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Poush 24, 1420 Rabiul Awal 5, 1435 Regd. No.

DA 6238 Vol 1 No 284



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Obhoynagar reminds of 71 horrors

Jamaat-Shibir men hack five Hindus for voting and scare away the entire community
Emran Hossain, back from Obhoynagar, Jessore
Kalidasi Sarker jumped into the Bhairab River in the afternoon of the polling day with her 15-day-old baby. The 30-year-old mother must hold the baby above water while swimming across the 50m wide river, which too, she knew, she must. About 100 people had to jump into the river that afternoon as they were chased by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir, all equipped with firearms, crude bombs, machetes, iron rods and sticks.

PM happy; warns opposition of action

Kamran Reza Chowdhury and Emran Hossain Shaikh
A day after the polls that gifted the Awami League more than two-thirds majority for the consecutive second term, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the new government would contain violence of the BNP Jamaat at any cost for restoring normalcy in civic life. Hasina said she was happy to see holding of the election in a free and fair manner braving the threats of opposition BNP Jamaat which announced all-out movement to resist the polls. Briefing reporters at her Ganabhaban residence, the premier directed the administration, and members of the army and other law enforcement agencies to contain post-election violence and terrorism with a strong hand. The prime minister said she would welcome the BNP to a dialogue, provided that it would stop violence and abandon militant Jamaat which had been largely responsible for the countrywide violence. No constructive discussion is possible as long as the Jamaat is on its [BNPs] shoulder. About the 11th parliamentary elections, she said: We can come up with a solution by having talks about the next elections. For that, everyone will have to be patient, tolerant and stop all kinds of political violence.



Their only fault they are Hindus and many of them had cast votes in the just concluded 10th national election. Waiting on the other side of the river were Sabita Sarkar, 55, and many others from her village to help these people. Watching the people running across the yellow mustard field before jumping into the river reminded Sabita of herself and her father running across a field only, it was littered with dead bodies decades ago, chased by the Pakistani occupation force during the 1971 Liberation War. I want justice for what has happened to us, an enraged Sabita told the Dhaka Tribune. The community of Hindu fishermen had to leave their village Malopara at

Residents, mostly Hindus, of Malopara village in Obhoynagar, Jessore return yesterday. Jamaat-Shibir men drove them away for casting votes in the national election Chapatola in Jessores Obhoynagar to save their lives. Ironically, the Bangla word obhoynagar means a safe place for people. These poor people had been living amid intimidation yet they had defended the small locality for almost six hours since Jamaat-Shibir men hacked five villagers around 10am for casting votes in Sundays national election. But they had to give in now as their pleas for help to local Awami League leaders, the districts deputy commissioner, upazila nirbahi officer and the officer-in-charge of the Obhoynagar police station went unheard throughout the day. This reporter met Sabita yesterday morning as more than 700 people returned to their homes after law enforcers had finally arrived.


We could not believe that people with whom we had just had tea suddenly became so different! They became part of the group of people who tried to kill us, looted our valuables and set the whole village on fire, said a

West unhappy with polls; India accepts it as constitutional requirement

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
The US, the UK, the Commonwealth and Canada have expressed discontent over the 10th parliamentary elections where candidates were elected unopposed in more than half of the 300 seats and voter turnout on Sunday was low. Condemning the spate of violence centring polls, they called on both the government and the opposition parties to engage in dialogue immediately towards a participatory and peaceful election which may reflect the will of the people. On the other hand, India termed the polls constitutional requirement and internal process of Bangladesh. The United States is disappointed by the recent parliamentary elections in Bangladesh. With more than half of the seats uncontested and most of the remainder offering only token opposition, the results of the just-concluded elections do not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people, said a press statement issued by the US State Department. It encouraged the political parties to engage in immediate dialogue to find a way to hold elections as soon as possible in a free, fair, peaceful, and credible manner. The US also asked the government to provide political space to all citizens to freely express their political views. At the same time, it called strongly on the opposition to use such space peacefully and responsibly, and for all sides to shun the path of violence immediately. UKs Senior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi in a separate statement said: We note the announcement of

Around 40% voter turnout in 139 constituencies

Mohammad Zakaria
The results in 139 of the 147 constituencies in the 10th parliamentary elections suggest that the average turnout was about 40%. Until last night, the Election Commission has not announced any official turnout figure for the polls held on Sunday. Voting in around 350 polling centres in eight constituencies which was suspended, will be held on January 16. So, the EC did not announce the results of polling in those constituencies. It is assumed that the official figure of the overall turnout in all the constituencies will be announced after re-voting in those polling centres. The EC, however, until yesterday announced the results of voting in 139 constituencies which suggest that turnout was 39.81%.

Khaleda says BNP ready for talks

Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said her party was ready for a dialogue anytime to resolve the prevailing political deadlock. We have to talk to the government. For talks we have to sit with someone, we cannot talk to the air. If they remain in office forcefully, we have to talk to them. There is no solution other than talks, she told BBC Bangla service in an exclusive interview. However, in a press conference in London earlier yesterday, Khaledas eldest son and BNPs Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman dismissed any possibility of talks terming the government illegal. Khaleda also told the BBC Bangla that the governments tenure would not be over until January 24 and it would Awami League again who form government again if they would. Therefore, the opposition could hold talks with the Awami League. When asked what would the preconditions for launching talks, the former premier said: First, the atmosphere has to be created. Leaders and activists should be freed. Cases should be withdrawn, those who are in hiding should not be harassed; our office should be opened. I cannot go out of my house. I have to go out my house. When asked whether she watched the prime ministers presser, Khaleda said: I did not see and did not listen. When asked whether BNP would leave Jamaat, a key component of the BNP-led 18-party alliance, Khaleda said: She (PM) cannot dictate. She was with Jamaat. She assumed the office along with Jamaat. We will not run the party as per her dictation. We are an

B1 The government will provide garment exporters with incentives, including tax relaxation, low rate loans and cash to recover losses caused by political turmoil.


6 A huge number of trees in Gazari were allegedly cut and trafficked to build illegal houses and factories.



3 Five people were killed and at least 20 wounded in separate incidents of postpolls violence in Dohar upazila of Dhaka yesterday.

11 For now, the Awami League and its allies have crossed the January 5 mark. Thank God election day is over! The government is extremely cheerful about the outcome.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

JaPa leaders confused over role in parliament

Manik Miazee
Jatiya Party lawmaker-elect Kazi Firoz Rashid yesterday said the JaPa would join the 10th parliament as the main opposition under the leadership of senior presidium member Rawshan Ershad. However, many senior leaders of the party, headed by HM Ershad, said they were yet to be informed about the matter. The grass roots leaders and activists of the party also appeared to be confused. The Jatiya Party will join the 10th national parliament as the main opposition led by Rawshan Ershad, Firoz, also a presidium member of the party, told journalists after meeting with the leadership at her Gulshan residence. The JaPa won a total of 33 seats in Sundays elections, making it the second largest party of the 10th parliament after Awami League, which secured 232 seats. Rawshan was expected to hold a press conference in a day or two to announce the partys stand. JaPa Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader told the Dhaka Tribune: The party is yet to take any decision on the issue, and the decision that comes from the party Chairman HM Ershad will be considered final. Mujibul Hoque Chunnu, another presidium member, said: The party has not yet held any formal meeting till now about joining the parliament. The decision will come in a formal party meeting that will be held as soon as the lawmakers-elect from outside Dhaka would arrive at the capital. We do not know what decision will come from the party presidium members, said Mobarak Hossain Azad, secretary general of the Jatiya Shechhashebok Party, a JaPa affiliate. "They are also silent about Ershads detention issue. They are busy with their power politics, added Azad. Meanwhile, Bobby Hajjaj, special adviser to the party chief, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone: The party is still abiding by Ershads decision to not participate in the government. But in Lalmonirhat 1, Ershad was defeated by AL candidate and Motahar Hossain by more than one lakh vote. He has never before been defeated in any polls. Even when he was in jail he won in all five of his seats in the 1991. Ershad declared he would boycott the polls but his withdrawal of application was rejected. He bagged only 5,381 votes and became third. When the Dhaka Tribune tried to contact JaPa presidium member GM Quader over mobile phone, his personal assistance answered, Sir would not comment on the issue without consulting his brother, Ershad, who was now admitted to the Combined Military Hospital in the capital.

Polls at postponed centres January 16

Mohammad Zakaria
Polling in around 350 centres postponed centring the opposition-sponsored violence on Sunday will be held on January 16. Two Election Commissioners Abdul Mobarak and Md Shah Newaz said this yesterday. Abdul Mobarak said the EC had taken the decision to hold polls in those postponed centres under eight constituencies on January 16. Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad told reporters the commission would repair the torched polling centres and also set up alternative voting booths before holding polls. Asked about the voters turnout, he said the commission was yet to get the hard copies of the result from the field levels. We would get the result within a day or two, added the CEC. Besides, voting would not be held in those postponed polling centres under the constituencies witnessing a gulf of vote difference between two nearest candidates. The EC has already announced the result of 139 of 147 parliamentary seats. Earlier, 153 candidates were declared win uncontested.

A resident of Malopara in Obhoynagar, Jessore stares in dismay at the remnants of his homestead burnt down by Jamaat-Shibir activists on Sunday after they had driven away the villagers for casting votes in the 10th national elections DHAKA TRIBUNE

EWG: Voter turnout was 30%

Rabiul Islam
The Election Working Group (EWG), a non-partisan network of 29 leading civil society organisations that observed the 10th parliamentary polls in a limited capacity, claimed that 30.1% of the electorate voted on Sunday. The turnout was significantly lower than in the previous two parliamentary polls. In 2008, turnout was 85.93%, while it was 74.37% in 2001. Incidents of violence, snatching of ballot boxes and crude bomb blasts at polling stations were observed, EWG Director Md Abdu Alim said in a preliminary report presented at a press conference in the city yesterday. There appeared to be little enthusiasm among the voters as a majority of the parliamentary seats were won uncontested, in addition to a boycott and resistance by the BNP-led opposition alliance, it said. The group also termed the elections a rare one since 153 candidates were elected unopposed. Steering Committee member Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah said the elections were still better than nothing. EWG deployed 8,444 observers at 1,689 polling centres in 75 constituencies in 43 districts out of 59 where elections were held. The turnout of female voters was 31.2%, while the male voter turnout was 28.9%, the report says. The voter turnout varied across constituencies, with Dhaka 17 (Banani-Gulshan) recording the lowest 6.4%, while Gopalganj 1 the highest with 74%. The EWG observers also witnessed 72 instances of violence near polling stations, with 23 incidents occurring in Rajshahi and 21 in Rangpur.

EC transfers Gaibandha DC, SP

The Election Commission yesterday in a letter asked the Public Administration Ministry to transfer Gaibandha deputy commissioner and police super for delay in providing the commission with information about the torched poling centres.

Khaleda says BNP ready for talks PM happy; warns BNP and Jamaat of action
independent party. So we will run in our way. Why should I give any word? We are an independent party and we will take our decision own and we will not follow any dictation. Regarding her sons Tariques statement about continuing the movement, she said: Our movement is going on and will continue... [Some of] my senior leaders are in jail; the rest are hiding. I have no contact with my leaders. I am house arrested. Earlier yesterday, in press statement, Khaleda urged the international community to speak out loud and take steps immediately in favour of reestablishing democracy and the practices of democratic norms in Bangladesh. The former prime minister asked the law enforcers to ensure security of the lives and properties of the religious minority and the marginalised communities in the country. The militancy that we managed to keep down during our last tenure with the help of the religious people of the country, is now seeking a chance to rise again because of the ongoing autocratic rule. This autocratic regime may not only threaten stability in Bangladesh, but also the peace and harmony in the

entire of South Asian region, she said in a press statement. Addressing the international community, especially the democratic world, Khaleda said: Terrorism by a fascist regime has devastated the democratic rights of the people. Liberal democratic politics and systematic procedures have come to a standstill. The news media is in chainsThe conscience of the world must speak out loud and take steps immediately in favour of reestablishing democracy and the practices of democratic norms in Bangladesh. Khaleda, who has been virtually confined in her residence since December 28, rejected the January 5 polls and asked the government to step down from immediately for paving ways for another election under a non-partisan government. The BNP chief claimed that the January 5 election proved that free, fair, credible, peaceful and participatory elections were not possible except under a non-partisan neutral government and acceptable election commission. Khaleda thanked the news media for bringing out the truth about the polls and also slammed the government for imposing censorship on media at night.

Hasina also mentioned that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had lost everything the elections and the post of opposition leader in parliament. She said the new government would try the BNP Jamaat activists who were involved in the recent arson attacks and killings of common people to resist the 10th general elections. She said her party, which earned international commendation for its anti-militancy measures resulting in the elimination of all dens of the Indian insurgents in Bangladesh in the last five years, would maintain its zero tolerance against militancy. I want to make it clear: the very first duty of the elected government will be to ensure safety of the peoples lives and property, and to protect the state property at any cost, said Hasina, also the AL president. The premier also reiterated her governments resolve to continue the war crimes trial and executing the judgements delivered against war criminals. The fundamentalist and the communal forces will be handled with an iron hand, she said. Answering to a question on whether the government would ban Jamaat-e-Islami, she said the High Court


had scrapped its registration earmarking it as a terrorist organisation. Hasina refused to comment further saying that a law suit on Jamaats ban question had been pending with the court. The premier also sought international support for ensuring peace, political stability and continuing the constitutional rule and democracy in Bangladesh.

'I want to make it clear: the very first duty of the elected government will be to ensure safety of the peoples lives and property'
She said the new government would adopt strict measures to protect business and industrial production units and the export sector from political violence. Necessary measures to guarantee smooth civic life would follow. Those caused damage to the property and burnt people to death will not be spared. Strict [legal] actions will follow against them; they will face trial, said the prime minister in response to another question. Hasina said the opposition alliance tried to block the polls, but failed. I am happy as the people have exercised

their franchise. Whatever turnout has been recorded is enough, she said. Differing on the legitimacy of the polls, she said the elections had been peaceful in more than 18,000 polling centres, with a few exceptions. I do not believe that questions can be raised against such elections, she said, mentioning that many countries had elections worse than this. The AL chief also rejected the possibility of any international embargo which could be slapped because of holding an election without the main opposition. She said Bangladesh had not committed any offence for which it might have to face sanctions. She alleged that those trying to see such embargo did not believe in Bangladeshs independence and continuation of democratic practices. The premier said she wanted to form a government accommodating all parties interested in. But we must have an opposition, too, she said with a smile. Expressing gratitude to the countrymen for casting vote for her government, the prime minister said: I want to assure the nation that we will implement the election pledges. Senior ministers, party leaders and officials of the Prime Ministers Office were present at the briefing.

Around 40% voter turnout in 139 constituencies

Voter turnout was 87% in the 2008 general elections. Because of violence, voting was postponed in 205 polling centres. The EC said there would no need to hold polls again in those centres. The results announced so far suggest that there were a total of 4,15,21,325 voters in the 139 constituencies. Of them, a total of 1,65,30,775 people practiced their voting rights on Sunday. Out of those votes, 2,51,483 have been cancelled. On Sunday, Election Commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz expressed hopes that around 40% votes would be cast. Although the results suggest about 40% turnout in 139 constituencies, the results of polls in the nine constituencies in Dhaka suggest an average 22% voter turnout. Among the nine constituencies in Dhaka, turnout was very low in at least two. In one of them it was merely 14% and 18% in the other. The highest 89% turnout was in the Gopalganj 3 constituency from where Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been elected. Out of a total of 2,11,951 voters, 1,90,649 cast their votes. The lowest turnout was recorded in the Bogra 4 seat. Only 12.82% votes were cast there. Out of 2,83,253 voters, only 36,321 cast votes. Party-wise vote cast 12 political parties out of the 40 registered with the EC contested in the 10th parliamentary polls. Awami League got around 1.18 crore votes while independent candidates bagged the second highest of 24 lakhs.

West unhappy with polls; India accepts it as constitutional requirement

the results of the 10th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh; an election called in accordance with Bangladeshs constitution. We, therefore, urge the new government and all political parties to act in line with the interests of the people of Bangladesh. A former Bangladeshi diplomat said the UK did not recognise the election and so it used the expression we note the announcement. Had they accepted the election, they would have sent a congratulatory or welcome message, he said. Bangladesh, in many cases depending on the relationship, sent welcome message twice one after victory in election and again after forming the government, the diplomat added.

Calling for an initiative to hold a new election, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird expressed extreme disappointment as more than half of the seats were not contested freely, but instead were filled through acclamation. He called on all parties to look beyond their immediate political concerns and work cooperatively to focus nationally on the countrys development and its bright future. Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma of the 53-nation Commonwealth in a statement echoed the views of the US, the UK and Canada with regard to the issues of polls results, low turnout, dialogue and violence.

eign ministrys official spokesperson yesterday said the elections in Bangladesh were a constitutional requirement. They are a part of the internal and constitutional process of Bangladesh. It is for the people of Bangladesh to decide their own future and choose their representatives in a manner that responds to their aspirations. Violence cannot and should not determine the way forward. The democratic processes must be allowed to take their own course in Bangladesh.

Foreign missions to wait and see

Elections internal, says India

In response to questions, the Indian for-

The foreign missions working in Bangladesh will adopt wait and see policy to determine the level of engagement with the new government, say diplomats.

We are still assessing the post-election situation as many things are still not clear to us, said a diplomat of an Asian country seeking anonymity as the official was not authorised to speak to media. Formation of the new government and how the new administration contains violence are the two issues that we will like to see...what we want are stability and return to normalcy in Bangladesh, the diplomat said stressing the need for holding dialogue. Asked if the embassy would issue any statement, he said: It will come from our headquarters and it might take some time. A European diplomat said the future engagement of his country with Bangladesh would be determined based

on the policies of the new government. Good governance and human rights situations are the two important issues for my country, he said wishing not to be named. The diplomat said they heard that a crackdown was imminent to contain the ongoing violence, but feared that the law enforcement agencies might violate human rights in doing so. We expect to issue a statement as soon as possible and it will be issued by our minister, not from the embassy, he said. The diplomat said they always encourage dialogue among the political parties but it seems that at present nobody is interested to sit with others. We did, do and will do encourage this dialogue, he said.


AL gets absolute majority
Parties Out of Uncon- Total 147 tested 300 104 13 2 4 0 1 1 14 139 127 20 3 2 1 0 0 0 153 231 33 5 6 1 1 1 14 292

Obhoynagar reminds of 71 horrors

resident of Malopara whose identity is not being disclosed for safety concerns. Five sons of a villager named Nur Mohammad the youngest of them only 18 who stabbed three of his neighbours and Farid, Humayun, Kashem and Kibria played a key role in accompanying some 500 Jamaat-Shibir men, mostly from adjacent areas, marching the village for almost an hour during the attack that left at least 20 injured. Maya Rani Mandal managed to get on a boat to cross the river and spent the night in the nearby Deyapara village. Maloti Barman, 50, could not think about her daughter in the hurry and escaped, leaving her daughter behind. She tiptoed back to the village around 8pm and took her daughter and twoPAGE 1 COLUMN 5

year-old granddaughter with her. About Tk2 lakh, which she had got selling land, was gone. The ones like Shila Sarker who could not flee had hidden under cots or shades built for growing betel leaf. Many did not even get the chance to take warm clothes in this chilling weather. More than 100 houses in Malopara were looted, burnt and destroyed on Sunday afternoon. Even homestead trees coconut and banana were burnt or chopped down and cowsheds were burnt, too. Idols in the houses were vandalised. Everything else was looted. The villagers had been living in fear since Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death for war crimes on February 28 last year and guarded the village at night in groups

of seven men. But their fear came real on the day of the national election. Jamaat-Shibir activists had threatened the Hindu villagers not to go to cast their votes. Some villagers, mainly activists of the Awami League, however, refused to bow to the threats and went to cast ballots. About 25 Jamaat-Shibir men exploded crude bombs at the polling centre for the voters from Malopara with an aim to stop voting there but failed. Then they made an attempt to attack the village, but failing there, too, the Jamaat-Shibir men resorted to their newly adopted technique of inciting their followers by lies. Around 4pm, they made phone calls to their activists and students of the local madrasa, tell-

ing them that five of their activists had been killed in a clash with Malopara villagers. Jamaat-Shibir activists poured in from nearby villages Baliadanga, Jagannathpur, Deyapara, Joldanga, Basundia, Dhakuria and Bangram and attacked Malopara. They also drove in some motorised three-wheelers, locally called Nosimon, laden with sacks of stone. When they left they loaded the Nosimons with their loot. The incident once again unveils the same indifference the Jessore district administration had shown during voting when Jamaat-Shibir men went on the rampage forcing the authorities to suspend voting in 60 centres in Monirampur upazila. Obhoynagar upazila Awami Leagues

General Secretary Enamul Hoque Babul said he had called the deputy commissioner, the UNO and the Obhoynagar police stations OC for help. They all said police or Rab or army were on their way, but they did not come until all had been ruined, he said. Obhoynagar UNO Sifat Mehnaz said she had not come to know about the incident until 5pm. Police reached Malonpara around 11pm. Around 2pm yesterday when it was time for this reporter to leave Malopara blow from a conch was heard. It is a tradition among Hindus to blow the shell, called shankha in Bangla, as a worship ritual. Usually, the sound of shankha is heard from all houses in the neighbourhood. This time there was only one was blowing.

AL JaPa JSD (Inu) WP JP (Manju) BNF Tariqat Independent Total

According to unofficial results



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Five killed in post-polls violence in Dohar

Death toll from politically motivated attacks in two days rises to 27; security beefed up in troubled areas
Ashif Islam Shaon
Five people were killed and at least 20 wounded in separate incidents of postpolls violence in Dohar upazila of Dhaka yesterday, a day after the national polls were held. Also, two activists of Jubo League and Islami Chhatra Shibir, who had sustained injuries the previous day, died during treatment in Noakhali and Dinajpur respectively, taking the death toll from polls-related violence to 27. Meanwhile, our correspondents have reported post-polls violence taking place in Meherpur, Habiganj, Joypurhat, Pirojpur, Narayanganj, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Jessore districts. In Dohar, under Dhaka 1 constituency, activists of Awami League and Jatiya Party (JP) engaged in an hour-long clash that left five of them killed and 20 injured. Police think the clash could be related to the election in which JP candidate Salma Islam grabbed a surprise victory against ruling party bigwig and former state minister for public works Abdul Mannan Khan. The identities of the deceased were confirmed as: Mohammad Mokbul Hossain, 35, nephew of local UP Chairman Alaluddin Mollah, Masud Khandaker, 30, Moksed Khandaker, 60, Aslam, 25, and Rezaul (age unknown). Security was beefed up around the troubled region following the incident. According to sources, top leaders of Dohar-Awami League unit were divided by their allegiance to the two candidates, with Vice-president Alauddin Mollah, also chairman of Bilashpur union, supporting Salma Islam while President Hukum Ali Chokdar supporting Abdul Mannan Khan. Sumon Matabbar, an injured activist loyal to Alauddin, now under treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, described how the incident occurred. Around 9am, we were going to meet Alauddin Mollah at the Hazarbigha village. There were 20-25 of us there. Hukum Ali and his men intercepted us on the way but left us upon polices intervention. But after police left, they attacked us from behind. We ran for protection in nearby houses. They killed Moksed first and his son Masud and Mokbul later. All five deceased were activists of the Alauddin group. Kamrul Islam Mia, officer in charge of Dohar police station, said they detained three individuals in this connection. Meanwhile, in Noakhali, Mahfuz Alam, 24, an activist of Jubo League, injured in an attack on Sunday, died at a private hospital around 4am yesterday. He was injured when rival party activists swooped on a victory procession of Awami League and Jubo League at the districts Gazaria bazar. In Dinajpur, Md Asadullah, 18, an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir, died in hospital after police beat him up following a Jamaat-Awami League clash at a polling centre in Birganj upazila on Sunday afternoon. The clash ensued after Jamaat-Shibir activists tried to occupy the polling centre. Meanwhile, activists of Awami Leagues rebel candidate Mokbul Hossain, who successfully defeated party nominee Abdul Khaleque, attacked the latters office and residence in Gangni upazila of Meherpur yesterday. They vandalised eight motorbikes parked in front of Khaleques residence and ransacked furniture around 12:30pm. Following the incident, members of the BGB took Mokbul, upazila chairman Shafiqul Alam and municipality mayor Ahammad Ali to the UNO office for questioning. Witnesses said the incident occurred after a victory parade at the Rezaul Chattar point in which Mokbul called upon his supporters to oust Khaleque from local politics. Police detained 11 activists in this connection. In Magura 2, supporters of rebel candidate Kutubullah Hossen Mian Kuti ransacked 12 shops after Kuti was defeated by Awami League candidate

A woman breaks down in tears yesterday after hearing the news of death of a relative in post-polls clashes between the supporters of the winning and the losing candidates in Dhakas Dohar upazila FOCUS BANGLA Prof MS Akber. In Baniachang of Habiganj, a clash between the Awami League and JP activists left around 50 injured. The clash occurred following an altercation between the two groups in a polling centre the day before, police said. Meanwhile, unknown miscreants early yesterday burnt down BNPs district office in Joypurhart, a ward office of Pirojpur Awami League and two ward-level offices of the same at Fatullah in Narayanganj. Also, Jamaat-Shibir activists unleashed terror on the members of Hindu community in Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Jessore districts following the polls.

Two held for killing Sayedee witness

Tribune Report
Detectives yesterday arrested two alleged killers of Mostafa Hawlader, complainant and also witness of the war crimes case against death row convict Delawar Hossain Sayedee, in Pirojpur. Sohagh Sardar, 28, of Hoglabunia at Parerhat, and M Rahim Hawlader, 42, of Zianagar were arrested by the DB police in a special drive. The law enforcers also detained eight suspects from different areas of the district, reports BSS. Mostafa was hacked indiscriminately and his wife Hasina Begum received minor injuries when miscreants attacked their house in Hoglabunia early on December 8. He succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital two days later. Our correspondent earlier reported that the victims wife had recognised two of the three attackers as local Jamaat-e-Islami activists. Police earlier arrested six people after a case was filed over the attack. Another suspected attacker, Mahbubur Rahman, an influential local Jamaat activist, is on the run.

Houses of Hindus attacked in Dinajpur, Thakurgaon

Tribune Report
The BNP Jamaat-led opposition alliance men yesterday vandalised, torched and looted valuables from the houses of Hindus in the northwestern districts of Dinajpur and Thakurgaon. The attacks were carried out at the Laad Dabra village under Sator union of Birganj upazila of Dinajpur, reported our correspondent in the district. Houses of Kailash Roy, Jotish Roy, Jotindro Roy, Promod Charan and former UP chairman Roopnarayn Sheel were smashed in the attack. The house of Md Mamun, son of Khoka Pramanik, was also attacked. Witnesses and victims said properties worth almost Tk1 crore were damaged in the attack. On the election day, BNP Jamaat men attacked nearly all the 80 polling centres in the area. At least 40 educational institutions, which were used as polling centres, had been badly damaged. In a separate post-election violence, activists of BNP and its ally Jamaat attacked ruling Awami League men and the Hindus in eight villages under Sadar upazila in Thakurgaon district last evening, leaving 15 people injured, reports UNB. The miscreants also vandalised and looted a number of houses and shops belonging to the ruling party men and the Hindus. A temple in the area and the idols inside were also vandalised during the mayhem. As a sequel, opposition men launched attacks on ruling party men and Hindus at eight villages including Jhakua, Jhardanga, Baniyapara and Mondoppara last evening. Soon after the attack, hundreds of local residents, mostly Hindus from the eight villages, fled their homes and took refuge in the adjacent villages fearing further attack by BNP Jamaat. UNB also reported that panic had gripped the local residents, especially the Awami League leaders and activists and the Hindus. Following the incident, local administration reinforced security in the area, deploying joint forces, comprising police, RAB and BGB, to fend off further trouble.

ASK expresses concern over attacks on Hindus

Tribune Report
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) in a press statement yesterday expressed its concern and resentment over the attacks on the Hindus in Chapatola village under Abhaynagar upazila of Jessore. The statement was issued by ASK acting executive director Md Nur Khan. It stated that around 150 people attacked Hindus at Malopara of Chapatola village soon after the 10th parliamentary elections ended on Sunday. Crude bombs were blasted, houses were vandalised, valuables were looted and at least 12 houses were set on fire, leaving the locals panicked. Miscreants also attacked Hindus at Kornai village in Dinajpur on Sunday. They vandalised and torched houses and business establishments. The press statement also said: The current situation of the country is threatening to undermine democracy, peace, religious tolerance and harmony. The failure of the administration to pacify the situation is obvious. ASK, in the statement, urged the government to take immediate action to solve the problems and to take legal action against the culprits.

Arson at schools criticised

Tribune Report
Six non-government organizations have expressed deep concern over the recent arson attacks on schools, and use of children in political violence. The organisations are-ActionAid Bangladesh, Plan International Bangladesh, Save the Children, terres des hommes (Netherlands), Child Rights Governance Assembly and Girls Child Advocacy Forum. The organizations expressed their concern at the burning down of more than 100 schools and other educational institutions hours before the beginning of the January 5 polls across the country. The organisations also expressed concern about the deliberate use of children in political violence.

Pay commission gets new member secretary

Mohosinul Karim
The Public administration ministrys Officer on Special Duty, Additional Secretary Md Ehsanul Haque, was appointed member secretary of the National Pay and Service Commission, formed on December 17 last year. The ministry yesterday issued an order in this regard. The order said his job was placed under the finance ministry to act on behalf of the commission. Meanwhile, OSD deputy secretaries Dil Mohammad and Syed Mojibul Haque were also appointed deputy secretaries of the commission.

Peaceful hartal on 1st day

Ashif Islam Shaon
The first day of 48-hour nationwide hartal, enforced by the BNP-led 18-party alliance, demanding cancellation of the 10th parliamentary elections, was observed without major untoward incidents yesterday. No major incidents took place, except beating up a ruling Awami League man in Satkhira and a cocktail attack on a microbus of private television channel Ekushey Television in the capitals Mohakhali that left a cameraperson and the driver injured. The BNP-led opposition alliance announced the programme on Sunday night, demanding cancellation of polls results and protesting killing and arrest of opposition men on the polling day. The BNP also announced that the countrywide indefinite blockade programme, apart from the hartal, would be continued. In the capital, ETV cameraperson Zakir and driver Sobhan sustained splinter injuries as unknown miscreants hurled 7-8 cocktails, targeting the car around 6:45pm. Meanwhile, Jamaat-Shibir men beat up Abdus Salam, 40, at Bhomra Land Port in Satkhira Sadar upazila around 10:30am. In the capital, no picketing in support of the shutdown was reported. Presence of vehicles on the city streets was however relatively thin, while law enforcers were on high alert at different points. Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws dominated the streets. However, no long-route bus left Mohakhali, Sayedabad and Gabtoli bus terminals since morning fearing vandalism. At Sadarghat launch terminal, number of passengers and water vessels were lower than usual. Train communication was almost normal except Kishoreganj with Mymensingh and Dhaka as the engine of Egaro Sindur Express derailed at Kishoreganj railway station because of technical glitch in the afternoon.

Panicked residents of different areas in Dinajpurs Chehelgazi union leave home yesterday after miscreants vandalised and set fire to their houses and shops Sunday night. The victims were mostly Awami League supporters FOCUS BANGLA

Tarique rejects possibility of talks with illegal government

Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
Branding the newly elected Awami League government illegal and rejecting the possibility of holding a dialogue, main opposition BNPs Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman said there was no reason to hold any dialogue with the illegal government elected through farcical polls. The farcical elections that took place yesterday [Sunday] and those who came to power, it is obvious that they do not represent any legitimate government. What kind of talks can be held with an illegitimate government? he inquired. Addressing a press conference at a hotel in London, Tarique came up with the statement when asked whether there was any window for a dialogue to resolve the political stalemate.

If all our supporters participate in the movement wholeheartedly, then Inshallah, no power in the world can stop us from reaching success
Tarique, who has been living in London since 2008, also said by boycotting the polls, the people showed that the BNP was going in the right direction. Elections under caretaker government is the only solution. Tarique also urged the party leaders and activists and the people of the

country to continue the anti-government movement at any cost. Unite the people in your areas, discuss among yourselves, strengthen the partys foundation and pounce into action with full might, he said. BNP claimed that the low turnout had proved that people rejected the elections. Now, Tarique said, was the time for post-polls movement. All the people of the country now want BNPs success so that we can uproot these autocrats, he said, adding: We will not compromise one bit. If all our supporters participate in the movement wholeheartedly, then Inshallah, no power in the world can stop us from reaching success. Blaming people involved with the electoral process, Tarique said: I will

request them, ask your conscience honesty you worked for whom and worked against whom. The press conference was held after Awami League won a landslide victory the 10th parliamentary elections held on Sunday. More than half of the 300 constituencies were elected uncontested. Of the other half, Awami League bagged 127 amid boycott from main opposition BNP. Responding to a query, Tarique said he would return to Bangladesh after completing his ongoing medical treatment. Tarique claimed that all the countries in the world and mass media were with the BNPs movement. I believe it would not be possible for any force to suppress the BNP.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bangladesh missing global economic Remand hearing for opportunities for political instability five BNP leaders
Kayes Sohel
Perennial political conflicts had caused Bangladesh to miss out on many global economic opportunities despite much achievement made since independence, economists have said. Although achievements were made in gaining self-sufficiency in food and reducing poverty, the failure in leadership, lack of good governance, confrontational politics, weak infrastructure and energy shortage have held back faster growth, they said. Political instability has compelled the country to miss out scores of global economic opportunities, said Mirza Azizul Islam, former finance adviser to the caretaker government. He however admitted that the country had also developed a lot after independence, as the poverty rate had come down to around 30% - which was 75%-76% during the period of independence while the country also attained food autarky. Over the last several years, the GDP growth rate remained flat hovering around 6%, which was relatively better economic performance than other Asian countries including Cambodia, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka, he said. But what we have achieved since independence, is much lower than the opportunities we have missed because of political instability, said Azizul Islam. He blamed leadership failure, feuding politics, weak infrastructure and energy scarcity for restraining the country from faster growth. The potential negative impact of the recent violent protests was disturbing because the countrys economy was already on a downhill path, he added. Centre for Policy Dialogue Executive Director Prof Mustafizur Rahman said confrontational politics had caused Bangladesh to lose many windows of global economic opportunities. Since independence, the country however had gained many things like poverty reduction, attaining many indicators set in the MDG and above all becoming a trading nation, he said. Despite making the gains, Mustafizur cautioned that matters of concerns for the country included the lack of good governance, social inequality, quality education and corruption. We need to address these issues to move forward faster, he said. The World Bank in its reports said Bangladesh was well on its way to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in poverty alleviation within this year. The report, based on purchasing ability, said the incidence of poverty came down gradually during the last decade from 63 million poor people in 2000 to 47 million in 2010. The target under the MDG was to bring poverty rate down to 29.5% within 2015 from current 31%. Professor of finance at the Dhaka University MA Taslim said investment was moving out of China as the worlds second largest economy was opting to manufacture high-end products. As a result, opportunities have opened up for countries like Bangladesh, he said. However, economists have said Bangladeshs economy was now facing severe challenges caused the by the ongoing politic impasse. The fulfillment of growth targets set in the sixth FiveYear Plan and the ambition to achieve middle-income status by 2021 were fading into distant dreams, they said. They prescribed that a quick exit from the present quagmire demanded an immediate consensus among the major political parties about the nature of election-time government that could ensure a free, fair and credible election with widest possible participation.

deferred to January 9
Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
A Dhaka court yesterday deferred, until January 9, the date of the remand hearing for five BNP leaders, including Barrister Moudud Ahmed, in two cases filed with Motijheel police station. Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas were accused in the two cases. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Mizanur Rahman deferred the date of the remand hearing until January 9. General Recording Officer Sub-Inspector Gaffar-ul-Alam said the court shifted the date as the accused could not be produced before the court because of the hartal. The same court also fixed January 9 for the remand hearing of BNP ViceChairman major (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, who was shown arrested in the case filed with Motijheel police station in connection with violence on May 5 in Motijheel area. Of the five BNP leaders, Moudud, Anwar and Rafiqul were detained from in front of Sonargaon Hotel on November 8 last year, while the others were detained outside Khaleda Zias Gulshan residence a few hours later.

Moudud, Anwar and Rafiqul were detained from in front of Sonargaon Hotel on November 8 last year
Of the two, one was filed in connection with killing of sub-inspector Md Shahjahan, and another lodged for vandalism centring around the Hefazat-e-Islam rally on May 5 in Motijheel last year. BNP leader MK Anwar and Barrister Rafiqul Islam Miah, and opposition leader Khaleda Zias adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo, and special assistant

Mysterious fire at Dhaka airport

Kailash Sarkar
A mysterious fire broke out, causing thick smoke, on the 1st floor of Terminal 2 at Hajarat Shahjalal International Airport early yesterday, but no one was injured. A severe panic gripped the passengers and officials at the airport after news of the fire broke out around 3:30am, but authorities failed to find the reason behind the fire. Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) officials said because of the fire, the main power line at the airport had to be kept switched off for over one and a half hours until 5:30am, an alternative power line had to be used. Mohammad Ali, a member of the FSCD, said 2 units of firefighters at Kurmitola station went to the scene around 4:10am, and searched for the source of the smoke, but they failed to find it. Shamsuddin Mohammad Saleh Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Airport police station, claimed they did not get any information related to the fire at the airport. But officials of the Armed Police Battalion said the smoke was first noticed near the showroom of Ponds Cream, located on the 1st floor of Terminal 2 at the airport. Offices of different airlines and other companies were also located in the area. The airport engineers had been searching for the source of the mysterious fire.

Two imprisoned for setting up illegal gas connection

Our Correspondent, Gazipur
A mobile court sentenced two people to time in jail yesterday, for connecting gas in an illegal way at Kewa village under Sreepur upazila, Gazipur. Sreepur Upazila Assistant Commissioner (land) Nazmul Hossain Bhuyian announced the order. The accused were Masud, 25, of Kewa village, and Mojibur, 30, of Paikpara village under Susang Durgapur upazila of Netrokona. Masud received imprisonment for two months while Mojibur for three months. Sreepur police station SI Mahbubul Islam said 10-12 people were building a drain to make an illegal gas connection at Nasir Moulvis residence in Sreepur municipal area. Acting on a tip-off, police seized the materials of the gas connection and arrested the two accused. The others including Ansar, Harun, Akter, Nazmul, Hashem and Siddique fled from the scene. Afterwards, a case was lodged against them with Sreepur Model police station and the arrestees were sent to the court around 11am. The court sentenced them to imprisonment for different terms.

Two children play with a big basket on a rickshaw-van that sits idle at the capitals Karwan Bazar while labourers of the kitchen market wait for work during the BNP-led 18-party alliances hartal yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

SCBA to organise petition

Nazmus Sakib
The Supreme Court Bar Association, led by pro-BNP lawyers, will organise petition and a discussion with former justices on January 7-8, protesting the attack on December 29 by Pro-AL men. The programme has been announced as the Chief Justice, Md Muzammel Hossain, did not take any initiative to form a judicial probe committee to investigate the incident. AJ Mohammad Ali, president of the organization, announced the programme in a meeting held at the SCBA building. He said a human chain would be formed on January 9 and the next programme would be announced on January 12. Yesterday morning, the lawyers carried out a programme of wearing black badges and brought out a procession on the Bar premises.


Dry weather likely

Weather is likely to remain mainly dry with partly cloudy sky over the country, having chances of light rain or drizzle at one or two places over Rajshahi, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions and the regions of Jessore, Kushtia and Comilla until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog might occur over the country during early night till morning, Met Office said. Mild cold wave is sweeping over Sayedpur, Srimangal and Rangamati and it may continue. Night temperature may fall slightly and day temperature may rise slightly over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:26pm today and rises at 6:43am tomorrow. Countrys highest temperature 27.2 degree Celsius was recorded at Coxs Bazar and lowest 8.5 degrees at Srimangal yesterday. Highest and lowest temperatures recorded in some major cities yesterday were: City Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Coxs Bazar High 20.4 24.0 21.0 22.0 23.5 25.5 22.9 27.2 Low 13.6 13.2 12.1 10.4 13.0 11.6 13.2 15.0

Witnesses receive death threats from accused

Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
The accused, out on conditional bail in the Zubair murder case, immediately issued threats to the witnesses, who gave depositions against the defendants. The victims brother Abdullah-AlMamun, a university teacher, said this yesterday when contacted over the phone. He also mentioned that the accused had been bailed for a certain time period, but that they were extending their bail period by filing a petition. SM Rafiqul Islam, public prosecutor of Speedy Trial Tribunal 4, said the prosecution failed to produce the witnesses before the court because of hartals and blockades sponsored by the opposition. The court yesterday deferred the date of the appearance of prosecution witnesses before the court until January 12, in the case of the killing of Jahangirnagar University student Zubair. Judge ABM Nizamul Haque passed the order. The court has recorded depositions from four prosecution witnesses in the case. The coming January 9 is the first death anniversary of Zubair Ahmed. The friends of Zubair will observe the anniversary of death. Under the banner of Amra Zubair er Bondhura, they arranged a press conference on JU Shaheed Minar premises and demanded a speedy trial. The friends and family of the victim alleged that the trial process was going at a snails pace. On September 8, 2013 the court framed charges against 13 accused. According to the case statement, honours final year student Zubair Ahmed of JU English Department succumbed to his injuries on January 9, 2013. On the previous afternoon of January 9, he was severely beaten on the campus by a rival faction of the Chhatra League. Jahangirnagar University Deputy Registrar Hamidur Rahman filed the case with Ashulia police station. On April 8, 2013, the then sub-inspector, and also investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet, accusing 13 students. The police official also named 37 witnesses comprised of four teachers and 33 university security guards.


Two teenagers held for making bomb

Kailash Sarkar
Rapid Action Battalion has held two teenagers and recovered 65 petrol bombs from the capital. In overnight drives from Sunday, Rab 2 personnel held the two and recovered four cocktails, three liters of petrol, 250 grams of sulfur, gunpowder and other bomb making materials from their possession. Claimed as explosive makers, the two- Md Murad, 18, and Sajeebul Islam Sajeeb, 16- were detained from capitals Adabar and Hajaribagh areas. Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Raihan Uddin Khan, also the operation officer of Rab-2, said being tipped-off they arrested Murad and Sajeeb from a building in Monsurabad near Adabar area around 7:30pm on Sunday. Following their statement, the bombs and other materials were recovered from an under-construction building in Sher-r-Banglanagar in Hajaribagh area around 12am yesterday, he said. The mess from where Murad and Sajeeb were arrested has been being used as a den by eight professional criminals for making bombs and plotting unlawful acts for months. Sensing the drive, other criminals fled from the house earlier. had no political affiliation; however, they had been actively involved in bomb making to supply for using in political programmes. A case has been filed with SherBanglanagar Police Station under the explosives act in this connection. Raids and interrogation are being carried on to arrest other criminals involved in such acts, he said. Meanwhile, Rab 3 personnel recovered five hand bombs from capitals Hatirjheel area in an abandoned state during the early hours yesterday. Amid widespread usages of bombs and explosives, the law enforcers have so far busted a dozen of bomb making dens at different points of the capital and elsewhere of the country and recovered several thousand hand bombs, petrol bombs, crude bombs and bomb making tools. Over 100 people were killed and several hundreds injured in bomb explosions last year.

Rab official says the detainees has no political affiliation; however, they have been actively involved in bomb making
He claimed both the detainees to be professional bomb makers. At a press briefing in Agargaon, Wing Commander ATM Habiabur Rahman, director of Legal and Media Wing of RAB, said during the primary interrogation, the detainees admitted that they had been supplying readymade explosives for subversive acts. The Rab official said the detainees

Fajar Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha 5:23am 6:42am 12:05am 3:51pm 5:27pm 6:47pm


RAB officials take two youths into custody after they were arrested with petrol bombs and other explosives from the capitals Agargaon yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Public toilets bearing stains of negeligence for years

People forced to defecate in public in the absence of adequate lavatories
Abu Hayat Mahmud
No one expects a public toilet to be the cleanest of all places, or the healthiest, but a visit to one of the citys seventy or so toilets conjures up images of the nastiest kind. These facilities, while too inadequate to service the vast number of people needing them, bear the stains of years of neglect by the two city corporations. Of them, 45 are under the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and 25 under the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). Because of the inadequacy of toilets and their appalling conditions, people are often compelled to defecate in public, while those who cannot, like women and children, are left without an option. Experts, however, stress the importance of toilets for the general public in reducing hazards associated with not having enough of them. Particularly in gathering places, such as bus and launch terminals, railway stations, filling stations, shopping malls, parks, etc. Lack of access to sanitary facilities can lead to various health hazards and environmental pollutions, said Abu Naser, Poribesh Bachao Andolon. People may contract water-borne diseases and, by extension, suffer economic losses. The responsibility to ensure adequate toilets should be borne not only by the city corporations, but also other public service organisations. Only 2-3% of the city population currently have access to public toilets, which is really a poor figure. While we stress the need for increased numbers of toilets, it is equally imperative to ensure their cleanliness. During a visit to some of the citys public toilets, it has been found that while they were charging fees for entrance, facilities for bathing or the disposal of faeces were far from standard. The one-storey buildings have commodes either dirty or broken, with obnoxious odours all around and inadequate washing facilities. The fees range between Tk5 and Tk10 depending on the purpose of the visitor. There are allegations that same of the toilets spaces are used for washing cars and the sale of water by the toilet leasers; some have even become meeting places for drug addicts and sex workers. Sirajul Islam, a commuter who had to wait for 15 minutes to enter the public toilet in Gabtoli bus terminal, said the number of latrines inside the facility was meagre. It is very malodourous inside, the floor is littered with liquid waste. In front of the GPO intersection public toilet near Muktangan, some customers were seen taking water by mugs from a nearby restaurant to wash their hands. According to sources, the appalling conditions of public toilets were not appropriately addressed in the last development budgets of the city corporations. DNCC allocated only Tk25 lakh for this purpose in its Tk1984.53-crore budget while DSCC allocated Tk30 lakh in its Tk1876.08-crore budget. DNCC Chief Estate Officer Md Fosiullah told the Dhaka Tribune: There are some 24-25 public toilets under this corporation, built about a decade ago. If it was not for a court ruling barring us from taking control of all of them, we would have taken measures to develop them. Most of the leasers took the toilets for one year, but they kept them under control even after the lease expiry; some have filed cases with court to retain their control. We will start our development work once the problem is over, he said. He also said the corporation had started constructing two new public toilets, near Gabtoli cattle market and bus terminal, to address the scarcity of toilets. DSCC Chief State Officer Khalid Ahmed said, The toilets are being maintained by different zonal offices of the corporation. So the officials of those zones will be responsible for their condition. However he did not elaborate on any possible cooperation measures to address the scarcity of toilets, or the lack of hygiene in the existing ones.


Dhaka South

DNCC total Tk 1,984.53 crores DSCC total Tk 1,876.08 crores

~ DNCC Chief Estate Officer Md Fosiullah


City Corporations Budget (FY-2013-14)

There are 24/25 public toilets under the north city corporation. The ec, and it were not facing courts injunction were being maintained and repaired by the city corporation.

Murder case convict flees the court

Our Correspondent, Sirajganj
A convicted murderer fled the court in Sirajganj yesterday afternoon around 4pm while he was waiting to give his statement before the judge. The convict Golam Hossain, 25, son of Ansar Ali, hailed from the towns rail colony. He was arrested on Sunday along with another suspect Uzzal, 22, son of Ershad Ali, of the same locality. Both of them were accused of killing a shopkeeper named Mohir. After the primary investigation, the convicts were taken to the court of Hakim Sadia Sultan. Later on, suddenly Golam Hossain fled the court without giving his statement. Police searched for him at the rail colony and the adjacent areas of the court, but could not find him. Badiuzzaman, sub-inspector of the police station, said the convict fled the court room when the police officer went to fetch papers related to the case. He added that Golam was locked in handcuffs in the dock of the court room. They could not understand how the man managed to flee the court within such a short time.

DGHS urged to drop minimum cut-off mark 120

Moniruzzaman Uzzal
Bangladesh Private Medical College Association (BPMCA) has urged the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to withdraw the cut-off mark (the lowest score with which a candidate can get into a public medical college) set as 120, for qualifying in this years medical and dental admission tests. They issued a letter to the Director General of DGHS on January 2, requesting to open up opportunities to all who appeared at the admission test for MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2013-14, regardless of whatever marks they obtained in the admission test. The public and private medical colleges in the country enroll students on the basis of the results of one common admission test. The dental colleges both public and private also have their common tests. These tests carry 100 marks for the written examination plus 100 marks for the weights of the HSC and SSC results. Out of the latter 100, HSC results carry 60 marks and SSC 40. A grade point average (GPA) of 5 in HSC equals 60 marks while a GPA 5 in SSC equals 40. A candidate must have an aggregate GPA of 8 from the two exams, which must not include any GPA of less than 3.5. colleges were able to admit students. A number of medical colleges failed to admit students even after receiving the first installment of the admission fees, said Selim. Md Ikram Bizu, finance secretary of BPMCA, informed the Dhaka Tribune that in most of the private medical and dental colleges the major source of funds is the students who make up the foreign quotas (35% of total seats). The usual annual cost of a college, including academic and development costs and bank loans, is Tk15- 25cr. The figure may vary depending on the quality of the institute. However, because of the political instability across the country, the admission of both local and foreign students has become uncertain. It has become really tough for the colleges to operate, he added. Prof Dr ABM Abdul Hannan, director (medical education) of DGHS told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: We have received a letter from BPMCA but no decision has yet been taken in this regard and there is no possibility that a new decision will come before the formation of a new government. According to the statistics of DGHS, at present there are 54 private medical colleges and 18 private dental colleges across the country. During the last two to three months, 11 more private medical colleges received primary and administrative approval. Seeking anonymity, several officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and DGHS said the number of medical and dental colleges was increasing day by day, most of these colleges are receiving approval out of political considerations and do not fulfill the minimum requirements, they added. A section of people stay in constant touch with the high officials of MOHFW and DGHS and offer them huge sums in bribes to withdraw the minimum cutoff mark, they alleged. BPMCA also requested an extension to January 31 of the time limit for holding the admission tests. The MOHFW has recently extended the date from December 30 to January 15. Earlier the date was changed from October 20 to October 30 and later to November 30.


Resident of Morichapara slum in Chittagongs Satkania express their agony as their homes still burn after miscreants set fire to the slum Sunday night DHAKA TRIBUNE


45 Dhaka North 25

Threat of water-borne diseases due to lack of toilets











A tea stall is being operated on the premises of a public toilet at Muktangan in the capital. The photo was taken yesterday


AL candidate, leader jailed in Brahmanbaria

Our Correspondent, Brahmanbaria
A candidate and a leader of the Awami League were sentenced to five years in jail for casting fake votes in Sarail upazila, Brahmanbaria on Sunday. Three assistant presiding officers were sentenced to three years in jail for carrying ballot papers to help vote rigging in the same polling centre during the 10th national elections. AL candidate Umme Fatema Sheuli Azad unofficially withdrew her candidacy from Brahmanbaria 2 (Sarail-Ashuganj) constituency just hours before the election. She was sentenced to five years in jail for casting a false vote at Uchaliya Primary School polling centre. AL leader Ashraf Uddin Montu also received five years imprisonment for casting a false vote at the same centre. The three assistant presiding officers were Jubeda Khatun, Nasima Begum and Kohinoor Begum. Special mobile court Magistrate Kamal Hossain Shikder caught the offenders red handed around 3pm and announced the verdict around 9pm, said the sources.

We have received a letter from BPMCA but no decision has yet been taken in this regard and there is no possibility that a new decision will come before the formation of a new government
Professor Shah Md Selim, secretary general of BPMCA said more than 60,000 students who appeared in the tests were GPA 5 achievers both in SSC and HSC. Therefore it was not fair to judge them through an hour long 100 mark admission test that requires only 20 marks to get into a medical or dental college. Such system does not exist in India, Nepal and other countries, he added. Because of the minimum cut-off mark 120 and the present political turmoil, only eight to 10 out of 50 medical

Four people murdered

Tribune Report
Three people were killed in Madaripur, Gazipur and Sirajganj in separate incidents in the last two days. A man was found dead at the bank of Arial Khan River in Madaripur. The deceased was Badal Bepari, 45, of east Rasti village under sadar upazila. In Gazipur, police recovered the body of woman from Baimail area of Gazipur Sadar Upazila yesterday morning. The deceased was Mohsina Begum, 20, an assistant operator at Tamijuddin Textile Mill in Konabari Industrial area. Sources said Mohsina was living in a house owned by Abdul Mannan Mia in the area. Her husband Sujan Mia of Lalmonirhat district has been working in a local rod making factory. Sujan said they got involved in an argument on Sunday around 7pm and he went out after dinner around 8pm. He arrived the next day around 6am and called Mohsina to open the door but she didnt reply. When he managed to enter into the house, he found the body of his wife hanging from ceiling of the room with a scarf. Sub-Inspector of Konabari police outpost Rabiul Islam said: A long term conflict was going on between Sujan and Mohsina over an extra-marital love affair of Sujan. They got married one year ago. In Sirajganj, two people were killed in separate incidents on Sunday.The deceased were Mahir Uddin, 55, a grocery shopkeeper of Railway Colony under Sirajganj municipal area and Shakil, 14, of village Panchgachi under Kazipur upazila. Police said a group of miscreants, following previous enmity over money, stabbed Mohir and left him injured near his shop about 9pm. He died on the way to hospital. Police arrested Uzzal, 25, and Golam Hossain, 22, of the same area in connection of the killing. Policfe said some miscreants slained Shakil on Sunday mid night and left his body in a field. Police recovered the body and sent it to Sirajganj General Hospital morgue. Abdul Waadut, uncle of the deceased, lodged a case with Kazipur police station, the OC added.

Accident kills one in city

Kailash Sarkar
A road accident killed a Kobi Nazrul College student at Roy Saheb Bazar under Bongshal police station in the capital yesterday. After the incident students of the college poured out on to the road and vandalised a number of buses protesting the death of the student. The deceased Mohammad Shaheen, 24, hailed from Munsiganj district, was an honours 2nd year student of the Political Science Department. Witnesses said the accident happened as a minibus hit Shaheen from behind while he was riding on a bicycle. The bus left the scene, leaving him critically injured. Local people send him to a nearby private clinic at first, but doctors transferred him to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where duty doctors declared him as dead immediately after his arrival at the hospital around 7:30pm.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Forest trees felled to build houses, factories in Gazipur

It is alleged that beat officer Salah Uddin has been making money out of the illegal bussiness
Our Correspondent, Gazipur
A huge number of Gazari trees were allegedly cut and trafficked to build illegal houses and factories in the forests of Gazipur. Locals alleged that a group of unscrupulous people had been cutting down and trading Gazari trees in Singardighi village of the Shimalpara forest beat area under Government Forest Department in Sripur. Officers of the beat including Beat Officer Salah Uddin had been making huge amounts money out of the illegal business, they added. Salah Uddin and Jaynal, a local wood trafficker, had been jointly helping criminals trade the trees and build households and factories inside the forest illegally, locals claimed. Joynal had cut down around 20-25 Gazari trees to create an easy path for the officials of Woody, a Bangladeshi company, to go to the factory, locals said, adding that the felled trees were kept at Joynals home. When informed, Salah Uddin went to Joynals house but did not seize the trees. When contacted, Salah Uddin said he was aware of the illegal activities of Joynal, but did not comment on why he left Joynals house without seizing the trees. He also denied the allegations against him.

A group of unscrupulous people have felled down a number of trees in Shimalpara forest beat area of Sripur under the nose of district administration


JaPa candidate demands fresh polls Gambling shoots up at 16 centres of Barisal 2 in Madaripur
Our Correspondent, Barisal
Golam Kibria Tipu, a defeated candidate of Jatiya Party (Ershad), in Barisal 2 constituency, demanded fresh polls at 16 out of 87 polling centres. He alleged that the Workers Party candidate Advocate Tipu Sultan, with the help of local musclemen, cast fake votes. Golam Kibria Tipu, who is the incumbent lawmaker in the constituency, submitted the application containing the demand to Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer Shohidul Alam at about 11:30pm on Sunday. In the application, he said supporters of the rival candidate Tipu Sultan started casting fake votes after 10am, but before that the election was free and fair. After 11am, activists of the rival candidate forcibly entered 15 centres under Babuganj upazila and one centre under Muladi upazila and ousted JaPas polling agents from there, continuing to stamp seals next to the hammer on ballot papers, with the help of local administration and Sharbahara cadres. Golam Kibria Tipu boycotted the polls at about 2:30pm on Sunday, alleging various acts of fraud to have been committed by his rivals, including the ousting of his agents from polling centres and fake vote casting. Shohidul Alam, the returning officer, said results from a total of 87 centres of Barisal-2 constituency had been announced, and Advocate Tipu Sultan (the hammer symbol) had been declared the winner. Tipu Sultan got 35,605 votes, while his nearest rival Golam Kibria Tipu (the plough symbol) got 23,407 votes. There are 216,678 voters in the constituency and the turnout was 27.89%. Concerning the proposed cancellation of election results, the returning officer said the demand could not be met as Golam Kibria Tipu had sent an application through his election agent more than an hour after the result had been declared. Then returning officer had nothing to do with that application, as per the rules, he added. Md Dulal Majumdar, district election officer, said, however, he could go to court with his demand before the gazette publication. Tipu said he would go to the High Court with the plea for a cancellation of the results and a re-run of the election, after collecting the necessary documents and evidence.

Police recover stolen ammo

Our Correspondent, Gaibandha
Some 34 rounds of ammunition, which were snatched by miscreants from a policeman on Sunday, were recovered in Kalitala area under Sundarganj upazila of the district by the police on Monday afternoon, Police said the miscreants had snatched away a total of 40 bullets from an on duty policeman, Mofazzal Miah, at the Kachdaha Primary School Polling Station during a clash between two rivals. Acting on a tip off, a team of police went to Bakultala area and recovered 34 of the stolen 40 bullets, the bullets were found abandoned. OC Kaisar Ali Khan confirmed the incident.

Our Correspondent, Madaripur

Gambling has been increasing alarmingly in Madaripur district, causing anti-social crime. According to sources, there are around 200 gambling dens in Sidikhan, Mathabhanga, Bottola, Chokdar Bridege area under Chardoulatkhan union of Kalkini upazila, Ghatak Char area under Sadar upazila and Charmugria Bandar area under municipality area. The dens were established under the pretext of different clubs and organisations. Sources say the dens are increasing in number day by day, and getting support from local influential people. Passers-by fear travelling through the areas, as the gamblers snatch everything.

A section of the local youth start gambling every evening. Seeking anonymity a person said, My son gets involved in gambling and snatches money from the passers-by. Human rights activist Fatema Begum said, Gambling is spoiling the lives of youths in the areas. Youths are getting involved in betting, and committing robbery to get money. As a result, the number of robberies has increased in the district. Human rights activist Salauddin said, No one lodges any complaints with police against the gamblers. Superintendent of Police-Khandakar Faridul Islam said, Gambling is an anti-social crime and we conduct drives daily to stop it. We request that locals help police by providing information he said.

Cracks devolop in Number of migratory birds declines Sylhet community clinic building, spark panic
Our Correspondent, Rangpur Tribune Report
Cracks have appeared in the building of a community clinic in Dakkhin Surma upazila triggering fear of some deadly accident any time causing loss of lives. As the cracks became visible, the authorities for a security concern shifted all the activities of the Baldi Community Clinic in Tetli union to a nearby house. For works of relocating the clinic to new premises, medical services to the local poor patients were temporarily hampered. Dr Nazrul Islam, in-charge of the healthcare centre, blamed faulty construction for the cracks that have developed in the building of the community clinic established in Tetli union in 1999. The cracks are widening day by day, much to the worry of the local people. Terming the role the clinic is playing in providing healthcare service to the poor people a praiseworthy one, locals have demanded reconstruction of the clinic building on an emergency basis. Number of migratory birds in the water bodies, marshy lands and major rivers in northern region has marked sharp falls in recent years due to climate change. Elderly people said a good number of Bali Duck, Samukal, Bright, Rose King, Bali Lenja, Chity, Sorail, Boikal, Nilshir, Piyang, Pankouri, Rangamuri, Pintail, Pantamukhi, Chokha-chokhi and Khonjona from the Himalayan and Siberian regions were being found flocking to the region. But less number of these birds is now being found in Noonkhawa, Madarganj, Narayanpur, Berubari, Jatrapur, Begumganj, Hatia, Kodalkati, Ostomirchar, Noyarhat, Mohanganj, Ketabkhan and Tajerhat in the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dudhkumar and Dharla rivers. It happens due to adverse climate change in the Himalayan, Siberian, Nepal, Xinxian and Mongolian regions. The number of arriving migratory birds has been decreasing in the region during the winter season indicating further declinations in their number in near future, Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid said. Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khandker Md Mesbahul Islam says migratory birds generally take temporary shelters in swamps, char areas, beels, haors and extended water bodies before they fly back from March.

The birds are no longer seen in uncountable numbers due to climate change, reduction of the water bodies and depletion of many species of sweet water fishes, said former Director of the DAE Kamal Shariful Alam. Associate Director- Agriculture of BRAC International (South Asia & Africa) Dr M A Mazid said, The adverse climate change threatens the bio- diversity. As a result, the number of arriving migratory birds has been reducing and their duration of stay shortening, he says. Araz Ullah, 80, Abdul Jalil, 75, Nazim Uddin, 75, and Khoka Miah, 72 said number of migratory birds from the Himalayan and Siberian regions had reduced alarmingly in recent years.

Balloon trader killed in gas cylinder blast

Tribune Report
A balloon trader met his tragic death in a gas cylinder blast while filling gas in balloons at Nazipur town under Potnitola upazila yesterday. Officer-in-Charge of Potnitola police station Abul Kalam Azad said the deceased had been identified as Aynul Haque, 30, son of Asad Ali of village Bir Kedar under Kahalu upazila in Bogra. Aynul had been engaged in balloon trading in the locality for a long and he used to come to Nazipur frequently with his own gas cylinder to sell balloons among the local balloon traders after filling those with gas. The tragic incident occurred when the gas cylinder suddenly exploded while Aynul was pouring gas in his blank balloons in presence of three local balloon traders, reports BSS. Aynul was critically injured as half portions of his both legs were blown off from his body as soon as the gas cylinder exploded and the balloons traders Mostaq Ahmed, Ashraful Haque and Abdul Malek were injured. Local people rushed there, rescued critically injured Aynul and the other three persons and admitted them to nearby Potnitola Upazila Health Complex. But, the physicians at the health complex referred Aynul to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital after providing first aids as his condition deteriorated further and he succumbed to his injuries on his way to the RMCH. The three injured balloon traders, who are brothers and son of Kayem Uddin of village Ramchandrapur under nearby Mohadebpur upazila in Naogaon, have been undergoing treatment at the health complex. A case was filed in this connection with Potnitola police station, the sources said.

Fire guts 50 shanties in Chittagong

Our Correspondent, Chittagong
A fire gutted at least 40 shanties in a slum in the Ambagan area of Jhowtala in the port city yesterday. Fire-fighters said the fire originated from a kitchen at the Chinnomul Basti in front of Met Office around 1:30am and soon engulfed the adjacent shanties of the slum. Jasim Uddin, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence in Chittagong, said 40 out of 600 shanties were burnt in the flames, adding that no causalities were reported. Three extinguishing units rushed to the spot and managed to douse the fire after two hours of frantic efforts. The estimated worth of the damaged properties could be Tk 25lakh, he added. Meanwhile, unidentified miscreants set six houses on fire at Moulovibari under Nalua union of Satkania upazila in Chittagong early yesterday. However, no casualty was reported from the incident. Khaled Hossen, officer-in-charge of Satkania police station said miscreants torched six houses at Moulovibari of Nalua around 12:30am when the residents were in sleep.

The fire originated from a kitchen at the Chinnomul Basti in front of Met Office around 1:30am and soon engulfed the adjacent shanties of the slum
On receiving information, fire fighters rushed to the spot and doused the fire with the help of locals after one-hour effort. The incident might have taken place centring previous enmity, he said, adding that they were investigating into the mater.

A devastating fire gutted at least 50 shanties in a slum of Chittagong yesterday



Long Form

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The people that arent

This is the first of a two-part article on democracy in South Asia


Arild Engelsen Ruud

hen we talk about democracy we tend to delude ourselves. We tend to equate popular modern forms of government with popular government; what we call democracy we tend to equate with the phrase government by the people. I propose instead a different reading of our modern-day form of government, and hence a framework for better understanding of contemporary politics in Bangladesh. Perhaps we have watched too many American movies and have heard the phrase, government of the people, by the people, for the people, too often, This is what democracy means, does it not? The phrase is from Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg address and derives its worldwide popularity from the strength of American popular culture. We have heard it so often we tend to think of it as a definition of democracy. This is what democracy means. Government of the people, by the people, for the people. It sounds great. Unfortunately it is a delusion. It is the second proposition which is the problematic one. The first proposition simply suggests that there be a government; and the third is equally simple albeit highly contested. Government for the people. Which government, however despotic, will not say it is for the people? We can debate the issue endlessly with reference to individual governments or even individual decisions. But let us leave that aside for now and focus on the principled core of the statement, the proposition that government be by the people. This is a crucial proposition, at the core of what democracy ideally is about. It is also wildely impractical.


One of the most striking features of South Asian democracy is the role of inheritance. And here we may well ignore the most obvious examples, such as prime ministers and leaders of the opposition. In fact, both in Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, most politicians are from political families
When talking of democracy, some of us may have in mind a flickering mental picture of ancient Athens, where it all supposedly began. In Athens all free men (mind you, no women or slaves) took part in open assemblies to debate societys matters. All of them could venture to talk and present matters for the others to deliberate upon, and all could, or so we imagine, speak their mind. The decision reached after deliberation and a vote would constitute the final word in the matter. This may or may not have been the case. We know for a fact that money played a certain role in Athenian politics, and so did education and oratorical skills. A tongue-tied poor man did not have an equal say, after all. But let us not get into such details; let us just consider the proposition government by the people held up against the light from Athens.

If all could be present and all could present their case and speak in the assembly with equal weight and freedom, then we could with some reason term this a working government by the people. Democracy literally means that, peoples government or more rightly government by the people. In Athens the people directly took part. But this flickering image of ancient Greece is very impractical even as an ideal. Estimates suggest that the population of Athens and its surrounding areas was 200,000 to 300,000 in antiquity, of whom about one-tenth were free adult males. Not all took part in the assemblies. We can assume that up towards 10,000 may have assembled on the greater occasions, such as when debating whether to engage in war, and much less during ordinary assemblies. The point is that there is a far cry from this rather humble assembly to the realities of our modern-day democracies. We generally count our populations in millions. For Bangladesh we count 80 to 90 million voters. They cannot assemble every month or so to debate matters of common interest. It would have been wildly impractical. So in this vital aspect of democracy, ie of government by the people, the people do not take part, do not raise issues for the rest of the adult population to debate, do not speak to all others and do not expect to be heard. Athenian democracy is not how modern-day government works. Instead we have, through history, devised a number of ways of dealing with our great numbers. We use newspapers and other media and increasingly television and internet instead of shouting. We have laws on free press to ensure that all can, theoretically, avail themselves of these opportunities and thus take part in democracy. And, most crucially, we have elections so that we may be represented by a more practical number of people. In other words, in modern-day democracies the people do not directly take part in government.

Modern-day democracies have representative government, which is different from government by the people in crucial ways. Representative government both in Bangladesh and in the rest of the democratic world is very different from ancient democracy and from the immediate idea of government by the people in one basic respect: We do not take part in government. Instead we elect our rulers.

Rule of politicians
There are two things to glean from this basic insight. First, modern-day democracy means at best government by a group of people chosen in a process called an election. And, second, this process called an election becomes crucial in order to understand modern-day polities as the single moment in which the ruled in some theoretic way take part in government. Let us return to the process of the election shortly and first ask ourselves who they might be, these people chosen in the election, the rulers. In general, from most countries, including Bangladesh, we know that our rulers, as a rule, are not our equals. They are richer, better educated, more erudite, better connected and have a more convincing personality. We also know that Bangladeshi village voters in general prefer the educated to the non-educated, the rich to the nonrich, and candidates experienced in the art of politics to candidates who are not. Interviews I conducted in villages in Munshiganj and Narsindhi confirmed this. To most village voters, democracy does not mean government by the people. To most people, democracy means development. They prefered candidates who could get things done, in particular things to do with the improvement of society rasta-ghat, school, jobs. An overwhelming majority of villagers were much disinclined to vote for an uneducated candidate with little political experience or money, such as themselves.

The village understanding of what democracy is about tallies fairly well with Joseph Schumpeters prefered form of government, as government of electoral entrepreneurs. This Austrian political scientist saw representative democracy as a way of retaining elite domination, as a better option than the socialist democracy he feared. To both Bangladeshi villagers and Schumpeter, albeit for differing reasons, democracy is not government by the people but government by a different creed of people, different from those who elect them. Democracy, in this sense, is the rule of politicians. This in itself is not new in history. What is new and specific to democracy is the regular election, the occasion in which the mandate to rule has to be renewed and the contract between the ruler and the ruled reconfirmed. The election is the link of the ruler to the ruled and seemingly the sine qua non and crowning glory of democracies. It is democracys main claim to fame and the reason for its world-wide popularity that it holds the ruler at ransom and demands of him that he takes his electors seriously. In democracies, particularly visible at times of election, the ruler treats the ruled with the respect you would accord your master. It may be here that we find democracys winning formula. It is not so much a form of government with a particular institutional setup, but it is a political value, what the French observer of American democracy, Alexis de Toqueville, called an entire way of life. The strongest sentiment behind democracy, he suggested, was resentment at condescension, the desire among most of us to be treated with respect. There are, however, two important lacunae in this image of democracy as the rule of politicians. First, even if we can talk about the political class, that class is not united. In Bangladesh, as in most countries, both internal nomination processes and the actural elections are highly competitive. A great many individual candidates will lose. And major parties will lose.

To most people, democracy means development. They prefer candidates who can get things done, in particular things to do with the improvement of society

The reason why we can still talk of a political class is that as a group it retains its position; even losers retain some source of influence, and many nourish a hope to bounce back on the next occasion. Second, the class is not rigidly delineated from other classes. There is a constant recruitment of new members to the class, which sets it off from aristrocracies of the past. Individuals from relatively humble backgrounds may rise to become someone of consequence, to become a member of this class, although most recruits to the political class come from the associated classes of business, government officials, or civil society. On the whole, however, recruitment of entirely fresh elements is not a widespread phenomenon in Bangladesh. One of the most striking features of South Asian democracy is the role of inheritance. And here we may well ignore the most obvious examples, such as prime ministers and leaders of the opposition. In fact, both in Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, most politicians are from political families. A great many MPs are sons of former MPs, ministers or party leaders. The election has cataclysmic consequences for a section of the political class because it endangers their privileges and threatens to transfer these privileges to another section of the political class. But as a class they are shielded and even cushioned by belonging to other classes, and many eventually bounce back. The class hold over commanding heights of society remains intact. The concluding part of this article will appear tomorrow Arild Engelsen Ruud is Professor of South Asia Studies, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental languages, University of Oslo, Norway.


Fighting erupted in the Ramadi area on December 30, when security forces cleared a year-old protest camp where Sunni Arabs had been demonstrating against what they see as the marginalisation and targeting of their minority community by the Shia-led government. The violence then spread to Fallujah, and the subsequent withdrawal of security forces from parts of both cities cleared the way for Al-Qaeda-linked militants to seize control. Maliki had long sought the closure of the protest camp outside Ramadi, dubbing it a headquarters for the leadership of Al-Qaeda. But its removal has caused a sharp decline in the security situation. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is the latest incarnation of the jihadist groups Iraq affiliate and has made a striking comeback this year, taking advantage of widespread Sunni discontent and the civil war in neighbouring Syria, where it has become a major player in the nearly three-yearold conflict. Violence in Iraq last year reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of sectarian killings. More than 250 people have been killed in the first five days of this month, exceeding the toll for the whole of January last year.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Iraq PM urges Fallujah to expel militants to avoid assault

AFP, Ramadi
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called Monday for Fallujah residents to expel terrorists holding the city to avoid an assault by security forces, as they battled gunmen in nearby Ramadi. Iraq is preparing a major attack to retake Fallujah, which has been outside government control for days, while parts of Anbar provincial capital Ramadi, farther west, are also held by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters. It is the first time militants have exercised such open control in major cities since the height of the bloody insurgency that followed the US-led invasion of 2003. Maliki called on the people of Fallujah and its tribes to expel the terrorists so their areas are not subjected to the danger of armed clashes, state television reported. Maliki also ordered security forces not to strike residential areas in Fallujah, it said. Meanwhile, continuous fighting between security forces and militants took place in north, northeast and south Ramadi from early Monday, a police major said, while a captain reported clashes east of Fallujah. A senior official told AFP on Sunday that Iraqi forces are preparing for a major attack in Fallujah. And ground forces commander Staff General Ali Ghaidan Majeed said the city should wait for what is coming a reference to the impending assault. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that Washington would provide assistance to Iraqi forces in their battle against the militants, but that it was their fight and Washington had no plans to send ground troops. Irans deputy chief of staff General Mohammad Hejazi also offered equipment and advice to Iraq. Fighting in Anbar has reportedly killed more than 200 people in just three days, making it the deadliest violence to hit the province in years. Both Ramadi and Fallujah were insurgent strongholds in the years after 2003, and Fallujah was the target of two major assaults in which US forces saw some of their heaviest fighting since the Vietnam War. American troops eventually wrested back control of Anbar from militants, with the support of Sunni Arab tribesmen of the Sahwa militia, who joined forces with the US from late 2006. American forces suffered almost one-third of their Iraq dead in Anbar, according to independent website But two years after US forces withdrew, the power of militants in Anbar is increasing.

Kerry ends Mideast trip without framework deal

AFP, Jerusalem
After four days of intense diplomacy, US Secretary of State John Kerry was heading home Monday, insisting progress has been made despite failing to agree a framework to guide Israeli-Palestinian talks. During his tour, Kerry spent hours locked in separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, as well as making a surprise day trip to key Arab allies, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Monday morning, the top US diplomat was briefing Tony Blair, the Middle East special envoy for the Quartet of regional peacemakers, at his Jerusalem hotel as he wrapped up his 10th trip to the region as secretary of state. Earlier, Kerry met with Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog. With the US remaining tight-lipped about the details, little news has filtered out about Kerrys proposals to bridge the huge gaps between the two sides as they seek to draw up the contours of two states living side-by-side. But talks appear to have focused on security in the Jordan Valley, on the border between the West Bank and Jordan, as well as the fate of Jerusalem, which both sides claim as their future capital. Jordan and Saudi Arabia will be key to any deal.

Civilians inspect the aftermath of a massive bomb attack in Baghdad


Bombs kill at least 19 people in Iraqi capital

Reuters, Baghdad
Car and roadside bombs exploded in commercial areas of Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 19 people, police and medical sources said. The deadliest attack took place in northern Baghdads mainly Shiite district of Shaab where two car bombs went off killing at least nine people and wounding 25. No group immediately claimed responsibility for Sundays attacks but Sunni Muslim insurgents have stepped up attacks on Iraqi security forces and supporters of the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and tribal fighters have taken control of Ramadi and Falluja, the main cities in the Sunni Muslim-dominated province of Anbar in a serious challenge to the governments authority. Iraqi troops and allied tribesmen are trying to retake the province. In a separate incident, gunmen set up a fake check point on the main road between Baghdad and Kirkuk, killing six drivers, late on Saturday near Udhaim, 90 km north of Baghdad, police said.

Saudi jails 5 for up to 30 years on Qaeda charges

AFP, Riyadh
A Saudi court has jailed five people for up to 30 years on charges including plotting to blow up an oil refinery on behalf of Al-Qaeda, state media reported Monday. The official SPA news agency gave no details of when the alleged plot against the refinery in the Red Sea port of Yanbu took place. But the trial is believed to be the latest in a series of prosecutions begun in July 2011 for alleged offences committed during the peak of Al-Qaeda violence in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006. The court found that some of the defendants had plotted to blow up the Yanbu oil refinery and participated in preparing car bombs to that end, SPA reported. Some have joined Al-Qaeda and are linked to its most dangerous leaderships, it added. Other defendants were convicted of lesser arms possession charges and received shorter jail terms, one of just five months. The court did not pass sentence in Sundays hearing against two other defendants who were not brought to the hearing, SPA reported, without elaborating if they were tried in absentia. Al-Qaedas now slain historic leader Osama bin Laden was Saudi-born and 15 of the 19 perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States were Saudis.

Erdogan open to retrial of coup plotters South Sudan peace

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said he would not oppose the retrial of hundreds of military officers convicted on coup plot charges, a case that underlined civilian dominance over a once all-powerful army. He said he had a positive meeting on Saturday with Metin Feyzioglu, the head of the Turkish bar association, who submitted proposals in favour of the jailed officers. Our position on a retrial is a favourable one. There is not a problem for us about retrials as long as the legal basis is established. In terms of regulations, we are ready to do what we can, Erdogan told reporters late on Sunday before leaving on an official visit to Asia. Turkeys appeals court in October upheld the convictions of top retired officers for leading a plot to overthrow Erdogans government a decade ago. But the military last week filed a criminal complaint over the court cases, saying evidence against serving and retired officers had been fabricated. The complaint came as Erdo-

talks to start Monday

AFP, Addis Ababa
Formal peace talks between South Sudans government and rebels are set to open Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, delegates and diplomats said. The talks, brokered by the East African regional bloc IGAD and aimed at ending three weeks of unrest in South Sudan, are set to start at 3:00pm (1200 GMT), Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda said. Delegates from both sides confirmed the schedule had been fixed after days of wrangling over protocol and other disagreements. I am optimistic. Our delegation is going in with an open mind, rebel delegate Mabior Garang said. However he added that the rebels were suspicious of the sincerity of the government. They keep shifting the goalposts and are adamant on not releasing detainees, but we should first get to the table and discuss a cessation of hostilities, he added. Government delegation spokesman Michael Makuei confirmed the planned start time but made no further comment. A key sticking point has been rebel and international demands that the South Sudanese government release 11 officials close to rebel leader Riek Machar so they can participate in the talks, aimed at putting in place a truce as well as ceasefire-monitoring mechanisms. The conflict in South Sudan erupted on December 15, pitting army units loyal to President Salva Kiir against a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders nominally headed by Riek Machar, a former vice president who was sacked last July.

gans government is weakened by a wide-ranging corruption investigation which has led to the resignation of three members of his cabinet and highlighted concern about the independence of the judiciary. In 2012, more than 300 active and retired military officers were sentenced to prison terms of up to 20 years in a

trial that ruled a 2003 army exercise, codenamed Sledgehammer, was an undercover coup plot against the AKP. Erdogans backers accuse Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric with strong influence in the police and judiciary and a former ally of the prime minister, of connivance in the corruption investigations. Gulen denies the allegation.

Life-threatening cold bites Midwest, heads east

Reuters, Milwaukee/Columbus
As the Midwestern United States shivered through the regions lowest temperatures in two decades and forecasters warned that life-threatening cold was heading eastward, officials in Chicago and other districts said schools would be closed on Monday. Icy conditions snarled travel across the Midwest and thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed, days after the Northeast was hammered by the first winter storm of the season. The coldest temperatures in almost two decades will spread into the northern and central US today behind an arctic cold front, the National Weather Service said on Sunday. Combined with gusty winds, these temperatures will result in life-threatening wind chill values as low as 60 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit/minus 51 degrees Celsius). In weather that cold, frostbite can set in on uncovered skin in a matter of minutes, experts warned. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton ordered all public schools in the state closed on Monday to protect children from dangerously cold weather. Chicago public schools followed suit - reversing an earlier decision - saying in a statement on its website that it would be dangerous for children to commute to school amid sub-zero temperatures and high winds. The NWS said the widespread chill was a result of a relatively infrequent alignment of weather conditions, allowing the Arctic polar vortex to be displaced unusually far south. The weather pattern across North America right now is set up to be very favourable for the southward transport of Arctic air, said Bob Oravec, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Taiwanese non-swimmer survives after 60 hours adrift,
A Taiwanese man has miraculously survived a 60-hour ordeal drifting in rough seas off the islands east coast even though he cannot swim, local media reported Monday. Tseng Lien-fa was catching baby eels on a beach in Hualien county early Friday when he was swept away by an unexpectedly large wave. I managed to hold on as the first wave hit me on the chest, but I was overwhelmed by the second and bigger wave, the 42-year-old told the United Daily News. Media reports said Tseng managed to grab a floating wooden coffin lid to which he clung until early Sunday. There was no explanation of why the lid was present in the sea. On the lid, I was drifting and drifting ... during that period I hoped I could be picked up by any ships passing by, he said. Strong waves eventually swept him onto a beach in the southeastern county of Taitung, 75 kilometres (46 miles) away from where his ordeal began, the reports said. Coastguards mobilised to search for Tseng found him lying on the beach around noon Sunday. Doctors said he had suffered slight dehydration and developed sores on his arms due to seawater immersion. Considering the fact that he had not taken in any food or water while drifting at sea for 60 hours and he remained conscious, all I could say about him was that this was a miracle, said Chen Tien-su, a doctor at Hualien Hospital. Tseng had been catching eels to make extra money since his fiancee is expecting a baby next month. He has now promised her the fishing expeditions will stop. got home. But he became wedged, sparking a delicate rescue effort. He was trying to surprise his missus and became stuck, Sergeant Tim Gleeson told the Herald Sun after police, firefighters, paramedics, and a local search and rescue squad used olive oil to manoeuvre the man out of his predicament. They greased him up until he was free, Sgt Gleeson added. It was just a game gone wrong. It would be fair to say the gentleman was very embarrassed, added Sergeant Michelle De Araugo.

Syria opposition re-elects Jarba as leader

AFP, Beirut
Syrias main opposition National Coalition re-elected Ahmad Jarba as its leader during a general assembly meeting in Istanbul on Sunday, the coalition said in a statement. Jarba won 65 votes, beating his only rival Riad Hijab the best-known defector from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad by 13 votes. Jarba, who is seen as close to key rebel backer Saudi Arabia, was first elected to head the Coalition in July, and will now lead the group for another six months. His re-election comes at a sensitive time, less than three weeks away from slated peace talks in Switzerland that would bring rebels and regime representatives to the table. The Coalition is set to discuss on Monday whether to take part in the peace talks, though a key bloc the Syrian National Council has already announced it will boycott the so-called Geneva 2 process. That has raised fears the Coalition may end up rejecting the talks altogether. According to council member and veteran dissident Samir Nashar, Ahmad Jarba does not want to go to Geneva. The Coalition initially announced the names of three members chosen to share the vice presidency, but later said ther would be a fresh vote Monday for both that post and to elect a secretary general.

16 Indonesians die after drinking bootleg alcohol

Naked Aussie gets stuck in washing machine

Diego Ramos, who is homeless and lives under nearby building scaffolding, pauses as he clears a sidewalk of snow in lower Manhattan following a snow storm that left up to eight inches of snow AFP

A naked Australian man was left red-faced after getting stuck in a washing machine during a game of hide and seek, after police had to grease him up with olive oil to get him out. The man clambered into the top-loader machine on Saturday afternoon in his unit north of Melbourne, aiming to surprise his girlfriend when she

Sixteen Indonesians have died and nine are fighting for their lives after drinking bootleg alcohol to celebrate New Years Eve on the main island of Java, police said Monday. Police have arrested a couple who are suspected of producing and distributing the alcohol to roadside stalls in the town of Mojokerto in eastern Java, where the victims bought it. It is thought the locally produced alcohol, believed to be made from palm tree sap or rice, contained poisonous methanol, Awi Setiyono, police spokesman for East Java province, told AFP. Those that drank the alcohol to celebrate New Year began falling ill in the following days and the first death was recorded on Friday, said Setiyono. A total of 16 people have now died including two on Monday and nine people are in critical condition in local hospitals, he said. We suspect that the drink contains methanol but we can only confirm that after we have the results of laboratory tests, he said. The couple that were arrested are in police custody, he added. There have been many previous cases where alcohol containing methanol which is sometimes added to drinks to make them stronger has proved fatal in Indonesia. In 2009, 25 people including four foreigners died after drinking methanol-laced palm wine on the resort island of Bali. The small proportion of those who consume alcohol in Muslim-majority Indonesia sometimes opt for homemade drinks, because legally produced alcohol is relatively expensive as it is heavily taxed and much is imported.


AFP, Panaji
Indian rescuers pulled two more bodies from the rubble of a collapsed apartment block, taking the death toll from the countrys latest building accident to 17, an official said Monday. The building, which was under construction, crumbled mid-afternoon on Saturday while more than 40 poorly paid daily-wage labourers were on site in the southern tourism state of Goa. Rescue workers discovered the two bodies overnight Sunday as efforts continue around the clock to try to find survivors still trapped in the rubble of the building that a witness said collapsed like a pack of cards. Although about 16 people are still unaccounted for, the official said the chances of finding survivors were slim given the length of time since the accident. Only a miracle can save them, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Another 16 people were recovering in hospital, the official said. Rescue workers were using bulldozers, shovels and bare hands to try to shift concrete slabs and other debris from the site in who are mostly Muslim but distinct from the Uighurs of Xinjiang. According to government statistics, the semi-desert regions sixm Hui make up about 36% of its population, with Xiji one of the major Hui population centres. Ningxia, on the upper reaches of the Yellow river, was the scene of a Muslim rebellion in the 19th century but has no recent history of ethnic tensions or other strife between the Hui and Chinas Han majority. In contrast, restive Xinjiang, several hundred kilometres to the west, has seen several deadly clashes between Uighurs and security forces in recent months which authorities have blamed on separatist terrorists. Xiji is primarily an agricultural county whose main products include wheat, peas and potatoes. Ningxia is renowned for its wines, some of which have beaten French vintages in blind tastings, and the industry has already attracted the likes of French luxury group LVMH, owner of Dom Perignon champagne among other brands.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

India judge calls pre-marital sex immoral, against religion
AFP, New Delhi
An Indian judge has declared premarital sex immoral and against every religion and added that no educated woman should have sex believing that her partner will marry her. Sessions court judge Virender Bhat made the comments while finding a 29-year-old Indian man not guilty of raping a woman just because he had promised beforehand to marry her. When a grown up, educated and office-going woman subjects herself to sexual intercourse she does so at her own peril, Bhat was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. Premarital sex remains taboo in many parts of India even as the country undergoes rapid social change after economic reforms in the 1990s opened up the country to the rest of the world. The comments come after a Delhi judge last year termed live-in relationships immoral and an infamous product of Western culture. Bhat was ruling in the case of a woman who filed a complaint of rape against the man, an Indian employee of a multinational company, in May 2011.

14 killed in China mosque stampede

AFP, Beijing
Fourteen people, some of them children, were killed and 10 injured in a stampede that broke out as food was being distributed at a mosque in Chinas Ningxia region, state media reported Monday. The stampede occurred at lunchtime on Sunday while traditional food items were being handed out to people attending an event to commemorate a late religious leader, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the local government. The injured were hospitalised, with four in critical condition, the brief report said. One photo posted online by Chinese news outlets showed six bodies laid out side-by-side inside a building, with several children in colourful outfits among the dead. Those poor children, wrote one poster. Ningxia is one of Chinas poorer regions, and other Internet users lamented its poverty. Some Internet users displayed images of red candles online to commemorate those who died. Others wondered what might have triggered such a large stampede. It must be thoroughly investigated, said one. Pictures posted online showed a large crowd, most of them men and many wearing white Islamic caps, standing outside the green mosque, apparently after the incident.

Death toll from India building collapse climbs to 17

the seaside village of Canacona, south of the state capital Panaji. The rescue work is tedious. You have to ensure that the nearby buildings dont get damaged and also the debris doesnt collapse further while digging in, the official said. Sniffer dogs have also been brought in to try to find those trapped. Goan police are searching for the builder and the contractor who have gone missing since the tragedy. Officers have registered cases against them, and others involved in the buildings construction, for allegedly endangering human life, causing death and negligence. The accident is the latest in a string of deadly building collapses in India, some of which have highlighted shoddy construction standards. A huge demand for housing in India and pervasive corruption often result in cost-cutting and a lack of safety inspections. In September a rundown residential block in the financial hub Mumbai collapsed, killing 60 people. Another building collapse in the city in April killed 74.

Clothes and shoes were scattered on the ground, along with what appeared to be a collapsed section of scaffolding
Clothes and shoes were scattered on the ground, along with what appeared to be a collapsed section of scaffolding. An inquiry was under way into the cause of the stampede at the mosque in Xiji, around 280km south of the regional capital Yinchuan. The investigation is still underway. We have nothing to reveal, a man at the Xiji county police surnamed Wang . Ningxia, in northern China, is home to the Chinese-speaking Hui minority,

Blast kills 10 in Pakistan tribal elders home

AFP, Peshawar
At least 10 people were killed and another nine wounded Monday in an explosion at the home of a tribal leader in a restive area of northwest Pakistan, officials said. The blast came in a remote village in Khyber tribal district, close to the Afghan border in Tirah Valley, which last year saw fierce fighting between the Pakistani military and Taliban militants. The initial information suggests that the blast triggered by explosives killed at least 10 people including three children and wounded nine others, a senior local administration official, Nasir Khan, told AFP. He said the explosion occurred in the reception area of the home of a local tribal elder. We are trying to ascertain the exact nature of the blast, Khan said. Another local administration official confirmed the incident and casualties. The armed forces targeted Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam militia fighters who were beginning to threaten the nearby city of Peshawar. Khyber straddles the Nato supply line into Afghanistan, used by US-led troops to evacuate military equipment as they withdraw by the end of this year.

Suicide bomber kills teenager in Pakistan

AFP, Peshawar
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a government school in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing a teenage boy, officials said. The incident happened in the Shia-dominated Ibrahimzai area of Hangu district and has not yet been claimed by any group. A suicide bomber blew himself up near the main gate of a government boys school, killing a young student aged 14, district police chief Iftikhar Ahmad told AFP. He said the boy sustained serious injuries and was rushed to hospital where he died. A local intelligence official also confirmed the incident. The Taliban have blown up hundreds of schools, especially for girls, as part of a campaign against secular education in northwest Pakistan in recent years. But it is not clear whether the latest incident is connected to the militant group or sectarian unrest. Hangu borders Orakzai tribal region, one of Pakistans seven lawless tribal districts on the Afghan border considered to be the hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants. The district also has a history of sectarian violence and was declared a sensitive region during the month of Moharram, considered especially holy by Shias. Pakistan is rife with sectarian clashes, with Sunni militant groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban often attacking gatherings by Shias, who constitute some 20% of the countrys population.

A police cordon around the site of a bomb blast outside a mosque in the city of Rawalpindi


S Korea proposes family reunions with N Korea

AFP, Seoul
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called Monday for the resumption of reunions for families separated since the Korean War, saying the programme could help ease grave strains with North Korea. Park, in a New Year press conference, also promised increased humanitarian aid to the impoverished North to improve relations at a time of growing uncertainty. She said last months shock purge and execution of Jang Song-Thaek, the once-powerful uncle and political regent to young leader Kim Jong-Un, had made it harder to predict the course of cross-border relations. The security situation on the peninsula was more grave than ever, she said, calling for an end to threats of war and for the two countries to open up an era of reunification. Since Jangs execution, no one in the world can predict what might happen to North Korea and what action it might take, Park said. We are making preparations for all kinds of possibilities. Park said the reunion programme would provide new momentum to improving ties following years of high tensions. The Souths Red Cross later faxed a message to its Northern counterpart, calling for a meeting at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Friday to discuss a next round of reunions, Seouls unification ministry said. Panmunjom, which straddles the closely guarded border, has traditionally been used as a venue for inter-Korean talks since an armistice was signed to end the three-year Korean War in 1953. There are normally no opportunities for meetings or any other kind of contact between ordinary Korean families separated by the border. After a painstaking selection process, 96 South Koreans had been set last year to travel to the Norths Mount Kumgang resort for a face-to-face gathering with family members they had not seen for 60 years. It would have been the first such mass reunion for three years. But with just days to go, Pyongyang postponed the event, blaming hostility from South Korea. I hope that elderly members of separated families will be allowed to reunite around Lunar New Year (on January 31) to help heal the wounds in their hearts, Park said. She announced that the South would increase humanitarian aid and expand exchanges with the North this year, but did not give a figure. Seoul last year offered 13.5bn won ($12.7m) in aid for the North Korean operations of international organisations like UNICEF.

Dozens of stranded whales die in New Zealand

A pod of 39 pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a remote New Zealand beach. The whales, which were beached in Golden Bay on the countrys South Island, died on Monday after being spotted near the shore a day earlier, conservation officials said. Rangers had been monitoring the whales but were powerless to stop them from becoming beached, the Department of Conservation said. Twelve of the whales died naturally and the rest were euthanised after rangers determined they were too far up the beach to be refloated. We carefully weighed up the likelihood of being able to refloat them and get them safely back out to sea, Golden Bay conservation services manager John Mason said. But our staff, who have extensive experience in dealing with mass whale strandings in Golden Bay, determined that due to various factors it was unlikely they could be rescued, he said. Mass pilot whale strandings are common in New Zealand, but scientists are not clear on why the marine mammals swim ashore in large groups. The 39 whales were first spotted in shallow waters off Abel Tasman National Park on Sunday afternoon, but the Department of Conservation said high winds prevented boats from being sent out to herd them out of danger, according to a report from Radio New Zealand.

Pakistan treason court demands Musharraf medical report

AFP, Islamabad
A special court set up to try Pakistans former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason on Monday demanded a medical report after he missed another hearing following a heart complaint. The 70-year-old was rushed to a military hospital on Thursday after falling ill while being taken to hear treason charges against him at the tribunal in Islamabad. Musharraf spent a fifth day in the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, which neighbours Islamabad, missing the hearing as his lawyers had said he would on Sunday. The three-judge bench adjourned the case to Tuesday and asked for a report on his condition to be submitted to explain his continued absence from proceedings. Musharrafs camp says the treason allegations, which relate to his imposition of emergency rule in November 2007, are politically motivated and his lawyers have challenged the authority of the tribunal. Doctors treating Musharraf have sent medical reports to experts in Britain to determine whether he should be flown abroad for treatment. The ex-dictators sudden health scare was met with scepticism from some observers and feverish media speculation that his departure from Pakistan on medical grounds possibly to either Saudi Arabia or the UAE could be imminent.

Mass pilot whale strandings are common in New Zealand


Cambodian land activists arrested

AFP, Phnom Penh
Five Cambodian land activists were arrested Monday in the latest move by the authorities to suppress street protests against the government of strongman premier Hun Sen, a rights group said. The five women were detained as they prepared to stage a rally in front of the French Embassy to call for the release of other imprisoned human rights defenders, the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (LICADHO) said. The activists are from the Boeung Kak community, where thousands of families have been displaced to make way for a private development at a lakeside area in the capital Phnom Penh. Hun Sen faces an increasing challenge to his nearly three-decade rule from striking garment workers as well as opposition supporters demanding that he step down and call a new election because of alleged vote fraud. Police have indefinitely banned further rallies after several demonstrators were shot dead on Friday. Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy and his deputy Kem Sokha have been summoned to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on January 14 for questioning in connection with the recent unrest. LICADHO said those arrested on Monday included prominent activists Tep Vanny and Yorm Bopha previously named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Yorm Bopha was freed from jail in November. She is awaiting a retrial for allegedly taking part in beating two men. Officials could not be reached for comment. LICADHO accused authorities of refusing to disclose the place of detention of at least 23 other people who were arrested and charged during the crackdowns in Phnom Penh last week. The opposition party has boycotted parliament since the July election, alleging that Hun Sen was returned to power because of widespread vote-rigging.

Abe admits no immediate summit with China, S Korea

AFP, Tokyo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday defended his visit to a controversial war shrine, but admitted there was no immediate prospect of summits with his South Korean and Chinese counterparts. In his annual new year press conference, the conservative leader said he wished to directly explain to Chinas President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye why he visited Yasukuni Shrine, which honours Japanese war dead including war criminals. Late last month, Abe sparked harsh criticism from the neighbouring countries for his visit to the shrine, a place seen as a symbol of Japans war-time aggression in Asia, particularly by China and the two Koreas. I believe having dialogue with China and South Korea is extremely important for the peace and stability of the region, Abe said. There is no prospect for summit talks at this point. But because we have issues and problems, I believe it becomes more important that the leaders open our hearts and talk without preconditions, he said.




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Letters to

the Editor

There was no need to inflate the vote count

2014 begins with blockade, fresh hopes

January 1 Fresh hopes of course. And I hope especially for a better life. Mohsin Mia

Militancy may arise for political disagreement

December 31 Abdul Hye I am confident that a third party will come to fill the gap for a certain time. Mahibur Rahman I fully agree with your statement.

he AL is on record as stating that the 10th parliamentary elections were never anything more than a constitutional exercise to allow for more time to negotiate the terms of an election acceptable to all. As such, voter turnout should not have been a major consideration and there was no need for the ruling party to attempt to artificially boost its numbers. Indeed, the violence that was unleashed by the opposition would have provided sufficient grounds to explain a low turnout. However, the Election Commission has acknowledged serious allegations of voting irregularities during Sundays election, and this is backed up by eye-witness media accounts as well as apparent inconsistencies between the pattern of voting witnessed by reporters and the final count. It seems clear that the official vote count of 40% plus is considerably higher than the reality, and there can be little doubt that this was due to rigging on the part of the ruling party. This is regrettable. One of the arguments that the ruling party had made to differentiate the January 5 elections from those held by BNP on February 15, 1996, was that the BNP had erred not in holding a onesided election, but in rigging the one-sided election to show a higher voter turnout. AL is now guilty of the same thing, and it has compounded its error by publicly proclaiming that the elections were beyond question and that there were no voting irregularities. Such statements insult the intelligence of the Bangladeshi people and damage the credibility of the ruling party. BNP had argued that elections under an AL administration would be rigged. Not only have the AL proved their point, but in brazenly trying to deny it and justify the spurious official vote count, they confirm the publics deepest fears about their intentions and sincerity. AL has unnecessarily made their opponents case by claiming an inflated vote count. Let us hope they do not compound their error by trying to use the inflated vote count as evidence of support for their positions or as a mandate to rule for an extended period of time.

For a better year ahead

January 1 Aleef Khan Please elaborate on the parameters which indicate that our economy is in a good state. Political stability and confinement of rampant corruption is likely to make the GDP growth over 7%, whereas its going below 6% this year. Second, the war crimes tribunal process has continued to proceed with broad public support but continuous spiraling down support from legal experts and the international community, who have minimal knowledge on issues related to war crimes. Md Walid Akram Hussain The ball is in the PMs court. We all know whom to blame for this situation.

Afghanistan possible fifth team in Asia Cup

December 31 ahmad It will be great for the audience, something new because every year we watch the same matchups. This time we will see a new team playing, so it will be more interesting. Thanks to the ACC for giving Afghanistan an opportunity to participate in this tournament. Amanullah vreen The ACC is now aware that the Afghanistan cricket team is not like the one from ten years before, though India is against its inclusion. Salar Khroti It will be really interesting seeing Afghanistan in the Asia Cup. This will be something new for the world of cricket and the spectators. Mohammad Shafi Why is India opposed to Afghanistans participation? Any reason? Faheem Mohammad Omid Asian Cup 2014 will be a good stage for Afghanistan to prepare for the 2015 world cup. Also, it will be good for South Asian countries to see another country from their region playing cricket. Waiting to see the Afghans play in the 2014 Asia Cup in Bangladesh. mossawer yusufzai We all know well that Afghanistan has deserved and shown the cricket world that it is a team that can beat or upset any full member of the ICC. Mephisto Afghanistans inclusion will make the cup more interesting. Besides, they are an emerging cricketing nation and deserve our support. Look forward to seeing the Afghan team in Bangladesh. Jafar We all want Afghanistan in the Asia Cup! Abdulqader lakanwall This is good news for the Afghan people. We want to have matches with this international cricket team.

In brazenly trying to deny it and justify the spurious official vote count, they confirm the publics deepest fears about their intentions and sincerity

PM warns people of 1/11 masterminds

January 2 Abdullah Al Arif The January 5 election is nothing but a farce. This election will bring long-term misfortune to our nation. Parveen Ahmed This woman is mocking us all. Md Walid Akram Hussain Who are you trying to fool? What a joke! Zaidul Islam Of course I agree with the PM. Abu Eyasin Arafat No, I dont agree with her. Zihad Naime I dont think so either. Syed Ziad Rahman 1/11 brought her to power. Now she is afraid her power can be taken away by 5/1. Shafikul Islam Liton January 5 is a black day in Bangladesh. Shohidull Islam Jony This is acceptable under whose Constitution? Muhammad Shoaibul Haque Choudhury The January 5 election is just a game, and a really excellent joke. Joy Bangla.

Note what she said

December 31 WaliulHaqueKhondker An angry outburst is an angry outburst. All words in an angry outburst must be received with due compassion. She had very good reasons to be angry and the outburst was most natural and human. There isnt any reason to create unnecessary hype over it. We have done well as an independent Bangladesh for the last 42 years, and we have improved our statistics in certain human aspects, more so than our larger neighbour next door. And this is not me telling you so; it is Amayrta Sen who said so! nds Only the remark made by the former PM that was correct relates to the false election that is going to be held on January 5. Other remarks regarding selling of the country, BDR killings, and the deaths of the Hefazat followers are beneath comment. These allegations are deliberately propagated by the opposition as nothing but a hate campaign against the ruling party and deserve outright rejection.

Asia Cup go ahead welcome

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Be Heard

he Asian Cricket Council has indicated that Bangladesh will remain the host of the Asia Cup cricket competition due to start on February 25. Amid fears that the tournament might be rescheduled or played elsewhere, it is welcome news that the ACC has confirmed that the event is going to go ahead in Bangladesh. The sports body rightly had to review security plans for the tournament in the light of the political situation. Although the West Indies Under-19s team withdrew from their tour in December after an explosion near their hotel, the recent hosting of New Zealand for Test and T20 matches in October and November shows that this tournament can still be successfully held. The ACCs decision will no doubt prove popular with spectators. For the countrys millions of cricket fans, there is the added bonus that this years event, which is due to end on March 8, will also feature Afghanistan as a 5th team in the tournament. The Asia Cup is also of course a precursor this year to the ICC T20 World Cup due to start in Bangladesh one week later on March 16. This makes it even more important to fans that this years Asia Cup can go ahead safely. At its best, sport is a unifying force that brings communities and countries together and it will be good for the tournament to go ahead in this spirit.


Sport is a unifying force that brings communities and countries together and it will be good for the tournament to go ahead in this spirit


ACROSS 1 Echo sounder (5) 4 Camera part (4) 7 Incentive (6) 8 Discharge in disgrace (5) 10 Festivity (4) 11 Resting (5) 12 Large deer (3) 14 Old sailor (4) 17 Prophet (4) 19 Sheltered side (3) 20 Employers (5) 23 Clock face (4) 25 Bodies of water (5) 26 Laid bare (6) 27 Insects (4) 28 Chemical compound (5) DOWN 1 Views (6) 2 Prayer ending (4) 3 Acting part (4) 4 Elevates (5) 5 First woman (3) 6 Stinging plant (6) 9 Fish (4) 13 Great number (6) 15 As well (4) 16 Puzzling question (6) 18 Governs (5) 21 Fencing sword (4) 22 Slender (4)



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




Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Elitism and the common man

Garga Chatterjee


It all happened as expected, what next?

Mohammad Ali Sattar

or now, the Awami League and its allies have crossed the January 5 mark. Thank God election day is over! The government is extremely cheerful about the outcome. But the mainstream populace finds nothing to be pleased about. It has been the worst one ever, they say. Its been an extensive tug of war. The ruling alliance has managed to keep it in their domain. The opposition clout, so thinks the government, has been deactivated by a range of plans and deeds. I suggested in this column a few months back that the 10th parliamentary elections would be held sans BNP and the AL would come out victorious to form the next government. The main opposition BNP and its allies just might not be smart enough to prevent any such act that the ruling AL planned. I further commented that Ershads Jatiya Party, a few Islamic parties, left-leaning groups, and other smaller ones would participate. (Unsurprisingly, the newly formed Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) is also in the fray, and that too from the capitals elite constituency Gulshan!) The picture is no different than what I thought it would be. While the ruling party members were busy planning things for voting in the remaining 147 constituencies, a few smaller groups formed an alliance to what they call fight for peoples rights. Dr Badruddoza Chowdhury, Kader Siddiqui, and ASM Abdur Rab

have come together under a streamer of National Democratic Front. How far this will help marshal the people remains to be seen. We are yet to know what else they have to offer. At this point in time, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal comes to mind. In such a short span, the party formed a government in Delhi. Kejriwal has set an example of how aam aadmi (common man) can make a difference, how the people can reject corruption and violence, and how people matter when it comes to deciding the fates of politicians and parties. No other political party in the world has managed to form a government within a year of its birth.

of their birth. The time and necessity were different. The changed thoughts and realities were on separate planes. Actors in the political stage represented varied classes and interests. Both the parties were born out of historical inevitability. However, their principal aim was to serve the people and ensure their democratic rights. Both failed, like it or not! Over the years, the peoples roles or needs in politics have been changed by the emergence of various schools of political thought, their needs, and their assessments. If you take a closer look, people and religion are now being used with so much expediency, that one has lost

The government is extremely cheerful about the outcome. But the mainstream populace finds nothing to be pleased about

In this land, our aam aadmi still lives in a figment of their imagination doled out by influential people. They are yet to gain the authority and wisdom to decide on their choices in the polls. Regrettably, the common man doesnt know the power he possesses. Until dawn arrives, he will never manage to exercise his will and fulfill his wishes. The histories of the AL and the BNP have their differences in the contexts

track of the conventional or methodical classification, and the role of both. Our forefathers said democracy was for the people and of the people. It is the people that will decide the fate of the state and its affairs. This decision will be taken through a plebiscite. People will be allowed to express their opinions through the casting of ballots. Things will work according to the decisions of the majority. This was how the peoples mandate had been taken into consid-

eration over time. Centuries on, we are exercising the practice in various manners, and trying to modernise the system, so that we can encompass some type of flawless opinion casting. The lust for power and privilege, the politics of vengeance, and fear of defeat have virtually destroyed the democratic prospects of this land. We have been happily forgetting peoples interests and their wishes. Their demands are so miniscule and limited that they escape our powered spectacles. It appears that they are villains of the society into which they were born and raised. They have been brought to their knees and routinely mistreated like no other beings. Their conked craniums, bleeding mouths, gouged-out eyes, crushed ribs, charred surfaces of their bodies, what-have-you every imaginable repugnant act and scene will fall short to match our current human holocaust. The ruling party stands for the peoples rights, so it forces its way through the elections in the name of the constitution. The opposition speaks of the peoples right to vote, and declares non-cooperation and imposes blockades. Unknown assailants douse the innocent to vent their perverted angst. Forces of the government shoot agitating figures to protect peoples property and bring peace. Everything is for the people, never mind if they are vanishing. Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist, political analyst, and DT columnist.

he city-state of Delhi, pompously called the National Capital Region, now has a new government. This is the government of the Aam Aaadmi Party (ordinary peoples party). Led by Arvind Kejriwal, an ex-bureaucrat who shot to fame through a Delhi-Mumbai and Hindi-belt centric anti-corruption movement, the government seeks to abolish the distance between the powerful incumbents and commoners. This is a day I am reminded of things that happened a little more than a year ago that have but a tangential relationship with the Aam Aadmi Party government. Having been associated with Harvard University since 2006, I have attended many events there. On November 13, 2012, I witnessed an event, which led to some thoughts that I would like to share. At a panel-discussion titled The Supreme Court of India and the Implementation of Human Rights, I got to hear Altamas Kabir, then chief justice of the supreme court of the Indian Union, Swatanter Kumar, a judge of the Supreme Court of the Indian Union and Ashwani Kumar, then the freshly minted law minister of the Union of India government at Delhi. I arrived at the newly built Wasserstein building. There were absolutely no entry bars precisely what a public event in a university should be like. If such an event were held in Kolkata where I grew up, the amount of frisking that would have gone on can be imagined apart from the self-appointed managerial positions that young and not-so-young functionaries of the local Youth Congress would have taken up. There were no flower bouquets, no thhali girls. The event happened in a classroom with a seating capacity of 86. Not all seats were filled. Having studied in an elite college in Kolkata, I could imagine that an event like this would easily fill the huge centenary hall of the University of Calcutta.

and a host of Indian government honchos like Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Kaushik Basu, Kapil Sibbal, Nirupama Rao and others. In my years at the University of Calcutta, I had no such opportunity. Harvard Universitys own funds are about $30.7 billion at present. This figure is close to the total GDP of the states of Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh combined. In 2009, the University Grants Commission of India gave about 12 crores to Burdwan University (awarded a NAAC 5-star status) as its tentative 11th plan period allocation.

Humans from the subcontinent seem to acquire more privileges when they are in some elite centre in the USA
Such is the love for elite spaces in America in the mind of the government at Delhi that in 2008, it donated about Rs22 crore to Harvard University. We surely have got our grant priorities right. But I digress. I heard the minister speak. As I sat hearing the minister, I realised how much like music this accent of the minister must sound to global Indians, how much his seamless comfort in suits soothes their nerves. How proud they were about their own speaking good English among the firing crowd. The event had no surprises except for a brief moment when Altamas Kabir felt thirsty and reached for water that was on the table in front of him. Someone from the front-row, probably some government functionary, literally leapt to assistance without being asked, trying to get the bottle and the glass to the judge before he could get to them himself. The agile response looked oddly out of place but then most of the spectators were also from the subcontinent. They understood. Humans from the subcontinent seem to acquire more rights and privileges and access to the eminent, when they are in some elite centre in the USA. They can ask question without intermediaries. They can walk up without being stopped. However transiently, it feels like the eminent are also fellow citizens. Back in the subcontinent, this is not possible unless one belongs to a certain bubble. This is precisely why the pronouncements of the government on human rights have to be compared with the reports on the status of human rights in India, coming from the United Nations agencies and other human rights organisations. A good human rights record speaks for itself, and does not need public relations acrobatics from the government. Which is why, even an elite Oxbridge style accent is not enough to sell a positive human rights record to Kashmiri and Manipuri youth. It is easier sold at Harvard, or so the government may think. Garga Chatterjee is a freelance contributor.

An elite Oxbridge style accent is not enough to sell a positive human rights record to Kashmiri youth
But during my six years (1999-2005) in the University of Calcutta (West Bengals largest university), I had no opportunity to attend an event where the union law minister and more than one sitting judge of the supreme court spoke. More importantly, there was an opportunity for questions after they were done speaking. While I am individually fortunate, I come from that unfortunate stock whose ability to interact with their own minister and high functionaries of the government comes easier when they are out of their native land. In my years at Harvard, I have been in the same room with Pranab Mukherjee (of fixer hits a sixer fame),

Democracy on prom night

Ikhtisad Ahmed

olitical commentary about Bangladesh is full of pitfalls at present. Most, if not all, of what is said is ridden with problems. There are two in particular that are worse than the others, abhorrent offences, perhaps owing to their unbridled overuse and constant misuse. The first is the term democracy. There is either an epidemic of deliberately misunderstanding this word, leading to a chronic labelling of everything political under the sun with it, or there is a conspiracy amongst those within touching distance of a microphone, a pen or a keyboard to repeat it until the rest of the country is programmed to chant it. One does not go looking for chickens and eggs in the depths of the Mariana Trench. Similarly, there can never be anything said or done for the sake of democracy where it does not exist. Discovering this does not require a Tolkienesque quest, accepting it does not require a Biblical self-actualisation. This malapropism is made worse by it being proleptic. A country that is a

mere 42 years old, barely an infant in terms of the age of nations, cannot be expected to behave like a fully formed adult, let alone a wise elder. It needs to learn how to stand, walk, make fire and talk before it learns about democracy.

There can never be anything said or done for the sake of democracy where it does not exist
Bangladesh should be given credit for learning how to make fire before standing and walking properly, a remarkable achievement that is presently serving it very well. That, however, should by no means raise expectations unduly. Rather than beating the democracy drum hoarse, akin to sending a virgin to a leper colony during the Roman Republic, the country should be applauded for surviving and thriv-

ing, according to economic indicators at least, despite there never being any democracy. There is, then, no need for it. The second abominable transgression, in a strange twist of fate, lends this solution to the first one a helping hand. The phrase game of thrones has been used more times than the sum-total of its usage on internet forums dedicated to George RR Martins fantasy epic. Part of the repetition may be attributed to the catchy title of the glossy show HBO adapted his novels for, but that does not justify it. In paradoxically using this phrase and democracy simultaneously, the citizenry has been overlooking the obvious truth. The phrase has its origins in the 15th century Wars of the Roses fought for the throne of England, an inspiration for Martins fiction. The death of Henry V in 1422 left the English throne unstable since his chosen heir, Henry VI, was an infant. This coincided with a weakening of Englands political standing in Europe due to the Hundred Years War. Supporters of the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet, the Houses of Lancaster and

York, took this opportunity to vie for the throne in a series of dynastic wars. The first open fighting took place in 1455, and escalated in 1459. The Lancastrians dominated the early exchanges, forcing the Yorkists to flee the country. The latter was a relatively newer house with a royal claim, and was able to launch a successful counter-offensive to be established as the ruling dynasty in 1461. The House of Yorks luck turned when the kingmaker, the Earl of Warwick, switched allegiances and restored the Lancastrian line with Henry VIs second reign in 1470. The Earls death in 1471 came at a time of political and military upheavals that saw the end of the direct Lancastrian line of succession. The subsequent peace came in the shape of the Yorkist line being reaffirmed and strengthened, only to be disrupted by the death of the king. His brothers usurped rise to power as Richard III was the beginning of the end. The final victory of the Wars went to a distant relative of the Lancastrians. Henry Tudor defeated Richard III, the last of the Plantagenets famously besmirched for good by William

Shakespeare, in 1485. He ascended to the throne as Henry VII, and married a House of York princess to put a final nail in that lines coffin.

In paradoxically using this phrase and democracy simultaneously, the citizenry has been overlooking the obvious truth

Through it all, the meek plebeians paid increased taxes, were drafted into the military and did as they were told by whoever their master was. The Tudors, of course, were the last golden dynasty. Their fall eventually led to the creation of the weakened constitutional monarchy and paved the way for democratic governance. Even the rise of the Lancastrians to absolute power had an expiration date. Ikhtisad Ahmed is a writer and an erstwhile lawyer. He can be contacted on Twitter via @ Ikhtisad.



Shadma Malik

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shakib and Apus new look in Red In conversation with band

Oblique was formed by five friends who grew up together sharing the same dream of producing good music. The band first appeared on stage in 2008 and impressed the audience with their stylish performance. Saif is the vocalist, MK, Arnob and Shehran are guitarists, Badhon in bass and Robee is the drummer of the band. Dhaka Tribune caught up with the promising guitarist Arnob: What kind of genre does the band explore? The band explores the contemporary rock genre which refers to pop rock, modern rock, punk rock and progressive rock. We came up with a totally new style of rock, and all the members of our band is in sync with this progressive style. What specific theme does the band cover? We talk about friendship and relationships in general. Besides the bond between humans, we also portray the concept of urbanisation in our theme. Discuss the songwriting process in detail: Besides being a guitarist, I am also the lyricist of the band. After I come up with lyrics, I usually share the outline with the band members and we then modify it according to the composition, so that the music and lyrics complement each other and we think it is very important to take inputs from all the members. Tell us about your live performances. We started our musical journey in 2008 and took part in over 90 concerts in Dhaka and around the country. The band is mainly focused in performing live and we all agree that the best of experiences occur when we perform live with an audience present. What are the immediate career goals for the coming years? At present, the band members are focusing on studio recording. We are also putting emphasis in promoting our

Afrose Jahan Chaity

The sizzling on-screen couple Shakib Khan and Apu Biswas are set to hit the cinemas once again in their upcoming film Red The Color of Love at the occasion of Valentines Day this year. The film is directed by Safi Uddin Safi. After a break, the dynamic duo paired up for the silver-screen and the audience are in for a treat as the previous record states that their on-screen chemistry is well received by the fans. The special aspect of their pairing this time is that, both the actors have worked out for a makeover in this film and they will be appearing looking slimmer and better looking than before. In a recent interview with the Dhaka

Tribune, Dhallywood megastar Shakib Khan said: There is quite a hype created by Bollywood actors with their polished look and six-pack abs and all. Therefore, our audience are also demanding the same from the actors of this country. I respect their wishes and therefore, I am concentrating on making my body more slim and maintained. The 135-minutes film is a love story that is bound to hold the interest of the audience with its striking star-cast and unique script. The story of the film emphasises on the favourite colour of the lead female actor and the male actor changes his name to Red for making an impression on the female actor. The film will hit more than seventy

cinemas at the same time and the director of the film Safi Uddin Safi told the Dhaka Tribune: Right now, I am working on the production phase of the film. I want to release the movie on St Valentines Day since it is a love story, and also I want the political instability out of the way. I have tried to present a love story in an interesting manner and hoping that it will be well received and appreciated. The new face of showbiz Mim Chowdhury, first-runner up of reality show Mangolee Nacho Bangladesh Nacho, will be seen in an important role in Red The Color of Love. The films music is directed by Ahmed Humayun and features Tausif, Pulok, and Munni as playback singers.

The members of Oblique self titled album. We are also thinking of coming up with another album. Oblique released their self titled album in April 2013.

Facebook airs today

Entertainment Desk
Single-episode play Facebook, an episode of the Bluffmaster series in which, each installment tells a new story, will be aired today at 8:25pm on Channel 9. The play represents how Facebook can be a platform to cheat innocent people. The story is about a young girl Rimi who is a university student and belongs to a respected family. She meets Abir through Facebook and he impresses her by presenting himself as an established businessman and a respectable member of the society. He also says that his family members stay in America, which is an attractive aspect to the people of our society. Soon Rimi falls for the man and they get involved in a relationship. Gradually, the couple prepares for marriage. Rimi informs her family and friends about Abir and he ensures her about his familys consent. One day Abir calls Rimi to meet him at a shopping mall. They buy a lot of things in the mall and before they came close to the payment

Todays episode of Raat Biratey features one of the most celebrated TV actors, Bipasha Hayat. The show airs tonight at 11:25pm on Banglavision. The versatile actor will talk about her future plans and many more. To make the programme more lively, Bipasha will take a walk down memory lane making nostalgic anecdotes. The show is anchored by poet Asad Chowdhury and produced by Kawnine Shourav

7:00pm Star Movies
National Treasure 2

Cop Out

9:30pm Star Jalsha

11:00om Sony TV

Bade Achhe Lagte Hain

10:00am Z Cafe
Just For Laughs

counter, Abir asks for Rimis mobile phone for a while and slowly leaves the mall while Rimi was busy otherwise. The innocent girl finally understands that she was a victim of fabri-

cation. The drama highlights the new kind of frauds that is integrated in our society due to the proliferation of the social media, that is a dominant part of the mass media now a day.

8:30pm Star World

Last Man Standing

Celebrated singer Akhi Alamgir will perform on RTV today at 10:40am in a phono-live programme titled Tarokalap. The talented artist has been performing on stage shows in both home and abroad for over a decade. Today is the birthday of the singer


Shilpacharya and his Outer World of Art Time: 12pm-8pm Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, House 42 Road 16 (New) / 27 (old) Dhanmondi City of Rhythm Second phase of Kazi Salahuddin Ahmed Time: 12 8pm Shilpangan, House 7 Road 13 (New) Dhanmondi Zainul Quamrul Exhibition Time: 10am 8pm Nalini Kanta Bhattasali Gallery, National Museum, Shahbagh

Bullock and Streep win at Palm Springs Film Festival

Deepika-Ranveer spotted in NY
Entertainment Desk
Deepika Padukone rang in the New Year with parents, Prakash and Ujjala Padukone and sister Anisha, in Maldives. But after spending some quality time with her family in the beach country, the actress flew out to the Big Apple for some me time. And good friend Ranveer Singh was there to keep her company. Though Deepika has repeatedly stated that she is still single, the Ram-Leela co-stars were linked romantically before the films release. And Ranveer was one of the early birds at the party she hosted to raise a toast to a year that took her to the top of the box office list. But the next day Deepika flew out without the actor by her side. After a over two weeks however, the duo stepped into a New York eatery together. Onlookers reveal that while Ranveer was comfortable with the attention they received from fans, Deepika was not too keen to interact with them. He happily obliged requests for photographs but she left in a huff after a group of star-gazers surrounded them.


Pejgi By Shattik Natya Sampraday, Time: 6:30pm 9:00pm National Theatre Hall Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Segunbagicha

Meryl Streep

Sandra Bullock crowd of over 2,000 by reading online comments about herself. Julia (Roberts), apparently you and I are in a dispute over George Clooney. We talked about this. Its shared custody and we both are fine with it, she joked. McConaughey, honored for his lead role in Dallas Buyers Club, also proudly noted his movie Mud and small part in The Wolf of Wall Street. I had a sensational year of acting, he said, wearing a bowtie and shimmering gold tuxedo jacket. Streep, who stars alongside Roberts in August: Osage County and is also up for Globe and SAG honors, was given the festivals icon award.

Entertainment Desk
Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper were among the stars who cracked jokes and praised one another Saturday night at the opening of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, a desert warm-up of sorts for more closelywatched industry events in coming months. Honors were announced well in advance and the ceremony wasnt televised, lessening pressure on winners and allowing for self-effacing, sometimes lengthy acceptance speeches. The festival is celebrating its 25th year


Pacific Rim in 3D Escape Plan The Conjuring The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Star Cineplex Bashundhara City Gravity Blockbuster Cinemas Jamuna Future Park Ka-244, Kuril, Progoti Shoroni Baridhara

but its only relatively recently become a star-studded stop on the awards circuit. U2s Bono spoke passionately about artist activism and the fight against AIDS. Bruce Dern reveled in industry praise for his Nebraska after a halfcentury career, saying: A bunch of you seem to have gotten together and to have said, Bruce Dern can play. Presenters included Gary Oldman, Ewan McGregor, Idris Elba and Jane Fonda. Bullock, also nominated for Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for her performance as an astronaut in Gravity, delighted the

Did you know?

Manchester Uniteds current home run of four defeats in six games in all competitions never happened under Sir Alex Ferguson


Tuesday, January 7, 2014



) * +
14 Swansea dump United out of FA Cup 15 Jayawardene under no extra pressure after Test flop

BCL in a week, NCL pushed back

Minhaz Uddin Khan
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday confirmed the dates for the second edition of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL), the franchise based first-class cricket tournament. This meant that the National Cricket League (NCL), countrys lone first-class competition until last year, which was scheduled to start on January 8 will now have to wait for the BCL to end. However, the planned schedule suggests that the NCL, participated by the seven divisional sides and Dhaka Metropolis, might not even take place. The BCB tournament committee after a meeting announced yesterday evening that the four-team tournament will commence on January 12. The first two rounds of the competition will take place between January 12-21 before it goes for a long break to make way for the home series against Sri Lanka later this month, the Asia Cup in February and the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 scheduled in March. As a very select group of cricketers appear in this premier event therefore the franchisee representatives have requested the BCB to ensure the participation of the maximum number of national cricketers. That is why the third round and the final will be held at a convenient time when all the top cricketers are available, stated BCB acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury through a media release from the BCB yesterday. However, no one from the BCB office commented on the issue regarding the NCL. BCB launched the BCL last season dividing top 80 players from the NCL into four sides with expectation that it would encourage the local cricketers perform well in the NCL, which carries little incentives otherwise. However, the BCB is keen to begin BCL ahead of NCL as there are no other cricketing activities ahead of the forthcoming home Test series against Sri Lanka this month followed by the two mega events. The BCB took initiative to hold the BCL in December, but lack of response from the four franchises made BCB arrange the three-match Twenty20 series between the national and the Bangladesh A team followed by the four-team Amber Victory Day Twenty20 tournament. However, the current political turmoil is likely to deny the flexibility outside Dhaka.

A woman places flowers at the Eusebio monument at Luz stadium in Lisbon yesterday. Portuguese great Eusebio, top scorer at the 1966 World Cup, died on Sunday from a heart attack at the age of 71 with the small Iberian nation mourning him as an eternal symbol of their football pride REUTERS

World mourns Black Panther Eusebio

AFP, Lisbon
Eusebio, revered as footballs Black Panther, died on Sunday, aged 71, sending fans into mourning for a man who grew up in grinding African poverty before becoming one of the worlds greatest players. Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, who died of cardio-pulmonary arrest early on Sunday morning, reigned over Portuguese football in the 1960s, bringing glory to both his club Benfica and his country. His death led to an outpouring of tributes with the Portuguese government decreeing three days of mourning, with flags in Lisbon to fly at half mast ahead of his funeral on Monday where tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets to pay their respects. Football has lost a legend, FIFA president Sepp Blatter wrote on Twitter. But Eusebios place among the greats will never be taken away. English great Bobby Charlton, who helped Manchester United to victory over Benfica in the 1968 European Cup final, said it had been a privilege to have known Eusebio. He was one of the finest players I ever had the privilege to play against, Charlton said at Old Tafford on Sunday, where around 75,000 fans staged a minutes applause ahead of an English FC Cup game. Not only that, he was a true sportsman. His goals record is incredible and stands the test of time. Eusebio scored 733 goals in 745 matches and rivalled all-time greats including Pele, Alfredo Di Stefano and Charlton. I was the best player in the world, top scorer in the world and Europe. I did everything, except win a World Cup, Eusebio said in a interview in 2011, recalling his tears after Portugals loss in the 1966 World Cup semi-final to England. From humble origins in the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique, Eusebio was to emerge as one of the worlds most feared strikers, combining panther-like pace with a ferocious shooting ability.

All eyes on Sri Lanka series

The fate of Asia Cup and World T20 depend on the home series
Mazhar Uddin
Bangladesh got the green signal for hosting the Asia Cup after the decision was taken at the all important meeting of the ACC on January 4 in Colombo, where the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan was with the CEO of the BCB Nizamuddin Chowdhury, who informed yesterday that India and other associate nations gave full support to Bangladesh for hosting the Asia Cup at the meeting. The BCB boss, along with the CEO, went to the Sri Lanka Cricket board and sat at a meeting with the Lankan officials and assured them about security arrangements for the upcoming series in Bangladesh and also reminded the Sri Lankan board about the support and good relations between these two countries. We had tremendous support from India and other associate nations of the Asian Cricket Council, along with the other countries and even from Sri Lanka and Pakistan. However, the Pakistan board never said that they are coming as they left the decision to their government. relations among us and tried to convince them as much as we can. They also reacted positively but the decision will be made at the next ICC meeting on January 9 in Dubai, said Nizamuddin. However, the current situation indicates that Bangladeshs fate for hosting the Asia Cup and later the T20 World Championship - which is scheduled to start from March - will largely depend on the success of Sri Lankas tour of Bangladesh later this month, by which the BCB could confidently defend their situation to the ICC. Meanwhile, India Times yesterday published the news that Pakistan may back out from the Asia Cup and according to the sources, the Asia Cup will take place with four teams - India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - which the ACC earlier approved to include in the meeting on January 4.

UCB Club Cup Hockey begins today

Shishir Hoque
The UCB Club Cup Hockey rolls on to the field today with the game between Sonali Bank and Shadharan Bima at 1pm at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium. The second game on the opening day will see giants Abahani Limited take on Dhaka Wanderers Club at 3pm. A total of seven clubs, split into two groups, are taking part in the tournament which is scheduled to end on January 15. Usha Krira Chakra, Azad Sporting Club and Ajax are placed in Group A while Abahani, Sonali Bank SRC, Dhaka Wonderers Club and Sadharon Bima KC features in Group B. Azad Sporting Club earlier boycotted the tournament along with for other rebel hockey clubs Mohammedan SCL, Mariners Youngs, Wari Club and Bangladesh Sporting Club who declared not to play under the current executive committee and remained out of the tournament. However, Azad Sporting changed their mind at the last moment and confirmed their participation.

We had tremendous support from India and other associate nations of the Asian Cricket Council, along with the other countries and even from Sri Lanka and Pakistan
After reaching Colombo to attend the meeting, the BCB president and I straight away went to the Sri Lankan board and had a meeting with their board officials and we assured them about the current situation and also reminded them about the wonderful

Brazil prepared too late for World Cup, blasts Blatter

AFP, Paris
Brazils continuing struggles to keep their World Cup organisation on schedule are a consequence of starting preparations too late, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Sunday. Brazil has come to realise that they started too late. They are the country who are the most delayed (in terms of World Cup organisation) since I have been at FIFA, Blatter told Swiss newspaper 24 Hours. Yet they are the only country who have had such a long time -- seven years -- to prepare. The World Cup will be staged from June 12 to July 13, but the build-up has been plagued by construction delays, spiralling costs as well as civil discontent at the money being spent on the tournament as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics. Last years Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for the World Cup, was plagued by angry demonstrations, but Blatter believes this years showpiece should pass off relatively peacefully. I am an optimist, not a pessimist. Football will be protected. I believe that Brazilians will not attack football directly. This is the sports home, its a religion, he said. But we know there will be new demonstrations, protests. Last year, they were born of social networks. There was no goal, but at the World Cup they will be more directed, more structured.

Boycott slams England clowns

AFP, London
One-time England great Geoffrey Boycott accused the current team of batting like one-day clowns after their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. A series where England were bowled out for under 200 on six occasions ended in humiliation when they were dismissed for just 166 inside 32 overs on the third day of the concluding Test in Sydney on Sunday as they went down to a 281-run defeat. It was only the third times in Ashes history that England had been thrashed 5-0 by arch-rivals Australia but Boycott said there was a key difference between his reverse and their last whitewash in 2006/07. They were totally humiliated by an Australian team that is good, but not great, Boycott wrote in his column in Mondays UK Daily Telegraph. The last whitewash was achieved by a team containing Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist. They had three once-in-a-lifetime players and there was no shame in losing 5-0 to them. But we should be ashamed and embarrassed to lose so abjectly to this lot. Boycott, renowned for his defensive skills and one of Englands greatest openers, said the current teams extensive backroom staff meant players had stopped thinking for themselves. Over recent years England have employed more backroom staff believing it makes them more professional. In fact, they have over-complicated professionalism. We have coaches for everything. Psychologists, team analysts and an 82-page diet book that made us a laughing stock. It is time they got into the real world and stopped wasting money on frivolous luxuries that do not make any difference when (Australia fast bowler) Mitchell Johnson is whistling it around your earhole. The players have stopped thinking for themselves. In my day when we had a problem, either with batting or bowling, we used to talk it over with our colleagues in the team and worked things out together, added the 73-year-old Yorkshireman, who in 108 Tests from 19641982 scored 8,114 runs at 47.72 with 22 hundreds. It built team morale. It engaged everyone in the dressing room. Now we have robots waiting for a coach and an analyst with a laptop to tell them what they are doing wrong. Well, I can tell our batsmen what they did wrong. They forgot the principles of Test match batting. They batted like one-day clowns. The batting was as bad as anything I have seen from an England side. We have stopped playing Test match innings. Somehow we have to get our batsmen to remember how to bat for long periods of time.

Watson lauds Lehmann for bringing back fun for Australia

Reuters, Sydney
All-rounder Shane Watson has credited coach Darren Lehmann for bringing the fun factor back to the Australian dressing room and allowing the team to enjoy playing cricket once more in the 5-0 Ashes series thrashing of England. Watsons credentials as a cricketer have never been in doubt but his ability to gel with his Australia team mates has come under regular scrutiny in the past. Persistent reports of friction with captain Michael Clarke pre-empted a full-blown crisis on Australias tour of India last year, a situation not helped when the tourists were thrashed 4-0. Its a game that if you take too seriously - and I do at times - that you can really get too internal and the game gets too much for you, Watson told reporters on Monday. I knew thats what was happening within the Australian team and like I say, Darren Lehmann comes in and within one day turns that all around. Watson, along with three other players, was sensationally stood down for the third test in India after failing to provide then-coach Mickey Arthur with suggestions on how to improve the teams performance. The scandal, dubbed homeworkgate, saw Watson fly home -ostensibly to be with his pregnant wife - and threaten to quit playing for Australia. Arthur was replaced by Lehmann

Australias cricket team captain Michael Clarke claps for the spectators along with team coach Darren Lehmann (L) while celebrating 5 0 victory in the Ashes Test series against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday AFP just days before the last Ashes series in England and although the burly former batsmans no-nonsense approach failed to prevent a series defeat then, Australia emerged as a dominant force back on home soil. Upon completion of a comprehensive series victory in Sydney on Sunday, Watson said he felt vindicated for questioning the team culture under Arthur. There were times I knew I had to stand strong with my beliefs for the betterment of what I thought was to get the best out of the amazing talent we had in the group, Watson said. I would certainly never take back how I stood and voiced my opinions at certain times. I know when theres down times if you stand strong enough and persevere for long enough that it might turn around - and it has in a way I never ever expected. Lehmann had also made the team environment special, according to Watson.

Totti jeered, De Rossi off in dismal night for Roma stalwarts
Francesco Totti was left with on egg on his face after his attempts to wind up Juventus backfired and Daniele De Rossi was sent off for another loss of temper on a dismal night for AS Romas stalwarts on Sunday. Roma captain Totti, in a remarkable 22nd season at his only club, had to endure a deafening chorus of jeers from the Juventus stadium when he was substituted in the 72nd minute after an ineffectual display in his sides 3-0 defeat. Totti set up an early chance for Adem Ljajic with an excellent through ball, but after that made little headway against the Juventus defence as his team enjoyed plenty of possession but failed to create openings. He over-hit several free kicks and corners and seemed to be the only person who was surprised when he was replaced. That delighted the home crowd who reacted in predictable fashion after Tottis efforts to stir up Juventus. In an interview last week, he had largely praised his opponents but then added that they tend to get a little bit of help, a remark described by Juventus coach Antonio Conte as pub-talk provocation. Totti, however, was unrepentant, telling Sky Sports Italia in a pre-match interview: Everyone is free to say what they want. I expressed my thoughts. Its their problem if they got upset.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Martino determined not to rush Messi return

AFP, Madrid
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has insisted that he will not rush Lionel Messi back into action for the Catalans top of the table clash against Atletico Madrid next weekend. Messi hasnt played since tearing his hamstring against Real Betis in early November and watched on from the stands as Barca moved back to the top of La Liga with a 4-0 win over Elche on Sunday. However, the Argentine has returned to training and could feature at some point either at home to Getafe in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday or three days later against Atletico at the Vicente Calderon. Martino, though, maintained he will only recall the four-time World Player of the Year once he is fully ready both physically and mentally to return. Whether he plays in one of the games this week depends on how he feels, said Martino. He has to be ready not just physically but also mentally. It always takes players a while to mentally recover from an injury and I think that is the most important thing right now because physically he looks good. What we will never do is play him when he is not ready. We would not risk his fitness, nor the team. He has made a great effort to get into the shape he is in now and we just need to have a little more patience. We know the importance of the game and how well Atletico are playing. They are a team that is ready to win big things, but that doesnt change our perspective in only selecting the players that are in the right condition to play the game.

He has to be ready not just physically but also mentally. It always takes players a while to mentally recover from an injury
Despite Messis absence, Martino also rested Neymar from the start against Elche and was rewarded for his faith in Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez as they combined for all four of Barcas goals, with Sanchez claiming his first hat-trick for the club. Given the competition for places and with Messi and Victor Valdes returning from serious injuries, Martino is happy that Barcelona are beginning to find their groove at such a crucial period of the season. We are in good form but there is still plenty of room for improvement. We are in a part of the year where the games are decisive. One bad game can mean you are out of the Champions League or the Copa del Rey. I believe that we will get to the end of the season in better shape than last year. Last season the team suffered a lot of unfortunate injuries towards the end of the season. We obviously cannot assure that wont happen, but I have the feeling and the expectation that our best form is still to come.

AC Milan's Kaka shows a jersey celebrating his 100th goal for Milan during their Italian Serie A match against Atalanta at the San Siro stadium in Milan yesterday REUTERS

Kaka fires Milan, Juve flatten Roma

Playmaker Kaka scored twice and 18-year-old Bryan Cristante notched his first professional goal as AC Milan beat Atalanta 3-0 on Monday, only their fifth Serie A win of the season. Kaka, in his second stint with Milan, put them in front 10 minutes before the break with his 100th goal for the club in all competitions. The Brazilian added another goal from close range in the 65th minute and Cristante completed the scoring two minutes later with a low shot which went in off the foot of the post as Milan climbed to 10th with 22 points from 18 games. Bottom club Catania beat Bologna 2-0 in a relegation scrap while Genoa overcame Sassuolo by the same score and Hellas Verona won 3-1 at Udinese helped by two goals from Luca Toni. Serie A leaders Juventus ended second-placed AS Romas unbeaten record this season with an emphatic 3-0 win on Sunday to go eight points clear at the top as the visitors had two men sent off in less than 60 seconds. Arturo Vidal gave Juventus the lead in the 17th minute and Leonardo Bonucci turned in Andrea Pirlos free kick three minutes after halftime to put the hosts in control. Roma imploded late in the game after Daniele De Rossi was sent off for a two-footed lunged tackle on Giorgio Chiellini in the 75th minute. Pirlo took the resulting free kick and floated over another majestic ball which found Bonucci, whose header was on its way in until Leandro Castan punched the ball away and was sent off. Mirko Vucinic fired in the penalty to complete the scoring and Juves 10th successive league win. Juventus, threatening to run away with their third successive title with more than half the season to play, have 49 points from 18 games, including 16 wins, with Roma on 41. Napoli and Fiorentina are a further five points back in third place. Roma, with 12 wins and five draws before kickoff, made a bright start and quickly threatened when Francesco Totti set Adem Ljajic free, forcing Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to dive at his feet and send the ball out for a corner. But Juve struck the first blow when Carlos Tevez collected the ball from a throw-in, ran into the penalty area and flicked a pass to Vidal who escaped the attention of the Roma defence and slipped his shot past Morgan De Sanctis. Paul Pogba just failed to find Tevez with the final pass after a counterattack, a Tevez cross flashed across the face of the goal and a Fernando Llorente shot was just too high as the hosts poured forward. Juventus went further ahead after the break with a simple goal when Pirlo curled over a pinpoint free kick and Bonucci, completely unmarked at the far post, slid the ball home. Roma enjoyed a long spell of pressure but failed to offer much of a threat with Totti over-hitting too many free kicks and corners before being substituted to a resounding chorus of jeers from the Juventus stadium. Their tempers frayed as they sank to their first defeat since Frenchman Rudi Garcia took over as coach at the start of the season and Ljajic was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a rough challenge on Pogba in the 83rd minute.

World Cup fears for injured Rossi

AFP, Milan
Sampdoria Bologna Sassuolo
The World Cup hopes of Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi could be compromised after the Fiorentina player suffered an injury to his troublesome right knee in a 1-0 win over Livorno on Sunday. Rossi only returned to action earlier this season following a lengthy injury lay-off but has hit 14 goals to become Serie As top scorer and is firmly in the World Cup plans of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. However, the Viola striker could be a doubt for Junes showpiece event in Brazil after limping off in the 71st minute at the Artemio Franchi stadium following a foul by Liandro Rinaudo. Rossi is set to undergo tests on Monday, according to the club which released a brief statement: Fiorentina announce that following a challenge from Livorno player Leandro Rinaudo, Giuseppe Rossi suffered a sprain to the knee that had already been operated on.

Mertens 53, 62


20 20 20 30 31 13 00 10 30

Catania Genoa

Bergessio 23, Lodi 66 P Gilardino 28 P, Bertolacci 45

AC Milan Parma

Kaka 35, 65, Cristante 67

Atalanta Torino

Marchionni 34, Lucarelli 44, Amauri 70

Immobile 21

Udinese Chievo

Pereyra 43

Toni 8, 39, Iturbe 70


Cagliari Livorno Roma

Fiorentina Juventus

Rodriguez 66 Vidal 17, Bonucci 48, Vucinic 77 P

Salvage job for United in League Cup semis

AFP, London
Manchester United will turn to the League Cup to salvage their desperate domestic season when they visit Sunderland today for the first leg of their semi-final. Having fallen 11 points off the pace in the Premier League, United saw another potential route towards silverware curtailed on Sunday when they were stunned 2-1 at home by Swansea City in the FA Cup third round. Although United remain in contention in the Champions League, the League Cup now represents their best hope of rescuing a trophy from a campaign that threatens to turn into an outright disaster.

Arsenal face Coventry as big guns kept apart in FA Cup

Reuters, London
Arsenals reward for beating rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup was a comfortable looking fourth-round tie at home to third tier side Coventry City following the draw on Sunday. The countrys big guns were all kept apart with Chelsea facing the only allPremier League clash against Stoke. Third tier Sheffield United will have to beat another Premier League club if they are to reach the fifth round after being drawn at home to Norwich or Fulham. Swansea City were drawn away to Birmingham City, Bristol Rovers or Crawley, while Manchester City will have to get through a replay against Blackburn

Bolton v Southampton v Southend United v Arsenal v Stevenage v Wigan or Milton v Chelsea v Rovers or Man City v B'mouth or Burton v Swansea v Sheffield v Cardiff City Yeovil Town Hull City Coventry City Everton Palace Stoke City Bristol or Watford Liverpool B'gham or Bristol Norwich or Fulham

Rovers before hosting Bristol City or Watford. Stevenage were handed a home tie against Premier League Everton and Liverpool will play second tier Bournemouth or fourth tier Burton Albion.

Manchester United players walk off the pitch after losing their English FA Cup match against Swansea City at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England on Sunday REUTERS

Monaco survive Vannes scare

Reuters, Paris
Ligue 1 title contenders Monaco twice came from behind to book their place in the French Cup last 32 with a 3-2 win at third division side Vannes OC on Sunday. Midfielder Yannick Ferreira Carrasco scored the winner four minutes from time after his team, who are second in the top flight standings, had struggled at the Rabine tadium. Claudio Ranieris side wrapped it up in the 86th minute when Ferreira Carrasco beat Antoine Petit with a powerful 18-metre shot. They avoided the fate of Lorient, so far the only Ligue 1 team to be eliminated by an opponent from a lower division. The Brittany side slumped to a 1-0 defeat at amateurs Yzeure, who play in

Marcq-en-Baroeul Amiens Bastia Nantes La Suze Rodez Raon LEtape Quimperl Vannes Marseille

Moyes admits United need new blood

AFP, Manchester
David Moyes, the increasingly beleaguered Manchester United manager, admits he urgently needs to buy new players in the January transfer window but confesses that it may not be possible to do so. I said I would try but probably would be doubtful in January because of the window but I think I have been saying it fairly consistently, said Moyes of his efforts to sign new talent this month. "There is an urgency that we would like to bring people in but are those players available in January?" So there is no point in me hyping it up because the players we would like to bring in are probably not available in January, not because we dont want to do it.

Swansea dump United out of FA Cup

AFP, London
Wilfried Bony snatched a dramatic last-minute winner as Swansea City heaped fresh misery on Manchester United with a shock 2-1 success in the FA Cup third round on Sunday. Eleven points off the pace in the Premier League, where they have already lost six games, United crashed out at the first hurdle in the FA Cup to give beleaguered manager David Moyes even more problems. To compound matters, Uniteds injury list swelled further after Rio Ferdinand had to go off with a knee injury, while Fabio da Silva was sent off shortly after coming on to replace him. We were a bit unlucky to lose, but we probably didnt do enough to win it in the end, said Moyes We made some opportunities, (but)

26 13 10 02 16 02 12 12 23 20

Liverpool Manchester Utd
Hernandez 16

Auxerre Lille Evian/Thonon Nice Lyon Montpellier Bordeaux Ajaccio Monaco Reims

Aspas 54, Tarkowski 82-og

20 12

Oldham Athletic Swansea City

Routledge 12, Bony 90

the fourth division, on Saturday. Earlier on Sunday, Lille went 1-0 down at fourth division Amiens AC before Salomon Kalous double and a goal by Ronny Rodelin handed them a 3-1 victory.

not enough. When we went down to 10 men, we just needed to see it out and at least take a replay if that was what had to come about, but we didnt quite get that far. In a game preceded by a minutes applause for late Portugal great Eusebio, who died on Sunday, Swansea took a 12th-minute lead through Wayne Routledge, who cantered onto a pass from Alejandro Pozuelo to lob Anders Lindegaard. The hosts equalised four minutes later, Javier Hernandez volleying in a cross from Alexander Buttner, but they could not find a second goal.

Ferdinand had to hobble off due to injury late on and his replacement, Fabio, was sent off for a high challenge on Jose Canas shortly after coming on. Worse was to follow at the death, with Routledge lifting a cross into the box from the left and Bony powering home a near-post header to add a new chapter of disappointment to the tale of Uniteds unravelling season. Liverpool will visit either Bournemouth or Burton Albion in round four after seeing off Oldham, who stunned Brendan Rodgerss side 3-2 at Boundary Park in the fourth round last season. Iago Aspas, a close-season signing from Celta Vigo, broke the deadlock in the 54th minute by dispatching a cross from Raheem Sterling to claim his first goal for the club. Liverpool did not secure victory until Oldhams James Tarkowski put through his own goal with eight minutes to play.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jayawardene under no extra pressure after Test flop
Experienced Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene brushed aside talk on Monday of being under pressure to perform after he failed twice with the bat in the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi. The 36-year-old scored five in Sri Lankas first innings and was then out for a first-ball duck, dismissed both times by debutant Pakistan paceman Bilawal Bhatti. Sri Lanka, who averted defeat with skipper Angelo Mathews hitting a career-best 157 not out in the second innings, will look to Jayawardene to score in the second Test starting in Dubai from Wednsday. But Jayawardene said he didnt feel under any extra prassure. No extra pressure, because when you play for Sri Lanka there is pressure to do well in every match. When you look at how many matches Ive played, theres nothing special about my situation now, said Jayawardene, who had not played a Test since January last year. Its difficult to say that the long break had a big effect. I trained hard but in a Test match you can have a great match or a poor one. Its difficult to pinpoint why exactly things didnt go right. I got two good balls and I couldnt avoid getting out to them. I am not thinking too much about whats been, but I prepared well for that match and I am preparing for the next one.

QUICK BYTES Zia finishes 12th

Bangladesh Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman finished the Masters event in the 89th Hasting International Chess Congress at 12th position after clinching wins in the last two rounds of the meet which was held in Horntye Park, Hastings, East Sussex in England. Zia beat English International Master Knott Simon JB in the last and ninth round on Saturday. The victory saw Zia earn six points out of nine games. Meanwhile, GM Mikhail Mchedlisvili of Georgia emerged as the champion while GM Khenkin Igor of Germany became runner-up. Both earned 6.5 points each. Tribune Desk

Allardyce gets Hammers backing

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce received something close to the dreaded vote of confidence from the clubs co-chairmen on Monday following the Premier League clubs embarrassing 5 0 FA Cup defeat by second-tier Nottingham Forest. In an open letter on the east London clubs website, David Gold and David Sullivan backed Allardyce to turn around the fortunes of the Hammers, currently second bottom and facing relegation from English footballs lucrative top flight. We know Sam has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League club, the open letter read. Sam has been handed a near impossible task of coming through three crucial games in the space of six days with a squad of only 14 fit and available senior players. We have experienced difficult times before and we know what will get us results - hard work, determination and perseverance. AFP

Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayawardene looks on during a practice session at the Dubai Sports city in Dubai yesterday. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are due to play three Test matches, the second Test match starting on Wednesday at the Dubai Sports city cricket stadium AFP

Over-heated Sousa takes Dakar opener, Peterhansel hits trouble

Portugals Carlos Sousa, driving a Haval, claimed the opening stage of the 36th Dakar Rally on Sunday, but double defending champion Stephane Peterhansel lost time after suffering a puncture. Sousa finished the 180km special from Rosario to San Luis in 2hr 20min 36sec with Argentinas Orlando Terranova, in a Mini, 11 seconds behind and fellow Mini driver, Qatars 2011 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, in third, 47 seconds back. Sousa said he suffered like a dog after his Chinese-made Haval over-heated, sending dirty air into the drivers compartment. Our car doesnt have air conditioning and all the air inlets got clogged. After 50 kilometres, the turbo air outlet broke down and sent all the air directly towards me, he said. AFP

More pain to come for shattered England: Flower

Coach Andy Flower warned Monday there was more pain to come in the wake of Englands Ashes series meltdown in Australia. Australia completed a 5-0 clean sweep on Sunday, routing the hapless tourists for 166 off just 31.4 overs to carry off a 281-run victory in three days in the Sydney Test. Such was the magnitude of the series defeat that major ramifications are expected for English cricket, just months after they beat Australia 3-0 in England. Flower said he would not identify individual players facing the chop, with reports that high-profile batsman Kevin Pietersen, one of the big English failures in the series, was under pressure. Pietersen, who averages just over 47 in 104 Tests, was dismissed for three and six in the final Test to finish with 294 runs in the series at 29.40. Flower, who has said he will not be standing down as team coach, said he was prepared to make tough decisions, while admitting the nightmare series was the end of an era. Asked directly whether Pietersen would be part of Englands future, Flower told reporters: This will be a new start, and so it should be. It does feel like the end of some type of era. We might have to take a little more pain before we have sustained success again. And we might have to ask for a little patience in that regard over the coming months. As well as speculation over the future of Pietersen, 31-year-old wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who was dropped for the last two Tests, could also face the axe. Im not going to discuss individuals, but looking at it a little more holistically, I think it will be the start of something new, Flower said. I think Alastair Cook as captain can lead that renewal and rebuilding (of) the England cricket side. Were not proud of (the Sydney Test). And were not proud of the Test series result, of course. Its quite a bitter pill to swallow. But thats what it is and we have to face up to that reality.

Aussies ready for South Africa challenge: Clarke

Michael Clarke said Australia will take the greatest bowling attack in world cricket to South Africa next month in a bid to challenge the number one Test side, after securing a 5-0 Ashes whitewash over England Sunday. Australia climbed above England and Pakistan from fifth to third on the International Cricket Council world rankings, behind South Africa and India, after a 281-run trouncing of England to sweep the Ashes series in Sydney. The victorious Australian skipper knows that Graeme Smiths Proteas will give his Australians an idea of where they stand in Test cricket after a lopsided series against England, which culminated in a three-day final Test win. We have the greatest attack in the world and theyve shown it, Clarke said. Its certainly going to be a challenge for us to perform over there and then our next Test series is in the UAE against Pakistan which is going to be extremely tough as well. Playing away from home in international cricket seems to be hard to get results. We believe we have the team to have success. Clarke said it will take more than one series win to prove Australia are the best team in world cricket. We are not going to win in South Africa and all of a sudden think were the best team in the world, he said. Its not about that. Its about consistency home and away over long periods of time and if you do that you will get the results youre after. Australia play South Africa in three Tests, starting at Centurion on February 12. Clarke said it was satisfying to turn things around after a poor start to last year. Its been a roller-coaster ride... the start of 2013 certainly didnt go anywhere near as well as we would have liked, he said. I think thats what feels so satisfying at the moment. Weve been able to turn things around. I dont want to disrespect anyone in that 2006-07 team (last Australian team to win 5-0 series) to say that this is a better win than then. I just think its a different time, different era. To me its as special and probably more personal because Im captain. Australia coach Darren Lehmann said he took over a team which needed direction when appointed in England last year and he put his faith in a band of experienced players to win back the urn at home after three-straight series of Ashes failure. Australias Mitchell Johnson delivered in lethal fashion with a haul of 37 wickets at 13.9 to edge out veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin as player of the series. Lehmann admitted the extent of his teams dominance surprised even him but said they still had plenty more to prove.

World hurdles champ Hejnova to miss indoor season

World 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic will miss this years indoor season after fracturing a bone in one of her insteps. Hejnova suffered the injury in training in Prague on Saturday, according to the Czech athletics federation, who said that she would now concentrate on the outdoor season once her rehabilitation was completed. I was training and suddenly I felt a pain in my instep, Hejnova said. The 28-year-old Olympic bronze medallist hit the form of her life in 2013, during which she was unbeaten over the 400m hurdles, winning the Diamond League and also gold at the world championships in Moscow. Hejnova will now miss the March 7 9 World Indoor Championships in the Polish city of Sopot. AFP

Wawrinka wins Chennai Open

World number eight Stanislas Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open later this month by bagging the ATP Chennai Open title with a fluent victory over Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Sunday. The top-seeded Swiss, playing his 500th ATP Tour match, outclassed the 52nd-ranked Frenchman 7-5, 6-2 in the 90-minute final at the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium. It was the fifth career title and the second in Chennai for 28-year-old Wawrinka, who emerged from the shadows of his renowned Swiss compatriot Roger Federer with a top 10 finish last year. This is big for sure, said Wawrinka, who has a 302-198 career win record. It has been an amazing week for me and put me in the right frame for the Australian Open. Winning in Chennai means a lot to me. I like the place and that is why I have played here for six years now. This is just the place I want to start the season from.

I can do some damage in Melbourne, says Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt will go into the Australian Open as the player the top seeds will hope to avoid in the first round, after digging into his famed store of resolve to beat Roger Federer in the Brisbane International final on Sunday. Hewitt dominated Federer in the first set and then survived seven break points in the third to capture a moraleboosting 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory ahead of the first major. If I play like I did this week I have a chance of doing damage to some serious players, the 32-year-old Hewitt told reporters. It just gives me a lot more confidence going out there believing in how well Im hitting the ball at the moment and that I can match-up with the best guys. Obviously its a different stage, winning three (sets) out of five against those guys (but) thats why I still play the game. The 2005 Australian Open finalist will move back into the world top 50 on the back of his success and could enter the Australian Open as his countrys number one player with Bernard Tomic defending ranking points in the Sydney International this week. The win made Hewitt reflect on his injury battles in recent years, having been forced to undergo surgery on five occasions, most recently in February 2012, when he had a plate inserted into his toe in an attempt to extend his career. I think the most pleasing thing is what Ive had to come through and the tough times in terms of surgery, Hewitt said. Before the last surgery I made no secret. There were no guarantees I would be able to play again.

Hakkinen urges old rival Schumacher to fight for recovery

Double Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen sent his longtime rival on the racetrack Michael Schumacher wishes for a full recovery from a serious ski accident, a German newspaper reported Sunday. The Finnish driver, like Schumacher 45 years old, wrote to the seventime world champion at his French hospital urging him to use his competitive streak as a source of strength. Your accident is now just another challenge. You have to fight hard again, just like we both used to do on the track, Hakkinen wrote in a letter published in German by Bild am Sonntag. AFP

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds the trophy after winning the final at the Chennai Open in Chennai on Sunday AFP Last year was very good for me and I hope this year will also be the same. I have practised hard and tried to improve my game. This is just the first tournament of the year, I hope I can continue this way.

Federer says loss not a setback

Swiss tennis great Roger Federer insisted Sunday that his three-set loss to Lleyton Hewitt at the Brisbane International was not a setback to his Australian Open preparations. Federer lost the Brisbane final to an inspired Hewitt 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in just over two hours at the Pat Rafter Arena. But Federer, who was using the Brisbane tournament as an Australian Open warm-up for the first time, said he felt good ahead of his bid to win the years first Grand Slam for the fifth time. I feel pretty good, especially having played all the matches I have here now, with the doubles in particular, he said. Its a good thing -- I didnt quite know what to expect from myself before the tournament. I played consistent, I must say. The 32-year-old said he was not overly disappointed at his loss to Hewitt. I didnt play great today, which is a bit unfortunate, he said. But also Lleyton was the best player I played this week -- he made it toughest on me, so I have a clear idea what I need to work on, and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is at. Im very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week. Federer said his body had held up well, despite the amount of tennis he played and the heat in Brisbane during the week. Im pretty pleased just that my body is holding up good in the first week, because you dont quite know what to expect, he said. So overall there were many good things (this week), but then also a couple of things you need to just readjust maybe, and also get to Melbourne and see what the court speed is down there and then youll have a real good idea of what you need to work on.

Wozniacki through at Sydney Int'l

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki opened her season with a win over German Julia Goerges in the first round of the Sydney International on Monday. Danish sixth seed Wozniacki, who became engaged to golf star Rory McIlroy on New Years Eve, lost the first set to Goerges but rallied to come through 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The 23-year-old, who withdrew from a WTA event in Brisbane last weekend due to a shoulder injury, was making her sixth straight appearance at the Sydney tournament as she prepares for the Australian Open.

Sony Six NBA season 2013/14 : 6: 00 AM Brooklyn v Atlanta 8:30 AM Orlando v Miami



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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Charghat terrorised by upazila chairman

Law enforcers have failed to take action against Chand; even the local AL lawmaker is helpless
Mohammad Jamil Khan, from Rajshahi
The Maria village under Charghat upazila is a 50km drive from the Rajshahi city. In recent times, the village has become a stronghold of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir. It was around 11am yesterday, when the Dhaka Tribune correspondent got down from an auto-rickshaw in front of the Maria Government Primary School, which was a polling centre a day before. In no time, five young men rushed towards the auto-rickshaw and started shooting questions such as who are you, where are you from, what do you want and where do you want to go. It took this correspondent 20 minutes to finally convince them that he was a friend of one Shuvo, a student of the Rajshahi University and a resident of the village. This correspondent gathered information from Rajshahi city that there was someone named Shuvo in the village whose name would serve as his ticket for entering the village. Sources said the area was currently being controlled by one Abu Sayed Chand, an alleged top criminal of the area who made it a Jamaat stronghold. Such is his dominance in the area that not even the local Awami League lawmaker can take any action against him. Chand is the BNP Jamaat-backed chairman of the Charghat upazila parishad. He has his own group of criminals, locally known as lathiyals and owns significant amount of land properties in the area. On the days preceding the elections, Chands followers and the local Jamaat-Shibir men went from door-todoor in the village and warned people that if anyone went to the polling centre, they would be killed. The result was that nobody dared to go anywhere near the polling centres set up in the area, despite heavy presence of the law enforcers. When asked why they had not cast vote, Sukumar, a Hindu resident of the Thakurbari area, shot back: Where are you from? Do not utter this word [vote] that you just told me. Just leave the area if your life is important to you. Local Awami League lawmaker Shahriar Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that Chand and his followers had sabotaged railway lines last month. He claimed that he had repeatedly asked law enforcers to take action against him but in vain. Law enforcers conducted several raids to arrest Chand and members of his criminal group. But those raids were nothing but eyewash, he alleged. Shahriar happens to be the only Awami League leader left in the area. No other leader or activist of the ruling party could be found in the village. Local residents said they had all fled the area to save their lives from Chands lathiyals (gang members) and their bamboo sticks. An officer of the Charghat police station said: Everyone knows about it [sabotage and violence]; but nobody dares to take action against him [Chand] because attacking on people was like felling trees for him. The officer gave an example. Chands supporters attacked the Jhikar Government Primary School in the presence of joint force and army personnel. Other than firing some blank rounds, the law enforcers could not do anything. Chands men felled more than a hundred mango trees in the area and beat up dozens of villagers with bamboo sticks. The news of this incident came in the media as well. Although several cases have been filed against Chand and his men, the law enforcers have failed to arrest anyone. When contacted over phone, Chand snubbed out all the allegations against him. I am the upazila chairman. People always listen to what I say. I do not need to threaten anyone. When asked why then a case was filed against him in connection with the Sardha rail sabotage, Chand said: If police have any evidence against me why do they not arrest me? I am not hiding. Golam Mortoza, OC of Charghat police station, told the Dhaka Tribune: Nothing serious happened in the area on Sunday during the national elections. About the Chand group, he claimed that police were looking for those who unleashed violence in the area and the joint forces had arrested a couple of them. Rajshahi district police chief (SP) Alamgir Kabir, claimed that law and order situation was totally under control.

Petrol bomb burns driver in Chittagong

Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
A human haulier driver got burn injuries as miscreants hurled petrol bomb at his vehicle in the port citys Polytechnic Mor area last night. The injured, Mohammad Mridul, 22, was admitted to Burn and Plastic Surgery unit of Chittagong Medical College Hospital. According to the doctors, 60% of his body was burnt, said Sub-Inspector Jahirul Islam, in-charge of CMCH police outpost. Quoting the victim, the police official said some people hurled a petrol bomb to his vehicle around 9:45pm, leaving him critically injured. Later, he was rushed to CMCH by the local people, said the SI. Shah Mohammad Abdu Rouf, assistant commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police, said the blockade and hartal supporters might have conducted the attack and police were investigating into the matter.

Ball-like object claiming lives of children

Kailash Sarkar
Eight-year-old Md Fahim lost his two fingers as he curiously took a ball-like object in his hand found inside an abandoned bag near his house yesterday. Fahim is the latest addition in the list of children falling victims to abandoned crude bomb explosions in recent political unrest. After returning from school Fahim was playing with a tennis ball with his playmate Yasin, seven, in front of his house in capitals Madhyapara. dren away from violence. The concern came after several children came under arson and bomb attacks during the recent shutdowns enforced by the BNP-led 18-party opposition combine. On January 5, the right wrist of a 12-year-old boy was blown off in an abandoned crude bomb explosion in capitals Islambagh area. On December 21, a five-year-old kid became victim of political violence as his left wrist and two fingers of the right hand were blown off while fiddling with a cocktail mistaking it for a ball in Rajshahi. On November 1, 10-year-old Murad Hossain, son of a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver in Panthapath area, on November 20, two children- Tofazzal, 11, and Lokman, 10- sustained injuries in Shahbagh in similar incidents. On October 3, three-anda-half year old Lima Akhter, daughter of car driver Al Amin, lost all her five fingers of the right hand while another minor girl Rahima was injured in the same way in capitals Jurain on October 29. Director of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum Abdus Sahid Mahmud told The Dhaka Tribune that children had always been exploited by political parties and criminals however, this was a new dimension that had pushed them in a really vulnerable state. Using children for carrying arms and drugs are familiar forms of exploitation. But the recent trend of leaving bombs and explosives at an abandoned state is a new dimension to make them victims, said Mahmud. In this circumstance, we ask the guardians to stay alert so that children do not touch anything and everything they find abandoned around while political parties should be more sensitive and take measures to ensure their activists do not leave the dangerous explosive materials here and there. Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanwar Hossain, also the chief of Bomb Disposal Unit of the Detective Branch said in some of the cases, children fell victims while carrying the explosives in exchange of money from the criminals. Criminals often leave bombs at abandoned states to achieve their targets without taking any risk. Their target is to cause casualties, he said.

In this circumstance, we ask the guardians to stay alert so that children do not touch anything and everything they find abandoned around while political parties should be more sensitive
At one stage, they noticed a bag nearby. They found a ball wrapped in red tape inside. As Fahim took it out, it exploded creating a big bang, described Fahims mother Nasima Akhter. Fahim, son of a rickshaw-puller Md Shahidul Islam and a student of class-II in Madhya Badda Government Primary School, was taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital immediately. Dr Hasan Mahmud at DMCH said the explosion blew away ring finger and small finger of his right hand. Rest of his fingers in both hands and abdomen also were injured. Abdul Jalil, officer-in-charge of Badda police station, said two unidentified criminals had left the bag at the place where the children were playing. With the increased usage of crude bombs in opposition enforced hartals and blockade programmes, number of children are falling victims to such explosions at an alarming rate. According to reports, at least two children were killed while more than 40 sustained injuries in explosions of bombs allegedly left by the hartal-supporting pickets. At least 11 children sustained injuries in such explosions in the month of November last year. Concerned at the continued use of children in political demonstrations in the country, last year on November 20, the United Nations Childrens Fund (Unicef) urged all parties to keep chil-

An aircraft lands in the capitals Shahjalal International Airport at 2pm with the help of runway lights yesterday because of fog-affected visibility


ACC seeks action against 11 government officials

Report finds ex-army chief and Destiny Group President Harun-ur-Rashid guilty of graft
Syed Samiul Basher Anik
A probe team of the Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday submitted its investigation report on Tk4,119 crore embezzlement by Destiny Group to ACC Director General Salahuddin Ahmed, recommending filing charges against at least 50 people, including Destiny Group President and former army chief M Harun-ur-Rashid and Managing Director Mohammad Rafiqul Amin. ACC officials said the report also recommended departmental actions against 11 government officials on charges of their connection with the irregularity. ACC Deputy Director, also head of the probe team, Md Mojahar Ali Sarder confirmed that the report was submitted to the department concerned. ACC Commissioner M Shahabuddin told reporters that it will be placed before the commission within a day or two. The report said the Destiny officials had collected money from investors under its projects Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (DMCSL) and Destiny Tree Plantation Limited (DTPL), luring them of providing high interest and making them shareholders of the company, but swindled the money. The directors of the company also collected money in the name of investing them at 32 non profitable businesses, but they either transferred the money to their personal accounts or embezzled in the name of allowance, salary, remuneration, profit, special allowance or commission etc, the report added. The probe team recommended filing charges against the management committee of the company and those who supported the directors in the anomaly. Recommendations were also placed to take departmental action against 11 government officials, who did not monitor how DMCSLs capital rose to Tk1,400 crore from only Tk50 crore. The accused government officials are Deputy Secretary at ministry of industries Protul Kumar Shaha, Deputy Secretary at labour ministry Kazi Nazrul Islam, acting district cooperative officer at Jamalpur Abdul Jabbar, Sirajganj District Cooperative Officer Kazi Mezbah Uddin Ahmed, Dohar Upazila Cooperative Officer HM Shahiduzzaman, Dhaka District Cooperative Officer Muhammad Galib Khan, joint registrars at Department of Cooperative in Dhaka Khandker Sirajul Islam and M Mahbubur Rahman, additional registrars M Iqbal Hossain and M Saiduzzaman, and District Cooperative Officer at Bagura M Fazlul Haque. According to the findings of the probe team, the company had cheated with over eight lakh investors in between July 2009 to June 2012 under the Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited project. They had collected a total of Tk1,901 crore from the investors and had either transferred or swindled Tk1,861 crore from it in the name of profit, salary and allowances. The probe team also found that the company had collected Tk2,433 crore from around 17.5 lakh investors during March 21, 2006 to February 17, 2009 under the tree plantation project, and the directors had embezzled Tk2,257 crore from it.

PCJSS man wins fair elections in the Rangamati hills

Muktasree Chakma Sathi
Elections to Rangamati constituency in the Chittagong Hill Tracts on Sunday was fair and transparent with over 55% turnout when there were opposite scenario in many other places, locals and government officials said. Even the defeated candidate, Awami League-nominated Dipankar Talukder, raised no allegation of vote rigging or any other irregularities during the polls. Rangamati Deputy Commissioner Md Mostafa Kamal, also the returning officer, said he had not received a single allegation of harassment or violence. Independent candidate Ushatan Talukdar defeated the former CHT affairs state minister by a margin over around 20,000 votes. Senior leader of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), Ushatan bagged 96,237 votes while Dipankar got 77, 385. Ushatan is the third person in the 43 years history of the country who is elected from the CHT region as a representative of the PCJSS. Earlier, Manabendra Narayan Larma, also the founder of PCJSS, and Chai Thwai Roaza won the 1973 elections as independent candidates. Mohammad Zakir Hussain Chowdhury, chief election agent of the AL candidate, told the Dhaka Tribune, that the election was fair and transparent and that they accepted the results. We got over 77,000 votes. It would not have happened had the polls not been fair. We accept the defeat. People have the right to choose whoever they think more eligible, he added. Ushatans chief election agent Udayan Tripura told the Dhaka Tribune that such voter turnout in Rangamati was possible since all the candidates despite their political affiliation had succeeded in making the people believe that the voting was crucial to bring a change. I think, people elected us because they were frustrated and upset with the Awami Leagues decision over not recognising the indigenous people as indigenous in the 15th amendment to the constitution and non-implementation of the CHT treaty, Udayan said when asked how a regional party beat the AL-nominated candidate. Romik Chakma of Baghaichhari became a voter in 2008 but he did not cast his vote. I was not interested. But this time, I cast my vote since the candidates have made me believe that if I do not exercise my rights to vote, bringing positive change in this district is not possible. Thus I do not have the right to whining about their failure, he said.

Members of the newly formed Railway Nirapotta Bahini (RNB) keeps watch at the capitals Kamalapur Railway Station yesterday to check railway violence during the 18-party alliances hartal RAJIB DHAR

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Muhith assures unrest-hit apparel makers of financial supports

Tribune Report
The government will provide incentives to garment exporters including tax relaxation, low rate bank loans and cash to recover losses caused by the ongoing political turmoil. Finance Minister AMA Muhith is expected to make an announcement soon in this regard taking consent from prime minister. After a meeting with the finance minister yesterday, BKMEAs first vice president Mohammad Hatem told the Dhaka Tribune. The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) attended the meeting. Tax at source may be reduced to 0.4% from 0.8% while the banks will be asked to provide loans to pay workers wages for four months, Mohammad Hatem said. However, the business leaders demand was reducing the tax at source to 0.25%. The final decision will be taken after the prime ministers approval, Mohammad Hatem quoted finance minister AMA Muhith. In a circular issued Thursday, finance ministry said Bangladesh Bank can reopen giving cash incentives to apparel exporters against advanced telegraphic transfer (TT). Bangladesh Bank can provide cash incentives to garment exporters including woven, knitwear and terry towels against advanced TT, complying with the proposed conditions, reads the circular. Such incentives against TT was halted after the allegations of money laundering through the system. At a meeting with finance minister last month, the apparel leaders urged the government to reopen this cash incentives for the apparel exporters. Then, finance minister asked the central banks official at the meeting to resume the facility in one week. BGMEA, BKMEA and BTMA leaders participated in the meeting and urged the finance minister to help sector recoup their losses during political unrest. They called for financial supports. The apparel sector leaders placed eight-point demands at the meeting. The demands placed are payment of workers wages for four months from November to February creating a special packing credit and Bai Salam to be adjusted in next two years. They also include blocking of repayment of term loans, project loans, LTR, murabaha post import service and forced loans for two years without interest and another two years grace period for loans given to textile, garment and backward linkage industries. The leaders also demanded continuation of letter of credit and other facilities.

Investors at Dhaka Stock Exchange watching political news on television yesterday as they look worried of the situation the country faces now over general election. Months of political unrest continues to cast negative impacts on everything including the bourses. But solution to the crisis seems still at distance after the 5th January election boycotted by main opposition BNP MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Citibank: Unrest to hit economy

Tribune Report
Bangladeshs GDP growth target for the current fiscal year seems ambitious due to domestic instability, the Citibank NA Bangladesh said in its latest report released yesterday. Although a target of 7.2% GDP growth was set in the national budget for FY14, the target seems a bit ambitious amid faltering global economic recovery and domestic instability, said the financial service provider in its annual market update-2013. Different international agencies have already revised their growth projection downwards, some even cautioning a growth rate below 6.0%. However, the central bank, in its half-yearly Monetary Policy Statement for July-December 2013, forecast that output growth is unlikely to deviate significantly from the last ten-year average of 6.2%. The Citi analysis, however, said the year 2013 has been one of the most challenging years for the countrys economy in the recent times. Failure to convince international agencies regarding Padma bridge project, collapse of a garment factory killing over 1,100 people and subsequent US suspension of GSP facilities, large scale financial scams, unprecedented political violence, etc damaged the image of the country and its growth potentials. However, against all odds, Bangladesh has been able to attain a GDP growth of 6.03% in FY13. Although this marks a drop in GDP growth rate for two consecutive years, growth of over 6.0% is quite respectable where the projected growth of developing countries is around 5.0% in 2013, said the analysis. It said the drop in GDP growth rate from 6.23 % in FY12 is mainly attributed to slowdowns in agriculture and services sectors. The slowdown in agriculture sector from 3.11% in FY12 to 2.17% in FY13 is largely due to the base effect of two consecutive years of record growth and lower output due to the falling price along with weather-related disruptions. On the other hand, investment climate suffered during the second half of FY13 due to series of national strikes and consequent disruptions to the supply chain. As such growth of service sector slowed down to 5.73% in FY13 from 5.96% in FY12 as the retail and wholesale trade sectors were particularly affected. The Citit said supply chain disruption has led inflation marginally up ahead of the year-end. To reflect changing consumption patterns and demographics, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics introduced a new consumer price index (CPI) series, effective from July 2013, using 2005-06 as the base year. Using the new base year, point-topoint inflation peaked in April 2013 at 8.37% from a moderate level of 6.62% in January, before it started to ease from June onwards. By October point-to-point inflation came down to 7.03%, its lowest level in 2013. However, due to the political and economic impasse, inflation inched up to 7.15% in November. This increase was mainly driven by higher food inflation that prevailed in the preceding months due to the disruption in the supply chain as a result of continual blockades throughout the months of October and November, said the analysis. Food inflation shot up in October to 8.38 % from 7.93 % in September and recorded at 8.55 % in November. However, sluggish economic activity restricted non-flood inflation below 6% level post August. Annual average inflation also rose marginally to 7.51% (using 2005-06 base) in November on account of increased food inflation. The national budget for FY14 set inflation target of 7.0% using the 1995-96 base. The equivalent target using the 2005-06 base could be in the range of 6.0 - 6.5%. The risks to the inflation target stem partly from the wage increase in private (garment) sector and the expected wage increase in the public sector, which will create aggregate demand pressures. Another risk to food inflation in particular stems from possible supply-side disruptions due to political strife and natural disasters.

Vegetables get costlier as supply disrupted

Prices surge by Tk5 10 per kilogram
Tribune Report
Vegetables prices have soared amid supply crunch due to shutdowns and blockades called by the BNP-led political alliance in protest of farcical election. A visit to the citys kitchen markets yesterday found that the prices of a variety of seasonal vegetables increased Tk5 to Tk10 per kilogram. In most of the markets, tomatoes were selling at Tk40 a kg while beans at Tk30-35, brinjal Tk30-40, gourd Tk5070 and a fairly large cauliflower at Tk30 and cabbage at Tk25. However, local onions price declined by Tk5 to retail at Tk55 per kg, but garlic remained stable at Tk80. Imported Indian onions were being retailed for Tk40 a kg. There is a drop in supply because of political unrest, which has pushed up the prices, said Md Emran Master, president of Bangladesh Kanchamal Arrot Malik Samiti. Some transportation is available only, but they charge very high. The higher costs in carrying goods to the capital is responsible for price hike, he added. A vegetable trader at Karwan Bazar alleged that the truck owners are capitalising on the political turmoil by charging exorbitantly. They (truck owners) are using the chance to ask for doubled amounts. But we have no alternative to it as the political situation remains unchanged, said Hafiz, the trader. He gave an example that usually a truck charges Tk10,000 to carry vegetables to Dhaka from Mymensingh, but the amount increases to Tk20,000 if there is a blockade or hartal. Rustam Ali, secretary of Bangladesh Truck and Covered Van Owners Association, said if anyone runs his vehicle risking attacks during shutdowns, he can ask for higher fares. But the transport sector is bearing the brunt of such political situation, he said. We are suffering huge losses due to hartals and blockades. The country has been paralysed by blockades and hartals almost every day in last one month.

Nine stocks on DSE traded below their face value

Tahmidur Rahman
Shares of nine low cap companies are being traded below their issue prices at the Dhaka Stock Exchange, thanks to their poor fundamentals. These companies representing 4% out of almost 250 scrips (excluding mutual funds and bonds) listed with the bourse have seen an average value erosion of around 11% in their market valuesas of yesterday since January, 2013. Because most of these companies neither hold annual general meetings nor pay dividends to their shareholders, investors have least confidence in those bad performing firms. According to their financial statements, the companies apart from Bangladesh Service Ltdhave made consistently losses over the past couple of years. The market observers said conditions of some companies are not so bad as those claims or show in their financial statements. Some have alleged that boards of directors of the firms do so only to make money and evade taxes, resulting in a decrease in net asset value and ultimate fall in the share prices. Moin Al Kashem, managing directorand chief executive of PFI Asset Management Company, said poor fundamentals have led to a fall in the market price of these companies. Most of these (companies) are quoting below par and have a gloomy outlook on performance, with bad financials, he said. He said regulator might take step to improve their performances. Companies whose stock pricesare less than the offer pricesare ICB Islamic Bank Limited, Meghna Pet Industries, Alltex Industries Ltd, Bangladesh Services Ltd, Zeal Bangla Sugar Mills Ltd, Shyampur Sugar Mills Ltd, Imam Button, Dulamia Cotton, Meghna Condensed Milk and First Bangladesh Fixed Income Fund. They announced their quarterly (July to Sept 2013) earnings and reported a combined net loss of Tk49.8 crore against Tk21.6 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. ICB Islami Bank contributed most losses of Tk32.7 crore against Tk8.4 crore. Meghna Condensed Milk and Meghna Pet Industries have reported losses in most years since its listing in 2001. Some analysts suggest regulator should be careful and farsighted before giving initial public offering to such companies, particularly low cap companies. Overenthusiastic investors burnt their fingers in the end as it is easy to manipulate these stocks, he said.

DSEX DS30 CSEX 73@AB67 1506.03 8436.69 C4B75D 0.06% -0.49%

Average selling rates to public in BDT Banks Rupali Bank Currencies SELL BUY USD 77.4 78.4 EURO INR SAR 104.63 1.1693 20.53 107.82 1.3256 21.00 Sonali Bank SELL BUY 77.4 104.62 1.17 20.53 78.4 107.04 1.27 21.00

An ATM booth of Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd in Dhaka pastes a paper marked with No Cash yesterday. Political violence mars cash transport to the booths, say bankers NASHIRUL ISLAM

Stocks fall on fears of fresh political violence
Trbiune Report
Stocks slipped in the red with volatile trade yesterday, a day after one-sided national election that saw low turnout. Investor participation declined sharply, indicating that most investors remained on the sidelines fearing renewed political violence in the days ahead, analysts say. said Lanka Bangla Securities in its daily market analysis. It said investors showed interest only in engineering, pharmaceuticals and food & allied shares over financial stocks on the back of apprehended turbulence in the political arena after election where main opposition party did not participate. If political clashes continue, utility and FMCG companies are expected to perform better compared to other sectors in terms of profitability, it said. Under this situation smitten with high political tension, textile, banks and financial institutions are at most risk. The market recouped some losses in the last hour of trade as mid and low-cap stocks saw some buying interests towards the close. Bank, fuel and power, and textile sectors lost 1.1%, 0.9% and 1.0% respectively in their market capitalisation. Share prices of more than 70% stocks eroded as out of total 288 issues traded, 92 gained, 157 declined and 39 remained unchanged. IDLC Investment said affected by existing ambiguity in political scenario, turnover retracted by 15% as participants were watchful about investment outlook. Lanka Bangla Finance was the most traded stocks, followed by Golden Son, Unique Hotel and Resorts, Active Fine, Appollo Ispat, Generation Next Fashion and Summit Purbanchol Power Company.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DSE key features January 6, 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$)

Closing (% change)

Meghna Con. Milk -B

71,620,720 86,277 288 107

Samata LeatheR -Z Bangas -A Meghna PET Ind. -Z Unique Hotel RL - N Eastern Cables-Z Savar Refractories-Z National Tubes -A Apex Foods -A Zeal Bangla Sugar -Z

10.00 9.35 7.75 7.25 6.79 6.22 6.17 5.85 5.69 5.41

Average (% change)

Closing average


Daily high

Daily low

Turnover in million

Latest EPS

Latest PE

12.29 9.12 4.08 7.36 6.11 5.08 3.82 4.94 3.73

9.87 26.92 506.39 7.44 84.03 87.33 60.00 76.72 101.00 7.78

9.90 26.90 521.50 7.40 84.90 88.80 58.50 77.80 102.20 7.80

9.90 27.00 521.50 7.50 86.00 89.30 59.00 78.50 103.00 8.00

9.60 26.20 460.00 7.30 73.00 80.40 58.00 70.00 97.00 7.70

1.812 0.350 58.559 0.134 127.896 2.358 0.018 10.851 11.974 0.014

-4.60 -ve Q1 -0.08 -ve Q1 4.24 119.4 Ad -0.52 -ve Q1 3.56 23.6 Q3 0.68 128.4 Q1 0.40 150.0 Q1 1.84 41.7 Q1 3.96 25.5 Q1 -5.64 -ve Q1


176 5 2,077.97 25.19

Company Samata LeatheR -Z Apex Foods -A Bangas -A Unique Hotel RL - N Singer BD -A Ambee Pharma -A Peoples Insur -A Golden Son -A Olympic Ind. -A RAK Ceramics-A

Closing (% change) 9.58 8.06 7.75 6.93 4.95 4.90 4.80 4.72 4.55 4.28

Share prices of more than 70% stocks eroded as out of total 288 issues traded, 92 gained, 157 declined and 39 remained unchanged

Average (% change) 9.67 8.03 3.93 6.33 3.30 12.20 4.96 4.76 4.09 4.00

Closing average 26.32 100.47 507.25 84.01 202.68 269.27 34.90 65.61 153.89 55.63

Closing 26.30 100.50 521.50 84.90 205.50 270.00 34.90 66.50 153.80 56.00

Daily high 26.40 99.90 521.50 85.20 205.80 270.00 34.90 67.20 156.00 56.30

Daily low 26.20 100.00 488.00 80.90 196.60 242.00 34.90 64.00 150.00 53.40

Turnover in million 0.342 0.146 2.384 13.973 4.322 0.041 1.745 17.932 2.231 7.242

Latest EPS -0.08 3.96 4.24 3.56 9.35 5.01 2.20 3.35 6.32 2.10

Latest PE -ve 25.4 119.6 23.6 21.7 53.7 15.9 19.6 24.3 26.5

The benchmark DSEX closed at 4,296, shedding 18 points or 0.5%, breaking a four-day modest rally. The DS30 Index comprising blue chips saw fractional gains of 0.95 points or 0.06% to 1,506. The Chittagong Stock Exchange Selective Category Index, CSCX, rose 42 points to 8,436. The DSE total turnover was dry on the post-election day and stood at over Tk300 crore, which is 15% lower from the previous session. Engineering sector accounted for over 17% of the total turnover. Soon after opening in the positive zone, market slips into red,

CSE key features January 6, 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$)
325.05 8,684,552 13,754 211 74 136 1,992.48 24.15

Daily capital market highlights

DSE Broad Index : DSE - 20 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :
DSE LOSERS Company Rahima Food -Z GeminiSeaFood-Z Standard Ceramic -A Bank Asia -A 4th ICB M F A Argon Denims Limited-A I P D C -A 3rd ICB M F A Modern Dyeing -Z Hakkani P& Paper -B CSE LOSERS Company Standard Ceramic -A MBL 1st M. F.-A Bank Asia -A AIBL 1st Is. M. F.-A Argon Denims Limited-A BDCOM Online-A Sinobangla Indu.-A Central Pharm-A H.R. Textile -A Phoenix Fin. 1st MF A Closing (% change) -7.99 -7.69 -7.46 -7.04 -6.04 -4.42 -4.11 -3.90 -3.85 -3.57 Closing (% change) -7.27 -6.98 -6.77 -6.51 -5.86 -5.82 -4.41 -4.00 -3.47 -3.44

4296.34302 1506.03063 13311.5828 10935.9629 8436.69640

(-) 0.41% (+) 0.06% (-) 0.48% (-) 0.56% (-) 0.49%

News from trade server

UNITEDAIR: The Company has informed that it has credited the bonus shares for the year ended on June 30, 2013 to the respective shareholders' BO Accounts. RIGHT SHARE: ARAMITCEM: Subscription 23.03.2014 to 17.04.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 09.01.2014. RUPALILIFE- Subscription 06.04.2014 to 05.05.2014. Record date for entitlement of rights share: 16.01.2014. IPO Subscription: Emerald Oil Industries Limited subscription date 06 12 January 2014, NRB upto 21 Januray 2014. At per, face value taka 10 and market lot 500. Matin Spinning Mills Limited subscription date 26 30 January 2014, NRB upto 08 Feburay 2014. @ Tk. 37/-, face value taka 10 and market lot 200. POWERGRID: 15% Cash, AGM: 18.01.2014, Time: 10:00 AM. RD: 01.12.2013. EASTRNLUB: 30% Cash, AGM: 25.01.2014, RD: 04.12.2013. JAMUNAOIL: 90% Cash & 10% Stock, AGM: 25.01.2014, RD: 04.12.2013. SAVAREFR: No dividend, AGM: 30.01.2014, RD: 19.12.2013. PADMAOIL: 90% Cash, 10% Stock, AGM: 15.02.2014, RD: 23.12.2013. SAMORITA: 30% Stock, AGM: 11.01.2014, RD: 25.11.2013.


ECABLES: 10% cash, AGM: 01.03.2014, RD: 29.12.2013. USMANIAGL: 11% Cash & 10% Stock, AGM: postponed, RD: 07.11.2013. DESCO: 10% Cash & 15% Stock, AGM: 04.01.2014, RD: 05.11.2013. ANWARGALV: 7% Case for general shareholders, AGM: 13.01.2014, RD: 11.11.2013. MPETROLEUM: 70% Cash & 20% Stock, AGM: 17.01.2014, RD: 28.11.2013.

Average (% change) -3.82 -7.26 -7.01 -6.67 -4.82 -3.70 -1.64 -3.34 -2.50 -3.57 Average (% change) -7.97 -7.69 -7.01 -7.04 -4.31 -5.54 -4.27 -3.62 -5.55 -2.69

Closing average 77.28 138.18 37.00 20.28 195.00 79.49 19.82 193.33 78.00 33.75

Closing 75.20 138.60 37.20 20.10 194.30 77.70 19.50 192.20 78.00 33.70

Daily high 84.00 144.00 37.30 21.50 194.40 83.90 20.40 192.50 78.00 34.90

Daily low 74.50 134.10 37.10 19.60 194.30 75.00 19.30 192.10 78.00 33.20

Turnover in million 7.998 0.152 0.074 5.184 0.039 32.869 2.283 0.087 0.004 0.135

Latest EPS -0.64 -15.39 1.01 1.41 35.20 3.33 0.91 31.96 1.44 0.44

Latest PE -ve -ve 36.6 14.4 5.5 23.9 21.8 6.0 54.2 76.7

Closing average 38.00 6.00 21.10 6.60 78.97 27.77 28.24 42.31 40.03 5.42

Closing 38.00 6.00 21.10 6.60 77.80 28.10 28.00 41.90 40.00 5.40

Daily high 38.00 6.00 21.50 6.60 82.50 32.00 29.10 46.00 40.20 5.50

Daily low 38.00 6.00 21.00 6.60 77.20 27.00 27.90 40.00 40.00 5.40

Turnover in million 0.038 0.006 0.116 0.007 0.812 0.020 2.062 2.883 0.380 0.301

Latest EPS 1.01 1.66 1.41 1.64 3.33 1.68 0.64 1.48 2.02 0.88

Latest PE 37.6 3.6 15.0 4.0 23.7 16.5 44.1 28.6 19.8 6.2

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company LankaBangla Fin. -A

Volume shares


The market recouped some losses in the last hour of trade as mid and lowcap stocks saw some buying interests towards the close


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

DSE Million Taka 243.77 359.72 69.75 552.94 159.72 266.79 0.96 497.16 287.62 0.14 13.62 54.33 36.89 105.21 22.08 47.68 77.21 98.03 170.49 91.89 0.28

% change 7.72 11.40 2.21 17.52 5.06 8.45 0.03 15.75 9.11 0.00 0.43 1.72 1.17 3.33 0.70 1.51 2.45 3.11 5.40 2.91 0.01

Million Taka 19.48 36.89 4.59 67.41 18.22 20.40 45.69 25.10 0.06 1.22 2.93 8.61 6.21 3.25 3.33 4.08 9.30 21.73 26.72 0.02


% change 5.99 11.34 1.41 20.73 5.60 6.27 0.00 14.05 7.72 0.02 0.38 0.90 2.65 1.91 1.00 1.03 1.25 2.86 6.68 8.21 0.00

Million Taka 263.26 396.61 74.35 620.35 177.94 287.19 0.96 542.85 312.72 0.20 14.84 57.27 45.50 111.43 25.32 51.01 81.29 107.33 192.22 118.61 0.30


Golden Son -A Unique Hotel RL - N Active Fine Chem.-A Appollo Ispat CL -N Generation Next-A SPurbanchol Power-N BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Olympic Ind. -A Singer BD -A Bangas -A BD Submarine Cable-A Delta Life Insu. -A Tallu Spinning -A Familytex (BD) Ltd.-N Orion Pharma-N Paramount Textile Ltd.-N UNITED AIR A Barakatullah E. D.-A UCBL - A

2,370,008 2,074,287 1,521,965 1,176,896 2,550,600 2,522,280 1,231,440 1,864,497 418,000 301,795 115,641 328,942 189,750 1,173,876 778,000 720,605 825,500 2,582,075 1,220,236 1,702,451

Value in million

169.71 135.32 127.90 107.29 94.78 92.28 81.65 64.03 63.42 60.97 58.56 57.92 49.83 45.75 45.55 43.65 43.02 42.59 42.49 42.41

% of total turnover

5.38 4.29 4.05 3.40 3.00 2.92 2.59 2.03 2.01 1.93 1.86 1.84 1.58 1.45 1.44 1.38 1.36 1.35 1.35 1.34

Daily closing

72.30 66.20 84.90 91.50 36.70 36.20 65.90 33.90 153.60 205.40 521.50 175.60 261.40 38.80 56.90 60.10 51.70 16.40 34.50 24.80

Price change

1.69 4.09 6.79 2.01 -1.87 -1.90 0.46 1.19 4.35 4.90 7.75 -0.23 -1.40 0.00 -1.22 -0.50 -2.08 -1.80 -1.43 -1.98

Daily opening

71.10 63.60 79.50 89.70 37.40 36.90 65.60 33.50 147.20 195.80 484.00 176.00 265.10 38.80 57.60 60.40 52.80 16.70 35.00 25.30

72.80 66.80 86.00 93.00 38.20 37.80 67.20 35.20 155.00 206.90 521.50 180.00 267.70 40.00 59.70 61.70 54.00 18.30 36.00 26.00

Daily high

65.20 58.00 73.00 83.00 36.50 33.60 62.00 30.50 148.00 190.00 460.00 160.00 261.10 35.00 56.60 54.40 51.40 15.10 31.50 23.00

Daily low

Daily average

71.61 65.23 84.03 91.17 37.16 36.59 66.30 34.34 151.73 202.03 506.39 176.07 262.60 38.97 58.55 60.58 52.12 16.50 34.82 24.91

% change 7.56 11.39 2.14 17.82 5.11 8.25 0.03 15.59 8.98 0.01 0.43 1.64 1.31 3.20 0.73 1.47 2.33 3.08 5.52 3.41 0.01


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

Appollo Ispat CL -N BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Golden Son -A Unique Hotel RL - N Paramount Textile Ltd.-N LankaBangla Fin. -A Generation Next-A S Purbanchol Power-N UNITED AIR A RAK Ceramics-A Orion Pharma-N Beach Hatchery -A Tallu Spinning -A Grameenphone-A BD Submarine Cable-A Singer BD -A UCBL - A People`s Leasing-A Bay Leasing.-A Summit Power -A

Volume shares

780,800 651,208 273,291 166,315 255,500 170,107 221,060 117,030 468,416 130,176 110,720 207,271 124,595 22,800 26,175 21,324 172,753 158,944 95,500 92,507

Value in million

28.99 22.44 17.93 13.97 13.35 12.17 8.10 7.76 7.75 7.24 6.69 6.06 4.86 4.68 4.62 4.32 4.30 4.01 3.76 3.70

% of total turnover

8.92 6.90 5.52 4.30 4.11 3.74 2.49 2.39 2.39 2.23 2.06 1.86 1.49 1.44 1.42 1.33 1.32 1.23 1.16 1.14

Daily closing

36.80 34.10 66.50 84.90 51.70 72.50 36.40 66.00 16.50 56.00 59.90 28.60 39.00 205.40 175.20 205.50 24.80 25.10 39.40 39.90

Price change

-0.81 1.79 4.72 6.93 -1.34 2.26 -1.89 0.30 -1.79 4.28 -0.66 -2.05 0.78 -0.53 -0.45 4.95 -1.59 -1.18 -1.50 0.25

Daily opening

37.10 33.50 63.50 79.40 52.40 70.90 37.10 65.80 16.80 53.70 60.30 29.20 38.70 206.50 176.00 195.80 25.20 25.40 40.00 39.80

38.20 35.30 67.20 85.20 53.40 72.90 37.50 67.40 16.80 56.30 61.70 30.10 39.60 206.00 179.90 205.80 25.50 25.80 40.40 40.40

Daily high

36.60 33.90 64.00 80.90 51.50 70.00 35.90 65.60 16.40 53.40 59.60 28.50 36.00 204.50 174.00 196.60 24.70 24.90 37.90 39.80

Daily low

Daily average

37.13 34.46 65.61 84.01 52.26 71.54 36.63 66.30 16.55 55.63 60.44 29.24 39.00 205.34 176.34 202.68 24.89 25.23 39.35 40.05



Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Food & allied best sector on DSE in 2013 Gemini worst loser as
Tribune Report
Food & allied sector was the best performing sector in 2013 as it gave more than 90% return, says Lanka Bangla Securities in an analysis. The sector is largely dominated by BATBC that accounts for 76% of the sector capitalisation. Its stock prices gained 91% in 2013. BATBCs rally was supported by its 16% growth in net profit, said the brokerage firm in its Bangladesh Stock Market Yearly Review 2013 released yesterday. Apart from BATBC, some small cap stocks like CVO Petrochemicals Refinery and Rahima Food posted 295% and 287% return respectively. The three companies from food & allied sector was also the best performing companies on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 2013. The three are CVO Petrochemicals Refinery, Rahima Food and Bangas despite their poor performance. Second highest major gaining sector was Pharmaceuticals with a rise of almost 40%, driven by Kohinoor Chemicals, Marico Bangladesh, GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh and Square Pharmaceuticals that gained 146.7%, 100.4%, 67.7% and 57.9% respectively.

it turns junk stock

Tahmidur Rahman
Gemini Sea Food was the worst loser at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday, following its degradation to Z-category from A-category from the first day of the year. The company was placed in Z category from A category because the management has failed to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) in the year 2013, according to the DSE. Its share price dropped 9.87% to Tk138.6 each, before rising as high as Tk144. The companys face value is Tk10 each. The company was placed in Z category from A category because the management did not approve any dividend for the year ended on September 30 last year, according to the DSE. According to its audited annual statement, the food company has incurred a loss of Tk1.6 crore last year against a profit after tax of Tk1.2 crore during the same period of previous year. The companys sales have decreased by 58.3% from Tk121.6 crore to Tk76.7 last year. Similarly, its cost of

sales dropped only by 60%. Geminis cost of sales has eaten up its profitability and the management reported losses as lower sales last year could not generate enough to meet the expenses. The companys cost of sales as percentage of total sales is 92.2% last year against 93.1% in the previous year.

Geminis cost of sales has eaten up its profitability and the management reported losses as lower sales last year could not generate enough to meet the expenses
In October, the company obtained positive rating by Credit Rating Information and Services Limited (CRISL). The stock currently has a negative net asset value of Tk5.7 each as in 2013 as the management increase its bank overdraft to Tk29.2 crore in 2013 against Tk12.4 crore in 2012. The stocks have negative earnings of Tk10.04 each and a negative price to earnings ratio of 10.35.

The engineering sector rally was mostly dominated by the Olympic Industries with 124.5% gain in the market capitalisation. Among engineering sector stocks, Singer Bangladesh posted 42.3% return.

Among the major sectors, top losing sectors were bank and ceramics sector with 13.48% and 10% losses in their capitalisation respectively. The banking sector loss of capitalisation is mainly due to 47.6% fall in

net profit in the first nine months of 2013. The fall was dominated by National Bank, Exim Bank, Shahjala Islami Bank and Premier Bank with 46.6%, 31.8%, 29.3% and 26% respectively.

Junk share becomes top gainer

Tribune Business Desk
Meghna Condensed Milk Industries Limited shares registered highest gain of 10% to Tk9.9 each on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday. The Z category or junk stock swung between Tk9 and Tk9.9 during the trading hour. The companys offer value is Tk10 each. Its turnover stood more than Tk18 lakh, making up 0.06% of the total DSE turnover. According to its third quarter unaudited statement, the company incurred losses of Tk1.84 crore from Tk1.27 crore in the same period a year ago. The figure shows its losses increased by 45% due to high administrative and financing costs, according to the companys balance sheet. The excessive administrative costs are due to higher depreciations as seen in the annual report of the year 2012. The financing costs increased as the company took loans in 2001 for financing a project and to maintain the business operations. The financing cost was growing as the company failed to pay interest on loans because of poor performance. The companys nine months (January-September) losses stood at Tk102.6 crore, a sharp increase of 158% from the losses of Tk39.8 crore made in the same period a year earlier.

Yen rebounds against dollar, euro in Asia

AFP, Tokyo
The yen climbed against the dollar and euro yesterday after hitting five-year lows last week, but analysts said the rebound will likely only be short-lived. In afternoon Tokyo trade, the dollar bought 104.30 yen, compared with 104.85 yen in New York Friday, and well off the 105.41 yen range seen on December 30 - the greenbacks strongest level since October 2008. The euro also slipped to 141.55 yen from 142.44 yen in US trade, after hitting 145.69 yen last Monday - also its best since October 2008. The single currency fetched $1.3572, against $1.3586. Tokyos big-spending and easy money policies, aimed at kickstarting the Japanese economy, helped send the yen down by about one-quarter against the dollar since late 2012, while the euro has also benefited from an improvement in the eurozone outlook. The weaker dollar and profit-taking sent Tokyos Nikkei-225 stock index down 2.35% yesterday. Were seeing some risk-off yen buying at the moment as the Nikkei falls, but the general momentum for the (dollar-yen rate) should still be up, Junichi Ishikawa, market analyst at IG Securities in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires. Investors will be keeping a close eye on US payrolls data at the end of the week after the Federal Reserves announcement last month that it would cut its bond buying programme by $10bn to $75bn a month in January. The pullback had hinged on a signs of a firm recovery in the worlds biggest economy, and there is now speculation that the Fed may announce a further reduction at its January meeting. The European Central Bank and Bank of England are also due to hold policy meetings while the minutes of the Feds most recent meeting are due Wednesday. Looking ahead to this week, central bank actions will gather most of the limelight, Credit Agricole said. Investors will be scrutinising the December (Fed meeting) minutes for more clues on the pace of further reduction in asset purchases going forward. We currently look for another $10bn reduction to $65bn to be announced in the January ... meeting, it added. Policymakers in England and at the ECB are expected to stand pat on policy moves, while there is speculation the Bank of Japan may soon expand its stimulus at its next policy later this month. The greenback was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to Sg$1.2697 from Sg$1.2676 on Friday, to Tw$29.99 from Tw$29.95, to 1,065.30 South Korean won from 1,054.70 won, and to 44.73 Philippine pesos from 44.64 pesos. It also firmed to 12,235 Indonesian rupiah from 12,130 rupiah and to 33.11 Thai baht from 33.00 baht. The unit weakened to 62.30 Indian rupees from 62.42 rupees. The Australian dollar fetched 89.44 US cents from 89.79 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 17.24 yen from 17.20 yen.

Lanka Bangla Finance stock tops DSE trade

Tribune Business Desk
Lanka Bangla Finance Limited was the most traded stock at the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday. The stock rose by 2.25% to close at Tk72.3 each. Its shares valued Tk16.9 crore changed hands in the first trading session of the New Year. The value represents 5.53% of the total volume traded at DSE. According to the latest unaudited report (July to September 2013), the company earned a net profit after tax of Tk23.6 crore, an increase of 77% from Tk13.3 crore in the same period a year ago. In first nine months of 2013, its net profit was Tk42.9 crore against Tk37.9 crore in the corresponding period of 2012. Despite a significant increase in provision, the company came out with higher profit due to an income of Tk20.2 crore from its investment activities in the third quarter of 2013. Earlier, the company received positive credit rating from Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Limited (CRAB). The company obtained ratings of A2 in the long term and ST-3 in the short term based on the audited financial statements as on December 31, 2012. The stock price of the company is the highest since December that has a net asset value of Tk31.07, earnings per share of Tk2.06 and a price to earnings ratio of 26.32.

A currency trader calls an order at a foreign exchange market in Tokyo


Funding deficits widen in four of Fragile Five emerging markets

Balance of payments deficits widened over 2013 in four of the Fragile Five emerging economies, highlighting their heavy reliance on foreign capital. South Africa, Turkey, India, Indonesia and Brazil earned the collective name after bearing the brunt of a selloff provoked by a hint from the US Federal Reserve at the end of May that it could start winding down its economic stimulus. Measured in 12-month rolling terms, current account deficits widened in all the countries except India in the four quarters to September 2013, the following graphic, based on UBS data, shows: South Africas deficit was 6.19% of annual economic output in the third quarter of 2013, almost a percentage point wider than in December 2012, while Turkeys widened slightly to 7.18%, the graphic shows. On a seasonally-adjusted annual rate basis, South Africas third quarter gap was even larger at 6.8%, official data showed last month. Brazils deficit widened by 1.2 percentage points to 3%, while Indonesias increased by 0.8 points. Indias deficit, however, narrowed a percentage point to 4.35 percent in the July-September 2013 quarter, due to official curbs on gold imports. To some extent the improvement in India is artificial but at the same time their export performance has also been very good, Christian Keller, Barclays head of EEMEA research said. The improved deficit and a flurry of reforms have helped the rupee to recover more than 10% from record lows in August 2013, Keller noted. The rand, lira and rupiah, however, have continued to weaken.

Social Islami Bank Limited Deputy Managing Director A M M Farhad of handing over blankets to Bangladesh Bank Governors Secretariat General Manager A F M Asaduzzaman for the distressed cold stricken people of the country. SIBL senior executives were also present at the programme

Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited (BCB) has initiated Winter Aid programme for distressed victims of cold wave. BCB Board of Directors Chairman Md Yousuf Ali Howlader has inaugurated the program as chief guest by distributing blanket to distressed poor victims at Mirpur, Dhaka. CEO and Managing Director Abu Sadek Md Sohel were present on the blanket distribution occasion




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014: A challenging year for stock market

Outlook of the new-year for the investors is a positive one, riding on the back of the newly build confidence from the demutualisation along with BSEC (Bangladesh Security Exchange Commission) promotion to A-category membership of International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) from B-category last month, said Ahmed Rashid Lali while answering the following questions during an interview with Ibrahim Hossain Ovi of the Dhaka Tribune. board for effective demutualisation is the key challenge for the DSC because the management wont be able to run the stock exchange professionally and efficiently if there were no professional board in real sense. Searching for strategic partners, offloading of shares, upgrading of existing technologies up to an international standard by 2014 are still the major challenges ahead, among others. For your information, as per demutualisation scheme the DSE has to send a list of 14 candidates to BSEC for selecting seven out of the pool of the independent directors. And, among the independent directors, one will be finally selected as chairman.

Selecting capital market experts for posts of chairperson and independent directors of the demutualised DSE will be a gigantic challenge for the bourse in 2014, Ahmed Rasid Lali, DSE director, tells the Dhaka Tribune in an exclusive interview
the stock market will ensure more accountability and transparency in the whole process of the market.

What should be done to ensure manipulation-free stock market?

How about the overall market performance in the concluded year 2013?

First of all, I would like to mention here there were lots of achievements in the last year, among which, market stability could be considered as the number one success as investors were relieved to some extent, especially those who were hit had from the devastating market crash in the year 2010. Secondly, the market players are now more confident than we have ever seen in the past couple of years and this was mainly because of the upgradation of BSEC to A-category membership of IOSCO. The change in the category has upgraded the status of the bourses to an international level, which will also pave the way for attracting more foreign investors in the upcoming months as well. Besides, we are going to get Advisory Regulation by this month, which would also be helpful for the investors to make worthy investment based on the meaningful fundamental analysis and advices from any of the advisory regulation body. In addition to the changes occurred in BSEC status and demutualisation of DSE, we have already got the benefits from the surveillance software, which

If we failed to select a professional person for the position, would it bring any disaster for the stock market demutualisation?

Both, the stock exchange and the regulator have to upgrade the existing surveillance software to international standard and this is a must. Although there were criticism over the installation of new software at the beginning, but we have already got the due benefits out of it. BSEC has brought Initial Public Offering issuers, brokers and investors under the scanning of the software and also ensured punishment against the offenders as per their offenses.

What should be done to make the IPO market vibrant?

DSE director Ahmed Rasid Lali gestures during an interview at his office recently could also play even more effective role in bringing further discipline to the stock market. Moreover, further precautionary steps were established to check stock price manipulation based on surveillance software output. If there was any gap in utilising the software at its utmost level, it is mainly because of lacking in skilled and trained manpower. We have to address these problems seriously in the current year. With maintaining the present stability, the market will march forward


to a sustainable situation and growth as still we have lot of things to achieve for the stock market in the New Year.

Independent directors should obviously have sound ethical and a professional background. Failing to find such a person would certainly be a bad news for the stock market as a whole. The chairman would need to spend time to discuss with the management over policy matters every demanding situation for actual implementation of the demutualisation. Apart from that shareholder directors should also have enough knowledge about the existing rules and regulations, so that they can play a pro-active role in the policy making decision, as they are largely entitled to influence the independent directors.

Companies which intend to be enlisted must follow the due procedures; otherwise the authority wont allow them to enter into the market as per rules. In order to make the IPO market more vibrant, we have to encourage the good companies to be enlisted in the stock market, and such companies might also be attracted included in the stock market full filing their reasonable demand on the basis of the performance of the company concerned.

How the New Year would be for the DSC?

Will demutualisation bring any benefit for the stock investors as a whole?

What are the major challenges before DSE after demutualisation?

Establishing a skilful


I should say, nothing in particular. But it will definitely boost up the confidence of the investors on stock markets as the demutualisation of

The New Year 2014 would be a challenging year for the DSE in the face of the ongoing political turmoil. The share market will definitely shine under the present system as soon as the political unrest is solved. Political unrest is not only taking its heavy tolls on the share market, but also on the countrys overall economic activities.

Decent end to 2013 for global services but uneven

Service industry growth slowed sharply in China as 2013 drew to a close but picked up across most of Europe, suggesting still very uneven global economic performance even as most signs point to a strengthening U.S. revival. Taken together with business surveys on manufacturing published late last week, the data suggest that an onslaught of global central bank stimulus has had some impact but is not likely to halt any time soon. Indeed, while business has picked up in many places, particularly in the euro zone which only recently escaped recession, inflation has been on a downward trend in most industrialized countries. Asian shares fell to a three-week low after news the HSBC/Markit China services purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to a two-year low of 50.9 from 52.5, underscoring nervousness about how the worlds second largest economy is performing. The equivalent Markit survey for the euro zone went the opposite way, rising to 52.1 from 51.7, with new orders coming in at their fastest pace in more than two years. Any number above 50 denotes expansion. That just goes to confirm everyones suspicions that the Chinese economy is shifting down onto a lower growth path, and that we will see a more balanced growth pattern across the world this year, said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank. He expects improved growth in Europe and the United States. The US ISM non-manufacturing survey, comparable with the euro zone and Chinese PMIs, is due at 1500 GMT and is expected to show faster growth there. Markit said that while the euro zone data suggested only a 0.2% quarterly rate of economic growth, the PMI signaled a strong turnaround in the health of the economy during the course of 2013. The question is whether that can be sustained, particularly when demand in China, one of the euro zones biggest trading partners, is just bumping along. Inflation pressures, which have been dormant in Western economies for many years now, have taken a second seat to discussions about the world outlook but could again come to the forefront given current trends. The European Central Bank, which targets inflation at just under 2%, cut interest rates in November to a record low of 0.25% after surprise news of a plunge in euro zone inflation to just 0.7%.

Analysis: Euro zone - reasons to be wary in 2014

Last year was the least tumultuous for the euro zone since Greece revealed a vast hole in its books back in 2009. The consensus is that 2014 will be just as calm - a view held by some who were predicting the currency blocs demise little more than a year ago. The political will to keep the show on the road has held firm, the European Central Banks pledge to underpin the euro continues to stave off bond market pressure and there is the prospect of economies growing at least a little. Spain, Italy and Portugal are all emerging from recession and Greece should follow suit this year. Yet there are plenty of reasons to be cautious. about the euro zone is the markets unwillingness to test the ECBs safety net. Any hole in that would change the terms of the game at a stroke. Germanys Constitutional Court will rule soon on the ECBs bond-buying program, its as yet unused mechanism to protect the euro zone. The history of the Karlsruhe-based court has not been to reject outright any crisis-fighting measures though it has bestowed greater levels of scrutiny upon Germanys Bundestag. But if it did take the nuclear option, the bond market could declare open season on the currency blocs weaker members once more, pushing it back into crisis. of a new recession. France remains the only major European economy which is beset by serious health problems and has not yet done much about it, Berenberg Bank said in its annual review of the euro zone. President Francois Hollande used his New Year address to offer companies lower labor taxes if they hire more workers. But with his popularity levels at record lows, a radical leap is unlikely. Austerity fatigue is most potent in Greece, the country that sparked the debt crisis. Its coalition government refuses to countenance more cuts and will need some form of debt relief to put its finances on a sustainable path at a time when its parliamentary majority is down to just three seats and the anti-bailout Syriza opposition is ascendant in the polls. A plunge in euro zone inflation to just 0.7% prompted the ECB to cut interest rates in November but many of its members are viscerally opposed to the sort of money printing that finally breathed life into Japans economy. We must take care that we dont have inflation stuck permanently below 1% and thereby slip into the danger zone, ECB chief Mario Draghi said last week. Even without deflation, any slippage in debt-cutting and structural reforms may require further action from the ECB. The history of the euro zone crisis shows that while policymakers lose their sense of urgency when the pressure diminishes, they rush to bolster their defenses when the heat comes on and have consistently done so just in time. 2014 stands to be more challenging and dangerous for euro zone financial

China services industry growth slows, confirms year-end cooldown
Growth in Chinas services industries slowed in December, a pair of surveys showed, mirroring a slowdown in manufacturing and confirming views that the worlds second-largest economy lost steam at the end of last year. Reuters

China concerns hit stocks, Europe sags after data

Asian shares had fallen to a threeweek low after growth in Chinas services sector slowed sharply last month, and Tokyos Nikkei had endured a rocky first day of 2014 trading as the jitters prompted its biggest drop in over two-months. European markets were digesting a raft of services sector data that shed additional light on the divergence between top economies Germany and France as well as the gradual recovery in Italy and Spain. Reuters

Reform zeal

EU elections

High unemployment, austerity fatigue and still anemic growth offer the perfect backdrop for fringe parties to prosper at Mays European parliamentary elections. Some pundits predict a group of anti-euro parties including the National Front in France, Britains UKIP, Syriza in Greece and the Dutch Freedom Party could capture 20% or more of the seats. That could pressure the EUs main party groups to tack right and challenge Europes ability to integrate further given new powers the parliament will have to rule on the majority of EU legislation. It could pull mainstream parties into more euroskeptic positions and complicate both the appointment of a new European Commission (due later in the year) and the task of passing banking union-related legislation, said Alastair Newton, senior political analyst at Nomura Securities.

The ECB has consistently said it is buying time for countries to put their houses in order by curbing debts and enacting economic reforms needed to

Ford says December China auto sales up 35% on year

Ford Motor Co and its local partners in China sold a total of 94,838 vehicles on a wholesale basis in December, an increase of 35% from a year earlier, the company said yesterday. That compared to a 47% increase in November and a 55% jump in October. In 2013, sales by the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker totaled 935,813 vehicles on a wholesale basis, up 49% from 2012, helped by Ford Focus, the best selling model in China last year. Reuters

Services downturn worsens in Dec but hiring picks up

Activity in Indias services sector shrank at a faster pace last month as new orders dwindled, but firms hired at their fastest in five months, a survey showed yesterday. The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, fell to 46.7 in December from 47.2 in November. The December reading is the lowest in three months, and the index has now stayed below the 50 mark that divides growth and contraction for the sixth straight month. Reuters

Bank stress

That the EU has fallen short of its initial plans for a banking union to prevent future financial crises is plain. For several years at least, the buck for a failing bank will ultimately stop with national governments, leaving the doom loop ensnaring weak banks and indebted sovereigns unbroken. The ECB will publish health tests of Europes biggest banks prior to taking over their supervision in November. The scope for a major shock is limited given the extent to which banks have already recapitalized. Still, lending is likely to remain constrained until the tests are complete - hampering economic recovery - and the structure of banking union as it now exists could allow a future crisis to blow up. The main reason to be cheerful

A two Euro coin is checked after being minted in the Austrian Mint thrive in the 21st century. The main flashpoints are Italy, which has stagnated for a decade and has a coalition government which may lack the cohesion to respond, and France which is teetering on the edge


US Senate poised to confirm Janet Yellen as Fed chair

The US Senate, kicking off its 2014 session yesterday, intends to waste no time making history as it moves to approve Janet Yellen to be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. Reuters


If deflation took hold - a big if - that would pose the direst threat of all, raising the prospect of a Japan-style lost decade and making national debts even harder to pay off.

markets than the surprisingly calm 2013, said Russell Jones, economist at Llewellyn Consulting in London. But predictions of the euro areas imminent demise have proved systematically wide of the mark.