 134 trade unions got registered with the government. This is very significant in terms of freedom of association in collective bargaining. BGMEA President Atiqul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that: The RMG sector is ready to set a new paradigm in safety and security because many initiatives have been taken. If the buyers and the stakeholders continue their efforts, the RMG sector would become safe and matured. l



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Malaysia to build 22,000 apartments, German delegates doubt about five-year stability flyover in Dhaka
n Mohosinul Karim
The government of Malaysia is expected to construct 22,000 apartments in Uttara and Kamrangir Char areas in Dhaka city and a 13km long flyover between Shantinagar and Jheelmil project at Mawa in Keraniganj. Bangladesh and Malaysia yesterday signed three memorandums of understanding to implement three projects. Housing and Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain and Malaysian governments Special Envoy Utama S Samy Vellu signed the deals on behalf of their respective sides. The Malaysian government will put forward its financial proposals to the Bangladesh government as soon as possible to sign a final agreement for starting the construction works, the minister told reporters at the signing ceremony held at the ministrys conference room. He said, We hope the Malaysian government will submit its proposals soon so that we can sign the final deal within next two months to start the construction work. They will complete building 22,000 apartments within 30 months since the award of work order. Initially, the Malaysian government will construct 12,000 out of 18,000 apartments under Uttara apartment project. The government had cancelled work order awarded to Ena Properties Ltd, a local construction firm owned by ruling Awami League MP Enamul Haque, as it failed to build the apartments within a stipulated time. And, the Housing and Public Works Ministry will construct the rest of apartments. At the same time, the Malaysian authority will finalise proposals for building 10,000 new apartments in Kamrangir Char area after eviction of illegal occupants from the government land. Even though illegal occupants would be evicted from the government land, they would be rehabilitated under the new apartment project, Mosharraf said. However, Bangladeshi government will continue talks with the Malaysian authorities to construct a 13km flyover between Shantinagar and Jheelmil project which had already been finalised. We will look at their proposal. If their proposal is acceptable, we will go ahead with it. Otherwise, we will look for another company or country to construct the flyover, he added. Samy Vellu informed that Iqbal Mohammed, chief of International Construction Company, will look after the construction works on behalf of the Malaysian government as its local agent. He said, If we go to construct the apartments with traditional technologies, it will take around six years to complete the work. But we are not going to do it. We will provide modern technologies and designs in the project as we can complete the works within 30 months since the work order. l

of government
n Mohammad Al-MasumMolla
The Visiting German parliamentary delegation yesterday appreciated the prevailing political stability in the country but at the same time expressed concern whether it could last for five years. I must express the Bundestags concern that the current parliament has been elected by a small part of the electorate only with tens of millions of voters having been deprived of the possibility to cast their ballots. While we appreciate the stability this country has again found today we have some doubts whether it can be maintained for a full period of five years unless substantial dialogue between the major political forces starts, rather sooner than the later. We would hope to soon receive a positive signal from Bangladesh in this respect, Dagmar G Wohrl, head of the delegation, told journalists at a press conference. Expressing optimism to continue the support to Bangladesh the delegation chief said: German remains committed to continue its support to Bangladesh on its way to leave behind poverty and to consolidate its democracy. In reply to a query whether Germany wants fresh election in Bangladesh she said the German delegation expressed its concern over political system in Bangladesh while meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina but it is up to Bangladesh whether it would hold new election or not. Dialogue should be resumed soon... we regretted that a mechanism of participatory election was not found. The matter of new election is yours (Bangladesh), Dagmar said. In reply to another query whether the relationship between Bangladesh and Germany would be affected after the January 5 election she said Germany would continue to work with Bangladesh as the two countries have had a long-standing tie. German parliament member Stefan Rebmann said Bangladesh will be assessed critically and will be under fo-

cus in future about workers safety and job security. German has strong trade unions and Bangladesh also should have powerful trade unions for the sake of progress and sustainable development, he said adding that strong trade union helps country to move towards progress and development. As he was asked whether more German investment would come to Bangladesh in future he said it depends on safety and job security of the workers and frame work.

Two men arrested with arms, ammo remanded n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
A Dhaka court yesterday granted 10day police remand against two persons who were arrested from an intercity train at the Airport railway station in the capital with explosive substances. Dhakas Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Nazmul Haque Shyamol granted the remand in two cases for the accused Nurul Islam and Md Shamim alias Abdullah after hearing a plea. The defence counsels filed a bail prayer with remand rejection prayer, while Additional Public Prosecutor Anowarul Kabir Babul opposed their bail and sought remand. Md Sirajul Islam, a Railway police sub-inspector, produced them with 20day police remand in the cases. On 28 April, an automated AK 22 rifle, two magazines and eight bullets were recovered from the duo when they got down from Subarna Express. The lawmen also found three knives, 10 small packets of power gel, 10 detonators and some electric wire in their possession. l

But it is only the beginning of a long road, which Germany is ready to go with Bangladesh
Dagmar said as Germany is Bangladeshs second biggest market worldwide It creates a joint obligation for buyers, traders and producers for your government and for ours, for your trade unions and civil society and ours to make sure that production and working condition are up to international standards About the working atmosphere in the RMG sector, especially after the Rana Plaza collapse, she said with the help of Accord and ILO, but also with the support of Alliance, some progress has been made, no doubt, all stakeholders deserve praise for this. But it is only the beginning of a long road, which Germany is ready to go with Bangladesh. Praising Bangladesh for achieving the millennium development goals, Dagmar said Bangladesh is considered to be a role model in areas such as poverty reduction, increasing enrolment at primary schools and lowering infant and maternal rate. In the press briefing, German Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Albrecht Conze, Deputy Head of Delegation Stefan Rebmann, Jrgen Klimke, Frank Heinrich, Gabi Weber,NiemaMovassat and UweKekeritz were present. l

Police display arms and explosive, including an AK 22 automatic rifle, recovered from Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital yesterday

MoU signed for 3rd 1,320MW coal plant

n Aminur Rahman Rasel
Bangladesh and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Moheshkhali Island of Coxs Bazar a possible future hub of such electricity generating units. Having two units each with equal production capacity of 660MW, the proposed plant will use imported coal. Construction of the plant is likely to complete in 2019. State-owned Power Development Board struck the deal with Chinas largest state-owned power generation company yesterday to jointly set up the $2bn plant. It would use ultra-supercritical technology to curb pollution which is evident at a coal-run power plant. The Department of Environment has already given location clearance for the plant. PDB Chairman Md Abduhu Ruhulullah and China Huadian Hong Kong Company Limited President Zhao Longjun inked the MoU from the respective sides at Bidyut Bhaban in the capital yesterday. Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, Prime Ministers Power and Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Power Secretary Monowar Islam, Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jun and senior officials attended the function. The PDB chairman claimed that the site required almost no resettlement and rehabilitation while it would create minimum disturbance to the nature, environment and ecosystem of the vicinity. After the signing of the MoU, the energy adviser yesterday said though the countrys power generation capacity was 10,000MW, only 7,000MW could be generated. Power plants having the capacity of around 2,000MW were under maintenance while another 1,000MW could not be produced due to gas crisis. Admitting the persistent loadshedding, Tawfiq urged all to have patience. He also reminded that there had been progress achieved in the power sector. The PDB chairman said: We have taken initiative to acquire 5,000 acre land in Moheshkhali where around 9,000MW capacity power plants will be installed. It will be the countrys future power hub for coal power plants. He said now the government would begin the feasibility study, finalise the joint venture agreement, prepare project documents and carry out other project development activities in full swing. We have to mobilise 30% of the funds as equity while the rest will come as soft loan from China, Ruhulullah added. l

HC: Govt not interested to implement Bangla

n Tribune Report
Expressing dissatisfaction, the High Court yesterday said it seemed from the activities of the government that it had no interest regarding implementation of Bangla language in all spheres. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain also directed six secretaries to immediately stop the use of English in signboards, banners, number plates of vehicles and all public offices (except for embassies, foreign institutions and areas related with those). The court also asked them to stop advertisement in English as well as mixed language in electronic and print media, except for the English newspapers. The respondents were asked to comply with the courts order by May 15. The court said the English dailies could publish advertisements in English language. If they failed to implement the order in the stipulated time, the court would make them stand in the courtroom, the bench said. During yesterdays hearing, the bench perusing two reports of cabinet secretary and information secretary, placed by Deputy Attorney General Biswojit Roy, said no effective measures had been taken to implement Bangla except for exchanging of letters. l

Qaisars defence claims witness gave false statement n Udisa Islam

The defence counsel of war crimes accused Syed Mohammad Qaisar yesterday cross examined the prosecutions ninth witness and claimed that the witness had given false deposition in the case. Mostafa Ali in his statement at the International Crimes Tribunal 2 on Monday said he had witnessed the killing of seven staff of a food storehouse in Shayestaganj of Habiganj including his father on April 29, 1971 by the Pakistani occupation forces, assisted by the accused and his accomplices. During the cross-examination, defence counsel Abdus Sobhan Tarafder suggested that the witness had given false statement upon instruction of the prosecution. Mostafa denied the claims saying: I came here for justice and whatever I told earlier in my deposition is true. At the end of questioning, the prosecution submitted a petition seeking permission to place a war victim in camera. The tribunal then set May 4 allowing the plea. Chief of Qaisar Bahini, a group of collaborators in Habiganj, the accused was indicted on February 2 on 16 charges of crimes against humanity. l



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Show-cause notices served to substandard pharmaceuticals

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
The drug administration authority has issued show-cause notices to 15 pharmaceuticals companies, which have previously been identified as manufacturers of substandard drugs, asking them to explain within 15 days why their licences should not be cancelled. The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) made the move following a directive from the Health Ministry made on April 20. Major General Jahangir Hossain Mollick, director general of the DGDA, confirmed the news and said the notices were served to companies identito those companies, the DG added. The punitive actions against the 15 companies will depend on the replies of the show-cause notices, he said, adding that the highest punishment will be the cancellation of manufacturing licences. Seeking anonymity, a senior DGDA official told the Dhaka Tribune that most of the companies identified as risky had been continuing the manufacturing of large amounts of fake and substandard drugs by securing court orders against their suspension. Sources at the DGDA said the team of specialists had identified 62 companies as producers of fake medicine in 2010, and revised the number to 73 following a second round of inspections in 2013. Out of those 73, the team identified 29 companies as posing high risk to public health. Three were told to continue production of drugs except penicillin, cephalosporin, antibiotics and steroids while the other 26 were told to continue production in accordance with the specialised teams instructions, but were also barred from producing penicillin, cephalosporin, antibiotics and steroids. The report by the specialised team mentioned that the 29 companies did not comply with the World Health Organisation guidelines. Prof ABM Faruque, a member of the inspection team, told the Dhaka Tribune that the team had visited the companies in 2010 and cautioned them about maintaining standards. Some of those companies had managed to improve their quality, but the rest were still in same conditions. l

The report by the specialised team mentioned that the

fied by a specialised committee, which was formed by the parliamentary body of the ministry in 2010 following the deaths of 24 children allegedly caused by the paracetamol syrup produced by Rid Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The team of specialists had also previously identified the drugs of 29 pharmaceutical companies as posing high risk to public health. When asked why the DGDA issued notices to only 15 of the 29 companies, Major General Mollick said the 14 other companies had already been suspended by the drug administration. But the suspension orders were later halted by the court after those companies lodged writ petitions against the DGDA. So the show-cause notices could not be served

Visitors bypass the security barrier around the lions cage at Dhaka Mirpur Zoo yesterday to take a closer look, paying no heed to the risk of such insensible behaviour

Aman gets bail, Sohel, Goyeshwar denied

n Tribune Report
The High Court yesterday granted bail to BNP Joint Secretary Amanullah Aman in a case filed over the killing of an Islami Chhatra Shibir activist on December 29 last year. Meanwhile, Justice Zafar Ahmed, one of the judges of the division bench, felt embarrassed to hear the bail plea of Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, a Standing Committee member of the party, Deputy Attorney General Khurshedul Alam told the Dhaka Tribune. Goyeshwars petition could be moved to another bench, he added. Amans lawyer Sagir Hossain said upon getting bail the leader now could be released from jail. The two leaders were sent to jail by a lower court on April 20. The same bench yesterday also ordered the formation of a medical board to check on the health of BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain. The board, comprising two professors, nominated by the VC of BSMMU, will have to submit a report in this regard. The order came after Mosharraf placed a bail petition on medical grounds in a corruption case of embezzling over Tk9 crore. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Sessions Judge Md Jahurul Haque yesterday again denied bail to Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebak Dal President Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel in four cases filed with different police stations in the capital. The cases were filed for bomb blasts, arson attacks and obstructing police from performing their duties during the BNP-led alliances ant-government movement in last year. Sohel, chief of the BNPs volunteer wing, was sent to jail on April 6 after he had surrendered before a court in 13 cases. Counsel of the accused Mosharraf Hossain said: A total of 23 cases were filed against him. Of the cases, Sohel earlier granted bail from the High Court and lower courts in 19 cases. l

Beach committees to be formed

n Mohosinul Karim

The government has asked authorities concerned to form beach management committees and improve safety measures to prevent loss of lives while swimming in the sea. Schools and other educational institutes were also asked to inform the ministries of education, tourism and information about visits by their students to sea beaches. The Cabinet Division gave the directives yesterday through an official circular, which was sent to the divisional and deputy commissioners of Coxs Bazar, Chittagong and Patuakhali, and to police superintendents and other high officials across the country. l

Land minister discloses threats from land grabbers n Emran Hossain Shaikh
Land Minister Shamsur Rahman Sharif yesterday said he had already received threats from land grabbers over the governments new initiative for land record management. The land minister receives threats from land grabbers saying do not to meddle with a hornet hive, and this is the reality, the minister said while addressing a roundtable, titled Land Digitalisation: Prospect for Land Equality in Bangladesh, at The Daily Star conference hall in the capital yesterday. Some say that there are only 10-12 land grabbers, but let me tell you... the numbers are way more than that. I want cooperation from all so that I can successfully execute my plans, he added. During the last tenure of the Awami League-led government, the then public works minister Abdul Mannan Khan took a strong stand against land grabbers and threatened them in public. However, after the end of his tenure, the Anti Corruption Commission launched a probe against the former minister for unusual rise in wealth. l

Experts fear land digitalisation project too large to tame

n Emran Hossain Shaikh
Speakers at the roundtable conference on land digitalisation expressed doubts about the future of the land record digitalisation project saying in the context of Bangladesh, such a large project would be very difficult to implement. They made the observations at a roundtable conference, titled Land Digitalisation: Prospect for Land Equality in Bangladesh, at The Daily Star conference hall in the capital yesterday. The discussants, however, expressed hope that if the land record system was successfully digitalised, cases regarding land disputes in this regard would be greatly reduced. Land record digitalisation project began in January 2013 is expected to digitalise all the existing land documents of the three upazilas, Amtali of Barguna, Mohonpur of Rajshahi and Jamalpur Sadar, by December 2015 as a pilot project funded by the European Union. In the discussion, ruling party lawmaker Sagufta Yasmin has express concern regarding the implementation of the project saying it was a herculean task for Bangladesh. I do not know whether it will be a success or not. But, I am happy that the initiative has been taken, the lawmaker said, while describing the bitter experience she had while visiting a local land offices. Claiming that the land offices, both local and central, have been infested with the corrupt, the lawmaker also noted: No work can be done at any land office without bribes. Earlier in 2009, a pilot land digitalisation initiative was taken at Savar, Dhaka and Palash, Narsindi, which ended fruitlessly. Philippe Jacques, head of cooperation of the European Union delegation to Bangladesh, also expressed similar views as the ruling party legislator. Expressed his disappointment over the slow development of the digitalisation project, Philippe said that the land offices of Bangladesh have become a nesting ground for corruption, much like the police and custom department. In the discussion, the representatives from several NGOs also expressed similar concerns over implementation of project. Speaking over the phone with the Dhaka Tribune, he added: Currently, digital survey is being conducted only on 4 mouzas out of 600 mouzas of three different upazilas. He said there are 59 thousand mouzas in Bangladesh and a government team was now working to gather the funds required to implement the digitalisation process all over the country. At the discussion, Professor Abul Barkat said most of the cases filed in Bangladesh were related to land disputes, which now stands at 2.5 million pending cases. On an average, a case takes 3 to 45 years to reach a settlement. Thus, if no new case were filed from today, the judiciary would still need 27 million years to settle pending cases, he said. l

Government launches cyber security programme

Showkat Kallol and n Asif Muhammad Zahidul Islam
The government has launched a program for strengthening cyber security under Public-Private Partnership. The programme, being mainly implemented by the Information and Communication Division, is called the Cyber Nirapotta Karmashuchi (cyber security programme). The Tk66.2 crore project will run from April 2014 to June 2015. The division has started implementing the project in collaboration with the Insight Bangladesh Foundation, an NGO. Work has already begun on monitoring phishing, identity theft, credits card fraud, online shopping frauds, cyber pornography, call and SMS forging, romance frauds, and so on. Sources said Finance Minister AMA Muhith has already allocated Tk1.98 crore from the block allocation of the ICT Ministry for the first three months of the 15-month project. ICT Division Secretary Nazrul Islam Khan said the programme would try to make people, especially students and the young , aware about safe use of internet. According to the ICT Division website, the project would try to spread knowledge about cyber security and thus protect the privacy of citizens and businesses. Sources said the government wanted to monitor internet activities and increase security layers to protect individuals and industries from of perpetrators. The Finance Ministry has directed the ICT Division to form a three-member committee that will keep the ministry updated about the progress of the project. l

AKM Mohsin laid to rest n Tribune Report

Group Captain (retd) AKM Mohsin, father of National University (NU) Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Munaz Ahmed Noor was buried at the Air Force Graveyard yesterday. His namaz-e-janaza was held at Mohakhali DOHS Mosque after Asr prayers yesterday. AKM Mohsin breathed his last on April 27. NU VC Professor Dr Harun-orRashid, Pro-VC Professor Dr Md Ashlam Bhuiyan and university staff attended the janaza. A Doa Mahfil will be held at Mohakhali DOHS Mosque on Thursday after Asr prayers. l

BNP speaking in the language of conflict n Our Correspondent, Savar

The BNP is speaking in the language of conflict, instead of politics, said Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday. They have resorted to the violence, failing to involve people in their movement, he told reporters during a visit to the BRTAs Savar office. We wont respond in the language of arms. Rather, legal action will be taken (against them), he said. The BNP itself was perpetrating abductions, killing and enforced disappearance in a bid to bail itself out of troubled waters, he alleged. While visiting the BRTA office, the minister suspended two persons, including Shaukat Iqbal, an inspector at the office. l

Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha Executive Director Rokeya Kabir speaks at a seminar on dicrimination against wemen, at National Press Club yesterday NASHIRUL ISLAM

Two fishmongers rescued in Chittagong; five cheats held

n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
Members of Rapid Action Battalion in a tip-off drive rescued two wholesale fish traders confined by a gang of miscreants for ransom from Panwalapara area in Double Mooring of the port city yesterday. The victims were identified are Osman Gani Badsha, 22, of Moulvipur village in of Sitakunda upazila in the district, and Abul Hossain, 28, of Doajipara village in the upazila. During the drive, RAB personnel also arrested five abductors from the spot. Of them, two are women. Additional Superintendent of Police Md Mafizul Islam, spokesman for RAB-7, told Dhaka Tribune that two female cheaters of a gang allured Osman and Abul Hossain to have sex with them in Alangkar area just after dawn while trading and later they went to a residence of Panwalapara area. At one stage, some male accomplices of the gang confined the traders and snatched all money from them, who later contacted family members of them (traders) and demanded Tk 70,000 more. However, their family members informed the matter to RAB-7 who rescued the two around 11:30am following on a tip-off and nabbed the five miscreants, the official continued, adding that four other members of the ring managed to escape from the spot. The arrested were handed over to Double Mooring Police Station and a case was launched against them. They were conducting drives continuously to nab the rest members of the gang, the official added. l



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DNCC halts beautification of Airport road median halfway

Vinoy World completed the renovation from Jahangir Gate to Chairman Bari area, but rest has been left incomplete

n Abu Hayat Mahmud

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has failed to resume the beautification works of a portion of the Airport roads median in the capital after the renovations were halted in March following criticism from urban planners and architects. Vinyl World, a private company who had sponsored the renovations from Kakoli to Jahangir Gate on the Airport road, was asked by the city corporation to suspend the beautification works. Vinyl World Chief Executive Officer Md Abaid Monsur told the Dhaka Tribune: We have suspended the development work following the directives of the DNCC. The private advertisement firm had already completed the renovations from Jahangir Gate to Chairman Bari area, but rest had been left incomplete. We are ready to complete rest of the work. If the city corporation would be given us permission, we will do the work as per the DNCCs advice, he added. Contacted, DNCC Chief Executive Officer BM Enamul Haque said: We are not sure on whether we should continue with beautification project as there we had faced criticism from few architects, urban planners and media persons on the quality of the works. Now, we want suggestions from all of you on what steps we can take in this regard, he added.

He further added that DNCC was ready to demolish all existing beautification instalments from the Airport road, if they receive a better and acceptable alternative from any organisation or person. After receiving much criticism before the ICC T20 World Cup, we have reduced the number of concrete structures and planted trees on the median, he said. Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) former president Mubasshar Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune: We have just suggested the city corporation to increase plantations on the medians, nothing else. Dhaka has become a concrete jungle, and trees are disappearing fast. Thus, the citys temperature has been rising continuously and the highest temperatures are witnessed in posh areas of the capital, he said. Hossain also added that architects, urban planners have no grievance against the city corporation and any other organisation or person. They have just criticised the beautification project since it focused on concrete structures. You can see the median of Manik Miah Avenue, it is full of greens. Does it look bad? There can be no complaints against trees, he said. Similarly, Centre for Urban Studies Chairman Professor Nazrul Islam echoed the same sentiment and said the two city corporations should indi-

vidually form advisory committees including architects, urban planners and art experts. Meanwhile, the development works of roads, footpaths and drains, which were part of the beautification project for the ICC World T20, have started at different areas of the DNCC area. Repair and renovation works on footpaths along the Airport road, Rokea Avenue and Kalshi road has been going on although the development works were supposed to be completed before the ICC World T20 to give the capital a facelift for international visitors. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) began the beautification work in early February, following approval from the government on January 19. The Local Government Department approved the Tk115 crore project, with Tk92 crore from the government exchequer and the remaining from DNCC funds. Under the project, different roads of the capital was identified to be widened, installed with streetlights, traffic signs and road markers and beautified. Brig Gen Md Abul Khair, chief engineer of DNCC, told the Dhaka Tribune that: We were given only four-five weeks to complete the tasks. Due to time constrains, we could not complete some of the [beautification] works on schedule. He, however, expressed hopes that the works would be completed by March 8. l

A plenty of trees were supposed to be planted along the median from Chairmanbari to Kakoli but the work has been stopped due to indecision of the authority concerned ABU HAYAT MAHMUD

Garment workers stage demo in Savar

n Our Correspondent, Savar
Hundreds of garment workers of a factory yesterday staged demonstration in front of the factory in the capitals Savar as 12 workers were sacked on Monday. Workers of Jeisa Fashion Limited staged the demonstration in front of the factory in Hemayetpur area. Later, police brought the situation under control dispersing the agitators. The protesting workers alleged that the authorities of the factory often carried out physical and mental torture on the workers. Moreover on Sunday, some workers of the finishing section were beaten by the authorities alleging that they had made some mistakes. Protesting the incident, workers observed work abstention inside the factory on Monday. As a repurcussion, the authorities had sacked 12 workers in this connection. Seeing such notice yesterday, the agitated workers started demonstrating in front of the factory main gate. Mostafizur Rahman, director of industrial police, confirmed the incident, and said additional law enforcers were deployed in front of the factory to avert any untoward incident. l

BCL protests attack on its leaders at RU

n Du Correspondent
The leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Dhaka University unit brought out a procession on its campus yesterday, protesting the recent attack on two of its leaders at the Rajshahi University unit. Later, they held a protest rally at Aparajeyo Bangla at 12:30pm yesterday. BCL DU unit President Mehedi Hassan and General Secretary Omar Sharif spoke on the occasion. They demanded immediate arrest of the Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) activists involved in the crime. Speaking at the rally, DU President Mehedi Hasan claimed that ICS men had been directly involved in the RU incident and strongly demanded a check on Shibirs activities on the educational premises. He called the ICS men cowards for waylaying the BCL leaders and demanded exemplary punishment. Omar Sharif warned ICS men not to repeat it in the future. If they attack on us in future, we wont remain silent and will give them an appropriate answer, Omar Sharif added. Omar Sharif conducted the rally while leaders of BCL DU unit and Hall units were present, among others. The protest march was brought out from DUs Madhur Canteen and went along different streets on campus. Earlier, a group of unidentified miscreants allegedly severed an activists leg and tore the tendons on the leg and hand of another leader of Rajshahi University BCL unit on campus yesterday morning. The victims were identified as Abdullah Al Masud and Tagar Mohammad Saleh, second year students of the History and Folklore departments respectively who were initially admitted at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital but later transferred to Dhaka Medical College Hospital as their conditions deteriorated. l

BCL faction demands permanent expulsion of their rivals

n CU Correspondent
A section of Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders at Chittagong University yesterday held a press conference on the campus to press home their seven-point demand, including permanent expulsion of the miscreants and organisation responsible for the assault on an Awami League Leader. The leaders of this faction also warned to go for tougher movement on the campus unless their demands were met. The demands came just few days after five Chhatra League activists of CU unit were expelled by the central committee over the same issue. At the press conference, the leaders alleged that the intruders from the anti-liberation force Islami Chhatra Shibir was responsible for the attack on Nasir Haider Babul, assistant secretary of Awami League central sub-committee.


Sabbir and Ariful Islam had been implementing the agenda of JamaatShibir, the statement added
Sumon Mamun, join secretary of Chhatra League CU unit, read out a written statement that also declared CU Chhatra League President Mamunul Haque persona-non-grata on the campus for one year. The statement alleged that the central committee had only expelled the workers, but did not take any action against the masterminds of the attack.

Sabbir Ahmed, vice-president, and Ariful Islam, organising secretary of CU BCL unit, were alleged to be the masterminds of the attack. Sabbir and Ariful Islam had been implementing the agenda of Jamaat-Shibir, the statement added. Terming them intruders, the statement demanded immediate exemplary punishment. The other demands were to take legal action against the attackers, suspending the academic certificates, maintaining a congenial education atmosphere, ban politics of Jamaat-Shibir on the campus and removing the Jamaat-Shibir agents from the administration. Nasir Haider Babul was physically assaulted by a few Chhatra League activists on the campus on April 5, and a case was filed with Hathazari police station in this connection. l

Mugger gets life-term in Chittagong

n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced life term to a notorious mugger in an arms case while the court also awarded him seven more years of imprisonment in another section of the same case. The convict, Firoz Alam alias Shahin, 30, is a fugitive, said court sources. The court of 6th Metropolitan Special Tribunal, ASM Julfiquar Hayat, sentenced the verdict yesterday in absentia of the accused, said Mohammad Masud, bench assistant of the tribunal. The court sentenced him for life term under section 19 (A) of Arms Act, 1878 on charge of keeping illegal arms and more seven years imprisonment under section 19 (F) of the same act on charge of keeping ammunition. According to the case documents, Pahartali police arrested Firoz with a lighter gun, four rounds of cartridges and two machetes on February 29, 2012 when he was getting prepared for mugging. Sub-Inspector Kanon Chowdhury of Pahartoli police station lodged a case with the police station accusing Firoz in this connection. Police submitted the charge sheet against him on April 3, 2012 while the court framed the charge against the accused on September 17, 2012. The court sentenced the verdict after testifying 11 witnesses, court sources said. l


Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Coxs Bazar 38 34 40 37 39 37 37 34 27 26 27 25 26 27 22 25 Officials of Consumers Rights Protection Directorate recently raided a wholesale banana market at Kutubpur area under Sakhipur upazila in Tangail and destroyed huge amount of chemical-mixed fruits and seized chemical mixing machineries BANGLAR CHOKH

40.2C Rajshahi


Source: Accuweather/UNB

20.3C Srimangal

Five houses gutted in Chittagong fire n CU Correspondent

A fire gutted five houses at Satkania upazila in Chittagong yesterday. However no casualty was reported in the incident, said fire brigade sources. Sources at Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters in Agrabad said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at a house located at Asokerpara area of the Satkania upazila around 3pm and soon engulfed the adjacent four houses. Two units of the fire fighters from Satkania Fire Station rushed to the spot on information and doused the flame after one and half hour of frantic efforts. The extent of the losses caused by the fire would be around Tk3 lakh, said the sources. l

Rift on JU campus over former VCs presence

n JU Correspondent
A conflicting situation has come back on Jahangirnagar University campus over the presence of former vice-chancellor Prof Shariff Enamul Kabir at a freshers reception. Over the issue, a section of teachers has boycotted the reception for the first year students under 2013-14 academic year. Arranging a press conference at new Arts Faculty building under the banner of Shikshak Somaj at about 4pm yesterday, the teachers declared that they would not participate in the programme because Enamul Kabir would be made chief guest there. Prof Nasim Akhter Hossain, convener of the platform, said the initiative by the university authorities was not praiseworthy as Professor Enamul Kabir was ousted from VCs post by teachers and students because he had done massive corruption and irregularities. He said they would stage demonstration on the campus protesting Prof Shariff Enamul Kabirs presence on the campus. He said teachers and student would raise black flag and launch a mass campaign against the former vice-chancellor on the campus at 10am today (Wednesday) as a protest of this initiative. Prof Shariff Enamul Kabir resigned from VCs post on May 17, 2012 in response of Shikshak Somaj and students combined movement Oust VC movement after the killing of Zubair and Chhatra Leagues attack on cultural activists on the campus, campus source said. Prof ATM Atikur Rahman, Prof Noim Sultan, Prof Aminul Islam, Prof Muzibur Rahman, associate professor Rayhan Rhyne were present at the press conference, source said. l

1 injured as BSF opens fire n Our Correspondent, Kurigram

One person was injured when the Indian Border Security Force men shot at cattle traders near Shimulbari border in Phulbari upazila of the district early yesterday. The injured is Shamser Ali, 40. Locals said he had been shot at nomans land by the BSF personnel of Boskotal Camp in India. Members of the Border Guard Bangladesh rescued Shamser and detained three of his associates. They are Salam, 40, Zahedul Islam, 45, and another unidentified. Subedar Ali Imran Nizami, company commander at Shimulbari, confirmed the incident to the Dhaka Tribune. l

Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 4:05am 5:25am 11:56am 4:22pm 6:27pm 7:47pm




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mango farmers see bleak future

Correspondent, n Our Chapainawabganj
Farmers are worried about expected mango output as young mango fruits are hugely falling off due to sweltering weather in Chapainawabganj this year. Agriculture officers say the target for 2,50,000 metric tonnes of output may be missed if it does not rain soon. Besides intense heat, extra use of insecticides will contribute to the reduction of mango output this season, they say. According to the office of the Department of Agriculture Extension, this district is home to around 19, 00,000 mango trees at five upazilas of the district. People rely more on mangos as means of living rather than on paddy in the district. Around 83% mango trees bear buds late this season, but these trees bear fruits up to the mark in the end as there was no calamity, farmers say. A Kansat mango farmer, Nurul Islam says, I have bought mango orchards worth around Tk30,00,000 this year, but worried over the output due to rainless and sizzling weather. Due to lack of wet weather, young mango fruits are falling off trees every day. If rains do not come soon, I may have to face huge loss, he says. Size, taste and output of mangoes depend on wet weather, the farmer adds. Mainly, unscrupulous mango traders who lease or buy orchards in ad-

Drought drying up jute profits

Farmers facing huge losses because of lack of rainfall in Magura lage under Magura sadar upazila, saidWe n Our Correspondent, Magura are facing difficulties to grow jute in want
The plight of Magura jute growers has mounted to a large extent this year because a drought like situation has been prevailing in the district over the last few day days. People related to jute cultivation are assuming that farmers of the district might loss over Tk50 crore for lack of rainfall. According to Agriculture Extension Department (DAE), a total of 28,250 hectares of land has been brought under jute cultivation in the district this year. Jute cultivation started in the district in February. Since then, farmers have been suffering from lack of water and in this period farmers could not see a single drop of rainfall. Jute growers said jute cultivation requires heavy rainfall. For want of rainfall jute growers in the district are being compelled to irrigate their land with irrigation pumps that have hiked production cost abnormally. Many farmers of the district have already irrigated their land twice, but they did not get expected results. In many places, jute plants have turned yellow as marginal farmers do not have capability to water jute plants with additional costs. If growers irrigate their land with extra cost Tk50 crore will be required to cultivate 28,250 hectares jute fields. Monirul Islam, a farmer of Jagdal vilof rainfall. If I knew such drought like situation would prevail I would not cultivate jute. I have cultivated jute on four bighas of land this year. I have borrowed money on high interest from local money lender to irrigate my land. I am very much worried about my fate, if I could not repay money, what will happen with my family? Rafiqul Islam, a farmer of Gangnalia village under Magura sadar upazila, said, Last year there was adequate rainfall in the district during jute season. For this, we did not need irrigation. In spite of low production cost we could not make profit from jute last year. But this year our production cost has increased at a large scale in want of rainfall. In this situation, how shall we make profit from jute? An official of Magura DAE Noab Ali in want of rainfall jute growers in the district are watering land by irrigation pump. As huge amount of land have been brought under jute cultivation in the district this year, huge amount of underground water is being lifted every day through irrigation pump. Such lifting of underground water was causing adverse effect on environment. When contacted, Deputy Director Mokhlesur Rahman said jute growers might count huge loss this year as they were not getting sufficient water. l

A huge quantity of young mangoes fall off because of scorching heat in Chapainawabganj this year vance make extra use of insecticides seeking to rake in profits. The farmers should use insecticides on experts advice and also look out so that mango traders, who buy the fruits in advance, cannot use extra insecticides, agriculture officers suggest. A senior officer at Mango Research Centre at Chapainawabganj, Dr Sharf Uddin says, Extra use of insecticides is damaging mango orchards as well as public health. So, it should be used on experts advice. Besides, uses of insecticides as per rules help grow a good output of mango. Extra use of insecticides also kills useful insects hampering mango output.


It is enough to spray insecticides on the mango trees three times from mangoes budding to ripening period, he says. Deputy Director at the Department of Agriculture Extension Abu Rashed says, Mango output may not be up to the mark this season because young mango fruits are heavily falling off. l

Five cocktails recovered
Police on Monday recovered five cocktails from the Water Development Board area in town. Jhenaidah police station Sub-Inspector Uzzal Maitra said, on a tip-off, the police raided the area at 9.30pm and recovered the cocktails from near the tennis club in the area. The law enforcers could not nab anyone in this connection. A case was filed with Jhenaidah police. Our Correspondent

Beekeeping turns into lucrative profession in Dinajpur

n Tribune Desk
Honey collection through beekeeping in litchi orchards has turned out to be a lucrative profession helping the districts economy grow considerably. It has become a common trend among the people involved in apiculture to collect honey from litchi buds in the district, which has a good name for widely producing the succulent summer fruit. A large number of beekeepers from different places of the country collect honey from the litchi orchards of the district every summer when the litchi trees are in full bloom. They pay a considerable amount of money to the litchi plant owners in exchange for the scope to maintain honeybee colonies in the hives. Selling the items in the local markets and outside the district, the beekeepers are getting highly economically benefited, which also ultimately helps increase the size of the districts economy. Consequently, as apiculture is meeting the need of honey greatly in the country so it is also removing unemployment of youths largely. But some insiders of the sector told this correspondent that the honey produced in the district could be exported if government patronisation including loan was found. According to sources at the industry assistance centre of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Dinajpur, there are around three hundred honeycombs in the district. Around 45 tonnes of honey worth Tk1.5 crore is collected form the honeycombs of the district every year. Madhabbati of Biral upazila and Masimpur of Sadar upazila are famous for litchi production. Honey collector Jiban Chandra from Sirajganj said they come to the district for honey collection in the summer when the litchi plants start budding. He has 78 boxes to collect honey from the litchi gardens. Garden owners allow them to collect honey because it also helps good production of litchis. Beekeeper Abdur Rahman of the same area said those who come to collect honey have teams of three to four people and each team collects 30-40 maunds of honey. Per maund honey is sold at Tk 12,000. Each team makes profit of Tk3lakh to Tk 5 lakh. He, however, said they collect honey from buds of litchis in Dinajpur, from mustard flowers in Chapainawabganj, Sirajganj and Bogra districts, from coriander flowers in Chakma, from black cumin flowers in Shariatpur and sesame flowers in Panchagarh in six months of a year but they have to remain unemployed for the remaining six months. Honey cultivator Sikandar said although they collect honey it has no designated market. There is no system as well to process the honey they produce. Moreover, those who collect honey are not given bank loan from the government. Assistant engineer of industry assistance centre of BSCIC, Dinajpur, Nirendra Nath Roy said honey cultivators are given training to expand apiculture industry in the district. Dr Saikhul Arefin of Dinajpur Horticulture Centre said honey cultivation is now a big sub-sector of the districts agriculture. l

Gazipur road accident kills two n Gazipur

Two people have been killed and 10 others injured in a head-on collision between a truck and a human hauler on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway yesterday. The deceased were identified as Geeta, wife of Dorshon of Manipur. The name of the deceased eight-month old girl could not be known immediately. Witnesses said a truck collided head-on with a human hauler at South Shakna area on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway around 10:30am, killing Geeta on the spot and injuring the others. Later, the child succumbed to her injuries when rushed to the hospital. Hotara police outpost In-Charge Sub-Inspector Rafiqul Islam confirmed about the deaths to the Dhaka Tribune. Of the injured, five were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. l

One dies from electrocution

A farmer died from electrocution in Charanipara village, Ranagacha union council, Jamalpur Sadar upazila yesterday. The deceased was identified as Abul Hossain. Lutful Kabir, chairman of the district said Abul had come in contact with a live wire while he was working in the field during a storm. He died on the spot. Sadar police station Officer-inCharge Mujibur Rahman confirmed the incident. Our Correspondent

Inter school science fair held

A daylong interschool science fair was held yesterday in Kurigram district. AFAD, a local NGO, organised the programme in Bijoystambha Chattar with the help of the Freedom Foundation. AFAD Executive Director Syeda Yasmin presided over the function where civil surgeon Lokman Hakim, additional superintendent of police Shahab Uddin and former Mayor Kaziul were present, among others. Additional magistrate Akter Hossen Azad inaugurated the function. 20 schools in the district participated in the programme. Our Correspondent

Mayor among 80 sued in Barisal for vandalism

n Our Correspondent, Barisal
A case was filed against a total of 80 people, including a local mayor, with Gournadi police station on Monday night on charge of vandalism in the upazila complex the previous day. The accused key figure is Harisur Rahman Haris, the mayor of Gournadi Municipality, and also general secretary of Gournadi upazila unit AL. Gournadi police station OC Abul Kalam said Saiful Islam Razu, typist of upazila chairman office, filed the case against 30 named and 50 unnamed people for vandalising the offices of upazila chairman, vice chairman, LGED engineer and accountant on Sunday. The case statement also said 20 people got injured and 12 motorcycles parked before the building were vandalised during the attack. As per direction from higher authorities, the lawsuit was recorded as criminal case and police were investigating the incident, the OC added. Meanwhile protesting the attack, both AL-blessed upazila chairman and vice chairman conducted their work under the open sky in front of the building. Shah Alam Khan, chairman of Gournadi upazila and president of the upazila unit AL, said as their offices were damaged, they were forced to perform public duties in the open. However, Shah Alam and Harisur Rahman Haris blamed each other for the attack. Due to tense situation, additional police were deployed in the upazila town to prevent any future untoward incident. l

Police super conducts a cleanliness drive at Pirojpur Government Primary School yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

Jatka netting still on, 14 fined in Barisal

n Our Correspondent, Barisal
Although administration frequently conduct drives and penalise fishermen for catching of jakta (ilish less than 10 inch in length), it has no effect on offenders. A mobile court fined 14 fishermen and boatmen Tk28,000 for netting jatka in Barisal yesterday morning. Anisur Rahman, contingent commander of Coast Guard, said they had conducted a raid on several boats in the Kirtankhola River near Taltali area and seized 1,320 kilograms of jatka from four engine-run boats. The detained fishermen, boatmen with boats and jatka were handed over to mobile court and the court fined each of the 14 fishermen and boatmen Tk2,000 and released them with boats, Rahman said. The fined fishermen and boatmen were Rafik Farazi, Masud Farazi, Nizam Farazi, Moslem, Azizul, Abdul Hakim, Hasan, Nizam, Masud, Ershad, Faisal Yunus, Moksed, and Momin, all from Bhashanchar area under Mehendiganj upazila of Barisal. Bimal Chandra Das, district fishery officer, said the seized jatka were distributed among the poor. Fisheries department has imposed the ban with a view to boosting fish resources in the country, said Dr Aminul Islam, divisional fishery officer. But defying the governments ban, fishermen of southern region are catching the fish fry for lack of rehabilitation facilities. Fishermen said drive against netting jatka could not be successful without representation of grass root levelfishermenin implementation of the government policy and without helping the marginalfishermen by giving subsidy, alternative job facilities during ban of fishing on open water sources. l

Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh

Ofce of the Chief Engineer Health Engineering Department (HED) Ministry of Health & Family Welfare 105-106, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000.

Memo No. HED/HPNSDP/10 Bed/MCWC/Tender-127/2014/616

Dated: 27.04.2014

Cancellation Notice
The Tenders pertaining to the works Construction of 10 bed Mother & Child Welfare Centres [Baherchar & Kunjerhat {Package No-WP-621/SDP(GOB)HED & WP-622/SDP (GOB)-HED}]; [Medhakandar {Package No- WP628/SDP(GOB)-HED}] & [Karapur, Mokimabad & Dangarhat {Package No-WP-460/SDP(GOB)-HED, WP-585/SDP(GOB)-HED & WP-591/SDP (GOB)-HED}]; invited vide this ofce Memo Nos. HED/HPNSDP/GOB/10 Bed/Tender-127/2014/435, Dated 06.02.2014; HED/HPNSDP/GOB/10 Bed/ Tender-128/2014/437, Dated 06.02.2014 & HED/HPNSDP/GOB/10 Bed/ MCWC/Tender-963/2014/449, Dated 06.01.2014 respectively are hereby cancelled. Md. Nazrul Islam Executive Engineer Health Engineering Department

Community clinics vital in rural Moulvibazar

Correspondent, n Our Moulvibazar
State-run community clinics are playing a vital role in ensuring maternal and neonatal healthcare in the rural areas of Moulvibazar, said Muhammad Taskir Miah, president of Porchakra Community Clinic, at a congregation in Monsurnagar union under the districts Rajnagar upazila yesterday. Held on the clinic premises, the congregation was made up of around 100 expecting women and adolescent girls who participated in a drive organised by Porchakra group committee with the support of Partners in Health and Development, an NGO. The first of its kind in Moulvibazar, the aim of the drive was to measure haemoglobin and sugar levels and determine blood groups of the participants, free of cost. The event was chaired by Taskir and conducted by Shiekh Muhammad Abdul Khalique, field co-coordinator of Partners in Health and Development. Muhammad Milon Bakht, chairman of Monsurnagar union parisad, Mamunur Rashid, union parisad member, and Uma Roy of the NGO addressed the gathering, among others. Milon Bakht stressed on the need for both the government and the communitys active participation to make the community clinics successful for the greater interest of rural public health in Moulvibazar. Jamirul Islam, district co-coordinator of Partners in Health and Development, said the NGO had plans to support such events with the help of UNICEF and Canadian International Development Agency in all the community clinics in the districts seven upazilas. l

DG-83/14 (53)


Long Form

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hoping for a strong Modi

If Narendra Modi has to be a factor in the India-Bangladesh relationship, a strong Modi is the best hope for a meaningful resolution of Indias internal conflicts of interests

n Arild Engelsen Ruud

angladesh is facing an interesting future. Its largest and most important neighbour by far, India, may have a new government in a few months time. If there is a new government then it will probably be headed by Narenda Modi of the BJP. As readers will know the BJP, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is a Hindu nationalist party, and Modi himself is a proud member of the RSS, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu chauvinist cultural organisation. These organisations have for many years been feeding on anti-Muslim sentiments, and although Modi nowadays professes policies that are more focused on development and economic issues than cultural nationalist ones, he still cannot make himself say sorry for the events that killed thousands of Muslims under his watch. For a politician of such ambition, surely a simple apology would not matter much? But his inability or unwillingness to do so suggests that his antipathy against Muslims is not just a political gimmick but something that runs deep in his personality.

But a strong government will not wish to prolong regional conflicts of interest, however Hindunationalist. Business will remain the primary aim

What can a much smaller neighbour, the Muslim majority Bangladesh hope for with such a man at the helm just across the border? The first thing to note is that the position of prime minister in India is a relatively less powerful position than that of the prime minister of Bangladesh. Formal institutions are stronger and more independent in India than in Bangladesh, for instance the courts, the election commission, and various other government institutions. A second thing to note is that India being a federal republic has some powers divested to the states, meaning out

of reach of the prime minister. This is particularly so in cases where the state is run by a party different from that of the central government. A third thing to note is that although important powers do rest with the central government, the political reality of contemporary India is that of coalition politics. No central government can hope to remain independent and efficient without the considerable goodwill of regional parties. A fourth point to note, and perhaps the most important one, is that Indias general objectives will not change with a new government. Whichever party heads the government, the general aim will be the same. The overwhelming political consensus in India today is that of economic growth. The Congress too wants economic growth, even if they emphasise on distribution more than growth in their election campaign. Indians in general are all in favour of economic growth. They are in favour of foreign investments, of improved export, of greater opportunities for business, and of more and better jobs for the millions of hopefuls all over the country. To meet such aspirations India will need friendly relations with world powers, the ability to match strength with China, the absence of conflicts along its borders in order to look good in the UN, massive import of energy fuels, and new markets. India today has a relatively positive image in the world, based on its ability to build economic growth while ensuring (relatively) social distribution and maintaining democracy. Modi is business-friendly, and his businessmen friends will tell him how important this soft power is for new opportunities overseas. Modi also realises the need for friendly relations with countries in the Middle East. No economic development is possible without oil and gas. Modi also realises the need to aviod, if possible, conflicts that will ruffle American or European feathers. International conflicts will ruffle feathers. The US is Indias largest trading partner, but even larger is the European countries combined in the EU. With friends like that, you dont need enemies. Your friends will keep you on the straight and narrow. Indias priorities are set by deep aspirations in the country and will not change much even if the Hindu nationalist topples the secular dynasty from the throne. A strong prime minister will do his utmost to steer the country towards a direction that seeks to fulfill those aspirations.

For Bangladesh it would mean politics as usual. Perhaps a little less cordial than the present bonhomie between Dhaka and New Delhi, but still a professional relationship. With Modi at the helm, New Delhi will wish a good, efficient, working relationship with Dhaka. Issues of common concern are the corridor to Indias north-east, trade, and the many issues relating to the border including water sharing. But a strong government will not wish to prolong such conflicts, however Hindu nationalist it may be. Business will remain the primary aim.

If Mamata is to sell herself to Modi, it will be in exchange for a heavy influence on these two issues. A weak Modi may outsource his entire Bangladesh policy to Mamata

The fly in the soup

The question is how a weak prime minister might do. It may well be that Modi will not win as many seats as his spin doctors suggest. Opinion polls are generally unreliable, and tend to overemphasise the urban and the middle class, where Modis support is higher. Besides, the Indian voter, apart from being prone to change of opinion at the last minute, is reticent with information about his or her preferences. Moreover, the American style projection of Modi as the main man on whom all light shines is an untested strategy in the Indian context. Equally important is the fact that in some of the large states, most notably in Uttar Pradesh, the four big parties in the fray (SP, BSP, BJP and Congress) all hover around the 20%25% mark. This makes it virtually impossible to guess the outcome. Parallel situations prevail in other states. We have in other words only a dim idea about the outcome of the election. Will Modi secure 220 seats for the BJP? Or perhaps 230? Or only 190? A weak Modi will be vulnerable. He has a number of close allied parties in the existing alliance, but a weak result for these or for the NDA itself will make it necessary for Modi to find new friends. This is not an unlikely outcome. The problem is that the available partners will sell themselves dearly. A possible candidate in this respect is Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamul Congress from West Bengal. She may well secure 20 seats in her home state, a number that will make her extremely interesting to a weak Modi. Mamata Banerjee has improved her chief ministerial touch over the two and a half years of her rule. But she has some of the maverick agitator of the past left in her. This feature resurfaces every now and then, and we last saw it during the election when she thought herself as above law and the election commission.

As every reading Bangladeshi knows, there are two major outstanding issues of contention between India and Bangladesh. One is the sharing of the Teesta water and the other is the land boundary agreement regarding the northern enclaves. In both these the maverick Mamata Banerjee has claimed a political stake for her state. If she is to sell herself to Modi, it will be in exchange for a heavy influence on these two issues. If she is strong enough she may gain veto power over both issues. A weak Modi may in fact outsource his entire Bangladesh policy to Mamata Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee is not anti-Bangladesh, and she is not anti-Muslim. But she is a populist and a tactician. She is a populist in the sense that she appeals unashamedly to Bengali sentiments, including the deep sense of deprivation and despair that prevails in a state once rich and powerful, but now economically in the backwaters while others surge forward. So she promises to protect their interests the interests of her state. These interests include, naturally one might say, their water and every inch of the motherland. These are issues that sit well with a large section of the electorate and deflect from her poor economic results. Mamata Banerjee is also a tactician, an ambitious politician who will seek every opportunity to strengthen her hold on power and ensure its prolongation. She is not overly concerned about Indias relationship with Bangladesh or with the US, and she has never shown any interest in international issues. Her primary interest is her own position within India. If she can exploit nationalist (or regionalist) sentiments to enhance her position, there is little reason to believe that she will not do so, even if at the cost of the countrys international reputation.

She may be the chief minister of West Bengal and have a strong position there, but it is clear that she has national ambitions as well. To achieve such an ambition she may need emotional issues that will project her image. Bangladesh will want a peaceful and mutually agreeable resolution of outstanding issues with its most important neighbour. This can be done if the neighbour feels confident and strong; strong enough to be a little generous. A reputation as the neighbourhood bully is not in Indias interest now. Its ambition points to a much larger scene, and so India too will want a peaceful and mutually agreeable resolution of outstanding issues. But a huge but weak neighbour is a liability. With its Bangladesh policy outsourced to Kolkata, India seen from Dhaka will be erratic, uncooperative, unpredictable, and prone to making risky allegations. Bangladesh can best hope for no Modi. But as a second choice, it can hope for a strong Modi. l Arild Engelsen Ruud is Professor of South Asia Studies, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental languages, University of Oslo, Norway



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mideast talks in tatters as peace deadline expires

n AFP, Jerusalem
Washingtons deadline for reaching a peace deal expired yesterday with the sides bitterly divided and warnings that Israel risked becoming an apartheid state if it failed to make peace with the Palestinians. As final date for the nine-month negotiation period arrived, peace hopes appeared more remote than ever with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas locked in a tactical game of fingerpointing, and US attempts to broker an extension in tatters. After more than a year of intensive shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry who had initially hoped for a deal by April 29, Washingtons was reluctant to admit failure, acknowledging only a pause in the dialogue. make any sweeping gestures but merely seek to maintain the status quo by seeking to either ignore, or reverse the Palestinian diplomatic moves. Dont expect a grand strategy from Netanyahu besides seeking to blame the collapse of the current round of negotiations on Mahmud Abbas, he told AFP.

Netanyahu broke construction records

The collapse of the talks was a direct result of Israels relentless settlement construction on land
But Israel and the Palestinians were under no illusions about the fate of the latest US-led peace effort, with analysts saying it was a case of back to square one. Were back to where we started, said Jonathan Spyer, senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Centre near Tel Aviv. The Palestinians, he said, were likely to continue with their strategy of political warfare by seeking global recognition for their promised state, in a bid to isolate Israel in international bodies and pressure it into making concessions. Until a month ago, the Palestinians had suspended moves on the international front to give the talks a chance but resumed the process after Israel reneged on a commitment to release two dozen veteran prisoners. Israel, Spyer said, was unlikely to

Other Israeli analysts said the collapse of the talks was a direct result of Israels relentless settlement construction on land which was the subject of negotiations. Figures published on Tuesday by settlement watchdog Peace Now showed that in parallel with the negotiations, the Israeli government approved plans for nearly 14,000 new settler homes, describing it as an unprecedented number. Netanyahu broke construction records during the nine-month peace talks, Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer told AFP. The ongoing settlement building infuriated the Palestinians but Netanyahu insisted he had never agreed to any restraints on construction throughout the talks. Abu Mazen made a hefty contribution to the failure (of the talks), there is no doubt of that, wrote Nahum Barnea in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper. But only politicians with amnesia can ignore the huge contribution of the settler lobby to the failure. If Israel continued its relentless drive to build beyond the 1967 Green Line, it would end up turning into an apartheid state, he said, echoing a similar warning by Kerry. The settlers political lobby ... will fashion Israel in two stages. In the first stage, Israel will become an apartheid state, shunned by businesses in the world, it will come under siege politically, legally and culturally, Barnea wrote. In the second stage, the world will force (Israel) to become a bi-national state. l

Settlement work upped during talks

n AP, Jerusalem
Israel increased settlement work fourfold during the latest round of peace talks, pushing forward with construction of nearly 14,000 new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a watchdog group said yesterday. Peace Now issued its statistics as a nine-month negotiating period between Israel and the Palestinians came to a close. The group cited Israels construction surge as a key reason for failure. US Secretary of State John Kerry had envisioned brokering a final peace agreement when he brought the sides together last July. But negotiations made no progress and were characterized by a lack of trust, in large part because of continued Israeli settlement construction in captured territories claimed by the Palestinians. The Palestinians seek the West Bank and east Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip, for an independent state. They say that Israeli settlement construction is a sign of bad faith. Israel captured all three areas in the 1967 Mideast war, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Today, more than 550,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, making it increasingly difficult to divide the territory. Most demographers believe that the Arab population of Israel, along with the West Bank and Gaza, will soon outnumber the Jewish population. Without a two-state solution, Israels position as a democracy with a Jewish majority could be in jeopardy. According to Peace Now, Israel promoted plans or issued tenders for construction of 13,851 homes during the

In this March 14, 2011 file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit. An Israeli watchdog group said yesterday that Israel increased settlement work four-fold during the latest round of peace talks, pushing forward with construction of nearly 14,000 new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem AP

talks. These included tenders, or bids for construction, of 4,868 homes, nearly half in the West Bank alone. The group said the number of tenders, including earlier bids that were reissued, was more than quadruple the average level of construction of the previous two Israeli governments. And citing official government figures, the number of housing starts in the second half of 2013, some 828 new units, was nearly double the year-earlier level. Peace Now said the settlement activity was destructive for the American efforts and undermined trust. It also created facts on the ground that proved more than anything else that the Netanyahu government did not mean to go for a two-state solution and instead tried to strengthen Israeli control over occupied territory. l

Israeli demolishes West Bank mosque n Reuters, West Bank

Israeli forces demolished several structures, including a mosque, in a Palestinian village yesterday, the day a deadline for a deal in now-frozen peace talks expired. A Reuters correspondent saw several hundred soldiers deployed in Khirbet al-Taweel, in the occupied West Bank, around daybreak. They guarded six bulldozers that reduced to rubble buildings that were constructed without Israeli permits. Palestinians say such documents are nearly impossible to obtain. Palestinians saw a link between the demolitions and the passing, without a peace deal, of the April 29 deadline set when the talks began in July. Israel has also drawn Palestinian anger by continuing to expand settlements on land they seek for a state. l

UK official: Terrorists have changed methods since Snowden leaks

n Reuters, London
Terrorists have substantially changed their methods of communication since leaks by former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden, hindering intelligence agencies efforts to track them, a senior British security official said yesterday. The Snowden effect has been a very, very severe one, Stephen Phipson, a director at Britains Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), told a London security conference. Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, caused international uproar last June when he disclosed details of the extent of surveillance and electronic intelligence gathering by his former employers and by the British equivalent GCHQ to the Washington Post and Britains Guardian newspaper. Our adversaries, the terrorists out there, now have full sight of the sorts of tools and range of techniques that are being used by government, he said. I can tell you data shows a substantial reduction in the use of those methods of communication as a result of the Snowden leaks. Snowden fled the United States where he faces espionage charges and has since been granted temporary asylum in Russia. In his initial revelations, he told the newspapers the NSA was mining the personal data of users of Google, Facebook, Skype and other US companies under a secret program codenamed Prism. Further leaks suggested the United States had monitored phone conversations of some 35 world leaders, including Germanys Angela Merkel, while GCHQ has been accused of intercepting millions of Yahoo Inc webcam chats as part of massive surveillance operations. The flood of accusations prompted US President Barack Obama to announce reforms in January to scale back the NSA program and to ban eavesdropping on the leaders of close friends and allies of the United States. Britain says its intelligence agencies have stayed within the law and that there is rigorous oversight of their actions. l

Passenger plane lands safely after engine fire n AFP, Australia

A passenger plane carrying 93 people landed safely at Perth Airport yesterday despite a dramatic midair engine fire shortly after take-off, officials said. No one was hurt during the scare on the Cobham Aviation jet bound from Perth for Barrow Island in Western Australia, but some passengers panicked. Fuel starting spewing out, caught alight, there was a bit of panic on board but the pilots were quite quick to react and cut fuel lines and then put it out, Jason Grimmett, who was on the plane, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.A spokeswoman for the government agency Airservices Australia told AFP there was a fire in the number two engine shortly after departure.l

Attacks raise tensions on eve of Iraq polls

n AFP, Baghdad
Twin bombings killed 15 people northeast of Baghdad yesterday, the latest in a wave of deadly violence that has cast a pall over Iraqs first general election since US troops withdrew. The bloodshed came a day after a spate of blasts, including 10 suicide bombings, killed 64 people, raising questions over whether Iraqs security forces can protect upwards of 20 million eligible voters during Wednesdays polls. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, under fire over the worst protracted surge in violence in years along with a laundry list of voter grievances, is bidding for a third term in office in the election, the countrys first since 2010. The Shiite premier has trumpeted a battle against violent jihadists whom he claims are entering Iraq from war-torn Syria and supported by Gulf Arab states including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But critics say the authorities heavy-handed treatment of minority Sunnis has contributed to the unrest. In the latest violence, a spate of attacks on Monday killed 64 people in Baghdad as well as north and west of the capital, fuelling fears voters may stay at home rather than risk being caught up in bloodshed. On Tuesday morning, twin bombings at a market in the town of Saadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, killed 15 more people. I cant imagine the militancy is going to sit back and say, Yeah, have your election, said John Drake, a London-based security analyst at AKE Group. l

Iran warns EU imposes more sanctions on At least 4% of US death against Egypt row convicts are innocent, death sentences Russia over Ukraine crisis n researchers say n
Reuters, Brussels AFP, Tehran


At least four percent of death sentences in the US send an innocent person to death row, according to new research published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, The Christian Science Monitor reported. Some of those people are exonerated and freed but not all of them, the researchers report. The study follows a broader report earlier this year that found that a record number of people were exonerated for crimes in 2013, suggesting that innocent people go to prison far more often than had been thought. The study authors found that over a 31-year period, 1.6 percent of inmates sentenced to death were exonerated and freed. Of the remaining innocent inmates, some see their sentences reduced to life in prison, while others are executed, the authors say. But for those wrongly convicted

inmates who are removed from death row and not exonerated, their new life sentence among the general prison population is a mixed blessing: the odds of being executed are now nil, but their chances of being freed also plummet, since, once off death row, outside efforts to prove their innocence tend to slow, or even cease, according to the researchers. The net result is that the great majority of innocent defendants who are convicted of capital murder in the United States are neither executed nor exonerated, the researchers write. They are sentenced, or resentenced toprison for life, and then forgotten. The new research is based on US death row records kept between 1973 and 2004, during which period 7,482 defendants were sentenced to death. As of Dec. 31, 2004, 1.6 percent of them, or 117 people, had been exonerated, some 12 percent had been executed, and about 46 percent were still on death row. l

Iran yesterday warned that the 683 death sentences handed down by an Egyptian court to suspected Islamists could add to a deteriorating situation in the country. The verdicts passed on Monday in Cairo amid a crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi were condemned by the United States and the United Nations. In remarks that expressed concern rather than all-out criticism, Irans foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the judgements went against Egypts historic principle of tolerance. Issuing such verdicts could have many social and political consequences and encourage Egypts enemies to exploit the current situation, Afkham said at a news conference. The White House said that the courts decision defied even the most basic standards of international justice, calling for it to be reversed. l

The European Union announced asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians over Moscows actions in Ukraine, but the measures were seen as less aggressive than sanctions imposed this week by the United States. In Ukraines eastern city of Luhansk,

hundreds of pro-Russian separatists stormed the regional government headquarters, unopposed by police, and the Ukrainian government said it had information that they also planned to seize the local television center. The EU list published yesterday included senior Russian politicians but did not extend to companies, several

of which were singled out by Washington when it extended its sanctions list on Monday. Moscow immediately denounced the new EU measures, saying the Europeans were simply doing Washingtons bidding and should be ashamed of themselves. A senior Russian politician said Moscow was working on measures to counter the new sanctions. l

Violent weather in US kills at least 29

n AFP, Washington
Americans in the southern and eastern US braced for more violent weather yesterday after a string of tornadoes and other storms killed at least 29 people, news reports said. Some 75 million people were at risk from storms that could unleash hail, winds and twisters on the affected regions, according to the National Weather Service. The toll from two days of violent weather reached at least 29 Monday in at least six states, CNN and other media reported. After violent weather Sunday that killed 17, most of them in Arkansas, the new deaths included eight in Mississippi on Monday, CNN reported, quoting the state emergency management agency. The governors of Alabama and Georgia declared state-wide emergencies. In the Mississippi town of Louisville, the storm snapped trees in half and stripped them of their branches. Sheet metal twisted itself around road signs and tree trunks, CBS News reported. Mississippi Senator Giles Ward hunkered down in a bathroom with his wife, four other family members and their dog Monday as a tornado destroyed his two-story brick house and flipped his son-in-laws SUV upside down. For about 30 seconds, it was unbelievable, Ward said. Its about as awful as anything weve gone through, the network quoted Ward as saying. In the hardest-hit parts of Arkansas, emergency crews intensified their search for survivors of Sundays twisters. l


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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A new Gandhi seeks to revive Indian dynastys fortunes

n AFP, New Delhi
As Indias ruling Congress heads for what could be its worst ever election defeat, Priyanka Gandhi, sister of lacklustre campaign leader Rahul Gandhi, has stepped up to lead a fightback by the political dynasty. Priyanka, 42, has traditionally ceded the limelight to her older brother Rahul, 43, the diffident scion of the countrys most famous political family and frontman for the Congresss campaign. But with the party flailing in opinion polls and the election entering its final stretch, Priyanka has emerged swinging against Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Priyanka -- who looks like her imperious grandmother, late four-time premier Indira Gandhi -- has called the battle against Modi and the BJP a fight for the heart of Hindu-majority but constitutionally secularIndia. Finally heeding calls to play a more prominent role in the campaign, Priyanka declared at the weekend that she was here to thwart him (Modi) in his negative agenda. The ideology of Congress is to unite people... while that of the opposition is to divide, she said. Modi is seen as a deeply polarising figure due to his Hindu nationalist rhetoric and failure to swiftly curb deadly 2002 anti-Muslim riots that swept Gujarat during his early years as chief minister of the prosperous western state.

Indian general election 2014

Stage 7
April 30
Jammu & Kashmir

BJP, Congress employing tech-savvy professionals to power war of words

n Agencies
If this poll battle has sunk to a new low, its because of the helping hand of the dirty tricks departments of political parties, the Hindustan Times said. These wings of the Congress and the BJP have in the past few weeks worked hard to fling mud at each other. The BJP attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhis son-in-law Robert Vadra with a video on his alleged land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan on Sunday. The Congress hit back the next day with pictures and a video showing BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi with alleged Surat-based hawala operator Afroz Fatta. Minutes later, the BJP retaliated by circulating a picture of Fatta and Congress MP Mohammad Azharuddin. Officially, political parties of course deny having any dirty tricks department but in reality they employ tech-savvy professionals who look for material that can publicly embarrass their partys rivals. Any video or picture coming out in the election season is not a knee-jerk reaction but a well-planned move. Sometimes it takes months to find concrete evidence against an opponent. Using it at an appropriate moment is the work of a clever political mind, said a political functionary who once was part of his partys dirty tricks department. BJP leader Amit Shahs hate-speech that debarred him from campaigning for a week would not have gone public if the Congress hadnt seized upon the opportunity. Shah sought revenge for the Muzaffarnagar riots at a closed door meeting with local Jat leaders and it was recorded. The video was then provided to some TV channels allegedly by Congress workers. This was the Congress revenge for its Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood landing in jail after his hatespeech against Modi went viral. The six-month-old video was dug out by the BJPsUttar Pradeshunit headed by Shah. Congress insiders said the party has a dedicated team to track every speech of Shah and BJP sources disclosed that the party keeps tabs on Congress leaders likeBeni Prasad Vermaand Salman Khurshid, who are prone to spouting controversial comments. While the Congress coordinates its dirty tricks from Delhi, the BJP does it from Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Political parties also employ dirty tricks at the local level, especially to field namesakes against their rivals. In a large number of constituencies in Kerala, many candidates had to face namesakes. In Kasargode, there are two candidates with the same surname: T Siddique from the Congress and an independent candidate called A Siddique. l

S 5 12 19 26 3 10

Too late to save Congress? -

While Priyanka, a mother of two children, has replaced her brother Rahul in the headlines with her attacks on Modi, analysts say her appearance has come too late to rescue the party from a humiliating rout. Furthermore, the financial dealings of her husband Robert Vadra have given the BJP a new opportunity to hammer away at its anti-corruption message after the Congress-led coalitions two scandal-plagued terms in office. An investigation by the Wall Street Journal published last week showed that Vadra, an enthusiastic body-builder, had amassed a vast property empire since getting his start in real estate with a few thousand dollars of investment. Vadra, an unpopular public figure who drew ridicule on social media after appearing with Priyanka to vote in Delhi wearing pink trousers and a plunging V-necked T-shirt, has denied allegations of any wrongdoing and has never faced any legal charges. Rahul and his sister are extremely close after a childhood scarred by the political assassinations of their grandmother, and their father, former premier Rajiv Gandhi. l

1 30 May 7 8


4 11

Bihar Uttar Pradesh West Bengal


Daman & Diu Dadra & Nagar Haveli Andhra Pradesh

Voting day markers are placed approximately at the center of each constituency
Source: India Election Commission

Priyanka Gandhi to Modi: PMaspirants should not indulge in childish behaviour n Agencies
Priyanka Gandhi yesterday slammed BJPs prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi calling his behaviour childish. Your aim is to become the Prime Minister of the country, so why do you indulge in childish attacks? Priyanka said in Amethi referring to Modis shahjada and other barbs at Rahul Gandhi. You should understand the dignity of the position you are aiming for, Priyanka said without taking Modis name. Campaigning for Rahul, Priynaka invoked former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to seek votes for her brother. She also attacked BJP candidate Smriti Irani and said, Some leaders sit in closed rooms with reporters and pass value judgment on development in Amethi. These leaders are not interested in ensuring development, she said calling Smriti an armchair politician. Smriti Irani reacted strongly to Priyankas attack and said, Whatever I am, I have never lived off my familys name. The state of development in Amethi shocks me, she said speaking to Times Now. l

Indian TV debate ends in fiery horror

n AFP, Lucknow
A television debate show in northern India has ended in horror after a spectator set himself ablaze and embraced a local politician, leaving both men fighting for their lives, police and a witness told AFP yesterday. The election show on Indias stateowned national TV channel Doordarshan was being recorded in a park on Monday in Sultanpur, a town about 160 kilometres (100 miles) from the city of Lucknow. A man, named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singh, emerged from a crowd of about 150 onlookers, doused himself in petrol and then grabbed the local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Kamruzzama Fauji, engulfing the pair in flames. Singh sustained burns on 95 percent of his body which are likely to be fatal, while Fauji was in a critical state with 75 percent burns, police said. This man suddenly came on the stage, poured petrol on himself and set himself on fire before tightly hugging one of the political guests, local photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told AFP. People were just too shocked to know what was happening, said Gupta, whose photos show the men engulfed in flames with spectators fleeing the scene. Two other local politicians taking part in the show, Ram Kumar Singh and Chowdhary Hriday Ram Verma, also sustained minor burn injuries while trying to save the pair. The injured were first admitted to the district hospital here (in Sultanpur) and were then referred to Lucknow, said a statement from the police. The motive for the incident is unknown. l

An Indian fruit seller poses alongside watermelons carved with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slogan Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkar - this time, its Modi government - in Jodhpur on April 29 AFP

Muslim woman alleged gang-raped for helping BJP campaign

n AFP, Patna
A Muslim woman in easternIndiahas alleged she was gang-raped by more than a dozen men because of her work helping the Hindu nationalist opposition in ongoing elections, police said yesterday. The woman from Jharkhand state has filed a complaint with police that a mob attacked her in her home on Monday and also assaulted her 13-year-old daughter. Her husband was allegedly handcuffed during the attack. Anurag Gupta, a senior officer and spokesman for Jharkhand police, confirmed an investigation had started but said it was too soon to confirm her allegations of a political motive for the attack. An investigation from all angles is on and it is very difficult at present to say the exact reason behind the incident, Gupta told AFP. The victim, in her 30s, was part of a so-called minority wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) designed to attract Muslim voters to the party, which is expected to sweep the ongoing polls. Few Muslims are expected to vote for the BJP, which is being led by hardliner Narendra Modi who remains tarnished by religious riots in his home state of Gujarat in 2002. Modi, forecast by voter surveys to become prime minister after results are announced on May 16, was chief minister of Gujarat when the riots broke out. More than 1,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims. Despite criticism that he failed to contain the violence, he has been cleared of any personal wrongdoing. A woman he later appointed to his cabinet has been jailed for life for directing rioters. Womens issues are high on the agenda in the parliamentary elections following the fatal gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus in December 2012, which touched off a national debate about sexual violence. l

Obama ends Asia tour, ignites Chinese anger

n AFP, Manila
Barack Obama ended an Asian tour yesterday with a warning to China against using force in territorial disputes, as Chinese authorities accused the US president of ganging up with troublemaking allies. The barbs ensured a tense finish to a four-nation trip dominated by the worsening maritime rows between China and US allies in the region, which have triggered fears of military conflict. We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace, to have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected, Obama told a gathering of US and Filipino troops in Manila. We believe that international law must be upheld, that freedom of navigation must be preserved and commerce must not be impeded. We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and not by intimidation or force. Close American ally the Philippines has been embroiled in one of the highest-profile territorial disputes with China, over tiny islets, reefs and rocks in theSouthChina Sea. China claims nearly all of theSouthChina Sea, which is believed to contain huge deposits of oil and gas, even waters and islands or reefs close to its neighbours. The Philippines, which has one of the weakest militaries in the region, has repeatedly called on longtime ally the United States for help as China has increased military and diplomatic pressure to take control of the contested areas. The Philippines and the United States signed an agreement on Monday that will allow a greater US military presence on Filipino bases. And Obama sought on Tuesday to reassure the Philippines that the United States would support its ally in the event of being attacked, citing a 1951 mutual defence treaty between the two nations. This treaty means our two nations pledge, and I am quoting, our common determination to defend themselves from external armed attacks, Obama said. And no potential aggressor can be under the illusion that either of them stands alone. In other words, our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad. The United States will keep that commitment because allies will never stand alone.l


Obama pledges support

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye pays her respects in front of a joint memorial altar for victims of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol in Ansan on April 29, 2014. Park apologised yesterday for her governments failure to prevent a ferry disaster that left some 300 people dead or missing AFP




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Letters to

the Editor

Modi is out of order

e condemn the anti-Bangladeshi remarks being made by Narendra Modi during the ongoing Indian general election campaign in the strongest possible terms. It is up to Indian voters to choose Indias leaders, but we must express concern about offensive and divisive remarks which can only unnecessarily stir up tensions between our two countries. Sadly, his position is not isolated within his party. BJP eminence Subramanian Swami recently stated that one-third of all Bangladeshis are in India and that Bangladesh should give India land to compensate for this supposed influx. Nor is it only Bangladeshis who have cause for concern. Modis inflammatory rhetoric signals open season on Muslims (especially Muslim Bengalis) and other minorities within India more generally, and is clearly aimed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. To raise valid concerns about illegal immigrants is one thing. To threaten purge-type policies is quite another, and ill befits the putative leader of the worlds largest democracy. Any action by India would increase public pressure for commensurate action by Bangladesh and may prove costly for Indians. In particular, souring ties could affect strong cross-border cooperation on anti-terror that has helped both countries. To reduce ties between two historically close countries to single, populist points is not statesmanship. Policies that may incite communal tensions on either side of the borders will hurt Modis personal reputation on a very sensitive front. Coming on the heels of the extraordinary efforts of the current Bangladeshi government to improve ties with India, we find the rhetoric of the leading candidate from India to be deeply disappointing and highly concerning. India is overwhelmingly a beneficiary of trade with Bangladesh, both formally and informally, and with extensive trading ties and a plethora of common interests, amicable and cooperative relations are crucial to the well-being of both countries. Driving a wedge between our two nations in the way Modi is threatening to is not only profoundly worrisome for Bangladesh, but also counterproductive to Indias own interests.

To promote science education

April 28 At the gold medal ceremony of the Bangladesh Bingan Academy, at Osmani Smriti Milanayatan earlier this month, Sheikh Hasina urged the new generation to make studying the sciences a priority. From history, we know that science can do a great deal to help lift up a nation and increase its development. Not very long ago, around 40% of secondary level students studied the sciences, and now, it is not even 20%. We know that around 98% of educational institutions are private. Also, it is an open secret that many teachers have been recruited based on who gives the largest bribes to the person concerned who belongs to the party in power. This is surely an important reason why quality teachers are not being hired. We urge the government to recruit talented and dedicated people as teachers by establishing PSC for teacher recruitment and their promotion. Md Tofazzel Hossain

Palestinian doctors treat wounded child following air strike in Beit Lahia

Amicable and cooperative relations are crucial to the well-being of both countries

April 24 Where is the Dislike button?! Tragic. May peace prevail on earth! Mariam Ispahani

No excuse for persecution

April 23 Indeed the wrongful and rather unIslamic demand of Hefazat Secretary General Junaid Babunagari needs to be challenged and restrained. According to Islamic scholars, Quran expresses a condemnation of all sectarianism arising out of peoples intolerant, mutually-exclusive claims to being the only true exponents of the Quranic teachings, which is evident from the following : Surah 6:159 Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects you, [O Muhammad (SW)], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do. All sects of Islam do believe in the same Quran, Prophet (SW) and Allah. There is no controversy over this. Since Babunagari himself belongs to a sect, he should rather be fearful of Allah and not raise a finger/voice at any other sect because it is Allah alone who knows who are on the correct path. As regards to atheists or non-believers, the Quran expressly and emphatically declares: Surah 2:256 There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error; hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in Allah has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing. Again the Quranic scholars say: On the strength of the above categorical prohibition of coercion (ikrah) in anything that pertains to faith or religion, all Islamic jurists, without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin, a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of conversion or the sword. By asking atheists not to be allowed to live in Bangladesh, Babunagari is committing a grievous sin, because it is tantamount to coercion in matters of religion. WaliulHaqueKhondker

Keeping an eye on the banks

April 24 Corruption and nepotism during times of recruitment is unfortunately common practice now. Ashraful Islam Siam

Beyonc tops Times most influential list

April 24 I dont know if girls run the world. But Bangladesh, they do! :) WK

The battle for history

April 23 Well written piece. We should look to the future. Farhad

Why Moyes had to go

April 23 Well put. In truth, the two biggest mistakes Moyes made was to dispense with SAFs coaching team and to pander up to Rooney. Of the two, indulging Rooney with an undeserved pay rise was the bigger mistake, for that destroyed the other players morale and brought dissension into the dressing room. It was a serious breach of two fundamental HR principles never reward disloyalty and never overpay anyone over other higher performing staff. When RVP was justifiably de-motivated, what did Moyes contemplate doing? He contemplated replacing RVP! That man was clueless about man-management, although Id concede that he was hardworking and honest and brought integrity to the job, all the qualities aptly pointed out by the club in their termination announcement. FrankDLaw

Tender allegations need investigation

Be Heard
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:

erious allegations of irregularities and lack of transparency have been made about the tender process for the governments VAT automation project. An official complaint was filed with the National Board of Revenue and details sent to the Anti-Corruption Commission on Sunday, by a leading multinational software provider, calling for an official investigation into the NBRs procurement process. The complainant claims to have had its bid, which was $1.1m lower than the winning bid, ruled out by the tender evaluation committee, for unexplained reasons. As a company that is larger and has substantially more experience in Bangladesh than the winning company, it claims there is no obvious technical or logistical reason for its disqualification. The lack of explanation and transparency in this matter is very serious as the inference is drawn that its bid was ruled out in order to favour its competitor. At the very least the tender process appears to have fallen below expected standards because of the lack of transparency about the reason for one bid being disqualified. It is important for the government to ensure a complete and open investigation into the allegations being made. This is important to taxpayers for two reasons. Firstly, to ensure that funds are spent efficiently and transparently. Secondly, and just as important, to protect the countrys reputation with international companies and funders. The credibility of public procurement processes requires that they meet the highest standards of fairness and transparency and that any alleged discrepancies are looked into fully.


The government must ensure that funds are spent efficiently and transparently


ACROSS 1 Form (5) 5 Public walk (4) 8 Allow (6) 9 Encounters (5) 10 Alone (4) 11 Numeral (5) 12 Tree (3) 15 Repose (4) 18 Henhouse (5) 21 Female pig (3) 22 Entrance (4) 24 Stagger (4) 25 Fertile spot (5) 28 Good name (6) 29 Containers (4) 30 Swarms (5) DOWN 1 Boil gently (6) 2 Monkey (3) 3 Domestic animals (4) 4 Celtic language (4) 5 Niggard (5) 6 Makes up for (6) 7 Zodiac sign (3) 13 Behold! (2) 14 Not antiquated (6) 16 Accordingly (2) 17 Intertwines (6) 19 Parts of shoes (5) 20 In the direction of (2) 23 Disorderly flight (4) 24 Plunder (3) 26 Consumed (3) 27 Observe (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.




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pakistans military establishment has been playing the politics of expulsion since General Sikandar Mirza dragged the army into state affairs to establish his rule. Then they did not like Bengalis for demanding their democratic rights. So they tried to bend them while ending up losing half of their dominion and eternal shame for the rights abuses.

Media under fire

n Afnan Khan
here is a long history of power struggle between the Pakistan army and intelligentsia, butSaturdays attack on Hamid Mir has reopened the scars of the heavily under fire media in the country. The attack on probably the most prominent journalist of the country sounds like dj vu for progressive media persons. He was attacked by terrorists close to extremely secured Karachi airport. The terrorists were confident enough to chase Mr Mir for several minutes while spraying bullets on his car. The brazen attack puts a lot of questions on Inter Services Intelligences (ISI) role in the matter especially when Hamid Mir himself accused the agency of planning his assassination. Harassment, torture, abductions, and killings are not new words for journalists and intellectuals in Pakistan. They have been facing that for opposing the armys shady activities in Bengal, their involvement in politics, patronising religious extremists, rights violations in Baluchistan, and across the country as well as military takeovers. What also did not change is the modus operandi of the assailants. First tag somebody as a traitor and an agent of India/West, and then abduct him or kill him in cold blood. Use torture as a means to control the country and its people. Then denial and condemnations by the establishment and then in extreme situations an inquiry commission and then the matter is buried forever. All that is done in the name of national interest. Pakistans military establishment has also set up a huge fan following. They have managed to indoctrinate their version of national interest in the minds of Pakistani schoolchildren through their textbooks throughout the decades. These naive citizens think its armys birthright to pick up, torture, or kill somebody if the person doesnt match their yardstick of patriotism. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis were killed under such mindset before Bangladesh came into existence. Eventoday,a massive propaganda campaign is in full swing across Pakistan to label Mir and his TV channel as traitors for pointing the fingers at their suspects. The spin-doctors are in full throttle against Hamid Mir with ridiculous claims such as he deliberately took six bullets to malign ISI, and some are even demanding closure of Geo TV for dragging the army through mud. But does it sound sane to say that all the victims who first accused security agencies for threatening them, deliberately got killed to prove their point? Murdered journalist Saleem Shahzad is one of the victims. Other senior journalists like Najam Sethi, Imtiaz Alam, the leadership of South Asian Free Media Association, prominent journalists working for Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a number of Baloch and Pashtoon journalists, those who have worked on sensitive issues like human rights violations by the army, and myself, are among those who believe they were also threatened by the state agencies.

A massive propaganda campaign is in full swing across Pakistan to label Mir and his TV channel as traitors
Then they played the religion card and started dividing the rest of Pakistan on a communal basis, ending up excluding Ahmedis from their list and yet again, through inhuman treatment, creating probably the most powerful Pakistani community across the globe. Then came the turn of Baluchis, Sindhis, Pashtoons, Shias, and sects within Sunnis. So thousands of them have been killed so far while no end to this politics of division comes to sight. Yet the country has been virtually carved up. And yet, a large number of Pakistanis are intoxicated by the establishments propaganda instead of standing up for the heroes who fight for their rights. They are unable to understand that by doing so they are signing a charter of slavery for their generations to come. Hamid Mir recently censured inhuman military repression in Balochistan. He talked openly against the armys involvement in mass abductions, killings, and mass burials of Baloch people. Baluchistans case is quite similar to the case of Bangladesh. All they wanted was their democratic share in everything, but what they were given was mass killings, rapes, abductions, hunger, and poverty. Hamid is the son of a legendary Pakistani journalist Waris Mir who stood for rights of Bengal and faced never-ending persecution by the establishment and their cronies like Jamaat-e-Islami. Time has come for Pakistanis to demand an end to the armys meddling in media affairs. Pakistan army should realise that Pakistanis wanted the country to stand out as a true democracy but their involvement in every business makes it look like a banana republic or a North Korea-style authoritarian regime to the world. And just like the security agencies of civilised world, Pakistanis should also learn to work under their constitutional limits. All Pakistanis should now decide to stop the bloodshed. Perhapstoday,Pakistanis have a chance to free themselves from the clutches of its violent forces if everyone stood their ground. l Afnan Khan is a Pakistan-based journalist. His last job in Pakistan was as Chief Reporter of the Daily Times newspaper while also serving as the Joint Secretary of Punjab Union of Journalists.

What punishment fits the crime of poisoning our food?


Hang em high

n Mohammad Ali Sattar

ou might be taken by surprise by the title of the piece or take the scribe as a lunatic. Why am I demanding the gallows, and for whom? No, I am not renewing the demand for hanging the war criminals. They are already under trial and the tribunal is dealing with the cases. I am talking about those forces who are our own kin, our own men, out to destroy the nation. The food poisoning syndicate (FPS) is working under the nose of the powers, right in the open glare of the media, and within the knowledge of the law enforcing members. We catch regular print reports carried with full-blown pictures and TV grabs of the victims who fall sick after consuming adulterated food, fruits, or drinks. We are served with unpleasant reports of dissipated vegetables and fruit traders selling their goods with coats of pesticides, the greedy fish trader selling fish dipped and preserved in formalin and that too at outrageous prices, restaurants selling stale and contaminated food often prepared with poisoned cooking oil and spices. We are now familiar with intelligence of all sorts of contamination and adulteration in the crop and food sector. In fact, the whole food sector has been poisoned in a planned way. A syndicate is in operation to see that its well-oiled machine of impure food trade goes unimpeded, thanks to the consortium of the godfathers!

Why is this happening? To find the roots is not impossible. It is simply an opportunity used by killer minds and greedy souls. The growing demand for food and the unplanned lifestyle of the millions (unaware and uneducated) make way for these villains of the society. They have a nexus both at home and abroad, and work in tandem within their chains. Along the line of production, adulterating process and supply, they work in strict order and with effective communication. Everyone involved enjoys a pleasing pay, each getting his share according to the service delivered.

lie in wait for the posterity. The whole nation is being slowly pushed to death. What kind of crime is this? This is one of the gravest crimes against humanity. Shooting someone or murdering with a blunt weapon or committing rape and arson are not the only crimes against humanity. The mixing of poisonous elements in food should be treated as the gravest sin and biggest crime in the current context. We dont need to look far to find such examples. We can find examples of hanging by the neck or executions carried out by shooting squads in many countries for poisoning or adulteration.

The top national agenda should be to free the nation from the food poisoning syndicate

According to latest press reports, the whole nation is now forced to consume infected and impure food, fish, meat, fruits, and drinks. The sad part is, even reputed food and grocery outlets are not reliable any more. Where do we go from here? Instead of ringing the alarm bell, we have apparently fallen in the traps and dont give a damn about the slow poisoning of ourselves and our children. We even fail to realise the dangers that

China is the biggest example. The country set an example by executing those criminals who took part in the adulteration of baby food. The government is doing a great job by trying to save the hapless lot from the poison syndicate who are out to destroy the nation for money. In Bangladesh, the same crime is being committed. This is genocide in silence. Masterminds and their collaborators are at work round the

clock. While we become numb and paralysed, they are awake and active, watching us drown in the ocean of permanent slumber. What should we do? Since this is being done within our parameters and our own people are involved, we should easily apprehend them and take them to such severe task that the whole process of the killing trade will come to a halt within a short span of time. They should be brought to justice immediately. If there are laws to punish them, these are not enough. Arrests, imposing fines, and letting them free is something like playing with the sentiments of the people and making a mockery of law of the land. Plain and simple, the government should send a message to these elements through a proper channel (ministries and other government bodies) that the utmost measures are being taken to arrest the culprits and to stop this dangerous trade. The culprits should be caught and handed the most severe punishment. They ought to be tried in full notice of the nation, each proceeding and the list of their crimes ought to be made public, and they should be shown no mercy at all. The proven criminal should be sent to the gallows. Leaving aside all politics of rhetoric, the top national agenda should be to free the nation from the food poisoning syndicate and save the nation from passing off into permanent hibernation. l Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist and a DT columnist.

Modi alert
n Uday Sankar Das
s Indias polling marathon for the 16th Lok Sabha enters into the last three laps, and voters have been swarming the polling centres in increasing numbers, one point being discussed in depth is should Indias neighbours become wary if there is a change in government in Delhi? It is now felt that a Congress-led government is unlikely to get a third term in office, and the likelihood is that either a BJP-led alliance would sweep to power, or a non-BJP and non-Congress government could be stitched up with the regional parties (with or without the support of the Congress Party) to take charge in Delhi. It is usually seen that the basic tenets of Indias foreign policy do not undergo a wholesale change with a change of government national interests take precedence over party ideologies. The countrys national security comes before everything else. Political observers feel that in case of a non-Congress and also a non-BJP government ie a Third Front taking control in Delhi, where Congress may also join up, they would follow the existing policy regarding Indias neighbouring countries. The neighbours in that case need not have sleepless nights. But, if the Modi juggernaut moving across the country catches the peoples imagination and a BJP-led government is formed, the scenario takes a different turn. If, for example, Modi has to take the support of Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, he would try to bring in the states as partners in the execution of the countrys foreign policy. The reason behind such a move is that the Centres hand is seen to be weakened by conceding veto to the states, as has been evident in the past in the cases of both Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. If, however, Modi does not require the support of the other parties and the BJP-led alliance bags the magical number of seats of 272 or more, political analysts believe there could be changes and the neighbours would need to keep a close watch on Modis moves. In its election manifesto, Hindu nationalist, BJP emphasises on the need to restore a resurgent India to its rightful place in the comity of nations and raises the idea of taking a strong stand and steps in the neighbourhood, if necessary. BJP also says there will be zero tolerance of terrorism and extremism. In a recent interview, Narendra Modi said: I believe in Hindutva, which is based on the age-old concept of Vasudeva Kutumba. I believe mutual respect for one another and cooperation should be the basis for relationships with foreign nations. I will follow the policies of the Vajpayee-led NDA government And I dont think a decision taken by any individual or one event should impact the overall policy. stan. He very efficiently conducted the Lahore bus diplomacy and did not budge in going into war with Pakistan over Kargil. Pragmatic, Modi might be, but he is yet to attain the stature required of the leader of a country that is termed as an emerging world power. Looking at some of Indias neighbours and Modis comments, the BJP prime ministerial candidate, in an election speech recently has warned China to shed its mindset of expansionism and in the past, he has talked tough against Pakistan for attacks by militants in India. Narendra Modis advisers have already said that India will get tougher on territorial disputes with China and in its old rivalry with Pakistan if he becomes the prime minister in May after a general election. In general, BJP is seen as tougher on the issue of terrorism traced to Pakistan. But, it must also be borne in mind that as chief minister of the state of Gujarat for more than a decade, Modi has often sought investment from China and has a record of pursuing close commercial ties with its northern neighbour. Modi would, therefore, have to do a balancing act by defending Indias security interests on the one hand and growing business links with the worlds second-biggest economy on the other. As regards Bangladesh, there is a perception that a Congress-led government in India usually maintains a good relationship with Bangladesh when Awami League is in power. There is a historic perspective to it. But, it has also been seen that when these two parties are in power in their respective countries, many issues remain unresolved. The two main unsettled issues between the two countries now relate to Teesta and Land Boundary Agreement, including the enclaves. It has also been seen that during the last AL-led government in Bangladesh when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Indian prime minister, relations between the two countries were cordial. There was that gruesome incident at Padua, when many people died in a border skirmish and horrific pictures were published in the newspapers in Bangladesh. However, it did not take long for the two sides to sit across the table and bring an end to their differences. The Ganges water sharing agreement was also renewed during the rule of the last BJP-led government in India. However, there has been some election-time rhetoric from BJP leaders relating to Bangladesh in the recent past and that has not gone down very well, with justification, among the common people here. One might say that these have no bearing on the foreign policy to be pursued by India, but these do create a dangerous precedent and also ill-feelings in the minds of people. As one political analyst said recently: Poll rhetoric is one thing and statesmanship is something else. It is widely felt that Narendra Modi, unlike Vajpayee, is not a man of the world. Modi as prime minister of India would mean a RSS takeover, or certainly Hindu fundamentalist takeover. There is a feeling that they would take up the Bangladeshi immigrants issue very strongly. The problem relating to river water-sharing between India and Bangladesh would need the help of the concerned state governments. If the state governments are non-BJP non-allies, then finding solutions would be even more complex. As regards Indian foreign policy outline and relations with its neighbours, we have so far seen a broad consensus, irrespective of which party comes to power. But things have changed in this election campaign. As one of Narendra Modis aides recently said: This time, if there is a change in government, I do expect a break from that tradition. l Uday Sankar Das is a senior journalist who worked for BBC World Service radio and is presently based in Chittagong.

There has been some rhetoric from BJP leaders relating to Bangladesh that has not gone down well
While very strongly maintaining that he would be pursuing the policies that Atal Bihari Vajpayees NDA alliance had followed, Modi has also said in no uncertain terms that he appreciated Vajpayees ability to projectstrength and preservepeace. There is, however, a vast difference between the political acumen of Atal Behari Vajpayee and that of Narendra Modi. Vajpayee showed his statesmanship and farsightedness in pursuing his countrys relationship with Paki-




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Apurbo and Mou romance on screen for the first time

n Entertainment Desk
Sadia Islam Mou and Apurbo is pairing up for a single episode play titled Black Coffee. This is the first time the duo will be working together on the small screen. Written by Rumnodro Mahfuz and Sakhawat Hossain Manik, the drama also features Urmila Srabonti Kar. Mou is playing Moumita in the story, Apurbo will be seen as Abhik and Urmila as Inam. About working with Mou, Apurbo said: Acting opposite to Mou was a learning experience for me. Her acting skills are much superior than mine, yet she did not make me feel intimidated. I learned a lot from her during the shooting. She has won the love and appreciation of the audience with her performance in the industry and her dedication is truly admirable. Mou said: Currently, I am busy working in dramas and telefilms. I think it is fortunate that I am receiving good scripts to act on. My experience of working with Apurbo was quite pleasant and I must say that the script of Black Coffee is very well written. The play will air in private TV channels during Eid. l

Child artistes of Nrityanchal perform at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on April 28 on the first day of a two-day event organised by the dance school marking International Dance Day

Germany A Sporting Nation Time: 11am 6pm Goethe Institut Bangladesh Road 9(new), House 10 Dhanmondi Water Rhymes-2 Time: 11am 8pm Galleri Kaya, House 20, Road 16, Sector 04, Uttara Group Art Exhibition Time: 11am 8pm Zainul Gallery, Charukala, Dhaka University, Shahbag Bonded Stitches & Struggle Time: 3pm 8pm Drik Gallery House 58 Road 15A (New) Dhanmondi

Exhibition showcases young artists quest for purity

n Hasan Mansoor Chatak
A group art exhibition featuring some fascinating pieces of paintings titled The Search of Purity is going on at the Dhaka Art Center, Dhanmondi. Three young artists Biplob Kumar Das, Ziaur Rahman Joy and Kamrun Nahar are participating in the exhibit with unique concepts, compositions and aesthetics. All of them are from Narayanganj, one of the oldest cities of Bangladesh and a centre of business and industry. Their orientation of the locality has a great impact on their artistic endeavours. Biplob Kumar Das told Dhaka Tribune: The city is very rich with many artistic elements and for the artists, it is like a drawn canvas. Besides portraying natural beauty, the artists also depicted the marred atmosphere of the city in their canvas. Biplob Kumar Das is experimenting with a new form of abstract expressionism called plastic form with acrylic colour, which is acquainted from his academic knowledge. With the use of collage in his paintings, he unfolds joy, ecstasy, peace, nature and different facets of materialistic life in abstract form. Ziur Rahman Joy is interested in drawing figures of hermits, bauls and spiritual vagabonds who travels from one place to another in quest to search for the meaning of life and beyond. He depicted their prudent expression and diverse lifestyle in his compositions as he use to observe them from his childhood. He worked with mixed media using water colours, dry pastel and charcoal in his paintings. His expertise has been manifested in his paintings which express his feelings through simple figurative compositions and colours. Kamrun Nahar has developed a unique style, particularly in watercolour medium. Her works reflect realistic portrayal of nature and surroundings. She painted ships, boats and rivers which represent the landscape of Narayanganj. According to Nahar, she visits the spots first to get the feel of the ambiance and then portrays the surroundings. The art show will end this evening. l

Natyo Juddhos grooming session begins n Entertainment Desk

The grooming session of the talent hunt show Royal Tiger Natyo Juddho has began. Through rigorous auditions, seventeen hundred participants have been selected from various parts of Bangladesh to identify and award talented actors, playwrights and directors. The show will be a window of opportunity for aspiring talents to enter the entertainment industry of the country. Single episode plays will be screened to portray the abilities of the competitors. About the initiative, director Tuhin Barua said: We are really excited to broadcast the show. I think that this is going to be the top reality show among the ones that are currently on TV. From the very beginning, since we have announced the competition, we have received thousands of response from potential participants. Finally we are done with the selection process and now the grooming session is on full swing. Natyo Juddho will soon air on ATN Bangla. l


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D & 2D) Jonakir Alo 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


Mrittika to perform on Music Club tonight

n Entertainment Desk
Marking the May Day, band Mrittika will perform on the eve of the occasion in a live show titled Music Club at 11:25pm on Banglavision. The band will present songs on a variety of subjects such as protest, love and humanity. Mrittika believes in the initiating power of men to bring about positive changes. Their lyrics reflect our heritage and their innate understanding of the human nature. The show provides opportunity for the audience to call and talk to the band members. They will share their story, the turning point of their career and future ventures in between song requests and phone calls. l

Room 2 By Dhaka Electronica Scene Time: 7pm Berlin Hall, Goethe-Institul


Konjush By Loko Natyadol Time: 7pm Experimental Theatre, Shilpakala Academy, Shegun Bagicha Paintings displayed at the exhibition

Dhaka Theatre to stage Outsider in Tangail

n Entertainment Desk
Dhaka Theatre is going to stage its new play Outsider at the Bhashani Hall, Tangail, at 6pm today. The script of the play, directed by Nasiruddin Yousuf Bacchu and modified by Rubayet Ahmed, has been produced from the famous novel The Stranger subtitled in French Ltranger by Albert Camus. The plot of the story revolves around a French Algerian Meursault who received the news of his mothers demise on telegram. And in an incident, he kills an Arab and the story takes a turn into crime and punishment. Camus explored the nakedness of a man faced with absurdness in his trial. The play focuses on humanity, justice, love and politics. Camus was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957. Dhaka Theatre emphasises classical plays, which has gained a remarkable position in the international cultural arena and it also represents the culture and art of Bangladesh featuring music and dance, reflecting the traditional forms with modern ideas. l

Kangna Ranaut and Irrfan Khan are Divine Lovers

n Entertainment Desk
Actor Kangana Ranaut will be romancing National Award winning actor Irrfan Khan in Divine Lovers to be directed by Sai Kabir of Revolver Rani . Revolver Rani, which has been warmly received by critics, has managed to do a business of Rs30m in two days of its release on Friday. Yes Im doing a film called Divine Lovers with Kangana and Irrfan in the lead. It would be a complete contrast to Revolver Rani. It wont be loud, aggressive, violent and splashy like RR. But again Divine Lovers would be about the Great Indian Dream, said Sai Kabir. The film would be about the moral corruption of the middle class, he added. l

Game of Thrones ratings skyrocket even after controversy n Entertainment Desk

If last weeks controversial episode upset Game of Thrones viewers, it sure didnt drive them away. HBOs fantasy hit once again broke its ratings record Sunday night. The Oathkeeper episode delivered an all-time high of 6.9 million viewers. The episode showed a sequence which was not mentioned in the original book and that raised huge controversies. That edges out the previous best set earlier this season. Across three plays,Thrones totaled 8.4 million viewers. At 10pm, the latest episode of HBOs new comedy Silicon Valley had 1.6 million viewers (1.8 million for the night). Veep had 922,000 viewers (1.2 million for the night). HBO also premiered its new talk show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which delivered 1.1 million viewers at 11pm and 1.4 million when you add its first encore. Thats pretty strong for an HBO late-night program, and the show received very positive reviews. Oliver was previously a correspondent on Comedy Centrals The Daily Show. By comparison, last week The Daily Show averaged 1.5 million viewers and The Colbert Report had 1.2 million viewers. l

Fox to broadcast Grease Live

n Entertainment Desk
Fox is joining NBC in the live musical event business with its own production of Grease, expected to air sometime in 2015. The network is calling it Grease Live as a working title, but the three-hour production will take the 1971 Broadway musical (and the 1978 movie) and recast it with a brand-new ensemble cast. NBC took a gamble last year with its live production of The Sound of Music that turned into a ratings smash, with 18.6 million people tuning into the live event. NBC announced this year it was following up The Sound of Music with a live production of Peter Pan, which will air in December. l

Artistes of Dhaka Theatre in a scene of Outsider

Did you know?

Mondays result ensures that Arsenal finish above Tottenham in the league for the 19th successive season


Wednesday, April 30, 2014



14 Barcelona pay

last respects to Vilanova

14 Juventus

on brink of Serie A title

15 Man City, PSG have

chance to settle FFP breaches

Witty Parvez still dreams of natl call

The 40-yard out stunning strike from Abdullah Parvez to shock both Mohammedan SC and its supporters at the Bangabandhu National Stadium was the result of clever thinking from the BJMC midfielder. Putting the goal at the top of his list, Parvez revealed at the post-match conference that he caught MSC goalkeeper Mamun Khan off guard and took the opportunity which paid off brilliantly. I saw Mamun Khan watching me and I deceived him intending to pass the ball to Ismael Bangoura, but in my heart I was confident to take the chance. I saw Mamun a little off positioned and unleashed a curling shot. Its one of the top goals in my career, said the former national midfielder. He carries the reputation of scoring wonder goals as it was only in January when he scored his fifth goal in the season in the seven goal win over Uttar Baridhara. Standing vertical to the goal post Parvez curled his trademark left footer into the middle of the net with a banana kick. I was ready to do something for the team and our team spirit was good, for the last few days we also practiced hard as the management has cleared a portion of our dues. We were ready to fight it out and I am happy to see the team finish as winners, he said. Parvezs impact was evident in the field within four minutes after his arrival. He came on as Shahnur Rahman Ronys replacement in the 77th minute and in the 81st it was his curved cross from the left flank that was headed home by Nigerian midfielder Samson Illiyasu. With my current form I have started to believe I can still give something to the national team. I am 28 now and I dont know whether I would be selected or not, said the player who hails from Narayanganj. l

Mushfiq coy on Jurgensen

Bangladesh national skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said he was upset when he learned of his head coach Shane Jurgensens resignation. He was batting in the nets of the Sahara-BCB Academy when the news of the Australian resigning from his position as the head coach of Bangladesh reached him. Mushfiqur restrained from making any comment in public right away. But the wicket-keeper batsman eventually expressed concern on the issue when he confronted the media in a signing ceremony as the brand ambassador of the Goldmark Foods Ltd held in a fivestar hotel in Dhaka yesterday. Mushfiqur informed that he had been asked by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to make no comments on the situation but, I can say that I will meet him (Jurgensen) when he comes to Dhaka to discuss the issue. His resignation has not been approved yet as the board president (Nazmul Hasan) is not in the country, said Mushfiq to the media yesterday. I hope he remains as our head coach, he also added. Jurgensen was skeptical of the current environment in the BCB and his position in the team following Bangladeshs below par showing in the ICC World Twenty20 and the subsequent comments made in the media by the BCB president Nazmul and few board directors. It is understood that the situation took its toll on him which ultimately triggered his decision to move, considering it to be the best thing to do for the team and his coaching career. Bangladeshs difficult period started in January when they were crushed by Sri Lanka in the first Test before bouncing back with a drawn game in Chittagong. They lost the T20 and ODI series, albeit by narrow margins. The Asia Cup brought four defeats including the humiliating one to Afghanistan while their World T20 campaign suffered a massive shock when associate nation Hong Kong beat them in the first round. Those defeats, now followed by Jurgensens resignation might threaten to make things even worse for Bangladesh as yet another coaching conundrum looms large with only eight months remaining before the ICC World Cup 2015 begins down under. Yes, the job has become more challenging for us now because we are going through a tough time at the moment. But at the end of the day, you should also accept that not everyday

I can say that I will meet him (Jurgensen) when he comes to Dhaka. His resignation has not been approved yet as the board president is not in the country
runs smooth at the office. I believe we do have the strength to overcome the bad patch and it will happen soon, affirmed Mushfiqur. However, before he faced the media, the Bangladesh captain signed a one year contract with Goldmark Foods Ltd. The event was attended by its Managing Director Mohammad Bashir, Executive Director Jahir Uddin Mahmud Khan, General Manager (Marketing) Md. Monir Hossain and Brand Manager Md. Golam Sarwar Rubel. Monowar Hossain Pathan, Managing Director of Prionti Communication and Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, Chairman of ADCOMM Ltd. were also present in the ceremony. l

Team BJMC midfielder Abdullah al Parvez goes wild after scoring a sensational goal against Mohammedan SC during their Bangladesh Premier League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday MUMIT M

Parvez wonder goal stuns MSC

Substitute midfielder Abdullah Al Parvez scored a sensational goal as Team BJMC affected a halt in Mohammedans unbeaten streak in the Bangladesh Premier League with a thrilling 3-2 victory at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. In the other match of the day, Chittagong Abahani and Uttar Baridhara Limited played out a goalless draw at the same venue. BJMC were 2-1 down when Parvez came onto the pitch in the 77th minute to steal the show. Just four minutes after his arrival, the gifted midfielder provided the assist for Samson Iliasus equalizer before sealing the victory with an exquisite lobbed finish from just inside the opponents half. With the match destined to be a draw and the clock ticking over to final whistle, Parvez produced a swirling, pin-point lob with his left foot from well over 45 yards that dipped under the woodwork. Although Mohammedan keeper Mamun Khan backpedaled and his finger slightly touched the ball, it was too little and too late to prevent the ball from going into the net. The result put an end to Independence Cup champion Mohammedans 12-match unbeaten run in all competitions and the last time they suffered defeat was against Abahani in the first phase of the league more than three months ago. The Black and Whites, however, remain third with 20 points from 12 matches while BJMC sit in the seventh position with 15 points. BJMC made the first attack after just four minutes but Mamun Khan produced a super save when he fisted away Samson Iliasus powerful strike from just outside the box after a cutback from Mahadi Hasan Tapu. BJMCs promising beginning saw them draw first blood as Ismael Bangoura put BJMC ahead in the 15th minute from a penalty after Cameroonian defender Bayebeck Fombagne pushed Ismael down inside the box to gift BJMC an opportunity to score and the Guinean striker obliged gleefully by sending Mamun Khan the wrong way to score from the spot. The Black and Whites also earned a penalty at the half hour mark and their Nigerian midfielder Demian Chigozie converted it to restore parity after BJMC defender Shahanur Rahman Rony brought down the Burkinan forward Zongo Ousseni. Mohamedan took the lead for the first time in the match just two minutes after the resumption. Dispossessing a BJMC defender, Wahed Ahmed made an unobstructed darting run into the box and rounded off the keeper before placing the ball into an empty net. Wahed, however, wasted a great chance in the 57th minute when his attacking partner Zongo Ousseni provided a neat pass to him as he was unmarked. But Wahed failed to take the chance as he shot wide.

Mohammaden were left to rue that chance as the introduction of Abdullah Al Parvez in place of Shahnur Rahman Rony, changed the course of the game immediately in favour of BJMC. Parvez made an instant impact when in the 81st minute he curled in a cross from the right flank that found Samson at the second bar who out-muscled and out-jumped his marker to head home past Mamun to make it 2-2. When it seemed that the game was heading for a draw, Parvez produced that magical moment in the injury time to leave the Mohammedan fans stunned as his wonderful but yet an incredible lob found the back of the net to seal a memorable victory for his club. A dull opening half and a wasteful second-half meant the match between Chittagong Abahani and Uttar Baridhara could earn nothing but a goal-less stalemate which leaves both clubs with seven points from 12 matches with Chittagong Abahani ahead only on goal difference. l

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (R) poses for a photograph with Mohammad Bashir, Managing Director of Goldmark Foods Limited, after signing as their brand ambassador at a city hotel yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

Al Hikmah lift school hockey title

Al Hikmah Muslim Academy from Rajshahi emerged as the champions in the First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Jessores Municipal Preparatory School in the final at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday. Al Hikmah, visibly superior both technically and tactically, showed their character to win the title with an all out team effort. Despite conceding an early goal, the upbeat unit bounced back to win Tk100000 while the runners up had to remain content with Tk50000. Al Hikmah started in an attacking mode and cornered their opponents with series of attacks led by their influential captain Ahsan Habib Ridoy and midfielder Sadekul Hikmah. However they conceded the goal against the tide in the 22nd minute when the Preparatory forwards initiated a counter attack from which Walid Omar took them ahead. It took Al Hikmah six minutes to return in the contest as a superb flicked goal from the middle of the box by midfielder Abu Sayeed Ridoy equalised the margin. Ahasan Habib Ridoy scored the winner in the 50th minute after Abid Shahriar initiated a penalty corner. Instead of taking an instant hit, Ridoy took few steps forward and made room to hit the board with an angular hit. Shihab Hossain of Armanitola High School received Tk100000 as highest scorer while his teammate Tuhin Hossain and Ridoy received Tk50000 and Tk25000 respectively for becoming the second and third highest scorer. The top scorers money was provided by ATN Bangla chairman Mahfuzur Rahman. State minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder distributed the prizes as chief guest. Managing director of First Security Islami Bank AA Zakaria, BHF president Air Marshal Enamul Bari and general secretary Khawaja Rahmatullah were also present on the occasion.l

Bananas campaign fruit of Neymar firm

Dani Alves inspired moment of improvisation in defusing a racist gesture by picking up a banana and calmly eating it is becoming a social media phenomenon. The latest salvo in the burgeoning anti-racist campaign comes courtesy of his Brazil and Barcelona team-mate Neymar, whose PR firm is launching a we are all monkeys social media initiative. Sao Paulo-based company Loducca were alerted by Neymars father after his son also endured racist insults in an April 12 match in Granada, the firms vice-president Guga Ketzer revealed. The idea was to do something light-hearted, even amusing. We waited for the best moment and that came with what happened with Daniel on Sunday, Ketzer said. After Alves picked up the banana thrown by a fan at Villarreal since banned for life by his club social media sites burst into life as Neymar and even Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff joined in to decry racism. l

Al Hikmah Muslim Academy from Rajshahi celebrate with the trophy after emerging as the champions of the First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday MUMIT M

Shobukhova gets 2-year doping ban
Russian marathon star Liliya Shobukhova was on Tuesday banned for two years by the national track and field athletics federations anti-doping panel. The 36-year-old was banned based on abnormalities in the haematological profile of her biological passport, which indicates a high probability of blood doping. The ban will be backdated to January 24, 2013 and will end on January 23, 2015. All her results from October 9, 2009, were cancelled, meaning her marathon best of 2hr 18mi 20sec, set in winning in Chicago in 2011, will be wiped from the record books. AFP



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spurs edge Mavericks in playoff series

Manu Ginobili scored 23 points, including three clinching free throws in the final seconds, to give the San Antonio Spurs a 93 89 NBA playoff victory at Dallas on Monday. The Western Conference top seed Spurs pulled even at 2 2 in the best-of-seven first-round series with game five Wednesday at San Antonio and game six back in Dallas on Friday. After a last-shot loss in game three at Dallas, the Spurs felt the game was a must-win matchup since NBA clubs that fall behind 3 1 in a series are eliminated 96 percent of the time. It was a tough loss. It was really hard, Ginobili said. This was a huge win for us. Im glad we got it done. AFP

Sangakkara signs for Durham

Kumar Sangakkara will warm-up for Sri Lankas forthcoming tour of England by appearing in the next two rounds of County Championship matches for title-holders Durham. One of the outstanding batsmen of his generation and ninth on the list of all-time leading Test run-scorers with 11,151 at an average of nearly 59, Sangakkara is set to play for Durham in their four-day games with Yorkshire and Sussex next month. Im really looking forward to returning to county cricket with Durham and Im immensely grateful for the opportunity, Sangakkara said in a statement. AFP

Atletico look to storm the Bridge

Atletico Madrid will expect another exhibition of ultra-disciplined counter-punching from Chelsea when the teams reconvene for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Chelsea emerged from last weeks first leg with a 0-0 draw after a cautious display in which they enjoyed only 38 percent of possession and mustered five attempts at goal to Atleticos 26. Jose Mourinhos side were at it again on Sunday, relaunching their Premier League title bid with a 2-0 success at leaders Liverpool after again surrendering possession and playing on the counter-attack. Chelseas form has oscillated wildly in recent weeks, with performances such as the victory at Liverpool, a 6-0 demolition of Arsenal and the 2-0 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-final second leg interspersed with shock losses to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Mourinho has declared that Chelsea do not have a chance of winning the league, but he stands on the brink of history in Europe. Success in the May 24 final in Lisbon would make the 51-year-old Portuguese the first manager to win the Champions League with three different clubs, and few coaches thrive on the tactical duels in Europes elite competition like he does. Atletico are unbeaten in this seasons Champions League, however, and having preserved their four-point lead in La Liga by winning 1-0 at Valencia on Sunday, they, too, have a trophy double in their sights. Simeone has played down the potential impact of Chelseas selection issues and is also unconvinced that his sides run of nine straight league wins will prove a factor at Stamford Bridge. Atletico will be without captain Gabi due to suspension, with former Chelsea midfielder Tiago Mendes expected to take his place, but Simeone otherwise has a full squad to choose from. l

Barcelona pay last respects to Vilanova

Barcelona and the world of Spanish sport on Monday gathered in the citys cathedral for the funeral service of former coach Tito Vilanova, who died last Friday after a long battle with cancer aged 45. More than 1,500 people, including the Barcelona squad, attended the service for Vilanova, who had been cremated on Saturday. He was first diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland over two years ago and was forced to step down as Barcelona boss last July after just one season in charge to continue receiving treatment. He will always be in our heart and we will never forget him, said Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Some 53,000 people queued up to pay their respects to Vilanova in a dedicated section of Barcas Camp Nou stadium over the weekend. Of all the things that my father told me the most important is that life is too short to be unhappy, said Vilanovas daughter Carlota in front of gathered mourners including the Catalan president Artur Mas. l

FC Barcelona football team, including (L R) Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, attend former coach Tito Vilanovas memorial service at Barcelona Cathedral on Monday REUTERS

Juventus on brink of Serie A title

Juventus came from behind to win 3-1 away to struggling Sassuolo and edge closer to retaining the Serie A title on Monday night. Simone Zaza put Sassuolo in front, but the visitors recovered and an own goal from Alessandro Longhi brought them level before strikes by Claudio Marchisio and Fernando Llorente gave Juve a victory that leaves them eight points clear of second-placed Roma with three games remaining. A win at home to Atalanta next Monday will clinch a third successive title for the club from Turin, although it could be over by then anyway if Roma fail to win at Catania on Sunday. Under pouring rain in Reggio Emilia, the evening started badly for Contes Juve side as they fell behind inside nine minutes. Zaza, who is co-owned by Juventus, beat visiting goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon at his near post with a shot from a tight angle to put relegation-threatened Sassuolo in front. Sassuolo, playing in the top flight for the first time in their history, famously beat AC Milan 4-3 at home in January, but there was to be no shock this time around. Zaza might have restored the home sides lead just before the interval, but this time his effort from a tight angle was saved by Buffon. And Juves class told in the second half, as Andrea Pirlos delightful flighted ball over the top was converted firsttime by Marchisio in the 56th minute to put the league leaders in front. Tevez then hit the bar, but the Bianconeri put the final outcome beyond doubt inside the final quarter of an hour thanks to a touch of class from Llorente. Paul Pogba found Stephan Lichtsteiner, and his low cross from the right was brilliantly backheeled into net from six yards by Spanish striker Llorente, despite the attentions of Luca Antei. If the title race is decided next weekend, then there will be nothing riding on the meeting of Roma and Juve in the capital on May 9. l

Racism storm drives Alves father bananas

After a racist Spanish fan threw a banana at Barcelona full-back Dani Alves his farmworker father Monday said he would respond by ... planting bananas. Politicians from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to players, including Alves compatriot and team-mate Neymar, scurried to their computers to condemn the incident on social media and praise Alves for his response - he simply picked up and ate the discarded fruit. Domingos Alves, 64, meanwhile came up with a cool response of his own. I plant mangos, coconuts, melons, watermelons, passion fruit -- and now Im going to plant bananas, he told Globos G1 news portal from his home in the northern state of Bahia. But he added a note of caution, saying he feared one day a racist fan might go as far as trying to poison a player. l

Arsenal eye top four after Newcastle stroll

Arsenal moved four points clear of Everton in the race for the fourth and final Champions League place on offer to Premier League clubs with a convincing 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday. A rare strike by Laurent Koscielny opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium before Mesut Ozil netted for the 10th time this season and Olivier Giroud sealed victory with his 21st goal of the campaign to boost the Gunners hopes of a 17th successive term in Europes premier club competition. Arsene Wengers side now require just one more victory from their final two league matches against either West Bromwich Albion or Norwich City to book their spot. We had some problems at the start of the game, trying to find our way through the defence. When we found an opening we became stronger, Gunners boss Wenger told Sky Sports. In truth, visitors Newcastle had goalkeeper Tim Krul to thank for keeping the scoreline respectable as Alan Pardew, back on the touchline after a seven-game absence due to suspension, saw his side suffer a sixth successive league defeat the north-east clubs worst run in the English top flight since the 1986/87 season. It was tough for us tonight, said Pardew, whose side remain ninth in the table. While followers of fifth-placed Everton were cheering on Newcastle in the hope they could do them a favour, the blue half of Merseyside would be disappointed as Arsenal, with the FA Cup final against Hull City at Wembley on May 17 confined to the back of their minds, dominated throughout. l

Mourinho rejects FA charge

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has denied a charge of misconduct levelled against him by Englands governing Football Association folowing comments he made after the Premier League title-chasers shock loss to Sunderland. The Black Cats ended Mourinhos 77-match unbeaten home league run as Chelsea manager with a stunning 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge last month. Afterwards, Mourinho mocked the officials by saying: Congratulations to (referee) Mike Dean, because he made a fantastic performance. l

Alves backed from all sides over banana incident

Barcelona, a host of fellow players and even the Italian prime minister have backed Daniel Alves after he produced a clever riposte to a racist taunt involving a banana when taking a corner during Sundays La Liga game at Villarreal. Alves, who has previously taken a stand against racism at matches in Spain, grabbed the banana thrown in front of him on to the pitch, quickly peeled it and took a bite before tossing away the skin and completing the kick. We are all monkeys, we are all the same, say no to racism, Alvess Barca and Brazil team mate Neymar wrote on his Twitter feed with a picture of him holding a peeled banana, one of a number of high-profile players who expressed their support in a similar fashion. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi even got in on the act, pointedly munching a banana along with Italy coach Cesare Prandelli to show their backing for Alves. Barca earlier pledged their complete support and solidarity with the player and referred to insults he was subject to from a section of the crowd. They also thanked Villarreal for immediately condemning those responsible. Barcelona accepts that the perpetrators of these insults are in no way connected to Villarreal and we value very positively the support the club offered to our player, Barca said. The clubs immediate condemnation of the incidents is a step in the right direction to firstly isolate and then eradicate completely from the sporting arena this kind of behaviour. Villarreal said they had identified the culprit, whom they did not name, and had withdrawn their membership and banned them from the stadium for life. They also expressed their absolute condemnation of any act that violated those principles, such as violence, discrimination, racism or xenophobia. European soccer has long been blighted by racist incidents involving fans and their leagues criticised for not doing enough to stamp them out. UEFA has been running a high-profile campaign to try to counter racist behaviour and promote respect. Alves complained of abuse last year after being taunted by monkey chants from sections of the crowd during a Kings Cup semi-final at Real Madrid and labelled Spains efforts to tackle the problem a lost war. Angel Maria Villar, president of the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) and a UEFA and FIFA vice president, made a brief comment on the incident on Monday, saying Spanish football is against racism and xenophobia. The federations competition committee would be looking into it, he added. l

Belgium to include Januzaj in WC squad

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj will feature in a preliminary Belgium squad for World Cup warmups against Luxembourg and Sweden, national coach Marc Wilmots was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Wilmots, who last week made known Januzajs decision to play for Belgium, said he had not given any guarantees to the 19-year-old that he would be in the final squad in Brazil. Wilmots told that Januzaj had shown he could also play as a centre forward, a useful option given the unavailability of Christian Benteke due to injury. l

#WeAreAllMonkeys, #NoToRacism



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Woods holds on to number one spot
Tiger Woods has stayed atop the world rankings despite his continued absence from competitive golf following back surgery. The 38-year-old US superstar was treated for a bulging disc in his spine in late March and subsequently pulled out of the Masters, the first of the years four majors. He is in serious doubt for the US Open at Pinehurst in mid-June with reports saying he could be targetting a return to action at the British Open which starts at Hoylake, near Liverpool, on July 17. l

QUICK BYTES Giggs can be Uniteds Guardiola Lindegaard

Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs has the potential to replicate Pep Guardiolas success as coach of Barcelona, according to goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard. It might sound pretty rash and naive, but, in my opinion, we are dealing with a new Guardiola, Lindegaard told BBC Sport on Tuesday. What we have seen in the first week has been more than convincing. The similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson are striking and it is evident that Ryan Giggs has learned from one of historys most respected football managers. Giggs, Uniteds record appearance-maker, was placed in temporary charge of the United first team last week after David Moyes was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract as the successor to Ferguson. AFP

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Tiger Woods (USA) Adam Scott (AUS) Henrik Stenson (SWE) Bubba Watson (USA) Matt Kuchar (USA) Jason Day (AUS) Jordan Spieth (USA) Sergio Garcia (ESP) Phil Mickelson (USA) Justin Rose (ENG) Rory McIlroy (NIR) Zach Johnson (USA) Dustin Johnson (USA) Graeme McDowell (NIR) Steve Stricker (USA) Charl Schwartzel (RSA) Luke Donald (ENG) Jason Dufner (USA) Keegan Bradley (USA) 8.46 8.18 8.00 7.35 7.14 6.70 6.02 5.90 5.85 5.80 5.74 5.47 5.24 4.44 4.33 4.29 4.22 4.17 4.13 4.13

Hamburgs Van der Vaart racing to be fit against Bayern

Strugglers Hamburg SV could have playmaker Rafael van der Vaart back for their game against champions Bayern Munich on Saturday in their penultimate chance to avoid their first ever relegation. The 31-year-old Dutch midfielder, out for weeks with a thigh muscle injury, returned to team training on Tuesday, raising the possibility of him playing against the Bavarians. Hamburg, nicknamed dinosaur for being the only club to have played in the Bundesliga every season since its creation in 1963, are on the relegation playoff spot with 27 points, one above Nuremberg and two ahead of last-placed Eintracht Braunschweig with two games left in the season. The distance to safety and 15th spot, currently occupied by VfB Stuttgart who are five points ahead, is almost out of reach following their 3 1 defeat at Augsburg on Sunday. Reuters

Kolkata Knight Riders allrounder Shakib al Hasan (C) celebrates the wicket of Sanju Samson of the Rajatshan Royals during their Indian Premier League match in UAE yesterday


20. Ian Poulter (ENG)

Man City, PSG have chance Huegill apologises after drugs charge to settle FFP breaches
Big-spending Manchester City and Paris St-Germain have been given the chance to settle breaches of UEFAs financial fair play (FFP) rules that will leave them free to play in next seasons Champions League. UEFAs club financial control board has offered settlement deals in recent weeks to teams deemed to have broken rules designed to rein in reckless spending and make soccer more stable economically. The panel will meet on Thursday to consider responses by the fewer than 20 teams affected and its decisions will be announced over the next few days, a source close to the process said. The likely sanctions range from a reprimand, to a fine or a cap on squad size for European competition for next season. UEFA has the power to ban teams from European competition if their losses exceed its limits but is expected to shy away from imposing that heaviest punishment at this stage. If the sanctions are not tough enough, rival clubs are likely to complain that offenders are being let off with a slap on the wrist and that the much-vaunted process has been a sham. Clubs that fail to agree a settlement at this stage will have their cases settled by an adjudicatory panel. Having spent heavily to compete with the best teams in Europe in recent seasons, Manchester City and PSG appeared most at risk of falling foul of the rules. City, in the running for their second Premier League title in three years, have been bankrolled by cash from Abu Dhabis Sheikh Mansour while PSG have been lavishly funded by their Qatari owners and now dominate French soccer. UEFA spokesman David Farrelly declined to comment on the reports at this stage. City and PSG were unavailable for comment. The rules are being introduced to force clubs to live within their means and prevent those with rich owners from simply spending their way to success. In February, UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said 76 European clubs out of 237 originally assessed had been asked to submit additional information about their finances ahead of the new rules which come into full effect next season. l Former Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill apologised Tuesday after being charged with cocaine possession as he faced a professional backlash. The two-time Olympic medallist and his wife were allegedly found with the illegal drug during a police raid on a glamorous horseracing event in Sydney on Saturday. Some people feel that they have been let down and I deeply apologise for that, the 35-year-old told the Nine Network. Huegill, an inspirational figure in Australian swimming after a comeback from retirement in which he shed a whopping 45 kilograms over 18 months to win gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is due to face court on May 14. His brush with the law could cost him, with water safety body AustSwim suspending Huegill as an ambassador

Howard still has Everton hope

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has insisted the Toffees can raise themselves for Saturdays visit of Premier League title-chasers Manchester City after their own quest for Champions League football suffered a setback last weekend. The Toffees were their own worst enemy at Southampton last weekend, scoring a pair of own-goals to give the Saints a 2 0 victory. Evertons defeat meant they missed the chance to provisionally leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place and a Champions League spot. But a draw with City would guarantee Everton a place in next seasons Europa League, while any points they took off City would do near-neighbours Liverpool a favour in the Reds quest to win the title. AFP

pending the outcome of his court case. However, if the allegations are proven then AustSwims standards would not allow him to continue in his role as an AustSwim ambassador, it said. One of his sponsors, Swisse, told reporters Huegill was used as part of a contract with Swimming Australia which ends in May. But it said the companys decision not to renew the deal was unrelated to the latest incident. Another sponsor, Speedo, would not comment. Huegill won bronze in the 100m butterfly and silver in the 4x100m medley relay at the Sydney 2000 Olympics but quit the sport soon after the Athens Games, where he finished eighth in the 100m butterfly final. Six years after retiring, he made inspiring swims at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi to win silver in the 50m butterfly and gold in the 100m final. l

Leicesters golden oldie Phillips to retire

Leicester Citys veteran striker Kevin Phillips revealed on Monday that he will retire at end of the Championship season this weekend. Phillips will make the final appearance of his 20-year career when he plays for already-promoted Championship winners Leicester against Doncaster Rovers at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. The 40-year-old goes out on a high after helping Leicester into the Premier League just a year after his penalty in the Championship play-off final at Wembley gave Crystal Palace promotion at the expense of his former club Watford. AFP

Injured Walcott wont hurry back

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is prepared to take his time as he recovers from severe injury, even if it means missing the start of next season. The 25-year-old England international saw his dreams of playing at this years World Cup in Brazil dashed when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the closing stages of Arsenals FA Cup third-round victory over arch-rivals Tottenham in January. Speaking to the official Arsenal matchday magazine for Mondays Premier League clash against Newcastle, Walcott said: I am not pushing myself to be fit for the World Cup or anything like that. I want to be back quickly, of course, but safely, too. I want to try and be back for the early part of next season, that is the goal, so there will be a lot of hard work throughout the summer and during the World Cup. At the moment, Im working on muscle strength and building muscle in my quad. I dont see any point in being down in the dumps about the injury because it has already happened and there are a lot of people with worse problems in the world. I will just get on with my work -- I am first in and last out on most days. I see the consultant soon, too, and hopefully he will give me the thumbs up to push on. I would love to be running in a few weeks. l

Raonic hits the heights in Portugal

Altitude-averse second seed Milos Raonic on Monday found himself perched high up on the mast of a training vessel as the Canadian took his mind temporarily off of claycourt tennis prior to starting the Portugal Open. The youngest member of the world top 10 at age 23, who stands 10-4 this season, was helping to promote the 2015 Lisbon stop of the Volvo Ocean race. The round-the-world challenge will set off from Spain and visit South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France and Sweden, spanning 71,745 kms en route. It begins October 4 in Alicante, Spain, and finishes June 27, 2015, in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo. Raonic tweeted his bemused reaction to an interview conducted high above the boats desk. A selfie 100 feet in the air on the mast of a sailboat and I dont like heights! That was fun, he said.

The Belgian recovered from 3 5 down in the second set to earn her win in just under two hours over Radwanska, 73rd-ranked younger sister of third-ranked Radwanska
Raonic will start his second campaign at the Jamor Sports Complex in the second round after a bye, playing on Wednesday against the winner from Aleksandr Nedovyesov of the Ukraine or Uruguays Pablo Cuevas. He was forced to quit a 2011 Portugal semi-final against Spains Fernando Gonzalez due to back pain.

Schurrle says Chelsea critics just jealous

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle has reacted to criticism of his sides defensive approach in their 2 0 win at Liverpool on Sunday by branding the critics jealous. Winning is what matters. Its the most important thing, the 23-year-old Germany international said, in comments published by several British newspapers on Tuesday. You can play perfect football, have lots of one-touch stuff, and you lose. But thats not what you want you want to win. Rodgers also claimed that Chelseas approach was not difficult to coach, but Mourinho was unrepentant about his sides tactics, declaring: The best team won. AFP

Raonic has reached the quarter-finals of all three Masters 1000 events so far this season, in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo, where he lost to eventual champion and 2013 Oeiras champion Stanislas Wawrinka. With opening-day qualifying rounds still wrapping up on both the mens and womens sides of the draws, 2009 champion Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium reached the second round over Ursula Radwanska 6-4, 7-5. Oeiras five years ago was the first of the 58th-ranked Wickmayers three career titles. The Belgian recovered from 3-5 down in the second set to earn her win in just under two hours over Radwanska, 73rd-ranked younger sister of thirdranked Agnieszka Radwanska. Serbian Bojana Jovanovski beat Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in just over two and a quarter-hours. l

Dhaka, Narail in womens kabaddi final

Dhaka and Narail reached the final in the Marcel Inter Divisional Womens Kabaddi by winning their respective semifinals at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday. In the first semifinal Dhaka beat Panchagarh by 47-28 points with four lonas while Narail outplayed Jamalpur by 35-28 points with two lonas in the second semi. Post and Telecommunication minister Abdul Latif Siddiki will distribute the prizes as chief guest while AFM Iqbal bin Anwar Dawn, the additional director of Walton will be present as special guest. l

Wimbledon seedings boost for champion Murray

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will be among the top seeds at this years tournament despite having slipped down the ATP world ranking to eighth, organisers announced on Tuesday. We have a surfaced-based seeding system here at Wimbledon, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) chairman Philip Brook told a press conference at the tournament venue in south London. So we take the ranking points of each player, and add to that the ranking points they hypothetically received last year on grass, and we add to that 75 percent of the best-performing tournament in the previous year. l

Sony Six 8:30PM Indian Premier League Mumbai v Hyderabad NBA Play Off 2013 14 6:00AM Chicago v Washington 8:30AM La Clippers v Golden State

An action from the match between Narail and Jamalpur during their Marcel Inter Divisional Womens Kabaddi semifinal at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday COURTESY



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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2.6cr to migrate by 2050 for climate change

n Rabiul Islam
A recent study finds as many as 1.6 to 2.6 crore people in Bangladesh will be the victim of internal migration between 2011 and 2050 due to adverse impact of the climate change. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) of Dhaka University and Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR) of Sussex University jointly conducted the study. The findings of the study were disclosed at a workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh: Migration, the Missing Link at Senate Bhaban of the Dhaka University yesterday. The RMMRU made the prediction based on historical analysis of upazila level census data of 2001 and 2011 and prediction of global climate models and the World Bank Studies of 2010 and 2011. According to the findings, 20 lakh to 50 lakh people will migrate due to riverbank erosion, 30 lakh to 60 lakh due to inland flooding and 50 lakh to 70 lakh due to coastal storm surges. A survey was conducted on 1500 migrants and non-migrant households in climatic stressed areas of Bangladesh including Chapainawabganj, Satkhira and Munshiganj. Only 10% of the respondents said that they migrated due to climatic stresses. A total of 27% responded that they moved for lack of work and availability of work in destination areas. While 34% moved to earn an income and live a better life and 9% attributed poverty as their reason for migration. Others said marriage and study as their major reasons for migration. The findings suggest rethinking of policy framework that treats migration as failure of adaptation. The study says adaptation programmes in Bangladesh should not set its goals to prevent migration as it hinders peoples choice of mobility. While respecting the right of the affected people to stay in places of origin policies should also respect the desire of those who choose to migrate. Criticising the government policies, the RMMRU founding Chair Dr Tasneem Siddiqui said internal migration in the policies has been depicted as a negative impact of climate change. Citing the research findings, she said along with benefitting from local level interventions, some families have also used livelihood migration as one of the tools. Siddiqui mentions policies do not promote internal migration. Differing the view that migration can be a tool for adaptation, Professor of Geography of Dhaka University AQM Mahbub said, rather encouraging migration, people should be settled locally. If the people being affected by climate change come to the city their sufferings would be intensified. He also questioned the prediction of the figure. How did you calculate the figure? Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Professorial Fellow M Asaduzzaman said migration can be a tool for adaptation individually but not in large scale. If due to climate change, all people leave from a certain place, that place would be vacant, what would happen to that place? He suggests that the vulnerability and risks of climate change should have to be reduced. Team leader of Climate Change and Disaster Resilience at the DFID Bangladesh Colum Wilson said climate change displaced people and migration can be an adaptation tool. Migration is not taken as adaptation in Bangladesh policies, he added. Speaking as the chief guest, Disaster Management Secretary Mesbah Ul Alam said Bangladesh is the innocent victim of climate change. We have to increase the capacity of our people to reduce the loss for any kind of disaster, he said. We are formulating a disaster management policy and it is at the final stage and we would try to rethink the migration issue, Alam said. l

Farmers spend a busy day harvesting at their paddy field at Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj yesterday


Study: Bangladeshis prone to heart attacks 10 years sooner than westerners

n Moniruzzaman Uzzal
Bangladeshis are having heart attacks at least 10 years earlier than the typical sufferers of the condition in western countries, according to preliminary findings of the largest heart attack study ever held in Bangladesh. The findings also revealed that the average age among Bangladeshis to have heart attack was 52 years, with approximately 40% of all cases occurring in people aged less than 50 years. Preliminary findings of the study, titled Bangladesh Risk of Acute Vascular Events (BRAVE), were discussed at a seminar in the capitals ICDDRB yesterday. The study is a partnership among researchers at Englands Cambridge University, the Dhaka-based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research Bangladesh (ICDDRB) and the Bangladesh National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD). Individuals who consumed greater amounts of rice, sugar and fish were generally facing a higher risk of heart attack, while around 80% of all heart attack patients were users of tobacco products. Preliminary findings from dietary intake pattern showed reduced risk of heart attack in individuals who adhered to a prudent diet (comprising of higher vegetables, fruits and lower carbohydrates and protein). On the other hand, toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, copper and lead may be increasing the risk of heart attack in Bangladesh, as presence of the elements were found during the blood tests of the participants in the study. While several classic risk factors (such as diabetes, blood pressure, lipids and smoking) determine heart attack risk in this population, a majority of the heart attack sufferers were classified as lean, with a third of all sufferers classified as having central obesity (weight around their stomach). Among the first heart attack cases admitted at the NICVD, approximately 12% were women, meaning there was a possibility that a majority of the early heart attack symptoms in women may have been ignored at the households, raising a grave likelihood of substantial case fatalities in women. We are beginning to identify distinctive factors which increase the risk of, or protect against, heart diseases, said Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, principal investigator of the Cambridge University for the BRAVE study. For instance, blood levels of several toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, copper and lead increase the risk of heart attack. Through BRAVE, we are now able to pinpoint the contribution of both traditional and emerging vascular risk factors in a more precise manner than ever before, Dr Chowdhury added. Beginning as a pilot initiative in 2011, this ongoing study has so far recruited about 4,000 acute myocardial infarction (or first heart attack) patients and 4,000 healthy participants as a control group making BRAVE the largest heart attack study in Bangladeshs history. The study is currently recruiting participants from the NICVD hospital in Dhaka, while ICDDRB is collecting data and samples from the study participants as well as partly analysing the samples at its own facilities; the data is also sent to the Cambridge University for further advanced statistical analyses. Yesterdays seminar was chaired by Dr Suhrab Ali, member of ICDDRBs board of trustees, while the chief guest was national professor Brig (retd) Abdul Malik. Other special guests included NICVD Director Professor Abdulla Al Shafi Majumder and Dr Emanuele Di Angelantonio, senior scientist at the Cambridge University. l

Garment factory owners contribute 2 BCL men lose limbs in attack, 15 held n naught to labour welfare fund
RU Correspondent

Mohosinul Karim

The garment factory owners do not have any contribution to the Labours Welfare Foundation Fund of the Labour and Employment Ministry that has now a total of Tk50 crore deposited in its account.

As per the law it is mandatory for an industrial unit to deposit 5% of their profit share from the net annual profit of Tk1 crore or more than that to the Labour Welfare Foundation Fund
They are not interested in contributing their profit shares to the fund, Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar said yesterday. We failed to draw their attention after communicating with them several times. Which is why the government has decided to create an independent fund for welfare of garment workers,

he said at a press briefing on the occasion of May Day held at the secretariat. He said seven organisations agreed to donate Tk8 crore to the fund. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive the cheques at a discussion meeting marking the May Day at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium. The seven companies are British American Tobacco Bangladesh, Lafarge Surma Cement Ltd, Nestle Bangladesh Ltd, Linday Bangladesh Ltd, Crown Cement Ltd, Singer Bangladesh Ltd and Coats Bangladesh Ltd, Shipar said. The secretary said, the fund was founded in 2006 while it was functional in 2008. But unfortunately neither local nor foreign garment factories showed any interest to deposit only 0.5% of their profit share to this fund. A total of Tk50 crore was deposited by 19 industrial units excepting readymade garment (RMG) factories since its inception in 2008, the secretary said. As per the law it is mandatory for an industrial unit to deposit 5% of their profit share from the net annual profit of Tk1 crore or more than that to the Labour Welfare Foundation Fund. From the fund, the factory owner will distribute 4% of the money directly to their factory workers and 0.5% will be

deposited in the factory Labour Welfare Fund while the remaining 0.5% to the Labour Welfare Foundation Fund of the Labour Employment Ministry to be used for the security of workers, Shipar said. Replying to a query the secretary said: We will compel the owners of the industrial units to deposit the said profit share. Each industrial unit will have to pay a fine of Tk5, 000 for one day. Moreover, cases will be filed against those who fail to deposit the money in time. About the fixation of salaries, the secretary said they had identified 42 sectors including the RMG and the government is planning to form a minimum wage board to fix salaries of three crore workers in the country. The board will fix the salaries of the workers every five year. On the May Day programme the secretary said a colourful rally will be brought out from the Srama Bhaban at 7am and a discussion meeting will be held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium at 10am to mark the day. State Minister for Labour and Employment Mojibul Haque Chunnu and Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Labour and Employment Ministry Munnujan Sufian will attend the functions. l

A group of unidentified miscreants severed limbs of two Bangladesh Chhatra League activists in broad daylight on Rajshahi University campus yesterday morning. The victims, Abdullah Al Masud and Tagar Mohammad Saleh, were on their way to the university on a rickshaw when they were attacked near Ziaur Rahman Hall around 8:15am, said Alamgir Hossain, OC of Motihar police station. After severely injuring the victims, the attackers set off two crude bombs and promptly left the scene, said witnesses. A few local shop owners and the guards at Ziaur Rahman Hall then rushed Masud and Saleh to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, said the OC. The culprits hacked off Masuds right leg from knee and severed the tendons of Salehs arms and legs, according to sources at the medical college hospital. Later, they were moved to National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) in the capitals Agargaon area as their conditions worsened, the Chhatra League leaders said. Masud is an activist of Chhatra Leagues Rajshahi University unit,

while Saleh is the student scholarship affair secretary, according to the student partys leaders. Both are second-year students at the university and residents of Madar Bux Hall.

Both BCL leaders and police suspect that Shibir activists were involved in the incident
Both Chhatra League leaders and police suspect that activists of Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, were involved in the incident. Alamgir said: Shibir might have been involved in the attack. We have arrested 15 Shibir activists on suspicion that they may be involved with the case. The arrested were currently being interrogated at Motihar police station, he said, adding that police would continue looking for the miscreants responsible for the attack.

Mizanur Rahman Rana, president of the Rajshahi University unit of Chhatra League, claimed Shibir activists were involved in the attack and demanded immediate arrest of those responsible for it. However, when contacted, Shoyeb Shahriar, organising secretary of Shibirs unit in the university, denied all allegations and said the attack was the result of Chhatra Leagues internal feud. Professor Tariqul Hasan, proctor of the university, told the Dhaka Tribune that additional police had been deployed on the campus to deter further untoward situation. Following the incident, Chhatra League activists brought out a procession on the campus in protest and demanding justice. l

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B3 Effective regional efforts

key to cut risks of trade openness

B4 Islamic branding: Reaching out to the untapped billions


GP, Robi & Teletalk report profits in 2013 BB set Tk6,000cr credit
n Muhammad Zahidul Islam
Three mobile phone operators Grameenphone, Robi and Teletalk - made a total net profit of Tk1,883.4 crore in 2013. But Other three operators - Airtel, Banglalink and Citycell - incurred a net l oss of Tk1,358.3 crore. The operators disclosed the figures recently in a classified presentation with the National Board of Revenue on Thursday last. The total revenue of the six operators for the year 2013 amounted to Tk20,373 crore, which might increased a little more in the upcoming years. According to the document, the operators claimed that their market size would be grown further by up to Tk23,419 crore only if the NBR brings some regulatory changes. During the last five years, although all the six operators earned a revenue worth Tk83,481 crore, only two of them made profits, says the report. It is our hardcore calculation and we jointly worked on it for last two months to find out the real estimates, said TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (Amtob). He also disclosed that all the chief financial officers of the six mobile phone operators were engaged in preparing the presentation on the basis of the performances of their respective companies. In the presentation Amtob claimed that low industry profitability was hindering growth and investment in the sector. Grameenphone made profit of Tk7,665.6 crore in between 2009 and 2013 while their revenue was around Tk41,714.3 crore. The onlylisted mobile operator also pany earned Tk4,154.3 crore as revenue and Tk3,413.6 crore as net loss in the last five years. Only state-owned operator Teletalk made Tk46.4 crore profit on their revenue of 660.3 crore on 2013 while they observed Tk98.9 crore net loss in the last five years from Tk1,734.9 crore revenues. Citycell, the oldest operator in South East Asia, somehow, managedto earn Tk243 crore revenue in 2013 with a net loss of Tk303.7 core. The company had to calculate Tk1,922.8 crore as its revenue while Tk724.3 crore as net loss in between 2009 and 2013. Nurul Kabir noted that the whole telecom industry was running through a cross road and stressed the need for working together to put the industry on right track. The above mentioned figures only demonstrate how the telecom industry is sturggling and if the decision makers dont realise the situation, the telecom industry will soon become a sick industry very soon, added secretary general of Amtob. Amtob in its another presentation showed that if the tax regulator could bring some changes in some regulations, the revenue of the telecom industry could jump up to Tk23,419 crore bythe year 2016. But if the regulation remain unchanged, the size of the total market will be hardly Tk22,197crore within the same period. Amtob presentation also estimated that the loss of the Airtel and Citycell might be increased further after two years though Banglalinks might be able to reduce some its loss. Though Grameenphone and Teletalks profit may increase in the coming days, the profit of Robi is, however, likely to be decreased if the regulation remains same. l

limit for 4 state banks

n Jebun Nesa Alo
Bangladesh Bank has set a total credit limit of Tk6,186 crore for four stateowned banks for this year. Based on adjusted loan status of the previous year, the central bank has set separate credit targets for the banks - Sonali, Agrani, Janata and Rupali with signing separate memorandum of understandings (MoU) recently. The targets were calculated by subtracting government and agriculture loans from the total loan status of each of the banks. As the banks are to disburse certain amount of loans to the government and agriculture sector every year, the ceiling of bank credit is determined on the basis of the adjusted loans so the banks could disburse loans in other sectors, said a senior executive of Bangladesh Bank. He said the central bank has tightened regular monitoring on aggressive loan disbursements, although most of the banks have failed to achieve the growth target last year due to overall slower credit growth in the country amid sluggish investment climate and political unrest. As a result, the central bank did not extend the credit ceiling of most of the banks so they could fully comply with their respective targets and other conditions set by the central bank. All the four banks failed to achieve the credit growth target set by the central bank in 2013, excepting Rupali Bank. Considering the credit disbursement performance of the banks, Bangladesh Bank did not expedite the new ceiling for Agrani and Janata, rather it has cut the credit limit for Sonali Bank. The credit target has been increased only for Rupali Bank as it had sur-

made Tk1,470.2 crore profit last year. Though Robi has not been consistent in profitmaking but the record shows that the operator made Tk560.5 crore net profit against its net income worth Tk16,078.8 croreduring the last five years. The profit and revenue of Robi stood at Tk366.8 crore and Tk4,517.1 crore respectively in 2013, according to the presentation. However, Banglalink could not make any profit in the last five years even in the year 2013, being num-

ber two operators in terms of subscriber numbers. Its net loss stood at around Tk2,037.6 crore during the last five years as its revenue was only Tk17,878.8 crore. On the other hand, Airtel never disclosed their revenue and profit or loss statement after launching its operation in Bangladesh since 2010. But, this presentation unveiled that their revenue stood at Tk1,354.9 crore while it incurred a net loss of Tk625.1 crore in the year 2013. It was also estimated that the com-

passed the loan ceiling fixed for last year. The credit ceiling of Sonali Bank has been set at Tk1,328 crore for the year 2014, which is 6% of the adjusted loan status of Tk22,133 crore in 2013. The adjusted loan growth rate of Sonali Bank was negative 7.07% in the last year against the target limit of 8% set by Bangladesh Bank. The total loan growth of the banks decreased by 11.67% or Tk3,963 crore in the last year. The loan disbursement limit of the Agrani Bank has been set at Tk1,676 crore for the year 2014, whichi is 10% of the adjusted loan status of Tk16,764 crore of 2013. Adjusted loan growth rate of Agrani Bank was negative 0.63% during the last year against the target limit of 10%. Total loan disbursement of the bank reduced by 7.76% or Tk1529.44 crore in the year 2013. The credit limit of the Janata Bank has been set at Tk2,206 crore for the year 2014, which is 10% of the adjusted loan status of Tk22,067 crore of 2013. The growth target of the Janata Bank was same in the last year but the bank was able to achieve only 1.15% of its target. The total loan disbursement of the bank was reduced by 8.59% or Tk2,405 crore in the year 2013. The central bank set the credit limit of the Rupali Bank at Tk976 crore for the year 2014, which is 12% of the total adjusted loan status of Tk8,139 crore of 2013. The adjusted loan growth of the bank increased by 13.98% in the year 2013 against its 10% target limit of the adjusted loan status set in the MoU. The total loan growth of the bank increased by 18.59% or Tk1,613 crore in the last year. The central bank punished the Rupali Bank asking it to block the excess loans that it had disbursed beyond its target limit. l

Moodys ranks Bangladesh 13th for NBR may offer tax relief controlling corruption
for factory relocation
n Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The government plans to provide temporary tax relief to the entrepreneurs just for relocating their industries outside the capital. National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Md. Ghulam Hussain yesterday came up with the disclosure while addressing a pre-budget discussion with the representatives of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) at the NBR headquarters in the capital. As Dhaka has scored top as the worst livable city in the world, Ghulam Hossain requested the businesses to address this issues, bringing some changings in their business policy. Referring to a recent global survey conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit, he noted that Dhaka had earned 38.7 points on a scale of 100, which is lowest among other major cities in the world. Those, who will establish industries in and around the capital like Savar, Ashulia, Gazipur or Narayanganj has to pay higher taxes but those who will shift businesses far from the capital or establish new industries outside the city will enjoy temporary tax relief, he categorically said. He assured the business of ensuring all the facilities for relocating their industries outside of Dhaka, which could also be helpfulfor the workers to work in a hygienic atmosphere, which is totally absent in Dhaka. Businesses have started to go outside the capital as major investors like Globe, Lalmai Group, Partex Group have already moved to Noakhali region. If you shift your industries, you will get benefits, which will be increased further in case of the new investors, he clarified. During the meeting, the BCI leaders placed a 73-point recommendations to the NBR for considering before finalising the budget for the next fiscal 2014-15. The BCI Director Mohabbat Ullah, also managing director of Nippon Industries Pvt. Limited, urged the NBR to reduce the tax on annual gross income at 0.25% from 0.5%. He also urged the NBR to provide tax holiday without any conditions, especially for the newly established industries in the less developed and remote areas. In response, NBR chairman asked the BCI leaders to come up with a specific proposal and submit it to NBR for consideration. Other demands of BCI include providing special benefits to small companies, who import intermediary materials and make assemblies here, supporting jute factories, fixing 0% tax on import of mould (capital machinery for industries), imposing more taxes on imported biscuits, reducing duties at import of lorry and pickups etc. BCI also demanded for the withdrawal of taxes from capital machinery import for plastic industry, gas generator, withdrawal of VAT from local made plastic toys, reducing customs duty from 25% to 5% for import of component of toys, increasing supplementary duty on imported plastic pipes from existing 30% to 100%, increasing supplementary duty on Completely Built Unit (CBU) motorcycles from existing 45% to 60%. Chairman of Aysha Memorial Hospital Priti Chakraborty requested the NBR to allocate a Tk500crore budget for the women entrepreneurs to support them working in the macro-level businesses. They also urged the NBR not to do audits in the industries for thrice or fourth times in a year, rather to make it once in a year and establishment of plastic testing laboratory. In response, NBR chairman said the expectation from the businesses were very high, but the NBR would consider the proposals on three point of views- revenue side, industries side, and consumers side. He also urged businesses not to focus on only reduction or increase of duties, rather to focus on policy protection. The meeting was attended, among others, by NBR member (income tax policy) Syed Aminul Karim, former NBR member (VAT) Md. Shahabuddin, BCI senior vice president Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, and director Zia Hayder Mithu. l The global rating agency Moodys has ranked Bangladesh 13th for controlling corruption among more than 100 countries it rated. It also ranked the country 9th for government effectiveness, 10th for rule of law, according to Moodys latest report of credit analysis on Bangladesh released yesterday. Poor public service quality and institutional weaknesses have led to disruptions in the disbursement of donor support in the past, as evidenced by the World Banks suspension of financing related to the Padma Bridge in 2012, said the report. Moody's earlier gave a B3 stable outlook to Bangladesh's credit rating for the fourth consecutive year. Bangladesh's Ba3 sovereign bond rating reflects the country's stable and healthy growth path, progress in implementing structural reforms under and limited vulnerability to fiscal and external funding stresses, says Moody's Investors Service. In addition, the country's external liquidity position is comfortable, with foreign reserves providing ample cushion against maturing debt obligations. Moody's conclusions were contained in its just-released credit analysis on Bangladesh which examines the fundamental drivers underlying the sovereign rating. Its report points out that Bangladesh's headline growth and exports were not meaningfully impacted by heightened political turbulence over the last year in the run-up to parliamentary elections in January 2014, or by disruptions caused by industrial accidents in the garments sector. Upward triggers to Bangladesh's rating would stem from sustained, strong economic growth supported

It gives stable outlook to credit rating for 4th year by structural improvements, partican Extended Credit Facility program n Kayes Sohel with the International Monetary Fund ularly in infrastructure; a broadening

ADB mission due to explore investment opportunities n Tribune Report

An Asian Development Bank (ADB) delegation is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in the second week of next month to review three infrastructure projects and explore further investment potentials in the country. The three-member delegation tiled field subject mission will review the projects including the proposed LPC plant and rail-based inland container depot at Dhirasrom in Gazipur during their 5-day visit to Bangladesh since May 10. The mission is to examine investment potentials in the infrastructure projects, said a senior official of the finance ministry. He said the team, head by Senior advisor of PPP Ryuichi Kaga, will discuss the progress of development projects with the government officials. Other members are senior PublicPrivate Partnership specialist Lise Weidner and specialist of PPP Jin Sasaki . Sources in the shipping ministry said, after construction of the railbased inland container depot, the cargoes of India, Bhutan and Nepal would easily pass to other countries without connecting Dhaka city. Bangladesh will gain some benefit after signing the transit agreement with India,Nepal and Bhutan. After construction of the Padma Bridge, containers could easily be transported from Dhaka to Mongla port, sources said. The visiting team will hold discussion with Shipping Secretary Syed Monjurul Islam, Power Secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan, CEO of PPP Office Syed Afsor H Uddin and official of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation. l

of the tax revenue base, which would improve fiscal fundamentals and flexibility. It said Reform of the labor market and industrial working conditions, which would ensure continued favorable export prospects, while also encouraging greater foreign investment, it said. On the other hand, it said, the rating would come under downward pressure if political setbacks strain the country's economic or fiscal profile, or the crystallization of contingent liabilities in the banking system is larger than Moody's anticipates, thereby weighing on fiscal strength. However, the weak financial performance of the four state-owned commercial banks (SOCBs) could result in the further crystallization of contingent liabilities that add to the fiscal burden, it noted.

Green Delta Ins launches product focused on women

n Tribune Report
Green Delta Insurance Co Ltd has introduced a product exclusively for women in the country, through which they would now be able to insure accidental loss of house holdings, death during chid births and also traumas such as acid victims, rape and robbery. The general insurance company yesterday launched the product by awarding the first of its kind product to Shomi Kaiser, a female entrepreneur in a launching ceremony held at head office in the capital. The product titled Nibedita was launched last year on pilot basis and now it has hit the market officially. We have created a platform for growth for the insurance industry and now we are to empower 52% of our population who are women, said Farzana Chowdhury, managing director and CEO of Green Delta Insurance. She added: The product will align with serving human rights of women which are neglected at times as their rights are frequently violated. The product was made aiming to make it affordable for the women from all walks of lives and the lowest monthly premium of Tk580 is likely to be availed by female workers of textile sector as well, said Shubasish Barua, head of product development of the company. Sum insured of Nibedita ranges within Tk1 lakh to a maximum of Tk10 lakh. The companys former MD and CEO, Nasir A Choudhury claimed the product will be hassle-free. Nasir Choudhury is currently advisor of the insurance company. On the penetration and marketing of the product, the management said it will reach out to NGOs, telcos and independent bodies to inform women living in urban and rural areas. ASA Muiz, the companys consultant, Wafi SM Khan, the CEO of Green Delta Securities, and other high officials attended the conference. The companys stock raised 1.35% yesterday at the Dhaka Stock Exchange, apparently due to the inclusion of a new product in its portfolio, as the company advertised the product day before yesterday. l




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stocks tumble on lower earnings

n Tribune Report
Stocks posted steep fall yesterday, triggered by depressed first quarter earnings that poured in the market. The benchmark index DSEX lost 58 points or 1.3% to close at 4,567, extending its losing streak for the third straight session and hitting one-month low. Shariah Index DSES witnessed marginal losses of 5 points or 0.5% to 1,012. The blue-chip comprising DS30 was down 20 points to 1,669. Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, closed at 8,795, shedding 107 points. All the major sectors ended in red today except telecommunications that soared 1.2% and pharmaceuticals 1.5%. Banking sector was the worst losers with a drop of 29% after gain in the previous session. Trading activities declined significantly with DSE turnover hitting 2-week low to Tk387 crore, going down by 11.1% than that of the previous session. IDLC Investments said quarterly declaration centric trading pattern called for larger correction. Besides, depressed earnings growth empowered with recent waning tone unleashed panic sale pressure. It said buyers retreated, creating a vacuum in demand side. As a result, investors observed 11 sessions lowest activity amounting turnover below Tk400 crore, it said. Lanka Bangla Securities said market continued to fall into red territory amid substantial volatility as banking stocks were under pressure and manufacturing stocks continued to drag. It said market is seemed to react to the fundamental stocks as index is likely to take cue from the quarterly and annual earnings of the companies. Investors churned their portfolio heavily with some picky stocks in recent time and they were mostly bullish on multinational stocks over financial and other local manufacturing stocks. Zenith Investments said market scenario was an extension of previous sessions dry performance, where major sectors shed heavy losses. Although, technical and fundamental indications still indicate market turnaround, but if the volume keeps getting weak then it will be difficult for the market to land on a strong support zone. Grameenphone was the most traded stocks with shares worth Tk20 crore changing hands, followed by Meghna Petroleum, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd, Lafarge Surma Cement and Heidelberg Cement. l

DSE key features April 29, 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$)
3,875.87 84,624,657 87,327 289 54 229 6 2,347.33 28.45

Closing (% change) 9.59 6.24 5.14 5.10 4.55 4.25 4.17 4.03 3.81 3.69

Northern Jute -Z Bata Shoe Ltd. -A Kohinoor Chem -A PrimeFin. 1st MF A Deshbandhu Polymer-A AFC AgroBiotech-N Dulamia CottonZ Linde (BD) Ltd. -A Berger Paints-A Aramit -A CSE GAINERS Company Bata Shoe Ltd. -A Berger Paints-A Deshbandhu Polymer-A Eastern Housing -A ICB Emp. PMF A Prime Bank 1st MF A PrimeFin. 1st MF A AMCL 2nd MF A HeidelbergCement -A Aziz PipesZ

Average (% change) 9.67 5.28 8.74 2.68 4.44 2.36 4.60 3.12 3.78 1.12 Average (% change) 5.55 5.96 3.57 1.63 2.79 3.00 1.60 2.69 1.75 3.03

Closing average 147.50 1,140.52 341.16 20.28 18.58 53.82 7.50 1,101.62 1,203.08 301.00

Closing 147.40 1,156.90 341.60 20.60 18.40 54.00 7.50 1,101.90 1,211.90 305.90

Daily high 147.90 1,156.90 353.00 21.10 19.00 54.70 7.50 1,124.80 1,230.00 309.70

Daily low 147.00 1,090.00 301.00 19.20 16.00 51.70 7.50 999.90 1,170.00 285.50

Turnover in million 0.059 99.275 2.614 28.331 15.302 22.335 0.001 60.058 47.282 3.898

Latest EPS -10.24 59.44 9.37 1.64 0.81 1.54 -4.02 48.55 57.68 12.56

Latest PE -ve 19.2 36.4 12.4 22.9 34.9 -ve 22.7 20.9 24.0

Closing (% change) 6.24 6.04 4.49 3.83 3.51 3.51 3.50 3.17 3.08 3.03

Closing average 1150.42 1208.07 18.55 56.23 5.89 5.84 20.28 6.50 594.50 20.40

Closing 1158.00 1220.00 18.60 56.90 5.90 5.90 20.70 6.50 598.70 20.40

Daily high 1158.10 1222.00 19.00 58.00 5.90 5.90 21.00 6.50 602.90 20.40

Daily low 1100.00 1195.00 18.00 55.00 5.80 5.80 19.90 6.50 580.00 20.40

Turnover in million 11.016 1.752 3.766 2.307 0.062 0.053 0.761 0.003 3.567 0.002

Latest EPS 59.44 57.68 0.81 1.56 0.68 0.73 1.64 0.99 26.09 0.59

Latest PE 19.4 20.9 22.9 36.0 8.7 8.0 12.4 6.6 22.8 34.6

CSE key features April 29, 2014

Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract
280.88 8,322,042 12,144 212 37 170 4 2,242.09 27.18

News, analysis and recent disclosers

RDFOOD: 10% stock, AGM: 29.05.2014, Record Date: 08.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.89, NAV per share of Tk. 17.72. BGIC: 12% cash, AGM: 26.06.2014, Record date: 12.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.36, NAV per share of Tk. 19.61. EASTERNINS: 20% cash, AGM: 24.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.46, NAV per share of Tk. 36.60. PREMIERBAN: 10% stock, AGM: 28.05.2014, Record Date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.53, consolidated NAV per share of Tk. 15.59. JANATAINS: 12.50% stock, AGM: 22.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 0.59, NAV per share of Tk. 16.10. KARNAPHULI: 7.5% cash & 5% stock, AGM: 19.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.70, NAV per share of Tk. 19.87 PHENIXINS: 20% cash, AGM: 18.06.2014, Record date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.71, NAV per share of Tk. 35.89. RANFOUNDRY: 22% cash, AGM: 25.06.2014, Record Date: 15.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 2.84, NAV per share of Tk. 19.00. SONARBAINS: 12% stock, AGM: 19.06.2014, Record Date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.77, NAV per share of Tk. 15.46. PARAMOUNT: 10% stock, AGM: 25.06.2014, Record Date: 11.05.2014. EPS of Tk. 1.45, NAV per share of Tk. 13.92.

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 Delta SpinnersA Takaful Islami Insu-A aamra technologies-A Legacy Footwear -A Bangladesh Welding -A Islamic Finance-A BD Submarine Cable-A Phoenix Insur -A Closing (% change) -39.94 -16.77 -9.83 -9.79 -8.89 -8.78 -8.77 -8.59

4567.04039 1012.35380 1668.91522 14058.3229 11741.0103 8795.0297

(-) 1.25% (-) 0.46% (-) 1.17% (-) 1.24% (-) 0.91% (-) 1.21%

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$)

Unaudited Financials:

Average (% change) -40.17 -15.93 -9.83 -10.05 -8.88 -6.04 -8.16 -6.92

Closing average 18.80 27.65 31.56 26.32 12.52 13.84 184.48 36.86

Closing 18.80 27.30 31.20 25.80 12.30 13.50 182.10 36.20

Daily high 18.80 28.30 34.90 28.20 13.30 14.10 194.60 39.60

Daily low 18.80 27.00 31.20 25.80 12.20 12.80 182.10 35.00

Turnover in million 10.919 1.887 44.589 1.974 3.921 3.421 141.576 1.621

Latest EPS 0.55 1.98 1.39 0.36 0.24 0.74 2.95 2.71

Latest PE 34.2 14.0 22.7 73.1 52.2 18.7 62.5 13.6

1STICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 21.68 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 28.91 as against Tk. 18.66 million and Tk. 24.88 respectively*. 2NDICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 12.46 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 24.93 as against Tk. 11.16 million and Tk. 22.32 respectively*. 3RDICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 16.64 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 16.64 as against Tk. 17.55 million and Tk. 17.55 respectively*. 4THICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 17.33 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 17.33 as against Tk. 15.47 million and Tk. 15.47 respectively*. 5THICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 21.00 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 14.00 as against Tk. 20.93 million and Tk. 13.95 respectively*. 6THICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 24.24 million

with earnings per unit of Tk. 4.85 as against Tk. 22.73 million and Tk. 4.55 respectively*. 7THICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 27.03 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 9.01 as against Tk. 25.93 million and Tk. 8.64 respectively*. 8THICB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 29.85 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 5.97 as against Tk. 26.02 million and Tk. 5.20 respectively*. IFILISLMF1: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 80.31 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 0.80 as against Tk. 6.68 million and Tk. 0.07 respectively*. ICB3RDNRB: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 48.38 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 0.48 as against Tk. 13.99 million and Tk. 0.14 respectively*. PF1STMF: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 31.89 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 0.53 as against Tk. 7.28 million and Tk. 0.12 respectively*. PRIME1ICBA: (Q3): NPAT= Tk. 55.21 million with earnings per unit of Tk. 0.55 as against Tk. 11.83 million and Tk. 0.12 respectively*.

BD. Thai Alum -B Al-Haj Textile -A

CSE LOSERS Company Delta SpinnersA Takaful Islami Insu-A aamra technologies-A Peoples Insur -A Legacy Footwear -A BD Submarine Cable-A Premier Cement-A Eastern Cables-A

-8.23 -8.20

-7.35 -6.79

22.80 107.61

22.30 105.30

24.40 110.00

21.90 104.00

6.484 18.273

0.77 2.00

29.6 53.8

Closing (% change) -39.94 -17.27 -9.77 -9.69 -9.69 -8.75 -8.53 -8.28

Average (% change) -40.03 -17.70 -9.55 -8.03 -9.55 -7.50 -4.96 -7.22

Closing average 18.80 27.30 31.73 26.10 26.61 186.47 85.80 118.79

Closing 18.80 27.30 31.40 26.10 26.10 182.50 82.60 117.40

Daily high 18.80 27.50 34.20 26.10 28.80 200.50 88.50 129.70

Daily low 18.80 27.00 31.40 26.10 26.10 182.50 82.40 116.20

Turnover in million 1.940 0.041 7.865 0.010 1.902 28.031 0.927 0.487

Latest EPS 0.55 1.98 1.39 2.27 0.36 2.95 3.46 2.03

Latest PE 34.2 13.8 22.8 11.5 73.9 63.2 24.8 58.5

Bangladesh Welding -A Prime Textile -A

-8.15 -7.95

-10.04 -5.34

12.36 22.00

12.40 22.00

13.00 22.00

12.20 22.00

0.767 0.044

0.24 1.12

51.5 19.6

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

Market is seemed to react to the fundamental stocks as index is likely to take cue from the quarterly and annual earnings of the companies
CSE Total

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Square Pharma -A Grameenphone-A Meghna Petroleum -A BD Submarine Cable-A LafargeS Cement-Z HeidelbergCement -A
Renata Ltd. -A

DSE Million Taka 489.15 149.10 163.45 249.39 179.90 521.04 3.49 270.28 563.27 0.82 69.76 136.99 14.83 342.36 53.27 42.57 108.33 340.39 65.24 111.31 0.93

% change 12.62 3.85 4.22 6.43 4.64 13.44 0.09 6.97 14.53 0.02 1.80 3.53 0.38 8.83 1.37 1.10 2.79 8.78 1.68 2.87 0.02

Million Taka 40.94 10.04 6.73 22.68 13.51 28.26 27.03 18.79 7.14 3.07 20.81 2.08 17.69 9.45 1.67 5.50 38.87 12.92 14.42 0.01

% change 13.57 3.33 2.23 7.52 4.48 9.37 0.00 8.96 6.23 2.37 1.02 6.90 0.69 5.87 3.13 0.55 1.82 12.89 4.28 4.78 0.00

Million Taka 530.09 159.14 170.18 272.07 193.41 549.30 3.49 297.32 582.07 7.96 72.83 157.81 16.92 360.05 62.72 44.24 113.83 379.26 78.16 125.74 0.94

% change 12.69 3.81 4.07 6.51 4.63 13.15 0.08 7.12 13.93 0.19 1.74 3.78 0.40 8.62 1.50 1.06 2.72 9.08 1.87 3.01 0.02

Delta Life Insu. -A Southeast Bank-A UCBL - A BSC A Eastern Housing -A

CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company BD Submarine Cable-A

Olympic Ind. -A Bata Shoe Ltd. -A Padma Oil Co. -A

Volume shares 821,341 747,827 624,938 767,420 2,188,000 224,650 96,606 429,770 87,044 274,923

374,850 3,201,701 2,585,845 116,310 1,084,121

Value in million 225.37 198.81 190.25 141.58 140.60 133.52 112.38 101.12 99.28 94.95

77.95 70.19 70.06 67.86 61.37

% of total turnover 5.81 5.13 4.91 3.65 3.63 3.44 2.90 2.61 2.56 2.45

2.01 1.81 1.81 1.75 1.58

Daily closing 277.00 267.90 303.70 182.10 64.20 597.90 1172.90 236.00 1156.90 343.70

206.10 21.80 26.80 573.75 56.70

Price change 1.65 1.94 -0.85 -8.77 -1.08 3.03 3.22 -0.51 6.24 -0.17

-3.96 -2.68 -3.94 -1.84 3.09

Daily opening 272.50 262.80 306.30 199.60 64.90 580.30 1136.30 237.20 1088.90 344.30

214.60 22.40 27.90 584.50 55.00

Daily high 278.00 269.00 309.50 194.60 65.00 603.00 1180.00 238.00 1156.90 349.00

216.00 22.50 29.00 595.00 58.80

Daily high

Daily low 260.00 250.00 280.00 182.10 63.70 571.80 1100.00 233.30 1090.00 330.00

204.20 20.20 25.20 570.00 51.30

Daily low

Daily average 274.39 265.85 304.44 184.48 64.26 594.35 1163.28 235.30 1140.52 345.37

207.95 21.92 27.09 583.46 56.60

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

UNITED AIR A Bata Shoe Ltd. -A Grameenphone-A LafargeS Cement-Z Meghna Petroleum -A aamra technologies-A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Premier Bank -A Matin Spinning-N Square Pharma -A BSC A National Bank - B Padma Oil Co. -A Appollo Ispat CL -N

150,326 958,304 9,576 40,800 167,000 33,359 247,830 263,064 625,903 170,800 23,308 10,775 463,100 16,164 211,600

Value in million

28.03 12.13 11.02 10.84 10.72 10.15 7.86 7.25 7.10 6.64 6.42 6.29 6.17 5.59 5.39

% of total turnover

10.10 4.37 3.97 3.91 3.87 3.66 2.83 2.61 2.56 2.40 2.32 2.27 2.22 2.02 1.94

Daily closing

182.50 12.60 1158.00 267.30 64.20 303.70 31.40 27.20 11.20 38.60 276.50 573.30 13.20 343.90 25.10

Price change

-8.75 -3.08 6.24 1.98 -0.31 -0.65 -9.77 -4.23 1.82 -1.53 1.43 -1.92 -2.94 -0.64 -3.83

Daily opening

200.00 13.00 1090.00 262.10 64.40 305.70 34.80 28.40 11.00 39.20 272.60 584.50 13.60 346.10 26.10

200.50 13.00 1158.10 269.00 64.90 307.00 34.20 28.40 11.90 39.60 277.60 595.00 13.70 348.70 26.40

182.50 12.40 1100.00 260.40 63.20 300.00 31.40 27.00 11.10 38.40 272.50 571.00 13.10 343.00 25.00

Daily average

186.47 12.65 1150.42 265.68 64.22 304.20 31.73 27.56 11.34 38.90 275.61 584.00 13.32 345.90 25.47



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FBCCI seeks Swiss investment for SMEs development n Tribune Business Desk
Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) has sought investment from Switzerland for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country. FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed made the call at a meeting with Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Christian Fotsch held on Monday in Dhaka. Lauding the role of the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) in improving employment conditions, promoting income generating activities and improving local governance in the country, he called upon the ambassador to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the FBCCI and National Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Switzerland in this regard. The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), an apex trade organisation of the country, also stressed the need for further enhancing bilateral trade along with more investment, which is currently not significant enough. In reply, Christian Fotsch said he would try to attract Swiss investors to invest in SMEs sectors in Bangladesh along with the large corporate sectors. During the financial year 2012-2013, Bangladesh exported an amount of US$121.38m to Switzerland while imports were around $185m. The meeting was also attended by the director of FBCCI Kazi Shahnewaz. l

IDRA forms two committees n Tribune Report

Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) has formed two committees to facilitate implementation of the Insurance Act 2010. The committees one for life insurance and another for general insurance would suggest rules and regulations on how the law could be implemented, according to an IDRA notification issued yesterday. IDRA Member Sultan-Ul-Abedine Molla will head the committee on life insurance and other members are IDRA Member Zuber Ahmed Khan, Delta Life Insurance Managing Director Swapan Kumar Sarkar and two representatives of Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA). The committee on general insurance is headed by IDRA Member Zuber Ahmed Khan and other members are IDRA Member Sultan-Ul-Abedine Molla, Rupali Insurance Managing Director PK Roy and two representatives of BIA. The committee will finalise the draft of rules and submit those to IDRA Chairman M Shefaq Ahmed. The committee will call meeting time to time and finalize the draft of provisions. Then they will present the final draft to the IDRA Chairman M Shefaq Ahmed, said the office order issued the authority yesterday with immediate effect. The committee has been formed to issue rules and regulations to explain the provisions of the law, said Shefaq Ahmed. Some regulations have already been issued. Some more need to be issued for implanting the act properly, he said. l

Effective regional efforts key to cut risks of trade openness

n Tribune Report
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman has put emphasis on effective regional efforts to cut the risks of trade openness. Openness to global capital flows likewise spurs growth by attracting investment inflows, but at the same time heightens instability risks from volatile trends of global capital flows arising both from speculative position taking and from spillovers of persistent imbalances in major economies, he said. He said external opening up also poses new demands on approaches in safeguarding of monetary and financial stability. The Governor was speaking at the inaugural session of a day-long SAARC Finance seminar on "Management of External Sector Openness - South Asian Country Experiences" in Dhaka yesterday. Atiur said increasing openness to external capital flows heighten exposure of domestic banks and financial institutions to destabilizing surges of global fund flows, calling for appropriately strengthened regulatory and supervisory regimes. Former finance adviser for a caretaker government Dr. ABM Mirza Azizul Islam presented the keynote paper at the seminar. In his keynote paper, he said there are both opportunities and risks of

allowing capital inflow and outflow among South East Asian nations. But he cautioned that trade openness would be counterproductive if the associate risks were not addressed with appropriate preemptive measures. He recommended for ensuring effective regional coordination in regulatory and policy approaches for making trade openness beneficial to the economy. Delegates from the central banks of SAARC countries and high officials from Bangladesh Bank, different ministries, other national and international institutions participated in the seminar.

In his keynote paper, Dr. ABM Azizul Islam said in terms of total trade as percent of GDP, Sri Lanka has been found the most open economy in this region among four major economies (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) followed by Bangladesh. In last three decades, numbers of countries have opened-up their economy. Some of them are very much benefited since they have utilized and managed the flow of foreign capital successfully for their growth and development, he said. On the other hand some countries had to face severe financial crises since

they could not manage the flows of capital to their countries. He said as reform and liberalisation measures were being pursued, the degree of integration of Bangladesh economy with world economy has increased gradually and country is now trade dependent country from being an aid dependent country. The countrys openness indicatortrade-GDP ratio increased from 18.5% in FY1990 to 30% in FY2000 and towards the decade, the steady growth of the ratio notable increased and reached to 47.1% in FY2013, according to the keynote paper. l

Moodys ranks

Although ongoing reforms, if successfully implemented, would improve SOCB competitiveness and restore their financial viability over time. Moodys said the poor financial strength of state-owned banks also adds to banking-sector vulnerabilities, although we view contagion risks as limited. The IMF has estimated total recapitalization needs for the banking system at 1.0-3.5% of GDP. In September last year, the government once disbursed Tk4,100 crore or 0.3% of GDP, to the state-owned banks when their aggregate capital shortfall was over Tk8,000 core. According to the finance ministry, the government plans to inject more funds into four state-owned commercial banks Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali to make up for the significant capital shortfall that has alarmed both the World Bank and IMF. Banking division has already proposed to provide Tk6000 crore to the state-owned banks for addressing their address capital inadequacies. As of December last year, capital shortfall of Sonali Bank stood at Tk249 crore, Rupali Tk107 crore, Janata Tk404 crore and Agrani Tk92 crore, according to the Bangladesh Bank. The timely implementation of the reform measures should eventually restore financial viability to the SOCBs, but we will be monitoring the stability of the banks and the possibility of contingent liabilities stemming from their operations, said Moodys. l

India irked by EU mango ban

the phytosanitary certification system of such products exported to the EU. It noted a high number of consignments arriving with quarantine pests, mainly insects, like non-European fruit flies. Though the prohibited goods account for below five percent of the total fresh fruits and vegetables imported into the EU from India, introduction of new pests could threaten EU agriculture and production, the committee said. The ban is due to run from May 1 to December 2015 but Ahmed said the ban should be lifted earlier. The ban has enraged some in Britain, a key market for Indian growers where Londons mayor Boris Johnson supported the first-ever Indian mango festival in Trafalgar Square last year. Indian-origin lawmaker Keith Vaz called the mango ban Euro-nonsense and bureaucracy gone mad. Indian mangoes have been imported to Britain for centuries, Vaz said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. But the EU ban has led to a surplus of mangoes in local Indian markets, driving down prices to the delight of local fruit lovers. But Indian farmers are dismayed. The export ban will definitely affect farmers and prices because the unsent mangoes will be diverted to local markets and cause a supply glut, Miling Joshi, an official at the Mango & Cashew Board told AFP. l

A hawker arranges mangoes at a roadside shop


Prime Bank Limited on Sunday received the first prize in the ICMAB Best Corporate Award 2013 in the category of private commercial bank (traditional operation). The banks managing director and CEO, Md Ehsan Khasru received the award from the Finance Minister AMA Muhith

n AFP, New Delhi

Indias leading export promotion agency criticised a European ban on mango imports as unjustified yesterday and appealed to Brussels to overturn its decision. The 28-member European Union imposed the ban, to take effect May 1, on import of the highly prized Alphonso mangoes, known as the king of fruits, and four vegetables after finding unwanted pests such as non-European fruit flies in some consignments. Now all consignments are undergoing certification and testing to address the concerns, Rafiq Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian

Export Organisations (FIEO), a government-affiliated organisation, told AFP. We ask the EU to look into the matter - we have taken care of the issues. Now they should lift the ban, Ahmed said. Meanwhile, a commerce ministry official told AFP that New Delhi has already raised the issue with Brussels. The EU plant health care committee announced plans last month to introduce the ban after 207 Indian consignments of fruits and vegetables were found to be contaminated by pests such as fruit flies. Among the vegetables banned are bitter gourd and eggplant. The EU said it acted to tackle what it called significant shortcomings in

Standard Bank Limited has recently won the third best corporate award of 2013 from the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB). The banks managing director, Md Nazmus Salehin seen receiving the award from the Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in Bangladesh has been recognised as the Best Foreign Commercial Bank at the ICAMB Best Corporate Awards 2013 recently. Steve Ball, the banks CFO of HSBC Bangladesh is seen receiving the award from the Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith

NRB Global Bank Limited yesterday opened its Gunabati branch in Comilla. The banks chair, Nizam Chowdhury inaugurated the branchs operations as chief guest

Exim Bank recently has been awarded the ICMAB Best Corporate Award 2013 in the category of private commercial bank (Islamic operation) for its performance. The banks managing director, Dr Mohammed Haider Ali Miah received the award on Sunday from the Finance Minister AMA Muhit

IDLC Finance Limited was awarded the best corporate award in the non-banking financial institution sector at the Institution of Cost and Management Accounts of Bangladesh (ICMAB) award-ceremony held in Dhaka on Sunday. HM Ziaul Hoque Khan, the companys deputy managing director received the award from Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited has been awarded the ICMAB Best Corporate AWARD 2013 by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) in the private commercial banks (Islamic operation) category. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is seen handing over the award to Md Habibur Rahman, the banks managing director

Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited recently held its 14th annual general at the National Sports Council Auditorium in Dhaka. The banks chair Md Yousuf Ali Howlader presided over the programme

n Saifur Rahman
According to Al Ries, author of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, a brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of a prospect. Branding is a phenomenon that was popularised during the late 19th Century by soap bars sold in packaged units with a distinct logo. Since then, different brands have tried to attract their target group in many ways to win the battle of the mind of the consumers. But all this while, they had been ignoring a large segment of the global population the Muslims until recent times. They are now trying to understand the delicate needs of the growing Muslim population and design campaigns to comply with the Muslims and their religious principles (Shariah). A new race has begun among the global brands to capture the mindshare, heart share, and most importantly, the wallet share of the emerging Muslim consumer group. Ogilvy Noor, the Islamic Branding wing of world leading advertisement firm Ogilvy and Mather, defines Islamic branding as branding thats empathetic to Shariah values, in order to appeal to the Muslim consumer, ranging from basic Shariah-friendliness to full Shariah-compliance in all aspects of a brands identity, behavior, and communications. According to this firm, core Shariah values and its compliance resonate


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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Islamic branding: Reaching out to the untapped billions

3rd one billion 25% of world population More than Indias GDP Growing at USD 500 billion/year

1.8 billion Muslims

USD 2.1 trillion

with majority of the Muslims irrespective of their geographic location, age, gender, culture, or degree of religious practice. Shariah is not limited to fiqh (law) only, but also includes values such as honesty, respect, kindness, peacefulness, purity, discipline, modesty, unity, and dignity, which are an integral part of the Islamic faith. Although in recent years, China and India have captured the attention of the worlds marketers, a quiet but enormous business potential lies largely untapped in the global Muslim consumer market today, justifying a shift in focus to what is known as the 3rd one billion. Currently, Muslims make up almost one-fourth of the worlds population. The global Muslim market now stands at approximately $1.8bn and is projected to grow by

We have to understand that Muslim consumers have an alternative norm where the starting point is their Islamic identity, and everything else fits into it
about 35% in the next 20 years. The halal market alone is worth a staggering $2.1tn a year, which is greater than the entire GDP of India, Russia, Canada, or Australia respectively. Not surprisingly, marketers are rushing towards this group as it is increasing at $500bn each year due to the enormous growth

of the global Muslim population. Majority of the Muslim population is from the South and South East Asia (62%) region followed by the Middle East (20%) and sub-Saharan Africa region (15%). Most global enterprises, whether from the West or the East are starting to notice the N-11 countries (coined by Goldman Sachs investment bank) where 53% of the population are Muslim. Muslim population are some of the youngest in the world with more than 750 million under the age of 25, representing 43% of the global Muslim population, and 11% of the world. This population and economic growth have been accompanied by an Islamic

renaissance sowing its seed through the rise of new generation of young Muslim think tanks, business professionals, and entrepreneurs. Most of the marketers face two main challenges when it comes to addressing the Muslim consumers. First, most of the global brands operate on a geographic basis, but the Islamic conscience is something that is a more universal concept. The best way to capture this is to move from localised management to a universally focused product management function, to transfer the Islamic brand and its meaning into the core products. Second, Muslim consumers are not a seg-

ment that differs by one variable from the norm. We have to understand that Muslim consumers have an alternative norm where the starting point is their Islamic identity, and everything else fits into it. Muslims own believes in the significance of Islam in their lives are pervasive, and for them sincerity is the key in marketing practice of any company. l Saifur Rahman is the director of Business Development at LightCastle Partners, an emerging market specialised business planning and intelligence firm. The article was originally published in the LCP Blog. (

Android surging in global tablet market

n AFP, Washington
The Google Android platform extended its dominance over Apple in the tablet market in early 2014, a research firm said Monday. Strategy Analytics said Android grabbed 65.8% of global tablet sales in the first quarter, up from 53% a year ago. Apple meanwhile saw iPad sales slump and its market share tumbled to 28.4% from 40.3% a year earlier, the survey showed. Global tablet sales in the quarter were up 19% at 57.6 million units, the market research firm said. "Android continues to make steady progress and now commands two-thirds of the tablet market share," said Peter King, analyst at Strategy Analytics. While Apple ignited the tablet market with its first iPads, it has now lost its dominance to Android in the same manner as the iPhone has seen its share eroded in the smartphone market. The report said iPad sales were down 16% from the same period a year ago. "We believe that the disappointing performance in the early part of the calendar year is because Apple has changed its product release cycle to the holiday timeframe," King said. He added that Apple "will likely lose share over the next several months to refreshed Android products, but we believe Apple will win back meaningful high-end market share during the final months of the calendar year." Android sales totaled some 38 million in the period to Apple's 25.6 million, the report said. The survey also found a steady market share for tablets using Microsoft Windows. Windows tablet sales rose to 3.4 million from 2.8 million a year earlier, keeping a steady market share of 5.8%, according to Strategy Analytics. "There may be an uptick in Windows following Microsoft's decision to offer Windows for free for sub nine-inch devices," the report noted. "We may see a new batch of eightinch Windows-based tablets with reduced prices; they will still not be as inexpensive as Android, but it will enable them to be more competitive and appealing to a wider audience." But the researchers said a dearth of apps continues to be a problem for Microsoft, "with seemingly little incentive for developers to work on the platform." l

An employee of the French Renault group in Morocco works on a production line at the Renault factory of Melloussa, near Tangier, on April


Euro zone sentiment, inflation expectations dip in April

n Reuters, Brussels
Euro zone economic sentiment deteriorated slightly in April, defying forecasts of further improvement, while inflation expectations continued to fall, European Commission data showed yesterday. The monthly Commission survey showed that economic sentiment in the 18 countries sharing the euro eased to 102 in April from 102.5 in March, mainly because of a dip in confidence in the construction sector and in services. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an improvement to 103 in April. But some economists said the decline could be just a blip as it followed 11 monthly improvements. In general, euro zone economic sentiment is still defying the laws of economic gravity, said David Brown, an economist at New View Economics, an independent consulting group. Despite the proximity of recession risk, fragile recovery, near record unemployment and chill political headwinds blowing in from the Ukraine, economic confidence is still reasonably upbeat, he said. But others said the decline could be a sign of the risks that the euro zone recovery faced. We interpret the break in this uptrend as a first sign that the gloomier external economic climate will not leave the euro zone economy unscathed, said Christoph Weil, an economist at Commerzbank in Germany. flation expectations for the next 12 months fell to 7.5 points in April from 10.8 in March, continuing a steady decline since last October. Selling price expectations among manufacturers also fell, to -1.4 in April from -0.7 in March and -0.2 in February. The expectations are important because inflation has been stuck in what the European Central Bank calls the danger zone below 1% year-on-year since October, mainly because of falling energy prices and food and the appreciation of the euro. This creates a risk of deflation, and the ECB has said that if the euro exchange rate appreciated further, it would respond with monetary policy measures. The ECB meets to discuss policy on May 8. Separately, the Commissions business climate indicator, which points to which phase of the business cycle the economy is in, fell to 0.27 in April from 0.40 in March. Managers evaluation of the past and expected production, as well as of the current level of export order books worsened, while their assessment of overall order books improved and their appraisal of the stocks of finished products remained broadly unchanged, the Commission said. l

Disney eyes bigger plans with Shanghai n AFP, Washington

American entertainment giant Disney is set to pour an additional $800m into its Disney Shanghai, its first theme park on the Chinese mainland, officials said Monday. CEO Bob Iger said the deal, with Shanghai Shendi Group, will total an investment of $5.5bn, and the additional funds will be to boost the park's capacity and attractions. "Since we first broke ground in Shanghai we've been very impressed with the growth of China's economy, especially the rapid expansion of the middle class and the significant increase in travel and tourism," Iger said in a statement. "Our accelerated expansion, including additional attractions and entertainment, will allow us to welcome more guests for a spectacular Disney experience on opening day." Disney says it is decidedly upbeat about 330 million people being within a three-hour range of the park in Shanghai, the economic capital of the world's second largest economy. Under terms of their deal, Shanghai Shendi Group will continue to hold a 57% stake and Disney the other 43. Started in 2011, Disneyland Shanghai will be the company's fourth theme park outside the United States after Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. l

EU unveils tougher bank tests in bid to draw line under crisis

n Reuters, London
European banks must show they can survive simultaneous routs in bonds, property and stocks, in the toughest test so far by regulators aiming to restore confidence in an industry that had to be rescued by taxpayers in the financial crisis. The European Banking Authority (EBA) said yesterday it would gauge the resilience of 124 banks from the 28-country European Union to see if they would still have enough capital after facing a toxic cocktail of theoretical shocks. The EU watchdog set out the scenarios which banks such as Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Barclays could face, in tests whose results will be published in October, raising hopes among some policymakers that banks can finally turn a corner and lend more to the economy. The granularity and relevance of the scenarios is much better than Europes first two stress-test attempts, but the absence of widespread deflation is an elephant in the room, said Neil Williamson, head of EMEA credit research at Aberdeen Asset Management. To be fair, deflation in the euro zone would have such dire consequences for both public and private finances, that to include it could have risked too big a jolt to the fledgling confidence returning to the euro zone, Williamson said. Over a three-year stress test period - a year longer than in the previous exercise - banks must show they can cope with a cumulative loss of 2.1% in economic output, much worse than the 0.4% decline in the last test. Such a poor economic performance would push up unemployment to 13% and send house prices down 20% on average, triggering defaults on loans held by banks, the EBA said. l

In general, euro zone economic sentiment is still defying the laws of economic gravity
Problems in many emerging countries after the end of a decade of cheap money, the continued slowdown of growth in China and, most recently, the uncertainly stemming from the Ukraine crisis will prevent economic growth in the euro zone from strengthening in the further course of the year, he said. We expect the economy to continue to grow at a rate of 0.25 per quarter in the coming quarters and anticipate a plus of 1% on average in 2014, he said.



The Commission survey also showed that the indicator of consumers in-