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FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017 | Poush 30, 1423, Rabiul Saani 14, 1438 | Regd No DA 6238, Vol 4, No 256 | www.dhakatribune.com | 32 pages plus 24-page weekend supplement | Price: Tk10

Survivors claim

Myanmar army

taking away

Rohingya women

as sex slaves › 3

Time for Bangladesh

media to focus fully

on climate change › 5

‘Trump, European

populists are threats

to human rights’ › 9

Hasina: Bangladesh now

a confident nation › 2

Bangladesh has been transformed under the Awami League’s guidance

into a confident nation in the last eight years, Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina tells the nation on her government’s third anniversary


‘Annual tea output

target 130 million

kilogram by 2025’ › 12

Three banks

overcharge on

passport fees › 32





Hasina: Bangladesh now

a confident nation

• Mohammad Abu Bakar


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday

said Bangladesh has been

transformed under the Awami

League’s guidance into a confident

nation in the last eight years.

In a live televised speech yesterday,

Hasina addressed the nation

on the occasion of the third year of

her government’s second tenure in


“The World Bank now presents

Bangladesh as a model for eradicating

poverty in the shortest time,”

she said.

“Bangladesh has been ranked

among the top five economies

around the world in terms of the

economic development; the size

of the economy has grown to more

than Tk8 lakh crore.

“In terms of GDP, bangladesh

ranks 44th, and in terms of purchasing

power, it is 32nd in the

world,” the prime minister said.

“We stunned the world by maintaining

a consistent growth rate of

6.5%. The rate was 7.11% in the last

fiscal, and the projected rate for

the upcoming fiscal is anticipated

as 7.4%.”

The country has now surpassed

the countries of South Asia and

other low income countries in most

economic and social indicators,

she said.

According to reports of Price

Waterhouse Coopers, Bangladesh

will become 29th by 2030 and 23rd

by 2050 economically.

In her speech, Hasina highlighted

her government’s initiatives in

infrastructure and socio-economic

development, saying electricity has

been extended to 80% of households,

healthcare, basic eduction

and social benefits have been taken

to marginalised communities and

gender parity has improved.

She emphasised women’s success

in various sectors, including

education and sports, and their increasing

representation in governance,

adding that their representation

has been ensured in every

level of local government.

She said in this tenure her

government initiated efforts to

strengthen the local government


“Elections have been held in the

upazila, city corporation, municipality

and union levels and in every

case there have been election in

the reserved seats for women,” the

prime minister said.

She said Bangladesh had ensured

a place among the top nations

in terms of empowering

women, having the most number

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gives a televised live speech to the nation on the third anniversary of her government since the

tenth parliamentary election


of women in the top positions of

the state.

Hasina called upon all, irrespective

of party or ideology, to participate

in the development process of

the nation and leave a prosperous,

liveable Bangladesh for the future


She reiterated that the next election

will be held upon completion

of this government’s tenure, in

which she hoped all parties would

take part abiding by the constitution

and uphold the continuation

of democracy.

She expressed her hope that all

the parties would keep faith on the

president’s decision in constituting

the Election Commission to conduct

the next parliamentary election.

She said people had rejected the

terrorist activities of BNP and do

not want to see any recurrence.

She said the government did not

interfere in the election process.

The prime minister said her government

was ready to commit to

any compromise within the scope

of the constitution for the sake of

holding free and fair elections.

“We were willing to leave the

authorities of the ministries, which

BNP wanted.

“We proposed an election-time

government with participation of

all parties. However, BNP did not

respond to the call, instead they unleashed

a reign of terror,” she said.

Prime Minister Hasina said the

parliament had become a centre

to all activities under her government.

She thanked the opposition

party for giving opinions, and participating

in the discussions.

“Just as the nation is moving

forward, a group in the name of Islam

began trying to create anarchy

in the country through terrorist activities.

“Islam never supports killing,”

Hasina said, and called upon religious

leaders and teachers of religious

schools, elders of the society

and parents and guardians of

young persons to be aware against

the militancy.

“There is no room in Bangladesh

for those who want to destroy the

harmonious environment among

all faiths that we have,” she said.

The prime minister remembered

MP Manjurul Islam Liton,

who was recently murdered in his

home in Gaibandha.

At the outset of her speech she

remembered the 24-year struggle

of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman towards

the creation of Bangladesh.

She also remembered those who

sacrificed their lives during the Liberation


She also remembered those who

were killed on August 15, 1975, including

the Father of the Nation

and his family members. She also

remembered the four national

leaders who were killed in jail following

the assassination of Bangabandhu.

Hasina thanked the people for

giving her the opportunity to serve

for such a long time.

Outlining her government’s successes

achieved during the regime,

she said her government had left

no stone unturned to ensure the

development of the people and the

country and their welfare.

“Defying the problems that had

been piled up in the previous years,

fighting with the adverse situation

in the country and dealing with

the global economic challenges,

we have managed to get on the

highway of development, making

Bangladesh a model worldwide,”

she said.•


RAB arrests


leader’s son

as prime


• Kamrul Hasan

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

claimed yesterday it had arrested

the prime accused in the murder of

Gaibandha 1 constituency lawmaker

Manjurul Islam Liton.

The arrested were Ashraful Islam,

a fourth year BBA student of Daffodil

University and son of Sundarganj

upazila unit Jamaat-e-Islami Chief

Hazi Yunus, and his associates Jahirul

Islam, son of Al Haj Farid Uddin.

RAB sources said they were arrested

from Dhaka’s Badda at 4am yesterday

and later sent to Sundarganj.

MP Liton was shot by three miscreants

at his village home in Masterpara

of Sundarganj Upazila on

New Year’s Eve. He died at Rangpur

Medical College Hospital.

The slain lawmaker had a long

rivalry with the local Jamaat, which

enjoys strong support in the region.

After 1974, MP Liton was the first

Awami League lawmaker from the

constituency and provided a strong

platform for the ruling party there.

Law enforcement was keeping

track of the rivalry as well as of partisan

clashes. While they claimed

the murder could not have taken

place without involvement from

members of Liton’s household, officials

admitted that no strong evidence

had been found to support

the claim.

RAB sources said the arrested

Ashraful and his associates fled to

Dhaka from Sundarganj after the

murder on a black Pulsar motorcycle.

MP Liton’s driver Forkan Akon,

who had chased after the assailants in

motorcycles, identified the vehicles.

However, RAB were yet to recover

the bikes. RAB also refused to disclose

details of the arrest.

RAB 1 Commanding Officer Lt

Col Tuhin Mohammad Masud said a

RAB team was on the way to Sundarganj

to hand over the duo to police.

Jamaat leaders still at large

Although law enforcers are continuing

their drives to arrest the suspected

killer of MP Liton, many other

Jamaat leaders who are wanted in

connection with numerous other

cases are yet to be arrested.

Local Awami League leaders and

activists said that while the drives

led to arrests in a number of unrelated

cases, the Jamaat leaders remained


They claimed that if police had

acted responsibly and arrested the

Jamaat leaders in a timely manner,

the local AL would not have had to

see the death of their leader. •

News 3


Survivors claim Myanmar army taking

away Rohingya women as sex slaves

• Adil Sakhawat, back from

Cox’s Bazar

Myanmar gives assurance of taking Rohingyas back

• Jebun Nesa Alo

Myanmar has assured Bangladesh

that it will take back the Rohingyas,

who took shelter in Bangladesh after

fleeing their country owing to

decades of persecution.

U Kyaw Tin, a special envoy

from Aung San Suu Kyi to Bangladesh,

made the assurance during

a meeting with Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina at Gonobhaban

Wednesday evening, said Foreign

Minister AH Mahmood Ali at a

press briefing held on Thursday.

Kyaw Tin, Myanmar’s deputy

minister of foreign affairs, expressed

that Suu Kyi’s government

were interested in strengthening

‘They took me to their

camp because they

found me attractive.

In exchange for my

life, they gang-raped

me every day’

Sexual violence is an effective tool

of oppression for the Myanmar security

forces who continue to raid

villages in the country’s Rakhine

state in search of insurgents, alleged

locals as well as the Rohingyas

taking refuge in Bangladesh.

This correspondent spoke with

several Rohingya women – new arrivals

at the refugee camps in Cox’s

Bazar – who claimed to have been

picked up by the military and taken

to camps where they were gangraped

for days.

“I escaped a military camp

where I was repeatedly raped by

army men,” said an 18-year-old Rohingya

woman at Kutupalong registered

camp in Ukhiya upazila.

The victim, who said she was from

Kularbill village close to Maungdaw

town, said she was abducted by the

army who killed her parents in front

of her. “They took me to their camp

because they found me attractive.

In exchange for my life, they gangraped

me every day.”

She tried to escape after three

days, but was caught by the camp

guards. “Then they tied my up with

a fence and continued raping me.”

She could not say how long she

was detained in the camp. “I escaped

again and went to the border.

A middleman [boatmen who

ferry the fleeing Rohingyas from

Myanmar across Naf River to Bangladesh

for money] saw my bloodied

state and took mercy on me. He

brought me here for free.”

Another victim, a 20-year-old

from Hatipara village in Maungdaw

who was in the same camp, tried to

explain the sheer horror of being

violated in such a brutal way.

“You do not know how humiliating

it is to be subjected to such

violence,” she said. “Sometimes

three or four army men raped us

for hours.”

Their stories are similar to the accounts

of 23 other Rohingya women

this correspondent spoke with at

Kutupalong registered camp.

The stories are similar in other

refugee camps – both registered

and unregistered – in Teknaf and

Ukhiya upazilas as well.

“These days, the military is

searching houses for young Rohingya

women,” claimed Abul

Hasan (not his real name), resident

of Baluhali village in Maungdaw,

over phone. “When they find

young Rohingya women in a house,

they do not attack the men and just

take the women to their camps.”

He claimed many families were

sending their young females to

Bangladesh to save them from the


Among the most affected villages

in Maungdaw are Wah Paik,

Hawarbill, Bur Gow Zi Bill, Surow

Gow Zi Bill, Kularbill, Lu Daing,

Hatipara, Bura Shiddar para and

Nasa Furu.

The Dhaka Tribune could not independently

verify the allegations.

The Myanmar government continues

to refute these allegations,

saying they have not found evidence

of such assaults and killings.

relations with Bangladesh, said Ali.

Referring to the militant attacks

on Myanmar border posts on October

9 last year, Tin said the Myanmar

government never accused


During the meeting, Bangladesh

expressed deep concerns about the

Rohingya influx following the terrible

attacks on the Muslim minority.

The special envoy was informed

that around 65,000 Rohingyas

of Myanmar have taken shelter

in the Bangladesh border areas.

The prime minister put particular

emphasis on taking back all registered

and unregistered Rohingyas

in Bangladesh, totaling around

400,000. She also asked Myanmar

Having survived sexual violence in the hands of Myanmar security forces, these two

Rohingya women managed to escape a military camp in Maungdaw, Rakhine and flee

to Bangladesh. But fear of social stigma keep them from openly speaking about their

rape and seeking medical help


to lay out a plan in this regard.

“We hope that Myanmar will

solve the Rohingya issue sincerely,

as the prime minister herself made

the request” said Mahmood Ali.

“The prime minister also invited

Suu Kyi to visit Bangladesh again,”

he added.

During the meeting, Bangladesh

proposed to form a committee to

verify citizenship of the Rakhine

Muslim community. Bangladesh

also asked for the support and aid

of the international community in

order to speed up the repatriation

of the Myanmar citizens.

Kyaw Tin gave assurances that

he would discuss the proposal with

his ministry.

The two countries agreed to sign

a memorandum of understanding

(MOU) for a Framework Agreement

on Security and Corporation, and

Border Liaison Office that was proposed

by Bangladesh, said the foreign


“It is good for Bangladesh if Myanmar

accepts the Rohingyas living

here as Myanmar citizens”, he added.

The foreign minister further said

the Myanmar envoy had noticed

that the economic development

and stability of Cox’s Bazar and

Chittagong was being hampered by

the influx of Rohingya refugees.

In response to a question, the

minister said it was true that many

Rohingyas were entering the main


Fear of stigma keeping rape

victims from seeking help

It is difficult to determine how

many Rohingya women have been

abused by the Myanmar security

forrces as many victims want to

hide that they were raped, fearing

social stigma.

Humanitarian organisations

such as International Organisation

for Migration (IOM) and MSF (Médecins

Sans Frontières – Doctors

Without Borders) are providing

primary treatment to the Rohingya

rape victims at the camps.

When asked, none of the aid

organisations agreed to give an official

count of how many victims

they have attended to so far.

“We have been receiving victims

of sexual violence here, but

we cannot confirm how many we

have provided treatment to,” said

Eric Beausejour, project coordinator

of MSF Kutupalong clinic. “We

also cannot disclose the nature of

the violence, nor can we confirm

who the perpetrators were.”

But several aid workers, seeking

anonymity, said the number was

quite high as many victims were

reluctant to seek treatment.

“Most victims take too long to

come to us for help. Sometimes we

receive patients who became pregnant

from rape,” said a field worker

of an international aid organisation.

“But these women have taken

an arduous journey to cross over

to Bangladesh after suffering horrific

violence. We never force them

to come forward; it is their choice

whether they want to speak about

it and get the help they need.”

Another aid worker at MSF

Kutupalong clinic said they had

treated 40 rape victims as of

December 26. •

land and mixing with locals, which

is a matter of concern.

Kyaw Tin landed in Bangladesh

on Tuesday evening for the three day

visit to discuss the Rohingya issue,

and is scheduled to fly back on Friday.

Bangladesh had repeatedly been

trying to sit with Myanmar regarding

the influx of Rohingya refugees

across the border, but the Myanmar

government was reluctant to

cooperate in this regard.

After Bangladesh had sought

support from the international

community through a meeting

with diplomats in November last

year, the Myanmar government

sent the envoy to discuss the Rohingya

crisis. •




‘Govt conspiring

to consolidate

power using



• Shadma Malik and Arif


Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam

Chowdhury claimed that the mistakes

in the 2017 textbooks were

intentionally placed by the government

to consolidate its power.

He said: “Of the three branches

of our education stystem, the

mainstream (Bangla) is highly mistreated

by the ruling party where

the remaining (Madrasa, English

Medium) are handled gingerly.”

A discussion titled “Scandal in

textbooks and the future of Bangladesh”

was organised by Bangladesh

Chhatra Federation at the

Munir Chowdhury auditorium in

Dhaka University yesterday.

The professor emeritus condemned

the government, saying it

had assented to the religious pressure

group Hefazat-e-Islam’s demands.

Prof Serajul claimed Hefazat’s

recommendations regarding

the textbook curriculum had been

implemented by the government.

he compared the textbook saga

with former British and Pakistani

regimes’ attempts at consolidating

their power with so-called “education


“Where they failed, the ruli go

ernment succeeded,” Prof Serajul

stated. •


The strange case of the dead fugitive

• Ashif Islam Shaon

The International Crimes Tribunal

came down heavily on its prosecution

and investigation wing, as

charges have been framed against

an alleged war criminal who had

died eight months before the trial


The tribunal asked the prosecution

to investigate the matter and

collect information about deceased

Md Wazuddin of Mymensingh.

The bench comprised of Justice

Md Shahinur Islam and Justice Md

Suhrawardi passed the order on

Thursday after a report aired on a

private television channel drew

their attention, said one of the

prosecutors Syed Haider Ali.

On December 11, 2016 charges

were framed against Wazuddin,

showing him fugitive and the tribunal

asked to start trial appointing a

state defense counsel for Wazuddin

on government’s expense. Another

accused Md Reaz Uddin Fakir

is already in custody.

However, according to the family

members of Wazuddin, he died

on May 7, 2016 at the age of 70. He

was buried at Briddhananda village

under Phulbaria upazila.

His two brothers Muslem and

Mozafar told the Dhaka Tribune

that they had informed local union

parisad Kaladoho chairman about

their brother’s death.

UP chairman Shahjahan Saju

said the death certificate of Wazuddin

had been handed over to


Phulbaria Police Station’s Officer-in-Charge

Rifat Khan Rajib

informed that they forwarded the

death certificate to the district police’s

head office.

Our Mymensingh correspondent

reports that no officials at the

police’s district unit wanted to

make any comment on the issue

that why they did not inform the

International Crimes Tribunal

about Wazuddin’s death.

Prosecutor Rishikesh Saha

said that after the arrest warrant

had been issued against the duo

on March 29, police on June 16

informed that Wazuddin was absconding.

The tribunal was supposed to

start the trial proceedings through

opening statement on January 31

this year.

Tribunal’s Registrar Shahidul

Alam Jhinuk said following the tribunal’s

order they received report

from the Mymensingh Police Superintendent

on Wazuddin’s death

on Thursday. Before that, tribunal

had no information about that.

The letter was submitted to the


He said the tribunal was not liable

for the incident. The law enforcers

are to blame in this case.

According to the charge framing

order of the tribunal, formal charges

against Wazuddin and Reaz were

submitted to the tribunal by the

prosecution. The court took the

charges into cognisance on March

29, 2016.

The hearing on charge framing

took place on November 22 that


On May 16, 2016, nine days into

Wazuddin’s death, the tribunal had

ordered publication of notice in

two daily newspapers against the

‘absconding’ accused, as arrest warrant

had been issued against him.

The notice was published in two

national dailies on 17th and 18th


As Wazuddin ‘did not surrender’,

the tribunal ordered holding

trial in absentia against him and

appointed a lawyer to defend the

absconding accused.

Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali said

the tribunal expressed frustration

over the matter. It termed the act

of the prosecution and the investigation

wing as an act of extreme


The tribunal also said the matter

has maligned the image of the tribunal.

A trial cannot be conducted

against a dead person. It is an unlawful


According to the prosecution,

Reaz was the local Al-Badar commander

and Wazuddin a local

Razakar during the War of Liberation

in 1971.

They along with their accomplices

belonging to infamous

Razakar Bahini and sometimes

with the Pakistani occupation army

had systematically and deliberately

carried out atrocious activities

directing pro-liberation civilians

around the localities under Phulbaria

Police Station, Mymensingh.

Five charges were pressed

against them including that of abduction,

confinement, torture,

murder and rape. •




declares central



• Tribune Desk

Nationalist Democratic Movement

(NDM) has declared its central

committee in a meeting presided

by Boby Hajjaj the party chairman

on Wednesday.

The 16 members of the central

committee were selected and declared

by the forum members after

a discussion with the Secretary

General ATM Golam Moula Chowdhury.

The selected members are:

Enayet kabir as vice-chair, Abu

Sayed as vice-Chair, Abdullah Md

Taher and Lucky Hussion as jointsecretaries,

Syeda Sadia Mehjabin,

ATM Momtazul Karim and Nizam

Mohammed Uddin as organizing

secretaries, Amirul Islam(Nayan

Murad) as press & publication

secretary, Nurul Kader Chawdhury

as social welfare secretary,

Nuruzzaman Hira, Zahirul Islam

and Harun Ar Rashid as joint

organizing secretaries, Abdullah

Al Mamun as joint-labor welfare

affairs secretary, Maulana Nurul

Kader Siddique as joint-religious

affairs secretary, Khaled Emtiaz

Rahman as joint-sports affairs

secretary and S K Seam Ali as

executive member. •

Experts: Find alternatives

to mercury dental fillings

• Tribune Desk

At a meeting in Dhaka yesterday, dental professionals and environmental

experts emphasised the need for education and

hands on knowledge of mercury-free alternatives for the next

generation of dentists.

Mercury dental amalgam is a major source of toxicity. Many

developed countries are now switching to safer alternatives.

Authorities were urged to exclude amalgam from dental

school curriculum.

The statement was made at a roundtable meeting titled

“Dental College Curriculum Revision and Adoption” jointly organised

by Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS) and Environment

and Social Development Organisation (ESDO) in Dhaka.

Mercury dental amalgam is a health risk for children, pregnant

women, nursing infants and people with impaired kidney

functions. Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the

workplace, dentists, students and patients may suffer from elevated

mercury levels in their blood. Many developed countries

are now switching to safer alternatives.

Syed Marghub Murshed, former secretary and chairperson

of ESDO recommended that the Bangladesh Medical and Dental

Council (BMDC) should take initiatives to change the education


BDS President Prof Abul Kashem said: “It is our duty and responsibility

to protect the public from mercury pollution.”

BDS Secretary General Dr Humayun Kabir Bulbul, ESDO Executive

Director Siddika Sultana and World Alliance for Mercury-Free

Dentistry Executive Vice President Dr Shahriar Hossain

also attended the meeting.•

News 5


Time for Bangladesh media to

focus fully on climate change

• Abu Siddique

As a low lying delta, Bangladesh is

highly vulnerable to climate change

where the effects can already be

felt with increased droughts or

more erratic storms – threatening

to undermine decades of development

gains, reports the UN.

Experts at a discussion yesterday

said although there had been

quite a few reports on the issue,

there seemed to be a lack of indepth

long-term reporting that

would help policymakers with appropriate

adaptation measures.

The discussion, styled “Climate

in the media: Experience Sharing”

was organsied by BBC Media Action

and moderated by Country

Director of BBC Media Action Richard

Lace, brought together climate

change experts and the media in a

bid to further build awareness of

the effects of global warming in


Dr Saleemul Huq, director

of International Centre for Climate

Change and Development

(ICCCAD), spoke about the local

media’s coverage on climate

change, saying: “The Bangladeshi

media has been giving the issue

priority to some extent but it needs

to be more in-depth.”

Citing the example of media

presence and coverage during the

Conference of Parties 21 held in

Paris, he said: “A good number

of media had sent their reporters

Plot to kill Joy: Submit

probe report on Feb 9

• Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

Dr Saleemul Huq, director of ICCCAD on the stage yesterday speaking at Inspiring Risilience conference with Dhaka Tribune

Editor Zafar Sobhan and BBC Media Action Country Director Richard Lace


A Dhaka court fixed February 9 for

submission of probe report in a case

filed on charges of alleged attempts

to abduct and murder Prime Minister’s

son Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

Metropolitan Magistrate Md Sazzadur

Rahman fixed the new date

as police failed to submit the probe

report before the court on Thursday,

the scheduled date for the report.

Amar Desh acting editor

Mahmudur Rahman’s counsel Md

Joynul Abedin Mezbah filed a time

petition before the court mentioning

that he could not appear due to

illness while Journalist Shafik Rehman

was present.

According to the case statement,

Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik

Sangstha (JASAS) vice-president

Mohammad Ullah Mamun along

with some top leaders of BNP and

its allies met at different places in

Bangladesh, including JASAS office,

BNP office and the USA before

September 2011 and conspired to

abduct and kill Joy.

On August 3, 2015, DB inspector

Fazlur Rahman filed a case with

Paltan police station against Mohammad

Ullah Mamun, vice-president

of JASAS, for his alleged

involvement in a ‘conspiracy to abduct

and kill Joy’. •

there to write for the Bangladeshi

readers, which indicates a high level

of interest in the issue among the

Bangladeshi people.

“But very few of them, especially

the print media, cover the issue

throughout the year failing to dig

out the more deeper issues. Most

of them, especially the visual media,

only give importance on the

climate related events without further

in-depth coverage of what is

causing those weather events.”

Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan

also spoke at the discussion

and reaffirmed the paper’s commitment

to reporting climate change

related news.

He said: “Instead of avoiding the

apparently dull and dry issues like

climate change, we try to treat the issue

as one of the core reporting areas

of our paper as Bangladesh is one of

the most vulnerable nations to the

negative impacts of climate change.”

According to the fifth assessment

report of the Inter-governmental

Panel on Climate Change

(IPCC), Bangladesh has been identified

as being at a specific risk from

climate change due to its exposure

to sea-level rise and extreme

events like salinity intrusion,

drought, erratic rainfall and tidal

surge hampering food security and


Dhaka Tribune is currently publishing

a weekly supplement page

on climate change which is to become

a monthly eight-page supplement

with the support of the




over militancy


• Arifur Rahman Rabbi


Terming militancy a global problem,

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

Director General Benazir Ahmed

yesterday said none would be allowed

to use Bangladesh for militancy.

“Political polarisation in this

regard is not acceptable, nor is patronisation”

he added.

The RAB DG said these while addressing

a solo photo exhibition of

Ali Hossain Mintu, a photojournalist

of the daily New Age, at Shilpakola

Academy in Dhaka.

He also warned that if

anyone found to be involved in

militancy will be arrested regardless

of the person being a local or

a foreigner.

Asked about JMB’s capacity to

launch a bigger terror attack, Benazir

said: “The fact that there

were conflicts between JMB and

the New JBM over leadership and

ideals surfaced in 2012. Later, New

JMB, joined by a faction of JMB,

started appearing with their militant

activities in 2015.”

They are now largely disintegrated

thanks to the continuous

drives by law enforcers. They do

not have the capacity to launch

such attacks, the DG said, adding:

“However, we have no scope to be

complacent as militancy is an ongoing


he also said a list of New JMB

members was in progress. •


Court fixes Feb 19 for police report

• Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

A Dhaka court has given Dhaka

Metropolitan Police (DMP) until

February 19 to file a report on the

technical glitch that forced a flight

carrying Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina to make an emergency

landing en route to Hungary in November

last year.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate

Md Golam Nabi fixed a new date on

Thursday as DMP’s Counter-Terrorism

and Transnational Crime

(CTTC) unit Inspector Mahbubul

Alam failed to submit the report as

requested, and sought more time.

On November 23 last year, the

Boeing 777-300 ER was carrying

the prime minister and delegation

to a UN Water Summit in Budapest

when it was required to make an

emergency landing at Ashgabat

International Airport in Turkmenistan.

A technical glitch caused the

fuel pressure of the aircraft to fall

as it was flying over the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan

border. The aircraft

– inaugurated in March 2014

– was carrying 99 passengers including

the premier, and four cockpit

crews, 20 cabin crews and four

aircraft engineers and was able to

land safely Ashgabat airport for inspection

and repairs.

Three probe reports submitted

to the government found human

negligence caused the technical


The prime minister approved

the filing of the case on December

19 after receiving the investigation

reports filed by Biman Bangladesh

Airlines, Civil Aviation Authority of

Bangladesh (CAAB) and Civil Aviation

and Tourism Ministry.

Biman Director (engineering

and management) MAM Asaduzzaman

filed a case on December 20

under the Special Powers Act with

Airport police, accusing nine of its

engineers who had been suspended

based on preliminary findings.

So far, 11 people have been arrested

over the incident. Seven of

them were sent to jail and four others

are on remand. Two were produced

before the court yesterday

and have been sent to jail as well. •


Dhaka 25 9 Chittagong 23 11 Rajshahi 22 6 Rangpur 22 5 Khulna 23 8 Barisal 25 10 Sylhet 24 7

Cox’s Bazar 24 14













Source: Accuweather/UNB



Fajr: 6:05am | Zohr: 1:15pm

Asr: 4:15pm | Magrib: 5:40pm

Esha: 7:30pm

Source: Islamic Foundation





16 Khulna rivers about to die

• Md Hedait Hossain Molla,


Once 16 mighty rivers run-through

the district are now on the verge

of extinction due to manifold reasons.

According to Water Devolopment

Board, there are 41 rivers in

the district. Of those, once mighty

Atharobak, Voirab, Hamkumra,

Vadrab, Salta,Kapottakha, Kajibacha,

Naluya, Dhangmari, Hori,

Atai, Jhopjhopiya,Khoriya, Mayour.

Dhaki, Rupsha Rivers are now

in death like situation.

Maximum of those are heavily

tapped for agriculture, industry and

municipal uses along its course.

A section of local influential

people also set up shops, schools,

homes and many other establishments

grabbing the rivers.

Locals said one could not imagine

that once there were mighty

rivers in the district, but now there

is no water flow in the rivers.

Locals cultivate

paddy after filing

up a portion of

the Nalua River

in Taliamar area

in Khulna. The

picture was taken



Deputy Commissioner Nazmul

Ahsan said residents had to suffer a

lot as they could not run their trade

and business smoothly for collapse

of the major rivers.

“We have taken steps to free the

rivers from land grabbers,” he said.

Advocate Kudrat-E-Khuda said

Khulna city was built up depending

on the Moiur, Rupsaha, Voirab,

Shibsha and Kazibachha Rivers.

But now trades and business of the

city had to face serious difficulty

due to collapse of the rivers.

“Due to negligibility crisis, these

rivers are over flooded during natural

disaster like Sidr and Aila and

thousands of people are left marooned

after tidal surge.”

Mahendra Nath Sen, secretary

general of Jano-uddhag, a local

NGO, said the influential people

Indian Assistant High

Commission in Khulna soon

• Md Hedait Hossain

Molla, Khulna

High commissioner of India

Harsh Vardhan Shringla yesterday

said India was going to

open an Assistant High Commission

in Khulna city soon.

“Khulna city is an important

for Bangladesh-India

relationship. After understanding

its importance, India

has planned to open an

Assistant High Commission

in Khulna city within very

short time,” Harsh Vardhan

said it in a programme organised

by Khulna Chamber of

Commerce and Industries at

its office.

He said: “Khulna is not

only the closet city of Kolkata

but it has long history of

trade and business with India.

Even Kolkata’s ex-Chief

Minister Prafulla Chandra

Sen was born in Khulna.”

The High Commissioner

also said: “India is eager to

enhance economic relation

with Bangladesh. In this regard,

we are going to open a

new Assistant High Commission

in Khulna city.”

Local lawmakers Talukder

Abdul Khaleque, Mizanur

JU completes 46 years

• JU Correspondent

Jahangirnagar University

(JU), the lone residential university

in Bangladesh, completed

its 46 years’ glorious

journey yesterday.

To celebrate the historic

journey of the institution and

observe the “Jahangirnagar

University Day”, the university

administration chalked

out a two-day-long colourful

programme which began in

the morning.

Professor Farzana Islam,

vice-chancellor (VC) of the

university, inaugurated the

“Jahangirnagar University

had built up the structures around

the rivers defying law.

Due to the illegal establishments,

the rivers had its natural

beauty and environment in the

area became polluted, he said.

Mahabub, of Chaia-brikkha, an officer

of another local NGO, said if there

was a little rain, the city went under

water as the water could not be removed

through the narrow channel.

Day” hoisting national flag

and releasing colourful balloons

on Business Studies

premises around 10:30am.

Marking the day, former

and incumbent students as

well as teachers and employees

of JU brought out a colourful

procession from Business

Studies premises. The

procession ended at Selim Al

Deen open stage.

Later, the VC laid the

foundation stone of Abdul

Kadir Molla Convention centre

near Social Science Faculty

around 11:15am.

The second-day programmes

of the celebration

Maximum rivers near the city

had turned into like narrow canal,

he said.

Advocate Babul Haolader said

Lilian Park on the Mayour River

should not be built up.

According to him, strict controls

should be exercised not to allow

any development on the designated

sites of river / water bodies till

the lands are taken over for execution

of open space development

projects. Only agriculture or forest

related activities may be allowed

for the interim period.

On the other hand, people from

all walk of life brought out a procession

in the city on Sunday to recover

the rivers from the clutches

of the grabbers.

Later, they submitted a memorandum

to the deputy commissioner

where among others Advocate

Kurat-E-khuda, Mohsin, Krishak

League leader Shaymol Singh and

Shamima Sultana were present on

the occasion. •

Rahman Mizan, Kazi Aminul

Haque, president of Khulna

Chamber of Commerce

and Industries, Abdus Samad,

deputy commissioner of

Khulna and others were present

at the meeting.

Before joining the programme

the high commissioner

visited the construction

works of Rupsa Railway

Bridge of Khulna-Mongla

railway in Putibari area in

Rupsa River.

Bangladesh and India

are jointly constructing the

64.75 kilometres long Khulna-Mongla

railway. •

will start today morning. Former

students of the university

will bring a colourful procession

in the morning. The

celebration is scheduled to

end in the evening through

cultural programme and raffle


The only full-residential

university of the country

was set up on 697.56 acres

of land in Savar beside the

Dhaka-Manikganj Highway

32-kilometre away from the

capital in August 1970. The

then Chancellor Rear Admiral

SM Ahsan inaugurated the

academic activities of the university

on January 12, 1971. •

News 7



Most Chittagong shopping malls

lack fire safety measures

• Anwar Hussain, Chittagong

Most of the shopping malls of the

premier port city lack fire safety

measures posing a risk of massive

casualty of life.

In some cases, the shopping

malls do have fire safety clearance.

However, the licence is not renewed

on a regular basis from the

fire service department.

The bleak scenario was revealed

following the recent mobile courts’

drives which were conducted to

inspect the fire safety measures at

the shopping malls of the city.

Chittagong district administration

took the decision to conduct

mobile courts at the shopping

malls of the port city in the wake

of some deadly fire accidents that

took place across Bangladesh.

Central Plaza, a shopping mall

which is located at GEC intersection

of the city, houses 166 shops

caught fire on June 28 last year.

A teenage boy was killed and 40

shops were gutted in the fire.

On January 4, a mobile court led

by Executive Magistrate Tahmilur

Rahman found that ‘Central Plaza’

shopping mall did not have fire

safety clearance certificate.

Later, the mobile court fined the

errant owner of the shopping mall

with Tk1 lakh.

Moreover, the owner was given

one-month time frame to obtain

fire licence.

The same mobile court also inspected

Tamakumondi Lane of the

city which is a hub of over 5,000

shops. The business hub is highly

prone to fire accidents.

Executive Magistrate Tahmilur

Rahman said: “The lanes of the

business hub are too narrow to

walk. The fire fighting vehicles will

not be able to move through the

narrow lanes in case of any fire accident.

Moreover, there is no water

source nearby to douse the fire.”

According to Chittagong Fire

Service and Civil Defence, as many

as 454 fire accidents took place in

Chittagong last year where five

people were killed.

Md Jashim Uddin, deputy assistant

director of Chittagong Fire

Service, told the Dhaka Tribune

that the fire accidents were on the

rise, as most of the high-rise and

commercial buildings did not have

fire safety measures.

As per the Prevention and Extinguishment

of Fire Act, 2003, one

must obtain fire licence before using

any building or place as warehouse

or workshop. If any person

without licence uses the building

or place as warehouse or workshop,

a punishment of at least of

three years imprisonment and fine

will be awarded.

Executive Magistrate Tahmilur

Rahman said Chittagong district

administration would call a

meeting soon with the presence of

building owners, representatives

from Chittagong development Authority,

Chittagong City Corporation

and Chittagong Chamber of


“The meeting will discuss issues

on how to mitigate the risk of fire

accidents and raise awareness with

regard to fire safety measures,”

added the Executive Magistrate. •

BSF hands

over body of


• Mohiuddin Molla, Comilla

The body of a Bangladeshi national,

beaten to dead by the Indian nationals

at Haidarabad village under

Kalmachhara police station in Tripura,

was handed over to Bangladesh


“Indian Border Security Force

(BSF) members handed over the

body of Jasim Uddin, 45, son of

Ibrahim Mia, a resident in Begumganj

upazila in Noakhali, around

4pm,” said Uttam Kumar, officer-incharge

of Burichang police station.

The OC said: “BSF informed us

on Wednesday early morning, Indian

nationals beat Jasim up indiscriminately

in allegation of stealing

at Haidarabad village in Tripura,

leaving him critically injured.”

Later, Jasim was admitted to a

local hospital where he succumbed

his injuries on Wednesday afternoon,

he added. •

College teacher

shot dead

• M Kamal Mridha, Natore

A college teacher has been shot to

death by miscreants at Lalpur of

Bagha upazila in Natore. The deceased

is Mosharrof Hossain, lecturer

of Bangla at Mohorkoya Degree


Lalpur police station Officer-in-

Charge Abu Obayed told the Dhaka

Tribune that the teacher was on his

way to home when miscreants shot

him in Tinkhuti area near Bagha

road yesterday around 1:15pm.

Mohorkoya Degree College Principal

Ismat Hossain said: “Injured

Mosharrof was taken to Bagha Health

Complex where the on-duty doctors

declared him dead.” He alleged that

miscreants fled the scene with Mosharrof’s

motorcycle after shooting.

“Primarily, we were suspecting

that previous enmity or hijacking

could have led to the killing,” said

the OC. •

Once Chaktai canal was the lifeline of Khatunganj, business hub of Chittagong, but the water body has dried up due to slow water flow caused by navigability crisis and

land grabbing. Traders of the Khatunganj urged the authorities concerned to take effective measures to dredge the canal and make it free from encroachment

First phase of Bishwa Ijtema starts today

• Raihanul Islam Akhond

The first phase of Bishwa Ijtema is set

to start today on the bank of Turag at

Tongi in Gazipur today.

Tablig activists from of 17 districts

including a portion of Dhaka will attend

the annual religious gathering organised

by Tablig Jamaat and participated

by representatives from almost all Muslim

countries, to listen to the sermons

of senior Tablig scholars from different


Abul Kalam, Azad, a Tablig activist

supervising the preparations at Ijtema

venue, yesterday said: “All works are

being done through consultations.

Separate groups are completing separate

jobs, like setting up gas, water or

electricity connection.”

“To help devotees crossing the

Turag, army’s engineer brigade has set

up floating bridges at seven points of

the river,” he added.

Gias Uddin, another Tablig member

and also an engineer said, “A number

of foreign Tablig activists who were

on preaching assignments in different

districts of the country along with

guests from abroad have already

started reaching the Ijtema field from

Wednesday morning. Rooms have been

built at the north-western corner of the

Ijtema field for the foreign guests.”

“We are expecting the participation

of 25,000 foreign devotees from more

than 80 countries at this year’s Ijtema.

All preparations to serve around have

been completed,” he added.

An engineer of Tangi Zone of Gazipur

City Corporation told the Dhaka

Tribune: “More than 30 million litres of

water will be supplied per day through

the tube wells set up at Ijtema premises.

Around 6,000 concrete toilets have

been constructed.”

Station Officer of Tangi Fire Services

Morshed Alam informed that they had

set up a control tower at the venue.

Gazipur Civil Surgeon Dr Ali Haider

Khan said six medical camps have been

set up at different gates of the Ijtema

premises. We are fully ready with a list

of medical officers and duty roaster to

serve patients carrying different diseases

including asthma and heart diseases.


A total of 14 ambulances would always

be ready to carry patients to hospital.

Gazipur Police Super Harun Or

Rashid at a press briefing at Tangi yesterday

afternoon said for the first time the

whole Ijtema venue has been brought

under CCTV surveillance. Around 12,

000 law enforcers ensure security to

the venue dividing it into five sectors.

Meanwhile, a devotee who came

to Tangi to attend the Ijtema yesterday

morning died of cardiac arrest. He was

identified as Fazlul Huq, 56, hailed from

Mymensing. •






Taliban releases video of

US, Australian hostages

The Afghan Taliban released a video

on Wednesday showing an Australian

and an American hostage

pleading with the US government

to negotiate with their captors.

Timothy Weeks, an Australian

teacher at the American University

in Kabul and his American

colleague Kevin King were seized

near the campus in August. AFP


Indian soldier kills four


A paramilitary soldier from one

of India’s elite security units shot

dead four of his senior officers on

Thursday in an apparent row over

leave, police said. The Central Industrial

Security Force soldier fired

indiscriminately at the officers at

the barracks in Aurangabad district

in eastern India’s Bihar state before

trying to flee. AP


‘China should be barred

from South China Sea’

US President-elect Donald Trump’s

nominee for secretary of state said

China should be denied access to

islands it has built in the contested

South China Sea. In comments expected

to enrage Beijing, Rex Tillerson

told his confirmation hearing

on Wednesday before the US

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

that China’s building of islands

and putting military assets on those

islands was “akin to Russia’s taking

Crimea” from Ukraine. REUTERS


Japan PM offers Philippines

drug war support

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo

Abe offered support for Philippine

President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial

drug war on Thursday

as the pair met in Manila for talks

that also focused on territorial

rows with China. Abe’s two-day

visit to the Philippines is the first

by a foreign leader since Duterte

took office last year, highlighting

Japan’s importance as the Southeast

Asian nation’s top trading

partner and foreign aid donor. AFP


Iraqi forces make fresh

gains in southeast Mosul

Iraqi forces drove back IS militants

in southeastern Mosul on Thursday,

making gains in an area where advances

have been particularly tough,

the military said in a statement.

Rapid response units from Iraq’s

federal police advanced in the Sumer

district, which lies on the eastern

bank of the Tigris river. REUTERS

Scientists closer to solving

mystery of Earth’s core

• AFP, Tokyo

Japanese scientists say that silicon

is likely the mystery element in the

Earth’s inner core, claiming progress

on solving one of the planet’s

deepest secrets.

Consensus has long been that the

centre of the planet is composed of

about 85% iron and 10% nickel, with

sulphur, oxygen and silicon prime

candidates for the other 5%.

But geophysicist Eiji Ohtani at

Tohoku University in northern Japan

and his research team suggest

that silicon is the most likely candidate.

Ohtani’s team conducted experiments

on iron-nickel alloys mixed

with silicon, subjecting them in

the lab to the kinds of high temperatures

and pressure found in

the inner core.

It discovered that the data for

the mixed material observed with

X-rays matched seismic data –

namely, sound velocity, or seismic

waves – obtained for the inner


He said that the finding helps

understand whether the Earth’s

surface was rich in oxygen in its

early formation before photosynthesis

began as oxygen has been

another potential candidate for

the mystery element in the Earth’s

inner core.

Ohtani cautioned that more

work needs to be done to confirm

his findings on silicon.

Some scientists say that if the

Earth’s inner core contains silicon

then it means the rest of the

planet must have been relatively

oxygen rich at the time of its formation,

because oxygen that they

believe existed when the planet

was formed was not confined to

the inner core.

But if the mystery element in

the core is oxygen then the rest of

the Earth was oxygen-poor in the


Ohtani said he does not think

oxygen now exists in the inner

core, citing the difficulty for silicon

and oxygen to co-exist in the

same place.

“But it doesn’t necessarily mean

the rest of the planet was oxygen

rich because there is a possibility

that oxygen did not exist as an element

of the Earth at its formation

in the first place.”

The Earth is believed to be

made up of three main layers: the

solid outer layer where creatures

including humans live, the mantle

which is made up of hot magma

and other semi-solid materials,

and the core at the centre.

The core comprises an outer

layer of liquid iron and nickel, and

an inner layer – a hot dense ball of

mostly iron.

Ohtani presented his team’s

work at a meeting in December of

the American Geophysical Union

in San Francisco, and is preparing

to submit a research paper to a

peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The presentation used a method

similar to that applied by his team

in a study published in February

last year in the peer-reviewed journal

Science Advances. •

500,000 Arab Israeli workers strike over

demolition of Palestinian homes

• Tribune International Desk

Arab citizens of Israel have gone

on a nationwide strike after Israeli

authorities destroyed 11 Palestinian

homes they said were illegal in

the central town of Qalansawe.

“We condemn the Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu personally

for these crimes,” Mohammad

Baraka, the head of the High Follow-Up

Committee, a representative

body for Palestinian citizens

of Israel, said in a statement on


The committee called on Arab

citizens of the Jewish state to

stand together to repel “the new

attack that the government has

taken against us”.

Workers in both the public and

private sectors were encouraged to

participate in Wednesday’s symbolic

one-day walk out. It is estimated

that of Israel’s 1.5m Arab

citizens, around 500,000 took


The dispute comes after buildings

in the Arab-majority town of

Qalansawe were demolished for

allegedly being built without proper

planning permits. The residents

whose homes were destroyed said

they had been denied permits several

times, forcing them to build


Israel’s Finance Ministry released

a statement on Wednesday

saying that the buildings were

not inhabited because they were

still in varying stages of construction,

and built on land outside the

town’s approved borders.


Japanese scientists say that the unknown 5% of the Earth’s core

is likely to be silicon

Inner core

5% silicon,

new study finds

85% iron

10% nickel

Outer core




6,000 O C

Eleven homes in Qalansawe, a Palestinian-Arab city in central Israel, were

demolished on January 10


Qalansawe’s mayor has resigned

in protest.

“The Arab population at times

builds in an unregulated manner

because it hasn’t been given the

possibility of building,” Zionist Union

politician Zuhair Bahloul said.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu responded to the

controversy with a statement on

his Facebook page which said that:

“We are continuing to implement



650 km

5,100 km

6,370 km

Estimated formation

of the planet:

4.5 billion years ago

equal enforcement in Israel...

Home demolitions must be egalitarian.

Amona, a wildcat outpost in

the West Bank built without government

permission, is currently

being emptied of residents after a

high court ruling last year deemed

the settlement illegal.

More than 5,000 Arab homes

in Israel have been destroyed in

the last 20 years and Palestinians

control of just 2.3 per cent of the

state’s land, which activists say is

indicative of their status as “second

class citizens” of the country.

Strikes are a common method of

protest for Palestinian citizens.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu is currently involved

in a corruption investigation.

Police are trying to determine

whether he accepted lavish gifts

from business leaders and allegedly

attempted to curry favourable

coverage in the Israeli media in exchange

for a financial deal.

Critics have interpreted the

demolitions as an attempt to deflect

attention from the ongoing

scandal. •


‘Trump, European populists are

threats to human rights’

• AFP, Washington, DC

In an annual report that typically

focuses on abuses in less-developed

countries, Human Rights

Watch on Thursday issued a sharp

warning that the rise of populist

politicians in the United States and

Europe threatened modern rights

movements and potentially even

Western democracy.

The 704-page report, covering

key global trends in human

rights as well as local conditions

in 90 countries, singled out the

presidential campaign of Donald

Trump as “a vivid illustration of

(the) politics of intolerance.”

It said Trump’s success reflected

a dangerous “infatuation with

strongman rule” also evident in

Russia, China, Venezuela and the

Philippines, with some leaders “emboldened

in their repressive path by

the rise of Western populism, and

by the West’s muted response.” Authoritarianism

was also on the rise

in Turkey and Egypt, it said.

HRW said Syria represented

“perhaps the deadliest threat to

rights standards” because of the

indiscriminate attacks on civilians

by Syrian and allied Russian forces,

as exemplified by the devastation

of Aleppo.

It said that while the West focused

narrowly on the fight against

the Islamic State group, the Assad

government’s forces had claimed

Feuding Indian politicians do battle over a bicycle

• AFP, New Delhi

The humble bicycle has taken centre

stage in a bitter battle for control

of the party that runs Uttar Pradesh,

India’s most populous state, underscoring

the enduring importance of

symbols in the politics of the world’s

biggest democracy.

India’s myriad political parties are

all represented in the polling booth by

pictoral symbols – a system that dates

back to the first elections after independence,

when fewer than one in five

voters could read.

Although literacy rates have vastly

improved since then, the symbols are

still seen as hugely powerful marketing

tools that provide instant brand recognition.

Party names do not appear on the

electronic voting machines in poll

booths, which show only the name of

the candidate alongside the party symbol.

That makes the bicycle a hugely

valuable commodity ahead of elections

in Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest state,

Protesters hold up signs during a march and rally against Donald Trump in Los Angeles on December 18, 2016

“vastly” more lives with frequent

bombing of civilian areas.

And it warned that even a battlefield

victory over IS risked being

hollow, because “these atrocities

could easily breed new extremist

groups, just as similar atrocities

helped to fuel the emergence of IS

from the ashes of al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

whose youthful chief minister Akhilesh

Yadav, famously cycled around the

campaign trail last time around.

On Friday the Election Commission

will hold a hearing to determine whether

Yadav or his septuagenarian father

Mulayam, who is refusing to cede control

of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP),

has the right to use the bicycle symbol

in the event of a formal split.

Antidote: Popular activism

Thus, by suggesting a ban on

Muslims, the report said, “he demonised

the very Muslim communities

whose cooperation is

important for identifying tomorrow’s

plots.” His threatened mass

deportation of migrants would uproot

many who contribute productively

to the economy, while doing

“nothing to bring back long-lost

manufacturing jobs.”

The threat to democracy, it said,

can arise when growing numbers

of people, egged on by populist

leaders, come to see their rights


India's political parties are all represented in the polling booth by pictoral symbols -- a system that

dates back to the first elections after independence, when fewer than one in five voters could read

Symbols in use






Made available by the Election Commission but unclaimed by any party

Road roller

Hand Bicycle Spectacles


Samajwadi Party Indian National


(Uttar Pradesh)

Lok Dal (Haryana)





If no agreement can be reached,

the Commission could rule that neither

side can use the symbol and force the

party and any breakaway factions to

choose new ones with just weeks to go

before the polls open.

Ban on animals

There are several precedents for a party

losing its symbol, such as when the


not as protecting them from the

state but as protecting “these ‘other’

people, not themselves, and

thus as dispensable.”

The report added: “We forget at

our peril the demagogues of yesteryear

– the fascists, communists

and their ilk who claimed privileged

insight into the majority’s

interest but ended up crushing the

individual” even while attacking

“the checks and balances that constrain

governmental power.” •

Congress party of India’s first leader

Jawaharlal Nehru split in the late 1970s.

When the Election Commission

chose to freeze the party symbol

showing a cow tending to her calf

Nehru’s daughter, party leader Indira

Gandhi, chose the current party symbol

of a hand, palm facing forward to

signify openness.

According to The Times of India

the choice was initially unpopular with

some party members who feared it

could remind voters of traffic police –

but the symbol stuck nonetheless.

The ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya

Janata Party (BJP) uses a lotus

flower, which is associated with Lakshmi,

the goddess of wealth.

Parties are no longer allowed to pick

animal symbols after activists raised

concerns that it could lead to abuse of

real animals.

The Election Commission has

said it wants to settle the dispute

over the SP’s bicycle before January

17, when the process of nominating

candidates for the first phase of voting

in Uttar Pradesh begins. •




Trump under fire over

business plan


Donald Trump said Wednesday he

had handed complete control of

his business to his adult sons but

stopped short of a full divestment,

earning a swift rebuke from

the government ethics watchdog.

Trump has until now run

the Trump Organisation whose

network of hotels, golf clubs and

luxury residences stretches across

20 countries but is not listed on

the stock market, thus releasing no

public statistics. AFP


Venezuela opposition

rules out more crisis talks

Venezuela’s opposition Wednesday

ruled out a return to talks

with the government aimed at

easing the economic crisis in the

volatile oil-producing country.

Vatican-backed talks broke down

in December with the centre-right

MUD coalition, the Democratic

Unity Roundtable, accusing socialist

President Nicolas Maduro’s

government of bad faith. AFP


‘Northern Ireland political

crisis could delay Brexit


UK’s plan to trigger Brexit talks

by the end of March could be

delayed by a political crisis in

Northern Ireland if the Supreme

Court rules that Belfast’s regional

assembly must approve

an EU exit, a lawyer for a Brexit

challenger said. N Ireland’s High

Court ruled in October that the

province’s laws did not restrict

PM Theresa May’s ability to trigger

an exit from the EU. REUTERS


Merkel: EU must show

united front in Brexit talks

The 27 members of the EU negotiating

with London on Britain’s exit

from the bloc must stick together

and not allow themselves to be

divided, German Chancellor Angela

Merkel said on Thursday. “It

is important that we do not allow

ourselves to be divided, the 27

must act together in the negotiations,”

Merkel told a joint news

conference with Luxembourg’s

prime minister. REUTERS


Five Malian soldiers killed

by landmine

Five Malian soldiers were killed

when their vehicle hit a landmine

in the centre of the country on

Wednesday. The explosion occurred

between the central Segou and

Mopti regions. “We have lost five

men. Their vehicle set off a mine.

They were all in the same vehicle,” a

Malian military official said. AFP






The Trump-Russia dossier

An explosive but unsubstantiated political

research dossier on Donald Trump’s links

to Russia alleges that his aides colluded

with the Kremlin ahead of the US election,

and that Russia has compromising information

of a sexual nature about Trump.

On Tuesday, after several media reported

that Trump had been briefed on

the allegations circulating about him,

BuzzFeed news took the controversial

step of publishing the dossier in full –

while admitting it is “unverified.”

Here is what we know--

What is the Russia dossier?

The 35 pages consist of memos compiled

before and after the November 8 election

by a former British spy, hired to produce

opposition research on the Trump

campaign, first by a Republican rival of

Trump and then later by people tied to

Hillary Clinton’s Democratic campaign.

On Friday US intelligence chiefs,

briefing Trump on allegations of Russian

interference in the election, reportedly

included a two-page summary of the

most credible claims from the dossier.

That classified summary has been

shown only to Trump, President Barack

Obama, and a group of senators from

the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The dossier’s author was identified

by the Wall Street Journal as former MI6

officer Christopher Steele, now the director

of British consultancy Orbis Business


Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported

that Steele, 52, had fled his home near

London, fearing for his safety after his

name was made public.

What claims does it make?

The dossier includes unsubstantiated

claims that Russians possess videos involving

prostitutes, filmed during a 2013

visit by Trump to a luxury Moscow hotel

for the Miss Universe contest, supposedly

as a potential means for blackmail.

It also alleges that Trump advisors

including his lawyer Michael Cohen

maintained regular contact with Russian

officials and others linked to Russian intelligence

during the election and have

been exchanging information for “at

least” eight years.

How has Trump responded?

Trump angrily dismissed the report as a

fabrication, telling a news conference:

“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It

didn’t happen.”

And he slammed US intelligence for

allowing the information to leak.

“I think it was disgraceful – disgraceful

that the intelligence agencies allowed

any information that turned out to be so

false and fake out,” Trump charged. “I

say that that’s something that Nazi Germany

would have done.”

What are Trump’s known ties to


Trump reiterated at Wednesday’s news

conference that he has “no loans, no

dealings, and no current pending deals”

with Russia, when asked if the country

could have any leverage over him.

Several Trump advisors have longstanding

links to the country, however.

Paul Manafort, his first campaign manager,

was previously a consultant to Moscow-backed

former Ukraine prime minister

Viktor Yanukovych, and also worked

with Russian oligarchs with Putin ties.

Another Trump advisor, Carter Page,

was previously a Moscow-based investment

banker and visited Moscow in July

and then in December after the election

for what he called private affairs.

Trump’s nominee for National Security

Advisor, Michael Flynn, was paid by Russian

broadcaster RT to join a gala celebration in

Moscow last year, where he sat at a banquet

table with President Vladimir Putin. •

Source: AFP

Mexico, US clash over wall as tough trade talks loom

• AFP, Mexico City

While Donald Trump is still days

away from becoming US president,

Mexico is already gearing for tough

negotiations, refusing to pay for a

border wall while rejecting protectionist


President Enrique Pena Nieto

and Trump gave a glimpse of

things to come on Wednesday as

the neighboring countries face a

new and complex era in their relationship.

Pena Nieto said his government

will seek “open and complete negotiations”

with the next US government

and that “everything is on the

table,” including security, immigration

and trade.

But, he said, “at no time will we

accept anything that goes against

our dignity as a country, and our

dignity as Mexicans.”

Trump said his administration

will quickly begin work on the

wall and make Mexico reimburse

the United States through a tax

or another unspecified form of


“I could wait about a year and

a half until we finish our negotiations

with Mexico, which we’ll

start immediately after we get to

office, but I don’t want to wait,”

Trump said.

The cost of building a wall –

which might end up being more

fence than wall, analysts say – has

been estimated at up to $25bn.


250 km



Los Angeles


El Centro




San Diego




Del Rio


Tucson El Paso 5,645

8,775 8,057



Detention of illegal migrants

Big Bend

in 2016 (up to August)


Rio Grande


Border frence


Natural barrier (river, mountain)



of Mexico

Foreigners in the USA

Make up 13% of the population


32.5 million







San Francisco






‘Fears and threats’

Trump, who takes office on January

20, also renewed his pledge to impose

“a major border tax” on companies

that ship jobs to other countries

like Mexico.

The real estate tycoon claimed

credit for a recent announcement

by auto maker Fiat-Chrysler of

plans to boost investments in the

United States as well as Ford’s decision

to cancel a $1.6bn plant in

States with largest

numbers of migrants

2014 estimates


2014 estimates



Illegal Illegal immigrants: where they come from

11.1 million Mexico


25.5% Central America


South America 650,000


Caribbean 425,000


1.7 Other regions*



The auto industry is vital to Mexico,

which is the world’s fourth exporter,

with the majority of vehicles

going to the United States, which is

Mexico’s main export market.

Pena Nieto rejected any attempt

to influence foreign investors “on

“Sanctuary cities”

Do not go after undocumented migrants

and oppose Trump’s deportation plan
















Jersey City New York


Washington DC



The border

3,142 km



posts: 56

Daily crossings


1 million





the basis of fear or threats.”

But he said Mexico was ready

to discuss the future of the North

American Free Trade Agreement

with the United States and Canada,

which Trump wants to renegotiate.

The pact represents $53bn in annual

two-way trade. •

Secretary of State

nominee veers

from Trump on

key issues

• Reuters, Washington, DC

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson

expressed views on Wednesday

at odds with President-elect

Donald Trump’s positions on key

foreign policy issues like nuclear

proliferation, trade deals, climate

change and relations with Mexico.

In a nine-hour Senate confirmation

hearing, the former chief executive

of oil company Exxon Mobil

said he favored maintaining US

sanctions against Russia for now

and that Nato allies were right to

be alarmed by Moscow’s growing


Russia dominated much of the

hearing because of concerns by

Democrats and Republicans over

Moscow’s interference in the US

presidential election and its 2014 annexation

of Crimea from Ukraine and

involvement in the Syrian civil war.

‘Open, frank dialogue’ with


Senators have expressed concern

about Tillerson’s ties to Russia while

at Exxon Mobil and Trump’s desire

to improve relations with Moscow.

Tillerson refused to call Russian

President Vladimir Putin a war

criminal and kept the door open to

a possible change in US sanctions

policy against Russia, saying he

had not seen classified information

on Russian meddling.

“I would leave things in the status

quo so we are able to convey

this can go either way,” Tillerson

said, suggesting “open and frank”

dialogue with Moscow to better

understand its intentions.

He blamed Russia’s aggression

toward Ukraine since 2014 on an

“absence of American leadership”

and said the United States should

have taken stronger actions to deter


Iran deal review

Tillerson said he would recommend

a “full review” of the nuclear

deal with Iran reached with the

United States and world powers.

He did not call for an outright rejection

of the 2015 accord in which

Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear

program in exchange for relief from

crippling economic sanctions.

Trump has made contradictory

statements about the deal and has

threatened to dismantle it.

Tillerson said China should be

denied access to islands it had built

in the contested South China Sea.

He added his approach to dealing

with North Korea, which recently

said it was close to carrying out

its first test of an intercontinental

ballistic missile, would be “a longterm

plan” based on sanctions and

their proper implementation. •


US troops arriving in Poland draw Russian ire




• AFP, Olszyna, Poland

US troops and tanks began arriving

in Poland Thursday, part of one of

the largest deployments of US forces

in Europe since the Cold War that

will eventually involve more than

3,000 soldiers.

The Pentagon operation sparked

immediate anger from Russia,

with the Kremlin describing it as a

“threat” on its “doorstep.”

The Atlantic Resolve mission

will see an armoured brigade with

more than 3,000 Amercian soldiers

and heavy equipment deployed in

Poland and nearby Nato partners

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania,

Bulgaria and Hungary on a rotational


The outgoing Obama administration

ordered the deployment in

2014 to reassure eastern allies after

Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

A contingent of US troops entered

Poland at the Olszyna border crossing

with Germany on Thursday.

Heavy equipment, including

87 Abrams tanks and over 500

personnel carriers including military-equipped

Humvees were to


“This operation threatens our

interests and our security,” Kremlin

spokesman Dmitry Peskov said


Russian deputy foreign minister

Alexei Mechkov described the deployment

as a “factor destabilising

European security.” •

Ruling Justice and Development Party and main opposition Republican

People's Party lawmakers scuffle at the parliament in Ankara during

deliberations over a controversial 18-article bill to change the

constitution to create an executive presidency January 11


Turkey lawmakers

brawl in parliament

• Reuters, Ankara

Turkey will hold elections if

parliament fails to approve a

constitutional reform package

expanding President

Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, a

ruling AK Party lawmaker was

quoted as saying by state-run

Anadolu agency on Thursday.

His comments came after

lawmakers threw punches

and shoved one another in

parliament overnight in a debate

on the reform package,

adding to the sense of political

and economic unease that

has helped pushed the lira to

record lows this week.

The AKP, backed by the

nationalist MHP, is pushing

through the legislation that

Erdogan says will bring the

strong leadership needed to

prevent a return of the fragile

coalition governments of the


“If the proposal does not

pass in the general assembly,

even if nobody wants it, Turkey

will have to hold elections,”

said Mustafa Sentop,

an AKP lawmaker and head

of parliament’s constitutional


Under the current reform

plans, presidential and general

elections will be held in


The reform will enable Erdogan

to appoint and dismiss

government ministers, take

back the leadership of the

ruling party and govern until


The main opposition CHP

and the pro-Kurdish HDP,

the second largest opposition

party, fear these changes will

fuel authoritarianism.

Lawmakers from the AKP

and CHP came to blows as

they crowded around the assembly’s

podium during heated

debate overnight.

Despite the standoff, the

third, fourth and fifth articles

of the 18-article bill were approved

in the parliamentary

session, which continued

until the early hours of Thursday.

Debate was scheduled to

resume on Thursday afternoon.

The bill needs the support

of at least 330 deputies in

the550-seat assembly to go

to a referendum, expected in

the spring. The AKP has 316

deputies eligible to vote and

the MHP 39.

The three articles were

each passed with 341 to 343

votes in favour. •






DSE Broad Index 5,342.9 0.2% ▲ Index 1,243.0 -0.2% ▼ 30 Index 1,910.5 0.1% ▲ Turnover in Mn Tk 14,168.4 -16.9% ▼ Turnover in Mn Vol 470.7 -18.8% ▼

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Three-day Bangladesh Tea Expo began at International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka yesterday


Tofail: Annual tea output

target 130m kg by 2025

Arastoo wants idle

money be spent on

big dev projects

• Asif Showkat Kallol

New chairman of Islami

Bank Bangladesh Ltd suggested

investing the idle

money of Bangladesh’s

banking sector in the development

of the country’s

large infrastructures.

“Excess liquidity of the

banks including the Islami

Bank needs to be used in

big infrastructural projects,”

said Arastoo Khan.

Arastoo Khan, a former

bureaucrat, became the new

IBBL chairman on January

5, amid criticism that the

government had interfered

into the country’s largest

private commercial bank.

About the investment, he

said it would be costly for

the country like Bangladesh

if funds are collected from

China or other big lenders,

though at 2% rate, to develop


He said the lenders impose

“tough conditions”

like purchasing raw materials

for the project concerned

from the lender country,

“which really increases the

cost of the project.”

“If you want to improve

the country’s infrastructure,

we have to increase investment

on infrastructure

to 34% of GDP from 28%

now,” Arastoo Khan told the

reporters after a meeting

with Finance Minister AMA

Muhith yesterday.

He said: “If we mop up

funds from the local market

and invest that in big infrastructural

projects at comparatively

low prices from international

market, that would

be good for the country.”

Arastoo Khan said he has

talked with government officials

about the matter. •

Enamul Bari reappointed

as Biman chairman

• Nure Alam Durjoy

As the country’s first-ever tea expo began

yesterday, commerce minister said

Bangladesh has set a target to produce

130m kg of tea by the year 2025. Bangladesh’s

current tea production is 82m

kg annually.

“We target to produce 130m kg tea by

2025. There are three on-going tea projects

now: one is in the Hill Tracts and

the other two are in northern part of the

country,” Tofail Ahmed said.

He said currently the country’s demand

of tea and production are almost


Finance Minister AMA Muhith was

present as the chief guest at the inaugural

ceremony, also attended by State

Minister for Finance and Planning MA

Mannan, Bangladesh Tea Board Chairman

Shafeenul Islam, Bangladesh Tea

Association Chairman Ardashir Kabir

and Tea Traders Association Chairman

Shantanu Biswas, among others.

Bangladesh Tea Research Institute

(BTRI) Director Altaf Hossain presented

two new varieties of high-yield quality

clone tea plants at the function. BTRI

previously invented 18 varieties of tea.

The three-day exposition has been

organised by Bangladesh Tea Board in

association with BTA, Duncan Brothers

Ltd, Finlay Tea, HRC, Ispahani and Cylon

Tea. It will remain open for visitors

from 10am to 10pm every day until tomorrow.

Tea companies including Ispahani,

Finlays, Halda Valley Tea Co, Ceylon Tea,

HRC, Duncan Brothers Bangladesh Ltd

Bangladesh accounts

for 3% of the global

tea production.

At least 500,000

are working in the

country’s 166 tea


and others are displaying their products

at 16 stalls and 30 pavilions at the International

Convention City Bashundhara.

Organisers said the main objective

of the exhibition is to showcase Bangladesh’s

tea industry to tea-lovers from

home and abroad.

The expo stands out as it demonstrates

the location and nature of tea

gardens, different types of tea, tea-related

products, tea garden culture and

tea tourism, they said.

During the exhibition, visitors will

have the chance to buy tea products

and enjoy cultural evenings.

In his speech, finance minister was

reminiscent of his early involvement

with tea production as his father practised

as a lawyer for Finlays and Duncan

Brothers Bangladesh Ltd.

He remembered the “hard work” of

tea workers in the development of the

industry after the country’s independence.

“At first, there were workers mostly

from Urissa in the tea gardens of the region.

Gradually, Bangalees began joining

the gardens in large scale,” finance

minister recollected.

BTB Chairman Shafeenul Islam said

the commercial tea cultivation began at

Sylhet’s Malnichhara in 1854 and since

then it has expanded over the years and

the demand of tea has been on the rise.

Now, Bangladesh accounts for 3% of

the global tea production, he said.

BTA Chairman Ardashir Kabir said

there are 166 tea gardens and at least

500,000 are involved in the 162-yearold

tea industry.

“Thus, financial assistance is vital to

boost the total tea production in order

to cope with increasing demand,” Ardashir

Kabir said. •

• Ishtiaq Husain

Former chief of Bangladesh

Air Force air vice-marshal

Muhammad Enamul Bari

has been reappointed as the

chairman of Biman Bangladesh

Airlines Ltd.

The national flag carrier

has reconstructed its board

of directors as per the Biman

Bangladesh Airlines

Limited article 38.

Enamul Bari replaced Air

Marshal Jamaluddin Ahmed

(retd) in March 2016.

The authorities also

reconstituted the Biman

board of directors as per the

company act 1994.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines

was made a public

limited company on July 23,

2007 as Biman Bangladesh

Airlines Ltd. •

Business 13

Home textiles thrive in Frankfurt fair

• Ibrahim Hossain Ovi from

Frankfurt, Germany

Visitors at Heimtextil Fair in Frankfurt, Germany yesterday as twenty-three Bangladeshi companies are participating in the

four-day event which began on January 10


Bangladeshi home textile manufacturers

have received good response

from global buyers at Heimtextil

Fair 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany,

which began on January 10.

The biggest international trade

show for home and contract textiles

will continue till January 13.

A total of 23 Bangladeshi textile

companies joined the fair to showcase

their products including bedsheets,

bed covers, cushion cover,

towel and bathrobe to attract buyers

from European countries.

“As in the previous year, we received

good response from buyers.

It is better than last edition and

drawing more new buyers,” Rashed

Mosharraf, general manager (Marketing)

of Zaber & Zubair Fabrics

Ltd, told the Dhaka Tribune

“Along with new buyers, our old

ones in European Union countries

visited us in the first two days.

About 60% of the buyers turned up

at the fair in the first two days.”

Germany is the second largest

importer of Bangladeshi clothing

products. Last year, Bangladesh

exported goods worth $4.65 billion

to the country.

Heimtextil is a platform that connects

manufacturers with buyers,

thus establishing a good network

between the retailers and EU brands

as well as the US and North-American

countries, Mosharraf said during

a visit to the stall at the fair.

“The EU is the largest market for

our products and 70% of the total

export of my company are exported

to the destination.”

Zaber & Zubair exports around

$16 million home textile a month

while its yearly export stands over

$200 million.

The fair is very important for

textile manufacturers as it is designed

particularly for such type of

specialised goods.

Bangladeshi home textile producers

are facing challenges from

Pakistani manufacturers as Pakistan

under GSP Plus benefit enjoys

zero duty benefit of their export to

the EU countries.

Mosharraf stressed the need for

product diversification, innovation

and quality to remain competitive

in the global markets.

Towel Tex Limited Managing

Director M Shahadat Hossain Sohel

shared his view with the Dhaka


He said presentation of goods is

a very important factor for attracting

buyers as it gives an impression

to the retailers.

Heimtextil is a good platform that

presents Bangladeshi goods to customers

all over the world, Sohel said,

adding that though they have got

good response in the expo, still challenges

are ahead due to lack of non-

GSP Plus benefit for EU markets.

Nitori, a Japanese retailer,

sources home textile products

from Bangladesh because of their

high quality and competitive prices,

and on time delivery, HM Saiful

Islam, a representative of Nitori,

told the Dhaka Tribune.

“We have a long-time business

relation with Bangladeshi companies,”

said Nitori.

A total of nine companies have

participated in the fair under the

supervision of Export Promotion

Bureau (EPB).

“We are trying to bring more Bangladeshi

companies at the fair as this is

a very important place to build network

between retailers, brands and

manufacturers,” said AKM Ali Ahad

Khan, joint secretary to the Ministry

of Commerce in Bangladesh.

Heimtextil is a global mini-market

which is joined by the manufacturers

of home textile and home


to exhibit their latest products,

said Nazneen Salahuddin, Messe

Frankfurt country manager for

German economy grows at

fastest rate in five years

• Reuters

The German economy, the major

driver of euro zone growth, expanded

by 1.9% in 2016, the strongest

rate in five years, a preliminary

estimate from the Federal Statistics

Office showed yesterday.

Europe’s largest economy is benefiting

from rising private consumption

and increased state spending on

refugees, compensating for a weaker

contribution from trade amid sluggish

demand from major trading

partners and emerging markets.

Economists polled by Reuters

had expected growth in gross domestic

product (GDP) of 1.8% for

2016 after an expansion rate of 1.7%

in the previous year. The growth

rate of 1.9% matched the highest

forecast in the poll.

The Statistics Office said it estimated

growth was around 0.5% for

the fourth quarter.

“The German economy in 2016

once again defied an entire series

of downside risks, thanks to strong

domestic demand,” said ING economist

Carsten Brzeski, adding that

Germany’s biggest risk now was


“The economy urgently needs

new impetus from new structural

reforms and stronger public and

private investment. It is very unlikely

that it will get any of these

before the elections,” he said.

Germany goes to the polls for a

federal election in September.

A breakdown of the 2016 GDP figures

showed private consumption

rose by an adjusted 2% on the year,

contributing 1.1 percentage points to

the overall 2016 growth rate. •


The Frankfurt fair facilitates the

participation of Bangladeshi companies

in the international trade show.

By taking part in the expo, manufacturers

can be enriched to improve

the quality of their products

and know about their customers,

Nazneen observed.

“It may so be that participants

would not get any buyers, but they

may be able to get in touch with

buyers and establish a network,”

she added.

Most participants focus on

building network for further expansion

of their business as Heimtextil

is a hub for manufacturers.

The buyers from EU, United

States and North America visit

Heimtextil to select their product

source for the whole year.

A total of 2,963 companies from

67 countries joined Heimtextil this

year, which, with its all indications,

points to success. •



NBR mulls

forming revenue

security forces

• Tribune Business Desk

The National Board of Revenue

(NBR) is planning to form its own

revenue security squad to make

sure people involved with revenue

collection remain secure during

their duties.

“Many of the countries have developed

their own revenue security

squad. NBR is also planning to introduce

such strong security squad

and the government high-ups have

also made positive indications to

the plan,” NBR Chairman Md Nojibur

Rahman said yesterday.

Nojibur came up with the disclosure

while addressing a trainers’

programme under the new Value

Added Tax and Supplementary

Duty Act 2012 at Barisal, said a NBR

press release.

Those involved in revenue

collection remain under security

threats and their security is very

important for this reason, he said.

Meanwhile, at a separate press

conference organised at Barisal Income

Tax zone, the NBR boss said

e-TIN registration would cross 30

lakh by the end of this year.

He said there will be revenue offices

in every district to accommodate

income tax, customs and VAT

offices. On the other hand, NBR

also held a revenue dialogue in

Barisal attended by Industries Minister

Amir Hossain Amu and Chief

Whip ASM Feroz.

Addressing the function, the industries

minister emphasised the

necessity of paying tax and developing

tax payment culture in the


On the other hand, ASM Feroz

requested NBR to make separate

rate of taxes for the divisions, districts

and upazilas.

He also also requested the authorities

not to increase tax on mega

projects, rather to expand the tax

base through bringing new sectors. •

Opec secretary-general

expects oil inventories

to fall by Q2

• Reuters

OPEC expects to see global oil inventories

fall by the second quarter

of this year in response to producers’

agreement to cut output, OPEC

Secretary-General Mohammed

Barkindo said yesterday .

Speaking to reporters on the

sidelines of a conference, Barkindo

said OPEC had no specific oil price

objective in mind, but wanted a

price that would sustain investment

in the oil industry.

Asked whether there was a

risk that Iraq would not keep to

its agreement to reduce output,

Barkindo said he had met with Iraqi

officials and saw no reason to

doubt that Iraq would implement

its cuts fully.

He also said that in general, he

was confident that producers were

committed to the deal between

OPEC and non-OPEC states. It

would be premature to say whether

the deal will need to be extended

beyond six months, he said. •





Pessimism over Asia FX eases

• Reuters

Sentiment towards most emerging

Asian currencies improved in recent

weeks, a Reuters poll showed

yesterday , with bearish bets against

China’s yuan falling to the smallest

level in three months after Beijing

clamped down on capital outflows

and speculators.

Signs that the resurgent US

dollar was losing steam after a

months-long rally have also offered

some respite to emerging market


Bets on the Indonesian rupiah

turned bullish for the first time

since late October.

Bearish bets on five regional currencies

fell, including the Singapore

dollar, though it saw only a very

slight decrease in short positions.

The improvement came in the

wake of aggressive moves by Chinese

authorities to shore up the

yuan early in the new year after a

6.6% slide against the dollar in 2016.

In recent weeks, state banks have

sold dollars and bought yuan and

Beijing has tightened restrictions on

capital outflows. In offshore markets,

Chinese banks suddenly withheld

funds, sending yuan borrowing

costs in Hong Kong soaring and

triggering a fierce short-squeeze.

A bank employee fills a form after counting stacks of old 1000 Indian rupee banknotes inside a bank in Jammu

The offshore Chinese yuan posted

a record weekly rise last week,

helping to steady onshore yuan

levels, though most market watchers

expect further depreciation later

in the year.

The Taiwan dollar and South Korean

won bucked the regional trend,

however, with bearish bets against

both increasing compared with the

previous Reuters poll on Dec 8.

The bulk of the 17 responses to the

Reuters survey of FX analysts, fund

managers and traders came before

US President-elect Donald Trump’s

news conference on Wednesday.

Trump, who takes office on Jan

20, offered no details on his plans

for infrastructure spending and tax

cuts, disappointing dollar bulls and


sending the greenback lower.

The poll is focused on what analysts

and fund managers believe

are the current market positions in

nine Asian emerging market currencies:

the Chinese yuan, South

Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian

rupiah, Taiwan dollar,

Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian

ringgit and the Thai baht. •

Euro zone industry

output surges more

than expected in


• Reuters

Euro zone industrial output increased

by much more than expected

in November as firms sharply

stepped up the production of

non-durable consumer goods, such

as clothing or foodstuff, a sign of better

growth in the last quarter of 2016.

The European Union’s statistics

office Eurostat said yesterday industrial

production in the 19-country

single currency bloc rose in November

by 1.5% during the month,

and by 3.2% year-on-year.

Both figures were much higher

than market expectations. A Reuters

poll of economists had forecast

an average monthly rise of 0.5%

and a 1.6% increase year-on-year.

Eurostat also revised upwards

its earlier estimates for October to

a 0.1% rise on the month instead

of the 0.1% decline previously estimated

and to a 0.8% increase yearon-year,

up from an initial 0.6%.

The monthly output rise in

November was mostly due to a

2.9% increase in the production of

non-durable consumer goods, in a

sign of companies’ improved expectations

for consumption ahead

of the Christmas shopping. •

Renewable energy investment

fell 18% in 2016

• AFP, Paris

Global investment in renewable

energy dropped by 18%

in 2016 due to sharp falls in

equipment prices and a slowdown

in China and Japan, a

study found yesterday.

After reaching record levels

in 2015, investment fell last

year to $287.5bn, according

to researchers at Bloomberg

New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The fall was due in part to

“further sharp falls in equipment

prices, particularly in

photovoltaics,” it said.

But it also was down to

a marked cooling in China

and Japan, two key markets,

where investment in renewable

energies fell significantly

on the previous year.

Following a record year in

2015, Chinese investment fell

26% to $87.8bn, down from

$119.1bn, while in Japan it

dropped 43% to $22.8bn.

After boosting spending on

clean energies with some of

the most generous subsidies

in the world, both nations

are now shifting their focus,

“cutting back on building new

large-scale projects and digesting

the capacity they have

already put in place,” said

BNEF’s Asia head, Justin Wu.

“The government is now

focused on investing in grids

and reforming the power

Cutting back

on building

new large-scale

projects and

digesting the

capacity they

have already put

in place

market so that the renewables

in place can generate to

their full potential.”

Record year for wind

Despite falling oil prices,

which tend to reduce investment

in energy efficiency, the

renewables sector is growing

rapidly, with 2016 a record

year for offshore wind power

where investment pledges

rose 40% to $29.9bn.

The growth was driven by

developers taking advantage

of “improved economics” resulting

from the availability

of bigger turbines and better

construction knowhow, the

study said.

In the United States, investment

in renewable energy fell

7% to $58.6bn, while in Canada,

it slipped 46% to $2.4bn.

Across the Asia-Pacific region,

which accounts for 47%

of the global figure, there was

an overall fall of 26% to $135bn,

although Indian investment

remained at almost the same

level as 2015, at $9.6bn.

By contrast, Europe

bucked the overall trend,

with a slight increase of 3%

to $70.9bn, with the UK leading

the pack for the third year

in a row with investment of

$25.9bn, a rise of 2%.

Germany ploughed $15.2bn

into the sector, representing a

16% fall on 2015, while France

invested $3.6bn, down 5% on

the previous year.

The picture was worse in

developing countries where

many projects did not secure

funding before the year’s

end. South Africa saw investment

fall 74% to $914m,

while it was down 80% in

Chile to $821m. •

Business 15



Taiwan, South Korea

lead foreign equity

investments in 2016

• Reuters


Taiwan and South Korea led

foreign investments into

Asian equities last year, but

the fourth quarter saw huge

outflows due to a rise in US

bond yields.

Foreign investors net sold

about $10bn in seven stock

markets - Taiwan, India, Indonesia,

the Philippines, Vietnam,

Thailand and South

Korea - in the fourth quarter,

according to stock exchange


Asian markets are expected

to see more outflows this

year as expectations grow for

more rate increases in the

United States, according to analysts.

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited has recently held an annual business

development conference, said a press release. The bank’s chairperson,

Arastoo Khan inaugurated the conference as chief guest

IDLC Finance has inaugurated its first LEED (Leadership in Energy

and Environmental Design) certified environment friendly branch

in Agrabad, said a press release. The company’s chairperson, Aziz Al

Mahmood inaugurated the branch

Social Islami Bank Limited has recently held its 384th board meeting,

said a press release. The bank’s chairperson, Major Dr Md Rezaul Haque

(retired) presided over the meeting

NRBC Bank has recently held a conference named Managers’ Meet

2017, said a press release. The bank’s chairperson, Engr Farasath Ali

inaugurated the conference





New life

• Saudia Afrin

The new year has rolled in,

bringing with it, as the start

of a new year usually does, a

fresh fervour for embarking

onto exciting new endeavours.

One of the most fulfilling things

about taking up a new project of

redecorating your own home is

that you have full creative control

over it. You get to experiment as

much as you please and there is no

deadline to suck out all of the joy.

In this article, we look into

bringing a few changes to old

belongings and how to craft

gorgeous adornments from

unused old materials. Let’s explore

a few ideas.

Place of the beloved

Give the old, unsightly wooden

tables, corner racks or bookshelves

a new life. How? There are plenty

of ways to do so. You can either

paint it with beautiful earthy

substance like different kinds of

local shrub or wild flower or with

vibrant gipsy patterns. Getting

ideas from rickshaw paint can be a

good start.

Trying this out on a table will

be relatively uncomplicated and

simple. Start by painting the entire

table in a solid colour and let it dry.

Now, spend some time selecting

the images you would prefer to

paste over it. To bring a jaunty vibe

the best pictures by your favourite

photographer may work wonders.

Another idea is to have

upcoming important events in

front of your sight by sticking

them on the table. And what

would fill your unpleasant and

stressed situation more better than

photographs of your friends and

family? So, you could consider

putting some of those on the

table. But anything else is fine, if

you want them. Nothing is off the

table, so to speak.

Stick the pictures on the table

with a moderate amount of glue.

You can create a neat display

with a few favourites, or create a

more chaotic look by completely

covering the table with different

photos of your choice.

The process of paint should be

quite easy but nothing’s stopping

you from calling a friend or family

member and make the process a

really fun one.

Conceal area

We don’t want to let go our

favourite things, no matter how

useless it becomes. This can be

anything from a piece of art or toys

from childhood, a precious gift

to a piece of fabric. Regardless of

their usefulness, they make us feel


How can we use these stuff

in decorating the rooms? Start

by creating a white background

frame. Take the art or toy or

fabric and place it on the white

background. Hang it on the wall.

That’s almost too easy and

yet it can totally change the little

corners that usually stay blank

and look bland. Fill them up with

childhood toys and memorable

gifts and see that little empty

corner come to life.

Floor treatment

While refurbishing the room,

one feature that often being

ignored is the floor. However,

before attempting a makeover, it

is essential to consider choosing

the right material, and the best

area rug for your space. A fresh

change can be brought to the room

by simply throwing in a few rugs

beside the window. Placing a lowheight

square table beside it would

add a touch of poetic tone to the

entire environment of the room.

This corner may serve as a place

for writing diary or reading a book.

Organic material based rug

such as sisal rug would be the

best choice if you like an organic

aura in your home. Cheap yet

gorgeous, polymer rugs can serve

the purpose too.


Yes, this is an age-old idea yet a

worthy one. Different types of


containers, cartons such as tin

cans and glass bottles can be

recycled to grow indoor plants in

them or to use as a holder.

If you go with indoor plant,

these can be placed near windows

or in your balcony. Also, with a

support of wooden frame from

above hanging them in a row

Note: Colours have a deep impact on our psyche. Some

colour makes us happy, some make us agitated and some

brings peace to mind. Choose your ones wisely. If your

room space is not so big and you want a more wider look

go with light hues as base colour for four walls and opt for

darker hues for an alternative perspective.

upon wall would look nice as well.

Nurturing plants and witnessing

them grow can be an inspiring,

even spiritual, experience.

Paint them and draw patterns

upon the body of tin cans and

glass bottles to make them look

presentable. This also brightens up

your room.

However, unpainted ones have

a classy, unvarnished DIY look to it

in case you like that better.

For a rustic decor, employ small

glass jars in the corners of an

open shelf for a vivid and efficient

decoration. To add in some fun

elements, fill the jars with buttons,

origami, candy and sequins of

different shapes and colours. •





Bistro Interactive Cooking Session at

The Westin

“This interactive session is the

first of its kind in Dhaka, and we

want our restaurant to be more

accessible for everyone, therefore

the prices offered in the new menu

are catered accordingly,” said

Selina Momen, the Director of PR

and Liaison at The Westin Hotel.

Chef Marrosu made three

main courses in front of the

crowd, ending it with an elegant

dessert, for which one person

from the audience assisted him.

The first dish was their healthy

and delicious Cobb Salad, a

combination of grilled chicken,

avocado, fresh lettuce, boiled eggs,

tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.

A fusion Asian dish called Kun

Pao was cooked next for seafood

lovers. It is a healthy calamari

curry, prepared with extra virgin

oil and consists of shrimp, squid,

and capsicum, moreover it is

seasoned to perfection with a

variety of flavourful stir fry sauces.

Another main dish put together

by Marrosu, was the Prego Special


Two in One, a tender and juicy

double patty burger. The burger

patty, was also healthy in the sense

that it was pan-fried without any

oil, and fresh lettuce, tomatoes,

and cheese were added for

garnishing. The last dish prepared

from the menu by the gourmet

chef, was a freshly made and well

garnished dessert called the Black

Sesame Pear Cake.

The event ended with a food

tasting session which introduced

the bistro items to the guests. •

• Moumita Ahmed

The Westin Dhaka organised an

interactive cooking session on

Monday, January 9, introducing

their new Bistro menu at Prego,

the signature Italian restaurant.

The fun cooking session was

conducted by Cristiano Marrosu,

Chef De Cuisine of Prego.

Marrosu prepared a few items

from their newly launched menu

along with the assistance of the

guests present there. The bistro

menu consists of new appealing

and healthy dishes, which are

lightweight and low in calorie,

appropriate for a quick lunch or


Mouth-watering dishes in the

salad, sandwich, burger, main

course, and dessert section, will be

available in the new Bistro menu.

The salad menu has Chinese BBQ,

Chicken Caesar, and Cobb salad.

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

Sandwich, Prego Special 2 in 1

Burger, and Hickory Barbecue

Bacon Cheeseburger are some of

the favourites that can be ordered

from the sandwich and burger

section. The main course offers the

special Watermelon Ribs, Coffee

Crusted Grilled Lamb Chops, Prego

Barramundi Fish and Chips, and

many other delicious bistro food.

For those with a sweet tooth, the

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fun Cake

and the Black Sesame Pear Cake

are a must try.





Autism Welfare Foundation hosts sports event

Autism Welfare Foundation

(AWF) started its journey on

April 4, 2004. From only a

handful of learners and teachers

the foundation now has 170

regular students and 40 students

attending its Saturday and ‘early

stimulation’ programs. The

number of teachers is now 65.

Autistic children and teens can

contribute to and integrate into

the mainstream society if they are

given the right kind of training

and assistance. With that principle

at the core the foundation has

been carrying out training and

teaching autistic students. It

strives to employ the most modern

methods in teaching and provide

vocational training that is in touch

with contemporary practice and

easy for the learners. The AWF

organises many competitions for

its learners.

The AWF has been organising

bi-annual sports competitions

since 2006. Marked by

spontaneous participation of

the students the daylong event

has become a source of joy and

genuine entertainment for the

children and other participants.

The foundation considers

sports to be part of the education.

Sports helps develop students

physically as well as mentally.

The AWF has been working

toward that end for over a decade.

This year the sports competition

was held at the Sultana Kamal

Mahila Krira Complex on January

6. This was the 6th bi-annual

sports competition by the

foundation since 2006. The event

this year was sponsored by Runner

Group of Companies.

The program was chaired

by Dr Rownak Hafiz, the

chairperson of the foundation

and was inaugurated by Hafizur

Rahman Khan, member of AWF

and the chairman of Runner

Group of Companies. Ruhi

Murshed, the head of CSR, PR

and Communication at BSRM,

Mizanur Rahman, vice-president

of AB Bank, eminent writer Anisul

Haque were present at the event.

Students took part in sprint, ball

throw, ball kick, chocolate chase,

maths chase, musical chair, sack

hopping, bouchi and other game


competitions. Students performed

Quran recitation, the national

anthem, physical exercises and

other exhibitions for the for the

attendees. •

Bangladesh Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2017

The 6th Sustainable Development

Goal (SDG) declared by the United

Nations recognises “Safe Water and

Sanitation” as a basic necessity for

mankind. It’s not only necessary

for us to ensure safe water for

the growing population – it’s our

duty to ensure sustainable use

and maintenance of the drinkable


water available on earth. To fulfil

this ancient and timeless need

of human kind, many brainy and

generous men have contributed

with merit and wealth. Stockholm

Junior Water Prize is the largest

and most renowned water based

program for the youth in the

history of the world. Organised

by Stockholm International Water

Institute (SIWI), this competition

awards adolescent scientists with

prestigious recognition for solving

water problems that people around

the world have been facing.

Bangladesh Stockholm Junior

Water Prize (SJWPBD) was

brought to life in association with

WaterAid and House of Volunteers,

Bangladesh. SJWP, BD 2017 has

been launched on November 17,

2016. Online registration for the

national level competition has

been going on, and the deadline

is on March 10, 2017. Winner of

the national level competition

is to represent Bangladesh in

the Grand Finale of SJWP at

Stockholm, Sweden, in August

2017. All necessary information for

registration and records of the past

two seasons are available in the

website http://sjwpbd.org and

social media pages of “Bangladesh

Stockholm Junior Water Prize.”

The competition brings

together the world’s brightest

young scientists to encourage

their continued interest in water

and the environment. In 2016,

thousands of participants in

countries all over the world joined

national competitions for the

chance to represent their nations

at the international final, when the

winners were chosen from a short

list of 52 young innovators from 29

countries. Apart from the trophy

of the competition, the Diploma of

Excellence commendation is given

to students who make outstanding

contribution in solving water

problems sustainably that have

huge social impacts. The platform

is of great importance to the young

leaders across the globe who are

ready to start off their lives by

coming up with solution to water

related crises and by making

lives easier – in many cases, by

saving lives, too. Participating in

the competition gives the young

students a very close encounter

with scientific research, problem

solving methods, train them to

think efficiently and gives them a

useful experience for a lifetime.

Bangladesh sent her young

representative, Bakhtiar Zaman

Bhuiyaan from St Joseph Higher

Secondary School, to join the

crown of young scientists at the

Grand Finale of the competition at

Stockholm, Sweden.

Earlier in 2015, Navid Haider,

Sk Rifayet Daiyan Srijon, Labib

Tazwar Rahman from St Joseph

Higher Secondary School won

the national prize for their

project ‘Aqua Processor.’ Labib

represented Bangladesh in SJWP

2015 Grand Finale. SJWP, BD Team

is eagerly waiting for the new

representative of the country to

lift the National Flag in Sweden

this August. •

Biz Info




| launch |

Gourmet Bazaar opens in Dhaka

Gourmet Bazaar, the finest

grocery store in Dhaka has

made a debut in the retail

industry in Bangladesh on

January 12. The store is located

in 153/A, Rangs Arcade,

Gulshan North Avenue,

Gulshan-2. Apart from the

captivating interior, Gourmet

Bazaar is focused to bring in

imported product range and

organic grocery items which

comprise of organic produce

including fruits, vegetables,

pulses, and rice, along with

special homemade ranges

from local brands for ultimate

customer satisfaction. The

store will be bringing in

cheese imported from Italy,

spices from UK and chocolates

of the supreme quality .

Gourmet Bazaar will also be

offering varieties of sea fish

and fresh meat choices. It is

a brand promising the best

supermarket experience in

Bangladesh. •


| recognition |

Enamul Hoque Enam elected as

the member of Media and Public

Awareness committee of FOBANA

| offer |

Amazing offer at Caramel


Enamul Hoque Enam was elected

as the member of Federation of

Bangladeshi Association in North


America (FOBANA). He is the

Publisher and Managing Editor

of Business Magazine ‘Business

America,’ published from

America and ‘Weekly

Arthakantha’ published from

Bangladesh. He is also the

founder of ‘Business Asia’

published from Singapore.

Enamul Hoque has been

living in Austin, Texas for a

long time, and is well-known

among the Bangladeshi

immigrants of America and

Canada. He was elected as

a member of the Media and

Public Awareness committee

of FOBANA, the largest

organisation of Bengali

speaking people residing

in North America. This

was published in a press

release signed by FOBANA

Chairman, Azadul Haq

and Executive Secretary

Mohammad Mowla Dilu. The

FOBANA conference of this year

will be held on October 6, 7 and 8

at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Enamul Hoque Enam was born

on February 28, 1971 in an elite

family of Duphchachiya upazila

of Bogra District. Enam was an

active student leader who later

became a journalist. He was

associated with many renowned

weeklies like ‘Bichitra’ and

other national and international

media. He was the founder of

‘Arthokontho,’ the economy

and business magazine of

Bangladesh. He was elected as

the executive member of Dhaka

Reporters Unity several times.

The other members of Media

and Public Awareness Committee

are Azadul Hoque, Chairperson,

Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury,

Adviser, Abir Alamgir, NTV,

Co-chairperson and Dewan

Muniruzzam, journalist, cochairperson.

More than 30 special platters have

been introduced at Caramel Scoop.

The price of the platters start from

Tk199 (including vat) only. The

offer is available throughout the

month of January. The minimum

order for any platter is 2.

Platter 1: Thai fried rice, chicken


basil leaf, soft drinks and ice cream

Platter 2: American fried rice,

chicken basil leaf, wonton and soft


Many other platters are

available at Caramel Scoop,

containing a variety of delicious

items. •






We need to talk

about sex

How far are we, our friends, our family

members from being sex offenders?

How far are we from being sexually



Words and the city

This is precisely what sets apart the

Dhaka Lit Fest from most other such

literature, arts, and ideas festivals in the

sub-continent. That is the increasing

connect and relevance of this festival in

the city to its citizens



Harder to breathe

True or not, Russia

allegations will scar

Trump presidency

The risk for Trump is that the reality or

otherwise of the allegations ceases to

be the point: The fact they are so widely

known just undermines his credibility


Be heard

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The views expressed in opinion

articles are those of the authors

alone and they are not the

official view of Dhaka Tribune

or its publisher.

Alarming levels of carcinogens float freely in Dhaka’s air.

A new study has confirmed what Dhaka residents already knew.

With next to no rules in place to control pollution, the problem

in the city will only get worse. On top of that, when there are rules

in place, there is no implementation, and offenders get away with impunity.

The level of Dhaka’s air pollution means that even healthy individuals

are advised to avoid outdoor activities, to say nothing of the sick and the


Is this the kind of city the government has envisaged for its citizens?

Though the government’s mega-projects are appreciated, such as the

various flyovers throughout the city, the construction sites are a pathetic

example of neglect and decrepitude, to say nothing of safety standards.

Other contributors to air pollution include brick kiln emissions and

transport emission, with the former contributing to 50% of the pollutants in

the air.

With the number of people experiencing respiratory problems already

on the rise, it has become a matter of urgency that the government tackles

these issues.

The government needs to apply new and more stringent emission control

techniques to control the amount of pollutants in the air.

Those who flout these new regulations must be held accountable for any

and all offences.

As some experts have suggested, the root of the problem lies in Dhaka’s

capacity as a burgeoning metropolis -- decentralisation is needed to spread

the nation’s population out more evenly.

Pollution is the result of a larger eco-system, one that is faulty and

requires a complete overhaul.

With the health of the nation at stake, it is about time the government did

something about the dangerous air we breathe every day.

With the health of the

nation at stake, it is about

time the government

did something about the

dangerous air we breathe

every day

Opinion 21

We need to talk about sex

Sexual violence can only be stopped through proper education



We need to get used to the idea of teaching about sex in our schools


• Luba Khalili

While discourse

around the ban

on pornography

has transpired

and fizzled out within days, like

most debates in our country,

the confines of the arguments --

whether for or against or neutral

-- hide an issue that never fizzles


Bodies. For men, bodies are

masculine, hard-working, loud,

strong. For women, they are

patient, quiet, passive, for bearing.

God forbid if anyone ever spoke

about the bodies underneath

those labels, lest we end up with

a debacle that actually brings to

light what we really think.

Time and again, people have

realised the need to reveal what is

concealed; the more something is

kept away from us, the more we

want to acquire it (being around

any three-year old can attest to


And if that is the case, then is it

really any wonder as to why sexual

violations take place, when we as

a society hide, so meticulously,

something as inherently

discernible as sexual desire? Why

is talking about anything related

How far are we, our friends, our family members from being sex

offenders? How far are we from being sexually assaulted?

to sex such a taboo in this day and


That is not to say that everyone

should begin talking about what

they prefer in bed in the public

sphere -- if such platforms were

to exist, all the more power to you

-- but how come we can’t afford a

culture tolerant enough of our own

bodies to have, for instance, sexual

education as part of a curriculum

in schools?

Do we not have our system

to blame, then, when in a public

gathering, masses of women and

children get sexually violated?

And with that comes not only

the physical bruises, but the

psychological trauma as well.

No matter which class we look

at, most young people learn of

sex either through pornography,

or tales or experiences of brothels

-- both place an incredibly strong

emphasis on the objectification of

women’s bodies.

If the very buttress of our

learning about something as

natural as sex and sexuality comes

from such vapid, unfair, and,

frankly, destructive portrayals of

bodies, then do we really have

a scope of breaking out of the

notions that such objectification


How far are we, then, from the

belief that we have the right to

intrude on someone’s personal

and physical space, given that

we’ve paid enough of a price for it

-- whether monetary or otherwise?

How far are we, our friends, our

family members, from being sex


How far are we from being

sexually assaulted? And

everything else that comes with

these experiences?

The fact that we have bodies, that

other sexes have bodies which

could be different from ours, that

people could have sexual desires,

are open secrets. And at this point,

we can no longer afford to wonder

if something like banning porn

will exacerbate sexual violence or

curb it.

There is one solution at hand

and that is education.

Women’s bodies have

connotations of the very building

blocks of nations; it is the mothers

who give birth to soldiers who

free the country from the shackles

of oppression. How many of the

songs of our independence have a

mother waiting for her son’s return

from the war? How do children of

war make sense of their identities?

The body is a site of infinite


To ask for the uprooting of

beliefs that are so structurally

ingrained into the membranes of

our society might just be too grand

of a wish. But right now, in 2017,

can we not stand against a system

of education that does nothing --

when it should be doing just about

anything -- to prevent acts that

stem from thoughts festering from


If we can’t educate ourselves

and our children about our bodies

and what our bodies want, then

incidents of sexual violence in

our country have zero chance of

lowering. Incidents such as what

happened during the 2015 Pohela

Boishakh, what happened with

Tonu, and what will continue to

happen to thousands of nameless

women and children, flooding our

papers and televisions -- and we’ll

have just ourselves to blame.

Women bleed for many

reasons. But when the reason they

bleed stems from violence and

ignorance, the blame is on society.

Their blood is on all of our hands.

So, talk. Talk about how

sexuality is not a taboo, that sex

is not a right, that our bodies are

ours. •

Luba Khalili is a Sub-Editor at the Dhaka






Words and the city

The Dhaka Lit Fest was a celebration of freedom. This is the first part of a two-part long-form

VS Naipaul always had deep connections to South Asia


of a conversation that led to the

resignation of the head judge of

a war crimes tribunal.” He was

released on bail a few days after

the Dhaka Lit Fest, after spending

three years in jail.

At the same time, senior

ministers have taken ambivalent

and unhelpful positions on the

issue of blogger killings with some

bloggers being detained for short

periods and others calling into

question the content of blogs more

than the issue of serial murder of


These and various other curb

downs have brought into question

press freedom in Bangladesh.

The Section 57 of the Information

and Communication Technology

(ICT) Act-2006, popularly called 57

Dhara in Bangladesh, has received

particular criticism as being

draconian with regards to freedom

of speech and expression.

Section 57(1) says: “If any

person deliberately publishes

or transmits or causes to be

published or transmitted in the

website or in any other electronic

form any material which is false

and obscene and if anyone sees,

hears, or reads it having regard

to all relevant circumstances, its

• Garga Chatterjee

Dhaka Lit Fest is the

flagship Anglo-Bengali

literature, arts, and

ideas public event in

Bangladesh, held annually in

Dhaka. In last year’s Dhaka Lit

Fest, the day I checked into the

hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon,

situated bang in the middle of

the media district in Dhaka near

Karwan Bazar, I was greeted by a

pink note on my bed.

It was not a personal note

but a note that all participants

who had checked into that hotel

had received. In a gentle note,

it forbade me to step out of the

hotel the next day due to the

radical Islamist political party

Jamaat-e-Islami-sponsored hartal

(shutdown) and to be careful

about security.

The organisers had good reason

to be jittery. Due to the war crime

trials, senior functionaries of

the Jamaat had received capital

punishments. Bloggers and

free-thinkers had been slain

in crowded public places with

particular brutality. All this

negative publicity in a country of

the southern world has a pattern

of being amplified in the northern

white world.

There had been 19 cancellations

from foreign participants. But life

in Dhaka for a Bengali like me on

the hartal day was quite normal.

Dhaka citizens didn’t care much

about the hartal call and neither

did I. Maybe it was foolish. Maybe

it was not.

But in that difference lies the

choice of an individual to provide

legitimacy and validity to a

concocted ambiance of siege and

terror, or to break out of that into


When the reaction of a brown

man is the same as a white man

to such situations, then it is time

for the brown man to re-examine

his conviction, location, and

mindscape. I chose to remain

brown. Dhaka Lit Fest 2015 was

a success. The footfalls made it a


Cut to 2016. I checked into the

same Pan Pacific Sonargaon for

the Dhaka Lit Fest. There was

no pink note on my bed but a

welcome card. However, what had

happened in Bangladesh in the

meantime since the 2015 Dhaka

Lit Fest would make one expect

another, probably bigger, pink


For, in the meantime, the list

of those killed by targeting had

expanded to include foreigners,

religious minorities, queer people,

baul-fakirs, non-extremist Muslim

divines, and more free-thinkers

and bloggers. But this time, as

This is precisely what sets apart the Dhaka Lit Fest from most other

such literature, arts, and ideas festivals in the sub-continent. That is the

increasing connect and relevance of this festival in the city to its citizens,

as a part of Dhaka’s annual cultural calendar

the organisers told me later, there

were only five cancellations.

And to top it all, the primary

draw of the Dhaka Lit Fest 2016

was none other than VS Naipaul,

arguably the only living Nobel

laureate in literature with the

deepest connections to South Asia,

and as I learned later, to Dhaka in

particular, as Lady Naipaul had

spent a few good years of her life

in East Bengal.

He was wheelchair-bound but

his spirit was flying. And to see

him, the people of Dhaka and

beyond came in huge numbers.

On day one, the least attended

day, the footfall was over ten

thousand. And this is precisely

what sets apart the Dhaka Lit Fest

from most other such literature,

arts, and ideas festivals in the subcontinent.

That is the increasing connect

and relevance of this festival in

the city to its citizens, as a part of

Dhaka’s annual cultural calendar.

It is a festival of Dhaka where

the location is not incidental but

fundamental to the identity of the


Some other fests have more

events, some have larger crowds

drawn in from the surrounds in a

site that was chosen for stoking

oriental fantasies of the mystic

east, some have a bigger list of big


Dhaka had the right mix of

names and events, and an active

participation of the citizens; and

a crowd that knows they have a

right to be there. All of this was

happening in the backdrop of

dogged questions of freedom of

speech restrictions in Bangladesh.

The most high profile case was

that of the arrest of Mahmudur

Rahman, the editor of the Banglalanguage

newspaper Amar Desh,

considered politically aligned with

the political Islamist camp.

Charges against him included

“sedition and unlawful publication

effect is such as to influence the

reader to become dishonest or

corrupt, or causes to deteriorate or

creates possibility to deteriorate

law and order, prejudice the image

of the state or person or causes to

hurt or may hurt religious belief

or instigate against any person or

organisation, then this activity will

be regarded as an offense.”

The sheer vagueness and

breadth of this section makes it

open to be used as a political tool.

Many have asked for its repeal.

A festival that celebrates and

engages with words and freedom

elsewhere has to engage with the

same concepts at home. And the

Dhaka Lit Fest did that in its own

ambit. •

The concluding part of this long

form will be published tomorrow.

Garga Chatterjee is a political and

cultural commentator. He can be

followed on twitter @gargac.

Opinion 23

True or not, Russia allegations will

scar Trump presidency

The stories on Trump keep getting weirder



• Peter Apps

It would be comical if not so

serious. Or perhaps serious if

not so tragicomic. Certainly,

had an author or screenwriter

suggested what American politics

has seen this week, it would have

been judged unbelievable.

The Trump presidency has

not even begun. This week might

yet be the peak of insanity, the

moment at which the competing

groups and power centres

-- media outlets, intelligence

agencies, political parties,

foreign superpowers -- just

throw everything they can out

there before the administration

really gets going. What is equally

plausible, however, is that this is

only the beginning.

Even as President Barack

Obama was finishing his wellhoned

final speech in Chicago,

his incoming successor was

taking to Twitter in furious

capital letters, forced to respond

to the suggestion he had been

compromised by Russian

intelligence who provided

salacious details of alleged sexual

acts in Moscow.

Online and in his Wednesday

press conference, Trump branded

the allegations “fake news,”

the phrase used to describe the

growing number of false online

news stories that have proliferated

over the internet and social media.

In reality, the situation appears

more complex. According to

multiple reports, the dossier

published late Tuesday by

BuzzFeed -- sourced to a supposed

former British intelligence official,

hired by a Washington political

research firm -- had been taken

seriously enough to be discussed

at the highest level in Washington,

DC, including the presidency.

Trump is said to have received a

two-page summary of the

allegations in a classified report

that intelligence officials gave him

last week -- although he says he

will not discuss what was said in

that meeting.

No one knows whether the

allegations are true -- the reason

so many other media outlets

chose not to publish them. Nor is

the dossier in any sense the most

important thing happening in the

world, even this week.

A Chinese aircraft carrier was

on Wednesday nosing its way

through the Taiwan Strait. US and

Iranian forces were squaring off in

the Indian Ocean after an incident

earlier in the week.

And European powers were

still struggling to find their

way through a myriad range

of interlinked crises, from the

migrant crisis to Brexit to the

future of the euro, the rise of

the far right and their own

confrontation with Russia.

And as if that were not enough,

North Korea -- which may yet

prove the most serious flashpoint

of 2017 -- was moving closer to its

most sophisticated ballistic missile

test yet.

Foreign affairs, of course, have

rarely been Trump’s number

one priority. In his first press

conference since the election, he

was clearly keener to focus on

his economic and jobs plans as

well as the future of the Trump

Organisation. Almost all the media

questions, however, focused on


The risk for Trump is that

the reality or otherwise of the

allegations ceases to be the point:

The fact they are so widely known

just undermines his credibility.

The justification BuzzFeed used

for releasing the admittedly dodgy

dossier was that the material

was already circulating widely

within the corridors of power in

Washington and beyond. That’s

a reasonable argument -- but in

scattering the allegations more

broadly, it has almost guaranteed

that the story will never go away.

That’s important for a couple

of reasons. First, it means

that questions of Trump and

Russia will more likely drag on

throughout his administration,

much as some of the allegations

against Bill Clinton, sexual and

otherwise, did throughout his

presidency. Already, senior figures

Is Trump immune to scandal?

The risk for Trump is that the reality or otherwise of the allegations

ceases to be the point: The fact they are so widely known just

undermines his credibility. The justification BuzzFeed used for releasing

the admittedly dodgy dossier was that the material was already

circulating widely within the corridors of power

in Congress are looking to push

ahead with hearings on election

hacking and perhaps broader

Russian interference in US politics.

Even at the very best, Trump may

find himself the butt of jokes and

suffering a drip feed of gossip and


That was, of course, true

before. Even the barest scan of

the internet and social media

overnight, however suggests

the more graphic material in the

dossier will linger in the public

mind for years. Like similarly offcolour

suggestions about former

British Prime Minister David

Cameron and a pig, their actual

veracity barely matters.

It is possible, of course, that

this was always Russian President

Vladimir Putin’s strategy -- to build

Trump up, get him in the White

House, but trash his reputation.

Giving him or his spies credit for a

plan that devious, however, might

well be too generous.

The most damaging allegations,

if true, would be those that

suggest senior members of the

Trump campaign reached out

directly to Russian officials during

the campaign.

Some of the claims in the

dossier about Trump associates

meeting Russian officials already

appear to be false.

At the end of the press

conference, however, Trump

pointedly failed to answer

questions about whether any

contact between his team and

Russian officials took place.

Even if the entire

dossier were true, that itself would

not necessarily mean that Trump

was somehow compromised.

Indeed, one could even argue

that the fact that these stories are

now out there makes it harder for

anyone in Moscow to blackmail

the US president. And Trump is

unlikely to be undone by anything

he may have been up to in the

Moscow Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

What might be just as

dangerous, however, is that he

may now feel he has no choice

but to take a much tougher line

with Putin -- and possibly other

US adversaries -- in a way that

might prove equally destabilising,

perhaps even catastrophically

dangerous. •

Peter Apps is Reuters global affairs

columnist. This article previously

appeared on Reuters.







Slow batting costs

Bangladesh women

Poor display with both bat and ball

saw Bangladesh women start the

five-match ODI series against their

South African counterparts on a

losing note in Cox’s Bazar’s Sheikh

Kamal International Stadium

yesterday. PAGE 25

Amla hits century in

100th Test

Hashim Amla made a century in

his 100th Test as he and JP Duminy

put South Africa in command on

the first day of the third and final

Test against Sri Lanka yesterday.

Amla became the eighth player to

achieve the feat. PAGE 26

Nadal praises new

generation, Federer

Rafael Nadal says the emergence

of a new generation is just what

tennis needs, while welcoming

back old foe Roger Federer to help

him keep them at bay. The Spanish

great is on the comeback trail after

lengthy injury lay-off. PAGE 27

Barca won’t break

bank to keep Messi

Barcelona won’t put their financial

future at risk in negotiating a new

contract for Lionel Messi, the club

warned on Wednesday. Messi and

club captain Andres Iniesta are

entering the final 18 months of

their current deals. PAGE 28

Bangladesh’s Mominul Haque plays a shot during day one of their first Test match against New Zealand at Basin Reserve in Wellington yesterday

Mominul, Tamim shine in

New Zealand gloom

• AFP, Wellington

Mominul Haque and Tamim Iqbal

plundered the New Zealand attack

to have Bangladesh 154 for

three at stumps on a rain-disrupted

opening day of the first Test in

Wellington yesterday.

New Zealand were all smiles

when they won the toss and put

Bangladesh into bat in prime

bowling conditions.

But at the end of the day after

rain and bad light had restricted

play to 40.2 overs, it was Bangladesh

with their heads held high.

Mominul was unbeaten on 64

at the close and Shakib Al Hasan

on five after being dropped on

four. Opener Tamim went for 56.

"Today was Bangladesh's day,"

New Zealand seamer Neil Wagner

conceded, blaming the bowling

unit for not making the most of

the conditions.

"We didn't do that. We missed a

little bit and we got hurt."

Wagner said the New Zealand

seamers need to bowl a better line

today to get into the match.

"We're going to have to find a

way. We know if we put the ball in

the right area for a period of time

and build that pressure and bowl

consistently in partnerships you

can get two, three, four wickets


Tamim, who led the way for

Bangladesh with his aggressive

approach, said the tourists were

happy with the state of the game.

"History says the first innings

is really difficult on this wicket

and not too many runs have

been scored by the best of teams.

In that case we handled it pretty

well," he said.

"We are very new to this wind

so at times we had to stop the

bowlers because it was too heavy.

There were seven, eight occasions

when the bails fell down. For us it

was difficult because we haven't

faced this situation before but still

we played really well."

The overcast weather, strong

wind and green wicket at the Basin

Reserve suggested a bowler's

paradise at the start of the day,

but the conditions proved not as

threatening as first thought.

Instead the bowlers, particularly

Trent Boult in the early overs,

had trouble keeping their balance

and control in the wind - with

gusts of up to 120 kilometres per

hour (74.6 miles per hour).

The wind sent the bails, players'

caps and sunglasses flying

and forced the television cameramen

to vacate their tower at the

exposed end of the ground, but it

could not stop Tamim and Mominul

cashing in.

Tamim only faced 50 deliveries

for his whirlwind 56, which

included 11 boundaries, while Mominul

has 10 fours and a six to his


Tamim was particularly tough

on Boult at the start of the day and

New Zealand's new-ball specialist,

with the wind behind him, was

pulled out of the attack after three

overs which cost 26 runs of which

Tamim had 25.

But Boult had the final say in

their battle when play resumed

after the first rain break as he

trapped Tamim lbw in the first

over of his second spell.

Mominul, who has scored two

centuries in four previous innings

against New Zealand, had been

circumspect until the rain arrived

for a second time 89 minutes into

the middle session.

The left-hander launched into

Tim Southee with two fours and a




Tamim Iqbal lbw Boult 56 50

Imrul Kayes c Boult b Southee 1 7

Mominul Haque not out 64 110

Mahmudullah c Watling b Wagner 26 64

Shakib al Hasan not out 5 11

Extras (lb2) 2

Total (three wickets; 40.2 overs) 154

Fall of wickets

1-16 (Imrul), 2-60 (Tamim), 3-145


To bat

Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Sabbir Rahman,

Mehedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis

Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi

Bowling: Boult 12.2-3-53-1, Southee 11-3-

45-1, G’omme 6-0-26-0, Wagner 11-2-28-1

Toss: New Zealand

top-edge that flew over the wicketkeeper's

head for six before the

players left the field.

Southee, working into the

wind, removed opener Imrul

Kayes for one and had figures of

one for six off 5.3 overs when rain

first stopped play. He finished the

day with one for 45.

Boult had one for 53 and Wagner,

who removed Mahmudullah

for 26 ended with one for 28.

New Zealand have never lost to

Bangladesh, winning eight of their

11 previous Tests with three ending

in draws. •

Sport 25



Mominul proved scoring

and surviving is possible,

says Tamim

• Tribune Report

Opener Tamim Iqbal and No 3 batsman

Mominul Haque set the tone

in a rain-affected day that also had

heavy wind as Bangladesh ended

the opening day's play of the first

Test against host New Zealand on

154/3 at Basin Reserve, Wellington


It was the dashing Tamim who

first provided plenty of confidence

to the Tigers dressing room on a

bowling-friendly pitch after they

were asked to bat first by the home

side. Despite fellow opening batsman

Imrul Kayes' early departure,

Tamim went on to smash his 20th

Test fifty.

When the 27-year old was finally

dismissed on 56 off 50 balls, featuring

11 fours, by Kiwi fast bowler

Trent Boult, Bangladesh's score

read 60/2, indicating Tamim's

sheer dominance.

“I knew that I had to choose one

way of batting in these conditions.

I didn't want to miss out on bad

balls. Good balls are a given here,

so I had to use the boundary balls

properly to keep the scoreboard going

and give me more confidence.

I utilised the scoring opportunities.

This was my plan,” Tamim told the

media after the day's play.

“I didn't go out there thinking

of attacking every ball. I just didn't

want to miss out on scoring balls.

I connected most of the deliveries

that I went after, which was good,”

said Tamim.

Before the first ball

of this game, there

was a question mark.

But after seeing

how someone like

Mominul and I

played, it became

clear that scoring

and surviving were

both possible

Tamim, Bangladesh's Test

vice-captain, went on to praise the

effort of Mominul, who also struck

a fifty and will resume the second

day on 64. According to Tamim

it was Mominul really who gave

the belief to the Tigers batsmen

that despite the tough conditions,

there are still some opportunities

to score and survive at the middle.

"It might have given them confidence,

though I wouldn't say

anyone got relaxed seeing me bat.

I think even I would have gained

some confidence seeing someone

bat comfortably. Before the

first ball of this game, there was

a question mark. But after seeing

how someone like Mominul and I

played, it became clear that scoring

and surviving were both possible,"

said Tamim.

However, the Chittagong cricketer

said the visitors would have

been in a much better position if

Mahmudullah was not dismissed

after getting set at the wicket scoring

26. Neil Wagner induced an

edge off Mahmudullah with wicket-keeper

BJ Watling making no

mistake before rain brought an early

end to proceedings.

“I think if you see how the others

batted, it was different to my

innings. But they batted to their

strengths. If Riyad bhai was at the

crease till the end, it would have

been a superb day for us,” said

Tamim. •

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal bats during day one of their first Test match

against New Zealand at Basin Reserve in Wellington yesterday



Slow batting approach costs Bangladesh

• Tribune Report

Poor display with both bat and ball

saw Bangladesh women start the

five-match ODI series against their

South African counterparts on a

losing note in Cox’s Bazar's Sheikh

Kamal International Stadium yesterday.

The visiting South Africans

humbled Bangladesh by 86 runs.

The difference between the two

sides was set up by the top three

South Africa batters. Bangladesh

had won the toss and opted to field

but the decision backfired as South

Bangladesh’s Nigar Sultana plays one towards the off-side during their first ODI against South Africa at Sheikh Kamal

International Stadium in Cox’s Bazar yesterday


Africa posted 251 runs in 50 overs

losing just three wickets.

Openers Lizelle Lee and Andrie

Steyn put 122 runs on the board

before Nahida Akter dismissed the

former for 87. Lee faced 71 balls and

hammered half a dozen boundaries

and seven sixes. The breakthrough

however, did not stop the tourists

from scoring at a good rate.

A 79-run stand for the second

wicket between Steyn and

former South Africa captain Mignon

du Preez further propelled

the innings. Veteran Bangladesh

all-rounder Salma Khatun then dismissed

Steyn for 68.

Salma went on to pick another

wicket, that of Chloe Tryon for

four, but an unbeaten 13-ball 20 by

Marizanne Kapp and an undefeated

62 by Du Preez guided South Africa

to a challenging total.

Chasing the target, Bangladesh

lost only six wickets but what had

put them on the backfoot from the

word go was their lack of courage

while facing the opponent bowlers.

The run rate was always slow

and never picked up as Bangladesh

made only 165 runs in 50 overs. •



Lee c Panna b Nahida 87 71

Steyn st Nigar b Salma 68 123

Du Preez not out 62 87

Tryon c Rumana b Salma 4 7

Kapp not out 20 13

Extras (b 1, lb 3, w 5, nb 1) 10

Total (3 wickets; 50 overs) 251

Fall Of Wickets

1-122 (Lee), 2-201 (Steyn), 3-214 (Tryon)


Panna 8-0-33-0, Jahanara 9-0-45-0, Ritu

6-0-36-0, Nahida 10-1-45-1, Rumana 8-0-

32-0, Khadija 5-0-26-0, Salma 4-0-30-2


Sharmin c Luus b Khaka 2 9

Sanjida c Goodall b Van Niekerk 8 33

Fargana st Lee b Luus 12 53

Rumana c Lee b Van Niekerk 37 80

Salma c Lee b Luus 11 14

Nigar not out 59 90

Ritu c Van Niekerk b Luus 1 3

Jahanara not out 15 20

Extras (b 2, lb 5, w 11, nb 2) 20

Total (6 wickets; 50 overs) 165

Fall Of Wickets

1-5 (Sharmin), 2-27 (Sanjida), 3-40 (Fargana),

4-56 (Salma), 5-108 (Rumana), 6-111



Kapp 6-3-10-0, Khaka 9-1-37-1, Van

Niekerk 9-1-23-2, Letsoalo 10-3-17-0, Luus

10-0-52-3, Fourie 6-1-19-0

South Africa women won by 86 runs

POM: Lizelle Lee





Bangladesh women’s football team pose for photographs during the felicitation programme in the capital yesterday. The women in red and green were honoured for their runners-up finish in the recently concluded

Saff Women’s Football Championship


Klopp unable to explain Liverpool

lethargy in Saints loss

• Reuters

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

admitted he was at a loss to explain

his side's lacklustre performance

during a 1-0 defeat to Southampton

in the first leg of the League Cup

semi-final on Wednesday.

Southampton, who created the

majority of clear-cut chances, will

take a slender advantage to Anfield

courtesy of Nathan Redmond's

20th-minute strike but the outcome

could have been a lot worse

for Liverpool at St Mary's.

"I've tried (to explain the performance)

in three or four interviews

but I cannot," the Liverpool manager

told reporters.



Southampton 1-0 Liverpool

Redmond 20

"I'm actually not used to a reaction

like this from my boys but they

have to accept that tonight was

not good. We did not have a lot of

chances... if we had some (at all)."

Goalkeeper Loris Karius, who

had not played against Premier

League opposition since a 2-2 draw

against West Ham last month,

made some crucial saves that

kept the Merseyside club in the tie

ahead of the return leg at Anfield

on Jan. 25.

"You have two disappointed

managers after the game," Klopp

added. "One, because he lost and

the performance wasn't good, and

the other because he only won 1-0

and has to go to Anfield afterwards."

Saints manager Claude Puel

agreed with his German counterpart,

indicating his side needed to

be more clinical in front of goal. •

Southampton’s Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring their first goal against Liverpool during their EFL Cup semi-final first leg

at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday


Amla hits century in

100th Test

• AFP, Johannesburg

Hashim Amla made a century in

his 100th Test match as he and JP

Duminy put South Africa in command

on the first day of the third

and final Test against Sri Lanka yesterday.

Amla became the eighth player

to achieve the feat and the second

South African after former captain

Graeme Smith.

JP Duminy also hit a century

as the pair took their third wicket

partnership past 250. They came

together when South Africa were

45 for two at the Wanderers Stadium.

Amla struggled early in his

innings and took 109 balls to

reach 50 but then blossomed with

his second half-century scored

off 60 balls. It was his 26th Test


Amla was dropped by Dhananjaya

de Silva at gully off Suranga

Lakmal when he had five and only

scored six in the pair’s first 50 runs


Gradually, though, Amla found

his timing and he reached his first

half-century in 11 Test matches

shortly before tea. He had faced

109 balls and hit seven fours.

Duminy, by contrast, cruised to

his half-century off 62 balls with

ten boundaries and had faced

127 deliveries, adding three more

fours, by tea. •


SOUTH AFRICA 338/3 in 90 overs

(Duminy 155, Amla 125*)

South Africa’s Hashim Amla celebrates

his century during their third Test

against Sri Lanka yesterday


Nadal praises old foe Federer

• AFP, Melbourne

Rafael Nadal says the emergence of

a new generation is just what tennis

needs, while welcoming back

old foe Roger Federer to help him

keep them at bay.

The Spanish great, a 14-time

Grand Slam champion, is on the

comeback trail after his 2016 season

was ruined by a wrist problem

which has seen him slip to nine in

the world.

Fellow warrior and Swiss great

Federer is also easing his way back

after six months out with a knee

injury, with both of them keen to

return to winning ways at the big


They will have their work cut

out at the opening Grand Slam of

the year at Melbourne Park next

week with not just Andy Murray

and Novak Djokovic to contend

with but an emerging new breed.

Leading the pack are the likes

of Austria's Dominic Thiem, Germany's

Alex Zverev and Australia's

Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal, 30, said it was good for

the game to see younger players

starting to make their mark.

"These guys are doing well," he

said in The Australian newspaper


"It’s great to have a new generation

of fantastic players there and

that’s good for tennis. Tennis needs

it. People sometimes get bored to

see the same players all the time."

While excited by the young guns,

Nadal is not yet ready to hand over

the baton, believing he can still

compete at the top level despite

Sport 27

the last of his major titles coming at

the French Open in 2014 And he is

pleased to see Federer, 35, also back

in the fold and playing well.

"The good thing is that Roger is

back on tour after probably his first

important injury," Nadal said.

"That’s tough but he looks great.

He’s played some good matches

there in Perth (at the Hopman Cup)

so I’m very happy for him."

After opening his season in Doha

for seven of the past eight years,

Nadal instead opted this year to begin

at the Brisbane International in

a bid to better adapt to Australian


But he lost in the quarter-finals

last week to big-serving Milos

Raonic. Nadal admitted he may not

hit his best form until later in the

year. •



Former England

manager Taylor

dies, aged 72

• Reuters, London

Graham Taylor, the former England

football manager, has died at

the age of 72, according to media

reports yesterday.

Taylor, who had a playing career

with Grimsby Town and Lincoln

City, was a successful manager in

English football's top flight with

Watford and Aston Villa.

He was best known, though,

for his turbulent reign as England

manager between 1990 and 1993

when he was widely criticised for

failing to take the national team to

the 1994 World Cup finals.

After further spells as manager

of Wolverhampton Wanderers,

Watford for a second time and

Aston Villa, he made a successful

career in the media and became a

much-loved figure within the game

following the ridicule he had occasionally

faced as England boss. •

Pjanic penalty helps

Juve into Cup quarters

• AFP, Milan

A late penalty from Miralem Pjanic saw holders Juventus

scrape through to an Italian Cup quarter-final clash with

either AC Milan or Torino after a nervous 3-2 win over

high-flying Atalanta.

Atalanta travelled to Turin looking to cause an upset

as they enjoy their best season in years under Gianpiero



Fiorentina 1-0 Chievo

Bernardeschi 90+3-P

Juventus 3-2 Atalanta

Dybala 22, Mandzukic 34, Konko 72,

Pjanic 75-P Latte Lath 81

Gasperini, who has

steered the Bergamo

side to within

10 points of Juve's

lead in Serie A at

the halfway point.

But Juventus

were clinical in an

impressive firsthalf

that saw Paulo Dybala beat Etrit Berisha with a superb

first-time strike in the 22nd minute from 25 yards

then send Mario Mandzukic on his way to double Juve's

lead 12 minutes later.

With one eye on Sunday's trip to Fiorentina, and with

Croatian starlet Mark Pjaca fully recovered from a recent

injury, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri rested striker

Gonzalo Higuain for the entire game.

Pjaca, sidelined for the past two months, replaced Dybala

on the hour but it was a nervous last half hour for

the hosts.

Abdoulay Konko pulled one back for Juventus on 72

minutes with a superb snap shot that beat stand-in Juve

goalkeeper Norberto Neto at the far top corner of the net.

Although Pjanic fired his spot-kick past Berisha and

into the roof of the net three minutes later following a

foul on Stephan Lichsteiner, it was far from over. •



4:00 AM

Bangladesh Tour of New Zealand

1st Test, Day 2


9:18 AM

Pakistan Tour of Australia 2016

1st ODI


9:50 AM

Ranji Trophy 2016/17

Final Day 4: Gujarat v Mumbai


2:00 PM

Sri Lanka Tour of South Africa


3rd Test, Day 2



2:50 PM

A-League 2016/17

Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar

1:45 AM

Sky Bet EFL 2016/17

Leeds United v Derby County


1:35 AM

French Ligue 1 2016/17

Losc Lille Sa v Saint- Etienne


1:40 AM

La Liga Santander 2016/17

Malaga CF v Real Sociedad



10:00 AM

ATP World Tour 250 2017

Sydney Open Semi Finals 1

3:00 PM

Sydney Open Semi Finals 2





Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action against Athletic Bilbao during their Spanish King’s Cup match at Nou Camp Stadium, Barcelona

Messi magic sends Barca into Cup quarters

• AFP, Barcelona

Lionel Messi's third goal from a

free-kick in as many games this

year secured Barcelona's place in

the quarter-finals of the Copa del

Rey as the holders beat Athletic

Bilbao 3-1 to edge through 4-3 on

aggregate on Wednesday.

Luis Suarez's 100th Barca goal

and Neymar's penalty cancelled

out Athletic's 2-1 first leg lead, but

Enric Saborit's header six minutes

into the second-half had the tie

headed for extra time.

However, just as in the first leg


named Swansea

assistant coach

• AFP, London

Former France midfielder Claude

Makelele has been appointed assistant

coach of Premier League

strugglers Swansea City, reuniting

him with manager Paul Clement.

The 43-year-old Makelele,

capped 71 times, signed for the rest

of the season in what promises to

be a tough battle to preserve Swansea's

Premier League status - they

are second from bottom, but only a

point from safety.

Makelele knows Clement well

with the latter having been on the

coaching staff at Chelsea when the

defensive midfielder was still playing

and then both worked as coaches

at Paris Saint Germain under

Carlo Ancelotti. •

and in a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on

Sunday, Messi rode to Barca's rescue

with another exquisite freekick

that clipped the inside of the

post on its way past Gorka Iraizoz.

"There is a reason why Messi

is the best in the world," Suarez

told Barca TV. "He surprises you

with something beautiful in every


Barca were under huge pressure

to deliver their first win of the year

as the slip-up at Villarreal left them

five points adrift of Real Madrid at

the top of La Liga, who also have a

game in hand.

"It is important for our confidence.

We wanted and needed a

result like that," added Suarez. "We

are calm, working hard and know

that the results will come."

The build-up to the game had

been dominated by talk of controversial

refereeing calls in the first

leg as Athletic ended the game

with nine men, whilst Barca had

a stonewall penalty claim waived


And there was more controversy

on 26 minutes when Neymar was

wrongly flagged offside as he set

up Suarez for a tap in. •


Alaves 1-1 Deportivo

Edgar 45 Arribas 62

Tie level at 3-3 on aggregate, Alaves won

away goals

Villarreal 1-1 Real Sociedad

Soriano 44 Oyarzabal 15

Sociedad won 4-2 on aggregate

Cordoba 1-2 Alcorcon

Piovaccari 8 Rodriguez 49, Ivi 67

Alcorcon won 2-1 on aggregate

Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao

Suarez 35, Saborit 51

Neymar 48-P, Messi 79

Barcelona won 4-3 on aggregate

‘Payet wants to leave West Ham’

• AFP, London

West Ham United playmaker Dimitri

Payet has informed the club of

his desire to leave and no longer

wishes to play for them, manager

Slaven Bilic revealed yesterday.

Payet, 29, joined West Ham

from Marseille in a reported £10.7

million ($13.1 million, 12.3 million

euros) deal in 2015 and had a sensational

first season, scoring 12 goals

and supplying 12 assists.

But with West Ham lying 13th in

the Premier League table and amid

speculation linking him with a return

to Marseille, the France international

has decided he wants out.

"We have said we don't want to

sell our best players, but Dimitri

Payet does not want to play for us,"

Bilic told a press conference.

But he added: "We are not going

to sell him."


Bilic has asked Payet to stay

away from training and said he

would not feature in tomorrow’s

home game with Crystal Palace.

Payet signed a new five-anda-half-year

contract last February

and Bilic seemed annoyed by the

player's stance.

"We have said hundreds of times

we don't want to sell our best players.

He's definitely our best player,"

he said.

"That's why we gave him a long

contract and then a new contract

four months later. I phoned him

with that and he refused to play for

us. I have a team to manage.

"He's probably been tapped up

by some clubs or whatever. That is

usual at this time of year.

"But until he changes his attitude

he is out of the team and he's

not going to train with us. But we

are not going to sell him." •

Barca won't

break bank to

keep Messi

• AFP, Barcelona

Barcelona won't put their financial

future at risk in negotiating a

new contract for Lionel Messi, the

club warned on Wednesday, in

comments that will encourage his

many suitors across Europe.

Messi and club captain Andres

Iniesta are entering the final 18

months of their current deals at the

Camp Nou meaning they would be

free to talk to other clubs in a year's

time if they don't extend their contracts

in 2017. Despite posting a record

turnover of 679 million euros

($719 million) last season, a series

of expensive new contracts for the

likes of Neymar and Luis Suarez

mean Barcelona are close to overstepping

the 70 percent limit of

turnover spent on salaries imposed

by UEFA's financial fair-play laws.

"We have to be very strict with

the budgets, we can't go crazy," said

Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau, confirming

that the Catalan giants have no

plans to strengthen the squad in the

January transfer window.

"We need to comply with the ratios

of debt and the percentage of

salaries in the budget."

"We want the best player in history

to remain here at Barcelona

and we want to renew the players

that have been brought through

here. They are the best and they

should retire at home," added Grau.

"We have to analyse it. We are

working with common sense and

discretion. We want Messi to stay

and we will find the way, I am sure.

I want to calm all Barcelona members."

Any new deal for Messi is

likely to see him usurp Cristiano

Ronaldo, who recently extended

his Real Madrid deal to 2021. •

Argentina stay

top of FIFA


• AFP, Paris

Lionel Messi’s Argentina remain

top of FIFA’s world rankings published


Argentina finished 2016 out

in front of arch rivals Brazil to inherit

the “team of the year” title

from Belgium, displaced from the

FIFA summit by the Edgardo Bauza-coached

Albiceleste in April. •

FIFA top 10 rankings

1. Argentina

2. Brazil

3. Germany

4. Chile

5. Belgium

6. Colombia

7. France

8. Portugal

9. Uruguay

10. Spain


12. Wales

13. England

16. Italy

22. Netherlands

190. Bangladesh








1 Slight error (5)

6 Be ill (3)

7 Approaches (5)

10 Important (5)

12 Asian country (4)

13 Get up (5)

15 Cult (4)

16 Droop (3)

18 Female deer (3)

20 Poet’s Ireland (4)

22 Worship (5)

23 Stringed instrument


25 Retains (5)

27 Limber (5)

28 Sound made by

bullet (3)

29 Paces (5)


1 Decreased (6)

2 Melody (3)

3 Delight (6)

4 Tempted (7)

5 Period of time (3)

8 Drink (3)

9 Furniture item (4)

11 Land measure (3)

14 Blows (7)

16 Cold symptom (6)

17 Holds firmly (6)

19 Spoken (4)

21 Anger (3)

22 Liable (3)

24 Edge (3)

26 Fruit seed (3)

How to solve: Each number in our

CODE-CRACKER grid represents a

different letter of the alphabet. For

example, today 12 represents P so fill P

every time the figure 12 appears.

You have two letters in the control

grid to start you off. Enter them in the

appropriate squares in the main grid, then

use your knowledge of words to work out

which letters go in the missing squares.

Some letters of the alphabet may not be


As you get the letters, fill in the other

squares with the same number in the

main grid, and the control grid. Check

off the list of alphabetical letters as you

identify them.




How to solve: 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 number repeating.











Remade hit movies of Bollywood

well as the second highest weekend

grossing Bollywood film, after

Dabangg, another Salman Khanstarrer.

It holds the record for being

second highest grossing Bollywood

film of 2011.

Alaipayuthey, and Saathiya was

Vivek Oberoi’s first romantic film.

Hera Pheri (2000)

Remake of Malayalam film

Ramji Rao Speaking (1989)

• Showtime Desk

“Humma,” “Laila,” “Kala Chashma,”

and the likes on the recent top 10

charts go to prove that Bollywood

songs are still centring around the

90s and 80s music flavours. That

being said, many feel as though it’s

time to experiment with something

new. The music critics are even

against some of the recently

released, poorly remade songs that

are ruining the original versions.

But Bollywood music isn’t the only

item of art getting more and more

dependent on the remake culture,

the movies are no different these

days either. Several movies from

the last few years, which are listed

as big hits on the Bollywood chart

are remakes of Tamil movies.

Originality in the entertainment

industry is a thing of the past now.

Following is a list of some hitremake

movies from Bollywood.

Bodyguard (2011)

Remake of Malayalam film of the

same name (2010)

Starring Salman Khan and Kareena

Kapoor Khan, the film was a

remake of director Siddiqui’s

Malayalam film of the same name.

The film that went on to become

the highest opening day grosser,

as well as the biggest grosser ever

for a single day up until then made

more than Rs148 crore at the box


No Entry (2005)

Remake of Tamil film Charlie

Chaplin (2002)

The surprise blockbuster of

Salman Khan’s career was the

multi-starrer No Entry. The film’s

release was delayed due to no

distributors and was released

without any expectations. In fact,

the film’s buzz was very poor on

trade. However, it shocked the

industry with its huge collection at

the box office.

The Aneez Bazmee directorial

venture was the biggest

blockbuster of 2005. The familycomedy

entertainer was a remake

of the 2002 Tamil film Charlie

Chaplin. The comedy quotient of

the film was so strong that it was

later remade in Kannada, Telugu,

Malayalam and Marathi.

Drishyam (2015)

Remake of Malayalam film of the

same name (2013)

Some may decry the news that the

Fantastic Four franchise has been

rebooted after a decade. Drishyam

marks the Indian cinema’s second

crack this summer at its own

material: Jeethu Joseph’s 2013

Malayalam thriller of this name,

remade first in Tamil (July’s

Papanasam, again directed by

Joseph) and now in Hindi by

writer Upendra Sidhaye and

director Nishikant Kamat. Casting

Bollywood figurehead Tabu as the

inspector general on Ajay Devgn’s

case ensures our sympathies are

conflicted, to say the least; the

concluding gesture towards moral

relativism consequently feels

far queasier here than it was in

Papanasam, which permitted us to

hope Haasan would, this once, get

away with murder.

Ghajini (2010)

Remake of Tamil film of the same

name (2005)

The Aamir Khan starrer was the

first Hindi film to earn Rs100

crore at the box office, but the

success can’t be attributed solely

to the crew of the Hindi movie,

because of the fact that it was a

remake of a Tamil film of the same

name, which came out in 2005.

Interestingly, the female lead of

both the films were portrayed by

Asin Thottumkal, and were also

directed by the same person, A

R Murugadoss. The Tamil film

itself is inspired from Memento, an

English film by Christopher Nolan.

Ready (2011)

Remake of Telugu film of the same

name (2008)

Ready is a 2011 Indian action

romantic comedy film directed by

Anees Bazmee, starring Salman

Khan and Asin in the lead roles. It

also features Paresh Rawal, Arya

Babbar and Mahesh Manjrekar

in supporting roles, while Sanjay

Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Kangana Ranaut,

Zarine Khan and Arbaaz Khan make

cameo appearances. A remake

of the 2008 Telugu film, Ready is

directed by Sreenu Vaitla, starring

Ram and Genelia. The songs were

composed by Pritam, while the

background score was composed

by Sandeep Shirodkar. The first

look was unveiled on April 5, 2011,

while the theatrical trailer was

released on April 15, 2011. The film

was released on June 3, 2011. Upon

release, Ready became the second

highest opening-day grosser, as

Housefull 2 (2012)

Remake of Malayalam film

Mattupetti Machan (1998)

The sequel to the 2010 Sajid Khan

release Housefull, Housefull 2 was

unleashed on us in early 2012.

Said to be inspired by 2003 Tamil

film Banda Paramasivam and 1998

Malayalam film Mattupetti Machan,

filming for the first schedule started

on June 9, 2011 in London and

Peterborough, the second schedule

in October 2011 in Filmistan

Studios, Mumbai and the final

schedule in December in Thailand.

Singham (2011)

Remake of Tamil film Singam (2010)

The movie that brought Ajay

Devgn back into the action genre

and became one of the highest

grossing movies of 2011 was a

remake of Singam, which starred

Suriya and Anushka Shetty and

came out in 2010. Both movies

were co-produced by Reliance

Entertainment. Singam was also

remade in Kannada as Kempe

Gowda and in Bengali as Shotru .

Saathiya (2002)

Remake of Tamil film Alaipayuthey


A remake of the Tamil

film Alaipayuthey, produced

and directed by the legendary

Mani Ratnam, Saathiya was

the directorial debut of Shaad

Ali, known best for his 2005

hit Bunty Aur Babli. Both the

Tamil and Hindi versions

were super hits and crucial

for the lead actors; Madhavan

broke into Tamil films with

A remake of the Malayalam

blockbuster Ramji Rao

Speaking (1989), Hera Pheri ranks

among Bollywood’s best comedies.

Featuring Akshay Kumar, Suneil

Shetty and the incomparable

Paresh Rawal, the cult classic has

spawned two sequels: Phir Hera

Pheri in 2006, and Hera Pheri 3,

which is due out in 2017. It will

star Abhishek Bachchan and

John Abraham, who pair up again

after their 2008 comedy Dostana,

and Paresh Rawal – the common

denominator in all three films.

Rowdy Rathore (2012)

Remake of Telugu film

Vikramarkudu (2006)

Vikramarkudu is a 2006 film

directed by S S Rajamouli. It is an

action and drama film which has

Ravi Teja, Anushka Shetty and

Vineet Kumar in the lead roles.

Vikramarkudu received positive

response and became a blockbuster.

It was remade in Hindi as Rowdy

Rathore, which has Akshay Kumar

and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead

roles. Rowdy Rathore released in

the year 2012 and was directed by

Prabhudheva. Akshay Kumar’s

moustachioed look was well

appreciated and he was even

praised for his dialogue delivery in

the film. Though the film received

a mixed response from the critics,

it was liked by the audience, and

thus became a blockbuster. Rowdy

Rathore is one of the films to enter

the Rs100 crore club in Bollywood.

Vikramarkudu was also remade

in Tamil as Siruthai, in Kannada

as Veera Madakari, in Bengali as

Bikram Singha. It was also remade

in Bangladeshi Bengali as Ulta

Palta 69.•





Today’s glimpse from DIFF

Lisa is expecting

• Showtime Desk

Rainbow Film Society (RFS) hosts

its 15th Dhaka International Film

Festival (DIFF), from Thursday,

through the week at several

venues in the capital. The DIFF

will feature more than 200 films

from around the world geared up

for the country’s film aficionados.

The films showcase at

the National Museum-Main

Auditorium today includes Abbas

Kiarostami’s Close Up at 3:30pm,

Gajendra Ahire’s Marathi film

The Silence at 5pm and the local

premier of Bangladeshi film,

directed by Bijon Imtiaz, Kingdom

of Clay Subjects at 7:30pm.

Sufia Kamal Auditorium,

another venue of the National

Museum, will host screenings of a

collection of short films bundled

under Short and Independent

Film section, which includes

Ruben Gutierrez’s Sickness of The

Present, Vera Wonder Solvadottir

and Helena Jonsdottir’s

Gone, Helena Stefansdottirr’s

Sisters and Monica Mazzitelli’s

Midsommar at 3pm. Frode

Fimland’s Siblings Are Forever

and Anne Christiane Girardot’s

Islands of The Monks will be

screened at 5pm and 7pm,


At the Public Library

Auditorium, Swiss film Little

Mountain Boy, directed by Xavier

Koller, will be screened at 10am

under Children Film section,

followed by Abbas Kiarostami’s

Certified Copy at 1pm. Turkish

film Rauf, directed by Baris Kaya,

Iranian film Life and A Day,

directed by Saeed Roostaee, and

Nepalese film Black Hen, directed

by Min Bahadur Bham, will be

screened at 3pm, 5:30pm and

7:30pm, respectively.

Woman filmmakers, actors

and personalities from all over

the world will attend a twoday

international conference

titled “Women in Cinema”

today, which is going to be held

at the Gallery of the Alliance

Francaise de Dhaka starting from


• Showtime Desk

Lisa Haydon has become quite wanted in the industry after her last

appearance in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. She has just posted a pic in a bikini

where she is flaunting her baby bump, confirming her pregnancy.

Haydon recently got married to her longtime boyfriend Dino Lalvani

in October. It was an intimate affair for the couple who had a beachside

wedding. There were a few reports

earlier that stated that since the

actress was expecting a baby,

she rejected a lot of offers

coming her way. The actress

has finally confirmed that she

is expecting. Just like how

her marriage was a breaking

story, as nobody had a clue

about what was cooking, so is

her pregnancy news. The actress

took to Instagram yesterday

morning to share this good

news, captioned, “Humble

beginnings.” Well,

B-town sure is

going to be

full of hot

mummies! •







Back Page





Three banks overcharge on passport fees

• Jebun Nesa Alo

Three private commercial banks

that are authorised to collect passport

fees through online system

have been illegally charging an additional

amount of money beyond

certain fees fixed by the passport


The three banks – One Bank,

Premier Bank and Dhaka Bank – are

collecting the extra money from

passport applicants, just doubling

the VAT amount along with their

other inflated service charges.

According to the passport office,

the fee for issuing ordinary passport

is Tk3,000, which should be

Tk3,450 after adding 15% VAT to it.

Some five private banks – Bank

Asia and Trust Bank apart from the

three mentioned – as well as Sonali

Bank are allowed to collect fees

from applicants.

The Dhaka Bank online payment

portal shows that passport

fee is Tk3,450 while 15% VAT on

the passport fee is Tk518 and online

banking charge is Tk161.70.

Therefore, the total payable stands

at Tk4,129.70.

Though the Premier Bank online

portal shows the same amount of

passport fee, its transaction fee is

Tk165.86, the total finally standing

at Tk4133.86.

One Bank has been charging a

total of Tk3,972.50 as passport fee

Government bans

Ketoprofen to

save vultures

• Abu Siddique

The government has banned the painkiller

drug Ketoprofen for veterinary

use because of its use in cattle farming

leading to the deaths of vultures in

Bangladesh. The ban has been a longstanding

demand of conservationists.

A letter signed by the director

general of Drug Administration on

Wednesday said the government has

decided to ban all kinds

of use, sell, distribution,

promotion and storage

of this painkiller for

cattle in the Vulture Safe

Zones located in Sylhet

and Khulna regions.

The drug administration

suggested that drug

producers follow this

government directive.

In December 2014, the government

declared the two Vulture Safe

Zones in Bangladesh to save the nearly

extinct species. The areas of the

safe zones is 19,663.18 and 27,717.26

square kilometres respectively.

According to the International Union

for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), two

decades ago there were 40 million vultures

in the subcontinent. Now the total

vulture population is below 10,000.

In Bangladesh, this population is below

500. Among three resident species,

the country has already lost two – slender-billed

vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) and

red-headed vulture (Sarcogypscalvus).

The existing species, white-rumped

vulture (Gyps bengalensis), commonly

known as “Bangla Shokun,” is listed by

IUCN as Critically Endangered.

The use of Diclofenac and Ketoprofen

as painkillers across Asia to treat

livestock is one of the main reasons

of vulture population decline. A single

contaminated carcass can cause the

death of a whole flock. Scientists estimate

that 30ml Diclofenac is enough to

kill 500 vultures. The effects of these

painkillers on vultures are renal failure,

loss of flight and eventual death.

Vultures do not have the enzyme

needed to break down these drugs.

In October 2010, the government

banned the production of Diclofenac

for cattle for the same reason.

Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad, country representative

of IUCN, praised the government

for this initiative and urged

drug producers and users to maintain

the directive for the sake of saving the

vulture population in Bangladesh.

Vulture specialist Prof Monirul H

Khan suggested using Meloxicam as a

substitute, though it is costlier. •

from an aspirant, and it does not

segregate the charges from the actual


Trust Bank, however, is taking

the exact fee of Tk3,450 while it

charges additional Tk5.75 as online

transaction fees. Bank Asia is also

taking the certain fees of Tk3,450.

When contacted, Dhaka Bank

Managing Director Syed Mahbubur

Rahman said: “I am not informed

about this payment.”

He referred to Shafqat Hossain,

head of retail banking of Dhaka

Bank, who is also unaware about

the extra charges on passport fees.

While talking to the Dhaka Tribune,

a Premier Bank top executive

on condition of anonymity admitted

that extra charge is being taken from

the passport aspirant mistakenly.

Ahmad Tabshir Choudhury,

head of IT of One Bank, said their

bank deduct VAT on Tk3,450.

Asked if they are taking double VAT

on passport fee, he said they would

rectify the charge soon.

He said their online payment of

passport fee is still in initial stage

and they settled only one payment

of passport fee through online.

Bangladesh Bank is also not

monitoring such extra charging by


“We take such issues for consideration

only if we get any complaints

from clients,” said a senior

executive of the central bank.

Earlier in 2013, Bangladesh Bank

punished Prime Bank for deducting

additional service charge from

client’s accounts. The private bank

was forced to pay back the amount

that was deducted additionally. •

$100m project for teacher training

• Tribune Desk

The government has taken a mega-project

worth $100 million for

teachers’ training and developing

their skills.

“The main objective of the project

is to improve the quality of college

education under National University

for helping students cope

with this age of globalisation,” said

Education Minister Nurul Islam

Nahid yesterday.

He was speaking at a rally at the

Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka

marking the first convocation ceremony

of National University, reports


Nahid said National University

is conducting examinations in

2,500 colleges across Bangladesh

through its six regional offices that

ultimately reduced session jam.

“The government will do its best

to modernise National University.

We have a plan to further develop

its infrastructure like laboratories

and libraries,” he said.

The minister said the country’s

new generation would be equipped

with modern education to help

them cope with competitive world.

University Grants Commission

Chairman Professor Abdul

Mannan, National University

Vice-Chancellor Professor Haroon

or Rashid, Secretary to the Secondary

and Higher Secondary Department

M Sohrab Hossain were present

at the rally.

Earlier, students and teachers of

different colleges under National

University took part in a colourful

procession. The procession began

from in front of the National Museum

and ended at the Shaheed

Minar after parading different important

thoroughfares. •

Helpline 999 likely in 2 months

• Ishtiaq Husain

National help desk number 999 will be

officially launched within two months

with an aim to help individuals seeking

different kinds of emergency services

across Bangladesh.

The announcement came from

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for

ICT Division, when he was speaking

at a press conference yesterday at

Agargaon in Dhaka.

National help desk will aim to help

those in need of support from law

enforcement agencies, ambulance and

the fire service department.

In case of an emergency, it is often

very difficult to remember different

numbers for different services and a

uniform help line number could be

very effective. The ICT Division introduced

the helpline in November last

year on a trial run.

In his speech, Palak mentioned

that since its introduction, the helpline

received around 900,000 calls,

among them only 19,000 made to

actually request for different kinds of

emergency services.

Presently, the

service is open for

short spells during

the day

“After launching it officially, people

from all over the country would

receive emergency services, a feat that

developed countries achieved a few

decades ago,” said Palak.

Presently, the service is open

for short spells during the day. The

project costs Tk60.50 crore under a

programme of the ICT Division.

At the event, Palak also elaborated

on other projects that are in the

pipeline. He said: “The government will

lay down fibre optic cables to connect

2,600 Union Parishads to ensure

strong internet connection within the

next two years.”

Palak also said that the ICT Division

would provide IT training to around

3,000 individuals with autism and

upon completion of the training they

would be provided with jobs.

“Over the last three years, the

government has provided jobs to over

200 individuals with autism,” said


He also added that the ICT Division

plans to set up a Cyber Security

Agency, a National Security Centre and

Digital Forensic Lab to tackle security

threats in the future. •

Editor: Zafar Sobhan, Published and Printed by Kazi Anis Ahmed on behalf of 2A Media Limited at Dainik Shakaler Khabar Publications Limited, 153/7, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208. Editorial, News & Commercial Office: FR Tower,

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