28-04-2021

tbtbangla

WedneSday

DHaka : april 28 , 2021; Baishakh 15, 1428 BS; Ramadan 15,1442 Hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.19; N o. 22 ; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

InternatIonal

Ethnic allies of Myanmar

resistance capture

government base

>Page 7

art & Culture

Prova, Monoj in

new drama 'Fake

Husband'

>Page 10

SportS

lazio beat milan 3-0 to reignite

Champions league race, Iheanacho

winner pushes leicester closer

>Page 9

'Mortar shell

from 1971'

found beside

Rajshahi

University

RAJSHAHI : A mortar shell

believed to be from the time

of the Liberation War was

found while excavating a

pond beside the martyrs'

memorial near Rajshahi

University (RU) on

Tuesday.

A worker first spotted the

shell while digging the pond

and informed police.

Members of Rapid Action

Battalion (Rab) also went to

the spot.

Lt Col Ziaur Rahman

Talukdar of Rab-5 said they

are suspecting that the

mortar shell is from the

Liberation War period.

In 1971, Pakistani Army

had a camp at Shaheed

Shamsuzzoha Hall of RU

beside the martyrs' memorial,

he said.

"A bomb disposal team

has been informed but it's

not clear whether the shell

is active or not," Talukdar

said.

Further steps will be

taken after the bomb disposal

team examines the

shell, he added.

Zohr

04:08 AM

12:00 PM

04:31 PM

06:29 PM

07:47 PM

5:26 6:26

RAMADAn

Ramadan Date Sehri Iftar

15 April 28 04:02 AM 06:29 PM

16 April 29 04:01 AM 06:30 PM

17 April 30 04:00 AM 06:30 PM

shafIqul Islam

Green rice plant on a pitch-covered gray road has shaped the look of rural Bengal but this

lining may be one of the causes of slippery straw- road accidents. the picture was taken from

east Kantnagar in dhunat upazila of Bogura on tuesday.

Photo: PBa

Govt may strict for wearing masks

to prevent corona infection

The government has given lockdown

more than once to prevent the transmission

of pandemic corona virus. Peoples

are repeatedly instructed by the government

to wear masks when they go out of

the house. But there is indifference among

many in the use of masks. In this case, the

government will be strict to using masks.

This issue has already been discussed in

the cabinet meeting.

It is known that, the government has

decided to take strict legal action against

coronavirus infection if the mask is not

worn outside the house. The legal framework

is being brought in with the power to

beat the police if necessary if the people do

not use masks. A reliable source of the

government confirmed the matter on

Tuesday (April 27th). Sources said the

matter will be implemented by adding it

to any law. Its purpose will be to prevent

pandemic corona infection.

A high-level meeting chaired by Cabinet

Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam was

held on Monday (April 26th) to extend the

lockdown for another week. The issue of

mandatory mask use came up in the discussion

there. The officials who took part

in the meeting also discussed the issue of

taking strict action with the police. It was

decided at that meeting that if anyone

does not wear a mask, then the power to

charge the police with a stick to force him

to wear a mask should be included in any

law. A concerned official said that in this

context, the issue of beating is being considered

in the legal framework. The decision

will be taken at a meeting of the cabinet

department. He said the government

could add to the law the provision of hitting

with sticks in case of urgent public

interest. It will be legalized by the

Infectious Diseases Control Act or any

other law.

A government official said an official

were present at the meeting offered to

beat people with a stick while discussing

the consequences of not wearing a mask.

But there is no chance of hitting with a

stick under the existing law. Then another

negotiator suggested creating legal opportunities

if necessary.

On the other hand, another official

information statement sent from the

Information Department after the meeting

said that strict legal action will be

taken if masks are not used outside the

house. The government has repeatedly

instructed people to use masks to prevent

coronavirus infection when someone

leaves the house for an emergency. But it

is being noticed that many people are disobeying

this instruction. In this case, the

government will take strict legal action if

the mask is not used while moving outside.

The government is advising everyone

to use two masks if necessary.

LPG operators to get services

under one roof soon

DHAKA : Bangladesh's liquefied petroleum

gas (LPG) operators are likely to get onestop

service (OSS) in receiving different

licenses from various agencies which will

ultimately play a vital role in reducing their

operational costs, reports UNB.

According to official sources, the Energy

and Mineral Resources Division will initiate

a move for introducing such OSS as part of

ease of doing business ethics to promote

and smoothen the growing business in the

LPG sector.

"We will introduce the OSS like the one in

the Bangladesh Investment Development

Authority (BIDA) system to bring all the

services under one umbrella," said Anisur

Rahman, senior secretary of the Energy and

Mineral Resources Division.

He said this OSS will be introduced within

six months. "If necessary, we'll place the

issue at the top level of the government."

At present, the LPG operators have to

take permission from various administrative

and licensing bodies, including

Bangladesh Energy Regulatory

Commission (BERC).

In some cases, the operators have to

move up to 21 offices from a district-level

administration to ministry-level office, said

Jakaria Jalal, head of marketing of

Bashundhara LPG, a leading operator.

Industry insiders and consumers right

groups said multiple regulators in the energy

sector have made the services costlier for

both the operators and the consumers, casting

a big impact on the tariff, especially in

the LPG and CNG businesses.

"Consumers have to bear the brunt of

huge amounts paid in fees annually by the

business operators," said an energy expert.

President of LPG Operators of

Bangladesh (LOAB) Azam J Chowdhury

at a recent seminar said any bulk liquefied

petroleum gas (LPG) business operator

has to pay annually about Tk 13.5 million

(1.35 crore) in total to 13 regulatory bodies

to obtain licenses or to renew them for

business.

Govt. approves

Sputnik-V vaccine

of Russia

KhandaKer Zannatun nahar Jerry

The Bangladesh government has

approved the import and emergency

use of the Russian-made coronavirus

vaccine 'Sputnik-V' amid concerns over

vaccination activities in the Oxford-

Astrageneca vaccine supply crisis from

India's Seram Institute.

Major General Mahbubur Rahman,

Director General of the Department of

Drug Administration, said this on

Tuesday.

He told reporters that an application

was made to the Department of Drug

Administration on April 24 for

approval to use the vaccine. It was

approved at Tuesday's meeting."We

have approved the emergency use of

this vaccine today. Now it is not a barrier

to import and use in Bangladesh."

On January 8, the Department of

Drug Administration approved the

import and emergency use of the

Oxford-Astrageneca vaccine produced

at the Serum Institute of India.

Sputnik-V is the second vaccine against

coronavirus, which has been approved

for use in humans in Bangladesh.

Earlier, the government had allowed

the import of 1,000 doses of Sputnik-V

vaccine for use by citizens of Russia,

Belarus and Ukraine working at the

Ruppur nuclear power plant in Pabna.

But it was not for the citizens of

Bangladesh.

There is no dearth of oxygen in

the country: Health Minister

ashraful Islam ashraf

Health Minister Zahid Malek said there

was nothing to panic about the supply

of oxygen in the country. He said oxygen

was imported from India only

when there was a lot of demand during

pandemic. Imports have been closed

for the last four to five days. The country

is going to meet that demand.

The health minister told reporters at

the premises of Bangladesh College of

Physicians and Surgeons in Mohakhali

on Tuesday afternoon. The Minister of

Health briefed the journalists on the

importance of public awareness in dealing

with the second wave of global

catastrophe of Covid-19.

"We don't just work with liquid oxygen,"

he said. Central oxygen has been

lined up. Hospitals already had oxygen.

There is no shortage of gas and oxygen

in Bangladesh. It has a lot of production

capacity. ' Noting that there is nothing

to panic about at the moment, the

health minister said, "If the number of

patients in the country who need oxygen

goes up from 6,000 to 21,000,

there will be a crisis." Crisis has also

occurred in the United States, Europe

and India due to the increase in the

number of patients. In our country, the

number of patients has decreased. The

demand for oxygen has also decreased.

Everyone has to move in such a way

that the patient does not grow any

more. 'He added that many industries

produce liquid oxygen, which has also

been reserved. 40 to 50 hospitals in the

country have been asked to use gas oxygen.

The health minister said the production

of oxygen in the country is about

150 tons in the private sector. It is liquid

oxygen. And gas mask oxygen 250 to

300 tons. Daily oxygen demand in the

country is 125 to 150 tons. He said so far

Bangladesh is in a fairly good position.

Oxygen will not be a problem if there is

no extra pressure. 40 tons used in the

industrial sector are also booked. It will

also be used for patients if needed.

Will take 2 weeks to get vaccine

from alternative sources: FM

DHAKA : The government is exploring

Covid vaccines from three alternative

sources-Russia, China and the USA- and

it will take at least two weeks to complete

the process, said Foreign Minister Dr AK

Abdul Momen on Tuesday, reports UNB.

"It's a reasonable time," he told

reporters at his residence, adding that

talks with India are also underway to get

at least 2 to 3 million doses of vaccine for

addressing Bangladesh's immediate

need.

The US will begin sharing its entire

stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19

vaccines with the world once it clears federal

safety reviews, the White House said

on Monday, with as many as 60 million

doses expected to be available for export

in the coming months.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh can allow

the emergency use of vaccines from

Russia and China. "We'll get the vaccinewhereverwe

get it."

He briefed the journalists at his residence

after a China-led virtual meeting

that discussed cooperation among countries

to deal with the Covid-19 situation,

including setting up of "Covid Emergency

Medical Storage Facility".

He said China shared three ideas,

including installing a development centre,

to deal with post-Covid poverty and an e-

Commerce Forum.

"We should believe in multilateralism.

We laid emphasis on cooperation and

partnership," said the Foreign Minister.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

invited his counterparts in four other

South Asian countries to the virtual meeting.

The Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan,

Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and

Pakistan joined the meeting.

Dr Momen said China also welcomes

India in this process and it is up to India

to decide.

He said China will give 6 lakh doses of

vaccine as a gift and hoped that

Bangladesh will get a vaccine through

commercial purchase soon. Bangladesh

has received 7 million of Oxford-

AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses produced

by Serum Institute of India (SII)

vaccines through its contract. Bangladesh

also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine

as a bilateral partnership gift.

This is the largest amount sent from

India to any country.

state minister for foreign affairs m shahriar alam received Chinese state Councilor and defense minister Wei

fenghe at Bangabandhu air Base.

Photo : star mail


weDneSDAy, APRIl 28, 2021

2

Global rights group accuses Israel

of apartheid, persecution

JERUSALEM : One of the world's bestknown

human rights groups said Tuesday

that Israel is guilty of the international

crimes of apartheid and persecution

because of discriminatory policies toward

Palestinians within its own borders and in

the occupied territories.

In a sweeping, 213-page report, the New

York-based Human Rights Watch joins a

growing number of commentators and

rights groups who view the conflict not

primarily as a land dispute but as a single

regime in which Palestinians - who make

up roughly half the population of Israel,

the West Bank and Gaza - are

systematically denied basic rights granted

to Jews.

Israel adamantly rejects that

characterization, saying its Arab minority

enjoys full civil rights. It views Gaza, from

which it withdrew soldiers and settlers in

2005, as a hostile entity ruled by the

Islamic militant group Hamas, and it

considers the West Bank to be disputed

Industrialist Deen

Mohammad

passes away

DHAKA : Prominent

Industrialist and chairman of

the Phoenix Group Deen

Mohammad passed away due

to old age complications at a

city hospital early Tuesday.

He was 83, reports UNB.

Deen Mohammad, also the

founder of City Bank,

breathed his last at Anwar

Khan Modern Medical

College and Hospital around 1

am.

He had been suffering from

different old age

complications.

The veteran businessman

left his wife, one son, two

daughters and a host of

relatives to mourn his death.

His namaz-e-janaza will be

held at Lalbagh Shahi

Mosque after Zohr prayer.

territory subject to peace negotiations -

which collapsed more than a decade ago,

reports UNB.

Human Rights Watch focused its report

on the definitions of apartheid and

persecution used by the International

Criminal Court, which launched a probe

into possible Israeli war crimes last

month. Israel rejects the court as biased.

Citing public statements by Israeli

leaders and official policies, HRW argued

that Israel has "demonstrated an intent to

maintain the domination of Jewish

Israelis over Palestinians" in Israel, the

West Bank and Gaza, coupled with

"systematic oppression" and "inhumane

acts."

"When these three elements occur

together, they amount to the crime of

apartheid," it said.

As to the charge of persecution, the

group cited "grave abuses" in the

occupied territories, including land

confiscation, the systematic denial of

Philippines weighs extending lockdown

as COVID cases top 1M

MANILA : Coronavirus infections surged past

1 million in the Philippines on Monday as

officials assess whether to extend a monthlong

lockdown in the Manila region amid a grim

spike in cases or relax it to fight a recession,

joblessness and hunger, reports UNB.

The Department of Health reported 8,929

new infections on Monday, bringing the

country's total to 1,006,428, including 16,853

deaths. The totals are the second highest in

Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

The Philippines imposed its first virus

lockdown in March last year, confining

millions of people to their homes and shutting

public transport and most businesses. The

heavy restrictions were eased later in the year

but the economy still contracted by 9.6% in

2020, with unemployment and hunger at their

worst in years. Infections, however, spiked

again last month to some of the worst levels in

Asia, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte's

building permits, home demolitions and

"sweeping, decades-long restrictions on

freedom of movement and basic human

rights."

The report cites a range of policies it

says are aimed at ensuring a Jewish

majority in Israel and lands it intends to

keep, while largely confining Palestinians

to scattered enclaves under overarching

Israeli control, with policies that

encourage Palestinians to leave.

While such policies are far more severe

in the occupied territories, HRW said

they can also be found in Israel itself,

where Palestinian citizens, who make up

roughly 20% of the population, face

widespread discrimination when it comes

to housing, land access and basic services.

Omar Shakir, the author of the report,

said that from the heady early days of the

peace process in the 1990s up until the

Obama years, "there was enough there to

question whether there was an intent for

permanent domination."

administration to reimpose a lockdown in the

Manila region, the country's financial and

commercial hub with more than 25 million

people. Several hospitals in the metropolis

reported being overwhelmed, with new

COVID-19 patients waiting in hospital

driveways, ambulances and cars. Hospital

officials say many health workers have been

infected or have had to take a break due to

stress and fatigue.

Despite a slight decline in new cases, Health

Secretary Francisco Duque III said he believes

the current lockdown should be extended by

another week or two. Economic officials have

warned that a prolonged lockdown would

increase unemployment and slow an economic

recovery. "Our health system's capacity hasn't

improved that much," Duque told the DZMM

radio network, adding the shortage of hospital

intensive care units in some cities remains

critical.

In order to prevent the deadly corona virus, Barishal district administration has stood beside the

low-income working people. The Barishal district administration has been working relentlessly for

the poor and helpless people of the district since the onset of the second wave of corona virus infection.

In continuation of this, gifts by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were distributed at Shaheed

Abdur Rob Serniabat Stadium in the city on Tuesday. Divisional Commissioner of Barishal Md.

Saiful Hasan Badal was the chief guest on the occasion while Deputy Commissioner of Barishal

Jasim Uddin Haider presided over the function.

Photo: Zihad Rana

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Saturday, Wednesday, 10 October, 27 April, 2020 2021

Special Supplement

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WEdNESdAy, APrIL 28, 2021

4

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Bangladesh touches

a milestone as

developing country

Bangladesh has qualified to graduate into a

developing nation status from a Least

Developed Country (LDC) after 45

years.The United Nations Committee for

Development Policy (UNCDP) recommended the

graduation in its final evaluation on Friday.

Bangladesh is scheduled to officially become a

full fledgeddeveloping country in 2026 as the UN

committee recommended that the country should

get five years, instead of three, to prepare for the

transition due to the impact of the Covid-19 on its

economy.

The happy news is notwithstanding this change

in status, until 2026, Bangladesh will continue to

enjoy the trade benefits as an LDC. This is a big

advantage because on changing status,

Bangladesh would be otherwise 'suddenly'

required to forego exceptionally low tariffs and

other preferences it received so far as an LDC.

However, the extension period of five years will

now give us enough time to 'adjust' to newer or

higher tariffs as a developing country while

escaping the jolts arising from a sudden

transition.

The recommendations will be sent to the United

Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

for endorsement in June and the UN General

Assembly is scheduled to approve the proposal in

September.The development comes when

Bangladesh gears up for celebrating the golden

jubilee of its independence next month.

Bangladesh was recognized for making

remarkable progress in reducing poverty,

supported by sustained economic growth. Based

on the international poverty line of $1.90 (using

2011 Purchasing Power Parity exchange rate) a

day, it reduced poverty from 43.8 percent in 1991

to 14.8 percent by 2016.

Life expectancy, literacy rates and per capita

food production have increased significantly.

Progress has been underpinned by steady growth

in GDP. Bangladesh reached the lower middleincome

country status in 2015. In 2018,

Bangladesh fulfilled all three eligibility criteria for

graduation from the UN's Least Developed

Countries (LDC) list for the first time and is on

track for full graduation in 2024.

Sustained economic growth has created an

increased demand for energy, transport and

urbanization. Insufficient planning and

investment have resulted in infrastructure

bottlenecks, congestion and pollution. To become

an upper-middle income economy, continued

sound macroeconomic management, financial

sector stability, structural reforms, investment in

human capital, higher female labour force

participation, and global integration will be

important. Improving infrastructure as well as

the business climate would allow new productive

sectors to develop and generate quality

employment.

Bangladesh is considered both an inspiration

and a challenge for policymakers and

practitioners of development. While the country

recorded strong performance in income growth

and human development, Bangladesh faces

daunting challenges with an increased level of

vulnerability with about 39 million people still

living below the national poverty line.

The COVID-19 pandemic will deepen the

challenges including a decline in exports, lower

private investment, and job losses. Investment

and exports are likely to continue to suffer amid

uncertainty about the recovery of global demand.

The poor and vulnerable are more impacted with

income loss and poverty may rise. The

implementation of the government's COVID-19

response programme will remain a paramount

priority.Creating more and better jobs for its

youth remains a critical priority for Bangladesh to

turn around and achieve its development vision.

To do so, Bangladesh will need to remove the

barriers to higher investment posed by limited

availability of serviced land, uncertain and

complex business regulation, among others.

Challenges related to COVID-19, rapid

urbanization and climate change need to be

addressed through long-term planning.

With the right policies and timely action,

Bangladesh can accelerate its recovery from the

economic downturn caused by Covid and

continue to progress towards upper-middle

income status.

ASEAN ups its game in Myanmar crisis

The five-point consensus on Myanmar

reached at a special leaders' summit

in Jakarta last Saturday outlined solid

steps that the Association of Southeast

Asian Nations will take to defuse the

worsening crisis in that country.

It signaled a strong commitment to play a

decisive role in preventing further violence

and fostering dialogue between key

domestic actors in a troubled member state.

It shows how the 54-year-old regional bloc

is stepping up to forestall a broader civil war

and humanitarian tragedy that could spill

over the region.

The consensus suggests a shared

recognition of how grave the situation is in

Myanmar and how the failure of ASEAN to

intercede could invite the intervention of

great powers, which would undermine

ASEAN centrality and weaken regional

cohesion.

Recognizing the high stakes involved and

the gravitas that informal ASEAN leader

and middle power Indonesia wields, Brunei,

this year's ASEAN chair, gave way for

Jakarta to host the emergency meeting.

The gathering was the first in-person

leaders' summit convened since the onset of

the Covid-19 pandemic. This shows the high

degree of importance attached by the region

to the deteriorating flashpoint. The

consensus was the culmination of formal

Unreasonable laws blocking path to US-Palestinian rapprochement

Throughout his campaign for the US

presidency, Joe Biden made specific

promises to the electorate, among

them a number of foreign policy pledges. On

the conflict in the Middle East, Biden

promised to reverse some of the far-reaching

decisions of his predecessor, such as closing

the Palestinian mission in Washington and

its counterpart, the American mission in

Jerusalem.

Since taking office in January, his

administration has been slowly delivering on

some of these promises, such as reestablishing

humanitarian aid for the

Palestinians. In return, the Palestinians, who

had boycotted all US officials, have agreed to

re-establish diplomatic and security contacts

with the Americans.

There are plenty of benefits from a vibrant

US-Palestinian relationship. It is a natural act

that reflects respect and understanding and

paves the way for direct high-level

engagement between Washington and the

legitimate Palestinian representatives.

Israel and the Palestinian Liberation

Organization exchanged letters of recognition

in 1993. That event, witnessed by Democratic

President Bill Clinton, was memorialized at

the White House lawn with the famous

handshake between Israeli Prime Minister

Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser

Arafat. That ceremony ushered in a period of

dialogue that included the establishment of

proper relations between American and

Palestinian representatives. Unfortunately,

the pro-Israel US Congress has attempted to

do Israel's work rather than the work of peace

and that of America's national interests.

Proper Palestinian-American relations are

a natural development when it comes to the

positive role they have on lowering tensions

not only in Palestine/Israel, but throughout

the region. The injustice that Palestinians

suffer at the hands of America's ally has been

the most effective source of extremist

recruitment in this region.

The Palestinians agreed to open a mission

in Washington in 1994, even though it was

under the cloud of the unreasonable

condition of needing a presidential waiver

every six months. No other mission in

Washington has to abide by such a

humiliating condition. But the Palestinians

badly wanted to end decades of unjust Israeli

occupation and colonial settlements, so they

reluctantly accepted such restrictions based

on the promise that an independent

Palestinian state would emerge at the end of

US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian talks. This

did not happen because, as former US

Secretary of State John Kerry declared in

Congress in 2014, the Israeli settlement

ambitions for Palestinian lands destroyed

hopes for peace and what is often called the

two-state solution. The peace talks "went

puff," said Kerry, after Israel made yet

another illegal settlement expansion in the

very territories that were being negotiated as

part of the independent Palestinian state.

The Biden administration had promised to

support precisely that two-state plan, which

would naturally require Washington to

LUCIo B PITLo

dAoUd KUTTAB

recognize and engage with the Palestinian

aspect of the solution. The Israeli part of the

two-state solution has long been around and

receives a huge amount of financial, political

and military aid from the US.

Unfortunately, anti-peace elements in the

US don't want to see genuine progress in the

peace talks and therefore have been

searching for ways to derail the attempts by

Biden's team to fulfill his promise of

reopening the Palestinian mission. New

humiliating conditions are being carbon

copied from the Israeli right-wing playbook

and presented as legitimate.

Liberation movements around the world

Liberation movements around the world take care of their own, particularly

those who make personal sacrifices for their nation. The Palestinian Basic

Law, which was initiated after that White House handshake, contains mandatory

conditions to establish a fund to support any Palestinians and their

families who have been imprisoned or who have paid the ultimate price.

take care of their own, particularly those who

make personal sacrifices for their nation. The

Palestinian Basic Law, which was initiated

after that White House handshake, contains

mandatory conditions to establish a fund to

support any Palestinians and their families

who have been imprisoned or who have paid

the ultimate price. Demanding that

Palestinians disenfranchise their own for the

sake of an office in Washington would be a

violation of Article 22 of that Palestinian Basic

Law, which was passed without any objection

by Israel or the US at the time.

Demanding that Palestinians

disenfranchise their own for the sake of an

office in Washington would be a violation of

SyEd TALAT HUSSAIN

Article 22 of that Palestinian Basic Law.

Any change to this constitutionally

mandated committee to support prisoners

and martyrs would need a two-thirds vote of

the Palestinian legislature. Elections are due

on May 22, unless Israel violates its own

agreement and prevents Palestinians,

including Jerusalemites, from carrying out

their natural right. Americans, especially

Democrats, who have championed voter

rights and opposed voter suppression in

Georgia and other states should support the

upcoming poll and not turn a blind eye to

Israeli obstructionism.

Belated conditionality on the reopening of

the Palestinian mission is not only

humiliating but would weaken the very

Palestinian leadership that needs to make the

"peace of the brave," as the late Arafat called

it. America has never made such humiliating

conditions on a single friend or foe. It was not

demanded of South Africa's African National

Congress, the Vietnamese or anyone else.

Why can't American officials for once resist

the pressure from the discredited pro-Israel

lobby, which has done so much to undercut

US interests? The Palestinians are a proud

people and their struggle for liberation and

freedom will continue regardless of whether

or not the US allows them to have a proper

mission in Washington. Conversely,

supporting the chance for accessible

communication could go a long way toward

improving the atmosphere and preparing the

ground for talks that could lead to an

independent Palestinian state, with East

Jerusalem as its capital, alongside a safe and

secure Israel on its internationally recognized

pre-June 1967 borders.

Source : Arab News

COVID-19: Pakistan scrambles to arrange medical oxygen

When Pakistani governments

impose taxes that hurt the public,

a popular cry of desperation and

derision inevitably greets them: one day

they will also make us pay for oxygen.

The rhetorical slur has now come true.

The public is paying for oxygen through its

nose but not because it is taxed but because

it is on short supply as Covid infections

rise, breaking all previous records in

Pakistan.

The situation is not touching desperate

levels but it is going in that direction.

Ministers are trying to be useful preaching

calm to an anxious public that is exposed to

the dire times that neighbouring India is

witnessing and which are beamed into

homes through the international media.

"We have not run out of supplies and

there is enough capacity to meet the

current needs", said a member of the

National Command Center that is

directing all measures against the

pandemic.

"We used to expend almost 80 per cent

of our oxygen in the industry and only 20

per cent was meant for the health sector,

out of which nearly half was supplied

through the formal sector, whereas the rest

was managed by the informal sector. But

now the equation is 80 for health; 20 for

the industry," he said in a telephonic

interview. This sounds reassuring - for now

that is. The future does not proffer a

soothing scenario. The newly-appointed

information minister, Fawad Chaudhary,

last week said that the country had already

used up 90 per cent of its oxygen reserves

attending hospital emergencies.

and informal talks and consultations done

by key ASEAN members, notably

Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, with

significant domestic actors in Myanmar and

influential regional players like China.

The 10-member organization called for an

urgent halt to violence and for all parties to

exercise utmost restraint. This appeal could

help dial down tensions that have been

building up as the military and protesters

dig in, a parallel "national unity

government" is shaping up to challenge the

Tatmadaw, and ethnic separatist groups

siding with the growing civilian opposition

to junta rule.

A halt in violence could pave the way for

the delivery of humanitarian goods,

including food and medicine, and also

create necessary conditions for talks. The

regional bloc pledged to deliver

humanitarian aid through the ASEAN

He then prayed to Almighty for mercy.

This not fearmongering. The relatively

manageable demand on the limited

production capacity is based on the current

figures of consumption. Considering the

rising tide of Corona patients, this demand

will increase manifold.Some experts

suggest that even then oxygen production

can stay roughly at par with the spiralling

demand. One expert cited by the local

media said: "We estimate the average

annual demand for medical oxygen to be

around 100-110 tonnes per day (tpd) in

Pakistan. We also estimate that Covid-19

has raised the consumption of medical

oxygen, with figures varying from 300 to

500 tonnes per day in 2020."

"We expect high demand for medical

oxygen to continue throughout this year

and next, with levels of 300-400 tonnes

per day in 2021 and about 200-250 tonnes

per day in 2022."

"100 tpd of medical oxygen in a

"peacetime" is a very low volume for 220

million population country. To compare,

Vietnam having 62 million population had

(by our estimations) about 250 tpd of

medical oxygen available in hospitals

before Covid-19. This is due to higher

Coordinating Center for Humanitarian

Assistance on disaster management.

ASEAN also called for a constructive

dialogue in pursuit of a peaceful solution to

the conflict. To this end, it will dispatch a

special envoy to facilitate mediation with the

assistance of the organization's secretary

general.

This is ASEAN stressing its central role in

The five-point consensus could not come at a more critical time. The Tatmadaw, as the

Myanmar military is known, is feeling the heat of escalating sanctions and worries

that even Southeast Asian neighbors may withhold cooperation if the situation does

not improve. ASEAN, on the other hand, has come under fire for not doing much to

stem the carnage or condemn the illegitimate power grab in one of its member states.

its neighborhood, offering its good offices to

a member in distress and a coordinating

venue for the international community to

vent their concerns and channel support to

the dialogue process.

The ASEAN envoy and delegation will

visit Myanmar and meet with all concerned

parties. This belies notions that ASEAN

recognized the coup's legitimacy by inviting

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to the

meeting. Acknowledging the situation on

the ground and conferring legitimacy are

number of hospital beds."

"Additional demand could vary from

300 and up to 500 tpd of medical oxygen.

This quantity does not seem to be difficult

to produce, release, or import. More likely,

the problem is in the oxygen delivery

system to the hospitals."

This hits the nail on the head. The finer

side of the problem at present relates to

transportation of oxygen to the hospitals. It

requires expensive vehicles designed to

move the precious commodity in liquid

form to the bigger hospitals which then

have the wherewithal to turn into gas and

He then added an even more significant point: "Just because you are being

provided oxygen in an ICU does not mean that you have the right quantum

passing through the pipes. Most hospitals don't even provide more than 15

litres to patients in need of much more. That's why we have one of the

world's highest mortality rates on ventilators", he grimly added.

administer is to the patients.

Less equipped hospitals are reliant on

transportation of this life saver in gaseous

form by simply getting cylinders filled and

refilled and brought back to the emergency

rooms.

The public on their own also attempt to

buy oxygen as attendants are being turned

back by hospitals because they may not

have beds available any more.

Home-management of patients, once a

preferred recommendation of the

government to the people, however has

run out of steam as well because

individuals are the end of this oxygen

two different things.

In keeping with its time-honored

principle, the organization is not taking

sides in the conflict, is in touch with all

relevant parties and wishes to see inclusive

and productive talks run and owned by

Myanmar.

The five-point consensus could not come

at a more critical time. The Tatmadaw, as

the Myanmar military is known, is feeling

the heat of escalating sanctions and worries

that even Southeast Asian neighbors may

withhold cooperation if the situation does

not improve. ASEAN, on the other hand,

has come under fire for not doing much to

stem the carnage or condemn the

illegitimate power grab in one of its member

states.With all eyes on the meeting and its

outcome, ASEAN delivered substantive

ways forward.

Despite the varying interests and priority

assigned to the issue by its 10 individual

members, ASEAN has come together to

make a collective stand. The consensus

reached outlines how the bloc envisages its

role in the Myanmar conundrum. It aims to

address pressing needs - cessation of

violence, restraint and humanitarian aid - as

well as chart a durable solution to the

impasse through dialogue.

Source : Asia Times

supply chain and are not entertained. The

prices of oxygen have also quadrupled. For

some, tragedy is always profitable.

There are demands that the oxygen plant

of Pakistan's Steel Mill, long shut and

awaiting privatisation, should be revived

and that can meet the need of the health

sector. But as a doctor who is running a

100-bed hospital in Lahore explained:

"People have no idea what it takes to

supply high-pressured oxygen to patients

whose lungs are packing up. I have seven

beds occupied in the intensive care unit

and on each bed a patient is administered

50 litres oxygen per minute. The room is

like a pressure cooker. Not many private

hospitals even have this arrangement."

He then added an even more significant

point: "Just because you are being

provided oxygen in an ICU does not mean

that you have the right quantum passing

through the pipes. Most hospitals don't

even provide more than 15 litres to patients

in need of much more. That's why we have

one of the world's highest mortality rates

on ventilators", he grimly added.

That gives context to the issues centred

on oxygen in Pakistan. Even if the supplies

are adequate, their transportation, use,

administration and the attendant costs will

make this one of the most important

challenges for the government. Who would

have thought that an elixir of life, available

everywhere, could become this scarce,

choking the ill, or worse, threaten to kill

them. But the unthinkable is happening.

Source : Gulf News


WedNesdAy, APriL 28, 2021

5

PAm BeLLuCK

The health effects of Covid-19 not only

can stretch for months but appear to

increase the risk of death and chronic

medical conditions, even in people who

were never sick enough to be

hospitalized, a large new study finds.

In the study, published Thursday in

the journal Nature, researchers looked

at medical records of more than 73,000

people across the United States whose

coronavirus infections did not require

hospitalization. Between one and six

months after becoming infected, those

patients had a significantly greater risk

of death - 60 percent higher - than

people who had not been infected with

the virus.

The research, based on records of

patients in the Department of Veterans

Affairs health system, also found that

nonhospitalized Covid survivors had a

20 percent greater chance of needing

outpatient medical care over those six

months than people who had not

contracted the coronavirus.

The Covid survivors experienced a

vast array of long-term medical

problems that they had never had before

- not just lung issues from the

respiratory effects of the virus, but

symptoms that could affect virtually any

organ system or part of the body, from

neurological to cardiovascular to

gastrointestinal. They were also at

greater risk of mental health problems,

including anxiety and sleep disorders.

"We found it all," said an author of the

study, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of the

research and development service at the

VA St. Louis Health Care System. "What

was shocking about this when you put it

all together was like 'Oh my God,' you

see the scale," he added. "It's still jarring,

honestly."

What's more, some of the patients'

post-Covid medical issues - like

diabetes, kidney disease and some heart

problems - could become chronic

conditions that would require treatment

for the rest of their lives.

"People have continued respiratory

disease, continued headache, this, that

and the next thing," said Dr. Laurie

Jacobs, chairwoman of internal

medicine at Hackensack University

Medical Center, who was not involved in

the study. "It's not gone away. And we

don't yet understand the underlying

cause, and it's become chronic in some

cases, disabling in other cases. In some

areas, people have gotten better, but it's

GiNA KoLAtA

Cleft palates that close without scars.

Burn wounds that recover without a

trace of injury. Years-old disfiguring

scars that disappear, leaving skin

smooth and flawless. It sounds like

science fiction, but healing without

scarring may become a tantalizing

possibility. In a study published

Thursday in Science, two researchers at

Stanford University report that they

have figured out the molecular signals

that make scars form and found a simple

way to block them - at least in mice.

A 20-year-old drug, verteporfin,

already on the market as an intravenous

treatment for macular degeneration, can

prevent scarring if it is injected at the

edge of a wound. As the verteporfintreated

wounds heal, the skin that forms

looks perfectly normal, nothing like skin

that heals with scars, those lumpy

wound closures that are not only

unsightly but also much weaker than

normal skin and have no hair, or oil and

sweat glands.

The study involved mice, but the

researchers, Dr. Michael Longaker,

Stanford's vice chair of surgery, and

Geoffrey Gurtner, Stanford's vice

president of surgery for innovation, have

now moved on to pigs, whose skin is

closest to that of humans. With these

new subjects, the surgeons made an

incision as wide as a thumb and five

inches long. When they sutured the cut

and injected verteporfin around the

edge, there was dramatically less

scarring.

"It's pretty spectacular," Dr. Longaker

said. Researchers who study wounds

and who were not associated with the

study were enthusiastic. "It is unusual

for me to read a paper and say, 'Wow,

this is really a major advance,'" said

Valerie Horsley, a tissue developmental

biologist at Yale who studies wound

healing. "But this is a major advance."

Marjana Tomic-Canic, director of the

wound healing and regenerative

medicine program at the University of

Patients with long Covid face

lingering health risks

A patient received applause after getting vaccinated at a facility in Vancouver, Washington.

Photo: Nathan Howard

very variable."

The study is believed to be the largest

yet to evaluate such a comprehensive

array of health conditions. The nonhospitalized

Covid survivors in the study

tested positive for the virus from March

1, 2020, through November.

Most of the nearly 32 million people

who have contracted the coronavirus in

the United States have not needed

hospitalization, so in some ways the

study may be applicable to a wide swath

of the population. But the Veterans

Health System patients in the study may

not be representative in other ways,

including that 88 percent of them were

male and their median age was 61.

Nearly 25 percent were Black, 70

percent were white and nearly 5 percent

were other races.

Researchers compared their risk of

death and other characteristics with

Miami Miller School of Medicine, said

that the study is "really a leap," adding,

"everyone will get excited about this

work."

Dr. Longaker said that he hoped to get

permission from the Food and Drug

Administration by the end of the year to

test the safety and efficacy of the drug in

babies with cleft lips and palates. For Dr.

Longaker, speed is of the essence if the

treatment works and is safe. "I don't

want this to be a 10-year journey," he

said.

Stanford has filed patents for the use of

verteporfin in scar formation. Although

verteporfin is available, and doctors can

prescribe drugs for unapproved uses, Dr.

Longaker says that it's crucial to wait for

F.D.A. approval before using the drug to

try to prevent scars.

"Obviously we want to help patients as

soon as possible," he said. "But we've got

to make sure this drug is tested in a way

that ensures safety and efficacy." The

history of medicine, he said, offers a

sobering picture of treatments that

looked good in animals but failed in

clinical trials.

If the drug works on humans, the

discovery stands to be lucrative and life

transforming. Hundreds of millions of

people are seriously scarred each year,

and many of those scars are disfiguring -

from accidents, as well as from heart

bypass surgeries, mastectomies and

burns.

"Scars in general cause pain and

itching and prevent us from moving the

way we should," said Dr. Benjamin Levi,

a burn specialist who directs the Center

for Organogenesis and Trauma at the

University of Texas Southwestern

Medical Center. The possibility of

blocking the scarring process "has huge

potential," he said.

Dr. Jason A. Spector, professor of

plastic surgery and otolaryngology at

Weill Cornell Medical College, said that

when he does reconstructive surgery on

patients with head and neck cancer,

many "are more concerned about the

data from nearly 5 million patients in

the Veterans system who did not have

Covid-19 and were not hospitalized

during that time. That group had a

median age of 67, was 90 percent male

and had a somewhat larger proportion

of white patients and a somewhat

smaller proportion of Black patients.

Dr. Jacobs said her clinic was seeing

the wide range of symptoms in the

study. But she said the risk of death

among the study's patients was

considerably higher than she would

have expected. "I was really shocked by

the number," she said.

Between one and six months after

experiencing a relatively mild or

moderate infection, 1,672 of the 73,345

patients - about 2.3 percent - died, the

study reported. It did not indicate what

caused the deaths or anything specific

about those patients' conditions.

Can surgery be done without a scar?

A new study shows that a 20-year-old drug prevents scarring in mice.

Photo: Collected

scar through their lip and skin than

about the cancer itself."

Dr. Longaker's obsession with scars

began with an experiment in 1987 as a

new postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr.

Michael R. Harrison at the University of

California, San Francisco. Dr. Harrison,

who was studying fetal surgery,

suggested that Dr. Longaker operate on

a fetal lamb two-thirds of the way

through pregnancy and then return the

fetus to its mother's womb to

continue developing.

Dr. Longaker gasped when he

later delivered the baby lamb.

Its skin was intact. There were

no scars to be seen. "I will never

forget that moment," he said. He

went on to become a pediatric

plastic surgeon and saw

firsthand the scarring on

children after they had

undergone operations for cleft

lips or palates. And he ran a lab

devoted to figuring out how to

prevent scars.

He learned that for the first

two trimesters of fetal life, skin is

gelatinous, "like a bowl of Jell-O," Dr.

Longaker said. Then, as the fetus

develops to live outside the sterile liquid

world of the womb, the skin forms a

barrier to prevent water loss and block

the entry of microorganisms. At that

point, breach of the skin barrier could be

deadly, so the body switches on a system

that lets it quickly seal it. But there is a

trade-off for speed in healing a wound,

Dr. Longaker noted. "The cost is loss of

form and function." And scar formation.

Dr. Tomic-Canic described the

process: When there is a wound, the

strong muscle under the skin contracts

and brings the edges of the wound

together. A clot forms as a temporary

barrier over the wound, and under it, the

body makes thick coils of collagen rope

that form a bridge so skin cells can

migrate across the gap and fill in the

opening. Those collagen ropes remain -

they are the scar.

As molecular biology and molecular

genetics advanced, Dr. Longaker seized

on the new tools to probe the molecular

pathways needed to form scars. The key

starting point for scarring is mechanical

tension when a wound tears skin that

should be taut. (Older people with loose

skin are less likely to scar because their

skin is under less tension.) The tear in

the layers of skin prompts a type of skin

cell - fibroblasts - to create collagen ropes

and initiates a chain reaction of

molecular events inside the skin cells.

The reactions culminate in the activation

of a protein called YAP, for Yesassociated

protein. YAP then binds to

DNA, and scarring begins.

The researchers also could not say if

people had underlying health conditions

and whether their new symptoms were

direct effects of their coronavirus

infection, corollary effects of

medications they were taking to treat

some of the symptoms, stress from

other pandemic-related problems or

other influences. Experts said the

study's findings reflect a cascade of

issues driven not just by the virus itself

but by the medical system's struggle to

grapple with Covid-19 and its long-term

effects.

"We have hundreds of thousands of

people with an unrecognized syndrome

and we are trying to learn about the

immune response and how the virus

changes that response and how the

immune response can include all the

organ systems in the body," said Dr.

Eleftherios Mylonakis, chief of

JANe e. Brody

Shelley Martin, a Manhattan

accountant, was in her mid-

60s when she learned after a

routine colonoscopy that she

had Crohn's disease, a

chronic inflammatory

disorder characterized by

abdominal pain and

diarrhea. She said when

friends learned of her

diagnosis, several said "How

can that be? Crohn's starts in

childhood."

Actually, this often

debilitating disease, which

typically affects the area

where the small intestine

joins the colon, can occur at

any age. "If you're born with

the right genetics, it can first

appear in young kids to

people in their 80s or 90s,"

said Dr. Joseph D.

Feuerstein,

gastroenterologist at Beth

Israel Deaconess Medical

Center in Boston. "It's rising

in incidence and prevalence

throughout the world," he

said, and gastroenterologists

are still trying to figure out

why it shows up when it does

in different people.

Crohn's disease was first

described in 1932 by Dr.

Burrill B. Crohn and

colleagues and is one of two

chronic inflammatory bowel

diseases (ulcerative colitis is

the other) that have no

specific cause. Together,

they afflict about three

million people in the United

States. Crohn's in adults

starts on average at age 30,

with peak incidence between

ages 20 and 30 and a second

peak around age 50. The

disease tends to run in

families, but the genetic risk

is not large. One in 10 to one

in four patients have a close

family member who is

affected, and only half of

identical twin pairs get it.

In decades past, Crohn's

was thought to primarily

afflict people of Ashkenazi

Jewish descent, but "we're

now seeing it everywhere - in

Asia, Latin America, all over

the world," said Dr.

Feuerstein. Experts

speculate that its rise is

somehow linked to

industrialization and a

Western-style diet rich in

meats and processed foods.

Some suggest a link to living

infectious diseases at Brown

University's Warren Alpert Medical

School and Lifespan hospitals, who was

not involved in the study. "The health

system is not made to deal with

something like this."

In many cases, Dr. Mylonakis said,

people experiencing new symptoms

who were never acutely sick from the

viral infection enter a confusing and

balkanized medical world, where they

seek help from primary care doctors and

then are referred to various specialists

who each try to figure out how to treat

conditions that fall under their

particular area of expertise. That helps

explain why the study found that the

Covid survivors had about one-and-ahalf

times more outpatient visits a

month than patients in the general V.A.

population.

"We're dealing with silos," Dr.

Mylonakis said. "Every time that we

have a transfer, something is lost. The

patient loses and that may make their

other long Covid symptoms worse." For

example, "if I'm an endocrinologist, I'm

going to look at the blood sugar, I'm not

going to look at the 14 other systems," he

said. "But the problem with the blood

sugar may be because this person has

such weakness and fogginess that they

cannot go to the supermarket and get

healthy foods, so they're going to order

pizza."

Dr. Mylonakis said the unified nature

of the Veterans system may actually

make it better at coordinating care and

sharing patient information among

specialists, so for patients outside that

system, the frustration and confusion

may add considerable stress that

aggravates their symptoms.

Still, the complexity of long-term

Covid is abundantly evident within the

Veterans system too. "I have patients

that get out of bed for 10 minutes to

prepare a salad and they can't eat it

because they're totally exhausted, so

tired by the time they put a small salad

together," said Dr. Al-Aly.

The research showed that Covid

survivors were also more likely to be

in an overly hygienic

environment that may

prompt the immune system

to attack the body's healthy

tissues instead of infectious

organisms.

And even though the

bowel is the disease's most

prominent target, "it can

also involve the eyes, joints,

liver, skin," said Dr. Gary R.

Lichtenstein,

gastroenterologist at the

University of Pennsylvania

School of Medicine. "It's not

one distinct disorder - over

200 genes have been

identified as associated with

Crohn's. It results from a

complex interaction

between the environment

and genetics" and can be

initiated by an individual's

response to exposures

ranging from infectious

agents to medications.

Two well-established

instigators are the frequent

use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory

drugs

(NSAIDs), like ibuprofen

and naproxen, and cigarette

smoking. Both can trigger

onset of the disease or cause

flare-ups in those who

already have it, Dr.

Lichtenstein said. In fact, he

said, smoking not only

creates a greater risk of

developing Crohn's, it can

also result in a more virulent

course of the disease.

Unlike Ms. Martin, who

had no inkling anything was

wrong until her routine

colon exam, most people

with Crohn's have

unexplained symptoms for

many months or even years

before the correct cause is

determined. Following the

diagnosis, she said she

developed "mild but

annoying diarrhea," but she

considers herself relatively

lucky given the potential

complex of symptoms

associated with Crohn's.

In addition to abdominal

pain and diarrhea that can

be bloody, possible signs and

symptoms include

unexplained weight loss,

anemia, fever, fatigue,

nausea and vomiting, loss of

appetite, eye and joint pain

and tender, red bumps on

the skin. In children, the

disease can result in a failure

to grow.

Prompt diagnosis and

appropriate therapy to

suppress inflammation in

the digestive tract are

extremely important

because a delay can result in

taking a spectrum of medications for

their newly emerged health problems,

including opioids, which Dr. Al-Aly said

was concerning because it might

portend another wave of opioid

addiction problems in the future.

Dr. Al-Aly and his co-authors Yan Xie

and Benjamin Bowe, both at

Washington University in St. Louis, also

analyzed records of 13,654 patients who

had been hospitalized for their initial

coronavirus infection. Unsurprisingly,

they found that the sickest patients -

those who needed intensive care - were

at the greatest risk of long-term

complications, followed by those who

were hospitalized in regular wards,

followed by patients who were never

hospitalized.

Nonetheless, virtually every category

of symptom - from chest pain to

shortness of breath to diabetes to

muscle weakness - were experienced by

at least some of the people who were

never hospitalized.

"I would interpret this as saying 'It's

everywhere,'" Dr. Al-Aly said. "Even if

you just stayed at home and then quoteunquote

recovered in three or four days.

And that's very important because that

segment really is the lion's share of

Covid patients. Most people, when they

get Covid, they don't get hospitalized."

For people who were hospitalized,

their experiences involved significantly

greater risk of long-term health

complications than people hospitalized

for seasonal flu, the study found. They

were more likely to develop or have

persistent symptoms in a wide array of

categories beyond the respiratory

manifestations of Covid: neurological,

cognitive, psychological, cardiovascular,

metabolic gastrointestinal, anemia and

blood clotting problems as well as

fatigue and malaise.

Dr. Mylonakis and other experts

noted that the understanding of the

virus and the status of medical

treatment are evolving quickly, and this

progress is already translating into

improvement for some patients. In

addition, some people with long Covid

have gotten better over time, either on

their own or with the help of treatment.

Still, Dr. Al-Aly said: "What we will

grapple with for years to come, maybe

even for decades, is the effect of the

pandemic on the long-term health of

Americans." He added, "We got caught

unprepared for Covid. Let's not drop the

ball on long Covid."

Crohn's disease is

on the rise

scar tissue and strictures

that are not reversed by

medication, Dr. Feuerstein

said. Another possible

serious complication is

development of a fistula - an

abnormal connection

between different organs,

like the colon and bladder,

requiring surgical repair

that, in turn, can cause

further intestinal damage.

Understandably,

considerable stress, anxiety

and depression can

accompany the disease and

may even cause a worsening

of symptoms. Last summer,

when Ms. Martin's disease

suddenly raged out of

control after she was treated

with a drug to keep breast

cancer at bay, severe

diarrhea kept her tied to the

bathroom in her Manhattan

apartment. Dr. Lichtenstein

said the class of drugs Ms.

Martin took, called

checkpoint inhibitors, is

especially challenging to

Crohn's patients who may

have to choose between

trying to prevent a

recurrence of cancer and

suppressing their intestinal

disease because the cancer

drugs can sometimes cause

an inflamed colon.

Crohn's disease can occur at any age and is becoming more prevalent

throughout the world.

Photo: Gracia Lam


WeDNeSDAY, APRIl 28, 2021

6

Narail Superintendent of Police Prabir Kumar Roy PPM as the chief guest addressed a view

exchange meeting in Narail on Tuesday.

Photo: Humaun Kabir

View exchange meeting

to control crime held

in narail

huMaun kaBIR, naRaIl CoRRespondent

a view exchange meeting was held in narail

to control crime. narail superintendent of

police prabir kumar Roy ppM addressed the

meeting as the chief guest organized by the

district police at police lines on tuesday.

during the time, additional

superintendent of police tanzila siddique,

additional superintendent of police Riaz,

district awami league president advocate

subash Chandra Bose, General secretary

nizam uddin khan nilu, narail-2 Mp

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's father Golam

Mortaza swapan, sadar upazila awami

league president advocate achin kumar

Chakraborty, narail Municipality Mayor

anjuman ara, kalia Municipality Mayor

ahiduzzaman Rahman hirapi, Bir

Chairman ujjwal sheikh, lahuria up

Chairman dawood hossain and Mulia up

Chairman Rabindranath adhikari were also

present at the occasion.

Relief materials were distributed among the poor and helpless in Pirganj

on Tuesday.

Photo: Bishnu Roy

Relief given by the Prime Minister has been distributed among the poor and

helpless families of the municipal area at the initiative of Joypurhat

Municipality and District Administration on Monday. Photo: Masrakul Alom

MasRakul aloM, JoypuRhat

CoRRespondent

Relief given by the prime

Minister has been

distributed among the poor

and helpless families of the

municipal area at the

initiative of Joypurhat

Municipality and district

administration.

deputy Commissioner

shariful Islam distributed

relief as the chief guest at the

Relief distributed

among helpless

families in Joypurhat

Circuit house ground on

Monday afternoon.

Joypurhat Municipal Mayor

Mostafizur Rahman Mostaq

presided over the meeting

while among others, district

Council Chairman and

district awami league

president arifur Rahman

Rocket, additional deputy

Commissioner

Moniruzaman, district

awami league General

secretary Zakir hossain,

sadar upazila parishad

Chairman sM solaiman ali,

upazila nirbahi officer

arafat hossain and others.

on the occasion, 500

families were given 10 kg of

rice and 3 kg of potatoes.

Relief materials

distributed

among poor

people in pirganj

BIshnu Roy, pIRGanJ CoRRespondent

Relief materials including

vermicelli, sugar and milk

have been distributed

among the poor and helpless

in pirganj of thakurgaon.

on the occasion of eid-ul-

Fitr under the banner of

Banuapara Manab kalyan

sangha, a joint arrangement

of local army members and

BGB members, the

programme was held at east

Mallikpur primary

Government school

premises on tuesday

afternoon.

during the time, upazila

Chairman akhtarul Islam,

upazila nirbahi officer

Rezaul karim, daulatpur up

Chairman kartik Chandra

Roy, Banuapara Manab

kalyan sangha president

and army Member khazir

uddin hasan, BGB Member

Belal hossain, BGB Member

Mizanur Rahman, army

Member Raju parvez, and

army Member Mofassel

hossain were among others

present at the occasion.

Foundation stone

of Muktijoddha

Memorial Museum

laid in panchagarh

panChaGaRh: the

foundation stone of

Muktijoddha Memorial

Museum has been laid at the

debiganj-domar highway in

front of upazila secondary

education office in

debiganj upazila of the

district yesterday, reports

Bss.

upazila Chairman of

debiganj abdul Malek

Chistee formally laid the

foundation stone for

construction of the

Muktijoddha Memorial

Museum as the chief guest.

the museum would be

built aiming for preserving

the historical documents of

the district during the

liberation War in 1971.

the local Government

engineering department

(lGed) would implement

the construction work at a

cost of taka 65. 57 lakh.

upazila nirbahi officer

(uno) prottoy hasan,

upazila engineer (lGed)

Md, Mominul Islam,

upazila awami league

president Gias uddin

Chowdary and freedom

fighter Commander sodesh

Chandra were present,

among others, on the

occasion.

Museum to preserve the memory of poet

shankha Ghosh demanded in Banaripara

s MIZanul IslaM, BanaRIpaRa CoRRespondent

the late padma Bhushan recipient

shankha Ghosh is from India. the

ancestral home of renowned poet

shankha Ghosh is at Ghosh house of

Banaripara Municipal Council in

Barishal district. the traditional river

in literature and culture is the pramtta

sandhya river which flows through

Bidhaut Banaripara upazila. the

ancestral home of poet shankha Ghosh

was in the heart of Banaripara

municipal town on the banks of the

sandhya. he came to Banaripara once

in the eighties and the last poet

shankha Ghosh came to his

predecessor's land in 1996.

Former commander of the upazila

Muktijoddha sangsad tarunendra

narayan Ghosh alias tarun Ghosh, a

nephew of the kabir clan, said the

poet's ancestor is on the south side of

the house of eminent ekushey Medalwinning

journalist Golam sarwar and

upazila awami league president

Golam saleh. he was born in

Chandpur. however, he spent a lot of

his childhood and adolescence in

Banaripara. the poet came to

Banaripara in 1998 and toured the

places where his childhood memories

are associated with his ancestral place.

he further said that the poet sankh

Ghosh loved sandhya river very much.

When he went to kolkata, he would

repeatedly say, 'I want to go to the river

bank again in the evening.'

In this context, the ex Mayor Ghulam

saleh Manju Mollah said, the poet

came to Banaripara in the eighties.

then he had lunch at our house.

Cultural personality Moazzem hossain

Manik said that Ghosh's house is the

ancestral home of poet shankha

Ghosh. It is a place where the

memories of his childhood and

adolescence are intertwined. It needs

to be preserved as a place of interest.

about the poet, s Mizanul Islam, a

senior journalist and cultural activist

from Banaripara, said that the poet

shankha Ghosh was born in

Banaripara, which is rich in the history

and heritage of Bangladesh. he

demanded that the ancestral home of

this Bengali poet be established as a

museum through the archeology

department.

poet shankha Ghosh visited

Banaripara in 1996 and wrote his

memoir - 'evening in the river water:

Bangladesh'. the first publication was

published in 2019 in the form of a book

by the poet. In the book, the poet

writes, after 50 years, I am living in my

own village. the car is moving along

the paved road on the way to

Banaripara. When we were little, the

only means of transportation was by

boat. he further writes, 'the water of

the river is glistening in the morning

sun. the steamer wharf is no more.

there are only row boats. the sailors

want to know me, do I want to go to the

other side? our village is touched by

the river in the sandhya. the poet

could not come to Banaripara as a

guest of honor at the amar ekushey

Book Fair of Bangla academy in 2019

due to physical illness. he passed away

at the Battle of Corona in kolkata on

Wednesday 21 april '21. a mourning

meeting will be held in Banaripara

after eid. Government patronage is

needed to preserve the memory of poet

shankha Ghosh.

The ancestral home of late poet Shankha Ghosh is situated in Banaripara upazila.

Photo: S Mizanul Islam

Farmers to produce 6,89,367 bales

of jute in Rangpur region

RanGpuR: the department of

agricultural extension (dae) has fixed

a target for farmers to produce six lakh

89 thousand and 367 bales of jute in

Rangpur agriculture region this season,

reports Bss.

the dae officials said a target of

producing 6,89,367 bales of jute fibre

has been fixed from 58,520 hectares of

land for all five districts in the region

this season.

under the programme, farmers will

produce 6,45,936 bales of 'tosha'

variety jute fibre from 54,100 hectares

of land, 34,928 bales of 'deshi' variety

fibre from 3,560 hectares, 2,628 bales

of 'Mechta' variety of jute from 360

hectares and 5,875 bales of kenaf

variety of jute from 500 hectares of

land this season.

Farmers will cultivate jute on 9,830

hectares of land in Rangpur, 16,090

hectares in Gaibandha, 19,660 hectares

in kurigram, 4,640 hectares in

lalmonirhat and 8,300 hectares of

land in nilphamari districts of the

region.

"Farmers have already brought

41,415 hectares of land, 78.51 percent

against the fixed farming target, under

jute cultivation till Monday in the

region," said agriculturist khandker

abdul Wahed, additional director of

the dae for Rangpur region.

the tender jute plants are growing

superbly amid favourable climatic

conditions as sowing jute seeds is

nearing completion in the region where

harvest of the crop will begin from July

next.

"Getting lucrative prices between

taka 4,000 and taka 5,000 per mound

of jute last season, farmers are expected

to exceed the fixed farming target after

getting high yielding varieties of jute

seeds and other assistance from the

government," he said.

the government has declared jute as

national agricultural product and made

use of jute sacs mandatory in various

sectors to increase local demand and

ensure fair prices by enhancing its

cultivation despite cultivation of aush

rice and maize on more land area.

the dae and other government and

non-government organisations and

dealers supplied locally produced high

quality and imported jute seeds to

farmers and are providing latest

technologies to them to expand jute

cultivation to revive past glory of the

fibre. "necessary training and inputs

have also been provided to farmers for

separating and rotting of jute fibre

adopting latest technologies to ensure

better quality to enable them in getting

higher price of their produced jute,"

Wahed said.

senior Coordinator (agriculture and

environment) of RdRs Bangladesh

agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said

tender jute plants are growing superbly

amid favourable climatic conditions

predicting an abundant production of

the fibre crop this season.

Bhola: six mobile courts of the

district administration fined 36

people taka 18,300 in different

upazilas, including the district

headquarters, for breaching Covid-19

safety rules and violating the

conditions of the ongoing lockdown

to prevent coronavirus infection,

reports Bss.

according to the district

administration sources, six teams

conducted the raids in five upazilas,

including the district town, and fined

36 people taka 18,300 for not

wearing masks, not maintaining

36 fined for

breaching

CoVId-19

safety rules

in Bhola

social distance, violating the rules of

the ongoing lockdown and moving

outside without any reason.

executive magistrate of the district

administration yusuf hasan and

upazila executive magistrates of five

upazilas led the operation teams from

morning to 10 pm on Monday.

the mobile courts also distributed

masks free of cost among the poor

and helpless people.

executive magistrate of the district

administration yusuf hasan told Bss

that the district administration is

conducting mobile courts to create

awareness among the people about

the spread of CoVId-19.

the mobile court will continue to

prevent anti-lockdown activities, the

executive magistrate added.

The final list of farmers was prepared through wheat procurement 2021 lottery in Bochaganj of

Dinajpur. A final list of 281 farmers from 6 unions of the upazila and Setabganj municipality has

been prepared through lottery on the occasion of wheat procurement campaign 2021 at the office of

Bochaganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer Chhanda Pal on Tuesday.

Photo: Suman Chandra


WEDnESDAY, APrIl 28, 2021

7

An anti-coup protester splashes red paint on student uniforms after they hanged them outside a

school during a demonstration against the re-opening of the school by the junta government at

Yangon, Myanmar, Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Demonstrations have continued in many parts of the

country since Saturday's meeting of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian nations, as

have arrests and beatings by security forces despite an apparent agreement by junta leader Senior

Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to end the violence.

Photo : AP

Ethnic allies of Myanmar resistance

capture government base

BANGKOK : Ethnic Karen guerrillas

said they captured a Myanmar army

base Tuesday in what represents a

morale-boosting action for those

opposing the military's takeover of the

country's civilian government in

February, reports UNB.

A spokesman for the Karen National

Union, the minority's main political

group seeking greater autonomy from

Myanmar's central government, said

the group's armed wing attacked the

base at 5 a.m. and burned it down just

after dawn. Casualty figures were not

yet known, the KNU's head of foreign

affairs, Padoh Saw Taw Nee, said in a

text message. There was no immediate

comment from Myanmar's military

government.

The KNU, which controls territory in

eastern Myanmar near the border with

Thailand, is a close ally of the resistance

movement against the military

takeover that ousted the elected

government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Video shot from the Thai side of the

border showed flames rising from the

government position on the banks of

the Salween River, amid the sound of

heavy gunfire. The river marks the

border with Thailand.

A report by the Karen Information

Center, an online news site, quoted an

unnamed villager on the Thai side of

the river saying he saw seven

government soldiers trying to flee the

camp, which is opposite Thailand's

Mae Sam Laep village.

Fighting between the KNU's armed

wing, the Karen National Liberation

Army, and Myanmar's military has

been intense since February.

Myanmar jets have bombed and

strafed Karen villages and its army has

deployed fresh battalions to the area, in

possible preparation for a large-scale

offensive.

Up to 25,000 villagers have fled their

homes and are hiding in jungles and

caves, according to the Free Burma

Rangers, a humanitarian aid group that

is active in the area.

In response, the KNLA has kept up

guerrilla attacks on Myanmar patrols

and bases. The KNU has also given

shelter to activists against military rule

who have fled the government's

crackdown on the resistance

movement in the cities.

There is a similar situation in

northern Myanmar, where the Kachin

minority has claimed to have captured

several government outposts and been

the object of air attacks.

The Karen and the Kachin are two of

the bigger minority groups that have

been seeking greater autonomy for

decades, during which there have been

periods of armed conflict punctuated

by ceasefires.

The city-based resistance movement

against the current ruling junta has

wooed the ethnic guerrilla groups in

hopes that they can form a federal army

as a counterweight to the government's

armed forces. A parallel National Unity

Government established by elected

lawmakers prevented from taking their

seats by the army has appointed

representatives of several minority

groups to ministerial posts.

US to share AstraZeneca shots

with world after safety check

WASHINGTON : The U.S. will begin

sharing its entire stock of AstraZeneca

COVID-19 vaccines with the world once

it clears federal safety reviews, the

White House said Monday, with as

many as 60 million doses expected to

be available for export in the coming

months. The move greatly expands on

the Biden administration's action last

month to share about 4 million doses of

the vaccine with Mexico and Canada.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is widely in

use around the world but has not yet

been authorized by the U.S. Food and

Drug Administration.

The White House is increasingly

feeling assured about the supply of the

three vaccines being administered in

the U.S., particularly following the

restart of the single-dose Johnson and

Johnson shot over the weekend. The

U.S. has also been under mounting

pressure in recent weeks to share more

of its vaccine supply with the world, as

countries like India experience

devastating surges of the virus and

others struggle to access doses needed

to protect their most vulnerable

populations."Given the strong portfolio

of vaccines that the U.S. already has

and that have been authorized by the

FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca

vaccine is not authorized for use in the

U.S., we do not need to use the

AstraZeneca vaccine here during the

next several months," said White

House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff

Zients. "Therefore the U.S. is looking at

options to share the AstraZeneca doses

with other countries as they become

available." More than 3 million people

worldwide have died of COVID-19,

including more than 572,000 in the

U.S. The U.S. has vaccinated more than

53% of its adult population with at least

one dose of its three authorized

vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and J

and J, and it expects to have enough

supply for its entire population by early

summer. About 10 million doses of

AstraZeneca vaccine have been

produced but have yet to pass review by

the FDA to "meet its expectations for

product quality," Zients said, noting the

U.S. regulator is recognized as the "gold

standard" for safety around the world.

That process could be completed in the

next several weeks. About 50 million

more doses are in various stages of

production and could be available to

ship in May and June pending FDA

sign-off.

The U.S. has yet to finalize where the

AstraZeneca doses will go, Zients said.

Neighbors Mexico and Canada have

asked the Biden administration to

share more doses, while dozens of

other countries are looking to access

supplies of the vaccine.

The U.S. will begin sharing its entire stock of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the world once it

clears federal safety reviews, the White House said Monday, with as many as 60 million doses

expected to be available for export in the coming months.

Photo : AP

Iran, US warships in

first tense Mideast

encounter in a year

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB

EMIRATES : American and

Iranian warships had a tense

encounter in the Persian

Gulf earlier this month, the

first such incident in about a

year amid wider turmoil in

the region over Tehran's

tattered nuclear deal, the

U.S. Navy said Tuesday,

reports UNB. Footage

released by the Navy showed

a ship commanded by Iran's

paramilitary Revolutionary

Guard cut in front of the

USCGC Monomoy, causing

the Coast Guard vessel to

come to an abrupt stop with

its engine smoking on April

2. The Guard also did the

same with another Coast

Guard vessel, the USCGC

Wrangell, said Cmdr.

Rebecca Rebarich, a

spokeswoman for the Navy's

Mideast-based 5th Fleet.

Such close passes risk the

ships colliding at sea.

Iran did not immediately

acknowledge the incident in

the southern reaches of the

Persian Gulf, which resulted

in no injuries or damage.

"The U.S. crews issued

multiple warnings via

bridge-to-bridge radio. five

short blasts from the ships'

horns.

India bans all electoral

victory rallies

NEW DELHI : India's Election Commission

Tuesday banned all electoral victory rallies in

the country, a day after a higher court held

the constitutional body responsible for the

ferocious second wave of Covid-19 and

threatened to book top poll officials for

murder, reports UNB.

The results for assembly elections in five

Indian states-West Bengal in the east, Assam

in the northeast, and Tamil Nadu, Kerala

and Puducherry in the south-are due on May

2. "Not more than two persons shall be

allowed to accompany the winning

candidate or his/her authorised

representative receive the certificate of

election from the Returning Officer

concerned," the Election Commission said in

a notification.

The move comes a day after the poll panel

got a rap on the knuckles from the Madras

High Court in Tamil Nadu for failing to

enforce Covid safety protocols during

campaigns for the assembly elections in the

five states. "Your institution is singularly

responsible for the second wave of Covid-19.

Your officers should be booked on murder

charges probably," the court told the Election

Commission on Monday, in the wake of a

plea against crowded election campaigns in

Tamil Nadu.

"You have failed to enforce Covid safety

rules like masks, sanitisers and distancing

during campaigning despite court orders.

Were you on another planet when the

election rallies were held," a two-judge

bench, led by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee,

had said.

The court had also threatened to halt the

counting of votes on May 2 "if a blueprint is

not in place by then".

The court's rebuke came on a day when

India recorded a whopping 3.52 lakh new

Covid-19 cases in 24 hours amid an acute

shortage of oxygen in hospitals across the

country.

In fact, the oxygen crisis in India,

particularly in the national capital, is

worsening with each passing day. Hospitals

after hospitals in Delhi are sending out SOS

messages to health authorities daily, seeking

adequate supply of the life-saving gas.

Last week, at least 50 Covid patients on life

support died at two leading Delhi hospitals

due to oxygen shortage.

Jaipur Golden Hospital, a dedicated Covid

medical facility in Delhi, said on Saturday

morning that 25 Covid patients died around

midnight on Friday due to "low-supply

oxygen" to critical patients on ventilator.

"We had been allotted 3.5 metric tonnes of

oxygen from the government. The supply

was to reach us by 5 in the evening.

but it reached around midnight. By then,

25 patients had died," Dr DK Baluja, the

hospital's Medical Director had said.

On Friday morning too, another leading

hospital in Delhi announced the deaths of 25

patients in 24 hours due to a shortage of

oxygen. In a statement, Sir Ganga Ram

Hospital had said, "25 sickest patients have

died in last 24 hours. Oxygen will last

another two hours.

Election Commission bans all victory processions on result day amid Covid-19 surge.

'Red Tourism'

draws Chinese on

centennial of

Communist Party

JINGGANGSHAN : On the

100th anniversary of the

Chinese Communist Party,

tourists are flocking to

historic sites and making

pilgrimages to party

landmarks.

On a street where the Red

Army once roamed, a group

of retirees in historic pastelblue

army uniforms belt out

tunes made famous through

countless movies, television

shows and other forms of

propaganda. Historic

locations in Jiangxi and

Guizhou provinces - the sites

of revolutionary leader Mao

Zedong's early battles, his

escape from Chiang Kaishek's

Nationalist forces in

the Long March and the

cementing of his leadership

in Zunyi - are experiencing

an influx of tourists this year

as post-pandemic travel

returns to China.

In Guizhou, tourism in the

first quarter of 2021 has

already recovered to 2019

levels, local official Lu

Yongzheng said. The

province, among China's top

tourist destinations,

received millions of tourists

who brought in billions of

dollars in revenue.

On a recent governmentorganized

tour, descendants

of the Red Army told stories

of their forefathers at the

Zunyi Memorial Museum,

which houses artifacts from

the period and hologram

recreations of a key meeting

at which Mao established his

dominance.

Kong Xia grew up

listening to stories of

hardships and toil and the

arduous Long March, a

military retreat in which her

grandfather, Kong

Xianquan, participated.

Photo : AP

India records 320K cases

as foreign help arrives

NEW DELHI : India recorded more than

320,000 new cases of coronavirus infection

Tuesday as a grim surge of illness and death

weighed on the country and its sinking

health system started getting much-needed

support from foreign nations.

Tuesday's 323,144 new infections raised

India's total past 17.6 million, behind only

the United States. It ended a five-day streak

of recording the largest single-day increases

in any country throughout the pandemic, but

the decline likely reflects lower weekend

testing rather than reduced spread of the

virus.

The health ministry also reported another

2,771 deaths in the past 24 hours, with

roughly 115 Indians succumbing to the

disease every hour. The latest fatalities

pushed India's fatalities to 197,894, behind

the U.S., Brazil and Mexico. Experts say even

these figures are probably an undercount.

Foreign ministry spokesman Arindam

Bagchi tweeted photos Tuesday of the first

shipment of medical aid India received from

Britain. It included 100 ventilators and 95

oxygen concentrators.

Other nations like the U.S., Germany,

Israel, France and Pakistan have also

promised medical aid to India. The countries

have said they will supply oxygen, diagnostic

tests, treatments, ventilators and protective

gear to help India at the time of crisis which

World Health Organization's chief Tedros

Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday called

"beyond heartbreaking."

The surge, spurred by insidious new

variants of coronavirus, has undermined the

Indian government's premature claims of

victory over the pandemic. The country of

nearly 1.4 billion people is facing a chronic

shortage of space on its intensive care wards.

Hospitals are experiencing oxygen shortages

and many people are being forced to turn to

makeshift facilities for mass burials and

cremations as the country's funeral services

have become overwhelmed.

US marks slowest

population growth

since the Depression

WASHINGTON : U.S. population growth has

slowed to the lowest rate since the Great

Depression, the Census Bureau said Monday,

as Americans continued their march to the

South and West and one-time engines of

growth, New York and California, lost political

influence.

Altogether, the U.S. population rose to

331,449,281 last year, the Census Bureau said,

a 7.4% increase that was the second slowest

ever. Experts say that paltry pace reflects the

combination of an aging population, slowing

immigration and the scars of the Great

Recession more than a decade ago, which led

many young adults to delay marriage and

families, reports UNB.

The new allocation of congressional seats

comes in the first release of data from last year's

headcount. The numbers generally chart

familiar American migration patterns: Texas

and Florida, two Republican Sunbelt giants,

added enough population to gain congressional

seats as chillier climes like New York and Ohio

saw slow growth and lost political muscle. The

report also confirms one historic marker: For

the first time in 170 years of statehood,

California is losing a congressional seat, a result

of slowed migration to the nation's most

populous state, which was once a symbol of the

country's expansive frontier.

The state population figures, known as the

apportionment count, determine distribution

of $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year.

They also mark the official beginning of once-adecade

redistricting battles. The numbers

released Monday, along with more detailed

data expected later this year, will be used by

state legislatures or independent commissions

to redraw political maps to account for shifts in

population.


WEdNEsdAY, APril 28, 2021

8

Foodpanda initiates donation

campaign to support

communities in need

Over the course of the current COVID-

19 pandemic, people living in lowincome

settlements across the country

have had to tackle multiple challenges

and overcome numerous obstacles such

as unemployment, loss of income,

limited access to water, food insecurity,

and inadequate access to proper

healthcare. The recent rise of COVID-19

cases, and the introduction of further

restrictions has heightened the impact

of said challenges. In an effort to extend

support to the low-income population

across the country, foodpanda has

launched a donation drive for the

second year in a row. The donation

drive, known as 'foodpanda cares'

brings foodpanda into collaboration

with multiple NGOs (Non-Profit

Organizations) and enables consumers

to make donations to the NGOs

available on the foodpanda platform.

At this point in time, foodpanda is

collaborating with five NGOs as part of

The 25th Annual General

Meeting (AGM) of Dutch-

Bangla Bank Limited was

held on Monday through

virtual platform under the

Chairmanship of Sayem

Ahmed, Chairman, the

Board of Directors of the

Bank. The Chairman

welcomed the honorable

Shareholders in the AGM, a

press release said.

this effort to raise money for,and help

those in need. These NGOs include

Bidyanondo Foundation, It's Humanity

Foundation (IHF), Footsteps

Bangladesh, JAAGO Foundation, and

Bangladesh Cancer Aid Trust

(BANCAT). Moving forward,

foodpanda hopes to collaborate with

even more organizations with the goal

of supporting a greater social safety net

for those in need. The company also

encourages other organizations to step

forward and support vulnerable

populations across Bangladesh both

now and in the future. As part of the

current donation drive, foodpanda and

its partner NGOs will be providing basic

amenities to the low-income

population. These amenities will

include safe drinking water, hygiene

products, essential groceries, and food

items. The initiative will also provide

families and individuals with access to

medical care and with grants and

A large number of

Shareholders virtually

participated in the AGM of

the Bank. In the 25th AGM

of the Bank, Shareholders

approved 30% Dividend (i.e.

15% cash dividend and 15%

Stock Dividend per share)

for the year 2020.

The Audited Financial

Statements of the Bank for

the year ended December 31,

2020 were placed before the

AGM. The shareholders

made various observations

and suggestions on

performance of the Bank for

the year 2020.

Total assets of the Bank as

of 31 December, 2020 stood

at Taka 472,355.4 million

compared to Taka

390,362.0 million of 2019

registering a growth by Taka

necessary stipends, a press release said.

Through 'foodpanda cares', the

company will facilitate customer

donations with ease and convenience.

foodpanda users nationwide will be able

to donate funds on both the foodpanda

mobile app or website - thus helping

countless individuals to get the support

they need quickly and without hassle.

Customers will be able to customize

their donations by choosing packages

from each NGOs selection of offerings.

However, at this moment the donation

can only be made through digital

payment.

About the initiative, Ambareen Reza,

Managing Director and Co-founder of

foodpanda Bangladesh, said,

"Nationwide, thousands of households

are facing challenges that have only

been exacerbated by the pandemic. As

a company committed to serving

communities, we feel we must support

those in need. With that in mind, we

have collaborated with these

organizations to bring 'foodpanda cares'

to life once again. Last year, during

Ramadan, we received great responses

and engagement from our customers.

So, once again, we encourage our

community to step forward, and help

those in need by donating via the

foodpanda app or website. We also

invite other organizations to join us in

helping the vulnerable citizens."

Dutch-Bangla Bank holds 25th AGM

82.0 million or 21.0%. Loans

and Advances of the Bank

stood at Taka 273,382.9

million at the end of 2020 a

growth of 6.7% over Taka

256,239.7 million at the end

of 2019. The deposits grew

by Taka 60,451.8 million in

2020 from Taka 302,159.2

million to Taka 362,611.0

million showing a growth of

20.0%.

In 2020, profit before tax

of the Bank stood at Taka

9,660.8 million compared to

Taka 7,436.3 million in 2019.

Profit after tax stood at Taka

5,498.7 million compared to

Taka 4,341.4 million in 2019.

During the year under

review, earnings per share,

attributable to shareholders,

was Taka 10.00 compared to

Taka 7.89 during the

previous year. Capital to

Risk-weighted Asset(s) Ratio

(CRAR) under Basel III

stood at 17.2% at the end of

2020 against the Bangladesh

Bank's minimum

requirement of 12.50%.

The meeting approved the

re-appointment of Abedur

Rashid Khan as Director of

the Bank.

Walton TV surpasses last year’s

export by 137pc in Q1 of 2021

The Bangladeshi electronics

giant Walton brand television

has surpassed its previous

year's television exports

within the first quarter

(January to March) of this

year, undoubtedly a good

news for the country's export

as well as economy

considering the economic

slowdown following the

widespread of coronavirus

pandemic, says a press

release.

Walton brand's huge

success in expanding and

opening up new markets in

Europe is resulted in

registering such an

extraordinary growth in the

export of 'Made in

Bangladesh' tagged television.

The Bangladeshi electronics

giant set a target of exporting

TVs to all countries of the 5

continents by 2023.

Despite the worst situation

in the world business due to

the Covid-19, Walton was

succeeded in creating a strong

market in several countries of

the Europe like Germany,

Greece, Ireland, Croatia,

Spain and Poland. Recently,

Walton TV has expanded the

export business to Romania

as well as Italy.

As a recognition of his

outstanding contribution to

the export growth by creating

and expanding new market in

Europe, Walton TV's Chief

Executive Officer (CEO)

Engineer Mostafa Nahid

Hossain was honoured with

'Export Excellence Award'

from Walton.

Walton Hi-Tech Industries

Limited's Managing Director

Engineer Golam Murshed

handed over the award to

Mostafa Nahid at a

programme held at Walton

Corporate Office in the capital

recently.

Moreover, Walton Hi-Tech

Industries Additional

Managing Director Abul

Bashar Hawlader, Deputy

Managing Directors Nazrul

Islam Sarker, Amdadul

Haque Sarker and Humayun

Kabir, Walton International

Business Unit's President

Edward Kim, among others,

were also present.

Walton Hi-Tech Managing

Director Engr. Golam

Murshed said, Walton has

been expanding its export

business to the markets of the

world by supplying highest

standard products at

reasonable prices.

As a result, Walton has been

making huge contribution to

increase the country's export

earnings as well as the

Walton TV's CEO Engr. Mostafa Nahid Hossain receives the 'Export

Excellence Award' from the company's higher officials. Photo: Courtesy

national economic progress

despite the corona pandemic,

he added.

He noted that Walton's

target is to brighten the image

of Bangladesh in the world

and also to take the flag of

Bangladesh to a unique height

through making its strong

position in the global

electronics and technology

market.

Walton TV's CEO Engr.

Mostafa Nahid Hossain said,

Walton made TVs have been

getting huge response from

the global buyers due to the

latest technology, world-class

quality and reasonable prices.

And thus, he added, Walton

achieved a great success in

expanding the Europe market

even in the midst of the

corona pandemic.

In 2020, Walton recorded

10 times higher export of

television compared to the

previous year's television

export, he said adding that the

2020's total TV exports were

surpassed by 137 percent in

just the first three months of

this year.

Mostafa Nahid noted that

they are now working with a

mission to be among the top 5

television manufacturer of the

world and a vision to ship

Walton made television to all

the countries in 5 continents

within 2023.

Along with meeting the

local demands, Walton has

been exporting television in

different countries of the

world since 2010. Now,

Walton televisions are being

exported in more than 35

countries worldwide.

realme 8, TUV Rheinl and Certified

C25 launched in Bangladesh

Youth-favorite smartphone

brand, realme has launched

two of its devices on

Tuesday, through an online

event to fulfill the demand of

the tech-savvy young

millennials for Eid - the

realme8priced at only BDT

22,990 and realmeC25 in 2

variants, the 4/64 at BDT

13,990 and the 4/128 at BDT

14,990. realme 8 will be

available on prominent e-

commerce site Evaly at

special prize during the flash

sale at 2:30pm on 28 April

whereas people can buy

realme C25 onDarazat

special prize during the flash

sale at 2:30 pm on 27 April,

a press release said.

Customers can enjoy BDT

1,000 discount on the price

of realme 8, and the device is

priced at BDT 21,990. The

smartphone comes in two

colors - Cyber Silver and

Cyber Black. Customers will

also receive other benefits

when purchasing the

devices, such as BDT 5,000

Bata Gift Card. Additionally,

buying the smartphones

through Nagad will allow the

tech-savvy to enjoy a 10%

discount(maximum BDT

2,000) and 12% discount for

Lanka Bangla (maximum

BDT 2,500).

realme 8 will be the

trendiest phone this Eid

with its 8mm slim and

trendy infinite bold design

and Super AMOLED screen.

realme 8 comes with 6.4-

inch Super AMOLED

BB allows

banks to form

start-up fund

DHAKA : Bangladesh Bank

(BB) has amended its policy

allowing all banks to form

their own start-up fund with

1 percent of net profits

instead of operating its

earlier provision.

All the scheduled banks

have been asked to keep 1

percent of their net profits

for the next five years from

current year for providing

start-up entrepreneurs with

loans, said a BB circular

issued on Monday.

Formation of the start-up

fund will start with 1 percent

of net profits on the basis of

the December's financial

statement for 2020, it

added.

Earlier on March 29, the

central bank formed a

refinancing fund amounting

to Taka 5 billion aiming to

help startups expand and

flourish in Bangladesh.

IFC provides $30m to

BRAC Bank?to support

businesses during Covid-19

DHAKA : Small and mediumsized

enterprises (SMEs) and

larger companies hard hit by

the impacts of the COVID-19

pandemic are set to benefit

from a US$30 million loan to

BRAC Bank Limited from

International Finance

Corporation (IFC), a member

of the World Bank Group.

The investment will help to

keep businesses open and

preserve jobs, which is critical

to sustaining the Bangladeshi

economy.

The financing package is

part of IFC's US$8 billion

global Covid-19 fast-track

financing facility to support

companies during the

ongoing public health crisis,

said an IFC press release.

The new investment comes

under the Working Capital

Solutions (WCS) programme

of the Covid-19 response

envelope, which is providing

US$2 billion globally to

emerging-market banks,

enabling them to support

struggling firms.

This project will also be

supported by the

International Development

Association's Private Sector

Window Blended Finance

Facility, which is also

supporting IFC's WCS

programme with a first-loss

guarantee of up to US$215

million in eligible countries.

Display FHD+ with the

light-sensitive in-display

fingerprint sensor. The

touch sampling rate is

180Hz, making scrolling as

smooth as butter. The phone

weighs 177gms and is 8mm

thick. The 'Dare to Leap'

slogan is written on the back

of the phone, a concept used

by renowned fashion brands

to uplift the users with the

brand slogan, giving the

phone a very beautiful

outlook.

The device also boasts

Helio G95 chipset. Powered

by Bangladesh's first Helio

G95 gaming processor, the

realme 8 delivers heavy

gaming experience making

it easier for the user to play

games such as PUBG, Call of

Duty and Asphalt 9. The

device is equipped with a

Copper Liquid Cooling

Singer offers discounts

under marking Eid

Leading Consumer

Electronics & Home

Appliances Retailer Singer is

offering attractive discounts

on Air Conditioners,

Refrigerators, Washing

Machines, Televisions,

Microwave Ovens and

Laptops under its 'Eid

Discount Offer' on the

occasion of upcoming Eid, a

press release said.

Refrigerator buyers can

avail up to Taka 6,000

discount and upto Taka

15,000 discount while

purchasing Side by Side

Refrigegrators under an

exchange offer. Buyers will

System, increasing the

cooling efficiency by 14.4%

and allowing the device to

maintain a steady speed in

terms of its performance.

The realme8 boasts a

flagship camera setup of

64MP as the primary sensor,

8MP with a 119-degree

ultra-wide-angle, macro

lens, and B&W portrait lens.

The smartphone features an

exciting feature - Tilt-shift

mode - that turns the real

world into its miniature

version by creating an

optical illusion. The feature

gives more power to the

young users and allows

them to create exciting

photos with their unlimited

imagination.The

smartphone also sports

starry more, trendy portrait,

dual-view video, and

enhanced video stabilization

also enjoy up to Taka 5,200

discount on SINGER Air

Conditioners.

With Televisions up to

Taka 3,000 discount is being

offered while television

buyers can avail discount up

to Taka 10,000 when

purchasing in exchange of

his used television. In

addition to this, SINGER is

offering attractive discount

on Washing Machines, Dell

Laptops and Microwave

turning the camera to have

all-around

video

capabilities.

realme 8 comes with a

5000mAh battery along

with 30W Dart Charge,

which will give standby

facility up to 40 days and

only in 26minutes, it can

charge nearly 50%. The

charging algorithm

developed for the realme 8

includes five layers of

security protection and

provides hardware-level

security protection for the

entire charging process.The

smartphone also supports

Hi-Res Audio Certification

to ensure a high-quality

audiovisual experience. Out

of the box, the smartphone

will sport realme UI 2.0

along with Android 11,

providing customizable and

seamless usage.

Ovens. Besides, the home

appliances retailer is offering

credit facilities like easy

installment up to 12 months,

No Interest Up to 6 months

and 12 Months EMI.

To purchase any SINGER

product staying back home,

SINGER has introduced

"One Call, That's All" under

which by making a single

call to 16482 and customer

can get any product

delivered within 24 hours.

Masatsugu Asakawa

to stand for reelection

as ADB President

DHAKA : Asian Development

Bank (ADB) President

Masatsugu Asakawa on

Monday expressed his

intention to stand for

reelection as President for the

5-year term after his current

term ends on November 23,

2021.

ADB Presidents are

nominated from ADB's

regional members for a 5-year

term and elected by the ADB

Board of Governors, said an

ADB press release.

"ADB has worked closely

with our developing member

countries (DMCs) throughout

the global pandemic to design

and implement effective

solutions for Asia and the

Pacific in a timely and tailored

manner," said Asakawa.

He also said, "We have also

continued efforts to address

critical

long-term

development agendas such as

gender, climate change, and

private sector development,

as directed by our Strategy

2030."

Asakawa said if reelected,

he commits to strengthening

ADB's focus on supporting

DMCs' recovery from the

COVID-19 crisis, to deepening

partnerships with all ADB

members and peer

organizations, and to

ensuring staff well-being.

"ADB will make every effort

to ensure our DMCs can

sustain the impressive gains

they have achieved and

continue their progress

toward a resilient, green, and

inclusive future," he added.

Asakawa was elected as

President by the Board of

Governors on November 30,

2019 and assumed office on

January 17, 2020 to serve the

remaining term of his

predecessor, Takehiko Nakao.

Under his leadership, ADB

has made significant

contributions to the region's

response to the coronavirus

disease (COVID-19)

pandemic and recovery

planning.

In April 2020, ADB

announced a $20 billion

comprehensive response

package, covering both

sovereign and nonsovereign

assistance, to help its DMCs

mitigate the impacts of the

pandemic.

In December, ADB

launched the $9 billion Asia

Pacific Vaccine Access Facility

to provide rapid and equitable

support to its DMCs as they

procure and deliver effective

and safe COVID-19 vaccines.

ADB also concluded a

successful replenishment of

more than $4 billion for its

Asian Development Fund and

Technical Assistance Special

Fund which are providing

critical grant resources to help

its most vulnerable DMCs

overcome the pandemic and

address various long-term

development goals.

The release said ADB's total

commitments in 2020

reached a record high of $31.6

billion, with just over half

supporting operations to

respond to the pandemic. The

remainder was committed to

address long-term

development issues such as

the gender equality gap, the

impacts of climate change,

and investments in quality

infrastructure.

These achievements were

supported by record-high

cofinancing of $16.4 billion

and record-high capital

market borrowings of $35.8

billion.

At the institutional level,

Asakawa led ADB staff as they

adapted to new work

arrangements and continued

implementation of the

organization's digital

transformation.


WedneSdAY, APRiL 28, 2021

9

Lazio's Joaquin Correa celebrates after scores against Milan during the Serie A match between Lazio

and AC Milan at Rome's Olympic stadium,

Monday. Photo: AP

Lazio beat Milan 3-0 to reignite Champions League

race, Iheanacho winner pushes Leicester closer

SPORTS DESK

Joaquín Correa scored twice as Lazio

beat AC Milan 3-0 in Serie A on

Monday to boost its chances of

qualifying for the Champions League,

reports UNB.

Correa scored his first after just 77

seconds and doubled his tally in the

51st minute. Ciro Immobile completed

the scoring three minutes from time.

Lazio closed to within five points of

fourth place and the final Champions

League berth, having played a match

less than the teams above it.

"The lads were really great, it was a

final for us," Lazio coach Simone

Inzaghi said. "It was our last hope to

stay in touch with the top four.

"We usually play finals in this way, it

was a clear and overwhelming victory."

Third-placed Napoli, which earlier

beat relegation-threatened Torino 2-0,

has the same amount of points as

Juventus and Milan, which dropped to

fifth. Second-placed Atalanta has two

points more.

Head-to-head record is the first

deciding factor in Serie A, followed by

goal difference.

"I expected more from my team,"

Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. "We

have the technical and physical quality

to do better. We must do more, now we

must show that we are as strong as I

think we are. We need to react

immediately because this is a heavy

defeat."The Champions League race

has become a lot more difficult."

Milan was looking to move back into

second place but was without top

scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovi? and got off to

the worst possible start when Correa

played a quick one-two with Immobile,

rounded Gianluigi Donnarumma and

deposited into the empty net.

It was Lazio's quickest goal in Serie A

since statistics supplier Opta started

collecting that data in 2004.

Correa almost doubled his tally

immediately but Donnarumma pulled

off a fantastic save to deny him at pointblank

range.

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina also

performed in the first half and his side

doubled its lead six minutes after the

break when Correa burst into the area,

rode an attempt at a tackle from Milan

defender Fikayo Tomori and blasted

into the roof of the net.

Immobile's lob hit the post 10

minutes from time but the Italy

forward got on the scoresheet seven

minutes later when Lazzari rolled the

ball across to him and he drilled it into

the bottom left corner.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RACE

Napoli moved back into the Champions

League places in Serie A and could have

scored more in a dominant victory.

Two goals in as many minutes from

Tiémoué Bakayoko and Victor

Osimhen had Napoli firmly in control

by halftime. The visitors also hit the

post twice, while Torino midfielder

Rolando Mandragora was sent off four

minutes from time for a second yellow

card.Torino remained above the

relegation zone thanks only to a better

head-to-head record against 18thplaced

Benevento, although it has

played a match less than the teams

around it.

Napoli got off to a great start when

Bakayoko curled a stunning strike into

the far bottom corner from 20 yards

out.

The lead was doubled following a

rapid counterattack. Osimhen sprinted

from just inside his own half and his

effort was deflected past Torino

goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

Kelechi Iheanacho extended his

career-best scoring form with a

blistering winning goal as Leicester

rallied to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in

the English Premier League and

establish a seven-point cushion in the

top four on Monday.

The Nigeria striker made it 14 goals in

his last 14 games in all competitions -

and brought Champions League

qualification one step closer for

Leicester - when he brought down a

long ball forward from Jonny Evans,

cut inside and smashed a rising shot

with little back-lift inside the near post

in the 80th minute.

'Impossible now' - Japan's Olympic

host towns pull out over pandemic

SPORTS DESK

Hundreds of Japanese towns and cities

have been forced to rethink plans to

host Olympic teams because the

coronavirus will prevent public

appearances and require costly safety

measures, reports BSS.

The western town of Okuizumo spent

more than $5 million preparing to

welcome India's hockey team for a pre-

Games training camp, only to scrap the

visit because of Covid-19.

After sinking money into upgrading

sports facilities, Okuizomo balked

when it became clear it would have to

provide bubble-like biosecurity

measures with regular virus tests and

medical care.

"We wanted to have one of the

world's top tier teams visit our town

and show their skills to local children,"

town official Katsumi Nagase told

AP."But that seems impossible now."

More than 500 municipalities signed

up to host athletes and officials in a

scheme aimed at broadening the

Olympics' benefits beyond Tokyo.

Some, like Okuizumo, have already

scrapped plans to host overseas

athletes, while others are devising

careful programmes they hope will

keep everyone safe.

Instead of giving residents the chance

to meet elite athletes and try out new

sports, towns will have to ditch any

physical contact, school visits and

public training sessions.

Kurihara city in northern Miyagi

prefecture was planning to host South

Africa's hockey team, but decided the

expense was no longer worth it given

the limitations imposed by virus

measures."It's a project that will use

our tax resources," Hidenori Sasaki, an

official with the local board of

education, told AP.

"If it becomes just athletes holding a

training camp without any exchanges

with local residents, local citizens won't

enjoy the benefits."

In some cases, Olympic teams have

cancelled, worried about the risk of

infection before the Games.

Australia's swimming team ditched

its plan to train in Niigata's Nagaoka

Reviews of the show were mixed, with several critics complaining about

the show's lack of humour and musical performances. Photo: AP

city, its mayor told media in March.

And Canada's table tennis team will

no longer go to Nagano's Okaya city,

which instead plans to put posters of

athletes around town, said Tomoko

Hirose of the city's planning division.

"Our cheering may become a oneway

engagement, without physical

exchanges, but given the situation, we

just have to move on," she told AP.

Limited contact - Not all host towns

have given up on their plans.

Tsuruoka city in northern Yamagata

prefecture will host several dozen

Olympic and Paralympic athletes and

officials from Moldova and Germany.

The city has had ties for years with

Moldova, said Takayuki Ito, an official

with the city's board of education.

"What's important for us is to

continue our exchanges," Ito told AFP,

describing recent online archery

competitions held with Moldovans.

"There are things you can do without

spending a lot of money," Ito said. "We

have a good feeling about our

programme."

But it won't be simple. The athletes

will stay in their own dormitory and

move only along designated routes to

gyms and training fields,

avoiding contact with residents.

In western Tottori, Yonago city will

host several dozen people from

Jamaica's swimming, gymnastics and

Paralympic boat teams.

The city has had ties with Jamaica

since 2015, and believes its host duties

will strengthen that bond, said Kyohei

Takahashi at the city's sports

promotion division.

The athletes will be on a designated

floor and use a staff elevator of their

hotel, avoiding the lobby and main

entrance to limit contact.

They will also be offered frequent

virus testing, as well as designated

routes to gyms and pools.

"We planned very early," Takahashi

said."We won't be able to have

exchanges with athletes this time. But

the legacy will remain," he added.

Smith avoids the cut, LPGA back

in Asia: golf talking points

SPORTS DESK

Two Australians prove a cut above, and

top women's players return to Asia in

AP Sport's golf talking points this week,

reports BSS:

Team mullet 'hair to stay' -

Cameron Smith's hair flourished

during coronavirus lockdown and after

the success of "Team Mullet" with

teammate Marc Leishman at last

week's Zurich Classic, it looks like the

Australian is not going to be making the

cut any time soon.

The mullet, with its "short at the

sides, long at the back" look, was even

emulated by Leishman who sported a

wig on the first tee Saturday - and the

fans loved it.But while Smith's hairdo

was the talk of New Orleans, his

girlfriend is apparently not so

enamoured with his flowing locks.

So much so, the 27-year-old had told

her that the next time he won on the

PGA Tour he would succumb to the

clippers, only to renege on his promise.

"I would have to apologise to my

girlfriend, it's not going away," Smith

said after he and Leishman pocketed

over $1 million each on Sunday. "I feel

like it's part of me now."

"He's got a cult following now,"

Leishman chipped in. "You should hear

the fans out there. They're all over it. It's

awesome."

Singapore swing -

Ten of the top 20 women in the world

rankings are from Asia but they have

not had a chance to play a top-level tour

event on their home continent since

before the coronavirus outbreak, until

this week.

The HSBC Women's World

Championship beginning Thursday in

Singapore is the first event on any

international golf tour to take place on

the world's most populous continent

since the Asian Tour's Malaysian Open

in March last year.

The Toto Japan Classic in November

2019 was the last LPGA event on Asian

soil, and this week's return after an

almost 18-month absence will be

blessed with a star-studded field

containing six of the world's top 10,

headed by world number one Ko Jinyoung.

With the Olympics less than three

months away, Sentosa Golf Club will

also be graced by all three Rio 2016

medallists - Park In-bee of South Korea

(gold), New Zealand's Lydia Ko (silver)

and China's Feng Shanshan (bronze).

The players stay on in Asia next week

for the LPGA Thailand.

Tiffany sparkles - Talking of Asia, a

year ago Tiffany Chan was stuck at

home in Hong Kong, having spent two

weeks alone in quarantine, with her

Tokyo Olympics hopes and fledgling

LPGA career on hold.

The coronavirus shutdown meant

Chan was unable to build on a

promising end to 2019, when she

registered her first top-20 finish and

made a cut at a major for the first time.

The 27-year-old struggled when the

tour resumed in July and was even laid

low by contracting Covid.

But Chan has worked hard and her

reward came at the LA Open last

weekend as she finished tied eighth to

become the first Hong Kong player to

record a top-10 finish on the LPGA

Tour.

"Every day I just try to be happy. I'm

still on tour, family is still safe, friends

still safe," she said, after rising to 64th

of the LPGA money list. "I got Covid

earlier, so I'm just glad that I'm healthy

and still playing on tour."

Chan's reward is a career-high

ranking of 185 and her sights are set

firmly on a second appearance at the

Olympics, having finished a classy 37th

as an amateur in 2016.

World rankings -

Latest men's and women's top 10s,

week beginning April 26, 2021.

Cameron Smith's hair flourished during coronavirus lockdown and after the success of "Team

Mullet" with teammate Marc Leishman at last week's Zurich Classic.

Photo: AP

Tigers keen to play five

bowlers in Test

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh are eyeing to play five-bowlers

in the longer format that gives them the best

chance to pick 20 wickets, reports UNB.

The introduction of five bowlers against

Sri Lanka was a breath of fresh air for the

tourists considering they are used to be

extra defensive while playing Test by

picking seven to eight batsmen in their

playing XI.

Though the ploy hardly paid off in the

opening Test against Sri Lanka considering

there was nothing for the bowlers in the

Pallekele wicket that produced 1289 runs in

a high-scoring draw.

However, from Test skipper Mominul

Haque to chief selector Minhajul Abedin

stated the same sentiment that everyone is

convinced that it is the best way to go in the

longer format.

"It (playing five bowlers) is something we

need to do, as all the big teams in the

cricketing nations do it. If you want to pick

20 wickets you need five bowlers and we

need these kinds of approach and attack if

we want to take our cricket to the next

level," Mominul said. Chief selector

Minhajul Abedin also echoed the same

sentiment adding that keeping the bowler

fresh which needs to be addressed

especially in hot condition that is prevailing

in Sri Lanka.

"I think we need to back this idea of

playing five bowlers because that gives you

the best chance in Test cricket as you are not

going to win a Test match without picking

20 wickets," Minhajul said.

"Another thing is that our bowlers are not

used to bowl long spells so to get the most

out of them we need to keep them fresh for

a considerable amount of time and having

five bowlers gives you that liberty," he said.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli backed the idea

of playing five specialist bowlers in Test

since taking over the Test captaincy and

though it did not reap benefit gradually

India became a force to reckon.

Bangladesh team leader Khaled Mahmud,

who is accompanying the team in Sri Lanka,

said that he is quite fine with the idea

adding that a bowler will have to pave ways

at the arrival of Shakib Al Hasan but that

will entirely depend on the surface.

"I think it (five bowlers) is one way to go in

Test and it can be quite fruitful if we stick

with it because you have a lot of options,"

said Mahmud.

Australia's tour of

Bangladesh rescheduled

SPORTS DESK

A Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Monday

that they have rescheduled the upcoming

home series against Australia, comprised of

three T20s, reports UNB.

BCB official added that they have

requested Cricket Australia to play two more

Twenty20 internationals during the

upcoming tour in August as part of World

T20 preparation.

New Zealand were expected to arrive

before Australia to play T20s as part of

preparation ahead of the 2021 ICC World

T20 but now the series against the Kiwis will

be followed after the home series against the

Aussies."They (Australia) were expected to

arrive before New Zealand but that is

changed now," BCB cricket operation

chairman Akram Khan said.

"Australia will come to Bangladesh after

playing with West Indies at the end of July or

early August while New Zealand will follow

them later," he said.

Australia and New Zealand had earlier

postponed their two-match Test series

against Bangladesh respectively, which were

a part of the ICC World Test Championship

due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bangladesh are expected to travel to

Zimbabwe in June for three-match Test

series along with three T20s while they are

expected to host Sri Lanka for three-match

ODI series in May. Bangladesh will play 12

T20 matches before the upcoming ICC

World T20.

BCB undecided

over Tigers' PSL

participation

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh Cricket Board

official said on Monday that

they are yet to decide

regarding Tigers' participation

in the upcoming edition of the

Pakistan Super League,

reports UNB.

ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal and

all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan

are among five Bangladesh

cricketers reportedly being

included in the replacement

draft for the remaining part of

the sixth edition of the

Pakistan Super League.

Shakib is placed in the

platinum category while

Tamim is placed in the

diamond category and apart

from them Taskin Ahmed,

Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman all

are in the silver category.

Mahmudullah and

Mushfiqur Rahim are the

surprising ones, who are not

listed in the draft.

PSL was postponed

indefinitely after seven players

and staff members tested

positive for coronavirus in

early March.

However, the cash-rich T20

league is now scheduled to

resume on June 1 and as per

media reports, 132 foreign

players have shown their

availability for the

tournament.

Pakistan Cricket Board

earlier announced that

members were informed that a

mandatory seven-day

quarantine period for all

participants will commence

from 22 May in a hotel

following three days of training

sessions as HBL PSL 6 edition

will resume on 1 June with the

final scheduled for 20 June.

Bangladesh are expected to

host Sri Lanka for the threematch

ODI series in May while

they are expected to travel to

Zimbabwe to play three ODIs

and three T20s along with two

Tests in June.


WEDNEsDAY, APRIL 28, 2021

10

Alamgir's condition

stable, family dispels

death rumours

Imran, Porshi's new music

video 'Ek Dekhay'

TBT REPORT

Imran Mahmudul and Sabrina Porshi are two

popular singers of the country. Thesr two artistes

have presented many audio songs to the listeners in

their 10 years music career. But the duo has paired

up for only two music videos named 'Jonom

Jonom' and 'Abdar' which were released in 2013

and 2019 respectively.

After two years, the duo has again paired up again

for a music video of the song 'Ek Dekhay' recently.

Written by Snehasish Ghose, the music of the song

composed and arranged by Imran himself. Saikat

Reza has made the music video of the song.

Ileana D'Cruz has opened up about her experience

with body shaming . She stated that it 'takes a lot of

inner strength' to convince oneself that 'what they

are saying doesn't matter'.

Actor Ileana D'Cruz has opened up about being

body shamed since she was a child. She said that it

'takes a lot of inner strength' to convince oneself

that 'what they are saying doesn't matter'. The

Barfi! actor also said that 'your opinion about

yourself is what matters

the most'.

"I remember those

days like it was

yesterday. It's weird

because it's a very

deeply ingrained scar. I

went through bodyshaming

right from the

time I was 12. I had just

hit puberty and

growing up. You are hit

with these weird

comments. And people

are passing comments

about your body and

saying, 'Oh My God,

why is your butt so big?'

And I am like, 'What do

you mean?' You think

you are fine and then suddenly you have random

people saying things about you and you start to

believe what they are saying. So I think it's a deeply

ingrained scar because you are carrying it for so

many years. It takes a lot of inner strength to tell

yourself that what they are saying doesn't matter.

What your feel about yourself is most important.

And it's something I tell myself every single day,"

she told Bollywood Bubble in an interview.

The shooting of the big-budget video took place at

different beautiful locations in Sunamganj and

Mymensingh district recently.

About the song, Imran said, "I and Porshi have

collaborated in two music videos previously. Both

of the videos were smashed hit. For that, we have

taken much time to make this song. 'Ek Dekhay' is

an Eid gift for our audience."

Porshi said, "I have lent my voice with Imran after

two years. The song is very special. The track will be

released with music video. I hope the audience will

enjoy the song."

'Ek Dekhay' will be released on CMV's official

YouTube channel and Facebook page on May 5.

Ileana D'Cruz opens up about

being constantly body shamed

since hitting puberty

"Because I go through it every day. I have at least

10 messages that I can find on my Instagram right

now about body shaming for sure. So there's always

going to be somebody saying something about you

and it's harsh. And as much as I would like to tell

people can you please be more kind more sensitive

because you don't understand how much it can

affect somebody else. The only thing that's in your

control is you and how you think about yourself. So

I would constantly just

tell people your opinion

about yourself is what

matters the most. The

hell with the world, the

hell with what they

think. Only your

opinion matters. You

are someone who is

going to live with your

body. There are days

when I am like, 'I don't

like this. Is my stomach

too bloated?' But now I

am like, 'No it's fine,

there's a uterus in there

so it's fine. It's alright.

It's not gonna be flat,"

she also added.

Recently, in an

interview with the Hindustan Times, Ileana spoke

about body dysmorphia and also highlighted that

she now focuses on the good rather than her flaws.

The 34-year-old actor had said that over the years

she has realised that nobody is perfect, adding that

"the moment you make your peace with that is the

moment you actually get to a better state of mind".

Source: AP

TBT REPORT

Alamgir is a Bangladeshi popular

film actor and television host. He

won Bangladesh National Film

Award for Best Actor and

Bangladesh National Film Award

for Best Supporting Actor a record

nine times for his roles.

This Renowned film actor

was hospitalised after

contracting Covid-19 earlier this

month. His condition is now

stable. However, news of his

death has been going around on

Popular actors Sadia Jahan

Prova and Monoj Pramanik

have paired up for a new drama

titled 'Fake Husband'. Written

by Anamika Mandal and

directed by Mithu Roy, the play

has been made for the

upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr festival.

social media since Sunday night.

His family took the step to

clarify everything and dispel all

rumours.

The noted actor's daughter,

popular singer Akhi Alamgir

asked people to act reasonably.

She said, "My father is doing

much better than before. His

condition is improving with the

treatment by doctors. I do not

understand why people are

spreading baseless information.

Is this really the time to spread

rumours?" Alamgir's wife,

The shooting of the drama has

already been completed at a

location in the capital's Uttara

area recently, said a press

release.

Monoj Pramanik will be seen

as Prova's fake husband in the

drama. Besides Prova and

legendary singer Runa Laila

shared in a Facebook post,

"Alamgir and we as a family, are

deeply shocked at the way some

unscrupulous and vindictive

persons are spreading totally

baseless and false news about

him. We cannot understand the

reason behind spreading such

malicious news other than

gaining some notoriety and for

the sake of sensationalism."

Prova, Monoj in new

drama 'Fake Husband'

Monoj, Kazi Ujjal, Pintu Akunji,

Khairul Alam Tipu, Sharmin

Sultana Sharmi, Kazi Salimul,

Jannatul Sraboni, Raisul Islam,

Barsha, Rinku, Swapan Ahmed,

Mizan Rahman, Nayan, Rafi

Ahmed and others will be seen

acting in the play.

The story of the drama

revolves around a bachelor

woman named Rooney. She

works for a private company in

Dhaka and lives alone. But, it is

difficult to get a house for

Bachelor woman as people

make various comments and

even at work place, colleagues

try to take advantage.

So, Rooney decides to tell

everyone she is married. As a

result, she tells everyone that

she got married. Since then,

many of her previous problems

have been solved. Thus, she

continues her days. After some

days, she got into a trouble with

this married identity. The owner

of Rooney's house enquires

about her husband. In the same

time, her colleague Robin asks

Ronney to introduce him to her

husband.

One day, Rooney invites

Robin to her house and

Robin also comes to her

house and waits for Rooney's

husband for long time. At a

moment Robin asks Rooney

when your husband will

come. Rooney says he will

return house in the midnight

for his official job.

Ranbir leaves fans curious with his

'See You Soon' Netflix video

Ranbir Kapoor has left fans

guessing with his latest video.

The actor recently collaborated

with Netflix India for a

promotional video but fans are

wondering if there is more to it.

The online streaming platform

giant had shared a motion poster

on Saturday, teasing that he had

something to say.

On Sunday, they released a

video of the actor talking about

the various entertainment genres

available under the platform's

umbrella. "Netflix has action,

comedy, drama, romance,

cartoons which means there's

entertainment for everyone in

the family." As he waited for his

prompt, he noticed that the

director and the crew were busy

watching cricket matches,

cheering for their favourite

teams. The actor decided to

postpone the announcement

until after the cricket season

ends. "See you soon... after

cricket," he said. The video was

shared with the title, 'See You

Soon' on YouTube. The tease left

fans begging for more

information. Several fans asked if

the actor was making his digital

debut soon. "Please tell us it's a

show that has cast him, please tell

us it's real," a fan wrote. "Is this

'soon' tomorrow??" added

another. "Ranbir ke liye toh IPL

bhi kurbaan hai (I will sacrifice

IPL for Ranbir)," a fan wrote.

"Omg, all i need is ranbir in a

good TV series," a fan said.

"Ok you've got my attention,

now please get him into a Netflix

original show," another fan

requested. "Ranbir finally on

Netflix? Netflix acquiring actors

faster than Zuckerberg acquiring

Instagram and Whatsapp,"

another joked.

Ranbir was last seen in Sanju,

which released in 2018. Ranbir

has been busy with his big-screen

projects in the last few years. The

actor has been shooting his longdelayed

sci-fi film 'Brahmastra'.

Directed by Ayan Mukherji, the

movie also stars Alia Bhatt and

Amitabh Bachchan. It was slated

to release last year but was

delayed further due to the

pandemic. Ranbir also has

'Shamshera' in the pipeline,

which was scheduled to release

this year, a film with Luv Ranjan

and another with Sandeep Reddy

Vanga.

Source: Indian Express

H O R O s c O P E

ARIEs

(March 21 - April 20) : There's an

emotional intensity inside you today that's

squirming to find a way out, Aries. Sudden

outbursts are likely, so take care to hold

your temper in check. Surround yourself with good

friends who can support your erratic feelings. Don't be

clingy. Seek friends who are thoughtful listeners, not

permanent crutches. They may be feeling the same strong

tension and don't need an extra burden.

TAURUs

(April 21 - May 21) : Today may have

some crazy emotional ups and downs,

Taurus. There seems to be an intense

cloud seeping into every part of your day.

Don't try to fool people. They will see right through

you. Bursts of positive energy will pop out of nowhere

to remind you of your more important purpose. Try

not to get so bogged down in the heaviness of the day

that you fail to spot opportunities that arise.

GEMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : This day will be filled

with many exciting surprises for you, Gemini.

Approach it with gratitude and you will be

amazed at the number of things that just

naturally seem to flow your way. Your generous heart will be

rewarded in unexpected ways. Old friends are likely to show

up. Open yourself up to conversations. Act spontaneously

and with a great deal of passion.

cANcER

(June 22 - July 23) : There's a larger

trend operating in your life, Cancer. It's

asking you to break the rules and enter a

new realm - a new mindset or way of

living. Today that trend comes into focus, as emotional

outbursts call attention to the changes. Your heart may

want to go one way while your brain wants to go

another. Take deep breaths and infuse a wave of calm

into the situation before you proceed.

LEO

(July 24 - Aug. 23): Pour yourself a

comforting cup of tea today, Leo. Take

a hot shower or a long bath. In short,

pamper yourself. You may be picking

up on the extra tension of the people around you.

Be conscious of this and make a mental note to

strip away the garbage that others dump on you.

You're a sensitive individual. Pat yourself on the

back and look out for sudden moves from others.

VIRGO

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): It may be that people

are a bit upset by some of your recent actions or

words, Virgo. The offhand remark you made a

couple weeks ago is catching up to you. What

you may consider friendly, lighthearted sparring may actual do

a bit of damage to someone's sensitive emotions, especially

today. Think before you speak. Others might not have as tough

a skin as they seem to have.

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): This is an exciting

day for you, Libra. You can accomplish

quite a bit. Your intuition is especially

acute and your sensitivity is strong.

Computers might irritate you today. It's possible to

get all worked up if your laptop crashes. Save your

work often. Keep in mind that it's just a machine.

Don't let it get the better of you.

scORPIO

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) : You might be a bit

jittery, even without caffeine,

Scorpio. Sudden actions may cause

people to freak out, since people will

be on edge in general today anyway. Save the

surprises for another time. If you need to tell your

boss that you're going on vacation for a little

while, now isn't the time. There's a rough edge to

the astral energy. Relax to soothe your soul.

sAGITTARIUs

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): Things may be

coming at you from all angles today,

Sagittarius. Sooner or later you will be

forced to take action. It may seem like

the walls of the room are slowly caving in. The

pressure is building and the air is getting stagnant.

Go out for a run. Exercise will help you release some

of that pressure you feel.

cAPRIcORN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): You may be excited

about an idea today, Capricorn, but

unfortunately no one else may be. You

spring up with enthusiasm only to

smack into a brick wall. One side of you may be

communicative and witty while the other is

confused. The two sides aren't really connecting well,

so perhaps you should just lay low. Hold on to your

ideas, and save their presentation for a later day.

AQUARIUs

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : Much of today will

be a continuation of yesterday, but

with perhaps a bit more intensity for

you, Aquarius. There's an added buzz

in the air, like static on a radio. This background

noise may not provide the best environment to

work in, but you should be able to navigate with no

problem. Tune out the chatter and move on.

PIscEs

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : Today is one of those

days when you might feel like four people

have a hold of each of your limbs, Pisces. The

people are tugging and you're getting

stretched in every direction. Someone wants you to go there,

someone wants you to come here. Take some time out for

yourself and clearly state your needs to others. Make it known

what the best situation for you would be.


Imtiaj Rasel in the

running for Sovereign

Asian Art Prize

DHAKA : Bangladeshi

artistImtiaj Rasel is in the

running for a prestigious art

prize in Asia. He is, in fact,

among 30 artists from the

Asia-Pacific region who have

been nominated for this

year's Sovereign Asian Art

Prize, reports UNB.

With his artwork, 'Journey

by Bus', being shortlisted,

Rasel is now competing with

artists from India, Australia,

Pakistan, Philippines,

Taiwan, South Korea,

Malaysia, China, Japan,

Iran, Singapore, Thailand,

Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka,

Cambodia and host Hong

Kong for the prize.

Rasel holds an MFA

degree in painting from

Rabindra Bharati

University, Kolkata (2019).

He went to Kolkata for higher

studies after completing a

bachelor's degree in painting

from the Faculty of

Fine Art at the University

of Dhaka in 2015.

He is also he recipient of

the ICCR scholarship. Using

his travel experiences as a

visual language, Rasel

explores connections

between places, culture,

environment, time, and

memory. Through this practice,

he is instilled with a

sense of wanderlust,

through which new narratives

are created.

On his 'Journey by

Bus',Rasel told UNB, "My

travels instilled in me a wanderlust,

which makes me

explore the landscape from a

visual and research point of

view. I continued observing

people during those bus

journeys and made instant

drawings, sometimes captured

photographs. Later, I

painted those elements on

the bus tickets."

GD-741/21 (5x3)

GD-742/21 (5x4)

Children and teenagers are jumping into the reservoir of Chandrima Udyan in the capital to get relief

from heat. They are soaking themselves at will.

Photo : Star Mail

Real business friendly environment more

important than EODB ranking: Speakers

DHAKA : Speakers at a webinar on

Tuesday said creating a real effective

business friendly environment is more

important than improving ranking in

Ease of Doing Business (EODB).

.They also suggested for coordinated

collaboration among the concerned

public sector entities as well as publicprivate

consultation, reports UNB.

The experts said that businesses

should be well aware of all government

circulars or notifications related to

trade and commerce.

Still there is a scope for improvement

in institutional and regulatory reforms,

they emphasized. BIDA should hear the

concerns of foreign investors to get an

idea of possible reforms needed, they

said.

Executive Chairman of BIDA Md.

Sirazul Islam said ease of doing business

is a bigger thing. "We do not like to

mainly focus on scoring rather we are

trying to create a business friendly environment.

Some of the reforms have

already been done by the government,

for which BIDA is coordinating," he

added.

He therefore requested the private

sector to go through the reforms and

report based on the real facts. BIDA

needs to be strengthened more. If you

have any observations on the reforms

made, you can tell us. Company to

company land transfer now can be

done by 7 days.

"There will be separate courts for dispute

resolution under enforcing of contracts,"

he added. Moreover, alternative

dispute resolution is also important.

Chamber of Commerce and

Industry (DCCI) organized a discussion

meeting on the current reforms in the

ease of doing business in Bangladesh

and preparedness for the future.

Executive Chairman, BIDA Md. Sirazul

Islam joined as the chief guest and Md.

Billal Hossain, Additional Secretary

(Executive Member 5), BIDA joined as

special guest.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman

said that after successful economic

graduation in 2026, Bangladesh will

lose most of the preferential trade facilities

which may hurt our competitive

export market.

In this context, the ease of doing business

is essential to reduce the cost of

business as global trade is getting more

competitive. Given this circumstances,

it is the high time to redress the bottlenecks,

reduce time, process and cost in

all criteria of the Doing business and

streamline the entire process towards

lifting the indicators of the Index," he

added.

UNICEF for maintaining positive child

immunization trend in Bangladesh

DHAKA : Despite initial disruptions during the first months

of the pandemic, Bangladesh restored routine immunization

services to pre-Covid-19 levels in June 2020 and has steadily

maintained this coverage, says UNICEF.

In addition, the country successfully held a mass immunization

campaign for measles and rubella from December

2020 to January 2021 that reached 36 million children and

overcame the additional challenges posed by Covid-19.

Now with the third and to date largest spike of Covid-19 in

Bangladesh, working towards maintaining this positive child

immunization trend will be key, according to UNICEF.

While immunization services have started to recover from

disruptions caused by Covid-19, millions of children remain

vulnerable to deadly diseases, the World Health

Organization (WHO), UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine

Alliance have warned during World Immunization Week,

highlighting the urgent need for a renewed global commitment

to improving vaccination access and uptake.

"Vaccines will help us end the Covid-19 pandemic but only

if we ensure fair access for all countries, and build strong systems

to deliver them," said Dr Tedros Adhanom

Ghebreyesus, WHO's Director-General.

"And if we're to avoid multiple outbreaks of life-threatening

diseases like measles, yellow fever and diphtheria, we

must ensure routine vaccination services are protected in

every country in the world."

A WHO survey has found that despite progress when compared

to the situation in 2020, more than one-third of

respondent countries (37%) still report experiencing disruptions

to their routine immunization services.

Teen kills herself 5

days after getting

married

CHANDPUR : A newlywed

bride apparently committed

suicide just five days after her

wedding in the village of

Hossainpur in Chandpur's

Shahrashti upazila, reports

UNB.

She was identified as Meem

Akter, 18, daughter of Monir

Hossain of Saldhar village in

Comilla's Kotwali.

Shahrashti Police Station

OC Mannan said Meem used

to live at her grandparents'

house in Hossainpur village,

where she got into an affair

with Fahim. On April 21, the

affair was discovered by her

family members, who got

them married that very

night.Meem was supposed to

be taken to her in-laws' house

after Eid.

But this resulted in a family

dispute and on Monday she

committed suicide. Shahrasti

police recovered the body and

sent it to Chandpur Sadar

Hospital for autopsy on

Monday afternoon.

Iqvmv-R:Z: 173/2021

GD-745/21 (6x3)

cvwb-812/2020-21

GD-743/21 (9x3)

wedneSday, aPril 28, 2021

11

'London School of Commerce' in

Dhaka running illegally: UGC

DHAKA : The University Grants Commission

of Bangladesh (UGC) has found that an unauthorized

study centre is operating in Dhaka

using the name 'London School of Commerce'.

The study centre named 'London School of

Commerce Dhaka (LSC Dhaka)' did not

receive permission from the government and

also the UGC to run here, said a UGC release

on Tuesday. The study centre offers different

diploma, bachelor and master and doctoral

degrees under three UK institutions ---

Wrexham Glynd?r University, University of

Bedfordshire and Scottish Qualifications

Authority, reports UNB.

The study centre opened a website

(https://www.lscdhaka.org/) in 2007.

Its admission ads have recently come to the

notice of UGC. The LSC Dhaka has been running

its operation since 2005. The LSC Dhaka

wbe©vnx cÖ‡KŠkjxi `ßi

jvjgwbinvU, c I i wefvM

evcvD‡ev, jvjgwbinvU

†dvb : 0591 61489,

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B‡gBj : xen.lalmonirhat@gmail.com

opened two offices in Dhaka - one at Gulshan

Centre in Gulshan-2 and another at Ocean

Tower in Banani.

The centre offers BA (Hons) Business

Studies, Master of Business Administration,

Foundation in Business, Professional Diploma

in International Business degrees from the two

places. The duration of the courses is from

eight month to two years. The admission in the

courses will start in May next.

According to its website, LSC Dhaka in collaboration

with its partner universities has

been offering fast-track degrees like BA

(Hon's) and MBA at affordable fees.

It is said that the students of LSC Dhaka

would have scope to transfer their credits to the

international campus of its partner universities

located in different places including London,

Malta, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

evsjv‡`k cvwb Dbœqb †evW©

Bangladesh Water Development Board

www.bwdb.gov.bd

Office of the Executive Engineer

Lalmonirhat O & M Division

BWDB, Lalmonirhat

Phone : 0591 61489, Fax : 0591 61489

Email :xen.lalmonirhat@gmail.com

Memo No. 42.01.5200.166.07.004.21-900 Date : 27.04.2021

e-Tender Notice [Notice No. 05]

Procurement Type-NCT(OTM)


Wednesday, Dhaka, april 28, 2021, Baishakh 15, 1428 BS, Ramadan 15, 1442 hijri

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard Station Baharchhara rescued 30 Rohingya nationals while floating in

obsolete boat in the sea at Bara Dailpara Ghat area on Tuesday.

photo: Courtesy

B'baria mayhem:

6 more Hefazat

men held

BRAHANBARIA : Six more people have

been arrested in the past 24 hours in

connection with last month's mayhem

by Hefazat-e-Islam supporters in

Brahmanbaria, police said on Tuesday.

The arrests were made from different

parts ofBrahmanbaria after identifying

the accused from video footage and

images taken during the violence, the

district police said, reports UNB.

Two of the six arrested have been

identified as Sadekpr Union Chartra

Olama Oikko Parishad's secretary

Kwari Md Mojammel Haque and

Ashuganj upajila Hefazat-e-Islam and

Imam Parishad secretary Maulana

Mufti Obaydullah.

So far, 55 cases have been filed and

375 people nabbed over the rampage,

the district police said in a release.

On March 27, at least five people were

killed and around 50 others, including

25 cops, injured in clashes between

members of law enforcement agencies

and locals during Hefazat's demonstrations

at Nandanpur in Sadar upazila.

Covid-19

PM provides

Tk 10cr for

journalists

DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina on Tuesday donated Tk 10 crore

for providing assistance to the country's

journalists during the Covid-19 pandemic,

reports UNB.

"The Prime Minister has donated Tk

10 crore to Bangladesh Journalists'

Welfare Trust for extending assistance

to journalists across the country at this

tough time of Covid-19 pandemic," PM's

Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told

UNB.

BCG rescues 30 Rohingyas

floating in obsolete boat

Bangladesh Coast Guard Station

Baharchhara rescued 30 Rohingya

nationals (20 women, 5 men, 5 children)

while floating in obsolete boat in

the sea at Bara Dailpara Ghat area on

Tuesday. Lt. Commander Amirul

Haque, media officer at the Bangladesh

Coast Guard headquarters informed

this at a press conference.

Lt. Commander Amirul Haque said

the rescued Rohingyas left Borodel Ghat

in Baharchhara Marine Drive area on

April 23, 2021 in a boat for Malaysia.

Then, on the night of April 25, while they

were at sea, they were attacked by

pirates, during which the robbers took

away their valuables and damaged the

engine of the boat.

The boat then floated uncontrollably

in the sea. Based on the news, the rescue

team of Bangladesh Coast Guard

Station Baharchhara rushed to the spot

and was able to rescue the Rohingyas

unharmed.

He said the rescued Rohingyas said

they had left for Malaysia through brokers.

However, they could not name the

real broker. Further action is being

taken on the rescued Rohingyas in coordination

with the RRRC (Refugee Relief

and Repatriation Commissioner).

He further said that the Bangladesh

Coast Guard has been conducting regular

operations in the areas under its

jurisdiction to ensure law and order,

curb robberies and ensure public safety

as well as rescue operations in the

coastal areas.

Young woman found dead in city

Case filed against Basundhara MD

GULSHAN : Police recovered the hanging

body of a young girl from a flat in

city's Gulshan area on Monday night,

reports UNB

The deceased was identified as

Musharrat Jahan, 21, daughter of late

Shafiqur Rahman, a

freedom fighter of

Monoharpur in

Cumilla district.

Musharrat was the

lone resident of the

luxury flat on Road

120 that she was

found in. Her family

resides in Cumilla

town. Police

informed that the

managing director of

a leading business house used to often

visit Musharrat at the flat, where she

moved in a month ago. A case was filed

over instigating the victim to commit

suicide by the victim's sister, Nusrat

Jahan, under section 306 of Bangladesh

Penal Code with Gulshan Police Station

around 1:30 am on Tuesday. The

accused is Sayem Sobhan Anvir, managing

director of Basundhara Group and

son of Ahmed Akbar

Sobhan, the group

chairman.

The victim had

called her sister in

Cumilla on Sunday,

and confided to being

"in trouble". On that

basis, Nusrat Jahan

came to Dhaka on

Monday and reached

her sister's flat in the

evening. As

Musharrat didn't answer the door, she

let herself into the flat and found her sister's

hanging body. She then informed

the landlord, who called in the police.

Hasan urges BNP to seek apology

for spreading confusion

DHAKA : Urging BNP to stand

beside the common people amid

COVID-19 epidemic, Information

and Broadcasting Minister Dr

Hasan Mahmud yesterday said

they (BNP) should seek apology

from the countrymen for spreading

confusion over the coronavirus

vaccine.

"Regrettably, BNP and their

friends and some groups could not

see any good work of the government.

And they tried to spread different

confusions from the very

beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic

among the commoners openly,"

he said.

Hasan, also Awami League joint

general secretary, said this while

addressing a distribution ceremony

of health protective materials

among different organizations of

journalists on behalf of AL Relief

and Social Welfare sub-committee

at AL president's office in city's

Dhanmondi.

The minister said they even

spread confusion that the Indian

vaccine produced by Serum

Institute would not work. But,

when it was late to bring the vaccine,

they said something else, he

added.

"For this, you should seek apology

from the countrymen for spreading

confusion. I would like to urge all

including BNP to stand beside the

common people shunning the ill

politics of spreading confusion,"

said Hasan.

He said the government has taken

initiatives to bring vaccines from

Russia, China and other countries.

A number of vaccines will be

brought from Serum Institute in the

next month and vaccines from other

countries will also come soon, he

added.

He said there is no scope of

spreading confusion.

Terming the newsmen as front

fighter, Hasan praised the role of

journalists during the coronavirus

situation.

The minister also extended

thanks to the media outlets for their

role against confusion.

AL Relief and Social Welfare

Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, Whip

Abu Saied Al Mahmud Swapan, AL

Science and Technology affairs secretary

Engineerf Abdus Sabur and

Deputy Publicity and Publication

Secretary Aminul Islam Amin,

among others, addressed the function.

Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU)

president Mursalin Nomani and

general secretary Mashiur Rahman

Khan, Aviation and Tourism

Journalists Forum of Bangladesh

general secretary Tanzim Anwar

and treasurer Md Shafiullha Suman

received health protective materials

from the minister.

Covid-19

Bangladesh sees

78 new fatalities

TBT RepoRT

DHAKA : Bangladesh reported 78 more

coronavirus-related deaths and 3,031

new cases in a 24-hour period until

Tuesday morning, showing a downtrend

in the number of daily deaths.

The country witnessed over 100

deaths from April 16 to 19 and April 25

amid the recent surge in Covid deaths

and infections.

The daily infection rate slipped to

12:51 percent from Monday's 12.82 percent

while the mortality rate remained

static at 1.49 percent.

So far, 751,659 cases and 11,228

deaths have been confirmed, the

Directorate General of Health Services

said in a handout.

The number of recoveries now stands

at 666,927 including 5,234 new cases

which indicates, 88.73 percent of the

patients have recovered.

Obaidul Quader

urges all to work

together to tackle

coronavirus

DHAKA : Awami League General

Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday

called upon all, regardless of party

affiliation, to work together to tackle

coronavirus, reports UNB.

Quader made the urge after paying

homage to national leader Sher-e-

Bangla AK Fazlul Huq marking his

59th death anniversary.

The Awami League leader, on behalf

of the party, placed wreaths at the

grave of the national leader around 9

am maintaining proper health guidelines.

They also offered special

Munajaat for the eternal peace of the

departed soul following the recitation

of Surah Fatiha from the Holy Quran.

He said all countrymen should

stand by the people during the pandemic.

Mentioning that BNP has

failed to stage any movement as well

as winning elections, the Road

Transport and Bridges Minister said

"BNP has failed to gain people's faith

as a responsible opposition."

He also said that Prime Minister

Shiekh Hasina is working restlessly to

improve the fate of the common people.

"Many individuals do not work for

the people when they come to power,

but leaders like Sher-e-Bangla AK

Fazlul Huq and the Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman were exceptions. Following

their path, Bangabandhu daughter

Sheikh Hasina is doing the same," said

the Awami League senior leader.

Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq was

born on October 26, 1873, at his

maternal uncle's house at Saturia, a

village in the southern part of the district

of Bakerganj while his ancestral

house was at Chakhar, a village 14

miles away from Barishal town.

Huq was an eminent public leader

who had held many high political

posts including the Mayor of Calcutta

(1935), Chief Minister of undivided

Bengal (1937-1943) and East Bengal

(1954), Home Minister of Pakistan

(1955) and Governor of East Pakistan

(1956-58).

Palak urges journalists

to project ‘Digital BD’

success stories

DHAKA : State Minister for Information

and Communication Technology (ICT)

Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak today urged

the journalists to project the achievements

of the 'Digital Bangladesh' vision before

the countrymen and the global arena.

"It's my expectation that you (journalists)

would highlight success stories of

advancing the vision 'Digital

Bangladesh', which is the greatest

achievement in the last 12 years, before

the country's 17 crore people and the

international community to take it

(vision) ahead further," he said.

Palak made the call while addressing the

inaugural session of a virtual workshop

titled "Role of Local Journalists in

Implementing Digital Bangladesh" as the

chief guest.

National news agency Bangladesh

Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and aspire to

innovate (a2i), being implemented under

the ICT Division with support from

UNDP, jointly organized the daylong

workshop.

BSS Managing Director and Chief

Editor Abul Kalam Azad chaired the closing

session of the workshop, while

Managing Editor Anisur Rahman

presided over its opening session.

a2i Project Director Dr Abdul Mannan

spoke as the key speaker and BSS Chief

News Editor AZM Sajjad Hossain Sabuj

delivered the welcome speech at the inaugural

session.

The architect of 'Digital Bangladesh' and

Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser

Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed envisaged the

vision, Palak said, adding, "Following his

(Sajeeb Ahmed's) directives, we all - ICT

Division, a2i project and other stakeholders

- are working to materialise the concept."

Noting that Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina had come with a different type of

philosophy by giving a bottom-up

approach in 2009 for implementing the

'Digital Bangladesh', he said, in 2021 she

established that her vision was not just a

slogan rather it has been appeared as a

philosophy of revolution before the international

community.

Union Digital Centers (UDCs) are the

successful outcome of Prime Minister's

bottom-up approach of digitization, the

state minister said and recalled the inaugural

function of the UDC project at

remote Char Kukri Mukri island in Bhola

on November 11, 2010.Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated the UDC

project through videoconferencing aiming

at reaching the computer and internet

based digital services to doorsteps of the

rural people, he said.

Now in 2021 more than 14,000 people

are working in 7001 UDCs across the

country while 50 percent of the total officials

in UDCs are female, which is the

manifestation of the premier's revolutionary

decision of eliminating disparity

between men and women, rich and poor,

town and village and finally technological

discriminations, Palak added.

People suffering as tube well

water dried up in Subarnachar

Manik Bhuiyan

Most of the tube wells in Subarnachar

upazila is not getting water as the

ground water level in different villages of

Subarnachar in Noakhali has gone

down. At some places deep tube wells

are not getting enough water. The

housewives are not getting water by

pressing the handle of the tube well like

before. This situation has arisen as the

water level has gone down due to continuous

drought.

According to the victims, although

there is a tube well in the village, there is

no water in the tube well. It has also

become difficult to fill the pitcher by

pressing the handle of the tube well. The

local residents are in water crisis.

However, such a water crisis has not

been seen in the last three eras.

Residents of the upazila are suffering

due to non-availability of water in tube

wells.

For the last one month, the residents

of Charklark Union, East Charbata

Union, Charbata Union, Charjubali

Union and Mohammadpur Union have

been suffering due to lack of water in the

deep tube wells of the villages.

It is learned that water crisis is going

on in Charbata, East Charbata,

Charklark and Mohammadpur Unions

of the upazila. Besides, the activities of

hotels and business establishments are

also being disrupted. Due to lack of

water, some agricultural lands of the

upazila remain uncultivated.

Experts said that the ongoing water

crisis is due to the ongoing drought and

drought. They said the situation would

worsen if it does not rain soon.

Subarnachar Upazila Agriculture

Officer Mohammad Harun Aur Rashid

said boro paddy has been cultivated in

11,000 hectares of land in the upazila.

Apart from other crops, the cost of boro

cultivation in only 11,000 hectares of

land this season is 441.54 million cusecs

of water. Of this, only 30 percent water

is used from the upper part. Due to lack

of rainfall this time, cultivation has been

done in this area with complete ground

water.

Chairman of the Department of

Environmental Science Disaster

Management of Noakhali University of

Science and Technology, Associate

Professor Dr. Mohammad

Mahinuzzaman said the groundwater

level has dropped to a record level this

month this year. If there is no rain, the

water crisis will intensify. Extraction of

excess water from the groundwater has

created a water vacuum in the groundwater.

Subarnachar Upazila Nirbahi Officer

ASM Ibnul Hasan Evan said a swift

operation would be launched against

illegal and unplanned deep tube wells to

protect the deep ground water. Farmers

in the region will be encouraged to save

surface water.

Residents of Subarnachar are in water crisis as the ground water level in different villages of

the upazila has gone down.

photo: Manik Bhuiyan

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam, Executive Editor : Sheikh Efaz Ahmed, Managing Editor: Tapash Ray Sarker, News Editor : Saiful Islam, printed at Sonali Printing Press, 2/1/A, Arambagh 167, Inner Circular Road, Eden Complex, Motijheel, Dhaka.

Editorial and News Office: Bangladesh Timber Building (3rd Floor) 270/B, Tejgaon I/A Dhaka-1208. Tel : +8802-8878026, Cell : 01736786915; Fax: + 880244611604, Email: Editor : editor@thebangladeshtoday.com, Advertisement: ads@thebangladeshtoday.com, News: newsbangla@thebangladeshtoday.com, contact@thebangladeshtoday.com, website: www.thebangladeshtoday.com

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