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DT e-Paper Saturday 09 September 2017


8 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 DT News Rawhide traders struggle after Eid-ul-Azha • Tribune Desk CURRENT AFFAIRS Traders set up temporary shops in the capital’s Science Lab Intersection area to trade rawhides of the cattle sacrificed on Eidul-Azha MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU Rawhide traders including wholesalers and seasonal business people are incurring significant losses in the post-Eid period due to government mismanagement, the high price of salt, and the low retail price of their products. Thakurgaon rawhide market suffered after the government fixed the price at Tk60 per foot (30 centimetres), even though the traders do not measure their rawhide using the imperial system of measurement. The administration blunder meant none of the wholesalers or retailers in Thakurgaon could buy or sell rawhides at the price fixed by the government. Instead, each foot of rawhide was sold for between Tk20 and Tk30 - at least half of the government agreed price. For whole cowhides in Thakurgaon market, the price range of Tk250 to Tk800 was far less than the previous year. “Rawhides which were sold at Tk1,100 last year got only Tk400 this year,” Forhad Reza, a Thakurgaon rawhide trader, said. Compounding his woes was the retail price of salt: up to Tk1,200 per pack instead of the regular price of Tk450 in the district. The Dhaka Tribune found most of the seasonal rawhide traders across the country were facing the same problem. The lifeline of the rawhide business – salt - was being sold at much higher price than normal. “Warehouse owners are charging Tk1,350 for each sack of salt currently,” said Asadul Haque, a retailer of the Barabazar market of Nilphamari. In Barabaza, large rawhides were being sold between Tk350 and Tk400 and goat skins were going for between Tk30 and Tk35. Abdul Hamid, a seasonal rawhide trader of Nilphamari, said he had bought 50 pieces of cowhides for a total of Tk35,000, but was only attracting offers of half this amount from the wholesalers. The hub of the country’s tanning industry centred on Savar had already been facing problems. An estimated four out of every five tanneries were expected to face a liquidity crisis in purchasing rawhide during Eid ul-Azha this year following the forced relocation of their factories from Old Dhaka. Even now, not all the tanneries are functioning properly. Leading industry voices have urged the authorities to think about an alternative to continuing the work of the tannery industry in Savar, if the four Central Treatment Plants (CTPs) are not installed by the Chinese contractors by September 30. “The Chinese contractors have submitted a written agreement to the court saying they will hand over all four CTPs to the tannery owners within September 30,” Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) Chairman Mustak Hasan Md Iftekhar said. “If they fail to do so then they will be fined for tannery owners losses.” • Sweeping change in China’s military points to more firepower for Xi • Reuters, Beijing WORLD China’s military is preparing a sweeping leadership reshuffle, dropping top generals, including two that sources say are under investigation for corruption. The changes would make room for President Xi Jinping to install trusted allies in key positions at a key party congress that begins on October 18. A list of 303 military delegates to the Communist Party Congress, published by the army’s official newspaper on Wednesday, excluded Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang, both members of the Central Military Commission. The commission is China’s top military decision-making body. The 66-year-old Fang, who accompanied Xi to his first meeting with US President Donald Trump in April, is being questioned on suspicion of corruption. Three sources familiar with the matter said Zhang, the director of the military’s Political Work Department, is also the subject of a probe. China’s Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. The personnel changes herald a clean sweep of the top-ranking generals heading up the department. All three of Zhang’s deputies - Jia Tingan, Du Hengyan and Wu Changde - were also missing from the list of congress delegates. “This is a very clear message: they’re out,” said Cheng Li, an expert on Chinese elite politics at the Brookings Institution. “Their political careers have come to an end.” On Friday, news reports carried by the People’s Liberation Army Daily and the official news agency Xinhua abruptly referred to the navy’s political commissar, Miao Hua, as the Political Work Department director, despite no official announcement of Zhang being replaced in his role. The department is in charge of imbuing political thought and makes military personnel decisions in a similar vein to the Communist Party’s Organisation Department. The Political Work Department used to be headed by Xu Caihou, who along with a fellow former vice-chairman of the military commission, Guo Boxiong, was accused of taking bribes in exchange for promotions. Guo was jailed for life last year, while Xu died of cancer in 2015 before he could face trial. Also among the key omissions from the list published Wednesday were Du Jincai, who was replaced as the military’s anti-corruption chief in March, and Cai Yingting, who left his post as head of the PLA Academy of Military Science in January. • Bangladesh envoy frustrated with $81m heist money recovery • Tribune Desk CURRENT AFFAIRS Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines Asad Alam Siam has expressed frustration with the current pace of recovering money lost in last year’s $81-million heist from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve in New York. We have high expectations from our Filipino colleagues, because this administration is very much against any sort of corruption In an interview with a local TV channel on Thursday, the ambassador expressed hopes of recovering money, but admitted there was “immense pressure” to achieve results more than a year after the incident. “Yes, there is a sense of frustration back home,” he said in the interview. Bangladesh Bank sent a team to Manila this week to expedite the recovery of $81 million that were stolen by hackers in February last year and stashed in the Philippines. Asad Alam Siam said the Philippine government promised Bangladesh “all out efforts and cooperation” in recovering the stolen money. “We have high expectations from our Filipino colleagues, because this administration is very much against any sort of corruption and transnational crimes like the heist one, so let’s see,” Siam said. He said the money was supposed to be used for poverty alleviation programmes such as children’s education and immunization. A key personality in the money laundering scheme, dismissed Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) bank manager Maia Deguito was indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 30. Eight counts of violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act were filed against Deguito and four account holders, namely Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara, and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez. The accounts were later discovered to have been faked. The case had since been raffled off to four branches of the Makati City Regional Trial Court. •

News 9 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 DT Chittagong diocese upgraded • Anwar Hussain, Chittagong NATION Archbishop of Chittagong Moses Costa receives the pallium before 3,000 Catholic followers at Saint Placid’s School and College in the port city yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE The Archbishop of Chittagong received the pallium yesterday in a milestone event for the Catholic church in Bangladesh. The pallium is a cloak woven from lambswool and is worn by the Metropolitan Archbishop as a symbol of the pastoral and juridical power conferred on him by the Pope. The Archbishop of Chittagong Moses Costa was first given his pallium by Pope Francis at a reception in the Vatican City on June 29. However, as part of a drive away from so-called ‘airport bishops’, Pope Francis decided that each newly-appointed metropolitan archbishop should be formally vested at a ceremony held in their own archdiocese. As such, Archbishop Moses Costa was formally presented with his before 3,000 Catholic followers at Saint Placid’s School and College in the port city on Friday. The ceremony continues a big year for the Catholic church in Bangladesh. On February 2, Pope Francis elevated the Chittagong diocese to the status of Metropolitan Archdiocese and appointed Bishop Moses Costa as the first ‘Metropolitan Archbishop’ of Chittagong. And from 30 November to 2 December, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics will visit Bangladesh in the first Papal visit to the country since 1986. The first Christian settlement in Bangladesh was established in Chittagong in 1518 AD with the arrival of Portuguese traders. In 1600 AD, the first churches were built in Patharghata and Diang under Karnaphuli upazila. Father Francesco Fernandez, the first Catholic priest to arrive in Chittagong, was tortured and killed by the Arakanese. In 1845, Chittagong became the seat of the East Bengal Vicariate but this was later transferred to Dhaka. In 1927 Chittagong was upgraded to a diocese. At that time the juridical territory covered a vast area from present the Barisal diocese to some parts of India and Myanmar. Today, the juridical territory of Chittagong Diocese is spread over eight civil districts consisting of Chandpur, Lakshmipur, Noakhali, Feni, Chittagong, Khagrachori, Rangamati, Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar. In these districts, there are 11 parishes and five sub-parishes. The Archbishop of Dhaka Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario was also present at the June 29 programme in Rome, as well as the bishops from the country’s six other Catholic dioceses: Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Khulna, Sylhet and Barisal. • Police accused of demanding ransom from two businessmen in Feni Sonali Bank gets new DMD • Tribune Desk METRO Mohammad Jahangir Alam has joined Sonali Bank as its deputy managing director. Prior to the appointment, he served as the General Manager of the local office of Rupali Bank, said a press release on Thursday. Mohammad Jahangir Alam jointed Rupali Bank as senior officer on probation in 1986. During his 31-year-long banking career, he performed as managers of different branches and area offices, and as heads of different divisional offices, of Rupali Bank across the country. • • Rafiqul Islam, Feni NATION Two businessmen have alleged that they were confined for three days at Koraish Munshi police outpost in Feni’s Dagonbhuiyan upazila and were threatened for ransom. Amjad Hossain and Sohel Ahmed said they were detained by the police outpost’s in-charge SI Saiful Islam Tuesday evening from Abdur Nabi village and were released on Thursday after paying Tk40,000 in ransom. Denying the allegations SI Saiful Islam said the pair was held on Wednesday for riding unlicensed motorbikes. “After inspecting if they were accused in any case, we released them at Thursday noon,” the SI said. While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Amjad and Sohel said they were neighbours and were travelling together on separate motorbikes to see their relatives in Abdur Nabi village. On their way, SI Saiful stopped them and took them to the police station along with their bikes, the duo added. Amjad said: “The SI demanded Tk200,000 from us and even threatened us that they would accuse us in different cases if we failed to pay up. “The SI was not convinced when we told him we were not financially capable of paying such a huge amount. “Later, a former Union Parishad (UP) member contacted our family members and collected Tk40,000 from them, which was then given to the SI.” Following the ransom payment we were released and we were further threatened by the SI about getting accused in several cases and being harmed if we spoke out. Dagonbhuiyan police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abul Kalam Azad said: “We did not receive any such complaints yet, but we are investigating the matter.” While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, the former UP member Abul Kashem said Amjad and Sohel’s family members requested him to get the duo released , so helped them getting released. •

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